Ascendancy: A Candle in the Dark

Ascendancy: A Candle in the Dark

Times are changing quickly, and the status quo of the past cannot possibly be maintained in the face of a rapidly approaching enemy. Take charge of a nation and guide it to Ascendancy.

633 readers have visited this universe since Doug created it.

Introduction


Ascendancy

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On Earth, if Earth yet lives, the year is 2847. Over the past centuries mankind has spread its influence over the vast reaches of the cosmos. Colony by colony man has carved himself an empire amongst the stars. But even the strongest of ties cannot long last in the face of human nature.

It was a slow process, at first, but one by one the colonies rebelled from their nourishing mother Earth. One by one, the shipments of resources stopped coming, ambassadors fell silent, soldiers vanished, and the colonies joined each other in autonomy. Earth faded from memory, and soon dozens of small human nations emerged as flickering candles in the incalculable emptiness of the vacuum of space.

In the face of this grandeur, one would think that peace would be the only way of life. After all, surely space was large enough to hold even the largest of egos. But alas, here too human nature reared its ugly head. Greedy powermongers used the resources of these fledgling nations to wage wars of conquest on one another, while the wiser of the nations completely withdrew themselves from interaction with their neighbors.

And all the while, a long forgotten enemy stands at the ready, prepared to sweep across these tiny nations in an unstoppable red tide. In the face of this onslaught, will the sons of Adam find themselves able to set aside their differences and unite for the greater good of humanity? Or will they stand, and die, alone in emptiness’s darkest reaches?

It is in this world that your nation finds itself. Your leadership is all that stands between a free humanity and extinction. Can you guide your nation to Ascendancy, or will yours be yet another flame to die in the cold emptiness of space.




In Ascendancy you will take control of a single nation and all of its people. You must guide it through exchanges with other nations, some more diplomatic than others. For a time, the roleplay will be a sandbox in which you may interact with your world as you see fit with no clear goals other than those that you set for yourself, however that may soon change. A great war is looming on the horizon, and when it finally arrives there will be no avoiding it.

Because of the style of this particular roleplay you will have endless numbers of characters at your disposal. From a lowly foot soldier to the supreme leader of your nation, you have free reign to develop and control any citizen of your nation as you see fit. There is no limit to the number of characters you can create, but be careful not to create so many that you cannot manage them. Just because this is a nation roleplay does not mean that character development is not important, in fact if anything it is more important than in a roleplay where you control just one character. After all, it would be a shame to have a nation of the exact same person copied over and over with different names, wouldn't it?

You must also take responsibilities for your actions. The vacuum of space may well be the mother from which we all spring, but it is also harsh and unforgiving. Characters die, ships are lost. If you place a character in harms way, be willing to accept the fact that harm may well come to him. If you go about war mongering, expect for the war to be brought to your very doorstep in a way that you cannot hope to resist. Actions have consequences, and to ignore this fact is a folly that can only result in the death of your nation's flame.

Also, remember that nation roleplays are about more than just war. While battles can be exciting, diplomacy can be equally interesting. Do not forgo the riches to be had in peace for the temporary excitement that is offered by war lightly, for such a decision may well lead to your downfall. With those remarks in mind, it is time to begin crafting your own nation. Remember to have fun with it, and remember that this form is only a small fraction of the information to be had--the entire story is a chance to further build up your world!




Nation Application
Every applicant must fill out the following application, and it must first be accepted prior to participation. There is no application deadline or maximum number of writers, we will always look at your application and consider accepting it. It's never too late to join! Also, all nations are to be human only (for the time being anyway), and please do not take Earth, or create a nation that is in any way still linked to Earth.

Nation Name:
Insert the name of your nation here

Nation Population:
Insert the number of inhabitants of all your nation's citizens here.

Nation Size:
Indicate the number of solar systems your nation controls. Any number between 1 and 20 to start, this number will likely change as the story progresses.

Government:
Indicate what style of government your nation has. Add a brief explanation if necessary.

Economic System:
Indicate the system of economy that your nation uses [Free Market, Planned, Socialist, Communist, etc]. Add a brief explanation if necessary.

Culture:
Explain briefly the general culture of your nation. As a whole, what are its values and how happy are its people?

Important Characters:
Include a brief list of major characters with some description of them and their responsibilities. This list need not be exhaustive, in fact I have no doubt that every one of us will find occasion to add to it as time progresses. There is no need to fill out an entire character sheet for the application process, although you may find it useful to fill one out to keep on hand as your characters develop.

Important Locations:
Include a brief list of major locations within your empire. Be it a city, a planet, or an entire solar system, be sure to mention a few locals and some information about them. This list need not be exhaustive, in fact I have no doubt that every one of us will find occasion to add to it as time progresses.

Space Forces
Briefly provide basic information regarding the general status of your nation's military space fleet.

Space Vessels
Copy and post the following application for each vessel you wish to include in your military space forces. This list does not need to include non-combat vessels.

Name:
Size: On a scale of one to ten, where one is a strike craft (jet fighter) and 10 is over a kilometer in any one dimension.
Combat Role: Is this vessel a damage sink, a troop carrier, a ship-of-the-line, etc.
Defenses: Specify any specific armor or special shielding possessed by the vessel.
Weapons: List the ship's armament, and include brief weapon descriptions as needed.
Engines: What accelerations can your ship reach and how quickly can it maneuver. Keep in mind that accelerations in excess of 5 gs (about 50 m/s/s) will cause most humans to black out over a short period of time.
Other: Include any other miscellaneous information here.

Ground Forces
Briefly provide basic information regarding the general status of your nation's military ground forces.

History:
Briefly provide an account of the history of your nation. Feel free to not fill much in here, as whatever you write in this section may come back and limit your options later in the story. It is perfectly fine to flesh your history out during the story, rather than before--however a general idea of how your nation came about will no doubt be very important in guiding your hand as you write it.


Toggle Rules

1) No Godmodding will be tolerated.
2) Write in proper English. All posts should be third person, past tense.
3) Keep it tasteful. While swearing, innuendo, and violence are perfectly fine, please refrain from blatant sex, constant swearing, or anything overly gory and violent.
4) Be respectful at all times. If you cannot peacefully result an issue with another writer, contact the GM.
5) Post a reasonable amount. While I do not expect complete novels, please at least put effort into the length and content of each post. Treat it more like a novel, and less like a game, if you understand what I am saying.
6) You can't win them all. When you are outmatched, accept your defeat and move on. Complaining and arguing incessantly over battles will not be tolerated. When in doubt, see rule #4.
7) Characters die. If you place your supreme leader onboard a vessel on the front line of a battle that vessel does not gain invincibility. If you want your characters to have a high chance of survival, keep them off the front lines. If a character does die, don't forget to factor the effects that it will have on your nation as a whole. Don't simply replace him and move on (unless that is simply the culture of your nation of course).
8) All nations must be accepted before posting. Failure to meet this may result in your entire application being ignored.
9) All nations must be original. Do not create a carbon copy of a nation from your favorite science fiction series, use your own imagination and ideas.
10) Most importantly of all, have fun with it!

Taking place in...

Orion Arm, Milky War Galaxy our primary setting

Though humanity has spread far, space is too vast to make that anything more than a relative statement. The Orion-Cygnus arm of the Milky Way Galaxy is some 10,000 lightyears long and 3,500 lightyears across, and it is here where humanity resides.

The Story So Far... Write a Post » as written by 3 authors

Characters Present

Character Portrait: The United Coalition of Oriens

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#, as written by Doug
The rocky surface of Oriens stood strong. Even against the unending onslaught of the sea, it did not give an inch. Powered by the locomotive power of the cool breeze, the ocean poured itself out over the coastline in its attempts to assert its dominance. And, even as its latest attempts were so valiantly resisted, it already had already launched its next assault. Nature was nothing if not patient.

It was on this hard ground that Silvia now rested. She gazed out over the endless horizon as her thoughts turned to eternity. One day, she decided, that vast and mighty being of the ocean would eventually find victory on this rocky coast. It would, of course, be slow. But how could even the most rugged of coasts resist the sea’s unending efforts to overthrow it? The time it would take could be measured in millennia, but eventually this rock would give way to sand. Sand destined only to be swallowed up by the very sea which had given it form.

