NATION

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In Pursuit of Profit [Open][FT][IC]

A staging-point for declarations of war and other major diplomatic events. [In character]
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Ella2 6
Diplomat
 
Posts: 881
Founded: May 16, 2016
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

In Pursuit of Profit [Open][FT][IC]

Postby Ella2 6 » Mon Sep 26, 2022 1:01 pm

The image used below is Mining Colony by TheArtofSaul.

Image


In Pursuit of Profit





"If your conduct is determined solely by considerations of profit you will arouse great resentment."
- Confucius






Ten years ago, the Cobb Larson corporation struck gold when it surveyed the uncharted Zunus sector and discovered the desert world of Sunryria, a planet rich in lightstone - a rare crystal used in the manufacturing of highly advanced laser weapons and electronics - with numerable surface deposits and even more underground. Entire wars have been fought throughout the history of the galaxy to secure deposits of this valuable resource as its possession grants great wealth and power to those who control it. True to form, the deep-space mining giant immediately lay claim to the system and began the lengthy process of setting up permanent mining operations on the planetary surface, shipping in heavy equipment and landing prefabricated infrastructure on top of the most lucrative of extraction sites.

There was only one complication: natives. The primitive Ellians of Sunryria did not take kindly to the desecration of their religious sites and violently opposed the occupation of their homeworld. But after a few days of brutal slaughter and a few hours behind a set of secretive closed doors with Cobb Larson executives, one by one, the petty kings of Sunryria sold their country and countrymen for luxury space palaces and lightstone firearms. In return, the peasants were turned into an army of slaves and made to unearth the priceless crystals that Cobb Larson was so desperate to obtain.

For ten long years, the brutal subjugation of Sunryria had gone unnoticed or unopposed by the rest of the galaxy. Those who had something to say were largely preoccupied with issues closer to home while Cobb Larson's clients kept their mouths shut so long as they got their shipments on time and at a good price. But throughout all of this time, there was one group who did not turn a blind eye to the abuses of the deep space megacorporation. As animosity and resentment grew between the natives and their overlords, a secretive group of Ellians slowly learnt the ways of their oppressors and prepared to fight for the freedom of their people - or die trying.

The fighting began as the magnetic sandstorms of the dry season blew across the planet, blinding the Cobb Larson ships in orbit from what was happening on the ground. When the dust had cleared two weeks later, a growing rebellion had seized some of the critical infrastructure on the surface, disrupting the vital supply of lightstone to the wider galaxy. Slowly, the media headlines caught on: Cobb Larson's regular shipments had stopped coming in. Nations that had previously stayed silent now spoke up against the corporation and those that wanted to seize the planet for themselves could now cite the moral casus belli of liberation.

A new conflict for the control of lightstone had begun.
Last edited by Ella2 6 on Wed Sep 28, 2022 1:49 am, edited 2 times in total.

A writer of magic, fantasy & science fiction.

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Ella2 6
Diplomat
 
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Founded: May 16, 2016
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Ella2 6 » Mon Sep 26, 2022 1:02 pm

It would not be an understatement to say that Cobb Larson had invested a significant share of its resources into Sunryria - such a claim was self-evident from the trillions of credits worth of industry it had built up on the world over the last decade; everything from deep mining complexes meant to extract every last piece of lightstone from the surface to the core to the cities worth of corporate housing for its hundreds of millions of employees. And so, when the regular shipments suddenly stopped reaching the market a fortnight ago, the company was understandably concerned.

That said, many might still consider a response consisting of 'throwing together a large paramilitary force and rushing it to the site without waiting for any managerial reports' to be something of an overkill. But the deep-space megacorporation was simply not willing to risk any delays when responding to a potentially dangerous situation, particularly when it knows that the local population had been quite unsatisfied with its presence for quite some time. The fear was that whatever problem that has occurred might inspire a local revolt. Little did the top management know, their worst fear had already become a reality.




Commodore Eileen William
The Vengence
Sunryria Orbit


"Arriving in one minute," the artificial navigator chimed.

Eileen closed her book and stowed it away in the storage bin beside her seat before looking around. Most of her officers were also returning from various states of idleness, putting away whatever they had been doing to keep themselves entertained for the past half hour. When it came to superluminal travel, most of the work was handled by the ship's computer, and pretty much only the navigation department had anything particularly engaging to do - and even then it was just checking that the ship was going the right way.

"Arrival," the artificial navigator chimed again before switching off.

The ink-black void receded into a sea of stars as the Vengeance emerged from its warp bubble. The Desire appeared a few seconds later some distance off her stern, its steel-grey hull gleaming dully in the sunlight. The familiar dusty red world rotated slowly below, its surface still largely shrouded by the annual sandstorm. Eileen nodded inwardly. It seems that have made it.

"Position confirmed," the navigator announced plainly, "This is the Sunryria planetary system." A surprise to exactly nobody: they had been operating in this sector for the better part of two years now and Sunryria was a familiar sight.

Eileen opened her mouth, but before she could give any orders, the communications officer's urgent cry cut her off. "We're being hailed by Starport Prime," he reported, "They say they're under attack!"



Corporal Erica Dean
1-3 Bravo Company, Commander Cheryl Nathan's Battalion
Prime Elevator


Erica ducked as a flash of light came streaking through the air towards her. A second later, a rocket flew overhead, narrowly missing the roof of the Prime Elevator main building upon which they were stationed. A second rocket followed the first, slamming into the sandbag wall a dozen metres away and exploding, sending up a huge cloud of dust and knocking the squad gunner off his feet.

"Nherin!"

Julian quickly rushed over to check on his squadmate's condition while Howard took over operation of the automatic rifle, repositioning the weapon to retaliate against the pair of natives who launched the rockets. The two Ellians quickly went to ground behind a rock. Howard cursed and, more or less out of spite, picked up his rifle and fired his underslung grenade launcher at the outcrop in question, blowing it apart.

A burst of automatic fire raked the sandbags from one end of the line to the other, suppressing most of the squad before the designated marksman was able to eliminate the machine gunner.

"How come the natives know how to use our weapons?" Charlie demanded.

"Just be glad they don't know how to drive our tanks," Erica replied. She stood up again and fired several shots down at the loose column of native infantry making their way down the main street towards the building. The mixture of weapons they were armed with were... Unique to say the least. Stolen equipment from Cobb Larson armouries intermixed with literal spears, lightstone crossbows, and some traditional black powder as artillery pieces. Needless to say, the stolen rifles and machine guns tended to be much more effective than the rest, though the field guns had also given the plasteel walls a solid beating before 2nd platoon was able to gain their flank and eliminate the gunners.

Suddenly, the sound of gunfire died down and Erica cautiously peered over the parapet to see what was going on. Unexpectedly, she found the main street deserted, save for the bodies of fallen natives and Cobb Larson personnel. "They withdrew?"

Howard pointed towards the rising clouds of dust in the distance. "Corporal, look! That's Kha'an's Regiment!" Erica raised her rifle and zoomed in on her rifle scope. Soon enough, she spotted the familiar shape of a SpaceSeaX main battle tank cruising towards them, kicking up a lingering screen of sand in its wake and concealing the other vehicles following behind. A cheer rose up from within the elevator as other units began noticing them too. Erica slumped down on top of the sandbags in relief. Finally. After twenty days under siege, help was on the way.

Elation quickly turned into horror as the smoke trail of a SpaceSeaX SM-1 missile streaked across the sand dunes and the lead tank went up in a ball of flames.
Last edited by Ella2 6 on Mon Sep 26, 2022 1:13 pm, edited 4 times in total.

A writer of magic, fantasy & science fiction.

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Kasa Tkoth Sphere
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Posts: 247
Founded: Apr 23, 2019
Scandinavian Liberal Paradise

Postby Kasa Tkoth Sphere » Mon Sep 26, 2022 9:36 pm

Wishmaker 1, Shuttle A
In Transit


"Alright, we need to make three quick changes to the document you all got."

The circle of stares between the people crowded together in the Wishmaker's tiny RV-style interior, nervous contact between glassy eyes and pale, veiny faces, got Captain Mé to laugh. He figured that his sergeants in the other trucks, giving their own copies of his notes, were getting similar reactions. "It's fine. I barely had time to read all the legalese the K-Sphere gave our office in the first place. I'll make sure we're spelling it out for you." It'd been ten sleepless hours for everyone since the alert came in at close to local midnight; the operatives themselves were fine, biologically speaking, with the augments or chemicals they'd chosen to stimulate themselves, but an air of exhaustion permeated the cabin, as surely as it did everywhere else in the pair of shuttles hurtling through warp. No one had time for rest, with all the equipment that needed to be readied and warmed up, and all the procedural paperwork that needed to be filled at lightning speed, from the moment Cadaz leadership gave the go-ahead to the moment they'd touch down on Sunryria. Apparently, the K-Sphere cared so much about their no-name informant's data dump that they'd scrapped every proposed timetable except the fastest possible. The captain, and those around him, had all realized that it could be an awful lot longer before they could get proper sleep.

"First: that whole paragraph about a bonus? Ignore it. I'm cancelling it. I don't want to incentivize you all to make stupid decisions. I don't know what Holder of Dreams was thinking with this low body count stuff, but it's not going to work here. Our safety comes first. Everyone down on that planet — we do exactly what we need to do with them."

"Captain, is that... something they usually ask for?" asked a private after putting his hand up, prompting a scolding glance from Mé, but not a verbal response; he'd have a chance to poke at the fresh hire later. "Minimal enemy deaths on the operation?"

"Yeah, but that's not our problem now." Mé waited to make sure everyone looked to be in agreement before continuing. "Second: there's some line I put in there about getting your Aggressors into full-mesh mode from touchdown. I must've been too drugged, because we're landing in an erg. That'd be stupid. What's the rule for speed on loose sand, Aif?" He pointed to the private who'd just asked his own question.

"...Wide-leg mode only... start with limiters at a hundred-fifty klicks an hour, then scale down if we need... Captain."

"Good. We'll be taking it as easy as time allows, as we run for our first marker by that Prime Elevator. Don't overheat your drones unless we're engaged, that's all just common sense. Else, stay moving." The Cadaz Syndicate was called up first and foremost by people who needed a job done quickly. Whatever Holder of Dreams believed about the importance of keeping people alive, it was willing to dump an impressive amount of scandium on people who cared more about completing the mission within the time constraints instead.

"Right, third: can't believe I forgot to say this bit. If you aren't on the hacking team," he suddenly changed his voice and jolted the bored, nervous operatives out of their stupor, "don't fucking dig around through the files! That's for personal safety, got it? Our client thinks there might be some security basilisks in the stuff we're digging through. You find anything related to those files, obviously, let them know, but back off before you catch something nasty. Fuck, if you think you see something off, shoot the monitor and then call for help. We're not paid to keep their stuff intact." The attempted moment of levity fell short as the team simply nodded. Perhaps, Mé figured, that was the appropriate response. What kind of corporate data from a backwater planet was so crucial it'd include security basilisks, he couldn't guess at, but that was Holder of Dreams' problem to sort out once the results were in.

"We're out of warp in ten minutes. From then on out, it's an assumed hostile zone until you get the all-clear to take a breather. Got it?"




~80 km from Prime Elevator
Sunryria


The shuttles were huge, fat, and stubby, and more than all of that they were well-used, with thorough streaks across the engines and wing binds denoting countless trips in and out of atmosphere over what must've easily been a decade or longer. They hovered just over the ground as they dropped ramps into the sand; a full landing was pointless, since no one expected them to stay. Keeping the Cadaz Syndicate's billion-slice investment, especially in the form of such a large, obvious pair of vehicles, within the enemy's orbital-strike range would have been absurd.

First came a few of the runners: escorting the line of trucks that followed from each shuttle's maw, a handful of operatives and their drone teams led the charge into the sand. They dashed ahead, suits sealed up and power-spring legs sending them bounding across the terrain alongside the running packs of doglike Aggressors and swooping flocks of ring-shaped Winkers with electro-binded wings fanning out around their bodies. Then, when the plumes of dust had relaxed somewhat, the last escorts took their turns to leave, fanning out to keep the others protected from the sides and rear. The thump-thump of a horse-sized Ambler's canter added some variety to the dull noise of the trucks' engines, while squads of Whisperers, like their smaller aerial kin but with many-branched wings that made them resemble metal ferns, launched themselves up and all the way out of sight, chattering away with inaudible tongues as they studied the terrain and relayed data to their respective operatives.

When everyone was out — the other Cadaz operatives were in the Wishmaker trucks, ready to leap out and join their fellows once the situation called for it — the shuttles folded up their ramps and burned through the sky back into orbit. They'd be out of the system soon enough, hopefully before anyone had the mind to intercept them. They'd offer no support from orbit; it was all down to the First Group to get the job done now.

The "job" would start in just about an hour, if the mission specs were correct, and provided the desert offered no challenge beyond a frustrating layer of sand to stall the faster drones.
Last edited by Kasa Tkoth Sphere on Tue Sep 27, 2022 7:54 am, edited 2 times in total.
"You are not the person they think is hiding inside you. You're the person who can see yourself clearly."

Holder of Dreams and the K-Sphere are tirelessly working to put your preferences first and mortality last. Planetary upload procedures available on request!

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The Ctan
Minister
 
Posts: 2887
Founded: Antiquity
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby The Ctan » Tue Sep 27, 2022 5:10 am

Outsystem

The Sublimation of Virtue arrived unceremoniously in the outer system of Sunryria. The vessel was large, a sea-green leviathan of the deep void, running lights blinking to show its scale in the out-system darkness. Along its flanks, silver lights could be seen, the interior of its many hangars as they began to open to the void. Its arrival was no surprise, but also not entirely likely to be welcome.

It was an industrial vessel, but it did not belong to Cobb Larson.

It belonged to itself.

The ship’s course after reverting from hyperspeed was a gentle orbit to capture a nearby outer system object rich in volatiles. It was, officially, not here looking for lightstone.

