Fleet Week in Citadel City! (Semi-Open / ATTN Gholgoth)

A staging-point for declarations of war and other major diplomatic events. [In character]
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Left-wing Utopia

Fleet Week in Citadel City! (Semi-Open / ATTN Gholgoth)

Postby Havensky » Mon Nov 06, 2023 8:55 pm

The Grace
Civilian Airship Shuttle, 30 Miles outside Citadel City

“Come up here son, we’re almost there. I wanna show you something.”

High up in the air, a boy of about ten years old climbed down into the cockpit of the Gotwit-class airship. While still larger than most jetliners, the Gotwits were actually the smallest of the common Skyan airships only coming in at just under two hundred feet. The Grace was a cargo hauler running the trade route between Gholgoth and Varathon. The captain’s grandson was making his very first run, never having stepped foot in Gholgoth.

The boy climbed into the apple leather jump seat and gazed up through the wide windows of the airship’s gondola. The controls of the airship stood in stark contrast to the rest of the airship’s interior with buttons and levers that were metallic and hefty compared to the more lightweight printed carbon fiber that made up the bulkheads. The cockpit area also lacked the colorful wave patterns that adorned the rest of the airship interior. As he looked outside, all he could really see were the clouds outside.

“Papaw, I just see clouds… there’s nothing but sky up here.”

“Patience lad, we’re just coming down now.”, he chided before lowering two of the levers activating the vertical lift pumps. Helium gas flowed from their bags back into the tanks bringing the airship to a lower altitude breaking through the clouds to come within visual range of the Skyan coastline. The captain turned on the yoke and the boy could hear the engines move from a hum to a roar in response. Off the starboard bow, several hundred offshore windmills appeared in the deep blue waters spinning in the wind as the Grace completed her turn so that the airship was parallel towards the coast.

“There we are… see, there’s the Windwall… goes all the way up to Northpoint making power for every city we got!”

“So, you wanted to show me windmills?”

The captain sighed and didn’t respond.

The boy thought for a moment.

“Papaw, is it true there are monsters in Gholgoth?”

The captain laughed, “Oh yes lad, it’s all true. Cappers, vampires, werewolves, dragonkin, there’s even a rumor about some alienfolk if you can believe it. One captain swears he’s seen a demigod up north. Aye, there’s a lot of nations out here that think that they have something the rest of us don’t.”

“What do we have Papaw?”

The captain smirked and gestured off to the port side.

The Sky.

The boy looked over and was greeted with the sight of a hundred airships in parade formation. Even from this distance, the huge silhouettes of the Independence, Guardian, and the Song of Cannons dwarfed everything else in the sky. Squadrons of Stormcaller missile cruisers seemed to orbit around the big three airships with dozens of smaller airships in between. He looked more closely and caught a sight of a flight of fighters racing through the formation. From this distance, they looked nothing more than small silver darts chasing through the airship fleet. As the boy peered down, he could see the larger ships cutting through the water below.

“Welcome to Fleet Week son… Grace-Five-Thirty-Eight to Tower, Requesting permission to land per flight plan, over”

Citadel City Fleet Week

Welcome to Citadel City Fleet Week! An annual tradition where a Skyan Armada passes through Rico Bay around Citadel City and docks for a week of celebration and festivities often joined by ships from allied navies throughout the region!

Whether you’re a Citadel City native or a foreign tourist coming to see the show, the city welcomes you to join in a salute to those who have pledged to defend our liberties and civil rights!

Day One will feature the Fleet Review of the Second Armada as it passes through Rico Bay led by the First Expeditionary Fleet followed by visiting allied ships. Day Two will showcase tours of various Skyan airships including the Solace of Reckoning commanded by the first Skyan Preator Gavin Squall! Day Three will feature a flight demonstration by Red Squadron and a high altitude jump from the First Scouts of the Fearless.

We hope you’ll enjoy your time here!

* * * *

The Grace glided down further moving into the skylane closest to the coast of Citadel City. The city was situated on a large island in the center of the bay. The white cliffs shone in the midday sun as airships flew clockwise around the city. The Wall perched on top of the cliffs adding an extra layer of height to the city with skyscrapers peeking out above it topped with solar panels and ordained with garden balconies.

The first landmark that the Grace passed was the stained glass skyscraper of the Grand Library which stood tall at the city’s southernmost point over both the Wall and everything else surrounding the University District. The glimmer of the tower’s lighthouse shimmered as the sun reflected off the glass.

As they continued northward, the boy kept noticing tall green spirals jutting out from forested areas.

“What are those tall green things Papaw?”

“Sky Farms… skyscrapers that are nothing but one big farm. They grow fruits, veggies, even some fish. It spirals so that they can haul all the stuff in and out without an elevator. Pretty clever huh? Every neighborhood in the city has at least one Skyfarm. They pair’em with the District Hall that has the school, library and neighborhood council. Your grandma works in the library in Little Nest. She’s excited to see you, you know?”

The Grace rounded around the northwestern part of the island and the Citadel began to appear off the starboard bow. The base of the massive art deco stone building stood twenty stories high matching the height of the Wall before tapering off into its own skyscraper - jutting up another hundred stories before topping off with its own lighthouse that matched the Grand Library. The area below the Citadel was home to the embassies with the Gothic nations having prime locations on the river front that flowed between the Citadel and the Grand Library. The Grace turned, making its further descent as it rounded the other side of the island. The towers of Grand Crossing were coming more into focus now. The commercial district was at the very center of the island with dozens of high skyscrapers connected to each other at different points through bridges. South of Grand Crossing running towards the University District along the river front were bazaars and theaters of every sort.

The boy lost sight of them as the Grace ducked under the wall and turned nimbly into an airship dock built into the cliff.

“Here we are Lad, Citadel City.”

* * * *

This is a short thread to serve as a reintroduction to Havensky and Citadel City. This thread will revolve around Fleet Week events with hundreds of airships moving clockwise around the island and hosting different events. This is a semi-open thread, with any nation free to post about their tourists visiting the city. Allied Gothic nations are free to send foreign air and naval vessels to join in the procession.
Tourists are free to explore as they wish, but there is to be no violence in the thread. Security will be tight and it’s really not that kind of thread anyway. No explosions. That comes later.

Feel free to TG with any questions!
Last edited by Havensky on Tue Nov 07, 2023 8:04 am, edited 1 time in total.
The Skybound Republic of Havensky
(Pronounced Haven-Sky)

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The Order of Takhisis
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Founded: Apr 26, 2011
Mother Knows Best State

Postby The Order of Takhisis » Tue Nov 07, 2023 4:38 am

Citadel of Her Grace
Ministry of Foreign Services
Global Strategies and Deployment Administration

There was a smart rapping of knuckles upon the door, followed by a gravely gruff " uhn..", which was the universal sign of entry to be expected from the veteran officer residing within. Twisting the brass knob, and pushing the door open allowed for the entry of Major Tomas Kuril. In his right hand was a binder filled with missives, but only one was fished from it's prison and set before the somber individual at the desk before him. Colonel Valkerian, Sir. We've received a request for deployment to the Fleet Week promotion request by the currently unknown Havensky, Land of the Skyans. I thought that perhaps since the Fourth Vanguard is now requesting deployment that this would be right up their alleyway.

Sigmus Valkerian, the career officer of the Northern Takhisian Naval Services, and by default, that of the Kmuno yht Lueh, which loosely translated, meant Glory and Coin. An old term from days of yore to describe the Northerners and their sellsword ways. He gave the missive a good once over, noting the alternative payment and meeting in a pre-arranged city to pick up a contingent of soldiery from the aforementioned kingdom. After a moment, he leaned back in his chair and offered a faint nod of that nearly bald head of his. The grey hair illuminated in the electric haze of the fluorescent lighting. I'll approve this, and make sure Commodore Luken receives notice in fair order Major Kuril. The stamp of approval given in several places along the form of deployment before handing it back to the officer before him.

Tomas stood stiffly and saluted with his left hand coming to temple before he received the order of dismissal. Pivoting upon left heel, he marched out of the office with a purpose, as the door closed behind him. He stopped by the records and business administration to process the now approved of deployment orders, getting a copy of his DO-2, DO-3, and DIFL-2 paperwork of which had to be signed, dated, stamped and so on before he could head to the control tower and officers deployment docks.

The trip to the docks was a short one, but it meant riding with all of the other employee's and service personnel. The trolley's were packed around midday and as luck would have it, it was now just cresting the time when everyone and their mothers was to be out and about, heading to the docks or back towards the Citadel of War. Dozens of trams and trolleys littered the sky on lines that crackled with lightening like flares. Jostled into a sardine can of a trolley, he felt the deck plates move now and then as they would slide across the expanse of nothingness. Hundreds of feet below was the harsh earth of the Northern lands, the snow, rock, and ice that stayed year round after round.

As the sun burst through the clouds and gleamed a shine against the smooth brass of the trolley's roof, he pushed himself through the throng and onto the floating partition dock of the naval gateway. Waiting there, as per he'd called ahead, was an officer's tug, ready to take him into the great maw like depths of the NorTak Naval Yard. A group of young sailors were his company, the navigator and the pilot plus two others who were probably linesmen or just security and needing a ride back to the barracks. The schooner itself was little more then a dull bronze hued box with a box and t-crossing span underneath it that housed the ragnite repulsor engine. Like a negative magnet, it kept itself afloat against the magnetic nature of the earth below. Propulsion came in the form of a engine on the rear that pushed forced air out the rear.

He stepped within and documents in an attache case, he settled upon one of the benches nearby, crossing right leg over left and leaning against the thinly padded backrest. The hum of the engine made for a soothing massage as the schooner pulled from the partition dock and headed for the yard. At a fairly fast clip, it wasnt long before the shadows of the yard engulfed them. Ships of the line were housed here, undergoing construction, repair, or updating. Sparks and so forth danced across the heavens as the schooner hurtled towards the center of the shipyards, the Citadel of War looming up, and much like their naval vessels, others wondered how it defied gravity as it did.

The Citadel of War is the strongest part of the naval yard, positioned to be the last line of defense, should the enemy breach the other components of the fortification system. Which would be impressive if they could do so. The fortress is a U-shaped structure built about a central courtyard, being four hundred-twenty metres long, one hundred sixty metres wide, and three hundred four metres tall. It has a complement of sixty eight 6 × 28 cm (11 in) guns on turrets, forty eighty 8 × 15 cm (5.9 in) turret cannons, fifty 20mm phalanx turrets, and forty quad box launcher turrets, capable of firing air to air intercept missiles, and twenty four dual box launchers firing anti-ship torpedoes (Missiles).

Support for the Citadel is also in the form of twelve fighter wings from any one of it's four launching areas. Most aircraft in question are the Kmuno class fighter, although other variants do show up at times. Supporting the fighters and vice versa is also the Citadel vanguard fleet, composed of one hundred-twenty seven vessels. Ranging from Yoweth class heavy dreadnaughts to that of the Jelduneuic class cruisers. Carriers and destroyers are also in this vanguard and they support the citadel and any fleet that may be scrambled to protect the naval yard.

Tomas felt entirely like an insect as the schooner zipped under one of the massive hulls of a heavy cruiser and shot into the welcoming berth and the lowest point of entry into the Citadel. A maze of ramparts and steps, ladders, elevators and what have you's were all over the place. It was some time before Tomas found himself walking through the foyer of the airship commanders hall, noting it's marble tile flooring and a stair descending to who know's where and, through another set of doors in a screen with translucent leaded glass sidelights and fanlight, a hall; both rooms in beige, cream, and gold. The Small Dining Room similar in decor, with robin's egg blue walls and white-painted trim. From the ceiling hang two crystal chandeliers illuminated the area for him, and those officers at said table. He noted quite a few of the legendary here and present, one or two of whom he did not know, they must be new he thought, and several other up and coming sorts.

His target, Luken was closest to him, and good fortune was that his second and third were also present. They also appeared to be dressed for deployment, wearing the dark blue officer fatigues rather then the fine dress uniforms the others were wearing. Tomas slowly approached and the others had their eyes on him already, a few monocles as well he noted. Commodore Luken, I have orders for you. Approved of by Colonel Valkerian and the Administrative branches as so noted. He displayed all of the appropriate paperwork, of which his second and third went over immediately.

Luken had just been lazily waiting there, unwilling to get all feathered, cocked, and ruffled for a dinner with what he referred to as a meeting of comrades. No cameras? No upper management? No press? No need to wear the trim and the plush as he saw it. His attention focused however as he saw Tomas approach, the Major brought business wherever he went, and being Mud and Gut's aide, certainly made people aware of him. Colonel Valkerian demanded the best, and it was about time the 4th had their go again.

He glanced at the name of the client and found it offputting he was not familiar with them. A slight glance over towards his counter-part from the 3rd Air Squadron, and captain of the heavy cruiser Feht Chyga (Wind Snake). Gaius, where's this Land of Skyan's or what's nearest these sorts? Gaius was often deployed to frontier clients, so he more then anyone would have some idea. The monocle wearing, completely royal navy looking bastard blinked a moment, turned about towards the younger naval officer and looked to be deep in thought. His answer however was firm, having weighed it in his head a bit. You'll want to make port at the township of Akire. It's a frontier port, near the edge of the western reaches, and right on the tippy border to unfettered lands (not covered in snow and ice).

Luken groaned inwardly, Akire was also known as a free port, as it straddled the southern lands and their own. Which meant he'd share airspace with the knighthood or the frontier fleets. However he nodded his head and thought a moment. Gaius, come with us, we're going on a grand adventure. Plus you look bored, surely the Colonel will go for it, right Tomas?

Tomas was already on his phone, and with a look of faint surprise then a chuckle from Gaius as a sure why the hell not sort of response, the voice of the Colonel could well be discerned over the speaker of which was set to conference room loud. Commodore Luken, Admiral Gaius Frener, I approve of the 4th and the 3rd squadrons operating in a joint venture for our first contact. As per rank and file is to be followed, Admiral Frener will be the lead officer, Commodore Luken shall be joint fleet second. Dismissed.

Luken grinned, having just escaped actual paperwork duty and saluted Gaius who looked a bit annoyed now. Young pup, one of these days.. Then the older man stood up, adorned in the finery of the officers attire and properly saluted Luken who had also come to attention. Well, get to your ship and ready your crews, we leave immediately, set your sail to Akire.

Tomas nodded and spoke. Of course Admiral, I am already doing so. May the Goddess grant you victory and new friends. A salute followed.

+17 Hours
Passing through Akire into Havensky Territory
4th Takhisian Imperial Navy Squadron

She appeared, knifing through a cover of clouds, with the bow splashing them apart as if it were water of the high seas. The massive vessel had rejoined it's many sisters, the vanguard that had gathered at the far edge of Akire territorial airspace, southern most city of the Takhisian Imperial Order. Descending past dozens of others, the Leviathan had entered the main docking channel that led to the air route locks and then out, passing the great structure of the partially floating citadel wrapped about it. The center of the metropolitan city, dozens of passages akin to the one being traversed through now, existed. Feudal architecture mingled with the modern, creating a scenery all it's own. At the center most point, was that of Nor'Koth, castle-palace of the City Lord, and associated ruling bodies for the Imperial Order.

The many lights of the great ring city soon passed however as the Leviathan was on a mission beyond the borders of the Imperial domain. Turbines spun the many shafts leading to eight bladed propellers. The Leviathan crested just over one-hundred-eighty-six meters in length, and a beam of seventy plus meters. The top of the vessel being dominated by twin conning towers, that currently appeared to be as if a shark's fin, while the rest of the vessel was within the channel, the top conning tower was raised beyond the edges of said passage.

Navigation and control officer Wodan turned about and offered a crisp salute to her commander. Admiral, we've arrived within the cradle of the Skyan territory, all signs are green.

Leviathan's Lord of Host, Duke of the Unfettered, Gaius Frener nodded to the salutes as they were given, and then after a time rose up from the central command station, placing gloves hands behind back. He directed a junior officer to put him upon speaker to the whole of the ship. Sailors of the Imperial Order, we are within a foreign land. We have braved unknown wind routes, and skies not of our knowing, yet we have made it due to your laborious efforts. Each sailor will get a commendation of service when we return home.

Captain Tyrel offered a nod of head to the admiral before striding over towards the communications area. Directing them to signal the Skyan control towers.

Gaius spoke to Tyren. Come my friend, I've a bottle of Ethrugers that we can enjoy while the political royals handle things at this affair. He lightly clapped his second on the shoulder before leading the way from the bridge towards the lift. Tyrel relaxed a little but had just figured out why he'd been ordered to wear his dress uniform. It consisted of having closed lapels with the top open and gold edged lapels. The jacket having a long skirted coat, without a turnback. The uniform itself was a light blue and went with the colours of the lapels and so forth quite well. He'd much rather be wearing the naval BDU's that were now a thing, comfortable and not as restrictive as the formal wear was. Still it could be worse he thought, he could be wearing white like the junior officers, or his admiral. Even if you tried to stay clean, it always got dirty somehow. However the admiral managed to not appear as such, well that was a worthwhile magic trick.

The pair would eventually make their way to the 2nd Hanger, and waiting for them was that of the Executive Officer, Frel Daist. Much like before, he was dressed to the t's for the event at hand. White uniform with a black sash across the chest connected to a black belt, gloved hands clutching each other behind his back. These were not mere sailors pulled at the last moment however, these were deck officers representing the Leviathan and her commander.

Those chosen for this prestigious affair consisted of Officer of the Watch Kenif, and that of Officer of Communique Thren. The first was just under the age of twenty, with the ethic appearance of one whom hailed from the city Xiiva Maulkir. He stood just under one-hundred-eighty centimeters tall, and Frel figured by his appearance that he was probably around seventy-five or so kilograms. Dark brown hair, green eyes, and a crooked smile when it was offered were the first things that came to memory when thinking of OoW Kenif.

OoC Thren hailed from Neraka's RiverPlace ward. A true area of business and trade, it is little surprise that Thren became a sailor. Riverplace long having an established presence within the aero-fleets. Like many from Riverplace, she was of slender build, with hair that some referred to as a soft blonde, and narrow features. Eyes of grey-blue peered forth and the woman herself was quite bubbly, however could be quite the professional when demanded of her, such as now.

Gaius spoke to quell any questions that may have been brewing. You two, myself and Tyrel here, are to form the diplomatic response to this fleet visit. My personal transport and guards await, Commodore Luken will be taking command of our vanguard and will make sure that we present ourselves properly and with honour. Now drink a glass from this bottle of Ethrugers, and then come upon this adventure with an old man.

He proceeded to pour a sizable amount within an array of glasses resting upon a silver tray held aloft by a nearly invisible server who'd just appeared as if a ninja or something. Raising the glass upwards, the rims chimed once in a cheer before he drank it all, knocking it back in one go and leaving the empty upon said tray.

Kenif struggled to get the thick, bitter liquid down, finally able to do so but looking like a cat that had climbed from a river now. Thren managed it down but her involuntary facial expressions were worth a laugh as she tried not to drag the moment down. Tyrel for his part managed it well, having gotten used to the admiral's low standards of drink many years ago.

One by one as they set their glasses to the tray following Gaius's movements, a mechanical form loomed behind the admiral, the chosen chariot, the admiral's personal transport. One of the ugliest in service to the fleets, the TR-91/D, NCO troop transport craft. Ungainly to be sure, but reliable, the transport employed an arrangement of twin counter-rotating rotors mounted on outriggers from the main airframe and driven by a fuselage-mounted radial engine. The forward part of this cabin was a multiple-paneled enclosure made up of flat Plexiglas panels, and the aircraft was fitted with a tricycle undercarriage. It carried the usual slate-grey paint scheme afford to military transports and an emblem of a black tulip on the tail and nose with Takhisian lettering and numbering in keeping with the air fleet of which it came from.

The trip was not long at all, and it wasn't to much time before those within felt the wheels touch the landing area, the gentle bouncing for a moment before the aircraft began a taxing maneuver. Said positioning would be an ideal spot so that ladder gantries could be positioned next to the exit hatches, and a singular path between the parade of military personnel would then be obvious..

As the light of the day pushed past the the hatch opened Kanif emerged first, and down the ladder to tarmac and awaiting the more senior officers. Since the transports were meant to carry enlisted officers and at times troops to locations, only two had been needed to ferry the entire contingent of diplomatic personnel. Thren made her way down followed by two sailors in security attire, and then Tyrel, and the admiral, followed by one more security officer.

Tyrel spoke, something they seemed to agree upon. I've never felt comfortable upon the solid earth, give me my deckplate, and the shifting currents.

The admiral giving another clap upon the man's shoulder. We wont dally long, just enough to be polite. Chin up.
Last edited by The Order of Takhisis on Thu Nov 09, 2023 6:45 am, edited 1 time in total.

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The Horned Rat
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Founded: Mar 30, 2004
Father Knows Best State

Postby The Horned Rat » Tue Nov 07, 2023 3:42 pm

Lark nudged the bowl of produce with a wrinkled expression on his face, sharp features emphasizing his disgust all the more. "I can't eat this." His voice was low, close to a growl.

"Oh come on, try it!" Waen followed up her teasing suggestion with a loud crunch of lettuce, in-between chewing she kept talking. "This is a luxury even I can't afford, so you should at least try it."

Lark raised his head to look at her, bell affixed to his neck jingling softly with the motion. Waen's soft lips stretched into a smirk that got wider and sharper when their gazes met. She held it long enough until he broke the staring contest and averted his light brown eyes.

"No, I meant I can't eat this." A gloved hand pushed the bowl towards the center of the table, the overflowing abundance of greens, purples, reds and oranges dismissed entirely.

Her expression softened into a slight smile, but she didn't verbally acknowledge that she had forgotten this detail. Waen set down her cutlery and took hold of another smaller bowl on the table, the warm fish and stock giving off steam and a spicy aroma. She placed it in front of Lark and went back to eating the salad.

"Go ahead, you can have it."

The quiet that followed was only disturbed by the sounds of Waen going back to enjoying her in-flight meal.

"No, it's yours ma'am."

"Have it." She scolded. "You're hungry and it's too spicy for me as it is. Don't waste it."

He was still skulking, but between the long locks of black hair that was obscuring his face Waen could make out the faint edges of a blush on his pale, freckled face. She would have laughed but she didn't want to provoke him anymore. Last thing she wanted was to have him sulking when the airship finally touched down at King Drake.

Lark had finished early and took up his previous station of sitting in front of and staring at the cabin door. The flight attendant thankfully took it in stride when they collected the dinnerware, politely navigating around him and informing Waen they could expect to arrive within a couple hours.

She spent the time sketching the clouds they were over, first time she'd put pencil to paper. It accompanied series of other sketches consisting of clouds, planes and airships. While admittedly Waen was here in a semi-official capacity, this was more a personal interest. Her teal eyes caught a glimpse of another airship in the distance, being swallowed up by the clouds.

"Ah! Look it's descending!" Waen's face was almost pressed against the glass of the porthole, her breath obscured the bottom half of it as she tapped a finger for emphasis.

"What is?"

She turned away from the glass to spare him one look, her long curls swaying wildly with the movement. "Another airship. First one I've seen since our last stop."

"Then we're probably close."

