Old May 19, 2010, 06:03 PM   #1 (permalink)
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1084 Post-Fractum (Leto)

ERA 1084 in the POST-FRACTUM in the reign of Emperor Julos IV

He was standing outside a gyro shack, tzatziki sauce dribbling off his fingers. If he went to wipe it off on his pants, he would find they were black, cotton, with a zipper, in a peculiar straight cut. And he wore heavy black boots, and a shirt and coat that resembled a military uniform. From here he could see the harbour – huge, towering, where there floated one massive steel airship. All around were steel airships, their engines chuttering and purring, men and women in strange apparel shouting and loading brightly coloured crates onto the many ships, as more of these mammoths flew in and out of the harbour, out over a shimmering green sea surrounded by a lush, forested crescent and white beaches. It looked incredibly familiar, but the sky was alive with metallic airships, boats, and zeppelins.

Leto was by the seaside, and at the next street corner there was a sign that read: The Main – stin Kyrios. Many of the buildings were the same, but many were strange, uglier, square blocks of concrete, and there were windows and signs that glowed as if on fire, or enchanted. Only a block down the Main was an unfamiliar intersection where two streets converged upon the Main at once, and the buildings on the ocean side had been knocked out to clear the beach. On the corners, the buildings reached up to eight or ten stories, and on one was a towering screen with moving pictures and letters, like a Mystic’s illusion, with imagines of Kyriazi Adelphi cigarettes and sleek, small airboats. Then the letters: “Welcome to Secyclion” skittered across the screen that faced the sky docks. The intersection was packed. This many people didn’t live in Neos Megalis – there were hundreds of them. There was hardly room on the street for them, and then there were individual-sized airboats zipping around above them, and down the middle of the street trundled some oversized carriage on wheels, guided by a cable strung through the air, people boarding and hopping off.

The screen changed again, this time to a woman’s face, and sound came out of it. Under her face it read: Herald29.

“Breaking news from the Taalios colony today. Xetan armed forces have attacked and destroyed the Beta Creon military outpost on the outskirts of the colony. Imperial Legions are evacuating Archaxeta Prime to Taalios in preparation of a full Xetan assault on the large mining city--”

And then there was an ad for Secyclionian ouzo, featuring scantily clad Eunesian women fawning over regular-looking Mainlanders.

If Leto’s gaze could be drawn from the bizarre screen and move upward, up the red caldera, he would see Toichos Kikkimos, largely unchanged. Old Secyclion. But behind it, in the valley where Arthro Galanos had once sat before it was transported to its lagoon next to Neos Megalis, rose glittering crystal towers taller than anything, as if built to let the gods come down from the skies. And rising above the canopy-line all around the island were big concrete rectangular towers, and the city sprawled over half the island.

A Eunesian man walked stiffly up to Leto, dressed similarly, in a futuristic Legion uniform, and offered his hand. He was followed by several others, two humans and a Calicori katta.

“Chief Commander Karme, pleasure to see you,” said the man, and he introduced himself, “Commodore Apollon, Eunesian AirForce. The Secyclion Fleet will be joining your campaign from here, and picking up the legion in Silrosia before we make for the Taalios Colony. Tell me, I haven’t had word from Aelyria Prime in ages. How is the Emperor?”

The Calicori was holding something – a large metal rod, and made to give it to Leto.

“Oh, excuse me, Commander Karme, before I forget. I was told to make sure you received this yourself. The latest iStave, Military Issue Adept Calibre, up to third level elemental spells in under 100 seconds. Fires up to four first level fire orbs a second. You’ll need this once we get to Taalios.”

Last edited by Wynd; May 19, 2010 at 06:12 PM.
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Old May 19, 2010, 07:13 PM   #2 (permalink)
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...What in Kaimelea's name?

The sauce was still dripping from his fingers as the boy stood there in shock. Secyclion? Wasn't I in Secyclion? Where the feth am I now? he thought. Leto hadn't recognized the girl from the dream in Algnea, and was quite determined that this most likely was the same thing. Is this another dream world? he thought, and allowed his sapphire gaze to look around the area, flicking his fingers to let the sauce drip off of them, so as not to get it upon the clothes he happened to be wearing. Looking down towards them, it looked as though the boy was in another military outfit. Why is it always the military? doesn't anyone know that I ran away from the legions? Are all of these dreams telling me to go back to them? he thought.

Looking around, he looked up to the neon signs, and then to the big screen that seemed to be projecting an image outwards. Is that some form of Mystic trickery? he thought, and then looked over towards the Airships and the Airboats passing him by. Sighing, he wondered to himself how exactly he was going to play this one out. He didn't even know who he was within this dream... or was it a reality? he thought. Did Algnea really happen? he didn't know what was up with all of these things, but by the looks of it, it seemed real enough.

Looking over, he saw the Toichos Kikkimos, which didn't seem to change at all. And then over to the Arthro Galanos, at the rose crystal towers which were taller than anything he had ever seen before, even the forum and palace of Aelyria Prime itself.

