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~Mariyinsky Palace, Kiev, Ukraine~
August 1960

(Collab with @NecroKnight)

As was usual on Sundays, Anastasiya settled into her throne room to meet with her guests. Over the last few weeks, she had met with all manner of foreign diplomats, dukes, counts, and even a few prominent ordinary citizens. Setting aside the afternoon for this was a good idea, as it had given her an understanding of her realm far more quickly than she would have ever obtained simply listening to her advisors.

“Yeva, who is first on the list today?” she asked her maidservant, who usually accompanied her and carried a variety of relevant information. She emerged from behind one of the Ukrainian flags hanging on both sides of the room.

“You may wish to prepare yourself more than usual, Your Grace. The Chairman of the Arkhangelsk Socialist Union, a man named Amani Ivanovich Yukarev, is here today to discuss some kind of trade deal involving oil. You may essentially consider him the head of state.”

“That’s very interesting,” Anastasiya mused. “Well, I have no special love of socialists or communists, but I suppose if the leader of another country has decided to come here I should at least give him time to speak his case.”

She looked up and nodded at the door guards while speaking loudly, “You may let him in.”

Soon enough, both Anastasiya and her aide Yeva soon witnessed the sight of the namely communist leader of Arkhangelsk. Which in all honesty, might leave her a bit surprised - since instead of someone dressed up and looking like some radical - the ‘Chairman’ in question looked to be an old man, with a cane. Namely he wore a uniform that was more suited to the dean of a school or the local guide for a forest trip.

The man in question, even removed his cap in proper respect to slavic culture of hospitality - as he soon enough, gave a warm smile and meek bow, leaning on his cane. “Queen Anastasiya. Thank you for seeing me,” he spoke, his voice and attitude respectful and cordial. A far cry from the usual stereotype of the socialist revolutionary. “I apologize, if the note came on such a short notice - but news travels either quickly or slowly, from where I am from - and I determined a quick solution might be better achieved now than waiting for later.”

Anastasiya, while quickly disabused of her notions of how old the man would be, quickly lowered her eyebrows and resumed listening. This man was clearly an old radical - perhaps descended from the days of 1917 itself.

“It is my pleasure, Amani Ivanovich Yukarev. There is no need to worry - I have always felt that a leader shows themselves best not by how they deal with what is planned but by what is unexpected. There may exist some underlying tension between our nations in terms of ideology, but to put aside those preconceptions and discuss purely on a rational and personal basis is my aim in all endeavours.”

She rose from her seat, and gestured warmly for him to follow. “I have a meeting room prepared where we may discuss in more detail.”

“Thank you for that - and you have no fear about our ideological differences. I can admit, that I might be considered the radical among socialist circles instead of your own...“ he spoke, as they walked - namely his step did have some vigor behind it and he moved a bit faster than a man of his age.

As the two of them arrived in the meeting room, that was more fancy than what Yukarev had for his own work and sleeping quarters. “...I consider myself the more older type. The ideals that a person’ work should be worth their sweat. I am not the rapid radicals that once plagued the Russian Empire - though, I was one of the young fools, who got captured and sent to Siberia - after the Petrograd Uprising.”

Namely he was being honest with her, he was old - namely one of the first radicals to attempt resistance against the Tsar yet also one of the likely survivors of those events and surprisingly not radicalized. “...if you think my beliefs will hinder these negotiations, don’t be. I am as capable as any man in my position. I am simply the rational man, who supports neither the brutal Tsar nor the aimless Revolution…oh pardon, my ramblings…”

Anastasiya smiled a little at this.

He soon took a seat, and produced some papers that he had kept inside of his jacket - they were written on old paper, but were readable. Namely, papers that detailed about restarting the drilling that had been established during the Imperial era - namely the Yarega Oil Field. As it was, Yukarev explained that they could access it - yet sadly, most of the infrastructure for processing it was either destroyed in the Second Russian Civil War or simply controlled by another power.

“I am curious, if your industry would be able to processing this kind of oil into usable fuel?” he asked, sharing with her the details - namely the amount and type of oil.

“Hmm, it seems likely.” Anastasiya leaned over the table to examine it in greater detail. “Back in Imperial days, they discovered a great deal of oil here in Ukraine and built refineries alongside with drilling sites to handle the process. However, they failed to consider the type of oil reservoirs we have here. They are narrow and difficult to access, meaning there was much lower production than expected. So our refining capacity well exceeds what we actually extract. If we can restore some of those old facilities to operation, we may very well be able to achieve some kind of partnership.”

“The critical detail that I am curious about is transportation. What exactly is your plan to deliver this oil all the way from Arkhangelsk to eastern Ukraine? Automobiles? Rail? A pipeline? And through what countries do you plan to transport it?”

