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Peace & War In Ryliph [Closed | Alt-Earth RP]

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Forest State
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Peace & War In Ryliph [Closed | Alt-Earth RP]

Postby Forest State » Sat Jul 06, 2019 7:46 pm

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PEACE AND WAR IN RYLIPH

MAP - UPDATED 8/7
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RYLIPH... World of clashing imperial powers, back and forth warfare, and social and political intrigue - the latter and sometimes even the former occasionally involving the almighty joker card of this world, which makes up less than one percent of the total population... The mage. Ryliph is a world very much different from our own, but that's not to say that human nature changes fundamentally. Whether it's the wars, the political intrigue, or certain all too familiar patterns, there's plenty of recognizable things within this world. As of now, the world is in a cold war of sorts between a number of nations - democracies, imperial states with absolute monarchist governments and colonies on other continents, communist governments, theocracies, and more.

It's a brutal world. One with far more conflict, and maybe more intrigue, than our own. More alliances, more fringe nations, and more potential for the world to burn. This RP follows the story of several characters within this dangerous world, and their interactions with its countries, wars, lore, and their general lives within this setting. The setting itself was formulated specifically for this closed RP, to allow for a military based RP in a setting where the scenarios presented makes more sense than it would in real life - as well as to allow for some other changes such as the addition of more government types into the world and the addition of new cultures and in some areas, new technology which has not yet reached use in real life. Due to the unique nature of this RP, it will be conducted as a closed RP for pre approved players only.

LIST OF SEASONS

SEASON ONE - DESERT STORM DREAMING: In the deserts of the Jezarabian continent, conflict is heating up... The nation of Sadiriyya is unique in the region in that its unique religion elevates its leader as a god. This has led to the small republic fighting two wars against neighboring larger Isranic nations, particularly the Jezarabian Republic of Darmiyya - a powerful rising regional power with foreign support and a welll drilled and good sized military of its own. The rise of Alya I the 'Mad Queen' as the living goddess in the nation of Sadirriya, however, has changed the balance of things even more. Some say that the ruler of the country is actually insane... And that may have been proven correct when the small nation invaded the much larger Darmiyya to seize the oil fields near the border as well as Darmiyya's gulf territory near the city of Dahod. It appears the war will be a decisive defeat for the smaller nation which vastly overtepped its limits... But despite this, the wealth of the Mad Queen has brought a number of foreign military personnel to fight for the Holy Kingdom of Sadiriyya. This is the story of the 8th Fighter Squadron, the Savages.


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Last edited by Forest State on Wed Aug 07, 2019 4:10 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Forest State
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Founded: Aug 23, 2016
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Postby Forest State » Sat Jul 06, 2019 7:47 pm

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SEASON 1 ‘DESERT STORM DREAMING’
Collaborative post between Forest State and Durmatagno

EPISODE 1 ‘TRAITORS OF THE UNION’

Cpt. Severina Euclid & Cpt. Fae Draiocht
New Athenai, Union of Librosi States


The design of the building was pretty interesting. The four walls had been replaced with simply glass, allowing the two people occupying the large office - which took up the space of an entire floor in this skyscraper of a building - to look out of the window at any angle… To look out the window at the flashing lights in the distance. The lights were always flashing out here in New Athenai, which served as both the capital and the largest city of the Union of Librosi States. The two parts of the city, the one that made up the vast majority and the one that was populated with elites and workers of the government, they were woven together almost seamlessly… Brutalist government buildings which had been designed for function over appearance, ones that looked like they had come from the communist prefabricated school of design, existed right alongside more flashy buildings such as the ones that they could clearly see from their high position right now, their position which put them above even some of the other skyscrapers in this city.

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An ordinary night skyline in New Athenai
The two of them in the office, on one of the upper floors of the central wing of the Union Ministry of Security headquarters compound, could see all of it against the backdrop of a starless black sky in the background - every beam of light that reached above the buildings, most of them swinging side to side in eye-catching patterns, and each animated billboard or advertisement on the side of a large building, and each hologram site that shined in some bright color and performed some kind of action, getting the attention of the people on the street down below, who might as well have been ants… They could see all of it from up here. It was a truly nice view.

So it was also disappointing that they were talking under these circumstances.

The one who had just entered - messy ginger haired with some of it tied to one side, with sharp golden eyes and a rune on her right hand that identified her as one of the very small part of the population that was able to use the strange and misunderstood ability known as ‘magic’ - gained the attention of the man behind the desk when she shut the door behind her and stepped forward, her footsteps making a light tapping noise against the sterile, tile floor.

Before saying anything, she offered an Etorian salute, extending her arm up and to the side slightly, her palm flat. “Magister,”[1] she said, addressing the one behind the desk who was already looking up at her upon her arrival. “I think you already know what this talk is going to be about, unfortunately.”

The man at the table, Julian Bonaventura, might as well have been her mentor for recent years. But she didn’t come to him right now bearing good news. It was the opposite, as a matter of fact. “I’m assuming this is about your discontent with the Sassanan conflict and your discharge request that you spoke to me about before.”

The woman - Severina Euclid - nodded. “I’d like to be able to say that things are different. But I believe I’ve made my decision. I might be different, yes. The government might have an interest in me as a mage, yes. But that doesn’t mean I’m just going to roll over and be a puppet for someone, made to fight in a conflict that I don’t care for and fight for some vague idea - the ideal of advancement, of deciding the matters of the rest of the world based on this ideal and the idea that we’re fixing things in the world by pushing everything ‘forward…’ Just because I’m a mage doesn’t mean I deserve this.”

“But you understand that the Union isn’t going to allow someone with skills such as yourself - not just a mage, but a powerful one at that - to end up in the hands of a rival nation… Which is something that might happen if you put yourself out there after leaving the Union. I can’t approve the request, even if I would like to. It’s… Directly against our policy on the matter. I’m not the one that set the policy. One of the past Consuls was, and Lestrange didn’t decide to change it,” Bonaventura replied with a sigh, resting back in the seat.

The lights continued flashing outside, which contrasted with the tone of the conversation. Neither one of them had a great feeling about the conversation. Severina knew she wasn’t going to get the clearance she wanted to leave. Bonaventura wanted to grant it to her and was forbidden by official policy. “I just have to ask,” he continued. “Why? Is it the Sassana affair that’s bothering you? I know your own ancestry is-”

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Sassana, not just the Union of Librosi States, is home.
“Half Sassanan, I know. Heard it brought up before, I’m used to hearing about it,” she interjected. “It’s partly the problem. But not entirely the problem. I just… Feel like I’m throwing my life away with this. Ever since I’ve been young, I’ve had government people around me. Pushing me down one path because of what I am. All to serve… An ideal. What are we even advancing by fighting the Sassanans? OSO?[2] Some idea of justice? I don’t think it’s justice to fight a nation just for pledging its allegiance to a crown,[3] just for being an empire-”

“Advancement isn’t about the ideal of justice but about the belief that the Union of Librosi States cannot stop moving. That it must always be at work to either advance the lives of its citizens at home or its interests abroad… Interests that run counter to Sassanan interests. It’s about the idea that our nation should always be working towards the future… And in this case, that future involves strengthening our profile in Europa, something that the Republic of Avelia[4] offers us a chance to do-”

“At what cost? I’m no pacifist… I just don’t see this war against my own people being worth it-”

“Since when has Sassana been the nation of your people? You were born here, Severina. You’ve fought and bled for the Union. Your comrades both alive and fallen aren’t Sassanan but rather-”

“Since the day I was born with half of my DNA from the Empire. I’m sorry, but I can’t keep this up anymore. I’ve still got family over there to this day. I’ve spent summers over there. It might not mean something to you but it means something to me, and I’m not going to keep going in this conflict if… If fighting my own people is the cost of advancement. I’m sure the Union will keep advancing, especially in Europa. But it’s not going to be because of me or the magic that I have.”

Bonaventura looked away from Severina and to the computer monitor on his desk, likely looking at the map of the different Union airbases around the world. “Well, I can file to have you moved from Avelia to somewhere else, even though that’s going to mean a new unit obviously-”

“Like I said, this whole issue is just one thing. Mainly, I want to live my life… The way I want to live it. Don’t feel like being used for my rare abilities. I don’t know where I’m going to end up after this. All I know is I need to be free. Even if it comes at a cost.”

“I guess this is goodbye, in that case. You know that I can’t accept your resignation because of the rules, you’re set on leaving anyway, and well… The best I can do is give you a head start. This is… The reason I had hoped before that your free spirit didn’t win out. I can see now that it was a pointless hope. You were always the type of person to say that,” Bonaventura sighed.

Severina just nodded. “And you were always the type to look out for me while I’m here. So thanks,” she said, starting to turn to head out of the office. “Even if I failed you in the end by leaving.”

“Couldn’t say that your run here was a failure, Sev. I’m just hoping this doesn’t backfire on you now that you’re going to have yourself branded a traitor against the state and chased down if you stay around here. You know how things are. I feel as if I don’t have to explain the consequences.”

Severina stopped in her steps, her back turned. “Fuck the consequences… Having my life back is worth it.”




Fae didn’t get time off very often, at least not in her opinion. When she did, when she was back home like she was now, she didn’t want to go out. She dealt with people constantly, you had to with where she was, so now was her chance for some time alone. Curtains drawn, lights off, feet up, and booze. Lots of booze. She had the remote on the arm of the chair next to her, ready to change the channel in a heartbeat if someone did come to bother her. What was on the TV was one of her secret guilty pleasures, one she tried hard to keep a secret. Sappy romances, not even comedies, true romances. It didn’t really mesh with how she carried herself, so she hid it. If anyone came knocking the channel would change pretty quick over to some high budget action-comedy thing. She was sure it was perfectly fine and enjoyable, but it’s not what she wanted right now. She took another swig of the cheap beer she was drinking, she didn’t want to get wasted after all, and relaxed.

Once this little bout of off duty time was over, she had a big decision to make, and it was one she was still unsure of what to do with. Sure she was off the street, but she was hardly living the life she’d always dreamed of. The gig was nice, and had its benefits, but she wanted more. She didn’t know if they’d even let her, still didn’t know if she’d do it, but she was still considering putting in a discharge request. She looked down at her left hand, though it was holding her bottle of beer, she could almost feel the itching on her palm. A constant reminder of who and what she was, and why they might never let her go. She sighed, and took another swig. That was for Future-Fae to worry about, present Fae just wanted some time to relax.

However, her time of relaxation was interrupted by a knock on the door by one person that was perhaps unexpected here - Severina Euclid, one of Fae’s fellow pilots within the Special Tactics Group and someone that she knew loosely as sort of a friend. They weren’t the closest, but they did talk sometimes. With both of them growing up around the east coast cities of the ULS, they usually had more to talk about than some of the more rural pilots did with the city ones.

Fae quickly change the channel on her TV at the sound of the knock. Standing up, she put her beer down on the table and stretched. Turning she turned on some lights in the apartment, and made her way across the room. Looking through the peephole she saw...Severina. Odd, she didn’t usually bother Fae much when off the job. Unlocking the door, including the deadbolt, she opened the door and looked Severina up and down as she spoke.

“What’s up Severina, this is...an unusual time for you to visit. In that you’re visiting while I’m off duty.”

“Happened to be off duty too,” Severina said with a chuckle, pausing awkwardly for a moment as she waited to figure out just how she was going to break the news. The news that she was off duty, well… Forever. “But… I came here to tell you that I’m, how do I put this… Not going to be on duty again. I’m technically a fugitive right now but fuck it, I’m not heading back to the STG or to Avelia.”

Fae blinked once, twice, three times before moving aside and ushering Severina into her apartment, locking and bolting the door behind her. She turned to her sorta-friend and after once again struggling for words, asked the biggest question on her mind.

“Fugitive?! What did you do? And why come here?”

She moved to turn her TV off entirely, she didn’t want to distract herself by watching the TV when she needed to get to the bottom of...this.

Severina just paused as she stepped inside, sighing and looking away slightly. “I’m sure you already know what it is. You don’t just leave… Not when you’re a mage and one like myself. Talked to the Magister of the STG already, there’s no way they’re letting me go. So… I decided to do things my way. Have a bit of a head start so if I’m lucky I’ll be in the UCLR[5] or Sassana before they send anyone.”

“Greeeat, guess that makes that decision for me.”

Fae moved around and picked up her half drunk beer, and took another swig. This was weak stuff, but she felt like she needed it with this little dose of extra information. Probably would have connected the dots once she sat down to consider her own options. She ran a hand through her hair as she tried to figure out what exactly she was going to do. Her own chances of getting out were probably zero, and then she’d have to flee or be killed and/or captured in her own right.

“Still, why come here if that head start is so important?”

“‘Cause,” started Severina, laughing slightly to herself before looking back to Fae, looking down at herself afterwards and patting her waistband to make sure she had remembered to carry a pistol with her. She… Had a bad feeling about the next few hours or so. “Don’t have too many friends around this unit. Figured I’d say bye to one of the few that I can actually reach right now in person.”

“Well...alright then, pretty decent reason altogether. Don’t know how long you can stick around but here-”

Fae reached down and grabbed a six pack of bottles she hadn’t opened yet and held it out. She held it out with her left hand, now more conscious than ever of the rune on the palm and what it meant. It was as if she was trying to hide it from her mind by using that hand for other things, even if they were simple.

“-drinks for the road, once you get somewhere you can drink them. They’re weak and taste pretty bad, but beer is beer.”

“Fuck, you don’t have to do that for me. You need it more than I do, not like I didn’t make more in Avelia,” started Severina, before turning around as if she had noticed something. She felt something in the air, really. Almost like a brief pulse, rippling through her body and the area around her as she noticed… Something. It was tied to her magic. She didn’t think Fae would notice it either, because the chances Fae was using a trick like this of her own - detection magic - were pretty low right now. “Shit…”

Severina didn’t take the beer, instead reaching into her waistband for the pistol she was carrying on her. “That would be the UIB[6]. Didn’t take them long at all… Probably had their eyes on me as soon as I left the building.”

“Nah it’s-”

Fae furrowed her brow as Severina turned around. When she reached for the pistol on her belt, Fae already knew what was up.

“UIB huh, great. Gotta deal with them earlier than I expected. I was hoping to at least finish my time off duty.”

Fae reached over to the table next to the door and pulled out a pistol of her own, technically she kept it here at home for defense reasons, but she’d probably already been marked a traitor, especially if they had already heard what she’d said. She hadn’t tried to stop, or even really cared that Severina had talked about defecting right in front of her after all.

The first gunshots burst through the doorway before Severina could even say something in reply to her friend, causing her to reach out with her right hand - the one that had the rune on the back - and shout something out quickly. “Decelerate… Four times,” she said, the rune flashing as she then extended her other hand towards the doorway while Fae and everyone else in the immediate area were frozen in place, firing off a number of shots through the surface before turning and dropping the empty magazine as she pulled Fae by the wrist, only making a hand gesture to deactivate her magic and allow Fae to properly move and perceive the world again once she had already done this.

“You do have some kind of other way out of here, right? Because there’s at least six guys outside the door, not including the couple that I just took out back there,” she said. Things had escalated quickly but… They didn’t have many other options but to shoot to kill. It was what the UIB was doing, after all, and from her own personal experience, Severina knew they weren’t to be messed around with in the slightest. If anything, they were one of the few things she was legitimately scared of.

Fae blinked, but quickly refocused, the alcohol already in her system slowing her down a little. Shaking her head, she turned back to her friend.

“Yeah, fire escape, through my bedroom. They’ll probably have the ground covered, but we can head down there, I’m floor...ten, so we have about ten stories, or around a hundred feet that we’ll have to drop if we go down.”

Fae wasn’t idle while she spoke, pulling Severina towards the back, flipping over her table into the hallway to slow them down, even if only by a fraction of a second it could save their lives. Fae pushed Severina through her bedroom door, slamming it behind them and pushing her heavy wooden dresser in front of it. It was one of the only truly nice things she owned.

“Finally have a pretty girl in my room and it’s while getting shot it, that figures.”

Fae was mostly mumbling to herself at this point as she moved back to the outside window, forcing it open.

Severina chuckled lightly, eyeing up the window as the rune on her hand flared, another pulse causing her vision to ripple for a split second as a result of the quick discharge of her energy. She knew she was pushing herself right now, yes. But they didn’t have many options. “Oh, that’s what you think I am?” she said with a bitter laugh, looking at their current circumstances. “This is going to be a trust fall from the looks of it,” she added, quickly deducing that jumping all the way down was the best way out of the jam.

“Trust Fall? Great, never been a very trusting person. Don’t push yourself too hard, remember you’re not the only mage here.”

Fae held up her left hand, showing the rune she had on its palm. Moving over to the window she looked down, and briefly looked up, wondering if it might be safer to double back through the building. She dismissed that thought quickly, that meant dealing with more UIB agents for sure, where here they might, might catch them off guard.

“You don’t have to do it alone. So if we’re going to do this, let’s do this and fast.”

Severina took a deep breath before taking a few steps closer to the window, looking down and out of it. “You’re going to have to hold onto me for this, you know. I’m the one taking most of the impact… If that’s not the case, it’s going to go to you and that’s not going to go well for you.”

“Yeah, but you don’t have to take all of it is my point.”

Fae hesitated for just a second.

“Where umm...where exactly do you want me to hold on?”

Fae wasn’t entirely sure about this, but she didn’t know if it was the alcohol, the fear, or having to grab Severina like this that was doing it. They weren’t really all that close, it was a little...awkward. She looked down and got ready to channel her own magic, even if it was just a little, she could divert some of the load off Severina.

Severina didn’t look back to Fae, still staring towards the ground. “Doesn’t matter. Let’s just get it over with… And try not to get hurt doing this. This is all going to be pointless if you end up dead from the fall and not the UIB.”

Well it was now or never. Fae wrapped her arm around the slightly smarter girls waist, holding tight, probably tighter than she intended but she didn’t want to have her grip slip and make this all pointless. She wasn’t as magically strong as Severina, but she wasn’t going to just let her do it all on her own.

“Let’s just get this over with before I start to think that dealing with their bullets is more reasonable.”

Severina didn’t need to be told twice. She practically threw the both of them out of the window when she jumped, reaching out with her right hand to use her magic once again - straining as the rune flared briefly… What she did, Fae wouldn’t be able to tell. For her, it’d just have appeared as a blur, a series of events that she could only see as an outsider looking in. Severina, however, had messed with the flow of time once again, allowing her to position herself to land on her back and to have her pistol drawn for when they made the landing and faced the inevitable resistance on the ground. The UIB didn’t just raid somewhere with only one team active, after all.

She slammed into the ground, hard, and let out a gasp of pain… It didn’t feel like her magic had helped her at all, although without it, she wouldn’t be alive. Struggling, she pushed herself up and turned her head to check on Fae, who she had placed on the ground almost as soon as she landed and rolled over. She had no idea how she was doing. Her focus immediately after landing had been confirming that she hadn’t broken anything and looking both ways to see if they had landed in front of any hostiles, and it didn’t seem they did. “Come on… We have to get moving again,” she said, leaning against the wall of the alleyway because of the pain.

Fae didn’t have a chance to help, Severina hadn’t let her. Before she knew it they were both on the ground, and her head was aching, so was one of her legs, but she came out of it far better than Severina had. She didn’t hesitate to make Severina lean against her, not letting the pain slow her down by acting as a support. She flicked the safety of her gun off, she had a feeling she’d be needing it soon. She pulled Severina away from the street, deeper into the alley. The street would be covered too, and much more open, here they might have a chance of escaping to a street they didn’t have people on yet.

“Come on, we’ll-”

“What are you doing…? The subway’s our best chance out of here,” said Severina, clearly disagreeing with the strategy of heading further into the alley. “Not going to help us to get trapped in the middle of an alley network right now,” she added through gritted teeth, her hand flashing again as she attempted to heal herself. But this time, the reaction to pushing her magic was one of pain, and rather obviously, she hadn’t been able to do much without having some time to ‘recharge’ so to speak.

“There’s an entrance to the subway further down this way, about as far as heading to the street first, but we have more cover. If you still want to hit the street, I’ll get you healed up and we’ll head that way, but I’d like some cover and to break line of sight.”

“We’re going to end up like foxes in a hunt,” Severina complained, attempting to push the other girl off her while brandishing her pistol with two hands as if she expected to use it. “And there’s no crowd to disappear into out here, either. I… Know how these guys can operate. And they’re probably closing in on us right fuckin’ now. Are we going to be out of here before we run out of angles to run?”

“Then let’s move, we’re wasting time arguing.”

Fae didn’t let Severina push her off her just yet, instead she put her hand on her and tapped into her own magic. She was going to heal Severina, she didn’t need her stumbling or passing out on her while they were in the middle of running. She could feel her limbs growing heavier as energy drained out of her. Then she finally let go of Severina, pulling her back to the street. They’d not gotten more than a few steps earlier, so they weren’t really losing progress.

“Come on, come on. Don’t stop moving, we gotta get out of here now.”

“You’re the one telling me that? I was doing fine,” growled Severina, frustrated as she pushed ahead with her pistol still drawn, looking both ways and seeing that there were indeed UIB agents coming from behind them, at which point she moved to dash into the crowd… Barely leaving any time for Fae to follow after her before she would disappear into it in the general direction of the subway station.

Fae ignored the comment, for now, and followed after Severina, her pistol ready for when she would need it. Fae stuck close to Severina, she wasn’t going to lose sight of her after she sorta pulled Fae into all this. She could be mad about that later, for now her friend needed her help and support. Fae hoped the UIB wasn’t going to shoot into the crowd, it wasn’t a good look after all, which should give them the time they needed to get into the subway. She got closer to Severina when she could, closing the gap.

“So you actually got a plan once we get down there, or you just winging it?”

“Shut… Up…”

Severina wasn’t in the mood to talk, moving cautiously with the crowd and slowing down to avoid attention. She kept her voice low. “Blend in a bit, get on a train to another part of town, and I call my super sketch friend that lives here to pick us up and take us somewhere out of town entirely…” she explained, breathing deep breaths. “It’s not the best plan in the world but the UIB doesn’t have eyes everywhere as much as they would like to claim they do, and right now they’re focusing heavy on this one spot. Slip out their grasp… And we might have a window to flee and figure things out.”

However, it didn’t seem like their plan of hiding would work, as the first gunshots rang out. “Fuck,” muttered Severina, as the crowd parted and Severina herself kept her head low and turned around, firing suppressive shots at the direction the bullets had come from. Not that it was going to do a ton, really. The UIB personnel were obviously better equipped. She backpedaled - her backup plan here was to get on one of the trains under fire if necessary, rather than under calmer circumstances.

Fae was a bit taken aback, Severina was getting mad at her when Severina was the one that had dragged Fae into all this. She hadn’t exactly come kicking and screaming, but still she’d just be watching her crappy romance if not for her friend. She pursed her lips, she’d deal with that later, for now they had to get onto that train, and fast. She added her own fire to Severina’s suppressive fire, somewhat surprised they’d open fire into a crowd to begin with. It wasn’t a good look after all, regardless of who they would claim they were chasing.

Severina continued to backpedal, pushing herself in between the closing doors and standing there for a moment. “If you’re going to come with me, this is the time to do it…” she said, still holding the doors open as she withdrew from the firefight. They couldn’t win this one. The best they could do was get out and regroup at a safer location, and that was what she was working on doing right now. She was just waiting to see if Fae was going to follow her.

Fae didn’t have much choice, she’d followed Severina to here, it’d be suicide to stop now. She slipped past her and panted lightly, now that they were in better light it was easy to see her cheeks were still red from the alcohol she’d been drinking. She turned to make sure no UIB agents could follow them, but other than that she was just...frustrated. She’d spent years working to stay off the street, and now she’d lost basically everything. She was back to square one, again. A part of her wanted to deck Severina for doing that, but even through the alcohol she knew Severina didn’t deserve it. All she’d wanted was to say goodbye to one of the only friendly faces she had.

The train started moving shortly after the doors were closed and Severina was silent, the rune on her hand pulsing momentarily. “This would have happened to you eventually…” she muttered, keeping her head low as there were murmurs across the train car about what had just happened with the shooting and the UIB raiding the station. “You aren’t the most loyal person yourself,” she concluded. Harsh words, but true, at least in the eyes of the Union of Librosi States.

“I know, I’d been planning to try and..leave as soon as my off duty time was over. Was going to get most of my stuff moved to cash or other things, and then find my own way out.”

Fae spoke equally quietly, she didn’t want to be broadcasting to the entire train what was going on. She pocketed her pistol, and took a seat.

“Magister told me there’s a zero percent chance they give me a discharge. I doubt you would have been able to get one either. Not from the Special Tactics Group… Nah, if you’re like us… You’re locked down until you fight to get out or until they decide they don’t need you,” shrugged Severina. “Best hope at this point is getting across the border to the UCLR. The same Meadow City dream plenty of other people have had in the past…”


Context Notes

[1] - Magister is a title used in the Union of Libros for various positions, coming from a classical Etorian word. The title roughly translates to ‘Director’ or ‘Overseer’. Can be informalized as ‘Chief’.
[2] - The Oceanus Security Organization is one of the premier military alliances in the world, with the Union of Libros acting as one of the founding and leading members. The north sea’s Kingdom of Albion and the western Europan Kingdom of Ixeria are also major players in the organization.
[3] - The Empire of Sassana is a Europan nation led by Emperor Lotario Enzo Romeo Bastano, and one of the premier powers in Europa. This colonial nation, however, has clashed several times with the ULS, most notably over the smaller nation of Avelia. Despite their rivalry, both nations share some characteristics, such as an Etorian legacy.
[4] - A small nation of 12.7 million people, located to the east of Sassana. In 1666, the Empire of Sassana and their Layment Pact allies attempted to annex the country, but were rebuffed by the OSO and the ULS in particular. Since then, the country has been the home of an ethnic Sassanan insurgency.
[5] - The Union of Capitalist Librosi Republics is the western neighbor of the ULS, and as the name suggests, is a federation of states with varying laws and cultures - all of them, however, linked by their capitalist tendencies.
[6] - The Union Intelligence Bureau is the main intelligence agency of the ULS… And one that has its hands in many other institutions, including the military.
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Durmatagno
Negotiator
 
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Founded: Oct 10, 2011
Left-Leaning College State

Postby Durmatagno » Tue Jul 09, 2019 1:10 am

SEASON 1 ‘DESERT STORM DREAMING’
Collaborative post between Forest State and Durmatagno

EPISODE 2 ‘SKETCH CITY’

Severina Euclid & Fae Draiocht
Braxton, Union of Librosi States


Braxton… One of the main cities of the northeastern corridor of the Union of Librosi States and a place known for the port, for its role within the history of the country, and for being generally uppity and full of itself. It was a place that had something of a rivalry with New Athenai, but as a major city that often flew under the radar compared to its neighbor to the south, it wasn’t surprising that it was the hiding spot being used by the two fugitives who had just escaped capture by the forces of the Union Intelligence Bureau.

They were being taken into the city by Ras Dacanay, a friend who Severina had described more specifically as ‘my super sketchy friend of indeterminate race’. They didn’t know if Ras was Jezarabian or not, but what they did know was that Ras was one of the people who might be able to get them somewhere safe - Jezarabia was a real possibility if they wanted to continue flying, as there were multiple nations there which used mercenary pilots along with those that were recruited domestically. But the person they were trusting was… Indeed pretty sketchy. Even Severina couldn’t say exactly what Ras did for a living. Just that she was some kind of criminal who lived above a strip club and moved guns from the ULS to other locales around the world.

It was a profitable business but Ras was too low down the proverbial food chain to make much off of it. “This is the place I’m staying,” she said as they pulled up outside of the club, which was named rather inconspicuously the ‘Braxton Armory.’ A name that had little to do with what went on inside the club but had a lot to do with the culture of the city. Braxton was known for its weapons factories after all. Ras pushed open the front door of the SUV and climbed out, waving to the other two women in the back to follow after her. “You can probably stay for a bit, too… They’re fans of me around here. Mainly because I pay a bit of my gun running money to them in exchange for using their location for it.”

Severina was silent as she climbed out, still not entirely happy with the way things had went earlier and with the general situation with them being forced on the run and left with little options but to come here. But it was what they were stuck with. She’d just have to deal with it and outwardly she showed no weakness, simply following after her friend.

Fae spent most of the ride over silent. Her head was down, alcohol clearing, she’d picked up some water to speed it all along. Her eyes fixed on the rune emblazoned on her palm. There was no going back now, she was a fugitive from the only home she’d ever known. Granted it’d never been kind to her, she’d spent most of it picking food from the garbage, or other less savory methods of ensuring a full belly and a dry place to sleep. When the SUV came to a halt she finally stopped staring at her hand, putting her gloves back on and looking around at where they’d ended up. Climbing out of the SUV, she stretched for a brief moment, before silently falling into step behind Severina. She wanted to blame her for this, but she knew deep down she would have ended up on the run eventually when her own request to be discharged was denied. So she shoved that thought away, it’d do nothing productive to blame the only friend she had left.

Well, at least I’m sleeping above the club instead of behind it this time…

Severina said nothing. They’d enter the club soon after they arrived, finding that the inside was somewhat flashy if not a bit tacky, like it was trying to be a high class club but wasn’t actually run by high class people. The lighting just wasn’t as good as a place with professional quality design, the dancers were attractive but not the best out there, and the outfits seemed like they had been bought from any old store and didn’t exactly have anything to make them… Memorable. Still, the place had a decent sized crowd on the inside, plenty of people standing around and watching the various dancers perform in the background as the group of Ras, Severina, and Fae moved through the main walkway and reached a back hallway with some steps.



“My room’s up here,” Ras said, pushing through a door and starting up the steps. They eventually arrived at the spot she was talking about, the music still loud as it came from downstairs. Didn’t seem like sleeping here would be easy. She stepped inside, and there… Wasn’t a ton of space. Just a mattress on the ground and a neat stack of guns taking up the other half of the room. “You can ignore the stuff on the other side. It’s there ‘till I sell it,” she added with a shrug.

She paused, sitting down on the mattress and leaning with her back against the wall. “So… After everything that happened… Where the hell are you trying to go?” she asked, finally.

Even with the conditions of this place, it was better than some of the places Fae once had to...barter for. Some of those places had basically been a roof and nothing else, some back corner in a warehouse, or even just getting a spot under a crowded bridge. Still, she’d had less, she still had a friend, she had some cash, and she had experience. She could survive, it wouldn’t be fun or easy, but she could survive. She surveyed the room, before turning to Ras when she spoke.

“I was sorta...pulled into this unexpectedly. Didn’t have much of a plan, but Severina did mention the UCLR or Sassana as possible places to go. Honestly, I personally don’t care which. Never had many ties here, none anywhere else so...both are about equal for me.”

“UCLR has a border with the ULS so there’s a chance you end up stopped at it. Other than that I dunno if they’d accept mages trying to get away, since it might fuck up relations with their neighbor,” shrugged Ras, pausing. “Sassana is another possibility. Don’t know what you guys intend to do. If you want to keep flying, the Sassanans aren’t known for mercs.”

“But I do have this job that might be possible. Dangerous as fuck, pays better than anything else for pilots on the market right now, though. Aware of it because I have a friend or two over there because of that. How much do you guys know about the Darmiyya-Sadiriyya wars?”

“Not a lot, it wasn’t relevant to my last deployment so I didn’t follow it to much. I do know that Sadirriya is the aggressor and there was some pretty big coverage of them hitting Jezarabian oil fields. Beyond that, just that Sadiriyya is much smaller, a fair amount weaker, and is fighting a war on multiple fronts. Okay, more than I thought I did, but I don’t know what the current situation is like.”

Fae had absorbed more information on the conflict than she thought she had, but it still wasn’t much. She sat down on the floor, kind of missing her comfy chair. It was a good thing she hadn’t been getting ready for bed when all this had gone down or she’d have literally nothing. She looked at Severina, wondering if she was going to add to any of this.

“I know that the leader of Sadriyya is known as a mad queen for a reason,” Severina added, before Ras spoke up again.

“Yeah, well, the danger is the reason why it’s paying more than anything on the market at the moment. Sadirriya knows its outmatched in this one, they’re bringing in a lot of foreign pilots and paying them a lot, if you survive you might end up walking away with a lot of cash… Assuming you can even survive the Darmiyyan onslaught in the first place. Shit’s not easy. They have Prestrovian and Upper Librosi tech, most of the Sadriyyan stuff on the other hand is dated in comparison. But you two are special, after all… Mages do things regular people don’t.”

“Well I’ve got not guarantee I’ll survive doing anything else. At least it’s a job, my other options are basically walk blindly into nations I’ve never been to and hope I can find something. Never any guarantee I’d survive as a pilot here so...it’s worth the risk for me. Severina?”

Fae’s voice was still the emotionless deadpan it always was, but she still wanted to know what Severina was planning. Severnia was the only friend she had left after all, she didn’t exactly want to just disappear and have nothing at all. If Severina decided on something else, she probably would to. She’d survived without cash before, but she’d never really had much in the way of friends, so she’d keep the only friend left if she could help it.

“I’ll think about it over the next couple days, I guess. I’d feel more like Sassana is going home but money is money and Ras has a point with that they’re paying a lot to mercs out in Sadiriyya. But it’s also nothing like Avelia. We’re not going to have an advantage here. We’re going to be outnumbered every battle… The war is going to be lost, probably. We’d have to aim just to survive it,” said Severina, with a drawn out sigh. “Don’t know if just surviving is what we want to aim for.”

“Just surviving has almost always been what I aimed for. I had no home that isn’t lost to me no, you’re the only friend I can even be in contact with, I don’t even have much cash. It doesn’t make a big difference to me where I end up so....I’ll just follow you on this. Surviving and fighting is about all I’m good at, but if you want to just head to a place you call home, I can’t fault you for that.”

Fae struggled to keep her voice deadpan, the situation was a tough one, and even she struggled to not let it get to her, she wasn’t lying though. She didn’t much care where they went, so long as she could survive and hold onto what little she had left. She scratched at her palm through the glove, it looked like the rune might just have more work ahead of it.

“Like I said. I’ll think of the options,” said Severina, sighing as she sat down against the wall and scratched her head. “Not an easy choice… BUt we’ll have to do something, we can’t stay here and living in another country isn’t going to be free. If we have to head away, at least we can make some money off of it over there maybe…” she added, although she didn’t sound too confident in any of the options in front of them. Neither of them did, really.
When we lose one we love, our bitterest tears are called forth by the memory of hours when we loved not enough. - Maurice Maeterlinck

There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are the messengers of overwhelming grief, of deep contrition, and of unspeakable love. - Washington Irving

It is easy to hate and it is difficult to love. This is how the whole scheme of things works. All good things are difficult to achieve; and bad things are very easy to get. - Confucius

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Lunas Legion
Postmaster of the Fleet
 
Posts: 29377
Founded: Jan 21, 2013
Psychotic Dictatorship

Postby Lunas Legion » Tue Jul 09, 2019 3:51 pm

SEASON 1 ‘DESERT STORM DREAMING’
Collaborative post between Forest State and Lunas Legion

EPISODE 3 ‘WEST BY SOUTHWEST’

Uria Al-Yatimi
Dariyeri, Sultanate of Tsou
September 2nd, 1675 N.E.


The Sultanate of Tsou was not typically a place that produced ace pilots. In fact, the country hardly had an air force - what it did have in that department was mainly nominal and was foreign funded, with the Union of Capitalist Librosi Republics sending advisers to train pilots to fly F-220 Ghosts and F-225 Starbeams back in the day when the conflict between the Tsouanese People’s Republic and the western reaches of the former territory of the Empire of Tsou was in its earlier days. As time had passed the tradition of the UCLR backing anti-communist regimes in the area had continued, but the technology hadn’t improved and most of the squadrons of the air force here were still flying F-225s, a plane that had been called a widowmaker because it was just as dangerous to the pilot as it was to the enemy.

After all, the people of this sultanate didn’t belong in the sky, they belonged on the ground and on the wide ranging steppes which spanned thousands of kilometers. At least, that was what the local culture around here would assert. Air travel just wasn’t a thing that was very common, and so it made sense that the main airport in the country, the one in the capital city, Dariyeri, hardly stood up to the main airports in other countries in even the same region. In fact, it was nothing like them. There were a couple of hangars and most of the planes taking off were turboprops. Only a few jets rested on the apron, and they were the small type, not the ones that made flights across continents. For anyone that wanted to travel far away, they would have to take a flight into a larger city and switch airlines. The industry, after all, wasn’t very big here.

But getting on the plane in the first place here could be a challenge. Another quirk of air travel was that all of the airports in the country were operated by the military, the Isranic Revolutionary Guard in specific. Their whims tended to decide which destinations were available and which ones weren’t. Flying into enemy countries was meant by suspicion which meant that most flights out of here were to the south and the Republic of Tsou rather than the hostile TPR of which a war was still being conducted against. Flying to destinations that were seen as overly haram could also land one in trouble. There wasn’t a set of formal rules. There was no website for one to refer to about such matters, even in the year 1675 when most of the world was connected by internet. This place seemed to be a few decades behind in everything, and information was part of that.

The only thing one could do was negotiate in person with the Isranic Revolutionary Guards members who hung around the terminals toting Kaznarov rifles and traditional dress from the steppes, demanding to see papers from anyone that wanted to get on a flight and either making or breaking the plans of travelers depending on how they were feeling that day. Yes, it was a wonder anyone traveled by air in this country at all. It might as well have been playing a game of roulette to decide if one would be able to get to their destination or not, but for some… There were just few other options. It wasn’t like the road network in this place was developed, after all.

And for someone like Uria, there were no other options. She had somewhere to be, to be more precise a flight in the Republic of Tsou to catch, and she neither was in the mood nor had the time to deal with the Isranic Revolutionary Guard. Not that she wasn’t used to dealing with them; as someone raised by a single mother, and a single mother who was also a foreigner no less and a mercenary to boot.

Really, it was surprising she hadn’t tried to leave the country earlier. But she hadn’t had anywhere to go until now, thanks to a few old strings her mother had pulled, some old contacts talked to. Of course, she had to get out of this backwater of a country first, and her flight seemed to be running late.

Or it had crashed. Knowing aircraft and the Sultanate, both were just as likely really.
So she sat in the room that could barely be called a terminal, sitting on a bench in a white dress that would have been normal anywhere else, but in the Sultanate she was fairly sure was illegal under modesty laws, her legs resting on the suitcase that contained all her worldly possessions as she waited patiently for her flight, and dearly hoped it was just late and hadn’t crashed.

She wasn’t waiting long, however, before she found herself approached by about three men wearing traditional clothes from the steppes and brandishing rifles, each of them with bayonets fixed to the ends. “Are you aware that you’re in violation of Isranic law right now, young woman?” the lead guard in the group asked her, as she was… Surrounded in a way, the others noticeably having their weapons ready as if they were waiting to jump into action following what had been a boring earlier part of the day.

“No?” Uria lied, knowing full well that she was violating the law. If in doubt, play dumb had been a tactic that worked far too many times. It helped looking like a foreigner, someone else couldn’t have pulled it off. “I mean, I’m supposed to be flying out of here in-” She glanced down at the watch on her wrist, double-checking the time. “Well, whenever my plane lands. Is there a problem?”

“In the presence of members of the opposite sex your body should be covered except for your hands and face,” the lead guard said, as if it was something that she should have known already. “You realize that this is an offense that warrants arrest and public punishment, correct?”

“Well, I wasn’t in the presence of members of the opposite sex until you and your fellow soldiers showed up to inform me that I was in violation of the law.” Uria replied, looking around the terminal. “And I’m fully aware now that you’ve informed me, so thank you for that.” Uria paused, briefly considering her options. She did not want to deal with the Revolutionary Guard when she didn’t have the time to waste on them. “However, I have a flight to catch very soon, and I’d much prefer to be able to be on it. I’m sure a mere correction of my mistake would suffice? I don’t want to offend any cultural sensibilities, and I haven’t really had much reason to leave the embassy during my brief stay here, and I’ll be out of your way soon enough with no harm done.”

“The punishment for your crime is public flogging in the city square, Albion whore,” the guard told her, before the other two moved behind her back to restrain her with handcuffs, not paying much attention to her protests as they took her bag from her and started dragging her off towards the guard post within the airport, the place where the unlucky ones to get detained would end up. It seemed they had also managed to guess that she wasn’t from around here, making the assumption that she was from the Albion colony of Victoria, located on the coastline to the south and surrounded by the Republic of Tsou. “Your flight will be informed that you won’t be able to make it.”

“I see.” Uria’s voice was surprisingly calm and measured, given the situation. “I don’t suppose any of you would mind calling a friend of mine to smooth this all over? I’d much rather avoid an international incident from my forgetfulness be avoided, and I’m sure your superiors would too.”

“You are not in Albion right now. Or Victoria. You are in the Sultanate of Tsou, and the laws of the Sultanate apply equally to everyone,” the head guard told her, one of his colleagues pressing a bayonet into her back to increase the pace that she was moving towards the guard post. “That also means that the same rights you would get in a Victorian prison don’t apply here. No calls! You will sit down in the holding area and you will answer the questions.”

“You do know what diplomatic immunity is, right?” Uria asked. She might be digging a bit of a hole for herself by playing that card, but it was the best card she had left to herself without involving anyone else. “As far as I’m aware, all nations, including the Sultanate, grant it. All I want is one phone call, I’ll pass you over to the person on the other end after discussing my situation with them, they’ll clear this whole misunderstanding up and we can all go on our way.”

“How about we call the Victorian embassy and have them revoke your diplomatic immunity for your blatant disregard for the laws of this country? Burhan! Get on the phone with the Albay and tell him that we need someone to talk to the Victorians about this, ASAP,” the head guard said, one of the other two nodding as they reached the guard post, sitting Uria down when they reached the inside. Burhan, the guard that had been commanded to call the local captain, picked up the phone and started speaking, while the head guard looked back to Uria and the possessions that had been seized from her.

He spoke after leveling his bayonet in her direction. “State your name, nationality, your destination, and your reason for this flight,” he said plainly, one of the other guards in the background picking up a notepad to write down the details.

“Uria al-Yatimi. You may have heard of my mother.” Uria began. “I never claimed to be from Albion or Victoria, you just assumed it. I’m from the Sultanate, you can check my passport which is in my luggage. I’m flying to Victoria, from where I’m catching a connecting flight onwards to the UCLR. I have a job awaiting me there.”

The guard paused before responding. “Why did you claim to have diplomatic immunity?” he demanded, going for the inconsistency in her story, as if she was a citizen of the Sultanate rather than some foreign diplomatic figure she wouldn’t have the immunity that she spoke of. “What is the purpose of your flight to the UCLR?”

“I never explicitly claimed diplomatic immunity, I was just offering it as a point that foreigners aren’t subject to Sultanate law. It isn’t my fault if I accidentally phrased it in a way that implied to you I was in possession of it which I most certainly am not.”

The explanation only resulted in the stock of the guard’s rifle swinging around and slamming into the side of her face, a punishment for being disingenuous. “Don’t play with us, girl,” growled the head guard, frustrated from the fact that they had been led down a false pretense. “The Revolutionary Guard is legally authorized to hand down the death sentence to enemies of Isran, after all. Something that you present yourself as with your dress and your behavior.”

