Tales from Greater Dienstad (short stories only)

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


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Posts: 2286
Founded: Mar 04, 2015
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Palmyrion » Thu Mar 12, 2020 6:03 am

AUTHOR: Palmyrion

Ride with the mob.

On 2018, the Constabulary split into the Civil Defence Force and the National Police, each with their own area of focus: the CDF focused on military internal security duties while the National Police focused on civilian policing, all sharing a common niche: law enforcement. The PNP had troubles with reckless drivers within its ranks, especially from the new corps of police officers from the Constabulary Academy - they were, quite obviously, heavily influenced with high-octane car races both illegal and legal, and instead of dispensing of such talent they instead decided to harness it in the most unorthodox way imaginable. Enter...the Pursuit Squads of the Palmyrian National Police.

"Suspect vehicle rushing down Super Zero. All units at Super Zero respond, over." the radio on PO4 Alexander Porcalla's Lamborghini Aventador SVJ - a specific "Palmyrian Police" model, able to hit 100kph in 2.5 seconds flat and sustain speeds of up to 400kph - roared as he cruised Super-Zero (a section of the Commonwealth Superhighway adjacent to Luneta Park) at a comfortable speed of 180kph. Porcalla was a famous street racer during his Academy days, one who repeatedly managed to escape the relatively lumbering MRAPs of the then Constabulary and thus never having had to contend with the law.

"Suspect vehicle is a Lykan HyperSport with body modifications and driven as a getaway vehicle by a drug kingpin. All units at Super Zero respond, over." the radio roared once again. Porcalla knew of the earlier raid that got the drug kingpin packing the last of his bags on a Lykan HyperSport. Well, that's quite a wealthy drug kingpin, one who was able to afford a highly exotic supercar priced at nearly $3.4 million. This was no mere drug kingpin - he had an empire rivaling Pablo Escobar's twice over and had to abandon his drug plantations and laboratories after having fallen out in favor from the Islamists and the Communists while the Palmyrian military mercilessly burnt his drug production and distribution assets down.

"Game on..." Porcalla whispered to himself as he upped the gear of his Aventador SVJ. "HQ this is Exzit, initiating hot pursuit, over." he followed with a response to the radio call as the Lykan HyperSport, itself tailed by a dozen Charger SRT Hellcats.
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Patrick OConner
Posts: 2261
Founded: Sep 26, 2014
Democratic Socialists

Postby Patrick OConner » Fri Aug 21, 2020 1:31 pm

TITLE: Story of a Lenged: Part 1
AUTHOR: Patrick O'Conner

Will you be lost by time
or be part of history?
Will your story be told
or remain a mystery?
Will they sing your song
telling all that you have done?
Time to make your choice-
only you can be the one.

It was a bright clear crisp day with only a few overcast clouds. The wind was blowing steadily in from the sea into a large harbor which was over 10 miles wide. It was formed when a massive river ending its journey dumped into the ocean. The harbor was circular with an opening that had been reduced in size by the addition of break waters but it was ¾ of a mile wide. On the shore of the harbor stoob a bustling port town.

Many piers jutted into the harbor, where ships docked but something was amiss. The two piers were bustling but the others were less so with most of them standing idle. The few ships docked ranged in size from a shooner to a gun boat to one large three masted merchant ship.

Sprawling around the harbor was the town of Riverlet. Warehouses stood close to the piers, the massive cavernous wooden structures rising up doors open ready to take more goods, but standing empty. The cobblestone streets wove in and out around meant to take heavy traffic of carts but they were oddly lacking. Moving back from the Warehouse and Warf District, low one and two story buildings of wood or brick rise up and more cobblestone streets, carved their way through the urban environment.

Here and there one building rises up to three stories while the town center is dominated by the square and its two halls with a spire rising six stories up. On the square a massive large stone building dominates the area. The word “Bank” is carved over the door. The bank is built more like a fort than anything.

At the entrance to the harbor, a new ship entered. She was a large three masted frigate, her sides were brisling with gun ports. The bow and stern were fully enclosed with the same black wood that was hot through with silver streaks as opposed to most other ships having an open front and back. At the moment most of her sails were furled, but looked patchy in color, they were clearly white at some point but now were covered in large patches of dark brown. Her hull was pitch black shot through with streaks of silver. From atop her mast flew a flag with crossed harpoons. This was a flag rarely if ever seen in the southern waters and it was the flag of the Sea Hunters. On the rear of the ship the name stands out in golden letters, Acciona.

On the harbor shore, the sight of the ship causes a stir. The Acciona is quite an unusual sight in these waters, with her black and silver hull and stained sails and Sea Hunter flag. Such ships are rarely, if ever seen this far south, in fact no one among the gathering crowd can remember the last time one such vessel was seen.

As the vessel grows slowly closer to the docks a few things become appart. There were large iron spikes jutting from her hull and there were red streaks starting at the scuppers and going down the hull to the water line. Overall the ship was an intimidating sight to behold, a sort of wooden monster ready to descend on the helpless harbor city, but such was not the case.

The ship slowly pulled up to the docks and lines were tossed across and caught by those on the docks. The ship was slowly pulled up next to the dock and a gang plank was thrown across to it. A man walks down it. He was tall at 6 foot 3 inches and broad shouldered, his dark brown hair was cut short and his face had strong features and his eyes are sea green colored that shone bright with intelligence. His nose was slightly crooked at the end from having been broken one too many times and not set right. He was dressed in a white pants and a dark blue shirt. On one hip a cutlass dangled and on the other was a flintlock pistol. He looked around at the gathered crowd and shrugged before shouldering his way past the crowd and marched on to the end of the dock. He stopped and turned and looked around then a short bearded tub of a man tapped on his shoulder.

The man looked down at him and he coughed before speaking is a slightly squeaky voice

“I am Harbormaster Malec.”

“Captain Wallace. I was just looking for you.”

“Yes I assumed as much when I saw you ship entering the harbor. Made quite a stir.”

“I figured it might.”

“So why are you here?” The harbor master said somewhat fearfully.

“Peace. There are no sea monsters here. They are contained in the Blood Sea.”

“Oh...then why are you here?” the harbor master said sounding both relieved and extremely puzzled now. Sea Hunters were not known for venturing far from their traditional hunting grounds. Even when sending out harvested materials, merchant ships were used.

“Simple. To make money. The Republic advertised a request for ships and offered letters of marque. Thus we are here.”

“Oh...huh...okay then come with me then there is some minor stuff to be sorted out since you are docking here and such.”

“Of course, now after that where can I go to get my letter of marque?”
“The local Republic Representative is staying in the Leaky Dinghy. I would try there.”

An hour later after some coin was traded and paperwork signed, Captain Wallace was able to darken the door of the Leaky Dinghy. The building was a large three story wood and brick structure, the brick part being the first floor and the 2nd and 3rd floors being made of wood.

A sign hung over the door showing a half submerged dinghy complete with oars and a panicking sailor.

Wallace smiled at the sign and entered the tavern. Inside the room was brightly lit at this time due to the many windows letting in light from outside.
The tavern was laid out in a typical manner. A long bar running down the left wall while the rest of the space was filled with long tables and benches ment for customers to sit interspaced between brick pillars.

The place was half full of people looking for lunch, they ranged from laborers to craftsmen to sailors. All looking somewhat rough and ready and more than a bit dirty. A set of stairs on the back wall led up to the next story.

However, in the middle of the room sat an unusually clean official looking man behind a small table with a lamp and a large leather bound book and a medium sized locked iron box. Behind the man were two soldiers in green and brown uniforms and carrying muzzle loading rifles with bayonets fixed. Both of the soldiers looked incredibly bored and were leaning against columns.

Wallace strides over to the man, and the two soldiers who were looking bored a moment before jumped to action now seeing a large armed man approaching them. Wallace is unconcerned.

He stops in front of the table and leans over.

“Is this where a captain can recieve a letter of marque from the Republic?”

“Uhh…..” the official said perplexed at the current events “Yes? If you can provide proof of a vessel and crew, we can get you such letters.”

“I have such, here and ready to go.”

“Oh then we can begin the paperwork-” Wallace rolls his eyes as the man gets out various printed forms “What type of ship?” the official asks as he licks a quill and gets ready to write.

“Heavy hunter frigate” Wallace says.

“Excuse me? Please refrain from making jokes at this time.” the official replies with a frown.

“I am not joking.” Wallace retorts quickly “I am Captain John Wallace of the Accionia.”

“Right...may I see this vessel then?”

“If you so wish. Is now a good time?”

“Well I frankly have nothing better to do so I might as well.”

Captain Wallace and the official leave with a soldier escorting him. At the bar, one of the better dressed sailors slipped off his stool and dropped some coins on the bar and headed out after the group.

At the harbor the official gazed at the Accionia looking vagueling poleaxed.

“Well...that- that is a frigate.”

“A heavy hunter frigate.” Wallace corrected the official sounding a bit proud “My heavy hunter frigate”

The man looked up and saw the light breeze making a flag flutter. On it was a set of crossed harpoons loosely wrapped in rope.
“Yes it is...that is a -uh?”

“Sea Hunter flag. Yes it is. She is still technically a Sea Hunter ship but the former captain gave her to me.”

“And you are down here because?”

“Taking ships is easier than taking sea monsters”

“Ahhh yes...I would assume that being a privateer is less dangerous than a Sea Hunter.”

“Yes it is now, is this proof enough?”

“Well normally some form of proof of ownership would be necessary…”

Wallace stares at the man and raises a single eyebrow.

“I am sorry but it is required.”

Wallace sighed softly and then nodded then boarded his ship. He returned a few minutes later with some rolled up parchment with some wax seals on it.

“Good. Shall we finish up then?” The bureaucrats says

“Yes let’s return to the tavern and conclude this deal.
Both men turned and headed back to the tavern. As they passed the end of the dock the man that had followed them fell in step with them.

Wallace eyed the man out of the corner of his eye.

He was shorter than Wallce and built stoutly. He had a high forehead and a prominent brow with thick eyebrows, his eyes were deep set. He had a rather abused looking nose that once had a shape but had been broken a few too many times. His mouth is a thin line.

His clothes while they looked like a common sailor were made of far nicer fabric. He carried no weapons but his scared knuckled hinted he might not need one, at least at close range.

“May I help you?” Wallace ask him

“We might be able to help each other. Actually.” The man said with a crooked smile revealing several missing teeth.

“Oh how?” Wallace asked skeptically.

“Yes. We should talk at the inn.”

“Hmmm…” Wallace grunted in a non committal manner.


Back at the tavern, Wallace and the government official concluded there business and Wallace received his letter of marque and was an official privateer in the service of the Second Republic of Merika.

He headed for the door only to be stopped by the man from earlier, who Wallace was trying to avoid.

“Forgive me I did not introduce myself earlier” he said taking a deep bow “, I am Edmund Taggert at your service.”

“And what might that service be? I have no need of crew right now nor ship.”

“I figured as such but there are other things come sit lets drink and talk.”
Taggert signaled the barman who poured up drinks for them.

Wallace paused and thought for minute then shrugged. He had nothing urgent right now and a free drink was a free drink.

Wallace allowed Taggert to guide him to two empty seats at the bar and the two drinks were set before them.

“You have a very fine ship” Taggert said as Wallace took a drink “And a fine crew I would wager...on your ship.”

Wallace nods. They were Sea Hunters, that was a given.

“I bet you and your men are the best at taking on those monsters of the north.”

Wallace nods again. He was getting bored, this man was merely stating the obvious.

“Is there anything else you wish to say before I finish this drink and leave?” Wallace asked Taggert.

“Only this….when was the last time you fought a ship at sea?”

Wallace paused for a minute. His brow furrowed as he thought long and hard then conceded to Taggert.


“And boarded and took a vessel?” Taggert asked.

“Never…” Wallace said again now feeling a little bit grumpy.

“Okay so what are you going to do?” Taggert asked with a curious look on his face.

“Hmmm....Good question.” Wallace replied with half cocked smile as he has caught on “I assume you are going to make some offer then?”

“Very clever and very smart...yes I can help with training your men in ship boarding actions. And help you capture ships.”

“How?” Wallace asked now intrigued as to what this man had to say. For all his appearance, he seemed to be quite intelligent.

“Well you only have one ship and as powerful and fast as it still can only be in one place at one say you hit a group of merchant ships and they scatter, you will have a hard time chasing them all down…”

“And why would I be hitting a group of them instead of just single ships?”

“Well the ‘convoys’ as they call them is all the Raiders are moving in these days. You missed by about six months when they were traveling alone.”

“That complicates things.”

“Yes I assume you are slightly out of the loop since it takes so long to sail from up north to here.”

“ I assume you have a reason for being so generous to an outsider and competitor.”

Taggert smiles and takes a massive drink his wooden cup
“Good! I love working with a man that thinks fast and well. Yes I do. See I mentioned earlier that I owned ships, well its just 4 fast armed sloops which were fine… until they started escorting their merchant ships with their own warships.”

“So… I assume you want me and my crew and ship to take them on while your ships run down the merchant vessels?”

“Exactly. They are only using some schooners and brigs at the moment. Your frigate will be able to take them easily.”

“And then what?”

“We divide the loot amongst ourselves in an agreed upon manner.”

“Hmmm...fine then let's haggles.”

It took ten minutes to hammer out the deal and then scrounge up parchment to write it all down on and sign the contract.

Both men drove a hard bargain.


Two days later four sloops were tied up on the pier next to the Acciona. They are low slung with two masts and only a semi enclosed bow and stern, their single gun deck is only lightly armed, each ship only had 5 guns per broadside and two bow guns. All looking like 10 pound cannonades with longer cannons on the bow.

Compared to the frigate Acciona, with her 34 gun broadside 35 pounder cannonades, they were woefully under armed and under armored. But now the sloops had a back up.

The ship was bustling now, originally the Acciona had three large rotating tables going down the middle of the ship, these originally held massive harpoon launchers but those were no longer needed. So they were being removed from the ship and placed in storage.

On the quarterdeck Taggert and Wallace and two other men were talking.

“Allow me to introduce, Donald Ermy, he is a former Marine of the Second Republic Marine Corp and is an expert in close combat.”

Ermy was a man of average height and build but well muscled and with an intense blue eyed stare. A scowl seemed to be permanently affixed to his face.

“Pleasure,” Wallace said, offering his had to Ermy who took it and gripped hard but not hard enough to be uncomfortable.

“Same. I have never had the chance to meet some Sea Hunters much less instruct them in the finer point of close combat and ship boarding” Ermy said. His voice is rough but firm from battle and inhaling smoke.

“And this is my quartermaster and first mate Milo Thatch.”

“Nice to meet you lot.” Thatch said, offering his hand to Taggert and Ermy. Who each in turn took and shook his hand.

Milo Thatch was a tall spindly man with a shock of hair so blonde it was almost yellow.

“So Mr. Ermy here-”

“Call me Gunny Captain Wallace. Its what everyone else does since I was discharged from the Corp.”

“Very well, Gunny shall instruct our men in ship boarding and close quarters combat. I have found a space to practise in. Turns out there are a lot of empty warehouses available for rent.”

“Good” Ermy says “I will need to inspect your weapons and your crew and see how we go from there. You may need to purchase more weapons.”

“Understood Gunny. When do you want to get started?” Wallace asked him.

“Now would be good.” Ermy replied

“Very well, Mr. Thatch, would you escort him to the armory?”

“Yes sir. If you will come this way.” Thatch said leading Ermy away.

Down below Ermy inspects the weapons and is not impressed.
“Lots of pikes, useless in a boarding action. Axes are fine but no cutlasses pistols or blunderbusses.”

“We originally had a very different mission...uh Gunny.” Milo Tatch said looking over Ermy’s shoulder.

Ermy grunts as he inspects an axes. It is long handled and more of a battle ax than a tool. It was large and heavy but useless for boarding a ship.

However Ermy noted all the weapons were well maintained. There was no rust on the weapons and all the edges were sharp. All the wooden handles were solid with no cracks through nicks and signs of heavy uses were apparent.

“All of this needs to go. You need to go to your captain and draw funds for weapons.” Ermy said, turning to face Milo.

“I can do that easy enough but what about the weapons. Where will we get them?”

“I know people and places. I can easily get enough for your whole crew.”

“What about protection?”

“There is no easy way to get that.”

Milo thought for a minute, tapping his chin as he stared at the ceiling before speaking.
“For you maybe, but I might be able to get some. I need to speak to the captain though.”

Elsewhere on the ship, in the Captain's cabin to be more precise Edmund Taggert and John Wallace are having a discussion.

The cabin is at the rear of the ship and rather cramped with the table pushed against the far wall, and the maps scattered on it and stowed in bins, not to mention all the navigation equipment. On one wall a hammock was folded up out of the way so that a chair could be unfolded. Currently Taggert was occupying it while Wallace was leaning against the bulkhead.

“Not to insult you, your skills or your crew and ship, Mr. Wallace, but I have more experience with privateering. A vast amount more.”

Wallace snorted. He was pretty sure this man was a former pirate before becoming a legitimate privateer in the employ of the Second Republic.

“Now when taking a ship you can avoid a fight but you should always be ready for one anyway.”

“If I can take a ship without firing a shot, I believe that would be considered a nice thing.”

“Yes it is, now to avoid the fight one must look fearsome and frightening. You must scare the enemy into submission.”
Wallace nods following along with Taggert line of thinking.
“And while you do look like a sea don’t really look like a privateer.”

Wallace looks down at himself and then back up to Taggert with a raised eyebrow.

“Well neither do you it seems at this moment.” Wallace retorts.

“True but I do not walk around like that but we can fix that. Your ship is mostly fine though but I think we can do a few things to improve it. But it will take some time and money...I hope you have some gold on you.”

Wallace snorted and smiled.

“I have plenty for now.”

A few weeks later things have changed dramatically. The Accionia has been refitted. The spikes were removed and her hull was wrapped in brown painted canvas to hide her very odd hull, though there was not much they could do about the sails. Still she looked less like a fearsome pirate ship and more like a large merchant ship.

On board Wallace is showing off his new look. A cutlass hung on his left hip while his right carried pouches for extra shot and powder. He wore a red shirt and black pants. His chest was covered by a black drakon leather vest with many loops stitched into it. In those went five flintlock pistols diagonally across his chest. Slung across his back was a boarding axe, a two foot long axe with a large spike on the rear. He wore a large black tricorn hat with large red harpoons stitch into the sides. A long large red feather was stuck in the hat.

Milo Tatch was look his captain up and doing it with a thoughtful expression.
“I think it will work sir.”

“Good now I need to get it off, this thick drakon leather vest is heavy.”

“It is but its lighter than metal and will still stop pistol rounds and swords.”

“Great now how did you get it again?”

“From the local Brethren Chapter. Seems they had an excess of hides and nothing to do with them.”

“I hope you compensated them.”

“I did it was...expensive”

“Come with me and we will speak in my cabin.”

Wallace turned and strode to his cabin followed by Milo. Inside Wallace began to remove his attire as Milo began to speak.

“I have been over the books…and we are in trouble.”

“Oh...I assume we are not yet quite in dire straits but approaching them then?”

“ our current expenditures we have a week's worth of coin left. After the refitting and resupply our expenditures dropped but we still need to pay the men and buy powder and ball and that is a steady drain.”

“ we need to put to sea as soon as possible and take some prizes.”


“I agree but I need to check to make sure that my men are ready. Sailing into a battle unprepared is worse than being broke. One of those will definitely get you killed.”

“But one will lead to munity.”

Wallace grunts in agreement “I will speak Taggert today. If there is nothing else you can leave.”

Not much more than 2 hours later Wallace had not only cornered Taggert but also Ermy just outside the town, where an open field was being used as a training field with gun range where Taggert and Wallace’s men were training together.

Wallace watched on one side as men practiced with wooden cutlasses and boarding axes and on the other with rifles and pistols. Apparently a new invention had come out called the “Mini-ball” which made loading rifled firearm just as easy as a smoothbore. Wallace was pondering to himself if it was possible to apply this to naval cannon at some point.

“Are they ready?” Wallace asked Ermy getting straight to the point with Ermy “I don’t have all the time or money in the world to wait.”

Ermy just grunted and looked over the field.
“I would like more time to train and prepare them...but I feel like that is not an option.”

“What constraints are we talking about?” Taggert asked looking at Wallace.

“I have roughly a week's worth of coin left now. I need to put to sea and take a prize before I run out of coin.”

“Looks like play time is over then” Ermy said “time to get serious.”


Two and a half weeks later the ships were in the middle of the Stoirmeil Sea, between the Confederacy of the Southern Raiders and what was called The Wild Lands, which were a series of independent city states rather than a whole organized nation. It was called the Wild Lands because much of the land between the city states was not governed by anyone. Besides that the ports there helped to funnel much trade from the heart of the landmass to the sea and stuff was funnel backed from the Raiders and Duchy of Jekyll.

It was a rich trade route and a hopeful spot for loot.

The ships were sailing in a loose line heading south on the lookout for prey but trying to look like harmless merchants.

The Accionia was leading the line with Taggert’s sloops behind her. At the wheel was a regular seamen bored out of his mind.

Up in the crows nest, however was another seaman with an eye glass that was scanning the horizon. And today was different than the previous borefest that had been. Today he saw a sail and flag. It was a ship and there were more...and they were from the raiders.

The sailor called down

The ship turned into a bustle of activity as a bell was wrung and men scrambled to their stations. And the Acciona altered course to head for the target now cutting across the wind coming from the southwest. Captain Wallace emerged from his cabin carrying a small chest and was attired in his Privateer Outfit. He calmly but brishcly made his way to the ship's wheel as everyone around him was moving about handing out equipment and gear.

Sea Hunters were a clever lot, they were considered the first real meteorologist in Merika. Wallace had been taught these secrets and tricks and now he was really going to put them to use.

He placed the chest on a table, that was affixed to the deck, next to the ships wheel and opened it. The sides folded away and revealed a collection of odd instruments on a self stabilizing platform. These instruments gave him temperature, pressure, humidity and various other weather information.

He studied them then concluded the weather would be fine for the approaching battle.

“Secure for clear weather battle.” He said and some changes were made by the crew as Wallace closed up the box and had it returned to his cabin. The instruments were sensitive and would not do well in the middle of a battle.

“Mr. Jenkins you are relieved.” Wallace said

“I stand relieved.” Jenkins said and stepped back from the wheel and Wallace took over.

Wallace adjusted his ships bearing to bring them alongside the target vessels.

As the range fell the look out got a better look at the ships.


Wallace grunted.
“Signal to Taggert. We are taking the brig, his sloops are to chase down the merchant ships.”

A sailor nodded then ran to the back of the ship and pulled some flags from a locker and began to signal the sloop behind the Accionia.

As the distance fell even more the Raider ships became a bit suspicious. The Acciona’s hull was disguised but little could be done about her rigging. This day lady luck was not with them as the brig suddenly became a bustle of activity.

“Wet powder and cracked barrels.” Wallace swore. He had been hoping to get much closer. The Accionia’s armament was optimized for close broadside range attacks. Her heavy cannonades could tear apart a ship with ease at close range but lacked the punch of longer range guns.

Time to make a made dash.

“ALL SAIL!! Signal Taggert we are dashing in!! Keep his ships behind me!!” Wallace bellowed as the crew took to the lofts to unfurl the sails.
Once it was done the Accionia leapt forward and the sloops tried to keep up with her.

Oh well time to test and see if her hull was as tough against cannon fire as it was against sea monsters.

White puffs came from the brig and cannonballs splashed into the sea. The range had fallen enough that the brig could bring her long guns to bear.

More white puffs, this time one whizzed through several sails and another skipped across the water right past the Accionia.

Wallace cursed to himself again and swore to acquire some long guns for his ship after this.

The brig kept lobbing cannonballs at Wallace and his ship.


A sailor ran up the new flag of the Accionia, it was familiar to the old sea hunter flag, only now it had a grinning skull in the middle.

Around the ship the brown painted canvas, which was held on by ropes was cut away revealing the black and silver hull...and the cannon barrels.

This caused a reaction from the brig. It began frantically firing more now. White smoke billowed from the side of the ship and cannonballs splashed around the Accionia. A loud thud was heard followed by a splash. A cannonball had struck the bow and bounced off. The twang of tensioned ropes being cut echoed over the ship followed by the rolling booms of the cannon fire.

Men went aloft to repair the damaged rigging.

The range had finally fallen enough. It was the naval equivalent of pistol range and that was what Wallace wanted.

We spun the wheel and his ship heeled over coming to a new heading alongside the brig.

“FIRE!!!” He bellowed.

And the starboard side of the ship disappeared into a ship could. The cannons had been loaded with grape on top of solid. And it was devastating. The side of the enemy ship was torn to pieces and splinters flew everywhere, killing and maiming men.

“READY BORDERS!! GRAPPLES AWAY!!” Wallace called out as his crew readied to board the ship while other threw large barbed grappling hooks and hauled the brig closer. She might be damaged but that could be repaired and she could be sold off.

Taggert and his sloops came out from behind the Accionia and headed straight for the fat slow merchants swarming over them. They did not really stand a chance now, with the brig removed from the equation.

Once the ships were side to side the Accionia’s crew swarmed over the side of her onto the brig. Pistol and blunderbuss boomed as survivors tried to fight back. Steel clashed on steel as the well trained sailors battled the Raiders. It was mostly one sided, the Accionia’s opening broadside had devastated the lightly armored brig and its crew.

The Raiders were outnumbered but still fought on and paid the price. Some surrendered but most fell.

Wallace held his position at the ship's wheel. It was not an officer's place in the middle of a melee but to lead but seeing as there were no orders to issue and nothing to do, he decided to check on Taggert.

He fetched the eye glass from its locker next to the wheel and extended it.

Taggert had four sloops named, Diamond, Ruby, Emerald and Sapphire. Diamond was Taggarts personal ship and from it, he commanded his little squadron.

He scanned the four separate actions and found the Diamond, alongside one of the merchant men, having already pulled itself up to the merchant vessel.

Taggert was standing on the stern dressed in all black with a large black hat with a red plumage. He was wearing a long coat with a pair of cutlass’s on his left and right hip. Across his chest was a bandoleer of 4 pistols but there were more, one on each hip in front of his swords and another set infront of those. Plus there was the stock of a blunderbuss sticking up from his left shoulder.

Taggert had his cutlass out and was waving it in the air and bellowing something at someone, probably his crew.

Wallace watched as Taggert’s men continued to swarm up and over the side of the merchant man ready for a fight but it appeared that sanity had broken out over there and they were surrendering.

The same was for the other three and this battle would soon be over once the brig was taken.

Wallace had his first victory and first prizes. It was a good day.
Member of Task Force Atlas
IATA Member

I choose the second definition of it. This meaning rule by virtue and not owning land to be allowed to vote or hold political office. Instead one is required to serve time in the military (currently 6 years)

Tech Level: Mix MT/PMT

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Posts: 3080
Founded: Nov 04, 2016

Postby Kuronami » Wed Oct 14, 2020 8:38 pm

TITLE: Dalian's Ashes

The soft rattle knock of the young maiden against the large oak door as the Lotte stood ready with a tray of morning breakfast for the Empress. Most of the time it felt routine but still poor Lotte always remembered when she had to find the previous Emperor dead on his bed. And with a small lull of silence Lotte started to worry just a little, giving a second knock but finally the faint voice of the Empress called for her to "enter" "Good morning, Milady." Lotte entered setting the rolling tray aside to draw the curtains. "I hope you slept well."

"Not particularly. I'm sorry for keeping you waiting." Fine said rather flatly, not her usual cheerful self but as she said she hadn't slept so it was understandable. "I'm sorry, Milady. If you had a hard time sleeping you could have summoned me, I could have tried maybe pillow fluffing, changing the bed covers, adjust the room temprature."

"No it's fine." Fine sat up. "Actually I'm not feeling particularly hungry right now either."

"Everything okay, Milady?"

"Mmm I guess I'm feeling under the weather today. Having something going on in the stomach. Don't know if I ate something terrible or or well you know."

"I see. Should I summon the doctor for you?"

"I don't see a need, no need to strike a large rigamarole over what could be a cold. Either way I'll just have some tea and get set for the day."

"Of course." Lotte set the dishes aside just giving the Empress her tea. While Fine sat getting her hair prepped she phoned her Chief of Staff. "Hello, yes, would you please cancel my appearance before the Assembly today? I'm afraid I'm not feeling well so I'd like to just spend time in my office. Thank you."

"Sure you're all right and don't want me to call a doctor?"

"I think I'll be fine. I'd best get ready. Summon Bianca please."

"Right away." Lotte picked up the phone as Fine sat upright, that seemed to help dull the pain she was feeling in her abdomen suddenly and had been feeling over a short while now. Maybe she was sick with something, honestly she didn't know. Besides that, her day seemed to be going off as usual routine, a trip to the office to work, review various bills, spending proposals. Make a few calls with various Heads of State and meetings with her Cabinet. She could hardly focus on anything with a seering pain and now a sudden flux of hot and cold running through her body.

"Milady?" A voice snapped her back to attention

"Milady, what do you think?"

"Mmm, I'm terribly sorry but I think I dozed off. I'm sorry I didn't get much sleep. Ladies, Gentlemen, I'm sorry but I think it's best we reconvene later when I'm feeling more rested."

"Of course, Milady." They all wished her well and left the room. A few minutes of trying to gather her composure she just couldn't do it anymore, something was wrong. Bianca entered as they left. "Everything okay, Your Highness?"

"Bianca, take me home and call the doctor, please."

"Right away." Fine stood but that was a bad idea because now she lost her balance and fell on the floor. "Milady!" Bianca raced to her to help her up, feeling her head "You are burning up. All right, call EMS." She alerted the secretary. It wasn't too long for medics to arrive, take her vitals, ask the needed questions. "Does it hurt right here?"


"Sharp pain, hurt when you walk, stand, eat? No apatite, fever."

"I thought it was maybe food poisoning or just menstrual pains but all I've had was light tea and a few slices of bread. I haven't been able to eat much else."

"My Grace I do believe you have a appendicitis. I think we best get you to the hospital for exam right away."

"That is the best option, I agree." Bianca agreed "Please get her in the ambulance and to Caloris General, call for Doctor Gunther."

"Yes ma'am."

"Miss Renee, Dial 125-78000 Tell Takahashi Dalian's Ashes, CG EMR 168, got that?"

"Yes ma'am!" The Secretary dialed in "Yes, This is Her Majesty's Secretary, Renee, I need to talk with the Assembly Woman urgently."

Over at the Assembly building the call was answered by a young woman secretary who did as told urgently running to relay the message. In the chamber it was the lull before a agenda vote was to commence with the other Assembly members, some time for idle chitchat and banter or time to prep for the day between Assembly members and their Apprentices and secretaries. Rinko Takahashi of Amaterasu was the Head Assemblywoman here today getting ready to commence the meeting before her Secretary entered with a whisper in her ear. Given this was from her Majesty's office and personal secretary that meant she had to urgently take up the call. "Hari-san, Kaname-san" She summoned up her Protege and Floor Secretary up. "I'm afraid I have an urgent call from The Empress I need to take, so Hari-san, I'll be needing you to take my place at the podium. Hari-san, all my briefs are in the folder, make sure she has what she needs."

"Yes of course." Hari responded and Kaname responded as well.

Rinko left the room just as quickly as she delegated her duties to Hari who pressed the button to ring an electronic chime to call the Chamber to order.

"Good morning, Assemblymen and Women. My Mentor Takahashi has had to step out to take a call from Her Imperial Majesty so she has tasked me with leading today's Session until her return..." And so that would commence in the meantime as Rinko hastily ran to her office. Something was up, the Royal Staff doesn't phone unless there's an emergency and given Her Majesty had already made her cancellation known, that could only mean this was serious. She could only hope she was okay and not seriously injured or worse.

"Miki-san, thanks I'll take it in my office."

"Yes ma'am." Miki excused herself closing the door behind her allowing Rinko to pick up the phone "This is Takahashi."

"Assemblywoman Takahashi, I've been told to inform you, Dalian's Ashes, I repeat Dalian's Ashes. " Well the good news is, she wasn't dead, not yet, and hopefully not at all. "How serious?"

"She's at CG EMR 168."

"Understood, thank you." She quickly wrote down the code on a paper and left her office. "Miki-san, please type this and forward it to the Secretaries. You should get an immediate reply, if it takes longer than five minutes, check the floor and give it to them there."

"Yes ma'am."

"I'll be out for the day, Hari-san and Kaname-san are here and will be in my place today."

"Yes ma'am."

And Rinko left the office just as quickly as she returned

Dalian's Ashes was the code word for the Empress has a serious illness. Every Monarch and Noble head of Domain had their own special codes, some were already known to the public but most were a closely guarded secret. Now it would file through the grapevine, first to the Domain Heads, then down to the Assembly members then along to Kuronami's friends and allies. There was the matter of security to be considered. Rinko had summoned the car services to race her to the hospital, of course drivers knew don't ask questions just do as told and so she was taken there. A few others from the Royal Guard were already stationed outside and seeing the Assemblywoman pull up in her car they knew she arrived and was ready to be seen. "Right this way."

"How is Her Majesty?"

"She's stable but in a lot of pain. She's refused any sedation or medication until your arrival."

The Empress wasn't under any legal obligation to discharge her duties but this felt needed for this circumstance. Fine had resisted medicine but some basic painkillers that you could get at any corner pharmacy were given to her to at least help her along. The room was filled with the doctor, a nurse Magistrate Bridgett Ledo, a court reporter, Fine's security entourage, Bianca with two more guards and now Rinko.

