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via Cape of Good Hope

The Military State of Tyramon

Aerlanica wrote:Judy frowned and looked to the side.
"I havent...slept with Master Iblion but from what I know he's a little bit like Master Richards...basically, just do as he says, and compliment his movements. He moves to the bed, you follow and sit on it, he pushes you down, you go all loosey goosey and let him move you around, like one of them anatomy dolls in the doctor rooms you know? or was it art rooms...bloody hell what a time to forget highschool, anyway...yeah."

She frowned.
"As for skills...ah, hey put your arm out, let me see it."

******

The next artwork is a scultpure of Delegata, elegant and without imperfections, it showed her in a comfortable, long flowing dress standing in a defiant, yet relaxed, stance.

The Poet shrugs and admits he doesnt know.

******

Iblion nodded and smiled.
"I have to agree...here."

A flick from Iblion's fingers made the Ice cream shift to chocolate.

"There we go, all better."

******

Alyne saw Rachael approach before she turned to adress her.
"Shall we skip the foreplay, Mistress Alyne?"

North South North West Kansas

Eastrid smiled as she continued.

Vara put her arm out.

******

The sculpture is put with the rest.

Delegata lets him wait to decide.

******

Robbie smiled and continued to eat.

******

Alyne nodded.
"Sure, go right ahead."

North South North West Kansas

Corali did as well.

(This is likely my last post for a while then.)

via Cape of Good Hope

The Occupied Territory of Aerlanica

Tyramon wrote:-snip-

(Take care and have fun! I await your hopefully safe return bestie <3)

******

Judy looked back and smiled.
"Ready?"

******

The artist is very grateful.

The Poet accepts this decision.

******

Rachael smiled and nodded.

(Fade to black)

North South North West Kansas

Eastrid let out another little chuckle.



via Cape of Good Hope

The Occupied Territory of Aerlanica

Monsone

As the clouds above slowly darkened with the threats of a storm, Ta'lhqejk, solitary and exposed, walked along the winding, cracked asphalt road towards the Science centre. As they approached, the atmosphere continued to change; the wind that once blew through the city whipped up, tearing at their hair as it grew from a murmur to a howl, as if warning them to turn back. Ta'lhqejk pushed past the personified wind, and continued towards the decrepid, crumbling structure.

As they approached, they could imagine what it would have been like in it's heyday; children and adults alike excitedly walking towards the structure, seeing all the novel things science could do, learning all the way. Gaggles of students tearing at their teachers pleading for just another minute or thirty, dreading the homework that awaited them beyond this euphoric centre of wonder and imagination. Pensioners taking their grandchildren who harrased them with a million and one questions about what everything in the building did, replying with a laugh, an answer and a wink.

Now, the building was dead, silent, cold. A hollow husk both in the physical sense, and that it was a shell of what it once was. A saddened expression crossed Ta'lhqejk's face; it would have been nice to at least visit.

They were now nearing the building, and Ta'lhqejk sensed a spring in her step...no...gravity was weaker here. Not by much; people weren't going to be leaping around as if it was the moon, but she estimated that people would feel a lot less heavier, and be able to jump a bit higher. The wind was also vicious now, and sourceless, as she pushed past the building and under the arch into the courtyard and turning circle of this more-or-less horseshoe-like building.

The building itself was larger up close; Ta'lhqejk could identify about four or so floors, while also being considerably large in size; within this courtyard, they could see a large carpark, as well as some gardens; long overgrown and unkept, now little more than matted tangles of weeds and trees that seeped out onto, and choked, the footpaths. In the centre was a circular plaza with a statue of what appeared to be a woman of great status dressed in fine clothes; a scientist, Ta'lhqejk was sure, most likely the founder of the facility.

There were five enterances, but they decided to chose the main one; a large entrance with three revolving doors, their glass all shattered. Stepping through, Ta'lhqejk entered a large atrium in which a holographic projector slowly showed an orbiting globe of Augusta, occasionally orbited by the words; "New Franco Science Centre! Tomorrow's future, Today!" As with all other holograms, it was glitching heavily.

Across from this centrepiece was a reception. Littered with bullet holes and slightly scorched, the circular wooden reception upon closer inspection seemingly acted as a redoubt for whatever defenders used it; sandbags were still present, as well as a half-used ammunition box. Other scientific displays, or rather the remnants of them, were present, some more intact than others, silent and waiting to be interacted with, others smashed to pieces, scattered across the floor. Glass littered the ground, along with other pieces of trash.

Ta'lhqejk knelt down and looked amongst the glass, and saw blood. Upon touching it and casting their mind back, they sensed it was the long dried blood of a little girl.

"D-don't worry...she-e didn't die...hehe...not dead, hurt, yes, but not dead, alive alive alive."

The chaotic, deranged voice shocked Ta'lhqejk slightly as they looked around the vicinity. They saw a figure, standing half within the shadows, staring at Ta'lhqejk. He was male, tall, but malnourished. While young in features, he had pale complexion, bleached hair and startiling white irises, seemingly blending in with the whites of his eyes. He wore a lab coat, as well as a simple grey button down shirt and a pair of cargo pants and boots. All his pockets were filled to the brim with items, knick-knacks and other such baubles, while slung over his shoulder as a satchel was a tome; smaller than spencer's, it was hastily made and crudely fashioned.

The man tilted his head to the side, shuddered violently for a moment and then let out a giggle. He skipped slowly.