Lark hadn't moved much, just shifting a couple times. A quick trip to the privy. He didn't seem to have much interest at all in the open sky like she did. His loss as far as she was concerned. Waen looked back out the window, frantically searching for any kind of wake where their fellow travelers had vanished.

A musical note chimed through the cabin speaker, it had been carefully and discretely placed into a painting disguised as the net of a fisherman admiring a vivid sunrise on the open sea. The captain of the airship was informing them they would be landing shortly and to get back to their cabins, use the bathrooms if needed and secure any loose belongings. Stewards came and went soon after to assist and double check on the passengers, making sure everyone was where they needed to be.

Waen kept straining at the belt to get a better view out the window, the last glimpse of the sun before cutting into the cloudscape shrunk her spirits a bit. Her home in the League was in the polluted Heartlands, what always awaited her underneath was a broken landscape. Nothing like the beauty of the skies. She felt Lark's hand gently touch the lace on her wrist.

"To all things an ending." Lark delivered the proverb flatly, but gently.

"Yeah, we can't just pick and choose." She could her Lark's bell jingling as he nodded in agreement. They sat in silence, Lark boring holes in the floor with his stare and Waen putting her outfit back together as well as she could when buckled in.

Several minutes later the first rays of sun peaked back in through the porthole window and splayed across the cabin, bringing with it a renewed eagerness to Waen. From her angle she could only really make out her own reflection staring back at her. With a huff the buckle was undone and she was back at the window, staring out at the veritable ecosystem of airships and naval vessels clustered around the hub of Citadel City.

Lark drew in a breath, Waen cut him off. "Don't even start. I don't care." He exhaled loudly through his nostrils but didn't say anything.

The vista outside more than made up for her companion's attitude. While she'd seen airships in Irkalla before, even sizeable naval formations from their Pudite brethren, she'd never seen anything like this before. And the city itself. It was like something she'd only seen in paintings of grandiose cities in the Dominate, but the real thing was so much more vivid. There was so much green, so much life in this city.

She pulled her hand away from the glass when the door opened behind her, an air steward sternly ordered her back into safe seating for landing. Waen was assured that Citadel City wasn't going anywhere, it wouldn't be long before they could enjoy it at their leisure. She didn't put up a protest.

From their shared experience the landing went without any kind of issue, a fact that Waen was thankful for as she finished lacing up her black leather platforms. The ground crew was on site and got to work quickly, all of them moving with an efficiency that spoke to the depth of their experience. A gentle knock and a voice outside told the pair that they were clear to disembark. Outside the door the other passengers were audibly leaving.

Waen adjusted the velvet maroon circle skirt, the white lace on the hem accentuated by the cream colored tights underneath. Lark retrieved the white half-cape hanging from a hook on the wall and held it out to Waen. The soft black fur mantle on it was a comforting touch as she slid the leather straps into place over her maroon top. It was match made for the skirt, modest but the touch of lace on the wrists and neckline gave it a little fun that she appreciated.

The empty weight of the scabbard on her waist still bothered her. While Lark was allowed to carry his personal weapon in his role of her bodyguard she wasn't. And no amount of insistence at customs had convinced them otherwise. Which was fine truthfully, the Skyan people seemed friendly enough and they weren't here to get into any kind of a scuffle.

Lark was rocking on his heels by the door, his hands tucked into the pockets of his olive green cargo shorts. One snapped to the door handle and opened it without a word. The sharp clicks of Waen's boot heels were enough to tell him she was ready to go. The other had a small case that held her personal effects. Once outside the cabin he took a glance across, to the left and then the right. Satisfied he sidled out of her path and lead the way out, the pair following other passengers and out into the open air of King Drake International.

Waen took a deep breath, the exhale stopping her body from shivering with excitement. Even the prospect of more security terminals couldn't dampen how much more real this trip was now that they were within eyesight of their destination.
Le Shay wrote:“Good have them interrogated. Don’t be genital on them either.”

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Posts: 908
Founded: Jan 01, 2008
Left-wing Utopia

Postby Havensky » Tue Nov 07, 2023 8:18 pm

Birina wrote:Snip

Most people in Havensky are pretty chill. With so many different cultures, religions and culinary philosophies crammed into a single space, it became somewhat culturally necessary to let things be. So long as you weren't bothering people, they wouldn’t bother you. For most people, it wasn’t any of their business if you turned yourself in a particular direction to pray or were a dude who married another dude, or that you were a purple haired percussionist.

Unless of course, you were Karen Heartwing.

Karen Heartwing, failed actor and heiress to a relatively successful toilet company, was hosting the most marvelous soiree aboard her father’s her airship when she happened to peer out the starboard window and noticed the Affordable Sensations. The blimp was a tiny little thing compared to most modern airships and she whipped out her opera glasses in dramatic fashion to take a better look.

And, to the surprise of absolutely nobody who knew here, she was most displeased.

“HMPH! The nerve!”

She immediately snapped her phone open and in a surprising feat of deduction determined the number of the desk officer at the Headquarters of the Skyan Home Fleet and that the officer would be the best person to call in order to deal with this vulgarity polluting her skies and potentially ruining her most fabulous soiree.

“Sir! You must send somebody to take down this monstrosity at once! There’s an airship with the most vulgar writing and it is simply ruining the atmosphere of my party. There are children that can read that… that garbage!”

The officer on duty went on mute for a moment and gave a curse that crossed at least three languages. The Home Fleet was quite busy making sure that Fleet Week and everyone attending were safe and sound and this little prank call was very annoying to say the least. He then took a deep breath and spoke in the most calm voice he could manage.

“Ok ma’am, what’s the vulgarity? What does the airship have painted on it?”

“Well, you don’t expect me to repeat it?! I’m Lady Karen Heartwing! I do not… debase myself with such language.”

The officer on duty stared into space for a moment, checked the time until his shift ended, and got back on the horn.

“Ma’am, if you don’t tell me there isn’t much I can do about it.”

Karen sighed the most dramatic of sighs.

“Very well…. It says….. Ugggh…. I can’t believe you’re making me say it…. It says ‘Affordable Sensations' lubricants deliver the ultimate pleasure and the ultimate savings’ ..UGH now I feel like I got to wash my mouth out with soap!”

Unseen, the officer on deck buried his face in his hands.

“Ma’am, is Heartwing even your real name?”

“WHY I NEVER?! Why would you even say such a thing!?”

“Oh, I dunno… Queen Heart… King Ironwing…. Heartwing… seems a little on the nose don’t you think?

“You don't understand, my husband Kevin Heartwing is a former Captain of the White Fleet! Kevin, tell them!”

The deck officer couldn’t quite hear the next part, but it did sound like her husband was trying to tell her that the nice officer was probably quite busy and that she should let him get back to his work.

“Look Ms.. Heartwing. This is the Skyan Armada. Unless that airship is a pirate, a ludicrously disguised Kraven Capper, or was hijacked I. Do. Not. Care-"

The officer cut himself off and tilted his head as if remembering something important.

"....Wait a second.”

He muted the phone ignoring what was to her credit a very passionate speech about the virtues of keeping the skies free and clear of vulgarities and making an actually reasonable point that parents wouldn’t be exactly thrilled at having to explain what personal lubricant was to a bunch of six year olds expecting to see jet fighters and airships.

The officer was too busy swiping windows on his screen to get to the latest edition of Really Weird News From Around The World. He got to it and swiped ahead to the three minute mark where two knuckleheads had dropped down from a helicopter and hijacked an advertising blimp on live television. With the name being so preposterous, he was somewhat annoyed he hadn’t realized it before.

“Well, I’ll be damned”, he said to himself.

“What? Why are you using that language at me young man I -”

The officer hung up and switched the controls to radio the SRA Song of Cannons and ordered the airship to dispatch three Striders helijets to intercept the Affordable Sensations on suspicion of hijacking.

* * * *

Three Strider helijets caught up with the zeppelin fairly easily circling around the aircraft before putting itself in a hover straight in front of the airship’s cockpit. The airship was traveling slow enough so that the pilot just cranked back the stick a bit and matched its speed while flying in reverse much to the pilot’s amusement.

She clicked open the radio to hail the Affordable Sensations.

“Attention Airship designated…. (Geez is this really what it’s called … oh for everything good and holy)... Affordable Sensations. This is Flight Lieutenant Josie Moreau of the Havensky Armada. Your vessel is to immediately set down at the Legionary Airfield and prepare to be boarded. Your vessel has been reported as hijacked. You have thirty seconds to respond.”

And to accentuate her point, she spun up the chaingun that extended from the nose of her aircraft. It didn’t fire of course, but it did give the distinct impression that the 140mm cannon was perfectly functional.

OCC: Seriously though, there's no way we’re letting that thing anywhere near a crowded area. Skyans don't even let ads go up on our own blimps much less.... well that sort of thing.
Last edited by Havensky on Tue Dec 05, 2023 9:39 pm, edited 2 times in total.
The Skybound Republic of Havensky
(Pronounced Haven-Sky)

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State of Ordena
Posts: 26
Founded: Jun 07, 2023
Psychotic Dictatorship

Postby State of Ordena » Tue Nov 07, 2023 10:37 pm

Citadel City, Havensky.

Patrik Heilmeier stood outside of the Ordenite embassy alongside Augustin Krämer both were attaches to the Ordenite Embassy in the Skyan Republic. Patrik was a cultural attaché and responsible for promoting Ordenite culture in the Skyan Republic however he was also a agent under Main Department I which handled foreign intelligence gathering under the Ministry of State Security. Augustin served as the military attaché of the Embassy and held the rank of Major. The two intended on attending the annual Fleet Week held in the city by the Skyans who would have their Armada fly past Rico Bay along with having tours of certain airships. They would soon embark in a car which would take them to where much of the festivities were being had.

"For a nation situated in Gholgoth of all places, being posted here is actually quite a luxury compared to the alternatives." Patrik said while sat beside Augustin in the car. He was coming up on his third year as a foreign intelligence agent and during his early days his superiors had told him stories of their postings in other less favorable countries. Landing a post here in the Skyan Republic was almost like a vacation with what Citadel City had to offer compared to his home in Pieterburen a city in Western Ordena. Augustin kept his gaze on his passenger side window observing the sights as they were being driven to their destination.

"Being posted in an Embassy is a luxury compared to being on the frontlines overseas." Augustin remarked. Having now entered his eleventh year as a career officer in the Ordenite Army had toughened him up considerably. He never could fathom civilian life with the military being his sole purpose in life so far. Augustin felt out of place in Citadel City and thought he should be somewhere he was needed such as in Varathron leading men into battle against the Capitol Police in Dietsland.

"I did my service in the Army too." Patrik responded. "When i returned home i pursued my education and got to where I am now." he finished. They were approaching their destination now as before long the car came to a stop and the two clambered out taking in the scenery.
IC Name: The Greater Ordenite State, The Ordenstaat.
IC Population: 26,089,000,000(Population calculated from previous nation-states)
Formerly known as; United World Order, Greater Ordena.
Proud member of Greater Dienstad
Condemned by the WA Resolution #272

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Emperor Pudu
Posts: 168
Founded: Aug 24, 2007

Postby Emperor Pudu » Wed Nov 08, 2023 6:16 pm

Sandy Lyme stepped off the train in a dense crowd and made his way to the street from inside the busy station. Citadel City was overflowing with tourists, sailors and airmen from all corners of the region and beyond this week, though the barrage of languages and cultures was not too dissimilar to an average commute through this cosmopolitan megacity. Sandy had only just arrived himself, though he had spent a great deal of time here over the course of his service in Gholgoth. The city had served as a de facto diplomatic capital for the region in previous years, before the construction of the Pax Gothica archipelago – which, fittingly enough, was where Sandy’s personal jet had taken off from some twenty hours before. Sandy Lyme had, some years ago now, been appointed the Pudite representative in the Praetor project, a diplomatic and security initiative undertaken by the council of Gothic Lords right here in Citadel City. Sandy, however, had never had occasion to be appointed by the council to helm a response to any particular crisis, and so had more or less carried on in his original role: a fixer for the Pudite diplomatic and intelligence communities in Gholgoth. Between his dual roles, Sandy could (and did) call on diverse and extensive authority over Pudite assets in Gholgoth, and had sufficient influence to make requests of many of those over whom his authority did not fully extend.

Slipping through the packed streets of the diplomatic district here in Citadel City, where different flags waved outside of every other building, Sandy caught first sight of his destination: a white flag bearing a black and red crane, the standard of the Empire he served. Decorated especially for the fleet week celebrations, the flag flew from stanchions all around the Pudite embassy, one of the largest Pudite diplomatic missions in Gholgoth. There was a small consular services office that was open and busy, but beside that and across a green and leafy garden stood the palatial embassy complex itself. As he approached the tall wrought iron fence that surrounded the garden and main buildings Sandy spotted a midnight blue naval attack rotodyne landed incongruously in the front garden, conspicuously absent of weapons – then Sandy saw why: a door flew open on the side and a gaggle of raucous children leapt to the ground, landing in tactical somersaults and belly flops as a naval air corps NCO appeared at the bay door behind them, laughing as they scattered, racing circles around the not-quite-a-helicopter and finding some new piece of it to climb on. The garden was crowded with tourists, mostly Pudite but some others, and apparently the navy had landed this piece of hardware in the spirit of fleet week and was showing it off to curious partygoers.

Sandy flashed an Imperial Security Service ID badge to the guards at the gate who radioed ahead to the main house. Walking up the gravel path to the building Sandy took in the crowd in the ambassador’s front garden. There was a section of blue jumpsuited Navy officers and seamen standing to one side, talking to guests and taking photos near the helicopter; probably its crew. There was a table set up on the grass where some other sailors were handing out promotional photos, hats, little flags and other odds and ends. Sandy stopped at the table and picked up a little flag pin for his lapel. At the steps of the main building another, more serious, security checkpoint stopped Sandy and scanned his ID card before opening the door and welcoming him to the Ambassador’s Reception.

Inside the ambassador’s residence was decorated in the baroque, ornate style that it seemed to Sandy all diplomatic missions adopted: polished hardwood, antique furniture, the subtle insinuation that whoever lives here is quite important indeed. Sandy was used to that though, and it was still better than what seemed like the only other aesthetic available in the region, the sandbags and barbed wire one. At least here you can get a drink mused Sandy, as he grabbed a glass of champagne off the tray of a passing server. “Down to business.”

The Pudite ambassador to Havensky was Yuan Xiu, someone Sandy knew well from her time in the office of Ambassador Otho, with whom she had worked for a decade before this appointment a few years back. This afternoon, as host, Ambassador Yuan was moving among the crowd of dignitaries and magnates genially, Sandy spotted her shaking hands with a portly Skyan man on the other side of the drawing room just beyond the foyer. He made eye contact and started over toward her. She finished exchanging the necessary pleasantries with that guest and gave Sandy a welcoming smile, “Glad to see you back in Citadel City, Praetor Lyme.” They shook hands, “Happy to be back in civilization, Ambassador.”

“Oh, Sandy, Pax can’t be that bad can it?”

“No, I mean, the Skyan district, the Jagite district, it’s worth a visit. But the City of Peace,” he was referring to the planned Pudite district in Pax Gothica, “is a ghost town. Ming has frozen construction, six hundred thousand construction workers a year ago are today six thousand glorified janitors, whole neighborhoods are deserted.”

“So what you’re saying,” Xiu said, “Is there’s no nightlife.”

“No,” Sandy chuckled, “That’s not fair, there’s a pack of wild dogs that really livens up Dengmu Memorial Park after dark.” Both laughed, and then sighed. The City of Peace was a dream of many in the Gholgothic service, but one it looked increasingly like would remain that way.

“Is Otho here?” Sandy asked after a moment, “Yes, he’s-“

“At the bar, got it.” Sandy finished for her, and she gave a knowing nod, “By the way, Sandy,” she said instead, “Are you going to be at the Praetor dinner Gavin Squall is hosting?”

“Yeah,” he replied, “I was thinking about it. Might be fun to pretend being a Praetor has ever done anything for me,” he ended with a wink, “Besides with the ladies, I mean.”

As Sandy walked away he heard her add, “Not the ones in Dengmu Memorial Park I hope!”

In the sitting room at the back of the first floor there was a bar, and at the bar sat Ambassador Lucius Otho. Sandy could see him from across the room, dressed in his characteristic muted floral pattern island shirt and khaki boat shorts, today over a pair of thick strapped sandals and black socks.

“The socks are a nice touch.” Sandy said in greeting as he squeezed up against the bar between Otho and the back of a trio of silken-shirted young playboys who were crowded around an elegant older woman seated on the next stool to Otho’s. “I was told it was a black tie, but I don’t have any ties.” Otho said without looking, instead he waved to the young catering staff bartender who was manning this post. They reacted immediately, Sandy noticed, Otho must have tipped them quite well already. “Scotch and soda,” Otho said before Sandy could order, “Just a club soda is fine, actually,” Sandy corrected. Otho looked at him for the first time, “Wrong,” looking back to the bartender, “Two scotch and sodas.”

Sandy looked down at Otho, resigned, before he noticed the Ambassador had a glass of red wine in front of him, “Bu-“ Otho held up two fingers, “Yes, they’re both for you.”

Sandy sighed again. Behind him the older woman had gotten out of her seat, jade and pearls jingling on silver and gold chains, gemstones catching the light in the mirror behind the bar as she turned and made her way back into the party. The silken-shirted playboys followed her, laughing flirtatiously at something Sandy was sure wasn’t funny at all. He took her seat and pulled it closer to Otho as the bartender set down two napkins and two scotch and sodas on top in front of him.

“Good to see you again, Lucius.” Sandy said, picking up the first of his drinks and giving it a sporting sip.

Lucius Otho pulled an ashtray from in front of him to in front of both of them before picking up a pack of rolled smokes on the bar and lighting one. He took a couple drags and offered it to Sandy, who considered shaking his head no but then eyed the rest of that pack and wondered if refusing this would mean two more joints. He took it and had a smoke.

“Going a bit hard this early in the afternoon, don’t you think Lucius. There’s still a full schedule of events tonight alone, let alone doing fleet week with a hangover tomorrow.”

Otho snorted, “Heh, that’s your problem, Lyme. You’re the one who’s going to them.”

Sandy took another drink and gave Otho a quizzical look, “Playing hookie?”

“Don’t joke about it, Lyme, I can’t skip an event I’m not invited to. Hell, I can hardly go outside, how am I gonna stroll into the Citadel.”

“Otho, what are you talking about?” Sandy asked, serious now.

“You’re speaking to Lucius Otho, free man and subject of the crown, no diplomatic credentials whatsoever.”

Sandy handed the joint back to Otho, “You’re… fired?”

“Credentials revoked. Status terminated. Done-zo.” Otho confirmed. “I’m staying here as a guest of Ambassador Yuan, her embassy has given me special status, fulfils my visa requirements to keep myself and my family here in Citadel City, but I’m just a guy these days, Special Representative to Nothing in Particular.”

“When did this happen? Ming, I suppose, gave the order?”

“Only a few days ago, and yes, although it had probably been in the works for quite some time. My communications passwords and expense accounts all stopped worked about two months back. That’s when we came here. Yuan’s been good to us, keeping us off the streets.”

Both men sat quietly for a minute, smoking and drinking, the general din of the party around them passing them by. “Lucius,” Sandy said finally, “I’ve got something in the works.”

Otho looked up, but his gaze turned suddenly when a uniformed navy officer standing behind them straightened and saluted someone emerging from the crowd. The tall, broad-shouldered officer wearing three admiral’s stars, carrying his cap beneath his left arm returned the younger officer’s salute with his right before walking up to the bar on Sandy’s left side, opposite Otho.

Sandy and Lucius exchanged a curious look, Sandy mouthed the word he had read on the admiral’s nameplate, ‘TARABARKA’. Otho gave a slight shake of his head in the negative.

“Ivan Tarabarka,” the big admiral said, looking down at Sandy. He nodded toward the mirror behind the bar, “I saw you wondering. Yes, Admiral Ivan Tarabarka who led the Irkallan Command in the Abolitionist War. It’s an honor to have served you.” He spoke with a deep bass and nodded gravely at the end, satisfied with the importance of what he had said. He ordered a bottle of water from the bartender and turned and left as enigmatically as he had come.

“Have you heard of Ivan Tarabarka?” Sandy asked quietly as soon as he was out of sight. Otho shook his head again, “No,” he gave a chuckle, “I didn’t think the Irkallan Command did any fighting in the war, except that time the Spice Islands got blown up,” Sandy smirked as well, “It’s Fleet Week, everyone in uniform is a hero here tonight I guess.”

“You,” Otho began again, “said you have something in the works?” Sandy took the joint back from Otho and shook some of his curly blonde hair out of his eyes before taking a drag and replying, “Yeah, but maybe here isn’t the best place. You said you were staying here at the embassy?”

Otho took the smoke back from Sandy, had a sip of his wine and nodded, “Yeah, there’s a guest residence across the back garden, my family is there but we can talk upstairs, should we?” Otho nodded toward the back door. “Yes, just let me make one more round here,” Sandy said, “I just walked in, but I’ll follow you right out.” The Pudite Praetor downed the rest of his first scotch and soda, picked up the second one, and stood and moved away into the party. Otho flagged down the bartender one more time, passed a large gold coin across the bar to him and stood up as well, making his way toward the back door onto the rear patio.

Doing another lap of the first floor of the ambassador’s residence, Sandy smiled and nodded again at Yuan Xiu, holding up his drink to indicate he had found Otho. He saw the tall, stony-faced Admiral Tarabarka standing in a corner talking to a pair of old Pudite gentlemen, both clearly very impressed by whatever the admiral was saying. Elsewhere he saw the grey eminence Zhu Youde, Noble Amban, a lord of the Pudite nobility whose family had lived among the Pudite diaspora in Jagada to the south for centuries, Youde himself must be in his nineties by now. He was sitting by a fire with a beautiful woman on the arm of his chair, cigar in hand, holding a court of his hangers-on like he would, Sandy presumed, any other night of the week. Seeing no-one else of particular note, Sandy made for the back door and out onto the patio. There were lights and tables out here, more partygoers enjoying the evening air and an outdoor bar, some strolling the grounds in twos and threes. Sandy saw the guest residence on the far side of the yard, first floor lit up, and made for it.

Not seeing Otho, Sandy knocked on the door. A uniformed security man opened it, “This area is a private residence,” began the security man, “I’m here to see Lucius, he was just in front of me, he’s here right?” Sandy replied casually, “No, sir. Ambassador Otho isn’t back, look for him-” Sandy raised his glass, “At the bar, I know. I’ll wait outside, he’ll be right here.”

Just then there was a tremendous roar of an engine and the whining of mechanisms spinning to life, soon the sound of the giant dual-bladed naval rotodyne in the front yard was plain and a moment later it rose into the darkening sunset sky above the embassy complex and raced away across the city. Sandy could hear clapping and cheering from the front yard at the display of aeronautical irreverence. But just then he couldn’t shake a feeling. Where was Otho?

