NationStates Jolt Archive

Pipin' Hot in Tsaraine

08-09-2003, 13:38
OOC: Yes, it's a bad pun, I know. The nations used in here, apart from Tsaraine and Nathicana, will not be found in the NS lists; they're fictional (more fictional, that is), and are the little things which border Tsaraine. This idea was worked out with Dread Lady Nathicana over IRC.

Presidential Palace, Kel Aestrakant, Free Republic of Aestrakant

President-General Miguel Aestrakor leaned back uncomfortably in his seat, and gulped nervously. Things had not been going well for the Free Republic of Aestrakant; without the expected international investment, the free market he'd dreamed of had never appeared; without that free market, disillusioned officers of the Aestrakor Freedom Corps had splintered the original West Tsarainese state into a massive jumble of competing warlord territories - much like the situation to the East of the wastes. The old days were looking better and better.
And now the living incarnation of those old days, Division Five Commandant Rene Seingult, was sitting on the other side of his desk ... wearing the Iron Crown of the Dominion!
"Er," he said uneasily, "Er. I, er, hope you don't mind. Me making this nation."
"Rebellion is punishable by death, Platoon Commandant Aestrakor," the Lady Protector - Fate help him, the Domina - said, "But after what you've done to the Western Provinces, I think you can keep this pile of shit."
"So, er, what do you want then? Er."
"I plan to put a pipeline through your "nation", Platoon Commandant."
"But it's, it's my nation!"
"I believe I've already pointed out that your life is forfeit, should I choose to allow such as you back into the Dominion." the temperature in Miguel's gut dropped several degrees, from chilly to subzero.
"Now, we can do this the easy way or the hard way, though the hard way would not be so much harder for me, and it would be more satisfying. The easy way involves you ceding me the rights to a one-kilometer strip of land right through your southern province, to be policed by Dominion troops and any incursions to be anwered with maximum force. The hard way involves Dominion tanks rolling that land flat first. Which will it be?"
It was hardly a question with more than one answer; the Commonwealth, or the Dominion as she called it, could roll through Kel Aestrakant without noticing it was there.
"The, er, easy way."
"Good man. Keep up your good work, and I may even allow you to have your Platoon Commandant's pins back."
She pushed a thick sheaf of papers across the table. "Sign these."
Aestrakor picked up his pen, and began to read.
"...I, the undersigned Miguel F. Aestrakor, honourary landholder of those territories known as Aestrakor, do assign in perpetuity unto the Dominion of Tsaraine..."

Revolution Command, Kel Undant, People's Socialist Union of Undant

Comrade President-Commandant Rejiya would be more difficult, Rene Seingult reflected as she was shown in to the leader's flag-bedecked office. Eirkhanz Rejiya had kept a tighter rein on his section of the Western Provinces, doing with a combination of Tsarainese collectivism and Chinese communism what Aestrakor hadn't been able to do with free market capitalism; create a viable state. Undant was the largest, most prosperous, and fiercest of the new nations of the Western Provinces, stretching from the Obsadian Wastes around in a crescent south and west of Aestrakant.
Rene chuckled silently to herself. Aestrakant! If that fool named a nation after himself, no wonder it came to grief!
"My lady." Comrade President-Commandant Eirkhanz Rejiya, formerly Province Commandant Eirkhanz tsaRejiya, bowed with difficulty; he'd gone somewhat to fat in the thirty-odd years since she'd seen him last, and was looking much older.
My god, his hair's white. It was black when I saw him last. He was young when I saw him last. Not much older than me, Fate be merciful!
"You look as stunning as ever, Division Commandant," Rejiya said, flashing her a grin, "You must tell me how that is possible. But why are you here, in this Fate-accursed little section of the Western Provinces? I do hope you don't want to take it away."
"Not yet, President-Commandant," Rene replied, "Not if I can do buisness with you, anyway."
Rejiya grew solemn. "Buisness! That horrible, magical word! Aestrakor is a rather pathetic man, you know. I'm told you spoke to him."
"Indeed I did. You see, I'm looking to put in a pipeline from the Wastes to an ally. Fresh water, you know. Having intimidated that fool Aestrakor into granting me a long strip of Aestrakant, I'm interested in doing similar in Undant."
The President-Commandant held up a hand in warning. "If you mean to take part of my nation, be warned that I'm neither so scared of you as that fool Aestrakor nor so devoted to you as that fool Rai Lingh tsaYareh - yes, I've heard about Rai Lingh - as to cede it to you so easily."
She waved his concerns aside. "I said similar, Rajiya, not the same. I was thinking, oh, construction and policing rights to a one-kilometer strip of land through your northern sectors, in return for a certain annual tonnage of ore sold at fixed rates to the People's Socialist Union of Undant."
"Hmmm," Rajiya said, "You do realise there's very little to stop me from holding you hostage here? I'm certain that I could bargain a much higher price, and you're in no position to resist." He waved to her wheelchair.
"You could try," Rene smiled icily, "I do like a leader who thinks ruthlessly, but I'm afraid you couldn't achieve anything apart from your very swift termination. Kaiten, demonstrate."
The big Rukine Knight nodded, and Rene felt the hair-raising tingle of his shark-senses flow past her.
Rajiya gasped, face turning red as he looked about wildly.
"That's enough, Kaiten."
"What ... what was that?"
"Alteration of emotions through electromagnetic field manipulation. In that case, my friend, terror. We call them Rukine Knights. And you should really get your blood pressure looked at; such a red face isn't healthy in a man your age."
The President-Commandant scowled, smoothing his uniform.
"And now," Rene smiled, "Let us negotiate."
11-09-2003, 11:55
Tsarainese Corridor, Undant

