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31
International Events / Re: The Freedom War
« Last post by Drodinger on March 15, 2018, 11:56:54 am »
”Xander huh? Odd name, not from around here…” Henry replied. The armored van hit a light ditch, jostling its passengers slightly as to cause little harm but enough alarm some, forcing Henry to quickly place both hands back upon the steering wheel, lest his deft but unorthodox driving relegate them to a grave of rich dirt and murky water. A splatter of mud, littered with decaying leaves and various indistinguishable bits of foliage was kicked up upon the windshield, only to be removed a moment later by the voracious whirling of the wipers as they efficiently removed the obstructive debris.

”Shoot… sorry, I’m not used to off road driving,… haven’t had to drive outside of the city. Uh, can you reach in there—yes, in the glove box, there should be a map” Henry shouted over the loud humming of the van’s tired engine, forced to endure a terrain for which it had no experience and fondness for. ”David said-- David is the guy on the 50-Cal above—he told us he had some experience with heavy weapons so the Captain put him up there –, “ a gloved hand pierced the carpeted ceiling of the armored van, waved gently, then rose to the heavens once more as quickly as it had arrived, “that there was a broadcast that went out just before the main attack arrived, telling civilians to evacuate as soon as possible to a Lattimer Valley. Captain Bruse decided that we were going to retreat to there, so I think we should stick to that plan. Can you take a look at the map and try and figure out which roads we need to go to get there?”

Xander bent down, opening the compartment to examine its contents, fishing for his desired prize. A chipped, dusky flashlight, its lens blemished by a slight oblong crack, brushed upon on him, its worn edges etching a painful but short scratch upon his curious hand. A few used shell casings—the owner of this vehicle really ought to spend some more time cleaning his spaces—jingled loosely, nearly jumping like escaping frogs out of the compartment and onto the muddied floor. A few loose pieces of undistinguishable paper, then something thick, dry, and papery, crinkled but relatively unblemished caressed the tip of Xanders forefinger. Grasping, Xander pulled, exerting far more effort than warranted to remove the sought object, removing the crinkled, lightly worn map from the dim depths of the compartment and into the dying light.

Henry watched silently out of the corner of his eye, as Xander fumbled amongst the loose objects of the compartment. “Sorry, sorry, we didn’t have many options of vehicles to take. Lieutenant Atwood took SBCPD-1 to the beachhead and didn’t make it back-shoot, you think he’s dead?,” Henry blurted out, “and both 2 and 4 were out being repaired.  SBCPD-3 was Lieutenant Bransons car, he’s not known for his cleanliness, but he didn’t make it in this morning. I hope he’s alright, I mean, he had a family geez. Probably just didn’t make it in because he was helping them,.. right?”

Xander traced his hand along the stained map, each crinkle a crevasse that spoke long tales about wonders this parchment had seen throughout its vast lifespan. Locating the red ink dot that denoted Saruleah Bay City, a solitary island amongst a sea of rice and ocean, Xander estimated where the Arcadia’s escape pod had plummeted and slammed into the watery farmland, and slowly but carefully traced their path into the tree line in which they now moved hurriedly through. There, some distance away ahead of their presumed position, a winding, insignificant but nonetheless defined road wormed its way through the tree line. Forced to squint in the fading light to view the name of the road, Xander bent in, his nose inches away from the crinkled document, mumbling the name of the road quietly to himself, “I-105.”. Following the I-105 further up, each jostle of the van forcing Xander to reacquire the line to continue, he observed the line pass through another minor, black dot, insignificant enough to allow one to question whether the dot had even been part of the original map design, and had been an accidental blotch left from years of use, if it had not been nearly labeled by the author, ”Medona.” Continuing, Xander followed the dark, thin line up into a distant mountain range, as it disappeared into the rolling hills and valleys that defined the range. Xander stretched out the map, as to cover his lap with the geography of the region, a quilt of grass and woodlands, and pointed to the solidary snaking line, so that Henry could follow as best he could.

”I-105 huh?,” Henry replied, as he followed the line up into the mountain range. The van seemed to jostle ever so much more; clearly multitasking was not Henry’s forte. ”Hrmm, I think that was the road Captain Bruse said we needed to follow. We had this larger map up in the precinct building, but it was nailed to the wall and far too large…”

Xander folded up the aged map back into a tight, neat square, before placing it in his ruined trousers. He turned his focus back upon the chaotic glove compartment, search, seeking, before grasping upon the offending black flashlight, and placing it to in his trousers. Perhaps they both would be useful at some later date.

Henry continued, a light yawn stifled quickly before he continued to speak, ” That shouldn’t be too hard to find, but I don’t think we’ll get there tonight… why don’t you close your eyes for a hot bit. I’ll wake you up if we need you… okay?”


A bumpy jolt awoke a tired Xander quickly from his slumber. His eyes, unfocused, took several long moments to clear the billowing fog that blinded his eyes. The ungodly heat of the dying summer’s rays had microwaved the interior of the armored van, causing blossoms of salty water to heavily stain the various joints and crevasses of Xander’s utterly ruined uniform. This, compounded with the perspiration of the other several occupants of the vehicle, mixed an unholy salty stench that burned badly inside Xander’s nostrils, as if arcane magical wizards had teleported tiny flaming bonfires of ocean creature carcasses straight into his nostrils as he slept. Though the light rest had helped alleviate some of the pain, the awkward position and the day’s tribulations had left hard knots along his neck, a shooting pain that erupted like a new born volcano each time Xander made any effort to move, forcing a heavy groan out of his parched, flaking lips.