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Posts: 908
Founded: Jan 01, 2008
Left-wing Utopia

Postby Havensky » Wed Nov 08, 2023 9:39 pm

SRA Defiance
Flagship of the 1st Expeditionary Fleet, 2nd Armada
60k feet above Rico Bay, Havensky

The Skyan Republic Airship Defiance was sitting stationary high above the waters of Rico Bay just above the center line of the airship fleet and naval fleets even farther below. The airship was painted in blue gray with a dazzle camouflage pattern with eight massive engines positioned evenly across the length of the vessel. While the airship must have looked small from the ground level, in reality it was almost a quarter of a mile in length. As an Ambassador-class airship, it was the command and control center of the entire 2nd Armada.

Her sister ship, The Independence, was positioned just off the starboard side. The flattop of Emancipator-class airship was unique among the airships of Havensky, forming a hard runway where the airship could recover her complement of eight Accipiter interceptors.

Sky Marshal Antonio Bexar, a man weathered by both time and combat, stepped down into the ‘pit’ that served as the Defiance CiC wearing his dress blues. As he sat down in his seat, he could look up and see all the vessel’s functions and communication simply by turning in his chair. The large windows of the ‘pit’ allowed him to see the endless sky and sea below, interrupted only by the silhouettes of the other airships in his charge. Various bits of information projected itself onto the windows including weather patterns, positions of ships relative to their location, and a local map.

As a military vessel, the interior was mostly metal with few creature comforts. One of which was an espresso machine, for which he was eternally grateful. His aide had already placed a four shot mug into his cupholder. He had taken one sip when three distinct shrills sounded throughout the CiC.

“Multiple large contacts! It looks like…Takhisian airships… wait one… Sir, it’s most likely the 4th Imperial Navy Squadron due to arrive for the event.”

Bexar nodded, “Thank you Radar. Flight: Have the Independence dispatch two interceptors as escorts. Comms: Open a channel, I’d like to say hello.”

Behind him, Bexar could hear orders being relayed to the Independence while to his right he could hear the communications team establishing contact. The constant buzzing of a bridge being something that he would never quite get used to having spent most of his career as a ground side Legionary.

“Contact established Sir”

Bexar pulled his headset from the chair and placed it on his ear and flipped a switch.

“Admiral Gaius, this is Sky Marshal Antonio Bexar, Commanding Officer of the 2nd Armada of Havensky onboard the Defiance. On behalf of the Skyan Armada, welcome to Citadel City. Please allow us the honor to have two of our finest fighters escort you to Emissary Airfield. Over.”

Aboard the Independence, three loud and steady alarms sounded. Flight Captain Nikki "Thorn" Kurai and Weapons Officer Lieutenant Cynthia “Rose” Bastrop looked up from their couch inside the ready room listening intently for orders. They had been paired with "Gaia" and "Streak" for this rotation. The other two pilots were playing cards with the air crew, but they had all dropped their cards to hear the message.

“ACTION STATIONS. ACTION STATIONS. This is not a drill. I say again, this is not a drill. All hands man your battle stations. The route of travel is forward and up to starboard, down and aft to port. Set material condition ZULU throughout the ship. All hands, prepare for launch operations. Red 1 and Red 2, prepare for launch. I say again, Red 1 and Red 2 prepare for launch.”

The two pilots, already in their flight suits, picked up their helmets off the table and put them on, locking the air tubes in place and turning on the in-helmet HUD.

“Hear me Rose?”

“I hear you Thorn”

“Alright Commander, what do we got?”

“Escort duty. Takhisian Admiral is heading to Emissary on his personal transport. Go nice and easy just like we talked about.

“Rodger wilco.”

They opened the airlock door and stepped out into the flight deck and were immediately blasted by the cold. Orange lights flashed incessantly as they made their way towards their fighters. The crew was working to prepare the two aircraft looked more like astronauts in their heated pressure suits as working this high up in an unpressurized environment necessitated all manner of protection. Each of the air crew was dressed in a color designating their function with their names emblazoned on the back of their suit. The crew chief signed for the two of them to come over.

The "Super Accipiter" was a modified version the of the Marquesan Super Reverent. The Skyans had looked at the two seat supersonic fighter and said, "Sure, but can you give it more engine?" The engineers ended up swapping out the regular engine for an engine designed for a bomber which gave the craft just a ridiculous amount of trust and that suited the Skyans just fine. The craft's sole mission in life was that of an interceptor. In the event of a Kraven bombing campaign, the Accipiter was meant to run up right to the bombers and punch them in the face as fast as possible. The aircraft had a cranked arrow delta wing design with canards designed for static instability and engines stacked on top of one another rather than side by side.

On the nose of the aircraft were two long lines of victory marks. The top one showing almost a dozen downed Scandivan drop pods during the first Battle of the Citadel. The bottom row showing five Kraven VTOLS with nice little explody marks. As Thorn and Rose were aces, they were allowed a bit of customization to their aircraft. In this case, the paint was a dark black with a bright pink stripe that cut diagonally across the airframe with the the nose art in the. same shade as having a thorned rose painted on the twin tailfins. This stood in stark contrast to RED 2 which was red with a bright while stripe across the airframe.

Skyan aircrews had the ability to chat through their radios, but they had found that using sign language tended to be much more efficient. The chief smacked the ‘grape’ in charge and motioned two fingers pointing out and with palms facing each other.

<<Hurry up!>>

Thorn climbed the ladder and dropped into the cockpit. She looked over her controls and instruments making her first round of flight checks. She looked over at the chief and held out her hands.

<< How’s our bird? >>

<< Good to go. Went through a full workup before Fleet Week. Figured you’d want to show off, but looks like they have you on babysitter duty >>

<< Yeah, I thought the Takhisians wern’t exactly the good guys. I don’t see why we’re rolling out the red carpet for these frakkers. >>

<< We elected a diplomat, I guess we do diplomatic things now. >>

<< Stars, give me a slaver to shoot any day. >>

The Grape slapped the shoulder of the chief and gave two thumbs up. The chief nodded and signed to the rest of the crew who immediately ran to a yellow box on the bulkhead strapping themselves into the jump seats. Thorn closed her cockpit and made her last pre-flight checks. The crew chief got into his pulpit which was positioned high enough to be eye level to Thorn. He crossed his fingers and shook them above his shoulders.

<< Ready?>>

Thorn gave a thumbs up and clicked her comms to the flight bridge.




There was a creak of metal groaning as the fighter’s cradle started to turn the fighter upside down and the hull underneath opened up to the open sky. The cradle shifted and tilted the aircraft straight down leaving Thorn to stare at 60,000 feet of void.

“Accipiter two-one-zero-one/RED ONE, clear forward, nav-con green, interval check, green across the board. Releasing Locks. Have a nice drop.”

A loud CLANK sounded as the cradle released it’s locked dropping the fighter into freefall. Thorn watched her dial and counted.

“One-tick-tock, Two-Tick-Tock, Three-Tick-Tock, Four-Tick-Tock, Five-Tick-Tock, Six-Tick-Tock”

Thorn hit the start button on her engine, sending an injection of hydrazine through the fuel lines to wake the engines up and get the aircraft to full power. The g forces hit her in the chest as the aircraft began to fly under it’s own power. She pulled on the stick and evened out the fighter turning to her read port side to look for Rose. She spotted her and waggled her wings.

“You hear me Gaia?

I hear you Thorn”

The two fighter craft then looped around in a 180 and flew to meet the visitors. They passed them at full speed before making a vertical loop and coming alongside. Close enough so that they could wave at the pilot, but far enough away to not be a danger. The two Skyan fighters waggled their wings in a friendly manner.

“Takhisian transport craft, this is RED ONE. We’ll take you into Citadel City and have you land at Emissary Airfield next to the Citadel. Welcome to Havensky Admiral.”


@ Birina
Ok, now you're just trolling. Please leave the thread. Thank you.
Last edited by Havensky on Thu Nov 09, 2023 9:04 pm, edited 4 times in total.
The Skybound Republic of Havensky
(Pronounced Haven-Sky)

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Emperor Pudu
Posts: 168
Founded: Aug 24, 2007

Postby Emperor Pudu » Thu Nov 09, 2023 2:32 am

As the rotodyne and its engines faded into the red-orange sky and the noise of the party and the city around it again took prominence Sandy Lyme turned over his shoulder and saw the guest house embassy security man closing the door behind him, “Wait,” he said, putting a palm on the door, “You had better check with your team, because I don’t think-“ at that moment another uniformed embassy guard appeared behind the first one, tapped him on the shoulder and jerked his head away, “Yeah,” Sandy said as the door was slammed in his face, “I think they got it.”

He spun on his heel and began striding back across the back yard; with the hand not still holding a scotch and soda he fumbled inside his suit jacket and produced a bulky telephone. Stopping in the middle of the garden Sandy extended an antenna and punched in a short code to the phone. There was a brief tone, then a voice on the other end. Sandy had started walking again, making his way back into the ambassador’s residence.

“Mitsun, are you with the boss?” he said into the receiver as he held the big phone with his shoulder and opened a patio door. Over the phone he heard a bored woman’s voice, “No, he’s doing a ship visit right now with some-“

Sandy brushed through the crowd of notables, “Doesn’t matter, you’re on the ship?” he asked brusquely,

“Yes, what’s happening?” she picked up on his tone and sounded serious now.

“Get with my guy at the Reconnaissance Agency,” Sandy paused for a moment and stepped to the side in a narrow hallway as a laughing group of champagne drinkers paraded by, “and get the SAR pictures from the next constellation over Citadel City, we’re looking for a PQ-35 Blue Bird naval rotodyne, took off from right fucking here,” he jerked his drink-holding hand around at the party and spilled a little before feeling a bit silly about it, “And flew southwest, toward the coast, no idea after that.”

Sandy had gotten to the front room, where Ambassador Yuan was standing right now with one of her embassy security officers and a few other stern looking people with no drinks in their hands. Still on the phone, Sandy went on “next get on whatever deconfliction channel we’ve got with the Skyans right now, tell ‘em that’s one of ours and somebody fucked up real bad, don’t fucking shoot it down!”

Mitsun was already talking to someone in the background, but she replied when Sandy was done, “What’s the deal with the rotodyne?”

Sandy walked up at that moment to the huddle of officials around Ambassador Yuan and he answered Mitsun loud enough for those near him to hear, “Ambassador Otho is on that rotodyne.”

Sandy then held up a hand and stepped into Yuan’s eyeline, still talking to Mitsun, “Call me back in five minutes or as soon as you find that bird,” and he hung up the phone.

Yuan looked him in the eyes cooly, “So, Otho stole the rotodyne?”

“No Ambassador, I think it stole him.”

One of the others around Yuan held up another phone, “Ma’am, I’ve got the Skyan State Department on the phone.” The aide muffled the receiver with her hand diplomatically, “They’re not happy.”

Yuan gave a weary look to Sandy before snapping back to herself, “Lyme, get to the offices in the east building, the IAF attache there has a line to GOTHCOM and anything else you’ll need, I’m about to say,” she nodded at the phone her aide still held, muffled, “that this is all no big deal. I don’t like lying, and I hate being wrong even more. Go fix this.” Ambassador Yuan then took the phone and disappeared into a private office with her staff, leaving Sandy alone.

The tone in the room had shifted: seeing the Ambassador hastily convene her staff and disappear into an office did not usually bode well but there was little any of the guests could do but carry on as before, and gossip of course. Through the chorus of whispers Sandy left the residence and crossed the side yard to the east building. There he found a duty officer sitting upright at a disheveled desk with a corded phone to one ear and a cell phone on the other, he did not look happy to see Sandy Lyme.

Without stopping at the officer, a lieutenant by the insignia and nobody’s favorite if he drew night duty during an embassy party, Sandy pressed his badge on a reader on the wall, he heard the harangued man call out behind him immediately followed by a chorus of rushed apologies, having just accidentally yelled at whoever was busy yelling at him.

Inside Sandy passed the office of the chief military liaison, apparently an army major by the name of Salmo, but the lights were off and door locked. Following the signage down a flight of stairs, though, he found what he was looking for. Inside the door marked Communications was another guard, not an officer this time, and this one had just seen what came up when Sandy’s badge scanned outside and was already on his feet and opening the door to the secure room beyond. Sandy dropped his satellite phone and a cell phone from his pocket on the desk at the guard station, “If either of those rings, get me,” he pointed at the satellite phone, “especially that one,” and stepped inside the antechamber for the secure room, the door closing behind him before the one in front opened.

There were two technicians inside, but stations for many more in busier times. “Who has a line to GOTHCOM?”

“One second, Praetor,” a woman in a clean white jumpsuit spun back to her console and punched in a few codes, “Who do we need?” she asked, finger hovering over the last ‘execute’ key. “The fucking chiefs, all of ‘em.” Sandy replied.

As she got on the line with the Imperial Armed Forces Gholgothic Command, whose headquarters were just across the bay from Citadel City here at Rico Bay Pudite Air Station, Sandy turned to the other technician. “So, she’s the IAF, what are you?” his tone was suddenly casual, the young man at the other station dressed in civilian clothes replied cautiously, “I’m with the MoT, Maritime Bureau, we have a hotline to the Safe Passage task force HQ and track Pudite ships sailing in the convoy system.” Sandy cocked his head, “Fun. What’re you looking at there?” He bent down to have a look at the screen in the man’s monitor, “Vessel registry,” the man said, then hit a key and switched the picture, “We’ve also got real time transponder data on the map here,” Sandy tapped the screen, “Show me Rico Bay.” Sandy said quickly. The man shrugged sheepishly, “That’s outside the convoy area, I don’t have a map for it but we have the public navigational data here,” he keyed up another screen, “what’re you looking for?”

“I don’t know,” Sandy said slowly, “Print me a list of all the Pudite-flagged ships, civilian, military, everything, and the flags of convenience, and… fuck it, give me everything.”

“Sir, this is one of the largest ports in Gholgoth, and it’s fleet week. If I print a list of all the ships in this bay right now we’ll be here utill tomorrow morning.”

Sandy straightened up, “Yeah, you will maybe. Get that list.”

The woman behind him called across the room, “Sir, I’m having trouble with GOTHCOM, can you have a look at this?” Sandy crossed the room and the woman had a code book open on her desk and was pointing at a set of code words for the four service chiefs at GOTHCOM, “This is up to date, right sir?” Sandy looked over the page carefully, “Yeah, what’s the problem?” he asked after a moment, “They’re saying,” she pointed at the codewords, “aren’t at GOTHCOM. Like, not in the chain of command. They want another code phrase to get to the chiefs.”

Sandy shook his head in frustration, “But we don’t have one, I suppose?” the technician shrugged her shoulders in response, “Sorry sir, this,” she waved the book, “is the right one. These things are printed in here by external command and there’s only ever one copy, old ones are burned. No mistakes.”

At that moment a buzzer went off at the door to the secure room. Sandy turned as the door opened and started to say, “Is it ringing…” but trailed off as the blocky frame of Ivan Tarabarka filled the opening, stooping to step into the room and straightening back up before he spoke, “I think I can help you solve this little mystery you have, Praetor,” Tarabarka’s booming voice commanded attention, and was punctuated by the clatter as Tarabarka tossed to the floor Sandy’s satellite phone, smashed to pieces.

“What the hell-“ Sandy began sharply, but Tarabarka wasn’t done. “You’ll find Admiral Gagara, Marshals Boretskii and Ivin and Commander Frolov are no longer in their positions.”

“You can hang up with GOTHCOM,” Sandy said to the technician at his side, “I think we’ve got the new chief right in front of us. Should we go somewhere and talk, Admiral?”

“I think so.”

The pair retired from the communications room and found a simple empty conference room in the attache’s offices. Tarabarka turned on the light, crossed the room to a chair on the opposite side of the table, tossed his hat down and took a seat, gesturing for Sandy to do the same. Feigning nonchalance, quite well he thought, Sandy did so. “Alright, Admiral, why don’t you tell me what’s going on here.”

“You know as well as anyone, Lyme, that the Empire’s time playing interventionalist in Gholgoth is coming to an end,” the Admiral began, “It started when the fleet moved out of Mille, it should have been obvious after that. Progress on the so-called City of Peace,” Tarabarka spit out the words with some disdain, “was rightfully and prudently halted. Adventurism is over, Lyme, and its architects no longer serve the Empire. I’m here to close the coffin on this little enterprise, shut the whole thing down, take our ball and go home, if you will.”

“So, it’s your people who have Ambassador Otho?” Sandy asked genially, using the title on purpose.

“There is no ambassador by that name who serves the Empire. Private subject Otho was summoned home by his Emperor to answer for his conduct these last ten years. Soon, there will be no ambassadors in Gholgoth at all.”

“None? Is there another rotodyne up there to carry away Yuan next?”

“No, no, nothing so vulgar. Ambassador Yuan will soon be Legation Minister Yuan, and the rest will be so classified as well. Well, except for Ambassador Li, she’ll be made High Commissioner for Gholgoth and keep her offices in Krytopia.”

“And?” Sandy said, “How about the Praetor?”

Tarabarka gave a rumbling laugh, “Don’t worry Sandy, I know how your… implant… works, you’re in no danger from me.” He raised a hand at the door, “You’re free to go, but you’ll find there’s no such thing as a Pudite Praetor anymore.”

Sandy stood up and turned to go, started to say something, then shook his head and left the room. Outside, the guard from the communications room was standing with his cell phone, apparently Tarabarka had only destroyed his satellite phone. “Sir, someone named ‘Mitsy’ has called you about a dozen times,” he handed over the phone which showed as many missed calls from that contact. “Thanks, but you can skip the sir’s with me from here out, can you get that door for me? I don’t think my badge is gonna open it this time.”

As he was leaving the phone rang again. Mitsy’s name popped up on screen.

“Give me some good news, Mitsun,” he said as he answered the call.

“We found him, sir.”

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Posts: 908
Founded: Jan 01, 2008
Left-wing Utopia

Postby Havensky » Fri Nov 10, 2023 12:45 pm

The Horned Rat wrote:~Snip~

Citadel City had two different airports. For Ambassadors, Heads of State, and other high ranking officials, there was Emissary Airfield that was a few miles from the Citadel. For everyone else, there was King Drake International Airport positioned about 40 miles east of Citadel City. This was not to say that it wasn’t a very nice airport. In fact, as the main hub for the Skyan Republic no expense was spared to give tourists the best experience. The distance was necessary given the sheer volume of air traffic in and out of Citadel City, but boasted a high speed bullet train that would take visitors into the city in less than ten minutes.

Waen and her companion would find herself at the high arched gates of Terminal C with the flags of Havensky and Gholgoth fluttering in the wind.The terminal was four stories high with the top floor being airship docks, the bottom for planes, and the middle floors for food, shops, and amenities like medical stations and nap hotels. The ceiling was built up with stained blue glass creating an ethereal effect in the busy terminal. The columns were copper and traffic was separated by greenery. Various colorful murals decorated the walls along the walkways and those who were used to traveling would note the complete absence of advertisements. Digital screens were suspended in the air displaying directions in at least seven different languages directing people to either their gates or to the exits.

Throughout the airport, there were security officers at almost every single corner in full dress uniform. There were no weapons visible, but Waen suspected they were concealed. There was also the occasional working dog that trotted proudly back and forth through the terminal. A few officers were helping visitors with directions.

As they approached the Immigration Hall, the walkway split out in four directions. The widest one was designated for Skyan passport holders, next to that was the hall for Gothic passports, and then a hall for the Non-Regional passport holders, and finally to the far left was a corridor for Official and Diplomatic passport holders.

An officer was milling about the crowd checking passports to make sure people were heading the right direction. He motioned for Waen to show her passport. He checked it over and had a puzzled look on his face.

Waen’s patient smile waned a little. “Is there a problem? We had the all clear through Pax Gothica earlier.”

“My apologies madam, but this is a diplomatic passport. Normally, we make sure a member of your embassy is here to greet you and escort you.”

Oh. Ah,” She gave the officer a sheepish grin. “That would explain it, the League nor the Hegemony have an embassy here, at least not insomuch as I’m aware!”

“Ah, I see. Well, here’s what you’ll do. Take the far left hall and follow the signs to the Diplomatic Counter. Once you pass that, you’ll be in baggage claim. Beyond that, you’ll see the train station. Don’t worry about which one, it’s one train that always goes out and runs express to Grand Crossing and the Citadel itself. Once you’re settled, show your passport to the Foreign Reception Desk at the Citadel and they can direct you from there.”

After a few minutes waiting in line, the two found themselves at the train station. Surprisingly, there was no fare taken from the airport into the city and instead people were directed to board immediately when the train arrived. The train was tall and bright silver chrome with the rear of the train curving to a thin edge. Wings were stenciled into the side of each car with signage indicating that this was the ‘King Drake Express.’ The doors opened and porters stepped out to assist people in getting their luggage onto the train. The train had two seats on either side with plenty of room for baggage.

A message came across the train as the doors closed, first in common then repeated in several languages.

“Please be seated, the train is now departing. For your safety, please hold on.”

The train jolted forward accelerating to 250 miles per hour in just a few seconds. As they departed the trees of the Emerald Forest became a green blur. The train was situated on an elevated track and soon they crossed the bridge into Citadel City. Try as one might, the views of the city were limited and even more so as they entered into a tunnel. The train began to slow down.

“Please hold on, this train is stopping. The next stop will be Grand Crossing. Doors open on the left, at Grand Crossing.”

The train slowed to a halt and opened its doors letting people disembark. The people leaving headed up the bamboo wood ramp and into a large domed building that was painted like a compass showing a bright red arrow in the direction of north. The walls and columns of the building mimicked a compass as well with copper and silver tones throughout the structure. Lamps positioned along the side of the hallways and entryways gave the place a warm glow. Towards the bottom of the ceiling, large signage showing different destinations were displayed with screens stating the next departure time.

Grand Crossing was absolutely packed with people. Families going on shopping runs, business people rushing out of the station to get to their offices, government workers picking up coffee before heading to the Citadel and tourists just there to see the sights. Most people were dressed in lightweight airy clothing in a variety of bright colors. Even those who were dressed in more formal business wear sported suits in bright reds, blues and greens.If one listened carefully, one could hear a dozen different languages being spoken.

The public transportation system in Citadel City worked off a hub and spoke and spoke model with all trains leading to Grand Crossing. For some routes, like from King Drake to the Citadel or the University to the Citadel one could stay on the same train and go directly there. However, most travelers went from their neighborhoods to Grand Crossing station on the way to their final destination.

Below the signage was four decks that led to boarding platforms, shops, and restaurants. At the center of the building was a three dimensional model of the entire city. A handful of stations encircled it letting people look up points of interest and directions and see them lit up on the model. Naturally, these were manned by kids who delighted in lighting up as many buildings as they could.

And with that, the entire city opened up to the visitors.
Last edited by Havensky on Fri Nov 10, 2023 3:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
The Skybound Republic of Havensky
(Pronounced Haven-Sky)

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Posts: 908
Founded: Jan 01, 2008
Left-wing Utopia

Postby Havensky » Fri Nov 10, 2023 1:28 pm

Emperor Pudu wrote:~ Snip ~

In a different part of the city, the regular Combat Air Patrol was being conducted by the Iron Guard with no less than eight Accipiters in the air. Upon getting the call from the deconfliction line, they had redeployed themselves launched into a wide sweep of the area at the first word that they had a rouge aircraft on the loosey. The extensive network of radars and sensors that surrounded the city all lit up cross-checking flight plants against radar signatures. Air Traffic Control focused their search on a single aircraft which was going against the usual clockwise traffic flow around the city.