“Ow.” Uria winced, unable to rub at the bruise she could feel forming on the side of her face. “Consider me throughly reminded. And as for my purpose in flying to the UCLR, I believe one of my parents is living there and I intend to track them down, and I have a contract lined up as a mercenary pilot for a company operating out of there. I’m afraid I don’t have the paperwork for that on me, as that was all done online or over the phone, I’ll be signing in person when I arrive.”

The guards still looked upon her with suspicion. “After your public flogging, you mean,” the head guard stated. “Mercenary pilot in the UCLR… Where would this mercenary firm happen to operate? You wouldn’t happen to be fighting against Isranic interests, would you?”

“Of course not, I do have family here. From memory they were hired by the Darmiyyans to fight with the Sassanans during that war, but otherwise memory fails me on that. Just because I’ve been hired by a company doesn’t mean I’ll be serving on every job of theirs, I can refuse any that go against Isranic interests. Freedom to refuse a contract to fight in specific wars if I’m willing to fork out a little money as compensation for not flying was discussed at length over the phone and by email.” Uria replied, a statement once again strewn with a mix of lies and half-truths. Really she needed to stop tying herself up in this ever more complex web of lies.

“Clearly your family didn’t teach you well enough,” the head guard said. “Because our Isranic brothers in Darmiyya would have never accepted a whore like you. I believe the rules over there are more strict than they are here…” he added, pondering the situation before taking a step back, going through her passport and her other things, examining the boarding pass to Victoria also. He seemed ready to make a final statement. “Your flogging will be scheduled for later today and the captain of your flight will be informed that you won’t be able to make it.”

She was avoiding further trouble with the law. But she hadn’t been able to get out of the punishment for the original infraction, the violation of Isranic dress codes.

“Guess this is what I get for trying to wear something that’d fit in at Victoria.” Uria grumbled to herself. Well, at least she didn’t have to keep her web of lies up, and she just had to get flogged in public in a nation she was, hopefully, never going to see again with its backwards way. “How many lashes is it anyways?”

“One hundred lashes. Less than you deserve, at least,” one of the guards spoke up as the group moved to the exit, seemingly ready to leave her in handcuffs for another unit to pick her up later and transport her to the city center… Where her flight would already be long gone by the time she was brought there and back.

“Mhm.” Uria was silent for a bit, thinking. “I don’t suppose you’d be willing to do it now, with extra lashings?” The flight was important after all, she genuinely didn’t know when the next one would be.

“There’s not much public about doing it in a small airport such as this one. The city center is the proper place to make examples out of someone like you,” the head guard replied, stopping in the doorway. “If you didn’t want to miss your flight, you should have followed the rules before arriving.”

“Then just increase the number of lashings even more to account for the lack of publicity.” Uria shrugged. It was going to hurt, probably a lot, no, not probably, almost certainly a lot but she could take it. Or so she hoped. “Or you lash me until my plane lands rather than a fixed number.”

The guards convened briefly in a meeting, speaking with each other about the appropriate decision to make before finally deciding something along the lines of getting her out of their hair by dealing with the problem right now instead of later. “Fine,” the guard leader said, gesturing to the others. “Guards! Have her carried to the main terminal. And prepare the equipment.”

“See, I knew we could come to some arrangement.” Not the arrangement Uria had hoped for, she’d much preferred to have gotten off without the lashings whatsoever, but she had a long flight and she knew how to patch herself up. She just had to not die from the lashings first. Easier said than done, but such was life in the Sultanate sometimes.
Last edited by William Slim Wed Dec 14 1970 10:35 pm, edited 35 times in total.

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Forest State
Senator
 
Posts: 3920
Founded: Aug 23, 2016
Capitalist Paradise

Postby Forest State » Wed Jul 10, 2019 6:04 am

Image

WAR BETWEEN DARMIYYA AND SADIRIYYA IN SHOCKING SURPRISE ATTACK

Global News Editorial Staff
August 25, 1675 N.E.


TAYRAH, JEZARABIAN REPUBLIC OF DARMIYYA --- The world at large and the nation of Darmiyya in specific are reeling in shock following the unprovoked invasion by the Holy Kingdom of Sadiriyya, a nation that Darmiyya has fought to a stalemate twice in the past. The invasion, which began in the early hours of this morning, seems to have the goal of capturing the oil fields near the borderlands of the two countries, and the gulf region to the east of the Darmiyyan major city of Dahod. The war, which mostly came unannounced, was the subject of a rally in Jaddad, the capital of the Holy Kingdom, in the hours after it began.

“Darmiyyan aggression in the region has been tolerated for too long… Our people are rising up and taking the resources that belong to us due to divine right over the Isranic menace,” Queen Alya I said to her people at the rally, which was attended by thousands in Jaddad. Carrying the nickname ‘the Mad Queen’ abroad, Alya I has a reputation for being more aggressive and more unpredictable, and more brutal towards opposers within her own populace, than past leaders of the country. And from the looks of things, this decision proves that reputation correct.

Darmiyya is a much larger country in both area and economy and has a far larger military than the small nation of Sadiriyya, which mostly relies on trade through its coastal regions as well as natural resources to earn its wealth - resources that Darmiyya has far more of, turning them into more of a military power than their neighbors to the south. The countries are at odds in more ways than one and this has boiled over two times into war. Religion has been a large factor in conflicts and seems to be a big factor in this one, too. Ostarianism worships the leader of the Sadiriyyan nation as an incarnation of god, while the Jezarabian Republic of Darmiyya is strictly Isranic and Jezarabian nationalist.

Darmiyya invaded decades ago and the two fought over borders in more recent memory but both wars ended as stalemates. This third war, which seems religiously motivated and motivated by resources too, looks like it won’t play out in favor of the Sadiriyyans… The Prestrovian colony of Malino will likely act as a staging point for Darmiyya’s allies in the Layment Pact, and the Republic of Upper Libros can be expected to deploy a carrier group in the region as a response to aid their two Layment Pact allies in the area.

Global News will have a FULL report and recap of all the movements, all the developments, and all the statements from leaders on this situation later today. Stay tuned for the latest updates on this historic conflict.
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I'm the bad guy... Duh.

For: America, Tea Party, Not Stepping On Snek, Anime
Anti: Catgirls, EU, Wehrabooism/Prussiabooism

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Durmatagno
Negotiator
 
Posts: 7039
Founded: Oct 10, 2011
Left-Leaning College State

Postby Durmatagno » Sat Jul 13, 2019 10:29 pm

SEASON 1 ‘DESERT STORM DREAMING’
Collaborative post between Forest State and Durmatagno

EPISODE 4 ‘Hard Landing’

Severina Euclid & Fae Draiocht
Hajanah International Airport, United Jezarab Republic
September 3nd, 1675 N.E.


Getting into the nation of Sadiriyya as it fell into all out war against the Darmiyyan threat to the north wasn’t going to be an easy task - flying out to the United Jezarab Republic was somewhat easy… Getting on the next flight which would take them into the city of Jaddad, the capital of the Holy Kingdom of Sadiriyya, was a somewhat harder task. Particularly when the flight happened to be connected to the gun running jobs that Ras was a part of - of a crew of about three people, Ras happened to be the flight engineer and the relief pilot, although she wouldn’t be needed as their final flight on a small AER-700 turboprop, which would be carrying a number of guns that they’d had sitting around in a warehouse in the UJR, wasn’t long enough that swapping the pilots out would be necessary.

The biggest challenge was going to be getting the plane off the ground in the first place, and Ras made that clear as they made their way through the airport. “You two might throw things off because you’re from the ULS… And it doesn’t help that you’re using false papers. ULS shit isn’t the easiest to forge, you know,” Ras told both Severina and Fae. “I can play the part of someone from around the gulf, you two on the other hand… You’re going to stick out like a sore thumb and the last thing we need is attention considering what’s actually in the back of the plane. So play things cool, alright?”

“Well, I’m not known for panicking...some people call me emotionless or detached actually. Whatever you think, at least we don’t stand out...much.”

Fae didn’t speak very loudly, she didn’t want to draw attention to herself, or the rest of the group. Still, the much at the end was because Severina and Ras drew the eye much more than Fae did, she was simple and boring next to them, on the outside at least. She kept her gloves on, if anyone saw the rune on her left hand it’d make everything much, much more difficult for them, so this was fine for the time being. She was going to do her best not to draw attention. Thankfully ‘bored’ was kind of her default face, so she wouldn’t have a stressed or worried look on her face to draw attention with.

They didn’t have to go through the same gates as passengers would but they did find themselves stopped by soldiers with rifles when they went to step out onto the apron where the plane was located, the checks that happened in this country being a bit more informal than the processes that they might be used to from larger airports such as the ones in New Athenai, which were massive demonstrations of efficiency and engineering - although, such airports still carried with them a hated reputation that could be found everywhere from the internet to the punchlines of jokes.

“Papers, please,” said the first of the soldiers, the UJR not exactly hiding the fact that their airport security were simply members of the military who were in proper uniform, apparently belonging to some reserve units.

Ras was the first one to hand her documentation over while Severina did so more slowly, knowing that her and Fae both had fake names… It had gotten them out of the ULS, narrowly, but there was no telling if it would work again. After all, the ULS wasn’t an easy country to deal with when it came to forgeries. Their official documents were… Somewhat more complex than some other countries. There was also no telling if by now their faces were on some kind of wanted list that would be recognized - the current government of the UJR, following the ULS invasion and deposition of the last one, was arguably a puppet of the ULS after all. And right now, both of them happened to be enemies of the ULS.

Fae handed hers over shortly after Severina, keeping that calm, bored face up. Internally she worried they’d be identified, either because of some small flaw of the paperwork, or because they were enemies of one of the more powerful states in the world. Still, she equally doubted that they wanted it to leak that they’d had two mages defect, it’d be open season for their enemies to try and obtain anything they could, including a pair of mages with good combat records. Silently she hoped the ULS was spreading the information slowly, through only highly trusted channels and hands to keep it from leaking. Still, some of her reasons against them spreading it quickly also could support it, after all they didn’t want two mages falling into enemy hands. Fae waited silently, these soldiers held the keys to their fate now, all they could do was wait.

The soldiers pondered over the papers and Ras was eventually asked to hand over another set of papers which listed everything that their plane was going to be carrying… Allegedly. If the plane was actually searched, they were going to be screwed, but the hope was that they would beat the odds and that it wouldn’t happen this time. “You say you’re moving machine parts to Sadiriyya? Have you been watching the news, and seen the war that’s happening there?” the guard asked, to which Ras answered.

“Our contract was made before the war broke out. Of course our company is going to honor it,” she managed to say calmly, even if she looked like she was on the verge of sweating. This kind of scrutiny was never good in this business - last thing they needed was some guard determining they were a bit too out of the ordinary and deciding that the plane needed to be searched. And then came the time for the head guard to turn to Fae and Severina.

“And what would you two passengers be doing, coming from the ULS all the way to Jaddad in the midst of an active war going on?” the guard asked, focusing in on both of them and pointing out how strange the situation was. There wasn’t much of a hole in his logic in this case - this AER-700 crewed three and two of the crew had already showed up, leaving the two Librosi citizens as passengers on a flight to a strange destination.

“Technicians. With the danger of the destination, a few extra hands to fix anything that goes wrong seemed a good idea. Keep us from sitting around any longer than we have to.”

Fae kept her answer short, and calm. The less she said, the harder it was to find a hole. With how calm she kept herself, it also looked like she wasn’t to worried about anything here. Rather her concerns were with what might happen at their destination. She hoped, quietly, that all this would add up to letting them through without further problems.

The guards paused before eventually moving to let the group through after handing the papers back to all of them - beyond the glass door in front of them was the apron next to the runway, where a number of aircraft of various sizes were resting. Most of the aircraft were of medium size, and that included their turboprop which was loaded up and ready to go. Ras led the way and opened up the side door, allowing Severina and Fae to follow her inside while her Jezarabian crewmates worked on getting everything set up, particularly starting up the engines.

“We’re heading out of here soon…” Ras said, taking a seat behind the two main pilot and co-pilot ones and gesturing for Severina and Fae to go behind her, where there were a few more seats before the seating area cut off to reveal the boxes stacked on top of each other, the cargo that they were transporting on this flight. “For now, get comfortable.”

“New life, huh…” muttered Severina towards Fae, as she took her seat in front of the cargo. “Who knows if we’re even going to see the outside world again after heading into this place? The situation… Doesn’t seem that great over there.”

“Our chances are better there than if we stay. Way I see it, we have a way to make some good money, and we can get out once the end draws near, and use that money somewhere else. There’s always wars, and many places always need people with our skills, it might not always be easy, but we’ll always have somewhere to go if we have to.”

Fae was a little more blunt than she intended to be, but she was speaking what she saw as the truth. It was dangerous where they were going sure, but it was more dangerous for them personally to stay put. Besides, if they died while fighting, that was probably faster than anything they had to look forward to if they stayed. It wasn’t a nice thought, but a quick death was better than life in prison, or tortured to death, or a dozen other options.

“We look out for each other, our chances are even better. After all, no one is expecting two people like us to be headed to a place like this.”

“Not expecting it because it’s fucking crazy. Maybe you need the money but for me… I don’t even know why I’m doing it,” said Severina, and she watched as they managed to get the engines started and pulled out of the parking spot, heading down the taxiway towards the runway. Once they were lined up it was only a short takeoff roll before they were in the air, headed hours away from the UJR to the city of Jaddad, Sadiriyya, where they were going to start what might as well be a new chapter in their lives… And one that was very unfamiliar.
When we lose one we love, our bitterest tears are called forth by the memory of hours when we loved not enough. - Maurice Maeterlinck

There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are the messengers of overwhelming grief, of deep contrition, and of unspeakable love. - Washington Irving

It is easy to hate and it is difficult to love. This is how the whole scheme of things works. All good things are difficult to achieve; and bad things are very easy to get. - Confucius

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Forest State
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Posts: 3920
Founded: Aug 23, 2016
Capitalist Paradise

Postby Forest State » Sun Jul 14, 2019 12:41 am

SEASON 1 ‘DESERT STORM DREAMING’
Collaborative post between Forest State and Durmatagno

EPISODE 4.2 ‘Hard Landing Pt 2’

Severina Euclid & Fae Draiocht
Jaddad, Holy Kingdom of Sadiriyya
September 3rd, 1675 N.E.


Image

The Jaddad Capital Airbase is the primary staging point for both defensive operations and incursions into Darmiyyan territory for the Holy Kingdom of Sadiriyya...




It hadn’t been a long ride from the the airport in Jaddad to the base where Fae and Severina were going to be operating out of, along with the locals and the mercenaries of the 8th Fighter Squadron, a unit which was tasked with the defense of the capital and possibly even a push into enemy territory in the early days of the war - it was hard to tell who was going to win in the air in this phase of the conflict but they weren’t going to have it easy going up against Upper Librosi produced fighters, as well as some of the more modern Imperial Prestrovian designs. Sadiriyya had less friends in the world than their enemy state of Darmiyya did, and less nations willing to give them advanced fighters at good prices. Still, they had their wealth, which made them better than just being a backwater. The squadron for now was mostly using the Kal-33 Hunter, an older model compared to some of the updated ones but still rather competitive all things considered.

They could see those Hunters, and some of the other models that were around the Jaddad Capital Airbase, as they arrived in a sedan which had a luxury design - of course it did, it had been sent by the government itself, and the government around here traveled in style. The leader of the country was believed to be a living god, so it wasn’t surprising at all that the government didn’t lack any luxuries that they could possibly need. After passing through the gates of the airbase and the rows of Hunters which were surprisingly outside - hardened bunkers were the safest option in the event of Darmiyyan penetration into the capital with either missiles or flights - the sedan stopped outside of what seemed like one of the administrative buildings, the driver stepping out to open the door on either side.

Coming out of what seemed like the administrative complex for this airbase, which was quite large as the one in the capital region, was a somewhat formally dressed man that had slightly long hair that ended a bit above the shoulder, and western dress that indicated that he had at least some experience outside of Sadiriyya. Always a good thing, considering this country wasn’t exactly an expert in anything, ranging from military affairs to civil ones. Foreigners tended to be the more experienced people around here. That man was the one to approach the pair of them as they stepped out, as the glass skyscrapers of the large city shined in the background in the far distance, rising over the much shorter administrative complex which would look humble compared to the more advanced buildings that both pilots had seen in the ULS and in its satellite state, the Republic of Avelia.

“Mercenary pilots?” the man asked, not sounding like the most patient person in the world or like someone that wanted to spend more time than what was necessary on this task of getting them introduced. Either that, or the man was in a rush to get them into the ranks of the 8th before the squadron had to see combat, and based on how the war had gone so far, there was no telling when they would need to see fighting. There had already been a number of Darmiyyan incursions into Sadiriyyan airspace, after all.

“Yes.”

Fae was blunt again, it was how she usually was. She didn’t like to dress words up, and being diplomatic was hard for her, though she could manage it. She crossed her arms as she waited, curious as to what Severina would say, and what all this man was going to do and say. Her first impressions were...better than she had expected, but with what was arrayed against this place, it still wasn’t good. She was expecting even older fighters, in horrible condition. Still, there was still much to be desired.

“Thank the Queen. We need… All the pilots on hand that we can get with how things have been doing do far, you may have noticed the smoke rising from just outside the base to the north… That’s because their cruise missiles have already gotten through. They launch ‘em from the big Igna-240s, doesn’t help that they’re long ranged and we aren’t a large country,” the man said. “But hopefully when we get another squadron into the air, we can beat back some of their attacks… The name’s Rafiq Bousaid. From the Souraki Merchant Republic, but since I’m from here, I have something of an interest in making sure the place doesn’t get burnt down.”

Rafiq gestured for them to continue as Severina followed silently, leading them around the administrative buildings and towards the barracks. “We’re still waiting for someone in your flight to show up but I think you should meet the Major in charge of your squadron, she’s a rather special person around here. You’ll have a chance to get a look at the Hunters a bit later, I also have the feeling it won’t be long before both of you are in the sky in those things.”

They arrived at the barracks, waiting for someone who had already showed up to meet them outside, the Major who looked like a native and didn’t particularly look old enough to have the rank… And yet here she was anyway, the uniform and the patches on it obviously indicating that she was indeed of higher rank than the two pilots. The name on the patch was particularly interesting - ‘Eseri’, the same surname as Queen Alya I, the leader of the country. Not just the leader of the country but the goddess of the country, the one whose treasuries were funding the foreign pilots who had descended on this conflict.

“Jana… The pilots that I was telling you about, or two of them anyway,” Rafiq said to the girl, causing her to raise her eyebrows a bit in interest as she looked the both of them over.

“The two mages,” she said simply, setting her eyes on them as if she had already heard about them. It made sense, somewhat. If she was who she seemed to be, then of course she would be in the same squadron as the two mages - there would be nothing but the best for the heiress in a country like this. “And two Librosis… Far from home,” she added lightly, taking note of their appearances and the fact that they were both obviously from the continent of Libros, probably from the ULS based on their ethnic appearances. Although, Severina’s ginger hair allowed her to pass as someone from the UCLR if she felt like it. “Don’t just stand there staring, I guess… Who would you two happen to be? I was simply told that two mages would be joining the 8th.”

“Fae Draíocht, ex-Marine Pilot.”

Fae kept it simple once more, it was all Jana needed to know for now. Besides, there was no point in dragging things out right now, they’d have time for civil chit chat later. Right now they were getting set up for the wing, and for Fae at least, accepting the fact that she’d probably die in this place. Still, it was the path she’d chosen, she wasn’t going to complain now. The fact that she was with the heiress meant there was a chance she might be able to escape once this disaster was over, after all they had to have an evacuation plan for someone as important as her. Hopefully, the whole God-Ruler thing might not allow for such things, but whatever, Fae could hope.

Severina, on the other hand, went for something a bit more dramatic. “Severina Euclid, formerly of the 7th Fighter Squadron… And now branded as a Traitor to the Union,” she said, extending her hand to the other pilot in front of her. She was a bit more confident at the moment - not confident in the job but more confident in herself. When she was introducing herself to someone important, when she was making a first impression, there was no way she was going to do anything but put herself out there and make herself look good in comparison to her rather blunt friend.

“So you two did some crazy shit in STG or something?” Jana asked, referring to the Special Tactics Group which handled the distribution of mages through the ULS military as well as controlling them to an extent and acting as their handlers.

“Didn’t get a chance to do anything too crazy when we were in Avelia. The insurgents there don’t exactly have jets,” Severina shrugged. “Does help to have magic, though. But… Those insurgents are my people. You could say it’s the reason I defected.”

“Your people are in the same pact as the Darmiyyans, you know,” Jana replied curiously.

“Yeah, but how many Sassanan fighters do you see out here? It’s all the Imperial Prestrovians and the Upper Librosis backing the Darmiyyans in this war… Unless things change, which I hope they don’t, since I want to survive,” Severina replied, shrugging again. “Better than being stationed to fight for a state that shouldn’t exist.”

“Right, well, you might as well come see what you’re going to be flying, we have one Hunter II in the squadron at the moment - mine, of course - and the rest of us are going to be using Hunter Is for the time being,” Jana said, moving to lead off the pilots to see the hangar area. “Keep this path in mind because you’re going to have to ge to the hangars quickly while you’re here.”

Except, their trip to the hangars was interrupted by the sound of a warning siren, the kind that was usually used in the middle of a city when there was an air raid. “Oh for fuck’s sake…” muttered Jane, looking around to see the nearest path for cover as the alarm went off. “Igna-240s must have crossed the border again, we’re having a hard time repelling their escorts even when we scramble fighters out of Queen Alya City,” Jana said in explanation, as the workers around the facility began moving in a panic, each person looking for the best place to be in the event that a cruise missile struck. “Ground radars must’ve picked up a cruise missile attack…”

“Got somewhere to bunker down in case a cruise missile hits here while you’re not in the air?”

Fae looked at the panicking workers, wondering if there had been any drills, any preparation for them at all. It seemed like they didn’t know what to do or where to go. That was...a bad sign in her mind, something that would need to get fixed if this war went longer than the quick defeat she imagined. They needed something far more concrete than they had, now it was just chaos. It was as if the war had been declared without any proper preparation for any of the branches of the military, and they were all now rushing to fill in the gaps, operational and otherwise.

“Place wasn’t really designed to be taking strikes from cruise missiles but…” Jana paused, pushing her way into the administrative building they had seen before and opening another door inside of it, heading down into a dark stairwell which seemed to lead underground, Severina following in the process with the rune on her hand being the largest source of light in the tunnel, which was quite narrow and somewhat steep. “We have a thing or two for when this kind of stuff happens.”

They eventually did reach the bottom of the stairwell and Jana flipped the lights on, showing supplies lining the walls in the first large room which they had reached. “All this is in case Darmiyya manages to get the nuke,” she explained as they walked through the facility, with Jana opening the door at the other end and started through it. It seemed there was a somewhat complex network underground here, with a number of doors existing in the hallway. “And now… We wait and ride things out under the ground.”
Last edited by Forest State on Tue Jul 16, 2019 6:42 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Lunas Legion
Postmaster of the Fleet
 
Posts: 29377
Founded: Jan 21, 2013
Psychotic Dictatorship

Postby Lunas Legion » Mon Jul 15, 2019 5:28 am

SEASON 1 ‘DESERT STORM DREAMING’
Collaborative post between Forest State and Lunas Legion

EPISODE 4.5 ‘Hard Landing Pt 3’

Uria Al-Yatimi
Jaddad, Holy Kingdom of Sadiriyya
September 3rd, 1675 N.E.




Image

Sadiriyyan Air is just one of the businesses in Sadiriyya hit hard by the war and the Darmiyyan blockade of the country.





It was a day full of chaos and it didn’t seem like it was going to end any time soon… It hadn’t been long since the Sadiriyyan Air flight on board a Harmon Aeorspace 540 had landed, after heading from Victoria to the Jezarabian pariah state which had been the main destination of the western Tsouanese mercenary Uria Al-Yatimi. And yet, even as the flight touched down on the ground, it didn’t feel like things were safe… How could it feel safe when they had nearly lost their lives on just the way over? As it turned out, the Darmiyyan forces were getting more and more aggressive. They didn’t just intend to defeat Sadiriyya on the field of battle - they intended to strangle the nation from the outside, cutting off any and all air traffic to the nation whether civilian or military.

After all, civilian aid could keep the war going for longer and the 540 was a large plane, one that could be used as a freighter to carry cargo into the country. They had been passing the Imperial Prestrovian colony of Malino - which belonged to a nation that was definitely known as an ally of Darmiyya - when they had seen the sight of ZuK-15 fighters scrambled from the airbase on the ground and sent to give chase to them… The only reason anyone on that flight was alive right now was the difference in technology between them and the outdated Darmiyyan planes that were being stored away from mainland Darmiyya and instead were based abroad in the small but allied colony that was located to the south of the nation of Sadiriyya.

The ZuK-15 fighters had pursued for as long as they could… But knowing that they were approaching, the 540 had been able to climb in altitude, flying above the maximum height that they could give chance. Didn’t mean they escaped without damage, however. The plane was met on the ground at the Jaddad airport with fire extinguishers, due to the fact that the outer left engine was on fire. For the most part they had escaped safely due to being able to outclimb the older fighters, but before they had been able to pull that move off, one of the Darmiyyan pilots had ruthlessly fired a heatseeker at them, which had caused the outer left of the four engines to explode completely, the total failure of that engine leaving them with three to finish the trip with.

But once they had reached Malino they were already very close to Sadiriyya, and it hadn’t taken them long to be escorted by the Royal Sadirriyan Air Force, its ZuK-28 fighters screaming out of their airbase on the ground and arriving in the surrounding area to ward off the lower altitude ZuK-15 fighters which had trailed. Eventually, they had been able to descend once again and had made their final approach with little incident except for the fact that the wreckage of one of their engines was on fire, an oddly interesting sight even if it ruined the majestic image of the towering aircraft, decked out in regal purple - the same color that was on the Sadiriyyan flag, representing the monarchy that ruled over every aspect of life here.

The evacuation of the plane was quick. Even if they had landed without incident, there was no telling whether the fire would spread elsewhere or cause further damages. And most of the passengers were quite willing to rush off the plane after that encounter, many people who were natives of this country thanking the Queen under the assumption that the reason they were alive right now was because of her divine intervention. ‘The Queen protects’ was one of the things they said around these parts. They would see over the coming months just how well she protected her nation now that they were at war with a power multiple times their size with multiple times their economic and military power.

On the tarmac, the sounds of sirens could be heard… But they weren’t coming from the airport itself. It seemed the bad luck right now was running deep - they had managed to land in the middle of an air raid. The Igna-240 bombers of the enemy had been penetrating Sadiriyyan territory since the war began, each time sending cruise missiles in the direction of the capital after their escorts broke through the borderlands and their air defenses like a fullback breaking through a wall of linebackers. And there was no telling right now where those cruise missiles were targeted at… They could very well be headed for the airport. The only thing that Uria would know about the whole situation was that getting indoors was the top priority, preferably in a hardened building.

If there was one thing Uria genuinely hated, it was being helpless. Not being in control. Up there, on the flight over, she’d been helpless, her life subject to the skill of the pilots of her plane against their enemy. Down here, though, on the ground? Here she was back in control, and could actually do something more substantial than just praying.

So, she didn’t bother going for her luggage, if it survived it survived, if it didn’t she was sure the Queen would provide her with replacements, and instead she quickly took everything in, looking over the airport for the best place to take shelter. It was a matter of finding somewhere hardened against missile strikes, but also not so vital as to warrant the use of multiple cruise missiles against it despite the hardening.

Which meant anything resembling a military part of the airport was out, as was anything near the runway. Cruise missiles wouldn’t be wasted on purely civilian facilities, or at least she hoped they wouldn’t be. So she took a breath and took off running, her plan for now at least being to head towards the main terminal building or one of the other, purely civilian parts of the airport of no military value, find herself a basement or somewhere underground and less vulnerable unless she saw somewhere that looked like a better bet along the way.

The problem was, there were a lot of people moving around looking for shelter, running for buildings such as the main terminal - the biggest building was the first one that would come to mind for anyone that was scrambling for safety, and the proper procedures had largely been abandoned by panicking people who instead rushed forward wildly, looking to get out and not caring about which path they ended up taking to do it… There were soldiers ushering people now, but there weren’t nearly enough of them to get control of the entire crowd, some people still going off on their own, some of them pushing past others rather than moving in an orderly way.

The terminal was the destination that quite a few people were looking for. And if Uria wanted to get there, she’d have to fight through that sea of people.

It was a matter of survival though, and that meant she couldn’t exactly be civil about this. The longer she was outside, the greater the chances one of the missiles got lucky. So she decided to try pushing her way forwards, pushing, shoving, elbowing as necessary, moving forwards and to her left, aiming to get towards the outside of the crowd so if she did see anywhere else that looked like a better chance, she could make a run for it.

After all, if this turned from an attack for purely military purposes into an attack against the civilian populace, the main terminal would be the main target. Uria wouldn’t have to wait that long to find out where the explosions were going to strike… The sky flashed as a couple of the missiles were intercepted by air defense systems stationed closer to the urban area of the city, but at least one of them ended up getting through, slamming into the runway and sending chunks of tarmac into the air that would be sent far away from the airport grounds itself from the force of the blast - the sound was something, too. Enough to practically stun the bravest of people, the flash lighting up the surrounding area even for those who weren’t looking at it.

Uria raised a hand to her eyes, stumbling backwards as brown spots danced over her vision, feeling dust land on her skin. No, she couldn’t stay out here, not much longer. If they kept hitting the runway with missiles then eventually they’d hit the crowd and her with it. No, she couldn’t risk just trying to wade through the crowd to get into the main terminal by the quickest route, it’d be faster and safer to get away from the runway first. So as the brown spots faded from her vision she changed direction, aiming instead to break free of the crowd and get off and away the runway entirely before looking for somewhere to take shelter.

She’d find that she was finally able to get into the terminal now that the crowd had settled down somewhat, the soldiers guiding people through the gates and preventing a stampede that would surely result in multiple people - both civilians and airport workers - dead as they tried to flee the attacks that were happening outside. Another cruise missile warhead slammed into something outside, but it only impacted with a repairs building on the other side of the runway, seemingly not being accurate enough to take out another part of the runway and lengthen the time it would take for the repairs to happen…

Uria stopped as she finally was pushed into the terminal, breathing a sigh of relief but not stopping quite yet. Just because she was inside the terminal didn’t mean she was safe, just safer than she had been outside on the runway in the crowd. Instead she started walking again, figuring that further into the terminal and away from the runway would likely be safer and less likely to get hit by a wide cruise missile strike.

It was then that she would spot someone that was looking through the crowd within the terminal for her, probably the person that was supposed to meet with her and bring her to the facilities at Jaddad Capital Airbase, which was located a bit away from the civilian airport and was one of the main centers of the Sadiriyyan war efforts. The man looked the part at least, a local wearing a western styled dress shirt and looking wealthier than the others in the crowd, indicating possible work with the government… Which seemed to be very connected to all of the wealth seen in the country. It wasn’t a communist country where all of the wealth belonged to the state, but it seemed that most of the richest people around here were tied to the crown in one way or another.

“Uria Al-Yatimi?” the man asked, seeing her through the panic and apparently recognizing her. Well, that part made sense. She didn’t look anything like the locals here, it wasn’t hard to pick her out of a crowd after seeing her in a photograph.

“Yes?” Uria nodded, stopping and turning to face towards the man who’d called out her name. “I’m assuming you’re here to pick me up, no?”

“I’m with the command and control element of the squadron that you’re going to be fighting with… Come on, we’re not going to want to hang around here for long. The attack should be over soon but regardless, it’s not a safe area,” the man said, guiding her away from the crowds and back outside, to the side of the terminal that let out onto the street in front of the airport where a somewhat expensive looking sedan was parked. He opened the passenger door, gesturing for her to get inside. “The ride to Jaddad Capital Airbase isn’t a long one… But there’s a real bunker over there.”

“An actual bunker sounds nice, although it might be safer just to not go near any airbases whatsoever until this bombardment ends.” Uria said as she climbed into the passenger side. “They’ll run out of cruise missiles in a firing position eventually.”

“They’ve hit downtown, too… Unless you’re all the way out in the suburbs or in the middle of the desert, you’re not safe. Each one of those things carries multiple warheads, you know,” the man said. They continued their drive through the area, smoke visible in the distance as it rose from the buildings downtown which had been hit… The shining glass symbols of the wealth of the queen had been damaged, and that meant that the attack had accomplished the goal that it was after. They had sent a good warning shot, showing that they were indeed capable of hitting the Sadiriyyan capital in the opening days of the war… It was easy to wonder just how long they would hold up before the damages became more than some burning skyscrapers and destroyed runways.

Still, Uria was here for now, having flown all the way out here at the expense of going through several troubles, her departure from her home country being the main one. This conflict… It was hers now. It would be in her best interests to try her hardest to keep the destruction of this country from happening. After all, for the time being, she would be one of the ones putting her life on the line to prevent more things like this from happening going forward.
Last edited by Lunas Legion on Tue Jul 16, 2019 6:12 am, edited 1 time in total.
Last edited by William Slim Wed Dec 14 1970 10:35 pm, edited 35 times in total.

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Forest State
Senator
 
Posts: 3920
Founded: Aug 23, 2016
Capitalist Paradise

Postby Forest State » Tue Jul 16, 2019 3:35 am

SEASON 1 ‘DESERT STORM DREAMING’
Collaborative post between Forest State and Lunas Legion

EPISODE 5 ‘New Job’

Task Force 37
New Athenai, Union of Librosi States
September 10th, 1675 N.E.




Image

The North Tiamanic Confederation, located in central Europe and claiming to be the legitimate Tiamanic homeland, is a nation under fire - the ally of the Union of Librosi States has to deal with a traditional rival, the Kingdom of Reine to the southwest, and with the communist Saksian Commune to the north of that state, both nations closely bordering the Confederation. The latter was only created following a communist uprising less than 60 years ago, and in the modern day, the ancient city of Ranhalt - the capital of the NTC - is challenged by agitators of both the monarchist and communist kind. The Union of Librosi States maintains a sizable presence in the NTC, with the primary goal being the preservation of an ally and to avoid a communist government or Sassanan aligned monarchy from appearing in its place. As pressure mounts, the Union Intelligence Bureau has deployed an even larger deployment to the NTC in the form of another special task force, this one with the goal of weeding out foreign threats.





The Union Intelligence Bureau headquarters in New Athenai was sometimes said to be a calm in the middle of a storm - it was located in the urban area of the largest city in the Union of Librosi States, and the building wasn’t very calm itself, but compared to the chaos that went on around it in such an urban jungle it was practically one of the more smooth running places, the kind of place that wasn’t fazed by the crowds around it or the hustle and bustle or the fact that the lights only grew brighter at nighttime in this city, when people out in the rural areas of the nation would be sleeping. New Athenai was the beating heart of the Union, and it was fitting that the organization tasked with watching over that Union was based in the middle of it.

Today, however, there would be no night sky view - this meeting was one that was happening during the day, involving a number of graduates from the UIB academy who had been assigned roles and jobs, and were finding out right now exactly what those assignments involved. Some of them were good, some of them were bad… Although the ones who ended up with the more dangerous assignments, if the adrenaline wasn’t enough for them to be satisfied, could be happy knowing that they would be paid more for the fact that their working abroad every day was a danger to themselves. Others would get what was nicknamed a ‘misery bonus,’ a bonus in pay because they were assigned to a region with terrible weather, poor infrastructure, or something else that made life there much less advanced and enjoyable than life in the Union.

They couldn’t judge the quality of their jobs until they received the assignments, however. As a number of graduates came into the various rooms and were let out later after finding out what they were doing and meeting their supervisors on these new assignments, others stood in the hallway and waited… The numbers were being called out once again, as yet another round of graduates exited from multiple rooms in one of the inner corridors of the building, the rooms now clear for another set of graduates to head inside.

Gabriella did not consider herself to be a person prone to nerves, but as she stood there in the hallway, patiently awaiting her number to come up, she couldn’t help but feel a little bit nervous over wherever she was about to be assigned to. Asia, her friend from the academy who stood opposite her, was slouched casually in stark contrast to her own tense, rigid posture, from the small smile on Asia’s face she seemed to be waiting more in anticipation than Gabriella’s own tense nervousness.

After all, this was their first assignment out of the Academy, and for both of them it could make or break their careers depending on wherever they were lucky or unlucky enough to be assigned to.

Their numbers were eventually called along with the numbers of their other friend, Dana Gatti - who was a typical fast talking Sassanan from New Athenai, supposedly related somehow to the Sassanan mob on one side of her family - as well as someone that they didn’t recognize at all, another graduate who had a somewhat unusual appearance. She had a tomboyish face but the thing that was unusual about her was the light bluish hair that set her apart from others with more… Orderly appearances. It was unclear whether or not the hair even fit with regulations, but she looked like the kind of person who didn’t give a damn about such things and would do what she wanted unless someone forced her to do otherwise.

The four of them walked into the conference room they had been called to and the door shut behind them, a couple of figures within the room. “My name is Vlassis Camillus Lowry and I’m the one in charge of the Europan command for the field task forces of the UIB,” the first man in a dark suit said, sitting down once they had entered. “And I’m going to be the one to give your assignment.”

It was a somewhat ominous statement knowing that the man in front of them had already decided their futures, and decided whether they would get to live in relative comfort or whether they would have to be the boots on the ground in some hellhole in a far flung corner of the world. “After looking over the grades of your class and your performances in different tasks… We believe that your skills will be best used in the ongoing fight to maintain the sovereignty of our ally in central Europa, the North Tiamanic Confederation. I’m sure you’re all familiar with the threats to this nation - the communist Saksian Commune and the monarchist Kingdom of Reine are on the borders of our ally, and both of these nations as well as their foreign backers have been involved in subversive actions.”

Lowry paused, fingers tapping against the table for a moment before he reached for a file and slid it across the table towards the four graduates. “Information about the assignment,” he explained. “If you accept this job, you will work under the agent to my left… Lenz Jurgen has ancestry in the area and knows it well because of that. Formerly a member of another task force, we believe he’s proven himself enough to act as the handler for you agents. Task Force 37 is going to be reformed and will once again be placed in the North Tiamanic capital city of Ranhalt, and your goals will roughly be the same as the original team… Find and neutralize threats to our ally’s democracy, whether they be communist or monarchist in nature. This is a demanding job, but I believe your performances in the academy show that you can handle it.”

“There are far worse places to end up for first assignments.” Gabriella said, finally allowing herself to relax, her body untensing as she mentally processed where she’d been assigned to and what exactly they were supposed to do there while Asia leaned forwards, reaching over to pick up the file that had been passed over to them, moving to quickly leaf through it, giving a small nod every once in a while to herself as she read through it, seemingly satisfied from her brief skim as she passed the file over to Gabriella who did likewise.

The blue haired girl just nodded, not seeming upset or completely satisfied with what they had gotten, her expression fairly neutral. Eventually, Lowry continued. “Out of the four of you agents that are going to form the initial cell so to speak, along with the support elements that you’ll meet when you’re on the ground in Ranhalt, Rhea Fabre is going to act as the team leader. Her skill both in the classroom and under pressure in combat situations has made her an obvious choice for this. The rest of you will have an equal rank, and all of you for now will be on the same pay grade. Now, unless any of you have questions… I believe we can start talking about flying you out to Ranhalt. The folder already has the most detailed instructions on what you will do when you set up there.”

“None here.” Asia shook her head, Gabriella hesitating for a few seconds before also saying “Nothing.”

Dana had nothing to say either, and the girl with the blue hair - Rhea, apparently - didn’t have any questions. She simply turned in her seat, meeting eyes with Gabriella momentarily, her gaze a somewhat intense one… Maybe it was because of how she was looking at her, or maybe it was something she couldn’t help because of her icy blue eyes which were just as light as her hair. “It’s going to be a pleasure being your leader,” she chuckled.

“Do try not to get us killed or otherwise embarrassed.” Gabriella said in reply, turning her head slightly, uncomfortable under Rena’s gaze as she closed the file and tucked it under her arm. “Otherwise, I’m sure we’ll get along just fine.”

“Nah, I’d rather keep you around,” Rhea said somewhat cryptically, drawing a snicker from Dana next to Gabriella, who also met Rhea’s eyes before they all turned their attention back to Lowry.

“You have a flight scheduled for tomorrow night… You’ll be in your new assignment by no time and will receive further information on the ground. I believe that since we’ve gone over everything here, you’re dismissed and are free to begin packing your bags or getting to know who you’re going to be working under directly,” said Lowry, standing up and offering a brief Etorian salute before opening the door to step out, ready to move the next group of graduates in.

“Well, we may as well get to know each other, not like it’ll take long to pack bags.” Asia said as she left, emerging into the corridor and still talking in her usual energetic manner, Gabriella following after her in silence. “We’ve an entire day and a bit to look at what we’re being sent out to do, so we may as well do that and once we all know what we’re doing we can all head off and...”



While one couldn’t quite say that the North Tiamanic Confederation was in dire straits, they couldn’t say that it was in a good place either. The country was in a careful position - the Kingdom of Reine was a historical rival and right now that Kingdom, their competitor for the title of leader of the Tiamanic world, had the edge over them in terms of stability. NO one predicted that the Kingdom of Reine was going to go away any time soon. But they did frequently say that things could deteriorate in the NTC and that the confederation itself, the bond between five different smaller nations who had somewhat different laws and governments depending on where in the confederation one went, could collapse due to external and internal pressure.

Some of the pressure was exerted by Reine. Some of it was exerted, on the other hand, by the Saksian Commune. Backed strongly by the Union of Prestrovian Socialist Republic and less strongly by the Tsouanese People’s Republic, the Commune was a communsit state in the middle of Europa - something the main nations wanted to prevent, but political ties kept them from simply wiping the nation out and replacing it with another regime. And there were always tensions between Saksia and the nation it had broken off from in the first place, the NTC, taking many of its industrial lands with it. The NTC still, however, had lands that both the monarchists and the communists wanted, which led to them attacking it at its base level - just about every regional nationalist movement had foreign faces behind it and those foreigners had foreigners of their own aiding them for different reasons, the Empire of Sassana and the communist states of the east aiding the two factions because their respective allies could offer them a foothold in a very valuable area in terms of geopolitical real estate.

As an ally of the Oceanus Security Organization, though, the NTC had foreign help of its own. There was a decent sized ULS military presence in the country and a somewhat less publicized intelligence presence there with the goal of weeding out the foreign influences that aimed to break the country into pieces to take for themselves… That was the goal that Task Force 37 was being assigned to, although they weren’t the only one in the country that was doing the same work. They were just the first special field team in years to head into the heart of the country, the capital city of Ranhalt, which was a bigger jump than working some of the areas that were further from enemy influence. Because the thing is, Ranhalt wasn’t very far at all from communist influence. It was only a short car ride away to communist territory, and the enemy side definitely took advantage of that.

The base for Task Force 37 was located down the street from the ULS embassy and wasn’t very far from the capital complex where the most important government buildings in Ranhalt were located, but perhaps more importantly, it was within driving distance of the communist embassies on the west side of the city… Those were places they would be spending a lot of time around, to weed out the agitators that were almost definitely in the country. It was also located fairly close to the downtown area of the NTC that was known to an extent internationally for the hedonism of many of the people there and for pushing the boundaries of what other nations would consider acceptable - but that wasn’t as relevant to their work. It did give this place some more points in the opinions of many people however in terms of their ideas about how good or bad of an assignment this was.

