Good Fences Make Good Neighbors [FT; Closed]

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Corrupt Dictatorship

Good Fences Make Good Neighbors [FT; Closed]

Postby Daphnai » Sat Feb 20, 2021 12:51 pm

Thaxyn, Pellepossa

"To trust too much is to commit suicide; to trust too little is to do the same."
- Naphynix II, 7th Autarch of the Daphnai Dominion

Pellepossa was an 'Unsettled World' located in the recently discovered Tharmos System in Delta Quadrant. In the context of the Daphnai Dominion's Planetary Classification System a 'Unsettled World' was a planet that only possessed a single, meager settlement and not much else. By law it was fully part of the Dominion but in practice most of the planet was unoccupied, unsettled, and undeveloped with some areas still largely unexplored and whole swathes of territory were left unpatrolled and unmonitored. For this reason space patrols had been doubled, as well as to make up for the poor defenses of the single colonial settlement of Thaxyn and it's mediocre garrison. It was typical for early settlements to be disorganized sprawls of spartan shelters. The boundaries of these early colonies were often broad and vaguely defined, with arbitrary borders that often began "somewhere over by that rock formation" and typically ended "along this creek here" along with similar basic geographic definitions. Thaxyn, in typical daphnai fashion, was founded on a rather hilly area along the western coastline of the largest of Pellepossa's two continents, which Dominion had taken to calling Erasophi. Pellepossa was considered ideal for colonization largely in part because Erasophi was largely a dry summer climate and thus the preferred biome of the daphnai, resembling the environment of their homeworld Ardoxa rather pleasantly. Situated at the mouth of a river the daphnai hadn't even bothered to name yet, Thaxyn sat poised to dominate a large bay as it towered over the lower riverlands beyond the hills and cliffs it was situated on while languishing in the shadow of a great mountain. There wasn't much in the settlement, yes. Aside from housing there was the typical barracks for the garrison, a large hangar for spacecraft, and a market one could find in most basic settlements. There was of course also the rudimentary government complex which, for the moment, housed both the Administrator (who was in charge of both the city and the outlying lands that would soon belong to it) and the Executor (who functioned as the planet's governor) as well as other government officials and representatives of the Autarch and Her Will. There were also basic amenities in the form of an aqueduct, a public bath, a sport & combat arena, some outlying farms down in the river valley, a clearing right in front of the government building that was being set aside for a public park in the future, and off on the slopes of the nearby mountain that the daphnai also hadn't bothered to name yet were the foundations for what would be a very large temple by the looks of it which most likely would be dedicated to Amphys, Goddess of Love, Sex, and War (among other things) and Queen of Heaven. Most of these structures were temporary buildings to be replaced later, though some were special projects that could be completed in phases. Groundwork for more buildings had already been laid as the influx of colonists increased. Plans were already being laid for future settlement of Erasophi in the future, though for the moment all efforts of development were directed toward Thaxyn thus leaving the rest of the continent wild, untamed, and at the mercy of state-sanctioned frontierswomen who lived off the land as they traversed the unexplored regions in search of resources, fertile land, and idle spots for future settlements.

One area of the planet that had been neglected by the daphnai settlers--and the entire Dominon, to a lesser extent--was the southern continent, Massegos, which compared to the larger Erasophi was seen as unattractive to the colonial authorities and colonists alike. The continent was roughly 86% wetlands and very likely crawling with insects and disease as a result. This "half-sunken continent", as it was derogatorily referred to by the daphnai colonists, was the exact opposite of what the daphnai preferred to settle: it was too low, too wet, and too humid. For these reasons exploration of the continent had been limited with the thickness of both flora and fauna helping to deter anything more than a cursory look into this land of bayous, bogs, marshes, and swamps. What areas of the continent weren't wetlands were mostly centered around a single, small mountain in the center of the continent. Beyond that iconic landmark Massegos was mostly unmonitored, with only an occasional patrol periodically flying by to check for an infestation of the criminal kind that could potentially pose a risk to Thaxyn or any other future settlements of Colonial Pellepossa. Eventually the daphnai would have to do more than give a cursory glance of the continent as prime territory for settlement began to dry up on Erasophi, but for now they would stick with the climate and biome they preferred and leave the so-called "half-sunken continent" and whatever secrets it might be hiding well enough alone. As long as fertile land existed in the north the daphnai had no interest in this land of blood-sucking insects, fatal diseases, ancient carnivorous reptiles, and whatever other surprises might lay in wait in the stagnant waters of Massegos.
Last edited by Daphnai on Fri Feb 26, 2021 7:29 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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The United Dominion
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Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby The United Dominion » Sat Feb 27, 2021 5:45 pm