"Your Majesty, I've arrived."

"Rinko, good to see you." Fine flatly said. She was happy but still in a decent amount of pain and discomfort not to mention nauseous.

"Your Majesty what are your intentions?"

"The doctor has urged me to undergo surgery for an appendicitis. Thus while I'm under sedation and incapacitated, I wish to Discharge my duties of office to you, to be reclaimed upon my recovery. I say this while ill but still of relative sound mind."

"I understand. Doctor?"

"We have concurred Her Majesty needs an emergency appendectomy. I shall perform the surgery myself under the supervision of her primary physician with the assistance of my Chief Nurse Bridgette. Her Majesty has been given a single dose of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug mild over the counter dosage not known for causing any irrational behavior in typical patients. Very good, Miss Noel?"

"I concur with the Doctor and verify." Bianca responded

"All right, Your Majesty then I agree to your terms. As so witnessed and recorded here on this date. Magistrate Ledo you shall commence the discharge."

"Of course. Her Majesty Empress Ortfiné Fredericka von Eylstadt of sound clear mind though not stable body has formally requested a temporary discharge of her office to you, Madam Assemblywoman Rinko Takahashi on this date Thursday Ninth of January, 2020 at 11:15 AM. Madam Takahashi do you agree to this?"

"I agree."

"And you so swear and agree under the threat of the crime of High Treason that you will upon the event of her Majesty's recovery, return the Office of Empress back to her Majesty?"

"I swear."

"And in the event of Her Majesty's Death you will faithfully oversee the discharge of The Throne to according the guide of succession outline by the Charter of Kuronami."

"I so swear it."

"Recorded and noted?" Ledo asked of her court reporter

"Recorded and noted."

"Witnesses affirm?"

"Affirm" Everyone said.

"Then so by the powers designated, Rinko Takahashi of Amaterasu Domain, you are hereby deemed President pro tempore as affirmed by Her Majesty and the Witnesses present in this room today."

"Thank you, I shall bring Honor in service." With the formalities out of the way Rinko did turn back to the Empress "Now please give her some relief she's clearly in a lot of pain. Milady do get well soon, I'll pray for your speedy recovery."

The nurse had an IV bottle with some stronger medication ready to go.

"Thank you, Rinko."

"All right, Your Majesty we're going to get you ready for surgery now. If I could please have the room cleared." The doctor requested and most filed out but staying close. Rinko stayed behind at the hospital anxiously awaiting the news. Appendectomy was routine surgery so very likely she would be fine. Many of her family members arrived, her younger siblings and her older brother and parents. Everyone awaited news and the doctor returned with the best news. "She's fine, the surgery went off without a hitch. We'll keep her overnight to watch her. She's still coming out of anesthesia but I can allow a few visitors at a time."

Her young siblings, Rona and Eugene went first. "Did it hurt, do you get to keep it in a little jar?"

A still half awake Fine was amused by them but she really didn't know how to answer. Carpathia kept them in line. "All right you two, take it easy."

After that her older siblings, Magdalen and Benedict and his wife. All giving their well wishes. And finally her parents "She can be Empress all she likes but I'm still her mother and I'm still going to take care of her."

Finally the doctor did urge folks to leave so that she may rest. Well a recovery period came to an end. Rinko didn't have to do a whole lot, she still kind of kept to her usual business in Addressing the Assembly and doing her usual work of discussing bills. She did send a letter to her family back home from the stationary used by Her Majesty, honestly who could resist that urge but now today was the day her duties as Pro tempore were finished.

Much like the discharge a handful of witnesses and the Magistrate were assembled. "So it is decided her Majesty is fit to rule again and thus Madam Takahashi you are ready to discharge your temporary assignment."

"I am."

"Then it is decided, today the 24th of January 2020 all temporary powers are now discharged and void, Takahashi you return to normal role as Head Assemblywoman of the National Assembly."

"Thank you."

"And thank you, for doing your duty, Rinko." Fine thanked now with her usual kindness and gentleness she was known for. "Milady, good to have you back in office."
Last edited by Kuronami on Sat Feb 20, 2021 9:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Patrick OConner
Posts: 2261
Founded: Sep 26, 2014
Democratic Socialists

Postby Patrick OConner » Thu Oct 15, 2020 1:52 pm

TITLE: Story Of A Legend: Part 2
AUTHOR: Patrick O,Conner

Four weeks later the now much enlarged force returns to Riverlet’s harbor, even though it is further than other ports, it was the where Taggert had all his contacts. It would be easier to dispose of their loot at Riverport for now.

Wallace was already making plans to move to a larger port after this where he could get better logistical support and sell off his captured ships and their cargo.

But in the meantime, Wallace and Taggert liquidated what they could, and in the process drained much of the currency from the town. Money was no longer an issue for Wallace. And their men celebrated that night, the town of Riverport was awash all night in the sound of merry making and drunken fun. The town even ran out of beer.

The next morning, there was much pain and suffering and many regrets were had by the crews of the privateers.

Wallace and Taggert were meeting in the Leaky Dinghy in a private room upstairs.

They sat at a table, in a rough wooden room with exposed beams lit by the rising sun coming through an open window. Wallace is leaning forward hands clasped on the table while Taggert is relaxed and laid back.

“We need to move up the coast to a new port. This port is nice but it is small and we can not possibly hope to sell all of our captured cargo and even ships.”

“I find myself in agreement with you. We still have the ships themselves to get rid of and no one around here to buy them. I guess we must head north.”

“To which port? I remind you that I am from the far north and still trying to familiarize myself with the southern ports and waters.”

“Aye, fine sailor that you are, these are not your home waters nor home ports...if we are going to keep having hauls like this…”

“And we need to dispose of it in the Republic.” Wallace interrupted

“Aye that too, the Free Ports of the Wild Lands will not welcome us and the Kingdom of Louisiana is not on friendly terms right now with the Republic…” Taggert said, scratching his chin.

“That leaves us few options then...the best one would be the Statesboro and the river it sits on. That is a thriving area where we could easily offload cargo and ships.”

“How easily?” Wallace asked, quaking an eyebrow.

“Like fresh hot apple pies on a winter's day.” Taggert shot back.

Wallace nodded and relaxed now, having avoided a fight he thought he might have had, then another thought came to him.

“Will there be any trouble with the law?” Wallace asked eyeing Taggert up and down. The man had been the source for much great advice for capturing ships. It was very much like he had done this many times before, and as such, might have had some run in with law and authority figures. Wallace did not want it to break up what was looking like a promising business partnership, but also Wallace did not want to go down with Taggert.

“No. There is no trouble with the Second Republic.”

Wallace noted he was very specific about where there was no trouble. Wallace sighed. Well they were both operating out of the Republic so they just needed to stay on its good side, for now.

“Then we are in agreement. It is time to head north. We sail with the next tide.” Wallace said.

“Agreed” Taggert said with a nod.


Two weeks later, the Accionia, Taggert’s sloops and the captured ships sail into the mouth of the Ogeechee River. This river was the largest river on the continent with a huge mouth to match, it was over a mile wide in a massive crescent shape. Break waters had been built on the southern half of the crescent shielding Port Royal from the worst of the storms blowing in from the sea. Another massive but unfinished break water jutted into the water only half way across the northern arc of the river’s outlet. The town of Port Royal sprawled on the southern half of the crescent.

It simply dwarfed Riverlet. Massive docks jutted into the harbor created by the breakwater. Steam powered iron cranes stood on those docks, and meant to load and unload cargo from merchant ships. Along the shore warehouses stood by the tens of tens. They stretched the whole length of the harbor and then for a city block back. There were even iron rails laid in the roads to allow small trains to move cargo around. And behind the warehouse the city sprawled, taverns, shops, inns, factories, houses all intermingled with a rats nest of roads winding through the city. Tall spires jutted up from the tallest of buildings in the city, churches most likely.

At the very mouth of the river stood two octagon shaped forts both rising to 40 feet in height, each side bristling with very large guns. If one could look over the walls and into the courtyards one could see a series of massive mortars ready to rain down fire on the enemy ships from above.

The southern breakwater was so large and wide that a road was paved across is and in places it had been widened to allow batteries of guns to be installed.

While these forts looked and were formidable they were the fixed defenses of Port Royal, the river and the cities that use it. The mobile defense were just as formidable.

An honest to goodness man of war, each of her sides bristling 100 guns, sat anchored just outside the harbor and with her was a frigate. The frigate was smaller than the Accionia by quite a bit, and worse she looked new.

A set of three briggs and 5 schooners sailed back and forth in front of the harbor on patrol.

From the quarter deck of his ship, Wallace used his eyeglass to observe the goings on. He had plenty of time, the collection of ships was being held up by the slow merchant ships.

Wallace noted the warships, flying the Second Republic flag and saw the briggs and schooners break off their patrol route and make for him and his ships.

Wallace lowered his eyeglass
“Loose the colors!!” He ordered and a detail of men sprang to it. Wallace’s flag and the Second Republic flag were run up the mast to flutter in the light breeze.

Wallace rings his eye glass back up and studies the approaching warships. A man on one of the briggs began to try to signal the Accionia with flags. However, this code is unfamiliar to Wallace.

“Mr. Eugene!! On deck!!” Captain yells and dashes up to the quarter deck. He was a short stout man with a brutish face but a mind as sharp as any sword.

“Mr. Eugene, what are they saying?” Wallaces asks the man as he hands him the eyeglass. Eugene takes the eyeglass and studies the flags for a minute as the sailor repeats the signal several times.

Eugene’s brow furrows in contractions for a minute.

“I am rusty on this one” he says in a soft burr “But I believe they are signaling that they wish to board us...and they...want us to come to a stop.”

“I see.” Wallace says, stroking his chin “can you signal them back, Mr. Eugene?”

“I believe I can sir.” Eugene responds

“Then signal this to Taggert and the rest.”

“Aye aye sir.” Eugene says handing the eye glass back and fetching the signal flags from their storage lockers on the quarterdeck. He then waves them about in a pattern that conveys the information to the rest of the convoy a minute later they signal back.

“They wish to comply with the Republican Navy’s order.” Eugene says

“I believe that would be best.” Wallace says “Hands!! Reef all sails!!”
The force of ships comes to a halt and drifts as the other Republic Navy ships sail slowly closer until they too come to a stop by reefing in all there sails. The lead ship, a brig named Boro, deploys a rowboat with a complement of enlisted sailors and an officer.

Wallace watched them row over to his ship through his eyes glass. He signaled his men to throw down a ladder.

Wallace stowed the eyeglass and made his way amidships to greet his guests.

A man in a blue and grey uniform with yellow edging climbed aboard. He was a brown haired freckled faced looking scrawny youth. He saluted the flags then turned to Wallace.

“Permission to come abroad?” He asked in a drawl

Wallace returned the salute, it felt odd, he did not come from a naval tradition that satuled.

“Permission granted.”

“Thank you. I am Ensign McCarthy, Second Republic Navy with party to officially enquire as too why you and your convoy of armed ships is here.”

“Shifting base. I have official letters of marque from the Republic.” Wallace reached over and took the letters from a sailor who had retrieved them from the safe “We were based in Riverlet and it had insufficient resources to process all of our captured cargo and ships.”

“Oh…” The ensign said with a surprised sound

“Yes we took a convoy of four ships with a single escort and we were only able to liquidate three quarters of the cargo and we still have the ships to sell. So we came here.”

“That is reasonable. May I see your papers?”

Wallace handed over said papers to the ensign who broke the seals and examined them.

“I have to this a -?”

“Yes it is and its mine.”

“And you came-”

“Ships are easier than Sea Monsters.”

“Ahhh….yes of course.” McCarthy said “everything is now order. You can pass into the harbor and dock. And sell your ...loot.”

“Thank you Ensign.”

The ensign and his men board his rowboat and leave.


Wallace and his ship make it into the harbor and manage to dock before nightfall but only just.

The men go ashore and are eager to spend their money on drinks and women and other poor choices that will result in grand tales to later tell each other.

While Wallace and Taggert looked into other matters like offloading ships and cargo. And they had some extraordinary luck.

They found themselves at a large office near the waterfront. It was definitely the large office of wealthy and successful business.

Inside, they met a businessman named Douglas O’Malley, a prominent individual in the local business community and owner of O’Malley Shipping and ShipBuilding Consortium.

He is a tall thin man dressed in a very expensive suit of fine fabric with a top hat.

“...and I will be more than happy to purchase all five ships. Even the semi repaired brigantine.” And he spoke with a semi annoying nasal drawl.
Wallace controlled himself and did not wince. The man's voice was grating.

“Thank you very much Mr. O’Malley.” Taggert said also not wincing, but only barely.

“But there is something you might be able to help me with.” O’Malley said “I have some new weapons that I wish to sell...however they are so new no one is interested in trying them.”

“So you want us to test and prove them?” Wallace asked not liking where this is going.

“In a way...yes. They are rifled cannon and while they do require special projectiles they have an enormous range and punch, since the shells explode.”

“Excuse me?” Wallace said, soundy dubious “They explode?”

“Yes. If handled right they explode in the enemy ship and well….frankly wreak havoc. The testing we have done...has left me in shock.”

“And why does no one want to buy it?”

“Frankly they don’t trust it. They all said the same thing, ‘has anyone else used it? Can we talk to them?’ so you see my problem. Even the Navy is not interested until someone tries them out.”

“And you want us to do that?” Wallace said sounding skeptical

“In a word yes.” O’Malley said “However, I am willing to provide them free of charge and training for the use of these new rifled cannons.”

“And in exchange we tell everyone how great they are.” Wallace said raising an eyebrow.

“I assure you that you will sing their praise once you have had the chance to use them in action. I would not sell you or even offer you something I myself did not believe or think was viable, despite what other people might say.”

“Okay so can you get them to us?” Wallace asked “I have room to fit them on my ship … and maybe a few ideas, as well.”


“Are you sure about these things? These turntables?” O’Malley said three days later, dressed in another nice suit. He stuck out among the rough and tumble dock workers and sailors.

“Yeah with some modifications and some reinforcements...they should do.” Wallace said as he eyes the open turrets with the new 3 inch rifled cannons. He said he wanted some more long range fire power and he had it….hopefully.

“Are you quite sure? I know I am providing these things free of charge but I need you to actually be able to use them and then come back and spread the tales of their marvelous capabilities. That will not be helped if the first time you fired it, it shoots over the side of the ship.” O’Malley said

“It is agreed then. I do not wish to have such cannons careening across the deck of my ship and reducing my sailors to smears on her decks. Not to mention possibly damaging my ship. And you want me to use them then sing their praises” Wallace replied as he watched him men remount the modified turntable amidships.

The modified turntable had been altered to expand the round mounting surface and a large wooden ramp with iron reinforcement and iron rails on it. Once it was in place, a large dockside crane swung a large cannon mounted on a iron wheeled cart.
It was slowly lowered onto the ramp. Once the cannon and cart was lowered onto the ramp and then workers mounted side railing on the ramp and various other things to complete the mounting.

One down, two to go, Wallace thought.


Three weeks later the small group of ships were at sea again. They were skulking near the mouth Eagal Bay, the western most of the large bays on the massive island that held the Duchy of Jekyll and The Confederacy of Southern Raiders.

They were trolling a few miles out from the mouth of the bay just out of sight of the entrance of the bay itself.

This was another busy shipping route and they hoped to test the new rifled cannons as well as seize more booty from the Raiders.

And today looked promising. Atop the tallest mast of the Accionia the look out yelled down
“Sail Ho!!” which caused the ship to explode into activity.

Wallace appears on deck carrying the “weather chest” as it is known among the Sea Hunters.

Wallace places the chest on its special table and opens it up and repeats the process from before.

“RIG FOR CLEAR WEATHER!!” He yells then takes the wheel from sailor on duty who then takes the weather chest and secures it below.

“Signal Taggert!! We are heading in!!” Wallace yells as he spins the wheel to bring the ship onto a new heading.

“Mr.Thomas what are we looking at?!” Wallace calls up to the look out.

“Four large merchantmen!! And at least 3 brigantines in the lead!! Triangle formation!!!” Thomas calles out.

“We will take them all” Wallace says as he makes minor corrections to the ship’s course.

The crew had not replaced the canvas this time since it did not work in the last encounter. Besides, it was expensive and the penny pitching quartermaster was inclined to do away with such things.

So today, the Accionia sailed into battle with her proper hull exposed and her stained sails unfurled.

Of course this had a few disadvantages as the cannon fire from the brigentine’s showed.

Cannonballs whizzed through the air and splashed around the Accionia as the brigantines fired their forward chasers. Unfortunately, the Accionia did not have any forward chasers but what she did have was a thick hull made of iron wood.

A few more puffs of white smoke and more cannonballs showed how easy they were to see. This time the sound of tearing canvas and splitting rope and the thud of cannon balls hitting the front of the ship.

Wallace looked up at his sails and scowled. The brigantines were shooting them full of holes and sails were expensive.

Wallace decided to do something about it. He altered course so that instead of now heading directly for the enemy he was coming at then at a diagonal now.

Thus allowing the three new rifled cannons to fire on the enemy ships.

“Target the forward brig!! Fire as you bear!!” Wallace yelled at his gun crews.

The Accionia was still swinging around on to her new course. As her bow came around her sails and forward rigging finally swung out of the way and the gunners fired.

The ship was moving around going up and down and rocking and the sights on the cannon were not the most accurate, in fact they were down right crude so it was no surprise their shot missed. It splashed into the water and exploded. The huge white puff of smoke from the cannon rolled across the deck obscuring everything for a moment then it cleared.

Then the second cannon fired. The shells themselves were unique, they were cast with raised square protrusions that fitted into the spiral grooves of the cannons. And then the shells were filled with explosives and a fuse attached. The fuse was measured then cut and inserted into the shell before loading and it was lit by the flash of the cannon’s powder.

This time some deity was smiling upon the gunners of the Accionia. The shell flew straight and true and hit the lead brigantine. The shell impacted the lightly built bow of the ship and tore through the timbers.

Massive splinters were flung everywhere injuring men but that a mere preshow to the main act. The shell struck a ready powder barrel. It was smashed to pieces and powder was flung into the air. Then the shell detonated.

The front of the brigantine disintegrated in a massive fireball and the fore mast toppled over into the sea. The ship was engulfed in flame.

Wallace looked at the Raider’s brigantine and he was truly stunned. Never had he imagined such a weapon capable of such devastation against an enemy ship. Wallace and his crew watched for a moment as the vessel was quickly engulfed in flame.

A series of rapid explosions rocked the ship as powder stores blew up. The vessel was doomed.

Wallace shook himself
“Maintain fire!!” He ordered his crew sharply and they snapped out of their stupified state.
I owe the O’Malley an apology and hearty thank you.

The cannon behind Wallace fired, enveloping the rear deck in white smoke it soon cleared and Wallace was able to see again. Just in time to see cannonballs wreak fresh damage on his ships rigging. Which made Wallace grumpy.

The forward two cannons fired again, spewing sheets of white smoke. One missed while the other struck the ship in the bow. Its effects were not as dramatic as the first vessel's demise but the bow was blasted open.

Wallace now altered course once more heading straight between the two vessels. The range had fallen dramatically and Wallace intended to take out both of them at once.

“Rifles bare to starboard!! Fire on my command only!” Wallace ordered. The turntables were spun around by hand by the gun crew.

Behind the Accionia, Taggert and his ships swung out from behind the Accionia and sailed around the leftmost brigantine headed for the merchant ships.

But Wallace was not interested in the merchant vessels, only the warships. As Wallace and his ship moved between the two brigentines, all three vessels fired at once. The Raiders fire bounced off the hull of the Accionia but her fire did not.

The rifles and the exploding shells ripped into the brigantine and the cannon fire sherdered her hull. She was reduced to a burning hulk.

The port brigantine was luckier and was only shredded by the heavy cannon fire.

“Grapples away to port!!” Wallace ordered. A damaged ship was still worth a lot anyway and her crew did not look like they could put up much of a fight.

And he was right. The brigantine fell as did the rest of the merchant men.


Back at Port Royal Wallace was eyeing his ship's damage. It was mostly to the sail and rigging but mostly the sails. The Accionia was over rigged with a sail plan closer to a man of war than a frigate, which helped give her great speed and redundancy in battle. However, her sails were old and now heavily patched and that was not good. Patching was cheaper than buying new but it weakened the sail.

And Wallace was now standing on the docks and taking stock of all the new patches and there were alot. Those Raiders had peppered his sails and rigging were well this time.

“I am not a sailor myself but those sails seem to be in need of a replacement.” A voice with a nasal drawl said from behind Wallace.

“I believe so as well Mr. O’Malley. I was just wondering where I could get some new sails from.” Wallace said innocently.

O’Malley walked up to stand beside Wallace, impeccably dressed as always and ready to do business.

“I might happen to know where such things might be had and at a bargain too.” O’Malley said

“Oh? Then what is the catch?” Wallace asked with a raised eyebrow.

“No catch...besides the fact they are not white.” O’Malley said calmly.

“Oh? Then what color are they?”

“Bright crimson. There seems to have been an accident and they ended up being dyed such color, which is why they are so cheap.”

“Hmmm…..” Wallace said scratching his chin while picturing his ship with bright crimson sails and he smiled.

“Sure why not? I could use some cheap new sails.”


Three weeks later Wallace and Taggert were again at Eagal Bay looking for more ships to capture and loot to plunder. The two of them and their crews were starting to do well now. Very well by most standards but for Wallace that was not enough. He needed more to fulfil a promise he had made to someone.

As such, it was time to resume the hunt.

And today it was time for more. Not two minutes ago, the lookout spoted another convoy of 8 ships. Five merchant men and 3 escorts. They were two brigs and a frigate.

Wallace stood beside the wheel of his ship and gazed at the vessels through his eyeglass. Today would bring a proper fight.

The wind was behind the Accionia and her consorts today blowing toward the shore.

There would be no more sneaking with canvas disguised hulls and false flags. It would be impossible with the new crimson sails and the blackhull. It was time to use the Accionias superior speed and firepower to run them down and overwhelm them. With the new rifled cannons, the longer ranges were covered and the cannonades were purely devastating at close range.

Next to Wallace was the opened weather chest and he lowered the eye glass to look at it.

“Hmmm…..” He said as he examined the instruments more closely. “Rig for rough weather!!!” He called out then he swept his eye glass across the far horizon. He saw the storm clouds forming into a nice sized squall directly astern of him and his ship.

The men hurried in an organized and disciplined manner. In the far north this was a common drill in the harsh seas. As was combat during such weather conditions. These Southern Raiders were about to get a harsh lesson in combat courtesy of a northern sailor.

Wallace collapsed the eye glass and stowed it in a secure container. Wallace took the wheel from the sailor who was manning it.
“Secure the weather chest.” He ordered the sailor then to the crew “Reef the sail!! Top gallants and royals in!! TIME FOR A STORM BRAWL!!!”
Wallace bellowed a hearty laugh now. Nothing like a battle during a storm but he supposed these weak squalls of the south would have to do.

Wallace altered course aiming to come right alongside the frigate in the middle of the storm.
“Prepare borders!!” Better to be safe than sorry. “Load chain shot!!” Wallace ordered his men And they lept to it, dropping in on top of the regular solid.

The ships grew closer and closer and then the storm wept other them.

Lightning lit up the sky and thunder boomed across the sea. Rain fell in sheets and wind whipped across the deck. As the wind blew through the rigging and sails, it began to emit sound. The sound came out as notes in harmony and it sounded like the ship was singing. A sharp haunting sound came from the ship and her rigging.

“Ahh the ship is as eager as the rest of us.” Wallace said with a smile.

The sea became choppy as the wind stirred the waves and visibility fell rapidly as the rain closed around the ship. The crew began to keep a sharp watch out from the bow of the ship and the sides.


“Fire as you bear!!” Wallace yelled at his crew as he held the ship on a steady course.

A moment later the cannons boom joined the thunder but the plumes of white smoke were doused in the rain.

And the brig was trashed and demasted by the chain shot. But the storm and the ship's momentum carries it past Accionia and off into the storm.

Then from the bow

“Fouled water!” Wallace swears as he spins the wheel to port. His ship was not built for ramming. But it was too late.

The Raiders frigate and the Accioan crashed into each other, side to side.

The Accionias crew fired her guns in a reflex ripping holes in the side of the enemy ship.

And in an instant after that their crews are intermixed in a roaring battleon the deck of two tangled pitching ships.

Wallace was thrown from his feet in the impact and looked up to see a Raider with a sword held high to strike him down. He drew a pistol and fired. It went off and the man stumbled back.
Thank the Goddess of the Hunt for high quality sealed pans.

“REPEL THE BORDERS!!” Wallace cried as he climbed to his feet and drew his sword in one hand and his ax in another.

“KILL THEM ALL” He yelled and charged a raider running the man through with his sword then turning and decapitating another with his ax.

He yanked his sword clear in a spray of blood and organ meat then turned to see his men ferociously fighting back.

The Raiders put up a good fight but never stood a chance. They were not used to fighting in such rough seas but to the former Sea Hunters, this was a normal day, better even because there were no giant tentacles involved.

All the training Gunny put them through paid off massively as well. The raiders were forced from Accionia and then their own ship was taken.

And soon the squall broke revealing the scatter and intermixed force of ships. The other brig had suffered the mischief of lightening and was on fire and was not long for this world. The rest of the merchants were scattered but that would soon be remedied by Taggert and his vessels.

Wallace looked over his own ship. Her hull was fine but the sail and rigging was going to need work and his crew was going to need some replacements for sure.

However the surviving enemy brig was going to need much more and the frigate was in better shape but massive holes in the sides of her hull were going to be a bother.

All said and done, Wallace and Taggert had come out way ahead of everyone else.


Months later the Accionia and her the other ships of her little squadron were back at Eagal Bay after shifting around the seas and taking many more prizes.

The Accionia and her consorts had become a massive thorn in the side of the Raider’s Navy and Merchant Marine.

She was not the only one with the Republic Navy and other privateers having joined the fight. Some of those same privateers financed by Wallace and his prize money because he had more than he knew what to do with so why not buy some more warships to raid the enemy with?

But today things would be different. On the horizon came a several squadrons of ships.

“Maggot riddled biscuits and fouled water.” Wallace swore. As he got the report from his look out.

A full squadron of ships-of-the-wall and another squadron of escorting ships. And they were coming from sea ward so the Accionia could not escape to sea.

“Signale to Taggert that he needs to abandoned his ships and bring his crews aboard. We have money. We can buy new ships but people are harder to replace. His little ships will just slow us down in the coming chase.”

Hours later Taggert were standing on the stern of the Accionia watching the Raider squadrons trying to get closer. There was no real need since the Accionia was trapped in a long bay and they had spread out and cut off the exit. So it was only a matter of time until they got close enough.

“You know” Taggert said sounding very philosophical “I do like people to take notice of my efforts but not quite this much notice.”

“Oh?” said Wallace “60 pounder to much notice?”

“By quite a wide margin.”

“I would have to agree.”

Wallace smiled as he eyed the enemy ships.

“Mr. Thatch!!! The weather chest if you please!”

A minute later Thatch appeared with the weather chest and places in on its podium and opened it.

“Oh some Sea Hunter magic?” Taggert asked

“Sea Hunter Secrets that tell me about the weather.” Wallace said.

“Oh. So that is how you knew about the weather all the time.”

“Yes. Very useful up north with its nasty storms.”

Taggert nodded and fell silent as Wallace studied the instruments.
They remained sadly constant.

“Nothing much yet.” Wallace said with a sigh “Pile on more sail!! Give me every scrap of fabric!!” Wallace ordered his crew.

A day later the Accionia had reached the end of the bay and the Raiders were closing in.

The Accionia had reached it considerably earlier than the Raider ships and had been waiting for them.

“Well it was fun while it lasted” Taggert said “It was an-”

“Hold on to that Taggert” Wallace said as he looked at the weather instruments. They started to show some readings...some significant readings.

Wallace smiled.

“We have a storm. Maybe even a real one. And its coming fast up from the south.”

“And so we have a chance?” Taggert asked

“A very good one. All hands!! Rig for rough weather!! Man your stations!! We are making a break for it!! Gimme half sail on the for and main mast!!”

Wallace smiled and took the wheel as the wind began to pick up. As the Acconia swung around the wind came in just right to strike her rigging and she began to sing.

“Ahhh” Taggert said, hearing it for the first time “ Even your ship is eager.”

“Aye she is very much excited.”

The Accionia swung around slowly as wind began to fill the sails and with the wind came the storm clouds.

The air filled with the boom of not cannons, but of thunder and the flash lightning.

And then the hammer of rain came and the waves grew in height as the water went from choppy to stormy.

And the whole time the Accionia charged the enemy vessels head on. Only for all the ships to disappear into the thick and heavy rain.

Which was what Wallace wanted.

Wallace smiled as the wind and rain whipped around him, he held his ship steady.

“Vessel on the starboard side!!” A sailor cried out

“Fire as you bear!!” Wallace ordered back.

And the starboard side fired, its boom of the cannons blending with the thunder and the muzzle flashes blending with the lightning.

Wallace was unable to tell what the ship was or what damage was inflicted but it did not matter. All that mattered was making it through the enemy squadrons and out of the bay.

All around other ships opened fire but everything was a confused mess with the storm and the limited sight caused by the thick rain. The thunder and lightning made it difficult to tell where cannon fire was coming from.

“SHIP OFF THE BOW!!” Another sailor bellowed. Wallace spun his wheel to starboard. The Accionia heeled over hard, barely missing the vessel.

She opened fire as she squeezed by the ship. She attempted to return fire but it proved ineffective over all, but some screams said that at least someone was hit.

Wallace spun his wheel back to port trying to bring his ship back on an approximate course as before.

“STARBOARD BOW!!” A look out yelled.

Wallace swore and swung his ship to port as a Raider ship came barreling out of the storm, trying to ram the Accionia. Between the choppy seas and the storm, the Raider ship missed and was rewarded with a broadside.

Which this time, Wallace was able to see her side got smashed pretty good.

Wallace spun his wheel bringing his ship back on course and held her steady.

The Accionia rode the waves up and down. She sailed through the storm with ease, compared to her home waters, this storm was a pretender.

Eventually the Accionia broke into clear weather.

“Time to head to port” A soaked Wallace said

“Agreed” Taggert responded trying to squeeze water from his clothing “We have much to do now.”
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I choose the second definition of it. This meaning rule by virtue and not owning land to be allowed to vote or hold political office. Instead one is required to serve time in the military (currently 6 years)

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Postby Messaria » Thu Oct 22, 2020 12:22 pm

TITLE: The Gallucad and the Stocklander
AUTHOR: Unknown

The good ship Gallucad sailed out from the Trencian Bay one fine morning in the middle of October. From the port of Cadriege, she was laden with a full score of cargo; strong beer, rich tobacco, sweet sugar, and a great deal of shining coins, gleaming like white-gold fire. She was bound 'round Cape Brehon, bound for Sent Jaucc, then on to Guslac where she’d deposit the great treasure hoard she carried. At her helm was the captain John Piergant, who they called John the Salt, for it was reckoned that there was no finer seaman to ever take a ship’s wheel than him.

Around the same time there was a pirate vessel which roamed the waters just south of Cape Brehon, which they called the Stocklander. She was a fast ship, sleek and streamlined, and it was said she could catch her prey within a few minutes of catching sight of it. The pirate flew an ensign displaying a man holding two rum barrels while standing above a body of another man, presumably the Stocklander’s foe. ”We drink to your death”, was the implied meaning of the banner, and drink the pirate’s crew did.

The Stocklander’s captain was also called the Stocklander, for nothing was known about them save that they hailed from Stockland. Any who beheld the face of the Stocklander didn’t live to recount the tale to others, save for the ship’s crew. In fact, very little was known about the vessel or its crew save for the ship’s name. Only one man had survived an encounter with the dreaded raider, a cannoneer from a merchantman who’d been thrown overboard from the explosion of a powder magazine. He was found by fishermen from Ferro some days later, half-dead and clinging to a barrel. He was only able to recount the ship’s name, which he’d glimpsed from the water, and his unintentional escape before he succumbed to his wounds. And that was the first real recording of the Stocklander.

The navy sent out a small fleet to search for the marauding vessel, but to no avail. The Stocklander seemed to have left Messarian waters, which the great mercantile families were grateful for. But alas, the Stocklander returned and took three prizes in the next week. The captain had caught word of the pursuing fleet and fled their hunting ground to camp in uncharted territory. Then, when the fear which had so recently raged like a bonfire died down to irrelevant embers, the raiders had returned to once again wreak havoc upon the seas. And so it went for many years.

John Piergant was not afraid of the Stocklander. He was a veteran seaman, and a skilled combatant. Always at his side was a strong sword of Vincian make and two fearsome flintlocks, one of which was a smaller, curious contraption which he called a Pepperbox, which was something short of a blunderbuss. His weathered face was marred by a number of scars, but any who’d seen the old salt would be of the mind that he’d inflicted graver wounds upon others.
“Captain John! Do you believe we may run afoul of the Stocklander?” asked a deckhand as John boarded the Gallucad. By the look of the boy’s pale complexion and smooth hair, he was a novice sailor.
“Bah! I hope we do!” the captain responded.

