Planet Boffzen in Saxonian controlled space
Idustrial outpost Girdenau, in the town square
Priest Jules (Citrix) Randvi
Idustrial outpost Girdenau, in the town square
Priest Jules (Citrix) Randvi
Jules surveyed the small gathering before him, his arms widely outstretched as if he was embracing the small crowd.
“ Brothers and sisters of the stars! lend me your ears, eyes and hearts for I bring the word of the solar truth! These beautiful, incandescent, heavenly bodies are the alpha and omega of the human species and we as humans are their chosen people. The solar warmth of love is given to all humans, not just those of the Solite faith.” he finished as he points up towards the partially obscured sun.
“ All of you feel its strength, even through the industrial progress of this land the stars still provide its love and warmth to all humankind! Who are we to refuse such unconditional love, who are we to reject to word of the solar truth!” he finished again, producing a book from a fold in his dingy robes before handing it to the priestess standing next to him.
“ My sister of the stars will give you today’s word as spoken by the high clerics of old, we shall hear the gospel of beginnings and discuss its meaning in this increasingly modern world.” He finished again with a nod towards his colleague
“ Beginnings, chapter three, verse one to thirteen” he said quietly before stepping down from the makeshift stage and walking through the small gathering to the other side of the dirt street.
Of the 10 priests that were sent to this world, only 6 remained, the rest were lost due to disease, exposure or other natural phenomena. He had been here for three years, watching the size and scale of this planets industry grow until is engulfed their formally isolated camp of shacks. Now they were one of many in the small slum community that existed around them, in between the foundries and smoke stacks of the planet.
Jules, dug into the folds of his robes again producing a small grey box, spackled with OD green chipped paint from years of use. Inside were two small reservoirs with what appeared to be contacts inside, floating weightlessly in a self cleaning fluid. Jules, quickly captured one of the contacts on his index finger and expertly placed it on his eye, blinking a few times before the contact found its proper place.
Code flashed across Jules’s vision as the contact booted up, before his vision cleared again, showing him multiple unread messages in the corner of his eye. Using the interface on the grey box in his hand, he slowly began reading through them, mentally taking notes of what was important and what was not as he sifted through a couple days of briefings and updates.
“Nothing here…” he said quietly to himself before his vision flashed again, flashing with a recently arrived urgent message.
Jules raised his eyebrow in concern, this was far outside of the norm. He knew that sending an urgent message was important, commonly mission critical to what he and the rest of his priests were doing. He scrolled to the message and selected it, taking note of the recipient list. Once again his eyebrow raised in concern as he realized it was only sent to him. ‘Why…’ he thought to himself before scrolling through the contents of the message.
As he continued to read his eyes became wider as the look on panic became increasingly evident on his face.
“ High Priest Barca was coming, accompanied by two complete carrier groups” he said under his breath, reading what was in the message verbatim.
With a shaky hand, Jules slowly removed the contact and placed it back in its reservoir before looking up towards the sermon in process.
“ As we were born we shall return to ash!” the priestess yelled to the now decently sized crowd before the pair locked eyes.
Jules quickly tilted his head to his left a few times before walking in that direction, indicating to his colleague that we needed to go, the panic on his face making it evident that something was not normal. As he began down the muddy street, his mind began racing, they had a lot to accomplish in a relatively short amount of time.
Cop sirens could be heard the planet was very urban but because of it crime was quite rampant due to a lack of planning on the development of the planet, riots were breaking out in news in televisions that could be seen in the streets a small group of individuals gathered in front of the priests blocking their way it was quite obvious who they were to then the Holy militia one of the gangs formed by the church to fight the spreading words of the Solar truth one man sticking out of the group a man wearing priests clothes he looked young too young to be a priest having black hair and a missing nose and equipped with a bat by the looks saying “look what we found in this place Heretics of all peoples”
“ We are all of the sun brother” Jules responded with a smile and a slight bow.
“Well let us see if your god favors you then” He says to the gang readying weapons.
Jules raised his eyebrow again, and stuck both hands in the air slightly. He was older than the man in front of him by at least 10 revolutions and slightly taller and more built. He was under strict orders not to cause trouble however and received extensive training in de escalation and diplomacy. The priests were trained of course, basic weapon handling, advanced combatives, use of blunt and edged weapons, but this was not a fight they could win. They were both outnumbered and out equipped.
“ Brother, please we are not all too different from your people. The gods do not like to see human fight human, their love is for all of us to share, and there is plenty of it” he said in a reassuring tone as he slowly backed away with his hands in the air.
