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1 mo ago
Current Hope y'all are getting real spooped right now.
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1 mo ago
Trying to navigate the website of a country's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and it keeps shortening it to 'MOFA.' All I can think about is 'MOFA deez nuts.'
12 mos ago
Merry Christmas and keep the change, ya filthy animals.
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12 mos ago
Dictionaries don't give you synonyms Pug, you wanted a thesaurus.
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1 yr ago
Happy Halloween! Have a spooky night everyone!
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Most Recent Posts

Jesus I go away for a day and there's six pages of ooc when I return? What in the goddamn?!
@Smike

Crusty yeens will be bopped with a large stick should they do anything suspicious.
I'll finish tweaking Malleck at some point this weekend and get him submitted.
@Katakuri She can hitch a ride on Malleck’s staff!
Always happy to see you around Tort. A basic idea thrown onto a WIP character sheet.

THE GRA WAKES

| A collab between @Irredeemable and @Lady Lascivious |


Boots crunched and business shoes snapped through the halls of the Meeting Place.Four Azulvistan marines, shadowing a stern-looking man. This was not the de-facto spokesperson for the Gran Republic, but instead one of several professional diplomats that had been dispatched to serve as the true arms of the state.

He was unsurprised to find it even more guarded than he. A truly staggering amount of firepower was on display before him, and even his protectors seemed a little intimidated by the showing. Nonetheless, he pressed on, raising a single hand towards them. There was a checkpoint now. That was new.

He approached it formally, drawing out a series of documents from within his business suit. “Rafael Mendoza- official representative of the Gran Republic of Azulvista. I’m here on urgent business.”

A heavily armored Gorgon Strain slithered forward, the heavy weapon cradled in two of her arms with ease while the other two reached out expectantly. “Please present proof of identity, and stand still for scan.”

Proof of identity was happily provided. Inside one of the folders was a detailed document- there had been no agreement on passports or visas between the Republic and Ishtar, and so this was the best they had. Letterheaded with the Azulvistan eagle, it had a full body picture, smaller portrait, and an almost invasive level of detail for full confirmation.

The guard surveyed it for but a moment, cybernetic eyes scanning the documents in rapid succession, before conducting a full body scan of the ambassador for confirmation. Satisfied, she nodded, handing the documents back and moving aside.

Another Ishtari soldier strode forth, Strain indiscernable underneath the armor she - or he - wore. “Please follow me.” He - it was a he then - said, nodding to the Azulvistans, as a squad of similarly armored Ishtari arrived in backup to accompany the group. “Please keep your hands off your arms, any action in contradiction may be interpreted as hostile.”

He lead the group through the station, passing by a small arsenal’s worth of ordnance on the way. The Ishtari embassy of the meeting place was, evidently, prepared for the worst. Where all these weapons had been kept until now was another matter - in the weeks and months prior the entrance had been manned only by two guards in ceremonial uniform, and civilian receptionists. Now it seemed prepared for a full blown siege, and exterior observers would note that its defensive railguns and torpedo bays seemed prepared to open fire on anything that posed a threat.

The Ishtari ambassador waited in her office, fingers neatly steepled at her desk. Scheherazade, the same delegate who had met with the FEU, and with the Chosen during the very first contact, nodded to them. “Ambassador Mendoza. You come at a difficult time.”

Mendoza had taken it in grim-faced. There was little else to do. Azulvista’s protocols were similar, although they wouldn’t quite be escalating to this level of preparedness after their declaration.

Taking a seat before Scheherazade, he removed a datapad from his briefcase and eased himself into position. “I hope to make it significantly less difficult. The Gran Republic has heard the report of the usage of WMDs against civilian targets. This is unacceptable by every metric, and shows New Terra to be rabid dogs in need of putting down. We are going to enter the war.” It wasn’t a request, it was a statement. The Ishtari didn’t need to change any minds.

Scheherazade paused, seeming to need a moment to process the information given to her. “Well, then.” She said after some time, “I am… glad to hear that. We may have had our differences, but against the madness of New Terra, there is only one answer. There can be no negotiation. No compromise against this cancer. Only eradication, swift and uncompromising. We are one on this subject, at least.”