Platoon Commandant Xarian ralSfera was jolted out of her doze as the military jeep rolled over another bump.
"Drive more carefully, curse it!" she snarled at her driver.
"Not me, Commandant." the man replied. "Damn Undanti roads. This bit was in Aestrakant till recently."
Xarian swore virulently, cursing Undant and Aestrakant both. Their platoon was one of several charged with shifting civilians off the newly established corridor, and with the negotiation of rights through a further three states, their task had only just begun. It seemed it would take them all the way to the other end of the pipeline, a continent away in the Dominion of Dread Lady Nathicana.
"Looks like another village, Commandant." the driver pointed it out; a low cluster of huts.
Xarian sighed; the civilians in this part of the world were all idiots, it seemed.
"Let's do this thing again, then." she said wearily, as the jeep rolled into the dusty village center.
Xarian unclipped the speaker from it's holster, and stood up.
"All persons are to assemble in the village center immediately!" she yelled into it, and had the satisfaction of seeing several dozen hicks spill out of the rundown buildings.
"This land is now Tsarainese territory, purchased from the People's Republic of Undant. As such, any citizens who remain here after one month is up will become citizens of the Dominion of Tsaraine with all the priveleges and responsibilities of such. You have known life under Aestrakant and Undant; the elders of you may recall life under Tsaraine. For those who have not, let me assure you that Tsaraine is a much better nation to be living in than either of these little states.
But those who do not wish to live in the Dominion of Tsaraine must depart this area; for we will not tolerate dissent, and any such extant after one month will be treated under Tsarainese law.
Here for your perusal I deposit copies of the purchase agreement and Tsarainese legal statutes," - Xarian tossed them down onto the ground, a slim folder and a thick book - "That you may make an informed choice on this matter. Thank you for your time."
Xarian returned the loudspeaker to it's holster, and sat back down. Another town marked off the map, and on to the next. This mission could get very boring, very fast.
Dread Lady Nathicana
15-09-2003, 02:01
Sitting quietly in her home office was the Dread Lady herself, looking rather unimpressive behind her desk in a loose tank top and silky boxer-style shorts. Her hair was pulled back in a long braid, and her feet were bare, tucked up underneath her in her spacious leather chair.

The work had begun, and Nathicana was pleased. The water purification plant was well underway in the northern city of Corinth - the largest city on the coast in that area. All reports were positive thus far, and it seemed as though the timetables they had worked out would be met. Still ... it was early in the project, and many months lay ahead before its completion.

Oddly enough, Burninatonia in a suprise move, had offered Hordesmen to work in the groundbreaking efforts. She had yet to broach the subject with Rene, but on the outside, it seemed like a possibility - so long as they were kept well in front of the regular work crews. Lord Lancaster had warned of their particular needs and habits. Nathicana shuddered a bit at that.

Working through diplomatic avenues, she had secured passage and rights to a small strip of land running through both Dominae and Callas. Anaya Costanzi had been of course, no trouble - as expected. She had a relatively firm hand in Domniae's politics, and often used them to further her own goals when neccessary. The information she'd gained from them had been, at times, invaluable, and Anaya had proven herself to be a competent and ruthless leader in her own right.

