NATION

PASSWORD

[SC ONLY] Diplomacy in the dark

A staging-point for declarations of war and other major diplomatic events. [In character]
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The Lost Spiral
Lobbyist
 
Posts: 19
Founded: Feb 01, 2019
Father Knows Best State

[SC ONLY] Diplomacy in the dark

Postby The Lost Spiral » Tue Jul 16, 2019 8:27 pm

For the Sovereign Charter only.

There are no sign up sheets, characters should be described and named in their posts. Players are limited to two primary characters which must either be members of your nation's embassy/consular staff in the Lost Spiral or an expatriate living there. - WARNING (Characters can and will die if placed in or unable to get out of dangerous situations).

Feel free to describe, customize your environments. This is your story as well.

I am acting as GM, if there are any issues do not be afraid to contact me.



Lives lost Rules denied,
Slumbering city Brash cries,
Eternity calls.




The Lost Spiral is a rocky and arid country, dry and devoid of the beautiful landscapes that populate other nations. Its expansive scrublands a mess of ruined hovels, failed towns, ugly industrial centres and cracked stretching roads, all filled with scavengers picking the bones of the dead. Only in the cities can you find a sense of order, maintained by an extreme system of might makes right; nothing is technically illegal in the Lost Spiral and no one has rights, those with power can do what they like as long as they don’t interfere with the interests of the state itself, the supreme power. The religious police are the ruthless enforcers of that system, brutally executing or torturing those who dare to cross the government.

The diplomatic quarter is a walled off section of the capital, Dakhla, separated from the rest of the city, hosting embassies from many nations and encompassing plush residential districts with a wide range of amenities covering everything one could possibly need. For those who live and work in the diplomatic quarter, life is very good. They are sheltered from the worst aspects of Spiralian society not only by their walls and guards but by a direct decree from the Council and they have access to all the best aspects such as the finest state brothels, theatres, clubs and produce including foods and recreational consumables.

Expatriates who aren’t fortunate enough to live or work in the diplomatic quarter are exposed to the trials of Spiralian culture and forced to adapt to survive, often attaching themselves to state organisations and other powerful individuals or organisations for protection. Even with said protection, those that venture from the relative safety of the city’s confines are rarely seen again.

It is another muggy night with warm winds sweeping in from the east, clean of the corrupting, choking pollution that usually enshrouds the city and carrying with them scents not usually of the city, burnt wood, flowers and a tang of sweet rot. A full moon, seemingly larger and closer than usual, bathes the urban jungle in its pale, white glow, outlining skyscrapers and tower blocks in sharp definition. Streets quiet and empty yet lit with yellow pockets of light from overhead lamps. A solitary car glides through the pools of luminance, the pale pink of its body revealed and then plunged into blanketing darkness again and again in an endless cycle. Despite the rarity of the event and no prior forecasts for rain, water begins to pour from the sky in sheets, splattering against the buildings, on the ground and plinking on the roof of the pink car. Dirt and dust washed away, swallowed down into the yawning black maws of drains that line the roads.

It is three in the morning.

The phones of every registered expatriate ring and continue to ring until answered. Caller ID displays as ‘EAS’, the local government’s Emergency Alert System. When answered, a recorded female voice plays, slowly repeating the following message for clarity.

This is an Emergency Alert System Message.
The Council has declared a state of emergency in Dakhla.
We advise all foreigners to return to their respective embassies.
Further information will follow as and when it is known.
This is an Emergency Alert System Message.
Last edited by The Lost Spiral on Wed Jul 17, 2019 8:13 am, edited 4 times in total.

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Romae in Perpetuum
Envoy
 
Posts: 251
Founded: Mar 14, 2016
Iron Fist Consumerists

Postby Romae in Perpetuum » Wed Jul 17, 2019 7:17 am

Cambrian Embassy, Dakhala, Lost Spire, 0 mins after the call

*bzzt*
*bzzt*

A soft groan could be heard from a large four poster bed, that dominated the interior of the plush bedroom of the Cambrian ambassador (llysgennad).
It’s not morning, go away.
*bzzt*
*bzzt*

Shouldn’t an aide be handling this? I’m the ambassador for Awst’s sake, I’m the one who occasionally gets a full night sleep!
*bzzt*
*bzzt*

Fuck its hot. I need a new duvet, maybe some Roman silk...wait, where is the duvet? Ah, floor.
*bzzt*
*bzzt*

Maybe they’ll go away if I pretend to be…
*bzzt*
*bzzt*

“Countess Telyn ferch Caradog. The fuck do you want?!”

Expecting some sort of minor issue, or worse a drunk call from that prick Caninius Galerus. The Countess was both frustrated and concerned upon hearing the automated message. Frustrated because she couldn’t scream at whoever was calling her at this disgusting time and concerned because whatever caused those pric pwdin Pontifices to close off the city can’t be good.
She rose groggily, intending to wake up her entire staff because…fuck it, before remembering that old underwear probably wasn’t the best look to represent King and Country…even if that King was only approaching his second birthday. Summoning her servants to dress her, Telyn began texting her aides and every other ambassador she knew in the city: ‘what’s going on, is it time to swallow the jewels and leg it?’




Entertainment District, Dakalah, Lost Spire, 3 mins after call.


Like his Cambrian counterpart the Roman ambassador was also abed…but considerably more active, as the two Lictors guarding the door of a ‘private room’ (in the first brothel that had offered the honourable Legatus a free shot on entry) could attest.
The Lictors, unlike the ambassador and a good chunk of his staff, were not having a fun time. They were not only having to wear thick woollen togas and carry heavy fasces, as tradition demanded. But had to wear dark composite body armour underneath with an assortment of weaponry strapped to their belt, as the desire not to have an ambassador assassinated demanded. As a result, they were extremely hot and bothered, and were forced to listen to several female squeals of (certainly fake) delight, whilst their charge: the noble Legate Caius Caninius Galerus, grunted like a rutting pig.

They were also responsible for guarding his valuables, since the ambassador, in a rare moment of good sense, refused to leave them with the Madam stating (very much in front of the woman) that he “wouldn’t trust the barbarian bitch as far as I could throw her.” So, it was one of them who felt his phone go off.
The lictor in question wiped the freshest beads of sweat from his brow and reached into his toga to examine the phone. The guard was quite surprised that anyone had rang, Legate Galerus had threatened to flog anyone who disturbed his ‘night-time excursions’ (as the embassy staff had begun to refer to them) and didn’t recognize the designation ‘EAS’. Seeing that who or whatever EAS was didn’t intend to stop calling the lictor showed the phone to his companion and rose a single eyebrow inquisitorially. The other man shrugged, they were bodyguards not secretaries and the ambassador left VERY clear instructions.

Speaking of secretaries. The pair’s silent discussion was interrupted by Philomenes; the ambassador’s freedman and childhood companion, who he had brought with him to Lost Spire to act as his PA. And the youngish Achaean was looking very distressed. He ran up to them in his loincloth, trying furiously to pull his tunic over his head, but his obvious panic was making that difficult and only served to make him look deranged.
“Where is the Legate? We have to go now!”
“His excellence is currently occupied…absorbing local culture.” Said the phoneless lictor with a practiced deadpan.”
“I need to get him; we have to return to the embassy!” Philomenes finally managed to dress himself and made to brush past the Lictors who immediately closed ranks and pushed the freedman back.
“Please! At least get him!”
“More than my job’s worth, mate.” Said the bodyguard with the phone, who was trying to turn it off.
“But…but…”
Fortunately for the Achaean assistant, however, the sounds from the guarded room finally seemed to reach their natural climax and after the curtest of conversations the door opened a crack and the bright red face of a man in his late twenties poked his head out.
“What’s all this racket abo…Ah, Philomenes! Done, already are we? Ill need some more wine, something to keep me up.” He winked. “And three new girls, these ones are getting tiresome…”
“Sir!” The freedman said voice cracking with palatable relief. He knew he had to explain, but also was aware the ambassador didn’t have much of an attention span. Deciding it was better to beg forgiveness than ask permission he pushed his own phone to Galerus’ ear.

The Legate frowned.
“State of emergency, eh?” He said, still slightly breathless. “Oh alright, this place is a sty compared to most of the establishments back home, anyway. Just let me…er say goodbye to some friends.” As quick as it appeared the head vanished, and the noises slowly started up again.
Philomenes smashed his phone against a nearby wall in impotent rage, but to his credit managed to supress the urge to scream. After dithering for a moment, he ran off to collect the rest of the ambassadorial party and their local guards for backup (many of whom were running around in a half-dressed panic looking for him).
The lictors just shrugged and began inspecting their weapons and preparing for trouble. This wasn’t their first assignment.
Last edited by Romae in Perpetuum on Wed Jul 17, 2019 7:30 am, edited 1 time in total.
Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum videtur.

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Auruum
Spokesperson
 
Posts: 107
Founded: Aug 28, 2017
Compulsory Consumerist State

Postby Auruum » Wed Jul 17, 2019 9:50 pm

The Trade-Duchess

The Lost Spiral, a strange name for a strange land. This seemingly forgotten, blighted corner of the Charter was largely unknown to, seemingly, everyone. Though not entirely unfamiliar. The smog of the cities cast it’s citizens in near constant night, while no laws were stated, a police force was there to ensure order was kept, though quite obvious signs of corruption were rampant. The only true government appeared to be the state religion that revered ‘The Eternal Ones’, ruled by a collection of equally strange and mysterious officials.

And then the Religious Police, besting the cattle into submission, if not casually ending them in the street. Aurum’s interests here were narrow, The vast amounts of recreational substances were valued, as were some artistic items and products, but the Lost Spiral seemed to horde valuable minerals, and to say the state lacked Industry was a funny statement. Technology and industry seemed dependent on location, social class, or some other unknown factor.

At least they had modern cars and roads.

The environment also appeared to have some strange phenomenon, seemingly contained within the Lost Spiral’s borders. But at most this was held as a mild scientific curiosity.

The Trade-Duchess, Agatha Slickspark lounged in a cushy chair, originally designed for someone atleast twice her size. Pouring over reports of the shipments being loaded onto Aurum’s trade ships. Much of it being the wide variety of recreational drugs and substances, All having been thoroughly tested and quality checked before hand prior to signing the agreement. A fare selection of art pieces being loaded on as well, to be used as decoration for someone’s estate somewhere, attached to a bogus story to beef up the resale value back home.

She cast her Golden eyes towards the young man yawning and rubbing his eyes as he dutifully stood beside her desk, waiting to collect her finished paperwork.
“Koios, Dear, What time is it?”
He jumped slightly, putting on a brave smile, trying to look bright eyed and bushy tailed. It failed but the attempt brought a slight smile to her lips. “It’s almost midnight, Ma’am. 11:48.” He said, quickly stifling another yawn.
“Why don’t you go ahead and leave those here, we can finish up in the morning. You need sleep.”
“N-no, I’m fine, honest.”
“First of all, You don’t get to tell your boss ‘no’.” She said with a playful smile. “And secondly, You are about to collapse right where you are. If you don’t find a bed soon, then I will, and you’ll have to go to bed anyways.”
He sighed with a grateful smile. “Yes, Ma’am. Thank you, Ma’am.” He said, setting the papers down on her desk and allowing him a long yawn.

He was a sweet boy, one of the unfortunate souls who managed to flee Harren Island after Prokopios was destroyed. He was a humble student, studying law prior to Balthazar’s exile, and the Port Cities closing off the Heartlands. Fate dealt him and everyone he knew a very poor hand, but it eventually led him under Agatha’s wing. Yet despite the horrors he had fled from, he worked hard did his best to be a good personal assistant.

She watched him leave, Briefly indulging a thought involving him demonstrating his work ethic in a less than professional capacity, before banishing it with a small shake of her head and devious smirk. “Can’t mix business and pleasure...” she told herself before hopping down from her chair and following him out of the office before making her way to her suite.

Freshly showered and dressed for sleep the small woman finished running a brush through her crimson locks, before finally laying in a very cushy bed, again, made for two people that were twice her size. Sleep however had a difficult time finding her it seemed. She found herself staring at her surroundings, rolling this way and that beneath the sheets. Her gut was telling her something and she was trying to listen, but she wasn’t for sure her gut even knew what it was worried about.

Then the phone she was given rang.

A State of emergency was declared and Foreigners were to be sent back to their embassies. Agatha frowned, but began to call her staff. Before she could finish dialing his number, Koios’s information popped up and her phone rang again.
“M-ma’am did you get the alert?”
“I did, Dear, I did. Do we have any idea what happened?” She asked.
A yawn answered her. “No idea, Ma’am.”
“Very well, I assume you are in your room?”
Another Yawn. “Yes.”
“Good, I’m sorry you didn’t get to sleep, Dear, but I’m afraid we will have to sit here and figure out what is going on.” She said before grabbing at her Slate phone.
“I’m going to get a hold of Aurum and let them know what we know. If something drastic happens we’ll have a way to get back home. For now, Make sure we’re not being left out of the loop.”


The Agent

In another area of the Embassy, Another sleepless individual found himself with a ringing phone and the same alert being broadcast. He grew particularly suspect. His investigation, while not as in-depth as he would like, did bring up an interesting pattern. While most nations and lands had their own myths and legends attached to them, those in the know were wise enough to not casually dismiss such folktales and mere myth. But the Lost Spiral however, Rumors of demons and unexplainable horrors were around every corner. Again, nothing too crazy for a nation that was ruled by religion. When anyone with a priest’s vestments could tell stories of fanciful spirits, wrathful gods, or whatever, and that obedience to the entity’s laws would lead to salvation, and people actually BELIEVE the junk, It wasn’t too far fetched to think that these gullible fools would see a trick of the light or moving shadow and cry ‘Demon!’.

That being said, a pattern seemed to exist.

When he asked the locals about these rumors, and they actually managed to speak to the big muscled Orc, he’d find that they were all Second, or Third hand accounts. It seemed that the original witnesses quickly found themselves being taken by the Religious Police, Never to be seen again.

Agent Caslav Polak had just finished his report when the alert rang out, and wondered if the two were connected. Truest his only crime was asking about the stories and the people who originally saw the creatures and events that were described to him. If there was something to the rumors, and his theory that the state was trying to hide something proved accurate, he had to assume that there may be at least someone keeping an eye on him. He had to lay low for a while longer before he could pursue this further, he thought. Better to pass it off as just simple curiosity, because at the time it pretty much was.

He even made sure to include some of the strange readings and behaviors observed in the report, Quickly sending it back to HQ with the usual encryption.

Now he simply had to sit and wait to see what all the commotion was about.
Last edited by Auruum on Wed Jul 17, 2019 9:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Asgareth
Envoy
 
Posts: 335
Founded: Nov 27, 2015
Iron Fist Consumerists

Postby Asgareth » Thu Jul 18, 2019 6:13 am

Denzyl had arrived in The Lost Spire a month ago. He had spent most of his time within the embassy; Denzyl never really was one to travel, but he had concluded that The Lost Spire was most peculiar indeed. Such a peculiar land, required a peculiar ambassador. And what Asgarthian was more peculiar than Denzyl . A man of little ambition, he had served as the Minister for Internal Development for 13 years, under Daniel Ross. His support for General de’Lance’s cause had led to him being given a so-called “promotion”, to the position of ambassador to The Lost Spire. Denzyl didn’t really see this as a promotion; to him, the idea of being shipped out to Epilo was more a punishment than a reward. Nonetheless, he had done what was asked of him (after being threatened with a fire truck), and had settled in nicely.

He was fast asleep, when his phone began to ring. Having always been a light sleeper, he picked it up with relatively little difficulty.

“Hello?” He slowly stirred, as the voice on the other side began to speak.
“Oh, I see. Is everything okay?”
The voice continued.
“Huh, I see. Is everyone okay? Oh, I see. So I am to stay here for now? Right, well thank you.”

He hung up the phone, and sat up straight. He dialled the international number for Asgar House, only to find it went unanswered. Strange, he thought. That line never went unanswered.
He stood up, put on his dressing gown and headed to his coffee machine. He fiddled with the buttons (americano, two sugars, one sweetener), before sitting back down on the bed. While he waited for his americano to pour, he heard a knock on the door.

“Ambassador Pera? The voice called. “It’s me. Special Agent Den Romanli. I’m here to give you an update.”
“Oh, Den!” Denzyl exclaimed excitedly, as he opened the door. “Come in!”
“Sir.” Den replied, stepping into the room and locking the door behind him.
“So, what’s the update?” Denzyl asked.
“Oh, there isn’t one. I just wanted a coffee, and your machine was closest.”
“I see.” Denzyl laughed. “Well, help yourself.” He stated as he reached for his own coffee.

He took a sip of it, before speaking. “Tell me Den, are these alerts a regular occurrence here?”
“Eh, they come and go.” Romanli replied. “Ladies in the office say its just military exercises.”
“At 3am?” Denzyl asked.
Den chuckled. “I didn’t say I believed them!”
“Well what do you think?”
“Honestly? I haven’t a clue. The alarms are bloody annoying though.”
“How long have you been here now Den?”
“Well lets see… After Pirinikov, I headed east into Aurum, and then into Cambrius. So I must have got here about… six months ago now.”
“Anything suspicious going on?”

Den Romanli was highly regarded within the Asgarthian Intelligence Services. He had foiled numerous terrorist attacks, both within Asgareth and internationally, and was regarded as one of the last bastions of the traditional secret agent. Denzyl was convinced that Romanli would know something untoward. The only problem was, ever since his arrival, Den had done absolutely nothing but drink.

“Nah. Nothing sir. Nothing at all.” Den replied, with a smirk. “Well actually… there is one thing…”
“What is it?”
“Your predecessor, Ambassador Sascho… He hasn’t been seen in over two months.”
Member of the newly revamped The Fourth Sovereign Charter. Member of the original Sovereign Charter 17.12.2015-10.03.2019
Drekhi: Asgareth is not a place, it is a vintage

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Greater Slavacia
Secretary
 
Posts: 33
Founded: Dec 20, 2018
Liberal Democratic Socialists

Postby Greater Slavacia » Thu Jul 18, 2019 6:46 am

Slavacian Embassy Housing, Dakhla, Lost Spire 3am
The phone rang. Ambassador Sergei Pushkar awoke with a jolt.
"What the hell" he thought picking up the phone, he switched it to silent as to not wake up his wife and pressed the answer button.
"What is it dear? An emergency at the embassy?" his wife asked, eyes still closed, he turned to her still holding the phone up to his ear
"Yes Anna, I just have to make some calls, but can you get Vadim's and your clothes ready, as well as anything valuable" his voice trailed off
"What's wrong Seryozha?"
"No one is picking up at the embassy, I tried calling Petr, but he is not picking up either."
"I'm sure everything is fine..."
The phone rang again
"Hello, can you hear me?"
"Ambassador? This is Major Andreev" the voice on the other side was calm and collected, as it should be for an MGB officer.
"Thank God major, I was thinking something horrible has happened."
"It has. Ambassador, I'm going to need to ask you to remain calm. An armored car with three of my best men has been sent out, in exactly 5 minutes, you, your wife and your son are to be at the front doors of your residence, and I repeat exactly five minutes, not a second less. It is absolutely imperative that you do not open the door until that time. Is that understood?"
"Understood comrade major, what do we need, what happened for God's sake!"
"Keep calm Comrade Ambassador, this line is not secure"
"Yes major, what will we need to bring"
"Official clothes for yourself, something warm for your wife and son, valuables, documents."
"But I can't possibly destroy all of the papers and information this quickly"
"One of the officers, will handle that. I'm afraid I have other duties, good luck comrade Ambassador"
The line went dead. Anna looked inquisitively at Sergei
"Annocka, go wake up Vadim, get him changed and ready to leave. Take all the valuables you can. I will handle the documents and papers"
"Are we leaving? What's going on?"
"I don't know, the MGB was as concise as ever. There will be a car for us in five minutes. Get ready."

Five minutes later
A black armored sedan pulled up to the residence, what was strange about it was the complete darkness the car was in, the headlights, internal lighting and even the brake lights remained dark as it slowed. The doors opened. Two suited men emerged, both pulled silenced pistols out of their holsters and covering each other, made their way to the residence, the third man remained in the car, watching the surroundings through a night vision scope.

There was a knock at the door
"I'll get it Sergei, I'm almost ready"
"NO!" the ambassador screamed "Don't move!"
His wife froze with her hand on her mouth - she had looked through the door and had seen the men's weapons.
"Sineglazov" the ambassador called his previously silent guard "Check if they are really MGB, and let them in if they are. If they aren't well.."
"Will be done comrade ambassador" the guard walked to the door, pistol drawn
"Who goes there?"
"Friends"
"Well, if you really are friends, what's my name and rank?"
"Senior Lieutenant of the MGB Sineglazov Vasiliy Dmitrievich, born, 25th July, 1989"
"Alright, you know me, but how about the founder of the MGB?"
"The modern MGB was founded by decree of the Federal Council, it has no founder"
"Alright you know the MGB.."
"For fuck's sake Vasiliy, it's us, open the fucking door" the man on the over side swore, in perfect Slavacian
"It's them ambassador, I'll open the door"
The door opened and two men walked in.
"Ambassador, get in the car, give belongings to me, I will place them in the boot. Keep your case. You might need it. Your guard as well as Petrov here will remain to ensure secrecy. You understand what that means right?"
"Yes"
"Very well, follow me."