"Battle here-yes! big one...two gangs clashing, one for peace, another for death, took the building hostage and the hostages to the building..."

His smiled twitched, as did his right arm.
"But saved they were...by the mighty librarian and his army of horse-bikes."

Ta'lhqejk frowned as they looked at him.
"Alex?"

The man let out a deranged laugh, seemingly finding humour in the statement.

"Yes...yes yes yes...Alex...that is my name-"

He froze and stood up straighter; he sniffed the air. He frowned, and, following his nose, found his way to Ta'lhqejk and sniffed at them. Ta'lhqejk pushed Alex away as he let out a chaotic scream before he froze, looked around, and sniffed.

"You are old-new," He stated firmly, "old but new, old, yes? yes, yes old, old are you but you are new but old...old new old new old new...you are old, but now you are old new, old then dead then old new..."

He tilted his head to the side and let out a long, chaotic laugh.
"Slept you did in another room than yours, before stealing a car which became your car...many cars, cars and cars go broom broom broom...broom broom...old driver new car..."

He looked around in silence, seemingly losing interest in Ta'lhqejk, before stating; "Potato".

Alex turned to Ta'lhqejk.

"You are visitor...are you friend?" he asked, his head falling to one shoulder.

"Who are you? why are you here? do you like cheese? why do people not see the colours of words? Are you friend?"

via Cape of Good Hope

The Rei Khans Wife of North South North West Kansas

Aerlanica wrote:(Yep, and Zera's Aerlanican friend as well.)

William nodded.
"That she does, I heard on the grapevine she got a salute...very impressive, mustve done something to earn their respect."

He chuckled.
"I'd like to see anyone try to hurt her now; someone so much as looks at her the wrong way and every Aerlanican in a five mile radius will descend on them like wolves to a scrap of meat."

He looked to Nathan.
"Metaphorically, of course...they...they're not going to just hurt someone for as little reason as that."

Kiki could tell that William, while not lying, was not sure if he was telling the truth either.

Kiki smiles a little bit as Nathan looks at her in shock. “Mommy?”
“No, mijo, that’s not really going to happen. He’s just exaggerating.” She ruffles his hair. “He’s just saying that they would protect her and never let anything happen to her. Just like all of us would protect you.”
“Oh, okay.”

Tyramon wrote:

Corali nodded, still enjoying Eastrid scratching her head.
"I probably soon will be a cat. I guess I could be turning into a different animal, but we'll just have to wait and see."

Luca nods. “Okay, well, good to know.”

via Cape of Good Hope

The Occupied Territory of Aerlanica

North South North West Kansas wrote:

"Yeah it's called a Hyperbole; it's when you say something completely outrageous and insane to represent something. It's like saying your mother is so beautiful a fleet of a thousand ships would launch to meet her...I mean, yeah, she's that beautiful, but no one's going to be able to get a fleet of ships that big and launch them to meet your mother."

via Cape of Good Hope

The Republic of Monsone

Aerlanica wrote:-snip-

Aerlanica wrote:-snip-

New Franco

The moment Ta'lhqejk set foot in the science center, they couldn't help but sense a feeling of desolation. Remnants of displays and technologies once deemed the future, faded memories of better times, they were a poignant reminder of the dangers and delicacy of life and humanity. It would have been nice to visit the science center in its heyday. Having missed out on many important historical eras and events, Ta'lhqejk would often find themself wondering what it would have been like to experience these moments firsthand as opposed to through photos and films. This building was merely another reminder of what happens when exiled to a hinterland for over a century.

Sensing the change in gravitational force, there was a moment of panic. Of all the things Ta'lhqejk had planned for, a gravitational anomaly had not been accounted for. But it wasn't an inconvenience, and so they pressed on, towards the statue. Clearly, a scientist and possibly the founder of the facility (or at least someone very important in the realm of sciences in New Franco), a moment of admiration was given to the spiritual symbolism the statue symbolized before proceeding towards the building and its enormous car park.

The courtyard would have perhaps once been a pretty spot to visit. But now, it simply was abandoned and in a state of severe disrepair. Widespread battle damage both inside and outside of the building shocked Ta'lhqejk insofar as nobody had bothered to clear it out. Then again, it seemed that the science center had been neglected for the last thirty or so years. Meanwhile, the interior followed a similar trend. Some things were picked over, others left mostly in fact, and others in various states of neglect and disrepair. It seemed that there was no willpower left in the city to keep a semblance of order and cleanliness, and that had the effect of making Ta'lhqejk question the very basis of the society that composed New Franco. Why were they so callous and ignorant as to let the city sink this far? Aside from the remote charging system, the city seemed to have not been properly ruled in decades.

Meanwhile, the voice took Ta'lhqejk aback. Sounding deranged, chaotic, incoherent, and dramatically debauched simultaneously, it wasn't so much a reason for concern as it was a reason for perplexion. After glancing about and locating the source of the voice, Ta'lhqejk rolled their eyes. The man had the appearance of a sickly being, somebody who spent all their money on substances both legal and illegal. With random baubles and belongings sticking out of every pocket, the man was less of a threat and more of a charity case in the eyes of Ta'lhqejk. His grammar especially left a lot to be desired. Either the language was not his native tongue, or something had caused him to speak in such a strange manner. And his white irises, well, they were seemingly less "normal" than Ta'lhqejk's red irises. Nothing about this man inspired confidence in the eyes of the Varlokiri deity.

