Discussion in 'Never Ending Stories' started by Immaculate, Aug 19, 2011.
I like that plan. I'll throw it in.
“What the hell is that-that-that damned Priestess thinking!?” Kasey shouted at the Stranger as she stalked back and forth in his office, “Has she forgotten why we’d fought all those years ago? Why we sacrificed so much?”
“Kasey, I don-”
“And she didn’t even consult the Governors about this! There’s no way she would dare defy all of you, High Priestess or not!”
“I think you und-”
“The selfish git must know that no one would endorse this-this blasphemy, this spitting on the graves of all who died to stop the thrice-damned CSA! Does she ask concessions, some basic human rights for the slaves or freedoms for the Venezuelans? No! She just offers them our help for some gorram money.” Kasey’s temper dies down a little and she glares at the Stranger, who’s been silent for several minutes. “Well, what are we going to do about this?!”
The Stranger remained silent
“Come on, what’s the plan? Sabotage the envoy? Rally the Governors?” Kasey stood there and glared at the Stranger breathlessly
“We will do nothing.”
“WHAT?!” Kasey’s shout reverberated across the room.
The Stranger waited for her to calm down again before speaking again. “The Pries-Rachel did not decide to do this on a whim. Immediately after receiving the request for assistance from the CSA she called a meeting of the Governors and we discussed possible responses. In the end Betsy and Leslie were in favor of providing help while Aimee and Brian were against.”
Kasey’s eyes narrowed, “You didn’t”
“Kasey, you have to consider the bigger picture”
“Sir, with all due resp-no, screw that. Sir, when I signed on with you you made certain promises. You said that we would stop compromising our morals for the sake of convenience.”
“I know. Please let me explain” The Stranger pulled down a long scroll from one of the many shelves that line his office. Clearing his desk with sweep of his arm, he unrolled the scroll to reveal a world map. “What do you see?”
“The world? What does that have to do with anything!?”
“Look at where we are”
“The Pacific Northwest. What’s your point?”
“No, think politically.”
“What, west of Canada and north of California?”
“Yes, west of the single most dangerous superpower in the world. More than half our border is with the largest military in the world, a nation undergoing massive civil unrest, who has just crushed a rebellion with state-of-the-art military hardware. You know your history as well as I do, you know what this adds up to”
“Yes, and without any frontiers to expand into they’re going to be pushing into their neighbors. We have to make ourselves as unappetizing as possible. The Arctic Pact was a start, but we need to do more.”
“And that’s where the CSA comes in”
“Bull. This is exactly what you swore wouldn’t happen when I joined.”
“I... Okay, if the survival of Cascadia is an insufficient reason then how about this: working against the CSA failed to stop the rise of slavery. By working with the CSA we can try to change it peacefully. Rachel’s cult, disgusting though it is, is good at insinuating itself into societies, especially relatively low-tech ones like the CSA.”
“And do you think this will work?”
“I-I’m not sure. It is better than our alternatives though.”
“I’m sorry Kasey, I realize this is far from ideal but there is little else we can do. At least this way we will have a hand in the Priestess’s plan.”
“So what are we going to do?”
“I’m not sure. Go get Anne and Kyra, we’ve got a lot of planning to do.” The Stranger began rolling the map back up as Kasey saluted and left the office.
I'm not going to have much keyboard time between now and the deadline, so orders sent a little early.
From: The Confederate States of America
Advisers should suffice from now; if a good working relationship is developed, Richmond may be interested in pursuing something more substantive in the future.
To: The World
From: Socialist Republic of Iberia
CC: Confederate Communalist Union
The Socialist Republic of Iberia and the Confederate Communalist Union have agreed to the following economic treaty.
Signed, Miguel Silva, President of the Socialist Republic of Iberia, Chairman of the Communist Party of Iberia
There are approximately 24hours left until orders are due.
Signed, CCU Council [Long List of Names]
To: The World
From: Socialist Republic of Iberia; Colombia; Andean Commune
CC: Socialists of the World
The nations of Iberia, Colombia, and the Andean Commune announce that the Pan-American Communistic Alliance has been terminated and replaced with the following agreement. All former members of the Pan-American Communistic Alliance are invited to join this new organization.
Signed, Miguel Silva, President of the Socialist Republic of Iberia and Chairman of the Communist Party of Iberia
NOTE: The CCU was a member of the PACA despite their geographic location in Europe.
Colombia; Andean Commune, Carribea all sign.
Naxal requests membership.