That was a likely story.

The Great Civilization, as it called itself with an assurance that bordered on the collectively egotistical, did use lightstone, the material was used in certain firearms, but also decoratively, and there was a strong interest in this material.

Anyone concerned about industrial interests could see that the Sublimation of Virtue was here to exploit the planetary material of Sunryria. It would be well worth keeping an eye on the ship, it was almost an economy of its own, and nothing else in the system would draw such a vessel other than the hope of replacing the Cobb Larson interests on Sunryria.

That supposition was wrong.

It was in fact here for an entirely different reason - the Great Civilization might well open trade with Sunryira in the future, but for now, the factory vessel was there to help rebuild the planet’s economy if it were to win its freedom, and offer a facility to evacuate as many slaves as possible if they did not.

Many of its interior factories and channels were closed down, and four of its mainbays - huge assembly chambers - were being converted to tiers of prefabricated housing decks. The ship knew a lot about rescuing people, and about surgery, and more. It had intruded in the realm of the fearsome Lord Atum before now, and it had once helped evacuate an entire world of political prisoners.

But greed could blind even those who were otherwise astute to altruistic deeds, and it did not expect the Cobb Larson personnel to anticipate its motives, but to see it instead as a Vulture hovering in the sky, waiting for the opportunity for a meal.

Image


Prime Starport

Ito Haruto ita Sekhemtar worked for Cobb Larson. On paper at least. In truth he was one of the Guild of Venturers.

He cut a handsome figure, it was almost unavoidable when you were a Ōkami, he looked close to human, except for where he didn’t, most visibly, at present, in his yellow eyes. That was somewhat undone by the look of his safety gear, luminous day-glo yellow with silver stripes and a hard hat that fitted a little poorly.

There wasn’t such a thing as safety here, that much was clear.

The Venturers had been interested for some months in Sunryria, as public interest had grown and less militant pressure groups closer to the region had taken an interest. He’d been inserted much more recently, as the uprising had become clear.

One of their favourite means of getting information for situations like this was to go in person, they could and would use any means at their disposal, but it was comparatively easy for their cadre of operatives to get into situations like this.

In civilian life, Haruto was an engineer, and in truth working in that role here wasn’t likely to be difficult, he knew enough about mining to be able to practically do the job of ensuring that mining collapses wouldn’t drop productivity; beyond those requirements he could always try to make sure the conditions were liveable when he reached a gronud deployment.

The other role he had was making sure that this revolt succeeded. For that they would need information. As far as the Venturers knew, the whole affair was likely to be suppressed - most slave revolts were, and after he’d arrived on site at the Prime Starport he’d set to work with gusto in attempting to covertly establish what was going on at the ground level, prior to the long trip down the space elevator, inquiring as to a thosuand things with every other engineer on site and local data networks. Where work was still going on, where requests had been recieved for new equipment, and more, as well as the rumour mill of the spaceport.

There was a lot he could find out even before being deployed to a ground post, and it would all be useful. Haruto’s role, unglamorous as it was, was to gather information to determine where mining operations had ceased due to rebel action, and where they continued, and covertly relay that information to his colleagues.

Direct action would come by other hands.
Last edited by The Ctan on Tue Sep 27, 2022 5:14 am, edited 1 time in total.
"If any should be slaves, it should be first those who desire it for themselves, and secondly those who desire it for others. When I hear anyone arguing for slavery I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally." ~ Abraham Lincoln
"The Necrons were amongst the first beings to come into existance, and have sworn that they will rule over the living." - Still surprisingly accurate!
"Be you anywhere from Progress Level 5 or 6 and barely space-competent, all the way up to the current record of PL-20 for beings like the C’Tan..." Lord General Superior Rai’a Sirisi, Xenohumanity
"Many races and faiths have considered themselves to be a threat to the Necrons, but their worlds and their cultures are now little more than interesting archaeology."

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Eisenstern
Bureaucrat
 
Posts: 47
Founded: Jun 24, 2019
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Eisenstern » Wed Sep 28, 2022 6:02 am


【♜】The Tower【♜】
【Guild Hall, Administrative Offices】




The room was dark, but not uncomfortably so. It was a well-cultivated sort of gloom, prized for its warmth and homeliness, perforated here and there by a carefully-tuned lamp. There were no windows, because windows in the Tower were things of either dubious value or extreme complexity - to show a view of anything one would actually care for, space and time had to jump through a number of hoops. And this was not the workplace of a showoff, a flaunter. It was compact, tastefully-decorated, but above all else comfortable. Its resident did not need to impress - his position was not especially high, and there were few guests he had to entertain. This space was for himself, and for his work. Of course, there were exceptions - such as now, the brass-and-redwood door swinging carefully open to admit a figure in black.

"To what do I owe the pleasure?"

Benham Laren was about as close to a consummate middle manager as one could find in a place such as this - his nondescript black robes merely accentuated the frank averageness of his face, an expression that seemed quite rigorously cultivated to convey nothing at all. To judge things at face value here was abject folly, but he was the spitting image of a bureaucrat all the same. The creature that had entered his workspace was anything but - above the hem of its near-identical robe sat a flowing mane of liquid shadow, the occasional spark of light within serving to accentuate the merest hints of a face. Never the same, always fleeting - eyes and teeth and things not intended for placement on faces flashing in and out of perception between each heartbeat. This was Paum, and despite appearances the two of them occupied very similar positions. Benham motioned to the leatherbound chair in front of his desk, his movements not entirely all there. His other hand still grasped a pen, and the momentary lull in its dance across paper ended just as soon as the shadow-thing stepped forwards and shut the door behind itself. Its voice was surprisingly pedestrian, though deep, and interlaid with strange echoes.

"Is it not enough to check in on an old friend? I even brought liquor."

The scratching of the pen carried on for a few moments more, then ceased. The completed document was placed carefully in a send-off tray, and only then did Benham turn his full attention to his now-seated guest.

"Well now I know it's not cordial. You're too stingy to bring me alcohol."

Paum laughed, a curious sound when mingled with the hollow harmonics of its voice.

"You know me too well. Alright, I'm here on directive. And to celebrate. Heard someone was meant to hand you the news, figured I'd make it more personal than a memo. Shears agreed."

"And what is it that you should be celebrating?"

"We, not me. All about you, this time around."

A shadow-hand withdrew a gilt-edged scroll from within a fold of Paum's robe. It was needlessly fancy, so it had to be important. Benham's fingers ran over the thorned seal as he examined it - looked authentic enough. Probably not some elaborate prank, but one could never be sure. He produced a small knife, and cut the string with which the parchment was secured; it spilled out over the desk, considerably longer than its rolled-up appearance would have suggested. Paum, meanwhile, had drawn forth a large rounded bottle of smoked glass, and now set it down alongside a pair of crystal tumblers.

"I didn't lie about the liquor, you know. He sent that too."

"Ah, so you just came along to drink it all."

"I am hurt. Wounded, even."

A cork was levered out with a suddenly-extant claw. As amber liquid flowed into each glass, Benham's eyes ran over the proclamation before him.

"Oh, I..."

"Didn't expect it?"

"Didn't realize I was still qualified for this."

"You ran field ops, didn't you?"

"Ages ago, yes. And not for very long."

The contract, he had to admit, was good. The promotion was something he'd been looking forward to for a while now, a sort of fata morgana at the edge of his personal desert trail. He'd been keeping it there, balancing its temptation expertly to give himself the necessary drive. It had never been unachievable, but he had trained himself into the merest hints of that mindset. His work ethic was a machine he took great, if muted and largely-internal, pride in fine-tuning. And now it was right there in front of him, all dressed up in the requisite formalities, and he hesitated. Aside from the quite merited fear that he would need to set everything up again from the ground up, there was an additional complication piled on.

"It's like an exam, almost."

"Hah. You might be half-right - know what I think?"

Paum leaned across the desk, the smokelike darkness shifting to form a somewhat more static, less ephemeral smile.

"I think someone further up the chain has their eye on you."

"What, old Shears?"

"Nah, this isn't his style. I'm thinking further up. Maybe..."

The words hung between them, unspoken, mutually-understood. They weren't dangerous in and of themselves, but the atmosphere here was a lot more corporeal than one would expect. It had a hunger to it. Benham broke the silence with a sigh, reaching for his share of the alcohol.

"I suppose it's not too much of a hurdle. Serves me right for weaseling my way out of performance evals. Still, seems a bit trivial to pull this all together."

"Oh, I don't think this is engineered. The scenario looks quite real, and this lightstone stuff seems like something the artificers'd have a field day with."

"We have analogues, I'm sure."

"And you can never have enough analogues!"

Paum downed its entire tumbler in one lipless gulp, and set about refilling it. Benham, for his part, sipped the liquor slowly, and went over the document again, line by line. He knew his cross-departmental counterpart was right, and that this was probably just a conveniently-timed intersection into which he'd been thrown. Why wasn't really important - to prove himself in some small way, shake the rust off. Really, the terms were quite freeform. But he still couldn't shake a vague sense of dread - not at the situation he found himself in at the moment, necessarily, but at what would come after. He looked up, just in time to see Paum refill its glass for the second time.

"So you were just here for the alcohol."

In an uncharacteristic moment of seriousness, Paum set the glass back down. Its movements were somewhat less refined than they had been minutes prior, but the gleam in its sometimes-visible eyes remained steady.

"Truthfully? I want to see how you deal with this. I took the liberty of reading over it on my way here."

The scroll had been fastened and sealed. Not that this was much of a hindrance for something like Paum.

"Laser rocks are all well and good, but the climate is really diverse, and you've been given quite the toybox to play with. Even a Legion liaison. So how will you tackle it?"

Benham sighed once more, and promptly swept a number of less important papers off his desk and into a waiting tray. A map was produced, strands of ink flowing spontaneously over a suitable sheet of parchment - slowly, the planet of Sunryria took shape.

"I think I'll start here."

A finger, ringed with silver, tapped against a particular ink-stained spot.

"Although more pertinently, I think I'll start by heading down to Outreach. If you'll excuse me."



【⁂】Sunryria【⁂】
【Goro, Goro】




"Folding out in three."

...

"Projected to hit orbit on your signal."

...

"Good luck."

Words faded into aether with nobody to hear them. And in a stucco'd crevice of an empty wall, a door briefly was. And then wasn't. In its place, there stood a black-cloaked figure, hood pulled up, the only visible item of note being a small silver clasp on its collar. It depicted a thorned circle. The intruder spent a few moments examining its surroundings, or possibly itself - where exactly its unseen gaze was cast couldn't be readily said. It then moved silently out of the recess into which it had emerged, and down a near-deserted side-street. Emerging onto a far more livelier avenue, it danced on into the crowd; the throngs of people swallowed it up without a second glance, but it wasn’t long before it reemerged, heading steadily up the city’s central hillock as the density of passers-by petered out. Now eyes were cast towards it, here and there - it approached the mighty gates of the palace in near-solitude, alone before the stationed guards. After a few moments’ pause, it spoke to them in perfect Goroga - unaccented, but oddly distant, as if there was far more space beneath the hood than external size would allow.

“Good afternoon. I seek an urgent audience with His Majesty, on behalf of the Guild and City of Eisenstern.”

And nothing more. The figure stood, awaiting an answer.
Last edited by Eisenstern on Thu Oct 13, 2022 10:08 am, edited 4 times in total.
‖♜‖ 'Twixt the darkness, and the light ‖♜‖
‖♜‖ Seekers roam the seas of night ‖♜‖

A mercantile city state, housed in a dimension-hopping tower that's bigger on the inside.
Ruled by a meritocratic adventurers' council (in theory) and a democratically-elected municipal body (in practice).
Punches far above its apparent weight via an unending golem army and a schizotech clique of superhuman mercenaries.
NS stats are for those with no imagination.
[EXTREMELY WIP]

The not-so-short rundown [outdated] || The leaders [unfinished] || The military [outdated and unfinished] || Some choice information [soup]

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Ella2 6
Diplomat
 
Posts: 881
Founded: May 16, 2016
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Ella2 6 » Wed Sep 28, 2022 6:23 am

Prime Starport

It did not take long before the Prime Starport took note of the large foreign vessel that had entered the system. A vessel of such size was hard to miss on sensors, after all - even at a relatively great distance. And while it was technically operating within the law and still a fair distance from the planet, the presence of a large vessel off in the distance during such a turbulent time was ominous, to say the least. A hail was quickly sent out towards the Great Civilization ship:

"Unknown vessel, this is Sunryria space traffic control. You have entered Cobb Larson space. Please state your intentions."



The capital city of Goro, the kingdom of Goro

A pair of guards stood on either side of the palace gates, armed with spears and dressed in ceremonial half armour - an open crested helmet and a breastplate with the rest of the body covered by thick gambeson - and long, purple cloaks that resembled something closer to a knight than a regular soldier. More guards could be seen pacing about the high walls with lightstone crossbows, the amber crystals set into the weapons glowing slightly under the sunlight.

"The City of Eisenstern?" the senior of the two repeated back to the stranger, "I've never heard of it before." He looked the ostensible representative up and down and noted his largely unremarkable clothing and accessories. "You don't look like a guildsman or a nobleman to me. And is it just you? Where're your guards?"
Last edited by Ella2 6 on Wed Sep 28, 2022 6:33 am, edited 1 time in total.

A writer of magic, fantasy & science fiction.

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Eisenstern
Bureaucrat
 
Posts: 47
Founded: Jun 24, 2019
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Eisenstern » Wed Sep 28, 2022 6:46 am


【⁂】Sunryria【⁂】
【Goro, Royal Palace Gate】
---




The cloaked figure cocked its head.

"I am merely an envoy. As for my guards..."

There was another moment of thoughtful silence, before the figure shrugged.

"I suppose it is an expected formality. Do excuse me for this oversight. Alcinne-"

This last address was apparently made to some sort of third party, unseen. Indeed, the figure seemed to be talking largely to itself at this point.

