To anyone who might be out there, for the love of whatever god is listening I hope you get this and get it fast! We've been on the run this past month or so, fuck knows I didn't keep track. Soldiers, monsters, hell god-fucking-damned sorcerers showed up in the mix! It's been a shitshow from the start and we were caught with our pants down. Despite it all we managed to make our way south, us and some other folk we found along the way. Then met up with some... well tribals I'd guess you'd call them, said they were gods or some such bullshit. They were camped around some huge generator or something, I don't fucking know. Anyways, for a while it seemed like a safe place, they were strong, stronger than any of us that's for sure. But out of the blue a bunch of Road-Warrior rejects showed up and set the place ablaze. Some of us fought, most of us hid while the tribe went to meet them in force. It didn't take long for the bunch of savages to get ripped apart by the bastards.
We ran as quick as we could when the chief's head was cleaved off his shoulders and dashed on the rocks. I ain't fucking around man, these psychos got all sorts of weird grimy-lookin' tech on 'em. Big guns, mechanical arms, blades and spikes all over 'em. Hooping and hollerin' like a bunch of dumb animals as they wen't round rippin' out innards and quartering bodies. It was about a a day and two nights before they were done, and we heard their buggies and trucks roaring behind us. We scattered, different folks from different groups spreading out so some of us could try and make it out. Not many of us made it this far, found some big ass fort and locked it up tighter than a virgin in Gomorrah. Wasn't long before they found the place and now they're beating down all the fucking walls around us. Don't know who's out there, if anyone is, but help us out and we'll owe you, big. Sending coordinates out, and just gonna hope something worse than those bastards doesn't come a knockin'. Fuck it.
@Zarkun That's fair, no real reason why they would come to blows, least not in regards to ideology or anything similar. For resources, perhaps, but we'll have to wait and see how long it takes for the two factions to actually come into contact with one another, given they're on opposite ends of the map.
This post is a collaboration between myself and @GreenGoat
Over the Northern Tundra
Now that she wasn't anywhere close to Eientei, Reisen had stopped walking and started flying.
This place was quite odd indeed, what with some very odd creatures running about. She didn't bother fighting them; with just a flash of her eyes and they were wobbling around confused. They were certainly not back on Earth, that was for sure. Reisen had tried again and again to contact the other moon rabbits, but the esp network seemed to be empty, with no one at all for her to connect to. Sighing, she tried again, her ears swivelling slightly from side to side as she tried once again to find any moon rabbits to connect to.
Sighing, she continued flying in the cold. The land seemed to be oddly shaped, noticable due to her flying high, looking as if it was some how contrained within a set border. All of a sudden, she stopped flying abruptly, eyes narrowing as she tried to make out those odd shapes that stood out from the ice and snow.
It seemed to be a base, with humans in it.
Gulping nervously, she landed on a relatively firm patch of snow and started walking towards the base, keeping a hand on the bag she carried with her.
The flight control tower was abuzz with activity, operators working around the clock to establish new flight paths for the steadily growing air force the base possessed. There were curses, jeers, and cries of triumph with each and every excursion out into the unknown tundra that surrounded the newly established GDI stronghold. Thankfully, as of yet there had been no major accidents or misshaps under their watch. One of the operators, sat at his post, dressed in the same uniform and sipping the same terrible coffee as every other asshole who was unlucky enough to be posted at the Scrin tower. Ever since the damnable thing had been built it was one disaster after another, and now here he was, cold, tired, and having to for the first time in years actually have to update anything in the GDI flight control. But still it could be worse, he could be back home dealing with Nod remnants or hell, maybe the Scrin had come back.
"GDI flight control, this is Orca flight group two, we have an unidentified craft on radar."
The operator scrambled for his headset as the message came through, downing the last of his coffee before responding. "Copy that Orca two, what is the craft's heading?" He waited on the edge of his seat for a response, wishing he had kept his mouth shut earlier.
"Target is headed your way, control. Whatever it is, it's small, and losing altitude, might be some sort of jump or flight suit."
"Understood, keep your eyes on it Orca two, sending a ground team to investigate."
Engines roared, and tires screeched against the frozen ground as a pair of APC's raced out across the tundra from the large GDI base. An old Guardian APC filled with riflemen, and a newer Armadillo packed with heavily armed and armored Zone troopers. It didn't take them long to actually reach their target, the armored transports grinding to a halt as their contents hustled out. Rifles and railguns at the ready, the two squads stood ready, and well disciplined before the small rabbit.
