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The Multiverse

Setting

A watery, mediterranean world of azure waves and silky beaches, Hadriatica has long been a lighting station and trade port of the Local Region. Islands dot the great ocean and make up a broad percentage of land, save for Hadriatica’s band of central archipelagos where much of the population lives. A sparse but robust industrialized and populated world, Hadriatica's remoteness in the Local Region is a imposing feature of this planet.

While Hadriatica's picturesque vistas and scenery captured many an artist and tourist throughout the years, the beauty should not mask the planet's treacherous landscape, as bountiful as the world can be it has been a struggle against the very world itself for the settlers and colonists that make this Hadriatica their home. From the beaches at the fringes of the great Thelassyno sea to the highest peaks of the Aeotufaira mountains deep in Hadriatica’s landmass, wild nature still dominates much of the planet and often rings the settlements distributed across the islands and archipelagos.

For many of the world’s half a billion people, the sea is a provider as both a livelihood and source of food for those smart enough to brave the unforgiving seas. While demographically composed of several various races from several human nations, some the oldest being the Gardenite Myrenonian that fished the seas and raised goats and sheep in the hills, the treacherous landscape has forced the population to adapt everything from cuisine and hygiene to the cultures, tolerances and norms they once brought from their original worlds.

For the more ‘cosmopolitan’ however, several larger cities and settlements bring the facade of distant civilization such as in the capital of Nethe or the bustling, economic lynchpin of Rhodes Town.

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TBD
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Karditugigantai - The central landmass where most of the population finds themselves, the capital of Nethe is nestled against the natural harbors of the rugged land. With picturesque beaches and landscapes, the interior of Karditugigantai is a wild and mountainous terrain however.

Boloto Harbor - A swampy, massive inland lagoon that has long been a haven for smugglers and contraband. Along these waterways thousands have eked out a living with the riverbanks, avoiding the wild nature that still looms across the deeper lagoon.

Aetoufaira Mountains - The Aetoufaira run the spine of Karditugigantai, and have long been a source of metal and riches from the planet like the oceans.

Krystallo Beach - An enormous, sprawling beach running nearly the length of Karditugigantai, Hadriatica’s largest landmass, a ribbon of settlements and small ports dot the stretch.

Rhodes Town - The bustling port of Rhodes Town is the heartbeat of Hadriatica’s enormous merchant fleet, spending days and months out at sea to return to Rhodes with their holds bristling with fish.There is also a power company utilizing Hadriatica’s bountiful undersea reserves to power electrification across the continent, and Rhodes’ entertainment and market districts are renowned for their diversity.

The Thelassyno Sea - The enormous, almost all encompassing sea that reaches nearly every point of Hadriatica by some way, it is both the lifeblood of the millions who live upon the world and also the birthplace of some of its greatest dangers. Weather can be extreme and deadly deep within the ocean, and even threaten land itself. Across the Thelassyno are dotted thousands of islands and landmasses of various sizes, sometimes even turning the sea fresh from their mere presence.

Nethe - The capital city and shining cultural heart of Hadriatica, Nethe has been a city growing for centuries, carved from the rugged stone that makes up Krystallo’s charming beaches and shores.

Districts of Nethe -
Diadrovythes - The Sinking Paths are an old district of Nethe from the very first days of colonization, now having dropped several meters in elevation over the years and subsequently on the path to being claimed by the Thelassyno Sea entirely.

Neagora - The economic and business heart of Hadriatica, and also where several embassies and foreign buildings are accommodated. While skyscrapers look out across the endless ocean, a bustling city life and tourist crowd go through the beaches and shores of the Neagora district while millions toil in the offices above.

Rolofolia - A large government and defense complex, the old fortress constructed when Hadriatica was first settled had since been developed into a large complex where much of the government and small military on Hadriatica formally barracked.
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Hadriatica

A watery, remote world deep in the Local Region.

Minimap

Hadriatica is a part of The Milky Way.

2 Characters Here

Tyrus [6] Molecay Rebel with a cause
Soap [4] He is, unfortunately, a telepathic bar of soap.

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Vehicles

Soap Box 1


Morgan La Fay has arrived, coming from Lakonia Minor.
Sovereignty here has been granted to AzricanRepublic!
Morgan La Fay has left the area, heading west towards Lakonia Minor.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Castaway
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Nethe, capital city of Hadriatica


A dark haired man in a short coat stood on the corner of an empty road in the stretch of developments between some of Nethe’s business and residential districts. Small two and three story buildings stretched up and down the road he stood on, as a bright yellow taxi trundled up to the curb. At the driver’s seat sat an olive skinned man, Tauronese by his thin appearance and sharp features.

“Yannis my friend, what have they done to your beautiful city.” The man said as he opened the back door and dropped himself into the back of the taxi. The Tauronese driver gave a sharp click of his tongue, a thud from the engine covering the short curses he muttered as the taxi rolled into the street.

“Mister Black, your predictions were uncanny - it’s good to see you again, though. I appreciate the warning.” Yannis said quietly as he began to drive, hardly giving a look towards a pickup with armed men standing in the back as it rushed down the street in the opposite lane.