In a way, Silvia thought, the fate of this coast would be not unlike the fate of this planet, the fate of her beloved nation, or indeed her own fate. Time has the most innate ability to atrophy even the most steadfast of creations. To fell even the strongest of walls. To collapse even the most virtuous of nations.

It was on this coastline that Silvia had always done her best thinking, for on it she was truly alone with the cosmos. An unending sea of water stretched out before her, and above her spread the infinite grandeur of the vastest of all oceans--the universe. There was not a single soul around her for kilometers, and it was this tranquility that so stimulated her mind.

She sat up, feeling the cold ocean breeze as it tousled her glistening, flaxen hair and gently caressed her body. It was a warm day for the equatorial regions of Oriens, about 280 degrees Kelvin, but still she felt a shiver run down her body as the air penetrated the loosely woven cotton fibers of her light navy blazer and cooled her skin. To some it would have been uncomfortable, but Silvia found the sensation deeply invigorating.

She sat like this, for a time, however soon she heard a soft crunching noise over the sound of the ocean. Turning her head, she saw a figure approaching from across the coast. He was tall and slim, his walk slow and full of purpose. Smiling as she recognized him, Silvia waved her hand in the air and shouted his name, “Harding!”

Harding stopped for a moment to lift his hand in recognition of the call, and then continued his walk, albeit at a quickened pace. After a few minutes he had finally closed the distance between himself and the Premier, and he chose that moment to speak. “I thought I might find you here Premier Brookes.”

“And that you did General, why don’t you have a seat?” Silvia responded, tapping the ground beside her.

Harding obliged, removing the gray fedora from his head as he sat. Although it was rare to see the Grand General of the United Coalitions of Oriens Military Authority outside without his military uniform, today he was dressed in a far more relaxed manner. Instead he wore a simple charcoal blazer with raw denim pants and a dark navy shirt, a clear indication that he was far from any politicians, or cameras for that matter. “I tried your house, but obviously you weren’t there and nobody seemed to know how to contact you,” he said.

“Yeah, sorry about that.” Silvia leaned back, “I hope your hunt for me didn’t take too long.”

“No not at all,” Harding said, casting his gaze out over the horizon. “I can see why you come here, it really is something else.”

“It sure is,” Silvia laughed, “But I’m sure you didn’t walk all this way to discuss the scenery with me. What can I do for you?”

“It’s nothing that can’t wait, and I’d prefer to discuss it indoors,” Harding replied. “We can sit here a while, I’d rather not ruin your day this early.”

“That bad, huh?” Silvia sighed. “Well I guess we’d better get it over with then. Let’s go.”

Characters Present

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A lone battle vessel stood across a fleet of an invading force. A solder ran up to what seemed to be the leader of the bunch and said "Sir, this vessel won't hold off an army that big." The leader just looked at the coming fleet and yelled out "This is where we finish off these invaders! This is where we show the men of Ryuu are the best solders in the galaxy! Ready the vessel to go max speed and prep up the vessels self destruct system. We will die with honor and for our people!"

The vessels engines heat up pushing it as fast as it can. Gun fire streamed all over hitting the vessel destroying peace by peace. The vessel rams another pushing it aside a if it was nothing. From all the gun fire the ship started to tear apart stopping in the middle of the fleet explosions happening all around the leader as he fell to the ground with a voice from the vessel that said "automatic self destruct aborted. Manual activation engaged." With a red button being raised. The leader stands up and runs to he button slamming down onto it causing a massive explosion as the viewers cheered with joy ending the movie.

People started to rush out of the movie theaters with kids playing around "No I'm Emperor Rai! You can be the ugly Harding!" showing propaganda at its best with the new movie "The Invaders", a fiction movie based on the current ruler fighting off an army of invading United Coalitions.

Off at the current capital of this planet three well known leaders stand among one another in a meeting talking of war. Three people stand face to face in a empty room with almost nothing but their military cloths on and desk and chair behind the emperor.

"I must protest with your plan of provoking the Orians to declare war on us!" spoke out Vik. Ima looked at Vik and back to Rai and said "We need to show that out title of greatest warriors is still ours and not even a nation more than twice our size and beat us!"

Rai looked at the two arguing over his plan and said to both of them "We claim we're the strongest in the galaxy and no one is a match for our might. That only a solder of Ryuu can kill a solder of Ryuu. But we have not been at war with another nation besides out self sense my fathers time. I'll keep to the old ways and proof to the galaxy we are still strong."

Vik sighed and said "Alright, we will show our power and return back home to fight other clans. That should quench the thirst of war for many of our people. At least we're sticking to our tradition of only invading when another nation thinks they have the strength to stand against us."

Ima looked at Vik and said "Good, now how about getting more warriors? My clan is the only one with female warriors-" Gets cut off by Vik saying "Not this crap again. Women are to important to fight in war. They keep our economy and homes up." Rai grabbed onto his armor and said "Wearing this uniform is an honor. It show's that you are worthy of our people. Women are such and some day will fight in war till keeping to the old ways. But now there's little support to convince all the clans to train women as warriors." Rai puts his hand on her shoulder "Your clan Ima is too small to war with any of the bigger clans. But with this war, we will give the people enough reason to have women become warriors."

Characters Present

Character Portrait: The United Coalition of Oriens

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#, as written by Doug
Colonel Grace Williams stood idly by, monotonously drumming her fingers across the hard metallic disk that encased the primary holo-projector at the center of the large circular form of the Siren’s Central Command Center. This central point was surrounded by raised circular tiers, emanating from the center in a way not unlike the ripples left in the wake of a rock breaking the surface of a pond. In fact, it could be said that this room was designed to invoke that very image.

Her long hair, black as space itself, was pulled up into a neat bun and covered by a black beret affixed with a golden pin that elegantly revealed the garment’s purpose. It was a subtle reminder that she had served in the Ares Corp prior to her commission with the UCOSA. Her uniform did little to contradict this image. Her white blouse was crisp and without a single wrinkle or stray fold. Her black jacket fell neatly over her shoulders, and seamlessly transitioned into a pair of pressed black trousers. Even her shoes, a pair of black oxfords, were shined and without defect.

“Twenty seconds, sir!” The nav officer somewhere to her right called out, announcing the imminent collapse of the warp metric wrapping the Ares class vessel and affording it the ability to break the universal speed limit, well relatively speaking anyway. From the strictest of viewpoints, the Siren was not moving at all. But such semantics had little consequence in the real world.

The Siren, along with the Navis craft Heron and Aegean, served as the escort for a pair of Hermes ‘galleons’, as they were colloquially termed, and their cargo of processed iridium metal. The convoy was carrying almost 100 cubic meters* of the platinum-group element for sale to the Ryuu. Though vulgar and warlike, they did have money, and so long as their gold lined the pockets of UCO business interests the UCOSA would be rented out to provide transport and protection for trade convoys.

Personally, Grace could not understand why such a backward nation as Ryuu would be purchasing iridium metal when so many facets of society were in such dire need. The UCO could provide them with irrigation systems, seeds, food, design specifications for factories, iron, and so many other materials that could directly benefit all walks of life in the nation, and yet they seemed only interested in material that’s only real use is that of military nature. Of course the mining conglomerates of the UCO weren’t complaining, with the gradual slowdown of ship production the demand for iridium was slipping, and they were looking for any available markets for their product.

“Ten seconds!” The call came again. Grace turned her attention to the space above the holo-projector. While it was, for the moment, occupied only by air, in a few seconds the space would begin to populate with holographic representations of objects in the system. One of the great disadvantages of travel by warp metric is that it rendered the vessel caught inside completely blind. It was only by virtue of the vector calculations done by the vessel’s navigational computers that Grace had any idea where the Siren was going to land after its voyage. Even the slightest variation in approach vector could cause a vessel to miss its destination by parsecs, and the crew wouldn’t know they were off course until they arrived.

Still, there was always the rush that accompanied arrival. Grace felt the slight shudders of anticipation run up her spine as the seconds counted down. Would they be at the right spot? And what rested just beyond the metric? This excitement was not in any way unique to Grace, or even unique to this voyage. The anticipation that accompanied the collapse of a metric was universal, and it never weakened.

“Metric is collapsing.” The navigations officer called out, signaling the end of the Siren’s journey. There was no apparent change in motion, but quite suddenly the CCC was abuzz with activity as the then till unused radar and XDAR arrays kicked into action and probed the surrounding system. While the slow speed of light ever slowed the process, an image of the system and its bodies began to appear, rendered beautifully in full color by the holo-projector.