Henry turned his head to face a now awake Xander. His eyes, baggy with coursing blood, strained heavily from the stress of driving hurriedly through the thick, vibrant forest, observed him as he groaned. However visibly tired, he still was able to form a large, pleased smile, his pearly white teeth nearly blinding, backdroped by the darkening world in the dimming afternoon light.

 ”Ah, looks like you’re awake. Just in time, did you see a town on the map? We’ve just hit the outer limits of one. Looks like it might be a good place to spend the night,” Henry spoke softly, as if not to disturb the blemished calm that had fallen over the occupants of the armored vehicle. He removed one hand from the hard, leather-bound wheel of the van, and pointed ahead through the front window.
Xander looked up, his eyes painfully forced to refocus from the changing light, squinting into at the distant objects ahead. As they approached, the objects became more defined, even in the fading light, a stalwart, suburban house there paint peeling off its weathered sides, perhaps a shingled barn to the right, cluttered by loose materials and tools, propped up against its sides waiting for some future use. As they moved closer, the buildings grew from the earth faster, each subject a light blur until Xander focused more closely.

As the armored van moved swiftly closer, the density of the surrounding buildings grew, as if low bushland, caressed softly by frigid winds had been transformed into a thick forest of yellow corn, sweetened, but also tainted by its time in the sun. Each building, a standalone one story suburban home, clay pots upon the porch filled with dead and dying flowers of distant realms, or a tightly bound storefront with a rusting, sagging display rack propped up against the front to showcase nonexistent wares, exuded a deathly calm that permeated the air. Paint peeled from the once vibrant building walls, a testament to more elegant times, and various singles remained absent upon the many sloped roofs, weathered by torrential rainfalls from past generations. Here and there, signs of modern, industrialized life sprouted like foreign seeds carried aloft by trade winds only to be planted in this isolated realm by the sheer power of luck, a red, shining vending machine to the right that gleamed with a fresh paint job, a sleek gas station to the left, the pumps advertising their ever lowering prices. 

However, as the group drove onward into the thick forest of a town, the calm, the sound of silence, filled their hearts and minds, a rushing feeling of anxiety and fear, that paralyzed some to the bottom of their core, and readied others for a swift jump into a future fray. Not a single lively sound flew through the air, but the slow creak of moving parts, a rusted, dangling green street sign hanging from a lengthy street light and the quick, hurried rustle of loose brown leaves and dirty pamphlets as they rode the along the ground, as if carried by invisible, wispy gremlins. Not a soul, not a single animal, or a lone humanoid, or even the faint apparition of a forgotten deity let their presence be known amongst the winding streets of the town.

”… I wonder what happened to the people who lived here? It’s not as if this place has been uninhabited for a long time…,” Henry spoke softly, his voice quelled by the consuming sound of silence. ”Well the road goes through the town, maybe we’ll find out what happened as we go. I hope they’re okay, I mean, a town this size had to have at least a thousand people living here, if not more.”

The party inched forward slowly as Henry applied as little force to the metal pedal of the vehicle, as if he were walking around the mouth of a den of voracious carnivores. The van left muddy tracks in its wake, gluing the floating debris of decaying leaves and shredded loose papers to the surface of the road, a stain upon an otherwise smooth thoroughfare.

”Oh sh*t, hold up, stop dude, there’s something in the middle of the intersection!” a muffled voice-probably David the gunner-shouted through the roof of the armored van to them, rising panic intertwined with his rapid words. The van ran to a screeching halt, nearly throwing Xander from his seat had he not been prepared, having strapped himself to the chair. Something loud collided and fell to the ground behind him in the main cabin.

The van had stopped just a hair from the center of the town, a broad, asphalt intersection, dotted by numerous businesses advertising an assortment of wares in their dusty windows. Sickly, brown, deciduous trees lay planted at intervals along the sides of the path, in clear need of proper maintenance in care. Burned husks of cars and trucks, split open like chestnuts on an open fire, dotted the main street sporadically, left haphazardly, as if their owners had fled in a rush. A ruined store, perhaps an established, franchised drug store in its prime, lay burned to the bones, a few crisp timbers lay rising out of the slag like skyscrapers overlooking a sea of favelas. Some of the other business showed signs of light damage, a burn here, or a hole there, as if some deadly firefight had taken place here. In the center of the intersection before them however, a lone dark mass lay silent.

Xander squinted in the dying light at the mass ahead of them, a dirtied uniform, perhaps frilly and pink at some point earlier in its lifespan, now caked in mud, dust, and dried blood was worn by the creature, perhaps a vile beast from some far off land. Its extensive, black hair covered its face utterly from the blinding beams of light protruding in front of the armored van, as it sat upon its knees, still, silent, unmoving.

”Oh, Xander, do you think that’s a person?” Henry spoke softly to Xander, a hushed voice loud against the noisy silence the wafted over the occupants. David, now crouching into the van, his bearded, oily face shown for the first to Xander, began to speak aswell.