World: Udhe-umgobhxoxoumhlaba
Roughly translated: “Farflung Marshland”

The target world was not ideal, that much was certain. Specifically, it was somewhat far from any established ixee communities that existed as part of the United Dominion and it was definitely in an volume of space that was generally considered to be “claimed” by a state that did such things. But ixee did not acknowledge such things for the most part; perhaps at the highest levels of the Dominion, there was a push to establish a military exclusion zone around its core cluster of worlds, but that was truly all and at the end of the day the zone only existed if it could be strictly enforced.

The world’s larger continent had a settlement on it. That was known ahead of time. The settlement was small, however, with a negligible population. Its society seemed to be advanced, but Owfox was unconcerned. She was already in her transit pod, along with a dozen other ixee pioneers in their own, by the time the Dominion ship arrived in the staging area.

It would take a couple days for the ship to load all of the supplies to build the greater structures of a community, and everything would be sent in a single shot. Per usual, the Dominion’s exacting schedules for its ships meant that there was a precise timeline for everything, and it all was already planned. She did not know the exact timing - that was for the military to know and her to deal with - but she did know that once the ship unloaded its prefabs and equipment for the new community, it would be sent immediately on to the next task, whatever that was.

The Dominion ship was the typical sphere with its powerful gravitic core naturally pulling the cluster of transit pods closer to it until the effectors kicked in and they were all at the whim of the controllers onboard. The pods were brought together into a tight cluster and began orbiting the ship. As they whirled around it faster and faster, Owfox could feel herself being pulled down toward the floor of the pod and she relaxed her joints to fully flatten down. Unconsciously, her tail tip thrashed in defiance of the gravitic force but eventually even it tired and stopped, slumping down to the floor.

In the distance, she noted on the monitor, a singularity formed. It was small and tightly controlled, but placed distantly to avoid disturbing the staging site’s planetary body and any of its moons or artificial satellites. As it reached the apex of its lifespan, the pod spun to change axis and she felt weightless for just a moment before pressing back against the floor as the ship hurled her and her companions toward the singularity.

Inside the pods, nothing could really be felt anymore. They lost acceleration - they lost any sense of time or space. There were infinite possibilities as to their location, anywhere along the straight line between and beyond the singularity’s point and the point of emergence. While her pod kept her extant and conscious, there was little she had to do other than wait while the system figured out where its rightful point of existence was supposed to be. Fortunately, waiting was easy when time ceased to have any meaning or impact.

At the point of emergence in orbit over the target continent of the world that she would be christening the Farflung Marshland, the gravitational anomaly ejected her and her fellows back into reality, returning to them the acceleration that had been bestowed upon them by the transport ship. They remained a tight cluster as they hurtled down and into the atmosphere as bright, burning tails of flame. The pods did do their best to brake in the air, but ultimately the speed could never be fully arrested and so she and her group aimed at the ocean and prepared their single-use grav cores to cushion them as they made impact with the water.

Splashdown was always hard, but Owfox was used to it at this point, having been orbitally inserted into spy missions, warzones, and at least two other community scouting operations. She braced herself down against the floor of the pod and set the core to release its power automatically. When it did, she was thrown up toward the ceiling, thankfully only a foot or two above her flattened form, and then slammed back down into the floor, absorbing the impact across all fives and her belly. The crash restraints groaned against the movement and did stop her from hitting the ceiling, but could do nothing on the way back down.

She checked her systems first. No damage to the exterior, cargo still in place. The hatch appeared to be in working order.

“This is Owfox, verifying splashdown ten-point-four kilometers from dry point. I’m activating my transponder and will be exiting to this point five kilometers from dry point for rendezvous.” She sent the target location out to her companion pods and released her straps. The hatch was above her, so she rolled onto her back to get it open and then lifted herself up onto the exterior of the pod, shoving off the interior of the floor with her tail. The sky seemed to be lightening here, at least if she remembered well enough how the day cycle worked. It was cool, though relatively windless at this time. She couldn’t help but wonder if that was always the case. It was certainly preferable as a lack of strong waves and currents was generally easier to deal with when crossing an ocean. At least, it was for ixee. Perhaps it was less so for peoples who needed water vehicles to manage; she couldn’t really say.

