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Bryon Clegg

Flag Officer, and Commander of the 'Keeper of Abassid'

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a character in “The Multiverse”, as played by barney_fife

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The Aschen Empire, a massive collection of semi-sovereign provinces that reigns over a great portion of the Milky Way Galaxy, paranoid, arrogant, and cruel, a once prosperous nation spirals into poverty, and self-destruction.

Description



A ruthless and cunning officer, Bryon Clegg entered service shortly after the Terran Conflict, and rose to prominence as the commanding officer of the Sagittaron Class Ship 'Fiery Sceptre'. He participated in the Scatterran Campaign of GW1, including the battles of the Cage, and the Razorbacks, and participated in the Aschen invasion of the Outer Garden coined Operation: Gates of Hades.

Clegg is a known strategist, but is at times said to be extremely arrogant, which has lead some Imperial tacticians to cite as a weakness.

So begins...

Bryon Clegg's Story

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Gina Inviere Character Portrait: Sheila Nagala Character Portrait: Aschen Fleet of Tranquil Composure Character Portrait: Aschen Fleet of Righteous Vigilance Character Portrait: Imperial Defense Force Character Portrait: Lucia Tarthus Character Portrait: Bryon Clegg

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Watchtower AE-22, The fringes of the Gaelian System.


The mighty watchtowers of the United Aschen Empire; silent sentries guarding against the empty and persistent void of deep space, ever vigilant to the threats of Empire.

Watchtower AE-22 was no exception, staffed with over five hundred thousand souls both Aschen and Isirian alike, it acted as both the defense hub, and stellar traffic control for nearly the entire sector.

It was here that the first true contact was supposed to be held between the Aklarian fleet and the Aschen Empire, encoded in their previous transmission, along with dates and times, the Aschen chose this station to be the location where they would meet.

The watchtower itself was an impressive structure, hundreds of kilometers across and situated in a deep space Lagrangian point, the station itself was protected by hundreds of defense turrets, along with a massive hard-light shield that could withstand even the harshest of punishment.



Punisher and Iconoclast class battleships took up the periphery; along with the Aschen Fleet of Righteous Vigilance, and the Aschen Fleet of Tranquil composure, each charged with ensuring that the meeting would go smoothly, accompanied by the watchtower's own defense garrison, there were over ten thousand combat capable Aschen vessels in the local sector, more than enough to deal with any potential threats to the Empire.

Escort vessels, mostly of the Gemenon class, and the Tauron class took up flanking positions, escorting their larger Sagittaron and Athena class counterparts.

In the center of it all was the supreme commander of the entire Aschen military, a young blonde by the name of Gina Inviere; flanked to her side was Fleet Admiral Sheila Nagala, and Ambassador Lucia Tarthus.

Accompanying them was the supreme commander of Class II Caprica, Admiral Bryon Clegg, all of them were situated in a massive conference room, the silence filling the air as they awaited their guests.

"I don't like Prince's stance that we should befriend these aliens." Clegg said aloud. "With all due respect, Chairman."

Inviere simply offered a soft nod in reply. "We need to ascertain what kind of threat these aliens could present to the Empire, Isambard has considered all the pros and cons; by showing our hands here, we can let these Xenos know just who they're dealing with."

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Gina Inviere Character Portrait: Sheila Nagala Character Portrait: Aschen Fleet of Tranquil Composure Character Portrait: Aschen Fleet of Righteous Vigilance Character Portrait: Imperial Defense Force Character Portrait: Lucia Tarthus Character Portrait: Larion Lithen Character Portrait: Bryon Clegg Character Portrait: Judicator Harris Worth

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For a brief moment, perhaps just a second, where as five hundred kilometers off the station, distortions in the field would show, before it was revealed the reason why. A single capital ship appeared out of no where, a massive ship not unlike a dagger, considerably flat, with something amounting to a point at it's front. It measured sixty kilometers in length, with thirty kilometers as it's width. Each side of the ship were visible docking bays, glowing a brilliant blue from what ever interior light made it up, and were large enough to accommodate scores of strike craft.

The most notable parts of the ship, however, was the surprising number of weapons on the ship. Both sides of the ship sported three Ion cannons on both ends, built into the ships mid section, taking up vast amounts of space per bastion. Both flip sides of the ship themselves were mounted with dual cannons in rows, sets of eight cannons, with six sets on the upper deck and belly. These weapons were ship to ship Gauss cannons, each capable of firing high explosive packages, jacketed in an armor piercing casing.

A battle cruiser. The Valorium's Judge

Of course, it was a single one, and while it's shields were obviously running at full charge, it's weapons were barely even powered. Cool. In disuse.

The ship itself held a red color scheme, gold acting as it's secondary color, with orange highlights. It looked... Royal, almost. Important. In fact, despite the scheme, it held a large Sigi upon it's top flat, a single golden dot, surrounded by more gold in a crescent, which seemed to be, in of itself, on fire from an orange flame.

The lonely ship wasted no time, before it began communications.

"This is Valorium's Judge-" Came it's broadcast not ten seconds after it had appeared. "We Identify as the Aklarian Congruent, under the charge of his most dutiful master, 'Judicator Harris Worth.' The Judicator has assigned himself as the representitive for the earlier requested meeting between our people. We have prepared a craft for their transport, and request it's docking clearance and instructions." The Cruiser also broad casted what would be the ships Manifest. One was simply titled 'Judicator' while three others were titled 'Honor guard'. Then there was the fourth, whom was oddly named 'Associate.'

The Aklarian Cruiser began broadcasting the specifics of their 'craft'. Classified as a Viper MKIV, it was clearly a heavy corvette of some kind, with it's access port set onto it's rear.

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The Judicator stood silent in the observation deck, the 'windows' all around him display the... Massive Aschen fleet before them, never mind the station itself. In truth, the windows were in fact just live displays of the space before the cruiser he was aboard, but it gave the feeling of a glass sphere... If you could get around the constant data streams, and pings of data. This was the Ship's AI quickly trying to isolate and classify ships based on it's sensor readings, cataloging them.

The Judictaor himself was decorated in a luxurious white robe, with golden highlights on it's seems and edges. His blond hair cascaded down his back, and soft, blue eyes looked over the arrayed fleet. In truth, it was indeed intimidating, the scope that these 'Aschen' could throw toghther, but he suspected that much of this fleet here was simply a power struggle, a display of their might.

In truth, the Judictaor was not impressed. No, he would later tell himself, not with the massive fleet, it was in fact impressive, beyond measure yes, but not impressed at the diplomatic tactics employed against him. Ambiguity was a silver tongues power. The ability to say anything, and have nothing contradict your point.

The Judicator had made it a point to research everything about these Aschen he could get his hands on the moment he was informed contact was made. True, he nodded to himself, he had already given them an evaluation before when they were screened by the vagrant Aklar, but he felt the need to give a more expansive study into it. Truly, this intrigued, and even excited him. He was so used to dealing with the trivial Council complaints, that the thought of dealing with another race's sharpest mind excited him.

Of course, considering this was first contact, even the Judicators many connections within the Congruent did not give him the kind of information he sought. Not out of misguided goals of others, mind them, everyone he contacted was willing enough to relay their data on the subject, but there was simply little data to be found. The curse of isolating your entire species, he mused.

Yet he grinned sharply. The situation really did serve to highlight some of the differences between the Aschen and the Congruent. The Aschen liked to flaunt their power, to display it in great strokes. The Aklar, however, liked to keep hidden, mobile. It was exactly why the Judicator appeared in just a single cruiser, against the wishes of the council. He would not flaunt his people's power... Only use it as necessary.

As such, he was immediately able to deduct a few things from the scene before him. The Aschen are an incredibly established Imperial empire, with a full military and space navy. The size of the station, and the mere existence of the station itself, informed the Judicator they had some sort of supply line system in place in the area.

And if the location of their home system was accurate, they were an incredibly expansive empire to have a station out this way.

That left what he didn't know. Customs, ranks, fleets. That is why the armored Mercanry stood next to him.

"You understand the gravity of the situation here?" The Judicator spoke softly, a kind smile tilting up towards the behemoth next to him. Larion Lithen. A Vagrant of the Aklars, whom had his own ship, his own suit of combat armor, his own AI. Someone who's chosen to leave the fleet behind in his own ventures. To the Aklar, this was a most serious Taboo, but to the Judicator, an asset. Outside experience from the fleets.