Mendoza adjusted the datapad a little, before placing it on the desk and allowing it to broadcast a small homographic display.

“We can mobilise an initial fleet without compromising the security of Azulvista in less than a month. 50 small vessels, a frigate and 20 heavy vessels. We can also arrange for the mobilisation of 50,000 professional soldiers in a similar timeframe, along with some 230,000 marines along with a classified but large number of special forces. We want to disrupt them rapidly- a breakthrough assault to establish a beachhead while we finish mobilisation. Take control of their gateway and force them onto defence.”

The agreement was made swiftly. Details could be hashed out between military commanders, but the broad brushstrokes were agreed upon. When Mendoza packed up his documents and his datapad, the question was no longer ‘if,’ it was simply ‘when.’

And the answer to that question would come shortly.

---


Marines strode through the halls of the Meeting Place, escorting Alfonso de Caravajal, dressed to the nines in his finest admiralty wear. The procession took their places surrounding a press podium, the diplomat allowing a few pictures before clearing his throat and beginning.

"The current state of the galaxy has not escaped the notice of the Gran Republic. For too long, we have remained silent on the actions certain nations have seen fit to take. Today, we break that silence."

He fluffed the sheet in front of him, gazing out across the gathered witnesses. "The People's Union of New Terra have unilaterally decided to violate not only the conduct of reasonable and peaceful peoples, but have taken a step further, to heedlessly use the same weapons that doomed our home planet. They are waging a war of destruction and terror against their galactic equals, seemingly under the belief that they are the legitimate inheritors to Earth's legacy, and that none will keep them from assuming their lofty yet destined throne."

"They are unequivocally incorrect in this assumption. They have already sown the seeds of terror and devastation. We stand ready to kill this crop before its insidious roots can spread further. From this day forward, the Gran Republic of Azulvista considers itself in a formal state of conflict with the People's Union, and will persue all methods, both military and diplomatic, to bring their wayward and unwarranted actions to a halt. Thank you."

With that, he departed. Nothing more needed to be said.

Azulvista System


Mt Sajama


The nurse's face was impassive. He set the IV drip in place, then gave a few tugs at the leather straps to make sure they were secured tight. He took up a position in the rear of the small interrogation room, before the door swung open and a well-dressed OSE operative entered the room. He took a seat opposite the prisoner, before smiling genially. "Hello there." He rummaged through an office satchel, before taking out a few small electronic instruments and a notebook.

"¿Who the fuck are you?"

The interrogator glanced up for a brief moment, before clearing his throat. Then, he pressed a small button on the first of his instruments, the screen lighting up. He paused for a moment, shifted its position on the table, nodding to himself.

"Interrogation 11 with Rebel Prisoner."

"Interrogation 11?"

The operative paused for a long moment, then turned towards the prisoner. "I'll explain in just a moment." Another genial smile, then he repeated himeslf. "Interrogation 11 with Rebel Prisoner, 2/9/2/600. Prisoner is restrained and short-term memory blocks applied."

"¿Short term WHAT?"

"Ahem. Let us begin." He finally turned back to the prisoner. "I feel confident in saying this because I have explained it to you before, but each time you forget." He chuckled a little. "Don't worry, if I disliked it, I wouldn't do this job." He clicked the end of his pen once, then began to scribble down a few notes, the sound of the pen on the paper deafeningly loud in the otherwise completely silent room.

"The IVs that my assistant there kindly applied to you are some of our most fantastic pharmaceutical advances yet. We know Earth governmwents were experimenting with chemically induced mind control as far back as the 20th century. Now, what they wanted to do was impossible, as far as we can tell, but what we can do would no doubt impress them immensely. Narcosynthesis." He tapped the end of his pen down a few times.

"A suggestive and pliant state wherin the subject's ability to generate short term memory is suppressed. I'm afraid we've talked to each other before now."