"State your name and business." One of the riflemen barked, voice gruff and forceful. The others whispered and chuckled amongst themselves, rather amused by the little thing standing in front of them.
They discovered her sooner than Reisen liked, but at least they weren't shooting at her.
"I'm.. I am Reisen Udongein Inaba, from Eientei." She had confidence she could at least escape this many people if they weren't being too friendly, but still she felt rather nervous around these guns and these sort of people again. There was a reason why she deserted during the Moon War after all. "I'm just here to see if.. see if..."
Taking a deep breath to compose herself, she started over. "I'm here as a representative to establish contact with non hostile entities, and if possible, to establish trade for our medicine."
Feeling slightly relieved she had not flubbed that as well, Reisen stood where she was, waiting for their reaction. There was no doubt these people, now that she was actually looking closer at them, would be relatively easy to handle, but Eirin's punishment if she failed this kept that option as one made only in desperation.
More laughter came from the soldiers as the little thing did her best to speak with a modicum of composure. Though this was quickly silenced by a shout from the sergeant. The man turned back to look at the rabbit, his features hidden behind his helmet, same as all his fellows. "Well Miss Inaba, I'm Sergeant Grant of the Global Defense Initiative. If you'd like to negotiate, we can arrange a meeting with our commanding officer, but before that I'm afraid you'll have to come with us. We'll have to process you and make sure you aren't a threat to the safety of any GDI personnel." The sergeant's tone was rather blunt, a trait often found in a non-commissioned officer.
Never once did his men take their eyes off her, their rifles trained on the girl as their officer spoke, not till he barked another order and gestured back towards the APCs. The sergeant himself approached Reisen, offering his hand in greeting. The rest began to pile back into their vehicles, a single zone trooper remaining to watch the exchange between Grant and the stranger.
"I can assure you that you will be treated with respect befitting a... representative such as yourself."
"Yes, I understand!"
There was a look of open relief on her face as she said that. The men had laughed at her, which was kinda mean, but at least Eirin won't punish her if anything goes wrong. Hopefully. She accepted the sergeant's hand and shook it.
Piling back into the APC with the rabbit, the drive back into the base was a short and quiet one. The soldiers didn't even really talk among themselves, just looked at the girl, eyes hidden behind the green visors of their helmets. They were greeted at the gates, and after some time let through, the news of their guest reaching all the way to Cunningham before they were permitted to enter. Reisen was escorted and processed through security, her person and belonging checked by all manner of scans and pat downs. An uncomfortable experience surely, but thankfully not an overly invasive one.
Still escorted by the sergeant, she was lead through the sprawling industrial works and fortifications of the large base. All manner of gun emplacements and defensive structures surrounding them. It was a fortress, one which GDI believed to be impregnable by land or air. Eventually the small rabbit was lead into a command post, filled with dozens of soldiers and non-combat personnel. Knocking on a door, a stern voice beckoned the pair to enter. Inside the room was an office, with chairs, a desk, and all manner of personal effects scattered along its walls and tables. Two men were waiting inside, one standing at attention and another seated. The man at the desk, the older of the two, motioned for Reisen to take a seat.
"That will be all, sergeant." Cunningham looked to Grant, who quickly saluted and left the room. The aging soldier then turned to the strange girl in front of him, and the bag she was holding. "My name is General Elijah Cunningham, this is Captain Reed. Sergeant Grant tells me that you and your people wish to engage in trade, medicine to be precise. Is that correct?" He would not let the... strange nature of his guest to break the formality of the situation. Though in truth he was rather confused by the rabbit-girl, or whatever the hell she really was.
"Yes, that is right." General? Sir? What should she call him? In any case, she kept her smile on, though it was mostly from the euphoria of having contacted someone BOTH non hostile and intelligent enough to understand her. "Medicine like painkiller, tranquilizers, and antibiotics, as well as uh..."
As well as otherworldly magical shady drugs that might or might not work as they were advertised? No that wouldn't sell at all. Even Reisen, who was familiar with them, didn't trust them completely at all.
"Other more specialized ones." She completed.
