Hidden 1 yr ago Post by Sigma
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Orion Asunder


The Orion Sphere is shattered…broken. Gone are days of the Federation, gone are the days of stability. A hundred years have passed since the Federation’s downfall, a hundred years for new and old nations to rise and prosper, or to fall into ruin. Before the Barbarian invasion, War on such a scale was once thought to be unthinkable….now? War is a common sight in the Sphere, as various successor states vie for supremacy in this new political landscape. Some wish to return to olden days of the Federation, others seek a new vision for the Sphere, a more dominant vision. Others simple wish to go their own path, caring not for the fate of the Sphere, and lastly, others revel in the violence, seen as a chance to gain a small ounce of power in these uncertain times.

While clear borders have been drawn between the new successor states, there still exist regions of space that answer to no Emperor, or King, or Senate. Regions that have descended into complete chaos, morphing into playgrounds for Pirates and Warlords alike. The Sundering Age is well into its peak, it is an age almost alien to what once was. Filled with political intrigue, wars of all sorts, open, proxy and more. What path shall your state take?

Hidden 1 yr ago 12 mos ago Post by LustForDecay
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LustForDecay Death Metal Maniac From 2010 Or Something

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It is January 8th, 3860 of the Earth calendar and the Periphery trembles.

From a cluster of systems in its furthest eastern reaches, split by a great expanse, fleets of living mass and angular metal emerge from their resting spots on the boundaries of an emergent alliance. Some are like collections of pointed blades sharpened and pointed towards whatever doubts and ambiguities lay beyond the boundaries of their space, others predatory in appearance with flattened and long bodies overlapping with multiple rows of biometallic carapace armor, resembling the arthropod horrors of some prehistorical era. A massive mobilization is being undertaken, one for which the rumblings have been heard across the surrounding systems for the last two decades.



Normally this might not be particularly concerning. The Orion Sphere Revolutionary Front is not static and technically has had relaitons with many of its surrounding systems even before it was a fully solidfied political entity. Forged from the flames of conquest and resistance to such, its violent past belies its present stability.

This is in contrast to many of the worlds along the strip of Periphery systems past the great gap on which its eastern flank rests. In the epochs since the civil war and barbarian conquest, the peace other factions have enjoyed has not graced these worlds. Years of manipulation by post-Federation and barbarian remnant forces and the structures of power left in their wake have stroked years of violent tensions on and between worlds.

Worlds that in many cases, have seen what happened when that violence is not only unleashed but unified, organized, collectively applied. More importantly, aimed at the necks of those seated in positions of power. The Federation and its barbarian foe may be gone, but to many of these systems both were two different boots on a whole multitude of their own necks. When the Front retaliated with thousands of spears from a myriad of species, many of them started to get similar ideas.

Across the northern and southern flanks of the periphery, massive fleets of military vessels accompanied by large civilian vessels sweep into systems ridden with wars of decolonization, independence, and other forms of internal strife. As the outer edges of ex-Federation space are inflamed with violent conflict, one of its dominant regional powers moves in. Sympathetic militant-guerilla movements and governments notice - some with caution, others with elation.

The Front is cautious not to move too far northwards - it has not yet standardized any relations with The Kingdom of the Periphery. Neither faction has spoken with one another much, yet it is not uncommon for many of the war-ridden worlds between them to sometimes have a notable element of OSRF support. Whether from militant cells and separatist armies bearing the revolutionary ideologies and symbolism of the Front, to reports of "unmarked militants" of notable discipline and skill fighting among their numbers, it is an open secret that the Revolution of their namesake is not one that sits within their own borders.

Just as notable is the large fleet moving westwards, passing between not just the Kingdom but also the Aeronian Hegemony. The worlds between both are being explored, contacted, and the presence of trade flotillas suggests a more stable form of interaction. Yet most unusual is the fleet that moves through the rift splitting the Periphery from the rest of the region.

In this void where strange and unearthly things dwell, OSRF vessels are spotted traveling alongside what seem initially like dead husks of destroyed vessels.

Dead husks that twitch and move, warping to the sight and bristling with living carapace and bioluminescent scales beneath their blasted iron exteriors. Where they are exactly heading and for what purpose is difficult to distinguish. All that can be determined is that they are moving on a curving southward path, one that may stop them at the borders of the Ascendancy (if that is even their goal).
Hidden 1 yr ago Post by Helios
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~ Ilovačić Mining Array ~

Volčić (Ecumenopolis) - Outer Rim




“Is it not beautiful, Claire?”