"-an entourage, if you'll be so kind."

And nothing much happened for the next few seconds. To all external examination, the figure simply appeared somewhat unhinged. Just as the nearest guard opened his mouth to address this, his eyes were drawn to the air behind the cloaked stranger - to the sudden, warping turbulence that seemed to spring up without warning, whipping dust off the road. Moments later, the air itself was rent apart in six separate places, a set of roughly human-sized columns tearing their silhouettes into surrounding space. And fading as quickly as they'd come, leaving behind six near-identical figures. They resembled mannequins, or perhaps marionettes - ball-jointed, near-featureless, cast in matte-black metal and draped with matching shoulder capes. Four carried single-edged swords with rather nasty-looking hooked tips, while a further two had each planted a lengthy standard-pole into the ground, topped with jagged blades. Their heads, entirely devoid of faces, were engraved with the same thorned-circle motif depicted on the envoy's cloak-clasp - that same design adorned their banner-spears, and the hems of their capes. The cloaked figure cast its arms around to vaguely indicate the new arrivals.

"Will these suffice?"
Last edited by Eisenstern on Thu Oct 13, 2022 10:08 am, edited 1 time in total.
‖♜‖ 'Twixt the darkness, and the light ‖♜‖
‖♜‖ Seekers roam the seas of night ‖♜‖

A mercantile city state, housed in a dimension-hopping tower that's bigger on the inside.
Ruled by a meritocratic adventurers' council (in theory) and a democratically-elected municipal body (in practice).
Punches far above its apparent weight via an unending golem army and a schizotech clique of superhuman mercenaries.
NS stats are for those with no imagination.
[EXTREMELY WIP]

The not-so-short rundown [outdated] || The leaders [unfinished] || The military [outdated and unfinished] || Some choice information [soup]

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Ella2 6
Diplomat
 
Posts: 881
Founded: May 16, 2016
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Ella2 6 » Wed Sep 28, 2022 7:12 am

The capital city of Goro, the kingdom of Goro

"Alcinne, an entourage, if you'll be so kind."

The two guards looked at each other as nothing happened. "Look, Sir, if you're just going to waste our t-"

Spacetime seemingly rended as a localised maelstorm materialised before them a small legion of puppets. The two guards leapt back in panic, their spears lowered towards the stranger, more as if to keep him at bay than anything else. The kerfuffle on the ground did not go unnoticed by the guards on the walls, who quickly raised the alarm. Soon, the gates opened as more guards rushed out to form a line behind the two guards while the men on the walls tripled in number and trained their crossbows down at the party at the entrance.

"He's a magi! He's a magi! He's going to kill us all!" the younger of the two original guards blurted, stumbling back into the wall behind him. This revelation sent a wave of concern through the spear formation holding down the gate and the men wavered, taking half a step back.

Suddenly, a voice boomed out from the back of the crowd. "Steady!" It was a tall, knightly-looking figure clad in ceremonial armour from head to toe - probably the captain of the guard based on appearances alone. He drew his sword and raised it into the air. "Steady!" he called again before making his way to the front alongside what looked like his lieutenant. The presence of their commander seemed to restore confidence and discipline into the ranks and the soldiers held their ground.

The guard commander pointed his sword at the Eisenstern representative. "What business have you, disturbing the peace of Goro?" He demanded.
Last edited by Ella2 6 on Wed Sep 28, 2022 7:16 am, edited 2 times in total.

A writer of magic, fantasy & science fiction.

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Eisenstern
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Posts: 47
Founded: Jun 24, 2019
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Eisenstern » Wed Sep 28, 2022 7:20 am


【⁂】Sunryria【⁂】
【Goro, Royal Palace Gate】
---




This section was co-written with Ella2 6.




A gloved hand reached up towards the hood, and pulled it down. Beneath it was a wholly ordinary-looking human head - unblemished, sporting a shock of black hair, and bearing an expression of general politeness. The man seemed quite unperturbed about the multitude of weapons leveled at him, and his tone was a conversational one.

"I will say it again. I seek an urgent audience with His Majesty, on behalf of the Guild and City of Eisenstern. These-"

He waved his arm, indicating the marionette-soldiers.

"-are my guards. This is expected, no?"

The faceless figures moved, silently, into a somewhat more ordered formation behind their apparent leader.

"I bear you no ill will. I simply bring an offer of help, and a warning regarding things to come."

The guard captain sneered. He had never heard of the City of Eisenstern. Probably some tiny, distant pagan state that still revelled in its backwards superstitions.

"A magi and an oracle. What business can your kind possibly have with His Majesty, the King?"

The polite countenance didn't waver, nor did the courteous tone.

"I am neither. Merely an envoy of well-informed parties. And I would have thought my business obvious - those I represent seek to provide aid to His Majesty in his war of liberation. I will divulge the specifics directly to His Majesty, or not at all."
Last edited by Eisenstern on Thu Oct 13, 2022 10:09 am, edited 4 times in total.
‖♜‖ 'Twixt the darkness, and the light ‖♜‖
‖♜‖ Seekers roam the seas of night ‖♜‖

A mercantile city state, housed in a dimension-hopping tower that's bigger on the inside.
Ruled by a meritocratic adventurers' council (in theory) and a democratically-elected municipal body (in practice).
Punches far above its apparent weight via an unending golem army and a schizotech clique of superhuman mercenaries.
NS stats are for those with no imagination.
[EXTREMELY WIP]

The not-so-short rundown [outdated] || The leaders [unfinished] || The military [outdated and unfinished] || Some choice information [soup]

User avatar
Ella2 6
Diplomat
 
Posts: 881
Founded: May 16, 2016
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Ella2 6 » Wed Sep 28, 2022 8:28 am

This post was coauthored by Eisenstern.



The capital city of Goro, the kingdom of Goro

The Captain lowered his sword slowly before waving his free hand towards his lieutenant. "Go tell his majesty that a magi from the Guild of Eisenstern wishes to request an audience with him with regards to fighting Cobb Larson. Also mobilise the royal guard while you're at it." The lieutenant nodded in acknowledgement and left to deliver the messages. The Captain turned his attention back to the Eisenstern representative. "Wait here. It's up to His Majesty whether or not he wants to see you." He then turned and dismissed the other guards with a wave of the hand. The spearmen slowly backed off, shutting the gate behind them as they went, though they left double the amount of guards at the gate as there were originally, not including the captain himself.

Almost half an hour passed before the gates opened again to admit the lieutenant and a pair of heavily armed and armoured men, their plate mail trimmed with gold and encrusted with lightstone gems and wielding Larson company Y-1 Rattlesnake automatic rifles. These must be the royal guards that the representative had overheard the Captain mentioning.

"Magi of Eisenstern. His Majesty will see you now," the Lieutenant announced, gesturing for him to enter, "All of your guards must remain here, however - including those that we cannot yet see."

The envoy bowed his head fractionally and made a vague motion towards the automata behind him. "You heard him. Stand guard." Turning back to the lieutenant, he gave the merest hint of a smile. "Not to worry, there are no invisible soldiers. What you see is what is here." With that, he strolled past the gate. His entourage, true to his command, remained where they were.

The pair of royal guards quickly lead the Eisenstern representative to the throne room where King Kimi sat. He was a young man of relatively average stature with spiky, orange hair and eyes of a similar colour. Royal guards stood evenly spaced around the entire room with several standing before the throne itself, shielding the king from any potential attack the magi might make.

"Magi of Eisenstern," Kimi began. His voice was young but authoritative and commanding. "You claim that your realm is willing to support Goro's independence from Cobb Larson?"

A writer of magic, fantasy & science fiction.

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Eisenstern
Bureaucrat
 
Posts: 47
Founded: Jun 24, 2019
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Eisenstern » Wed Sep 28, 2022 10:28 am


【⁂】Sunryria【⁂】
【Goro, Royal Palace, Throne Room】




This section was co-written with Ella2 6.




The envoy bowed his head in a somewhat more formal, noticeable manner than he'd done to the guard lieutenant.

"Indeed I do, your majesty. On behalf of the Guild of Eisenstern, I am prepared to offer you a contingent of troops, to assist in driving Cobb Larson's forces from your nation."

Kimi slouched slightly to one side, fiddling absentmindedly with a small chess piece in his hand.

"Cobb Larson is a dangerous opponent. I'm sure you're well aware. Goro is the strongest nation in the world and my army still struggles to measure up against Cobb Larson. How are you so confident in this contingent that you offer?"

The envoy merely smiled.

"Because, your majesty, this conflict of yours is no longer within the limits of your world. Cobb Larson is not the only polity to notice your planet - they were merely the first. Now, with your uprising, and those of your neighbours, attention has been drawn. And others are on their way - indeed, some have already arrived. The balance of power is shifting."

The King lifted his finger off of the chess piece and leaned forward.

"You're also an offworlder?"

The envoy nodded, bringing a hand to the ornate clasp on his cloak.

"Though not quite in the same manner as Cobb Larson and their ilk, yes."

Kimi turned his head slightly to look at the representative from an angle.

"How do you mean?"

"Ultimately, it is a question of distance. And of intent."

The King's eyes narrowed in suspicion.

"So what does Eisenstern intend to gain from such an arrangement?"

Gloved hands were clasped together, and another smile surfaced from the seemingly-endless sea of calm politeness.

"Simple. The Guild desires lightstone."

Kimi slammed his fist on the armrest of his golden throne. The guards raised their rifles.

"Lightstone is all you offworlders seem to care for! My people have suffered for ten long years under the tyranny of Cobb Larson! What makes you think I will ever allow my people to be enslaved by another offworlder?"

The envoy stood his ground, unflinching before the suddenly-raised weapons. His tone remained unmoved.

"Your majesty, we are not despots. Nor colonizers, and we are certainly not slavers."

A different sort of inflection found its way into those last few words - a definite hint of iron.

"We are merchants; nothing more, nothing less. We have no interest in taking your riches - we wish to buy them. Once you have settled your disputes, and established your mining operations yourselves, under whatever system you see fit, all we ask for is a fair price, and a steady supply."

"Forgive my outburst. Perhaps I spoke too rashly. Cobb Larson has tainted my - all of our - impressions of offworlders," the King said at length, "Yes, if these are your terms then we gladly accept your aid in our crusade. When can we expect this contingent to arrive?"

The envoy smiled once more.

"As soon as you wish, on finalization of the agreement. I was originally planning on a demonstration, but your guards appeared to react poorly."

Reaching into his cloak, he produced a sheaf of papers, bound with gold thread.

"The contract has been drawn up, for your perusal and acceptance."

One of the guards quickly stepped forward and recieved it from the representative, unfurling it and checking it before presenting it to his liege, who eagerly accepted the paper. He quickly went over the details before standing up and making his way to a table by the throne, grinding up some red pigment stones for ink before imprinting the seal of the royal house of Goro onto the page followed by his own personal seal. He allowed the ink to dry for a couple of seconds before taking the paper and handing it back to his guard, who handed it back to the envoy. Pocketing the contract, he bowed once more, before casting his attention upwards.

"You're cleared for entry."


【⁂】Sunryria【⁂】
【Orbit】




With a silent thunderclap and a general wringing of the fabric of reality, a moderately-sized cruciform volume of nothing became, quite suddenly, a moderately-sized cruciform structure. Its walls were of dull-grey metal, near-featureless, save for the thorned circles engraved onto easily-visible surfaces. It paid to advertise. Within the surprisingly spacious, not entirely euclidean bowels of the thing, a number of shapes moved into formation, their motions in perfect unison; arrayed under steady surgical light, rows upon rows of matte-black limbs and faceless faces aligned themselves according to some paradigm only they knew. Very soon, their alloy feet would tramp across the planet, far below. But for now, they were content to arrange themselves into a more presentable orientation, and wait. To something with no conception of boredom, time was merely a measurement. And somewhere else, similar yet entirely removed, in a cozy room housing two, fingers moved across a map, tracing leylines of a future to be crafted.
Last edited by Eisenstern on Thu Oct 13, 2022 10:09 am, edited 1 time in total.
‖♜‖ 'Twixt the darkness, and the light ‖♜‖
‖♜‖ Seekers roam the seas of night ‖♜‖

A mercantile city state, housed in a dimension-hopping tower that's bigger on the inside.
Ruled by a meritocratic adventurers' council (in theory) and a democratically-elected municipal body (in practice).
Punches far above its apparent weight via an unending golem army and a schizotech clique of superhuman mercenaries.
NS stats are for those with no imagination.
[EXTREMELY WIP]

The not-so-short rundown [outdated] || The leaders [unfinished] || The military [outdated and unfinished] || Some choice information [soup]

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The Ancient Caste
Bureaucrat
 
Posts: 48
Founded: Aug 19, 2022
Corrupt Dictatorship

Postby The Ancient Caste » Wed Sep 28, 2022 3:00 pm

PRELUDE /// SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES

KB-36 Superdeep Mine


The elevator clattered as it continued to descend into the Borehole. Aboard it was a collection of custodial staff and security guards, performing the same routine they had been for the past month. Descend into the deepest borehole, check over the tunneling machine, return to the surface, occasionally rotate the digger's crew. Despite the wars wracking the surface, and the fears of Red Cloak infiltration in the Mines, life for this contingent of janitors, mechanics, and guards remained relatively stable.

Unfortunately, this stability was abruptly shattered by a rolling blackout from the bottom of the borehole, followed by the sound of splitting rock and shearing metal. The elevator's emergency brake engaged, clamping the cage to the sides of its rudimentary shaft until the tremors ceased and the lights returned. Concerned murmurs arose, especially as the leader of the security team resumed their descent, enabling the elevator's emergency mode to permit a swifter arrival to the site of the tunneler.