Turning his head when he heard the word Karme, his last name... preluded by what? Chief Commander? Nearly rolling his eyes at the odds of that happening, the boy looked towards the man, and as he held his hand out, Leto figured he might as well attempt to play along in this one, as the other's had in the other dream. He was seemingly becoming used to these dreams, and by the looks of it would probably have more of them as time went by. "Commodore Apollon," said Leto in his usual boyish voice, greeting the man by shaking his hand as he had outstretched it. "You might have to help me out a bit sire... I seem to have hit my head somehow, and can't seem to remember what exactly is happening here..." the boy lied, feeling a bit ashamed about it, but not knowing what else to say. Perhaps he could worm his way into finding out about what exactly was happening in this dream with this tact... or the man might just laugh at him. The boy was fairly clumsy after all, it wouldn't be a far stretch for him to have hit his head on something, a door or falling over something or other.

But even as the words left his mouth, the calicori gave him the iStave. Great, another weapon, thought Leto as he looked down towards it. Why are there always weapons around, and how did they make an arcanic weapon? thought the boy. Nodding as the Calicori handed it to him, he took it, and held it infront of him, examining it carefully. "It wouldn't have happened to come with an instruction manual? did it?" he asked bashfully, feeling quite under the weather that he was in a strange time, and not knowing anything about why he was there, or what exactly was happening. After all... he was just trying to become a simple jeweler...
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Old May 28, 2010, 02:52 PM   #3 (permalink)
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The Path to Master Jeweller is a Strange and Difficult One

Commodore Apollon laughed and gave Leto a collegial slap on the back and said, "Hit your head, sure. Commander Karme, no need to be embarrassed. I swear, in the Second Rauan War we lost more men on shore leave in Secyclion than we did in combat. Don't blame you either. I wouldn't mind forgetting where we're headed, either, though I hear they have some damn strong snake liquors out there.

"Well, let me get you up to speed. You just got up here from Aelyria Prime with the 12th Legion, so you have about 10 000 men waiting in floating transports hovering just off the island. You came here to pick up the 12th Sky Classis, and we'll be flying to Silrosia to pick up the 22nd, and then we're headed for the Taalios colony. Now, from what I was told, the emperor himself put you in charge of the campaign. I don't know if you've ever been to the Taalios colony before, but that's an ugly place. The Xet, as you can imagine, aren't too happy about us setting up shop there, and nothing's scarier than a giant bug with laser beams coming from out its tusks jumping out of a bush at you. I was there when they tried to take Alpha Creon."

Herald29, the Empire's first and most reliable 29 candlemark news service, flashed onto the screen behind them again, and repeated:

“Breaking news from the Taalios colony today. Xetan armed forces have attacked and destroyed the Beta Creon military outpost on the outskirts of the colony. Imperial Legions are evacuating Archaxeta Prime to Taalios in preparation of a full Xetan assault on the large mining city--”

"See?" said Commodore Apollon, "This time those bugs want Archaxeta Prime. We'll be joining the 2nd and the 33rd there. Anyway, that's why we give you that. Next generation iStave. Operates wireless, automatic first level elemental spells, 100 second connection to the astral for up to third level spells in the same sphere. Now, they design and build most of these in Vers and Mystique, but Julos IV gave the contract to the Obelisk, here."
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Old May 29, 2010, 03:41 PM   #4 (permalink)
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"Ah yes... must have been the liquor..." said the boy, reaffirming what Apollon had said. Allowing his sapphire gaze to look towards the eunesian man, and then up towards the Skyboats again, he said, "Secyclion is an easy place to get lost in... mind helping me find my way back to the Skydocks? This is only my second or third time here... still a bit confusing as to where everything is, especially when you find yourself lost in a restaurant in the middle of the city..." As he spoke, he did wonder though, what he could do to explore this strange new world that he happened to be within. It was like a world he had never seen, and certainly much stranger than the Secyclion he had been to only a few moments prior.

Taking the iStave, and holding onto it carefully, not accidentally wanting to set the thing off, the young boy would then follow Apollon if he had been so gracious enough to lead him through the city back to the Skydocks where his airship was most likely staying. It was certainly a strange new world that he had stumbled into, and everything was very interesting, though, the boy didn't really want to touch anything for fear of screwing something up.

So, they were going to fight the Xet. If he remembered one thing his father always said was to never approach the xetlands without a saurid to accompany you, as those scaled beast knew more about how to kill a xet than anyone else on the planet of Telath. "Are there any Saurid legions left? I've heard they are the best at killing the Xet... or at least, that's what my father used to tell me a long time ago..." he then asked Apollon, hoping that if they really were in the future, the species wasn't wiped out by the bugs that seemed to hold a major grudge against them...
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Old June 7, 2010, 03:01 AM   #5 (permalink)
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"Saurid Legions?" repeated Commodore Apollon, curious, "Boy, that ouzo really left you out of it. I've heard of there being some Saurid in the Libertas Autonomous Region -- not many left, though they used to live there some thousand eras ago. And, of course, there must be a few in Aelyria Prime. Ten million people, at least a couple of them have to be Saurids. Mostly the Saurids that used to live in the Empire proper shipped out to the Taalios colony -- there was a lot of money to be made there for a lot of people, and Saurids wanted back to their homelands. There are a few Saurid militia out there -- my grandfather told me, and he was in the service back when they founded the Taalios colony, that if it weren't for the Saurid, we never would've got the foothold we did, not even with the iStaves.