At least she doesn't presume to put her neck out too far. The woman knows her betters.

Prime Minister Robert Cratchett had been quite pleasant to deal with, as always. She had kept herself clear of things there. They had never given her worry, she tended to keep her fingers out of their affairs.

So many details to attend to.

She took her time, perusing the reports, signing what needed to be signed, refilling often her ever-present glass of ice water being from a large pitcher on a small stand behind her and to the left.

So far, the alliance had gone quite smoothly. Legion Commandant Eirkhanz Sche'daya of Tsaraine had been working out quite well as a liason, and thus far, her own representative there, Dominic Garibaldi, seemed quite comfortable in his new spartan surroundings. In many ways, the two governments seemed to work alike, and she had rather taken a liking to Rene and her straightforward methods.

At least things are running smoothly so far. This past month has been enough to set me straight over the edge. The upcoming safari should do wonders for my nerves, I hope. Perhaps get a few things settled.

And with these thoughts and others, she continued her quiet work late into the night, finally shutting down her computer and turning out the lights as the first steely light of dawn lined the horizon. She padded softly down the hall to her bedroom, lay down tiredly on top of the covers, and slipped quickly into a restless sleep.
21-09-2003, 10:57
Revolution Command, Kel Undant, People's Republic of Undant

The target shuddered a little as the bullet thunked into the soft board, right in the center with the other four shots.
President-Commandant Rejiya lowered his revolver, glaring at the image of Domina Rene Seingult pinned to the target; bulletmarks pocked her face.

"Fate accurse that bitch!" he swore angrily, "I thought she was dead. I spent thirty-three years carving Undant out of nothing, thinking she was dead! And then she has the nerve, the Fate-accursed nerve, to walk into my office wearing the Iron Crown of the Dominion her ancestors died to destroy, and tear strips out of my nation!"

Mirell said nothing; this was something the President-Commandant ranted about regularly, and he would not be reasoned with about it. That made him dangerous, but useful to her all the same.

Rejiya lodged another bullet between the Domina's eyes; he was an excellent shot, just as he was an excellent leader; Undant's current woes were attributable to the chaos of it's founding, not any lack of skill on Rejiya's part.

"There is nothing quite so fine, quite so powerful, as firing a gun," Rejiya grinned at her. "It is almost ... sexual in it's release, in the power it bestows. Here, you have a go."

The Domina, to Mirell's certain knowledge, had never found that power exciting, much less arousing. No, the Domina's flaw was in regarding her aides as furniture, as something less than human.

Soon you will find out that I am perfectly human, Domina. "If you prick us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us, do we not laugh? If you poison us, do we not die? And if you wrong us, shall we not revenge?"

Taking the gun from Rejiya, Mirell considered turning and firing the bullet into the President-Commandant's skull. But no, she'd likely fail, and she was too far into this to vandalise her chances now. So Mirell allowed Rejiya to stand behind her, his hands over hers to help her aim.
Though she did have to supress a shudder; his hands were clammy, like those of a corpse.
Nervous, Mirell twitched, firing the bullet too soon; it went wide, missing the target.

"Not so good," Rejiya whispered into her ear, prying the gun from her hands, "But still, you won't be needing a gun to do the deed."

Mirell nodded, as Rejiya slid another clip into the revolver. The plan was to make it look natural, or as natural as possible; with luck, she might even survive it. She found she didn't really care much any more.

"You had better get back." Rejiya commented. "After all, your clone-sister can't be expected to hold down your job indefinitely, and that security officer you've seduced may get pangs of morality if you leave him too long without, ah, reaffirming his loyalty."

That was as clear a dismissal as Rejiya ever gave; his guards moved forward to escort Mirell out of their leader's august presence. Behind her, Mirell heard the thock thock thock of bullets hitting the target.
26-09-2003, 08:19
State Security Corps Center, Deep Tsarai, Tsaraine

"Mirell, I don't know about this." Narek keiKaran said, frowning. "I mean, altering the vid records all the time - isn't it wrong?"

"Narek, it's not wrong." Mirell repeated. "The Domina wants you to." A little lie, but it wouldn't hurt him. "Wouldn't you get irritated, having cameras watching you all the time?"

"Not really." Narek shrugged. The SSC watched everyone, after all, and had for over a century. Where was the bother with that?

Mirell shrugged back. "Apparently the Domina does. C'mon, Narek, it's not like she's going to kill someone, stuck in that wheelchair. She's the Domina!"