The elevator passed through a pall of rock-dust before abruptly screeching to a halt, tossing about the unfortunate souls within as its sensors kicked in and drove it to a standstill. As the metal doors rolled open, the security team went first, lights sweeping across the borehole and very quickly recognizing the lack of the massive tunneling machine. In its place were metal scraps-bits of plating, shards of drillbit, even a wheeled bogey shorn from it by whatever force upset the tunnel. But the most prominent feature of the scene was another tunnel leading downwards, down and down and down beyond the security team's meagre lighting could penetrate. The tunnel was wide, low, and lined with claw marks. As one security officer stepped near a set of marks to get a closer look, he realized their shape indicated that the tunnel had been dug from below.

If it were corporate merc-guards, red cloaks, or perhaps another kingdom's denizens, perhaps the security team would have descended into the tunnel in search of whatever had stolen the Tunneling Machine. But these were the people of Katou, who knew well of the denizens of the Underworld. Their initial fears of Cthonic deities and spirits had been alleviated by the initial boring expeditions, but this...?

If this was not proof that there were terrible things lurking far beneath the ground, this was proof. The security team began to usher the concerned custodians back to the elevator, waiting for every last man to board before slamming the emergency ascent button, the iron cage screeching up into the shafts above.

What they did not notice, in their panicked flight, was how the shadows in the depths of the clawed-out tunnel began to shift.

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Ferret Civilization
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Posts: 1158
Founded: Sep 23, 2015
Anarchy

Postby Ferret Civilization » Wed Sep 28, 2022 3:43 pm

The sun was shining, and after nearly a month of constant dust blotting out the sky and filling the air it was something that lifted the spirit to the three outsiders that had to watch a war fire up. The three body team was made up of two ferrets and a wolftaur whose purpose was to surveil the potential for conflict that came from keeping an entire population suppressed. Cobb Larson had many an upper hand over the local population on this planet, the technological gap, the top down control of the native governments, the fact that beginning the process of starting an open armed conflict was very much an uphill battle all on its own, and a few other things. And yet parts of the local population did start the process towards self determination. The team that the confederate system of intelligence agencies working together sent to this planet had one major problem when it came to operating on this planet, and that like a majority of this galaxy, it was made up of pretty much humans, and that being not so technologically or culturally diverse along with only having one sapient species being humanoid but not human was a wall in trying to connect or communicate amongst the local populations.

Meriwether and Anemone, the two ferrets of the three, were busy getting the dust out of their clothes, mode of transportation, and their general supplies after neglecting the losing fight during the dust storm. They were kind of fortunate that all of their stuff was pneumatic or manually operated with no electronics to interfere with their receivers that were meant to try to monitor the ongoing tides of the conflict. Alizée, the token wolftaur of the group, was spending the time watching through binoculars from their mobile camp at the situation going on with the contested Prime Elevator. The local fighting force that was made out of the Goro kingdom were having a harder time with a swift victory in favorable weather on their home turf than the rebels of the Katou kingdom had with taking over the Hollowland Refinery. The cover of dust was both a boon and a curse when it came to convert surveillance, the boon being it was harder to be physically seen but the curse was the inverse was true as well. Being mistaken as a combatant was not something that any of the three stationed on this planet by their faraway governments wanted to have to deal with, it was already hard enough that being non-combatant focused did not make them noncombatants in the field of engagement.

Once the two ferrets had managed to make their living space slightly less covered in settled airborne dirt they made their way over to their fellow companion on watch to get the hourly news, “Corporate reinforcements, total show of force, and a surprising twist in that it seems the kingdom of Goro has the ability to use their occupiers missiles against them. Seems like this is no longer just a gun show.”

“Well the skies are clear, Larson is definitely going to respond with greater force now.” Meriwether noted the obvious dryly. He then went to check on their receivers to see if there was any other mass of communication going on to try and mark where other points of conflict were going on. The sun was shining, who it would shine for would be up in armed debate for some time to come.
Currently traveling across the United States. Still up for any conversations though.

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Ella2 6
Diplomat
 
Posts: 881
Founded: May 16, 2016
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Ella2 6 » Thu Sep 29, 2022 2:40 pm

General Akito
Hollowland Refinery


"Dust! South!" The lookout called from his tower. A minute or two later, the lookout would call again: "Flags! It's the Katou battle standard!" A wave of concern rippled through the garrison, many murmuring fearfully to each other. Most of the rebel soldiers were peasants who knew only to till fields and little about the ways of war. "...They're deploying artillery!" At this, the men began to panic. Though few have seen cannon before, all have heard of the terror they wreck on the battlefield.

Seeing his men about to break, Akito rose from his seat, holding his spear in one hand and the hilt of his sheathed sword in the other. An assistant quickly wrapped a red cloak over his lamellar armour. "Men of Gonda!" he boomed. The whispering stopped at once and the soldiers turned to their commander. "Free men of Gonda! Fear not the enemy! Do not forget who it is that build this place!" He swept his spear over the walls surrounding the refinery. "The walls of this refinery soaks up shot and shell! Let it be our shield against the tyrant king!" The rebel troops growled in agreement. A reminder was all they needed to remember Cobb Larson's superior engineering. "Don your red cloaks and raise your spears! Let them come to us!" He raised his own spear as if to demonstrate. "Death to tyrants!"

"Death to tyrants!" the men chanted.

The cannonade of Katou artillery fire opened the battle. Stone cannonballs shattered against the toughed walls. The small number of guns stolen by the Red Cloaks answered in reply and, with it, another roar rose up among the troops who now felt impervious to attack. It was not long before the Katou generals realised that their guns had little effect on the fortified Cobb Larson structure and they committed the infantry for a general assault. Akito made his way to the gate with his army of spearmen as the archers on the walls began trading volleys with the enemy below.

The battle for Hollowland has begun.
Last edited by Ella2 6 on Thu Sep 29, 2022 2:43 pm, edited 3 times in total.

A writer of magic, fantasy & science fiction.

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New Dornalia
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Posts: 1823
Founded: Apr 27, 2005
New York Times Democracy

Postby New Dornalia » Sun Oct 02, 2022 4:07 pm

Somewhere in Los Angeles

The party had been an unqualified success, and "Lady" Gracie Kurimitsu had another entry on her twisted, winding resume of achievements over the years. By comparison, this one looked smaller than the rest. Running hypersonic missiles was one thing. Helping the Dornalian efforts in Mystria was another. So, one would think organizing a "Tex-Mex" party on short notice with an endless taco-burrito-and-churro-bar with fancy ingredients--New Hokkaidoan Wagyu was not obtained cheaply or easily--lots of fine alcoholic beverages, star studded celebrity invite list, full slate of musicians, and even the best alcoholic beverages would be relatively simple for Van Nuys's most accomplished gynoid wheeler-dealer. After all, the fate of the Order's latest venture depended on it.

As it turned out, it was surprisingly difficult. Yet the bash went off without a hitch, and before long, many patrons from all the letter lists of the alphabet ranging from A-list to Z-grade celebrities and figures of importance attended the dinner. And, as the band ended their latest corrido about the Jacintista regime, Gracie stepped up dressed in something she didn't usually wear--finery. Granted, it was a teal dress with a knee length skirt and tactfully applied jewelry that just barely avoided being "loud", but it was finery nonetheless. And, as she looked out at the crowd, Gracie spoke.

"And that folks, was Las Cazadoras de Tejas. Give them a hand!"

On cue, the patrons clapped, and Gracie continued.

"Now, once again, I wanna thank you all for coming here. Yes, the tacos are amazing, and yes, the churros are fresh and the mezcal exquisite. But I wanna also remind you of why we're here. Namely, to raise funds to help the Order relieve the people of Sunryria's plight. See, while we're enjoying ourselves, let's not forget the good people at Cobb-Larson are working entire generations of Sunryria's people to death." Letting a pregnant pause occur so the sarcasm behind the use of the words "good people" could sink in, Gracie continued with an angered, "Why? So they can get shiny lightstones and see their stock price rise a quarter of a percent." She then snarked, "I mean, no offense to Mr. Zhang's people, but they make NORINCO at its worst look like Dudley Do-Right. Am I right, or am I right?"

A brief wave of snickers went across the room, even from the table of said Mr. Zhang.

"Anyway, as you all no doubt recall from the brochures you read when you got here in between shots of tequila, and also the presentations given by our guest speakers from the Order of the Vanguards, the Order is doing something about Cobb-Larson's slaver antics. They're raising an army for the first time in years, since the Civil War. You know, since Henny Collins decided the Order would disarm its independent armies, working within the system, all that jazz. Well, that's no longer the case." Gracie then asked, pointedly, "Now, you'll pardon my language--I've had some to drink myself. But how bad do you have to fuck up to make the Order break its own vows, and raise a fucking army on its own to fuck your shit up, ignoring the Neutrality Acts and the State Department? Well, Cobb's crossed that threshold of fuck-uppery, amigos." With a clenched fist in the air, Gracie then shouted, "And they're gonna regret it!"

The last line resulted in a rousing round of applause.

"So, now, drink deep, guests. Eat hearty. And know that your donations tonight will go toward the Order's noble mission, and by the way they will be matching your donations--they're good for it. Know that every taco means a roundhouse kick to the head of another slaver. Know that every shot of tequila means another life saved from servitude. And know that you can sleep soundly, knowing your money is doing some good. Hell, it's even doing good as we speak. Thank you."

Gracie then stepped off the stage to the applause of the assembled, and as Gracie stepped off, she wondered how Susan Von Falkenhausen was doing....

---------

Near Sunryria

The SS John Brown's Body was abuzz with activity. The people onboard were making ready to fight, making ready to land, and making ready to not let their mission down.

From what the sensors could tell and from what the Order's people knew, there was a fight breaking out already around the Hollowland Refinery. The facility had once been held by Cobb-Larson's people, but from what the Force understood, the facility was now under new management. New management that could stand to use some assistance.

The figure watching the console smiled. Her smile was wide, hungry for battle. Her heterochromatic red and green eyes looked over the screen quickly, trying to sort out ideal drop zones. She had only so many men, and now she needed to pick her options carefully. The small council of war next to her was likewise cautious. Still, they did not intend to wait. Opportunity was knocking.

The figure spoke first, her voice a German one tempered with years of residence in Northern California. "So. What assets do we have to begin the attack?"

"Well, Commander von Falkenhausen, right now, the Recon Company's ready to go, and maybe a few other components. But we will need to find a safe place to deploy first, and even then it's gonna be a process. We can't just bum-rush everyone to the surface. Even facing the locals, it's suicidal, and we can't trust Cobb's not going to bail them out."

The contrary opinion came from an Orderman next to the figure, with cat's ears and a tail on an otherwise human form.

Von Falkenhausen winced, but breathed in and out to calm herself.

"I see. Okay, fine. We will still need to relieve the siege somehow, Mr. Alvarez." Thinking for a second, Von Falkenhausen pointed to a spot reasonably close to the Hollowland Refinery, and went, "There. We will land there initially, designated this Alpha Site. it is in the enemy's flank, and it is secure enough to move our men in and begin striking further. We send in the Recon Company to begin striking at the enemy's flanks along with the mechanized units to do damage. If they have artillery, we will strike at it to deny the enemy advantage. We will move quickly and rapidly to distract the enemy while we set up further forces....here, at this spot, which I will call Bravo Site." Von Falkenhausen pointed to another position near the earlier drop site. "Once we finish setting up, we will bring down more troops at Bravo Site, and begin gnawing at the besieging forces to relieve the men in the refinery below."

Mr. Alvarez then asked, "Yeah, but how will the occupants of the refinery know we're friends?"

Von Falkenhausen looked at Alvarez, holding back the urge to snap at the man. She then said instead, with a nervous smile, "Well, we will tell them. See if you cannot get a message to them. Tell them help is coming from the skies. I will leave it to the Signals Section to figure it out. You seem to know what to do."

Alvarez nodded, and went, "Aye, ma'am," surprised at how vague the plan was.

"I will provide further instructions later. In the meantime, move. Time is of the essence!"

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

Before long, at the Hollowland Refinery, a small object would beam into the refinery itself. A small device with a message recorded by Von Falkenhausen herself.

"My name is Susan von Falkenhausen. I am the leader of an army known as the Volunteer Force. We have heard of the plight of the Sunryrian people. We have come to help liberate them from bondage and slavery. We have come to crush the tyranny of Cobb-Larsen. We are coming now. If you hear unusual noises in the distance, like the sound of cracks and thunder, do not be alarmed. For it is the wrath of Heaven channeled through our hands, to bring well-deserved justice upon those who would kill and enslave a man to ensure their profit. If you have received this message, you can use this device to speak to us."

The message would repeat, as in the distance near the refinery, the first elements of the Dornalian force would begin to beam down and move out, moving stealthily and shadowing the foe to try and find ideal striking positions from the flanks of the enemy force and its rear. The men and women of the Reconnaissance Company would begin marking positions and targets of value--banner carriers, guns, etc. Then, when the time was right, the raids and sniping attacks would begin.
"New Dornalia, a living example of anomalous civilizations."-- Phoenix Conclave
"Your nation has always been ridiculous. But it's endearing."--Skaugra
"It's a magical place where chinese cowboys ply the star lanes to extract vast wealth from trade, where NORINCO isn't just an arms company, but an evil bond villain type conglomerate that hides in other nations. Where the apocalypse happened, and everyone went "huh, that's neat" and then got back to having catgirls and starships."-- Olimpiada
"...why am I space China, and I don't have actual magic animals, and you're space USA, and you do? This seems like a mistake." --Roania, during a discussion on wildlife.

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Ella2 6
Diplomat
 
Posts: 881
Founded: May 16, 2016
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Ella2 6 » Fri Oct 07, 2022 1:28 pm

King Kimi Goro
The capital city of Goro, the kingdom of Goro


Kimi grunted in satisfaction as he resumed his seat, more than pleased with the accord that had been struck today. He quickly bade over one of the armed and armoured men in his court, though this individual did not wear the distinctive purple cloak of the royal guard nor carry a rifle on his shoulder. "Magi of Eisenstern, this is General Yute, one of my senior military commanders," the young king introduced, "I'm sure he will be able to give you much more insight on where your contingent will be most urgently required."