”F*ck that Henry, with all the sh*t we’ve seen, ain’t no way we going other there to take a closer look. Sh*t’s probably a trap by the metal heads, we don’t know what they’re capable of. Drive us CAREFULLY around,… whatever that thing is, the more distance we put between us and it the better we’ll be. If the metal heads got to the rest of the town, they’ll be back, and we don’t have the rounds in the 50 Cal to get them off us again,” David whispered, and undertone of panic underneath his words.

”David, there’s no way we’re going to leave someone out here. Night is coming soon, and we aren’t going to leave someone to be attacked out here in the open, we’re better than that. Come on, lets go see if we can help,” Henry spoke, his voice firm with determination.

Choice 1 (Strength: Mild)
A: Side with David, and get away while you can. There’s a high probability that whoever attacked the town may be coming back, and we have everyone else to look after.

B: Side with Henry, and render assistance to whoever is in the middle of the intersection. They need our help, and as officers of the government, it’s our duty to render that help.
32
International Events / Re: The Freedom War
« Last post by Drodinger on March 15, 2018, 11:56:04 am »
Throughout the rambling Xander sat there thinking about what had happened, and then comparing it to Henry's story. After the story when Henry was talking about his father Xander slightly nodded his head in agreement only partially paying attention. After the question Xander looked up “Huh? Oh… The name is Xander.”
33
International Events / Re: The Freedom War
« Last post by Drodinger on March 15, 2018, 11:55:25 am »
Xander firmly grasped the man’s hand, as the man deftly pulled him up into the tall armored van. The swampy waters and wet foliage that had expertly entangled Xander fell away, some dripping back out of the vehicle, much staining the interior. Once inside, Xander could more clearly see his uniformed rescuer, his features now shadowed from the blinding gleam of the morning sun, showcasing his silky smooth features, as if he had lived a life fought with the perils of privilege. Light sweat poured from his crevasse, staining his blue, formal uniform, however, his eyes sparked widely with determination.

“Diver side is good, I suppose, if Captain Bruse is dead,” he replied, removing a hand from the vehicles wheel to dab the sweat forming upon his forehead. He pushed heavily upon a lower peddle, as the armored van lumbered back into the tree line, deftly maneuvering between the trees.

”Name’s Henry, Henry Johnson,” he said, as they left the carnage behind them, ”We saw your pod come down in the rice fields,… we’d just escaped  Saruleah Bay City, and,… well,… Captain Bruse said we couldn’t just leave you to the metal heads”. He pointed with one hand into the back of the van, though still managing to steer around the many trees in front of them. Xander turned his head to view the interior of the van, his neck straining with pain after the suffering he had endured. Behind them in the cabin, numerous figures lay on padded benches along the side of the vehicles, from all walks of life, though all scarred, burned, injured in some form from the trauma from which they had escaped.

”You from one of the starships?,” Henry asked, ”I heard just before those,… those things descended upon the city, that the combined fleet had lost with heavy casualties. We were ordered to evacuate the city, but… I mean… it was just chaos. The army tried to stop them, but they were just annihilated. Most of our precinct, I mean, Captain Bruse and mine, hadn’t even shown up for work this morning, and the ones that were left,… well most just walked out. We got a few stragglers at our precinct building, civilians who didn’t get out in the first rush to leave the city, and so the Captain commandeered one of the abandoned riot vans, and we got the heck out of there.... man… I can’t believe Captain Bruse is dead... I think I would be dead thrice over if it wasn’t for him…”

Henry paused for a moment, exhaling loudly. The cracking of twigs underneath the van resounded as they moved forward, as if a lumbering beast flinging itself widely into the unknown, chased by a bigger predator.

”Oh shoot, I’m sorry,… I tend to ramble when… you know… there’s a lot going on. My father, well… he’s… never mind… sorry… but he told me I needed to keep a lid on my mouth more once. Guess I never learned that lesson”, Henry, loosing a nervous chuckle, ”but, I never asked, what’s your name?”
34
International Events / Re: The Freedom War
« Last post by Drodinger on March 15, 2018, 11:54:08 am »
As the van stopped in front of him, Xander thought to himself ”Thank God, maybe… maybe we can get away”. As the man stepped out he felt relief, he had made it. He accepted his hand and climbed into the van stumbling as he got in, almost falling over. He bent over taking deep breaths and said “I.. I don’t know. H-he got… the machine got him. He’s dead and in half…” Xander slowly stood up slightly shaking “Anyplace I could uh.. Sit down?”
35
International Events / Re: The Freedom War
« Last post by Drodinger on March 15, 2018, 11:53:15 am »
Chapter 1: Abandon All Hope Ye Who Enter Here

Wet…

Red…

Wet Red…

Sh*t….

Xander awoke suddenly, eyes flickering as piercing white light broke through the shadowy wall in front of him, scattered through new born crevasses. The musk, the smell of smoke and death filled his nostrils as he drew in a deep breath, forcing a labored cough from him. The escape rocked slightly, as if lightly brushed by smooth waves, jingling the bloody corpses still strapped into their harness around him, a rather awful puppet master. Muddy, murky water seeped in through the ruptured hatch, flowing around Xander, mixing with the wet blood of the corpses, mixing an awful velvet concoction that stained his trousers. Struggling, sharp pain burrowing deep into Xanders chest; he unhooked the woven harness, splashing into the deathly liquid before righting himself with the pods metallic walls. Struggling to pull each leg forward, water dragging and permeating his now heavy clothes, he made his way through the broken hatch, and into the bright, blinding light.

