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Rekindling the Flames (FT/IC/Invite Only)

A staging-point for declarations of war and other major diplomatic events. [In character]
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Durmatagno
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Left-Leaning College State

Rekindling the Flames (FT/IC/Invite Only)

Postby Durmatagno » Thu May 06, 2021 1:54 am

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This thread is semi-open, meaning parties that want to get involved can get in contact on Discord and discuss possible plans.

Introduction

The world has changed. Most that once was is now lost to the mists of time. Empires once grand are now but dust on the wind. Species once found on a thousand worlds now inhibit none. Most things lost to mist of time fade from embers to ash, and from ash to dust. But not all.

In a once isolated corner of the galaxy, embers once faded to ash now burn bright once more. Unaware of their lofty heights or great downfall, the Vokvera thought extinct return to the great void once more. An empire that once ravaged the delta quadrant was destroyed long ago. Long enough now that none live who remember it. A little different, millennia of drift and new history has created a different species. A different empire.

A world made new, reforged by wills that know nothing of how close to extinction they truly came. It started slowly, tentative steps to long abandoned worlds. From star to star they jumped, blissfully unaware of the horrors behind or ahead. Now they have established themselves as a respectable power in their little sector, but a rival stands against them.

We come now to the end of an era, and the beginning of a new one. King Octire Brmaksydel is aging, his wings no longer hold him aloft, his hands no longer grip his rifle. He knows his time is near, and with it, the scramble for the throne grows fierce. Three dynasties vye for the throne, the Brmaksydel with his own grandson Kalin, Lrumanel with the fiery Nahla, and Samyhlrumel with the steady Dilrake. Each boasts accomplishments, money earned, territory gained, advancements made. Only one can take the throne, and once they have, the scramble to choose the next heir begins.

A rival that cannot be allowed to stand, a throne up for grabs, and most dire, a heir willing to sacrifice Vokveran lives to sabotage the efforts of the others. Only one can take the throne, only one can relight the fires of passion long thought extinct, and only one can shatter the rival that dares attack their worlds.


Factions

Federal Accord of Abron: The Federal Accord of Abron is a nation born of compromise and the fires of war. A proud people, proud of their history, their power, and their spirit. Abron is ruled and populated by the Vokvera people, strange bat-like humanoids with a taste for blood, wine, and the finer things in life. Ruled by it’s current King, and guided on a path to war, Abron is ready to make it’s first mark on the galaxy, and prove that it has earned it’s place. Abron believes in both the wisdom of a strong king or queen, and the will of the people that form it’s population. It is a nation with a strong sense of pride in it’s military, and in it’s honor, such that it is. While unfamiliar with the human version of the phrase, they are a nation that believes strongly in the wisdom of being willing to talk, but always ready to fight. They set their eyes to what they hope is a glorious future, all the while ready to try and overcome every nation that stands in their path, but they know they cannot go it alone. Hearts ready, ears open, and fists closed, they are about to take their first step into a much more dangerous world than they hoped, but have tried to be ready for.

Einotaiyan Star Union: The Einotaiyan Star Union is a capitalist and decadent power in the southern Delta sector - formerly a shogunate under military rule, the current Einotaiyan system has taken the form of a constitutional monarchy that sees the advantages in the liberalization of society. While the current ESU was founded on the values of liberty, prosperity, and democracy, this liberalization has also brought about quite a cutthroat atmosphere as private parties such as corporations have seized a powerful place in society. and in many situations have begun to act autonomously. Ideologically the ESU finds itself at odds with human supremacist and traditionalist aligned nations, and its military inability to respond to the invasion of fellow capitalist state Predena led to the opening of talks with Abron to establish the East Wind Treaty Organization, a powerful alliance aimed at supporting the forces of liberalization and open trade. It is this alliance that brings the Star Union to the region, where solidifying power remains in the interests of both the state and its corporations, the latter of which act independently as hounds of war let off the chain and plunder and enslave from those who would stand in the way of the alliance.

Imperium of Kasrova: The strongest of the contenders that emerged during the long absence of Vokveran presence in the region - and for good reason. Strength is a vital trait in the militaristic society of Kasrova, which is run under an imperial model and has seen significant expansion over the years up until the Vokveran return. It would seem that Kasrova represents both a difficult opponent and a natural foil to the forces of the East Wind bloc. Mandatory military service has created a ready population, intense propaganda preaches that the Imperium is on the forefront of the fight for humanity itself and that the species may be extinguished in the region with its defeat, and Imperator Alexander III commands a massive cult of personality to rival that of any other dictatorial leader. According to the propaganda, it was the Kasrovans that vanquished the Vokverans for the first time - and the nation fully believes that it will achieve the same feat once more.

Xochipan Hegemony: In a region scorched by war, it's not surprising that a nation intrinsically linked with violence would appear... The Xochipan are another nation that rose in the wake of the fall of the Vokverans, but have established themselves as another of the big players in the region through unrelenting force and a desire to consolidate the worlds in their surrounding area into one Hegemony. The native religion of the Xochipan enshrines violence as a means to keep the gods happy - as well as sacrifice. Even some war hardened nations would find themselves in shock if they came to this region and experienced the religion of the Xochipan fo themselves. And yet, there would still be one more evolution that was left even as the Xochipan ascended to a regional power. Fascistic ideology, carried in through the winds of commerce from other parts of the galaxy where ideas were more defined and where government intersected with philosophy, would reach this nation and alter it to reach its current state. The Hegemony is now unified under the National Canekist Party, with the indigenous 'Canekist' ideology being named after its founder and largely existing as a syncreticism between local and foreign beliefs. The state, the gods, and violence are enshrined by the Hegemony, making it a difficult power to interact with for both the Kasrovans and the East Wind faction.

Republic of Zhelreina: While the Kasrovans and the Xochipan arose out of the embers with aggressive, albeit different ideologies, the Republic of Zhelreina is an example of a state that attempted to go a different route. This multiethnic part of space has been split between humans and elves, and the Republic of Zhelreina was intended to be a structure that would supercede species and provide a home to both - this democratic experiment would largely be considered a success, but modern Zhelreina is faced with challenges from all sides as the aggressive Xochipan repeatedly test its border security and conduct raids into its territory and the renewed threat of the Vokverans looms in the distance. With the Einotaiyan Star Union arriving in the region and throwing its lot in with the Vokverans, many in Zhelreina have realized that maintaining the life they've built will require a fight as long as they still stand in the way of both the Xochipan and East Wind.

Free Systems of Egyria: Away from the primary factions of the conflict, the Free Systems of Egyria watches the situation closely - this loose and decentralized nation is not a singular government but rather a confederation of semi-independent systems banded together for mutual defense from the dangerous nature of the region. Their trade routes stretch from Abron to Kasrova, but a conflict in the region threatens everything that these free systems have built up - and a debate will surely arise within planetary councils and in the streets about whether it's best to side with East Wind before it's too late and any chance of the systems keeping their current position disappears.
Last edited by Durmatagno on Thu May 06, 2021 2:02 am, edited 3 times in total.
When we lose one we love, our bitterest tears are called forth by the memory of hours when we loved not enough. - Maurice Maeterlinck

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

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

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Forest State
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Capitalist Paradise

Postby Forest State » Thu May 06, 2021 2:01 am

CHAPTER ONE
August 24th, 3347
Zafam, Zafam System, Federal Accord of Abron
Collab between Forest State and Durmatagno



At the heart of Abron space, safe on Zafam, surrounded by troops, ships, and shielding, sat the King of Abron. He was far from alone. All around him, in seats of varying size and color, was the entire Royal Court of Abron. It was rare to have them all here, rarer still to have them all here not for a dire emergency. King Octire Brmaksydel sat on his throne. He was old, and he was tired, but his mind had never slowed even as his body grew weak. Wings drooped, draped around him like a cloak, a position they rarely left. His skin wrinkled and pale, but his sharp red eyes betrayed the intelligent mind trapped within his decaying body.