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The Natufian Nation
Bureaucrat
 
Posts: 42
Founded: Jul 09, 2017
Benevolent Dictatorship

Postby The Natufian Nation » Fri Jul 19, 2019 2:50 pm

At 3:00am… six Natufians in separate locations, sleeping soundly despite the hot, dirty air of Dakhla surrounding them, were rudely awakened by squawking cell phones bearing an ominous warning. Within minutes they were up, packed and making their way to the embassy.

Natufia House was a small building by the standards of the other embassies located in the diplomatic quarter of the capital city. Many of the employees openly wondered why they were even there when so few Natufians came to this remote wasteland and diplomatic relations with Lost Spiral were almost, but not quite, non-existent. So it was with some surprise when the first few bleary-eyed Natufians arrived at the gate starting around 3:20am, showing the porter the cryptic EAS message on their phones.

By 3:35 Ambassador Hamsa Kirysi was awake with a cup of bitter chokra tea in hand, mussed gray and black hair flowing freely over her dressing gown as she struggled to appraise the situation while waking up. She was in the common room with her main staff and the Natufian citizens sitting on various sofas and chairs. The room was comfortable and pleasant, decorated with bookshelves, a fireplace which was never used, various end tables and oak-paneled walls adorned with Natufian art and various tribal symbols.

Hamsa breathed in deeply. She was getting too old for these games. She briefly reflected on a lifetime spent in the Natufian diplomatic core, starting as economic analyst, moving on to military analyst then trade attaché at a couple of oversea postings before making junior ambassador. She spent the next two decades in various ambassadorial roles and when she made senior ambassador, she was delighted until learning of her assignment to the Lost Spiral. Yes, she knew the assignment was more about being a presence and building up relationships with other diplomatic houses like Asgareth and Auruum than it was about deeply engaging with the Spiralian government per se, but she still felt let down and was looking forward to retiring in a couple of years. How she longed to be back on home soil. Her husband had already retired and was living on a modest farmstead near Jeddah City where the kids and grandkids were.

“So, what exactly is going on?” Hamsa asked one of her aides after taking a long sip of tea.

“We’re not sure, ma’am, the EAS message didn’t state what the emergency, um, actually was.” The aide feebly replied.

“So typical.” Hamsa muttered with annoyance. “What are the other houses doing?”

“We think the Romans are retrieving their ambassador from his revelries. No news about the others.”

“Reach out to the Asgarthians and Slavacians and see if they know anything about what’s going on.”

“Yes, ma’am. Shall I also contact the Spiralian diplomatic coordinator?”

Hamsa immediately answered, “Don’t bother, we know how useless that would be. Let’s see what we learn next before contacting them.”

She stood up and strolled to the bay windows of the room, mostly to get her blood circulating but also to get a look at the Natufians now in her care. Her priority must be their safety. Looking out into the musty darkness, the odd and unexpected rain that began to fall worried her. It was a bad omen. “Do we have everyone here?” she asked without turning her head.

“Almost, ma’am, these 6 were all staying here in the district but there is one Turgol bin-Zaman, 23 year-old male, staying outside the quarter that we haven’t been able to reach yet.” the aide replied after reviewing the roster.

“Someone is staying in the main city? Is he crazy?” Hamsa exclaimed with more life in her voice than before, turning to the aide in bewilderment. Natufians were well known to wander and explore, getting to know places intimately, but this was outright reckless. “We need to find this person immediately. The city is dangerous enough as it is, but with some unknown emergency looming….” She broke off and turned back to the window.

“May the ancestors protect him” she pleaded, ritually turning her palms upward, and then muttered to the window “Because the Spiralians certainly won’t.”
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

At 3.00am… deep in the sprawl of Dakhla, in a non-descript workers residence building, Turgol bin-Zaman was fast asleep in a spare room of the apartment of a local Spiralian who was housing him. Turgol got in touch with Khregloc through his brother who met the Spiralian during a trade expo. Turgol knew Khregloc was a foreman of some kind in a local factory but hadn’t conversed much with him or his wife, who made a point to avoid him. Khregloc only took him in, reluctantly, as a favor to Turgol´s brother who he was trying to get a new job with. After flunking out of his accounting program back home, Turgol just needed to get away, to get good and lost and figure out what to do next. His girlfriend, Amsha, was starting an intern position with some joint venture timber and furniture business in Asgareth and wanted him to come with her. But he couldn’t bear the thought of spending the next two years freezing his nuts off in Asgareth without anything to do but keep Amsha company.

“I know you’re disappointed, Turgol”, Amsha had told him about three months ago when they were having hummus and spiced tea at a sidewalk café in the Natufian capital city of New Jericho. “But you can come with me; it’ll be a great adventure and I am sure you will find something to do there. Asgareth has a great economy going, even if the people are a little….gruff.”

“No…that won’t do. And I’m not disappointed as much as I am frustrated. I just need to figure this out. I need a little time to think somewhere I can just lose myself in. I figure what better place than Lost Spiral. I mean, it has “lost” in its bloody name!” Turgol exclaimed.

“Lost Spiral? Seriously, Turgol? I don’t like it; I’ve heard bad things about that place. Come with me instead, please!” she pleaded.

“Nonsense, it’s a really interesting place I bet. Industrial cities, scorched landscape, funky religion, there is a lot to get to know there. Hey, you know I love you but I need to do this. Just for a while, ok? Give me a few months and then, maybe I’ll mentally be in a place where I can come to Asgareth like you want. Maybe I can….gut fish or something there.” He trailed off.

It was bittersweet but they agreed for Amsha to start her internship and Turgol would go to Lost Spiral. He was excited. No way he would confine himself to the “safe zone”, though. He needed space to wander and explore. He had spent his two-years of compulsory military service being trained as a Natufian Ranger. He was particularly skilled at tracking and reconnaissance. What he loved most was moving around and observing his environment. He could fight if he had to but preferred to be trekking unobserved across the countryside or the urban maze. Accounting…what was he thinking? His cousin, who owned her own accounting practice, had told him the tax laws were changing and now was a great time to get in the business. He had nothing better to do so why not? It only took three terms for him to wash out.

But now, here he was! Amsha insisted he at least register his presence with the embassy but that was the only contact he had made with them. He knew it was unadvised, but he was enjoying his days exploring the cityscape, going to the commercial centers and even sampling the rather bland food and horrible drink. There was a melancholy in the city that suited his mood and paradoxically made him feel better. But more than anything, he wanted to get out of Dakhla and explore the wasteland that surrounded the city. He was itching to get into open spaces and just wander around. He had even heard a rumor there was a nomadic band out in the wilds the Spiralian “Eternal Ones” had not gotten under their heel yet. They were supposed to have ancient, even forbidden, wisdom and unparalleled mastery of stealth and survival techniques. He wasn´t sure if it was true but he was keeping his eyes and ears open for any mention of it on the street. Nothing yet though.

His time in Lost Spiral was not all pleasant unpleasantness, though. He had been heckled frequently and rudely bumped a couple of times. Then, two days ago, he had his phone stolen. He didn’t think much of it, however; he wanted to disconnect anyway. He never considered that his phone would be an invaluable link to safety when unforeseen dangers would begin to descend.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

At 3:00am…an ominous message of the EAS reached the mobile phone of Turgol bin-Zaman….and was neither seen nor heard by anyone. The phone lay dormant in a cache of stolen goods in the trunk of a brown, beat-up sedan missing a rear window near the Dakhla central railyards. The owner of the sedan would try to pawn it off to the poor workers who passed by the next day.

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The Lost Spiral
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Founded: Feb 01, 2019
Father Knows Best State

Postby The Lost Spiral » Sat Jul 20, 2019 10:07 pm

I have responded in the order of player's posts. It is not too late for other players to join but that window is closing.



Cold breeze Closing fist,
A darkening sky at night,
Mortal choices made.







A jarring melody began to thrum from speakers that lined the streets city-wide. Its discordant tones causing those few who still walked the streets to sprint home. Within seconds of it starting, multiple pink cars were on the streets, setting up roadblocks and patrolling to look for any stragglers. The melody played in the diplomatic quarter even though no pink cars moved through those streets. The Guards minding the walls were torn, not knowing if they should follow the instruction of the melody or their standing orders to protect the district. Moments later a long, dark purple saloon car pulled up at the front gate and was quickly ushered through, the driver issuing orders to the guards to hold their positions.

Inside the Diplomatic Quarter’s state brothel, the ’Smouldering Oasis’, Madam Dalilah clicked open a hidden door into the occupied private bedroom, disguised from the bedroom side as a large floor to ceiling painting of two men standing next to a large ornate telescope. She was an extremely tall woman, standing at six feet and eight inches, and had to bow through the door as she entered. Brushing aside her long black hair, she saw that the Roman Ambassador was still entwined with three of her employees, deeply french kissing a flat chested redhead sitting on his lap. “Abrax!”, the Madam declared angrily, cuffing the redhead in the side of the head and sending the long red hair, a luxurious wig, flying across the room, “What did I tell you last week? The Legatus only wants girls!”.

The brown haired boy smirked impishly as he climbed off the Roman and retrieved his wig before clutching his hands to his heart in mock innocence, “I am but a missionary of the Eternal Ones, helping the Ambassador to experience all of life’s pleasures.”.

The Madam cuffed him again, “Out! You two as well, out! The curfew melody is playing and you all need to get home, now.” When the two girls had followed the boy out, the Madam curtsied to the Legatus, “Sir, I apologise for the interruption. On behalf of the Department of Leisure, in recognition of your patronage and after recommendations from the girls, we are pleased to offer you free entry to a month-long course at the State Academy of Sexual Expertise. Right now though, I must close this establishment. I hope you understand.”.




Located at the top of one of the tallest skyscrapers in Dakhla, the ‘Head’ Office for International Affairs within the Lost Spiral government is a jurisdictional mess; using Divine technology provided and maintained by the Department of Esotericism, manned with analysts from the Department of Intelligence and protected by the Department of Justice, all of whom had active personnel there. The office itself is spread across the top three floors with an open central area containing a grand, dark and polished wooden staircase stretching up and connecting them all. Despite the fact that almost two hundred workers occupied the office all around the clock, it was always eerily quiet, footsteps reverberated on the shiny wooden floor and hushed whispers carried between levels. Each floor was filled with dozens of self-contained booths, each a little larger than a telephone box and carved out of dark brown wood with a single door and a frosted glass window. Above the booth doors were small brass plaques engraved with nation names, larger or more significant nations had multiple booths named after them.

The shift had changed at midnight and Moise had ascended the staircase to the second level to claim her assigned position from the previous worker, one of the booths labelled ‘Aurum’. She could hear the faint drumming of rain against the outside surface of the building but thought nothing more of it. After a curt nod of recognition, the previous worker, whose name she’d never even bothered to find out, stepped out, handing her a thick slip of paper containing new orders. Surprised at the change in protocol, she read the paper as he departed, swiftly realising that the night would not pass in the boredom that it usually did.

Looking around she saw others standing outside their booths and reading slips of paper. Turning away, she hurriedly pulled open the thick wooden door and stepped inside, closing it behind her with a firm click that closed her off from all external sounds. She could hear nothing but her breathing in the limited confines of the booth and the familiarity and isolation of that relaxed her. Her booth contained a tiny desk with a single draw on which sat an old black metal typewriter and a sheaf of paper. In the draw was a small ceremonial knife, thin and double-edged with a sharp point, next to a jar of pure alcohol that she used to sterilise it with. To the side of the desk was a brass tube pneumatic system which would take her written reports down to the Distribution office lower in the building. Her seat was a thin bench that folded away into the side of the booth, unfolding it, she brushed dirt off the faded purple cushion pad and then sat down. It wasn’t comfortable but it wasn’t meant to be.

Behind the typewriter stood a large cylindrical tube made from glass, banded at the top and bottom in silver and filled with a transparent, green preservative liquid. The glass was double glazed, the first layer of which was faintly engraved with twisting spirals of symbols that covered it all the way around. It gave the entire cylinder a fuzzy look but she had stopped noticing it a long time ago, allowing her to focus on the entity within. The bands were made from beaten silver and curved runes had been hand-carved into the surface. Sitting in the middle, with its forehead resting forward against the glass, was a decapitated head with its eyes sewn shut. Moise bowed her head and closed her eyes, “We thank the Eternal Ones for these holy springs of knowledge and pray that our servitude is worthy of these gifts. I beg that you accept my offering to the Eternal Spiral.” With that, she raised the knife and pricked the tips of all her fingers and thumbs in turn, planting them against the cylinder’s glass as droplets of blood welled forth from the small incisions. When she lifted her hands away, the smears of blood on the glass started to emit wisps of smoke and soon burnt away to nothing. The head within floated up onto the stump of its neck and smiled, pale cheeks rising and thin lips pulled taught over a set of brown teeth.

Just over three hours later the head’s mouth and tongue began to move in the perfect imitation of speech but no sounds came forth. Moise had been trained to lip read and she was intently typing out the words as it mouthed them. It didn’t matter which language or encryption they’d been in originally, this Divine technology rendered it in plain, lip-readable Spiralian.

Trade-Duchess, confirming receipt of your last. We’ve redirected a satellite to give us a visual feed of the area but we haven’t been able to get high-resolution images due to the negative local weather conditions. From the telemetry we have received, we’ve noticed a significant increase in activity at the military base to the North-East of Dakhla. We have prepped a VTOL transport capable of landing at the embassy but it would take four and half hours to reach your location at maximum speed. Do you wish us to launch the bird now or wait for more information?





The dark purple saloon rolled up outside the embassy gates, headlights illuminating rippling sheets of pouring rain as its wheels squealed to a stop on the wet asphalt, the sound coming from either damp brakes or tyres on the slick asphalt. One of the rear passenger doors thudded open and a representative of the Department of Diplomacy gingerly stepped out, leg strapped from the boot up to the knee in strips of pink leather. The boot made contact with the pavement and displaced water as weight was transferred onto it. Reaching back into the saloon, a black briefcase was lifted out with slow and measured care. After the car door was gently pressed shut, the rumble of its engine could be heard over the drumming of the rain and the saloon car pulled away, heading for the next embassy down the street, taillights glimmering in the rainy night.

A loud buzz from the intercom announced the presence of a visitor at the Asgarthian embassy gate. The camera feed revealed a tall figure covered from head to toe in thick, dark purple robes made from a waterproof material. At head height, two bright pink lenses shone out from within the fabric, emitting a faint glow. Sitting on the floor next to the figure’s right leg was the black briefcase, the stream of rain cleaned its dark, wooden handle as water pooled around the base of its reinforced plastic casing. Rain ran off the figure’s shoulders and droplets could be seen on its lenses as it looked up at the camera as lashing winds pulled at loose folds of cloth. Its left hand, wrapped in pink leather strips, detached itself from the enshrouding material, emerging to deliberately press the intercom button again, holding it down whilst staring up at the camera.

A gender-neutral voice, amplified by systems within the robes, spoke out against the stormy background noise. The lone figure pointed gently at the briefcase with its right hand, “We present the honoured remains of Ambassador Sascho and request an audience with Ambassador Denzyl, we have critical information for his ears only.”.




The embassy house wasn’t particularly large but it was self-contained and well equipped. The only windows were those on the first floor, the ground floor was surrounded in a wall that encapsulated everything including the small back garden and external air conditioning machinery. The ground floor front door was a heavy steel thing, with reinforced hinges and multiple locks. Whilst the garden was quite small, flowering shrubs had been planted up against the walls and a thin layer of grass covered the ground.

The armoured, black sedan grumbled away from the residence and passed through the empty streets like a shadow, lit only by the dim glow of streetlamps as it went. Vasily and Petrov hadn’t waited to watch it leave, they were focussing on the task they had been given, walking swiftly up the wet path and entering the residence, securing the heavy door behind them. Less than two minutes later, the lights inside the house were extinguished. The streetlamps winked out at the exact same time and anyone looking outside would see that all the towers across the metropolis had gone black as well. The jarring curfew melody that had been loudly playing through speakers on each street corner had ended too. The entire city was now shrouded in darkness and an unnerving silence apart from the storm.

Loud squelching and branch snapping sounds could be heard from the back garden as something heavy scraped over the top of the stone wall and fell onto ground which had been churned by the rain into sucking mud. A dull tinging of rain on metal was faintly audible followed by bursting hisses like an air tank discharging and further snapping of branches.




The lock was cut open with a screech of metal as the hydraulic pincer slid through it like a hand through water. The boot lid was roughly thrown open and the light of a handheld torch spilled in. Two pairs of hands tossed through the goods that filled the boot rooting around for the phone. Voices cursed. Then it was found and the phone was brought out, held aloft in the hand of a man dressed in pink robes, robes heavy and layered with stab-proof and low-velocity bulletproof panels. On his belt that was secured over his robes and next to a couple utility pouches, there were two holstered weapons, one at each hip. The first, a long, flanged mace and the second, a long-barrelled revolver.

“This is the foreigner’s phone. No sign of him though.” The one holding the phone turned his torch beam upon the brown sedan’s licence plate, “Run the number. We’ll visit the owner and see if he knows anything.”.

Eighteen minutes later, two pink cars pulled up outside an apartment block and four robed individuals got out. They entered the concrete apartment block together, the first staying in the lobby as the other three were forced to go up the stairs to the eighth floor due to the power outage. Once there, they made their way to the fifth unit. When ready, the largest stepped back and then launched himself at the door, boot connecting with force just to the right of the keyhole. The lock splintered off and the door juddered in with a crash, its top hinge bent by the impact. The three robed figures charged in with revolvers in one hand and torches in the other.

“RELIGIOUS POLICE”, the point man sprinted through the apartment, negotiating around piles of goods. He got to the bedroom just as a blearily eyed individual opened a bedside table draw to reach for a pistol. The point man backhanded the individual with the barrel of his revolver, sending the person sprawling off the bed and onto the floor, with blood gushing from his or her nose. Seconds later, the other two policemen arrived, giving the all clear. One returned to the door to warn off any potentially curious residents but it seemed none were willing to challenge the curfew. Shining the torch on the face of the person huddled on the floor revealed that of a young woman with short blonde hair in a pixie cut. Her nose had been broken by the blow and she was glaring up at them, wiping blood away with her hands. The first officer holstered his revolver and knelt down, getting straight to the point, his voice cold and steely, “I have only one question.”, he revealed the mobile phone and held it in the torch-light, “Where is the man this belonged to? His name is Turgol bin-Zaman, a foreigner.”.

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Romae in Perpetuum
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Founded: Mar 14, 2016
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Postby Romae in Perpetuum » Thu Jul 25, 2019 6:46 am

Smouldering Oasis, Diplomatic quarter, Dakhla, Lost Spire

Caninius Galerus laughed and smacked the former redhead’s posterior as he scampered away before fondling the departing girls with his free hand.
“So that’s what that dreadful racket is then, Barbara?” The Legate said whilst helping himself to the bordello’s free supply of narcotics. “Something to do with whatever my freedman was talking about probably…”

As the Madam addressed him, the ambassador stretched out nude on the bed, barely hearing the giant of a woman speak.
“Academy of Sexual Expertise, eh?” He mused. “A kind offer, gigas. But I’m afraid I must decline. My duties to the Imperium, and to the great Gemellus Caesar, leave me far too occupied to take up a teaching post. Perhaps in a few years…”
Getting up, Galerus gathered up his clothes and struggled with his toga. Seeing that the noble Legate wouldn’t leave without his ceremonial, and horribly impractical, garment the madam, almost gracefully, assisted the patrician with a seemingly practiced touch. Surprised, the ambassador kissed the giantesses’ hand.
“If you ever find yourself with a free evening, dear woman.” He said, pressing five Denarii into her other hand. “I would be happy to entertain you in the embassy…”

Having gathered himself, his now openly armed Lictors and his various members of staff (with or without clothes) the Legate summoned his drivers and prepared to return to the famously extravagant Roman embassy.




Cambrian Embassy, Dakhala, Lost Spire

“Already!?” Asked Countess Telyn. “Its barely been twenty minutes!”
“Are you displeased, Lady?” Asked a member of her staff. “You instructed us to find out ar unwaith what was going on...”
“Displeased?” The ambassador half snorted half grunted as her ambassadorial uniform was being put on. “I’ve never known these dim gwerth rhech dafad priests to do anything without praying for three hours to…whatever superstitious dwli people believe in…”
“The robes are fairly unmistakable lady…and the glow.” The man shuddered. “Awst alone knows what’s under those hoods.”
“Awst and Praetorian Intelligence…those bastards know everything.” Awst and Praetorians, Telyn thought internally, two things the Romans ‘gifted’ us. Awst or, as he was known elsewhere, the deified Augustus Caesar was on the rise in Cambrius. His worship had been permitted by the former King Llywelyn and zealously propagated by his widow, Queen Agrippina.