"Yes." Came the mans gruff voice. Larion gave no acknowledgement to the Judicators rank, and while the Judicator was peeved, he also found it refreshing. It was hard enough to fight through rank and honorifics in a serious discussion. "Everything is prepared, my craft is ready, and I will accompany the honor guards as per instructed."

"And... Well, is he ready?" The Judicator smiled, turning back towards the screens.

"Yes. He'll have constant communication with you." Larion stated flatly.

"Well then. Let us await our friends acknowledgement, Hrm?"

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Gina Inviere Character Portrait: Sheila Nagala Character Portrait: Aschen Fleet of Tranquil Composure Character Portrait: Aschen Fleet of Righteous Vigilance Character Portrait: Imperial Defense Force Character Portrait: Lucia Tarthus Character Portrait: Larion Lithen Character Portrait: Bryon Clegg Character Portrait: Judicator Harris Worth

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It was a unique treat for the Aklarians to personally be allowed aboard a watchtower such as this. Once the capital ship appeared, the Watchtower's systems locked on, Central command was hard at work, manipulating various holographic displays assisted by the station's AI System.



While the Capital ship maneuvered, and studied the Aschen, they would find themselves correct in the assumption that the Aschen liked to flaunt their power. It was the central military doctrine to their entire martial sense of being. Rule through fear of force rather than force itself, an effective doctrine that allowed the Aschen Empire to expand as it has for the past several hundred years.

They were a military tempered by the fires of war, against countless different alien species. Wars that saw their vast expansion across the galaxy across hundreds of star systems.

"Valorium's Judge; you are cleared to proceed with transport craft vector two dash seven carom one two nine, hab ring alpha, sector three; follow escorts and beacond, do not deviate. How copy." The Watchtower replied, holographic beacons coming to life, along with electronic data that showed a clear demarcated path towards the massive ring structure that circled the watchtower's main command structure.

The ring was akin to a stanford torus, that provided the simulation of a planet's surface to it's inhabitants.

Two Raptor Talons were waiting among the beacons, to escort the shuttle through the airlocks and down into the watchtower's hab-ring.



Once through the airlocks, the sight that greeted them was nothing short of majestic. Afterall, five hundred thousand people needed a place to live, work, and relax as many spent their entire military tours of duty aboard this space station, tending to the defense of the entire Isirian SAP.

The two Raptor talons lead the shuttle to a large landing pad, which was situated adjacent to parade grounds.

This is where; once again the Aschen chose to flaunt their military might. On the massive parade ground were formations of Imperial Soldiers, each in different uniforms denoting their regiment, their specialty, their branch. Their weapons were shouldered and they stood locked at attention. There appeared to be thousands, 15,000 soldiers of the 1st and 2nd Watchtower Brigades of AE-22.

"Eyes Right!" The Commander shouted, and the men turned slightly right, eyes on the landed ship as it went through it's final landing protocols.

By now Admiral Clegg had made his way to the parade ground, standing at the end of a formation of Imperial Soldiers, across from the landed Aklarian transport. Behind Admiral Clegg was two black limousines, and accompanying motorcade, where they would be taken to the conference center to begin formal first contact proceedings.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Gina Inviere Character Portrait: Sheila Nagala Character Portrait: Aschen Fleet of Tranquil Composure Character Portrait: Aschen Fleet of Righteous Vigilance Character Portrait: Imperial Defense Force Character Portrait: Lucia Tarthus Character Portrait: Larion Lithen Character Portrait: Bryon Clegg Character Portrait: Judicator Harris Worth

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Nivera's computer cores were heating up considerably as the Viper had departed the cruiser, joined the Aschen Strike craft, and was slowly escorted into the great complex. The feminine AI was doing everything it could to absorb as much data as it could as it entered the artificial construct...

Larion himself had left off controlling the ship, letting the AI care for the guidance systems, as he rose with a whirl of his suit, and appraised the individual and his honor guard at the rear of his ship. The Cockpit was open to the rear, so he had a clear view of their solid black combat armor. Their armors didn't have visors like Larion's, instead replaced with solid blast shields. No doubt the HUD inside the suit was fed sensor and camera information by small ports on the suit itself. While they also lacked any sort of rifle, each had a side arm fixed to their leg, Fixers. Hand cannons built for the armor suits, with a high stopping power, if low charge count. Their slender shape gleaned a bullish red color on their otherwise black legs.

There was a reason for their odd state of armor. These weren't simple power armor pilots. No, as they chattered details with one another, placing themselves directly between the hatch and their charge, these three were what you would call commandos. Spec ops. Extraction, sabotage, or in this case, body guarding, they were trained to be adaptive and fluid, and to accommodate their task at hand when ever possible. Larion was quite sure that if he aimed a weapon at their intended object of protection, he'd be dropped in under a second.

Then there was the particularity. The very young Aklar child, female, that stood beside the 'Individual'. A disciple no doubt, attached to the man to learn. Larion had remembered vehemently demanding that the Judicator dismiss her from this trip, but he, a Vagrant, was overruled easily. The Judicator intended for this youth to be one of the first generations to learn from these new people, despite Larion's insistence that the custom might be off putting. He had no problem with the child learning, but he had a problem with the child perhaps being a distraction for the Aschen.

The Viper shuddered as it's landing gear connected with the pad, and secured itself in place with a Grav Lock.

The door slid open, revealing the glorious sight of the Aschen station. The majestic greenery, the giant parade grounds, it was a sight to see for Larion, his lips parting under the visor...

For the individual, child, and Honor Guard, it was another day, though perhaps perturbed at the familiarity in it. "Alien gits, ye' 'et 'ooks 'oik 'ome." He heard one of the individuals mutter into comms, as the duo stepped out first. Not out of disrespect for the individual with them, but for a much more grim reason. Had they opened the hatch to an immediate response of weapons fire, these guards would likely withstand the torrent of fire, enough time so that the viper may immediately launch and escape, even if it meant they were abandoned to die.

The group slowly came out of the viper, Larion standing to the 'individual's' right, and the child walking squarely to their left, the young female's red eyes darting around to take in the sights. Her hair was covered by a large scarf she wore around her head, that bore the elbem of the Drakken Family, the sigil of the burning lead plain as the darkness of space spread across the scarf. The Honor guards positioned themselves at the front, the great feet of their suits thudding against the ground as they took quick stock of the surroundings.

The 'Individuals' yellow eyes wandered to the mass amount of military before them, his lips parting... He drew a hand to run through his graying hair for a moment, taking in the sight with mild interest, though Larion knew that he was clearly thinking over the implication. That soft, smooth jawline had tightened for just a moment in apprehension, before relaxing again, patting his hands over the white and gold wear of the Judicator. Then, his eyes settled on the approaching officer Clegg, and he stepped forward, past his honor guard, and offered his hand. The child followed meekly behind, and Larion himself walked forward in his own suit, vaguely wishing for the comfort of his rifle as he stood behind the Individual.

"I am Judicator Harris..." He said in a soft spoken manner, a sincere smile spread across his lips. "I am pleased to finally meet the Aschen in person."

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Gina Inviere Character Portrait: Sheila Nagala Character Portrait: Aschen Fleet of Tranquil Composure Character Portrait: Aschen Fleet of Righteous Vigilance Character Portrait: Imperial Defense Force Character Portrait: Lucia Tarthus Character Portrait: Larion Lithen Character Portrait: Bryon Clegg Character Portrait: Judicator Harris Worth

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"Likewise, your species both interests and intrigues high command, thus it has been my duty to ensure that you arrive safely to the negotiations so that we may begin our discussions in earnest. I am sure there is much for our two civilizations to offer each other." Clegg responded, holding his left arm out and towards the awaiting motorcade.

"A brief history lesson about this watchtower; it was erected following contact with an alien species in this sector known as the Avaeons; a hostile species utilizing psionic abilities. A species which has since disappeared inexplicably." Clegg said, while approaching the back of the limousine, one of the attendants opening the back door for them to climb inside.

The interior of the limousine was plush, carefully crafted leather seats embroidered with fine silver and gold accents; a small mini-bar was situated to the left of the cabin, while soft Aschen folk music played in the background.

