NATION

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Europa 3998 AD: Renaissance

A staging-point for declarations of war and other major diplomatic events. [In character]
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The Isles of Xeraph
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Europa 3998 AD: Renaissance

Postby The Isles of Xeraph » Thu Oct 05, 2017 6:04 am

..The Wet Beaver Tavern, Valley of Syn..

It was early in the evening, but the crowd was already deep in their cups. Ale and mead were being sloshed on table and floor, the men yelling their opinions, the serving girls giving a wide berth to the glowering Temple Guards. It was supposed to be a gathering of the various Guilds in Ssyn to discuss the possibility of expanding into the Eastern Lands beyond the Tigris River. There was no wall there, as in the west.

"Damned if I'm gonna risk my ass going through them heathen tribes! I heard tell them be cannibals!" Balderic Serice of the Silk Guild paused and kept an eye on the Guards.

"You just a shit-scared one, you are! 'Aint nothin' to be afeared of if'n ya got the right coins for 'em!" Larth Lecue glared with his one good eye at Balderic. "There's lands beyond what we can see, y'know. And I hear that it's almost limitless for thousands of miles 'til ya get to a big ocean in the far east."

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


..Cyprus Dome..

Alaric idly watched the shapely ass of the kitchen wench as it retreated from the throne room. As was his usual routine, he had ordered a large mug of highly caffeinated kaffé for the morning session, an ounce of scotch added as an alternative to creme and sugar. Glancing at his chrono, he saw he had about eight minutes before the first of his nobles would begin filtering into the room.

It was not an overly large room. His throne set on the top portion of a multi-stepped dais overlooked a long banqueting table and just fourteen chairs arranged in a half-circle facing him. These fourteen were highest level of nobility in the Eastern Empire. Dukes, earls, barons, viscounts and marquis acted as a buffer between the Emperor and the hundreds of petty, squabbling merchants and commoners who lodged complaints, wanted favors, and otherwise sought the presence of Alaric.

Emperor Alaric de Veurey-Bourbon was the thirty-third direct descendant of Prince Ricard de Veurey who had begun his climb to the top some 1400 years ago. Along with the Sea Lords of the Misty Isles, Ricard had conquered and subdued the Grail Kings, the Islamic Caliphates, Vikings, bandits, witches and various and sundry renegades of ancient Europa.

The Empire had grown to the point that it had become necessary to divide it between the Eastern and Western Empires. The Rhine River was the nominal dividing line, running from northern Frankreich to the southern port city of Marseilles. The Western rulers held sway from their capitol in Scotland, still called Ecosse by the Islanders.

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


..Greystone Forest, Eastern Empire..

"Omnes Gallia est divisa en tres partes." Instructor Cai Athnu intoned the famous words of General Julius Caesar, uttered nearly four thousand years earlier. "Actually, children, our portion of the Empire includes just a sliver of ancient Gaul, but the divisions are still accurate." He pointed at the holo-map and said, "As you can see, the Eastern Empire is divided into thirds. Grey Phoenix in the north, Grey Legions in the central portion, and we here Greystone Forest to the south.

Even though all knew the answer, one of the students asked, "Why, Instructor, the emphasis on the colour grey?"

Athnu smiled. He never tired of the retelling of the story. "Fourteen centuries ago, Earl de Veurey established that his armies would be distinguished by simple grey uniforms. This symbolized unity among all the various nationalities and tribes at the time. This was opposed to the garish garb of the Grail Kings and their allies who wore a dizzying array of multi-coloured uniforms. The Earl believed that the disparity of dress between armies was one of the contributing factors to the eventual defeat of the Grail Alliance."

"Isn't it true, though, that here is a tribe of remaining Grail Kings still living in the far parts of the Persio-Rus Wastelands?"

Athnu nodded. "This may be true. But even with our advanced technology, we cannot be absolutely sure of anything beyond the Wall."

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

..The Wall Zone, Central Euphrates River..

Geneva Thieda gazed out of the large window of her cramped Transfer Room. Her husband, Ccaile, had pleaded with her for years to take a vacation in Ssyn, the Land Between the Rivers. She'd always been too afraid, the horrid stories of what happened to civilized citizens of the Empire who were caught unawares in the culture of Ssyn. Geneva knew all the arguments: "Not to worry, it's safe now. The barbarians are kept under strict control." "Don't be concerned. You're not going into the lawless portion of Ssyn. The family section is just as safe as being home in your living room." She thought, not for the first time, that if it was so safe, why was there a wall between the Empire and Ssyn.
_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

..Vhammpyr, southern Ssyn..

"So, the Grey People think they can continue keeping us out of the Whispering Sea?" Solath sat, his reptilian eyes unblinking, and waited for a response.

"With all due respect, Sire, they've done so for hundreds of years. Our settlements along the coasts of Sauvage Persia cannot penetrate more than two miles into the Sea without foundering, even in calm weather. The Greyling machines are the reason why."

Sitting in a subterranean cavern under the ancient city of Akkad, Solath, King of Vhammpyr, clenched a fist and hammered it onto the table where he sat. "Cursed be the Greylings! I can sit in my tower and see our lost cities of Babylon, Uruk, and Ur on the other side of the river, but we are kept from them by the magic of the machines!" He rose to his full eight foot height, long white dreadlocks scraping the stone floor, his tattered purple robes swaying around him. "This must change..."

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

..Jerusem, The Holy Land..

The Festival of Sancta Francesco was in full swing, the cross of Jhesu and the Star of David at the head of the processions throughout this ancient city. Tradition held that with the coming of the demons of the moon god, Allah, the holy spirits of Francesco, Therese, and Guillome had rallied the holy angels of YHWH to utterly defeat the hordes of pagan armies, driving them back across the Euphrates, never again to return. This had been just over a millenium ago, and there had been peace in the Lands of the Lord ever since.

King Viktor the 23rd looked out over his city and saw that it was good. His old allies of the Empire had ensured the safety and prosperity of the Holy Land. Lords of both the Western and Eastern Empires regularly came and enjoyed the mild climate, eastern foods, and spiritual festivities. Indeed, several ships of the Sea Lords from far off Wales were now docked in the harbor at Ashkelon. Though within the boundaries of the Kingdom of the Holy Land, Ashkelon was a shared barony of the Emperors of Europa.

The king saw his Seneschal, Aerhih, hurrying towards him. "So, what of Ninevah?" Ninevah was on the east of the Tigris, a squalid, benighted city of sorcerers, necromancers, thieves and murderers. A city without laws or government. Tribal warlords ruled there, and great was the suffering of the people.

"Sire, some of the chieftains were seen at the tavern where the Guildsmen gathered. It has been suggested that they and the merchant representatives merge to form new, well-armed alliances in order to maintain a semblance of order and so decrease loss of revenue. Both the guilds and the warlords are already imagining vast sums of gold, silver, and jewels."

Viktor hung his head. "And so it begins once more. Greed and death." He looked at Aerhih. "I need to talk with the Emperors."

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Tarlag
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Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Tarlag » Thu Oct 05, 2017 7:15 am

MAIN DECK OF H.M.S. BLACK PRINCE

White smoke billowed from the stacks of the great iron ship[ as the Imperial naval squadron steamed up the fjord towards the longships of the vikings. Lord Admiral Cummings stood tall and strong looking to the viking ships chained together blocking the way to the last great settlement of the Norse people. He shouted loud and clear not needing a bull horn to be heard over the noise of a ship at action stations. "Mr Cross, order the Armstrong gun and the bow chasers to fire then come 4 degrees to port so the Roma can fire."

From forward the 110 pounder Armstrong fired hitting one of the ships on the first volley, followed by the quick fire of the fast 75s. Cummings looked back as the steam frigate Roma flying the new Imperial flag fired its bow guns at the longships. Roma's guns also scored hits setting some of the Norse ships ablaze. "Marines forward, open up with small arms as soon as you are in range. Any man who raises a blade this day against us shall meet His end!"

Things suddenly froze, the smoke from the stacks and the sea birds in the air stopped moving. The chill and gray of that cold Octobers day warmed to that of a fine spring afternoon. The burning ships in the distance vanished as did the Imperial ships. Just the Black Prince remained. The image of Lord Cummings flickered as a man dressed in the Scottish uniform of the time stepped through Cummings. "Ladies and Gentlemen, their you have the most fateful recreation of the opening to the Battle of Finnmark. The last battle between the Norse under Umbar the Black and Lord Admiral Bristol Cummings, Commander of Imperial forces at the time. Before we continue the tour any questions?"