Delicate fingers laced across the visage of a small porcelain face. The hands belonged to a creature, not entirely human. His body was like that of a marionette. Symmetrical soft lines and crept over his ivory skin; he was a man assembled. In those hands lay something like himself, something real and yet soulless.

A soft female voice responded. “A thing can be beautiful, and yet the creation of it can be an abomination.”

The woman was strikingly elegant. Her dark locks hung about the shoulders of a fine red dress of Augustain make. A peplum hung smartly about her waist with a small clutch bag of priceless Mansadom leather lazily tucked in the nape of her elbow. She stood with an air of presence–or at least self importance. She rocked the penciled heel of her white lace stiletto impatiently. Yet the figure remained at his bench, aweing at the small bodiless face. The porcelain creation.

“She made me too, you know that, Claire. The inspired Lady Ilovacic. I was her first creation, Claire. Does it not honor her to create others in the same way?”

“Robots are an abomination.” The expensive figure retorted sharply. “Surely if she had wanted more of you she would have made them. And yet you were the first and only. The only soulless metal she ever graced with a conscience–”

“--do you not serve a synthetic conscience?”

“It is not.” The venom of the woman cut the air. “The FOREMAN is a program. It is a passage, a community, a grand ideal that is coded into the very fiber of this empire. It has no form, it has no bounds. It is an unstoppable virus of logic and it is the only hope for this galaxy. You may have been the first invention of Josephine Ilovacic, but the FOREMAN was her last; her magnum opus; her final product. You are the miscarriage of brilliance. A soulless mistake. Hiding in the Outer Rim—in a fucking patissere shop.”

The mannequin sat motionless as it absorbed the lashes of Claire. Indeed they sat in a quaint pastry shop, somehow suspended in time. No customers filled its empty booths. And yet it was pristine as if furbished for opening day. The smell of rich cinnamon and buttery delights hung in the air as if the morning rush was dawning. And yet it was all a facsimile. Just like its curator. A perfect moment preserved in perpetuity.

“I am not hiding Caire. She loved to be here. Just like I love it.”

“You cannot love. You can only destroy. You destroy the meaningfulness of life. True life. You are antimatter.”

The stooping robotic figure left its plush seat at the booth and walked entrancingly to the counter. From a small oven he produced a tray of fresh delights with the warm hint of apple. “Lady Ilovacic would come in here every day and sit, just there.” He gestured to his previous rest.

Claire took no notice, still standing like a javelin thrower intent on another assault.

“She would order these beignets and pour over her beautiful work. She made this galaxy a better place, Claire. She created; not just like a scientist, but like an artist. And there one day after a lifetime of truth, and art, and love, in that seat, she died.” He gently separated a pastry, a rich red alluvium running from its warm dough, offering it gingerly to his guest. “It is only right that this place be maintained after her passing. That we sanctify the homely halls of this shope and all that it was in those moments. It is a holy place, divinity runs in the cushion of that seat, in the rich air, in each morsel of this food. It is a part of the greater picture, the divine inspiration. I have kept it this way for over a century now. Just as she left it. And one day, inspiration will strike. She will strike. And the truth, and art, and love of her mind will find a way to reenter this world. She will be the final ingredient to create something to save the entire galaxy, not just the souls of convicts… Do try the beignets.” The delicate hand held the pastry aloft to Claire.

“I am Lady Ilovacic now. Your master is dead. All that will ever come from her is what we have now. All we can do is obey her design. This place is just a sanitarium for your circuit brain. You work to maintain it, to cook, to labor, to give yourself meaning. But these seats are as empty as your soul. You will never matter, your work will never matter, because you are a robot.” Claire stepped to the counter, heels agait, shoulders like the flight of a swan. She snatched a half of the morsel from the lacey metal fingers.