Despite the war like appearance, their music conveyed a different tone, calming and ambient with soft strings and percussion instruments, there was a slow and soft melody to it all, perhaps even hypnotic.

Clegg opened the minibar once they were inside the limousine. The emerald green beverage opened with a hiss as the Admiral pulled the cork. "It's called Ambrosia, it's a staple in the Empire, likely one of our most popular brews." He said, pouring the drinks for his guests; once secure inside the door closed with an audible thunk, and the motorcade began to move.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Gina Inviere Character Portrait: Sheila Nagala Character Portrait: Aschen Fleet of Tranquil Composure Character Portrait: Aschen Fleet of Righteous Vigilance Character Portrait: Imperial Defense Force Character Portrait: Lucia Tarthus Character Portrait: Larion Lithen Character Portrait: Bryon Clegg Character Portrait: Judicator Harris Worth

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The 'Individual' entered the limousine with the guise of a polite tourist. Interested, yet silent in his observation. The Child followed closely behind, placing herself beside the man in silence.

"I must decline your drink, good sir. I am quite nourished already." In truth, he was given the impression that the term 'brew' meant alcohol, and rather wished his wits about him. Still... "Yet... Perhaps I would not mind a draught." He stated quitely, reaching for a glass. He licked his teeth, looking at the soothingly colored drink, and took a discreet sip.

His bodyguards, noticeably, were not with him. Their massive armor ensured that such a small construct would be incapable of supporting their size, let alone their weight. The man supposed they were likely riding in one of the more cargo orientated vehicles in the motorcade.

That it may be, the three had been ushered into a more boxy looking construct, and felt the convoy suddenly start moving.

"Dlipomats. Ya' see za' blood'eh inside o' da' car? Fluffy 'en plush 'en 'dere. Gez all da' 'ood stuff." The first guard grumbled in their native tounge. The second, however, merely chuckled, and mused.

"Least you aren't an outcast like our friend here. No support what so ever." That brought a chuckle from the two, Larion himself couldn't help but grin.

"I don't need support. I have ammo." The two turned to look at him, before one grumbled.

"Outcast, turning your back on the fleet. Amm-"

"Bah, knock 'et off ya' chin-seeker. Welcome to da' crew o' us Larr'eh. Hope da' space 'ez 'az uncomfortable fo' ya as 'et is fo' us."

"Yeah..." The Second sighed. "Keep an eye on your HUD. If targets BP, heart rate, or even his neuro-sig so much as flutters, we're running and gunning."

"Hope da' git lays off da' sugar. Be a shame 'ef we start 'en int'ah galatic war 'ause wh'eh blew up da' conference over a' donut."

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Gina Inviere Character Portrait: Sheila Nagala Character Portrait: Aschen Fleet of Tranquil Composure Character Portrait: Aschen Fleet of Righteous Vigilance Character Portrait: Imperial Defense Force Character Portrait: Lucia Tarthus Character Portrait: Larion Lithen Character Portrait: Bryon Clegg Character Portrait: Judicator Harris Worth

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The drink was sweet, and flavorful, like a licorice, starting off with a few high sweet, even spicy notes and calming down with an anise finish, and a slight spicy burn as the drink went down. It wasn't overpowering, and fairly pleasant. The drink was enjoyed all across the Empire, and was quite popular, but also quite ancient, with this particular brew boasting an unchanged recipe over one hundred and fifty thousand years old.

The Bodyguards weren't the only ones who would have the opportunity to run and gun if things went south, as the motorcade moved down the streets of the Watchtower's living section, people began to gather at the cordoned off sidewalks, staring at the motorcade and trying to figure out what it was.

Each intersection presented a checkpoint, some intersections only had guards, while others had armored cars, and even a tank; specifically the Myrmidon tank, it's massive dual barrel guns and sheer size made it ideal for engagements on the open plain.

In front of them was a large building, this was where the conference itself was supposed to take place. The towering conference center was under heavy guard, with the streets cordoned off by armored vehicles.

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The entire motorcade eventually came to a stop, and a young adjutant opened the back door to help the Alien and the child out, along with the Admiral, whom slowly emerged from the other side.

"Three of the highest ranking people of our government are inside that building." Clegg said, as he started down the plush red carpet.

"Your security will not be permitted to enter the building, they are welcome to wait out here for you until you have finished with the conference. You have my word that no harm will come to you."

Two Soldiers opened the doors to the conference center, and waited for their guests to make their decisions.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Gina Inviere Character Portrait: Sheila Nagala Character Portrait: Aschen Fleet of Tranquil Composure Character Portrait: Aschen Fleet of Righteous Vigilance Character Portrait: Imperial Defense Force Character Portrait: Lucia Tarthus Character Portrait: Larion Lithen Character Portrait: Bryon Clegg Character Portrait: Judicator Harris Worth

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The 'Individual' frowned as he stepped out, not entirely lenient on giving up his security. Specifically, Larion. After all, the entire point of the outcast accompanying him was to act as a fact checker, as he was someone who had an indefinitely better experience with the outside races than the congruent. Never the less, he would not allow himself to appear uptight by insisting on their approach, and waved them off. If need be, Larion could always whisper over comms into his ear.

So it was that the Individual and the disciple child entered the building, the tall man draped in the judicators robes, and the young girl covered in a cloak and scarf. The man's eyes wandered on the inside, taking in the sights. Chances were, they would be guided into some sort of conference area, which he would allow so, unless it appeared treacherous, but he was otherwise lax on being led.

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"I dun' loik dis, bein' set ta' wait out 'ere while da' gits talk inside." The gruff one cursed under his breath as the 'individual' and child disappeared into the building, turning to examine the security in the area, the massive armor giving off a hydralic whine with each movement. "We're deep in 'dere nest, 'n ain't gott'ah idea on woz' da' 'loice 'ez like. 'Ef a mistake 'appens now, daz 'et."

The Armored suits were gathered in a tight circle of three, speaking to one another via comm chatter. To anyone who didn't have their 'crypt' keys, the men appeared to have some sort of charades going, as no voice came from the suits.

"I suppose we are nothing more than ornaments then..." Larion agreed, turning his reflective visor towards the building. His HUD was busy marking every individual that came into sensor range, automatically tagging weapons, support systems, signals. Eyes flickered between each and every prompt as they came up, giving him a sense of dread. "We're here as a curosity, I suppose, to give presence. We'd be mince meat in a fight, the three of use against all this?"

"We'd last a few hours... You saw that tank right? Even if they brought that in, we're esentially walking tanks ourselves... Damn, if we brought the Punisher rifles, it'd be the mince meat." He grunted.

"N'ah, no matt'ah how ya' look at 'et, we're da' nick-nacks. So w'eh blow up 'a tank. So w'eh blow up 'en tanks. 'Dey 'robabl'y got 'undreds o' 'em 'ere. 'En daz if we' 'ad 'unishers. W'he don't." The first grunted into comms, turning to look at his two companions. "Now, we'z got' 'eav'eh 'xplosives, bu'z when 'dem cheap throwables 'un out..." He lifted a hand towards the building, gesturing with the mechanical hand of the suit. "N'ah, 'our 'es' 'et, 'ez if things go ta' shit, 'ez bust in 'dere, barricade 'selves 'en wid' da' judicator 'en disciple, 'en signal to da' battleship."

"What about that field they used with our vanguard? If they have treachery in mind, they'll have it up before they know what's wrong." The second grunted, turning to look at the building with mild interest.

"They'll get a message out. You can't jam Quantum Entanglement." Larion shot back, turning back from the conference building.

"How do you know? We thought you couldn't jam Phase shifting, and they did it without mass."

"Nothin' ta' block mate. No 'ignal goin' out, technicall'eh." The gruff one stated, and Larion smiled.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Gina Inviere Character Portrait: Sheila Nagala Character Portrait: Aschen Fleet of Tranquil Composure Character Portrait: Aschen Fleet of Righteous Vigilance Character Portrait: Imperial Defense Force Character Portrait: Lucia Tarthus Character Portrait: Larion Lithen Character Portrait: Bryon Clegg Character Portrait: Judicator Harris Worth

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The massive cathedral like windows of the conference center let the sun pour into the building from the atmospheric containment system, a translucent energy field that served to keep the vacuum of space out, and the precious atmosphere in.