Even now, weak as he was, the members of his court served him dutifully. Also seated around him were the heirs chosen by the three major dynasties. One day, one day soon in fact, one of them would take his place. He would be dead or retired before the year was out, he could feel it in his bones. Sitting closest to him was the heir apparent, the one with the greatest accomplishments behind their name. Princess Nahla Lrumanel. Octire had his doubts about all three of them, but he clearly remembered being doubted when he to competed for the throne. One of them was his own grandson, Prince Kalin Brmaksydel, and beside Kalin was Prince Dilrake Samyhlrumel.

In normal times, all three of them were good heirs. The throne was safe regardless of which of them took it. These were not normal times. Under his watch Abron hadn’t seriously expanded in years. Not by any fault of his own, they had plenty of colonies to develop, worlds to claim. Instead they had spent most of his time on the throne in constant skirmishing conflict with their neighbors. Now strangers from afar offered support, in return for support. A great treaty, a new dawn for all Vokverans, was right around the corner. Almost literally, as the court was being held the Abron Ambassador was preparing to sign the treaty elsewhere.

This was not the reason for the court to be assembled, the court had already debated endless back and forth the merits of the treaty. For good or ill, in the end they’d decided to sign the treaty. No, why they were here was Kasrova. One of several squatters on land that was by right of blood and sweat, Vokveran. They even claimed in all their arrogance it was they that had taken it, Abron knew full well it could never have been then. Humanity hadn’t even existed in this sector when the Vokverans of old had been reduced back to Zafam.

Little was known of these times, for millennia they hadn’t even known they’d been to space before now, let alone held colonies beyond it. Ruins, scattered about, buried here and there, had shown them the truth. Once before they had spread their wings into the void, taking what was around them. Then someone or something had reduced them back to the stone age. Literally, what little they could tell was that a doomsday protocol had activated, and after they had been destroyed, their people had been returned to the surface of the world.

Very little survived a hundred thousand years without maintenance, every ruin they found had another small piece of the puzzle. Never a full picture, they didn’t even fully understand the ancient language, or it’s technology, but they had learned much from it. Now the squatters of Kasrova looted their heritage, sold, destroyed, or defaced it. Such an insult could not, nay, would not be allowed to stand. Only question had been how.

That question would be answered today, each of the heirs had their own plan they wanted to present. First was Dilrake, who currently held the floor. Projected in both 2D and 3D was a map of the region, Zafam at the heart. The map zoomed to the border between Abron and Kasrova. Indicators lit up as the Prince began to speak.

“Our enemy is not as advanced as us, but they are fanatical, and entrenched. If we are to dislodge them, care must be taken. A mad dash for each world will leave us stretched thin, so instead I propose we strike in waves. Taking one or two worlds at a time, cementing our control, and striking the next set. We move from Dennarth, strike at Fortress Zalevo, and take Rudinenko as the opening of the war. From there, Katrov, and Kyrak. Moving down to separate Kasrova from Xochipan, and swallow them bit by bit.”

Relevant to each office of the Court, from the Red Warden to the Silent, data flowed to screens attached to each chair. Displayed was predicted responses, division of resources, multiple variable times to pacify each world depending on length of battle and other unpredictable factors, and so forth. Each office got data specialized for their office, the things they would have to worry about most. Once every data packet had been analyzed, Dilrake took his seat so that Kalin could present his own plan next.

“Thank you Prince Dilrake. My plan is not to dissemlier from your own, just more aggressive. I propose we push out of Dennarth, Lankaelara, and Aevis. Destroying Fortress Zalevo, taking Rudinenko, Katrov, and Kyrak all at once. Once we have those worlds defended from counter attack, we move on Astoria, then from there, Shirkova, and Andova.”

Even as the data flowed in, it was clear that Kalin had a plan very similar to Dilrake, just as he had claimed. The timeline was accelerated, forces used greater, and projections adjusted accordingly. Later on the plan differed. Where Dilrake wanted to simply move from the original worlds to each new set, once Xochipan was separated from Kasrova, Kalin wanted to move in from elsewhere on the border. Surrounding and choking the life out of Kasrova bit by bit, till only their capital remained to be conquered.

Nahla patiently waited her turn as everyone scanned the data Kalin had planned. When it was her turn, she fluttered to the center of the hall, and loaded her own plan. Her plan was by far the most aggressive.

“Thank you Dilrake, Kalin. Here is my proposal for the subjugation of Kosrova. While Kalin and Dilrake’s plans are workable, and well researched, they make one assumption. That we win every battle, and that Kosova can’t or won’t counterattack in force, opening other fronts. I propose this is folly. Our border with them is large, and has many worlds near to them. So instead of jumping down the middle and leaving other flanks exposed, I propose a four pronged attack. From Vipovis to Marksa, Rianov to Pompeia, Thacelia to Fortress Sakovo, and Lecuitune to Eternia. Once this is secure we strike at Kaskova and Fortress Zalevo, then Rudinenko. We will now have our enemy surrounded. Whatever counterattack comes, we can focus our defenses along one border while our offensive forces push in from the other side. If they do not surrender, we will pin their forces between the wall and the blade, and cut them to shreds.”

Her plan had data like the others, but hers included things the others had not. Predictions that an enemy like Kosrova would not be content to focus on taking back conquered worlds, it would seek to try and pull our forces away with counter attacks cropping up along the border. If they didn’t respond, they could raid or destroy infrastructure, ships, or even take worlds along those borders. If they did, it would allow other forces to try and take contested worlds back. No plan truly survived contact with the enemy, but of the three hers was the only one that assumed Abron could lose any battles, and did it’s best to try and prepare for it.

The three heirs were dismissed to wait in connected chambers, consorts and courtiers of the three following them out. The court debated the merits of each plan, but it soon became clear that not only was there one choice that was truly prepared for war, it had come into this meeting with the backing of the Red Warden, Red Admiral, White Blade, and White admiral. The military already backed her plan, they had helped her prepare it. Octire sighed, and rubbed his chin before making his choice. Nahla was aggressive and headstrong, but she wasn’t an idiot. Bold as her plan was, it included contingencies assuming that even opening strikes would fail, and how they could restructure and recover from such a loss. War was hell, and rarely did it go as was predicted, but a good commander prepared for as much as possible. From the Court to the offices of commanders and directors across Abron, word was sent.

“I, King Octire, make an official declaration. We prepare to implement Operation Revenant. All commanders, begin mobilization and force checks.”

Nahla smiled as she received the signed royal decree, there had been no doubt it’d be her plan that was selected. In their own rooms, Kalin sighed and settled down. Perhaps he had been too cautious, regardless he had to admit Nahla understood the military theatre better than he did. Or at least, she appeared to. Dilrake meanwhile threw his tablet against the wall, the hardy machine didn’t care, but it made him feel better even as he added a bottle of wine and his glass to the tantrum. One of his consorts, reached out with her hand to try and calm him, but he just yanked free from her grasp. He whirled with fist raised, but the sight of her face stopped him. He could not strike one of his consorts, he cared deeply for all of them. He just sagged into her arms, her hands gently stroking him even as her wings embraced him. She whispered into his ear and he nodded.

“Yes, Nahla has gone too far this time.”



It was a peculiar group that had been formed on board the Einotaiyan battleship Shikinami, part of the Tenryu class that had been seen more and more in the Einotaiyan Navy in recent years as its modern battleship. The Shikinami in particular was notable as a flagship of its fleet and as one of the ships that had participated in the ill-fated intervention in Predena… One that hadn’t resulted in the outcome that had been desired, a turning of the tide of the conflict. Still, the flagship of its formation had returned intact, furthering its reputation not just as a ship that looked good in peace time but one that was able to hold up in combat.

Except, the long journey that the battleship had undertaken more recently had little to do with combat, at least directly. It was not at the head of a formation like it typically was, nor was it on the hunt for enemies… Even if during the journey, it had passed around areas that were less than friendly to the Einotaiyan cause, even within this very region. A longer route had been taken, going around Kasrova and going around Xochipan and arriving directly in Abron, the destination that had been in mind at the start of the trip. Particularly, the capital where the battleship would end up in orbit.

