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Rachel Nabaal

Supreme commander of the Aschen Expeditionary force on Blackrock.

0 · 333 views · located in Blackrock

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

Description



Titled the supreme commander of the Imperial Aschen Marine Corps, Lord General Rachel Nabaal is as ruthless, as she is skilled. An accomplished tactician, Nabaal rose through the ranks of the Aschen marine Corps, through six conflicts, and subsequent formation into the Aschen Empire, to attain the rank of Lord General. While a dedicated ground force has been obsolete for some time, Nabaal still leads her forces with dedication, and a seemingly unrivaled brutality.

(profile under construction)

So begins...

Rachel Nabaal's Story

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Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rachel Nabaal Character Portrait: Mikazuki [Unknown] [Unknown] Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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Knavestown was far removed from the front lines, deep inside territories already reclaimed by the governing authority. Throughout the city, propaganda posters littered walls, signposts, and telephone poles. Propaganda that showcased the might of the Aschen empire, the entity that ruled the people of Blackrock, and Isiria as a whole with an iron fist.

The clamor of the dusty hog came to an abrupt silence as the door to the tavern opened up to reveal it's newest patron, if one could describe her as that.

She had a strong face, and shoulder length brown hair, her attire consisted of a bright yellow, and black jacket bearing two insignia pins, and a shoulder patch of the Aschen Empire.

She was flanked on either side by soldiers carrying the standard issue Aschen type 53 disruptor rifle, and wearing tan desert camouflage uniforms.

The patrons all recognized her as the face behind attempts to reclaim the planet, Rachel Nabaal, supreme commander of all Aschen ground forces on Blackrock.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rachel Nabaal Character Portrait: Mikazuki [Unknown] [Unknown] Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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Mikazuki shifted with the tone in tavern, turning to face the newcomer. The only change in her body language was raised eyebrows and perhaps a stiffening of the spine.

She didn't know the name of the commander, but she sure as hell recognized her by face. The tension was infectious, and Mikazuki had to take several breaths in order to settle herself and halt the prickle on her skin. She wasn't much for analysis, never was, but she did try to think of why a commander of the Aschen forces might be in a tavern. Some might come up with convoluted reasons, or assume she was here to make an arrest. This was not what Mikazuki inferred. People are people are people, even if they are of a high rank in whatever order they subscribed to.

So, question: Why would someone enter a tavern?

Answer: To drink.

Perhaps a simple interpretation, but that was Mikazuki's way.

This was when Mikazuki did something most would consider stupid.

She turned back to bartender and jerked her head toward the newest visitor. "And something expensive for my friend here."

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Character Portrait: Rachel Nabaal Character Portrait: Mikazuki [Unknown] [Unknown] Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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The woman quietly raised a singular eyebrow at the other offering to buy her a drink. She looked to her left, and then to her right. Taverns were an excellent source of intelligence, Nabaal seldom frequented them, but her agents certainly did. To her, the tedium of FOB Lyra was hard to escape from, and this run down tavern in the middle of a civilian city was just the escape she needed.

The Bartender offered Mikazuki an awkward glance.

"Do you know who your 'friend' is?" The man asked with a hushed tone. "That's the butcher of Ruston." He whispered, before turning back around, grimacing, and then tentatively reaching for the top shelf bottle of Ambrosia, imported from Langara itself, the capital world of the Aschen Empire.

With a hint of trepidation, he poured the glass, and then slid it towards Mikazuki. "Ambrosia, it's what most of them drink..." He commented.

"That will be thirty cubits..." The Bartender added, as he swallowed hard. The woman was starting to approach them.

"Not often someone buys you a drink." Nabaal commented, sliding into the barstool besides the mercenary.

Slowly but surely, the tavern was starting to return to normal, there would be no on the spot execution, or black baggings today. The din of the patrons slowly increased in volume, as Nabaal's slender fingers wrapped around the glass.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rachel Nabaal Character Portrait: Mikazuki [Unknown] [Unknown] Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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So the commander responded positively to her move. Way to go, Zuki. You’re on a roll.

“‘Course I know who she is,” Mikazuki assured the bartender, and fished out the money from a pocket in her overcoat. It was all there, all geniune. She slid it over to him, and turned her attention to Nabaal. She pulled the mask down to her chin, revealing both part of her burn and the faint grin passing over her features. She looked, for all the world, like someone having a chance meeting a close acquaintance. Her right foot tapped a rhythm on the floor.