“Well. We had originally imagined on transporting via automobiles,” replied Amani. “Once we get things going and processing again we might be able to utilize railways…”

“I’m sadly not sure, we can buy or manage an air fleet. Unless your country happens to have one,” he spoke, with some humor in his voice. “As for what countries we plan to pass through. The current is the Moscow Tsardom and Smolensk. Since I had heard rumors, you and the Muscovites might make peace between each other.”

“As such, I was hoping we could gain access to their roads in exchange for a tithe of the oil profits,” he explained.

The Hetman nodded. “That’s reasonable enough in my opinion. Optimally rail would be the best method, but it may take a year or two to get operational even if we start now, considering the state of things in Moscow and Smolensk.” She grinned slightly. “I don’t know much about airplanes, but I’m fairly sure the ones we have would burn through more fuel getting from here to there than they could possibly carry.”

“The Muscovites have indeed recognized our independence, and my government plans to reach out to them soon. A profitable trade deal can only warm relations further, in my opinion.” Walking back around the side of the long, ornate table at the center of the room and seating herself at one of the chairs near the head of the table, she turned to look at him more directly. “My final questions are what percentage of the final profit go to you and us respectively, once we take off the portions for Moscow and Smolensk, and where the fuel will go afterwards.”

“Most of our surplus fuel that we do not keep for our own purposes is sold into Eastern Europe, namely Poland and Austria. Do you desire the fuel back or merely the profits?”

“Hmm. I am sure that is up for debate. But how about having seven percent each be awarded to Smolensk and Moscow, since we are namely passing through them and not directly utilizing anything beyond their infrastructure,” he explained.

“As for the rest, how about splitting in fifty percent for you and thirty-six for us?” he said. “Since namely, you will be doing much of the work of processing the oil into fuel. As for returns, we’d be comfortable receiving back the fuel in return. While profits are nice, I think we have much more use in finished goods than money in general.”

“...and this isn’t me being the socialist here,” he humored. “We have more use of grain and fuel, that paper money to be honest. Our only trade route with Finland is used on a monthly basis, depending on the weather. As such, goods are better than money in this case.”

Anastasiya blinked in evident surprise, expecting a harder deal than she got. She was mentally preparing herself to haggle, but already receiving what she was planning as a goal from the start, it no longer seemed necessary.

“Very well then. We will transport back thirty-six percent of the fuel to you, and offer the same option to Moscow and Smolensk with their seven percents, of either receiving the fuel or profits. The remaining fifty percent we will keep or sell. I’ll have my secretary Myron write it up. She pushed open the door and called, “Yeva, have Myron come see me immediately.” The response of “Yes, Your Grace,” echoed softly as she let the door close once again.

She offered her hand to Chairman Yukarev. “It’s refreshing that we could come to such an amicable arrangement. If there are any further details that need to be worked out, I can send an ambassador or you can send yours.”

“Thank you for this opportunity,” replied Yukarev, shaking hands with the Queen of Ukraine.

~Armyansk, Crimea~

The old man was very bored indeed. He lit up his seventeenth and probably last cigarette of the day, resting comfortably in a chair just outside his house, moon shining ever-so brightly in the clear sky. A couple of wayward “soldiers” in casual clothes, Mosin-Nagants slung over their backs, walked up the dusty street, maneuvering their way around the potholes.

“Hey, pops. Care to spare a couple cigs for us?”

“I’m not a ‘pops,’ I’m Marat. And why should I? Damn things are getting more expensive every day.”

Hearing that, they both moved in unison to get up in his face.

“You may be an old man, pops, but we ain’t about to take this kind of shit. We spend all day protectin’ ya from the Ukies, we deserve a few cigs for the trouble.”

The old man glared back with hopeless defiance. “Sure, tell me how many Ukrainians you’ve fought in the last year. There aren’t any, are they?”

With that, as expected, one of the soldiers wound up and delivered a swift right hook straight into his face. Marat fell off of his chair, but then he started to pick himself back up and-

An alarm blared from the town center.

One of the soldiers exclaimed, “Shit!” They both started to run off, but the other one briefly turned around to say, “We’ll be back for you later, pops!” Marat had made his way back into his chair to watch them go.

“I hope you get shot, fucking juvies.” He wiped the blood off his mouth just as the sound of gunfire began to clatter through the town.

An aircraft engine’s drone began to be noticeable in the distance, along with the sound of periodic explosions that could only mean one thing.

“Damn. Be careful what you wish for, I guess.” Marat made his way to the old cellar in back of his house, in lieu of a bomb shelter. It was the best he could do. The last thing he saw as he closed the hatch were the rumbling treads of a tank rounding the corner.

-

Marat had been in the dusty, now slighly more ordered cellar for about twenty minutes when a knock came on the door of the cellar after a period of silence. He had been moving things around inside during the battle, heedless of it all, by candlelight.

“Hello? Is anyone in there?” came a voice in Ukrainian-accented Russian. After a moment of hesitation, Marat replied, “Yes, I’m here.”