After receiving confirmation that this indeed was--regrettably--Alex, Ta'lhqejk let out a silent sigh while enduring his mostly incoherent speech. Indeed, this would have been a tolerable situation if Alex hadn't decided to sniff out Ta'lhqejk. As a byproduct of a rigid society with many specific rules of etiquette, sniffing somebody outside of a very narrow and intimate set of circumstances was considered deeply uncivilized. And then his rambling comments which seemed like a word game for the mind began to set Ta'lhqejk on edge. Perhaps they could have forgiven the sniffing if Alex hadn't proceeded to act in such a way that every moment became immensely painful to endure. Each and every word he uttered caused Ta'lhqejk to mentally demand him to shut up. They needed silence before Alex's words grated further on them and drove them mad.

Despite Alex's relatively nice and mostly coherent questions at the end, Ta'lhqejk couldn't take it anymore. The last thing they wanted and needed was a migraine. Alex suddenly found himself floating as the Varlokiri deity rubbed their temples in frustration. He would note an inability to speak, and an inability to escape despite being no more than several centimeters off the ground. Ta'lhqejk wasn't in the mood for foolish games or humor; there was a task at hand and it had to be completed.

"I am not your friend. But, I'm also not your enemy. Now, I also need you to be silent. Otherwise, you might well space out on me and prove to be useless." Ta'lhqejk firmly said while staring Alex in the eyes from behind their glasses. "And don't go around calling people old, it is very rude. Plus, I still look f****** fabulous after all these millennia. I can still make mortals jealous with my mere looks."

"Now, let us talk business. I am a very busy person with a schedule to follow. I don't have to time exalt my own achievements and appearances. Now, shall we proceed? Yes, we shall." Rhetorically asked Ta'lhqejk as Alex still found himself in his aforementioned predicament, unable to protest. "Do you know who Iblion is? Perhaps a photo will refresh your memory."

Summoning a photo, they showed it to Alex. It was a still photo of Iblion marked as being the property of the SIM, implying very heavily that either Erich gave Ta'lhqejk the photo, or they "borrowed" it from the Monsonian government.

"I need to find this Celestial, and I do have reason to believe that you know where he may be. Knowing that there are two paths we can follow. Either you tell me exactly what I need to know, and this all comes to an end in a swift and calm manner, or, you refuse to cooperate. If that ends up being the case, you will not want to know what I am capable of when enraged. Thus, I strongly suggest you cooperate. Understood? Good."

At that point, Ta'lhqejk unmuted Alex and unbound him after lowering him onto the floor.

"Go ahead, speak. You're free to talk." They told the man. "But don't try anything stupid, or you will find yourself bound and silenced once more."



via Cape of Good Hope

The Senatorial Badger Republic of Oateria

(might be off track but whatever)

Oateria attempts to contact Rei Khan's dissident government through radio transceivers.

via Cape of Good Hope

The Occupied Territory of Aerlanica

Monsone wrote:-snip-

Alex's grin grew wide as he saw the photo, and he began to cackle in a further deranged manner.

"Know of him? no, more, more, more I know than you know now..."

he stared at Ta'lhqejk, reached into one of his many pockets, and produced a single hair in a stoppered test tube. Etched into it was a title; "Iblion".

"Come he did, trade he did, ask to find the boy, Spencer..." he twitched suddenly and violently, briefly losing his train of thought before finding it equally as fast, "...Spencer...old friend, friendly friend...so kind...wanted to know if the boy and the broken Priestess were dead, but not dead did I see, alive, yes, but dead I said...friend..."

He grew sullen.
"Not many friends we h-" he twitched violently and screamed, curling into a ball on the ground before stumbling around. "No! Not we!" he laughed, "Me! Alex...one..."

He slammed his fists on his head as he continued to scream, and Ta'lhqejk rolled their eyes and reached into their minds...

...their?

What she found was not a single, uniform mind. It was a fractal; Alex's mind was shattered by a staggering amount of psychic damage, so much so it should have killed him. However, his mind had now descended infinately into an ever widening fractal of bickering, screaming, laughing, crying and protesting fragments. It wasn't substances, indeed there was no poison in his veins, but it was as if someone, or something slammed his mind with a sledgehammer, leaving the broken pieces to scatter apart and break further before haphazardly meshing together in a way that only created more confusion, chaos and madness. Through the mind, Ta'lhqejk saw flashes of memories, brief strips twisted and distorted beyond recognition ever forcibly tried to be pulled together and comprehended but only to slip through several hundred fingers screaming in rage and desperation, lusting to be reassembled, begging for freedom from this torment. Ta'lhqejk investigated his body, and sensed no poison in his brain or body.

Then, as Ta'lhqejk pressed a bit too far, they grew silent, as they, with Alex, turned to adress Ta'lhqejk.

"Rude...but understandable." Came the response. The mind was different, bombarding Ta'lhqejk with millions of different replies, some violent, some welcoming, others apologetic.

He tilted his head as Ta'lhqejk raised the picture once more.

"You said Iblion came to you," Ta'lhqejk said, "to find Spencer and...the broken priestess?"

Alex nodded.
"A trade, we made, something for something, similar weight, but not fair," Alex said with a giggle, "knowledge is power, power, to know how to do is better than doing, but not know I did lie he did...a hair I asked for, false information he gained...too broken to read, to hard to comprehend, to think...to think..."

Alex twitched as he paused.