“Oh, I took statistics in junior college. I take it your wife and child are safe?” The man asked from the back seat, taking a momentary glance at a watch on his wrist as the taxi drove on.

“Yes, an employee of mine was a marine - from your Apparatus - and offered to help Eleonara and Fevi. He is a nice man, the marine, only wants to work.” Yannis offered, talking rather closely with the customer that had just hopped into his taxi. “Though I do have a problem - not so much a problem, as a concern. I have a friend in New Oceania,”

Before Yannis continued, the man in the back spoke, hanging his head just slightly as he watched through the window. As the taxi passed through a cross street, he saw down the road a pair of armored vehicles parked and blocking off the street. “Your friends in the customs house? I don’t think there’s much I can do for all of them, buddy.”

“Not all of the house staff were working when the embassy was stormed - there’s a Gemonese restaurant just in the district where he called me from. The loud men in jackets you warned about are causing quite a ruckus.”

“I think things might be getting quite loud soon, you’ll want to keep this junker away from the highways Yannis.” He replied from the back, leaning forward and taking the pistol from the waistband of his pants and soon checking the slide with a muffled rack of steel. "I don't think I've got enough to tip the waiter if we're eating out tonight but I can get an app - your folks do hummus balls, Yannis?"

"They are Gemonese - I am from Tauron, our food is better."




The city scrolled by from the window of the taxi, the vehicle trundling along the empty ways and passing a burned out car with a deft weave as it traversed the street. In the back seat, the man quietly withdrew the tablet from his coat, setting it down beside him on the seat.

“Yannis, you’re ready to make a welcome for some real bad guys I wouldn’t mind seeing get a bullet as well, no?” He said bluntly, taking a small magazine from a bag in the foot space of the seat before him.

“Mister Black, I hope they will at least pay for the bullets we are about to use - you were right about this Federate, they sit and talk while the spacers still pick at the planets. Fortunately we have guns, yeah?”

The man in the back seat only had a smile as he held his hand against the tablet until there was a soft chime. “I’m glad to hear that Yannis, I’ll be lookin’ out for ya’ brother.” He said dryly, his other hand then patting the seat. As the taxi turned, the tell tale rattle of rifle fire was less of a din than a rain of sound up the road. Ahead, a cafe building straddled the neck of an intersection, the burning wreck of a truck and sandbag positions turning the roundabout into a mire of wreckage and dirt. Just before the scene the taxi reached a hasty barricade of trucks and sandbags with an armed man promptly drawing a hand up into the sky.

“What was the last Demokratis unit you fought with, Mister Black?” Yannis asked, glancing up into the rear view mirror as he came to a stop before the rifleman. A hand went slapping down onto the hood of the taxi as the soldier stepped a distance away from the car.

“You guys are still hunting the Sentinel?” The man in the back responded, taking the tablet in his hand and then slowly drew it out his window. With the rifle raised, the soldier began to approach - and the man remained still, only giving a slow nod out the window. “What makes you think I’d find him here, Yannis?”

As the soldier snapped the tablet from his hand, a man with a pistol strapped on his chest stepped into the road. There was a short whistle from him, making a fist in the air as he pointed at the car.

“We’ve lived amongst you Gardenites long enough to learn your tells - these OPA are no friends of either of us, frater.” Yannis said, drawing the window down with a nod towards the trunk. The man in the back only let out a chuckle as the officer with the pistol approached the car.

“Is that you Castaway? Hiding in a fucking taxi?”

“Captain Petrescu! Am I out of uniform for the club here?” He then shouted from the back of the taxi, his other hand dropping a magazine from up his sleeve onto the asphalt outside the car. As the soldier took the tablet, the Aschen officer waved the gunmen off the car.

“At least the Federate tries to send a taxi at last, let alone a letter!”

There were a few muffled chuckles amidst the rattle of rifle fire as Castaway pulled up the bag under his seat inside the taxi. Drawing a zipper open he took a key and then tossed it onto the dash before Yannis, and then a Fokus device.

“You don’t want ‘em in your neighborhood, huh Cap’n?” Castaway soon shouted out the window, opening the door and stepping from the taxi. “How many did they shoot before you managed to get your people out?”

“Two hundred, prick! Where the fuck are the marines?” The captain shouted, waving a hand back towards the burning street and city. “The battalion is retreating like the Apparatus directed - but there’s a company defending the armory encasement in the Rolofolia.”

“Getting a brigade of marines takes time, prick.” Castaway shut the door of the taxi with a thud, adjusting the cuff of his jacket while a distasteful frown crossed his face. “And you and I both know those barracks are built for a one way gunfight. We've got enough problems to worry about on the next street over. How many guns we got?” He remarked, giving a short whistle over to the soldiers and mercenaries gathering with their weapons at the ready. Meanwhile, the captain stood beside Castaway, leaning in just slightly as he spoke to the agent.

“They seized the starport and then landed straight in the government district, I don’t know what state the rest of the brigade is in but we at least got the battalion’s armor out of the Rolofolia before the OPA closed it off.”

Setting

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Character Portrait: Castaway
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The Highways had been dangerous since the takeover, with warring bands of armed warlords fighting to carve their own slice out of each city block, Nethe was a complete warzone since the fall of the embassy, and that had Tyrus concerned as he clenched the steering wheel of the two and a half ton cargo truck that was told to "Find a taxi."