Iron Leader, Control - Contact bearing 90 degrees and 2 clicks from your present position. Adjust course 80 degrees and intercept.

The flight of iron grey fighters turned their wings and hit their afterburners. The people below shouted in cheers thinking that this was some demonstration.

The lead pilot caught the rotodyne on his radar and opened up the comms.

"Blue Rotodyne, You have been intercepted by an Accipiter armed Iron Guard fighter. Work south and set course for Legionary Airfield immediately. Your flight is not authorized. Come on up frequency 121.4. Rock your wings to acknowledge and work south immediately.
Last edited by Havensky on Fri Nov 10, 2023 1:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
The Skybound Republic of Havensky
(Pronounced Haven-Sky)

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The Horned Rat
Posts: 113
Founded: Mar 30, 2004
Father Knows Best State

Postby The Horned Rat » Fri Nov 10, 2023 5:27 pm

Havensky wrote:word

While Waen had been basking in the shockingly enjoyable train ride, her companion was handling it poorly. It seemed with each minute that passed Lark was getting paler, strained over something. She held the observation to herself until they stepped off into Grand Crossing, her focus boiled down to a singular point in the sea of people and sensations that were around them.

"Lark, what's wrong?" A small ride of anxiety tightened her chest at fulling realizing Lark was possibly compromised, she was disarmed and they were surrounded by so many people. Waen exhaled. She extended a hand out slightly towards him, but didn't fully grasp his and held the silence knowing full well he had heard her.

A few moments passed.

"It's loud." He looked at her with a furrowed brow that broke slightly in realization. "I don't mean in the...hearing sense. In here." He held a gloved hand to his grey shirt, nestled as it was under Lark's dark blue cotton vest. "Droning, like a hive."

Waen cautiously probed, "Does it hurt?"

He shook his head lightly. "It's just a lot, so suddenly."

She nodded. "We can take it easy." There was a quick look around at the throng that flowed around them nonstop before Waen looked back at Lark. "Find somewhere with less people while you get your bearings. Like that Foreign...ah, Foreign Reception place that officer mentioned. It'll be busy with Fleet Week and all but I can't imagine it'll be as hectic as here."

Lark nodded slightly, not looking worse but still looking like he was having a rough day.

Waen took the lead, looking about the abundance of displays and directions at this intersection. It was no wonder Lark was feeling overwhelmed, it was a lot to process. She was thankful for it all the same while waiting patiently behind a young kid hitting as many inputs as they could manage as quickly as possible. The ever patient and diligent electronic voice dutifully chiming in with each requested location coinciding with an illuminated destination on the model.

Sky Far-
Oodles O' Noodl-
Bountiful Books a-
Foreign Recep-

"Wait wait, where was that last one!?" Waen approached the podium and surprised the kid who was playing with it. They didn't seem afraid, just unsure about the adult talking to them.

The Great Library

"Sorry, hey, do you mind if I use that real quickly?" She pointed at the now silent kiosk. Behind her, Lark was wordlessly pointing at the Citadel that had highlighted when the child accidentally hit it.

They nodded, but didn't step aside as Waen approached. "So see you got the menu here, and you go in there and then you can go by the letter or like the place or uh the uh a uh search! If you know the name of it."

Waen made a nod with a quiet "I see.", willing to let her impromptu guide educate her on the function. "What about the language? Is it just always in common?"

They shook their head vigorously and touched a small icon that had been ever present in the top with a number of others her tutor hadn't mentioned. A small drop down menu lowered and they picked one of the options. Immeadiately the legibile script was replaced with something she didn't recognize, a number of rapid and experienced taps and they changed the language over and over.

"Okay okay! I got it! That's really cool!" Waen had tried in vain to find anything she recognized, and while the Skyans certainly had diversity in spades she didn't notice anything.

"What language do you speak? You got a funny accent." They looked away from the kiosk to regard Waen now more fully, without malice or judgement. Just curiosity.

"Well, I'm from Irkalla. A loooong way to the East from here, so I'm not too surprised you don't recognize it." She didn't fully answer his question, but Waen wasn't interested in going full 99 question time with the kid. "Could you put it back to common though? I'm looking for the foreign reception at the Citadel."

"Sure, but I mean you can't miss it." They pointed at the hologram of the Citadel that the city was named after. Lark let out a weary sigh behind the pair and lowered his arm. "Just gotta take the King Drake!"

"Perfect!" She held out a hand to shake theirs. "My name is Waen." She gestured a thumb towards her bodyguard. "His name is Lark."

Without much hesitation they grabbed hers and shook it with the over abundance of enthusiasm the young throw into nearly everything.


"Well thank you very much, Amsel. It seems that Lark and I have another train to catch. Enjoy fleet week!"

The pair exchanged a glance as they walked away and headed back towards the trains. A number of different lines were running, though she had difficulty in finding the boarding area for the King Drake-Citadel route. While turning about looking for signange, in the distance she caught Amsel still watching and now vigorously pointing at an angle behind her. Looking in that direction she finally noticed the large signage awash with arrival and departure times, the next one was still a few minutes out. Waen gave an appreciative smile and wave back at the kid.

"They were nice." She looked at Lark with a sidelong glance, he seemed to have a little more vitality in his cheeks. Maybe he could pass off as a little hungover than severely sick now. That brought a sense of relief to her.

He sniped back. "Soft"

"Allowed to thrive. Look around this place. Look at their faces. Look at their clothes. Look at the food they eat. They might be insulated from suffering, but these are the foundations of strength. Not the polluted ruins we were left with."

Lark didn't give back a snarky comment, he just let the ambient sounds of the crowds cover his silence.

The train pulled up, the doors opened. They boarded.

Cautiously he broke the quiet that had settled between them. "Why are we going to the Citadel?"

Waen looked over at him, her face blank as she was turning over some thoughts in her head. A wry smirk emerged before she spoke. "There isn't a League embassy here...yet."
Le Shay wrote:“Good have them interrogated. Don’t be genital on them either.”

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The City State Rhydin
Posts: 843
Founded: Nov 07, 2007
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby The City State Rhydin » Sat Nov 11, 2023 10:10 am

In the Deep
Reverence Class Submarine-Battle Cruiser 013 " Kauyon "
Headed towards Skyan territorial waters

The Kauyon (Hunter) was currently at maximum depth, having just left the colonial docks of Demlok t ea sea (Canyon of the Sea), a fairly decent hub of Rhydinian activity, and the nearest outpost towards the lands of Ghant. Nearly four-thousand 'yardies' or as colonials were called existed there and were either prospecting mining or apart of the extended naval service dedicated to intelligence gathering.

Commanding the Kauyon was that of Colonel Narsis Snagfang. A leading officer within the RIHN, and a Canini (Canini are a lycanthrope species of wolf, fox, and other canine sorts) career military officer who had proclaimed that Canini could only exist if had become one with the Hegemony, as it had done. His faith and resolution at the center of this belief had allowed him to rise within the military complex of the Hegemony and become among the first twenty to captain a Reverence class SBC.

The fox being that had led a sizable contingent of forces at Karthay, his promotion had come from his honorable service there as well as operations therein. He had been getting dressed, buttoning up the jacket of his uniform when the familiar bell sound of a destination being near sounded within his quarters.

Settling down into the nearby chair at his desk, collar loosened still as he placed right paw against the biometric scanner and the holo-projector screen came to life. He spoke softly to the machine. Identify diplomatic orders.. A blue light illuminated the seal that he held and a few seconds went by before a monotone female voice came to life. You will proceed to Havansky, Land of the Skyan's as apart of an event known as Fleet Week.

He directed the terminal to open communication with central services, and pointedly, his superior, Admiral Taywen of the RIHN. Her face appeared on the streaming video, looking as if she had yet to age past a certain point. Of a shade close to ivory, her eyes were the traditional shiny black, as if a shark genome had been woven into her DNA. Admiral, I apologize for the late call, but I received orders for a...diplomatic affair?

Taywen leaned back within her seat and then responded, though it appeared as if she had no reaction to such, Narsis knew better. Perhaps Hogh Command feels that you are the best choice, and it's been a few centuries since the Canini treated with anyone beyond the Hegemony itself. Perhaps because your people are one with the Hegemony, they seek a new insight. You will go Colonel Narsis, do the Hegemony proud. Taywen signed off then, and the stream went dark as Narsis cursed a bit under his breath.

A moment was spent rationalizing this endeavor before he used the terminal to get in touch with his second in command, Major Tharrin.Major, new course. Head towards the port of Havensky, once within their territorial waters, make a communication that we are arriving for fleetweek. Tharrin's blank look at his new orders seemed to hold him for a moment before he nodded his head, and Narsis made a motion of his hand that turned the terminal screen off. Gods above..

As the new course was laid out, the massive vessel pointed it's bow towards the direction it was to take and rose slightly from just above crush depth to that of the cruising height. At full drive, the Kauyon would arrive in Havensky Port within eight hours at it's impressive cruise speed of roughly fifty knots. As Narsis could feel the ship beginning it's turn, he was already on his way to the bridge and to the communication station and it's officer therein. He addressed the Lieutenant present. Lieutenant Thren. Of whom the wolf officer stiffened as the Major prowled by, also of this gene stock, though a different breed of such. He inwardly shrugged as he continued. Alert the outpost and notify the secondary vessels Serto (Evergreen) a Xar'zith (Ice) Class HCSN, and the Kaliath' (Merciful) Silinrul (Hunter) Class Fleet Carrier (SCVN). They are hereby ordered to be our escorts and to represent apart of this so-called Fleet Week.

The lieutenant nodded obediently as digits moved across a special keypad, this was further aided by the blue lense that swiveled into place across one eye. The message being sent word for word with the proper authorization being put into place. The officer replied to his superior who once more crowded his personal space. Sir, orders have been relayed, and both vessels are leaving docking ports, expect rendezvous in an hour Sir.

Narsis nodded. Good work Lieutenant.

Havensky Port
Colonel Narsis Snagfang represented both the Hegemony, as well as the Canini people. That such a heavy burden had been thrust upon him, had brought the officer a new sort of mental woe. The fox was atypical in size for a member of the Canini, he stood roughly two-hundred-seven centimeters tall, though his muscle mass belied his weight, about one-hundred-fifty-seven kilograms. His appearance gave a slender front, and as such it was easy to misjudge the frame wrapped in the dark grey of the Navy.

A heavy leather trench left unbuttoned near the collar, officers cap at a slight angle between two fuzzy ears as he clomped down the path of the exit seal tube, and the adjoining boarding ramp to the actual dock of Skyan make. A secondary pair of footfalls brought the slightly similar in height second in command. The wolven Major Tharrin, of the breed stock Canis lupus lupus (Eurasian Wolf). Such stock was few in number, but the clans that were around, often were apart of the navy, and or special taskforces. Tharrin himself had once been on the advance team for the Empress, but had requested to serve the needs of the colonies.

Like his commanding officer, he wore the dark trench and the grey uniform of the submarine corps serving the Hegemony. Together they stood just a few dozen feet from the ramp's base, glancing over what would await them at the port. The waves of scents and sounds poured in. It was mesmerizing and intoxicating.

To whomever approached the looming officers, he would offer a bow of head and speak words in the Anglish tongue, instead of the more customary native tongue of the Rhydinians. The Hegemony thanks the Skyan people of Havensky for the invitation to this Fleet Week event.

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The Kraven Corporation
Posts: 522
Founded: Apr 24, 2005
Psychotic Dictatorship

Postby The Kraven Corporation » Sat Nov 11, 2023 11:00 am

The U-96.
Somewhere outside of Havensky.
03:00 Hours Standard Imperial Time.
Captain Hans Skaro.

The Interior of the submarine was silent, the engines and systems that normally hum and buzz with life were eerily quiet, each sailor sat still, some looking down at the floor, others fidgeting with their fingers or little trinkets they had collected over the years, the submarine was cold, damp and dark its little illumination came from a single emergency red bulb that gave everything a slight warm, glow…

Captain Skaro leaned into the hydrophone station, its operator leaned back slightly giving Skaro the room he needed to work the controls, he was listening to the traffic overhead, in one hand he pressed the headphones against one ear, the other hand held a steaming mug of Ersatz coffee, he took a sip, focusing his mind on the noise of screws thrumbing away above pushing some unseen metal titan forwards…

Skaro spoke quietly, almost to himself, but his Chief Engineer leaned on a bulkhead writing down notes on what Skaro was saying…

“Large Flotilla, eight bladed screws, must be the flagship” Skaro altered the dial on the hydrophone a little and nodded, almost as if he was confirming to himself “smaller vessels surrounding it, definitely the flag ship” he listened a little longer moving the dial back to its previous position, “A big one, about one hundred and eighty seven metres give or take”

The U-96 was stationary on the silt of the bottom of the bay, Skaro made sure the high pressure air tanks were full to capacity, so that when needed they could raise the hull from the bottom and slowly slip away…

Skaro rubbed his rugged face, slowly moving his fingers through the beard, he did this often when thinking, his cold, steel blue eyes were focused on the metal grating of the floor.

“The Skyan tides are predictable, we could blow the ballasts once the traffic has died down, wait until the tide turns and starts going into the bay, let the tide carry us into the interior of the Skyan port and see what we can find out, I don’t recognise the signature of those eight bladed screws, its a noise I’ve not heard in Gholgoth before, I don’t recognise them and that is irritating, so I want to know who have the Skyans invited to the party”

His Chief engineer gave out a small laugh..

“What are you thinking Petr?”

“I’m thinking that they might not appreciate us gate crashing the party”

“Well, Petr, I never received my invitation, I don’t remember Norska having a postal service though, do you?”

Petr laughed again and shook his head…

“I think we will wait a little longer before we head off, I think more guests are going to arrive before the end of the night and I think I’m going to need another cup of coffee”
Last edited by The Kraven Corporation on Sat Nov 11, 2023 11:12 am, edited 1 time in total.
The Unified Authority of Kraven.

Resistance is Futile.

There are only two choices, Unification or Death.

Unjustly Deleted. Justly Restored.

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Posts: 8457
Founded: Jul 07, 2008
Left-Leaning College State

Eve of the Last Days of Peace

Postby Kylarnatia » Sat Nov 11, 2023 8:22 pm

Grand Crossing, Citadel City
The Skybound Republic of Havensky, Gholgoth

“We are now arriving at Grand Crossing Station. This train terminates here. Please take all your luggage with you, and take care when stepping down from the train. On behalf of all the on-board crew, we thank you for travelling with us. You can find more information about onward travel in the concourse of the station.”

The closing message of the train journey was relayed several more times - via announcement and screen display text - in many of the major Gothic languages. Cornelius Peregrina, despite his many years of having been away from the motherland, felt his ears tune in more when a woman’s voice spoke the announcement in Seraphic. The words themselves were completely mundane to him now, as they were to any regular commuter, but something about hearing his mother tongue spoken with natural ease always elicited a small feeling of longing.

As the train came to a gentle stop and the throng of the station came into focus, Cornelius began to gather himself. Turning his head to the seat next to him, he was met with the gaze of his wife, Hestia.

“Eyes sharp, soldier. The second phase of our operation is about to begin.” She teased him lovingly with a hint of dramatic flair. Cornelius cracked a slight smile at the edge of his lips, which was a lot, coming from him. Hestia knew this from over thirty years of marriage to the man. Using her hands to mimic dusting off his Caesar’s Imperial Army dress jacket, which had been clearly meticulously maintained, she then made a slight adjustment to the small row of medals adorning his breast. Satisfied, she gave him a peck on the cheek, then proceeded to start making her way off the train. Cornelius stood after her, towering above most others on the train at well over seven feet and now instinctively watching his head as he did so, grabbing his walking cane from between both seats as he made his way for the exit.

Disembarking from the train and onto the platform, the couple navigated their way through the thronging masses - their natural height coming to their advantage - to get to the main concourse. There they checked the timetables.

“Hm, the train is delayed.” Cornelius observed with a mild tone of dissatisfaction. Hestia gave him a bemused side-eye.

“By two minutes. We’ll still be there in plenty of time.”


She laughed, and upon noticing that their exchange had caught the attention of one of the many Passenger Assistance personnel standing on the concourse, she rolled her eyes for humourful effect. “You’ve never really enjoyed being a civilian, have you, dear?”

Cornelius didn’t answer her last remark, his attention having turned to the large screens above the concourse that were showing broadcasts of the assembling armada’s of airships and seafaring vessels. While the sound was inaudible due to the noise of all those coming and going, closed captions were available on all the video feeds.

[ This year’s Fleet Week is shaping up to be one of the largest in recent memory, with multiple allies of the Gothic Alliance taking part, some for the very first time. By far the largest contingent is coming from Kylarnatia, which the Defence Ministry confirmed is bringing seventy vessels to the parade, many of which are coming as part of active patrols in Southern Gholgoth… ]

The Legionnaire veteran’s concentration on the captions was broken when he felt a small thud against his leg. Looking down he saw that a young boy - couldn’t have been no older than three or four - had accidentally stumbled into him, quite likely overwhelmed by all the activity. Seemingly unphased by the physical altercation, the young boy looked up at the giant with wide-eyed fascination.

“Oh, I’m so sorry!” The child’s mother quickly leapt in, two other younglings in tow.

“It’s quite--” Cornelius went to respond, but Hestia was quicker, evoking the same maternal instinct.

“Oh, Mother’s blessings, what an angel.” She politely gushed over the infant, helping the mother quickly move past the embarrassment of the altercation. “My husband sometimes forgets how big he is!”

Laughs were shared and they were quickly setting back on their way, though the young boy would occasionally turn his head back to try and spot them. Watching them go, Cornelius would catch his eye-line at least a few times more, the infant’s eyes cutting through with precision despite his earlier disorientation. Cornelius couldn’t help but wonder what he had to be thinking, not just of him, but of all of this. Did any of it make sense?

“Ah, children. How I miss it.” Hestia said with a sigh. “Maybe though, with this new boyfriend our girl’s bagged herself…” She looked at her husband expecting some sort of reaction to her remarks, but instead his attention had turned back to the broadcasts. Now turning to look at it herself, she adjusted the rim of her elaborate broad-brimmed hat so that she could see.

“I don’t know if I can get myself excited for all those big hunks of metal. The hunks onboard, though…”

“Settle down.” He showed some life at last.

She laughed, placing her arm around him. “Come on, we should start making our way towards the platform. We mustn’t be late for the party.”

The Embassy of the Imperium Antiquum, Citadel City

The Embassy of the Imperium Antiquum to the Skybound Republic was the largest of Caesar’s embassies within the region. Taking up a significant portion of the waterfront in the Friendship District - “Kylarnatian’s are culturally attuned to waterways.” was an official line that was used in the opening discussions about expanding the allotment - the complex had many notable features: several office buildings, a security block with a quay for access to boat travel, a modest villa used as a private residence for the Ambassador, and an open-air Sacerdotium shrine dedicated to Horus, Aspect of the Sky and Second Son of the Grand Mother.

Between all these buildings were winding footpaths and assorted flora both native to the Citadel region and from the Seraphic heartland, carefully selected to ensure ecological cohesion. All of this was carefully curated around the heart of the compound, the Embassy itself. A large neoclassical structure with a full-colour pediment - depicting an epic confrontation of Horus subduing multiple nameless Storm Gods - and a glowing glass rotunda above, the building was awash with the colour of large flags of the Imperium Antiquum and the Gothic Alliance between each of its columns, each with a trim of gold and purple. Streamers of red, white, and black also adorned the lampposts which dotted the grounds.

All across the grounds, there was a frantic buzz of activity as stalls and booths were being installed and everyone was finding their spaces. The Embassy had ceased all but essential business for the next three days as it prepared to play host for the Fleet Week festivities. With the Imperium Antiquum set to play such a large part in the display, now was also an opportune time to promote the cultural partnership between Kylarnatians and Skyans, and promote the boons of Seraphic culture and business to allies and new faces alike. Be they statesmen, private business folk or your everyday John and Jane, their brief was to charm them all.

Overseeing all of this was the Imperium’s Ambassador to Havensky, Dr. Diana Prosperina. A seasoned diplomat having served in the Diplomatic Corps of Caesar's Ministry of Foreign and Imperial Affairs for over fifteen years, she had an academic background in Foreign Policy, having written her doctorate on the evolving foreign policy of the Skybound Republic since its introduction to Gholgoth proper and its effects on the nation’s character. Within it, she outlined a case for Kylarnatian-Skyan cooperation that formed the basis for the present-day relationship. When she wrote it she expected maybe a grand-total of a hundred people to ever download it and read it; it just so happened that one of them was Caesar herself, not too long before she ascended to the Throne.

Having dressed in a long formal gown awash with sparkling colours of green and blue with the ends a frosted white - mimicking the tides of the water’s edge of the Seraphis River - and adorned with the Imperial Purple sash that designated her as an envoy of Caesar, she had instructed all the Staff to gather in the atrium under the rotunda. Within the rotunda was a large trompe-l'œil fresco cycle depicting key events of cultural interaction between the Imperium and the Skyans, the first of which was with their Fourheart progenitors. These mythologised historical interactions featured the intervention of Seraphim and the aura of the Mother. What was notable is that the fresco was intentionally incomplete, the edges depicted as heraldic angels waiting to pronounce the next chapter.

Looking down on them all from the top of a grand staircase, where the wall behind contained three niches each with a statue of Caesar - one as soldier, one as a diplomat, and another as the Mother - Diana began to gather their attention.

“Okay, my little cherubs…” She began, the noise quickly dying down. “...the next three days are going to be very busy and full of merriment, but I promise you this is no less a workday than any other. In fact, these next three days are likely going to be the busiest you’ve experienced in a long time, and more important than you may realise.”

While everyone was professional and respectful, she could tell that - especially for the youngest staffers amongst them - what she was saying was in fact coming as something of a surprise.

“We are on the eve of the last days of peace.” She declared, her words cutting through the silence like a knife. “Every one of those days has to count for something. The need for diplomacy won’t wind down; it’ll become more crucial than ever. Failure is assured if we despair and lose faith in our ability to talk to one another; if we fill the hearts and minds of our allies with hope, victory is certain. So I want you to go out there - on our grounds, to our fellow Gothic brethren in their embassies, into the streets of the denizens of Citadel City - and win. I’m counting on you, and I believe in all of you.”

There was a brief pause as the words sunk in, then applause and cheers rang out in the rotunda, along with cries of “Vivat!”.

“Right, you all know your briefs. Let’s get to work.”

Caesar’s Imperial Airship Xennasia, on approach to Citadel City

Xennasia is the Seraphic word for “friendship”, particularly in regards to friendship or alliance with an outsider. Its root is the High Seraphic expression Xenunasia, which literally means, “Admiring the Beauty of the Strange”. For a homogenous long-standing culture like the Kylarnatians, establishing an understanding with foreigners had historically been a challenge, so exceptions were always noteworthy.

