A @Sigma & Liotrent Collab
New Haven. It's a bright, progressive world that strives for the height of scientific progress. However, beneath the bright, thin veneer lies a web of ingtigue and political strife. The marks of the old wars have been erased, their images edited, their information cut and reworded to the point of being borderline untrue. This is what New Haven is.
Hubert loudly sips his coffee, then turns around and gingerly places it attop a tabletop.
"... I aim to change that and put it into the past. Because, let's be real here people..." He steeples his fingers as he turns to address the crew of the NHS ADAMANT, "That's the most depressing thing I've ever heard... so far-" he coughs, "I mean they could be worse, but just because they're worse doesn't make us too much better! So... Operation don't be assholes is in effect! Smile people!" he gestures to the crew drawing a smile on his face with both hands, "SMILE LIKE YOU'LL DIE TOMORROW!"
He then turns back to see an open gateway. A gateway they've been studying for a while. There were superficial structures all over it, research facilities and such. They've been trying to get it operational for years.
"Now... COME TO PAPA! Maybe... Probably... I mean it's on, that means there's something coming through right?"
The captain replies, "Sir, did you not read the report?"
"Listen, captain whats-his-face. I read one part... The Gateway was active and I started running towards the nearest shuttle."
"Right... Well, no it doesn't mean something's coming through. It just means we could and if we could the other side could too."
"Well what are we waiting for? Let's go to the place we probably haven't been to before!"
"Sir that's not-"
"Oh just do it."
"Okaaaay... Ensign take us in."
NHD ADAMANT was a science ship, but due to insurrections in the past, all government affiliated ships are required to be lightly armed and crewed with at least 20% military personnel. The ship lurched forward diving into the unknown.
The ensign speaks up, "Sir the gate's interfacing with our navi-computer."
Hubert then says, "Pick something random."
"No, we can't just go in and pick something random sir." The captain protested
"Fiiiine... Choose..." Hubert paused then looked towards the navicomputer. "Choose that one."
"Aye aye sir, heading for set coordinates."
The captain asked, "Why'd you pick that system, Director?"
"It looked... Safe... ish..."
"What? That's it?"
"It's not like we know! We're explorers man!" he pulls the captain close then looks towards the gate with a hand stretched out towards the bright light, "We have to go and see the unknown!"
"F-Fine Director... Um... Could you like... let go now?"
A little over a week had passed since the gateway reopened, already both powers receiving visitors and sending ambassadors to other parts of the galaxy, all this was a little overwhelming for the both the leadership and populous. The situation regarding Gate ownership has led to many awkward conversations between officials of the Free Republic and the Ascendancy, a rather major first in decades. It was agreed upon that the gate region would remain a neutral space for the time being, any ship within the airspace would be guaranteed safety and wouldn’t be fired upon.
With that in mind, two ships from both sides would make another round, and venture off to a new world to establish relations, ships whose crews and captains are well acquainted with intersystem travel, and it seems for the time being, this would be their new duties. The FRS Gloria and the JFS Prosperity once again on a mission to rediscover more colonies.
Ambassador Ghask, the new, and temporary diplomatic liaison to the Gloria looked out the window in his quarters, staring at the gateway in awe, never before has he seen such a wonder. Such a moment would have to end as red alerts sounded up, something was about to come out of the gate. The New Haven ship, Adamant quickly emerging from the other side. “The job just got easier.” Ghask said to himself, and right on que, he heard a beeping coming form his desk. “Yes?”
“Sorry to interrupt, sir.” Captain Ranford’s voice spoke. “The trip just got cut short.”
“I’m very well aware, captain, I see it right now.”
Meanwhile, on the Prosperity, the Ascendancy decided on a very different type of representative. A squad of armed Janissaries marched down the corridors of the ship, leading down the hanger bay, ship personnel clearing out of the way, followed by gasps and hushed whispers as a member of the High Ascendants personally came to oversee this First Contact, the towering Yulzan looking down on his subjects as they looked in awe at his very presence. “Holy Shit! Holy shit!” Darius, one of the Janissary escorts, panicked internally, keeping his composure as they arrived to the hanger bay, a shuttle waiting for them.