"We're fighting a three-front insurgency, Cowen." Tyrus commented while shifting lanes to avoid a broken down sports car that was riddled with bullet holes.

"It doesn't matter, Tyrus, they want us to follow that Taxi, it's our only lead, and I hope Azem, and Tito didn't just lead us into an ambush, these OPA bastards are crafty, and they're not bumbling buffoons like the Imperials." Cowen remarked, as the truck shuddered slightly, it's oversized wheels catching a pothole.

Cowen shrugged, and checked the slide on his Vega .42, a dated semiautomatic pistol chambered in the old Kobol caliber, while Tyrus checked his old M33 Betelgeuse.

"These weapons are older than dirt, Cowen." Tyrus remarked, while Ante peered into the window through the cab. "But they are easy, disruptors have no punch, these old guns carved a path for our people, Tyrus." He commented, checking the magazine on his own MP-3 Sirius SMG, chambered in 9.5x22mm Sagittarian.

“Two hundred, prick! Where the fuck are the marines?” Tyrus heard the captain in the now stopped taxi shout in front of him as he brought the battered cargo truck to a stop at the checkpoint. Tyrus quickly opened the door, taking care to keep his hands away from his weapon as he called out to greet them.

"No Marines, but I've got twenty men eager to get some Libertas." He called out, a common callsign for Molecay rebels that they used to identify each other. "And it's a long walk to the embassy." He shouted, while Azem jumped out from the back of the truck, his thick Tauron accent mottling his words.

"Got enough guns for small army, good stuff, not that lite brite shit." Azem remarked.

"Administrator Kalfas said we could link up with some like minded individuals, I'm Squad Leader Tyrus, third Independance Brigade, of the Free Molukai People!" Tyrus called out. "I'm looking for Castaway!"

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Character Portrait: Castaway
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There was a roaring shout from the barricades, a company of men and women chanting ’Libertas!’ in unison, while the man in the short coat only shrugged to the captain. “That armored battalion is going to roll out the easiest route through the city, Petrescu! That’s down Oceania Row! We open it street by street, get them rolling through and catch a ride on the way out - easy peasy Gemonesy, Cap!”

As the new militants approached, the man in the short coat held his hands up to his chest, gripping at the light ballistic rig strapped to his chest beneath the coat. The captain waved at the men as they disembarked the taxi, but quickly turned his attention back to the agent, though giving a brief wave of his hand to the approaching allies.

“If you or your fucking Scatterran dogs betray us I and the rest of these men here will take our worlds down upon you!”

“I wouldn’t want it any other way, Captain Petrescu! They want to kill me too!” The agent barked back, the rattle of a heavy gun booming down the street. Nearby the barricade, a hasty firing position had been established to support a 47mm stanchion cannon.

“This is Badel, this is Badel - I am firing on the enemy!”


The man in the short coat waved a hand over at Tyrus, his rifle hanging by the sling at his waist. “The marines won’t be here in time to save Nethe, gentlemen, but we can save enough of that DCF brigade for when they do arrive - “ He stopped for a moment, looking over at Tyrus before he continued. “Right now, we have enough firepower to take out a fucking eye while they’ve got their rifles elsewhere though, boys. I think there’s someone in there we’d all like to have a nice, civil conversation with, if I can get my hands on him before he punches his card. You gentlemen want some answers, or am I just ringing the desk by myself today?” The man remarked, holding a small holo-projector in the palm of his hand that displayed a 3D imaging of Oceani’s Embassy Row.

In the metaphorical heart of Nethe, Embassy Row was a stretch of buildings that flowered out in a half circle around the Imperial Customs Building and the ornate, picturesque parkland of New Langara Park that flanked one side of Embassy Row. The agent draped one hand on the stock of his short barrel rifle, as the other held a finger to one of the holographic structures. “Gunmen staged their assault on the Customs House from here, at the Cosmora Colonial Hotel, at 0850 local time - we could have host-nation security personnel still alive, so you need to watch your targets.” In another window, a bodycam stream of heavily armed men in dark paramilitary attire rushing the security checkpoint played.

“These, are the Black Legionaries, a spacer muscle group from across the Veil that’s decided to take their business intergalactic. They can speak your language, and will try to convince you you’re better off fighting with them than the Exogarden - “ As the clip ran through, in silence, the security officer was frantically surrendering his weapon before a barrel was pointed directly into the camera. “If there are any of you who are willing to put a paycheck over the lives of your countrymen, you’re either leaving now or you’re in front of me when we cross this barricade.”

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Character Portrait: Castaway
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Tyrus checked his weapon one more time, before he gestured to the rest of his militants to check their gear. Each one of them moved back to the box truck they emerged from to grab some supplies they had looted from an Imperial Armory, they hastily donned kanvium vests over their muted uniforms, the Imperial black contrasting with the muted greens and browns of their Rebel uniforms.

"No one's gonna convince us shit, every one of us are in it got the cause, not money, were what's left of a proud sovereign military, not some two bit mercenaries out playing weekend soldier." Cowen remarked as he spat on the ground.