"Of course, these days we've got much bigger weapons to fight the Xets. These toys are mostly for the other natives," Commodore Apollon laughed, but left out what kind of serious artillery they reserved for the Xet, or what kind of other natives were to be found in the Taalios colony -- wherever that had been carved out of that third of the Medonian Continent, the Xet alliance.
Commodore Apollon obligingly led Leto back to the Skydocks adjacent to and over Secyclion's more traditional sea harbour -- still in use, but small and quiet compared to the bustling, six-story Skydocks. Sea travel was for fishermen and the poor. The Commodore's airship was at the top story -- a hulking steel ship floating in the air. The Commodore led Leto to the elevator that zipped them up to the ship.

From that vantage point they could see out into Nephele Bay. The 12th Classis -- an elite fleet of about a hundred sleek fighter ships and ten armed-to-the-teeth and huge airgalleons floated above the bay. Beyond them, squat and slow-looking, were the transport ships for the 12th Legion, hovering just at the edge of the bay.

"I suppose you'll be wanting to get a move on, Commander Karme," asked Commodore Apollon, "The Taalios colony is still some ways away, and the crisis is reaching a head as we speak. Still, if you have anything you'd like to do in Secyclion, I'd happily show you around. The 12th Classis is ready to launch. We await your orders, Chief Commander."
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Old June 29, 2010, 01:50 PM   #6 (permalink)
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As they zipped up the elevator, Leto felt a little weak at the knees. They were getting so high up, and he was not used to being that high above the ground, as he had never been that high above the ground ever, and it was becoming tedious to look down towards it. But then there was a sense of Amazement as to whether or not all of this was real. These adventures and dreams he seemed to get himself into seemed very real, but that must be apart of the magic of the dreams, to make everything seem that real.

Sapphire blue eyes shifted towards Commodore Apollon, and Leto smile, and said, "We best be off, don't want to miss picking up the legion in Silrosia," he said, and then looked out over the group of ships again. "Order everyone to begin preparations to move out, We'll be off to Silrosia to pick up the 22nd, and then from there we head to Taalios," he said, repeating what Commodore Apollon had told him of their mission at hand. He had never seen or fought a Xet before, and certainly never really wanted to.

He wasn't good at fighting, was nothing but a simple jewelcrafter, and in doing all of this perhaps he would learn a thing or two about it. Maybe he should take a class or two to see how he fairs at it, or attempt to become a mage, though, not many people have that capability, but they would find out if he ever tried to become unbound...
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Old July 14, 2010, 03:12 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Although Leto lived in an age (that was, the real age, Era XVII in the Post-Fractum under the reign of Milo I) that was rediscovering the arcano-technology of a more ancient golden age of Aelyria, with the re-invention of airships, the increasing prevalence of black powder, the mass manufacture of golems in Taralon and the various uses of feversteel, it was an advancement seen only to governments, the wealthy, the inventors, and the mages. The elite of Aelyrian civilization forging ahead on the vital impulse of improvement. But those cutting advancements being made in Leto's era were not only outdated in 1084 post-fractum, but their updgrades were commonplace. Even a travelling shoe salesman could afford to take the rails that cut through the continent -- propelled along by arcanic energy.

These rails Leto was soon to see. The 12th Legion from Aelyria Prime and the 12th Sky Classis, part of the Eunesian AirForce, set off at Commander Karme's behest, sailing over the brilliant turquoise Eunesian Sea. The sky was filled with ships, though they scattered at the approach of the massive movement of military skyships. There were still boats in the sea, but they were unlike any ship Leto had ever seen. Made of metal, the size of islands, hauling mass amounts of cargo that would be simply impracticable to ship through the air. Still, even in this terrifying new world, the sea was the sea, as shimmering and tranquil as ever.

When they reached the Mainland, Commander Karme would see familiar landmasses wholly changed by civilization's forging hands, from the deck and windows of his airship. The whole Arium coast was spanned by cities -- expanses of steel, stone, and concrete hedging around the blue seas. They passed through the new great metropoles of Arium -- Estelgorod, Luctetia, Kiel, and cities that had been but rocks and field in Leto's age. Between these concentrations of people, great iron spines spanned through the tamed agricultural lands, the suburbs, and the wastes of Arium, on which ran giant worm-like vehicles rattling over the land. Dozens of long tracks, with scores of branches shooting off inland and to smaller cities and towns covered the earth, and finally they came to a place on the coast of a bay where major tracks from east, west, and south met. This was Nexus Prime -- or had been, until its name had changed, sometime in the 100s, to Milostadt.

They crossed the Bay of Kyathis and came to Syl'rosya -- the strangest of these modern metropoles, for it was both verdant forest (and a strange, arcanic one at that, where the tallest oaks rivalled in height the tallest skyscraping towers -- the Arakmat Exchange in the commercial suburb of Pendecia). Here, apparently, the Elves had by no means died off or been overwhelmed by humanity's rapid demographic increase (like some of the other minor races). While there may have been more half-elves than anything, the Elves remained more or less in power here, and while suburbs like Pendecia kept the city competitive in both industry and commerce, the centre, Syl'rosya and its forest, remained something of a holy city. Their stay was brief, and the 22nd Legion joined under Commander Karme's authority, and they struck for the wastelands and the colonies.

***

"We have to refuel," said Commodore Apollon, "Before we fly over the Dartuk mountains and get into Xetania."

The fleets had docked in the massive skyport of Ka'jur, a western city in N'Danosh, which had inevitably come under Imperial domination.