But the most notable thing about the journey this time was the names that were on board. Shiro Nakamoto, the Minister of Foreign Affairs that had big ideas about expanding foreign influence. Haruno Shimada, the Admiral in charge of the previous expedition to Predena which, while it had backfired, only resulted in her rising further through the ranks as one of the top voices within the naval forces.

Peculiarly, Shimada herself seemed like the least enthusiastic or at least most humble one about that prospect, as a voice that was far from reckless when it came to waging war - now, she was not only a veteran of the Druthian War but also the intervention in Predena. There was also one of the few voices in the Navy that was larger, specifically the Secretary of the Navy Kazuya Tsukada, and in addition to that, the vessel was also carrying someone that would carry much name value even without having an official position within government; one of the members of the imperial family, the youngest prince Kaneshiro, was among the passengers.

The vessel wasn’t carrying such high profile passengers for no reason. Rather, it was the one chosen to act as the site of an important meeting that would shake up the balance of the region. Ever since the war in Predena, it had been clear within the Star Union that there was a need to act further internationally and form a balance against the opposing interests that were growing elsewhere in the galaxy. The treaty that was being signed today, the charter of the East Wind Treaty Organization that would be created with these pen strokes, was one part of that… Perhaps the biggest part. And it brought the Star Union all the way out here. To a more distant corner of the quadrant that had yet to be tamed fully.

And yet, the other nation in all of this was in a similar position of needing to reach out for international support. Just for entirely different reasons. It made sense that these two would be the first two members of the EWTO, and it was perhaps fate that lined up events this way and brought them together. If everything went to plan, a bloc would be formed tonight. But the work would of course only just begin. There was only so much utility to be gained from an international ally that hadn’t yet pacified its own corner of space enough to act abroad in much capacity. That pacification was something that the Star Union - and the corporations within it - would help with and accelerate as the treaty went into effect.

Under normal circumstances the vessel would look like any other one employed in a military usage, but for the event today, it was far more decorated and even many of the areas that had military uses normally had been converted in some way… The room where the treaty was actually going to be signed was normally one of the hangars, but the shuttles had been moved out of the way and within the large internal hangar bay, temporary structures had been set up as well as lighting that was a bit closer to the ground. The kind that would provide just enough illumination for the pictures that were soon to be taken. This was, of course, the kind of event that was valuable to cover in the media. The press back in the Star Union had been pressing for something like this, something that would expand the country’s interests beyond its borders… They were getting it with this treaty, of which the papers that comprised it were already lying out within the main tent in the hangar and simply waiting for those that would, in less than an hour, sign the treaty into effect.

Ambassador Aral Lyndan relaxed in a seat in the room he was staying in till the theatrics at least were all over. He was avoiding any strong alcohol for now, but once this was all over he planned on enjoying himself, He understood the need for all the theatrics, the pictures and video of it all would be circulating soon enough. It exhausted him though, and since he was officially the ambassador to the ESU, he needed to keep a good face up. So he was resting before diving back into the public theatre. Human drinks were interesting at least, maybe a little more bitter than he was used to, but not so many of them were fruit centric as Vokveran drinks, alcohol or not, tended to be. Still, they were interesting. Aral rose from his chair and stretched, wings extending around him. It was getting close to that time, so with his guard in tow, and drink discarded, Aral made his way back towards the hanger where they’d be doing the public signing.

Human ship design was interesting, but the logic used on laying out it’s internal structure was different from what Vokverans used, even if only by a little. Aral had gotten used to it during the lead up to this, but he still found himself having to double back after a wrong turn, part of why he had left his room early. Entering the hangar, worked his way quietly to the tent, his pace shifting as he kept his back straight and eyes forward. Wings careful not to curl around him and obscure his form, despite being the most comfortable way to rest them. He found most humans didn’t like it, maybe because it obscured too much of him, maybe something else. Regardless, he was now ready to sign the treaty once the time was right. He just needed to wait for his counterparts to be ready, most serious discussion was passed for now, now it was all about publicity and the afterparty. Did humans have an afterparty for this kind of thing? His people had planned one, that much was certain.

It was perhaps odd for the Einotaiyan side of the negotiation that they would be dealing with a proxy of the government on the other end of the deal when they had sent a number of top figures in person, but it was ultimately something that didn’t matter much in the scheme of things - regardless of who signed the treaty, it still would be signed. In this case, the one that was actually responsible for doing that on the Einotaiyan side was Prince Kaneshiro, who was taking on the imperial family’s role in diplomacy in this case to act as the one that would make it official. Even if Kaneshiro wasn’t the highest ranking one within the imperial family, the deal would be signed in the family’s name regardless and get their official stamp…

Though, Kaneshiro was far from the only one to turn up to the hangar only minutes after the Vokveran side, as the Minister of Foreign Affairs would also be present as well as the Secretary of the Navy and multiple figures from the corporate sphere that had their own roles in making this happen. The corporate sphere, after all, was almost an autonomous thing within the ESU - something that had interests of its own and sometimes acted on those interests even outside of the bounds of the government, and while the negotiations here had been between governments, there were seemingly more to come of the more under the table nature with some of those corporate representatives that would be present for the signing.

For someone from the imperial family, Kaneshiro arrived at the tent along with the rest of the large party with relatively little fanfare… No grand ceremony, procession, or anything along those lines. This place, on board a battleship, wasn’t exactly the place to have all of that… They would be able to have a more extravagant ‘victory lap’ at getting the deal done sometime later.

Aral stood respectfully as Kaneshiro arrived, smiling even as he had to bear some slight ill news.

“Prince Kalin and Princess Nahla were supposed to be present for the signing, but some recent intelligence prompted Octire to call them in for a meeting instead. He sends his apology, but as one of them or Prince Dilrake will take the throne from him, he needs them present for the meeting. I have no details on the specifics, just his apologies and permission to sign with his full authority.”

The original plan had been for two of the possible heirs to sign the treaty, with the Aral bearing witness in his role as the official ambassador of Abron to the ESU. It had been less than an hour ago he’d been informed that the plan was changing. King Octire himself had wanted to be present as well, but his advanced age generally kept him confined to the capital these days. Aral held a sealed letter, a formality as a digital message had already been sent, that held details he wasn’t privy to, and had been written by Octire personally. He offered it to Kaneshiro slowly, careful not to move too quickly or aggressively on a foreign military ship with one of it’s government’s imperial family present.

“Fair enough,” Kaneshiro nodded, taking the letter and looking back to the table where the papers were already prepared, specifically the ones that would have to be signed to formalize the deal. Much of it had already been taken care of behind the scenes, but of course, all of it wouldn’t mean much if the most important papers weren’t signed off on by those that had the authority to validate the whole thing. In other words, those that were standing around right now. “Shall we get to signing off, then? No reason to keep the photographers waiting for very long.”

“Yes, let’s get to it.”

Aral agreed, eyes looking out towards the exit of the tent. He was pretty much alone in his distaste for these theatrics. Even the other diplomats and ambassadors Abron had didn’t share his opinion on them. It was a personal thing, not indicative of most Vokverans. He took one one final second to ensure his clothes were straight and his wings rested in a way that didn’t obscure his form.

“I’m ready.”

Kaneshiro would move to pick up one of the pens that was resting on the table, gracefully moving to the papers and signing with the experience of someone that had been trained in these kinds of diplomatic things - it was only natural for someone from the imperial family to work on such things, especially someone that wasn’t particularly in line for power. Given that, it made sense that Kaneshiro had specialized in diplomacy over administration. Signing the papers, of course, didn’t take long… Though from the large amount of photos being taken by the press in the background, one might imagine it was a more significant act than it was. “There.”