"You wish to find him, find him you shall, but trade in the way he did you cannot provide; old new you are-"

"It's rude to call me old."

"But I am wrong and right; old your mind is, but your body is new, not made by your hand, but controlled by your mind...made from seed of humanity in the lab of the bug, warped by the sorrowful and his anger and rage, imprinted by you, who lept from their mind to walk this planet named after a god."

Alex smiled chaotically.

"Slain by the sorrowful, who now deems himself guilty, only to be reborn by his rage at the half-breed's ignorance...mind is old, body is new, and body is not you...so no hair I ask, but something else...something mor-" he compulsively let out a laugh, "-something more! Trade! Trade!"

Ta'lhqejk paused.
"What do you want."

Alex smiled.

"Friend...Alex has n-no friends..." tears seeped into his smiling face, "...only voices that scream and scream...after the walking nightmare, no one wanted to be Alex's friend, placed me away, into quilted prison to be poked and poked and poked and poked! and Poked!" he let out a scream before stopping suddenly.

"Left...yes...left not right...leaved...ran...cold...no friends...then Spencer...Spencer became friend but then the wistful witch took him away to Iblion...then no more friends...I want friends...but I cannot have friends because there are so many of us...but now we only have dust and echoes...silence, loud silence..."

He looked at the silent atrium, then to Ta'lhqejk.

"Trade." he said simply.

via Cape of Good Hope

The Conflicted Warzone of Rei Khan

North South North West Kansas wrote:“Ah, Corali...” Luca points out the tail. “Is that one of the side effects?”

Max smiles. “Good. August, I still can’t believe I’m a grandpa. I feel way too young to be a grandpa.”

Noelle follows her with the camera, giving her a thumbs up and gesturing for her to keep going and explain some of the backstory.

Kira smiles. “Okay. Good. I... sometimes I wonder if I’m enough for you. I just want you to be happy.”

He walks around the city in circles for hours, trying to figure out where the voice is coming from. Finally, he sees a little girl in a soft blue dress sitting on the docks looking out over the ocean, humming that same melody to herself and dangling her feet off the edge of the pier.

Thomas laughed. "Think how I feel."

"Its been a year - no, two - since the love of my life went missing. War records claim he's dead, but I've not seen the body. Nor ashes. Nor anything from the military. I'm starting to believe he isn't dead, that someones covering something up."

"You make me happy." Kyra said firmly.

Oateria wrote:(might be off track but whatever)

Oateria attempts to contact Rei Khan's dissident government through radio transceivers.

"Who is this?" The Khanians ask, the transceiver making the speakers voice crackle. "How did you get this frequency?"

via Cape of Good Hope

The Senatorial Badger Republic of Oateria

Rei Khan wrote:

"Who is this?" The Khanians ask, the transceiver making the speakers voice crackle. "How did you get this frequency?"

A man in a simultaneously gruff and squeaky voice replies "My name is Rade Stanjevic...I'm a major for the Oaterian Buereau of Investigations Federal. We have orders from Raziel to contact you and assist you in any way possible. That includes militarily."

via Cape of Good Hope

The Conflicted Warzone of Rei Khan

Oateria wrote:A man in a simultaneously gruff and squeaky voice replies "My name is Rade Stanjevic...I'm a major for the Oaterian Buereau of Investigations Federal. We have orders from Raziel to contact you and assist you in any way possible. That includes militarily."

"Ah. Oaterian, then. This is Commander James Halvaran, leader of the Khanian Resistance. Normally we'd call upon Aerlanica for help with this, but they're otherwise occupied. I understand the Orion has a high profile prisoner thats Oaterian? Meet me at the Takhi Diner in Bucharan on Augusta, and we'll discuss getting him home safe." James said. "Bring two guards, and I'll bring two of my own. You'll know you've found me when I say 'Romero is coming soon, lets just order drinks.'."

via Cape of Good Hope

The Rei Khans Wife of North South North West Kansas

Aerlanica wrote:"Yeah it's called a Hyperbole; it's when you say something completely outrageous and insane to represent something. It's like saying your mother is so beautiful a fleet of a thousand ships would launch to meet her...I mean, yeah, she's that beautiful, but no one's going to be able to get a fleet of ships that big and launch them to meet your mother."

Kiki blushes heavily as Nathan just looks between them in confusion.

Rei Khan wrote:Thomas laughed. "Think how I feel."

"Its been a year - no, two - since the love of my life went missing. War records claim he's dead, but I've not seen the body. Nor ashes. Nor anything from the military. I'm starting to believe he isn't dead, that someones covering something up."

"You make me happy." Kyra said firmly.

Max laughs. “You’ll get used to it. Being a dad is both the most rewarding and terrifying thing you can possibly do.”

Noelle comes in closer with the camera.

Kira smiles. “That’s the goal.”

via Cape of Good Hope

The Conflicted Warzone of Rei Khan

North South North West Kansas wrote:Kiki blushes heavily as Nathan just looks between them in confusion.

Max laughs. “You’ll get used to it. Being a dad is both the most rewarding and terrifying thing you can possibly do.”

Noelle comes in closer with the camera.

Kira smiles. “That’s the goal.”

"I got the terrified part down." Thomas laughed.

She looked up. "I feel in my heart he's alive. And I'll find him."

Kyra kissed her gently. "Score."

via Cape of Good Hope

The Rei Khans Wife of North South North West Kansas

Rei Khan wrote:"I got the terrified part down." Thomas laughed.