Squinting heavily, Xander attempted to clear his vison, the dreadful ringing in his ears doing little to forestall the coming migraine in his future.  Opening his eyes, he rotated from side to side, his eyes observing all around him. A wall of tall, leafy trees arose some ways off, and opposite of which lay some distance black mass. Around him, tall reeds of swampy grasses dotted the horizon, gleaming with fresh dew in the morning light. He reached down to pluck a handful from the murky waters. Rice. 

“Urgh… f*cking stupid arse pod..”

Xander’s head snapped quickly back to the entrance of the pod. The hefty lieutenant that had accompanied him lay resting in the shade of the pod, hand upon the wall to steady him. A deep gash ran across his face, dripping blood every few moments, as if someone had left a faucet almost, but not quite completely closed.

”Where the bloody f*ck are we?”, the man hoarsely utters. His eyes turn, resting on a distance mass.  ”Uh… is that Saruleah Bay City? And is it on fire?!”

Indeed, barely visible, smoke billowed over the distance mass, a funeral pyre set upon the living. Xander squinted, attempting to make out the various buildings, but was abruptly interrupted by a sound, a silencing call from somewhere around him. He turned, suddenly. 

”Shh- you lot, any other survivors? We need to get the f*ck out of here…”
 Seemingly out of nowhere, though perhaps the thrush had hidden and muffled his approach, a uniformed man, an officer of some sorts though more urban, had walked into in front of the crashed pod. At his hip, a service pistol lay holstered, however, his hands twitched over the clasp, as if ready to draw at any moment.

”Who the fracking ‘ell are you?!”, the lieutenant that had come down with Xander replied, rather loudly, leaning in to try and observe the newcome.

”Not so loud you fool! Look, we’ve just escaped the city, and we saw your escape pod come down into the fields. This area is going to be swarming with the,… well,… whatever the buggers are at any moment, you need to run to the tree line with me now if you want to--- OH SH*T RUN FOR IT”, the officer whispered, until his voice rose abruptly. The man had begun to point, decided against such an endeavor, had pulled his service weapon from its holster, and had begun to run for the tree line.

Xander turned to look for whatever had made the man run with such fear, as did the Lieutenant. Not a kilometer out, a metallic object glinting in the morning rays race towards them, hovering, the reeds below it being pushed downward as if some magical invisible beast  bore down upon them.

The Lieutenant turned to run, as did Xander. Whatever bore down upon them clearly wished them no good will. The Lieutenant’s voice became short once more, breathing heavily, running from the coming threat.

”Huff… huff… gotta… keep… runn- ARGPH-….”, the Lieutenant groaned, before a splash sounded somewhere behind Xander. He turned his head sharply to the side, still running for his life, searching for the man. A large lump lay in the water, facedown. Sh*t. The metallic flying object bore down upon them, closing the distance rapidly, its features, sharp, spindly looking guns attached to the front becoming more distinct to Xander.

”Kee.. keep.. huff… running… trees… friends…”, the officer mumbled amongst each galloping step, as Xander closed the distance between them.  A bright light shot past Xander, landing the officer in front of him. A moment past, the officer stopped, hanging there for a moment, as if time had stopped for him. His top half fell away, into the murky water, the gun in his hand flung somewhere in front of Xander. The arterial spurt of blood peppered Xander, staining his clothes further, as if red raindrops had flown outwards in a shower of glistening crystals.

Where had the weapon landed? The murk of the water clouded the location of the gun. Xander reached down, searching… where… something sharp brushed upon his hand. He grabbed, and pulled from the murk the officer’s gun.  Xander wasn’t prepared to go down without a fight. He turned to face the attacker.

The metallic war machine now loomed meters away from Xander, as if it had been carried along by the fantastical trade winds of the open oceans. Its gleaming weapons, pointed at Xander, began to gleam with energy. This was it. Xander pointed the weapon upwards, eyes clenched, before-

”Ratatatatatata”,… something pinged off the hull of the flying death contraption. Bullets? But from where? Out of the thick forest behind Xander, an armored vehicle flew out into the open, ripping up the rice plants as if an oversized lawnmower had forgotten to clean up its mess. Atop, a man rode, a large caliber gun pointed at the alien machine. ”Ratatatata” the gun went. The death machine pointed its weapons away from Xander, trying to shoot the moving vehicle. ”BOOM!” the machine fired, bright light lancing outwards, but the driver, the bloody excellent driver, swerved adeptly to avoid the oncoming fire. Twice more, the alien machine fired, but the armored vehicle remained too fast to hit. Cracks began to appear in the armor of the alien machine, sparks flying. As quickly as it had arrived, the machine flew away, back to the burning city, as if a scared bear being chased by a tiny cat.

The armored van stopped in front of Xander, shielding him and blocking his view from the fleeing machine. A light splash drenched Xander again,… his uniform was utterly ruined. Along the side of the armored van, printed in eggshell white, the name “SBCPD” were inscribed. The passenger side door opened abruptly, hanging out over the marsh. A dark skinned man rode in the driver’s seat, his hands gripping the wheel tightly, his perspiration evident in the morning sun.