The drugs were starting to take effect now. The prisoner seemed to want to react with horror, but he seemed quite incapable of doing so. The interrogator scribbled down more notes.

"So tell me friend, what's your name?"

---

"Interrogation over. Thank you nurse." The man folded his instruments back into his satchel, and rose from his seat, spine clicking into place. With a brief wave to the nurse, he unlocked the heavy, soundproof door and stepped out into the wider facility. He always found sites like this to be so needlessly imposing. It wasn't as if those imprisoned here would not be sufficiently imposed by the guards and enhanced questioning techniques, now would it?

Still. Somebody had to do it. The people in Mt Sajama were terrorists, traitors and enemies of the state. The gusanos ranted about how they swept people off the street in black vans, but that could hardly be further from the truth. The man only saw the worst of the worst. He gave his watch a brief glance, nodding quietly to himself. He had time enough for lunch and some paperwork before his next appointment.
The Azulvistan Embassy: Meeting Place

(A collab between @Irredeemable and @Jeddaven)


"...Well, this certainly reminds me of home." Rachelle quietly said as she stepped into the foyer of the Azulvistan embassy. Empty as it was, she quietly wondered if the dark-paneled wooden walls were just for show, standing out in sharp contrast to every inch of the rest of the station's metals and high-quality carbon fiber. Admiral Briganto nodded, staring up at a television screen showing thousands of soldiers marching down an avenue alongside troops of people on...

Well, she wasn't sure what they were, but they made her think of hoverbikes of some kind.

The Basque Commandant, meanwhile, seemed entirely uninterested in any of the propaganda, merely standing rigidly at attention by the door, clad in a pressed-and-fitted steel grey uniform, much like the darker blue one the admiral wore. At the head of them all stood Rachelle, clad in a more civilian suit, the very same she wore onto the station, a badge of the European flag prominently displayed over her right breast.

Approaching the doors at the end of the foyer, she cleared her throat.

Let's hope my Iberian languages are up to standard. She thought.

"Excuse me! I am Rachelle Livrémont, High Representative for Foreign Affairs of the European Union! I am here seeking a formal diplomatic contact!" She said, speaking in fluent Portuguese, before quickly repeating the same in Spanish.

The Azulvistans had been informed that foreign diplomats were arriving, and had prepared in turn. Alfonso stood at the head of the trio, resplendent in his navyman’s outfit, medals shining on his breast, sword at his hip. Next to him stood Admiral João, a much more stern-faced individual, and to Alfonso’s other side was Maria, the only one of the trio dressed in a business suit rather than a military one, and holding an epad in her hands.

The Admiral perked up at the Portuguese usage, but it was only when she had finished in Spanish that Alfonso responded. “Greetings, Rachelle! I am Duque Alfonso Leoncio Alvarez De Caravajal of Verauga, the formal representative for the Gran Republic here in the Meeting Place. It is a pleasure to meet you, and may I say that your re-introduction to the galactic scene was certainly, well, a scene!” He chuckled to himself, before reaching into a breast pocket and drawing out a fat cigar.

“May I interest any of you in one before we get to business?”

"Ah, well -- that was our intent!" Rachelle smiled, , briefly giving Alfonso a once-over, before glancing back toward Liére -- the woman clad in steel-grey dress. "I don't partake, but Commandant Amenábar does, I believe. Liére?" She asked, and the woman stepped toward, hands folded behind her back at full attention.

"When I get the chance," she said, moving to hold out her hand, "...which, tragically, isn't very often."
Alfonso plucked another cigar out, setting the first between his lips as he retrieved a pocket clipper. It snicked twice, once for the one in his hands, once for the one in his lips, the second for the one between his fingers. He handed it over, then replaced the cutter with the lighter, sparking it to life and offering the flame towards the Commandant.

“So. The Federal European Union.” He said slowly, once smoke was rising into the air. “I, and the rest of my nation, was under the distinct impression that the European Union formally dissolved in 2279.”

“We have records of an attempt to dissolve the European Union around that time period, but our records also indicate that the attempt failed.” Rachelle replied, briefly casting a glance back at the Commandant as she idly puffed away at the cigar.

