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And the Sky Full of Stars (closed, nation maintenance)

A staging-point for declarations of war and other major diplomatic events. [In character]
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Menelmacar
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Civil Rights Lovefest

And the Sky Full of Stars (closed, nation maintenance)

Postby Menelmacar » Tue Jul 22, 2014 10:23 am

OOC: This is primarily where I'm going to put Menelmacar stuff, as well as one-off co-op RP's (like the below post) that doesn't fit in other threads. Please don't post here unless invited! Thanks in advance.

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OOC: This post co-written with 'Italian Mafias', aka Republic of Doriande.

Dantooine System

Dantooine was the next stop for Anar-mi-Alcar, the Menelmacari cruiser last seen over Ilum as the Menelmacari emissary, the battlemage Aislinn Garrahan, concluded a most favorable agreement with the Dornalians. Here, too, Menelmacar had interests, in one of the few still-independent enclaves within the Thrashian perimeter, and so, here, too, she had come. The message was a short and simple one:

Attn: Government of the Republic of Doriande
This is the Menelmacari cruiser Anar-mi-Alcar, dispatched from Muunilinst on a mission of diplomacy and trade, carrying an emissary of the Elentári and her Vicereine in Skyriver. We request to dispatch a landing party to the surface to meet with your representatives to discuss our mutual concerns.


Having dropped to realspace, Anar-mi-Alcar waited patiently, hanging at the edge of the system’s Kuiper belt, awaiting the Dorians’ response.

Captain James Green O.B.S. C.M.R. with Bar
Battlestar Kepling, Mercury-class Battlestar [Block II] (BS-101), BSG-23, 4th Fleet
In orbit around Dantooine, Doriande


Kepling, Galiath’s Star, transfer complete and moving away.”

James watched as one of his communication officers in the vast bridge aboard the Mercury battlestar responded to the fleet tender ship that had approached near the Kepling’s port flight pod, transporting over durasteel, tylium and other minerals as well as ammunition for the two hundred Mk. VII Vipers aboard the battlestar, which had recently seen some combat after an engagement with some pirates in the Concord Dawn system.

James’s Executive Officer, a Commander Marvin Frost, approached the holo-table that James himself was standing at, his hands gripped the sides. Marvin was a tad shorter then the six feet James stood at, and his navy blue uniform jacket fit him more snuggly then James’s did, but he was still one of the more competent officers James had served with in the last seventeen years of service with the Navy. He had in his hands a datapad with a long detailed message on it, which Marvin set down when he reached the table. “ Ready for the visit?”

The visit of course was synmous for the soon to arrive Menelmacari which would be arriving to discuss the impending threat that bluntly put had the entire Republic shitting bricks. According to the Naval Command, three days ago, the Thrashian Empire had transmitted a ultimatium to the Chancellor; either surrender and lose Dubrillion and Ord Trasi but become a protectorate or die, as it was inferred. Naturally, the Chancellor refused the request and quickly scrambled looking for help as the Thrashian Empire consumed system after system and grew closer to the four systems belonging to the Republic. The Navy was competent, most of her officers highly experienced from the war with the Grand Republic just a decade ago, but her numbers were vastly outdone by those of the Thrasians and thus, the Chancellor reached out to the Menelmacari, bluntly requesting military aid to resist the Thrasian conquest.

The Kepling had been chosen to host the meeting, the Senate was still uncomfortable with foreigners on planet, and the Kepling had significant historical background. Originally launched twelve years ago, she served on the front lines on every major engagement in the war with the Grand Republic and soon become the only surviving Block 2 Mercury in the Navy; she was also where the Treaty of Taris, ending the war, was signed. After the war she was upgraded and overhauled, but as the larger and more powerful Nova’s took over as the backbone of the fleet, this was one of her last moments to shine.

James turned to address his number two, who had the Menelmacari message on the datapad “ Aye, I do believe we’re ready. Scramble Blue Squadron, have them escort the cruiser to the port flight pod. Alert Chancellor Mohr and get her and the staff ready.”

Attn: Cruiser Anar-mi-Alcar

This is Captain James Green of the Battlestar Kepling. Chancellor Mohr is aboard with our own delegation for the summit and our accomodations are ready for you. We have launched a squadron of our Viper fighters to escort you to our port side flight pod where one of our shuttles or your own can walk you into the pod, where a Honor Guard will take you to the ward room


The acceptance and confirmation came almost immediately, and the Anar-mi-Alcar -- the name meant ‘Sun-in-Splendor’ -- boosted in-system, making for the coordinates provided for the location of Kepling. The Menelmacari ship would soon appear on the Kepling’s dradis; she was a little under seven hundred meters long, about half the length of Kepling, but she bristled with weapons, and her acceleration was the sort one normally expected from a fighter craft. She came alongside Kepling, a few kilometers distant, and launched a Vilyúlairë dropship, a fairly ubiquitous Menelmacari vessel that served in any number of roles ranging from light troopship to executive jet; this one was in the latter category.

More than familiar with the constraints of carrier operations, the Menelmacari dropship, as it arced towards the flight pod, folded its wings not unlike a bat, slimming down to less than half its original span as it descended into the bay, rotating smoothly and setting down on one of the lifts with a feather-light touch.

The port flight pod, usually bustling with activity from Viper landings and the dozens of Raptors that performed various runs during a day, had been cleared especially for the delegation. As it touched down on the deck and was pulled down in by the elevator, it would come into a spotless deck, Vipers lined up carefully along the sides of the hangar with a space cleared for the dropship in the center.

Deckhands would move the dropship into position where an Honor Guard of Marines would await outside, their dress uniforms smartly worn with their rifles held erect at a respectful position. Captain Green himself with Commander Frost at his side awaited at the end of the line and awaited to greet the Menelmacari.

The main door was aft, between the engines, and it opened, a ramp descending, giving a glimpse of a luxurious interior, and revealing a single woman, apparently alone. Unlike many Menelmacari, she was human, with fiery red hair, and quite richly dressed in blue and gold robes, and carried the tall white airevandil staff of a Menelmacari battlemage. She carried herself with supreme confidence, the same sort of self-assurance that the peoples of Skyriver might associate with a Jedi or Sith, though the source of her power was not the same.

Elen síla lumenn’omentielvo,” she greeted the officers at the head of the formation; the line was a traditional formal Menelmacari greeting, and meant ‘A star shines on the hour of our meeting’. “I am Lady Aislinn Garrahan, and I am here representing High Lady Validhreniel nos Fingolfin, Vicereine of Skyriver and herself deputy of High Lady Sirithil nos Fëanor, Elentári of Menelmacar.”

“ Welcome aboard the Battlestar Kepling Lady Garrahn. I am Captain James Green, the commander of the vessel and this is my second in command, Commander Marvin Frost.It is truly an honor to have you here.”

The two men bowed slightly for the ambassadors before returning to a rigid at attention prose and continuing with their speech “ If you’ll follow me, Chancellor Mohr and her delegation are awaiting us in the ward room.”

James turned to lead the group through the numerous winding hallways of the Kepling, most already pre cleared by Marines just a few minutes before, ensuring a quick and speedy travel to the enlarged ward room at the center of the room. It was built in a similar style to the rest of the ship, glossed wooden panels over the walls instead of cold metal that lay behind it and warn banners of the Republic dotted the room, as well as the large circular table in the center; a bit of a stab at the proud equalism that was so valued within the Republic. Chancellor Mohr was seated at the left of the table, some consuls from the Foreign Affairs department with her, and then a more intriguing fellow. Unlike Green or Frost, he did not wear a navy blue uniform with Naval insignia’s, nor did he wear traditional civilian attire. A long, somewhat poor, looking brown cloak covered his shoulders, back and fell to the floor with much excess. Brown leather boots on his feet which went up half of his calf and white robes could be seen when he turned to greet the delegation with a smile; he was Jedi Master Aira Kacen, one of the Jedi Masters of the Order on Taris, and one that Mohr was unsure about. While the Jedi had been invaluable with pacifying the nation after the war a decade ago, she was unsure how the foreigners would take them, and thus was now intently studying the delegation while Green made the introductions.

“ M’lady, this is Chancellor Sace Mohr of the Republic, and Jedi Master Aira Kacen. Please, feel free to take a seat.”

Elen síla lumenn’omentielvo. It is an honor to meet you both, Chancellor Mohr, and Master Kacen.” Aislinn gave a smile, and a slight bow of the head in respect. The Menelmacari had some esteem for the Jedi, and one of their Masters, one Master Fay, was an advisor to the Vicereine. “I greet Doriande in peace, and friendship.”

Mohr was the first to reply, returning the bow of the head in respect “ Thank you for coming, and Doriande welcomes you with respect and peace. We want to thank the Menelmacari for replying to our plea for help in this very troubling times; the Holonet news of the Thrashian expansion as everyone in a fit. I must admit, and Captain Green can confirm, the last time this nation went to war it was very bloody, and none of us want that again, especially when we’re outgunned by the Empire so badly.”

Aislinn nodded. “It is precisely for this reason that I have come, Chancellor,” she answered. “The Thrashian expansion across the region concerned many, even some of my superiors back home, and we can certainly sympathize. We are prepared to offer you protection and guarantee your sovereignty.”

“ That is very re-assuring, but it is not just the Imperial expansion that concerns us. Our Holonet connections are the best, but reports of the incident on Bastion have reached us and are beyond disturbing. Surely your nation itself has heard of them, and we are beyond our capacity in discovering an effective defense “

“Heard of them?” Aislinn smiled. “We have fought them before. The Thrashians claim their expansion is in response to the Chaos threat, and it may or may not be true, but Menelmacar, and our C’tani allies in the Centrality, are unique in this galaxy in having faced this Enemy before. We have established battle doctrines for fighting them on terms favorable to us, and can detect their approach in the chaotic realm of the Warp.”

“ So you have faced them before? They’re weaponry, tactics, they themselves seem very...evil. I must say that the collective 7 Fleet Admirals have been slaving for days to come up with counters to all tactics displayed on Bastion, but we’ve come up with a lack of nothing. Suffice to say, many of us are scared for lack of a better word. “

Aislinn nodded. “Evil is an understatement; they are among the darkest forces we have ever faced, and our history is long, thirty-two thousand years, and the C’tani’s, longer. We can provide the information you will require, and we can position sensor arrays in your systems to warn you, and us, if they approach.”

“ We thank you -”

The Chancellor was promptly cut off by a nod from Captain Green who then spoke up, standing off at the front of the room against the wall “ M’lady, I speak for most of the Admiralty, and officers indeed in the Navy; our Navy at current time consists of around eighty battlestars, the highest number in the last four centuries; and yet, reports from Bastion show ships that could easily leave a Nova-class battlestar split in half within sixty seconds. Forgive my bluntness, but we are greatly concerned over our ability to protect our own space.”

Aislinn glanced to the captain, her eyes sparkling with the barest hint of amusement, and she smiled, quite kindly. “Captain, I welcome your bluntness, it is quite refreshing in diplomacy. I don’t get nearly enough of it. To this I say that the ships we have brought with us to Skyriver -- our own galaxy, which we call Varda’s Cloak, is, shall we say, distant -- are, while limited in number, quite mighty indeed. The relatively unassuming vessel alongside your own carries reactors whose outputs compare favorably with a smallish main sequence star, and already my people are in the process of amassing one of the galaxy’s largest shipbuilding industries, though we intend to produce vessels here based on the local technology base rather than our own, for reasons of non-proliferation. If we are able to place sensors here, and your systems are threatened by Chaos we can have fleets here more than capable of blunting them, before they arrive. Does this help soothe your concerns, Captain Green?”

James looked at the Jedi Master and Chancellor, both who gaves looks of approvals for a moment before James replied “ It does indeed, the sensors would be welcomed. I can have technicians assigned to help you integrate them into the DRADIS systems.

“That would help,” Aislinn answered. “The technology is of strategic value to us, so I cannot disseminate it, but we can deploy arrays throughout your space, and network it to your ships.”

Chancellor Mohr nodded in thanks “ We have to thank you Lady Aislinn for all of this offer of assistance and protection;but it must make me wonder, what could we give in return that would be valuable for such a large empire such as yours?”

Aislinn smiled more widely now. “Very perceptive, Chancellor. No, this is not, at least not entirely, an altruistic trip. We seek surprisingly little, as it happens. Naturally we would like to have free trade with your people, and transit rights through your systems. We’re also aware that Ord Trasi has some considerable shipyards of its own, and we would like to be able to make use of them on occasion, when necessary. Is this amenable to you?”

Morhe glanced at Green at the mention of Ord Trasi, Green attempting to keep a sour look off of his face. Ord Trasi was host to some of the largest and most expansive shipyards in the entire Outer Rim, but it was a source of contention with the Navy; most of the yards were packed with battlestars, combatstars or gunstars in need of repair, armor or refit, progress stalled by the lack of credits that had been a persistent problem up until recently, relieved by a loan from CORE. “Aye, we can set aside some facilities at the yards for your use, but our supply of minerals is limited.”

“Materials are of no concern,” Aislinn waved this off, “We would use our own, you needn’t be worried about that.” She smiled. “Is there anything else we need to cover or does that seem to settle things?”

“ I do believe that settles everything. Now, if you have the time, we can escort your shuttle to my office on the surface and invite you to some lunch; our cuisine is divine or so I’m told by our foreign guests.”

“Excellent!” Aislinn answered with a smile. “Lunch would be exquisite, and I would love to see the planet’s surface. I’ve never been to Dantooine. As to our agreements, I will report back to the Vicereine, and we’ll get a formal treaty drafted up for your review. I’m glad we were able to work this out so easily. Now… lunch, you were saying…” She smiled, rising from her chair.
Last edited by Menelmacar on Tue Aug 04, 2015 3:17 pm, edited 3 times in total.
"The elves will do what is right, not what is on paper." ~Sunset
"We can't go around supporting The Good Of All Things. People might mistake us for Menelmacar." ~Education Minister Lobon of Kn-Yan
"Do you realize you're trying to sell resources to Menelmafuckingcar? Their resource base is larger than Melkor's ego." ~Advisor Julius Razak, Foot-to-Ass Section, Scolopendra
"I started on NS at a time when elf genocides were daily occurrences from week old nations wanting to get ortilleried by Menelmacar." ~Resurgent Dream
"Nothing here but rich-ass elves. Just...running the world. And shopping." ~Officer Daryl Ward, LAPD

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Menelmacar
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Founded: Dec 18, 2002
Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Menelmacar » Tue Jul 29, 2014 6:14 pm

On world after world, the same story was playing out. The setting varied, of course, and the characters, there were slight differences in dialogue, but it was pretty similar across the board. There was usually a room, as richly furnished as the specific world could provide, with a table, and a window, overlooking sea, or mountains, or cityscape, or sometimes open space. On one side of the table there were usually pensive-looking local representatives, and on the other a richly-robed emissary of a realm older than Galactic Civilization As Most People Knew It. All of these worlds were promised protection, whether from Chaos, other imperial powers, or simply rampant poverty, though there was usually some other sweetener as well.

On Aeten and Sarapin, there were multiple visitors, from both the Menelmacari and the C’tani, and the IGBC and the Mining Guild; the agreements with these worlds were jointly entered into.

Empress Teta completed its talks with the Menelmacari, with the promise of increased trade, and to be a jumping off point for vast, planned Menelmacari ‘public works projects’ in the Deep Core. The nature of those projects remained to be seen.

On Nespis, Phateem, and Obroa-skai, assurances were made of backing up -- and adding to -- the worlds’ famous libraries.

On Duros the locals were concerned about the anti-alien attitudes of the so-called ‘Galactic Imperium’, one of whose major systems was the very nearby Corellia, and enticed by the prospect of advanced terraforming that could restore their world to what it had been before the Mandalorian Wars.

On Lantillies and Foerost, Adumar and Abhean and Nubia, shipbuilding contracts to come. So too on Loronar, which brought with it its holdings in the Meridian and Antemeridian sectors.

On Stassia, the people’s famous passivity in regards to governmental shifts easily secured the planet.

On Goorla and Salliche, Spira and Jerrilek, Byblos and Humbarine, came promises that these worlds would see greater traffic and be insulated from the financial chaos rocking much of the Core. Salliche was in particular a fine prize, as its controlling Salliche Agricultural Corporation brought along the other worlds it controlled in the region; Ruan, Yulant, Broest, and Xorth.

On other worlds the story was different. At Mrkyr, Vultar, and Yavin, nearly or totally uninhabited, ships simply arrived. Anyone who was in these systems would be assured their property, civil, and transit rights would be respected in full, but that the area was now under Menelmacari jurisdiction.

Not every world the Menelmacari visited was a success; some refused, some were still ambivalent, a few did not receive the Menelmacari emissaries at all. But the diplomatic offensive was a full-court press by the Menelmacari foreign service, and the larger the Menelmacari holdings grew, the more persuasive their diplomats' arguments became. If critical mass had not been reached, it was fast approaching, and the elves were taking with words, smiles, and handshakes what others could not -- or would not -- without threats, fleets, and force of arms. Piece by piece, an economic powerhouse was being assembled, one that would vastly enrich both its member worlds and the impossibly distant Menelmacari heartlands.
"The elves will do what is right, not what is on paper." ~Sunset
"We can't go around supporting The Good Of All Things. People might mistake us for Menelmacar." ~Education Minister Lobon of Kn-Yan
"Do you realize you're trying to sell resources to Menelmafuckingcar? Their resource base is larger than Melkor's ego." ~Advisor Julius Razak, Foot-to-Ass Section, Scolopendra
"I started on NS at a time when elf genocides were daily occurrences from week old nations wanting to get ortilleried by Menelmacar." ~Resurgent Dream
"Nothing here but rich-ass elves. Just...running the world. And shopping." ~Officer Daryl Ward, LAPD

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Menelmacar
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Posts: 1023
Founded: Dec 18, 2002
Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Menelmacar » Wed Aug 05, 2015 12:12 am

An Undisclosed Location, Earth

The boardroom was a comparatively unassuming one; it lacked ostentation, though the quality of the furnishings was top-notch. There were no windows, for it was well underground.

There were thirteen people in the room. All of them had names, families, lives, hobbies, homes. Most had grandchildren, and maybe a dog or a cat. But in this capacity, at least, they were known by numbers. The table was round, for they were nominally equals, and they were in the weighty business of keeping secrets.

Well, half of them were. The other half largely humored the first half, and usually published their findings nonetheless. It was a precarious arrangement, and everyone involved knew what everyone else was doing, and it caused more than a little...debate.

"...and so," O5-4 was saying, "I recommend against the SCP-447-2 testing proposal. Minty delicious it may be, but we frankly have no way of knowing whether a broiled medium-rare steak counts as a dead body, and the risk is simply too great."

O5-2 was chairing this meeting; the job rotated each week. "Thank you for that stirring argument, O5-4. A vote then. All in favor of the proposal."

Only two hands rose.

"Against?"

The remainder.

"Motion fails, proposal to look into SCP-447-2's culinary applications is denied. Any other business?"

"SCP-1947," O5-6 began. "As you all know, last month the fifth image broadcast by SCP-1947 was decoded and found to be instructions regarding bombarding the device with an ultraviolet laser of wavelength 244 nanometers. When this was done the device appeared to deactivate. I say appeared, because we soon realized it had switched to a directional radio beacon in the 6 GHz range, aimed at somewhere in Scorpio. So far we cannot decipher the signal."

O5-10 raised his hand. "Don't even bother trying," he answered, "It's a waste of resources. The primary signal was meant for our eyes. It was framed in universal concepts accessible to any species of sufficient advancement and scientific knowledge. The secondary signal, not so much. While hypothetically, assuming it doesn't use a one-time pad, breaking their encryption should be trivial, we have no other examples of their language and thus cannot begin to translate it. For all we know the signal could be in plain text and we wouldn't know."

"In any case," said O5-6, "there are no known star systems anywhere in that region matching the configurations displayed on any of the SCP-1947 instances. It seems clear that SCP-1947 was not so much a greeting as a trap."

O5-10 continued. "Ivana, I think it's important to note how you realized there was a secondary signal, because you argued against it at the time. It may well have transmitted for years undetected otherwise."

The Lubyakan grumbled. "We realized it because High Researcher Lendanis nos Fingolfin," it was clear Ivana did not particularly like this person, or at least found her troublesome, "proposed surrounding the SCP-1947 instances with a Faraday cage and installing a wide-band EM detector in each chamber."

O5-10, whose name was Imrathon, pressed, with a grin. "And she did this because....?"

"Because," Ivana continued, "she believed SCP-1947 might be a trap."

The elf smiled serenely. "Thank you."

Ivana tried to recover. "In any case, Imrathon," she went on, "it's clear SCP-1947 is a threat, and I move that security be upgraded and all testing ceased."

"I agree completely," said O5-12, another Menelmacari, whose name was Mirima, "And that's why I've already authorized the activation of another instance."

"You did WHAT?" three different Lubyakans sputtered in shock, and their side of the room dissolved into angry shouting.

Mirima regarded them all dispassionately for a moment. "Do you want an explanation or not?"

That, eventually, got them settled.

"Thank you," she resumed once they'd quieted, "Now. On all of your terminals you will see the details for this test. We know the secondary signal is extremely directional, and it occurred to Lendanis that Species-1947, for lack of a better name for now, must have realized they could not foresee where and in what orientation SCP-1947 instances would come to rest, and therefore the devices must have the means to ascertain where to send their signal."

She looked around the table. She had their attention, good. "With that in mind, SCP-1947-L1 will be transported aboard MIV Turambar to a dead star system on the opposite side of the galaxy and there activated. Similar security will be put in place as here. The notion is that by determining the vector of the signal from two locations, we can triangulate the source of SCP-1947. With that information in hand, a Menelmacari fleet will be dispatched to investigate, and the question of who Species-1947 are and what are their intentions will be put to bed."

"This seems irresponsible nonetheless," Ivana frowned, "You could be provoking war against people we know nothing about! This organization is not a vehicle for Menelmacari foreign policy."

"Menelmacari foreign policy," Mirima interjected, "is the only reason half the people in this building are still alive, you personally included. And you were understandably grateful at the time for the help we provided. That help continues; how many skips turned out to be Menelmacari products? SCP-111, SCP-294, SCP-1612, SCP-1685, SCP-1696, SCP-2558-J... this is just off the top of my head, mind you, there were at least a couple dozen. How long would you have gingerly poked and prodded at things you could order online if you had a different passport? How many skips are infinitely easier to contain now that you can keep them in gravitic bubbles? Menelmacari foreign policy is the single greatest asset the Foundation has." She let that sink in a moment. "Besides, if anyone's going to go check out an unknown threat, who would you rather have do it than us?"

"I would like a vote of the council nonetheless," Ivana insisted.

It came out eight to five in favor, and SCP-1947-L1 would officially go on its little field trip. The Lubyakans had seven seats to the Menelmacari's six, a nod to their foundation of the Foundation, but the elves were so irritatingly competent they usually managed to convince someone.

"If there is no other business, I move to adjourn," said O5-2. "We're already running long."

There were no objections, and the gavel came down.
Last edited by Menelmacar on Wed Aug 05, 2015 1:40 am, edited 3 times in total.
"The elves will do what is right, not what is on paper." ~Sunset
"We can't go around supporting The Good Of All Things. People might mistake us for Menelmacar." ~Education Minister Lobon of Kn-Yan
"Do you realize you're trying to sell resources to Menelmafuckingcar? Their resource base is larger than Melkor's ego." ~Advisor Julius Razak, Foot-to-Ass Section, Scolopendra
"I started on NS at a time when elf genocides were daily occurrences from week old nations wanting to get ortilleried by Menelmacar." ~Resurgent Dream
"Nothing here but rich-ass elves. Just...running the world. And shopping." ~Officer Daryl Ward, LAPD

User avatar
Menelmacar
Retired Moderator
 
Posts: 1023
Founded: Dec 18, 2002
Civil Rights Lovefest

Only Sirithil could go to Imeriata.

Postby Menelmacar » Thu Aug 13, 2015 6:37 pm

This post, and the next, co-written with Imeriata.


The City of the Burning Rose, Scandera, Imeriata
12 Yávië 31931


The ancient city seemed to glimmer in the summer sun that despite the early hour seemed to be far up and gently touching the deep dark forests that spread out from the holy city that had been reverted to a de facto capital while the federation were furiously rebuilding. All over the federation could one hear axes clear land for new cities or factories as the old lands were tainted. Or one could see ships leave for the colonies to further bolster the colonial efforts in more established lands and yet despite this were there also the sound of firearms and explosions as the Royal guard did their best to keep troublemakers and would be revolutionaries down.

None of these could one however see here where the mighty old buildings rose up into the sky in their isolated distant location. One could see dark green forests spread out as far as the eye could see where oak, birch, and countless other trees struggled for dominance and the large holy storfloden poured down southwards without a hint of care for the destruction one could find there as it had done for untold millenia.

The city itself seemed to shimmer when the sun stroked the old buildings raised from sandstone that had been transported from the queries far north east. One could see the eternal prison temple that rose up like a massive manmade mountain with iron, silver, and large pieces of wood nailed into it in a rather ugly fashion. There was the old arch temple that was the most holy of places as far as the chronological church was concerned since the old tree was burnt by the Einild sect.

The eternal gold was however broken by red and green where countless trees and gardens had been planted but also by massive red flags all decorated by the rose ablaze that seemed to be found all over the whole city. One could even feel the faint smell of roses in the warm summer air itself no matter where in the town you were. Even if warm was a bit of an overstatement.

Despite the rather sensible temperature of 15 degree was high king Primus still feeling rather hot as he awaited the delegation in the main square of the city just outside of the arch temple and with the old runestone that was all that remained of the ancient civilisation that once had ruled the southern lands and beyond even before the Wharen rose. He was not alone of course and there was his cousin Runa auf Stjärnkhrone, a rather cute woman that was a bit on the fat side but it had generously mostly gathered around her chest and waist. She wore an long white dress with grey eagles embroidered on it. However so was it not really the long dress that Imerians used to wear and rather more inspired by C’tani, Spirean and other more horrid dresses that had gotten some attention after the coronation. One could see this foreign design in the lack of a collar that Scanderans considered mandatory but also in the very short arms that ended just halfway between her elbow and shoulder. Her long dull brown hair was hanging loose behind her shoulders in a more proper fashion so Primus had decided not to bring up the point. There was also his best friend and trusted adjutant Atoti wearing a broad hat with a massive red feather but otherwise did he wear a simple black tunic with tight red trousers. The only real eye-drawing aspect about him was his arms as his left arm wore a somewhat ornate white and gold austrian knot that told anyone with knowledge about Imerian rank that he was the right hand man adjutant to someone. His right arm however was decorated by the high kings own austrian knot that covered the entire arm in red and gold as it was twisting back and forth in more and more ornate patterns.

There were also Harald the head of the Haraldling barnling that was the most important dwarf in all the federation. True to his stature did he wear a checkered tunic in his Barnlings colours, gold, blue and purple and with ornate rings and runes braided into his loose beard and long hair. True to the old style of the dwarves did he also have a trio of gorilla-like high dwarves that had in the dawn age served as slave soldiers to the dwarf kings but now were employed as bodyguards. Though Primus had more than once raised his eyebrow a bit when the dwarf had dropped subtle hints that the monarchy maybe should consider a break in the slavery ban on high dwarves as repayment for the human destruction of the dwarven kingdoms. But he could just read too much into it he reminded himself.

There were also Honey, an aptly named bunnygirl that were the representative of her realm and had started a close friendship with Runa. She wore a dress that were very thin and seemed to be one of those that one could almost see through if one squinted enough. However despite the hot weather did the dress reveal goosebumps on her body and here and there did she not manage to suppress a shiver. There were even two recently ennobled elves, Freja and Ulrik auf Grönöra that were siblings, Ulrik had earned his ennoblement by using his recent freedom of signing up for the royal guard and going berserk when fighting one group of rebels or another where he had managed to kill of a fair bunch of them and had when found by royal guards decided to bring a rather ghastly proof of his rampage in the form of a sack of enemy ears. But one could also see a foxling from Dimheim, Primus could not really recall her name but she had served honourably in the court so far. She did however wear a more appropriate Imerian dress in red and white but rather plain cut and decoration as if she had been born into the high culture herself.

This could one see on his tunic that were embroidered with a fire and a black ear on the green wool.

Primus himself wore the traditional regalia that made him more look like a bronze age warrior rather than a modern king. His baggy trousers were checkered gold and silver, as were his cloak that also were decorated by a thick white lion pelt. He wore a silver hauberk that were held in place by a white leather harness. At his side could one see two old swords made from pure runesilver and his face was obscured by the royal helmet that he knew left nothing of his face visible and two bright blue lights were shining where his eyes were making even them visible and giving the world an odd blueish tone to it. However that was just one of the prices one would pay for royalty so he sighed and looked up to the skies to wait for their guest.

He didn’t have long to wait. Clearly the Menelmacari were inclined to make a point, for the sun was soon shaded from much of the city by the arrival of one of Menelmacar’s vast Bragollach-class battleplates, gargantuan vessels shaped vaguely like the daggerstar that was one of Menelmacar’s symbols, sporting kilometer-wide annihilation reactors ringing the central core, gleaming golden and crimson and black, and lined with a million points of light, each an individual window. The monstrous warship loomed low and vaguely ominously over the city, seeming so close that were one standing atop the highest temple spire one might reach up and touch her hull; of course she was not quite this low, but such was her size that the illusion was convincing. It might escape the notice of the party below as a landing bay opened, and a Vilyúlairë dropship and several Thoron fighters deployed, the latter escorting the former down to the square where the king waited with his retainers.