An older looking man in the back of the tour group raise His hand. "Son, you got the smoke wrong. They were burning coal not wood. The smoke from the stacks was black not white."

Looking at His tablet the guide responded. "Lord Townsend, the historical evidence clearly proves this ship burned wood at the time. Coal had fallen out of fashion."

Snorting Aron Townsend spoke again. "Cummings was never that tall. The man was only 5"5 on His best day not over six feet like you got Him here. The man would have to be standing on a stool to be that tall."

The Guide looked a little flustered from the mans rebuke of the hologram performance. "I will admit my Lord the Black Prince Foundation has taken some liberties with some of the historic people we are showing but what you have seen did happen as shown."

Townsend turned and walked towards the gangplank under His breath He said. "More then a few liberties were taken in that show."

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Greystone Forest
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Libertarian Police State

Postby Greystone Forest » Thu Oct 05, 2017 10:23 am

..Greystone Academy..

Professor Honeywell rapped lightly on the Instructor's door. "Sorry, Cai, but I've heard a disturbing rumor today. From one of your students."

Cai Athnu looked up from his holopad. "Do tell. What is it this time?"

"Well, it seems that a few of your history class has it in their heads that the Empire's historical accounts are not quite,how shall I say it, accurate."

Athnu laughed. "Well, they're not. You know that. The books are far more accurate and truthful than in centuries past, but you know as well as I do that a certain amount of embellishment is always included, especially where our history is concerned. History isn't necessarily what happened, but rather what was written down."

"Hmmm, yes, and that's what old Piscus is up in arms about." Harald Piscus was the Dean of the academy and a hard-core traditionalist.

"Which part of today's lesson is bothering him?"

"What you were saying about how the Islamist forces forced the Grail Kings out of Carcassone. According to your students, you said that old Earl de Veureyallowed them free reign after their victory. That they slaughtered nearly all the Grail inhabitants of the city and set it on fire."

"Yes, so? That's what happened."

"No doubt, but that isn't what the Emperor wants to be known. He doesn't think that his legendary ancestor should be thought of as a blood-thirsty brigand who used pagan moon worshippers to kill and enslave Europan citizens."

"He does, does he? Well, if he has a problem, let him come here and discuss it with us. He himself has issued a ruling that essentially establishes the telling of actual facts, not myth. The truth, in other words."

"Hmmm, yes,but it seems that the crux of the matter is actually which of the Grail Kings were in the city when it was defeated and pillaged. You are aware that the Emperor's family are actually distant relatives of the Grail Kings. It wouldn't do to have family killing family, y'know."

"Honeywell, aren't you a little bit tired of this creeping historical correctness? One of the major problems of the Ancient Days was the proliferation of false and misleading information put forth by the upper crust of society. Billions were poured into keeping the citizens wondering just what the actual truth was. The false flags contributed significantly to the so-called peaceful invasion of Europa by the Muslim refugee crisis. Islam tried and failed a half-dozen times to conquer Europa over the centuries by force, and so with the leaders and rulers of the old EU spouting their humanitarian nonsense, the refugee armies of the Middle East very nearly succeeded at what the Islamic armies of years past couldn't accomplish. Thank the heavens for the handful of right-thinkers who put a stop to the whole thing in time for the forming and implimintation of new and strict guidelines concerning immigration of non-Europans into Europa. It was the Earl's descendants,and our Emperor's ancestors, who accomplished this. In a single generation, the Muslim population of Europa was reduced to less than 4% of 21st century numbers."

"Don't get me wrong, Cai, but Piscus doesn't seeit that way. And neither does the Emperor."

"Well, perhaps the Emperor would like to come and hear the truth, Honeywell. Send an invitation to Cyprus Dome. Tell himI'll cook his favorite meal."

"Which is?"

"Roast Bavarian Sanglier, gratin Dauphinois, and a couple of bottles of Chateuneuf de Pape, circa 3105 vintage."

Professor Honeywell looked dubious, but he nodded and silently left the Instructor's office,mumbling to himself.

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Tarlag
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Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Tarlag » Thu Oct 05, 2017 1:48 pm

HEATHROW SPACEPORT


Aron Townsend walked through the arrival area of the busy spaceport. Europa had only two the passenger ports the one here and one outside of Berlin. Aron in His few trips to space liked the western port better. The food was more to His tastes and His own land holdings were far closer. He walked over to the customs gate where arriving passengers were getting the once over by Imperial Customs about one thing or another. Aron noticed a man in His mid 40s arguing with the agent, he knew that was the man He was here to meet. Aron walked over and interrupted.

"Excuse me, Procter." Looking at the man's name tag to get the man's name He continued. "Sims, What is the trouble."

Turning His head the man smiled and spoke in a calm voice. " How may I be of service?"

Aron responded. "By informing me of the trouble. So I may be of service to you Procter."

Smiling the man responded. "The Gentleman here has no clearance to be here nor a landing permit for Him or His goods. Not even proper ID."

Bowing slightly Aron removes a small padd from His pocket. "I have been carrying all the proper forms Here for Mr. Nichols. His shuttle took some computer damage and I was sent to replace His clearances and ID. I trust all is in order?"

"All is in order Citizen, Mr. Nichols all is in order, Have a pleasant stay on Terra."

Aron took the man by the arm and walked Him away. "Keep walking son and I will explain a few things."

The man looked to Aron and asked. "Nichols, that is not even my right last name. How in the name of God did you come up with that and who the Hell are you?"

Looking at the man He gave a slight smile. "I am Aron Townsend Lord of Glanx and Duke of Normandy. Consider Me a friend of the family."

Looking a bit confused he responded. "At least you got my first name right Tim. How can you be a friend of the family. We have been in space for..."

"Longer then I care to guess." Aron responded quickly. "I have been in radio contact for some time with your Father and Mother. How are they by the way?"

"Dad is a grumpy as ever and Mom is still in the lab as all ways." Looking at the man cross ways for a moment Tim spoke up. "Why Nichols? Why can't I use my own name?"

Aron directed them to the hyper loop station as they walked and talked. "A Western Imperial name suited our purposes better. Your real last name is a little too Eastern Empire for my liking. Besides the way you talk is closer the isles then anywhere else."

"Took me two years to learn it. Strange mix of English and Gaelic and a lot of language drift. Dad tried but could not rap His head around it, that is why I was sent."

Under His breath Aron mumbled. "Fool boy could barely speak English some times." Looking to the man Aron spoke so He could be understood. "The cargo containers are being shipped over to my home. I trust your flight was OK."

"From the belt to Mars orbit then piggy backed on the Mars/Luna transport. Then flew the shuttle here myself." Looking around He spoke. "Gravity seems wrong, sorry I am used to .75 G not the full G you get here. Hyper loop huh, should be interesting."

Entering the station Aron nodded at two men heading to the cargo area. "Just act like you belong and keep your mouth shut on the loop. We can talk more at the house."

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The Isles of Xeraph
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Father Knows Best State

Postby The Isles of Xeraph » Thu Oct 05, 2017 9:36 pm

..The Wall Zone, Central Euphrates River..


Ccaile and Geneva walked slowly along the dark corridor that led from their hotel room to the outer face of the Wall. When they got there, there would be a high-speed elevator that would take them down to the lower three access levels into Ssyn. They would, of course, take the upper level, the one that would open to what was euphemistically called "The Family Area". This was deemed the safest portion of Ssyn where virtually no evil existed. Just a little excitement of the (hopefully) non-lethal type.

Geneva thought to herself about the peaceful, routine, safe life they lived back in the Gey Legions province of the Eastern Empire. All was provided for Imperial citizens via the highly advanced AI Tek crews and their systems. Once a candidate for citizenship was promoted to citizen, all of the comforts and perks of Imperial Citizenry were accorded to the candidate.

Everything on the surface of the Empire was clean, healthy, and serene. There was no want,no sickness, no crisis of any kind. For the first time in human history, men and women were fully equal. No one really worked. Most surface-citizens picked a hobby or two and developed their intellect, occasionally submitting a sort of autobiographic summary as to where they were in their life. Yes, life was good.

At least on the surface of the Empire.

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Ssyn
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Libertarian Police State

Postby Ssyn » Fri Oct 06, 2017 1:54 am

..Satananya, Central Ssyn..