”Where’s Captain Bruse??? Just get in, I don’t think the 50Cal is going to keep them away for long…”. The officer reached out a hand to help pull Xander into the vehicle, a warming gesture given the mornings experiences…
36
International Events / The Freedom War
« Last post by Drodinger on March 15, 2018, 11:52:18 am »
“The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong in broken places” – E. H.

The Freedom War: Introduction

The screeching of the alarm klaxon jolts Xander’s sleeping mind into overdrive, nearly toppling him out of his metallic, standard issue bunk. The dull, but bright red light burns into his eyes, forcing him to squint for several, long moments as his senses return to awareness from their slumber. ”All crewmembers to battle stations, this is not a drill, repeat, this is not a drill”, a soft, woman’s voice screams over the vibrant roar of the alarm. Around him, hidden by the drapes of the withering light, the shouts, the calamity of others scrambling about in a disordered diaspora as they rush towards their various stations like a never-ending stream of silvery salmon splashing their way violently upstream, beat a roaring war drum, a rush of hot red blood and stimulating adrenaline that permeates his throbbing ears and his muddled mind. ”Come on, bloody hell we can’t be late!”, a fellow below him cries, already almost fully dressed in full uniform, a mixture of smooth greys and milky blues, as he tugs aggressively at his wrist, ”frack.. not my problem, get dressed and get going!”, he bellows once more before hiding once more in the opaque curtains of the consuming, shifting shadows.

The darkness of the corridor hampers Xander’s every movement, pulling a hand through a sleeve, attempting to straight out every groove, every wrinkle in his uniform, even placing one step ahead of another. Others race around him, forwards in back, their faces lost, and meaningless. Each step, each wringing step atop the sleek, icy steel floor brings him closer towards a light, towards a blinding light so intense all he can sense is the withering commotion around him, the commands shouted by others, the heavy steps echoing from wall to wall, but loudest of all, the pounding of his heart to that beat, that awful, brash, beat of readiness. Bum bum. Bum bum. Bum bum. Eventually, his awkward gait thrusts him headfirst into that white, fiery abyss ahead, only for the burning blindness to clear as he cross the threshold. Here, the din of activity, the ferocity of preparation for the coming moments screamed as if in fervor and lust, men and women hunched all which ways, roaring, crying. A lone, elderly women, her surplus of gleaming medals glinting in the sharp light, stands atop the crowd, elegant, but barking orders all the same. A bulky lieutenant, seemingly materializing out of nothingness, grabs him roughly by his arm, bunching his uniform, and drags him towards a row of monitors alongside the walls of the warship. ”FRACK IT ENSIGN, GET YOUR FRACKING ARSE  HERE QUICKER, WE GO COMBAT LIVE IN TWO FRACKING MINUTES YOU BLITHERING MORON!” he roared as if forced to expel every molecule of atmosphere from his gullet into Xander’s throbbing ear. ”SIT HERE, NOW!” the lieutenant screamed once more, forcing him roughly into a nearby padded seat. He points with a gloved hand toward a dark, but active monitor which lay in front of the seat in which Xander now occupied, ”Bloody idiots, every time we need to get something done- listen up dipsh*t, I’m only going to frackin tell you this once- your sector is Omega 3 Charlie 2, which is battle group,.. er.. Beta, led by commander,… er,.. Captain Ortega,… your job is to relay any actionable data to the fleet commander once the battle goes live, and/or answer any frackin questions she has, you got it you frackin scrub?”.

 The brute of a lieutenant evaporated into the muddle of a mob as quickly and as abruptly as he had consolidated out of oblivion to harass Xander, leaving him some limited time to familiarize himself with the flashing, chrome display console as it lay humming softly before him. Though the various nobs and switches, as varyingly important as they were, remained foreign in nature to Xander, several elements were simplistic enough for even the least astute individual to derive function from. A single, moderately sized black screen, laden with various bright red dots, and labels beneath each of the dots,  with faint numerical lines intersecting around the screen, as well as a single pair of lush, black padded headphones, in which faint, though unrecognizable, sounds spouted from time to time, lay on, and in front of the monitor to Xander, respectively. Tentatively, following in suit of the other crewmen who sat quietly to either side of him, Xander placed the headphones gently across his ears, awaiting orders.

Not several terse moments later, abruptly as to almost startle those not tense enough with dread, a shout rang throughout the bridge, “MULTIPLE CONTACTS, FRONT LINE, SECTORS 1-4!”, a young communication officer screamed from somewhere inside the bridge, his location obscured by the shifting crowds from Xander. Immediately, as if a sudden violent diaspora had lay waste to the bridge in a matter of moments, Xander’s view of the happenings around him abruptly expanded, leaving but no individual except that wiry old woman, her grey hair neatly tied in a uniform bun to the back of her head, standing alone atop a raised, metal platform, staring intently out into the void ahead of her. As she clasped her wrinkly hands firmly behind her back, turning her head ever so slightly to her right, grey, milky eyes now downcast, she intoned softly, “Communications, open a fleet wide broadcast…” Pausing for perhaps a second or more, she continued, this time more audibly, “This is Fleet Admiral Hopper to the fleet,… we are engaging multiple hostile targets in sectors 1 to 4, all military units are authorized for weapons free, repeat, all military ships are free to engage targets.” She gestured strikingly, as to have the communications officer to end the broadcast, before turning abruptly, and strolling to rest in her plush, padded chair, scrubbing her eyes lightly and blinking rapidly.

