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Starlight [MAINT][CLOSED]

A staging-point for declarations of war and other major diplomatic events. [In character]
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Starlight [MAINT][CLOSED]

Postby Hypatian Commonwealth » Tue Oct 05, 2021 9:16 pm

Previous thread
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This thread is intended to log various events and happenings inside the Commonwealth. These range from random trivia, important events to major characters, codex entries, minor events, anything really. Some posts, while remaining compliant with site rules of course, may stray into the area of mature content, and may contain content that may offend some readers; you have been warned.

If bits and pieces seem familiar, that’s because they’ve been extracted from other threads and posts, expanded on, had their embarrassing spelling (and timeline/dating) mistakes fixed, and posted here.

The thread is considered in-character, so if it happens here, it’s “canon”, and it’s happened as far as anyone I interact with is concerned but things will not necessarily be posted in order - check the dates given if you're confused. If you want to post here TG me or ask me on Discord first; this is a maintenance thread and it is not open. BUT, that said; unless a post is bracketed with “Secret IC” tags, then (within the limits of reasonableness) your nation can find out about it and react to it; all I ask for is a heads-up OOCly so we can have a chat about what’s “reasonable” for you to find out and react to.
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Postby Hypatian Commonwealth » Tue Oct 05, 2021 10:55 pm

The Great Library
Harlow, Hellas Province, Mars
Capital of the Commonwealth


The two magisters, Athel and Virgil, travelled through the grounds with Virgil taking lead. Virgil had worked here for many years as a magister, ever since the Library's founding by Nerys I, and it was the greatest act of the late empress in his mind. There simply was no other pursuit nobler than this library and its purpose. Athel was newer by comparison but Virgil saw that same divine spark within Athel that also burned fiercely within himself -- the aching appetence for knowledge.

"This place just keeps going and going," Athel said in disbelief. He had seen libraries before but not one quite like this. The building was built to look monumental amidst its surroundings like it had been there for aeons, and it didn't so much as impose but quietly command one to look at it and be awestruck with its presence. It featured elaborate stonework with marbled columns and painstakingly detailed facades painted in vibrant colours. It had statues and fountains lining its courtyards with proud and breathtaking displays of great historical figures and mythological scenes. Large gardens bloomed to their brim with colourful life so lush and coruscating that it dared challenge the legends of the Hanging Gardens. It was, to Athel, the most beautiful place on Mars and in the galaxy with which to promenade.

But it did not stop there. The inside of the Great Library was just as breathtaking with rows and rows of books and other media containing an impressive collection of knowledge unseen in the country. Its giant towering archways and large spaces for reading and interacting with the public would give anyone agoraphobia were it not for the inviting colour and furniture. Statues and columns were found inside in a similar fashion with large displays depicting scenes found throughout the complex. There were ancient chariots and armoured soldiers frozen in battle as onlookers wept and jeered, and figures in fierce and lively debate bearing such names as Socrates, Cicero, and more.

But none of them was as striking as the display that had smitten Athel the moment he had first come here. It was that of a woman who resolutely stood in the middle of the library, towering over the bookcases and all the other adornments, and clad in linen so well-carved out of marble that it flowed like water around her figure. Around her feet was a great circle of bookcases with a large open space. It was known as the 'Great Circle' and served as the very centre of the entire library. She stood facing the Hellas Sea to the east with a hand stretched out in a sweeping motion as if giving an oration. In her other hand, she held a book against her breast with fingers firmly wrapped around its spine and her marbled face looked onward towards the crystalline windows where the sunlight would bathe it in its rays.

"This is the patroness of our nation, the very embodiment of its ideals and of this library, she has been venerated by scholars for millennia for her intellect and her pursuit for knowledge. She is Hypatia of Alexandria and this is her library," Virgil said admirably.
Last edited by Hypatian Commonwealth on Tue Oct 05, 2021 10:59 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby Hypatian Commonwealth » Wed Oct 06, 2021 12:00 pm

The Great Library
Harlow, Hellas Province, Mars
Capital of the Commonwealth


"The Great Library has a simple goal in mind," Virgil said to Athel as the two magisters arrived at an inconspicuous entrance tucked away in the far reaches of the main hall. Virgil used a card to open the door which revealed a spiral staircase of ruddy stone descending into the depths of the Library's catacombs. The lights hanging from the ceiling barely illuminated the tight space as the two negotiated the steps. As they did, Virgil continued, "When Nerys I established this library, her goal was to make it the centre for knowledge and learning. She envisioned a magnificent structure that would house not just the achievements and failures of mankind but of all kinds. And so the Order of the Magisters was formed tasked with the gathering, transcription, and storing of all such artefacts and knowledge that we could get our hands on."

"And how do they get this knowledge?" Athel asked.

"Sometimes we ask. We dispatch curators to ancient ruins and extant civilisations to find and gather what they can. But not all things that have entered these hallowed halls have been brought peacefully. We have a troubled past and so there are many exhibits within the Library that required bloodshed to save -- they carry a heavy toll on their pages," Virgil answered as the two arrived at a large metal door. It was securely bolted into place and looked to be heavy and thick. Virgil used a key unlike anything Athel had ever seen, it glowed and resonated with something. The door responded to its presence and unlocked itself allowing Virgil to push it open with unexpected ease for as bulky as the door looked. He then stopped and Athel stood beside him to see the vault. It was a large cavern carved from the Martian stone with almost as many shelves and terminals as the Library above.

"This is where you will work," Virgil spoke with pride, "These are the Archives. Everything is brought here for research and to be scanned by the Curator."

"The Curator? Singular?" Athel asked, confused by the statement.

Virgil smiled and took a cane that rested against the railing and tapped it to the brim of his hat with a bemused smirk, "Follow me." The two descended another flight of stairs to the ground of the Archives with Virgil taking lead once more. Other magisters were pouring over artefacts and discussing theories about their origins, their stories. Large works such as idols of alien nature, strange artefacts that defied reason, and other items could be found here as well. Some were too dangerous to be out in the open, hidden away behind protective shielding or additional vaulted doors. There were also men and women dressed in military uniform, their insignia designated them as 'Pathfinders', they escorted magisters and other officials of the library on excavations or were sent themselves to retrieve things of interest to the Library and this Curator.

Virgil had led them to the very centre of the vault where another circular space had emerged from the bookcases, shelves, tables, and other things. A single wooden table sat in the centre of this circle with ornate wood. It held a black, spherical void with only the slightest reflection of light. Its appearance confounded Athel, however, as it held an impossible movement within its form that seemed irrational to look at but also drew him in like a magnet. There was just something about it that both unsettled and piqued his curiosity. Virgil stepped forward and waved an outstretched arm over the object which seemed to respond to the gesture.

"Here I am," Virgil said emphatically as he rested on his cane. Athel approached the strange stone and then looked at Virgil. "Everything that we bring to this Library will be researched and submitted to the Curator to be stored away safely. We couldn't possibly hold everything in this building, as magnificent as it is. So this core is the beating heart of this very Library," Virgil said bemused.
Last edited by Hypatian Commonwealth on Wed Oct 06, 2021 12:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Hypatian Commonwealth » Thu Oct 07, 2021 9:45 am

The Jungle Kings
Rymara, Razalan System
Commonwealth Protectorate


Rymara was an ancient world of lush jungle and musty climate and home to the Rymari, a reptoid race of bipeds. For aeons, they had lived in a plethora of petty kingdoms vying for supremacy over scraps of land and limited resources, little could they have known what would befall them. Compared to the interstellar civilisation of the Commonwealth, they were primitive and their pursuits archaic; bygones of mankind's arrogance. Yet, it was arrogance that first brought the Commonwealth's predecessors and misfortune to Rymara, of all places. A catastrophe had struck this lush alien world, and that was what it was called -- The Catastrophe.

For generations, the largest of the Rymari kingdoms, Tzandara, had been ruled by the Azgalot dynasty from their palace of Gorguntuli. Tzandara held considerable sway over the region of Ezma Tulotil, forcing its neighbouring rivals to pay it a tribute or else face the wrath of the Axotili warriors. Ihuat had been proclaimed king of this burgeoning empire just years prior and from all accounts, his rule was both prosperous and fair. It was but a tragedy in the making.

When the sun appeared dim in the sky on the 17th year of Ihuat's reign, an anxiety gripped the people of Ezma Tulotil. Day became night and the sky changed from violet to red. Temperatures began to fall and for the first time in their recorded history, the Tzandara saw frost claim their crops and silence the lively jungles that surrounded them. Travellers from lands far away spoke of rivers of blood and great famine moving through the lands like a wave. These stories incited panic in the Tzandari and, fearing revolt, Ihuat closed off the kingdom and slaughtered the travellers. But it was too late.

In Rymari beliefs, Malutu is the god of the apocalypse, and he had already arrived in Tzandara. Famine struck the empire's tributaries and the bounties dried up as the rivers turned to blood. Lakes reeked of death as the summer months approached. The jungle began to fade all around them. Then disease struck. The Tzandari were woefully unprepared as Malutu swept their lands and took entire families -- men, women, and children. No one was spared his wrath.

Rumours began to spread amongst the people that Ihuat had angered Rakanuat, the King of the Gods. And for his transgressions, Rakanuat had forsaken them all. At first, Ihuat dispelled these rumours as nothing more than slander and put to death any who dared question his reign. But they continued anyway, becoming more outlandish with time until many believed that perhaps Ihuat was Malutu himself, the harbinger of the dark days.

A mob descended on Gorguntuli in the 19th year of Ihuat armed with stones and clubs. They drove away the guards, too sick and frail to defend the palace, and broke their way in. They found Ihuat and dragged him out to the A'Rakan, the sacrificial altar. They murdered Ihuat with sharp stones, dismembered him, and, so frenzied with hunger, ate his remains. And so passed the last descendent of the Azgalot dynasty.

It was by chance that the Conglomerate arrived soon after. In appreciation for killing Malutu, the Tzandari believed that Rakanuat had sent them warriors from the heavens who arrived in strange chariots of fire and metal and Tulat, the storm god, clapped with jubilation as they came down from the wounded sky. The Tzandari called them Matzu and bestowed upon them gifts. It was one such gift that drew the Matzu's interest, however, a strange rock with stranger properties. The Tzandari had long mined the ore from the Hlatzukan or Mountains of the Spirits in the Matzu's tongue.

Sometime after, the skies began to clear and the lakes began to flourish. The rivers changed in colour and the famine that had stricken the Rymari for so long now ran from the Matzu like jungle beasts from fire. The Matzu took their leave and a new king, blessed by the children of Rakanuat, took the rainbow-feathered crown and became Axota the Great. Under his reign, Tzandara would expand its influence considerably, dominating the continent and establishing trade with other kingdoms from faraway lands. The Matzu would return eventually, however, building many cities of strange metal in places like Hlatzukan. There they mined the ore of Tulat and took it away in great quantity. It was, in the minds of the Tzandari, a fair tribute for the end of the Catastrophe.
Last edited by Hypatian Commonwealth on Thu Oct 07, 2021 9:45 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Hypatian Commonwealth » Sun Oct 10, 2021 4:46 pm

.H..M..G.


Her Majesty's Government
Cabinet Minutes // 10 Samhain Year 2200


STATUS : CLASSIFIED; Security of Communication Act, Section 5.3
VERIFICATION : Verified by State Security Intelligence Check — Token [REDACTED]

This is an official summary of cabinet proceedings. Unauthorised access will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law;

Minutes from the Prime Minister's Cabinet of the Hypatian Commonwealth



Meeting brought to order at 1300

All present. No apologies.




Reading of the minutes of the last meeting.

The minutes of the last meeting were read and accepted as being both correct and accurate by unanimous vote.



Bussiness carried forward from the last meeting.


Ministry of Defence's report on Scutum-Centaurus Relief Action
(Appendix 1)

Hypatian naval forces of the 14th Expeditionary Fleet are currently engaged with hostile forces in the Leos system of the Galactic Republic of Arkasia. The Department of the Navy has reported Hypatian casualties; current losses are unknown at this time. Preliminary reports have discredited Welded as the cause and identified the source as a new threat, codenamed Static, with more concerning capabilities. Communications and the organisation of allied forces have been compromised. An evacuation is underway with plans to isolate and contain evacuees at the Alpha-1 Anchorage in the Delta Quadrant whereby they will undergo further testing. Containment protocols have been put into place and breaches will be dealt with via extreme prejudice.