“We aren’t exactly the same as the more official UIB personnel in this city that are handling some of the intelligence here but aren’t taking out the threats themselves. Because of that, we’re staying in a more unofficial place… But several steps have already been taken to secure this apartment. From the exterior, though, it seems like a regular residence,” said Lenz, leading the group up to where they would be staying. “You’re going to be occupying the top floor for now. Better get your bags… We’ll have some intel to go over later in the day.”

Lenz started into the building before pausing and turning around. “After all, command is putting high expectations on us. There’s plenty of problems in this city… We’re supposed to start putting these fires out right away.”

“No rest for us then.” Asia grumbled to herself as she climbed out of the back of the car, Gabriella following after her a few moments later while Asia moved to retrieve their bags from the car’s trunk.

“Any ideas what fires in particular we’re going to be metaphorically dousing?” Gabriella asked as Asia returned back to her side, pulling a pair of large suitcases behind her and handing one off to Gabriella, who nodded gratefully.

“Monarcucks have been kicking shit up recently,” Lenz stated with a sigh. “I’m sure that every time separatist leaders meet with each other, they soon realize that all the others are from Reinic State Security… Although, we have reason to believe that the Union of Prestrovian Republics also has an increasing presence in the country. The ULS believes that these presences have gone too far - early ops are going to deal with cutting that influence down significantly, I believe.”

“Doesn’t sound like anything that difficult, really.” Asia commented, Gabriella saying nothing and letting her continue. “If we know where they are, at least.”

“As if dealing with the Commissariat of External Affairs is ever easy,” Dana stated, referring to the Union of Prestrovian Republics and their external affairs agency, which was infamous for its vast reach around the world and the general lack of respect the organization had for the sovereignty of nations abroad.

“Been there and done that before, the CEA comes looking for war… They aren’t amateurish like the North Tiamanic or the Reinic SS,” said Lenz as they moved inside the apartment. “And… Consider the current state of the country. They don’t have to do anything too crazy. They just have to convince the Tiamanic people to shake things up for themselves.”

“I’m sure the higher-ups wouldn’t have given us anything we can’t handle.” Gabriella said, slightly uncertain despite her own words. The four of them were fresh out of the academy after all, they had almost no field experience when it came to things like this, and she was beginning to think they might’ve been dropped in the deep end to some degree.

“Based on the grades… They seem to think that we can handle a lot,” said Rhea, starting up the stairs after letting her eyes linger on Gabriella for a moment, meeting her eye before throwing her bag over her shoulder and starting towards the fourth floor that they were going to be staying in for the time being. “Even warned us this assignment isn’t easy.”

“But it does have good nightlife. This country is pretty fun,” said Dana as she followed after the rest of the group upstairs.

“I’ll have to go check that out later. Get a feel for the city and all that.” Asia said with a laugh while her and Gabriella made their way up the stairs in the middle of the group.

“Not sure how much stock one should place in grades.” Gabriella commented, partially to herself, partially to the rest of the group. “People can have good and bad days, after all, or just get lucky, but I’m sure we’ll learn how to handle it all soon enough.”

“We’ll see,” Lenz stated. “I suspect, however, that we aren’t going to have very much time to figure out just how good or bad this assignment is before we end up under pressure with our backs to the wall… Guess no one can claim they aren’t getting what they signed up for.”
Last edited by Forest State on Tue Jul 16, 2019 6:42 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Lunas Legion
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Psychotic Dictatorship

Postby Lunas Legion » Tue Jul 16, 2019 5:54 am

SEASON 1 ‘DESERT STORM DREAMING’
Collaborative post between Forest State and Lunas Legion

EPISODE 6 ‘A Different World’

Task Force 37
Ranhalt, North Tiamanic Confederation
September 17th, 1675 N.E.




Image

The ULS presence in the North Tiamanic Confederation has only grown larger rather than smaller in recent years, and the heart of the Librosi operation in the allied country is at the embassy located to the west of the city’s historic district.





The last week had been… Interesting for all of them.

The field agents who would be working as part of the Union Intelligence Bureau’s Task Force 37 had been deployed to a country that might as well be an entirely different world - a country which was made up of a number of smaller states which had been independent at some point, one that was hardly held together and which was constantly under attack by neighbors and foreigners alike to seize its lands which had historical significance. And out of everyone that could have ended up on the front lines fighting against it, the ones chosen were a bunch of recent academy graduates who would be working this job as their first real assignment in the field. They weren’t alone, but sometimes it sure felt like that was what they were being asked to do.

But they hadn’t done any work just yet since they had first arrived a week ago, and today was when they were supposed to get their first briefing on the situation they’d be dealing with - allegedly, there was a high importance foreigner in the country and shadowing this person and dealing with them would be the job of the task force. The details, they didn’t know yet. Only the rough outline of what they were doing. According to Dallas Alves, their data and intel analyst, the person of interest happened to be from Darmiyya, surprisingly. BUt Dallas tended to say a lot of things, and they had no idea if it was true or not. Either way, it wouldn’t be long before they found out firsthand.

Rhea, however, was thinking of other things as she woke up. They had only been here for a week, hadn’t spent too much time around each other relatively, and yet… She already felt she had a complicated relationship with the girl that was waking up next to her right now. Gabriella. Her subordinate. Or… Her friend? She wasn’t sure what the right term even was, but she did know that just seeing Gabriella waking up next to her sent shivers through herself, slightly. She wasn’t sure completely why when it came to that, either.

Maybe because Rhea was effectively a loner who tended to get in a bit too much trouble and break a bit too many rules for most people, if her general personality didn’t scare them away in the first place - and she wasn’t sure if she was really clicking with the one next to her or if things were all superficial. Wasn’t like they had known each other for long, after all. Or like they had been friends at all before they entered the same team.

Either way, Rhea pushed the thoughts out of her mind as she rolled out of bed and looked at the time.

“Fuck… You’re going to need to get up,” she said to Gabriella, looking over her shoulder. “Briefing is in half an hour and we probably shouldn’t skip breakfast. And… I’m not going to be late on the first one,” she elaborated further, smoothing out her blue hair and stretching, showing the tattoos on either on of her arms as well as the ones on the back of her shoulders.

“That’s half an hour.” Gabriella yawned as she sat up, pulling her legs up towards her chest before stretching them back out as she yawned again. “More than enough time for breakfast, stop panicking.”

Rhea didn’t move, sitting on the edge of the bed, her exposed back visible to Gabriella along with the tattoos that marked it - the designs were rather intricate, and Gabriella might not know the meaning of all of them, but some of them were relatively recognizable. It looked like at least one of them had connections to the somewhat well known Athenai Cartel, a group which was known throughout Libros for their violent acts and their… Generally antisocial behavior. Rhea’s connection to it, however, was unknown. Plenty of people had been tied to the cartel in some way at some point and ended up working in military positions in the ULS… But typically, it was less obvious with them than it was for Rhea, who had their symbols on her own skin.

“So… Are you asking me to sit around and talk or something?” she asked somewhat defensively, raising an eyebrow at the statement.

“If you feel like sitting and talking.” Gabriella replied airily as she got out of bed, reaching to grab a brush and running it through her hair. “I’m just saying that half an hour is more than enough time to do everything we need to do before the briefing.”

“Don’t feel like sitting and talking. Just feel like it would make things less confusing, but… I guess that’s stupid. We haven’t known each other long,” said Rhea, standing up and looking for clothes, eventually pulling on an outfit that included an exercise shirt which showed off a bit the muscles that she had at her midsection.

“Yeah, it’s been… What, a week at most?” Gabriella answered, putting her brush aside and running her hands through her hair, satisfied with how it turned out as her eyes turned back towards Rhea, watching her dress for a moment before turning away and doing likewise, pulling on a skirt and a low-cut blouse before turning back to Rhea. “I don’t mind talking, you know. I don’t bite.”

“I’ll see how much I believe that,” Rhea said, starting towards the door so they could head out of her own apartment and into the one that had been converted into the operations center for their task force and the support elements which were helping them in the field. She paused, though, as she lingered in the door to the bedroom. “Sorry… Just not the best with words.”

“It’s fine, not everyone can be eloquent.” Gabriella said, giving a dismissive wave as she followed after Rhea. “And you won’t find out unless you actually do talk with me about… Everything, I suppose, but we can save that for after we’ve gotten breakfast.”

“And risk driving away one of my better friends… Meh. I know that sounds pathetic, saying that about you even as we’ve only known each other for a week,” Rhea said, making her way through the hallway and opening the door to the operations room, which was a bit more high tech, the whirring of computers immediately heard as soon as they stepped inside and wiring along the ground leading to a number of pieces of equipment visible as they made their entrance. There was some breakfast food here, however. Lenz had considered the fact that the team would be much less attentive in the briefing if they were focusing on hunger.

“Not everyone can be as lucky as me meeting Dana and Asia.” Gabriella shrugged, moving to take a seat, reaching out to grab a pastry that she didn’t know the proper name for. “Besides, you can’t exactly drive me away, we’re stuck on the same team, in the same apartment.” Gabriella continued, crossing her legs as she bit into the pastry. It was alright, for something that Lenz had probably remembered to get at the last minute.

Rhea looked like she was going to say something, but the silence was interrupted by the sound of Roksana Rudanski, the somewhat smug technology coordinator, emerging into the room. It also interrupted the time that they had alone for now. “Oh, it’s you two,” she said as she moved over to the computer consoles that were set up on a folding table in the middle of the room, a makeshift setup that had quite clearly been experimented on a few times before it worked. “Not surprised to see you together.”

Gabriella said nothing, just rolling her eyes at Roksana’s comments. She didn’t feel like saying anything, and, well, her mouth was full of food.

“I just think it’s funny that the field team leader and her subordinate are so close,” Roksana chuckled after Gabriella’s silence, as if she was going to keep going with her own commentary of the situation if neither Gabriella or Rhea gave her a proper answer like she was looking for. Around this time, some of the others started coming in. Dallas, their analyst was here, as well as Adriana Mezerova, who handled multiple tasks but acted as a contact with the locals as well as their driver. How Adriana had become embedded in the local scene here given her Prestrovian ancestry they didn’t know, but apparently she was good at what she did.

Dana was one of the last ones of the group to show up, dressed rather casually considering they were about to have a meeting about a field assignment - then again, that was just her style. She wasn’t herself if she wasn’t showing off in some way. “You weren’t at your apartment,” she said to Gabriella, raising an eyebrow as some of the others worked on setting up at their stations.

“I was with Rhea, you could’ve called if you were looking for me.” Gabriella said as Asia stumbled into the room, yawning loudly and looking like she’d just gotten up.

“Gabs, Dana, give me the abridged version after.” Asia asked as she slumped down into a seat, barely awake as she yawned again. “I hate mornings…” She mumbled out sleepily.

It didn’t take much more time to pass for their handler to enter the room. Lenz had a file in hand, and moved to one of the empty tables to open it up and place a couple of the pictures from inside of it on the empty surface. “If I have the attention of everyone… This is the assignment the brass have given us for now. Surprisingly, it doesn’t have to deal with the communists, with the Prestrovians, with the monarchists, or with any of the usual players around here. That doesn’t mean, however, that this isn’t a highly important assignment. It could have to do with something that could tip the scales in the favor of the Reinic monarchy and their proxy groups within the North Tiamanic Confederation.”

Lenz held up an image which displayed a dark skinned man in a military styled uniform, one that was also styled for desert combat in the heat. “This man is Faraj Kayalli, a national of the Jezarabian Republic of Darmiyya that recently entered the NTC… While local NTC intelligence didn’t see anything strange about this man, further digging on our part due to his military connections with a somewhat hostile and aggressive Darmiyyan regime have revealed that Kayalli is involved with the research and development wing of the Darmiyyan military. Of course, you likely already realize that Darmiiyya is a loose ally of the Kingdom of Reine, bound together through mutual friends and enemies. It’s very important that this matter is investigated further - and that we find out just what this engineer from a rival country is doing in the NTC. This may be a part of an operation to better equip Reinic proxy groups within the country, or to help engineer some kind of attack… We won’t know until we get more details. Are there any questions at this point?”

Asia was still obviously out of it, not quite sleeping but not entirely awake either, but she managed to barely shake her head. Gabriella, however, spoke up.

“Do we know where this engineer is staying? I’m assuming we’re just going to be monitoring him and looking for any activity that could be considered suspicious, and what are we meant to do once we do so?”

“Preliminary reports would indicate that the engineer is staying in the Annex, the neighborhood near the southern end of the city which is mainly known these days for being somewhat upscale but also for being gentrified - the kind of place where the upper middle class or the wealthy would go to claim that they’re experiencing real urban life… Although, if they wanted that around here, they would go to the Upper End. But that’s getting a bit off track. We believe the Annex is where Kayalli is staying for now and as far as our goals go, the primary one in this case is looking for possible ties between Kayalli and the local monarchist movements… Of which there are plenty, sparked by agents of the Reinic SS,” Lenz explained, gesturing to a map of the city on the table.

“So monitoring and observation then.” Gabriella let out a small sigh. That would be time-consuming, to say the least, but there were worse operations to have be their first. “Nothing more from me.”

“Pure monitoring would be an easier task than what we’re assigned to do,” said Lenz. “We have the job not just of monitoring from a distance, but getting boots on the ground per say and doing some human intelligence work. Nothing conclusive has been found yet from electronic monitoring… The brass have determined that doing some old fashioned trailing and infiltrating is going to be needed to get the job done here. Our first chance for that is tonight. The Silver Cross Association of the NTC, which you may recognize as one of the main monarchist lobbies and a potential hidden ally to some of the more violent elements of the same movement, is holding a gala in Old Ranhalt tonight. The UIB has already secured your entry - this is the kind of event that one can buy their way into. You’ll have to come up with fake names, and loose cover stories… But you’ll essentially have free reign to investigate how you would like. Once you’re inside, the main goal is to see if any of the head figures here know something about the sudden appearance of Kayalli. Extracting that information peacefully or more forcefully are both options on the table, but remember where you are. Your progress is practically back to zero if your cover goes down.”

“Well, at least the cover doesn’t have to be detailed, we should be able to come up with loose cover stories in that time. Nothing else here.” Gabriella gave a small nod of acknowledgement, but didn’t say anything else.

There was one more thing for Lenz to note. “The event is going to be held at the Ranhalt City Music Hall. Something of a formal event, fitting for people that believe that modern day kings and queens are a good idea. I believe the dress code is… Well, I would say formal, but I believe that many of the members of the Silver Cross Association that are around your ages are more into the ‘young urban professional’ style. Somewhat formal, not quite. You’d have no idea how hard these guys are trying to go mainstream and push the idea that their ideals are modern. The clothes may not be the most comfortable, they may make you cringe when you look at yourself in the mirror… But I believe your best chance here would have you pretending to be from an upper middle class but not too wealthy background while arriving in a, how shall I say this, ‘formal hip’ style of dress. The rest I feel confident I can leave in your hands.”

“Well that’s just great,” muttered Rhea, clearly not happy that she would have to drop her rougher around the edges style of dress which accentuated her tomboyish features and generally fit who she was as a person better. She wasn’t the type to try to dress formal or hip unless someone practically had her at gunpoint. “If anyone photographs me wearing that shit… There’s going to be hell to pay.”

“I’m sure it’s not quite that bad, you know.” Gabriella said, turning towards Rhea. “That type of people, well, I would say that I grew up in what our cover backgrounds are supposed to be, so just follow my lead and it’ll be fine.” Gabriella smiled slightly, sympathetically.

“I trust that because you have more experience with this type of thing, you’ll do your best to keep your more rough around the edges team leader in check while you’re still under your covers,” Lenz said towards Gabriella, offering a slight chuckle. “As I said before… Cover is the most important thing here. The last thing we need is a story about how you all ended up getting kicked out over some problem. That would effectively make future investigations into this group and this case specifically much harder, if not impossible if your faces become attached to trouble.”

“I’ll do my best, don’t worry.” Gabriella promised, looking over towards Rhea briefly before turning back towards Asia and Dana. She knew both of them could likely handle themselves, in Asia’s case once she’d woken up at least and been given the abridged version of their mission.

“I believe that we’ve covered everything, in that case. You may spend today preparing and getting anything that you may need, such as your clothes. I have four envelopes here, you’ll find a thousand marks in each one of them… You’ll want to make sure that you look the part before you head out, so shopping should be in order. By the time you’re done with that, you should have some time to rest and then you should be at the music hall by 6:30 PM sharp. Being one of the first ones through the doors should give you a chance to mingle with the people that are the most important in all of this - the higher ups that will be there early as organizers,” Lenz stated. “Good luck. And remember that command will be judging you based on your performances.”
Last edited by Lunas Legion on Tue Jul 16, 2019 6:13 am, edited 1 time in total.
Last edited by William Slim Wed Dec 14 1970 10:35 pm, edited 35 times in total.

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Forest State
Senator
 
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Founded: Aug 23, 2016
Capitalist Paradise

Postby Forest State » Thu Jul 18, 2019 7:29 pm

SEASON 1 ‘DESERT STORM DREAMING’
Collaborative post between Forest State and Durmatagno

EPISODE 7 ‘Dire Warning’

Severina Euclid & Fae Draiocht
Jaddad Capital Airbase, Holy Kingdom of Sadiriyya
September 12th, 1675 N.E.




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Darmiyyan Igna-240 strategic bombers have become a feared force on the battlefield, able to fly at rapid speeds and quickly reach targets deep within Sadiriyya. These raids will bring the 8th Fighter Squadron face to face with the Imperial Prestrovian designed and produced aircraft, nicknamed the Pontoon or, back in its home country, the ‘White Swan.’





For the mercenary pilots that had come over from different places to fight for profits under the banner of Queen Alya I and the Holy Kingdom of Sadiriyya, much of the past week or so had been spent trying to learn the new systems that they would be flying with before they headed into the sky. Not all of the pilots needed this training but not everyone had been flying Kal-33 Hunters before coming over to the Holy Kingdom, and the differences between eastern and western design could at times be great - the cockpit was less modern, with more gauges and buttons and switches rather than displays which gave all the info someone could need, such as weapons stores, countermeasures, and the health of each part in one location. No, they instead had one screen, and it wasn’t the most interactive… Many things would have to be checked and many settings applied manually.

The result was plenty of reading and hands on teaching for the pilots that were coming from more modern and western designs, and that included Fae and her friend Severina, who were definitely making a big jump in styles after flying the more advanced aircraft of the Union Marines and Air Force respectively. But just because they were often busy with training and working on their skills now didn’t mean there wasn’t some time for relaxation - at the moment, they found themselves able to take some time off around the barracks and talk a bit, something they hadn’t been able to do much during the busier parts of the week.

Fae sighed as she slipped down into a seat she had claimed for herself, rubbing at her neck as she did so. She had never enjoyed having to learn the systems of something she was going to pilot, and yet here she was again, doing just that. Still, if she was to do her job here it was something she’d have to do. Once she settled into the chair, she turned to Severina.

“So Severina, you having second thoughts about all this?”

“Not a day that I don’t,” Severina said, leaning against the wall. “Could be in Meadow City[1] right now, or something… Living it up with the nightlife over there. But… Who the hell knows if there would even be some high paying merc job like this one or if they’d, you know, take in fugitives? I guess I went with this ‘cause it’s one of the few things that works even with the deep shit we’re in.”

“Y’know, I don’t think I’ve ever been to Meadow City. Never got to really go anywhere before the Military, and then it was just deployments and back to my apartment. Still, better this than staying put, I basically have no contacts that didn’t sever ties the moment I joined the government. You’re ‘bout I have left from ‘home’.”

Fae even did the finger quotes around the word home. She’d never really had much of one, just places to live. Even now life hadn’t shifted to much for her, all things considered. She was still just having to live day to day, still just having to do the best with what skills she had. It wasn’t the best life, but she was still alive.

“I’ve been up and down the east coast of the ULS, haven’t been out west though… Only thing I can say about Meadow City is to expect it to be like New Athenai’s seedier districts but on steroids. Or so I’ve heard, anyway. Spent most of my time around New Athenai, some of it traveling to other places ‘round the east coast, and then… Well, you know where we both ended up. Mesiger, of all places…” Severina replied with a shrug, referring to the capital of the Republic of Avelia and the place where both of them had been stationed while they dealt with the Sassanan insurgency in the western part of the country, a conflict leftover from the war of 1666[2] which Severina had never wanted to join in the first place.

Fae hadn’t had qualms about the war the same way Severina did. Orders were orders, and she just had another job to do. She sighed as she leaned back in her seat, looking up. Nothing had gone the way any of them had thought it would. Maybe eventually she’d actually have a home, not live day to day. Whatever, so long as she was alive she could continue to push forward, to survive.

“Yeah, I always wanted to travel. Spent almost all my life in New Athenai, but I didn’t expect it to be like...this. Never thought I’d be on the run again, fleeing the only city I’ve ever known. Hell, never thought I’d be a merc.”

Severina shrugged. “Well, this city is something,” she said referring to Jaddad, which itself was an interesting destination in its own right - the towering skyscrapers that lined both sides of the main highway running through the city were a testament to the strength of the queen they were fighting for, even if it seemed that strength wouldn’t last long. And for a pariah state, it was surprisingly modern. Severina supposed it was easy to bring in foreigners to assist in setting up such a city when it was well known that the country was essentially sitting on a pile of wealth. Even if most of those foreigners didn’t have the same feelings about the country as a whole that natives would.

“But…” she continued, looking towards Fae. “I have the mindset that something is only good if you know you’re going to be alive to enjoy it. With the Prestrovians to the south[3] - and you know they probably aren’t going to stay neutral in this forever - and the Darmiyyans invading from the north, I have some doubts about how long this is all going to be… Viable.”

“I’ve spent most of my life wondering if I would live to see the next day. Nothing new to me, though I suppose it’s different for you. You have something to look forward to, something beside scrounging and fighting. I...really don’t. Never known any of my family, lost almost all my friends when I joined the military, lost the rest when I turned fugitive with you. Guess it’s easier for me to shrug through it all when I’ve never had anything to really live for other than the sake of living.”

Fae was blunt, as usual, but she didn’t want to lie to Severina, so she just let it out. Her voice was still calm and even, but inside something cold settled into her stomach. She’d always known she’d had nothing, but saying it was different than knowing. Made it more immediate, more real. She shook her head.

“I dunno, I need the money to have any chance anywhere else, so I’ll stick around till it’s over, one way or another.”

Of course, she meant till she wasn’t needed or couldn’t change anything, but she wasn’t going to just say that if things were literally hopeless she’d be bowing out.

Severina was calm as she replied. “Guess I just don’t get that mindset… Call me ambitious but I just don’t get the point of going ahead each day with no future in mind. I might not have been on the streets… But doesn’t mean everything’s been sunshine and roses for me, and I dunno what I’d have done if I wasn’t thinking of, you know, something greater than being made to fight my own people after getting dragged into the military by a press gang just because I happened to be born with some ability,” she said, her voice reflecting her bitterness over the circumstances she had been thrown in before.

“You must have some idea more than just sticking around and not caring what happens since you’re getting paid for it,” she added. “You sure came a long way out here just to keep acting like you’re living day to day.”

“Honestly? I only have a rough idea of what I’m going to do. Once I have enough money I’m going to find somewhere that I can live without having to smuggle across borders and the like. From there...I don’t really know. About all I know is either stealing, picking locks, hiding, and so on, or what the military taught me. It’s the only job I’ve ever had, and I don’t really have anyone that help me along so..”

Fae sighed, this wasn’t an easy conversation for her. Besides Severina she was literally alone in the world, and who knew how long Severina would stick around. She had no friends, no family, not even anyone that owed her favors. It made life difficult, and slow for here.

“It’s not that I don’t care, it’s that I don’t really have...any connections or anything with the world. For me, coming here is just as good as anywhere else. Dangerous, uncertain, and just another thing to do. Hell, I don’t even know where I come from, other than that I was abandoned in New Athenai. For all I know I’ve already shot down some family member I didn’t know I had. I had to stop worrying a long time ago to survive, and now I’m finding it hard to change that.”

“You might be able to keep it up for an extent… But at some point it’s going to-” started Severina, before she was cut off by the sound of air raid sirens from elsewhere in the base. “Shit. Looks like we’re going to need to either… Hide or get into the air, not sure what they want us to do this time. I need to go get my flight suit in case they’re sending us up…”

“I’m going to assume up, they want us flying soon from what I’ve heard.”

Fae hopped to her feet, she’d go get her flight suit and be ready to take off if they were indeed going to be sending them up to counter this raid.

Severina was also out of the room quickly, heading towards the hangar area to get changed into her flight suit, which wasn’t that long of a process. It took a bit more time to get some of the other equipment such as the helmet and respirator on, however, and while she was working on it she would find herself and Fae approached by the leader of their squadron.

“You guys are going to head up with us while we target their bombers,” Jana said. “No time for a formal briefing or anything like that, you’re going to fly north under my lead and we’re going to use the cloud cover to come crashing in on their escorts and give their bombers one hell of a surprise instead of giving them free shots on our capital… You two should be able to make more of a difference, hopefully. Move too slowly, however, and they’re going to have already fired their cruise missiles by the time we catch up with them. Let’s not let that happen, eh?”

She turned around after the quick de facto briefing to finish getting her own respirator and vest on, the ground crew opening up the hangar doors and working on quickly getting their Hunter I - and Hunter II in the case of Jana - fighters set up and ready to head out. The process was impressively done in minutes, thanks to the crew being somewhat alert and prepared. They had been ready for something like this to happen, and now this was on the pilots.

Severina climbed into the open canopy of her own Hunter, closing it and listening for the click as it sealed, taking a deep breath and suppressing any nerves she had as she looked over her instruments and made sure everything was working, pushing the elevators and ailerons into the full extent of each position also and ensuring that they were all functional before eventually, once she had gone through the warnings test, pushing the throttle forward just slightly and taxiing out of the hangar and towards the runway outside, where they were going to take off within the next couple of minutes or so. She received a thumbs up from the ground crew… And so she positioned herself on the runway before pulling the parking brake handle to engage it, waiting for the moment when they would take off and head into what was the relative unknown for her.

Fae nodded at the orders, climbing into her Hunter the moment she was ready. As it sealed, she steadied herself and began the startup sequence. Making sure everything was ready, and functioning. Once she was all ready, she moved the fighter out of the hanger and into position. The moment the order was given and they were to take off, Fae would be able to. She closed her eyes and breathed slowly as she waited, listening to the sounds of everything around her. All other worries, plans for the future, things Fae wanted that she could tell no one, they were all secondary right now. Now, now it was just her, her wing, and the enemy. She could worry about everything else if she made it back here.



They were soon off the runway and rocketing over the desert at breakneck speed in an attempt to catch up with the enemy bombardment group which had entered range of their ground radars and had been spotted on a path for their territory… By the time they reached the enemy, they would already be in that territory, but there was still time to stop them, to turn them back, to prevent another cruise missile strike from slamming into a nation that had shown little ability to fight back before. That was changing, now. If they wanted to attack with their cruise missiles, they’d have to work for it.

ROYAL SADIRIYYAN AIR FORCE COMMUNICATIONS
8th Fighter Squadron Channel - ENCRYPTED

ENCRYPTION KEY - AA7613-GS2736-ANU2364-MM23842-IY7393-LZK8823


-[ 8FS 1F // Kal-35 Hunter II “Highroller” // Major Jana Eseri // “Picking something up on radar right now… Lot of things, actually. Six ZuK-15s…”

-[ 8FS 1F // Kal-33 Hunter “Rogue” // Captain Severina Euclid // “Pretty outdated. Guess they aren’t taking us seriously?”

-[ 8FS 1F // Kal-35 Hunter II “Highroller” // Major Jana Eseri // “Probably didn’t think they had a real need to send their better fighters, we haven’t smacked them up that bad yet for trying this shit. That’s about to change, though.”


ROYAL SADIRIYYAN AIR FORCE
DEFENDING THE GODDESS IN HER SKIES


The group of Sadiriyyan fighters continued advancing even in the face of the six fighters - fighters which were out of date and weren’t really designed for this kind of role in the first place. Neither Severina nor Jana felt they would have much trouble with them, although neither one was exactly complacent, having been in enough tough spots to know that slacking off because the enemy was easy was a good way to end up shot down. Not that Severina had too much experience with dogfighting. Most of her work had been in the air to ground area based on the deployment she had been given.

Soon, they were in the range where they could fire but their more outdated opponents couldn’t fire just yet because they weren’t right up on them, which was practically a requirement for the old heatseekers they were using. Comparatively, it was a luxury to be able to shoot before the enemy even came into view clearly.

ROYAL SADIRIYYAN AIR FORCE COMMUNICATIONS
8th Fighter Squadron Channel - ENCRYPTED

ENCRYPTION KEY - AA7613-GS2736-ANU2364-MM23842-IY7393-LZK8823


-[ 8FS 1F // Kal-33 Hunter “Maeve” // Captain Fae Draiocht // “They’re getting complacent. It’s sloppy, and it’s going to cost them this little air raid. Ready to fire on your command Major.”

-[ 8FS 1F // Kal-35 Hunter II “Highroller” // Major Jana Eseri // “Let them have it… With luck we might have half the formation wiped out by the time we’re in visual range.”


ROYAL SADIRIYYAN AIR FORCE
DEFENDING THE GODDESS IN HER SKIES


Fae hadn’t been told to fire at will, so she was going to wait till Jana gave the command. If Sadirriya was smart, they’d probably salvage anything they could from the various wrecks. It wouldn’t be much, but with how little they had, any small gain was a good step. Primarily, the bombers and the missiles they carried. Unlikely for anything to really survive, but stranger things happened at all the time. Fae pushed those thoughts on her head, she had to focus on the fight itself, not any what ifs that happened afterward.

Jana, meanwhile, did something of a more flashy move and pitched the nose of her aircraft up to fire a missile at a higher angle, allowing the range to increase by a bit as it headed off into the distance… SHe looked down at her radar to follow the contact, before eventually seeing both one of the ZuK-15s and the missile disappear off the screen indicating a successful hit.

ROYAL SADIRIYYAN AIR FORCE COMMUNICATIONS
8th Fighter Squadron Channel - ENCRYPTED

ENCRYPTION KEY - AA7613-GS2736-ANU2364-MM23842-IY7393-LZK8823


-[ 8FS 1F // Kal-35 Hunter II “Highroller” // Major Jana Eseri // “Splash one… Let’s give ‘em hell.”

-[ 8FS 1F // Kal-33 Hunter “Rogue” // Captain Severina Euclid // “As if you have to tell me twice…”


ROYAL SADIRIYYAN AIR FORCE
DEFENDING THE GODDESS IN HER SKIES


With the first missiles away, Fae launched her own next one. She had never been flashy, always after just getting the job done. With her missile locked onto one of the ZuK-15s, she watched the radar to see what happened as she moved slightly to increase her distance from the other members of the wing. She remained in formation, she just moved a bit so if she had to maneuver, she already had the space for it. The missile, however, along with the first shot from Severina, didn’t hit the mark - the targets remained on radar and the five of them that were left along with the four strategic bombers were still left out there.

But they were still at a far enough range that they could pull up into the clouds and avoid being picked up by the radar of the enemy fighters, moving a bit closer to a visual range engagement in the process. It left the enemy fighters confused, unsure what had just hit them as the Hunter formation moved back into the clouds and disappeared from the more primitive radar screens of their outdated fighters.

ROYAL SADIRIYYAN AIR FORCE COMMUNICATIONS
8th Fighter Squadron Channel - ENCRYPTED

ENCRYPTION KEY - AA7613-GS2736-ANU2364-MM23842-IY7393-LZK8823


[INTERCEPTED] [TRANSLATED] -[ DARMIYYAN AIR FORCE 15FS // ZuK-15 Falchion // 1F #3 // “What the fuck? They’re… Gone from radar-”

[INTERCEPTED] [TRANSLATED] -[ DARMIYYAN AIR FORCE 15FS // ZuK-15 Falchion // 1F #1 // “Stay in position! The bomber group just has to deliver the payload and we’ll be out of enemy territory_”

[INTERCEPTED] [TRANSLATED] -[ DARMIYYAN AIR FORCE 15FS // ZuK-15 Falchion // 1F #2 // “And what do we do when we can’t see the enemy?”

[INTERCEPTED] [TRANSLATED] -[ DARMIYYAN AIR FORCE 15FS // ZuK-15 Falchion // 1F #1 // “That won’t be a problem… They’ll come into range soon.



-[ 8FS 1F // Kal-35 Hunter II “Highroller” // Major Jana Eseri // “When I dive… You’re coming with me. We’re hitting these fuckers from above…”


ROYAL SADIRIYYAN AIR FORCE
DEFENDING THE GODDESS IN HER SKIES


Jana broke off from the formation like she had told everyone she would and, when they were nearing the range to fire off more accurate shots, she pushed the throttle forward and descended upon the group of five enemy escorts from above, bursting out from the clouds as the group became visible. She selected two targets, working with the systems with one hand while she kept her head pointed towards the engagement, careful to not lose track of what was happening in front of her, before pushing the weapons release button on her stick… Two of the enemy fighters went up in flames following quick impacts, and this time, they were close enough to watch the explosions happen - and as the princess racked up her third kill of the day, there were still two other fighters left as well as the four bombers that had been their main targets from the start.

Once she was cloer, Fae dipped below the clouds and fired a missile at one of the other escorts, before banking and opening fire with a short burst from her fighter’s autocannon at a bomber. She didn’t think the autocannon would hit, but she wanted to panic and scatter them, breaking the bombers off from the escorts they had left, and maybe forcing them to turn back without unleashing any payload, though killing them would be preferable. Normally she’d save things like the autocannon to strafe less mobile targets, but she felt panicking them was worth a small expenditure of the rounds.

ROYAL SADIRIYYAN AIR FORCE COMMUNICATIONS
8th Fighter Squadron Channel - ENCRYPTED

ENCRYPTION KEY - AA7613-GS2736-ANU2364-MM23842-IY7393-LZK8823


[INTERCEPTED] [TRANSLATED] -[ DARMIYYAN AIR FORCE 23BS // Igna-240 // Pontoon #1 CAPTAIN // “We’re taking fire! Where’s the escorts, damn it!?”

[INTERCEPTED] [TRANSLATED] -[ DARMIYYAN AIR FORCE 15FS // ZuK-15 Falchion // 1F #2 // “Trying to survive… We didn’t expect this-”

[INTERCEPTED] [TRANSLATED] -[ DARMIYYAN AIR FORCE 23BS // Igna-240 // Pontoon #1 CAPTAIN // “If these escorts don’t do something, we’re turning back around.”

[INTERCEPTED] [TRANSLATED] -[ DARMIYYAN AIR FORCE 15FS // ZuK-15 Falchion // 1F #1 // “All aircraft should remain in formation! Anyone deviating can expect a court martial back on the ground-”

[INTERCEPTED] [TRANSLATED] -[ DARMIYYAN AIR FORCE 23BS // Igna-240 // Pontoon #1 CAPTAIN // “You aren’t the commander in this squadron, flight leader…”


ROYAL SADIRIYYAN AIR FORCE
DEFENDING THE GODDESS IN HER SKIES


Using the cannon was something of a bad move on Fae’s part - getting within cannon range and passing up the chance to attack further with missiles rather than just the one shot which had missed might have been a poor move strategically, but even in spite of that, the cannon was able to deal damage to one of the bombers and caused smoke to pour out of the engine, even if the thing wasn’t falling out of the sky or showing too many signs of disrepair just yet, other than that… However, by coming this close, she had made a target of herself for the two escorts that were left, both of them directing their heat seeking missiles towards her and firing as soon as the missile growls sounded in their helmets, telling them they could shoot…

The two missiles streaked towards Fae but neither of them hit the mark as Severina went into a sharp dive to cover Fae from behind and fired off one missile of her own, one that was sharply evaded when the enemy ZuK-15 went into a quick climb and turn and forced it to go wide, doing no damage but at least keeping some of the pressure off of Fae. As the missile did miss, it put Jana in a position to take another shot, which impacted successfully and ripped the wing off the enemy fighter, the flaming wreck descending thousands of feet below…

Fae knew she didn’t have many choices left with her gambit, so rather than stay in such close range, she banked, hard, to loop around and take another shot later. The rune on her hand glowed as she used a little power to allow herself to bank harder than she should be able to, saving her a little time, but for the most part, she had tried her gambit. She didn’t know how effective it had been, but she was untouched and the enemy basically crippled. So there was that, and she still had several missiles left, so once she looped around she could fire again.

The one enemy fighter was pushing the airframe as hard as it would go… But the other more modern fighter that was being pushed by magic was just much quicker in turning, which left Fae able to loop around and catch up with the enemy from behind.

Fae locked her missile onto the target, and let it loose, taking advantage of her magic and newer fighter to completely outmaneuver the enemy. Once the missile was fired, she banked upward, getting some more distance between her and the bombers, as well as getting into position to attack again. She watched her missile go wide, she’d still been too close, but now she was behind the enemy, and there wasn’t much they could do to stop her.

Severina was quick to follow after Fae, waiting for the enemy to go into a climb to attempt to avoid the pursuing fighter and lining up the gunsight on her HUD with the lone fighter, spraying in front of it but not quite being able to hit… They were stuck in a situation where both of them were in good position but couldn’t quite secure the kill, and after the gun attack failed, Severina pressed the weapons release button and fired a missile to see if it would do the trick. The missile was once again too close to the target, going wide rather than having room to move and accurately hit.

Fae fired her third missile of the engagement, hoping her increased distance, as well as being able to outmaneuver the opponent would allow this next missile to actually score a hit. She was tempted to use more of her magic on this, but decided against it, her little display earlier hadn’t even been an obvious use of magic. Better to keep the enemy not knowing there were mages now against them. This time, the missie hit and caused the enemy aircraft to burst into flames, the result they had been looking for. However, they had something else to think about.

ROYAL SADIRIYYAN AIR FORCE COMMUNICATIONS
8th Fighter Squadron Channel - ENCRYPTED

ENCRYPTION KEY - AA7613-GS2736-ANU2364-MM23842-IY7393-LZK8823


-[ 8FS 1F // Kal-35 Hunter II “Highroller” // Major Jana Eseri // “Good work… Five escorts down, four bombers to go. We have to move quickly, unless we want them to outrun us… Those things have impressive speed.”

-[ 8FS 1F // Kal-33 Hunter “Rogue” // Captain Severina Euclid // “Won’t be hard to catch them with nothing chasing us. And guns will do the job taking them out.”

-[ 8FS 1F // Kal-35 Hunter II “Highroller” // Major Jana Eseri // “Yes, but if they get back over the Darmiyyan border, expect air defenses to fire at us.”


ROYAL SADIRIYYAN AIR FORCE
DEFENDING THE GODDESS IN HER SKIES


With that, the group of fighters turned to chase after the four bombers that they had to take out. With the last fighter down, Fae turned to chase after the bomber she’d already damaged, the smoke coming from it a dead give away. Once she was aligned and in position, she fired her fourth missile, carefully keeping track even as the fighter itself did. She didn’t want a single enemy escaping them this time, put the enemy on the defensive as they realized the air war was going to actually have competition, and not a walk in the park.

The missile shot hit the mark and caused further fires in the engines, causing the bomber to start losing altitude, but at the height they were at it didn’t seem certain that it was going to go down yet. Rather, it was moving still at a slower pace while the others attempted to get away, Severina breaking away from the formation to chase after those others and firing a shot of her own, which hit a critical spot and caused the plane to almost collapse in on itself in a way, the metal wreckage flying into the air as it was ripped off the outside of the descending airframe, which would crash into the ground with an explosive jet fuel powered fireball. Still, they had three left, including the one that Fae had damaged.

Jana, on the other hand, went for the lead one in the group, coming down from above and firing a pair of missiles, one of them hitting and ripping the wings off the airframe as a result of the damage. What was left of the plane went spiralling out of control, indicating that a similar crash was coming and leaving them with two targets to go, the one that was now the lead member of the group and the one that Fae had already managed to damage.

Fae let loose on her autocannon once more, opening fire on the one that she’d already crippled. After sending out that burst, she smiled with some satisfaction as the bomber dived down, spiraling as it was ripped to pieces from the accumulated damage. With that, she set her sights on the next target, letting her fifth missile loose. No doubt the others would be firing some of their own shortly, it was only a matter of time. The missile was indeed joined by a couple more, from the remaining pilots, all three of the missiles hitting the slow moving target before it could reach the Darmiyyan border and cross over into the zone protected by air defenses.

ROYAL SADIRIYYAN AIR FORCE COMMUNICATIONS
8th Fighter Squadron Channel - ENCRYPTED

ENCRYPTION KEY - AA7613-GS2736-ANU2364-MM23842-IY7393-LZK8823


-[ 8FS 1F // Kal-35 Hunter II “Highroller” // Major Jana Eseri // “Fuckin’ good work, squadron… All hostiles downed. Let’s get the hell out of here before they decide to send something more threatening after us.”


ROYAL SADIRIYYAN AIR FORCE
DEFENDING THE GODDESS IN HER SKIES


It seemed like they were going to make a clean exit… If it wasn’t for the fact that another contact appeared on their radar screens coming from the direction of within the Darmiyyan border, the radar receivers indicating that it was… A ZuK-63, a more modernized fighter than the ones they were flying in right now and a real threat to them, even if they did have the numbers advantage. This fighter, it was chasing after them at speed, likely having been scrambled to deal with the sudden and unexpected attack on the bombardment group. The fighter had shown up too late for that, but not too late to go after the ones responsible for destroying that group of Igna-240s.

ROYAL SADIRIYYAN AIR FORCE COMMUNICATIONS
8th Fighter Squadron Channel - ENCRYPTED

ENCRYPTION KEY - AA7613-GS2736-ANU2364-MM23842-IY7393-LZK8823


-[ 8FS 1F // Kal-33 Hunter “Rogue” // Captain Severina Euclid // “The hell? One ZuK-63, coming in all alone…”

-[ 8FS 1F // Kal-35 Hunter II “Highroller” // Major Jana Eseri // “Unusual to say the least. Let’s see if it keeps going into our territory… Not that we have the same air defenses they do over there.”


ROYAL SADIRIYYAN AIR FORCE
DEFENDING THE GODDESS IN HER SKIES


While the others continued towards the direction of heading deeper into their own territory, Severina swung her jet around and went back towards the border with Darmiyya, approaching the direction that the strange lone fighter was coming from. She wanted to see this with her own eyes, it just felt strange. And she did have magic to use in the event that they ended up in a one versus one fight, she was sure it would be enough to make sure the result didn’t end up too bad.

Fae sighed and turned to follow Severina. Whatever this was, Severina didn’t need to be doing it alone, especially not if it was someone confident to come out here on their own. Fae suspected a mage, or just someone confident their newer jet and their own skill could handle it. Either way, the situation was...wrong, and Fae wasn’t going to let Severina confront it on her own. She kept herself on alert, just because it was one target didn’t mean they could relax.

When they grew closer, they were able to make out some vague details of the jet, albeit from a distance - the paint scheme was dark, but it seemed it was in black and green, indeed indicating a Darmiyyan Air Force jet. However, the strangest thing wasn’t the fact that the DAF was using a model of plane that they didn’t typically have… The strangest thing was the fact that upon getting closer Fae and Severina would both feel as if they were hearing something coming from inside their heads.

