NationStates Jolt Archive

At The Center The Rot Is Deep

New Ortaga
15-03-2005, 04:13

Whisper Palace, Silesia, New Ortaga, Roum System, Hegemony of New Ortaga
1900, Roum Local Standard

Silesia was not the City of the Corrins any longer. Just as their bloodline had been abolished, so had the city in which they had invested so much of their power and designs. Channing Ansel breathes deep the biting wind that tears into his face from the sprawling industrial canyons and towers of the new Silesia—his Silesia.

Even the Whisper Palace is radically different from the Corrin monument that originally held the name. It is now a towering edifice—black, gray, and deep hued blue rock and metal creation that dominates the ever-growing skyline of Silesia. Channing smiles as leans forward against the balcony railing, drinking in the grandeur of the glittering sea of eternal lights, the regiment rows of air traffic, and the energy that possesses his city, his Silesia.

The Hegemon of New Ortaga is allowed such illusions; in fact His Excellency deserves such illusions. And so the rest of the “Interim” Governing Council works tirelessly to make sure Silesia knows no flaws, so it remains the perfect world Channing Ansel spoke so boldly of as he led the angered and desperate mobs tired of the Corrin excess and tired of the Zabi family’s hold over the Ortagan ducal line. His Excellency is never allowed to see the flaws, the outlying sections of the Hegemony’s home world that go without power so that Silesia may have its fill. The starving masses locked away in prison camps in Seljuk, Axis, Dylar, and Gryps so that Silesia may know no hunger. He never sees the decay that consumes other cities of the Hegemony on New Edo, Immolan, St. Ives, and Gadsen so supplies for the Hegemon’s public work projects in Silesia may always have enough.

Yes, the vast Great March the Hegemony claims could feed a thousand Silesia—feed its need for resources, its need for food, its need for water, and its need for energy. But the Hegemony’s Solar Forces have always come first. And as the military of the Hegemony expands at a rate that would make Silesia’s immense growth seem like a pinprick, so the vital supplies necessary for life shrink. Inflation is starting to spiral out of control, the plethora of welfare and social security programs mandated by His Excellency struggle to meet their own increasing demands. The Hegemony is dying, literally eating itself alive.

And suddenly Channing Ansel feels his elation fade as his eyes stray to four double-rows of metal-coated skeletons nailed to vast metal crosses. The glittering cityscape of Silesia recedes in his vision, replaced by an image forever burned into his mind. He sees the sonic jet lift off from Lyra military base, bound for safer territory on New Ortaga’s southern continents. He sees the contrail streaking toward the jet from down the tarmac, and he watches as the plane carrying his wife, his two sons, and his other daughter explodes in a incandescent ball of flame. His throat burns in remembrance of a thousand hoarse screams, his hands clench remembering how they grabbed Kendra in a death grip as he shouted damnation at Earl Gihren Zabi and the Archduke Poul Corrin. He feels his pulse and breath quicken as his eyes search over the glistening skeletons, the monuments to his still insatiable wrath.

“Never again,” he mummers at the glittering remnants of Gihren Zabi, “never again.”


Channing spins around, memories and facts swimming together in an indistinguishable blur. At last his eyes lock on the face of Kendra Ansel, now so much older than the girl he held so close at Lyra.

“Yes….Kendra?” his voice is still strained.

“The Council will be assembling shortly. I thought you might like to hear my reports from the Observers before you go.”

“Yes…yes. I will of course,” Channing says, forcing his smile and he moves to embrace his daughter. “It’s good you came, as usual I would have lost the time.”

“It’s your right,” Kendra says, eyes flashing for a moment. “The Council has been far to insistent with the state of Nine Year Plan. Kagoshima and Kravchenko are far to pessimistic about all this. The Wickians and the Seljukites are simply not pulling their weight is all. It is simply impossible for our economic welfare to be as bad as they say.”

“We shall see, we shall see. Isoruko has a head for such things, Kendra. He just merely is too obsessed with his numbers from time to time.”

“If you say so, Father. But I would feel more comfortable if you would let me have their departments reviewed.”

Channing says, “We’ve been over this before, Kendra.”

“And there has been no change, Kagoshima is far to impudent. Too quick to challenge Strategos Garahou and too quick to challenge you.”

Channing massages his temples, “Perhaps later Kendra, maybe. Isoruko has been with me since before…since I was still Prime Minister. He is not disloyal. But an investigation in Seljuk and Thetis might be wise.”

Channing watches his daughter nods with the satisfaction of a child stilled pleased at having a task given to it.

“I will do so at once.”

“I know. But perhaps a short meal during the reports, I neglected dinner earlier.”

“Of course, Father.”

HSF Jospero, Immolan System, Hegemony of New Ortaga
1000, Immolan Local Standard

Anita Meredith clutches her son Peter’s hand as the capsule attached the cargo conveyor Dortea shifts as the long, angular, and modular ship slips loose the bonds that hold it to the vast decaying orbital space port. She and close to fifty other people are crammed into the Dortea’s inner most capsule, desperately depending on the surety of the ship’s captain he can defeat the sensors that Solar Navy uses to guard the passage between the territory the Valinor forced the Hegemony to yield to them around the wormhole terminus between Immolan and Archangel, and the rest of the system still under the control of the Hegemony.

Fifty people, mostly women and children, with a handful of men over the age that the Solar Forces generally feeds on to swell its ranks all trying to find a way to escape the conditions of the Hegemony. They are not the first to grow sick of the ever-increasing rationing, the mandated conscription, the growing use of the Solar Forces and the Intelligence and Security Coordination’s shock troops to keep the populace in line, and the growing shortages and cutbacks that a desperate government in Roum makes in order to feed the war machine of the Hegemony. They are merely the latest group to save up enough solaris to bride the captain of a freighter bound for Valinor space to save them from the madness.

“When will we get there?” Anita’s son asks impatiently.

“Sssh!” Anita says quickly as the feed the crew rigged to the capsule crackles for a moment.

“Dortea, this is the HSS Dagger’s Kiss, stand down and prepare for inspection scan before crossing to the terminal zone,” says a coldly disinterested voice of a Solar Navy communications officer. “Refusal to submit to these orders will result in your ship being destroyed.”

The capsule lurches for a moment as the conveyor decelerates. Minutes stretch into eons as the scan comes, completely undetectable to the capsule’s occupants. The only way they will know if the Solar Navy has found them out will be the minute a battle laser pierces the capsule and sends them all into the vacuum. Ages continue to creep by, and the glisten of nervous swept becomes an increasingly common facial feature.

“Dortea you are cleared to proceed.”

Sighs and several brief eruptions of joyful laugher fill the capsule. The captain’s idea to surround the capsule interior with heavy metals and old fusion batteries bound for salvage sells in Madras have worked. Another jerk sends the passengers tumbling in the free fall. Several of the younger members of the refugees start to attempt to dance in the zero gravity. One by one they slowly collapse into the alcoves and nooks created by the materials welded to the capsule’s interior.
The speaker crackles again.

“HCC Dortea this is HMSS Demeter Wormhole Traffic Control, you have clearance to proceed into the junction queue. Your number designation is 15-Alpha. Please note that all wormhole junction numbers are subject to temporary termination due to higher priority terminal transfers,” comes the voice whose accent bears the stiff formality of the Valinor.

“Thank God,” Anita says, holding her son. They are in Valinor space, however small it is. The power of the Kriegsmarine surrounding the wormhole terminus and the might of the vast empire that lies beyond the terminus now protects her and her son from the government of Roum. The Valinor have not turned away refugees from the Great March as of yet, despite the protests from Silesia. Anita kisses her son’s hair, struggling not to cry, thankful that their ship was not one of the ones the Solar Navy caught. She remembers all to well her husband’s attempt to get to Valinor space, and screaming as she watched the Solar Navy war frigate tear the freighter he was on to shreds with its battle lasers.

“Not this time,” she says.

“To hell with the Hegemon!” shouts one of the teenagers in the group.

“Hear, hear!” says the old man with a woman who might be his daughter above Anita. Several more jeers against the Hegemon, the Strategos, the Polemarch, Kendra Ansel, and most of the Interim Governing Council of the Hegemony erupt. But Anita could care less, thankful to be away from Immolan, away from the eternal fear of saying the wrong thing or being at the wrong place at the wrong time that would result in her death. On to the safety of the Star Empire, with its vast wealth, its eternal opportunities, and above all else—sanity.
The WIck
16-03-2005, 20:13
New Ortaga
18-03-2005, 03:13
Whisper Palace, Silesia, New Ortaga, Roum System, Hegemony of New Ortaga
Three Days Later
1130 Roum Local Standard

There is a point when even the most stubborn of bureaucracies must finally admit that some measures need to be taken to ensure their continued survival. Three days ago, the Interim Governing Council of the Hegemony had to come to this conclusion, however reluctantly.

