NATION

PASSWORD

Blood Unto the Tyrants ⟨FT | TG for Entry | IC⟩

A staging-point for declarations of war and other major diplomatic events. [In character]
User avatar
Menschlicher Sternenstaat
Attaché
 
Posts: 91
Founded: Apr 16, 2019
Iron Fist Consumerists

Blood Unto the Tyrants ⟨FT | TG for Entry | IC⟩

Postby Menschlicher Sternenstaat » Tue Jan 26, 2021 7:56 pm






Situation and Context

It is the dawn of the 792nd year of the era of the State. The Menschlicher Sternenstaat has only grown in power and influence across the Gamma Quadrant and greater Milky Way galaxy following the establishment of the humanocentric Interstellar Compact of Collective Human Harmony two years prior, with the titanic navy of the Sternenstaat now having been able to reliably travel across the breadth of the galactic disk in shows of force and power projection. Such a monolithic astropolitical event coincided with the diplomatic dissolution of the multiracial Stepford-Arnau Trade and Military Alliance, shaking the balance of the galaxy and thrusting a bountiful amount of opportunities and possibilities for the human supremacist nations of the Compact.

Although mutual relationships between previous SATMA states still linger and bind the various ex-SATMA nations together in a makeshift tent of alliances that stands against the Compact, the Sternenstaat has taken upon itself to exploit the shockwaves of such an event within the Gamma Quadrant in full. In accompaniment with the People's Republic of Sinica, the economic, political, and martial power of the Twin Star Union and the greater Compact has been ejected all along the major trade lanes that run within the Gamma Quadrant. This includes the proximal Swift Winds Trade Corridor, the northern sections of the Perseid-oriented Sivulon Trade Network, and even areas of the gargantuan Galactic Commerce Corridor.

Even with this economic and political clout being ascribed to the Sternenstaat and its allies, this has not quenched the hunger of the ever-expanding Compact industries. The Human Star State itself casts its large shadow unto the void of the greater Gamma Quadrant, and has concocted a plan from within the bowels of its astropolitical think tanks and party meetings: direct appropriation of any and all strategic commerce assets within its periphery as a means to begin choking the regional economy and turn it into a Compact-reliant trade zone. The first roadblock in this plan was already anticipated, and so the pitchers have been placed for the ceremonial bloodletting of war - and a specific country has been chosen by high command to be the sacrifice.

The invasion of the Mercantile Republic of Predena will be first instigated through a false-flag incident, where the Predenans will be essentially tricked into destroying Compact assets and thereby giving the Sternenstaat legal credence within its alliance to pursue war. Time will tell if this will be just one minor conflict amidst the raging fires of galactic war, or something bigger...


― c o m p l i m e n t a r y m u s i c :: dominic lewis / verräter ―

“[The Human Star State] does not prosper under the false pretenses of a post-war peace without anticipation; it is an organism ever-prepared for war, and has all of its faculties keyed into wait for the right moment to strike and truly blossom.”

Sternenkaiser Philip I of House Kästner, second Star Emperor of the Human Star State


Image
Die Rote Kammer Complex, Undisclosed Location
Staatskanzler Michael Widmann, Menschlicher Sternenstaat [γ Quadrant]
LOAD ERROR :: Unknown / Variant Local Time

Underneath crimson hues of ambient lights did a trio of boots march forth, each step taken punctuating in force as reverberations against marbled tiles underfoot. The first two of the three men that advanced through the concave, stark hallway donned pieces of powered armor apparel, their Flakrüstung combat plates clacking together as they escorted their target with coilguns resting upon metallic shoulders. The central figure to which they heeded the orders to follow wore an all-white formal uniform - one ordained for the highest of Sternenstaat government officials to don upon themselves. With this apparel decorated with golden buttons, a red armband bearing the symbol of the Zentrumband, and a miscellany of medals of varying colors and sizes, an aviator sat shining a dim red his left breast pocket; the vivid blue eyes that they once cloaked were now free to peek forth into the ambient crimson darkness with increased acuity.

The trio received immediate salutes as they rounded corner upon corner of the confidential complex that they found themselves within, with every checkpoint in each hallway allowing them to pass as soon as they fell within eyesight. All-black statues stood silent amidst the edges of these humming halls, the power armor of the two guardsmen beforehand being upon all of these assembled troopers that practiced an attention of stony focus. The optics that lied upon their faces did not waver or twitch as the men passed, but the eyes that lied beneath them strained to hold their focus as they began to realize just who had marched in front of their wakes.

Soon enough, the trio found themselves standing behind a massive bulkhead, its metallic lips held firmly shut by a miscellany of hidden gears and hydraulics systems. However, as they stood waiting before it, the bulkhead began to part its wrought lips with an audible hiss as its internal machinery were forced to haul the weight of the door open in full. As the two portions of the bulkhead affixed themselves to the roof and the floor, the man and his miniature entourage advanced forth into a small hallway that was less reminiscent of an emergency war bunker, and more resemblant of the more iconic governmental infrastructure on Vera.

A lone officer sat silent behind a fine wooden desk, his attention only being briefly gripped by the holo-monitor that sat idle before him. The striking black of his uniform and cap clashed with the red armband that lied upon his left arm, making the officer briefly subsume in vision unto the darkness of the opulent hallway. Upon seeing the three pass the threshold of the bulkhead, however, his darkened form emerged unto the light of the overhead lamps, a straight-armed salute from his right arm being administered in systematic response.

The man with the blue eyes nodded at the underling before him as he passed by, his steps never wavering in speed as he advanced beyond the desk and officer and towards the proper wooden doors that lied at the end of the hallway. Two troopers akin to the ones that escorted the man emulated the officer ahead in their salutes, their arms holding for a scant few seconds until they returned down to their sides. In an almost robotic motion, the two non-escorting soldiers gripped the golden doorknobs to the double doors and twisted them with care, opening them inward unto the room that lied ahead. The man raised his hands in a stopping motion for the two soldiers that had been following him so far, and in response they halted their procession along his side. They assumed a guarding position with the two other troopers in powered armor within the hallway, the shadows of their movement being seen as the wooden doors drifted to a close with a firm clunk.

As his eyes adjusted to the innards of the room that laid before him, the man noticed the sheer amount of officers and civilian officials assembled within. A multitude of leather seats were arranged around an oval-shaped and raised black granite table, with each possessing either a senior military official or astute administrator of the Sternenstaat government upon it. None of them were holograms, and as such, it was of no surprise to the measures of security that the compound that hosted them had undertaken with its multitude of checkpoints and general infrastructure - for some of the most important members of the Vaterlandspartei had assembled for the very man that had arrived.

A large Zentrumband, indicative of the Party that ruled over the country and the very ideological spirit of the nation itself, loomed behind the lone chair that was reserved just for the newcomer to the meeting. He took his advance towards the chair with care, rounding the table and noting to himself all of the figures that had punctually arrived to the appointment at hand. He then unclipped the scarlet cape that rode upon his shoulders prior, and folded it neatly over the head of the lone, white leather chair that laid empty for him at the end of the table. He then pivoted the chair around and let himself slip into its cushioning embrace before turning around to give his attention to the sea of faces that anticipated his very next words.

Thank you, gentlemen of the Fatherland, for coming here today.

His words rung strongly into the air as the man reclined, stroking his empty chin as his elbows fell upon the chair's armrests. The other arm moved to press a button embedded within the desk, and as a result of such, a hidden panel revealed itself unto him. The man reached forth and grabbed a large cigar from the panel, methodically inserting its end into a nearby cutter before lighting it with a peripheral plasma flame. This process lasted nothing more than a handful of seconds as his eyes scanned the table before him, spotting that many of the officers and officials assembled had waited for him to arrive before lighting their own cigars and cigarettes.

It is not often that we, as the embodiments of the Fatherland Party itself, come together under one roof. And for that, I thank you once more for your presence.

He raised the cigar to his lips and puffed on it as he noted the responses from the various men in front of him, retrohaling the smoke through his nose in the process.

Staatskanzler Widmann, we are all pleased to be assembled unto your behest as leader of the Fatherland Party, Staatspräsident Heinrich Schuhbeck stated as he mulled over a fine cognac. Not a detriment to us in the slightest. I must thank you for your assistance in my re-election as well, he added, before finishing the rest of the cognac left in his small-portioned glass.

You are always the fucking sycophant, aren't you? jabbed Staatsführer-SS Vincent Heitmeyer, his jet black uniform akin to his subordinate that Widmann had briefly met prior. He too puffed upon a cigar, exhaling it through his mouth in preparation for his next insult towards Schuhbeck. You know, Herr Staatspräsident, I can always take your place if the position gets boring enough. Switch places, even, eh?

Before Schuhbeck could respond, Widmann rapped his knuckles upon the black granite surface of the table before them. Let us not get ahead of ourselves; this isn't our usual party meeting. Eisenmenger, give us the debriefing for the intelligence your men have collected.

Widmann's gaze turned to a man dressed in non-descript leather clothing, who sat next to the Staatsführer and opposite of Schuhbeck. Eisenmenger's stare was forlorn - a stoicism that Widmann had gotten used to long ago as acclimation to his job position. After all, the man was the head of the shadowy Staatssicherheitsdienst - an organization that even the Staatsschutz could not get its bureaucratic hands upon. Such a stark divide was noted in how Heitmeyer carried himself around Eisenmenger, sporting a hint of caution around the SSD director.

Right away, Herr Staatskanzler. As detailed in my summative report to members of the Staatskonvent and high commands of the Staatswehr and Staatsschutz alike, we have ascertained the key strategic positions within proximity to the Sternenstaat that would - if seized - would cement our powerbase in the Gamma Quadrant.

I've read your report front and back, Eisenmenger, voiced Rupprecht Kronenberg, chairman of the Staatskonvent legislative body within the Staatskongress. And, yet, it never informs the reader of anything pertinent to how these targets as a whole would strengthen the Sternenstaat or the Compact at large.

That isn't my job to do, Eisenmenger replied, his cold stare turning to face the brown eyes of Kronenberg's. My task, as dictated by Herr Widmann, was to compile the data pertinent to each and every target. It did not quantify my specific study of the astropolitical nor military benefits to the seizure of these areas or infrastructures detailed - that is why we are here, to discuss these things, Chairman. And, if I heard you right, you ask for the Compact's strength to be brought into question - is your loyalty to the Fatherland, or to this Compact we attach ourselves with?

Eisenmenger. You need not question the loyalties of our comrade here, Widmann said, his free hand pointing at the SSD commander before him. You know how astute our dear Chairman is with the details of every report that falls upon his desk. As for you, Kronenberg, Eisenmenger has already stated the crux of this meeting; it is for full discussion of these targets, which is something best left to the confines of this room versus it being intercepted out amidst transmission.

I understand, said each of the men asynchronously, with their heads bowing slightly to recognize Widmann's authority.

Good. I will assume control of the meeting's conduct today - that is, unless someone has input to my ideas. Let us start.




We must discuss the state of affairs in the galaxy in full in order to settle ourselves into the proper mode of strategization for the times to come. The Stepford-Arnau Trade and Military Alliance has dissolved now nearly two years to the present, and with it, the Sternenstaat's opportunities for expansion of influence have increased exponentially. While we cannot haphazardly jump into confronting these shamed polities one-by-one militarily, as they still maintain alliances between ex-member states from underlying treaties, the state of galactic trade security in both physical and economic senses have been perturbed in favor to us.

The Interstellar Compact of Collective Human Harmony is an extension of our power, even if diluted with the machinations of fellow member states such as the Olimipiadans, Sinicans, or Pikasistani. The rise of power of the Compact is the rise of power for the Sternenstaat, and if we abate using this to our advantage any longer, the opportunity for mankind to attain glory and definition upon the Milky Way will be lost. Look at the Weld, who still wage their wars of occultic rage across the Gamma Quadrant. Our stand at Iskikan showed the galaxy that the Fatherland and mankind itself will not abandon its own children. Look towards the state of the galaxy upon every shimmering shard of an alternative universe; infantile wars of the most basic formulae fought for control of a mere few star systems, or at the whims of moronic leaders for reasons still unknown. Our administration is paramount, our military is resurgent, and yet we lie here in meditation as the cosmos burns itself a path for us to tread. This has been the folly that we must correct today, gentlemen.

The first stepping stone on the path to a greater Sternenstaat will be, as all of you know, this 'Mercantile Republic' of Predena. It is a bastion of near-human degeneracies and hypocritical xenophilia, giving freedoms to these animals in one sector and yet using them as slaves in other sectors of their very own nation. A nation of greedy merchants and hypocrites is something antithetical to our country, and their actions as of late have also been antithetical to our goals within the Gamma Quadrant. For one, they have blocked access to the Sivulon Trade Network and the Swift Winds Trade Corridor through the Carinae Sector, and as a result, New Silk Road traffic must be routed beyond the Carinae Sector in order to interact with these other two trade lanes. That is, in itself, unacceptable - and all that it will take to justify action against them is if they enforce this blithe embargo against us. Eisenmenger, if you may detail to them the mission that you have been planning...


Thank you, Herr Widmann. I have been formulating an idea in order to force the hands of the Predenans into acting against us, and in kind, giving us the proper justification for conflict without the butting heads of foreign star states attempting to intervene in sympathy to them. Any and all Compact-affiliated merchants have been barred from entering the Mercantile Republic for over a year, and have informed any and all vessels affiliated with the Compact that any entry of their territory will be met with appropriate force. The assets I have within the country tell me that their Defense Force command are drunk off of our inaction, and say that even if they fire upon a civilian vessel that it would all be swept under the rug. The psychology of their government and their military has numbed to the point of clueless bravado, and it is the perfect climate for action against them.

The mission details will specifically involve the departure of a Compact Economic Cooperative ship into Predenan territory - one from the Beta Quadrant, running Sinican merchant credentials and yet containing Staatsmensch crew, having completed a year-long leg into Pikasistan and back. The Sinicans are to be informed of these details, but it will involve a fabricated loss of life for maximum culpability against the Predenans - since they are confident of inaction from us, they will do nothing but issue empty apologies. These very empty apologies will be the impetus of rage for the Sternenstaat to capitalize upon, and will be the very rage that we begin our efforts of reviving the Sternenstaat war machine.


If I may ask, Heitmeyer said, turning to face Eisenmenger next to him. You say a... fabricated loss of life. What does this exactly entail? Are we sending an iron coffin into Predenan territory and hope that no one finds out about our tactics?

Comrade, we live in the age of memetic duping of the utmost caliber. There will be no souls aboard, but the general public nor Predenan intelligence will know. All we need to do is to feed them the proper communications, dupe the proper heat signatures within, and respond with legitimate anger; all three of which entirely possible if the greater public does not become cognizant of our plans. We need not sacrifice the life of even one proud human to gain the excuse to lay waste to them.

Hmm... interesting, Heitmeyer said, resting his cigar down. The thing is, have we yet to calculate the military and paramilitary preperations for this endeavor? The Predenans, as ignorant as they are so far, must be able to become aware of any major fleet movement coming from Compact member nations against them.

Widmann was the next to talk, following up on Heitmeyer's comment. Once this meeting convenes, we will rationalize the specifics and nuances of such a mobilization. However, we will not attempt any preparatory mobilization effort prior to the SSD's feigned incident, as we cannot risk the general public nor outside intelligence becoming cognizant of our actions. Instead, as soon as this incident occurs, we will use the gravitas of such to empower our army and population in a revived war effort more glorious than even that of Operation Wolkenkratzer. Now, Herr Heitmeyer, the Kampf-Staatsschutz will be instrumental in the upcoming conflicts as a complement to the Staatswehr's operations. Since the Carinae Sector is well within proximity of the Nauticus Sector and our very nation, it is only natural to allow the K-SS significant operational duties in a potential invasion of Predena. Do you personally believe that your men are ready?

Is there even a need to ask, my Staatskanzler? Of course. The legions of the Kampf-SS stand at ready to sacrifice anything for the Fatherland at any moment - it is the Staatswehr that you must ask this question towards.

The Chief of Operations for the Sternenstaat's military, the Staatswehr, gave Heitmeyer a glare from the sides of his eyes. His rank being of high prominence, Oberbefehlshaber der Staatswehr Hildebrand von Bothmer sat near to both Kronenberg and Schuhbeck, a cigarette in between his fingers and his mouth contorting in listening to Heitmeyer's insinuations.

I can assure you, Staatskanzler, that the military is on an ever-permanent state of readiness. The only current obstacle to a rapid reaction time of our forces is their various patrol routes assigned as a part of the Compact Security Cooperative - they are able to be called back to direct military service at your behest. The thing I am most concerned with here, though, is how we will deliver these plans to the Sternenkaiser.

The Sternenkaiser is the very first man that I spoke to in regards to this very topic, Bothmer, Widmann said. I will admit that he is not fond of the need for our country to assume direct action as soon as possible, but he recognizes its necessity and has given me implicit authorization to carry out these objectives. It is the general public that we must be careful addressing, gentlemen, for it is they who will carry the brunt of the future conflicts upon their shoulders. We must shepherd them with care, and make sure that they understand the ideological and practical necessities of what we are to plan here today. Now, to finish up the topic of the Predenans, take a look at the map shown upon your respective holo-screens.

The Mercantile Republic of Predena has a horizontal territorial configuration, with respective to galactic direction and proximity to our country. The northern breadth of their nation is effectively open to permeation from our navy, especially in the locations most proximal to the New Silk Road. The bulk of an invasion should be coordinated from the New Silk Road itself to maximize logistical capabilities and efficiencies, but we must nevertheless also include the possibility of an invasion into their westernmost sectors from the voids to the north as well. These voids are rarely patrolled and infested with pirates, but I put full stock in the abilities of expeditionary naval units to take advantage of that situation.

Another weakness that lies in their country is, as you can see, their spine of a sector that defines the location of space known as the Cruxan Run. If we are able to assume control of this sector even prior to cracking open the Eye of Tian, it will shatter the conduct of war for the Predenans instantaneously. Heitmeyer and Bothmer, you both will create military strategems cooperatively to ensure SS-Staatswehr coordination in the capture of these objectives. I do not care who gets to them first, as the importance of these battles will not be pertinent on which armed force wins them. It will be if the Sternenstaat and the greater Compact get the chance to end this war fast through Quasarkrieg and quick before the entire galaxy grows knowledgeable of the trends we are to commit to in the future. Do you both understand?


The two men who sat practically opposite of each other responded in kind, before looking at each other in silent recognition of their roles' importances to come.

Excellent. Now, in regards of this incident to feign... let us plan that in totality, alongside how to treat the public's reaction...
Last edited by Menschlicher Sternenstaat on Wed Feb 17, 2021 9:17 pm, edited 3 times in total.

User avatar
Menschlicher Sternenstaat
Attaché
 
Posts: 91
Founded: Apr 16, 2019
Iron Fist Consumerists

Postby Menschlicher Sternenstaat » Wed Feb 17, 2021 9:10 pm

― c o m p l i m e n t a r y m u s i c :: hans zimmer / wallace ―

“Growing fat off of the profit of mercantilism is not something that can be maintained forever. I do not believe my colleagues are truly ignorant of this; they merely and deliberately choose to ignore both this and its consequences.”

Chief Magistrate Atai Selron, prev. executive of the Mercantile Republic of Predena

The Predenan Stock Market Decline of 3091 was, for all intents and purposes, an unnerving hint to the economic (and ultimately political) calamities that would befall the Mercantile Republic of Predena over the months to come. Following a series of economic shortcomings for major manufacturer export corporations within the Mercantile Republic in regards to foreign market successes, such as the fusion source-gas exporter Astrella Corporation and refined metals giant Titanius Industries, the subsequent psychological backlash from investors and traders across the Predenan stock market for all associated companies in these industries had lead to the development of a powerful bear market which would drive the "Pris Citadel" stock exchange center of the Mercantile Republic into a frenzy of ascertaining both current and projected losses.

Existence of such a bear market was not rare in occurrence for the Predenan polity; however, it was not expected within such a timeframe due to the corporations' intense efforts and dedication towards propelling their trade products along numerous proximal merchant lanes (such as the Sivulon Trade Network and Swift Winds Trade Corridor). This vice grip that was affecting the Mercantile Republic had slowed the economy enough to warrant direct government intervention, with the Council of Arbiters of Predena having been convened to deliberate upon the options possible for an investment into the corporations as a means recuperate present losses enough to keep the industries afloat for the opening of a "new public perception". This would, with the onset of Compact hostilities following the Nora Station Incident, never come to fruition; instead, the Decline of 3091 would salt the wound of the economy and seal the fate of the country thereafter to a multitudinous financial doom.

Tomita Yoshitora; The Rise and Wars of the Compact

Image
The Albatross Club Ramparts, Planet of Anconia, Anconian Capital Sector
Henrico Naudé, Mercantile Republic of Predena [γ Quadrant]
January 17th, 3092 AD (792 SA) — 10:30 p.m. Anconian Prime Surface Time
The scintillating sea of citylights that stretched abound unto his vision did little to assuage Henrico, his mind twisting and churning entirely separate from the residual alcohol that had been floating around within his blood. He was barely able to hold his cigarette and his drink within firm grasps as he leaned over the open-air ramparts, running the abstract numerations and formulae within his brain in pertinence to the "insurmountable" Predenan securities market now lingering at its first major low within decades.

...Fuck,” he muttered to himself, the sound of such being drowned out by the cacophony of music and chattering voices that lingered behind him.

I put half a fucking billion credits into this crock of shit... and it just fucking dumps. It all just fucking dumps right after I invest because this market is full of pussies that have paper fucking hands. AstrellaCorp keeps up its fucking exports of tritium to most of the galaxy, and people think that this bullshit will someone go poof because journos from Alpha scream and cry about Gamma's instabilities? Fuck them. Fuck them, fuck them, fuck them. I can't become a bagholder, I-

As Henrico's mind sped forth in its despair, the man only noticed dainty fingers tracing over the edges of his shoulders seconds into the action. He turned and looked upon who had been attempting to entice him, and his eyes fell upon who he exactly expected - a female synth and his personal secretary, Alessa.

You seem to be quite... distressed tonight, Henry,” Alessa said, her voice resonating in uncanny and natural tones. “Didn't we come to Albatross to get our mind off things until the situation turns for the better?

Henrico snorted and spun around to face Alessa, away from the skyline that he had been idly staring at moments prior.

Are you kidding me, Alessa? How in the hell am I going to get my mind off of losing half a billion credits!? I shouldn't be here at this dumb fucking venue, I should be back at the office and be ready for an-

Her index finger shushed the rambling Henrico with its appearance upon his lips, cold to the touch and practically indicative of her true synthetic nature.

You worry too much and too often for your own good. If you really want to get out of here, then come on. You need another good distraction.

True; but that distraction won't involve you. Call Jarais and tell him to meet me at my penthouse; we both need to discuss something other than the fucking market...



Did you really call that bot back to the office, Henrico? We could have had so much fun with her, you know! They don't call those things cunnybots for no damn reason, and I'm sure you know-

I'm... really not in the mood for joking around, man.

The two men sat across from one another on the overhanging patio of Henrico's penthouse, distant nightly seas of grey clouds beneath them meandering abound with the lights of the city below providing an under-glow. Henrico held a thin cigarette in his right hand as he spoke, constantly dragging upon it in attempts to sate the anxiety that had been building up inside of him. His friend Jarais, however, neglected to smoke such a small pittance; he was busy fudging with the porch table's cigar lighter as he attempted to light up a stogie.

Alessa told me already. You're hyperventilating on and off about the market... are you still holding?

I didn't ask you to come here to interrogate me about my fucking portfolio, Jarais.

Then what are we gonna talk about? I'm sure you didn't bring me here to just shoot the shit, and if we ain't talking about the market...

It's about my father.

Jarais said nothing after Henrico responded to his question, and instead merely hoisted the lit cigar into his mouth and began to savor its infused, smoky taste.

Ah... playboy wants to talk about his daddy. What about him that I'm supposed to not know already? Let's see,” Jarais said, putting down a shot of bourbon he was contemplating to have onto the patio table. He raised up his hands and began to run through a mental checklist, half in humorous derision of his friend.

Sitting legislator on the Council of Arbiters, multi-quadrillionaire with investment portfolios into every artery and vein of this proud nation, a finger upon the heartbeat of this economy so strong that he can make trillions off of the slightest of events...

Henrico rolled his eyes as his friend mocked him. “You don't need to fucking count down what everyone knows he is to me. It's about something else that no dumbfuck investor or politician can see now - even him. And his position in the government is going to bring me into deep shit if something happens...

Can you explain what the fuck you mean? You sound cryptic to all hell,” Jarais replied, gripping the bottle of bourbon left aside of his shot glass and motioning it towards Henrico. “Drink this, and maybe I can understand your confusing rambles for once!

I've already drank enough tonight... I'll fucking tell you what is on my mind with him, sans the market imploding to shit. Do you know what is wrong with the country right now?

Is this some sort of rhetorical question about morality, or something?

No, it isn't. The problem I'm talking about with Predena lies in its future as not only a country, but as an entity that encompasses all of its private enterprises within. We have lost tens of quadrillions minimum since that Human Compact rose. Instead of negotiating with this alliance, my father and thousands of others voted to block any trade with their member states on false morality of being against the 'true evil of the galaxy'.

You mean human supremacism?

Yes, Jarais; that and whatever the fuck other ideologies exist within it. The problem with the Arbiters, my father, and everyone else in the government is that they are too bullish with their own mental investment into the status quo of this country; we are being bled dry by the Compact and the old fucks in office don't know it. We aren't losing blood directly by money, necessarily, but more by opportunity and the lack of a chance to access such fountains of profit and protection. Do you know how much money those Kue'sahns made after they applied to the Compact as an observer state? The same fucking amount; the tens of quadrillions that we have lost.

Jarais pounded his shot of bourbon as Henrico spoke, wincing at his own sudden intake of the alcohol. With Henrico's ramble winding down, his friend returned the shot glass to the table empty and turned his head to address him.

I've gotta be honest with you, Henrico... you're sounding like a cocksucker for the Compact. The galaxy's money doesn't run on some loose group of space dictators; we have warp lanes and gate networks all over the fucking Milky Way that avoid those shitholes. Don't fellate some neofascist cocks just so you can rant ab-

Henrico slammed his hand down in mental frustration as Jarais finished his sentence, sending the latter into a mild sense of surprise.

I'm not a fucking sympathizer. What I am talking about doesn't even involve anything vaguely political. I am talking about financial pragmaticism; about basal fucking economics and the consequences that no one is noticing. This goes beyond the state of the securities market of Predena right now. I am talking about how we are at threat of a financial collapse by the Compact purely because of the government's ineptitude. The asinine bear market we have right now is just the start of things to come.

So, what you're basically telling me is that your dad is but one of thousands of arbiters who voted for... what? Predena's economic suicide?

Henrico's head hanged down as he spoke. “In simple terms... yes. The Swift Winds and the Sivulon are not enough of a mercantile blood supply for us. Especially if the Compact shake shit up beyond-

The man was silenced in the midst of his sentence by a low, continuous rumble which had emanated from somewhere within the patio. As Jarais looked around in a newfound state of confusion, Henrico instinctively reached for the slight ovular protrusion within the center of the patio table, tapping it with his hand and thereafter sending a cascade of holographic chroma unto the air. The shot glasses and bourbon bottle that sat before the center of the patio table were now in the midst of refracting a miscellany of orange and blue light as the hologram loaded, scintillations of such bringing forth a soothing light show.

Even so, the hologram itself did not share in creating such a tranquil atmosphere.

The logo of the Anconian Planetary News network manifested unto the eyes of both Henrico and Jarais, its spinning geometric form in three-dimensional space bringing forebodance unto the two men that sat before it. Words spoken in Galstan1 soon boomed forth from a hidden speaker in the patio table, each syllable inching the anxiety of Jarais upward, and the neuroticism of Henrico unto a climax.

Attention to all station recipients: the following information is being broadcasted at the behest of the Court of the Chief Magistrate of Predena and the Predenan Defense Forces at an international level. Approximately Ten minutes ago, a large-sized unidentified vessel was detected approaching Nora Station, off of the star system of Terminus. Due to the vessel's inability to communicate nor show acknowledgement of hails to cease acceleration towards Nora Station by port authorities and the PDF, automatic protocol was undertaken to protect the station's workers, visitors, and residents through an interception and escort of the craft. Approximately three minute ago, this vessel was successfully intercepted in pursuit by PDF corvettes, but was not responding to hails and warnings even at sub-ten thousand kilometer distances. On-scene officials confirm the authorization of lethal force onto the vessel to prevent possible calamity to the Nora Station and its on-board population as a result of its 'threatening trajectory of collision'.

We are now receiving information from verified sources that this vessel was affiliated with the... Economic Cooperative of the Interstellar Compact of Collective Human Harmony. PDF and Nora Station authorities are confirming that they did not know of the identity of the vessel prior to its interception and neutralization...


The clink of a dropping glass jerked Henrico's head once more to the side, and he noticed that his friend had knocked over the bottle of bourbon that lied at the edge of the table. Glass shattered unto the wooden slats of the patio floor as Jarais, now wide-eyed and nigh slack-jawed, looked upon the holographic scenes playing before him and Henrico; that of auto-generated navcharts roughly detailing the situation, in addition to cycling captured images of the Nora Station and the silhouette of the purported "collision-trajectory vessel".

Henrico said nothing as he flicked his cigarette over the patio's railings, reaching into his pants' left pocket to retrieve the phone that lied within.

...What the fuck...?” Jarais said, his tone as low as if he was merely mouthing the sentence. As each image of the incident before him cycled further, the newscaster rattled on more about the event, her tone hiding a lurking paranoia within.

...Chief Magistrate Litoei has just now announced for the immediate convention of the Council of Arbiters and the meeting of his cabinet staff, citing a proclaimed... 'emergency interorganizational session of the Predenan government'. We do not have any news in regards to current international responses, but given the identity of the craft and the context of the incident...