As the NHS ADAMANT emerged from the gate, they were greeted with the sight of a beautiful system. However, what caught their eyes were two cruisers of vastly different design waiting for them.
The captain pushed Hubert away, "O-Okay, time to get to my job. That does not look friendly. We're turning aroun-"
"Director, you're in danger, and from those sparks in the distance, this place is an active warzone."
"All the more reason to stay captain. Let's see what's in store. Oh, and do prepare the marines and the defense drones just in case. Ensign, slowly bring up the power to the weapons and our ADS/APS."
"A-Aye sir." The Ensign stammered, the rest of the bridge seemed to be buzzing with activity.
Hubert went over to the comms pannel and pressed a few buttons, overly familiar with the features of the ship. The ADAMANT broadcasted on open communications, "Greetings, I hope you can understand English, if not then... Um... Fiddlesticks. What's important is we get a response on this frequency anyways."
"Sir what are you doing? What if they can't understand us."
Hubert turned his gaze towards the captain with an unamused expression, "I just said what's important is we get a response. It'd mean they're at least willing to communicate. Please try to keep up captain."
There was brief moment of silence from both cruisers, trying to maintain a non-aggressive posture as they slowly advanced towards the Adamant, soon both ships responds.
“This is Captain Ranford of the Free Republic Navy; we hear and will soon met in person aboard your vessel. Captain Ranford Out.”
“This is Captain Ordius of Janissary Fleet Command. With your permission, a shuttle will arrive soon to your vessel to further discuss other matters. Over and out.” A short moment passes as one shuttle from each cruiser departs, both ships racing one another towards the Adamant, the closest to “fighting” they’re even allowed with. Both ships entering the docking bay, making their slow descent towards solid ground, boarding ramps lowering down as armed soldiers from both parties were the first to exist, followed by the captains of each ship, and lastly, Ambassador Ghask and High Ascendant Edanir stepped forward. The Free Republic delegates were taken aback by the presence of a Yulzan, let alone a member of the High Ascendants…if it weren’t for the damned agreement, they’d probably shoot the bastard on sight.
Hubert and the captain was already there to meet them. The captain spoke first, "I'm captain Friar, I'm usually the one in command of this vessel if it weren't for our Lead Director here beside me today."
Hubert greeted the delligates and their armed escort with a smile on his face, "Greetings, you'll find that there'll be no need for personal weapons on this ship. This is a science vessel afterall." As Hubert speaks, the scientific equipment and clean background is contrasted heavily with military personnel and automated drones. "... That... And we can already ensure your safety within the confines of this ship." The smile was there, but the joyful tone belied a very subtle and unfearful threat of immediate and violent retaliation if anything were to go wrong on the vessel.
"Oh how silly of me! My name is Hubert Seymour, the Lead Director of the New Haven Directorate. We value science and peace above all."
“Right…” Ghask thought to himself, very much doubtful of this Hubert’s reassurance, there is certain a story to tell with this New Havenists, the question of course….is will they be willing to share it? Regardless, this isn’t the time for such questions, that can come later, now is the time to open up yet another colony to the greater galaxy.
Ghask bowed. “Ambassador Jaril Ghask.” The Dathu stated his name. “I come on behalf of the Free Republic of Americana.” Some of the Janissaries present couldn’t help but snicker, Ghask shooting them a quick glare before raising his head back up. Captain Ranford stepped forward to introduce herself. “We’ve spoken a short while ago, Captain Ranford.” She said, followed by a crisp salute.
The Yulzan stomped forward, the Janissaries stepping clear away from him. “You stand at the divine presence of Edanir of the High Ascendants.” He “spoke”, his voice sounding almost ethereal, and artificial, his eyes glowing a deep hue of red. “I speak on behalf of all of the Ascendancy.”
Ordius stepped forward, not before bowing before Edanir. “My lord.” He mumbled as he passed him. “Captain Ordius, reporting.”
With introductions made, the three parties made their way elsewhere on the ship, the marines and janissaries given the order to remain with the shuttles.