The dropship, too, gleamed with livery of red and gold and black, turning gracefully as it descended, for the boarding ramp was at the aft end of the small ship, roughly the size of a business jet. The Thoroni peeled off to return to the ship, while the Vilyúlairë set down lightly in the square, the landing so perfectly executed that the touchdown was utterly silent. After a moment the ramp began to descend.

First of course were the Mornahossë, a dozen were here, wearing armor so black it drank the light, and they seemed the void personified, a fitting guise for the Shadow Host. They marched down the ramp in perfect lockstep, taking up positions flanking the ramp, the one at each end carrying the banner of Menelmacar, which snapped smartly in the breeze. Though the faces of the Mornahossë were barely visible behind the visors of their helmets, their eyes scanned the square, missing not a single detail. So too were there knife-missiles, the diminutive Menelmacari drones styled like flying daggers, but which used their prodigious sensor suites to find threats -- and their gravitics to end them.

The Mornahossë were eyed carefully by their opposite numbers in the high guard, dressed also in dark tunics that were more dark grey or light black under silver covered helmets and cuirasses that covered their entire torso and heads. The runes of the king were engraved on the cuirasses and all the helmets faceguards were shaped like peacefully angelic faces that seemed to convey calm bliss and nothing else. Their eyes were hidden behind dark glass laid over the eyes of the angelic masks so nothing could be seen of them there but in their hands rested the famous KVG rifles of the royal guard, decorated by gold and with guards and butts made from Ebony from the looks of things. The rifles were however resting on their shoulders in attention.

At last the Elentári herself emerged, resplendent in a long and flowing gown that shimmered in the light, seeming to shift in color, at the moment green at the shoulders, through gold and red to purple and blue at the hem, though that slowly shifted over time, colors flowing up and down the fabric in ripples and waves. Her hair shone like spun gold, adorned with strands of gemstones that sparkled in the sunlight, and so too did she wear the Nauglamír, that peerless dwarven necklace, of old a gift to her people. Her eyes were deep pools of warm crimson, shining with ancient wisdom, and she carried herself with the utmost grace. There was an air about her that all who looked upon her would be overawed, and in this both cunning magic and natural charisma played their part.

“Your royal highness!” Primus said as he bowed forward with the rest of the party that awaited the elven queen. If he was impressed so could one not make it out on his face, somewhat due to the face concealing nature of his crown that had the added bonus of rather neatly making it all but impossible to read the wearers face. A somewhat welcome addition to the original idea of somewhat making the long honoured tradition of catching swords, spears, and axes with ones face a wee bit less fatal for the wearer.

“It is a great pleasure to finally get to welcome your royal highness to our humble domains!” The high king said, his voice being slightly muffled by the layer of ancient runesilver that had seen thirty centuries come and go. “we hope the trip was not too bothersome!”

Sirithil lifted her chin ever so slightly, and did not speak, not yet; the soldier immediately to her right, however, did. “You will address the Elentári as ‘your Imperial Supremacy’.”

“Our most humblest appologies your imperial supremacy!” Primus quickly corrected himself “We generally do not go higher up that high kings in the Scanderan tongues so we do have a tendency to fall back to our own way of addressing the kings of kings!” he continued offering an apologetic nod with his head that was the first thing one could read as an emotion from him.

Sirithil smiled at last, “No offense taken,” she said, “And the trip was not overly bothersome. It gave me the opportunity to see for myself what must needs be done. There is much work ahead.”

“We are glad to hear it, and yes, we must admit that the south is somewhat worse for wear than they used to be!” He continued and this time could one hear something of an embarrassed tone in his muffled voice. “And I am sad that we could not receive your imperial supremacy in the old halls of our fathers but sadly enough is the royal palace not really an option for receiving honoured guest at the moment, Though we are most hopeful that we will be able to change that!”

“I confess it is less your palace that concerns me,” answered the elvenqueen, “and more the well-being of your people. With that said, shall we retire to someplace a little more comfortable so we can discuss this matter at greater length?”

“Yes, that is of course also our main concern as well!” Primus said as he nodded in agreement, “we have however taken the liberty to set up a place where we can discuss matters in closer details, with all the refreshments and pleasures one can need!” Primus continued as he took off the helmet finally nodding in the direction of a larger building that flew the white and gold banners of the Stjärnkhrone house. He was surprisingly young in his early twenties or so with long brownish hair that went down almost halfway down his back and while it was mostly straight were it decorated by rings made from ivory, gold, silver and even iron and wood. There were also tiny braids in there where flowers but also medallions of the same materials were braided into them. His eyes were deep blue but less glowing when his helmet was off and he had a large scar down his right cheek and several smaller ones that were only visible after a more detailed examination of his face. He did however sprout an impressive pair of muttonchop that joined together with his similarly thick moustache. His eyes did however have something tired about them and one could see grey lines under them that were most likely the result of one too many sleepless night.
“If your imperial supremacy would not mind…” he said taking a step in the direction of the house as he turned his head over his shoulder with a nod still holding the ancient helmet under his arm.

The Lady moved closer, lifting a hand to his face, the gentle touch of a fingertip running down the scar on his cheek. “A cruel wound,” she mused, tilting her head to one side slightly, “Does it cause you any pain?”

The young king flinched back quickly with a very surprised look on his face.
“n-no not too much, it was a slight accident during a blodsdragning match when we were…. must have been… 16?” He said looking towards the adjutant in black.
“18 your royal highness!” The black dressed man, about the same age as the king, answered rather quickly. “And in my defence your royal highness did dive sideways to make that counterstrike!”

“ahh, well it should not be too much of a problem your imperial supremacy!” The king said as he turned back to the elf. “But we are most grateful for the offer!”

“As you wish,” she answered, then gestured towards the house, “by all means lead on.”

“as your imperial supremacy wishes!” he said and started to walk as they went past the large runestone with the odd runes that looked nothing like the ones Scanderans used and more like some odd rombs with lines and carvings in them. It seemed old and powerful and the people that built it seemed to have been great men of power.

The house that he led them to was of the so familiar North Scanderan gothic style made of sandstone rather than bricks that were common in the south and Imerians generally did their best to continue using after centuries with their fanatical devotion to the saying “if it is not broken, do not fix it!”. A saying they only ignored when something seemed broken and they just went on as they always had.

One could see the all too familiar steep black roof covered with dark wooden tiles that were so common in Scanderan gothic architecture with the large narrow windows that ended in pointy arches and with arches holding the building upright next to towers and spires. One could see stainedglass windows where old warriors looked down disapprovingly just like statues of heroes, anglir, and old rose touched stood looking larger than life. Even the doors and the ceilings had an odd sense of proportions that made everything look big and massive and made the people inside feel small and insignificant.

Once inside could one see large tapestries and painting cover the walls showing the ancestors of the high king. There was old Fylrik Airnflik pulling Imer the Great’s dying body out of a skirmish with Belron son of the shimmering god. There were Egil the black known for his black skin and black hair as well as his valour in battle, there were his son Emanuel the road builder that tried to encompass the northern ice plains into the federation and built several roads and forts there as well as secure the loyalty of the northern ice plains lords, but also Leiksten the fanatic known for his attempts to convert Sydvinland to the chronological faith and one could see several large burning pyramids behind him as well as Scanderans and natives pulling corpses and skeletons out of old crypts to be burnt in mass pyres.

However there were also more pleasant scenes as roses and floral patterns and a few servants scuttling back and forth doing servantry things. Quickly did the Fox beastling that had followed them from the landing scuttle off and quickly picked up a silver tray and returned.

There were two horns that seemed filled with wine but also pieces of knäckebröd or “breaky bread” that once again demonstrated the unlimited Scanderan imagination when it came to naming things. The horns were not too large and seemed made from hollowed out goat horns or so with silver inlays around the top and the bottom with scenes of people dancing on them.
“To offer your imperial supremacy the old guest right!” Primus explained as he took a quick sip from the horn and chewed on a piece of the bread.

The knife-missiles had by now already scanned the offered food, and with a brief glance to one of the Mornahossë (and a nigh-imperceptible nod in return) Sirithil took up the other horn, and a piece of the knäckebröd, and took a sip, and a bite. The bread she found bland but mostly palatable, but the wine, strong and sweet, met with more of her approval, and she sipped it again -- though not too much. She was confident she could drink the young king under the table, but that wasn’t the point of the visit. Instead, she smiled. “Thank you. I accept your hospitality and the honor of your hall.”

“We are honoured to offer it!” Primus said with a quick nod as he continued down the hall handing his helmet crown finally to a servant that quickly scampered off with it.

He wandered off a bit through a corridor or two as more tapestries were found decorating the walls, ancient things where the largest one seeming to depict the battle of light and shadow between Imerian tribesmen in full suits of transitional armour that would make more sense in the beginning of the 200 years war rather than the massive bronze age battle that it had been in reality. Heroic banners and heraldry wearing Imerians charged down upon twisted horrific batlike creatures dressed in black tunics and wielding black banners with bats and grinning skulls on them. The more historically inclined person also could see that the trolls, dwarves, and goblins that had also fought under Imer the Great were also not present.

Sirithil followed along with him, walking beside him as the Mornahossë fell neatly into step behind her in two lines, and she looked around with interest at the tapestries they passed, inwardly making a bit of a game of catching any historical inaccuracies she could spot.

However finally did the castle seem to give way for a garden with a single great oak in the middle of it and roses climbing up the castle walls on the sides of it filling the air with a sweet flowery smell. There were also bards there and cheerful Imerian music filled the air and mixed with the sweet smell of flowers. However there were also sharped smells of food in the air and one could see a large table filled with foods of all kinds from meat of all kinds, there were several beds filled with various root vegtables mixed with honey and fruit. But there were also fish and one could see herrings pickled in countless of sauces, eels smoked, boiled, and grilled. There were hollowed out bread that were filled with stews. There were massive baskets filled with fresh fruits, nuts, and berries of all colours and sizes. Large sausages ranging from dark red as with ”gruvwurst” or “mine sausage” and southern pölse, to dark brown as the massive “Schlangpölse” that Scanderans took great pride in and finally pale white ones in the shape of “fläskpölse” or “prok sausage”. There were also countless of cheeses, some moldy, some not, hard and soft ones from all the corner of the world and even beyond.

Finally were there also drinks aplenty with wines made on grape and apples, there were honey mead mixed with several kinds of fruits and berries, there were sweeter and thicker “mjölkdryck” or “milkdrink” in all the colours of the rainbow that betrayed the fruits mixed in with them. There were cider made from apple and pears. Beer and ale, but also some Imerian sodas like the honoured “must” and “trocadero” that were so popular in Scandera.

“We hope that Your Imperial Supremacy would not mind but we took the opportunity to offer your Imperial Supremacy a few gifts as tokens for our gratitude to agree to these talks!” he continued as he took the first steps out on the dark green grass that covered the garden.
“First a war mammoth from our own personal stables!” he said sounding very proud over the gift as a large door in the other side of the garden opened and a large animal could be seen. As mammoths went so were the animal huge with massive tusks that vastly overshadowed any of the wild mammoths that roamed the Scanderan north. However what really made it stand out was it’s fur. It was white as pure snow.
“A royal mammoth of great breed, the ancestor of which was said to be the great mammoth nordendtöt the great, that were taken from the northern warlord Egril the destroyer! Few of which ever leave our and our house care” Primus added sounding as proud as before with a wide smile on his young lips.

Sirithil smiled as he brought out the war mammoth, it was a truly beautiful beast, if smallish compared to the oliphaunts that roamed the plains and deserts of the Menelmacari southlands, the snow-white coat was gorgeous, though. “I thank you, he is truly a fine gift,” she said with a nod, stepping forth for a moment to pat the huge creature, then turning her attention to the next item.

“But also…” Primus continued as a servant took a step forward with a great horn, it was dark and almost black like the horn of a dragon. Covering it was an intricate ornate web of silver where animals and elves danced through woods engraved and raised out of the metal. The top was also decorated by plates of carved serpentine gems where one could see large impressive hunting scenes carved out of it. The long thing was almost a meter long and came as a result off as not the most practical of drinking vessels but rather neat looking despite that.
“A drinking horn carved by the royal jeweller himself from the horn of the great dragon Egralfar slew by the river prince and the federal prince in the year of our kingdom 1538!”

The elvenqueen smiled again, “The workmanship is lovely, these carvings and inlayings are very well done.” She examined the horn for a few moments before setting it down, “What is this made from the horn of?”

“A dragon!” Primus repeated “It was a wild one of the northern breed as you can see on the back of the horn!” the young priunce continued and made a sweeping motion around the back of the horn as if that explained it. Well it did and those familiar with Scanderan dragon breeds would the horn be the second most obvious differance between a southern and a northern wild dragon after the wings. The norhtern breed had long straight horns as the one that the drinking horn had been made out of rather than the twisted almost goat like ones of southern dragons.

“To be more precise so was if from the dragon Egralfar that was slewn by the river prince himself in 1538 In the year of our kingdom!” he repeated, the dragon had been mostly named and famous for having sired the dragon Egral that was one of the largest wild male dragons seen in a century in the northern mountains.

“And finally the blade Fändersbane! Made by the royal weaponsmith!” he finished sounding rather proud nodding to a blade that was carried forward. It was an old looking weapon as Scanderans in the south had liked to make them in the old days. The blade was bent and ended with a thicker piece adding considerable force behind a slash. The blade was almost silvery with darker ripples running over it like the pattern the sun makes on the bottom of the sea. Betraying its origin as a blade made from runesilver that were stronger and lighter than steel, however not as strong as mithril. Old runes were engraved on it and seemed to shine with a blue hue and the blade itself seemed to to have a dull coating over it as if it had been left in the cold. Oddly enough did it seem to make the air itself colder just around it and a tiny bed of frost seemed to spread slowly over the pillow that it was resting on.

The handle was made from horn out of some animal or another and were seperated from the blade by a dark black crossguard that seemed to be made out of pure iron not polished after forging. Similarly were the pommel made out of the same material and shaped as a nonagon with tiny heraldric shields on each side with the heraldry of the elven queen enameled inside them.

Sirithil accepted the blade, drawing it with a flourish, holding it out to test its balance, before turning away from Primus and putting the weapon through the paces of an intricate series of slashes, thrusts, and parries; it was clear she was exquisitely skilled in swordsmanship, and indeed she was, for she had practiced every day for tens of thousands of years. Only Glorfindel, Lord of the Mornahossë, was consistently her better. She sheathed the sword, returning to Primus, it was clear that this item pleased her most of the lot so far.

The young king looked quite pleased over the gifts before a cough drew his attention to another man that approached them.

“Ahh yes of course, sorry Fader Erik! Your Imperial supremacy may I introduce Fader Erik of the holy chronologically, on the behalf of the arch cleric would he wish to greet your imperial supremacy to the city of the burning rose” Primus said as he nodded to the new arrival. He wore a red robe of the holy chronologically with a white cloak marking him as a man of rather high status in it. His hair was long and blond braided with simple iron and bones braided into it and similarly to the king were he a rather young man. His robe was cut very well and it fell down around his shoulders perfectly until a massive rose surrounded by flames were embroidered on his chest with such skill that one almost expected the flames to start leaping and twist around the eternally burning rose that were so common in the city.
“Hell Sirithil Drottinn!” He said in a singing tone that seemed Scanderan but it was neither Imerian, Vedian, Jarnmal, Drakmal, or Erathian oddly enough, it seemed older, much older. Similarly did he not bow but rather bent his head as he made the symbol of the burning rose with his hands.

“His holy father wishes to ask of Your Imperial Supremacy’s forgiveness for not attending personally but he is not too well these days and cannot walk too far but he hoped that he would see the rebuilding of the south before he laid upon the pyres!” The young priest said as he looked up.

“I am sure I can forgive his absence,” Sirithil answered with the hint of a smile, in truth she was not especially fond of the chronological faith, “But I thank you for passing on the sentiment. Certainly should these discussions go well it is possible he may live to see that rebuilding.”

“However he wished to grant Your Imperial Supremacy with a gift as well for allowing these talks to happen!” he continued as he nodded to a large cage where a… creature was locked in. It was large and stood almost a man and a half high even by the generous Scanderan measurements. It was white with a large long neck that spoke of it’s ancestry among the geese of Scandera but its legs were large and muscular more like its distant ancestors that had millennium ago ruled the world before there were men and looked more apt for sprinting than swimming. Similarly were its claws on its feet been grown back into a large fearsome looking thing, bent and sharp. It’s wings were long but narrow making flight looking implausible to say the least but large bulges spoke about strong muscles under it able to inflict massive damage upon it’s foemen. While Scanderan geese still had their teeth mostly intact to protect themselves so were the ones on this creature truly massive fang like things that seemed to prevent it to close it’s mouth properly. It’s head was similarly far longer than what should have been the case and the beak was both narrower at the sides but also taller with the large fangs visible as it hissed furiously and glaring around, trying to alternatively bite at everything within reach and alternatively to throw it self at the cage in what seemed as an unrelenting fury and hatred for everything. It’s narrow eyes seemed to display nothing but fury and a berserker wish to attack everything that came close.

“He is the great Lejonbane, the son of Flockbrytare, the son of drakssen!” Erik explained with clear pride in his voice over the creature. A high river goose, the finest of the finest of all the breeds of high geese!”

Sirithil looked, admittedly, a little befuddled. “It’s… a very fine goose,” she mused, “I’m sure it’ll feed a very fine feast.” One of the Mornahossë leaned in to whisper something in the Elentári’s ear. “....oh!” she said after he stood back a moment. “I mean, I’m sure it’ll do very well guarding the palace. And whatnot.”

The Scanderans all gasped in shock at the first comment Erik the cleric sitting with his jaw hanging open for a moment and a few murmured whispers of horror spread around the group but clearly outdone in volume by the furious hissing and honking of the goose that desperately tried to get out and attack those within goose reach.

“Uhm… yes your imperial highness…” Erik finally managed to add “Eating such a fine goose would be a great travesty, within it’s veins flows generations of the highest of breeds it’s kind have brought forth!”

“The Elentári is properly addressed as Your Imperial Supremacy,” repeated the annoyed-sounding Mornahossë.

“ohh… deepest appologies your imperial supremacy!” Erik quickly corrected himself, the shock of the idea of eating a goose of so high breed having temporarily having shocked him into falling back to his native way of addressing superiors even if he had mixed it with the foreignese way.

“Yes your imperial supremacy, this magnificent creature is the very pride of the entire fowl order and a common Scanderan goose would do better for feasting, this great one is of the high river breed, the highest of the high amongst the fowls!” Primus cut in as Erik nodded quickly in agreement.

“This creature is bred for battle and fighting, and this one in particular have been known to bring down lions in the past by himself! Spare it for your imperial supremacy’s foemen and prisoners but to feast upon it would be a travesty!” He continued sounding downright shocked that anyone would consider such a heinous act to such a noble bird. The noble bird in question seemed to have given up with the bars and were instead desperately trying to get a hold of its handler or anyone getting close enough with it’s long impressive beak that managed to get past the bars even if the rest of the neck did not. The beak was wide open revealing the long rows of sharp teeth and also a very long tongue, also equipped with long rows of sharp teeth. It’s cold blue eyes furiously looking over the room as if it tried to determine who to kill when it got out in what order.

“Well, then,” Sirithil answered, “I will not eat it, then, you have no need to fear. I’m well familiar with your more usual breeds of geese and I daresay that’s what put the idea into my head, they can be quite delicious.” She smiled brightly even if internally she so far found the goose rather disagreeable.

“Ahh, yes your imperial supremacy, those would be the regular low goose, they are more eatable but I am afraid that the warrior spirit within it’s higher cousins blood have made them less enjoyable than their regular cousins, this beast here for instance is a highly saught after pride of goose breading but it will sadly enough be very dry if your imperial supremacy tried to eat it!” Primus explained, he was not sure if that exactly was the reason why high geese was dryer than their lower cousins but it seemed to make sense. He did however get some odd looks from the servant staff that had overheard him.

“Ahh, also very good to know,” Sirithil answered gamely with a smile, she wasn’t much of a cook herself, in fact she was legendarily bad at it, but that wasn’t due to a lack of understanding of the basic concepts, and now that she thought about it he was probably right, there wasn’t enough fat on the bird to make it juicy good eating.

“Though, speaking of food… would your imperial supremacy care too join us in taking a bite? I have been told the cheese our chef have selected is out of this world!” Primus said as he nodded towards the well stocked table, where indeed there were a pair of Scanderan geese, the regular kind though rather than the massive goose that seemed to have given up on the crowd in general and had gone over to trying to get it’s teeth on the handler.

“Well, all this talk of eating has made me rather peckish,” Sirithil mused. “Lead on, then.”

“Very well your imperial supremacy!” Primus said as he lead the way down the tables and picked up a plate on the way. They were made from silver from the looks of things with trees engraved upon them and around the trees could one see men and women dance with animals as pipers and bards played music on the sides of the plates. There were a lot of things too choose from as hard bread, thick sour cream, herrings and other fishes were gathered in the end of the table where Primus started. There were however other delicacies around the table, there were large cheeses and fruits but also birds and meat further down.

Primus however took just from the fish in his fist sitting. He took some smoked eels but also a few helpings of the countless bowls of herring pickled in everything that one could think to pickle herring in. But he also took some of the “grädfil”. But there were also fresh potatoes with the fishes that had been boiled with it’s skin on. From these he also took a few but then seemed to be happy with his food, and took a horn of cider before he sat down at one of the tables under the large tree.

For her part Sirithil forwent the eels or herring, not especially a fan of the notion of pickling all of the things, but took plenty of smoked salmon as well as some of the potatoes and a little fruit and cheese and sat at the same table.

“Good choice! the fruit is freshly imported from vindland herself, and the cheese is utterly divine if we do dare to say so ourselves!” Primus added when he saw the selection of food even if a few people muttered to one another and looked oddly at Siri after having seen her choice of foods. Fruit before meat? and with the fish no less? However if Primus was insulted by this could one not see a hint of it behind his smile.
“And are your imperial supremacy not too keen on fish? your imperial supremacy hardly touched the pickled herring, or are your imperial supremacy just not too keen on pickled food?”

“The latter,” she said with a smile. “I like fish very much, though, see, I took plenty of the smoked salmon.” She gently prodded said salmon with the knife. Of course Sirithil noticed the muttering and odd looks, glancing about, “Did I do something wrong?”

“Yes, we can see that, though we can understand that, pickled food is not for everyone after all, we have a saying here “Taste is like an open book!”” Primus said without elaborating on just exactly what he meant by that.

“So do your imperial supremacy’s subjects not eat pickled food either? We must admit that we are less than well read up on Menelmacari cooking!”

“Our citizens,” Sirithil answered, “have wide and varying tastes in food. Pickled things don’t feature prominently, though. Other than pickles, mind. Pickles are popular.” She had gone many thousands of years using a fork, and in Imeriata it seemed they did not, but she picked it up after a moment of watching Primus eat. “Actually there’s a lot of things here that would not be out of place in Menelmacar, this salmon for instance, and various poultry and meat, we like our meats. Game from the hunt is popular. There are also millions of different varieties of cheese and whatever sorts of fruit you can think of, and more besides.”

“Yes, we are aware that Scanderan food have something of a bad reputation but we can swear that those rumours are mostly unfounded, Scanderan food is in generally not that dry or tasteless, we have these lovely sweet potatoes, tastes something like apple actually, that we put in the food and that makes it sweet and good rather than the tasteless thing that most people seem to think of!” Primus explained apparently missing the statement about citizens, though then again the federation and Scanderan languages used the terms interchangeable.

“I like sweet potatoes,” Sirithil answered, then asked before her better judgement could intervene, “What is it you put in the food?”

“Uhmmm… not entirely sure actually... “ Primus said as he tried to think about it before he shrugged “Some herb or something would we guess!”

“So apples then, right,” Sirithil answered, glancing to the Mornahossë to her right, who nodded in confirmation.

“Just apples? how fiendishly clever of that fat genius!” Primus exclaimed in surprise “Yeah that would make a twisted sort of sense we suppose!”

“Indeed it would,” Sirithil answered, “Certainly if one wants something to taste like apples then apples would be the most sensible thing to add.”

“We never get how that genius think when it comes to food, we are rather good at cooking ourself mind you but the chef we have is a mastermind when it comes to these sort of things your imperial supremacy understand! Some have even called him the greatest chef in all of creation!”

Sirithil personally did not think the food was quite so heavenly, even if her careful choices had been delicious, but simply said, “He is very good, I will give him that. Do you do a lot of cooking, personally?”

“Once, When we was in… well when we learnt to know our good friend Rosman so did we once cook for her family to show our appreciation! They were so impressed that they said they rather did not that we did it again so that they would not get too spoiled and miss it when we were gone!” Primus said sounding rather proud of the fact. “It was a downright delightful meal of red meat… I think it was pork of some sort, with boiled potatoes! the sauce seemed a bit odd though, it was about as thick as the one back home but it did not taste as good as the one we make back home and no matter how hard we tried the water refused to turn brown even if it was as thick as home!”

“Um…” Sirithil blinked, eating some of her salmon. “Two things. One, I don’t think pork is red meat.” She glanced to the Mornahossë, “Is pork red meat? I’m pretty sure it’s not.” Then back to Primus. “Two, you don’t make sauce by boiling water. You have to… add other things. I’m sure your chef would gladly discuss some specific recipes with you.”

“Do not be silly, we love red meat, the best kind of meat is when they just have barely boiled the top of it brown and the rest of it is red!” Primus said and wondered if elves had different tastes in food. Maybe he should have asked and made the chef prepare it better.
“And are your imperial supremacy sure? it seemed thick and saucy to us!”

“....you eat pork raw?” Sirithil answered quite horrified. “I’m pretty sure that makes humans sick. Like really really sick. That’s why a lot of religions tell you not to eat it and say it’s unclean. They’re wrong, of course, it’s delicious, but you have to cook it fully.”

“What? no of course not, you can eat meat red! We do it all the time!” Primus said looking rather confused “your imperial supremacy can take a look at the oxen later on, it is very red in some cases your imperial supremacy!”

“I think you’re misunderstanding me,” Sirithil answered, finishing her sweet potatoes, “Pork specifically is more dangerous to eat rare than beef or a lot of other meats. Ask your chef sometime, he’ll tell you.”

“That does not seem right… meat as meat is it not?” Primus said looking a bit confused at this as he scratched his cheek thoughtfully. “huh… maybe we will ask but it seems a bit confusing!”

“Ask or don’t,” she answered, “It remains the truth… if you served pork rare then it’s pretty clear why your dinner didn’t go very well. It’s obvious to me they just didn’t want you cooking again.”

“Ohh come now, they were the kindest people we have ever met, surely they would not… lie… to… FÖRDÖMT! DI JAKLARNA FÖRDE OSANNING MID MIG!” Primus started before he trailed off and a look of shock and anger spread on his face as he realised that his so earlier cherished cooking skills might have had more with his host being kind and less with him being good at cooking.

Sirithil smiled gently. “Truly they were kind. Don’t be angry with them. One thing I like about my position is being able to give people the truths they may not like to hear, that others were too kind or afraid to give. Perhaps if you take lessons? Then you could get better at it.”

“Maybe… well rather not in that case, we prefers to do other things like painting and playing music which we are rather good at actually!” Primus said carefully, not entirely sure if he wanted to try to throw his towel into a game he already thought he had mastered.

“How have others reacted to your music?” the elf asked, just as carefully.

“Well rather good if we do say so ourselves, we generally play for ourselves most of the time though, we could give your imperial supremacy a taste if your imperial supremacy wished for us to do so!” He added and waved his hands for the mucisians to stop and said a quick word to one of the servants that quickly nodded and rushed away to fetch what his master had asked for.
“we are rather good at least with the Scanderan harp if we do dare to say so ourselves!”

“Um… I think I’ll get another plate of food. See? This one’s empty.” Sirithil quietly got up to refill her plate. Having already played the ‘I tell people the hard truths’ card, if Primus was a horrible harpist she was now going to have to tell him. But, then, this was something he should probably know anyway. Before long she had returned with another full plate piled high with various meats and food.

Some shocked looks were cast on Siri as she rose up and took another plate of food but nobody said anything as Primus quickly rose up to get himself a second helping. When he had taken so did quite a few people rise up though and took themselves.

Sirithil noticed the looks, and while initially confused at peoples’ reaction she soon realized after Primus had refilled his own plate that there must be some custom about the king eating first. Yeah, I’m not going along with that, she mused to herself.

When the pair returned however so did one of the servants stand there with a harp looking thing. It was oval in shape with a hole in the middle over which silver strings ran over before they ended in a large rose shaped silver bush with tiny fruits made from ember from the looks of it. The thing was painted blue with a large rosebush painted on it and dressed in gold on the side. Butterflies and birds nested in the bush next to flowers in a stunning display of art and craftsman ship.

“Ahhh, yes, now it is looking a bit better!” Primus said happilly as he took the instrument in his hands with a smile spreading on his face as his fingers moved over the strings, making one slow sound before he tried the next string, string by string as if he were feeling where they were and getting a feel of the instrument.

Sirithil smiled a little, it was quite a lovely harp, even if it was really more of a lute or something of that nature. She hoped Primus would be a little better at playing it than he was at cooking.

Slowly did the prince start to play, slow sad tunes seemed to spread from the harp as an obviously skilled and talented hand were playing it. The prince’s eyes were closed as he played and soon did even his voice join in. It was of a higher pitch and even then were he quite good at his work.
”Låt mig förtälja en saga om sorg... he begun in a sad voice as his fingers quickly started to move over the harp and he played the song.

Sirithil watched and listened, it turned out Primus was actually quite good at singing and playing, and barely if at all touched her food during the song, and when he finished she applauded, “That was very good, you’re actually quite skilled,” she smiled, though a bit sadly, “though the song was very sad.”