"I've got a bullet for each one of those damn Gritidiim." He added, pulling out a three barrel shotgun from the box truck, and loading it with high velocity buckshot, finally racking the pump with a 'clack-clack'.

"Captain, my men will follow your lead." Tyrus said as his words were briefly broken up by the sound of distant disruptor fire. "I've gotten word of Imperial fast response teams pinned down all over the city, they're dead, but hopefully we can loot their shit."

Quickly, Tyrus turned to his men.

"Alright, ladies and gentlemen! Ready your breakfast and eat hearty, because tonight we're gonna dine in hell!" He cried out as the remaining Moluk militants shouted in unison, raising their weapons Into the air before forming back up.

Tyrus offered a nod.

"Everyone's on board, let's do this.'

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The agent looked between Tyrus and Petrescu for a second, nodding at the other Moluk’s response: and the skulltaker seemed convinced. He checked his own weapon, turning over the short barrel rifle in his hands and prying the 5.72 magazine free. When Tyrus informed he would be following Captain Petrescu and the members of the DCF assaulting Embassy Row, the agent shrugged dismissively to Petrescu. “We’ll need all the hands we can if we wanna’ catch your guy.”

“And you’re sure it’s him, et Garnifex?” Petrescu stepped in close towards the agent, leaning in as he spoke the name - and promptly spit onto the ground beyond the agent's shoulder.

“Would I be here if I wasn’t?” The agent responded curtly, a gloved hand calmly drawing a photograph from his breast pocket that he offered to the Captain. “Data Registry started taking hits forty five minutes after the OPA seized the airport - this is a fucking bad guy convention.” After the Captain took the first one, the agent was slipping a hand back into the pocket to produce more.

“A whole list of people that’ll leave holes from here, all the way back to the Shore Planets, and even Molucay and Langara herself gentlemen … if this is important to you, it’s important to me. Shall we begin? Yannis, we're good to go! … alright guys, now don’t freak out on me but, I got us a car bomb …"



Somewhere across the barricade



Outside a cafe on Embassy Row, a car burned furiously, the police sedan having borne the brunt of an RKG-8 wielded by a man in glasses and a scarf, rockets dangling from his vest as he waved a hand across the street. “Alright you sorry fucks, pick what you want from the place now! We’re locking this down for the Legionaries.”

Behind him, a squad of ten men armed with rifles and pistols advanced across the street, quickly shattering the windows to the cafe - even as panicked screams erupted from inside. The man with the rocket hefted it on his shoulder, tagging along behind them as another one of the gunmen bounded into the street beside him.

“Didn’t Hossa say there was a bunchadem’ Demokratis gonna’ be-he?” The shorter man inquired, to which the rocketeer only scoffed as he dropped a hand to the .378 Model U revolver on his waist.

“Legionaries say they catch all dose Aschen pussies in the Rolofolia, trap ‘em up like the lamb they all eat.”

“No shit?” The gunman said with a short cackle, pumping his fist. “Oh we’onna own all dis fancy Langarite shit now.”

As more screaming and gunfire came from the cafe, a pair of the gunmen were already lining up frightened civilians and public security alike outside on the street - the one police officer found had already been summarily shot. Him, and a few men and women chosen indiscriminately. The small cafe was rather neatly butted against a sloping turn in Embassy Row, and almost abutting one of the formidable blockades.

The ten men had gathered in the happily decorated outside tables, using some of the chairs on their sudden hostages and herding them near the window. “Aight ninohossa, who you say gotta mommy or daddy pay for ‘em?” One of the gunmen said, his rifle slung across his chest while he gripped a pistol and waved it lazily across the line of frightened people.

Even amidst the distant gunfire running across the city, it would have been difficult to hear a soft whistle from somewhere across the barricade. Though when there was a fireball that rent a gaping hole through the metal and stone structure, the squad was buffeted with a shock as they turned to look across the overpass where the barricade used to be.

One of the nearest gunmen, holding a man by his collar down against the table, stared into the ash and fire before a single bullet cut through his skull just above his left eye and sent him reeling backwards.

There was barely a pause after the first snap of a rifle before there was another. And suddenly, bullets began to spray across the cafe as the Demokratis suddenly arrived.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Castaway Character Portrait: Tyrus
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Tyrus briefly caught one of his comrades racking a fresh round into his .30-80 Aldebaran with a grin, pulling briefly away from the scope as the smell of smoke filled their position. Tyrus nodded, and quickly formed up, leveling the barrel of his own Sirius SMG, firing a multitude of rounds downrange at an OPA fighter taking cover behind an overturned law enforcement vehicle. His own weapon sent a flurry of 9.5mm rounds barreling downrange with a 'rattatat' as hot shells were flung over Tyrus' shoulder.

Out of Tyrus' periphery, Cowen had taken a team of Rebels around a wide flank to the east side, quickly moving to distract, and pin down the OPA there, and open up a direct assault for Tyrus, and Castaway.

There was another crack, and another dead OPA insurgent, as Mashad chambered another .30-80 into the reciever, and licked his lips, resting prone against the ground behind two jersey barriers on the overpass, taking advantage of a small crack between them.