Cunningham raised his brow at the rabbit, the same dour expression on his face as she spoke. "We have medics and surgeons, and with our research teams and this Node, the production of medicines as common as those is simple enough. But perhaps these specialized medicines you've mentioned could be something worthwhile. What sort of 'specialized' are we talking about exactly? Because I've no interest in narcotics if that's what you're implying."
His voice was calm, but stern, a force and discipline backing each and every word the man spoke. Reed simply sood there, silent, the captain's eyes never once straying from Reisen as she sat across from his commanding officer.
Reisen's ears drooped a little at that. Of course, it was to be expected for those this advanced, and they were aiming towards those who didn't have much resources to begin with; those easier to bargain with so to speak. But she still can't help but feel disappointed.
"These are hard to explain." Indeed Reisen had a hard idea trying to explain what the medicine was only what it did. Fishing in her bag, she took out the sample vials, fishing out a very deep green vial, a very suspect looking blue flask and a one that was a lighter green in a jar. "The one in this," — she held up the green vial — "heals any wounds instantly, regardless of how grievous it is, though, you cannot use it again on the same person before a day has passed."
Sensing it might be a bit suspect if she just gave them her word for it, Reisen spoke again "Perhaps a demonstration is in order? Are there any badly injured men here?"
Cunningham simply looked at the girl, his expression only growing grimmer as she spoke about her supposed miracle cure. "Miss, forgive me but it seems to me that you are reaching. You will of course understand me if I don't believe that you have there in your hand some mystical Panacea. I don't doubt it might truly be an effective medicine but I'm skeptical that it could heal any wound." The general motioned to Reed before speaking again.
"Captain Reed will escort you to the medical ward, we have not suffered any combat injuries or fatalities in the last month, but there are some who have injured themselves on the job. Construction is always a high risk occupation after all. The good captain will oversee you administer this medicine to one of the men, and report to me what he sees. If I like what I hear, we can discuss the possibility of trade, and perhaps more, then and only then."
The general looked down to the papers at his desk, flipping and signing through page after page of the documents as Reed stepped forward to Reisen. "When you're ready, Miss."
"Ah, yes, I'm ready." She replied, waiting for him to escort her there.
Her tail was twitching slightly now, both with anticipation and the horrible sinking feeling the medicine might suddenly not work all of a sudden, making her look like a liar and a charlatan. Please let it be the right vial.
The medical ward was rather empty, perhaps half a dozen men holed up in beds, suffering from broken bones and abrasions. Most of them were engineering personnel, their injuries from carelessness rather than combat. Reed stood silently next to Reisen, his dark eyes watching patiently to see what it was her cure-all could actually do.
"Again, whenever you're ready, Miss."
Looking for the one with the worst injuries, and therefore the one most likely to impress them should they heal, she picked the one with two broken legs. How that happened was beyond her, but he was going to be her lucky break. Reisen simply picked out the deep green vial, uncapped it, and carefully poured just one drop into his mouth. It did not have any sort of flashy effect, a glow or any sort of fancy thing to show that it worked, just flesh and bone healing quickly and painlessly, as well as a strange sense of vitality for the one that had ingested it.
"There. Now if he gets injured again, do not give him any more of this until a day has passed since he last took it."
The engineer was somewhat hesitant at first, a rather confused look on his face as he was approached by the rabbit, but a quick nod from Reed set him at ease. Well, mostly. After imbibing the strange concoction, he waited in the bed for something, anything really. But instead of some rush of energy or any sort of dramatic display, the pain merely began to fade away. He moved his arm, tearing it away from its sling without any hint of pain or uncomfort. A smile spread across his face, and he looked to Reisen as he sat up straight. "Well God damn, thanks lovely, I feel like I could haul a Mammoth." The man stretched as he stood from the bed, groaning as he worked the aches out of legs that had been broken just a moment ago.
"Alright, that's enough. Report back to your superior." Reed looked to the engineer, a stern look on his face as he spoke. The man merely shrugged, and gave the small rabbit a pat on the head before leaving.
"I must say that was rather impressive, Miss. I'm sure the General will be pleased to hear of the results." With that, he turned towards the exit, motioning the girl to follow him as he walked back towards the command center.
The pat to the head was surprising, but she didn't mind. It was Eirin's concoction after all, so she shouldn't have doubted, but still she had the terrible fear that it would turn them into a rabbit or something else. Looking rather pleased, she followed him towards the command center again, feeling the next two concoctions she still had in the sample bag. These two, at least, did not need any special preparations, so she could demonstrate them right there, if they need a demonstration of those as well, that was.