It was a given that most nations on Terra were divided into three sections or provinces. Not so in Ssyn. There were so many varied territories that it was nearly impossible to categorize them. Tribes, clans, Guilds, Temple-States, and the Old City. You could, however, roughly seperate the entirety of Ssyn into four portions. Aeternu in the north, Satananya in the central sections, Pharex in the south-east along the Tigris River, and Vhammpyr along the southern coasts of the Euphrates. The Vhammpyrian area was further divvied up between the Dracul Legions and the Legions of Ararath, sub-domains of the Region of the Undead.

The denizens of Vhammpyr were not vampires as popularized in ancient times, night-stalkers who fed on the blood of the living. Rather, they were the fearsome, almost indestructable warriors whose long lives were spent in combat. It was perhaps a fortunate thing that they bred slowly, a nest of their eggs hatching just once in a hundred years. And the ratio of male to female Vhammpyrians was 100 to 1.

It was in Satananya that most Imperial citizens seeking respite from a routine, normal...boring...life went. It was here that the beaches, parks, and other amusements were deemed safe to utilize,even though they held a certain amount of danger.

In the Empire, all crime, pollution, disease, and other negative aspects of ancient life had been eradicated. Eradicated to the point of a 99.999% probability that no citizen would ever be threatened by anything in their lifetimes. The last vestige of unrecognized citizen participation, known as "the protest march", had been outlawed some 355 years earlier. The government felt that life was so good in the Empire that no one should protest anything. Only the habitually discontent continued the practice, and soon even they disappeared, albeit mysteriously.

It was in Satananya that most of the markets and Guild plied their wares, serving both the Ssynian population and the vacationers. There was a conscious effort by what passed as a police force to curb the more dangerous elements of Satananya. Not altogether successfully, but enough to give the vacationers a taste of lawlessness.

Few ventured into Aeternu wherein lie the Old City, known for it's ghastly horrors, dark, twisting lanes, and a vast underground labyrinth of creatures of such antiquity that only the bravest, or most foolhardy, attempted entrance.

Pharex on the eastern coasts was a semi-tropical jungle that never cooled down. It's temperatures rarely fell below 36C, torrential rains coming thrice yearly. Pharexians frequently crossed the river in search of adventure. Some never came back, for the far side of the Tigris was a land of savage lawlessness ruled by the latest brutal chieftain or warlord.

And virtually no one went to Vhammpyr,for any reason. It was a quiet land of warriors who trained endlessly for a war that rarely came. The last one was before They Who Are Not Known came among men. But...they were prepared, for the Vhammpyrians had a long memory, and they knew no man-made system lasted forever. They would be ready once again when things fell apart.

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The Isles of Xeraph
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Father Knows Best State

Postby The Isles of Xeraph » Fri Oct 06, 2017 4:08 am

..Cyprus Dome..


"So, the millenial preparations have begun?" Empress Noelle de Veurey-Bourbon peered out of the upper window of the Royal Tower at the carefully manicured Palace grounds far below, noting that the edge of the forested area was a little ragged looking. "Has the Emperor had any thoughts about them?"

"Yes, and yes, Majesty. Thirty-four thousand, six hundred fifty three bots, com's, and AI units are being programed as we speak to provide us with basic info as to the planning of the Empire-wide festivities. In less than 22 months, all plans will have been implemented and completed."

"And Alaric's input?"

"The Emperor, madam, has more or less left it up to his immediate aides, human and AI. You know him. He could care less about anything that would disturb the routine of the Empire. If it were up to him, he'd order some take-out and consider it a party."

Noelle glanced at her prime lady-in-waiting, Countess Emmanuelle Catini, noting once again her somewhat impertinent remarks about her husband. But, she conceded, she was right. "Manu, please prepare a list of preferences to properly bring in the new millenium. And use just the advanced tech to do so. There should be nothing routine about this celebration."

Manu grinned. "As it should be, Majesty. How often can we celebrate a thousand-year festival? The usual invitations, madam?"

The Empress tapped her manicured fingernail against her chin. "Let me think about that for a while, Manu. Perhaps every thousand years there should be a few surprises, eh?" Manu, who had been friends with Noelle since childhood, knew that look. The Emperor would be pissed.....and an exciting time lie ahead.
Last edited by The Isles of Xeraph on Sat Oct 07, 2017 4:45 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Greystone Forest
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Libertarian Police State

Postby Greystone Forest » Fri Oct 06, 2017 4:47 am

..Ashkelon, The Holy Land..

The ancient town, for it was not much larger than a village, lie basking in the sun of the Holy Land as it had done for over 3,000 years. So much history had happened here, and moe would be occuring before the millenium was done. King Viktor I had bequeathed the town to Earl Ricard de Veurey nearly fourteen centuries gone and just two hundred years ago, the eastern Emperor had secured the Barony to his co-emperor as well. It was a nice, quiet get-away from the hub of Empire.

The Jerusem king had sent a request through the usual channels that he'd like an audience with both the emperors, if possible. Emperor Alaric had responded almost immediately that the king should have contacted him directly. The technology of the Empire ensured virtually instantaneous communication with the topmost levels of government. At any rate, Alaric had arrived in the Baron's quarters ahead of the meeting and ahead of his co-ruler's arrival. King Viktor had but a short ride and would be present when both Emperors were in town.

Jerusem, though not part of any Imperial domain, nonetheless enjoyed a few Imperial perks. The latest version of a city-wide dome was being put in place over the city. This was an slight improvement over the domes of the Imperial cities of Roma, Byzantium, and Warsaw. The dome over Cyprus was the first non-structural dome ever established. It was all but totally invisible as it was really nothing more than multiple overlappings of innumerable wavelengths of pure solar and nuclear power. The others were massive structures of the lightest glasses and transparent metals currently available. The improvement of the one over Jerusem was that it had been imbued with stem-cells of the brightest human scientist of the age, one Dr. Gunther Reicher. He and his brother, Ralf, had been able to program a wavelength with DNA. The next step was telekinesis of a new sort: ordering constant surveillance and maintenance of a hybrid construct via thought.

Alaric was not thinking about anything in particular as he sat in the warm sunlight, the slight breeze and the scent of the wisteria ever so slowly luring him into a place of semi-consciousness. It wasn't often he was alone, even with all of the artificial escapes at his beck and call. In a pocket of his mind, he was aware as to why the king had asked him and his partner to come. He was vaguely aware of the recent surge of discontent in the Empire, which was easily dealt with. Not so easily dealt with was the on-going plot in the far eastern areas of Ninevah and the Perso-Muscovii regions of the savage east. There were even rumours of ship-building on the shores of the Sea of Caspian.

He thought that it was a curiosity that despite the highly advanced tech of the Empire, they could not for unknown reasons penetrate through the fog and clouds which covered vast portions of the far east. He did, however, have a theory that he quickly squelched, for even though he was absolute Lord of the East, there were some...forces...that were best left to themselves.

These forces were known simply as The Immortals, and they were not to be lightly spoken of.

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Tarlag
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Founded: May 30, 2005
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Tarlag » Fri Oct 06, 2017 7:07 am

ASHKELON, THE HOLY LAND


Emperor Maximilian Stuart Emperor of the Western Empire, King of the Scottish Isles and Protector of the North entered the small town on foot. None of the A.I. servitors followed nor the dozen of hangers on that usually dogged His tracks like a pack of hungry puppies. Only two body guards and Lady Ann His current consort followed. The body guards were sweating not used to the southern climate. Max looked back at Lady Ann, to Him it looked like she was holding in the perspiration and she would explode from the effort at any second. The Emperor on the other hand found the heat comforting in a way. It reminded Him of summers in Spain as a boy. Nothing but good time to be had there.

His walking stick clicked on the stones of the narrow street as the small party advanced. Max was lost in thought, His realms were at peace. The people well cared for and little discontent. The Godly would stick their heads up from time to time. Preaching the lies of the Orange Catholic Bible, but as soon as they poped up they were arrested by the Protectors and ether reeducated or sent to Iceland. A small bother by any account.

Max stopped in front of a simple looking door. "We are here my Dear. Our lodging in this place. Simple but comfortable."

Ann gave a weak smile. "As long as it is cool and there are cold drinks it will be fine."

"Cold drinks and a bath big enough for two if you wish. Gentlemen please stay in the front rooms and inform Emperor Alaric and the King of Jerusem that I have arrived and will meet with them at their convenience."

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The Isles of Xeraph
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Postby The Isles of Xeraph » Fri Oct 06, 2017 11:08 am

..Ashkelon, The Holy Land..


"Sire, the Emperor Maximilian has arrived and is awaiting you and King Viktor."