Aral moved to pick up one of the pens. After a moment, he signed the papers, making sure that the photographers got their shots. His handwriting was neat, and easy to read, lacking the calligraphic flair of Vokveran writing, at least in part so that it was easy to tell who signed the document. It felt slightly awkward to be signing it when it had been intended to be two of the royal heirs here, but he managed it with grace. Once it was done, he turned to the cameras smiling, and bowed his head.

“With that, I believe everything is official.”

The cameras clicked some more - the press back home in the ESU had decided that this was seemingly the biggest story happening now, and it was only natural that they would want to capture the moment it had become official, in full. Kaneshiro would also stand there for the cameras for a moment to allow them to capture the scene, before turning to his counterpart. “Let me know if any further talks need to be conducted - there is, after all, more time before the return trip of this vessel.”

“Well, there’s an afterparty being planned down in one of the performance halls. Food, drink, pretty people, that kind of thing.”

Aral offered as he faced Kaneshiro. The people of Abron, even the few that weren’t Vokveran, would take any chance to party. Practically every big event, government or not, had a party attached to it. This was a pretty big one, so Aral wouldn’t be surprised if most major groups had someone there. Especially the Sisters of Twilight, a good party was considered a holy event to them. The corporations would want some eyes and ears there as well.

“It sounds like an event to be at,” agreed Kaneshiro, an answer that wasn’t exactly unpredictable. Einotaiya had its own decadent culture that showed at various points, including within government more often these days as attitudes shifted in that direction even at the higher levels, as evidenced by things such as more extravagant outfits and genetic modifications used by official members of the government. “I don’t know how many of the party that traveled here will be there, but I expect a sizable amount.”

“It’s going to be a big one. Event like this, the corporations, minor houses, major houses, Sisters of Twilight and some of their offshoots, pretty much everyone but the Temperance Cult will have people there. I’m sure they’ll have made sure there’s plenty of entertainment to choose from. Music, drink, lad or lass depending on taste.”

Kaneshiro raised an eyebrow. “I’m sure our own corporations will be present there, then, considering the connections - I’m sure you’ve heard a thing or two already, but they have their own plans in the middle of all of this, some of them just as ambitious as the ones that were worked out by diplomats already.”

“Oh yes, plenty of opportunity to go around. I expect some deals will emerge after the party if anyone can remember them. It’ll be starting here in about an hour, and is planned to last the night, even if most of the major figures are gone long before it’s over. In Abron, any excuse to party will be taken, and used to it’s full extent.”

“About an hour? Then I suppose I should get ready for that,” Kaneshiro nodded. “It’s been a long day but we may as well cap it off with something… More interesting than typical diplomacy, at least.”

He turned to return to his own party, stopping for a moment first. “Though, I expect many to just begin working on their own deals now that the main one is out of the way.”

“I’ll see you there then, though I may be slightly late. I have some messages to take care of regarding the reason the heirs couldn’t make it here.”
don't tread on me

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Forest State
Senator
 
Posts: 4444
Founded: Aug 23, 2016
Capitalist Paradise

Postby Forest State » Fri May 07, 2021 2:06 am

CHAPTER TWO
August 24th, 3347
Fortress Zalevo, Imperium of Kasrova



The border between the Federal Accord of Abron and the Imperium of Kasrova was a tense place - more in recent years than in the past. In fact, despite the mass propaganda by the government of Kasrova against the largest neighbor of the country, whose former territory they occupied right now, there even existed trade between the two states that was kept out of the public talk and was branded as domestic production. However, those who were high up enough in the chain of command, or even those who were involved in provincial government in either leadership roles or as the clerks who managed the specifics of such things, it was clear that some of the things that entered the country were not quite produced at home.

This was all part of a great facade that existed within many spheres of the nation. The idea of Kasrovan greatness, and that the country was a power even compared with the outside world. In reality, the Imperium lagged behind modern nations and had a standard of technology that would find a hard time competing with the forces of Abron if the two ended up in a real war rather than saber rattling and tensions. If they did make it out of such a conflict alve, it would be through tenacity and strength of the will rather than anything to do with their arsenal, other than perhaps large numbers of their more primitive equipment and spacecraft. To say that the Imperium of Kasrova was a galactic power would be a laughable statement, for if anything, it was a developing nation that had not yet moved out of its cradle.

However, the story was different within Kasrova itself. News was filtered, the outside world downplayed… They knew the outside existed and was filled with other nations, but their accomplishments were changed and shifted relative to the position of Kasrova itself. Kasrova was one of the most advanced states in the galaxy, they believed… A power that was, out of its desire to see humanity prevail, directing its resources towards containing a great threat to everyone else in the galaxy. They said they were holding back the tide of the Vokverans, even if the current peace had been maintained through a combination of careful diplomatic moves and a policy of non provocation.

Though, plenty of provocation happened anyway. Enough to overturn their efforts and spark a war, perhaps. Their being here was a provocation in the eyes of the nation they singled out in their propaganda. And other incidents happened that weren’t reported on so much to avoid a public outcry that could push things further down the road of war. Things like border skirmishes and merchant vessels being seized that were sorted out each time without resulting in a full on conflict, and without making the news in Kasrova.

The people believed in their Imperator of all Stars, Alexander III. But if it came down to a war, would their performance be able to match up with what they branded themselves as? Would they actually be able to hold up to the tide? Those questions remained unanswered, and as such, the tensions on the border had only increased in recent times as both sides felt war in the air.

Fortress Zalevo would likely be one of the first places of conflict if a battle was indeed going to happen, as it was one of the closest installations to what would become the frontline. Naturally, given the regional conditions, it was in the process of being further fortified and built up in light of the current climate. The technology used was less advanced compared to a nation like Abron or many of the others in the galaxy, but at a certain point, firepower was firepower even if it was served in a less advanced way. The fortress was made of a number of cells, or circular smaller stations, which were linked together through interconnected pathways which also housed the bulk of the weaponry that the station would fire at an invading force. The cells, of course, acted as command and control as well as provided docking to Kasrovan vessels and even allowed for the repair and refitting of these ships. Each cell was far larger than the ships that would dock with them, allowing a vessel to enter the station internally…

But while they were massive, intimidating structures in this respect, they were still barely held together in some regards as the design bureaus and engineers of Kasrova had been tasked with replicating more advanced concepts from the outside world without having access to outside engineers that had made other vast star fortresses possible. In this light, it was impressive that they had been able to construct their fortresses like this at all. But on the other hand, there was still a need for it to become more advanced, more capable, more efficient, in the possibly short period of time they had left before there would be an actual war… Because within the high command, it seemed the opinion had shifted to the belief that a war was definitely on the cards.

And the upcoming war that was, according to the leading generals, in the making, there was a visit to Fortress Zalevo happening right now by the highest name within the government of Kasrova, the Imperator himself Alexander III.

An ivory spaceliner had arrived about an hour ago, and workers had been cleared out of the fortress proper and returned to their temporary quarters without an explanation as to why. The visit was unannounced, and the guest at the center of it was keeping a low profile, but it was indeed the Imperator, here to inspect the progress of the work - which had brought Alexander to the central command center, where both the existing setup and the construction zones were being monitored through screens on every surface which captured it from all angles.

The report from the officer in charge was not what the Imperator wanted to hear.

“Realistically, it will still take a few months before the improvement plans have been met in any meaningful way… The engineers from the construction corps just don’t have the know-how to expedite the process. The project would perhaps be further on track under better supervision, but as it stands, the process is largely trial and error and involves just as many unlucky breaks as lucky breaks… It may not suit you to hear, but to say that the improvement plan would be far enough along for said improvements to play a meaningful role in an upcoming war would be criminally negligent and would only worsen our own battle planning…”

“And would it be possible to… Get better engineers?” the Imperator raised an eyebrow, folding his arms. Alexander III had a reputation as an imposing leader. A demanding leader, too. But not one that was outright stupid… Even if prone to moments that could cause some to perceive the man as such. But having an overabundance of self-belief and confidence were traits that were natural for someone whose word was unchallengeable. There was no number two within Kasrova, at least officially. There was simply the imperator, and the rest of the nation.