Operations began smoothly, as far as Xander could tell through the tunes echoing from his padded earphones, a few harsh barks from unknown captains, a few hoots and hollers from enthusiastic pilots and jockeys,

“Watch it, port side, multiple hostiles!-”

 “Smoked em’ Gardier, yeh owe me a shot when we back!-”

 “Target,.. er… painted unit 16G,.. all batteries, full spread!”

However, this relative peace, like a leaf upon a harsh, winter gale, was not to last but a few moments, giving way to more alarming rhetoric. The luminous flashes of far off discharges became brighter and brighter, drawing more defined, more deadly.

“SH*T!!! THEY GOT AARON! FOUR BASTARDS LEFT FLANK!-”

“This is R.S.S. Magadan, requesting immediate assistance, to any-”

“MULTIPLE HULL BREACHES, DECKS 4 THROUGH-”

 Xander’s headset rang with dying screams, each louder, each more blood-filled than the last. The cacophony of sounds distorted so much so that by each moment the noises sound less like the death rattles of men and women, but rather like a crashing typhoon, drown out all other noise around Xander, until all he could hear is the roaring beat of that awful drum in his ears.

“Bum-bum…. bum-bum.. bum-bum. bum-bum, bum-bum, bum –bum, bum-bum!”

Xander’s eyes tearing, he ripped the headphones from atop his head, slamming them into the console in front of himself, nearly shattering the desk with his repulsive force. As he watched in horror, that dark, encompassing monitor in front of him seemed to grow exponentially, the numerous red lights that once adorned it slowly disappearing as if one by one, an electrician unscrewed each bulb, leaving only the blackness to consume Xander.

Xander scrubbed his eyes vigorously, now is not the time to lose his mind, focus, breath. The screaming voices on the bridge once more breach his ears, a mess, but at least compressible. 

“Sector 2 has collapsed completely, I just have the Vanahiem and a few frigates left sir!”

“Admiral Chenya reports total shield collapse, on the battlestar Newport, and has transferred command of Sector 1 to Captain Diahaus on the Omaha.”

“Sir, we only have two functional caps left, the Arcadia and the Russi dreadnaught Kursk, we need to think about…”

This last statement, by a male flag officer towards the front of the bridge, seemed to dull the majority of the bridges voices, as if every crewman collectively held their breaths as they looked to the withered Admiral as she stood, gesturing to silence the officer. She brushed her nose lightly, stared into the void, the effervescent flashes of death fading with every passing moment, before clearing her throat to continue.

“All right, inform Captain Yumashev to spin up their nuclear missiles, and being spinning our as well. Open a broadband channel on all frequencies…”

She paused for a few moments rubbed her eyes as if to clear an invisible speck of dust from them, before continuing.

“This is Fleet Admiral Hopper on all frequencies; this is an emergency message to all parties. The combined fleet has failed to repel the enemy forces, and has sustained heavy losses, repeat, the fleet has failed its combat operations. I hereby command all remaining coalition forces to engage drives and calculate for Telemachi swing to rendezvous at the fallback coordinates. You are ordered to assist any civilians ships with the jump, until such is no longer reasonably possible. I now herby relinquish command of the fleet to Rear Admiral Nagumo, and promote Rear Admiral Nagumo to Fleet Admiral, authorization code AlphaZuluOne-DysonTwoNineZero. To the people of Hiroikku, we have failed you, and for this, we are sorry. Good Speed and Fair Winds, Admiral Hopper out.”

She turns to face the bridge, her eyes now wet, as if morning dew now sprung from her ducts. She rubs her chin, her eyes shift from left to right, before continuing, this time more softly.

Arcadia is now re-designated Palisade 1, and the Kursk is now Palisade 2, as designated under Naval Law J3, Section Two, Defender Clause. I thank you all for your service.”

She looks directly a comm officer, “Is Captain Yumashev ready?” The officer listens for a quick moment to inaudible distance voices, then nods, solemnly. 

“Target 5A seems to have sustained the most damage of their caps, Palisade 1 and 2, launch missiles full spread. Lets crack that mother*cker!”, Admiral Hopper roared.

Streaks of light blossom from both the battlestar and the nearby dreadnaught, as if seeds had been suddenly ripped up by a gust of wind and thrown into the air, towards a distance spec. The light rays lanced out, piercing the hull of the alien warship. As the onlookers watched, the distant ship faltered, then detonated in an array of vibrant deadly colors, scattering irradiated debris amongst the corpses of war.

“Target 5A is no longer on scans; sensor suite reports multiple citadel hits and total obliteration of target!”

A cheer rose in the throats of the bridge crew, a few muted hoots, as Admiral Hopper began to speak again “Eat that, you filthy scum, alright tell Captain Yum-“

A ray of light pierced the Kursk from bow to stern, as she seemed to hang in time for a still moment, before dissolving like so many before her into a storm of fire and metal. The Arcadia rocked violently, throwing several crewmen around Xander from their padded seats and to the metal floor.