The most experienced pirates can tell when a ship is laden with cargo by the way she sits in the water, and the Stocklander was certainly an experienced pirate. Should they catch sight of the Gallucad, they would be sure to make straight for them. A larger merchantman, which is already a fairly slow ship, burdened with a great deal of valuable resources stowed away would be a prime target. That being said, most larger merchantmen were heavily armed to make up for their lack of speed, making them one of the more dangerous prizes a buccaneer could hope to take. But the Stocklander had a reputation, so a fight could go either way, should the two crews ever cross paths.

The Gallucad had been out on the open seas for a good time and was fast approaching Cape Brehon, where the fish swam freely and the squalls blew fiercely. Aside from the gulls which squawked near endlessly and the occasional dolphin or two, they’d had no other company. And gradually the Gallucad’s crew forgot their initial fears of pirates and the like. Soon they were rounding the Cape. The skies turned to overcast and the waves became choppy, but nothing more, and they continued on unhindered. Gradually, even captain John allowed himself to forget about the Stocklander, and was content to bask in the cool sea breeze as the ship neared Sent Jaucc.

After three more days the Gallucad arrived in Sent Jaucc, and not once had they seen the Stocklander. Some of the crew were even starting to believe that the dreaded pirate vessel had gone afoul of the weather and sunk, or that it was a myth altogether. Captain John made his money, allowed his men to indulge in the earthly rewards the city offered, resupplied, and then shipped back out to sea. Now the Gallucad was bound for Guslac, the great capital of Messaria. The gold which the Gallucad bore was carted off towards Guslac Keep, the King’s Citadel, where it would be stored in some great vault no doubt. Then the good ship put back to sea again, back towards Cadriege, laden with goods for the return trip.

The Gallucad was again rounding Cape Brehon when at last it was set upon by the Stocklander. The attack came as a surprise to the merchantman’s crew, who’d let their guards down long ago. While they rushed for their cutlasses and guns and scrambled to their cannons, the Stocklander was already firing great balls of lead into their sides. The Gallucad’s masts were ripped apart like twigs by chain shot and their rigging and sails torn to pieces. Soon grappling hooks were across her railings, and she was slowly being pulled closer towards the marauder. But by the time the boarding planks were across her, the crew of the Gallucad was armed and ready, and a great clash of blades and shot ensued. From the wheel old captain John fought, firing off his pistols and bellowing curses like a madman. The brigands who sought to cut him down were in turn cut down by him, or otherwise took flight in terror. And then a great figure strode across the boarding planks, a giant of a man wreathed in smoke from a pipe he drew on nonchalantly as he cut down a man with a sweep of his sword. The Stocklander had entered the fray, and captain John advanced to meet him.

For around an hour the two men fought, for they were evenly matched in both strength and skill. When John pushed forward, the merchantman’s crew seemed to rally with his spirit and sought to repel the craven raiders to their own ship. And when the Stocklander went on the offensive, his crew advanced with an untameable savagery, seeking to slaughter their foe. And so it went on like this for some time, with neither side fully gaining the upper hand until John’s blade finally found its mark in the Stocklander’s thigh. The dread captain screamed and called for his crew to retreat to their own ship, which they did, and for a time the Gallucad seemed to have achieved victory. And then they heard the thunderous roar of cannonfire, and they knew in that moment that the pirate’s cannons had pierced their good ship’s sides, and so they were doomed men. As the Stocklander sailed away and the Gallucad slowly sank deeper beneath the waves, John uttered a curse from her stern:

”May the dark-prowed ship upon which he sails never be claimed by the sea, may those aboard never satisfy their needs, and may he who mans the wheel never set foot on dry land again, so help me Mithan, for were they to die on their decks or part with us honorably and quickly I would be a happy man!”

So bellowed he from the Gallucad’s wheel, and John Piergant consigned himself to his end. As for the Stocklander, both captain, crew, and ship, they saw the fruition of John’s curse. The ghostly fires of Saint Ulmo appeared above the rafters of their ship in the night sky, and a thick fog rolled over the vessel’s deck. The pirates screamed in horror, and for once the Stocklander was fearful as he witnessed what he’d only thought to be myth before him.

It is said that during the fiercest of squalls and hurricanes and storms and the like, the Stocklander can be seen off Cape Brehon in the dead of night, and it claims the poor souls trapped in the sea-gales for its crew. So take heed of the weather around the Cape, have a strong drink, and throw in a prayer to Saint Ulmo, for should the Stocklander set upon your vessel, only divine intervention can save you.

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Postby Stevid » Thu Dec 17, 2020 10:51 am

TITLE: Judge Not the Ideologue, But the Heretic
AUTHOR: Stevid

Pago Sanctus Benedicti
Stevidian Wastelands

The rolling thunder amidst dark and threatening sky betrayed a coming storm. These regular events were due to the proliferation of toxic industries that sprawled across the wastelands and the usual belching of volcanic smoke and ash from Mount Saint Malleus. Pago Sanctus Benedicti, or simply the village of Saint Benedict, was almost always inundated with such storms due to the westerly winds that pushed the volcanic plumes from the mountainous craggy spines in the middle west of the wasteland into the toxic and eradiated plains of the east. This small and unassuming village, like the other settlements that were scattered across the plains, were victim to this accursed micro-climate. The post-apocalypticism of the Stevidian Wasteland was all but unique in Greater Dienstad, save New Empire and the areas that were recently victim to atomic weapons. The wasteland was where refinery industries, mining operations, and toxic waste removal corporations thrived – the only place in the Empire where environmental laws were non-existent. It was the dumping ground of the Empire. But another thing dwelled here and called it home, the Empire’s lost and damned – the unwanted and the unworthy. When one could not find shelter or support from likeminded individuals in melting pots as huge and diverse as the fortress cities of Stevid, one could always run to dank lawlessness of the wastes. Law knew no meaning here, save locally appointed sheriffs. In fact, the nation-state of Stevid barely existed here – the only places where state and church endured in any sort of form was within the boundaries of where companies and industries operated, the fortified and armoured railways that snaked through the wastes, and of course the home of Catholicism in Stevid at Saint Malleus Cathedral that sat on the volcanic Malleus mountain range itself.

You could actually see the mountains from Saint Benedict village; a soft smudge of dark grey that meandered north to south some fifty miles away. In the middle distance slightly to the north was the faint orange glow of manufactorums and refineries reflecting angrily on the black clouds, and faint columns of black and white smoked funnelled up mixing with the dangerous ash clouds. This small little village would soon be victim to acid rainfall, or maybe an ash fall, maybe just black toxic water, or maybe the wind would blow in an irradiated dust storm punctuated with bursts of lightning. This pit of misery is all the awaited the rejects of an unforgiving Empire. It was no different to any of the other lawless settlements in the wastes. Whole towns and even cities had been abandoned to the unremitting hostility of this land and were now the purview of gangs, war lords and scavengers. Efforts by law and military agencies to reclaim these areas had been fools errands and the wates, outside of the areas that were economically exploitable by the state, were left to fend for themselves.

Fortunately, though that would depend on who you asked; Saint Benedict was a village that had formed a sort of quasi-confederate of loosely aligned “village-states” in order to survive. They had representatives to one another akin to ambassadors, trade links, caravans of repurposed school buses to carry people between villages. The local town, Ashire, was some twenty miles away and the as lawless and broken as any municipal centre in the wastes but full of supplies for scavenging. The villages would regularly work together in sending parties out to the town to scrounge what they could to support themselves. Long haul traders from outside of the wastes would trade supplies for information on the old-world histories collected from these towns. In all, Saint Benedict was not self sufficient and was in no way prosperous, but it could just about support life.

Life was a strange concept here, especially in Saint Benedict. It was strange, like the other villages, in that the people that eked out a living here were all white and all religious. While neither of these demographic factors were unusual in and of themselves within Stevid, the crucified remnants of the village’s own undesirables one would have to walk past on entry to village spoke loud of the disposition of those living there. One was a mottled corpse of man hung from a cross with a wooden sign atop it that read, “Behold, the pagan negro!”; another was that of a fresh brown skinned female body that had been stripped and lashed before the crucifixion – the sign read “Beware the harlot of Hebron and all Judah!”, and at the foot of it were the charred remains of the woman’s family. Most grotesque was the rotting carcass of a white man whose entrails had been spilled for the filthy and decrepit crows to feed on – the cross had no sign but the body had a one that dangled down from its neck from bits of its digestive system that simply read, in blood, “Apostate”.

The village Sheriff was a man known only as Obadiah. He was an aging man, now into his fifties, but tall and broad shouldered. His thick grey hair came down to his shoulders and matched his short but unkept beard. His face betrayed a life of true hardship as the creases of time were more crevasses than wrinkles and the dirt and dust sat in every one. But his eyes were sharp and hard behind his perpetually frowning face and spoke louder about him and his character more than his stature and apparel did. His mind was as sharp as his eyes and likely as quick as his hands too, which were calloused and used. But they were unlikely used for work as the two holstered revolvers he sported also told their own story. Obadiah’s quick hands were likely to be quick at drawing, see as his duster coat and workmen jeans were largely filthy save for the tail tale rubbing of hand upon material where he had drawn the weapons the in same way, same fashion, and regularly. He was killer, if not a lawman, and was likely responsible for the hanging of miscreants and crucifixion of the village’s undesirables. He looked up at the sound of the thunder to the west and sighed as a bored dog would. He then trudged to the local watering hole, a dilapidated wooden building with a sign that read “The Repentor” with “Bar” written underneath in smaller letters. He pushed the large yet flimsy double doors apart in walked inside. It was akin to one of those fabled wild west sort of joints. It was dirty from the elements blowing in ash and filth from the wastes and was dimly lit by a few candles and industrial wall lights.

Obadiah strode over to the bar counter and beckoned to the keeper. The stringy man shuffled over to Obadiah with a rag in his hand that he used to grab a whiskey tumbler from under the counter so as not to smudge it with his own dirtied hands.

“Same as usual, Obadiah?”

“The same, thank you Ezekiel .”
Obadiah said while looking over his shoulders as the barkeep poured. “Where’s you your daughter?”

Ezekiel flinched subtly at the question, clearly uneasy at the abruptness of the sheriff.

“About.” He replied noncommittally.


“Sheriff, please. It ain’t right nor fair.”

“Life isn’t fair.”
Obadiah growled in a threatening tone. “And I will be the judge of what is right and what isn’t.”

“You’re married you fucking pig.”
Came a delicate voice from behind Obadiah. A young girl, no more than twenty, stood in an alcove to the ladies’ toilet with a brush and mop in hand. Her clothes were grimy and distressed, and amounted to grey hand-me-down combats and a plain t-shirt. Her auburn her was tied back in a ponytail that brought her pretty and powdered face into sharp relief.

“Now, now, Faye.” Obadiah purred. “Abraham took Agar; and besides, what difference does it make to you.”


Obadiah howled loudly. “The principles of your decrepit father, maybe. You have none of your own - harlot! You’ve nought here but protection but my grace, your lives are nothing without my consent, and neither of you are in a position to deny me recompense for it! Life here is hard enough without you making it difficult on yourselves. Besides… it didn’t stop you before.”

“Please Sheriff, have your drink.”
Ezekiel pleaded to which Obadiah reached around backwards without looking, took the glass and downed the fiery liquid in one go while never taking his eyes off the young girl Faye.

“Fuck off, Sheriff.” Faye spat causing her father to flinch again. “We all do what we need to do to survive. God won’t judge me for doing that. I provide for father how I can, and if lying on my back keeps you and your lackies off his case then so be it.”

“That’s a quick change of heart.”
Obadiah said with a smile and took one step towards Faye. Her hand shot up.

“That’s before I knew you were married – and don’t quote me that Bible bullshit.”

Obadiah’s eyes flashed and he hurled the glass that was still in his hand towards the girl. It crashed into her, breaking apart into shards that sliced her face. Faye collapsed with a scream, blood pouring from wounds on her face. Ezekiel moved quickly to help his daughter but stopped dead in his tracks as the Sheriff pulled out a revolver and readied it with an imposing click of the hammer. Obadiah looked at him smugly and shook his head gently. Faye continued to moan cries of pain as Obadiah now stood over her. Her courage evaporated.

“Remember your place in this world. When you have, acquaint yourself with where you stand in relation to me. Here’s a hint… it’s beneath me.” He said.

He grabbed her ponytail and hoisted her off the ground. She squirmed with pain but the force of his pull coupled with the sharp pain meant she followed his tugging without resistance. Ezekiel looked on motionless, still rooted to the spot by fear. Yet as Obadiah turned round a cold breeze and flow of ash whipped into the bar and stood in the entrance to the bar stood a slender, hooded figure. The dim light from the outdoors silhouetted the person so he could not make out details, but it was clearly a woman – her figure betrayed as much, and Obadiah had had his fair share of experience with such proportioned women. Within seconds he knew this one would be different.

“Let her go.” The newcomer said with a firm voice that was not too dissimilar in delicateness to that of Faye’s. The voice cut through Obadiah in more ways than one; he was instantly incredulous and yet there was a force behind this young woman’s words that bid him to obey. Whichever it was that finally subconsciously registered with him, he released Faye’s hair and her head smacked into the wooden floor with a dull and unceremonious thump. She whimpered and frantically scuttled across the floor away from Obadiah on her backside bumping into nearby chairs and tables as she went.

“Good. Now…” Said the woman gesturing to the bar with a gloved hand. Obadiah obliged, still silently raging but unable to actually challenge this woman, it was as if Obadiah was hypnotised and the presence she exuded was the source of his impotence. However, if there was one man truly stupefied by these events it was Ezekiel who still had not moved an inch since Obadiah had pulled a weapon on him.

“Barkeep,” The woman called out to which Ezekiel snapped in a now characteristic flinch. “Another round of whatever the good Sheriff has and one for me.”

Ezekiel nodded curtly and began to find fresh glasses. The new women leaned sideways against the bar regarding Obadiah from behind a dark navy-blue face covering. Her hood was woven into the rising cheek collars of a body long leather jacket and was pulled over her head – Obadiah could only see her visage of attractive shadowed and lined eyes and a pale skin. Anger fleeting, his own eyes narrowed as he regarded her and saw a woman who was marginally shorter than he but impeccably well presented with clean clothing. Her open jacket showed a double-breasted navy-blue blazer underneath with just enough cleavage on show above the undertunic to distract wondering eyes, or disarm the wary. Her jet-black leather trousers ended with heeled shin high boots, one of which the woman placed on the steel cylinder that ringed the bottom of the bar. Ordinarily Obadiah would not have allowed the insolence already displayed, nor the casual stance and attitude on display in his presence, yet he still didn’t challenge her – or rather, couldn’t. Ezekiel returned with two tumblers filled with an amber spirit and hurriedly placed them down before the couple before running around the bar to tend to his sobbing daughter.

Obadiah eventually found some composure but hadn’t take his eyes off the new woman, though his eyes had wondered. By contrast, the woman had maintained eye contact throughout.

“Who are you?” He growled.

“Redemption.” She said softly.

“Ha!” Obadiah blurted taking his glass of liquor and necking it in one go, the fiery liquid adding to his returning confidence. “Redemption? Well, I see Christ is female. I must have missed that line in John’s Revelation. My dear I need no redemption, least of all from you. You addressed me Sheriff, so you at least recognise who I am. I do not recognise you as a saviour of the lost and damned; so I ask you again… who are you?”

“You may call you E for now.” Replied the woman, tone unchanged, and she absentmindedly played with her drink. Obadiah’s nose twitched angrily at her response.

“I ‘may’ call you?” He said with emphasis on the offending word. “I will call you what I will. Aliena Bitch seems apt to me. I grow impatient.”

He moved his hand across his lap pushing his duster coat aside revealing one of his revolvers, but to his surprise and irritation she did not look down and kept her gaze fixed on his face. She sighed softly with exasperation.

“E will suffice, and your Latin is crude at best.”

“You mock me!”
Obadiah said aggressively, hand now on the revolver. E raised her glass playing hand apologetically.

“Apologies. I ,like you, am unaccustomed to forcefulness like this. As a matter of fact, it is why I have sought you out. Men like you prosper in the wastes, you own it and make it yours and the people within. Be it through fear, power, or some other persuasion.” She glanced at father and daughter Ezekiel and Faye and then back to Obadiah. “But you’re not as important as the local governor and easier to find. Easier to find alone too.”

“And now you threaten me…”

“Do I threaten you?”
E said with more than just a hint of seduction in her voice. She removed her face mask revealing a plain but very pretty face. She was pale as a corpse and the dark grey eye shadow and black eye-liner emphasised it more so. She had a small nose and small lips with the latter sporting lipstick the same colour as the eye shadow, and on each cheekbone was a tiny tattooed cross. There was a loud crash from outside, but as the wind howled Obadiah spared it no more than a quick glance – besides, he would much rather regard this little Stevidian Rose.

“An orphan.” He stated matter-of-factly in reference to the tattooed crosses. “And from the south, perhaps the capital. My grasp of accents has waned of late – I’ve spent too long out here.”

He relaxed more, E’s good looks putting him at ease, but his hand remained on the holstered revolver. “No. No you don’t threaten me. No one does, at least not here. Not the people who live here, nor those from the Confederated villages, and not Aliena Bitches who meander in with something to prove. There’s something to you and I’m not sure what. But I am sure that I want to know. Be under no illusion, it’s the only reason you still live.” Obadiah said confidently. He was only half lying, before he’d taken his drink in one he had been nothing but putty in her hands. Now he had steeled himself he felt more in control. Shouting from outside carried on the wind and he thought about carrying out his duties as a Sheriff, but this mystery woman needed to be addressed first. He did not feel threatened, that much was clear to him. But he knew full well that she was dangerous.

“Very well, E, you have my attention. What do you want?”

E finally sipped her drink but kept her leaning posture. Her movements were deliberate and seductive, the way she sipped from the cloudy glass was enticing and Obadiah quickly realised he was becoming entranced. She was doing it deliberately and playing on his sensibilities, which actually spoke volumes. He was a clever man and it was evident to him that E knew him and knew him well. Her clearly tailored clothes clung to her body, her face was made up to draw him in, she moved particular ways in order to distract him. He made the smallest of movements to move away from the bar, to go outside, sensing a rising threat as if he was missing something important. But just as he did so, she spoke and he immediately stopped to listen.

“You. I want you. Oh don’t look at me like that – I don’t mean that I ‘want’ you. Silly man.”

“Belittle me again…” He threatened E while pointing an accusing finger and his other hand on his revolver.

“Apologies. It’s just you’re not my type. No, I need you for what you represent. I need your kind, your ilk. Though that is somewhat disingenuous, I don’t need you, nor does the state, or even the church. But we do need you because someone else does.”

Obadiah shook his head. “You speak in circles Aliena Bitch, how can I be both wanted and unwanted? The very fact I live out here is because the Empire and church revile me. Where even my faith in the divine is not enough for the church – my personal beliefs and politics don’t conform. It’s either the wastes or prison.”

“I offer you another option.”
E said. “Redemption.”

“Now you speak in riddles. Give me answers bitch or I will shoot you dead, fuck your corpse, and leave you dangling from a cross for any others that follow you!”

“Redemption from your sins here. You have a higher calling, Obadiah. You and your kind here. There is no place for you in the Empire, or at least no place that not only offers you a life but a chance to do something with it. What you stand for is incompatible with the Empire and the Church but may be compatible elsewhere.”

“What I stand for? My beliefs are my own. They mirror those here. They may not be exactly what ‘you’ want for the country or necessarily what ‘you’ believe in. But we have a pretty good set up here and we all believe in the same shared collective believe.”
Obadiah paused and then challenged E, “If I didn’t know any better I’d have labelled you an Inquisitor.”

“Do you know better?”
E said playfully.

“I know they don’t tend to look like you. But I know they’re as dangerous as you. But they bleed all the same, for there’s no shortage of crosses on the way into this village with their kind nailed to them. It would be a shame to hang you from one. I need no redemption my dear, I have freedom in the wastes and this is where I shall endure in spite of your cynicism to my ideology.”

“The thought that the supremacy of Stevidians over all others may sit well with you, but that idea of grandeur still only wallows in a filthy village in the heart of an apocalyptic wasteland. In all honesty, if this is the shining example of the Stevidian race then I’m not impressed.”

“You’d look like this if you were shunned and spirited away!”
Obadiah spat. “We are superior, no one can deny it! We stood against the Golden Throne, we stared down the Covenant, our Empire endures in the name of Jesus Christ. None suffer like we have, only Stevidians know true hardship in the face of adversity. I myself live it here and now, a testament to grit and determination of the Stevidian people. ‘Stevidian Resolve’ is just the tip of the iceberg – our people should not relegate themselves to just eking through this life and into the next; our potential is barely realised, and this Empire is just the beginning. Hardship, Faith, Blood. That is our covenant.”

“There is only one covenant. It’s everlasting and transcends nationalism and race.”
E said sternly. She unbuttoned the top button of her blazer revealing more of her full undertunic, but it was not her chest that drew the eye but the golden chain that hung between blazer and tunic. E pulled upwards revealing the pendant at the end and then let it fall against her chest. The ‘I’, symbol of the Inquisition, plated with gold and embossed with obsidian, glinted in even this dim light. “You were right, it seems.”

Obadiah was unfazed for as he had just said there were many bodies of inquisitors displayed on the way into the village. “You will bleed all the same.” He repeated. “The Church holds back Stevidian greatness – it should be nothing more than a useful tool to enable our righteous prosperity.”

“The Church is Stevidian greatness…”
E started but then Obadiah interjected.

“The Church?” He said sarcastically with a dismissive wave of his hand. “You people corrupt the faith and our blood. We may be out in the styx here, but word from the capital still trickles in. I hear now there’s now pact with Marshism and the Concordat with Ordena has been abolished? The Church’s stewardship of this Empire is a joke, and the double-standards of the Inquisition more so… Marshites… the Empire has gotten cowardly.”

E stared at Obadiah blankly, the hood of coat casting a shadow across her face leaving only her lips visible. Obadiah sniffed at her derisively. He rounded on her but then there was another crash from outside and panicking shouting, shrieking, unseen commotion. He whipped his over his shoulder towards the door and made towards it.

“We’re done here, Inquisitor.” He said dismissively, but a hand came up from E that gripped him tightly on arm. Incredulous, Obadiah looked down at her. He pulled his arm down and away out of her grip and then struck her backhanded across the face with all the power and rage he could muster. E fell against the bar and knocked over her drink with a crash of glass. There was a yelping noise the moment it happened – not from E but from Faye who still cowered with her father at the other end of the room. They had been watching intently the whole time and even though Faye was no longer party to the advances of Obadiah she still hadn’t regained her courage. Obadiah ignored them and marched outside, pushing the double swing doors of the bar open dramatically.

It was chaos outside. Across the street a wooden building was ablaze and in the muddy and ash covered street were lines of people dressed in rags being beaten and frogged marched along towards several waiting military support trucks clad in matte black. A short distance to the right was a line of men kneeling on the floor with two giant figures stood nearby holding rifles and wearing gleaming black armour draped with white cloths with a splayed red cross upon the chest.
He looked more to his right and two armoured vehicles, FV-801 Vipers, both clad in black and both sporting the splayed red cross of the Knights Templar imprinted upon the larger icon of the Holy Inquisition. It was a round up. Men, women, children, dragged by hair, cloth and skin out of their homes and into the street. Resistance was literally beaten out of the dissenting few – the persistent ones did not stand back up. Obadiah was aghast and spun round to confront E, but as he did so he saw a looming furry figure dressed in leathered armour leaning against the wall adjacent to the bar door. It was feline and spotted – it even had a tail! Appalled, Obadiah reached for his revolver but the creature growled insidiously and the sheriff found he could not move.

“I wouldn’t do that if I were you. Malachi needs little excuse to kill.” E said now arriving at the swing doors.

“You heretic!” Exclaimed Obadiah. “You’re in bed with Marshism! You filthy, hypocritical heretic!”

“Yes, it is an odd arrangement.”
E said nonchalantly. “But I find their kind helpful. They’re excellent at interrogations and they don’t even have to talk. Fear and the Sight is normally enough to get what I need from people. In return, it gets fed.”

Obadiah took an instinctive step backwards. He was completely horrified by the sight of this post-shift follower of the most Holy Marsh, and worse yet was that it could tell. It was, as characterised by Stevidian scientists, as Homo Saipan Veritas Extremis. An especially dangerous post-Shift specimen of the Veritas genus that needed constant supervision, regular visitation from government medical officials and documentation. They were allowed to exist, just, in no small thanks to an agreement between Holy Marsh and the Holy Empire. But their relationship with their own kind was fraught, least of all with other Stevidians. Veritas were feared already but Extremis variants, those in Stevid that exhibited strange cognitive abilities, were out right reviled. Yet here one stood, unchained and seemly compos mentis.

“Think of it as more of a… I don’t know… pet.” E said with a smile.

“You’re a traitor.” Obadiah barely managed. “Traitor to your faith, your country!”

E said, evidently confused.

“To let… that… thing… in!”

“That thing is Stevidian.”
E said as a matter of fact. “A post-Shift Stevidian who follows the Holy Marsh. An apostate to be sure. But not foreign.”

“He’s Stevidian?” Obadiah said dumbfounded.

E started, confusion still lingered on her face. “It’s not exactly a ‘he’. Apparently it’s not really anything at all – which is why the term Veritas is used. It is, what you could call, ‘new’. This is not for you to worry about, nor your people.” E said gesturing to the scores of inquisitorial acolytes and Templars rounding up the townsfolk into the trucks.

“Where are you taking us?”

“They’re on their way to the Fourth Reich. To be honest I’m surprised by this reaction. The last village were more than happy to leave for pastures extreme-right. You said news from the capital makes its way here? Well you’re out of date – Concordat is still extant and changes are afoot in Ordena. In exchange for the continuation of the religious practice of Christianity in the Fourth Reich, they ask for our extreme elements – people like you… the lost and damned. Religious practices too skewed for the church, ideology too perverse and immoral for common thought. The Fourth Reich needs people like that to fight for them in the likes of Scythia. There your people can kill and maim all the blacks, ethnics, and religious undesirables you want – and then die themselves for the very cause they support. True martyrs to this quasi-religious national socialism you practice. Hmph, and you call me a heretic.”

“We’ll fight this.”
Obadiah said defiantly.

“You will do as you are bidden, as will they.” E replied gesturing back to the crowds of people. “This is your destiny. To fight and die for your cause, as any true Stevidian should. We a simply enabling you.”

“This is not by choice!”

“Do not patronise me!”
E roared. The unbridled rage echoed across the street so much so that it made the Templars and inquisitorial aides stop dead in their tracks. This delicate young woman, who had been naught but modest throughout the entire exchange with Obadiah, now displayed uncharacteristic fury. “You and your ilk are cowards of the highest order of magnitude. There is not a hope in heaven or hell that you would ever commit yourself to a selfless and noble death for the cause you supposedly hold dear. None of you would! Do not dare suppose to me that you would otherwise. It is typical of any political extreme to abide by the slogan ‘A rule for thee but not for me’. So, the Church will ensure you carry out at least part of your duty to God and country. The rest is Ordena’s problem.”

Obadiah quivered in horror. “What of my family? I don’t want to go.” He croaked.

“Who said anything about you?”
E said sternly. “Not once have I suggested you are going anywhere.”

Obadiah said to which E raised eyebrows to two nearby aides who grabbed his wrists and fastened cuffs to them behind his back. The Veritas snarled greedily and bared pearly white fangs from behind a chilling grin.

“Your family will go. But you will stay. You, your deputies and every senior official within the village. The true figureheads of your ideology. You must remain to be the examples by which ‘Stevidians’ should live by. To stand up for your beliefs and die by them; you should do, seeing as you kill by them. You cannot be seen to be scurrying away to far off lands, you should be the first to give yourself to the cause – right here, on this desecrated land. Your people and faith have gone astray and before your people fight for a higher calling of national socialism you should make the ultimate sacrifice against the country that never wanted you. Take him out into the street…” E said, and Obadiah resisted. He pushed against the restraints, against his captors, he knew he was minutes from death and that his position as sheriff wouldn’t save him – if anything it had damned him. The Veritas became excitable, moving on to all fours and made strange noises.

“Soon…” She cooed. “Immobilise him!”

A Templar strode over, all seven foot of him together with muscle, armour and sword. He unsheathed the sword from his back and swung it at the visibly shaking Obadiah who cried in fear and anguish as the blade cut through both his thighs like butter. He collapsed to his knees in sorrowful moans of self-pity. The Templar grabbed a fistful of Obadiah’s thick grey hair and yanked it violently backwards so that he looked up at the imposing inquisitor. Her hood was now pulled down, and her glowering and righteous gaze belied her beauty. Her short black hair was only as low as her jawline and it drew the eye straight to her lovely yet judgemental face.

“Obadiah, Sheriff of Pago Sanctus Benedicti,” She boomed confidently. “I, Lord Inquisitor Eislehart, Branch Hereticus of the most Holy Office of the Inquisition, hereby pronounce thee hereticus and excommunicate traitoris. Guilty of the crimes: heresy, sedition, murder; and hereby sentence you to death…”

The Veritas made a cruel and abnormally chilling squeal as it bared its fangs and drew its claws into the muck.

“Requiescat in pace.” said the Inquisitor. As if it were a trigger word of command, the Veritas Extremis specimen roared jubilantly and launched itself at Obadiah who wailed in abject terror. The final thing he saw before the darkness was the muscled mass of a fanged jaw flying towards his face.

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Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby AHSCA » Sat Dec 26, 2020 4:18 pm

TITLE: The Days of the Five Leaders

In the Case of Marcella Villa

A rainy morning in AHSCA, December 25, 2020. In many nations this is Christmas Day, usually a festive holiday that people will gather with loved ones, exchange gifts, eat drink and socialize. In AHSCA though, it was any typical day of the week. So few of the nation being Christians few observed the Holiday beyond the superficial commercial aspects, if at all. So that meant this was an ordinary work day for anyone, well mostly, the rainy season was in full force and it often felt like it'd be bleak and endless forever. The Priestesses always assured the sun will return and good lady of the Dark, Homura will rest. Well anyway, Congress was in recess and well the office of Government continued as normal. Today The Duchess has a bit of an impromptu Cabinet meeting, requested by her two highest officers, Noir her Foreign Officer and Kuraĝo, her Defense Officer. That's a bit unsettling when both your Defense and Foreign officer want to meet at the same time outside a normal meeting. It certainly raced through Marcella's mind all night and all morning as she prepared for her meeting by getting dressed, eating what she could. There was the real scary possibility some nation had just declared war on AHSCA for any given reason, they were heathen pagans, they had strategic military bases on their soil and thus were enemies of their enemies, someone just really hated furries enough it was worth mashing them into plate glass over.

Well no sense in stressing over it. Yoshi helped Marcella dress, unlike the Duchess she was more blissfully unaware of the implication. "All right, Milady?" She asked.

"Oh, I'm fine. Guess I'm just thinking a lot about the meeting this afternoon."

"Must be quite important, Milady given the weather but you always know just what to say when you sit down. I'm sure if it was something truly urgent, they would have rushed to you immediately instead of requesting it more than two weeks out. Rest easy, Milady."

"Yoshi, you always know what to say, don't you?"

"Well, everything I learned, I learned from watching you!" Without a doubt Yoshi admired Marcella. Honestly she was kind of jealous of her relationship with the Princess Aurelia but that feeling was something she had to push aside. "Be at ease, Milady. And please do eat something." She finished dressing and bowed to excuse herself, leaving a tray of tea, bread and morning pastries for Marcella to eat. Well the good Duchess found it in herself to eat a little something and have some tea.

Well the clock stuck 12PM now it was time. Marcella took to her office first, Officer for culture, Shizuka Gozen was also present as she typically would be in these meetings to report or scribe for the whole thing. In entered Officer VinoCaco and Officer Kuraĝo shortly after. "Good afternoon, Milady" They both greeted with a bow for her.

"Well I guess this isn't grim news if you both are so pleasant."

"Oh well...Ahem." Noir cleared her throat as this was pretty uneasy to say "Milady, forgive us for a bit of the impudence especially towards another Officer but we would ask that Officer Gozen not be privy to this meeting."

This did irritate Shizuka a little, she was the Culture and Information Officer, considered a pretty lowly member of the Cabinet, not even in the line of Succession in the supremely unlikely event that the Duchess the Princess, a future Duke/Duchess Consort and several others were to die suddenly at once. "Listen! I know I'm the lowest ranked here but --"

"Officer Gozen." Marcella interrupted putting on her Duchess voice now. "Officer VinoCacao, you are aware it is my discretion of which Officers of my Cabinet serve under me as well are present at these meetings. Not to mention actions of Government often warrant the public eyes of the Press to present and aware to inform the public. So tell me, Officers, why is it you want me to Dismiss her from this meeting?"

Noir was a bit tongue tied right now. She could come out and say it was a matter of secrecy and security but that might tickle Shizuka's curiosity that rumors would spread like wildfire. "Again, I do ask for your Pardons. It is just...This meeting we need to discuss many sensitive matters in regards to the State and our foreign relations. At present these are matters we would rather not be discussed openly by the Press. In time My office and Officer Kuraĝo's office can prepare statements for Officer Gozen."

A beat of silence with only the pounding rain, rumbling thunder to break it. Finally Marcella sighed "Very well. Officer Gozen, I'm sorry but this is an instance I must ask you to leave."