“Not often a woman like you meets a woman like me,” Mikazuki returned, picking up her own glass and turning it in her fingers for a moment before downing it. “I’m Mikazuki. Mikazuki Alecto.” It was an old surname, as in one she hadn’t used for awhile, but also one with certain connotations if you knew your mythology.

Mikazuki, again, shifted with the mood, as she was wont to do, resuming her slouching posture and hunched her shoulders inward, almost as if she was trying to make herself smaller. A subconscious adjustment, but also a noticeable one to someone who knew anything about body language.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rachel Nabaal Character Portrait: Mikazuki [Unknown] [Unknown] Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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"You must be new to these parts." Nabaal said, taking another sip of her glass. "I'm Rachel, Rachel Nabaal, the locals seem keen on calling me the Butcher though..." She added, picking up on the subtle cues, whoever this woman was, she was hitting all the right notes on interacting with the Aschen 101, it was something that piqued Nabaal's curiosity.

"You'd be surprised." Nabaal said, taking another sip, rattling the ice cubes inside her glass. "Alecto huh? Interesting last name." She placed the glass back on the table, briefly taking her attention to the television screen nestled in the corner of the tavern, perched up on the ceiling near the rafters; there it was, Rachel's face yet again as she gave some contrived statement.

"You have to justify everything in this day, and age; we've been fighting a dug in militia for some time, and it never seems to get easier on this dusty planet. I've led six campaigns across a sum total of one hundred thousand light years, across dozens of individual planets, no matter if it's the ass end of the Galaxy, or the Eastern Republics; when you burn a city; you gotta justify it..."

"Tell me." The Lord General said, as she shifted in her stool, brushing a few brown strands of hair out of her face. "Where are you from?"

The setting changes from The Dusty Hog to Blackrock

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Riwona Iblis Character Portrait: Selene Brightmoon Character Portrait: Calion Felus Character Portrait: Mimosa Iblis Character Portrait: Perennus Greymane Character Portrait: Acacia Iblis
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Blackrock, Khar-Toba wastes

"...Orbital confirms it, it wasn't here a week ago." Colonel Tyrus reported, his eyes fixated on the orbital images strewn out on the holographic table before them. The Command deck of the baserunner had been a flurry of activity since they left FOB Lyra nearly three days ago, with Lord General Nabaal at the helm.

The massive fifty-six meter long, six wheeled vehicle slowly rolled to a stop as it crested some rocky outcroppings overlooking a canyon lined with cliff-sides, infamous for the desolate Khar-toba region of Blackrock.



Grasping a pair of binoculars, Nabaal approached the front-most console, close enough to the pane of glass that she could see her own reflection. Her eyes narrowed, while she brought the binoculars to her face, and fixated her gaze on the strange sight before her.

"Is it an oasis maybe?" Nabaal asked, lowering the binoculars, swiftly turning around to meet Tyrus' gaze at the command station.

The man quietly shook his head, and replied. "No I don't think so, General. Not this quickly."

Nodding, Nabaal turned back to face the desert, the warm sunlight bathing her face in a warm glow.

"Very well, take us closer, we'll collect some samples, and return to the FOB; perhaps it's some new kind of plant life, or maybe there's a previously undiscovered spring." The General commented, brushing her bright yellow jacket down, and then clasping her hands behind her back, while interlocking her fingers. "It'll save us having to transport water from Arastel..."

The Baserunner shuddered, and lurched forward, it's engines churning to life, straining to move six large wheels against the barren soil, to set thousands of tons of metal into motion.

"Orbital would have never noticed it, if it wasn't for wide-spectrum analyses." Tyrus added, stepping down from the command console, and up towards Nabaal, to stand slightly behind, and to her right.

"Orbital Would have never noticed it? Tyrus don't be silly, a Reverence can read a newspaper from half an SU Away." The General retorted, turning back around and climbing up towards the command station.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Riwona Iblis Character Portrait: Selene Brightmoon Character Portrait: Calion Felus Character Portrait: Mimosa Iblis Character Portrait: Perennus Greymane Character Portrait: Acacia Iblis
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It was, unsurprisingly perhaps, Rion who first felt the (at the time) still distant life approaching. She was also preoccupied though, a fair way down the well, to help grow something resembling stairs. One might have wondered about the wisdom of letting Rion do this duty, seeing how her innate power was oriented more to fauna than to flora. She was certainly angry at herself for volunteering for this duty right now.