Inside the hall, the 'Individual' and the Child probably passed hundreds of guards, every one of them standing quietly at their posts. Their weapons were shouldered over their right shoulders, and their eyes were forward.

The red carpet muffled their footsteps, Admiral Clegg kept his hands clasped behind his back, as they approached a large set of golden guilded oaken doors, which opened with an audible creak. The doors bore ornate geometric patterns, artwork to accentuate the marble columns that made up the open floorplan of the conference center.

The conference room itself was revealed, there was media, in a cordoned off section close enough for their cameras to get good pictures, yet far enough that they did not directly interfere with the proceedings.

Chairman Gina Inviere sat at the end of the table, which like the doors was ornate and wooden, glass pitchers of water, ice, and cups were lined near each chair. There was the clatter of camera shutters, but otherwise the room was oppressively quiet.

Behind Inviere was a large flag, the light blue flag with a white phoenix motif symbolized the United Aschen Empire. Seated to Inviere's right was Ambassador Lucia Tarthus, who was clad in a simple floral pantsuit, contrasting to Inviere's plain grey and blue uniform, similar to Admiral Clegg and Admiral Nagala, but bearing far more ribbons and insignia on her chest.

Inviere was the first to stand up, gesturing for the pair to sit.

"Welcome to the United Aschen Empire." The blonde woman said. "I am Gina Inviere, Supreme commander and Chairman of the Imperial Military." She said, sitting back down, as the raven haired Admiral Nagala stood up.

"I am Sheila Nagala, Admiral of the Fleet and supreme commander of all Aschen naval assets.

As Nagala sat down, Ambassador Tarthus stood up.

"Lucia Tarthus, Ambassador for the United Aschen Empire."

She promptly sat back down as Inviere spoke up.

"I thank you for meeting with us so promptly, I'd like to apologize for how things transpired during our first contact; this is a hostile sector of space, and we can't take too many chances."

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Gina Inviere Character Portrait: Sheila Nagala Character Portrait: Aschen Fleet of Tranquil Composure Character Portrait: Aschen Fleet of Righteous Vigilance Character Portrait: Imperial Defense Force Character Portrait: Lucia Tarthus Character Portrait: Larion Lithen Character Portrait: Bryon Clegg Character Portrait: Judicator Harris Worth

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The 'Individual' smiled, stopping a few feet from his end of the table, and produced a slight bow, a hand coming to his chest, his left going to rest behind his back. "Judicator Harris Worth, and Disciple As'lone, of the Da'leen." The child repeated the mans posture exactly after his introduction, and somewhat more delicate in the simple pose, before the disciple stepped forward to pull out a chair for the 'Individual'. A muttered thanks from the man, and the child herself took to a seat besides the man, and watched.

"No need for apologies! As I am concerned, for first contacts, it went rather well, to trade meeting locations instead of weapons fire." The man's smile was sincere as always, but the hidden subtext was there. They had other first contacts, ones that didn't 'go well', and evidently as it was, they were the ones to come out of it.

"As far as me and my fellows are concerned anyway, we are more inclined to speak with those we encounter, and therefore, here I am, and the congruent eagerly awaits your words. If I may incline, I would like to first hear you speak first."

One might find that the man was... Incredibly difficult to read. He seemed sincere, but in truth that never changed. The inflections of his voice were careful, tone controlled, honest. The very deep pitch skin of the Aklar was a contributing factor. It was hard to see even the biggest turn of the lips from any distance, or the wrinkle of the eyes. Even the body language was entirely subtle.

This was due to evolution more than anything. The Aklar were a social people, and had evolved to recognize even the slightest tilt of the head, to make up for the illusion of their lack of features. To be able to recognize intent from the way someone kept tapping their feet.

In contrast, most other races appeared like blinding light to them. In their society, many people were often shocked at how others reacted to say, a bad present, or a good tasting meal, even when the person in question hadn't inexplicably done anything.

Yet even they weren't perfect. Even they could give tell tale signs to other races... Which is what made this man's control so odd. Everything looked natural, yet simple. And there was a reason for that...

======================================================

...And that reason was Judicator Harris Worth was currently on Valorium's Judge in the observation deck, his eyes scanning over panels that displayed a POV of his impostor. He held a giddy smile as the individual introduced himself, and brought up his hand, stroking the equipment placed into it, before softly pressing on the button. "Very good. Stay polite, and await further instructions once they have said their piece."

The Judicator was employing one of the more subtle tricks in the book. Instead of sending himself, he sent an aide, someone who could mimic him, employ his mannerisms. Not out of security of course, otherwise he wouldn't even be in the system. No, the Judicator could have gone himself, yet decided against it. Subconscious intentions could have easily given away something he didn't want given away... But put words in another mans mouth...

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Gina Inviere Character Portrait: Sheila Nagala Character Portrait: Aschen Fleet of Tranquil Composure Character Portrait: Aschen Fleet of Righteous Vigilance Character Portrait: Orlin McGregor Character Portrait: Imperial Defense Force Character Portrait: Lucia Tarthus Character Portrait: Larion Lithen Character Portrait: Bryon Clegg Character Portrait: Judicator Harris Worth

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Before the proceedings could get underway, a door in the back of the chamber opened up, and a young man in an Imperial Uniform could be seen running across the polished marble floor. Admiral Orlin McGregor, the candidate officer for the Aurora project made his way swiftly across the floor towards the assembled individuals at the table.

"Forgive my tardiness, I was held up in customs." The mysterious man said, as he slowly moved to sit down.

"Rear Admiral Orlin McGregor, I'll be observing these proceedings as part of my training." He said, inclining his head respectfully.

Something was off about the man though, he was not a pure blooded human, and his energy scans would show that; to the well traveled individual, his aura was closer to that of a race known as the Altera. A faint psychic field emanated from him, along with a few other strange and inexplicable anomalies.

The Aschen were playing their ace in the hole.

"We represent the United Aschen Empire, we're a society that has existed for the last ten thousand yahrens, our claim spans much of this galaxy, but we are eager to learn from the new races we encounter." Inviere said.

"To that end, I'd like to know what you can offer that would benefit the Aschen Empire." She continued. "We would be interested in opening up a simple trade program." She said, glancing slightly to Orlin, leaning over to speak with him. "You're my check and balance, I need you to open your mind, like we had talked about." She whispered.

Orlin simply nodded, and slowly closed his eyes, allowing his mind to open up, seeking the truth of all things, specifically to analyze and study even the slightest of inflections.

Orlin was doing more, though. He was gently letting his mind expand, even brush up against the 'Individual's mind. There was no outright intrusion, he was simply sensing how strong the Alien's mental defenses would be.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Gina Inviere Character Portrait: Sheila Nagala Character Portrait: Aschen Fleet of Tranquil Composure Character Portrait: Aschen Fleet of Righteous Vigilance Character Portrait: Orlin McGregor Character Portrait: Imperial Defense Force Character Portrait: Lucia Tarthus Character Portrait: Larion Lithen Character Portrait: Bryon Clegg Character Portrait: Judicator Harris Worth

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The eyes of both the Individual and Disciple lingered upon Orlin as he entered the room. It was quite evident that they picked up on his peculiarity, though for a brief moment they left it at that.

Harris inclined his head simply to Inviere as she spoke, nodding politely. "A trade program? That is quite something to suggest when meeting so soon! You hardly even know what form of government I even adhere too! Perhapes it-"

This was around when Orlin's psychic field washed against them, and for a brief moment, the 'Individual's' thoughts could be sense. "-And perhaps I might have very well tell them of this. If the outcast's information is correct, they might decide to simply watch and see what happens. No doubt he'll be pleased, I wonder if he's still watchi-" Went the man, while the girl's...

"-And he looks weird... I'd much rather mother send me to see that Du'Gall out front is doing. 'Learning' this 'learning' that. Hrmph... Wait... What?" The girl thought... And ended on that note of confusion... So did the individual's, in fact, as his thoughts churned into confusion..

Snap! Orlin would find that as soon as the confusion faded away, their foreign minds, having been caught by surprise, surrounded themselves with their own psychi abilities... What had been previously expectant minds, foolish as it was for them to let their guard down, had began instantly building up a pool of energy.

Of course, only the Psyche Orlin would sense this...