“You can come out now, it’s all clear.” Marat opened the door, and climbed out to be face-to-face with a new couple of soldiers, a fair bit more sharply dressed than the last. The one who spoke saluted. “Good afternoon, sir. We have to ask that you evacuate.”

“Evacuate? What for? I thought the battle was over?” He replied in Ukrainian, surprising the soldier, who switched back to it as well.

“We apologize, but the Royal Army needs to temporarily appropriate the town as a supply point. We’re transporting you all to a provisional camp in Kalanchak, it should only be a matter of a week or two before we’ll allow you to return to your homes.”

Marat was displeased, but he nodded. These soldiers were a lot more serious than the ones he had encountered earlier.

They directed him to the town square, through a terrain now bearing many more scars than before. He saw a few bombed houses on his way, but he was sure there were many more closer to the former garrisons.

He climbed onto a white military truck which evidently no one had bothered to change the camo on with the help of a young woman already seated, and sat across from a couple of young men. As he looked up, he couldn’t help but notice that he had met the two before. Marat couldn’t help but comment.

“Must not have been protecting the country very well if you’re both still alive, huh?”

They both glared holes into the floor as the people around him burst into chuckles and smirks, despite the circumstances.
~Mariyinsky Palace, Kiev, Ukraine~
July 1960

"What is the meaning of this, Anastasiya?"

Anastasiya Solovski, the Hetman of Ukraine, looked dismissively on as she sipped her tea. "That's 'Your Grace' or 'Hetman Anastasiya' to you, Lord Denysenko. Kindly repeat yourself, but without the vague accusation and disrespect." She brushed a strand of her black hair away from her eyes.

The grizzled old man glaring balefully at her was none other than the High Lord of the Senate, Zynovij Trokmovych Denysenko. "Hmph. I asked, what is the meaning of this stunt you are trying to pull? The Belarusian war declaration failed today somehow, despite all the work we had put in to bringing the National Democrats on side, only to be followed with a replacement declaration of war on the damned Tartarians instead where some of my own party had been incited to defect. This smells quite clearly of your involvement."

"You very well might think that, Lord Denysenko. I couldn't possibly comment." She smiled cheerfully at him, as he grew redder still. "I merely give advice in regards to my ideas for the nation's future to its duly elected Verkhovna Rada. Its decisions are its own."

“You know very well, I’m sure,” replied Zynovij, acid dripping from his words. “This kind of meddling is highly intolerable and against the spirit of the constitution, and I’m sure my fellow nobility agree. Mark my words, we’ll be prepared for this kind of meddling next time. You are decidedly against the interests of the Ukrainian people, and we will not stand for it.”

“The Ukrainian people?” asked Anastasiya, head tilted slightly leftward. “Or just you and your hawkish friends trying to bring ruin to the nation through another protracted war?”

Zynovij shook his head angrily, and left without any further comment. The guards almost moved to stop him from exiting without proper procedure, but Anastasiya waved them back to their posts. She looked to the woman next to her with mild curiosity. “So what do you think?” Her maidservant, Yeva, looked grim.

“You’ve made another enemy this day... but I daresay you’ve made a few more friends, too. It remains to be seen whether one will balance out the other.”

---

In the war room, a number of generals waited patiently around the table for Anastasiya to arrive and give the meeting direction, until the door finally opened.

“Her Grace, Anastasiya Artemivna the First! Vsye pidnimaetsya!”

In response to General Ruslan’s direction, all rose and bowed at the Hetman’s entrance.

“Thank you, Ruslan Mykolovych. You may all take your seats.”
As all took their seats, Anastasiya remained standing in front of her designated place at the head of the table.

“I’ve called you all here, as you may have expected, for an operation to secure the peninsula of Crimea from the warlord Iskändär Fayzulin. I follow the philosophy that soldiers should always have the right to know why they are fighting, so I will tell you. You should know that this operation has two primary casus bellis: First, to obtain the former Imperial Russian Navy docked at Sevastopol. With our incredibly small navy, Ukraine is vulnerable to any assault by the Ottomans or any hostile European power that the damned Turks decide to let through. Securing this navy and refitting it will substantially bolster our naval strength, and potentially even establish us at the preeminent Black Sea naval power over the Ottomans themselves.”

“Secondly but no less importantly, the plight of the Ukrainian people in the so-called land of ‘Tataria.’ Though the population of the peninsula is predominantly Tatar and Russian, we estimate around 10-20% of the around 2 million people that live there are Ukrainian. Those Ukrainians who have not been able to escape into this nation live under a brutally repressive and discriminatory regime run by the victorious Tatars. I surely sympathize with the Tatar need for revenge against the Russians, but to include our own people in that number is something I cannot allow. I see it as my duty to protect all Ukrainian people, wherever they might be.”

With that, Anastasiya returned to her seat to first slight but then a room full of applause.

“She’s sure passionate, isn’t she?” one general whispered to another. The man he whispered to, clearly the youngest in the room with a sharply defined, handsome face, nodded. “But I respect that all the more.”