Why do you talented pilots fight here? You choose to fight not for the march of time such as myself but for a mad dictatorship with its days numbered… Turn back now, unless you want it to be your undoing. Turn back from this country.

The voice wasn’t Darmiyyan - the voice wasn’t that of a Jezarabian, and it didn’t sound like it belonged to anyone from the surrounding countries either such as Sourak or Merdera. It sounded… Different, it sounded female, which was quite different for the Darmiyyan Air Force, and the voice sounded more western. There was a tinge of a Gaulitanian accent there, but that didn’t mean much - the Gaulitanian accent could be found in Gaulitania itself, in its colonial states to an extent, or as far west as Libros and the Republic of Upper Libros in specific, where most of the population still spoke Gaulitanian. So what was this pilot doing here in Darmiyya, a place that wasn’t known for being the most friendly to outsiders? They… Weren’t known to use mercenaries, either. They considered their national military good enough to handle matters alone, based on their own domestic talent.

Well that wasn’t good. Fae furrowed her brow and frowned at the voice inside her head. It’d have to be a mage of some kind. Whoever this was, she doubted Darmiyya themselves had them, it seemed more likely this person was on loan. One of the people backing their opposition had loaned them a mage of some kind, and who knew how good a mage at that. Whoever they were, they were confident in their abilities, which was either really good or really bad for them. Not much middle ground to choose from here.

The land that you fight for right now is set to become the ground zero of a new order… I tell you this again. Turn away from this before it’s too late. Unless you wish to be destroyed along with it.

Fae knew that could only mean one thing, their mysterious foe was about to open fire. She reached to her magic once more, and banked hard, forcing the enemy to choose between shooting at her, and Severina. She didn’t like having to reveal that little ace this early, especially against a foe like this, but she would take no chance. As she banked, she let loose with the last of her longer ranged missiles, focusing her magic on her swerve instead of the shot. She was counting on Severina backing her up here.

The ZuK-63 climbed at an impossible angle and disappeared from view because of its quick ascent, heading straight up into the air to work on evading the missiles as Severina gave chase but found that she just couldn’t pull the same ninety degree angle swerve that the ace in the other cockpit had made… Even when she used her magic to enhance her ability here. The missiles started going down one by one, some of them evaded and some of them diverted by the powerful electronic countermeasures within the more modern fighter, and the ace did something unexpected… Specifically, she cut the power to her engines and did what seemed like an impossible move with the rudder, spinning the plane around entirely so the nose was facing down rather than going straight up, leveling the HUD with Fae’s jet as the descent began and shooting four long ranged missiles from under the wing.

ROYAL SADIRIYYAN AIR FORCE COMMUNICATIONS
8th Fighter Squadron Channel - ENCRYPTED

ENCRYPTION KEY - AA7613-GS2736-ANU2364-MM23842-IY7393-LZK8823


-[ 8FS 1F // Kal-35 Hunter II “Highroller” // Major Jana Eseri // “The fuck is happening over there?”

-[ 8FS 1F // Kal-33 Hunter “Rogue” // Captain Severina Euclid // “Fae… Use your magic and get the hell out of there, now!”

-[ 8FS 1F // Kal-33 Hunter “Maeve” // Captain Fae Draiocht // “I already am!”


ROYAL SADIRIYYAN AIR FORCE
DEFENDING THE GODDESS IN HER SKIES


Severina was still pushing her own magic to the limit, flying towards the missiles and pushing herself as far as she could, the rune on her hand flaring once again - maybe harder than it had before - as she worked on applying a large time field to the entire area… The missiles, they weren’t all close together. But she managed to slow one of them, leaving three continuing towards their target. Two of them were misses… There was still one headed after Fae and as she released the time field now that Fae was a safe distance away from the missiles, which had been forced to end their pursuit by the fact that they could hardly move within her field, but Severina was able to crane her neck enough to see the missile being diverted by ECM as soon as it came close to hitting Fae. She was out of the woods for now… They still had the enemy ace to deal with.

But as the missiles were released from their hold in the time field, the closest target was Severina herself - and she couldn’t just go back to her magic to quickly evade. She rolled back in the direction of Jana, who hadn’t even turned around to witness this fight and instead had went with the option of pulling back and hoping the enemy wouldn’t follow them into their territory… She saw one of the missiles explode near her and another one was diverted, but she didn’t think she had taken damage from it. “Fuckin’ hell…” she muttered under her breath, looking back to see if she could spot Fae and the enemy ace during this mess.

Fae sighed quietly in relief as all the missiles missed her, and banked around again. She had four missiles left, but they were all close range compared to what she had used up. She moved to bank deeper into friendly territory.

ROYAL SADIRIYYAN AIR FORCE COMMUNICATIONS
8th Fighter Squadron Channel - ENCRYPTED

ENCRYPTION KEY - AA7613-GS2736-ANU2364-MM23842-IY7393-LZK8823


-[ 8FS 1F // Kal-33 Hunter “Maeve” // Captain Fae Draiocht // “I’m spent on my longer range stuff, we need to pull back to where more ground defenses can pushe the ace away.”

-[ 8FS 1F // Kal-35 Hunter II “Highroller” // Major Jana Eseri // “Local ground defenses are already busted by their SEAD raids! We’re going to have to make this into a race to Central Sadiriyya if that’s what you’re looking to do.”

[ENCRYPTION BROKEN] -[ UNITAS // ZuK-63 Mod II // ??? // “I’m not going to follow you… I believe I’ve delivered the warning shot that was intended.”


ROYAL SADIRIYYAN AIR FORCE
DEFENDING THE GODDESS IN HER SKIES


Despite the stress of it all, Fae’s voice was still calm and collected. Staying calm even in the face of such danger had always kept her alive so far, so she didn’t see why pankicking would help her now. And it seemed the reasons for panic were diminishing. The enemy fighter pulled back at an odd angle once again and returned to the direction of Darmiyyan territory, leaving the Sadiriyyan fighters to somehow escape without damage despite the close encounter where really, they had gotten lucky to not fall to the more experienced and more powerful mage who was also in a more modern fighter. What that fighter was doing in Darmiyya, that was impossible to tell just yet…

ROYAL SADIRIYYAN AIR FORCE COMMUNICATIONS
8th Fighter Squadron Channel - ENCRYPTED

ENCRYPTION KEY - AA7613-GS2736-ANU2364-MM23842-IY7393-LZK8823


-[ RSAF COMMAND & CONTROL // JADDAD CAPITAL AIRBASE // OVERLORD // “Goddamn it! Tech department, how the hell were they able to break our encryption just like that? Comms are going to need to go silent until-”

-[ RSAF MILITARY INTELLIGENCE // JADDAD CAPITAL AIRBASE // SPOOK // “That wasn’t the Darmiyyans breaking the encryption… Can’t trace it back to anything but it looks like they did leave some kind of footprint when they used our channel-”

-[ RSAF COMMAND & CONTROL // JADDAD CAPITAL AIRBASE // OVERLORD // “And what would that be?”

-[ RSAF MILITARY INTELLIGENCE // JADDAD CAPITAL AIRBASE // SPOOK // “It says the connection was from… Unitas?”

-[ 8FS 1F // Kal-35 Hunter II “Highroller” // Major Jana Eseri // “The hell is that?”

-[ RSAF MILITARY INTELLIGENCE // JADDAD CAPITAL AIRBASE // SPOOK // “Don’t know. Having someone look into it now, it’s not anything we’ve heard of just yet.”


ROYAL SADIRIYYAN AIR FORCE
DEFENDING THE GODDESS IN HER SKIES


The flight back happened without any more events, the flight of Sadiriyyan fighters returning victorious to the capital city’s airbase. But they weren’t going to be celebrating too hard when they had received such a scare at the end of the fight, and when they were currently confused on what exactly had just happened. It was… Hard to tell if they should be more afraid or not based on what they had seen and heard, based on this mysterious enemy, based on… ‘Unitas’, or whatever the hell it was called, and the mysterious warnings that had come from the organization. The talks of Sadiriyya becoming the ground zero for some new order. It would have sounded like an insane conspiracy theory if it wasn’t for the fact that it had come from the strongest pilot any of them had ever faced.

Upon landing and making it to the hangar, Severina shut down her engines and opened the canopy, climbing out of the Hunter and barely making it down the ladder to the ground before she felt her body giving in and collapsing, a result of the way she had pushed herself to try and slow down the missiles earlier to help Fae. She considered her effort worth it but… She had pushed herself a bit further than she should have. And it would definitely be a few days before she was able to think about doing anything like that again. Not that she intended to push herself once more. If anything, this served to teach her a lesson.

Fae was weary, and a little shaky as she climbed out of her fighter, she hadn’t pushed her magic to hard, some of this was coming down from the adrenaline. She moved as quickly as she could manage to Severina’s side, and picked her up with a grunt. Fae carried the obviously exhausted Severina to the nearest semi-comfortable surface, and laid her down before collapsing into the nearest seat, catching her breath.

“Didn’t need help,” Severina mumbled, a bit too tired to speak clearly but still able to get the words out. She closed her eyes - she felt that the other pilot had managed to fuck with her head too somehow, which didn’t help considering her current state already wasn’t great. “I don’t know what that was about back there… I do know that we’re lucky to be alive right now.”

“Whoever they were, we’re going to need something more than we have now if we ever hope to deal with them.”

Fae leaned back and closed her eyes, letting her body relax after a combat mission. She’d need to shower and change soon, but for now, for now she was going to just relax here for a moment.

“Whoever they are, they’re a powerful mage, and someone gave them a fairly new fighter. Whoever’s backing them has a plan. Looks like things just got even more complicated for us.”

Fae sighed, she might fall asleep in this chair before she got a chance to shower. A quick nap after any flight always did her good, let her settle and come back to what had happened with fresher eyes.

Severina didn’t say anything more. She closed her eyes again, thinking of what had happened before and what the other ace had said, the words of her opponent staying with her due to the fact that… Well, that opponent’s skill gave them legitimacy to an extent, and Severina felt like whatever had been spoken back there had been important. She was drifting out of consciousness herself… But as she did so, there was one main thing on her mind. ‘Unitas,’ the thing that was supposedly the only trace they had of the enemy that had been able to break their encryptions. Some kind of third party, maybe. Whatever it was, though, she couldn’t help but feel a slight sense of impending dread about it.

It was a lot to think about as she drifted into sleep.


Context Notes
[1] - The capital of the Union of Capitalist Librosi Republics, Meadow City is well renowned internationally for being a center of consumerism and hedonism, in addition to being the de facto capital of the global film industry. Many celebrities live in this city, and it has become something of a major international tourist destination because of its unique qualities.
[2] - The Sassanan War of 1666 was an armed conflict between the Union of Librosi States led Oceanus Security Organization and the Republic of Upper Libros and Sassanan led Layment Pact. The war saw Sassana annex the Republic of Avelia, a neighboring OSO aligned nation with a large Sassanan majority in its western half - the resulting conflict pitted the Union of Librosi States and the Empire of Sassana against each other before western forces prevailed, humiliating the Sassanans through defeating them in their backyard and guaranteeing the independence of Avelia. Today, the Republic of Avelia has an ongoing insurgency by ethnic Sassanans who wish to separate, mostly in the western half of the country. The nation also has one of the largest Union military deployments, in its capital city of Mesiger.
[3] - Malino is a small colony of Imperial Prestrovia located to the south of Sadiriyya. As the nation of Darmiyya has long been an ally of the Tzars of Prestrovia, it’s also a potential second staging point for the Darmiyyan war effort - assuming the Imperial Prestrovians do not enter the war proper.
Last edited by Forest State on Thu Jul 18, 2019 7:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Durmatagno
Negotiator
 
Posts: 7039
Founded: Oct 10, 2011
Left-Leaning College State

Postby Durmatagno » Fri Jul 19, 2019 10:46 pm

SEASON 1 ‘DESERT STORM DREAMING’
Collaborative post between Forest State and Durmatagno

EPISODE 8 ‘Dire Warning Part 2’

Severina Euclid & Fae Draiocht
Jaddad Capital Airbase, Holy Kingdom of Sadiriyya
September 16th, 1675 N.E.




Image

Despite facing bad odds and a larger enemy force, the Royal Sadiriyyan Air Force has scored some victories in the early phase of the Third Sadiriyyan-Darmiyyan War. However, the strange and unexplainable encounter at the end of what should have been a routine mission has left a couple of the mercenary pilots of the 8th Fighter Squadron shaken up and with more doubts in their mind than before.




Shell shock…

It was what Severina had been feeling to an extent for the past days, even on the safety of the ground after getting back from the close encounter in the sky. The close encounter that had resulted in herself and her friend nearly getting shot down, nearly losing their lives and… Running into something that wasn’t at all like what they had experienced before. They had been in intense situations before, yes. But never once had they faced an enemy like that. An enemy whose voice stayed in her head, an enemy whose voice had entered her head. Whoever they had faced… It was a mage. Not any mage but a powerful one, one stronger than even Severina herself, who was considered to be a big impact maker on the battlefield.

Hadn’t stopped the mysterious Darmiyyan - no, not Darmiyyan, but foreign - ace from making her skills look amateur. She was finding it hard to cope with. Hard to get the encounter out of her head. Hard to fly again given what had happened back there. After all, she had been given a warning to turn away from this country unless she wanted to face worse consequences. Regardless of everything that had happened, it had just been… A warning shot. She hadn’t been getting much sleep for the past days as she had a hard time getting everything… Out of her head.

She regretted coming here. The sense of dread from earlier had only intensified.

And as she sat down on her bed in the morning and looked at the flight helmet that she had kept next to it, she wondered how she was going to get back in the plane while her mind cut back to the last engagement so often - just holding the helmet, looking at it, was enough to make it almost flash before her again, her hand instinctively tensing as if she was still back there with her hand on the control stick in the cockpit, fighting for her life… And then she saw it, the one who had hunted her down and nearly shot her down if a bit of luck hadn’t come her way.

The jet with black and green paint, the roundel of the Darmiyyan Air Force visible on the wings even though the pilot obviously wasn’t Darmiyyan. And she remembered one other thing, too… The appearance of the other pilot that she had been able to see briefly. Maybe appearance wasn’t the right word, but she had seen something. The helmet of black coloring, red streaks visible above the visor, a dark flight suit that didn’t look Darmiyyan in origin at all… It had all been very different from the typical tans and muted blues of the Darmiyyan Air Force, everything about the plane screaming that it was something different and everything about the pilot screaming that this was someone to look out for, the setup inside the cockpit not just aggressive but more advanced, with a different and more futuristic looking helmet and respirator design being evidence of that.

She had run into something very different out there. They had run into something very different out there. And it scared her, not knowing what it was or if this person was really going to come for them again or if they could even do anything when it did happen, which she felt it would. This didn’t seem like the kind of person to make empty threats. She had been genuine, but at the same time, she hadn’t given them any information that could have helped them with their decision - didn’t tell them anything about the impending doom that she seemed to have referenced for this country, stating that it would become… The ground zero of a new order.

A new order. What could that be? It sounded like something that was a part of a conspiracy theory but an enemy ace that was this strong and in that position had no need to tell her about conspiracies. Furthermore, the person just sounded like someone that she could trust, like someone who was more experienced than her, like someone… Who was just an all around better pilot. She knew deep down that telling herself it was a lie would simply be deluding herself to make herself feel better about not understanding just what the hell she had ended up in the middle of.

It was something bigger than herself, it was something bigger than her or Fae or any of them, and she knew it just from her instincts - instincts didn’t always kick in for her but when they did she knew they were to be listened to. They were there for a reason. They had rarely led her down the wrong path, but in this case they were leading her down the path of acknowledging something that she didn’t want to acknowledge. They weren’t just outmatched here, they were caught up in… Something that instilled a dread in her at some level.

She hadn’t been fine ever since that mage had entered her head. The dread was just one part of it. Still… She didn’t have the option of just backing down. She knew she had to stay in the fight unless she wanted to find herself with nothing, being a fugitive in her home country and all, and being disconnected from most of the people she had known in the past. This was what she was meant to do. She would chase success here with everything she had… Wasn’t like there was anywhere else for her to turn.

Finally, she set the helmet down and stepped out of bed, moving to the door. She had a meeting to get to, today. Specifically, one with military intelligence over the entire incident back near the border. Not that she wanted to talk about it more, but if they were going to get to the bottom of what had happened… It was important that the relevant people heard about the encounter from the two who had lived it.



Fae stayed in bed for awhile after she first woke up. Her eyes fixed on the ceiling. All things considered, she was lucky to be lying in this bed at the moment. Just a little different and she’d be dead, or laid up on a hospital bed somewhere. She had Severina to thank for that. Severina had only stopped one of the missiles, but that one could have been enough. A good enough hit and Fae would be gone, she’d never cut it that close before. Whoever the enemy had been, they were good, they were dangerous, and they were working for someone that had a plan for this area. She strongly doubted that was going to be the last time they ever saw that mage. She shivered at the thought, they’d been able to outmaneuver and outgun two other mages. Sure the fighter had been part of it, but part was not all.

Sitting up, Fae swung her legs off the bed and planted her feet on the floor. She took a deep breath and stood up, stretching. She still had to find some way to thank Severina properly, sure Severina had just been doing her job, but that didn’t mean she didn’t need to be thanked. Fae turned and looked down at her hand, the one with the rune, clenched tightly as it was. This was a new feeling, one she hadn't felt in a long time. Fear. She was afraid of facing that mage again, not terrified, even if she probably should be, just...afraid. She hadn’t even really been afraid of what would have happened if she had stayed, or not followed Severina, just worried. She didn’t fear easily, didn’t feel strong emotion in general, it was...disquieting. Unfamiliar, and it stalled her.

Taking a deep breath, she unclenched her hand and got dressed, slipping on her shoes. Last thing was the gloves, they were comforting, hid her own hand from her. Let her forget in rare quiet moments just how dangerous her life was. Just how much trouble and uncertainty she had gotten herself wrapped up in. Still, she’d chosen it, and she was going to deal with it. One way or another she was going to keep living. Even if it meant running once things got too bad, she wouldn’t let herself, or Severina, die here. She would do anything to make sure they got out of here. She hadn’t had many friends, she wasn’t going to abandon the only one she had left.



The next event for both of the pilots, before they could take to the skies again, was going to be a meeting with RSAF Military Intelligence to try to get to the bottom of what had went down near the border. The event had, after all, resulted in encryption being breached by a mysterious organization that left few traces, other than a footprint that Milint believed could have been intentional, as something of a warning shot. After all, they hadn’t been able to find any other details based on the breach, and therefore, they were left gathering information the old way, through talking to the ones that had been involved. The meeting had been scheduled for some days, but this was the day that it was actually set to take place.

The meeting was happening at a smaller room within the airbase, and was being conducted by Taylan Kocari, one of the ones who had been assigned to their squadron in particular for that department. They hadn’t had many interactions with this member of the staff in particular but the department was the one that was responsible for much of the reports that they read off about the enemy before they went into any operation, and therefore one of the backbones of the Air Force. If one didn’t know what they were fighting, after all, they may as well consider the battle already lost.

Severina was the first to enter the room, finding that there was already a table set up, and she waited in silence - she had come a little bit early. She knew that Fae would be here and Kocari would be here too, but that would be in a few minutes. For now, she focused on getting her mind straight from what had happened before. From her troubles which extended even to this morning. Someone as fiercely independent as her didn’t need others finding out about such troubles and telling her how to handle her own life… She had left the ULS because of too much of that, too much of other people making the calls for her.

Fae would enter a little while after Severina. She took her time getting her, after calming herself down she’d taken the time to straighten and sort her thoughts. Get in order what she could remember of the counter which was...fairly vivid all things considered. Fae took her place, and glanced at Severina, unsure of how her friend was doing. She didn’t say anything, not yet anyway, and just waited. There was no need for idle chat in such a...formalized setting, they needed to stay on task for the time being. They could talk later, Fae could see if she could figure out how well Severina was doing. She knew Severina was still regretting, or so it seemed, coming here in the first place. Fae wondered if this incident had made things worse for her.

After Fae entered, Severina didn’t exactly say anything either other than giving a polite nod of acknowledgement in her general direction, before she went back to staring at her hands which were placed on the table, flexing and unflexing the hand that had the rune on it at the same time. It was about now that the room was entered by the one they had come here to talk to.

“I’m sure you’ll be happy to know,” Kocari said upon entering the room. “That we have made some progress in figuring out the mystery of the pilot who attacked you two. That’s not to say, though, that we know everything. Right now, the details are looking murky. We don’t have solid evidence of anything as much as we have some assumptions - assumptions that may be backed up or disproven based on what exactly you saw out there.”

Kocari sat down, papers in hand, and went into a brief overview of what they had found in the days that their investigation had taken place. “The breach of encryption was obviously conducted by a very advanced enemy, you both already know that much. What you may or may not realize is that when the enemy accessed our communications network they left some kind of trace. We don’t know if this is intentional or unintentional. But this trace was… Well, it seemed to be some kind of organization name. UNITAS, it read as. There’s… Some theories within our office about this, but we believe that it’s not meant to be read as UNITAS but as the Etorian word ‘Unitas’. Our reasoning in this case is because when searching for organizations known by this name, the only relevant one that we were able to find is… It’s not a group that most people will be familiar with upon first glance. The Unitas Group.”

“Dig a little deeper under the surface however and you’ll find that through their control of hundreds of corporations, this conglomerate effectively controls the Southeast Lysosian Confederation as a command economy,” Kocari continued, referring to one of the nations of the far east, a collection of islands that were home to a mix of natives and Tsouanese migrants who had integrated into the area. The country was a more recent one, something of an artificial creation, and unsurprisingly based on what Kocari had said, it had a reputation for being corrupt and inefficient. “But… It’s rather strange that such an organization would show up here of all places and even stranger that a shadow conglomerate would move from manipulating the Southeast Lysosian Confederation in the background to deploying military forces outright. Hell, we don’t even have them on record as having a private military or something of the like. Could it be a false connection? Maybe, but that partly depends on what you two experienced back there… It may help us find out just what we’re dealing with here, and whether or not it’s some kind of corporate forces that we’re dealing with across the border in Darmiyya, or something else entirely.”

“Well…”

Fae took a deep breath, hands clasped together to keep herself from tapping her fingers or anything else distracting.

“The pilot appeared female, seemed Gauliphone, I’d say mid to late twenties, and her flight suit and helmet were non-standard to any western or eastern designs I am aware of. Both were black, but the helmet had streaks of red on the design. Could have been a pattern or symbol, but I didn’t get a close enough look. She herself was a powerful mage, able to outmaneuver both myself and Severina, some of that was her fighter, but not all. The fighter was a ZuK-63, but it wasn’t standard, and at the very least a smaller radar cross section. Under the wings were a pair of pods, which may be related to Electronic Warfare, but I’m unsure. They weren’t...normal. Beyond the fact she was able to make almost, if not literally ninety degree turns, I think she had our radios before she ever spoke. It seemed to me like she was listening in on us, which had me worried about encryptions in general. If someone sent someone like her out here, I would bet other forces have similar individuals and equipment set up. I can’t say for sure, she was our first...abnormal encounter, and on our first mission, but I’d hazard a guess that someone is listening in on us and moving against us, even if they don’t share it with everyone else.”

Fae quieted after ending off on speculation and theories instead of facts. Quietly angry that she’d gotten off the facts that they wanted for speculation. Still, she hoped what she saw could help.

“She was also in our heads… I think her entering our radio channel was for the benefit of everyone else, not for us. We could hear her just fine before she ever entered any radio channel, coming from… In our heads, it might sound crazy but it’s what happened,” Severina added, sighing slightly. “Don’t know how many people are going to believe it but fuck it, I know what happened to me back there. I know how it felt and know that it couldn’t have been anything but that, and judging on her being a magic user, I guess it’s not as crazy as it sounds… Some mage, though.”

The agent across from them spoke again. “This seemingly has just become even more of an enigma, then… Especially as you claim that the pilot is Gualiphone. From what we know, this Unitas Group that may have some kind of involvement - we aren’t sure how, but it’s the only lead we have - is mostly based in Lysos. In the Southeast Lysosian Confederation, mostly. I suppose they also have some presence in some of the formal colonial lands of Ifria, but… Ifrian Gaulican sounds completely different from metropolitan Gaulican. Although such a large conglomerate could easily employ foreigners, but it’s also hard to work out what a group like Unitas would be doing in Darmiyya of all places anyway. They aren’t the most capitalist country around.”

Fae shivered when Severina brought up that the mage had been in her mind. Death...death she could face, she would prefer to live, but all things would die some day. That her mind was violated, that someone could step foot inside that most secret and precious of places. That terrified her and shook her to her very core. She grew a little paler when Severina mentioned it. She hated it, and didn’t want to believe that there was anyone else out there that could do it, but where there was one, eventually others would follow. She swallowed, and closed her eyes, steadying herself again, listening to the agent speak.

Severina paused for a bit, explaining herself some more as Fae was silent. “She also… Told us some stuff. Warned us that we should get out of here because we can’t win, but it wasn’t in the usual way, the way about how Darmiyya is larger and stronger. It was something else… She said that Sadiriyya was to become the ground zero of a new order, some high level things that neither of us understood but… I have the feeling it should be taken seriously. Someone like this doesn’t have reason to lie.”

Kocari started writing down more details but didn’t react immediately to the news. “I see… No more details from either of you?” he asked, setting down the paper after writing seemingly a lot of notes about the situation and what they had explained based on it.

“N...no. She was pretty adamant that we’d die if we didn’t leave. That we needed to turn back from fighting here. She was very...assured of her backers victory.”

Fae’s voice was a little shaky, unusual as it was normally deadpan. She steadied herself a little more as she talked. Something about all this had obviously shaken her, but she’d told no one. Didn’t want to look weak or helpless.

“I believe this meeting will be done, then,” said Kocari, standing up and picking up his papers while turning to face the door, moving there before looking back at Fae and Severina. “We’ll keep you in the loop if we discover any more updates. Your testimony will be useful in narrowing down things further, hopefully.”

Fae left the room after Kocari was done speaking. Once outside, she leaned against the nearest wall, taking shaky breaths, and hugging herself tightly as she shoved the thought of someone invading her mind...out of her mind. After steadying herself again, she pushed off the wall to head back to her bed. She couldn’t sleep after all this, but she wanted to sit down and think for a little while. Either that or get drunk and really, really not think about anything for awhile. She wasn’t sure of which yet, thinking she’d just make up her mind on the way back.
Last edited by Durmatagno on Fri Jul 19, 2019 10:46 pm, edited 2 times in total.
When we lose one we love, our bitterest tears are called forth by the memory of hours when we loved not enough. - Maurice Maeterlinck

There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are the messengers of overwhelming grief, of deep contrition, and of unspeakable love. - Washington Irving

It is easy to hate and it is difficult to love. This is how the whole scheme of things works. All good things are difficult to achieve; and bad things are very easy to get. - Confucius

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Forest State
Senator
 
Posts: 3920
Founded: Aug 23, 2016
Capitalist Paradise

Postby Forest State » Sat Jul 20, 2019 2:08 am

SEASON 1 ‘DESERT STORM DREAMING’
Collaborative post between Forest State and Durmatagno

EPISODE 9 ‘The Two Mercenaries’

Severina Euclid & Fae Draiocht
Jaddad Capital Airbase, Holy Kingdom of Sadiriyya
September 24th, 1675 N.E.


Things around the airbase had been somewhat tense for the past days as they waited for their next assignment, having flown multiple sorties since then but nothing as exciting as combat, rather, patrols that had only brought them against the enemy one or two times in fights that had been decided quickly. At least, the atmosphere was tense around the 8th Fighter Squadron, that was the only one that had experienced a strange encounter such as the one that pitted two of their pilots against a very powerful enemy mage who didn’t even have a clear and discernable faction in all of this. However, before the campaign stepped up and they began taking more actions such as pushing across the border further and attacking the Darmiyyan naval blockade that made supplying their country somewhat harder, they were getting reinforcements to help fill out their unit.

“I’ve been told that this new pilot coming into the second flight is from the Union of Librosi States. Envauxland, specifically,” Jana said as she led Fae and Severina through the hallways and corridors of the base towards the administrative center where the new arrival was likely at. “Which is why, since the local customs are going to be a bit strange for someone like that, I wanted you two to say hi and show her around the place. I’m sure that will be easy enough, you Librosis can… I don’t know, watch your western movies or talk about esotericism together or something. You’ll do better with it than I would.”

Fae kept quiet, just nodding. Instead she was busy trying to figure out if this new pilot was a ploy to get back at Fae and Severina, or if it was just a coincidence. Fae hazarded a guess that it would be the first, and was somewhat tense. She wouldn’t do anything if the other person didn’t, but she highly doubted someone back home hadn’t figured out by now they were here. She also doubted somewhat that they could make a move right now, but she felt it was better to err on the side of caution. She kept walking, quiet, and contemplating. She’d never been much of a talker anyway.

“Sometimes I wish you two would say more. One of you is boring and the other one is shell shocked,” Jana remarked, in her usual snarky while not entirely intentionally offensive tone as they passed through another corridor, eventually stepping out of the barracks complex and into the open air outside, where she started leading them to the administrative building. “I thought people from New Athenai were supposed to be arrogant. Not silent all the time.”

“I’ve always been quiet, never really had much to talk about...or many people to talk to.”

Fae was quicker to respond than normal, perhaps it was the stress of everything. She wasn’t sure, whatever, what was said, was said. Nothing she could do to change it now. Severina didn’t say much, on the other hand, keeping her hands in her pockets.

Image
The mysterious newcomer...
“One can be arrogant without being loud,” she just muttered, following after Fae and Jana as they entered the building that they had been looking for. The administrative one where they had both visited during their first day there - and when they did go through the doors into that said building, they would find that there was someone else around their age standing around and waiting for them, wearing a jacket that practically confirmed that it was who they were looking for… The jacket was black but the sleeves were white and the right arm had a patch with the white and pale blue flag of the Librosi state of Envauxland stitched onto it.

Severina was immediately made to pause when she entered, for whatever reason. She stood in the doorway, silent, hands still in her pockets, not saying anything but definitely having her mind on something that she hadn’t been thinking of before walking into the building… While on the other side of the doorway, the girl in the jacket swung around to face the three visitors, flicking her almost lavender colored but also almost platinum hair to the side and quickly looking the group up and down, her eyes narrowing slightly as she did so, saying nothing.

“The last time I let myself be arrogant, I almost died.”

Fae added to Jana, referring to the mysterious mage that still had her and Severina shook. It was hard to be arrogant when you had someone so much better than you nearly kill you.

“Besides, I spent most of my life scrounging on the streets. Didn’t get a lot of time to enjoy the ‘brighter’ sides of New Athenai.”

Fae finally turned to study the new girl. Between Severina pausing, and the girl narrowing her eyes, Fae was on edge again. She just hoped that this didn’t get them all killed, though the new girl didn’t seem outright hostile. Something was certainly going on.

The new pilot didn’t say anything immediately. “Zenovia Pascal,” she said eventually, her Gauliphone accent becoming clear, although it didn’t sound like the accent of someone out west, it sounded closer to the New Hellenian accent that both Fae and Severina carried from their time in New Athenai. “Union Air Force Academy reject, in case you were wondering. And part time merc in Ifria.”

“Fae Draiocht, ex-Union Marine pilot.”

Fae kept her responses minimal. She was a quiet one most of the time after all. Unless she was truly drunk, then she had a hard time shutting up.

Severina paused, unsure whether to say anything or not right now. “Severina,” she said simply, rushing out her introduction and then turning away from the doorway. She stepped back a bit from the others, making up some excuse about needing to go. “I just remembered I have to go do stuff,” she said… As if that sounded at all like a normal statement, especially when her schedule had been clear before. So why was something coming up now? Even Jana seemed to notice it, rolling her eyes.

“On the goddess, you Librosis are fuckin’ weirdos,” Jana remarked. “I’m gonna head out, show Zenovia here around… Either one of you or both of you, doesn’t matter I guess. I’m getting in the hot springs so uhhh, if you need something from me, tough luck.”

While Zenovia just looked on, deciding to keep her mouth shut for now. She didn’t see what good would come from opening it at this particular moment.

“Hot springs? There’s hot springs around here?”

Fae was genuinely surprised by this. Not that she doubted the heiress would lack in comforts, but more that she hadn’t heard about it for now. Her surprised question just made Jana chuckle, however. “The Sadiriyyan philosophy is that if there’s something we want and don’t have, we build it. Same thing happened with the hot springs, I guess.”

“I don’t think I’ve ever been to any hot springs. A few saunas, but those weren’t my thing.”

Fae was now entirely off task, which was rare of her. She was usually a little one minded on her given mission if she had one. Sometimes it happened, like when she was stressed, tired, or even just letting herself get distracted. Not that she let herself get distracted very often, it was easier to focus on each task than to let her mind wander.

Jana laughed slightly again, reaching out and tapping Fae on the nose teasingly. “Maybe I’ll take you there, then…” she said, letting her voice trail off before she spun around again, backing away from Fae as quickly as she had approached her and reached out to touch her. “I mean, I did give you a job to do, but since ya’ll are going to act weird about that whole thing, I’m not gonna be one to push. I dunno if it’s some kinda state thing or what but you two are cold to your new squadronmate. I don’t think she’s the warmest with you either. Weird…”

“I’m a little cold to everyone, especially those I don’t know...but yeah, yeah, we’ll show her around. See you later, Jana.”

Fae was thrown off guard by the nose tap, and it showed as there was some...befuddlement, or maybe amusement in her voice. Probably both, she couldn’t tell. She waved Jana away, and turned back to Zenovia.

“So...you want to see the hanger, or the bunks first?”

She knew Severina was acting weird, and she knew better than to pry. Severina would tell her what was up if and when she was ready.

Zenovia shifted on her heel as Severina made her way off after Jana, slinking away silently without saying anything else. Zenovia, on the other hand, stayed where she was and turned her eyes to Fae. “Dunno. Would be nice to see the Griffin I’m flying,” she said, pausing. “But… What I really want to know about is how long your piece of shit friend is going to pretend to not know me.”

“No clu...you know Severina?”

Fae was caught off guard, again. Today was not a good day for her emotionless facade. Either way, she waved for Zenovia to follow her so Fae could take her to the hanger.

“Let’s walk and talk, get you shown around.”

Zenovia stuffed her hands in her pockets and followed after Fae. Ironically enough, her posturing when she was moody was most similar to Severina when she was in a similar state, even if based on what she had said, she likely wouldn’t be happy with the comparison. “This motherfucker has been ghosting me for years… ‘Cept I get back in the northeast and talk to our gunrunnning friend that’s in the know about all these things, kinda wonderin’ if somethin’ happened to her or some shit, and it turns out nothing’s fuckin’ wrong, she’s out here taking merc contracts in Sadiriyya of all places,” she said, her posture still… Pissed off. “‘Course, the money is good. The other reason that I’m here right now instead of dickin’ around in postcolonial Ifria for some provisional government that’s just gettin’ overthrown in a year.”

“Nothing’s wrong? I’m pretty sure being hunted by the Liborosi government for the treason of leaving the STG has her on edge. Hell, she didn’t even really want to come out here, she only did it because she needed the money.”

Yep, not a good day for calm, emotionless Fae. She continued to lead Zenovia around, taking her to the hanger first. She kept her hands in her pockets as she walked though, she still wasn’t sure she could trust this Zenovia.

“If you’re talking about Ras, she was the one who smuggled us here to begin with, or at least the first big step. We had to hide out at her place after escaping from some agents after our heads.”

“Ras is always gonna be one of us, yeah… Unlike Severina. You see, I knew both of ‘em in the past, actually, all three of us knew each other… Ras used to be in New Athenai instead of Braxton, I think she just went north since she didn’t feel like dealing with cameras everywhere and cops ready to get on your ass for just crossing the street wrong, but… We knew her back when she was just some awkward teenager that spoke in broken Albionish. We watched her grow up… Or you could say that Severina did. I moved west my sophomore year in high school, kept in contact with Ras and kept in contact with Severina, only thing is, out of the two, Ras is the only one that’ll text back these days,” Zenovia stated, entering the hangar and looking over the planes that were inside. “And this isn’t some recent shit, it’s been like that for years, you know.”

“I wouldn’t know. I didn’t meet Severina till after we were both pilots. She didn’t even join willingly, they forced her into it when they found out she was a mage. I at least joined willingly, though it was mostly because I was tired of scrounging for food.”

Fae sighed, and took Zenovia to what Fae could only assume would be the plane Zenovia would be flying in. She didn’t know why a new member was joining so late, but skilled pilots were always in demand.

“I’m aware,” Zenovia said, stopping in front of the Griffin and looking it up and down. “It was always going to happen to her, they knew she was a mage since… I don’t know, they had always known, the entire time that I had known her. Had people around her and had to go to state mandated training sessions to work on her magic skills. She used to hate it. Can remember one time where we tried hiding her in my room when she was supposed to be there and the fuckin’ feds showed up and breached my bedroom door to drag her out kickin’ and screaming. But just because she had to go down that route eventually doesn’t mean she had to just forget about her friend, just because I moved away and couldn’t see her… Doesn’t mean she had to just stop texting eventually. At first, I had the feeling she just gave less and less of a shit about me. And then eventually… I was getting nothing from her. As if I’m one of the ones that screwed her over and not one of the only damn people she could fuckin’ talk to back in the day when all the other kids were convinced she’s a weirdo because the feds hang around her all the time.”

“Venting to me might help, but I can’t offer many words of solace. Severina is one of the only friends I’ve ever had, and we’re not even all that close. Though I can say this much, I owe her. She really saved my ass on our first deployment. Whatever problem she has with you, I can’t fathom it. I don’t know her well enough, haven’t had enough friends to have any similar experiences, nor can I draw from anything but movies or books to try and relate to it. Best I can guess is that maybe the feds cut her off, or she couldn’t stand the constant reminder of her old life. Before she was forced into war, before she had to fight her own people. I dunno, I’m not very empathic, and a bit of a loner by...my upbringing I guess, don’t really know for sure. All I know is that venting to me won’t solve anything, the only way for you to get any answers or closer would be to confront Severina herself.”

Fae kept moving as they talked, continuing to show her everything she could think of that was important enough for this first tour. Anything else could be learned over time, but this...this would be enough for now. Also the most Fae had really talked in awhile, even if she had her cold face back on. For now anyway, this place didn’t seem to let her keep it for long.

“Good knowing I’m not gettin’ any answers even after coming all the way here,” said Zenovia, slamming her fist into the wall, wincing from the pain but not showing much in terms of visible signs of distress from it - she was a pretty tough one, her general demeanor helped to show that. Even if she hadn’t had the chance to show off that toughness just yet. “Should’ve stayed the fuck in Ifria. I think that’ll be enough. I’m headed into the city… Gonna distract myself a bit while I reevaluate my life choices.”

“I said I couldn’t give you any, but you’re here now and whether Severina likes it or not, Jana is the one in charge. If can convince her, she can make sure Severina has to sit down and talk to you. Besides, Severina is a bit...shell shocked at the moment. We had an encounter that shook her. She won’t talk about it, but I’ve seen her. Afraid, and shaking. She might need the confrontation more than she would ever admit to herself.”

“Welcome to my life… Would’ve been pretty nice if she actually gave a shit back when I was shell shocked from getting into shootouts at seventeen, but it seems I just disappeared to her when I moved to Envauxland,” Zenovia retorted, turning her back. “We’ll see just what happens. If you think that the commanding officer telling her something can make Severina do it if she doesn’t want to, you clearly don’t know her enough.”

“It’s better than just being pissed off and leaving, though you are right, Severina left because she was tired of other people ordering her around, or something like that. She’s not very open, even if she is more sociable than me. It’d probably be easier to just corner her yourself to get answers. I’m not entirely sure how much of a fight she would want to put up right now. All I know is that you’ll gain nothing by just leaving, and can’t lose anything by trying.”

“Right. Well, ‘least you give more of a shit than her,” said Zenovia, turning around towards the other end of the hallway and starting off as she had said she would. “Can’t say I’m happy about it but hey… Everyone should know by now that I don’t get nice things.”
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Lunas Legion
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Psychotic Dictatorship

Postby Lunas Legion » Sat Jul 20, 2019 3:44 am

SEASON 1 ‘DESERT STORM DREAMING’
Collaborative post between Forest State and Lunas Legion

EPISODE 10 ‘The Silver Cross’

Task Force 37
Ranhalt, North Tiamanic Confederation
September 17th, 1675 N.E.




Image

The Ranhalt City Music Hall is one of the relics of the past located within the city, built in the era of the Tiamanic royals and surviving their fall in the Continental War. Today, it’s often used as a symbol of the previous era by movements which would like to see a return to those days.





“I really don’t like this.”

Rhea Fabre was not the kind of person that would usually be spotted in a dress and heels of all things. Sure, part of the job involved going undercover, but that usually involved very different things than this - she was used to infiltrating seedier areas which she could fit into fine, not trying to deal with fitting into high society, wearing clothes she hated, and being reminded of things she would rather not think of again.

“Can’t get fucking high school out of my head dressing like this,” she added, recalling her upbringing which was more wealthy than one might imagine. And she didn’t intend to stop complaining about it until their driver, Adriana, completed their ride to the Reinhalt City Music Hall where they were set to enter under false identities and look just into why a suspicious monarchist lobby was suspected to have ties with a Darmiyyan weapons scientist who had just entered the country. The investigation was one that interested her… But the process they had to go through to handle it was… A bit too much for her.

“It’ll be fine, Rhea.” Gabriella said, letting out a sigh. “I’m not going to make you talk about high school, but neither myself, Asia or Dana were there, and for what it’s worth I think you look great. I know this isn’t your world, so just stick close to me and if you can’t take putting up with this anymore, just say you have to freshen up and leave. No one will question it.”

“Dunno if I can put up with it in the first place. It’s just… Ugh. Might as well be a personal hell for me, but what am I supposed to do? Bitch out even though they made me the team leader?” Rhea said, sitting back in her seat in the back of the sedan and closing her eyes. “Few options here… But none of ‘em are good ones.”

“You may as well make the best of what you’ve got.” Gabriella shrugged. “I’m sure this type of thing won’t be a regular occurrence, this is more embassy officer work than task force work. The quicker we get what we’re looking for, the quicker you can be done with this.”

Rhea remained silent, seemingly not as confident as Gabriella was in her ability to just get through this without trouble. She watched the scenery go by out the window - they were headed through the Old District of Ranhalt, the part of town with many buildings that dated back to the monarchist days. The days that this group they were investigating was trying to bring back. It was… An interesting sight, but she knew she was only looking at it as a temporary distraction.

Their driver tended to be the most quiet and shy member of the team, but as they neared the location, she spoke up for once. “Do all of you have your phones set up with the messaging app? W-We’re not using radios for this one, remember,” she said. It’d be too hard for them to maintain radio communications while in the crowded building, where they would have to try to interact with the locals. Instead, they were relying on messaging, even though it would make the flow of information a bit slower than if they had earpieces.

WHO’SAPP
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Group Chat - Monarchist Meme Page


[LENZ JURGEN] - This is where all the operations chatter is going to be

[LENZ JURGEN] - Be sure to destroy your burner phone rather than let the suspects get it

[ROKSANA RUDANSKI] - OPSEC breaches and I kIlL YoU you hear?

[GABRIELLA SARA BIANCHI-COSTA] - Yes, yes, I get the memo. Might be a bit suspicious having to get phones out but it’s better than nothing.

