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Manzur Iman

Mazur, unlike Cicero, is unminding to the attrition of bloodshed and its hellish effects on the mind and body. If anything, the old warrior is defiant - bold enough to curse every single god in existence and still live to tell his tales. Hell, he might have already done it. From the looks of it, the only way for the stubborn man to die is by the natural decay of the clock and even that is taking its sweet time. Mazur refuses to give up. He exists to spite those who have wronged him. But existence is not enough, Mazur wishes to leave his mark on this Earth - a bigger legacy than what he has made for his current self. Course, that legacy will be marked with a trail of blood and violence for better or worse.

“We have decided our action?” Mazur asks as he waits for the group to do something other than talk.
I'll throw my hat into the ring.
I imagine the Lower Ring is like the shittier parts of a city like New York or Detroit or Chicago. The dingier parts of a big city, but still technically part of a civilized society... just in this case with some favela decor, lol.

I imagine it more a place ran over with trash and poverty aplenty. Shoddy housing and buildings. Extremely overcrowded and the works. Even the worst parts of New York and Detroit are too generous.
How illiterate is the Lower Ring? I assume there's no public education in such a place.
Manzur Iman

Manzur largely ignores the magical conversation between the Ashe and Gwyneria since well…everything they say completely flies over the head of Manzur. It is not until a very certain banner came into the fold - one discovered by Ashevelen and the usage of her magical dice. Manzur walks up to Ashe and touches the banner as a flood of memories re-enters Manzur’s mind. Battles, bloodshed, good times, bad times, camaraderie, former friends, and whatnot flashes in an instant before it all disappears. The brick of a man grabs the banner into his own hands - unfolding the cloth and displaying its design in front of his eyes. He takes a moment to bask in its glory once more.

“Roh's Skirmishers. I was in it. I led them. It is blessed. Hold it high. Use it in the shadows and you will strike better from it,” Manzur informs the gathering. He folds the banner very neatly before handing it off back to Ashe. “Use it well. And with great dignity and respect.”
I'm just here to start a revolution - guillotine included.
Before Le Timeskip

The New Ishtari gateway lights up in its usual fashion as space-time bends and warps to allow a passageway for faster-then-light travel. After a few seconds of participation, a never before seen spaceship materializes itself in front - a very sleek and elegant design with multiple sensor arrays and systems attached to its many hardpoints and areas. The engines of the mysterious ship go from bright blue to a dim-teal as it powers down the main sub-light thrusters to cruise mode. A ping is sent out to the nearest Ishtari ship - identifying itself as the New-Terran Viktoria-Class Light-Exploration Cruiser with its namesake being the Leonhardt.

The exploration cruiser emerged into a dense cluster of warships, construction vessels, residential vessels, and scientific vessels, all gathered around the Gateway to observe, defend, and construct new infrastructure for arriving or departing ships.

From one of the few battleships operated by the navy came a reply. “Cruiser Leonhardt, this is the battleship Unbroken Tide of Natyiran. You have entered the space of the Commonality of New Ishtar. State your purpose and nation of origin.”

“I am Ambassador Westly, People’s Union of New Terra. I and my crew are on a diplomatic mission,” a normal response so far. What could go wrong?

Aboard the battleship and other vessels the crews watched with rapt attention. First contact was still a novel thing. A new and exciting occurrence. Contact with another one of earth’s long lost children. The reply came swiftly, “Acknowledged. Further entry into the system is restricted for the time being. If you wish to establish diplomatic relations, please inform us that we may make arrangements for a representative to meet one of our own in the station.”

“If you wish then we can easily take a shuttle to the station,” Westly notes as he signals his staff about the coming event. A diplomatic mission, yes. But also a scouting mission for the future plans of New Terra. The many first contacts done by New Terra have already gifted them the knowledge of their first targets for invasion.

“Understood. Please stand by while accommodations are prepared.”

“Docking procedures cleared.” A voice announced over the intercom as the air seals filled the airlock with a prolonged hiss. A half dozen Ishtari soldiery of varying Strains, four Tiamat, one Azazel, one Shinchu, gathered behind the Sanguine Strain diplomat assigned for the task. Clad in an elegant dress that seemed woven from burnished steel thread and elegant golden embroidery that hugged her form as it cascaded down around her. She smiled at the disembarking New Terran delegate, irisless black eyes gleaming in the overhead lighting and her skin patterning accentuated by carefully chosen makeup. “Greetings from the Commonality of New Ishtar. Please let us welcome you to the station. My name is Sister-Speaker 2-73 Meyiko Sings Truth To The Stars. May I have the honor of knowing yours?”

“Westly Moores,” says the man as he reaches out with a hand for a good ol’ shake. Westly is dressed in usual Terran attire - which was more or less an old-Earth suit with tie, collar, and whatnot. Besides him were his guards - equipped with a light array of armor and arms. They stand idly by. While presenting a friendly smile, Westly is not so happy about his current interactions with the Xeno. A die-hard Terran Unionist, the man had no empathy for the alien - taught to utterly despise them for all their differences from humans. An obstacle to true human unification.