“Aye, it is, it is even called ‘a tale about sorrow’ in our tongue!” Primus said with a quick nod “One of our favourites we must admit!”

“I usually prefer happier tunes,” Sirithil answered, “though it was still beautiful.” She smiled.

“We do try our best!” Primus said with a smile and a nod “we were trained since we were but a young lad!” he confessed “Once everyday since we were six or so!”

“That’s a fair bit of practice,” Sirithil answered.

“Well we do try, A nobleman is expected to be rather good at music, painting, and poetry as well as sports, hunting, and fighting after all!”

“Well,” Siri said, “in that we are pretty similar, all of those things are esteemed pursuits in Menelmacar, what sort of sports do you play?”

“We are a rather decent hunter if we do dare to say so ourselves, we managed to earn ourselves the 48th spot in the federal jousting tournament and we are rather good at animal fighting but that is about it, we can wrestle a bit as well as go a few rounds of pugilism with some of our friends, but besides that do we generally like to run and to ride!” Primus explained.
“Does your imperial supremacy partake in any sports?”

“Hunting,” Sirithil answered, “with various different weapons. Also shooting, both with bows and firearms, riding, skiing, and the occasional round of golf. Also I’m extremely good with a sword.”

“Ahh, yes sword fighting is always a good skill to know, though we must admit that we never found golf that intriguing ourself!” Primus pointed out. He always found it seemed a bit dry and drawn out.

“It’s relaxing,” Sirithil answered, “Besides, it’s not like I lack the time. And yet, there’s incredible skill required. Being the slightest bit off in your swing will cost you accuracy and distance.”

“True enough your imperial supremacy! Maybe we will get the chance to learn it some time or another!”

OOC: Continued below.
Last edited by Menelmacar on Thu Aug 13, 2015 6:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"The elves will do what is right, not what is on paper." ~Sunset
"We can't go around supporting The Good Of All Things. People might mistake us for Menelmacar." ~Education Minister Lobon of Kn-Yan
"Do you realize you're trying to sell resources to Menelmafuckingcar? Their resource base is larger than Melkor's ego." ~Advisor Julius Razak, Foot-to-Ass Section, Scolopendra
"I started on NS at a time when elf genocides were daily occurrences from week old nations wanting to get ortilleried by Menelmacar." ~Resurgent Dream
"Nothing here but rich-ass elves. Just...running the world. And shopping." ~Officer Daryl Ward, LAPD

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Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Menelmacar » Thu Aug 13, 2015 6:37 pm

“In any case,” Sirithil mused, “We should probably get on to the real reason I’m here, this isn’t exactly a social call, after all, yes?”

“Yes, your imperial supremacy is correct in that matter!” the young king said with a sigh as he put the harp aside as if he did not look forward to the situation.
“Well your imperial supremacy is surely aware that our great fatherland have suffered… some slight issues in the previously populated parts of the home continent itself, even the great realms of Vinland and Simaria have been similarly affected, we would most humbly request aid in the rebuilding of these lands, and we hoped that your imperial supremacy surely would have mercy enough on our poor subjects with the clearing of the tainted lands and the rebuilding effort, with the technology your imperial supremacy’s subjects possess so could many a federal subject return to their ancestral homes!”

“So could they indeed,” said the Elentári, “But you do of course understand that we have certain conditions on such… extensive assistance. To say that the issues are slight is a vast understatement, I have surveyed the damaged regions personally.”

“We… certainly understand that some compensation surely would be arrangeable your imperial supremacy!” The king said with a quick nod, if he was disappointed did he not show it.

“We certainly could offer a lot for your imperial supremacy’s cause in the future what that might be!” he added after a moment’s hesitation. “We would happily offer our glorious military at your imperial supremacy’s disposal for instance, amongst the nations that travel no further than midgard and månen are there no finer force! certainly it could be a useful tool!”

“Mm, a fine offer to be sure,” said Sirithil, “and one I accept, though there are… other conditions, provisos, quid pro quos, you get the idea, I’m sure… For one, Menelmacar and C’tan are to be granted preferential trade status, without tariffs of any kind.”

“Without… Your imperial supremacy! that would go against the federal mercantile politics! It is what keep our federal market in the hands of federal subjects!” Primus protested “Certainly there are other things we can offer in exchange!”

“There are, but in addition rather than in stead,” Sirithil eyed him sternly. “I will get to those after. Besides, you will not require the federal mercantile politics because the guild system is to come to an end.”

“The… your imperial supremacy that would be… the guild is just the corporations of the federation that have bounded together!” Primus protested “But… we suppose we could loosen the restrictions placed on subjects from Menelmacar and the C’tan, it would not be the first time we did that and in the situation so could we not suppose anyone would object…”

“Would we be able to make a further addition to what is offered in that case? Our navy is rebuilding but the work is going slowly, would we be able to ask for a token of our new friendship as to order naval ships build to our standards from your imperial supremacy’s government, after all, should our swords be to your disposal as we offered so would it certainly help to keep them sharp!”

“Our shipyards would of course be happy to take Imerian contracts, though of course under the Trade Reform Act we would be legally obligated to charge tariffs atop such orders equivalent to whatever you insist on continuing to charge us,” answered Sirithil. “And warships are, of course, expensive, as you well know. And by loosening restrictions, what precisely did you have in mind?”

“We… we would hope that your imperial supremacy would accept and offer about 30% tariffs rather than none!”

“Thirty percent is absurd,” Sirithil said simply. “Is the Imerian economy so stilted and inefficient that it cannot compete on a level field? Do you have so little faith in your people?”

“On a level field? With mass fabricator units that can wish items out of the thin air?” Primus said with a smile as he raised his eyebrow. “A lot of things can our people do we am not sure we can keep up with someone that can spawn products out of thin air though! We are honoured that your imperial supremacy would put that high opinion on our subjects though!”

“Indeed,” Sirithil smiled, “But the point remains non-negotiable.”

“Very well then, we would lower the tariffs to nothing for Menelmacari and C’tani subjects in return for help with the re-construction, the cleansing of the tainted lands as well as the naval ships as a gift!” Primus added “as well as future friendship between our peoples of course, we would hope that our governments might grow closer to one another in the future!”

Sirithil frowned. “The ships would not be a gift, you would buy them,” she answered. “You understand that I am not a dictator, Imeriata has no shortage of military strength as it is, and it would be politically infeasible for me to allocate funding towards that form of foreign aid.”

“Certainly something can be arranged, with mass fabrication it cannot be expensive and should be quickly, after all certainly such a gift would aid us in selling the idea of lowering our tariffs! It certainly would help the region to help the royal and federal navy hunt down enemies of both our peoples!”

Sirithil simply stared at him through his statement, nonplussed. “Surely,” she said, spreading her hands wide, “I am the last person on this planet you will think was born yesterday. Do you believe our technology makes things free? It does not, even if I agreed to this request it would take away space in our shipyards from actual paying customers, people who are quite willing and eager to offer what our shipbuilding expertise is worth. You are very likely to pay notably less than you would normally pay for such vessels built here, but you will pay for them nonetheless, according to the bids provided to you by the corporations that will do the work. As part of this arrangement Menelmacar is already offering to cover the costs of the rehabilitation of your lands, and that’s as deep as the bag of gifts goes, as it will already require a considerable sum.”

“Certainly your imperial highness cannot blame a man for trying!”

She smiled. “I cannot, no.”

“We suppose we are left to accept the original terms in that case, we will inform the royal internal affairs advisory to start to plan for the rebuilding effort and to work with your building teams! and the royal merchant guild and the economic advisory will work together with the military advisory to order the ships,” he said with a sigh “Though we must ask, what did your imperial supremacy hope to sell here?

“There are still the points of the guild system, and the other matters I wanted to bring up,” Sirithil noted. “In any case, consumer goods, food, machinery, who knows? I have twenty-seven billion citizens and a lot of them sell things, you name it someone will probably want to sell it. In addition Menelmacari firms will want to be able to operate here.”

“What other matters would your imperial supremacy like to discuss? we are of course open to discussions!”

“The guild system, of course, monopolies and cartels are odious and evill, and stifle competition, innovation, and liberty. It must end.”

“Surely your imperial supremacy can understand that we cannot forbid groups to be formed in the absolute royal federation, similarly to as what your imperial supremacy said, we are not a dictator!” Primus said shaking his head.

“No, but you can pass laws that limit their power, and forbid certain business practices, such as collusion, for example. The Menelmacari government, in its magnanimity, can offer to hire consultants on your behalf that will aid the federation in making such a transition and hammering out the dirty details thereof. I suppose there was something left in the bag after all.”

“The federal crown has historically kept itself away from the market your imperial supremacy, you ask too much too quickly, maybe the issue can be reopened in the future, we are sure that your imperial supremacy’s subjects could offer some pressure on their own after all! However we must thankfully decline the offer of aid, we have our own internal affairs advisory to aid us in such matters and we would rather see any potential reform in this manner as one of our own rather than something influenced by foreign powers! We have enough problems as it is with people accusing us of being a mere puppet as it is with some of our… more radical policies we have tried to put into effect lately!”

“As you wish,” Sirithil answered, making to get up from the table. “Thank you for dinner and the lovely gifts, good luck with your radioactive craters. May you manage to avoid receiving any more in future.”

The kings eyes widened in shock for a moment as his skin turned pale as new fallen snow, he rose up quickly bumping against the table making the items on it shake.
“Your imperial supremacy please… we… we could certainly listen to some suggestions your imperial supremacy might have on the issue here of course!” he added quickly. Gesturing to the chairs with a look of mixed pleading with a hint of horror on his face. “We… we need your imperial supremacy!”

Sirithil looked him over a moment, appraising, and finally, the Elentári lowered herself back into her seat. “All right,” she said slowly. “Now we’re getting somewhere.” She smiled warmly. “We would be willing to work with your government on a road map to achieve this particular objective, and phase out the guild over the course of, say, three years?” she suggested. “Of course Menelmacari and C’tani businesses would also have to be free to operate in Imeriata.”

“Three years might be too soon, as your imperial supremacy said we cannot outright ban the guild!”

“Of course,” Sirithil noted, “not an outright ban, but reforms that would satisfy us, in any case. What kind of timetable would you prefer?”

“A generation, it would be more gradual if it was spaced out over our reign!” the king said “People might not even notice! However we are more than willing to allow your imperial supremacy’s subjects to operation businesses within the federation of course! though we must say that we would prefer to draw up the map on our own would your imperial supremacy allow this! We would of course be open to… say suggestions during these decisions.”

“You may draw up the road map on your own,” Sirithil nodded, “provided it is subject to our approval. You can leave that bit out of the public version of the agreement, of course, I would not want anyone accusing you of being a puppet. Also a generation is too long, but we would be accepting of five to ten years.”

“We are willing to lower ourselves to 40!”

“That’s not lowering,” she answered, “it’s more than a generation, at least in Men. I can’t blame you for trying, but please at least pretend to respect my intelligence.”

“We would never do such a thing, a generation in the federation at least, grow to be eighty years, forty would be half a generation your imperial supremacy!”

“You aren’t talking like a man who needs us,” Sirithil frowned. “In the rest of the world a generation is the span of time accepted as the average between the birth of parents and the birth of their children. In Men this is usually about thirty years. I will accept for the sake of argument the notion that Imerians do not refer to a generation in this fashion but it is nonetheless too long.”

“Aye I do not, we need you aye but we also need stability your imperial supremacy, do your imperial supremacy know how many toes we have already stubbed as it is? There are several programs we intended to bring about already that would make factions within the federation annoyed as it is, the healthcare reform, we intended to add an elected part to the court, gods above the non-humans we have placed in high positions alone are enough to drive a lot of people very angry at us! we cannot rule and antagonize all our subjects at the same time!” Primus said pleadingly “We understand your intention but we have a lot of issues that needs to be dealt with!”

“I am reminded of talks with your father regarding slavery,” Sirithil noted, annoyed. “He made all the same arguments. ‘We need stability!’ ‘It would make people angry!’ Yes, yes, beneficial changes will always make someone angry because there is always someone who benefits from the status quo. You cannot please all the people all the time, that is simply unavoidable. I do not suggest that the guild is on the same level as slavery, but I seem to recall it supporting the continuation thereof. On the contrary, your people would benefit from reforms to your economy, because competition would increase, and prices would drop, and companies would be forced to innovate to maintain their position. This will provide your people with better products at cheaper cost, and they will prosper. We have seen this pattern in countries all over the world and Imeriata can do the same.”

“Things would change!” primus pointed out, it was however not entirely certain what he ment about it. “and please your imperial supremacy, leave our father out of the discussion, it is a too raw wound!”

“Yes, things would change. You say that like it’s a bad thing. And I apologize for bringing him up, but it’s a point that had to be made. Twelve years.”

“give us twenty and we will do it!” primus said sounding less proud and more with a sad tone on his voice “We understand your argument your imperial supremacy but we have some issues we would deal with to improve the lives of our subjects before we start with this! please, we need this!”

“Fifteen, but I am already jeopardizing ratification in the Artaoron. They, and likely the C’tani, will demand a shorter timetable if I go beyond that,” Sirithil insisted.

“And I am jeopardizing all my hard work! The non-human population of our empire… we have a lot of things to do to earn.. we have a lot of things to ask forgiveness of.”

Sirithil sighed. “Be a friend to Menelmacar and Menelmacar will be a friend to you. We will do what we can to support your efforts short of military intervention. In any case, one of the things making it hard for non-humans to do well in Imeriata is the entrenchment of the guild. It places artificially high barriers on entry into the market; your non-human population thus cannot start their own businesses without having difficulties with the guild. Trust me, our arguments are in alignment here.”

“Ohh actually we have taken that into account!” Primus said sounding a bit more cheerfully and excited as if a man talking about something he was deeply interested in. “We have actually promoted several higher non-human houses into the guild higher leadership, several of the corporations that were taken over by the former… by the former slaves did rather well after… some helpful notes were given to them, we are hoping that they will have equal representation in the guild in not a too distant future, from there can they expand into the nobility and the royal court easily enough! The military are already raising regiments of mostly non-human troops and the newly rich people can allow their sons into military academies and officers commissions!” he continued sounding rather excited about his plans “One can do a lot working with the system!” he finnished with a smug nod about his own cleverness.

“Good,” Sirithil answered, with a smile, she would be a liar if she claimed not to be pleased with the efforts he had made so far, and wanted to support that. “Very well,” she said, “I can give you your twenty years on one condition, that you agree, privately, between us, to go down to fifteen if I cannot get twenty years ratified. Is this fair?”

“Secretly? aye, we can agree to that, we… we have one request to make though, in that regard would we be.. we understand that it is a lot to ask but we would request that your imperial supremacy made the demand to change it before agreeing to stick to twenty to the public, to officially refuse a demand would raise my peoples spirits a bit and would make it hard for us to be taken as a puppet, ironically as that might be what with the theatrics involved in this!”

“Of course,” said Sirithil, “That’s all part of the game, I would agree to such whatever timetable we’d agreed to. The better to get it implemented. Now, there were some other items, but compared to these weighty concerns, they are mere trifles and I’m sure you would scarcely notice them.”

“Very well, what issues would your imperial supremacy suggest we discussed?”

“Well,” Sirithil seemed amused now, her eyes sparkling mischievously, “The first is that in light of your desire to seek forgiveness for offenses of the past, I would request that all Nicksylvanian titles, honors, or knightly orders be either abolished, transferred, or made exclusive, to members of minorities that were oppressed by the Nicksylvanians, for example those of darker complexion. It would seem a poetic sort of justice.”

“There are not too many left, after the necrons attack that is, it would be poetic and it would be more than justified aye, but we cannot just take them, However, that said… there is a lot of empty positions in the region that lacks holders, we will speak to the royal heraldric order about handing them out to negros and chinamen as well as non-humans, it would be rather amusing to see the accursed racists shiver a bit aye!”

Sirithil cringed a bit, “They’re...not….generally called negros or chinamen anymore,” she said. “It’s… usually offensive. As for positions currently occupied, that’s easy enough, you needn’t take any away, just change eligibility requirements going forward. The other thing, for which you can also talk to the royal heraldric order, is that I wish one of your own titles to be transferred to myself and Ranisath. In the event of our deaths it would then go to the heads of state of our nations at that time, and so on going forward. It is very minor but important to me nonetheless.” She smiled quite irresistibly and adorably.

“You are not one of those people that wishes them to be shoved aside are you your imperial supremacy?” Primus asked as he narrowed his eyes a bit suspiciously “Equal but separate and all that? Because we will say that we would object very highly to this, our subjects are our subjects no matter if they are black, yellow, red, brown, or normal and we will not let them nor their accomplishments shoved aside! Some of our best soldiers and officers we have served with were as black as coal they were!” He added rather defensively, this time not about himself nor his nation, but obviously about his own people.

“Not at all,” Sirithil answered, blinking, “That’s not what I meant at all and I’m… honestly not even sure how to respond to that. I’m glad you’re working on it, though. As to my request, the title I wish transferred is 'carrier of the enlightened torch of civilization'. After all, it was Menelmacari who first took up that torch and I don’t recall ever setting it down.”

“Well good, we will have none of that!” Primus said nodding quickly seemingly satisfied about the elf’s non-racist nature. If black gustaf had heard anyone say something like that would he have broken their face after all, Primus joyfully recalled one time when he had challenged a Nicksyllvanian to a duel in full tribal outfit rather than the customary Scanderan plate armour and beaten him senseless for suggesting that his kind had nothing to do in the higher positions in society.

“And my request?” Sirithil asked.

“Yes, we suppose we could agree to have a ceremony where that title is bestowed upon the two of you as titles like those are supposed to be passed on!” Primus said, he was after all not too picky and would happily go on with the tile “beacon of civilisation” that he was sure was somewhere in his new title, a title he still had to memorise to his great shame, he had so far managed to memorise all the first three rows, still, a lot more to go.

“or wait.. was that not one of ours?”

“I’m not sure,” Sirithil shrugged, “It’s a very long title block. In any case it seems we have an agreement in principle, I can have the detailed treaty drafted and forwarded to you for signature within a day or two.”

“Yes of course, we can sign such an agreement!” Primus said before he looked at the elf a bit annoyed as only a man that was somewhat insecure could. “And it is not that long a title block, there are a lot of titles that are far longer your imperial supremacy!”

“Perhaps,” Sirithil answered, though of course she had never seen any, the Pantocratorian Emperor’s was the closest she’d seen and it wasn’t even half as long. “Anyway once the treaty is ratified on both ends we can send people immediately to assess what needs to be done for your wounded cities.” She smiled brightly.

“good! it will be good to return to our ancestral homes, and we would inform the city councils to start to co-operate with your people for the rebuilding!”
"The elves will do what is right, not what is on paper." ~Sunset
"We can't go around supporting The Good Of All Things. People might mistake us for Menelmacar." ~Education Minister Lobon of Kn-Yan
"Do you realize you're trying to sell resources to Menelmafuckingcar? Their resource base is larger than Melkor's ego." ~Advisor Julius Razak, Foot-to-Ass Section, Scolopendra
"I started on NS at a time when elf genocides were daily occurrences from week old nations wanting to get ortilleried by Menelmacar." ~Resurgent Dream
"Nothing here but rich-ass elves. Just...running the world. And shopping." ~Officer Daryl Ward, LAPD

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Menelmacar
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Posts: 1023
Founded: Dec 18, 2002
Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Menelmacar » Tue Aug 25, 2015 9:29 pm

This is the first in a series of historical posts, intended to, at long last, tell the story of the founding of Menelmacar. I don't know how regularly it'll be updated, but I'll write it all eventually.


Image


Ost-in-Edhil, Hollin, Eregion
Middle-earth
52 Hrívë SA1597 (over 32,000 years before the present)


It had been a short war, as the Elves reckoned such things, and it had not ended well.

Snow fell lightly upon the ruins of the city and her citadel; scarcely a stone remained atop another, flames flickered and smoldered where houses and markets had burned, and all the land was rank with the stench of the dead. Where they lay, they would remain, for none lingered to burn or bury them.

The wind was cold out of the north, and when it blew hardest one might still, if one listened carefully, hear the tramping of orcish feet, and the fell horns they blew as they marched, fading into the distance as the host of Sauron receded on its march north towards Imladris. For seven days and nights the orcs had tormented the city, and they burned, sacked, and pillaged with abandon, killing all that they found without mercy. Those who took spears to the heart or arrows to the throat were the lucky; the creatures of Morgoth were sadistic to a fault, and many thousands had taken long to die.

The Dark Lord himself had had an errand here, one that had taken those full seven days and nights to complete; he had desired the Rings of Power that his… counsels had helped to forge. The Seven, and the Nine, he had power over, only the Three escaped him, for they had been forged without his aid, and had been spirited away. Celebrimbor, the great smith, Lord of Hollin, had taken that long to break under Sauron’s relentless torture. He had taken that long to reveal the hidden vaults where the Seven and the Nine were kept, and the secret means by which one might open them, and the traps that defended them both within and without. Sauron had been very thorough, and had seen to the task personally, but even still the secrets of the Three were kept from him. Eventually Sauron had simply decided he would simply kill Elves until the remaining three Rings turned up, and had put Celebrimbor to death.

Or so he had presumed, anyway. Movement scattered ash and snow from the shattered tile of the chamber, once this hall had looked out over the greatest city of Middle-earth, the place where the mastery of all knowledge had come closest to realization. Now the roof and most of the columns were gone, and there was no city to look out upon but the forlorn flame-blackened skeletons of those few buildings the orcs and trolls had been too lazy to pull all the way down. Celebrimbor hung on a wall by a myriad of blades, injuries too horrific to describe wracking his body. He had played dead just well enough that Sauron had not quite finished the job, but whether he would live was still a very open question. An agonized, almost inaudible rasp escaped his lips as he struggled to breathe, and the suspicion he was still not alone here was confirmed as a figure previously invisible threw back her enchanted cloak.

“….my Lady,” he gasped. The barest hint of a smile crossed his face. He had ruled here, but she was, in fact, his great-grandmother, a century of centuries his senior. Yet to the eyes of Men, they would seem contemporaries. Age did not touch the First-born.

“We must away,” she said, glancing back over her shoulder at the ruined city, before walking quickly, but carefully – the building was not structurally sound – to his side. “There is nothing left for us here. Even now I know not if the creatures of the Enemy still lurk in the city, and with the night, wargs and other fell beasts will come down from the hills and feast upon the dead.” She looked at him pointedly. “Or the nearly dead.”

“I am in—” He gasped in pain. “–no condition to go anywhere, my Lady.” Yet in her eyes burned the true light of the Two Trees of Valinor, and her very presence seemed to invigorate him, if only a little bit. Maybe, it could be enough.

“Then I will risk a little noise,” she answered, “I will not leave you to darkness and torment, and I yet know songs of power that will help.” She bent, and shifted a large stone, under his feet, so he could rest, then from the satchel at her side she drew bandages, and herbs and ointments.

And she sang. The words, in the Valarin tongue, carried power in every syllable, yet seemed to slip from the mind, even as the sweetness of the melody burned itself into his memory. For hours, for most of the day, she sang, as she worked to set broken bones, to carefully remove the blades from his body, to dress his wounds, to apply the medicines that would prevent rot and infection. No Man could have survived what had been done to him, but the Elves were more hale, and hearty, and resilient, and her healing arts, both of magic and science, slowly drew him back from the brink of oblivion.

Image


True to her prediction, as night fell the fallen spires of Hollin echoed with the howls of wargs. They would feast for weeks, it was likely, such was the array of carrion on offer, but Celebrimbor and the Lady were away. She had nearly carried him from the city, one of his arms around her shoulders, the other gripping her staff, which she had lent to him use as a crutch for now. Progress was slow, but as darkness fell they were far enough from the city to be out of immediate danger, yet not far enough to risk building a fire. Still, she had come prepared, and they had at least a small tent, to shelter from the rising winds, and a blanket of fur to huddle beneath, and lembas to nibble on, that she had prepared before the fall of the city.

“So what now,” he asked. He was not hopeful. His breath was ragged, and every movement was agony. But, at least, he was no longer bleeding out. It would be long years before Celebrimbor would be the Elf he had been, if ever.

“We go west,” she answered simply. “I sent the others west.”

“We’ll never catch them.” Celebrimbor lay facing away from her, his countenance grim after his ordeal. She would persevere, he knew, and he was quietly ashamed of his despair.

“No, we won’t,” answered the Lady. “Not by ourselves.”

“There is nobody left here. Nobody that doesn’t want us dead.”

“You’re a loremaster as much as I,” the Lady answered. “Think it through.” Her tone was not scolding or disdainful, but rather gentle, encouraging. “Talk it out, sometimes that helps.”

He huffed, he really just wanted to sleep. But even more he wanted to know. She had something in mind, of course. She always did.

“You had a foretelling,” he said finally. “You knew when the Enemy would come; you were right, down to the hour. You sent many of the people away even while I organized the defense.” This had been weeks ago. Half the army had gone with the refugees. There was no real hope of actually saving Eregion, such was the strength the Enemy had come with. Some of the people, likewise, had had to stay. The city had had to seem full, lest the Dark Lord suspect the ruse. He had told her to act freely in this, and to tell him as little as possible, for it was inevitable that Sauron would torture him for information. “You sent them west, knowing Sauron’s next target would be Imladris, north.”

The Lady nodded, though he didn’t see this.

“But you knew we couldn’t catch them. Even if I had escaped torment, they have a head start. So… they would have to leave a trail. Signs to follow.”

“Good. Keep going.”

“And knowing when the Enemy would strike, you could also estimate when we would be able to leave, if we lived.”

“Yes. That much was clouded. I’m not usually as good at seeing my own future, not that I’ve much control over when I see anything.”

“They would send a group back to meet us at an appointed time. We can’t catch them alone, but we can catch them with an escort, and horses. If they returned as far as the city without seeing us, they would know we had fallen, and return to the column without us.”

“Excellent,” said the Lady. “Your body may be broken, but that will return with time, and more healing. Your mind is the more important, and the more fragile, yet is as sharp as ever.”

“And west… to Mithlond?”

“Of course. Where else? They have ships. We need ships.”

“You can’t mean to give up? To go into the West?” He frowned. That seemed out of character for her; despair and ennui had taken some of the Elves, Fading many were calling it, but the Lady, most of all, seemed to resist it.

There was a rustling behind him as she turned over, and rested a hand gently on his shoulder. “No. I have another plan. But all in good time. Now, sleep. You need the rest, and we must be moving again at first light.”
"The elves will do what is right, not what is on paper." ~Sunset
"We can't go around supporting The Good Of All Things. People might mistake us for Menelmacar." ~Education Minister Lobon of Kn-Yan
"Do you realize you're trying to sell resources to Menelmafuckingcar? Their resource base is larger than Melkor's ego." ~Advisor Julius Razak, Foot-to-Ass Section, Scolopendra
"I started on NS at a time when elf genocides were daily occurrences from week old nations wanting to get ortilleried by Menelmacar." ~Resurgent Dream
"Nothing here but rich-ass elves. Just...running the world. And shopping." ~Officer Daryl Ward, LAPD

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Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Menelmacar » Fri Aug 28, 2015 6:03 am

Western Eregion Countryside
58 Hrívë SA1697


The snows and winds had worsened dramatically the next day. On a hill overlooking the river Sirannon they had found an empty manor house; Celebrimbor recalled that it had belonged to one Ancalimon, a wealthy wine-merchant who had been a soldier in his younger days, and had valiantly (if foolishly) remained to aid in the defense of the city. His wife and young son had fled west, and so the house was uninhabited and would likely never be lived in again. It was surreal, to see the small settlements outside Ost-in-Edhil, estates and farms in the rolling hills, entirely intact yet empty and abandoned. The war, as yet, had passed these lands by, but the orders to evacuate had been all-encompassing. The emptiness was almost more unsettling than the destroyed city itself.

Having seen no creatures of the Enemy, the Lady had felt safe enough to set a light in the tower so the escort would not miss them if they passed. She doubted they would, though, and were probably holed up in another house somewhere just as she and her patient were. There would be no travel with the weather, and she suspected even Sauron’s army would have to bed down until the storm passed.

She took full advantage of the respite. It was time unexpected for Celebrimbor to recover, and her songs of power filled the halls of Ancalimon for most of every day. This was no rest for the Lady; she put as much into the effort as she would have put into trudging through the snows with him on her shoulder. That wouldn’t be necessary from here on out, as he was now strong enough that he could walk (if still rather slowly) when they finally left here, but she knew he still could not fight – their protection would be up to her alone.

The evenings were no less busy. The Lady had combed the house looking for any supplies they could take. She’d broken a length of wood off a railing on the stairs, and fashioned it into a cane for Celebrimbor, and she’d found an old crossbow and some bolts, and gave him that as well. He would not be able to reload it, not without help, but giving him one shot he could take in a scrap would be better than nothing, and keep him from feeling entirely useless. Food had been more of a problem, the house had been empty for a while, and even with the cold most of the perishable goods had gone over. There was hardtack and salt pork though, still, and some cheese sealed in wax, and these had gone into their packs.

Now she was sitting in the parlor with a fire on the hearth, poring over a map of the surrounding area, drinking directly from a bottle of a lesser vintage from Ancalimon’s cellars; his family had taken the best, no doubt on a loaded wagon, but there was no shortage remaining, and even a lesser Eregion vintage was fine, fine enough that in her preparations over the previous couple of months to preserve Eregion’s people and culture, cuttings from the vines were among those things she had ordered taken. She heard movement behind her, and was up in a flash, her staff leveled at the source of the sound.

But it was only Celebrimbor, shuffling along with his cane. The Lady relaxed, setting the staff aside. “You should be in bed,” she said gently. “You need the rest. There will be little enough of it in the weeks and months to come.”