However, the Individual had suddenly stopped talking, and for a brief time, perplextion was clear on his face, as well was the child's own features... Then the 'Individual' and girl glanced to Orlin, the perpetrator known to them, and while the 'Individual' bestowed a stern, even annoyed look upon the man in silence, the child beside him bared her fangs, those razor teeth glinting in the light, her simmering anger, or perhaps embarrassment, soothed only by a firm grip of the 'individual's' hand upon her shoulder.

At least Orlin's watch on even the slightest change of inflections worked, far easier was it for the man to tell intent... But at the moment, the 'individual's' intent was clear, as he let the room drown in silence for a few seconds, before speaking again, his tone that of a more stern warning.

"Mr. McGregor, it is the custom of the Aklar that we warn a fellow man or woman, before meddling in the minds of others. It is considered... Most taboo, to do so uninvited." Perhaps the man might also pick up on the bewilderment, hidden beneath the anger. Perhaps the man was so used to trusting in his fellows, that he had not thought to be prepared here?

He slide his hand away from the child, whom had finally calmed enough to appear once again serene.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Gina Inviere Character Portrait: Sheila Nagala Character Portrait: Aschen Fleet of Tranquil Composure Character Portrait: Aschen Fleet of Righteous Vigilance Character Portrait: Orlin McGregor Character Portrait: Imperial Defense Force Character Portrait: Lucia Tarthus Character Portrait: Larion Lithen Character Portrait: Bryon Clegg Character Portrait: Judicator Harris Worth

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Orlin kept his thoughts mostly to himself, he didn't display any sort of reaction to being discovered, only a look of confusion when the Individual accused him of meddling in the minds of others.

"I have no idea what you're talking about, Meddling in the minds of others? I do not understand?" He said, the psionic presence seemingly vanishing the moment he was discovered. It wasn't forceful, but Orlin picked up on the game.

Inviere simply cleared her throat, before continuing. "I was suggesting trade in consumables, such as food, commodities, media, things of that nature. There's no better way to learn of another civilization's cultures than to sample it's food and learn it's culture through it's media." Inviere said, while Orlin leaned over.

"Suntem înșelați" He said in Gemonese, of course Inviere was the only woman in the room who was capable of understanding. Inviere raised an eyebrow, and turned to Orlin. "Ce spui acolo?" She replied, the words rolling off her tongue as a native speaker.

"Nu pot pune degetul pe ea, dar cred că suntem înșelați." Orlin added.

Inviere simply shook her head, and laughed.

But Orlin was staring at the 'Individual'

"A tall man cannot hide in short grass." He said.

He cleared his throat though, and feigned ignorance, a cooly played move on the part of the Admiral. "I apologize, I'm part Alteran, I'm still learning to control my abilities." He said, emphasizing the word 'Alteran' It too was a subtle warning to the 'Individual.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Gina Inviere Character Portrait: Sheila Nagala Character Portrait: Aschen Fleet of Tranquil Composure Character Portrait: Aschen Fleet of Righteous Vigilance Character Portrait: Orlin McGregor Character Portrait: Imperial Defense Force Character Portrait: Lucia Tarthus Character Portrait: Larion Lithen Character Portrait: Bryon Clegg Character Portrait: Judicator Harris Worth

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The 'Individual' merely shifted in place for but a moment, regaining a more calm visage, like his counterpart. Aboard the Valorium's Judge however, the Judicator frowned, hearing the phrase. Had he been made? Was there something in his aide's thoughts that revealed the ploy? It'd perhaps put a damper on the situation, but he'd let it slide, as his aide has preformed remarkably well so far. Still, it troubled him that the Aschen had access to Psyionic races, and it'd be something he'd be sure to let the council know... No doubt however, that the natural Psyonic potential of his race was now given away, but it was all give and take, wasn't it?

So, he instead turned his attention to what the female had mentioned... And then quietly spoke into comms...

======

The Individual took a moment to smile, yet it was a tad more sinister upon Orlin. Obviously the name 'Alteran' had no effect on the man, or if it did, he hid his reaction surprisingly well. Otherwise, he gave no mind to the mans apology, treating it as if the event had not occurred, yet any further attempts from Orlin would now be met with their steel visage, a wall of mental fortitude.

"Perhaps..." He said, adopting a much more refined smile. "Yet I do not believe it would be quite as... Productive, as we would hope. We are new species, and sampling food is..." He grunted, groping for a word. "Well, I mean no offense, but while it may very well put us in a more comfortable mood with each other, I doubt I can discern the state of your political affairs and leanings on issues from a plate of meat and a side of fruit." He leaned back into his chair, his fingers coming toghther in thought, licking his lips in concern over his next words.

"I am not sure how it is with your culture... But our people... Prefer a hands on experience, if they are to ever look upon something. Something they can see, smell, touch, hear, the like." He mulled this over for a minute. "Now, perhaps it is quite too soon, I mean, after all, our Vanguard wasn't too long ago spazzing over a detachment that happened upon them out of no where." Then, he lifted a finger. "Yet, it puts us on more... Even ground, so to speak. What I mean to say is, why not exchange single members of our two peoples... People intelligently inclined, open minded to, ah... New situations. You get someone who will come to /understand/ what we are, who we are, and we get someone who comes to understand you."

A gamble, even the aide knew that, to suggest something so bold. The 'Individual' wondered what the Judicator had in mind. Certainly not anything malicious, what could one person accomplish, with this empire no doubt watching them?

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Gina Inviere Character Portrait: Sheila Nagala Character Portrait: Aschen Fleet of Tranquil Composure Character Portrait: Aschen Fleet of Righteous Vigilance Character Portrait: Orlin McGregor Character Portrait: Imperial Defense Force Character Portrait: Lucia Tarthus Character Portrait: Larion Lithen Character Portrait: Bryon Clegg Character Portrait: Judicator Harris Worth

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Inviere quietly stroked her chin at the 'Individual's offer, that simple stroking of her chin turned into more of a formulation for a plan.

"Political leanings. I'll give you a primer. Our government is a hybrid, we have a central ruling body, our Emperor and his cabinet. Our emperor seeks counsel with two chambers of our government, the Parliament, a twelve member representative body that comprises the original nations of our Empire, and the Quorum, which comprises representatives from our ministries, and planetary governing bodies; All of them democratically elected. Our emperor is chosen by an election by the Quorum, and his policies are confirmed or rejected by the Quorum." Inviere explained. "The current ruling party is the Imperial Socialist party, a party that focuses on the well being of the people, and the well being of the state, pioneered by Isambard Prince's theory of Oligarchial Collectivism." Inviere explained.

Orlin remained quiet, making no further attempts to intrude on the party before him, he turned to Inviere, and then Nagala, the dark haired woman remaining silent, opting to allow Inviere to take command of the negotiations.

Inviere silently turned over towards Nagala, before she spoke.

"We can send Lunatea." She said quietly, and Nagala nodded in approval. "She would be in the best position to help us." The Admiral replied.

Inviere then nodded, before she turned to Clegg.

"Admiral, send for Lunatea to Bifrost here at once." She ordered, and the Admiral nodded, before he quietly excused himself.

Inviere turned her attention back to the Individual, before continuing.

"Our people are kept insulated from Alien races, they would likely be viewed with great suspicion." She said. "Likewise I am sure whoever we send would be viewed and treated with the same suspicion, how would that be conducive to learning about our two peoples?" She inquired.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Gina Inviere Character Portrait: Sheila Nagala Character Portrait: Aschen Fleet of Tranquil Composure Character Portrait: Aschen Fleet of Righteous Vigilance Character Portrait: Orlin McGregor Character Portrait: Imperial Defense Force Character Portrait: Lucia Tarthus Character Portrait: Larion Lithen Character Portrait: Bryon Clegg Character Portrait: Judicator Harris Worth

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The Individual merely smiled, not hiding his pleased glance to the disciple to his side. "I would think that is only part of the scheme. I have no doubt our council-" He said, stressing the word. "Will be stiff necked about it, but inevitably, I have the final decision over this particular matter. No doubt my government, and perhaps it's public, will be... Put it lightly, wary." He laced his fingers toghther, bringing his eyes to the table before him in thought, and then to Inviere. "Two people who always suspect one another as up to no good, whom overwhelm themselves with caution and suspicion, begin to blame one another for things that simply, don't happen. Left standing long enough, our people can come to blame one another for tragedies, some that ill thought men and woman might even become responsible for."