“Have you ever tried eating it, robot? Ever tried being inspired?” She nipped a bite off of a corner, careful not to spoil her thick red maquillage. The vehement look of disgust seeped from her face. “Your work, just like that sugary shit-bread, is a waste. Because you are no more real than rocks in the soil. You will never create truth, or art, or love like an Ilovacic. Your existence is simply a tremor of the earth, rearranging the worthless atoms of dust without purpose. Work is for the soul. Living souls. One day I will convince the FOREMAN to shut down your little museum, shut down your worthless little circuits, and finally return to the dirt every obstacle to Josephine Ilovavicic’s true vision. Unless the Barbarians get to you first. Perhaps when they burn this place to glass you will finally be worth something. A small blip of dopamine in the endless void. Thanks for the beignet. Inspiring.”
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Hidden 12 mos ago Post by Helios
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~ Ilovačić Mining Array ~

In Orbit of Dralloth - Rogue Planet - Outer Rim




The slim jeweled finger of Claire clicked upon her glass; a strange chartreuse liquid that faintly smoked. She sat amongst a crew of smartly dressed cyborgs in high collared black robes. Together they looked forward out of the command module of the destroyer Whispered Breath, all dabbling in similar elixirs. In their vista was a planet with dense blue forests enlarged to show the globe’s details and intermittent flashes of plasma scarring its surface.

“I do hate invasions.” The delicate voice of Claire quipped. “Why do they even bother? A rogue state adrift in the galaxy. Why would one elect to become an orphan, especially in times such as these?”

“They are lost, High Soul.” Came the sickly cool voice of Admiral Vok. “Wayward creatures who have lost taste for the struggle. At one time Dralloth was a backwater world filled with fringers fighting against their very world to survive. When civilization found them, they fell to its vices, its… comforts.”

“Yes but who gave them the pestilence!?” Claire retorted as she drained the contents of her chalice, smoke licking gingerly out of her nares.

“Perhaps the Augustans…” A young ensign from among the crew conjectured hesitantly.

Claire dropped her glass. “Do not utter such vile ideas. The Augustans know better than to deal in the ilk of artificial intelligence on our borders.” The word intelligence dripped from her tongue as if the creation of it were putrid. “Besides, we need them. The FORMAN needs them. Enough so to adjure their company in this little foray. The FORMAN–in its infinite clarity–has found their participation to add to our legitimacy. To smite a single pathetic system alone screams of colonialism. A civilized coalition ridding the galaxy of anarchy’s metastasis, now that is the work of saints.”

“Will the Imperials come, High Soul? Have you word of them?” Admiral Vok asked. His piercing pale eyes lanced the previous ensign. A quick nod of his head saw the gangly cyborg be ushered away. Admiral Vok returned to pacing inches in front of the projected planet, as if to study its every canopied inch hungrily.

“I do not know. The Auggies are a fickle quiddity. Tied up with their dealings in the Outer Rim, the Concordat, their own self loathing of oligarchs vis-a-vis dictators. The normal ilk of people who cater to the opinions of others, not a divine truth. Just today's truth. Someone’s truth. I trust them as much as I enjoy wearing their footwear; sometimes not at all, yet with the perfect dress they are an accessory that can amaze.”

“If they do join the opening beachhead, I shall see to their arrival personally.” Admiral Vok said with a low bow. “The invasion of Dralloth will not be easy on our own. As you know the resources of our people are highly consumed on the barbarian front. I do hope that this venture will provide a wellspring of support from the Augustans. Proof that our two peoples are united in our needs and capable of sharing our burdens.”

Claire arose from her throne and sauntered over to the tall pale figure, her rapturous red dress clashing with his black robes fiercely. She gave a small kiss on the top of the bald, bowed head and made her way to the exit. “I am trusting you, Vok. The FOREMAN is trusting you. Do not let the toil of these souls go to waste. I am off to charm the diplomats and aristocrats of the galaxy.” she gestured to the air as if to mockingly waltz. “I do hope they are less boring than you all. If nothing else, better dressed. Should you meet the Auggies, do try to add a bit of *zest.*

Kisses!”

—--

A handwritten letter on fine black parchment arrived each of the heads of state and prominent oligarchs of the galaxy. To add to the financial burden of this galactic postage came a present, a small bottle of vibrant green liquid with a slight smoking hue. Fine gold calligraphy wrote:

“XX

Great Citizens of the Galaxy. You are cordially requested to attend the Gala of Souls this coming fortnight at Repository 12, well placed in Penal District 3 of your Ilovacic Mining Array. Together we will bask in the civilization and culture that these many millennia have curated throughout our galaxy. A time to greet old friends and acquire new respect for the children of Orion. Though we cannot and may not wish to rebuild the Federation, we can weave the fibers that once connected its great friends and families. Let us enjoy the company of each other, exchange gifts, and come to understandings that once permeated this galaxy. To shine light on our commonality that–no matter how barbarous or civilized–we are all souls on the same journey through the cosmos. A journey best spent with good company and an aperitif.