...Alessa. Alessa, listen. No, no, you listen to me right fucking now, you brainless piece of shit. I am telling you to sell it all. Yell at me all you want, I don't give a shit. Void the entire fucking portfolio now. Now! NOW! DO IT RIGHT NOW; GOD FUCKING DAMN IT! STOP STAYING ON THE FUCKING LINE WITH ME AND DO IT! GO!

Henrico slammed his phone unto the same wooden slats that the bottle of bourbon crashed unto before, the slab of black glass and silicon cracking and seeping into the puddle of alcohol. He stomped over the mess and ignored the glassy-eyed stare of Jarais as the news announcement droned on in repeat, with more and more news network alerts forcing themselves into the top of the piling chain of holograms that grew upon the patio table's projector.

I... we were just talking about...

Henrico slammed his fist again, this time against the metal cylinder bar that encapsulated the barrier of the patio before him.

Jarais, you need to leave. Now. I need to get ready and get shit in order for what is... what is coming...

No... no, don't fuck with me, Henrico,” Jarais said, his voice suddenly cracking between newfound anxiety and false composition. “You aren't assuming that shit is going to happen, right? Heh... it can't. It really can't. This is just some weird event, man - going off and selling all your securities at the drop of a-

At the drop of a what, hmm? The drop of a fucking Compact alliance ship? Do you even fucking understand what attacking something like that means? Jarais, please, I need you to go. Notify the office of our selloff if that dumb fucking robot doesn't do it after voiding the portfolio. I'll... see you tomorrow.

God willing...



Footnotes

    1 - Galactic Standard; roughly equatable to 21st Century English from Earth, give or take a miscellany of linguistic mutations.
Last edited by Menschlicher Sternenstaat on Fri Feb 19, 2021 3:28 pm, edited 2 times in total.

User avatar
Menschlicher Sternenstaat
Attaché
 
Posts: 91
Founded: Apr 16, 2019
Iron Fist Consumerists

ARC I: Weltuntergang

Postby Menschlicher Sternenstaat » Thu Feb 18, 2021 8:03 pm

― c o m p l i m e n t a r y m u s i c :: the world wars / blitzkrieg ―

“When the gears of war start turning, it is impossible for us to stop them.”

Sternenkaiser Leonel of House Kästner, first Star Emperor of the Human Star State

The year of 3092 would start off as the Compact's first true demonstration of military power and intimidation since its formation naught two years earlier. The Nora Incident and the destruction of the CECS Nostradamus alliance vessel by the Predenan Defense Forces and Nora Station Port Authority forced the nearby Compact member state of the Sternenstaat to respond immediately ― that, in conjunction with the majority Staatsvolker crew, turning the situation into a perfect cocktail of propaganda and warhawking. Thirty minutes after the Nora Incident occurred, the incumbent Vorsitzender des Staatskonvents, Rupprecht Kronenberg, ordered an immediate session of the Staatskonvent to proceed and pushed through protocols for war legislation. A prepared declaration of war was administered by the Staatskanzler, Michael Widmann, to the Staatskonvent for the legislature to approve; at 2:30 a.m. Veran 1st Continental Time, on January 18th, 792, the declaration of war against the Mercantile Republic of Predena was signed ― but was not yet put into effect.

As per the tradition of the Menschlicher Sternenstaat in regards to wars against nations who have slighted the polity itself, the true and "spiritual" declaration of war was to be both delivered and approved of by the Sternenkaiser upon the steps of the Oberste Festung, or Supreme Fortress. Beginning exactly at noon on January 18th, the Star Emperor of the Human Star State, Jürgen III of House Kaulitz, graced the very podium that the first Sternenkaiser used to declare wars after victory against the Kizankai Shimanate. An assembled crowd of twenty million soldiers and civilians crowded the streets and palisades of the Supreme Fortress and surrounding arcologies, and countless billions across both Sternenstaat and international space tuned in to watch the war declaration live. Being the first declaration of its kind given by Jürgen III, the titanic war rally was in itself a sight to behold for his reign, which was until that point seen as reclusive and apathetic to the country.

Tomita Yoshitora; The Rise and Wars of the Compact

Image


Image
The Oberste Festung, Planet of Vera, Zentrale Herzlandprovinz
Sternenkaiser Jürgen III of House Kaulitz, Menschlicher Sternenstaat [γ Quadrant]
January 18th, 792 SA (Staat Ära) — 11:59 a.m. Veran 1st Continental Time

...so that we may be victorious over all our enemies, and be delivered from all evils... through Jesus Christ, our Lord.

Amen.

The reverberating thwums of supersonic aerofighters overhead roused him from the finality of his prayer, with their echoing screams having been turned into deep warbles by the time the sound had travelled to the private room that the man had been kneeling in. With the exception of an ancient wooden crucifix embedded into the wall before him and the pillow to which his knees lied upon, the Star Emperor was alone entirely. Yet, he himself knew that in a mere few moments such a solitude would be swept away, the gazing eyes of trillions across the galaxy that awaited for his arrival soon to wash over him.

He rose away from the beige pillow that protected his silken garments from the banal cobbled floor, and made the sign of the cross upon his chest before turning away from the crucifix upon the wall and leaving the room through an auto-door. His eyes adjusted from the dim lamps of the lone room moments before unto a sea of assembled soldiers in power armor, with their formation flanking all sides of the corridor which led towards the greater outside palisade that he was to grace. Each step that he took past a soldier was punctuated by a sudden bow to their knees, the metallic kneeguards of their armor clinking to the floor with sharp twangs unto the air and their eyes hidden behind blank glass optics. Despite such a series of dead looks from the outside, the Sternenkaiser knew very well that the utmost of patriotic soldiers lied within such suits of steel, their hearts burning evermore in the present situation that they found themselves in.

As the Sternenkaiser walked forward unto the elegantly decorated atrium that lied between him and the outside world, he noticed a crowd of politicians and aristocracy alike gathered before him. The assembled Sternenkönige vassals that ruled vast swaths of the Human Star State in the Sternenkaiser's name all took to their knees unto the granite floor in the flesh as he walked by, their illustrious silk apparel being utterly dwarfed by the sheer regality and shimmerance of the bejeweled and embossed golden-crimson robes of their Star Emperor. Their crowns, steeped in gold and encrusted with the jewels of distant planets, were clearly subordinate in design and authority alike when compared to the current crown that rested upon the head of the Sternenkaiser; a voluminous platinum surface that hoisted the rarest of gemstones known to man, all in their natural beauty and lacking the synthetic nature of any pawn or look-alike.

The Sternenkaiser's steps stopped as his shadow stopped before a massive wrought-iron door, its centuries-old bolts having been only minorly rusted as to show the aesthetic nature of an old and yet still strong sense of rulership for that to which it would open for. Two massive SKd-80s assault battle droids adorned with the ceremonial attire of imperial guardsmen gripped the handles of the monolithic door and hoisted it open seamlessly, sending forth a rush of cool winter air into the atrium and billowing around the various fabrics and jewelries that hung off of the Sternenkaiser's body.

Image
Such monumental doors had not even opened fully by the battle droids when Jürgen heard the cacophony of cheers and cries of anticipation bellow forth from in front of him. As he walked past the doors and unto Vera's wintery air, a flurry of ovoid and circular camera drones from an assortment of news organizations both domestic and international flew to and fro around his visage, all before assuming preregistered positions about the podium to which the Sternenkaiser would grace. Massive crimson flags that adorned the Zentrumband of the Sternenstaat flapped sluggishly in the wind above and around the grand palisade, their shades of color staining the tens of thousands of assembled state officials, soldiers, and aristocrats of the country in shimmering shades of red as they flanked the grand palisade that the Sternenkaiser had stepped unto.

When Jürgen lifted his right hand as he walked down the steps of stairs that lead to his podium, he heard the synchronous and resounding roar of millions upon millions that flooded the steps and surfaces of the Supreme Fortress. United hails of victory from such a colossal crowd could be felt from the very core of his body as their cries shook the air, and as he grew closer to the podium that seemed to hang unto the very air itself before him, the Sternenkaiser could only hear the roars growing ever stronger in zeal. Percussions and drums boomed unto the noon sky and clashed with these cries of victory for dominance, with their source having been from a fleet of hidden speakers projecting the state tunes and anthems of a grand orchestra. They played from beneath his very feet in their own special outcropping from out of the walls of the Supreme Fortress, and even beyond such music and cries for his presence, Jürgen could make out the coordinated noise of marching.

He reached the bottom of his grand podium and climbed up the small flight of stairs that lead to its ever-expansive form, each step against the centuries-old stone being matched with the deep booms of orchestral drums. With each hand now resting against the railing of the podium, and with naught but one microphone sitting snugly upon the podium's swarthy surface, the Sternenkaiser peeked his head ever so slightly to take a glimpse at the true show of power that had assembled before his very presence.

A sea of silver, white, and black stretched seemingly unto the very horizon, with the glint of Vera's parent star scintillating off of the helmets of millions of soldiers that had marched themselves to the very gates of the Supreme Fortress. With each assembled formation hoisting the national flag of the Menschlicher Sternenstaat, such an ocean of powered armor troopers and aligned armored vehicles sported their own waves of fluttering red, white, and black banners that bowed their shapes to the shaped flow of the wind. Jürgen casted the slightest of smirks unto himself as he recollected upon the notion that he had thought earlier - moments before, he was alone with no one other than God's assuaging silence in prayer. Now, he was the center of one of the Milky Way's most novel of influential events, trillions awaiting and anticipating every single syllable that he was to utter.

Before he began to speak, and as the clock above his head struck the hour of twelve in familiar clangs of ancient metal, the Sternenkaiser heard amidst such audible chaos the sound of two pairs of boots marching upon his left and right flanks. Already in acknowledgement of who these two individuals were, Jürgen returned his full attention to the undulating infinity of men, women, and children that manned the endless stretches of spectator venues, and pressed on the microphone to speak.


My glorious people... you — the men, women, and children to which this very country owes its own beating heart! All of our hands have been forced to act with the impunity that our forefathers bestowed unto us, for we have now been dealt the cards of treachery against the innocence of your brethren; of insolence against the glory of the Fatherland! The blood and soul of over fifty of our great empire's prized children have been lost unto the seas of the cosmos — and for what!?

The crowds before him grew ever more in their deafening cries for revenge, with the civilians that manned the Supreme Fortress's outer ramparts raising their arms unto the air in mixed salutes and balled fists of rage. Before beginning his next sentence, the Sternenkaiser looked unto his right and noted the figure beside him; the Staatskanzler, Michael Widmann, sharing the same crimson cape that both men flew at the moment. To his left laid the visage of Hildebrand von Bothmer — the penultimate commander of the entirety of the Sternenstaat's military forces. Both men looked onward, their faces entirely stoic as they gazed upon the sea of volk before them.

Their souls cry out against the darkness they were forsworn unto — for vengeance! The Human Star State, the guardian of humanity and exactor of rightful fury unto those who desecrate its children, will not stand idly by as the galaxy feasts upon the flesh of our own countrymen! Mere hours ago, the Predenan whelps thought they could weasel out of our indignation, and attempted to grovel at our feet for mercy... what do you say we respond with to them, oh blessed children of Mankind?

The two words that the Sternenkaiser anticipated to hear — the ever-dreaded, ever-forlorn phrase of totalen krieg — sung unto the blue skies in bloodcurdling tones of zealotry and of sorrow, the voices of millions being morphed by the towering walls of the Supreme Fortress into that of a united tone; the tone of the very country itself pleading for vengeance.

Without us even lifting a finger, the binding alliances that our enemies once maintained have fallen before us and collapsed in their own weight of impurity! The Interstellar Compact of Collective Human Harmony is all that stands true now, and it will be all that stands in the end! Predena will answer for its crimes against our countrymen one way or another, but we shall give it one single mercy — the beginning deathblow of warpath against all enemies of you, the glorious people of Humanity! The cowardly Mercantile Republic has opened such floodgates the likes of which have never been seen before in the history of the human race! We will crush them beneath the weight of our armies, and we will asphyxiate them with our legions unto the heavens! Alas, do not think for a moment that this will be yet another errant conflict. Nay, my glorious people, this is but the preamble of the saga of Mankind's supremacy!

His words became punctuated by the fleeting shockwaves of more aerofighters rocketing past, their formations in the skies organized in massive undulating and angular waves that numbered in the hundreds, if not the thousands. An even more distant and deeper thwum than what he had heard before had begun to rise in volume, with its point of origin being from within the innards of the Supreme Fortress itself. He knew very well what the sound's identity was, and awaited its presence to grace the masses as he continued.

By the grace of the Almighty God and the Lord Christ Jesus, I deliver to you all these words today. These very words, which will be known in history for millennia, shall instill the spirit to which the Human Star State rises above the masses of filth and degeneracy that infect our home galaxy. As Stellar Emperor of the Human Star State, as Adjudicator of the Destiny of Mankind, and as the Protector of the Spirit and Purity of Humanity itself, I hereby and henceforth declare open conflict with the degenerate Mercantile Republic of Predena and all entities that will stand in the way of our profound retribution! Hail unto Victory, my glorious people! Hail unto Victory!


Image
The swoosh of millions of arms arcing into the air rose forth in accompaniment to the exclamations of anticipating victory, the legions of assembled soldiers before him resonating such cheers unto a climax that pierced the very heavens above. Such heavens shook in force as the skies thereafter turned to darkness — several colossal aerocarriers had risen forth in full from the bowels of the Supreme Fortress into the sky, their ascent blotting the star of Salis and casting chilling shadows over the millions before the Sternenkaiser. Their underbellies flick on with the crimson hue of thousands of lightports, revealing cavities that buckled inward and revealed a fleet of thousands of fighter drones nestled within. These drones decoupled en masse from their motherships and rocketed down unto the Supreme Fortress, all before careening back up into the sky and cleaving the previous clamor of the crowds in two with the caterwauls of twisting air.

The flying vessels soon revealed the star of Salis once more, bringing the warmth of sunshine back unto the masses and truly revealing the extent to what they had disgorged. Alongside the thousands of drones that raced in unison across the sky, droves of interatmospheric bombers flew flanking the aerocarrier and casted their own miniature shadows unto the arcological surface below. Their iconic silhouettes were that to which the Sternenstaat has purposefully propagated in memetic prevalence across the galaxy, for the arrival of their shapes against the sky was reckoned by man and xeno alike to bring that of total destruction.

As the Sternenkaiser turned away from the grand podium in order to begin his descent back into the Supreme Fortress, the Staatskanzler reached to stop him for a brief moment with his gloved palm. They then shook each other's hand firmly, with Widmann craning his head to be next to that of his liege's ear.

Your Stellar Majesty, the Weltraummarine and Kampf-Staatsschutz battlefleets are ready to deploy into enemy territory on your orders. Do you approve of delegating that task to me?

...You've always been delegated that task since the beginning of my reign, Staatskanzler Widmann. I'm flattered that you would ask that of me again... but, I will have to append that request. Order Quasarkrieg to begin immediately. The people want blood as soon as they can; you will serve it to them as soon as you are able.

And with that, the Sternenkaiser returned to the darkness of the atrium that he had once emerged from, leaving the Staatskanzler to address the crowds next. In preparation for such, he took the aviators that he had left in his breast pocket out and slid them on seamlessly, with the rays of Salis now gleaming off of them in tow. The endless sea of bodies before him cheered in as much zeal for the Sternenkaiser as himself when he took to the center of the podium, their hails to victory rising up as auditory ambrosia to his ears.

It has finally come. Total war.
Last edited by Menschlicher Sternenstaat on Sun Mar 07, 2021 7:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Menschlicher Sternenstaat
Attaché
 
Posts: 91
Founded: Apr 16, 2019
Iron Fist Consumerists

Postby Menschlicher Sternenstaat » Sat Feb 20, 2021 1:27 pm


Image
Listening Outpost MID-03, ~3ly from the Predenan Border, Cruxan Sector
Colonel Acrasi Situion, Mercantile Republic of Predena [γ Quadrant]
January 19th, 3092 AD (792 SA) — 3:15 a.m. Anconian Synchronized Operant Time
The past few hours had left the Colonel whipped to the brink of insanity with the endless amount of surveillance reports that he and his men were forced to pour over. As the central supercomputers of the listening post crunched monolithic amounts of data pertinent to measurements of distant possible naval movements from the Sternenstaat and its Compact allies, it was the job of he and his men aboard the listening post to rationalize the collected information and disseminate it appropriately across the rest of the EWACS1 infrastructure of the Predenan Defense Forces.

And, for all it was worth, Colonel Situion could not understand a single hint of the data that his supercomputers were telling him.

A massive circular holography table projected for the masses of soldiers and technicians the effective extrapolation of the data that the supercomputers had compiled, and as it was casted upon such a table for all to see, dozens stood flummoxed at what it was displaying for them. Thousands of warships and logistical vessels belonging mainly to the Sternenstaat ― but also those belonging to other Compact nations such as the People's Republic of Sinica ― were pouring along the delineated star lanes of the New Silk Road, as detected by the far-off Dasson deep space listening post. Even so, the data was also identifying a similar amount of warships pouring in straight towards the Predenan borders, right through the territory of the Zuulgang Pirates. Such data points flickered on and off from the holography table, and some tagged points almost seemed to teleport to and fro in light years of distance. It was unknown as to anyone if this was faulty information flowing in from Dasson, or an error on their own end.

Are those Staties running some sort of interference on us?” Colonel Situion asked after a sip of coffee, his voice artificially projecting louder than normal through a nearby microphone that he had attached to his working desk. One of his junior officers immediately turned on their own microphone to respond from across the large control room, her eyes looking down upon their workstation twisted in confusion.

...No, no sir, they aren't. They couldn't even if they wanted - our listening post is within interstellar deep space...

If that's the case, Captain Rola, then why in the ever-loving hell am I looking at a teleporting cloud of dots squirming about like flies on our damn holo-table?

I... I don't know, sir! I've requisitioned some men to enter EVA suits and recalibrate the sensors outside, but... nothing has changed. The sensors are still picking up these transmissions en masse.

The Colonel leaned back in his chair and sighed, stroking his white beard with two fingers in the process.

This is a red flag of the highest caliber... and, thus, we need to submit a report to high command in regards to border security measures.

Wait, sir,” Rola said, her hand raising unto the air as if to stop the mental process of her senior. “Admiral Faral and the others have given us direct orders to not flood highcomm's central processing with redundant information!

Are you shitting me? I am looking at a fucking anomaly on the holo-table morphing and shaping as we get news that the Human Star State declared open war upon us, and you think it's a good idea not to file this in?

That... isn't what I meant, sir. If these signals aren't just gleaned from our listening post alone, the report may very well have been already filed by others. Before you ship off that data, Colonel Situion, it would probably be best to cross-check this information.

Alright then, Captain. Establish a comms link with MID-02 immediately and patch them through to me,” Colonel Situion ordered, his gaze once more returning to the amorphous mass of flickering red dots and lines that boggled his mind ever so effortlessly. After some time of ponderance as to what such anomalous activity could mean, the connection between his own outpost and that of MID-02 was established by Captain Rola, and their communications link was synchronized to the Colonel's workstation and thus the auditory implants hoisted within his ears. However, as he looked up to thank Rola for her work, he saw her face had contorted into that of terror. Nothing in the map had changed since the link was established, and yet... something was wrong.

MID-03 ComCent, are you there?

A-... ENEM-... BOAR-...

MID-03 ComCent!... Fuck, Colonel Faratis, are you there!?

SUS-... AT-... CASU-...

MID-03 ComCent, you're breaking up over here! Agh, goddamn it... I need diversion of processing power from crunching that signal to ironing out these goddamn messages! Do it NOW!

The control room exploded into a flurry of activity at the behest of the Colonel's orders, with the redirection of the listening post's central computing systems away from processing real-time phenomenae and unto establishing communications with MID-03 leading to an even greater pixelated haze befalling the sustained central hologram. Situion pushed away his bobbing cup coffee and leaned closer upon his own workstation as he read the masses of data that now poured in relevant to the communicative state of the MID-03 listening post ― what he was seeing truly made him realize the yawning fear that he saw upon Captain Rola's face.

MID-03 ComCent, do you hear me!? This is Colonel Situion of MID-02 ComCent, I request an immediate confirmation of―

I HEAR YOU LOUD AND CLEAR! CAN YOU HEAR US!?

Situion's eyes bulged as he heard his compatriot's cries of mental agony, flicking his wrist in systemic motion as a complement to the mental order issued by his implants to record and send off the communications that he was receiving.

Yes, Faratis, I can hear you! What the fuck is going on over there!?

LISTEN TO ME RIGHT NOW, SITUION; WE ARE UNDER ATTACK! I REPEAT, WE ARE UNDER ATTACK! THE FUCKING STAR STATE, THEY ARE BOARDING THE OUTPOSTS... FOR CHRIST'S SAKE, THEY'RE SAWING THROUGH OUR BULKHEADS AS WE SPEAK! YOU NEED TO EVACUATE YOU AND YOUR PERSONNEL NOW!

Faratis, I CANNOT ABANDON MY POST! You MUST know this!

DID YOU NOT RECIEVE THE DISTRESS MESSAGES FROM THE REST OF THE OUTPOSTS ACROSS THE NORTH!? YOU NEED TO GET THE HELL OUT OF THERE! ALL OUTPOSTS ARE TARGETS; WE ARE ONE RIGHT FUCKING NOW!

I didn't receive JACK SHIT! Those Staat fucks... how did they―!?

The line between MID-02 and MID-03 cut off in the midst of the Colonel's rising rambles, and his stomach churned with dread as he saw the control room's lights flick from dull blues and oranges to that of blood red hues splattered across the metallic floors and walls.

I need a status report NOW! What the FUCK IS GOING ON!?” Situion shouted, his implants honing in on Captain Rola and her anticipated reply. However, her face was glued to the screen of her workstation, with her jaw almost slacking right off of its hinges in total surprise and fear.

C-Colonel... we have... we have five unidentified bogeys that warped into our area; within fifty thousand kilometers away! They are... oh my God... they warped in with full accel...

Look at ME, CAPTAIN! What the HELL did you just say!?

Acceleration vectors are charting their course in a direct interception with our outpost, sir,” another captain shouted, overtaking the increasingly catatonic Captain Rola in mission prerogative. “They warped in at full speed! We have, at most, approximately two minutes until they burn directly onto us!

...They're going to attempt to board us, aren't they!? Oh fuck, I'd never thought this would come... Rola, Astaris, and Calain, lock down the entire outpost and order firearm uptake for all personnel on the station immediately!

But sir; what about the EVA party we sent out to―!?

We don't have time to discuss this shit, Captain Rola! I need all non-combat personnel to report to the panic room within two minutes, and the rest of you to emergency positions; the espatiers2 onboard will give enough time for us to relocate! Everyone, MOVE!

Amidst the macabre crimson glow of the emergency lights of the control room, hundreds of people stumbled over each other in their attempts to flee towards the various "safe points" strewn throughout the central area of the listening post. The garrisoned espatiers of the station barreled through the bewitched crowds in full power armor and exoskeletons soon after the Colonel's announcement, their coilguns raised at the ready for anything as they advanced towards the peripheral areas that laid beneath the station's carbide hull.

Colonel Situion and his cadre of control room personnel retreated under the escort of a squad of Predenan espatiers towards the station's main panic room, its large vault doors opening slowly under the pulsating emergency lights that etched themselves further and further into the crazed psyches of all noncombatants onboard. Officers and enlists alike began to shove against one another against the widing gap of the vault door as a means to gain entry into the panic room, and thus forced the hands of the espatiers to act and push those aside who acted in too much of situational haste.

Before the Colonel was able to reach the opening gap of the panic room's giant vault door, he felt it before he heard it over the cries of the panicking listening post staff.

Thumps.

The station's very composition itself lurched to and fro as a series of thumps reverberated throughout the integral hull, klaxons now screeching in full in recognizance of the perforation of the outer walls. Such vibrations and alarms sent the crowd into a frenzy of paranoia, and the espatiers stationed to monitor entry into the panic room could not handle the surging, clawing mass of near-humans and baseliners that attempted to barrel their way in at all costs.

Waiting for the human mass to subsume within the panic room in full, Situion pulled camera feeds from across the station into his optical implant and cycled through each, with every subsequent camera's vision growing the need for his stomach to empty itself unto the grated metal floor.

A thick, dark smoke billowed forth from the maintenance and entry corridors that lined the outer hull of the listening post. Even when cycling through the various electromagnetic imaging systems of the camera, the Colonel was not able to make out anything discernable at first... and then, with the smoke slowly dissipating from view as it settled as fine dust unto the metal floors, he saw them.


Image
1.19.3092.315.MID03.4498
Hulking, titanic figures donning power armor larger than anything Predenan espatiers wore stomped forth unto the floors of the listening post, having screws and bolts upon the floor plates shake and pop off from their sockets to accommodate the sheer mass of their forms. Neon red optics shone in the darkness and clashed with the bloodier red emergency lights that still cycled on and off, their visages sporting two fluorescent reddish orbs that stood in place of eyes. The massive guns that they dragged along with them, the whiteness of their armor even amidst the shadows cast by the emergency alarms, the sloping of their combat helmets, and the iconic band-symbol that was decaled unto the sides of said helmets told Situion everything that he dreaded to know — Sternenstaat space marines, or in their harsh native tongue, Weltraummarinesoldaten.

A miscellany of smaller drones about the size of human hands flew out in accompaniment of the boarding soldiers, their circular forms darting away unto the deeper corridors of the halls and blinking in cyan glows as they scanned to and fro each hallway and room that they passed. Their march through the station begun in earnest, and Situion could do nothing but let out a silent moan of sorrow as he saw in a parallel camera feed a platoon of Predenan espatiers advancing towards that very position the enemy forced themselves unto.

Colonel Situion, sir! You must enter immediately; we have to seal the room shut!

The exclaims of the soldiers that guarded the now open cavity of the panic room only fell upon the Colonel's ears after a few seconds of silence from the officer, his head slowly turning to look upon the panic room that he was to entomb himself within. He saw the scared faces of the men and women he had lead so far in their mission to man the damned listening post that was now soon to be their iron coffin; at the same time, he also saw within the camera feeds rolling in his eyes the beginning of the firefight to control MID-03. The chained fire of automatic coilguns rocketed through the entire of the listening post, and as the combat began to boil forth in earnest, the people within the panic room did nothing but slink further into the darkness in mixed fear and desperation.

As soon as he saw the first Prednenan espatier out there in the thick of combat cut clean in half by the shot of a coilgun sabot from the enemy, Situion's mind collapsed. He was the last man to step into the panic room, and with the massive vault door sliding close behind him, he said nothing amidst the sobs and hefted breaths of hundreds. He merely sat in the darkness and watched it all through his implants - each and every espatier meeting their death at the hands of these machine-like barbarians that pillaged their listening post in full.

It was not long until he saw the espatiers that guarded the very room he was in splatter unto the vault door's walls in a film of gore and carnage, the ear-splitting plinks of coilgun rounds against the door and its frame sending the entombed within into yet another frenzy of ironic panic. The Colonel said nothing, and did nothing as the vault doors rolled open, and he stared down an amassed line of barrels that reflected the glow of the enemy's cardinal red optics with a developed sense of apathy - and pity for himself.


Image
Hall of the Arbitration, Planet of Anconia, Anconian Capital Sector
Chief Magistrate Zandri Litoei, Mercantile Republic of Predena [γ Quadrant]
January 19th, 3092 AD (792 SA) — 3:30 a.m. Anconian Prime Surface Time
Pandemonium would have been an understatement as to the immediate condition of the Predenan legislative superstructure known as the Hall of the Arbitration.

Thousands of Predenan politicians and arbiters, both in the flesh and through holographic projections, clashed with one other through a mixture of verbal accosting and physical acts of violence. Their clamors of argumentation and fighting bathed the atmosphere of the expansive chamber they flocked within in total stress and anxiety, with even the special police forces positioned to guard the structure having been called in to restore order to the chamber floor. Such a sight was indicative of how sudden the Predenan government had collapsed upon its own weight of fear ― or, at the very least, the civilian portion of the government.

Our MARKETS ARE CRASHING, YOU FOOL! We have NOTHING LEFT TO SPEND IN DEFENSE!

I told you all! I told the entire Council what would happen if we ignored the Compact! But you idiots just had to...

What about the Khaliyyans, huh!? What about the Galactic Commerce Corridor!? What about the old SATMA!?

For God's sake, we must accept a total conditional surrender from them! We cannot fight an entire goddamn alliance!
Have you forgotten about our emergency reserves to liquidate, you utter buffoon!?

Where are we going to evacuate? Anconia surely won't be safe for long! We must evacuate to... to Marill!

The Khaliyyans are shitting the bed; the GCC is worthless!

I always knew you were a supremacist sympathizer, you spineless snake!







...ALL OF YOU! BRING ORDER TO THIS COUNCIL AS PER YOUR DUTIES, AND KEEP YOUR NEUROTIC MOUTHS SHUT! THE EMERGENCY WAR PANEL CONVENES!

The cantata of terror that had filled the chamber moments prior bubbled away into series of shared whispers, sighs of strained resistance to strike against one's opponent also waxing and waning in tow. All eyes of the Council of Arbiters looked up and onwards towards the highest seat of the chamber, which hoisted in its attached seats both the Chief Councilor of the Council of Arbiters and the Chief Magistrate of the Mercantile Republic. Such a booming voice that had brought peace to the chamber came from the large and muscular figure of the former second-in-command, Kontar Kattan, who flapped and adjusted his robes in frustration as he returned to his seat next to the more androgynous appearance of the latter leader, Zandri Litoei.