For the third straight year, the Coordinators of the Economy and Finance have been unable to stimulate any further growth across the struggling—and increasingly state-run and state-supported—Ortagan economy. Recession may soon prove inevitable. Inflation is starting to rise once again. And if the trend continues, an all out depression may be the order of the day in under a decade. The war with the last remnants of the Wickian Commonwealth proved to be no boon to the vast Hegemony, indeed it has been the largest drain on the treasury since the move to create and expand the Dylar facility.

The meeting of the Interim Governing Council ended abruptly, after Kagoshima and Kravchenko delivered their grim report the Hegemon left the Council chambers. Leaving his daughter to act in his stead. Without the presence of the Hegemon, the Council was more subdued and addressed the more mundane matters of keeping the Hegemony functioning. However, last night the so-called “inter Council” (Polemarch Galt, Strategos Garahou, Coordinator Kagoshima, and Kendra Ansel) were told to be in the Hegemon’s office the next day.

It is Channing Ansel’s real office, not the vast, ornate one maintained for state and media purposes several floors below, the four most powerful members of the Council wait. This one is located on one of the upper spires of the Whisper Palace, and is considerably more intimate, personal, and practical. From here the Great War was launched, from here the move to force the Seljukites into labor camps was decreed, and from here the last war against the Wick was decreed.

An Elite Guardsmen, dressed in the crimson uniform designed by Ansel himself, opens the door to let the Hegemon and another man in. Behind Ansel is a man who appears to be in his late twenties, a shock of blond hair partially covers his face, and he wears a uniform patterned off the current Solar Navy issue, but still covered with the great coat and shoulder epaulets that were favored more during the days of the Grand Duchy. His eyes sweep the room as he favors the occupants with a cool smirk as they all stand to show their respect for the Hegemon. The subdued glower and general feel of rage still emits from Channing Ansel, obviously not so ready to forget the last Council meeting.

“Sit down,” he says calmly as he takes his place behind his vast desk and pulls out a comp-pad.

They sit, waiting in unsteady silence.

“Recent events have forced me to realize that the time has come for considerably more drastic action than I had expected.”

“Channing-,” Kagoshima says, only to be cut off with a sharp motion of Ansel’s index finger.

“Ginias has a proposal which I feel bears considerable merit and may offer us a way to escape the current…situation. I will be submitting it to the Council tomorrow for a vote.”

When a matter is discussed in this matter, it is not up for debate. The Council will approve whatever plan Ginias Saharin has sold to the Hegemon, or there will be unpleasant consequences. None of the remaining Coordinators easily forget the fact that there were once twelve of their number, rather than the current eight. Strategos Garahou, Kendra Ansel, and Kagoshima all eye Saharin warily. Galt remains a neutral enigma, face leeched of all emotion as it always has been. No one can deny Saharin’s brilliance, too often though his brilliance for strategy and research is merely beyond the Hegemony’s means.

“Ginias if you would.”

“Of course, Your Excellency,” Saharin says as he steeples his fingers and crosses his legs. “The problem presented before us is quite simple, if your report was in full earnest, Isoruko.”

“It was.”

“Good. Quite simply we are running out of manpower, at least the quintessential cheap manpower. Due to the inflation, our own work force requires increasing wage programs in order that they don’t abandon work entirely to live out the remainder of their lives on the Secured Citizen Program. And the personnel pools on Seljuk, Thetis, and Dylar simply cannot produce the experienced and qualified type of personnel we need. Even the Solar Forces are beginning to suffer from personnel shortages.”

“But the one thing we do not lack is raw materials, or the ability to create additional infrastructure. This we have in abundance. If I may, Your Excellency?” Saharin gestures at the Hegemon’s desk controls. Ansel nods his acceptance. Saharin moves rapidly to bring up a map of the Raumreich.

“We have resources in abundance now that the Great March is fully secure. Between Gadsen, St. Ives, Axis, and Roum itself we have enough industrial capacity. And I have found a way to solve our manpower problem.”

The map spirals at Saharin’s hand to show the Talbott Cluster, and zooms to the lower third of the close community of stars.

“Maintaining and producing our own cloning facilities proved to be inherently expensive, almost to the point it annulled the potential benefits. But now we are in a position to enjoy all the advantages this system offered with none of the undue cost. This,” a single star turns yellow, “is the Mesa system, home to the Mesan Conglomerate. The Mesans have perfected considerable means of genetic engineer and mass genetic production. I am sure you already know, Jordan, the Mesans can produce anything you can dream—factor workers, engineers, soldiers, intelligence agents, and even more exotic servants.”

The Polemarch inclines his head in acknowledgement.

“But the Mesans now suffer the gravest problem of all since the discovery of the terminus connecting Alpha Centauri to Yeltsin’s Star. The Star Empire frowns upon, and that’s and understatement, genetic slavery. Both the Verniian Imperium and the Greater Empire of Vakutu, as well of the various client states of Ticonderoga and Morning Star, join them in this move. And the rest of the Cluster nations also would like nothing more than to stamp the Mesan presence out of existence. Allied with the Star Empire either the Kingdom of Noveaux Caledonia or the confederation of systems led by the Graysons and the Rembrandters could do this. The Mesans have one chance of survival: to align themselves with the only Inner March nation that has consistently vetoed attempts to make genetic slavery illegal via the Liga. They must ally with us, or gain our support in the very least, or they face extermination. And if not extermination by the other Cluster nations, then a Valinor engineered ‘regime change’.”

“And just how with this alliance serve us?” Kendra Ansel says with a degree of animosity.

“The Mesans need protection, we need manpower. The trade is simple, Director-General,” Saharin says with a wolfish smile. “In return for technological, military, and moral support the Mesan Conglomerate can provide us with a virtually unlimited means of personnel resources. The factories of St. Ives and Gadsen can be run at a fraction of their current cost. Let the millions live on the SCP allotment if they so chose. We will have workers we will only need to feed, clothe, and house. Not to mention the possible military applications—additional Marine regiments, new crew for monitors, a solution to the recalcitrance of the Solar Army legions.”

At this both Galt and Kendra Ansel glower, the displeasure of the Solar Army officer core since the end of the Great War has been a growing concern. General Kellanry’s house arrest at the end of the Revolution had been but a sign of things to come.

“Which brings us to the last part of this endeavor. The Great War gave us the potential for unlimited power. We have the resources, we can have the manpower, and now we need the wealth. There are only a few nations that can provide us with this.”

“War with Valinon!” Kagoshima suddenly erupts. “Are you insane? Even with all this vaunted manpower from the underside of the Cluster, war with Valinon will destroy us. They will-.”

“Do not be melodramatic, Isoruko,” Saharin says. “I would not propose war with Valinon any sooner than I would propose making Seljuk a full member of the Hegemony. No, we have another target that has made itself infinitely more accessible. We need a short victorious war. And the Verniians are rich for the taking. Think of it, we know the Valinor left them a considerable civilian infrastructure after their withdrawal from Acler and Gregor. But they left no appreciable military production sectors. True the Verniians have accomplished much in the recent decades, but their industrial centers are centered on Erewohn and Gregor. Remove even one of these from the equation, and the Verniians ability to maintain a military force is halved at least. Boroglia might as well be dead weight; the Boroglians destroyed their own infrastructure about as thoroughly as the Verniians could have. And Stocurm is even more worthless.”

The map spirals again, showing the portions of the Hegemony closer to Thetis, the Valinor military base of Klein, and the new Verniian system of Erewohn.

“And since the annexed Erewohn the Verniians have left themselves open to our demands. Once we have our manpower conduit to Mesa fully activated, we will start pressuring the Verniians to give us control of the terminus exit points in Erewohn.”

“The Verniians will never tolerate it,” says Garahou sarcastically.

“They do not have to. In fact let them resist and be unreasonable. It will give us all the more justification to let Kucan feed through his news-casts. Not to mention the fact it will do a favor for New Koln. How can the Verniians demand any sort of power-sharing agreement in their own star system when they won’t even consider the same themselves? When we are ready we will move against them. Secure Erewohn and then move on to Gregor. The rest of the Verniian Imperium will fall in short order once those are in our hands. And we can use the war effort to further integrate our new Mesan units and workers into our forces and infrastructure”

Channing Ansel nods, “It will also finally mean we can deliver on the promise of the Revolution. No more will the citizens have to suffer to keep the hordes outside our borders at bay. And we will no longer have to give service to the government in Alpha Centauri. All it requires is to feed some paltry weapons to the Mesans and construct a new warp-gate to connect Roum with Mesa. Then the Hegemony can finally claim the position of power we have been so long denied in the Raumreich. I will summon the rest of the Council tomorrow to demonstrate this plan once again. Jordan, Ginias, I need the both of you to remain here. The rest of you had best prepare for tomorrow.”
Five Civilized Nations
18-03-2005, 04:02
New Ortaga
22-03-2005, 01:42
Gravechenko Spire, Central Offices of the Coordination of Security and Intelligence
The Next Day (04.23.1300 AF)
1500 Roum Local Standard

Jordan Galt spins his high-backed chair to look out over the traffic patterns and glistening spires of Silesia. He steeples his fingers as he half-closes his eyes.

“You know very well the consequences of what you ask me to merely contemplate?”