"Thank you, Jhane. Is the Empress with him?"

"I believe so, Sire."

"Very well. Since my wife has not accompanied me, you will do so." Alaric looked her up and down, certainly not for the first time. She had an odd sort of beauty, tall, lithe and deadly competent. He'd plucked her out of the elite Shadow Guards when he saw her record. Not only would she be an efficient advisor and secretary, but a bodyguard as well. But, strangely, he was not attracted to her. Probably a little scared if the truth be known.

"As you wish Sire. State function or casual?"

"Casual, for now. Max and Viktor are here of their own accord. Incognito. You'll probably be asked to take the Empress elsewhere while the men smoke cigars and taste Judean whiskey."

"Ah, a meeting of the Boys Club." The slight smile on her face amused him.

"You could say that. But we do have a couple of important things to talk about pertinent to the Empire and the Holy Land."

Again the smile. "For the life of me I don't know why the Empire doesn't just strike first. With our AI targeting capabilities we could just eliminate the troublemakers. Kill the problem."

Alaric grinned. "Spoken like a true Shadow Guard. We'll no doubt come to some sort of consensus on what to do. Now, go freshen up. In fifteen minutes we head out."

"Yes, Sire."

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The Isles of Xeraph
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Postby The Isles of Xeraph » Fri Oct 06, 2017 3:14 pm

The Isles of Xeraph wrote:..The Wall Zone, Central Euphrates River..


Ccaile and Geneva walked slowly along the dark corridor that led from their hotel room to the outer face of the Wall. When they got there, there would be a high-speed elevator that would take them down to the lower three access levels into Ssyn. They would, of course, take the upper level, the one that would open to what was euphemistically called "The Family Area". This was deemed the safest portion of Ssyn where virtually no evil existed. Just a little excitement of the (hopefully) non-lethal type.

Geneva thought to herself about the peaceful, routine, safe life they lived back in the Gey Legions province of the Eastern Empire. All was provided for Imperial citizens via the highly advanced AI Tek crews and their systems. Once a candidate for citizenship was promoted to citizen, all of the comforts and perks of Imperial Citizenry were accorded to the candidate.

Everything on the surface of the Empire was clean, healthy, and serene. There was no want,no sickness, no crisis of any kind. For the first time in human history, men and women were fully equal. No one really worked. Most surface-citizens picked a hobby or two and developed their intellect, occasionally submitting a sort of autobiographic summary as to where they were in their life. Yes, life was good.

At least on the surface of the Empire.



The surface level of the Eastern Empire was one vast, forested playland wherein citizens enjoyed a well-deserved life of discovery and leisure. They'd graduated, so to speak, to the top of their professions. They accomplished this by starting at the bottom, in the sixth level below ground in one of the twelve cities of the Empire. Each level was a mile deep,and each level determined what type of work was performed. Advancement from one level to another was based solely on merit. No matter what job had been assigned, the correct, efficient, and determinedresult was, eventually, rewarded with advancement, namely, the next upward level.

Europa had a population of roughly five million adults, perhaps another 200,000 children. In the east, 253,263 lived on the two upper levels and the rest lived below ground. Level II was more of a surface-access area where people lived below, but moved freely upon the surface should it be necessary.

Though in theory the easten continent was half of a continental empire, it was in practice a meritocracy. Simply stated, if you deserve it, you get it. No longer did the rich rule just because they were rich, nor did the ruling class rule if the next-in-line were idiots. Only those who were fit for any given endevor were placed in that endevor. Rigorous training and testing over the years had fine-tuned a person's capabilities, and so the empire in general was a well-heeled, well-oiled entity.

The psycho-analytic trainers had discovered long ago that despite the carefully engineered dynamics of merit-based provision, that there was just one effect of humanity that could not be altered....boredom. No matter how safe and serene a person's life was, there was no sense of adventure in it.

Sure, the holo-decks and drug-induced mental conditioning let some get their kicks, but even that was recognized as a synthetic experience. This is why, some 300 years earlier, trips to the Land Between the Rivers was established as an alternative to hyper-civilized existence. Yes, there had been numerous kinks in the beginning, mostly having to do with the murder, rape, and overall decimation of the first few hundred volunteers. But over time, it was arranged by those called the Immortals that safe zones were established. Relatively safe, that is. They couldn't become totally safe. What would be the point of going if it was just like home?

A Wall had been built which ran from north to south along the Euphrates River. It sat back about 300 feet from the banks of the river and was twenty-five stories in height, about 250 feet. It was 100 feet wide and had one level below ground. Within the Wall were built 2,000 rooms, each 20 feet by 20 feet that would hold four adults. Thos who merited a "vacation"in Ssyn were transported to the western side of the Wall where they entered it and were shown their room. In short order, a squad of AI guards escorted each group to the eastern side where they exited through a thick Gate of transparent aluminum. This was so the people could glimpse a bit of the world beyond the Gates. Most exited the central section of the Wall, the so-called family area, where it was deemed acceptable to do so. The people stepped out onto a sandy beach where the AI guards left them for the time alloted. The vacationers could return to their rooms whenever they desired.

Only the first and second level inhabitants were given permission to enter Ssyn. The lower levels were considered inadequately trained and experienced to enter the outer world. They had to earn it, as with everything else.

So it was here on the sandy beach that Geneva and Ccaile found themselves,the casinos and clubs just to the north, the amusement parks to the south. "Where to, Geneva?" Ccaile was gazing hungrily at the scantily-clad sun worshippers, but Genevawanted to experience the thrill of gambling. "To the left, dear. And give me a thousand credits."

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The Isles of Xeraph
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Postby The Isles of Xeraph » Sat Oct 07, 2017 2:20 am

..Formentrara, E.E...


Becky smiled as she watched her kids run and play in the schoolyard. Life was pleasant here on the island of Formentrara. Though it lie in the most western portion of the Eastern Empire, Formentrara and the rest of the Balerik Islands enjoyed the best of both the Eastern and Western Empires. Just a few miles away was the stronghold of the Sea Lords, Barcelona, where the vast markets held any and all goods from all over the Empires as well as from some of the wild places on Terra.

Becky was one of the citizens of the Eastern Empire who had an additional distinction. She was of one of three First Families of the islands, a direct descendant of the first Amurcans who landed here some 16 centuries ago. Her husband, Col. Joe Malone, was the titular head of the Amurcan settlements on the islands and they both preferred the smaller island of Formentrera to any of the others. Ibiza was the too-busy island where most trades were located, and Mallorca was uniquely dedicated to agriculture. The other islands in the group, Menorca and Cabrera, were still relatively remote, undeveloped places.

The population of the islands had remained fairly stable, just a few thousand folks who shared a common ancestry. Centuries before, the Amurcan continent had all but destroyed itself both physically and politically. The numerous divisions and overall states of unhappiness, greed, and hate all combined with the all-consuming pursuit of wealth and power to bring the once-great country to it's knees. The trickle of settlers had experienced a surge of refugees from te central parts of the continent when the Great Volcano finally erupted, erasing some 60 million square miles of the nation. The void left was now filled with an immense ocean fed by the waters of the great Pacific Ocean that found its way there after the decades of earthquakes on the west coast all but destroyed three massive Amurcan states.

Becky turned to see her husband coming towards her. He was excited, which was a bit unusual for the quiet and taciturn man. "Becky! Great news! The Emperors have asked a bunch of us to attend a meeting in Cyprus."

"For what reason?"

"Kind of vague. Something to do with some goings-on in the far east. But if nothing else, they're paying for a dozen of us to go!"

Becky smiled. "Paying? There's no cost to anything any more."

"You know what I mean. All arrangements have been made and we're to set off in two months time!"

Becky was thrilled and disquieted at the same time. She was sure that the Empress was going to gather all the ladies together to discuss a millenial celebration. "What about the children?"

"Aw, hell, Becky. They won't miss us for a few days. Your Mom and Dad would be happy to watch 'em."

Becky let her excitement take precedence over her maternal misgivings. "So....I have to make lists! Begin packing! Oh, dear....whatever will I wear?"
Last edited by The Isles of Xeraph on Sun Oct 08, 2017 6:25 am, edited 1 time in total.

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The Isles of Xeraph
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Postby The Isles of Xeraph » Sat Oct 07, 2017 5:06 am

The Isles of Xeraph wrote:..Cyprus Dome..


"So, the millenial preparations have begun?" Empress Noelle de Veurey-Bourbon peered out of the upper window of the Royal Tower at the carefully manicured Palace grounds far below, noting that the edge of the forested area was a little ragged looking. "Has the Emperor had any thoughts about them?"