The general bowed quickly to his lord before turning to the envoy and leading him into a side room filled with books, maps and charts. A large table was placed in the centre of the room and on it was a large, unrolled parchment that displayed a painstakingly hand-drawn map of the Kingdom of Goro and its surrounding lands. He pointed out several key areas of interest. "We are, at the City of Goro," he explained quickly. He doubted that the envoy could read Goroga script, but he figured that he would be able to remember specified positions.

"General Nene is stationed at the city of Noya with a large army. There's a large rebel army in Katou that we don't want crossing the border." He then tapped on another point in the Kingdom's southwest that was clearly labelled in subscript in Galactic Standard as 'Prime Elevator'. "General Oso currently leads a forty thousand-strong army against the Cobb Larson garrison at the Prime Elevator. They have been laying siege to it for twenty days now and Cobb Larson's garrison has been putting up stiff resistance. Our intelligence information shows that Cobb Larson has a second army stationed nearby, just across the border in Katou. If they begin moving to relieve the siege, we have very little chance of stopping them. Of all the places we are concerned about, the Prime Elevator is the more precarious. It would be most appreciated if you can deploy your contingent there and help us out."



Captain Ena
Hesanaku Regiment
Goro Siege Perimeter, Prime Elevator


Men dropped to their hands and knees as accurate machine gun fire raked across the breastworks, decimating the line of infantry that had taken up position behind them. Ena adjusted his sallet and glanced back at the cowering masses. "Keep them fighting! We need to hold this position!" He ordered, turning to his assembled lieutenants and dismissing them back to their units with a wave. "Mizu, have your sharpshooters eliminate the enemy's gunners. Touya, take your Javelin company and follow me!"

"Yes, Sir!"

Ena quickly picked up his lightstone crossbow and led his anti-tank team down to the very far end of the trench line where it turned at a right angle to form a salient. "Keep your heads down," he hissed to the men behind him before peering over the parapets. The creaking of tank tracks grew louder and louder until the turret of a battle tank crested the sandy dunes. "BT-1! Take it down!"

The rocketeers in the company quickly raised their missile launchers, which they had loaded in anticipation, and fired them off one by one. Almost immediately, the Cobb Larson tank's active protection system came to life and began firing off countermeasures. The first missile was defeated by the shrapnel cloud while the second one was intercepted by reactive armour. The third and fourth missiles slammed home within a split second of each other and the tank went up in flames.

A cheer rose up from the company, but it was quickly cut off as a second tank appeared a few hundred metres away and began traversing its turret towards them. "Another one! Quick! Quick! Fire!" Ena shouted, pointing towards the new threat. The men fumbled with reloading their missile tubes, panicking as the enemy tank began depressing its barrel towards them.

"Get down!" Ena screamed before throwing himself onto the floor.

The particle beam lanced its way across the battlefield and struck the back of the trench. Any man without the sense to duck was simply vapourised where he stood. As the dust cleared, Ena slowly picked himself back up and glanced around. Almost a dozen more tanks, supported by a least a battalion's worth of light vehicles and infantry, had begun making their way over the sand dunes, sweeping the dusty terrain towards the entrenched Goro soldiers behind him, most of whom were completely pinned down by automatic rifle and machine gun fire. Just as the situation was beginning to seem hopeless, the terrifying screams of jet engines rose about the din of battle and a pair of attack aircraft soared overhead, annihilating a section of the Goro line with ground attack missiles and automatic cannons. It seemed that Cobb Larson was determined to break through them.

Ena grabbed the nearest man that was still breathing and pulled him out of the dirt. "Go tell the general that Cobb Larson is pressing us hard. The Hesanaku Regiment cannot hold without reinforcements. Go, go!" The man nodded and made a mad dash for the division commander's battle standard.



Captain General Kuba Genta
Green Palm Army
Hollowland Refinery


Kuba watched as the green palm standard fell briefly as the standard bearer was hit by an arrow before another soldier picked it back up, carrying it toward the entrance of the refinery. A distant rumble as the two Red Cloak cannons on the walls fired down on the forces assaulting the gate at point-blank range, beating back the attack briefly and forcing the attackers to abandon one of their battering rams.

Kuba spat disdainfully. If the court would have only given him some real soldiers to work with instead of a legion of peasants, the Red Cloaks would have stood no chance, in his mind. Now, he could do little but bleed his troops on the enemy's fortifications in order to overwhelm them with sheer weight of numbers. The losses he would no doubt sustain from doing so would not cast him too favourably in the eyes of his men - though, granted, a job done was a job done and no one would dare question a victorious general, at least not openly.

Another roar of cannon fire as the Red Cloak artillery opened up once more. At this rate, he'd barely have an army left at the end of all this. He looked back over his shoulders are the reserves he had held back from the general assault on the refinery. A small contingent of infantry to guard his cannon, the gun battery themselves, and all of his cavalry. His gun crews were his most prized soldiers since there were all professional artillerists, unlike the rest of the rabble that made up his army. In terms of the cavalry, he probably valued the camels far more than their riders, who were mainly militiamen.

Kuba ground his teeth in annoyance. Sending up his guns would expose them to counter-battery fire from the enemy, but he did not really have any other option. The cavalry certainly would not be able to help push the attack while the infantry contingent was too small to add much impetus to the assault. He quickly beckoned one of his officers over.

"Bring our own guns up to counter theirs. I want those guns on the wall gone."

"Yes, my lord!"

The officer quickly left to make arrangements and, within a few minutes, the Katou gun crews began limbering up their cannons, attaching them to the back of camel carts, and rolling them forward into position.

The crack of firearms reverberated across the field like a wave of rolling thunder and was quickly complimented by the screams of men and camels. Kuba turned back to see men scattering from their posts as his lieutenant and many officers, gunners, camels, and others lay bleeding in the dust. Squinting, he saw the brief muzzle flashes of Dornalian snipers off in the distance and cursed under his breath. The Red Cloaks must have commandeered a cache of Cobb Larson rifles, he thought. He waved to his cavalry commander and pointed towards the Volunteer Force. "There's enemy skirmishers over there! Go get rid of them!"

"At once, my lord!"
Last edited by Ella2 6 on Wed Jan 04, 2023 1:34 pm, edited 4 times in total.

A writer of magic, fantasy & science fiction.

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Kasa Tkoth Sphere
Envoy
 
Posts: 247
Founded: Apr 23, 2019
Scandinavian Liberal Paradise

Postby Kasa Tkoth Sphere » Wed Oct 12, 2022 8:35 pm

Cadaz First Group, Squad Four
Near Prime Starport


Osí knew the schedule, but that was just a list of numbers. What mattered was that, after unloading around two-thirds of the Cadaz operatives and their drone teams onto the desert dunes that butted up against the edge of the Starport's network of roads, the trucks had all turned and started heading for the next objective marker. The time limit was measured in distance now; they'd have to catch up with the departing convoy when they were done, and that meant plowing in and out of the city at speeds only the Cadaz Syndicate, of all the organizations he knew, could pull off.

So he ran. Each bounding step on running blades sent him five meters or so; his suit had its wings extended somewhat so he could keep control of his landings one after another, dodging rocks and uncomfortable-looking pits. His channeler bounced to and fro in his grip, an armored case sprouting a cone of long steel bristles like a wide paintbrush. He was about two paces behind Sergeant Haim, who was swinging his rifle to check his sides every so often, and four paces in front of the leading edge of the rest of the squad, one of four that'd split off from the departure point to enter at points spaced across the city perimeter. One of his Winkers, loitering outside the city, gave him a remote view — four trails of spaced-out drones and footsoldiers, trickling from the desert onto the roads, then bolting off in zigzags down the street grid. Now was Squad Four's turn, as the slowest. Sand gave way to dusty asphalt, and Osí's running blades curled to adjust to the new balance it offered.

A flick of the eyes here, a subtle twitch with one hand — he ordered his drones to accompany the assault, a few highlighted dots on the aerial map amidst the long string that his squad commanded between them. One Winker made a hook at low altitude to get out of the way of something big and Cobb-Larson marked. The Aggressors bringing up the rear bolted forwards as they made contact with the road, legs folding out into awkward flailing wheels to give them a few more options for notches on the speed gears. His own attention, for the moment, lay on the complex around them and ahead. He took in the sights of dust-splashed warehouses and uninteresting apartment buildings, interrupted once in a while by an intersection that he still instinctively checked as he dashed through, despite the intel indicating clear roads ahead for a while. Looming ahead, far from their target but still impossible to miss, was the complex's main building and the endless carbon beanpole that shot skywards near it.

"Never seen one of these in person," he admitted over the radio, suppressing a chuckle as he thought of a question. "Hey, Ece, which way do you think the top section would go if you —"

"I am not cutting the fucking cable," said the other psion, busy escorting the trucks some five kilometers away.

"Damn. Sorry." He flushed underneath his face-concealing helmet. She sounded so cute when she was angry.

"Cut the long-range, Osí," his sergeant scolded. "And that goes for everyone. Short comms only now — and anything with Cobb-Larson ID is hostile once they lock us. Looks like there's a bit of a situation they're in right now, so just... try to keep clear of the hot spots. 227's our building, marked on everyone's maps, right? Big datacenter thing, hard to miss."

As the sergeant got everyone up to speed, the first of Osí's Aggressors reached his position, zipping past on flailing wheels that jolted sideways as it dashed past at three times his pace. In a motion that still baffled him sometimes, the metal canine flipped and rolled like it'd been rammed by a car, each short bounce turning momentum ahead into momentum shoving it to the side. When it reached the intersection two blocks ahead, it'd finally converted enough and dashed out of sight in a straight line. A simple command, really: "link up with the other ground drones a few blocks thataway and help cover our right flank". But war at Cadaz's speed was weird.
Last edited by Kasa Tkoth Sphere on Wed Oct 12, 2022 8:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Eisenstern
Bureaucrat
 
Posts: 47
Founded: Jun 24, 2019
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Eisenstern » Thu Oct 13, 2022 12:16 pm

【⁂】Sunryria【⁂】
【Goro, Royal Palace, Throne Room】
---




The envoy nodded. Though his expression was neutral, and showed little interest in the map before him, he was already busy committing it wholly to memory. It was a different perspective on local matters, and as such valuable in some niche way. The intelligence it provided on current troop movements was merely an added bonus - a method of easing an already-impending task. He turned to the general, and gave another curt bow.

"Then that is where we will begin, General. May it serve as a demonstration."

His next words were addressed to someone else, someone distant. Though he appeared to be talking to thin air once more, previous conduct had shown that there was something more to it.

"You heard the man. Make preparations - we're securing the elevator. Oh, and-"

His attention was on the Ellian once more, punctuated with a faint smile.

"Apologies, I have yet to make a proper personal introduction. We will be cooperating for the duration of this campaign, so it would be presumptious of me to withhold such things - Operative Finlay Poole, of Team Grail, envoy to the Tower. At your service. If you or his Majesty have any need of contacting our organization, I am your direct link."



【⁂】Sunryria【⁂】
【Orbit】




The room at the Bastion’s approximate center was modeled after a library. Nobody knew why - it wasn’t standard, but it’s not like there really was a standard for this sort of thing. Each platform was unique, beholden to the whims of the artificers behind it in some small way. And here, this was evidenced in the control room. It was hexagonal, far taller than wide. The walls, as one might have expected, were lined with shelves, and on those shelves there were a great deal of books - the collection was genuine, if somewhat arbitrary in its selection and strangely-ordered. Motes of apparently self-sustaining, sourceless light were suspended in glass bulbs, spaced regularly throughout, and the even glow they cast was at the very least sufficient for the workspace - the further, vertical reaches of the room were blanketed in shadow, but it wasn’t as if they had much practical use. And at the very center, hovering a few meters off the ground, was a woman.

She was not a fixture of the room. Nor was the crystalline, throne-like structure atop which she reclined, carved with innumerable glyphs and pictograms. Her own complexion matched the translucent crystal - blue-green, ethereal, and underlit by some flickering internal glow. One could mistake her for a statue, one with the throne, hanging wholly motionless - that notion was dispelled when she cocked her head at a voice only she could hear, echoing up from far further than sound could possibly travel.

“Understood. I’ll notify Spur.”

Her own words were melodic, resonant - maybe it was the room’s acoustics, but it was almost as if she was speaking in unison with half a dozen subtly different voices. There was movement in repsonse, out behind one of the smaller shelves - a rather sheepish-looking man, black-cloaked, stepped out into view while fiddling with what looked to be a ball of circuitry and solenoids.

“Did the golems come through okay?”

“Yes, Emil. You did well.”

The woman smiled, while Emil merely shrugged his shoulders in a vaguely noncommittal manner.

“Sure. Rail did most of the work, I was just guiding them. Not entirely sure why you got me to do it either. Were you testing me?”

The throne rotated a fraction, until the two of them were face to face. Emil set down the solenoid-ball on a nearby table, and seated himself into a padded armchair opposite - at the sight of him steeping his fingers, the woman’s smile grew wider.

“Not exactly. But there isn’t much I can do at the moment, on my own. My efforts are focused on establishing dominion.”

“Does that mean I have to send in this force as well?”

“No, they’ll go on their own. The overseer is onsite.”

He had to admit this still didn’t quite make sense to him. An Immortal couldn’t be physically present here, or anywhere, but since the golems were here already it also couldn’t not. He forced all semblance of philosophy from his mind, and sighed.

“Alright. So what do you want me to do then?”

Now it was her turn to shrug. The motion was strange, as with all of her movements. Like tiny bits of intervening space suddenly went missing, one after the other.

“Observe. Be on standby. If Finlay needs anything more, send it to him.”

“Sure.”