The Queen Regent had wasted little time following the sudden death of her husband, to secure the kingdom. She and the Lords of Gwynedd had been quick to declare Aurelius ap Llywelyn for the Dragon Throne and had begun brutally suppressing all opposition almost immediately. The Duke of Powys had resisted however, even going as far as to raise his standard in rebellion against the Roman Queen and the kingdom had braced itself for Civil War. Until he came.
Gaius Octavius Trajanus Filius Caesaris, Malleus Gallorum and Proconsul of Gallia. He seemed to come out of nowhere, one day he was in Gaul and the next he was leading the Thirtieth Legion into the heart of the kingdom and had marched through the Powysian city of Caer Guricon. The rebels never stood a chance. After Trajan had crucified the entirety of the duke’s family and burnt their ancestral homes to the ground, whatever remained of the resistance crumbled and Cambrius was born. For better or worse…

“We’re finished, my lady.” Spoke up one of the servants forcing the countess to refocus on the mirror in front of her. The Cambrian diplomatic dress had been designed with male envoys in mind, there was no doubt about that; dark blue button-down high-collar jacket with gold oak-leaf embroidery on the collar, chest, cuffs and long tails. The tight breeches had been eschewed however, and instead more feminine looser white trousers had been permitted, whilst the jacket had also been tailored to accommodate the countesses’ lithe figure.
“Very well. See him into one of the lounges and turn up the bloody air conditioning!” Something told her this would be a long meeting…
Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum videtur.

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The Lost Spiral
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Founded: Feb 01, 2019
Father Knows Best State

Postby The Lost Spiral » Thu Jul 25, 2019 7:40 pm

Naked dagger Red,
Burning branch in outstretched hand,
Bold Souls minted Gold.


Galerus’ motorcade purred out of the Smouldering Oasis’ private car park, limousine headlights bathing the entryway in yellow as the light spilled out onto the dark, quiet and wet road. Puddles reflected their beams like cat eyes glinting in the night. Considering the lack of speed limits in the Lost Spiral, the journey usually took only five minutes but without any active streetlights and with the rain pounding into their windows, visibility was less than ten metres and the drivers were forced to be a bit more cautious with their rides.

Sitting in the back seat on the soft leather and lost in thought, the Legatus stared out the thick window into the rippling curtains of rainwater that obscured the unlit diplomatic estates on either side of the road. In a flash of white lightning that shocked him out of his distraction and left him blinking away afterimages, he noticed an array of humanoid figures at the side of the road ahead of his vehicle. He hadn’t been able to discern much but he had instinctively assessed them as a threat, the hairs rose on the back of his neck and his pulse quickened. He cleared his throat in order to bark an order but he didn’t manage to utter it before all hell broke loose.

With a flash of orange and white flames and a puff of gritty grey smoke ejected from a metal tube, drifting and dissipating almost instantly in the wind, the middle of the limousine burst apart in a spray of metal shrapnel and glass shards. The front section kept shuddering onwards, driver trying to turn the wheel whilst putting his foot down to escape the situation but he was out of control and heading off the road into one of the houses, trailing torn metal behind him in a shower of red sparks. The rear section fell forwards, the metal of the cabin tearing up the asphalt until its momentum carried it over in a somersault when it hit the curb.

Hanging upside down by his seatbelt, Galerus wiped rain and grime from his eyes. Looking up at the ground above him, he was momentarily perplexed to see his left leg sitting on the ceiling of the limousine’s cabin, he could see the white of his own splintered bone and the dark red of his torn sinews and ruptured blood vessels. With the ringing clearing from his ears, he heard slow bursts of gunfire and more shattering glass and the thuds of bullets entering metal. A couple smaller explosions as well, probably from grenades by the sound of it. With a sudden scrape, the Legatus’ door was yanked open and one of his Lictors, a man by the name of Marcus Atius Fortis, fell heavily inside, panting whilst reloading a 9mm submachinegun, letting the empty magazine drop to the ceiling before inserting the new bar and clicking it into place.

The Lictor crouched down and glanced out one of the splintered windows before looking up at Galerus, “Legatus, we have multiple hostiles on both sides of the street, armed with heavy weapons.”, he noticed the missing leg, “Stay there and put pressure on that wound. Gravity is keeping you from losing too much blood.”. Marcus moved forwards to the gaping hole where the middle of the vehicle used to be, using its sides for cover. Raising his submachinegun and bracing it against the twisted metal, he waited, droplets plinking off the compact barrel of his gun and soaking the robes over his armour.

Spotting a figure advancing through the rain, he aimed but waited to identify it before he pulled the trigger. Out of the lashing rain strode a heavily armoured soldier armed with a blocky assault rifle made from aged black metal and a varnished walnut wooden stock and foregrip. Looking at the box magazine and the barrel, Marcus estimated it was a heavier rifle calibre, potentially 7.62 or even 7.92. The face of the soldier was visible beneath the metal rim of its helmet, its empty sockets lacked eyes and it had no nose, the skull was covered with just a thin layer of taught, brown flesh that looked like dried paper. The lictor held his nerve and squeezed the trigger, with effort he held the barrel on target despite the recoil pressure. The soldier juddered as dozens of bullets punched into and through its torso, its armour failing to protect it at such a close range. Lumps of dried, desiccated flesh and splinters of yellowing bone sprayed out onto the wet grass behind it. It fell backwards onto the pavement, weakened by the failing structural integrity of the soldier’s ribcage, its left arm snapped off when it put out its hand to try and arrest its fall. It attempted to sit up despite the audibly snapping bones within its chest cavity but internal damage prevented its rise. Foregoing the rifle which it could no longer wield, it drew a small sidearm with its right and fired back, bullets clanging into the metal that protected the Lictor’s head.

Before Marcus could reload and finish the soldier on the floor, a much heavier set of bullets punched through his cover in a deafening, prolonged chatter, stitching a low, horizontal line across the hull. In a spray of blood and a scream of pain, Marcus fell backwards onto the ground, clutching his gut as the stream of bullets weaved above him and his torn intestines spilled out sideways onto the rent roof like overcooked spaghetti on a plate. Fighting down his pain with a grimace and shake of the head, he reached out for his compact gun and picked it up, ignoring his steaming innards as he checked its function and forced in another bar of ammunition, peering out the broken window at floor level for any targets.

Another mummified soldier emerged from behind his fallen comrade and at first, Marcus thought he was going to drag his fellow out of harm’s way but instead, he grabbed the downed soldier by the scruff of his neck and hoisted him up, using the shredded yet still moving body as cover for its own advance. The Lictor blearily aimed at the incoming threat, trying to get a clear shot around the human shield, unable to do so and realising the futility of trying to fire through it, he decided to aim for what he could hit and fired a short burst into the soldier’s vulnerable leg. The leg gave way and the two withered soldiers fell forwards. The one on top tried to wriggle his assault rifle out from under him but was too slow, Marcus took the opportunity and emptied the rest of his clip into its now exposed head and shoulders, bullets punching through the helmet and into the skull underneath, leaving both a shredded mess of fractured bones and perforated metal. The soldier didn’t stop moving. Now, effectively headless, it rolled off its thrashing comrade into a crouch, freeing its trapped rifle. Raising the gun, it took a moment to aim straight at Marcus’ heart through the crumpled window frame.

At this range, Marcus knew his armour would fail just like theirs did. He didn’t have time to reload. He did the only thing he could and crossed his arms in front of his chest, hoping that the extra layers of composite plates on them and his own flesh and bone would save his life. Five bullets were fired into him at point blank, the first entered his right wrist and just about severed the hand, the second and third smashed through his left forearm and buried themselves in his breastplate but failed to penetrate, the fourth missed his arms but punched through the plating at the top of his chest and pulverised his left collar bone and the fifth and last bullet was high, deflecting off the angled armour near his shoulder and tearing layers of it away as it went. The shrivelled soldier lifted its rifle towards the sky and ejected the box magazine, putting the empty one in a pouch at its waist before sliding the next magazine out of combat webbing strapped across its chest.

Marcus, unable to reload or pick up a weapon, rolled painfully onto his front despite the blackness that clouded his vision from the agonising effort and the rubbery feeling of more of his intestines sliding out and heaved himself awkwardly up onto his knees with his right elbow. He swore and forced himself to his feet when he heard the bolt of the soldier’s weapon slam home into place with a resounding click, almost losing his balance and stumbling back into the limo’s side wall. He didn’t have a plan but he knew he had to keep trying nevertheless. Crunching scrapes heralded the thing’s approach as it crawled over, wrenching the door off and leaning in as if peeking inside, regardless of the fact it no longer had a head. Spotting the Lictor, it raised its rifle but it was too slow. Dashing forwards towards it, Marcus swung his boot with all his strength and sent the rifle spinning out into the garden beyond from the well-connected blow. Kicking and stomping as hard as he could with his fading strength, Marcus suddenly found himself falling to the ground with a thud as his ankle was yanked out from under him by a painfully strong grip.

The Legatus watched from his position, strapped to the ceiling, holding his hands tightly against the stump of his leg as blood welled between his fingers and stuck them together. Whatever the thing was, it had his Lictor in a grapple on the floor and it was obvious his Lictor was losing. With its left hand it compressed Marcus’ windpipe as it levered itself on top of him and drew a combat knife with its right, a worn thing with a chipped blade and a frayed leather grip. Galerus drew his own sidearm, quickly checking the slide and cocking it as he’d been trained back when he’d been a Tribune. The noise seemed to startle the desiccated warrior and it hesitated, turning its torso slightly towards him and reassessing the danger he presented. In that split second of hesitation, Galerus’ Lictor violently thrashed and kicked the thing off him and away. Now with his field of fire clear, Galerus pulled the slight trigger multiple times in quick succession. The bullets seemed to have little effect, some even failed to penetrate its armour plates but in response to the incoming fire, it hurled its knife at him, the blade spinning end over end to embed itself in his shoulder. The sharp pain and sudden loss of feeling in his hand caused him to lose his grip on the pistol which splashed into a puddle forming on the limousine’s ceiling.

Marcus lashed out with a boot at the thing’s now empty hand, the toe connecting with a crunch that disabled it, fingers snapped back or sideways at incorrect angles. It threw itself forward, left hand grasping for his throat but was met again by another thudding kick that checked its charge and another one again that sent it sprawling backwards. In those seconds, Galerus had managed to reclaim his weapon from the floor and he fired again, this time aiming for the thing’s remaining functional arm and splintering it open with a lucky shot that landed between its radius and ulna. With a final contemptuous kick, Marcus booted it back out the door from whence it had come, to flop ineffectually on the wide pavement. Whilst no other soldiers emerged from the storm outside and no bullets came their way, the sounds of rifle fire and the heavy chatter of the machine gun could still be heard. He raised himself up again and slogged back to the Ambassador, feeling the burn of his overexerted muscles, the dull yet encompassing throb in his arm and wrist and the sickening emptiness in his stomach. “Legatus, we must leave. More will be coming for us soon.”.
Last edited by The Lost Spiral on Thu Jul 25, 2019 7:45 pm, edited 6 times in total.

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Asgareth
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Posts: 335
Founded: Nov 27, 2015
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Postby Asgareth » Fri Jul 26, 2019 2:28 pm

Ambassador Pera and Agent Romanli sat in the room drinking coffee. They had spent the last 10 minutes trying to guess what on earth was happening in the city. Practically cut off from the rest of the people of Dakhla, the pair were more or less alone. The consular staff had been taken to another location within the embassy, while Romanli’s men patrolled the corridors as a security precaution.

The phone rang, causing both Denzyl and Agent Romanli to jump. Romanli raced for the phone and picked it up. He talked to the caller for a few minutes, before returning to Ambassador Pera.
“An aide from The Natufian Nation. They wanted to know what we knew. So I told them a hoarde of zombies were making their way through the city and that they were next.”
Denzyl laughed heartily. “Come on Romanli. Play nice. They asked a serious question, and you gave them that.”
Romanli sighed, before picking up the phone and dialling the number for the embassy for the Natufians.

The handler picked up, and Romanli began.
“Yes, hello. Asgarthian Embassy here. I just thought you’d like to know there are no zombies and that we know nothing. So you can put down your axes and have a beer! Cheers!”
Romanli hung up, before turning back to Denzyl
As you heard, I told them nothing, sir.”
“That’s because you know nothing, Den.” Denzyl chuckled.
“Well, quite. But I’d have told them nothing even I knew something, I can assure you of that sir.” Agent Romanli replied proudly.
Denzyl merely nodded, before reaching for another coffee.

The pair remained in the room for a few more minutes. They had switched on the TV and were watching the latest episode of Keeping Up With The Caesars; a reality show that focussed on members of the Roman Imperial family. While Agent Romanli chuckled at the latest antics of Drusus, Denzyl began to shake violently. He had never come to terms with the fire truck incident from the year prior, and had developed an irrational fear of a 16 year old. The episode went to adverts just as the intercom buzzed.

The pair switched the television over to the CCTV, and discovered a person dressed in purple robes outside of their front door. The rain poured ferociously, but the figure appeared dry. A voice came through the intercom
“We present the honoured remains of Ambassador Sascho and request an audience with Ambassador Denzyl, we have critical information for his ears only.”

Agent Romanli and Ambassador Pera looked at each other in confusion. The remains of Ambassador Sascho? The ambassador had been missing for months. And now, this person, this… woman, claimed to have found his corpse? It was most peculiar. The two continued to watch the woman for some time; who just stood watching the camera.

Agent Romanli motioned towards the briefcase. “What do you think is in there sir? Should I head down and search… her?”
Denzyl shook his head. He sighed, before responding. “That briefcase… it’s Ambassador Sascho. It has to be.”
“She could be lying, sir.”
“Why? Why would she? What good would that do her? No… Sascho is dead. You’d best call it in.”
“Straight away sir.”
Romanli pulled out his phone, and dialled the number. An automated response played, before he replied “Ambassador Sascho confirmed deceased. Presumed murder.” He hung up, and turned back to Denzyl. “Well, sir? What do you want to do now?”
“Invite the woman up. See what she has to say. And if it comes to it, shoot her on the spot.”

Agent Romanli moved towards the intercom and pressed the buzzer to admit entry. He kept an eye on the CCTV as the woman slowly entered the compound. He radioed in
“All units. Foreign being entering the building. Intent unknown. Keep an eye on her. Anything suspicious… shoot to kill.”
Member of the newly revamped The Fourth Sovereign Charter. Member of the original Sovereign Charter 17.12.2015-10.03.2019
Drekhi: Asgareth is not a place, it is a vintage

User avatar
Auruum
Spokesperson
 
Posts: 107
Founded: Aug 28, 2017
Compulsory Consumerist State

Postby Auruum » Fri Jul 26, 2019 3:11 pm

Agatha rubbed at her eyes as she once more dressed in more professional clothes. A Lavender pinstripe dress suit and matching heels, her jewelry and wealth being presented and flaunted over her many rings, bracelets, ear rings, and finally, Her necklace. A gold chain sporting a silver ring, a single line curing inwards in a spiral towards the center, the single arm studded with tiny amethysts. She paused as she looked at the trinket, the irony of the nationstate she currently found herself in, and this particular necklace she chose to wear tonight.

Log ago, the Spiral was a symbol for one of the three Gods that Ancient Goblins worshipped, the Ancient Kraken Father, Krux. God of war, the sea, and death. Back when Religion held more importance to the goblins, now, the mostly atheist nation of Aurum held only remnants of the gods, stories in history books, and more modern symbols, used as works of art, to help sell off jewelry such as this to those few who put any thought into the old stories. Agatha has simply thought it was pretty at the time it was purchased, but a lingering thought whispered in her mind. If the Kraken Father was real, she wondered, if he could help watch over her and comfort her.

Donning the necklace finally, she traced a black claw along the arm of the spiral with a sigh. “Let’s see what the night brings us...” she muttered to no one, leaving the room to head back to her office.

“Trade-Duchess, confirming receipt of your last. We’ve redirected a satellite to give us a visual feed of the area but we haven’t been able to get high-resolution images due to the negative local weather conditions. From the telemetry we have received, we’ve noticed a significant increase in activity at the military base to the North-East of Dakhla. We have prepped a VTOL transport capable of landing at the embassy but it would take four and half hours to reach your location at maximum speed. Do you wish us to launch the bird now or wait for more information?”

Agatha, now fully dressed with a cup of coffee to keep herself alert, frowned in thought. “It’s too early to cut and run now, We should standby for now, just be ready just in case. I have a bad feeling.” She said before ending the commlink. Koios gave a powerful yawn, excusing himself. She turned her eyes to him “What do you make of this situation, Dear?” She asked, looking for a second perspective.
“Well, to be quite honest it is rather shady here. Very few laws and rights for the people, the justice system seems to be the Religious Police deciding if you live or die right there in the street. Because of all the chaos out there, The Spirallian government only seems to have a firm grip on the national religion, so I wouldn’t be surprised if this was some rogue element causing a stir. Nothing we didn’t exactly expect when we agreed to come here.” He said with a shrug “I just wish they were a little more forthcoming with information. Makes the Unease and anxiety a little more bearable.” He finished, his phone dinging. “Uh, Someone’s here to see you, Ma’am. A representative, says they will only speak to you.”

Agatha frowned again. “Let them in, but keep the guards close.” She said with a nod, adjusting her appearance to a more professional and less sleep deprived look.

She had a few minutes to wonder as to the purpose of the visit, or what information would be provided to this state of emergency the Lost Spiral was thrown into, as the Purple Robed Representative was ushered into her office. Her guards just outside the door, And Koios stood beside her. Agatha smiles warmly as she watched the figure approach her desk but, oddly stopped several feet away, hesitating before choosing to keep the distance between them. The Trade-Duchess quirked a brow but none-the-less maintained her composure as the figure spoke in Aurummite Common, it’s voice impossible to determine a gender or age.
“Good Fortune to you, Trade-Duchess. We are glad to see you in good health.” The figure said, forcing Agatha to repress a shudder.
“No doubt you would like to know the situation. To put it bluntly, Three Duskmarcher Divisions have seized control of our Armoury.”
“Duskmarcher?”
“Yes, Special Troops we held in reserve at the armoury. They were not originally well equipped but with it under their control, they have managed to move in to the city. The Government Quarter has been seized and they at spreading outwards, contesting routes towards the North-East, hindering the arrival of troops from the military base there.”
“So if your military is not coming any time soon, and these troops are in between us and help, what are we to do?” Agatha asked, a stern expression on her face.
The figure seemed to look the goblin woman over for a second before answering “We have a Contingency plan to ensure the safety of our ambassadorial guests. As we speak, Helicopters are being prepared to transport you and your staff to a more secure location outside of the city.”

Agatha looked over to Koios briefly before standing up, quirking another brow as the Figure took a step back. “Very well...I will have my staff make preparations to leave.” She said with a nod. The Figure bowed it’s cowled head wordlessly, stepping far to the side as she left the office, followed closely by Koios, who began muttering to her. “I’m still studying Common, I only picked up a few words. What did they say?” He asked.
“A rogue element, consisting of three infantry divisions appears to have taken over the armoury and are moving into the city. We are being taken to a secure location outside of the city.” She repeated, going over a few mental notes in her head. The bad feeling was getting worse. “Make sure our bird is still ready to fly, give them an update on our location and the situation.” She ordered, looking over her shoulder as the figure followed, maintaining the curious distance.

She turned her gaze forwards, preparing to brief her staff but the figure spoke once more as they walked through the halls. “If you do not mind me asking, Trade-Duchess, your Necklace is quite...beautiful. Where did you get it?”
Agatha mentally cursed herself but forced a smile and a polite, honest reply. “A Jewelry store in Ratchet, Part of the Mythstone Collection. It was on sale and purple happens to be my favorite color.” She remarked, slightly wishing she hadn’t added the last comment, she didn’t want whoever or whatever was under the robe thinking she found their clothes anything less than creepy and unnerving.

The figure hummed to itself, returning to it’s blessed silence. For but a moment or two, anyway. Every now and again it’s voice, still in the Common language of Aurum, would filter through the robes and ask about Agatha, from her career and how she became a Trade-Duchess, and growing more and more...personal. “I wonder, where did you grow up?” It asked finally. Agatha had long since grown weary and paranoid, choosing now to feed it a bullshit answer. “I grew up in Gadgetzan actually, My parents owned a fish farming facility. I didn’t leave home very often.” She stated simply, hoping the figure’s interest would finally be sated and that it’s constant questions from five feet behind her would stop.