“ Please tell me, what can I do what do you need, I will gladly give what I have” he said again, eying the young priest in front of him.
There was a tense standoff for a moment on what could happen in the next movements, before it was cut by the illumination of a light from a police car floating above the ground behind the Solar priests two cop cars landed officers leaving the car and pointing pistols a voice could be heard “everyone hands in the air this is a order!” In front the gang soon ran away, the leader screaming “scatter!”
The sudden noise made Jules jump slightly as they were spotlighted by the police car. The urge to run was nearly unbearable as he heard the commands from the officers. As Jules already had his hands up he just raised them further, quickly instructing his colleague to do so as well.
“ We mean no harm!” Jules yelled in the Saxonian language, his normally near perfect Saxon accent broken by hints of his mother tongue. “ We are but simple priests!”
Officers approached the priests while others at the same time runned after the gang after a moment Jules was grabbed by the hand and then said “You are under arrest sir anything said can and will be used against you” after being blinded by a device to avoid seeing things and possibly being a threat his eyes returned to seeing in the police station put in the interrogation room and left to wait for a moment.
Jules felt disoriented as he blinked his way back to where he could see again. The lights of the room seemed blinding for a moment, before returning to their normal glow. He was alone and still handcuffed yet unhurt, ‘a small blessing’ he thought to himself.
Almost instinctively, as a result of years of hard training, Jules began assessing his situation. Testing the strength of the cuffs and studying them for any structural weakness. Finding none, he began to look around the room, trying to find something he could use to escape or defend himself. A pained sigh passed through his lips as he realized there was none, he was resigned to his fate, and he knew what his fate will probably be.
Opening the door of the room came a detective seeing a file Johann was an experienced man in his 30 years on the job of policing had brown eyes and darkened hair seeing the priest he sighed looking quite tired or just annoyed by something and then he said to the priest “Riot or illegally entering a place?” taking a seat in front of him at the table.
Jules eyed the man as he walked in, sizing him up as he came to a stop in front of him. They looked to be the same age, maybe a little older, and of similar build. Jules’s expression hardened as the man pulled out the chair and sat, staring directly into the man’s eyes.
“ Neither” he said in a blunt fashion, his saxonian accent returning.
“ My colleague and I were preaching our faith and were accosted by a group of thugs as we left” he finished without breaking eye contact.
Jules was no stranger to staring down death. He gained prominence during the early days of the Mordant campaign and saw some of the hardest fighting of the rebellion. He had learned to face his end as all Solites should, with dignity, ferocity and rage.
Johann sighed reading the files he then rolled his eyes for a moment before saying “understood mister Jules from the Solia State emigrant non the less well the problem is...'' reading the file and seeing Jules partner he set it down saying leaning forward “Your so called colleague is a spy she was caught inside a place she shouldn't be i hope you know what that means right?” Johann was blunt during almost like he had dealt with that more times then someone could ever count.
Jules smirked as he sat back in his chair, adjusting the cuffs so they cut into his wrists less.
“ She is? I was not aware….as I said when you arrested us, we are simple priests.” he finished, his accent still stable.
“ Besides, she was with me when we were arrested...how could that be possible sir?”
A blank stare remained in johann face before pressing something in the table seeing a holographic display showing Jules partner literally invading a factory by jumping a fence followed by a cut straight towards a archive of sorts and a second cut of she leaving after which he raised a grey box inside it containing file after file of things made by her and putting on the table he then said “You know… when saying that make sure to hear everything the other persons says not just the beginning...” the image in the holographic system then cuts to her carrying the same grey box in the table seeming to have been converted to carry the files of the woman Johann then said “Would you like to say anything else sir?”
Jules was fuming internally, but maintained his friendly smile, his eyes betrayed him however as they resembled a caged animal more than a human. Either this is fake, or his partner broke one of the biggest rules they had, never….ever…..collect information yourself. Either way, the atmosphere in the interrogation changed suddenly as Jules began to speak again
“ Do as you must….officer” he said bluntly, his Saxonian accent fading almost completely to make way for a strong Solite accent. “ We are not spies….but simple priests…. Are you sure you have the right woman…”
Jules was far too loyal to sell out his comrade, and fellow Solite. Even if she was in the wrong, he would deal with it later, if there was a later.
“Yes we do…” He replied immediately he then sighed saying “well you know the situation but since you seem to not want to confess you can go to court after all you didnt commit much but you will be arrested for 5 years because of this at best unless the war rules declare longer your friend on the other hand will be deported back to your country” he reads the paper and then saying “but if you say it happend and admit you walking free obviously” he says with a smile he then sighs saying to himself “I wish this wasn't so common”
“ Your want me to confess to a crime that I have committed, or testify against my own people” he said incredulously, his smile slowly fading from his face. “ Eat shit and die….” he said in the Solite language “ I will not betray my people, and I will not confess to crimes I have not committed” he continued in Saxonian with a heavy accent. “ Do as you must..”