Then, he brought two of his fingers up like a scissor, and snipped them once. "So let's nip that problem in the bud, shall we? The face of the Aschen to the Congruent is a boogeyman empire with roaming fleets ready to swat anything not them out of the sky. The face of the Aklar's to you is an unknown people, unknown technology, unknown territory, unknown /everything/. At the moment, if you will follow me along, we are both capable of everything, and nothing, atleast to the minds of those none the wiser. Exchange a few individual's, however..."

He opened his hands, letting his robe drape over the sides of the chair. "And both our people's become a whole lot more relatable with a face to put with a name. No, neither side is going to trust these individuals, but atleast they'll be more comfortable with the other once they have a grasp of just who the other exactly is."

Then, he leaned back, running his tounge over his own teeth. "Learning will be a part of it, yes, but acting as a sort of... Public relations, as a face for one another, that's the whole of it."

===================================

The Judicator smiled at his Aide's portrayal, running a hand across his forehead as he finished his little spiell. His eyes then glanced to the side, stretching an arm out to summon over a holo-panel. It was already scrolling various names of candidates for this exchange... Political figures, their sons and daughters... All people whom had agendas... He scowled, banishing the holo-panel with a wave of his hand. He wouldn't allow politics to get in the way of his people's affairs... No doubt anyone in any family he sent would seek to plunder from this... He couldn't send a civilian, it was to easy for them to give off the wrong impression, even with vetting and checks...

Then his eyes rolled onto the screen for a moment, and he brought forth the panel again with a wave of his hand, searching a name...

Larion Lithen, the Outcast. He'd originally had him brought in to serve as eyes on this very meeting... Yet he was nearly perfect. Politically exempt from all families, even his own family, the Lithen's did not take kindly to one of their own blood going rouge. Even if he tried to sway foreign policy in the benefit of the Lithen's, what could he accomplish without their support? He scanned his profile further, taking in details. In truth, he had done this already when deciding to snatch the man up for his original purpose, but another look never harmed a man...

Already well traveled, enough to understand the peculiarities of other races, already understood a multitude of other languages... And though it wasn't really a factor in his decision, he was standing right outside the conference room. A bonus!

The Lithen's employment would be a little longer than expected...

=====================

"With that in mind... I have just the man in the palm of my hand! In fact, he just so happens to be one of the gentlemen outside in a suit of armor. A good enough man, if you can get over his gruffness. Perhaps we might send him in for a quick introduction?"

Of course, Larion, whom had been standing outside with the other two honor guards, was not Privy to what the Judicator had said, but was certainly aware of what the Individual had said. He immediatly turned away from his fellows, bringing up his comms to both the man, and the Judicator. "What the fuck are you talking about? I'm no-"

"Mr. Lithen, I hope you understand the situation we are in right now. At the current time, you are my best choice for this m-" Came that annoyingly sincere voice, but Larion wouldn't have any of it.

"No, no no, no! We had a deal, I come around and snoop on this conversation for you, and I get a visit! You're sending me away here!"

"Understand, Mr. Lithen," Came the voice again, quite more stern than before. "If I had another idea in place, I would use it. At this time, however, this is what I wish, and I expect it to be carried out. You know very well why you should..." A thinly veiled threat if anything. Larion found himself press ganged into the matter, and turned towards the conference building. Oh please, oh please reject the deal, he thought, but figured it hopeless.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Gina Inviere Character Portrait: Sheila Nagala Character Portrait: Lunatea Character Portrait: Aschen Fleet of Tranquil Composure Character Portrait: Aschen Fleet of Righteous Vigilance Character Portrait: Orlin McGregor Character Portrait: Imperial Defense Force Character Portrait: Lucia Tarthus Character Portrait: Larion Lithen Character Portrait: Bryon Clegg Character Portrait: Judicator Harris Worth

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On the other side of the room, there was a brief but audible thunderclap. Things moved quickly in the upper echelons of the Aschen Government after-all.

The thunderclap dissipated fairly quickly, and it seemed that no one in the room seemed terribly concerned to what was going on. However the security team outside the compound would likely be able to detect a brief but massive energy spike that emanated from somewhere deep within the structure.

"Fortunately for you, we have someone that is our best public relations, a keen learner, someone who will be able to study your culture and your people in great detail." Inviere said, with an affirming nod.

The back door to the main room opened with an audible hiss, two Imperial marines holding the door open as a small framed young woman took a step forward.

She was wearing a single breasted suit jacket that was all white, simple golden embroidered epaulettes on her shoulder, and form fitting white dress pants.

Her movements were organic, fluid as she made her way across the room. Her feet clacked on the polished marble floor, in real time she was going over the previous conversation, committing it to memory as she walked.

"Judicator Harris Worth, Disciple As'lone, I am Selene, and I have been selected to accompany you to your homes as part of the exchange you proposed."

The Aschen played their ace in the hole, silver eyes watched every quirk and tic that the 'Individual' had, while her gaze briefly moved to Orlin, and the other Aschen officers in the room.

Inviere took a breath to speak, nodding to the new woman. "Yes, she is the pride and joy of our Empire." She said. "But she can be a bit naieve." Inviere added. "To that end, who have you selected?"

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Gina Inviere Character Portrait: Sheila Nagala Character Portrait: Lunatea Character Portrait: Aschen Fleet of Tranquil Composure Character Portrait: Aschen Fleet of Righteous Vigilance Character Portrait: Orlin McGregor Character Portrait: Imperial Defense Force Character Portrait: Lucia Tarthus Character Portrait: Larion Lithen Character Portrait: Bryon Clegg Character Portrait: Judicator Harris Worth

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The Individual smiled, nodding his head respectfully to Selene, a gestured mimicked by the disciple, before both turned their head to Inviere. Oddly enough, the disciple leaned forward in her chair, which prompted the 'Individual' to lean to the side, offering his ear to her, which she muttered in hushed words in their native language. The 'Individual' nodded, and then both relaxed once more.

"Larion Lithen, holding ties to a well liked family in many of our communities. A superb combatant, and one well traveled, I am quite sure he will have little difficulty acclimatizing..."

=============================

Larion Lithen grunted, knowing he would have to enter. His suit whirled, signalling the other bodyguards to follow him. They were more than willing, after all, given the spike of energy detected on the inside. However, they were less pleased with the mans motives.

"I dun' 'oik 'et." The gruff one simply stated, while the other outright rejected it.

"I ain't inclined for an outcast to serve such a purpose! Mark my words, it'll be the wrong path!"

Never the less, after a moment of bickering, he had gotten them to agree to watch his suit, as the doors ahead of them had proven all too small for the suit to enter, without making his own, a-hem, entrance.

"Release suit restraints. Prepare Pilot Exit." Larion muttered, and his HUD turned from it's soothing blue, to it's shocked orange. "Confirm." He stated at a visual prompt, and with a hiss, the suit prepared for his ejection.

He gasped as the suit's hardpoints suddenly unclasped themselves from the slots in his shoulders and legs, removing themselves from the metal joints embedded in his very flesh. Then was the sickening feeling of the suit drawing back it's connection ports from his spine, where several slots and jacks led to a computer grafted into his spine...

The outside of the suit suddenly stopped moving, straighten up, and let it's hands drop. It's rear power core began to whine and hiss, as the brilliant blue and orange exhaust ports slowly died down into a menacing red... Then, with a loud complain of hydralics, the rear pack begin to lift up, revealing the pilot inside...

His fellow's in power armor covered him, both placing themselves between his now exposed body, and the outside world, so that he might grasp the port handles, and swing himself out safely...

Larion Lithen was certainly tall, standing at six feet, and eight inches. He was toned, muscular, likely at the apex of his fitness, oweing to years upon years of constant exercise, both in private, and on the field. He was adorned in a mostly form fitting dark green and brown wear, a sort of wilderness camo trousers, and on top of his chest, a vest of Adamantium armor, protecting his torso and neck. His hood was down, tied neatly around his neck so it would not have flopped around on the inside of the suit, which revealed scruffy brown hair, a pointed jawline, and horrid scars. The entirety of the Aklar's right cheek was missing, exposing gumline and a long row of razor sharp teeth, as well as part of the skin directly next to his right eye, a wound owed to a mercenary contract gone FUBAR.