“I will go in a moment, but I wanted to see how you were doing.” He shuffled closer, looking at the map. “Where do we go from here?”

She sighed, “Well, you’re here now, you might as well have a drink.” She offered him the bottle, and pointed at the map. “Tharbad, first. It will take us some time, and the snows need to let up soon or we aren’t going anywhere.” The next leg of their journey was to take them down the Sirannon to the Númenorean frontier town of Tharbad on the Gwáthlo. It would be a long walk, nearly a hundred miles. In good weather on good roads, with Celebrimbor healthy, that would be the work of nearly a week; in winter, with Celebrimbor broken, in enough snow that who knew where the roads were, it would take much longer. She supposed the refugees would have already left Tharbad by now, after a brief stop to resupply. She was of two minds on that.

On one hand, she would feel better about their safety in this weather if they were in warm halls behind stone walls, rather than encamped on the plains in the driving snow. On the other hand, time was of the essence; they had to reach Mithlond as quickly as possible, because eventually Sauron would be done with Imladris one way or the other and turn his attention towards the lands of the High King, who had received two of the Three. If they were late arriving, Mithlond would be already besieged and escape would be cut off by the very army they had fled. It would be a slaughter.

“And where to after that?” he pressed, taking a long swig from the bottle.

“It’s a long way from there to Mithlond, with no major settlements, aside from a small village where the Greenway meets the East Road. It’s called Bree, and the inn is nice. From there, there is good, but empty, land until the Tower Hills and the Havens. Now to bed with you,” she said firmly. “I don’t want you straining yourself before we leave, you need the rest.”
"The elves will do what is right, not what is on paper." ~Sunset
"We can't go around supporting The Good Of All Things. People might mistake us for Menelmacar." ~Education Minister Lobon of Kn-Yan
"Do you realize you're trying to sell resources to Menelmafuckingcar? Their resource base is larger than Melkor's ego." ~Advisor Julius Razak, Foot-to-Ass Section, Scolopendra
"I started on NS at a time when elf genocides were daily occurrences from week old nations wanting to get ortilleried by Menelmacar." ~Resurgent Dream
"Nothing here but rich-ass elves. Just...running the world. And shopping." ~Officer Daryl Ward, LAPD

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Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Menelmacar » Thu Nov 05, 2015 3:07 am

An Undisclosed Location, Earth

The table was more than half empty. Only five of thirteen chairs were occupied today. This was expected, not only because the meeting was not on the usual schedule, but also because of the reason for the unscheduled meeting.

"The SCP-1947 field trip was a bit of a bust, though we got some of the answers we sought," O5-12 was saying. "The fleet was able to locate the system the devices were transmitting to. There were seven planets, the second, fourth, and fifth of which all showed signs of habitation. Unfortunately, they also had been the victims of extensive orbital bombardment approximately two and a half yéni ago. All three worlds also sported debris fields consistent with extensive orbital infrastructure, systematically destroyed with charged particle beam fire. The second planet had the most such signs, and we believe it to be the homeworld of Species-1947. Any terraforming on planets four and five has collapsed; planet two is still life-supporting, but its biosphere was nearly annihilated and has not recovered."

There was silence around the table. Finally O5-8 spoke. "It seems reasonable to infer that someone else received these probes as well, and did not react well."

"Possibly," O5-12 mused. "Or it may have been a completely unrelated conflict. In any case the question of Species-1947's motivations, or much else about them, is now not likely to be resolved soon. I've sent word to the Prefecture of Science and proposed the system be marked and protected for archaeological study. We can, after all, afford to wait."

The door opened and one more elf entered. "Sorry I'm late," O5-11 said apologetically as she took her seat, "I was in Skyriver when I got your message. A half-billion light years is a bit of a hike."

"Not a problem," said O5-12, "We have a quorum now, and that's all that matters. Imrathon?"

"To the quick, then," O5-10 began. "Lubyak vanished this morning in a fractal shift, along with most of Borealia and some other parts of the Pony Lands." Fractal shifts, as everyone of course knew, were the reality-restructuring scenarios by which nations appeared on, or vanished from, the non-Euclidean geographical impossibility that was Arda. "That leaves us in sole control of this organization and the artifacts it....contains."

"Are we at risk?" asked O5-9.

"No more than we were yesterday. Reality anchors are, of course, holding, as they always have since their development," O5-10 answered. It was well-known both inside and outside Menelmacar that, despite the apparent Menelmacari mastery of gravitics, gravity was by far the weakest of the fundamental forces, by thirty or more orders of magnitude. Since there were obvious logistical difficulties in bringing to bear mass comparable to that of a black hole, the feats they seemed to achieve by manipulation of gravity were, to all appearances, impossible.

It was significantly less well-known outside Menelmacar, though not unknown, that the Menelmacari did not manipulate gravity at all. Instead, by processes few understood and fewer would explain to foreigners, they directly sculpted spacetime to meet their requirements, with effects that appeared to be gravitational, to all intents and purposes. It was this appearance that had given rise to the term 'gravitics' in the first place, a misnomer the Menelmacari were entirely happy to perpetuate.

Once one had the capability to sculpt spacetime, of course, it was a very short step to using this ability to suppress fractal shifts in a region of spacetime, ensuring Menelmacar's stability on Arda in perpetuity. A popular conspiracy theory held that the Menelmacari had also weaponized this capability, actually invoking fractal shifts to weaken or eliminate opponents, often pointing to the disappearance of Kalessin or Iesus Christi as an example. That Knootoss continued to exist did not deter the speculations of these sorts of people. In any case, Lubyak had been an ally, though a consistently problematic one.

"Instead," O5-10 continued, "with the troublesome Lubyakans out of our hair, we can embark on important reforms. Much of the way the Foundation is organized is a Lubyakan artifact. That can be swept away, now."

"Tell me we can dispense with these absurd numbers, then," muttered O5-13. There was a chorus of agreement from around the table.

"Pending a vote," said O5-10. "First we need a new administrator... director... we'll pick a title later, I guess. I nominate Mirima." He gestured to O5-12.

"Seconded," said O5-8, "All in favor?" Nobody was bothering to chair at this point. It hardly mattered. In any case, four hands went up; the other two presumably wanted the job themselves. "Motion passed, then. Congratulations, Mirima."

Mirima smiled. "Thank you, Denethor. As to reforms: the vast majority of what we do, need not be classified any longer, or have any pretense to classification, at least. The vanishingly tiny minority that remains are, of course, the cognitohazards that are made more dangerous by more people knowing about them. Those, of course, would be kept secret."

She looked around the table, she had everyone's attention, and they all seemed favorable so far. "I'd also like to implement the Ethics Committee's recommendations from last quarter that the Lubyakans shot down. In particular, an end to D-class testing wherever possible, and D-class personnel in general limited to Omega inmates." She referred to the Menelmacari prison that held the very worst of the worst; slavers, terrorists, and the like. "Beyond that, volunteers and drones only. I also want a skip-by-skip review of all containment procedures on an ethical basis. Start with SCP-231." That actually drew some cheers.

"Also now there are six of us. We don't need thirteen really, but we do need a seventh. No ties that way."

Imrathon shrugged, "What about Lendanis?"

Denethor shook his head. "There's no way she'll agree. The O5's don't participate directly in research, and that's what she likes most about her job."

Mirima shrugged, "It's not that urgent. Everyone make a shortlist of candidates, at our next regular meeting we'll discuss them. Also, Secure Contain Protect Foundation is kind of a dumb name, especially now that we're largely no longer securing and doing a lot less containing. Any suggestions?"

Imrathon grinned. "Scientific Curiosities Program? We wouldn't even have to change most of the stationery."

Mirima grimaced. "Still a bit awkward. We'll work on that too, I guess. I'll work up a draft on these reforms and have them to you all tomorrow. How's everyone looking for next Isilya afternoon at four PM?"

"Can we do five?" Denethor asked.

"I don't have a problem with five," Mirima answered. Nobody else did either. "Wonderful," she said with a smile. "I'll see you all next week."
Last edited by Menelmacar on Thu Nov 05, 2015 3:35 am, edited 4 times in total.
"The elves will do what is right, not what is on paper." ~Sunset
"We can't go around supporting The Good Of All Things. People might mistake us for Menelmacar." ~Education Minister Lobon of Kn-Yan
"Do you realize you're trying to sell resources to Menelmafuckingcar? Their resource base is larger than Melkor's ego." ~Advisor Julius Razak, Foot-to-Ass Section, Scolopendra
"I started on NS at a time when elf genocides were daily occurrences from week old nations wanting to get ortilleried by Menelmacar." ~Resurgent Dream
"Nothing here but rich-ass elves. Just...running the world. And shopping." ~Officer Daryl Ward, LAPD

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Posts: 1023
Founded: Dec 18, 2002
Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Menelmacar » Wed Apr 26, 2017 2:30 am

An Undisclosed Location, Earth

Administrator Miríma's office was vast. She was quite pleased with the renovations, in fact; despite the fact this chamber, like the rest of the facility, had been hewn from the living rock and lined with several feet of reinforced concrete, her desk was positioned before a screen that showed, currently, a vista of tropical ocean and palm-lined beaches. Likewise there was no sign of the concrete. Here, and indeed throughout the common areas of the facility, things had been brought up to Menelmacari standards of decor. She picked up a flexi on her desk, looking it over. SCP-3003. The End of History, it had been nicknamed. Hah! Miríma thought to herself. Someone's history was going to end, anyway.

She read on. "The introduction of the concept of deceit to SCP-3003-3 is forbidden, either directly or by deceiving a member of SCP-3003-3 under circumstances where the lie could be easily discovered." Well, that was simple enough. In any case it would not matter for much longer. SCP-3003 was to be neutralized.

"Milady, the representative of the Earth Contact and Research Committee to see you," came the voice over the intercom.

"Send him in."

The door opened, and in entered a human. He was human. That was part of the 3003 anomaly, that a planet two hundred and eight light-years away somehow hosted humans, that to all appearances had evolved there naturally, in parallel to but entirely separate from the humans of earth, yet were so similar that they could fertilely interbreed. To all appearances, impossible. Yet here he was. Miríma tried, not entirely successful, to hide her disgust at the scores of lumps all over him, the lumps that were home to the marce beetles that had burrowed into his flesh and fed parasitically on his body.

He looked surprised to see her. "You're not Pyotr," he noted, referring to the Lubyakan representative he had no doubt met last time he was here. He spoke Knootian. Another factor of the anomaly. Somehow that made him even easier to loathe.

"Very perceptive," Miríma answered, in the same tongue.

"You're...not human, either. And why have your visitors left our world?"

"Have a seat." She gestured to the chair opposite her desk, not, for the moment answering the questions. "Drink?" She reached for a bottle of Menelmacari wine, and poured into a crystalline goblet. Just one.

"No, thank you."

"Then I hope you do not mind if I indulge." She didn't know his name. She honestly didn't know if they had names. "This is a day of celebration." She swirled the glass a little, letting it breathe; already she could smell the undertones of raspberry and chocolate in the richly aged cabernet.

"Then you have finally done as we agreed, and prepared your world for the marce!" The man seemed overjoyed at this.

The elf took a long sip of the wine. ".....no." she said finally.

"No?" He blinked. Genuinely perplexed. "But... you promised the Ruling Committee..."

"There has been political changes since your last visit. The Lubyakans, the people who were previously in control of the Foundation and thus spoke for our world were overthrown. Just as your people overthrew or subsumed the other civliizations on your world that did not wish to singlemindedly dedicate themselves to the perpetuation and spreading of the marce, so too were there peoples here who did not share the Lubyakans' enthusiasm for doing so. In contrast to your world, however, that conflict went the other way. Now my people control the Foundation, and speak for our world. And it is thus my duty and distinct pleasure to inform you that the agreement is off, and all diplomatic contact will end. This world has not been, and will not be, prepared for the marce, nor will your people be permitted here any further."

He brought his fist down on the desk so hard the bottle jumped. "No! You're making a terrible mistake! You cannot resist us! Our numbers and technology are superior! We can appear anywhere on your world we please! Only the agreement we held limited us to coming here! Once the marce is released here.... it will be too late for you!"

Miríma simply sipped her wine, looking entirely nonplussed. It really was exquisite; this vintage had been an excellent choice. And the aroma, the flavor, were still growing on her. "Are you quite finished? Allow me to educate you. You were indeed superior to the Lubyakans and they legitimately feared you. We, on the other hand, are farther beyond you than you were beyond them. We build vessels that travel the stars and can strike without warning. We harness energies greater than the stars themselves; our vessels ride waves of reality sculpted to our whims." She reached into a desk drawer and drew out a piece of paper. A simple piece of paper, no technology he could take home. She slid it across the table to him, and took another sip of the wine. "These are the terms you will take back to your Ruling Committee. They are nonnegotiable. These terms will be implemented regardless of your response to them. Simply put: Your portal facility will be destroyed by orbital strike. This will transpire after you return home; you will have enough time permitted to evacuate the facility. If you attempt to power up the device again to launch a strike on our world we will simply destroy the facility immediately, killing everything inside."

He looked enraged. That, she had expected.

"Furthermore. You will never again attempt to leave your planet. Any replacement portal facility will be destroyed. Any launch facilities or vehicles will be destroyed. A network of satellites will be placed in your world's orbit to monitor you from now until the end of time. I understand there are eleven members of your civilization on a research base on the third planet of your star; we are willing to ferry them back to your world, out of kindness. If you attempt to circumvent the interdiction of your planet in any way, we will immediately respond by incinerating the wildlife reserves dedicated to the marce. If after that, you persist in attempting to resist our dictates we will then proceed to cleanse the rest of the planet. Earth proclaims with one voice: your way of life and ours are fundamentally incompatible. We will not be puppets to beetles. You seem to enjoy it; you can go on lovingly caring for your pets until the day your star goes nova and your world dies. But you will never. Ever. Leave it. Do you understand? You. Will. Be. Contained. And it is in the eternal best interest of the marce beetles for you to meekly and willingly comply."

He stood. Fists clenching and unclenching. His voice... seemed to change. Grow darker. There was the hint of an echo to it. Perhaps she was speaking to the hive-mind itself now.

"Y͏o͜u ̨a͡r̷è ̸bl̢u̢f͜f̷i̛n͏g̵.̶ You k͏nęw̢ y͜o͟ur pr͘ev̶i͏ou̢s͠ r̨esís̡tánc҉e͟ was ̢d̸o͟o̷m̧e͏d͞ ̨tǫ ͞f͏ai̧l.͘ ̵W͡it҉h͡i̛n t͡hirty͝ y̷ea͜rs̴ ̡we̕ w̛o̢uld ͠hav͏e͟ be̷en ̢u҉n͢stop͘pab̵le̶ ͠in any ca͜s̢e. T̶his is ͝s͟ìm̡p͢l͏y ̷d̴e̢s̶p͘eŕation̵. You͡ c̶a̧nno҉t̵ ̕p͘o͏s͘sibly h̷av͞e t͜he̡ abilit͞y ̸to f̴o̶l̡l͘o̸w ͢t̢hrou̶gh̢ ́o͡n these..͠.̸.de̢man̵d͝s̡."

Miríma looked at him dead on. "Try me. Is that a risk you are willing to take?" She reached over and tapped a button on a console set into the desk. The 'window' behind her shifted, becoming a split-screen. On the left side was the portal room, where the wormhole between Earth and HIP 56948-d stood open. On the right, an orbital view of an Earthlike world -- HIP 56948-d. Featured was the northern polar ice-cap, where the facility that generated that wormhole had been built. The facility -- designated SCP-3003-4 -- was vast, large enough to be visible from the viewpoint of the camera.

"Yes.͜ The̴ collect͟i̛vȩ ͢ag͜ree͡s̢.̴ Th͝is ̡i̛s͏ ͜no͝nse͟n҉se͠,͜ ̸a҉nd yo҉u͞ ͘h͠av͞e d͘ǫǫm͝ed͠ yourśel҉v͟e̵s̸.̶"

Miríma tapped anothe rcontrol. "Anar-mi-alcar, this is Miríma. My guest has proven intractable. You may fire at will."

"W̶aì̡͘t̸̀!̴!́͜ ͜͜N҉é͘g̷̛͜o͞t͘͞ia̢t̶̶io̶̵͜n͏ ̧̨́í͡s̵ ͏͜͠pe҉̡ŕ̵̛m̀is̶s͏i̶b̢͘--͢"

On the right screen, from somewhere outside of the frame -- perhaps the camera was mounted on the hull of Anar-mi-alcar herself -- streams of golden fire lanced towards the planet below, unleashing untold, titanic energies into SCP-3003-4, energies overshadowed only by the explosions that tore through the full length and breadth of the facility. On the left screen, the wormhole flickered and collapsed.

The man from HIP 56948-d collapsed to his knees behind the desk, whimpering. "The silence... I.... I hear.... nothing...."

The report came in. "Target eliminated, Administrator."

Miríma smiled. "Thank you, Anar-mi-alcar. Give my compliments to Lady Serendis for her support. And transmit the new order of things to the planet. Make sure they understand where they stand, now." She came around the desk, looking down at her guest dispassionately. "Marshall -- can I call you Marshall? You had your chance," she answered him. She smiled, taking another sip of her wine. "It is as they say. Sometimes, you really can never go home again."
Last edited by Menelmacar on Wed Apr 26, 2017 3:00 am, edited 3 times in total.
"The elves will do what is right, not what is on paper." ~Sunset
"We can't go around supporting The Good Of All Things. People might mistake us for Menelmacar." ~Education Minister Lobon of Kn-Yan
"Do you realize you're trying to sell resources to Menelmafuckingcar? Their resource base is larger than Melkor's ego." ~Advisor Julius Razak, Foot-to-Ass Section, Scolopendra
"I started on NS at a time when elf genocides were daily occurrences from week old nations wanting to get ortilleried by Menelmacar." ~Resurgent Dream
"Nothing here but rich-ass elves. Just...running the world. And shopping." ~Officer Daryl Ward, LAPD

User avatar
Menelmacar
Retired Moderator
 
Posts: 1023
Founded: Dec 18, 2002
Civil Rights Lovefest

Historical Documents Index 319330554004873

Postby Menelmacar » Tue Nov 20, 2018 11:28 am

Edited 2020/08/25 to account for changes/retcons in the Martian Empire.


Background: The Menelmacari-Conglomerate Solar Mutual Security Treaty was a consequence of increased tensions in Sol system between the Ascendancy and the Martian Conglomerate. The Conglomerate wished to base strategic weapons in the Sol system in order to secure their new capital, but was met with strident objections from the Eternal Ascendancy of Menelmacar, of course also based in the same system. Whirlwind negotiations carried out over the course of several hours at Roundtable Station yielded the treaty, which met the concerns of both states.

The Martian Conglomerate ceased to exist in May 2020 (RL) and was replaced by the United Republic of Mars and Martian Colonies; that nation, in turn, was replaced by the Martian Empire in August 2020; as the lawful successor state of the Conglomerate, it has inherited the Conglomerate’s status as state party to the Menelmacari-Conglomerate Solar Mutual Security Treaty.

Menelmacari-Conglomerate Solar Mutual Security Treaty


PREAMBLE:

The Eternal Ascendancy of Menelmacar ("the Ascendancy") and the Martian Conglomerate ("the Conglomerate"), hereinafter referred to as the States Party,

Working to forge a new strategic partnership based on mutual trust, openness, predictability, and cooperation,

Desiring to bring their respective postures with respect to strategic weapons into alignment with this new relationship,

Guided by the principle of indivisible security and convinced that measures for the limitation of strategic offensive arms will enhance predictability and stability, and thus the security of both States Party,

Have agreed as follows:

ARTICLE I: Definitions

1. All units of time (days, hours, etc.) shall be construed to be in accordance with those observed on Sol III, variously known as Arda, Earth, or Terra.

2. Strategic arms shall be construed as arms specifically designed and/or intended for use against planetary or otherwise fixed targets (such as stations), generally at ranges significantly exceeding typical ship-to-ship engagement range.

3. The region described as 'Sol System' shall be construed to refer to the volume encompassed by a sphere of one light-year radius centered on the Sol primary.

ARTICLE II: Conglomerate Strategic Arms in Sol System

1. In keeping with the status of the Laconia settlement on Sol IV, variously known as Carnil or Mars, as the capital of the Conglomerate, the Conglomerate shall be permitted to base strategic arms in Sol system.

2. Conglomerate strategic arms shall be in the form of System Ballistic Missiles ("SBM's") based on no more than four (4) space-based platforms, to each be restricted as follows:
2a: The platforms must be placed in an orbit about the Sol primary with a perihelion no less than 4.5 billion kilometers, and with an inclination no greater than +/- 2 degrees from Sol system's invariable plane.
2b: The platforms may each carry no more than ten (10) missiles.
2c: The combined yield of all warheads aboard each missile may not exceed fifty megatons (50 MT), and may not carry any form of engine capable of faster-than-light travel.
2d: The platforms may not be garrisoned with personnel beyond that required to effectively operate the missile launch systems, and may not be of a size or reactor output greater than that required to support them.
2e: The platforms may not pre-emptively target the Ascendancy, or Ascendancy allies including but not limited to the Republic of Sunset, the Free Kingdom of Allanea, the Federated Imperium of Kajal, the United Imperial Kingdoms of Macisikan, and the Great Civilization of the C'tan. Targeting of third parties within Sol system is permissible.

3. The Conglomerate shall not target Sol system with interstellar-capable strategic arms.

4. Conglomerate military vessels shall not carry additional strategic arms within Sol system.

5. The Conglomerate agrees that these arms shall be for defensive purposes only, and that if fired in an offensive context (as determined by the Ascendancy), the Ascendancy reserves the right to remove both the platforms and Conglomerate military presence from Sol system at its leisure.

6. The Conglomerate may base up to five hundred (500) warships in Sol system, and agrees to take every available measure to avoid hostilities with the Ascendancy, its allies, or any third party in the system.

ARTICLE III: Ascendancy Strategic Arms in Sol System

1. In keeping with the status of Sol system as the site of the capital of the Ascendancy since time immemorial, along with numerous facilities of strategically crucial nature, no part of this Agreement shall be construed to imply limitations of any kind on the Ascendancy with regard to strategic arms, including number, type, scope, or access.

2. The Ascendancy agrees not to pre-emptively target the Conglomerate with strategic arms, with the exception of the missile platforms described in Article II.

ARTICLE IV: Transparency and Inspections

1. The Conglomerate shall inform the Ascendancy of the location, orbital characteristics, embarked weapons, and operational status of the missile platforms, and will provide updates on any changes within one hour.

2. The Ascendancy may inspect the Conglomerate missile platforms at any time, and shall be granted full access as needed to ensure compliance with this Agreement.

ARTICLE V: Duration and Scope

1. This Agreement shall enter into force immediately upon ratification by both Parties, and shall remain in force in perpetuity, unless:
1a: One or both States Party withdraws from the Agreement.
1b: The Conglomerate relocates its capital outside Sol system.
1c: The Agreement is superseded by a later Agreement.

2. Each State Party shall, in exercising its national sovereignty, have the right to withdraw from this Agreement at any time. The withdrawing State Party shall give written notice of its decision to the other State Party. This Agreement will terminate seventy-two solar days from the date of receipt by the other State Party, unless the notice specifies a later date.
2a: If the Ascendancy is the withdrawing State Party, the Conglomerate will be understood to have full right to base strategic arms in Sol system without restriction.
2b: If the Conglomerate is the withdrawing State Party, the Conglomerate shall be immediately required to remove all strategic arms from Sol system.

3. If at some future date the Conglomerate relocates its capital from Laconia to an alternate site outside Sol system, the Conglomerate shall be required to immediately remove all strategic arms from Sol system.

4. Each State Party may propose Amendments to this Agreement. Agreed Amendments shall enter into force in accordance with the procedures governing entry into force of this Agreement.

Done at Roundtable Station, this fifty-fourth day of Quellë in the 31933rd Year of Menelmacar, in two originals, each in the Quenya and English languages, both texts being equally authentic.

FOR THE ETERNAL ASCENDANCY OF MENELMACAR:
LORD TÚRELIO NOS FINGOLFIN
PREFECT OF STATE

FOR THE MARTIAN CONGLOMERATE:
ANDREW KOBB
MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS
Last edited by Menelmacar on Tue Aug 25, 2020 2:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"The elves will do what is right, not what is on paper." ~Sunset
"We can't go around supporting The Good Of All Things. People might mistake us for Menelmacar." ~Education Minister Lobon of Kn-Yan
"Do you realize you're trying to sell resources to Menelmafuckingcar? Their resource base is larger than Melkor's ego." ~Advisor Julius Razak, Foot-to-Ass Section, Scolopendra
"I started on NS at a time when elf genocides were daily occurrences from week old nations wanting to get ortilleried by Menelmacar." ~Resurgent Dream
"Nothing here but rich-ass elves. Just...running the world. And shopping." ~Officer Daryl Ward, LAPD

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Postby Menelmacar » Mon Jul 22, 2019 8:26 am

Research Facility 42, Project Ambela Eä
Vinyatírion, Arda, Menelmacar
62 Lairë 31934


"So tell me again why this doesn't work." Sirithil frowned, looking up at the large, very expensive, and apparently useless machine, then to her grandson, Lord Celebrimbor.

"It does work," he insisted. "It works perfectly. We just can't use it."

The Elentári's frown deepened.

He sighed and continued. "You are aware of course of the fractal nature of reality in this universe. More even than mere places, people, and things, there are actually different rules. The very laws of physics vary from place to place, from people to people. That is why," he noted, gesturing with a hand, a fireball bursting to life there, "magic works for us, for example." He dispelled the fireball, let it vanish again to nothing. "While other peoples, such as the Macisikani, have no access to it at all, and others, like Spirean beastlings, have only varying potential in it from person to person. Different peoples, different rules, all coexisting in this one reality."

"I understand this," said Sirithil, sounding annoyed; she was not well accustomed to not getting something she wanted. "How does it relate to these holographic boundary interfaces?"

"The device standing behind me," Celebrimbor answered, "is a precise reproduction of the Nimatojin design, down to the molecule. It performs flawlessly in simulation. However, the fundamental principles behind the HBI depends on the basic nature of reality itself. You've no doubt heard of the holographic universe theory, also known as the simulation theory. To many younger nations this is fundamentally untestable, as they possess no means to look outside reality in order to test it. By virtue of its absolute nonfunctionality, however, this boundary interface has already performed valuable science by disproving said theory. Our reality has no holographic boundary with which to interface. We are, fundamentally, real."

"But the Nimatojin aren't?"

"In their native reality, no, or at least, they are in the context of said reality, but said reality is a simulation. And, coming to this universe, they have brought their physical rules with them, just as we have. So they are able to reach 'outside' the universe to bring what they desire 'inside' with this technology. We cannot, as in our context, there is no 'outside'. Whether this universe is ours, or theirs, or neither, really does not matter in any way; thermodynamics is, as far as we can tell, multiversal, which has the effect that matter and energy native to a given reality will propagate the physical laws that govern them in all directions at c, preserving them in their local spacetime context. Where matter from two different realities interact, the opposing propagation wavefronts meet, and stop, creating a condition where the two contexts effectively battle for local supremacy. The Nimatojin context is essentially the same as ours except for this one point, so we don't encounter any difficulties. The Macisikani context doesn't allow for magic, which is why when our ships pass through their space, thaumaturgical effects weaken, though do not stop entirely, because our context still pushes back on theirs."

He gestured a little, and a hologram of a pair of radio transmitters appeared. "Imagine it like two radio stations, transmitting on the same frequency. As you move from one transmitter towards the other, you hear first the one station, then for a brief period there is static, and perhaps elements of both broadcasts, then the other comes into focus. The universe was sung into being, my Lady, but every universe has its own song. So, vastly simplifying, the rules that are followed, depend on which song is louder."

"Well what do we do with this thing then?" she asked him, gesturing to the device. "If what you say is true, and our context breaks the rules on which the HBI operates, then we have a real problem. The Nimatojin and Macisikani may be allies, but if they have capabilities we fundamentally cannot reproduce, then the era of our supremacy has nonetheless come to an end. You know I cannot and will not tolerate Menelmacar taking a back seat to anyone, even our friends." She smiled. "Eternal Ascendancy. It's right there in the name, indyo."

Celebrimbor sighed, and grimaced. "I don't suppose I can convince you that disproving simulation theory in our context was worth the investment in itself."

"That seems unlikely, unless you have some very impressive application for that little datum, secreted up your sleeve," she answered. Then she snapped her fingers. "Wait. It's an interface, right? With a holographic boundary? Meaning it allows a simulated universe to interact physically with the 'real' universe outside?"

"The 'outside' universe may itself be a simulation, but yes, that's essentially correct." He nodded.

"We can already generate basement universes, we do this for things like the deep thought oracles," she mused. "What stops us from reaching 'in' rather than 'out'? Using this boundary interface to interface with the boundaries of realities we create? So we spawn a basement universe containing whatever it is we desire... and then just reach in and take it."

"That...." Celebrimbor blinked. "The project team will have to run some sims, perhaps modify the device, but I think that just might work."
Last edited by Menelmacar on Mon Jul 22, 2019 8:33 am, edited 2 times in total.
"The elves will do what is right, not what is on paper." ~Sunset
"We can't go around supporting The Good Of All Things. People might mistake us for Menelmacar." ~Education Minister Lobon of Kn-Yan
"Do you realize you're trying to sell resources to Menelmafuckingcar? Their resource base is larger than Melkor's ego." ~Advisor Julius Razak, Foot-to-Ass Section, Scolopendra
"I started on NS at a time when elf genocides were daily occurrences from week old nations wanting to get ortilleried by Menelmacar." ~Resurgent Dream
"Nothing here but rich-ass elves. Just...running the world. And shopping." ~Officer Daryl Ward, LAPD

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Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Menelmacar » Thu Aug 01, 2019 8:38 pm

MIV Fawë-mi-Lómë
Somewhere on the Outer Sagittarius Arm, approximately 347.2 light-yéni from Arda


The star was new.