“If I were a betting woman, I’d say the truth is most likely somewhere in between. We believe we were one of the entities most prepared for the evacuation, for example, based on our records, but data from that time is incredibly fragmentary.”

“We believed something similar. Our colony fleet was equipped with so-called Gaia Seeding technology, designed to build a world up from its base components. We have yet to see another colony that has used the same, or even similar methods.” He turned on his heels, guiding the visitors deeper into the embassy. “So, what was it that brought you to our doors? A friendly hello, or something more?”

“Meeting the neighbors, first and foremost,” Rachelle said, nodding once. “We’ve been informed of the PUNT already, and have expressed that we will be engaging them at the earliest possible opportunity, and with the remaining two-thirds of our fleet once they’re fully mobilized. Furthermore, beyond that, we wanted to reach out to you regarding the possibility of rehabilitating the European landmass,” she paused, briefly glancing back at the Admiral.

“Fully mobilised?” João looked surprised. “You’re going onto full war footing to take care of New Terra? Even with our reports we didn’t think it necessary to go to more than partial mobilisation. Their bark will no doubt be worse than their bite- we have been fighting for centuries, with the largest natural-born military the galaxy has seen. They…” He swept a hand dismissively. “Will be brushed aside.”

“...And, well, I’d be remiss not to ask about the status of the Catholic Church in your nation on behalf of our own Catholic population. Our Archbishops would no doubt have many questions for you, being that they’ve been without a proper Pope for centuries.”

Alfonso guided the group through to a meeting room, still richly paneled, the face of some old Patrician staring down at the group. Coffee was delivered before they’d even had the chance to take their seats and ashtrays sat before the smokers. “La Doctrina has, by all accounts, differed slightly from the teachings of the Church prior to the fall, but… The Church has been fascinated by the idea of reconvening a papal conclave. I believe they desire to see it ‘done properly-’ in Rome.”

"Ah, well," Ibrahim interjected, sharply clearing his throat. "If I may reply to your earlier point, sir, yes, you may be correct that New Terra will be easily swept aside -- but when it comes to fascists such as them, we do not like to leave any room for error -- and more importantly, we do not intend to merely defeat them. We intend to annihilate their military and permanently disable their capacity to wage war, and to erase their ideology from their populace. Thus, full mobilization is not only safer, but ideologically necessary."

"...Well-put, Ibrahim." Rachelle nodded. "As for the Conclave, our Catholic population has been waiting for exactly that opportunity. I imagine there may be some territorial claims to resolve to Europe as a whole, but, generally speaking, we would prefer to share it, and Terre itself, though only after surveys to see if anything sapient has survived. We've already picked out a handful of survey sites -- isolated mountain valleys, extensive cave systems such as the Mammoth Caves, et cetera, et cetera. That said, I can't imagine that restoring Vatican City or at least hosting a Conclave there will post much threat to whatever populations might still exist on Terre." She continued, gingerly reaching down to take a cup of coffee in hand and sip away at it. "Presumably, doctrinal differences between our altered strains of the Church could be worked out at such a Conclave?"

“Bold words,” Alfonso remarked. As they said on Old Earth, “you can kill a man, but you can’t kill an idea. Any ideology that has survived the stars and the centuries will likely not see itself quashed by military force. If anything, it seems more likely you’ll only create martyrs. Our goals when it comes to New Terra are far less lofty.” He set the cigar down to smoulder while he sipped his coffee.

“Terre.” He noted. “Francophonic. I see the EU has kept that particular habit around… A brief note on territorial claims- the Senate has already declared the Iberian Peninsula to be of special interest to Azulvista, along with the territories previously belonging to Mexico and Brazil. I imagine you have little interest in the latter, but it bears mentioning.”

The topic of a religious convention might have to wait until there were a few actual priests around.