With the report from Reed, Cunningham thought on the prospect for a few minutes. True the medicine was amazing, but often a situation like this tends to be too good to be true. He let out a soft sigh before looking back to Reisen, his aged face tired. "The Captain tells me it truly is an amazing medicine, that the man you gave it too healed from his injuries within moments. That's certainly something worth having in our posession. But tell me, what is it exactly that you and your people would want in return for this medicine?"
Reisen clapped her hands together, "Ah, for now, information and support would be great. There are only a small group of us able to protect ourself in Eientei," — actually just four — ," and any information we can get on this place would be helpful as well.
Cunningham nodded, motioning once again to Captain Reed as he spoke. "If that is the case, then Captain Reed and an escort will accompany you back to your people, there the specifics can be negotiated, and a formal treaty can be signed. I would go myself but I am needed here to oversee the expansion of this outpost, and the positioning of others in the surrounding areas. The captain is more than capable though, you can trust him."
"I.. Uh.. Thank you!" Bowing deeply towards the general, she straightened up again. "Then, I'll leave the vial here as a sample, should you want to see it in effect yourself."
Negotiations and such weren't her forte; she was just a normal grunt before after all, and that didn't change much once she worked under Eirin. Happy at the result of the meeting, she turned towards Captain Reed. "Nice to meet you, Captain Reed. Shall we set out immediately? It is quite a distance away from here."
As if to punctuate that, she started floating out the door, looking expectantly at the Captain, obviously thinking him to fly out after her.
The two officers looked at each other, then the rabbit, Reed doing his best not to laugh at the ridiculousness of the situation. Regaining his composure, the captain cleared his throat. "Miss Inaba, I'm afraid that neither my men or I can fly, at least not as you can. With the General's approval I will requisition the construction of a Kodiak, or if you prefer a stealthier return, we could simply take a few APCs by ground. Either way it will take some time to organize this excursion, so please do be patient."
Reed called for a soldier outside the office, who quickly came and took a datapad from the captain, before dismissing himself with a salute. "That said, before we leave I was hoping to ask you about your people, and whoever it is you consider your leader."
"Eh? Ah, alright." Feeling deflated she landed back on the ground. Kodiak? APCs? Those she had never heard of, but images of a large monster floated about in her mind at the sound of those two words. Perhaps it was one of those vehicles she saw earlier?
Reisen pondered the question Reed asked of her. Her people? That meant everyone in Eientei for now. And their leader were obviously Princess Kaguya, though Eirin tended to do most of the work. "We're mostly made up of earth rabbits, many of which had never went out of our bamboo grove before... before ending up here. Our leader, well, she's just our princess, Princess Kaguya."
She scratched her head, searching for something else to say. "I guess that's all I can think of. Was there something you wanted to know about them?"
The captain stared at her, rather clueless to almost everything she had said given there was so little context. "Well firstly, what exactly is an Earth Rabbit, and why make the distinction? I take it you're one of them? Secondly, what can you tell me of your princess? What sort of leader she is, how long she's been with you, things of that nature."
He took a seat as they talked, waiting for confirmation that his men and their transport would be ready to leave at his command. "Also, one more question, your name, your princess' name. They're Japanese aren't they? If so is that the main language you speak?"
Taking up a seat as well, Reisen thought about his questions, before answering them. "There are moon rabbits, and earth rabbits where I came from. I.." for a moment, there was a distant look on her face. "I'm an earth rabbit now. As for Princess Kaguya... she's a strong leader, I would say, but very reclusive. I have no idea how long she was in Eientei."
Old memories came back to her once again, the war on the moon, the day she deserted, and meeting up with the Princess and Eirin. Shaking off past phantoms, she turned back to Reed, smiling again. "Ah yes, they're Japanese. English is fine too."
Nodding, Reed wrote down what he heard, taking particular interest in this Princess of theirs, and whatever the hell Eientei was. He'd have to get one of the translators to work out what the hell it actually meant. "I see, thank you, Miss Inaba. I'm sure I can learn more once we're actually there with the rest of your kind. I'm hopeful that this will be quite the beneficial alliance between our people once everything is worked out and signed." A smile curled across the captain's face as he spoke, always the optimist.