The figure did remain silent, but it’s head remained cocked in her direction. She could feel it’s eyes on her, before it hummed again and finally seemed to stop it’s questions. Her paranoia kept her wary however.

Did the figure detect the lie, or was it well and truly satisfied with it’s curiosity?

Meanwhile, Agent Polak, along with another O.R.C. Agent, had been following the entourage as part of Agatha’s security detail. Polak had watched the exchange closely, keeping mental notes. The Spirallian representative maintained a constant distance of exactly five feet from the Trade-Duchess at all times. While he was not a member of T.R.O.L.L., Who specialized in magic and the occult, Caslov knew that five feet was the radius of the ‘Anti-Magic’ field given off by those rare Goblins who were born with Anteblood. Specifically the more common and less severe Class I strain. This told him two things: One, Agatha was a Class I Anteblood, diagnosed at birth. He knew this already. And Two, that the Representative clearly had magic on it, something it didn’t want to be canceled out.

Immediately theories popped up in Polak’s mind. The best case scenario was that the Representative was actually a conjured entity, like a magic hologram. Not actually here, and if Agatha got too close, the spell would break and whatever magic was keeping it corporeal would fail. Another theory was that an item was being carried and the effects were important enough to not be erased, perhaps some sort of telepathic link, Maybe even a device that was passively or actively reading thoughts or leaving a trail. Despite Magic’s uses and usage, the actual limits of it were unknown, and it was extremely difficult to study. The only thing that Aurum had pinned down for sure, was that Magic could be ‘turned off’ if under the correct circumstances.

Agent Caslov rubbed at his arm, over where he knew a tattoo had been inked. The image of a Spear laid over a Black Sun. The Lost Spiral worried him, but he knew his findings would prove valuable.

Within his Report that had already been sent back home to Aurum, in addition to the encryption, were a series of code words, hidden within the text.

Curious spelling and Choices in words, to the untrained it seemed the report was filed by an over tired or slightly eccentric agent, but to those in the know, a second report was found...

“Occult Presence: Confirmed. Standby.”

User avatar
The Natufian Nation
Bureaucrat
 
Posts: 42
Founded: Jul 09, 2017
Benevolent Dictatorship

Postby The Natufian Nation » Fri Jul 26, 2019 4:09 pm

PART II

It wasn’t a noise that caused Turgol bin-Zaman to wake up with a start, it was the lack of a noise. Precisely, it was the small metal electric fan that should have been blowing an ineffective breeze in the stifling night heat that was not making a noise. Already a light sleeper even before his training in the Natufian militia, Turgol woke up and made a quick assessment. Power must be out, and it’s dark. Too dark, although he wasn’t sure why we felt that way. He activated the luminous face of his watch, a nice piece of Myraxian craftsmanship, to search around in his pack for a flashlight, or as it was called in the Spiralian dialect, a “torch”. With the small torch in hand, he padded barefoot out into the main area of the apartment, stopping briefly in the bathroom to relieve himself and splash some water on his face. The water from the taps in the building had a brown tint to it and Turgol was glad he couldn’t see it well. The living room was furnished with worn furniture and strange knickknacks. His Spiralian host, Khregloc, was standing by the 12th floor window, looking out, frowning, with his own torch in hand.

“Power outage?” Turgol asked tersely.

“Yeah, but it’s weird” replied Khregloc warily in his deep voice. “Look out this window. You should be able to see one of the government towers lit up. They never go out. But this time the entire area is dark. Maybe the whole city.”

Looking at the window from the middle of the room, Turgol noticed the beads of water slowly slipping down the glass panes. “Oh, it’s been raining. Could that have something to do with it?”

“Maybe,” Khregloc shrugged, “Sometimes lightning takes out part of the grid. But this is huge. Lightning would have to have hit the central distribution plant. That might trigger a fail-safe shutdown cascade. But that’s just a guess.”

“Sounds bad” replied Turgol, disappointedly. Today was the day he was going to meet Khregloc’s contact who would set him up with what he needed to get out of Dhakla and explore some of the arid wastes around the city. It wasn’t illegal to leave, as far as he knew, you just needed the right equipment and the wrong mindset.

“Yeah, if there was a power surge that blew everything, it could have damaged the machines at my shop. I need to go over there and check them out before the shift arrives.” the Spiralian stated and made to leave.

“Oh, wait,” pleaded Turgol, checking his watch. “What about the curfew?”

For the first time since he had been staying here, he saw Khregloc approach something close to a smile. “I’m a foreman, so I have a pass to travel between my home and the factory in the event of an emergency.” He replied. “Besides, curfew is over pretty soon”.

“Hey, can I get a ride with you up to the factory?” asked Turgol. “I think it’s more than half-way to where I need to meet your guy. I’ll hoof it from there if the buses aren’t running yet.”

“You’re a strange man, Natufian” Khregloc replied dryly. “Just be sure to stay alive, ok? I need you to put in a good word for me with your brother.”

Turgol took 10 minutes to pack some things he would need, leaving the rest in the small room that had been his home for the past couple of weeks, while Khregloc disappeared to his own bedroom to talk to his wife. In his trekking boots, hiking pack, brown denim pants and a light, tan Auroch-hide jacket that would easily repel the rain, he met Khregloc by the front door, but not before he grabbed a sausage from the non-functioning fridge on the way out for breakfast.

Fortunately, they did not encounter anyone else on the dark drive from the Western Slums where Khregloc and his wife lives to the factory in the Industrial District. (map: https://www.nationstates.net/nation=the_lost_spiral/detail=factbook/id=1238020)

Turgol asked what exactly Khregloc’s factory made. The Spiralian replied he was forbidden to get into specifics but they were parts for advanced weapons systems to be sold to certain Rusinan nations. “They buy them up like candy” he said, again half-smiling.

About half an hour later, the car pulled up to a dumpy looking, aluminum sided industrial building painted in gunmetal grey and with barred windows arranged in just such a way as to be displeasing to the eye. They were unceremoniously waved through by a gate guard who looked like he would rather be anywhere but where he was. Pulling up to a parking spot near a rusty backdoor for the workers, Khregloc told the Natufian he could not let him go inside. That was fine with Turgol, he needed to get going anyway. He spied a 10-speed bicycle in relatively good shape near the concrete steps leading up to the door.

“Hey, can I borrow that?” Turgol asked.

“Yeah, sure, it was one my guy’s bike, but he won’t be needing it; he’s home with a leg injury.”

Turgol thanked his host for all his help, passed him a handful of Souls to cover his week’s rent, stepped out into a gentle, windless rain, picked up the bike and pedaled back out of the lot onto the empty streets. This far in the southwest corner of the city, the buildings were lower, the streets slightly wider and there seemed to be more space between buildings. He could almost sense the edge of the urban expanse getting close. He just hoped his contact would show up at the rendezvous spot.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Back at the Natufian embassy, after finishing her chokra tea with the Natufians in her care, Hamsa Kirysi left the common room through the open double doors and entered the administrative office across the hallway. It had been at least an hour and no further notice from the EAS. She was in conversation with her aides.

“Any news from the other houses?” she guardingly asked.

Her communication chief spoke up from the back of the room. “No, ma’am, those damn Asgarthians are just playing with me, I mean, us. Zombie apocalypse, indeed… they never take us seriously!” the man cried out in desperation.

“Pull yourself together, chief,” Hamsa scolded, “Don’t ever take what the Asgarthians say or do personally. It’s Rusinan culture and can be played to our advantage. Appealing to their vanity has secured more than one very lucrative business deal by our nation’s companies. Besides, for all the bombast, they’ve been there when it counts. Remember the Kalyshi incident?”

Without warning, the power suddenly failed across the buildings, startling her. Two seconds later the battery-powered emergency lights came on with a crackling sound, casting the room in an eerie cone of light from the corner.

“What now?” she asked in exasperation.

Another aide entered holding a walkie-talkie to his ear. “Power outage, ma’am. The main gate reports the entire block is out.” There was a growing nervousness in her staff, she could tell. They were hyper-alert and bounding with energy.

Hamsa took a deep breath, maintaining her composure. “By the Great Auroch, I hate this place. Ok, fire up the generators, then. And it’s time we got some damn answers here. Get on the hardline to the Spiralian coordinator. Ask what’s going on and tell him we have a citizen somewhere in the city we are trying to locate. Do we have his address yet? Yes? Ok, good. See if they can help us locate him. And let’s send out a couple guardsmen ourselves to pick him up. And someone bring me come clothes, I don’t want to face a crisis here in my nightgown!”

“Very good ma’am” replied the aide and spun away just as another stepped forward.

“Ma’am, with a loss of power, I have to remind you procedure requires us to go into lock-down mode”.

“Oh, come now, it’s the whole block, at least, not just us. Probably just the rain so let’s not get carried away. But fine, put Lieutenant Parnek on alert and secure all entrances.”

User avatar
The Lost Spiral
Lobbyist
 
Posts: 19
Founded: Feb 01, 2019
Father Knows Best State

[SC ONLY] Diplomacy in the dark

Postby The Lost Spiral » Tue Jul 30, 2019 1:16 am

Strings pulled Screams answer,
Gambit played and puce pawns fall,
Craving endless eyes.


The six turboprop engines sent gentle vibrations running through the entire aircraft as they throttled up to punch through a pocket of extreme turbulence but the noise of them was drowned out by the storm outside, the buffeting wind and now rolling cracks of thunder. Water poured from the swept wings as they cut through the constant downpour of rain, angled in a slight left-hand bank that carried it over the outlying districts of the city. The purple of its aluminium hull only broken up by the grey of external pods and supplementary components, attached specifically for its current mission profile. No cockpit was visible, the nose of the aircraft simply tapered into a point like that of a needle or a dart, and windows weren’t included anywhere along its tall and bulbous flanks.

The double-decker airplane had taken off at midnight and entered a circular holding pattern once it reached five thousand feet, completing an orbit of the city every twenty odd minutes and staying relatively low within the cover of the storm which had rapidly formed once the plane was airborne.

In a middle section on the top deck, a chamber with monitors lining the curved walls and a central display podium, the Pontifex of Carnage stood steadying himself with a hand on the lip of the plinth as a particularly large bump caused the airframe to flex and bend. The display itself wasn’t holographic or digital but rather a three-dimensional representation of Dakhla rendered in a pale pink gel with a consistency of jelly. The gel would become liquid and either add to buildings and entities if the Pontifex zoomed in or slide away when he zoomed out. A miniature aircraft no larger than a pinhead circled the city on the board, held aloft by a strand of gel no thicker than human hair. Zooming in on the diplomatic quarter to the street level, ruined limousines were visible and translucent pink soldiers moved with purpose, “The Duskmarchers are jeopardising the plan, they’re rushing ahead of schedule.”

The Pontifex of Esotericism, a woman sitting on the other side of the board from him with a tablet display in her hand, shrugged apologetically, “They’re a bit over-zealous, I’ll grant you.” Noticing his irritated glare, she continued with a roll of the eyes, “Well, we can’t abort them now, that would be a breach of the compact.”.

“Then I’m moving the schedule up.”. Zooming out, he pressed on the runes denoting Spiralian units in the Tanis military base and then directed them with brushing strokes along city streets. The orders being automatically compiled and then sent out to the relevant commanders in the field.

After he was done, the Pontifex of Esotericism put down her tablet and looked up at him, smiling as he widened his stance to resist the jarring turbulence, “Phase two of the schedule is ready. Oh and by the way, Diplomacy just contacted me, he wanted to issue another objection.”

He was intending to respond with a snarky remark about how the Pontifex of Diplomacy was supposed to arbitrate disputes between Pontifices, not cause them, when the aircraft’s engines throttled up to full and the nose pulled around in a high-g turn, forcing him to sit down and grimace before the plane straightened out and entered a shallow dive. Alerts pinged as weapons activated, sliding from their pods and calculating firing solutions and interception vectors. Noises of the hull twisted into measured scratching, squealing, groans and moans, each sound by itself nothing more than stresses on the plane’s hull but all together, they were distinguishable as a guttural rendition of ancient spiralian, slowly reverberating, spoken words. “Aerial…… Prey.”.

Scanning the display, the Pontifex of Carnage found the aircraft to which it was referring, a collection of helicopters taking off from Tanis military base. “They’re ours, my lord, please leave them alone.” A loud scream of constricting metal and protesting joints answered him but seconds later the weapon systems were stowed and the plane pulled out of its dive to resume circling but at a lower altitude and at much greater speed. The lights dimmed and he heard the internal heaters shut off, he smiled, it was always entertaining when you piss off an Eternal One.




“Esteemed Ambassador.” The purple robed individual bowed, pink wrapped arms extending out from either side, speaking in Asgarthian with a Rusinan accent, “On behalf of the Lost Spiral, we deeply apologise for what happened to your predecessor.”. Straightening up, the individual swirled the fingers of its right hand before lifting the briefcase up onto the table with a resounding thud, the pink eye lenses switching to a glowing purple. Unclasping the metal clips, the lid was clicked open and raised.

Inside, a collection of bleached bones covered in cuts and etched markings along with a report from the Religious Police. “After an extensive search for your errant Ambassador, his remains were located in a mountain hamlet to the West, a backwater place called ‘Edfu’. We don’t know if he travelled there himself or was abducted and taken there but what we do know is that his body was found in the barkeep’s basement alongside a collection of other corpses. Rest assured, the Barkeep and his bloodline have been removed from this world for this grievous transgression.”

Picking out the report and skimming it, whilst keeping an eye on the representative for suspicious behaviour, Agent Romanli quickly identified multiple points of interest. No images had been taken of the basement where it was alleged the body and those of others were found but that could be explained by shoddy policework. The autopsy detailed hundreds of lacerations and extensive flaying, again without photos, and the toxicology report highlighted multiple different recreational substances in Sascho’s system but instead of handing over the body as it was for Asgareth to validate and potentially run their own investigation, they chose to remove all of the flesh and bleach the bones clean. Even that could be a cultural thing or another oversight. The last issue he noticed in his quick glance through was not something that was there but something that wasn’t there. The total lack of preamble. No trail of evidence leading to ‘Edfu’. No listed reason for the religious police to have been conducting their investigation there, that far out from a major city.

The sound of helicopter rotors could be heard over the lashing wind and cracks of thunder and lightning. Outside, in the buffeting wind and rain, the body of a pink helicopter swung as it took position over the embassy courtyard, awaiting clearance to land. Its twin gun turrets, stubby orbs on either side of the nose, rotated in their sockets to overwatch the embassy walls. Automatic gunfire, heavier cannons and explosions could faintly be heard over the thwopping roar of the chopper’s blades. A leather strapped hand reached out from within the heavy purple robes to rest lightly on top of Denzyl’s, “You must leave now. This location has been compromised and all Ambassadors are being evacuated to an undisclosed safe zone.”.




The confident pilot popped open his hatch and clambered over the lip of the cockpit, climbing down the rungs recessed in the side of the fuselage and letting go to drop down the last metre to the ground, feet splashing in a puddle next to the front wheel. In the few seconds it took for him to jog over to the main entrance whilst the helicopter’s rotor blades still spun with a rhythmic pulse, resting on idle, his uniform jumpsuit had been soaked through. His wet face was visible underneath the pale pink of his flight helmet which he hurriedly pulled off and held under his left arm. Coming to a halt, he patted down his damp hair with his right hand before straightening and saluting the Representative, “I serve at the will of the Council,”, then he turned to Agatha and offered his gloved hand for a shake, “Nice to meet you Ambassador, I’m Lieutenant Horus, your pilot for the evening.”.

His grip was solid and firm yet not rough, he continued speaking whilst holding her hand as her skin absorbed the analgesic coating from his glove, “May I ask if you’ve flown in a helicopter before? They feel different to planes and some people get more air-sick, especially in weather like this.”. Having held on long enough, he gently let go of her hand, fingers sliding quickly downwards across her palm as he turned away, slicing open a small cut and taking a blood sample in a single smooth motion. Hoping that she hadn’t noticed the incision or assumed it to be from a rough edge on his glove, he began to stride back towards his aircraft with the tiny vial of her blood now hidden inside his upturned helmet. “Please follow me, we need to go.”.

The representative flexed its right hand experimentally, testing fingers it could no longer feel after it had briefly strayed too close to Agatha whilst gesturing towards the helicopter that had just touched down outside. As Agatha motioned for her own staff to follow Horus out to the helicopter, the representative called out and raised its tingling hand, “I’m afraid that transport is only for you, Trade-Duchess, a convoy is punching through the Duskmarcher lines as we speak and they will soon be picking up all Ambassadorial and Consular staff from each embassy and taking them to safety.”. With that said the representative turned, the gaze from its swirling, rose pink lenses instantly picking out Agent Polak and locking on to him.




“It is good you chose this night to venture out of the city. For once it may be safer out there. I’ve heard talk of military activity, gunfire and explosions in east Dakhla.”

Turgol’s contact had been exactly where he’d promised, introducing himself as Hager, a rather rough looking man with almost leathery, tanned skin and a thick brush of grey, unshaved stubble. He’d been wearing an old stained shirt that had once been white under a black, waterproof anorak which was a size or two, too small for him. Hanging around his neck on a lanyard and bouncing off his stomach with every move, was an old, stubby revolver with a faded grip. He’d met Turgol with a gruff handshake and then lifted the bike onto the back of his pickup truck. The truck itself used to be a concrete grey but patches of paint had faked off and brown and orange rust peeked out in spots like that of a cheetah.

The suspension creaked noisily and the entire cabin bounced from side to side as they traversed a poorly maintained road, leaving the outskirts of Dakhla behind and heading west. The faintly cloying, sickly sweet smell of rot permeated the air but Turgol wasn’t sure if that was from something decomposing within the boxy cabin or carried with the wind outside. The further they got from Dakhla, the better the weather became, water had stopped dripping down from the rusted ceiling and the breeze that circled around his lower legs and feet was no longer chilling.

Turning off the main road, if that’s what it could even be called, the truck headed uphill, bouncing along a dirt track with stones and pebbles thrown up by the wheels plinking off the hull with thumps and clangs. Manhandling the old vehicle into a lower gear and as its revs climbed to deal with the increased slope, Hager spoke up, clearing phlegm from his throat with a hacking cough, “I will take you to Edfu but no further. If you want to go off and chase stories and glory, that is up to you.”. He looked Turgol up and down with bloodshot eyes, “I know a man there, he is called Ammon, he is always at the bar and he will sell you protection.”.

With the night’s sky now clear, the moonlight revealed the sign at the entrance and the outlines of three individuals hanging in the air, strung up by their necks, ‘Welcome to Edfu’. Pulling up outside the local tavern with the sound of crunching gravel, the engine shut down, the faint clicking of cooling metal audible underneath the hood in the night breeze. Disembarking and looking around, Turgol could see that the town itself was built in the shape of a spiral, radiating out from a central church building with small roads cutting through to allow transit. Gazing further up the mountainside he could see the bright lights and hear the faint sounds of a mining operation. To his left, he could see three tired, wooden signs before the street curved out of view, ‘Aunt Chione’s’ which seemed to be a goods and supplies store, ‘Dream Parlour’, a recreational den and the simplest of all, ‘Butcher’. To his right, opposite a petrol station advertising Shurayan Coffee, a local hotel named the ‘Silver Sanctum’ stood three stories tall, from behind which the tantalising smells of a barbeque wafted.

Hager lifted the bike from out of his truck and planted it on the ground next to Turgol, “I will have one drink and then I will return to Dakhla. If you wish to come with me, I will not charge you for the journey back.”




With a burst of rubble and masonry, a small section of the outer wall surrounding the Natufian embassy exploded inwards and a combat team of five mummified soldiers breached the compound, heavy assault rifles firing upon the guards with unerring accuracy, bullets smashing into the concrete of their defensive positions. A second combat team set up in the gap in the wall, covering the advance of the first team and setting up a tripod-mounted heavy machine gun with the wet rubble as cover. Their slow, assured movements juxtaposed with the panic caused among the Natufian guards.

Within seconds of the breach occurring, the front gates were under assault, two explosive projectiles made contact with the steel shutters and blasted them off their hinges before an unarmoured buggy smashed through, bouncing over the wreckage. Astride the back of the buggy, one of the desiccated warriors operated a pintle-mounted grenade launcher, aiming for concentrations of guards or ones that seemed to be in the most defensible locations.

Dohasan crawled along the concrete wall of the gatehouse, shaking his head and trying to get himself in the game, still reeling from the shock of the attack. He'd never truly expected to encounter combat but now here he was, fighting for his life alongside his comrades. A detonation shook dust from the wall, tickling his lungs, and stones clinked to the floor behind him. Coughing, he lifted himself up and peered over the lip of the wall, he could see the rear end of the buggy and the back of the gunner standing on top who was busy inserting another drum of 40mm grenades. Raising his gun, Dohasan took careful aim and fired, three shots, centre mass. The gunner fell forward onto his mount from the impact but didn't go down, instead he turned, drawing his sidearm and firing a spread of bullets.