"Yes, and yes, Majesty. Thirty-four thousand, six hundred fifty three bots, com's, and AI units are being programed as we speak to provide us with basic info as to the planning of the Empire-wide festivities. In less than 22 months, all plans will have been implemented and completed."

"And Alaric's input?"

"The Emperor, madam, has more or less left it up to his immediate aides, human and AI. You know him. He could care less about anything that would disturb the routine of the Empire. If it were up to him, he'd order some take-out and consider it a party."

Noelle glanced at her prime lady-in-waiting, Countess Emmanuelle Catini, noting once again her somewhat impertinent remarks about her husband. But, she conceded, she was right. "Manu, please prepare a list of preferences to properly bring in the new millenium. And use just the advanced tech to do so. There should be nothing routine about this celebration."

Manu grinned. "As it should be, Majesty. How often can we celebrate a thousand-year festival? The usual invitations, madam?"

The Empress tapped her manicured fingernail against her chin. "Let me think about that for a while, Manu. Perhaps every thousand years there should be a few surprises, eh?" Manu, who had been friends with Noelle since childhood, knew that look. The Emperor would be pissed.....and an exciting time lie ahead.



Even Manu was surprised at the suggestion. "Majesty! Are you sure? Do you think it is wise to invite such barbaric people to the celebration?" Empress Noelle had given her a few names that had not been on any Imperial list for centuries.

"Well, consider, Manu. The Sarmatians were a considerable help to old Ricard and the Templars when they attacked the rear guard of the Grail army. And these days there are a couple of sub-tribes in Sarmatia which should have been part of the last millenial fest but were not included in 2998. Though the Sarmatians have rarely been heard from these past thousand years, no doubt they are more civilized then way back in Ricard's day."

Countess Emmanuelle Catini was still a bit in shock at the thought of very big barbarians clad in animal skins and leather moving among the more cultured and refined citizens of the Empire. "Do they still carry swords and have bones woven into their hair?"

"I suppose it's possible." The Empress got an evil glint in her eyes. "I've heard that those Sarmation horsemen wore nothing under their animal skins. Can you imagine?"

If it were possible, Manu's eyes widened even further. "Majesty, such thoughts!" But then she calmed down and with a slight blushing in her face,she asked, "Could that be true do you think?"

Noelle grinned. "I hereby charge you with the task of finding out. Use all abilities you possess." They both giggled like schoolgirls.

Manu glanced at the list again. "I see there are none from Ssyn invited."

"I do not want to push my luck, Manu. Sarmatians are one thing, demons and murderers are another. There hasn't been a witch in the Empire for centuries and I'm not about to change that fact."

"Okay, but what about those Guild Lords? Perhaps at the very least the most rich and powerful of them should be invited. Maybe two or three."

The Empress pondered this for a moment. "Alaric will be furious......let's do it!"
Last edited by The Isles of Xeraph on Sat Oct 07, 2017 10:45 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Jerusem
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Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Jerusem » Sat Oct 07, 2017 11:24 am

..Ashkelon,The Holy Land..


It was a short trip from Jerusem to the barony, and the king used the time to gather his thoughts about Ninevah. No doubt the two Emperors would not see what the concern was. Their overall attitude had always been to destroy a problem. While it was a good way to do business, with Ninevah it could be problematical.

The Emperors, King Viktor, and a small handful of the highest levels of government knew about the Immortals. There had always been stories and semi-mythic tales of supernatural beings that had guided the events of history from time immemorial, but it was a bit disconcerting to discover that those stories and myths were true.

The Immortals were human and perhaps not actually immortal, just very long-lived. As far as was known, some had existed from 4,000 BC to around 1955 AD. And as far as the mortal rulers of the Empire could tell, there had been no new instances of Immortals coming into being since.

The oft-told story of how mankind became aware of the Immortals was widely known, even among commoners. Back in the mid-2600s, a group of men found an old missile silo deep in the Swiss Alps that had still been active for over 600 years. While moving through the silo, an Immortal made contact with the humans, the first direct contact in over a thousand years. She called herself Lilith. Subsequent studies found that a mythic creature named Lilith was created by the Creator at the very dawn of time. Whatever label had been put on her over the centuries, it was a constant thought that the one called Lilith was a creature of malevolence, a negative influence on humanity. This Lilith claimed she had been several well-known historical figures, including Cleopatra, Hannibal, Lucrezia Borgia, and Mata Hari, to name a few.

She had originally thought to kill all of the humans who blundered into the silo and so keep it hidden. But at the suggestion of some of the people of the Misty Isles, she let them all live if they did two things. They had to swear on the lives of their descendants that they would never speak of an Immortal to anyone but among themselves, and they had to help her find other Immortals.

Over the centuries, the descendants of those humans in the silo became the rulers of the Empire, and they had kept their word. Eleven other Immortals in Europa had been found, or rather they had surfaced of their own accord when it became known that they existed. It was these Immortals that had guided the events of history over the past eight thousand years. None of them, however, knew who the original Immortal was, or when he appeared. Nor did they know if there were any other of their kind in the world, with three exceptions.

It was known by the rulers of Europa that there was at least one Immortal somewhere in either north or south Amurca. They knew there was one in the deepest south of the Afrique. And they knew there was one in the far east. Who or where they were was a mystery, but it was King Viktor's fear that the one in the Persio-Muscovii regions was in Ninevah. It was this one that would be causing the uprisings across the Tigris River. It was this one who would cause the invasion of Ssyn to occur with the possible eventual assault on the Wall. He didn't know if the Wall could be breached, but he wasn't going to chance it.

All of the might and power of the Empire had to be thrown into the effort to discover this Immortal before it was too late. And so it was with these thoughts that King Viktor XXIII rode into Ashkelon........
Last edited by Jerusem on Sat Oct 07, 2017 11:32 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Tarlag
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Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Tarlag » Sat Oct 07, 2017 7:35 pm

ASHKELON, THE HOLY LAND


Emperor Maximilian sat in the small courtyard of His lodgings drinking ice tea and going over His E-mails from home. Nothing of interest really He thought to Himself. Several petitions to release someone from Iceland. Another was a request to increase the power allotment for Stockholm level two for some bullshit reason. Nothing new or even interesting ever crosses His desk. He then noticed one E-mail from an unmarked address and unknown sender. Strange the A.I. always marked who the senders were. He opened it and read.

New Frontiers has returned. They pose a danger to the order of things. They have data or devices that could cause breakdown of the Empire and return to dark ages. Repeat New Frontiers has returned. Check deep space sensors. Check asteroid Belt. Check dark side of the moon. They pose a danger. message ends.


Max's brow furrowed, he then spoke aloud. "Computer, inquiry. Any information on New Frontiers related to deep space."

A female voice responded. "Null data. No base, Ship or place by that name in history of space travel."

Max look to His computer then asked. "Check dark side of moon for unknown ships or structures."

The voice quickly responded. "One file, Structures found 154 years ago by Argus satellite. Explored by Professor Hendrik Kline of then Exoplanet inc. Believed to be pre-fall. Possible "Black Project" facility. Reason for base unknown. What they were constructing unknown. Professor Kline put forth base of United States manufacture. All other data on this subject hard copy only. Isle of Mann archive."

Max activated His com. unit. "Send message to Nester Homes, Mann Archive. Please send any data on Dark Side of the Moon relating to Professor H. Kline. By Personal Messenger my eyes only."

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The Isles of Xeraph
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Father Knows Best State

Postby The Isles of Xeraph » Sat Oct 07, 2017 7:47 pm

..Saharan Power Grid, North Afrique..


Tom Hannan sat in his hovercraft tinkering with the array of laptops and tabs that floated around him. The hovercraft was medium-sized, big enough for four people, but he was alone this time. None of those pesky mini-bots beeping and whirring endlessly.

The Saharan Power Grid, SPG for short, was a marvel of engineering even in a civilization that excelled in such things. It was a simple enough concept, just row after row of hybrid solar panels hooked up to low-orbit satellites. But it was the sheer number of the individual units that was remarkable.

Reaching from the Mediterranean Sea to a line some 775 miles southward in the Sahara Desert, millions of solar panels absorbed the perpetual sunlight of the desert. The Imperial AI Engineering Corps had completed the construction in record time, just three years, and now it's job was to maintain the Grid. Not that the Grid needed all that much attention as there were no moving parts to wear out. The biggest challenge was keeping the panels and supports free of sand.