“Technically,” said the de facto second in command, the High Censor Spartak Namov who acted as the hand of the Imperator in many of the more practical matters of state. Including things such as handing down orders officially to the various departments. “However, there are numerous security concerns with bringing in foreign engineers from just any country for this project, and even if those were brushed aside… Such a position is far from an attractive one. Especially with a war looming on the horizon that anyone who isn’t blind can see.”

“The path of recruitment is a hard one, but there may be other paths. The Zhelreinans have less reservations about interactions with the outside world as our own nation. We won’t be able to get willing recruits from there, but what about through the intelligence services? Stealing engineers away from them and quickening our pace, would that be an option?” the Imperator inquired.

“It’s a stopgap measure,” Spartak replied. “But for it to work, it will take further delaying before the outbreak of war. Our progress will likely be quicker with more experienced minds directing the work, but it will still take at least a couple of months, most likely, for the project to get to where it would have to be to hold up in the kind of combat we’re looking at facing. That’s the unfortunate truth of the matter.”

“Then delay further we will,” the Imperator settled. “Give the order to the intelligence services to begin replacing the incompetent engineers with more skilled ones from Zhelreina - through as coercive means as necessary. Be sure to bring in not just engineers, but their families. An increased stake is a motivator to deliver results.”

Even if Alexander was firmly in the camp of dictators rather than elegant statesmen, there was also a certain level of ruthlessness that came with that title that was useful in some situations. This was perhaps one of them, though, they were only in this situation in the first place because of the policy that had been instituted by Kasrovan Imperators - the policy of projecting an absolute image of power inwards while anyone who had been to the outside world would be able to tell a very different story.

This act of pretending to be a power made outside connections hard… Too many foreigners in the country, or the wrong foreigners in the country, and the veil would slip. It already did in some situations, but the intelligence services kept careful watch of it and would quickly eliminate the proliferation of ideas outside of the official narrative. Infestations of thought happened for sure, but they rarely lasted too long thanks to the way Kasrovan society was set up, with the population themselves often believing those who contradicted the official narratives were simply crazy.

But sometimes, at times like this, the narrative had to be reconciled with reality. The reality was that they weren’t up to par yet. And bringing in outsiders, in this case through coercion and kidnapping, was one way to attempt to close the gap-

The door to the command room hissed open, and the imperial guards turned around and raised their weapons as another soldier entered, out of breath after covering some distance to get there. “It was clearly stated that unauthorized personnel are not to wander the halls at this time…” said one of the other officers, as the imperial guards slowly lowered their weapons.

“Apologies, but the situation is urgent. I was sent to inform the Imperator’s party that the Vokverans and the Einotaiyans have officially signed a binding treaty…”

This changed everything, of course. A sign that their timetable for war had been shortened and that the enemy was making moves in preparation beyond the usual things that happened whenever there were tensions. But this was different from some ships being sent to the border before diplomats would talk things over and everything would return to the status quo… A foreign ally that was more advanced than anyone in the region seemed to signal different intentions.

There was a stunned silence for a moment, before the Imperator became the first to speak. “Thank you. I will return to my vessel and address the implications of this there.”

A statement that was surprisingly calm and hid the fact that this wasn’t simple to address at all. It changed the context of their preparations, and in many senses, was potentially one of the last warnings they would get before things got real and moved from the stage of making plans to firing shots. And the implications of that were bigger than just the improvements at Fortress Zalevo…
Last edited by Forest State on Fri May 07, 2021 2:06 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Durmatagno
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Founded: Oct 10, 2011
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Postby Durmatagno » Mon May 10, 2021 12:34 am

CHAPTER THREE
August 24th, 3347
Zafam, Zafam System, Federal Accord of Abron
Collab between Forest State and Durmatagno



Deep in the heart of the Abron capital city of Aurora, beyond security guards and towering walls topped with shield emitters, was a resplendent mansion. Now this wasn’t a mansion owned by any individual in particular, it wasn’t intended to be lived out of, though it could serve such a thing in a moment of need. No, the music reverberating off the walls, the crowds of people carefully screened at the gate, the servers and entertainers of many varieties walking around all betrayed what this particular mansion was far. It was currently hosting perhaps the most significant party in modern Abronian history, perhaps all it’s known history. Only a scant hour after the public singing of the treaty with the ESU, everyone that had desired it was brought down here for a massive celebration. Even the neighboring mansions had been rented out to ensure there was both enough space, and privacy for anyone and everyone that wished to attend.

The grounds were neatly trimmed, furniture designed to accommodate humans was scattered about, and everywhere was the rich, the powerful, or at least someone representing their interests. From the owner of the largest arms manufacturer in Abron, to the three royal heirs and much of the rest of the court that wasn’t scrambling to get ready, to some of the brightest minds currently employed by the government, and everything in between. If they had influence in Abron, they were here in some fashion. Nahla lounged on an outdoor patio, drink in hand, eyes turned to the sky. Kalin was somewhere inside, discussing a new colonial enterprise on one of the planets on the outskirts of Abron space. Dilrake seemed to have retreated to the most private rooms upstairs, only a few select people meeting with him. Everyone else mingled, enjoying music, good, drink, and the company of what they could find.

There was decidedly still business to be done even if the main treaty that was on the table had already been signed earlier, on board the Shikinami. The fact of the matter was, the start of the alliance in official terms only meant things would speed up in other areas… It would be a signal to rival states that war was coming, and a sign to the locals here that whatever plans were on the table had to be expedited. No point waiting around and giving the other side a good chance to prepare before things boiled over. These many intersecting interests that came closer together with the signing of the treaty, however, were not only of the state type - this was relevant to the corporations in either nation, too.

Taro Hayase was perhaps one of the best people from the corporate world of the ESU that could have been sent to an event like this… There was a good reason why it was him when there were so many other candidates that could have been chosen to represent a collection of the country’s top conglomerates, as well as some of their leading specialized companies. There were people that were better talkers, and there were people that were more educated in economics, or politics, and the art of negotiation, but at the end of the day, well… Those people hadn’t gotten out there and lived. Hadn’t shot someone in this line of corporate work. Hadn’t put very much on the line for what they did.

But Taro, on the other hand? This was someone that had earned a relatively easy job like this one, which just involved going around and negotiating with the relevant people here in Abron for the upcoming operations in the region, through building up a record as a top of the line agent in the field for years beforehand. This might as well have been a vacation. And it was perhaps the lived experience that helped Taro’s record edge out the others who might have had fancy degrees or more experience but hadn’t gotten their hands dirty in the field representing a client. In the eyes of their decision makers, it was likely better to have someone that knew the way of the world over someone that could win debates in the classroom…

The representative that they had picked in this case didn’t stand out too much from the average person at the party and if anything looked perhaps a little more… Casual. Sporting a red jacket blonde dyed hair with one side shaved, a pair of shades which likely had some kind of electronic component to them beyond just being there for style reasons. It wasn’t exactly overly flashy, nor was it even formal in the traditional sense at all, but well, none of this was a traditional operation in the first place. So in that sense, it fit. Rather, Taro hardly appeared different from any late twenty somethings playboy that might be at a party like this, or at the very least, like any Einotaiyan fashion enthusiast that felt the need to flex wealth through modern, designer clothes and luxury accessories.

However, this was too important of a party to just stand around for the purpose of flexing. There was important business to tend to, and, cigarette in hand, Taro had begun to search for the person that would be the key contact in the middle of said business. A person that fell outside of the corporate world entirely, instead representing the state that they would have to work with if this plan of theirs was going to be a success… As much as it was a cliche in the television dramas that were popular within the ESU, megacorporations didn’t quite want to replace governments, after all. Cutting a deal with them was far more effective, and, in the context of invasion plans and the current political situation, Nahla was the correct person to approach about a matter like that.