"Very well, Milady." Shizuka reluctantly agreed. She bowed a little and exited the room.

"Again, apologies Milady, many more." Noir again apologized for them.

"All right, so what is it we need to discuss today?"

"You received my recent foreign brief, Milady?"

"I did and read it thoroughly, seems pretty typical."

"Yes, Milady typical is correct but that's what has us concerned. As you've continued to siphon off the various lands that we claimed to foreign nations it's put us in an awkward situation."

Noir abruptly cut herself off realizing she might have accidentally shot her mouth off. That made Marcella flinch a little, it was becoming a rallying critique of her as a Duchess as people were accusing her of selling their little quiet corner of the world down the river one plot at a time. Noir sensed the faux pa she just made and hastily tried to move along. "Well Milady, the buildup in world interest in us, our region of the world, nations that are around us, it's making us something of a target."

"You're not telling me that someone is meaning to attack us?"

Kuraĝo picked up with that question, "No, No Duchess, we don't suspect that. But it's a concern that Officer Noir and I have been sharing this year now. We are home to two military bases from two different countries. And now that Astares Amauricanum is setting up shop to the south and increasingly closer to the antarctic, and we share more relations now, we do think it's best to start thinking long term."

"Added to what happened in Kyrenaia last year as well as Shikonjima this year," Noir continued "it's clear, we're sorely behind in intelligence."

"But your Office usually is on top of happenings."

"That's the public happenings but we're still pretty limited. That's what we're asking you for. We want to set up a new agency, a new sub-office within our two Offices. Something that can focus purely on intelligence."

"And we're proposing to go about it in a real deep manner. We don't have the tech capabilities to rely on astronomical observation..."

"I'm sorry, Astro-what?"

"Uh, that is using space satellites, Milady."

"Oh right, I see. Sorry please continue."

"Yes, Milady. So with Aerial Recon and Astronomical Recon limited or out of the question that means it's time to establish a greater network of agents who can conduct intellgence gathering and espionage."

"Talking about spying? You want to establish spies."

"Milady." Noir continued "I understand if you have reservations. That is why we brought this to you. We agree, spying, espionage has it's dark sides to it, but this is a world unlike the one when you were crowned as Duchess. We are now host to TWO military establishments on our soil. To our south and east, Astares Amauricanum is setting up outposts and colonies of their own. Last year there was the terrorist bombings in Kyrenaia this year the Royal Family of Kuronami was threatened. Holy Marsh just had an election for it's new Arch Bishop. There was the recent events in Shionkojima and we had elections of our own that garnered a lot of attention form the international community. I don't think everyone is now out to get us, but these are complicated events that require us to be firmly on top of. There's only so much we garner from diplomatic channels."

"These agents will remain accountable to all of us, Milady. You, I and Noir here. We aren't looking to do anything as crazy as say toppling governments, assassinating leaders but it would be good to know what others are up to. I know we often think of ourselves as an insignificant spec on the world stage but I guarantee you, someone somewhere out there looks at us and thinks about us. I mean we have three solid allies, but your goal is to allow us to stand on our own two feet and not fall back all the time on them except in the most dire circumstances "

"mmmm. Thank you both, I'd like to think about this some more before making a decision." Marcella thought long and deep about this, a lot of quiet with only the sounds of rain outside to fill the air. This was a really tough choice because espionage can have consequences when missions go wrong. Not to mention, it could easily alienate their own political allies and that would be bad if something as serious as war, major disaster or whatever else happened. Or was this just the game of international intrigue that every nation played? Frankly even Marcella couldn't be certain that their own friends weren't keeping a sharp eye on them.

Outside the Duchess' office, Noir and Kuraĝo sat a bit to wait for her to summon them back in. The wait room was a separate little foyer between her The Duchess' office and a secondary room that her guards and maid generally remained in. They paced and talked "I didn't think the Duchess would take this long to make a decision." He scoffed

"She has reason to, the setting up of a new clandestine agency to spy on everyone is pretty crazy. Honestly I'll be amazed if I walk out of here with my job intact." Noir sighed her ears began to droop a little.

"C'mon don't deny you think that way."

"Maybe I do but I still shouldn't have said it that way. That was unprofessional of me as Her Majesty's Officer."

"Well I mean there's always the nuclear option." He was referring to the unthinkable idea of deposing of her, legally that is. Impeaching and removing her from office. A bit odd for a monarchy but it was a thing that was a possibility in AHSCA.

"Shhhh! you out of your mind?!" Noir hushed.

"It's not like we're instigating a coup, it's a provision on our own Constitution."

"It still feels wrong. Look, I believe her Highness' intentions are good with this, I know there's concern with how much she's been giving away but it's not like we've been given nothing for it either, the funds alone..." Before Noir could finish her argument the door opened as Yoshi poked her head out. She had a suspcisious glint on her eyes, Noir wondered no had the handmaiden listened on their conversation? "Her Majesty is asking for you both to come." Yoshi said rather flatly. "Oh yeah she heard us..." Noir thought. Maybe she should consider her future options now.

"Right away." Kuraĝo replied as the two followed Yoshi along back to the Duchess Office. Marcella sat firmly at her desk.

"Your Highness, have you made your decision?" Noir asked.

"I have. Let's discuss this further, I want to know how you intend to run this."

Well that seemed like a yes. And so now going forward, a special ops team affectionately named The Shadow Knights would so be created. What would these spies do, remained to be seen but for now, things were in motion.

In the Case of Shinya Li

While the Duchess may have many issues of the entire country to think of, the individual leaders of the state had their handful with local matters. Viceroy Shinya Li, Viceroy a strange title, more of a relic from the days when Hoshino was just an extension of Aurora instead of an individual state. This particular rainy day he found himself actually wandering the town of Port Aya. He was certainly well recognized that people offered him free favors but he usually declined them. "That's very kind of you but save your goods for a paying customer." Something made him stop in the middle of the road as he saw a familiar looking figure hunched over at a food stand. The man seemed to be short on funds to buy a few steamed buns for himself. The young girl operating the stand really did feel for the man she did but to give them away at this time wasn't good "I'm sorry, sir, I'd be glad to but our tax bill is arriving soon and I cannot be short. Please I'll accept the 15 you have for the two..."

Shinya put down the remaining five. "Here you go. Sorry for the trouble."

"Oh thank you, Milord but to take money from you..."

"It's fine!" Shinya said with a smile "Please, I do insist. Also I'm sure you'll have nothing to worry come tax time."

"Thank you, Milord. Thank you sir."

The disheveled man gave a gratitude nod. "I thought that was you, Masako." Shinya said. It was indeed, his brother, Masako, the former Viceroy of this island, the once proud founding father of modern AHSCA now a man ruined by his own head.

"Shi. Surprised to see you wandering out here in the rain like this." Masako hadn't been the same since he lost his wife Aya in that terrible hurricane many years back. He just seemed to have lost all sense of anything. He would crop up every so often here in Port Aya but it seemed he never would take offers of help from his younger brother.

"Surprised to see you at all. Masako, why are you here?"

"A man can't come to Port Aya? I'm sorry I didn't have as much money as I thought, I'll make it up to them again..."

"No why are you here wandering, still? Masa, how many times have I offered you to come back. You don't want the title you don't have to have it, but --"

"Aya. Sweet Aya." It would seem Masako wasn't listening to anything Shinya was saying or he was ignoring him. "Oh how she loved rainy days like this. Remember she'd ask us to hike up that point there? Aya's Mound." Well it's now called Tabby's Point, named for a civilian who spotted the first warships two decades ago., before it was just the mountain or the point no real special name, there used to be a taboo against naming inanimate things but that's a longer story there.

"Masako...Masa..." Nothing he could say was getting through to him. He was just wandering in a daze. "Please, won't you come back with me. Ya-Xi, you know she'd love to see you. I'm sure she can even help you, she's really good at talking...."

Masako turned a moment as if to say follow me this way but doing so he lost sight of his brother, whom had vanished into the crowds. "Masako! Masa! Masako!" Shinya made chase after him but it was for naught. He lost him again. Where he'd go? Probably to the jungle somewhere, maybe a nearby farm for some odd job work. Hard to say but it seemed again the brothers would be apart. The rainy day now matched his general mood at the moment, disappointment and sadness. The crowds were as lively but his spirit was not. Looking at his watch, it was now nearly 2PM in the afternoon. Well that was that, it was time to go back home. "Masako, I hope you'll find her again someday." Shinya muttered as he about faced and headed for the Hoshino Palace.

In the Case of Zwei Straum

Let's rewind the clock a bit to September as the great glorious Festival of Holy Light. General Zwei Straum was a bit an unusual man, he ran his island with a bit more of an iron fist. His loyalty to the nation seemed firm but his loyalty to the Duchess always kind of seemed flimsy at best. A proud military man, patriot and yes even a family man. He had two daughters, one who lived here with him and one who lived abroad with her mother and grandmother. His youngest daughter, Uni, was here for the festival with a friend of hers. Exciting festive occasion for the festival. His oldest daughter, studious and loyal, his younger, more self assured and a bit hesitant to embrace her family line made his a little upset but well now this evening the two were at dinner. Dolled up in yukata they purchased here, most couldn't deny how cute they looked. This dinner also had another guest, former Senator Mikela Olaff, regarded as AHSCA's greatest Progressive or most devious foe depending on who you asked. Stillestando had become something of a self-contained military junta. It was the bastion of being a democratic island, the only one in the union, but that didn't last long due to rampant corruption and problems that the whole government dissolved and General Straum just sort of seized the day to make this a stable state.

"A fine evening this is, a fine festival. I have my two daughters with me tonight, and a guest from a nation. So young, lady." He addressed, Elodie, Uni's friend from her school. "How have you been liking the islands so far?" He asked her

"Oh well...So far it's very nice here! I mean people are very friendly, lots of sights and sounds to see. Smells too, I mean good food cooking." Elodie was kind of off put by him. He seemed to command a strict amount of respect, even when being friendly; like one wrong move she might find herself arrested and tossed in jail.

"Yes, dad," Uni added "Everything's been fun so far. We're looking forward to exploring the other islands too."

"The others? I was hoping you'd say here the whole time, Uni. Your sister and I don't get to see you with you living overseas and all."

"I know. But Elodie has never been here before, I really want her to get the full experience. Tell you what, we'll stay another day here."


Well the touching reunion may have to be a story for another day, this is mostly a focus on the General. Tonight he had his whole family here including his right hand man, his brother. The elections were coming up in just a couple of months and Edvard was planning a run for Congress. In the evening the two brothers didn't go out but rather continued to strategize the run. Rehearsing talking points for the press, voters, constituents. Their competition honestly seemed like a nothing but overconfidence can be deadly. This was the stepping stone though overall, hopefully his brother's place in the Congress could vastly expand Stillestando's influence. Influence that seemed largely vested in their little neighboring state, Corona. Today, influence, tomorrow control, the next day, well who knows, maybe AHSCA could become a power to be reckoned with. Zwei already hated having to see the islands play host to two military bases, even if they were on Aurora. Honestly his pipe dream was to see the Duchess removed from office. Be it by law or force, Marcella to him was a flimsy weak little girl but he still played his hands closely and tried not to let her get wind of him. Bad enough she was gallivanting with a foreign Princess but increasingly this silly girl was being wrapped around the finger of a foreign Sultana. Such shame, he didn't fight a war to surrender more freedom to other nations.

"Well I'd say so, I think our chances are great don't you?" Edvard asked

"I think so but let's not get ahead of ourselves. For now, let's focus on the here and now and what our next steps are."

"I've been rallying up the independent presses as apart of our dismantle the Culture office. I think that's really going to get our messages out to a wider readership."

"There are those already displeased with the State Press."


And thus the brothers in the night didn't spend their festival enjoying the sights and sounds but rehearsing, planning and plotting. Well not devious plotting, just the plotting of the best ways to win this election.

in the Case of Chief Ayla

Back to our present rainy season, Chief Ayla was still enjoying herself. A lovely festival with a fine man all the way from the Freelands, getting to know him and his trusted horse. Honestly it seemed unlikely anything between them would come but it certainly helped Ayla put the past behind her. She never thought she could enjoy anyone quite as much as Kino (enjoy their company that is) but yet she did. She knew deep down, Kino would probably be at peace if she did move on but still this did weigh her. Today, Ayla found herself wandering the Kino Temple. Bantering to the two Goddess Statues that adorned it. She didn't mind getting a little wet from time to time go out to the Statue in the main courtyard or in the forest grove or spend time indoors. The many Priestesses took notice of her but didn't wish to disturb their Chief or really dare. Ayla wasn't known to be short tempered or unkind or anything but she was The Chief, an important person, who was on a level that couldn't be disturbed. One young Priestess especially was doing what she could to keep her distance. She was a recently inducted Apprentice but she was also pretty small, just standing at a simple 152 centimeters tall, now compared to Ayla who was an impressive 182, the Chief might as well be a giant. Colossal busty Amazonian woman aside she was hastily rushing a stack of leaflets from one end of the Temple to another when she bumped into the Chief, spilling the contents everywhere.

"Oh, I'm sorry!" Ayla apologized to the young trainee.

"No, it is I who should be sorry..." The Priestess said as she tried to gather up everything in a pile, she had been so hasty that she hadn't noticed until just this second as she looked up it was the tall Chief. "C-c-c-Chief! Lady Chief! Ooooh." She sort of froze up and dropped the remaining paper. Ayla attempted to help "Are you okay? I hope you aren't hurt?"

"MMMMMM!" Was all she could utter out. Rounding the corner came a slightly older Priestess, the mentor to the younger one on the floor. "There you are, Arko, I've been...Ho my! My Chief!" The Mentor dropped to her knees to give a deep bow "I'm sorry for my Apprentice causing you trouble."

"There's no trouble, really." Ayla assured as she continued to gather up the leaflets "Just a little accident. My fault I've made the floor wet from being out in the rain. she just slipped." Well who really cares if that's what happened or not. "Arko, huh, such a cute pretty name."


"How about you, Mentor? What's your name?"


"Akvo, Arko! How cute! your two names are similar, almost."

"Oh yeah I guess they are similar sounding."

Ayla took time to better aquatint herself with the two young Priestesses. it wasn't often she got to spend time with just two citizens so this was refreshing. Given they were Clergy there was a lot of spiritual talk and just some casual talk. It's nice to get acquainted with people of your Chiefdom that were outside the political circles.

the Case of Millhiore Firianno Biscotti

The Premier Milihi Biscotti was tossing and turning this night, rather nervous about having a meeting with the Duchess tomorrow morning. See just a month ago she shared a bath with Noir, the nation's foreign minister and a couple of lovely gals from The Sultanate of Kyrenaia. The Sultanate was a newly formed ally with the UIS, one of the closet forged since the days after the war, an important one at that as Marcella was having a fling with their Royal Princess. A lovely sweet romantic tale indeed, one Millihi wholeheartedly endorsed. Gotta follow yer heart. Well anyway, during this Millihi rather embarrassed herself. Not once, but twice. Oooh boy what embarrassment that was. To the same guests. Ooof. it was not her day. Noir did what she could to cheer her up but it still stuck with her. Honestly she wasn't mad at them, she was mad at herself. "Why am I such a fool?" She kept asking to herself over and over again. "Now what's gonna happen?" Honestly, probably nothing would happen but still she didn't know that for sure. At first it seemed like an embarrassing faux pa that would pass but now that she was being summoned she can't help but worry that something really averse has happened. I knew it... she thought I made them angry. She thought maybe she mildly annoyed them but again being summoned she might have really made them angry with her. But why would it matter, people tried to assure her, after all she was only one state leader, not this nation's Duchess. True that may be, Millihi felt all their actions reflected their Duchess.

After all, they weren't sovereign leaders, they were appointed according to the will of their own subjects but nothing said that the Duchess couldn't dismiss them or worse. Millihi was less worried about being fired and more about long term damages to the nation to the point she may be thrown into exile. She did write a couple of apology letters but who knows if they made it in the mail or not. Either way she was convinced this was enough to maybe leave some questioning, they let HER be in charge? Sure, Millihi was a little silly and dreamy as far as leaders go but her heart was as big as her spirit. She loved her home, she loved her subjects, she loved talking and making friends with people.

She shot up from yet another anxiety fueld nightmare. Her tossing and turning was so bad this night that her poor husband had to take his sleep elsewhere. She couldn't describe the dream, just a dream that she had some kind of feeling of dread on her. The rest of the night was a fitful restless series of pacing, rehearsing a thousand apologies and maybe a defense to save whatever honor she had. The maids helped her dress and prepare for the day, "You look tired, Milady."

"Yeah I didn't sleep very well."

"Oh feeling nervous about your meeting with Her Highness? I'm sure you're going to do great. Just relax."

"I wish I could."

The multi-hour boat ride wasn't helping matters given it was pretty rough and that made her stomach bounce with her mind was still racing. "No surely I wouldn't be put to death..." though costing an ally certainly seemed like a capital offense. "Maybe I will be sent to prison...Maybe banished...."

Her bodyguard next to her kind of heard her mumblings. "Milady. I know i'm technically a Knight ordinated by The Duchess, but I want you to know, whatever happens, I'm going to stand with you."

"Thank you, Eclair."

A few hours later, they arrived at the Capital. Escorted to the Ducal Palace. Millihi still couldn't help but feel like she was marching to her execution. In the same foreyr the two Officers would sit in a year later and countless others sat before and since, she waited until Asuna, Marcella's own bodgyuard poked in. "Her Highness wishes to see the Premier now."

Millhi inhaled sharply "Time to face the music..." She muttered to herself. Asuna stood aside allowing the Premier to go on in and she closed the door behind her.

"Oh Premier," Marcella said standing up but before she could finish anything else, Millhi threw herself down to the floor. "Your Majesty, I beg forgiveness and mercy!"


"I know I'm a fool who is unfit to be one of your own subjects, and I'm so sorry that I cost us a valuable ally..."

"Premier...." Marcella tried to get a word in edgewise but the Premier kept on going.

"Do what you will with me, but I ask spare my husband. It's not his fault he's married to such a dummy like me!"

"Millhi!" Marcella called her name out to hopefully get her attention. And she came down to floor level with the Premier. "I don't know what it is your going on about but it's truly no big deal."


"I just needed to talk to you about a discretion in your state budget. I asked your Chief of Staff but she really couldn't acount for it either so I need to ask you. It happens pretty often so I don't know what's got you so upset?"

"Milady I...." Milihi explained everything to her. Actually Marcella knew , "Oh that? That's what's bothering you? Milihi, it's fine!"

"Y=you knew about that? I knew it, they did call you!"

"Actually, Noir told me. I haven't heard anything beyond usual cables from them. It's fine, really, nothing has happened."

"Oh my! I'm, I'm sorry."

"Come, sit." Marcella pulled on a wire, a wire that connected to a paticular bell outside in the den which alerted Yoshi to come in. "Could you bring us some milk tea please?"

Though they were here to discuss a budgetary matter, Marcella felt it could wait a while. "That's had you really upset huh?"

"Milady, I respect you a great deal. I get people might take me as a fool, and I can be but I'd hate that it'd reflect badly on you or the whole country. Noir says I have been overracting but still..."

"You shouldn't. All my citizens are important to me. You all come first in my mind. Even if it had truly come to that, which it wouldn't, the two you talked with weren't high ups in government, well I'd still stand up for you first." She couldn't help but giggle "You're really cute, you know that." Now the doggy instincts of the Premier kicked in, her tail wagged with glee her ears perked up, Marcella couldn't help but pet her like a dog.

"Now let's talk your state's budget. I'm sure it's just a small oversight we can rectify."

And it was, it was a small calcualtion error from the beancounters and it was just as quickly fixed. And there you have it, five unique tells of past and present about the various leaders of these five little islandss.

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Founded: Sep 08, 2010
Father Knows Best State

Postby Haishan » Sun Feb 14, 2021 9:49 am

TITLE: A New Dawn of Space, Pt.1
AUTHOR: Haishan

They said Gods made Men to be trapped in this cage. Forever bound, shackled to give Them prayers of piety. But Men sobered and asked askance, why Gods granted them wisdom? Was it for piety or something else? One of Men thus proposed; seek upon the secrets of Heavens. The Gods are surely somewhere, out there. - H.Vozeka, The Question of Heavens (1963), pp-152

Cosmonaut Giselov glanced over his shoulder again. There was nothing here except innumerable amount of asteroids. Some were big, some small. The Sun was no larger than a basketball. The Earth? He can't see it; space is big. Mind-boggling big that he cannot wrap his head around it. Yet he was here. Yes, here, among the drifting asteroids. His intercom crackled to life.

"Giselov, Giselov, all-clear?"
"Clear, Comrade."

He withdrew a steel hatchet from his bulky spacesuit. At this distance, his reply will only reach Earth around twenty to thirty minutes if stars were in his favour and if the Sun was in its best mood. Giselov can only curse his luck for offending the Quartermaster. He swung the hatchet on the rock while imagining hitting the Quartermaster's face.

"Giselov comrade, you don't have to swing it that hard."
"Oh Comrade Rulov, I know what I'm doing."
"You know what, I will come to you. Stop swinging, that's an order."

Giselov stopped as instructed. Puffs of space soil blew into the distance. Tens of meters away was his comrade-in-arms, Dr. Rulov. He wore the same spacesuit as Giselov, bulky and studded with handful of small nozzles. Several leaps were all it took to bring him to Giselov, thanks to the low gravity on this asteroid.

"Good to see you in health, Giselov. You know why I told you to stop swinging?"
"Please, do tell Doktor Rulov. I am but a man in punishment."

"You see how easy for me to leap here. That means whatever holding this asteroid together is..."
"Weak. So if I swing too hard, it will put all of us in danger."

"Let's put it as that way. Comrade Giselov, have you put the pole?"
"As you instructed, Doktor. At 0900 hours."

"Good. I will put some words for you. The Quartermaster is being unreasonable this time."
"I appreciate your offer, Doktor Rulov but no need. I admit it was my fault too, I'm too emotional."

"Oh? As you say then, comrade. It's good to have emotions. Anyway, let's head back."
"As you command, Doktor Rulov."

At their back was the said pole, one of many littering this asteroid field. Giselov and others had put an array of them to further expand the network. The asteroid belt was a chaotic place; with time, said poles will get damaged from random collisions with asteroids too small and fast to be seen with the naked eye. His suit was a testament of that, with three tiny holes on his brocade and two on his neck. Thankfully his suit was thick enough to shrug them off.

Both men simultaneously leaped from the asteroid, accompanied by jets of steam coming from nozzles on their suit. They trusted their lives on the operator of their transport. Even if Doktor Rulov had calculated it for the umpteenth time, Giselov can't help being nervous. If they were off by mere fraction meter per second, they could miss the transport and drift for all eternity in this dark part of the solar system.

"Guh!" Giselov let out a grunt that no one else than him can hear. Space is largely empty with no atmosphere to speak of.
Rulov extended his gloved hand and pushed him to the right direction, "Comrade, grab the railings. Don't slip."

"Yes." Giselov suppressed the urge to vomit. The approach was too rough on his stomach. He was on the verge of hurling out his lunch.
Rulov dragged him inside the airlock come high or low, "Comrade Giselov, looks like I need to give a piece of my mind to the Quartermaster after all."

"What? No, you don't have to, Doktor." Giselov tumbled sideways due to sudden acceleration. He was still fumbling to find his footing. Transitioning from zero gravity to one was still a challenge for most.
Rulov helped him up and proceeded to strip a dosimeter badge on his spacesuit's pauldron, "Oh I will. You were over-exposed. Take a good rest at the base."

"Am I really?" He refused to believe it but then he splattered his helmet with his vomit. The cough was serious. He blinked several times as he thought he saw some splotches of red in his vomit.
The Doktor made some hand signs, "Unfortunately, yes. Your family will be duly compensated, of course."

"By my authority, you are now sentenced to the hot section, Quartermaster Dyakov." Rulov pronounced with little emotion to this offender.
Multiple armed men pointed their weapons to the guilty but he remained unyielding. Defiant even. "I believe what I did was right! This is tyranny!"

"Stay down!" One of the men bashed his weapon, a rocket rifle on his face with an audible thwack sound.
Dyakov ignored the searing pain and spitted on the guard, "Buh! You and your so-called rules!"

The guard considered to execute this man there and now but Rulov stopped him, "On second thought, no. Putting you in the hot section is too nice. Eject him, men."
"No, no, no! You can't do this to me!" Dyakov screamed all the way to the airlock. None of his pleas reached the ears of his captors. He raged and grieved until his voice was no more. He was no more on this station.

"You did what you needed to do, Doktor." Another man spoke, that witnessed it all.
Rulov gave out a sigh, "I prefer if I'm not forced to do this, Captain. I'm a bit worried-"

"Of their psyche? A legitimate concern. Years out here basically meant doom." The newcomer was Captain Vladimir, ten of centimetres taller than Rulov.
The Doktor nodded at the burly man, "We are all no better, Captain. But progress demand sacrifice. Pioneers don't usually live long."

"Heh, I like your attitude. If only you're a woman, haha!" Vladimir gave out a vulgar laugh. His men had long disposed of Dyakov and went back to their posts.
Rulov almost slapped him, "'I'll pretend I didn't hear that, Comrade Captain."

"What's the harm in a little joke?" The captain laughed it off as he accessed some files.
Rulov did the same but with a different file, "A little joke condemned a fine man into a cripple."

"Giselov? He's a goner?"
"Unfortunately, yes. And we've yet to prime the dragon."

"You said it yourself, Doktor. Pioneers don't usually live long. But we will make history!"
"Sigh. Going along with you guys is the worst decision in my life."
Last edited by Haishan on Sun Feb 14, 2021 10:02 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Founded: Nov 04, 2016

Postby Kuronami » Sat Feb 20, 2021 4:16 pm

TITLE: What to Say About Thunder Creek?
AUTHOR: Kuronami

Hey y'all won't ya listen to my story a minute? My name is Robyn Gray, and here I am in my sweat pants, white tank top, hunched over my desk this thundering evenin' trying to write this paper about my new home town, of Thunder Creek. Well town in the loosest sense. Because we don't actually live in the town, we live outside it. What I mean is, we live on a farm. By we I mean my ma, pa and my little sister, Sasha. We actually just moved here over the summer to get started. Right now, we aint got nothin' but a handful of barnyard friends on that end, but we've started planting as autumn sets in and winter sets in we'll be ready and rearing to go by spring time. Granted it don't get cold usually this far down South in Clarines. Clarines that's in Central Kuronami, ya know! Well anyway where was I? Oh right yeah, I'm trying to write this essay. Tomorrow may be our first day of school but I'm going into middle school now, and middle school is a whole lot tougher than elementary school. Means we get assignments ahead of time and mine is to write about my new place. But having only been here a couple of months now, I'm really having a hard time here. Well one thing is for sure, I think to myself, as I let the latest crack of thunder rattle the house a bit. It lives up to its name. I had heard this place gets near nightly thunderstorms in the summer, I reckon' that might have been a slight exaggeration because it hasn't been EVERY night if we're gonna be all pedantic but it has been pretty frequent. I mean we're from a little town just a bit further south, I'm used to the sounds of the steam whistle waking me up at dawn when my Pa would go off to the factory but that was then, this is now.

As I begin to write something, anything, suddenly I feel the sensation of hair brushing on my shoulders. It aint mine so that can only mean, yup it's Sasha. She was standing at my side looking what I was doing I think, or maybe she was actually really scared given how tight she was holding onto her little teddy bear. "Hey, you." I said to her, really I do love my little sister, she's younger than me, well obviously, but she's still in elementary school. "What ya doin up?" She had for certain crawled out of bed, her covers were tossed over the side. She always came to me, probably because we've been like peas and carrots forever. Shared the same room, shared a lot of the same toys and the same clothes too. Ya know, now I'm really glad to be the oldest. "c'mon ya can't be scared." I chuckled but she sort of just stood there looking a bit embarrassed. "C'mon ya act like ya never lived through a thunderstorm before."

"Mmmm" she moaned softly. I guess she really just didn't want to admit it but oh well, she is just a kid after all. "I'm also thinkin' 'bout tomorrow" She muttered back. "Oh your first day at TCE?" Thunder Creek Elementary, pretty basic for a tiny town. Frankly I was surprised this town was big enough for two schools. There's the elementary school and then there's the upper school, where middle and high go. Thunder Creek is very much a farming town.

"Mhm." She nodded again as she leaned into me for some comfort. "Hey don't worry much 'bout it. C'mon I bet your gonna make friends easy. I mean you like baseball, I bet you'll find someone else who does too." Well not just her, I liked it too, the whole family loved it. Ma and Pa played all through their school days, we play as well, though we don't know yet if this town has any teams. I mean it seems like it would but what do I know?

"mmmm." she again sort of muttered back. Hard to say if that was her agreeing, disagreeing or just wimperin' I really can't tell sometimes.

"What'cha doin?" She asked me

"Tryin' to write up this little essay for tomorrow." I sighed. It was hard. This essay wasn't a big part of my grade or nothin' and honestly I don't care 'bout school all that much. Kind of decided long time ago I was going up to the minimum level required then work our farm full time. That's really in my future. I mean being a pro ballplayer would also be lotta fun, but eh that might just be a fantasy. Before any more words could be exchanged between us, our bedroom door opened gently as our Ma poked her head in, she was holding a little antique oil lamp for light. Guess it's as they told us, power here is pretty unreliable and expensive so most out in the sticks like us just don't bother with it. "Hey you two, it's after midnight." Ma told us with that worried voice mothers all have. "You both need to be asleep by now."

"Yessum." We both just replied and just got into our own beds, there really was no sense in arguing with her. I could still work on the essay tomorrow and get it done by the next day. We each had a small twin bed for us, I wanted bunk beds, they were pretty cool but the room had a pretty low ceiling and not a lot of space, a bunk would probably eat up a chunk of it. I'd probably offer Sasha a spot with me if it were winter and cooler but it was pretty warm tonight, even with the storm, there wasn't any rain out of it, just a lotta lightning. Hoo boy there was so much lightning, it's no wonder Sasha was scared. Didn't bother me all that much anymore, after all I'm in middle school now, too old to be afraid of thunder or the dark like Sasha was. Our ma gave us both a kiss good night and told us she'd see us in the morning.

Mornin' arrived before we knew it, we were used to being up early so we got up just as dawn cracked and the roosters crowed. Morning shower for both of us, then dressed for school. All schools, even the most rural of ones in this country required some type of uniform and ours were these rather cute jumpers, white shirt and little red ribbon at the collar. Honestly I didn't mind a uniform but I really wish they had short sleeves because it was warm! It's still the waning days of summer, even then as I mentioned this part of the country doesn't usually get very cold in the winter, but it does get pleasant. Well we sat for breakfast, I still looked over my essay. Pa came in, guess he got an earlier start than us as he was clearly ready to work while ma had fixed us up for breakfast.

"Hey my two girls, looks like y'all are ready set for your first day!" He ruffled our heads, ya know i love when he does that but not after I already fixed up my hair! "Figured I'd take care of yer mornin' chores for the occasion but don't make it a habit, we expect everyone to get their work done."

"Yessir." We both said to him. Pa was strict but kind. He certainly never did things like yell or hit us for discipline, even though he got plenty of that as a kid but he did expect us to be our very best and if we weren't he'd make sure we'd face consequences in some way. Something as simple as our phones being taken away, which yes, even us bumpkins have them, thanks to Piffle making such cheap phones, grounding us, making us do extra chores around the house or I guess now, farm. Gee I'm still not used to being a farmer even though I've been here for three months now!

There was a resounding honk from outside as we finished eating. I know that sound, it was the sound of a little moped my new friend Krystal had. Krystal was another recent move in like us, well recent in the sense she'd been here a couple of years. Her family moved up from Mazomba, the islands to our south. Not to become farmers like us, but her father was a doctor and her mom worked at the local market. Rural towns really do need doctors so various Medical Associations or the Government pays big incentives for doctors and nurses to set up practices in rural areas. Frankly I found Krystal pretty, dark skin, dark hair, a real exotic accent, gee I may be in love! Eer anyway, she said she'd give me a ride into town for school every day no strings attached. The two of us really bonded over the summer, I met her when I was in town shopping and the two of us chatted and became friends! Best of all she has a little sister, Sasha's age. Look, I love Sasha with all my heart but I need space too ya know, and Sasha is always my little shadow!

"Oh!" I reacted gulping down my milk. "That's Krys." I grabbed my bag, kissed my Ma and Pa goodbye. "I'll see y'all later." Sasha did the same and followed me outside. I already explained Sasha would be walking, which was fine, it was like a 20 minute walk and Sasha didn't mind but she wouldn't be walking alone she'd be with her sister, Béla. There the two were, waiting on us "Heya!" Krystal greeted me "Ya all set?"

"Yup!" I responded to her "Oh this is Sasha? This is Béla. My little sister." Krystal hadn't yet met Sasha nor had her sister met Sasha. "I heard ya like baseball, so does Béla."

"Ooh?" Béla inquired "What's your fav team?"

"uuuh." Sasha sort of nervously uttered out "I like the Black Stallions a lot."

"hey mine too! What about the Dolphins?" Béla asked

"Oh yeah! I like them too! Uh what do you think of Izzy Izaria? Do you think she should be MVP?"