The first bullet hit the top of Dohasan's head but dinged off his helmet and embedded itself in the concrete wall behind him as he ducked under cover. His head was ringing and it felt as if someone had tried to wrench his hair out but he didn't care, he'd seen the gunner's face, an eyeless rictus of parched flesh with exposed and broken, yellow teeth. Peering over the side again, he saw the gunner turning the launcher towards him, aiming to land the grenade behind him and deny his cover. Without a moment's though, Dohasan heaved himself to his feet and dived out of the gatehouse just as the grey tube discharged its payload and the back wall exploded in a shower of metal and concrete shrapnel. A second grenade swiftly followed the first, impacting next to him on the ground and throwing him sideways with a blast that deafened him and left him senseless and unconscious.

Coming to, maybe thirty seconds later, he felt a warm wetness on his leg, clearly different from the cold rain, and looking down he could see a shard of metal jutting out from his thigh. Blinking away dust, he surveyed the battlefield that the embassy's grounds had become. The buggy had been riddled with bullets, wheels deflated and engine seized, the gunner was flopping next to the pintle-mount unable to stand and the driver had dismounted in order to engage on foot, marching across the courtyard towards the main entrance. The machine gun in the breach in the wall was firing a constant stream of bullets into the front entrance, chewing up concrete supports and forcing the guards to retreat further into the building for better cover. It looked like he was alone out here. Then, eyes wide and holding his breath, he spotted another full squad of enemy soldiers entering from the open gate, ten of them. They split up to advance along the walls towards the embassy itself and for a second he hoped they would pass him by but the last one split off and vectored his way.

Looking around for his rifle, he found it half buried in the mud with the barrel submerged. Cursing, he lifted it up anyway and pulled the trigger but it failed to fire. The soldier moving towards him slowed, lowering its own rifle and cocking its head to the side. He could swear it was taking pleasure in this. Closing the last few steps, it slung its rifle over its shoulder and drew a combat knife already red and sticky with blood. "No." Dohasan said tremulously with rising terror as he tried to clear the blockage. The thing, or whatever it was, drew the blade across its own throat in a universal gesture before reaching out with its other hand and grabbing the barrel of his rifle, tearing it from his grip and throwing it away. It knelt down next to him, grabbing him by back of the head with one hand and swinging the knife down with the other.

Dohasan grappled with the knife-bearing arm, using all his available strength to keep the blade away. The thing held his head in a vice-like grip and centimetre by centimetre it was overpowering him, the point approaching his eyes. Panting at the strain and with his arm muscles quivering, he found himself gazing into its face that was mere inches away from his own. He could see no emotion there, no life at all yet it seemed to be sadistically enjoying the entire affair and intent on watching his painful demise. With horror, Dohasan realised it had truly been playing with him when it cocked its head further and then started leaning its weight over the blade. Unable to stop it, he started screaming as the point slid in. The diameter of the eye-socket prevented the blade from entering his skull and killing him but the agony of that moment and the scraping sensation of probing metal upon his bone would stay with him for the rest of his life.

The world became white fire and noise as thundering bursts of cannon fire stitched across the embassy grounds, the machine gun team were blasted into dried chunks and the remains of the buggy was obliterated to prevent the use of the grenade launcher. The other mummified soldiers took cover, firing back up at the helicopter which had just arrived over the courtyard. The one on top of Dohasan dropped him in an instant, leaving him and turning to engage the threat. The helicopter rotated on the spot, allowing its twin turrets to scour the area with 30mm cannon shells. Realising their vulnerability without heavy weapon support, the soldiers began to withdraw, retreating out the breach in the wall and the main gate, taking further losses as they went.

The helicopter left its hover and angled up, circling the embassy once and strafing the nearby streets before descending to touchdown in front of the building itself. An amplified voice blared from a speaker, "Ambassador Kirysi, board immediately, we are evacuating you to a safe zone. A military convoy is en route to pick up your staff and civilians, ETA six minutes.".
Last edited by The Lost Spiral on Tue Jul 30, 2019 1:17 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Asgareth
Envoy
 
Posts: 335
Founded: Nov 27, 2015
Iron Fist Consumerists

Postby Asgareth » Thu Aug 01, 2019 11:44 am

The purple robed being entered the building and Denzyl Pera and Agent Romanli watched cautiously as she made her way upstairs and along the corridor. The door to the office was opened and the woman entered.

A moment of silence occurred, before she began to speak. What she said came as something of a shock to the Asgarthians. Indeed, she was somewhat lucky to be saying it to them. There were not many Asgarthians who could speak Asgarthian – the language had fallen out of use and been replaced with Rusinan Standard many centuries ago – but both men before her understood it. Denzyl Pera had come from a wealthy family, and therefore had learnt Asgarthian at school. Agent Romanli, meanwhile, had learnt it during basic training. Though neither men regularly used the Asgarthi tongue, and indeed had forgotten many aspects of it, they were able to grasp an understanding of what she meant.The more off-putting thing for the pair was that she used a Rusinan accent. They could not detect what part of Rusina – though Denzyl thought he detected some Western Asgareth in her T’s.

Denzyl had had to recoil in horror as the bones of Ambassador Sascho were revealed. He promptly excused himself and moved into the bathroom, where the sound of vomiting was only defeated by its smell. Meanwhile, Agent Romanli was busy examining the report. As the woman spoke, Agent Romanli couldn’t help but become more and more suspicious about the purple robed lady. His brief read of the report had told him little, and the complete lack of a preamble concerned him greatly. He wished that he had been given the opportunity to examine the barkeep, but that chance had clearly passed. He watched the purple robed lady, and asked
“How did the police know to go to… Edfu, is it?”a

It was unfortunate, for Agent Romanli, that just as he asked the question the sound of propellers drowned out his voice. Clearly having not heard his question – or perhaps, choosing to ignore it -, the woman informed the pair that the helicopter was meant for them. Denzyl emerged from the bathroom and cautiously exchanged glances with Romanli.
“Where exactly are we being taken?” Denzyl enquired.
The robed lady motioned for the pair to follow her, which they reluctantly did. She led the pair to the helicopter, and motioned for Denzyl to get in. Denzyl looked at Romanli, who looked at the robed lady before nodding. Denzyl stepped into the helicopter, and took a seat. As Romanli tried to follow, the purple robed lady held out an arm, preventing his passage. She shook her head.
“Excuse me?” Romanli said. “Move.”
The robed lady shook her head again.
“MOVE!” He shouted, as he drew his gun. “The ambassador goes nowhere without me!”

Without warning the helicopter took off, distracting Romanli momentarily. He contemplated shooting the helicopter, but decided against it due to the threat it posed to the ambassador. Instead, he turned his gun on the robed lady and threatened her once more.
“Bring him back! Bring him back now!” He yelled, as he pointed his gun in her direction.

Denzyl, meanwhile, watched as the helicopter took off. He had no idea where he was going, or when he would arrive. The only thing he did know was that he was alone.
Member of the newly revamped The Fourth Sovereign Charter. Member of the original Sovereign Charter 17.12.2015-10.03.2019
Drekhi: Asgareth is not a place, it is a vintage

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The Lost Spiral
Lobbyist
 
Posts: 19
Founded: Feb 01, 2019
Father Knows Best State

Postby The Lost Spiral » Fri Aug 02, 2019 1:39 am

Prize seized Falsehoods fail,
Yearning divinity smiles,
Cold tightening noose.


The representative's eye lenses turned a cerise pink and glowed brightly at the gun leveled at her through the curtains of rain. Droplets plinking on the barrel and dripping underneath it. For a frozen moment, nothing happened as the downwash from the helicopter's blades increased and the chopper angled up, swinging away towards the north-west and disappearing quickly into the murky night’s sky. Raising her wrapped hands out in a 'v' that wasn’t even lifted above her shoulders, the filtered voice continued to speak in Asgarthian, "Why, Agent Romanli, you wouldn't want to cause an incident by shooting a diplomatic representative of the Lost Spiral, on Asgarthian land no less, would you? We mean you all no harm."

She slowly lowered her hands, letting them rest passively at her side as her fingers curled inwards into loose fists, "The Ambassador will be taken care of, you have my word on that. The convoy will arrive momentarily and when it does, we will be taken to the railway station and put on a train waiting to get us all out of the city."

Seeing that he was getting irritated, the representative changed tack, “You asked about what led the police to Edfu. If you let me reach into my robes, I can help provide you with more direct information about the investigation.”. He nodded and watched as she slid one of her hands into the thick tangle of purple robes before emerging again with a circular tablet screen. Rain swiftly covered the screen with droplets but didn’t interfere with the functionality in any way. Holding it in her left hand, the fingers of her right deftly danced across the surface and seconds later, a live video feed was established, displaying an older gentleman with long white hair, dressed in armoured pink robes and sitting at a wooden desk in a tired office. The representative’s voice emerged, not from the robes but from the audio feed in the room with the religious policeman, “You are on a live feed with a member of the Asgarthian ambassadorial staff, an, Agent Romanli, he wishes to know more about your investigation and specifically about what led you to Edfu.”

“Of course, representative,”, the policeman sat up straighter and coughed to clear his throat, “Agent Romanli, we received an anonymous tip from a concerned spiralian at the church in Edfu. The citizen claimed that they had witnessed a foreigner matching the description of Ambassador Sascho being beaten outside of the bar. Within hours, our force arrived in Edfu and we searched the town from top to bottom, the rest of which you know.”.

The front embassy gates were thrown open and Spiralian soldiers in striped pink camouflage beckoned for Romanli, the representative and all other remaining staff to follow them and board one of nearly a dozen armoured jeeps in their convoy. Guarding the front and rear of the convoy were two medium tanks, armed with twin eight-barrelled 30mm rotary autocannons. The front one opened fire and a stream of explosive death blasted apart the corner of a residential house opposite.




Whilst the seat inside the helicopter was padded, it was rather thin and the metal plate underneath made the experience rather uncomfortable. In front of him was the armoured cockpit, the door of which was extremely narrow and short. Looking out the side window, Denzyl couldn’t see much in the storm but felt that he could almost sense the ground dropping away if only from the g forces pushing him down into the seat. A bolt of lightning flashed and he saw a spiral shape in the corner of the glass window but it was gone when he tried to focus his eyes upon it, maybe it hadn’t been there at all. The cabin rocked multiple times in gusts of wind, bouncing up and down, the tail rotor fighting against the air currents, causing him to start feeling as if he was inside a washing machine. Closing his eyes, he pushed himself towards the middle of the bench and felt around for a seatbelt to secure himself with.

Clipping the belt shut, the cockpit door creaked open and an individual in a flight suit bent down and pulled himself through sideways, entering the rear cabin. The man stood up straight and seemed to be entirely used to the turbulence, not even stabilising himself against the fuselage but simply swaying with the bumps with a practiced fluidity, “Ambassador Pera, I am Lieutenant Zosar, we apologise for the hasty departure but we need to relocate you to safety as soon as possible. I can’t reveal our destination, again for the purposes of safety but we will be landing inside twenty minutes. I must ask though; do you carry upon your personage any electronic devices which may compromise your location or lead hostile forces to our new safe zone?” Seeing how nervous the man sitting on his passenger bench was, the Lieutenant stooped down and gave him a friendly pat on the shoulder, “Look, don’t worry, your subordinates will be joining you soon.”.

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Auruum
Spokesperson
 
Posts: 107
Founded: Aug 28, 2017
Compulsory Consumerist State

Postby Auruum » Tue Aug 06, 2019 12:42 pm

Agatha was glad to speak to someone other than the Representative, though the Spirallians were rapidly beginning to be identified as the source of her bad feeling. Once the transport arrived and the pilot greeted her, the drug coating his glove doing it’s job well in numbing her palm, the Trade-Duchess moved to usher her staff onboard first.

Then that hooded figure spoke again, Saying she was to go alone and that a convoy would gather the rest. Red Flag, Big Red Flag. Agatha put on a smile and waved dismissively.
“Nonsense, there’s plenty of seats for my self and at least my personal entourage.” She’d turn to Koios and gestured to the transport, not allowing the Representative or the pilot to argue with her “All aboard.” She said with a sweet smile, waiting for her PA, and her two security agents to board the transport before she’d climb in after, sitting between the two orcs with her human companion. She feigned playing with an earring, depressing the blue jewel and activating her tracker beacon for the Aurumite satellite. She’d quickly whisper to Koios. “Send the bird our way, I want us out of this place before dawn. I don’t give a fuck about protocol or starting a war, this whole mess stinks.”

Agent Polak matched the representstive’s steely glare through his polorized glasses, jaw set and brow furrowed. His tongue briefly brushed across a false tooth in his lower jaw, a small chewable tablet full of chemicals hidden inside. He had a funny feeling he was going to chew it before the day was over. He gave a sigh, buckling in his seatbelts next to the Trade-Duchess.

Once it was clear that she would not be persuaded, the Pilot took off with a nod from the Spirallian Representative. Shortly afterwards however, A request was made for any and all tracking devices to be surrendered, causing ice to flow through Agatha’s veins even more so. Had they somehow caught wind of what she’d done? The reasons made sense at the time but with so much going on that she didn’t truly know or trust, it was just another red flag being added to the pile.

With a nod of her head the two Orc agents surrendered their devices, Agatha handing over one of her earrings, the one that wasn’t a tracking beacon for Aurum to find her. She could not trust that the situation was anything less than sketchy at best, They had to get out now, whatever the cost.

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The Natufian Nation
Bureaucrat
 
Posts: 42
Founded: Jul 09, 2017
Benevolent Dictatorship

Postby The Natufian Nation » Tue Aug 06, 2019 3:31 pm

Part IIIA – Natufian Embassy, Dakhla, Lost Spiral

Lieutenant Parnek walked briskly down a subterranean corridor at the Natufian embassy and quickly descended the spiral, wrought iron stairs bringing him down to the level where Ambassador Hamsa Kirysi was holed up with the six Natufian civilians in the vault room. His ears were ringing, dust and mud was splattered across his uniform from right to left and near parallel scratch lines across his right cheeks stung where concrete, blown from an outer wall during the attack, had strafed him. The emergency lights were still on and there wasn´t as much dust in the air down here. Almost in a near run, he approached a corner, shouted out the codeword, pumpkin seed, and made the turn without slowing. An armed Guardswomen held open the iron door to the vault room and saluted as he entered.

“Madam Ambassador, we need to get you out of here. There is a Spiralian helicopter on the front lawn waiting to take you to a safe place.”

“What happened, Lieutenant?” Hamsa inquired in a calm voice as she gathered some personal effects and handed them to an aide. It was crowded in the room with the six Natufians in her care and four soldiers busily dismantling and destroying anything of intelligence value.

Parnek started hesitantly. “It looks like we were attacked by Duskmarchers, ma’am. I have no idea why they targeted us but we think there have been attacks on the other embassies, as well.”

“What the hell are those? What are our casualties?”

“We don’t have a whole lot of intel on the Duskmarchers. They seem to be some sort of biologically altered soldier. Drained of their humanity and given only one drive, to kill. They look like they were brought back from the depths of Sheol. It’s…indescribable, really. I really don’t understand it but we lost eight good soldiers and have another seven with injuries.”

Hamsa gasped at hearing of the loss and cast her eyes downward. What tragedy! Just then a young corporal approached and announced they had finished incinerating the last of the classified documents. As Lt. Parnek and the soldiers led Hamsa and the civilians up to the surface and to the front of the building, Hamsa’s thoughts went from shock to despair to confusion and then to anger. She stopped in her tracks as she passed through the gaping hole where the front doors used to be and saw the carnage and destruction outside. Now she was outright pissed. She saw the waiting helicopter about 40 meters away and then eyed the purple robed Representative, flanked by two Spiralian soldiers, standing half-way between them. She fixed her gaze on the gaunt figure with its pink wrappings poking out when the downdraft from the helicopter caught and blew its robes. She purposefully strode up to the Representative, ignoring the pelt of rain accosting her face.

“Why did your Dungcrunchers, or whatever they’re called, attack our embassy?!” she shouted.

The Representative remained motionless and replied in a monotone voice, betraying no hint of emotion. “Madam Ambassador, we truly regret this occurrence. We have temporarily lost control of a small contingent of our Duskmarchers. But they shall be eradicated in short order, I assure you. In the meantime, it is imperative we move you to a safe place. If you will please board the helicopter….” And it motioned toward the patient craft.

Hamsa called back to Lt. Parnek to escort the civilians to the chopper but the representative held up a warning hand. “I’m afraid we only have room for you, Ambassador. The convoy assembled out the gate will transport your people to the safe zone. Now, please come with me.” And it turned towards the helicopter.
Hamsa could see some of the assembled vehicles on the street over the collapsed outer wall. At least three armored personnel carriers, some jeeps and Hum-vees, and was that a tank in the front?

Lt. Parnek stepped forward. “Ma’am, we’ll collect the dead and wounded and take the civilians to the convoy. You need to get to the safe zone now.”

Hamsa took two steps forward and stopped. This wasn’t right. Now near the end of a long diplomatic career, her years of experience and seasoning in reading unfamiliar situations and foreign customs gave her a strong instinct she had learned to trust, and everything told her there was more going on than she was being told and that the Spiralians may not actually have their best interest in mind. Her first duty was to the Natufian civilians under her care. That was her priority and how could she oversee them when separated from both them and her guards? No, this wasn’t right at all. Now her anger rekindled, inflamed to a whole new level. She spun towards the Representative and exclaimed in her most commanding but diplomatic voice, “How can you possibly expect me to believe you can keep us safe when you clearly cannot control your own forces? How can I entrust my life and those under my charge to such incompetence?!” She was intentionally trying to provoke a reaction from the purple clad figure but the Representative remained expressionless and unperturbed.

“Madam Ambassador, your safety is our highest concern. All our resources are now prioritized to protect you and return the situation to normal. Now, please…”

“Now you listen to me, you walking Aurochs placenta, you are clearly not in control of the situation here. if you really are concerned for my safety then you will do everything in your power to protect that convoy because that is exactly where I will be, with my people, where I belong!” She looked up at the purple scarecrow towering above her and pointed a finger 5 centimeters away from what passed for its face. “And you tell your government that if they want to maintain any credibility with the nations of the Charter, then they better GET THEIR FUCKING HOUSE IN ORDER!” she screamed, catching the attention of all around her and with the authority only someone of her age and seniority could pull off.

And with that Hamsa Kirysi turned away and marched towards Lt. Parnek and the Natufians, some helping along the wounded and some carrying heavily-laden body bags, and all making their way to the convoy.

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The Lost Spiral
Lobbyist
 
Posts: 19
Founded: Feb 01, 2019
Father Knows Best State

Postby The Lost Spiral » Wed Aug 07, 2019 1:20 am

Wheels turn Soft wind blows,
Shifting road Unleashed wanders,
Secret cage yawns wide.


Two spiralian soldiers watched and laughed as a duskmarcher strangled the life from a disembowelled Lictor, his face turning purple and eyes bulging as he weakly thrashed underneath the weight of the armoured mummy and bloody froth gurgled from his mouth. In less than a minute he had stilled, staring eyes remaining open as droplets of rain splattered on his face. The spiralians cheered and whooped as the duskmarcher levered itself off the corpse, picked up its weapon and left to re-join its squad down the street. Kicking the Lictor’s body as they passed, the Spiralians grabbed a hold of and dragged the remains of the Roman ambassador, Galerus, taking the cadaver to their truck before they hauled it up unceremoniously from the asphalt and swung it into the back of their lorry with a soft thud, letting blood and viscera splatter on their uniforms and the tailgate of their vehicle.

Climbing into the cabin and starting up the lorry, they accelerated out of the diplomatic quarter with the limp carcass bouncing in the back as the stiff suspension transmitted each bump. With the streets cleared, they were able to speed across the city in record time, arriving at the Tanis military base in less than half an hour. The now stiffening corpse was unloaded by an extremely tall man who looked top-heavy with an inordinate amount of muscles and who wore a purple sash across his waist over his military uniform. “Well done soldiers. We will take it from here.”, the man bellowed into the storm, his words carrying despite the lashing wind and rain. The two spiralians saluted but he was already turning away.

The huge man moved with a level of agility that belied his size and mass, carrying the remains cradled like a baby as he entered a concrete bunker via a reinforced steel door and boarded a lift. The lift was wide, intended for cargo and large enough for a small vehicle, with sides made from a metal grill that revealed the concrete walls behind and a ribbed steel floor that echoed with each step. He inserted his key next to the control panel and turned it before pushing in the lowermost button and holding it as the lift carried him down below the official bottom floor to secret sublevel sixteen.