It would take her at least 20 minutes to reach the surface. Whatever it was was getting closer was doing so at an ungodly speed, and would most definitely arrive before that, even taking the uneven terrain into account. She would have marveled about a being that could go that fast, had it not seemed to be heading straight for the settlement.

Rion started running up the improvised stairs, much to the confusion of her partner.

Riwona, was the second who noticed the approaching party. While not at Rion's level by far, she was helped by the fact that she actually saw a dust cloud rising in the direction it was coming from, unlike most of the adults, who's view was obscured by the cliffside they build their camp against.

By the time the inner struggle about what to do about it was won however, (she was going to call an adult after all), whatever was kicking up the dust could already be seen, and by default, she reasoned, she was in it's field of vision too. It seemed it was a bit too late for that now.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Riwona Iblis Character Portrait: Selene Brightmoon Character Portrait: Calion Felus Character Portrait: Mimosa Iblis Character Portrait: Perennus Greymane Character Portrait: Acacia Iblis
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In the fifteen minutes it took the Baserunner to close the distance from it's original position, and the cliff-side, Nabaal was closely watching the data as it scrolled across the screen, but her thoughts were interrupted by the shouts of one of the navigational officers.

"Sir! I've got multiple life signs." He called out. Nabaal grimaced slightly, before turning towards a shrugging Tyrus. "Hopefully they're not hostile; we're not equipped for a protracted engagement, and it'll take orbital dropped reinforcements at least a millicenton (about ten minutess) to get here." The Colonel reported.

"Maybe they're friendlies?" Nabaal asked with a slight hint of trepidation; they were equipped for an expedition after all, not to pacify rebels.

Roughly thirty meters from the encampment, the vehicle slowly began to ease to a stop, letting the dust cloud waft over them, while it's engine churned, growled, and clattered. There was an audible hiss, and another dust cloud as air brakes engaged, and released.

The Baserunner cast long shadow over the cliffside, and the General was hard at work motivating her men to prepare for contact with whoever was there; some of them were hoping it was simply native animal life, but General Nabaal wasn't taking any chances.

She moved towards an armory case, and retrieved a disruptor rifle, gesturing for Tyrus to follow suit. Her eyes moved over to a pair of Marines, whom silently nodded their acknowledgement. The four moved towards the main hatch near the command deck, and Nabaal pushed the armored door open with an audible thunk, letting hot, dry desert wind into the cool, climate controlled command center.

Peering out, she leaned against a metal railing, and scanned her surroundings with a keen eye.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Riwona Iblis Character Portrait: Selene Brightmoon Character Portrait: Calion Felus Character Portrait: Mimosa Iblis Character Portrait: Perennus Greymane Character Portrait: Acacia Iblis
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Around this time, some of the other Rheneya finally noticed they had visitors. Perennus started making his way there, as well as a slightly worried Mimosa, who was well aware that her daughter had been playing in that direction.



Riwona watched with wide eyes as a woman appeared. 'Is it like a house?', she wondered, 'One that moves?'. She made a little 'Eep' noise though, when the woman looked straight at her.

"Hello!?", she called out hesitantly to woman.

It was at this time her mother and grandfather found them. Feeling a bit shy, the girl ran towards her mother and hid behind to her.



Rion, in the meantime, was almost out of breath. Still she kept racing upstairs, not having slowed once, despite having been far underground.



"Greetings", Perennus called out to the woman. He had deemed her wary, but not quite hostile yet, even if she seemed like she could become so. "I'd ask what brings you here, but I'm rather sure there's very little else out here than our little encampment. That being said, would you care to join us for something to drink? We have water and Kalora Juice."

Mimosa elbowed her father in the ribs, a warning in her eyes.

Perennus sighed. "Fine. We have water. Kalora Juice might not be the best choice right now, considering it has very mild hallucinogenic effect when imbibed in large quantities. Not that we'd have let it get that far."

Mimosa let out a long-suffering sigh, "Forgive my father, he tends to forget not everyone has our resistance to the fruit's effect."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Riwona Iblis Character Portrait: Selene Brightmoon Character Portrait: Calion Felus Character Portrait: Mimosa Iblis Character Portrait: Perennus Greymane Character Portrait: Acacia Iblis
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The woman had just finished crawling down the ladder from the command deck of the baserunner. The sand, and gravel crunching under her boots as she gingerly slung the disruptor rifle over her shoulder, letting it hang loosely by it's nylon strap.