[ROKSANA RUDANSKI] - Metrosexual latte drinking brats are glued to phones anyway

[ROKSANA RUDANSKI] - No problem there

[RHEA FABRE] - wish they’d pay attention to their phones and not me…

[DALLAS ALVES] - We have an investigation u know

[RHEA FABRE] - yea and i didnt sign up for this one

[LENZ JURGEN] - Better get in and out quickly, then.


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They had arrived outside the music hall, and Rhea put her phone away in her handbag - something that she couldn’t believe she was carrying, for her entire life she had always preferred to wear something that just had pockets to keep her things in - and stepped out as Adriana urged them to hurry. She didn’t particularly want to be seen around here. They didn’t want any of their team to be spotted unless it was something that just had to happen, it made things easier if they stayed on the downlow as much as possible. “Fuckin’ hell,” Rhea couldn’t help but mutter under her breath, looking to Gabriella as the sedan sped off and the two of them were left outside the magnificent building, the main front entrance not far from them.

There was no one outside other than some pedestrians on the street but they had been told that once they were inside they would have to show their tickets, which they already had with them, and sign in under fake names in the list of visitors. Rhea fully intended to let Gabriella do more of the talking with that, not even moving to head into the building. She was letting the one that was an actual socialite take the lead here.

“Just let me handle everything, don’t talk unless you’re spoken to.” Gabriella whispered into Rhea’s ear as she unzipped the small clutch bag she was using to carry her phone and the pair of tickets, pulling them out and holding them in her free hand as she tucked her bag between her right arm and her body. “It’ll be fine.” Gabriella smiled reassuringly at her before turning away, heels clicking against the sidewalk as she made her way up towards the main entrance.

The interior of the building had been somewhat taken over by the event that was about to happen, with the first notable thing other than the tall ceiling and the expensive stone that many parts of the building were made of being the large signs which were telling people just where to go for that specific event, and other signs promoting the group that was holding it… The Silver Cross Association, named for one of the symbols of the old monarchy and being quite the force in favor of that monarchy and its return. While monarchism wasn’t considered a legitimate option for government in the Union of Librosi States, it was very much a real thing in other parts of the world, and the number of people mingling in the lobby that cared enough about it to come here showed just how much of a force it could be. Hell, right across the city border there was a monarchy in Reine that was arguably far more of a stable country than the one in the North Tiamanic Confederation.

Most of the people inside were sharply dressed, which was fitting for an organization which believed that the world should be ruled by royals, and by the front entrance one didn’t have to walk very far to find the spot where there was a table with a couple of people sitting, particularly young men in suits. It seemed like they were the ones to go to about admissions, and close to them, there were other people who were a bit more subtle in the fact that they were working for the Silver Cross directly, but they definitely were - it just seemed that their eyes were scanning the room, observing everyone, even if their shades hid the actual movements of their eyes.

Maybe they were amateurs, unskilled at hiding the fact that they were watching. Or maybe they didn’t care enough to go all the way in hiding the fact that they were some kind of workers or security, even though they did put in at least some effort to make it seem like they were part of the ordinary crowd of mingling people.

In Gabriella’s view, no sane person wore shades indoors unless they wanted to hide their eyes, which was just a dead giveaway for security personnel, but security personnel that wanted to be identified. But they wouldn’t be an issue as long as they stuck to the plan, and that meant getting admitted.

Gabriella grabbed Rhea’s hand with her own, guiding her over towards where the admissions table was, placing the two tickets down in front of them on the table with a slight smile before sliding them across. The two staff members looked at the tickets for a moment - mainly checking which price level they were, as the different prices offered different seating and things, and then one of them lazily handed over a couple of colored wristbands. In this case, the color was purple, the upper tier. “Names?” the man said, gesturing towards the open book which listed names of the guests. It didn’t seem like these front desk staff were particularly interested in doing anything other than their routine, which worked well for the two agents who needed them to not notice anything different.

“Eleanor Thornhylle and Kelly Wilis.” Gabriella said, gesturing first to herself and then to Rhea.

“Albionish?” muttered the tired sounding front desk worker, seeming just slightly confused that they didn’t at all look or sound like they were from the North Tiamanic Confederation, nor did their names sound like they were from the NTC.

“Travelling, but yes.” Gabriella nodded.

The man nodded - there were some reasonable explanations for the Albionish being here, the country did have their own monarchy after all… Even if they were considered, to an extent, traitors and slaves to Librosi interests due to the fact that they had repeatedly supported democratic governments such as the ULS over nations such as Sassana. “Right. Go ahead… Main doors to the music hall will be opening in a couple minutes, food and drinks are right down there further in the lobby.”

“Thank you.” Gabriella gave a small nod, turning away to lead Rhea further into the music hall. They were in, now they actually had to do something with that.

WHO’SAPP
The Top Messaging App From The Third World

Group Chat - Monarchist Meme Page


[ROKSANA RUDANSKI] - YOOOOO

[ROKSANA RUDANSKI] - CHECK YOUR PHONES

[ROKSANA RUDANSKI] - IM GOING TO KICK YOUR ASS

[ROKSANA RUDANSKI] - LOOK OUTSIDE

[ROKSANA RUDANSKI] - THERES A REINIC ROYAL HERE

[ROKSANA RUDANSKI] - ON IL


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Gabriella rolled her eyes at the incessant buzzing from her phone as Roksana’s messages came in. Well, that was… She wasn’t entirely sure if that was a good thing or a bad thing, but either way it likely made the entire situation slightly more complex. Indeed there was some kind of buzz outside, but they wouldn’t be able to see it just yet through the massive doors at the front of the building which obscured the view… Just from sound, though, it seemed like something big was going on.

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Group Chat - Monarchist Meme Page


[GABRIELLA SARA BIANCHI-COSTA] - Don’t see them just yet, but I can hear it in the crowd.

[DALLAS ALVES] - lookin at pics roxy sent

[DALLAS ALVES] - its raphael von voy

[DALLAS ALVES] - second oldest in the current generation, supposedly the enforcer in the court compared to their weaker heir

[DALLAS ALVES] - considered more likely to get some military or intel title due to him being an asset despite not being the oldest

[LENZ JURGEN] - This is interesting. We haven’t received word of any Reinic royal arriving in the country.

[ROKSANA RUDANSKI] - Fake name to travel, happens all the time

[ROKSANA RUDANSKI] - Embarrassing we missed it

[ROKSANA RUDANSKI] - FUCK

[ROKSANA RUDANSKI] - bailing on this position, SS inbound


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Gabriella glanced up from her phone, having stopped briefly to type responses, before continuing to walk further into the music hall. She was confident Roksana could handle herself, and they needed to do what they could to preserve their cover at this point and going outside would just compromise that.



Outside of the music hall, Asia and Dana had a better view of what was going on, and they could see that things were definitely not going as they had expected - for one, the event hadn’t even started yet and there was some important royal arriving from the Kingdom of Reine who they hadn’t even expected to be here in the first place. As a matter of fact, they hadn’t even received word of this royal being in the country. They were caught on the sidewalk when the car pulled up - it wasn’t a limousine or something like that, it was a red Sassanan produced sports car that would go for many millions on the market, escorted by another one that was in black instead, personnel from Reinic State Security climbing out of the one in the front as the driver of the second one, the well known Raphael Van Voy, climbed out of the second one, the one in red.

“Raphael!” screamed many in the crowd - mainly women, and it wasn’t hard to see why they were attracted to the well built and rich young man, who was about as stereotypically ‘Reinic Noble’ as one could get. Well, maybe Raphael was even better than the stereotypes would suggest, considering there wasn’t anything indicating that he was inbred or descended from barbarians. Rather, he was immediately a figure that caught the attention of everyone in the area, having the jawline of a model and blonde hair that time had definitely been spent upkeeping, a somewhat medium length style that ended just below the ear.

It was almost surprising that this man’s main talent supposedly had to do with the intelligence and military fields - the ones that had to do with intrigue - rather than something like, well, being a celebrity that was looked up to in the eyes of the public. Not that Raphael wasn’t the latter, but unlike some royals, sitting around and being a celebrity wasn’t his main job by any means. And that was the reason why, even with everyone knowing that Raphael wasn’t the one in line for the Reinic throne, the crowd immediately went wild upon seeing the unexpected visitor who was also getting out of the car with someone else… But the other person wasn’t from the royal scene. A girlfriend maybe? She was wearing a black suit and a matching skirt - one that was decently low - but she didn’t look Reinic in appearance, instead having more of a Gaulitanian appearance. Although, just from one look at her it wasn’t possible to tell right away just where she was from. One thing was for sure though and that was that she was a new player in the mix, someone that wasn’t on record with the Union Intelligence Bureau and their intel gathering division.

“Well, this just got more… Interesting.” Asia commented, a smirk on her face as her eyes danced between the royal and whoever was getting out of the car with him. “I suppose given they’ll be busy being a nice distraction, now might be a good time to follow the others in.” Asia continued, her eyes drifting back towards the royal.

“If we can get in with all the commotion,” Dana said, keeping her eyes on Raphael - she might have been getting a bit distracted - and then looking back towards the doors at the front of the building. It seemed the royal party carried a decent number of people into the building, including both the two that had climbed out of the car and their security detail, as well as others that had been outside and were now moving inside the building after spotting the celebrity. All in all, the outside was a lot more chaotic at the moment.

“Although…” she said, licking her lips. “I’m sure we could get some good intel if we managed to get on the inside of that party somehow…”

“I was having the exact same thought.” Asia said, turning her head slightly towards Dana, still smirking. “Let’s go see if we can’t integrate ourselves into it, or worse, Gabs gets there first.”

And so that was how the two of them ended up rushing inside after the group, trying to push through the crowds that had already formed after making the decision to go after the group before Asia and Dana had. Still, their odds weren’t zero. They were pretty good looking - out of a crowd of mostly average people, they at least stood out, which was definitely something to be used to an advantage in this kind of work… People tended to be more accepting of good looking people that were interested in them. Even when it was to their own detriment.




The doors had opened for the main room of the music hall by the time the group had arrived, and Rhea and Gabriella were some of the first ones inside. “We’re pretty much here before anyone else, we’re going to have to do some kind of digging before they start the speeches and such and it gets harder…” Rhea said, looking to Gabriella and being able to focus somewhat on their mission rather than the fact that she hated what she was wearing and the people that reminded her of her past, of which there were plenty. “But that entrance is throwing things off, I’m not sure what we look into here…” she said, pausing. “I suppose figuring out what’s with that weapon’s scientist is the top goal still.”

“Yes.” Gabriella nodded, looking around briefly, not at all uncomfortable in the circumstances or clothes. If anything, this was what she was used to, given she’d grown up being dragged between the gatherings of the rich and powerful by her family. “Anything else is just a bonus, really, but we don’t have much time. Who should we start off with?”

“We try to get backstage per say… I think, anyway. Talking to regular people isn’t going to do shit, we need, well, people that know what the hell’s going on with this group and this city. Organizer types,” Rhea stated. “Of course, we’re not staff or anything and we don’t have anything identifying us as that so we’re going to have to finesse it…”

“And it’s a bit obvious we’re not staff, although I suppose we can try bluffing.” Gabriella said. “Let’s go, but we need to find a way backstage first.”

On the floor of the building, however, in the middle of all the elevated seats that were built around it, they saw a sight that was interesting. In fact, it was someone coming from that backstage area, or more precisely not one person but a group of people. It was the group led by Raphael Von Voy, the one that they had heard arriving earlier - the group had Raphael in it obviously but by now that group had joined up with a number of others who were dressed similarly in fancy attire, the same woman that was with Raphael earlier still remaining there by his side, seemingly comfortable talking back and forth with him as they moved towards a table located on the floor of the music hall.

One thing, however, caught the eye of Rhea, and that was one of the people in the group. “The fuck… I think that might be the guy we’re looking for,” she said, pointing out the suit wearing man with a Darmiyyan complexion… Faraj Kayalli, and on a second glance, it did rather obviously look like it was him.

“Don’t be quite so obvious about it.” Gabriella hissed, but she turned her eyes towards where Rhea had pointed, squinting. “But I do believe it might be unless he has a body double or something, which means that the prince’s party is now our focus.”

WHO’SAPP
The Top Messaging App From The Third World

Group Chat - Monarchist Meme Page


[RHEA FABRE] - target found

[RHEA FABRE] - but hes with von voy

[RHEA FABRE] - were not close

[LENZ JURGEN] - Is anyone able to get close to the target and observe anything about what this is all about?

[DANA GATTI] - Workin on it

[DANA GATTI] - All of us following the group got cut off when they went backstage

[DANA GATTI] - But we can try again

[DALLAS ALVARES] - see to it that you do

[DALLAS ALVARES] - i want juicy intel

[ASIA XIULAN] - on getting juicy things


Who’sApp Corporation All Rights Reserved 1675


The group with the royal and his accomplices was sitting down now, apparently to discuss something with a number of associates - the men in suits, the woman who had arrived with Raphael, and Kayalli, who seemed to fit in just fine with them and was actively conversing with them. It didn’t seem like there was much room to butt in… But there were others that were hanging around that might be able to get them access or that might have useful intel of their own - others that had spoken with members of the group earlier and seemed connected to it. At least one of them was, notably, a mage, not bothering to dress formally or hide the rune that ran down her arm, a sleeve rather than a mark. She looked like someone that didn’t fit in here at all and yet she had no problems speaking with Raphael and the others as if she was one of them - But she wasn’t the only enigma here and they would have to pick their targets wisely as far as who they spent their time trying to approach. They didn't have unlimited time after all.

Normally, Gabriella would have preferred more time to eye the targets up, see who was talking to whom, how they acted, get their names, backgrounds and the like before picking whoever she’d approach, but they simply didn’t have the luxury of time here given that there were events and the like coming up and they didn’t have the intelligence owing to the surprise nature of the arrival.

“We go for the one in the tank top.” Gabriella whispered, turning towards Rhea and leaning in, bending down slightly. It made sense they would go first, and Dana and Asia would hang back given they’d made it into the hall first and they’d seen the party enter in the first place. “Unless you see a better target?”

“Looks like an interesting target, I don’t have a problem… I have the feeling we’re not going to end up in the group itself,” said Rhea, waiting to follow Gabriella’s lead, knowing that Gabriella was the talker here rather than herself and that they were better off the more they leaned on her skill in this kind of thing.

“Give me the secretary of someone rather than the person themselves every time. The people around the rich and famous have a tendency to be slightly less discreet, and she seems very out of place.” Gabriella responded, starting to move in the direction of their target. She didn’t really know much about magic beyond the identifying marks, but hopefully that wouldn’t bite her here.

The woman in the tank top, - lighter brown hair, blue eyes, potentially Gaulitanian in origin although it was hard to know, and even if she was, there were Gaulitanians all over the globe so it didn’t necessarily narrow down where she was from too much - looked at Rhea and Gabriella as they approached, not knowing who they were in particular but spotting pretty quickly that they were approaching her and her group in specific, causing her to turn towards them, one hand on her hips as she set her eyes on them. “You kids have gotten pretty far… But I think you should realize by now that we’re talking serious business,” she said, her voice… Carrying a lot of weight. Rhea wasn’t sure why - it was just somewhat intimidating, possibly because of the pitch, possibly because of the woman’s inflections. “You can go tell your little college friends or something that you had a glimpse of the prince, now.”

“I had a good look at His Highness earlier, although I do admit to wanting a closer look.” Gabriella said demurely, softening her voice slightly as she spoke. “My friend and I were just curious about the sudden and unexpected nature of His Highness’ arrival, we came here expecting… Well, not His Highness for sure.”

“To work for a better future, collaborations are needed,” the woman shrugged, glancing back at the table… They were able to get a clear sight of it from here, Raphael sitting next to the mysterious woman and across from the weapons engineer, with the rest of the suits positioned around the table in other positions. Around the middle of the table there was perhaps one thing that was particularly interesting, a binder which had some kind of logo on it, one that was in black but had text in an aggressive shade of red, reading ‘UNITAS GROUP’ in all caps. What to make of it and what exactly it meant, if anything, was uncertain. But it was something to think about.

The woman narrowed her eyes, although she didn’t sound like she was angry just yet. “Besides… I’d say I have some questions about you myself, such as what a girl from New Hellenia is doing at a Silver Cross meeting and trying to hide her accent,” she continued, referring to the state of New Hellenia, the one that was home to both the capital of the ULS and one of its other largest cities, Villarosa. The state stretched up the east coast of the country and had a reputation for being an area with a decent amount of rich people, as well as being a melting pot and being arrogant - and it also had an accent that stood out to anyone who had lived in the area.

“I’ve never liked this blasted accent.” Gabriella admitted. “I was born and raised in New Hellenia, ULS new money meets cash-strapped old money from Albion, but I’ve always admired the Albionic side of my family more and used their name. There’s just something about being able to say you’re from a centuries old family I’ve always found to have a… Gravitas of sorts, and given you recognised my accent you probably know how the Union’s upper classes can get. I suppose you could say I’m here to see if there’s anything different here, not just more spoilt brats living off of daddy’s money and blowing it all away. An actual upper class that acts like they should, noblesse oblige and all that, and I dragged poor Kelly here along with me for company and since I felt she needed to see some proper culture.” Gabriella stopped talking, blushing slightly as she turned away. “Oh, I started rambling didn’t I. Sorry.”

“Ah, so you’re a traitor,” said the woman at the mention that Gabriella was from Albion. “I hope you realize that there’s no one here that’s going to admire the crown over there… Or look at it with anything more than contempt. Your nation has a history of acting as the largest aircraft carrier of the ULS,” she added. “Myself… I’m from Layment, if you couldn’t tell. The city that named the pact, the edge of the world, the gateway to Europa, whatever you want to call it… Funnily enough, my nation fits in better than yours here despite having no history of monarchy. So tell me… What the hell are you really after, coming here and lurking around us?”

“Idle curiosity, I suppose you could call it.” Gabriella replied, keeping herself calm and composed. “His Highness keeps… Curious company, for a prince. I may be half from a nation of sell-outs and, as you put it, traitors, and half from the ULS, but I know the type of company one keeps. You have yourself, from Layment and as you said a nation with less ties to monarchy than even my own, I believe I spied someone of… Jezarabian? Sadirriyan? Souraki? I couldn’t quite tell from the distance, if one’s even able to distinguish between them in the entourage, the woman by his side whom I feel I should probably should be able to place but can’t for the life of me. You could say I was slightly disheartened by seeing that rather than His Highness with a parade of fellow aristocrats, it just… Isn’t how I saw the nobility acting.”

The woman took a hard step forward to slam her more imposing frame into Gabriella’s body, taking her collar by the left hand at the same time as her right arm flared, the rune sleeve pulsing as she grabbed onto her opponent and didn’t let go, nearly knocking her head into Gabriella’s as she looked into her eyes, her own eyes flaring in the process with a bright flash. “What, you think you can just play with us like this? Push yourself into something you don’t belong in because you feigned curiosity?”

“I was just asking, you could’ve just told me to leave-” Gabriella said weakly, her previously calm demeanor having collapsed completely, a hint of terror evident in her voice. “Or not said anything and I’d have left you alone. Just let me go and I won’t bother you again.”

Her grasp was still on Gabriella’s collar, her face still leaning close towards her. “I know you’re spying for the Librosis, Gabriella Bianchi-Costa,” she stated, driving Gabriella back another couple steps without relenting from her aggressive, in-your-face style of posturing that she had just adopted. “Shouldn’t have come around sticking your noses in places they doesn’t fuckin’ belong…”

Gabriella said nothing, since there wasn’t much, if anything, she could say. She didn’t really feel like saying anything either, it would just be an admission of defeat to herself, even if she already knew she’d been defeated at this point. The woman at this point backed down, but she did pull her tank top up slightly to reveal the pistol that was in her waistband underneath it. “But the organization may have some use for you yet,” she said. “Which, unless you want to end up in an unmarked grave, you’re going to graciously accept,” she added.

Rhea was silent in the background, knowing there was no way she could talk their way out of this if Gabriella couldn’t. The pressure here… Was all on Gabriella.

“Not dying is a fair deal, depending on what the use would be.” Gabriella said slowly and carefully, her eyes straying down to the pistol.

“You aren’t in the position to negotiate right now,” said the woman, causing the rune on her arm to flare once again for added effect as well as pointing down towards the pistol. “Come with me for now… You’ll have your meeting with the prince later. You were curious? You can find out what this is all about tonight… For now, however, I need to neutralize your threat so to speak.”

“As long as neutralise doesn’t mean cranial surgery with a firearm, I suppose I can oblige.” Gabriella nodded reluctantly. It wasn’t like she had any other options. “What of my friend, however?”

“She can come,” was all the woman said, moving to bring Gabriella and Rhea towards the backstage area and away from the table… It seemed they had ended up getting themselves into an entire web of trouble, into something that they didn’t quite understand just yet, into… Something that might just be a problem for them. But they didn’t have anywhere else to turn exactly, or any real way to call for help… It was one web that they weren’t going to manage to get out of soon.
Last edited by Lunas Legion on Sat Jul 20, 2019 3:57 am, edited 2 times in total.
Last edited by William Slim Wed Dec 14 1970 10:35 pm, edited 35 times in total.

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Forest State
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Founded: Aug 23, 2016
Capitalist Paradise

Postby Forest State » Sun Jul 21, 2019 5:40 am

SEASON 1 ‘DESERT STORM DREAMING’
Collaborative post between Forest State and Lunas Legion

EPISODE 11 ‘Hell Highway Part One’

3rd Infantry Division, 1st Battalion, B Company
Forward Operating Base Anqarah, Anqarah Village, South of the Darmiyyan-Sadiriyyan Border
September 30th, 1675 N.E.




Image

Following an opening few weeks of conflict with a back and forth around the border area south of the important Darmiyyan city of Dahad, the Royal Sadiriyyan Army has begun building up forces for a crucial push down the M7 highway that runs into the major city and beyond. Taking this highway can lead to capturing Dahad, and dealing a major blow to the Darmiyyan war effort… But that task itself is not an easy one.





For a conflict that had been initially described as one sided, it was somewhat surprising how much of a fight the Royal Military had put up against their counterparts from Darmiyya who had the advantage of more foreign support and a larger and better trained domestic army - Darmiyya was arguably the biggest power in the region, Sadiriyya on the other hand wasn’t even considered a regional power by most and was considered lucky to just have survived the first two wars fought between them and their northern neighbor, the differences in religion and culture ensuring that there was never any love lost between the two nations who spoke the same language but otherwise were nothing alike.

The results of the opening part of the conflict were culminating in the M7 Offensive, an operation that would take Royal Army forces across the border, through the city of Nasara, and then into the larger and more important city of Dahad, which was one of the main places where Darmiyyan coastal aviation was based and supplied. Take it out, and the fleet would have little air cover in the gulf next to the country. Of course, that wasn’t to say that everyone was going to be enthusiastic about the campaign - it seemed like it would be highly dangerous, especially since in this case they were walking right into enemy territory and into an area that was fortified by one infantry division and one armored division.

They had their work cut out for them, with both of those enemy divisions having more advanced equipment and potentially air cover that Sadiriyya didn’t have at the moment. At least, they didn’t know if they had it reliably. And there was a certain reluctance about them as all of the platoons were told to gather up as they were leaving out in the next day, to find out about their specific assignment within their overall unit… There was a specific tension around the third. They already knew/ they were getting engaged into a deadly fight, as the offensive had been announced earlier and their kind of unit wouldn’t be able to sit this one or any other op like this out.

Maybe that was why it seemed half the platoon showed up early, as if it would make the news come early also rather than at the time they had been told they would get the news.

“I guess we’re all eager, huh.” Sergeant Kareena Bashar commented, surveying the good half of the squad that’d arrived before her. She’d expected to be here before most of the squad, but it seemed they were just as eager, if not more so, to hear the news than she’d been.

“Who isn’t happy ‘bout getting to crack some Darmie skulls?” remarked Hansur Bakkal, the squad grenadier who was something of an outcast due to his rough around the edges demeanor, but that Kareena was overly fond of for whatever reason. Maybe she just liked bad boys.

“Heil…” Rabia Ajda said in agreement… The autorifle operator and the grenadier frequently worked together in most squads, but in this case, she was known as being the other one that was as crazy as Bakkal, the two of them being something of a duo for the wrong reasons.

“Forgive me for having a small bad feeling about all this given the last two wars, but it’s good to see it’s just my usual brand of pessimism.” Kareena snarked in response, an eager smile forming on her face despite the otherwise gloomy nature of her words.

“I think they’re a paper tiger, we haven’t gone down in a day or two like everyone thought we would. I read some Librosi paper saying they were going to turn us into a province in two days… Fucking journalists,” remarked the squad machine gunner, Kawla Habib.

“Yeah, we’ll see how their Tsouanese knockoff tanks do in the field,” added anti tank gunner Samira Bolukbasi, referring to the fact that most of Darmiyya’s tanks were domestic copies of more well known tanks, such as those from Prestrovia.

“Even a shit tank is still a tank, although they’ll probably break down.” Kareena chuckled. “I can already see it now, we pass knockoff tanks pushed to the side of the road and abandoned since they broke down and the crews couldn’t fix the things. Not like they were designed for deserts.”

It wasn’t much longer after that Staff Sergeant Nadir Ghali walked into the room, ready to conduct the briefing that the others had been waiting for. “I see I didn’t have to wait for everyone to get into the room this time,” Ghali remarked, walking to the front and then turning to face the squad. “Long story short, our platoon is going to be involved in the assault on the city of Nasara, which is crucial to taking the rest of the M7 highway and finishing the push to Dahad. Our assault is scheduled to happen this evening, unless some circumstances draw us into it earlier. Of course, capturing the city is going to be an effort for the entire division, and each platoon is only handling a small section.”

Ghali went into more detail about just what that meant. “We’re assigned to clear the trenches outside of the industrial complex on the outskirts of the city, making things easier for forces to advance in the future in the coming days of this operation… We want our flag over the city in three days and that goal is only possible if we can end the trench warfare phase before it begins. Thus, we’re going to have to get down and dirty and possibly conduct some close range fighting… Once the main detachment guarding the path to the city is taken out, of course. But I doubt that would run into trouble, considering we’re working with an armored division for this push. The harder part will be the urban combat and the fight in the trenches.”

“You can see a map behind me of the area that we’re going to assault. The trench is marked out in red,” Ghali said. “Enemy emplacements are expected to be… One or two older tanks buried into the ground and turned into defensive emplacements, as well as machine guns, and a decent amount of soldiers who may be equipped for a melee in the trenches. In other words, be careful, but it’s not something to worry too much about. We’ll, of course, have backup in the area as the rest of the battalion works on similar tasks in the same area. With that, I think I can tell everyone to get ready to depart in an hour.”

There wasn’t anything else to say or ask for Kareena; they had their mission, one tiny part in a larger operation in a much larger war, and at least on paper it seemed to be a simple, if potentially messy one. So she was silent as she stood up, giving a brief, casual salute in the direction of Ghali as she moved to leave. An hour was more than enough time to prepare to depart, but she couldn’t shake the feeling in her gut that something, somewhere, somehow, was going to go wrong.



The road to Nasara had been a surprisingly peaceful one, but maybe that was because the armored division had already come in ahead and they had been able to clear out some of the resistance before it was time for the assault itself. They would spot some things on the road that indicated that - wrecks which had been shoved off to the side of the road in ditches, mostly of IFVs and other light vehicles with one or two friendly and enemy tanks thrown into the mix also. They already knew how they were going to tell when they were in range… When they could see the enemy, when they could hear the machine gun fire, they’d know it was time to hop out and start gunning.

And after plenty of time went by without anything happening, that gunfire finally did start up as they crept closer to the enemy. “Disembark!” Ghali shouted, and the back hatch started to open for the IFV-73, soldiers immediately rushing out of it and staying behind it as, at the moment, it was the best cover they had in this no man’s land sort of area between the industrial complex and the low density residential buildings that were at their back… Immediately, targets were pointed out by the crew of the IFV.

There was indeed one tank that had been turned into a gun emplacement in the ground, and the IFV cannon immediately swung around to face it and fire off a shot… Fortunately, it wasn’t hard to stay out of the range of movement of the thing. It was embedded into the ground fully except for the turret, and that turret didn’t exactly have full room to switch positions. It had been placed there for shooting enemy tanks that came down the road, not smaller and quicker IFVs which were performing flanking moves. “Deflected!” shouted Tariq Calis, the gunner of the IFV, as their first shot bounced off the top of the Namur tank turret without doing damage, frustratingly.

It seemed this trench had about 17 or so soldiers in it, and out of them, they had two machine guns among their ranks. “You can’t hide behind the IFV all day!” Ghali commanded the unit. “We need more hands on the suppressive fire, damn it!”

Image
The battle in the Gulf...
As much as she wanted to stay safely behind the IFV, given the circumstances, Kareena also knew that they couldn’t just sit here. With a muted grumble to herself, she raised her rifle to her shoulder, leaning out from behind the IFV and firing a spray of suppressing fire towards the trench as she moved out of the cover provided by the IFV, crouching and trying to keep herself low. It didn’t matter if they didn’t have cover if the enemy were keeping their heads down.

Others popped out too… And the IFV was firing the machine gun even as the crew debated if they could go for the tank or not. Eventually, something was decided on. “Samira, take a shot at that tank!” said Ghali, relaying the preferred instructions from the commander of the IFV. They didn’t have to ask again, as it wasn’t long before the rocket fired from a weapon in the hands of a Sadiriyyan soldier, the round cutting through the air like a knife. The thing, however, was still standing after taking the direct hit to the turret. It seemed they’d need more firepower.

They had taken out… Three or four of the hostile soldiers as they returned shots with the forces in the trench. Getting kills was hard when the enemy could duck back into the trench at any time. But still… They hadn’t lost any of their own and that was good. It was smoke being deployed from the IFV that allowed them to move backwards, backing into the village once again to regroup a bit rather than charging the trenches straight up.

“Kareena, can you radio the base and ask if they can get howitzer fire on the position ahead?” Ghali asked, as the IFV backed behind a building and the squad did all around it, the shots still popping off in the background every so often as if their enemies thought they’d get lucky and shoot through some wall.

“On it.” Kareena nodded, grabbing for the radio strapped to her webbing as she crouched down, flicking the radio on. “Sgt Bashar, requesting fire support on-” She paused, trying to remember the coordinates. “Square M7-1-4. Over.”

The radio came to life upon the request. “Confirm request for fire support at Square M7-1-4?” the voice asked… It would probably take minutes for the fire support to actually arrive, but well, they weren’t in too much immediate danger… But they did need something to soften up the enemy defenses or they were going to have a tougher time clearing the trench out completely. They didn’t exactly want to leave the tank there as a future hazard, even if they were able to go around right now with their lighter vehicle.

“Confirm.” Kareena nodded again.

“Affirmative. Expect fire support at the designated coordinates in the coming minutes, over.”

And with that, they were stuck in a spot where they had to wait. Wasn’t like they could stray forward and then risk getting hit in the same artillery strike they had just called. They were still pinned behind the wall of the large building - seemed like it was a gymnasium of sorts - and waiting for something to happen that would let them take the advantage in the battle. It was safe to say the waiting period wasn’t the most popular thing among the squad, numerous voices complaining about how they were just sitting there.

But it was interrupted when the howitzer shells started dropping, one of them hitting, and then another, and another, in rapid succession, shaking the ground each time and either doing damage to the enemy or the buildings behind them. It was impossible to see just what had been hit at this point but the IFV sped forwards beyond the edge of the wall to get a glimpse once again and see if the strikes had destroyed their enemy for them. Only one of the shells had been off the mark and had leveled a factory building behind the trenches - three of them had been accurate to hit the general area and there were now less than 10 enemies manning the trench and the two machine guns after the howitzer strike had taken out a decent amount of their manpower, and the tank looked like it was disbaled now, the turret bent and broken.

“You all know what to do… Forward!” said Ghali, the IFV turning to face the trench and leading the charge while using the machine gun to provide covering fire across the entire trench for the soldiers that were about to storm the thing. If they wanted to take everyone out… They’d have to get in the trench themselves, as scary as it sounded.

Kareena was silent as she stood and charged after Ghali in the direction of the trench line, focusing more on running than anything else, a silent prayer running through her head as she charged. Even in the modern day charges still existed, despite all the advancements in technology. The covering fire helped them make it to the edge of the trenches, where the enemy was waiting for a fight rather than going over the top.

One of the first ones into the trenches was the wild grenadier, Bakkal, who dove right in with no hesitation and almost immediately raised his IM-53 rifle and fired with the grenade launcher mounted under the barrel, the round heading down the trench towards the enemy soldiers who were waiting with Kazna rifles and bayonets… The explosion of the grenade round took down three of them as Ajda slid into the trench from above, landing somewhat messily behind Bakkal and lifting her autorifle, spraying down range also at the remaining six or so soldiers and suppressing them enough that Kareena and others would be able to enter behind their covering fire, or go around and flank depending on what strategy they intended to take.

“We flank them!” Kareena yelled out, motioning to one side and changing the direction of her own charge to move along the trench line rather than piling into the trench with Bakkal and Ajda. There was more risk of them getting bottled up in fighting their way along the trench line if they did that rather than flanking.

She didn’t check to see if anyone was following her, trusting that her squadmates would have her back, and when she thought she was close enough she tore her grenade off of her webbing, and with a shout of “Grenade out!” threw it towards the trenches.

The move was repeated by Bolukbasi, Qusay Al-Almil, and Ghali, who took advantage of the chaos in the trenches for the Darmiyyan side to toss grenades of their own into it, two of the ones that had been thrown landing in the right range to deal significant damage to the enemy. The blasts managed to take out two of the soldiers in the trench, the third one moving to escape the gunfire by seemingly climbing over the top and charging at Kareena with a bayonet in a sort of last stand… There wasn’t much other way to describe it when the Sadiriyyan forces had such an overwhelming advantage at this point in terms of numbers.

Kareena simply stopped, giving the charging soldier an almost amused look that some might call pitying as she raised her rifle towards him and fired… Except the rifle shot happened to go right over the shoulder of her target, leaving them stuck in a melee, the bayonet stab that was aimed for her also thrown off somewhat by the burst of fire which had caused the soldier to redirect somewhat… It wasn’t a good spot for Kareena but it was better than death - the stab went into her right leg instead of her abdomen or her chest, which was fortunate for her, but there was still the matter of the enemy to deal with… It took another burst of fire from the surrounding soldiers to down that particular enemy, but the damage had already been done by the time the last man was down.

“Medic!” called Ghali, causing the combat medic, Munira Aydogan, to come over from the back line to take a look at Kareena, who’d collapsed on the ground following the stab.

“It’s not going to be a lethal wound,” the medic said upon seeing the damage and what had happened, kneeling down next to her patient to start the healing process. “Looks like one that’s going to hurt a hell of a lot, though.”

“Believe me I know it hurts a hell of a lot.” Kareena grunted out through gritted teeth. “Wasn’t expecting a fucking suicide charge.”

The examination took a little bit as the rest of the squad made sure that the trench was completely clear, also going through and seeing if there were any items of note located in the trench that would be worth taking back with them. At the end, Aydogan called someone else over to help lift Kareena back into the IFV, where they would soon all board for the next leg of their journey… This trip into Nasara, it wasn’t over by any means… They had just completed this first part of it.

Even if that had come at the cost of some blood from their own side at the end of it all.
Last edited by Forest State on Sun Jul 21, 2019 8:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Durmatagno
Negotiator
 
Posts: 7039
Founded: Oct 10, 2011
Left-Leaning College State

Postby Durmatagno » Mon Jul 22, 2019 8:36 pm

SEASON 1 ‘DESERT STORM DREAMING’
Collaborative post between Forest State and Durmatagno

EPISODE 12 ‘AMPed Up’

Severina Euclid & Fae Draiocht
Jaddad Capital Airbase, Holy Kingdom of Sadiriyya
October 12th, 1675 N.E.




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Thousands of miles away from the Gulf of Jezarabia and the Third Darmiyyan-Sadiriyyan War, and away from the prying eyes of much of the world, there was a meeting going on. And despite the fact that this meeting was happening thousands of miles away from the front, it was still relevant to what was happening in that area… It was relevant to the entire region really, maybe even to lands beyond that, but for now… The largest impact that this meeting was going to have was on the two nations in the Jezarabian region that had went to war at just the right time for it to be convenient.

“Of course I could make an executive decision,” said the black haired woman, standing with her arms behind her back as both of them stood outdoors, observing the jet fighter that was ducking and diving through the ravines and valleys that were ahead of them, in a place like this that was just about perfect for testing and low level training… They had their eyes on the pilot the entire time, the woman standing perfectly calm as the jet headed towards them and then pulled up at a sharp angle, zooming past in a second or so after changing courses to avoid slamming into them, instead going straight up in the air and leaving a series of flares as the only evidence it had been in front of them a split second ago… Both the speed and the agility of the plane were enhanced, not because of the airframe but because of the pilot within.

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The prodigious mage...
“But I believe your expert advice as an ace is valuable here. After all, you’ve played a big role in helping us shape the program,” the woman concluded, looking over to the other much more casual woman who was standing next to her, the one who was… Clearly a mage, not making an effort to hide it. As they both stood at the end of the cliff, watching their work, it seemed it was the mage that was the most interested. Of course she was the most interested. While she wasn’t the executive of the project, she was one of the ones that had been studied to make the project possible. She’d had more of a hands on role than maybe anyone and she was watching the fruits of her labor pay off.

She turned around, watching the jet that had just went straight up in the air turn to level off and head around for another pass through the canyons and ravines of this place. “The two mages I encountered in Sadiriyya may not have been at my level but the thing that alerted me to take them seriously is the fact that… They have potential. I could just feel it from them. That, while they aren’t there yet, they have more ability than they can actually use right now,” she said eventually, her eyes following the jet. “I believe they have to be dealt with if we don’t want any surprise interferences with our campaign that could spell unexpected results. Even if the odds are stacked in our favor, us mages can, well, bend the rules so to speak. Powerful mages are a joker… One that we can’t allow the enemy to have.”

She paused, turning back to her associate. “I see this as good experience for the AMP squadron. Either they eliminate the threat or the threat is flipped to our side, but either way, this will be dealt with before it can… Become more of a problem,” she stated eventually. “We’ll also get to see them in combat before we need them in more high pressure situations, so to speak. I have a pilot or two that I’m keeping my eye on, that I would like to see in real combat. Realer combat than the outings into Ifria against paper tiger opposition.”

Her associate nodded. “I’ll authorize their deployment to Fuwa Airbase. Should bring them in contact with the rival mages pretty quickly based on the fact that they’re involved in cross border raids… And from there, we’ll see just what solution we end up getting to this little problem. Personally, I don’t care much whether they end up joining us or getting taken out by us. Either option works for us.”

She turned, but stopped to look back at the mage in front of her. “And Lucile… One more thing I wanted to bring up with you. Between you and me, how much do you really believe in this dream? Sometimes I ask myself about your true intentions… Whether you believe in this or whether you’re here because of the benefits it provides. Or because you feel that it’s too deep to escape from at this point. Of course, I don’t ask this as an executive but as a friend wondering just how I’m doing in my job…”

It didn’t draw an immediate response from the mage but it did eventually get one. “What can I say? I’ve always been cynical. Something as ambitious as a world without borders just isn’t the kinda thing I’d buy into. Doesn’t mean I can’t benefit off of it,” she said honestly. “And besides… By now I’m tied to all this through other people. I’m vested enough in the success of others to be stuck to this project for now.”

“I see… I suppose we’ll see how this all plays out. Your help in this program will be compensated for sufficiently… Although I suspect that you don’t care that much about that part deep down, really.”



The heavy transport planes were something to see, as they came in one by one at the airfield at Fuwa, part of the Jezarabian Republic of Darmiyya and one of the main airbases that they were using in the defensive and offensive operations against the Holy Kingdom to the south. Fuwa’s location near the border made it a strategic point of value and there were multiple local squadrons based here. But those local squadrons of the Darmiyyan Air Force weren’t the only ones that flew out of this base - there were others who were less known, more mysterious, ones who weren’t even completely known by the rest of the pilots and staff that lived and worked at this very airbase.

Right now, more of those pilots were arriving. They had said it was a squadron, although in practice the squadron was smaller than a typical one. Not that they really needed numbers given the fact that they were flying what could be called prototype planes, planes that most of the Darmiyyan forces here wouldn’t have even seen before either in pictures or in person, and planes which were almost certainly more advanced than anything in the current arsenal. And when the pilots themselves could be considered special, some of them in more obvious ways than others.

Evelia, one of those pilots, was just waking up in the back of one of those heavy transports as it stopped finally, the parking brakes engaged as it pulled up to the apron next to one of the hangars they’d be offloading their cargo to. The cargo hatch in the back opened up and with that she was able to get up and walk down the long ramp and out of the plane entirely, watching as the ground crews moved into position to bring the smaller jet fighters stored in the back of the transports into the hangar. They, of course, gave her strange looks.

Of course they did, she wasn’t surprised or offended by that fact.

Because there weren’t many mages in general and there were even less mages that showed it as obviously as her, with her rune on her face, something that just didn’t happen usually. Not just because mages generally moved from the shadows, but because it normally wasn’t something that mages were able to do in the first place. The exact reasons weren’t known, but it was believed that the precise reasons had to do with the flow of magical energy making certain spots better than others. And yet, Evelia here was able to break the rules.

Not just able to break the rules. She did break the rules. She did it confidently and without showing any signs of herself believing that her condition was out of the ordinary.

Although the ground crews weren’t the only ones in the area. The person she was waiting for here was one of her fellow pilots and fellow mages, the one that had been more of a mentor for her than anyone else up to this point. And it didn’t take very long for Lucile to show up, Evelia offering a brief salute when she did see her superior arrive, parking her sports car on the apron and stepping out of it before approaching the area where the transports were unloading.

“Evelia! Welcome to the front,” Lucile said. “You said you wanted something real, you’re about to get it… Not going to get closer to the enemy than you are right now in Fuwa.”

Evelia just smirked, slightly moving the rune on her face. “I look forward to seeking out the targets you told me about… Small scale shit in Ifria just wasn’t doing it for me,” she said, almost devilishly. “I can promise you this much, at least: I’m not going to let you down. Whatever they’ve been doing to get ahead, it ends with me.”



October 12th was a date that had been circled on the calendar for the 8th Fighter Squadron during the past week because it was the day when they were set to join the naval forces in breaking the blockade around the country, which was enforced by two Darmiyyan destroyers in the gulf - these were the hard hitters of the Darmiyyan fleet and Sadiriyya didn’t have anything that could match them in open naval combat, and if they considered an attack through the air, they would have to plan around fighter cover from the airbase in Dahad. There were no easy options for taking these destroyers out, but that was the reason they were allocating more forces towards it and hitting the Darmiyyans with what they didn’t expect, a cross service operation where the combination of air and sea attack would hopefully deal a blow to the enemy.

They were escorting UPSR made AS-50 strategic bombers from the 10th Bombardment Squadron towards the shoreline and the water, where they would fire long distance anti ship missiles once they were in range which would hopefully land hits and take down the destroyers… Which would allow the rest of the Sadiriyyan fleet to have a fighting chance in driving back the Darmiyyans from the coast. Anything else that was taken out aside from the main targets by the anti ship missiles was a bonus.