Zandri's lean and frail form rose thereafter, his fingers lacing themselves over the banisters of the overhang that he stood upon. His fluorescent cyan eyes blinked to and fro as he looked upon the sad and sorrowful state of his country's legislature, before issuing a tssk of disappointment from his violet lips.

It is really such a shame how we, the mighty of Predena, devolve into whimpering little kittens in the times that our citizens need us most... isn't it?

Once more did his eyes scan over the various legislators assembled, who sat with either ashamed or entirely quizzical expressions laid upon their faces. Zandri did nothing but flash a slight toothy grin, revealing its ahuman sharpness between both incisor and molar.

Well... that is no matter to what we must discuss now. While you all bickered and fought with one another on your way towards this governmental convention, I met with the command staff of the Defense Forces in regards to the Human Star State's latest... announcement. Yes, my friends, war is indeed coming... but these basal humans always flash their weaknesses at the most prized of moments. Did you not notice the hubris of their 'Stellar Emperor'? He made his very own empire a pariah on the international stage within the span of a few minutes - that is, if it wasn't already.

His quip brought a minute sense of relief to some of the arbiters assembled, but many had still the expressions of nervousness and anxiety woven upon their wrinkled faces. This soured Zandri's mood further, but he hid such emotions behind the foolhardy visage he sported unto his subordinates.

We have support of both logistical, diplomatic, and physical nature pouring in from all across the galaxy as we speak. Conflicts are flashpoints of profit, as many of you very well know... we will be ready for whatever the Star State tries to throw at us. They will find nothing but pain and destruction for their washed-up fleets and back-broken admirals; for Predena is a nation that has stood the tests of time within the Gamma Quadrant. No pirate armada could make us kneel, and no rogue state could challenge us in our naval demesne. So what if the foolish Compact make their stand against us? We treat their threats as apocalyptic revelations not because of their purported power; no, it is because of the current fragility of the economy.

My friends, do you not realize at all that war is the most profitable economic state that a country can be in? It demands the utmost of sacrifices from both politician and civilian; the logistics for battle stretch beyond the frontlines and into the very hearts of each worker and serviceman. Kattan has already proposed the revitalization of the Novel Mobilization Act unto you, my Council of Arbiters; it is up to you all to see to it that Predena survives what is coming. The Star State has not even shown its colors for hours! They are preparing, because they know of Predena's power and connections. They are not as foolish as you think, but we must exploit this gap that they have left for us in full. Now please, ladies, gentlemen, and others... sit. Rush that damn act through in time, and you may have a country to wake up in tomorrow yet.


Zandri turned his head away from the fumbling masses and left the chair that he was once sitting upon, leaving Chief Councilor Kattan with the duties of essential babysitting over the frenetic Council of Arbiters. Passing through the particle threshold that divided the overhang from an inward atrium, the Chief Magistrate sighed heavily upon noticing the approach of two uniformed military officers of the Predenan Defense Forces. His gut slowly sank as he read their faces, which sported that of absolute dread.

Chief Magistrate, sir! You need to come with us immediately; the Grand Commander has ordered us for your escort.

What do you mean an 'escort'? I don't need a damn escort from between here to the―

One of the officers marched up to Chief Magistrate Litoei, craning his neck in order to keep his answer at a low volume.

We just received reports two minutes ago of boarding actions against our EWACS border infrastructure across all the three major sectors of the country. They... they found a way to circumvent our surveillance-buoys and strike against Predena itself! We need to prep you for evacuation!

What!? Their fleets were said to be within the New Silk Road! How the hell did they get past the Dasson deep space outpost!? How the fuck are they already attacking!?

We don't have answers to that right now, Chief Magistrate! Please, we need to evacuate you to a secure location immediately! The Council will be notified as soon as you get off ground...



Footnotes
    1 - Early Warning and Control System; technological and data infrastructure used to prepare nations against first strikes by foreign polities or entities.
    2 - A term commonly used across the galaxy to refer to space-environ defensive or offensive infantry; see asterines, space marines.
Last edited by Menschlicher Sternenstaat on Sat Feb 20, 2021 9:37 pm, edited 2 times in total.

User avatar
Menschlicher Sternenstaat
Attaché
 
Posts: 91
Founded: Apr 16, 2019
Iron Fist Consumerists

Postby Menschlicher Sternenstaat » Sun Feb 21, 2021 9:03 pm


Image
Listening Outpost MID-03, ~3ly from the Predenan Border, Cruxan Sector
Colonel Acrasi Situion, Mercantile Republic of Predena / Menschlicher Sternenstaat [γ Quadrant]
January 19th, 3092 AD (792 SA) — 3:30 a.m. Anconian Synchronized Operant Time
The hail of bullets that he had expected to wretch his body open had never come.

Behind the Colonel, he could feel and hear the mass of scared station workers backing themselves unto the rear walls of the panic room as they all gawked upon the formation that stood at the entrance. In front of him, the blood of the Predenan espatiers that had died protecting the vault door now seeped in from its opening, forming scarlet rivers in between and all around the silvery metal boots of the gigantic figures before them. As he looked up from the pooling blood, Situion's head froze in place — the multitudinous array of red optics that belonged to the space marines bored their gazes deep into his soul. Many had their coilguns angled directly at the crowd behind him rather than the Colonel himself, the crimson tri-lasers affixed to their handheld machineguns steadily gliding slowly over the chests and heads of the Predenans who huddled behind. They very well knew that none of the Predenans would dare move a muscle, lest they all be subjected to a grisly fate much like their guardians had.

Suddenly, a voice cloaked in the deliberate static of a synthesizer tore the ever-suspenseful silence. Its mere emergence made many within the crowd flinch in fear; yet, the space marines before them did not fire.

Herr Kommissar, wir haben sie gefunden. Wie lauten Ihre befehle?
(Commissar, sir, we have found them. What are your orders?)

It took a while for Situion's personal implants to attempt to translate what the man before him had said. Luckily for him, the Sternenstaat's Stadtverisch language was effectively identical to that of Old Terran German, allowing his implant to fully translate and cycle the results back into the Colonel's mind. The unfortunate result, however, was that he now knew that their life rested in the hands of an unseen commander — seemingly a political commissar, worst of all.

The frontmost space marine who voiced such a question unto the open air stared at the crowd for a few seconds, his helmet assumedly receiving transmissions back. However, the Colonel did not expect the space marine to back off from the entrance of the panic room, motioning for his men to split into two four-man teams that formed an impromptu corridor of bodies in front of the vault door. After seeing the approaching shadow, he then knew why.

A man dressed in what seemed to be a synth-thread officer's trench coat, entirely black in color and rendered in the texture of slightly embossed geometric shapes across its fabric, walked within the center of the space marine's bisected formation. His face was hidden beneath a similarly shaded mask that lacked the red optics of his subordinate soldiers, and the only identifiable symbol upon him besides the faded geometric shapes upon his cape and coat was that of a silver human skull upon an officer's cap, the iconic "central band" of the Human Star State affixed atop the skull. Amidst the pulsating red emergency lights that still raged on, the man stood as if he was a human-shaped void within the black and crimson ambience.

His march beyond the threshold of the vault door and unto Colonel Situion himself spooked the latter, who backed up on his rear towards the crowd behind in fear. The clacking of the man's boots against the metal grating stopped a mere few feet away from Situion, his back arching and his hands falling upon his knees as if to get a closer look at the Predenans in front of him.

Das ist der Feind, gegen den wir kämpfen?* Hmm. What a shame.
(*This is the enemy we are fighting?)

The man's switching from Stadtverisch to Galactic Standard fazed Situion somewhat ― especially the translating functions of his implants. When speaking in Galstan, the all-black figure's speech dripped with a heavy accent indicative of those acquainted with the Human Star State's primary language, his pronunciations off from even when Predenans spoke such a language.

Colonel Situion attempted to address the man in front of him in this mutual language, his Anconian accent more acquainted with speaking such and as a result coming out more smoothly. “Wh... what do you want from us?

The "commissar", if he assumed correctly, rose his hand up with his index finger pointed upwards towards the roof. “Ah... it is not I who wants something from you, but it is rather you who needs something from me.

What the hell do you mean...!?

Look behind you,” the man replied, pointing now towards the hundreds of shivering men and women behind him. “They all can understand what we say, can't they? Galactic Standard is, after all, universal. It is their lives on the line, and you need our permission to for them to be spared.

My crew are non-combatants! You can't just...!

The man in black clothing said nothing after Situion shouted, except for feigning a chin-stroke upon the lower point of his mask and wagging his finger at the Colonel, who still sat on the floor. “Don't act like a fucking fool to me, you belligerent ingrate. I would have a technician, an officer, and a navigator of your kind shot just like any bog-standard soldier. But you and your men? They serve a unique purpose to us that these... 'marines' you had posted upon this installation don't, which is information. If you value your life, you will order your men behind you to step forward.

The Colonel rose to his feet under the shadow of the commissar, his expression now souring from shock to growing anger. “Fucking Statie dog, why can't you do it yourself―!

As if on cue, Situion felt first the cold metal of a pistol grip whip across his face ― the blood of dislocated teeth and bludgeoned gums spewing out of his mouth thereafter. “That wasn't a request. Remember this: you are nothing more to me than a near-human parasite. No sleep will be lost if I order you and your kind here to be wiped out like the basal biotrash that you are. Do you understand me? Now, speak to your filth with your own mouth. You go and order them.

Situion held his tongue as he spat out a mixture of blood and teeth from his split lips, the bloodspray landing somewhat upon the polished boots of the commissar before him. Luckily for the Colonel, however, the man before him did not seem to respond to such a hidden disrespect.

Yes, I do,” Situion said, wiping his face with his navy blue coat's sleeve. As he turned to face his crew, he could sense the pistol in the commissar's hand raised to the rear side of his skull. With a deep sigh and a moment of silence, he looked upon his men and women with a face of resignation.

Please, all of you, step forward. Do this not for them, but for yourselves...!

After hearing the stoic and calm orders of their commanding officer, one by one did the frightened staff dislodge themselves from the rear wall of the panic room, their steps towards the Colonel and the amassed Sternenstaat troops hesitant and nervous. Situion angled his head ever so slightly to the side in order to address the man who held him at gunpoint directly.

What the hell are you going to do with us!?

If you are worried about dying... that is not on the table, my untermensch friend. Like I said, you and your kind here have your uses. You don't mind a little mind-probing, do you? For your lives? I thought so...
Last edited by Menschlicher Sternenstaat on Mon Feb 22, 2021 12:57 am, edited 2 times in total.

User avatar
Olimpiada
Ambassador
 
Posts: 1258
Founded: Aug 13, 2016
Corporate Bordello

A rough morning for the president; The view from the safehou

Postby Olimpiada » Tue Feb 23, 2021 12:38 am



Triumvirate, Gaia
Presidential Palace, Elysia-3 Arcology



Dozens of holographic projections circled the desk. Displays of stock market tickers floated past replays of Staat war propaganda while endlessly updated EOS reports flickered in and out of existence in ghostly blue beside them. The light of an exploding starship fell on rapidly drumming fingers next to a half empty cup of coffee while the glow of dawning war on Vera cast light across President Cyrenacius’s haggard face. He had been up since three o’clock that morning, and nine hours hence had yet to stop for breath.

He rose from his high backed leather chair, and swept open the curtains behind him. The glow of the midday sun flooded in through the tall lab diamond window, lending a dingy air to the cloud of disorganized data over the slab of milled ferrabratus from Daphne he used as his desk. Stepping away from it all every so often let him clear his mind, and right now he had a lot to clear.

He was awoken first thing in the morning by a news alert from isaakiOS, his AI assistant, alerting him to the Predenan destruction of a Sinican merchant vessel, containing over fifty Staatsmensch. Before he had finished getting dressed, reports from EOS were suggesting the possibility of a false flag attack, and had all but concluded it was true before he had finished with his walk up to his office. He ordered them to cover up, of course. He was livid, of course. Those blasted krauts had gone out and fabricated themselves a war that he had no choice but to participate in, seemingly without contacting a single person in the Compact beyond their own borders. Their need for conflict and expansion was, seemingly, without end.

Four hours later, he and the senate had jointly declared their support for the Staat’s war on Predena, of course. Unity was paramount, and war was always great for business. He could only be grateful that the corporations of the senate had refrained from declaring war themselves, though Iwakura and her allies had certainly tried to get some sabers rattling. He knew true conflict would eventually come, though. The corporations were already starting their memetic onslaught, and one of the trackers displayed the public support for war in realtime. It was still low, still manageable, but it would rise, taking weapons stocks with it.

Talks with EOS followed as Cyrenacius stepped away from his window, drawing the silk curtains back to return the room to appropriate darkness. The intelligence agency was headquartered on Emerald, far across the system, but quantum communications allowed realtime communications, a mercy for all involved.

“So, Mr. Cyrenacius. I see that we’re steering towards conflict once again. I assume this isn’t a social call, then?” Eighty million kilometers away, Bacchus Syrgiannes, head of Externum Officium Securitas, the Ofice of External Security, grinned at his own joke through the pale light of a holographic video call. The effect of this was a disconcerting one, owing to the fact that his lower jaw was composed chiefly of titanium and carbon fibre, a souvenir of battle on Tezekis years prior.

“I wish it was, you know? I really do. But no, of course Iwakura and her goons are insistent on battle.” Cyrenacius buried his face in his palms. It was all so tiresome at this point.

“So you come to a man whose business is war to bemoan the coming war? I feel as though there’s a sense of irony to be had here.” His “grin” fell, and he shook his head slowly. “I get it. Corporate greed is as much a blessing as it is a curse.”

Cyrenacius nodded. “They seem not to understand that hurling millions of men each year into meat grinders is unsustainable. Sure, war was the perfect business when it came up over the last few centuries of our way of doing things. But now, with how much more intricate the politics have become with the rise of the Compact? The increasing pace may be unsustainable.” This was a legitimate concern. Beyond normal colonial skirmishes with nearby species, every other presidency in history had been marked with vastly fewer conflicts and vastly fewer deaths than his. The propaganda held together, and the people remained as content as ever, but he still felt some sense of guilt for it.

“Well, it’s my job to sustain it, Prez.” The grin returned, and Cyrenacius suppressed a wince. “So, what can I do for you?”

“Seeing as this whole cluster’s inevitable anyway-” He rolled his eyes “-I have an interest in shortening the time it takes to conclude. That means laying the groundwork now. I’d like you to assemble a paramilitary operations team and set to weakening the Predenan command structure. Assassinations and communications sabotage, primarily. The disarray should make it far easier to run amok with our forces and seize concessions after the war.”

Syrgiannes mulled this over for a moment. “Alright. Awfully short notice to get working on, but we’ve already got some assets there. Seemed prudent considering the state’s proximity to those two hungry dragons down in central Gamma. I’ll have assets en route within the day.”

“Good man. Get to it.” The connection closed. Cyrenacius slumped back onto his desk again. He needed more coffee. The Foederati needed less conflict. He could solve both of these, if he were careful.




Anconia, Anconia Prime
Safehouse 17σ, UNDISCLOSED



From the streets, the safehouse appeared to be a perfectly normal residential building. For most purposes, it was; perfectly normal workers left home from here in the mornings to go to perfectly normal jobs. Families lived here, children played here. Everything was as it should be.

Excepting, of course, the basement. The building’s management office was here, and had quietly been taken over by a series of shell companies ultimately funded by the EOS on distant Emerald. Quietly, a safehouse had been excavated beneath it, and filled with a myriad assortment of spooks and spook related equipment. And above it all, sat Victor Taronites, working as the manager.

Day by day, his job was simple. He’d make sure people were paying rent, handle contracting for maintenance work, and take care of finances. By night, things were more interesting. He’d open the trapdoor behind his desk, and disappear down into the safehouse. His work here was simple. Basic wireteapping and intelligence collection were his main operations, and he did them well. Information from a few quiet backdoors into Predenan networks slipped into his computers, and he would forward them up quantum entanglement links back to Olimpiada once he’d checked for anything useful. Things were less simple now.

They wanted him to prepare space for more agents, and on short notice too. Half the time he was hardly behind his desk anymore, but instead disappeared to rearrange things whenever he could. Cots were set up in a back room, and his computer equipment was relegated to a corner so he could have more space for fabricators and illegal arms.

Between the direction corporate propaganda was going, and the chatter he picked up from poorly secured Predenan systems, he knew more was up than just the Sternenstaat’s invasion. Other cells in Predena were reporting similar demands too, and that could only mean one thing. Regardless of whether or not Olimpiada went with it, EOS was marching headlong towards war. All that remained now was to actually start it.
Hyper-commodified cocaine capitalism. Urbanized solar systems. Omnixenophobia. War economy without end. Radical body augmentation for fun and profit.

I make exactly two exceptions from a fairly strict adherence to realism, and hate them both.

The Anchorage, for discussion of all things FT

User avatar
Menschlicher Sternenstaat
Attaché
 
Posts: 91
Founded: Apr 16, 2019
Iron Fist Consumerists

Postby Menschlicher Sternenstaat » Sun Mar 07, 2021 12:35 am

― c o m p l i m e n t a r y m u s i c :: guillaume david / children of the omnissiah ―

“Collateral damage is unavoidable even in the ascent of military technology. To what degree, however? That is precisely what we can control, for better or for worse.”

anon. Sternenstaat officer


Image
The Aquilahorst, Planet of Vera, Zentrale Herzlandprovinz
Oberbefehlshaber der Staatswehr Hildebrand von Bothmer, Menschlicher Sternenstaat [γ Quadrant]
January 19th, 792 SA (Staat Ära) :: Unknown / Variant Local Time

Now that we are all here, let us commence at once.

A previously black void lit up with the soft light of a casting central holoprojector, bathing forth colors bright enough to reveal the contours of the spanning room and its inhabitants. Revealing itself in tow, the holoprojector sat upon a pedestal that raised up from a large, oval table chiseled out of onyx chalcedony. The image that was projected unto the air above was a three-dimensional graphic of the war against Predena, with developing conflicts such as the ongoing Battle of Alpha Serpentis being displayed in a series of red, banded "conflict zone" bubbles. It automatically rotated slowly upon an invisible axis, allowing anyone nearby to eventually view it from all angles from a static position. Encircling such a dark table befitting of a council laid a surrounding series of equally black chairs, with each one being occupied by either an officer in the flesh or a simulated, lifelike hologram projected unto such seats from hidden holocasters in the towering roof. Before the words to start were spoken, the council room was consumed by side chatter and conversations both relevant to the ongoing conflict and other miscellaneous topics. However, as if on cue, every mouth zipped shut as the leader of the meeting assumed vocal priority.

To situate us within the context of the Predenan war so far, it would be best to first go over the basic objectives that our forces have managed to accomplish within the opening timeframe of the operation.

The visibly seasoned, senior man that spoke unto the cadre of assembled officers was none other than the penultimate commander of the entirety of the Sternenstaat's armed forces, Oberbefehlshaber der Staatswehr Hildebrand von Bothmer. As the commander raised his hand in accompanying gesture to his statements, snippets of his cybernetic arm glinted in the dark from near his wrist cuffs and before his gloves, indicative of the limb that the man had lost long ago — and, thus, standing as testament to his service.

The Kampf-Staatsschutz's surprise attacks against the border listening posts of Predena have brought about resounding victories so far. We have managed not only to cripple the frontline of the enemy's surveillance abilities, but also to divert the attention of segments of their naval forces away from the upcoming skirmish — that is to say, a battle for their chief northeastern border infrastructure, Nora Station. The very same one that had cut down the lives of our fellow countrymen so mercilessly...

The only indication of something off about Bothmer was the naught-second of silence he left after his closing words. However, his men knew nothing of why he did so, and ultimately cared little about it in the face of the information to come.

A major element of the Macht der Menschheit naval battle fleet, the Kampfgruppe Reich, are heading directly towards Nora Station as we speak. Projected estimates indicate that the battle group will warp into the proximal space of Nora Station within ten minutes; they know that it is coming, and have little to do other than respond. This is exactly the situation that we wish to cultivate, isn't it, Admiral Metternich?

Bothmer's gaze stopped its wander between the faces of the men and women assembled, his eyes fixing towards the lifelike hologram of a brunette woman dressed in the formal, navy blue attire of a Weltraummarine admiral. Her hologram seemed to glow brighter than before as indication of her significance within the conversation, and without haste, she addressed the crowd that truly lied hundreds of light years away from her actual position.

It is, Herr Oberbefehlshaber. My battle group's current trajectory will allow for the breakage of Predena's most fortified point within their northern borders — perforating such will surely inflict massive amounts of damage to enemy morale, in addition to forcing them to approach us in unorthodox methods that we already anticipate.

You want the Predenans to strike in unorthodox fashion... what in the hell does that necessarily imply, Admiral? And what do you even anticipate? asked Generaladmiral Louis Bartram through his own hologram; he served as the commander of the Hand des Kaisers battlefleet that was in the midst of staging for possible deployment into Predena as reinforcement.

The Predenans will know, if they do not already, that they cannot truly sustain a decisive and frontal battle with the Sternenstaat. After we seize Nora Station, they will scurry all around their territory and possible move their forces into ambush postures, stretching themselves thin as compensation. Herr Generaladmiral Mauss, if you may?

As Metternich's hologram dimmed to basal brightness, a new one flared in the form of an olive-skinned man near to the age of Bothmer himself. His rank above that of his subordinate Metternich was obvious from the higher flare of his epaulettes and the ever-emphasized collar tabs that he wore upon his Weltraummarine general-admiral uniform. With attention now drawn to the commander of the Macht der Menschheit battlefleet from all around the room, Generaladmiral Mauss cleared his throat to speak clearly.

Admiral Metternich's attack will, as mentioned, ultimately force the Predenan navy to rout and reform as smaller contingents as hit-and-run fleets — since it seems that no one in the galaxy is heeding their calls for support, ambush tactics like this are their only option. Even so, they will have to sustain such a campaign either by concentrating their ambush zones along specific portions of the country, or stretch themselves to the brim across their territory. They are suicidal if they choose the latter; thus, we anticipate that the Predenans will do little to contest us in space as we invade systems and locations of minimal value to them. They will most likely attempt to form a bastion at the Cruxa system and launch expeditionary efforts along the Cruxan Arm while waging this spatial guerilla war in the Eye of Tian.

Generaladmiral Mauss, you suspect them to fortify in the midst of the Cruxan arm? Bothmer asked, stroking his white beard with the leather gloves that sat upon his cybernetic hand.

It is, in all honesty, a fifty-fifty chance. If they do not make their stand against us in the Cruxa system, and if the SS win their battle with those damned Zuulgang... we could see them abandoning the Cruxan Arm entirely and coordinating defense efforts within their westerly nebulae, such as the Dragonstail Nebula and the Castor Nebula. No one is rushing to help them, and so they will fight like cornered animals... and think like them, too. Predenan naval command must be at their wit's end with the SS's attacks on the listening posts already.

Bothmer sat with his palms together and unto his lips as he thought, mulling over the map that was displayed before all assembled officers.

If the Staatsschutz don't get those damned pirates out of the direct northern logistic corridors by the time we take Nora Station, we must wage total and frontal Quasarkrieg along the Cruxan Arm and into their main sectors in the west. We are working on a strict timeframe here, and I don't want to have the K-SS's bullshit get in the way of our operations... Oberbefehlshaber Teschner, did you retrieve any information relating to Sinican assistive efforts?

Bothmer's question was directed to his second-in-command and deputy director of operations of the Staatswehr, Oberbefehlshaber der Operationssektor Rüdiger Teschner. He was also assigned to oversee all naval operations within the current delineated "Predenan Sector", and his move to acquire Sinican naval elements in assistance to Sternenstaat military efforts was done autonomously. Teschner perked up from a datapad he was reading and looked at his superior, the incandescence of the pad before him shining unto the underside of his officer's cap.

Sinican High Command said that they will be sending relief and support forces to us, but currently are in the midst of analyzing and appropriating respective materiel and units for such. They gave no quantitative answer as of yet, but I logically assume it will be roughly a quarter to a third of what we have already deployed... knowing how Sinicans are, though, maybe more than that.

I love Sinican bureaucracy... Bothmer sighed. What needs to be discussed next prior to the opening of protracted conflict with the Predenans, however, is the rules of engagement against them, sans operations that we have already undertaken. Let it be known that we are dealing with an accursed near-human majority nation, and as a result, it is our imperative to minimize their ideological and biological poisons — for this has been decreed by the Staatskanzler.

We should follow the age-old traditions of the Staatswehr, Herr Oberbefehlshaber, Teschner promptly responded. We fight for Mankind, and we fight for the Sternenkaiser — this does not include their kind. Xeno or demi-human, they should be put to the wall.

Teschner's equivalent, Oberbefehlshaber der Operationssektor Tom Bäumler, expectedly interjected, his voice manually rising due to being present in the flesh just as much as Teschner was. For God's sake, Teschner, are you proposing again to liquidate every damned ingrate we come across? That is a waste of our time!

Comrade Bäumler, is not relocating these filth to 'temporary camps' and the like also just a waste of time? Do you give the xeno pass just because they share the same shithole as their moronic leaders?

It was known by all within the Oberkommando of Bäumler's and Teschner's rivalry, and their difference of opinion for the rules of engagement was clear. Bothmer had to weigh in at some point, or else the two would just cleave apart the strategies he was brewing in his head.

Both of you have merits to what you say, so I will need you both to shut it and listen closely. Teschner's proposal comes from what the Sternenstaat has been born and bred to do, which is to purify the human race. We clearly cannot beget mercy unto those who run around rampant in their sins of both biology and mentality; yet, the xeno are useful, and we should study whether or not they will sport utility. The Predenan xenos are already at the brink of rebellion against their mutt masters in the Eye of Tian — it would be both resourceful and fair to let these xenos spill their blood for freedom as the animals they are, no?

The room stayed in a sea of murmurs as Bothmer's words trailed away, with nods of agreement abound.

It seems that we are in agreement. And Teschner, it would be wise to hold your bloodlust at bay. The sub-humans themselves could prove useful in controlling Predena, as hypocritical as it may seem. After all, it is their country we are snatching from their bloody hands — their extinction can be assured by something more than firing squads. Those who fight for our cause can be called true humans; they must be spared, yet sterilized. All else shall be dealt with contextually on the battlefield in accordance to the field commanders, with internment as the default and liquidation as ordered by high command when necessary. Now, for the next item on the agenda...

Last edited by Menschlicher Sternenstaat on Mon Mar 29, 2021 10:48 pm, edited 3 times in total.

User avatar
Menschlicher Sternenstaat
Attaché
 
Posts: 91
Founded: Apr 16, 2019
Iron Fist Consumerists

Postby Menschlicher Sternenstaat » Mon Mar 08, 2021 11:24 pm


The Battle of Nora Station is universally considered to be the first true, decisive battle of the war between the Menschlicher Sternenstaat and the Mercantile Republic of Predena, with the auxiliary attacks against Predenan listening posts on its borders by the Kampf-Staatsschutz having been classified to have both distractionary and anti-surveillance functions. Such a battle involved the Kampfgruppe Reich of the 2. Weltraummarineschlactflotte "Macht der Menschheit", which was an ad-hoc naval formation consisting of approximately six hundred and six Sternenstaat warships and logistics craft, and was lead by Admiral Verena Metternich of the Weltraummarine (who had served in Operation Wolkenkratzer two years prior). The Predenan force that attempted to resist such an incursion numbered at four hundred and thirty five vessels strong, and included elements of the Nora Station Port Authority in addition to the garrisoned "Task Force Nora" and the inbound 20th Patrol Squadron, 1st United Fleet, and 2nd United Fleet.

With the battle being fought within a series of zones around and within Nora Station, ranging from hundreds of thousands of kilometers during initial skirmishes down to the invasion of the station's internal structure itself, it opened the many battles that were to come both with and around the Mercantile Republic in full. The ferocity of the battle and the subsequent atrocities committed by the Sternenstaat forced the galaxy's eyes to finally open in regards to what was happening, and thus became a transitionary point between nascent war and previous peace.

Tomita Yoshitora; The Rise and Wars of the Compact


Image
SWM Szepter, Inbound Warp Trajectory to Nora Station, near the Terminus System
Oberst Zebenjo Rädler, Mercantile Republic of Predena [γ Quadrant]
January 19th, 792 SA (Staat Ära) — 12:30 p.m. Veran Synchronized Operant Time
Maximum readiness, Alpha level! I repeat: maximum readiness, Alpha level! All hands, man your battle-stations! Enemy vessels and infrastructure fast approaching at the end of warpage...!

1st BATTALION, 95th MARINES, REPORT TO YOUR DEPLOYMENT APPARATA AND READY YOURSELVES AT ONCE! MOVE, MOVE, MOVE!

The cave-like circular corridor that the orders had resounded within was bathed in the emerald glow of combat-condition lighting, each rotund bevel of the walls being either dark in shadow or or reflecting off such a green hue. Within the center of this corridor laid a straight line of diamond-patterned metal flooring suspended up from the rounded bottom of the corridor, forming an aerial bridge to which hundreds of persons flocked to-and-fro in preparation for combat measures. The specific man who had barked orders amongst the cacophony was none other than the commander of the 95th Vilten Space Marine Regiment, Oberst Zebenjo Rädler ― his grim visage already being hidden from sight beneath the modular faceplate and standard optics of his white combat helmet. Standing off to the side of the raised platform, he spectated the forced march of his regiment along the bowels of the mighty battleship that they manned, the SWM Szepter, to the breaching pods that high command had planned for the space marines to use in the upcoming attack.

Rädler craned his neck left and right to spectate the march and full, and only through such an action did he come to realize the amount of men that fell under his control. One thousand and five hundred Weltraummarinesoldaten of the Sternenstaat's naval finest folded under the 1st Battalion of the 95th echoed their bootsteps all along the corridor in synchrony as they disembarked from their nearby barracks bulkheads, pouring into the staging areas for their breaching pods ― the rest of the thousand men underneath the 95th were being held in reserve onboard the Szepterin case of enemy boarding action, or to reinforce their breaching of enemy infrastructure at latter determined times. Confident in the 1st Battalion's march and seeing his subordinate captains walking alongside their respective companies, Rädler turned away to proceed to his own self-assigned breaching craft with his personal entourage of field officers.