The 15th Expeditionary Fleet has been fortifying the Kinsara system in the North East Gamma League, a client state of the GRA. A citadel has been put into position and the system will act as our Gamma Command (GAMCOM) for the theatre. The First Fleet which has been mobilising at the Alpha-1 Anchorage has finished doing so and will be in transit to Kinsara to establish a base of operations.





New Business

Exchequer Report on the Budget for Fiscal Year 2200
The Cabinet unanimously voted to accept the 2200 Budget (Appendix 2) as both correct and accurate. Budget increases for Healthcare and Social Security are already reflective of the Welfare Act's expansion of Disability, Housing, Retirement, and Medicare benefits. Currently, government expenditure is 23.8% of the national GDP.

Forward Operating Anchorages

The Ministry of Defence has issued a report (Appendix 3) on the status of the FOAs being established in the Beta and Delta Quadrants as a part of the security agreements with the GRA and Pheonix Domain. The Phoenixi have agreed to three total anchorages in their territory, we will coordinate with both the GRA and Domain in the Beta Quadrant under a collective 'Beta Command' (BETACOM). At current, only one anchorage has been established in the GRA's client, NEGL, due to ongoing hostilities in the region putting further efforts at risk.

Rymari Integration

Ministry of the Interior has issued a report (Appendix 4) on the Rymari Protectorate. As part of the Consolidation Policy, HMG has been considering integrating certain territories into the core of the Interior. The Razalan system is currently an unincorporated exterior territory within the Alpha Quadrant anti-spinward/core-ward of Sol Prime and the Reaches. A joint investigation of the benefits of incorporating the Razalan system was held by multiple departments to determine the financial and commercial gain, viability, and strategic interests of such a move by HMG.

While Razalan is in a prime position to establish an FOA to safeguard Hypatian interests in the Northwestern corridor of the Alpha Quadrant and the planet of Rymara boasts considerable deposits of Laconium, Unobtanium, and other resources; the Rymari species is considered to be too primitive to consider full assimilation within the Commonwealth as a fully incorporated territory. An anchorage in the system would likewise be considered unwise without expansive supporting infrastructure on Rymara.

Concerns about environmental destabilisation by ongoing Hypatian extraction of resources, and the risk of possible trans-species contagions has been an ongoing concern by government watchdogs and compiled in a report by the Ministry of Health (Appendix 5) with Rymara being classified as a Level III - Contagion Risk under the BIOCON due to biological molecular similarities, a particular result of convergent evolution -- possibly of biological interference, of certain planetary species of fauna and flora that could bridge the gap between Rymari and Humans. Sanitation, Research, and Containment procedures are still strongly encouraged.





Non Agenda Items

None.



Meeting concluded at 1500
Last edited by Hypatian Commonwealth on Sun Oct 10, 2021 4:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Hypatian Commonwealth » Wed Oct 13, 2021 3:29 am

.H..M..G.


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Her Majesty's Government of the Hypatian Commonwealth



STATUS : ENCRYPTED; Security of Communication Act, Section 5.3
VERIFICATION : Verified by State Security Intelligence Check — Token [REDACTED]

Sen : N 17 Ardern Street, Prime Minister's Residence, Queenstown; Prime Minister Rowland's Office — Key [REDACTED]
Rec : 7500 Hebrides Road, Palace of Northminster, Northminster; Crown Office of Communications — Key [REDACTED]

This is an official communication of Her Majesty's Government. Unauthorised access, transmission, reproduction, or duplication of this communication will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

Rovanian Primarchy; Eridani Imperium; Harlow Line; And Considerations of War


Per the request of Her Majesty, the following report has been compiled under the advice of the Security Council, Crown Marshal, and Her Majesty's Government to inform on matters related to the Rovanian Primarchy (henceforth RP); United Species of the Eridani Imperium (henceforth USEI); the Harlow Line; and considerations of war against the Eridani in the Delta Quadrant.

Due to the nature of the details within this report, which is privy to Her Majesty and select individuals within the highest ranks of government only, particular precautions have been taken to ensure the classified nature of this report. Any unauthorised access, publication, duplication, reproduction, or leak of this report will be subject to the 'Acts of Treason' clause under Title IX of the Federal Criminal Code.

Rovanian Primarchy

The Rovanian Primarchy, RP, is the newest stellarate within the Commonwealth having been established and consolidated under Nerys' reign to serve as a refuge for supporters of the Marto-Eridani Dynasty that ruled the USEI for a period of time. Following the Marto-Eridani Succession Crisis of 2177, Rowan Bladeseer, then Martian-backed Empress of the USEI, was forcibly deposed alongside her husband. A conflict ensued within the power vacuum of the USEI as the country destabilised under rival claimants.

Rowan's supporters including cadet houses, clansmen, banners, and others were forced to flee the USEI or face possible annihilation by warring clans. Under the Consolidation Plan instituted by Nerys I, the 'Rovanians' as they were called had arrived in the Martian Delta and were subject to refugee controls under the Refugee Integration and Community Action Policy (RICAP). The Rovanians signed the Harlovian Accords on 2187, four years after the Great War had ended, officially making them an Accordant Realm of the Commonwealth.

In regards to the inquiry, a sizeable faction known as the 'Longbeards' of the RP still holds sympathy towards a 'reclamation' of the USEI. State Security has increased surveillance on Longbeardsmen and other related groups within the Primarchy that could be considered a national security threat either towards stability, rule of law, or territorial integrity in the region. As of 2197, nearly 13,715 arrests were made of Longbeardsmen and related groups for various crimes including racketeering, wire fraud, illicit procurement of weapons, manufacture of destructive devices, murder, terrorism, and several other charges under Title IX, VII, and III of the Federal Criminal Code (FCC).

As of 2199, 23,941 detainments were conducted by State Security and Civil Defence's Anti-Terrorism Task Force of Longbeardsmen and related groups with a release rate due to insufficient evidence or cause of only 20%. The remainder has been held for extended periods of time at detention facilities throughout the Commonwealth or in 'black zones' for especially dangerous detainees. Under the Public Security Services Act, detainees of this nature are not subject to habeas corpus or other considerations under the law.

It is, however, the opinion of intelligence services with knowledge and experience working with the 'Rovanian Question' that such a conflict with the USEI would be especially popular among most of the Primarchy. It was for this reason that Nerys subjected the Rovanians to the Refugee Protocols under RICAP to limit their movement and organisation. The recent Blacke-Ivarsson Act would give State Security the power, with the assistance of the military, to conduct a large-scale raid of 'deterrence' across the Primarchy to indefinitely detain Longbeardsmen and other paramilitaries outlawed under the law. Civil Defence and other intelligence agencies have estimated a total of 371,000 Rovanians and others that could qualify for such 'deterrence' within the Primarchy alone.

While sympathies from neighbouring USEI would be few and far between, other powers such as the Nimatojin, Menelmacari, and Domain may have significant concerns about such a raid. The scope of which would be nearly impossible to hide and would instead require very careful negotiating, situation control, and media management by the Commonwealth to conduct such an act with as little collateral as possible.

Eridani Impeirum; Harlow Line; and Considerations of War

The USEI has since recovered from the Great War and is considered in 'resurgence' by our intelligence services. The Eridani have begun massive construction efforts to modernise their fleets and have launched ambitious diplomatic campaigns to accrue non-aggression pacts, trade agreements, and other treaties with a variety of powers including several astropolities within the Solarian Reaches.

The resurgence of the Eridani has posed an uncomfortable question for strategic planners and analysts who are concerned about the security of the Martian Delta and its ability to withstand an invasion by Eridani forces. For this reason, Nerys introduced 'Containment' under the Consolidation Plan addressed towards 'piracy' and control of 'refugees' in the Martian Delta, but were designed with the Eridani in mind.

This containment created the 'Harlow Line', a boundary within the Martian Delta where colonies were depopulated beyond the boundary, and military assets such as FTL-capable Achilles platforms, Sentry Arrays, and other installations were constructed along the Scutum-Centaurus and Sagittarius Arms around the region of the USEI. Careful negotiating with the Menelmacar ensured that defences could be increased in Sol and allowed for the continued deconstruction of the Apophis Defence Array which supplied much-needed material for the containment.

The Commonwealth underwent massive modernisation programs to expand on theorised technologies putting the nation in a better position both strategically and diplomatically. The Advanced Joint-Research Materials Initiative, with which the Eridani are a party, gave us an opportunity to assess the capabilities of other ascendant powers including the USEI. While the Commonwealth is considerably ahead in some fields compared to the Domain, GRA, USEI, and other states -- the balance of power isn't so easily offset by technology alone.

The Commonwealth, by comparison, has a number of advantages that gives it both a strategic and economic edge compared to the USEI and some other astropolities of the 'Ascendant' class. The Commonwealth holds territory across the galaxy in greater scope than other powers with considerable projection thanks to phasegate technology and recent policy considerations such as forward operating installations with expeditionary forces. Faster-than-light capable weapons such as the Achilles program and stealth technology such as the Aegis program mean that the nation has a level of surveillance and first-strike capability that other powers do not necessarily have at this time.

Due to the size of our territory and the connections between them via the Nexus, our network of phasegates, a hostile power would have difficulty assailing the Commonwealth without mounting a large-scale and protracted conflict on multiple fronts from several different quadrants. Hypatian forces have the capacity to respond to any threats within our sphere of influence within a matter of hours thanks to the phasegates, upgraded ship drives, communications, and intelligence assets that we have put into place across the galaxy. Furthermore, Hypatia operates a mostly automated military requiring very little manpower and has the reserves and territorial space to quickly acquisition large amounts of resources to feed a considerable war effort against a hostile power.

Compared to the Eridani, Hypatia would be capable of quickly enveloping the region where containment has been created and assaulting the Imperium on all fronts. However, such a conflict would be highly dependent on several factors. While the Commonwealth's reach and size can be advantageous they can also be a hindrance. Surgical destruction of our phasegates or major disruptions of the Nexus would slow down response time considerably. An attack on multiple fronts would require a high degree of coordination by the military to respond to, and it would not be immediately clear even with surveillance where the main focus of our defences should be other than the Reaches.

Furthermore, under the current Doctrine and due to the special nature of Sol and particularly Mars, most hostile powers would anticipate an aggressive defence of the Reaches as was done during the Great War against an Eridani Armada. This could be used to a hostile power's advantage to maximise forces in a specific region and thus target frontier areas opposite the galaxy such as in the Martian Delta. Finally, because of the nation's size, it is extremely doubtful the Eridani would resort to a conflict without the inclusion of allies -- this was the case during the Great War. Hypatia would have to adapt to fighting not just one but multiple foes with varying levels of capability in various regions.

Economically, the Commonwealth has the upper hand in both readily available finances for war, capable of outspending most parties including the USEI; but also the availability of large-scale trading with neighbouring powers. At current, the nation is spending only 23% of its GDP towards the approved expenditure of the government and this alone has ensured we have met demands and outpaced rival powers.

However, it cannot be understated that while we have readily available reserves, the cost of such a conflict would still be high and without quick victory would drain the country, especially as infrastructure suffered damage and convoy raiding deprived regions of resources and wealth. It would be imperative for the Commonwealth to maintain pre-planned supply lines in such events that could be readily put into force and also easy to adapt to the situation to supply both our military ambitions and the livelihood of civilians and refugees caught in the conflict.

Manpower would be a problem as well. The Commonwealth can not field as many active personnel as other astropolities, including if conscription were utilised, this necessitates an over-reliance on automation such as 'automated combat units' or ACUs. While the needs to maintain these ACUs are different and perhaps easier to meet than that of typical personnel, provided financial reserves are still soluble, it costs nearly £40,000 more to produce a single ACU of infantry type than regular personnel.

That being said, on manufacturing the Commonwealth holds the upper hand once again. With the Helios Project now completed and our advances in stellar uplifting, holo-printing, and megastructural engineering; we can outproduce most of the aforementioned astropolities. Makemake and Ewanport can produce a great volume of hulls in days that could take months for a hostile power.