'The Sea was angry that day my friends...' Captain Nobeard intoned to a small portion of his crew that was not seeing to the ship at the moment. It was a small ritual he made each time they were out on the prowl. Regaling them with stories to pass the time and calm restless hearts. Mehkri smiled inwardly, he had grown attached to this ship and its crew. A very unprofessional thing to do, certain to impact his job performance. Yet, it was a very human thing to do and thus could not and should not be denied.
He wondered then again, if it was really him who had grown attached to them or this persona he cultivated for the mission. You always put yourself in a box when you went out and took out another face from the box that would suit the purpose of the mission. Still...the face came from the same box, even if it did not belong inside it for any imaginable reason save those imagined by Men of Reason. It had to be some part of him, even if it was just a minuscule trace, a memory of another lifetime that had etched itself in the mask and haunted the wearer with vague recollections like deja vu. The question kept him awake at night sometimes.
'...we manned the harpoons with haste as the vicious killer squid set upon the hapless fishermen who cried out in terror as their namby-pamby hearts shrunk when faced eye-to-eye with the Great Beast of Davy Jones Locker...'
The sailors listened with rapt attention. Mehkri now let his smile show outwardly. The Captain was infatuated with the romanticized pirates of old, wearing the old pirate regalia and bedecked with numerous armaments, both hot and cold. Despite his best attempts though he was unable to grow a proper beard. He would not this slight of genetics deter him though and he deigned to emulate every other part of pirate life as much as he could. As much as the crew allowed him, of course. Not everything was as glamorous or enjoyable as the old tales would have you believe.
'Captain! Fresh opportunities 2 clicks to the south-west.' a crewman shouted from the crows nest.
The Captain halted then with his story, seemingly irritated at being interrupted but then as his brain processed the sentence his eyes lit up with glee and expectation.
'Excellent! Set course to intercept! What manner of ship it is?' he yelled upwards.
'Unknown. Seems like a cargo ship. Its sails bear the red cross.' the response came back.
Right then Mehkri stomach seized and turned itself inside-out. A bad feeling. He turned about and whisked out his binoculars to look out to the seas. It was true, as if there could be doubt. The Captain made his way to him, barking orders to the crew to man battle stations.
'So what do you say Harlo? Easy pickings?'
'No such thing, Captain. The only easy pickings were yesterday.' he replied, hoping the Captain would catch his meaning.
'Aye I know what you mean. They have been squeezing us hard lately. Too many close calls and too few safe ports. An opportunity like this could well serve us. It is a Red Cross ship. We have many wounded, both here and home and few medical supplies.'
'Exactly. It seems too convenient a conincidence. And I don't believe in them.'
'Or maychance it be fate Harlo? Divine intervention?'
'There is no fate but what men make, Captain. And we are poor makers as the state of the world can attest.'
'For a former harlequin you are very bad at your job. And to think I wondered why the circus troop ship I raided were so relieved to see you go with me.'
'Why they did not fire me then?'
'I imagine they foresaw possible difficulties in firing a 200 pound, well-muscled, bearded and vicious looking negro who constantly sharpens his knives.'
'Captain, you wound my feelings! I am but a delicate and gentle soul misplaced in a wrong body.'
'See. Now that is funny.'
They caught up easily with the Red Cross ship. It sank low into the water as if heavily burdened. The crew upon it seemed alert, but not alarmed. All this set off Mehkri's personal alarms. Something was seriously off. Since they were not going to escape them, the Captain elected for hooks instead of harpoons. No need to damage the ship, even if they weren't to keep it.
Hooks were thrown and attached to the ship. None tried to pry them off for they were being watched by men armed with assault rifles. The ship was drawn in close and planks were extended for boarding. The boarding squads came across first, weapons at the ready and the enemy crew did not resist in the slightest. The top decks secure and lower decks in the process of being secured, the Captain waved over to him and Wrecks to follow. Wrecks was their "Requisitions officer". She was a mean sort, a drunken wreck in truth. Constantly inebriated, not the ideal choice, but the only viable one as the rest of their crew weren't quite up to the mental challenges of the position. Crew losses in engagements narrowed their options quite a bit.
Striding with a big smile on his face on the enemy decks, hand on hip and the other stroking his non-existent beard the Captain surveyed the ship.
'She is a beauty ain't she? Adriatic design? Principalities? A bit grand for an aid ship, but no matter. Wrecks, head over to the cargo holds. Gloss over their load.'