It seemed the two hit it off naturally, that's good! I knew this would work. Krystal told me Béla really liked baseball so I knew she and Sasha would find each other to be good friends and it seemed like they were as we all set off down the road. We met up again just outside our schools which stood next to each other. They were simple one level buildings, well there was a basement which was mostly used for storage but they also doubled as tornado shelters if that ever happened. "Sasha, I'll see you after school, kay?"

"Kaay!" She waved me goodbye. Yeah she'd be fine. Ya know suddenly I'm feeling just a little sad but I'm sure it'll pass. Well our day was ordinary, boring classes, chatting with Krystal for me and meeting some of the other girls in my class. All into different things but some shared interests among us. Most lived in town but a few farmers here too and they gave advice. I mean I'm sure Ma and Pa know what they're doing, they grew up on farms too but well this place is a bit something else. As the day drew to a close I still hadn't finished my essay but I certainly thought about it to that time I sat down after supper time. Pa and Sasha went out to watch the game in town at the local tavern. Ma went to bed early, guess she really wore herself out today, poor her. So I thought about it and I finally got it. What to say about Thunder Creek? Well it's hot, sticky, it storms a whole lot but the people here, are really awesome.
Last edited by Kuronami on Sat Feb 20, 2021 7:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Founded: Jul 22, 2017
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Cartoonia » Sat Feb 27, 2021 8:38 pm

TITLE: Sensha-D’oh I
AUTHOR: Cartoonia

Of which goes into detail of the week of decisiveness in the government in regards to Ooarai, P.C. Patterson, and the sport of tankery

“With that ladies and gentlemen of the house, I call the motion to declare the house at recess until the morning of nine o’clock on Monday, the twentieth day of the month of November in the year of Twenty-twenty!” shouts Speaker of Cartoon House Bugs Bunny, seeing how his party the Cartoon National Kid Party won the chancellery and a majority of the seats in the house.

This recess was not abnormal for politicians of Cartoonia to take. It was a Friday and the house had an entire week to rest before going back into the house to debate and create new legislation, after all, the job of a representative in Cartoon House was not a full-time job. It was also some time off for the secretarial staff of the Cartoon Cabinet, the secretaries that head the different departments in Cartoonia that help Chancellor Nigel Uno run the government (and to an extent, the nation). Not all of the secretaries are going off for vacation, as some have opted to stay in the capital to run a few things as the departments they head do not have the luxury of taking a break. Secretary of Foreign Affairs Mrs. Raphtalia stays since diplomacy never rests, and Secretary of Defense Ludwig Belischmidt has to constantly carry out military orders. And that is not including the current pandemic which Secretary of Health Mr. Ootori is in charge of steering Cartoonia to safety. Of course, the virus was not detected in Cartoonia so it was safe for travel, albeit with restriction.

Of course, the last person that would stay in Gallagher, the capital where Cartoon House is, would be the Secretary of Education Peter Charles Patterson, who usually goes by the initials P.C. He should be off vacationing back to his home town of South Park, but he opted to stay and work. Now P.C. Patterson you see was very much what you didn’t expect from any Cartoonian. He is one of those radicals in government leaning towards the left of politics. He was one of the few male members of the Jonestown Feminist Party, which was formally the Jonestown Liberal Party before the moderate liberal wing split off into the Democratic Federalist Party. Their party only had ten seats in the house (which would have been more seats than the Eco-Revolutionary Party’s three seats) but with the party split, they now only had five seats (still more than the ERP though).

It’s no secret that Patterson’s ideals align with the modern-day theory of political correctness. He wants anything that he deems not suitable and offensive to any minority to be torn down for something cleaner and less offensive. This of course sometimes failed. Before his time as Secretary of Education, he proposed bills to Cartoon Hosue such as one to change the military’s uniform to something less regal as it was a callback to imperialism, he proposed statues of classical/romantic era composers that are seen in almost all theatres, concert halls, and opera houses around Cartoonia to be taken down since it was not representative enough, he even tried to ban steam engines on the railways of Cartoon because how “un-environmentally friendly” it was. Of course, all of these decisions were taken down by the majority of the representatives seeing that all of his claims were ridiculous.

It must be noted that the reason why a moderately conservative chancellor such as Nigel Uno would choose a radically liberal-minded politician such as P.C. Patterson is simply to diverse the cabinet concerning the political spectrum. Chancellor Uno wanted to unite the nation during this hard time despite the political divide between politicians.

Just recently, he challenged the established school sport of Tankery, often referred to as Sensha-do or Panzerfahren, as he has said both in the House and social media of how the sport supported imperialism, militarism, and toxic masculinity. At this point, it is well to mention that the sport of tankery in Cartoonia is practiced by both boys and girls as a way to promote teamwork, leadership, and wellbeing. Patterson tried to get the sport canceled, and failed once again, even people on social media disliked him. He was however still determined to see the sport canceled by any means necessary.

While the politicians and secretaries prepare for the week-long holiday (with some of them already leaving), Patterson looks through an assortment of paperwork and documents, most of them of high schools that practice Tankery. He figures that if he could shut down a school with the most prestigious tankery team. It will hopefully send a message to everyone. As he continues his thoughts, a knock is heard from his office door.

“Come in!” He shouts from his desk. The door opens to reveal no one else but Mrs. Raphtalia Iwatani, the Secretary of Foreign Affairs. She is actually surprised that Patterson was still here. He did mention during many lunch breaks that he was going home to South Park for the Fall recess.

“Oh! Excuse Mr. Patterson. I didn’t know you were still here,” Raphtalia says to him. “I’d thought you’d be heading home to South Park”.

“The work of a righteous politician is never done, bro. And I do not appreciate calling Mr. Patterson. I prefer the name, P.C. Patterson. Much more politically correct that way”. It is usual for people to be taken back and a little weirded out by Patterson’s extreme political correctness.

“Anyway, I was just about to compile some statistics for national pamphlets to be sent to our embassies, do you have education statistics?”

“Well yes I do,” he says, as he goes to one of his filing cabinets and pulls out the statistics from last month’s report. “However… I don’t think you’ll like these statistics”.

“What do you mean?” Asked Raphtalia all confused, “I thought we were among the top five countries in education?”

“I know the truth. We are putting too much emphasis on indoctrinating conservative values rather than educating students. How can we be on top in education if all we do is teach students the corrupt mind of the imperialist warmongerers?”.

“What the- What, kind of drug have you been taking?” Raphtalia asked, now annoyed. “I know for a fact that our students excel both home and abroad. Some of our most successful students have been through our education system”.

“But then we have those nationalists because of this school system. Saying that Cartoonia is the best place to be. We need to liberalize the education system, otherwise, a nation of nationalist, imperialist, warmongers, who don’t take political liberalization seriously, is going to exist”. Raphtalia is just trying to wrap her head around it.

“Nevermind. Can I just have the statistics please?”. P.C. Patterson reluctantly gives her the document. Raphtalia says her thank you and quickly leaves, but not before being asked a question.

“I assume that you are not going home for the recess as well?” Patterson asks.

“Unfortunately not. As much as I would like to go home to Rururona Village, I have my duties as the Secretary of Foreign Affairs. Diplomacy waits for no one”.

“And liberalization waits for no one either. It is up to you and me to reform the government to the ideals of political correctness”. Raphtalia sighs in annoyance and promptly leaves. With Secretary Raphtalia out of his office, Patterson continues going through the school lists. He comes across school names that have become synonymous with tankery. Schools like St. Gloriana, Saunders, Kurmorimine, and Anzio, most recognizable by the fact that they are themed to certain nationalities. Of course, he would consider closing them down for playing up stereotypes, but another school got his attention. It was a girls’ academy and a famous one at that. Ooarai High School is tops in both academics and tankery… honestly the perfect criteria of which to shut down a school in the eyes of Patterson.

He has heard of this high school before, though it was on the controversy of a style of tankery that is now perceived as dangerous but continued in the Southern parts of Cartoonia up until the 1980s after a council inquiry on one of the tournaments (what happened was that almost all of the participants of the tankery tournament died from either the shells, the trauma, etc. but that is a story for another time). In recent years, Ooarai Girls’ Academy has revamped its tankery team and as of 2018, has been able to keep the title of tankery champions. Of course, that didn’t matter to Patterson.

“Ah! A tankery school!” Patterson says in exhilaration. “This will surely set an example to all schools everywhere to never mess with political correctness”. Patterson begins writing a secretarial act of which to shit down Ooarai Girls’ Academy. After writing the draft, he goes through other documents in his office to look for one thing, Chancellor Uno’s signature. You see, for a Sertarial act to be enforced, the Chancellor has to approve of the draft. The Supreme Leader is not involved, this is all internal within the government (the Supreme Leader can only approve legislation from Cartoon House). Patterson finds a document with the chancellor’s signature and forges it. He was a cheeky little bugger, willing to do anything to push his political agenda.

Having forged the signature, he makes a call to one of the offices of the education department to give them orders. The other line picks up.


“Ah, Mr. Tsuji! I got orders from the chancellor for you to carry out”.

“Really?” Mr. Renta Tsuji, the head of the office of Culture, Sports, Science and Technology in Schools replies. “What is the order?’

“As you know, we are experiencing a budget crunch within our department. I have no choice but to shut down a school”.

“Which one sir?”

“...Ooarai Girl’s Academy”.
Last edited by Cartoonia on Sat Feb 27, 2021 8:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Supreme Leader Jimmy Kudo
Chancellor Nigel Uno
Attorney General Conan Edogawa
Secretary of Foreign Affairs Raphtalia
Gran-General of the Army Eric Cartman
Gran-Admiral of the Navy Kagura Mikazuchi

The desk of the Democratic Republic of Cartoonia Department of Foreign Affairs.
Capitol: Gallagher
Current Civil State: Prosperous
Current Military Status: At Peace
Cartoonian-Dillydale Stock Exchange…...JWC -10.0%........CIS +1.1%......CEP +2.1%......SSA -6.1%......POC -5.1%......WDC -1.2%......ABC +2.4%......RMC -1.2%......MRE +1.7%......SSC +3.1%......FSC +2.0%......KTC -0.5%......SBC -4.2%......KKF -5.3%

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Founded: Mar 08, 2007
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby AHSCA » Sun May 09, 2021 5:22 pm

TITLE: Beyond the Fence

The village of Takato, a tiny little hamlet nestled on the North West of Aurora Island. It was a lot like many little villages that dotted the islands, a handful of people in it, men, women, children just living daily lives, far flung from the hustle and bustle of the "urban" (well, urban in the loosest sense of the word) but what made this village a little more interesting compared to most was it was situated in the shadow of the Mokastana Naval Facility. In fact this village used to be much larger spanning into the area before eminent domain scooped it up. Today seemed to be rather ordinary for the villagers, even the roar of military helicopters overhead was sometimes ordinary.

Little children looked up at them while older folks were used to them. One little girl, Hinako yelled out "Dragon 1-2-3!" It was a game the children played as the helicopters flew over, likening the mechanical beasts to dragons. Who got it first got a point and so on and the end of the game, they 'won' Well Hinako was behind her friends in this regard everyone had more points than her.

"Hinako hehehe" A young boy named Takeru laughed "Finally got one point did ya!"

"I sure did! Finally but you're still ahead, Takeru!"

as the two little friends strolled merrily through the village to meet another friend of theirs for a day of just playing and being little kids. But it was impossible to not hear the nervous murmurs from the grownups as they walked on by every hut and corner that people congregated at. The papers today were filled with news that Stevidan sailors had arrived! Well not quite that dramatic, it was a few unlucky commercial sailors who were rescued from a shipwreck. Their friend who was eagerly awaiting jumped up from her little crouch position where she was looking at little bird that landed nearby "Hoi, TK, Hina!"

"Noooaaa" Hina made a quick little dash over to her. "Ready to play today?"

"Yup I am. Where should we go, should we walk over to Tomi Village and walk on the shore?"

"I say we finally make our way all the way to Aurora!" Takeru said with pride

"Takeru that's a long walk! No way mama and papa would let me go all the way there"

A rather loud sonic boom interrupted their conversation

"Is that thunder?" Hina inquired

"Noooo...." Takeru paused "No that's a jet passing over." Choppers were more common traveling to and from the nearby military instillation on and off the island but jets had a more particular flight path to keep the noise down and not disturb local villages. They looked but it was actually impossible to see where it was given the quick speed and laws of physics and all that, added it was a bit overcast today.

"So Tomi?" Hina asked about their plans for today.

Again their conversation was interrupted a bit as they overheard a couple of men talking about the ongoing events. "Did you hear?" one man asked to his friend "A handful of Stevid Sailors are going to Moka Base"

"Frankly I would have just let 'em drown in the sea."

The children knew about Stevid, it was a subject taught in AHSCA's schools as apart of the nation's history. Children and adults will be who they are and make a complex geopolitical war in years past into something greater or less than it was, for some it meant making the Stevidan monsters. Like, literal fantasy monsters with fangs or horns, or weird colored skin or something to that matter. imaginations could run wild especially among the youth who didn't understand these things.

"Heeeey...." Takeru grinned rather mischievously "Let's see 'em."

"See who?" Noa asked, cocking her head curiously.

"Duh the big bad scary Stevid sailors. I bet we captured a bunch of them and we're gonna make them pay for what they did to us!"

"But how would we see them?" Hinako inquired They said the Mokan peoples got 'em."

"Let's go to the base. It's only a short walk from here. Haven't you ever wanted to go inside?"

"uuuh I don't know much about bases and all that stuff" Noa said, "But papa told me they don't let people inside unless theys work there"

"Yeah but my big brother knows a way in. He told me there's a hole in the fence. And hey they're on our land and our village, so we got a right to know!" Takeru proudly procclaimed as if he really knew what he was talking about.

"I don't know, Takeru." Hinako shook her head "I was told not to go there"

"Ahh c'mon it'll be cool and fun. And when we go to school tomorrow, we'll be the talk o'the'class!"

"Mmm" Noa's cat like smile and sparkling eyes really came out as the sun peaked out from behind the clouds, Noa did particularly like attention and being the center of it. No doubt she could spin a fanciful yarn about their adventure. "I say we do it!" Noa agreed

"C'mon Hinako, c'moooon" Takeru really urged her to do it "It's gonna be fun I betcha!"

"mmmm okay okay but how will anyone believe us?"

"Mmm I know, I'll grab a little thing."

"Don't steal anything!"

"Relax, I'm talking something small like a pen or something, something they aint gonna miss. Not gonna boost a gun or something." He took her hand and Noa's hand the three children left their village along a jungle pathway that lead up to the base. Of course there were plenty of signs warning of a facility ahead and to turn around at a certain point, all ignored by the trio as they crept ever so closer into the clearing. The base was like many of its kind, a few structures, fenced off, various signs in the languages of AHSCA warning to keep out. Again all ignored by the three as they crept along this outer perimeter. "He said it was somewhere on the south side of the fence and covered in a lot of foliage." Takeru said searching around and reaching his hand on the chain link fence.

"Wait how do we know the fence isn't zappy?" Noa asked, her way of saying it was electrified.

"Haha, Noa that's only in manga unless...." He imitated getting electrocuted giving the two girls a good scare but shooting a sly grin back.

"Tha-that's not funn!" Hinako yelled

"Tehehe that was great" Noa giggled.

"Hehe sorry I couldn't resist. Sorry, okay. Look I knew it was because my brother's been here before. Plus they usually got pictures of lightning bolts on it if they exist. Here we go!" he cleared away some foliage and bushes to reveal a hole big enough for them to fit through, one by one they got in. This place was strange and alien to them, roads of asphalt, large planes, tall buildings (well certainly giant to them)

"This place is strange." Hinako said.

"It is but it's kind of cool." Noa responded, "like something out of a science-fiction story." It was actually a little quiet for right now, not a lot of activity going on which made it a little easy to wander around. Three small children didn't stand out much in a sea of giants.

"Mmmm..." Takeru scanned around seeing if there was a building open or something they could slip into and take something to show they were successful in their adventure. "There! Let's go" he pointed the direction of a build that had a door propped open. Inside the room was empty but seemed recently occupied, it was a rec room of sorts the usual sort of various activities to do. The children looked about to take in their surroundings a bit and examine things they really hadn't seen before, like a billiards table for example.

"What are these?" Hinako picked up a billard ball "It's a ball but it's really hard and way too small."

"Maybe it's like a baseball?" Takeru pondered back

"I thought those were white with stitches these are colorful and have numbers on them.

Sniff sniff Noa's nose started to pick up a scent, "Something smells yummy...."

"No time to think with your tummy, Noa" Takeru said.

"Mmmmm" She gave a sullen moan, "But I'm hungry, it's nearly lunch time and we didn't bring a snack"

"Maybe that's where everyone is at right now." Hinako thought, given how few people there were "They must be massing to go eat somewhere."

"mmm c'mon let's get some yummy foods they got! I bet they gots stuff we don't have!" Noa was urging them to go find the food.

"Noa, we're not even supposed to be here, what do you think'll happen if we're caught?" Hinako reminded her. "I promise we get back, we'll eat. Takeru let's go."

"C'mon we just got here."

"Hey, what do you think they got in this machine?" Noa wondered looking at one of the vending machines. She reached up getting on her toes to touch one of the high buttons. "It says one. One what?"

"I don't know, maybe it means it only has one thing left?" Hinako wondered too. She also pushed a button but naturally nothing happened without money going into the machine. "Mmmmm hey I wonder if they want coins." Takeru reached into the pocket of his kimono and pulled out a Credit coin, inserting it into the slot, it surprisingly worked when again Noa pushed a button on the machine and out came a cold bottled beverage, some kind of soft drink popular in Mokastana. "Hey it's water." Noa remarked

"It's a strange color though..." Hinako was a bit puzzled Somehow after a bit of trial and error they managed to open the cap and the hissing noise gave them a bit of a jump but not enough to drop it. Gingerly they tried it "Mmmm it's really sweet."

"It's really strange. Takeru try a little."

He took a sip "Wooooah it's really tingly in my mouth. Kind of stings." He held the drink away after sipping it

"If that's water then it's really sweet and and bubbly. Maybe that's why they grow so big." Noa nodded

"mmm if that's why than I think I'm okay with being small." Hinako shook her head and Takeru set the drink on the floor without putting the lid back on. The sound of voices could be heard coming their way. "Somebody's coming! Hide!"

The three ducked under the table as a couple of men walked in just having a conversation, about what none of them could understand, they just waited quietly hoping they'd go soon but for now they seemed to be. Suddenly Noa let out a sneeze. "choo!" which lead both men to give a bless you in exchange but realized neither of them sneezed. There wasn't much cover it wasn't long until they were spotted.

"okay now we go!" Takeru agreed. What happened next was a small chase around the room. Of course the soldiers didn't want to harm the children they just wanted to safely see them out, but for the three kids they figured they were doomed if they got caught. Well a few twists, turns loops and dives later the three made it back to the fence where they entered. "Well we made it." Takeru panted out

"that was close" Hinako panted out in reply, and Noa brought it full circle again, "Yeah so close and scary scary." Once they caught their breath they had a laugh at the thrill and danger they had. "I guess we better scram before they start sweeping around for us"

"Yup!" they hastily made a retreat back to their village. Empty handed of anything they thought so no way to prove their amazing story when they'd go to school the next day, but Takeru realized he did have something, the plastic cap of the drink bottle they had. He grinned knowing now he could tell everyone how him Hinako and Noa went Beyond the fence.

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Democratic Socialists

Postby Morrdh » Sat Jun 19, 2021 8:09 pm

TITLE: On Strangelight
AUTHOR: Morrdh

Extract Of A Lecture Given By T.L. Ellsworth, University of Lindun, Date Not Recorded

Before I begin I must admit that I'm not surprised by the low turnout, though my most sincere thanks to every one of you whom decided to be in attendance this day. It gives me some reassurance that somebody is interested in what I have to say, so let us get started.


You may have heard this word uttered in a mocking tone round the facility, a buzzword for flights of fancy. It's scientific importance is overlooked and cast aside, deemed nothing more than a foible. Think what you will of it, though you've only had the dismissal of others to rely on as a frame of reference. But I reckon that you've never heard an explanation of the science behind it, yes?

Ah, thought as much.

You see, Strangelight sits at the lower end of the visual spectrum of colours that can be seen by the human eye. It is a pale, though some say a sickly pale, violet in hue. Wavelength it generally sits around three hundred and fifty nanometres, frequency wise you're looking at round eight hundred terahertz. As a result of the high frequency it has a fair amount of energy, something in the three and a half electronvolts range. In effect, it sits in the range that overlaps the visible spectrum and ultraviolet. Thankfully Strangelight lacks the harmful effects of UV, however exposure to it over time does cause the iris and pupil of a human eye to turn white. A irreversible condition that, at a glance, may be perceived as blindness but the afflicted person is still able to see perfectly well.

To help off-set this effect, an effect that we shall call voiding, a pair of heavy duty goggles boasting multiple sets of lenses are used in conjunction with a Strangelight projector. The goggles feature controls to help create different combinations of lenses to help filter the wavelengths of Strangelight. They are a key piece of equipment as without them things illuminated by Strangelight are at best blurry and indistinct. It should be pointed out that the goggles still reveal everything, requiring the use of additional equipment. One such piece of equipment is a lumitype that has a similar appearance to an old plate camera, even functions in a similar fashion using a glass plate that has been treated with special chemicals.

Why Strangeligth works the way it does? That is something which I cannot say for certain, though it is my belief it's high frequency and energy 'feeds' a incorporeal entity enough energy for a partial manifestation under the right conditions. You could almost say that it is like infrared vision, effectively allowing you to see the invisible after a fashion.

More research is required to understand the full scope of Strangelight and it's possible applications, we have only just scratched the surface of what is possible.
Irish/Celtic Themed Nation - Factbook

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Founded: Apr 16, 2008
Democratic Socialists

Postby Morrdh » Wed Jun 23, 2021 6:41 pm

TITLE: A Bump In The Night; Grymkin
AUTHOR: Morrdh

Extract Of A Lecture Given By T.L. Ellsworth, University of Lindun, Date Not Recorded

For centuries we have told of creatures in myth and folklore, dressed them up as bedtime stories and children's rhymes. Cautionary tales, if you will, against certain vices like gluttony or greed. Passed down from parent to child, these stories became just that; fables and fanciful tales.

Though each story still held a grain of truth.

Mordentish folklore has long spoken of the fey, sometimes even used the term 'the fair people'. These were beings said to reside in distant realms beyond that of humans, typically in the Otherworld that otherwise refers to the afterlife in Mordentish beliefs. The fey were sometimes said to be aloof from Man, sometimes indulging in playful mischief. However, there were some of the fey that acted in more darker and sinister ways almost to the point of wickedness. It is these fey that I shalt talk about, but to differentiate them I will refer to them as the grymkin.

The grymkin are a group of maliciously inclined spirits with broadly similar characteristics, processing abilities that seem to defy the laws of nature. They are reportedly able to squeeze through the smallest of gaps, manifest from any reflective surface and even defy gravity by scurrying along ceilings. Most seem to process a twist sense of humour and, for the most part, go after those persons who have been wicked in some way.

A curious thing about grymkin is that they are not exclusive to Mordentish folklore as evident by mentions of similar creatures in other cultures, at least creatures fulfilling the same niche. Not all of these creatures seem to appear in Mordentish myths and legends and vice versa, leading me to suspect the influence of the national psyche of a given people. There are common enough themes amongst the nations surrounding the Sea of Crowns that these national psyche could be feeding into one another, though it is just as likely that tales got swapped amongst traders over the centuries.

Belief does seem to play into the grymkin in a big way. They tended to be more...feared in rural areas, though they appeared to undergo a waning process with the advent of the Industrial Age. Some, like the creatures called 'gremlins', actually enjoyed a rise of a sort with industrialisation. But reports of the creatures, along with their stories, mostly vanished over the course of the 20th Century and have only seen a resurgence in recent years as humanity rediscovered it's wanderlust.

Alas, I can only speak from Mordentish sources. Scant material exists outside of the Ordenite Reich and academic correspondence with scholars based in the Reich is...difficult at best. Likewise, for another comparison in the Sea of Crowns region the Holy Empire of Stevid is another poor source. Much of Stevidian folklore was oral based and was stamped out by the successive efforts of both the Communist era of Stevid and by the Stevidian Church. Casting my net further afield would require a considerable amount of time and financial resources, thus it is an endeavour that remains on the back burner.
Irish/Celtic Themed Nation - Factbook

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Founded: Mar 08, 2007
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby AHSCA » Sat Jul 03, 2021 4:33 pm

TITLE: The Impeachment of Marcella Villa

This is a story followup to this still ongoing RP set just a short time ahead from now

The gavel slammed in the morning of this week's session of Congress. The day was actually the August 1st. At the helm of the Chamber, Pacifica of course, Speaker and Majority Leader ready to again lead yet another session of debate and bills to discuss. But this wasn't going to be a day like any other because there was an unexpected surprise around the corner. "The chamber will come to order!" Pacifica called out to bring down the noise of the 10 Senators, and assistance on the floor and begin the day's work. Another slam of the gavel as the chamber did come to a hushed quiet. "Roll has been taken, and all Senators are present. If there are any motions and points of order, rise and be heard if not we will begin with the day's agenda." Pacifica scanned the room, noticing yes, one person did rise.

"Senator Fujihara of Aurora to what reason do you rise?"

Setsuko Fujihara of Aurora Island rose to speak, "Madam Speaker, I'm presenting today a request of impeachment of the Duchess Marcella Villa under Article II Section IV of the UIS Constitution.."

Excited murmurs, a few gasps and even some angry whispers, Pacifica slammed down the gavel yet again, "Decorum please. Senator, in pursuant to your request of impeachment, your request must be in writing with the signature of one other senator, do you possess this today?"

"I do, Madam, Speaker, I have the written complaint along with the signature of Senator Kiri Whatitiri of Hoshino Island."

"Senator Whatitiri, you have co-signed onto this?"

"I have, Madam Speaker."

"With a written deceleration, and the agreement of at least two Senators, the motion carries. Senators, in pursuant to Article II section IV, the standard is we recess and reconvene tomorrow. You will deliver the deceleration of Impeachment to your State Leaders whom will join you in this chamber. As Speaker and Majority Leader, it is upon me to deliver this to the Duchess. We stand in recess."

Again her gavel came down as she and Miela whom stood next to her exchanged looks. This was unprecedented, but at the same time the last two months were not a pleasant one in the politics of the UIS.

Marcella did read it over, "Absolute rubbish."

"I am sorry, Milady but the law is written in for this" Pacifica said "But if you feel any better, I really doubt there's enough votes to actually remove you. After all, it requires near unanimous. I can already say I still stand with you, personally. I can't say about Miela but well..."

"Maybe I should just abdicate, give the bastards what they want already!" Marcella chucked her empty dish and tea cup across the room shattering it. "Everyone else thinks I'm an incompetent ruler already, so might as well right!"

"Milady, please calm down." Pacifica really wanted to quell her temper "Listen I know how rough it was over the last month, but really this isn't going to help. Every leader has their rough patches, this is one for you. Come on, it's a storm in the ocean for you to overcome I'm certain of that. Now, you do have the right to speak on your behalf, and/or to have someone else speak on your behalf. You do have the right to be present and witness to the proceedings or to not be. Regardless, all will be taken in a written record. Milady, what do you wish to do?"

"I will be present and I will testify."

"Very well. Milady I will leave you to work, as I will be returning to Corona to present My Chief with the Impeachment. If there's anything else I can answer for you now?"

"No, Pacifica, you've been helpful. Thank you. I will see you tomorrow."

"Yes, Milady."

The impeachment process can be something of a trial or a simple vote of no confidence, what Marcella was now facing was a vote of no confidence, but it was till called impeachment as outline in the constitution. A fairly simple process, as you've seen so far and a quick one at that. The unicameral chamber was packed now, leaders from every island, along with their significant others (if any) as well as all present senators. At the helm again was Pacifica, though off to the left with Marcella in the middle, per the traditional seating arrangement, the Duchess in the middle and either speaker/majority/minority member to the left or right of her, it really didn't matter so long as she was in the middle. Pacifica again called to order. "Today begins the impeachment process of The Duchess Marcella Villa. This is the first in our nation's history since we were formed as the United Island States. In accordance with procedure outline by Section II and Article IV, the session will progress as followed, I the speaker open the proceedings, noting charges or complaints, the complainants will present their case. Any defense for the Duchess will then present their own. In this instance the Duchess has decided to represent herself and speak for herself.

After that a vote will commence, to remove Her Highness will require the yes votes of at least seven senators, that's 3/4ths of this chamber, as well as a unanimous vote by all active State Leaders. Should the removal be successful, the title will pass along the line of succession outlined by Article II Section I. The young Princess Gisella has not been deemed to be of age and maturity, the Duchess remains unmarried with no named heirs but with a still living mother thus the title will be passed along to her."

Interrupting was Senator Kiri Whatitiri, "Point of order, Speaker, if we remove the Duchess should we not also remove the family itself?"

"Under parliamentary procedure, points of order are not to be addressed in an impeachment and no confidence. The lady will be seated. Continuing, the line of succession laid in order, rules or procedure are in order. Everything is congruent with the law and thus we shall begin proceedings. The Ladies of Aurora and Hoshino respectively filed the motion shall begin their arguments. The arguments stand against the Duchess are:

Article A as filed by the Senator Fujihara of Aurora: Abuse of trust
Abuse of Power
Dereliction of Duty
Loss of Trust among the people"

Article B as filed by Senator Kiri Whatitiri of Hoshino,
Abuse of power

Setsuko Fujihara was the first to speak on this matter, "Members of Congress. It's no secret that I ran a platform on a anti-monarchy basis. To that it may seem like this is a partisan attack against Marcella Villa. But this is not, this is a grave matter of concern of lacking confidence in a leader. AHSCA is perhaps the only monarchy in the world that allows a proceeding like this. For the reasons that I'm here, when you lack faith and confidence in the leadership and skills of your leader, you must hold them to account by removing them. As you might imagine much of my shaken confidence boils down to recent events. We all are aware that the end of June, Marcella Villa broke off relations with the Sultanate of Kyrenaia. This alone would not warrant much, alliances are forged and broken, treaties can be dismantled with no fuss, groups and organizations withdrawn from, but to go as far as she did, not only insulting the sovereign of a foreign nation but to declare her and her family persona non grata unilaterally in the name of a foolish pursuit of a foreign woman. Imagine if Marcella had insulted the wrong person, the wrong leader, one who isn't as thick skinned as the Sultana of Kyrenaia. How much trouble we could be in if she had insulted someone who might have more of an axe to grind. Of course I wish like others the the Sultanate would be more progressive in their stance of same-sex relations as we are, but they are them and we are we. We cannot dictate how a nation is ran, only respect their choices and hope they respect our own. The Sultanate respects our choices of life, sovereignty and liberty and we should with them, it is not in our place to do otherwise. The Duchess actions in the days to follow were equally troubling. Lack of cohesion, unusual dealings with foreign nations behind closed doors. The lack of an ability to simply write out an apology for her backhanded insult to the Sultana. Nobody was expecting her to grovel, nobody was expecting her to crawl back, but to simply say I spoke out of turn, and I do apologize for my behavior. It seems our nations are incompatible, I shall wish the best going forward. There, a few simple words, nothing to it. Instead, nothing. How can we have confidence in a leader who cannot keep her composure in the face of adversity like that.

Marcella didn't get the spouse she wanted, that happens. I've been in love and have lost, i don't throw a tantrum on the world stage for it. Ladies and Gentleman, it is in this nation's interest to remove this triggered woman from our hallowed halls. We are embarrassed, she embarrassed us on the world stage, to the point even her own love affair the Princess Aurelia felt she was woefully unqualified. As she outlined in a correspondence with her and the Emepror of Bretenwald, I quote,

Now, as for your question – no.
Please do not get me wrong, Marcella is a woman with a beautiful mind and soul, strong and fierce, but despite all the love I still feel for her, she is not the right woman in these trying times for the UIS.
She lacks the experience to handle the mess, that was made by both her and my Grandmother, she lacks the resources to do so effectively, she lacks the corresponding government and I fear, that right now, she chased the foxes out of the chicken coop only to let the wolves in. I pray, that she realized that before it is too late and acts accordingly, swallowing her pride.

As you can see, when even the woman she professes love to thinks she is at best a fine woman but certainly far from a competent leader. If she too felt even Marcella would be best to swallow up her pride but the Duchess did not. When a massive explosion shook the island, people became concerned. Now this is of my personal opinion, but it's an opinion shared by many on this island, that this demolition wasn't simply to clear the area but it was intended as a message, a message to intimidate to make us fear the power of the Sultanate to remind us of our place. We do not take kindly to being bullied or pushed around but it's also something that can be easily avoided by showing proper decorum, decorum she lacks. Marcella tried to bluff, bluff she did, she clearly did not have anyone believing her. Only by relying on our allies did we know the Sultanate wouldn't dream of attacking us in a futile cause but that's not something we can rely upon. We have the good graces of our allies willing to stand up and defend us, because we are mild mannered. We aren't a nation waving a big stick, we aren't a nation that can afford to.

Marcella's actions have cause embarrassment that even when people try to stand up for us or throw empty flattering statements around, they're instantly rejected. The 24th of June, Prince Linely of Abetton authored an open letter to try to quell the tensions. In his letter he shared praise upon people, including us, saying we earned our respect as a member of the world stage. Two days later a response was made in the Utica Herald, written by Mahmut al-Zahir, as this one is longer, I will be paraphrasing it quite a bit more but it is open for anyone to read any time.