Hannan had been selected to oversee the SPG after the death of the previous overseer twenty-seven years earlier. It was a lonely job,but Tom was a loner. He'd tried marriage a couple of times, but it too much work trying to sustain a relationship with a person who rarely shut their mouths. Always talking about talking.

At any rate, he was now in the process of up-grading the specs for the 1500 drones that patrolled the length and width of the SPG. And this time around he had to pay close attention to the Guardian Drones. There were just 15 of them, but they needed constant supervision.

The Guardian Drones had just been given a major overhaul by the Tek-Masters aboard the massive ship anchored offshore. The ship was home to 3300 human engineers and 16,964 AI and Bot units. It was so large that it could be seen from a couple of the colonies on Luna.

The Guardians, being partially installed with human DNA and stem-cells, had the rather odd tendency to evolve their progamming. In other words, they thought too much. Which didn't endanger anyone or anything, but just wasted a lot of valuable patrolling time.

Hannan could see the hundreds of dead, rotting bodies just south of the last line of solar panels and thanked again the Tek-Masters who programmed the drones to kill anything that moved. Except for him, of course. There had been the occasional desert dweller or nomad that had wandered too close to the Grid and had been riddled by sixteen laser beams. But most of the dead bodies were of animals. Quite a waste of resources as far as Tom was concerned, but at least the drones were consistent.

He was day-dreaming about his promotion to surface level next year when a warning alarm sounded on one of the screens. Proximity alarm. Somthing, or someone had breached the perimeter. Which meant it had gotten past the drones.

He pulled his weapon automatically and guided the hovercraft to the breach-area. There, sitting on a solar panel and gnawing on the thigh bone of some creature, was a humanoid. It was not a man nor a man-like being. Just humanoid. Smooth, greyish skin, two eyes and a mouth. No nose to speak of. And Tom could see that it had eight fingers and eight toes on each appendage,the large toe opposed as were the thumbs.

He tapped his commpin and as he was reporting the breach, the creature casually flicked the bone at him with such force that when it hit him between his eyes, he blacked out for a few minutes. When he came to, he was aware of an excruciating pain in his thigh and began to scream as the humanoid tore the thick, bloody flesh away from the thighbone............
Last edited by The Isles of Xeraph on Sat Oct 07, 2017 7:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Tarlag
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Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Tarlag » Sun Oct 08, 2017 7:02 am

ASHKELON, THE HOLY LAND


Lady Ann entered the courtyard and say the troubled look on the Emperor's face as He stared down looking at the padd. Ann walked behind Him and placed Her arms around His neck. "You seem troubled My Lord, I wager it is the Immortals causing such a look."

Max was surprised at such a statement. "What fairy stories are you talking about, no such thing."

Ann smiled, stood up straight and placed Her hands on Her hips. "Max Stuart, An O'Tool was with the Twelve Hard Men who entered a silo that no one needs to know about. And there is not an Irishmen born who would not tell stories while in His cups. Such gets passed down you know. Half of Erie knows but they think it legend. I know the truth. Besides why would Viktor be calling the two most powerful men in the world to this dusty place and not to the Holy City if they are not involved."

"A smart one I have chosen, too smart for Her own good. I may have to marry you to keep that pretty mouth shut. Yes I think it is about the Immortals. Most likely the troubles on the other side of the wall. Both the Empire and the Holy Land will have troubles if they spill west over that Damn wall."

Leaning over and looking what was on Max's padd Ann remarked. "If you are worried about troubles over the wall why are you looking at deep space data?"

"All right smart girl, Have you ever heard of something called New Frontiers?"

Ann leaned over and placed Her arms around the Emperor again and thought. "Not really, the only time I have heard that as a thing is in an old story in My Dad's library. Computer display the collective works of pre-fall author Robert A. Heinlein. cross reference New Frontiers."

Looking at the data flashing up on the padd unit Ann pointed. "Referenced in several stories. One being Time Enough For Love. See it states it was a exploration ship stolen by the main character to transport the Howard Families away from earth." Ann looked over to the confused look on Max's face. "Computer bring up text of Time Enough For Love. Max I will leave you to it you have some reading to do."

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The Isles of Xeraph
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Father Knows Best State

Postby The Isles of Xeraph » Sun Oct 08, 2017 7:10 am

..The Wet Beaver Tavern, Valley of Syn..


The Guildsmen met again in the tavern just a couple of nights later. It had been suggested that alcoholic drink be banned before the meeting so that they could actually get to some sort of agreement as to whether to expand into the lands east of the Tigris. A drunken brawl had closed down the previous meeting and it was only a large bribe that had kept some of them out of jail.

Balderic and Larth sat next to each other at a table, the Temple Guards out front to control those attempting to enter the tavern.

"OK, gents, we got a new member here tonight. He 'aint exactly a Guildsman, nor even a merchant. But I'd say we definitely want him on our side." From a dark corner of the bar, a large man stepped forward and tossed back his deep scarlet hood. Several of the men in the meeting gasped when they saw that it was a Vhammpyrian Warrior. Fully eight feet tall, heavily muscled, long filthy dreadlocks tied behind his head with a strip of leather. He smelled slightly of rotten meat and fresh blood and the large broadsword strapped across his back had fresh red stains upon it.

In the gutteral, gravely voice of a vhammpyr, he said, "My name is Khorg. My king has sent me with a message. He will back you and your people in the Eastlands. He will keep the bandits, marauders, and warlords from harming you. We will do this with the might of the Warriors of Vhammpyr, some three thousand strong. It will be in Ninevah that you will base your Guilds, and the goods you produce will be shipped to points north, south, and east with our Warriors protecting you."

Larth found his voice, and with a slight tremble in it, he asked, "And what is it your king wants in return?"

The vhammpyr turned his massive head to look at the man. "King Solath simply requires a way for one of his playthings to gain entrance to the desert of the north Afrique solar area."

Larth gulped. "Plaything?" He shuddered to think what a vhammpyr's plaything might be.

"Yes. One of them has been dispatched as we speak. But the creature needs another to fulfill it's duty and it was chased from the desert by the Greyling air machines. It now lies under the dunes awaiting another of it's kind. You will smuggle that one into the area. And then you will leave. That will be all the king requires."

A short man stood up and said, "Now just hold on for a minute there. You want us to get some sort of benighted creature into one of the most heavily guarded places in the Empire? And all we get is a base of operations? Hell, we could get that without your help!" He looked around at the gathered men, hands on his hips in a defiant pose.

Khorg now turned to face the man, silently, passively scrutinizing him. In less time than it takes a man's heart to beat, he grabbed the man and bit deeply into his head. As the man squirmed, the vhammpyr twisted the body of the man back and forth until his head was torn off his neck. With a horrifying crunching sound, Khorg chewed the man's head as brains and pieces of skull fell to the bloody floor. The decapitated body was twitching, blood pouring from the massive wounds where the vhammpyr's talons pierced it.

In the space of just twenty seconds, a vaguely human corpse lie on the floor in it's own blood. Khorg was drenched in the man's blood and brains as the seven-inch fangs gleamed in the torch light. He turned to Larth. "Do we have an agreement? Or does someone else have something to say?"

Before the next hour chimed on the clock, all the Guildsmen agreed to the vhammpyr's wishes.
Last edited by The Isles of Xeraph on Sun Oct 08, 2017 7:15 am, edited 1 time in total.

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The Isles of Xeraph
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Postby The Isles of Xeraph » Mon Oct 09, 2017 3:44 am

..Ashkelon, The Holy Land..

Lady Ann and Jhane both arrived at the nondescript terrace at the same time and, with a quick once-over by both, put on their best smiles as they greeted each other. "So, Lady Ann. I've heard so much about you".

"Ann grinned. "If I were you, dear, I'd not believe much of it. Come, let's see what mischief the boys are up to."

Through the cigar smoke and whisky fumes, they could see the three leaders of the Europan continent laughing like children as they lied to each other about their youthful exploits. Emperor Maximilian looked up to see the ladies and said, "OK, gents. Let's clean it up."

Emperor Alaric and King Viktor just sat for a moment before rising to greet the ladies. The king said, "My wife, the Queen, sends her apologies for not being here with me today. Something about a baby being born, or some such."

Jhane chimed in. "Not to worry, Majesty. Empress Noelle is quite busy with the millenial celebration plans two years hence. She sends her regards and would like to welcome all of you and your retinues for a two-day visit in the near future."

Alaric glared. "She's planning a festivity? Why was I not informed?"