'Aye, Cap'n.' she slurred and stumbled down to the lower holds, making Mehkri wince in the process.
They were approached then by a relatively well-dressed man, clothes made from the finest textiles in the CMP. Bald, shaven and with a stoic demeanour he approached them with great care, as if he was navigating a minefield. The crew raised their guns at him which stopped him for a moment, seeming to mentally dismiss them and moved on. He stood before them hands together and held at his waist before addressing them.
'Greetings, esteemed Gentlemen of Seafaring Qualities. My master has been informed that we have been boarded and has approved your stay. He wishes to parley with the Captain and your First.'
The Captain's brows rose at this. 'Approved our stay? And now he wishes to parley?' He looked at Mehkri.
'Tis unconventional Captain...but within the guidelines.'
'Well, I will admit I am intrigued by all this. Mayhaps we will learn more. Lead on sir...'
'Marco, Captain. Please, if you would follow.'
He nodded, turned and started towards the aft of the ship where the Chief Officer Quarters usually resided on such ships. Captain and Mehkri followed after a brief shared look.
They did not quite expect what they found. In the Quarters was a slightly chubby man sitting at the table, well-dressed, gray of hair and eating what seemed to be light lunch, strips of cinnamon covered bacon with a pyramid shaped construction of peas. More disturbingly, next to him on the table itself sat a blue stuffed penguin staring at a plate holding a raw, uncooked fish, still flopping about.
'Aaah, guests. You did not inform me Marco that we had guests.' he mumbled still chewing.
'I did Master. They are part of the boarding party.'
'Ah, excellent. Just the people I wanted to see. Please, please sit down.' the fat man said while waving his fork around, a strip of juicy bacon hanging off it dripping oil everywhere.
'You'll have to excuse Piggi. His taste is very selective and is rather difficult to appease. Day in, day out I twist, bend and contort to bring him his natural nourishement, but he will have none it. It is true I guess what they say of animals. Once they taste manflesh they can never go back. Although he has not yet gone black if you know what I mean.' he said and winked at Mehkri.
Sitting down at the table along with the Captain, Mehkri quickly scanned the fat man up and down. There was nothing peculiar about him, except his ring. It was at first glance, a Red Cross. But its outwards lines were thinner and crossed with a line at the end. His stomach seized one last time as he recognized the symbol for what it truly stood. Templars. Not the real Templars of ancient European history, merely a group that adopted some of its ideas, perverted others and devised some of their own. Not unlike his group, much as it pained him to admit. He knew the day had come and something in him cooled completely, became hard and impenetrable. The fat man knew however.
'Captain. We have a proposition for you.' he said, chewing his last and putting down the fork.
'We? Who exactly is we if you can answer?' the Captain shot off, his amusement at this surreal scene fading.
'Why, Piggi and me of course. We would join your Great Qualities to our cause. Namely turning you and your merry band of men back at Corsica towards a more suitable target.' he coughed loudly then and yelled clearly 'THE POPE' in between the coughs. The Captain was not amused.
'We have a...tentative agreement with the target.'
'One that is close to collapsing, no?' The Captain said nothing, but scowled at the truth of his words. Reality was hard to deny when it came knocking. 'Besides...the fleets of Principalities are modernizing as we speak. They track you through the aether with Satans aid and clad their ship in hard steel and far-reaching guns. You are not long for this world if you resume this course. Heh, see what I did there?'
The Captain rose at this and drew his sword, growling at him 'Foul landblubber, I'll see your guts for this.'
Wrecks then came in, with an disturbed expression on her face. 'Cap'n...their holds, filled with medicines, yes. Also...guns, lots of guns. Big guns as well, triple A and quad configurations. They are not simple aid-workers. We have been deceived.'
'What!? What is the meaning of this!? Why do you carry armaments?'
'Yes. I do suppose it is a bit incongruous. I tried to tell them we should carry a Black Cross instead, but they would not agree. Didn't I Marco?'
'You did, Master.' the manservant concurred.
'Without entangling you in our bureaucratic disputes let me explain your mission. Part of the deal, shipments for plagued souls and hungry hearts on the coast. Some for you, some for them. Sharing is pack. Pack is good. You do well in your job and you might even get a commission in the CMP Admiralty. Isn't that right...Harlo?'
The Captain was taken aback by this, he sat down again and put his sword against the table. Unbelieving he look at Mehkri and said 'Harlo? You know these men? Are you with them?' Mehkri's face carried a glum look.