“Thank you, Your Grace.” Valentyn Vasylovich, the other senior general besides Ruslan, picked up where she had left off. “We’re gathered here today to discuss the operational details of this plan, which we’ve codenamed Operation Cherno. First, I will present my proposal.”

Valentyn stood up, and walked to the nearby wall, on which Crimea and its surrounding areas were depicted on a map, and made small marks at various points along the coast. “I highly recommend this be initiated by a covert operation. The Pryznyach would be best equipped to handle that. By making small landings across the island, we can create small beachheads on which to land further troops and catch them from behind and by surprise. I have no doubt that we can secure a substantial portion of the peninsula before Fayzulin even wakes up in the morning.” He smirked slightly at the thought.

Ruslan shook his head with grave disdain for what seemed to be the millionth time. “You sure are proud of your Pryznyach, aren’t you? But even a novice cadet learning about tactics can see the obvious flaw in your plan. If you don’t manage to catch them by surprise, what then? The Tatars have been on guard ever since the People’s Republic fell, they can see the writing on the wall just as well as we can. Then your precious special forces will be stranded on the beach, stuck and under withering fire. The only clear option is the obvious one: we attack head on with all our forces. We need to take the route into Crimea as soon as possible with as much force as necessary. The Tatars don’t have an air force, do they? We just drop a few bomb loads onto them as we’re coming across and they’ll scatter. These aren’t professional soldiers, they’re a band of gangsters. We don’t have to worry about a thing.”

Valentyn glowered back at him. “So you’re going to criticize my plan for relying heavily on an assumption, but yours relies just as heavily. What if they put up a determined defense? What if their anti-air proves sufficient? The highway into Crimea will be turned into a bloodba-“

“Leonid, you look like you have something to say.” Anastasiya’s voice rang out, disrupting the emerging argument.

The younger man near the back of the room smiled gratefully. “Thank you, Your Grace. How observant of you. I’m frankly… surprised you know my name.”

“I took the appropriate preparations for this office. Learning my subordinates’ names is certainly a part of that.” She smiled slightly. “Well? What is it?”

General Leonid leaned forward over the table to reply. “There is a way we can both secure the primary route into Crimea and prevent any chance of a stalemate situation like in the last war. I’d simply like to commit the First and Second Armoured Divisions as the primary offensive force, with infantry only serving a backup role.”

“You’re proposing this based on the results you obtained in the invasion of the Ukrainian People’s Republic, are you not?” Anastasiya replied. The other generals all muttered slightly.

“Colour me double surprised, but yes. By using the First, Second and Third Armoured Divisions as a concentrated force, we were able to decisively break the defensive line around Kharkov and trap a pocket of over 20,000 soldiers. A small success in comparison to the overall war, but here we’re dealing with a similarly small situation. By using primarily armoured and motorized forces, we may be able to succeed in achieving a similar level of surprise as with Valentyn’s plan while still ensuring a supply line to our troops. What makes matters far easier is that the peninsula is so small they will likely be unable to fully marshal their military until the entire country is already mostly under our control. Using the air force as Ruslan suggested will further increase the likelihood of success.”

Valentyn and Ruslan looked at him and each other, both at a loss for words at the dark horse that had entered the arena.

“That sounds like an excellent plan to me, Leonid, I thank you for proposing it. Obviously there should be further discussion, but can we all agree on this as a general outline?”

There was a general voicing of agreement, and ever so briefly Anastasiya winked at Leonid in approval before returning to business.

---
(Collab with @Wernher)

The magic of technology never stopped to amaze. In the center of the room was Vermillion Cray, Holder of Power of the Union and also its top general. Both under the virtue of him having more charisma than the rest. Oh Drachma had some too, but he was more of a salesman, he could sell you an idea, but Cray could make you believe. Still, Drachma was sitting in the room, eager to watch this. The whole clique (or the oligarch as some would call them) was watching.

"Alright, I'm ready to get this show started."

Yul, director of technologies, pressed a few buttons, he was the technical one (obviously).

"You will be online... now."

The room darkened, in front of Vermillion, Sahrova Verasha in blue tones. This technology wasn't perfect but still, this was impressive. Yul said that soon, it would be like this person was in this very room, implants in your brain would allow you to even feel the touch of someone else planets away.

"Premier Verasha?"

Said Cray, as if not certain this was actually working.

"Good evening, gentlemen. It's nice to- is meet the correct word here? I suppose it is. It's nice to meet you at last. I was very intrigued by the letter you sent previously, and after some deliberation, I would certainly be interested in your offer.

The enmity between our two species is historically vast, but there is a great threat which has been looming over the globe for some time now. If we don't cast it off now in its moment of weakness, we may never have another opportunity."

Sahrova paused, taking a look at a sheet of paper next to her.

"Naturally the People's Republic would be interested in some kind of defensive arrangement, as while the Imperials are tied up for now they may not remain so for very long. And if they regain control, they will no doubt keep you planetbound for many years to come.