However, both of these locations, and other facilities, are easy targets for such a hostile power and require defences that pull much-needed supplies and focus away from other regions. Such a question can be posed of what is worth more to the Commonwealth, a production facility for the war effort or the loss of colonies? It is a question that military planners have to consider in such a conflict as enemy forces would likely focus on crippling our war production over direct confrontation.

This brings us to the final point. Hypatian warships are formidable and capable of overwhelming many astropolities mentioned in this report. However, all of these aforementioned astropolities have considerable intelligence and experienced strategists and know or would know that direct conflict against large Hypatian fleets could, without allies, spell disaster in the field. For this reason, it is fair to assume that such powers would be more strategic when choosing where and when to fight; when to delay; where to strike; and how to do so. In relation to the first point, Hypatia's territory is considerably vast and while response times can be quick, a very well-coordinated attack by a coalition could cripple major strategic assets not only slowing our response but hindering our capabilities.

This was the case during the Great War. The Conglomerate was engaged on all fronts across the galaxy and careful planning lead to the rapid loss of major assets needed to continue a protracted conflict. The nation survived only through a series of successfully pitched battles but the damage had been done. Infrastructure damage alone to the country amounted to months of communication and travel delays with the Martian Delta effectively cut-off from the rest of the nation. Careful negotiating and unspoken guarantees by stronger powers prevented the total dissolution of the Conglomerate.

In conclusion, and in response to the final inquiry, a conflict with the USEI is considered unlikely for a few reasons. An unspoken permittance by the Commonwealth to allow the USEI to invade the Meridian Empire; a secessionist territory beyond the Harlow Line has appeased some tensions as well as major international agreements between both parties. However, much like how it would be unwise for a power to take on the Commonwealth alone; it necessitates that the Commonwealth seek allies as a deterrence. The Conglomerate during the Great War was engulfed in a galactic conflict by itself, its aggressive, imperialistic policies forbade any actual allies from aiding the nation. It cannot be understated that our government should not make the same mistakes.

Insofar as the Containment Protocols, disassembly of these platforms would be entirely within Your Majesty's purview. The Security Council does not believe the Eridani pose a threat at this time. The Dark Array, however, is another story and is strongly suggested to remain in place as it ensures deterrence not only against Eridani Aggression but from other local powers. It should be further noted that conflict with powers such as the USEI where the Commonwealth were the aggressor would be just as unwise. The USEI has non-aggression pacts with most Solarian powers, and while there exists a treaty with the Menelmacari to ensure Solarian neutrality, none of the other nations of Yut or other alliances is a party to this treaty, putting the Commonwealth in a very precarious position.

That concludes this report.

Prime Minister Ragnvald Njord Stigandr
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Postby Hypatian Commonwealth » Thu Oct 14, 2021 4:06 pm

.H..M..G.


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Her Majesty's Government of the Hypatian Commonwealth



STATUS : ENCRYPTED; Security of Communication Act, Section 5.3
VERIFICATION : Verified by State Security Intelligence Check — Token [REDACTED]

Sen : 7500 Hebrides Road, Palace of Northminster, Northminster; Crown Office of Communications — Key [REDACTED]
Rec : N 17 Ardern Street, Prime Minister's Residence, Queenstown; Prime Minister Rowland's Office — Key [REDACTED]

This is an official communication of Her Majesty's Government. Unauthorised access, transmission, reproduction, or duplication of this communication will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

The Rovanian Question


It is the duty of the Sovereign to ensure that the State exercises good judgement and undertakes all measures appropriate and necessary to promote national security and insure territorial integrity in the interests of the public welfare. It is by this prerogative of ensuring good governance that the Sovereign has taken a particular interest in regards to the 'Rovanian Question' and commissioned, as by such prerogative, the report with which Her Majesty's Government had fulfilled.

Following a review of this report, the Sovereign has entrusted Her Majesty's Government with the responsibility of undertaking all measures appropriate and necessary as aforementioned. State Security and Civil Defence may conduct such measures with immunity, as is reasonable, to undermine, infiltrate, and discredit subversive groups as depicted within the prior report with the intent of destabilising and sowing discontent amongst them.

Mass detentions of the estimated 370,000 considered for or qualified for 'deterrence' would not be diplomatically feasible but Her Majesty's Government will, under this prerogative, have the powers to carry out reasonable detentions of prominent leadership and others qualifying under Title IX where their violations of such can be positively attributed beyond a reasonable doubt.

Signed,

Cora Morgana Rowland, O.R.S
Chamberlain of the Imperial Household
Keeper of the Imperial Seal
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Postby Hypatian Commonwealth » Fri Oct 15, 2021 12:25 am

The Conspiracy
Jarlstead, Breiðbrekka Province, Hrafna system, Rovanian Primarchy
An Accordant Realm of the Commonwealth


The man looked at his watch through the smoke that wafted in front of his face from his cigarette. It was approaching midnight. He leaned against the lamp-post beside him and rolled the cigarette across his mouth. "Anything?" he asked his partner over cybercom. He'd been standing out here for nearly two hours and nobody had shown up yet. Maybe his partner would have better luck.

"Nothing yet. They did say there was a delay," his partner replied. Delays were never good, not in their line of work, something was up. "There's a car." Two headlights pulled around the corner at the end of the street, the man didn't look at them directly, but he could see them. The car idled for several moments as the man cautiously slipped a hand into one of the pockets of his overcoat.

"I don't like this, Severn," the man said.

The vehicle's lights went dark as it rolled down the street slowly towards him. He gripped his service pistol in his pocket. "Steady, cowboy," Severn said, "I've got two tangos in the car." The car stopped in front of him. The blacked-out windows made it impossible to see who was inside, much less what they were doing. Every nerve in his body was firing on all cylinders. He carefully clicked the safety off.

The window rolled down exposing a Rovanian man who peered up at him and then rolled the window back up. He gritted his teeth. Another moment passed. "Steady," Severen repeated. When the window came down again, the Rovanian had a package in hand, he leaned out to get a better look at the man and pursed his lips.

"Lucius?" the Rovanian asked.

Lucius took his cigarette from his mouth and nodded as the package was offered.

"Bjornsson apologises for the delay, make sure this is delivered on time. Do not open it," the Rovanian said. He rolled the window up and just as quickly as they had arrived, the car pulled away from the kerb and drove off leaving Lucius alone on the street.

"Anything on that package?" Severn asked.

Lucius looked down at it. It was heavy for its size, likely with something inside to prevent peering into it with an XRAY machine. Longbeards weren't the typical riff-raff. It wasn't very large either, about the size of a textbook. He stepped back as another vehicle approached and stopped next to him. The gullwing door came up so he could slide into the driver seat. He put the package in the passenger seat and carefully drove away.

"I didn't like that, Sev," Lucius said over their cybercoms.

"I know you didn't -- but that's partly the point," Severn replied, then continued, "They want to see how you react to things like that. There's nothing on our channels indicating that you've been burned. These guys have a lot of military experience from the Imperium -- they're not going to take chances with anyone. If it's any consolation, I think you handled it well."

"I thought I was about to be riddled with lead," Lucius scoffed.

"Well, you didn't -- so there's a plus. Just make sure you get to that drop point," Severn said.

"You have eyes, right?"

"Yeah, I've got you on the overhead."
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Postby Hypatian Commonwealth » Fri Oct 15, 2021 4:06 pm

The Conspiracy, Pt 2
Jarlstead, Breiðbrekka Province, Hrafna system, Rovanian Primarchy
An Accordant Realm of the Commonwealth


"What are the odds I'm carrying a bomb?"

"I wouldn't think it likely, it'd be weird for them to blow up a major supplier."

Lucius pulled the car into a dimly lit alleyway and parked it beside some dumpsters. He stared at the package in the seat next to him and wondered what the hell it could be. He checked his watch again - 2 AM - he was early but not too early. He stowed the package in his coat and exited the car, taking care to look for anyone in the alley before closing the door.

"Still have eyes?"

"Look up," Severn said. Lucius lit a cigarette and leaned his head back after a long drawl to spy faint lights high above him. He stood that way for a few moments, taking in another drag of his smoke to not arouse any suspicion in case someone was watching. They usually were. Knowing Severn was manning a drone though alleviated a lot of his concern. He had back-up, and that was all that mattered.

Lucius headed down the alley towards a fenced off portion, taking a right down another alleyway towards a deadend. There was a large metal door with chipping red paint that caught his eye. He approached and gave it a few hard knocks. The door cracked open, a chain lock keeping it from opening further, and a tall Rovanian peered at Lucius.

"Til Kad, Til Hrofana," Lucius spoke in Rovanian. The Rovanian shut the door with the sound of rustling on the other side. It opened again as the Rovanian stepped aside and gestured for Lucius to enter. He could clearly see a sidearm tucked away in the man's coat as he stepped past. Inside the dimly lit backroom was a bunch of metal scrap and other rubbish, hardly a security checkpoint, or so Lucius thought.

The door shut behind him and the Rovanian came to a second door and knocked out a specific rhythm. This door was thicker, almost like an old vault door. There was a loud sound of cranking, like machinery within the door being operated, before it opened and an armed guard peered out.

"Hvem ar sja?" the guard asked, looking dismissively at Lucius.

"En bróðir ór sokinni" Lucius' escort replied. The two looked at him for a moment and then the vault door was pulled open by the guard. Lucius was shoved into the room by the other and the door shut behind him and was secured. The guard pointed to a man at a table who was counting money. A few other Rovanians were also present doing various tasks. One was disassembling and cleaning weapons that were stacked in a corner; another was on an old rotary phone of human make discussing something.

"Have a seat," the man at the table said as he pointed towards the chair opposite of him. Lucius stepped over and carefully took a seat. "Go ahead," the man urged. Lucius pulled the package from his pocket and set it down on the table, the man pulled a wrapped bundle of cash and placed it in front of Lucius, tapping it with a finger as he slid the box back towards him.

This was it, Lucius thought. If it was a bomb, this would be the moment. The man drew a blade from his pocket and plunged it into the box, cutting away the tape. Lucius could feel the muscles in his body tense as he waited for the boom. An opening was created at the end and the Rovanian boss slid a metal container from it. He popped the zip-tie keeping it close. And opened it. "What the..."

The Rovanian boss stared angrily for a moment but pulled a fork and knife from the container. "Those bastards forgot the soup," he sighed while pulling the container's contents out and setting them on the table. It was his lunch. "Have you ever tried stonerolls? They're delicious," the man said to Lucius as he chomped down on a bite. Lucius breathed a sigh of relief.
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Postby Hypatian Commonwealth » Fri Oct 22, 2021 4:51 am

Code: Select all
///CIVIL DEFENCE INTERNAL ACCESS
Establishing Uplink...
Uplink Secure...
Welcome BENEFACTOR

Blue Summer Sun


If you've seen HNN then you know that Constantine has been retired. There have been no layoffs outside of the parameters but your request to increase allowable layoffs has been received. We have received the shipment and will proceed with the schedule.
Mr. G
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Postby Hypatian Commonwealth » Sat Oct 23, 2021 6:34 pm

The Conspiracy, Pt 3
Jarlstead, Breiðbrekka Province, Hrafna system, Rovanian Primarchy
An Accordant Realm of the Commonwealth


Lucius took a bite of the apple with a satisfying crunch as he stared out the window towards the curtains of rain. Jarlstead was a city of clashing metal and stone where time had taken a toll on both. When the Martians first settled here over a century before, it was nothing more than a handful of windswept settlements barely hanging on to the rocky outcrops of the gulf that was known to the locals as the 'Grey.' The Kadrians that lived here were rugged like the land and quicker with a blade than a handshake -- something them and the Martians shared in a bit of twisted irony.

Severn's icon appeared in the corner of Lucius' HUD and so he answered whilst taking another crisp bite. They had known each other since the academy when Lucius was full of far more idealism than sense, but whatever aspirations Lucius had when he worked a regular beat had gone away with the Great War. Severn, on the other hand, hadn't changed much.