“All craft are present and accounted for, Colonel Williams.” A young man manning one of the many radar stations called out, prompting a brief round of applause. It wasn’t unheard of for a miscalculation to split convoys apart during FTL travel, and while this was rarely dangerous it was very inconvenient to be forced to wait, potentially for days, for the lost elements to recalculate their trajectories and work their way to their intended destination.

“Good, order the convoy to form up on our position. Once we are assembled, lay in a course for the Ryuu capital world.” Grace ordered without so much as looking away from the holo-display. The relevant parties would carry out the orders without regard to whom she was specifically addressing. “And remember to keep all weapons systems powered down; we don’t want to do anything that could be seen as a challenge to the Ryuu people. So much as a misplaced stare could send them into a battle fury.”


*By order of the Council as stated in the Universal Charter for Inter-planetary Commerce, all shipments of iridium and other materials that fall into the category of "ultra dense" are to be sold by volume, not by mass, so as to ensure that buyers unfamiliar with this class of metals knows how much they are purchasing. A lot of 100 cubic meters of iridium has a mass of about 2,256,000 kilograms, or an Earth weight of about 2,500 short tons. An equivalent mass of iron would have a volume of over 280 cubic meters, so you can see the need for such a convention when dealing with merchants who are accustomed to the lower densities of common materials.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: The Interplanetary Peace Federation [IPF]

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"Sandoval. The IPF merchants on Signus-Five are requesting more military personnel. They state that they need them to keep better watch on the new arrivals next month. They state Chaos level is about 40%. They'd prefer to keep it lower than 30%. They reason anything higher risks a meltdown of control."

Juan Sandoval, unofficial leader of The Chosen Ones, silently muttered to himself, "Malditos vampiros. Tal fuga de..." He turned to the older of the Varner twins, Zhotomir, and nodded. "Give them what they want. Send a couple Dagger units there as well. UNDER, the radar. Should any individuals of an extremely chaotic nature crop up, eliminate them. Order must be maintained on the Management's experiment. However, make sure to keep any eliminations as discreet as possible. Blame any inquiries into the disappearance of said individuals on the criminal element that we both know exists there. "

Zhotomir nodded approval. "Yes Sandoval. That makes sense. I will tell Franks to speak with the Hierarchy. They will listen to him. Прежде всего, в хаосе эмоций, должны содержаться. (Above all, the chaos of emotion must be contained.)" He walked out the room to carry out his directive. Sandoval walked to the holo-projector in his quarters. He pressed a few keys on the holo-board, and brought up what looked to be a... calender. "Por supuesto. Hoy en día todos los días. (Of course. Today of all days.) With a flick of his hand, Sandoval switched the screen. A small number pad appeared. Twelve digits later, and after inserting the key around his neck, a female figure appeared on the screen. Her deep blue hair, bright blue eyes, and stunning beauty (based on what visiting nationals state), clearly identified her as Alyana Sederis. She gave a slight nod to Sandoval on the screen. "Hello Sandoval. How did the brief go with Zhotomir?"

Sandoval simply shrugged. "The merchants are asking for more military personnel. I can only reason that the nations already spending their 'vacations' there are getting riled up at the removal of the Andarran strip joints."

Alyana shook her head. "I can almost feel sorry for those people. They are so concerned with the removal of a completely unnecessary part of their experience, that they do not even notice that we have increased prices by 10% to make up for the loss of those Andarrans. Lust and greed are blinding them."

Sandoval waved it away. "Yes, and while they are blinded, the IPF profits. But that is not why I called you Sederis. I have called to inform you that the king of Azeal, Orlan, will be calling you to discuss the deal we have been planning some time later on today.Prepare yourself. I want no less than 2 kilo tons of Xenon, you understand? It will prove very useful to The Intellectuals, and their refinement of The Purification process. Give the King no more than 6 kilo tons of Obsidian. The Xenon is worth far less, but we both know that relations with Azeal are tense at the moment. Let us act as our namesake, and seek peace. You've dealt with him before Sederis. You know how to handle him."

Alyana nodded, and curtsied slightly. A sign of great respect, coming from a Chosen One. "Understood Sandoval. If you can, please let Franks know to prep transports 3C through 6F. I'll personally oversee the loading of the Obsidian on Delta. Now, if that is all Sandoval..."

Sandoval put a hand up. "One last thing Alyana. Should Orlan ask you what you plan to use the Xenon on, tell him it is to bolster medical supplies for the military in Argus-Rho and Turona. He disproves of our Purification process in the first place, and It would be most illogical to provoke him into rash action, by practically announcing to him that we are refining the process. That is all Sederis. *He puts his fist over his heart* Añoro el día... (I yearn for the day...)"

Alyana bent her head down, and held her fist up to her forehead, the thumb barely touching it. "...Ο γαλαξίας είναι καθαρή (...The galaxy is pure)" Her image disappeared. Sandoval walked away from the screen, and out of his quarters. He walked down the ornately covered halls of the Citadel, built by the first Chosen Ones, and the SC themselves. Images of the previous Chosen Ones adorned this hall, and Sandoval gazed at the most recently added image. Julio Sandoval gazed at him from the image, and Sandoval raised his right arm up to his left shoulder, placing his fist on the shoulder itself. Sandoval whispered, “We will not fail Father. The galaxy will be pure. As a Chosen One, I know this to be true.” He walked away from the image, down to the Convent Hall, where he had to discuss something with Lilith...
-------------------------------10 Minutes Later-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Juan Sandoval walked into the Convent Hall, and saw Lilith Varner – youngest and brightest of the Varner twins – was already waiting for him. Lilith stood up as Sandoval entered the room, and did a small curtsy to him. “Добрый день Господа Сандовал.” (Good day Lord Sandoval.)

Sandoval touched his right hand’s fingers to his forehead, and then gave a slight motion with them to Lilith, acknowledging the greeting. “Buenos días a Lilith. (Good day to you Lilith) What news do you bring me from the Intellectuals?”

Lilith walked over to the holo-screen, and pressed a complex set of keys on the board. In the middle of the large Convent Hall, a map of the known galaxy to the IPF – complete with projected paths of shuttles and the like under IPF control – came into being. Lilith walked to the center, grabbed the air on the edge of the projected galaxy, and pulled. The map shifted in the direction of her pull, and then displayed the outer reaches of IPF control. Certain areas were now “fogged” up, indicating pathways not mapped by the IPF. “We have been analyzing the flight paths of UCO freighters, as you requested. So far, we haven’t come up with any concrete data on the UCO Home-World. They’re smarter than most of the other nations the IPF has encountered in the past. Until we find their home-world, we won’t have much of a chance to purify their nation.”

Sandoval nodded. “Understood Lilith. Continue.”

Lilith dragged the air to her left, and the map shifted again. This time it showed what seemed to be a convoy of some sort, starting from known UCO territory. “Our scouts beyond our Sphere reported that they saw what looked to be a small convoy of sorts on long-range optics. They couldn’t get any closer to fully identify the class of ships though. There were unmistakable markings of the UCO on them though, so I can only reason that it is either a battle formation, or a transport convoy. By measuring their approximate speed and heading, and assuming they don’t make any hard turns, this is their projected path.” A dotted line began to stretch from the suspected UCO convoy, indefinitely, in its projected path. It took it rather close to IPF controlled space. Before Sandoval could interrupt her, she held a hand up in a silencing motion. “The Intellectuals originally reasoned it was a battle formation, simply stating that due to the path’s proximity to the Varkas System (closest system to the “edge” of IPF space), it was likely the UCO was trying to create a back door into our space. I had a theory though. So I told them to withhold that notion until we explored it. With the help of Franks, I sent a small squadron of Strike Fighters to the closest point that the flight path comes to our control space. This is what they found.” She brought up a small numerical interface, and punched in a set of coordinates. The map shifted a bit, and then zoomed in. A small system appeared.

Sandoval nodded towards Lilith. “Good work Lilith. What info did the squadron get on this system? I don’t recall us ever stumbling upon it before.”

Lilith shook her head slightly. “That’s the problem Sandoval. We don’t know much yet. After the squadron reported the existence of the system, they returned to brief the Hierarchy, as per standard protocol of discovering a new system. Franks sent them back to explore it in depth, with weapons online just in case the indigenous people there are hostile. They are scheduled to report back soon, assuming nothing happens to them. What we do know is that we have definitely not explored it before. There seems to be a slightly higher level of radiation in their system, and made some of the pilots somewhat sick.”