Fusion power is certainly something within our power to give you, and the world. The Cindorayi have hoarded any technical secrets that they felt could give them an advantage in war. However, the critical issue with laser technology which would make it hard to reproduce is the Cindor crystals, which only grow in arctic climates. We can share some aspects of this with you, but you will have to find your own way to store power which will likely be less efficient. Still, having the technology to produce them efficiently with what energy you do have may still be useful for you, so we offer that as a partial offering, commensurate with your financial assistance. If that is acceptable to you, we may move forward."

Vermillion nodded quickly, not taking a moment to think as around him, away from Sahrova's vision, people whispered about the implications of this.

"I only ask that you help us in the realm of the possible. But please! I actually find the gap not so large between us. Really the business of your species was with the Aldabetans. We Kobolds? Well, until now we were on the back seat of the history of the world. We should hate each other because of old colonial masters? No, if the Aldabetans had won, we'd have been in the same position really. But no matter.

This is all, indeed, very much acceptable and I hope you don't consider this all a trade, more of gifts between friends, I truely meant that this money was not conditional to any assistance on your part. But to business we should go. My main points are how to reveal our special status to the world and how to contain the Empire. There are now holes in their coverage of the planet, enough to slip by reinforcements for you but I don't know if it would be enough to turn the tide should they manage to rebuild..."

"It is, as you put it, done business. I agree there is no reason to bring up such petty struggles."

Sahrova waved her hand as to dismiss that topic.

"Of course. If we are to be friends, it is only natural that we support each other in our time of need without strings necessarily being attached. The primary issue is that if you move to support us too overtly, the Empire will attempt to contain you with what means remain at their disposal. Though they are weakened, this is still a futile effort. All I would ask is that you recognize our independence, as you have said you will do, and keep the Empire distracted. If you begin to build up your forces and orbital infrastructure, they will have no choice but to keep an eye turned your way and away from us. No doubt the other powers will attempt to do so as well, mainly the Vaspen and Sumuta. The Sumuta have also been very positive in communications, and between them and you a real containment coalition could be on the way. As long as your forces continue to grow, it will be risky for them to attempt a reconquest. When you and we have sufficient force to oppose them, we can simply declare our shared defense and they will be left without any real possibility of recovering their hegemony.

Naturally, any support you can give us in ensuring our defense on the planet would be appreciated as well."

The look on Vermillion's face darkened as Sahrova spoke, ending with a silence between his reply and her last words. It was of course calculated, in truth, he really didn't care about all that, it was just about how much he could milk this situation.

"I understand your plan, it is a good plan. I have however a duty to my people... While you do not advocate to blow up the powderkeg we are in, something I am thankful that you'd consider, you still ask me to put even more powder in it. This constant escalation of military expenditure... Money better spent on education and healthcare if you ask me. We both know the Empire will not so easily relinquish its hegemony after having fought so hard to get it, 'an insult to those who died in the Void War' I'd imagine they'd call it.

Premier, I am sympathetic to your cause, I am, but do you think perhaps diplomacy could work? If I go blindly with your plan, my people might accuse me of not thinking of their security and say, with some truth, that if worst came to worst, we would all die, signing the death warrant of the Empire while doing so but leaving you unscathed.

Again, I know something must be done and that unfortunately it will require strength, at least a show of it, but even if emergencies after emergencies prevent elections, I still cannot ignore public perception if we go down this road."

And then of course, they came to the meat of the problem, the Holder trying hard not to show the cunning and sly smile his race was known for.

"Although overt support between us would attract the ire of the Empire, it would still show both of our people than it isn't just calculated politics. A show of brotherhood, something to show we are in this together as brothers and sisters... May I have your thought?"

All around Vermillion, the oligarch were at the edge of their seats. Sahrova was just a revolutionary, placed there by force by likeminded individuals. She was not a diplomat, not even a politician. It was time to see if she passed the test that separated prey and predators on the world stage.

Sahrova had a touch of disappointment to her face, but she soldiered on, giving one last parting shot.

"I understand your concerns. It is a difficult and perilous path, the path of blood. Once one embarks upon it, it is difficult to turn back again. But the Empire has been wading ever deeper into pools of it since its creation. You may be comfortable now, but had our revolution never taken place and perhaps in future that blood pooling beneath the Empire may become yours. They are not reasonable. They have committed mass slavery and genocide, and will do so again if you let them. The short term may be appealing, but in the long term we will all suffer at their hands. You are all engineers, albeit of a state rather than a piece of machinery, a far greater task, so you may recognize this wisdom.

In that case, I offer you a new and more ambitious project. A world is a vast place, full of opportunity. The simplest way to show the brotherhood between our two nations would be to bring them together. We would be happy to welcome citizens of your nation for a settlement on Cindorya, under something like an embassy agreement. We would be allowed to connect with your people, and your people with us, and hopefully foster new interplanetary commerce as a result.