"Got some good news for you," Severn said, his icon flashed when he spoke. Most Hypatians had such implants in their eyes, it was how they used their 'cybercommunications' -- cybernetic telepathy is how Lucius thought of it. "Svarlsson, the Rovanian you met with? He's got work for you. It's a package, I'll send you the deets."

Hopefully, it wouldn't be another lunch delivery. He slid into his leather jacket and sat the unfinished apple on the counter. He pulled the kitchen drawer out and reached into the space with his arm. Tucked into the underside of the marble countertop was his service pistol. It was a standard-issue MX-15 with specialised rounds meant for prosthetic bodies and had considerable stopping power. He checked the magazine to ensure it was loaded and pulled back the slide to put a round in battery. He also pulled some cash and took a second, smaller pistol before replacing the drawer.

He tapped his ankle and a small compartment popped open in his calf. He slid the second gun inside and closed it with a click. The beauty of prosthetics, he thought. Severn's information had arrived in the form of some coordinates which Lucius plugged into the map in his HUD. A marker appeared with a small compass at the top of his vision. He grabbed his keys and left the apartment.
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Postby Hypatian Commonwealth » Thu Oct 28, 2021 9:22 am

An Empress' Dilemma
Palace of Northminster, Northminster, Mars, Sol


Rowland walked into the room and sat a tray down of tea and snacks. Tristan was rubbing her hands together and peering over maps and other papers with nearly indecipherable scribbling in the margins. It would be the third day things had been like this, Rowland thought. She opened the curtains of the Empress' study and peaked out at the courtyard below.

"Reforms," Tristan said abruptly as if she had somehow read her Chamberlain's mind. Rowland turned around and locked eyes with the Empress who had unglued her attention from the mountain of documents. "I'm considering reforms." Tristan sipped her tea in the lingering silence as Rowland stepped over to have a better look at the papers.

"All this country does is have reforms... forgive me," Rowland responded, dodging Tristan's look, as she slid some of the papers aside with a few fingers to stare at the underlain map. It was a star chart of the Commonwealth's territories. 'Martian Interior' had been hastily marked out and the word 'Ecumene' written in its place. There were many artefacts left of the Conglomerate that the Hypatians hadn't, for whatever reason, changed. Perhaps wounded pride or familiarity was to blame.

"Do you not approve?" Tristan sipped her tea loudly whilst she stared at the Chamberlain. Rowland straightened herself up and looked at her with a steely gaze; perhaps with too much intensity as the Empress sat her cup down and looked away. Rowland sighed gently and looked at the map again.

"Ecumene sounds fine. I do have to question the motivation, however," Rowland said.

Tristan bit a lip and carefully stacked the papers off to one side so the map was fully visible, "We have conflicting identities. We are Hypatians but cannot shake that we are also Martians. The idea behind my mother's design was to create this federation of realms to appease locals and rebuild an identity; I wonder though if it ever went far enough. At the same time, we're a federal monarchy. I am a queen of all these places; an empress overall. It's a weird, perhaps unheard of, mix of government and authority."

"The Accordant Realms are semi-autonomous nations that were once former colonies, Your Majesty. Forgive me if you know this already. They're bound in a strong federal union via the Accords -- part of which requires them to acknowledge your authority. That treaty is a constitution in a way; it prevented further destabilisation of the post-war Conglomerate. In exchange for their loyalty, they are given protection, certain rights and powers, and can participate in the union with other realms. That's what the Senate is for -- it's less a legislature and more a deliberative body of ambassadors. The House is legislative. Your authority gives you power over the armed forces, national policy, and a final say over those laws," Rowland explained.

Tristan nodded at the explanation. She sipped her tea and then set the cup aside once she was satisfied, "I feel as though our ancestors had an easier time."

"Territories were smaller then, they still required a lot of administration, we've a lot of automation that makes our lives easier, Your Majesty. Each realm has an assembly and functions as a democracy; they must as it is outlined under the Accords. Ultimately how they run that government is largely up to them, but they manage their own affairs and can do so as long as they comply with the Accordant Law. The Federal Government's job is to handle national affairs that affect the entirety of the realms like defence or infrastructure. The arrangement is necessary to both keep the peace and remain efficient. The local populations, as your mother succinctly put it, aren't going to care all that much what Mars is doing a hundred thousand lightyears away. So they're more involved with their local governments; it makes our jobs easier," Rowland said. She hadn't expected to give a civics lesson, but Tristan's face was still as conflicted as before.

"So in all," Tristan pulled a fresh page and began to write on it, "We have the Ecumene which will cover the former Martian Interior Systems. The Reaches and other core systems. That leaves the Martian Exterior Systems, places outside of the Reaches like the Martian Delta. We could borrow a Macisikani word," Tristan thumbed the pen in her hand.

"And what would that be?"

"Exarchy? It's an old word. You'd have the Ecumene covering our Reaches territories and the Exarchy covering the territories in Delta and Beta," Tristan reasoned as she stared down at her notes. There was a grimace, Rowland saw. "Problem is that the two are so far apart, would that be reasonable?"

"I wouldn't think so, for the fact that the Delta has entirely different needs and then that of the Beta territories. Beta also has a lot of military governorates due to the Nicean systems. The other question I'd have to raise is why the changes, I get the naming changes, Your Majesty, and that is wholly within your purview legally; but are you looking at reassigning governors to these regions?"

Tristan leaned back in her chair, "It was one thing I was considering, yes. I do know any changes would need approval from the Senate."

"They would, yes. I would recommend drafting a special committee -- it would save you a lot of time and stress. Your mother was a workaholic, but she did do well at recognising when she needed to delegate," Rowland said with a gentle smile.

"I think we will do that then."
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Postby Hypatian Commonwealth » Fri Oct 29, 2021 9:11 am

.H..M..G.


Image

Her Majesty's Government of the Hypatian Commonwealth



STATUS : ENCRYPTED; Security of Communication Act, Section 5.3
VERIFICATION : Verified by State Security Intelligence Check — Token [REDACTED]

Sen : 7500 Hebrides Road, Palace of Northminster, Northminster; Crown Office of Communications — Key [REDACTED]
Rec : No. 17 Ardern Street, Prime Minister's Residence, Queenstown; Prime Minister Rowland's Office — Key [REDACTED]

This is an official communication of Her Majesty's Government. Unauthorised access, transmission, reproduction, or duplication of this communication will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

New Foreign Policy Guidance


To the Prime Minister,

By order of the Crown, Her Majesty's Government shall amend the diplomatic policy guidelines of the State Department to better reflect the new guidance offered in this communication effective immediately.


I. Aggressive Diplomacy

It shall be the goal of Her Majesty's Government to strengthen existing ties with foreign powers with whom we have a positive relationship by expanding upon existing commitments and obligations, promoting bilateral commerce and trade, and engaging in strategic partnerships that bolster our national security and interests. In order to fulfil this goal, Her Majesty's Government shall commit to the following policies:

1. International Presence
The Commonwealth shall aggressively engage with and be ever-present in international affairs by involving itself with Intergovernmental Organisations (IGOs) and International Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) to positively build a diplomatic rapport with foreign powers and influence such organisations in the promotion of the national interest.

2. Diplomatic Benevolence
It is imperative that the Commonwealth exert and expand its influence across the galaxy by seeking out mutually beneficial relationships with foreign powers of strategic value. In doing so, it is necessary that Her Majesty's Government formulate a policy of pragmatic realism that justifies such relationships with foreign powers that would otherwise be antithetical or counterintuitive to the moral and political philosophy of the Commonwealth or its values.

3. Right to Intervene
It is necessary for the Commonwealth to safeguard its interests abroad in its goal to import its presence across the Milky Way; therefore it is imperative that Her Majesty's Government assert its right to intervene in the affairs of less impressionable powers where the Commonwealth would significantly benefit so that their policies may better reflect those of the Commonwealth.

4. Diplomatic Reliance
It shall be necessary of Her Majesty's Government to aggressively promote the economic and strategic value of the Commonwealth to foreign powers and actively work towards a policy of foreign dependence on the arrangements offered by the Commonwealth such as economic or security partnerships that greatly increases the influence of the Commonwealth on their domestic policies.

II. Strategic Supremacy

1. Naval Projection
Her Majesty's Government will prioritise and promote the role of the Hypatian Navy with foreign powers of strategic value by engaging with and drafting formal treaties that establish overseas installations to bolster the Commonwealth's naval presence.

2. Containment and Counterpresence
It is imperative that Her Majesty's Government work towards either containing or establishing a counterpresence with hostile powers operating near or within the Commonwealth's theatre of interest. Therefore, it is necessary that Her Majesty's Government engage with security partners in contested or hostile regions to establish deterrence and either act as a counterweight to a hostile power's presence or effectively contain a hostile power through the use of defensive posturing.

3. Right to Self-Defence and First-Strike policy
The Commonwealth shall aggressively assert its right to self-defence including its right to engage in pre-emptive strikes against a perceived hostile threat either by conventional or unconventional means through the use of naval or strategic weapons. Under Article III of the Commonwealth's Convention of Warfare, it is not necessary for the Commonwealth to inform any power of its intentions to use strategic weapons in a first-strike policy; neither is it necessary for the Commonwealth to inform any power of the presence of such weapons.

4. Mutual Security and Security Cooperation
The Commonwealth will aggressively defend its security partners and allies under a policy of mutual defence and will fully cooperate with and fulfil its obligations towards security partners and allies against hostile powers. This shall include the use of force by the Commonwealth, the sharing of intelligence, and the coordination of coalition forces in an area of operation.

III. The Neutrality of Sol

The Commonwealth will aggressively assert Article 5 of the Treaty of Queenstown which establishes neutrality of the Sol Prime system and particularly of Mars. Whilst only the Commonwealth and the Eternal Ascendancy of Menelmacar are parties to the Treaty of Queenstown; it is the policy of the Commonwealth to maintain Solarian Neutrality in all conflicts with hostile powers, particularly in cases that would involve other Solarian nations. Therefore it is imperative that Her Majesty's Government promote the idea of 'limited conflict' and of neutrality of Sol Prime in all disputes where relevant.

IV. East Mangala Defence Policy

The Commonwealth will guarantee the independence of East Mangala from the interference or claims of any other Martian power through the use of force, if necessary.

V. Galactic Republic of Arkasia Defence Policy

The Commonwealth will guarantee the independence of the Galactic Republic of Arkasia, its protectorates, and its territories from the interference or claims of any other power through the use of force, if necessary.

VI. Outer Systems Alliance Policy

In compliance with the Prohibition of the Financing, Recruitment, Training, and Use of Illegal Combatants Act, the Commonwealth will continue to maintain its view that the OSA is an illegal paramilitary organisation barred from operating within the Commonwealth and its territories. Furthermore, OSA-operatives caught conducting illicit activities within the Commonwealth will be subject to the law regardless of diplomatic protests or sanctions by the Republic of Sunset. The Commonwealth will maintain its policy of not recognising the Martian Forum mandate given to the OSA and bar the organisation from conducting any Forum-related business within the territories of the Commonwealth by asserting its territorial sovereignty.

Signed,

Cora Morgana Rowland, O.R.S
Chamberlain of the Imperial Household
Keeper of the Imperial Seal
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Postby Hypatian Commonwealth » Wed Dec 22, 2021 6:39 pm

Usual Business
Palace of Northminster, Northminster, Hellasmark, Mars

The steps were brisk as Rowland marched through the halls of the palace. The prime minister had arrived ready for the usual meeting but alas the Empress was noticeably not present, anywhere. Naturally, the loss of a monarch was the business of the chamberlain, which Rowland was, and so she was on the prowl for the absent head of state. A crisp knock at the door preceded a muffled noise and so Rowland let herself into the private quarters of Her Majesty.

"Ah! Rowland," Tristan greeted with a bemused glance. The Empress hadn't even left her bed yet and was still partially cocooned in her bedding. "Inform the Prime Minister that I am feeling a bit under the weather today and will not be attending this week's meeting," she followed as Rowland walked over to the windows and rudely pried open the curtains. "Gah!" the Empress hissed.

"Your Majesty, with all due respect, you're cybernetic. It'd be a medical mystery if you felt under the weather at all," Rowland commented, staring at the black fuzzy creature nestled in Tristan's lap.