Minutes later the soldier returned with the datapad, which Reed scanned over, mumbling softly to himself as he read. Satisfied, he placed the pad on the General's desk, and offered him a salute before turning to Reisen. "Everything is in order, Miss Inaba. Several APCs have been prepared, and my men are ready to embark. Follow me and you can lead the way there once we take off." He turned towards the door without another word, leading the rabbit-girl down through the command post and towards the barracks and war factories. Massed collumns of armored vehicles and tanks lied dormant, ready to roar with life and fire upon the battlefield. Several squads of riflemen, zone troopers, and a handful of combat engineers stood ready and at attention as their captain approached. Orders were shouted, and salutes were given, before they all piled into their respective guardians and armadillos. Reed turned to Reisen and motioned her towards one of the guardian APCs, a smile on his face.
"There's a seat waiting for you in there, Miss Inaba. Sergeant Grant and his squad have been assigned to your security, I will be with the Zone Troopers but we will have radio contact. Once you're settled in, give the driver the directions he'll need." His speech was plain and simple, and without another word the captain made his way to his own transport, leaving the small rabbit to herself.
"Radio... I understand!" Looking a bit apprehensive and unsure of these vehicles, she got into them hesitantly. Regaining her composure, she started giving the driver instructions as they set out.
The roar of engines and the loud groans of machinery echoed across the tundra, carried by the cold wind across the northern landscape. Menials, technicians, and combat engineers worked diligently, overseeing the construction of one building after another. Soldiers marched through the fortifications, while others rested, and some readied their arms and armor for deployment. Large columns of armored vehicles sat motionless, quietly awaiting for their chance to take the field once again and crush their enemies beneath iron treads. Aircraft soared overhead, busy airstrips and flight control towers standing in stark contrast to the silent vehicle yards. Above everything and everyone stood the Node, its shadow engulfing the steadily growing fortress. The monolithic structure hummed softly as a steady stream of resources and power poured from it, and out through the small web of smaller production facilities GDI had constructed within the last month.
They were reminiscent of the tiberium refineries which they had relied upon for so long, but now that they were free of the damnable substance, something else could take its place. They were similar to the Node in shape, though far more spartan and military in their design. Unlike their progenitor there were not needless ornaments, details, or metalwork to be found on their structure. Each of these sub-nodes were connected to the original mega-structure, large cables running along the frozen ground towards the massive spire. Along with the original these structure, they were GDI's priority, great walls fitted with hundreds of anti armor and infantry defenses surrounded them, fortified within the outer wall which surrounded the ever expanding base.
General Elijah Cunningham stood in his new seat of command, poring over a map of the nearby area that his men had scouted. The display screen glowed a soft blue, and he could see a small glimpse of his reflection. It was quick, and distorted, but he still saw what he had begun to see every morning in the mirror. An old man, with grey hair and a face lined with age and worry. He was drawn back from his own reflection by a hand resting on his shoulder. Elijah turned to find Reed by his side, as he had been since Tib War 3.
"Sir, we have new information for you to look over. What's more Dr. Reynolds assures us that at the current rate of progress, we should be able to create a self sufficient Node of our own. Nothing quite so grand as this big bastard, but suitable for our purposes." The officer's tone was optimistic as usual, and Cunningham smiled at his old friend's enthusiasm as he took a dossier from his hands.
Quickly scanning through the pages presented to him, the General gave a satisfied nod before placing it onto his desk. "Excellent, give the good doctor our thanks, and remind him of the importance of his work. If we can master this technology, when we return home to the rest of GDI, we'll be heroes, figures of legend even." The General turned towards the window, overlooking the sprawling base and all those who now called it home. "All of us have a roll to play here, Captain. As always, I expect the best from you, your men, and your fellow officers. This is a chance few ever get, and a circumstance unheard of in which to take it. Call it fate, divine providence, or even dumb luck, either way we won't squander this opportunity." He looked back towards Price, his expression stern as usual. "When you next hear from Lieutenant Price and Sergeant Sheppard, inform me of their progress in the field. Dismissed." With a salute from Reed, Cunningham returned to his desk and the mountain of documents left for him.
I would like to thank everyone who had a simple logo for their faction. This might help a little with letting newer factions pick their locations and make neighbor relations easier than scrolling through all that backlog of location choices.
If i got any wrong feel free to correct me. if you didn't have a logo and i got it wrong, correct that as wel.