'Not with them, but with their ilk unfortunately. We must carve out our freedom where we can. They are a neccessary evil, but we serve to counterbalance them.'
Wrecks stirred at this. She produced a pistol and pointed it at Mehkri. 'Just say the word Cap'n and I'll put down this treacherous dog and these scheming fiends as well.'
'I-I don't know what to make of all this...'
'I'm sorry Captain, it was inevitable we would get snagged into the higher order of things. Life strives towards complexity. These happy, simple times could not last forever. Stick with me Captain and I will guide you through stormy waters as I always have.'
The fat man smiled. 'Yesss. Seal the deal. Hehe seals. Next meal, Piggi? His kind have a saying, don't you Harlo? It goes something like: A life given, for a life taken.'
Wrecks snarled and cocked the hammer on her pistol. Mhekri closed his eyes, lowered his head and uttered 'And more besides.'
What happened next was hard to follow. Mehkri jumped out of his chair and in a blur seized Wrecks pistol arm with one hand while the other flashed a knife slipped out of his forearm. He twisted her arm downward in a half-circle and her muscles spasmed, the trigger finger twitching and firing off shots in the cabin. Bringing her arm above her head, he slipped his other arm over her neck like a snake and positioned the knife at her throat. If she was not drunk she might have gotten the better of him, but he thought that unlikely. With a twirl, he opened her neck and, grabbed the pistol from her hand as she let go and moved away in a simple, elegant motion. She fell down on the floor, choking on her blood that was prodigiously gushing out, soaking the carpets and sliding between the floorboards.
The fat man started clapping. 'Marvellous execution. Very graceful. You could work in a circus if this whole agent/spy/assassin thing does not pan out.' Mehkri just stared at him coldly, murderous intent barely concealed. 'So..Captain, do we have a deal?'
The Captain glanced towards Mehkri and then to Wrecks corpse and realizing his precarious position, just muttered 'Yes.'
'Consecrated in blood. More than we could have hoped for. Haaail Satan. Come on everyone, a small cheer. Sataaaan. Sataaan.'
Outside, the worried crew paused at the gunshots and subsequent chanting and wondered what the hell was going on.
A Very Carefully Written Letter
Dear Matthew Catelyn Tamaro
You are one of Spiegel Corporation's most valuable customers, ordering more of our product than ANYONE ELSE! Our executives have been so impressed that we are officially offering you a membership into our very special club, reserved only for the most special of all people.
Included is a special pendent and a membership card which allows unlimited access into any of our VIP lounges here at Stuttgart. As a member, you have access to EXCLUSIVE OFFERS and preferential access to our up-and-coming gears. Please feel free to visit our lodges in Bavaria in order to discuss the full details and benefits of a membership.
But that's not all! You are also getting our latest a batch of our best shampoo, discrete bulletproof armor perfect for day-to-day business, and a set of fur coat just in time for the winter holidays.
Remember to always lead a fantastic, enlightened life!
P.S. Included is a receipt for your latest purchases. Thank you for doing business with Spiegel Corporation.
Purchases of military units should be posted here or posted only on the orders?
Edit: Orders sent.
They should be outlined in your orders.
I got MANY order sets today and yesterday and things are looking good.
I still need orders for:
Heartland Union (Hbar)
Russia (Lord of Elves)
Confederate States of American (SouthernKing)
Also, if any new players want to join, I would recommend they take one of the following:
Some very interesting things are developing in many of your order sets. Many of you are very sneaky indeed!
I look forward to putting it all together.
Mine might be a little late, I apologize in advance.
Oh man, I forgot to include my stories and stuff in my orders. Should I resend?
I had to finish a paper; I'll be able to get orders in definitely by this evening. I apologize if I end up missing the deadline by a few hours.
Crown Prince Joachim looked down at his watch. 9 minutes past 17:00. It was a shame that Voigt could not educate everyone. The importance that she placed on punctuality was somewhat meaningless considering that nobody else ever followed that principle.
Forsythe was supposed to make his appearence nine minutes ago. Joachim sighed. Why did they always make him go after them? They were competent enough, he hoped, to know better. He pulled the sleeve of his left arm up to reveal a second watch. This one showed 17:10. He tapped the touchpad of his laptop. The digital clock in this one said that it was 17:11. His patience was at an end.
Before he could get up from his office chair, somebody knocked on his office door. "Send him in," Joachim said.
"Hello, commander Forsythe," Joachim said as the commander walked into the office. "Please, uh, take a seat."