Taking the crash restraints and clicking their clasps together to form them into a cable which she could then secure one end to her suit’s outer vest behind her upper arms and the other to the nose of the ovoid pod. She then opened her mouth, moving the breathing tendrils to the side and sucked in air to swallow and hold in her stomach, increasing her buoyancy before slipping into the ocean.

And then she swam, as ixee were built to do, towing her pod with its cargo behind her, expending her energy solely on moving forward, never on having to stay afloat thanks to the stored air.

In the distance, she thought she could see another pod doing the same. If so, it had landed too close to hers. The cluster formation must have been more dense than protocol, but there was no use concerning herself about that. Either they all landed safely, or they didn’t, and dwelling on it wouldn’t make any difference.

Once they all reached land, they would review their options on where to set up the survey site and begin preliminary work on settling. If everything went well, they’d have found an ideal location and begun planning work by the time the ship arrived.
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Corrupt Dictatorship

Postby Daphnai » Sat Mar 13, 2021 2:49 pm

Eo Forest, Southern Erasophi

Patrolling an entire planet required resources; resources that tiny colonies on the fringes of civilized space were seldom given. That some sort of alien force could slip past the meager patrols and land on Pellepossa undetected was all too likely, yet it was such a rare occurrence that there was never an official contingency in place for when it did happen and, assuming the trespassers were not innately hostile or subversive in nature, the response of the local garrison was left to the discretion of the planet's Exarch. Unofficially the Exarch of a developing colonial world would often employ the services of the Taiphis--the Colonial Scouts--to regularly patrol the wilds and to keep watch for unwelcome intruders. These were rough ladies with special forces training who often operated independently, left to the mercy of the elements with nothing but what they could carry or scrounge from the wilderness. They often spent months, even years, away from civilization as they lived off the land, moving from place to place and watching out for squatters and pirates and the like. The Taiphis were known primarily for their solitary nature, their survival and martial skills, and their general unfriendly demeanor. Away from the prying eyes of state security forces and nosy neighbors frontier was often quite lawless, and the Taiphis often treated it as such. The wilds were a dangerous place. It wasn't unheard of for scouts to venture out and never return, falling victim to mother nature's cruel embrace, alien underworld scum, or even their fellow Taiphis with whom they might have had a grudge.

Nerys Popha'epti Ecameni'opti Iranax'ossé Uphema'ossé Agamex was a veteran of the Taiphis. She'd served in the organization for over 90 years now, having conquered the wilderness of dozens of planets in that time. She'd slain her fair share of wild beasts, smugglers and bandits, and even her fellow Taiphis; though the latter killers went intentionally untallied for obvious reasons. Command frowned on friendly fire. But that never stopped the Taiphis--a rather competitive group--from doing it anyway. Honor didn't exist in the wilds, they believed. The frontier wasn't the battlefield; it was every woman for herself out there. Nerys was more cynical about it than most. The first time, it was self-defense. Her comrade had gone mad from some kind of alien disease that had managed to breach her environmental survival suit and was preying on her fellow scouts out of pure (somewhat justified) paranoia. Nerys refused to be the next victim, and she was fortunate enough not to be. But each successive kill was less justifiable than the last until, finally, it became a force of habit. Sometimes she had force herself not to kill her comrades. Sometimes she forgot to care. It happened.

As she peered through the scope of her NU-114 multipurpose rifle at her fellow Taiphis she didn't particularly feel bad about what she was about to do. She didn't feel anything, actually. She waited, but not out of hesitation. She had to align her shot just right. The poor girl hadn't spotted her yet so she had to make sure the first shot was the last. If she didn't hit the right spot her easy kill could easily become a several hour firefight. Her target was much younger than her, still a bit a green to the scouts and how they worked. Probably hadn't even killed one of her comrades yet. Easy prey. Naive, unsuspecting, so proud to be serving the Dominion. She had no idea how things worked in the wilderness. Not when she first joined the Taiphis, not when she left for her first assignment, and not now as a bolt of molten plasma punctured her suit and torched her lungs killing her instantly. Nerys felt nothing as she pulled the trigger or watched her fellow soldier collapse dead at her own hands. Not even a snide remark or a wicked grin. She simply didn't care.