The Man was clearly disgruntled at having to leave his armor behind, but trusted his two new associates to keep an eye on it. Not that it mattered, as he walked into the building, pressing his hands against the doors, greeted by the hundreds of guards leading to the conference room. Should it be taken, Nivera would activate it's self destruct, and if someone attempted to hop into it and run off... Well, he'd wouldn't want to be the person paying for the new limbs.

======================

Larion Lithen entered the conference room with little celebration, smooth emerald eyes darting between all the people present, ensuring to keep a stern shield of his own mind up, aware of Orlin's previous attempt.

His eyes first gauged Inviere, Clegg, and the others present, and it didn't take him along to identify who was who, considering he had been listening, and sometimes even viewing, in on the conversation.

He merely gave Clegg a cursory nod, aware of his military status. In truth, it seemed everyone here was military of some sort, but atleast Clegg was the perfect Sterotype at the moment.

He passed over Nagala and Tarthus, merely focusing on Inviere for the few seconds it took him to approach 'their' side of the table, and grunted in thought, as if confirming the thought that yes, she seemed to look the part she currently played.

Then the bio-lumiesent eyes glanced over to Selena, and he nearly chuckled. That was their representitive? Of course, this thought was not of shock or dissappointment. Infact, he would agree with them based on her appearance alone. Certainly attractive, after all, the Aschen were similar in shape, he could certainly imagine some foolish marine jokingly hitting on this woman. Nevermind that, a bemused smile hit his face, though twisted with the lack of cheek, as he considered her more fluid body language. It spoke of intelligence, control...

He stopped at the end of the table, and hand sliding down the right of his temple to confirm, that yes, his cheek was still missing. Dumbass. He straightened up, slamming a right fist upon his chest, as and became rigid, as if he was expecting an inspection. After all, he was a proper, professional mercenary, and even if he dreaded this job he was coerced into, damn it all, he'd do it with style and dignity.

"Larion Lithen, ensigned currently to Judicator Harris Worth. I am told I'll be making an... Extended stay, here?" He noted in a bemused manner.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Gina Inviere Character Portrait: Sheila Nagala Character Portrait: Lunatea Character Portrait: Aschen Fleet of Tranquil Composure Character Portrait: Aschen Fleet of Righteous Vigilance Character Portrait: Orlin McGregor Character Portrait: Imperial Defense Force Character Portrait: Lucia Tarthus Character Portrait: Larion Lithen Character Portrait: Bryon Clegg Character Portrait: Judicator Harris Worth

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The only one to really react in a visible way to Larion's entry was Lunatea. She slowly paced around the alien, looking at him intently as her light and purposeful footsteps echoed in the chamber.

She stopped in front of Larion, inspecting his check or lack therof, even going so far as to slowly raise her hand to touch it. This would afford Larion a close look at the strange woman. Up close something seemed off. Her eyes were an unnatural deep silver, but if one paid even closer attention, small writing could be made out around the circumference of her irises, a company logo, serial number. Perhaps her eyes were prosthetic?

Her staring was short lived however, as Inviere spoke up, and her attention snapped to the Judicator and the Chairman, where she promptly took two steps back and resumed a stance of attention.

"You won't be staying here; we'll be transporting you to the Imperial capital." She said, folding her hands on the table. "You will first be introduced to our government, our Parliament and Quorum, and ultimately the Emperor." Inviere said calmly.

"Though I digress, this exchange has been quite productive, I trust you will take great care of Selene? She means much to the Empire."

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Gina Inviere Character Portrait: Sheila Nagala Character Portrait: Lunatea Character Portrait: Aschen Fleet of Tranquil Composure Character Portrait: Aschen Fleet of Righteous Vigilance Character Portrait: Orlin McGregor Character Portrait: Imperial Defense Force Character Portrait: Lucia Tarthus Character Portrait: Larion Lithen Character Portrait: Bryon Clegg Character Portrait: Judicator Harris Worth

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The 'Indivdual' smiled, and slowly stood from his chair, which prompted the disciple to stand as well. "If that is all, then perhaps after about a stellar month, it might be best we meet yet again? I would be absolutely delighted to try some of your culinary..." He nodded his head thoughtfully, then turned to Larion. "We will store your ship with us until you return, my good man, do not worry of it, and, ah, we will take your armor as well... Do not worry, it'll be in safe hands." He said, gliding a hand over to the mans shoulder, before an affirming nod to Lunatea, offering a hand. "Come, come, my dear, we have much to discuss concerning you and our people! It'll be absolutely fascinating and astounding, I assure you!" He called out, as he attempted to lead the woman out gingerly with his hand.

Larion merely watched it for the moment, a hand coming up to where the woman had touched him, a vauge grunt emanating from his mouth, before looking upon those opposite of the table.

"Well then. Let's get started, shall we?"

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Gina Inviere Character Portrait: Sheila Nagala Character Portrait: Lunatea Character Portrait: Aschen Fleet of Tranquil Composure Character Portrait: Aschen Fleet of Righteous Vigilance Character Portrait: Orlin McGregor Character Portrait: Imperial Defense Force Character Portrait: Lucia Tarthus Character Portrait: Larion Lithen Character Portrait: Bryon Clegg Character Portrait: Judicator Harris Worth

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Inviere slowly stood, along with the rest of her staff and she nodded.

"Very good." She said, looking over to the Gynoid that was standing now besides Larion. "We will contact our representative to arrange another meeting when we have come to know your people more."

Lunatea looked up to the Individual and his disciple, before slowly making her way over towards the Individual, and nodding to Inviere.

"... Handshake... handshake... connection established."

Text scrolled across her periphery as she offered another sincere smile to the Individual and nodded quietly.

"I believe we have been dismissed, I am ready to depart when you are, and I eagerly await to learn all I can from you and your people."

--

Nagala and Clegg simply turned to Larion.

"From here we will take the Bifrost to our home world, where you will be introduced before our governing body, the Quorum." Nagala said quietly, while Orlin nodded and stood up from his chair.

"Chairman, Admiral, I'll return to my duties now." He said, before he turned to leave.

Nagala gestured for Larion to follow, before she started towards the set of doors that Lunatea had walked through. She figured the first thing he would learn was the marvel of Aschen engineering that was, the Bifrost system.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Gina Inviere Character Portrait: Sheila Nagala Character Portrait: Lunatea Character Portrait: Aschen Fleet of Tranquil Composure Character Portrait: Aschen Fleet of Righteous Vigilance Character Portrait: Orlin McGregor Character Portrait: Imperial Defense Force Character Portrait: Lucia Tarthus Character Portrait: Larion Lithen Character Portrait: Bryon Clegg Character Portrait: Judicator Harris Worth

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The Individual and As'lone proceeded silently back to the motorcade, passing by the hallway of the guards, and finally out into the courtyard. The two honor guards were already busy loading the spare suit into one of the cargo carriers, so he and As'lone found themselves the limousine, opening the doors for themselves...

They were rather uneventful, as the climbed in, but as the doors came to shut, they began speaking to one another, in their common held language, for the benefit of their guest to hear.

"Do you understand now, As'lone? Unlike how your father carries himself, we simply can not act like the blunt of a hammer... Nay, we must act as if everyone is our friend until they become our enemy. Otherwise, how else are we to learn?"

"Yes, Judicator." The young girl grunted abysmally.

"Now now..." He said, taking a finger to poke at the young child's nose, a smile spread across the mans face. "Lessons like these are for your benefit, and you should be most indebted to my aide, whom suggested you for this. No doubt this experience will bring you much knowledge, in your time as my asset."

Finally, the man flicked his eyes over to the woman with them, and he brushed a hand through his hair in a moments thought, before speaking. "Perhaps we should start with the basics then...? My dear, this young child you see here belongs to a most prominent family of our people, and is slated to hold a very high position in our government, provided she is fit for service within it... Her family, and I, had thought it best that for said position, she should further her education with some first hand experience..."