As Forsythe walked in, he tried to look at anything that was not the Crown Prince. On the wall, he noticed several decorations. Portraits of previous Kaisers, several maps of Germania with troop positions marked haphazardly. On the floor next to the bookshelves were some astronomical models and by the Crown Prince's desk, a stuffed duck sitting in a place of honor by the prince's side. "Please, uh," the Prince said. "Take a seat." He pointed towards a chair in front of the desk.
Commander sat in the desk, closing his eyes in an attempt to be the longest blink in human history. Finally, he could stand it no longer.
In front of the Commander was the next emperor-to-be, a grim-faced teenager wearing a simple military uniform unadorned save for a single pendant hanging from the neck, its designs hidden from sight. If the Crown prince was going for the image of humility in his choice of attire, he was failing miserably at it. Instead, it was an image associated with many of Spiegel Corporation's officers: cynical and efficient.
"I am uh, certain, that you know why I found it necessary to call you into my office," the Crown Prince said. "
Forsythe tried to open his mouth and explain himself, but the very instrument of speech seemed to have abandoned him. From his dry, nerve-wracked throat, all he could manage was a low cough.
"Well, uh, to review...the incident which happened under your watch... which resulted in the deaths of several important, uh, major Overwatch and civilian personnel of noble persuasion, along with the loss of several hundred men both military and civilian and destruction of a major fuel production facility in Dresden what... what do you have to say for yourself, commander?"
Forsythe looked down. There was nothing to say.
Joachim sighed as he tapped his laptop computer. On the screen was an abandoned video chat and a file containing the commander's personal information."
"Now, we began a formal review of your personnel file. Due to several complaint of your late subordinate, lieutenant Wilde, regarding the amount of time you spent...uhh... interviewing... one Miss Weiss, if we take correctly you took as a secretary breaking several counterintelligence regulations pursuant to Overwatch Directive 224-H subclause 410-c regarding employment of civilian personnel to a position handling sensitive information reserved only for those with the highest security clearence, we, uh, took the liberty of interviewing Miss Weiss. Commander Forsythe, we determined what your....interviews... with Miss Weiss consisted of."
Ten full seconds passed. Neither men spoke.
Crown Prince coughed. "Yes, due to crimes of treason against the German state and inappropriate interactions with your subordinate, we've sentenced you to die. The sentencing will be carried out tomorrow noon."
Forstyhe froze in his seat. All around him, the room seemed to be compressing in on itself. This couldn't be happening. This was wrong. Impossible. The words echoed in his mind, shoving every other thought to the far reaches of his mind, until only the sobering and tombstone-still realization thundered through his shattered thoughts, like a final cavalry charge through a demented thought. He was finished.
"But, but sir," the commander stammered. "Surely, this...this is an overreaction? I don't think... I mean... surely I deserve to keep my life at least? Why add to the suffering and take another life-"
"No, sorry commander," Crown Prince Joachim said, his voice betraying absolutely no pity. "But this is just how things turned out. You've caused a great deal of anguish to several major generals and nobles. Somebody simply has to be responsible."
Fritz opened his mouth once more, but words failed.
"Maybe, uh, perhaps...or even if what you say is true," the Crown Prince said. "It doesn't change the fact that you are the primary bearer of the responsibility. It's time to, uh, face the music, so to speak."
The doors to the office opened, revealing two men in black and gray uniforms with the symbol of the Overwatch: a winged sword on a shield. Wordlessly they hoisted the commander out of his chair and began the long escort to the brig.
"I'll be sending a man and a priest in an hour in case you need something further," Joachim said as the door closed. The video chat in the screen flashed to life, revealing Voigt who looked at Joachim inquisitively.
Joachim crossed his arms. "Being callous," Joachim said. "Is better than having to empathize with men such as him. He would have gone down this path one way or another. I simply carried the sentence." Joachim reclined on his chair. He would need his rest. "We would need to appoint a replacement for Forsythe," he mumbled.
"I have a list ready," Voigt said. Her screen blacked out. Joachim closed his eyes as he mumbled: "When the world crumbles to dust and blood and stones, when the spirits of mankind are trampled and plunged into despair, we will be there to defend what's left from the dark and lead the remnant to the light."
He was at peace.
Orders are done, just waiting on some responses
I'll try to send orders as soon as possible. Just moved back into my dorm.
edit: If we send orders and write a story later (but still well before the update) will we get credit for it?
Separate names with a comma.