The squadron had just gotten out of the briefing which had went over all of the details of the mission, which was happening in the evening - fortunately for the pilots, it wasn’t a night strike where it would be hard to see what was in front of them visually, although it could have been one depending on how planning went. This was also one of their first flights with Zenovia Pascal as one of the members of the first flight, after the administration had moved her and her more advanced plane to that flight to avoid spreading out the squadron’s heavy hitters too much.

While it was a good move from that perspective, it maybe wasn’t one from a chemistry perspective. There was still plenty going on between Zenovia and Severina and none of it was good - the latter pretended not to know the former, and the former became more stressed every time her links with Severina were denied. And yet, even though it didn’t really look like too many believed Severina about now knowing Zenovia, there was no way right now that she was going to go back on what she had committed to. For whatever reason, she was determined to act like she didn’t know Zenovia, and avoided the question when she was questioned on it specifically.

“How long are you going to keep this lie up?” asked Zenovia, as the squadron made their way from the briefing room to the hangar while only partially wearing their flight gear. They had their flight suits on but not yet the complicated vests or their helmets - they weren’t being scrambled this time, after all, and they had some time to properly prepare rather than rushing out with the knowledge that every minute they waited could result in more destruction.

“You keep pushing this issue, Captain Pascal,” Severina replied, her voice cold as she kept walking ahead of Zenovia, not turning around to look at the face of the one that was steadily following her and talking into her ear almost. Zenovia didn’t have a problem with getting right up on her, practically matching every step that Severina took.

“You’re not wrong-” started Zenovia, but in a split second, Severina was already turned around and there was a hand headed straight into Zenovia’s face, one that as too fast moving to dodge. The blow slammed into Zenovia and sent her falling backwards and to the ground, her fall barely broken as her own quick reflexes kicked in and she allowed herself to land to the side and on her arm instead of allowing her back to slam right into the ground.

“Stay off my back,” Severina said coldly, staring down at the girl on the ground as the rune on her hand pulsed once… She stood there for a moment more before turning off and heading on her original path towards the hangars, even as the others in the squadron stopped to see just what the chaos was about. She moved ahead of the others, leaving them behind practically, picking up her own pace and moving alone… Fitting considering she had always been something of a lone wolf.

Fae kept her face impassive, cold almost, but when Zenovia ended up on the floor, she stopped and offered her hand. She wasn’t sure why either of them were like this, she was friends with Severina, but this kind of shit was starting to really grate on her nerves. Not that anyone could really tell yet, it was Fae. It was only when she finally snapped that anyone would know, and at that point it would be a very, very uncharacteristic emotional outburst. Even after the...incident from their first flight shaking her, she’d only been shaken, not to outburst levels. For now anyway, she couldn’t say it wouldn’t change if she encountered…that again.

“Come, let’s get you to your feet.”


Zenovia didn’t take Fae’s hand. She looked up at her for a moment before rolling onto her front and pushing herself up off the ground, turning in the same direction Severina had went in and heading off with her hands in her pockets. The others behind Zenovia were still for a few moments before they eventually started following her again, a lot of murmurs spreading through the group about the altercation that had happened within a couple of seconds, the result decided before the fight had begun for real thanks to the impact of magic.

Things were a bit quieter as the group prepared for takeoff, going through checklists and making sure their planes were set up properly, and then taxiing out to the runway and eventually taking off… They had a bit of a flight ahead of them, heading all the way towards the coast of the country and the waters that were beyond it. For now, things were calm and quiet. Soon, though, they would be thrown into a fight that even they weren’t expecting much.



They were getting closer to their targets and with that the tension picked up as they went over Darmiyyan ground radars and therefore practically sent out a signal for the Darmiyyan Air Force to mobilize and come deal with them. The fleet was, after all, protected by air forces based in Dahad, a city that the Sadiriyyans hadn’t been able to take yet despite making a push in that direction. And now that they were getting closer and closer to the targets, they started to detect the radar contacts that intended on getting in the way of their squadron and the bombardment group trailing behind them from a safe distance. Wouldn’t be a safe distance for long, though… They were detecting twelve ZuK-33 fighters coming for their position, enough to put up more than a good fight even with mages on the other side of the battle.

ROYAL SADIRIYYAN AIR FORCE COMMUNICATIONS
8th Fighter Squadron Channel - ENCRYPTED

ENCRYPTION KEY - AA7613-GS2736-ANU2364-MM23842-IY7393-LZK8823


-[ 8FS 1F // ZuK-33 Fury “Rogue” // Captain Severina Euclid // “Picking up twelve ZuK-33 contacts coming from the north, looks like their fleet defenders are showing up.”

-[ 8FS 1F // Kal-35 Hunter II “Highroller” // Major Jana Eseri // “I’m seeing it too. Weapons restrictions are lifted. You’re all free to engage at will.”

-[ 8FS 1F // T/F-12 Griffin “Gaul” // Captain Zenovia Pascal // “Watch this…”


ROYAL SADIRIYYAN AIR FORCE
DEFENDING THE GODDESS IN HER SKIES


Zenovia accelerated in the direction of the enemy formation, quickly followed by Jana, firing off one missile from long range which rapidly made its way to the target - who couldn’t evade in time, a distant pop being heard as the missile connected with its target and left them with one down, eleven to go as the ZuK-33 Fury fighters made their way in the direction of the large Sadiriyyan attack force, aiming to take out the bombers before they hit the point ahead where they would be able to fire their anti ship missiles and pull back and out of the area.

Fae rolled her eyes. Pushing forward, she targeted one of the surviving ZuK-33 Fury Fighters, and let loose with her own missile at the squadron ahead of them. It hit home, knocking another fighter out of the sky, and leaving ten more to deal with. They wanted the bombers, but if they ignored the 8th, none of them were going to survive to take out the bombers at this rate. Fae gripped the controls tightly, worried the enemy ace that had screwed them over last time was going to make an appearance.

But the 8th wasn’t going to remain within a safe distance forever and now some of the enemy fighters were getting into firing position… Severina fired off one more missile which slammed into the wing of another fighter and sheared that part of the plane off entirely, dropping the count further, but some of the remaining fighters were in a position to fight back. Two of the fighters broke off and went for Severina specifically, considering she had been drifting near the edge of the formation rather than with it, with two shots being fired and one of the missiles damaging her jet with shrapnel as she came very close to getting hit in her evasion attempt, the other one deflected by her ECM.

She pulled into a climb to escape, accelerating while under chase as missiles headed towards Fae from a couple of other fighters which had broken off to target her - missiles streaked from under their wings as they reached firing position and shot - following her display of skill in the first salvo of the fight where she had downed some of them, the rest of the fighters clashing with the other members of the 8th as the merge happened and the skies grew a lot more crowded and dangerous, most of the ‘air lanes’ blocked by the maneuvering of fighters on both sides as they both fought for an advantage.

The two missiles followed after Fae but couldn’t turn at a hard enough angle to keep up with her in a diving turn that was a reversal of her previous position… One of them was redirected by ECM, the other one exploded without doing any damage after not being able to catch up with her. The fight still raged around her, however… Jana found herself locked in a battle with one of the other fighters, turning hard to the right and then hard to the left and having a hard time getting it off her tail, before finally dropping her altitude as the missile came, with Severina jumping into their duel and aiming at the enemy fighter with her guns as she nearly slammed into it coming from a previous engagement, showing just how crowded the airspace was right now.

The enemy plane was smoking at first from the strike of the guns and then it exploded, helping out Jana and leaving Severina wondering if she’d taken any damage from passing through it. She didn’t think she had, but she continued on, heading into the face of another enemy fighter which was barreling towards her with its engines almost at full power, firing off one more missile before aggressively pulling up on the stick to destroy the plane as she went straight up in the air, avoiding both the potential collision and the fireball that had come from shooting down a jet that was… Headed for her straight on. “Fuckin’ amazing…” she muttered under her breath, impressed by her natural reflexes when she hadn’t even been using magic.

ROYAL SADIRIYYAN AIR FORCE COMMUNICATIONS
8th Fighter Squadron Channel - ENCRYPTED

ENCRYPTION KEY - AA7613-GS2736-ANU2364-MM23842-IY7393-LZK8823


-[ 8FS 1F // Kal-35 Hunter II “Highroller” // Major Jana Eseri // “Their fleet defense is smashed… Come on, squadron. We can proceed to the target and make sure nothing else pops up.”

-[ 8FS 1F // ZuK-33 Fury “Rogue” // Captain Severina Euclid // “Fuck yeah…”


ROYAL SADIRIYYAN AIR FORCE
DEFENDING THE GODDESS IN HER SKIES


Fae sent a silent acknowledgement of the order to move into the gulf. She maneuvered herself so that if the surviving fleet defenses gave chase, she would be their first target, not the already damaged Severina. She was being more careful with her missiles and fighter than last time. Perhaps she was still shaken from the ace encounter than she believed herself to be. She took a calming breath, reminding herself the enemy ace had an extremely recognizable fighter. She found it extremely unlikely a valuable asset like this would be hidden among lesser machines, or on routine defense. No, they were probably deployed for priority targets, such as her and Severina, alongside the heiress of this country.

But as they headed into the gulf it seemed like they were picking up more contacts on radar, ones that… Didn’t match any existing radar systems that were known. Rather than picking up contacts based on the plane itself, radar systems generally displayed their designations by identifying the radar itself of the opposing plane - but in this case the radar that was being used by the enemy didn’t match one that they had seen before.

Once again, what they knew was unraveling and they were faced with an unfamiliar reality.

ROYAL SADIRIYYAN AIR FORCE COMMUNICATIONS
8th Fighter Squadron Channel - ENCRYPTED

ENCRYPTION KEY - AA7613-GS2736-ANU2364-MM23842-IY7393-LZK8823


-[ 8FS 1F // Kal-35 Hunter II “Highroller” // Major Jana Eseri // “Picking up four contacts coming in from the west, looks hostile but doesn’t match anything we currently know of…”

-[ 8FS 1F // Kal-33 Hunter “Maeve” // Captain Fae Draiocht // “Great. More enemy surprise, if this is anything like last time expect at least one of them to be a mage. Best case scenario, just advanced well trained pilots, but I don’t think so.”

-[ 8FS 1F // Kal-35 Hunter II “Highroller” // Major Jana Eseri // “We have numbers on them… You have permission to engage.”

-[ 8FS 1F // Kal-33 Hunter “Maeve” // Captain Fae Draiocht // “I would recommend pairing off for each one, just in case my instincts about at least one of them being a mage is correct. That and I don’t recognize those profiles, the last Ace we encountered was modified, these could be even more advanced than that.”

[ENCRYPTION BROKEN] -[ UNITAS // ??? // Evelia Longinus Laurentinus // “The mages among you have two options… Either drop your stores and turn on a western heading, and spare the rest of your unit… Or die. The choice is yours.”

-[ 8FS 1F // Kal-33 Hunter “Maeve” // Captain Fae Draiocht // “J...Major, orders?”

-[ 8FS 1F // Kal-35 Hunter II “Highroller” // Major Jana Eseri // “Your judgement here, I don’t fuckin’ know about these mages and shit… You’re the best one to make a call.”

-[ 8FS 1F // Kal-33 Hunter “Maeve” // Captain Fae Draiocht // “Shit...Rogue, what about you?”

-[ 8FS 1F // ZuK-33 Fury “Rogue” // Captain Severina Euclid // “When the fuck have I ever ran? I don’t give a shit what you do, I’m engaging.”

-[ 8FS 1F // Kal-33 Hunter “Maeve” // Captain Fae Draiocht // “Roger that, I’ve got your back.”


ROYAL SADIRIYYAN AIR FORCE
DEFENDING THE GODDESS IN HER SKIES


Fae’s hands were pale from how tight she was clutching the controls of her fighter. She didn’t know what to do, if they would truly spare the unit this mission might fail, but they’d survive to continue to fly in the war. If they were lying and they did as they asked anyway, Fae would ever be able to forgive herself for abandoning her friends, and her promise by signing on for them. She didn’t know what to do. With Severina promising to engage, Fae moved to take position beside her. Hands ready to fire the moment the enemy came into view, rune itching on her hand as she prepared to tap her magic.

Severina accelerated and pushed the throttle to the afterburner setting, zooming ahead of the rest of the group as the rest of the squadron other than Fae hung back at their normal pace, staying somewhat close to the bombers and their assigned task of escorting them. It wasn’t long afterwards that their warning receivers lit up with the sounds indicating that missiles were coming their direction, from off in the distance where they couldn’t yet see the enemy they were dealing with.

If that was how they wanted to play it, fine. Fae banked hard, not yet willing to use her magic. The first missile aimed at her missed by a fairly wide margin, the second was diverted only at the last second by her ECM. She still waited, the moment an enemy was in sight her magic would be guiding a missile. She only hoped that Zenovia and Jana could handle whatever else came after them while Fae and Severina were distracted.

Severina swerved to avoid the two missiles sent enar her and accelerated once again, the enemy coming into view not much longer afterwards… And from what they could see, these weren’t any normal planes with traditional wings, but rather a structure that was almost completely unorthodox, showing the signs that this was some kind of experimental prototype model. Four enemies, rapidly approaching them, but only two of them engaged immediately as two of them climbed upwards at a hard angle as if they intended to keep going for the formation that was headed towards the Darmiyyan fleet further into the gulf.

Now, with both sides rapidly approaching each other, a second exchange of missiles was inevitable. Severina locked up the lead target and fired a testing shot, to see the reactions of the enemy, but she found that the missile didn’t have much of a chance once it ended up close to the enemy… The electronic warfare pod under one of the wing along with a quick and unnaturally fast bank resulted in the missile being sent away harmlessly, the pilot descending as if she planned to go under Severina and Fae.

Fae fired on a different target than the one that was dipping down. Severina was engaging that one, Fae would distract one of the others. They needed to take them down quickly, they had the number advantage and better fighters. Fae fired her missile, rune glowing as she channeled her magic into it, face no longer impassive, but concerned and angry. The missile was evaded… Not just evaded, but easily. And the fighter that had been targeted, after going into a roll that seemed to have thrown the missile off, or maybe redirected it via magic, suddenly went into a sharp dive before the merge at which point the nose of the fighter angled up sharply, the cannon firing into the underside of Fae’s jet before the pilot leveled the wings out and kept going behind, before pulling into a climb to turn back around and get another shot at the two mercenary mages.

Severina, on the other hand, was trying to win in a turning battle, both fighters trying to get onto the tail of the other one to get in position for a shot, the experimental fighter having in advantage in movement but Severina seeming like the more experienced and less raw pilot behind the stick. It was hard to tell what the result of this battle was going to be… Severina couldn’t get the upper hand, but she was staying just out of the reach of her enemy, at least until her enemy dropped speed and swung the nose around to face her, cannon firing but missing because of the longer range of the attack. But Severina wasn’t out of the woods just yet as a pair of missiles streaked out from under the wing pylons of the prototype, one of them being sent away by her ECM pod and the other one being forced to turn at an impossible angle when Severina applied a brief time field, slowing the thing down and then turning at an angle before releasing it to send it continuing straight forward into the empty space she had previously occupied.

Fae growled to herself as the enemies cannon ripped into her fighter. Still, she used this chance to follow behind this enemy, keeping them from getting another clear shot without using their own magic. They would have to play smart to keep them from destroying them here, and in a way, that meant exhausting them. Magic was tiring, and the more they had to use it compared to Fae and Severina, the better. The missile was sent away, most likely through some kind of high level magic… And even with Fae directly behind the enemy, it seemed they still had tricks left up their sleeves. First, the nose of the fighter pitched up as it had during the cannons attack, but this time the movement didn’t stop once the nose was pointed in the air, instead continuing until the enemy fighter was flying upside down, in position to pass directly over top of Fae…

And as the pass was made, she’s get to see a glimpse of the pilot inside, someone with a rune on her face rather than the hand or somewhere else, who didn’t seem to be wearing the typical pilot’s equipment such as a respirator and the like. Clearly, whoever they were dealing with here had an unconventional style - Fae wouldn’t have much time to focus on that because there was another target approaching rapidly, one of the other two fighters that had originally gone off towards the bombers, two more missiles firing in her direction while the other pilot worked on pulling a hard move to put herself beneath Fae and behind her, one of the two missiles exploding around Fae at the same time and dealing her proximity damage.

ROYAL SADIRIYYAN AIR FORCE COMMUNICATIONS
8th Fighter Squadron Channel - ENCRYPTED

ENCRYPTION KEY - AA7613-GS2736-ANU2364-MM23842-IY7393-LZK8823


-[ 8FS 1F // Kal-35 Hunter II “Highroller” // Major Jana Eseri // “We’ve destroyed the two Darmiyyan destroyers in the gulf as well as two of their frigates and a couple of corvettes… You have authorization to retreat back to the shoreline and our ground based air defenses there.”


ROYAL SADIRIYYAN AIR FORCE
DEFENDING THE GODDESS IN HER SKIES


Fae acknowledged and banked, hard, using her magic to make it the tightest turn she could, and then accelerated back towards shore. As she turned, she let her autocannon fire, hoping for perhaps a glancing hit as she twisted, before engaging her afterburners. She watched Severina closely, if Severina didn’t retreat she’d have to twist back around and save her overconfident ass. They’d accomplished their mission, there was no reason to continuing engaging an enemy that had them outnumbered and outclassed, in tech and raw power anyway. They seemed inexperienced to Fae.

Severina turned and followed after Fae, the enemy in her general area breaking off as they moved to rejoin the formation that was now turning around and heading back to shore, including the bombers which had completed their task and fired their payloads with success at the enemy fleet. It didn’t seem like the four fighters were going to follow them and engage while being outnumbered like this, although it did look like the two that had broken off had dealt significant damage to the rest of the squadron that hadn’t followed after Fae and Severina…

They would have a lot of things to think of on the way back home as they survived yet another encounter and another ominous warning, something that it was unclear if they would be able to continue doing if this became a recurring trend.



The squadron landed safely back at Jaddad Capital Airbase and the pilots were soon able to get out of their equipment and planes… Some of them were hanging around the hangar while other ones were heading off to get something to eat after the long sortie or were heading back to their rooms - it was night by now, after all. The landings had been in the pitch blackness, which had been some experience, but by now it was in the back of everyone’s minds as they were safe and sound on the ground.

Even if not all of them felt the safest.

“What are we even going to do about this?” Severina asked Fae after getting out of her vest and helmet so she was just wearing the plain base layer of her flight suit. “Go with them if this happens again? Leave the country like we were warned to earlier?”

“I...I don’t know. They clearly don’t like that we’re here, we can probably expect enemy mages to intervene in any major missions our squadron is in. They want us gone, one way or another, I don’t think they care much so long as we stop flying here. On the other hand, that means they clearly think we’re a threat, which is...flattering in a way. Still, I...I don’t know. What we have won’t last long without other work, we have enemies targeting us explicitly, and I doubt either side will make it easy for us to just...leave.”

“I’m not one for running,” said Severina, pausing as she looked down at the rune on the back of her hand, stretching and unstretching her fingers. “Just don’t know if we’re going to be able to keep it up if this is going to be a repeating thing. Hardly got out of the first time alive and now we don’t even know what the fuck we’re facing out there… Unknown planes, mysterious mages, how are we expected to deal with this shit?”

“Well, we could prepare an ambush for them. Trick them into engaging us when we have more support than they know. They want to hunt us, we can turn the tables and hunt them.”

“They’re fighting a defensive war, how the hell are we going to do that? They don’t need to come all the way down here when they can withstand whatever we’re throwing at them for a bit and then clean up. It’s just a numbers game, really,” Severina said in frustration, leaning against the side of her plane and holding her head frustratedly. “I’m not that confident in ‘normal’ stuff helping much against them either.”

“Just gotta manipulate it into more favorable circumstances. They’ve dealt with us twice, both were important missions. Spread some intel that we’re the vanguard for a big push of some kind, doubt they can resist something like that. When they appear, we draw them into somewhere where we have more support. Something to even the odds. Hell if I know if it’ll work, but they always have the upper hand when they hit us, we need to take it away somehow.”

Severina replied by pounding her fist into the side of her plane in frustration. “I dunno, Fae… Maybe I’d just be better off going off by myself without all this bullshit at home and in the field,” she said, taking a step away from the plane and turning her back, but stopping to glance backwards. “I’ve heard Ciarvaux is in turmoil.”

“And do you think they’ll just let us walk out of here until this war is decided?”

Fae took a step after Severina, she wasn’t going to let her just walk away like that. If Severina left...Fae would have nothing left, nothing at all. No friends, never had any family, and the money she had wouldn’t go far, and the enemy mages would have an even easier time hunting her with Severina there to help her. She didn’t have a lot of options.

“I’m saying they don’t exactly have control of the border to the south… It’s anarchy down there. Literally,” Severina stated, turning eventually and meeting eyes with Fae. “And who the fuck said anything about us?

“....fine.”

Fae turned, and walked away. Now she really had nothing left, if Severina was going to be like that. She was going to get herself lost for a little while, find somewhere quiet to sit and think. Maybe it was just best that she stay here. Apparently all anyone wanted her for was her magic, if that was all she had left...she might as well stay here. She didn’t know, all she knew was that she had finally lost everything. Even Severina, who had pulled her into all this to begin with, was abandoning her.

But Severina had her own problems to deal with, dropping to her knees where she stood, fist pounding into the ground with magically enhanced strength, leaving a stain of blood at the site of the impact, denting the concrete in the process. “I’m just sick of the bullshit!” she screamed, her mental state clearly taking a nosedive from the events of the past month. “But I’m never going to control my own life, am I? I’m just a fucking pawn again!”

After everything she had gone through, after getting away from the Union of Librosi States and their Special Tactics Group, after escaping the grasp of the Union Intelligence Bureau, she was once again… Just a pawn in some larger game, with allies she couldn’t trust to have her back and enemies that outmatched her and left her with little good options. It was a punch in the gut for her… And at this point, it was impacting her will to even keep fighting, knowing this was the spot she was stuck in.
Last edited by Durmatagno on Mon Jul 22, 2019 8:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
When we lose one we love, our bitterest tears are called forth by the memory of hours when we loved not enough. - Maurice Maeterlinck

There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are the messengers of overwhelming grief, of deep contrition, and of unspeakable love. - Washington Irving

It is easy to hate and it is difficult to love. This is how the whole scheme of things works. All good things are difficult to achieve; and bad things are very easy to get. - Confucius

User avatar
Lunas Legion
Postmaster of the Fleet
 
Posts: 29377
Founded: Jan 21, 2013
Psychotic Dictatorship

Postby Lunas Legion » Thu Jul 25, 2019 3:38 pm

SEASON 1 ‘DESERT STORM DREAMING’
Collaborative post between Forest State and Lunas Legion

EPISODE 13 ‘Flashing Lights’

Gabriella Sara Bianchi-Costa & Rhea Fabre
Ranhalt, North Tiamannic Confederation
September 18th, 1675 N.E.


Everything was… Different.

It hadn’t taken a violent interrogation or any of the usual means, and yet right now, for Gabriella Bianchi-Costa and Rhea Fabre, it would feel nothing more like they had been on the wrong side for the previous length of the ‘conflict’ between the North Tiamanic Confederation and the Kingdom of Reine… No, that was a bit inaccurate. It would feel like they had been on the wrong side for opposing the mysterious organization that had appeared in the shadows of it all… Unitas. Apparently connected to the Unitas Group, the megacorporation that controlled the Southwest Lysosian Confederation through their control of hundreds of companies including key ones to the nation’s functions and economy such as power companies, the largest industrial groups, and internet companies, giving them an effective monopoly… But apparently, Unitas didn’t just want to stop at controlling a confederation of islands in the far southeast.

Because they were here, in Europa, and they were apparently making moves involving the Kingdom of Reine and the NTC - which didn’t seem like it was going to be good for the NTC, all things considered. They had, after all, met with a pro-Reinic lobby in the NTC and had been spotted with a Darmiyyan weapons scientist. Why? What were they planning?

Gabriella and Rhea would find themselves awaking once again in the city of Ranhalt, but not at the music hall where they had agreed to go with the Unitas agent… Not just any agent but some kind of powerful mage who wore her rune as a sleeve rather than a mark. Not that they’d had a choice, their cover had been seen through by the mage and going along with what was planned for them was the only way they could get out of, well… Getting shot because of the discovery.

Both of them could remember losing consciousness shortly after going with the mage.

Now, both of them would awake to… Flashing lights. Flashing lights pointed directly at their faces, the lights coming from a device which wasn’t quite like a flashlight but was hard to describe as anything else either, held up by some anonymous agent clad in black, the woman from earlier standing in the background as a number of colors and even small symbols flashed before their eyes each microsecond - it was hard to describe what it was like, it was definitely much quicker than a strobe light that one might find at a nightclub.

“They’re both awake,” the woman standing in the back remarked, the light still shining in their faces.

“Then we’ll get to see just how well this is going to work…”

“Based on the previous rounds, it should work just fine.”

The other agent lowered the device, and the woman - still wearing a tank top which displayed the rune sleeve on her arm, turned to face Gabriella and Rhea. “I hope you realize that your purpose has changed,” she stated to both of them, calmly, her eyes traveling between the both of them. “And that your old objectives of preserving the North Tiamanic Confederation are dead.”

“Superceded sounds better, but same difference.” Gabriella waved dismissively, simply accepting the woman’s statements as fact. “I’m assuming you have new objectives for us then, no?”

“The North Tiamanic Confederation is set to change hands in exchange for cooperation and a less important piece of Tiamannia, the Saksian region that will soon enough be in chaos… You two are some of the ones involved in making that happen. With that being said, you aren’t expected to just drop your cover. No, your worth comes from the fact that you’re on the inside of the other side so to speak,” the woman stated. “You’re going to go back to where you were before your capture, and you’re going to continue working as usual. You won’t step out of line until you receive orders for that.”

“I see.” Gabriella nodded. Easy orders, continue doing exactly what they were doing until they were ordered to do otherwise. “And if something comes up which we believe requires your attention, or you wish to issue us orders, how will that be done?”

“You’ll find that out when it comes up,” the woman said, before reaching into her pockets and pulling out a couple of phones. She tossed them to Gabriella and Rhea. “Your phones… Update your allies on where you’ve been. I believe you can say that you were gathering more intel but that you had your phones taken.”

WHO’SAPP
The Top Messaging App From The Third World

Group Chat - Monarchist Meme Page


[ROKSANA RUDANSKI] - STOP GHOSTING BITCH

[DANA GATTI] - it’s been how long… 8 hours?

[GABRIELLA SARA BIANCHI-COSTA] - Sorry girls, phones got taken and had to do a lot of talking but we have what we came for. Will brief further once back at safehouse.

[RHEA FABRE] - headed back soon


Who’sApp Corporation All Rights Reserved 1675


The woman gestured for both of them to get up. “As far as what you found, your ‘discovery’ is that the Silver Cross is working with a weapons engineer based in Darmiyya to create a major chemical weapon for more extreme elements of the monarchist movement to use for an attack - one that will happen in Ranhalt and serve to greatly destabilize things in the NTC,” she stated. “Our own involvement in all of this will remain under wraps for now. The leak of this information, however, is all part of the planned events.”

She started walking away, turning to face Gabriella and Rhea one more time. “You will procede with your usual duties as agents of the ULS during this investigation. There is no need for deviation from the norm until you receive contact from us, which will be when you are needed… Act on your own initiative and you will be neutralized.”

Gabriella nodded once. “Clear. I was just asking in case the other elements of our team come across something of their own accord. I don’t believe they will, but I felt it was best to ask just in case.”

“In that case, you’ll find out what to do in a timely way. Regardless, you may leave now and return to your unit across town… There will be a car waiting for you outside of this apartment to take you to the general vicinity. I expect that you will live up to your expectations here.”

“We’ll do our best.” Gabriella nodded again as she moved to leave. “I don’t like failing people.”
Last edited by William Slim Wed Dec 14 1970 10:35 pm, edited 35 times in total.

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User avatar
Forest State
Senator
 
Posts: 3920
Founded: Aug 23, 2016
Capitalist Paradise

Postby Forest State » Fri Jul 26, 2019 5:01 am

SEASON 1 ‘DESERT STORM DREAMING’
Collaborative post between Forest State, Lunas Legion, & Durmatagno

EPISODE 14 ‘Not One Step Back’

Severina Euclid, Uria Al-Yatimi & Fae Draiocht
Jaddad Capital Airbase, Holy Kingdom of Sadiriyya
October 19th, 1675 N.E.




Image

Following more successes in the early part of the Third Sadiriyyan-Darmiyyan War than many expected, members of the Sadiriyyan government have decided that it’s time to use international diplomacy to attempt to gain an advantage. Due to the dangerous nature of the airspace around Sadiriyya, the 8th Fighter Squadron have been assigned as escorts for the diplomatic aircraft headed to the capital of the UPSR.




It was going to be an awkward morning.

At least, that was what Severina thought as she stood outside the door of her squadronmate, knowing that she had to do something to apologize for her outburst before, to do… Something to right things even as her mental state took a toll on her and this war in general took a toll on her. They had gained ground in Nasara but they had lost ground on the western front to the south of Fuwa, and in a way, it was still impossible to predict what the outcome of the conflict was going to be. They did know, however, that the enemy still had dangerous aces in their command - aces who they hadn’t seen since the most recent encounter in the naval strike operation. It didn’t make Severina feel very… Confident in the future.

But she was here for now. And she wasn’t ready quite yet to burn bridges with one of the only people that could understand what was going on for her. The only person that had come here with her in the first place.

Fae was ...quieter than usual. More isolated, more alone than before. She still had her outings with Jana, they were enjoyable and helped get her mind off things, but she wasn’t in a very good state. She was sitting on her bed, changing bandages now wrapping the stripped skin on the knuckles of her left hand. With the bandage off she stopped, turning over her hand to look at the rune emblazoned on her palm. She looked at it for a few minutes, before resuming changing her bandages, including treating the wounds. Her side project of trying to breakdown the magic that had allowed their enemy to transmit into her head was side tracked for now, she was in no state to be experimenting with unfamiliar magic.

Severina finally knocked. She couldn’t just stand outside forever without doing anything, she knew she had to… Take her shot eventually. And so, she knocked twice on the door before lowering her hand, waiting, glancing over at what was in her other hand as she wondered if she was going to get a response. She hoped she’d get one. She didn’t think she would get the courage up to give herself another chance if there was no response.

Fae looked up at the knock, and put down the fresh bandage she was about to start wrapping. Standing, she moved to open the door. She hesitated for one moment, taking a deep breath, before opening the door. Her heart sank when she saw it was Severina on the other side.

“Hello Severina...come in.”

Fae’s voice was...colder than normal, by even her own cold standards. She turned away to go back to bandaging her hand. She didn’t know why Severina was here, but she needed to finish this regardless. She’d put her own dent in a wall somewhere after parting ways with Severina last, smaller than Severina’s but no less real, and no less painful.

Severina nodded and stepped inside, and she immediately looked to the object in her hand and extended it towards Fae - a box, wrapped with a ribbon, which she had picked up earlier in the day after making a trip into the city center. “Chocolate,” she stated, getting right down to the point about what she was giving her… It was easier to start with that than it was to start off talking about what she was feeling, about what she had done that she felt bad about. “That I wanted to give you as… An apology for before. I figured I’d give you something instead of just telling you.”

Fae finished wrapping the bandage on her hand before responding. She turned and looked at the box for a moment, before reaching out and taking it with...gently shaking hands. She looked down at it, and chuckled lightly, though it was truly sincere. She tossed the box onto her bed and reached out, grabbing Severina, and pulling her into a short hug. The pain, and confusion weren’t gone, but at least Severina hadn’t abandoned her like she had suspected.

“Chocolate, I don’t think anyone has ever given me chocolate before...thank you Severina.”

“I… Nevermind,” Severina said, taking the hug somewhat awkwardly and backing away somewhat when Fae released her, her mind traveling other places - but she knew that she didn’t want to consider Fae that way when she was committed on going it alone in everything she was involved in. That was something she couldn’t see herself changing, even if… Even if it was for Fae.

“I guess, about before I mean, the battlefield stress got to me a bit too much and… I was pissed that you weren’t on my side about the Zenovia thing,” she said, turning away slightly, looking at her feet instead of the person she was talking to. “But I’m trying to not let that stress break me.”

Fae looked down at her bandaged hand, then back to Severina. She sighed and put her injured hand on Severina’s shoulder, and gently turned her, showing her the bandages.

“Stress gets the better of everyone. I know I’ve been...struggling with it since that first flight. I find that the best way to deal with stress is to just...forget about it for awhile. How about an hour or two in the hotsprings? Just you and me for a bit. No war, not flight, just...us. Take some time to really relax.”

Fae’s voice was even, returning the neutral state she kept it in at almost all times, though it was no longer as cold as it was previously. More normal for her, maybe slightly warmer than neutral. She was taking a bit of a risk here, but she was hoping to just...escape everything for a little while. Jana helped, but Fae hadn’t had a lot of one on one time with Severina since they got here.

“I’m not the kind of person that can just forget but… I guess I could,” Severina said with a shrug, conceding even though she had her reservations. “I mean, it can’t hurt… I don’t think it can at least… I just… Ugh, nevermind.”

“No, one can never really forget, but one can focus on something else for a while. The mind has a way of trapping itself in it’s own personal hell...as I was very vividly reminded of recently.”

Fae let out a more bitter chuckle at this last statement.

“But some time with friends helps more than stewing in one’s own fears. So...let’s relax for a bit, just us, the warm water, and the steam.”

Fae reached down and grabbed the box of chocolates, pulling of the ribbon, and opening it. Taking out a few pieces, she held them in her bandaged hand, before grabbing Severina’s own injured hand, and putting a piece in it.

“A little treat on the way, and I...might have some alcohol stashed away if you want some.”

“You already know that I think you need that stuff more than I do… But anyway, I won’t hang around too long. I just wanted to, you know, tell you that I fucked up before… And to try to make things a bit better,” Severina said, smiling slightly but turning back towards the door. “I’ll see you later today, I guess. I know we have that flight scheduled.”

“Apology accepted Severina just...don’t be a stranger okay?”

Fae sighed internally. It seemed as if she’d never get to spend any time in that hotspring with Severina at this rate. She’d be gone or the war over before they ever got a real chance at it.



The mission today wasn’t an offensive one but one that would send the 8th Fighter Squadron on escort duty as a diplomatic flight headed east - the final destination was the Union of Prestrovian Socialist Republics, but before they could reach that country, they would have to cross through the dangerous gulf region in which it was possible they’d be under attack by Darmiyyan forces from their mainland or from their allied Imperial Prestrovian colony of Malino, which was located to the south of Sadiriyya and well within range to launch attacks from. Furthermore, while passing through the waters of the Jezarab Island Emirates, they couldn’t count on safety. With the JIE somewhat friendly with Darmiyya, it was possible they’d look the other way to Darmiyya using their airspace.

The Harmon Aeropsace jet had been flying peacefully to this point, flanked by the planes of the 8th, but that had been the early part of the flight and they were now well over the JIE on their way to the Central Lysosian Republics, where they had a stopover planned before the flight would continue on into the UPSR. Of course, the fighters weren’t heading all the way into the CLR, but they were escorting the diplomatic plane until it reached a safe distance from the JIE, and they were taking advantage of aerial refueling to extend their range long enough to do so after launching from Jaddad.

It was at this point, possibly the calm before the storm, that they were receiving that extra fuel before they’d have to continue on above dangerous waters, and it was a tense moment… After all, it wouldn’t be good for them if they ended up getting attacked here and now, as they were following after the ViK-41K tanker, two refueling booms extended at a time - one from each wing.

ROYAL SADIRIYYAN AIR FORCE COMMUNICATIONS
8th Fighter Squadron Channel - ENCRYPTED

ENCRYPTION KEY - AA7613-GS2736-ANU2364-MM23842-IY7393-LZK8823


-[ 8FS 1F // Kal-35 Hunter II “Highroller” // Major Jana Eseri // “Second flight, you’re now up for refueling. I know we haven’t had to do this yet, but don’t fuck it up.”

-[ 8FS 2F // Kal-33 Hunter I “Kitsune” // Captain Uria Al-Yatimi // “Never had to do that before, can’t be that much more difficult than combat though.”

-[ 8FS 1F // Kal-35 Hunter II “Highroller” // Major Jana Eseri // “This is about the opposite of needing twitch reflexes… Still, we’ll see what happens.”


ROYAL SADIRIYYAN AIR FORCE
DEFENDING THE GODDESS IN HER SKIES


The first flight had cleared out to make room for the second flight to refuel, and the first two to go were Rosa Dela Cruz and Yasmin Khouri, the ones who were the first and second in the flying order. With two booms, the ViK-41K was capable of refueling two planes at once, and it cut the time in half to get done for the entire squadron. But one of the downsides was that this method resulted in a boom that was less stable than the singular one on some of the more western tanker designs, and the actual process was a challenge… Pretty soon, the air behind the tanker was open once again, and Uria was one of the next two up to receive fuel.

Uria let out a deep breath. She knew the theory behind aerial refuelling, at least, but that didn’t mean she’d ever been lucky enough to actually have any practical experience with it. The Sultanate of Tsou’s air force’s fighters were described by pilots of other airforces as deathtraps at best, and they were lucky enough to have those, let alone aerial tankers.

Still, the first two members of her flight had managed it, so she could do it too as she slowly guided her fighter into position behind the tanker. It was just a matter of getting into the right position and holding there.

ROYAL SADIRIYYAN AIR FORCE COMMUNICATIONS
8th Fighter Squadron Channel - ENCRYPTED

ENCRYPTION KEY - AA7613-GS2736-ANU2364-MM23842-IY7393-LZK8823


-[ 8FS // ViK-41K “oilgate” // “Commencing refueling…”

-[ 8FS 2F // Kal-35 Hunter “Tuksuhan” // Major Rosa Dela Cruz // “Picking up seven contacts on radar… Approaching from the direction of JIE territory…”

-[ 8FS 2F // Kal-35 Hunter “Maddog” // Captain Nadine Legrand // “Emiratis!? Attacking us?”

-[ 8FS 1F // Kal-35 Hunter II “Highroller” // Major Jana Eseri // “On orders of Darmiyya? Maybe. Not like we’re in a position to strike back much at them.”

-[ 8FS 2F // Kal-35 Hunter “Tuksuhan” // Major Rosa Dela Cruz // “They could just be on their way to escort us across their territory…”

-[ 8FS 1F // Kal-35 Hunter II “Highroller” // Major Jana Eseri // “Hold your weapons for now. And it looks like the planes headed our way are… F-26s… Great.”

-[ 8FS 2F // Kal-33 Hunter I “Kitsune” // Captain Uria Al-Yatimi // “Better hope they’re just here to escort us on, not in much of a position to evade if they do attack.”

-[ 8FS 1F // Kal-35 Hunter II “Highroller” // Major Jana Eseri // “Hurry up and finish your fueling, they aren’t here yet.”

-[ 8FS 2F // Kal-33 Hunter I “Kitsune” // Captain Uria Al-Yatimi // “How am I supposed to hurry it up, the hose can only pump a certain amount of fuel in a given amount of time, I’m stuck here until I’ve been here long enough.”

-[ 8FS 1F // Kal-35 Hunter II “Highroller” // Major Jana Eseri // “Then act like a big girl and make a decision on whether you want to break off, princess… First flight, follow me towards the potential threat.”

-[ 8FS 2F // Kal-33 Hunter I “Kitsune” // Captain Uria Al-Yatimi // “I’m staying to refuel.”


ROYAL SADIRIYYAN AIR FORCE
DEFENDING THE GODDESS IN HER SKIES


The first flight accelerated towards the incoming Emirati fighters while the first two members of the second flight pulled ahead a bit, giving Uria and Nadine some time to continue refueling as the tanker stayed on its perfectly straight path, the two fighters trailing behind each of the wings and taking on fuel behind it. They weren’t getting any contact from the Emirati fighters, it seemed that they were hostile, that they were coming in to attack without giving any indication of instructions or that they were here to escort the fighters. When the refueling finished, the 8th would move into combat formation.

ROYAL SADIRIYYAN AIR FORCE COMMUNICATIONS
8th Fighter Squadron Channel - ENCRYPTED

ENCRYPTION KEY - AA7613-GS2736-ANU2364-MM23842-IY7393-LZK8823


-[ 8FS 1F // Kal-35 Hunter II “Highroller” // Major Jana Eseri // “Since they aren’t contacting us I’m going to say to go weapons free… Fire on any of them that come into range.”

-[ 8FS 2F // Kal-33 Hunter I “Kitsune” // Captain Uria Al-Yatimi // “Roger that.”


ROYAL SADIRIYYAN AIR FORCE
DEFENDING THE GODDESS IN HER SKIES


Uria didn’t hesitate, letting off a single missile towards the approaching enemy as soon as they entered range. She didn’t want to close, but fortunately her flight was further back than the first flight owing to having been delayed by waiting for her and Nadine, the third pilot in their flight, to finish refuelling, so they still had distance for now.

Fae stayed quiet, but once one of the jets was in range, she let a missile loose. As she did, she banked slightly, widening herself from the rest of the formation to allow her fellow pilots a bit more room to maneuver. She saved her magic for now, she would use it only in an emergency, or if an enemy mage presented themselves, but so far none of the heavily customized fighters that marked the enemy fighters had appeared. She let herself relax slightly, keeping her head on the mission at hand.

Neither of the missiles hit the enemy fighters, leaving them in a somewhat tough position as they were now faced with seven fighters heading towards their formation in range to fire back - the first missile hadn’t had the range to effectively make it and the second one had been diverted by the electronic countermeasures of the opposing fighter. Severina, Jana, and Rosa were some of the first ones to shoot once the enemy closed in a bit more, putting them in a better range to fire… The final shot from Rosa was the only one that made impact with the enemy but it did bring the count that they had to deal with down to six.

Their main focus right now was protecting the transport which they were escorting and Severina rolled to the side to do that, positioning herself closer to it over the right wing of it, and that was when the missiles started coming in from the enemy. One at Fae, one at Uria, one at herself, one at Jana in the initial attack as the others waited for things to get a bit closer to fire. The resulting evasion attempts were enough to keep them alive but not to keep them from taking damage from the proximity of the explosions, the outside of Severina’s aircraft taking visible damage as she swerved to avoid the missile… But at least it had come for her and not for the one they were escorting.

A pair of the Emirati fighters dove away from their main formation, coming downwards at an angle towards the transport which they were escorting… It quickly caught Severina’s attention, and she made a callout about it on the comms channel.

ROYAL SADIRIYYAN AIR FORCE COMMUNICATIONS
8th Fighter Squadron Channel - ENCRYPTED

ENCRYPTION KEY - AA7613-GS2736-ANU2364-MM23842-IY7393-LZK8823


-[ 8FS 1F // Kal-33 Hunter “Rogue” // Captain Severina Euclid // “Two incoming fighters getting real close to the transport…”


ROYAL SADIRIYYAN AIR FORCE
DEFENDING THE GODDESS IN HER SKIES


And with that she pitched her nose up and fired a missile upwards at the dive bombing fighters, blowing off the left wing and causing the thing to spin dangerously close to her as it went out of control and exploded once it was past the Sadiriyyan formation, the pilot having ejected as soon as the missile hit. BUt that still left one fighter to deal with, aside from the others that hadn’t yet been taken out…

“Fuckers.” Uria swore to herself, slightly dazed from the missile that’d exploded just above her as she pitched upwards and let loose a second missile, trying to hit the remaining fighter. They had numbers on their side here, but they had to protect the transport. If that went down this was all pointless. She let out another muffled swear as the missile sailed past its target.