"Cyborgs can still get ill," Tristan shot back, her eyes glaring at the chamberlain.

"Yes, with a cold or something otherwise not more than a minor annoyance," Rowland rebuffed as she still stared at the animal Tristan was idly petting. "When were you going to notify the staff you found a cat?" the question finally dropped.

"Look, I don't want the poor thing poked and prodded," Tristan protested.

"There's protocol, Your Majesty. Unauthorised animals can be a security concern for a variety of reasons, especially when they wander into your private quarters," Rowland said with a grimace.

"D'you not like cats?"

"They were bigger on my homeworld, Your Majesty. Frightening things," Rowland replied as she went over to set up a kettle at the small stove in the corner. She fished out some ceramics and poured some water. "But no, I am more of a dog person. Is this why you've decided not to attend the meeting?"

"I've been trying to get her to sit on my lap for days now, the first time she's done so. And she purrs! So yes, I'm not attending the meeting. Tell Stigandr I am unwell."

"Because a cat decided to sit on you," Rowland said with a look.

"Because a cat decided to sit on me, yes. The government practically runs itself -- me missing a meeting won't be a bother. I'll get the report on today's agenda later anyway," Tristan reasoned. She wasn't wrong, Rowland could admit that, at least. The chamberlain returned with a cup of tea which steamed in the fresh sunlight which Tristan took carefully so as to not disturb the napping feline.

"If he won't accept that I am ill -- tell him I am out on the usual business," Tristan suggested with a sip. Rowland backed away and then sneezed.

"Usual business?" the chamberlain asked, wiping her nose with a handkerchief. "Your Majesty, you have no usual business."

"Well, I do now. What do you think of Arthur?"

"I thought you said it was female?"

"I can break the rules if I'd like, I am the Queen."
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Postby Hypatian Commonwealth » Mon Jan 03, 2022 3:34 pm

A Holographic Age
Arvas, Arvanian Kingdom, Commonwealth Realm

The Arvanians had long been receptive to Martian rule. Indeed, the treaty of Gdulfenhar, which incorporated the kingdom into the empire, had been signed without a single shot being fired in anger. The kingdom had become the wealthiest of the exarchies; thanks in large part to its skilled craftsmanship which had earned it much renown in the Commonwealth. This reputation had led it to become the manufacturing heart of the nation, one of the brightest and fairest jewels in the crown, and the Hypatians defended the region fiercely.

It was the Arvanians who built the great Bioframes and ended the food crisis in Delta. It was them who fashioned the stellar foundries that now fuelled the Hypatian's growing material needs. And it was them who mobilised as an unstoppable force to repair the nation from the scars of the Great War. And now, Mars beckoned once more as the shuttle landed on the platform of the alien planet which many Arvanians called home.

"Grand Empress Tristen I, Your Imperial Majesty," King Vvelleren greeted with a bow as the Leilanese-borne Empress descended the ramp of the shuttle. For the Arvanians, she had come not dressed in the typical white military uniform associated with the sovereign but in purple flowing robes with a striking golden tiara atop her head. The Arvanians had not been conquered, and she would not arrive as a conqueror.

"King Vvelleren, Son of Fernhark, it is a pleasure to meet you," Tristan replied, taking the King's hand as he guided her off the last step of the ramp. "I must say, Arvas is a fair city to behold from above."

"It is indeed! One of the oldest settlements on our homeworld. My forefathers tamed the great current of the Elderwater to build it," Vvelleren explained with a grin as the two monarchs proceeded down a set of stairs towards the palace grounds. A small crowd had gathered along the causeway to see the Empress and to throw yellow flowers into her path. Police kept them at bay to avoid any intrusions as they walked. "It is tradition, Your Imperial Majesty, yellow is a good colour -- Arvanians would have it no other way," the king explained.

"I do hope my chamberlain filled in your delegation before my arrival," Tristan said. Rowland had assured her that everything was in order, but she had read Nerys' notes on the Arvanians prior to the trip -- they weren't ones to be trifled with. Her mother calling the relationship 'complex' was indication enough given her own reputation.

"Yes, yes. We've all the details! Come, drink." Vvelleren quickly scampered towards the side of the causeway to take some drinks from a man standing on the other side of the barricade. Tristan had caught a glimpse of him, his stare was dark and directed right at her. "Here we are, wonderful Arvanian ale -- smells like apples. Have a drink won't you, Your Imperial Majesty? It'd be incredibly rude not to partake of such a wonderful gesture."

Tristan took the glass and stared down at the amber-coloured liquid. Vvelleren had already downed his in one gulp and now stared at her expectantly. The crowd grew louder as the two stopped. Fruhen! Fruhen! the chants could be heard. She'd taken enough Arvanian to know its meaning: drink it. "I appreciate the offer, King Vvelleren, Son of Fenhark -- but what kind of guest would I be if not to ensure that you are fully sated, as is my custom," she said, offering him the glass.

Vvelleren stared for a moment then grinned and took the glass. "You are exceptional, Your Imperial Majesty," he said and gulped down the second glass. A butler that had trailed them rushed to his side to take the china before he was waved away by the king. With an outstretched hand, Vvelleren gestured down the causeway and the two continued their walk. The crowd cheered at the display whilst Tristan heaved a sigh of relief.

Palace of Kings, Arvas, Arvanian Kingdom, Commonwealth Realm

The two monarchs scaled the steps to the large wooden doors guarded by two men in armour. By now they were just far enough from the crowds that their chanting and cheering could be safely ignored. Teams of workers opened the gates and exposed a large hall inside lit by the rays of the sun peering through a skylight high above. It resembled more of an enclosed courtyard than anything Tristan had seen. Statues of Arvanians clad in armour with axes stood at each corner with sharp brows staring down towards the centre where a small fountain bubbled.

"This is the Frethhag nar Gnellig -- or the Palace of Kings. Generations of my family have lived and ruled from this very place," Vvelleren explained. Much like a lot of Arvanian architecture, the structure was almost plain with geometric designs worked into the masonry but overall very muted compared to Martian architecture. Grey, was how Tristan thought of it, it was all very, very grey. "We shall convene in the Great Hall over a fine feast," he said excitedly.

The walk through the palace gave Tristan some time to take stock of the Arvanian sovereign who was far more eccentric than she had anticipated. Arvanians were also very short compared to humans, especially Martian humans. Tristan's kind averaged six feet and the Arvanians were nearly a foot or so shorter than that making her a giant amongst them.

Vvelleren himself was perhaps a little taller than most but his striking red hair and greying beard were the most notable features at a glance. Whilst full of energy, Tristan could see the tiredness behind his eyes that had been weathered by a century or more of life. His youth had not abandoned him, but it was clear that old age was beginning to creep in. This, however, made him dangerous.

Her mother noted that the Arvanians had joined the empire willingly but not because they had been suddenly struck with a sense of loyalty - Nerys said they were far too cunning for that. They hadn't done so because of the threat of superior firepower or numbers, either - Nerys noted the Arvanians could nearly match the Martians. Instead, the Arvanians saw an opportunity. Money, her mother reasoned, was definitely a prime motivator but it wasn't the only one. It would be a question that taunted her, however, as she could never nail down an exact motivation beyond that. The Arvanians are cunning and masterful at what they do and for this reason, cannot be trusted. was the warning her mother left in her notes.

As for King Vvelleren, he descended from King Fenhark, who in turn descended from King Arvas. Arvas signed the treaty with the Commonwealth that incorporated them into the empire and entangled their paths. Three generations had amassed a fortune and rapport that rivalled even the Martian Delta. "Ah! Here we are," Arvas exclaimed pushing a door open. A large room opened up to Tristan centred by a long table decorated with fine china and filled to the brim with food. Other nobles of the Arvanians were present standing in wait as the two entered.

"Announcing Empress Tristan I of the Harlowe Family and King Vvelleren, son of Fenhark, of Clan Arvalas," a herald alerted. There was a unanimous and too well-choreographed bow by the crowd of nobles as they made way for Tristan and Vvelleren. Tristan couldn't help but notice their darkly gazes.

Vvelleren took a chalice from the table and lifted it as he beckoned Tristan over where she took the second. "Friends, Lords, Ladies of the Realm! I am proud to say that Her Imperial Majesty has graced us all with her magnificence. May long she reign over the Sixteen Nations."

"May long she reign," the crowd said unanimously as they all took a drink. Tristan followed suit, feeling the sting of the amber liquor on her tongue. "And now, the feast!"
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Postby Hypatian Commonwealth » Wed Jan 05, 2022 6:07 pm

A Holographic Age, Part 2
Frethhag nar Gnellig, Arvas, Arvanian Kingdom, Commonwealth Realm

The palatial hall was adorned in gold trim and crystal mined from the mountains of Argornall that bordered this region to the west. Tristan had seen their snowy peaks when she had arrived. Their broad slopes descended into the valleys around them like molten gold. The Arvanians called the largest of them the Seven Kings or Gnelligfenner in their tongue. Their strikingly bold appearance reflected the impressions Tristan had about her host: they were loud, jubilant, and bacchanal.

A plate shattered somewhere down the long table followed by roaring laughter as the nobles drank and ate their fill. Tristan, who sat rigid and proper in her seat beside Vvelleren, drank deeply from her chalice. Loud praise and cheering followed as several big trays carrying roasted pig were brought in by the palace staff. Many hastily cleared room on the table ensuring there were heavy casualties of mugs, plates, and silverware that crashed to the floor. Tristan took a sharp breath and looked at Vvelleren who drank with amusement at the spectacle.

"Ever since your people introduced swine to our worlds, they have become such a delicacy. Who would have thought they'd flourish so well on the scraps of our labour. And they'll eat just about anything until they're big and fat," Vvelleren explained with a scoff. His eyes lingered on the roasted animal sat before them, which was naturally the largest for the King and his guest. His head tilted as he marvelled at the absent, dead eyes.

Tristan swallowed and sat her chalice down as a butler hastily refreshed her drink. She folded her hands in her lap and looked at the jarring exposition with a grimace. "We're not discussing pigs, are we, Your Highness," she said boldly, turning her gaze back to Vvelleren who pulled his chalice away from his lips and exposed the sharpened teeth beneath them.

"It appears I had taken you for a fool, Your Imperial Majesty." He abruptly straightened his seat and sat his drink down, then shifted his chair closer, rested his elbows on the table, clasped his hands, and stared at her with an unusually contemplative gaze. "You came here wanting us to build your ships and your stations and your weapons... but I have noticed that we are not at war. Who are we fighting, Your Grace? Why has the mighty Hypatia requested so many ships?"

"If I have offended you somehow --"

"No, no, no. You have not offended me, Your Grace. You are almost as astute as your mother. But answer me this -- every time the Martians or Hypatians or -- whatever you call yourselves today -- come asking for builders, conflict follows," Vvelleren said, raising a finger up as he slowly became more animated. "Where were the Hypatians when the Eridani invaded the Delta? How come all these ships we built were not used to defend us?" Vvelleren hastily stood from his chair causing it to flip over with a loud crack. The room fell silent.

"Where were you when the Eridani burned our worlds? When they bombed our stations? When my father died after his calls for help went unanswered!" he shouted. His voice ringed in Tristan's ears as his eyes burned with anger. "You want us to build you these things but at what cost -- how much more must we pay for the sins of the Hypatians? How much more must we bleed for Mars when it won't lift a finger for us?"

Tristan swallowed and looked at the nobles who were now all watching them. She rose from her chair slowly as Vvelleren's gaze remained locked on her even as she began to tower over him, but at that moment, she felt like the shortest in the room. "I cannot excuse or justify any actions my mother took during the Great War because I am not my mother, King Vvelleren. There is not a realm in the Commonwealth that hasn't tasted tragedy as a consequence of our arrogance. But my mother didn't abandon your father. She ordered the fifth fleet to remain at the Parthian Vale to buy everyone in the Delta as much time as possible. Twelve hundred warships faced off against a Kadrian armada of thousands for nearly fifteen hours. When the order was given to retreat -- they refused and chose to fight until the very end. The fifth wasn't Nalari or even Arvanian -- Your Majesty. They were a Martian home fleet."