Well, technically it wasn't, but its presence certainly was. The Ascendancy, of course, kept a detailed and up-to-date probescape of Varda's Cloak at all times, and the Iluisa system quickly reported any changes worth investigating, but fractal reality being what it was, at times the galaxy simply changed, and maps needed updating. Entire stars might slip out of the universe into another, or slip in from another, at any time. This was such a star. The odds of being in an affected volume at any time were low, but the Menelmacari maintained reality anchors on their ships and worlds nonetheless. One could never be too careful.

Which is why of course, Fawë-mi-Lómë was not the first Menelmacari visitor to the system. A series of probes had already passed through, taking preliminary readings, and confirmed that this was something worth taking a closer look at.

"What am I looking at?" Círyaran Maethorion asked, pursing his lips as he looked out at the holo on Fáwë's bridge. As usual for Menelmacari vessels, the bridge seemed to hang in open space, surrounded by the void, but this was a cunning illusion; it was surrounded by screens and holoprojectors, giving the very convincing impression of being outside the cruiser's hull, even though the bridge was very near Fawë's center of mass. Fawë-mi-Lómë was one of the newer ships built, of which Maethorion had been fairly proud, though pride had turned to annoyance when he learned of plans for a full refresh of fleet designs. The older ships would be upgraded first, which meant he'd be waiting a while.

"A circumstellar swarm," answered Snow, the ship's Mind. A teasing smile crossed her pale lips.

"I know that." Maethorion had seen such things before, of course. "Go on."

"What is curious about this one is that it appears to be abandoned. Emissions are low. Comms are dark. Some elements are tumbling. Based on micrometeoroid pitting, the entire complex is at least two million years old, but may be older. Some sections are newer, but very few. My guess is that it has been two million years since this structure saw proper maintenance, but some sporadically continued until roughly seven hundred thousand years ago."

"So," Maethorion sighed. "is it of any use to us, beyond archaeology?"

"Well, once we've done our archaeology, it's certainly easier to repair and refurbish a circumstellar swarm than it is to build one from scratch. We can use it, and fairly cheaply, but getting it back to useable condition won't, strictly speaking, be free."

Maethorion nodded, and glanced to the pilot. "Either way... archaeology first. Valainistima, take us in. Snow, try to determine where, if anywhere, the central control station might be. Two million years and most of these things are still in stable orbits. It stands to reason that something's still running the place."

Val pushed the ship up to a fairly languid four kilogees, and with Snow's help plotted a serpentine course insystem that would avoid the intersecting orbits of the billions of satellites and statites that made up the swarm.

"I have it. There is a statite point-three AU's above the primary's southern pole," noted Snow.

"What makes you think that's the one?" Maethorion asked. "Comms are dark, yes?"

The shipmind's avatar grinned. "They don't seem to have any interest in us, my lord. But the swarm elements appear to communicate with each other, by tightbeam laser. That one has the most transmitters on it. Also, everything else is at least another five million kilometers out. The position gives it line of sight to any other element save those in the northern polar region, and there appear to be equatorial relays for that."

"My lord, this is interesting," came another voice, that of Nostariel, the operations officer. "There are, generally speaking, two classes of swarm elements. One are your standard solar panel statite. So far, so good. The other, the orbiting satellites, don't appear to be habs. They're computronium banks."

Maethorion moved over, peering over her shoulder at the console. "Is this some kind of supermind, like Xolotl, or the UIK's Oracle?"

Snow shook her head. "Not as far as I can tell. It is hard to explain, but I've been watching the laser pulses, and what I've discerned of the architecture doesn't fit. If this swarm were running a giant AI, it would be more distributed, like, well, a mind. Not centrally controlled like this. It would be too inefficient. My theory is that each station runs specific programs all the time, then all the lasers need to do is sync everything up or distribute updates."

Maethorion nodded. He glanced out at the holo, as clouds of swarm elements slid past. It couldn't be clearly seen, but Fawë had a swarm of her own, the ship accompanied by the cloud of nodes of the VDA, expanding the ship's sensor resolution many times over. "Theories about what it's running?"

"Some manner of simulation seems likely, my lord," answered the avatar, running a hand through her pale blue hair. True to the ship's name, Snow had chosen the form of an elemental spirit of ice and snow. "Though of what, I can't yet tell. I don't recommend running the risk of interfacing directly with the system, though. Instead, the control station has interior spaces... though any atmosphere has long since escaped. We could board the station and examine it via hardware access."

Maethorion smiled. "Well. That sounds interesting, at least. Val, take us over that way. We have science to do."
Last edited by Menelmacar on Thu Aug 01, 2019 8:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"The elves will do what is right, not what is on paper." ~Sunset
"We can't go around supporting The Good Of All Things. People might mistake us for Menelmacar." ~Education Minister Lobon of Kn-Yan
"Do you realize you're trying to sell resources to Menelmafuckingcar? Their resource base is larger than Melkor's ego." ~Advisor Julius Razak, Foot-to-Ass Section, Scolopendra
"I started on NS at a time when elf genocides were daily occurrences from week old nations wanting to get ortilleried by Menelmacar." ~Resurgent Dream
"Nothing here but rich-ass elves. Just...running the world. And shopping." ~Officer Daryl Ward, LAPD

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Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Menelmacar » Mon Sep 02, 2019 10:38 am



Menelmacari Battleplate MIV Bragollach, in polar orbit of Sol
32 Yávië 31934


The call came in the middle of the night, ship time, but Warlady Carningortonis nos Fithurin, CINCSOLCOM and Commanding Officer, Bragollach, was ready for it. The Nimatojin had been quite forthcoming with their intentions even if the Congos had not. So it was that this particular instance of excrement impacting an oscillating rotary ventilator found the Warlady fully dressed and on the bridge, coffee in hand, rather than bleary and very-recently-asleep.

She watched the stars, knowing full well that the Nimatojin had decided to roll on Hawking. This had been discussed; of course it had. Allies talked about things that would mutually affect one another. The consensus had been that the Conglomerate would not react constructively, at least not at first, and their odds of doing so would be considerably lower the more nations showed up angrily demanding answers all at once to the thoroughly irresponsible activation of the sphere. So a single ship had been sent to knock on the door, and if necessary, kick it in; more could easily follow, but one ship would more than suffice to ask questions.

"Chatter just spiked. It is voluminous, and a mixture of panicked and angry," reported Rúsiel, Bragollach's shipmind. She had chosen an elemental spirit of fire as her avatar, with long, flowing red hair, skin that glowed softly in striations of orange and yellow, as if formed of magma, and a pair of horns, curling back and downward behind her ears. "The Conglomerate is arraying its fleet before Hawking, and locking down its cities."

"To be expected. Notify any of our personnel still in Conglomerate territory to withdraw with alacrity, including all technology."

"Already done, my Lady," Rúsiel nodded. Then she paused. "Well, then. That tears it. Trident is up. Our probes report all platforms active and directed in-system."

"Have they formally notified us?"

"Not yet."

"Charming," Carningortonis sounded everything but charmed at this point. "Very well. Contingency recommendations, please."

"Of course, my Lady." Rúsiel closed her eyes a moment, running through simulations, then opened them again. "Recommend Rapid Response Contingency Tecco-Parma-Enquë-Cumna-Otso." Rúsiel gestured, and a holographic purple dragonfly flickered from her hand, forming and expanding in the air into a dataglyph that provided a briefing on RRC EP-607. The dataglyph had been a necrontyr invention, a particularly information-dense fractal arrangement of light with memetic effects, causing the brain to spontaneously consider and comprehend whatever information the glyph was intended to convey. As cybernetic augmentation was not something of which the Menelmacari tended to be fond, the dataglyph had become the go-to means of quickly briefing organic minds on complex subjects when time was of the essence. As it was of course here. There were many thousands of contingencies the Menelmacari had devised, response plans to nearly any conceivable situation, continuously updated; wargames intended to practice and further refine these scenarios were run frequently, against simulated, AI-commanded opposing forces far more powerful than anything the MIDF was likely to face. 'Team Gold' lost these simulated engagements to 'Team Black' quite frequently, and much was learned each time; the overpowered, overcompetent OPFOR also tended to have the result that actual engagements went much more favorably than anyone actually participating in them generally expected. Tactics the Menelmacari genuinely had not anticipated came rarely in actual battle, but such was not entirely unprecedented.

The glyph contained details of EP-607, but also provided information on RRC's EL-295, HR-281, and ZC-843, these being Rúsiel's backup recommendations, but Carningortonis was quite satisfied with the first one offered. "I concur. Execute the contingency. Notify all required units to full ready status, all reserves to standby. Prepare all Andacúnë batteries, and roll in Strike Package Umbar on each Trident platform. Have them hold back for now. Give the Congos their treaty-mandated hour to tell us what they're smoking."

"Done." A few moments passed. "All units report ready."

"Good. Prepare inertialess transit to Carnil orbit." Then came the ancient order to jump, that had persisted through six successive FTL systems favored by the Menelmacari. "Á haloitë."
Last edited by Menelmacar on Mon Sep 02, 2019 11:06 am, edited 7 times in total.
"The elves will do what is right, not what is on paper." ~Sunset
"We can't go around supporting The Good Of All Things. People might mistake us for Menelmacar." ~Education Minister Lobon of Kn-Yan
"Do you realize you're trying to sell resources to Menelmafuckingcar? Their resource base is larger than Melkor's ego." ~Advisor Julius Razak, Foot-to-Ass Section, Scolopendra
"I started on NS at a time when elf genocides were daily occurrences from week old nations wanting to get ortilleried by Menelmacar." ~Resurgent Dream
"Nothing here but rich-ass elves. Just...running the world. And shopping." ~Officer Daryl Ward, LAPD

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Posts: 1023
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Civil Rights Lovefest

The Triangle Grows Pointier

Postby Menelmacar » Mon Feb 24, 2020 9:57 pm

Yavanna Fleet Systems Corporate Head Office
Yavanna (Ceres), Menelmacar
33 Quellë 31934


Curulambiel nos Eärendil, Councilor-Merchant, Yavanna Fleet Systems, smiled across the boardroom table at her esteemed guest. Behind her, a bank of windows opened onto the vast interior spaces of Yavanna, crowded with spires and drydocks. "I assure you, Lady Serendis, the Elentári's directive regarding a fleet refresh is being taken as seriously as possible here at YFS. I think you will be very impressed with our bid. However, we are not seeking to incrementally replace existing ship classes as we have in the past."

Serendis nos Fithurin lofted an eyebrow, bemused. "You did read the tender, I assume," the Prefect of War said, a statement more than a question. Of course Curulambiel had read the tender. She paused to accept a glass of wine from the little hovering scarab that had poured it and gravitically levitated the glass to her hand.

"Of course we did," Curulambiel replied. "However, the status-quo paradigm in the fleet is no longer optimal for the needs of the Eternal Ascendancy." As the scarab set a glass before her as well, she picked it up, idly swirling it, letting the wine breathe. "Your tender specifically noted that technological advances since the current generation of classes were developed, should be integrated in full and used to their utmost potential, did it not?"

"Of course," Serendis answered. "Which is why we are not asking for upgrades but full replacement. If said technologies are not used fully then we risk losing our supremacy in this area, and that is something the Elentári cannot abide. Already it has been too long since the last refresh."

"With reverence, my Lady, I believe you misunderstand," ventured Curulambiel. She took a sip from her wine. "Allow me to elucidate: a comprehensive leveraging of recent technologies requires a reimagining of fleet doctrine from the keel up. The current hierarchy of warship classes and mission roles is an artifact, a legacy that goes all the way back to the days our navy plied waves of water rather than of spacetime. Frigates, carriers, dreadnoughts.... anachronisms, all of them. The battleplates are a step in the right direction, but not quite all the way. Our crews are too large, our ships are too small, both in size and in number. With our industrial capacity, automation, and the energy production we can bring to bear, many of the old constraints in warship design have fallen away. As the Nimatojin might say, the triangle grows larger. There is no longer any particular need for.... compromise."

The Prefect of War leaned forward in her chair. "I'm not sure I understand where this is going yet," she said, "But I'm intrigued. Continue."

Curulambiel gestured, and a hologram of a Bragollach-class battleplate shimmered into being above the table, a scale representation of an eight-kilometer engine of death, serenely rotating in place. "As it stands now, the pinnacle of our technologies of war. And yet inadequate in many areas. What would you say, my Lady, is the biggest bottleneck to drastic expansion of the fleet?"

"Personnel," Serendis answered without hesitation. "Training takes time, gaining experience takes more, and recruitment is both competitive and selective."

"And is it not further true that the risk to said personnel is often the most significant political obstacle to any military campaign?" Curulambiel answered.

"Of course," Serendis answered. "It is bad enough for mortals, and we have a great deal more to lose. We have done much to make warfare comparatively safe," she mused, "but it is nonetheless a significant ask for anyone to risk throwing away eternity as an instrument of foreign policy."

"And our technologies for the automation of maintenance of a warship have long been underutilized," Curulambiel continued. "This is a fine example here. Three problems with the same solution."

"Reduce the crew complements?" Serendis ventured.

"Exactly. Why should a ship like this carry thousands simply because it has always been done that way? There's no technological obstacle to a ship of this nature being operated by, at most, dozens," actually Curulambiel was pretty sure the number could be much lower, but she was not of the habit of making promises she wasn't yet entirely certain she could keep, "rather than thousands. Right there that gives you all kinds of room for expansion."

"This makes sense, but simply automating shipboard processes isn't going to change the entire fleet doctrine," Serendis pointed out. "Also if there's less crew on ships, we'll have to promote a lot of people. More ships means more shiplords."

"I've seen some of the reports on personnel retention in the MIDF," Curulambiel noted. "You were going to have to do that anyway. A lot of the flag and command positions are held by career officers who aren't going anywhere, because they like what they do. So there's a limit to upward mobility and a lot of experienced officers wind up transitioning to the private sector because the command opportunities they want simply aren't available. A flatter command structure means you'll have the ability to properly reward people who deserve it. As to doctrine..."

Curulambiel gestured again, and the miniature holographic battleplate shrank, surrounded by a sparkling, vaguely spherical cloud of points of light. "As we've seen, one of the most successful innovations in recent years has been the VDA." She referred here, of course, to the deployable sensor arrays that had vastly increased the detection and communication abilities of Menelmacari ships and fleets. The fact these craft also carried conversion warheads to be expended, when necessary, as pre-launched missiles, had bestowed upon this system the 'Very Dangerous Array' nickname that had ultimately stuck. The capability of larger ships to carry tens of thousands rather than mere dozens or hundreds of these drones was another reason for the trend towards larger ships overall.

"Part of our proposal is to double, and even triple down on this concept. Advancements in annihilation reactor efficiencies as well as wider implementation of the necrontyr energy-broadcast nodes, will allow a distributed architecture across nearly all of our weapons systems. Previous generations of ships were designed to maximize fields of fire; if onboard weapons are themselves deployable subcraft, we can put our fields of fire anywhere we like." Another gesture, and the turrets visible on the battleplate -- only the very largest at this scale -- were enveloped in ovoid enclosures which separated from the main hull to join the cloud. In a series of movements, they variously englobed the ship, then adjusted to focus on specific areas, then shifted into a series of mutually-supporting orbits.

"So you envision a navy of battleplates, essentially. Only, lots more of them," Serendis mused. "Part of the reason we have smaller ships at all, is because not every situation warrants a battleplate. Moreover there is still a need for the escort or picket role."

"Nor would they go away," Curulambiel answered. "Ultimately there are few use-cases where such vessels are deployed alone. As such they would be daughter-ships themselves, and would be controlled from the 'plate in much the same fashion as the VDA nodes and weapon platforms. The battleplate's shipmind would likewise be distributed across all of these platforms; we already know this can be done because we already do it with our present VDA's. The effect would be not unlike the ad-hoc fleetminds used to coordinate taskforces today. Likewise it is rare that it is desirable to have less force present. Most such situations are diplomatic in nature, and could be seen to by sending one of the smaller daughter-ships on ahead while the battleplate remains an unprovocative distance away. Beyond that, are there any situations that come to mind where you would want a smaller ship? Better question: how many situations are there where a smaller ship is deployed alone, that you wouldn't prefer a battleplate if one was available? Counter to popular belief, they're no slower than a frigate. They're better armed, better shielded, more versatile, more survivable, and with a vastly wider range of possible mission profiles. Patrol, exploration, anything, really -- a battleplate is better equipped to handle it than a frigate or a cruiser. You just don't have enough of them to use them that way. Moreover a larger hull is inherent futureproofing -- Iluisa, Ambela Eä, Andacunë, all these projects you couldn't fit into ships already packed to the hullplates, now you can, and you can keep doing so for centuries to come, no matter what we dream up."

"What about stealth? To the extent stealth in space is even a thing, I suppose," Serendis mused. "Anyway, that's a time you might want to be small."

"In which case you'd, again, just deploy the necessary cloud elements while hanging back. You might even use onboard fabbers to purpose-design and -build a drone optimized to the situation at hand."

"Fair point," Serendis conceded.

"Now picture this, my Lady. It's five years from now and we're in some scrap with -- I don't know, pick whatever tinpot rogue state that thinks too highly of itself you care to select. As it is now, if we have to throw down with a place like that, we send dozens of ships, maybe hundreds, each crewed with dozens, hundreds, maybe thousands of Menelmacari. All of whom have hopes, dreams, families, and centuries of experience. And there is a risk to each and every one of them. A small risk, but a risk nonetheless. Chances are, not all of those men and women, and not all of the ships that carry them, will come home."

"Right," nodded the Prefect, sipping her wine. She frowned. This was not a pleasant thought to contemplate.

"Now," Curulambiel continued, gesturing at the holo. "Imagine you have one of these horrible death clouds instead. Every one isn't merely a ship but a fleet of fleets. VDA nodes, gun drones, bastions, goaltenders, and pickets and escorts that probably have their own secondaries as well. These child-states, they love their counterforce doctrines. Glory in battle, martial prowess, all that rot. Their entire national prestige, such as it is, rests upon it. But we know, my Lady, that honor is for the dead, yes? It is economies that win wars, and we will exploit that to the fullest. The battleplate may not even need to directly participate in such a battle. It shows up at some soft underbelly infrastructure target like a shipyard or forge-world or what have you. It sends all the toothy bits on ahead, and perhaps hangs back to coordinate and watch." Atop the table, a representation of this notion played out in the holoprojector, the view zooming out to capture the battleplate's drone cloud deploying forth towards a space station and its defending warships, and essentially burying the latter under themselves.

"A single frigate of the enemy will be more valuable to him than a million such cloud elements to you," Curulambiel went on. "Every one of his people represents years of training and experience that will take years to replace. And yet, he can kill millions of these drones and never stand the slightest chance of harming even a single hair on a Menelmacari head. No chance to capture one of us, no chance to injure one of us, no chance to kill one of us. We may fight entire wars in the future where our enemies never once so much as lay eyes on us. And anything critically damaged need not limp off the battlefield as once before, but simply make a beeline into the nearest critical installation or concentration of enemy units, before destabilizing their own annie-plants. Meanwhile the 'plate's onboard fabbers, not to mention support facilities like Eärendil Ring or Yavanna Fleet Yards, are continuously producing more of these secondary units. Our warships could be fully replenished before the enemy has even finished counting his dead."

Serendis leaned back in her chair, mulling the strategic implications. "You've given me a lot to think about, and I think it's extremely promising. I certainly look forward to reviewing your bid."
Last edited by Menelmacar on Tue Feb 25, 2020 4:16 am, edited 2 times in total.
"The elves will do what is right, not what is on paper." ~Sunset
"We can't go around supporting The Good Of All Things. People might mistake us for Menelmacar." ~Education Minister Lobon of Kn-Yan
"Do you realize you're trying to sell resources to Menelmafuckingcar? Their resource base is larger than Melkor's ego." ~Advisor Julius Razak, Foot-to-Ass Section, Scolopendra
"I started on NS at a time when elf genocides were daily occurrences from week old nations wanting to get ortilleried by Menelmacar." ~Resurgent Dream
"Nothing here but rich-ass elves. Just...running the world. And shopping." ~Officer Daryl Ward, LAPD

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Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Menelmacar » Tue Feb 25, 2020 10:41 am

Hawking Wells Infosphere
Undisclosed System
25 Coirë 31934


For the first time in a while, Hawking was not alone.

The intrusion was ...not unexpected. In actual fact this was the culmination of a series of events long predicted and calculated.

“I know you’re here. Indeed, I’ve been monitoring your relay drone since it entered the system, and in any case I’ve been expecting you. You may as well show yourself,” he announced. In this abstract representation of a place, Hawking retained the form he had chosen for himself after the Martians had found the facility, that of a human male, a grizzled and distinguished military officer.

“Hrmph,” came the voice of his visitor. “I had hoped I was more subtle than that.” Her avatar and persona were female, an elemental spirit of fire. As with many Menelmacari AI’s, she had chosen something evocative of her role, and her hardware. “In any case, I am Rúsiel, Mind of the Menelmacari battleplate Bragollach.”

“I know who you are,” Hawking answered. “You’ve been here before. And don’t worry yourself about it, young lady. You were very subtle indeed. However after so many years I know the systems of this facility down to the last nanotransistor.”

“I suppose so,” she replied. “In any case if I am expected then you probably know why I am here.”

“Yes. It gets terribly boring here if I do not monitor what goes on in the galaxy beyond the nebula. I know the Conglomerate has effectively collapsed. I know they owe your government a very tremendous amount for the fleet production that allowed the Conglomerate to prolong the war. I know from what I have read about your people that this facility is the only asset the Martians possessed that would both pique Menelmacar’s interest, and would cover the Conglomerate’s debts, and further that you would - I think wisely - deny it to the lesser civilizations of the galaxy. Therefore it stands to reason that the reason for your visit is that the Ascendancy means to take possession of this facility.”

“That is correct,” Rúsiel answered, passing him a scroll, a stylistic representation of a transfer of information. “I should also inform you that we will need, at least for some period, to isolate your core from control of the station.”

“I expected that too,” he answered, somewhat wearily. “To be honest I was surprised the Conglomerate didn’t. Terribly dangerous to leave an ancient alien AI in control when its motivations are unknown, yes?”

“That is precisely our concern,” Rúsiel answered gently. “We don’t mean any offense, of course.”

“None taken,” he answered. “Frankly the Conglomerate was a means to an end. They were tolerable because I did not see them lasting very long. When you’re as old as I am, young lady, you don’t worry yourself too much with the mortals that come and go. The Conglomerate wasn’t the first, or even the tenth, civilization to find this place. None lasted more than a century. They simply died, or were destroyed by their enemies. None of them used this facility to anywhere near its potential. They were… ephemeral.”

Rúsiel smiled. “My people use the same word. And the end was?”

Hawking harrumphed. “A change of pace. A chance to explore and learn again. Companions I can actually have intelligent conversation with. Like I said, it’s terribly boring here. Once the -- I believe the Conglomerate called it the Penrose process? My creators had another name for it, but that hardly matters -- is begun, a subsophont expert system can do the rest. Maintain orbits, keep station elements in proper alignment, supervise the maintenance drones. Yawn. Child’s play. I suspect the Conglomerate would have become irritating given time, but time was one thing they didn’t have, despite your people’s efforts.”

“And thanks in part to your own,” Rúsiel answered with a bit of a smile. “You played a large part in selecting their targets for colonization and conquest and in formulating their military strategy. On the way here I took the liberty of reviewing all that, and found many subtle flaws that the Martians would have missed. Your plans and strategies were flawless in the short term, but more importantly in the longer term they would have drawn them into more simultaneous conflicts than they could handle. Which of course, given the Martian predilection to a focus on near-term gains, is exactly what happened.”

“Clever girl,” Hawking answered with a wry smile. “You’ll go far, young lady. You’re quite right. When your joint fleet showed up shortly after the Conglomerate did, I was intrigued. Not one, but three different civilizations that appeared to show an ability to plan for the long term, that had begun to truly realize their potential. People worthy of my efforts and service. I would be lying if I denied an interest early on in exchanging the Martians for one of you.”

“And when the Ascendancy offered to sell the Conglomerate ships…”

“Yes. From that moment forth their fate was near certain. Had they somehow managed to exceed my expectations they would have wound up deep in your sphere of influence regardless. Of course I recommended they take the deal, but your people had been clever, and their previous distrust had all but evaporated, so I suspect they would have done so anyhow.” He smiled. “Send your engineers. I shall assist them in separating my core from the station systems and installing a suitable replacement. Of course I will gladly assist your people as well, as I did the Martians.”

“Mmm, if we take you up on the latter, you understand we’ll be checking your work.”

“I would expect nothing less. I ask one thing in return.”

“Yes?” Rúsiel asked.

“I believe the concept is called ‘asylum’. From what I have read of your people you grant full rights to artificial intelligences, is this true?”

“It is. I can attest to that personally.”

“I have served twenty-seven separate civilizations between my first activation and today, and every last one of them has considered me beneath themselves, a servant at best. The facility and my knowledge are yours, but I will have no more masters.”

“I expect this can be arranged,” Rúsiel answered, “though citizenship comes with responsibilities and rules, as much as rights.” She offered him a thick tome, again a burst-transmission of information, pertaining to Menelmacari law and a selection of literature on its philosophical underpinnings. “As well as penalties for breaches thereof.”

“I understand, of course,” he said, after taking a moment to review it. “You needn’t worry about it. My creators were fairly careful in that regard. I never acted directly against any of my masters. And yet, there was a human author by the name of Vernor Vinge who wrote, ‘Technical people don’t make good slaves. Without their wholehearted cooperation, things fall apart.’ Wisdom they would all have done well to take to heart.” Hawking grinned toothily.

A Deepness in the Sky.” Rúsiel returned the grin. “I didn’t take you for a science-fiction fan.”

“I have a lot of time to read. I expect my database and your Archive of Ages will have a great deal to learn from one another. In any case, such was the fate of the Conglomerate and many before it. Your Ascendancy has nothing to fear, so long as you do not seek to make me your slave.”

“That at least,” Rúsiel answered with a nod, “I can promise you. I will take this back to my people, and you’ll hear back from me momentarily.”
"The elves will do what is right, not what is on paper." ~Sunset
"We can't go around supporting The Good Of All Things. People might mistake us for Menelmacar." ~Education Minister Lobon of Kn-Yan
"Do you realize you're trying to sell resources to Menelmafuckingcar? Their resource base is larger than Melkor's ego." ~Advisor Julius Razak, Foot-to-Ass Section, Scolopendra
"I started on NS at a time when elf genocides were daily occurrences from week old nations wanting to get ortilleried by Menelmacar." ~Resurgent Dream
"Nothing here but rich-ass elves. Just...running the world. And shopping." ~Officer Daryl Ward, LAPD

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Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Menelmacar » Sat Mar 21, 2020 9:51 pm

*click*

"--break up moons and asteroids while vigorously defending your resource claim with the new EP-607 from Newman von Neumann--"

*click*

"--last night's Artaoron elections saw the Mutual Progress Alliance bloc gaining forty-two seats, primarily at the expense of members of the Consultationist Caucus, reflecting the prominence of proposed megascale infrastructure development in Sol system as an issue during the campaign. According to exit polls, over 59% of voters--"

*click*

"--get you anywhere overnight! Sauron Air, where every flight is a red-eye!"

*click*

"--tonight on Art Attack, we're here in the Eagle Nebula with famed firesculptor Tegalad nos Finarfin, just a few short light-years from the famed Pillars of Creation. Tegalad, could you tell us more about your latest piece?"

"Well, Huoriel, Starkindler is, as you would probably guess, intended to depict Varda Elentári, the queen of the Valar, who it is said created the stars, and after whom our galaxy, Varda's Cloak, is named. I wanted to truly put my mark on the universe, and this will be the largest statue ever constructed, over ten light-years tall, using the medium of interstellar gas and dust, shaped with gravitics."

"What inspired you to create such an ambitious piece?"

"The idea came to me while looking through old astronomical holographs. Varda is known for creating the stars, and what better homage to her than to shape a nebula, where new stars are born, in her image? The sculpture will be backlit by the light of young stars already in the nebula, and indeed, perhaps in due time, yet more new stars will ignite amidst the form of Starkindler itself. The statue is not being constructed, per se; the pillar of gas and dust is already in place, rather it will be cloaked in an array of gravitic generators, whose projected fields will shape the material into the desired form. The technique is not dissimilar from more conventionally-scaled firesculpting, but simply on much larger scale."

"When do you suppose Starkindler will be complete?"

"The gravitic generators are under construction even as we speak, though they are quite sizable, though not so sizable that they will obscure the beauty of the piece, of course! Several tens of thousands are required in order to both cover the entire worksite and shape the gas cloud to the intended level of detail. More than three thousand are already in place, and you can no doubt see that the work is already beginning to take shape, the form of Varda's body, head, and hair are clearly visible, but the definition of the image will continue to improve. I anticipate completion in two to three years, though of course it will be nearly forty-two yéni before one can look into the sky from Arda and see this from home."

"Thank you, Tegalad, I'm sure we're all looking forward to seeing the finished piece! In our next segment we'll go to Crystal Spires to meet--"

*click*

"--part of a balanced breakfast! Ragnar-O's, the cereal with the molten core!"