I also do not doubt, that what happened was a slip of the tongue of the Young Khana, which, taken for itself, would not have warranted the attention it is attracting – her asking for forgiveness and walking away wiser then before would have been sufficient, no one would have batted an eye...and while the youth certainly seems to be pre-destined to such slippages, it is no excuse.

At the same time, it appears to have involved matters of the heart, which adds a wholly different dimension to the affair. Kyrenaia always prided itself in drawing a clear line between matters of the private sphere and of the political sphere, and while that is sometimes very hard, we usually expect this to be true for all of our diplomatic partners.
To my understanding, not everyone is mature and wise enough to do so...but while that may be fine in the more temperamental and unstable minds of some, it is a danger – as we currently see.

Young Prince, allow me to be open as this letter is: I fear for the UIS. Fear, that the Young Khana has thrown out the Guarding Fox and invited in the wolves.
Already, there are people moving into position to receive the most out of the 'crisis' and not all of them have peace and prosperity for all at heart, despite their words to the contrary.

The main issue in this crisis is threefold:
For one thing, while the UIS could command some sort of respect comfortably, they do not...the means to demand any respect from anyone. Its diplomatic power is limited to being a diplomatic attachment to those larger and mightier then themselves, nations they have to stay in the good books of. Its economic power is limited by its own restraints and constrains....The current situation has shown that more then adequately, for if people would perceive the UIS as a nation, who could take care of their own problems, we would not have everyone scrambling to their aid against big, bad, evil Kyrenaia...

...The third issue are what your termed the 'cooler heads', which should prevail. Those cooler heads, which scrambled and are rushing to the defense {{That good graces I mentioned}} of the UIS, are out for their own advantages. The Astarians want to expand their position of power within the region, the Lamonians and other Greater Dienstadi powers seek to keep their influence, Mervay will certainly have its own agenda as well and even Abetton will not act the way it does without a goal in mind. These 'cooler heads' brought unnecessary hectic into the situation. This also links back to the respect and the diplomatic power the UIS does not have, for if they would respect the UIS and if the UIS would have the diplomatic power, their interference would be unnecessary and things would not have escalated to the point of people calling it a 'crisis'... I believe, that this matter will peter out and while the delegates of the Kyrenaia will pointedly ignore the UIS' delegates whenever they are in the same room (and vice versa), the only casualties remaining will be the formerly good relations between two nations, the heart of a young woman, the reputation of another and the UIS' independence of acting.

There you have it, Members of Congress, Leaders of the States, Officers of the Government. Marcella is an unfit leader. A leader who cannot command respect of another nation in spite of different ideals cannot gain respect of her nation and her nation's people. That is why the thing to do is to officially remove her from office, before more damage can be done. It's been over two decades since we fought and won our independence. It's been another decade since we garnered anyone in the wider world to pay attention to us as partners in trade, diplomacy and culture. And just as quickly that good will has been eroded. Kyrenaia is one nation of millions, but it's a nation that we cannot underestimate. It's a nation that has considerable more wealth, influence and strength than us. To them, they lost a 1 Credit Bill on the street and shrug it off. To us, we lost 1000 Credits and are panicking about it. Thank you, my colleague will continue with the complaint"

Kiri took the stand again. "Members of Congress. I'm a bit old fashioned, old school islander. I believe in the values of our own ways of life here, not the concerns of other nations. I was brought up to respect our Monarch but no longer I can give respect. That is why I agreed to sign onto this deceleration with my colleague across the aisle. I may not be as concerned with the world but that doesn't mean I don't have concerns about at home. For me, this is a little more about the egregious breach of our Constitutional Rights. The Seven Privledges of a UIS citizen is a sacred rite we hold dear. It's what we as citizens are allowed to do and since coming to power, I fear the Duchess has stomped on those rights in every which way. Slowly from within and from without, selling our national sovereignty away, piece by piece. Our life, our customs, our traditions, our values.

Article IX

Article Nine outlines the rights and responsibilities of citizens in what are known as The Twelve Rights and Responsibilities

Citizens of the UIS shall have the rights to

I. Practice a faith outside the state ordained traditions within reason and spirit of the laws

II. Speak freely against those of office without reprisal or imprisonment

III. Vote in an open election for their state's representatives at the national level

IV. Be free from discrimination by the Government on the basis of Sex, Identity, Race and Religion

V. Establish a plot of land and engage in free commerce to do with that in the spirit of the law

VI. Be free from eminent domain without fair compensation

VII. Bear arms freely in the spirit of the law

VIII. Right to be secure in their persons within the spirit of the law

IX. Travel freely between states and leave and return to the nation

X. Serve in the Government by appointment or election upon appropriate age without regard for discrimination outlined by The Fourth Right.

XI. Shall have the ability to be informed by a fair and open press.

XII. Shall have the ability to determine their course of life and happiness.

Citizens of the UIS shall have the responsibility to

I. Serve and train for the defense or betterment of their homeland by committing to at least one year of military or clerical service.

II. Vote in elections for their state's representatives at the national level

III. Pay their taxes as compelled by the nation

IV. Secure and manage their land from all crises natural or otherwise.

V. Secure and manage their villages and kin from all crises natural or otherwise.

VI. Not impose on the rights of others acting in spirit of the law

VII. Train and teach the younger generations in the manners they see fitting

VIII. Preserve and protect the islands natural environment

IX. Create equitable exchange of goods and services

X. To respect and abide by the Constitution and other laws.

XI. To respect the dignity, reputation, rights, and legitimate interests of others

XII. Protect and maintain the natural environment of the homeland.

I'm a textualist. This is as written and should be followed as written. The education mandate I feel is woefully against this. We as parents have the obligation to educate our children, not the state. We as parents rely on our children to be there with us to learn, not cooped up in a classroom to learn pointless drivel. The judicial system where we stand before a Magistrate or allow other wrongdoers to stand to a magistrate is not here. In the days of our parents and grandparents and even those among us who are old enough to remember, we stood before our peers to answer to them. Duchess Villa herself went against article twleve by allowing another major military base to park shore on our island, taking away an old village which stood since the days of the Aurora Empire, the days of her ancestor. Eminent domain they call it, with compensation, but money cannot compensate for the community that was there. Where men, women and children forged their life together. Farming, fishing, sailing, preaching. The state cannot impose on the rights of others just as we cannot as said by article Six. That is what the Duchess has done, that is why I'm here today. My colleague is more worried about a silly squabble between a foreign monarch while I'm worried about the eroding of our liberty here. Our concerns are different but our goal is the same, to represent the best of our constituents. As she represent Aurora Island, shaken by this whole mess of the Kyres leavin, I represent the Hoshonites, concerned about what the future holds for them as new laws seem to contradict the values instilled since birth since the days before we were a monarchy. We are unified but I believe our unity is for greater defense morose than any real intent to be a monolith state like others. I understand others feel differently and feel we are one nation, and that's fine, that's a vague concept for another day. But my article of impeachment and no confidence remains that. Thank you."

Pacifica tapped the gavel. "The Senators have spoken their arguments. The Duchess Villa will now be allowed to speak on her behalf."

Now finally it was Marcella's turn, she swallowed her tears. Things said about her behind her back from someone she trusted and cared about really stung just as hard now as they did weeks ago. She may never truly get over it ever. She told Aurelia a lot of things in confidence, and Aurelia threw it out for the world to see. Well now was do or die.

"Members of Congress, Esteemed Leaders of the UIS, thank you for hearing my words. I realize how difficult something like this is, the line of tradition and progress blurring together as you face the decision whether or not I should continue as leader of these United Island States. I've been asking myself that too, I know what I did was foolish, childish even, not very becoming of a woman of my title, status and family lineage. But the truth is, I do want to remain as your Duchess because I love my country and love my people. Even as a few of you stand against me, well I do. I realize love is not enough in this awful world we live in but it's what carries us as a people. It was foolish hot love that certainly made me lose my composure and forget all court manners instilled in me since a child. I can't deny, I may have caused a bit of harm but I can't apologize and I can't say I was wrong. I'm sorry the Sultana felt insulted, I'm sorry I lost my temper and told her to get out but I'm not sorry for standing what I believe in. Knowing now that many in the Sultanate regard me with such little opinion of myself and us as a people. We are mild mannered and yes we don't go around waving a big stick. But I didn't wave a stick, I simply told it how it is to a woman who wouldn't see reason, a woman who felt it prudent to insult our own national honor. In days past, a day which the Senator from Hoshino seems really keen to return to I might add, people would fight to the death over that. By the sword, by the gun, whatever, a duel to protect one's honor. Of course we are not in those days so we exchange words. barbed words. As the Sultanate continued to hurl insults at us time and time again through open editorials and their media, I held back. I stood my ground not giving in again to my temper as I did that day at my office where I declared them not welcome.

How easy it would have been to get into a war of words with them, but I didn't. Instead I let them do so, through private and open, I let them take all the pot shots they wanted. They got to puff out their chest and be the big nation that laughed away a tiny nation. But if this is about concern about our reputation and not hurt national pride than I did no wrong in this case. I let the words hit us and that was that. I may have spoken less but if your argument was I endangered us, than by not speaking, I kept us out of danger by letting them get it all out in the open. Are we embarrassed sure? I am for our country and maybe my attempts to be a big nation failed but if the Senator Charging me with dereliction I have not. If charged with incompetence, well I'll admit to hardly being perfect but how is deciding a nation is no longer worth my time to deal with incompetent? This decade of being your Duchess has taught me more than I could be taught by my mother and all teachers. Some lessons harder than others but I've always dedicated myself to our people. To the betterment of our society. We do operate very strongly on a 'live and let live' mentality here, but that doesn't mean we have to tacitly endorse what nation does. The Sultanate has said they don't agree with the concepts of same sex relations as we do here. Of course aren't going to commit to violence to change their minds, we are simply going about our different ways. Now we can't always have a nation that will always see eye to eye with us, but they aren't the only nation we've come to count on over these years. We have other friends we ask for help from that we care about, that we'd do what we can for them. They respect our decisions and our ways of life too probably more so than the Sultanate did. Well they can go on being the big bad power broker they are over in their little corner of the world. There's new people, new nations new horizons to explore, explore them we shall if I continue to be your Duchess.

I did let myself get carried away by pursuing Aurelia, hoping I could change the hearts and minds of her family well no more. Clearly I was wrong, and it could have gone better, without any doubt. Their departure did frighten some, but as long as I remain, I shall ensure defense of our nation. Strengthen our nation. The second charge of impeachment against me, is laughable, it's hardly worth addressing. Senator From Hoshino is stuck in her old ways and used this an excuse. The Senator from Aurora at least makes a compelling argument. Everything I do is in the spirit of the law as outlined by the document forged in the blood of those who came before us. Thank you, Ladies and Gentlemen."

A tap of the gavel by Pacifica as Marcella sat back down. "Arguments have been maid and heard, at this time we will recess for an hour and a half. In this time you are welcome to discuss among your colleagues or not. At 6:30 we will return at which time the vote will be held by oral statement. We stand in recess." She tapped her gavel again and now it was time to wait. The minutes ticked on and it felt like hours. The rain had begun pouring outside as Marcella watched it with a gloomy expression. She made her points, now it was up to the rest to accept them. She couldn't argue on every point or refute them, only appeal to people's passions. Well it was getting onto time now, 6:30 PM. The Chamber filled again everyone present yet again. Each senator next to their respective leaders, except the two from Corona who again stood at the front of the chamber to address the congres.

"We will come to order now!" Pacifica called for attention. "We are now once again in active session of our Impeachment of Confidence session. The arguments have been made by the Charging Senators and now we will vote. Reminder the vote of removal requires a yes from at least 7 members of Congress as well as all leaders present. By state order we shall begin, the State of Aurora:

Aurora Island
ImageKyouka Kubota

Madam speaker, having heard the testimony and arguments it is my decision that I stand with the Duchess.
ImageSetsuko Fujihara

Madam Speaker, having made the arguments and charges against the Duchess, I affirm that I vote for change.

Pacifica continued "The votes are as followed with one Senator in favor of change, the other in stance. The State of Hoshino,"

Hoshino Island
ImagePiripi Marmatua
Madam Speaker, heard the arguments, I affirm my stance to be a vote for change.
ImageKiri Whatitiri

Madam speaker, having heard and made the arguments, I affirm my vote to be a vote for change.

"The votes are as follows from Hoshino, two votes in favor of change from both Senators. The state of Stilleståndö

Stilleståndö Island
ImageEdvard Capulet

Madam speaker, having heard the arguments made, I hereby vote for change.
ImageAnya Strum

Madam speaker, having heard the arguments, I affirm my stance with the Duchess.

"The Votes from Stilleståndö, with one vote for change, one vote for to stand."

Corona Island

As Senator from Corona I affirm that I stand with the Duchess.

As Corona's other Senator, while I feel a strong argument is made on Article A, Article B does little to convince me. Unable to reach a firm conclusion on both arguments, I must abstain.

That leaves One Stand, One abstention from Corona. Animalpolis your stance?

Animalpolis Island
ImageKaede Shuichi

Madam Speakers, having heard the arguments and the counter arguments, my decision is to Stand with the Duchess.
ImageKurlino Ueda

Madam Speaker, having heard the arguments, I stand with the Duchess.

"The votes are noted and accounted for, for the record. We now move along to the State Vote.

ImageShinya Li
Ya-Xi Li
Hoshino IslandMadam Speaker and Members of Congress, as Leaders of Hoshino, Ya-Xi and I have concluded we Stand with the Duchess.
ImageZwei SturnumStillstando IslandWhile I do find the arguments are compelling to Remove the Duchess from power, I at this time feel the line of succession needs to be properly evaluated, per my state Senator's early inquiry. I abstain.
ImageChief AylaCorona Island Corona Stands with the Duchess.
ImageMillhiore Firianno BiscottiAnimalpolis IslandAnimalpolis, Stands with the Duchess

Pacifica tapped the gavel "The final tally is as such. From Congress, Four Senators In favor of change, Five Senators stand with the Duchess and One Senator Abstains. From the State count, we have No Votes for Change, Three Standing, and One Abstention. As Aurora does not have an independent representative at the State Level, no vote can be cast by them. Therefore, Per Article II Section IV of the Constitution, The Impeachment and Vote of No Confidence is hereby dismissed. The Duchess Marcella Villa remains. If there are any points or motions bring them now. Hearing and seeing none we are hereby adjourned."
Last edited by AHSCA on Sat Jul 10, 2021 1:20 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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Patrick OConner
Posts: 2261
Founded: Sep 26, 2014
Democratic Socialists

Postby Patrick OConner » Thu Jul 29, 2021 11:05 pm

TITLE: Rambling Ragtag Rampage: Part 1
AUTHOR:Patrick O'Conner

The O’Malley Heavy Industrial Park and Ship Construction Yards, colloquially known as the “Yards”, is a massive 60 square mile factory-city that was the largest center of manufacturing and heavy industry in the former Federated States, currently known as the Timocratic Republic. It survived the previous Civil War intact and was crucial to the rebuilding. It was even expanded during the Reconstruction to allow it to produce more and help with rebuilding other destroyed manufacturing facilities.

It was the only place at the time of the Rebellion that could service all classes of Republic Navy ships.

Not only was it the largest it was the one of the most advanced production facilities with its own research center added on hastily since other facilities were damaged or destroyed.

It was so precious that the Republican Forces hastily constructed two forts, Forts Charles and Fort Mike, with rough airfields nearby and they were later improved as more manufacturing was relocated there temporarily.


Fort Mike- 10 miles south west of the Yards.
First Mobile Infantry Regiment Headquarters Building
CO’s Office

Lt. Colonel Damein Sharp was the commander (designated) for the recently formed but not fully manned 1st Mobile Infantry Regiment that is going to be the most advanced unit in the whole Republic, flipped back over as the .45 caliber round caught him in the forehead. He had been at his desk answering a phone call from someone when his office door had opened and stepped Major Eva Kilgore, XO for the 1st MIR, a tall muscular woman with a handsome face and blonde buzz cut. She had calmly raised a standard issue side arm and fired into the Colonel’s head.

His gray matter splattered all over the wall behind him and started oozing down it mixed with blood. His body crashed into the wall and he slid bonelessly down it into a heap on the floor. The phone clattered to the floor on one side and a side arm on the other. A voice was heard screaming over it now

Eva picked up the phone and put it back on the receiver. Behind her more scuffles were heard as other officers were subdued by other enlisted men. She turned and exited the office holding the side arm at her side.

In the hallway several other officers, the unit's intel officer, commanders of the first and third battalions and several company commanders. In their offices loyal officers were going through materials.

“Seems like your treachery was cut short just in time.” Eva said looking down at them then looking up to her soldiers “We don’t have time, kill them and then we leave for the Yards.”

Central Product Testing Warehouse
The Yards
Timocratic Republic

Major Eva Killgore gazed in hidden wonder at the suits, she maintained her stoic iron face. The Mobile Assault Suit Harden represented the utter pinnacle of technology in the Republic and was the most cutting edge weapon system in the region. From the materials that made up its frame to the electric motors and actuators to the computer to just the batteries that powered the things.

The current suits stood on the floor supported under the arms by stands mounted on retractable hydraulic supports as various wires ran into the suits back through small opened hatches connecting them to computers for diagnostics and testing.

The suits were a miraculous culmination of technology. Each suit stood 8.5 feet tall with long sturdy and powerful legs enabling them to move fast. The arms were equally sturdy and ended in fingers that when compared to the rest of the suit looked stubby but were fully functional and articulate capable of grasping and manipulating things. The whole of the suit was shaped in an oddly blocky way with multi sided shapes used to roughly approximate the shape of the human body. This extended to even the helmet itself.

Next to one was a man with long dirty blonde hair, a pale face and freckles a plenty. A grungy lab coat covered his old t-shirt and ratty jeans while he stumped around in old worn boots. Next to him was a smartly dressed man in a three grey piece suit with a fedora hat and a cane that he was leaning on. A worn face with serious grey eyes, now focused on the computer screen, a fringe of white hair peeks out from under the hat.

Eva strides over to them. The warehouse echoes with sounds of people working, not quite desperately, but with definite haste as more of the suits were being unpacked from crates that they had only recently been loaded into for shipment.

“O’Malley what is going on?” She politely but firmly demands of the industrial magnate.

“Major” the smartly dressed man replies to her “I am not sure . I am trying to get my Chief Engineer here to explain. Care to try again, Riggs?”

The lab coat wearing man did not take his eyes off the computer screen as lines of code ran before him on screen.

“Uggggg…..errrr….okay ditching all the fancy techno-speak and jargon, not to mention various long and tedious explanations….the central computer in each suit is not quite ready.” Riggs said managing to look focused on his task and awkward at the same time.

“What do you mean not ready?” O’Malley asks, now sounding miffed “We were supposed to be starting delivery the day after tomorrow.”

“Yes but the issue is the operating system, which is totally fine and debugged as far as we know. We assumed we would have far more time on sight for final adjustments and tweaks, not to mention the time it takes to calibrate these things to the users.”

Eva nodded “There was a reason we had so many meetings and even had troops measured and prepped for this.”

“Yes I know but right now I am trying to download all the data into these suits, at least the ones we have hooked up. We had so many packed up and ready to be shipped to the Moors Proving Grounds.”

“I know we were going there as well...that might explain it,” Eva said, realizing something “That is why they did this now...damn. We were set to leave tomorrow to move to the moors as well and this screwed up their timing.”

“I would believe it” O’Malley said “We managed to finish this first run early somehow”

“How long until you are done?” Eva asked

“Ehhh….” Riggs said pausing for a moment as his fingers flew over the keys on his computer “Hard to tell I am cutting many corners here in these boot up sequences and data….never mind. I won’t devolve into the technobabble-” O’Malley looked slightly relieved “two to three hours maybe? “

“We might not have that long” O'malley Said

“Definitely” Eva said with empathy “We only have so many troops and so much to defend. We need these suits and need them now.”

“I am aware of this,” Riggs said “You brought only what? 1000 men with you?”

“Less than that” Eva responded “937 and that is with the 435 that are supposed to man the suits which we need very badly because I know and you know and hell even the fish in the river know they are coming here soon.”

“That is most definitely not enough to defend a facility of this size” Agrees O’Malley

“Yes, however we just need to hold on long enough for reinforcements to arrive.” Eva said, sounding far more firm in her belief that she really felt.

A man runs up with a radio set to Eva.

“Ma’am we have a report from the scouts. Enemy is inbound. It looks like at least 2 mechanized regiments in bound.”

“Damn.” Eva says softly “What about air support?” she asks.

“None. Nationwide no fly is still in effect. Air defenses have been set to shoot anything in the sky. And no. No clue when it will be lifted.”

“Double damn.” Eva said. O’Malley nodded in agreement with Eva's statement. He had thousands of employees still at the Yards. Some were trying to flee but a large number had refused to flee and instead stayed and were preparing to fight.

“How long until they arrive?” Eva asked the final dreaded question.

“Between 1 and 1.5 hours.” the radio man says

“Triple damn.” O'Malley says.

Eva spins on her heels and walks over to a table, plywood and boxes stacked to make it. Around it was the remaining loyal command staff of the 1st Mobile Infantry Regiment.

Captain Isaiah Stone, the regiments intel officer a short wide man with watery eyes but mind like a supercomputer, Lt. Reggie McTavern, the comms officer, a short fireplug, and finally the logistics officer, Captain Frederick Cascade, small wiry man with dark brown hair.

On the table was a map showing the whole of the Yards and the surrounding area. The sixty square mile facility sat butted up next to the massive river. The 11 drydocks of various sizes and 12 slipways lined up along the shore. Each drydock was surrounded by cranes and gantries and rail lines criss crossed between the drydocks and slipways. A few of the drydocks were marked as occupied, one showing an almost finished heavy cruiser, the Drakon, another partially finished one, the Wyvern. In the two largest drydocks sat two unfinished Behemoth class battleships. And to round things out the rest of the dry docks were filled with Rifleman class cruisers. The slip ways were also all loaded with destroyers waiting to be launched. Over three hundred thousand tons of warships sat in the Yards completely helpless.

Away from the shore the Yards broke down into sections. While the Yards had started as an fairly organized facility by the time it reaches its limits, roughly 20 miles from the shore of the river it has become more disorganized from the previous growth of the facility. The sections were labeled such things as armor production, vehicle assembly, main foundry and forging, metal working and casting, central casting, main assembly halls, weapons production, and ammunition production and assembly. The last one was located across the river for obvious reasons.

Other more mundane areas were present as well such as, main parking, central offices and main power plant, main water treatment plant, main receiving, main testing, R&D/Laboratory and various warehouses. And finally surrounding the Yards where various areas marked “scrapyard”. The whole massive complex was criss-crossed with roads, aerial trams, and rails.

Three highways entered the facility from the northwest, south and southeast and each was paralleled by a railroad.

The three highways met roughly in the middle of the complex in a massive roundabout which had a large tower in the center which was the main administration tower.

The main highways were clearly marked as being blocked off, entirely thanks to the workers using vast quantities of available scrap metal. And more roadblocks were popping on on the map, added by the intelligence officer, but they were not popping up fast enough.

The northwest road was currently marked with red tokens to signify enemy units incoming.

Eva surveyed the map more now and noted again her current position, near the south gate, and sighed. There were far too few blue tokens.

“Begin moving the reserves up to Central Receiving.” they had not had time to assign codenames for various points” McTavern said into his radio set. He looked up to Eva who just nodded in agreement. That would put them closer to the main line of advance of the incoming enemy.

“Shift the 2nd and 4th platoons to here and here” she pointed to left and right flanking positions on the northwest highway “And move the 4th 5th and 6th into a new defensive line behind them along this here.” Eva traces a new line about a mile back from the original which is itself about five miles back from the entrance. “Disperence some fire teams along the northwest road for harassing attacks. Use what is left of the odds and sods. Make sure that each team has at least one weapon capable of firing explosive ordnance. And also some anti-armor weapons.”

Roof of Southwest Vehicle Assembly Hall near the Southwest Gate.
The Yards
Timocratic Republic

Private Lorry Tag was a cook and Corporal Jonathan LaForce was thankfully not a cook. LaForce actually a scout which is what they were doing. They were sitting on top of the very large smoke stack from the building with a telescope, sniper rifle, radio and various other odd and ends.

Their perch was high up and gave them a very good view of the surrounding area. And from here they had a great view of the incoming forces. The traitors had finally arrived. LaForce pulled out his sniper rifle and began to set it up. He was going to wait for them to go past before firing. He just hoped that the nerve of Tag held out.

Given the fact that two of them could clearly see the two armored regiment coming down the 4 lane highway with Beaugard APC with their 25mm Bush Hog cannons and TOW missile launchers.

Now it was time to wait. He scanned the advanced party and then scanned further back until he got a tap from the cook.

“He uh I got an officer who looks like a captain far back at the gate.”

LaForce shifted himself and his rifle so he could see and then a cold smile broke across his face. There was a cluster of people standing at the gate. In the middle looked like a man giving orders. Now there was a target.

So he waited. And waited and waited. Then waited so more.

Until the sound of explosions echoed across the yard. Then he fired and moved on. Found another target and fired again.

1st Defensive Line Southwest Highway
The Yards
Timocratic Republic

First Lieutenant Dick Richards was a Marine by training unlike a large portion of other soldiers in the Mobile Infantry Regiment, that were Army. As such he was a very aggressive mindset unlike other soldiers. However, he was a good Marine and was going to follow his orders.

He was very thankful though, for the workers of the Yards and the massive amount of scrap metal and other things they had been able to use to construct a very large and very sturdy roadblock, even going so far as to weld lots of pieces of metal together.

He peaked over the barricade with a pair of binoculars and swallowed. The traitors were here and they had brought light armor.

“Missile teams get ready!!” He called to the men meaning the Spear Anti tank missile launchers got ready. Five men with rocket launchers took cover next to the barricade.

“Beua-” short for Beuagard “-are coming down both sides of the highway. Looks likes six-no seven vehicles. 4 Beau with 3 hummers in the lead. Hummers look like they got mounted weapons. Aim past those for the Beau. We can handle the hums. Grenadiers load up.”

Other troopers with underbarrel grenade launchers loaded them up and few of them were smiling.

Richards waited and waited as he observed them getting closer and closer. He was silently hoping that the others in the surrounding building would hold fire. He dared not key his radio because there was a good chance it would tip off the traitors since everyone was using the same equipment.

Dick swallowed again and felt his palms start to sweat. It was going to be a close run thing. For them to fall back from this barricade to the next. He glanced quickly to his left and right and saw that clearly a few of his troopers were nervous. They should be since most of them were odds and sods from the base. Only a few Mobile Infantry were present, the rest formed into a mobile reserve or waiting for the stupid armor to get ready.

Oh well sometimes you have no real choice and got to make the best of the worst. Might as well make a legendary last stand. Go big or go home as they say.

Time to start the party.

“Fire.” Richards said, pitching his voice so it would carry to the missile troopers. Who as one pooped up sighted their launchers.

“Back blast clear?”
Then they fired. The backblast from 5 launchers kicked up a huge cloud of dust that clearly marked their position. But that was irrelevant, now. Five rockets streaked down range. One impacted a hummer and it just disintegrated while the other four struck the Beaugards. First there was a flash from the missile then the APC began to burn and spew flames then they exploded as the ammo and fuel cooked off rapidly. The boom from the explosions echoed across the facility and then the gun fire erupted. A furious storm of rifle and machine fire poured from the barricade and surrounding buildings. The grenades launchers went crump crump as they fired off their explosive surprises.

The traitors were stunned by the successful ambush at first then slaughtered by gun fire and grenades.

Richards did not fire, he just observed. He was an officer, his job was to command the troopers not fight.

He lowered his binoculars and scanned the carnage. The traitors were falling back and dragging their wounded with them.

“CEASE FIRE!” Richards bellowed now and the firing gradually tapered off.

Round one to the loyalist.
Last edited by Patrick OConner on Mon Aug 16, 2021 11:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Patrick OConner
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Democratic Socialists

Postby Patrick OConner » Mon Aug 23, 2021 9:02 am

Central Product Testing Warehouse
The Yards
Timocratic Republic

Eva stared at the map as Stone moved the tokens back out of the compound.

“Enemy has withdrawn from now. Seems the advanced party took a bad mauling.” McTavern said
Eva just snorts harshly.
“We gave them a bloody nose at best. They will be back and in greater numbers than before.”
Everyone just nods. It's obvious. The Yards are too strategically important, between the warships and the manufacturing capability it was clear.

“Any chance anyone got an i.d. On who the unit is?” Eva asks the McTavern, who then repeats the question into the radio.
“Looks like the 8th Mechanized.”
“That would be General Harold Haggis’s outfit.” Stone said clearly relieved and happy at last to be able to actually do his assigned role.
“Haggis?” Eva said, pausing for a moment to dig through her memories. She recalled meeting him Post Civil War when he was still a colonel and how he talked endlessly about himself and his exploits and then the stories she heard about his volcanic moods. “Oh him. That man was hotheaded blowhard.”
“Agreed but he is at least competent and with his forces is more than able to take the Yards if we are not careful. We give him an opening and he will take it.”
“Hmmm…” Eva vocalized in agreement as she studied the map.

A soft cough caught her attention and she turned around to see O’Malley.
“I wish to speak with you major if it is convenient.”
“Is it important?” Eva asked politely.
“It is very. I might even enable us to help win.”
“Okay then what is it?”
“Please come with me.” O’Malley said and then strode off leaving Eva mildly puzzled and confused

O’Malley leads her to a container that had been opened. Inside technicians and armorers were bustling about over 4 odd looking suits. They looked...bulky. Really bulky. While the standard infantry configuration, which is the base for most other loads out of the Mobile Assault Suit Hardened, was not something a person would call sleek or thin, these took it to a whole new level. The helmet barley rose up above the massive shoulder guards the arms with just stupid thick and the legs looked like they could support a building.

“What are these?” Eva asked.

“Well they were a vanity project of mine that I thought the military would be interested in. They rejected the initial proposal but I went ahead and spent the money to have them developed anyway. I was making more than enough off this contract to justify it.” O’Malley said

“Yes but what are they?”

“Oh sorry. This is the heavy assault configuration of the MASH. You can see the armament for it there.”

Eva turns and looks at a set of racks.Her eyebrows climb up ward.
“Well well.”

On the rack was a twin set of General Dynamics 50 cal miniguns, a twin set of modified Claw 20mm direct fire grenade launchers, a set of 40mm indirect grenade launchers, and on the last one was the most amazing one.
It started life as a 25mm Bushhog cannon that had then been extensively modified to be carried by a suit of power armor. It was an impressive amount of fire power.

“Well this is nice and all...but what is the catch, O’Malley?”

“Well while the frames can easily take it, the motivators actuators have a little bit of trouble and its a power hog.”

“What do you mean?”

“You have roughly 36 hours before the motors break down and 72 before the powerpacks drain.”

“Those power packs are supposed to last two weeks for a standard infantry loadout.” Eva retorts

“True but I think now is the perfect time to use them.”

“Yes you are right. How much in the mobility impacted?”

“Not much at all. Soldiers just need to account for the increased inertia and that is all.”

Eva nodded and smiled.

“I know the perfect soldiers. Lee!! Get me Ivan and his crew!!

Sergeant George “Ivan” Goodfellow was a marine heavy weapons specialist. Everyone called him Ivan because he spoke with a russian accent that was caused by severe head trauma that occurred during a training accident.

His crew Corporal Dover Woods, Corporal Geeves Duck and Private Gene Wilder. They were some of the problem cases that had been assigned to him. He turned them into semi problem cases. Either they got straighted out or got better at hiding it, either way it meant less paperwork for the officers and that was what was most important. The second most important was that they were a very effective heavy weapons team and now were going to be the new mobile reserve.

Sergeant Ivan appeared a few moments later with his minions in tow. All of them were short and wiry.

“Reporting as ordered ma’am” He said in his thick slavic accent

“Good. Ivan this is your new suit and weapons system. Familiarize yourself with them. You will be suited up and loaded up asap.”

Ivans eyes sweep over the suits and then the weapons rack and he smiles.

“Da, ma’am. This looks like fun”

Eva turns away only to have O”Malley place a hand on her shoulder and stop her.

“I have more news. The Drakon is operational, well partainaly operational.”

“What can we sail her away or something?” Eva asked

“Well maybe it would take a while to fill the drydock but we can do it. However I had something better in mind. Sail her across the river to the ammunition factory.”


“Yes. She has 3 of her 4 reactors fully operational and her main battery is operational. Secondary and defensive weapons...not so much but we can use the main battery to support us. We just need to get her ammunition.”

“If she gets attacked by air, she is going to take a pounding if we are lucky. If not, explode and take the ammo factory with her. And let's not mention the radioactive material that will be released. Also the crew?”

“Yes. However a full battery of twelve eight inch caliber rail cannons. Battles have been turned by far less than that. We have some of my people and some navy people manning her. Not enough to take her into a full on line action. ”

“The risk is great…”

“But the reward is greater still. I mean we have alreaedy been shipping explosives from over here from the factory.”

“ it.”

“Great, because we have already started. It's going to be about a hour before the ship is out.”

Eva just sighed audibly and turned away.

1st Defensive Line Northwest Highway
The Yards
Timocratic Republic

Richards and his mixed bag of troopers waited behind their barrier. They had won round one quite easily and handily. But that was not going to happen a second time. Good thing they had set booby traps ahead of time and had vehicles ready for extract.