Zenovia also quickly ascended, taking advantage of the sharp handling of the T/F-12 Griffin that she was flying, and fired off a shot of her own, but the fighter banked sharply and was able to avoid it… Well, it had forced the enemy back somewhat, but that didn’t mean there weren’t a number of others in the area that were hostile and ready to attack the defenseless target that was under the protection of the 8th. The transport itself went into a defensive pattern by ascending, but that still left the fighters of the 8th with a problem on their hands to deal with…

As the transport ascended, the enemy fighters picked up altitude with it, one of them firing a pair of shots at Uria after identifying her as one of the main ones in the way of the target, the proximity damage tearing into her fuselage and doing enough damage that her plane would be plainly apparently to anyone looking at the formation - the damage was enough to set it apart from all of the others. At the same time, another missile barreled towards Severina from the side, but when she pitched the nose up and cut the engine, she was able to force it to have to turn at an impossible angle, forcing a miss before returning to her original position while Jana hunted the jet that had fired the missile, letting loose with her cannon but watching as the advanced fighter pulled a tight turn to escape her range after the first volley, which had missed.

Fae turned into position to fire at the enemy jet most directly threatening the formation at current. All the jets must be taken out, but those still in position to fire on the formation were the ones that needed to be taken care of most. With one of their own out of the fight, or close enough to it to be a nonfactor, Fae decided it was time to tape into her magic. As her missile fired, she reached out, and ensnared it in the hold of her magic, trying to ensure a hit and force the enemy to reprioritize targets. Once the missile was as on course as she could get it, she used her magic to allow herself a sudden, hard bank, throwing off the aim of the closest fighters.

Uria let out another string of curses, all manner of warning lights blinking on her plane’s console, but she wasn’t exactly in a position to disengage here as much as she might’ve wished to. Didn’t matter how much you got paid if you were dead, after all.

Meanwhile, Jana pushed her own more advanced fighter, the movement skills upgraded from the Hunter Is that the majority of the others in the squadron were flying, pointing her nose towards the one fighter that she had been evaded by and pressing down on the release button, a missile firing this time instead of a cannon burst but missing… She was chasing this fighter straight upwards, however, and she kept her nose on it even as the missile went off target, knowing that the other fighter would have to come back down and intending to make another move when it happened.

Fae did manage to draw attention to herself with her magic attack, as planned, and out of the three enemy fighters that weren’t engaged, two of them streaked towards her from the front, their approach not the most well planned out - it seemed they intended to rely on their speed and agility rather than tactics. Two missiles were shot, neither one of them hitting the mark, leaving Fae with something of a chance to fight back… But she didn’t have much room to work with before they would both be past her. Meanwhile, however, Uria would find herself targeted by the last of the fighters because of the fact that she was clearly an already damaged target, the Emirati fighter sending two missiles her way in hopes that it would take her out of commission for good.

Fae used the close pass of the enemy to her advantage, both firing one of her shorter range missiles, and engaging the autocannon into their path. She had marked herself as a mage to them, which made her a priority target, and a dangerous opponent to leave active. While she doubted the autocannon would actually hit, she felt that increasing her chance of any damage was well worth the effort, especially if it forced the enemy fighters to behave erratically. They seemed inexperienced, and unlikely to react well to the pressure. The combination of the missile and the cannon blast managed to strike one of the fighters, destroying it immediately with quite the visible explosion, but they had two left to deal with at this point.

Uria let out a loud curse as another missile exploded near her, the second missing by a wide mark. Every single warning light in her plane was blinking, she was fairly sure something vital somewhere had probably broken catastrophically… Really, it was a miracle her plane was still airbore at this point, and she was not about to try her luck any further. She didn’t even expect her plane to remain airworthy for long at this point. So she did the sane thing anyone would do in a situation like this, she turned her plane around and attempted to disengage. The others could handle themselves.

Suddenly there was another set of warnings within the fighters of the 8th as more threats showed up - but they weren’t coming from the sky, they were coming from the ground, streaks appearing in the sky and on radar as missiles shot from a ground based air defense site as they neared the end of the Emirati territory that they were passing over… At least, the end of their territory on land, they would pass their maritime territory for a bit longer before they were completely in the clear. Rosa found herself targeted and managed to evade using her distance, while Jana found herself taking… Some damage but not enough to be too significant yet.

ROYAL SADIRIYYAN AIR FORCE COMMUNICATIONS
8th Fighter Squadron Channel - ENCRYPTED

ENCRYPTION KEY - AA7613-GS2736-ANU2364-MM23842-IY7393-LZK8823


-[ 8FS 1F // Kal-35 Hunter II “Highroller” // Major Jana Eseri // “None of you have been given permission to break away… Retreat and expect a court martial back on the ground, assuming you survive long enough to make it there.”

-[ 8FS 2F // Kal-33 Hunter I “Kitsune” // Captain Uria Al-Yatimi // “My plane is a pile of scrap held together by prayers at this point, I don’t even know if my plane will make it anywhere beyond the CLR. But fine.”


ROYAL SADIRIYYAN AIR FORCE
DEFENDING THE GODDESS IN HER SKIES


Slowly and reluctantly, Uria, began to turn her plane back around. She wasn’t about to bother doing it quickly, all the time it took to re-engage was time she wasn’t getting shot at. She was fairly sure they could glare angrily in her general direction and her plane would explode.

Fae focused on the surviving enemy fighters instead of whatever drama was happening between the various members of the squadron. She banked, and targeted the next nearest fighter targeting the squadron. They had a mission, and Fae was going to see it through to the end, one way or another. Once the next most threatening enemy was in her sights, she launched another missile before pulling back to shield Uria with her own jet. They only had a bit further to go before they were out of enemy airspace, at which point they could resume more normal flight patterns.

The missile that Fae had fired, however, missed, leaving Zenovia to swoop in and attempt her own shot, which did happen to hit and explode the fighter, bringing the total count down even further. Jana was still chasing one of the fighters meanwhile, but her second cannon attack missed, causing her to draw a blank somewhat until Yasmin showed up on her wing to attempt to help through numbers, firing with her own cannon and tearing into the vertical stabilizer of the enemy fighter, sending it spiralling out of control as the pilot was no longer able to control the movements. Just one down and they would be safe… For now.

That last fighter went for the original target, the transport, but Severina quickly moved to intercept, but the missile was diverted - the fighters in this case were advanced enough to use ECM of their own - and the enemy fighter was able to get off one shot at the transport before pulling up in an evasive move to avoid further attacks, which was threatening enough until Severina’s ECM was able to send the missile away from the transport safely… The last fighter seemed to be returning to base at this point, the Sadiriyyan planes staying in formation rather than chasing.

ROYAL SADIRIYYAN AIR FORCE COMMUNICATIONS
8th Fighter Squadron Channel - ENCRYPTED

ENCRYPTION KEY - AA7613-GS2736-ANU2364-MM23842-IY7393-LZK8823


-[ 8FS 1F // Kal-35 Hunter II “Highroller” // Major Jana Eseri // “King Air, this is Highroller… Have your security forces ready when we make our stopover landing. We have an arrest to make for a pilot that attempted to leave the battle.”

-[ ROYAL SADIRIYYAN MILITARY HIGH COMMAND // Harmon Aerospace 540 “King Air” // “Understood.”


ROYAL SADIRIYYAN AIR FORCE
DEFENDING THE GODDESS IN HER SKIES


And so they continued on their way through the gulf, the Emirates seemingly not wanting to send more fighters up after them, and it looked like they would be able to reach their destination safely. They had a long trip and after the fight they would require more fuel, but they would soon be on their way to the capital of the UPSR following a couple more stopovers, and from there they would supposedly conduct talks which could affect the course of the conflict… Not that the pilots would know all the details about something like that. But it did give them something that had been missing - some sense of hope.
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Durmatagno
Negotiator
 
Posts: 7039
Founded: Oct 10, 2011
Left-Leaning College State

Postby Durmatagno » Sat Jul 27, 2019 8:39 pm

SEASON 1 ‘DESERT STORM DREAMING’
Collaborative post between Forest State & Durmatagno

EPISODE 15 ‘The Iron Curtain’

Viktoria Zolotova
Forsa, Khilovo SR, Union of Prestrovian Socialist Republics
October 20th, 1675 N.E.




Image

The Union of Prestrovian Socialist Republics is one of the largest countries in the world and a reasonable power in the military sphere. Recently, the nation has been making moves to solidify that status - the country is currently hosting a Sadiriyyan delegation for negotiations relating to the ongoing Third Sadiriyyan-Darmiyyan War, with naval movements indicating that it may just intervene against Darmiyya, an ally of the UPSR’s primary enemy, the Tzar.

The Khilovo Socialist Republic, meanwhile, is located at the furthest corner of the UPSR’s borders, but has suffered from rebel activities for years. Following a particularly bad few months, the High Command of the Prestrovian military has authorized additional measures to be taken by Group S, the elite special forces group which has an independent company based in the KSR.




The airstrip in Forsa was a rather lonely place at times, especially during these hours of the night - the airport was officially only cleared for small to medium planes and most of the passenger traffic that it saw was just that, people coming from neighboring countries on small planes to check out the scenery around here, which was perhaps the one reason to come to Khilovo… Even most of the citizens of this island didn’t live here by choice, but because they had been born here, others being exiles from other parts of the Union of Prestrovian Socialist Republics, which had annexed the land decades ago and had continually fought in a clash of saber rattling with the southern neighboring island of Klevmark, which believed that it had a claim…

But sometimes, despite the airport not being cleared for heavy traffic, there would be large military flights with the big transport aircraft used by the UPSR, flying in long range from the ‘mainland’ that was thousands of miles away, either through aerial refueling or through stopovers at the other northern island that was controlled by the socialists, the one that was even further north than this and truly was in the arctic. This was one of those times when a large transport touched down on the small runway, the landing awkward - it seemed like if there was a wrong move, perhaps a little bit of ice on the runway or if there was a mistake on the part of the pilot, the massive beast of a vehicle would go careening off the end of the runway and into a depot that was located all the way at the other end following a series of barriers. It seemed the locals somewhat expected that to happen at some point, probably because some of those passenger aircraft had managed to crash before on the dangerous approach into Forsa.

The plane landed safely this time, though, coming to a stop at the end of the runway and turning onto the apron before the parking brakes were engaged, the movement finally stopping as the rear hatch opened up. Most of the things in the back of the plane were cargo… But there was also a single passenger who had been seated just behind the flight deck for the duration of the long flight from out east, a person who was supposed to meet someone around here even though it was pitch black outside and hard to see where anyone was unless they were standing under one of the lights around the terminals. None of these flights had been scheduled to be easy.

Viktoria climbed out of the back of the plane, adjusting the neck of her sweater to block a little more of the chill. The first thing she did was not look for her ride, but to stretch, and take in a few deep breaths of the crisp night air. After a moment she reopened her eyes, and got back on task. She had a ride to find, and a new team to meet. With her hands in her jacket pockets, she chose a direction and started moving. Her eyes would adjust more once she was in the dark, and make it easier to find her ride. Once she could see it, she could make her way to it, even if it was just someone waiting for her.

The ride in question was in the parking lot in front of the terminal that the transport had pulled up in front of - the pilot had been careful to not smash into the terminal with the wide wings of the vehicle - and was a rather familiar sight in the communist bloc, a KER sedan that was of the type that was widely exported throughout the UPSR and through allied countries such as the Saksian Commune and the Tsouanese People’s Republic. The door of the car, which was somewhat hard to see due to the low light of the area, opened up… The car became a bit more distinct from the blackness when the interior lights lit up too, with the door opening.

“Rookie, over here,” said a man that had stepped out of the car, green jacket having patches that indicated some kind of Group S affiliation. “Let’s not wait around in this cold much longer.”

Viktoria turned, and made her way to the car. While she was still out of earshot, she sighed a little. Her...quite frankly ridiculous height made most vehicles uncomfortable for her, they just weren’t built to support someone as tall as she was. Once she was at the car, she bent and squeezed herself into the vehicle, getting as comfortable as she could all things considered. Of course they wouldn’t have sent something more comfortable for the likes of her.

“Cold could be worse at least.”

The man stepped back into the vehicle, reversing before shifting gears and accelerating out of the lot. “Welcome to hell… How you intend on making it in the special forces with a height like that, I’m not sure, - it’s not exactly good for stealth - but it seems… It seems you’re Taisia’s replacement. Know that regardless of this place not showing up in the news, it’s just as much of a hellhole as anywhere in the republics. Even the places with mountain rebels. The name’s Kolya, by the way. I’m the Staff Sergeant in this unit.”

“They saw fit to place me in special forces, so they must believe I have something to contribute to the unit. Name’s Viktoria, Viktoria Zolotova.”

Viktoria took her gloves off now that they were in the car, her hands were rough and had small burn and cut scars. They looked like the hands of a mechanic turned soldier, or maybe a soldier trained to be a mechanic. She hadn’t said yet, no real need to. She flexed and popped her fingers, glad to be free from the thick gloves, even if it was only for a short time.

“I’m trained as a mechanic and combat engineer, maybe they believe your team needed access to those skills.”

“They saw how big of a target you were and sent you here to die,” Kolya remarked with a chuckle, eyes straight ahead as they ended up on the main road leading through the city of Forsa… If one could call it a real city, and not just a set of extended suburbs. “Sorry, it’s hard not to be cynical if you’ve spent a bit of time out here, it’s a real far cry from anywhere else in the republics. Get used to working alone, ‘cause thousands of miles away from the mainland that’s effectively what they’ve got us doing.”

“Mmm, possible, but I choose to believe that I have a purpose out here other than to die. Though when they first started training me, they did not realize I would get so...big. I don’t think anyone could have predicted it. Either way, I’m here now, I have the skills I have, and I’ll do what I have to. We’ll see how it turns out.”

Viktoria looked out the window, looking towards the sky. With how few people were out here, the night sky was clearer than where she grew. She enjoyed the stars, always had. It was a small comfort in this frozen hell, but it was the first she’d found.

The car continued along the path, Kolya pointing out a couple of things along the way such as the scene of wreckage where a Prestrovian IFV had been destroyed by a roadside IED and bulldozed into a ditch next to the road, and some of the important locations along the main road in Forsa as they passed through it - the administrative buildings, the best places to shop, a few other ones that were somewhat relevant to their deployment here. The destination they were headed to was on the outskirts of the town rather than the center, and they kept going until they reached a point where there was a fenced in area which could only be accessed via dirt road. “And this is the place we’re living…” Kolya stated, pulling into a gravel parking lot and gesturing to the complex of two or three buildings.

It looked like they would have their own rooms at least instead of living in a communal barracks. But that might be one of the only good things about the assignment, from what had been said about it, it didn’t sound like some of the other aspects were very good. The largest building in the complex was the one where the soldiers slept, it seemed like it had been converted from some kind of civilian building and it was long, towering two stories over the smaller buildings which were used for some other purpose. The same parking lot they’d stopped at also had a couple more military looking vehicles, mainly light transports. They didn’t have anything that could qualify them as mechanized infantry, just light transports to get to and from the area of operations - they were all marked with the red star of the republics, but by now the conditions had quite weathered and faded it on all of the vehicles.

“I suppose we should alert the CO that you’re here now,” Kolya said, gesturing towards the main building while climbing out of the sedan.

Viktoria put her gloves back on and climbed out of the car, stretching as she enjoyed her freedom from the cramped confines. Not that it would last long, but every ounce of freedom was one she relished.

“Yes, after that I’ll probably get a small tour of the base, and then shown which room is for me.”

Viktoria put her hands in her jacket pockets before making her way to the main building, her ID and other information already stashed in one of those pockets so she could prove who she was if she had to. She wondered what security itself was like, but that wasn’t the most relevant thing right now.

But it turned out they didn’t have much in the way of security around here, unlike the far more orderly parts of the Union of Prestrovian Socialist Republics such as the capital city, Orkhovo, or some of the other larger cities like Magnayarsk. The facilities here really were much low key, the building itself not looking much different from a civilian one, at least until one stepped inside and noticed the symbols of the Communist Party lining the walls immediately in the main hallway that was connected to the front door. It was clear, once inside, who owned the place.

“CO’s office is this way,” said Kolya, leading Viktoria on and gesturing up a set of stairs, the pair making their way to the second floor of the building where Kolya stopped outside of one of the doors in the resulting hallway - which might as well have been a hallway from someone’s house. “And I believe she’s still awake, we had some… Planning to do tonight.”

Kolya pushed the door open, revealing that the office was indeed occupied, the commanding officer of the unit sitting behind her desk and looking through files that had been sent from the mainland about their tasks and about the threats they were facing on this island. The first thing that was apparent about her was that she wasn’t Prestrovian - at least, she wasn’t Prestrovian ethnically. She was very clearly Tsouanese, and while the Tsouanese and the Prestrovians tended to get along, with there even being a Tsouanese republic within the union that was one of the larger and more loyal ones, it wasn’t that common to see a Tsouanese officer in Group S. And yet here she was anyway, looking up at the two arrivals in her office, Kolya gesturing to Viktoria.

“Lieutenant, this is Viktoria… Viktoria, this is Second Lieutenant Vivian Leng,” Kolya said in explanation, Vivian herself remaining silent for now as she looked on without a word, examining her new subordinate with her eyes but saying nothing.

“Corporal Viktoria Zolotova reporting for duty ma’am.”

Viktoria was used to fairly strict adherence to command structures, and the etiquette that went with it. She snapped to attention, saluting, even if it always felt ridiculous to her, especially because the large size advantage she held over the majority of the officers she’d ever met. She wasn’t sure if things were as strict around here, given the light security and general civilian feel of the compound, but she would err on the side of caution.

“At ease.”

Despite saying this, Vivian’s demeanor didn’t ease up in the slightest, her gaze hard and her expression not exactly shifting - she wasn’t hostile but on the other hand she hadn’t exactly made herself seem accommodating, either. It was still early but she didn’t seem like the kind of officer that one would want to talk to unless they were required because of the job, if only because she managed to put off the aura of someone that was exceptionally cold.

“Is… There something you needed?” she added eventually, looking back down to the papers and reports on her desk as she questioned the reasons behind the visit.

Viktoria relaxed when Vivian told her to be at ease. Despite her curiosity, she kept her eyes forward and away from the papers and reports on the table.

“No Ma’am, just reporting for duty before I begin familiarizing myself with the base and my quarters.”

She waited to be dismissed, as was customary. She was careful about these things, it was far too easy to get reprimanded, or worse for not following the proper chain of command and etiquette. She kept her light blue eyes facing forward, only passively taking in the posture and appearance of her new CO.

Kolya chuckled lightly. “You’ll have to forgive the Lieutenant here for her coldness… The unit is still getting over the loss of our sniper, weeks ago,” he stated, causing Vivian to furrow her brow.

“Do you think I’m behaving coldly?” she asked in response, her eyes shifting between the two subordinates standing in front of her.

“I think that you used to be warmer, yes,” Kolya stated. “But… It’s somewhat natural.”

Vivian looked between the two of them once again as if deciding what to do before gesturing that they can leave. “You are dismissed,” she said simply, looking back down to her paperwork and reports.

“Yes Ma’am.”

Viktoria saluted one more time before turning and walking out of the room. She’d have time later to get to know her new CO, no need to bother her while she was obviously busy with other work. Now Viktoria needed the general tour of the base, and then to be shown to her quarters to unpack her meager belongings, and get situated for her assignment here.

They stepped out into the hallway to find another figure waiting for them, Kolya paying a bit more attention to the proper protocol this time and saluting as they faced off with a woman in the familiar dress of a political officer, easily distinguishable from the rest of the unit due to the different insignia worn on the uniform. “A new member,” she stated, looking over Victoria, as if… As if she was examining her completely, staring into her soul almost and looking to find something to use to tear her apart. There were more relaxed political officers and there were more bombastic ones, but it appeared this one may be on the… More aggressive end of the spectrum, just from the way she handled herself.

Viktoria needed no pushing or prodding to salute. She was saluting the political officer the moment her eyes found the insignia. While saluting, her face remained impassive, her eyes forward, betraying nothing. This was not the first time she’d been examined in such a way, and she was used to it. You kept your mouth shut as much as possible, did not dodges questions, and did not betray yourself in anyway, whether or not you’d done anything wrong.

“Viktoria Zolotova, just finished reporting for duty.”

“Dominika Antonova… At ease, Corporal.”

But the political officer didn’t break away from her intense examination of Viktoria, circling her around before eventually standing in front of her once more, not quite moving to let her continue on her way. “And you’re from… Where, exactly?” she asked, as if to see if she could dig for anything using that fact. In a country as big as the UPSR, different areas tended to carry with them different mental images and connotations, sometimes ones that were very different from each other despite being part of the same overall country.

“Orkhovo Ma’am.”

Viktoria answered the question, no more than that. She kept her eyes forward, not letting Dominika rile her, or shake her. She had gone through this more than once, she wasn’t going to crack just yet. The political officers were just doing her job, and she was going to keep on doing her’s. That did however mean that she had to survive the scrutiny, egos, and whims of the political officers.

“That would be something that we have in common, Corporal,” said Dominika, still settled in her position in front of Viktoria, blocking her path and keeping her from going on for now. “I take it that you’re a good communist that’s kept up on the party materials? It’s… More important than ever, thousands of miles from home.”

“Yes Ma’am, as much as my deployments allow of me. My last deployment had me out of contact for a few weeks, and then I was shipped straight here.”

It would be easy enough for Dominika to confirm or disprove any statement Viktoria made, she kept to the simplest truth. Her last deployment had been a wilderness exercise that kept them under artificial radio silence, a sort of training exercise to see how they did out of supply, contact, and without access to their normal resources. Once it was over she had been shipped here, though she had taken some time to catch back up on any changes while she was travelling here.

There was a long pause before Dominika nodded and stepped out of the way. “See to it that this deployment doesn’t wear down on you,” was all she had in terms of parting words before she started on her way to somewhere else down the hallway, leaving Kolya and Viktoria alone once again.

“She has a reputation for being a hardass but you can’t say she doesn’t do her job,” Kolya remarked in a lower tone when Dominika was gone. “Anyway… I believe we should finish getting you shown around and get you in your new room. You might end up having to head out into the field as soon as tomorrow, you don’t want to have to do that on no sleep.”

“Similar to the one in my last unit, though he was strict he was fair.”

Viktoria moved to follow Kolya, wondering just what Dominika had thought of her. It didn’t matter for now, what mattered in the immediate was getting settled in, and ready to resume normal operation and integrate herself with the rest of the group.
Last edited by Durmatagno on Sat Jul 27, 2019 8:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
When we lose one we love, our bitterest tears are called forth by the memory of hours when we loved not enough. - Maurice Maeterlinck

There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are the messengers of overwhelming grief, of deep contrition, and of unspeakable love. - Washington Irving

It is easy to hate and it is difficult to love. This is how the whole scheme of things works. All good things are difficult to achieve; and bad things are very easy to get. - Confucius

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Forest State
Senator
 
Posts: 3920
Founded: Aug 23, 2016
Capitalist Paradise

Postby Forest State » Thu Aug 01, 2019 1:55 pm

SEASON 1 ‘DESERT STORM DREAMING’
Collaborative post between Forest State and Lunas Legion

EPISODE 16 ‘Undercover’

Gabriella Sara Bianchi-Costa & Rhea Fabre
Ranhalt, North Tiamannic Confederation
September 18th, 1675 N.E.



As had been promised by their captors, Gabriella and Rhea had been returned to their original faction in Ranhalt - albeit, it had been after their ‘mindjacking,’ the use of an experimental technology on them to make them compliant with the wishes of the faction that had exposed them as spies for the ULS. But their fellow agents wouldn’t know of everything that went on… From their point of view, Gabriella and Rhea had made something of a breakthrough in being able to leave with what seemed like enemy agents, heading to another location and gathering intel while posing as being aligned with the party of people that had left.

They were giving away info, alright. But it was only the info that they were supposed to give out based on what their captors had told them. In this game of chess between the ULS and a faction that still remained unseen, they were aiding one side in making their moves.

“We’ve found that the Silver Cross and Reine are planning to make moves,” said Rhea, at the briefing table with the others in the unit after they had gotten a chance to get back, get changed, and get a little bit of rest before heading there to explain their findings. “They brought in a Darmiyyan weapons scientist because they intend to… Have some kind of chemical attack in Ranhalt that would throw the country into chaos, and let their faction make some moves in the process. It seems they need foreign help from Darmiyya and Reine to make it possible, though.”

“Not entirely sure why they need him and aren’t simply shipping in weapons, they might be intending to set up production or the chemical weapons used might be particularly volatile requiring him to handle or deploy them or teach others how to do so safely, but again, hypotheticals.” Gabriella added. “Rhea covered everything else.”

“From our own intel gathering after the main event it seems like they may have some kind of operation up north… In Velzin. Away from the scrutiny of Ranhalt to an extent, and somewhat outside of our normal reach,” Dana said… She and Asia hadn’t found much at the main event but they had been able to get into one of the afterparties, albeit one of the less exclusive ones, where their intel gathering had depended on overhearing things from some of the mid to lower level members…

Mid to lower level members who weren’t involved in the same conspiracy that Gabriella and Rhea found themselves wrapped up in.

“Our jurisdiction doesn’t end outside of Ranhalt. It’s simply our preferred region of operations. One team can’t cover the entire country but one team can follow leads up north,” said Lenz, reminding everyone about their reach. Pausing, Lenz looked back at the two agents that had been the… Deepest into things. “Given that you were able to get into the inner circle of the group at the Silver Cross event, do either of you believe you would be able to handle an investigation in Velzin using infiltration rather than outright force?”

“I’d need to know more about the situation up there before I could make that call.” Gabriella replied, choosing her words carefully. “Beyond that there’s ‘an operation’ up there, we know nothing about it, for all we know it isn’t even connected to the intelligence myself and Rhea discovered. However, I don’t believe there’s any harm in us taking a field trip up to Velzin and once we have more of an idea of the situation deciding whether to infiltrate or use force.”

“We don’t have too much in the way of intel, we just know that it was mentioned multiple times as a place that some people were going, and I doubt they’re just going there for vacation,” said Dana, elaborating on what they had found. “I think they have some kind of camp there secluded away from the main city, seems shady for sure especially if they’re working on chemical weapons production.”

“Makes sense.” Gabriella nodded. “We’ll see what we find though, there’s no certainty it is tied into chemical weapons production, given they wanted to keep that secret I doubt they’d be moving in large quantities of people to the site unless they’re about to do something with it. And that just makes myself and Rhea heading up to have a look at the situation all the more important.”

“I’ll get on the phone with the higher ups and see if this Velzin matter is something that we need to handle or if it’s something that will be on the plate of another team… For now, I’ll call this meeting dismissed. It’s been something of a long day for everyone, I’m sure that you’ll all be able to think much clearer after you get a real night’s sleep. This operation has been spanning on for… More than twenty four hours at this point, I believe,” said Lenz, standing up and signalling that they could leave the table.

Rhea was one of the first ones to stand up, waiting somewhat for the others to do the same before turning her attention to Gabriella, who she… Now shared a closer bond with. Not because of the odd tension from earlier but because Gabriella was the only other one here who had been… ‘Convinced’ into becoming a double agent. They shared a mutual secret in a way - they were each the only one that knew what the other was really thinking in any given situation.

“I guess we’re alone in this, huh?” Rhea muttered, referencing that entire situation and the fact that they were working alone, surrounded by people who could spell potential trouble for them, and tied up in a plot that seemed above their paygrade, regardless of which side they were on. And outside of each other, there was no one that they could exactly speak about it with. This was, after all, a matter of them being double agents.

“As sappy as it is to say, we’re not alone if we have each other, but I get what you’re saying.” Gabriella said in response, placing a hand onto Rhea’s shoulder but still remaining sitting for now. “It’ll be fine Rhea, I’m sure of it.”

“You do like to say that,” Rhea said, making a point about Gabriella’s optimism and the tendency to tell her that things would be okay, but she stayed where she was when Gabriella put a hand on her shoulder. “Doesn’t mean it’s not fucking scary being surrounded by potential threats. As if being here in Ranhalt isn’t foreign enough…”

“Maybe I’m just a bit of a hopeless optimist when it comes to things like that.” Gabriella gave a small shrug. “If we don’t think it’ll go alright then of course it won’t go alright, but dealing with more of that stuff is still a short while away, so we’ll see what we’re dealing with when we get to it, yes?” Gabriella smiled slightly. “Take it all one step at a time and it’ll be easier.”

Rhea looked down, shrugging at that answer. “Guess I just feel like I have enough to worry about without throwing covert ops into the mix also, like… Living here, getting used to everything… Getting used to whatever the hell we are. Some of those things are harder to understand, harder to get used to, than others. And now we’re supposed to have hidden motives on top of that…”

“Ignore those.” Gabriella shook her head. “We keep doing what we would do anyways, you remember what was said just as well as I. I guess I’ve just taken this better, I did grow up travelling a lot after all. As for us… I’m about as clueless as you are on that, I’m afraid, but getting used to living here and that… That’ll come with time, we’ve only been here a week so don’t be too hard on yourself.”

“If only I could have your outlook on things,” Rhea said, sighing somewhat and stepping away, starting to head towards her room to get some proper rest after they had been involved in this for… A while. The start of their preparations for the mission seemed forever ago by now, and it even felt like it had been a long time since they had arrived at the Ranhalt Music Hall. Things had… Definitely changed since then.

“Not all of us can be optimists, go get some sleep.” Gabriella said, yawning. “I need some too, and my offer to talk about whatever is still open if you want someone to just listen or whatever you feel like at the time. Night, Rhea.” Gabriella gave a small wave as she stood up, moving to head back towards her own room for some sleep.

“We’ll see.”

It was all Rhea said before she headed back to her room, a lot on her mind… They would be talking eventually, she was sure. But one thing she knew was that it wasn’t going to be right now. She still needed some time to process things herself before she spoke to anyone else about them…

It was all too new.
e d g e l o r d
I'm the bad guy... Duh.

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Durmatagno
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Posts: 7039
Founded: Oct 10, 2011
Left-Leaning College State

Postby Durmatagno » Fri Aug 02, 2019 4:28 am

SEASON 1 ‘DESERT STORM DREAMING’
Collaborative post between Forest State & Durmatagno

EPISODE 16 ‘Revolution Square’

Severina Euclid & Fae Draiocht
Orkhovo, Prestrovian SR, Union of Prestrovian Socialist Republics
October 20th, 1675 N.E.


Following their refueling stops the group had arrived safely in the Union of Prestrovian Socialist Republics, the diplomatic aircraft in tow behind them. The fighters had landed first as the ones that were smaller and easier to get off the runway… And then the larger Harmon Aerospace 540, which touched down minutes afterwards on a rainy day in the capital of the UPSR, at an airport where plenty of military regalia could be seen accompanying the passenger terminals - it seemed passenger and military terminals were jammed close together in this airport, which also acted as one of the multiple airbases that the UPSR’s air forces operated in this region, around their capital.

When the plane landed, Fae and Severina would be able to see their unit leader approaching as it was emptied out, waiting for the guards to extract one specific prisoner that was being kept within the large aircraft until they had reached their destination… Which was right now, meaning the pilot’s fate was about to be determined here now now, whether that was some kind of arrest once they headed back home or it was something worse and more permanent.

“For attempting to go against orders and flee the battlefield…” Jana spoke with discontent in her voice, leveling the pistol in the direction of the bound pilot in front of her, her eyes narrowed in a way that further illustrated how she felt on the matter.

She spoke once again finally, not hiding her emotions at all. “I sentence you to death.”

Jana unloaded three shots into the chest of the prisoner, leaving their former squadronmate dead before their eyes as the ground crews watched… Wasn’t every day that someone working at the airport or traveling on board a diplomatic aircraft had to clean up a body with multiple gunshot wounds, after all. Typically these kinds of trips happened without incident, and yet, it also wasn’t every day that they had to imprison someone that could be considered a traitor on the flight. There was a time for everything, Severina supposed.

After finishing the job, Jana lowered her pistol and turned her attention to the rest of her squadron, as they waited around on the tarmac for further instructions on what to do… And of course there were murmurs from the group of pilots about the fact that one of them had just been executed in front of all of them. As Jana approached, she explained the situation. “I’ve been told that we have rides waiting for us just outside, to take us downtown to one of the hotels. Same one that the rest of the delegation is staying in. I believe you’ll get checked in when you’re there, your room assignments are based on your numbers in your flight… One and two, three and four, and so on.”

She paused before gesturing at the terminal. “And well, I guess after what just happened, one of you is getting a room alone. Now, I think we should head off, our rides are already out there if my information is correct.”

Fae nodded, looking at Uria’s body one last time before turning to follow Jana. She was quiet for now, she was going to wait till they were settled into their rooms before really talking. After all, just a few months ago she’d never have imagined she’d be in this country without something really major going on. She shrugged and looked over to Severina, trying to gauge how Severina was taking one of their squadron being shot as a traitor. Fae herself wasn’t too bothered, she had tried to abandon them after all.

Severina didn’t say anything and kept her hands in her pockets - although it was impossible to tell if it was the entire situation that was bothering her or whether it was the execution in specific. She had been something like this long before it happened… Ever since fighting the mysterious enemy aces, really, and realizing how overmatched she was for once. She followed the others outside, and they ended up in an almost taxi-like car which was soon pulling away from the curb in something of a procession as they carried the squadron plus some of the support staff from the diplomatic flight towards downtown… If Severina and Fae looked out the window, they would notice they were passing plenty of murals and an area which was a mix of brutalist communist architecture and something more traditional, with the red star and the hammer and sickle displayed in a number of prominent ways throughout the area. Almost as common as the lights shining into the sky in New Athenai.

“We’re a long way from being home, huh,” she muttered, the only thing she said for the first part of the ride as they passed through the district around the airport and headed for downtown, where many of the most important buildings were located and where they happened to be staying. Although, she wasn’t sure why they were all staying in one place. It was easier, sure, but she had no idea if it was truly because it was easy or because they were being watched… It likely wouldn’t matter either way for them. They were pilots, not the higher ups here to make decisions.

“Longer way than I ever thought I’d go, and not even in my wildest dreams could I have guessed how.”

Fae nodded at the comment from Severina, she wasn’t sure what was going through Severina’s mind, but she knew what was going through hers. Herself and Severina were likely under heavy scrutiny and watch, after all not to long ago they’d been pilots for one of the main enemies of the country they were now in. She sighed and watched the sights roll by. She kinda wanted to see them better, wasn’t every day they got a chance to just...relax, and not have to worry about deploying in a moments notice.

“They say the Prestrovins might be entering the war against Darmiyya with one of their aircraft carriers… Mainly to counter the Tzarists in Malino,” Severina continued, speaking somewhat absentmindedly. “Or at least that’s what I heard while we were on the ground in the Central Lysosian Republics. The enemy of my enemy… I guess is my friend, is the logic here, I think.”

“Yeah, they’re trying to decrease the influence of their enemies and increase their own influence in the region. I don’t know if it’ll work, but it will certainly even things out a bit. Makes our job a bit easier for now at least.”

Fae didn’t turn away from the window. She had secretly always wanted to visit various cities around the world, and this had been one of the ones on her list. She wasn’t going to miss this chance to see at least some of it if she could help it. Of course, she had to be careful, and she didn’t want people to think she was weird but...she was finally here. It wasn’t her deepest secret, but it was one she thought she was capable of at least fulfilling.

The taxi arrived at the hotel not long after the ride initially started - it wasn’t that far off. The hotel itself was one of the more traditional looking buildings within this district but that didn’t mean that the place was lacking some of the typical features of the other places within this city. The hammer and sickle was still there as was the red star, and when they entered the hotel, they would see portraits of some of the leaders of the UPSR hanging on the walls, ranging from those who had reigned in the early history of the country to the modern day.

They were directed by one of the support staff to a specific room, which they would apparently be sharing - they were numbers three and four in their flight which meant they were together based on the system of assigning rooms. After heading up an elevator, they’d reach the room they had been given, and Severina stepped inside and took a look around before moving further in, checking out the window view they had overlooking some of the other locales within the city.

“Guess we’re together here,” she said, her voice trailing off. Like she wanted to say something else, but didn’t quite know what to say just yet. “Don’t know if… Awkward is the right word to use for this…”

“Not the first time we’ve shared a room, at least we have our own beds this time.”

Fae said simply as she dropped her stuff on the bed closest to the door. She looked around, getting a feel for how much space they had. She went to check the bathroom, and then came back out into the main area, grabbing her bag. She didn’t think they’d be leaving for awhile, so she could change into something more casual. Disappearing back into the bathroom to change, and brush her hair. She eventually emerged, now wearing more relaxed, if plain, clothing.

“Bathrooms your’s now.”

Severina nodded silently and stepped inside, spending… A while within the room before coming back out in something other than her flight suit, not paying as much attention to her appearance, not bothering to touch her hair or do anything else other than change into regular clothes. “I know we’ve had rooms together before, it just feels… Stranger after the past few weeks. I dunno,” she said, elaborating on her point earlier. “Maybe I’m just being stupid.”

“Dunno, a lot has happened since then. Not exactly been easy for us, I’d go so far as to say that it’s been far more...difficult, to put it nicely, than we ever could have expected.”

Fae threw her flight suit on the bed before flopping down on it, looking up at the ceiling. After a second she sat back up and looked at Severina.

“But we don’t need to stay cooped up here. I highly doubt we’ll be asked to fly again anytime soon, we could go and see the city...try and relax a little. Don’t know if I can relax, but we have a chance to actually try.”

Severina nodded, stepping towards the door. “I don’t intend to spend too much time sitting around in this hotel room, I suppose,” she stated. “Although… I think they wanted to see us at the airbase for something, or that’s what command and control said, something about showing us… The latest planes available.”

“Right now or what?”

Fae got to her feet, dusting off her pants and sighing. More work before they could relax. At least it was just checking out some new planes, maybe they’d even get to use them. She didn’t know, all she knew was that she wanted a few days break from it all. Maybe then she could finally shake these feelings of dread clawing at her ever since the first ace had appeared. She shook the thought away. Focusing on that wasn’t going to do her any good.

“We don’t have to do it right now…” Severina said, her voice trailing off once again, her speech and her demeanor generally… Awkward, even though she didn’t openly avoid Fae. Not yet, anyway. But she didn’t sound like she was one hundred percent comfortable with heading out into the city with Fae.

Fae could tell that something was wrong with Severina, but she wasn’t quite sure what. If she didn’t know any better, she’d swear she was the problem. She dismissed that thought, if she was causing problems Severina would tell her...right? She wasn’t quite so sure. She slowly lowered herself down onto the bed. She wasn’t really sure what to do, she could keep working on her rune but that was just...work, she wanted to relax.

“You know when we do?”

“I think they just want us there, don’t have a specific time, I know we’re going to be here for a couple of days before we head back to Sadiriyya,” Severina said in explanation. “It’s probably because we might be getting new planes if things work out well diplomatically, I guess they wanted… Wanted us to see what we might be getting our hands on soon.”

“Does take some time to learn new systems.”

Fae sighed and looked towards the window. If Severina wanted to be alone, she’d let her be alone. That was the general feel she got from Severina. After a moment she laid back down, fixing her eyes on the ceiling. Her voice was...more neutral than before, though only someone that knew Fae well enough could read that.

“You go ahead and see the city, I...think I’m going to stay here and take a nap or something.”

Severina started walking towards the door, stopping and lingering in it for a moment before turning back to see what her fellow pilot was thinking. “You sure about that?” she asked… She wasn’t an expert in reading people or anything but she did notice that Fae seemed to lose enthusiasm about going out and seeing the city, which was something she had been interested in before.

“Not really, but I thought I’d give you some time alone. You haven’t been getting a lot of it lately, thought you might like some.”

Fae’s voice was still flat and neutral, by her standards. She didn’t really want to stay cooped up here, but Severina obviously was...not so enthusiastic about Fae being around as much as she used to be, so she thought she’d give Severina that alone time she hadn’t been getting. She didn’t move, eyes still on the ceiling, even if she didn’t really like this course of action. She didn’t want to...burden her friend by sticking around when she obviously didn’t want her around.

“I can see the city tomorrow or...something.”

Severina lingered as she decided what to do before eventually nodding slowly and stepping towards the door. “I guess we’ll see each other later,” she said, stepping out of the room and shutting the door lightly behind her, not one hundred percent sure if she was making the right move but also… Not protesting Fae staying behind too much. It seemed like the alone time in this case was something she really needed, judging by her demeanor ever since they had arrived here in Orkhovo.




The day after they had arrived here in the capital of the UPSR, the two pilots were finally getting a chance to head into the city together, specifically the historic downtown district which housed a combination of pre-revolution buildings and more modern and brutalist ones that were tied to different Communist Party departments and military organizations. For those from the capitalist ULS, it would be something of an unfamiliar sight, but it was worth checking out at least once, if only because it might as well have been like stepping into an unfamiliar world. The brutalist buildings, though, would be vaguely familiar to those from New Athenai. The Communist Party and the Union Intelligence Bureau, and some of the other government organizations in the Union of Librosi States, had a liking for using concrete in their construction.

They eventually ended up headed in the direction of Revolution Square, located near the citadel which had been constructed in the middle of the city during the times when it had acted as the main eastern hub for the Tzarist state. These days, that citadel had been converted into one that was more befitting of the current aesthetics of the UPSR, and the square located near it had been named Revolution Square, becoming a place that was used for some of the more important events staged by the government of the UPSR.

“You have any ideas on where you want to go?” Severina asked, wondering if Fae wanted to continue down this avenue or whether she wanted to turn off onto one of the many other streets, to look at something else. They definitely had their options when it came to choosing, it was just a matter of deciding what they felt like doing.

“Not really, just kinda wanted to see the city, try some of the local food...touristy kinda of things. I know it’s stupid, but it’s one of the places I’ve always wanted to visit so...I don’t really care to much where we go. Though I hear that the city has some nice saunas, wanna check one of those out while we’re...out.”

Fae was...excited, by her standards. It didn’t show too much, aside from talking a little faster than normal, but this was something she’d always wanted it to do. And She was doing it with a close friend. There wasn’t a lot they could do right now that could top this for her. She’d been disappointed she’d had to delay it for a day, but Severina had needed the time alone so...Fae gave it to her. Enough of that though, she was looking around, taking everything in, almost childlike in wonder. It was...unusual behavior for her, that was for sure, she was...happy. Happy in a way she hadn’t been pretty much...ever. She even had the smallest of smiles to prove it.

“I dunno about heading to a sauna,” said Severina, her face flushing slightly as she… Came up with an excuse about the matter, knowing how awkward it was going to be. “Didn’t know you would be into that kind of thing, we’re both from a cold weather city after all. I don’t deal too well with the heat…”

“Saunas are basically only found in the coldest of places, like this area...but...alright, I’ll...think of something else to do.”

Fae’s face fell slightly and she chose a direction to start walking, not wanting Severina to see her disappointment. Guess that was one visit she wasn’t going to get. She rubbed at her left hand absentmindedly as she walked, trying to figure out what else she might like to do. Sampling some of the local food might be nice...