"Roki, Spartacus! Form up on the west side, hold down those formations!" Tyrus called out, unfastening a Type G 'Stick' grenade from a belt loop, and hurling it with all of his might across the battlefield, behind a burned out pickup truck, which was immediately engulfed in a brilliant fireball.

"Nadal! Check your fire!" Tyrus shouted. "Cover those Civies!"

Amidst the chaos, and the confusion, a trio of rebels seized the moment to converge on the civilians, taking care to engage the armed men, while the third encouraged the civilians to run amidst the chaos, using his comrades to provide suppressing, and cover fire with their mishmash of assault rifles, and the familiar bark of a Seburo C-30 Assault rifle, which filled the cafe.

A dust covered Moluk peered from behind a row of Azaleas across the street, chambering a fresh magazine into the Taiyou rifle, and catching any unlucky OPA not behind cover with a flurry of 5.56HVAP Bullets.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Castaway Character Portrait: Tyrus
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The rattle and din of automatic fire followed the agent as he ran along the street, his weapon resting vertical against his shoulder while two feet sprinted him until he was near an overturned taxi. Stopping for a moment, he only made a quick hand sign to two men in cover nearby him.

“You two! Who’s been shot?!” The agent barked, putting his back against the crumpled taxi as bullets shot overhead. Windows shattered and glass rained onto the pavement, bouncing against blood stained concrete.

“No one yet! Adama is bringing the particle gun!” The Moluk screamed from his cover, racking the bolt on his assault rifle before inching away from his cover. In the alleyway behind the two Moluk riflemen, a third man appeared from around the corner hauling a cylindrical weapon over his shoulder.

“It’s going over your head, solamilitis!” The Moluk rifleman screamed as he took up position behind the rocketeer, who braced himself against the corner of the building. The agent scrunched himself down onto the pavement and against the frame of the taxi, flinching through the catastrophic ploom of the particle cannon accelerating the air into charged particles.

The agent’s ears continued to ring as he rolled himself onto his back, one hand slapping at the frame of the taxi. With a snort, he promptly spit - if only because the taste of the air was so repugnant.

In the nearby alley, a squad of Moluk infantrymen had gathered to support the flank - across the street, Tyrus and his squad engaged the street gang and seized the cafe. The agent managed a short chortle before his own breath seemed to overcome him, waving a hand over toward the cafe and encouraging the Molukai forward. “Seize and str- fucking forward!


Yannis racked the pump of his scattergun, stepping out from behind his dust covered comrade and then shrugging forward to the other infantry behind him. Snapping the weapon up, the shotgun barked in two thundering shots as he passed one of the gunmen strewn out on the pavement.

“Do you know these bandits, portitor?” One of the Moluk riflemen said with a chuckle as he bounded across the street, making sure to keep his boots free from the gore of a twelve gauge to the skull as he took position at the trunk of a car.

“Only that one!” Yannis yelled, hoisting the shotgun against his shoulder while he crouched down next to a Moluk squad leader. The Sergeant braced his assault rifle against his chest, holding a fresh magazine in one hand.

“This is Raptor - we have the cafe and civilians secured, let the moveremus have their signal!”

There was squawking and garbled words from the radioset hanging off the chest rig of a young, pudgy-faced Moluk - he couldn’t have been any older than nineteen - as he stood by the ruined barricade. Nodding, he hitched a hand upward into the sky and aimed between the two eclipsing buildings that were the Colonial Langara Hotel and the Imperial Embassy. In his hand, a single-shot flare gun.

While the Battle of Nethe raged along in a quagmire of senseless blood and death, a single flare went spewing into the skies above the city.


”This is Captain Petrescu, we have secured the evacuation route through Embassy Row - begin the rescue of all our brothers and sisters from Nethe!”

Setting

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Character Portrait: Imperial Defense Force Character Portrait: Éclaire Hanley Character Portrait: Castaway Character Portrait: Tyrus
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Nethe, sometime after the conclusion of the operation.

Imperial Command FOB.

The Ruins of the Nethe Pyramid stadium provided the perfect place for the Imperials to set up their encampment, and through the din of the Reverence II's gravity lift, personnel, and equipment were coming and going. Hundreds of pallets of food, medical supplies, and various other tools were making their way down from the overhead Reverence, which was looming over the coastal district of the city, and out into the water. It was an unusual sight, the massive ship's weapon batteries were retracted into their armored sheathes, and she sat quietly, even as Apparatus AvCav, and transport units moved in and out of it's auxiliary bays to rearm, and refuel, dropping in and out, and offering a backdrop of bustling military activity to what was going on the ground.

Among the unwashed refugees, of which there seemed to be innumerable numbers of them. Admiral Éclaire Hanley was busy dishing out a thick, hearty stew one at a time to struggling refugees, Aschen, and Scatterran alike as they shuffled through the queue. Hanley kept an upbeat demeanor, in an attempt to inspire her troops, who were somewhat unsure of what to do. The Imperials had set up the encampment, and did not expect to be rather swarmed with refugees.

Hanley took a moment to move away from the large soup pot, and smooth down her navy blue duty uniform, while moving among a group of Imperial Soldiers talking among themselves in Anquietas.