As the technical men and the soldiers ran about 'refuelling' and restocking the airships, Leto came to see just what exactly 'refuelling' meant. Three spires rose up above the city, and their peaks were jagged purple and blue crystals. On their journey over the northwest of the Empire, Leto had seen these nodes before -- in the outskirts of Milostadt and Pendecia, and standing alone on islands throughout the Eunesian Sea. From what Commodore Apollon had said, apparently these were arcanic energy reactors, and basically functioned like a mage taking unshaped power from the astral plane. It was then funnelled through a variety of mana-shaping filters that tailored the energy to a specific function -- force to propel those massive locomotives and the airships.

But something was wrong here. The crystals on these nodes didn't crackle with arcanic energy like those others had. They glowed only dimly. And below the skydocks and the arcanic reactors, in the city beneath, the people of Ka'jur seemed like a miserable lot. Zombie-like they staggered through the streets, scavenging for food and shelter in half-ruined slums. They barely spoke. It was dark in the streets below, and there was barely any noise.

The Commodore approached him and explained, "You capital types who never leave the lap of luxury that's Prime province don't get to see this, do you? We do some terrible things west of Arakmat. You see, the usual arcano-technology, the machines and spells and infrastructure that draws energy from the astral, are too expensive to build here in N'Danosh. This country is the poorest, it's not worth the investment. They only need energy for the wealthy ones who come here for the mining and to refuel trade caravans and military fleets on their way between Aelyria and the Xetan colonies. Instead they've got something of a bandage solution. Rather than go to the astral, it's cheaper just to set up a slow but persistent Vis-drain on the locals. It's ugly, but some people say it's got to be done."
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Old August 5, 2010, 10:20 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Leto was in complete and utter awe at everything he was seeing through the viewport in front of him. Eyes wide with excitement as he looked to see what was happening as they flew through the air, they finally arrived west of Arakmat in N'danosh. Sapphire blue eyes saddened as he could see the population upon the ground and what had happened to them as the Commodore explained the usage of draining Vis on a person. Leto had not experience with the arcane, so most of what the captain was saying was like speaking dracon to a human who had never met a dracon before.

"I see..." he said softly as he watched the populace and the refueling process began. "There is nothing his Highness will do about this either? Whether or not they are apart of the main country... I'd think he'd want to take care of his citizens and not put a drain on them like this... Sad to say though, I guess it's the price of war on the outer lands..." he said. His voice was in a soft gentle tone, more sad that anything as he was starting to realize perhaps this new world was not all good and happy as it seemed in the very beginning.

He despised fighting, and longed to help people in some fashion, and had ran from the legions because of all of the fighting, but then again, he was now in charge of a major campaign in the future of Aelyria. Would he be able to handle all of this? Yes, as it was like a dream, and he loved to dream, but the dream was slowly turning into a nightmare seeing all of the people down there. "How many have died due to this procedure?" he then asked the Commodore fearfully, completely fearful of the answer, as to whether it was killing people or not...
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Old August 25, 2010, 05:01 PM   #9 (permalink)
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"More like how many people has it left alive!" exclaimed the Commodore in that haunted sort of voice, the volume of joy hollowed out by despair, "These people live their ordinary two-score-and-ten, but what kind of a life is it? The Vis drain leaves them emotionless, zombie-like. They haven't got the lifeblood for higher thought, for art, for happiness. Rather they pass through life in a haze, dumbly going about their jobs, they barely even speak. And the Emperor? Ha! His citizens are the diamond-mine barons and fuel station operators. These are but protected subjects to the crown.

"Personally I can't wait to get out of here, even if we're headed to a warzone. Things are different in the Taalios colony. There's money to be made everywhere. Beggars can become millionaires out there. They say it's richer out there than in Enamoria, and it's all new money. Somebody had to make it out of something, and anybody with the mind and body for it can."

The fleet soon departed from Ka'jur and flew over the Dartuk mountains, entering in Xetania. A few railroads passed through bombed-out mountain passes and spread out again on the other side, cutting swathes through the lust Xetanian rainforest.

"These are the thickest parts of the jungle under Aelyrian jurisdiction," informed Commodore Apollon, "And unfortunately they're swarming with Xetan insurgents. At first these railroads were busy constantly, but since the rise in the insurgency only one in every ten trains makes it through the jungle. If you can get a train through the jungle you'll save a fortune, but most of the traffic these days goes by airship. We've been too busy fighting them deeper in the continent to re-assert control here."

By evening, the fleet reached that part deep in the interior of Xetania which was not only the extreme of the Empire's reach, but also the most populated, as this was where all the money was to be made. To the north was a hard rock shield, moors and swamps and hills, peppered in massive mining operations. To the east, from which they'd come, huge swathes of jungle had been cleared to be farmed and ranched. There were great pampas, open fields and hills ripe for agriculture. Thick winding rivers passed through this part of the colony that yielded so much gold that fishermen would peel the scales off their catches and trade them in. To the west were more jungles and bogs.

In the sinking daylight, the lights of the towns and villages that dotted the pampas to the south became visible, but on the horizon there arose an orangish-pink glow that outshone the stars and the moons. They were approaching Taalios City. Beneath them sprawled out an iron and rust and glittering light metropolis in the middle of the jungle.