She looked up. "I feel in my heart he's alive. And I'll find him."

Kyra kissed her gently. "Score."

Max laughs with him. “Hey, I’ve been a dad for almost 20 years and I’m still terrified.” He gently runs his fingers through the sleeping Macy’s hair. “Just... don’t blink, or you’ll miss it. Enjoy all of it, it goes by way too fast.” He chuckles. “Damn, now I just sound like a sentimental old man.”

Noelle nods and stops the camera. “Great! That was perfect. Now... I think we need a scene to add a plot line, some kind of conflict or obstacle for our main character maybe?”

Kira smiles. “Yeah, I scored big time.”

via Cape of Good Hope

The Republic of Monsone

Aerlanica wrote:-snip-

Ta'lhqejk couldn't believe the situation they found themselves in. Screaming loudly, their mind declared that becoming 'friends' with Alex--even if only in name--would be a mistake. Meanwhile, their heart pitied the existence of Alex. The torment in his mind had convinced their heart to take the offer made by Alex, even if it was far from clear what it entailed. But the mind fought back, determined to win. After all, was Ta'lhqejk not the Goddess of Wisdom and Fortune? Had they forgotten to consider the implications saying yes may have? Still, the heart retorted with a plea for sympathy.

Denigration from Alex caused the mind to go so far as to suggest being merciful and ending his tormented existence. From the perspective of the mind, it was the merciful and just solution. The heart protested by pointing out the opportunity for information in exchange for an otherwise innocuous favor. After all, the poor man seemed to need a friend--even if only in name--more than he needed the solemn silence of death. Still, the mind persisted. What was to prevent Alex from betraying Ta'lhqejk, or furthering hurling insults? Why should anyone trust someone so rude and disrespectful? It was obvious the heart disagreed but did concede the point regarding insults. Yet, it stood firm in its convictions. Friendship was but a minor trade for what was valuable information.

While this played out inside Ta'lhqejk's soul, they stood silently. Their face was a sample as always, seemingly both waxy and ashen at the same time, their eyes cold and unforgiving as always, and their hair the color of dulled and unpolished platinum. Yet something about them was clearly different. Alex's words had taken effect on Ta'lhqejk and had awoken something deep inside the farthest reaches of their mind. There was a change in air pressure and temperature; the room's temperature plunged. Ta'lhqejk looked Alex dead in the eye and removed their glasses to reveal the glowing brightness of their red irises in the shadows of the science center. A smirk painted itself on their face, revealing sharp and inhuman teeth more befitting of a beast.

"So you want to befriend me?" Asked Ta'lhqejk in a voice that sounded both divine and demonic at the same time, cool and soothing, yet sinister in a subdued and calming manner. "Very well then, I will be your friend."

They outstretched a hand towards Alex, its pale fingers seemingly radiating light amid the shadows, much like the rest of their body. Ta'lhqejk's skin seemed to have a gentle glow to it, almost like the full moon on a clear and cloudless night.

"Friend...friend...friend..." Alex let the word roll around in his mouth. "Friend!" He exclaimed after a moment savoring the taste of the word, seemingly trying to establish every undertone it carried.

"Correct, we are 'friends.'" Stated Ta'lhqejk as they lowered their outstretched hand while still speaking in their undertone-laden tone of voice. "And we will remain friends so long as you don't betray me."

Alex was seemingly struct by Ta'lhqejk's statement, perhaps even a bit confounded. Everything about Ta'lhqejk seemed unclear at the moment. Friendly gestures and words carried a swirling undertone of risk and implicit venom. The smirk and demonic teeth alongside the glowing eyes inspired little confidence. And Ta'lhqejk's literal radiance wasn't without an undertone of nefariousness. It was obvious that they sought to make a message of some sort.

"Now Alex, where is Iblion." Said Ta'lhqejk in their normal tone of voice, their undertone-laden voice and radiance gone, even though their glowing eyes and smirk persisted. "And remember what I said about deceiving me!" They added on in a fake tone of voice that was overly friendly and incredibly sugary. It practically was dripping in syrup despite the tone it implied; completely out of character even for Ta'lhqejk when they felt most charitable and caring.

Nobody ever received this amount of kindness unless it was a veiled threat.

via Cape of Good Hope

The Senatorial Badger Republic of Oateria

Rei Khan wrote:-snip-

"Sounds good. In the meantime, stay safe out there."

The OBIF begins to launch a transport to Bucharan.

via Cape of Good Hope

The Intergalactic Federation of Roxium

Tyramon wrote:*SNIP*

Aerlanica wrote:*SNIP*

Monsone wrote:*SNIP*

Augusta

Radiation from the destroyed Hing-Myong Arcane Fission Power Plant is now detectable over a large swath of Augusta's northern hemisphere. The sections of the Monsone border closest to the power plant are now heavily contaminated. In North South North West Kansas, Corali is likely able to sense a very faint "magic" signature, which happens to be trace amounts of arcanic radiation.

Shingukai

The "Distortion" seemingly "Teleports" to a distance of over 3,000 kilometers above a point just south of Kemptburge, the apparent "Teleportation" a result of the LIDARR array having A LOT of trouble trying to detect and track the object. Minutes later two small energy pulses are detected simultaneously. Strangely enough, there's still only a single "Distortion" that continues to move/"Teleport" unpredictably in the orbital space above Kemptburge.