Jhane smiled sweetly. "Sire, all I can tell you is that she mumbled something about you minding your own business." Viktor and Max hid a grin behind their hands and Lady Ann giggled.

The Eastern Emperor didn't think it was at all funny, but replied, "And how are you two ladies going to spend the day?"

Lady Ann replied, "Well since there is way too much testosterone on this terrace, I suppose we can go shopping. Jhane?"

"Good idea, Lady Ann."

Max said, "Try not to buy the entire market, ladies. We are in the midst of economic talks, y'know."

Jhane quipped, "Yes, and I'm sure those Lunar cigars you're enjoying cost more than a couple of credits. See you later, gentlemen." They turned and left, accompanied by three ShadowGuards.

"She's got quite a mouth on her, Max."

Max grinned. "Alaric, you have no idea."

"OK, so what about this Ninevah business? Do the Guilds in Ssyn actually think they can mount an offensive against the tribes, clans, and warlords on the Tigris?" Viktor tapped an ash onto the floor.

"It's not the Guild, nor the savages over there. We've reports of an unknown Immortal in Ninevah. And you know what that means."

Max grunted. "Where there's one, there's more."

"Possibly, but one would be enough to gather the tribes together with the vhammpyres to cause a significant amount of trouble for Ssyn."

"Yes, Solath has entered the picture. He's offered his armies as protection against any who would harm the Guilds. The Guilds in turn would raise money quickly, thereby expanding their reach to the East."

"And what does Solath want in return?"

Viktor sgrugged. "Unknown at this time. But it is common knowledge that he wants his ancestral cities back. Babylon especially. Some sort of spiritual thing there."

Alaric turned to Maximilian. "So, m'lord, what is your take on all this?"

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Greystone Forest
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Founded: Dec 25, 2006
Libertarian Police State

Postby Greystone Forest » Mon Oct 09, 2017 4:35 am

..Greystone Academy, Eastern Empire..


"Instructor, upon reading about the world of 21st century Amurca, I was struck with the all too obvious extreme differences between the various tribes and clans."

Cai Athnu smiled. "Very astute. It was a hallmark of the mid-1990s through the mid 21st century that the viciousness of partisan politics were at their peak. There was a concept called 'fake news' that was perpetuated on both sides of just about every story that appeared in the media. Put simply, the respective parties lied, cheated, stole, and pointed blame at everyone and everything in order to put forth their agendas. In the case of the globalists, whatever they could do and say to combat what they considered reactionary and conservative thought was freely and consistently attacked with such hate that it eventually caused a rebellion among the other side."

He stopped and picked up an ancient tome. "Here is what happened. In the first quarter of the 21st century, there arose a group of arch-conservatives who held to the notion that their Constitution was the sole source of correct governing. This in turn led to the election of a strong candidate who, coincidently, was not a politician, but a businessman. Long story short, the man was largely successful at reversing the carnage of the previous four administrations that had spanned 28 years. He restored Constitutional law as the law of the land and engendered a succession of governments that continued the overturning of liberal excesses."

Cai snapped the book shut and continued. "The restoration of the republic came to a screeching halt, however, in 2064, when an immense force of North Koreans and Islamo-Communist forces flooded out of the Canadian provinces in the west and occupied several large cities where they planted nuclear devices. Not only were the cities destroyed, but because of the instability of the north-central fault lines, the immense super-volcano erupted, decimating over one-third of the country and causing the creation of an interior sea."

Cai looked around at his students. This particular class was his personal favorite, one that had been with him from Basic Class to his now-famous...infamous?...Advanced Truth Class. His best and brightest. "So you can all see that, despite appearences, the truth is always preferable to lies and hearsay."

"What of the people of Amurca? What happened to them?"

"Well, needless to say that between the nukes and the volcano, roughly one-half of the 400 million citizens perished. Some right away, some years later. Fortunately, most of the invaders were similarly affected with 88% casualties. But the western portions of what was left became a stronghold of repression and control. You know, the Empire has a good-sized number of those Amurcans who are descended from that time living here in the Empire, out in the western MedSea on the Balerics."

This was not news to most of the class, but one student asked, "Can we visit there? I'd like to see these survivors."

Cai grinned. "You can apply once you've reached first-level citizenship. But the Emperor has a special place in his heart for the Amurcans and won't allow more than one or two visitations per year. Presumably, that's how the Amurcans want it."
Last edited by Greystone Forest on Mon Oct 09, 2017 4:39 am, edited 1 time in total.

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The Isles of Xeraph
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Posts: 156
Founded: Aug 06, 2006
Father Knows Best State

Postby The Isles of Xeraph » Mon Oct 09, 2017 5:47 am

..Roma, Level 4..


Madlene sat with a cool, wet towel over her eyes. A long day of data entry had given her a headache and so she was relaxing with a non-alcoholic glass of wine and the sound of a soft rain emanating from the holo-wall. She was so relaxed that she didn't hear the swish of the front door as it slid open, her mate, Tobias, stomping in and depositing his work bag on the floor.

He saw her sitting back in the reclining force-field, looking as if she were floating on thin air. He thought that this seemed like a good idea, so he punched in a sequence of symbols and reclined next to her, being as quiet as possible.

"So, I guess your day wasn't any better than mine, huh?" Madlene took off the towel and looked over to her mate.

"Sorry if I disturbed you, dear. Yes, today was my four-hour day, and the idiots came out of the woodwork.. He was a coordinator for those transitioning from Levels 5 and 6, and, to say the least, it was a challenging job.

The concept of "work" had changed dramatically over the centuries. With the advent of total-worker care, no one needed to toil endlessly for a paycheck. The two basic human needs, food and shelter, were met without a price attached. Anything other than their needs were provided by their attention to their tasks and their emotional-physical make-up. In other words, they got what they deserved, not what they wanted. Those who excelled in attitudinal living were rewarded with their wants. Those who grumbled were kept at basic levels.

Madlene's week consisted of four days of study and research accompanied by her findings entered into one of sixty data-banks. Tobias's week was a five-day ordeal of 180 consecutive minutes of dealing with the lower levels of Imperial society. It was his job to ascertain if those transitioning were of proper merit for their next level of assignment.

"Y'know, Maddy, we have just three months to go before we can transition to Level 3, and then another four years before we advance to Level 2."

"Yeah, okay. Your point?"

He hesitated. "I don't know if I can take it much longer. I need to get above ground....and soon!"

She sat up and stared hard at him. "Shut your mouth! Don't screw up the progress we've made. We're in the upper 2% of accomplishers as a result of working hard and with the correct attitude."

Tobias hung his head. "I know all this, Maddy. But I need to see the open world and breathe non-filtered air. Feel a real sun on my face, not the holo-sun."

"You know there's not much difference. If it means that much to you, we can put in for a holo-room instead of just a holo-wall."

"Listen, Maddy. I've come across some old blueprints of the days of construction of the six levels here in Roma. We are still, right now, four miles below ground, and all of the holographic effects can't measure up to the reality of the Surface. I think I've found a way to get there without waiting. And I need you to help me get us up there."

Her eyes wide, she said, "Are you insane? You said it yourself! We're four miles below the surface. Twenty-two thousand feet! Even if we had the blueprints and the time needed, how would we get up there without detection?"

He stifled a grin, because he knew he had her attention. She wanted full citizenship as badly as he did. "Believe it or not, Maddy, there are dozens of sub-level workers who have already done it."

She grabbed his arm, fingers digging in. "Dozens? How can this be?"

"There are always exceptions to any rule. It isn't known if it was assumed that the population would adhere to the rules or not, so there were fail-safe measure introduced to allow some form of observation and surveillance to exist in the tunnels."

"Tunnels?"

"Yes, there are access tunnels on each level that go all the way to the surface. Mostly stairs, some ladder-type structures. A reasonably fit person could do the four miles in less than 36 hours."

"And there's nothing monitoring these access tunnels?"

"For what, Maddy? The mechanics of the six levels are fully automatic and foolproof. No maintenance needed. Probably a result of the Immortals keeping watch over all the Imperial systems."

If it were possible, her eyes widened even more. "Immortals? They exist? They're not just myths?"

"Think about it, Maddy. How could both parts of this immense Empire exist with the highly-advanced tech in place? Fully automated processes, full provision of goods and services, seventy percent leisure time for the population? Man could not have come up with this of his own accord, no matter his best efforts over the centuries. Just put two and two together with the stories of supra-natural beings, and you've got your answers."