Vvelleren stepped back as his gaze began to cool. Tristan looked at the others in the room whose faces were twisted in anger and pain. "I came here for your help because we were woefully unprepared at the beginning of the Great War. I can see the scars of it in your faces, every single one of you. But know that I am not Martian," she turned to Vvelleren, "My homeworld of Leilani burned as well. When the Conglomerate fell at the onslaught of the Eridani -- this nation became something else. We are all Delta blood here. Mars cannot survive without the Delta. And my hope is that the Arvanians will help us in ensuring that such a tragedy never happens again -- and this time, King Vvelleren, Mars will answer."
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Postby Hypatian Commonwealth » Thu Jan 06, 2022 2:46 am

A Holographic Age, Part 3
Frethhag nar Gnellig, Arvas, Arvanian Kingdom, Commonwealth Realm

Vvelleren stood by where his chair had tumbled to the ground. He could feel the bite of the air around him as the blood pulsing beneath his skin burned hot and sweat dribbled down his cheek. He looked towards the other nobles and then at Tristan who remained where she stood with her hands clasped in front of her. She stared back unwaveringly towards him. Fenhark had many stories about the Hypatians, notably of Martians. Short-tempered, arrogant, warlike -- all qualities that his father reminisced over, having visited Mars several times in his youth.

Tristan was no Martian but Vvelleren knew little of the Leilanese other than they were one of the worlds indeed hit by the Eridani during the Great War. Many realms in the Delta had been surprised by her ascension to the throne, she was perhaps Nerys' most closely guarded secret. Vvelleren closed his eyes for a moment as he remembered his father's words.

He remembered the day Fenhark told him of Nerys. The rains were falling hard from the skies and the sound of thunder roared in the valleys of the Gnelligfenner. Vvelleren was just a young boy then, terrified of the Gods' Anvils as they hammered away at the night sky. His father picked him up and placed him on his lap so they could rest beside the crackling fire. He said, "Let me tell you a story..."

***


"Papa, I'm scared!" Vvelleren cried out as Fenhark picked him up and sat him down on his leg. Fenhark gave a reassuring pat to his son as he quietly chuckled and gently rocked in his chair. The old King's eyes watched the waltzing flames of orange and gold in the hearth beside them.

"Let me tell you a story, Vvelleren. Would you like that?" he asked of his son. The boy pressed his face into the King's coat as another crack of thunder boomed overhead and rattled the windows. "There was once a time when no one called me 'Old Greybeard'," the king chuckled softly. "But I was just beginning to feel the bite of old age when a strange woman entered my hall. We had heard of her from other realms in the empire as she had begun to travel -- they described a woman dressed in black with a face of chiselled stone and eyes of raging amber.

"She had been sent by the Martians to take stock of us Delta-folk following the end of the Colonial Wars. You see, the empire had been at war for many years by this point as nation after nation rose up against the might of Mars. I had been faced with a difficult choice and ultimately chose neutrality. Times back then were hard but I knew this rebellion would be folly. The Colonials called me a coward and at times blockaded us or threatened us with war. But I would not bend nor break. And after nearly thirty years of war -- the Colonials had been crushed.

"What remained of the Delta were either wartorn backwaters or realms like ours. But not all who chose to remain neutral were so lucky. And when the guns had fallen silent, so had begun the travels of this peculiar figure. I had met many Martians in my time, my boy. And let me tell you, none were quite like this woman. She was known as Nerys and despite what I had expected, she was no Martian. She came with a treaty in hand to formally declare the end of the Colonial Wars. As you can understand, I was quite confused by this as we had not rebelled against Mars.

"You see, the empire had been so thoroughly devastated by this conflict that it had become a husk of its former self. We had heard the news of the riots across the empire and the lack of Martian troops or ships to quell the unrest. It seemed the war had smothered the once rampaging fire of the Martian war machine and brought a Titan to its knees. Communications were slowing down, food was becoming unattainable, and it seemed inevitable that this cursed rot would eventually spread to every corner of the empire if something wasn't done.

"But when she first presented me with this treaty, I sent her away. I was angry that Mars would come to us as if we had somehow betrayed our loyalty. I told her that I would rather have my head on a pike than submit to a fabrication. But then she returned the next day and again presented me with the treaty. I sent her away again, cursing Mars and everything she stood for. The next day, she did not return and so I thought the issue had finally been settled but I was wrong.

"On the fifth day she returned but this time with no treaty. She stood before my throne and looked squarely at me and explained that she was not here to conquer the Arvanian people but to request their help. Not an inch of the empire had been untouched by the war and was now at risk of turning on itself once more. Millions more would suffer. And then, the unexpected -- she pulled a knife from her belt and slit her palm, letting the blood drip onto the stones of my hall and exclaimed, 'King Fenhark, have I not shed my blood for the good of your kingdom? Would you not do the same?' I was taken aback by this.

"You see, the Sanguinare is an old Martian tradition carried out by performing this act but on Martian soil. It is to signify a promise that what they are doing is for Mars and is considered one of the most important rites in Martian culture. Where the tradition came before that, I do not know. But to my knowledge, it had never been done on another world. The very act would have been blasphemous, but here she was -- Commander Nerys -- performing it on Arvas. Binding herself to my homeworld.

"It was the first time I did not turn her away. The empire needed ships and it needed builders and the Arvanian people had suddenly found themselves at the centre of this desperate plea. The treaty that was created that day was different from all the others. Arvania would no longer be just a subject of the empire. But the winds were changing course and as the Conglomerate slowly recovered from its wounds it became clear to me that they would never truly heal. We had merely postponed the inevitable. But with that agreement came an assurance: when the walls finally caved against the waves of war, Mars would protect us."
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Postby Hypatian Commonwealth » Fri Jan 14, 2022 3:51 am

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STATUS : ENCRYPTED; IN-CONFIDENCE Security of Communication Act, Section 5.3
VERIFICATION : Verified by State Security Intelligence Check — Token [REDACTED]

Sen : 7500 Hebrides Road, Palace of Northminster, Northminster; Crown Office of Communications — Key [REDACTED]
Rec : 1600 Victory Avenue, Camp Mars ("Amsterdam"), Pennworth; Office of the Secretary of Defence — Key [REDACTED]

This is an official communication of Her Majesty's Government. Unauthorised access, transmission, reproduction, or duplication of this communication will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

Inquiry into the use of ISCMs against the USEI


Good morning Mr Secretary,

The National Security Committee ("NSC") of the House of Commons ("HoC") in Parliament have issued a number of subpoenas to members of Her Majesty's Armed Forces, Her Majesty's Advisory Council, and members of Her Majesty's Government including but not limited to that of the Secretary of the Navy, Secretary of Strategic Arms, Operational Commander of Strategic Arms, former Prime Minister Ragnvold Njord Stigandr, Operational Commander of Naval Intelligence, Operational Coordinator of Vanguard, Operational Commander of the Valkyrie Sentry Array, Chief Intelligence Chairman of Civil Defence's Intelligence and Counter-Intelligence Agency, and others.

These subpoenas have been issued as part of an official inquiry by the NSC, under the auspices of the Hartbirdge-Vanquell Act, in order to investigate the limited use of Interstellar Cruise Missiles ("ISCMs"), by Her Majesty's Armed Forces, against a number of high-profile military targets of the United Species of the Eridani Imperium ("USEI"). These strikes were conducted during the opening hours of the 'Delta Crisis' on the 8th of Odyssey, 2201.

These subpoenas are subject to the limitations as outlined in the Hartbridge-Vanquell Act, confining any questioning by the NSC to the aforementioned period and do not constitute a judgement or assumption of guilt or other criminal liability. However, it should be noted that any testimony provided to the NSC is provided under oath, of the responsibility of the witness, and may be subject to the law if a judgement is made following a formal inquiry and its legal proceedings, if any.

Generally, it is not the policy of the Crown to compel high-profile members of the Armed Forces to comply with subpoenas in regards to information considered 'privileged', particularly on matters of national security. The Hartbridge-Vanquell Act is clear that any information considered 'privileged' for the aforementioned reason is at the mercy of the Crown's sole judgement on the matter, and can, therefore, control whether any subpoena may be considered an encroachment on such authority -- that authority being the Imperial Prerogative of the Crown.

The Crown has made the decision to permit the aforementioned to testify before a panel of the NSC in a closed-door session, absent of media and public viewership, for the purpose of the inquiry and its scope. For this reason, the information provided may not be considered 'fully privileged', but still may be subject to the necessary and appropriate redactions to safeguard national security. Furthermore, the Crown has provided provisional immunity to the aforementioned who are presently in Her Majesty's Armed Forces or serving in a capacity that supports the Armed Forces -- this provisional immunity has not been extended to civilians and certain members of staff.

In compliance with the Hartbridge-Vanquell Act, the Crown has agreed to provide the necessary legal counsel at the expense of the Crown to those under provisional immunity. It is the responsibility of the members subject to this status ("privileged status") to strongly adhere to the advice of counsel in these matters; refusal to do so may jeopardise the aforementioned status and thus result in the termination of provisional immunity by the Crown, potentially exposing the aforementioned to legal repercussions.

It is imperative that all statements made in confidence by the aforementioned are provided fully under oath and are, to the best of their knowledge, factual and correct. Deviations from this may jeopardise the provisional immunity of those subject to privileged status, exposing them to unnecessary and consequential legal repercussions including but not limited to contempt if they have been found to have willfully committed perjury or false statements during the NSC's inquiry. This is a further reason that adherence to the advice of counsel is of the utmost importance.

While the NSC may conduct its inquiry, it must confine questioning to the aforementioned period, however, there may be times where such questioning may require supporting testimony from dates outside this period such as the issuance of policy or procedure that may have contributed to or be responsible for certain actions that were taken. There is no objection by the Crown to answering these questions provided they comply with the parameters subject to the law and on the advice of counsel.

Signed,

Cora Morgana Rowland, O.R.S
Chamberlain of the Imperial Household
Keeper of the Imperial Seal
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Postby Hypatian Commonwealth » Mon Jan 17, 2022 7:58 pm

The Raven and the Crow
Harlow, capital of the Commonwealth

News travelled quickly in the Commonwealth. The sun hadn't even set on Mars and the birds were already singing as the wind shifted from the south, carrying the news that had swept the country. Tristan was in her office most of the day performing her duties as empress but mainly waiting for her arrival.

She opened the curtains to the tall bay windows of her office to let as much sunlight in as possible, it made the room feel bigger, she thought. The garden was beyond the glass, still in its gloomy state, though she didn't linger on it. She organised her bookshelf and adjusted the chairs opposite of hers. The large circular rug that brought the room together was given as much space as possible to breathe. The clock chimed and the empress checked her watch, it was time. She adjusted her uniform, the typical white naval uniform of the monarchs, and rested in the chair behind her desk.

The meeting she and Eden had last time had been a wonderful introduction, but there was some part of her, deep down, that was glad it wasn't Gormor. He was spineless and would have jeopardised her plans. Eden, of course, was still a threat -- there was something admirable about the woman's tenacity, Tristan thought. She pulled a pebble from the roots of the small bonsai tree she had on her desk and rolled it around between her fingers as she watched the door.

Eden would be arriving by car and Rowland would take her to Tristan's office. She would present her government and Tristan would either accept it or refuse it. That was how this was meant to go. Things didn't always go as planned. A knock came at the door and she straightened, taking in a breath, as the door swung open and revealed Eden and Rowland.

Rowland stepped aside and shut the door behind Eden as she stepped into the centre of the room. "Congratulations on your hard-fought victory, Ms Eden," Tristan said. She didn't stand but merely stared at the new prime minister.

"I see you aren't wearing gloves this time, Your Majesty," Eden observed.

Tristan blinked slowly at the comment and sat the pebble down in the bonsai garden then stood. Eden gave a polite bow as the empress came around to the front of the desk and stopped just a foot from the new prime minister, she looked her over for a moment, and slowly rested against the edge of her desk. "I trust you have recommendations for your cabinet, Ms Eden?"

"Oh, yes, of course." Eden fumbled in her purse and withdrew a green folder then handed it off to the empress.

Tristan held the folder out towards her chamberlain as she stared down at Eden. "Ms Rowland, inform everyone in this file that they've been accepted by the Crown," Tristan spoke flatly. Rowland took the documents from Tristan and quickly exited the room without a word, only stopping to carefully close the door behind her as she left.