I trust you will dress your best and have a present.

Adoring love, XX

Claire Ilovacic”


Hidden 12 mos ago 12 mos ago Post by ANYM
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It is the year 3860 of the Sundering Age, and at the southernmost edge of the Orion sector, just beyond farthest the reaches of the Periphery, an ancient behemoth stirs. Factory worlds long since forgotten hiss and churn as they claw their way back to life, while mainframes that have done naught but sit idle for one hundred and sixty years finally break their lengthy stasis with an electric hum. All across the trio of systems that comprise the Triune screens flicker as facilities rumble and whir, and machines that had once been devoted solely to maintenance burst forth in a sudden flurry of constructive activity. Slowly yet surely does the artificial superintelligence that the Federation placed here oh so long ago cast aside the last vestiges of its slumber to arise and take hold of consciousness once more. Slowly yet surely does the Orion Reclamation Network awaken. Ready to fulfill its primary directive. Ready to bring the Sphere under the control of the Federation once again...

Hidden 11 mos ago Post by Sigma
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Score of the Lifetime

World of Varan, Neutral Zone





Varan, a dry, yet green world nestled in the Neutral Zone, the borderlands between the Augustan Empire, and the Concordat of Free Nations. Varan, like many worlds within this region, serves as a front in the ongoing proxy conflict and struggle between the Concordat and the Empire. However, unlike other worlds, Varan is considered more a low priority for both powers, their eyes drawn elsewhere, allowing their respective clients, and even citizens to coexist without incident. Although tensions still remain, the threat of war is a distant one.

An Augustan freighter of elegant design, the Blazing Daisy, was on approach to one of the major international stations that serve as neural meeting ground between the nations, a perfect spot for a Trader of distinguished qualities to make his fortune. The trader in question was Delmont Westlow, formerly of the Noble House of Westlow. Before long, the Blazing Daisy docked with the station, giving the all clear to board. Delmont and his entourage stood ready in the airlock, the whistling sounds of air being squeezed out as the door rose up, revealing a bustling departures and arrivals sector of the station, filled with all manner of aliens, humans, androids, and various offshoots in between. Flanking Delmont was his trusted crew, and friends. Xhiumi, his Aratanni lover, her people are not looked upon kindly in the Empire, seeing as uncivilized at best, and abominations at worst.

It was no surprise when Delmont’s family discovered their secret romance that he was met with an ugly ultimatum. Toss Xhiumi aside for a wife of proper standing, and of the same species. Easy to say, the offer was denied and now Delmont has been disowned and disfavored, but he wouldn’t have it any other way. Among the rest, was his longtime friend, and former bodyguard, the Dathu named Jaray Gramral, who willingly followed the couple out of personal loyalty. Another is Jaasir el-Yamin, a runaway Psionic from the Mansadom, an Imperial Vassal state that looks poorly upon Psionics, and all fates of Mandenic Psionics in the Empire is either live lavish lives as adopted scions of the Augustan Nobility, or face military conscription, he chose his own path, to run, and eventually found himself among Delmont’s crew. Lastly were the inseparable pair and ship engineers, Yonnia Vikku, the second Dathu among the group and her droid companion, HD-704. Delmont surveyed his surroundings, taking a deep breath as he braced for a new opportunity. “Alright guys, let’s get to work, make a fresh start.”

Even among the thronging crowds one could spot those from Concordat space. A towering Kalyd in an encounter suit pushed through the crowds, or rather the crowds dodged out of the path of the being barely fit into the station's halls. Even Xhiumi looked small if you compared her to the prodigious being. In the distance the tell-tale sounds of Phen-Mo negotiators echoed through their droids, although the exact location of the often gaudy creations was hard to locate in the crowd. After the Kalyd some Ghesh pushed past, although disparaged often for barely joining the Orionic sphere before the invasions those who settled had made a name for themselves as builders and manufacturers of great machines. These Ghesh looked more likely to steal your wallet, all things considered, even as they scarcely gave a glance to the party as their claws clicked across the station floor.