“I know, Jordan,” Kagoshima Isoruko. “I know them all to well. But the course the Hegemony is currently on will lead to one inevitable conclusion: complete and total self-destruction. I think the time to implement Saharin’s plan passed long ago, and I also think that Saharin has drastically overestimated the capabilities of our industrial and manufacturing facilities outside his own secure facilities at Apocalypse Keep, Axis, and Pilgrim’s Star.”

Galt strokes his carefully trimmed goatee, “I fair assumption, Isoruko. I will concede that point at least. However, I still fail to see the point you are trying to make.”

“Kendra Ansel holds too much influence over her father, Jordan; you know that as well as I do. The entire of the Council can see it as he heeds less and less to our own combined advice. I believe even Saharin’s influence is starting to diminish. And the Observers are further aggravating matters. The tension from the Solar Army’s command ranks alone is becoming wholly unacceptable. And I am positive of the fact that the Observers will eventually force a conflict there—if not merely to weaken the possible political opponents they face from the Solar Army and your own security forces.”

“At this point such influence will be hard to break, and to remove the Hegemon may create more problems then it solves.”

“Which is why I’m not proposing that, the problem does not lie with Channing. It lies with those whose advice he heeds. And the problems lies largely with Kendra Ansel. Not to mention the problems Cima is causing in her own command structure by merely following what ever decisions Kendra chooses to condone. The Solar Army is already uneasy—and feelings that the Strategos no longer is connected with the rest of the service are starting to spread to the Solar Navy and the Solar Marines. Increasing the Observers will only prove worse.”

Galt sighs, “The tenacity of the Council must also be measured, Isoruko. At one time we could afford these internal wars between the members of the Council, and it served us well to eliminate and restructure our ranks. But I am wary of unleashing such action again. Even since Crynad was removed from his position as Coordinator of Public Information the Council remains ill at ease. Another round of faction wars could shatter the balance of the Council. We need allies, to ensure any action we take against the Observers and the Strategos do not cause another round of bureaucratic conflict in the Precentors. We need allies, someone to solidify the military front especially.”

“Ginias,” Kagoshima says with a severe tone. “The bulk of the Solar Navy respects him and his ability. And the Solar Army fears him. I can contact him at Apocalypse Keep, there at least we will not have to worry about the Observers plotting against us. But, Jordan, I need your support.”

“The Observers continue to restrict my authority and my ability to protect the Hegemony, Isoruko. I will not miss them if they come to fall and I will not hinder their fall. If I can be assured that any action I take will not disrupt the remainder of the Council or the Hegemony’s internal security I will even make sure they are removed from their position of power.”

Isoruko nods and stands as Jordan turns his chair back around.

“However, Isoruko, fail and I will deny any involvement and make it to where not even the vaguest connection can be made between us.”

“I expected as much, Jordan,” Isoruko nods his appreciation to the Polemarch. He secured the answer he so desperately wanted, and knows it is by far the firmest one he will ever hear from perhaps the second most powerful man in all of the Hegemony.

Perdition, the Isle of Peralityn, New Ortaga, Roum System, Hegemony of New Ortaga
The Same Day
1500 Roum Local Standard

Yuri Kellanry had been banished from life proper in the Hegemony. Seventy years ago he dared to decry the actions of the occupational authority in Seljuk. Dared to say the course the Hegemony was going down was madness. And dared to say that the future the Hegemony was creating for itself could only lead to the destruction of everything that was Ortagan.

The Hegemon was appalled and shocked, the Council stunned, the Solar Army made uneasy, and the populace of the Hegemony unsure of what to think for the first time in decades. Rapidly the Hegemon and the Polemarch moved to remove the breech in the ranks. But Kellanry was too popular to simply eliminate, to preeminent in the citizens minds to merely erase from existence. And so he had been stripped of his rank and sent to live the rest of his life under house arrest in the most distant, cold, and sparsely populated area of the Hegemony’s home world.

The intention was obvious, the great six saber general Yuri Kellanry was cast out with the directive being a self-imposed execution from sheer boredom and madness. It was a directive that Kellanry had refused to fill. And as he continued to survive, continued to speak with the rest of the Solar Army’s officer cadre, the dissension continued to fester unresolved. But either distracted by other affairs or merely still unwilling to risk Kellanry’s extermination, the Hegemon had not called for more definitive action.

Yuri Kellanry listens with muted interest as the sound of metal-shod boots echo up the stairs of the main building on his snow-covered estate. The heels click together as they reach the top of the stairs, leading to the row of doors that would normally allow one to exit out onto the building’s rear balcony.

“General, there is a visitor for you,” comes the weary voice of Captain Steiner Hardy. Kellanry’s long time aide since before even the Falas War and the Revolution who could not in the end bare to leave his general to exile alone.


“Ginias Saharin.”

Kellanry grunts.

“He’s in your study.”

“Very well. Stay close, Steiner. I may wish to have him given over to the guards at the gate before he tries may patience to the point I must kill him.”

“Yes, General.”

And with that Kellanry moves rapidly toward his study, Steiner in rapid pursuit. When he finally reaches the door, Kellanry takes one minute to adjust his uniform and the folded back points of his unbuttoned uniform. He resumed wearing the uniform of the Ducal Solar Army after his sentencing—a further way to aggravate the eroding authority in Silesia. He steps in and makes to sit behind his desk. The shock of blond hair in one of the opposite chairs moves until the blue eyes of Ginias Saharin can focus on him.

“Ah, General,” the head of the Hegemony’s research initiative begins, “I trust all is well with y—”

“You may dispense with your pleasantries, Ginias, as I have very little patience to entertain either you or your ideas.”

“Very well then,” Saharin says, neatly crossing his legs and folding his hands over them. “I had hoped to talk for awhile. You are after all the only other one who might hold some positive notions about the pas—”

“I said dispense with the pleasantries.”

Saharin sighs, “So difficult. I have an offer for you, Yuri. A way for you to perhaps finally escape this carefully constructed hell.”

“To sell what little is left of the honor and dignity of the Solar Forces you mean. What little remainder you and Garahou have not raped.”

“Don’t be melodramatic. I said I was offering an escape not a paradise. Besides, this area is directly in your expertise. You did so well commanding my own cloned Epsilon Wing I could not bear to not consider you for the position.”

Kellanry’s eyes narrow, “There are no cloning facilities left in operation.”

“In the Hegemony perhaps, although I wouldn’t bet on that with certainty, but I speak of another possibility. The Hegemon has approved a recent plan of mine to purchase both workers and military forces from the Mesan Conglomerate. Your own success with the cloned legion in the Falas War brought you to mine. I thought you might like a change of venue and the chance to lead another army again. You did seem to enjoy leading troops that looked to you without question.”

“That time is gone, Ginias. And I know damn well what actions I will be ordered to undertake. I will have no part in whatever war you are choosing to make to save the Council from its own inevitable destruction. I will wait here until I can laugh the day Silesia burns.”

Saharin eyes gleam with a predatory look, “Silesia is irrelevant. This is a matter of restoring the balance of the Raumreich—of restoring the primacy of our nation. Surely you can look beyond your previous disagreements with the Hegemon, the Polemarch, and the Strategos in order to once again serve the citizens of New Ortaga.”

“I would if I for a moment believed that the sentiments you just spoke of where held sincere, Ginias. However, I know full well just how mercenary you are. And how you have used that to place yourself above the machinations of the Hegemony, just as you did with the Grand Duchy. If this is all you came to offer I suggest you leave now, and I can only hope you wasted enough time getting here that something at the Keep may go horrible awry.”

Saharin stands and collects his coat from the back of the other chair, “A fine way to see someone off. Take some satisfaction in the fact that I have other business to attend to. To waste a trip to Peralityn merely for you sake is ludicrous. I merely happened to think of you while I was on my way.”

“Get out.”

Saharin smiles sickeningly at Kellanry, “Enjoy your time here, Yuri. I understand you’ll be able to enjoy spring in Perdition in another nine months.”

Kellanry makes to launch himself from the chair as the Rear Admiral sweeps through the door. A few minutes later Steiner enters.

“Contact General Luceno at the Berg. It seems the Council and the Hegemon may be moving faster than I anticipated.”

“At once, General.”

Perdition, the Isle of Peralityn, New Ortaga, Roum System, Hegemony of New Ortaga
The Same Day
1600 Roum Local Standard

A sleek grav-car bearing the symbol of the Solar Navy—the Hegemonic red cross behind a flaming sun—settles down next to the utilitarian, barracks like building that serves as one of the Isle’s major late elementary schools. Several of the children that had been wrestling in the clear dome that made Peralityn Primary 14’s recreation center crowd to see who will exit.

“That’s not a real uniform!” says one of the kids as a Solar Marine holds the door open for an officer. “It looks old, like a Dukkie uniform.”

“And look at that other guy he’s weird….maybe he’s one of those aliens.”

The man next to the alien is tall, unbelievable thin, yet at the same time seems to be built entirely of muscle. The children lose interest quickly once the pair talk briefly with the school’s administrator then move rapidly indoors.