Meyiko smiled more widely, extending a hand in greeting as she looked the assembled New Terrans over. They seemed…remarkably ordinary. “Please to meet you, Westley Moores. Please, follow me.”

She turned, beckoning him and his cohort to follow her into a separate part of the station, a simple but elegantly furnished room crafted to mimic as closely as possible the gravity and experience of a comfortable room on the surface of New Ishtar. That the rotational gravity might be heavier than a normal human would be comfortable with had yet to occur to the designers. “Please, sit.” She said, gesturing to a plush chair. “Let us talk.”

“Of course,” says Westly as he takes his time to adjust to the gravity onboard before he takes a sit on the plush chair - how comfy. He leans forward a tad and folds his arms together. “Please, tell us a bit about yourself.” Meanwhile, one of Westly’s guards whispers to him as Westly himself nods. The guard quickly leaves the meeting room and attempts to catch the attention of one of the Xenos on the station - away from the eyes of Westly.

Sister-Soldier 3-42 Eyris Stands Against The Darkness was as bored as one could possibly be despite the circumstances. She had been in the midst of enjoying a sim, losing herself in the sensation and vibrant colors evoked by the thoughtweavers, when the new arrivals had made their way through the Gate. Though, certainly, there was some excitement about meeting yet another new nation - there was none in standing stiffly in the station waiting just in case something happened. And yet here, now, one of the newcomers was gesturing bizarrely to her. The Azazel Strain soldier raised an eyebrow at the man’s antics. Despite herself she took an intrigued step forward, looking him up and down, “Can I help you, sir? Do you require escort back to your vessel?”

The guard quickly speaks, “Look, the government that these people work for are monsters.” The man points to the meeting room before pulling out a data chip. “Everything that you need to know is in this chip,” the guard says as he places the chip onto the palm of the soldier.

“I’m a part of the Bludish People's Army, a resistance movement on the planet of Bludish. The people you’re talking to right now are human supremacists - Terran Unionists. They hate you for being Xeno and they hate me working with the Xeno. New Terra already enslaved two alien races and I think your people are up next,” the man notes.

Eyris’ eyes widened as she looked at the chip in her hand, then back up to the man in question, then back again. “I- this i-” she stuttered, caught completely off guard by what had just transpired. “I- this is way above my station.” She looked back to the door, “But I’ll make sure someone sees this. Do you n-” she stopped herself, taking a deep breath. “Do you need protection? We can verify the information and provide you protection if you need.”

“I just want this meeting to go smoothly. I don’t want my family or comrades to be in danger nor be killed. New Terra has been mobilizing for months now,” the guard turns his head both ways as a mechanism of his paranoia. “While they’re not fully done, anything bad that happens here might trigger a premature war,” the man notes - catching his breath. The guard is evidently quite panicked - attempting to keep his cool.

“I understand, I understand. Do what you have to do just, let us know if we can help.” Eyris whispered under her breath, casting a glance about as the other guards keyed into the conversation through the net. They would not disseminate this information until it had been examined and verified… but were it to be found to be true there would be hell to pay.

Within the negotiation room, Meyiko stiffened imperceptibly. The discussion was beginning to draw to a close, and with the revelations forwarded to her, she saw no incentive to drag them out any longer.

And so, Westly closes off with a few final remarks before politely removing him from the negotiation room and onwards back to his ship. A “simple” first contact so far with the finer details, ones that are a threat to New Terran national security, utterly oblivious to Moores.

The information contained within the data chit was, after manufacturing an input device capable of reading its contents, rapidly analyzed and disseminated throughout the Commonality. Military and civilian analysts alike studied its recordings for traces of fabrication or alteration, and plans were put in place to create a low-signature probe to investigate the system of this new nation, to verify for themselves these horrific reports.

What the probes brought back sent the entire Commonality ablaze with fury, outrage, and fear. Everything reported in the leak, and more. Almost unanimously the Commonality voted in favor of military buildup, in preparation for pre-emptive strike upon the enemy.

The vast orbital shipyards of New Ishtar reoriented their production towards more modern Type XIX Heavy Cruisers and Type XVI Standard Cruisers. Planetside manufacturing facilities began to churn out armored vehicles, aircraft, assisted-lift rockets, and more. Militia began drilling for possible emergency deployment while biomass reserves were prepared and enlarged for large scale template-soldier deployment. Missives were sent out to all other known nations warning of the threat, though whether those missives made their way to those in high command or were lost within bureaucracy was a different matter entirely.

The war engine of New Ishtar began to spin itself into gear, and their wrath would make the stars themselves tremble.
Can I assume Republic agents are watching/attempting to catch Merkopa?
How loose is Republic control in the Lower Ring? If its extremely weak then I have ideas.
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