"Some thirty or forty million people live in Taalios City -- only fifteen million in the rest of the colony. Many of them are colonists from the Empire, some of them escaped from that hell in N'Danosh, and a whole lot of them are former Xetan-subjects. Since we came along they've been practically liberated. Sure, they're barred from the administration and owning property, but some of them have made good lives for themselves. Kemites, Linn Feanii, Katta, Saurids, and even stranger ones, people you don't see in the Empire. Batrachs, Lamia, Bog Mer. And there's always more of them coming in from the Xetan Alliance -- anyone who can escape comes to the Taalios colony," explained Commodore Apollon.

The fleet landed in the military base on the outskirts of Taalios City. From the sky Leto might have noticed, amongst the flurry of airship activity in the skies, a steady train of airships coming in from the southwest. Evacuees from Archaxeta Prime.

"Commander Karme!" saluted a uniformed man who had been awaiting at the skydock, "Imperatis Carac of the 33rd, chief officer of the Taalios colony and Xetanian theatre, sir."

"Imperatis Carac, Commodore Apollon, 12th Sky Classis."

"I hope you two slept well, but there's coffee in the map room. I need to brief you right away. We're at a crisis point here."

The man led them into a complex labyrinth of military structures and into the map room. Screens surrounded the place. Herald29 was on one of them, muted, the ticker scrolling down the bottom of the screen with the news. The other screens were occupied by various maps of the Xetan Alliance and the Taalios colony. It showed the Taalios colony like a strange protrubance or bulge of the Empire into hostile Xetan Alliance territory. The official limit of the colony was only about one hundred miles west of Taalios City's farthest suburb. On the border was a place marked Beta Creon, the sacked military base. To the south was Archaxeta Prime, a prominent city and mining operation.
"As you know, Beta Creon was completely destroyed," began Imperatis Carac, "There are two more fortresses between there and Taalios City, but if anything they're sitting ducks waiting for the Xet to shoot. We're better off on the ground and in the air than behind those walls. We believe the sack of Beta Creon was a diversion, since surveillance has shown the Xet Alliance and Xetan insurgents within the colony amassing in the south. We believe they are planning a strike on Archaxeta Prime. The colonial administration and their families, as well as high profile businessmen and others have been evacuated already, and the evacuation continues to remove the one million people located there. Five hundred thousand remain, and we believe the Xet will strike before we can get them all out.

"We have amassed here in Taalios City the 33rd, and now the 12th and 22nd Legions, and the 12th and 15th Sky Classes. The 2nd Legion and the 4th Sky Classis are in Archaxeta Prime. The 57th Legion was obliterated in Beta Creon, and its survivors have joined the 33rd. We also have at our disposal the Taalios City Militia, accounting for about one hundred thousand regular gendarmes and another four hundred thousand trained reserves. And of course, the Saurid Liberation Army out in the jungle.

"There's also the rail link to the north. Out beyond the moors and the Great Xetan Shield are the boreal forests and the wastes leading up the the north coast. The Empire has maintained a naval outpost, Nautika Omega, there for eras, even after the rail link with Taalios City was severed by the Xetan Alliance after we lost control of the passage. However, there is the 60th Legion and the 9th Naval Classis there. With that rail link, we could also bring in the two armies Shalimar sent us. We could use the 60th and the Shalimaris, but they have no airships up or arcana-tech up there. They'd need the old steamtrains to get down here.

"Commander Karme, we strongly believe that the bulk of the Xetan attack will be focused on Archaxeta Prime -- however, with the fall of Beta Creon, Taalios City is more vulnerable than ever. We would have only one or two day's warning of a full-scale assault on the city."

A silence settled over the room, and weight of Leto's position in this world, whether it was the real future or just a dream, hit hard. Millions of lives (real or unreal, or may as well have been real) hinged upon Leto's response to Imperatis Carac's next words.

"Commander Karme, what are your orders?"
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Old September 1, 2010, 01:43 PM   #10 (permalink)
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As Leto listened to Commodore Apollon, he watched out the viewport towards the people that were down on the ground. Oh, how they wandered and meandered in droves, unable to really think, or do any such thing because of the devastation brought on by the things that were apparently sucking out their Vis. Sapphire blue eyes saddened as he watched them, and Leto didn't say a word as Commodore Apollon spoke. Looking back up towards him finally, he said, "Finish refueling, and take us out of here, as soon as possible..." and with that, he was done with N'danosh, hoping never to return there again as they made their way out of the colony finally, finished refueling, and ready to head towards Taalios.

As they finally docked, Leto looked up towards the other airships that were coming in. Evacuees huh? he thought. The situation must be worse than I imagined. Looking around, for now he just followed Commodore Apollon, as well as this new person, Imperatis Carac. Leto still didn't know what to think of everything that was happening, but just figured he might as well play along with what was going on, for if he didn't, he could be in a world of trouble, 'cause he knew how these military types were. His father was one, and it was something that Leto didn't really want to grow up to be, he just wanted to be a simple jewelcrafter, and nothing more, lead a simple life, but no, instead he's in a strange world that could all be a dream and if it isn't, then millions of lives were depending on him, and his influence could change their lives in the blink of an eye.