Play quickly resumes, a tumble of about fifty boys between the ages of five and seven desperately fighting to claim the position of King of the Raumreich, to stay atop the step hill created along one of the dome’s edges. Eventually Lee Byrge takes the top, as usually. He wrestles, bites, kicks, and hurls any challengers from his perch. And if he does momentarily loose the spot when six or seven other boys drag him down, he rapidly regains it.

In the doorway to the dome Ginias Saharin and the rogue Valinor Perfect known as Glas watch the actions of Byrge.

“He will do,” Saharin says with a nod.

“That will make a total of 36 candidates confirmed so far, Ginias,”

“Excellent. Mr. Lewellyn,” Saharin says turning to the administrator, “I will need a few moments with that boy.”

“Of course, Rear Admiral,” Lewellyn motions to the bored looking recreational instructor. A few minutes later Byrge is being led toward the pair of Solar Forces researchers. The boy stands defiantly straight before the twin inquisition of Saharin and Glas, barely acknowledging the rapid fire of remarks from the recreational instructor demanding respect and manners when meeting two representatives of the Solar Navy.

“You have quite the ability for free-form wrestling it would seem,” Saharin says as the surly child approaches.

“Yeah, what of it.”

“I suspect it is quite useful here?”

“I don’t get many problems.”

“Excellent marks as well,” Glas mutters quietly, glancing rapidly over the records provided by Lewellyn.

“I should hope,” Saharin says and suddenly squats down on one knee to get closer to the boy. He reaches inside the pocket of his great coat, and draws out a large gold coin.

“Do you know what this is?”

“It’s a Dukkie solari—rare.”

“It is indeed. And if you can get it from me you can have it,” Saharin says, flipping the coin rapidly over-and-under his index, middle, ring, and pinky. “But first I want to test you against my associate here.”

Glas squats down as well, and Lee takes a sharp hiss of breath as he watches the color of the strange man’s eyes shift from a fluid blue, to an emerald green, and then a deep-hued purple. The man takes a coin and looks at Lee, he places it in his palm.

“When I flip it up, grab for it as fast as you can using either hand.”

Lee nods as the man’s eyes shift to a gray.


The golden coin sparkles upward, Lee moves rapidly, only to have his hand slam against Glas’s closing fist.

Glas looks at Saharin, “Fast enough to touch, better than the one at Lortika.”

Saharin nods as Glas hands him the coin back.

“Our round then,” the coin appears flat in the admiral’s palm.

“Go,” the coin flies upward, Lee’s hand and Saharin’s move. Saharin feels his own grasp around the child’s smaller hand as the coin disappears in his clutching grasp.

Saharin studies Lee’s face as he stands.

“It seems you’ve recently come into a larger fortune than you had, Mr. Byrge,” Saharin says, removing the hawk-billed hat from under his arm.

Lee studies the coin, then studies the man wearing the strange Navy uniform before him.

“M’ybe. Still don’t think you an officer.”

“Why is that?”

“Your uniform.”

Saharin smiles faintly, “When one reaches my rank, Mr. Byrge. What uniform you wear becomes unimportant and a matter of personal discretion.”

“Back admirals aren’t that big chested,” Lee says, falling into the Navy slang his father taught him, and the way to read the assortment of silver rank circles and suns at Saharin’s collar.

Saharin inclines his head, “Appearances and ranks can often be deceiving, and that’s the lesson you should remember for the day. I think we will speak again, Mr. Byrge. In the end I would suggest you go and reclaim your hill.”

And with that Ginias Saharin turns on one heel and sweeps down the hall, wearing a cold, cold smile.
New Ortaga
04-04-2005, 19:05
Gravechenko Spire, Central Offices of the Coordination of Security and Intelligence
Two Days Later (04.25.1300 AF)
1100 Roum Local Standard

“It was an interesting conversation I had with Isoruko when I returned the keep,” Ginias Saharin says as he idly toys with a small statue Galt kept in one alcove of his office.

The rear admiral hears the quiet moans of the Polemarch’s chair as he pushes it back and rises. Quiet steps make their way slowly toward the head of the Solar Forces research and development branches.

“I would expect as much,” Galt says a few moments before he takes the statue from Saharin’s hands and carefully returns it to its alcove. Saharin eyes the head of the Hegemony’s security service with a cool gaze. Galt returns it measure for measure.

There is a grudging respect between the rear admiral and the Polemarch. Both have come to hate Kendra Ansel and her Observers eternal meddling over the past few decades, and both have strove to keep their own personal domains free from her interference. In the terms of the political environment of the Hegemony, both have been phenomenally successful.

“I find it interesting that Isoruko has convinced you of the need to take such drastic measures. You always struck me as a more conservative minded individual, Jordan.”

“The time for conservative measures has past, Ginias. It passed some time ago, and even I have come to recognize that less…delicate means are necessary to create the shift in power needed to keep the Hegemony functioning. My duty is to protect and defend the Hegemony from all threats from the shadows inside and outside its borders. Kendra Ansel and Garahou are becoming increasingly bothersome obstacles to me performing the duties given to me by His Excellency.”

With that the Polemarch moves to return to his desk. Saharin follows a few steps behind.

“Am I to take it you believe a new Strategos may be needed in order for the Hegemony to execute the next war in a manner that will assure its survival?”

“You may take it this way,” Galt says picking up his comp-pad, “I believe that the time for your plan to succeed may have already passed. However, Isoruko has convinced me that there may still be enough of that particular future left in order to pursue it. I will not be as…affirmed in my faith that a war against the Verniian Imperium will save us from our current problems as His Excellency is, but I think it has its merits. But I find the abilities of Cima and her high command lacking in order to carry it out.”

“It is more than just the command, Jordan. It is a fundamental error in the whole of the Solar Forces.”

Galt inclines his head, “Explain.”

“After the Great War all other nations of the Inner Marches focused on power over quantity, skill over production, efficiency over wasteful splendor—at least in regards to their military capabilities. The Solar Forces did not take these lessons to heart, and with the exception of my own command remain woefully ill-prepared for the next generation of warfare in the Raumreich. But we do not have the necessary personnel resources to correct this problem at this time, or even for the next few years. I am working to correct this, but for now we must strike while the Solar Forces still have the necessary potency to subdue the likes of Vernii and Vakutu and convince the Valinor that inaction is a better course than war.”

Galt leans back, “And how long will our ‘potency’ as you put it last?”

“Given the rate of technological advancement in Valinon, Vernii, and Vakutu eight years is a generous assumption. We cannot afford the luxury to wait until we can implement reform. We must strike now with what we have, and while we are doing it start the initial reforms with what resources are left available to us.”

“And would this have something to do with your recent interest in child protégés, Ginias?”

“Excuse me?”

Galt carefully slides the comp-pad across his desk toward Saharin. Saharin sees him and Glas interviewing the child at Peralityn.

“You are most thorough, Polemarch.”

“It is my job to be so,” Galt says, retracting the comp-pad. “Is this one of your initiatives to reform the Solar Forces?”

“It is much more than that.”


“Let the rest of the Raumreich worry about technological advancement to modify and enhance their militaries. I intend to breed a new generation of soldier that can rewrite the balance of power. But I need time to do it. There is no way to replace the natural potential of younger minds, younger minds that can be bent to serve the Hegemony in a newer, greater light.”

Galt’s eyes narrow. He knows all to well the stories that come from Apocalypse Keep, at the edge of the Southern Spine. He knows all too well that there are many projects Saharin has commissioned and pursued without consulting or alerting the Hegemon or the Council to his intentions. But none can argue Saharin’s brilliance, or that his brutal methods do not save the Hegemony.

“Time is essential,” Saharin says, voice vague.

“The war is to buy time then.”


“I see,” Galt leans forward. “I will maintain my silence and my confidence in your abilities to preserve the Hegemony, Ginias. So long as you can keep me assured of the fact you will not interfere with Isoruko’s or my own efforts to ‘reform’ the government of the Hegemony as you move to reform the Solar Forces.”

“That is a relatively easy promise to make. I will not shed tears if Kendra Ansel is to fall, and I will not have any grievances with the Council so long as the Solar Forces are preserved long enough for me to save them from the current stupidity in their ranks.”

“Then let us see that the promise is kept.”

Perdition, the Isle of Peralityn, New Ortaga, Roum System, Hegemony of New Ortaga
The Same Day
2000 Roum Local Standard

The men gathered before him no all to well what the penalty for their actions will be if they are ever caught. But as others think as well, the times of New Ortaga call for drastic and extraordinary measures. And so they come, using heavily encrypted Nu-space receivers and transceivers carefully secured from less than legitimate Valinor shipping concerns over the past years, to connect with the hope of the Solar Army.

“Saharin is on the move, sir,” says General Actinger, commanding the Solar Army units present around Silesia. “His plan has cleared the Council with the support of the Hegemony and additional naval and marine units are already being mobilized from Axis to strengthen Hellings’ command at Dylar. But we are being bypassed, to date no additional forces from the Solar Army are being called to participate in the build up. Garahou is using the Marines when she can, and Galt is supplying security troops where the Marines are too limited in scope.”