Colonel Tyrus wasn't far behind, letting his boots crunch on the gravel, he stood behind the woman, keeping his steely gaze affixed on the people before him, he clasped his disruptor rifle tightly, anticipating battle. The man said nothing even as they were addressed, instead opting to let General Nabaal be the first one to speak.

"Hello?" The child addressed her, and the woman quietly cantered her head, but did not respond. Behind her, and around the baserunner, about a dozen Aschen soldiers in dazzling fractal desert camouflage could be seen, their faces hidden by checker pattern shemagh scarves, and polarized, reflective goggles, their heads obscured by wide brimmed military style boonie hats. All of them carried similar weapons to the woman in the yellow and black jacket.

She quietly raised her hand, and they stopped their advance towards them, taking up positions around the massive tires of the baserunner.

Nabaal's eyess narrowed slightly, as she wiped some sweat that had begun to bead on her brow.

She took a breath to speak, her tone cold, almost accusatory.

"Who are you people, and how did you get here?" The woman asked, security of Blackrock being foremost on her mind. "We did not track any ships on entry, and your... encampment couldn't have been here much longer than seven cycles." The woman commented, taking a step forward.

"I am Lord General Nabaal, Supreme Commander of the Aschen Empire's Blackrock garrison." She said, introducing herself like they should have known who she was.

She peered up at the cliff-side, and pursed her lips. "You look like you need these things more than I do." She said, looking back down to those before her.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Riwona Iblis Character Portrait: Selene Brightmoon Character Portrait: Calion Felus Character Portrait: Mimosa Iblis Character Portrait: Perennus Greymane Character Portrait: Acacia Iblis
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It took Perennus a while to formulate a response, carefully picking his words. The woman seemed to be of high rank, if the way she commanded the soldiers(?) and her introduction were an indication. Mimosa and Riwona seemed to have picked up on this too, if their uncomfortable expressions were any indications.

"My name is Perennus Greymane, Lord General Nabaal. I am the temporary leader of those who call themselves the Rheneya. These are my daughter Mimosa, and my granddaughter Riwona. As for our arrival, there were no ships involved. What little remains of our people entered your realm through a portal, in an effort to escape the destruction of our world."

He paused for a bit, wiping away some sweat himself. This was about the time a huffing and puffing Rion appeared. Perennus raised an eyebrow at the Rheneyan woman. "Figured I'd... tell you a-... -bout the in-... -coming... life... Already... Met them... I see...", she said through the gasps.

"This is Rion", he decided to add, feeling slightly awkward at the interruption. "Who seems to have run up 2.5 miles of stairs to inform me of your arrival...". Rion gave them a nod, before stumbling away again.

"I apologize sincerely, both for the interruption, and landing on what I understand to be your empire's lands?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Riwona Iblis Character Portrait: Selene Brightmoon Character Portrait: Calion Felus Character Portrait: Mimosa Iblis Character Portrait: Perennus Greymane Character Portrait: Acacia Iblis
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Nabaal paused a moment to consider her next words. These people were refugees, which meant that she could score points with MiniTru for the hearts and minds of the people.

She looked back up at the rocky cliffside, and then briefly back towards her baserunner, before she offered a soft smile. "Apologies for the harsh introductions." Nabaal said as she slightly inclined her head. "Escape the destruction from your world? So you're refugees?" She asked as she cantered her head slightly.

Listening to their explanation, Nabaal gestured for her soldiers to stand down, with a simple hand gesture, they visibly relaxed, while the woman was formulating her next action.

"Yes, this world is territory of the Aschen Empire, but it is currently being contested, and is in an active state of rebellion." She said, looking over those before her, and taking a step forward towards Perennus. "This place is hardly a suitable location to settle refugees, it's barren, and lifeless." Nabaal said, offering a slight nod.

"How many of there are you?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: The Militia Character Portrait: Riwona Iblis Character Portrait: Selene Brightmoon Character Portrait: Calion Felus Character Portrait: Mimosa Iblis Character Portrait: Perennus Greymane
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  1. contains rule violation, needs review

    by barney_fife
  2. This post does not provide an opportunity to react, and forces an outcome, thus it will be disregarded.

    by barney_fife

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Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: The Militia Character Portrait: Riwona Iblis Character Portrait: Selene Brightmoon Character Portrait: Calion Felus Character Portrait: Mimosa Iblis Character Portrait: Perennus Greymane
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  1. This post does not provide an opportunity to react, and forces an outcome, thus it will be disregarded.