The lift door opened up with the clanking of metal onto a large medical laboratory staffed entirely by the department of esotericism. Tables occupied the centre of the chamber with displays above them and equipment lined the walls. There were three small rooms adjacent to the main space, a storage area, a refrigerated morgue and a safe observation room with a blast door and reinforced window overlooking the central tables. Three experts on the divine, wearing brilliant white uniforms, were preparing the table nearest to the lift, washing it down with disinfectant and moving over all necessary equipment. At a pointed finger, the big man set Galerus’ remains down upon the table before wiping himself clean and entering the observation room to leave them to their duties.

He watched as Galerus’ corpse was stripped, photographed and analysed. Torn muscles and white bone where the leg used to be, a deep laceration in the shoulder, extensive bruising around the neck bones which had been snapped out of place. One expert hoisted down a diamond-edged circular saw and used it to cut away the rest of the missing leg with the whining screech of metal on bone. Another started to strap the corpse down, ratcheting it as tight as he could. The last disappeared into the morgue momentarily before returning with a whole leg on a tray. The leg was placed on the table in the location where Galerus’ leg should have been, pressed up against the pelvis and checked for size against the other. With that done, the leg was attached to the pelvis with a couple bolts and a ring of staples around the top of the thigh, the knife-wound in the shoulder was stapled shut next and the neck was clicked back into place with a brace.

Tools descended from the ceiling and runes were displayed in sequence on the screens above the table, the experts manipulated the devices, opening up the torso and removing the skin from the scalp before engraving the exhibited runes onto the ribs and the bone of the skull itself. Stone tablets with carved etchings and pictographs were subsequently inserted into the ribcage, compressing the cooling organs within the chest cavity. Once the body was sealed up again, every inch of exposed flesh was then covered in spiralling tattoos, precious script written in pink ink.

The giant of a man watched through the observation window as the experts, done with their preparatory work, removed their garments and folded them up before placing them in lockers along the wall. Now nude, one male and two female, the experts opened a draw and withdrew three ancient ceremonial weapons forged in bronze, a dagger, an axe and a spear. With a sudden ferocity, they turned upon one another, the woman with the axe swinging it down on the man’s collar bone amid screams and the snap of bone as he stabbed her in the abdomen with the knife and the other woman impaled him from behind, driving the point down into his back as he shrieked and blood spattered out onto on her legs. Fresh and uninjured, the woman with the spear yanked it back out and dived for the other, landing the tip in her belly next to the knife as a backhanded swing with the axe caught her squarely in the neck. She let go of the spear and flopped onto the floor, clutching her throat as a crimson arterial spray emptied her lifeblood onto the floor. Holding her stomach against the waves of agony gripping her and drawing out the knife to let it clatter to the floor, the victor stepping over the dying woman who was still weakly convulsing on the floor and then painfully climbed up onto the medical table and gave Galerus’ corpse a long and deep kiss.

The hairs on the back of the observing man’s neck rose as the temperature plummeted. The blood on the floor in the operating theatre dried rapidly and froze over and a misting sheen of condensation slightly obscured his view. He bowed his head and made a spiral shape with his hand, knowing he was about to witness the glory of the divine. The woman’s skin was turning blue in the cold and she shivered violently in the frigid air but before she let go or halted the kiss, she was grasped and held close by the now moving body. She began to thrash, autonomically resisting as its sucking mouth drew all breath from her lungs and preventing her from breathing, her eyes rolled up and she went limp in its grip. Done with the victor, her lifeless body was discarded, thrown from the table to land heavily on the floor. Galerus, or what had once been Galerus, screamed, the noise seemingly from two voices working in concert, one ecstatic and booming, seemingly reverberating from all around and one horrified and weak, emerging only from torn vocal cords. It lifted its legs over the side of the table and placed its feet on the floor, testing its footing before transferring weight and standing up. Where staples had once held grievous damage in check, not even new scar tissue remained, the flesh was flawless as if perfectly wrought from stone. It walked up to the observation window and spoke to the huge man who was fervently bowing on his knees, with lips held shut the voice emanated from the very walls inside his chamber and speaking in ancient spiralian, “The compact is sealed.”.

Standing up and wiping tears from his eyes, the man opened the door to allow the being entry, watching in wonder at the being’s eyes which glinted with a purple sheen and marvelling at the rebuilt body that exuded vitality with each movement. He gave way as the once-Galerus stepped inside, eyes evaluating him from head to toe. This time it used its lips and tongue, familiarising itself with the biological method of speech and clumsily speaking, “I am Bralthelmun.”.

“My lord Bralthelmun, we thank you and the other eternals for this divine gift. Please, if you will, a vehicle awaits on the surface to carry you to your purpose. Follow me.”. The big man led Bralthelmun to the lift, turning off the chamber’s lights before pressing the button to carry them both up. He took out a small radio from his pocket and turned it on, selecting the correct channel before holding down the switch and talking, “The Roman ambassador has been saved. Repeat. The Roman ambassador has been saved.”. The thing once known as Galerus smiled, a feral grin which exposed more teeth than expected.




The flight from the diplomatic quarter felt like it took forever even though it was less than twenty minutes, everyone sat silent with their own thoughts due to the extreme turbulence which made even the simplest conversation uncomfortable.

When the helicopter swung low for landing, throttling down its engine and gently lowering itself onto solid ground, those inside were able to see out the windows that they were arriving at the open entrance of a mountainside complex, lit up with bright halogens, surrounded by fortified walls and filled with troops, tanks and weapon emplacements. The facility itself stretched deep into the mountain and out of sight from the landing pad. To their left, they could see another chopper which had also recently landed and disgorged the Asgarthian Ambassador, Denzyl.

The door to their helicopter slid open and wind rushed in, carrying splattering drops of rain onto their shoes, revealing the purple robed form of another representative, identical in every way to the one they’d left behind at the Aurumite embassy. It raised its pink wrapped hands and spoke as the glow of its gaze passed over them, “Welcome. This is an old nuclear fallout shelter which we have prepared to safely store all ambassadors until the situation is resolved or your transports arrive. This time, however, I must insist that only the Ambassador enter the bunker, for security, the Pontifex of Diplomacy is in there awaiting your arrival. The barracks hall has been made available for the rest of you who must wait here at the surface, food and drink will be provided.” A small, open-topped electric buggy came to a stop next to the helicopter and the representative stepped aboard, gesturing for Agatha and Denzyl to do the same.

Clambering out of his cockpit, Lieutenant Horus dropped to the ground and handed his helmet to one of the nearby groundcrew, “Take this to Esotericism immediately.”. With that duty discharged, he came around the side of the aircraft and addressed Agatha’s entourage, amicably clapping one of them on the back, the one wearing polarised glasses at night in the middle of a storm, “Alright lads, shall we get some beers in the barracks? Maybe play a little bullshit or poker?”




The representative’s lenses widened and became a salmon pink whilst it watched Ambassador Hamsa’s receding back as she marched over to her people, for once it was surprised by an unexpected response and didn’t know exactly what to do. Forcing the situation or appearing too insistent could jeopardise the outcome but the Ambassador would miss phase three if she was in the convoy and not the helicopter. It briefly considered airlifting whichever vehicle the ambassador chose to climb aboard but thought that was too heavy handed.

Coming to a decision after a long minute of still silence, the representative moved, signalling to the Spiralian soldiers to assist with the loading of the convoy and for the chopper to take off and provide cover. It lifted off and set up in a holding pattern, its turrets occasionally firing bursts of shells into nearby streets. Moving up alongside the Natufian ambassador, the Representative tried to change her mind as her people were helped into the vehicles, it knew it wasn’t subtle but it was the best it could manage given the situation, “I shall inform the Pontifex of Diplomacy that you will be unable to make the meeting with him and the other nations’ ambassadors.”. Not waiting for a response, the representative moved forward to help lift a wounded soldier onto the back seat of a jeep.

The sounds of gunfire grew louder and the forward tank was forced to open fire again, peppering the end of the street with a hail of shells and blasting chunks out of the tarmac and pavement as a rocket streaked out at it, detonating against its front armour in a blast that rang in everyone’s ears. The turrets on either side of the helicopter’s fuselage were also firing, raining explosive death down upon the Duskmarcher forces as they tried to flank and surround the embassy and the convoy. When the last of the Natufians had been loaded aboard, the representative held out her wrapped hand to the ambassador, offering to help her up into the back of the rearmost armoured personnel carrier.




The Pontifex of Esotericism lifted up her tablet in the gloomy, chilled interior of the command plane, “We have confirmation from the ‘Head’ office of international affairs that an Aurumite VTOL has just been dispatched with orders to retrieve their ambassador.”

“That is of no concern, it’ll take too long to get here and even when it does arrive,” the Pontifex of Carnage stroked the internal hull of the aircraft, “it’ll be removed from our airspace with prejudice.”. A rumble of parts and an increased thrumming of the engine responded to his words, the lights flickered back up to full and the heaters switched back on.

“In addition,”, she continued as her eyes readjusted to the sudden increase in illumination, “The ‘Medjed’ plan which we were forced to enact with the Roman ambassador has been a complete success. We’ve sent a minder to greet the eternal at the airport and he’ll soon be on his way home.”

Not responding to that but instead focussing on the physical representation of the city rendered in pink gel, he zoomed in on the convoy outside of the Natufian embassy. “That old bitch is causing a problem. We have to either delay phase three and re-route the convoy to take her there or we accept the fact that she’ll miss it and come up with another plan on the fly.”

The Pontifex of Esotericism shrugged, “We could simply kill her and fall back on the ‘Medjed’ contingency again.”

“No. That was always an imperfect backup and it would be admitting defeat, anyway, I have an idea.”. He zoomed out and scrolled over to the state armoury, sending a signal that unlocked the next level of the vault. “It’s ironic really, her desire to stay with her people and protect them is going to get a lot more of them killed… or worse, before the night is over.”.




Lights flashed on inside the vast, underground chamber and the resounding clangs of automated locks opening echoed throughout the facility. Rows of covered machines, dormant vehicles and stored weapons stood motionless apart from one which began to thrum to life at its remote command.

With a roar of grinding gears that sounded like a thousand howling cries, air rushed from a grate on its front, blowing off its tarpaulin and sending it rippling across the floor. The machine, twenty feet tall and twice that in length looked like a cylinder on its side with a grate across its mouth, it was a pale beige in colour and had either been grown from bones or carved from stone. It was lit from within by an orangey-red glow and the glow flickered as if rhythmically obscured by internal moving parts and a steady thudding started to emanate from its mouth like the beating of an enormous drum.

Belching forth in hisses and spurts, clouds of inky black smoke spilled out, rolling across the floor and wriggling as if alive. Upon closer inspection, movement could be seen within the thick, roiling black vapours, small forms the size of mice glimpsed in the corner of the eye or spotted in motionless moments and instantly lost, believed only to be figments of the imagination or tricks of the light. Soft mewling could be heard from the writhing mass of blackness as it turned to glide towards the open vault door, spreading rapidly from the belching machine like water from a burst pipe.

An unfortunate guard at the entrance to that vault level, who knew better than to investigate the noises coming from within, stood still at his post and gulped as the eerie black mass of vapour flooded out. When it enveloped his feet in a keen, ravenous rush, the mewling increased in volume as he screamed and dropped his weapon, trying to leap free from the cloying grasp. Falling on the floor in front of the cloud, his feet and lower legs were steaming, boots chewed away and flesh abraded down to the gristle and the white of clean bone. He whimpered and begged for divine assistance as he frantically crawled for his life but the smoky blackness accelerated after him, swallowing more of his body inch by inch in its featherlike embrace until he was unable to scream anymore and it rolled entirely over him. In his final anguished moments of terror, he saw shadowy legs and shapes that wavered between forms, seemingly flickering in and out of existence.

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Asgareth
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Founded: Nov 27, 2015
Iron Fist Consumerists

Postby Asgareth » Wed Aug 07, 2019 8:56 am

Agent Romanli maintained eye contact with the woman as she spoke. His pistol had remained pointed at the woman as she continued to talk. He’d found himself rather put-off when she suggested he would be blamed for shooting her on Asgarthian land. As far as he was concerned, this robed lady knew more than she let on, and he intended to find out everything. He’d listened carefully as the old man spoke, but before he could even begin his line of questioning, he found himself being dragged away by guards. He attempted to fight back against his perceived captors – so much so that they had had to sedate him until they could get him in the car. He awoke just as the convoy moved away.

As he stirred, the intel he had just learnt came flooding back to him, but his attention was momentarily distracted when the tank at the front opened fire. Romanli watched in awe as the tank destroyed the building around the corner. Within seconds, only a pile of broken bricks remained, where once a large multi-storied building had stood. As the convoy drove away, Romanli considered everything he had just heard. Romanli found the entire situation rather peculiar. Asgarthian Intelligence Service reports suggested Sascho rarely left the embassy, and had never been outside Dakhla. There was something else going on and Romanli intended to find out what.

He cautiously watched the robed lady. He didn’t bother asking her how the citizen knew what Sascho looked like, so far from Dakhla. He didn’t even bother mentioning that Sascho was a complete teetotal (a rather rare medical condition in Asgareth), and would have little business in or outside of a bar.

Instead, he chose a different line of inquiry.
“I must say, it is rather peculiar that the police force in Edfu searched the entire town before looking in the bar, when Sascho was last reported outside of it. Would you know of any reason why your men wouldn’t look there to begin with?”
He reached into his pocket and withdrew a hipflask. He took a large gulp of the substance before continuing.
And as for this anonymous tip… why wasn’t it mentioned in the evidence folder? He was a churchgoer, your man said? Yet there appears to be no mention of visiting the church to find out more.

Without even waiting for an answer, he shook his head, before taking another gulp from his flask. He looked at the purple robed lady for a moment. “Don’t bother with the safe house. I need to go to Edfu.”



Ambassador Denzyl Pera, meanwhile, had found the helicopter ride most uncomfortable. The lack of whiskey was bad enough, but he had also found Lieutenant Zosar to be quite unbearable with his patronising attitude. He had been forced to hand his phone over to the Lieutenant resulting in him becoming rather bored. He’d contemplated jumping out the helicopter, like he did back in his paratrooper days. In a desperate attempt to stop Zosar from talking, Denzyl had begun to talk about his days in the army. He had been in the cooks brigade and had once managed to stop a mutiny with his world famous pork stew. He offered to make Zosar some, if he could find enough beetles.

He was somewhat relieved, therefore, when the helicopter landed. As it did, he saw another arrive from the east. He stepped out and watched as an entourage left the other helicopter. At the head, stood Agatha, the Aurum ambassador.

He reached out a hand, for the goblin to shake and began to speak. “Oh! I haven’t seen one of your kind since… well, since the videos from Prokopios. Nasty business there, am I right, but you got us back at Regini!” The ambassador nudged the goblin in the side cheekily as the pair continued to walk. Unlike almost every other Asgarthian, Denzyl didn’t particularly mind goblins. They did have a foul stench, and he certainly wouldn’t invite one round to meet his mother, but all in all they were just trying to make their way in the world the same as anyone else.

The robed person motioned for the Denzyl and the goblin to step onto the buggy, which Denzyl did without question. Where they were going, Denzyl did not know. All he knew was that he really regretted handing over his phone.
Member of the newly revamped The Fourth Sovereign Charter. Member of the original Sovereign Charter 17.12.2015-10.03.2019
Drekhi: Asgareth is not a place, it is a vintage

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The Natufian Nation
Bureaucrat
 
Posts: 42
Founded: Jul 09, 2017
Benevolent Dictatorship

Postby The Natufian Nation » Wed Aug 07, 2019 1:41 pm

PART III B – Edfu, Lost Spiral

Turgol bin-Zaman was feeling revived. The drive out of Dakhla and up to Edfu restored his acuity and focus of drive. The clear weather and fresh, dry air, free of the dirty, particulate smog of the city was refreshing. Standing on the edge of town with some elevation under him, he looked down across the plain towards Dakhla, taking in its enormity in the pre-dawn light. How odd that the storm seemed to be stationed directly over the city and nowhere else. And what did Hager say about explosions and military activity on the far side to the East? What was going on? Who would possibly want to attack Lost Spiral? Well, any of the Rusinan nations would attack another country over spilt beer, but still. Rome? Seems beneath even them. Maybe there was a coup underway? But he never heard of competing factions within Lost Spiral. Turgol couldn’t deny a sense of foreboding but it was overpowered by his sense of excitement. The geology of the mountains was particularly interesting. Surveying the surrounding area with his field binoculars, he spotted some odd rock formations and there seemed to be a mineral ore he couldn’t recognize. He walked out to a rocky outcropping about 120 meters from where Hager let him off and studied a small deposit of the strange mineral. It was almost like a quartz but had dark grey veins of something running through its interior. He managed to strike off a small fingernail sized piece with the hilt of his survival knife. Maybe the mining camp up the road had exposed more of it and maybe there was someone there that could tell him what it was.

With that in mind, Turgol put the bike back in Hager’s truck and set out on the road to the mining camp, the low, half-full moon and light of impending dawn illuminating the way. The cool pre-morning mountain air invigorated him and he sipped a little water from his canteen. The road, which was less of a road and more like a wide trail, wound around various bends and gorges in the mountain, gaining altitude then descending back again. After nearly 40 minutes, he came across a wider bend with a smallish clearing off the road that offered a view down on the camp, which still lay some distance away across a deep valley. Turgol briefly took in the view and turned back towards the road and was startled to see six figures standing completely still in various directions and distances from him, all looking silently and directly at him. They all wore grey-brown half-cloaks over earth-toned garments and boots. Contrasting their simple dress, he saw they were carrying extremely sophisticated looking scoped rifles and other armaments. He did not recognize the designs at all or even what kind of ammunition they used but they appeared extremely powerful for their sleek design and used some sort of energy source. Two of the figures were also adorned with high-powered head gear that included some sort of distance rendering goggles. They were not threatening and had their weapons lowered but seemed to take a position of caution. The closest one stepped forward with face hidden beneath the hood of the cloak. He then heard a woman´s voice ask almost accusingly and with a strong hint of a threat “Why are you on the road to the earth diggers place?”

Turgol stammered a bit, looking from figure to figure before settling on the one addressing him. “I..I’m just, you know, checking it out. I …I have…I have this stone thing I want to ask about.” He feebly dug the small mineral sample out of his pocket to show her.

On the sound of his voice, the figure seemed to be taken slightly aback as she listened. “You are not of the Spiral, are you? You are…foreign born?” and her voice was much softer now.

“Y..yeah, that’s right” Turgol answered, a little confused at the question. “I’m from the Natufian Nation.”

The figure turned its head back to another in the back that simply gave a slight nod. She turned back to Turgol and said, “Foreign born, you should know your people’s house in the city has been attacked. You are not safe here, not at this time.”

“What are you talking about?” Turgol retorted. “Did you do something? What’s going on?”

The figure pulled down her hood to reveal the head of a quite beautiful young woman, no older than Turgol himself with sandy blond hair. What startled him was the fact her face was covered in tattoos of geometric shapes. All of them polygons, many interlocking, except for a large circular tattoo on her forehead with a strange symbol he did not recognize inside it. He was also shocked to see she was wearing an amulet made of the same material as his mystery stone. After she pulled down her hood, the others followed and lowered theirs to reveal they all had the same strange face markings. The pattern of polygons was different between them but they all had the same circle and symbol on their foreheads. The woman motioned to two of her companions. “Stay and watch the earth diggers. We need to know what they are building”. She then turned to Turgol and said “Foreign born, you must come with us now. Wear this, it will prevent the Seers from discovering you.” And she handed him a similar amulet from a pouch at her waist.

Turgol didn’t see he had much of a choice and besides, the strange people showed no malice or ill-intent. In fact, they seemed…not quite indifferent to him, but…serene. “What does the amulet do? Is it supposed to be some sort of magic?” he asked, suspicious of anyone who would believe in such things.

“No, it is not sorcery, it is physics. The mineral amplifies the dampening field we generate from our camps so we are invisible to the Seers.”

Turgol was too dumbfounded to respond and allowed himself to be led away by the woman and the three other strangers that didn’t stay behind. They led him through a crevice in the mountain face that ended in the opening to a cave system. His guide made a cryptic sign in the air with her hand, probably for the benefit of watchful eyes in the shadows that he could not see. The cave corridor was large enough to pass through relatively easily and motion sensors turned on small lights drilled into the rock wall that provided a faint illumination as they passed. At one point, instead of continuing to the next light as it came on, his guide directed him into a small passage impossible to see in the darkness unless you knew it was there. At the end, he heard one his guides give a patterned knock on a metallic surface. Suddenly, a door was opened and he was ushered into a large, lit chamber where we saw at least thirty or so more robed figures, all with tattooed faces, working at makeshift benches on the same kinds of weapons his guides wielded, monitoring electronic equipment, engaged in hushed conversations or reading from arcane looking books. Nothing looked like it was permanently placed and everything looked ready to be rapidly packed and carried away. The woman who had spoken to him motioned him again into a small alcove provided with some dusty cushions and rugs. Turgol sat crossed legged on one of the cushions and his companion sat across from him, looking at him with sky blue eyes that gave him the sense of incredible wisdom and knowledge looking back at him.