"Ad Victoriam, Admiral." One of them said, offering a salute, while he slung his MC1 Carbine across his other shoulder. "With respect, shouldn't we be out there rooting out insurgents?" He inquired, while Hanley frowned.

"Admiral Nagala instructed us to support the Apparatus, and refrain from unnecessary combat." Hanley said, somewhat defeated as the soldier shot her a quizzical look, and then shrugged, turning to face a group of Technicians assembling a wide-spectrum scanning station, and she cast her attention to a small Mechanic Pool, where a Taiyou technician on loan from the Cooperative was screaming at the Aschen technician, tossing a wrench at him, and screaming some more.

Hanley frowned, he was screaming something about the machine spirit. She simply shrugged and dismissed it, ducking just in time to avoid another thrown wrench.

"You Aschenu rack dissiprine!" He bellowed, before he stormed off.

Hanley sighed, and then stepped up to the Moluk rebel that had been providing intel for the local area, the Rebel turned to Hanley, as the two of them passed a pallet of MC1 Assault Carbines, and Betelgeuse DMRs.

"There's still some pockets of resistance that we're designating for Apparatus neutralization." Hanley's XO reported with a brief salute.

"I don't like working with them." Hanley remarked.

The XO Shrugged.

"After everything they've done to our people." She said, and the XO Shrugged again. "We don't have a choice, Admiral. I fear the institutions of Aschen power, and prestige are waning, we are living the twilight of our civilization."

"Update me if anything changes." Hanley said, turning to enter her command barracks.

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Character Portrait: Imperial Defense Force Character Portrait: Éclaire Hanley Character Portrait: Exogarden Forces
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Nethe Authority Facility: EPKF-12


The dull hum of the UMOL’s six atom drive turbines was enough to blare out whatever the Imperial was gibbering away about in broken Communia as Captain Stelter laid with his head resting against the hull of the troop bay. Transit to Nethe was on a constant, rotating flight cycle - a long hop from orbit, to the Reverence, and then dispersed amongst the Exogarden’s facilities and operations zones.

The small force of Imperials and host-nation advisors of the Exogarden Peacekeeper Force were in the relatively quiet, combat wise, Capital Sector. The city was, largely, peaceful due to the Authority’s rapid management of infrastructure - or for the unawares, the Exogarden had seized water, power and city systems from the onset. Host-nation advisors and Exogarden gendarmes like Stelter were mainly there to oversee the Imperials, ensure the natives were effectively trained and empowered, and keep an eye out for the armed gangs like the Red Halos or OPA.

“Cap, this is your stop: have fun with the Chimps.” The Captain heard a condescending chuckle from the pilot, and he perked his head up from his seat. The young Imperial rifleman across from him still watched the man with bright eyes: it was odd how fascinated the Edenites seemed to be in the presence of their Gardenite brethren from the ancient end of the galaxy.

Vidisti Galacticai, procopulus?” The young man jibbered, one hand patting at the patch on his tactical back that bore a warship from an old tele-show, famous Aschen cinema. Stelter very well may have seen it, watched out of boredom between patrols and operations across the Local Region: still, he didn’t speak a word of Anquietas either.

“Still no clue what you’re fuckin’ talkin’ about bud, haven’t for the past six hours.” Stelter only shrugged his shoulders as the UMOL touched down on those stubby landing struts, and the soldiers began disembarking. On the soldiers dispersed from the Intruder and onto the fields, Stelter was greeted by a Gendarme, a palm resting on the handgun at his waist. Stelter narrowed his eyes on the CWO, though brought his hand up to shake with the Chief’s.

“You Captain Stelter? I’m Chief Brotton, Gendarme Security! This is EPKF-12 - I still haven’t figured out exactly how the Imps pronounce their name for it yet - most of ‘em are illiterate, y’know? Some barely even speak anquietas fluently. Well, from the Garden’s perspective.” The Gendarme bellowed over the engines as the Intruder lifted up towards the Reverence once more.

“Yeah, Stelter, Interior Troop.” The Captain replied, his eyes squinting through the drive-wash as airjets landed and departed. “Command is processing into phase two - I need to see the Chimps' chain of command right the fuck now! The Juniors want the whole Capital Sector to be green and blue!”

"Soap Box 1" appears from nothing, through a wrinkle in spacetime.
Soap exits "Soap Box 1".

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Character Portrait: Imperial Defense Force Character Portrait: Éclaire Hanley Character Portrait: Exogarden Forces Character Portrait: Tyrus Character Portrait: Soap
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A small, cardboard box, about the size of a human hand, enters the atmosphere, inexplicably not burning up in the immense heat. It was too small to be picked up any radar, but it was likely that some other, more advanced sensors that certain groups or powers on this planet or above it had the ability to to discover this small object's entry.

As the object closes in on the ground, it slows down, and at about forty feet above ground, it opens and a small white bar falls out. The box still zooms across the street, hitting a wall and clattering to the ground, undamaged but stopped in its momentum.

The small white bar of soap hits the ground roughly and bounces a couple feet before coming to a stop. Anybody in the 82-yard radius, excluding the psychically deaf and machines, can hear a loud Oh Great Heavens! in their minds as the soap scrapes across the pavement. The sudden voice was so jarring that it was unlikely to go unnoticed.