    by barney_fife
  2. possible duplicate content

    by barney_fife
  3. contains rule violation, needs review

    by barney_fife
  4. I'm almost sorry to say, but I'm with fife on this one. Not only does the attack come out of literally nowhere (both IC and OoC), but it also leaves few options to react. I would have minded a lot less if there was at least some build up to it, or alternatively some OOC discussion about what everyone wants to achieve. and what they deem acceptable or not.

    by Revenant Sorrow
  5. Sorry Oreo but I'm with Barney and Rev too. This is kind of random and doesn't let the characters react in any way, pretty railroad-y. Also don't forget that you still have to deal with the Protectors.

    by Abraxas_Axis
  6. This is a perfectly valid post! Other characters can freely respond to the weapons fire. Please review the combat rules!

    by Remæus

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In the middle of the discussion, R.F.E. Militia land speeders, 3 in numbers, started their fast approach.

Image

They zoomed by, hit their brakes and drifted, then immediatly started firing at the Achen scum. They tried their best to not hit the "Refugees".

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: C.O.R.e Character Portrait: Rome Character Portrait: The Militia Character Portrait: Ashia Nova Character Portrait: Riwona Iblis Character Portrait: Selene Brightmoon
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  1. (OOC: It's been two months and nobody has updated upon the position of the battle between RFE-Militia, C.O.R.e., Aschen Blackrock Division and Protectors, so I'll do it myself - without railroading, of course. The Dangerous Times Arc must continue.)

    by lostamongtrees

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They were losing.
That was the only conclusion that Captain Ashia Nova, commander of the RFE-Militia troops and reluctant lover of Emperor Rome of the Roman Fell Empire, could draw from all of this. It was three against one - one the sworn enemy of the Militia, one the enemy of the Roman Fell Empire, and one the enemy of all humanoid life itself. Her soldiers... her... soldiers...
Snap out of it!!! she thought, and came to just in time to see several heat-seeking missiles directed at her. "Shit!!!" she exclaimed, and quickly attempted to dodge. But she was not fast enough, and one missile clipped her side and exploded. Her suit, although made of very tough material, was still quite damaged, and she was dazed.
A man chuckled into her intercom. "Not holding up so well anymore, eh, Nova?"
Ashia gritted her teeth. "Reavus. This isn't over yet."
"Or is it?" she could feel her sworn enemy sneering at her in his voice. "You and your foolish 'emperor' really thought you could consolidate enough power to take on the Aschen Empire itself, not just take over the Kreios System? Face it, Ashia. You are a brilliant tactical mind, but you have been outplayed. Give up, and we might just let you go."
"How do I know I can trust your word? Or even that there is not a chance for us?"
"Unlike you, I am a man of honor. As for the latter question, look around you."
She did, and saw what had made her halt in the first place. They were losing, and that was that.
Dodging blasts and attacks from her enemies, she finally came to a decision. Rome would not like it, not like it at all. The man had drive, which she could expect, but he was too ambitious. Such foolish excesses of courage were the very thing that lead to the disbandment of the Militia in the first place.
This was the only way. She knew it, and it gods, it hurt to admit it, but Reavus' word was true.
Disconnecting from Reavus, she barked into her intercom to her soldiers, "Retreat! Retreat! We are losing this battle, and if we do not retreat then we all will die! I repeat, retreat! Over and out!"
Gazing one last look at Blackrock, her home, she whispered, "I'm sorry, Rome."
Then, using her suit-powered gravity boosters, she launched herself away from the battle and into the deep recesses of the Kreios System, where she would wait to rendezvous with the rest of her army.
And, probably, have to face the music with her emperor.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: C.O.R.e Character Portrait: Rome Character Portrait: The Militia Character Portrait: Ashia Nova Character Portrait: Abraxas of Blackrock Character Portrait: Sara Gynovus
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12:51 ISP: "Captain Ashia Nova to RFE-Militia HQ. Recon requested ASAP. Battle outcome assessment requested as well. Current location: Kreios Galaxy X159, Y650, Z489. Over."

* * *

15:30 ISP: "This is Captain Ashia Nova to RFE-Militia HQ. I request recon immediately. Battle outcome assessment requested ASAP. Current location: Kreios Galaxy X159, Y650, Z489. Over."

* * *

18:59 ISP: "Captain Ashia Nova to RFE-Militia HQ, please respond ASAP. I request recon immediately. Battle outcome assessment would be welcome as well. Current location: Kreios Galaxy X159, Y650, Z489. … Please respond soon. Over."