Sandoval scratched his small goatee as he thought about the situation. I know our methods aren’t the most approved in the galaxy. The Azeal definitely don’t approve. We haven’t received any official condemnations from the UCO… Could they really be positioning themselves for an attack? Or just exploring a new system? Either we immediately go on the offensive, and destroy this fleet before it enters IPF space… Or… Sandoval brought up the numerical interface, and quickly input a set of numbers. A few seconds later, John Franks appeared on the screen. “Franks. Station the Patriarch, Einstein, and Michael-Angelo just outside the Varkas System. Inner edge. Have them battle ready, and on patrol. They don’t need to know why right now, just do it, okay Franks?”

The man on the screen, an older-looking Bruce Willis with a simple soul patch under his lip, nodded. He saluted the screen. “It will be done Sandoval. What’s going on?”

Sandoval simply said, “Consider it a precautionary measure. And prep transports 3c through 6F, and send them to Delta. That is all.” Sandoval hung up the call. He looked to Lilith. “Lilith. Send the Concord as an envoy to the UCO. Send General Austin on it. I want him to personally inquire the UCO as to what that system represents to them. They will call us paranoid, but I see it as simple caution. People do not like our ways, and we must be ever vigilant to prevent those that wish our destruction, from getting their wish. This may turn out to be a simple trade between the UCO and a nation we do not know of yet. Or this could be prep for an attack. I reason it is better to have our ‘bases covered’, then get caught unaware. My logic is sound, correct?”

Lilith nodded her approval. “Yes My Lord, it is quite sound. I will make the preparations. Shouldn’t Franks be doin-“

Sandoval shook his head. “The Hierarchy will be at his throat trying to figure out what is going on. He needs to focus on dealing with them. They will not bother you for wanting to send an envoy to another nation. Now go Lilith. I must meditate on the matters at hand.” Sandoval simply strided out of the room, and back to his quarters. Lilith closed the galaxy map, and walked out in the opposite direction, towards her own quarters, and her personal shuttle. We have been at peace for so long now. Hopefully rational talks will prevail here.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: The United Coalition of Oriens

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#, as written by Doug
Silvia’s house stood high above the coast, sitting in quiet solace on a cliff face. Some would call it an architectural wonder, others an abomination, but no-one could deny the solid engineering of the structure. It rested half on the cliff, half over, supported by no visible struts of any kind. Only the carefully balanced equations in a notebook that Silvia still carried held the glass and metal structure solidly in place. The house was a bit of a labor of love for the Premier, after all she is the one who had designed it.

When Silvia led Harding in through the front door, the pair was faced with an atrium, of sorts. Directly in front of them was a large mirror, giving the room an illusion of vast size though it was only a few meters across. To the left and right were passages leading off to the house’s numerous rooms.

Harding removed his hat as they entered this impressive, though simple, room, revealing his gray streaked black hair, and placed it with his jacket on a coat rack near the door. Turning left, he followed Silvia through the maze of glass windows and metal walls until they reached the house’s study. It was perhaps the only room in the house that didn’t feel vast, owing to the fact that it was completely lined with bookshelves, save for a single window in the back. These shelves held volumes from every period of history imaginable—from the latest books on theoretical physics to a first edition copy of Origin of Species. The floor was made of polished hardwood, an incredibly valuable commodity on a planet with no surface life where any trees must be grown at great cost in environmentally controlled greenhouses and hydroponics bays, as was Silvia’s desk.

It was at this desk that Silvia sat, leaning back in her chair and sighing. Harding pulled a chair from the side of the room and placed it in front of the desk before himself sitting down. “Can I get you some wine?” Silvia asked, removing two crystal glasses and a bottle of the red liquid from a bottom drawer and laying them on the table.

“Yes, thank you.” Harding replied, taking one of the glasses as the Premier poured it. Taking a sip, he smiled. “A fan of the fruitier varieties I see.”

Silvia laughed, “Yup, just don’t go telling everyone. I’d like to keep some semblance of dignity as a cultured person.”

“I wouldn’t dream of it Silvia,” Harding said, though in a strangely serious tone. “Regrettably, I’m afraid I’m going to dampen your spirits a bit with what I have to tell you. It’s about the HRM.”

The Human Rights Movement, commonly known simply by the acronym HRM, was a group of “concerned citizens” that had been organized for the sole purpose of opposing legislation that defend, or even justify, so called unethical practices by UCO scientists. While the organization had started honestly enough, it wasn’t long until they were derailed from their original course and became an aggressive group that almost bordered on terroristic. They commonly used blackmail and bribery to get their way, and have already caused serious damage to the position of scientific research in the public eye.

Silvia leaned forward, resting her elbows on the wooden surface in front of her. “Lovely, what have they done this time?”

“Well,” Harding sighed, “it isn’t so much what they’ve done, as what they’ve said they’d do. Just this morning they released a tape to public news outlets in which they claimed that they had the resources for a major strike on a government facility within the next two months unless the Council passes the currently proposed motion to place ethical limits on research. Most people aren’t taking them seriously, but it is a very real threat, and one we’ll have to deal with. Soon.”

“Do we have any more information than is publicly available?” Silvia asked. Though the UCO claimed to be an open government, it did occasionally come into possession of information that wasn’t public knowledge, at least for a little while. The UCO’s Intelligence Authority, a branch of the military responsible for information gathering, espionage, and all flavors of subterfuge was all permeating were it was needed. The HRM had been infiltrated from the moment it became a potential threat to the current regime.

“Regrettably, not at the moment.” Harding shook his head. “The upper echelon of the movement is keeping any specifics very close, and we don’t have any infiltrators anywhere near high enough to get any additional information. The moment IA knows anything, you’ll know it.”

“Damn it.” Silvia’s fist struck the desk, hard. “Why can’t we all just deal with issues like civilized men, instead of resorting to threats of violence to get our way. The worst thing is that this threat will probably work. Officially we’ll ignore it, but there is no way that this won’t weigh in the minds of the Council as they are voting, especially in the minds of those who are either undecided or not completely on board with killing the bill. We cannot allow these threats to compromise our morals, not under any circumstances.”

“Save it Silvia, you’re preaching to the choir at the moment.” Harding gently shook his head in disgust. “I couldn’t agree more, but there isn’t much we can do about the threat. Right now, though, your people need you. They’re afraid, and looking for some form of comfort. Military Authority is planning a press conference on the threat, and we would like you to speak at it. We can only do so much, but the people listen to and respect you. Your voice would go far towards calming them down.”

“Of course I’ll do it, when is it?” Silvia shot up out of her chair and immediately went about gathering loose papers that were haphazardly scattered throughout the room.

“Tonight, we need to respond as quickly as possible. A helicopter will be here to pick us up in about an hour.”

Characters Present

Character Portrait: The United Coalition of Oriens Character Portrait: Ryuu Character Portrait: The Interplanetary Peace Federation [IPF]

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------------------Inside the Ryuu System (known to the IPF at this time as Omega-Bravo)-------------
Four long-range Strike Fighters and a small transport shuttle – carrying ten Sword soldiers – bearing the IPF emblem slowly make their way through the newly discovered Omega-Bravo System. Their commander – Lt. Bentley – led the small scout force in his personal fighter. His call-sign was Sabre. His deep voice boomed into his microphone, “This is Sabre, all craft, report in.”

(Private Rex) A high-pitched, somewhat timid-sounding voice said, “Ocelot, reporting in.”

(Sgt. Gendren) A gruff voice quickly said, “Tex, reporting in.”

(Corporal Tanner) A methodical, almost flat voice droned, “Longshot, reporting in.”

(Shuttle Captain Lang) A gravelly voice barked out, “Oxen, reporting in.”

Bentley brought up the shuttle on his comms unit. “Oxen. What are you getting on your scanner?”

Lang’s gravelly voice filled Bentley’s headphones. “I am picking up what looks like the outline of a planet… But I cannot get a good fix on anything specific on it. This radiation is causing my instruments to glitch. Shouldn’t our radiation shields be preventing this?”