Staying put for a moment Johann sighed saying in Solite “I understand your language, you fuck” he then continue in Saxonian “I also follow your religion aswell” He does a very small smile before fading away he then continued by saying “Well i hope you like prison i shall…” a knock hited his door opening seeing a officer saying “Mister Johann someone is wants to speak with you…” Johann raised from his chair and left the room after a moment saying “excuse me”
“ In the end we all return to ash brother” He said in the Solite tongue, before his friendly smile returned with an evil tinge. He watched as the man left the room before dropping his smile again, as loud sigh escaping from his lips.
“ How fucked am I” he said under his breath as he looked up at the ceiling. This was catastrophic mission failure, if he left prison, or this room, alive he shouldnt even bother going back home. They would just kill him and those under his command anyway. He was probably better off dying here a hero than a disgrace back home.
Jules looked towards the door again with a raised eyebrow “ I wonder what they are doing out there….” he said in his mother tongue turning to looking towards what he thought was a mirrored glass window at the other end of the room.
“ Always watching...hmmm” he quipped.
After a time the door opened seeing Johann walking back to the seat he then said in Solite “You are free to go…”
“ What…” he responded in his Solite, his normally professional demeanor dropped for a moment, being replaced by genuine surprise.
“If you answer this man’s questions” He replied after the man said looking to the door seeing a man with medals entering the room he wasn't a cop a soldier or even a military officer he was a noble Frederick Von Zaschen one of the leaders of the current government and for all Jules knew the head of the Intelligence service he was a old man with grey hair he looked ot be in his 50´s or 60’s he had a very white looking beard he smiled saying “a pleasure to meet a man of god”
Jule’s face still exhibited his surprise as he turned to look towards the noble entering the room. His identity was only known to Jules through intelligence reports and pictures in passing, but he was a lot taller in person than the pictures let on.
“ It is a pleasure to meet someone of your status Lord Von Zaschen…” he said switching back to the Saxonian language and accent. “ What do I owe the pleasure sir?”
“The pleasure is mine is good saying a spy from Ecclesia reminds me of the times when i was a beginner infiltrated a ring of your group and dismantled it good times where those” he says sighing looking to the ceiling it could see it was a long time ago by how he says about then he then continues by saying and taking a seat next to Johann “Ironically that is a thing your people need to solve you have bad infiltration tactics” He soon smiled to see the response of the priest about his statement leaning back on the chair
Jules grinned, his eyebrow rising in intrigue as he listed to the man, he was clearly his senior in age, rank and status. Jules had knowledge of the events that Lord Von Zaschen was talking about, but it was before his time.
“ Yes, I have heard. We use that as a training lesson now, to remind us of the importance of good tradecraft. You Saxonians were on the cutting edge of intelligence and espionage…” he said with a nod
“ I will welcome any lessons you want to teach...but first, I was told that if I answer your questions I will be set free...is this true? he finished with a smile.
“It is true well free to go but it a but… and as a lesson i could give you right here and now actually” He says with a smile doing a small hold on gesture he then press something in the table making the holographic display in the wall show Jule and the entire missionaries he has been soon images changed this time showing a literal text of the plans of the operation they had soon followed by several images of agents images files and others some of him others of other Priests he didn't know looking forward seeing Johann looking shocked at that and Frederick looking bluntly to the screen a almost bored face constantly mashing the button showing you what feels like the entire operations of the Ecclesia in saxony after a moment he stops saying in the video of someone stealing something “You know your organisation might need some restructuring its not bad but somethings are easy to find once you know the pattern…” He coughed for a moment and then said “Well here is the question who is your boss?”
Jules sighed “ I report directly to the naval high command, the solar church and the minister of information, a high solar priest….” he finished in Saxonian. “ These are the only entities that know of my presence here” he quipped again, looking at the noble sitting across from him.
“I see well tell me if I were to ask would you be able to enter in contact with someone high in the politics of your country. I believe this would prove good to you and me” He says with a smile he looked quite happy with the man's response.
Jules tilted his head to the side slightly “ Yes...I suppose I can” he said quizzically “ Those in power ready my reports with great scrutiny” he finished before looking back at the holographic pictures.