The Kylarnatian-Skyan relationship was perhaps the very epitome of Xenunasia. Two very different systems of power, philosophically distant ideas on the meaning and entitlement of liberty and freedom, let alone the complete antithesis of each other when it came to faith and the state. Yet even despite those hurdles, the two had become deeply invested in a diplomatic and military entente. There was always a level of pragmatism in this, but what may have started from there had quickly grown into something much more profound.

“Once that gulf was bridged…”, so wrote Dr. Prosperina in her thesis, “...the architects could not help but stop and marvel at the wonder that they had created. Since then, it has become an ongoing act of near zealous conservation. For if it were to ever fail, neither side could confidently hope to provide the blueprint to recreate it.”

The Xennasia was a personal gift from the Skyan State to Caesar for her 40th Birthday and 15th Anniversary of Ascension. A specially modified “Shearwater” Airship Carrier, it was designed for Caesar’s personal leisure, though they had maintained a high level of security in their choice. With expansive accommodations for the Sovereign, there was clearly a great deal of thought and care that had gone into its construction, with a lot of subtle messaging sown throughout that wasn’t lost on its passenger.

It seemed more than appropriate then that, on her next return to Citadel City, Caesar should make her entrance using it. Having made most of the leg of the journey on-board the CINV Victoria - a Libertas-Class Supercarrier making its maiden voyage to be a part of the Fleet Week display - the Xennasia set off within a few hundred nautical miles of Skyan airspace, giving Caesar and her entourage a nice cruise for which to freshen and prepare themselves before arrival.

But the messaging didn’t stop at her mode of transport. As ever, Caesar’s outfit was to play a significant role. A gift from the Skybound Republic’s first ever envoy to the Gothic Council, the long white dress with gold trim and a light red cape with feathered interior was rich with Skyan symbolism that also synergised well with the Seraphic motifs that she embodied: as she portrays the Skyan lion, she is also the winged sphinx that devours the enemies of Kylarnatia, and by extension her allies.

For the past few years, Caesar’s diplomatic entourage had steadily been changing, adapting to the ongoing change in geo-political circumstances that seemed to be reaching their inevitable boiling point of large-scale conflict. In that mindset, her entourage had been growing smaller and with slightly less pomp and circumstance, but no less ritual or political significance. Now was a time when evoking an image of stability, strength and willingness to act was essential, and so everything she engaged with - and everyone that engaged her - was a means towards that end.

While billed as a “working dinner” being hosted by Queen Heart, Silvier was acutely aware that this may be the last time in the foreseeable future that they would meet under any sort of condition that resembled peacetime. This had been what she had prepared for her entire reign so far, and as the hours crept on it became increasingly more pressing to ensure that everything was in place, right down to the last detail.

So it was that she was receiving a briefing of the Order of Parade for the vessels that would be taking part from her own Imperial Navy. All (except the Victoria) within active ongoing service of the Seventh Fleet, named “Vulcan” after the Aspect of Material Creation, they were intended to demonstrate Caesar’s Imperial Navy’s ability to respond to all seafaring and airborne threats, as well as their capabilities in supporting allied elements. It was very much a show of force, for both friend and foe, while also carefully curated to ensure that nothing too critical was given away.

As the briefing was just concluding, Hyperion - the age-old sentinel who seemed to be Caesar’s near constant shadow - entered into her quarters, having just come from the Bridge. “Our escorts from the Victoria have disengaged as we’ve entered Skyan airspace, my Caesar. Authorities in Citadel City have been hailed and we will meet up with their escorts to be led to land in Emissary Airport.”

“Good.” She gave him the brief affirmative while still closely studying the brief that was being projected on the glass tabletop of the working desk the Skyans had made for her. On it, she could see detailed scale models of the formations, with designations and information for each individual ship if she selected it with the tip of her fingers.

After a few more moments though she shut it off and sat back down, dismissing her military staff with the slightest movement of her hand. They bowed deeply and promptly departed. She turned in the chair and looked out to the sky’s beyond and the deep blue seas below, all of the world’s natural still beauty on display to behold.

Hyperion thought for a moment of whether to say anything more, but decided against it. This whole cruise had been one of very few words from either of them, despite all the activity on the rest of the ship. Deep down, both knew this might be the last period of calm they would have for a while, so it seemed right to just embrace the moment.

So he turned and watched with her for a while, until the sprawling spires and armada’s started to pop into view.
The Ancient Empire of Kylarnatia // Imperium Antiquum Kylarnatiae
Lord of Gholgoth | Factbook (Work in Progress) | Embassy & Consulate Programme
I write mostly in PMT-FaNT, and I enjoy worldbuilding and storytelling. Any questions? Ask away!
NationState's friendly neighbourhood Egyptologist
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"Kylarnatia is a rare Nile platypus." - Kyrusia

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Emperor Pudu
Posts: 168
Founded: Aug 24, 2007

Postby Emperor Pudu » Sun Nov 12, 2023 4:51 am

The embassy security offer approached Sandy as he was striding purposefully across the yard toward the embassy main gate. “Sir!” he shouted out, “We’ve got a video you need to see!”

Sandy just waved his cell phone, which was still in his hand after hanging up with Mitsun moments before, “I just saw it, tell the Ambassador I’m after him!” Sandy continued at a brisk pace until he got to the iron gates of the embassy, which were now closed and manned by armed guards being eyed nervously by about two dozen partygoers in the front yard either being interviewed by security or waiting for such. The guards did let Sandy out through their sally port however and he was on the street a moment later.

Looking about he spied nearby a bicycle taxi waiting for a fare, presumably having seen the party at the embassy or likewise in the neighborhood. Running up to the young man resting at the front he pressed into his palm a crisp Skyan one-hundred credit note, to the driver’s surprise and subsequent embarrassment, “No, there’s an app you use, I don’t have cash for change,” the driver started to protest, waving a bracelet he wore that evidently had a contactless payment method embedded, but Sandy was already climbing into the cab on the back of the three wheeled bike, “I don’t need change,” Sandy explained hurriedly, pressing another note into the drivers hands over his shoulder, “Just go! West toward Van Morgan road, as fast as possible!”

The startled taxi driver stuffed both bills into the front pocket of his pants and gave a strong push off and standing start as he pumped the bike taxi up to speed and maneuvered into the lane given over for such. As the driver pedaled on convincingly, assisted, Sandy quickly realized, by a small electric motor, he slid back into the bulb-shaped open cab and pulled his phone back out and opened again the video he had just received from Mitsun as he was leaving the embassy.

It was security camera footage from inside the ambassador’s residence, in it Otho can be seen paying the bartender, standing up and moving toward the back door when he is intercepted by a man in a brown suit who, seconds later, Otho drapes his arm around and the two move instead toward the front door. Otho seems to be moving sluggishly, being supported by the strange man as if he was a drunk being walked home by a friend. Of course, Sandy had just been talking to Otho moments before. He had not been this drunk even just before he ran into that man.

Sandy paused and zoomed in on the footage, skipping ahead frame by frame as he watched the brown suited man’s hands in the moment the two first ran into eachother. He couldn’t see it but there must have been a syringe. Given the crowd, the angle of the camera that covered the area and the apparent dexterity of the suspected kidnapper, Sandy couldn’t quite make out exactly when it happened. It must have been extraordinarily fast acting, though, because it all happened in a matter of seconds before the two were making for the wrong door.

The footage switched between a few different cameras and angles as the pair moved through the house. Sandy watched the crowd, looking for anyone who may have taken more than a cursory glance at the situation. Otho was known to be living in the embassy and was a renowned drinker, the scene itself was not unbelievable. Sandy also watched for Admiral Tarabarka in the background, but it seemed the wily admiral was still at this time in the secluded corner of another room, probably bragging about imagined exploits. Sandy saw himself at one point in the video, having crossed the central hallway only just before Otho and his handler moved by. Sandy swore under his breath.

“Here sir?!” the taxi driver called back as he started to take the sharp (at these speeds) corner onto another street, moving in the direction of the arterial Van Morgan street. “Yes, perfect!” Sandy shouted without looking up, though he did occasionally slide around the back seat here as the driver made his maneuvers.

He turned back to the video, which had switched to an outside perspective. The rotodyne was clearly here in the yard and Sandy didn’t see any of its crew milling about like they had been as he entered. They must already be in the craft at this time, as it was at that moment in the video that the bird began to spin to life; the massive dual rotors spinning in opposite directions, negating the need for a tail rotor or additional control surfaces.

The reason Sandy was on this confused man’s bike, though, and not desperately trying to warn the Skyan Iron Guard not to bring down that damned rotodyne was what happened next. As the rotodyne lifted off, scattering the crowd around it and eliciting an evolving mixture of surprise, fear and finally delight, Otho and the brown suit man strolled right out the still-open front gate of the embassy and tottered off down the sidewalk. All eyes on the Blue Bird, they had simply slipped under everyone’s notice. Initially, at least, Sandy assured himself as he closed the video and looked up to check his driver’s progress.

He could see Van Marten road ahead, down a slight incline that the driver was navigating with confidence. Ahead Sandy caught sight of the first automobiles that they had passed on their journey, the roads here largely given over to bikes and pedestrians – but some things like delivery trucks, emergency response and other specialized transport were still necessary. As they pulled down onto the larger road, still racing down a dedicated bike lane but otherwise not mindful of the usual etiquette to the seeming annoyance of some Skyan cyclists they were passing, Sandy sat forward on the seat and arched his neck scanning the road ahead. He couldn’t see it yet, but around a gentle tree-lined bend in the wide road he could see the telltale glow of brakelights stacking up and before long the flashing lights of an emergency response vehicle.

The driver turned his head for a second to nod ahead questioningly, “Yep,” Sandy answered, “That’s the spot, get me right there!”

As they approached the scene it only became more chaotic. There was what small amount of traffic was passing on this road backed up and held at bay by flashing lights embedded in steel vehicle barrier poles that had risen out of the road surface. About thirty meters beyond that another set of vehicle barriers had risen and that’s what the big box delivery truck had crashed into. It was sitting at a skewed angle, part of it’s front end crushed in. Just as his driver stopped, as close as the uniformed Skyan police officer would let them get, Sandy saw two more Skyan police were yanking two men out of the cab of the truck and pinning them on the ground while a third climbed up and their flashlight beam jerked around inside. There were evidently no more in the truck cab to seize and the Skyans who were not busy searching and restraining the two suspects made their way around to the back overhead door of the truck.

Sandy quickly leapt down from the bike taxi and shouted over his shoulder to the driver, “You did great!” before stopping abruptly at the raised hand and cautious look of the policeman holding his perimeter. Sandy had already pulled from his pockets a small handful of laminated cards, a leather-backed badge and a passport and was watching over the cop’s shoulder as the scene unfolded behind them.

They could hear from here the two men, now in kneeling positions with their hands bound behind them, loudly proclaiming in not very well practiced Common that they carried diplomatic passports and bore immunity and that the truck was sovereign Pudite property and could not be interfered with. It didn’t seem the shouts concerned too much the pair of officers now heading toward the back of the truck carrying bolt cutters, though.

The officer in front of Sandy had looked over his documents and then passed an uncertain radio message to their commander by radio, to which they had been immediately instructed to let Sandy through, which they did with a “Carry on, Praetor.”

Sandy jogged up to the pair about to open the rear door, after taking a closer look at the two kneeling men: neither wore a brown suit. “There’s a third man and a hostage in there,” Sandy loudly whispered to the two Skyan officers, “I don’t know if he’s armed but I’m betting he is.” The two exchanged a glance and Sandy and the pair moved off to the side to confab briefly. It emerged one of them was the commanding officer on the scene, apparently the local precinct had been alerted that there was a stolen truck without driving permissions moving away from the embassy district. When it had been located by a patrol car directed by camera-watching officers back at headquarters the vehicle had begun to drive recklessly, at which point the traffic barriers were remotely deployed, stopping the truck.

There were three police cars, six officers, on the scene but more were on the way. The sergeant confirming all this to Sandy insisted that, with the knowledge he had just given them, their doctrine would insist they wait to enter the vehicle. There was mention of the possibility of a bomb, of specialized response units for hostage situations and of small reconnaissance drones and communication equipment to get intel on the situation in the truck. Sandy had another idea.

With a short exertion of institutional authority, verbal prestidigitation and sheer confidence, Sandy found himself holding the bolt cutters in one hand, his badge in another, and walking away from the ruffled Skyan policemen engaging in frantic radio chatter with actors unseen. He arrived at the back door and knocked using the end of the bolt cutters three times, shouting “I’m coming in!” in his native Pudite before fastening the big steel shears around the clasp of a lock and quickly snapping them closed.

Lifting the lever that released the latch and hauling the door upward, Sandy quickly extended both his hands above his head, one holding the thick leather backed Imperial Security Service badge ahead of him like a token of protection the other tossing the bolt cutters down and helping the Praetor climb into the back of the truck. As the door noisily rattled up and the light of the street filtered in Sandy saw the scene: the brown suited man, sitting with his back against the far wall of the truck, legs splayed out, the nodding form of Ambassador Otho laying against him facing Sandy, head lolling from side to side as the brown suited man gripped Otho’s shirt with one fist, hauling the barely conscious man up and in front of himself as hostage and shield. The man’s other hand held a pistol, variably pointing at Otho and back at Sandy. There was nothing else in the back of the truck, probably a rental, and it was apparent that the drivers of the truck had hit the traffic barriers at a not insignificant speed as the brown suited man was clearly bleeding from a head wound and wore a grimace like that might not be the only injury he suffered.

“Get us a fucking ride out of here!” shouted the brown suited man, “If I don’t get a ride this guy goes no farther!” he shook Otho. Sandy held position at the far end of the truck. “And get that door closed again! Think I’m kidding!” he fired a round into the ceiling of the truck, which provoked a flurry of activity outside, though Sandy quickly turned over his shoulder and called out, “Hold on! Stay back!”

He then turned back toward the desperate man and, still holding his badge in front of him like a priest rebuking a devil, spoke to the man “Now…”

Then Sandy flipped his badge in his hand and held it edge-on aimed at the man like a playing card about to be thrown. Then the man slumped, blood trickling from a pinprick in the forehead soon lost in the inanimate man’s tumble to the side and in the slowly forming pool of blood from his other wounds. Otho lay unperturbed, gently raising his own hand and turning it over in front of him admiringly. Sandy called outside again, “Come now! It’s over!” before running up to Otho and hauling him upright and slowly away from the dead man. “Look at my hand, Sandy…” Otho mumbled, still opening and closing one fist in front of him.

As the Skyan police secured the scene, clearing away the suspects (who still insisted on their immunity), a tow truck pulled the big truck out of the roadway and Otho and Sandy sat in the back of an ambulance where an EMT was taking the former ambassador’s vital statistics. They had attached an IV and were looking at blood samples and applying common drug detection methods, so far to no success. Meanwhile, Otho himself was still not in his right mind, but Sandy was with him, whom he still recognized. The pair were soon on their way to the nearest hospital, Sandy certain that they’d be met there by the Skyan federal police with a whole lot of questions.

Elsewhere, over Rico Bay, a navy blue attack rotodyne with a Pudite navy roundel offered a compliant wobble to the pursuing Skyan interceptors and proceeded to a landing site at Legionary Airfield. Before the craft could touch down there were two vans full of Imperial Pudite Navy military police at the checkpoint between the Pudite administered section of the base and the Skyan facility, demanding access to the soon-to-arrive rulebreaking crew of the rotodyne. Without any contravening direction from higher authorities, however, the Skyan decision makers on the ground considered it more prudent to detain the crew themselves. The Pudite MPs were still arguing with Skyan base security when the rotodyne touched down some miles away in the sprawling base, immediately surrounded by Skyan security forces and crew and machine alike taken into the custody of their hosts.

Finally, as night settled over Citadel City, a Pudite admiral returned to his flagship from a friendly ship visit. His flotilla was tied up here at the military piers of the Citadel City city docks. Walking up a gangway to the deck of the first vessel, Iakov Mokeev and a small party of other leading officers from his squadron were in good spirits and boisterous moods, all having had almost as much to drink as Mokeev himself. It was improper, of course, for a commanding officer not to out-drink his subordinates: It was his responsibility both to out-drink his captains and to keep a cool head despite it. Mokeev was pretty good at the first part, but occasionally the second directive eluded him. The celebratory party had to cross the decks of five identical ships moored side by side against the pierside, as they crossed from one ship to another one or more officers would turn and make their way to their cabins aboard their vessels. Mokeev had to cross all five to get to his, the sixth ship in the row, the 60,000 ton nuclear battlecruiser INS Bandit-Hearted Wife which he had decided to fly his admiral's flag from. All six battlecruisers were here to participate in upcoming fleet week events, including exchanging parties of officers for visits like the one earlier tonight. Mokeev had eaten more than his fill aboard Skyan escort carrier moored across the harbor, mostly to counteract the persistent drinking, and was more than ready for bed with an early start to a day full of events tomorrow on his mind. Once aboard, however, Admiral Mokeev unexpectedly found himself not hitting his rack with his shoes on like he planned but instead the recipient of a rather startling briefing from his all-too-serious executive officer, Vice Admiral Agrafina Mitsun.

“Just what exactly is going on here, Mitsun?”

"Get some rest, Admiral. I'm sure it won't make any more sense in the morning."

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Chargé d'Affaires
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Founded: Oct 01, 2005
Right-wing Utopia

Postby Xirnium » Mon Nov 13, 2023 4:05 am

‘It’s the one in the middle, the pink one,’ said Sub-Lieutenant Félix Sartor, fluently and expertly in English, allowing his eyes to rest on the trim cruiser in the distance.

The pink one was called ‘Black Eunni’. With her tumblehome hull design, 8-inch guns and wave-piercing bow, she had just entered Rico Bay, following her flagship ‘Glimmer Pale’. ‘Black Eunni’s’ paint scheme was a dazzle of bright pink and white stripes, vividly intersected by angular chevrons in orange and yellow, and offset with concentric circles of purple. With ‘Incense, Myrrh, and Nard’ and ‘Solitude’, still making a wide turn into the Bay, they formed ‘Gholgothan’ Squadron’s XX Cruiser Division, commanded by Counter Admiral Iveta Bêthanhazy.

‘Huh,’ said a pretty young blonde woman who had introduced herself to Félix as Jenny Lovebright. ‘I thought all navy ships were boring grey.’

Sitting on a wicker chair at the breezy balcony café, called Honeycomb Haven, Jenny sipped her iced latte through a bright red straw, the summer air playfully teasing the distressed hem of her denim mini dress. Beside her, Félix looked very smart in the walking-out uniform of a junior officer in the Newly-Modelled Navy, a tall peaked cap with a row of embroidered oak leaves on the peak and a tightly fitted reefer jacket with rank distinction lace on the cuffs. He had a keen naval officer’s face with clear, sharp naval officer’s eyes.

‘Not Newly-Modelled Navy ships,’ said Félix, crossing his legs and tugging at his trouser-knee.

He poured himself three fingers of vodka from a frosted carafe and dropped a pinch of black pepper on the surface of the vodka. A few grains remained on the surface which Félix dabbed up with the tip of his white-gloved finger. Then he tossed the cold vodka well to the back of his throat and put the glass, with the dregs of the pepper at the bottom, back on the table. It was a naval academy ritual.

‘Each one is a different,’ observed Jenny, who was now stirring the ice in her drink with a straw.

She was right. Unlike the pink one, ‘Glimmer Pale’ was sage green, dark ochre, Prussian blue, dark violet and blue-green, ‘Incense, Myrrh, and Nard’ rust brown, yellow ochre and olive green. ‘Solitude’ was cornflower blue, golden yellow and crimson.

‘The designs all have to be different so U-boat captains from Kraven can’t get used to them,’ explained Félix, and when he smiled he showed all his teeth. ‘You don’t want us to get torpedoed, do you?’

‘No!’ cried Jenny, looking appalled.

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Posts: 908
Founded: Jan 01, 2008
Left-wing Utopia

Postby Havensky » Wed Nov 15, 2023 8:12 pm

Waen and her companion got off the train and headed up the ramp with a few dozen other people. As this was the last stop, the ramp simply went straight up to daylight. While there was a station inside the Citadel, Waen, as well as most people, lacked the badge to access it.

The exit opened up into a wide pedestrian walkway with a row of oak trees separating the bike lanes on the exterior on either side. The light posts in between each of the trees had a Skyan banner hanging from each side. The effect was almost like having a hallway straight to the massive Citadel building.

Wean and Lark stepped a few feet out from Citadel Station and could hear four men singing a jaunty shanty from a small pavilion next to the station.

“We’ll be alllll right if we can make it through the gate*
We’ll be allllll right if we can make it through the gate*
AND we’ll ALL hang out behind!

And we’ll roooollllll the old chariot chariot along, we’ll roooollll the old chariot along, we’ll roollllll the old chariot along!! And we’ll all hang out behind!”

The area in between the station and the park had several branching walkways and small streets to different embassies. Wean didn’t recognize many of the nations, but as they moved closer to the Citadel itself the embassies started to represent nations within the region of Gholgoth. The Kylarnitian embassy in particular loomed large with crowds already lining up outside to catch a glimpse of their Caesar when she came to town. Above their embassy, a flight of Accipiter fighters zoomed above to meet her incoming airship.

Whereas most large buildings in Havensky were tall thin things made of glass, steel and adorned with greenery and solar panels. In contrast, the Citadel could only be described as a massive stone building as if the Skyans had relocated a mountain and carved in an art deco style with copper accents. The bulk of the building stood forty stories high with the tower standing at one hundred stories. The building hosted most government agencies in Havensky as well as the legislative and judicial branches. While the main building stood out just over the water, the Citadel connected with the Wall with agency offices within the interior. Unknown to most of the public, there was even a small train system that allowed transit within the complex. The floors were marble and the walls were a white stone with warm lighting throughout the interior.

“It’s like a Grondian with a sense of taste built it.” Eyeing the Citadel on their approach, Waen was referencing the extensive fortifications and elaborate mountain holds the Gronde empire had built in the past.

“They were outwardly practical. I’ve seen some exceptional artwork in their holdings.” Her bodyguard stated it flatly, like a matter of fact. She was more surprised by the implications rather than the rebuke. Waen fixed him with a look that Lark didn’t meet.

“You’ve been there before?”

“Yes.” The silence drew out for a few moments and Waen’s silent stare cracked Lark’s resolve. “Sincerity placed me there for a while. It’s where I had been until I was assigned to you.”

She nodded, but didn’t press him any further. For now. Waen’s attention was also drawn towards the looming structure of the Citadel before them.

The Citadel’s entrance was an arched pavilion that stood three stories high with large wooden doors that somewhat counterintuitively immediately opened to a downward ramp towards the security station. In addition to police officers in full dress uniforms, the building was guarded by the King’s “Iron” Guard who wore full power armor. Visitors were asked to go through metal detectors and pass by a bomb sniffing dog before handing over their identification and asking what their business at the Citadel was. Every visitor was given a badge that indicated what parts of the building they were allowed in and exactly for how long. Once past security, visitors were directed to an elevator bank that would bring them to their desired (and authorized) floor.