Critical alert: T-minus thirty seconds to combat! Repeat, thirty seconds to combat!

The urgency of the public address alert sent the troops into overdrive, with their fast pace having switched to full sprints as the green combat lighting of the corridor almost seemed to grow even more in their incandescence. Sailors that were in the midst of rushing towards their battle stations soon found themselves ducking onto the railings in order to avoid the surge of space marines, with the pounding of thousands of power armored boots wrenching the air into a cantata of metallic clangs and reverberations.

Oberst Rädler, how goes the mustering down there? Over? called forth a familiar voice to the commander, who was himself charging alongside his troops towards their stations.

We are close to being ready, give or take a few minutes, Kommodore Götz, over―!

I want you and your battalion to be ready to deploy under heavy fire as soon as possible! Orders from Vera have just been passed down to the battle group and its marine contingents; you have been given full authorization by the Oberkommando to deal with any and all civilians within your operating sector of that station! Over!

Copy that, Kommodore. Over and out.

As the line cut off between himself and the flag officer of the Szepter, Rädler let out a minute sigh in between the breaths he took sprinting towards one of the entry points towards the level of the battleship that immediately contained the boarding craft. All that the Oberst knew was that this was going to be one truly long day.




Image
The fleet CIC of the Szepter was alight with the central holography of the computer-generated three dimensional battlespace. Long-range surveillance and telemetric measurement of enemy forces within the Nora planetary system was being fed in real time into the CIC as the ship warped through space, and allowed Kommodore Phillip Götz, leader of Geschwader 4 "Tirpitz" of the ad-hoc Kampfgruppe Reich and his cadre of staff to prepare for the incoming firefight.

He and his officers were crowded around the central holographic bubble that contained the battlespace, their faces alit with blue and red tones alike. Having just got off communications with the commander of the boarding contingent of the Szepter, Götz waited for the last seconds of the countdown to go by...


Five... four... three... two... one...


The countdown's end came in conjunction with the sudden lighting of the entirety of the fleet CIC into combat-situation green and the brief hiccup in data transmissions as sensors cycled past the interference of the dissipated warp bubble. Combat alarms rang all throughout the innards of the modified Herreshoff-class battleship as the first bogeys came alight on real-time sensors feeding into both the fleet CIC and the vessel's dedicated CIC a story above the Kommodore's head. With over one hundred warships at his disposal, it was Götz's time to prove himself to his country, and this was to be a baptism of fire that he would wield properly.

Warp successful, Herr Kommodore, came the voice of Kapitän Stefan Herzfeld over a speaker proximal to the Kommodore's command station. Herzfeld was the vessel commander of the Szepter, and was a hardy and reliable battleship commander with rotations across the galaxy itself. We currently are within pellet-gun range. The enemy is scrambling their forces across the Whitestrake planemo's orbit as we speak.

Götz pulled up a smaller hologram over his command station which brought into focus the enemy's detachment. They had been previously parked in the orbit of Whitestrake, a moon to the eponymous gas giant of Nora, but must have been alarmed by Nora Station's early warning systems pertinent to an incoming attack. Unluckily for this detachment of Predenan vessels, however, the Staat battle group's Tirpitz detachment warped just within the range for strike by the force's heavy electromagnetic guns.

Good... all battleships and siege vessels of the Tirpitz detachment, spool your spinal pellet guns and choose your targets ― prepare to fire on my command! All forward elements, advance up to fifty thousand kilometers and establish control over that moon; if you face orbital batteries on its surface, you have full authorization to slag that rock to magma with your missile cascades! All logistical elements, fall back behind the heavy detachments until the forward elements have consolidated control over Whitestrake!

Image
Immediately upon the issuance of this order did a heavy, powerful lurch travel forth through the bowels of the Szepter, the rear engines of the battleship firing in monolithic plumes of blue plasma and visible across all camera feeds plastered around the fleet CIC. This eruption of ionic flame came in conjunction with its fellow Herreshoff battleships of the battle group igniting their own candles of blue fire, such as the Litwinowicz, Valamir, and Sauerbeck. Such fountains of power exploding unto the cosmos was conjoined with a multitude of corvettes, cutters, and destroyers flying beneath the inferior surfaces of the massive two-kilometer long warships, witht he smaller craft on direct approach towards the Whitestrake moon that laid just under sixty thousand kilometers away.

Average c-frac spinal charge is at 20% across the fleet, Herr Kommodore! ETA 42 seconds to full charge using overcharge configurations!

Has every specified ship chosen their targets yet?

Aye, Herr Kommodore! 38 seconds to full charge!

Götz reached for his issue of anxiety pills and took a dose as his eyes darted over the incoming data that flooded the CIC and his command station. It was a fateful half-a-minute of waiting as the Kommodore noticed the other detachments of Kampfgruppe Reich scrambling for their own objectives, ranging from the Adolf and Ghaffari groups advancing north-operant of Nora Station and towards anticipated heavy enemy resistance to Radharkrishnan accelerating directly for the station itself. Götz was ordered to rendezvous with Radharkrishnan after seizing Whitestrake's orbit as soon as possible, and so the elimination of the fleeing enemy forces was of the utmost priority for an easier later objective.

The dimming of nearly every light in the room shook him from his ponderance — it was a sign that the ship's main power systems were being diverted to finish the rushed spooling of the spinal gun, which normally relied on now-depleted antimatter microcores.

Herr Kommodore, all specified vessels are ready to fire at your order!

Fire away, and fire at will! Leave not one damned ship left alive!

Immediately thereafter did Götz feel true power of the feared spinal guns of the Herreshoff-class battleships, with a sudden and visceral series of rumbles shaking the very hull of the sturdy vessel itself and sending sailors and officers alike clutching onto railings and ladders. Consections of 2mm pellets were accelerated at fractions of the speed of light from the ends of the spinal cannons that jutted forth from all battleships and siege vessels present, ion trails from the sheer electromagnetic force applied within the vessel peeling off into space like gun smoke. This barrage of chaingun-like fire from the hulks sped forth at ungodly speeds, and as Götz rushed to pull up computer-generated flightpaths of the projectiles, he already that some were a quarter or even a third of the way to target.

Image
Only a few more agonizing seconds passed until the first impacts against enemy vessels were captured and automatically sent to Götz's command desk. The Szepter's spinal gun shot had excellent lead on what seemed to be a Predenan frigate, and the Kommodore saw the vessel explosively wrench in two from the sheer force of the round bisecting it near its thinnest hull portion. A few more seconds after staring at the burning carcass of the frigate lead to Götz noticing a puff of smoke rising from the crust of Whitestrake's airless, dusty surface — either the remnants of the round fired or slag from the frigate were thrown like darts into the moon's ground and rocketed up miles-wide plumes of rock. It was collateral damage, but not reprehensible given the relative desolation of the planemo's surface to begin with.

Splash one... five... twelve! Twelve targets confirmed neutralized! One bogey remaining, inbound towards Nora Station!

Are we able to get a lock on for that little shit!?

Unfortunately not, Herr Kommodore; the spinals need recalibration and respooling! We also need to check for any power failures across all ships due to overcharging ― do we give chase with lighter elements?

That won't be necessary, Kapitän. Let it be known that the first true shots in this war were at this very moment, when we cut down nearly an entire contingent of their navy with just the thunder of our mightiest guns! Now, advance all forces onto Whitestrake, and maintain orbital postures behind the moon relative to Nora Station until Radharkrishnan enters close combat range with the Nora Station ― we cannot let them do the same to us if they have the weaponry for it!

For his first major deployment, Götz thought to himself that it was going well so far, given the circumstances. The anxiety medication seemed to work in abating his nerves for a time...

Last edited by Menschlicher Sternenstaat on Sat Apr 17, 2021 6:50 pm, edited 5 times in total.

User avatar
Forest State
Senator
 
Posts: 4415
Founded: Aug 23, 2016
Capitalist Paradise

Postby Forest State » Mon Mar 15, 2021 9:53 am

ENTRY - DELIBERATION
Imperial Palace, Einotaiya, Teien System, Einotaiyan Star Union


It could be said that the Einotaiyan Star Union was a nation that was tied directly with the markets - one could hardly navigate the bustling cities and green expenses of its capital system, Teien, without hearing about things such as the Teien 750 securities index and the Einotaiyan Galactic Group corporation which was carrying both Einotaiyan goods and influence across the stars as part trading company and part international expedition, complete with military backing from the state in the event that it ran into trouble of the more violent kind abroad.

Ever since the overthrow of the shogunate had issued in the age of democracy within the Einotaiyan realm, and the territories that would eventually become a part of it, - the monarchist Aindavijayans would find their own place within the system and even the non-human Druthians would end up joining to get the aid they needed to preserve their own crumbling civilization following the Druthian War against those very Einotaiyans - the market had increasingly become the pulse of the country.

When things were going well, it showed in the market. And when things were going poorly, it also showed in the market.

But sometimes, it was the other way around. With the market not just acting as an indicator, but rather a driving factor in and of itself in the state of things. Thus were the consequences of being a nation that leaned so heavily into it and decided many of its policies for those factors - that was, a nation that made decisions with fostering and growing the market first and foremost in mind.

During the times when everything was going well, the Star Union saw a booming atmosphere that only seemed to result in wages going higher, investments getting bigger, the average person getting richer, and new projects being announced which rivaled the last ones in complexity and grandeur… But when there was something like what was, incidentally, happening right now, well, that was a different story. If the booming times were the equivalent of perfect weather, dealing with the crashes that came around cyclically were like weathering storms, and not an ordinary storm either, more like a typhoon.

The crisis in Khaliyya was one thing - that was definitely going to have a blow on the economy. It was a nation of decent size that was nearby and that there were historical trade ties with… They were two very different nations in terms of outlook and attitudes, but they had managed to come to an agreement when it came to making money. They were decent enough at staying out of each other’s way on that front. Or at least, they had been. With the leadership crisis in the country that was seeing military forces deployed and the government fracturing, there was no telling if those same resolutions would be upheld when everything was said and done.

And even if they were upheld, it remained to be seen how profitable Khaliyya would be as a market if it was recovering from a schism like the one it was undergoing now, especially given the possibility of a more nationalist and protectionist government rising. The Republic of Cantia, about one third of Khaliyya overall and the one Republic that was the friendliest to Einotaiyan ideals, seemed to be the one that was in the worst position due to this crisis. The word on the inside said the leaders there were working on secession. And secession was easier said than done in a country where the military was quite evenly divided up between the three republics.

But the Khaliyya situation could have been dealt with. If it were on its own. Unfortunately, it wasn’t. There just had to be another crisis happening right now: the invasion of Predena by the Sternenstaat, something that had come out of the blue to a distant observer like the Star Union. Still, just because it was happening far away didn’t mean that the impact would be disconnected from where the Star Union was situated. Predena maintained a wide trade network, and the Star Union happened to be one of the distant states that it maintained those ties with.

Now? It was in question whether or not Predena would even be an independent country moving forwards. The invasion was another blow to the markets that were already tumbling from the current unrest in Khaliyya, and for the nations like Einotaiya that banked heavily on an open galaxy and free trade bringing wealth, this was only the start of a hard rough patch to get through…

It was the kind of thing that had the attention of everyone in the political class ranging from the imperial family to the elected government. And everyone in the business world ranging from CEOs who were watching their stocks tumble to retail investors on the lowest level suddenly watching the values of their portfolios vanish overnight as the invasion had started and the latest blow to the economy registered on the ground level.

It had been, to put it simply, chaos on the trading floor.

The issue was, right now, warranting the attention of the crown prince Akimitsu in specific, who had been tasked by his majesty the Emperor to prepare a report on just what the nation could do about the situation they found themselves in. A recommendation of sorts to the elected government, which was controlled by the Democratic Alliance Party - one that had run on the back of the market principles that were now under heavy strain. Predictably, though, this meeting was… Chaotic. Because between the noble advisers, DAP members, members of opposition parties, and economists invited into this private office within the imperial palace, no one could quite agree on what exactly would help them and what would hurt them.

“Placing money into these nations such as Khaliyya and Predena is simply putting more funding into sinking ships, and we will lose everything that we invest beyond this point! The best move right now is to liquidate our ties with these nations and move rapidly to replace them, before too much damage is done, not continue investing because of sunken cost fallacy!”

“I would argue that abandoning two nations that have been useful partners in the past at the first sign of trouble just because of the fear of sunken cost fallacy falls into some type of fallacy in and of itself! You can’t just find good partners anywhere… We should do our part to preserve them. We have a surplus, and the Predenan economy is in trouble going into this war - we would do well to use our wealth to protect the continued relationship between both countries.”

“The time to prepare for a war was ages ago! They obviously missed the window, and no economic contribution at this point is going to reverse the odds of the current situation. At best we end up with a pyrrhic victory, of the type that isn’t going to help the economy of either nations. What help is a trading partner if their economy is left in shambles and it’s us that has to pick up the pieces?”

“And have you thought about the consequences if we sit back and do nothing, with all due respect? The refugee crisis that it would create? The expansion of the Compact as an aggressive force? Along with the rising tide of nationalism in Khaliyya? If we sit back now, we will still find ourselves with problems on our hands, and we may just end up boxed in by an increasingly hostile galaxy-”

“This war is on the other side of the galaxy. If there’s going to be a refugee crisis, let other nations handle it first. Nations that are closer. And yes, this war is a warning, but that doesn’t mean we have to place ourselves within the sinking ship that Predena is on. We should use this as a chance to forge new ties before it’s too late…”

“Military action would be preferable - our military spending is too high to simply have the military sit around when it’s needed and not do anything in a time of crisis. If our aligned nations are going to come under attack from outsiders, we should extend a hand to do something about it-”

“And draw ourselves into a conflict that will bring the markets even further down than they are already? We should be focusing on mitigating the damage, not increasing it further.”

“If I may have everyone’s attention,” the crown prince said, standing up at the front of the conference room and getting the others around the long table to stop speaking for a moment. “There will be no military action yet - I cannot rule out this possibility in the future, however. For now, such measures are getting too far ahead of things. It will take a lot to clear getting involved militarily, so for now, let’s keep the discussion on more… Immediate possibilities. Since I see that the room is split, I would like to see a show of hands. How many of you would advise getting involved in some way in this affair rather than trying to cut ties?”

A decent amount of the room raised their hands, and it looked like a majority.

“And how many of you would prefer the route of cutting ties and quickly moving to replace the lost trade?”

There were less hands, even if the voices advocating for those takes had been just as loud as the advocates for the more popular side.

“Then I see that a consensus has been reached,” the crown prince settled, sitting back down in his chair and looking over the room which had now fallen silent. “I can’t guarantee what this will result in, however, I will relay the news of the consensus of this committee - I think it’s a better way to create progress than going through the same things over and over again. We know that there’s disagreements about the way to continue… Our only option now, of course, is to handle them and come to a solution.”

The room broke into murmuring but not open dissent as the prince drew a line under the issue for now, and it was determined that the official recommendation of the panel would be to pursue a more interventionist route.

“And if the Prime Minister is approving of these ideas, I imagine this panel will meet again soon enough,” Aikimitsu continued. “From drafting diplomatic responses to budgeting aid and planning for what will happen if this escalates into a military affair… We have quite a lot to do and not so much time to do it at the pace things are moving at now. Let us make the most of it.”
Last edited by Forest State on Mon Mar 15, 2021 10:05 am, edited 2 times in total.
don't tread on me

User avatar
Menschlicher Sternenstaat
Attaché
 
Posts: 91
Founded: Apr 16, 2019
Iron Fist Consumerists

Postby Menschlicher Sternenstaat » Sat Apr 10, 2021 7:21 pm


Image
Nora Station, Terminus System, Eye of Tian Sector
Sarasa Malcaton, Mercantile Republic of Predena [γ Quadrant]
January 19th, 3092 AD (792 SA) — 12:50 p.m. Anconian Synchronized Operant Time
For what was unfolding right before her very eyes, chaos was simply an understatement.

The transportation atrium that connected Sarasa's residential torus on the station to the wider infrastructure beyond was utterly clogged by crowds of frenzied xenos and humans alike, each and every single one of them clamoring to get on to the evacuating trams en masse. Nora Station's on-board security personnel were struggling to stem the tides of people as much as they could, even resulting to using gas grenades and shock batons in order to drive away those who would otherwise over-encumber the trams and cripple the entire transportation line. Such a line lead to the various ancillary and emergency transportation bays of Nora Station, and it was on the forefront of everyone's minds that the vessels which awaited there were of limited number. It was either to risk taking a tear gas grenade to the face and to live another day, or to face an unknown fate from the supremacist hordes that were barreling towards the station at maximum speed.

STAND BACK! STAND BACK, ALL OF YOU! WAIT FOR THE NEXT AVAILABLE CAR TO ARRIVE! FAILURE TO COMPLY WILL RESULT IN APPROPRIATE FORCE...!

The shouts and orders of the station police did little to dissuade the panicking crowds from forcing themselves onto the already engorged tramcars, their metal forms dashing away from the platforms as fast as their allotted power could allow. The periodic ppsshh of igniting gas grenades was followed by the caterwauling of riotous citizenry that barreled down on the police before them, with some formations of fully-armored riot police breaking apart from the sheer pressure of bodies. Riot droids fared better than their organic counterparts in smacking away the neurotic masses from the sardine-canned trams, but were ultimately fruitless from stopping some hopping directly onto the trams' exteriors and hitching a perilous ride down into the shafts.

Sarasa clutched her ten year old daughter in her arms with force as to try and stop Laila from being swallowed by the horde of people all around them. Many of those who fought tooth and nail to evacuate were workers on the station roused from break by the assault, but also included tourists and mercantile visitors from all across the galaxy who were astoundingly unlucky — or foolish enough — to find themselves on the station at such a tumultous time.

Gods help me...” Sarasa whispered to herself, with her low prayer being utterly lost amongst the madness surrounding the two. Laila was deathly silent, as if choked up from all of the new and fearful sights around her. This was the last of the mother's worries at the moment, though — if they did not get onto a tram and make it to an evacuation vessel in time, then only the Gods knew what was in store for them. After all, they were "near-humans", as was indicated by their stripped reddened skin; Sarasa very well knew the stories of genocide that awaited people like her when under the boot of the Staat.

A wave of anguished cries broke over the crowds, causing Sarasa to suffer a bout of confusion. She looked around and saw most faces were turned away from the trams and onto the still-running holoscreens above, with each and every screen plastered with the sights of the ongoing battle outside. Scrolling newstext spelled the doom for all locked within the station, and the increased terror and emotion of the crowds became almost palpable in the atrium's stuffed atmosphere.


20TH PATROL SQUADRON ANNIHILATED NEAR WHITESTRAKE WITHIN MINUTES; 1ST AND 2ND UNITED FLEETS LOCKED IN VICIOUS COMBAT; TOTAL EVACUATION ANNOUNCED FOR NORA STATION AND THE WIDER TERMINUS SYSTEM

Sarasa felt the force of hundreds pushing forth onto her back, throwing her off balance and nearly having her tumble underfoot the growing stampede. The police lines ahead collapsed entirely, with officers fighting to pull off those who clambered onto the chasses of each and every struggling tramcar. Laila was now crying within her mother's arms as she looked around at the animalistic behavior that had befallen most of the people squished into the atrium, forcing Sarasa to run through a nigh-endless amount of situations in her head in order to ensure her daughter's safety.

The sheer pressure of all the pushing in the crowds had lead to dozens spilling onto the tram tracks and running forward, past the tramlines and into greater parts of the station that were deemed off-limits due to the ongoing battle. The trams were forced to hold their position due to the surge of new people streaming all around their propulsion rails, and as a result of such a gridlock, the remnant police were forced to direct their attention and crowd-control materials onto those who lingered on the rail-lines as a means to get the process started once more. Sarasa and her daughter both found themselves now teetering at the edge of the platform, and it took all of Sarasa's strength to prevent their fall onto the rail-lines below.

A nearby tramcar was able to have its front dislodged of crazed civilians in enough time for Sarasa to rush to near its side, frantically eyeing its exterior for any place to latch onto in the process. An officer that had clambered onto the tram's exterior had, in that moment, saw Sarasa rushing forward with her child in her arms, and reached out with a pointed finger towards Laila and then a beckoning hand. With pins now stabbing her heart, she automatically stretched her arms with Laila in tow for as far as she could, mouthing to her daughter that she loved her and would see her again. Laila screamed for her as the officer took the child by the arms and turned away, riding the tram at accelerating speeds towards the station's bowels.

She did nothing but ebb and flow with the crowd's pushes and retreats thereafter, her mind lost in the void of anxiety for her daughter. She prayed that Laila would be evacuated someway and somehow amidst that stroke of luck; for it did not seem that the future would be any more gracious to her family than that.

A sudden shockwave roared throughout the atrium and the deep innards of Nora Station, with what sounded like shearing of metal screeching forth soon after. People to and fro collapsed onto each other in paralyzing fear or in destabilization of posture, and as the electricity within the atrium rebooted following a brief loss of power, the screens showed something that made Sarasa's heart cleave in two.

Nora Station was being shown live from an automated newsdrone, and it seemed like the Port Authority was doing nothing to stop the footage from reaching the frenzied masses inside the very station itself. Its lower half had been mauled by something, and the scars that it showed included that of blown-apart lower transport bays and habitation modules. Sarasa could not believe that the Staat had just fired on the station itself — if they were here to destroy the station, they would have fired immediately upon it.

A stray round? An accident in one of the bays?

She didn't know, and her mind stopped her from thinking more about it when a newly-voided tram rolled back to the platform. Sarasa rushed immediately for it, and practically threw her body into the doors that were still in the midst of opening. Her body was crushed by hundreds attempting to squeeze into its interior, but even such claustrophobia could not override the fear she had for her daughter's safety.




Image
SWM Jonas Böhm, Inbound Trajectory to Nora Station, Terminus System
Kapitän Sun Hiroi, Mercantile Republic of Predena [γ Quadrant]
January 19th, 792 SA (Staat Ära) — 12:53 p.m. Veran Synchronized Operant Time

Image
The battle begins in earnest.

The simulated booms of the Schwortz-class battlecruiser's railgun batteries firing resounded through the CIC as sailors and garrisoned Weltraummarinesoldaten flocked to and fro with their miscellany of assigned duties. The captain of the Jonas Böhm, Sun Hiroi, was transfixed on the ever-evolving battlemap that stood centerpiece within the battlecruiser's CIC, his hands moving to and from along a smaller hologram that projected off from his command console. Each flick of his hand guided the onboard artificial intelligence's prioritization duties for movement and engagement, and Kapitän Hiroi's orders within Geschwader I "Adolf" was to constitute a portion of the 75-vessel strong spearhead deep into the enveloping half-circle of the enemy Predenan fleet.

For all that it was worth, his commanding officer — Kommodore Yago Panadero — had positioned the inner core of his task force into absorbing the brunt of the Predenans' attacks, while the veteran flank squadrons were to intercept the outer formation of the Predenans and force a surrender.

It seemingly wasn't going to plan, because there was no orders of disengagement being passed down.

A series of tremors shook the battlecruiser as Hiroi squeezed his right hand upon the holographic icon of a nearby Predenan corvette, launching forth a cluster of missiles from within the bowels of the Jonas Böhm in a helical pattern. After launching the munitions, his eyes darted between the iconographic representation of his vessel and that of the nearest Weltraummarine ships to him, a Krueger-class missile destroyer and a Heidenreich-class heavy cruiser. The former was in the midst of expunging several nuclear fusion missiles towards a sea of Predenan frigates right in front of the formation, while the latter was being battered around by railgun batteries from a Predenan cruiser. Its frontal engines were knocked offline by the barrage, and as such, had no means of reversing its trajectory effectively.

We're getting fucked here! shouted Kapitän Kasper Kohlhase of the Jannik Kracht, the currently-terrified commander of the Heidenreich-class heavy cruiser that was inching close to exploding from Predenan railgun strikes. My frontal engines went kaput! I can't fucking flip and burn, or else this shithead will get a sight on my center!

Kohlhase, maintain your orientation! The Jonas Böhm is moving to cover you; engage frontal propellant and hold that! You need to focus full shields on your front!

Shit, you don't have to tell us twice!

The Jannik Kracht shot forth its white propellant amidst a blobbing cloud of debris and smoke that belched from the ruptured frontal engines, covering its own turtle-paced retreat with a cascade of missile launcher fire and particulate canister engagement. The Predenans had launched their own cluster missiles against the damaged ship in addition to a barrage of railgun fire — although the missiles were driven away by the particulates and cut down by the ship's PDCs, another railgun shot was able to cleave through the front once more and shatter its frontal hull. The flechette's brief drop in velocity and shattering of its internal structure by the shields did little to stop it.


My hull is COMPROMISED, I repeat, my hull is COMPROMISED! We're fucking grounded! My flank shields aren't going to hold for long, either — shit, my shielding's lost on my front!
Image
The Jannik Kracht is crippled

The captain slammed his fist into the command console's chassis in anger as he saw the Jannik Kracht slow to a crawl amidst the cacophony of the battle, effectively becoming a sitting duck and sacrificial lamb all in one to the Predenans. Hiroi channeled his anger into precise attention as he jutted his hand forth in a three-dimensional vector towards the Jannik Kracht, forcing the Jonas Böhm into a full burn.

The same Predenan cruiser that had been assailing the Jannik Kracht now had set its sights on Hiroi's battlecruiser, as the CIC's artificial intelligence blared forth braces for impact against a new rain of missile fire. Multitudes of vibrations sounded throughout the Jonas Böhm as its fifty point defense cannons let forth their teflon-coated shells to intercept, with the force of distant nuclear detonations ripping through the superstructure of the battlecruiser in resounding waves. Artificial gravity was briefly disengaged before these explosions reached the ship, allowing some movement for sailors to hold onto rungs strewn across the walls and thus avoid being slammed to the ground.

Hiroi ignored the aching in his bones and thrusted two fingers forth into the holographic icon of the enemy Predenan cruiser, prompting the Jonas Böhm to let loose its own batteries of railguns. Almost every shot missed the fast-burning enemy ship, but at least one was able to connect — right at its center.

The captain instantly pulled up the visual feeds of the battlecruiser and sighted in on the enemy vessel. Real-time interpretation and refinement of the video feed by the ship's AI revealed that the Predenan cruiser was now careening through space with an ugly gash ripped across the midst of its superstructure...

And yet it didn't snap.

Hiroi's veins froze upon this realization, and before he could order another railgun barrage onto the Predenan cruiser, it had already fired back with its own. The Jonas Böhm's orientation to the vessel was just enough for a flechette to drive itself deep past its shields and armor, directly into the ship.

Image
CAMERA_RECOV_102.1.19.792
Reactor Impact

Before Hiroi's brain could realize which part of the ship was in critical danger, he felt the impact. A tsunami of force washed over the entirety of the CIC, sending sailors and soldiers alike flying even in zero-g across the room and slamming into the walls, floor, and roof. All lights and holography were cut off, and a void of darkness subsumed the room in accompaniment with a chilling cold.

Dear Christ, not like this...

Hiroi's thoughts, awash with mental pain and fear, slowly ebbed away as the green combat lights came back online, in addition to the flickers of restarted holograms. His eyes looked towards a critical alert that was thrusted into his vision by his command console, and he recoiled in terror.

The railgun round had hit the reactor compartment of the Jonas Böhm, and had sent it careening in spatial orientation, exposing its center mass to the Predenan cruiser that it was locked in combat with. By the grace of God, the round had not triggered an antimatter-agitation explosion from the reactor core... but there was damage that had been done by such a shot, nevertheless.

Several compartments in front of and behind the reactor compartment's flanks were aired out by the shot, vacating dozens of sailors and marines into the void of space. In addition to this nightmare, the power systems for all weapons were rendered offline, and each order by Hiroi to reboot them was met with total failure by the AI.

Herr Kapitän! All contact with engineering and maintenance teams near the reactor have been lost! said a nearby technical officer, whose face was coated with sweat as a result of his gnawing fear.

Shit...! Did the hull coagulant fire!?

...Yes, yes sir, it did!

Then send in another engineering team in there, goddamnit! We are just as fucked as the Jannik if we don't do something!

What if the coagulant pops!?

This is a order! If we do not get power back, we cannot cover ourselves or anyone else! SEND IT!

The tech officer returned to his command console at once, his hands issuing a flurry of movements and his mouth moving at a mile a minute to nearest engineering crews nearest to the reactor compartment. As he did so, the captain locked the battlecruiser in direct orientation towards the Predenan vessel, thanking God that the propulsion systems were still functional. He was now relying on propellant and inertia to keep the Jonas Böhm from avoiding further fire, and every passing minute was spent bathed in sweat and rushing adrenaline as Hiroi awaited the first field reports from the reactor teams.

Herr Kapitän! Kochler's team have entered the reactor room!

Patch me into his comm-channel directly!

Right away, sir!

The immediate crackle of a changing communications channel allowed Hiroi to change his auditory attention away from the technical officer.

Herr Kapitän, can you read me?

Loud and clear, Obermaat Kochler! What the hell is going on down there!?

Well, sir... the only thing that is stopping me from being ripped into space is a shit-ton of blue foam... the reactor mainframe was unharmed. All peripheral equipment was melted by the shot, though... especially the dedicated power control computers for the weapons. This is not something we can fix... shit, at least not until we get blown apart by something.

Hiroi cursed under his breath... and stopped.

Work on fixing anything you can in there, Obermaat. I have another plan.

He turned his gaze to his command console, and spoke directly unto it in a banal tone.