* * *

22:55 ISP: "... Shit on a stick."

Ashia clicked her intercom off sharply. This was the twentieth time she had attempted to call for recon from the RFE-Militia HQ in the... how many hours? Ten? It didn't matter. The current situation was rather dire; stranded out in the middle of space with half of a power battery keeping her running, no allies (or even enemies; at this point, the former tyrant captain would have welcomed any sign of life, human or otherwise) anywhere in sight, and no idea what had happened in the prior battle.
While it was a horrible - and painful - idea to think, Ashia was almost certain that the RFE-Militia had lost. If it had been just them versus the Aschen, they might have won - a very, very slim chance of course, but a possibility. But then those damn rebels had to intervene... on the plus side, the Protectors had most definitely been steamrolled by the Aschen. The bad news was, so had her army.
Ashia spared a thought for Rome, perhaps the greatest leader she'd ever met - no, the greatest man she'd ever met. Calculating without being cold-hearted, and a great listener as well, he had been able to lead a strong army against their greatest foes. And he had loved her not for her looks (or for just being a woman in a high position on the social ladder) but for who she was. And he had understood her - that was without a doubt.
And now he was almost certainly dead.
Ashia was surprised to feel a tear roll down her cheek. Since when had she become so damn emotional? Ever since that business with that snake-man troubadour and the psychic Protector, her entire life had been turned on its head, with said head then being bashed against the wall of suffering until it was a bloody pulp. There was nothing left for her. Everything she had worked for... gone. In less than a month too. She should just give up, and-
NO!!! she thought. I cannot give up! I have not come this far only to give up and die! There are still things I can do. That I must do.
And it came to her so suddenly that it seemed her own body was knock back a few feet from its former position: she still had a mission to do; it was all coming together. Abraxas and his crew; her mission had been to hunt them down. Then, of course, the Aschen intervened, and everything fell apart. But the mission still remained. And it was a mission she had to do, if not for duty then for her sheer sanity.
I will fulfill my duty, if it is the last thing I ever do in this life, Ashia reckoned. Come blood or bane, woe or wave. For the Militia, for Blackrock, for my family... for Rome. For myself. I swear upon it with all of my force of will.
Immediately after this, in an event Ashia would not be sure actually happened even long afterwards, her Gauntlets of Doom seemed to vibrate, to hum with some psionic agreement. To become more... attuned to her. And she could sense the path the trio had taken... where they were now. Even though she had no idea how, she could all the same.
The Zanzarian Port. Misrana. I will find them. And with that, Ashia Nova blasted off into the depths of the Multiverse once again, on the mission that could save her life... or doom it.

The setting changes from Blackrock to Sky's Edge

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rei Harkov Character Portrait: Imperial Defense Force Character Portrait: Éclaire Hanley Character Portrait: The Montesquieu Twins Character Portrait: Sprinkles Thothess Character Portrait: Yuri Nikolaev
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Once the Esteem slipped into the atmosphere, the roar of it's gargantuan engines reverberated far below, amidst the rugged jungle, and amidst the swamps, and the rugged mountainous terrain. Hanley was watching the display from her command console, some kind of energy weapon, it appeared these natives had been amassing quite an arsenal while the Empire's eye was turned. But they had a job to do, and Hanley turned to face another woman, this one wearing a dark, olive green jacket, with an unusual insignia pinned to the collar.

"We won't win this from orbit, and glassing the planet would embolden other insurgent groups." The woman said, clasping her hands behind her as she surveyed the holographic table in front of them.

"Let me handle these gritidiim." The Cosmoran woman remarked, keeping her hands clasped behind her, as she kept her eyes on the jungle below, represented on the three-dimensional hologram. Nabaal knew the place of Admirals, and it wasn't on the ground, it was among the stars. Lord General, the last vestige of an old military branch, finding new and reinvigorated use among insurgent groups, and rebellions within the Empire. She was the Empire's attack dog, the Butcher of Ruston, Lord General Nabaal, with wispy brown hair, and a tanned visage from life in the unforgiving deserts of the Cosmora Archipelago.

"Admiral, that Plateau there, deploy the prefabs there, and the Fiiskire." She instructed. "If you could, and then it would be wise to pull your fleet into high orbit." Nabaal smirked. "Oh, and we can't have the Taiyou fight all of our battles either, I'd prefer it if they stayed aboard their ships, this is Aschen problems, and they require Aschen solutions." Nabaal remarked, while she placed a hand on Admiral Hanley's shoulder, patting it twice, before turning to walk around her, and out of the CIC.