The small bar of soap, dirty but undamaged, begins to take a mental (It doesn't have a brain, can it do that?) inventory of itself. All of it's parts, which were few in number, well, actually one in number, were present. It observes it's surroundings, scanning the assorted rubble. It notices something laying overturned on the ground a couple inches away: A miniature bowler hat. The soap begins to panic.

My hat! Oh, oh, my hat! Good Heavens, I can't be seen without it! Please, may somebody assist me? Is anybody there? Please, this is a matter of utmost urgency, I simply must have my hat!

This can be distinctly heard in the minds of anyone nearby, in basic mentalese, so despite language barriers, he should be understood. It could easily be mistaken for something not projected, but heard, although that shouldn't be of much consequence.

The soap does not understand entirely where he is, or what's going on, but he can sense the smell of gun-smoke and blood, and from the rubble and shattered glass, he can assume that he's in a combat zone, which is unfortunate, as he is in the most basic of explanations, completely, utterly defenseless apart from the ability to speak.
He thinks to himself,
Oh, good night, I hope a stray bullet or explosion comes may way, I don't want to become liquid soap. I hope somebody can assist me, as my hatless situation is most dire.
The soap shudders, somehow, at the thought of being abandoned in the street, left to sit there, and the even more horrifying prospect that maybe he would be separated from his bowler hat for even longer than he initially thought, or maybe even it become lost.
In fearful desperation, he cries out again, Please, anyone, help me!

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Character Portrait: Imperial Defense Force Character Portrait: Éclaire Hanley Character Portrait: Exogarden Forces Character Portrait: Soap
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Imperial Forward Aid Post
Nethe


Hanley was squared away in her command tent, going over some paperwork when she was somewhat rudely interrupted by one of the Imperial adjutants on station.

"Admiral." He said, pulling the flap aside, and offering a brisk salute. "A Captain Stelton, from the Interior Troop is here to see you." He reported, while Hanley quietly rolled her eyes.

"Send him away, I'm busy." Hanley retorted, and then went back to looking at her paperwork. After a brief pause, she heaved a heavy, and audible sigh, before she smoothed down her uniform, and pulled her peak officer's cap over her head, smoothing, and straightening the auburn locks that had been pulled into a tight bun.

"Send him in." She said, sitting back down at her desk.


Somewhere in the city

An Aschen Soldier peered down on the street, letting his disruptor rifle hang loosely from his sling. Was that a bar of soap? He raised his eyebrow, and reached down to pick the soap up, examining it in his hand.

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Character Portrait: Imperial Defense Force Character Portrait: Éclaire Hanley Character Portrait: Exogarden Forces Character Portrait: Tyrus Character Portrait: Soap
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Soap likely startles the man by quickly stating,
"Hello! This is the soap speaking. Hey, can you pick up my hat? Sorry to be a bother, but I really do need it. You see, it's right there. Are you a soldier? That's a funny-looking rifle, y'know."

Soap vibrates a little bit to let the man know that he is, indeed, alive.
"Hey, I'd be careful, you know. I don't know, but I think this is a combat zone of some sort, and I wouldn't want you to get shot or blown up. You gotta be careful, y'know? So, yeah, can you please pick up my hat?"

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The two men strode down the halls and laneways of the Imperial facility, sticking to the middle of the hall, while Aschen gave wide berths to them on either side. Like a pair of predators stalking through a herd of phytophages, the Apparatus personnel talked quietly amongst themselves as they were waved through a checkpoint.

“So what’s this about - if you can spare some intel, Cap?” The Warrant Officer inquired, Brotton flashing the ID badge that was attached to his ballistic vest. The Captain didn’t respond immediately, instead only showing his own badge and then returning to an internal pod bay on his wrist-mounted tablet.

“Word from on high, soldier. That’s all you and your little Chimp buddies here need to know.” The junior officer remarked curtly. Turning his wrist over, he was then greeted with the chilling blue light of the tablet screen: emblazoned on the loading screen the insignia of Supreme Command, a blazing eagle stretching wings out into inky space, dominated the view.

“On High - Supreme Comm - ISAAC? How the fuck did we get comms back across the Veil?” The Gendarme whispered quietly, even stepping closer as his brief word seemed to catch a curious look from an Imperial soldier or two nearby.

“Don’t ask questions you don’t want the answers to.” Captain Stelter offered, waving his opposite palm across the screen to turn his tabet blank. “You know how Command works, we all know what we need to know - first time for everything though, have you ever met ODIN before?” The door to the elevator opened with a ding, and the two soldiers promptly entered.

As the pair of soldiers approached Hanley’s office, Chief Brotton exchanged a brief few words with the Imperial guards, who quickly then dispatched to the Admiral of the pair’s arrival. Brotton, being a Gendarme of the EPKF Security Forces, was one of the liasons that was in constant contact and cooperation with the Imperial detachment that occupied the Capital Sector alongside the rest of the EPKF. Waved on after the Admiral waited in her office, Brotton entered before the Captain, and stood at rest beside the door after a sharp salute.