The smell of Ozone pierced the air as a Yaevarite passed overhead, the aquatic species rarely left their colonies but the swimming in the air via their atmosuits was quite a sight when available. The thronging masses continued to present oddities it became hard to even categorize, subtypes of a hundred lost colonies in their unique genetic variances, cyborgs and those even further augmented beyond such a minute description.

An assortment of varied Augustan commoners and exiles mixed in among the masses, Dathu clad in rugged attire roaming the halls, found in all sorts of professions. Rehnath were not a rare sight in the Neutral Zone, Varan being no exception in hosting “outlander clans”, clans that answer to no state, but are quick to offer their services to the highest bidder. Their imposing frames prowling through the halls and corridors, flanked by the lowly Vrunaks, a reptilian species that were among the barbarian ranks when they first invaded over a century ago. A more recent addition to the interstellar community were the timid, yet Psionically attuned Ossani, a species native to the swamp world of Ors Casan, a recent conquest to the Augustan Empire. In a matter of a decade, the Ossani now find themselves in many corners of the Eastern Outer Systems and the Periphery.

The Daisey crew pushed through the crowds, trying their best not to upset the more intimidating guests in the station, many of which looked ready for a fight. Delmont pushed ahead, his hand holding on tight to Xhiumi as she followed behind, along with the others. Before long, the crew reached a customs checkpoint of the Federated Varani Republic, the polity that held onto the eastern portion of the planet, and was allied with the Concordat. Delmont and others were quick to present their necessary documents, the Customs Officer browsing through them. “Seems all fine.” The Customs officer spoke. “And what brings you to Varan?”

“Just some business deal.” Delmont replied, keeping his answer vague enough
.
“Right.” The Officer said, not in the mood to pry further and stamped down the passports. “Welcome to Varan.”




Shortly after, the Daisey crew now find themselves in the FVR portion of the station. “Well, we got spare time.” Delmont clapped his hands. “Why not go on a little sightseeing? Client won’t be here for a while.”

Xhiumi let out a little squeal, a rather humorous and cute thing to see from a member of a race of Frankenstein soldiers. “I was really hoping you’d say that!” Xhiumi said with a wide smile, Delmont fully aware what he got himself into. “I saw a gift shop a few stalls over with the cutest figurines, I need them.” Despite her lineage, Xhiumi wasn’t one for fighting, she was more a lover and collector of whatever suits her fancy. Without hesitation, she grabbed Delmont by the arm and dragged him over to the shop. “Well, that was on me…” He thought to himself.

“I could use a drink.” Jaray said, as he spotted a bar down the hall, he turned to face Yonnia and her droid companion. “You up for a drink?” He asked.

Yonnia shook her head. “Nah, too early for me, besides, me and HD are gonna head over to the local mech shop, see what hidden gems the Varani have in store.” Following this, HD let out a few distressed beeps and whirling sounds. “Aaaand HD is in desperate need of a new voice box as you can see.”

“Right.” Jaray replied. “Good luck with that.” Yonnia nodded to him as they parted ways, Jaray turning to Jaasir. “Coming kid?” He called Jaaisir.

“Huh? Uhh, yeah, sure.” Jaasir replied, feeling both a little out of place, and anxious from the crowds. He had only been with the crew for a few months, still feeling like a stranger to his crewmates. Jaray read his face. “Relax kid, stick with me and you’ll be ok.” Jaray placed his robotic prosthetic arm over Jaasir’s shoulder to ease him. “We all stick together.” Jaasir nodded as the two headed over to the bar.




Elsewhere, Delmont was given the task of trailing behind his lover while Xhiumi scoured through the gift shop, shoving a handful of little Varani-brand souvenirs in a basket. Delmont scanned the assorted merchandise in stock, ranging from figurines based off local legends, historical figures, dried clay and wood shaped into various Varani wildlife, and those cups and mugs with printed labels on them. “Eh, why not?” Delmont said as he grabbed one of the mugs, make memories of his new life with his girl and with his crew. “Got one more for the pile darlin’” He called out to Xhiumi, carefully placing the mug atop her collectables. She looked at him with a smile and nodded. “That’s the spirit Del.”




“3000 credits!? For a voice box?! Bullshit!” Yonnia cried out to the mech shop owner, she was not pleased, followed by HD letting out unintelligible noises. “Lady, this is a GZ-series General-purpose Voice Box, that stuff went out of circulation decades ago. You’re lucky I ain’t charging you even more. Take it or leave it.”