“ Why?” he quipped
Smiling with the answer Frederick then said “Oh nothing special i just want to know if you would like a small in field promotion from Spy to… Diplomat” once frederick said Johann stared at him for a moment Frederick then said “You see our people are war with the Dominion and your people are also at war with then but we were first the Dominion made sure that contact between its protectorates was always small and relative to just leaders visiting each other…” Frederick then sighed saying “well i wish you to talk to your leaders that saxony wants to make a pact…”
A large smile stretched across Jule’s face, suddenly it all made sense. The message, the coming crusade, all of it. He didn't know this was a galactic effort however.
“ The galaxy never felt so small” he said quietly in the Solite language before nodding affirmatively towards the noble.
“ Lord Von Zaschen I can do this with great joy and purpose” He said, switching back to Saxonian. “ I must inform you that our people have answered your call and are currently en-route with two carrier groups and a number of strike forces. It is a vanguard force, but certainly more will come” he finished, as he shimmied in his seat slightly, attempting to regain feeling in his hands.
“ They are commanded by a high priest, Lord Barca, I am sure he will be very grateful to hear from a Saxonian Lord, they set off Maybe three weeks ago, and are making best speed to this system.”
Continuing with his smile Frederick knew everything would be good from now on he then said “well good to know that mr Jules… mind taking the chains off” he said to the officer he raised and soon took off the cuffs this soon led to Frederick saying “It would be good if our states could establish diplomatic lines between our peoples after all is better to be organised rather then chaotic don't you agree?”
Jules nodded “ Until our vessels get into range, communication can flow through me and my team, we have direct links to communicate with those in command and these messages will get to Lord Barca. There will be a delay of a week between sending a receiving, but they will be looked at…..I am assured of this”. he finished with a curt nod.
“ah this is truly marvelous i will warn about when your team gets released albeit there is a small catch in there since your group hasn't had much of a good history on our nation i am afraid you will be kept under observation you know how politics go hope you don't mind that small thing” He says his smile retaining the officer Johann leaving whispering “...time for bureaucracy”
Jules chuckled and looked at the noble with a slight grin “ Do I have a choice” he said in the Solite language before nodding towards Lord Von Zaschen. “ These terms are acceptable sir, I am sure my team and I are truly blessed to leave with our lives”
Frederick relaxed on his chair saying in Solite language “Good to know i hope you like the staying for now” he then raised from his seat continuing saying in his language “by the will of the sun it will be a fruitful deal don't you agree?”
Jules nodded curtly with a small grin “ The will of the stars was fulfilled by these actions and their warmth shines bright on us today. I'm sure the gods will look down on this moment favorably”. he finished, eyeing the man as he stood
Frederick nodded saying “Well let me take you to your friends you might want to speak with then” He says you notice a small chuckle in his voice like he knew what it might happen next.
13 days later
The priests where given a small apartment to live not a very good one by their requests of their faith while better then living in shacks there was observation every day by cops and sometimes the feeling of been watched when walking outside due to making sure after in a moment 13 days after the talking with Frederick someone knocked on the door of the small apartment.
The priests were not unaccustomed to being watched, but the surveillance machine of the Saxonians were immense. The solar priests noticed surveillance tools and techniques at all times no matter whether they were inside their new apartments or out preaching on the street. They did so with a renewed sense of duty however, their focus now on providing information to the oncoming crusade force and strengthening diplomatic ties with the Confederation.
A tablet was soon delivered to Jules in his apartment it contained instructions on read me when dealing with information inside was the number of contact of someone.
Jules, received the delivery of the tablet and studied it for a moment. his training had instilled in him a permanent paranoia of traps and assassination, something that is a common practices for elite solar priests and naval recon platoons. Tablets could contain bombs, lethal doses of radiation or worse some biological agent or poison. With a sigh, he slowly opened the container containing the tablet and sighed in relief.
“ Im still here”, he thought to himself, before reading the contents of the tablet.
The tablet only contained a singular number, without any supporting information, raising his eyebrow quizzically, he tapped the number of the screen and it began a video feed call.
A holographic display of Frederick immediately appeared after tapping it saying “took you long enough well now that i you answered here is the thing” a map of the region was displayed showing saxony their neighbors, the dominion and the obviously far Ecclesia frederick then said “we are ready to start the situation the army provided by the information your government and your group gave us is currently ongoing towards the union our plans according to our high command for Ecclesia are simple” the map soon showed the forces going and attack the dominion through the gap between the Union of Oros and the OPAO the targets majorly being industrial planets and fortress areas displayed on the map Frederick then said “this areas are believed to be good zones for initial conquest splitting the dominion into two fronts allowing us to slowly and steadily win trough attrition over a long period of time” the map displayed the Dominions armies or better what it is believed to be splitted up and losing ground over the passage of time victory believed to be achieved in a year in a best case scenario according to the holographic display.