“Foreign born, you must stay with us now while events unfold.” She stated as if it were just a given conclusion.

“I don’t understand. Why was my embassy attacked? Who are you? I don’t even know your name!” Turgol exclaimed.

“You may call me, Sh’azi” she replied and her name had an ancient ring to it. “My people are called the Hofar people. Your people’s house was attacked by creatures of the Spiral followers making.”

“What do you mean by “creatures”? And why?” Turgol was now feeling quite alarmed

“Tell me, foreign born, what do your people believe about the living world?” she quietly inquired

“Well, we feel very connected to it. Historically, we have been farmers and ranchers. We appreciate the cycle of life and death. Is that what you mean?” Turgol asked in a puzzled way.

Sh’azi slightly smiled and replied “Yes, this is good. And what shape best symbolizes the natural cycle?”

She seemed to be instructing him or leading him towards something! But what? “Well, I suppose most commonly, a cycle is usually symbolized by a cir……cle” Turgol’s reply trailed off at the end as he simultaneous cast his attention to the tattoo on Sh’azi’s forehead.

“Yes” she calmly replied. Then she held out her hand, palm up , in front of him. “Observe, foreign born, the plane of my hand is balance. There is as much above it as below it, which is nothing. All is in balance. I trace a circle on my hand. This is the great cycle, yes?” she looked up at Turgol from her hand.

“Yeah, ok, that makes sense, I guess” he replied, unsure where this was going.

“Now, imagine I break the circle and pull one end up off the plane of my hand. What shape would it make?”

“Well, if it kept its curve, I suppose it would make a spi….ral.” Turgol looked back at her, wide-eyed in astonishment. Sh’azi only smiled compassionately at him again.

“The spiral is the perversion of the circle. If it extends on this side of the plane, the other side is unequal and the whole is not balanced. The Spiral followers of the city seek to pervert the cycle of life and death and unbalance nature. They are moving against your people and the other foreign borns. We know not why but much is in motion and we are watching for our opportunity.”

Turgol’s head was reeling trying to come to terms with all he was told. His brain finally caught up and he asked, “Opportunity for what?”

Sh’azi sat up straight to exclaim “The Spiral must be collapsed back to the Circle!”

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Meanwhile, back on the rise, the two remaining Hofarians lay quietly and well concealed in the dry shrubbery at the edge of the overlook, peering down through high-powered binoculars equipped with thermal sensors at the busy mining camp, looking for hints of just such an opportunity.

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Auruum
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Founded: Aug 28, 2017
Compulsory Consumerist State

Postby Auruum » Sun Aug 11, 2019 9:20 am

Agatha stood always near Koios and her two Orc Security, though she was not hiding behind them, standing tall and proud with her head held high and a confident smile masking her growing paranoia and worry, Her PA was much less convincing, the human standing close by Agatha and behind her, as if hiding behind her. The Two Orcs looked like it was just another Tuesday.

As a brand new Representative, Identical to the one left behind at the Embassy, Welcomed them, Agatha crosses her arms. “I’m sorry, but I’m not going anywhere without my entourage.” She had just finished when the Asgarethian Ambassador made a beeline for her, His our stretched hand being firmly grasped by a large green hand. Agatha fixed him with a stare. “Unlike your kind and Prokopios, We had nothing to do with Regini. And it would do you a world of good to not speak to me. At all.” She said sternly as the Orc released his arm with a shove, and grunted curse in Orcish.

The Goblin woman would then return her attention to the representative and the buggy. “I must insist that my companions go with me, If that is an issue I will gladly wait for transport out of the country.” The Trade-Duchess said with a polite smile. The Representative would turn it’s pink lenses towards her for a moment before speaking. “I can assure you it is quite safe, Trade-Duchess, The Pontifex of Diplomacy-“
Agatha cut in “Can say whatever they want to say to both me and my companions.” She smiles sweetly.
The Robed figure was silent for a moment again. “We can allow you to take a member of your Security with you inside.”
“Armed.” Agatha added.
The Pink lenses contracted and turned a darker shade of purple. “Armed.” It repeated.
“And my PA doesn’t leave my side.”
“Your PA?”
“Yes, I need him to help remember this undoubtedly important information we will be briefed on.”
One could almost feel the frustration emulating from the robes. “Your Assistant And One of your Security Officers, Armed. This is...Acceptable?”
Agatha looked to her two Orcs before turning back to the Representative. “Acceptable.”
The Lenses expanded back to normal and bright pink, a sign of relief perhaps, before once again gesturing towards the buggy.

Agatha’s sweet and polite smile did not waiver as she nodded to Agent Coslav, hopping into the Buggy after the other Orc pushed Denzyl aside to make room for Agatha, Koios and himself.

Agent Coslav would reach a hand up to adjust his glasses, activating the heads-up-display. Immediately all who were present were identified and tagged. Agatha, Koios, and the other agent tagged as friendly, while everyone else was tagged otherwise, a simple red marker highlighting their silhouettes. If this wasn’t some sort of trap or clever trick, Then atleast he would know where they were in his field of vision. He just hoped that Agatha would be safe and sound in this supposed meeting...

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The Natufian Nation
Bureaucrat
 
Posts: 42
Founded: Jul 09, 2017
Benevolent Dictatorship

Postby The Natufian Nation » Sun Aug 11, 2019 3:39 pm

Part IV – Natufian Embassy, Dakhla, Lost Spiral

There was a palpable tension in the air after Hamsa Kirysi confronted the Representative and began the task of gathering her Natufians into the convoy. For a moment, the Representative did nothing but after a short pause, it seemed the purple robed official decided to acquiesce and assist with the wounded, much to Hamsa’s surprise. There was hurried commotion getting the Natufians to the convoy amid rain and approaching gunfire and explosions in the pre-dawn darkness. Easy to get turned around and difficult to make out who was where.

Hamsa’s reservations about the Spiralians’ intent continued to worry her as she instructed some soldiers to load the bodies of their dead into the back of a transport truck. The Spiralian soldiers seemed callous and almost resentful as she passed among them. They seemed to sneer at her and her soldiers without betraying outright contempt. At one point, she witnessed from a distance a Spiralian soldier assisting a half-conscious wounded Natufian Guardsman into a jeep then deliberately jab him in his injured leg, causing a low, guttural moan of pain. After the Spiralian abuser walked away, Hamsa approached the Natufian, head bandaged with a bloody patch over an eye and leg tightly bound in dirty bandages. The barely legible nametag on his blood-soaked uniform read Dohasan. Wordlessly, she laid a caring hand on his shoulder then caught sight of the Spiralian unit commander out of the corner of her eye approaching the Representative near the back of one of the Armored Personnel Carriers.

Using the eavesdropping skills she learned in the Natufian militia, Hamsa quietly approached along the side of the massive vehicle, out of sight, until she was within earshot. A barrage of explosions, now ever closer, and the whooshing of the helicopter passing above her position provided excellent cover.

“Your grace,” she heard the Spiralian commander begin as he addressed the Representative, “The Duskmarchers have attacked ahead of schedule and my men are beginning to ask questions among themselves. Give the word and we can seize the old hag right now, kill the rest of the foreigners and get out of here.”

The Representative simply lifted a hand to command silence, stood for a moment in a trance, then turned back to the commander. “No, commander, the Pontifex has other plans. Continue as ordered and speak no more about this.”

“You command and I obey”, the commander replied sullenly and walked away.

Hamsa was shocked and petrified for a moment before gathering her composure and slipping away back along the large truck. She emerged on the other side near the front of the truck just as the tank at the front of the line was hit by a large caliber shell and several mortar rounds impacted around the convoy, kicking up wet mud and debris. Up the line she saw Lt. Parnek step down from the APC positioned in the middle of the convoy to shout to her. “Ma’am, another wave is upon us, we have to leave, NOW!”

Hamsa looked down to the opposite end of the line where the Representative was waiting by the open door to the rearmost APC, hand extended to assist her up. Hamsa glowered at the foul specter and without a word, ran to Lt. Parnek, who helped her into the APC. As soon as they entered, Parnek closed the door and spun the interior lock. With a grinding of gears, the vehicle lurched forward as the convoy got under way. Regaining her balance long enough to seat herself across from Lt. Parnek, Hamsa took a look around the interior of the truck. It was a 16-seat vehicle with the cab separated from the passenger section by a windowless steel frame; a small, closed hatch providing the only access between compartments. Besides herself and Parnek, Hamsa identified 3 healthy Guardsmen, 2 lightly injured, four of the six Natufian civilians, her communications chief who was mumbling incoherently about zombie apocalypse and damned Asgarthians, and 2 Spiralian soldiers accompanying them, one seated next to Lt. Parnek and the other directly across from the first, next to her. Steel shuttered windows and gun ports ran along the sides of the vehicle, tightly shut.

Once they were moving, Hamsa looked across at Lt. Parnek. “Lieutenant, can you show me how your sidearm works, please, in case those dusk things stop us?”

Parnek was a bit confused as he knew Hamsa would very well know how to use a standard issue Natufian pistol. But he upholstered his sidearm and handed it over to her, then got a good grip on his rifle. The ambassador took the pistol by the handle and looked at it with feigned ignorance.

“So, I suppose this catch here is the safety?” and she clicked it off. “And so this part…” And midsentence she deftly swung her arm up and pointed the barrel directly in front of a Spiralian soldier’s forehead, pulled the trigger and splattered his brains and blood on the truck wall behind him, splashing Parnek with soft pieces of brain. Immediately, Parnek raised his rifle and before the Spiralian next to Hamsa could react, put a solid round into his chest. The rest of the Natufian soldiers were instantly alert.

“Do you think they heard that?” Hamsa asked the Lieutenant.

“With everything happening outside? Not a chance. What the hell is going on?” Parnek asked in alarm.

“The Spiralians have turned on us, Parnek.” She replied gravely. “I don’t know why or what they want but we are in terrible danger. Do you have the satellite phone with you?” she asked hopefully and to her relief Parnek pulled up an aluminum alloy case, entered a combination on the lock and opened it on his lap to reveal the console and headset. He worked at the controls for a moment and help the headset up to his ear.

“Sorry ma’am, I can’t get a line open through the storm. I’m switching to a stronger tight beam and sending a coded message. It’s a one-way channel so we won’t know if the satellite picks it up for relay unless command can get a message back to us. It’s the best I can do, I’m afraid.” After setting and sending his message but before closing the case, Parnek also pressed a combination of keys on the console that activated the tracker hidden on Hamsa. He wasn’t sure if she was aware she had it on her and he refrained from telling her, giving her plausible deniability if needed.

After closing up the case, Parnek looked at his remaining soldiers, the civilians in their care, and then back across at Hamsa. “So what do we do now, madam Ambassador?”, he asked, rather calmly, he thought.

“I’m not sure” she responded solemnly. “But we have until this convoy gets to wherever it’s going to come up with a plan.”

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Inside the concrete eyesore that was the Natufian strategic command building back in New Jericho, a young Guardswoman sat patiently by her communications station along the long row of similar stations in the open-air comms room. It was a slow afternoon and she was oblivious of the events going on multiple time zones away when an indicator light began flashing and preparatory readouts began appearing on her screen. Transmission from one of the satellites needed class 1 decoding? This was not usual at all. She entered her challenge codes and ran the transmission through the decoder. As she peered at her screen, her eyes began to widen and she pushed a button to start a printout. While the printer generated a hardcopy of the message, she stood up and called the floor chief over to her station.

“Sir, we just received this from our people in Lost Spiral. And sir, it is embedded with codeword mantis.”

“What the hell is going on over there?” the chief muttered to no one in particular as he crouched to see her screen. He stood upright with a bolt and in a more urgent tone said, “Get this over to the Councilor for Foreign Affairs immediately. And get on the horn to air command. Tell them to scramble an S-81 transport.” He thought for a moment longer and added, “And tell them to also scramble a couple of N-21 Longbow fighters as escort. Full complement. Further instructions when airborne.”

With the mantis protocol in effect, the floor chief could only assume diplomatic options were no longer viable.

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Romae in Perpetuum
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Founded: Mar 14, 2016
Iron Fist Consumerists

Postby Romae in Perpetuum » Sun Aug 11, 2019 7:53 pm

The Cambrian Countess

Telyn ferch Caradog dismounted from the helicopter, assisted of course by one of her armed escorts, brushed down her dress and surveyed her diplomatic colleagues, who had also been dragged to this Awst-forsaken hell hole. She’d managed to berate the emissary and the pilot into letting her bring four soldiers for her protection, as well as her favourite aide Rhiain, and noted with approval that one of them seemed to have grabbed a grenade launcher on the way out. She’d wanted to bring some of her more valuable slaves as well and had been so scathing about it her pilot was all but reduced to tears but had been forced to concede that flying in an overweight chopper in a potential warzone was a poor idea.

Her Spiralian escort was bumbling about this being a safe place from…whatever had attacked the diplomatic quarter. She had heard explosions and even gunfire from just a mile or two down the road, but nothing had come near the Cambrian embassy. The purple…thing, whom the countess refused to refer to as an envoy mostly because she wasn’t exactly sure it was human, had mentioned something about ‘duskmarchers’ going AWOL and attacking people.
That was bad enough, but when she’d tried to raise her Roman counterparts (who’s embassy was significantly closer to the disturbance), she’d found them in total disarray with no idea where a good chunk of their staff was; including the ambassador! She’d assumed he would turn up with the rest, but she couldn’t see him from a cursory glance. Besides there was no chance he wouldn’t have taken the opportunity to proposition her in some way, not that that was a compliment; at the last reception at the Roman embassy she’d caught him trying to chat up a portrait.

The Countess, however, did notice two other parties gathered around yet another one of those pen pidyn purple representatives. She was always perturbed by how perfectly those things spoke Cambrian, even in the dialect of her native Dehuebarth! Most foreigners simply assumed they all spoke Latin and left it there, Telyn’s Latin was, of course, perfect but that didn’t mean she had to like it…
Her line of thinking was interrupted, however, by a cry from a man whose arm had just been grappled by…something large and ugly who was being rebuked, rather harshly, by a little green thing in jewellery. Which would have been hilarious, had she not vaguely recognised the man as the Asgarthian ambassador (Daniel something or other) who seemed to be without any escort of his own.
With a click of her fingers, the Cambrian soldiers raised their rifles (and grenade launcher) at the two orcs ready to put them down should they do further harm to the ambassador. Luckily for them, however, the Asgarthian was released and was shown to some sort of buggy for a meeting with the Pontifex of Diplomacy.
Diplomacy himself! That was a surprise, she’d been trying to fix a meeting with him for a bloody year! Privately she’d started to believe none of this council actually existed, and this whole thing was an elaborate wind-up…

As the Asgarthian and…green woman got into the buggy she approached the purple robed representative which bowed its head to her.

“Countess Telyn ferch Caradog.” It purred in its unnervingly good Cambrian. “A delight to see you as always.”
“If you say so.” Telyn said irritably, understandable since she’d been dragged out of bed and halfway across this desolate wasteland. “I can’t tell you pric pwdin robed things apart anyway.” She knew this was undiplomatic, and beneath her at that, but the countess was too tired to care and wanted to let off some steam.
“What has happened to the rest of my staff? I had some incredibly valuable slaves whisked away by your pathetic excuse for a soldiery, my wine-slave’s grandfather poured for Claudius Caesar you know!” Untrue, she’d bought him at one of Crazy Maximus’ 8 for the price of 7 auctions. “And where is the noble.” Telyn managed not to choke on that word, somehow. “Legatus Caius Caninius Galerus!”

“As was likely explained at your embassy, you’ll be reunited with your staff and…possessions when the current crisis has passed, my lady.” The representative replied, impassively. “His Excellency Caninius Galerus has unfortunately been routed to an alternate safe zone due to complications involving his location at the time of the incident.”
“He was in a whorehouse, got it.” The countess snorted derisively. “I will inform her royal highness as soon as possible, her brother the Lord Protector Octavius Trajan will be interested as well, I’m sure. When will I be able to contact the Queen Regent?”
“Radio silence must be maintained for the purposes of safety; however, communications can be arranged when you speak to the Pontifex.” It responded; voice still maddeningly calm. “I’m afraid I must insist you mount the buggy, my lady. The others are waiting, I’m afraid you will only be able to take one guard and your aide. We have limited room.”

Telyn looked over its shoulder, it was true. Though she thought the small green thing could sit on the bigger ones lap quite comfortably, it must be it’s child...ha the Asgarthian ambassador chided by a green thing’s…daughter? Maybe? Still the thought cheered her slightly.
“You’re a ffycin contiau¸did you know that?” she replied haughtily before gesturing to a guard and Rhiain and mounting the buggy.
She idly wondered if the spiralian’s Cambrian dictionary had that choice name in it as the cart started up. Judging by how dark and narrow its…probably eyes got, the odds were good.
Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum videtur.

User avatar
The Lost Spiral
Lobbyist
 
Posts: 19
Founded: Feb 01, 2019
Father Knows Best State

Postby The Lost Spiral » Sun Aug 11, 2019 9:39 pm


Heart beats truth and ire,
Labyrinthine halls echo,
Ephialtes comes.



The lenses rotated and contracted to piercing points of electric purple as they gazed upon Agent Romanli, the voice spoke softly in the gloomy interior of the armoured car, filtered tones slightly broken and off-pitch, “If you need to go to Edfu, then you shall go to Edfu.” Without any visible command or signal, the driver turned the wheel and the car separated from the convoy and accelerated away towards the west, following the railway line that bored through the city centre. The streets and buildings passed by in the rain and dark, barely perceptible and quickly forgotten as if they’d never even been there in the first place. Wind whistled outside as rivulets of water rushed sideways across his window and a draught circulated around his feet. “Den.” The representative said as it gently laid its delicate hand on top of Romanli’s, the leather of the straps worn smooth and slightly frayed, yielding slightly at the pressure of the touch and transmitting faint vibrations into his fingers, its lenses were now a warm coral pink and wide open, bathing his face in a soft glow that didn’t blind him or hurt his eyes, “You may not like what you find.”. With its other hand, it made a swirling motion in the air before that hand withdrew into the heavy purple folds of its robes.

The heavy vehicle raced through the empty streets and out into the clearer night sky beyond the city limits. It was almost felt as if a weight had been lifted from his shoulders, the situation didn’t seem as terrible as it had minutes before and his pulse was settling to a lower resting rate. Looking back through the rear window, the storm sat like a jellyfish over the city behind them, draping its long drifting tentacles across towers and roads and wrapping them all in its venomous embrace. “Ambassador Denzyl has arrived at the safe zone without harm. You need not concern yourself with his safety any longer.” The powerful engine revved higher, maintaining its speed as the road turned uphill, churning up gravel and muck behind its large and thick wheels as it rushed up the dirt track.

Turning towards the last stretch up to Edfu, which was another couple hundred metres up the hillside, a dozen shots crashed into the passenger side door and window, resounding within the cabin as dull thuds and cracks, armoured plating taking it easily and reinforced windows holding the deformed bullets locked in between layers like fish frozen in ice. The driver swerved off the track to the right side, bouncing off road before he flicked a switch on his dashboard, activating the wail of a deep melodic siren and carnation and phlox, pink and purple strobing lights that beamed out from the front radiator grill and under the chassis. Drawing his sidearm and swinging the wheel around, he started to turn the heavy vehicle back on to the road but before he could accelerate towards the source of the gunfire, the representative had already opened the door with a thump and casually stepped out, letting the weight of the door carry it shut.

The blaze from the representative’s lenses were purple high beams, blinding cones of light that cut through the night’s darkness and scoured the rocky mountainside. In seconds, two individuals in semi-crouches were located and floodlit, shielding their eyes from the glare and frozen like deer in headlights. One held an ancient looking assault rifle, a weapon way too large for his small frame which he dropped before raising his hands. The other bolted, leaving his buddy in the circle of purple light, sprinting uphill and using rocks and boulders for cover. At that, the driver put his foot down and the vehicle surged forward, bouncing up the hill and rapidly outpacing the attacker fleeing on foot. When it became obvious that he couldn’t escape, he surrendered, stopping and raising his arms as his chest heaved from the effort of his flight.

In less than three minutes, both were tied by the driver and propped up against the side of the car, heads just below the bullet holes in the armour they’d caused. They were young, both boys around the age of twelve or thirteen, scared silent and still, they watched up with wide eyes as the representative stepped forwards and stared down at them, lenses now emitting a dark purple glow that barely provided luminance.

The representative lifted up its left hand and started to unwrap the leather bindings, its voice a deeper monotone that scratched painfully in the ears, “You have damaged state property.”.