Bentley responded, “No. Of all people, I thought you would know that the only reason our instruments work in Argus-Rho, is because-“

Rex cut in with her rapid-fire speech. “It’s-because-surrounding-Argus-Rho-is-a-permeable –radiation-barrier-that-absorbs-the-constant-radiation-bombardment-emanating-from-the-Aether-Curtain. Its-communications-hub-“

Gendren chimed in. “Rex. Slow down. You’re losing Lang.”

Rex could be audibly heard taking a deep breath. “I apologize. We have been cruising this space for awhile, and I was starting to grow tired. So I took two of my Wake Pills…”

Tanner cut in. “Two? You are only supposed to take one Rex. Two usually result in hyperactivity . But then again, I’m sure you realized that now.”

Rex sighed. “Oh. I forgot. I’m fresh from training Tanner. I’m still ‘learning the ropes’, as the Earth saying went…”

Lang simply slid on into the conversation. “Please, continue your explanation Rex. I was actually learning something on this scouting mission.”

Rex continued. “Yes sir. Well, the communications hub works only because it sits just outside the barrier, and is specifically tuned to the Aether Curtain’s radiation levels. That being the case, without the anti-radiation barrier surrounding Argus-Rho, not only would our ship instruments be severely crippled, the health of all troops there would also slowly deteriorate due to the radiation. The radiation levels we are facing now is miniscule compared to Argus-Rho.”

Bentley tried to get the conversation back on track. “Yes Rex, thank you for that explanation. I’m sure Lang learned something important today. Now, Lang, where is this planet?”

Lang pressed a few keys in his cockpit. On all of the Strike Fighters’ radars, a map appeared. It showed the large gas giant that was in front of them, and just behind it, the planet Lang had mentioned earlier. Bentley keyed the comms again. “All Call-Signs, set course for that planet. Keep weapons on, but uncharged.” The small squadron made its way for the planet, arriving in its vicinity within twenty minutes.

---------------------------On Board the Concord-----------------------------------------------------------------------
General Austin looked over his briefing that he had received from the Hierarchy not more than 2 hours ago. Intriguing…Seems I am the ambassador once again. This was not the first time Austin had been sent on a diplomatic mission, or to convey an important message. He was chosen for just that reason, or, at least, that is what the Hierarchy had told him. It didn’t matter to him. He was to deliver a message, and that is exactly what he would do. The navigator of the Concord walked up to Austin, giving a small bow. “General Austin. We are approaching the Soldaria System. Coordinates for Elysia are set. Shall we engage metric?”

General Austin paused…It would be unwise to do that... “Not yet. Stay on the fringe of the system. We don’t want to come in unannounced do we? Send out a comm buoy to Elysia. Make sure to have it broadcast that no weapons of any kind are hidden on it. Have it relay this message.” He cleared his throat, and pressed a button on his command console. In red letters, it read; REC:ON

“This is General Austin, of the IPF military force. I have been sent to relay a message in person to the United Coalition of Oriens, from the Chosen Ones themselves, regarding an important issue pertaining to the IPF. If it is permissible, I request that my frigate, the Concord, be allowed to land on the planet of Elysia. My frigate is armed, however, I will power down all weaponry,(the crew visibly tensed at this) and our shield systems as well, if my presence is allowed. Please, respond as soon as possible by communications probe, or shuttle. That is all.” He pressed the button again, and the audio stopped recording.

The Captain of the Concord ran up to him immediately. “General Austin. Will all due respect, is it not somewhat irrational to go into UCO space completely disarmed? What if they should choose to attack us? It makes no sense to me.”

General Austin put his hand on the Captain’s shoulder. “Captain. My actions are most rational actually. If we went in with weapons online, the UCO might consider it as a move for a sneak attack on Elysia once we land. That would start a completely unnecessary conflict with the UCO, which is not the Chosen Ones’ intention. Now, let me do the talking, and we will emerge from these talks unscathed Captain.” Austin motioned the captain away, and stood, looking out from afar into the invisible barrier marking the beginning of UCO space. He saw the small comms probe launch itself into space, and heard its message begin to broadcast. Now, we wait.

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Character Portrait: The United Coalition of Oriens

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#, as written by Doug
Ryuu System, UCOSA Vessel Siren
The convoy had gather without incident and was beginning its several hour voyage to the Ryuu homeworld. While the collection of ships could have collapsed their warp metrics a fair distance closer to the planet, Grace did not want to risk taking the unstable Ryuu by surprise and opted to drop out of warp a fair distance away from the planet in order to give them significant warning of the convoy's arrival, not to mention the extra time allowed the warp buffer to recharge before contact was made. Of course, the decision turned a distance that could have been covered in a fraction of a second into a far longer affair.

Grace, duty bound to remain on the CCC deck until the Siren was once again at warp, was slowly pacing the floor. The reality of commanding a space vessel was brief moments of excitement followed by an eternity of waiting. Fortunately, this boredom was not destined to last. “Colonel, we just picked up something odd.” A call from Captain Harry Reeves, the Siren's chief radar technician, caught Grace's attention.

“What is it Captain?” Grace asked, turning to face the man at his station. Captain Reeves was a 30 year veteran of the Authority, if he thought something was off Grace knew well to listen to him. In fact, the Captain could probably have been a General by now, if he wasn't too obsessed with his current job to turn down every promotion handed his way.

“A few seconds ago, XDAR picked up some strange movement on the far side of the system. Granted, the image was incredibly fuzzy at that distance and the objects moved quickly behind one of the outer planets, but they seemed to appear out of nowhere, as if. . .”

“As if they dropped out of warp into the system.” Grace finished Reeves's statement. “Of course at that distance I'm impressed we could see anything at all, how did you do it Captain?” She asked. Despite now being a C.O., Grace had spent most of her career as a tactical officer working with radar that could never have accomplished such a stunning feat.

“It's the new XDAR imaging systems Colonel.” Reeves replied. “Using soft X rays with wavelengths ranging from 5 to .1 nanometers we can resolve a grain of sand at a light-second. The short wavelength gives us amazing resolution, and because the energy is less than 10 kiloelectron-volts we don't get the penetration of hard X rays, so it bounces off things quite nicely. Of course, we have to filter out objects to prevent our displays from being overloaded, so in general the screens will only register objects greater than half a cubic meter in size.”

“Impressive, I'll keep that in mind.” Grace replied. “Keep an eye on that planet for any more activity. The Ryuu are probably just scouting their system, but you never know. Let me know if those contacts reemerge from behind the planet.”

“Yes sir.”


Elysia High Orbit, UCOSA Vessel Chimera
General Percy Bryant was relaxing in the relative comfort of his private quarters. Being the commander of the UCOSA 3rd Battle Group certainly afforded a great many luxuries beyond those of a lower C.O., in fact it would seem that even serving on-board an Athena vessel would yield some greater measure of comfort for all officers.

The room in which Bryant spent most of his time was very close to a small apartment. There was an atrium of sorts, leading into a living quarters, study, private bathroom, and bedroom. The entire complex was wrapped in wood and marble and filled with the comforts of home, from the bookshelves lining the walls of the study (again, made of wood), to the marble bathtub, no expense had been spared to keep the room comfortable. If it wasn't for the slight curvature of the floor, a necessity of maximizing space efficiency in a cylindrical vessel, it would have been easy to forget that this oasis in the darkness of space wasn't securely mounted on terra firma.

He smiled, leaning back in his chair. He had just finished reviewing the mission reports of a group of officers who had been sent to the fringes of UCO space in search of useful resources. The system they had scouted seemed ripe for exploitation, though it was inhospitable to humans. Nothing a few industrial robots couldn't handle though.

Leaning back in towards the desk, Bryant grabbed his tablet and began dictating a recommendation to the company who had purchased the survey to move in on the system as soon as possible. Even though they had purchase the survey, it was standard business policy that the first company to actually erect a structure in the system would have first rights to the entire system, not the first company to survey it.

Bryant had barely begun this process, however, when he was interrupted by a knock on the door. Calling for the officer to enter, a young woman stepped into the room.

“Sir, we have just detected a message from the IPF, sent via radio probe. There is a General Austin who wishes to communicate with the government. He has requested permission to land his vessel, with shields and weapons disabled, on the planet to relay his message in person. There are no government figures in the system at the moment, so that task will fall to you as ranking military officer.” The woman said.

Bryant looked up at the officer. “Are there any other vessels in the system aside from the General's frigate?”

“No sir.” Came the reply.

“Very well.” Bryant stood up, “Prepare my shuttle, and tell this General Austin that he is cleared to enter the system and land. Transmit him coordinates to the landing strip at McMillan Military Base, tell him I'll meet him on the ground.”