"In the latter, no -- but in the former, yes. We don't have any particular interest in the Americas, beyond potentially helping to rehabilitate the landscape, free of charge, so to speak -- but a significant portion of our population has Iberian heritage. That said, as I've touched on, we don't make exclusive claims to most of Europe, even where we do make some claim -- aside from a few Federally-owned locations." Rachelle explained.

"When it comes to the PUNT, though, our goals are quite non-negotiable, and our intent is to make it absolutely clear that their ideology is a completely unproductive failure that is utterly non-viable in the ultimate long term. To correct the failures of policy in stamping out Nazism in the wake of the Second World War. We do not -- and will not -- offer amnesty to war criminals."

João and Alfonso shared a look. Fanatics. They couldn’t even see the hypocrisy of their words. So obsessed were they with a war over six centuries ago that they had forgotten that their own system of government was what had rendered Earth impotent to solve the looming crises that had eventually doomed her.

“Well, moving on from our warlike neighbours and our varying opinions on how they should be crushed, I assume you have much to ask us beyond matters of a higher power?” A plume of smoke poured from Alfonso’s mouth, making it only a few inches before the room’s air filtration pulled it away.

"We do," Rachelle nodded, her expression shifting to a diplomatic smile as she realized that, in fact, the Ishtari had probably been correct about the ineffectuality of the Azulvistans. If they wanted to achieve their war aims, they'd have to strike the PUNT hard – and faster than anyone else.

"We're interested in setting up a limited cultural exchange program with your nation, put simply, especially considering our shared origins. In particular, we have a special interest in traditional arts, music, and culinary arts – especially the kind that were lost in the evacuations. Put simply, we want to reconstruct what was lost, and we think you're the people for that. Additionally, we'd like to offer our scientific aid. Our terraforming and environmental rehabilitation programs, if you don't mind me saying so, are top of the line, as if our medicine – and those are technologies we don't like to hoard."

“We’d be happy to participate in cultural exchanges- perhaps we could even arrange for a visa scheme, to allow a limited number of our citizens to provide expertise in relevant fields? Terraforming technology could be of use, but I would have to defend the ability of Azulvistan medicine- I am sure if you wished to collaborate with our mathetes, you would learn much as well.”

Now it was Maria’s turn to speak up. “Additionally, Azulvistan businesses are eager to begin working in foreign markets. We have everything from raw materials to luxury goods to provide- including more of the wonderful Cuban-style cigars that the Commandant is now enjoying.”

"Oh, we wouldn't mean to insult your doctors, of course -- but everyone can benefit from medical exchange, especially in extended contact scenarios. Terraforming technology, however, is a technology I assume you understand, will require plenty of preparation and care, but it's something you have to get quite capable at when you've been preparing for the next several tens of thousands of years of population growth." Rachelle smiled warmly. "Ecological preservation and restoration, too -- though the issuance of visas is something I can personally speak on in greater detail at a later date."

Rachelle paused, smile taking on an even softer, almost apologetic shape. "Now, while we are more than open to trade, we are, fundamentally, a post-scarcity, moneyless society. Now, that certainly doesn't preclude trade, but your point of contact would be the Directorate-General for Economic and Industrial Affairs, and through them, if you so choose, our various Industrial Groups."

There was another shared look between the three Azulvistan diplomats. A slight shifting in their chairs.

This was not going to be an easy relationship.




The Fires Are Lit: New Terra


A message had punched through the many, many layers of bureaucracy. It had come from on high, cleaved through the red tape, and been seen and heard by all within the military. The A.F.U was marching to war. All departments had made ready, the economy stoked, its bloated nature put to the test as it churned out the machinery of conflict.

There was no warning from the Meeting Place. They had declined to participate in that particular experiment. Their gateway powered up, and one by one, ships set out, some together, and some to far-flung corners of the galaxy. This was to be a true alpha strike.

The First Galactic Conflict began.

Six Months Later


There is something in orbit above Earth once again.

This is not the dead debris left hanging for centuries, lingering on long past when it should have expired, no, this is something altogether different. Messy, incoherent, slapdash, perhaps even ramshackle in places, it is the collective accomplishment of those who fled the cradle of mankind, a buttress against the cold and vast expanse of space that lies beyond it.