“Oh shit,” the kid who’d had the gun started to wriggle in his bindings, raising his tied hands in front of him as he spoke in a rush, “we didn’t know who you were, look, I’m sorry, oh eternals please, we were just having some fun! We didn’t mean anything by it! We won’t do it again, I promise, take the gun, I haven’t got much but I can pay for the damage, if that’s not enough I can work, I’ll do whatever it takes. Look, I’m sorry. Tell me what you want and I’ll do it!”

“You have attacked a state representative.”. The first layer had been unwound, drooping down almost to the floor and swinging slightly in the breeze as the representative began unwinding the next layer. The other kid simply trembled, holding his eyes clenched shut as his friend kept blabbering and begging. The representative ignored the crying boy’s chatter and continued, volume increasing and voice sharpening, “You have attacked a state guest.”. The second strip now hung loose at the elbow, revealing the last layer which was comprised of a thin white cord that had been spun around the limb at least a hundred times. “The consequence for any one of these three actions is death.”.




Guards wearing heavy combat gear patrolled the perimeter of the newly excavated quarry above the town of Edfu, their boots already creating dirt paths visible in the gravel and through the shrubs that dotted the landscape. Their movement was slow, almost too slow, trudging heavily as if exhausted to the edge of collapse. They didn’t even look out at the countryside, their heads bowed down watching their feet and following the track of their path. Occasionally one would jerk to alertness and bring his weapon up, scanning the surroundings before subsiding back into his predictable routine.

Beyond them, deeper in the mining camp, small domed buildings constructed from and supported by inflated cells were visible and connected by cylindrical corridors. A large, eight wheeled all-terrain vehicle occupied the open ground at the centre, its black sides shining in the light of halogen spotlights that had been set up around the base. Individuals garbed in black uniforms with gold trims roamed the area seemingly at random, some seemed industrious, focussed on their projects to the exclusion of all else whilst others stumbled around the temporary edifices and called out incoherently to one another in latin or rusinan standard. Neither black nor gold were used as colours for any Spiralian department or government organisation and the style wasn’t common to the region either, mid-length jackets with belts fastened on top of them at the waist and small golden pins worn at the collar, some depicting eagles, other griffins.

The longer an observer watched, the more out of place and horrific everything in the site became. What could have been mistaken for a campfire being tended to by a man with a jerry can was in fact a pyre charring bodies entwined with melted cable. Large and thick, plastic refuse bags being thrown into the muddy waters of a black lake at the deepest part of the quarry, writhed and wriggled as they slipped under the surface. An agent of the Council was present and bearing witness to the events that were unfolding. Entirely naked and bald apart from layered pink tattoos that covered every inch of her skin, she moved through the camp unseen to all but the Hofarian observers watching from the overlook above. Her feet and toes dexterously probed the ground with each step before she transferred her weight, languidly sidestepping those who would have walked into her and calmly passing by unhinged guards and raving lunatics to investigate each building and its contents.

“What was that?”, Dr. Cicero Crispus asked out loud in a wavering voice, he was an older fellow and stooped over, kneeling on the aluminium floor panels and wearing white, blood-stained surgical gear on top of his uniform. He turned to stare into the empty corner of his lab and listened intently to the whirring of the fan that ventilated the room, “Left is relative. Give me a precise direction and an exact distance to move the organ.”. Nodding sagaciously, he turned back to his work, gently picking up the exsanguinated human heart with tongs and translating it two inches directly to his left. Arrayed out on the floor in front of him was a hexadecagram with lines made from bones bleached of flesh and engraved with incomprehensible runic scripts and multiple internal organs in various states of decomposition were arranged in imitations of symbols at each point, all of which had been harvested from unwilling volunteers snatched in the nearby town. The limp and torn skins were laid along the bottom of the walls and doors, forming an unbroken circular barrier of tortured dermis that enclosed Cicero’s project. The deconstructed carcasses had been thrown out the open door and over a dozen of which were piling up outside his dome.

The spiralian witness came up behind the doctor, each step carefully chosen as she paced the perimeter of his work, careful not to cross a line as her eyes crawled over everything, soaking it all in. She approached a long footlocker and crouched down, lifting the lid in complete silence. Empty straps, flaky blood and the stench of fear and voided bowels coated the enclosed space, multiple surgical tools crusty with dried bodily fluids were piled in the centre and two empty adrenaline syringes sat at the top end.

This section included an organisation from two other Nations - Asgareth and Rome. For those who wish to read a bit more: https://www.nationstates.net/page=dispatch/id=1175772





The vial containing Agatha’s black blood was taken to a laboratory in the side of the vast tunnel complex and delivered directly to two waiting scientists who took it and sealed the door without thanking the aircraft mechanic. Dividing the blood up into 1 millilitre samples, each sample was inserted into various machines and devices and subjected to a battery of tests designed to determine the nature of Agatha’s dampening aura upon divine technology.

The cause was discovered quite quickly but because it was relatively simple and totally unexpected for the spiralian scientists, they reran their tests to confirm the results, “That goblin carries silver in her blood. We’ll have to send this to our main lab to see if it's a random genetic anomaly or the result of specific gene-editing.”

The other pulled the printed readout and quickly crunched some numbers, “Considering her mass, she’ll contain approximately three grams of pure silver. We haven’t seen this with goblins before but if it is gene-editing, it’s clever, the body’s own circulatory system ensures that the protection is concentrated within organs and other vital areas yet the shielding effect is distributed and omnipresent.”.

“That quantity shouldn’t have much of an effect on phase three, the Cambrian countess is wearing more in jewelry, but it may influence her survival chances,”, he stared up at the ceiling, playing out a scenario in his mind, “though I’m not sure if it’d be a beneficial influence.”.

“No but this data has wider implications for the Lost Spiral’s interactions with Aurum. It doesn’t make evolutionary sense for an organism to have silver in the blood. I’m willing to bet this is artificial.” He picked up a receiver on the wall and pressed a button opening a line to the headquarters of the department of Esotericism, “I’ll have to bump this up the chain.”.




The helicopter lifted off from the mess that had once been the Slavacian embassy with its precious payload as mummified soldiers clung to the skids and clambered up, its autocannon barrels were glowing red hot and smoking from the constant firing. The right turret was blown apart as two high explosive grenades detonated against the starboard side, sending debris and the twisted form of its gun barrel spiralling to the ground with the dried and burning pieces of one of the duskmarchers unfortunate enough to be caught in the blast radius. A wave of small internal explosions followed and the turret on the port side launched outwards in a jet of fire from the extreme pressure.

Despite the catastrophic damage, the chopper struggled up into the sky, fighting both the extreme wind and rain and the juddering in its control systems as its unwelcome and shrivelled guests held on and tried to force entry, prying at the doors with combat blades and firing small arms into locks and windows. One inserted the barrel of its assault rifle into a circular window port and depressed the trigger until its weapon went dry, emptying a stream of heavy bullets into the main cabin.

As it banked away from the embassy below and behind it, the streak of a man portable surface-to-air missile curled up, drawn towards the heat generated by the main engine and triggering an automatic defensive response, cascading a curtain of flares that lit up the night and the fuselage of the helicopter itself. The missile exploded, away from the hull but close enough for shrapnel to slice into the tail and rear cabin with screeching thuds. The chopper began to spin through the turbulent air as the tail rotor wobbled free and failed to provide the necessary thrust. The landing gear impacted first, smashing through the roof of a nearby residential estate and catching on beams and supports which caused the whole aircraft to roll before the spinning main rotor pulled it down into the ground at speed. With a shattering of blades and the crumpling frame of the cabin and cockpit, the vehicle rolled to a stop, upside down with its engine still whining and bladeless axle churning the muddy ground underneath.

Most of the desiccated soldiers who had been on board were thrown clear or crushed or sliced apart during the crash but fresh troops swiftly vectored to the downed aircraft, forcing hatches open and cutting new entrances to get at any wounded survivors sealed within. Those on the edge of passing were swiftly finished but those who had been lucky enough to receive only light injuries were slowly tortured to death at the enthusiastically playful hands of the duskmarchers.




Even in the crashing noise of the storm and the grumbling of the convoy’s engines, the screams weren’t drowned out. The wails of panicked hundreds if not thousands could be heard, volume growing as people could be seen running in the streets, defying the curfew and all fleeing westwards as the rain soaked them, some wearing pyjamas, others nude or clutching at towels. The convoy slowed, giving the terrified crowds in the street time to clear the way. Of the religious police and their vehicles, none could be seen.

The tank at the head of the column halted abruptly, its twin rotary cannons descended and for one horrific second the people thought it was aiming at them before it opened fire over their heads, the deafening torrent caused some of the nearest to fall over with ears bleeding from the racket as the whirring barrels disgorged one thousand, four hundred 30mm shells in a ten-second-long burst that lightened the tank’s ammunition load by over five hundred kilograms. The target zone was carpeted and the street was churned into rubble underneath an advancing, syrupy, onyx-black cloud. The thundering cacophony of detonations dispersed the inky darkness, pushing back the flow and revealing a sea of tiny beings within. At the point of each detonation, clumps of the miniscule forms subjected to the force of the blast winked out of existence and their attendant wisps dissipated. Whilst the clouds in the street still reeled from the barrage, reforming into a coherent mass, thick black mists surged out of the buildings at the side of the road with a chorus of mewling that could be heard from within the vehicles. With a shift of gears, the tank began backing up with smoke coughing forth from its engine deck, forcing the convoy to do the same. It wasn’t fast enough. The jet-black haze washed into the tracks and lapped up at the sides.

Externally, nothing visibly happened to the armoured vehicle, the tank simply stopped moving. Internally though, was a completely different story. Two tiny punctures appeared in the vehicle’s lower hull, one on either side growing wider as the obscured forms rapidly chewed at the surrounding material until it was large enough to grant their tiny frames access. The mist streamed into the crew compartment and washed up and over obstacles like liquid. The driver died first, entirely engulfed in the cloud which scraped his flesh from bone in seconds as he frantically thrashed in his seat. It was slower for the gunner and loader, losing their feet in the first few seconds, they tried to hold themselves above the smoky mass, clinging desperately to mounts and wall fixtures as the cloud climbed seats and leapt for them, cloying wisps gaining purchase on their bodies and grinding inwards and upwards until the screaming men could no longer hold on and they fell into the voracious black soup which enveloped them. The commander stood on his seat, discharging his sidearm into the cloud to little obvious effect. When the mass surged up against his seat and flowed onto it, he hoisted himself up, unsealing the top hatch and clambering out. He looked back down at the angrily swirling mists that had just claimed his men, swore and shut it with a clang.

Standing atop his tank, an island in a roiling lake of black, he made quite the forlorn figure, sidearm hanging limply in his grip and mottled pink fatigues looking like grey in the headlights of the convoy behind him as the rain plinked down and wind buffeted his hair, cap lost in his mad scramble from the tank.




The barracks building itself was a long, two-story structure outside of the tunnel that led into the mountain complex itself. It was boxy looking thing made from concrete, without windows and with an armoured front door. Machinegun nests could be seen on top of its roof, along with an automated surface-to-air missile launcher and a small, rapidly spinning radar bar. Two spiralian soldiers, wearing kevlar and ceramic body armour painted in a Mountbatten pink pixelated camouflage, stood at the entrance guarding it. Lieutenant Horus started leading the conglomeration of three Cambrian soldiers and the Orc, Coslav, towards it, cheerily talking about games they could play.

On the way over to the barracks from the helipad, Coslav’s heads-up-display highlighted an unknown in his peripheral vision and so he glanced to the side to see the unusual sight of an individual wearing a full set of medieval plate armour. Doing a double take, he refocussed his attention on the individual who was stalking around the perimeter of an adjacent structure and the bright shining metal suit he was wearing. Stalking wasn’t quite the right word for the action though, prowling was better, the individual moved with a loping gait at a speed that belied the weight of the armour and made clear the extreme strength of its legs, the segmented armour flexing with each lunging stride. It was wearing a barbute helmet with a T-shaped opening for the eyes and mouth and a low front-to-back ridge raised from the top of the helmet’s dome. Looking at the face though, the cheek panels had been forcefully bent outwards but that wasn’t the strangest thing, instead of eyes or a nose or any other normal human facial feature, the entire front of the head was a circular mouth with inward curving rows of fangs that rippled and arched with each of its breaths.

Looking at the building it was circling, it was a squat, square edifice without windows and had a large transformer at the rear that connected it to power lines required for an extensive antenna array on top and a bulky satellite dish that took up the remainder of the roof. It was then that Coslav’s display highlighted another one of the steel armoured entities which was spotted slowly moving underneath the antenna mast, it had seemingly melted out of the shadows to creep forwards and peer over the lip of the structure at him. Coslav couldn’t see that one’s face but from the way it had gone stock-still and the hackles rising on his neck and back, he felt it was gazing right at him and eyeing him up like a piece of juicy prey.

Entering the barracks building, they found themselves in a large common area filled with off-duty soldiers drinking and smoking, some using harder substances, a few playing on pool tables, card tables and arcade games. Spirallian rock music blared from a speakers in the heavy atmosphere and almost a dozen men sprawled on beanbags and sagging sofas in front of a floor to ceiling plasma screen that was showing a re-run of the recent championship fight at Saqqara Arena in extreme resolution.




The buggy darted off and raced away deeper into the complex, the chassis under their feet slightly banking out to the left and right as it dodged around giant cement mixer trucks and passed under banks of fluorescent lamps that bathed the area in a white glow. Spiralian soldiers came to attention and saluted as the cart continued on by without slowing, its electric motor whining softly as its small tyres squealed downhill on the smooth concrete floors. The brakes were put on once and a tinny horn beeped a team of workers out of the way, the men dressed in orange construction vests with plastic hard hats waved as they filtered to the side of the tunnel passage and cleared the way for their vehicle.

Eventually the vehicle whined to a halt in front of a set of huge, reinforced blast doors that secured the main entrance to the vault, they started to rumble open with a screech of old gears and the scrape of steel as the two halves separated in the middle and rolled sideways along their tracks into recessed spaces at the tunnel sides. Scaffolding and metal frames had been set up on the outside of the doors, perhaps to assist with maintenance works but the representative paid no attention to them. When the gap was wide enough, the buggy gently slid forwards, slowing to safely bump over two metal tracks, carrying the collection of foreigners into a dimly lit vehicle hangar in which no other vehicles were present. Fluorescent lights began to flicker on at their presence, the electric hum becoming omnipresent throughout the facility.

With soft, salmon pink lenses, the representative pointed them to a plastic bunker map affixed to the nearby wall by four metal bolts, it was slightly faded and yellowing with age but clearly legible. “Speak to the Pontifex of Diplomacy in the command chamber, he will tell you everything you need to know.”. Without any further discussion or farewells, the buggy turned and left them, disappearing back out the way they’d come as the vault doors scraped shut, resounding clangs signalling that their enormous locks had engaged. Leaving the group of ambassadors, aides and guards alone in the echoing hangar with the occasional clang and creak disturbing the relative stillness as they made their way to the command chamber through the armoury and main hall, seeing or hearing no other people as they went.

Image


The armoury itself was stocked with older weapons and gear. Wooden framed bolt-action rifles with folding needle bayonets and cracked and dry stocks, stood covered in dust on a rack, underneath which deformed and sagging cardboard boxes sat, with ‘7.62x53mm’ painted on the sides in thin red lettering. A single pump-action shotgun was hung up on a wall but it was unclear if it was loaded or if there were even any extra shells available. Steel helmets were piled in a stack with a protruding front rim like that of a baseball cap and tired leather chinstraps with tarnished brass buckles that hung limply at the sides. A crate filled with truncheons sat open on a bench next to a set of shovels, the wooden clubs augmented with pointed steel caps that bore orangey-red flakes of rust.

The main hall was wide and tall, the walls curving up to meet metres above them in a pointed arch. The concrete floors had given way to smooth rosa levanto marble tiles, their deep mulberry colour streaked with white like lightning and standing starkly out against the grey of the walls which had been adorned with swirling psychedelic paintings and impressionistic landscape art. A faint floral scent infused the air and grew more noticeable as they ambled across the tiles towards the command chamber almost as if the growing aroma was beckoning them onwards.

A hiss heralded the opening of the command chamber’s door at their presence, brighter light and the sound of voices spilled out. Entering, they saw screens to the left with external camera feeds showing the two vault entrances and a mass of activity outside but before they could identify what was going on, speakers blared a greeting from the single large monitor on the right which displayed the image of an old gentleman with grey hair and dozens of weathered lines etched into the skin of his face, “I am the Pontifex of Diplomacy,”, all the ambassadors heard the clear and cultured voice speaking in their own language, there wasn’t even a visible discrepancy between the motion of his lips and the sounds they heard. Not waiting for a response, he continued, “I apologise for the subterfuge and the deaths that were used to get you here and I want you to know that this isn’t personal, the Lost Spiral has nothing against you or your people but needs must when the devil drives.”.

Pausing, the Pontifex sighed and looked down before making a swirling motion with his hand and continuing, “Some of you may just survive the night if you listen well. You must first understand that you are trapped.”, he pointed at the screens behind them showing the external camera feeds on which they could see that the concrete mixers and constructions workers they had passed earlier who were busy sealing off the vault doors with cement, pouring dozens of tons of the thick, gloopy liquid into the frames set up in front of the blast doors and mobile refrigerators were already chugging away, accelerating the setting process. “Your survival depends entirely upon your actions and beliefs. An eternal one will be released inside the bunker in exactly two hundred and fifty-six seconds from… now.” He gave a signal to someone off-screen and a countdown popped up in the corner of the display. He looked up, gazing sorrowfully into the camera, “May your reflections echo through eternity.”.

Independent characters may do their own thing in the bunker, however, guards MUST accompany their ambassador. You may attempt to do any action that can be done inside 256 seconds. If you wish to go to a room, you are free to come up with things appropriate for that room unless I specify something different, if you have any concerns about what you'd have access to, PM me either on discord or via telegram and we'll work out what you have to work with.
Last edited by The Lost Spiral on Mon Aug 12, 2019 3:55 am, edited 9 times in total.

User avatar
Auruum
Spokesperson
 
Posts: 107
Founded: Aug 28, 2017
Compulsory Consumerist State

Postby Auruum » Tue Aug 13, 2019 6:15 am

The Aurumite entourage said very little as they made their way into the facility, but the growing sense of danger kept the trio behind everyone else, marking exits and door ways or really anything at all. Upon arriving at the command center, Agatha felt her heart drop when she did not see the Pontifex in the flesh, but on screen.

The Trap had been sprung.

The Horror of the situation grew as the image of the man spoke, her gaze moving to Koios, his expression matching hers. The Orc after first, stepping in front of Agatha and Koios and pushing them back the way they came, and around the corner towards the Armory, Quickly shutting the door to the command center and attempting to jam it shut quickly, before hurriedly running towards the armory. This time jamming the second door shut. When he was satisfied, the Orc grunted “Duchess, I need you and your assistant to grab everything in here that isn’t a shelf or rack and get it out through the other door, then we need to pile everything else in front of this one. The longer we can keep the others away from us, the safer we’ll be.” Koios quickly stuttered in response “B-but shouldn’t we all work together against whatever is coming?”
“Those other people represent everything wrong on Harren Island, Dear. They’ll sooner kill us if it means any chance for them to escape.” Agatha whispered out, breathing heavily before she closed her eyes and inhaled through her nose, Tying her hair back and removing her jewelry.
“Come on.” She said, putting on a brave and determined face “We need to help Mister Guruk. Time is Money”

As fast as they could the trio emptied the racks and boxes of weapons before hurriedly piling them against the door between themselves and the Cambrius and Asgari Ambassadors. Once this was finished, the trio hurried to grab everything that had once occupied the racks and shelves and sprinted to the far side of the vehicle hanger, stopping at the door marked ‘Workshop’ before quickly moving inside.

Two of the fluorescent light tubes on the ceiling constantly flickered with annoying hums and whines. Hung up by the entrance were a couple pairs of asbestos-lined heat-resistant gloves and a black welding visor. A small yet deep sink occupied a section of the wall and a bucket sat inside it with an inch or two of stagnant, brackish water at the bottom. One corner of the workshop was piled high with small wooden boxes and peeling labels described the parts contained within, multiple spares meant for any potential repairs the bunker could possibly need. Affixed to the wall above dusty metal tables, there were cabinets holding a large collection of hand tools and hundreds of tiny draws filled with nails, screws, bolts, a huge variety of hardware supplies. Sitting underneath the first table, which only had a vice clamped on the side, the rusty orange tank of a propane torch was visible next to a cardboard box that was jam-packed with rolls of duct tape. The second tabletop next to a floor standing lathe, was covered with a guillotine, a belt sander and a drill press. In a large wooden crate and requiring assembly, was a kit for a small coke forge that included a miniature anvil and an acetylene torch.

Agatha surveyed the area “Okay...I can work with some of this...”

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