As they arrived in the room, Leto looked towards the monitors with maps upon them, as well as Herald29 being muted. Carac began his disseration on what exactly was happening, and Leto managed to catch most of it, in listening intently to it. Once he finished speaking, and then asked for Leto's orders, the boy was a bit taken aback. They really wanted him to command this operation? What if he screwed up and millions of lives were lost. At first he didn't say anything, with the somber mood within the room, there wasn't much he could say to cheer everyone up. But then something changed inside him, he felt confidence come to a boiling point before he looked towards the maps, and then said, "Send messengers to the Saurid Liberation Army, have them start to dig tunnels and holes around Taalios and Archaxeta Prime, create Trenches, and large ones at that, but cover the holes up with trees as if we are conducting a forestry operation. Make sure that no ground is showing. This way when those fortress sized Xet start their approach to either city, they will be caught in a trap and fall within them. Line the bottom of the trenches with spikes, and then have the Saurid Liberation Army with the help of the twelfth and twenty-second legion dig tunnels about five miles behind the trenches away from the city, so that when the Xet fall for the trap, we can assault them from behind, infront, and from the air. Have the 12th Legion take position in Archaxeta Prime, split the Saurid Liberation Army in half, half to Archaxeta, and half to Taalios to work on this as quickly as possible. We never know when the Xet are going to attack, so we have to keep it as quick and covert as possible. Send the 12th Sky Classis to Archaxeta, and keep the 15th here. I want the 33rd Legion as standby in between the two cities to move to either city depending on which the Xet attack first. Imperatis Carac, in your honest opinion, which area do you think they will attack first, and which direction will they come from? Also, in the meantime, send word to the mainland to give us at least two more Legions if possible, We'll need all of the help we can muster and gain in this campaign..." he said.

Once he had finished speaking, the young boy looked up towards Commodore Apollon, hoping for the older man's approval of the plan. It was hastily crafted, and not very well thought out, but he always remembered the stories his father told him about the saurid tactics during the Xetan Wars when they were taken over. Just maybe those would come in useful during this campaign, and hopefully divert the Xet once more if they knew that we could still use old tactics to defeat them...
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Old November 6, 2010, 01:35 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Imperatis Carac blanched, "I guess you don't hear much about the way things are out here in the capital, do you? I would assign the trench building to the Legions themselves -- we have the machinery to do it faster than the SLA, and, well, the problem with the Saurid Liberation Army is... There's a lot. First, they're broken up into a number of cells and squadrons throughout this part of the continent. A few small contingents exist on the borders, one of about two thousand Saurids has come to Taalios City since Beta Creon was destroyed to assist us directly. They function as invaluable military intelligence in the jungles and wherever else our spy airships are unreliable. But the majority of the SLA is located deep in Xet Alliance territory. They're really a Xetan insurgency, combatting the Alliance from within, and their aim is ultimately the complete liberaiton of the Saurid people, many of which are still enslaved in the X.A. We provide them with a good deal of firepower and financial assistance, but they do not strictly work for us. Even if all of the cells we contacted came to your call, it would take weeks to mobilize the SLA in any organized way.

"I can get the 12th and 15th to get to work immediately, however."

The order was put out by radio. Already bulldozers operating on the same arcanic energy as the airships were rumbling with construction contingents of the legions through Taalios City, out to the slums and finally the wastes beyond.

Messengers were sent out to the SLA wherever the Taalios Authority knew they were.

"As for sending word to the Mainland, you'd best do that yourself," said Imperatis Carac, "We've been begging the Emperor for more men down here but it was only once we lost Beta Creon that we got you and what you brought. What with the war in Leviennia out east we're spread a bit thin. But if you ask me we can live without Freeport -- not Taalios."

Imperatis Carac tapped a few things on one of the monitors.

While he was fidgeting with the monitor, Commodore Apollon turned to Leto, "You're taking a chance splitting our forces like this. We almost have Archaxeta Prime evacuated. Maybe they only need a Legion to keep the Xet from killing too many people while we finish. But if we lose the City... we lose the colony."

A messenger arrived at the door.

"Commander Karme," said the boy, "Authority Nerudz would like to see you immediately, sir."

"Hold on," replied Carac, "I'm about to get him on the horn with the Emperor. Tell Nerudz to keep his pants on."

The screen read:

CONTACTING AELYRIA PRIME: IMPERIAL COURT

CONNECTING...

PLEASE STANDY


While they were connecting to the system in Aelyria Prime, Carac said, "Honestly, Commander, I think that today they'll strike Archaxeta Prime first. That's what all the intelligence is saying. They've got a better chance of taking it -- they'll figure we've all-but abandoned it after this evacuation, and the mining operation would be worth a lot to them. It's worth trillions to us. But one day, and it might not be today, they're going come for everywhere, from every direction, if we don't burn every one of their bug-asses first."

And then CONNECTED

The face of a bureaucrat appeared.

"Office of His Imperial Majesty, I'll tell him Taalios is on the horn, one sec."

A few minutes later the face of Emperor Julos IV appeared. He was a surprisingly young man. He had a disheveled look, red veins in the whites of his eyes, he hadn't shaven this morning, uncombed hair.

"What'd you want, Karme? What's it look like in Taalios?"

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Old November 20, 2010, 02:29 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Leto Karme is a benevolent Adventurer


As he began to speak of the SLA, Leto recognized that they indeed would not be as reliable as he originally thought. Damn, he thought, as the man continued his report. But radioing the twelfth and fifteenth legions, he got them to work on the trenches Leto had ordered them to work on. Looking towards Apollon, he said, "As much of a risk as it will be, if they assault Archaxetia Prime first, and we thin out their numbers, with a decent defence there, they might think twice about attacking us in Taalios... but I do understand that there is a major risk, that's why i'm going to try and bolster our defences here more, if I can convince his most Imperial Excellency that we actually need more people here in defence of the city..."