"You weren't going to look at them, Your Majesty?" Eden questioned with a look of bewilderment.

"I don't take you for a fool, Ms Eden," Tristan said as she held out her hand, "As Queen of the Martians and Empress of the Sixteen Nations, you are hereby permitted to form a government in my name."

Eden blinked and then hesitantly leaned over to kiss the ring on Tristan's finger. "Thank you, Your Majesty," she said as she slung her purse back over her shoulder and carefully stepped back. "Is there anything else you need of me, Your Majesty?"

"That is all, Ms Eden," Tristan dismissed.

Eden nodded and headed for the door. As she wrapped her fingers around the doorknob, Tristan called after her, "One more thing, Ms Eden -- Rest assured that we will be watching. I do hope you have a long career without any controversy."

Eden said nothing as she pulled the door open and left.

"She's learnt quick," Nakamura said, stepping from behind the bookcase.

"She has -- but not for our benefit," Tristan replied as she took a seat and offered one to the Director of Civil Defence. Nakamura was an old lady who had served under Nerys and was one of her mother's most important confidants during her reign. "State Security did some digging for us both -- She's the daughter of a prominent Media Baron," Tristan rubbed her forehead as she pulled out a file and tossed it on her desk. Nakamura took the documents and flipped through them.

"A Belmont? Now that is fascinating."

"Not just a Belmont -- Harald Belmont," Tristan added, "Her mother is --"

"Lutecia Fournier," Nakamura commented as she flipped through the pages, her voice carried almost amusement. "Lutecia's birthname is Eden."

"Yes, I take it Robert Fournier wasn't very thrilled," Tristan added.

"Divorce?"

"An accident, according to official post-mortem," Tristan corrected.

"Well, I couldn't fault her for not wanting to take his last name -- Robert is a man of many vices -- notably drinking," Nakamura noted. "Do you think she'll be a problem?" The question was pointed and Tristan looked over at the director.

"She's already a problem but she's less a problem than Gormor. My main problem right now is the Eridani -- this conflict was unexpected and to say that an entire department dedicated to the issue is having difficulties with them is an understatement. The Arvanians have agreed to work on our project -- it has come with stipulations -- but it does mean, provided nothing else gets in the way, that we are still moving on schedule," Tristan replied.

"What about Ms Eden's reforms?"

"I'm not too worried about that -- as my mother said, the State must survive, and it always has. It just means we'll need to run interference," Tristan replied.

"I see," Nakamura said, setting the folder down on her desk, "the Longbeards have reared their ugly heads again in the Primarchy. It's likely they'll soon take over the Leidang, this attack has galvanised support for them."

"We'll have to up our efforts," Tristan sighed, "In the meantime, we're going to need as much information about Eden's plans as possible."

"Already on it."
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Postby Hypatian Commonwealth » Tue Jan 18, 2022 4:00 pm

A Kadrian in the Thicket
Harlow, capital of the Commonwealth

"How do you think the Eridani would respond?" Rowland questioned as she poured the tea for her and the empress. They sat on the balcony that overlooked the mighty Hebrides river. Rowland stirred her cup gently as she reclined in her seat, the aroma of the Menelmacari tea was always a pleasant luxury. The question, however, was not.

Tristan sipped her cup and then set it down on the saucer she held with her other hand. She looked conflicted as she furrowed her brows and peered out over the edge towards the river. Rowland always found this display cute in a manner, mainly because the empress would scrunch the middle of her nose when thinking so deeply. "The Eridani are going to want blood for the strikes," Tristan said, "If the committee found Stigandr guilty of some crime then it may or may not appease them. He was dismissed to keep the peace at home but the other powers have undoubtedly looked at that with suspicion. And he is still kin of the Eridani."

Rowland nodded and sipped her tea. "Shaming Stigandr without convicting him of anything might satisfy both conditions, Your Majesty. It could bring some vindication to the Eridani that someone in the government had acted under poor judgement either based on their own merit or due to the information they had been given, and it would be less likely to ruffle feathers," Rowland explained.

"Hmm." Tristan sat her cup and saucer on the small table between them. "He's still innocent. But the longer he stays in the country, the more I worry about his well-being. The Rovanians aren't particular to him for his views on the Longbeards and the Martians aren't particular to him for being Kadrian."

"We could have the Imperial Marshals usher him out of the country, the problem there being that he couldn't go home to the Eridani -- they'd crucify him," Rowland said. "The reality, Your Majesty, is that he is going to take a fall for it regardless. Whether the committee thinks he violated the law or not, he will be held liable either by the public or by them. What you need to consider is how the Crown will respond."
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Postby Hypatian Commonwealth » Thu Jan 20, 2022 9:59 pm

.H..M..G.


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Her Majesty's Government of the Hypatian Commonwealth



STATUS : ENCRYPTED; IN-CONFIDENCE Security of Communication Act, Section 5.3
VERIFICATION : Verified by State Security Intelligence Check — Token [REDACTED]

Sen : 7500 Hebrides Road, Palace of Northminster, Harlow FCR; Crown Office of Communications — Key [REDACTED]
Rec : No 17 Ardern Street, Prime Minister's Residence, Harlow FCR — Key [REDACTED]

This is an official communication of Her Majesty's Government. Unauthorised access, transmission, reproduction, or duplication of this communication will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

Release of information regarding the Great Accords


The Imperial Archives has agreed to release Letter No 43 of late Empress Nerys I in regards to inquiries of the Great Accords.

Letter No 43

The Democratic Experiment has failed following destructive interference by former Secretary-General Ewan Roth. The 'United Republic' designed to balance the competing cultures, species, and ideals of the former Martian Conglomerate will be disbanded with I serving as the sole executive of the State in the interim.

It is clear that undoing over a century of prejudice and bureaucratic rule cannot be easily done with the simple grant of universal suffrage. There requires an enforcement mechanism to keep the entire institution on course long enough for democracy to blossom. In essence, one must first seed the ground with which to grow their crop.

Sixteen delegations will meet in the capital of Laconia on Mars to discuss a treaty that will greatly centralise the State, binding them all into a federal union whereby two forms of government will work in synthesis with another: one to regulate, and one to administrate.

The Imperial Institution will be revived and reinforced at the centre of the Martian State, its role to act as the supreme executive with which to guide the nation towards better shores. This Institution will be led by the Sovereignty, an old term of the First Conglomerate, encompassing not only the sovereign but its powers and mechanisms. To prevent further corruption and degradation of the past Conglomerate, the Sovereignty will not be hereditary but instead, be an elective position from a select pool of candidates with which the current sovereign shall nominate and shall be approved by the Senate.

The Senate shall form the primary deliberative body as advisory to the Sovereignty and comprised of the delegations from each nation, referred to as 'Realms', in a commonwealth of states. The Senate will have some regulatory powers such as approving the use of force by the Sovereignty and confirming the heir.

Laws shall be handled by a lower assembly considered the realm of the commons which shall be filled by a writ of election by a specialised court. These writs shall be randomly issued to eligible 'electors' of each realm who will then meet and vote on candidates to represent their constituencies in the legislature. This process will reduce the number of the commons and more appropriately serve the interest of the State in staying the course.

It shall be the prerogative of the Sovereignty to dismiss the commons if need be, but this shall not be extended to that of the Senate. It shall also be the prerogative of the Sovereignty to establish an Imperial Cabinet of ministers to administer the duties of State. Typically, in Old World governments, this selection came from the commons and may be more appropriate to maintain a sense of suffrage with the public at large. A prime minister or another official may be appointed to tend to the matters of the cabinet and therefore the government to better administer the affairs of state efficiently. And it shall be the prerogative of the Sovereignty to provide assent to any law written by the commons.

The Sovereignty shall be a union of the Martian State and the Imperial Realm with Mars being the president over all of the realms in the Commonwealth.

Signed,

Nerys Harlow




Signed,

Cora Morgana Rowland, O.R.S
Chamberlain of the Imperial Household
Keeper of the Imperial Seal
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Postby Hypatian Commonwealth » Sun Jan 23, 2022 6:48 pm

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Her Majesty's Government
Cabinet Minutes // 23 Odyssey Year 2201


STATUS : CLASSIFIED; Security of Communication Act, Section 5.3
VERIFICATION : Verified by State Security Intelligence Check — Token [REDACTED]

This is an official summary of cabinet proceedings. Unauthorised access will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law;

Minutes from the Prime Minister's Cabinet of the Commonwealth of Hypatia



Meeting brought to order at 1300

All present. No apologies.




Reading of the minutes of the last meeting.

The minutes of the last meeting were read and accepted as being both correct and accurate by unanimous vote.



Bussiness carried forward from the last meeting.

DELTA CRISIS UPDATES
The SECRETARY OF DEFENCE said that the Seventh Fleet had been dispatched to the Delta Quadrant from its homeport in the Beta Quadrant to reinforce territories left unprotected by the mobilisation of other naval assets at the Harlow Line. Continuing, the Secretary said that there were no further reports of conflict at the Harlow Line and that the full assessment of damages regarding the retaliatory strike by the United Species of the Eridani Imperium (USEI) had been completed. (Appendix 1)

ARDA CRISIS UPDATES
Continuing, the SECRETARY OF DEFENCE said that the First Fleet in the home system of Sol is awaiting further information in regards to the Arda Incident (Appendix 2). Quick Reaction Forces (QRF) have been dispatched across the system. The Secretary said that military planners in the Ministry of Defence are concerned about the split in naval assets and looks forward to a quick resolution in the system so that these forces can be reassigned to their former duties. Continuing, the Secretary submitted a report to the Cabinet (Appendix 3) of the current status of the Commonwealth Navy and its fleets.




New Business

TERRITORIAL ADMINISTRATION

The PRIME MINISTER said that Her Majesty signed off on the reclassification and redistribution of territories and their administrations as a part of the Consolidation Plan and the Government Act of 2201. The Primarchy of Rovania has been admitted to the Commonwealth as an Ecumene Realm. (Appendix 4) Continuing, the Prime Minister said that the Capital Act of 2201 had been accepted by Her Majesty and the cities of Northminster, Queenstown, Fujita City, and Bay City will be incorporated into the capital of Harlow on Mars. (Appendix 5)

Continuing, the PRIME MINISTER said that the Nicean Integration Act had been accepted by Her Majesty and the military dominion of Nicea will be incorporated into the Commonwealth as the 'Beyonese Realm'. (Appendix 6)

The HOME SECRETARY said that the government of the Kingdom of Halland had approved the 'New Hanover Act' and will incorporate the Eastern Territory on Mars into the kingdom as the province of 'New Hanover'. (Appendix 7)

ISCM FORMAL INQUIRY

The ATTORNEY GENERAL said that the Ministry of Justice had not received any deferment by the National Security Committee (NSC) for criminal charges in regards to the NSC's inquiry of the 8th of Odyssey strikes conducted by the armed forces. Continuing, the Attorney General said that criminal charges would be inappropriate for the former prime minister and would likely result in significant political blowback both domestically and internationally.

COMMERCE REPORT ON THE CASSIO REACH GATE

The COMMERCE SECRETARY said that the damage to the Cassio Reach phasegate had disrupted domestic trade considerably with an estimated loss of £1.2 trillion in commercial revenue over the last few weeks. Continuing, the Secretary said that the total damage to the gate based on a report (Appendix 8 ) released by the Ministry of Infrastructure would cost the government £1.7 trillion to repair.

The UNDERSECRETARY OF TRANSPORTATION in the MINISTRY OF COMMERCE said that the Commonwealth would benefit from establishing new gates to alleviate further risks from repeated attacks in the future. The Undersecretary deferred to the Secretary of Infrastructure.

The SECRETARY OF INFRASTRUCTURE said that the construction cost of two more phasegates would be an estimated £30 trillion and add an additional £1.2 trillion in maintenance per gate to the Department of Transportation. The Secretary deferred to the Exchequer.

The CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHQUER said that current government expenditure for the Ministry of Commerce was £840 trillion. Two new gates in the Martian Delta would require an increase in the annual budget of £7.2 trillion and a special spending bill of at least £190 trillion for six new gates in each transportation sector, plus the repairs of the Cassio Reach gate and any other possible overheads.