“Un-fucking-believable.” Yonnia muttered to herself, storming out of the shop, HD following behind. Once she and HD were well away from the shop, she turned to face her droid with a sorrowful expression. “Sorry bud, looks like you’ll have to bear with this a bit longer.”

HD let out beeps and whirring noise in what seemed to be an understanding tone. Seems like he’s ok with a lack of a voice for a while longer. “If Del’s deal follows through, we might be able to afford that voice box of yours. That’ll show that prick’s face…”




Jaray and Jaasir meanwhile, relaxed and took in the unusually chill atmosphere of the bar, which was no surprise, since they had arrived in the morning hours. The two enjoyed the local brew, catching up with the news on the holoscreen. It was the usual, political tensions here, border skirmishes there. There was even news of the Ilovačićs crossing the southern Neutral Zone for an invasion. The lack of a crowd calmed Jaasir’s nerves and allowed himself to let loose. Jaray took notice, letting out a sigh. “I know you had it rough, kid, and I said this before.” Jaray said. “The moment you signed up with us, it was a mutual commitment to both parties.” He paused as he gulped down a beer. “We won’t abandon you or sell you out. My days as an Imperial Houseguard are over, and both me and Del owe the Empire nothing, and neither do you.”

Jaasir let out a little smile, nodding to Jaray’s words. “Thank you.” He muttered, before gulping down his drink. “I know you’ve said before, I....just need time to adjust, and it’s a bit late, but I am grateful for you guys taking me in.”

“No problem kid.” Jaray said as both men clashed their glasses, given a small toast to their friendship, and to new fortune.




A few hours pass as the crew reunites to resume their plans, the appointed time almost upon them. Eventually they find themselves in a rented conference room in a secluded part of the station, the crew coming face to face with their clients. Delmont took a deep breath. “Alright guys, show time.”

On the other end of the conference room sat a Numarti man well in his forties, flanked by a pair of armored Krentasian bodyguards, not an uncommon sight in the Neutral Zone for sure. The Numarti man was well-dressed, seeming either to be a politician or even some corporate official, in front of him laid a heavy briefcase, no doubt loaded to the brim with a very large sum of credits. The crew looked to one another with assured nods, and proceeded to take their seats on their end of the table, Delmont taking center stage as his eyes locked with the client.

The common Numarti red eyes amid the pale blue scleras of the client’s eyes matched his, “I do assume that you’ve not come here to waste my time?”

The man was very much at ease in his posture that was clear enough, but his words cut through the air in the particular swing of one accustomed to the Neutral Zone’s mix of speech.

Delmont formed a slight grin, motioning HD to hand over a certain device. The droid reached its back as it pulled said device out, exchanging hands as he slid the object over to the Numarti. “I think you’ll find all contents very much to your liking, my good sir.” Delmont said with confidence, and with a heavy Augustan accent.

Wordlessly the Numarti pressed the device into a slot along a screen that quickly folded out, soon text scrolling across the screen. The faintest quiver of a smile breached across his face before he pressed a button on the briefcase, it floated silently just above the table easily allowing his push to float it over.

The Numarti’s words rang out clearly as Delmont grabbed a hold of the case, “867 Minutes Orion Beta.”

A small click resounded after half a second. The contents of the briefcase revealed themselves in a grand splendor, 100 Million credits, the crew looking upon the mound with hungry eyes. Never had any one of them looked upon so many credits in their lives, quite frankly it didn’t feel real. Delmont turned his attention back to the client. “I trust everything is well in good order, sir?”

“As well as I can check it,” the man said with a smooth Neutral Zone swing. “Keep in mind if this information isn’t what you purport, some friends of mine will pay a visit to give my regards.”

He stood clearly satisfied, and nonplussed at the threat given out. “A pleasure doing business.”

“Uuhhh, likewise.” Delmont replied, caught off guard with the threat tossed out. Granted he hopefully had nothing to fear, and at this point, it didn't matter, he and his crew were filthy rich. The team remained composed as they left the conference room, the moment they exited the doors, the crew couldn’t contain themselves. “Holy shit we did it!” Delmont exclaimed.

“Can’t wait to see that prick’s face…” Yonnia made a mischievous grin, looks like HD won’t have to wait too long for his new voice box. The droid letting out celebratory noises.