In such an agreement, our stance together would be obvious. Any measures of defense to preserve that partnership would be simply that."

Under his breath, Yul whispered 'fucking cunt' or some other insult, even Vermillion knew she basically spat in his face. Even if she was honest, it made it all even the more ridiculous... but no, it couldn't be honest, the way she said 'under something like an embassy agreement', as in something that could be revoked any time. Oh he couldn't blame her, the kobolds reproduced so fast they'd outnumber the local population in generations, forever changing the democratic landscape of that planet. He'd have done the same thing if he was her. But it showed where Sahrova stood: She was a Cindorayi first, democrat second. Just as well, since Vermillion was Kobold first and democrat when it suited him.

"I will do my best to make my people consider your points. Though I don't believe nuclear war to be good for any short or long term goal of ours. Be certain we are your unconditional supporter then and I am eager to see what the future will hold for us, only good things I hope."

Vermillion forced a laugh and continued.

"For now though we're still burning fuel to get up there, my kid in stellar engineering will be happy to know we can put our mass driver ideas to the test without hell raining down on us so trade will have to wait until we figure this out. On parting words though. A gift to the world of fusion technology would be a statement of your generosity to the world, a gift of laser technology to us something to help us keep the power balance back here, but might I ask for insights as to send things in space as a personal favor? I'd doubt it'd help us for the scramble to space that's happening now but in the future I'm sure it'd help make this 'trade' you speak of possible."

The reptile scratched his chin as he looked at Yul with a raised eyebrow.

"Hm. Maybe if the lasers aren't powerful enough to be useful, they could be enough to propel a solar sail and save even more fuel then?"

The question was genuine, even if Vermillion hoped it would make him seem even more of a 'benevolent scientist' for the premier, and even Yul raised a curious eyebrow at this.

"Sorry, just kobolds being kobolds, forgive me for trailing off!"

Even Sahrova could tell they were displeased at her proposal. It was only the natural way of things, as she had little to offer in way of instant gratification or assistance.

"Ah, of course, it's not an issue. I am often sidetracked in thought myself. These are indeed matters of great weight. The primary reason for my proposal is simple, though, and relates to your favor. Fuel is a grave concern for space travel, and the source of the majority of its costs, which is why you are so eager to find a way around it. There is however a project in progress on Cindorya which may be of interest to you in that case. There is a great mountain which we call Mount Fistok, which is far greater than any mountain that exists on Nova Mondial, nearly ten kilometers in height. It quite nearly reaches outer space all by itself. We have begun the process of establishing a rocket launch facility near its peak, which would be nearly akin to the Space Elevator in terms of fuel savings in conjunction with Cindorya's lower gravity. Utilizing this, we and potentially you could begin space construction to rival that of the Empire. Just a thing to keep in mind, as the Imperials and their allies have kept the moon all to themselves so establishing a spaceship production facility may not be easy."

Sahrova nodded to herself, but a touch of caution appeared in her eye. "We would be happy to help with such an endeavor. There is plenty of room for collaboration between our two scientific staffs, and I am sure they can work out the relevant details if we provide a link for continued communication," she replied, not willing to specify further. "And of course, the two technologies we previously discussed will go ahead. I look forward to a long and positive relationship."

"Likewise Premier, I'll put my staff in contact with yours. End of communications."

In the kobold room, the premier disappeared and Vermillion moved his hands on his eyes, looking at all this light gave him a headache.

"Ah! That fucking snake! Sly devil, whore of the dark gods!"

To this, Yul smirked as Drachma shrugged and answered.

"Well, she tries to do the best for her 'country'... but this is just how Cindorayis are, a change of government doesn't change their race."

It wasn't less anoying either. Well, they had gained good understanding of their new 'allies' and some tech to go with that. Maybe they could even bluff the Empire that along with the laser tech they had gotten crystals though this seemed unlikely. Ugh, if she had been a rebel within the Empire proper down here on Mondial she wouldn't have been so keen to not beg for assistance like she should be doing right now. But Vermillion knew he couldn't just force her hand, she could do something stupid, like go for Vaspen for help. It was better to have her stick to the Union than anything else that would be too radical.

"So we have that option. I don't think the colonists would betray us, likewise they couldn't compete with us in the colonial rush to to their low population, they have an entire planet to populate before they need to expand. Still... there may be more gains to be had elsewhere."

Tannhauser was right, it was the 'safe' long term approach but... democratization of space wasn't desirable. In the slightest. Mistakes now could be felt for generations. Finally, Vermillion nodded.

"Fine. Send report as to what transpired to Guno for the imperial negotiations."

---

"So, Anya, what do you think?" Sahrova turned to the Foreign Commissar.

"You're a beautiful, naive fool, you know that?"

Sahrova practically sputtered in surprise. "What on earth do you mean?"