As the boy came in and said Authority Nerduz needed him, Leto wondered who exactly this authority was, as he had not met him yet, or thought he had met him yet anyways. Sapphire blue eyes looked towards the Arcanically power screen, and he saw the Emperor appear upon the screen. Not what I would have thought of as our emperor, he thought briefly as the man began to speak before actually replying to him. "Your most Imperial Excellency, the situation in Taalios is dire, they almost have Archaxetia prime evacuated, and since all of the intelligence is pointing towards them attacking that city first, i've ordered troops there for a surprise counter assault, in hopes of deterring them from Taalios... but eventually they will come for the city, and I just don't think we have enough firepower here to defend it properly from a full on Xet invasion. I've ordered trenches built and covered as a mining operation, which will help to slow the invasion if it comes to that, but the Xet are none to be toyed with..." he said, sapphire blue eyes looking towards the screen.

I can't believe i'm actually speaking to someone via something like this, he continued to think as he was giving his brief report, still trying to play the act that he was some form of commander. That sauce really changes things for you. As he looked towards the disheveled man, he then continued. "Mobilizing at least two more legions, perhaps two from the Leviennia front, we might be able to hold of the Xet for at least a little longer than we will without them... But I'm not sure if we'd be able to mount a proper counter attack after they assault us, unless we have more legions here... I know i'm taking a heavy chance at splitting up our forces, but I truly believe that detering them from Archaxeta Prime will help in striking back at them, and perhaps even taking back Beta Creon..."

The boy knew he was getting in over his head with military tactics, and sooner or later it would not be just a game he was playing, as it might have seemed like it now. Sapphire eyes looked towards the ground as he tried to remember his father's old military strategy books he had read when he was younger, but nothing more came to mind at the time. "All reports seem to indicate they'll attack Archaxeta Prime first, so, to stop them there, would be the most beneficial strategy... but to mount a proper counterattack, we'll need more men, at least two more legions..." he said, looking towards Apollon with hopeful approval of the idea...
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Old January 19, 2011, 10:29 PM   #13 (permalink)
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"FOR FETH'S SAKE KARME WE'RE STRETCHED TO THE LIMIT! YOU'RE THE FETHING HELP I SENT THEM OUT THERE TO FIGHT THE BUGS!" shouted the emperor, interrupted and syncopated by the screen's imperfect reception and delays of sound and image.

Through the screen Leto saw Julos IV collapse, mentally, with fatigue, as he slumped his head and propped himself up, as though his body were the world and he were Atlas, with his arms ramrod straight against his desk. The shock in the map room in Taalios City was silent.

"My apologies, Commander Karme," he continued after a few seconds, attempting to collect himself, "But as you understand, the war in Leviennia is not going our way. If we divert any resources from the front we will have to give up all of our eastern overseas departments. But we can't afford to lose the Taalios colony. Archaxeta Prime is a valuable asset in itself. It brings in billions. Look, I can free up a couple of the reserve legions, but they're not combat ready and not many of them have any actual experience except, at best, shooting civilians. I'll send the 40th from Lauryl and the the 41st from the Charisme Authority. If I can convince the Senate to fork up the money we'll get you a mercenary force, too, but that could take a month. I'm putting the order out now, but Karme, it'll be a cycle or two before they get there, and ioan knows what the country's going to look like then. You've done this before. Remember the Qaifa War? Do what you think is best, but Karme, there'll be nothing to win back if we lose Taalios City.

"Godspeed, soldier."

OFFLINE

"We'll have to fend off their first attack on our own," said Carac, "But hey, we've already got you, Karme. They say you worked miracles in Caedon."

Just then Authority Nerudz burst through the door of the map room. He was a portlier man than anyone Leto had seen in Taalios City yet. He looked N'Danoshian, with that scorched wasteland-suffused tan clashing with his beige suit.

"Is that him?" he bellowed, "Karme, I gotta bone to pick with you."

Carac intervened, "Commander Karme, this is Authority Nerudz. He's like the governor out here."

"I'm up to my elbows in some of the wealthiest people in the world, Karme. You can't let them have Archaxeta Prime. These clowns think we should put everything in Taalios City, but have you got any idea how many billions we make out there? Every day those mines are non-operational my constituents lose a hundred million Crowns at least."

"Shut up, sir."

"Excuse me!?"

"I said shut up, Nerudz!" it was Carac, and he was looking at some odd hand-held device in despair, "Karme, we're not getting those trenches in place around Archaxeta Prime. The city's under attack. No word yet on whether this is the real thing. The 12th is already on its way to position. The 33rd is advancing to location but waiting for me to catch up. Do I tell them to go all the way? It'll take the two legions 16, maybe 18 hours to get to Archaxeta Prime."

"The 12th Classis is awaiting my departure," said Commodore, "We can make it in 2 hours without a legion."

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Old March 14, 2011, 03:26 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Have to remain calm, have to remain calm, have to remain calm. Those four words were all that were going through Leto's head at the moment. His brief knowledge of the stories his father had told him when he was younger didn't seem to be helping much in this situation, and he didn't know what to do, especially when everyone was yelling at him. Sapphire eyes looked towards the commodore, and after a moment of silence he finally said, "Keep the legions moving towards Archaxeta Prime. I will go with the Commodore and his Classis to assess the situation. Depending on the size of the attacking force, We may turn the other Legions around to come back to Taalios' Defense. I smell a trap if one ever presented itself. They could be using the Archaxeta Prime assault as a decoy, depending on how large their forces happen to be..."