Nahla was lounging on a couch outside, half finished drink in one hand, eyes turned to the sky, There were a few people nearby, two of her consorts, the admiral in charge of the Zafam defense fleet, a few commanders from the logistics department. The military leaders had backed away and were talking amongst themselves, one of them smoking something that left behind a smell akin to a strawberry. When Taro begin to approach, Nahla’s ears twitched, locking on on the source of the sound before her head even turned to bring Taro into view. She gestured at one of the chairs around the firepit she was enjoying.

“Sit sit. Rade, Dasta, you girls go enjoy yourselves and give us a little privacy.”

The two consorts that had been sitting close to, or in one case, in the lap of Nahla both got up, smiling as they made their way inside. Both came from some of the minor noble houses, and had money and influence in their own right, but right now they were here to serve as companions to Nahla, not deal brokers. Now that they had been dismissed, they were on the hunt for opportunities of their own. It was a party after all, and on Abron, it was common to mix business and pleasure.


“Sights like that aren’t too uncommon around here, are they?” Taro inquired while sitting down, glancing back in the direction the consorts had gone. “Enviable… For an event with so many government names hanging around, at least.”

“Not uncommon no, not very common either. Most people at a party like this end up with one or two people on their arm at some point, but those two? More than pretty faces, have ears across most of the major worlds, let alone their families. Anytime there’s a party like this, or even one half this size, I bring those two along.”


“Ah,” Taro said lightly. “A reason why androids are banned within many private events. But if the ones doing the listening happen to be organic… Well, they can’t say anything about that,” he elaborated further, familiar with similar things back within the ESU. Information, of course, was valuable in the corporate world. And there were a number of both overt and covert ways to get hands on it. “I guess that may have given you a hint of where I’m from if the different look didn’t do enough of that already.”

“I had some idea. Not sure of your government or a private citizen, but only around one percent of the population across all of Abron currently is human, and I haven’t heard of any of ours rising high enough to get sent to an event like this. Might be closer to two...anyway, I assume you have something you want to discuss? War, trade, the intricacies of winemaking?”

The last one was a joke of course, one that may fly over Taro’s head, but Nahla had faith anyone approaching her would do their research. Her family produced the most expensive and collectible wines in Abron space. Their only real rival was a human outfit in the outer colonies, but Nahla had made the decision to allow the competition. Both as a gesture of good faith to the growing human population, and because only competition could make their wines worth more without manipulating the market in dangerous ways.

“Corporate matters,” Taro started. “Officially, I would be here doing business in the name of Hanazawa Heavy Industries - one of the top conglomerates in the ESU. But, well, that’s a little different right now. More hands want in on the pie. All this that’s brewing in this region right now, there’s a chance for profit there that hasn’t been there in the past. Profit, and room for vanity projects… But that’s something to get to in a second. To put a long story quickly, a number of corporate interest groups would like to know about the stance towards the Republic of Zhelreina right now - even if Kasrova continues to dominate the conversation.”

“Officially, they are considered a neutral party in the current conflict. Unofficially, warplans are already prepared for them, we just need an excuse. Not many identified ruins out that way, and they haven’t been threatening us, so there’s not a lot of direct reason to attack on the table. We’re interested in control of that space, but there’s still some debate on how to handle it’s integration. Unlike Kasrova or Xochipan, their populace isn’t nearly so heavily indoctrinated, so some advocate for using diplomatic pressure to force a vassal state or annexation. It’s likely to be brought to the floor of the High Council next week, and if they can’t make a decision, it will be pushed up ro the Royal Court for two or three weeks from now, depending one what else arises. Sooner if someone in the Court wants to shift the agenda.”

Nahla sipped her wine as she talked, and reached out to turn the firepit down a little. More so she could see Taro clearly than anything else, but Zafam was a warm, humid planet. At least right now during one of it’s Bright Years, so the firepit was low to begin with. Even nights here tended to stay warm unless it was the dead of winter, though Aurora was on the planet’s equator.

“If you ask the Einotaiyan command, a vassal state likely wouldn’t do… Because leaving a large independent state still leaves an open door to hostile elements. You’re closing that door when you retake control of the area, but if you leave a state like Zhelreina independent? Many of them would say you aren’t closing the door entirely,” Taro pointed out. “Regardless, much of the interest from the corporate faction in the ESU comes from the economic potential from an actual occupation as well as… Elements of the populace. An elven population specifically, that would be considered exotic and valuable in Einotaiyan terms, you see - it’s not as if that kind of thing is found within the ESU itself or the immediate region. But if the diplomatic route is taken, it’s about correct to say access to both of these elements would be stifled.”

“Look around you, the eleven population would be greatly desired here too. Thing is, we have some hurdles to overcome. Invasion is the most likely, but the occupation compared to Kasrova or Xochipan is going to be relatively even handed. We want to integrate that population, not break it the way we’ll have to with those two. Of course, missing persons, and collateral damage is to be expected in an invasion, but as it stands no one internally has made any big pushes for a particular direction for them. We just have it planned out if we do invade. Sisters of Twilight and the Cult of Temperance actually agree on something for once, and that’s that Zhelreina’s populace should be converted as much as possible to Abronian custom. How and how heavily they don’t agree on, but that’s a matter to be decided after we obtain those worlds. Personally, the fastest method would be to invade, and start the process now, but there’s red tape to go through unless King Octire makes a decree.”

“The problem doesn’t have to be handled solo - this group of corporations is also behind the creation of a second corporate corridor within the borders of the ESU. This involves bringing several settlements from far flung outposts to luxury environments for both work and living. The importation of an exotic population would be a showy move, but it would also be one that sets this corridor apart from the rest of the country and increases its prestige and value sevenfold… The corporations, then, are willing to do what it takes to gain this population with the assumption that it will pay dividends either in economics or at the least, in prestige,” Taro said, pausing for a moment. “And, in these more lawless zones where corporate word is power, there is a high value in a population of a captive, exotic race. Those who are involved in the market of people would throw their support behind such moves to the same extent.”

Nahla mused to herself for a moment. She wasn’t as deep into the corporate world as the other heirs, or even the rest of her family, but she could see the value. Problems would arise from the word captive, but careful media maneuvering or something could avoid that. The Sisters of Twilight and the followers of their various offshoots were where the problem lay. Captivity for any reason other than punishment of a crime was considered a sin. Not a heinous one, like murder, but a sin nonetheless. It’d been their support that had helped break the slaving kingdom whose captured systems now bordered Xochipan. A splinter kingdom that had formed during the turmoil of the civil war that had led to the modern Abron.

“It’ll take some leaning on the press and careful talks with the Sisters of Twilight, but it’s not unworkable to get you access to enough of the population for your needs. As you’re aware, slavery tends to cause an public outcry around Abron. It’s not as strongly opposed as it used to be, not since Avis was reintegrated, but we’ll still have to find a way to calm the followers of the Twilight Trinity to prevent civil attempts at sabotaging the operation. I’ll need to talk to Kalin about that, his mother is one of the three High Clerics of the church. He’s not very zealous, but finding the workaround to give you the elves will take a little time. Time we have due to having to secure the world's first, but some time. Best bet is to engineer some crimes against ESU interests in the region, and then extradite them as ‘criminals against a foreign actor’ or some other legal loophole. That’ll keep most of the Twilight denominations from getting to uppity I think. We’d have to mix humans in to maintain appearances, but I’m sure you can make use of them too.”

It was an odd issue - not officially accepted within the ESU but de facto acknowledged through the areas where imperial law didn’t extend in its full form… Areas such as the new corridor that was being created, as well as corporate enclaves scattered throughout the territory where primarily, the law came from those who owned the planet and its lands within. But it seemed that it was a less controversial issue within Einotaiya compared to Abron.

“What exactly have you gotten from committing to the rights of your neighbors? Being boxed in and having former territories claimed by them? An upcoming war, that most of them have encouraged one way or another?” Taro raised an eyebrow. “You act as a nation trying to perform for the international community, but that community has already made their judgements… Far from positive judgements, at that. But as for what the plans call for, a mass transfer of population would be on the cards. I doubt simply extraditing prisoners would cover it. But, if the hands of the corporations are forced in this, it doesn’t require an invasion from Abron at all per say. As I said, the corporations are willing to finance a conflict themselves out of belief the corridor will be more productive in the near future than what they had to spend to put it in a good position… And as a free economy compared to Kasrova or Xochipan, Zhelreina presents a better chance to cover costs through conquest.”