"Anyone could tell they were trying to grab anything they could get. Only reason I didn't stop you was the same reason you were trying it. If the kobolds and Imperials end up fighting, and the kobolds have better tech, hopefully they stayed distracted. But you should really promise less next time. If you had tried to give them plasma thruster technology, I would have seriously had to have pretended that your father was dying and you had to go or something."

"If only," the Premier whispered under her breath. Anya caught it, but she didn't pry. "Anyway, here's hoping they mean at least a little of what they say. I never trust a kobold, but maybe you'll have better luck."
@Urcica

Accepted. This will be very amusing~

Will add you to the map sometime tonight.
@Brithwyr

Ah, sorry, we changed the rules to encourage people to actually join instead of just wanting to join the discord. If you post a nation sheet, I'll take a look at it and if it's accepted, I'll PM the link.
~Premier's Office, Sylvnor, People's Republic of Cindorya~

A Cindorayi lady bent over the other seated in the chair, dabbing gel on her face so as to make her fur lie flat and appear more presentable.

"That's quite enough, Aliya." spoke the woman in the chair with some slight impatience.

"Almost done, hold your fastamars." Aliya put on her final touches. "You sure like your idioms, don't you, Aliya?" replied the woman in the chair.

"'Course I do. It helps give flavour to things." "And, all done. You ready?"

Sahrova Verasha brushed herself off and rose from her seat. "I'm sending a message to the entire world I was born on. Could I ever be?"

Aliya smiled. "Good point, ma'am. Well, good luck to 'ya."

Sahrova let a brief smile through. "Thank you, Aliya."

A man's voice called from the other side of the desk. "We're ready when you are, Premier."

Sahrova blinked almost in confusion. "It's so strange to hear you say that, Burya. Seems like just a few weeks ago we were just resistance leaders."

"Aye, and now you've got a big fancy desk, Premier. Seems like the Revolutionary Council has a high opinion of you."

"Are you implying you didn't vote for me, Burya?" Sahrova shot him an exasperated glare, and he barely held off against it for a second before he burst out laughing. "Of course I did, Premier. Now, are you ready?"

Sahrova reflexively straightened out her brand-new ceremonial uniform once more. "Of course." She seated herself, and looked straight at the camera.

"3, 2, 1, and go."

~Official Announcement from the People's Republic of Cindorya~

A Cindorayi woman in a brand new dress uniform, silvery pauldrons on the shoulders and medals pinned to it, leaned forward over a wooden desk, the Cindorayi imperial eagle sanded off the front.

"This is an address from Premier Verasha of the People's Republic of Cindorya to both the people of Cindorya and those of Nova Mondial alike. As of today, January 1st, 2057, the PRC declares itself independent and sovereign of the oppressive and tyrannical Cindorayi Empire. We have acted in preemptive self-defense to stop the Empire from attempting to reassert its control over us. We do not declare war on the Empire. However, we insist that it will simply allow us the right of self-determination. We can only hope that the Empire will abandon its oppression over the Cindorayi people who continue to live on the homeworld with time as well.

The Imperial government has here on Cindorya committed great crimes against its own people as well as those they used as slaves and servants, the Adanaia. They have consistently denied the Cindorayi people's rights to self-fulfillment, and have only used our lives as pawns in their games. For too long, we Cindorayi thought ourselves above the Aldabetuse, the Adanaia, the Velucans, and all manner of races, and pitied them. But we should have pitied ourselves, for we have suffered a much greater fate than hard labour... the loss of free will. Viceroy Clovya, the sixth prince of the Empire, suffered his death at the hands of the angry mob that he had so incited. His fate may be a lesson to all those who wish to commit similar crimes against sentience.

We ask for those who seek to challenge the hegemony of such a corrupt and terrible state to defy them, to step forward, to recognize us, and to work with us. We seek to make the void a place where people may find new happiness and create a new world free from the conflict of the homeworld that has haunted us for hundreds of years. Since as long as sentient creatures existed on Nova Mondial, we have looked up to the void in wonder, in awe, at the celestial lights laid bare before us. Since that time, we have looked up at the void and dreamed of what it would be like to reach up there. Here on Cindorya, we have realized that dream. We ask all those who are also willing to dream to reach out and join us.

Thank you, and may Wiglion bless Cindorya in the days to come."

~Imperial Military Command, Solvyana, Cindorayi Empire, Nova Mondial~

"Welcome back, viewers. I'm here now at the Imperial military funeral where His Imperial Majesty is reported to be appearing in person to deliver the eulogy for those brave voidcraft captains and crew who were lost during the traitorous subterfuge on Cindorayi orbital facilities. The Space Force has issued a statement thanking those nations who assisted them in recovering some of their officers, including-"

The reporter paused as the Emperor ascended the stage behind him, and then stuttered,

"...And now, His Imperial Majesty, the 7th Emperor of the Empire of the Cindorayi."