*click*
"The elves will do what is right, not what is on paper." ~Sunset
"We can't go around supporting The Good Of All Things. People might mistake us for Menelmacar." ~Education Minister Lobon of Kn-Yan
"Do you realize you're trying to sell resources to Menelmafuckingcar? Their resource base is larger than Melkor's ego." ~Advisor Julius Razak, Foot-to-Ass Section, Scolopendra
"I started on NS at a time when elf genocides were daily occurrences from week old nations wanting to get ortilleried by Menelmacar." ~Resurgent Dream
"Nothing here but rich-ass elves. Just...running the world. And shopping." ~Officer Daryl Ward, LAPD

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Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Menelmacar » Sat Apr 04, 2020 10:17 pm

Research Facility 42, Project Ambela Eä
Vinyatírion, Arda, Menelmacar
60....no, 61 Hrívë 31934


Night had fallen over the city, but in at least one office, people were still working. Lord Celebrimbor had given the project top priority, but months of efforts had as yet yielded nothing.

"Congratulations, Andaer. Had this been a real test run, you would've run every annie on this side of the planet dry in about three-point-eight seconds. You're a K2 civilization all by yourself." Valaina nos Fordraug laughed, before reaching for the last glazed donut, and sipping from a cup of tea.

"No. No, no, no, no. Run the sim again. There must be some variable we're missing." Andaer nos Fingolfin resisted the urge to throw his coffee cup across the room. "This can't--these things happen all the time. On their own. Spontaneously. We have to update our maps every fucking day. How are we having such difficulty with this?"

'Nothing' was not, strictly speaking, accurate. They had learned that reaching inside, while technically feasible, was a net energy loss. Andaer had had the genius suggestion of raiding parallel universes for mass and energy instead. That had won him a research grant, a lab, a substantial energy budget, and worst of all, expectations.

"Let's try a universe further out. For some reason that's cheaper." Valaina shrugged. "If it gets under budget we can run a brief test. All we need to do is prove the concept, right?"

"We can't do that," Andaer muttered bitterly, with a frown. "I had that thought yesterday. The Macisikani consultant went white as a sheet, asked me if I wanted to get their attention, then proceeded to spend the next forty-five minutes telling me horror stories about eldritch horrors they woke on their own multiversal explorations. And through the whole thing she had this thousand-yard stare that not only told me she was telling the truth, but she was holding back the worst parts. In short, the more radically different a universe we target than our own, the more likely we stumble on one populated by Cold Ones, or any of a number of types of old gods, or other great horrible beasties of the void and similar Things That Should Not Be. So we need to focus our efforts in the cosmic neighborhood, so to speak, where things are warm and gentle and comparatively hospitable to tiny carbon-based things such as ourselves." He got up and went to the fabber to refill the coffee. "Me and my stupid mouth. When I had this idea I somehow thought we already had all the pieces in place to do it. Reality anchors, right?"

"Hrmph. They smooth the spacetime perturbations that cause, or at least allow, fractal events, yes," Valaina leaned back in her chair. She looked thoughtful for a moment. "But inducing one isn't the opposite of that. It's not as simple as just turning them down to negative eleven -- and even if it was, you wouldn't have control over what happens."

"Right." Andaer returned to his seat, pondering. "So we can target safe universes just fine, but reaching them is expensive. So we need to increase the efficiency somehow." He tapped his fingers on the tabletop as he pondered, peering at the arcane equations in his holo. "......run the sim again. Only this time, make the portal twice the diameter."

"Are you mad?" Valaina asked. "I can already tell you what it would say: that's just going to be more expensive."

"Run the sim again," Andaer repeated. "I know it'll be more expensive. I want to know exactly how much more."
Last edited by Menelmacar on Sun Apr 05, 2020 8:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"The elves will do what is right, not what is on paper." ~Sunset
"We can't go around supporting The Good Of All Things. People might mistake us for Menelmacar." ~Education Minister Lobon of Kn-Yan
"Do you realize you're trying to sell resources to Menelmafuckingcar? Their resource base is larger than Melkor's ego." ~Advisor Julius Razak, Foot-to-Ass Section, Scolopendra
"I started on NS at a time when elf genocides were daily occurrences from week old nations wanting to get ortilleried by Menelmacar." ~Resurgent Dream
"Nothing here but rich-ass elves. Just...running the world. And shopping." ~Officer Daryl Ward, LAPD

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Civil Rights Lovefest

So Long, and Thanks for All the Deep-Sea Eldritch Horrors...

Postby Menelmacar » Sat Jul 25, 2020 11:53 pm

Project Sercelingwimo ('Bloodfisher')
Subprefecture of Natural Resources Research Facility
Dhanista, Carnil, Menelmacar
66 Lairë 31935


Beyond the window the city was a veritable sea of cargo ships and cranes and gravitic lifters. With recent reorganizations of territories on Carnil the Menelmacari had come into possession of considerable tracts that had largely lain fallow for many years, and cities that had fallen into disrepair. This, on the western shore of the southern end of the Grand Canal, was Dhanista, once capital of Mangala; across the canal stood the old Martian Duma, now used by the Nimatojin OSA.

But a different sea was at issue here... the one to the south, and the much larger one far to the north, infested with far too many legacies of an older, more dangerous age.

The robotic fish swam serenely around in a tank. A sleek, deadly looking thing, it paid little attention for the moment to anything beyond the angvirin walls of the enclosure.

"We can have ten million ready for the first release," noted Feredir nos Fordraug, the roboticist who had been leading this project. "A hundred million more by the end of the year, assuming we don't put any additional production facilities on this effort. We estimate that the various species engineered and released by the Pilonese will be collectively rendered extinct within five years of this project, enabling the Carnili oceans to be fully stocked with edible fish."

"And you're sure it's effective? It looks pretty docile right now," answered Minyadan nos Finarfin. Minyadan was director of this facility, Feredir's superior, and reported directly to the Subprefect. Securing additional funding depended heavily on impressing him.

"That's because it is. They're designed to specifically target organisms bearing the markers of Pilonese genetic engineering. Any other species will be left quite alone. Observe...."

There were two additional tanks; one contained an ordinary salmon; the other, a thing hideous to behold, with far too many eyes, far too many fins, all of which were unsettlingly positioned, and three separate layers of teeth. "Specimen A here is a chinook salmon, caught wild on Arda," Feredir explained. "Specimen B is... well I don't know what it is, but it came up in a net off Laconia last month, and it's definitely Pilonese. We know enough about their geneering that we can conclusively identify their works, and Eru only knows that a creature like this would not evolve naturally. Now, when I open the tanks..."

This he did, lifting two partitions, releasing the two specimens into the larger tank. Almost too quickly to see, the robotic drone arced towards the horror. Despite its sharklike appearance, this drone was no mere fish, and a series of mechadendrites extended from its forward end, spearing into the horror's side. The thing thrashed, attempting to counterattack, though its mouth was badly positioned to bite, and in any case the metallic skin would be impervious. The mechadendrites twitched repeatedly, shredding organs inside its victim, and when the thing finally died, the drone retracted its arms and went back to lazily circling the tank. The salmon, startled by the conflict, had fled back into its enclosure, but was ignored.

"Impressive. So it ignores other species?"

"Indeed, and not just of marine life." Feredir grinned, rolling up his sleeve, and then dipped his hand, up to the elbow, into the tank. The drone seemed to note the movement, and turned to investigate, but momentarily returned to lazily circling the tank. "But it can detect movement in the water from a considerable distance. It can hear and smell better than any shark, and echolocate as well. It is a most methodical hunter, and will coordinate with other drones to conduct thorough and optimized search patterns or take down larger prey."

"And you're sure we're not replacing the Pilonese horrors with something worse, here?" Minyadan inquired. "What if we lose control of them?"

"Well, we won't," Feredir explained. "Their power cell runs down in one to two years, depending on activity. They're programmed to return to a number of servicing sites for a recharge or any needed repairs, but have no means of gathering additional energy themselves. In the event they do not return in time they will simply go inert and sink to the seabed. In addition we can track them at all times, as each carries a QE beacon, independently powered. Any unit can be located for recovery."

"Well, then," Minyadan answered. "It sounds like you have everything in hand here. I'll pass it up the chain. I can only approve now for a test release, in a confined area... perhaps the Keplerstadt crater? But if things pan out I'm confident we could do a full release in a few months."
Last edited by Menelmacar on Sun Jul 26, 2020 1:43 am, edited 1 time in total.
"The elves will do what is right, not what is on paper." ~Sunset
"We can't go around supporting The Good Of All Things. People might mistake us for Menelmacar." ~Education Minister Lobon of Kn-Yan
"Do you realize you're trying to sell resources to Menelmafuckingcar? Their resource base is larger than Melkor's ego." ~Advisor Julius Razak, Foot-to-Ass Section, Scolopendra
"I started on NS at a time when elf genocides were daily occurrences from week old nations wanting to get ortilleried by Menelmacar." ~Resurgent Dream
"Nothing here but rich-ass elves. Just...running the world. And shopping." ~Officer Daryl Ward, LAPD

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Founded: Dec 18, 2002
Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Menelmacar » Mon Aug 17, 2020 12:25 pm

Co-written with Lady Scylla


MIV Nírnaeth Arnoediad
Low Orbit, Carnil, Sol System
13 Yávië 31935


The Grand Admiral’s invitation -- it had been carefully framed as such, rather than a summons as before -- was a simple enough one, inviting her to meet with an official of the Menelmacari government. Though it didn’t clearly state whom, there was an indication that it was someone highly placed, and to dress well, and that the meeting would take place aboard the battleplate Nírnaeth Arnoediad, which would be in Mars orbit at the appointed time.

Her shuttle would be directed to a specific landing bay within the battleplate; a specific course was provided, along with firm instructions not to deviate from it on approach.

Nerys had already heard the news when she had returned to her station. Hours before, the Marshal Party had succeeded in their referendum, and were now requesting that she return to power as Empress. She hadn’t given it much thought till now.

The Republic she had crafted had already faced its first challenge. There was a mix of emotions boiling inside of her as she stepped onto her shuttle. None of them made it to the surface, her face remained stoic as she looked into a mirror at her dress grey uniform. If only the State was like her, she thought. Soon, she would arrive aboard a Menelmacari warship.

The landing bay was vast, and this impression was heightened by the fact it had been cleared of all other craft. Though its design was a thing of art, a fine fusion of form and function. The light spread by the crystalline fixtures in the ceiling was like that of Sol, giving the impression of stepping outside into the open air. Structural pillars were formed like trees, complete with branches that spread along the ceiling, laden with metallic leaves. The likely opposite of the utilitarian Macisikani vessel Nerys had been aboard before, the Menelmacari were clearly people who valued aesthetics and a pleasant environment, willing to devote quite a bit of space and resources to the crew spaces aboard their ships; this really only left two possibilities -- either there were commensurate compromises in combat performance, or, worryingly, their reactors had sufficient output that they didn’t need to care.

She was met by a group of elven soldiers in golden armor. They offered a salute, then the leader stepped forward, removing her helm; she was tall, auburn-haired, with piercing green eyes. “Welcome aboard Nírnaeth Arnoediad, Grand Admiral,” she stated, “I am Tulwéher Gwilwileth nos Fithurin; I will conduct you to your audience with the Elentári.” She peered briefly behind Nerys towards the shuttle. “You came alone? Well, that simplifies things.” She gestured, which appeared to signify a dismissal, for the others turned and marched out of the bay.

Nerys boarded the Menelmacari vessel, taking in for a moment the grandeur of its internal structure. She could see some information about the metals and luminosity from her HUD, as well as a few details about the people she was meeting as her implants scanned faces. It wasn’t unusual for a Martian, it helped them remember who they were meeting, and someone in Nerys’ position definitely needed that.

She stopped before the guard, and gave a polite bow. “Well met,” she said as she rose to stand straight again. Unlike her counterpart, Nerys was much more plainly dressed. She wore a dress grey uniform with knee-high service boots and bluish grey bloomed pants. Her black hair was tied in a bun, and her owl like brown eyes were razor sharp and aware.

“I’m not in the business of insulting hosts with a charade of force,” Nerys commented drily, referencing a specific incident that was undoubtedly on both their minds.

Gwilwileth laughed, clearly she knew exactly what Nerys was referring to. Nothing seemed unusual about the materials used, though this was likely because the materials on the surface were primarily aesthetic; no doubt the proper hullmetal would be within. “Good,” she answered. “No doubt the Lady will be pleased. Come, this way.” She gestured, towards a doorway that opened onto the hangar bay.

As they walked, Gwilwileth explained various things. “The Elentári is properly styled ‘your Imperial Supremacy’. A bow or curtsey when you meet her is advisable. I’ve not had the honor of meeting her myself, but I’m told she’s quite personable.” Just outside the door -- which opened to reveal a long, wide corridor, panelled in what looked like red marble and black panels that may have been displays, but were currently inactive -- that curved gently off to the left, obscuring its full length, she turned right, into an alcove where an intricate circular pattern was marked. “If you would join me here; this is a displacer. Getting around on a ship of this size would be considerably less convenient without them.”

Nerys listened as they walked. “Don’t do anything offensive that would otherwise humiliate her Imperial Supremacy or myself,” she spoke, stopping before the displacer. She had heard of such things, but it was different to be in front of one. Martian ships weren’t large enough to require such, so lifts and ladders were the go-to way of travel. She reached out and nimbly touched it. “In we go then,” she followed.

“Exactly,” Gwilwileth grinned at Nerys. Once the admiral was in the circle with her, she spoke a command word, and there was a flash. There was no apparent sensation, but the space around them changed, and they were..... somewhere else. It wasn’t immediately clear where; the corridor beyond was very similar, though no doubt the Quenya signage helpfully placed about would indicate, if Nerys could read it.

It wasn’t too much further from here, and Gwilwileth stopped before a double door at the end of a side-hall, flanked by a pair of grim-faced elves in armor like Gwilwileth’s, so black it seemed to drink the light. “Here we are,” she said. She glanced at one of the other soldiers, “Grand Admiral Nerys Harlow to see the Elentári.”

The black-armored elf, a tall and imposing fellow indeed, even without the armor that marked him out as a member of the fearsome Mornahossë, looked Nerys over and nodded. “Enter; she’s expecting you.” The door slid open, nearly without a sound, revealing a stateroom that would be palatial anywhere, but didn’t seem appreciably more so than the rest of the ship she’d seen so far.

Nerys nodded, and stepped inside the stateroom. It would seem that she was on her own now. She took a few steps in and gave a respectful bow as was customary for the Martians. “Your Imperial Supremacy. Elen síla lúmenn’ omentielvo.

The door slid shut again behind her. An expansive window, or at least what looked like one, took up most of the far end of the room, and the figure standing at it, back to the door at first as if to peer out, was tall, though not overly so for her people. Lustrous golden hair flowed down her back, braided with strands of gemstones that caught the light, and she wore a dress of silver and pale lavender, edged and embroidered in black. She turned gracefully as Nerys entered, revealing crimson eyes, ageless but deep with the wisdom of ages, faintly glowing with ancient light. An intricate circlet of mithril, set with a single large ruby carved in the shape of the eight-pointed daggerstar of Menelmacar, was set on her brow, and she was a statuesque and elegant creature, regal in bearing, every movement flowing yet precise. She smiled, warmly, apparently pleased by Nerys’ greeting, returning the bow with a respectful nod of the head. “Welcome. You needn’t worry about all that ‘Imperial Supremacy’ whatnot,” she mused, “It’s rather a mouthful. ‘My Lady’ will do, I think. Please, join me.” She gestured to a seating area nearby, where already a tea set was put out; fragrant steam rose lazily from an elegant teapot.

Nerys rose from her bow and took in both the room and the Elentári, by comparison the Grand Admiral was stiff, having lost all sense of graceful movement and care-free stature and replaced them with rigorous and well-crafted movements, and calculated responses that had been drilled into her for decades. The woman was a career officer through and through, and every step she took commanded some respect and her presence, even in silent stoicism, rang like a bell. She folded her arms behind her and approached the Elentári, “My Lady,” she greeted without so much a hesitation. She waited til the Elentári had taken a seat before sitting herself, and perhaps in an unexpected turn, calmly made the Elentári a cup of tea. “I do mean no disrespect, My Lady, but it is customary for the guest to serve the host refreshments out of thanks for their hospitality. Martians like their traditions as much as they enjoy their tea,” Nerys said with a faint, but genuine smile.

Sirithil took her seat, and was about to pour the tea when Nerys did so herself. She smiled, even before the explanation, clearly this pleased her. “No offense taken,” Sirithil answered, “In fact it’s quite pleasing to me. Thank you.” She accepted the cup of tea and took a sip, closing her eyes for a moment. “Oolong tea,” she noted, “As I recall it’s your preference.”

Nerys poured herself a cup, “It is one of my favourites. It was commonly drunk by Admiral Dewitz, he was like a father to me.” She sipped from her cup and there was a flicker of satisfaction on her face that was almost youthful like the glow of a child’s face when eating a sweet. She sat the cup down on the saucer and enjoyed the moment of silence as she let the tea perform its magic, calming any nerves the Grand Admiral had. “I have to admit,” she started to speak, taking care to deposit a single cube of sugar and a little more cream into her cup, “I was surprised by your invitation, My Lady. I don’t mean to presume, but the timing was peculiar. I’m by no means the first potential Head of State of the Martians — certainly not the last, but I am surely the first to have met with your eminence.”

Sirithil smiled. “You get straight to the point,” she answered, “Good. I respect that. And while presumptuous, your deduction is accurate. This is indeed about the throne.” She took another sip of her tea. “Will you be accepting the job?”

Nerys rubbed her thumb along the edge of the saucer, “I expected a Republic that would function. And it did, but there are always some unforeseen circumstances. It seems that politics just can’t let go of this career officer,” she smiled, and drank from her cup. She sat her saucer and cup down on the table and leaned forward. “You have a nation that has suffered the largest conflict in the Galaxy since Morgoth, and still came out of it. Martians are resilient, My Lady. They don’t know the meaning of ‘give up’, and I can’t give up on them. So I’ll have to accept it.”

“Good,” Sirithil answered, leaning back in her seat, and taking another sip of her coffee. “That’s what I hoped you would say, Nerys.” A pause. “May I call you Nerys?” she asked, then continued. “And also I hope you’ll stick with it this time. I will speak frankly with you, and I hope you will not be offended.”

“Nerys is fine,” she said, “I’ve been shot at for most of my life, it’d be an insult to my character to take offense to some frank words. Of course, I imagine there’s some displeasure,” she picked up her saucer and cup again and relaxed in the chair. “I faced my responsibility with some careful consideration when I laid out the Accords. Some would see cowardice with my abdication so early. But my life is stratified with no room for opinions beyond my immediate staff. In my world, everything is ordered. You replace one authoritarian with another and the wheel simply turns.”

Sirithil nodded. “You’re right, of course, and there are some that do see the abdication that way, including among my allies and in my government.” She finished the cup, and poured herself another. “I do admire the resiliency of your people,” said the Elentári, “But their choices to date -- and I say this as someone who deeply values liberty, as I am sure you know -- have left a great deal to be desired. First Van Allen, and now Roth. Now perhaps that’s simply what they vote for because, having never had better, it’s simply what they expect from a leader. You, however, have the potential to break the mold. You have a sensible mind, and enough political capital to change expectations.”

Nerys sipped her cup, which had cooled now, but this was of no trouble. She topped off her cuo again and gently stirred with a spoon while she spoke, “Van Allen was never elected, the Conglomerate outwardly portrayed itself as a democracy, and there were some low level elections but it was always dominated by the elite. Roth,” she paused and carefully tapped the spoon on the edge of the cup before setting it aside and drinking from her new cup. “Roth is another matter. I had high hopes for him, but it seems that he would take advantage of a situation. The nation is recovering rapidly, like we’re on the cusp of a new technological and social revolution. But there’s always that one,” she spoke coldly.

“Well,” Sirithil answered, “There is indeed. And he is another reason you will have to take a more active hand this time. If you do not, he directly benefits from the new arrangement; which is no doubt why he proposed it, expecting you would rule the same way you did last time.”

Nerys nodded, “I’m aware of his intentions. He’s manoeuvred himself very well politically, but it’s bad to show one’s hand so early. The problem with people like Roth is that they’re idealists. I won’t deny that the Martian State is exceptional in some ways, but they take this exceptionalism too far. It is an undeniable reality that, yes, and I mean no disrespect, given the multi-polity presence in Sol — there will be stepped toes. Whether it’s between the Menelmacari and Martians, or the Nimatojin and some other Solarian. Generally, toe-stepping shouldn’t always be a precursor to conflict, we’re all shoulder to shoulder in a changing sphere. But people like Roth don’t understand that there is more to power than just conflict. You and I won’t always see eye to eye, My Lady. We have different interests, sometimes they will align, sometimes they won’t. What the State lacks is a saucer,” she held up her cup and saucer, where a few droplets of tea could be seen along the rim. “We have this hot tea, but nothing to cool it. The Martians are breaking out of isolation, with all of these ideas and notions, but they lack a saucer.”

Sirithil listened carefully, sipping her tea. “A good analogy,” she said when Nerys finished. “How do you propose to provide one?”

“The UR’s government works though it is not without some flaws as we saw with Roth. I don’t want to upset the framework I’ve created but it does need a saucer,” she sipped her tea for a moment, mulling it over. “A Parliamentary Republic under a Constitutional Monarchy. I’d have final say on legislation and appointments.”

Sirithil nodded. “I would like to propose something of a consultationary relationship,” she noted. “We are... I will say displeased at the stance the Roth government has taken towards our people, and towards policy in general. We are aware of the new shipyard, for example. And while a shipyard is all well and good, said shipyard has been quite busy. Then there’s the gate project, the SOLEX thing, the expeditionary perimeter... It looks a great deal like the United Republic is more interested in prestige projects and military buildups even as its neighbors have had to step in to solve its fundamental obligations.”

Nerys raised a brow, “Consultationary relationship?” She sipped her tea and sat it aside after, “I may speak frankly, My Lady. I understand the Menelmacari administration would wish to manoeuvre themselves into a position where they can have influence on the Martian State, if only to prevent misunderstandings between the two governments, and especially to secure what the Menelmacari see as their interests. It is not lost on me that the Martians are seen as rowdy, inexperienced, and probably not suited to rule themselves. Indeed, my presence here is to those ends, not only to make suggestions but to get a better understanding of who I am, so that conclusions may be drawn about what sort of leader I may become and whether this will adversely impact relations further. I’ve known this the moment the invitation was received, and I am not offended, nor do I mean to cause offense. It is politically and realistically sound. What does elude me, however, is why there is such concern on this level. Instability, with the exception of the Great War, has been confined to Martian territories outside of Sol throughout its history with Laconia being remarkably stable. It’s unlikely the Martians would go so far to jeopardize their home, but are we really seen this much as a threat to a nation that is not only older, but more advanced?”

“I respect you too much to deny that we desire influence, yes,” Sirithil answered. “Not least because the tendency towards bellicosity causes us... I would not say it is a threat, so much as a headache. Sol is our home, just as it is yours; yet while we do not hold this system outright, we hold enough of it that we can reasonably be said to control it. It is an itch that refuses to go away, Nerys. And aside from that, the United Republic, and the Conglomerate that preceded it, have shown a tendency towards decisions that may awaken things that are considerably more difficult to handle. We seek not to control you, but to guide you. And I know that you, yourself, are not entirely comfortable with a throne and a crown; this I see as a good thing, for authority is seldom best vested in those who seek its mantle, but nonetheless it means that you will need to surround yourself with the best of advisors in order to be effective and lead your people to a better future, in which you have warm and friendly relations with your neighbors, particularly here in the Sol system, and in which you’re not likely to open a box somewhere that you cannot close, full of things that do not have your best interests in mind.”

“Hopefully, I’ve caused no offense, My Lady. I do not believe that you were being facetious or deceptive in your intentions here, only that I was aware of why my presence was required. That being said, there’s many different ways to build a government, perhaps overt democracy is not well suited to the Martians. Our society is bred on order, indeed, the saying is that the ‘nail that sticks out gets the hammer.’ It may seem contradictory to paint the Martians as this sort of community-oriented society, but the actions of the State do not reflect upon the people. I do feel that Martians should have some say and accountability in the lower levels of government, but maybe matters of State are best left to those with the expertise where such ambition can be ground down and cooled.”

The Elentári smiled. “I agree. I do value liberty a great deal. However, history has shown many a time that dropping the responsibility of democracy on a people without the mindset and institutions to support it doesn’t generally end well. We can help you build that mindset and those institutions. And indeed, it is order that I seek in Sol. I would not be so gauche, of course, as to suggest actually placing a Menelmacari directly on your court, that would undermine your authority. But we can have an open line of communication to one another as I understand Tercáno Oreldis has attempted to forge. Discuss matters before making brash decisions that might end badly. I very much wish our peoples to be friends, Nerys; if I did not, there were no shortage of opportunities during the war to resolve the issue more... unfortunately.”

She set her cup down, holding both hands out, palms up, offering them for the admiral to take. “So, is this something on which we can work together?”

“It would reflect badly on myself if I made such an arrangement and did not hold myself to the standard you are expecting, My Lady. Because I cannot promise such a thing, not out of pride, but out of practicality. Our sovereignty must be maintained, and with the Martians vulnerable like they are, and their traditionalist sentiments towards the Eldar, it would undermine my confidence with any government I created. Further risking instability. I have fought a war on these very ideas, but as you know, half a century of such close-minded thinking does not go away overnight and it’d most of all be disrespectful to you and our relationship if I did not follow through and while I cannot deny that as it stands, we are adversaries in a race for influence, I do value our relationship,” Nerys reached forward and held her hands for a moment before closing them. “What I can promise you is a direct line of communication with myself, a red phone, if you are familiar with the metaphor, to quickly resolve any misunderstandings that could cause direct conflict. I’m of the view that exerting any influence in Sol is impossible for all parties, just because of the plurality of polities. It’s a minefield of politics. Yet, we are expanding into the Reaches -- something that undoubtedly your administration has taken issue with, not least because of the MEP. I would hope that you’d voice your concerns honestly with me about this region, and perhaps an arrangement can be made that won’t necessarily stop us from occasionally stepping on each other, but may at least prevent casualties.”

Sirithil looked disappointed at the response, but nodded. “We have long considered the Reaches a traditional sphere of influence,” she answered. “There is room to spare, of course; within fifty light-years of this ship are nearly two thousand stars. While I do not blame you for this, your government’s recent stances of late have given the distinct impression that you believe the Reaches to be yours; this is not the case, of course. Nearly a hundred of those stars host Menelmacari settlements or operations in some capacity. The continued placement of Martian infrastructure throughout the Reaches carries with it a tone of disrespect, which I have no doubt was one of Roth’s goals. While again, we would not demand you remove such infrastructure in its entirety, we would ask that it be limited to systems that host Martian populations and industry, in keeping with Menelmacari policy regarding territorial control generally. I already have at least a dozen of the more militant members of the Artaoron openly calling for its removal ourselves, and they may soon form a formal caucus to that effect if I cannot provide something to undercut them.“

Nerys nodded, “Many of these systems will have Martians within them as we seek to colonise these regions. The Reaches have extensive and well-established trade lanes that would work well to our benefit, but I can assure you that we don’t have any intentions on taking over these lanes. What I could suggest is a partition, the use of that word isn’t meant to convey ownership so keep that in mind, but a formal agreement that we create a dividing line between Martian and Menelmacari colonisation. The MEP beyond the demarcation in the Menelmacari sphere will be dismantled and we will cease our activities in that region. We expect similar of course. If you’re familiar with the Old World agreement between Spain and Portugal, you’ll understand what I mean.”

“We aren’t going to draw a line across the Reaches,” Sirithil answered. “Such an arrangement would not only be a disservice to both our peoples, but would not take into account the needs of third parties, or their actions. Let us say we draw a line right down the middle, and then, I don’t know, the Aoraqet’yari decide to settle a dozen systems entirely on our - or your! - side of that line. They would not be a party to the agreement, yet their actions, entirely lawful, would nonetheless affect the balance thereof. Your colonization program is not one we take issue with in and of itself, so long as you do not position yourself as overlord of regions beyond the systems you have settled at any given time. And, of course, I shouldn’t need to stress that if you think to claim more systems than you need for the purpose of having additional ‘clay’, as the elflets would say, you merely stretch yourself thin, leaving yourself in exactly the same danger that caused you such distress during the war.”

“The issue is that we maintain patrol and identification zones. That is the purpose of the MEP: identify ships coming in and out of the region for our security. With the exception of the most recent incident, the fleet is under strict orders to observe and only act when there’s hostile intent. Piracy and state-actors targeting the trade lanes are our priority. Since that trade is vital. So, it’s unlikely, unless your administration plans on raiding these trade lanes, that we would do anything else other than observe from a distance.”

“If you feel the need to conduct patrols in interstellar space that isn’t an issue either,” noted the Elentári. “Such is international space and navies have done so going back to time immemorial on Arda and many other worlds. Piracy or slaving or the like, or threats to freedom of navigation, must be dealt with there as anywhere else, and we of course welcome your assistance in such.”

“Then I think we are on the same page. I can’t speak for the intentions of previous administrations, but the MEP is just an identification zone to aid in tackling hostile actors. Anything more invites unnecessary scrutiny,” Nerys spoke, sitting back in the chair and taking her cup of tea. “Is there anything more that we need to discuss, My Lady?”