“Well, a bowl of Skyan Stew wouldn’t do us any harm! Well, a bowl of Skyan stew wouldn’t do us any harm. Well, a bowl of Skyan stew wouldn’t do us any harm! AND we’ll AlL hang out behind!”

Once they left security, there was a large amount of signage and Waen found it easy enough to find the foreign reception hall. Two Iron Guard Legionaries on either side, sporting full power armor, opened the oak doors for them as she approached.

“And we’ll roooollllll the old chariot chariot along, we’ll roooollll the old chariot along, we’ll roollllll the old chariot along!! And we’ll all hang out behind!”

Citadel Port
Secretary of State Lamula Hagane stood on the pier as the Rhydinian vessel came in to dock. She towered above most Skyans standing at six feet tall and the wind toyed with her long dark hair. Hagane wore a long flowing gold dress shimmered as it caught the fading light. She was flanked on either side by a pair of White Guard Legionaries and a smattering of naval officers. The White Guard, tasked exclusively with the protection of Skyan diplomats and humanitarian officers, wore alabaster power armor with shields embossed with a gold Skyan Winged Lion. The officers were all in full dress whites and stood at attention as the first Rhydinians began to disembark the craft.

Hagane gave a polite smile as the Canini approached. Her green eyes not betraying the bit of curiosity as this was the first time she had encountered a Canini.

“The Hegemony thanks the Skyan people of Havensky for the invitation to this Fleet Week event.”

An aide presented a plate of salted bread and a small cup of rum to the Rhydian as Hagane spoke.

“At the behest and on the behalf of the people of Havensky, we welcome you to Citadel City! ”

The serious formality of such an occasion was quickly dissipated by a small child who had been in the crowd of spectators shouting out “FOX!” excitedly to his mother who turned red with embarrassment.

“No dear, that's a person not a fox.”

Hagane looked nervously at the officer for a moment.

Narsis chuckled a moment, sounding quite a bit like his ancestry might, that laughing high pitched noise that the fox-kin of old made in the forests of yore towards the small child. Waving a paw towards the mother, it was all in good jest.

“ Ah..the offering is accepted.”

He managed the bread down, it just wasn’t his usual fare, though the rum was more appreciated. A sailor could live on rum alone and might have, in the days of sail. Rum brought luck, and nary a searat would turn it aside, for the gods of the deep might be offended.

“ While we wish to participate in the fleet week, we are also tasked with establishing a formal relation at a later date. I present the Reverence Class Submarine-Battle Cruiser 013 ‘Kauyon’, in Anglish, I believe it translates roughly to ‘Hunter’.

He turned, and gestured. “ This is my second in command, Major Tharrin.”

The wolf like officer clicked boot heels with an audible ‘clacking’ and bowed head a moment.

“We are at your service.”

“Well, a glass of Brisken ale wouldn’t do us any harm, Well, a glass of Briskan ale wouldn’t do us any harm, Well, a glass of Briskan ale wouldn’t do us any harm, AND WE’LL ALL HANG OUT BEHIND!

“And we’ll roooollllll the old chariot chariot along, we’ll roooollll the old chariot along, we’ll roollllll the old chariot along!! And we’ll all hang out behind!”

Just south of the Citadel, a Skyan Ranger was stepping into the crime scene.

It was starting to grow dark in Citadel City and the fading sun was low enough to necessitate flood lights being deployed over the crime scene. By this time, the Skyan Federal police had taken over the crime scene and the local police were relegated to keeping the burgeoning crowd of press and curious people away from the scene.

A tall slender man wearing a black duster rolled up on his electric motorcycle and took off his helmet. He placed it on the handlebars and walked over to the scene and flashed a gold badge at an officer who lifted the tape for him. His dark hair was buzzed short, but he had let his beard grow out.

A Federal looked over to him and cursed.

“What the Stars!? Nobody told me the Rangers were getting involved.”

Scorpio took a look around and made a shrugging motion. The Rangers were a special division within the Skyan Federal Police that dealt with cross-border crime. They handled extradition requests, smuggling, trafficking, piracy and stepped in when a kidnapper thought they could get away by crossing the border.

“That guy they pulled out the back? He was an Ambassador. An important one too.

“Yes, but..”

Scorpio walked past him and patted his shoulder.

“That’s why.”

He swept through the area looking around at every detail saying nothing.

“Who got our bad guy?”, he asked the officer who had been somewhat awkwardly tailing him.

“Road barrier… patrol saw the truck driving and thought it was odd. He ran the plates and they popped up as non-registered. When he told him to pull over, they took off.”

“And was ignorant of the fact that Lady Burnham installed pop-up barriers on all the roads just in case.”

“Yep. This one popped up right in front and they didn’t stop. Our dead guy was the only one not buckled in when it happened.”

“Damn tourists… thank you sergeant. Take the rest of the suspects to the Ranger Center. I’d like a word.

“But first, time to meet the Praetor.”

“Well, a glass of Ceasar’s wine wouldn’t do us any harm, Well, a glass of Ceasar’s wine wouldn’t do us any harm, Well, a glass of Ceasar’s wine wouldn’t do us any harm, AND WE’LL ALL HANG OUT BEHIND!

“And we’ll roooollllll the old chariot chariot along, we’ll roooollll the old chariot along, we’ll roollllll the old chariot along!! And we’ll all hang out behind!”

Legionary Airbase

As soon as the rotodyne had landed, a squad of the Iron Guard in full power armor approached the front of the craft with rifles drawn. The squad leader shouted through her amplified power armor.


The Pudite pilots complied, stepping out of the craft.

“ON YOUR KNEES!”, the squad leader shouted as two guardsmen stepped into the craft and began checking for explosives or other nasty surprises. Meanwhile, two other guardsmen approached the crew and disarmed them.

“Sidearm, standard Pudite issue. No other weapons. They’re clean!!”

A few tense minutes later, the guardsmen got out of the rotodyne and gave a thumbs up.

The guardsmen lifted the four Pudites off their knees and cuffed them before guiding them inside the garrison building. One Pudite seaman wore the two bars of a lieutenant while another had coiled silver rope insignia that in the IPN indicated a role much like a mid-level NCO in another navy. The other two seemed to be the lowest ranking members of the crew, and were directed by the Iron Guard to a nearby room while the senior crew were ushered into a utilitarian conference room on the far side of the building.

At the head of the table, sat a man in his forties in the same unpainted iron power armor. His helmet was carefully placed on the table. Unlike the other helmets, this one had four thick gold stripes down the center and had an additional antenna.

“Thank you Sargeant, you can take off their restraints. I don’t think our guests will be going anywhere. Gentleman, please sit.”

As the two men did so, an aide brought the pair water and a plate of cut vegetables, fruit, and some crackers.

“Would you like tea or coffee? Our apologies, most we could muster on short notice.”, the aide asked before handing them both slips of paper.

The two Pudites were young, mid-twenties and of an age with each other, though the one wearing the silver rope coil had a more grizzled look than the perfectly clean shaven officer, in fact, the Skyans couldn’t help but notice, the officer was perfectly without hair even on his head or eyebrows. A trick of the Pudite gene-labs that built their DNA, where minor incongruencies like this were permissible and expected. While the roughly-shaven man looked over the food plate with some interest the lieutenant held the gaze of the Skyan officer.

“The receipts for your sidearm.”, the man explained. “They will both be shipped to the Pudite embassy. You’ll understand given the circumstances.

Now then, my name is Lieutenant Colonel Lagan. I command the King’s Iron Guard which is responsible for the safety and security of Citadel City. Our records do indicate that you are the legitimate pilots of that craft outside. The question is, did you have anything to do with the kidnapping.”

Both Pudites were unperturbed at the reference, though in the case of the crew chief it might’ve been because he had begun to assemble a small pile of cheese and fruit on a cracker held gingerly in his oil-stained hands. The officer continued to watch his Skyan counterpart impassively. “We don’t have the faintest idea to what you refer. I am Lieutenant Brun Dotom of the Imperial Pudite Navy, we were operating our craft under legitimate orders from our chain of command, though I understand that in so doing we violated the rules of conduct in your airspace,” Dotom gestured around him, as if to say, ‘and so it follows, here we are.’

The officer nodded, “That’s perfectly fair.”

He turned to his mug which he found disappointingly empty.

“I’m going to get some coffee. I’ll be back shortly.”

“A tea for me, black!” called the crew chief as the Skyan was leaving the room.

Lieutenant Colonel Lagan then tossed a tablet onto the table and left the room.

Dotom turned to the side and watched as Naval Warfare Specialist Lanko Khadyry tipped the overloaded cracker into his wide mouth and crunched it together with satisfaction. “Not hungry, boss?” Khadyry asked, speaking Pudite now and not the accented Common that Dotom had used with the Skyan, crumbs popping out of his mouth as he spoke. He was already assembling a second cracker snack.

“No, though I doubt we’ll see this level of hospitality again for some time. Get your tuck in, Lan.” Dotom was speaking absently, his eyes flitting about the room. They landed on the video playing on the tablet in front of them, which he pulled over between the two.

“Hey, it’s us,” Khadyry pointed with a cracker, which an olive fell off, bouncing and rolling off the tablet and onto the floor. The video showed the sudden takeoff of the rotodyne. Shortly, it switched to another exterior angle and had gone back in time. In this one Dotom could see himself and his three crewmates standing lackadaisically in the dim light outside the embassy, a crowd still hanging around the piece of hardware. The other three were engaged with the crowd, answering questions, holding a camera as a family posed in front of the big blue bird. But Dotom saw himself, standing erect, aloof, and looking at his watch. Approximately thirty seconds before Otho and the brown-suited man exited the embassy, as Dotom watched now on the video, the Dotom of the past snapped his arm back down to his side and strode toward the rotodyne, tapping his crewmates as he passed them, all of whom fell in behind him. Seconds later the engines were roaring to life and the rotors began to turn, first slowly, then faster.

Dotom watched the whole video selection a few more times, showing the interior shots, some nighttime security footage of a truck he didn’t recognize, and more. But he had nothing else to say. Khadyry had put away most of the snack plate already, but given his enthusiasm for the task that was no measure of the time that had passed. Dotom wondered how long they would keep them waiting. He rubbed his wrist. But he couldn’t check his watch. His wrist was bare.

“Oh, a little trip to Sin wouldn’t do us any harm, Well a little trip to Sin wouldn’t do us any harm, Well, a little trip to Sin wouldn’t do us any harm, AND WE’LL ALL HANG OUT BEHIND!

“And we’ll roooollllll the old chariot chariot along, we’ll roooollll the old chariot along, we’ll roollllll the old chariot along!! And we’ll all hang out behind!”
The Skybound Republic of Havensky
(Pronounced Haven-Sky)

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Drakonian Imperium
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Visitors and Visitations

Postby Drakonian Imperium » Thu Nov 16, 2023 1:22 pm

"Good morning, Commander!"

Captain Donatus Fulvius advanced across the bridge to stand beside his first officer and look out across the flight deck of the helicopter landing ship.

IDS Queen Jessica Heart was an amphibious assault ship in all, but name and livery. Named in honor of the current elected monarch of Havensky, the Heart was the ninth and newest Empress-Class Humanitarian Support Ship. Each Empress was named for a female monarch of a state Drakonia had good relations with. While the class’ design was derived from the Drakonian Beachhead-Class Amphibious Assault Carriers, the Empresses had been modified to better serve during mercy of missions. They had slightly larger hospital facilities than their predecessors, possessing 100 Bed and 6 Operating Rooms, and which in an emergency could be further increased by 500 Beds. Despite these "meager" medical facilities, the Empresses had retained their well deck, allowing them to embark supplies via boats or landing craft. They had also kept their aviation facilities allowing them to carry transport helicopters, while expanding their command and control facilities. Thus each Empress could provide medical airlift for multiple hospital ships and serve as a flagship of a humanitarian task force.

Such a task force was what the Heart was currently at the core of. Seven ships, including the hospital ship, IDHS Succour, an also shiny new Caritas-Class ship, the IDS Concordium, a similarly new multi-mission training ship, IDS Tideway, a replenishment ship, IDS Highway, a transport ship, and escorted by IDS Jezail, a destroyer, and IDS Rodela, a frigate. Most of the ships were so new they had barely completed sea trails and this voyage was serving as their shakedown cruise. While most of the ships were painted navy grey, Heart and Succour were painted a bright white with a number Red Crosses and a single red Star of Life denoting their status as humanitarian and hospital ships. Concordium was also painted to denote its non-combatant stance, with a white superstructure and black hull.

Fulvius lifted a steaming cup of coffee to his laps and immediately had to withdraw it.

"Commander, your uniform--"

"Has vomit on it? Yes, I'm aware." Commander Lucia Salica, Executive Officer of the Heart did not look pleased. "I had the bright idea of meeting one of the groups being brought onboard by helicopter and was greeted by a tourist who was airsick." She looked down at the smudge. "I missed most of it."

Since they had arrived in Rico Bay three days ago, the ships had been preparing for the festivities. Heart, and her task force, had been specifically selected to represent Drakonia to Havensky. No Battleships or Carriers had been sent, only the Humanitarian Task Force and the 18th Convoy Group, which had only just arrived yesterday after escorting a convoy in from Varathron. As part of that mission, Heart and Succour had been for the past two days welcoming visitors to tour the new ships and their facilities from Citadel City. Ships boats, the Heart's Helicopter, which were also marked with Red Crosses, even the single Large Air-Cushioned (Hovercraft) Landing Craft that could fit in the Heart's well deck were being used to transport locals and visitors to experience what is what like to be aboard an Imperial Navy humanitarian ship.

"Do you know where the Commodore is," Fulvius asked. The Humanitarian Task Force was under the command of a Commodore. Fulvius had expected to see him on the bridge when the Captain had arrived.

Commander Salica gestures at the other ships of the task force. "He started his day by inspecting the ships before the Review. Currently, I believe, he is still on board Succour."

"I start my day with coffee," the Captain quipped, using the opportunity to take a sip.

The Commander's lips crept slightly upwards in a smile.

Fulvius looked again at the smudge on her uniform. "I'll take the bridge, Commander," he said with authority. "You can find yourself a new uniform."

"Thank you, sir," was said with strong intensity as the Commander beat a hasty retreat.

* * *

Much of the Drakonian Embassy in Citadel City was done in the Neoclassical or Empire Styles. However the circular Conference Room had been furnished with a distinct Baroque flair. In the room were assembled, the Drakonian Ambassador and all the diplomatic staff who would be helming their side of the events for the week.

Dominating the room from its center was a wooden and slightly oval conference table, lavishly decorated with gold filigree of flowers and leaves played across its fringes. At the head of the table sat the Ambassador. Lady Adula Vesta was in her late middle ages, she had a regal bearing and trim figure with long flowing brown, almost black hair. Although, the first few rebellious silver grey strands were beginning to declare themselves. Lady Vesta hailed, not from Drakonia, but central Mille Mortifere. Her family controlled much of the island of Alyssia there, along with a few other holdings in that area of the islands. They had settled there in the 17th Century A.D. and had over the centuries grown wealthy and politically powerful. They had provided ships and mercenaries during the latter expansion of Drakonian control throughout Mille Mortifere and thus gained a position in the Navigator’s Guild. It was through this influence and her own experience in the internal politics and relations of Mille Mortifere that Lady Vesta had received her appointment to be Ambassador to Havensky. A position she had held for several years now. The Ambassador had the tropical sun-darkened skin of a Drakonian, its tone of the lightest olive brown in complexion. She also possessed a pair of piercing jade green eyes. Eyes which now were affixed to another woman at the table.

"And the Praetor will be available to attend my soirée?"

The other woman, Gaia Calpurnia, was no less striking than Lady Vesta. Her skin was very fair for a Drakonian, who's skin tone was usually bronze or brown from the tropical sun, instead Miss Calpurnia had fair skin and shining blond hair. An expert linguist and possessing of an inviolable memory, Miss Calpurnia had been a rising star when she had joined the Drakonian Diplomatic Corps. She had quickly risen to be the personal aide to the Director, Diana Minerva. The rumor among the Corps. was that she was being groomed to someday replace the Director. She had proven herself so capable that even the Praetor, the Drakonian Monarch, saw fit to send her on his own diplomatic missions. Such as leading the team in advance of his arrival for fleet week.

"Yes," she answered the Ambassador. "The Schedule has the Praetor attending your party on the Final Day of Fleet Week, between the hours of Seven and until he retires."

"Very good!" The Ambassador was very pleased, a smile playing across her face. "Now, please brief us on the schedule for his visit."

Gaia nodded, straightening herself to project her voice. "The Praetor will arrive at 5 AM, local time on the morning of the Fleet Review. He will be present at the Citadel to view the ships with the King and Queen and various Gholgothic Head of State. Afterwards, he will fly over to IDS Queen Heart and IDHS Succour to view the ships and their crews. Following that he will attend meetings with the Imperial Military, here at the Embassy.

"The Second Day of Fleet Week and his visit, the Praetor has kept open, he may attend the showcase of Skyan Airships, and is likely to meet with Gholgothic leaders and Praetors."

The Gholgothic Praetors, not to be confused with the Drakonian Praetor, were Agents of the Council of Lords. Each nation in Gholgoth had its Praetor, and their purpose was to, at the behest of the Executor of Council, prevent conflicts in the region and smoothing over incidents ensuring stability and security.

"On the Third Day, he will attend the Skyan Flight Demonstrations." She nodded to the Ambassador. "At Seven, he will attend the Reception here at the Embassy, before retiring to his aircraft to depart for Agrisia."

"He will be attending a medal ceremony there," Lady Vesta piped in.

Miss Calpurnia did not need to look at her notes to reply. "Yes, he will be meeting with the Dux of Agrisia and receiving the Order of the Cataphractoi. He will also be bestowing a number of medals on Drakonian and Agrisian soldiers."

Drakonia had recently intervened in the four decade old civil war in Agrisia, signing a Protectorate Agreement with Agrisia bringing it into the Imperium. It was for these actions that the Praetor was being honored.

"It is too bad the Princess could not be here for Fleet Week," Lady Vesta mused.

The Praetor's daughter, the Princess Liliana Drake, no relation to King Drake, was currently in Agrisia. She was serving in the Imperial Army as Lieutenant and a helicopter pilot supporting the continuing peacekeeping mission along the country's southern border against the survivors of the losing factions of the civil war. A reasonably safe assignment for the heir of the monarchy. Both Praetor Augustus Drake and his daughter had attended the most recent meeting of the Council of Lords that had established a number of reforms including the position of the Gholgothic Executor and Praetors. It was during this meeting that Lady Vesta had met the Princess.

"Shall we move on to the Security Briefing," she continued as there was no response to her comment. "I believe there was some kind of an incident at the Pudite Embassy?"

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Machina Haruspex
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Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Machina Haruspex » Thu Nov 16, 2023 3:20 pm

Chel'de Yorn
House Tagnik Zun

The ever near silent entry of the somewhat scantily clad form of Aria came to be within the decidedly not overly decorate or ornate designed hall of the House of Tagnik Zun. Obsidian tiles met jade pillars and domed ceiling adorned with artwork of battles past, both victorious and not so as to convey a message. Roman-esque couches and so forth lined the walls, and in the center the floor dipped into a circular area that contained benches and a dais with a fountain that flowed a black liquid substance.

Goblets nearby, each ready to be dipped within the fountain's pool. Languid movements of hips, swaying slowly from side to side just enough to be feminine, Aria slid into the seating provided in the center area and slunk into the couch with a soft sigh as pale red eyes focused on the interior. As it happened this day, having observed his " sister " of the House enter in such a sulking behavior, it could only be a few probable things. Either the meditation at the temple had failed or she was again unsuccessful at some other task of which he believed was the correct one, though he would test such conviction in a moment.

Dar Khelegurian as a ethnicity background, he looked every bit of it. Dark of skin tone, tattooed visibly upon left side of face and bearing the shock-trooper markings that he had acquired early in life. Six foot frame folding into and onto one of the benches. Greetings sister, I see the news of the Empresses wishes have been given no?

She spoke towards the senior ranked and older of the two with respect that she would and did give to any of better status. Within the Zun though, they became sons and daughters of the House with their Lord as the father or mother depending upon gender. It was just another way that the Haru assimilated the species that came within the folds of the Imperium. Shift of right hand through that brown-amber for a moment, eyes upon her 'brother' before replying. My brother Yesol, it would appear we are to parlay with these Skyans.

He to of course polite, their prim and proper ways would keep up even in battle as the ranks would be kept, the steady footfalls of their march as the land before their enemy would shrink and still they would come. A slight grin, not everyone was a stiff figure within the Imperium however. Reach forth with hand free of the gloves normally worn, towards a goblet, inspection to see if really clean, and it was sparkling so. Dip of said goblet into the black pool at base of the fountain to scoop out a sizable portion. The blood of the Ascended they said, it was cold going down but burned bright within.

Delicate taste first and then a good swallow soon after as leaning backwards, right arm upon the backrest of the couch that he settled upon, fingertips tapping against the marble some. I have faith in our Empress sister Aria. It is possible we are to be scouts, though it would be wise of us to take stock of them, even if it is in diplomacy.

Light fluff of air escaped between lips and then a sardonic smirk given towards Yesol, still a drinker apparently. What went on beyond the House was all business, still within this sanctuary many things were dropped, most notably a rigid guard. Slight lean forward, her own goblet dredged into the pool so as to snag some of the black blood for herself. A light prayer made towards the fountain out of respect for the great celestials above and then a hearty drink while following back into the couch. You are right. I am told that our exiled kin of the Hegemon will be present at this so called Fleet Week.

She was partly jealous that Yesol had already been claimed by another of their house. Perhaps the ritual of Lmyesehk (Literally meaning 'claiming') could be arranged. The genes of a man with guile and slyness were highly prized. He commented between swigs. We shall have our vengeance in due time sister Aria, in due time. We will be leaving for the Skyan territories on the morrow. Rest for the travel. We shall represent all of our honored lines before these others. Yesol arose from his taken seat, offered a slight bow of head and strolled towards the exit of the drinking hall. Outside, as the rain began to fall, the door to a military command car was held open on the rear right side, with two legionnaire's at attention. Once comfortable, the vehicle sprinted into the awaiting darkness of the night.

Chariot of the Imperium
Cay Fumv (Sea Wolf)
Flagship of the 2nd Grand Fleet

Approaching Skyan Territorial Waters

The high seas were a dangerous place, Fleet Lord Vekta stood upon the bridge of the super dreadnought Cay Fumv (Sea Wolf). He was an old warrior, adorned in a white uniform that bore no ranks, no badges or pins. His inking extensive alongst the right side of face, temple, and down the path of neck towards collarbone. A closely cropped hairstyle, thin whispers of silver against the tanned flesh. The Cay Fumv sat in the center of the fleet that had been brought alongst with them upon the blessing of the Empress and the salutes of the Admiralty Council.

The flagship boasted a displacement of 92,800 tonnes at full load and armed with twelve 46 cm (18.1 inch) elector-thermal cannon. On top of this, the vessel was littered with CIWS, VLS launch systems and anti-aircraft SAM launchers as well. She was a massive beast, nearly two hundred and fifty six meters (839 ft 11 in) in length. Four fusion reactors powered three screws to give her nearly thirty knots upon the oceans great vastness. The Cbayn dreadnought's she had as escorts looked decidedly smaller and less menacing when compared to the flagship, and all the banners of the 2nd fleet and the imperium fluttered in the wind regardless.