“Oh I could care less about the rights of our neighbors, but if Abron did the invasion we’d have to follow our laws, and they restrict captivity for anything other than a punishment to some very specific circumstances. The only two major concerns I have is that Abron itself will want to integrate and begin increasing the population of these elves. Secondly, we do want many of those systems eventually, the debate is just on how to get them. Now if we were to say...to hire corporate forces, especially ESU ones, they’d only be expected to avoid needless collateral damage, and we’d be golden. Anything else would be contractual, but during occupation...well until the world is officially transferred to Abron and our forces take control, we can’t and won’t do anything to stop them from taking away anyone they want, as long as they don’t take all the elves.”

Nahla finished her drink and placed her glass on the side table beside her. She was giving the ESU corporate interests the best loopholes she could without rewriting Abron law, which was a lengthy endeavor.

“Manufacturer an excuse of needing occupation forces for Kasrova and Xochipan, or to be ready incase of foreign invasion, and I can buy your people as much time as they need to get a good stock, then we move in both to take the systems, and to begin reeducation of it’s populace.”

“The laws, in this case, are designed to the benefit of people that would get rid of your entire race in an instant should they have the chance…” Taro pointed out. “I can relay the idea of a temporary occupation to the ones making the main decisions, I suppose. But I know that they aren’t going to be happy playing around with veiled moves and subterfuge due to legal codes that would be seen as ineffective at best. We, after all, are at least fairly honest with our intentions with Zhelreina… It threatens the creation of the Jade Triangle trade route, simple as that.”

“I didn’t make the legal codes, I just have to live by them. I could probably get some war time measures passed that waived rights. The trade and alliance will be worth the internal upset at it, but that’ll take a little time. A week or two to draft, a week to push through to the high court, and another week or so of debates before It’s signed. Given we want to focus on Kasrova and Xochipan first, that’d give you plenty of time to get forces and transports ready. It’s not perfect, I was trying to avoid upsetting the churches and their followers, but it’ll fade eventually once the next big outcry over some minor thing crops up. The main problem is once Abron is occupying them, Abron law is enforced, and we wrote our legal codes specifically to apply to any sapients in the hopes of attracting non-Vokveran colonists. It’s given us a few humans, but that’s it so far.”

“An occupation by Abron in and of itself might not be necessary. The costs of the conflict if funded privately should be covered by the gains from what can be found in Zhelreina itself - resources, machinery, the like. That would, of course, create the matter of where the territories end up in the long term… But that’s something that could be discussed in the future at the negotiating table, perhaps at the alliance meetings, after the costs of the conflict have been covered,” Taro shrugged slightly. “But, it’s not a decision that’s in my hands specifically. The circumstances will be explained to the ones whose job it is to make those choices.”

“Then funding corporate forces with a legal waiver would be the simplest for us both. We’d want access to the ruins in the systems, a portion of the elven population in our hands at some point, and I’m sure other concerns would come up. As it stands, I can promise a budget for a corporate force to be settled within two weeks as part of the war budget, and that’s if Abron has to help fund it at all. If we don’t then there’s no legal reason for us to care what happens to the worlds until or if we get our hands on them. Our biggest concern is new species to add to Abron, and access to the ruins of our people. Kasrova and Xochipan hold more known ruins, but new ones are found all the time, so they’re our focus. In the end, it’s just them, and some of the population coming to us that are non-negotiable. Anything else is on the table.”

“The project doesn’t require outside funding,” Taro shook his head. “It’s backed by parties that are quite capable of handling a conflict against a smaller, less than advanced nation like Zhelreina - even if Zhelreina is advanced in comparison to some of its other neighbors such as Kasrova. I’m sure there will be some posturing from that nation’s government about coming to a peaceful solution, but at the end of the day we all know that none of the surrounding states are eager to simply sit down and surrender to Abronian hegemony without a fight. It remains a threat to the creation of the Jade Triangle regardless, and the costs of dealing with that problem have been factored into the costs of the corporate operations overall that are related to this alliance.”

“Then it’s fairly simple, we just turn a blind eye to a corporate invasion, then settle the occupation and ownership details laters. How many of the locals get taken vs stay with us will be a topic of long debate, but I’m sure a deal will be reached eventually. We’ll probably want to put some scouts in the area to monitor the ruins we know of to try and avoid damage, but otherwise you can likely expect only some of our PMCs to even glance in that direction while the war is still happening elsewhere. Even then they’ll mostly be wanting to get a peak at how you operate and compare it to themselves. Can’t say much about the other corps, but I know the mining ones have their eyes on a lot of untapped resources in Kasrova.”

“Fair enough,” Taro stood up. “Then I’ll make a call back to the people that are coming up with the decisions here, and I’m sure things will get moving in due time. All of the eyes being on Kasrova at the current moment provides a good chance for that… Less chance for the other side to stall through the media.”

“After you make that call, enjoy yourself. A Vokveran party doesn’t end till dawn breaks, and by then most people have found a person or two to take home with them, or use one of the rooms on the floors above. Just because there’s business here doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy yourself too.”

Nahla went back to reclining in her seat as she spoke, It seemed some alone time was part of the party for her. Granted she had two people guaranteed to go home with her, maybe some quiet by the fire was all she really desired till. More likely she was just waiting for things to start to heat up, as the food and other party favors started to get consumed, the mood would lighten and she could avoid trivial business. This had been an important meeting of course, which is why she hadn’t asked Taro to come back later.

“And if you want, take a Lrumanel wine bottle home with you. The most expensive stuff is request only, but there’s sure to be some of the better ones available, an alien wine made with alien fruit would be worth quite a bit outside of Abron, though I’m sure the novelty of the flavor is attractive in it’s own right.”

Nahla waved her hand at one of the temporary bars set up, a message being sent to all the bartenders that Taro could take a bottle for himself if he requested it.

“I’ll take you up on the offer,” the representative said, nodding in her direction. There was indeed still a party to be had, and things to see and taste within this exotic place before it was time to get back to business… Even if in this case, the business had mixed with the sightseeing fairly evenly, a sentiment that was relatively common within the rest of the Einotaiyans that had come all the way here from very different homeworlds for the sake of the alliance that had been in the making for some time - and was now official.
When we lose one we love, our bitterest tears are called forth by the memory of hours when we loved not enough. - Maurice Maeterlinck

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

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Forest State
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Founded: Aug 23, 2016
Capitalist Paradise

Postby Forest State » Wed May 26, 2021 12:08 am

CHAPTER FOUR
August 26th, 3347
Near the Abron-Kasrova border, east of Fortress Zalevo
Collab between Forest State and Durmatagno



The border between Kasrova and Abron was one of the tensest in the quadrant at the current point in time - and was also a border that placed both sides far closer together than most, with little space separating the important worlds of either side. This came, of course, from the way the founding of Kasrova had happened. All of the territory here had at one point been a part of Abron, but with some of it now being claimed by Kasrova, any eventual conflict between the two sides would result in a close quarters fight that would see the space around this border engulfed in major combat from the earliest days.

This was why it was also one of the most patrolled borders right now, especially with the Kasrovan high command having identified the important Fortress Zalevo as the most likely opening flashpoint of the war that everyone could now see written on the wall. That fortress was one of the closest ones to the border, and was the starting point for many patrols which were increasingly covering the entire length of the border day and night, with as many small vessels as the Kasrovans could spare to have active at the current moment.