The Adamant was what it was, a science vessel. Hubert began to explain its complex history, "We New Havenist folk are absolutely ecstatic about meeting new cultures and complex intelligent life other than our own. This ship is a science vessel, standing in as a diplomatic transport."
"Fascinating..." Edanir let silp, his eye wondering about. "The Ascendancy is equally exsited to meet new people, new worlds. And new subjects..." The last one of course, was Edanir thinking to himself.
Ordius on the other hand, was eyes sparking with wonderment, this never got old for him. Stepping in new ships, getting a brief look at the interior, seeing how different cultures developed in warfare and whatnot, he's always been a nerd for ships.
He led the way towards a corridor that would open up towards what would've been a lab. "This ship had to see many retrofits. Unfortunately, many of our more sophisticated vessels are out scouring our system for useful materials and possible colony founding locations."
“Hmm interesting.” Ghask said to himself, both promising as a means fostering relations and possibly get a slice that pie, so to speak. “We can maybe help with this.”
The bulkheads were crudely but effectively reinforced, the men inside the room were carrying around tungsten shells and carting warheads into another room, the moment they stepped into one of the weapons bay they were greeted with two flanking Marines, fully kitted in worn assault gear. "We've had to retrofit this ship to protect itself during the tumultuous periods in our history." Hubert smiled, not worrying what kind of impression this left with his visitors, "It's only been a few years since then so, we haven't gotten around to demilitarizing. Haha!"
"You want my advise? Don't." Ranford said, shooting a side glare of the Yulzan and his lapdog. Ordius rolling his eyes. "We've learned that the Galaxy is dangerous, pays to be prepared."
Hubert then looked towards the soldiers flanking them, "Oh come on, relaaaax guys, what? Are you afraid of unarmed diplomats? Jeez... Talk about paranoid."
"Well, I wouldn't entirely say unarmed." Edanir said as he demostrated, a short energy blade igniting from his wrist device. "Although I assure you, this is purely for my own well-being." He turns his gaze at Captain Ranford and Ghask, before shutting off the blade.
As he sparked the blades the marines reacted almost instinctively moving their bodies in between the director and Edanir. Ready to brandish their heat blades. They withdrew and quickly returned to their position. In that brief moment where they were closer, the guests were able to inspect the pieces of armor a lot closer. These worn pieces of armor were battle damaged, high velocity rail gun impacts, deep heat blade marks, small red spatters in hard to reach places that could've been oil or blood.
"I apologize for my men, the periods of war are still quite fresh in their minds, we're almost to the meeting room." Hubert continued to lead the way, "Anyway, tell me about yourselves. I feel as if I've prattled on a bit too much."
Once they entered the meeting room, the two groups took their seats on opposite ends of the room, staying as far away from each other as possible, but close enough to Hubert. “Our story is a rather…sore point for many…” Captain Ordius said with a smirk.
Captain Ranford maintained eye contact with her counterpart. “For the sake of not embarrassing ourselves…let's just say some REAL stupid decisions were made in the past. Decisions that led to a three-decade war. We fight to maintain the freedom of all the Americana System!”
“And WE fight to maintain the order and prosperity the Yulzan have given us!” Ordius raised his voice as tensions grew. Edanir couldn’t help but watch in amusement as the sparks flew, while Ambassador Ghask grew paler then usual as he watched.
Hubert didn't bother to stop them, instead as he sat he steepled his fingers once again, awaiting for a servitude drone to bring food and refreshments. He took the time to carefully assess who he was dealing with in the room. Edanir was obviously had questionable intentions. He thought of him as a justifiably overconfident man who enjoyed watching those he considered bellow him squable over what he would consider scraps. Randford on the other hand seemed very committed to her cause, admirable but foolish, many on New Haven perished for such noble stances only to be Killed unceremoniously a few months later, the same cannot be said for her counterpart, a weak man who bows to strength instead of taking it for himself. Ghask unable to control the situation before him can only anxiously hope it dies down.
Captain Friar never dealt with the Lead Director in person, he knew of him through television as a bright and cheerful personality. But when he looked into Hubert's eyes looking at the commotion in front of him, he recognized it. A shiver ran down his spine, though he dare not speak it. The Director, was working his mind, putting pieces on a chessboard that only he could see and weighing his options.