"Wouldn't they, if they existed, know of these tunnels and their potential for the bypassing of the rules?"

"Possibly, but do you think they would be concerned about a tiny handful who seek freedom from the routine. Perhaps the tunnels are there for such as us!"

Madlene thought for a moment. "I must be as crazy as you, but I can see you're not going to let this go. Okay, I'm in. What's the plan?"

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Tarlag
Diplomat
 
Posts: 613
Founded: May 30, 2005
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Tarlag » Mon Oct 09, 2017 6:47 am

ASHKELON, THE HOLY LAND


Max seemed to study the situation for a moment. "I hate to say this but this is more in your preview then mine. I have always had a hands off when it come to Ssyn. However stability must be maintained." Max looked around the room for a moment before He continued. "This trouble with a possible Immortal worries me. When one comes out of the wood work more follow."

Taking a sip of whisky Max looked down at the padd He carried. We need to be proactive, stop the tribes from gathering at any cost. But, can Solath be trusted? We may be trading one problem for another if we let Him deal with the problem. He may prove to be the greater danger in the long run. Armed forces in anyone's hands but our are dangerous."

The other men nodded but said nothing for the moment. Max placed His Padd on the side table then spoke again. "We may need to take a personal hand in this then let Solath and the Guilds handle the problem."

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Tarlag
Diplomat
 
Posts: 613
Founded: May 30, 2005
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Tarlag » Mon Oct 09, 2017 8:58 am

LIBERTY HALL, GLANX SOUTH EAST ENGLAND


The ground car pulled up the long driveway to the manor house. The great house looked like a mismatch of styles and construction materials. The main part of the manor seemed to be made of marble one wing of permacrete and some even of natural wood. Tim looked impressed then very surprised as the car came to a stop and the door was opened by a footman. The footmen was well over 400 pounds and covered in coarse black hair His black face and small but knowing eyes looked at the two men then the footmen spoke in a deep voice. "The cargo flyer got here about twenty min. ago. Two of the containers have been brought to the study the rest to the shielded room as per your instructions Boss. Anything else?"

Aron got out of the car and patted the footmen on the shoulder. "Very good Marco. Efficient as always. Please take Mr. Nichols bags to the guest suite and have Tilly get supper ready."

The Footmen went to the boot of the ground car to retrieve the bags. Tim looked in amazement then remarked in a loud voice. "That is a fucking Gorilla, a talking fucking Gorilla!"

Marco responded. "Yes Sir, I am also house broken and I do the Master's books when needed." Taking the bags Marco walked by Aron and spoke loud enough to Tim to hear. "Shall I put a puppy pad down in the guest chambers in case the gentlemen is no house broken?"

Aron gave a slight chuckle. "No I think he can use the out house if necessary. Oh, just to be on the safe side have a couple of your boys run the perimeter tonight. Sensors can be fooled. Your folk not so much."

Marco walked to the house with the bags as Tim carefully got out of the car. Seeing the confused look on the younger mans face Aron explained. "It is called uplifting. Taking a lower life-from and raising intelligence and modifying them so they can use language. Been happening in the Empire for a few hundred years. I have a whole tribe of them here. They do odd jobs for me and the like and they have the run of the place. They are smart and can't be hacked like artificial Intelligence. They keep the Empire out of my business."

Tim still looking shocked responded. "What do you pay them in bananas?"

"Don't make the banana joke to Tilly or that is all you will be eating for the duration of you stay here." Opening the door to the manor Aron motioned Tim to enter. "They get a basic wage in addition they get the run of over 3,000 acres of forest when ever they want. Out of a tribe of forty or so only a few really do any work. The rest are on call when needed."

"Sorry, just never seen them in person. I have seen video but never like this and talking. Mom should of warned Me."

"Come Lad we need to inspect the containers in the study. I have waited a very long time to see the contents."
Last edited by Tarlag on Mon Oct 09, 2017 10:30 am, edited 3 times in total.

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The Isles of Xeraph
Spokesperson
 
Posts: 156
Founded: Aug 06, 2006
Father Knows Best State

Postby The Isles of Xeraph » Mon Oct 09, 2017 11:30 am

Tarlag wrote:ASHKELON, THE HOLY LAND


Max seemed to study the situation for a moment. "I hate to say this but this is more in your preview then mine. I have always had a hands off when it come to Ssyn. However stability must be maintained." Max looked around the room for a moment before He continued. "This trouble with a possible Immortal worries me. When one comes out of the wood work more follow."

Taking a sip of whisky Max looked down at the padd He carried. We need to be proactive, stop the tribes from gathering at any cost. But, can Solath be trusted? We may be trading one problem for another if we let Him deal with the problem. He may prove to be the greater danger in the long run. Armed forces in anyone's hands but our are dangerous."

The other men nodded but said nothing for the moment. Max placed His Padd on the side table then spoke again. "We may need to take a personal hand in this then let Solath and the Guilds handle the problem."



Alaric and Viktor nodded and Viktor said, "Alright, so it seems we need to beef up what small military the Empire has. When you think about it, we haven't sent foot soldiers into battle for several centuries. There's been no need. No country has anywhere near the wherewithal to bother us on any level."

"We can just send our AI defensive units to the east side of the Tigris. The Empire has thousands of multi-purpose AI-Bot-Android units programmed for any eventuality. Retrofit them with lasers of the lethal variety and not even vhammpyrian warriors will survive."

Viktor replied, "The problem, gentlemen, is Ninevah. The city is a hundred kilometers from the Tigris. We can deploy all the tech at our disposal and it won't stop the Guilds from building their financial empire in the far east. We've got to deal with Ninevah."

"From what I hear, the sorcerer-kings of Aeternu hold sway there."

"No longer, Max. The demon-infested tribes of Queen Sybele are the main players there. In a city full of evil spirits, witches, pagans and shamans, she is a standout. Her magick is of the darkest sort brought up from the ghoul-haunted catacombs of the ancient Chaldean sorcerers and priests of long-forgotten Temple of Set. Their massive sepulchers she raids for age-old spells and she collects the powerful bones of the priestesses of black temples, lost in time. It is still Aeternu that bears the name of the Queen's dealings, but she and her...people...are far more deadly than anything that has come before."

Viktor felt the hair rise on his arms as Alaric spoke. "Witches! Demons! Sorcerers! What can we do to fight those things?"

A voice behind them said, " What indeed, gentlemen. Seems you need a bit of unusual help."
Last edited by The Isles of Xeraph on Mon Oct 09, 2017 11:52 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Tarlag
Diplomat
 
Posts: 613
Founded: May 30, 2005
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Tarlag » Wed Oct 11, 2017 9:10 am

LIBERTY HALL


Aron and Tim entered the study. Book cases covered two of the walls, computer equipment the other two. In the middle of the room on the thick carpeted floor two opened cases about two meters long and half a meter wide sat open with a silver back male gorilla examining the contents. The big male did not seem to notice the two men enter as he seemed to be comparing what is in the cases to a computer manifest floating in the air above the case. Once in a while He would remove a gold disk from the case and insert it into a reader to confirm the contents which floated above the case.

The big male seemed only to speak to Himself said in a deep voice. "Blueprints, seems a waste disks and disks of nothing but blueprints. Boss is nuts." Looking up the ape gave a slight shrug. " Everything matches Boss. Two cases, one hundred disks per case. The data seems to be intact."

Aron looked over the cases for just a moment before He spoke. "Very Good Bart, have the other cases been verified?"

Bart never looked over as He answered. "Zeus just sent me a text, the parts and the ZPM have been unloaded and are on the test bed now. Who ever took that thing apart left pretty detailed instructions on how to put it back together. Zeus figures in about three days we should be able to test the rig."

Tim looked confused, grabbing Aron by the arm he swung Him so the older man was facing Him. "Just what the hell did I bring you? What the hell is a ZPM?"

Aron raise His hand and placed it on Tim's shoulder. "Nothing to be upset about son, everything is going according to plan. I don't want to say much until Bart and Zeus are done with their work then We deliver what We have to the appropriate people." Turning back to Bart the Lord of the house gave His next order. "Please have all the data transferred to the isolated sever and make a few copies. Just to be on the safe side send one copy by bonded messenger to my lawyers at Luna City and another to Mr. McClure on Mars. Just in case any body decides to get aggressive. Separate messengers on different ships, I want this under everyone's radar."


"Right I will use Galileo inc. You have controlling interest through a few shell corporations. Should not be and monkey business. Should be ready to go by midnight."

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