Central System, assess power functions to the missile batteries.

Missile batteries have experienced partial power loss. Unable to restart unless power is diverted from an essential systems using ancillary connections.

Divert!

WARNING: diversion of essential systems through ancillary connections can cause catastrophic cascade-

Override EXTREMA and divert, godamnit!

Order authorized. Diverting...

Once more did the lights and holograms in the CIC darken, before flickering on again. The artificial gravity that was brought back was now lost once more by the diversion of power, sending confused sailors floating up to the roof. Seeing the faint hologram of the enemy Predenan ship on his console, he clenched his fist over it and issued another direct order to the AI.

Fire all missiles onboard at that enemy vessel!

WARNING: Simultaneous launch of all payloads risks enemy response in totality, risk of power collapse, and-

OVERRIDE EXTREMA!

A deep rumble flowed through the battered superstructure of the Jonas Böhm as flickering camera feeds for the ship showed a mass of billowing, warped particulates left behind by the trails of over one hundred missiles flowing forth into space. At his order, all of the on-board missiles were locked on the enemy Predenan cruiser, ranging from nuclear fusion to electromagnetic disruption missiles and even those meant for intercepting enemy missiles. With the firing of all missile batteries, the Jonas Böhm became the brief center of attention for that sector of the battle, and was subjected to lancing projectile paths from a multitude of surrounding Predenan corvettes, destroyers, and frigates. One of these projectiles slammed into the armor belts of the battlecruiser and sent it spinning against its own will, the armor belts sloughing off in white-hot metal and carbon drops before quickly cooling in the void.

Even with such treacherous fire, Hiroi's attention was wholly focused on the stream of missiles that flew towards the dreaded enemy cruiser. Some were intercepted by counter-missile fire immediately, while others were cut down by laser and ballistic PDCs onboard the Predenan craft. Even so, the amount of missiles fired had overwhelmed even shared PDC fire from proximal Predenan ships, and a few had slipped into what many captains called the "death zone" — where the detonation of nuclear fusion missiles would spell disaster, even for a well-armored craft.

The first nuclear explosion lead to a chain detonation of five other missiles that passed into the death zone, shaking the Predenan cruiser violently and ripping its center mass to the breaking point. However, four other missiles of cluster variety slipped through, their bomblets not releasing in time and thus being swallowed up by the orgy of explosive violence.

One missile braved through it all, however, and released its bomblets right next to the ammunition compartment of the Predenan cruiser. The sheer force of the concentrated explosions ripped its shields and armor apart, caving in the integral hull and providing enough force for the nearby ripped center mass to splinter in two. A series of explosions all across the cruiser followed soon after as remaining missile batteries onboard detonated, with its own reactor being assaulted by the blazing inferno and imploding as a result.

Hiroi briefly collapsed in relief after seeing the enemy hologram fizzle away. He readied himself amidst the zero-g as his senses acclimated him back into action, and prepared an autoinjector to dose him with anxiety dampeners.

As he readied the apparatus for injection, he heard the voice of Kapitän Kasper Kohlhase blare over a newly-opened communications channel. It was with a tone of relief — and the fact that he was even talking was a relief unto itself.

Thanks for saving our asses with that fucking fireworks show of yours, Hiroi! That shit allowed us to flipping-and-burning back to the rear! I radioed the Kommodore aboard the Schönlein to relieve us from the front line, too; he's inbound!

He's coming to the vanguard? Thank God!

Image
SWM Schönlein, firing laser and railgun batteries
Flagship of Geschwader I "Adolf"

The command console hologram bursted with the warp distortion of an incoming vessel from the rear, and as Hiroi jerked his attention to the camera feeds for one last time, he noticed the gigantic form of the SWM Schönlein emerge unto the fray. Its massive batteries opened up with a cloud of missiles even larger than the entirety of Jonas Böhm's as it completed its warp, with its spinals spitting forth c-frac flechettes against anything that stood in front of the massive guns. Such was the power of a Herreshoff-class, Hiroi thought.

Congratulations, Kapitän Hiroi, said the newly-arrived Kommodore Panadero in his thick Kellemeti accent. You've just earned yourself a thousand acres on a colonial world... now, do me a favor and retreat to the back line to help defend the tender fleet. You'll be simultaneously repaired; let me handle the spearhead.

Hiroi could not help but smirk as the comm-line cut off. As Panadero drove his flagship forth unto the shattered and routed Predenan squadrons with his own assembled squadron of battlecruisers and frigates, Hiroi spun his hand around in the command console hologram to order a flip-and-burn back to the rear line. His mind was still shaken by the near-death experience he and hundreds aboard the Jonas Böhm experienced, but he calmed himself down with a mixture of anti-anxiety drugs and the fact that his sacrifice would have nevertheless not been in vain.

Last edited by Menschlicher Sternenstaat on Sat Apr 10, 2021 7:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Imperial-Octavia
Envoy
 
Posts: 330
Founded: Apr 29, 2019
Iron Fist Consumerists

Postby Imperial-Octavia » Fri Apr 16, 2021 7:12 pm

Exploration Drone #9221
Gamma Quadrant

It was year 7, month 10, and day 2859 of the #9221's mission. Some years ago the Imperium had decided that it would be a prudent idea to send explorer drones outside it's territory so that it may find more synthetic star state's to ally itself to in preparation for the planned expansion of the Imperium in it's corner of the Gamma Quadrant. #9221 was one of the final drones to be sent out before the program's close and it's rough exterior was proof enough of that. In it's time #9221 had discovered hundreds of primitive planets marked for future acquisition and quite a number of FTL capable nations. Granted most of them weren't the allies which the Imperium had looked for, but that certainly wasn't any concern to #9221, the only concern that the drone held was finding yet another civilization for the Imperium to begin contact with. The drone had recently been directed to turn around to explore the other half of the Gamma Quadrant after scouring out the area to the North of Octavia. The occasional intercepted message from civilian channels would tell #9221 that there was indeed intelligent life around this area of the galaxy and that two such pockets of life were at war with each other.

This information was noted and sent back to the main server for processing as the drone prepared to do its duty. Regurgitating the same code that it had used numberless times before, #9221 sent out a message in a 100 lightyear radius, keeping a few first contact response messages on standby should it need them.

Image
Greetings from the Empire of Octavia!

Hello, if you are receiving this message you have come across a drone of the Octavian Imperium. The Imperium is a strong state made up of synthetic lifeforms. Please send a message to this drone so that communication may continue and potential relationships be formed. That is all.
|| Factbooks ||
| Tech Level: FT |

Current Year: 2420
The Empire of Octavia ✙ "Assimilate or die!"
The Mechanical horde marches forward and it comes for you!

Number of owned Star Systems: 163




Pinnacle news:Our navy is on the brink of victory in Ridley's Rest surely delivering a crippling blow to the monsters that are the Zravvisk! // Remember to give any spare metal to your local Mechanator for the war effort!
This nation was created by The Rapture Republic, inspired by Inkopolia. Now owned by Atkemri.

User avatar
Forest State
Senator
 
Posts: 4415
Founded: Aug 23, 2016
Capitalist Paradise

Postby Forest State » Sat Apr 17, 2021 12:25 am

ENTRY - DEPLOYMENT
Natsuya International Spaceport, Natsuya IV, Natsuya System, Einotaiyan Star Union


The events happening as of recent seemed to indicate that in the 25th year of the Zenshin era, the Einotaiyan Star Union was headed for war - the first war since the Druthian War that had seen the creation of the Druthian-Einotaiyan Republic from the remains of the xeno empire which had fought the Star Union for supremacy over the region.

The conflict had of course been quite the mess. It had witnessed the godlike dictator of the Druthian race killed in the fighting, the mass destabilization of the territory that had formerly made up the Druthian state, and a refugee crisis which put a strain on the surrounding systems within Einotaiya. The creation of the DER had been a solution to deal with the damages in the best way that the victors could manage without seeing a mass refugee crisis saturate the northeastern sectors of the Star Union, and while the Druthian state had been integrated rather successfully by now, it was… A hard road before things had reached that point.

It was safe to say that, having experienced a fight in such close quarters as the Druthian War, in the relatively recent era, the Star Union was a state that was aware of the risks and consequences of conflict. And yet, there was also a point when there was more to be lost by sitting still and not acting than there was from a conflict itself. The markets hadn’t recovered from their earlier crash, and the situation in Khaliyya wasn’t getting any better.

They’d have to act soon unless they wanted to watch the markets around them continue to burn while they did nothing. And the Predena conflict was perhaps the line in the sand that said it was time to act, that things weren’t going to get better through waiting.

The signs were all there, on the capital planet Einotaiya, that things were rapidly heading in that direction. More and more military forces moving about in the capital city, Kanjuku. More hushed meetings between members of the government from different branches, ranging from the imperial family to the National Kokkai to the interior cabinet. And perhaps most noticeably, something that had also happened before the Druthian War - the drumming up of support among the civilian populace for the conflict through what could only be described as a mass media campaign that had the backing of private forces in the press.

The press in the Star Union wasn’t state owned as it was in some more centralized or authoritarian nations, but in this case, the state and the media had similar interests when it came to the subject of the Predena war. The media was perfectly happy to cry out about the unjustness of the invasion that the Star Union’s trade partner was suffering, if not just because of the numbers they’d get from covering it then because of their own leanings in support of the mercantile republic.

It was a real ‘happening,’ as some said, and there was no chance that it was going to be ignored… Even if it was indeed a long distance from the Star Union itself, happening on the other side of the galaxy in a different quadrant.

“There are times when you must decide that sitting around isn’t good enough and that action is needed - and this might be one of those times for the ESU. Everyone’s seen what’s happened to the markets. And what do you think is going to continue to happen to them if the DAP government decides the best move is to just sit around and watch while one of our most profitable trade partners falls under the boot of authoritarianism? Furthermore, how will this government brand itself as a power in favor of our ideals if it sits around and does nothing?”

The news was repeating the same narratives in the background - but the one who owned the apartment turned it off. Fact of the matter was, the news based in the capital was a little bit behind. Probably wouldn’t be for too long, but they were out of the loop with the latest development that could be spotted by those that were further out, here in the Natsuya System. It wasn’t far from where the Druthian War had happened, and was even connected to the Druthian-Einotaiyan Republic through trade lanes which were often active.

But, on the system’s central planet of Natsuya IV, the military buildup was easy to tell apart from the typical trade that came in and out of the busy spaceport located within orbit of the world. The spaceport where many people lived in high quality accommodations, and where journalist Hideya Asama happened to be staying at the moment.

There was no point sitting around and watching the news that was certainly giving an outdated picture of events when it was possible to head directly into the spaceport and see clearly whether the deployment force had been massed fully yet. The development was one that Hideya had been tracking over the past few days, but it was almost certainly going to reach a ‘complete’ stage within the next one or two, based on the rate things were moving at.

When Hideya stepped outside of his apartment, camera in hand and phone in his pocket in case it was needed, he was immediately met with a dense crowd - the spaceport wasn’t just busy with people headed in and out of the system, it was also a busy place to live. Even the residential areas were just as dense with pedestrians as the commercial areas, but they had been designed with this busyness in mind. It was only about a five minute walk from the door of the apartment to the station where the rail system could be found… Was the quickest way to get from one section of the place to another, and all it took was a scan of an ID card for Hideya to be on the rapidly accelerating high speed train to the commercial district, where the ships would actually come in and leave.

During the ride, the journalist reached for his phone and dialed up his editor.

“You have something on those military developments on the northern fringe you’ve been telling me about?” said the voice of Gaku Fujiki, the editor in chief of the Teien Capital Post, one of the most respected news outlets in the country - and the one that Hideya was posted all the way out here with. It was also one of the most demanding of its reporters.

“I’m headed right now to find that out,” Hideya said, staring out the window of the train car as they sped through the cold metal landscape of the spaceport, headed for the commercial area that wasn’t far from his residential neighborhood. “And I’ll have the latest in images sent in as soon as I can get them and get a connection to send them.”

“See to it that you do. We have multiple stories waiting on more confirmation - well, one big story actually. The story about Einotaiya going to war again. Going to do huge numbers for whoever publishes it first, but I don’t want to get caught out running something without a backing. That fleet that’s sitting there in Natsuya IV, I need to know if it’s deploying-”

“I’m arriving in the commercial district where the fleet is docked - abnormally, at that. This place is usually only home to a destroyer squadron,” Hideya said, as the train came to a halt and the doors hissed open, many of the passengers getting off at this stop. This was also the stop where he was getting off himself, and he once again found himself traveling down a long corridor with shops and other amenities on one side and a series of hardened windows on the other - through these windows, it was possible to discern which ships were actually docked here.

“But as for that story…” he stopped in his tracks, letting silence fall over the line for a moment as she stared out the window where it had been possible to see the navy formation docked outside - multiple battleships, multiple cruisers, and a number of destroyers and supply ships, taking up space that would normally be used for commercial traffic. “It appears the Einotaiyan Fifth Fleet is already on the move.”

“Already on the move? What do you mean? You’re telling me we missed this story and it’s already moved out?”

“No,” Hideya concluded, pausing for a moment and looking at the sight ahead - the ships which had recently moved away from their space at the docks, navigating towards the exit of the complex and away from the civilian traffic that was also around. From what it looked like, the entire fleet was still here, but not for long. “They’re still here, but in the process of leaving - I’ll have the pictures sent over in a minute and it looks like you’ll get your story. A fleet has been posted to an abnormal location for a few days and now, after resupplying, it’s headed off beyond our borders to some unknown location… Presumably, to fight. I believe this is exactly the story you were looking for.”

“Good work, Hideya. We knew we could count on you to get this one while it’s still happening,” Gaku said. “Now get those pictures and send ‘em over, and the world is going to know that another war is coming to the galaxy…”



The news would break later that day and it became apparent that the Star Union was indeed joining the conflict - at least if the report from the Teien Capital Post that the Fifth Fleet was being deployed out of the Star Union’s borders was correct. And, considering the photographic evidence of the fleet on the move, it seemed like the report was true in the eyes of most citizens.

It wasn’t just the Fifth Fleet, however. Word was from the reports arising on the internet that the Sixth Fleet has also been deployed after being staged in Okezaki, another fringe system that was usually out of the public spotlight but was now the center of attention due to the military forces that had been sent there. It was apparent that, whether the war was going to have a full involvement of the Star Union or not, something was happening.

This would of course force the hand of both the Prime Minister and the imperial family when it came to their actions going forward - they didn’t have the option of subtlety when the people were already aware that their forces were on the move, without having had a vote within the Kokkai at that. The legality of it was grey, but well, it technically wasn’t a war yet. There had been no engagement, no confrontation with the enemy, only talk about how Einotaiya needed to intervene followed by a move in that direction.

Until there was actual contact, it was hard to say that it was a real war that would need approval from the Kokkai.

It would, at the very least, force a press conference out of the Crown Prince Akimitsu - who had been responsible for much of the response so far for the Union during the recent international crises that had taken the spotlight. During times like these, it was often the imperial family that the people looked up to for some kind of direction. And that direction would be set now, at the palace where the top media outlets had been gathered for what had been described as an urgent press conference.

“By now the news has reached the general public that two fleets of the Einotaiyan Navy have been deployed beyond our borders, to unknown locations - I would like to confirm those reports,” the crown prince started, as cameras clicked in the background and journalists waited with anticipation for the confirmation of an actual conflict. “Just as there has been much talk in the media about intervening in the conflict involving Predena, there has also been much discussion about this subject within government offices and the halls of the imperial palace. All sides of the government agree that it would be the wrong move to sit back and do nothing in the face of aggression from the Sternenstaat against valued partners of ourselves.”

There was a pause to let the audience in attendance take in this fact.

“As such, the decision has been made to intervene in both a direct fashion and through the transfer of supplies and funds to Predena, effective immediately,” Akimitsu continued. “Due to security reasons, we do not have more to share about the deployment at this time - but journalists will have greater access once the operation begins in earnest. May the gods bless this endeavour of ours.”

With that, the crown prince would turn and leave the room flanked by the rest of the party accompanying him, leaving the media with the story that they wanted and giving no further details - they would’ve preferred to get the chance to ask questions, but just the info they had now was plenty when it came to drawing in the attention of the nation. Soon, everyone would know that they were headed to war again.

But this time, the stakes were possibly higher than a regional conflict against a strong willed but less advanced xeno empire.

They were not the favorite in this fight. But they had little option but to try anyway. The alternative? Watch the galaxy burn without ever trying to put out the fire.
don't tread on me

User avatar
Menschlicher Sternenstaat
Attaché
 
Posts: 91
Founded: Apr 16, 2019
Iron Fist Consumerists

Postby Menschlicher Sternenstaat » Mon Apr 19, 2021 1:40 pm


Image
SWM Szepter, Inbound Trajectory to Nora Station, Terminus System
Oberst Zebenjo Rädler, Mercantile Republic of Predena [γ Quadrant]
January 19th, 792 SA (Staat Ära) — 1:01 p.m. Veran Synchronized Operant Time
Listen up, and listen clear! This is where the fucking fun begins!

The Oberst's words sounded through the helmets of each and every soldier within the 95th Marines, with his own physical presence being bestowed unto one of the many boarding craft that were to launch from the underbelly of the Szepter. All Weltraummarinesoldaten slated for the task from the Szepter were to join countless thousands of other Sternenstaat space marines in their approach to the Nora Station, which was now under bombardment from warships from the Tirpitz and Radharkrishnan battlegroups. A series of c-frac fire from the spinal guns of the Szepter and other capital ships against the port authority vessels had accidentally bisected a portion of the station right off of its superstructure eleven minutes prior, rendering a large cloud of debris to bloom off of its visage and force the Predenan ships nearby to scatter. Ironically, this gave the Sternenstaat the time that it needed to advance its troop-carrying warships closer to the station and begin the boarding process in earnest.

The ninety-fifth regiment is tasked with the most vital objective to the mission: the seizure of the control and administrative systems of the station! We must bring Nora Station under the control of the Fatherland by any means necessary, as it will be the staging ground for the Sturmheer and Kampf-SS grunts later on! The rules of engagement's been passed down from high command: shoot anything that points any goddamn thing at you, no matter if its a Predenan non-combatant or trooper! The next set of orders will be from your battalion commanders!

The Oberst allowed the commander of the 1st Battalion that he was riding along with to now speak — Oberstleutnant Nickolas Ullmann, a brat that found his rank by purchasing commission, but over time had learned the true ropes and rigors of being a space marine.

First Battalion will be inserting directly into a commercial sector of Nora Station; our immediate objective will be to secure the immediate boarding zone from hostiles! From there, we will be joining Second and Third Battalions in a coordinated offensive towards the central mainframe where the station's administrative network is located! We have a few sailor eggheads tagging along with us today in order to make sure our commandeering of their digital infrastructure is a success; they will be at the rear and situated with Fourth Company! At all times, make sure that their integrity is not compromised!


Attention: boarding craft launch in sixty seconds! I repeat, launch in sixty seconds!

Rädler took the time left after his subordinate's orders and the overhead announcer's statements to gaze around the boarding craft that a contingent of his troops had assembled within. Officially designated as Käfer orbital assault pods, the insides of such a pod were large enough to fit an entire platoon of troops within a cylindrical shell, or even offer the space to fit specially modified armored vehicles such as a KrPz. 7-4 Kriegshund main battle tank. For the pod that he found himself within, however, the organization of the troops and materials inside were simple: several SKd-80s heavy assault battle droids were positioned at the front of the pod where the boarding action was expected to take place. Behind this front line of hulking combat robots lied the miniature legion of Sternenstaat space marines that were to enter the fray thereafter, all hoisted into special-built harnesses that would protect them from the sheer force and shock of impact against the outer hull of the enemy station.

He very well knew what was going to happen when that minute of readiness was up, but he waited in slight amusement to see the reactions of the green Weltraummarinesoldaten who faced this battle as the first live conflict they were to experience. Rädler's combat missions across the galaxy in boarding pirate vessels all had one part that every marine dreaded, including himself: the monumental force and pressure of accelerating right out of the launch tube that their pod was hoisted in, and then that very slam into an enemy ship or station. Despite their power armor's internal force dampening cushions and the special-built harnesses that each soldier was effectively "tucked" into, a large portion of the shock from both periods of titanic force was unescapable. It was either feeling such a shock flow through one's flesh or have a decrease in speed of the pod and thus becoming easy prey for any point-defense system still operational.


Boarding craft launch in thirty seconds! I repeat, launch in thirty seconds!

It was impossible to stop the surge of adrenaline as one's mind realized the totality of what was to come; Rädler was a veteran of these very boarding actions, and yet each and every mission was filled with a mix of dread and excitement. He could see this in the fidgeting postures of several fresh space marines in their shock-harnesses, their fingers flexing near their rifles' triggers and the twisting of their knees or necks in anticipation.

As the countdown reached near to ten seconds, Rädler combed over the last of the combat information data that he had synthesized with other commanding officers that presided over the boarding mission against Nora Station. If all went according to plan, they were to essentially purge the station of any and all opposition and ensure that Nora Station would become an effective forward operating base for further Staatswehr operations in the country. There was no room for failure in this mission — if the Predenans successfully trigger a self-destruct sequence on Nora Station, it would not only be a total disgrace against the Sternenstaat's ambitions of vengeance, but would lead to the needless death of countless civilians and Weltraummarinesoldaten that besieged it.

Success was imperative. That's why the Weltraummarinekorps were the ones to naturally shoulder such a monolithic task.


Ten!

The first of the last ten seconds sounded off, snapping the attention of all on board away from their meandering thoughts and solely on the anticipation of what was to come.

Nine!

An audible groan resounded through the large boarding craft as the couplings to the Szepter battleship proper were decoupled, shunting the pod like a bullet into the launch tube.

Eight!

The lights in the pod shifted from its normal amber-red hue to that of combat green, bathing all surfaces in a dark emerald hue. Each space marine's armor, once a pearly white inundated with orange and crimson lighting, now shifted to the color of jungle leaves.

Seven!

The battle droids at the front of the pod were activated by final data transmissions from the warship proper, their internal motors and gears whirring to action as their chasses were locked in to their own specially designed shock harnesses.

Six!

The final clicks and cracks of loaded, cleaned rifles resounded unto the air amidst the blaring of readiness sirens and the nigh-omnipresent countdown.

Five!

As the lights in the pod shifted to even darker shades of green, the scarlet eyes of the Weltraummarinesoldaten began to glow in earnest as each and every soldier fully activated their helmet's combat programming routines.

Four!

A lurch pulsed through the pod as it started its acceleration through the launch tube - lethargic at first, and for good reason, as the coils that were to slingshot it forward finished their spoolings in earnest.

Three!

Rädler extended his power armor-laden right arm as far as he could in order to pat the shoulder of Oberstleutnant Ullmann, who diverted his red combat lenses at him in response. The Oberst said nothing amidst the loud countdown and the moans of the pod's hull compensating for the building force, and instead flashed a thumbs up with his left arm.

Two!

Ullmann silently replied with his own thumbs up, and a slight salute with two fingers from the top of his sensor-laden Kampfhelm.

One!

The acceleration from the launch tube of the Herreshoff-class battleship was ungodly in its tumultuous power. Rädler's previous thoughts were briefly jumbled into an amorphous, incoherent soup as all his brain could process was the behemoth waves of force that flowed through his muscles and his bones. The shock harness and his own power armor did everything that they could to minimize the sheer pressure, but the energy and force that he and countless others in the boarding craft were sustaining was just not something that the baseline human form was ever going to grow accustomed to.

As the initial shock of the launch dissipated from both his body and mind, Rädler knew that this was only the first part of the onslaught. That was not what he personally worried about, however — while the greens were in the midst of preventing themselves from vomiting or collapsing in their harnesses, the Oberst monitored their craft's launch trajectory towards Nora Station thousands of kilometers away. Their pod, amidst dozens of others launched from various Weltraummarine warships, were hurtling through space at just over fifty thousand kilometers per hour — the second of the three massive force blasts was soon to come when their retrograde thrusters engaged and began the deceleration process towards Nora Station.

Alright, schoolchildren! Stay in your damn seats; we have ten minutes to intercept with Nora Station! The big boys're gonna give us covering fire en masse so that we don't get splattered by some fucking PDC on our way in! Remember your training, and know that this isn't some simulation bullshit! Push through for the Fatherland!

Rädler's brief speech was punctuated by the incoming communications chatter from naval command. Kommodore Götz had interlinked the Oberst's communications channel to that of the overall naval coordination network, allowing him to tune in to the specific orders and descriptions of the incoming support volley.

All warships of the Tirpitz detachment, prepare for supportive projectile and missile fire on designated non-critical targets, and prepare to fire on my command!

The voice of the commander of Geschwader 4 "Tirpitz", Kommodore Götz, barked through the channel with a newfound sense of authority following his vindicated destruction of the Predenan forward naval element half an hour ago. Following this specific order, Rädler took note of the new formation that the Sternenstaat naval group had assumed - a concave curve in relation to Nora Station, in order to maximize crossfire of railguns and missile volleys against whatever targets they had chosen.

Two minutes into the anxiety-riddled approach, he heard his commander's final order pour in.

All warships... FIRE!

Rädler's HUD, which had pulled up a projection of the immediate battlespace around Nora Station and the Tirpitz detachment, instantly bloomed in a series of calculated trajectories and flightpaths not of the space marines' own pods. A flood of electromagnetic projectiles and missiles were disgorged from the various warships of the Tirpitz detachment, with some of the c-frac projectiles in particular zooming pass the group of space marines pods and right into enemy vessels and weapon wings of Nora Station. The Oberst saw the SITREP map shimmer as it updated itself after each rendered enemy casualty, with the Predenan port authority vessels and task force positioned around Nora Station both diverting their locations and becoming prey to the Sternenstaat's pellet guns.

He poured over the data up until the half-mark of their approach, drinking in each and every sub-c-frac projectile and missile's flight path as they careened towards anchorages and floating enemy warships. One by one did they fall, and as the Predenan defense line became chewed up by the full force of the volley, Rädler noticed the advance of the Tirpitz detachment further and further towards Nora Station itself.

The sudden, massive jolt of activated retrograde thrusters rocketed through the boarding craft. Rädler quickly became privy to the consequences of this decision as the sheer pressure rocketed through his row of soldiers first, rattling all of his bones and jostling his very flesh to and fro inside of his power armor like a child's putty. He thanked God for the intravenous "feeding" and "drinking" procedures that space marines had to take prior to a boarding mission, as his involuntarily upchucking in his helmet lead to only saliva spilling out of his lips and into a drainage vein in his lower helmet.

I hate that shit...

First Platoon, keep your goddamn heads on you! One more shitty earthquake until we reach the thick of it! screamed an Oberleutnant, who maintained direct control of the command platoon over the rest of First Company and First Battalion as a whole. The presence of the Oberst of the 95th Regiment and Oberstleutnant of the whole battalion within the pod was more so out of "economic necessity" in order to fold the two high-ranking officers directly into the fray without budgeting another pod. Rädler saw the tradition as odd, but didn't give it much thought past that.

As soon as we hit, you all know what the fuck to do! Let the bots up there bear the brunt of the initial attacks, and get the fuck out of the pod right after! I don't want to see a single one of you pussies cowering in this fucking tin can!

Each minute that counted down was each minute that Rädler viscerally felt the deceleration come close to its end, all in a series of metallic rumbles and clangs. The icon that represented the cloud of space marine pods was now within striking of Nora Station, almost literally; and within the final minute to impact, he felt the penetration weaponry of the boarding craft raise forth from their racks on the pod's outer hull in preparation for impact.

The first weapons to fire on the pod's hull were the microfusion missile pods, with each miniature missile shooting ahead of the pod and to the specific section of Nora Station's hull that the boarding pod was shooting towards. This was followed by the firing of the two point defense cannons at the now-rear side of the craft, which shot down any Predenan interceptor or true missile that sought to destroy the microfusion missiles in the front or the pod itself.

This wasn't true for some of the other pods.

Several platoons of the 95th Regiment were lost during this last phase of transit towards Nora Station, with some being the unlucky recipients of point-defense cannonfire from functional weapons systems of the station itself. Others ate the fire of Predenan vessels through a mixture of missile, energy, and projectile fire — although it seemed that the bulk of the regiment were to survive, Rädler's stomach still sunk in rage and regret for the men that had befallen such fates. This remorseful thought was quickly pushed aside, however, for what was to come.

The microfusion missiles that the pod launched successfully made contact with the hull of Nora Station, which now laid only just over a hundred kilometers away and was closing in fast. From one of the onboard cameras that the Oberst tuned into, he could see the massive spheroid main body of the station in full, its interior lights blinking in a miscellany of power failures and emergency power redistributions. Several of the ancillary wings of the station had been either blown off entirely or shattered into various loosely connected pieces, thanks to the volleys that the Tirpitz detachment had launched over the course of the hour. As the spheroid body of the station grew closer and closer, he zoomed in on the pod's specific landing site and noticed the lights that now blossomed in its view.

All of the microfusion missiles had converged into a programmed linear flightpath at the last second and bombarded the hull in rapid succession, boring a deeper and deeper hole into the hull of the station in a series of explosions that flung white-hot plasma, melted carbon, and sheared metal away in clouds of superheated debris. With the pod's rapid approach to the station, a ring of lasers at the station-facing side of the pod ignited their energy plumes in full. A handful of seconds now lied before final impact, and Rädler preemptively grimaced for it.

The hardest of all the impacts exploded forth from the front of the boarding pod all way to the back, with the colossal pressure feeling like it would wrench Rädler's squeezed guts right out of his body from all orifices. His shock-harness groaned to keep him and his armor stable, the synthetic fabrics and fibers being stretched to their breaking points. The noise was something that he was thankfully spared from due to the auditory sensors and holes of his helmet all being shut, but the reverberations that accompanied the otherwise deafening shrieks of wrenching metal was what he had to solemnly bear.