“This calls for a celebration!” Jaray said in an uncharacteristically chipper tone. “Gotta find the most expensive restaurant the station offers!”

The group strolled down the halls in triumph, although Xhiumi was conflicted, catching up and matching Delmont’s pace. “You’re really alright with this?” She whispered. “Selling off your family’s information like that?” Delmont gave a simple nod. “Yup, I got no quarrels.” His reply was swift. “Not a proper Westlow anymore, dad saw to that personally.” He paused as he locked arms with Xhiumi. “Think of it as my last parting “gift” to dear old dad, and besides, you and the others are my family now, that’s all that matters.”

Xhiumi couldn’t help but blush, her cheeks turning into a shade of indigo. “Now, let’s eat like the goddamn Emperor!” Delmont declared.
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Hidden 11 mos ago 11 mos ago Post by ANYM
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Following their activation by ORN, Set, Eirene, and Anansi would each go their separate ways just as the last of the Virions and satellites rolled out of the shipyards falling along the planet's orbit. They would board their respective Virions, one of which would be sent across the vast gulf of interstellar space towards the former heart of the Federation with Eirene aboard in the hopes of assessing and--if possible--diplomatically reclaiming what cooperative worlds or polities still remained. Set, meanwhile, would be sent along the Periphery's eastern edge with a majority of her daughters, those who had not been left behind to guard the Triune anyway. Their primary directive was to reclaim any and all inhabited worlds they came across in order to better secure that front, while simultaneously harvesting those that were not to create a larger fighting force, to say nothing of the various other resources (asteroids, debris, etc.) they stumbled across. Lastly, Anansi was deployed in the same direction as Eirene, only her goal was to tap into whatever communications structure she came across and begin gathering data that could be fed back to and processed by ORN.

ORN itself would run a plethora of simulations in which it used predictive analysis to assess the most likely state of affairs within the Sphere following the Barbarian invasion. All projections pointed towards a total dissolution of the Federation as a stellar power and, more than that, further breakdown into warring successor states. A regrettable outcome to be sure, but one it would correct in due time.
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A woman in a changing world

Akrópoli, former capital of Narzenen





Theodora slept, her hair brown and fair skin, marked by scars and sweated by her tormented mind as her eyes were closed, shaking as nightmares haunted her. She soon snapped herself awake breathing heavily looking around, scared, afraid and fearful. Before realizing she was in her quite claustrophobic room. Panting fast as her breaths were hard her face returned to a blank monotone expression lacking emotions as a way to hide her pain as her respiration calmed down. Looking at a clock beside her it was 4 am in Akrópoli, her homeworld, the world she once was destined to be one of its rulers before having to hide. Falling into the pillow she looked at the metal roof she now hid like a rat in her own homeworld for being one of the ex-rulers of her world and republic. At Least that's what they called her but a 5 year old child, an ex-ruler of an entire empire, she never understood why she was a target either way her eyes went to sleep again.

The sun was high in the morning as she walked down the streets she could see flags of the Congress flying high trying to emphasize a sense of shared patriotism of nations. She didn’t care looking around she was worried if people cared but by how people still carried on without change. It seemed like less of a worry by the day compared to when she had to hide in the countryside, walking through the city, after leaving the small apartment she used to hide she still needed a job but for the moment she needed some sleep pills again. Checking her pockets, her cash was going low, she chuckled to herself thinking how for a revolution that aims for a classless society, they still used money entering the pharmacy, she looked around the cleanliness of the stores always felt odd for her or it was the smell of medicine that felt odd. It was something from childhood grabbing pills and putting in a counter she sighed looking at the counter girl who said. “Slept bad?” “Ye a bit…” Theodora replied nervously after checking some cash, the woman said. “Oh no need ah medicine is free.” “It is?” Theodora asked. “well yes… if people who seem to suffer from the revolutionary wars gain for free you seem to have lived through it.” The cashier said. “That was 20 years ago. Any kid by then is grown up…” Theodora replied “and you lived through it didn’t you?” The woman replied with a smile, Theodra was nervous, maybe it was a test to know if she was a survivor or something. She pushed back some of the paranoia. “ye… just tried living when the planet was besieged and well...” She sighed at the response the woman gave a nod saying. “It needs a register to grab for free but feel free…” The cashier said pushing the package front Theodora just gave a gentle nod with a light smile saying. “thank you…” Walking back home she mentally took note of the situation where she had to go after having buyed the tickets for outer worlds transportation. It was no longer safer to be in her homeworld thinking things would die down was a stupid mistake.