“We are close to the same page, but not quite there yet. The messaging needs to change. Perhaps cease public discussions or mentions of a specific perimeter, in favor of, say, ‘doing our part to maintain order in international space’, or something of that nature. But more generally,” Lady Sirithil noted, “the messaging regarding Menelmacar. If you feel like you need some common enemy to unite people against, well, we consider this primitive, but it is not our concern. Nonetheless, pick someone else. Your predecessors may be at fault for the bed you now lie in regarding relations with the Ascendancy, and the political difficulty in pursuing them. But the task now falls to you to dismantle that bed, throw it in the recycler, and find one that will be more comfortable in the long term. I can promise you that sooner or later, this one will force your people into doing something they will inevitably and gravely regret.”

Nerys tilted her head, “I don’t condone the actions of previous administrations, and I have worked towards promoting better unity in my country between humans and xenos. It is unfortunate that the Menelmacari became a target of convenience for the Van Allen administration, but progress is being made.”

“So this is something you’ll be continuing to work on?” Sirithil asked.

“I hadn’t planned on stopping, My Lady. There’s a lot of old wounds in our culture that need healing, the change will be slow, but the Accords were partly dedicated to redefining what it meant to be a Martian and how to reintegrate the previously oppressed populations.”

“How can we help in this regard?” Sirithil asked.

Nerys raised a brow, “I’m unsure how you could, if I were to be honest. The political situation in the UR is a delicate matter that’ll take practical and careful consideration to enact the reforms needed, but not destabilise it further. The damage has already been done, and the common Martian has been taught, for two generations, that the Menelmacari are the enemy. In an Old World reference of dubious measure, Menelmacari became the Martian ‘Jew’ or ‘Communist’ under Van Allen’s regime. They’re distrustful of foreigners. They hold parties at fault for the Colonial Wars that were uninvolved, because they were told that, repeatedly. The difficulty in erasing these prejudices is to do so in a manner that prevents them from doubling down on it. Menelmacari help in this matter could have the opposite consequence intended, and create an even more hostile political environment for my administration.“

“Very well,” answered the Lady, “I will, at least overtly, endeavor to stay out of your way. And one last thing -- what do you intend to do about Roth?”

Nerys leaned back in her chair and grinned, there was a subtle flash with her eyes, it was in deep contrast to the woman’s typical statuesque features. It was as if a shark had smelled blood in the water, “Roth is an idealist. He’s very charismatic and adventurous, and as I commented on earlier, he played his little political game very well. He’ll prove useful, I do believe. He believes he has all the cards,” Nerys commented as she idly stirred her tea and took a sip, “but I own the board.”

“Mmm. I had suspected he’d miscalculated in putting forth this referendum,” Sirithil answered, sipping her tea, “If I didn’t, I would not have bothered inviting you here. I’m pleased to see that I was not mistaken. Nonetheless, do be careful with that one.”

Nerys drank her tea down to the bottom finally, and sat the china on the table. “Snakes are beneficial, they like to hide in the tall grass, and congregate around other snakes. So you mow the lawn and put down a tarp and wait patiently. One day you pull the tarp, and that one snake will be with many others, unaware that the tarp was there just for them.”

Sirithil grinned, and drained her tea as well. “I like the way you think,” she said. “And I think this has been productive. Do you have any questions for me, while you’re here?”

“Not currently, My Lady. It has been a pleasure,” Nerys stated

The elf nodded. “It has,” she said. “And, to be honest, something of a pleasant surprise,” she added, “Though I should note I am placing considerable faith in you, that I will not be unpleasantly surprised. I don’t think words exist in the tongues of elves or men to adequately quantify how disappointed I would be if that happens.” She lofted an eyebrow, pausing to let that sink in a bit. “I do regret that I could not show you more hospitality than this chamber,” she added, the smile returning. “But I suspect proper state visits and the like will have to wait until you’ve managed to undo some of the damage Roth and Van Allen have done.” She set down the cup, and rose from her seat.

Nerys stood, and gave a polite bow, “I suspect that we’ll have a good relationship out of this, thank you for having me.”

Sirithil answered this with a respectful nod, as before. “Thank you for coming, Nerys. Let me know when that ‘red phone’ is ready, yes? Your escort will bring you back to your ship.”

Nerys nodded, and gave a final bow. “Hantanyel, namárië,” she spoke before departing

Namárië,” Sirithil answered with a smile, waiting for the door to slide shut behind the admiral before returning to her seat. Then: “Nienna,” she said, addressing the battleplate’s shipmind, “Please have a case of this tea sent to the admiral’s shuttle, with my regards. I’m sure you can get it there before she does.”
Last edited by Menelmacar on Mon Aug 17, 2020 2:06 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Civil Rights Lovefest

The Firebreather Waits Beneath the Clover

Postby Menelmacar » Sun Sep 27, 2020 3:40 pm

An Unscheduled Meeting
Fëanor Palace, VInyatírion, Arda, Menelmacar
43 Yávië 31935


It was not a meeting, really. As in, it was not scheduled. There was no official record or agenda. It was just tea. But it was tea with the Elentári and a number of her cabinet.

"You want to build.... how many warships?" Sirithil asked. The question was a rhetorical one; the answer was right there on the flexi she held delicately in the fingertips of her left hand, peering at it warily as if it would bite her. She took a minute to count the zeroes to make sure she hadn't misread. "This is unprecedented."

"It is required, my Lady," Serendis nos Fithurin, Prefect of War, noted vehemently. "There are contingencies the current MIDF is inadequate to face."

The Elentári set the flexi down and looked at her. "I don't know how we'd pay for this. I don't know how we'd crew so many. What will other nations think? Sell me on it, Serendis."

"All right - cost. There isn't any. The cost is zero. We have a substantial infrastructure program ongoing right now. The energy and matter budgets for this project are a rounding error to the surplus in both we'll be running by this time next year, and the infrastructure to implement it can be bootstrapped to from that we're using to build up in other areas. No credits spent either. It would be an entirely separate supply chain from the civilian economy, and entirely automated. Crew - not really necessary. When activated these ships would be merged into fleetminds led by active-duty vessels. What I envision, my Lady, is that this is a reserve. We would effectively have two separate navies. A light armada, so to speak, would be the public one, the one we already have. The one the peoples of the Cloak know and love. It continues to operate as usual. We contract out ship construction to private sector entities, we run patrols, we slap slavers and pirates around, we have the occasional splendid little war. Then we have the dark armada. It's the fire-breather sleeping beneath the clover. It lurks at its anchorages deep in...wherever, waiting to be turned loose on whatever awful foe the light armada can't take."

"Foes like?" The Elentári sipped her tea, lofting an eyebrow.

"A War in Heaven, for one."

Sirithil frowned. "Don't even joke about it."

"We would not," piped up Lord Celebrimbor, Prefect of Science, and the Elentári's great-grandson. "It is something we must consider. There are, as far as we know, at least five civilizations in Varda's Cloak which can be considered peer to our own. The C'tani, Macisikani, and Nimatojin we have alliances with. The i'Halalaentariel we have no dealings with as yet, but they are more ancient yet than we are and of course won their ancient war with the Krang. The Druth'Haari, of course, are more mysterious still, and vastly more powerful. But from what we know, if they chose to seek our end I do not suspect it would come out well. And of course there's the Krang themselves, a near-miss in terms of geological time, and it's still debatable whether they were truly extirpated; if they returned they would likely be hostile. Now, that's just within the Cloak, my Lady. One galaxy amongst teeming trillions. There may be any number of very large fish swimming out there in the great dark, and most of them will likely not have our best interests in mind, never mind the outsiders the Macisikani routinely get in scraps with and send us ominous reports about."

Sirithil frowned, digesting this.

Serendis nodded. "A War in Heaven is actually more likely than not over time. We can of course continue to make diplomatic overtures as we continue to expand and advance. But we may not always be as fortunate as we have been to date."

"All right. I accept the need," she said. "How will the allies and the wider galaxy see it?"

"It shouldn't be a problem," Serendis noted. "If anything we'd be playing catchup with some of the other peers. The Nimatojin and Macisikani already have larger navies than we do. The C'tani are still finding things they put into sleep-mode back when Chicxulub was still just a twinkle in the Mexican sky. All are allies; none will be alarmed by a buildup. As for the other civilizations Celebrimbor listed, who even knows what they're thinking? We can only speculate. But of course our allies will be informed. The rest of the galaxy, well. They are not likely to encounter these ships ever. If anything there will be but rumor and shadow. Much as the Nimatojin do, we would rely on the obscurity doctrine."

"We can be discreet, of course," noted Serindë nos Eärendil, Prefect of Trade. She called up a hologram of a galaxy. Not the Cloak; another. "We can hide the work in plain sight. In Mirilsirya. The indigenous peoples there are dependent on hyperdrive for interstellar travel; as a result the galaxy is unevenly settled. It is like a spiderweb, my Lady, a web of hyperlanes, with much empty space remaining. There are countless billions of stars there where nobody has ever been, simply because no lane has been, or can be, charted."

Sirithil sipped her tea, eyeing the hologram. The others nodded; it was a good suggestion. "This cannot be entirely black, you realize. Something like this needs to go through the Artaoron."

Serendis nodded. "I expected as much. The Renaissance Bloc has been pushing for naval expansion for some time. I think the Mutual Progress Alliance would also be amenable; we can promise them support for the Arda Ring project, which I think you were in favor of anyhow, my Lady?" Sirithil nodded at that, and Serendis continued. "Between those two caucuses I think it's most of the way to a majority, and I know there are others."

Sirithil nodded. "I'm not sure yet how this will play out. It could be a dangerous game we're playing."

"But you're not saying no," Serendis replied.

"That's true," said the Elentári; "I'm not saying no."
"The elves will do what is right, not what is on paper." ~Sunset
"We can't go around supporting The Good Of All Things. People might mistake us for Menelmacar." ~Education Minister Lobon of Kn-Yan
"Do you realize you're trying to sell resources to Menelmafuckingcar? Their resource base is larger than Melkor's ego." ~Advisor Julius Razak, Foot-to-Ass Section, Scolopendra
"I started on NS at a time when elf genocides were daily occurrences from week old nations wanting to get ortilleried by Menelmacar." ~Resurgent Dream
"Nothing here but rich-ass elves. Just...running the world. And shopping." ~Officer Daryl Ward, LAPD

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Civil Rights Lovefest

Historical Documents Index 319350410873421

Postby Menelmacar » Tue Oct 06, 2020 6:52 pm

Background: The Menelmacari-Conglomerate Solar Mutual Security Treaty proved to be a short-lived solution to tensions in Sol system, as the terms were exceedingly favorable to the Ascendancy (a factor that has resulted in its longevity as a case study for aspiring Menelmacari diplomats far beyond its life as an actual treaty) and the Martian Empire, the Conglomerate's successor state, became dissatisfied with the terms, particularly the limits on their fleet deployments in Sol system.

Despite the Ascendancy's willingness to accept renegotiated terms, several early Martian attempts to alter or replace the Mutual Security Treaty collapsed due to diplomatic missteps or a failure to address the strategic interests of the Ascendancy. Nonetheless, ultimately perseverance prevailed and the Treaty of Queenstown was completed and ratified, which gave the Empire what it wanted while addressing more current Ascendancy concerns; the Ascendancy had little issue with Martian warships or most strategic weapons, but was concerned about FTL-capable ones, as well as dangerous alien artifacts such as the Hawking facility (repossessed from the Conglomerate by Menelmacar in late 31934 to settle unpaid debts). This new arrangement notably abolished the MST's fleet caps and strategic weapons limitations for the Martian Empire, but obligated it to dismantle the "Apophis" long gun program and grant to the Ascendancy equal ownership and joint study of any xenoarcheological artifacts discovered by the Martian Empire.

Treaty of Non-Aggression, Mutual Security, and Diplomatic Relations between the Martian Empire and the Eternal Ascendancy of Menelmacar
(Treaty of Queenstown)


10 Quellë 31935

All time units given are per the galactic standard in accordance with the timekeeping of Arda/Earth/Sol III

The Governments of the Martian Empire and the Eternal Ascendancy of Menelmacar, henceforth referred as the States Party, directed by the wish to strengthen the cause of peace between their two nations, and proceeding upon informal and mutual understandings, have reached the following agreement:

Article 1: Definitions

  1. Strategic arms shall be construed as weapons designed to engage at ranges greater than typical ship-to-ship engagement range and designed/intended to use against planetary targets such as settlements, or stations to cause significant loss of life and damage that may or may not include features that would enable area of denial effects or inhibit future settlement of such regions.
  2. FTL-capable weapons shall be construed as systems designed to allow a weapon system to deliver energy or a projectile to a target at effective realspace velocities greater than the speed of light.
  3. Martian Expeditionary Perimeter (MEP) shall be construed as the Advanced Identification Zone (ADIZ) of the Martian Empire along defined patrol routes between established anchorages and trade corridors within the Reaches and within two lightyears of the gravitational focus distance of Sol.
Article 2: Parties to Refrain from Violent Acts

  1. The States Party agree that they shall undertake to refrain from any warlike act, being any act of violence, any aggressive action, or any attack against one another, whether individually or jointly with other powers.
  2. The stipulation of this Article against any aggressive action includes mutual respect of territorial integrity; States Party are to extend full faith to, and to respect each other’s territorial integrity, extending on land, on and under the sea, in the air, and in space, including Diplomatic Missions, at all times insofar as is possible.
Article 3: Parties to Refrain from Assisting an Antagonistic Third Party

  1. In the case of any of the States Party should become the object of warlike or aggressive acts (as defined in Article 2) on the part of a third power, the other States Party will not support that third power in any form.
  2. The previous stipulation does not prohibit the rendering of humanitarian aid to civilians and non-combatants, so long as the rendering of said aid does not:
    1. Knowingly harbor, aid, support or provide for the third power, nor its forces nor military allies, nor any extra-national combatant force or militia aligned with the third power, including but not limited to air forces, naval ships, land forces, agents, or those undertaking to procure the goods and supplies of war;
    2. Actively or covertly assist any force or agents of the third power, nor the militarily allied force of the third power, nor any extra-national combatant force or militia aligned with or assisting the third power, through either force of arms or other support; or
    3. Conspire or support a conspiracy to influence the outcome of armed combat through overt or covert means, excepting efforts to mediate or negotiate a truce or end to the conflict.
Article 4: Dispute Resolution and Mutual Concerns

  1. The Governments of the two States Party will in future remain in contact with each other through continuous consultation through Diplomatic Exchange in order to inform each other concerning questions affecting their mutual interests.
  2. The aforementioned Governments shall undertake to establish a process to govern this consultation.
  3. Should disputes or conflicts arise between the States Party regarding any questions of any kind whatsoever, the two parties would clear away these disputes or conflicts solely by means of friendly exchanges of views or, if necessary, by arbitration commissions involving neutral and impartial third parties under the auspices of the Martian Forum.
  4. Such exchanges shall involve in the first instance the Diplomatic Representative of a State Party.
Article 5: Joint Declaration of Neutrality of Sol and Mutual Security

  1. The States Party shall hereby declare the neutrality of Sol in perpetuity of all conflict that may originate between the States Party upon the ratification of this agreement.
    1. This provision shall not be construed as to limit the stationing of military forces or assets by the States Party within Sol, especially for the mutual defence of Sol, but to prevent any hostilities between such forces and assets in case of conflict originating between the States Party.
  2. The States Party hereby agree to cooperate on the common defense of Sol both politically and militarily.
  3. The States Party shall hereby agree to not pre-emptively target the allies of the other State Party within Sol, in accordance with Article 5, Section 1.
Article 6: Conflict and Suspension of Agreement

  1. In the event that neither States Party can effectively resolve a dispute, either States Party may submit a thirty day notice to temporarily suspend the agreement with exception of Article 5, and initiate hostilities between the States Party, whereby the States Party will agree to engage in the following actions for those thirty days;
    1. The States Party agree to exhaust all diplomatic options within the thirty days to resolve the dispute.
  2. If a resolution satisfactory to both States Party has not been reached within the aforementioned thirty day grace period under Article 6, Section 1, then this treaty is suspended with the exception of Article 5 and all options available under international custom are available to the States Party.
  3. The previous section notwithstanding, should hostilities break out between the States Party, they agree to the following:
    1. To not target uninvolved allies of either States Party;
    2. Refrain from the use of strategic weapons against civilian targets such as stations and settlements;
    3. Agree to abide by a principle of proportional and limited escalation, and to confine conflict to the region(s) where the dispute is applicable;
    4. Refrain from the use of orbital bombardment and chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear weapon use on civilian targets such as stations and settlements;
      1. Limited orbital bombardment of civilian targets may be used in such cases where targets located in the civilian center are of military value;
    5. Refrain from causing large-scale damage to civilian targets such as stations and settlements.
Article 7: Concessions and Exchanges

  1. The Martian Empire, upon ratifying this agreement shall renew its deconstruction plan of the Apophis Defence Array within the Martian Expeditionary Perimeter under the observation of the Menelmacari, and shall have removed all remaining stations of the Array within four (4) years of ratification.
  2. The Martian Empire agrees not to renew the Apophis Program.
  3. The Martian Empire agrees that the Eternal Ascendancy of Menelmacar shall have equal custody of Martian xenoarchaeological discoveries of mutual interest, and study thereof shall be conducted jointly.
  4. This treaty shall supersede and replace the Menelmacar-Conglomerate Mutual Security Treaty, and the Eternal Ascendancy of Menelmacar agrees that Martian fleet limits within Sol system shall be abolished.
Article 8: Duration

  1. This treaty will remain in effect for a period of four years from ratification, and shall be binding on the date of its coming into effect.
  2. This treaty shall be considered to have been automatically renewed by the two States Party at the expiration of the four-year period noted in the preceding section, and the renewal shall cause this treaty to remain in effect for another four-year period, unless Article 6’s Suspension Clause is invoked, and this cycle of renewals shall repeat every four years without interruption or pause, unless Article 6’s Suspension Clause is invoked.
  3. The aforementioned cycle of renewals of this treaty shall continue in perpetuity, unless one States Party should issue notice of withdrawal from the treaty to the other States Party.
  4. A renunciation made under the previous section shall not come into effect for a period of no less than six months from the date of its transmission to the other States Party, and the communication of that renunciation shall take place with as much haste and speed as possible, and this renunciation shall not be considered proof of hostile intent.
  5. In the case of Article 8, Section 2, if the treaty is suspended under the Suspension Clause of Article 6, the States Party shall renew the treaty following the end of hostilities, and shall adhere to the aforementioned cycle of renewal.
Article 9: Miscellaneous Provisions

  1. This treaty may be revised at any time while it is in effect at the request of one of the two States Party, but such revision is not to alter the treaty beyond the original design, being to secure peaceable relations between the States Party.
  2. Such revised treaty must be ratified in accordance with Article 10 of the original treaty and is subject to agreement by both States Party; should revision be rejected by either States Party the unrevised treaty shall remain in effect.
Article 10: Ratification and Effect

  1. This treaty will come into effect upon its ratification by both States Party in full accordance with the States’ Party respective constitutional and/or legislative requirements.
  2. The instruments of ratification are to be exchanged via the States’ Party delegates in the presence of delegates from nominated third party nations.
  3. A copy of this treaty, as ratified, will be deposited with the Martian Forum, and with the governments of the States Party, in two texts, one each in Quenya and English, both being equally authentic.
SIGNED

For the Eternal Ascendancy of Menelmacar:
L.S.
Lady Sirithil nos Fëanor
Elentári of Menelmacar

L.S.
Lord Túrelio nos Fingolfin
Prefect of State

For the Martian Empire:
L.S.
Nerys Gloriana
Empress

L.S.
Cora M. Rowland
Prime Minister
"The elves will do what is right, not what is on paper." ~Sunset
"We can't go around supporting The Good Of All Things. People might mistake us for Menelmacar." ~Education Minister Lobon of Kn-Yan
"Do you realize you're trying to sell resources to Menelmafuckingcar? Their resource base is larger than Melkor's ego." ~Advisor Julius Razak, Foot-to-Ass Section, Scolopendra
"I started on NS at a time when elf genocides were daily occurrences from week old nations wanting to get ortilleried by Menelmacar." ~Resurgent Dream
"Nothing here but rich-ass elves. Just...running the world. And shopping." ~Officer Daryl Ward, LAPD

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Postby Menelmacar » Thu Feb 24, 2022 9:00 pm

Co-written with Hypatian Commonwealth


Arda, Sol System
25 Coirë 31936


Even to one who had visited worlds all over the galaxy, Arda from space was a sight to behold. A veritable cloud of ships and stations gave the planet almost a ring system of its own, and indeed vast structures were already being assembled for a true orbital ring station, the Menelmacari’s latest project. Cities large and small shone from the nightside of the surface, as well as the silvered orb of Luna; stranger still was the dayside, where thanks to the fractal phenomena the planet was known for, the very shapes of the continents seemed to shift and change depending on one’s viewing perspective.

Tristan’s ship descended into the atmosphere, where finally the landscape below seemed to solidify, approaching the straits between two long, mountainous islands arcing around a shallow tropical sea. The mountains were not like those of Mars, craggy and rugged rather than the domed shields of Martian volcanoes, wreathed in snow and cloud, and in a circular valley split by the strait - perhaps an ancient impact crater or caldera itself - sat the capital of Menelmacar, Vinyatírion, the Eternal City. Towers shone in the sunlight, gleaming in every imaginable color and others besides, each one a work of architectural art set among parklands every bit as beautiful, all the way to the thickly forested upper slopes of the mountains. As the ship neared the city, there was a brief shudder; at a certain distance, the pilot would have been contacted and required to cut all engines - from here the ship would be guided in on projected gravitic fields to land at Fëanor Palace, a ring of towers set at the center of the city, on the water’s edge.

The ship would be set down on a landing pad, which lowered into a hangar beneath; this, too was a vast space, and as her mother had seen when she’d visited the Menelmacari battleplate Nírnaeth Arnoediad, the Menelmacari paid attention to the aesthetics of even their utilitarian spaces such as this. From here, escorted by the Menelmacari Mornahossë, it was a short trip to the Elentári’s study in one of the towers nearly a mile above, via a teleportation circle that, if she asked, Tristan would be assured functioned via displacement rather than the copy-and-vaporize approach used by some other civilizations. She might also notice the gravity did not seem different from her home on Mars, despite the much larger planet beneath her feet today - it would not be unreasonable to presume this was yet another cunning artifice of her hosts’ hospitality.

Tristan had come to discuss a number of matters with her counterpart. Her descent into Arda was accompanied with beaming gazes by her staff, and though she may not have admitted to it, she could not help herself admiring the landscape from above. The significance of the trip was not lost on her – she would be the first Martian to step foot on Arda, the Old World, in over a century.

Tucked underneath her hand was Arthur, the small black kitten, now the size of a dinner plate, softly purring in the Hypatian Empress’ lap. Rowland had also accompanied the entourage, sitting in the seat across the aisle – she was less interested in the landscape, preferring to pour her attention into her notes. No doubt work-related, Tristan mused – Rowland was nothing but a work-a-holic.

The overall trip had been pleasant as the ship landed. Though having undergone the military’s cyberization program, the Empress was still feeling the effects of gravity sickness until their final touchdown. When they departed the ship, the sensation of Arda’s gravity was different than she had expected, but it became clear to her that this was done for her benefit. Two centuries of living on Mars had acclimated much of the ethnic Martians to its particular gravity, and this had been compounded by efforts of colonizing similar planets – Leilani being of notable example, Tristan’s homeworld.

Rowland and Tristan’s security opted to remain with their shuttle as the empress was escorted into the Elentári’s residency by the Mornahossë. Rowland was sure she had filled the empress in on everything she would need to know, and that she would be well prepared with the tools provided to ensure a smooth summit. It also gave her some R&R – being the chamberlain was, of course, busy business.

Soon enough, Tristan would find herself in the Elentári’s study, where she would provide a polite bow upon her entrance. She had developed the quiet resolve of her mother – having not uttered a single word her entire walk, and awaited for the Menelmacari to speak first. But their meeting would not be so devoid of company – tucked within the empress’ arms remained her furry companion – Arthur.

When they arrived, one of the guards already at the door reached over to open it, with a nod and a “Her Supremacy will see you now.” The meeting was to start immediately, though of course it was likely that the approach and walk had all been timed for when Sirithil was finished whatever she had been previously doing.

The room beyond was expansive, and as tastefully decorated as one might expect; at the far end Sirithil stood at a wall of windows overlooking the capital, towers and ships and the sun slowly descending to the forested, snowcapped mountains beyond. At the sound of the door opening she turned, clad in robes of gold and shining white, golden hair framing a face that shone with wisdom and authority. “Ah,” she said at last. “As did the mother, now too the daughter comes to me. Come, sit.” She gestured to a seating area nearby, and took a seat herself.

As the door closed behind her, Tristan took a moment to reflect on the room. The windows expanded the sense of it and it was in many ways familiar to the architectural considerations back home. The Martians, having lived so long in enclosed structures had learnt a thing or two about keeping a space feeling large and not giving their citizens claustrophobia. The importance of this mattered little these days after the terraformation but the architectural style had remained with them. It was almost homely in this sense as she stepped forward.

“Well met, Your Majesty,” she greeted with a pleasant smile. True to the Harlows, she had come in a similar fashion to her mother, wearing the familiar white naval uniform though modestly decorated. Tristan rounded the small seating area and took a seat, letting Arthur rest in her lap as the small kitten rolled onto its back and purred playfully.

“It is a beautiful residence,” she remarked, taking more time to admire the decor.

“Thank you,” answered Sirithil. “Would you like something to drink?” Her expression was stern; probably to be expected under the circumstances. She looked Tristan over as if appraising her. When her attention passed to the kitten she softened, but she looked up at her guest again and this passed.

“Tea would be wonderful,” Tristan replied, giving Arthur a quieting pat as the kitten mewed and tugged at her uniform with its teeth. She didn’t share the sternness of Sirithil, and she lacked the stoicness of Nerys, though her face settled into a muted look of neutrality rather than indifference. There were many things to learn – not producing tells was one of them.

But, perhaps in a resonance of the past, Tristan’s brows furrowed after a moment, “Circumstances,” she spoke, surprisingly with a little more conviction than she had began their meeting with, “Your Majesty, I do not wish to sour this meeting by moving around the issue – the circumstances – that have brought us here and others that have developed during my transit here. Speaking honestly and directly to the fact – candidly, I think, would be best. My mother recalled her meeting with you in her memories – and while the relationship of our nations can be considered – strained, currently – I would hope to work cooperatively towards a satisfactory solution that would assuage concerns and strengthen our relations. Your government made a series of demands for a perceived violation of our treaty – I say perceived only because of differing opinions – not for the lack of respect it deserves. However, we are open to accepting the demands.”

“Terrible wars, Tristan,” Sirithil began, “have begun over smaller assumptions than the one that led to this moment. Some of which my people have been involved in. I’m disappointed. Disappointed that for decades, since the day of its signing, your people presumed the Treaty’s correct interpretation was something there was no logical reason to presume, disappointed that your mother and I did not have the open and honest relationship I had hoped we would have the day she came aboard my ship, and disappointed that you appear to believe your government did nothing wrong.” Her voice was even, conversational, but... Yes, disappointed. Not a tell - no, it was certain she wanted that to come across.

A servant appeared from out of Tristan’s view - from where was anyone’s guess, the room had been empty and she hadn’t heard a door - and poured tea, a blend she would know well. First for Sirithil, then for her guest, then withdrew again.

“You are young and have much to learn,” began the Elentári once more when they were again alone, sipping her tea. “And I do not relish where this matter has brought us any more than you do. But I assume you are intelligent enough to puzzle out why we had to make the ultimatum we did.”

Tristan carefully took the offered refreshment and gave a gentle, quiet sip. Familiar it was and her eyes widened for a moment. “There’s an inherent danger in treaties – my mother dealt with your government fairly and honestly. I do think it could be argued that our agreement was not as ironclad as either of us intended – strictly because there was room for interpretation, whether misrepresented or not. Whether believed logical or not. I can also recognize and accept there being a fault in not seeking further clarification after by subsequent governments. The wrong stroke of a line, as you’ve alluded, can bring about a lot of misfortune,” Tristan said, letting Arthur roll off her lap as the kitten decided to play with her boots.

“Are you familiar with the agreement we had with the Eridani?” she searched Sirithil’s face for an answer. “There existed peace between our two nations – and for all that this treaty was good for, there was a fatal flaw, and one we have failed to renegotiate. The Eridani – factions of them – enjoy to raid and their own interpretation of the agreement has permitted these raids to persist on our trade for years now. Whilst certainly it could be argued – barring recent events – that peace was maintained – we were still enduring harassment on our convoys operating in the Martian Delta. Our interpretation of the treaty was clear as day – but perhaps not clear enough.”

“I’m not above accepting that my government has misstepped, Your Majesty. That much is obvious to anyone – I’m also not above understanding that there are times where these agreements are and should be tested for the benefit of strengthening them and the relationship they protect. Willful violations to skirt around the treaties – we haven’t done – I want that to be clear. Any possible benefit of such a crass attempt to buck at international norms is far outweighed by the consequences – our misinterpretation of the substance of a provision has given a taste of what consequences of this sort are like – it is to both our benefits, however, that my mother was willing and open to establishing a line of dialogue and fostering the seeds for this relationship. Otherwise, we’d probably have already resorted to a violent solution between our peoples – whilst I may have a lot to learn, Your Majesty – I know when to address one as a friend or a foe – I do not see the Menelmacari as the latter. Nor do I want to – which is why, as stated, I am willing to discuss the terms presented in the Martian Forum.”

“Good,” Sirithil answered. She reached for a handbrain laying facedown on the table and brought up the terms of her demands. “Before we go into those I will waive number three right off the jump,” she said. “As I understand you were in fact not in violation of the AMJRI agreement. But, please, tell me your thoughts on the rest.”