Looking towards the Commodore, he then nodded, and turned back to Nerudz. "Keep your pants on Nerudz, and have hope that we can work things out here. Don't get so emotional, and think logically about the situation we're in. We have two cities to defend. If one falls, it's likely the other will too. We have to defend Taalios at all costs though," he said, and then brushed a hand through his brown hair. "Time is off the essence, Let us depart now." And with that, he'd motion for the Commodore to lead the way as he was still unfamiliar with the structure of the place he happened to be in at the moment.

He was in a dire situation. The people of the future were depending on him, to be something he was not. All he could do was keep pretending to the best of his ability, and hope for the best. It seemed as though everything might fall apart soon, and the Xet would overrun the entire place they happened to be in at any moment. He hoped Archaxeta Prime was not in dire straights as he soon felt they might be depending on the situation...
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Old April 12, 2011, 05:24 PM   #15 (permalink)
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"Keep my pants!" shouted Nerudz, "I'll show you to talk to me like that you cockroach! I'm going straight to the emperor with this! You'll be out on your ass in no time! That's treasonous! He'll have you clearing slag heaps in N'Danosh!"

And so the Authority kept on shouting as the military men busily began to do their duty to protect this clown and his cronies' billions of crowns' worth of colonial assets. Apollon and Carac led Karme out of the military complex and back onto the expansive landing zone -- which was, like that in N'Danosh, multi-layered and high up in the air. It overlooked a vast military base, beyond which were the massive Taalios City slums in all directions. Not too far in the distance, though, was the city centre -- dazzlingly high, its towers twisted and improbably-shaped, huge domes rose up next to spiralling obelisks lit up in a cool green broken everywhere in neon, buzzing with airships. It was the era 1084 Post-Fractum and this was the new city, the city of the future's future.

The 12th Sky Classis, the Secyclcion Fleet, was waiting. These were not the huge transporters that had hauled the 12th and 22nd Legions all the way here. The Classis contained some 2 000 ships, including 1 500 small two-man flyers, 50 reconnaissance ships, 350 medium-sized destroyers that doubled as cargo ships, and one hundred warships, with a gun on just about every surface. Amongst those warships was the flagship, Apollon's ship, the IAF Polydeukes crewed by a hundred men and capable of the same top speed as the flyers. The thing took a city's worth of power when it fuelled up. Fortunately while the commanders had been in the command centre, the airmen had been preparing the fleet and were battle-ready in minutes.

The 2nd Legion and the 4th Sky Classis were about to get some much-needed assistance.

Carac, Apollon, and Karme all boarded the Polydeukes and the 12th Classis was in the air, full-speed to Archaxeta Prime all the way, passing the 12th and the 33rd Legions along the way. It would take them another 14 hours to reach Archaxeta Prime after the 2th Sky Classis. As Apollon had promised, it took the 12th Classis two hours.

Archaxeta Prime was a mess. The mining city was built around one giant complex of a tower -- Lauryl Co. -- a metallic behemoth rising 2,800 feet into the sky, with smaller towers jutting up around its main mast, some of which were arcane towers crackling with energy. Around the Lauryl Co. Building were yet more office towers, most of them massive mining conglomerates, such as Argentium Inc. and XetStel-Sultan Oil. All around the rest of city proper, consisting primarily of hexagonal apartment blocks and rings of slums, huge oil refineries and smelting operations, stretching for miles and miles out of sight, were the huge mining operations which made these companies so much money.

By the arrival of the 12th Classis, every operation but one west of the city was burning. The Xetan Army was five miles west of the city and the advancing. The 2nd Legion had met the Xet in a coal mine just five miles outside of the city. The rainforest had been largely stripped here.

The battlefield from the air:

The 2nd Legion spanned the oil fields. The core was engaged in an artillery battle against the Xet in the centre of the field, while the wings were mobilized. The air was thick with missiles and projectiles, arcane and mundane both, exploding mid-air as they collided, wrecking everything in their path, destroying tanks and guns and missile-installations and people as they landed. On the legion's wings, in the jungles beyond the mines, bands of the legion had attempted to advance and were variously engaged in firing battles against the bugs, as on the left. Above them the 4th Sky Classis soared, raining hell down on the Xetan artillery when they could, but primarily they were engaged in the air, battling winged Xet as heavily armoured as their airships.

The Xet Army seemed not to rely on arcano-technology as much as the Imperials, instead relying on bullets, missiles, grenades, explosive, and fire. They, too, possessed airships, but fewer, relying instead on anti-aircraft missiles fired from huge bugs in the air. Ships were coming down, dead bugs were crashing, a fire storm raged on down on the ground, parts of the jungle were burning.

As the 12th Sky Classis soared into the air and joined the fight under Apollon's command, the Xet recommenced the advance. Columns and lines of tanks rumbled out of the jungle -- the trees broken and cleared behind them, barrelling toward the Legion's main line. They blew up a few dozen and began the retreat in their own tanks, on motorcycles, just running, as the airships attempted to cover them by scattering fire over the tanks -- which proved incredibly tough against conventional explosives and arcane fire. Many ships fell.

From the flagship, which had so far remained out of action, Carac and Apollon looked to see what their Commander would say.
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