“What of the negotiations with these Talbott Cluster nationals….the Mesans?” Kellanry says, scanning through his own notes.

“They’re cloners, sir,” comes the younger voice of Colonel Brigham, long time liaison between Axis and Apocalypse Keep. “Saharin has opened negotiations to secure both military and labor units from them.”

“We’re being left out purposefully!” comes Perriham’s voice, a note of distinct worried in it. “They might suspect.”

“The Hegemon, the Strategos, and the Polemarch suspect nothing, Alec,” Kellanry says curtly. “If they did none of us would be here, and I would have most likely been fusion bombed into oblivion. The Council has merely grown tired with our non-compliance in regards to their orders to commit atrocity after atrocity. However, they have no force to replace us so they must keep the Solar Army in order to defend the home worlds. So they suffer our existence, but chose to no longer use us to carry out their will.”

“Mark my words, gentlemen, there will be war,” Kellanry says with utter confidence. “Saharin desires time to solidify his control over the Solar Forces research arms, the Hegemon wants a way to ease popular dissent from the problems currently plaguing his government, and the Council wants a war that can bring them the resources necessary to stabilize the failing economy.”

“But they are all distracted by continually looking outside. As we have all seen with these reports from our ranks, the rest of the Solar Forces, the Council, and the Polemarch do not see anything more than passive dissatisfaction from our ranks and a few ‘rogue’ elements locked away in the isolated quarters of New Edo, Immolan, and Seljuk. They have become so use to using our forces to at as police, secure their internal realms, that they do not see the trends of disillusion we see in the cities. Crime increases each year, Galt uses his security forces more and more to quell brushfire riots, and we need not even mention the actions of Kendra Ansel’s Observers. We will soon reach a junction where the people of New Ortaga will see that the Hegemony has failed them, in an even worse fashion than the Grand Duchy did. When that moment comes we must be ready to rally to their cause.”

“What of the rumors of another round of conflict on the Council?” aged General Mengsk speaks, the oldest active officer in the Solar Army he has long held out for the Hegemony’s own vicious political atmosphere to bring down the current regime in Silesia.

“Those rumors remain unconfirmed, unfortunately. There are undoubtedly growing tensions between several Council members and Kendra Ansel, but nothing out of the ordinary. However, war can stress the nervous calm the Council currently holds to its breaking point. If it is possible we can agitate the Council enough that another round of internal political warfare will cause them to be too weak to resist us. Then we can remove the Hegemon and the Council from Silesia.”

“What then?” Perriham says. “You have been quick to bring us together to plan the Hegemony’s downfall, Yuri, but what will come after the Hegemony falls? Will you name yourself the new Hegemon?”

Kellanry regards Perriham with a cold look, “Alec, I do not care what replaces the Hegemony all I want is to see this monster dead, and those who serve it to join the ranks of those they’ve slaughtered. And there is the distinct chance that between Saharin’s war and our own attempt to shatter the Hegemony Ortaga as we know it may cease to be. If that is our fate, so be it. But I will no longer tolerate the Hegemony to exist. Better to be destroyed and killed trying to remove it and restore some of our nation’s honor and dignity than to be seen as a servant to its madness when it is finally destroyed by the rest of the Inner Marches.”

“So there is no plan then for what to do if we can depose Ansel?”

Kellanry inhales deeply, utterly silent before the twenty-eight commanders gathered before him.

“I dream that we can turn over the reigns to the people of New Ortaga, General Mengsk. They have longed suffered under the hands of one dictator or aristocrat after another. I think they should at least be given the opportunity to dictate their own fate for once.”
New Ortaga
25-05-2005, 05:10
The Verge, Silesia, New Ortaga, Roum System, Hegemony of New Ortaga
5.04.1300 AF
2200 Roum Local Standard

Industrial and urban decay do not take long to take shape, especially in a nation so beset with the leviathan military-industrial bureaucratic complex as the Hegemony is. The Verge is the best example of this in glistening sectors of Silesia. It is a vast, energy-spewing, thermal vomiting, hazardous maze of active and inactive factory warrens, warehouses, and automated foundries. But before the Verge was turned into an industrial sector, it had briefly served as the domain of the Solar Army during the last days of the Grand Duchy.

And in the general chaos caused as the Hegemon focused more and more of the organs of his military and political control closer to the sectors around the Whisper Palace, some elements of the Verge’s past were either forgotten or overlooked. Most notably tamong the forgotten facts is the half-completed network of bunkers and command facilities commissioned during the last days of Archduke Raphael III’s reign. It is here the growing members of Yuri Kellanry’s carefully orchestrated conspiracy meet for the first time.

Colonel London Elliot watches as the last stragglers are cleared by his men at the door of the recently finished section of the bunker complex. They are a hardened and scattered group. The few remaining organizations and movements that have managed to some how survive the ruthless efficiency of the Polemarch’s security forces. But since the creation of Observers, even these numbers have dwindled. Still, all the major resistance groups are present. The Liberationists with their ideology centered on forcing the Hegemony to at long last carry through with its promises to restore democracy to its realm, and the bastion of support for the designs of the Solar Army. The last faded remnants of the Loyalists (supporting the long-dead Grand Duchy), the New Edoian Resistance Forces, the Immolan Secession Coalition, and even a small delegation of native psionic insurgents. Finally there are the Collectivists, a long-standing opponent of whatever seated authority holds sway in Silesia that can trace its tangle lineage all the way to the movement that gave birth to the sort lived People’s Collective State of Valinon and the People’s Collective State of Greater Ironholm.

Elliot nods as the last representative, a woman from Immolan, takes her place.

“You all know why you are here,” he says calmly. “And I know what great risk and expense many of you have gone to in order to be present. General Kellanry and General Actinger wish me to convey their personal thanks, but hope you will understand that their…situations cannot allow them to attend.”

Several nods and a few coughs fill the room that grows warm with body heat.

“Recently the Interim Council has approved an initiative that can lead to only one conclusion: war the with the Imperium of Vernii. It is a complex plan, with the particulars being orchestrated by Ginias Saharin at the blessing of the Hegemon. And the chances are high it will give us the opportunity we have long waited for.”

“Exactly what opportunity, Colonel?” comes the grim voice of Takashi Matsuoka of the Edoians. “Most of us represent localized elements. And even those who claim to have multiple cells across the home suns have extreme difficulty communicating. Not to mention the recent crack down on the part of Galt and his mir-vis thugs,” he references the mirrored visors of Galt’s security forces flawlessly, as all in the insurgents have come to, “or the Ansel and her armband wielding Nazis. Even the efforts of the Solar Army are seemingly localized to Roum.”

Elliot smiles, “Do not be so sure, Takashi. I have already made Lord Catone and Citizen Drucker,” he nods to the Loyalist and Collectivist leaders, “aware that General Kellanry has spoken with commanders on many of home stars. We can no longer stomach the atrocities of the Hegemon and his cronies any more than you can. Trust me when I say that the Solar Army is willing to support and aid in full the efforts of each of the organizations represented here.”

“And what of Qadifi and the Seljuk Front?” comes the sharp retort of the Immolan representative. “The Solar Army did not stop Galt from stamping them out of existence just two months ago!”

“The case of the Seljukites is unique, Madam Councilor. They live on a world, in a system, wholly dominated by both the Solar Navy and the Coordination for Security. We cannot move to help the Seljukites in any appreciable manner without revealing our own intent. Do not think for one moment that even the Solar Army is above the touch of Galt or the Observers. We must play our hand even closer to our chest than you do.”

The woman retreats, seemingly taken back from Elliot’s brusque assault.

“As I have said General Kellanry believes the time to start moving additional support to all organizations currently working against the Hegemon’s illegal control over our government is at hand. As you leave, my seconds have prepared contact information for you so that you may establish contact with our officers working to assist you in each of your respective sectors and systems. These disc are keyed to your individual genetic data and cannot be accessed by any others. I am afraid that such stringent protocols are necessary.”

The gathered insurgent leaders look surprised, even the Loyalists and Collectivists.

“But before you leave, I have a few requests on behalf of General Kellanry. While the Solar Army is willing to support your organizations, we do not grant you carte blanche to begin open reigns of terror in your territories. This is an effort to stockpile and equip you for future opportunities. We are not discouraging you from continuing with current activities, merely from increasing your attacks on the Hegemon and his agents. Finally there will be a second meeting in a month’s time, standard reckoning, to further the details and needs of our efforts. General Kellanry hopes you all will attend, as he intends to via Nu-space. You may leave at your leisure.”

With that Elliot stands and prepares to leave, several mummers move through the assembly. Kellanry’s name still carries great weight in the Hegemony, even in the circles of the Collectivists. All remember how the General boldly clashed with the Hegemon’s policies after the withdraw from Falasmayon, especially when the Interim Council continually failed to institute and electoral process. And Elliot has no doubt that while the insurgent and local militias may assist in the destruction of the Hegemony, it will ultimately be the Solar Army who is tasked with ending the reign of Channing Ansel.