The man laid back, and relaxed enough to do away with formalities, sliding one foot over the other, clasping his hands toghther on his lap. "We of the Congruent look to our children most... Dearly, valuing them above many things. They are our future, after all? As it is, it is, ah... 'Custom', for a child to travel around with an established adult, learning from their experiences, woes and fortunes toghther." He gestured to the youngling, whom began to bestow her eyes on the woman in earnest, her young intelligence trying to derive how the woman was of so pale skin... She looked so dead.

"As it is... It is a pleasure to have you along with us... We will be returning to our ship via Mr. Lithen's personal craft. Depending on the circumstances, I'm afraid we may have to make a slight detour to another system, based on a few outside events running in the back round... Hopefully so, they will not need my presence. I would prefer simply to make our way straight to our... Capital, you would call it." He smiled, charmingly enough.

===================================================================================

Larion merely followed, studious eyes glancing over the room. "I sincerely hope that not everyone is as stern faced as the lot I've seen here... I keep thinking I've woken up on the training deck, and had done some inexcusable thing that's gotten me brought before the staff officers..." The Aklar chuckled, remembering his more mischievous days. "Pretty sure I was the problem kid. After all, if you couldn't spot the asshole, you were the asshole in question." He chimmed, hoping to get the woman he followed to open up.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Gina Inviere Character Portrait: Sheila Nagala Character Portrait: Lunatea Character Portrait: Aschen Fleet of Tranquil Composure Character Portrait: Aschen Fleet of Righteous Vigilance Character Portrait: Orlin McGregor Character Portrait: Imperial Defense Force Character Portrait: Lucia Tarthus Character Portrait: Larion Lithen Character Portrait: Bryon Clegg Character Portrait: Judicator Harris Worth

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"My duty is to follow you, and accompany you wherever you see fit, Judicator. My purpose is to learn as much about your culture, and your people as possible, therefore I will take in any information you have to present to me in great detail.." She said, following them into the limousine.

She turned her head to the child, and nodded slightly. "So your purpose is to one day learn the inner workings of your government, so that you may lead your people? Impressive that a government official is learned from a young age, it certainly does away with the potential for those who know not what they do." She said, her head swiveling back to face the Judicator.

Though her movements were fluid and organic, something seemed off, she was indeed quite pale, and she didn't seem to breathe normally like someone who was alive would breath. In fact, she didn't seem to breathe much if at all except to speak.

"Children are the gatekeepers to our future, of that we seem to hold in common." She said, crossing one leg over the other and looking out the window.

"Tell me, Judicator, your honest opinion of our people, of what you see before you, of the Aschen Empire."

--

The Group walked, even as Larion made small talk, Clegg broke off, inclining his head.

"I must return to my Command Carrier." He said, before he nodded to Nagala and Inviere. "Excuse me."

Clegg inclined his head to Larion, and then turned to leave, before the pair moved through a large set of blast doors, and before them was a large ring shaped structure, which was housed in a large spherical structure, and surrounded by technicians working on consoles, moving about from station to station to carry out their duties.

"Mr. Lithen." Inviere said. "Behold, the Bifrost System." She said, gesturing to the large structure before them. "To speak in simple terms, the Bifrost system is designed to instantly transport matter from point A to point B, instantly."

Inviere slowly turned towards the Facility commander, after a crisp exchange of salutes, she instructed him to set the coordinates to the Langara Hub in Anquietas.

"I hope you didn't have a large lunch before coming here." Inviere said. "The first time can be somewhat rough."

The machine began to churn to life, electricity arced back and fourth, and across the ring like device, a massive power surge, similar to the one that occurred when Lunatea arrived began to build.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Gina Inviere Character Portrait: Sheila Nagala Character Portrait: Lunatea Character Portrait: Aschen Fleet of Tranquil Composure Character Portrait: Aschen Fleet of Righteous Vigilance Character Portrait: Orlin McGregor Character Portrait: Imperial Defense Force Character Portrait: Lucia Tarthus Character Portrait: Larion Lithen Character Portrait: Bryon Clegg Character Portrait: Judicator Harris Worth

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The Individual inclined his head to the side, thinking over the question apparently. "If I were to say..." He'd glance out the window with a sigh, taking in the sights of the crowd, the military, the station...

"Certainly, it is not what I expected." He glanced back to Lunatea, the smile having faded into a slight frown. "We had been given the impression of a more hostile, and xenophobic people..." The Individual's eyes seem to wander to the tank just outside the motorcade, the same one they had passed previously. "And to a point, I wonder how much of that is still true."

"However, there is no loss of pride in admitting the staggering amount of power you most certainly control. With those massive fleets, the considerable amount of military force just present here on the station..." He glanced outside again. "But one must also not only consider the military, but the the vast effort and resources it takes to make a station such as this, with it's own atmosphere, artificial gravity... That is something that can not be taken lightly... The Considerable size and scale of it..."

The mans eyes came to settle on Lunatea... Unlike before, the lids of those gentle eyes now contained firm steel. "Yet I am not concerned... Well, perhaps concerned in the way to actually see in person the might of another empire... Yet I am not concerned that we, the Congruent, are outmatched. Nay, in fact, I'd argue we'd stare at each other on some rather even ground. If your people are this established, then my people are just as... Creative. Perhaps our vanguard fleet gave you a poor impression, with it's aging frigates, and absurdly small number to even be called a fleet..."

He settled his hands just against his chin, balled into a single fist. "What I think, my dear, is I have gleaned an opportunity. Time will tell, however, if your people can see the opportunity on their doorstep as well."

"In short, my dear, I believe you will understand when we reach the home system..."

As the Motorcade deposited the group at the launch pad, they two honor guards synced up with the Judicator, both carrying the empty combat armor. The Viper opened it's rear hatch for them, and a synthetic, feminine voice rang out.

"Judicator, I must Solemnly disagree with leaving my companion to their hands without my assistance." Came the voice, but the man simply waved a hand, stepping forward.

"Nivera, you understand very well his situation, and I assure you, this is a trade of mutual understanding... Come, spin up your drives, and prepare to bring us back to my ship."

The AI was silent, but the low hum of the internal systems grew bolder and louder... It might very well become apparent that Nivera, the ships apparent AI, was bringing the ship up to full spin...

As well as running scans over Lunatea. She made no attempt to hide her instruments work, merely seeking to garner her purpose, and being.

The setting changes from the-gaelian-system to Space

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Joshua Steele Character Portrait: Choi Character Portrait: Aschen Fleet of Tranquil Composure Character Portrait: The Emperor Of Mankind Character Portrait: Bryon Clegg Character Portrait: The 6th Order

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IAN Navo Vasta Solitudine

800,000 Kilometers in high orbit over Terra...


The battle was underway, ships slugging back and fourth among each other, such powerful displays of energy, along with the signals being broadcast in every direction. It wasn't long before the signals reached some fairly powerful and observant ears.

Commander Bryon Clegg, the commander of the Navo Vasta Solitudine, an Imperious Class command carrier with the Imperial Aschen Navy.

After a long silence, a slumbering beast had opened a single eye to observe it's surroundings.

The Command Carrier dropped out of FTL first, spatial energies cascading all around it, it's engines firing to life as it began a slow approach towards the battle.

Flanking either side, 30,000 kilometers off were a pair of Reverence IIs, their iridescent hulls glimmering in the sunlight as their massive engines came to life.

A split second followed, and several dozen Athena class missile cruisers flickered in, at random positions and intervals among the fleet, standard Aschen wild weasel formation. Following the Athenas, hundreds of cruisers, frigates, and escort vessels flitted into space, forming a loose protective bubble around the trio of command ships.

Admiral Steele stood silently over Commander Clegg's shoulder, alarms blaring all around him as he watched the large projection in front of him.

"Target the largest of the vessels, Commander, with the frag cannons full spread." He ordered, with which the Commander promptly replied. "Sir." He said, nodding to his weapons officer.

The massive tri-barrel frag cannon emplacements on the aschen carrier swiveled to life, moving along their track before coming to bear, all four emplacements locking onto the largest of the 6th Order ships, while the Reverence IIs slowly bore their thousands of individual turbodisruptor emplacements towards the Imperium vessels over Terra.

Beyond moving at low sublight speeds, the Aschen fleet took no other actions other than move into a tactical formation, along with readying shields and weapons, milky white barriers flickering around each vessel as they spread out into a wide crescent formation, standard assault and envelope tactics.

The beast was showing it's face, and a bad day was about to get worse.