Hanley simply grit her teeth, she was too proud to admit it, but the filthy colonial was right, this was her domain, not the Admiralty's. So the Admiral looked down to the display, and highlighted a landing location.

Above the Jungle, with shields flaring to life with energetic eddies, the seemingly unnoticed Reverence II slipped through the clouds, and began to project a brilliant violet beam of light onto a large plateau overlooking a marshy valley that was riddled with a river that snaked through it.

Massive doors opened up underneath the Reverence II, echoing through the jungle below as metal snarled, groaned, and barked it's protest, these massive doors retracted, moving aside armored plates, and opening up wide, exposing a maw that was roughly a kilometer long, and five hundred meters wide, one could look up into the gaping hangar bays of this massive supercarrier, and see a handful of Aschen cruisers, suspended from trusses embedded in the ceiling of the bay, while a large vehicle, one that could be described as an aircraft carrier on treads began to descend through the gravity beam.

This carrier clocked in at one hundred and twenty five thousand long tons, and five hundred and sixty eight meters in length, it was a slow, lumbering beast that would serve as a base of operations for the Aschen ground forces.

With the Fiiskire deployed, crushing everything underneath it with a deafening 'crunch!' that echoed through the entire valley, the Reverence II ignited it's gargantuan engines, while the bay began to slide shut, shields flaring back to life. Slowly, the thirty kilometer long Planetary Assault Carrier began to gain altitude, while the crew of the Fiiskire was identifying travel paths for it to take, Lord General Nabaal at home aboard it's bridge, surrounded by instruments, steadying herself as massive engines caused the Carrier to lurch forward.

"Let's deploy Construction vehicles, clear this foliage and get the beachhead established. Keep your eyes on the scanner." Nabaal ordered, wincing as the sunlight began to shine through the windows, illuminating the Bridge.

Behind the Fiiskire, a massive ramp opened up, revealing a small army of bulldozers, and lumber harvesting trucks, slowly, they moved down the ramp, and started to work clearing the trees, and the undergrowth by cutting them down.

---

The small group of Taiyou ships moved through the Multicolored clouds with little hindrance, their advanced sensors meant they did not need to rely on visual cues, unimpeded, they touched down in a body of water south of the continent, with no further orders, they remained in position, while the Esteem began to ascend back into the atmosphere, any attacks against it would be rendered largely ineffective against the Reverence II's Gargantuan shields.

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Character Portrait: Rei Harkov Character Portrait: Imperial Defense Force Character Portrait: Éclaire Hanley Character Portrait: The Montesquieu Twins Character Portrait: Sprinkles Thothess Character Portrait: Yuri Nikolaev
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Meanwhile the jungle simply watched and waited, for now it yeilded to the orders of Hanley's men and their machines. However, that wasn't to say it was without it's defenses. The jungle held dangers of it's own that these men were now subjecting themselves to, things that the locals spoke of in hushed tones for fear of bringing "la madre tierra's wrath down upon them. The locals were also fond of supersitions and rituals, anything that could potentially offer them an edge against their enemy neighbors. These were things often brought to them along with the cargo and crew of any ship that happened to stick around long enough to trade. Due to this Sky's Edge was a strange mash up of many cultures across the stars where many a young man or woman thought there might be easy fame or fortune to be had for themselves.

"You think that's going to work Cossack?" Rei asked more amused than not. Most people in her experience didn't have the guts to tell the Aschen where they could stick their gigantic troop carriers. But she had seen the trick he had pulled off, managing to bury their signal in noise of the planet and shadow generated by the Aschen ships. It wasn't something she had ever really thought of, but it so far had bought them a bit of time, and that was better than nothing. "Because I've never known the Aschen to be terribly smart in the department of leave it the fuck alone."

The warlords of the planet would more than likely take this as an invitation to use some of the worst weapons they'd managed to devise to date. Never mind the discrete, signal-less, bladder mines planted in the jungle where Hanley's men forged a path forward, keen to bend nature to their will. Instead, there were things that the Aschen hadn't yet dreamed could come out of a back water planet to be seen.

Sky's Edge and it's population had had centuries to cultivate their collective hatred against their so called lords and masters that the Aschen deigned to call themselves, into something not unlike a fine wine. And this was something that the Children of Ash had taken full advantage of. Quietly and carefully, they had taken time to refine this anger, this collective hatred of otherness, into a brilliant and crystalline suite of emotions, thoughts, and things. Things that were especially designed to communicate their hatred against those who would have left them forgotten, and abandoned.