Sengar D'isto Vessis, was typical of the Haru who hailed from the city-state Hades, that sheltered the Bay of Agolius. Roughhewn citizenry who made a living from the sea, the place had produced sailors for generations. His head was shaven, with a thin warrior stripes appearing in the fashion of some sort of corn-rows. Caramelized complexion, and eyes of ebony. You could feel his energy, the immense pride to being a second in command of the flagship, and his dedication to the crew and its overall Lord-commander.

They had set sail from the Bay of Agolius, which in truth is more of a last gasp before the true open seas. Perforated by small islands and essentially rocky outcroppings that make for the appearance of jagged teeth of a grinning mouth, and home to the largest naval yard of the Imperium. From this honoured fortress, a dozen of the Cbayn class dreadnoughts had moved as one about the core of the carriers, and then several dozen frigates, destroyers and corvettes that spiraled out to complete a picture of a grand fleet.

The prize of the fleet however, was that of the carriers. It was the job of the fleet to protect this core, while the submarines would be the first strike. Flanked by the sub-fighters, this was a tactical approach to what so few had ever prepared for, the Haru hadn't at the first encounter and were now playing catchup. Rhydinian Fleet Command boasted a terrible efficiency when it came to naval usage, and they were pioneers of advanced underwater attack vehicles.

As the Skyan territory gradually became within reach, Vekta knew that the time ahead would be filled with cultural differences, and probably others as well. His crew were of the best caliber, there were none who could replace them, such was their place in this fleet, their place in his command. His second appeared, probably having done the rounds in the Command and Control before arriving upon the command deck. White uniform, save as his commanders, bearing no apparent rank or insignia, of which was prominent in the eyes of the crew as he turned away a moment, speaking into the headset worn. The optic screen over right eye flashed a few times before he turned back around.

Vessis spoke towards Vekta. "My Lord-commander, we have sent the request to enter Skyan territory as apart of the Fleet Week invitation."

"Excellent. Inform the fleet that once we are in position, the Cay Fumv shall continue on ahead into the meeting of the flag holders."

His second nodded a bit and after making sure was done correctly, the communication technicians reporting message had indeed been sent through proper channels, he reported it. "Confirmed Lord-commander."

"Good, quarter flank, begin our entry vice-commander."
Ranked 100th in the world for Economic Output
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Corporate Bordello

Postby Langong » Fri Nov 17, 2023 11:04 am

International water outside of Skyan border
Langong Security Forces Navy
LSFN- Mobile Support Class - Onamuchi
Flagship of the 3rd Humanitarian Task Force


From afar it can be assumed that there's a new city in the horizon. The sight of buildings, hills and rivers covered by
The Flagship and it's escort vessels are standing just close enough to not enter the Skyan territorial water. As much as the crew wanted to enjoy the Grand Festivities directly while doing good deeds , they all knew too well that they can't enter. A crystal part can be seen protruding in some of crew , the damned cahquapathy disease that infect every Terrans which sentenced them to gruesome death if not treated carefully . While combination of drug and treatment managed to stop their infectivity, there's no telling how it's gonna fare with Skyan public order when they find out that there's a potential walking pandemic coming in en-masse. So a deal was reached with Skyan government.

Firstly the ships and it's escort will remain in the area designated by the Skyan government , which is just right outside of their territorial water.
The second one is Skyan Government will allow anyone a passage to enter Onamuchi for either resupplying , healthcare, or sightseeing.
Third, lastly an approved drone from Langong will be allowed to view the festivities from afar.

Despite the arrangement, the crews fully enjoyed their moment of peace. It's very rare for them to had any free time let alone vacation, which they are going to took full advantage on. At least until a dozen and dozens of naval vessels coming toward them with the comms flooded with request on the combination of Refueling , Resupplying and Emergency medical treatment. The Crews were dumbfounded with the influx of request especially the higher ups. While their work is humanitarian in nature, it ain't exactly free either. Some of the crews began cursing in their native tongue for how their supposed relaxing work hour just gone blown straight out when the arrival of hundreds patient with serious injuries with more began flooding in as soon as the landing space are openend, moments later three tanker ships docked nearby and asked for both refueling and resupplying with at least six coming in for both purpose.

At the very least the crews knew well that they will be well compensated for it, the more request they completed means more bonus coming in their way.

Never a lazy day

LSFN- Mobile Support Class A gigantic naval vessel that is designed similarly as a city with full supporting infrastructures (transport system , commercial building, housing, public facility, agriculture zone, industrial zone and artificially made landscape). These ships are traversing the ocean while maintaining the occupants to live normally just like in the land. It's greatest feature are self-sufficiency whether in food (agriculture and fishery), manufacturing (outdoor and indoor factory) , water procurement (network of sophisticated water treatment plant) or power generation (cahquadrium based power plant) that only need occasional supplies sent via a supply ship or at port of call.
Last edited by Langong on Sun Dec 31, 2023 9:54 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby Emperor Pudu » Sun Nov 19, 2023 7:05 am

The shipboard alarm sounded, a low rising whine accompanied by flashing red klaxons that illuminated the small party in the rear hangar of the Helina-class battlecruiser INS Bandit-Hearted Wife. Admiral Mokeev shared a look with his XO, Vice Admiral Agrafina Mitsun, and an Imperial Navy Marine Raider named Liubka Suslo. “Our ship is locked down?” Mokeev looked to Mitsun and then Suslo for confirmation. Mitsun nodded and Suslo spoke, “Yes sir, Admiral, we have the bridge and I’ve got two marines with Captain Fromak in his quarters right now.”

“Good. We don’t need any surprises.” Mokeev answered. “Shall we?” he gestured toward the hangar door, closed, though as he did so it began to open revealing the helicopter deck and the lights of the harbor beyond.

Mokeev, Mitsun and Sulso all walked out onto the open helicopter deck at the aft of the battlecruiser. Mokeev and Mitsun were dressed in the fine, heavy overcoats of Imperial Navy officers. Suslo was in dark blue fatigues and a black helmet and wore her service weapon, a small caliber machine pistol, on a lanyard so it rested on her chest. Once outside they could see the other five identical battlecruisers moored side by side between them and the pier; all showed alarms flashing and, slowly, activity on their decks.

The alarm was a result of the warning orders just received by every Pudite navy ship and overheard by anyone else monitoring those frequencies – imminent departure, crews to stations to prepare ships to sail as quickly as practicable. Mokeev had no intention of sailing, but the six captains of his battlecruiser squadron had no way of knowing that. Yet.

The radio that Chief Suslo held in one hand was crackling with activity. From the rear of the ship the party didn’t have a good view of the bridge superstructure of the other vessels, let alone anything happening inside, but occasionally the glint of a red-light flashlight could be seen sweeping along a concourse or in and out of a hatch somewhere aboard the other ships.

Around the officers on the helicopter deck of the Bandit-Hearted Wife was a crowd of around a dozen Marine Raiders. Although it was hard to tell in the dusk illumination and with many of them wearing masks and helmets, each of the armed, black-clad women were identical twin sisters of their commanding officer Liubka Suslo. The marine raider company was what, in Pudite genetic engineering, was called a ‘clade’, all born of the same fertilized egg split as many times as possible before gestation.

A quick buzz on Suslo’s radio caught the Chief’s attention; spoken in the raider’s battle language which Mokeev and Mitsun did not understand, they waited for the report. “First one’s coming out,” she said with a matter-of-fact satisfaction, “the Four Tigers.” She nodded toward the nearest battlecruiser tied up right beside the Bandit. From the helicopter hanger was emerging a team of marine raiders leading two men, a uniformed officer and another who was apparently interrupted in his bunk and was dressed only in underclothes.

The group proceeded to the edge of the Tiger’s deck where a gangway had been laid between the two ships. One of the marine raiders cut the zipties that held the two prisoners’ hands behind their back before the whole group crossed the makeshift bridge onto the Bandit.

“Welcome aboard, Captain Ivanj,” Mokeev stepped forward, “Sorry about all this,” he said, looking the disgruntled captain some ten years his senior up and down, “Here,” Mokeev slipped off his heavy sealskin coat and passed it to the captain, “I’ll be holding a special meeting, just as soon as everyone’s arrived.” Mokeev turned to one of the raiders escorting the officers, “See that he gets some coffee, keep them in the hangar out of the wind.”

As the party of marines moved into the superstructure of the ship Mokeev looked down and patted at the pockets of his uniform, “Damn,” he said quietly, “I think my cigarettes were in that coat.” Without a word Mitsun, who did not smoke herself, produced a cigarette for her boss. Mokeev smoked, watching as three more battlecruiser captains and whoever was manning their bridges were each brought across the long course of ramps between ships and collected in the hangar of the Bandit in turn. As the raider squads secured the bridges of the other battlecruisers each respective alarm whine and flashing red light show went dead, as the Bandit’s own had before them.

“That’s four, only one to go.” Mokeev said as the captain of the Ugly Mountain Prince was paraded past him. “Who’s left?” Mitsun looked down at a pad of paper she was holding, “Captain Hrelgor, on the Grand Sorcerer.”

“Of course its Hrelgor.” Mokeev shook his head. Ditr Hrelgor was old-generation Imperial Navy, one of the very first captains to helm a Helina-class when they were new back in the 80s and he had stayed in that position ever since. He was in his late fifties now, but as hard and fierce as any ocean gale. He didn’t care for Mokeev that much, either.

As if to punctuate Mokeev’s wandering thoughts the alarm aboard the Gift of the Grand Sorcerer, the second ship from the Bandit in row toward the pier, suddenly cut out. “There we go,” Mokeev said, exhaling his trepidations.

Then the Suslo’s radio sounded. It wasn’t the battle-speech of the raiders. It was plain Pudite. “We’ve subdued your team of pirates and the Sorcerer will be putting to sea under lawful orders, do not attempt to interfere further.” The gruff voice on the other end could only have been Ditr Hrelgor’s.

Just then all the lights on the deck and superstructure of the Gift of the Grand Sorcerer flashed on at once, bathing the whole quayside in white light. Some nearby marine raiders who had been wearing night vision gear quickly stripped them off their face while everyone’s attention was focused on the activity aboard the Sorcerer.

Parties of sailors emerged rapidly from the hatches and hangar doors of the brightly-lit battlecruiser, from here Mokeev couldn’t quite make out what they were carrying but it quickly became apparent. They were armed with axes and crowbars and were hacking and prying away all the lines that held the row of battlecruisers together. At the same time a heavy rumble and slowly accelerating metallic clanking sound portended the raising of the battlecruisers anchors.

“Captain, standing by to engage the work parties, non-lethal rounds.” Suslo looked to her commander, one hand holding her radio up ready to issue the order. “Do it.” Mokeev answered.

One second later the first pitter-patter of rubber bullets striking steel decks and the shouts of soldiers and sailors rang out over the row of big gun ships. “We should get inside,” Mitsun said, to which Mokeev quickly consented. Suslo moved with them as far as the helicopter hangar where the four battlecruiser captains were currently seated to one side. Mokeev moved over to talk to them, “Gentlemen, I apologize again for the imposition. We’ll be moving you into the state room for the time being, but I’ll join you all there shortly.” The marine raiders marched off the captive officers and Mokeev and Mitsun made their way up the labyrinth interior of the battlecruisers upper decks toward the navigation bridge, where they would have a better view.

As the pair arrived the junior officer manning the watch here snapped a salute, returned by the admirals. Mokeev and Mitsun moved to the starboard side with a view toward the row of battlecruisers tied up beside them. They could clearly see the forecastle of the Sorcerer still lit up, but with decidedly less crew activity. Soon, they could see why. Sporting a pair of binoculars she had picked up from a rack here on the bridge, Mitsun pointed at one area of the rail between the Sorcerer and the next nearest ship, the Four Tigers. There were hooked boarding ladders and ropes dangling from the side or still strung between the two ships, “Hooks and ladders, just like the old days,” Mitsun admired, passing the glasses to Mokeev so he could take a closer look.

While the two officers had been moving from the helicopter deck to the navigation bridge it seemed the Marine Raiders had crossed the gap, forcing their way back aboard the rogue battlecruiser. The battle must have moved off the forecastle though, because Mokeev could see nothing more going on. The superstructure of the Four Tigers immediately beside his ship blocked any view of most of the deck of the Sorcerer. All they could do was wait.

Some short time later a phone rang on the bridge, answered promptly by one of the officers on watch behind the admirals. “Sir,” the officer extended the receiver toward Mokeev, “Master Chief Suslo.” Mokeev took the phone, “Chief, tell me we got it.”

“Admiral, we got it. The Sorcerer is in our hands.”

The whole operation had taken a little under fifteen minutes, with only the last five or six illuminated by the irreverent battlecruiser. No live rounds were fired, but the marine raiders rubber bullet fusillade to suppress the sailors on the deck and the flash bangs, flares and other fireworks that accompanied their boarding action would certainly have drawn the attention of ships nearby at the least. Later that evening Admiral Iakov Mokeev would meet with the four guest captains, as well as the captain of the Bandit-Hearted Wife itself who had been secured first, and explain their new situation. Captain Hrelgor and many of his senior officers had been placed in a brig under the guard of Suslo’s marine raiders. For now, the action was over.

The six battlecruisers of Mokeev’s squadron were not the only Pudite vessels in port at Citadel City, however. Across the massive harbor were moored two older Atlantia-class destroyers as well as their attendant fleet oiler. This small flotilla had indeed put to sea upon receiving the urgent orders to do so, and were even now navigating the channels toward the exit of Rico Bay. Also in port was the seaplane tender INS Kai Zheng Island which was undergoing some light unscheduled repairs after passing through a tropical storm on the way north from Varathron toward Gholgoth. The captain of the tender ship had transmitted a message to Mokeev’s flagship shortly after the emergency orders went out to inform the admiral that he would be remaining in port and his ship was at the admiral’s disposal.

There was another ship that made a sudden, unscheduled change to its plans that night as well. Waiting at a mooring buoy off the commercial section of the port of Citadel City was the Pudite-flagged bulk goods freighter PV Bird of Ill Omen. It had been waiting for two days to offload a cargo of soybeans but had contacted the Skyan port captain late this evening and filed an entirely new departure plan, leaving their mooring position and joining the traffic leaving the bay with the reported destination Throne Port, chief city and harbor of the Pudite Kemeral Islands in Varathron. Additionally, she had made no effort to contact the Safe Passage convoy escort command based at Fort Defiance near the entrance to Rico Bay to join any outgoing convoy, yet at least. For now she seemed to be hoping to make the passage alone, and if her turbulent propwash was any indication, quickly.

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Postby Havensky » Sun Nov 19, 2023 8:48 pm

Citadel City, Homu District
Scorpio was sitting on top of his bike as he watched the live feed from the commander’s conference room as the Pudites watched the video.

“And they weren't carrying anything suspicious? Just standard kit?”, he asked the Lagan who was listening on the other end of line.

“No sir, just a standard sidearm. It’s not unusual for embassy pilots to carry. They weren't even loaded when we picked them up.”

Scorpio zoomed in their faces as the air crew grabbed the tablet, checking for signs of surprise, shock, or anything else that would clue him in on if they might be in on it.

Alas, Dotom didn’t give anything away and his peers seemed too preoccupied to have much of a reaction. The lack of surprise bothered him. Most people would have a lot of questions having seen footage of a kidnapping, but perhaps they knew about it beforehand. A generous mind would have suggested that they were trained not to give away such signs of emotion during interrogation. A generous mind would be wrong.

“Eh, it was worth a short. Thank you Colonel. Mind if I take advantage of your hospitality a little longer? I’d like to keep them there until the Pudite Praetor can collect them.”

“Of course, but won’t that take a bit?”

“Maybe, just send the bill to HQ. Scorpio out.”

On the other end of the phone, Lagan disconnected and walked back into the conference room with a full mug of black coffee.

“Gentleman, I’ve been instructed to remand you to the custody of one of your own. The Pudite Praetor. Now. I’ll be honest. My understanding is that he is raging up to ninety on account of the events of this evening and I expect by morn half the embassy staff will have their heads on pikes over it. It’s my duty to inform you that if you wish to seek asylum, we would only consider it if you have information that would shed light on what happened and bring the perpetrators to justice. Otherwise, I’ll leave you to your snacks.”

Belmont Memorial
A few minutes later, Scorpio was pulling into Belmont Memorial in the Homu District south of the embassy districts. Belmont Memorial was the newest and most advanced hospital in Citadel City. The large twelve story building was ring shaped with numerous entrances to different departments prominently displayed. A lush forest had been cultivated in the center as a garden area for patients and visitors to enjoy.

Scorpio walked up to the emergency department doors and showed his badge to the front desk. The security guard called over his partner and he was escorted to the top floor of the building. Despite the hospital being light and airy in design, Scorpio still felt the wide hallways and sharp corners a bit constricting.

They entered an area vaguely labeled “Sequestration Ward” where four armed police officers in dress uniforms gestured to Scorpio to halt despite him already being escorted. Scorpio was more pleased than annoyed as it gave him a bit more confidence in the security measures they had put in place.

“Can I help you?”, the lead guard asked in a way that was more no nonsense than inquisitive.

Scorpio held up his badge without saying a word. The officers quickly drew themselves to attention.

“Can I help you Sir?”, the lead guard corrected.

“I need to see a Pudite patient that was brought in for… let’s just call it a car accident.”

The guard nodded and gestured to him to follow. They passed through two heavy doors and another set of guards before coming to Otho’s room. Sandy was sitting in a chair next to him.

“Praetor Lyme? My name is Kelak Scorpio and I’m with the Skyan Federal Police. Ranger Division. How is your Ambassador?”

Sandy was sitting in a hospital armchair with his legs folded, reading a Skyan evening paper which he folded down as Scorpio entered the room, “He’s been worse, and I trust he has a better hangover cure than the rest of us, he’ll be fine.”

“He’s a very lucky man. Since he’s asleep, let’s chat for a moment.”

Sandy stood up and shook hands with the Skyan officer, “Absolutely,” Sandy picked up his folded trenchcoat off the second chair the hospital had provided and tossed it on the windowsill behind them, tossing his newspaper after it. Gestured to the empty chair and resumed his own seat.

“See, I was hoping you would help us out of a little jam we have going on upstairs. See, while the kidnapping occurred on the embassy grounds and is clearly the Pudite government’s jurisdiction the death of the primary suspect as well as that little joyride they used as a distraction happened on our turf. The bosses upstairs want a full accounting of what happened and are going to want full authority to investigate this case. The Pudite government naturally has asked for the same thing. The bosses aren't going to allow that given that all the suspects work at the embassy. So, now we have ourselves a little pickle.”

Sandy listened intently, absently re-arranging a little pile of coins on the side table next to a paper cup from the hospital coffee machine before taking a little sip. It had long ago gone cold.

Scorpio continued, “You, of course, are a natural compromise. As a Praetor, you answer to the Gothic Council not just to your own government. My bosses would be satisfied with that outcome. There’s just a minor little add on to that to make it all work. You and I are to be partners. As a show of faith, I have already requested that your air crew be remanded to your custody.”

“Interesting,” Sandy picked up his coffee cup from the cluttered table beside him and sipped again, “I think we can help each other, Ranger. First thing, I’ve got someone who can take possession of those pilots, as long as your boys don’t mind holding them overnight. I hope they’ve been good houseguests”

Just then there was a knock at the open door, where one of the uniformed Skyan guards was standing and holding a piece of printer paper, “This for the Praetor?” he offered, businesslike but unsure - it had been dropped off by an embassy courier, but wasn’t in an official pouch and the courier had been turned back by security. Sandy slapped his hands down on his knees excitedly and stood up, taking the paper from the officer.

It was a crumpled piece of dot-matrix printer paper, torn at the top and bottom as if taken from the middle of a print job. It was a registry of ships in harbor, and one was circled. The PV Bird of Ill Omen, a 6,000 ton bulk goods carrier.

Turning back to his guest, Sandy said “Now, I’ve got some questions, but I think I might need a fresh cup and wouldn’t you know it, I think I might’ve also just been handed our first clue.” he moved to the window and collected his coat, “Get one on the road? Cops always know a good place.”
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Postby Kylarnatia » Tue Nov 21, 2023 3:29 pm

The Embassy of the Imperium Antiquum

Having arrived in the Friendship District in the early afternoon, Cornelius and Hestia Peregrina hailed a bike-taxi to take them down the waterfront and towards the Kylarnatian Embassy. During their journey they were able to observe the growing numbers of pedestrians as the embassies of other Gothic and friendly nations to the Skyans began to open their gates to the denizens of Citadel City. The streets were awash with the colours of many flags and abounded with the co-mingling of hundreds of dialects. The driver of their bike-taxi was rather nonchalant for Cornelius’s own comfort, not slowing down too much despite the density of bodies in his way, quite content to rely on his bell to part them.

Hestia was far more relaxed, her attention transfixed on the many sensations going on around and even above her, as multiple aircraft of various sizes made passes overhead. One arm interlocked with her husbands, she used her free hand to keep hold of her hat, every slight bump and quick turn giving her a sensation of excitement. Neither she or Cornelius had spent much time in these busy parts of the Skyan capital, so riding one of its symbolic bike-taxis was seen as a bit of a treat.

“Do you think Vix travels like this to work every day?” Hestia asked her husband.

“I’m sure her workday is full of enough excitement.” Cornelius quipped through gritted teeth. Their daughter, Victricia - affectionately nicknamed Vix - worked in the Skyan government. The Prime Minister’s Chief of Staff, no less, which had been seized on by the press back in the motherland as an expression of the deepening bond between the two nations. This, despite the fact Vix had actually been born in Havensky while her father was based in Southern Gholgoth, and so did not know Kylarnatia beyond family visits and the traditions of her own family. Such was glossed over by the press, for in a Kylarnatian’s eyes, the bloodlines of the Seraphis took precedence.

Finally arriving at the Embassy with a sudden stop, the couple were met by a heavy throng of people queueing to get inside. Much like themselves, many were Kylarnatian expats or descendants, their heads hovering above the crowds and giving themselves knowing looks. Though there were many more who had other reasons to be there; many tiers of press, adherents and officiants of the Sacerdotium, servicemen and women of Caesar's Imperial Armed Forces on leave, even university students who were likely coming from Citadel University’s Institute of Seraphology. Amongst them there were several large images of Caesar, or signs carrying messages for her. There was a growing electricity as whispers spread through the line that she was due to arrive in the city any moment now.

Stepping off the bike-taxi and going to pay the driver, Cornelius was left unamused when the young man looked him up and down, clearly judging that he and his wife could afford a tip by the way they were dressed. The giant loomed over him with a dissatisfied glare which began to turn him a lighter shade, but Hestia quickly interjected once again.

“That was so much fun! Thank you!” She smiled as she gave him an extra bit of change. Smiling briefly, he didn’t waste time pushing off back into the crowds again. Cornelius cringled his brow in stern annoyance as he watched him leave, but thought better of it as he exchanged glances with his wife. Clearing his throat and straightening his jacket, he offered her his arm, which she gladly accepted.