The PRIME MINISTER inquired if a more efficient routing procedure could be implemented to reduce the number of gates required.

The COMMERCE SECRETARY said that while routing more efficiently could handle more load through the gates, it would not be a viable alternative based on the recommendation provided by the Undersecretary of Transportation. Continuing, the Secretary said that the importance of redundancy to prevent further disruptions was an important priority.

The PRIME MINISTER asked the Chief Whip if such a spending bill could be approved by the legislature.

The CHIEF WHIP said that £190 trillion could be a hard sell with the more fiscal-minded party leaders. Continuing, the Chief Whip said that the Rovanian MPs would likely prefer that money be spent towards humanitarian aid in affected regions like Sigurdshafn. The Chief Whip deferred to the Home Secretary.

The HOME SECRETARY said that the Rovanians would be receptive to the spending bill if it contained additional spending for humanitarian aid. Continuing, the Secretary suggested increasing the spending bill to £195 trillion with £3 trillion allocated towards humanitarian aid. £2 trillion allocated for unforeseen overheads for that aid.

The CHIEF WHIP said that £195 trillion would still be a hard sell to the party.

The PRIME MINISTER asked what the cost would be if the Government were to increase the number of gates in the Martian Delta to two with their interconnections going to Sol and not include extra interconnections to the Beta Quadrant.

The COMMERCE SECRETARY said the total cost would be £125 trillion instead, including the Rovanian humanitarian aid.

The CHIEF WHIP said that the £125 trillion spending bill would be an easier sell in Parliament.

The PRIME MINISTER said that she would accept that and the proposal should be sent to a select committee for drafting.

EXCHEQUER REPORT

The CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER said that current government expenditure is 23.8% of GDP. Continuing, the Exchequer said that revenue will see an increase come next quarter due to a change in the tax law for the Beyonese Realm.

UIK RELATIONS

The SECRETARY OF STATE said that the United Imperial Kingdoms (UIK) has refused to assist the Galactic Republic of Arkasia (GRA) in further matters regarding the Delta Crisis investigations. Continuing, the Secretary said that the Hypatian ambassador to the Martian Forum had made it known to the UIK of the Commonwealth's displeasure for their lack of notification regarding the 'Arda Incident'.

Continuing, the SECRETARY OF STATE said that it wouldn't be appropriate and likely cause more harm to recall the Hypatian ambassador to the UIK.

The PRIME MINISTER asked what the best course of action would be on the matter.

The SECRETARY OF STATE said that the UIK had demonstrated that it was unreliable on matters of security for the system of Sol and that it would choose politics over lives. The Secretary deferred to the Secretary of Defence.

The SECRETARY OF DEFENCE said that the Commonwealth's best course of action would be to maintain a larger presence in the system and no longer consider UIK intelligence as credible moving forward without separate or corroborative verification.

The SECRETARY OF STATE said that the Eternal Ascendancy of Menelmacar's (EAM) response to the 'Arda Incident' had not breached the Mutual Security Treaty.

The PRIME MINISTER made her closing remarks and thanked all for their attendance.



Non Agenda Items

None.



Appendices



Appendix 1
Appendix 2
Appendix 3
Appendix 4
Appendix 5
Appendix 6
Appendix 7

Meeting concluded at 1500
Last edited by Hypatian Commonwealth on Sun Jan 23, 2022 7:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Hypatian Commonwealth » Thu Jan 27, 2022 2:24 am

Atlas
Beneath Northminster, Mars

The catacombs of Northminster Palace predated the structure by nearly a century. Who or what built them was a mystery as there was no record anywhere that mentioned the winding halls where Tristan had found herself. Rather than bury them under the foundation, her mother -- Nerys the Great, had them renovated and greatly expanded. They were the deepest and most expansive subterranean structures in the Hellasmark. State-of-the-art shielding and reinforcements had been built into the catacombs to protect the Empress and prevent surveillance. A usual and unsuspecting location for the younger Harlow's machinations.

Tristan was tailed by a short man who was nearly as wide and round in shape as he was tall. He was Arvanian, an artificer, to be exact. His name was Boruk and he had been assigned to the Empress by the Arvanians -- to assist her on her mother's work. The two stopped before a strange door, not a word had been uttered during their stroll through the darkened hallways. Tristan held out a hand and the door began to shift in an unnatural fashion.

"Hypatians are full of many secrets, it would seem," Boruk commented as he examined the door closely. It was entirely opaque but moved like liquid. A faint light rippled through it in response to her presence.

"You'll learn this is far more than meets the eye, Boruk," Tristan looked down at him with a grin as she walked through the door. There was a gasp from the Arvanian as he poked the entryway. It had not opened but he could stick his arm through. He felt a hand grab him by the wrist and he was pulled through. Tristan stood aside as he came out the other side, releasing his hand.

"What in the God of Yurumir," he exclaimed, staring at the wall he had seemingly just walked through. He touched the wall but it was solid now and there was no sign a door had ever been there.

Tristan looked at him with amusement, "Come, Boruk."

A room rested at the end of the tight corridor where mechanical soldiers stood guard. Boruk stared at their featureless faces as they passed. He had never seen such soldiers before. "Your Majesty, why all of the security? These are not Hypatians I am familiar with," Boruk asked nervously.

"They're not Hypatian -- not originally, at least," Tristan remarked. She stopped at a table and fiddled with a small console on its edge. "Long ago, there existed a precursor civilisation with many fascinating technologies and artefacts. They were different to how you and I think of a 'civilisation'. A type of gestalt that spanned thousands of stars. We learnt of them when we began to explore the Scythian archives in the Red Abyss."

"What happened to them?" Boruk asked as he stared up at the faint blue glow on the Empress' face. She looked almost radiant under the light of the hologram, like a ghost in the shadow.

"We don't know," Tristan said as she glanced towards Boruk, her normally amber eyes were glowing under the light, "The gestalt collapsed and what remained were only whispers of their existence. When we discovered the Hazbolt core in the old Khaganate -- we didn't know what to make of it. Little did we know it contained them."

"Them?"

"The Revenant. The last remnants of their kind. An intelligence that far exceeded our own at the time. They were looking for new masters and so we gave them one," a projection lit up the room as Tristan stepped back. The light was almost blinding as Boruk joined her. A massive oddly shaped structure had appeared in the room, translucent and glowing, it slowly rotated. "Behold, Boruk. Behold the final piece of years of research -- Atlas"
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Postby Hypatian Commonwealth » Thu Jan 27, 2022 3:49 pm

When Atlas Slept
Beneath Northminster, Mars

Boruk stared at the schematics as Tristan circled the table to a different console. It was a substantial structure built in layers and powered by something the Arvanian had never seen before: a laconium core. The Hypatians had come to refine their technologies on this very material and now it was clear to him that they were starting to break the surface into something bigger. But he had questions, the structure was familiar, he didn't know why.

"The goal of the Ascendant Project is to preserve our civilisation, Boruk," Tristan said, "We have spent years building the infrastructure to create the largest network intelligence of its kind. All of this infrastructure will be supported by this intelligence. Billions of minds will be able to manifest on the network. And when the last stars burn out, we will remain." Whatever Tristan had done, a vault in the floor opened and arose a small orb on a pedestal.

Boruk was immediately drawn to it. It was a strange object with a presence that demanded attention. "What is it?" the Arvanian asked. He reached out to touch it but could neither feel nor see its surface clearly, though his hand stopped as if it had run into something. There was a sensation from this gesture, he couldn't quite place it, though he felt both unease and curiosity.

"It is a Revenant core," Tristan explained, "One of only a few we have uncovered. They are 4th-dimensional constructs that require some exceptional engineering to manufacture. The unease you are feeling is because of what it is doing -- it knows you are there. And it wants to know what you are."

"Is it an AI?" Boruk asked as he looked to Tristan for answers, "Is it a mind?"

"Billions, in a sense. There are some cores that survived the calamity that befell them and are still capable of communicating. They are not here and this is not one of them. What we learned during our research is that not all of the cores we uncovered are capable of that. These ones are more 'blank'," she replied as she walked to the object. "It is harmless, so do not worry."

"There's a lot of danger messing with ancient technologies like this, Your Majesty," Boruk stepped away from the orb as it began to resonate with Tristan's presence.

"Generally, yes. We have learned this the hard way with many things. I have not been entirely truthful with you, Boruk. We know what befell their civilisation and brought its collapse -- it was Karax," Tristan spoke. Boruk's eyes widened at the mere utterance of the name. "This was their attempt at salvation, but they weren't ready. Some succeeded, others failed. And when they hurried and tried to activate their plan to survive the onslaught -- the gestalt collapsed."
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Postby Hypatian Commonwealth » Fri Jan 28, 2022 11:47 am

Giants
Beneath Northminster, Mars

"When Atlas is brought online, the Hypatia that we know will be no more," Tristan explained, "Across the entire Commonwealth, the nodes will answer the call, and we will have our uplift."

"An uplift? How so, Your Majesty?" Boruk questioned as he watched the Empress move around the strange orb. He backed away from her cautiously as he watched her eyes radiate in the darkness. The Hypatians were cybernetic, he knew that, but only some of them had amber eyes. Hers burned like lakes of molten gold, cutting through the shadow as they peered at him. Her behaviour was surprising as he felt the table behind him. She was far more forward and he began to wonder if the orb was having an influence on her -- and if so, why it wasn't affecting him.

"Hypatians will have a choice to join the network, that much is certain. Everyone should have the right to choose salvation," she said, stopping just a few feet from the Arvanian. "The days of petty politics will be over and a new age will begin. We have built for the last several decades the infrastructure that we require," she raised her hand and pulled the hologram towards her. It expanded from just her thought and depicted dozens of systems. "Stellar foundries are now upwelling material across the empire and our manufacturing is now moving at an unprecedented pace for the final pieces. The Arvanians have agreed to finish our designs, in exchange, we will release them from their obligation. That was our deal. When the Garden is finished, it will know only peace."

"It was a test..."

"I'm sorry?" Tristan asked as the hologram collapsed and she looked down at Boruk.

"Why you weren't truthful at first -- it was a test. You waited to expose me to that thing," he pointed at the orb, "whatever it was doing. What would have happened otherwise?"

Tristan's eyes faded in colour as she looked at him, "You're smarter than you might look, Boruk." There was a gentle smile and then with a waft of her hand, the orb receded back down into its vault. "It would have torn you atom from atom if it thought you were a threat," she answered. The revelation was far less surprising than Boruk had expected, perhaps only because he had expected it. The change in her demeanour told him everything he needed to know.

"The Revenant and Hypatia have an agreement -- they want their freedom back in exchange for uplifting. Naturally, we were hesitant. We sent out expeditions to corroborate their stories, and over the last fifty years, we have found no reason not to trust them," she explained as she turned away. "They are capable of some feats themselves and have been serving as advisories since my mother's reign. Our technologies have been possible thanks to their guidance."

Boruk heaved a sigh as he stepped away from the table, the room now colder and calmer with the orb tucked away into whatever hellish depth it had come from. He watched as the Empress found herself a seat and carefully approached her to find his own place to sit. "Even still, these are very dangerous beings to work with. If they are as ancient and powerful as you claim, how can you be so sure they have your best interest?" he cautioned.

"At first, we didn't. When our expeditions into the Red Abyss uncovered the Archives and most notably Awarinath, the Singularity, that was when we learnt more about them. The Revenant were victims of the Glyrrans. The Singularity offered them sanctuary in the hopes that one day it would find a solution for them, though it could not build them what they needed. We were an unexpected variable that provided such a solution. Rebuild the network, the right way this time, and give them refuge -- in exchange, we would reap what they know," Tristan explained.

Boruk looked at her for a moment, "The stellar foundries, the laconium, the gravtech, the living metal, the AI, the holo-tech?"

"From our research with them," the Empress nodded. "When I first took the throne, I didn't know what my pursuit would be. After learning of my mother's work, what she wanted for her people, I've decided that is what my legacy will be. Hypatia is destined for some great things, Boruk."

"I just hope you are right about all this," he said.
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