“Yes sir.” The young officer nodded, before turning to leave the room.

Bryant waited a moment, and then followed. He stopped at his bedroom to quickly change into his dress uniform before leaving the room in its entirety and heading towards the ship's hangar, where his shuttle was waiting to take him to the surface. It wasn't every day that an emissary from another nation came knocking on the UCO's door, and he felt slightly uneasy as to the exact nature of the message—especially a message that needed to be hand delivered.

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-------------------Inside the Ryuu System, just outside atmosphere of the capital planet----------------
“Lang! Tell me you have something on this planet. We are practically right on top of it. There is no logical reason for your sensors not to work at this range.”

Lang responded quickly, “Lt. Bentley, there are definite signs of population centers on this planet. A lot of them. I can’t get good readings on the atmosphere. There is something important we have to do now Lieutenant.”

Lt. Bentley keyed the comms. “Well, tell me Lang.”

Lang responded slowly, realizing the gravity of the situation. “As ranking officer, and first contact with a new nation, you are officially the IPF representative to this nation. We have to land and establish communication with them.”

Lt. Bentley audibly cursed. His speciality was combat flight, not diplomatic relations. This was not a good situation. “Fine. Lang, find us a place-“

Lang cut back in. “I already have a spot designated Bentley. It’s a rather unoccupied area, so we may have a chance to explore before first contact. Distance to nearest population center; 20 km.”

Lt. Bentley set the comms to address the entire squadron. “Allright 1st Recon. Looks like it falls to us to establish first contact with this nation. Head to the coordinates provided by Lang, and prepare to land. Once we land, prepare weapons for hostile activity. You all remember what happened to Captain Han of the Solaris” Torn to pieces by the natives of the Turona system…The craft hit their thrusters as they entered the atmosphere of the planet. “Sword unit, prep for a fight, but do NOT make the first shot unless you deem it absolutely necessary. Logic above all.” 1st Recon made its way down towards the surface of the planet.

--------------------------------Aboard the Concord--------------------------------------------------------------------
General Austin had just re-entered the bridge of dining on some E-Rations, when the communications officer stood up. He was about to address the Captain, but upon seeing Austin enter the room, he thought it more logical to skip the middle man and approach the General. “General Austin. We just received a reply from the UCO. They forwarded a set of coordinates to us, and stated we are cleared to land. The message came from a General Percy Bryant. Retrieving dossier now.” General Austin nodded his approval. These new recruits keep getting better at their jobs. The communications officer brought up a datapad to Austin. Austin took it in his hands and scrolled through what little information they had. Seems Bryant wasn’t just an ordinary officer. Commander of the 3rd Battle Group! Seems I’ll be able to level with Bryant on this situation… It falls under both our departments. He walked to his command post, and motioned to the Pilot. “Take us in Yuri. Nice and easy. Let’s not keep the General waiting.” The Concord lurched as it surged forward at maximum safe speed.
----------------------------------2 hours later, near Elysia------------------------------------------------------------
The Concord easily entered Elysia’s atmosphere. It was at the designated coordinates within minutes. As it landed, General Austin stood on the off-load port, a large elevator that was used to drop off large amounts of troops and or vehicles. This time, it was only occupied by Austin, and a squad of Sword troops. Unbeknownst to any outsiders, there were also two Dagger soldiers, cautiously cloaked behind the soldiers. As soon as the port touched the ground, they dispersed to the left and right, hiding behind nearby buildings. They pulled out high powered Particle Rifles, loaded them. They kept them lowered though. Their orders were simply to protect the General. If the need arised. General Austin walked off the elevator, followed by the small contingent of troops. He stood his ground, and looked for a sign of this General Bryant.

-----------------------------------------------On Ryuu-----------------------------------------------------------------
1st Recon landed in a tight formation. Bentley was the first to disembark. He breathed in the atmosphere, and reasoned it was breathable enough. Although there were tell-tale traces of firearm residue in the air. Hopefully, it wasn’t recent… Lang disembarked next, followed by his contingent of Sword troopers. They spread out quickly, scouting the immediate area. Bentley realized that they were in what seemed to be a small canyon. Good place to make camp. Rex, Tanner, and Gendren disembarked as well, and gathered around Bentley. They then walked to Lang, who was busy putting together a 3D layout of the surrounding vicinity using his shuttle’s instruments.

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"An unknown ship has been spotted landing near the Mayug clan. They've sent a squad to check it out" said by Vik.

"I still think we should of taken the united people captive wile we had the chance" coming from Ima.

Rai stands up from his chair saying "They've given us means of new weapons and waring with two nations will be hard. We're strong, not immortal. Now that the outsiders have landed...It's hunting seasons."

-Close to the Mayug clan-

Soldiers with what looks like a bear claw as a symbol on their uniform march through a desert like environment heading to the Canyon the invaders have landed. Lead by Captain Syo they reach near the location of the landing site. He tells his men to creep to the edge to see what's going on. The Squad all stop in line formation at the edge seeing who are what is there. The captain peaks over the edge and sees a ship with a what he sees as warriors around it.

He looks at the man to his right and the one to his left nodding. With that they keep nodding to one another and start to stand simultaneously aiming their guns at the crowd of people. With out even a single word they all started firing down upon the invaders trying to kill every single last one.

-At the Capital-

Rai contacts General Ashro via phone. "General, I need you to set up our forces and prepare for war. We've got our self new supplies and new targets. Who ever it is, they have space travel, and they landed with out my permission. Have fun" The general doesn't say much but "Right away my lord." hanging up.

Vik looks at Rai an bows saying "We will return to our clans and prepare our army's as well my lord. You should spend this time to see your family." Ima bows and leaves silently aside Vik. Rai starts to think of what Vik said and stands up saying to him self "I should see them. I've been distracted with this plan of war I haven't seen them in a long time." He marches out of the room and looks his way through the palace finding the living locations where his wife and only daughter resided. He opens the door seeing his daughter and wife playing with each other.

Both in traditional formal dressing, his daughter ran up to Rai yelling "Daddy daddy! Like the new dress mommy got me!?" He picks her up saying "Of course I do." His wife walks up to him saying what about mine?" He looks into her eyes and says "Of course I do." and kisses her on the lips. He puts his Aimi down walking with her and Lee away from the door.

"How' been your day Rai?" Said by Lee

Rai looks at Lee saying "We're on the verge of another war. But I wont fight in the front to see glory because I've been away from you two for too long."

Lee blushes a bit saying "Good to see you find us higher than glory in battle." In Ryuu coulter, it is consider of high value to go to war and meet glory in the battle field rather than be with family. Rai might even receive political back lash because of this action being called a cowered.

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Character Portrait: The United Coalition of Oriens Character Portrait: The Interplanetary Peace Federation [IPF]

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#, as written by Doug
McMillan Military Base, Elysia
Bryant stepped out of the shuttle and immediately repressed the strong urge to clap his hands over his ears. The planet of Elysia took some getting used to, especially the sounds. What could have been considered a jungle paradise sounded like hell to ears used to the dead silence of Oriens, where no surface life (certainly none that chirped or cricked) existed.

McMillan was located near the equatorial regions of the planet, which rested just close enough to the sun to remain uncomfortably warm without turning into the hellish landscape of Tartarus, and even in the coldest months of the year it was still stiflingly hot, almost 300 Kelvin. Of course as a result of the low eccentricy of the planet's orbit, the hottest months were not much warmer. How the humans of Earth lived on a planet that reached these temperatures fairly regularly, Bryant never understood.

No sooner had he placed his first foot onto the hard concrete of the base's landing strip he found himself greeted by a young officer of the Ground Authority. The distinctive golden pin on his beret and shoulders labeled him clearly as Ares Corp, and his manner left no doubt of the distinction to creep into the general's mind. “Good afternoon Sir,” the man said. “It is an honor, I'm Captain Wallace.”

“Hello Captain,” Bryant replied, only to find himself speaking to a back, the man had already begun to walk away with the clear assumption that Bryant was to follow. The Ares Corp were elite, and also very to the point. Especially with an officer of the Space Authority, a branch of the military seen as soft by most of the other branches. After all, officers and crew in the Space Authority did spend most of their time sitting on their hands in climate controlled environments, instead of keeping a vigilant watch over military bases in the least comfortable of locations.