Jules was no tactician, but he understood the benefits of forcing his opponent to fight a two front war. He studied the holographic map for a moment before nodding towards the holographic image of Lord Von Zaschen. “ This makes sense, is there any more information on Dominion forces in the area? Unit composition? defenses?” he finished, before looking at the map once more.
“Speaking in the best term possible there is no resistance… the Dominion is refusing to fight they don't want to be ready for a civil war they don't wanna fight it even though they need this is why Saxonian mobilization was not interrupted at all by any army of the dominion no attacks just a few raids'' Frederick says the map shows the region empty of forces besides stationed in a few important locations mainly outposts and industrial worlds of importance but still a very small fraction compared to the dominions whole military armadas distribution Frederick then say “according to the leader of our expedition to go she calculated we have precisely 2 weeks once the first world falls before full response is activated if we are lucky of in our attacks your armies need to be quick need to be swift we have a 2 weeks window once the attacks begun without any opposition to capture as much land as possible” The map display the invasion you notice extensions and salients formed in a very fast form in a blitzkrieg form aiming to take the best sectors as fast as possible Frederick then continued by saying “this might sound hard to believe that the most powerful state of the galaxy is refusing to fight but its the truth that exists you have this information including more in the laptop as its being uploaded send it to your armies and be ready i hope you understood”
Jules nodded “ I have no reason not to trust you, you have been true to your word with us, we shall be there when you need us” he said in a flat tone. Internally, he wondered if his was sending his forces into a trap. The Eclissia, has been far removed from the politics and affairs of the dominion for ages, but the idea of leaving something undefended was alien to the Solite psyche. He didnt want to be the one to lead his crusade force into a trap, that would be a fate worse than death.
“ I understand completely Lord Von Zaschen, I will be sure to pass these plans onto my forces” He finished
“May i ask you to deliver one thing to your men once things begins?” Frederick said he seemed blunt compared to the first time both met more worried rather then confident.
Jules grinned widely “ I'm sure you will have the ear of all the Solite forces in the area, we are at your disposal. You will also have the ear of Lord Barca himself, you should find him…...very willing to help.”
Jules narrows his eyes again, looking at the holographic map and pointing to the collection of worlds they needed to conquer first, “ Are these human worlds? Xenos? Mixed?” he aksed quizzically.
“for the location, it's mainly human worlds albeit there is Xeno minorities there is some worlds where there is a mix but just a few” He says showing data about the worlds in question especially in the area itself mainly the public ones available for people in the area since saxony was close to the dominion some of its nobles had access to local public sensus on populations.
After a moment he sighed and then said “send this to your forces…” He paused and then took a deep breath and realised he opened his eyes a feeling of discipline could be felt in Jules almost like saluting an officer of high rank he then said “your gods allowed you to have a sword to strike down a corrupt decadent state with the might of your rightness your enemy is week and thinks himself unbeatable his legions rest worrying about other things while you march in the light of the sun guiding your path the light of your god shining in your eyes do not waver and do not give up as your war is holy...” he stopped and then said “I believe this is everything i had to give anything you wish to know more about the plan?”
Jules nodded as he finished writing down the last of the message “ No sir, I think this will be sufficient, my admirals will be able to fill in the gaps with their expertise. This message will resonate well with the troops, you are a talented statesmen” he finished before looking back towards the holographic image of Lord Von Zaschen.
“ I will send this immediately” he finished
“Marvelous the rest of the information is on the tablet it has been downloaded and is now in the tablet send it all if needed be to then have a nice day Mr Jules” He says with a smile before turning off the communication in the tablet.
Jules sighed, and walked towards a large rucksack towards the back of his simple room. Kneeling down to open it, he revealed what looked like an oversized radio with an attachment for a large collapsible satellite dish. Before, Jules would have to walk for miles into the wilderness to get enough privacy to transmit messages. However, subtlety was no longer necessary and Jules grabbed the rucksack and began his ascent to the roof.
It took him a little while to extend the satellite dish and place it on its tripod before he began to boot the communication system. As the system calibrated, it automatically aimed the dish toward the closest known communication hub and began transmitting the plans laid out by Lord Von Zaschen. Once complete, Jules began typing the personal message from the Saxonian noble, before sending the entire package. He could hear the electric whirring of electronics working as the communication system transmitted its message as he waited on the roof, looking out towards the dusk sky.