The crown on his head sparkled silver and blue, and his purple robes, patterned with golden Imperial avias, fluttered in his wake. He strode powerfully to the podium before him, set in front of the 24 coffins, Imperial flags drawn over each one. The camera moved immediately to focus on him, leaving the hapless reporter behind.

The Emperor, Charchenov Vissarion II, cleared his throat and spoke in a deep, booming voice which threatened to rattle the walls with its very sense of presence.

"Subjects of the Empire, the Cindorayi people, and those of you cowering in foreign nations."

"On the final day of the year 2056, the Empire faced its greatest tragedy in a generation. 136 of our finest men and women were brutally and unceremoniously murdered by treacherous sabotage within our very ranks. The coffins you see here are nothing but a mere fraction compared to those we cannot bury. This same group of thieves and bandits have seen fit to not stop there, but also to rob me of one of my children. And now they pretend to be a nation all their own. This is nothing but the greatest slander and foolishness. It is an affront to me, to the lives that were lost that day, to the lives that were lost to these spoiled children before now on Cindorya.

These brigands now have the insubordination now to speak of such nonsense as a dream, a dream of a peaceful future without war. Are these corpses, the corpses of their fellow people, the vision of the future they seek to attain? Let this serve as a lesson to all Cindorayi: "freedom" is harbinger of death. These rabble will bring nothing but death and ruin to those who pursue their foolhardy aims. They preach "equality" among the races, but this "equality" is what have caused the great eras of death and destruction in the past. The species of the world, all fighting each other, massacring each other, for their own aims.

Our national policy for the last three hundred years has been vindicated this day, as the proponents of equality strike another death blow upon their own kind. Inequality... is not wrong! Equality is! Wiglion, in his wisdom, saw fit to bestow upon the races inequal gifts. Some were created stronger in brute force, some more cowardly and afraid, some to breed like insects in their pestilence. The Cindorayi, alone among all others, are his chosen people. We have been given the greatest gift of all among others: our unity of spirit. Today's tragedy will one day be but a footnote in the triumph of the Cindorayi, though their sacrifices will be remembered. Our victory is as inevitable as the sun's rise, for we are superior in all things. That victory, with the lesser races subjugated in their rightful place, will bring about that very dream of peace... without end. To that end, all Cindorayi speak in unison!"

"Pravilo Nasha Sudba! Pravilo Nasha Sudba! Pravilo Nasha Sudba!"

The voices in chorus rang around the ceremonial hall, rang around the city of Solvyana, and rang around the entire Empire, as the ground itself seemed to vibrate with the discipline of a people brought together for one purpose: to win, no matter the cost.
@Mihndar @Shyri

Shall we put together some lore on the status of diplomatic relations between our states since the end of the Void War if you don't mind?


I'd imagine fairly positive, as long as the hostility over Ryuvia remained veiled behind civil diplomacy. As a Nova Dominion ally, you would have likely received some help with technology and we likely have a joint research facility or two, along with the Rafinid. Also, we probably coordinated the moon colony planning together so as to not step on each other's territorial toes, and some working relationship as far as use of orbital stations. Likely, some of the corvettes that lost their docking facilities relocated to a station of yours. A lot of it is going to depend on what nation becomes our southern neighbor, though, as right now that remains open.
@Aweirdgamer

I like your statistics spoiler button, I may have to use that myself at some point.
Please post all nation sheets here first to be accepted.

The OOC thread is used for out of character discussion not necessarily related to the RP and for coordination of ideas on collaboration, etc.

There is a Discord for this RP, hence the low OOC post count. Admission requires an approved nation sheet and first IC post within a week of acceptance.


FAQ for Nation Sheets:

Q: Nuclear weapons, to what extent do they exist?

The allies of the Cindorayi have some nukes, from being more trusted, and other nations have 'bought' or somehow obtained fewer to none but it's not well known how many. The main competitors to the Cindorayi, the Velucan, were the only other nation to possess nuclear weapons at the end of the Void War due to inheritance from the Aldabetans, and the two have stood off in a cold war for the last two decades. The Cindorayi have attempted to prevent this to limited success, but are still overpowering enough where any attempted use would likely lead to MAD, so they hold off for now.

Q: Can I develop energy shields like in Star Trek or something?

"Energy shields" as they exist in sci-fi are out of even near-future range of technology. We can't really manipulate and keep plasma hot like that, and if we did, it would burn up the people inside the shield. However, projected electromagnetic fields can repel magnetic projectiles and redirect or scatter other forms of electromagnetic energy, such as lasers. The primary drawbacks to this would be a. running out of power and b. non-magnetic projectiles, such as carbon or tungsten. Most conventional weaponry uses iron or steel, which is magnetic, however.

Alternatively, you could use an electromagnetic field to reinforce the hull of your ship, but that's still vulnerable to running out of power or to laser weapons that would melt the ship and harm the people inside with heat.
roleplayerguild.com/topics/169630-voi…

IC thread is up, for all those interested.
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