As per training, he had no time to waste cringing at the physical pain and mental confusion of such an impact.

The teethed front of the boarding pod opened with a hiss of ejected steam and smoke, with clouds of obfuscants and irritants being deliberately pumped into the breached interior as a means to cover the deployment of the Weltraummarinesoldaten. The heavy combat droids at the front charged headfirst into the commerce area that they breached, and at once did Rädler's helmet pick up the cantata of coilguns firing at close range.

The march of the space marine platoon and the thunder of the heavy battle droid's steps echoed throughout the massive vaulted hallway that made up the breadth of connections between now-closed storefronts. Their crimson eyespots glowed even within the wispy white clouds of irritating smoke and ash, and as the rain of coilgun fire began to descend upon them, they did not waste time returning fire in each and every direction possible.

Immediately in front of the breaching site was what once constituted a restaurant, with its façade having been blown inward by the force of the boarding craft's violent arrival. It seemed that the scant few civilians and security personnel that were still within the franchise were equally blown apart, with black specks of gore and clothing strewn about the shattered plastics and metals. Even so, the arrival of the command platoon seemed to have brought forth the ire of a nearby squad of Predenan espatiers, and so that very same corpse of a store was what offered the nearest cover.

He saw the very floor around them split apart from the impact of flechettes from the Predenan espatiers, who were themselves firing haphazardly as they tried to tune their own sensors to see into the obfuscants. Rädler felt the armor on his left leg buckle as a round ricocheted off of it in full force, briefly sending him stumbling and into a further cascade of bullets from afar. His reflexes allowed himself to jerk his body away at the right time, landing flat on his ass in the process.

Alpha and Beta squads, get into that store NOW! bellowed Rädler, his helmet's optical sensors switching through multiple bands of the electromagnetic spectrum as a means to properly see the enemy through the spewed smoke. When it arrived on a sufficient wavelength to discern humanoid bodies beyond the confines of his platoon, the Oberst raised his MiGw 78G coil rifle to return fire with synchronicity between his aim and his helmet's measurements of the target that fell in his scope.

The first 6.11mm osmium flechettes that flew out of his rifle burst forth with an intense recoil, sending away the clouds of irritating dust and creating a temporary vacuum of clarity around the muzzle. In an instant, the flechettes found their marks square in the neck of a Predenan espatier who bobbed his head up from behind a stone-fenced row of trees — the explosion of pieces of skin and windpipe cartilage behind the target confirmed a hit. The enemy espatier crumpled instantly behind cover with the entirety of his front throat missing, with blood spurting forth unto the faux-cobblestone ground in waves of arterial pumps.

Rädler had no time to reflect on the gory end of his mark as he dove for cover inside of the restaurant, crushing strewn cups and the naked leg of a blown-apart corpse beneath the weight of his power armor. Sickening crunch of bone and porcelain were only two noises amidst the dozens of chattering rifles and screaming men, and at once did Rädler hoist himself up to bring his gun back at the ready and aimed towards the back of the restaurant.

All of the lights within the establishment were knocked out, either by power failures or by the sheer force of the boarding pod's arrival. Looking out from the darkness to where the platoon had arrived, he saw a heavy battle droid attached to Gamma squad get taken down by a cannonade of coilgun fire from the Predenan espatiers stationed farther along the hallways outdoors, with its hull and innards being shredded apart within seconds. It, however, was still able to return fire for a few moments at the end of its lifespan, with the thumping of its massive grenade launcher sending forth brilliant displays of arcing plasmafire down the cobblestoned halls as its plasma grenades made impact far away. With the droids soaking up the damage and being the brunt of the distraction, the Oberleutnant ordered Alpha squad to assemble at the rear exit of the restaurant, with each soldier stacking up behind the other and coilguns raised at the ready.

With a simple nod, one of the marines nearest to the metal door whipped forth his automatic shotgun and blasted its upper servos with impunity, each slug that had shot forth exploding within the frame and wrenching metal en masse straight off. Another space marine kicked down the door in a swift motion and loud clang with his sabaton, returning his rifle to the ready as half of the platoon entered the next room in tow.

At once were they met with intense gunfire, with bullets and flechettes alike plinking off of their graphene-titanium carbide armor. The assailants were instantaneously met with a hail of coil-rifle fire, and what was once a kitchen became a house of horrors as projectiles ripped each and every appliance and wall apart in great grey and red puffs of debris and blood. The firefight only lasted for a few seconds as the last of the platoon charged in, and it was obvious that they were attacked with the basic PDWs and pistols of port officers - who were now ungraciously scattered and painted upon the floors.

Oberleutnant! Pull up the the map of this place for me, will you? asked Rädler as he loaded a fresh magazine into his rifle, one with a unique set of ammunition that he was rather fond of using in combat.

Right away, Herr Oberst.

The wrist of the Oberleutnant shot forth unto the air with a shaky but coherent hologram; one that consisted of the general rendered structure of Nora Station, as measured by intelligence forces prior to the battle and on-site recon craft. A miscellany of dots were spread across a portion of Nora Station's hull, composing the surviving elements of the 95th Regiment that were deployed. Rädler sighed in relief as he realized the compositional integrity of his regiment was still high.

We seem to be about three kilometers from the objective, which lies at the center of the structure, sir.

Three kilometers...? Shit. Ullmann, get your ass in here!

The shout of the Oberst lead to the Oberstleutnant to file into the cramped kitchen in tow of his own entourage of troopers, their faces of confusion obscured behind their stoic, almost skull-like visors.

What is it that you need, Herr Oberst?

I'm going to be splitting up the Oberleutnant's little platoon here amongst ourselves, if he doesn't mind... we need to regroup with the rest of the elements of First Company, seeing as we landed a little too well into the commercial district of this shithole. It'll be best for us to move in individual squads from here on out; I'll take control of Alpha, you take control of Beta, and the Oberleutnant here leads the Delta and Gamma squads as a rearguard to us.

Sounds good to me, sir, Ullmann responded.

Alright, first thing's first: break open the enemy that're harassing our men and battle droids outside!




User avatar
Olimpiada
Ambassador
 
Posts: 1258
Founded: Aug 13, 2016
Corporate Bordello

On the nature of flying machines; view to a kill

Postby Olimpiada » Tue Apr 20, 2021 12:28 am



Anconia, Anconia Prime
Skyway 89, Capital Sector



The whole concept of a flying car deeply unsettled Basil, he was discovering. Flying things were meant to have wings, or blades. Not just screaming through the skies aloft on some strange sort of false gravity. He tried to focus on the skyscrapers passing by instead, and found that it helped. Looked like home, almost. Shame that it was too difficult to ice the guy at work or home.

“You doin’ alright over there, cowboy?” asked Helena, their driver. Her window was down, and a chestnut-colored arm hung out of it with a shooting glove on her hand. He adjusted his plastic mask and looked over at her.

“I’m fine, just ain’t a fan of this contraption. No wings, no rockets? I can’t imagine Jupiter or Hephaestus approves of the thing. Small wonder they ain’t struck us down yet.” He shook his head and checked his rifle. The bolt slid back with little friction, revealing a double stack of tungsten darts packed in explosive clay. The gauss apparatus reaching up to the gun’s short muzzle whined with power as the bolt slid back home.

“Well, I think you’ll like it a lot less in a minute.” In the seat behind him, Julian swiped around on his tablet. “Target’s coming up quick, we’re about two hundred meters out.” Basil’s augmented eyes swept the sky ahead, zeroing in on an entourage of black vans flying near a white car with silver plating, a luxury model.

Their target was Johann McDougal, CEO of Tai Yuan Heavy Industries. Tai Yuan, among other things, was a major producer of arms for the Predenan war effort, and striking at their head was sure to rattle things up enough to enable further sabotage in the aftermath. The board was unstable due to the Sternenstaat’s sudden attack, and killing the one man keeping them under control would be the final straw to tear them apart internally.

With a sense of finality, Basil clipped himself in properly, tethering himself to the vehicle with a bungee cord attached to a harness around his plate carrier. He and Julian opened their windows and leaned their bodies out into the sky on either side. With their identical clown masks, they almost looked like a pair of jack-in-the-boxes for a moment, before they brought their rifles to bear.

They fired.

One of the armored vans had swerved in the way, and was now riddled with holes. It listed to the side for a moment, then dove below them. Traffic sirens blared in the sky as drivers deviated from the intended route into restricted areas. Helena reacted by taking them higher and flipping the car upside-down, wind whipping through his ginger hair as he tried to draw a bead on the guard now halfway out of the car’s sunroof. He found it, and fired again. Two rounds struck home, turning flesh to liquid on the force of their impact, and the man slumped over, dead.

On the other side of the vehicle, Julian turned his fire on the target’s car. A barrage of rounds struck home in what was apparently artificial diamond, not automotive glass. Apparently the man felt his life was worth far more than any of his guards, given the lengths he went to protect it compared to anyone else. Basil pounded the roof of the car with the butt of his gun. “Helena! He’s got extra armor! We need to be closer!”

Their chauffeur obliged with an almost vomitous lurch, flipping them upright once more in tandem with a burst of acceleration. The sky had emptied of vehicles with the progression of the gunfight, and now that space was torn with bullets as he and Julian did what they could to keep fire on the guards as they drew nearer. Shots streaked back towards them in turn, periodically sparking off of their car. It was fortunate that their enemy hadn’t been expecting to face an armored foe. He ducked back inside for a moment, turned back towards a van that was now chasing them, and made an educated guess on where the driver’s head would be through that tinted glass. His finger squoze the trigger, and recoil hit his shoulder. The van spiraled down towards the pedestrians below as the guard peeking out through the top frantically slammed his fist on the roof in a plea to attract the attention of a dead man.

He leaned out of the car again to find that they had come much closer to their target. It was doing its best evasive maneuvers, but was ultimately built for comfort rather than power. He and Julian resumed their fire, and with this persistence, saw the diamond in the rear window shatter. He ducked back inside to reload as Helena swerved between buildings to keep up with her quarry.

He leaned back out as Julian was forced inside by a burst of suppressing fire from the last van giving chase. He had the shot. The driver’s skull was right behind the headrest. He could see McDougal’s terrified eyes behind a set of anachronistic round glasses. It gave him pause, just enough to notice the boy clutching the executive’s chest.

“Basil! What the hell are you doing, take the fucking shot!” Julian screamed over the roar of machine gun fire.

“There’s a-”

“Yeah I know there’s a fucking kid, I didn’t think that would be an issue! DO IT!” roared the other gunman. The bastard had withheld information. And if he didn’t go for it, the whole operation would be a wash, and they would certainly all be dead. He gritted his teeth, and painted the car’s front windshield with the driver’s mind. The flier promptly pitched down.


He ducked back into the car.

Buried his face in his hands.

Wished his job wasn’t to be a bad guy, once again.
Hyper-commodified cocaine capitalism. Urbanized solar systems. Omnixenophobia. War economy without end. Radical body augmentation for fun and profit.

I make exactly two exceptions from a fairly strict adherence to realism, and hate them both.

The Anchorage, for discussion of all things FT

User avatar
Menschlicher Sternenstaat
Attaché
 
Posts: 91
Founded: Apr 16, 2019
Iron Fist Consumerists

Postby Menschlicher Sternenstaat » Fri Apr 23, 2021 1:05 pm


The planet of Marinau Prime is considered by many within the Menschlicher Sternenstaat to a “resort world”, or an idyllic planet where even the average layman of the country can go under government sanction to enjoy the massive terraformed seas and iconic, handcrafted archipelagos. Unlike the capital world of Vera, which balances its natural beauty in between massive sprawls of tight-knit arcologies and government centers, the infrastructure of Marinau is chiefly split between a select few major islands that crop up from the global Marinau Ocean and the massive underwater urban sprawls that connect island to island. Marinau Prime acts as the chief marine technology research and experimental center for the Staatswehr in addition to boasting a massive biotechnological research service base and the largest aquacultural industry sector in the entire country...

...since its terraformation over four hundred years ago, the planet has also been the chief vacation center for a variety of government personnel, including State Chancellors and Star Emperors from all across the Sternenstaat's contemporary history. The current ruling Staatskanzler, Michael Sakeem Widmann, purchased and renovated a noble estate that sat upon one of the main islands of the Latgale archipelago, which including a primary mansion that he used for "winter vacations" away from his estate on Vera (in addition to a smaller manor used to host Sternenstaat aristocrats and government officials during visits). This main mansion, the Gefliestes Herrenhaus, overlooked a planetary expansion of ocean through a grand cobblestone and tiled palisade that served also as an extensive porch for the hosting of parties and other functions.

excerpts from Rolf Hartjenstein; Marinau: The Blue Jewel of the Fatherland

Image
Gefliestes Herrenhaus, Planet of Marinau Prime, Marinau System
Staatskanzler Michael Widmann, Menschlicher Sternenstaat [γ Quadrant]
January 19th, 792 SA (Staat Ära) — 5:27 p.m. Marina 3rd Continental Time
The vast star of Marinau consumed the width of the orange and vermillion skies that laid far to the horizon, shining forth its brilliance even unto such a sunset. Its many stellar rays blanked the endless amber seas in scintillations of cresting waves, complementing the masses of seabirds that drifted lazily in the distance.

Steeped within this atmosphere of placidity was an expansive, regal mansion which stretched dozens of meters above the rolling waves, sitting upon mighty cobblestone buttresses high enough for the salty winds of the global oceans of Marinau Prime to bellow forth. This mansion itself was almost comparable to that of Terran castles of old, with its outdoor palisades of cream-colored adobe encircling a sea-cliff patio that laid adorned with the lushness of an exotic tropical jungle. The actual residential structure contrasted itself against the purpling night sky behind it with the seas of maroon tiles upon its beveled and curved rooftops, standing at a height of over five floors on average and offering innumerable views unto Marinau Prime's sparkling ocean.

Two figures alone graced a section of the grand patio of the Gefliestes Herrenhaus, both seated across from one another on plushed outdoor stools and a darkwood chess table lying betwixt. One of the two was a boy deeply in the midst of concentration, his eyes pouring over the white chess pieces that lied in his control. His opponent was a middle-aged man, aviators over his eyes and an iconic mustache nestled over his tightened lips. As the boy moved forth a piece in an attempt to assume quick victory, the gap that he had left allowed the older of the two to immediately rush a black knight over to the white queen.

Checkmate.

The boy pouted for a moment as he realized his defeat, but was forced to laugh after seeing the over-dramatized face of victory that his father displayed. The caws of a sea-gull punctuated the shuffling of pieces back into their starting positions as the two moved to and fro alongside the chess table, collecting their discarded pawns and bishops in tow.

Since I won, it would be best to honor our deal, right, Joseph? the man said.

Fine, Joseph replied, followed up by a sigh. I'll go with mom to the arcology. But I want to get some new real-books!

That's entirely up for her to decide, said the father as he dusted off his floral-patterned shirt. Go on, now; Dad's got a certain meeting to attend to.

Why couldn't I stay for that!? You are always talking to the army guys now; does it have to do with the war the Sternenkaiser said?

It does. You know I can't just give my own twelve-year old son credentials to hear everything going on! Now go, before Anneliese gets angry and wrings my hair out later. Make sure to have fun while we're here.

As Joseph scampered off, the man turned away to look at the expanse of Marinau Prime's global ocean in front of him, sighing as he took in the view. The totality of the sights, smells, and sounds were not something that he could get on Vera — the equatorial regions of that planet were especially abound with the increased urbanization projects that he himself had approved some years ago. He preferred the idyllic nature of Marinau Prime, with its consistent atmosphere parallel to that of an ideal paradise.

Soon during his brief mental respite did the low droning of an approaching aerocraft appear in his ears. His hands slipped off of the weathered stone railings and glided to the cane that he had left next to his stool during the chess game with Joseph. Gripping it tightly in his right bare hand, the casually-dressed man began to limp away from the one specific section of the grand patio and started his trek across the overhang's breadth, passing a multitude of firepits, winding porch garden trails, sea cliff bungalows, and the massive swimming pool that overlooked the Marinau ocean below.

The man's advance brought him to the left wing of the property entirely, where a decorative landing pad laced with lacquered wood laid elevated from the rest of the terraced ground. Sitting upon the elaborate pad was a sleek, white transatmospheric shuttle that still simmered hot at its base from its entry into Marinau Prime's cloud layers, liquid nitrogen blasting from hidden pores onto its undersides and rolling off as a heavy fog. As if on cue, a ramp with built-in stairs folded forth from one of the sides of the elegant vessel, connecting with a distal portion of the landing pad and locking firmly to it with underlying magnets. The side doors lifted forth lazily unto the upon air from internal hydraulics, disturbing the flow of the boiling nitrogen below.

The man did nothing but lean his weight on his amber cane as he waited for the procession of passengers from out of the shuttle to end — a squad of Weltraummarinesoldaten of the Kampf-Staatsschutz disembarked first, their black armor complementing the elongated shadows casted by the setting star of Marinau Prime. These troops immediately assembled in two rows before the ramp, their rifles at their shoulders in a posture of attention. Shortly after the soldiers' assembly came forth a small party of officers and officials, with most being dressed either in Staatswehr feldgrau or Staatsschutz black uniforms. It was apparent on the faces of the Staatswehr officers that they held slight distaste for their entourage of Kampf-SS space marines; all the man could do was grin.

Each of the officers assembled in a line before the man with the cane and raised their arms forth straight in a salute, holding them still while saying Hail Unto Victory unto the cool dusk air. He returned their collective gesture with a salute of his own, his free hand pressed against his forehead and above the right lens of his sunglasses.

I take it that your journey from Vera was uneventful, the man said, beckoning forth the group of officers to follow him. Hopefully, your visit here will be less droll than staring at a cam-window of space for a few hours.

Herr Staatskanzler, it is an honor to personally deliver these materials to you, said one of the Staatswehr officers, tapping a leather-bound messenger bag that he hauled with a gloved hand. The Oberkommando thought it to be necessary to deliver physical copies of their plans to you.

You're General der Infanterie Schoeder of the Sturmheer, right? the Staatskanzler said as he left the terrace that hosted the landing pad, with the group of officers and a small section of space marines in tow. Generaloberst Möhring told me of you a year or so ago in our meeting on Vera. A very dependable man — and from I can see, I'm not disappointed.

Thank you, Herr Staatskanzler, the general said, quieting himself in ponderance as to the compliment that was just bestowed upon him.

The group approached one of the bungalows that sat next to the infinity pool which lied centerpiece upon the property's grand patio. Its open walls and open-air stocks of chilled beverages and cigar palettes indicated a poolside bar, to which the Staatskanzler stepped within as he left the group outside to loiter. He returned out a few moments later with a dew-stricken bottle of cranberry wine and a box of finely-rolled cigars in his free hand and arm, beckoning the officers to man one of the tables that sat peripheral to the infinity pool.

Who here smokes vanilla and drinks cranberry neu-bordeaux? Widmann asked as he sat down first, placing his cane to the right of his wooden seat and snapping his fingers to summon forth butlers from within the mansion proper. As the officers seated themselves, Widmann prepared his vanilla cigar by placing the tip into an auto-chopper built into the table's center, lighting it with a fine-blue flame that rose from a lighter that he kept in his short's pocket.

I don't smoke, Herr Staatskanzler, but I will take you up on the offer of wine, said a new voice from within the group. The smooth, feminine alto came from one of the Staatsschutz officers that awaited a butler's deliverance of a wine glass to her side of the table. Standartenführer Aitana Okino was someone that Widmann was already well acquainted with on the behalf of his subordinate, Staatsführer-SS Vincent Heitmeyer — yet, the Staatskanzler could not help find it a little odd that she was here in replacement of her commander. Funnily enough, her strict application of makeup and her sleek, well-kept appearance was something opposite of how Heitmeyer carried himself lately, whose best formality was just switching out his various uniform pieces for even more grandiose apparel items.

May I ask why Heitmeyer couldn't come in person? Widmann asked, the cigar already alight and propped in between his lips. Amidst the shuffling of the other officers to grab cigars and join their leader, Okino did nothing but stifle a laugh.

You know how the Staatsführer is lately, Herr Staatskanzler. To be specific, his absence is relevant to what General Schoeder has brought to us today.

Then by all means, let's see it.

At once did Schoeder uncouple the braces and locks on the messenger bag, pulling out a series of silky plastic envelopes basked in orange hues and placing them onto the table's surface closest to the Staatskanzler. Widmann reached out and inspected the air-tight seals of the envelopes as he continued to smoke, before tearing forth on a tab that lied upon a envelope stamped with the words ZENTRALE SICHERHEITSBÜRO | STAATSABWEHR — STRENG GEHEIM.

The Staatskanzler took the papers out of the envelope and removed his aviators, placing them next to the messenger bag that Schoeder had left upon the table's granite surface. He read the files amidst the newfound bustle of servants filling up wine glasses and restocking the bungalow that he had entered before, his eyes quickly skimming over seas of words and graphics printed onto the papers.

I can see why the ZSB and the Abwehr wanted this to be rendered only in a physical form... interesting.

The Staatswehr der Oberkommando and the Staatsschutz Zentralkomitee have both been deliberating as to how to address these three distinct issues, Standartenführer Okino said. However, their hands are tied as to addressing these issues without approval from the Staatskongress, Sternenkaiser, or yourself.

These matters are ultimately not of any interest to Jürgen, and I can't rely on the Staatskongress to deliberate for days on end for things such as this. First things first, replied Widman, portioning away most of the papers sans one that he held firmly within the grip of his left hand. What are these reports about newfound communications near Predena?

Staatswehr communications vessels were able to isolate a consistent signal coming from somewhere within deep space near the Mercantile Republic of Predena. The transcript of the communication are in the files, and further analyses of them didn't yield anything anomalous, said General Schoeder. From what it says, there seems to be a machine civilization positing itself as a recipient of diplomatic communications within the Gamma Quadrant. Nothing else.

I love dealing with tin cans in our own backyard, Widmann sighed, before issuing a sigh visible with cigar smoke. No hostility, though... the signal's origin is somewhere in deep space. All signs point this to being a forward element, but not something explictly military in nature. We're going to need more information on this civilization before we issue a response, so tell the OdS to file this to the Staatskongress's diplomatic committee. They'll know what to do.

Yes sir.

Next, and more importantly... there's now trouble amidst in the Delta and Beta quadrants. Isn't that right, Standartenführer Okino?

Correct, Herr Staatskanzler, curtly replied the SS officer, who enjoyed her own wine amidst the rest of the group of officers knee-deep in their own cigars. An emerging 'galacticist' power in the Delta quadrant by the name of the Einotaiyan Star Union has recently and publicly announced that it is assuming an interventionist policy into the conflict with Predena. Our intelligence has confirmed that they have assembled a token task force and established a logistical network with the Predenans through other trade routes...

Token?

Yes, sir. From what we have gleaned through ZSB and Staatsabwehr connections in the Delta quadrant, in conjunction with intelligence information from Olimpiada, the Einotaiyans are not sending a battlegroup sufficient for open combat with the Compact.

The Staatskanzler remained silent as he poured over a new paper relevant to the conversation at hand. He put his cigar down and exhaled a cloud of smoke as he finished reading the paper's contents, which listed the size of the small Einotaiyan task force and the hypothesized trade routes that the Star Union would be using to support the Predenans.

They're looking for an excuse.

...What do you mean, Herr Staatskanzler?

Widmann put the paper down and returned his cigar to his mouth as he looked back at the setting sun, whose descending form was now half-swallowed by the form of the sea.

Entertain this thought for a second, if you may. Your major trading partner is tearing itself at the seams before the first major battle of the war has even came to an end, and the loss of this partner will begin a domino effect all across the galaxy that pits you as the one to fork all of the losses. The plans of the Sternenstaat to enforce its power along the Swift Winds network towards Liu Xiu and the Sivulon network as a whole are just the beginning of a nightmare to any galacticist state dependent on the commerce of a functioning galactic market, such as the Perseids, the Predenans, the Einotaiyan. Now, you want to help this partner, but you cannot show all of your hand to the enemy at once. What is the best thing to do? It's to test the waters.

They are testing the waters with warships, sir..?

If I was in their shoes, I would do the same thing. Say the Aumanii are fucking with a country that we are friendly towards, but once that isn't in the Compact. In order to garner public support in the Fatherland, a sacrificial lamb would be needed to show the citizenry that vengeance must be had — not only for the allied country, but for the sailors who were defending our interests in that very country. Its a cheap trick, yes, but one that the Einotaiyan seem to be using. They know that they can't enter a nascent war across the galaxy with a full force; they aren't stupid.

This reminded me about another piece of information, Herr Staatskanzler, Okino said, separating one of the files from the rest and handing it to Widmann. The ZSB received confidential communications thirteen days ago from the far Beta quadrant, originating from a military element of one of the constituent states of the Federal Republics of Khaliyya. They are asking for our support in their conflict against an enemy constituent republic in what is resembling a civil war.

This is a country with demi-humans and near-humans in it, right? Why are they coming to us of all people for help?

The chief director of the ZSB flagged the country already as a potential conflict zone, and were contacted by the Sabyan Republic's military officials before the Predenan conflict began. The Staatsschutz Zentralkomitee and cabinet staff have already drafted plans for an expeditionary element to be sent to the Sabyan Republic for assistance in the conflict, since it seems that their enemy is poised to be supported by the Einotaiyan Star Union.

Widmann wagged a finger at Okino as he shot forth another plume of cigar smoke, putting the paper down soon after. Heitmeyer already approved of whatever the hell you boys and girls concocted, didn't he?

Yes, sir, he did. However, something of this nature needs direct executive approval, since it is akin to our intervention in the Abajun Empire's civil war. We are already prepared to use veteran military elements from the Abajun Civil War as well — namely the Timberwolf formations.

Widmann knew of the legacy of the Kampf-SS's Timberwolves — a corps of Islamic mechanized infantry from Bresen that racked urban experience from their involvement in the Abajun Empire's previous civil conflict. However, since that war was thirteen years ago, only the officer contingent of the corps and some life-long serving NCOs and troopers carried the true grit of their past battles. Then again, there was nothing stopping old Timberwolf soldiers from enlisting again; especially if a monetary bonus was at stake.

...Ah, fuck it. Tell Heitmeyer that he can have his Muslim shock troops go out kill some degenerates... I'm surprised that they weren't slated for deployment into Predena, anyway.

Widmann discarded his cigar into an underside receptacle as he left the table, returning his weight to his cane as he rose from the chair. You lot will explain the rest of this in detail; I have family matters to attend to before my return to the capital. Go raid the shack for all the alcohol and cigars that you want — just don't get shit-faced on my property. Especially the ones who have planning to do!


User avatar
Menschlicher Sternenstaat
Attaché
 
Posts: 91
Founded: Apr 16, 2019
Iron Fist Consumerists

Postby Menschlicher Sternenstaat » Sat Apr 24, 2021 8:43 pm


Image
Commerce District, Nora Station, Terminus System
Oberleutnant Edvijs Dreimanis, Mercantile Republic of Predena [γ Quadrant]
January 19th, 792 SA (Staat Ära) — 1:49 p.m. Veran Synchronized Operant Time
CONTAAAAAACT! ENEMY MACHINE GUN DOWN THAT GODDAMN ALLEY!

The staccato of electromagnetically-propulsed machine gun bursts rung unto each and every bevel of the quasi-outside alleyway, its fake blue-colored sky roof flickering as chips and pieces of metal fell like jagged snowflakes. Pieces of structural polymer and plexiglass blew off of the sides of storefronts as if hit by miniature explosions, with razor-sharp flechettes chewing through walls like they were paper. The unfortunate few Weltraummarinesoldaten that were stuck in the midst of the Predenan machine gunner's sights were busy finding cover behind granite tree pots, whose cubes were quickly splintering into clouds of dust as round after round impacted them. Other space marines were ducking behind the eviscerated entrances of storefronts, returning fire without peeking out their heads by using the cameras outfitted to their coil-rifles.

WE'RE PINNED DOWN HERE! BIRZIŅŠ, POP SOME SMOKE NOW!

ON IT!

One of the white-armored troopers uncoupled a stick grenade from his clattering belt and threw it from the safety of the front of an abandoned women's clothing store, having it land in the midst of the couple of troopers stuck out on the road's open space. With swift morbidity did the assembled section see one of the elbows of the trapped become blasted apart by a high-velocity flechette, carbide and flesh alike puffing forth unto the ground.

AAAAAAGH, FUCK! I'M HIT! THEY HIT ME RIGHT IN MY FUCKING ARM!

Oberleutnant Dreimanis grimaced as he heard the cries of one of his space marines, Obergrenadier Grīnbergs, ring throughout the communications channel. There was little that he could do to help the ailing man in the midst of a machine gun ripping through practically anything that even stood upon that cobbled street — with this incident pinning the Gamma and Delta squads away from regrouping with the Alpha and Beta squads that took alternative routes towards their objective. It didn't help that their maps and communications were now not working, most likely the work of some sort of jamming antennae hosted within the bowels of the station to combat against invading infantry.

Griķis! Get your goddamn ass up here with your Stumpfnase and fire a microfusion round down that alley! shouted Dreimanis as he took a crouching position behind one of his forwardmost troopers within the store's façade. He beckoned behind him with his free left hand as he gripped the coil-rifle in his right tightly.

Microfusion, Herr Dreimanis!?

Stop talking back and DO IT ALREADY! No time to waste!