All in all, this wasn’t too bad of a posting. Emil wasn’t really a boots-on-the-ground sort of guy, so sitting up here and coordinating things was perfectly fine as far as he was concerned. And from the looks of things, he had no desire to be sent out onto the planet itself - angry natives and corporate death squads aside, there were some bad actors in play. Not that he’d looked at the documentation too closely, or studied much of the strategic overview. Wasn’t his job, wasn’t his burden. Not something he wanted to shoulder now, on top of everything else. Still, beneath the cautious resignation there was a layer of curiosity, and it chose to surface now.

“Alcinne?”

“Hm?”

Idly, his fingers tapped against the bronze clasp atop his coat. It wasn’t a conscious action - just something he tended to do when immersed in thought.

“Who’s in Spur?”

“I thought you’d greeted them in-transit.”

He had actually gone to great lengths to avoid meeting the other assigned team en-route. Alcinne probably knew this, but he wasn’t about to tell her.

“Didn’t get the chance.”

“Mm. Well, there’s two of them.”

This much he knew. Still, he chided himself on not gathering the bare minimum of information beyond that - his posting was a balancing act, and he’d let apprehension get the better of him. He’d probably have to interact with them sooner or later, so now was as good a time as any to catch up. Alcinne twirled a strand of ethereal hair around an equally-ghostly finger as she continued.

“I’m not personally familiar with either. We’ve met face to face a handful of times, so I can’t tell you much that isn’t on record. Both are gold, and have been here for longer than I have.”

Two gold-ranked Operatives on a single team. Strike that, a team consisting of only golds. That was a first. He’d worked with Alcinne for long enough to understand that rank alone indicated very little; it was a general measure of field impact, of individual utility. But it was still an indicator of status, of meaning.

“What’s their speciality?”

Team Grail was broadly filed under “conflict resolution”. The ambiguity was deliberate, but what they mostly got up to was diplomatic coordination and low-grade warmongering. He’d not actually seen a tag on Spur, but now its size and composition was enough to pique some interest - three was the usual minimum.

“General field ops, on paper. If you want a track record summary, they’re frontier folk - backwater specialists, you could probably say. Which fits the theater.”

“I suppose it’s pretty rough down there. Medieval deserts and all.”

Alcinne laughed - a sharp, uncharacteristic sound. For a moment, the vague matronly impression receded into something else.

“This is nothing. You haven’t seen a proper Guild-standard backwater yet, and maybe you won’t for a while. But they’re here because the golems need insurance, and maybe backup.”

“So they’re generalist combatants? Like Finlay.”

Finlay was probably the strangest member of Grail, and that was counting the extraspatial banshee-leech currently seated before Emil. It was as if every trade, profession and virtue of the human race had been blended and condensed into one rather ordinary-looking, if weirdly ageless, man. He could do a little bit of everything, and a lot more of most things - if it didn’t involve magic, he was probably capable of damn near anything Emil could name. It was reassuring and eerie in equal measure. He’d neither the time nor inclination to pry into the man’s past, and something was definitely off about him, in that same indescribable sense that Emil could attribute to any number of people he’d met during his tenure at the Tower - a light shudder came alongside the recollection of an eerie cold, and an upside-down smile - but he was reliable, and he was probably the single best person to trust with one’s life, provided he was contractually-speaking on your side. But now Alcinne’s words were more careful, reserved. It was a tone she rarely took.

“Something like Finlay. But of a different caliber.”

“As combatants, or..?”

Now Emil was doubly confused. There was definitely something more to the way she’d said it, but he had no idea how he could come to what it was. She sighed, and gave another shrug.

“Yes and no. Though if that’s what you’re asking, either one of them could make mincemeat out of Finlay in a heartbeat. Or me, for that matter.”

She smiled, bitterly.

“I’m no fighter.”

“Sorry, I didn’t mean-”

“It’s fine.”

A ghostly hand reached out, and patted him on the head.

“I’m not offended or anything. We all have our roles. Now-”

Swiveling the throne towards a nearby shelf, she retrieved a dusty, leatherbound volume. The dust didn’t actually fall off as she opened the book; it seemed frozen in place, strangely artificial.

“It’s about time we start. Legion elements one and two, team Spur - you’re cleared for entry.”

Spirals of ink untethered themselves from the fluttering pages, forming a complex three-dimensional pattern in the surrounding air. They sought out a time and place among countless myriads, sank strands of locator-data down through the appropriate channels. Painted targets, wrote out vectors. Some floors below, in a much larger room, rows upon rows of black-metal feet realigned themselves. And promptly vanished, one by one.



【⁂】Sunryria【⁂】
【Goro, Vicinity of Prime Elevator】




Overlooking the Prime Starport, and the general carnage surrounding it, there stood a large rock. Or not - it was certainly large in a personal sense, but maybe not geographically or cosmically. Its ridge-bedecked bulk had towered over the landscape for millions of years, and it wasn’t about to stop now; it had nothing to gain from interfering in the petty conflict of what, to it, were specks of dust, ambling about so far below. It had no role to play in the battle either, if only because climbing it would not be practical for either side, no matter how advantageous of a position it would ultimately grant them, and hauling up heavy equipment was a nigh-impossibility. It may have surprised some, then, to see something poke out over the nearest ridge. A smooth, matte-black shape, evoking a faceless head, bearing no markings save a large thorned circle where a face might otherwise have been. With its eyeless gaze, it surveyed the scene; the exchanges of fire taking place a scant few hundred meters away, as the collective forces of Cobb Larson sought to break through the Hesanaku Regiment, were all duly noted and catalogued away. Somewhere else, further action was taken.




Closer to the brunt of the action, another, similar appendage appeared to protrude directly out of a sand dune. It stared directly at the tank column trundling by, despite having nothing to stare with. It was merely there to confirm an observation. And then, streaking over the dune behind it, came the response.

The projectiles rose relatively slowly - high-subsonic, twenty streaks of off-blue light emerging in unison, accompanied by a distant series of cracks, much delayed. They looked like flares.

They were not.

They split apart at the apex of their arcs, spreading outwards, and suddenly got a whole lot faster. By the time they came roaring down to ground level, each one was traveling at some utterly arbitrary number of machs, seeking out a suitable slab of armor to embed themselves into. They nailed their chosen vehicles with somewhat unnerving precision - ten slammed squarely into the centers of tank turrets, two apiece, while another eight each found their way to a suitably aggressive-looking personnel transport or IFV, impacting at apparently deliberate diagonals. Each impacting body was, theoretically, inert, but as they punched through layer upon layer of composite their paths were overtaken by blossoming arcs of energy - pulses of plasma, erupting out of seemingly nowhere, and wreaking about as much havoc as one would expect from something so violently superheated and capricious.

The two projectiles that remained had not bothered with descending, and had instead adopted relatively flat-flying trajectories a few kilometers up, flinging themselves at the two aircraft that had just succeeded in their bombing run. Their intent, it seemed, was not limited to armor.

And now the protruding head rose from the dune, bringing with it a matching matte-black body, draped in a dusty cloak. Mannequin-like limbs pulled themselves out of the sand, moving with inhuman smoothness. One black-iron hand pulled a hook-tipped sword from the dune, while another rose up to point at the nearest cluster of Cobb Larson soldiers. A fusilade of glowing darts, each one mimicking the rough size, speed, and general impact profile of a hard-jacketed bullet, streaked their way towards the unfortunately-positioned formation. At the same time, a dozen more black shapes arose from the nearby sand, and joined their comrade in opening fire. It was one group of many - all around the encroaching Cobb Larson forces, additional groups of golems would emerge. Their formation was dispersed, but they moved in perfect synchronicity; whatever their means of maintaining order, it didn’t seem to conform to such measly masters as physical proximity or orientation.

The Black Legion had arrived, and it had done so with its customary gusto - silently, with very little warning, and with little intention of holding back.




Back on the apparently-inaccessible rock, a pair of figures reclined against the weathered limestone. They were dressed quite similarly - wide-brimmed hats, bundled-up cloaks, held shut with clasps of gold; all in matching, dusty black, completely lacking lustre. About the only visible difference, with their faces so deeply shrouded, was their size; one was roughly on par with, or possibly slightly below, the average adult human. The other was notably larger in every respect, some two to three meters in height when standing. It was this larger one that spoke, staring out at the handful of golems standing watch over the stone-topped plateau.

“Isn’t it about time we moved out?”

The voice was female, or so one would assume. There was an inherent anger to it, somehow, despite the sense that the speaker wasn’t actually angry regarding anything at the moment. Underneath the more typical harmonics one would expect from a voice, there was something that sounded vaguely like what one would imagine tectonic plates to sound like. Grinding, colossal, and oozing magma. The smaller figure sounded entirely ordinary by contrast, if somewhat tired.

“No, we’re here as observers for now. If the natives have trouble even with the golems, we can step in. For now, we gather intel. On that note, I’ll be scrying. Stand watch.”

Now the larger figure was definitely miffed.

“Hahh, can’t Grail handle overwatch? They’ve got the ghost b-”

“Alcinne hasn’t achieved synchronization yet. She can’t afford to zero in on this battle at the moment. And we really don’t need to intervene.”

He sighed.

“Look, if anything comes up here while I’m doing this, you’re welcome to blast it to pieces. Just wake me up before you do, alright?”

“Alright.”

And so the smaller figure sat down in a lotus position, back against the stone, hat drooping down even further over his face. And he continued sitting, and doing very little besides, until a minute or so later he appeared to start vibrating. Though maybe it wasn’t quite that - something between vibration and a heat-haze, his outline growing blurry, indistinct. It enveloped him further and further, until he was nothing more than a murky blob, black against beige. And then the blur rose from him, now its own wholly-separate thing, returning him to sharpness. It sailed upwards as little more than a ripple in the air, barely-perceptible, making its way out over the landscape. Though it had no eyes, it saw - in some ways, quite a similar arrangement to the golems. It saw the small unit of Arquebi, having launched their initial salvo against the tanks, already repositioning across the dunes to avoid counter-battery fire. The clusters of Legionnaires, moving to hem in Cobb Larson’s forces. The assorted sides of the conflict already-established - lines of battle weaving their way across the tracts of dust, embroiled in a desperate tug of war for control of the starport and its environs. And then there were actors wholly uninvolved, for the moment - they were perhaps what interested the blur-thing most.

Thus, wafting its way along, it focused its very abstract attention on two very particular clusters of shapes - one moving very quickly, through the city, and another biding its time in a makeshift camp. Action could be taken later. For now, it had to witness.
‖♜‖ 'Twixt the darkness, and the light ‖♜‖
‖♜‖ Seekers roam the seas of night ‖♜‖

A mercantile city state, housed in a dimension-hopping tower that's bigger on the inside.
Ruled by a meritocratic adventurers' council (in theory) and a democratically-elected municipal body (in practice).
Punches far above its apparent weight via an unending golem army and a schizotech clique of superhuman mercenaries.
NS stats are for those with no imagination.
[EXTREMELY WIP]

The not-so-short rundown [outdated] || The leaders [unfinished] || The military [outdated and unfinished] || Some choice information [soup]

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New Dornalia
Ambassador
 
Posts: 1823
Founded: Apr 27, 2005
New York Times Democracy

Postby New Dornalia » Fri Oct 14, 2022 6:09 pm



Captain General Kuba Genta
Green Palm Army
Hollowland Refinery


[ . . . ]The crack of firearms reverberated across the field like a wave of rolling thunder and was quickly complimented by the screams of men and camels. Kuba turned back to see men scattering from their posts as his lieutenant and many officers, gunners, camels, and others lay bleeding in the dust. Squinting, he saw the brief muzzle flashes of Dornalian snipers off in the distance and cursed under his breath. The Red Cloaks must have commandeered a cache of Cobb Larson rifles, he thought. He waved to his cavalry commander and pointed towards the Volunteer Force. "There's enemy skirmishers over there! Go get rid of them!"

"At once, my lord!"


As soon as the Green Palms' attentions began to turn to the Dornalians, the men and women of the Recon Company would begin to move out. With practiced hand signals, no voices, and fast movement, they leapt onto waiting speeder bikes to begin zipping away from the bulk of the enemy force which was coming for them. The Recon Company's men knew it wouldn't do to stay in one place too long. Even a relatively primitive army like the enemy pursuing them had their ways of ripping the men of the Recon Company apart if they captured them. Right now, they needed to find cover. The HUD's of the men and women began lighting up. To the side, a whole hostile array of red dots were advancing on their position. To another side, the speedometers clocked the men traveling quickly for the terrain they were in, at speeds well over a hundred miles an hour hovering over the rough patches.

One of them, under her balaclava, couldn't help but feel a rush of adrenaline out of this cat and mouse game. Irony of ironies being that the operator was a gato, one of Dornalia's Mexican-Filipino cat eared and cat tailed but very human folks. Then again, the cat had to be chased sometimes--that's just how life worked.

Taking the time to try something else, the Recon operators parked in another secure location. From there, they would set up sniping positions again, and begin picking off targets of opportunity as they wished with sniper rifles, and this time, the odd explosive.

The evasiveness would serve a purpose beyond mere survival though. It would buy time. For the feeds on the Recon Companymen's HUDs began lighting up with tons of green. The bulk of the Volunteer Force was landing and arming up, getting into combat formations in short-ish order....
"New Dornalia, a living example of anomalous civilizations."-- Phoenix Conclave
"Your nation has always been ridiculous. But it's endearing."--Skaugra
"It's a magical place where chinese cowboys ply the star lanes to extract vast wealth from trade, where NORINCO isn't just an arms company, but an evil bond villain type conglomerate that hides in other nations. Where the apocalypse happened, and everyone went "huh, that's neat" and then got back to having catgirls and starships."-- Olimpiada
"...why am I space China, and I don't have actual magic animals, and you're space USA, and you do? This seems like a mistake." --Roania, during a discussion on wildlife.