Richards finished chewing and swallowing an energy bar, standard issue taste: unidentifiable, and he washed it down with some water from his canteen, taste:metallic, temperature: warm.
Richards popped his head over the barricade with his binoculars again. Yep, it was going to get interesting.

A solid line of Beau was off in the distance and-

“EVERYONE GET DOWN NOW!!!” Richards bellowed and dove for cover himself as the Beua launched some TOW missiles from medium range.

The anti tank ordinances streaked in on a pillar of fire and crashed into the scrap barricade. The results were to be expected.

Richards staggered back from the shock wave. He fell off the barricade with muted thud. He shook himself and looked up only to see one of the cooks jump off the remains of the barrier, drop his weapon and gear and try to take off running.

Richard reacted, if discipline and cohesin disterdrated the battle was lost and that could not be allowed to happen, he lined up his rifle and fired off a three round burst catching the deserter in the back. He sprawled on the ground and Richards put another 3 rounds into him.

He keyed his radio “Message to all, deserters will be shot on sight. Discipline will be maintained.”

Three missiles launch at the barricade and three impacted tearing holes in and flinging shrapnel everywhere.

Wounded screeched “Medic!!” out in pain as Richards climbed to his feet and shook off the effects
“Back on the line now!! Evac the wounded!! Missile team open fire!! Everyone open fire!!” He screamed the last one into his radio which broadcasted it to everyone.

The surviving missile teams staggered up with the last of their allotted ammo and opened fire. Missiles even streaked from the building to impact the oncoming forces but it was now far less percises and controlled this time as the APC opened fire with their cannons. Chewing up the faces of the buildings and the barricade. Some of the APC exploded or took damage and swerved and stopped. The 25mm cannon shells impacted and exploded, chewing the concrete up and basting pieces off the barricade, turning the metal into flying shrapnel.

Behind the Beau’s now came enemy soldiers laying down their own fire.

Richards surveyed and thought shit time to fall back to himself.

“All units begin withdrawal” he said into his radio. And he swallowed again. Withdrawing under enemy fire was a very hard maneuver even for experienced units. He hoped it did not turn into a rout.

Central Product Testing Warehouse
The Yards
Timocratic Republic

Eva looked over the map and sighed again as Stone moved the icons from 1st defensive line back to the second. So far it had been an orderly withdrawal, somehow not managing to turn into a route. Eva knew Lt. Richards well and suspected may have had to shoot someone to maintain order and discipline, but you did what you had to do. She would sort it out later.

Eva pushed that out of her mind and returned to the now. She smiled though. It was time to hit back.

“Flanking platoons are to engage in hit and run on the Northwest enemy forces but are not to become engaged and pin down. Forces from the first line are to continue with the previous plan.

Between the 2nd and 1st Defensive Line Northwest Highway
The Yards
Timocratic Republic

Sergeant Ailne McTarvish smiled down from the factory building. It was another “assembly hall” for vehicles, these appeared to be general purpose military light vehicles. Sergeant McTarvish was another Mobile Infantry trooper placed in charge of a scratch platoon of part MI part Odds and Sods. McTarvish was unconcerned. It would do. Either the new soldiers would do well and survive or be shot, by him if they fled or by the enemy it did not matter.

Only thing that mattered was winning. That and stacking traitors like cord wood. A grim determined grin crossed his face. It was time.

The rumble of the defenders' vehicles filled the artificial valley the vehicles loaded with wounded drove past. It was expected, soon the sound of engines were heard again as the defenders fell back now from the first barricade.

McTarvish settled in now. It was game time he thought, becoming focused on what would happen next. It was going to be quick rough and bloody.

The rumble and rattle of armored vehicles echoes down the artificial valley much louder than the previous vehicles.

McTarvish looked to his left and right checking on the men around him.They were craouched down hiding below the windows or standing to the side of them. A few looked sweaty, nervous and scared. It was to be expected of a REMF dragged into the fight out of desperation and need for warm bodies to toss into the meat grinder. The hardened Marines and army soldiers that made up the Mobile Infantry looked grim and ready. The MI looked firm and ready holding their satchel charges ready to toss them below in one hand and their grenade launchers slung across their backs. While the REMF head their rifles in slippery sweaty hands.

Meh it would have to do. Sometimes all you can do is toss some buck shot into the bucket of spit and hope it works.

McTarvish returned his gaze to the road. He looked up it and saw the coming Beuas and behind them were Deuce and a Halfs. They were obviously caring more soldiers. He smiled now. It was a dangerous smile, the smile of a predator with the sight of a wounded prey before his eyes.

He held up his hand to his troopers. He wanted them to wait. And they did. He looked below as the Beaus rumbled past. They would have one shot at this and they had to get right. Maximum damage for minimum cost. It was how battles were won.

He reached up to his throat mike and got ready to transmit. Once it transmitted they would be altered to his position. The Beaus ground down the road slowly and carefully. They were expecting another barricade or ambush of some kind. They had been bitten once and now were wary.

The turrets on the APC were fully closed up and the turrets slowly turned left and right, the 25mm Bushhog cannons ready to shred anything that might threaten the soldiers inside the Beuas or those in the trucks.

They slowly rumbled past until the trucks were almost below and then McTarvish calmly pressed the transmit button on his radio.

“Grendaiers, target the truck, Satchels target Beaus if you can otherwise trucks. Everyone else open fire on targets of opportunity. Fall back after you empty you weapons” The die was cast.

The defenders stepped up or stepped into the windows. The Mobile Infantry men made split second decisions about targets and acted.

Satchel charges were tossed and then grenade launchers were brought out and fired. Rifles were brought up and fired. Even McTavish got in on the action.

Explosions boomed across the Yards once more. Metal shards were flung into the sky and into the building as whole vehicles exploded. A Beau got 2 satchel charges lobbed onto its roof. One landed on the turret and the other on the engine deck. Both detonated and it was torn apart. Hatches opened as survivors tried to bail out but found themselves in a hailstorm of bullets and shrapnel.

A charge landed on a truck’s cab. It was reduced to scrap with chucks of meat mixed in. More charges land all over the convoy, on vehicles in between them and next to them. Its chaos as the satchel charges explode. Then the grenades came in as the Mobile Infantry troopers made another series of quick decisions then open fired. Grenades from both sides reigned down on intact trucks. The trucks were soft targets and not hardened against bullets and explosions. They fared like the proverbial snowball in hell.

Bullets and grenades ripped into them for a few seconds then stopped. The air was filled with the sound of screams and fires burning. Ammo was cooking off from the wrecks. The smell of burnt pork filled the air.

McTarvish and his men now made good their escape from the buildings. The ambush was sprung now it's time to be somewhere else.

Moments later the floor exploded in flame as the booby traps went off.

Top of Smokestack Number 2 of Northwest Power Station near the Southwest Gate.
The Yards
Timocratic Republic

Private Lorry Tag and Corporal Jonathan LaForce remained safe and secure atop the high smoke stack for now. They surveyed the damage and carnage that was caused by the ambushes and barricades through the spotter scope for tag and the rifle scope for LaForce. LaForce found no targets worth shooting among the chaos and carnage. LaForce turned his attention back to the gate and area around it.

LaForce felt a tap on his shoulder from Tag. He suppressed a sigh.
“Yes?” Laforce said.
“Umm look at the southwest gate, please”
LaForce lays down his rifle and takes the spotter scope from Tag. He puts it up to his eye and look over to the specified gate. His jaw clenches. It was another mechanized force that had circled around the Yards to attack from a different direction.

LaForce did not hesitate, he activated his radio.

“Command this is Smokestack we have eyes on an enemy force. Appeared to be at least two companies of mechanized heading from the southwest. Displacing to the next point now.” LaForce clicked off the radio. He and Tag rapidly collected their things and made there way down the smokestack before the enemy could locate them and make their lives very unpleasant.

Central Product Testing Warehouse
The Yards
Timocratic Republic

Eva surveyed the map once more as Stone made alterations to the map based on reports McTavern was receiving. He stiffed slightly though as LaForces Report came in.

Eva looked over the new map and nodded. This was to be expected given current circumstances. General Haggis was not a brilliant commander but he was competent. Such a move was to be expected.

“Reserve status?” Eva asked Cascade.

“We have 2 scratch platoons left and the rest of the troopers, another 3 platoons, waiting for the suits to be ready.”

“How long for the suits?”

“Another 45 minutes, at least.”

“Status of the barricades on the south west highway?”

“We have two set up and manned by a scratch reinforced scratch platoon each.”

Eva grunted and thought for a moment.

“No change in disposition of forces. Maintain current positions and plans.”
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Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby AHSCA » Fri Dec 17, 2021 11:15 pm

TITLE: 3 Months, 2 Sisters, 1 War

A beautiful day morning at the end of June, the last day, if I'm right, I'm not entirely sure to be honest, well beyond I know it's the "dry season" dry, I mean in Aurora, there's only wet and wetter. Ohoho. My name is Mio, I'm the oldest daughter at 16, today is like any day really. I'm already finished with school, just enough to learn how to get along in life and the world, reading, writing, arithmetic and the like. Besides that, I'm pretty average I guess...I don't have a boyfriend (or girlfriend) right now, I mostly help out around the house with my mother and my younger sister. Our father is out to sea most times during this period, it's the best time to fish or sail off long distances as the seas are a lot more navigable at this time, and well yeah the weather tends to be more cooperative. This morning, I'm doing laundry, washing clothes, sheets, everything else you can expect. My younger sister, Hiori, she's still, asleep, can you believe that, it's nearly 9 in the morning now! She's so lazy that one, but shucks if I don't love her anyway. And this laundry, it's a lot of work, we do it all by hand, I fill up a bucket of soapy water, I clean what needs to be cleaned and hang it all to dry in the breeze and hope to the Divine it doesn't rain!

"Mio" My mother called to me as I hung a rather large sheet out to dry. I turned around, there she was, with a large hemp woven bag around her arm.

"I'm heading off to market in the village. Do you need anything in particular?"

"No, nothing comes to mind."

"All right, dear. And when your sister wakes up, make sure she helps you."

"right. I'll see you soon, take care."

With that, mother went along down the path leading to the main village and I resumed laundry duties. It seemed like maybe half-an-hour more or so before Hiori finally stumbled out of bed, goodness she's so lazy. "mmmm morning."

"Morning yourself, sleepyhead." I still couldn't help but giggle at her, we're super close she and I, just this is how things are with her and I accept it, I just have to be the good big sister and keep her in line. Hiori washed her face to get herself awake, if that's even possible, but I kept going about laundry, all in all this seemed like any ordinary day, later I'd see what else would need to be done and when chores and work were all done, we'd have our free time, to go to the village ourselves, see our friends or spend time together whatever really we wanted.

Some say our islands are a paradise, if that's true, then what's also true is nothing attracts a serpent quite like a paradise and today, this day, a serpent had indeed been attracted. I felt a strange rumble in the air and ground, what was that, an earthquake? Unusual, they don't happen as often here as you might think for a rather volcanic region...It sounded a bit like thunder but not a cloud in the sky and the wind was reasonable. I looked up and Hiori looked up with me as we saw large planes fly overhead, airplanes quite high in the sky and suddenly a strange black cluster came down from the sky, almost like a swarm of insects, but as the figures drew closer these were not large insects, they were men? What was happening, I wondered. I clung to Hiori and she clung to me as well, both of us were just at a loss for words about this strange event unfolding before our eyes. I'm scared but I don't really know why, but I was soon about to find out why.

"What is that?" Hiori asked

I couldn't answer, I didn't know either. I opened my mouth to try to say something but whatever I might have said or didn't say was drowned out by a loud bang! A bang so loud and concussive I could feel it through to my very core. We both flinched at it too falling to the ground still holding one another as in a quick succession more came, so many more! It was awful so truly awful. As we looked around to try to make sense of things, we saw to our absolute horror, things happening, large balls of fire erupting into the sky, sand pelting us at it rained down, trees knoceked from their very roots, our home a little hut blasted away into nothing as well. What else could I do but take Hiori and run! Run like the wind, with everything around us being obliterated by whatever this was. Is the the end of the world? The apocalypse, the end of all time and life as we all know it? I didn't know, but it sure felt like it. Running and running, my heart pounding through my chest, my legs feeling like they'll give out, just hoping to find refuge, shelter somewhere anywhere but I felt my hand was empty. I looked around, what happened to Hiori? I was sure I had a tight grip on her! "Hiori!" I shouted in vein over the roar of everything going on, "Hiori!" A loud shrill whistle pierced my ears and suddenly in the ground before me was .... I don't know but I looked at it in horror because I figured whatever it was wasn't good and sure enough a flash of light blinded me and all was dark afterward, dark not from death but from my surroundings of a makeshift hut I built for us. Right, it was a dream. A nightmare, one I've been having for the past three months now. Not every night but it sometimes felt like it. Shooting up from bed, I looked around, I was dripping in sweat from the oppressive humidity and heat and of course the sheer terror I just relived again, although at least this time, I didn't wake up screaming like I did. Right, that was three months ago. I think...I've honestly lost all track of time.

Hiori is still here, I breathed a hard loud sigh of relief to know she was still here, still safe and still with me. My whole body was shaking from the sheer terror of my horrid nightmare. I decided to limp over to the window for a little of the night air to hit me and be ready should I toss my meager meal. So if that was a dream then what really happened that day you must be wondering? Very much what I just told you except Hiori and I didn't get separated, we found cover in a cave somewhere in the jungle. What happened to our mother? I really don't know. I have no idea if she's alive or not. I hoped she was, I wanted her to be, but at the same time, I'd be okay as long as I had Hiori with me. Hiori wasn't immune from nightmares either, we both were doing what we could to work through it together but we just didn't know what to do. We're in the middle of the Auroran Jungle somewhere, hoping to not be discovered by whomever has come to harm us. We don't know who they are, why they're here, they're just here and we got to protect ourselves. All I had was what I could carve and make myself, which wasn't much, it probably wouldn't stop men with guns and bombs, it sure as hell wouldn't stop tanks. The mechanized mayhem was everywhere, you could hear it endlessly some days, some days it was quiet enough to remember better times.

"Mio..." the meek voice of my sister spoke to me as she approached me from behind, "You okay?" She whispered as she siddled up to me. Though younger, she was still rather close to me in height, if not for our different hairstyles, I wore mine long, she kept hers short, you'd easily mistake us for twins.

"I'm fine, I just needed a little air" I lied, I was anything but fine but she saw through me.

"Come on, you had a nightmare again didn't you?"

I really am trying, trying my hardest to be strong for my little sister, be confident, and courageous, our first few days together were often wondering if we were going to die soon but here we are months later and still alive, for now.

"Really, Hiori, I'm fine."

"You're not fine, it's okay just admit it!"

I was ready to spout another lie again but my body seemed to just do the talking by making me puke out the window. It wasn't much, like I said we were living on what we could easily forage, whatever wasn't blasted away. Hiori just rubbed my back and shoulders, who's the big sister here, me or her? She also guided me back to bed, putting a cold cloth on my head, I don't think I was running a fever but well it was nice for how insufferable the air was. The next day brought much relief with a cooler rain but it was also good for me to try to get out to forage a a bit. Being protective and paranoid thanks to my endless string of bad dreams, I made Hiori stay behind. it may not make a lot of sense, you might think I'd rather keep her at my side at all times but this was my thought at the time, I didn't say it was logical.

I trekked through rain and mud, I didn't intend to go very far, just a short radius so I'd be in quick range to get back to Hiori quickly if need be. Somehow I just had a natural built in compass so to speak, like I could wander through the jungles and still find my way home. I didn't dare mark trees or leave trains of figurative bread crumbs for fear some enemy might follow such a trail right to us, but I kept a mental note of landmarks. A tree bent in such a way, where a river and stream would fork in such a way, a stone arrangement of some kind. It wasn't a bad morning either, even with the rain, which again I must say, was rather refreshing after last night, I had managed to gather a decent chunk of fruits and even a lone fish that somehow found its way onto the banks of a stream. Things were fine but then I felt something press against the back of my head, Oh heaven, I thought for sure I had slipped up and was found by an enemy but the pressure released and I heard a woman urging me to Stand up. I still did so very gingerly, I didn't know who I was dealing with.

"Turn around" Whoever it was, was native, oh sweet blessed me.

I did so, still being careful not to spook whoever was giving me orders. I saw the young woman standing before me with her gun still squarely on me. She looked to be maybe Hiori's age, give or take. She was in some kind of olive drab, her face painted to match the foliage. It was raining decently, I'm not surprised she was suspicious of me. She shouted something over the wind and a few others, men and women came out of the bushes, I should feel safe but I somehow was still feeling a sense of dread. I spoke "Please, I'm native!"

"We know. She's fine. Where you from? You're not Militia?"

"No, I'm from Saiki, I'm just trying to survive."

"You have food? Hand it over."


"You heard me, hand it over."

A slightly older woman stepped out in front of the small one before me "Miyauchi, we don't take from civilians." She said, "Let her be and let's get moving. Don't mind her, just watch yourself out there." She woman told me as she rallied her small platoon to follow her on.

"Wait..." I asked them to hold and they did. "I'm not in a spot to ask I know, but I don't suppose you could possibly give me a weapon or two?"

There was a long bout of silence as they stared at each other and me, the oldest one, I assume their commander or at least someone they were rallying behind again spoke to me "Do you know how to fire a weapon?"

"Yes. My dad, he's taught me a lot of basic weapon training. I mean not much, I'm not militia or anything but please ,I just want to protect my sister and me"

She again looked at everyone and again at me, her eyes were sort of a mix of disbelief, sympathy and pity. Honestly whatever, if she'd oblige me, I'd be happy. "Come with us." She told me. It was short enough walk on to a small grotto, inside was a trove of just about everything for military needs, I really couldn't believe it. "We went through hell and back to get this shit, I can't believe I'm going for this" She said "Take a rifle and a sidearm and some ammo. If you need more, then come back here. If you got a lantern, light it within this radius. If you don't we will assume you're a sniper and shoot you."

She drew a circle on the ground to show me exactly what point she'd look for my light. "I understand. Ma'am, uh I can I possibly ask, I'm grateful you're giving this to me but --"

"I had a kid sister too. Just hold onto yours for dear life and don't let her go. Also, if someone demands your food, I don't care if they are our countrymen, shoot them. I aint got no tolerance for that shit."


She helped me wrap it up in some large palm leaves, as a makeshift bag. Returning to Hiori that evening I decided against instantly showing her. I tried recalling everything father taught us about handling weapons, it wasn't a great deal just some basic things if we decided we'd join the militia or hunt for birds or wild boar. It just wasn't enough that I felt I'd be able to protect Hiori and myself if it came to it. I needed to make contact again so the next evening under the excuse I was going on a night hunt for food and night crawlers, I found my way back to the grotto. I've always had a good sense of direction and memory so it wasn't hard. I did have a lantern, a lone lantern we used as light when we felt safe enough to do so, so I lit it and waited. Someone came and got me.

"Back already? Come on you were just here a day ago"

"I think I might need more instruction. Please?"

She sighed a bit irritated but she agreed. It was a long set of training over several nights, again I held of on telling Hiori the truth, my instructions were simply to run away if I didn't come back but I always did by the Grace of the Goddesses. The Militia unit I was with was a small one that splintered off form their main group after an ambush somewhere down south, they'd been holding onto a small stronghold and engaging in guerilla warfare. They too didn't really have any answers as to who invaded and why but they were intent on protecting what and whoever they could. I guess that included me and Hiori.

"You're doing well" the oldest leader praised me. "But your sister, should you leave her behind?"

"I hate to but I need to get the hang of this."

"you don't want her to possibly fight?"

"I don't want to fight. I just want to protect myself if it comes to it."

"I get that but, shouldn't she also do that?"

"I'm her elder sister. It's very likely our mother is well dead...Our father, I really don't know, if he does come back, it won't be to a place he recognizes and who knows if he ever can find us."

"All the more reason she should know how to protect herself. I get wanting to protect her too, I know. But the two of you are better off together than just you. You should bring her here, let us help you both"

I thought about it and the nodded in agreement. And like clockwork I returned to Hiori. I wasn't set to tell her but I would show her like I said so the next evening I told her to come with me. It was a much darker night, it was clear a storm was brewing, no rain yet but thunder was crackling. she was nervous, holding to my hand like she was a tiny child, she wasn't usually put off by thunder nor was I but I guess walking out in the jungle in a war zone in the middle of the night during a storm is enough to make anyone nervous. "Where are we going?" she kept asking me and I d always respond with "You'll see." Upon our approach, I did the usual routine I lit a lantern and again we were retrieve by one of the team.

I introduced Hiori to everyone and they did the same to her, we explained what this was all about and where I'd been going every evening. "Hiori, I'll protect you, I'll always will but it'd be good to learn how to fight yourself, should the worst happen." It took some convincing but eventually, Hiori agreed. And just as I had been doing, we practiced and practiced, holding, handling, loading, the only thing we couldn't really do was properly shoot anything to better save on ammo. That's not to say never, the reason I always came at night was because during the day, the group would raid camps and fight troops. Honestly it was a wonder how none of them had been killed yet. with each raid and attack they came back with supplies, food, rations, and of course weapons and ammo. Occasionally we could go through the surplus but we tended to avoid that. It was then and there after many nights we were deemed good enough to handle ourselves.

Handling ourselves would come in due time, as it wasn't too long before our little oasis in the jungle was discovered by the enemy. Make no mistake, we're a couple of ordinary girls, hardly well trained soldiers and not action heroes. Hiori and I just waited in hiding, ready to fire back if need be but for now we just watched as the men poked around our little home. What did they hope to find? I don't know, I didn't want to find out. Too many to take on, I didn't want to bring attention to us if we could help it, we can always gather more food, I kept our spare munitions buried. Still an overwhelming burning desire of vengeance was starting to creep over me. But no, I didn't want to be a murder if I didn't have to be. With time they'd probably leave but it wasn't that simple, a snap of a bullet whizzing past us. Then several, somehow we were spotted, maybe the sun caught my scope I don't know. Controlled bursts of fire in our direction as I raised my gun and Hiori raised hers, we managed to defend ourselves successfully, but not without a few nicks and cuts to us. Thankfully, it was a small group, only a handful of soldiers but we figured someone would come looking for them soon enough a radio was buzzing loudly with so many words and all in a language I didn't understand. I smashed it and tossed away the remains of it. "We'll have to go"

She nodded at me. We took the time to patch each other us, thankfully neither of us were seriously hurt but it did hurt a lot. I was worried I'd have to dig bullets out of us, let's hope it'd stay that way. Setting fire to the little hut we called home for several months we set off to put as much space between us and our location as possible, I wouldn't likely see the small militia unit that taught me what I needed to know again, but that was for the best. Armies are rarely stationary, that much I know.

It had been another several months, we ran into trouble every so often but it wasn't anything we couldn't handle and just as soon as the horror began it seemed to be over, another wave of troops came in, but these ones weren't enemies, they were here to help. What happened, I don't know but I was happy it was finally ending, maybe again we could settle back into something of a normal life. We didn't see our mother again, sadly, we could only assume that she didn't make it, awful. But we were reunited with our father, he did make it back shortly after the invasion began and was instantly drafted into the militia, He tried to find us but our entire village that we fled from was wiped off the map. The dreams, I wish I could say they went away but they did seem to become more distant as time moved along. Hiori and I both made it, we survived this together. By the grace of the Goddess, we made it.

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Posts: 5595
Founded: Mar 08, 2007
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby AHSCA » Sun Feb 13, 2022 1:12 pm

TITLE: The Phantoms of Kemono
AUTHOR: AHSCA with Astares Amauricanum

June 22nd, 2010
Kemono, Animalpolis Island,
United Island States of AHSCA.

There, finally done. thinks William as he wipes away the sweat off his forehead, before gathering his hammer and nails and putting them back in his utility belt. With the wooden roof of his small house now fully fixed, he will not have rain leaking in his living place anymore.

With that done, the former chemical engineer gets back in his house, and comes back out a few minutes later, a beer in one hand, and the local newspaper in the other. He sits on the small bench next to his porch, uncaps the beer, and starts reading the local news.

After a few minutes however, he feels that someone is approaching, and raising his eyes, he spots the local Sheriff approaching his house.

"Hey Sheriff!" he says with a large smile. "How are you?" he asks as he stands up from the bench.

Kirika Matsumi, the recently promoted sheriff of the village of Kemono was making a round of patrols. Locals had been getting spooked lately, seeing odd lights, hearing odd sounds, some seeing what looked like military grade boats. Probably just their imagination getting the best of them, it’d been a good decade now since the end of the war, what reason was there to worry about anything serious. But to keep the good people of her village at ease, she’d been going on extra rounds. Good because her predecessor was quite popular among the locals and a newbie on the streets was always something to get used to. Today for no real particular reason her rounds took her along the village outskirts, a little closer to the jungle border that separated this coastal hamlet from the nearest village a good 10 kilometers away. It was home to one of Kemono’s more unusual residents, a normal human man, presumably foreign, he didn’t seem like an AHSCAian native from any other island. Perhaps he was an aide worker who just fell in love with the place, maybe he washed up somewhere else on the island some time ago and just happened to settle here. Well whatever the case, he managed to fit in rather nicely though he largely kept to himself.

“Fine day to you, too. I’m well.” Kirika responded. “As I hope you are. I’m just out doing patrol rounds, pretty quiet day all things considered. By the by, you haven’t noticed anything…Odd going on of late have you? I’m sure it’s nothing really of concern, just some of the villagers here have been saying they’re seeing or hearing concerning things. Probably nothing but I figure I’d ask.”

“Well, I can’t say that I have.” replies William after a few seconds of thinking, as he takes a swig of his beer. “If I do in the future, I’ll be sure to let you know, Sheriff. What do you think it could be?” he asks the wolf woman....

50 meters away…

Unbeknownst to William and Kirika, their conversation was observed by unwanting eyes and ears. Hiding at the edge of the jungle, camouflaged in ghillie suits, were two people that were very interested in the former chemical engineer, and not for the good reasons.
What some denizens of Kemono had seen or heard in the past few days, were the arrival on Animalpolis of an Astarian recon team tasked with finding and tracking the movements of a certain William Baxter, a former chemical engineer who had help manufacture chlorine and mustard gas for the rebels during the last Astarian Civil War, which has lasted from 2005 to 2008.
Unfortunately, Mr Baxter fled abroad before the Astarian authorities could capture him and trial him, but after many months of tracking, he had been found again, in a remote corner of the world, on the Animalpolis Island in the United Island States of AHSCA. And so, the decision had been taken by the Astarian authorities to not let the man vanish again, and conduct a capture operation without informing the UIS authorities.

“So, it seems like the Sheriff is aware we’re here.” whispers 2nd Lieutenant Cynthia Scott as she looks to her tablet computer, linked to a powerful microphone that gathers the sounds of the conversation.

“In that case, I hope the assault order will come soon, I don’t want to be sent to Black Island because our bosses took their sweet time.” grumbles Sergeant Darek Torremon, as he looks through his rifle’s scope at Matsumi and Baxter. “If it were up to me, I’d burn his brains right here and there.”

“Maybe, but a 7.62 round in his head would only make matters worse here and now, and would surely condemn us to something worse than Black Island. don’t worry Sergeant, I’m sure we will move on him soon.”

The two soldiers that are currently observing the interaction are part of the Astarian Keiserlig Custos, or Imperial Guard, the personal armed forces of the monarch. For Sergeant Torremon, he is part of the Idolon, the Tier Two Special Forces of the Imperial Guard. For 2nd Lieutenant Scott, she is part of a newly created Special Training Squadron, also known secretly as Bodarks, the Tier One Special Forces of the Imperial Guard. Compared to Torremon, she’s a rookie at only 19 years old, but with three years of Civil War behind her and a gruesome training to become a Bodark. Add to that she is a child born in one of the Noble Families of the Imperium, and that her brothers and sisters in arms are also heirs to the other Noble Families, including Adrean Blachkor, the heir to the Imperial Family, and you get a very special type of unit she belongs to.

“Yeah, sorry about that El Tee. So, what does she says?” asks Darek, as he continues watching the Sheriff and Baxter through his DMR scope.

“One moment.” replies Cynthia as she refocuses her attention to the tablet and the microphone, making a few adjustments...

Kirika pondered William's question for a moment “Well based on what I’ve been told it sounds like some kind of motorized vehicle, which is pretty unusual for here I must say. We usually don’t get military convoys around here, except after a hurricane. I suppose it could be activity from the Mokans over on Aurora, they do tend to do wide sweeps of our islands but at the same time my looks into that are not matching up. At the same time, well it could be nothing at all. A lot of people still are jittery from the war time days and it could be their imaginations playing things worse than they need to be. Well just do me a favor and be alert over the coming days, if you think something is a bit strange then please come find me in the village center. Meantime, getting kind of late, I have an eager deputy waiting to relieve me. So you have a pleasant evening.” She tipped her police cap to him and about faced to return back to the village. Yeah, probably just people being a little jumpy and nothing to worry about, so for now Kirika would head back into the village, talk with her deputy about her day, pass along the duties to her and go enjoy a nice dinner with her daughter waiting for her at home. Yeah all in all, should be another pleasant quiet evening. Or so she thought.

“Have a pleasant evening too, Sheriff.” replies William as he nods to Kirika, and goes back to reading the newspaper and drinking his beer. Local military exercises, no need to worry. he thinks with a small smile.

At the edge of the jungle

“Apparently, the Sheriff thinks it may be the Mokan troops that may be conducting exercises around here, but since their base is on Aurora Island and she does not have matching information, she can’t say what it really is in the end. But she asked our target to be careful and report to her if he hears or sees anything suspicious.” resumes Cynthia to Darek as she finishes listening to the conversation in her microphone.

“One more reason that we must move on him soon. If he is more alert from now on, we may have difficulty catching him.” replies the Sergeant.

Bravo 1 to 3 and 4, what’s the situation? suddenly asks a voice in the radio, the voice of Captain Anatoly Decaty, the leader of their recon team.

“Bravo 3 here, the target was just visited by the local Sheriff, who asked him about strange sightings and sounds of military vehicles.” replies Cynthia in the usual whisper. “The locals are picking up on our presence One, and the Sheriff asked Baxter to be more alert in the coming days. If he does, moving on him may prove more difficult than planned.”

“Solid copy Three, I have something that will help solve this problem. Drop the surveillance and come back to the cache ASAP.”

“Bravo 3 copies all, we’re moving now.” finishes Cynthia, before nodding to Darek and packing away discreetly her gear, while her partner does the same with his rifle. In just thirty seconds, the spot where the two ghillie-suited operators had been lying is cleared of all tracks, and they are moving back to the cache where the rest of the recon team is staying…

A few minutes later…

After jogging in the humid jungle for about a kilometer, the two Astarian Imperial Guards finally reach their destination.
Nestled in a very small clearing, next to a hot spring, a cache has been arranged by the group to rest during their mission. A hole had been dug in the ground, and a camouflaged poncho hung over it, allowing the group to stay hidden quite well. As they reached the clearing, Cynthia and Darek stopped in their tracks, and whistle a signal. A second later, another whistle is heard, its tonality showing it’s their comrades who are still guarding the position. So, without fear of being shot in friendly fire, they relax their stance and approach the designated spot where the cache is located.
There, waiting for them, are the rest of their team for this recon mission. First of all, the team leader, Captain Anatoly Decaty. An Idolon too, this gruff man with long black hair held back in a bun, had been doing this job for the past ten years, and only chose to become an commissioned officer recently.
Next, Sergeant Amita Bengel. A recon and transmission specialist, the young redhead had been working with Darek for a few years by now, and the two were like peas in a pod.
And finally, coming from the same Bodark Squad as Cynthia, 2nd Lieutenant Christine Striplin. 19 years old just like her friend, she is the medic of their squad, while Cynthia handles the heavy weapons.
Hiding in the shade of the poncho, the three remaining members of the recon team greet their colleagues with a simple nod.

“So, what’s new?” asks Cynthia as she takes off her ghillie cover, just like Darek, before the latter grabs them both and dives down in the hole of the cache to store them with the rest of their gear.

“We just got a message from high command.” replies Amita, typing something on her military laptop, before turning to her left and repositioning the small satellite antenna linked to her device.

“We are finally moving on the bastard.” continues Anatoly, as he pulls a bit on his combat shirt that is sticking to his torso due to the sweat and humidity. “The rest of the team will arrive tonight by high speed craft at 11 PM. Our orders are to pack our gear and meet them at the beach, then you two and your squad will move on the target with half of my team. I will stay behind and handle security at the beach.” explains the Lieutenant before biting in a granola bar. “So everyone, get some rest now. I’ll do the first guard round. Amita, you’re next in two hours.”

“Aye Chief.” replies the Sergeant with a small salute, before Cynthia, Christine, Darek and herself get down in the hole of the cache, and get in their sleeping bags to take a small nap. Tonight, after five days of recon near Kemono, William Baxter would be caught back by his past…

Kirika went on home, enjoyed dinner with her daughter Kiri, a cute as buttons 13 year old who wanted nothing more than to be just like her mom when she grew up. A few short years before that for now, still just a kid. Kids talk as they do, they also had been hearing about the strange happenings. Kiri put plenty of trust in her mom to get to the bottom of it, but still it was a little unnerving. Everything from foreign armies, to pirates to even aliens was being talked about. Bringing it up with her mom some more,
“Well Hatori thinks it's aliens from another planet.” Kiri said.