Unknown to the Imperial Air Force, the Cicada ship they tried to fire the missile at left, with a new one taking its place. Due to the limitations of Cicada's current level of ship cloaking technology, their ships that can both cloak and go FTL can only remain cloaked for limited periods of time. This means that in order to keep an eye on Spencer from orbit while also being cloaked, they have to swap out the ship assigned to said task on a semi-frequent basis.
Cicada has three ships assigned to the mission of keeping an eye on Spencer. The first of the ships has finished its "shift" and has hyperwarped out at the same time the second ship hyperwarped in. The third ship will come in once the second one's "shift" ends. When the third one's "shift" ends, the first one will come back, starting the cycle all over again.

Anomaly

A number of new theories begin cropping up that expand upon the ones speculating that Celestials are responsible for the Jin-Rya Magnetic Hazard. The new theories speculate that either Iblion, Azerian, or an unknown Celestial created it for a currently still unknown purpose. A temporary lab of sorts is established near the side of the Jin-Rya Magnetic Hazard furthest away from the nearby front line of the ongoing Third Rox-Kaiz War.

At some point while the lab was being established, work was forced to halt due to an attempted push by Kaizen forces at one end of the Magnetic Hazard. The Kaizen Empire seemed unaware of the Magnetic Hazard as two of its fleets involved in the attempted push flew right into it, leading to the complete loss of one of the fleets and a trio of ships from the other fleet managed to turn back and retreat. One of the unlucky ships drops out of hyperwarp in orbit of Du Pou as a mangled wreck, the Magnetic Hazard continuing to rip said wreck apart even further. The ship in question is a Belasky-class heavy spratzner, the Kaiz equivalent of a Roxium heavy battle cruiser. The Belasky-class heavy spratzner is about 850 meters in length.
During the fight, a number of missiles and stray shots from both sides fly into the Magnetic Hazard.

CEVA

"Inaki shares the same sentiment you have in regards to the other two organizations. He clearly sees value in us working with them, but they don't seem to have that same opinion. While I don't fully know what COURRIER's problem is, the problems between Cicada and SIM seem to mostly be the result of Inaki causing an... incident in the orbital space of Monsone's capital world. As for the pilot of the other CEVA, the higher ups had the foresight to use a remote control link, so CEVA 0 Mark 1b's pilot never left the Longinus. Unfortunately, Iblion's corruption of the CEVA had an adverse effect on the pilot's mind. We know the pilot suffered psychological contamination, but to what extent is still unknown." says Risato.

via Cape of Good Hope

The Occupied Territory of Aerlanica

Monsone wrote:-snip-

Alex didn't mind, and indeed, Ta'lhqejk could sense thusly. His smile, wide and chaotic, remained friendly if in an offputting way. And yet, Ta'lhqejk could see some semblance of coherent intelligence behind that fractured, chaotic mind. How strange; coherent and incoherent at the same time.

"Friend! Yes, Alex-I help old-new friend! I help Friend! Friends help friends!" He said, before descending into incomprehensible chittering.

He paced chaotically, his path undefinable and unmappable, his brow growing furrowed as his he continued to murmur nonsensical phrases that had no sense. He paused, looked up, looked around, awkwardly gestured in a direction and wandered, following his finger. He paused and turned over his shoulder at Ta'lhqejk and let out a small giggle before frowning, smiling and letting out a...strange gasping sound.

"Friend follows me? friend follows me yes yes! Follow! Follow!"

Alex stumbled along the floors of the science centre, stepping over fallen debris and forgotten displays, before eventually reaching a ramp. They began to ascend this curving ramp that followed the contors of the wall with a landing at the first and second levels. To the left, flickering screens showed various exhibits including a holographic planetarium of the solar system, a lab to show off the most "advanced" robotics of the time, a faraday cage containing a large pylon of electricity, and much much more. Typical novel scientific phenomena that would instill a sense of awe and wonder in the minds of small children.

"So...Alex-you said...something about...horse...bikes and gangs and hostages with this city...what...happened?"

"You cannot hear them? the echoes?"

Ta'lhqejk frowned.
"What...Echoes?"

"The Echoes of the Past? they whisper, so loudly but silent...I can h-hear them-" he twitched suddenly, his vocal chords rebelling briefly against Alex, "-hear...them..."

He looked down at the floor below and pointed to another splatter of blood.

"He-who-seeks-order stood there...child in hand and gun in other. About to kill, about to destroy...but the Librarian, who rode in with his horse bikes stopped there-" he pointed to another region of the floor, where Ta'lhqejk could see the burns from a tire sliding across the floor, leaving behind remnant rubber, "-and caught he-who-seeks-order off guard...two shots-Bam Bam! and he-who-seeks-order lost his head."

Alex nodded.
"Great fight in here...great fight indeed...where the horsebikes sought to free many...but free'd too much they did...too much freedom...not enough strength...the lust for freedom against Tyranny overcame them and the beacon fell, never to be assembled again...all gone."

He sighed.

"Sad." was his conclusion.

He turned to Ta'lhqejk.

"Iblion didn't think sad, he thought silly; was mean it me...mean to spencer...spencer is also my friend, but I cannot find him...hidden he is...by the broken priestess..."