Bryant quickly closed the gap that had opened between him and the captain, and as soon as he did so the man spoke again. “My team is to provide security for the meeting, and for you.” He indicated towards a small group of men approaching from across the tarmac. “Our radar has detected General Austin's frigate, you should be able to hear it in a few moments as it enters the atmosphere. I've never heard of landing a spacecraft like that before, but I guess that's more your cup of tea.”

“Is the meeting room ready?” Bryant asked. Part of the order he had relayed prior to his arrival specified the condition of the meeting room. He wasn't sure how many delegates from the IPF were involved, so there was to be seating for at least eight men around a square table. The room itself was located on the top floor of the facility, with a large window taking up an entire wall and affording quite a view of a massive waterfall in the cliffs nearby. And, of course, the A.C. was to have been maxed out.

“Exactly as per your specifications sir.” Captain Wallace replied. No sooner had these words left his mouth then a great roaring filled the General's awareness, drowning out even the infernal racket made by the forest's inhabitants. Looking to the sky, Bryant caught a glimpse of the craft breaking its momentum against the atmosphere of the planet. The craft, burning bright orange with the heat of atmospheric friction, rocketed towards the tarmac at astounding speed. Of course, it was still miles into the air, but it was still quite a sight to behold even at that distance. Calls came from around the base to clear the strip, and men and machines scurried every which way to get clear of the descending giant.

The landing went, fortunately, without incident. For most of the men on base though it was a marvel, none of them had ever seen a craft so large landing. At 200 meters long, it was as if two football stadiums had just descended from the heavens and landed gently on the tarmac. Needless to say, UCO vessels were not designed for landing, in fact they would break apart in an atmosphere, and relied on their numerous shuttles to get men to and from space. That, or one of the many space elevators that linked the planet of Oriens to its array of space stations and docking ports.

No sooner had the behemoth landed, it opened its mouth. A lift platform descended from the bottom of the craft, lowering General Austin and a small contingent of men to the ground. As the stepped off the platform and onto the concrete, one in particular stepped forward and glanced around the facility, no doubt waiting for the welcoming committee.

Bryant, assuming this man to be the one he was to meet, adjusted his jacket and walked out from cover onto the tarmac, followed by the contingent of 4 Ares Corp soldiers. While Wallace was armed only with the T-4 .45 caliber automatic handgun holstered at his hip, the other three men were fully armed, two with T-65 7.62 mm bullpup assault carbines and the third with the massive .50 caliber T-60 battle rifle. Bryant himself wore his .357 service revolver, the standard issue sidearm of the Space Authority, in a holster at his hip.

When the party reached the waiting delegation, Bryant stepped forward and offered his hand to the man he assumed, by uniform and manner, to be General Austin. “Welcome to Elysia, I am General Percy Bryant, at your service.”

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Character Portrait: The United Coalition of Oriens Character Portrait: Ryuu

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-------------------------------Near the Mayug Clan------------------------------------------------------------------
Lang had just brought up a detailed map of the area, when weaponsfire erupted all around them. Three Sword soldiers immediately fell to the ground as the ballistic rounds overwhelmed their suits’ armor. Gendren took a round straight to the head, and he fell as well. Tanner took a burst to his shoulder and fell to the ground, on his knees. Lang, a bear of a man, quickly helped Tanner up and dragged him behind the shuttle.

Bentley quickly took control of the situation. He quickly motioned Rex and Tanner closer. Due to the combat situation, Bentley reverted to code names. He spoke in a rushed whisper. “Ocelot, Longshot, take your fighters, and get out of here. Someone needs to get back to command and get them to send an emissary to negotiate peace with them. Or, if need be, a strike force. Oxen, take Tex’s fighter… He won’t be needing it anymore. You’ll be with me. We’ll fly out past that ridge to our west, at the end of the canyon. Hopefully, we can discourage these natives from following Ocelot and Longshot. We just need to hold out until The Hierarchy sends reinforcements, or we can establish some sort of cease-fire with these natives.” All of them nodded to one another. Sabre placed his right fist over his heart. “May you succeed..” The rest of them copied the gesture. Then they all said, “…Or find peace in death.”

Ocelot and Longshot immediately ran for their fighters. Longshot jumped into his and closed the canopy just in time to avoid a burst from the natives. Ocelot wasn’t so lucky. As she jumped into her fighter, she took two rounds; one in her left shoulder, and one in her lower-left abdominal area. She quickly fired off in her comm unit once the canopy was sealed. “I’m fine. Just a… A minor hit…” She hit the thrusters. Ocelot and Longshot quickly launched out of the canyon… But not before Ocelot’s fighter took a heavy burst to one of its engines. She stayed in the air, but her fighter was trailing smoke and limping its way out of atmosphere, slowly trailing behind Longshot.

Sabre and Oxen jumped into their respective fighters without incident. As the rest of 1st Recon started to leave, Sword opened fire on the hostile natives with their AR-556 rifles from behind Lang's shuttle. They fired in a methodical motion, two starting from the left and moving right, two from right to left, and one –equipped with a HAR-347 Heavy Rifle—firing down the middle of the native force. They wouldn’t be escaping this volley. One Sword trooper –Before taking a round straight through his upper chest area—fired a missile at the ground underneath the Natives’ feet, attempting to literally “pull the rug” from under them. As he lay on the ground, he saluted Lang and Bentley. He gasped into his comms. “We will hold the line Lieutenant. Complete your directive. I will find peace… in… death..” He laid still. The other Sword troopers murmured assent into their mikes as Lang and Bentley launched off towards the nearby ridge.

--------------------------------------Just outside Ryuu’s atmosphere-----------------------------------------------
Ocelot and Longshot made it out of Ryuu’s atmosphere without further incident… But Ocelot’s damage finally came back to haunt her. Her engines cut out, and she began to drift away from the planet. Longshot immediately keyed her up on the comms. “Hold on Rex. I’ll get you out of-“ She cut him off. “No, Tanner, get out of here. Follow Bentley’s directive. I have supplies in here to last me a while… It doesn’t make any sense for you to risk your life for me. Now get out of here. NOW!” Tanner hit his boosters, and sped off, towards the waiting Hierarch outside of the system. Rex simply drifted. Was hoping I’d get to test my skills on this mission…Just not on the ground. She blacked out.

-----------------------------------------McMillan Military Base: Elysia----------------------------------------------
General Austin carefully watched Bryant approach him, accompanied by what looked to be very disciplined soldiers. Perhaps Special Forces? Austin reasoned it would not be wise to ask. He looked at Bryant’s hand as he extended it in greeting. Among the IPF, handshakes were only used in the Arena, during the War Games, as a sort of “promise” to fight fairly. Austin reasoned that it would be inappropriate to deny this gesture though, she he took Bryant’s hand in his own and shook it. “Thank you for allowing me to come onto your planet General Bryant. As you already know, I am General Austin. The message I bring may not be what you expect… But please, let us go somewhere we can discuss this, away from prying ears.”

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Character Portrait: The United Coalition of Oriens Character Portrait: The Interplanetary Peace Federation [IPF]

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#, as written by Doug
McMillan Military Base, Elysia
Bryant noticed a slight hesitation before the General accepted his handshake, though he could not tell if the minor flinch was a result of weakness, or of cultural differences. He opted not to use the moment to try and read Austin. “Please,” Bryant replied, “it is my pleasure to welcome you to Elysia on behalf of the United Coalition of Oriens, and on behalf of its owners, Venture Group. Sadly, representatives from neither party can be present, so I will serve on their behalf. A room has been prepared, if you will but follow me.”

Bryant gestured for the group to follow, and began to lead the way to the facility's primary structure. The base itself was an impressive sight, and it should be, being as it was the primary base of operations for the UCO in the entire system. The facility stretched over a square mile of jungle, and was surrounded by iridium reinforced concrete walls lined with metal watchtowers. The structures themselves, from the dozens of cylindrical hangars that served as homes for the UCO Atmospheric Authority's fighters to the barracks and administration buildings, were made of reinforced concrete and metal, and the entire base had a very clean feel about it as a result. In fact, in the proper conditions it even could be said to glimmer in the light of Soldaria.

As the group entered the primary admin building for the facility, they entered into what Bryant could only call a paradise compared to the base's exterior. The room was well lit with natural light, passing through a multitude of windows, and was cooled to a comfortable 275 kelvin. The building itself was very plain so far as the group could see. The circular lobby had a concrete floor and metal ceiling, but was devoid of anything save for a reception desk, a few chairs along the walls, and access to a pair of elevators.