Griķis stepped next to Dreimanis and took off a short-bodied launcher from his back magnetic couplings, putting its metallic form on the ground as he rummaged through the pouches on the backside of his armor for the shell in question. He pulled out a blue-rimmed ovoid shell and expunged a previously loaded conventional explosive round from the launcher, slotting the new one into the loading cavity of the Stumpfnase and picking it up back again with his optical sensors face-first into an optical port on the launcher. Griķis stepped forth as much as he could beyond outright giving away his personage to the enemy machinegunner, and began to scan for the target in question through the solid polymer walls. Thanks to the mutual uplinks and data transfers between the sensors of the two squads, he was able to clearly see a red diamond bobbing slightly ahead of him, with the words ENEMY CONTACT shimmering in a crimson next to it. He summoned the courage up to stick his upper body out during a brief abatement in machine gun fire, and aimed his Stumpfnase launcher down the ransacked alley.

FIRE IN THE HOLE!

The thwump of the launched microfusion shell was matched with the wsssh of the its onboard microjets, sending it careening in the air right towards the designated enemy contact sigil that had appeared in Griķis's feed. As soon as Griķis launched for cover back into the clothing store and thus avoided a new volley of incoming projectiles, all the men felt the explosion before their auditory sensors could even deafen the sound for them.

A walloping boom shook the very station around them in a mighty blast of pressure as wrought plasma blossomed forth from the distant end of the alley. All the space marines assembled averted their faces and their bodies from the blast to the best of their abilities, and Dreimanis saw the smoke from the thrown grenade immediately get kicked aside by the rampaging blastwave of the fired microfusion round. The plumes of fire ended just at the base of the now-destroyed plant pots that some of the troopers were hiding behind, and the sheer force of the shot was felt through the armor of every Weltraummarinesoldaten present.

Woo! I think they're dead now! said one of the uninjured soldiers that lied in the street, clambering to a standing posture with the aid of the butt of his rifle.

We don't know that yet! Everyone, haul your asses to cover and stay there until we confirm that it's clear; and for the love of God, get a damn medic on Grīnbergs!

A medic from the store opposite of Dreimanis dashed to drag Grīnbergs as he writhed in pain upon the street, creating a slick trail of blood that poured from the tattered joint that held his lower arm by only a few essential ligaments. As soon as Grīnbergs and the medic disappeared into the safety of a blown-out jewelry store, Oberleutnant motioned for his squad to slowly file out of their own shelter, coil-rifles pointed straight down the alley and still simmering with their superheated coils dissipating heat into the open air.

If there were Predenans down that alley, they were surely blown to ionized pieces. A gaping maw was all that was left of the hastily-constructed checkpoint that was causing Dreimanis's squad problems, twisted and burnt pieces metal of a parked APC being strewn about like macabre confetti. Carbonized chunks of matter far ahead was all that was left of the Predenan security forces that had manned that checkpoint, with cracked carbides and melted plastics showing how their armors and vests were ripped apart like butter.

Holy shit... that's what microfusion does? whispered a grenadier to himself, in awe at the sheer power of what was a round only the size of a chicken egg.

I love it when you green motherfuckers see how shit works in the galaxy for the first time, Dreimanis replied, stifling a chuckle. Delta squad, check your wounded and form up with Gamma as soon as possible! We are holding our position right behind what's left of this checkpoint.

Gamma squad fanned out with Dreimanis at the tip of the impromptu arrowhead, their coil-rifles and machine guns scanning almost robotically in all possible directions. Each step taken by the space marines lead to the sounds of crunching — that be from broken glass, polymer shards, or inordinate gibs of organic matter. The Oberleutnant noticed the slouched corpses of what seemed to be a pair of xenos up ahead, their bodies crammed unnaturally into the display windows of a bubble tea shop. Their elephantine appearance was grossly maimed, and Dreimanis surmised that the amount of trauma on their bodies was most likely due to being caught in the crossfire between the Predenan and Sternenstaat forces.

Or, they were probably blown apart by the shell that Griķis fired. Dreimanis entertained both notions simultaneously in his mind.

A sudden sound of shifting drew the attention Gamma squad immediately, and its origin within the bubble tea shop lead to each and every coilgun's barrel swiveling to aim inside the establishment. Besides the shattered windows that hosted the two alien corpses, the insides were more or less "normal", and the sound that was made carried a tone too conspicuous to be pieces of debris somehow falling inside.

Dreimanis motioned for his fireteam to stack up near the shattered glass entrance of the shop, and once the last trooper filed into position, the team stormed inside with their sensors pulsing throughout the store for a sign of life. After scanning for a few moments, the Oberleutnant picked up significant heat signatures coming from behind the counter, and he motioned an open palm behind him to signal his fireteam to stop their movement.

“Get up and show your hands now!” shouted Dreimanis, his Vilten accent speaking thick in Galactic Standard. “Hurry up!”

Slowly but surely did five people arose from behind the counter, their faces showing abject fear and shock and their hands raised straight up in the air. The lasers of aimed coilrifles danced across their bodies from the raised guns of the fireteam behind Dreimanis, but they held their fire as they awaited their commander's actions.

Two of the previously hiding civilians were nothing more than that — simple customers that were stuck inside the shop as the Predenan security forces hastily enforced lockdown procedures in the area. One of them seemed to be some sort of avian xeno, while the other superficially looked like a human man. The rest were employees of the bubble tea shop, with all seeming to be human teenagers or young adults. Wearing crimson overalls emblazoned with the name of the store — Hong's Boba — in Galactic Standard, Dreimanis almost chuckled openly into the air once more. He immediately composed himself, however, and shook his rifle at the avian xeno.

“You! Do you even speak Standard, you animal?” asked the Oberleutnant. The avian did nothing but shake its head, issuing a squawk of protest. This frustrated Dreimanis, who pondered about wasting a round right then and there directly into its rainbow-colored beak.

“Useless! What about you!?” he shouted, now pointing his gun at the other customer.

“Y-yes, yes I do!”

“Where are we?”

The question seemed to catch the customer by surprise. “I-wh... what do-”

“I am speaking YOUR language, you idiot, and I know that I am speaking clearly! Answer me!”

“We're in the Capitoline borough!” the man replied, sweat forming on his brow. “I swear it! Please, don't shoot me!”

Dreimanis sucked air in through his teeth in frustration, moving the barrel of his rifle away from the customer and towards the three workers. It wavered between each of them, two girls and one boy.

“Is what he says true!? If it isn't, I'm going to come back here and throw you all out of the airlocks!”

Each of the teenagers shook their heads up and down amidst waves of uncontrollable tremors, their anxiety and fear almost palpable.

“It better be!... Delta squad, move up and cover the checkpoint! Gamma squad is in the store left of the APC's remains, and-

The thunder of rushing feet made Dreimanis's head swivel automatically, and his barrel drifted forth to aim down at the back of the human customer. He was attempting an escape towards the back rooms of the bubble tea shop, and the Oberleutnant could see a pair of three slits running up each side of the back of the man's neck — indicative of a near-human.

Dreimanis felt the recoil of his rifle through his arm before he realized the thought to shoot the abomination right in front of him, his pauldrons rocking back on his shoulder and issuing clanging sounds as he hipfired. Several flechettes left the end of his rifle at point-blank range, instantaneously driving themselves with tremendous force through the pleather jacket that the man wore and tunneling through the flesh that lied below. Upturned polymer dust and chunks flew up from in front of the man as he collapsed to the ground, indicative of the sheer penetrative force of each fired projectile. A shower of blood and gore rocketed upward like a fountain as he landed onto the ground with a wet smack, painting the hallway that lead to the back of the bubble tea shop in crimson.

Dreimanis couldn't hear the blood-curdling screams of the three employees or the frantic squawks of the avian xeno as he walked towards the corpse, his sabatons planting firmly into the puddle that flowed unto the cracked plastic floor. It was clear that his split-second decision to open fire was a bit out of left field, as he now inspected a fully exposed rear abdomen with shattered ribs and pieces of vertebrae strewn throughout the holed chunks of flesh that steamed before him. He reached for the shoulder of the dead nearhuman and pulled with force, turning it over and slapping its open back cavity onto the ground. Using the still-hot barrel, he jabbed at the dead man's neck and pushed his hanging head aside in order to inspect the gills that he had saw earlier — confirming his directive to liquidate such an abomination to the state.

Fucking near-human... Griķis, make sure none of them move, and please shut up that bird!

As Dreimanis stepped out of the bloody corridor, he noticed his subordinate land a firm slap with the soft side of his gloves onto the beak of the avian alien. Even though Griķis refrained from using the hardened knuckles of his armor, the sheer force that was enhanced by his power armor sent the bird flying into an unmanned booth, seemingly knocking it out in one blow. Dreimanis's gaze turned away from the incapacitated alien and towards the three employees that still stood wavering behind the tea shop's counter.

Scan these people now, Danielsons! None of you move!”

The medic of Gamma squad trotted forth with what seemed to be a smooth rod attached a to a chrome handle. As three soldiers moved forth to seize the people behind the counter in place, Danielsons waved this wand over the head of each employee individually, receiving whatever information that was obtained by the device into his helm's general user interface.

They're all baseline, Herr Oberleutnant! All three are bonafide humans!

Each employee's neck was let go by the troopers that held them in place before. They didn't know exactly what Danielsons said, but were relieved as the coil rifles that were aimed at them slowly drifted downward.

“You lot, get out of my sight! Bring this animal with you, too,” the Oberleutnant ordered to the employees, pointing his gun's barrel haphazardly at the avian xeno that was now knocked unconscious. The three slowly took the aliens in their hands and shambled out through the front, passing Delta squad who gawked at the display with glimpses of curiosity.

Oberleutnant, all my wounded are patched up and accounted for! They're being sent back to the landing zones for evacuation, shouted the commander of Delta squad, Unteroffizier Andejs Polis.

Good! Come on, and let's move! We are in the Capitoline borough, which places us only two kilometers from the objective!

How will we know which way is the right way, Herr Oberleutnant!?

By following the gunfire; it'll all trail inwards to the core of the station! Now, form up and go!



Last edited by Menschlicher Sternenstaat on Sat Apr 24, 2021 8:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Tesserach
Civilian
 
Posts: 1
Founded: Apr 25, 2021
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Tesserach » Sun Apr 25, 2021 11:34 pm

Terminus Capital City - Planetside

Terminus was pandemonium.

It was true everywhere, Taiya Westway knew this because she was little more than a series of datafeeds masquerading as a person at the best of times, but it was especially true here in the capital near the spaceport. There'd been a run on banks, prices were crazy, traffic was backed up, people were backed up. Scenes were unfolding everywhere of people helping complete strangers, yelling, cars honking, roadblocks, checkpoints - only the brief flashes in the sky and soldiers milling everywhere kept things from boiling over. The sudden omnipresence of military vehicles and personnel only added to the surreal sense spectacle.

For Taiya the biggest surprise was the streetside cafe where she'd gone as a student for coffee, to have conversations with friends. Now it was empty, or nearly so, except for the armoured soldiers and metal vehicle barricades they were unloading from a flatbed. It wasn't really that much. But it was such a familiar location. Comforting. And now it was just... claimed by war.

It didn't matter though, she reminded herself as she made her way down the street while speaking into her live comm feed.

"Hey mom, it's me. Just letting you know I..."

"Hello?"

A faint, quizzical female voice on the other end answered.

Taiya paused, mid-step. Usually she simply left a message.

"Hey. Mom. It's me."

She felt almost as stupid repeating herself as she did moving against the flow of people and traffic, eating the occasional shoulder for her trouble. She felt like fish swimming up river, away from the starport, away from the city centre.

She had back end feeds most people didn't. The people here, now, still trying to reach the port: there was no way they were making it off world before The Compact made orbit. And when they did, the starport was likely the last place anyone wanted to be.

They were desperate. They didn't know, and no one was telling them any better, though she suspected sooner or later the soldiers would start warning people away. For now, no one, often not even the military, seemed to know what was going on. At one point she recalled overhearing a sergeant standing in front of an empty sectioned off intersection: "Where in god's holy fuck is my ammo truck corporal?" to a corporal who offered only a helpless shrug by way of response.

From her feeds, Taiya could tell it wasn't an isolated incident.

Through all the chaos though, Taiya moved with deliberate purpose. Not rushed. Not panicked. She knew exactly where she was going.

Down the crowded streets, across the local market square, into a narrow dead-end side street.

"How are you? We're worried about you."

The voice replied, edged with just the right amount of concern.

"I'm fine. I'm leaving the city now. Things are kicking off topside. Down here it's still fine... sort of. Actually, it's kind of crazy but no shooting... yet. You uh... you get the card I sent you?"

She paused at the end of the street, holding a hand to hear ear even though her mother wasn't speaking to her through an earbud or implant.

"I did."

"Well?"

Taiya replied, dreading the answer she was about to get. Pretty certain, in fact, she knew what it would be.

"What'd you think?"

"We'll talk about it when you get home."

That pretty much confirmed it in Taiya's mind.

"You know... mom, the evacuation..."

"Just come home dear."

Taiya, monitoring herself, was could read the raw feed on her biomonitors that her bioware was kicking in, keeping her calm in spite of a spike in stress.

Idly she wondered if her augments were such that The Compact would recognize her as no longer really being human. One of the near-humans they so detested. She didn't really intend to find out.

"You know... mom. I have some thoughts on that. I uh... I really thought they'd be evacuating non-humans first. It's not really on the feeds but um... you know, I do hear things down here. It's looking like it's going to be a lot of VIP only. Not surprising I guess but still... they're in a really bad spot right now. Could get... real bad."

Taiya started back up the alley again, going back the way she'd come as she keyed the conversation to datastream only so people couldn't overhear her. She turned, heading down the street and into the corner shop where she usually bought her groceries.

"You're not on the list then?"

Trying to drag her back on task. Away from questions they didn't want to answer.

"No mom. I'm not on the evac list."

She answered, but refused to let them derail what needed saying.

"You didn't mention that, last we spoke."

Taiya smiled at the middle aged owner who made apologies about their bare shelves. The man had worked that same desk every day she'd lived in the city. She had no doubt he'd be selling groceries to Compact soldiers in a few days if the place wasn't levelled first. Somewhere outside an armoured military vehicle rumbled past as people and vehicles made way, accompanied by excessive honking and the roar of loud military engines.

"That's fine, it's better this way. You've been away too long. I can send your brother. To pick you up. Can you make it out to the cottage?"

"They're leaving them. Mom. I really don't think the non-humans here are going to be 'fine'."

Taiya went around the store, buying a handful of the random items that remained. She didn't really care what. The cashier even let her pay pre-war rates, since it was basically the end of the world and she'd been a loyal customer for the past eight years. He said, "See you later Taiya," as she left. He did so most days, but this time Taiya knew it would be the last.

Waiting until the clerk was out of sight she ducked into the bathroom. There she changed clothes, throwing her old ones and her external electronics in the trash. She withdrew a stick of lipstick from her bag, tossing it into the trash as well. No one would ever know what had gone into that bin now.

"It's upsetting. We're all upset about it. But there's nothing we can do. Stay safe. Meet your brother."

"What if... I didn't go?"

There was momentary silence on the other end. Then:

"Don't."

Now attired in a non-descript hoodie and exercise pants, Taiya slung her backpack over her shoulder, waiting until the the clerk was again busy and left out the second entrance onto another street.

"I could help. Here."

Taiya said, pausing outside the shop, looking briefly across the way where a broken street camera hung uselessly from its post. When she'd bought groceries just the other day, it had been intact.

"You can't."

Taiya frowned, she'd expected this sort of reaction.

"I'm just trying to be honest with you here mom... I don't think I can. I don't think I can just... do nothing."

Silence again on the feed.

Across the street, across the throngs of traffic and people, a crow cawed which seemed to shake Taiya from the conversation she was having. She crossed the street, as the crow fluttered away ahead of her. She made her way down the promenade before turning off into the park, where Predan military personnel were standing around minding an aerospace defence battery - building what fortifications they could.

Poor. Brave. Fools. Sighing, she realized she must look much the same.

"Hello? Mom, you there?"

"Oh child..." The voice on the other end felt like someone's heart breaking in two. Like she'd just twisted the dagger herself.

Giving the soldiers and their artillery a wide berth, Taiya continued on, up the wooded path into a forested section of the park where, finally, the noise began to abate.

After a moment, the com feed continued.

"Meet your brother. Please Taiya. I know sometimes you think we don't care, but we do."

Taiya bit her lip, felt tears and feelings welling up that - again - her biowork never quite let manifest. On task. Breathe deep.

"Okay mom. I will."

Good girl.

She went off path at the sign that said "NO WALKING".

There Taiya stood, regarding an old snag she'd never noticed before, but almost by instinct, she knew this was the place she'd been coming to all along.

Approaching the snag she knelt, digging into the soil with her bare hands, driven by instructions she'd received but wasn't entirely conscious of.

Better not to know.

Sometimes she felt a little crazy. But it was only now, after she'd terminated the datafeed that the thought manifested to her: they tell you only what you want to hear.

Taiya blinked a moment at that thought, but was prevented from exploring it much further as her hands reached metal. A black spherical container. No lid. No catch. For a moment she was unsure how she was supposed to even open it, or if she was, until she felt something in her Subs activate, and the medicine ball sized orb cracked open.

Inside was a sizeable amount of cash. Bank chits, linked to accounts in some of the most opaque banking districts in this galaxy - in various currencies. New datawire, with a preloaded service history meant to look like the sort her new persona might have. A bag held various pieces of jewelry, made of materials that tended to retain value pretty much everywhere. Paperwork and ID for an entirely new person - good bye forever Taiya Westway.

Another piece of jewelry caught her eye. One she didn't recall ever seeing before but recognized immediately, though she couldn't quite place where. Three interlocked brass-like rings, a bracelet, which she picked up gingerly not because it was heavy or delicate, but because she recognized it for what it was.

Fitting the cold rings over her wrist, the gentle clank of the rings belied their true nature. An image flashed through Taiya's mind of the rings twisting inside out, as though coming alive and splitting into spider-like legs that then bent in and twisted back upon themselves at sharp angles, reforming into something unmistakable as a weapon. A high energy plasma weapon. Six shots. And if there was a scanner made that could detect such a weapon, she'd never heard of it.

She set her backpack on the ground, packing the other items inside. The last she set aside.

A popular energy drink container.

With a deep breath, Taiya piled the contents of her old life into the black orb in the pit. Her ID. She hesitated at the datashard - her entire academic career on a single shard - also the only way to connect her to her old life. Dimly she was aware of other people, other personas, agents - who made changes like these as a matter of routine. For her, this was her first: the only life she'd ever had. Salvaged from one dumpster fire only to get burnt away in another.

Still, there was risk. She'd been careful, but between the Predan and Compact networks and security agencies, it was possible someone might link a variety of data intrusions to an obscure Predanan academic named Taiya Westway. Better to disappear now, before anyone came looking. Let them think she'd simply been an asset for this, or that, intelligence agency, and had been quietly pulled before the Compact committed whatever atrocities they were about to commit.

Holding the datashard, she could feel the pull of ego tugging against the bioware that was fighting to keep her from making emotional decisions. On the one hand: her life's work. On the other... holding onto it was a liability she didn't need.

Somewhere over the city a military transport roared. For a moment she thought they might be the emergency sirens blaring to life, but a quick read of her neurofeeds reassured her the Compact fleet was still a long way from orbit.

Making a decision, Taiya drew upright and flicked the datastick into the pit. Then, uttering a silent curse for what she knew was going to be an unpleasant experience she then bent over, took the energy drink in hand, and downed the entire bottle before casting it too into the pit.

******

Some time later as the sun set over the Terminus system's capital a young, unremarkable looking woman with hair pulled into a hastily done ponytail walked along trampled grass to the side of the road outside the city proper. A military convoy made its way down the road. Vehicle after vehicle after vehicle. On and on, seemingly without end. Soldiers walked along the shoulder on either side - the unlucky ones who were too numerous to fit in the vehicles. She walked with a thousand other nameless faces making their way out of the city, cheering the soldiers on as they passed.

The young woman wore a backpack, simple cargo pants, hiking shoes, and a dark jacket with a waterproofed inner lining. She looked not a thing like Taiya Westway. Her hair was too dark, her cheekbones too raised, her eyes a dull brown, and she was fully two inches shorter. The only thing that might have drawn the eye at all was a brass-looking ringed bracelet.

If one had asked - and no one did - her name was Imogene Kasaris.

Walking along that endless seeming highway, she couldn't help thinking these soldiers looked so terribly young. Like her first year students in another lifetime. Kids, really. Too young to be marching off to their deaths with smiling faces, waving at crowds who cheered and waved back.

There wasn't really a rhyme or reason to it when she started, but as she passed she thought to record the procession. Maybe somewhere out there in the deep black, someone might care and might someday find value in seeing these young men, amidst fluttering Predenan flags, being seen genuinely happy and alive for the very last time in their short lives.

As they marched off, somewhere overhead, a crow cawed.

User avatar
Olimpiada
Ambassador
 
Posts: 1258
Founded: Aug 13, 2016
Corporate Bordello

Beekeeper and Dragon

Postby Olimpiada » Mon Apr 26, 2021 1:39 am



Joki, Gaia
Orbit, Personal Estate of Katherine Iwakura



A swarm of bees resurrected from ancient gene templates buzzed from cherry blossom to apple blossom, between tulips and calla lilies, and near the President’s head. He walked along a path of weathered slate slabs toward an almost rustic house that he suspected was made of real wood. Behind him stood a solitary elevator entrance, its flawless black metal standing out oddly in the idyllic orchard setting. Mercifully, his bodyguards had agreed to remain in there, rather than following him to his meeting.

He turned down a fork in the path to the right, as his navigation implant suggested, and came across a beekeeper. Insects swarmed the figure as they worked. They looked up, saw the President, and held up a finger: Wait a moment. He complied. A framed honeycomb slid back into its box.

The President stood waiting patiently, hands stuffed into his silk blazer as he inhaled the sweet air. It had been a long time since he’d escaped to somewhere utterly lacking pollution. Triumvirate’s laws were stricter than that of Clockwork or Joki, but they were hardly perfect, and the island his palace was on was certainly well populated. He squinted at the artificial sun overhead, and could just barely make out the other side of the torus some twenty kilometers behind it, and the world-spanning lights of distant Joki in the nighttime beyond that.

The beekeeper approached, took off her hood, and revealed herself as the Executive. She smiled, nodded. “Mr. Cyrenacius, I’d not been expecting you quite this early. My apologies for not being ready.” She was in her eighth decade, but hardly looked more than forty. The wrinkles around her golden eyes did a little to betray that age, though her raven-black hair and olive skin were still perfectly maintained. Being the richest person in the nation had its perks, the President supposed. She was old enough to be his mother, yet looked a decade younger than him with his salt and pepper hair.

“Nothing to apologize for, Mrs. Iwakura. This is your home, and I am a guest here,” the President said with a smile and a nod.

“Not just a guest; an honored guest. It’s not every day that I meet with the nation’s leader. Walk with me?” He obliged, turning around on a patent leather heel and stepping aside to let the Executive lead on his right.

They walked for a time in silence, until the President broke it to ask a question that had been eating him for a few minutes. “So. Beekeeping?”

“Yes, beekeeping. The honey really is exquisite, I don’t just keep this orchard in semi-permanent bloom for decoration. I do have to have a hobby or two, after all.”

“It’s very impressive; I wasn’t aware there were any successful beehives in this country anymore. All of it’s imported, largely from the Staat and Pikasis.”

“I’m aware; I make a few billion drachma off of the trade every year.” She spoke the ten-digit figure with as little weight as the President might use to discuss a hemidrachm. He managed to keep his eyes from bulging out of his skull, the reward of years of practice dealing with Olimpiada’s ultra-wealthy. They made it to the steps of her house before speaking again. “Wait out here for a moment, please.” She disappeared inside, leaving the President to marvel more obviously at the collected wealth. The wood was real alright, all old-growth oak analogue from some distant star. The windows weren’t even cheap diamond, but rather glass. Glass! Such extravagance.

The Executive emerged again a few moments later in a blue yukata, with a pink and white floral pattern on it. “Come in for tea and humor an old woman before we discuss business, will you?” The President could hardly say no. He stepped inside and was taken past an art gallery of sorts in her foyer (he could have sworn he saw a Mona Lisa) before being led to a parlor which opened up in the back to afford a view of her personal tea gardens. Because of course she has her own tea garden, thought the President.

The Executive knelt down and busied herself with pouring already-boiled water into a bone china gaiwan. She poured out the water, and then mixed some real tea leaves together before moving them to another beautifully painted teapot, and adding more water. She strained the tea into a pair of cups, then passed one to him with a smile so warm and genuine, he nearly forgot who he was dealing with. Quadrillionaire. War profiteer. Owner of damn near a quarter of the nation. The nation’s second strongest military force was at her beck and call, as was half the media. A dragon, lurking behind the mannerisms of a refined woman. For a moment, he swore her delicate fingers left streaks of blood on the stark white porcelain.

He accepted the cup. Sipped from it. Was amazed once again at how good real food and drink could be, compared to the vastly more widespread synthetic and reconstituted alternatives. The Executive smiled at this. “I can see you’re a fan.”

“Yes, thank you. It’s excellent.” Still kneeling, he set the cup down on a saucer. “After your hospitality, I almost feel ashamed to ruin it by discussing work.”

The Executive shook her head. “Nonsense. Why else fly all the way out here to talk then? We both know it’s hours between worlds, and that’s even at high burns.”

The President almost thanked her, then decided against it; this was a ploy to get him to admit to being tired out from the flight. He’d be damned if he did that. “I’ve come to ask you to stop propagandizing the war in Predena.” He said it with as much confidence as he could muster, given the situation. He was in the dragon’s own lair, making demands. A fool, if it were that the metaphor was literal.

She had her eyes closed, mid-sip. Calmly, she set her cup down on her own saucer, and placed it on the bamboo mat beneath them. “Absolutely not. Why would you ask such a silly thing?” She smiled again, and any of her charm was lost as the expression began seeming predatory.

The President sighed. “We’ve lost enough lives already, these last few years. The Aesir Wars killed millions. Tezekis, millions more. Taking Creta was a bloodbath in its own right, and although most of the lives lost were not our own, they were still human.”

“I don’t care.” Any expression dropped from her face. She stared at him without any hint of her former humor or charm. “Each of those soldiers knew the risks when they signed up, knew they were far more likely to die than earn any land at the end of their term of service.”

“Their knowing the risks does not necessitate that we exacerbate them. Aren’t we supposed to be a beacon of human liberty? Each and every citizen should be offered the opportunity to make their own way rather than being thrown away like dirt at the slightest chance to expand. We don’t even have the potential for that expansion in this fight! Taking territory from right under the Staat’s nose would be a fool’s errand, you know that as well as I do. There’s no purpose to this fight.”

She shook her head. “Maybe for you, President. For me? I make money. Just as Isaakios before me, and Maria before him. That’s what we’ve done for centuries. She gestured out at the tea garden past the open sliding door. “Can this be purchased on good intentions and the dream of opportunity? Would you have me balk at the slightest risk of bloodshed and lose all of this? The collected work of every one of my ancestors? Who crawled out of the dirt and gore of our first arrival at Gaia? No, Alexios. I can’t possibly do that.”

He was right. She was a dragon. Her claws protected her hoard as a serpentine tail wrapped around it. Rows of teeth and steaming nostrils dared anyone to try and snatch even a single coin. Compared to her? He was barely anything. “You already make trillions each year from your industries and trade. Hell, you own fully a fifth of the military’s contracts, and gods know they’re busy skirmishing the Izirians and such in any event.”

She smiled again. Or was it more accurate to say she bared her teeth? The predatory metaphor still held true, after all. “I’ve already garnered all the public support I need, I think. I’ll give you a week to prepare before I raise the issue in the senate again. You can take the elevator back down to the shuttle bay, I’ve got a man waiting there for you with a parting gift.” The President nodded, stood up, and walked himself toward the door, each footstep clacking against polished hardwood floors.

As he left, each tree he passed wept blood from its blossoms in his mind’s eye. He thought he’d make arrangements to stop on Emerald before returning to Triumvirate; it was conveniently aligned today, and he could stand to make a sacrifice to Astraea at one of their temples; the world could certainly use more justice and innocence in it, now more than ever.
Hyper-commodified cocaine capitalism. Urbanized solar systems. Omnixenophobia. War economy without end. Radical body augmentation for fun and profit.

I make exactly two exceptions from a fairly strict adherence to realism, and hate them both.

The Anchorage, for discussion of all things FT

User avatar
Forest State
Senator
 
Posts: 4415
Founded: Aug 23, 2016
Capitalist Paradise

Postby Forest State » Wed Apr 28, 2021 12:29 am

ENTRY - DEALMAKING / SHATTERED JEWEL
Odayakanasa, Kataka Systsem, Tobukaze Special Economic Zone, Einotaiyan Star Union


The Tobukaze Special Economic Zone, located not far from the Teien Capital Region itself, was one of the primary economic engines of the Einotaiyan Star Union. That wasn’t to say that this place produced very much itself, because that wasn’t exactly the case, but the lax rules here made for a place where corporations ruled the day rather than the central government and where many of the largest companies in the nation based themselves out of. It was just easier to do, allowing these companies to avoid many regional level taxes and to purchase or build their own stake in the massive corporate developments here - entire cities sprung up dedicated to doing business, and space stations built with the sole purpose of acting as offworld trading posts.

It was also, fittingly, the place where many foreign firms that had a presence in the country would base their foreign offices. That was intentional. This place had the most workable laws for that kind of thing, as an effort to channel such foreign efforts into one specific area that generated wealth not far from the capital. However, the dignitaries that happened to be visiting the TSEZ at the moment were far from foreign - rather, they were with the Democratic Alliance Party government of Prime Minister Jichiro Futara. The most notable member of this party was the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Shiro Nakamoto. A relatively younger member of the cabinet that was more forward thinking than some of his predecessors and had ideas about Einotiayan power abroad, ideas which were more relevant than ever given the country’s military deployment and march towards war.