“Palisade 2 is not responding, sensor suite reports multiple enemy hits onto her,…”

Admiral Hopper leaped quickly upward from her seat, roaring into the intercom system, “This is Hopper, general evacuation orders to port escape pods to any non-essential personnel, repeat, non-essential personal to port escape pods “. She turned to her helmsman, “Fire starboard bow realignment repulse, get our starboard broadside facing them. Pull main batteries to face starboard. We aren’t going down without a bloody good fight!”

Suddenly, that gruff, broad, angry lieutenant that had harassed Xander earlier materialized once more behind him, hand atop his weary shoulder. “Come on, you fool, get to the frackin escape pods, we don’t exactly have all frackin day!”

As Xander ran, stumbling with every lurch and jerk of the Arcadia as she bore the brunt of weapons fire, the carnage of war blurred around him. Splatters of blood adorned every wall, a corpse here and there, draped across and under fallen metal girders. Occasionally, a bloody crewman would run in front of Xander, before fading into the darkness of the emergency lighting. Several times, He was forced to backtrack, as locked blast doors, fallen debris, and fires delay his egress. Alongside Xander, or rather behind him, the lieutenant breathed heavily, turning pale by every passing moment.

“Stop,… here… escape… room…. 12B…. there..” he mumbled between each breath.

Entering the room, a hatch lay open to a pod beyond. Inside, several others sit waiting on a padded bench, each with various uniforms and in several states of health, though many seats open with their woven harness unoccupied. Upon entering, the heavyset lieutenant closed the hatch behind Xander, shouting, “There’s no one else coming, the past couple of hallways are probably engulfed in flames now, we’re pushing off!” He closed the hatch, then straps into the bench beside Xander, struggling to lock the harness around his large girth. An alarm sounded, the lights dimmed and turned red, a sudden, viscous jolt, then a sudden feeling of gravity tearing at Xanders innards ripped through him, as the pod fell away from the warship.

The viewport built into the hatch gave Xander an unrestricted view of the Arcadia as he fell away, several pods falling alongside theirs. As Xander watches, the Arcadia takes numerous, destructive hits, her guns still blazing away into the void,  before being lanced by a brilliant beam of light into her midsection, breaking into two oblong pieces, as if torn apart by the wrath of an almighty god of light and chaos.

Don’t worry” the lieutenant next to Xander utters softly, “everything is going to be alright

From his groin blooms a wet spot, staining his trousers.
37
International Events / Re: Xefr's Adventures: Existential Crisis
« Last post by Iammelon on March 03, 2018, 02:05:02 pm »
Myst rubbed his face with a paw due to the slap, though he had a smile on his face, "Yeah, I think I deserved that for ruining the moment with such efficiency. But a little pain is worth what came after, I think. Will have to endeavor to make a more romantic moment in the future to truly back up for it." He looked down at her and nodded at Cui, "Agreed. It's quite optimistic, and it's a gut feeling more than anything, but I'm feeling unusual in the fact that I'm actually confident about it. I don't usually trust the gut, but it seems you bring out a more instinctual side of me, Cui... Erhm, take that as you will. Regardless, I took am sure we will win in the end, together."

-

Xefr smiled at the puns, having enjoyed them himself. He seemed satisfied by the chance to finally rest for a moment, since he felt that everything had been moving so fast he hadn't had the time to really process it all. This was the perfect time to do so, and sharpen his mind for the challenges he believed were ahead of them. But before he could respond, Caprima had revealed her true form, causing surprise to Xefr as well. He wasn't too shocked, since from the Shiva lessons he had learnt that Caprima was more than meets the eye, but he wasn't used to this red-form of hers. Still he recovered from the surprise soon enough, giving a nod, "You mean Re'Ni, correct? If so, then you will find that I am in agreement that it would be best to avoid such a thing, based on what I have heard about these Atzels and their powers. Though I personally just hope that Tec is alright. I'm sure he is right now, since I haven't felt anything, but I am still concerned." The Black Dragon did not fail to notice the skull's sudden change in expression, but he decided not to voice this to Caprima for now.
Guardian approached the two of them, stretching his wings. He spoke with a tired tone, though still happy, "Well, I don't know about the rest of you, but a chance to rest sounds just simply wonderful! I'll have to make a call if we're taking the day off, to fully enjoy myself, but hot damn do I thi-" He suddenly just stopped speaking, the reason for which became clear as a creeping wave of dark energy passed through the room, along with muffled malicious laughter. Guardian's expression suddenly became incredibly serious, "Stay here. I'll handle this as I always do. This is my purpose, after all." And then, he teleported away, down to the ship's brig. Xefr simply solemnly nodded, speaking to Cui and Caprima, "I'll be following that order myself, and I'd recommend you two do as well. I know for a fact I'll just be getting in the way, but if you want to go I won't stop you. And before you ask, that is indeed the Corrupted Shard's presence you felt. Another Shade has gotten loose, Shades being small extensions of Forbidden's power that slip out of his prison and attempt to flee the ship. Guardian is the one who contains them."