Apocalypse Keep, Hornberg Military Preserve, New Ortaga, Roum System, Hegemony of New Ortaga
05.06.1300 AF
0843 Roum Local Standard

Ginias Saharin reviews with satisfaction the line of stasis cells being unloaded from the series of recently arrived Marine transports. He turns to Glas and returns the data pad to him.

“This is the last of the candidates then?”

“Yes, Ginias. The final 24 are all present.”

Saharin smiles quietly, “Good, very good. I had hoped you would be ready to begin the first stage of the program by the time I was ready to go to Mesa. Your timing, as always, Glas, is Perfect,” he smiles again at his own joke on Glas’ origins.

“One should hope so, Ginias. It was what I was engineered for after all.”

“Fair enough,” Saharin says with a slight shrug. All 132 of the final candidates for what has become known as Project Generation have at last been assembled. True their assembly has cost Saharin, and even Jordan Galt, some degree of loss. After all, the immediate family of all the candidates had to be quickly and quietly disposed of in manners that seemed accidental enough so responsibility for their care could fall to the generosity of the state. And then there was the matter of unease that would be created if Silesia ever discovered that he was using telepaths to erase and reconstruct the candidates minds, but it was a risk well worth taking.

“Once P-123, P-47, and P-16 have completed their purges and constructions you will return them to stasis lock and have their cells sent back to the Crypt.”

“You have arranged for their release then?” Glas asks with some resignation. Despite the Perfect’s best attempts to influence Saharin, the remaining telepaths and other psionic manifestations left from the Hegemon’s purges of Zabi’s elite police force remain the Rear Admirals exclusive dominion.

“I have, but only for this project. There is to be no additional tasks or experiments. I am understood.”

“All to well.”

“Once that is complete have Colonel Oppenhemier initiate the preliminary examinations and the first phase of integration to Generation,” Saharin quickly eyes his chronometer. “Now I must really be off. The Nemesis is waiting for in orbit and I must be in Mesa to oversee the beginning of the gate construction.”

Glas nods and moves to follow the cells. Saharin moves towards his own shuttle.

“Rear Admiral!” comes the sharp cry on the heels of running boots. Saharin turns, arching one blond eyebrow anxiously, looking at the young lieutenant who has stopped him.

“Yes, Lieutenant?” the voice is cold, and quite clear as to the intent if this is not a priority matter.

“Sir, priority call from Silesia. It is Polemarch Galt for you, he says it is urgent.”

Saharin’s eyes narrow and he snatches the small Nu-space receiver out of the lieutenant’s hand. Momentarily his mind floats toward the possibility of his facility being able to reproduce the Valinor device, but he sets that aside for later thought. The small hologram of Galt sitting in his chair comes into focus.

“I have need of you, Rear Admiral,” Galt says in his emotionless inflect.

“I assumed as much.”

“Humor suits you poorly, Ginias, as it always has. His Excellency has recently been made aware of the fact that there remains a way to redress our issues with the Verniian Imperium while still avoiding outright demands or conflicts.”

“And they are?”

“The presence of the remnants of the Valinor intelligence organ known as Nightwatch.”

Saharin hisses involuntary. Kendra Ansel and her Observers cause distaste to rise, even in the mouths of the likes of Galt and Saharin. But even their methods are mere child’s play next to the Nightwatch organization. The old shadow arm of the Valinor intelligence community was not merely ruthless—they bordered the line with outright monsters. Barely reformed psychopaths, sociopaths, and sadists given power and titles. The end result had been the most ruthless and cunning anti-insurgent force ever known, until their actions had caused even Gustav II to question if he had been wise to open that Pandora’s box. Whatever answer the Valinor emperor came to was irrelevant, as he died before he could take action. But Empress Friedelinde had done quite well at seeing the Nightwatch was dismantled. Still, demons, ghosts, and gaolers were a hard lot to kill.

“There is still a functioning Nightwatch?” Saharin says, momentarily hoping.

“To an extent, and it functions at my sufferance. Director Morthmann and several of his foremost lieutenants were able to escape the grasp of the ESS and the ISS. “

“I am unclear as to what this has to do with me, Jordan.”

“Director Morthmann still has considerable contacts within the Imperium. However, he lacks the necessary ability to adequately equip and support them wholeheartedly. His Excellency has…requested that I assist him in return for his promise to make the lives of the Verniian government and intelligence community considerably hard. I require your Skipper transports in order to begin supply and material transfers in the border systems near Acler.”

“How many?”


“I cannot spare that many.”

“It is a direct request from His Excellency.”

Saharin represses the urge to curse every soul of importance in Silesia.

“I will have the ships prepared.”

“Good. We will discuss further when you return from Mesa. I will need to see you at the Spire.”

Saharin nods as the hologram disperses. He flips it into the waiting hands of the lieutenant as he turns toward the shuttle. His greatcoat moving behind him like a barely tamed storm cloud, loathe was he to allow even on project fall behind schedule. And this applied even more when the projects actively applied to readying for the trap being laid for Vernii. But the power of the Hegemon was not always something that could be so easily sated, and now the power of Galt was not something to be easily sated either. As the shuttle rises, Saharin makes a mental note to deal with the warren of cloners more quickly than he had initially anticipated.
27-05-2005, 02:08
taggity tag tag
New Ortaga
12-06-2005, 18:50
Gravechenko Spire, Central Offices of the Coordination of Security and Intelligence
05.11.1300 AF
0900 Roum Local Standard

"Rear Admiral Saharin is certain that the deployment of LRDS vessels will become necessary?" Jordan Galt says in reserved tones as he eyes the hologram sitting in the chair before his desk. The willowy figure of Glas, Saharin's chief lieutenant nods slowly.

"Yes, Polemarch. Ginias feels that the demanded fleetbase will continue to prove to be a useful distraction. However, he feels--and I concur--that in order to truly have a more viable offensive option against Setties' military we must keep the true level of our observation of Morning Star concealed."

"I see the merits of this course, but, Director, I do wish to note that I still believe Admiral Saharin is trying to engage us on too many fronts."

"With all do respects, Polemarch, what choice do we have? The Verniians may not have the strength of relations the Valinor enjoy, but they still have enough allies to make our effort to seize their territory difficult. A war against the Imperium will go much more smoothly if the rebuilt Silver Fleet of Setties can be castrated in a matter similar to that of the Wickian navy."

Galt eyes the defected Valinor Perfect through half-closed eyes, "I will present this to His Excellency at the Inner Council debriefing today. Do you have the LRDS ready for deployment?"

"I have already diverted the second vessel that was bound for Thetis to Seljuk, Polemarch, it awaits final clearance from Hegemon Ansel only."

Galt eyes narrow a bit, "Some times, Glas, you and Ginias do exceed your mandate. Do not think you may press the limits of the Hegemon's mandate with absolute impunity."

"Rest assured, Polemarch, everything Ginias and I do serves the Hegemony. We have never exceded our authority in such a way to damage the continued existence of the Hegemony."

"Then bear that in mind, Director. Bear that in mind with utmost regard."

Whisper Palace, Silesia, New Ortaga, Roum System, Hegemony of New Ortaga
The Same Day
1134 Roum Local Standard

It is rare that Jordan Galt ever controls the flow of the Inner Council meetings. It is rare that the Coordinator for Security and Intelligence--the Polemarch of the Hegemony--speaks at all in the meetings of either the Inner or full Interim Council's. Galt rarely needs to speak, he does his job and he serves the Hegemon without question. Channing Ansel recognizes this, allowing Galt to pursue his mandate with very little interference, and rarely questioning the actions of the Coordination Galt controls. However, from the glares and thinly veiled barbs coming from Kendra Ansel and Cima Garahou, at least two other members of the Inner Council do not share the Hegemon's trust in the Polemarch.

"If the Rear Admiral is so sure of this plan," Kendra Ansel says in predatory tones, "why does he not present it to us himself, Polemarch?"

"Director-General," Galt says in his methodical tone, "Ginias feels that any long established Nu-space connection between Morning Star and Roum cannot be secured permanently. Rather than risk a possible security breech, he entrusted me to present this to His Excellency and the rest of the Inner Council," Galt turns to face Channing Ansel and Kagoshima. "And I must agree with Ginias decision in that regard, Your Excellency. The more open nature of the Nu-space network outside our own borders does lend itself quite readily to interception by others from the Inner Marches, and I do not think it would be wise for anyone else in Morning Star besides our own ships to hear of our plans."

Channing Ansel nods in agreement, but his daughter is still not ready to relinquish the field.

"The operation would be far secure if it was given over to the Observers. Our compartmentalized structure would allow us to deal with the Collective Protectorates in short order, and we could remove Setties potential as a threat in short order. And I will once again state that Ginias Saharin and his command represent a continued security risk by operating outside the umbrella of the Observers. We have no gaurantee that Saharin is operating within the best interests of the Hegemony other than his own word."

"Director-General," Galt says cooly, "a contingent of my own officers are present aboard the Nemesis, are you questioning their loyalty? Or that of your own Observers aboard Admiral Auerbach's command?"