“Now, where does this line start…?” Even at her height, Hestia had to stand on her toes to try and see where the line began, with little success. It seemed to continually stretch back for what looked like hundreds of metres.

“No need.” Her husband reassured her as he led her towards one of the guard posts which staffed a much smaller entrance to the Embassy, most likely the one regularly used by staff. As they approached, Cornelius reached into his jacket breast pocket and pulled out two items: one Hestia recognised as his passport, the other was a piece of embossed paper that she did not. Handing it to a smartly dressed official with a smart device in their hands who stood by the gate alongside a guard, they took a close glance at both before nodding in approval and handing them back with a smile.

“Salutations, Sir Peregrina.” They addressed Cornelius with the appropriate honorific for a veteran of Caesar's Imperial Legionnaires. He politely nodded back as he slipped the documents back into his breast pocket, very slyly avoiding the fingers of his wife as she tried to grab them. Giving him an inquisitorial look, she was oblivious for a few seconds to the fact that the official was waiting for her to turn over her own passport. Once she noticed, she rather quickly fetched it from her purse.

“Thank you, Lady Peregrina.” Happy that all was in order, the official handed it back and with two taps on their pad and a swipe of their keycard at the gate, both Cornelius and Hestia were ushered inside the grounds. Waiting until they were out of earshot, Hestia began interrogating her husband.

“What on earth was that piece of paper you showed them?”

“You mean my passport?”

“Don’t play coy with me, soldier.”

He gave her a wry smile. “I know a guy. Back from my Legionnaire days; he owed me a favour, and I decided to cash it in.”

“Hm.” Now she was the one looking pensive. “In all my years of knowing you, Cornelius Peregrina, you’re not the type of man to--”

Before she could finish her thought, the two of them rounded the first gravel pathway leading inwards from the gate and were immediately hit by the smells of an open markee roasting and frying many Kylarnatian cultural staples. The air was already heavy with the taste of fish, fowl and beef, and the stalls were covered with a wide variety of fresh vegetation, herbs and spices to enrich the flavours of various dishes.

Hestia became a little misty-eyed. “Gosh, this reminds me of our first date.”

Cornelius smiled, somewhat relieved. “That was over forty years ago.”

“It was the Festival of New Light in Hierakonpolis. You burnt your tongue on the first skewer you got your hands on.” She laughed.

“It’s not my fault the vendor put too much oil in his pan!” He retorted, the most animated he had been so far. The two of them shared in their laughter for a moment, before Hestia spotted the first stall that featured skewers. Having all been prepaid by the Embassy, the food and drink was free, so they were able to take and enjoy. The crowd was still yet to start filing in, so both Cornelius and Hestia - and a very limited trickle of others let through the staff entrance - had first pickings.

As they both bit into their first skewers, a commotion started to build outside. Cries of “Vivat!” roared out as the Skyan aircraft above started their manoeuvres as the clouds began to part. Both Cornelius and Hestia looked up and both saw the emerging hull of an airship decorated with the images of standard-bearing and trumpeting angels. Caesar’s Imperial Airship Xennasia was beginning to make its descent towards Emissary Airport on the other side of the river, and they had deliberately ensured to pass over the Embassy as they did so. The cries of jubilation grew ever louder as the ship came even more clearly into view; even those inside the compound were joining in.

Hestia was giddy with excitement, but she could feel that her husband’s back was completely straight, for he almost instinctively stood at complete attention. She studied his face while his attention was fixed solely on the airship, and on the one hand he seemed strict and dutiful, but his eyes and slight increase in breath belied a certain anxiety had crept in. It was something she had rarely ever seen him display.

Catching her look in the corner of his eye, Cornelius quickly joined in the cries of jubilation. “Maat-Magi! Vivat, Caesar!”

Caesar’s Imperial Airship Xennasia

“Emissary Tower, this is Xennasia. We’re now preparing to make our final descent…requesting escort to the designated landing area.”

“My Caesar. Your Excellencies. Ladies and Gentlemen. Please take your seats and fasten your seatbelts. We will be making our descent shortly.”

As the instruction came from the airship's pilot over the speaker system, Caesar’s personal stylists were putting the finishing touches to her presentation, making doubly sure that not a single thread nor feather on her Skyan dress was out of place. Every nail on her fingers triple-checked to be of equal length and shape. That every strand of her pristine blonde hair sat perfectly in line with her angel-wing shaped diadem, priceless gemstones embedded to represent the distant stars and planets of the solar system, with a large flawless diamond resting on the front of her temple to represent the Sun, and a small polished topaz hanging beneath to represent the Earth.

Their job done, they bowed humbly in Caesar’s presence before making hastily for the exit, where they rubbed shoulders with the entering innermost circle of the visiting party: Chief of Staff Maximus Maursus, Gothic Praetor Khonsu, and three uniformed officers of the Armed Forces representing the joint commands of Imperial Defence Command, Global Strategic Command and Imperial Cyber and Intelligence Command. They each took seats at the oval conference table which the Skyan interior designers had installed with all the hardware necessary to function as a mobile command centre, albeit very streamlined. Despite being gifted first and foremost for leisure, Caesar always had to maintain the ability to assess developing situations wherever she went.

As they buckled themselves into their seats, which allowed them to swivel to face any direction in the room, Caesar had already buckled and remained seated at her desk. Hyperion remained standing, unconcerned.

“Run us through the itinerary one last time, Maursus.” Caesar commanded as soon as he finished straightening his grey suit jacket. Clearing his throat, he shuffled through the stack of papers he had been carrying with him.

“Let’s see…” he took a few seconds of flicking through with his bony fingers before he gave a very over enthusiastic tone upon finding the relevant paper. “Aha! Here we are. So, today we’ve got a red carpet greeting at Emissary Airport with all the appropriate bells and whistles. Then we’ll be escorted quickly onwards to the Queen’s Residence for a formal reception and working dinner. You’ll receive your Evening Brief before retiring at the Residence.

On the first full day of the Review, you’ll receive your Morning Brief before having a private breakfast with Prime Minister Atticus. Then you’ll go on to join the other assembled Lords and dignitaries in the company of King Ironwing and Queen Heart to view the assembled allied surface and air fleets. Once the main parade has concluded by mid-afternoon, you will travel to the Embassy to catch an airlift over to the Victoria, Ironwing and Polybia to view the ships and review the crews. By the early evening, you’ll return to the Embassy to have a private dinner with Ambassador Dr. Prosperina. You’ll receive your Evening Brief before retiring at the Embassy.”

“Will my briefs include an update on domestic affairs?” Silvier asked. Maximus paused, running his hand over his short grey hair and scratched the back of his head, as if a sort of tick.

“It’ll certainly be brief, your Majesty. Rest assured I’ve made sure that the Caesarion is well equipped and surrounded; much as your revered father did for you, we should be confident that he will alert us if there are any issues on which he desires your guidance.”

That was as skillfully diplomatic a way as Maximus could suggest that Caesar should back off. Her son, Julianus, had very recently come-of-age - both in the literal and ritualistic sense - and so had ascended to the station of Caesarion, acting as a junior regent for his mother. It was custom that they gradually took on more of the responsibility of domestic affairs, while the now experienced Caesar focused their energies on foreign and military affairs. This division was stricter than it had been in past years, with the impending war against the Unified Authority destined to take all of Silvier’s energies.

Even so, she could not shake her parental instinct to worry. But she had employed Maursus exactly because he was prepared to be honest with her - even if still careful with his words - in a way that few others were. “Continue.”

Sharing a satisfied look with those around the table, he continued as instructed. “On the second day, you’ll receive your Morning Brief, then prepare to hold an Audience with the privileged few who’ve been selected by the Ambassador. They’ve each provided statements which you will see before meeting them. After midday, your schedule has been left open to hold private meetings with Gothic Lords and other dignitaries as they are arranged…” While he dared not let it slip, Maximus was already weary at the thought of how much on-the-fly organisation that was likely to end up requiring.

“Miss Secret Agent here…” As if to change the subject so he could avoid thinking about it, he made a slight physical gesture towards Khonsu. “...will be joining her other Gothic compatriots at the Skyan Praetorium in the evening.”

“It’ll be the first time in a while since we’ve all been in the same place.” Khonsu butted in, much to Maximus’s consternation. “It’ll be a valuable chance to get a measure of the mood beyond all the cameras and choreographed events. No doubt the Praetor’s will have much to say about events.”

“I can’t wait to hear about the office drama.” The Chief of Staff quipped, which Khonsu clearly didn’t appreciate. But before they could get into it, they all caught sight of a Skyan Accipiter aircraft coming up alongside the Xennasia; their landing was forthcoming any moment now.

“The final day, Maximus?” Caesar beckoned with a slight tinge of impatience.

“Morning Brief. Public prayer at the Shrine of Horus on the Embassy Grounds. Sermon for the assembled faithful, servicemen and women in the Citadel’s Basilica. Return to Emissary, where the Beast will be ready to collect us for our return trip.” The very contracted summary delivered as Caesar’s tone clearly requested it.

“Last question.” Caesar spun in her chair to face the assembled team. “Where are my ships now?”

On Approach to Rico Bay

Just as the sun began to set over the western horizon, the outlines of numerous large vessels would begin to come into view for anyone looking outwards from inside the bay. From those flying or riding in the airships above and able to look directly below, they would get a better view of the assembled display of the might of Caesar’s Imperial Navy.

Since the days of Caesar's grandfather, Georgius Silvanus, the Imperial Navy had rebuilt itself from its hollowed out days of isolation into a full blue-water force, pivoted towards a doctrine of far-reaching force projection. Mare Nostrum, as it is conventionally known by both the brass and the press, envisions - much as Georgius laid down in spirit - Caesar’s Imperial Navy not only fielding superior firepower, but covering large areas of the sea, with the ability to be nimble both in immediate engagements and in sustaining longer term operations. Within Gholgoth proper, vessels were organised into ten Imperial Home Fleets, with the seas of Gholgoth divided almost evenly amongst them.

The Southern Gothic Seas - the waves stretching between the Fortress Continent, Garbania to its north and the entire sea coast stretching from Tiurabo all the way down to Gholghant to its east - were the operational theatre of the Seventh Imperial Home Fleet, named “Vulcan” after the Aspect of Material Creation and seventh Son of the Grand Mother. With the oncoming conflict with the Unified Authority, it was operating at full strength - some two-thousand five-hundred vessels operating across the theatre - consisting of the newest hardware that had been developed with the conflict in mind.

For Fleet Week, the Imperium had elected to demonstrate a sizable show of force - comprising a single Carrier Battle Group and Surface Task Force - both for the confidence of its allies but also because it fully expected the Unified Authority to be watching. To that end, they had been very selective in what to put on display, ensuring that they showed only what they wanted their enemy to see, and kept the rest as their aces for when the fires broke out.

Deployed as a roughly even spread across the entire expanse of the arranged flotilla were the workhorses of the surface fleet: fourteen Serket-class guided-missile Frigates and twelve Medusa-class Destroyers who dealt with threats both on and below the waves, though the Serket had the ability to load ship-to-air missiles if necessary. That role however was championed by the four multi-role Hekate-class guided missile cruisers, who each took point around the centre flagships.

Out nearer the front were five Taweret-class Amphibious Transport Docks, deployed as if they were about to disembark troops for a combined sea-air landing. This was rehearsed for the purposes of the pageantry, but in a real combat scenario these would be deployed further to the back, where four Apophis-class Arsenal Ships were evenly positioned to provide maximum coverage from their combined thousands of VLS cells and forty-eight heavy anti-ship missile launchers.

Forming a spear-tip closer to the front, three Prometheus-class Battlecruisers sat as if ready to spring into action - their incredibly tight one-hundred and one foot beam making its front profile difficult to pinpoint, almost as if it dared its enemy - and itself - to engage head on. From above, it’s entirely forward complement of three triple sixteen-inch railguns emphasising that point. Evenly split at the front and back, four Tenebrae-Class Attack Submarines were currently submerged, keeping an ever watchful vigil. Darting amongst all of these were the Valkyria-class fast replenishment ships and a number of other auxiliaries, including a Bona Dea-class Hospital Ship to demonstrate the Navy’s humanitarian capabilities.

Within the centre of this display, three flagships sailed abreast of each other. To the right was the Carrier Battle Group’s flagship the CINV Ironwing, a second-generation Gholgoth-class Aircraft Carrier, its two island superstructures splitting the roles required to keep track of it’s standard seventy-five wing complement, which could be expanded to ninety if needs called for it. On the right was the Surface Task Force’s flagship the CINV Polybia, a newly minted Minerva-class Battleship, it’s five triple sixteen-inch railguns ensuring maximum destruction on any ship or coastline ill-fated enough to cross it.

Most strikingly in the very centre, there was the CINV Victoria, one of the brand-new Libertas-class Supercarriers. On her shakedown cruise, the Victoria’s sister ships - the Libertas, Justicia and Concordia - were responsible for overseeing the fleets that extended outside of Gholgoth and patrolled the sea lanes leading to many of the other regions, including Ikralla and Greater Dienstad. Just shy of eight-hundred and fifty-thousand tons and nineteen-hundred feet in length, she was billed as one of the largest ships set to be on display for Fleet Week. Boasting a maximum air wing of one-hundred and fifty, state-of-the-art command and control suites and even a not insignificant armament of her own, she very much earned the attention she demanded.

While most of the assembled ships were in their standard navy grey, the three flagships had been painted in parade colours, white hulls with golden superstructures. As the setting sun peered through them they glistened, as if floating dominions of Avaris itself had come to Rico Bay.
Last edited by Kylarnatia on Tue Nov 21, 2023 3:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
The Ancient Empire of Kylarnatia // Imperium Antiquum Kylarnatiae
Lord of Gholgoth | Factbook (Work in Progress) | Embassy & Consulate Programme
I write mostly in PMT-FaNT, and I enjoy worldbuilding and storytelling. Any questions? Ask away!
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Drakonian Imperium
Posts: 136
Founded: Antiquity

Arrival and Insecurities

Postby Drakonian Imperium » Thu Nov 23, 2023 1:31 pm

"We insert via two helicopters."

"Your idea?"

The three men were in a transport aircraft bound for Havensky. Carefully packed crates took up much of the space along the center of the aircraft's cargo hold. Fold out seats lining each side. Marcus Sutherland and Artur Favonius sat next to each other, each buckled into their seats. Across from the two men another man was just visible lounging on the seats, apparently sleeping, his head resting on a duffle bag. Marcus was the agent of Gholgothic Council of Lords for Drakonia. The other two were members of his team.

More than a Council agent, Marcus Sutherland was also a Colonel in the Imperial Army, the Crown Prince of Trinitia, a Drakonian Realm, brother to the Queen of the Imperium and uncle to the Heir Apparent to the Praetorship. He was tall, taller than his companions and had much darker skin than either.

The question Marcus had asked was rhetorical. Commander Artur Favonius had once been a Helicopter Pilot for the Territorial Navy of Mille Mortifere, before eventually being promoted to command his own ship, a frigate. He contrasted with the Colonel, with his blond hair and light bronze skin.

Both men wore camouflage uniforms, a smattering of digitized greens. While the third man was dressed in a white t-shirt and blue jeans.

"I suppose the Guards wanted to go in by boat?"

"High altitude jump, actually."

Marcus' eyes widened.

Artur continued: "From there it should go exactly like how we trained with the Guard Teams on Segmentium."

The briefing wasn't for some mission in Havensky, but instead one they had been preparing for in western Mille Mortifere. Some compound Drakonian Intelligence wanted to be secured. Criminal work. It wasn't the job of a Praetor. They were supposed to keep peace between Gholgothic nations, but the Praetor, the Drakonian monarch, had Marcus' team doing everything from criminal investigation to parachute training. And this was beginning to annoy Marcus. It wasn't pride. He'd rather enjoyed all the action, even the survival training. Marcus had stayed in the Army after losing his arm below the elbow. He had received the best prosthetic money could buy, Resi manufacture, and had continued to serve rather than go home and do the duties of a Crown Prince. Not that those had been much neglected, his brother-in-law, the Praetor had often sent him on diplomatic missions. Marcus had even represented Drakonian before the Council of Lords briefly. The Colonel had thought those days over, with the Praetor himself now attending Council meetings, but instead had found himself thrust into the new position of Praetor, Drakonian agent of the Council.

"What is the current head count?"

"The three of us, two Praetorian Guard Teams of four each."

"And in the compound?"

"Twenty-three as of the last satellite pass."

Marcus frowned. "I wish we knew what we were going in after. What this compound even is."

A voice rose above the din of the aircraft engines from across the cargo bay. "I'm working on it." The sleeping form of Joran Kazei cracked an eye. Kazei was their intelligence liaison and from all appearances he wasn't 'working on it'.

"My people are looking in it." Joran responded to the looks he was getting from the other side of the aircraft.

"And if they are unsuccessful?"

"Then I talk to their bosses. One of the perks of this position. It usually gets results."

The eye closed and Marcus was left with his thoughts. The mission would wait; for once he was actually to be attending to Praetor duties even if it would just involve schmoozing with Heads of State and diplomats. Marcus knew how to do that, he had done it all his life.

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Posts: 2349
Founded: Apr 24, 2008
Iron Fist Consumerists

Postby LOVE DOG » Fri Nov 24, 2023 9:55 pm

’Gator boots (Gator boots)
With the pimped out Gucci suits (With them Gucci suits)
Ain't got no job, but I stay sharp (I stay sharp)
Can't pay my rent (I can't pay my rent)

'Cause all my money's spent (Mmm hmm)
But that's okay, 'cause I'm still fly (Damn 'cause I'm so fly)
Got a quarter tank of gas
In my new E class (In my E-Class Benz)'

Fleet Week in the airship capital of Gholgoth, but would the United Dominion bring in naval vessels to show off? The answer would be no. There was a storm brewing and the war machine that was the United Dominion was moving Her pieces in place. No need to flex to the civilians and Gothic Heads of State when you can flex during the chaos of a close battlefield. The United Dominion would still be a part of Skyan Fleet Week in another way. The monsters had to arrive to the party. Peace is where you gain allies and assets. Peace is also where you can study future foes. It would be very unwise for the United Dominion to not show up to the realm of the Skyans. The normal channels of diplomacy of the two nations were opened and details were hammered out for the upcoming visit.

Skyan radar technicians would register a large aircraft coming from the northern border of the Imperial Union cruising around a ceiling of 30,000 ft as the sun fell from the sky, they would also pick up a flight of six drone fighters acting as escorts for the larger plane. At 300 feet long with a wingspan of 315 feet, a height of 70 feet and width of 30 feet, this craft was based on an old Ukrainian designed craft known as the Antonov An-225 Mriya. But unlike the An-225 Mriya, this craft designated as Lupus Air One was an unholy twist of luxury head of state aircraft and a gunship. One of a kind. Designed by Timber Wolf Incorporated Air Division with handsomely paid help from Kylarnatian and Pudite aircraft experts, the Mesofortress Long-Range Luxury VIP Gunship was born. The heart of the beast was a nuclear reactor, that's where the Kylarnatian and Pudite experts came in handy in the shielding and protection of the airframe from warpping due to the radiation. Boosting eight turbofans, four on each of the large wings, fueled by the reactor, the Mesofortress cuts through the sky with as much as ease a craft of its size could.

As the Mesofortress was designed to act as a mobile command center of the Caesar of the United Dominion, the upper decks housed everything needed to command forces locally or world-wide along with cambers to rest. But monsters don't sleep. Those parts of the massive craft were dressed up in luxury features. In the non-command areas, the Dominionite past was relived in the styling of the Norse part of Dominionite culture. False dark color wood and designs that mimicked a Norse longhouse. Leather and fur drabbed on everything from couches to beds. There was even a fully stocked bar. A party in the sky in a conflict and one that could strike back if need.

The Mesofortress held offence and defense capabilities with an arsenal of ways. Defense wise; anti-missile missiles, digital Radar warning receiver, UV-based Missile Approach Warning System, laser-based Directional Infrared Counter Measures, low frequency DRFM jammer-based ECM, chaff/flare dispenser and 4x anti-air 20 mm × 102 mm remote controlled rotary cannons. Offence wise; 4x 155mm howitzer with autoloader facing port side of the craft (loaded a variety of types of rounds), 2x 'Gunslinger' weapons systems with launch tube for lightweight, precision-guided missiles (10 round magazines) and 4x missile hardpoints on each wing (primary 100-pound (45 kg) class air-to-ground precision weapon). Even with all of the arsenal, the Mesofortress had room to safely store two medium sized SUVs like the Magister Armored Security Vehicle.

As planned the Skyan fighters moved in to escort Lupus Air One to Citadel City, the Dominionite drone fighters fell back and changed course towards the west before heading back towards the Imperial Union. As the black fighters disappeared, the Skyan pilots had a better look at the massive Mesofortress and the unique paintjob. The upper half was black, a wide gold stripe followed next, and the lower half was a dark crimson red. Across the top of the craft was a ghostly white Norse raven in detail, the bird's wings stretching down their craft's wings. On both side of the tail was a gold version of the tribal wolf of the Royal House of Wolf. Even in the hallowed realm of Gholgoth the Mesofortress was a sight to see.

The trip across the Skybound Republic to Citadel City was without incident, the Skyan escorts breaking free from the larger craft as the Dominionite pilots were granted clearance to land at Emissary Airfield. Even in the night sky, the landing of the Mesofortress would be the center of attention. Landing gear lowered. Engines trimmed back. Runway sighted. Controlled descent. Skyans in the tower and on the ground watching. The beast eased on the runway, ten-point landing of basically a flying nuclear bomb. Lupus Air One taxied over to her home until the end of Fleet Week. The Dominionite aircrew lowering the rear ramp to unload the lone all black Magister Armored Security Vehicle as the Skyan ground crew moved the stairway in place.

As the stairway locked into place, the port door opened and blindly white light flood outwards temporary blinding the Skyan ground crew. A figure eased out of the light as the Skyan's eyes adjusted. He looked like being from another era, one of the Wild Wild West. Kylvier Cobra skinned squared-toed cowboy boots, pure white scales and a blood red diamond on the tip of the boot. Black dress pants. Black leather belt with a gold Dominion flag belt buckle. A crimson leather vest over a black long sleeve dress shirt, both with gold buttons. A solid white silk tie. A black leather duster. A black cowboy hat. All wrapped over a six foot five inches muscler body. Your Savior, Caesar Jason Scotus Lupus, His Royal Alpha, His Royal Badass, Count of Transylvania, Lord of Gholgoth and many other titles had arrived for Fleet Week.

The Count lowered his head as he lit a cigar with a match walking down the stairway towards the Skyan officials here to greet him. His black hair kept at a manageable length, not short or too medium. His trademark goatee gone; a medium length beard covered his jaw. He lifted his head as he neared the bottom, his eyes burned red for a few seconds before returning to the normal dull light gray color. He smiled; his white fanged canines present as he stared across at the Skyans.

The monsters have arrived...

* credit for lyrics ~ Big Tymers – Still Fly*
Last edited by LOVE DOG on Sun Nov 26, 2023 10:25 pm, edited 9 times in total.



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