For a specific group of three Bystryy class attack craft that were a part of the Kasrovan Navy, this was a seemingly an average patrol - they weren’t too far from the fortress yet, and they still had a great length to go before the point where they would be turning around and heading back in the other direction towards the way they had originally come, but there was a reason to be alert at the current time… They were soon crossing through the area of space that had served as a trade route between Abron and Kasrova, at least in secret. While the true nature of the trade route had been concealed and the imported goods passed off as local Kasrovan products, it was at least known in the military that this specific area was of significance and that they were more likely to run into a presence of the enemy here rather than anywhere else, even if the trade route had effectively been shut down by the sudden rising of tensions.

It didn’t seem there was anything out of the ordinary right now, however, as the readings on the sensor screens in each of the attack craft returned nothing out of the usual and, despite the warnings, this part of space came off just like any other. The only thing to worry about right now was just how long it would take to get back to the fortress - home for the ones who served on these vessels that were based there.

The relative peace was soon broken however as a pair of Citrine-class Strike Cruisers, now well across the border, would soon appear on their sensors. At first they didn’t seem to know the Bystryys were there, but after a few seconds of being visible to the Bystryy sensors, their engines flared and shields came online. Citrine-class Strike Cruisers were a newer addition to the Abron navy, having entered full service only five years prior to this most recent outbreak of hostilities. Their main armament was a series of powerful missiles, backed up by the reliable workhorse of the Abron fleet, plasma cannons. They’d seen the field of battle several times, but never against Kasrova. It became clear very quickly they were on an intercept course, a comm signal broadcasting at the three enemy ships. It was a fairly standard, pre-recorded message that would come across in text form.

Power down all essential systems, or be destroyed.

The signal was tightbeam, the odds of it being intercepted by anything other than its intended target was extremely low. While they could fire missiles now, the enemy craft would have plenty of time to prepare countermeasures. Instead, a different tactic was used. Four small probes were launched, angled to surround the enemy ships in a pyramid shape. Comm jammers, to prevent the ships from trying to get reinforcements, possibly unneeded given how slow they were.

The message to power down, of course, would not be heeded - surrender was hardly an option to the Kasrovan military, at least not in this part of the war… It would take far more grinding down of the military establishment before such things even entered the table, given the years of preparation for a conflict like this one. The military was, largely, prepared to fight to the death… And right now, the fight that they had been preparing for was beginning.

But that wasn’t to say that the reaction was instant. While the ships had been warned ahead of time that this area had an increased chance of conflict with the enemy, the sudden nature of the confrontation still resulted in a few moments where the vessels were continuing on their course as if nothing had happened, while those in the bridge determined the correct course of action, before the formation broke off and made a move. The move in this case was a basic one while the crews were mobilized to take further action, including making use of the weapons systems the small vessels did have - but for now, they were turning ninety degrees away from the incoming force, veering off while putting some distance between them and the other side and analyzing the sensor readings they were getting back in the process.

The commanders of the Citrine pair had all they needed. Kasrovan ships were woefully outdated, and they felt this battle could be won easily as long as they weren’t stupid. They spread out, keeping only close enough to have overlapping ECW nets. Each one targeted it’s first wave of missiles, opting for the faster, but weaker ones used for long ranges. Each ship let off a salvo of ten missiles each, testing the PD capabilities of the enemy and conserving ammo for what could be a long series of skirmishes up and down the border.

The Kasrovan vessels were armed with only a few things, in this case lasers and a single double barreled gauss turret for each of the ships - those lasers would be put to a defensive use immediately as the attacks began, locking onto the incoming missiles and firing in an organized pattern that would cause the projectiles to detonate early before they had reached the formation of three ships… The Kasrovans were behind in technology but they at least had the benefit of extensive training during the years leading up to this conflict, leading to a navy staffed by sailors who knew how to use the systems under their command.

After a moment, there would be a more offensive response from the Kasrovans as they continued in the same formation, forcing the opposing cruisers to give chase to keep up with them. Not that keeping up was the most difficult task given the slower speed of the Kasrovan ships… But there was distance between them starting out, and they intended to maintain it for as long as they could. As for their offensive measures, all three of the vessels directed fire onto the nearest of the cruisers with their gauss turrets, aiming to make the weapon more effective through concentrating their attacks.

The two cruisers gave chase at high speed, Abron vessels were well known for their speed even among their technological peers, closing the distance faster than could be expected at a glance. When the sensor readings of the gauss weapons were fired, both ships activated side mounted thrusters to kick to the side, trying to move out of the way of the incoming projectiles. One ship got out of the way easily, but the other reacted more slowly. While they moved, the round impacted on the shield, causing the faint shimmer to flair orange as it dissipated the energy. Each ship returned fire with another volley of fast missiles, and fire from their own plasma cannons. That was, one ship fired it’s missiles. It’s sisters launch tubes puffed, but nothing came out as it reported an ammo feed problem through the combat web.

The Kasrovan ships would respond with another burst of laser fire to attempt to intercept the missiles that were on target to hit their own vessels - while this would be a successful effort in the case of one of the on target barrages, the other one would be missed and reach a point where it was effectively too close to intercept… Unlike the ships from Abron, the Kasrovan small vessels were unshielded, leaving one member of the formation to go up in flames as the missiles impacted and turned the affected areas into twisted metal, emergency measures activating to attempt to keep the ship in workable condition. But it would be out of the fight, at least for now, simply drifting along with all of the power going into those life support systems as the spectacular flames gave a show to anyone in the nearby vessels who watched the scene through the visual sensors.

The sudden demise of one member of the formation didn’t deter the other two from largely making the same move they had done before, directing their cannons towards the same target and opening up fire in the hopes of doing definitive damage this time.

The two Citrine cruisers screamed forward, continuing to gain on the enemy ships. With no rounds impacting them as the fire from both Kasrovan vessels missed its mark the ships were free to open fire with another volley of missiles. With the distance closing, the faster missiles were swapped out for slower, but more damaging missiles. The mainstay of the arsenal rather than the long distance sniping of the last few volleys. While the missiles were being swapped out, the ship that had failed to fire in the last volley again reported an ammo feed problem. This time with the information that part of the feed system had broken, the part shearing through due to an undetected weakness. It could be repaired relatively quickly, but until it was there would be no volleys from that ship.

Despite having less firepower at their disposal with one of the vessels being disabled, the remaining two Kasrovan ships were able to pool their laser fire onto the incoming missiles and stop them in their tracks while they remained on their course… Shortly after, they’d both fire once again, but made a break from the previous strategy as they turned directly around back in the direction they had come, rather than moving in a line parallel with the incoming force. This was, after all, a fight that they were outmatched in regardless of what temporary success they were able to gain. To pull back deeper into Kasrovan space would be the best move, though really, just putting any space between themselves and their opponents was crucial right now.

Both Strike Cruisers were now too close to have time to dodge, taking the cannon fire to the nose. One set of shields flared orange, but held. The other flared, turning purple before popping in a flash of light. The disabled cruiser reported that it’s missile feed system was back online, but with the enemies suddenly changing direction, they’d just give them plasma fire in response to the cannon shells. Each Citrine opened up with some of its cannons, their hulls dotted so they had angles on every firing arc. Blue-white flares of plasma filled the void, angling directly for their targets.

The retreat had been a move aimed at escape from the current situation, but the more accurate fire from the enemy vessels would prove to be a detriment to the effort to get out of the area and return to … Somewhere that was more heavily reinforced by the Kasrovan Navy. As the two still-capable vessels turned and moved away from the third one which was drifting, they’d get impacted by the latest round of attacks which saw them consigned to a similar outcome as fires burned on their interiors and their systems were diverted away from the battle and towards simply staying alive, as they became flying wrecks in one moment.

The Citrines kept moving for a moment, communicating internally before moving to the wrecks to find and capture any possible survivors and military intel. After that, a nuclear mine would be detonated inside each hull, a beacon to show the Kasrovan’s this was no normal skirmish. Mostly though, it was to be recorded, and infiltration assets targeting the Kasrovan propaganda machine could use it to start trying to undermine it’s message of invincibility to its citizens. Possibly reducing later resistance to occupation, and maybe even being the first step to a civilian rebellion when the government refused to surrender.
don't tread on me


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