Kendra Ansel glares with venom at the Polemarch, but she says no more. In the sprawling bureaucracy of the Hegemony, Jordan Galt is second only to Channing Ansel himself in terms of power. And has gained the Hegemon's trust by time and time again showing no interests in moving against his old Revolutionary colleague, even Kendra's Observers can find no trace of disloyalty in the Polemarch.

"The subject is closed," Channing Ansel says calmly. "Jordan you have my permission to give Director Glas the leave he needs to dispatch the LRDS ships to Ginias' command. If we can castrate Vernii's only other ally outside of the remnant Wickian forces, we will make this war far shorter and will be able to commit additional forces to Operation British and Admiral Hellings. However, I will still want the two other LRDS vessels to proceed to Thetis and system GSUC-334."

"Yes, Your Excellency."

Ansel nods again, "Now, Cima, your report on our upgrade of the Solomon facility in Axis, please?"

Whisper Palace, Silesia, New Ortaga, Roum System, Hegemony of New Ortaga
The Same Day
1600 Roum Local Standard

Cima Garahou watches as Kendra Ansel prowls her personal conference room generally reserved for meetings with her top Observer lieutenants with a muted expression.

"I agree, Kendra. The continued influence of Saharin and Galt, over my objections, in your father's strategy sessions grows increasingly troublesome."

"They are tying our own hands! We do not have to play politics or shadow games with the likes of the tin-pot Verniian Emperor and this admiral-cum-warlord in Morning Star. We have at our means the ability to dispose of all them with barely an effort, and we should use it. Not only could we overwhelm the Verniians, we could easily sweep into Vaku space and destroy what is left of the mutated freaks in Ticonderoga in short order. Then even Valinon would not dare interfere in our affairs."

"There is the matter of the alliance between the Vaku and Valinon."

"Here Saharin is correct, and shows he still has some useful purposes. The Valinor will not risk their empire if they can help it. If we give them their beloved wormhole terminii, they will let us do as we please--as they always have. Not to mention the abhorrent risk we are taking by trusting these Nightwatch scum."

"Agreed. Trusting Director Morthmann and his surviving lackeys can only result in a serious risk to our success in a war against Vernii. For starters, Morthmann and his co-conspirators have for seventy years failed to strike back at either Valinon or Vernii."

"And here Galt is stupid enough to arm them!" Kendra says glaring at the windows toward the jutting promenience of Gravechenko Spire on the horizon. "For all we know, Morthmann could turn our own weapons on us if he thinks he can return to Valinon."

"Yet I fail to see what we can do," Garahou starts hesitantly. "It is quite clear Channing is determined to follow the advice of Galt and Saharin, for better or worse."

"Worse most likely. But there is still a way to redress our concerns, Strategos."

Kendra turns her back to the windows, the streaming sun cutting a fire outline along her red-garbed form, "Galt and Saharin are far too confident, and they underestimate the ability of both myself and my Observers. And I strongly suspect they underestimate your influence among the Solar Navy. We can make them see their plans are a waste of vital resources and material."

"What of the Hegemon?"

Kendra smiles, "My father is many things, but he is not a fool. I can make him see the error of the ways of Galt, Saharin, and Operation British. One way or another I must make him see, for the good of the Revolution I have been born to uphold."

Garahou pauses for a moment, seperated from Kendra Ansel by a rift that is pulling at the fabric of the Hegemony itself. The generation that has known nothing but Ansel's Revolution and the Hegemony often finds itself at odds with the generations that still remember the Grand Duchy, the Falas War, and even the disasterous Colony Wars that ended the grandeur of the ducal empire. But as politics in the Hegemony, and indeed throughout the history of New Ortaga, have shown the intercine byzantine-esque world of New Ortaga's politics make strange bedfellows. And Strategos Garahou grows tired of losing the war between the Coordination of the Solar Forces and that of Galt's and Saharin's personal domains.

"What did you have in mind, Kendra?"

Outside the small moon of New Ortaga wars with the glistening brilliance of Silesia, a battle it loses more and more with each passing year. And in Silesia sprawl itself a new, complicated orbital dance starts around the errant titan who forged the Hegemony almost a century ago. And as he has for so long, Channing Ansel prowls the Whisper Palace at night, utterly oblivious to the movement of the lesser bodies that flit around him in the vast domain he has carved out for himself.
New Ortaga
14-06-2005, 03:58
Ascent Colliseum, Silesia, New Ortaga, Roum system, Hegemony of New Ortaga
05.12.1300 AF
1704 Roum Local Standard

The Ascent Colliseum seemed to grow like a giant tree out of the vast, flat, and empty expanse of the Great Square of the Revolution. Towering statues wielding massive staffs line the broad avenues that move toward the four main entrances to the Ascent. And throught the Square, and along the edges were the spires and jagged outlines of the Silesia cityscape once again reform, work crews can be seen scurrying and starting the a wave of preparations.

In just a little over a week, the Hegemony will begin what is effectively a month of celebration. It starts with the holiday of Channing Ansel's own birthday, and concludes a month later with the anniversary of the birth of the Hegemony--and the death of the Grand Duchy. By many it is considered altogether fitting that the Hegemon's own birthday should come before the birth of the State and the Revolution he worked tirelessly to create.

But the parades and the pagentry are still somewhat distant, and tonight Jordan Galt walks crisply along the circular outer corridors along the Ascent's upper most levels. Ahead he sees the entry to one of the private balconies overlooking the massive central stage of the Ascent flanked by a pair of the Hegemon's personal guardsmen, and a small flicker of relief at reaching his destination passes through the Polemarch. He passes between the guards without challenge.

The lights in the Ascent are just beginning to dim again. If Galt's estimate is correct, The Soldier of Nordred is entering its third act, commonly known as "The Trial of Fault". The play details the account of Commodore Kyle Kahane, a Solar Navy officer serving during the last days of the Colony Wars that exhausted the glory days of the Grand Duchy. Kahane dutiful served the Archduke, and defended his home system of Nordred against a far larger invasion from the Pentastar Alliance. But in the end Nordred fell, and after watching his family and fiance destroyed in the Pentastar's orbital bombardment Kahane is arrested due to the political manipulations of a small group of Nordred's aristocrats. They have Kahane charged with treason, of conspiring with the Pentastar Alliance, and in the end Kahane is executed.

It is the Hegemon's favorite play. Channing Ansel sits with his back to the door, his long hair pulled back and the collar of his uniform loosened. His icy blue eyes watching intently as the leading actor of the Silesia Acting Company takes the empty stage for one of the most famous monologues in Ortagan literature.

Galt's own eyes sweep across the Ascent. The vast building appears to be filled to capacity, as Galt knew it would be. Once the word had gotten out that the Hegemon would be in attendence, the second showing of Nordred had sold out in a matter of minutes. The citizens of the Hegemony love their Hegemon, and it is not every moment that any citizen has the possibility of sitting in the same theater as the founder of the Hegemony.

"In these times of doing what you are told," Kahane begins as the light focuses in, "we find we must keep our feelings so that no one knows. But even then we find that the heart is swallowed by pain and the bitter ash taste of falsehoods as we are forced to swim through the ashes of former lives and former crimes that are not our own-"

"Have a seat, Jordan," Ansel says quietly.

"Yes, Your Excellency."

As Galt takes his seat, Ansel makes a quick motion with his hand.

"Leave," he says quietly.

Hesitantly, the two additional guardsmen on this side of the door retreat to the hall. The door slides shut.

"Now, I do think we can dispense with the formalities, Jordan," Ansel says as he further loosens his collar and removes the uniform jacket.


The Hegemon smirks ever so slightly, "You never were particularly adroit with that."

"No, I am not."

The Hegemon's eyes drift back to the play.

"-Here we may at last have a piece of the puzzle that is life. And here we may find that there is no way to escape fate. And we find that our fate is often no where is grand as our intentions-"

"Did you have need of me?" Galt says carefully.

"No, not directly. Occassionally I do like to function outside the bounds of the state and the Revolution. But there was one matter that I wished to touch upon before I invited you to join me," Ansel gestures casaully toward the stage.


"Tolerate Kendra's momentary indiscretions, Jordan, as a favor to me if nothing else. She is still headstrong, but I assure you that will come to pass. She needs only to learn a bit more patience."

"I take it you are working on that yourself?"

"The degree of immediate effect is arguable, but yes."

"Very well, I will bear that in mind."

"Good, good," Channing turns back to the stage. "After all, the Revolution has to continue beyond this immediate stage."


"At 338 one must confront mortality to some degree, Jordan."

"338 is hardly at death's door, Channing."

"Ah, such very Valinor sentiment, Jordan. It does not suit anyone else too well. Besides, some elements of existence are inevitable, and it is never too late to prepare for the inevitable. I would loathe to end in the same position as Gihren Zabi found when he did not prepare for the inevitability of the need to change or destroy the Grand Duchy."

"If you say so."

"Whether I want to or not, I do. But enjoy Nordred, Jordan. It is unfortunate you could not come until the third act."

"The matter of the LRDS needed to be resolved."