“Admiral Hanley ma’am, I have a Captain Stelter from military intelligence.” CWO Brotton introduced, his arm dropping to his side as Stelter pressed his heels together with a quick nod.

“Thank you, Chief - Admiral, I’m Captain Stelter, EPKF intel-jaeger.” After the brief introduction, he was prompt to let his orders speak for themselves. Flashing a palm back across the blank face of his tablet, it winked to life with a chime. “I have a message from KYZAGHAN.” Was all he offered before the microproject of the warpad glimmered, an interface springing to life in the air as the same emblem floated in the aether. As the datalines began to download terabytes of intelligence to Hanley’s systems, the emblem shuddered just slightly before a chilling, modulated voice sounded throughout the room.

<Greetings, Admiral Hanley. I am an Apparatus Command Protocol codenamed KYZAGHAN: I am in the processes of beginning Phase Two offensive operations against enemy assets planetside, and am providing tactical and strategic intelligence to the Security Forces. Some of the Juniors have suggested against Imperial cooperation due to compromises, but I have calculated an almost two hundred and sixty percent boost in tactical capacity with Imperial assets on combat duties defending the Capital Sector than without them.>

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Character Portrait: Imperial Defense Force Character Portrait: Éclaire Hanley Character Portrait: Exogarden Forces Character Portrait: Tyrus Character Portrait: Soap
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The admiral stared quietly at the interface while EVE began collating the massive swathe of data for ultimate dissemenation among the Imperial systems scattered throughout the planet.

“Doesn’t look like I have much of a choice.” Hanley lamented as she watched the intelligence play out before her. So it appeared they were planning on securing the rest of the planet.

“So you want out help then.” Hanley remarked, she decided she was going to requisition some more equipment to further aid them in the offensive. She shook her head in silence. They were massacring Imperials en masse along the borders, Hanley had spent days reading the casualty reports as they continued to pile up, and now Nagala had ordered her to collaborate, and cooperate with them, while they still murdered her countrymen in droves. She grimaced at this thought, there was a day that the Aschen would stand up to the wiles of barbaric foreigners, and yet now the Empire was a shadow of it’s former self.


“I’ll redirect the seventh regiment to your service, but I cannot spare any more men beyond that, You’ll have to make due.” Hanley said, going over the troop manifests listed on a file folder in her office.

“Try not to get them killed.” Hanley remarked, turning away from the captain, to sit at her desk, opening it up and pulling out a bottle of Victory gin, pouring herself a glass, and taking a swig.

“Do you require anything else from us?”

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Character Portrait: Imperial Defense Force Character Portrait: Éclaire Hanley Character Portrait: Exogarden Forces
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The data sprawling into Imperial intelligence circuits would have been something Imperial command could have only dreamed of, the vast infow of information capable of “mindflaying improperly tethered human minds (and R&D was still, centuries later, frustrated with understanding the “empyrean” nature of Gardenite intelligence and information), the reason why these operations were done at light speed between two autonomous entities. While KYZAGHAN and EVE had their digital dance, Hanley was given an approval briefing of the mission: it was custom for the High Officers to, personally, sign off on every operation.

<Command has determined the Legion forces still planetside are preparing to use anti-orbital weapons they stole during the first invasion. EPKF forces have recaptured or otherwise sabotaged eight of the ten Semarax walking anti-orbital guns, which were mainly stationed in the lowlands surrounding Nethe, and other important population centers around the planet,>


As the AI explained, schematics and log forms scrawled past, detailing the various coordinations between the military units and civilian organizations across Hadriatica. Many Aschen names appeared throughout these lists, achieving more for the safety and prosperity of the Aschen people through the Coalition than the Empire had ever hoped to achieve. It wasn’t Aschen civilization that was waning.

<I believe the location of one, or perhaps all, of the remaining anti-orbital mechs can be triangulated into a specific area using a PERIMETER system: the mission of forces under your command will be to escort and deliver, under armed guard with discretion permitted by the EPKF as per international law, AI cores containing HUN assets to be used in remote location and detection.

Resistance is expected to be severe, as the Legion has mechanized forces in the area, they counter-attack any movements to locate an AO weapon and destroy it. This operation will require the cohesion and cooperation between multiple combined arms formations, and ground forces will be supported by Aviation and Naval Cavalry.>


For the human intelligence though, it seemed that someone, or something rather, had picked just the right person to give the … Aschen element needed to motivate them. Captain Stelter kept his hands wrapped behind his back, empty face staring blankly into the wall while the faintest prick of a smile tugged at his lips. He loved putting Aschen in their place.

“There are four Imperial infantrymen you arrested for accepting bribes, turns out they were insider-informing against the EPKF as well, kept on the underside - ATHENA’s found everything from the case file to remote surveillance. Earlier last night three civilians were killed for collaborating with the EPKF, two were Aschen, and an Imperial soldier was wounded trying to save a woman's life - though I guess as long as they kill traitors, your Empire doesn’t have any real crime for that: what you don’t know is, their access to collective intel means if they sold the EPKF out, they’re selling out Imperial soldiers on that convoy delivering AI cores to firing installations for Operation Chrome Light.”