The shot had been from a fair distance away. Nerys didn't mind having to hike a few miles to reach her victim's corpse, though. She spent the whole walk humming an old tune she'd forgotten the words to, watching the leaves on the trees rustle in the wind and occasionally spotting a docile critter or two skulking about. With her head in the clouds she almost forgot where she was going, till she almost tripped over her victim's still-warm body. It was dangerous to wander so absent-mindedly. She made a mental note not to do it again, lest her's be the next body to fall. Nerys knelt down and rifled through her victim's belongings, accosting the scout's ammunition, water, and food. She wasn't using them anyway. But this wasn't what drove Nerys to kill the poor scout. No, it was something more specific she was looking for. As she picked each pocket clean she grew more and more frustrated. "You better not have used it all." she grumbled as she continued to search for the specific loot that had driven her to murder her fellow scout.

Finally, she found it. It was a small, thin, cylindrical silver box that wasn't much bigger than her hand. She popped the already-loose lid off to get a glimpse at the contents, and she smiled. The stone grey-colored, goopy contents were still there. It seemed the scout hadn't used much of her rations. This made Nerys happy. The substance--called 'kolai'--was a narcotic advertised as both non-addictive and stress-reducing. It's effects were meant to last 12 hours. It actually lasted 140. The resulting 'crash' as kolai wore off was so intense that it failed in it's express purpose of being non-addictive. Withdrawal symptoms were extremely painful, and sometimes even fatal. This would come to the surprise of no one who had been involved with the drug's creation, nor those who were tasked with scrutinizing it before it's application in military use, nor any one who had actually taken the drug. The Taiphis were often idealized as heroic explorers expanding the borders of the Dominion and securing the future for the daphnai race. The truth was less romantic: they were outcasts, washouts, losers, and flunkies who had been foisted into a an open-air laboratory; used as disposal guinea pigs by the military for the latest absurd experiments. It was a place of punishment for deserters, traitors, cowards, psychotics, criminals, and incompetents. New recruits were often led to believe that service in the scouts could earn them redemption and allow them to regain their honor. In truth, it was a death sentence. They'd be deliberately shuffled to the Taiphis not to redeem themselves but to die miserably for the sake of unethical scientific research. If the military deemed you too worthless to serve, you found yourself in the Taiphis being fed just enough propaganda so as to get you to drink the poison they gave you of your own free will.

Nerys remembered when she was an initiate. Naive, innocent, patriotic. Now she lived for her next fix, like all her sisters in the scouts. And she was willing to kill her sisters to get it, just as they were willing to kill her to get theirs. Nerys savored every drop of kolai she shoved into her mouth. She had save some though, for later. As she closed the box and put it with her other things she looked down at the young scout she'd murdered. "What'd you do to end up out here, huh? Piss off the wrong people?" she asked the corpse. She laughed at the silence. "Well at least you died pretty. That makes one of us." Nerys stared at the dead girl for a while, her mind going blank as the kolai took effect. Trapped in this trance she barely noticed the pods falling from the sky in the distance. But, out of the corner of her eye, she did notice them. They were faint specks on the horizon; descending far off across the unnamed sound that separated Erasophi from the swampy southern continent, Massegos. Even as the delirium--a side-effect of overuse from kolai--began to set in she retained enough sanity (loosely speaking) to tell what she was seeing was real and that it was not natural phenomena. She didn't know what it was, exactly, but she knew it was there. She looked out over the waters with a dazed look. Nerys reached for the scope on her rifle, flipping a switch and pushing it forward to detach it from her weapon. She brought it up to her eye and peered through it, spying on... whatever it was she just saw. She still wasn't certain. It was metal, whatever it was, and it was beginning to move toward the shore of Massegos' coast. "Hmph." she muttered. She reattached the scope to her rifle, and without hesitation brought it up and began to fire at the horizon for several minutes. Every shot missed and the plasma dissolved into steam as it hit the ocean. They were too far, whatever they were. If there was anyone--or anything--over there they probably didn't even hear or see her shooting at them.

Nerys simply shrugged. Technically she was supposed to report this development to Thaxyn. Maybe she would, too. But not now. Eventually. Maybe. She slung her rifle over her shoulder and turned away from the strange, distant scene. Maybe it was a hallucination? She always forgot how convincing they could be. Slowly and aimlessly she wandered out into the forest again as the delirium began to expand it's hold over her at the expense of her lucidity. It wouldn't be long until she passed out. Maybe when she woke up she'd call it in, if she remembered. If she woke up.

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