“Ohoho Hatori, she has an imagination doesn’t she?” Kirika laughed.

“Well what do you think it is?” Kirii questioned.

“I wish I knew, I have a million ideas that I can’t settle. But really, I don’t want you to worry, anyone or anything tries to harm you, they face the wrath of mama wolf!”
Kiri got a few giggles out but it did make her feel better about it.

“Listen, just be alert, keep your eyes out and you’ll all be fine. But for now also best to make sure you and your friends are home by nightfall until we get to the bottom of this.”

“Does it worry you? I mean like give you bad memories of the war?”

“Can’t say it doesn’t give me a few bad memories but I don’t think it’s that serious. I’m sure whatever it is, it’ll blow over. All right, it’s late, you have school first thing too.”

“All right, mama all right.” They exchanged a small kiss good night and settled into their little spots for the night. Kiri drifted off to sleep while Kirika read a little of the local news before settling in, pretty quiet all in all.

Later that night…

10:45 PM.

A few clicks away from the coast, over a calm sea, the quiet sound of rows can be heard. Covered by two black nets to break their form over the water, two fast attack dinghys advance slowly towards Kemono. Aboard them, the strike force coming to bag and drag William Baxter.
Among them, the rest of Spectre Squad, the sisters in arms of Cynthia and Christine. Lieutenant Ophelia Lovecraft, the squad leader, electronic specialist and mechanic; 2nd Lieutenant Emily Ornick, the team’s marks-woman; and 2nd Lieutenant Sandra Watson, the squad’s engineer.

Accompanying them, the rest of the Idolon squad commanded by Captain Decaty. Due to the noise caused by the arrival of the recon team a few days ago, high command had decided to have the assault group stop the motors of their dinghies five clicks off the coast, and row the rest of the way as to not draw attention. With the local population more on alert than usual, the risk of having local security forces disturb the operation was greater. After some time, the two net-covered crafts are finally nearing the coast. Through their quad-eye night vision goggles, they see some movement at the edge of the beach that is their destination, hidden near the limit between the beach and the jungle.

After a few seconds, the two crafts are targeted by an IR laser, which blips two times. In answer, Staff Sergeant Colin Pawell, raises his rifle and blips two times with his own laser in answer. Having exchanged the approved signals, the assault force continues to row. They reach the beach soon after, the Special Forces operators of the Astarian Imperial Guard raise the nets covering them, jump in the water and drag the dinghies on the beach. Ophelia, Emily and Sandra for their part, advance a few feet on the beach before taking a knee, their XM4 Assault Rifles raised to provide cover for the rest of the group. Once the boats are on the beach, the recon team, led by Decaty, advances towards them. Wearing the same apparel with the same expensive quad-eye NVGs, the Lieutenant and his partners wave a bit at their squad-mates.

“Long time no see guys.” whispers Anatoly to his squad-mates.

“You got it, man.” replies Colin.

“You have no idea how ready the youngsters are to go and do their job, ”adds the Staff Sergeant as he jerks his chin to Ophelia, Emily and Sandra.”

“That’s good to hear.” simply answers the Idolon Captain, before starting to brief his team about the results of their reconnaissance of the past few days. Meanwhile, Cynthia and Christine meet back with their three sisters-in-arms, and after hugging a bit, get down to business.

“So girls.” starts Cynthia, “our target lives on the outskirts of the village, away from the rest of the houses. From what we’ve managed to peer inside through the cameras, there is a simple room that makes up most of the house and acts as a bedroom, living room and dining room, with a separate kitchen and a small bathroom.”

“The house is elevated.” continues Christine, “and some of the planks creak loudly when you step slowly on them. My advice is to put your foot down quickly when you move step by step. Don’t do it slowly.”

“Okay girls, good job.” congratulates Ophelia, even though her sm1ile is hidden behind her balaclava. “Any reactions from the locals aside from the noises they heard?”

“So far no, but it’s making them more on edge as usual.” answers Cynthia. “And remember most of the inhabitants are Kemonomimis, so their animal instincts are more developed. No matter what, we have to be quick and careful when we move.”

“Indeed.” says Sandra. “Aside from the locals, any dogs or animals that may catch our scent and uncover us?”

“A few dogs yes, but luckily they all live on the other side of the village.” answers Christine.

“Very well then. Any more questions?” asks Ophelia to her teammates, who all shake their heads in a negative gesture. “All right, lead the way.” she says to Cynthia and Ophelia, who nod and turn back towards the jungle, their carbines raised as they start their progression. Behind them, Ophelia raises her left hand high, hand flat, before motioning forward to the Idolon Squad. Immediately, Staff Sergeant Pawell and four of his squad-mates start following them, but keeping a certain distance. Their role will be to provide close security for the assault team.
And so, in a few seconds, the ten Astarian men and women disappear in the jungle, the dim, green light of their quad-eye NVGs being the only thing that could betray them in the dense leaves around them…

5 minutes later...

After a careful and quiet walk through the jungle, Spectre and the rest have arrived at the edge of the village. 50 meters in front of them lies their HVTs house, all alone in this part of the village.
With a set of hand signs, Ophelia motions for her squad to move around the house on the right side, while Pawell and his squad-mates cover the left side from the edge of the jungle.
With careful steps, the five women advance, their IR lasers seen through their NVGs sweeping the house’s walls and the surroundings. They round a corner and end up in front of the house. With another set of hand signs, Ophelia orders her girls to stack up at the base of the stairs leading to the front door, while Sandra opens the right ankle pocket on her cargo pants, and takes out a small C-4 explosive charge.
With cautious steps, she moves up the stairs, ensuring that the planks do not creek under her weight, while unwrapping the C-4 and unrolling the cable linking the charge to the detonator. She then takes off the small protection covering the adhesive, and sticks the charge to the door, underneath the handle. She then moves back next to her partners, and nods to Ophelia, her hand on the detonator.
With a nod in reply, the latter motions to Cynthia, who takes out a flash bang grenade from her plate carrier, takes off the safety pin, and keeps it tightly in her hand.
Ophelia then raises her left hand with her thumb, index, and middle finger raised, and starts counting down to three. As she lowers her thumb, Sandra activates the detonator. BAAAAM!!
The breaching charge explodes and blows the door inwards, tearing it from two out of three of its hinges. Cynthia throws at the same time her flashbang inside the house, as the five women turn their heads away to shield themselves from the bright flash and deafening sound that comes a few seconds later.

Inside the house…
William’s peaceful rest comes to an end when he is woken up by a loud explosion, as his front door opens violently and is nearly blown off its hinges. Before he can understand fully what’s happening, his eyes only have time to register a small, metallic cylinder landing inside, before his world disappears and leaves him blinded by a white flash and deafened by a loud, shrill beep.
“Go!” shouts Ophelia as she raises her rifle and enters the house, followed by her friends. As they sweep every corner of the room, she spots Baxter, rolling on the floor in pain as he holds his ears with his hands.

“Clear!” shout everyone after a few seconds.

“Okay, you know the drill, Sensitive Site Exploitation and everything.” says Ophelia as she lowers her rifle, grabs a cable tie from the back of her plate carrier, and cuffs Baxter’s hands behind his back.Meanwhile, her friends start digging through the room, opening everything that could hold any intel…

Kirika hadn’t been asleep long when the loud explosions jolted her awake along with her daughter, “Mama? What was that?” It obviously wasn’t thunder, trust them, they’d know the difference between a sudden clap of thunder and something different.

“Mmm…I don’t know yet, baby. But I’m going to check it out.” Kirika threw something on and grabbed her sidearm loading up a fresh magazine in the chamber. “You stay put; don’t move a muscle, I’m going to have Deputy Midori come and watch over you.”

“Yes, mama. And mama, be careful please. Mama, maybe you should take your rifle?”

"Best you hold onto it, just in case."

It couldn’t be military could it? It was a loud bang, something like an explosion but not big enough to be a large shelling or missile attack.. But an equally scary prospect also ran through her mind, not an invading army but an army intent on taking a few more citizens for their keeping. During the war, one or more citizens were abducted and never seen again. The Animalian people’s unique features and strange DNA made them prime targets for hostile nations in the name of “science” whereas most islanders had to just worry about the usual unsavory types. Armed and ready to go, Kirika set out but not before bumping into her deputy on the street.

“Sheriff? You hear it too?” Midori asked.

“I do. Sounded like an explosion of some kind. Yeah something’s going on. Listen, I hate to go without you backing me up but can you please stay with Kiri and the rest of the village here? Maybe rouse a few of the old militia get them ready but nobody leaves.”

“All right, but be careful. Do you want a lamp?”

“No, I’ll go without, I’d rather keep darkness on my side.”

“All right, I’ll keep an eye out. Maybe I should radio in to the Prefectural Police?”

“Hold off on that for now, we don't know if they may be on our frequency or not. But if I’m not back in 20, then call for help. All right, I’m off.”

“Good luck!”

Out into the pitch black she went, being wolf gave her a slight advantage, she had better night vision than most, a keen sense of hearing and smell but make no mistake there was just as much human in her, she was fast but hardly a speeding bullet, her ears probably would give off just as much heat if anyone was watching around with FLIR vision. She had to be smart about this, quiet, stealthy and of course only engage if she knew she could do it without getting herself or others killed. Her path along the village center kept going and going straight along now out into the outskirts, if they were deep into the jungle she might pull back and watch the perimeter but it seemed like it was getting louder, like she was getting closer. This was Mr. William’s place based on the location she could feel she was at. Now her face flushed white as her eyes beheld a group of heavily armed and heavily geared up men and probably women too, dragging poor Mr. William from his home.

“What is going on?” She whispered to herself. She drew her sidearm up in a defensive stance, it was the only defense she had between them and her if they got too close to one another, she wasn’t going to waste precious ammo or draw attention to herself by trying to snipe with a basic nine millimeter pistol she did have a rifle but that was stowed away at home, best left for Kiri should the worse happen. From the distance, she really couldn’t make out a lot and she didn’t dare get any closer. She was outgunned on this one, if she got close they probably would shoot her dead on the spot or worse yet, kill her and raze the village in return. “oh shit…” it was all she could say. She was powerless to do anything, even if she did call for reinforcements, these people were probably not hanging around long enough and again, if they were on the same frequency band and picked up on coms, there would be nothing to stop them from a bloody rampage through town or any other nearby village that wasn’t already alert. There were also nearby farms and fishing huts that could be in peril. But still this wasn’t adding up, why take him? If they were traffickers, plenty of women and children to pick from. If they were evil doctors, or mercenaries doing the bidding of wicked science types, well just plenty of everyone else to pick from as well. S he kept trying to think up a way she could divert their attention but these were clearly military, so it’s not like they wouldn’t leave one or two behind to guard him if she caused some kind of big distraction. She shook her head, all she could do was sit and watch. She nestled down deeper in the foliage just should someone decide to glance her direction, now all she could do was watch, keep a mental note and hope to the Goddesses above, she wouldn’t be spotted.

After a few minutes, Ophelia and her squad have finished rummaging in Baxter’s house. Overall, they didn’t find anything useful apart from a few diaries, the chemical engineer having erased all documents linking him to his past actions. He had also been injected with a sedative, to keep him quiet on their way back to the extraction.
“All right, we’re all set.” says Ophelia to her friends, before calling on the radio Sergeant Pawell, still on security watch outside the house.

“Bravo Six, Spectre One here, anything new?”

“Spectre One, Bravo Six, negative, the coast’s still clear for now.”

“Copy that, we’re moving out.” finishes Ophelia, before raising her rifle again and walking out of the house, followed by Sandra and Christine, dragging William Baxter out with one of his arms draped around their shoulders. Cynthia and Emily bring up the rear. However, just as they get out, Emily turns to the right to cover the group from any potential threat coming this way, and that’s when she sees, tinted in green by her NVGs, some movement in a thick bush about thirty meters away, as well as the outlines of a human silhouette, which seems to be armed, judging by her stance.

“Contact!” she yells as she points her IR laser on the form. “Thirty meters in the foliage.”
Immediately, Ophelia and Cynthia do the same, the latter taking a knee, while Sandra and Christine stop in their tracks, before reaching for their pistols, and starting to move slowly away.

For a few seconds, the three Astarian women let their lasers sweep the location where they see the silhouette hidden in the foliage.
“I think it is the Sheriff.” whispers Cynthia as she lightly lowers her gun. As she had spent the past few days observing the location day and night, the young Bodark was more aware than her colleagues on Kirika’s appearance.

“She’s not doing anything, why?” asks Ophelia with a hushed tone, tinted with worry.

“Evidently, we have her outgunned for now. She probably knows this, and does not want to die foolishly. A Wolf woman like her surely feels this twice with her animal instincts.” replies Emily.

“Indeed.” continues Cynthia, before suddenly raising her head towards her friends. “I’ll try something, cover me.” she simply says before standing back up, and starting to walk slowly towards the spot where Kirika is hidden, her hands raised to show she is not reaching for her weapons.

“Wai…” starts Ophelia as she tries to reach for her friend, but seeing that it is too late, she refocuses her attention on Kirika.

Once she has walked halfway between her squad-mates and Kirika, Cynthia stops, her hands still raised.

“We are not here to mean harm.” she says in Japanese, not shouting but still loud enough to be heard by Kirika and her squadmates. “We are only here to bring this man to justice, because he has committed crimes that need to be judged. We do not mean to hurt or kill anyone here, but we will not hesitate to retaliate if we are attacked. So please let us go, and we will be on our way.”

With that said, she turns her head sideways, back to her squadmates, and shout in Astarian: “Pop smoke!”
Immediately, Ophelia grabs a smoke grenade from the back of her plate carrier, before taking off the pin and throwing it towards Cynthia and Kirika. The former grabs a smoke grenade from her own plate carrier, unpins it too, but just drops it at her feet.

After a few seconds, a white-grey smoke begins to appear, and as it surrounds Cynthia, she retreats, away from Kirika.

“Nice move girl.” simply says Ophelia as she congratulates Cynthia, while Emily puts her hand to her throat, pressing on her throat microphone.

“Spectre 2 to everyone, contact made with local law enforcement, situation defused by Spectre 3. On our way to evac with the HVT. Out”.

The three women then join with Sandra and Christine, still holding a knocked out Baxter, and Pawell’s team. Without looking back, the ten (plus one HVT) Astarians run towards the evacuation point, where they arrive two minutes later to find the two RHIBs turned around, their engines already in the water, ready to get away from Animalpolis.

“Everything’s good?” simply asks Captain Decaty as the group steps into the water, before the girls drop unceremoniously Baxter in the left boat.

“Yeah, no casualties, no shots fired, intel and target recovered. A true playbook mission.” replies Ophelia as she gets on the front MG of her boat, while the rest of her group takes seats around.

“Okay, off we go then.” finishes Anatoly, before getting behind the wheel of the RHIB, powering up the engines, and pushing forward the gas.

And so, in the dark AHSCAian night, the two Astarian crafts leave the shore in the powerful roar of their engines, towards the high seas of Greater Dienstad where their submarine would pick them…

Still quietly watching and holding her position she watched in dread as the strange specters in the night finished up their work then to her horror their laser sights began sweeping over in her direction. Oh no, she was spotted for sure, she was as good as dead, her only thoughts now were of her Kiri as the towering figure walked in her direction. Given the layers of body armor on them, her puny pistol would be no match, no sense running now but no shots were fired just loud harsh words from the woman, the language was a bit muddled but it was enough for her to understand they just seemed to be on a mission, for what she still didn’t understand, honestly her heart was racing the blood was rushing to her head she only made out just enough to hear "let us go and we won’t hurt you” good enough for her but before she could make any contact or think to do anything, smoke enveloped her, leaving her coughing and disoriented for a moment but otherwise unharmed.
And well just as soon as she saw them they were gone, as they sped away into the night and into the distance. “What…” She just didn’t know what else to do or say but for now she had to return to the village.

“Please…I Midori had her hands full trying to explain what she herself couldn’t. There were members of the old militia guard, young and old gathered and fully armed and ready for a fight if needed.

“Sheriff has said to be patient and wait and guard the village grounds first and foremost.”

Kirika blew on her whistle “Everyone, please return home now! Right now village is going into lockdown! Members of the Guard I want you to secure the village and continue regular patrols through the night, anyone under the age of 16 is to be home! Members of the Militia standby for further instructions...”

“Mama!” Kiri hugged her mother relieved to see her back. “What happened, are you okay? Everyone’s going crazy!”

“Kiri, I will explain tomorrow for now, I want you home okay, keep the rifle out but stay in.”

“Sherriff? What happened out there, I was just about to get on the band and call in for backup!”

“We have a situation and it’s serious. I’ll explain. For now we need to get to the village records.”

“Right now?”

“Yes now

Before running off, a few instructions were relayed to the local militia to better protect the village and its inhabitants. It was a short time later that Kirika and Deputy Midori assembled at the village administrator’s building which was like the other buildings, a small thatch hut of wood and bamboo. Rifling through the dozens of papers inside was our two members of law enforcement officers and the Village Administrator herself, a cat woman named Suzuka Ito, actually the mother of the aforementioned Hatori, Kiri’s friend. Suzuka was hastily sifting through stack of papers, records of the villagers who resided, adults to children everything was documented. “This is super serious,” Suzuka frantically said as she put aside another stack of papers, “I mean we’re all going to have our heads on pikes for letting this happen on our watch. What do you know about this man?”

“We know nothing about him. He just arrived some time ago, set up residence here. Rather solitary but friendly.” Kirika replied.

“We must have his record of residency somewhere?” Midori questioned

“I have nothing.” Suzuka tossed another stack aside and started filing through the next one, “I mean if he showed up in the aftermath of the war it’d be no surprise.”

“Plus the hurricane two years ago did cause us to lose a lot of papers so at this point who knows.” Suzuka said defeated putting aside her last stack of records.

“Suzu, really it’s not your fault.” Midori tried to assure her.

“How am I going to explain this to the Premier when she gets here?”

“I’m the Sheriff, this is my responsibility as a law officer to protect our residents, this is my failure here, not yours, I’ll accept all responsibility.”

“It’s as I feared, I have no documentation on him at all. Oooh boy this is a real mess. Nothing more we can do tonight, ladies, we just have to face her come morning when she arrives from Tsubaki..”

“Yes ma’am.” They both said.

With that they returned home, heads hung in defeat. She didn’t want to explain it to Kiri right now. When day dawned the three women once again were assembled in the village square, hoping to quell all questions and concerns by the residents. It wasn’t just Kirika who saw a few things, fisherman and other residents also saw some of what went down last night and word got around quick. “Please be assured we are looking into the matter…We don’t imagine any danger…”

A shrill whistle of another police officer to part the crowd, “Premier Suzumiya.” She announced as a military jeep pulled in carrying the island’s Premier, Haruhi Suzumiya, and another cat woman in this instance, a survivor of the war herself and one of the immortalized founders of the modern UIS, while her reign would be brief after this she still meant a lot to her island. “Which one of you is the village administrator?” she asked.

Suzuka stepped up and announced “That is I, Madam Premier.” The rather frightful sword on Suzumiya’s hip made her feel like she was about to get her head sliced off in a moment.

“And the Sheriff?”

“That’s me, Madam Premier.” Kirika said.

“All right then. And you?” She looked at Midori.

“Uuh Deputy Midori Katsuma, Milady!”

“Then you three, come in with me.”

Entering the privacy of the hut they sat. “All right, I was briefed on what happened but I want to hear it from you in your words to make sure I heard right.”

Kirika explained the whole story start to finish. “I accept whole responsibility and if you will have my badge than I shall hand it over without protest but I implore for your mercy Honorable Premier, as a mother of a young girl I want to see grow up.”

“Madam Sheriff, according to your report, you were outnumbered, outgunned and disadvantaged. I’d say there’s not a failure on your part, just common sense to not get yourself or others killed. You had no way to know if they wouldn’t attack you or other villagers if you attempted to intervene. Therefore, I pardon you of responsibility in this instance. You put the needs of your village first, the mark of a good leader. The Militia, they stayed behind?”

“Yes Milady, I thank you. Not knowing what I was dealing with, I kept any militia behind to ensure the safety of the village.”

“Very good.”

“Village Administrator, do you have written records of the man’s residency?”

“Premier, I’m ashamed to admit I do not.”

“If I may, Milady” Midori spoke, “We think the man may have settled sometime between the end of the war and as recently as two years ago when we had that big hurricane that hit our island. The storm really hit our village hard and many documents were lost.”

“I remember how badly the storm affected us all. Many villages including Tsubaki and Matsumoto were really torn apart. And given the timeline of our recovery between these two events, it’s no surprise things may have fallen through the cracks. Therefore I also want to issue a pardon for you on this matter.”

“Thank you, Milady.”

“Deputy Katsuma, you were here as an additional witness and party to the events so I’m not intending to place any responsibility on you. If anything this is a big failure on our security network as a whole. Something I need to take to our Duchess as a concern.”

They were off the hook it seemed, but somehow none felt particularly good about it. "I’ll have police continue a canvas just to root out them remaining behind but for now that’s all. Administrator.”
“Yes, Milady”

“You’re a small village, having one or two on duty officers is rather typical of a village this size. I see no need for any disciplinary action here. The Sheriff acted in the scope of her duties but given circumstances couldn’t intervene and your deputy stayed behind to keep the village secure and command the Militia which is the law. You as Administrator have two fine officers in your roster so keep them.”

“Of course!”

“Now allow me to address your residents as their Island Premier.”

“Yes, Milady.”

Haruhi exited the hut, getting on the stone box that marked the center of the village. “Attention if you will! Last night we had an incident go down. I know many of you are concerned, I know I am as well. We’ve hoped that the days of trespassers on our lands was behind us but as such, we still have a long way to go it seems. Be assured that I as your Premier will get to the bottom of this situation. I shall ensure the safety of all my people here. Your officers, your Administrator has you well in hand. As extra precaution, I will send up additional officers from Tsubaki and I will see to it that a military patrol begins, and we will ensure security of this village and our island. You have my assurance on that.” It drew applause from the audience as Haruhi made a hasty exit, just as swiftly as she entered she left again back to Tsubaki, it was unfortunate that her health wasn’t the best right now thus not much time to mix and mingle.
Kirika could tell Kiri about what happened last night. “I don’t want you to be frightened by this, my dear.”

“So scary! But I’m glad mama you’re all right…after papa I…” She sniffled and wiped her eyes, thinking about losing her mom was actually worse than the thought of strange soldiers kidnapping someone. Petting her daughter’s head, Kirika reassured her, “For now, it seems I’m here to stay. Still for now, what I said last night stands, you and everyone else need to be home by dark until this is all settled.”

“Mmm. Yes mama.” She nodded.

Back with the Astarians, after half an hour of riding their RHIBs, the two crafts stop in the middle of the ocean. After a few minutes of waiting, some noise can be heard coming down from the depths of the sea. And finally, a dark form rises to the surface. 110m long, the IAS (Imperial Astarian Ship) Njord nuclear attack submarine opens her dry deck shelter at the aft, and the two RHIBs enter it. In just under two minutes, everyone is on board.
And so, with nothing but the sound of the waves around, the Astarian submarine floods his ballasts again, and dives back down under the sea, ready to undergo the long travel back home…
A month later...
“William Baxter, this court declares you guilty of collusion of crimes against humanity. You are hereby sentenced to twenty five years in prison, with a possibility of parole in seventeen years. Do you understand the terms of the judgment?” asks the leadfederal judge as he looks at Baxter sitting in the defendant’s box.
“I do Your Honor.” simply replies the latter with a sigh. In just a month, the now-convicted William Baxter has changed quite a lot, both physically and mentally. He is thinner and paler. Wearing a simple pair of beige pants with a cyan, short sleeved shirt, he looks down with an empty gaze. At last, his past has caught up to him, and he will now pay the consequences for the next twenty five years.
As he looks around in the nearly empty courtroom, he spots the five females responsible for his capture. Ophelia, Cynthia, Emily, Sandra and Christine look back at him with gazes betraying no emotion. The five noble women, aside from a few people Baxter had met during the war and who came to testify, are the only ones sitting in the room. Another mission added to an already incredible list.
While the three federal judges get up from their seats and walk out of the room in an orderly fashion, Baxter exchanges a few words with his two assigned public defenders. For all the charges he faced, he could have been sentenced to death, or life sentence without parole. But he has to give it to the Imperial authorities, they gave him two great lawyers to help defend him. On his own, he would not have been able to hire such competent lawyers.
So, with a final nod to his lawyers, he gets up from his seat, and presents his arms to the Imperial Marshall standing in the box with him. The federal agent cuffs him, before leading him out of the box, and towards the back of the court, where he boards an unmarked, white police SUV, escorted by two motorbikes and another SUV identical to the first one. Inside, two other Marshalls, one driving, the other on the front passenger seat providing security.
However, just as the Marshall leading him is about to close the door, someone else appears. When he looks in their direction, William is met with the sight of the face of Ophelia, handing him a small piece of wood.
“A part of your AHSCAian house, to keep you company for all those years.” she simply says as she hands him the piece of wood, before turning away and going back inside the court.
As Williams holds the small plank in his hands, some tears roll down his cheeks. He sniffles a bit, then wipes the tears with the back of his left hand before nodding to the Marshall, who closes the car door and then takes his place at his side. Once everyone is buckled up, the convoy rolls out of the courthouse driveway, sirens going off loudly…

Thus ends the story of William Baxter’s arrest in AHSCA.

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Posts: 1414
Founded: Jul 22, 2017
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Cartoonia » Sun Feb 13, 2022 7:25 pm

TITLE: Travel By Train
AUTHOR: Cartoonia

Of which an author rides aboard a train heading for Ooarai

Rail travel is still strong in Cartoonia. Even though many folks have a car, they travel long distances via train. Through preservation, they travel on steam locomotives that are in perfect working condition, all the more so as they are needed on passenger trains. There are large engines that run the main express lines to and from different islands, and then there are branch lines that go from one major city to another. This is a story about one of these branch line trains.

From his city of Axel Town to the port city of Ooarai in the province of Western Pacifica, Kazuma Satou rides aboard an LBSCR E3 at the back coach out of two. The front coach can take passengers, but the back coach can take passengers, luggage, and the guard. He was traveling down to Ooarai today to catch a ferry down to Port Acme for a regional publishing house convention. Kazuma is an author of popular military fiction. He delves into military tactics and vehicle statistics in character stories, while also delving into the politics and societal norms of the time. In other books, he writes alternate history scenarios, often ones that would make no sense whatsoever.

Right now, with pen and notebook in hand, he wants to delve into something that he hasn’t done before, writing a kids’ book. He has no idea what to write about. But before he can continue thinking, the train stops in a small merchant town by the shore called Milteu. It was expected to, not only was it supposed to be a stop by before the city of Ooarai, but this is also a transfer point for the shoreline branch of the railway. Since the train is relatively small, passengers would often be mated with a stranger in the compartment. One of the passengers, a girl with fluffy brown hair, entered the compartment of Kazuma, carrying with her a small satchel and a shopping bag.

“Hello,” the girl said energetically.

“Hello,” Kazuma replied. A couple of minutes passed in silence. Kazuma wasn’t much of a speaker, and the girl didn’t know what to say. It was at this time the train left the station, on its way to Ooarai. she took a book out of her satchel. It was one of his books. Kazuma smirked proudly.

“Say miss, is that an alternate history book I see?”

“Oh, uh…” the girl replied shyly. “Yeah. It’s a book that I found while I was in town. It seemed like a good read. I’m a history nerd. Especially when it comes to tanks”.

“Ah, so a tank otaku?”

“Well, yeah. You could say that. Say, are you one as well?”

“Of course. I mean, it was the inspiration of my books” he says proudly. She wasn’t sure what he meant by that, but a couple of seconds later, she realized what he meant.

“Wait, don’t tell me you’re the author of this book, Mr. Kazuma Satou!?” the girl exclaimed with a firey passion.

“Indeed I am!” Kazuma replied proudly.

“Wow!! I am a huge fan of your work Mr. Satou! I wouldn’t have expected to see you here today!”

“Well, I’m on my way to Port Acme, there is a regional publishing convention, and I got a few more books to sell. Say, can I get a name to one of my huge fan?”

“Oh, forgive me, sir!” The girl puts her book down and does a military salute.

“Ms. Yukari Akiyama. Third-year at Ooarai High School. Vice President of the student council, and member of the Tankery team”.

“Oh yes, I have heard of that school. That crazy PC secretary tried to shut down the school because of some political agenda right?”

“Well…” Yukari says, procrastinating on the answer. It was a little embarrassing when your school not only is known for tankery, but also for the fact of one of the stranger events of last year for them. “It really was embarrassing”.

“Don’t worry, it all turned out alright, they outed him out of the office”.

“Oh, I didn’t hear about that one”.

“I’m surprised, it made national headlines. So, Ms. Akiyama. What were you doing up in Milteu?”

“I was visiting my grandma. She lives up there. Heading back down to Ooarai now. Oh, and my mom wanted me to buy some of the Orna cosmetics in that town, we don’t have a store like that in Ooarai. How about you Mr. Satou”.

“Oh, I’m just going down to Ooarai to catch a ferry down to Acme Island, publishing convention and all. Gotta push my stories somehow”.

“Ah, I see”. The next hour was spent with the two conversing about military equipment and history. The train stopped at a red signal, waiting for it to turn green.

“It seems we stopped,” Kazuma commented. “But it seems we aren’t at a station or anything”.

“We must have stopped at a signal. Train ahead of us I think”.

“Ugh. Bother that signal, I’m going to be late!” Several minutes have passed, a few passengers were becoming impatient. There was a knock on the carriage door. Must be the guard.

“Come in!” Kazuma shouts, opening the door, but it wasn’t the guard. It was the driver, Driver Justin Cavallero.

“Excuse me sir, have you seen the guard, a Mr. Simon Mikazuchi?”

“Uh. No. He’s not here, nor have I seen him”.

“Damn it. I can’t seem to find the guard anywhere. We looked all over, from his position in the back of the train to the coaches. He can’t be found, and I would like to know if we can pass through this signal without waiting for it to turn green”.

“If we have been traveling without the guard for a while,” Yukari says, remembering the guard came in at one of the stations to inspect tickets, “Then perhaps we left him back in Milteu”.

“I hope not” Justin replies, “might have been left there since the shoreline train was late today. I don’t want to turn this train back”. Kazuma takes a good look outside the door.

“Looks like you don’t have to wait!” He says pointing outside. There was Mr. Simon Mikazuchi running down the side of the track. He seems to be almost out of breath having run from the station at Milteu. He faints from the exhaustion the driver and other passengers went up to him, one of them offering a bottle of cold sparkling water. He’s awake now, lying on the floor.

“Feeling better Simon?” Justin asks.

“I’m doing better now thank you”.

“Sorry for leaving you behind man. I thought you were still in the back”.

“It’s not totally your fault, I tripped on someone’s umbrella after using the restroom. Before I knew it, y’all started to go”.

“Ah. I see”. There was another noise. The sound of the signal moving down.

“The signal is green now. Now let’s make up some lost time”. The driver returned to the engine. Passengers return to their compartments, and the guard closed their doors again. He sounds his whistle, and the train continues back again.

“That was pretty eventful wouldn’t you say Mr. Satou?” Yukari asks.

“Yes… sounds right” he replies, “Say, have they made a children’s book about talking trains?”

“I think so… probably several”.

“AH, screw it! I’m gonna write a series on talking trains, and include military and technological history! The boys will be excited when they hear this!” Kazuma shouts as he writes furiously on his notepad. Yukari chuckles at the thought of Mr. Satou writing a children’s book with military history references. But life is just mysterious in that sense, and it continues forward. The train arrived at Ooarai, probably quicker than ever before, and Kazuma hops onto a ferry down to Port Acme. It is always interesting for peoples of different backgrounds to be seated together, sharing ideas and stories. Sharing life and friendship. All of that is possible in this glorious age of the train.
Supreme Leader Jimmy Kudo
Chancellor Nigel Uno
Attorney General Conan Edogawa
Secretary of Foreign Affairs Raphtalia
Gran-General of the Army Eric Cartman
Gran-Admiral of the Navy Kagura Mikazuchi

The desk of the Democratic Republic of Cartoonia Department of Foreign Affairs.
Capitol: Gallagher
Current Civil State: Prosperous
Current Military Status: At Peace
Cartoonian-Dillydale Stock Exchange…...JWC -10.0%........CIS +1.1%......CEP +2.1%......SSA -6.1%......POC -5.1%......WDC -1.2%......ABC +2.4%......RMC -1.2%......MRE +1.7%......SSC +3.1%......FSC +2.0%......KTC -0.5%......SBC -4.2%......KKF -5.3%

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Posts: 236
Founded: Jan 04, 2018

Postby Eitoan » Wed Apr 27, 2022 1:24 pm

He Is An Eitoman!

From the Opera "The good Ship Ruzek", 1921

He is an Eitoman!

He is an Eitoman!

For he himself has said it,
And it's greatly to his credit,
That he is an Eitoman!

He is an Eitoman!

For he may have been Tupiocan
Kassarani or a Relican,
or perhaps Ralkovian!

or perhaps Ralkovian!

Though in spite of all temptations
To belong to other nations
He remains an Eitoman!

He remainaiains
He remains an Eitoman!
Last edited by Eitoan on Tue Jun 28, 2022 12:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.



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