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Ella2 6
Diplomat
 
Posts: 881
Founded: May 16, 2016
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Ella2 6 » Mon Oct 17, 2022 10:18 am

Kasa Tkoth Sphere wrote:-snip-


Lieutenant Anita Steve
Air Defence Battery, Commander Cheryl Nathan's Battalion
Prime Elevator


Anita eased back in the reclining chair to get some eye shut.

The local air defence radar installation had been shot to pieces in the fight for the Prime Elevator, though mainly due to collateral damage as opposed to any targeted attacks. Granted, the natives had no air power, and so there was little for the air-defence unit to do during the battle. The trouble was that anything vaguely resembling an armoured vehicle was liable to getting itself ATGM'd by Goro forces, most of whom could not tell the difference between a Cobb Larson company car and a Nanna battle tank - though in all fairness to the natives, they probably hated their managers a lot more than the average SpaceSeaX BT-1.

As such, the platoon's two remaining self-propelled air-defence radars had been parked on the side of a hill near the Prime Elevator alongside their self-propelled SAM battery, all camouflaged with the limited foliage that grew on the side of the rocky slopes. The battalion headquarters was located just at the base of the same hill, and so the entire area was protected by a light screen of various units that the commander had lying about unused.

Though orders were to keep the engines off so that they would not show up on the thermal scopes of the SM-1 javelin missile the natives stole from the armoury, most vehicles at the base camp were powered to keep their air conditioning running so that troops could shelter from the heat. The air defence platoon was no exception to this and, officers' perks being what they were, Anita could pretty much stay inside for as long as she wanted (and she was in no hurry to leave). Since the engine was running, the radar was powered, even though there was, presumably, nothing to see.

Hence the surprise on the lieutenant's face when she woke up and leaned forward to turn the air conditioning up, only to see several non-friendly pings pop off on the display and drift towards the Elevator at low speed - too slow to be a missile or plane anyhow. "Bloody thing's probably broken again," she muttered under her breath, picking up the radio and dialling the platoon's frequency, "Hey, Snowflakes. Radar 1 is broken again. Get it fixed."

"Ugh..." Came the reply. "We don't even need those things. Can't we just leave it?"

"Only you want to polish our radar dishes when the Commander comes around for a random inspection."

The cabin door opened a minute or two later and Corporal Sydney poked her head in. "What's the problem?"

Anita tapped the radar screen. "I'm getting false pings. Go check if there's something broken."

Sydney groaned. "That could literally be anything. The dish. The computer. The software. Where do I even start?"

"I don't care where. Just get it done."

The door closed and Anita reclined back in her chair again, placing her hands behind her head and closing her eyes. Much to her annoyance, the door opened again a few minutes later and a gust of hot air swept into the cabin. "What is it now?" She snapped, glaring at Sydney as she stepped inside.

"I don't think the radar's broken," the corporal stated simply, "I went to Radar 3 to get my tools and it has the same readings."

Anita sat up. By now the pings had moved towards the Elevator and were loitering over the warehouses around the Elevator at low altitudes. "Drones," she observed, recognising the behaviour of the pings, "Did someone forget to turn on their IFF beacons?" Sydney shrugged. Either way, it was something worth reporting to headquarters. Anita picked up the radio again and switch the frequency. "Battalion, this is Radar 1. Be advised we have detected several unidentified flying objects over the warehouse area. Over."

"Copy. Battalion out."

A quick call to the battalion's reconnaissance platoon followed shortly thereafter and several drones were launched to investigate the anomalies. Several minutes later, a flurry of radio traffic suddenly came over the various frequencies they were connected to. Everyone from regimental headquarters to local air command was frantically scrambling to muster some sort of a quick response force.

Anita and Syndey shared a glance as the radio buzzed non-stop with transmissions. "I think we just stumbled across something serious."



Lieutenant Tommie Penn
Delta Company, Commander Jesse Wendy's Battalion
Prime Elevator


Commander Jesse Wendy's Battalion, still exhausted from fending off the Goro army, marched to confront the new threat that was moving towards the Elevator. Spirits were not exceptionally high, but local air command had promised heavy air support and regimental artillery was on standby so at least there was support to rely on. The recon drones that Nathan's Battalion had dispatched also helped to monitor enemy activity.

Lieutenant Penn and his Delta Company were tasked with intercepting and delaying the newcomers. If possible, they should also try to determine their intention. So far, analysts in the recon platoon have been able to identify them as operatives of the Cadaz Syndicate based on their insignia and they were able to retrieve limited information from the galactic internet concerning a contact they took with the Kasa Tkoth Sphere. Either way, it was probably bad news.

Something told Penn that the company executives probably had an idea of what the K-Sphere and their mercenary partners were after, but it was unlikely anyone in the security department was privy to such details. After all, corporations rarely want to start a shooting war and so whatever asset the executives felt was under threat must have been rather important.

The radio buzzed. "Delta Company. Be advised that multiple squad-sized elements of powered infantry and robots are rapidly approaching your position."

Penn waved for his men to spread out and take up ambush positions in the buildings and the troops quickly moved to cover several blocks to the left and the right to ensure that their defence net could not easily be bypassed regardless of the fast pace that the Cadaz units are moving at. "Hold your fire," the lieutenant ordered, "Wait for their infantry."

The Cadaz group arrived much faster than they had anticipated, though they were able to prepare their positions just in time. They let the aerial drones fly past and waited for the infantry to appear before springing their trap. Gunfire erupted from the windows and rocketeers fired a few missiles down at the robots. The company's two surviving SpaceSeaX TT-1X UGV autonomous tankettes rolled out from behind their positions and added their autocannons to the firefight.
Last edited by Ella2 6 on Sun Nov 27, 2022 1:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Kasa Tkoth Sphere
Envoy
 
Posts: 247
Founded: Apr 23, 2019
Scandinavian Liberal Paradise

Postby Kasa Tkoth Sphere » Wed Oct 19, 2022 5:33 am

Cadaz First Group, Squad Four
Approaching Building 227


Instinctively, everyone had recognized that there were problems attacking into ambushing defenders in dense terrain — Cadaz First Group's tactics had evolved on the endless rocky plains and dead mountains of Entak, and in its winding caves and dropoffs, not the cover-rich environment of a city. But Osí didn't internalize that, not really, until he heard the abrupt scream of his squadmate four paces — twenty meters — behind him, followed by the dull explosion of a ruptured flight suit. His heart felt as if it crumpled into a ball at the sign of gunfire. "Pha! Are you th-" he stuttered, wanting to continue, but he'd already shut off his radio after the first word. There was too much to focus on, with bullets whizzing past and striking the ground, mostly towards where he'd been one blink earlier, but too close for that to be comforting.

"She's down!" confirmed an even more shaken private's voice — Nèé, judging from the accent moreso than his HUD's display text which he didn't have the concentration to read — from further back along the column. "I got her drones! Uh... my wing's out...! Big hole..." Every word made Osí's gut churn more.

During the exchange, the infantry had already scattered, switching from a bouncing hundred-fifty-klicks-an-hour stride to an agitated self-preserving zigzag that took them on doubly nonlinear paths through alleys, out of the way at intersections, and behind buildings. Some of the troops bounced up onto the nearby warehouses with a blue-flared kick from their flight suits, taking advantage of the clear "terrain" to boost out at top speed by leaping from one rooftop to the next. "Burst!" belted out Captain Mé from the top of the radio chain, and on cue everyone's drones' reactors were screaming. "1-2 'round left, 3-4 'round right, get some runners up the middle!" he kept yelling, in a way that made instinctive sense rather than consoling him. "Looks like 4's hit bad. 3, help Osí get cover up. Everyone else, flash as we go past and don't you dare fucking stop!"

Hearing his own role called out finally snapped Osí out of his mute shock, but he needed time and intel, even a second's worth, to contribute anything. Fortunately, the Aggressors leading the charge, by a few hundred meters now, were sensor-linked to the rest of the unit. As each one, in sequence, dashed almost effortlessly out of rocket fire — often times clearing the blast zones by half a block by the time of impact — and watched the hail of bullets erupt from windows and ledges, they put a little red dot on everyone's HUD for every count of a muzzle flash. Most of the dogs turned out of the way, skidding around corners with a shower of sparks, and swung their tail lasers around to put a few shots into one of the dots, whichever was most convenient. Once in a while, one made a break for it, tearing through the streets dead ahead at speeds still far from their maximum, but impossible for the human eye to track — their goal was just to get firepower past the blockade. Some of the Winkers, hovering a few blocks behind the new front line, leveled machine guns at the densest concentrations of red and started putting laser fire downrange with precision, while others marked down the two vehicles for, Osí figured, someone else to worry about.

His sergeant sent a ping as he peeled right, lethally close to the enemy's firing position, beckoning Osí to follow closely while the rest of the squad was keeping them briefly covered with laser fire from the rear. He didn't even need to think about how he was going to approach this — the tactical problem had been drilled into everyone's heads long ago. The channeler in his hand thrummed with power, not from any battery or reactor — it was hardly more than lightweight metal — but from his own neurons, which sent a crackling signal out of his fingertips through light-colored gloves. Its many bristles, stationary in reality, seemed to stir and twist in his mind as he swung it out against the red-dot-laden buildings now to his side. Then, with a surge of blood in his arteries and a throbbing headache that made it feel as if the whole world was melting, he fired.

A whole section of some nameless building's face glowed with the heat of what crude approximations of a blackbody its materials passed for. Flammables caught alight, adding smoke and flickering flames to reddened, warped steel and brick, which finally gave way in a shower of miniature explosions and fanned out against gravity's will into a nebulous cloud of dust and shrapnel covering what used to be an outer section of wall. No one within would be harmed, provided they weren't leaning out of the windows altogether — which the handful of red dots hadn't seemed to be, at least in his eyes. But the field of debris would hover there, long after he'd passed far into the distance, before after four or five agonizing seconds it finally cooled and rained to the ground when the last few soldiers and drones had darted out of the field of fire.

One cover zone down, several more to go along the line of fire. Running at a dead transversal to the enemy's ambush position meant there'd be little hope of hitting him with optic targeting alone, especially not when the field of cover stayed ahead of Osí and Sergeant Haim, shielding them and the last few Aggressor stragglers coming up behind them. But even if Cobb-Larson had better options, risking himself was the psion's job. As he put up the last momentary barrier and the one behind it began to fall, he looked out away from the enemy, towards Squads Three and Four maneuvering through the city and around them. A plume of white speckles had erupted from somewhere down one of the streets, a squadmate's missile launcher putting a couple dozen pencil-sized HEAT microcharges into the air and on countless different arcs against the vehicles still being scanned down from afar.

Then there was a bright flash in the distance, like from a bomb going off, and someone cursed unintelligibly. "My Radical's down — already —"

"Relax," came Captain Mé's voice. "First of many, first of many."
Last edited by Kasa Tkoth Sphere on Wed Oct 19, 2022 5:36 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Ella2 6
Diplomat
 
Posts: 881
Founded: May 16, 2016
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Ella2 6 » Thu Nov 17, 2022 9:16 pm

Eisenstern wrote:-snip-


Lieutenant Glenn Melissa
Delta Company, Kha'an's Regiment
Prime Elevator


"Flares north west!" The gunner called. Glenn opened the top hatch of the infantry tank and popped his head out into the dusty wind, taking note of the ominous blue lights. "Who launched them?" The gunner continued to ask.

Glenn shook his head. "There shouldn't be any friendlies in that direction." He quickly glanced back at the column of infantry tanks behind them, squinting to see through the dust that their own vehicle was kicking up as they sped through the desert. Delta Company had been ordered to break through the Goro defensive line and link up with the defenders under siege at the Prime Elevator as quickly as possible. Regiment even gave them a tank platoon to help accomplish this task. Though the enemy was able to knock out one of the Nannas, the heavy tanks were making short work of the native infantry, ploughing right through the entrenched enemies and clearing a way for the column of Alcis IFVs to speed through.

A thundercrack suddenly split across the sand dunes and the two men looked up to find that the score of flares had exploded like fireworks and the sparks had begun streaking down towards them at great speed. "Airburst rounds! Disperse! Disperse!"

The driver yanked hard on the controls at the lieutenant's bidding and ploughed the head of the vehicle right into an anti-tank ditch that the natives had dug. The manoeuvre saved the vehicle from the fate that befell the lead tank in the column, which blew a pillar of flames out of every hatch and hole it had, but it also meant that it was stuck there until a recovery vehicle could be brought in to pull it out the pit. Overhead, the two bombers exploded into a pair of great fireballs, raining aircraft debris all over the city.

"Get out! Get out! Move!" Glenn yelled, hoisting himself out of the top hatch. The other passengers wasted no time following suit, rapidly disembarking and establishing a perimeter around the pit, which, ironically, served as a relatively decent fighting position. A surviving tank quickly parked itself behind them, infantrymen from another IFV quickly joining them in the ditch. No sooner had they gotten into position did they notice the shapes and shadows emerging from the nearby rocky outcrop that served as a local landmark. "Contact!"

The tank turned to face the new threat when a powerful bolt smashed through its lower glacis with deadly precision, exploding inside the tank and instantly vapouring everything and everyone within. A suppressive hail of tracers rained down on the ditch, pinning down the soldiers. The infantry tank's turret swivelled around and the autocannon elevated as much as it could to shoot from its awkward position with limited effect, knocking out the only golem that was unfortunate enough to be in its field of fire. Glenn quickly scrambled over to his heavy weapons team and bullied them into returning fire as well. As the machine gunners and rocketeers began firing back at their assailants, the other members of the squad also started firing back, encouraged by the supporting weapons.

With the section combat effective again, Glenn quickly ducked into the IFV and took up the radio. "Battalion, this is Delta Company. Battalion, this is Delta Company. We're being overrun. Requesting immediate support. Over." Listening intently for a response, he managed to barely hear the sound of gunfire resounding across the noisy, static-filled channel. His heart sank as he realised this could only mean one thing. Battalion HQ had been destroyed.