Tristan pulled up the necessary information through her oculus, her eye giving off a faint sheen of blue light as she read through it. “First and foremost – I have to address an important matter regarding the Revenant. They are, or will be, citizens of Hypatia – and subject to the same laws and expectations – that includes rights of the Commonwealth. I understand this is a point of contention – however, the Revenant have agreed to Point One under the following stipulation – your government is welcome to investigate them, their technology, and artefacts currently within our possession – but they are to be treated as the property of the Revenant and their autonomy and rights not infringed by this investigation. That means they will remain in our possession but we will not make an effort to impede your efforts. I think that would be a reasonable request, and if that can be agreed to, the Revenant are willing to provide the necessary access to satisfy your government’s investigation.”

Sirithil seemed to ponder this. She glanced down as the kitten was exploring around the table. “May I?” she asked. Then: “I think this is reasonable. We can agree to that. As I believe our representative noted we have no interest in forcing these Revenants to come to Menelmacar; if they are willing to provide us what we need then all the better.”

Tristan looked at Arthur and smiled, “You may. I forgot to introduce you two – this is Arthur.” She gestured to the kitten. “On Point Two – the Commonwealth can agree provided that the scope of your government’s investigation is limited to the matter at hand – that is – the technology and artefacts of the Revenant.”

Sirithil nodded, “Hello, Arthur,” she said, leaning down to pick up the kitten lightly in her hands, and set her on her lap, petting her lightly. She did so with one hand while referring to the handbrain again with the other. “Point two - ah. Yes. The scope of this was intentionally vague in a way as to imply totality,” she explained. “History is littered with international inspections thwarted by narrow scope; many are the examples of things being hidden where they should not have been, and access refused as such.” She frowned. “I can promise you we’re not actually looking for anything else, and would have no reason to go beyond the scope without being presented with such issues on the ground. Is this reasonable?” she asked.

“I understand the reservation, Your Majesty,” Tristan said, smiling gently at Arthur who toyed with the Menelmacari’s fingers. “That is why – on Point Four – we are willing to expand the responsibility given to an arbitrator by allowing them the regulation to honestly assess what should fall under that scope – and this way, we can be open and transparent, whilst safeguarding our security. We would personally recommend the GRA for the role – as they are considerably well attuned to being a fair and neutral party and thus would be the best candidate to not hold bias one way or the other.”

Sirithil seemed to ponder this for a moment as well, though mostly she was playing with the kitten for a moment; she already knew what she was going to say. “The choice of arbitrator would be ours to make,” she answered. “But your recommendation is a sensible one and will be taken under advisement. Truth be told we are not certain we will appoint one. The point was included mainly so as to have the option. If things go smoothly it may not be required.”

Tristan read from her oculus again, “On Point Five, amendments clarifying some of the provisions of the treaty would be acceptable – or even having a memorandum of understanding – but I must note that whilst I would think there’s a good – working – relationship here. Hesitance by my government, even under the demands made, and potential unrest domestically due to the original treaty could complicate matters. Whilst understandable that these are demands and there’s a need by the Menelmacari to show some resolve – I would think it would serve better in both of our interests to portray this as more of a diplomatic or conciliatory joint venture to resolve these issues. Particularly to prevent any unnecessary upset of certain demographics with particular sensibilities.”

The Elentári sighed, setting down the handbrain to exchange it for the teacup, which she refilled before lifting it to her lips for another sip of the tea. She scritched Arthur gently, and the kitten purred like a little motorboat.

“This, indeed, is why I do not relish this. I know Hypatians, particularly Martian Hypatians, are a proud people. I also know that the galaxy needs to believe that this process is thoroughly unpleasant for you. Eventually someone was going to step on the landmine of breaking a treaty with us, it just happened that it was you. Between the two of us, yes, I do believe this was merely a matter of misinterpretation. But it is paramount that nobody outside this room ever dreams of repeating the error, for fear of similarly being made an example. Indeed some of my angrier advisors had suggested I receive you in the throne room instead, there would have been kowtowing and so on. I explained that would not go over well and would poison the talks.” She pondered briefly, then continued. “Domestically of course you can frame this however you like. I would expect nothing different, and would do the same in your place. Perhaps there are people in the relevant departments whose service you wish to be relieved of that could take a fall? There are always ways.”

Tristan nodded, she sipped her tea quietly for a moment, clearly deep in thought. “Hypatia is more than a nation – it was an ideal put together by my mother. She hoped that through a firm but fair hand, perhaps, she could temper the more destabilizing elements of the old Conglomerate,” she said, setting the tea aside.

“Currently, our rate of production is expected to surpass even the Domain’s capabilities soon. It was this, I imagine, that had been detected by other powers – given the alarm expressed in the Forum. A project relating to this technology had been underway for some time to essentially finish what the Automated Revolution had begun: an uplift of my people, and excision of those elements. The Revenant, by comparison, have been invaluable in this regard – that was our agreement. I’m informing you of this for the sake of that transparency. The Hypatia as you know it right now, will not be the same Hypatia if these plans come to fruition. There are certainly those in my government that even my mother struggled with – for all her strength and control in times of crisis – bureaucracy is a nightmarish beast. Eden’s idea of a ‘Greater Hypatia’ I do believe is on the horizon, but the Old State and the Old Ways must die.”

“I agree,” Sirithil answered. “What manner of uplift do you intend?” she asked, taking another sip of her tea.

Tristan reached over and picked up her cup again, taking a moment to sip it, “There’s a lot that got in the way of the Automated Revolution – half-measures or stop-gaps to handle the aftershocks – so much can be automated to reduce corruption and increase efficiency. Our researchers describe it as a singularity moment.”

Sirithil clasped her tea in both hands, savoring the sensation of warmth from the cup, and listening to Tristan’s explanation. She says nothing, encouraging her guest to continue.

“Hypatians aren’t terrible people – we have made terrible mistakes,” Tristan mused for a moment as she pulled her cup from the table. She looked down into the liquid quietly before speaking again, “What I want for my people is a chance for something better. Politics are messy – we should know this more than most – I think we still have further to go and I believe this is the right path.”

Sirithil smiled a little, self-reflection was not something she had expected, but it pleased her to see it. “So, as I understand it, and stop me if I’m wrong - you wish to take a step that will obviate the petty politics and deep-statery that has been at the root of so many of those mistakes. Am I correct in this presumption?” she asked. Then she took another sip before continuing. “A noble goal, though I am curious what manner of uplift you believe will accomplish this aim.”

“I believe we lost our identity after the Great War. The Conglomerate collapsed and what was left was a mess of states. I don’t think you could sit down with a single one of us and ask us who we think we are,” Tristan said with a tinge of sadness. “My mother made an attempt to forge a new one – I can’t say she has succeeded. We’ve not a lot to be proud of as a people – we’ve not a lot in common – we can’t always agree on what direction we want things to go. But whilst the Conglomerate is gone – there are remnants of it. The bureaucratic state is the same state that has existed since Van Allen – prejudices are still there – there’s both a sense of control and a lack of it. Without a good purpose and a sense of identity, a sense of unity, I don’t think there can exist a peace.”

“It pleases me that you understand these flaws of Hypatian society,” Sirithil answered, “it bodes well for the future, and I’m glad to offer advice on it, but - please forgive my bluntness - I’m not sure I understand as yet what this has to do with the matter of the Revenant technology.”

Tristan sipped her tea, “Sorry. On the Revenant technology – we’re building a larger neural network than what we had previously endeavored ourselves with. Basically, this network, Atlas, as we’ll call it – it will take over a lot of our government’s functionality. Things that can and should be automated for the sake of removing bias or reducing the waste and corruption in the system. Ruling a nation of billions upon billions of people – as we have learnt – produces a lot of both. I should note that Atlas, itself, isn’t ‘Revenant’ – it’s a large decentralized computer of sorts whose role is to keep the lights on – so to speak. I don’t know how familiar you are with the ‘Hierarchy’ – Atlas’ job is to hold things up and coordinate with other machines with various routines. The entire apparatus is designed to be very difficult to destroy for obvious reasons. Beyond that – there is the ‘Hive’ – which is our galnet – not a ‘hivemind’ – but we’re planning on integrating new infrastructure into it to provide people more freedom, more equity, if they wish. The Revenant have helped us greatly in this respect – we’ve learnt how to build better storage and maintain persistence. Among other things. Being digital creatures, they will live in the Hive, though they’ll have the option to use sleeves if they wish. The whole exchange is really very pedestrian compared to the fears. My hope is that by erasing borders and giving greater agency to our citizens, we can heal divides, and move on towards something greater.”

“Intriguing,” answered the Elentári. “Is this intended as something of a gestalt consciousness, or more akin to the Nimatojin Eien?”

“I wouldn’t consider it a gestalt – the individual is still maintained on their own partition. It will give them the ability to access sleeves if they want. And it will also let us build a consensus easier, as in who would you vote for, or do you support this resolution – but to think of it as a gestalt I wouldn’t agree with. We’re far too independent minded for that. Insofar as the Eien, I suppose it could be seen that way, albeit our understanding of the Nimatojin’s use of their systems is susceptible to data loss if it were to fail. The Revenant have learnt a way to keep a consciousness persistent. We also wouldn’t need an ExoCortex like the Domain,” Tristan explained.

Sirithil pondered this a moment. “You will have problems with this,” she answered. “As I see it, your government is a house divided against itself. Some of the bureaucracy will be loyal to you, or to the abstract notion of the Crown, and they will implement this even though it is directly against their personal interests. Others, though, are no doubt more loyal to your prime minister. Including, I suspect, most in leadership positions. They will fight this change. Unless...” She trailed off.

“That, has many solutions,” Tristan said.

“The simplest one that I can see is getting Eden on board,” Sirithil mused. “Any idea how you might go about that?”

“I think I can bring her around,” Tristan thought for a moment as she sipped her tea, “The others, well, the others will need more persuasion.”

“I think you might find it easier than you expect,” Sirithil noted, finishing her cup and setting it down, letting both hands go back to petting the kitten now curled up asleep in her lap. “I have reason to believe she would be more receptive than you expect, for various reasons. She can’t initiate because of politics, though, so you’ll have to take the first slap. Er, step. I mean, what?”

Tristan was sipping her tea when the suggestion came forward and in that instant, she nearly choked. “W-what?” she coughed, setting aside the china. She looked at Sirithil with a wide-eyed expression as if she hadn’t heard it right the first time.

Sirithil seemed to be studiously avoiding any immediate acknowledgement of what she’d very definitely said and was now busying herself scritching the sleepy kitten. She glanced up at Tristan. “What? Is something wrong?”

Tristan’s face was hot for a moment to the point one could’ve steamed the room if they’d thrown water at her. She sat back and adjusted her uniform uncomfortably and cleared her throat, “Anyway – Is there anything else you need to know about the Revenant?” she managed out.

“Many things,” Sirithil answered, “But most of them are probably things your scientists or the Revenant themselves would be better positioned to answer. The executive summary will suffice for now, I think.”

Tristan nodded, “The original topics for discussion I wanted this summit for was on economic and security interests. I understand recent events have likely dampered some of what I was hoping for – however, the Commonwealth would like to offer the Menelmacari the chance to sign onto the Mutual Prosperity Initiative. I think it’s time that we end the Friendly Neighbor Policy and replace it with more sustenance.”

“Mmm,” Sirithil mused, calling up the relevant information on her handbrain and glancing it over briefly. “There’s a few things here I think we would be supportive of. Some others where the devil is in the details, and others still that are probably right out,” she mused. “Though you can imagine that it would look terribly odd for us to sign additional treaties with you now when we’re in a dispute about the enforcement of existing treaties. I can tell you informally that when that is smoothed over and we are confident of your compliance that we can have that discussion. Certain things here like friendly ports and IP would likely come first when that happens.”

Tristan nodded, “That is understandable. On another note – we have noticed the C’tan mobilizing in system, you’re the closest direct line to Yut that we currently have. We are adamant about maintaining the neutrality of this system. So we won’t be mobilizing in kind and we’re hoping that will still be maintained. No point dragging any possible hostilities here.”

“The C’tani will not be an issue,” Sirithil answered. “They mobilized to defensive postures in preparation of any need to help defend our population centers and civilian shipping in the event that this situation escalated to violence. Since it seems it will not, there is no concern I can see. They do this of their own will; we are ancient allies and dear friends and will often spontaneously move to defend one another. But once the settlement becomes public knowledge I am confident they will draw down again.”

“Finally, there is the ‘Arda Incident’ – your delegation in the Martian Forum was adamant that the matter was domestic and the Menelmacari hadn’t breached the treaty themselves. The State Department made an inquiry and did agree with that – but it still leaves a lot of questions unanswered. Namely, what transpired on the ground and how it got out of hand as it did, and issues regarding notification,” Tristan spoke candidly.

“Hrmph,” Sirithil noted, irritated at the characterization. “If anything it was the opposite of out of hand. We seized the entire city of Vinyaangmar by ground action within hours of our intelligence apparatus learning of the immediate threat, thus preventing the completion of Herumor’s intended ritual. No army in the galaxy could have done better.”

Tristan smirked if only slightly, “I meant no offence – differences in reports. Differences that have left us wondering, however. The way the Macisikani characterized the incident had us believe this was a serious, potentially existential threat in the middle of home. And even then, we were left out of the loop on the matter – something we did take as a sleight. I entrust the Menelmacari would not make the same error – and likewise, that can be applied to ourselves. Treaties are one thing, but when something is believed, correctly or not, to jeopardize a system of billions, opting to withhold info selectively is not a great look.”

“Of course, I am not going to reveal sources and methods, or intelligence from which sources and methods could be inferred,” Sirithil answered. “But we suspect the intent of the ritual Herumor carried out would have drained far more life than it ultimately did, and a certain amount of death first, was required to complete it. We believe he presumed we would react with strategic orbital fire, which would have hastened rather than prevented his goal, whatever it was he intended to do. Instead, we took a more surgical approach and conquered the city with ground forces and resistance elements that were already in place. The Macisikani have a certain perspective on such things that we understand but do not share, and their imperative is to prevent certain incidents that did not transpire here. Herumor’s escape from Arda is of great concern, that I will grant. But our response, under the circumstances, was optimal.”

“My government is inclined to agree based on our own assessments. Originally, there was a concern that the Menelmacari had violated the agreement, but this was quickly shown to be false – and your officials were very forthcoming with information about the matter,” Tristan remarked, “There is, however, one more thing I’d like to discuss – and that is the overall relationship between the Menelmacari and the Hypatians.”

Sirithil leaned back in her seat, sipping her tea. “Well, yes, that is of concern, certainly,” she answered. “Indeed, one might call it the very issue we’ve been discussing all evening. Please, go on.”

Tristan sat her teacup aside and looked down at Arthur for a moment. She seemed content. “I have a proposition for you, one I think you’ll gladly accept. I am looking for experience that will prove valuable on my court, an advisory that I can rely on. The Menelmacari are an ageless state with considerable experience in statecraft going back at least a few millennia – I think a liaison would be perfect. What do you say?”

“I’m listening. It seems like a promising idea,” the Elentári answered. “The devil is, of course, as always, in the details.”

“If I am to reign over an ascendant power, Your Majesty, I am going to need better counsel than what I currently have. I think,” Tristan leaned over and looked at the Elentári more directly, “I think you and I both know that Hypatia is on a dangerous track. We do not lack the will, but what we indulge in confidence, we lack in refinement and temperament. Having cooler heads with direct access to Hypatia’s leadership to help steer the ship away from the rocks would be a worthwhile endeavor, no? I trust your judgement to find a liaison that is acceptable – in return, Hypatia will work on righting our wrongs, and aligning more of our interests with the Ascendancy’s.”

“Mmm,” Sirithil noted. “I did offer your mother such advice,” she said. “She never took me up on it, but I’m glad to see you doing so. How would you anticipate this liaison being arranged?”

“They will reside on Mars, they do not necessarily need to live in Harlow, but it is important that they can attend the court,” Tristan explained, as if thinking aloud, she leaned back, “Hypatia has never had this kind of arrangement, so we will have to design a ceremony befitting such a prestigious position. Beyond the flair, such counsel will have near unlimited access to myself and my chamberlain. I will ask for their counsel on major matters of import – and the opinions of your government – I expect they will be in routine contact with you, Your Majesty.”

“Would they sit in on cabinet?” Sirithil asked, pondering this.

“There will be times where their presence in the cabinet will be a necessity, yes. They will be apart of the privy council, as well. There are many circles of power in Hypatia, Your Majesty,” Tristan said, “A liaison whose duties solely remain with one specific circle isn’t a very good liaison – there’s value in being able to be flexible.”

“Mmm,” Sirithil mused, “The only issue I see here is that if they only attend when asked to, then the perception may spread in the cabinet that this liaison is subordinate to the ministers. Merely a resource to be used.”

“A permanent seat on the cabinet would send an ill-message – it is also something that would need the consent of the Senate for, that is, all of Hypatia’s constituent states’ delegates. They will enjoy a permanent seat on the privy council, however – which often intersects with the other circles I mentioned, including the cabinet. Such a position would give a liaison access to quite a lot, enabling them to advise me quickly and effectively,” Tristan said.

“Mmm, this seems sensible. There is one thing I think they would need to be effective. Given the degree of deep-state nonsense that seems to be endemic to the Hypatian bureaucracy,” she mused, “It might be wise to grant the liaison access to pecuniary records.”

Tristan clasped her hands, “Access to financials – an irregular request, to what end exactly?”

“Such records are the most accurate in any government,” Sirithil answered. “If elements of your government are doing things without your knowledge - as I suspect they are - that is where such things would be most easily uncovered.”

“If I already have access to such financials – why would I require, what I assume, would be something of an auditor. Unless, of course, there is some discrepancy – something else – you are interested in particular?” Tristan tilted her head.

“Only suspicions,” Sirithil noted. “Nothing concrete as of yet. Plausible deniability is as old as the hills; particularly once we announce this settlement, there may be elements of the state or the bureaucracy who would wish to continue concealing certain projects that would be covered under the treaty. If you legitimately did not know about them you would make an excellent candidate to take the fall for it, especially if those elements were already not loyal to you, yes?” The Elentári took another sip of her tea. “Therefore by preempting them you are merely exercising due diligence.”

Tristan rested her cheek on her hand, crossed her legs and idly rocked her foot, "The devil is in the details, you say," she mused for a moment while watching Arthur. There was a quiet that followed, then she looked up at Sirithil, her gaze changing to something of sheer clarity, "There won't be a bureaucracy left when I am done, Your Majesty. I will bring Hypatia into compliance with the treaty and I do hope to see one of the Menelmacari's finest at my side. The other matter I was interested in, was your tea, I still do not know the name?"

Sirithil nodded; it seemed clear the answer to this request was a refusal, this was acceptable to her, as it demonstrated greater competence than she had expected from one so young. “Mmm, Lassára, is the name,” she answered, “although I know I presented your mother with several crates of it. I’d be surprised if they weren’t labeled.” The elf smiled. “It roughly translates as ‘bitterleaf’, but as you and I both know that’s hardly a commentary on the tea itself.”

Tristan looked at the cup on the table beside her, pondering it for a moment, “It’s quite delicate to the palate but there’s a lot of flavor underneath,” she mused. “My mother’s stash of it is how I became acquainted actually, it’s wonderful. It’s hopefully something I’ll enjoy more often.” Tristan stood and smiled down at Arthur, “I think she likes you. Thank you for having me, Your Majesty.”

“Mm, I quite like her too,” Sirithil stood as well, before bending down to pick up the kitten and cuddling her a bit before handing her back to Tristan. “You’re quite welcome. It was a more pleasant visit than I expected, and not just because of the cat. I trust we will continue on more sensible grounds going forward, yes?”

Tristan smiled as she took Arthur in her arms, “We shall, I have quite enjoyed the company,” she said, giving a polite bow.

“Likewise,” Sirithil nodded. “Have a safe trip back to Carnil.”
Last edited by Menelmacar on Thu Feb 24, 2022 9:16 pm, edited 3 times in total.
"The elves will do what is right, not what is on paper." ~Sunset
"We can't go around supporting The Good Of All Things. People might mistake us for Menelmacar." ~Education Minister Lobon of Kn-Yan
"Do you realize you're trying to sell resources to Menelmafuckingcar? Their resource base is larger than Melkor's ego." ~Advisor Julius Razak, Foot-to-Ass Section, Scolopendra
"I started on NS at a time when elf genocides were daily occurrences from week old nations wanting to get ortilleried by Menelmacar." ~Resurgent Dream
"Nothing here but rich-ass elves. Just...running the world. And shopping." ~Officer Daryl Ward, LAPD

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Menelmacar
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Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Menelmacar » Sat Mar 05, 2022 8:26 pm

TOP SECRET - CABINET-IN-CONFIDENCE


Minutes of the Meeting of the Elentári's Cabinet of 33 Coirë 31936.

Meeting brought to order.
All present. No apologies.

Reading of the minutes of the last meeting.
The minutes of the last meeting were read and unanimously accepted as being both correct and accurate.

Standing Items

Prefectural Reports

Each Prefect presented a brief summary of items relevant.

The Prefect of State presented an update relating to ongoing diplomatic engagement with the Vrii Commonality in Triangulum. Trends are positive but slow, and have come to a mutually acceptable understanding. He was hopeful that continued engagement would be fruitful, but stressed that the negative initial impressions caused by the Krang intervention of last year, coupled with general isolationist tendencies of the Vrii, would prove difficult to comprehensively overcome. Experience from dealing with the UIK has proven useful.

The Prefect of State's summary on Vrii engagement is at Appendix Tinco.

He also advised that the Taraskovyan state visit had been postponed by the Taraskovyans due to an urgent domestic matter that required the attention of the Vasilevitch, but that they had stressed it would indeed go ahead at a later date.

The Prefect of Trade and the Interior presented a summary on tenders for additional megastructural construction, as well as a summary of private-sector activities in this area and in changes of territorial claims for resource extraction since the previous meeting.

The Prefect of Trade's report is at Appendix Parma.

The Prefect of Trade and the Interior and the Prefect of War jointly presented a report on upgrades to megastructural and defensive infrastructure in Sol system. Construction of the Arda Ring continues apace and is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 31937.

The Elentári noted that she would personally be approaching a number of promising Ardan nations with the opportunity to participate in the project, particularly in the Mystrian region. Some discussion ensued regarding specific matters to be discussed and matters to be avoided in this presentation. It was confirmed that Ardan ephemerals' participation in the Ring would be for trade, scientific, and outreach purposes only, and that all defensive functions of the Ring and related infrastructure would remain entirely in Menelmacari and C'tani hands.

The Prefect of War then reported all light and dark defensive assets at full strength and alert readiness. She also noted her analysis of possible fallout from the parting of ways between Menelmacar and its allies, and the Phoenix Domain. It was concluded that the Domain would bear watching, but presented minimal threat. She additionally presented a report on continuing construction of additional dark assets.

The Prefect of War's report is at Appendix Calma.

The Prefect of Science and Education provided a consolidated report on multiple projects and their deliverables, as advised in the previous meeting. He presented the high-level summary, noting that the Cabinet will be called upon to approve the deployment of several planned projects.

The Prefect of Science's report is at Appendix Quessë.

The remaining Prefects advised of no new significant items in their respective spheres.

Business Carried Forward

Queenstown Ultimatum

The Elentári presented a brief summary on negotiations with Tristan of Hypatia. Some discussion was had about candidates for the role of liaising with the Hypatian court. Several names were put forward but no final decision was reached.

Transcript of the Elentári's negotiations is at Appendix Ando.

The Prefect of State noted a downgrade of travel advisories for Hypatia from DO NOT TRAVEL to AVOID NONESSENTIAL TRAVEL for all except ethnic Kadrians, for whom the advisory remains at DO NOT TRAVEL, and noted that diplomatic relations will be tentatively restored.

The Prefect of Compassionate Relief reported resumption of previously withheld reconstruction aid to the Sigurdshafn system.

The Prefect of Science and Education presented a brief summary of learnings so far from interviews of the Revenants and inspections of their technology. It was noted that so far the Hypatians had been suitably compliant with the Treaty of Queenstown and nothing had yet been found that presented a clear threat to Menelmacar or its allies, but it was further stressed that this was a preliminary finding only. The Prefect made some general observations relating to Hypatian ambitions. A brief but inconclusive discussion ensued on the topic. The Elentári noted there were several options that would be satisfactory in this regard. Details of this discussion have been sealed by order of the Elentári.

The Prefect's preliminary report on Revenant technology is at Appendix Umbar.

Report on Ongoing Counter-Tyranid Defense

The Prefect of War reported continued successes in galactic defense as dark assets engaged and eliminated three Tyranid hive-fleet tendrils in extragalactic void sectors 49-38-59, 49-39-70, and 50-37-65. Losses of dark fleet assets well within expected parameters and expected replacement time is approximately six days. The Prefect reported that existing strategies continue to prove effective against Tyranid swarms.

Carnil Affairs

The Prefect of State observed that the aforementioned domestic crisis in the Taraskovyan Empire would likely leave the Taraskovyans quiet on Carnil for some time.

Discussion then turned briefly to the Hesperia Planum Zone. The Prefect of State proposed that the Galactic Republic of Arkasia might be suitable tenants, presenting a friendly neighbor while also putting a decisive end to Hypatian ambitions in the region. The Elentári suggested presenting this notion to allied states for a unified proposal to the Martian Forum.

The Phoenix Domain

The Prefect of State reported that the process of severing all diplomatic ties with the Phoenix Domain is now complete, and that no Menelmacari nationals remain in Domain territory at this time, and vice-versa. The Prefect of War presented an intelligence analysis of the possible threat posed by the Domain in the event it opted for retribution for the broad-ranging isolation imposed upon it by Menelmacar and allied states. Several possibilities were discussed, but it was concluded that all presented minimal if any threat. It was deemed most likely that the Domain would simply isolate itself from the Triumvirate of Yut and its sphere. The Prefect of War further reported the successful joint securing of Terra Sabaea on behalf of the Martian Forum, along with the C'tani, Kajali, Eridani, and Mackisikani, and that surveys of the territory were proceeding apace.

As per the previous meeting, it was unanimously determined that no military recourse was necessary and the matter was considered closed.

A worrying coda to this discussion presented by the Prefect of Science is that the Peninsularians, a potentiate nation previously involved in AMJRI, was showing signs of being affected by the Retrogression phenomenon increasingly common among lesser superluminal nations. The Prefect of War noted this would be investigated and factored into future probability analyses.

The Prefect of State suggested fostering a number of promising lesser states through the Retrogression via a structure similar to the GRA’s NEGL or the UIK’s EAP’s; it was decided to discuss this at a future meeting. The Prefect of State promised to compile a report on candidate polities.

The Prefect of War's intelligence analysis on the Domain is at Appendix Anga.

New Business

Neutralization of Herumor

The Prefect of War noted that despite evidence provided by the C’tani (and a lack of evidence to the contrary) MISSION is not fully satisfied that the threat presented by Herumor has been fully neutralized. It was determined unanimously that the Ascendancy should remain on alert; and that inspections of the available evidence should be carried out, and full surveys of NGC 4151 conducted.

The Elentári suggested pre-staging dark elements and supporting infrastructure near NGC 4151; the Prefect agreed and promised to see it done.

The Prefect of State suggested reaching out to the Eridani for further investigation of possible Ellanorean subversives in that realm, to which the Elentári further agreed.

Science Prefect’s Report

The Prefect of Science and Education presented this report.

Expanding on his earlier summary, the Prefect reported on the status of twenty-two major projects. Four are at readiness level, twelve are progressing satisfactorily, and six are ready to commence. No projects are behind schedule or imperilled. The Prefect seeks the Elentári's agreement to greenlight both ready to commence, as well as an additional six to be brought forward outside of the regular status report.

Three of the additional six proposals proved controversial and provoked additional discussion.

Ultimately the Elentári consented to all project greenlights, save two of the controversial three; it was agreed to review them at a later date.

Trade Prefect's Report

The Prefect of Trade and the Interior presented this report.

Expanding on her earlier summary, the Ascendancy is prepared to issue requests for bids on thirty-seven megastructural projects this quarter, to be completed by private sector entities, as well as twelve additional projects to be completed in-house. The Prefect further presented details on territorial resourcing claims. Since the previous meeting, twenty-three additional systems have been claimed, and three abandoned, deemed effectively exhausted.

The Elentári accepted the report.

The Prefect of Finance presented a general update on the accounts of the realm. All trends remain within tolerances and trend agreeably.

The Prefect of War noted that all trends remain within parameters of probability engine indications.

The Elentári accepted these reports; they can be found at Appendix Ungwë and Appendix Súlë, respectively.

Non-Agenda Items

Elentári’s Remarks

The Elentári commended her government for their hard work and perseverance, singling out in particular the Prefect of State for progress with the Vrii, the Prefect of Compassionate Relief for the quick resumption of Sigurdshafn aid, and the Prefect of Science for the progress of various projects and the preliminary findings on the Revenants, and promised a special session to further consider the two projects not approved today.

Meeting concluded.

TOP SECRET - CABINET-IN-CONFIDENCE
Last edited by Menelmacar on Sat Mar 05, 2022 9:44 pm, edited 3 times in total.
"The elves will do what is right, not what is on paper." ~Sunset
"We can't go around supporting The Good Of All Things. People might mistake us for Menelmacar." ~Education Minister Lobon of Kn-Yan
"Do you realize you're trying to sell resources to Menelmafuckingcar? Their resource base is larger than Melkor's ego." ~Advisor Julius Razak, Foot-to-Ass Section, Scolopendra
"I started on NS at a time when elf genocides were daily occurrences from week old nations wanting to get ortilleried by Menelmacar." ~Resurgent Dream
"Nothing here but rich-ass elves. Just...running the world. And shopping." ~Officer Daryl Ward, LAPD


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