Bryant led the group into one of these spacious elevators, and pressed the button to indicate the 10th floor, the top level of the building. The high speed lift covered the distance in no time at all, and opened directly into the large circular room that was to serve as the meeting place. The long table in the center of the room was wooden and lined with chairs. On its surface rested a number of pads of paper and pens, as well as several large pitchers of ice cold water and accompanying glasses.

“Here we are,” Bryant said as he stepped off the elevator. “Please, make yourselves at home. We can begin whenever you are ready.”

As Bryant spoke, Wallace and his men spread out along the edges of the room, maximizing their ability to watch as many of the newcomers as possible while trying to stay close enough to the General to interfere should things get violent.

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The solders of Ryuu just kept a relentless fire onto the remaining enemy forces. The moment the ships started to fly way they ignored it complete keeping fire on the people on the ground. Exchanging fire among the two forces, both receiving hits from the other sides. The armor they're wearing can only endure so much, but the strong body and physical training of the people of Ryuu helps them endure pain even from guns. Not moving an inch from all the shots received, not one falls from the volley. But all of a sudden one takes a step back and his left arm becomes numb from a heavy rifle shot to his shoulder but steps back in line firing even with only one arm.

"Keep fire on them men! Kill them all!" The captain yelled to all his men, but the enemy was smarter and much better fighters than they though. The ground beneath them started to fall apart. An explosion beneath their feet destroying the edge they're on forcing the forces to fall down to the valley. Men lay all around the ruble outside laying on rocks or rocks laying on them.

Giving the appearance of being dead, for a moment not a single solder stands up. The solders all stand up even pushing aside the rocks on top of them dropping any broken assault rifles grabbing their pistols charging the invaders leaving one solder behind in the rocks that still isn't moving with nothing but a hand holding onto an assault rifle sticking out the rubble.

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Orion Arm, Milky War Galaxy

Orion Arm, Milky War Galaxy by Doug

Though humanity has spread far, space is too vast to make that anything more than a relative statement. The Orion-Cygnus arm of the Milky Way Galaxy is some 10,000 lightyears long and 3,500 lightyears across, and it is here where humanity resides.

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Orion Arm, Milky War Galaxy

Orion Arm, Milky War Galaxy by Doug

Though humanity has spread far, space is too vast to make that anything more than a relative statement. The Orion-Cygnus arm of the Milky Way Galaxy is some 10,000 lightyears long and 3,500 lightyears across, and it is here where humanity resides.

Orion Arm, Milky War Galaxy

Though humanity has spread far, space is too vast to make that anything more than a relative statement. The Orion-Cygnus arm of the Milky Way Galaxy is some 10,000 lightyears long and 3,500 lightyears across, and it is here where humanity resides.

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Most recent OOC posts in Ascendancy: A Candle in the Dark

Re: Ascendancy: A Candle in the Dark

Wow, that will be quite the voyage. I'm going to college less than an hour from my home, haha. I wish you the best of luck in the transition.

Re: Ascendancy: A Candle in the Dark

Well it doesn't start till the 27th as well. But it's in differant states, so me and my mom are leaving early to prep up so I can do th orintation, intuition test set up my housing. I'm going from Hawaii back to California.

Re: Ascendancy: A Candle in the Dark

Just so long as it is here and has meaningful content, length isn't so important. It's too bad your college starts so early, mine doesn't begin until the 27th.

Re: Ascendancy: A Candle in the Dark

Sorry my newest post isn't all that big. But I am kind of rushing things on my part because I'm off to college on the 16th. Speaking of wich on the 16th I wont be able to post for a wile, not till like 25th or so and that's guesting.

Re: Ascendancy: A Candle in the Dark

Okay, I wanted to make sure I wasn't the only one confused by the ground nation's armada haha! Thanks for clearing that up you guys ^^

I shall not meta-game, on my honor ^^

I shall also post soon, as things have been a bit busy Xp. I apologize.

Re: Ascendancy: A Candle in the Dark

Yeah I was thinking 200 or so ships was a little much..haha little. So yeah five sounds good...Still enough to own everyone >.< jk

Re: Ascendancy: A Candle in the Dark

I'm in agreement with Carmel on this one. Especially given the fact that you expressly stated that your nation has practically no space forces,when you have more than twice as many ships as I do, and all of them on par with my strongest vessel. Personally, I would cap it at 5 Jacks (I have 3 Athena and I'd say the two ships are roughly analogous) and either have some clans not in control of one, or decrease the number of clans total. One possibly idea is to create an additional class of ship or two and give the strongest clans Jacks, while giving the others weaker cruisers and frigates.

I'm not one for placing limits on other people, and I do believe that we all should be able to exercise as much freedom as possible with our nation designs. Balance is not a major concern here, because in reality it doesn't make sense to have some artificial maximums placed on things in an otherwise open world. However, with that said, when your "virtually non-existent" fleet is capable of completely steamrolling everyone else with minimal effort, we have a problem.

For reference, my fleet contains about 40 vessels in it. Three Athena vessels serve as flags for the three battle groups. Then there are 12 Ares vessels, and 25 Navis (I'm not counting Hermes because of their largely non-combat role).

Also, Carmel, no meta-gaming now =p.

Re: Ascendancy: A Candle in the Dark

First: Thanks for telling me the plan X)

Second: If every clan has a jack... Thats like me having 200 Patriarchs floating Around, since you have them listed as Size: 8. Any thoughts Doug?

Re: Ascendancy: A Candle in the Dark

Every clan...It's a pure military planet...So not having one is like not having a sword for battle...in space! But the power of the jack depends on the clan. Like the Emperor would have the most powerful jack of all.

Now this might bring up a question how anyon can come this planet and not see any ships...The answer is simple..IT'S A TRAP! haha, Rai has all clans ships hiding off far way from the planet (Maybe in the same solar system) just waiting for a mass invasion for them to just come out of no where and ambush the invaders.

Re: Ascendancy: A Candle in the Dark

In your bio, you say every clan has a "Jack"? O.O Or only a few clans have them?

Re: Ascendancy: A Candle in the Dark

I ould have to say considering it's a planet worth of clans...About 150 or so...Maybe 200.

Re: Ascendancy: A Candle in the Dark

Hahaha, nice X) You sure found my guys quick lol XD Question; how many clans do you have on your planet?

Re: Ascendancy: A Candle in the Dark

woo...Got that post on in...Thanks for waiting for me taking forever. I personaly feel like how ever this RP is best for waiting like maybe 2-3 day for posting...But I took like...a week and a half wow thank you for waiting so much.

Re: Ascendancy: A Candle in the Dark

Just waiting for ROFLMAO FTW to post ^^ I'm anxious to see how he reacts to the current situation...

Re: Ascendancy: A Candle in the Dark

That's for sure Mr. Carmel. It takes quite a while to hammer out posts for this thing, but that's part of the fun. On the plus side you don't actually need to wait for anyone to post either, theoretically you could just keep writing about stuff going on inside of your nation without interacting with other writers at all!

Re: Ascendancy: A Candle in the Dark

I agree with Doug. Besides. I think this RP inherently requires patience, so take your time rpannier ^^

Re: Ascendancy: A Candle in the Dark

Well rpannier, I cannot speak for all of us but I am a patient man with no plans on quitting just yet. Take your time, we'll still be here when you're ready to submit your application.

Re: Ascendancy: A Candle in the Dark

I am interested in this RP. It was pointed out to me by a friend here that I know from other RP's. Work is sort of hectic, so I'm kind of busy. I hope to have something created in the next week. I apologize it's taking so long, but I have a lot going on.
Don't quit yet, please

Re: Ascendancy: A Candle in the Dark

I am glad you liked it Doug. I tried to add a level of tension for my nation. Especially because they know their government isn't the most... Liked, in the galaxy. I'm planning on posting again soon ^^

ROFLMAO, expect to interact with the IPF soon. It'll be interesting to see how our nations interact for the first time...

Re: Ascendancy: A Candle in the Dark

The delay is not a problem, I'm simply glad that you posted. Based on the content of your first post, I am now more eager than ever to begin to interact with you in-character. Hopefully things will start to speed up a little now that we have another person involved, I really would like to see this roleplay become a success.