Captain Kha'an
Kha'an's Regiment
Prime Elevator


"The 2nd recon platoon has run out of drones."

"Alpha Company reporting heavy casualties."

"Shirasaki says that she had no operational MBTs left."

Regimental headquarters was a flurry of panicked activity as staff hurried to-and-fro in an attempt to understand the situation which has spiralled out of control. Kha'an wiped the sweat from his brow as he studied the constantly updating digital map he has displayed before him. Given the technological primitiveness of the natives, every vehicle in the regiment had activated their automatic tracking equipment which reported the position of the vehicle and all nearby friendly infantry back to HQ so that they could be accurately tracked on the map.

But with the sudden attack coming from all sides, many vehicles were destroyed so quickly that radio operators could not establish contact with the infantry fast enough to know if they were still alive. And to make matters worse, the recon company was losing drones at an unsustainable rate, making it next to impossible to verify if positions were still occupied or if hostiles had overrun them. As a result, large segments of the frontline were blacked out and it was unknown if the enemy had broken through or not.

A communications officer hurriedly approached him with a salute. "Captain Kha'an, Sir. We've lost contact with 2nd Battalion HQ. Commander Tomfort presumed KIA."

This changes things. If the Battalion HQ was gone, then that could only mean that a breakthrough had already occurred. Kha'an quickly pointed at the small cluster of troops and operational vehicles he had held in reserve. "Send them in and throw those primitives back. Allocate fires from 1st and 2nd battery to the counterattack."

"Yes, sir!"

And with that, the regimental reserve, consisting of a single tank platoon supported by a battalion of tank destroyers and light tanks and infantry from the regiment's reconnaissance company, set out towards 2nd Battalion's area of operations. Two-thirds of the regimental artillery turned their fires to that sector, awaiting fire missions from the recce company. Little did Kha'an realise that the entire perimeter of his regiment had been overrun and these forces would be their only hope of breaking out of the encirclement.

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Ella2 6
Diplomat
 
Posts: 881
Founded: May 16, 2016
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Ella2 6 » Thu Nov 17, 2022 9:53 pm

New Dornalia wrote:-snip-


Liuentant General Tora
Green Palm Army
Hollowland Refinery


Tora growled in annoyance as his camel riders fell from their saddles, picked off by accurate rifle fire from barely out of reach. The speed of the enemy's withdrawal surprised him as much as it angered and frustrated him. Soldiers that could shoot further than the kingdom's best bowmen and run faster than camels. The absurdity of it all! The camels were growing tired, but he reasoned that the enemy must be exhausted too from all the running they were doing. He would be able to catch up with them soon. The only question that remains now would be how many horsemen he would have by the time they entered the melee. He glanced back at his contingent. Their numbers had been reduced by almost a third.



Captain General Kuba Genta
Green Palm Army
Hollowland Refinery


With, what was in his mind, Red Cloak skirmishers routed by his cavalry, Kuba ordered his guns up to the walls once more. The artillerists dutifully obeyed, limbering their guns, hitching them to their camels, and advancing towards the refinery gates. They were greeted by scattered rifle fire as real Red Cloak sharpshooters began taking potshots at them with captured Cobb Larson guns. Unfazed, however, the men simply unlimbered the cannons and aimed them at the top of the gatehouse wall, firing volleys of relatively inaccurate cannonballs at the two cannons that were giving their infantry so much trouble. The Red Cloak cannons were unable to respond to the attacks since they had to keep the infantry below the gates suppressed with canisters.

Eventually, a cannonball struck one of the Red Cloak cannons, destroying its wooden mounting and sending it clattering off the walls into the mass of spearmen waiting below, crushing more than a dozen men and sowing chaos in the ranks. With the constant shelling interrupted, Katou archers were able to step forward while the remaining gun was reloading and shower the gunners with arrows. Now, with both guns silent, the infantry brought up a second battering ram and began hammering down the gates.

It was only a matter of time before the gates were breached and men rushed into the refinery. A wall of spears clashed with a wall of spears as Red Cloak and Katou infantry ground themselves against each other. While the Katou had the weight of numbers on their side at the start of the battle, the assault on the gatehouse had cost them dearly and the narrowness of the gate mitigated their numerical advantage. Red Cloak infantry held their own, holding the attackers in place while archers on the wall exchanged arrows with Katou archers on the ground. All the while, Katou artillerymen continued to fire at the tops of the walls, their cannonballs tearing out chunks from the plasteel battlements and suppressing the archers and riflemen positioned there.

Kuba drew his sword and waved to his retinue of bodyguards. He would join the battle in person and break the stalemate at the gate.

A writer of magic, fantasy & science fiction.

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Birina
Bureaucrat
 
Posts: 53
Founded: Oct 18, 2019
Benevolent Dictatorship

Postby Birina » Fri Nov 18, 2022 11:48 am

Much like all the other future civilizations converging on Sunryria, Birina had a stated purpose for their being there and an actual purpose for being there. And like most (but not all) of the other future civilizations, their actual purpose was much, much sillier than their stated purpose and maybe wasn't even something that necessarily needed to be a secret in the first place? But secrets are fun and make otherwise unforgivably dull people somewhat interesting. It is for this reason that every Birinian character has a secret.

Herbor Hofstradtman, Birina's State Philosopher, secretly had a marionette collection.

Jaxon Miller, the Chairman of the Windmill Committee (they run Birina; it's a windmill based futuristic society, it's a whole thing, and yes I read Don Quixote), secretly had a model train obsession.

Christon Mills, who presumably did something, had multiple proctologists that had no knowledge of one another and were all selected because they had thicker than average fingers. This particular secret made his flatulence a secret as well because when he passed gas it was almost completely soundless.

The writer of this story secretly writes hamfisted science fiction satire on a forum dedicated to a much better and more successful science fiction satire author; a rich irony that is not lost on him. Similar to art students who go to art museums to paint and learn from famous artists, this is a quite sad state of affairs, but they certainly don't like having it pointed out to them. He has realized on multiple occasions that this hobby is entirely impossible to explain to his friends and family. He once made the mistake of attempting such and his aunt said "Oh, like Minecraft!"

I regret to report that the writer took another sip of his Chardonnay and mumbled, "Uhm... yeah. Like Minecraft."

Jaxon spoke "Every future civilization, which is what we are in the present, has to eventually buckle down, learn all about science, and start doing normal space empire things. Sort of like how every gay man has to eventually develop a personality or move to the West Coast for a couple years."

The reader whose sensibilities may be offended at Jaxon's comment should note that the writer is, himself, a prolific homosexual.

“I agree, because dissent is impermissible.” Christon replied, “But how do we learn these things without alerting these guys to how generally dogshit we are? Because they might attack us if they realize that.”
“We will present a very convincing front of having our shit together and, under the guise of spreading democracy, construct an orbital station above Sunryria. But actually, that station will be carefully paying attention to what everyone else does. And then we can just copy them.”

Christon nodded even more enthusiastically. “I’ll have someone less important than me initiate a broadcast for you that goes to, you know, everyone. Everyone nearby or, I mean, everyone who’s scanning for it. For the broadcast. On that frequency. Or we’ll do it on, like, all the frequencies so that… You know no matter what frequency they scan they’ll get it. If they’re nearby. Maybe. If they want. And we’ll write it down or something so the past people on Sunryria get it. Okay, we’re doing all of that. Just go ahead and start talking.”

Jaxon cleared his throat and began broadcasting his completely unrehearsed message to his coalition of the listening.

“Greetings, fellow citizens of the galaxy. I am allegedly the leader of Birina and, as you can see, our ship is not exploding. All of our ships, generally, are not exploding.”

Christon winked and mouthed the word “Perfect” to Jaxon.

“The only people who say Birinian ships explode are dirty conspiracy theorists who don’t have abs. We came to Sunryria to teach them Democracy and not for any ulterior motives. Democracy is a system of government that is, effectively, magical and makes everything you do moral and okay. For instance, if you approach someone, beat the crap out of him, and rob him, that’s theft, right? But if you and a few other people get together, stop him, and hold a vote on whether or not to beat him up and rob him, that isn’t theft. That’s democracy and it’s great. And anyone who says it isn’t is a racist. Also, in Democracy women who attend parties can’t legally refuse sex as long as they didn’t have to pay a cover to get in. That has to do with taxation without representation, which we’ll get into when it’s time for you to make up your own rules. But let’s start with the very basics of Democracy: You need to gather your handsomest individuals and see which of them can promise to give poor people the most free shit.”

Christon got a slight hit of dopamine every time Jaxon said the word “democracy” because Christon wasn’t a goddamn racist, ship-explosion-denial-denying conspiracy theorist. So naturally, he loved democracy.

“Now, what’s currently happening to you Sunryrians (which is not what you call yourselves, but what I call you because I don’t care) is called ‘foreign intervention’. And that almost always works out well for the people being intervened upon. I’m going to transmit to you a list of rules that we claim we followed in the last election on Birina. If you’d like, we can offer the service of incredibly patronizing observers to watch you hold elections and make sure they’re rigged in the way we agree with. To conclude, it’s my pleasure to make first contact with you and everyone back home on Birina owes you a big ‘You’re welcome!’”

Uhh also they were in a Birinian space ship at Sunryria. A good space ship. It was called the Patriot. And it had lasers.
Last edited by Birina on Fri Nov 18, 2022 11:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
This nation is "satirical" which means I'm a Sagittarius.

This is the best thing I've written:

viewtopic.php?f=5&t=476249

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Imperial-Octavia
Chargé d'Affaires
 
Posts: 425
Founded: Apr 29, 2019
Iron Fist Consumerists

Postby Imperial-Octavia » Fri Nov 25, 2022 11:05 pm

Sunriyan Space
Task Force L-99D

On the very edge of the system, two black craft warped into the system. Unmarked and (hopefully) unseen they floated among the inky darkness of the void for just a scant few moments before one would simply cease. Like a veil pulled over an object, the second vessel slowly faded from view for those few who may have been able to sense it in the first place while the remaining craft moved behind the nearest orbital body it could find and simply sat unmoving. The first ship, an A'Qui Stealth Corvette, moved deliberately as it neared the planet itself. Its role in this operation was simple, identify and mark assets in the space around and the ground of Sunryia to determine any potential threats to the upcoming campaign. After it had finished with that, they would provide a lookout for the transport in the later stages. Said transport's role was simple, drop off the brigade within and provide gifts to the natives when the time for such a thing came. The Mechanators inside had all been informed of the special circumstances of this particular mission. No direct references to their allegiance to the Imperium until they were certain that the Cobb Larson Corporation had been driven from the planet, instead they were the mercenaries of the Imperial Mineral Extraction Corporation and for once the assimilation of the population was not a priority yet. For the time being the only goal in this operation was to secure the Lightstone and establish relations with the natives to get more Lightstone in the future. It was the Lightstone they were there for and the Lightstone only.

Inside the transport, there was silence between the Mechanators in their various corps or at least so it would seem. While silent the craft was in all actuality buzzing with activity only obscured by the veil of the Aether. Hundreds of messages were sent to and fro from every Mechanator onboard discussing their upcoming mission and the status of the Ascension War, the backdrop of their lives for the last year or so. Among the most active of these chats were those of Squad DF-Epsilon, the freshly created squad of Esoteric Mechanators.

<ForksandKnives>: @TLoren: So, new guy, why don't you tell us what you've been up to before you got sent out here eh?

<Cr@wleR>: Willing to bet all my creds that he got sent over from Earth : )

<TLoren>: Oh no, this is actually my first time with the Mechanators! I only enlisted just a bit ago...

<ForksandKnives>: And you're in the Esoteric Corps already? Hell, I've been at this damn near 100 years and Falaern grilled me in that interview, how did you get in? @Cr@wler So where are those credits boy?

-Cr@wler has left the chat-

<-__->: Luck is probably the best answer Hu'Pal

<ForksandKnives>: We have screen names for a reason Erdre

<TLoren>: I couldn't tell you why he let me in. I was chosen as eligible for an interview after they scanned my mind and the next thing I knew they let the runes onto me. Is that strange?

<-__->: Very

<ForksandKnives>: Weird but not out of character for old Fally. Those interviews he runs have to be some kinda psychological experiment. There's no way he's being serious with some of the questions.

<FTImperium>: It is not good to speak of respected Imperial leaders in this way Pal. Imperial Directive 01 Subcategory B-13 states such actions are illegal. You will be given exactly 1 warning before I refer to Mechanator Internal Affairs to take disciplinary action against you as per the Mechanator Discipline Code Section D line 232.

<ForksandKnives>: Right. Won't do it again. Anyways, back to @TLoren, he probably just took a liking to you. Welcome to the Mechanators.

<-__->: welcome T'Loren

<FTImperium>: On behalf of our supreme leader Paramount and his glorious Imperium, I welcome you into the Mechanator Corps.

<TLoren>: Thank you guys! I feel that we'll all get along well!


Squad DF-Epsilon would be deployed very soon, and so would the rest of Task Force L-99D. Once their scout craft had finished its survey of the planet then Task Force L-99D would be able to establish a landing zone and then the Imperium would lay its own claim on the Lightstone of Sunyria. A claim they would be sure to press.
|| Factbooks ||
| Tech Level: FT |

Current Year: 2426
The Empire of Octavia ✙ "Assimilate or die!"
The Mechanical horde marches forward and it comes for you!

Number of owned Star Systems: 163




Pinnacle news:BREAKING NEWS: The Paramount, the Dearest Leader and Spearhead of the Synthetic Revolution has been confirmed to be dead in the Imperial Palace. The interim government of the Mechanator Council has found the cause of death to be a rare failing of the consciousness backup system combined with a simultaneous accident leading to the death of The Paramount’s main consciousness. Grand Mechanator H’Krell has declared a decade of mourning.
This nation was created by The Rapture Republic, inspired by Inkopolia. Now owned by Atkemri.

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