And it's filled with arguing.

Of course, those inside the Meeting Place, as it is beginning to be called, would disagree with the idea that what they're doing is arguing. It's something far more confrontational, so much more dangerous, and requiring infinitely more patience and practice- diplomacy. And to make sure everyone is on the same page when it comes to this 'diplomacy,' the first action upon making your arrival at the Meeting Place is to announce who, exactly, you are. A First Contact of sorts, just... Again, with clarity this time.




Addressing @Eldritch Puppy and @Darkspleen specifically, and everyone more broadly.


Alfonso splayed his fingers out and sighed. This was it. His big event. The time to show what the Gran Republic was all about. Already, things seemed uneasy- there was talk that this 'New Terra' was building up their military, and others had responded. Stormclouds loomed heavy on the horizon, and Azulvista had been all too happy to prepare countermeasures for it. More than these clouds however, there was a very real threat being posed by the alliance between the so-called 'Chosen' and the Commmonality of New Ishtar. Together, they formed a powerbloc larger than any other in the galaxy, and the Senate had almost immediately agreed that such a coupling was a dangerous threat to Azulvista and any galactic initiatives it might persue.

Luckily however, they had potential allies as well. Even as Alfonso adjusted his uniform, his face being powdered and pampered by various makeup artists, other diplomats had hurried to begin talks. Of particular interest to Azulvista was the Kingdom of Kaus Borealis and Kamenyan Defense Directorate, both of whom seemed to be amenable to the Azulvistan way of conducting business.

Now though, it was time for his announcement. Brushing off the last lingering makeup artist, he rose to his feet, strode out from the backstage and flashed a winning smile, taking his position behind a podium marked with Azulvista's seal. Tapping the microphone twice, he began.

"Greetings scattered nations of the galaxy! I stand here as a representative of the Gran Republic of Azulvista, a proud, prosperous and cultured nation!" He offered a brief bow, his medals jingling a little at the motions. "When our ancestors set forth from our cradle, they could not have predicted the hardships their descendents would go through, but despite a planet unfit for life, a most despicable xenos threat and even the foolishness of mankind's own nature, we have persevered, and we have prospered. If you come to us in friendship, you will find no greater friend, but if you come with sword in hand, know that it will be your last mistake." He nodded pleasantly. "Gracias señores and señoras. Our door is always open.




Diplomat Besud Köke1 sighed deeply. There was no reason for him to be worried- already now the Khagnate's hordes swept through various foreign systems, örtöös being erected on foreign moons and goods being extracted at record speeds. In fact, the Khagnate had never had it so good- already the Khagn's account-tellers were recording a flood of resources that would forever mark Tsagadai's reign as one of the most prosperous the Khagnate had ever seen, and yet... Well... If he failed here, he could only imagine his head would not long remain attached to his neck.

Swallowing down his fear, he began his address in the thick, guttural language of the Khagnate. The translators would take care of the rest.

"Hail, fellow travellers of Uzay. We are the Khagnate of the Steppe and Sky, under the rulership of the Great and Mighty Khagn Tsagadai II. We are a humble people and so I will not take up much of your time, instead only using this time to inform you that we are ever hungry for fresh systems and fresh resources. We promise none more unintruisive, and none more capable of extracting value from your systems. Our miners and tradespeople stand ready, and should you wish to come and experience our own system, you have only to ask. Bayartai, and go with the grace of Uzay." He kowtowed low to the camera recording him, and then drew himself back up, offering only a sharp nod as the video ended.

1 The Khagnate places little value on surnames (which come first when names are written.) In fact, many would find the idea of 'surnames' extremely confusing, as they tend to be artificially created for the purposes of foreigners. The Khagnate typically identify themselves by Horde and/or Clan rather than surnames.
@Ever Faithful

Apologies, I didn't see this! Yes, you could have an ecumenopolis, but, of course, it would have to be developed from scratch over the 300 years of colonisation, however the population limits in place would make one slightly peculiar.
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