Just before everything fell apart, the servitor drone arrived, "Food and refreshments?l
"Right on time, Uno!"
The drone was humanoid, barebones, enough to function in a service capacity. Uno, named because he was the ship's first servitor drone in a long time.
Both officers sat down in silence, their faces red with frustration and anger, both willing to pull a gun out if they had one and turn the Adamant into a shootout. The service droid provided a convenient end to the tension, much to Ghask’s relief, sighing. Edanir simply shaking his head in disappointment. “Yes, please.” Ghask said, as the droid placed a tray down, he leaned towards Ranford. “Please captain.” Ghask said in a hushed tone. “Just bear with them a little longer and we’ll be on our way.”
“Understood..” Ranford felt defeated, here she was, in the same room as a High Ascendant and nothing could be done about it, it was infuriating. Ghask turned his attention back to Hubert. “I’m sorry for that, where were we?”
"Ah yes, I was very interested in both of your cultures And current situation. You both are currently at war with each other I take it? If so, I do apologize for making you both come aboard at the same time to deal with the same person. That's a diplomatic oversight on my part." A very deliberate oversight. People reveal themselves when dealing with their direct enemy. A fortunate happenstance, it was good that most weapons were left behind as to avoid a diplomatic mishap.
"I'll deal with you both in turn... Let's start with you, your excellency" He turned to Edanir bypassing the lapdog, "Care to regail us with tales of your home and history?" he addressed him with a respectful tone, not as if he was about submit.
“Of course!” He replied with enthusiasm. “We Yulzan are a species of martial prowess, and masters of the sciences. Ours is a history filled with bloody wars out of myth, scientific discoveries that changed us forever and for our own good, we slew Gods in order to become Gods ourselves, and through our divine minds and technology, we became so much more. Sadly, our undying legacy was put to the test, we fled our homeworld as it burned in stellar fire, taking what little of our legacy with us. We found this system, it was our salvation, those that came before us were distrustful, but in time, accepted us as we shared our legacy, our gifts. Many rightful saw us fit to rule their world and worlds beyond, but there were those that feared our power, fear that sparked the war you know today.”
Hubert nodded thoughtfully taking a moment to process all that's been said, then turned to Ghask, "Ambassador Ghask, what can you say about your proud, Free Republic?" Hubert was strategic in his selection, pushing both sides buttons slightly, trying to goad reactions, testing them, and gauging them against themselves.
Ghask cleared his throat as he begun. “Before the arrival of your people or the Yulzan, my people, the Dathu were enthralled by the Kingdoms and Houses of Dathon, what the humans now call Columbia, the original colony. We aren’t much too different from humanity, we squabbled over resources and fought in the name of our Lords, our Kings, and our Gods. After the humans arrived, there was a long period of struggle and war, eventually leading to the Unification War, a war that saw all of Americana united under the banner of the United Columbian Republic.” Ghask paused once again before continuing. “The Yulzan took that unity away from us. Columbia falling under their thumb.” Edanir let out a low, satisfied “hmph.” Not even denying his people’s crimes against the URC, now FRA. “The Free Republic was built on the promise of rebuilding the dream and taking back what’s ours, the Americana System will be free once again.”
A short term ally could be made out of the Yulzan in wars that will undoubtably be sparked by outside relations. However, the Free Republic, with its ideals could prove to be a more useful and furthermore reliable ally for personal matters. Currently, New Haven's other Directors have been looking for an opportunity like the gates opening To destabilize the fragile facade of peace on New Haven. War is inevitable. Hubert has prepared for it. Now he needs to find allies that he can trust. He remembers a holotablet containing the history of Japan during the Sengoku era through to the foreign invasion of powers. It was ancient, but the stories within hold truth. He was like Oda Nobunaga, he's the tallest tree in the forest, he needed a Tokugawa Ieyasu to back him up and make sure he doesn't suffer the same fate.
The talks continued, Hubert carefully navigated the two people's diplomatic efforts. In the end, Hubert simply stated that he'd conclude the talks of diplomacy until a formal meeting can be arranged under better circumstances.