"Indeed it did. But it is taken care of now, and there are finer things at hand. If you would like something to drink....?"

"Thank you, but no."

"Very well," Galt moves to watch the play

Hegemon's Guardsmen (

Channing Ansel (

The Ascent (
07-07-2005, 03:34
TAG: So I can find this thread
New Ortaga
07-07-2005, 03:36
Whisper Palace, Silesia, New Ortaga, Roum System, Hegemony of New Ortaga
05.20.1300 AF
0804 Roum Local Standard

Arthur Wolfe, Coordinator of Foreign Affairs, forces his eyes to shift away from the Guardsmen opening the doors to the Hegemon's personal office for him. He approaches the massive desk with measured care and a zealous caution, stopping before he has even crossed half the room.

"You summoned me, Your Excellency?"

The black chair behind the desk turns away from the glaring view of the Roum rising over the towering citadels of Silesia's inner most quarters.

"Yes, Arthur, I did," Channing Ansel says cooly, grabbing for the comp-pad on his desk and gesturing for Wolfe to have a seat. "As you are aware, Admiral Saharin is in Mesa conducting the final transfer of our first two orders of combat units from the Conglomerate. I anticipate this will be concluded and the units on their way to Axis before the week is out, but there is another element in regards to Operation British that needs to be dealt with far sooner."

It does not take Wolfe long to approximate what the Hegemon has called him for. Indeed, Wolfe's ability to anticipate the needs of his superior is why the Coordinator of Foreign Affairs has survived through the power struggles in the Council and survived the Revolution that destroyed the Grand Duchy.

"Presenting the first of our demands to the Verniian Imperium, I take it."

"Precisely," Ansel says with a vague, predatory smile. "I want the full letter of petition for the transferal of the wormhole terminii in Erewohn to our direct control sent no later than this evening. The content details have not changed since we first discussed them at the meeting of the Council three weeks ago."

"I take it Operation British has moved into its final phase then, Your Excellency."

"Arthur, Operation British commenced its final phase nine days ago when the last major serious of arsenal transfers to Dylar were completed. I need only to supervise the parade this evening dispatching the new Solar Marines force to Dylar to supplement the divisions Admiral Hellings already has under his command."

The Hegemon stands, and Wolfe moves rapidly to follow.

"I trust you can attend to the petition in short order?"

"With ease, Your Excellency."

"Good, good. I will also need for you to prepare for departure to Alpha Centauri in six days, Arthur."

For a moment, Wolfe is taken back.

"Alpha Centauri...."

"I will be going before the Liga before Operation British enters its zero hour, Arthur. And I will need an immediate access to your knowledge regarding the various Liga envoys and decorum protoccols. Be sure you order your ambassador in Cardona to not cease his demands until he has a personal order from your office to depart from Vernii. Now, if you will excuse me, I have to prepare to see the petitions for the days appeals."

"Yes....Your Excellency," Wolfe says as Ansel sweeps past. Then he rapidly makes for the security of his own office.

Channing Ansel walks calmly to the lift, pausing a moment to adjust his high collar. He had often considered having Kendra deal with the appeals from the various dissidents and subversives identified by Galt that had managed to fight their way to this level. After all, it wasn't as if an appeal for pardon had ever been granted. But Ansel did take some small satisfaction in seeing the enemies of the Revolution having their final sentence delivered. It reassured him that there was some headway being made, and that the Hegemony--with its destiny to lift the Ortagans to their rightful place--would endure the any test from within as well as from without.
New Ortaga
18-07-2005, 17:57
Whisper Palace, Silesia, New Ortaga, Roum System, Hegemony of New Ortaga
5.27.1300 AF
1823 Roum Local Standard

Arthur Wolfe is breathless as he climbs the small flight of stairs that lead to one of the Whisper Palace's carefully concealed tower landing pads. He looks up into the cold, unyielding faceplate of an Elite Guardsman.

"His Excellency is waiting," the Guardsman says without emotion. Wolfe manages a slow, tired nod as he staggers up the last few stairs and steps out into the freezing touch of the winds that rip through Silesia's highest levels.

A small shuttle sits on the pad, and Channing Ansel stands with his hands clasped behind his back. He is surrounded by five other Guardsmen.

"Ah, Arthur, I would apologize for summoning you on such short notice. I trust you are ready to depart for Alpha Centauri?"

Wolfe feels his breathless state reach a whole new level.

"I am sorry, Your Excellency, but I did not realize that is why you have summoned me. I have not prepared my materials, or my effects."

Ansel waves a hand, "I have already had your documents transfered from your personal files, Arthur, and taken the liberty of having clothes and other necessities gathered from your residence. And if I missed any necessary data, well we will be in range of the Nu-space network at all times."

Wolfe represses the urge to slump in defeat. He has viewed the possibility of traveling to Alpha Centauri with growing dread, especially when the reply delivered by Kerrigan finally came. Not only would it mean that the Hegemon would be constantly scrutinizing his diplomatic procedures, but it would also leave him removed from the environment of the Council. Something Wolfe was loathe to do with the knives of Kendra Ansel, Garahou, Saharin, and several other members always waiting to claim another Coordination as part of their domains, whether by influence or direct control.

"Well, Arthur? The Revolution is awaiting us in orbit."

Ansel's voice with its clear cut command cuts through Wolfe's concerns long enough to realize something far more important is on the line than his personal bureaucratic empire: his life.

"I am ready then."

"Good, good," Ansel says with a slight smile as he turns for the shuttle.

Wolfe tries to conquer his still omnipresent dread as he walks toward the shuttle and the Guardsmen fall in behind him. He allows his vision to sweep over the jagged points and spires of the Silesia skyline, fervently hoping he will see it again.

HSS Nemesis, Mesa System, Mesan Conglomerate
05.27.1300 AL
0756 Roum Local Standard

Rear Admiral Ginias Saharin stands quietly on the bridge, absent-mindedly seeking out the star systems of Roum, Axis, and other home suns. He represses a yawn as he watches one of the massive transports of the Solar Marines move across the Nemesis's bow and enter formation with its sister ships. He listens with half an ear to the steady rhythm of approaching footsteps over the muffled sounds of the typical bridge activity.


Saharin turns, eyes still lazily half-closed, "Yes, Captain Clark?"

"We have completed the transfer of all combat units from Mesa, and the transports are preparing for the translation back to Axis. I have also contacted Commodore Novato and delivered your orders that he is to remain on station with his force for the duration. But I also have a priority message for you from Roum, Admiral."

Saharin's eyes snap open and he extends a hand for the data-pad Clark is holding. Clark watches uneasily as Saharin's eyes dart rapidly over the scrolling text. A message bearing the personal codes, transfer protocols, and clearances of the Hegemon rarely bodes well, even in Ginias Saharin's command.

Saharin looks up with a bemused half-smile, "It seems Operation British will soon commence, Captain. The Verniians have rejected the petition made by Coordinator Wolfe. Have the fleet ready to depart for Axis within the hour, we will escort the convoy and oversee its transfer to Dylar system via warpgate. Then we will make for Roum."

"Yes, Admiral."

"I will be in my quarters. I do not wish to be disturbed."

"Yes, Admiral."

Clark tenses as Saharin sweeps past him. He wonders briefly what plots Saharin will conclude in his quarters, and if it will truly result in the victory of the Revolution.

Whisper Palace, Silesia, New Ortaga, Roum System, Hegemony of New Ortaga
5.27.1300 AF
1902 Roum Local Standard

Kendra Ansel prowls the glass-lined rooms of one of the Whisper Palace's observation galleries. She glares at the dancing rows of lights of air traffic across Silesia, and mutters to herself.

Thrown on the floor is a data-pad, scrolling with a personal message from her father. It details the reply of the Verniians, his impending journey to Alpha Centauri, and the final time table for Saharin's damnabled Operation British.

How could he do this? Gamble the future of the Hegemony, the very life of the Revolution, on the mad schemes of an amoral, bastard with no real concept of loyalty to the Revolution. It is unthinkable, disgusting, and over her repeated objections. This vast battle plan with its numerous, pointless intricate details wastes the power and the might of the Hegemony. And her repeated efforts to demonstrate this have only resulted in her Observers being assigned to oversee the attacks on Morning Star and Ticonderga.

Kendra stops and draws herself up to a more restrained posture, clasping her hands behind her back with such force her knuckles whiten. Perhaps the time has come to take more drastic steps. Obviously her father has been corrupted by Galt and Saharin, and the very existence of the Revolution is at stake.

"He will have on last chance," Kendra murmers to herself, "one last chance. Even that may mean acting too late."

She whirls with vehemence on the Observer standing near the door. He stiffens draws himself to a parade rest.

"Contact Strategos Garahou, tell her I want to see here by 2000. And send out word there is to be a full meeting of the Operational and Security Directors tomorrow morning."

The Observer nods, clicks his heels, and throws the extended fist salute of the Obsevers, "For the Revolution, Citizen Director-General!"

And he turns on his own heel and rapidly leaves the gallery.

"Yes....for the Revolution..." Kendra says breathlessly.