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Character Portrait: Rei Harkov Character Portrait: Imperial Defense Force Character Portrait: Éclaire Hanley Character Portrait: The Montesquieu Twins Character Portrait: Sprinkles Thothess Character Portrait: Yuri Nikolaev
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The Aschen’s Fiiskire would find itself under attack from numerous bands of independent factions. They were ‘Splinters’, small groups more focused on defending their jungle hideouts than expanding their petty groups. Perhaps only 10-20 in each, these are the sorts you might expect to find hanging out near dodgy alleyways. They didn’t tend to have in atmosphere fighters of any sort, given their temperament, but would set up traps all around their encampments and arm themselves to ward away other ne’er-do-wells.

For such a purpose is the bizarre chemical concoction known as “Weirdness Sludge”. A viscous, purple, putty-like slime that has a mind-boggling effect on atomic bonds. It gives any substance it touches the same consistency as itself. That is, it turns stuff into a putty-like slime. The material maintains its original colour and chemical makeup. Electronic devices and mechanisms will still work, despite being subjected to the ‘Weirdness’. A steel ceiling may bend downward into the interior, but it IS still as strong as steel and won’t be able to be separated as the sludge itself can be. The sludge can be cleaned/wiped off with something as simple as a tablecloth, at which point the material will warp back into its regular shape. The only substance known to grant immunity to these peculiar effects, is lead, and so it is exactly what the Splinters’ sludge grenades are made of.

There would also be plenty of pitfall traps filled with the stuff, intended to trap intruders in a mess of perspective horror. As for standard weapons, the most basic ballistic firearms and construction tools like nailguns and arm-mounted jackhammers.

Meanwhile, inside one of the Children's hideouts, Roland stood in anticipation after his message.

"They'll step hard and fast. But their MO is to stop this sort of thing before it happens, like us, so at the very least I'd like to imagine we're causing a ruckus."

Roland didn't have a terminal, and refused to use them, so it was common for new recruits to the Children to be devoted couriers. He had only just received word that the Fiiskire was landing in Splinter jungle, delivered by one who had enough of the 'sit and wait' lifestyle of them.

"Say, Rei. I've never been the greatest on the spot, but with a fourman vessel what do you consider our odds on getting out in the mess?"

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Character Portrait: Rei Harkov Character Portrait: Imperial Defense Force Character Portrait: Éclaire Hanley Character Portrait: The Montesquieu Twins Character Portrait: Sprinkles Thothess Character Portrait: Yuri Nikolaev
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"We're causing enough of a ruckus that they've taken notice, that we can pretty much confirm." Rei pointed out. It was intensely frustrating to be so disconnected from the additional feeds of information that Specter would have fed her with her ship's various sensor arrays, for now she was having to rely on what the Children had cobbled and cluged together over the last decade.

"A four-manner? Well.. depends on its capabilities I guess. But more than likely they're going to be pretty busy with that jungle for awhile. The stuff between here and Nueva Santiago's pretty rough, depending on where they decided to land. Even then it's going to take them awhile just to cover the ground, not... uh.. counting whatever's out there that wants a snack." She hesitated, having no idea what the Aschen had or hadn't sent. It was all guesswork and eventually someone was going to yell 'You sunk my battleship!' sooner or later; she just hoped it wasn't the Children yelling it. They had been dealt hard enough blows over the last few years, and when the Empire should have stepped in to help, all they did was rub salt in a raw wound.

"Unknown capabilities aside, I can probably get us out of this hell hole given enough time. We'll just have to be careful, probably see if we can't mimick the sensor returns for one of their ships.. or a friendly at least." That in of itself would likely require some retrofitting with newer scraps and electronic paraphenalia scavenged from the closest city. Going into the city would put a target on their back, but nothing like sitting in the jungle like fish in a barrel. At least in the city there was the potential for loosing any hostiles, especially given a lot of them weren't prepared for the maze like cities that called Sky's Edge home.

The time necessary to pull things off smoothly, however was something she wasn't sure that they had a lot of. Rei still had no idea how much time she had lost or gained stuck down in the cenote, and getting up to speed was more challenging than she had originally thought. From the way Roland had treated everything, it seemed like a lot more than just a couple of days.

"Okay let's put it this way, the odds seem pretty bad.. but might as well take a gamble?"