-

The orb easily stunned all Dragons present, as well as a fair few on other areas of the planet. Even the grand Golden Fleet in orbit took note, as it was hard not to. The light was most especially taken note of by two other Black Dragons on the planet, one out in the forest and one teaching a class of Dragonlings. Both were quite aware of what had just taken place, from their great many years of knowledge.
The Blue Dragon was surprised by the slap, rubbing his face but quickly fleeing soon after due to sheer confusion on what was going on. Tec simply nodded, "No objections here. I've had enough excitement today for myself as well. Come on, let's fly." The Shard then took to the skies. One Combat Drake had left, his mission done with, and he had a lot of paperwork to handle due to this whole mess. The Captain yet lingered though. Strangely, he didn't actually seem to care much about Re'Ni right now, even despite her display of power. He almost seemed desensitized to such a display, like he had seen it before somewhere else. He was more focused on Tec as he flew into the sky, like he wanted to say something but was holding his tongue. This lasted for a few seconds before he finally sighed and walked off into the brush. 
38
International Events / Re: Xefr's Adventures: Existential Crisis
« Last post by Taur on March 01, 2018, 06:43:05 pm »
The two ghosts would stop bickering and just glee at the sight of the playroom, "THANKS FATTY!" said both in unison and flied hastily to test all the games  ...caves can be pretty boring for two dragonlings after a few millenia!
Cui blinked looking a bit awkward as she stared at Myst with a dumb expression on her  ..she flew right infront of him and slapped him, only to grabb his face with her paws "That's for ruining the most romantic thing anyone has ever said to me" and then proceeded to give him a big kiss with her eyes closed and hug him right afterwards "And that's because I love you as much  ...you sillyscales!". Thinking of what the future beholded, she snorted and huffed, looking up "You know Myst ..whatever happens, we'll always have this. We'll win in the end, I'm sure of it. I'm sure."[/i]

-

Caprima raised her eyebrow and crossed her arms looking at Xefr in a somewhat playful manner "I guess you could say we'll.. bone some Hyl tail! Or! Or! I know; We'll skull them!" then retorted to snickering. After overcoming her horrible puns, she sighed and gazed upon Xefr with a far more less jovial smile ...should she tell him there was no plan? Should she tell him everything depended on him? Should she tell him who the real enemy was and what Xefr would be actually fighting for? Mortals were so prone to make mistakes whenever they knew everything  ..especially dragons, she though as she looked at the skull with an angry frown. She closed her eyes a bit and concentrated at the Hyl's position, then smiled and turned to Xefr "You know what  ..today I think we should just rest. I've tracked the Hyl pack quite far from the center of the universe, we could reach them in a few days time and then sneak on them  ..they're probably recharging their powers by destroying old stars" Suddenly her fur got all stirred up, her fangs grew and her eyes widened, turning yellow with red like before, revealing her true form ...something had really startled her "...WELL SHOOT! I haven't felt such a strong aura in ages ..must be that black dragoness emitting Shiva waves ..let's just hope this sillypants won't pull an Atzel and attract every Hyl and Multiversal entity on her position with those emissions." The skull seemed to have an angry frown for a moment there, clearly not approving the expression "to pull an Atzel".

-

Tec's winghug really comforted her, it was nice to know that at least one person in this awful universe believed in her  ..trusted her and didn't think she was just a crazy menace  ...loved her even! Re'Ni gazed upon the combat drakes and the once blue drake; she would fix this   ..but should she really? For a moment it looked like a good punishment "Yes! Turn foolvalx into Gecko!" said her voice  ..if she could control her powers, no one could stop her. ...But would all this bring happiness to her? Was punishing others the way to freedom? No, she would fix this and become something she never tried before  ....a true Atzel! {{"Nope"}} she said again to herself. She closed her eyes and nodded, then gently left Tec's embrace to get calmly closer to the group of Drakes.
As she closed up to her victim she closed up to him and raised her claw up to the sky ...the orb grew bigger and stronger, while her eyes turned pure white, a storm begun forming above them. Amidst the thunders she grinned and finally released the orb upon the fool who had mocked her Tec   ...she would show these silly drakes what a real Atzel is, the time of hiding and holding back her true power was over. {{"Re'Ni hopes get color right..."}} A giant explosion of white light overwhelmed the entire planet of Heord for a few seconds, the magic it emitted would not leave the place for years ...as the light cleared away, the poor drake had back his blue colour and more  ...he would not remember anything scarring that happened after Re'Ni's snap, just their exchange of insults in the fair. Re'Ni just smiled and slapped the blue dragon with her paw {{"There  ...even!"}} she turned to Tec {{"Re'Ni and Tec fly back home now  ..had enough of Heord"}}
39
Map Location Request Form / Cardassian Map Request
« Last post by STARZ1128 on February 26, 2018, 12:05:53 pm »
Regional Name:The Dominion of Cardassian Prime
Name on Map:Cardassian Union
Population of your Species: 1.667 billion
Link to the NS nation that is within the Galactic Federation.:https://www.nationstates.net/nation=cardassian_prime
Location on Map (Reference map link below to view the map to determine where you wanna be. Be detailed in desired location):Alpha Quadrant, between Chymerion Empire and Finislandia
40
Citizenship Form / Cardassian Citizenship
« Last post by STARZ1128 on February 26, 2018, 08:12:27 am »
Galactic Federation species name.:Cardassians
Link to the NS nation that is within the Galactic Federation.:https://www.nationstates.net/nation=cardassian_prime
Do you have nations in other regions?:Yes
If yes, where?:Lazarus
Have you held positions in any regions government?:Yes
If so, what and where?:Treasurer, United Federation of Planets;WA Delegate, Starfleet Academy
Would you ever consider being involved in one of the regions government positions?:Yes
Is this nation a puppet.:No
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