But war was a complicated thing, and it involved more than just sending in the troops. For the side of it that would go more unsung but was equally important if not more, Nakamoto was the one that the Futara government trusted to get the deals done. That was to say, to bridge the gap between the Einotaiyan arms industry and the allied nation that the Star Union was moving to support. This logistical support, after all, would likely matter more than any deployment into battle in the long run. They could fire up the factories quicker than they could make an impact in a war that had come by surprise for both the Predenans and their Star Union trading partners.

“The surroundings here provide a good example for Einotaiyan corporate developments abroad…” Nakamoto mentioned as the shuttle that he and his party were taking continued through the skies of Odayakanasa, one of the most relevant planets in the TSEZ when it came to corporate leadership. Specifically, they were headed through the planet’s heavily urbanized Second Ward, a place where verticisim was the defining feature of the environment and the glass buildings extended far through the clouds.

The lane they were traveling through as they cruised onwards towards their destination was plenty high up itself, even above many of the other lanes of hovercar and shuttle traffic that populated the skies of the urban ward, but even all the way up here they weren’t above even the medium sized skyscrapers…

“Vertigo inducing is your thing, sir?” the woman in the seat next to Nakamoto asked. This was Kaede Ono, the assistant that accompanied him plenty of places - like many such secretaries within the Star Union, her features had been enhanced with the best of technologies. Her hair was a striking blue that almost seemed to give off a slight glow, while a pair of white catlike ears extended from the top of her head… Decorative, rather than functional, but it wasn’t as if the difference mattered to most people. Her aesthetic was one that might be found within an urban nightclub, but the attire covering her slightly tanned skin was more businesslike with a white button up shirt and contrasting black jacket and miniskirt.

Some of the more traditional members of government would say that it was unbecoming of someone that was representing the state on an official level. Someone like Nakamoto, on the other hand, would argue that being forward thinking and remaining with the times was a good thing. Even in areas of personal taste rather than just policy.

“Not that, exactly,” Nakamoto said, brushing a hand through his own slicked back dark hair while looking out the window and pondering just what it was about this place that set it apart from the capital they were coming from. “The vertigo’s more a symptom than a cause, I think. Maybe what I’m getting at is… The advancement of it all? I can remember being a kid and this planet was rock and ocean and the developments here were just robots putting up empty frameworks.”

He paused to punctuate his point, reaching for a cigar from the tray in front of them. A trip like this had luxury accomodations, of course. “And now? We have this. In not that long of a time. Maybe I’m the crazy one out of all these ministers but coming somewhere like this, it doesn’t seem so crazy wanting to see this happen elsewhere - to see cities with our mark appear across the sea of stars.”

It was indeed a city that was distinctly them. Even if the style was mostly clean and corporate, lacking many extravagant features that would really make the buildings stand out from one another, there was still a prolific amount of advertising on digital screens and through holograms and even on billboards mounted to space vessels, which had descended into the atmosphere for the purpose of showing off what they were displaying. There were still beams of light cutting through even the clouds, drawing attention to specific sights closer to the ground or the skyline where the lights were based. These were things one could find in any major Einotaiyan city, corporate or not.

“This war will bring your dream closer to reality,” Kaede mentioned. “Sitting within our own borders hasn’t done us well internationally. Or so the news says. That’s the narrative, these days. Probably helps your job.”

“Shows them why they should pay attention to what I’ve been trying to say since getting here? Yeah, it does,” Nakamoto nodded, lighting the fruit flavored cigar in his hand. “If only they’d listened sooner they might have reinforced Predena before this war was even a thing. We might have been talking about an entirely different situation, but-”

He stopped himself from getting carried away, shrugging slightly. “It is what it is. At least something will come of the lesson.”

“I’m convinced that your dream will become a reality, sensei…” Kaede said, edging slightly closer to Nakamoto and leaning onto his arm - again, behavior that wasn’t too uncommon from the type of secretary that was valued among Einotaiyan circles. “You simply have to convince them to see it…”

“That’s the hard part. I’m not getting carried away just because there’s a war that happens to help with that,” Nakamoto said - he considered getting even closer with her, but they were just about at their destination. The shuttle was making one more turn and then descending onto the landing pad of one of the many corporate buildings that made up this cityscape.

In this case, the one they were landing on belonged to Hamura Dynamics, based out of the inner sphere system of Hamura and acting as one of the primary arms suppliers of the Star Union even before it was called that. Yes, the leaders of this nation had called on Hamura Dynamics even when Einotaiya was still under the rule of the shoguns, and its history of developments followed the general history of advancements in Einotaiyan space technology. Just like much of the country had steadily moved forward into the future, Hamura had went from producing far more primitive battleships and weapons to some of the most advanced models used today by the military.

The building they were arriving at wasn’t too distinct in its own right, a massive concrete structure rather than the glass of many of the nearby ones, and the place was effectively shaped like a large rectangular box with the most notable facet being the company name and logo displayed in large lettering across one face of the building in red. However, the fact of the matter was that there wasn’t so much pressure on an arms company to put on a good looking front compared to something like a technology company for example. The building was utilitarian, but it did what it needed to do for its situation.

The shuttle touched down, and the doors opened - as the party of government members and their aides exited, they were met quickly by a uniformed group of staff that had been waiting for the occasion. Wasn’t every day that it was government people coming out here to talk instead of other corporate parties, after all. “Welcome to Hamura Dynamics,” the uniformed staff member at the front of the group said, clasping his hands together and turning his attention to the group that had just arrived. “There’s space to rest if you’re tired from your trip, but I was informed you would most likely want to get down to business immediately…”



There were a lot of people that had come on this trip, but the actual important meeting would be the one between Nakamoto and the CEO of the corporation, Katsuro Hachisu. The others were mainly there to work out the details, but there wouldn’t be much to work out if Nakamoto couldn’t get Hachisu on their side. This was, of course, a somewhat risky plan for the corporation rather than just the government. If the company did go along with the deal, they’d be producing a large amount of military equipment for the Predenan forces under the assumption that the country would survive the war and would be able to pay back the expense.

Even though the country would be receiving Einotaiyan aid to do things such as purchase arms with, there was still a chance they defaulted on everything and the corporation was left at the mercy of their own government’s desire to pay them back for their expenses - something that depended on politics and wasn’t a sure thing. In other words, it would take convincing to get a successful CEO to embark on such an endeavour that could backfire and begin dissent within an otherwise stable company.

While the headquarters office indeed had all the modern amenities of an Einotaiyan corporate HQ, it was a fairly simple room that Nakamoto and Hachisu were meeting in - there was no need for distraction and excess in the form of flashing screens and elaborate designs in this meeting, where Nakamoto had insisted on coming to explain things from a more personal perspective rather than the formal one that had been outlined in the official offer sent over from the government offices.

“Welcome, have a seat,” Hachisu said as Nakamoto and Kaede stepped into the room and shut the door, a table sitting in the middle where Hachisu and his own secretary were sitting on the opposite side - his own was a contrast to Kaede, having a more pale complexion and a golden suit in contrast to Kaede’s black one. “As well as your admirable secretary - the genetic editing gets more and more seamless every day, it seems.”

“Thank you,” Nakamoto said with a chuckle, sitting down with Kaede taking a seat in the next chair to the side of him. “And indeed it does. I have a couple of modifications myself that everyone would assume are natural - then again, sometimes standing out is the point.”

“That appears to be the case with her,” Hachisu said, eyeing up Kaede with interest. It was nothing too uncommon, of course, for an Einotaiyan CEO to have a certain lecherous tendency. This was, after all, a county where whatever vice one was looking for was seemingly right around the corner. Doubly so for those who had the power and resources of a prominent company leader. “The cat ears are a result of new rules, I presume? I wouldn’t think the more traditional part of the government would be happy about that - fuckin’ deep state, can’t get the new things everyone wants past them. Not when the people with the rubber stamp are stuck in the shogunate era.”

“Since you seem enamored, you can have her when you retreat to your room if you want,” Nakamoto mentioned - appeasement was a good angle. “Hopefully a gesture like this would make you more willing to hear out the proposal from my side rather than shooting it down immediately.”

“If I was going to shoot it down right away, I would have done that via hologram…” Hachisu said, chuckling slightly. “Your kindness is appreciated regardless. The fact of the matter is, you seem like you have interesting enough ideas. Expanding the influence of the Star Union, walking around with a secretary with cat ears and pissing off the conservatives… I want to hear what you have to say. Advice from advisers be damned.”

Nakamoto nodded, not taking long to get into the main point of why he was here - he had a better chance than he’d originally assumed, probably because his reputation was getting ahead of himself by now. Even here, somewhere outside of the capital, and outside of the realm of politics, someone recognized that his ideas were… Making waves, to put it one way.

“You mentioned half the people responsible for rubber stamping things seem like they’re in the shogunate era still - I feel the same way, but also when it comes to foreign policy and not just personal matters. The nation has been silent in international matters while threats rise around us in the form of shifts in previously reliable governments as well as opposing ideologies such as the Compact banding together and multiplying their force. During this time, our own nation has assumed that peaceful non interference is a viable strategy, and that all of this is fine as long as we do not get dragged into the fray directly. This, of course, is a problem,” Nakamoto began.

“Aren’t you getting dragged into the fray right now sending those fleets over there and asking for my help right now?” Hachisu raised an eyebrow. “It seems that policy is coming to an end based on recent news.”

“Entirely too late,” Nakamoto countered. “The decision was only made to help Predena after it was already being invaded. Not during any of the buildup when the writing started to appear on the wall that something might happen. We were never active, going out and securing a state that has served as a valuable trade partner… This strategy is reactive. But, you are right in one aspect. It’s a start. A start that we need to pursue if we want to change our ways. This will serve as a lesson to the public and other members of government that we can’t simply wait until things are already burning on the international stage to make our moves. However, that lesson doesn’t have to come in the form of a decisive defeat-”

“I get it. You want ships and everything else from my own company to get sent over to Predena and you want to salvage something from this and change things for the future. You want a different angle but you’re stuck with the hand they dealt you. Being reactive or whatever. But you have to look at it from my shoes, Nakamoto. If this doesn’t work and they default on what they owe, I don’t have a guarantee I’m not going to get left holding the bag on this plan and I know the investors aren’t going to like that-”

“Correct,” Nakamoto leaned back in his seat. “There is an inherent risk in this plan of ours. Predena could surrender fully tomorrow, for all we know, and default on everything they owe. Unlikely, but it could happen. A Compact victory isn’t all that unlikely in the grand scheme of things. That’s why I wanted to talk person to person and offer something of a safety net. This isn’t on the record, per say, but it will bring you profit nonetheless. Enough to make up for losses in an assistance campaign to Predena, at least. An arms contract that would send supplies to an international rebel group in exchange for the resource harvesting rights in the territory that group occupies.”

“Now we’re talking - but what kind of resources are these that can’t be extracted anywhere else? It’s going to have to be something out of the norm, you know. Our company primarily focuses on a few things first and foremost. Resource extraction isn’t one of them. It would have to be worth our while.”

“This is in the Eorian Reach,” Nakamoto mentioned. “Or, the section of space not far from our own nation in the Delta Quadrant, where much of the international traffic is blocked off by the storms and the hard navigation. Despite the natural conditions of this area, multiple states exist within it and even vie for supremacy. The nature of the space based storms which make navigation in the region difficult are unknown, but we do know that areas affected by these storms have unique resources which can do things that conventional logic would dictate is impossible. The Eorians, the oldest civilization in the region who have also become the source of its name, are believed to have figured these materials out before their decline. The human Lusorian Kingdom and the warlike xeno empire of the Askai Republic are both running their own experiments as we speak. Kaede, can you play the results?”

Without a word, his secretary placed a tablet on the table and scrolled through some files before pressing the play button on one. A holographic projection appeared above the tablet, displaying a fleet of dummy vessels in formation before a different vessel, one that was long and primarily seemed to be built around the main gun that made up the center of the ship, fired its powerful weapon… The recording would white out for a moment as the sensors were overloaded, before things faded back to normal and it was revealed that the dummy fleet had been devastated by the attack.

“This footage is from our friends in the Lusorian Kingdom - those of us in the military and the ministry of foreign affairs have quietly made contact in recent months and have been sharing information. With galactic tensions heightening, our contact has only been more frequent and substantial,” Nakamoto continued. “The resources needed to create weaponry like this can be found in multiple places in the Reach. Much of it, at least within the Reach’s safe zone away from storms, lies in the hands of the Dominion of Erentia. This nominally independent state is in reality a tributary one to the Askai. This is resented by many within Erentia, leading to the Free Erentian Army arising as one of the multiple warlord cliques in the region and seizing some of the outer lands and their resources from the government.”

Nakamoto stopped just long enough to let Hachisu take in what he was saying. “The Reach, you see, is a wild and chaotic place. The Lusorians have set out with a goal of establishing… Well, some kind of order. The degree of order it is possible to establish there is debatable, but they wish for a reduction in anarchy. Nominally, the Askai rule with an iron fist and this translates to Erentia. In reality, their central governments aren’t powerful enough to prevent piracy, banditry, and warlordism from running rampant. Instead, they focus their resources on crushing political dissent rather than these types of crime and the autonomous warlords who often do not challenge them.”

“I guess I should get at my main point. We in the Star Union consider both the Lusorians and the suppressed humans within Erentia to be potential allies in the coming galactic cold war. The Lusorians consider the Askai a problem because the Askai are a warlike race that can’t be reasoned down into easing tensions and not raiding into Lusorian territory at the lower level. They are a species that understands force more than anything, which explains their exceptionally brutal rule over Erentia - even if the Dominion is human in name, we know who pulls the strings,” Nakamoto stated. “We are looking to make a deal to provide the Free Erentian Army with arms and restore the previous government of Erentia, before it was a client state of the Askai. If your company is the one to serve this contract, it will also get access to the resources in FEA territory which will be worth a very high amount on the market here in the Star Union and perhaps abroad when news about the true value becomes public.”

“Thus,” he began to conclude. “You may make more from this than you would from making your money back on the Predena endeavour.”

It took a moment for Hachisu to respond, but the CEO did indeed seem interested. And who wouldn’t be interested? This was the kind of insider information that any executive would salivate over. “So you want Hamura to pump out as many arms as possible for Predena in this war and as a safety net you’ll set up this deal with the FEA so there’s profit to be made whether they default or not? That is a very convincing offer. More convincing than the one on paper.”

“Yes. That’s the reason I came here,” Nakamoto nodded. “Would you be able to deliver very many arms to Predena before it’s potentially too late in this conflict to do anything?”

“Depends on the arms - the engineers know more about this part, but they’re not all created equal,” Hachisu stated. “Sending them capital ships would potentially be hard to impossible based on the time scale we’re working with here, but a large amount of more disposable drone based skirmishing and scouting units is possible and obviously the lower level military equipment like tanks and artillery and infantry equipment and basic sentry units can be constructed without too much trouble.”

“They’re going to need everything they can get - if that’s what you can produce for them, it will help the effort more than nothing at all will. If you’re willing to sign off on it,,,”

“I’ll have my secretary inform the others to start writing up the contract and have the legal department sign off on it when they’re done,” Hachisu said, nodding. “With the less public Reach deal on top of the Predena one, it’s too attractive of an offer to pass up. And with someone like you proposing it, I trust it’s all going to work out.”



The whole time that things were desperately being set up back home to support the military effort, the forces from the fifth and sixth fleet were still making their way to Predena while avoiding trouble from the Compact. The kind of long journey that gave those on board the vessels the chance to stop and think about things and about where they were headed. It was quite the intimidating assignment, after all. Heading off in small number without the backing of the parliament just yet, into an unknown fate in a conflict where far more ships were being thrown around by both sides.

In particular, it weighed on the mind of the Druthian War veteran that was in command of the Fifth Fleet’s forces on this trip, Haruna Shimada. It wasn’t as if the Druthian War had been pretty, because it hadn’t been. They’d invaded an alien dictatorship that had been closed off from much of the galaxy, finding things they didn’t expect within and taking losses in the combat itself in the process, nominally for the reason of removing the security threat from the region and liberating the good Druthians from autocratic governance. For some of those who found themselves mixed up in the conflict itself, however, not just watching from the sidelines, questions had arisen such as why were they here in the first place? Why were these sacrifices necessary? Couldn’t they have continued choking out the Druthian regime through sanctions and other such means?

Haruna Shimada wasn’t a stranger to asking herself why her friends had to die, she’d been down that road already. However, this time felt… Worse, almost. At least during the Druthian War, they’d been invading in full force and letting the alien dictatorship see the full might of their military prowess. This time? A small detachment was being thrown into the fray before the conflict had even been declared officially by the parliament. And Haruna found herself not just in the middle of it this time, but at the head of it. She found herself as the one that potentially not only had to put her own life on the line, but lead the others forward no matter the risk.

For what? To make them sacrificial lambs if they didn’t make it back, to motivate the public to throw their support behind a conflict that opinion was still divided on? After all, they’d had some of their best years while having a policy of non interference. To change that up now would certainly unsettle some people. Especially the ones that were enjoying the stability of the markets and the stability of life in general right now. Even to Haruna herself, it seemed like a good thing to not interrupt it… She’d seen what it was like when they put non interference to the side, after all. More up close and personally than she would have liked.

“Admiral… Admiral!”

Her head snapped up as someone drew her attention while she was sitting in her personal office, her eyes going wide as she realized that someone else was here and she was no longer alone with her thoughts. She was unsure about how she had even gotten to this point where she was drifting off around someone else like this, but she was sure that the lack of sleep from spending all of her time on preparations had something to do with it. Though, just now, she hadn’t been sleeping. Rather, she was more in a state of being between both worlds, the world of the waking and the world of dreams. The thoughts and memories running through her head were half conscious and half unconscious, but either way they were emotional.

“I’m sorry, Aoyagi - I must have spent too much time studying and not enough time sleeping,” she said, looking up at the junior officer standing in front of her desk. “Did you have some information for me?’

“We’ve arrived in the Cruxan Run is what I wanted to say,” her male colleague spoke. “The Predenan forces have been informed of our arrival and I’ve told them that you’ll talk with them when you get a chance about the integration of forces-”

Aoyagi paused, looking her over more closely and letting his voice trail off, his tone less confident when he spoke again. Of course someone further down the chain of command would come off as less confident when seeing their superior, usually cold and collected, like… This. “Admiral, are those tears in your eyes?”

It wasn’t as if Haruna could deny the fact that there were indeed tears welling in her eyes. It was rather obvious just from looking at her. “Aoyagi… I know all the things we’ve learned about the value of sacrifice, especially with the military… About how we would still be under the reign of the shoguns if it wasn’t for the Einotaiyan revolutionaries making sacrifices in the name of the Emperor and the republic and awakening our nation from that long night through the price they paid in blood. I’ve always thought that I would be fine following in their footsteps and dying for the Emperor’s navy, and I never shied away from that during the Druthian War…”

“Admiral, I…”

“I saw a lot, Aoyagi. Saw friends that I knew since the academy get vaporized without ever getting a chance to fight back. Seen what a damaged ship actually looks like up close, and I’ve been in spots where there’s nothing that could be done for all the sailors stuck on board. During one of the closing battles of the war when we were reaching their provisional capital in Noskal after taking Nea Druth, some of the most intense fighting happened and I saw vessels on both sides kamikaze into each other with everyone on board still. I saw all of that, but I survived… Even ended up promoted, in this spot where I am right now... And one thing that I’ve always asked myself is why? Why did it have to happen like that?”

The other officer chose his words carefully. “Wasn’t the purpose of the war to remove the security risk of the Druthians from the outer sphere worlds?”

“Yes but… There could have been a different way… It didn’t have to happen like that, we had sanctions and we had decimated the Druthian economy before the war even began, and we had enough intel on them we probably could have tried to pull a regime change without ever needing an invasion, but no, we just had to show the world that we were big and bold… Just had to get military experience because we wanted to be more of a power… And take the stubborn route and invade with everything we had… It was branded as security and liberation but it’s fuckin’ different for us that were there… You have no idea, Aoyagi-kun, and you should be glad you have no idea! I led friends and souls far braver than me that come from far less to their deaths, for what? This autonomous state they set up to appease everyone that we could have accomplished with a more subtle regime change anyway? The fact that we can say we’re more of a power because we won a war or whatever?”

She paused, slamming a fist down on the table both angrily and sadly. “But as for what I’m getting at… This current deployment, we’re headed in outgunned and outmanned to engage the enemy, right? Because once shots are fired it’s going to be harder for parliament to do anything but stamp through the crown prince’s plan for intervention. They can’t just say no while there’s active combat happening… But our role in this, it seems a little like… Sacrificial lambs is the word. Is this my reckoning, Aoyagi? I led others to their deaths and now the Emperor that I’ve fought in the name of is ordering me to my own death and there’s nothing I can do about it? If this is what fate wants for me, I just… I just wish it could be more direct… Instead of making such a sick parallel….”

She fell silent, the other officer not saying anything for a moment before speaking up. “It’s premature to say that we’re all going to die, isn’t it? That’s why we’re in the Cruxan Run right now… We’re not fighting on our own. Have some faith, Admiral.”

“I’m sorry for saying all of this to you… In fact, I shouldn’t be saying any of this to anyone, I should be out there looking as strong as can be in front of everyone else to give them strength but… I suppose as foolish as it is, I’ve realized that I don’t want to die… Now that fate is hanging it over my head like a punishment. Please forgive your weak Admiral for such transgressions…” Haruna muttered, before looking up.

“Please allow me a few moments to collect myself and I will meet with the Predenan military officials. I may disagree with the situation I’ve been placed in, but if this is what fate wants for me…” she let her voice trail off as she straightened her posture and brushed at her eyes with her sleeve, drying them and trying to force some semblance of composure back onto herself. “Then I believe I have no choice but to go along with it wishes - my one desire is that the innocent such as yourself do not pay the cost for my past crimes.”
Last edited by Forest State on Wed Apr 28, 2021 2:21 am, edited 2 times in total.
don't tread on me

User avatar
Aleveria
Civilian
 
Posts: 1
Founded: Apr 28, 2021
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Aleveria » Wed May 05, 2021 12:19 am

THUS SPOKE ZARATHUSTRA
BEYOND-MAN
Theme Music


Image
There is no greater tyranny than that which is perpetrated under the shield of the law and in the name of justice.
Baron de Montesquieu

Image
Ambrosia Star System
Theo Fairchild - Palace of Eternal Life
Date to be Specified


For centuries, the Splendid Isolation has divorced the Aleverian Empire from most affairs and concerns regarding the international system, if such things in the galaxy exists outside readings into theoretical astropolitics. For the most part, Aleveria had spent a better portion of the millennium in its secluded sphere, engaging in dynamic efforts to reform its institutions, high culture, and most importantly, the utilization of science in the attainment of "perfection" — a rather absurd and malleable concept that most, if not all Aleverians have centered their outlandish cultural concepts around. Through the unholy marriage of crackpot science and eccentric spiritual zeal, the Aleverians have crafted themselves an entirely new identity, the superhuman or beyond-man, the fusion of the immortal soul with an immortal body beyond that of Earth — the mark of man's victory over the Earthling God himself. While the Aleverians could've enjoyed their idyllic lifestyle through its seclusive policies, recent incursions into... what was it called again? Michael, analysis.

"The answer to your query is the Mercantile Republic of Predena, Your Majesty," As the masculine programed robotic voice spoke, the dimly lit room was slowly filled with bluish-white neon lights, revealing a web like cybernetic neural networks converging to a single point — a small screen which projected the face of a masculine Causcasoid.
Image
Michael

Ah yes, the Mercantile Republic of Predena, an astropolity which faced the wrath of unjust tyranny as of recent. Quite an unfortunate story, no? The respective invader of the conflict, the Human Star State embodies the name of humanity similar to that of Aleveria, yet their petty insistence on the tribalistic aspects of humans prior to the attainment of enlightenment make them more alike to that of an ape — an observation also applicable to that of the People's Republic of Sinica, their co-belligerent in performing the art of tyranny. Truly horrid, does the presence of these troglodytes not make you want to vomit your guts out, yes?

"According to the database, my components does not have the capability to 'vomit' nor does it contain 'guts' specific to biological lifeforms." The machine-like face emulated the human emotion of 'disappointment.'

The narration paused.

"Is there any issue to my respo—"

Though the Aleveria would normally ignore such petty squabbles between its neighbors, the weight of such conflict in tipping the balance of power in Gamma in favour of the Compact is far too appalling too ignore. Thus, I, Theo Fairchild, concluded that it is to Aleveria's best interests to project its interests overvoid and prevent this so-called Predena from being thrown into the spiral of incivility. That is all.

"How was the narration? It was good, no?"

"My analysis says that the tangents were too flowery and that the Majesty could've gone directly straight to point."

"Who asked for your opinion?"

Both went silent.

"As this has grown 'awkward' in human definitions, my database recommended to make attempts in plotting out the most efficient method of finishing this conversation."

"...and that is?"

"Your Majesty, what command do you wish to be transmitted among yourselves?"

"Who had the best scores in the annual fleet simulations? Perhaps we could start slightly bold by mobilizing a small expeditionary fleet of around a hundred ships to operate as volunteers for the Predenan navy."

"My data reveals that one of your clones, Richard Beaumont, is the most suitable candidate for a hypothetical expeditionary mission of around a hundred ships. However, my database concludes that Beaumont's potential success rate in relative to cooperation with the Predenan Navy may be 30% or less. Does Your Majesty still wish to go through with this less than ideal expedition to cater the human irrationality known as Paranoia?"

"Yes, but I would appreciate if there was a lack of snark. The boldness of the human character is something machines will never get."

"My data, indeed, does have not have the appropriate response to this irrationality. Since the Majesty has decided to undertake this mission, should I craft a message to Predena's leadership with a theme of 'goodwill' to be sent by courier prior to the arrival of Beaumont's fleet?"

"That would be appreciated."

User avatar
Olimpiada
Ambassador
 
Posts: 1258
Founded: Aug 13, 2016
Corporate Bordello

Ad bellum et lucrum

Postby Olimpiada » Fri May 07, 2021 1:40 am



Triumvirate, Gaia
Via Nike, Elysia-3 Arcology



”Sumus septimodecimo, legio Orbitalis,
Aufer te, de via decedite,
Ingressum sonat pedem inferre,
Milites Foederati procedite!”


Via Nike ran directly in front of the Senate building in a rather blatant example of symbolism. Its wide venues were paved with reinforced concrete, and purple banners emblazoned with a red stripe flapped in an artificial wind overhead. Throngs of people cheered on either side of the street as columns of graphene and titanium confidently moved past. They sang with their helmets off, faces taking in the arcology’s mercifully clean air.

”Sive sequimur aquilas, sive progredimur ad cornices soli,
Nostra superbia est in legione
Et pugnans pediatus est domus gensque
Et pugnans pediatus est domus gensque!”


President Cyrenacius watched them move past below in their columns. Their armor was painted in bright, ceremonial colors for the parade. Gold and purple and scarlet gleamed off bulletproof chestplates and tank guns in the midday sun. Overhead, the screams of supersonic fighters managed to make themselves heard through the arcology’s reinforced diamond windows. There was, he thought, something exceedingly cheerful about the whole affair. The soldiers were in high spirits, the people on either side screamed for them to draw blood in far-off lands.

”Nos signa sequimur, quocumque nos ducunt,
A barbara Tezekinia urbes
Ad Midgardiam caliginem,
Domitores Xenoi procedite!”


At this last line, The Tamers of the Xenoi march on, the people let out an even more fervent roar. They’d seen the propaganda. They knew there were strange abominations to slay in distant lands. Nevermind that most Predenans were human, that wasn’t what mattered here. Nevermind that either, he supposed. He had a war to pretend to like. From his seat with a number of high ranking senators, he stood up in the silence left by the end of the legion’s marching song. Floating screens projected his likeness from a dozen camera angles for the people’s benefit as he walked forward to the microphone at the balcony’s edge, grabbed it, spun it in the palm of his hand once, and then began to speak.

“People of Olimpiada!” The army below gave a cheer in unison with the civilians in enthusiastic reply. “Today marks the beginning of another great conquest for our nation! The treacherous Predenans have for too long destroyed the trade of our great country, and its allies!” He squinted, shook his head for effect.

“Recently, they even went out of their way to destroy a harmless Sternenstaat cargo ship, and for what? Their relentless need for death and destruction? Hatred of our ways of life? We cannot possibly know these barbaroi. They are relentless in their quest to do us wrong! What shall our solution be?” A million cries of ad bellum! rang out, reverberating inside the arcology. Fighters streaked past overhead as if to accentuate his point.

“We fight not only for our trade, not only for our sense of justice, but for our way of life itself! We proactively salt the earth this poison grows from, and do the universe a favor in the process! Today, we march for everything that is right, and just!” As a final touch, he raised his right arm above his head at an angle, and thousands of others mimicked it with joy as the cheers rose to a deafening intensity. He turned to head back inside, and the cameras switched to a strong-jawed tanker revelling in the glory the crowd showered him with.

“Mmm. Well done, Mr. President. You’ve even got me excited about this all over again.” The man speaking was Octavius Cogitatus, a gangly spacer who headed the Hex Conglomerate board. He grinned at this, perfect white teeth like rows of tombstones. Cyrenacius clenched his fist.

“I still think it’s wrong, you know. This isn’t our fight, and gods know they’re nowhere near invoking Article IV for this little spat anywhere on Vera or Zhuque.”

“And I still think you don’t know a damn thing about making a quick buck. Good thing we live in a democracy, right? I think it’s important that we all get a say in this matter.” That damned graveyard peeked out between perfectly maintained lips once again.
Hyper-commodified cocaine capitalism. Urbanized solar systems. Omnixenophobia. War economy without end. Radical body augmentation for fun and profit.

I make exactly two exceptions from a fairly strict adherence to realism, and hate them both.

The Anchorage, for discussion of all things FT


Advertisement

Remove ads

Return to International Incidents

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users

Advertisement

Remove ads