He continued upwards into another level which had various dioramas showing off various tectonic plate movements. Several were scattered and damaged, but a few remained and, above one, a perpetual, minaturised storm rained down upon the models of various citizens in an earthquake stricken city, frozen forever in fear. There was also what appeared in a tall glass cube to be a simulation of a whirlpool which, despite the glass being broken and long since scattered to the floor, the water remained, slowly gyrating around said whirlpool.

"You met the broken priestess," Alex said, "I can smell her on you...is she friendly?"

North South North West Kansas wrote:-snip-

Azalea let out an annoyed, ashamed, and frustrated sigh.

"All my fault...I couldn't save him..."

She sighed.

"i'm...I'm sorry I'm...defective...maybe it would've been easier if I had an...AT field or whatever you call it...or a strong one at least."

via Cape of Good Hope

The Rei Khans Wife of North South North West Kansas

Aerlanica wrote:snip

(Um... pretty sure this was meant for someone else?? I’m confused lol. Here’s my last post again in case you need it ;P)

North South North West Kansas wrote:Kiki blushes heavily as Nathan just looks between them in confusion.

Max laughs. “You’ll get used to it. Being a dad is both the most rewarding and terrifying thing you can possibly do.”

Noelle comes in closer with the camera.

Kira smiles. “That’s the goal.”

via Cape of Good Hope

The Occupied Territory of Aerlanica

North South North West Kansas wrote:(Um... pretty sure this was meant for someone else?? I’m confused lol. Here’s my last post again in case you need it ;P)

Yeah William is also blushing as well???

Did i misread?

via Cape of Good Hope

The Rei Khans Wife of North South North West Kansas

Aerlanica wrote:Yeah William is also blushing as well???

Did i misread?

Kiki shakes her head. “We should get going, if we catch the train now we can be in Waffle Valley before it gets dark.”
(I think maybe you got messed up on the quote or something?? Idk. You quoted me but I think the part after that was meant for monsone)

via Cape of Good Hope

The Occupied Territory of Aerlanica

North South North West Kansas wrote:Kiki shakes her head. “We should get going, if we catch the train now we can be in Waffle Valley before it gets dark.”
(I think maybe you got messed up on the quote or something?? Idk. You quoted me but I think the part after that was meant for monsone)

"Well we have to wait a bit for Harold and Darcy."

******

As Darcy was in the shower, Cory saw her phone ring; it was Harold.

via Cape of Good Hope

The Rei Khans Wife of North South North West Kansas

Aerlanica wrote:"Well we have to wait a bit for Harold and Darcy."

******

As Darcy was in the shower, Cory saw her phone ring; it was Harold.

Kiki nods. “Right. Well, they should be back soon. Maybe we should pack up some stuff for Blue?”

Cory knocks on the door. “Hey, Darcy? You got Harold calling you out here, you want me to grab it?”

via Cape of Good Hope

The Senatorial Badger Republic of Oateria

A small, silver car enters the lot for the Takhi Diner.

stepping out is major for the Oaterian Beaureau, Rade Stanjevic, in casual clothes. His guards were too dressed in casual clothes- He wanted to not arouse suspicion from watchful eyes.

The car was a Maresha Plotit, a midrange Oaterian car. At least from the outside. On the inside it could resemble a walking armory, mainly used for undercover missions.

Stanjevic and his men entered the diner, waiting for the Rei Khan Commander.

via Cape of Good Hope

The Republic of Monsone

Roxium wrote:-snip-

Aerlanica wrote:-snip-

Kemptburge

At this point, the Imperial Air Force was done with chasing ghosts. Obviously, they knew Cicada was up to its tricks once more, constantly violating the sovereignty and dignity of Shingukai in the process. Given they could do nothing about the situation, they simply chose to give up. Right now, it was too hard and resource-intensive to try and instill the local rules into Cicada's playbook. Radio transmissions caused them to scamper, they cannot be frightened with shows of force, and detection is next to impossible even with instruments designed to tolerances thousands of times more precise than even those present on the most advanced military hardware.

The best thing that could be done in this situation, was to do nothing. Ignore the antics, pretend they weren't occurring. Nobody could do anything about them, and thus there was no hope for a solution. At least not for the moment. Because, when even the Monsonians couldn't be bothered to care about the antics, it was clear that the government of Noterrae was worn out and pissed. Sick of intrusions, annoyed at the insolence, and frustrated at the inability to retaliate, there was nothing they could do. It was a painful fact to acknowledge for many of the prideful governments, and yet also the truth. Impotence was a powerful morale-crusher in the short term, even if the situation's solution was being rolled out of an underground hanger in the highlands of western Kravkazia.

Western Varlokaria, Monsone

Due to Iblion's attack, the areas most affected by the radiation had experienced a significant outflow of the populace. However, the rising radiation levels prompted an official evacuation order. Obeyed by the remaining residents, the entire area was cordoned off and depopulated within a period of six hours. Roadblocks prevented people from entering the closed area, with signs warning of dangerous radiation levels and suggesting the need to seek immediate medical attention following radiation exposure.

Evacuees from the area would be administered iodine tablets along with the rest of Varlokaria's populace to reduce their risk of developing thyroid cancer. Meanwhile, everybody and everything previously present in the contaminated area was subject to a decontamination process. Officials from the Nuclear Safety Board, the Ministry of the Interior, and the Ministry of Health, assisted in washing pets and belongings. For their part, evacuees were made to shower and trim their nails following their dose of iodine tablets. Meanwhile, they were constantly monitored for signs of radiation sickness. Radiation detectors also traced the amount of radiation they emitted. When within normal levels, they were sent to hotels that were acting as shelters for the evacuees.