“What about...finding somewhere to eat?”

e“Guess we haven’t eaten anything in a while,” Severina nodded, continuing straight, taking them towards Revolution Square, the citadel towering in the background in front of them as well as some of the other famous buildings in the area such as the cathedral and some of the key Communist Party buildings. “We can get something up here, the streets running in and out of the square probably have some stuff. And the sights are something to see, at least.”

“Yeah...okay.”

Fae was going to look for something, still struggling to hide her disappointment about not being able to go to a sauna. She’d probably be able to come up with an excuse before they left to visit one on her own but..it just wouldn’t be the same. Eventually she stopped in front of a slightly smaller place, less busy but nonetheless still operating.

“What about here?”

“I suppose.”

Severina’s voice was once again somewhat distant as she spoke, her mind on other affairs even as she spoke with Fae about eating. She looked towards the place, seeing that it was likely serving some of the cheaper street food that could be found commonly around this city, as well as fish - they were by the ocean after all and Orkhovo was also well connected to some of the country’s most important fishing locations along the coast. She stepped after Fae, not… Saying anything about what it was that was getting to her.

Fae stepped inside and got them a table by the window, so they could still see outside and see the sights. She looked over the menu, it was mostly cheap stuff, but it was local cheap stuff. It was something different, and she’d been missing out on cheap greasy food since they had become mercs. She used to the menu to hide the now fading dissatisfaction on her face. This was still something she’d always wanted to do, even if it wasn’t everything she’d wanted to do here.

“You...know what you’re going to get?”

Fae hesitated for a moment, wanting to ask what was bothering Severina, but decided not to prod right now.

“Fish, I guess,” Severina stated after taking a glance over the menu, not putting too much thought into her decision and picking one of the first things that she saw, ordering that as the waitress came over to take their order. “I guess it’s not the worst thing out there… Even if it doesn’t seem like we’re going to get to eat like we’re at home.”

“We could go somewhere bigger, fancier if you want, I just...wanted to try something more local, less well known.”

Fae gave her order, some fish and a Cheberuki. Some things she’d never really tried before. She wanted to actually try something new, not just get the same old hat. After a moment of silence, she sighed and looked up at Severina. She knew something was up, and she wanted to know what but...Seveerina didn’t react well to people prodding if she wasn’t ready to talk about it, so she just looked outside. There was a sour tone to the day, not enough to ruin it but...it wasn’t as fun as it had started.

“Guess I’m just a bit of a yankee,” Severina said in reference to her preferences in food, although like everything she had said, it didn’t seem like it carried much weight. Didn’t seem like she had really put her mind into it, like she was really focusing on the situation. And she could… Notice the tension too, but she didn’t know just what to do about it.

Instead, she sat silently. Even if that tension was going to bear down on her until she did something to deal with it.

Fae tapped her fingers, debating on what to do. The rune in her hand felt like it was itching again, she had to say something. They couldn’t go on pretending like nothing was wrong, but equally she couldn’t force Severina to talk about something she wasn’t ready to talk about. So...Fae did something she rarely did, and tried to be...subtle.

”I’m scared Severina...I can’t sleep most nights, I can’t think straight, I’m...not sure how much longer I can keep pushing.”

“As if things are any different for me…”

It was all Severina said in reply as she raised an eyebrow at the confession that something was up, sitting back in her seat awkwardly, closing her eyes as one of her hands moved to the other and she traced the rune that was on the backside of her right hand. She wasn’t sure where this was going, but she did know that she felt she could hardly deal with Fae’s problems here when she wasn’t sure what to do about her own… Which were likely just as bad or worse.

“I didn’t say they weren’t...“

Fae sighed and looked out the window again. She wanted to hit something, but it wouldn’t solve anything, and drawing attention in this country was not a good idea. She looked up at Severina, a mix of worry and relief plain on her face, anyone could see it. Fae was rarely ever this open.

“I just wanted to...I don’t know, stop pretending everything was fine and dandy. Stop pretending nothing was bothering me. I know it’s bothering you to...you...I was hoping coming here would help...it’s not.”

Severina didn’t answer immediately, keeping her eyes closed before standing up eventually and sighing. “I know that I’m not helping things… I know I’m making things worse probably, because I can’t handle myself. So I’m just going to leave you along and maybe you can have a better time without me,” she said, looking down. “You don’t need me around to rain on the mood any more.”

“I’d rather share this with a friend than do it alone...“

Fae didn’t really want to be alone in general, when she was alone that was how she ended up hurting herself or just wallowing in her misery. She reached over and gently put her left hand, her rune hand, on Seerina’s right hand, her own rune hand.

“I’ve never had many friends, but something like this...it doesn’t mean much to me if I don’t have a friend to share it with.”

She retracted her hand before things got to awkward, but...she was telling the truth. As much as she might want something more in general than just this, being able to share this...do this with a friend meant the world to her. She knew Severina wasn’t happy, and something else was bothering her but she still wanted her around. Didn’t want to make her leave or leave her alone as much as she didn’t want to be alone.

“It’s not going to make things better to have me around,” Severina stated, not moving from the spot she stood but her voice about the same. She… Didn’t sound convinced that it would be a good idea keeping her around. If anything, she felt the opposite, that it would only create more problems.

“....if you wanna leave, leave, but...I’d like you to stay.”

Fae left it at that. She wasn’t great with words, there was no big rousing speech, none of that. Just a simple request, while acknowledging that she knew what Severina wanted. She sighed and sank into her seat, she wasn’t sure if she’d be able to enjoy the rest of the day at all if Severina left. She’d already given up one day to explore the city to let Severina have the privacy and alone time she wanted, but Fae...Fae wanted one day to go right, after months of things just being...wrong.

“Fine.”

Her heart wasn’t in it but Severina sat back down, looking away as she ended up sitting across from Fae once again, unsure of what to say before that. She had already described what she felt, it wouldn’t help to restate that she didn’t think it was a good idea for her to stay around.

“...just stick around long enough for lunch then...go ahead and go back.”

Fae didn’t really want to let Severina walk away, didn’t really want to be alone in general right now but Severina wasn’t going to be happy or enjoy her time here. There was no point dragging someone around that was unhappy and bored just because Fae wanted company. They could eat then...Fae would continue her tour to let Severina have her time, but her heart wouldn’t be in it anymore.

“I’m thinking of… Heading to the ULS embassy and just giving myself up.”

Severina’s words might as well have been as shocking as possible, but it wasn’t as surprising when considering her mental state from the past weeks and not just right now… Of course, heading to the ULS embassy would mean getting arrested for desertion from the UIB’s Special Tactics Group, and it was hard to say even what the exact punishment would be for her crime… But it would mean she wouldn’t see this place again and she wouldn’t see Sadiriyya again, in all likelihood… And if she went through with it, she wouldn’t see Fae again either.

“You do that...they’ll imprison you for life, or worse…”

Fae’s voice was small and quiet, almost...fearful. Severina was her last tie to her life, her only friend, the only real positive thing she had left besides Jana’s...lust. She knew that’s what it was, but it gave her some luxury she didn’t otherwise see.

“I doubt you’d ever see the world without bars again, if...if at all.”

It wasn’t easy for her to do, but she reached out with both her hands and grabbed one of Severina’s.

”Please...please don’t do it…

She couldn’t place exactly why she was so desperate to not see Severina go, to not see her gone forever. She wasn’t sure what it was she was feeling right now, but she knew one thing. She desperately did not want Severina to go through with it, even knowing things were hard on her.

“I’m going to break down at this rate,” Severina replied as a counter, offering a reason as to why she thought it was a good idea to get herself locked up rather than remain in their current situation. “Is that… Is that what you want? Are you telling me that you haven’t been able to see for yourself?”

“They’ll kill you...or lock you away forever...Severina, there’s got to be a better option than turning yourself in...something...anything. I don’t want to see you break down but...I don’t want you dead or gone either.”

Fae was pretty sure that without Severina to center herself, she wouldn’t be far behind Severina in giving herself up or just finding some other way to end it. She looked down at the table, fighting back tears of desperation.

“You’re the only thing keeping me from breaking down. I know you don’t like needing people for help but...maybe you...you should find someone to help you instead of just giving up everything you left them to try and get to begin with. You don’t have to stay and keep fighting but...turning yourself into the ULS makes everything you’ve done...moot. You left them to control your own life, you go back...you’ll never get that chance again.”

“I’m never going to rely on another person!” Severina said, her voice rising slightly before she sat back again, holding her head in her hands in frustration, gritting her teeth as she finally showed more emotion than she had before, her feelings seeping through the impenetrable rough exterior which she had showed for most of the rest of the day, not letting any emotions get out previously. “I left them to have control… But what the fuck have I gotten out of that? What the fuck good has come from you bringing me to Sadiriyya? Feeling like I’m being hunted? Being out of my depth for the first time ever and wondering if I’m going to die every time I fly, something I didn’t have to worry about before?”

She paused slightly, lowering her head. “At least if I turn myself in I can just… Give up on things.”

“Is that what you really want? To just...give up? If you turn yourself into them, you’ll have to rely on them for literally everything, even just the right to live. You don’t have to keep flying in Sadiriyya, but...turning yourself in is the worst choice you could make.”

Fae finally let go of Severina, she wasn’t going to be able to make her stay just by holding onto her, if anything it might make things worse.

“Severina...I…”

Fae paused as she struggled for words, and struggled to figure out what the hell the emotions broiling inside her were. There were to many wrapped up together to name any one, but she knew this much. If Severina did end up turning herself in, Fae wasn’t going to survive for very long without her anchor.

“You’re one of the strongest people I know, if anyone can figure out how to get through this without giving up...it’s you. You don’t have to rely on anyone, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get help either. We came here to get help that will even out this war. You don’t have to go back, you can just...disappear into the crowds and find your way back home instead. Head back to Sassana, but turning yourself in...it’s the worst thing you could do.”

Severina sighed, closing her eyes and not saying anything for a moment. “For what? Why am I doing this, for you? It’s not going to be for me, I’ve already given up on being happy. I might as well spend the rest of my time in the ULS instead of spending it in fear and getting shot down by some enemy that outmatches us,” she continued, unsatisfied with the idea that she should keep fighting. “At least with the ULS… I’m already familiar with what I’m getting.”

Fae sighed and sunk into her seat, fists clenched below the table. Now she really wanted to hit something. She didn’t know how much more she had in her to argue this with Severina, how much more she could really say. It seemed to her that Severina was set on turning herself on, on just...giving up. She
looked down at the table.

“I don’t have a home, or a family to go back to. All that’s left for me is fighting till I die or I’m captured. You’re the...only thing I have left at all. All I know is that if you turn yourself in...all of this was for nothing. The struggling, the fighting, running away to begin with. If you survive, if you...have the will for it, you do have a home to go back to, family to see some day. You actually have a chance to be happy if you keep pushing. I don’t have that chance, don’t give it up. Please, not for me, for you, don’t give up on that chance.”

“Maybe if you understood what it’s like being raised just for fighting… You would understand why nothing else outside of this thing we’re in matters,” Severina said, her voice sharp with frustration as she stood up from her seat finally. “I don’t have anything outside of this and as far as this goes it’s only a matter of time… It’s only a matter of time until we lose, and then what? We’ve been marked out specifically by an enemy we don’t understand, targeted, we’ve nearly died at their hands and it might just happen the next time we face them and we don’t get any breaks of luck… It didn’t even take mages to shake us up last time we were in a fight and we’re supposed to deal with that? It’s already gotten to my head, I’ve already seen that there’s no point…”

“So I guess since you’re demanding it so much, I’ll just roll over and wait to die once we’re back in Sadiriyya, not like it’s going to take long for that to happen,” she concluded, fists clenched as she turned to storm out of the restaurant, her voice lined with… Anger rather than just the usual frustration she had shown earlier in the day.

Fae sank into her seat, only letting tears flow from her eyes once Severina was no longer looking at her. She couldn’t say anything else. She’d done everything she could to try and convince Severina that her options weren’t just fight and die, or give up. It wasn’t working, Severina wouldn’t or couldn’t see any other path. It meant Fae was probably never going to see her again, once she left...Fae was sure she would be gone for good. She was going to lose the last piece of home, the last peace of...happiness she had left. All because of some stupid enemy aces terrifying the both of them. She would stay here, she wasn’t going to chase someone that didn’t want to listen to any other options. She’d eat, then...wonder about the city for awhile, try and figure something else out. By the time she would head back to the hotel, it was dark, and she was wasted. Stumbling into the room and passing out on the floor before she could even reach the bed.
When we lose one we love, our bitterest tears are called forth by the memory of hours when we loved not enough. - Maurice Maeterlinck

There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are the messengers of overwhelming grief, of deep contrition, and of unspeakable love. - Washington Irving

It is easy to hate and it is difficult to love. This is how the whole scheme of things works. All good things are difficult to achieve; and bad things are very easy to get. - Confucius

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Forest State
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Founded: Aug 23, 2016
Capitalist Paradise

Postby Forest State » Wed Aug 07, 2019 4:49 pm

SEASON 1 ‘DESERT STORM DREAMING’
EPISODE 17 ‘Intermission 1’



ROYAL SADIRIYYAN AIR FORCE
Report from Maj. Jana Eseri, 8th Fighter Squadron, to the 1st Fighter Wing

I would like to report that the 8th Fighter Squadron will need a replacement pilot following the suspension of pilot Severina Euclid on my personal decision. Euclid has missed squadron activities such as patrol sorties for the past days and there are serious concerns to be had about her mental state, which I myself believe is influenced by post traumatic stress disorder stemming from two close encounters with unidentified enemy aircraft, of which Captain Eulclid barely escaped safely either time.

Both of the encounters are still being looked into by military intelligence and we still don’t completely understand what happened, but personally, I witnessed a change in Euclid following the second outing. That was, of course, the one where Euclid and the rest of our squadron faced off against a number of unidentified prototype fighters, which were greater than our own in terms of skill.

Euclid has not only been missing from several important activities such as patrols of our airspace, but has refused to seek further help from the squadron’s support system - my requests for her to see one of the wing’s psychologists has been denied by Euclid, and further, I believe she has isolated herself to a new degree ever since our return from the Union of Prestrovian Socialist Republics.

While Euclid, as a mage, has proven herself to be one of the top assets in the air, I don’t think her current mental state will permit her to be more useful for this squadron than the average replacement level pilot - another problem includes troubles on her end with at least one or two of her fellow pilots, which I haven’t been able to investigate fully but I believe has played a part in her isolation. At least one time, this has escalated to the point of a physical altercation, albeit a short one.

Because of the reasons that I have listed above, I have filled out the paperwork to indefinitely suspend Captain Severina Euclid from her role with the squadron, and to file a request for another pilot to replace her. You will find the required paperwork attached with this email.

Long live the goddess of Sadiriyya.

Signed, Major Jana Eseri, Crown Princess of Sadiriyya

This encrypted message is for intended eyes only. Unauthorized release will result in punishment to the fullest extent of royal law.




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Asiosian Test Pilot Taken In By Etrania During Beloprestrian Tensions

NewsEuropa Editorial Staff
November 4th, 1675 N.E.


AGUSTINE, KINGDOM OF ETRANIA --- The Etranian Air Force has announced its intent to take in a member of the Asiosian experimental weapons program, who defected from the South Librosi country in August by stealing a plane and flying into Pressiac. The general assumption, of course, is that the acquisition will be made possible by King Nicolae Dominius Campanus extending asylum to the pilot in question, Francis Mariano. Mariano had previously been staying at the Ixerian embassy in Vistada, but had not secured asylum in any country on a permanent basis… Until now.

Mariano was an unknown name until her defection made international headlines, but according to the government of Vistada, Mariano was involved in a number of classified projects in the Principality of Asios, one of the multiple competing powers in the wealthy northern coast of South Libros - the development race between Asios and neighboring nations such as the Capitalist Republic of Oerland and of course the Republic of Vistada is a major factor in regional affairs, and according to reports, fears within the Asiosian government of leaks from the defector have made Mariano a wanted woman.

When asked by media on the ground in Vistada about her reasons for defecting, Mariano claimed that the primary reason was poor treatment by squadronmates and officers in one of the elite experimental squadrons of the Asiosian Air Force. There is not much further information on the matter - the Principality of Asios has for the most part kept silent on the matter, and NewsEuropa was unable to reach Mariano for a statement.

The country taking Mariano in, the Kingdom of Etrania, has been locked in a battle of tensions which was recently reignited with the Kingdom of Beloprestria - both nations are monarchies, but don’t see eye to eye on many things. Imperial Prestrovia claims Etrania as part of its realm, and Beloprestria is firmly in the lap of the Tzar of Prestrovia. It’s believed by many that the Tzar could use Beloprestria as a proxy for an invasion of Etrania, which would see their empire push further into Europa and bring it one step closer to its goal of uniting the divided Slavenic peoples, of which the Prestrovians claim the Etranians to be.

The Etranians, of course, would claim that their ancestry is closer to the Sassanans, and the Empire of Sassana is indeed the main backer of the Kingdom of Etrania. The Kingdom ruled by the Campanus dynasty uses Sassanan fighters, receives military aid from Sassana, and in the future, may marry one of its daughters off to a Sassanan prince. With Tzarist Prestrovia claiming both Baltica and Etrania as part of their territory, it looks like a war might be coming to Europa soon - one that could see the Tzarists breaking off from their Layment Pact allies by attacking a state in the Sassanan sphere of influence.

If there is a belief in Etrania that war is coming, it’s understandable that the country is seeking distinguished pilots to aid its air force in fending off incoming attack. They will, after all, have to do some of the fighting themselves rather than relying on Sassanan support.
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Psychotic Dictatorship

Postby Lunas Legion » Fri Aug 09, 2019 1:56 pm

SEASON 1 ‘DESERT STORM DREAMING’
Collaborative post between Forest State and Lunas Legion

EPISODE 18 ‘The Princess & the Outcast’

Claudia Lepida Campanus & Francis Mariano
Agustine, Kingdom of Etrania
November 6th, 1675 N.E.



Claudia did not particularly like being a princess. Yes, it was every little girl’s dream, but really, being a princess was overrated if you actually thought about it, especially in a nigh-absolute monarchy like Etrania. It was an endless stream of obligations one after the other, some more pleasant, some not. There were foreign ambassadors to dine with, domestic events to attend, dynastic politics to consider both with other nations and within one’s own dynasty…

So Claudia took whatever small chances to get away from her duties that she could get, or at least to make them as easy upon herself as possible. She did her best, but sometimes her best simply wasn’t good enough for her family, but she tried anyways.

Today, at least, those duties were not too demanding. She wasn’t acting in her capacity as a princess today, but rather as the Lieutenant-Colonel of her squadron in the Royal Etranian Air Force, 3. Escadrila, unofficially dubbed the Princess’ Guard because she commanded it. But that gave her some flexibility on the nature of how exactly she would handle it, so she could make it as comfortable for herself and the new foreign pilot assigned to her squadron as possible.

Which was why she was sat in a long dress, her tiara balanced on her head as part of her formal regalia as a Princess of Etrania, sitting on a chair on a balcony overlooking the gardens of the royal palace rather than a briefing room at the city’s airbase where her squadron was based or a formal meeting hall elsewhere in the palace. It was more comfortable and relaxed for her, at least, as she sipped at the cup of tea in her hands, waiting for the person she was supposed to be meeting here to arrive. A chance to drink in solitude and peace and quiet, something she rarely got and always treasured.

It was a strange place to be meeting a new pilot, to an extent - not that Francis Mariano minded too much, but the formal setting and the fact that they were at the royal palace was… Slightly unnerving to the former Asiosian test pilot, who had been taken in days prior by Etrania because they needed experienced faces to bolster their war effort before conflict broke out with their rival monarchy across the border, Beloprestria, the state which claimed to be the rightful owner of their territory… Of course, Imperial Prestrovia also claimed the land, but some said there was no difference between the Tzar of Prestrovia and the King of Beloprestria, they were aligned closely enough that the Tzarists would probably consider the conflict one should the Beloprestrians roll across the border and take over the people that they claimed were Slavenic.

If one asked the Etranians themselves, they would claim to descend directly from the Etorian Empire, but that was an unrelated argument. Regardless of the reasons, conflict was on the table, and it was why the government of Etrania was taking what one might consider desperate measures at these times - even in their top air legion, they were bringing in foreign pilots because they didn’t trust only their own populace to stand up to the brunt of attack in a war.

Francis Mariano was just one of the ones being brought in, although her situation was more unconventional than most. She was… Visibly nervous when she showed up to the balcony, unsure of just how to introduce herself, or what to say, and she ended up not saying anything - sometimes, she had learned, it was better to not open your mouth and make a fool of yourself. She just stood in the entrance to the balcony before, well, bowing… She figured it was what one was supposed to do around royalty. And in the absence of words, it was something, at least.

“Have a seat.” Claudia said, sipping at her tea before gesturing with her cup towards the seat on the opposite side of the small balcony table to her and setting the now emptied cup on the saucer in front of her. She wasn’t exactly surprised by the nervousness she could see in Francis; it was how everyone who was unused to royalty reacted when involved closely with them in her experience from observation. But nerves were something that could be overcome, and given that Francis was joining her squadron, she’d have to overcome them eventually. At least she’d bowed and hadn’t completely frozen up.

“R-R-Right,” stuttered Francis, straightening herself out and taking a seat, her eyes looking away as she shifted to glancing into the gardens rather than looking at Claudia directly. She wasn’t just nervous, at least not like most people… It seemed that the situation, well, really scared her. Or she was the kind of person that ended up nervous to a much higher degree than the average person. “I guess I s-should um, i-introduce myself? Or s-something?”

“It would be polite, yes.” Claudia nodded, watching Francis as she sat down. She’d let Francis properly introduce herself, then she’d introduce herself afterwards. Formalities, even if they both knew each other’s names before this, should be observed at all times.

“I… My name is…” Francis started, trying to compose her words for a moment before letting out a brief sigh. “My n-name is Francis Mariano, I… G-Guess that would b-be Captain Francis Mariano n-now…”

“Princess Claudia Lepida Campanus, Lieutenant-Colonel. You may call me either Princess, or Princess Claudia.” Claudia said, hiding her internal wince at Francis’ obviously nervous stutters. “And there is no reason to be nervous, Francis. Yes, I understand the palace can be overwhelming and meeting royalty for the first time can be unnerving, but please, try to relax. I don’t bite. Do you want anything to drink? I can send a servant for something if you wish.”

“Uh, n-no, no, it’s kind enough of you just to have me here, and u-um, I’m sorry, I’m n-not meaning to seem like I’m s-scared of you t-this is just how I a-am until I’m in the a-air, I’m sorry,” Francis said, bowing her head after the apology, the words only seeming to have increased her nervousness… She wasn’t the average fighter pilot, that was for sure, at least when she wasn’t in the cockpit.

“There’s no need to apologise, we hired you to be a pilot, not to give speeches or make idle conversation.” Claudia said. “As long as you can fly a plane and fly it well, as your CO I don’t particularly mind how you are on the ground.”

“C-Considering my l-last squadron and h-h-how things went with that, I’m g-glad to hear it,” Francis nodded, finally looking up, some of the nervousness and some of the… Fear still written on her face. “I-Is there a-anything else y-you need me for? Or…?”

Claudia was silent for a few moments, thinking if she did actually need Francis for anything else, before she began to speak again. “Not in particular, but if you wish to stay and talk I don’t mind. You’re the first of my squadron of mercenaries I’ve actually gotten to meet, so I feel I should get to know all of you to at least some degree.”

“It’s j-just uh… Sorry… I just f-feel like I’m m-making things worse every time I o-open my mouth,” Francis said with a resigned sigh, keeping her eyes off Claudia once again.

“If you want to leave I don’t mind, but-” Claudia sighed. “Look at me, Francis. Yes, that is an order, you can’t spend however long you’re serving in my squadron looking every direction that isn’t at me. Have they shown you our squadron’s planes and base yet? I’m not quite as on top of my squadron’s paperwork as I really should be these days.”

“N-No…” Francis started, before looking directly down at the table. “And I’m s-sorry, it’ll be b-b-better when I’m in the a-a-ir but right n-now… It’s hard.”

“Just because it’s difficult doesn’t mean it isn’t worth doing, Francis.” Claudia sighed, leaning forwards. “Look at me, and then I’ll arrange a car to drive you on down to the base so you can see it and the fighters we’ll be flying. And I’ll make you look at me if I have to, but I’d prefer not to.”

Francis was silent for a moment, before looking up, meeting Claudia’s eye for the first time but revealing the tear droplets welling in the corners of her eyes, and… Her general expression, which wasn’t great right now. “Is this w-what you w-want? To s-s-see all the fear w-written on m-my face? T-To s-see the… N-Nevermind…”

“No, I just wanted you to look at me, that’s all.” Claudia sighed. “You don’t have to keep looking at me if you don’t want to. It’s a small awkwardness, if I’d known you’d start tearing up I wouldn’t have pressed, I’m sorry for overreaching.”

“I’m from a place where people beat the shit out of you for looking at them wrong… I’ve learned to keep my head down,” Francis said in a low tone, not looking away just yet and seemingly managing to avoid stuttering for a bit. “Can I… Can I just head to whatever room I’m going to be staying in…?”

“If you want to, but we don’t do that type of thing here.” Claudia said, nodding. “If anyone on my squadron does, or in our wing or on the base, you tell me who and I’ll see them discharged for unbecoming conduct. I’ll take you to your room, it’s in the guest wing where you’ll be staying until my squadron’s fully mobilised when we’ll all be moving into airbase quarters rather than staying here at the palace, and yes, that includes myself.”

Francis nodded without a word, standing up, looking off into the distance but not lowering her head again like she had before… Still nervous, but it was impossible to read just how much in this instance.

“I’ll arrange for you to see the base and aircraft tomorrow.” Claudia said as she stood up slowly, moving carefully in her formal attire. “Come along.” She motioned towards Francis, heels clicking on the floor as she moved to lead her to her room in the palace. “If you need anything, ask one of the servants and they’ll do their best to fulfill it.”

“I-It’s going to be awkward living around somewhere like t-this,” was the only thing Francis said as she followed, keeping somewhat close but not too close, her own pace slightly slower and less enthusiastic than Claudia’s.

“I’m sure it’s far fancier and more luxurious than what you’re used to, but you’ll miss it when we move into the airbase if it actually comes to war.” Claudia commented, turning down another corridor. “Honestly I’m not sure how I’ll deal with that, I’ve spent my whole life living and sleeping in places like this. If you get lost just ask one of the servants for directions, it can be a labyrinth at times.”

Following after Claudia, Francis considered what had been said. “I’m s-sorry, I… Never asked for all t-this when I came h-here, a roof over my head and somewhere s-safe is fine,” she spoke up, shaking her head slightly.

“You didn’t need to ask, we’re not about to expect you to fight and risk life and limb for our sake and not provide things like that for you.” Claudia said, moving to head up a staircase, clutching tightly onto the bannister with one hand and picking her dress up slightly with the other as she made her way up. “A room and safety is the least we can provide.”

“It’s j-just not me, I grew up around the traphouse, t-t-these kinds of p-places aren’t ones that I fit i-in at… It’s n-nice but it’s not me,” Francis replied, her tone slightly lower.

“I won’t fit in an air force barracks when we’re most likely moved to one, don’t worry about it.” Claudia said, turning her head to look back at Francis, slowing down slightly as she did so. “It may not be you, but you’re only staying here for a brief time most likely. If you want you could move into the squadron’s barracks earlier, but it’ll be lonely down there just by yourself and we aren’t expecting the worst case scenario for a while yet. I can’t give specifics since I don’t exactly get invited to those briefings, I only know what my eldest brother tells me when I ask.”

“I’m used to being alone,” Francis said without a stutter pausing. “B-But whatever y-you t-think is best…”

“It’s your room, not mine, I can’t make that decision for you. I’m your CO, not a tyrant.” Claudia said, eventually stopping in front of a single wooden door. “Here it is, see if you like it, if you want to move down to the barracks then you only have to ask and I’ll arrange it, I’ll have a car arranged for you to see the base and our squadron’s planes tomorrow.”

Considering the options, Francis lingered outside of the door before coming to a decision, albeit reluctantly. “I s-suppose I’ll s-stay here,” she settled, letting out a slow sigh.

“I was fine with either, if you need me my room is…” Claudia paused, seemingly mentally mapping out the palace in her head. “Go that way-” Claudia pointed down the way they had come. “Third staircase down, down one flight, first right and knock on the first pair of fancy double-doors you see. If you can’t remember just ask one of the servants, I’ll leave you to get settled in if you don’t mind.”

“Alright then,” nodded Francis, opening the door to her room to step inside, turning and nodding towards Claudia one more time before she shut it behind her… She couldn’t deny that this was a different world, one very unfamiliar from Asios… The only question in her mind now was just how long was she going to survive here, where things were so far from the norm for her?
Last edited by William Slim Wed Dec 14 1970 10:35 pm, edited 35 times in total.

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Founded: Aug 23, 2016
Capitalist Paradise

Postby Forest State » Tue Aug 13, 2019 5:43 pm

SEASON 1 ‘DESERT STORM DREAMING’
Collaborative post between Forest State and Lunas Legion

EPISODE 19 ‘PLAYING BOTH SIDES’

Gabriella Sara Bianchi-Costa & Rhea Fabre
Velzin, North Tiamannic Confederation
September 25th, 1675 N.E.



Velzin - one of the northern cities of the North Tiamannic Confederation and supposedly the place where the monarchist movement known as the Silver Cross was working on some form of major action. One that was big enough that there was foreign help from Darmiyya and Reine involved in setting it up. At least, that was how things were allegedly. The Union Intelligence Bureau was sending a team up for further investigation, without having the knowledge that the two they were sending to look into it more closely happened to be some of the same people they were working against… Or vaguely aligned with them, at the least. Ever since their ‘mindjacking’, both Gabriella and Rhea had been… Working for the interests of a mysterious shadow organization - Unitas.

But what Unitas wanted wasn’t exactly clear. Nor was the line on what their orders were from Unitas for this particular thing, where they were supposed to be probing into the same group that Unitas had been working with when they captured the pair of them in the first place after seeing through their cover thanks to the help of a mage. What they were supposed to do here… Might as well have been an unknown for now.

An awkward car ride had led the both of them into the city itself, not the largest city but also not a small one either, and as one of the northern cities, that was closer to the border with the Saksian Commune, it was often under communist influence. The communists weren’t what they were worried about the most this time. The objective had to do with the monarchists, the supporters of the Tiamannic monarchs that had come to power in Reine following the fall of the united Tiammanic monarchy in the Continental War, a conflict which had divided the continent and had seen the geopolitical balance shift not just in the local region but around the world.

Apparently, the monarchists intended to make a point with something big. It was up to the two agents to figure out just what that was, and to deal with the problem before it ended up out of hand. It was also up to them to figure out if they were even supposed to put effort into this mission given their status as double agents, working against a group connected to their overlords. As they drove through the city, in the back of a fairly average looking sedan which was meant to not draw attention, their driver Adriana looked up and spoke for the first time during the ride.

“Am I… Dropping you guys off at the Silver Cross office around here or something? It’s not like we have precise locations yet…” she said, her voice quiet. It usually was. She tended to be a somewhat nervous and shy type who preferred to do her work out of the spotlight.

“Drop us near it, we’ll make our way there on foot.” Gabriella said, not turning from watching the buildings pass them by.

Adriana nodded and she did just that, stopping when they were about a block away from the building that served as the organization’s presence in this city, waiting for the two of them to get out before pulling away and doing a quick turn around. “So, you have much of a plan for this?” Rhea asked, following after Gabriella as the two of them started walking towards the building.

“Well, we have options.” Gabriella said as they walked. “One, we try talking our way in, use the info Asia and Dana provided us and say we’ve been dispatched here from Ranhalt. Two, we observe the place for a while, see if we can’t follow some genuine reinforcements in and then scope the place out. But since we don’t exactly have a timescale on this thing, I think we may have to try talking our way in even if we’re obviously foreigners.”

“Right,” said Rhea, nodding silently. They continued, the building coming into view, the structure rather fittingly from the traditional era and designed to reflect the past times, times that the Silver Cross were interested in bringing back. It wasn’t hard to identify who owned it, either, with the pair of long banners draped from the outside, colored in solid black with a silver cross on each one of them near the middle. The building was about three stories tall - the banners were hung all the way from the top, making them quite visible for anyone approaching. “I suppose you’re going to do most of the talking.”

“They’re more my crowd than yours, I don’t mind letting you talk but I’m more used to dealing with the types they draw in than you are.” Gabriella said, not even pausing at the sight of the slightly imposing building. They were meant to be here after all. “So yes.”

“Not like I would want to talk to these kind of people too much, anyway. Too much like some of the people I grew up with back home.”

Rhea followed Gabriella’s lead in entering, the interior of the building well furnished just like the outside, a lobby being the first thing to greet them with red carpet and a chandelier hanging from the ceiling, as well as a front desk made of some kind of expensive foreign wood. Not many people were in this room… None of them were paying particular attention to the newcomers who had just entered. The woman behind the front desk was wearing a suit, a uniform one might expect from someone checking into a five star hotel. Fitting, considering the crowd this was.

Rule number one of this type of thing was to be confident and act like you were meant to be there. Confidence could get you many places, because people didn’t like to challenge authority. So rather than lingering, which would’ve just made them suspicious, she instead walked purposefully up to the front desk, resting her hands on the edge before she began to talk.

“Hello, me and my friend were sent up here from the Ranhalt branch but the instructions weren’t exactly clear other than we were to show up here, so we were wondering if you could be of any help? We weren’t told what for or why so we’re both a little confused, I’m half-convinced it wasn’t supposed to be us given the rather vague instructions, but they seemed quite urgent so we didn’t have a chance to both get here today and ask about the vagueness.”

“I’m sure the Ranhalt branch wouldn’t have given you vague instructions, would they?” the woman at the front desk asked, not seemingly buying their answer, and looking both of them over but not saying much else. “I’m not sure what you’re trying to get at here.”

“I think our boss was panicking given his tone over the phone, he just said that we were to get up here yesterday and you’d give us further directions. I know a few of our friends back in Ranhalt have been sent up here but they never said why or elaborated much.” Gabriella shrugged. “You know how higher ups can be when they realise they’ve forgotten something important.”

“Yes but, I’m not seeing anything on the records here saying we’re expecting anyone at all from Ranhalt, I believe anyone that needs to be here is already here according to the sign in records…” the woman continued, opening up a book and looking down at it, going through the names and the dates and times at which they had arrived. “I don’t think I recognize either of you either?”

“We’re both relatively new to a degree, but do you mind letting me check that?” Gabriella asked, motioning towards the book. “Just checking we weren’t signed in by mistake or something, there could’ve been an error in the chain somewhere along the line. All I know is we got a panicked phone call telling us to report here, so I think someone’s screwed up somewhere with the bureaucracy.”

“Well… It’s not really policy, but I suppose,” the woman said, turning the book around and sliding it further down the desk so the two visitors could read what was within.

“Thanks.” Gabriella said, smiling slightly and leaning in to peer over the book. They were looking for a large group that arrived all at once, preferably at an awkward time like late at night or early in the day that they could slip into and when it would be feasible the staff wouldn’t have been quite as attentive in record-keeping, so they’d accidentally been noted down as arriving.

The woman waited, drumming her fingers against the desk absentmindedly. “And have you managed to, well, see something from looking through that?”

“Not quite yet,” Gabriella said, turning another page, moving back. Both to pretend she was looking for her own name and Rhea’s, and to get a sense for possible numbers of the camp. It never hurt to take any chance she got to gather a little bit more extra intelligence. “Ah, here we are. 22nd.” Gabriella said, turning the book around and pointing to one name, then another that both arrived on the 22nd as part of a decently sized group, but most importantly, late according to the time. “I’m guessing they just forgot we were meant to be in that group or we had no signal when the instructions got sent out or whatever and we were just missed in all those people. Sorry to be a hassle.”

The woman slid the book back to examine the names, giving them a confused look. “You’re telling me that they just forgot to tell you that you were supposed to be here days earlier?” she asked, as if she was debating making a bigger deal of things and calling someone to check on the details.

“We’re not exactly that important, like I said I think our boss had a minor panic attack when he called to tell us to get up here as soon as possible.” Gabriella sighed, seemingly slightly exasperated. “Probably slipped his mind and he thought he’d called us when he hadn’t, it’s a decently sized group. Really I just want to know if we have to drive all the way back to Ranhalt or not again in one day so we can complain at him for sending us up here for no reason.”

Sighing, the woman looked up and examined them one more time before gesturing to the book. “Sign your names one more time I suppose and head towards the back of the building, someone will be with you there,” she said, not giving full context but giving clear enough instructions for what they had to do. At the very least, they weren’t being turned away.

“Thanks.” Gabriella said, taking a pen and signing a loose enough approximation of the first name she’d pointed to, turning her nose up slightly. “Butchered it…” She muttered under her breath to herself before handing the pen for Rhea to do the same, running her finger down the edge of the book as she stepped back. She trusted Rhea to remember both of the names she’d pointed to earlier.

Rhea was quick to sign the name that had been pointed out to her by Gabriella, and it didn’t take her long to start walking towards the back like they had been told - they had gotten out of this with no major incident but there was no point hanging out longer and testing their luck where they didn’t have to. Now… They just had to figure out what the hell was actually going on in the back and what they would have to do next.
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Founded: Jan 21, 2013
Psychotic Dictatorship

Postby Lunas Legion » Thu Aug 15, 2019 4:13 pm

SEASON 1 ‘DESERT STORM DREAMING’
Collaborative post between Forest State and Lunas Legion

EPISODE 20 ‘THE REINIC PLOT’

Gabriella Sara Bianchi-Costa & Rhea Fabre
Velzin, North Tiamannic Confederation
September 25th, 1675 N.E.



As they moved to the back of the building as they had been instructed to, they would find that there were a few people getting ready for something, or in particular, loading something on trucks… They had been told that there would be someone with them, but the exact meaning of that was unclear - there was no one immediately approaching them and no one that looked like they were in charge. At least, until one familiar figure showed up after stepping out of a side room.

“I believe I’m already familiar with you two,” said the mage with the rune sleeve on her arm - known in her own circle as Lucile, but not known to anything in particular to the two agents that had just entered the room. They did know her as a member or associate of Unitas, however. How the Southeast Lysosian conglomerate played into things was unclear, but… They could both clearly remember that night. Getting their cover blown by the organization. Waking up, finding themselves in some outpost of Unitas…

And that night had led to them having a…

Forced change of heart, the product of some of the most cutting edge technology in the world. The technology to control a person’s mind, something that was otherwise unheard of, even in the very advanced Union of Librosi States. Or perhaps they did have access to that technology and they kept it under wraps, either way… Whoever this woman was with, they were powerful.

“Have you already… Received the rundown on what’s going to go down?” she asked the two agents casually. Of course she was… She knew exactly who they were, knew they weren’t with the Silver Cross, but she also knew that they were firmly under the grip of her own organization. And thus, they weren’t a threat.

“We’ve only just arrived, but we can put two and two together.” Gabriella said, relaxing slightly at the familiar face even if they didn’t know her name. “You want me to lay out what we know and you can fill in any gaps I’ve missed out?”

“You can,” Lucile said, raising an eyebrow as she leaned against the wall and observed what was happening in the background - boxes being moved out of the building and into trucks on the street behind.

“We know that the Silver Cross has been pulling in members from Ranhalt at a minimum, likely from several more branches of the organisation-” Gabriella began. “And that at least some of them have been assembling here, which is what we were originally dispatched to investigate. I’m assuming that, in some way, is connected to the planned chemical attack that I believe you mentioned to us back in Ranhalt, or at least I can’t see any other reason for a weapons scientist to have been present which is what originally provoked our interest. From that, I’m assuming these are the final stages of preparation for said attack, but we have no idea on the location or locations or the exact goals. Correct me if I’m wrong on any points, which I no doubt am.” Gabriella liked to consider herself to be fairly intelligent, but she was more than willing to admit when she was working off vague speculation and joined dots like she was now.

“You can inform your bosses in the UIB about what you’ve learned here, I can confirm that this attack isn’t directed at the NTC but at a nation across the border… In particular, the Saksian Commune, which will soon be in anarchy. In the chaos, it will be the perfect time for the Reinic military to travel across the border and reclaim part of their true territory, that is, the entire commune, before their Tsouanese and Prestrovian Communist allies can aid them… The deal, of course, will bring us Reinic support in the global south… The NTC is a future area of operations, yes, but isn’t quite the target just yet,” Lucile replied. “So what are you going to do, agents? Head back to Ranhalt and hide? Join the trip out west to Saksia?”

“Our orders were to investigate what was going on here, nothing more. Although we could justify a trip to Saksia to the rest of our team by saying it was necessary to preserve cover.” Gabriella said, her voice carefully measured. “We’ve filled our role and completed our orders, so unless you want us to join the trip to Saksia, we should most likely return to Ranhalt.” Gabriella paused, thinking briefly. “Actually, Rhea, do you have your phone on you? We can text what we’ve ‘found out’ back to our team and then await further orders from them on whether we should withdraw or continue to Saksia.” Gabriella didn’t see any real advantage in going to Saksia in person at least, but their orders, somewhat paradoxically, were to follow orders from a different opposing organisation so that was what she was going to do.

“It’s up to you…” Lucile said, not giving much hint in one direction or the other of what she wanted them to do, as Rhea reached for her phone and started texting the rest of the team.

“Yeah, one second,” Rhea said, looking down at the screen.

WHO’SAPP
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Group Chat - Monarchist Meme Page

[RHEA FABRE] - just found out the silver cross is doing a chem attack on the saksian commune, reinic invasion to follow, orders?

[LENZ JURGEN] - Do what your cover will allow

[LENZ JURGEN] - Gathering more intel on what we’re dealing with will be useful


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Rhea looked to Gabriella, nodding slightly. “Lenz says we should gather more intel, see what we’re dealing with… Guess that means heading up to wherever it is in Saksia that they’re heading?”

“I suppose on to Saksia it is then.” Gabriella gave a small shrug. “Not sure what info can be gathered there, but orders are orders. I’m assuming we’ll have transport there from the Silver Cross along with the others?” Gabriella paused briefly, turning away from Rhea and back to the mage. “And given we’re, at least currently pretending to be, members of the Silver Cross, what will our assigned role in the operation be given how we aren’t on the list of necessary individuals for this operation?”

“You’re with me, I suppose. And since you arrived here in time… I suppose you can head out on one of the trucks, too. There’s extra room in the back on one of them, I’m sure,” Lucile said, standing up and leading the duo towards the trucks parked out in the back, pointing to the ones that were being loaded up, most of the boxes already on the trucks at this point as they approached, some of the flatbeds indeed not being full as Lucile had said.

“As you wish.” Gabriella gave a small shrug of acknowledgement. “If you don’t mind then, we’ll get ourselves in trucks before they leave without us and we’ll link back up with you once we’ve arrived for further orders.” Gabriella finished, moving off towards one of the less full trucks. “Let’s go get ourselves comfortable.” Or as comfortable as they could be in the back of a truck.

Rhea found herself sitting down across from Gabriella, the wait only lasting for some minutes before they departed down the road, heading towards the outskirts of Velzin and eventually towards the Saksian Commune… How they were getting into the country remained to be seen, but well…

It was too late to turn back now.
Last edited by William Slim Wed Dec 14 1970 10:35 pm, edited 35 times in total.

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