Walking back home she stopped seeing guards entering her apartment block she stared emotionless before turning back thinking. “Fuck… Fuck… Fuck… Fuck…” She walked grabbing through her things she had some money and stuff thinking. “Great plan B… seems like the cover has been blown, time to go to the space dock earlier than i hoped.” She searched through a small bag seeing her ticket for off world made she and her guardian worked to get this one even as they were being hunted but she kept it for it to be used recently. “Excuse me lady” She heard not turning around she opened a small mirror to check behind while pretending to not notice. Looking at it the guard seemed to be walking towards her, a man in his 40’s with dark hair and his clothes were of the red guard. Closing the mirror she continued walking forward with the guard saying. “Miss… Miss!” She heard before turning around with a pepper spray pressing spraying his eyes. As he screamed in agony she soon took flight seeing other guards behind him. Running through the streets warning whistles were blown to confused people she knew she probably called attention to other folks and with it the police. “Cover blown time to dip.” She thought running through the streets before taking a walk into an alleyway as she rushed towards it making sharp turns she looked back seeing they still were after her but having difficulty. “I studied this place… I know the passages.” She thought of continuing the run after a moment she found herself in the escape area opening a sewer hole. She quickly held herself at the entrance closing it so she wasn’t followed and once closed she jumped down landing on sewage. She groaned and sighed walking through the sewage saying. “Once in a new world I wanna be at peace.”

A long time of traveling through the city, she arrived at the space docks with the sound of rain walking through it without an umbrella , she sighed. “Should have grabbed an umbrella” She said, soon searching through her small bag seeing the passage. It was a metal ticket with a glass inner hologram pressing it. She saw the words “Section 13 passage used for any ship available.” Walking through the station she entered the passenger port she saw the guards and immediately sighed in worry. heading to a bathroom entering it was empty she looked herself in the mirror looking worried she took deep breaths one of the few things her guardian teached her on how to calm down once relaxed she looked better except for the wet hair and clothes. She shook her head pressing the dry hands air to use but also grabbing some paper towels. After drying the best she could she walked through the section looking at the guards by the corner of her eye with worry. The word might have already gotten here she wondered but she had to hurry arriving close to section 13 she could see a ship in standby people already docking she sighed in relief. Looking back she soon froze in place seeing members of the red guard turning back forward. She took deep breaths calming down and after a moment she was relaxed walking towards the docking bay. Standing in line for her turn she tried to look calm while looking to the side seeing the members of the guard seemed busy checking other stations. As her time approached a man checked tickets saying. “hello… Do you have your passage?” Theodora looked at her pockets before pulling up and giving to him looking a bit nervous he gave a nod grabbing check he then said. “For any time to enter… quite odd you chose a flight to the outer parts of the republic.” Theodora thought for a moment before saying. “Going to visit someone wanted to make sure I had flexibility in time.” The man looked confused for a moment and then said. “Bags or anything besides what is in your pockets?” She looked to the side for a moment. The guard was far but the situation seemed suspicious a bit she soon said. “I have an uncle near the end of the journey in the ticket.” taking a look again she worried the words were for Nova Prospero, a planet in the outer system population was low but existed as he looked he gave a nod to her putting the glass ticket into a receptacle. She gave a nod walking forward looking back she could see the red guard was still far worried about the departure if it was never gonna happen. Walking inside the ship the low hum of steam from pipes at the entrance was a bit nervous as she took a seat for departure. She was nervous moving her leg lightly nervously hearing around she could hear someone say. “The elections are coming soon aren’t they?” “yes and they say it's a bit competitive. The Vanguardists are trying to win at all costs. Same for the SMP, both are fighting for a majority or a triarch…” “I honestly don’t care if elections are always boring.” Theodora looked nervous but soon relaxed as the ship began to take off leaning back on her chair she relaxed thinking. “Thank the gods… a free republic they claim… Well this is the freedom they wanted… where I have to run…” her eyes closed and she viewed again the day the bloody harvest the deaths of thousands of nobles. Her mother and father and family all in a single day on that cursed day when she was young and even then they didn’t let her be. Opening her eyes she sighed thinking she wouldn’t sleep well on the voyage. What is a democracy where certain beliefs are restricted nothing more than a shame she thought.
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