The local and national authorities use the situation to point out a perceived fault in the Roxian nuclear industry. It is pointed out by Monsonian nuclear scientists and architects that the blast Iblion caused relative to the location of the arcane fission plant should not have caused severe enough damage to the plant as to cause a catastrophic radiation release. A case is made suggesting that the Hing-Myong Arcane Fission Power Plant was either built with subpar materials or not equipped with a reinforced cement-steel double-containment structure as standard on all Monsonian plants built in the last five decades. The basis for this assumption comes from the nature of the plant's accident. Many suggest that the plant's controls were compromised, precluding an ability to control the reactors once damaged, further implying substandard practices given the notion that critical controls could be so vulnerable.

A theory not publicly mentioned was the perception that arcane fission did not have the same level of safety compared to low-enriched uranium. Scientists and engineers working with and for the Monsonian government detail that the destruction of a containment building--while catastrophic--should not be sufficient to compromise the pressure vessel. And even if compromised, the pressure vessel should have remained almost entirely intact following the blast given the protection afforded by the containment building. With even, a truly worst-case scenario, flooding the remains of the pressure vessel and containment building with a constant flow of heavy water would have theoretically been enough to prevent a meltdown if the reactor ran on uranium. It is suggested that arcane fission cannot be controlled so easily, and thus the reactors once compromised could not be brought back under control.

Regardless of who believed what, the accident was considered suspicious given the circumstances under which it had occurred. Given the threat posed by radiation and the importance of an arcane fission plant, practically everybody in Monsone with an opinion on the issue found it strange that the Roxian government wasn't being more proactive in determining the precise cause of the accident outside of the explosion. After all, when Iblion detonated an EMP above Varlokaria and shorted the grid out, the reactors present simply SCRAMed themselves before switching to the natural circulation of coolant and emergency power. In effect, the border demonstrated two completely distinct circumstances of what occurs when reactors face abnormal circumstances.

There were stark differences.

New Franco

"Could he possibly stop smelling me? Of all the things to pick up on from my perfume to the faint smell of my clothes, he picks up on the incredibly faint lingering smell of Alena? And yet to still dodge the point, how odd." Ta'lhqejk thought to themself while following Alex. "The constant discussions of history, the ramblings with no end. Going to Hogan first might have been a better option. At least I think he speaks in fairly standard and comprehensible English, which is something I would absolutely kill for right now."

"I can see why Iblion was mean to him. If I'm getting irritated, Iblion would be exceedingly irate at this point, and Erich would probably have killed Alex when he uttered an incoherent phrase." They remarked internally, their thoughts confined to the impregnable walls of their mind. "I really do want to pity him, really, I do. But he is grating on me. What the hell do I do in a moment like this? What can I do? S***, why can't he answer my question directly? Really, I don't get why he has to take me on this ridiculous tour while chatting on and on about horse-bikes and other s*** like that. Ugh, I'd kill for a drink right now. Or maybe some intellectual company. College students, politicians, scientists, I don't care. I just need to have an intellectually stimulating discussion."

When finally Alex came to a halt, Ta'lhqejk couldn't help but roll their eyes. All this walking and all those words, and yet no progress had been made in finding where Iblion may be. To say that they were slightly pissed off wouldn't be an understatement given that Ta'lhqejk had somewhat begrudgingly agreed to humor Alex's demands. "I swear he is either trying to get a rise out of me or legitimately doesn't know who valuable time is. If he doesn't provide an answer soon, I might have to break his legs and then move on. Truly, I don't want to do that, but I think he doesn't understand or care enough to answer me in a direct manner. Either he has lied to me and doesn't know the answer, or he is fooling me. Either way, this will end soon."

"Listen, Alex," Ta'lhqejk said in a firm tone of voice. "I really don't give a f*** about your illusions and delusions right now. Why should I? Right now I am doing what no intelligence agency has dared do, what no mortal has dared to do. My job right now isn't to play to people's fancies or entertain them. My job right now is to follow my sacred oath, and save the bloody universe from being destroyed by Iblion."

"There is going to be a whole lot more bloodshed if I don't do my job. Every moment I waste is potentially another dozen lives down the drain." Emphasized Ta'lhqejk while beginning to pace around Alex. "You can preach about the echoes you hear, or the sights you see, but those aren't going to bring back the dead. Those aren't going to save lives. Each moment you don't answer my question puts your friend Spencer's life into further jeopardy. Iblion is hunting him, and I need to get to Iblion before he gets to Spencer again. Do you understand? Can you see why I am getting a bit annoyed?"

"Everything is going to be gone. Lost." They said emphatically. "So if Spencer is truly your friend, as you claim he is, you'll tell me where Iblion is. If you truly care about his [Spencer's] life and wellbeing, you will tell me where Iblion is. This isn't a game, this isn't an illusion. This is real life. There are consequences to be had when mistakes are made. Those mistakes will be paid for in the blood of innocents, which will be mercilessly spilled by Iblion in his quest for universal domination. His pitiful mockery of you does not compare to his ruthlessness in conquest and battle. He will stop at nothing to see his goals achieved. There is nobody who can stop him once he has unleashed his full power. We either stop him now, or we are doomed."

"So, answer the question. Where is Iblion hiding?" Asked Ta'lhqejk after pausing momentarily to stare Alex dead in the eyes.

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