Her argument seemed weak to Mirell's ears, but she hadn't selected Narek for his intellect. Like many other Tsarainese, he was slow to take initiative; a downside to the unflinching loyalty to authority ingrained in Tsarainese culture.

But something - either her argument or the smile she gave him - convinced Narek, averting the near-disaster. The entire plan hinged on Narek shutting off the cameras which constantly watched the Domina, delaying discovery of the "accident" until Mirell could be sure the woman was dead and could get herself, hopefully, out of Deep Tsarai.

Not so long now, Domina. Enjoy what's left of your life before it's gone.
27-09-2003, 11:28
Domina's Quarters, Deep Tsarai, Tsaraine

Kaiten leaned absently on the corridor wall, his shark senses focused on the Domina as always. A normal human would have found his duties boring, perhaps; to Kaiten, focused solely on the well-being of the Dominion, it was the pinnacle of his existence. Indeed, it was literally what he'd been born to do.

With his shark senses focused on the Domina, Kaiten heard Mirell before he sensed her. He turned sharply, and her kaiu blade - sweet Fate, how had they missed that? - slashed across his side instead of into his back as she'd intended. Thought ceased, superceded by Kaiten's engineered instincts; the spines slid from his wrists, and he gathered in the shark senses to refocus on his unexpected assailant.

Pain blossomed suddenly in his gut; Mirell had a second blade. Shoving the sensation aside, Kaiten brought his senses to bear on the electrical fields of Mirell's brain, preparing to initiate fear responses.

The shark-senses slipped away from him suddenly, Kaiten's mind clouding over. Some kind of poison on the blades, most likely.

Distantly, Kaiten felt himself collapse to the floor. What is she trying to accomplish? He thought blurrily, The SSC will surely be here any minute. There's no way she can survive ... what? The Domina! Shocked, Kaiten struggled to get to his feet, but the world was slipping away from him, the lights dimming...


Mirell rubbed at her hands, trying to get the blood off. The Rukine Knight had been an unexpected obstacle, and she didn't want his blood - dark and reddish-blue, gut blood - alerting the Domina. The stuff stuck to her hands, red in the lines of her skin even after the majority of it was carefully wiped off. Any more of this and she'd become the Lady MacBeth. Out, damned spot!

Mirell supressed the urge to giggle, and entered the Domina's study. As usual the Domina, focused on her screens, paid her no attention. Usually that was an irritant, but today it could only be a Fated blessing.

She'd been meaning to use the fine needle in her pocket to do this unnoticeably, but a dead Rukine Knight in the corridor removed all pretense at subtlety. Better to use the two kaiu blades, short daggers which had scarcely changed in design for a millenium.

Perhaps the Domina had seen some reflection of the blades in her screens; she turned, frowning in puzzlement.
"You-" she began, before Mirell rushed at her, throwing the Domina backwards. Screens shattered, going dark.
Mirell stabbed down angrily, the blades entering the Domina's body wetly, as if into custard. This time Mirell did giggle, a high, mad sound.
"If you prick us, do we not bleed?" she hissed; the Bard had understood such things, she felt.


Shock and pain in the one mind Kaiten cared about over all others roused the Rukine Knight from his stupor. The Domina was hurt; the Domina who, if one listened to the babblings of Rai Lingh and his black-robed priests, was an avatar of Fate.

Kaiten lurched to his feet, and stumbled down the corridor, anger and guilt burning away the clouds of poison shrouding his mind.

The Domina was sprawled across her desk, her aide methodically stabbing down; a dark stain was spreading across her shirt.
Mirell laughed crazily.
"If we poison you, will you not die? Die! Die, Fate accurse you!"
Kaiten recognised the misquotation, and moved up behind her on silent feet, spines sliding from his wrists.

"And if you wrong us, shall we not revenge?" he finished for her, wrenching Mirell off the Domina with brute strength. One arm pinned her arms to her sides, the other, with it's wickedly sharp spine, pushed upwards through her jaw, piercing the roof of her mouth and stabbing into her brain. Mirell's head jerked upwards and went limp, her body falling from Kaiten's grip.

"Oh my Domina, I have failed you..." Kaiten whispered, feeling for a pulse. To his suprise, there was a sluggish, arrythmic beat; clearly Mirell was a poor assassin.

Hope welled again in Kaiten's mind as he brought his commlink, fashioned into four thick rings on his right hand, to his lips.

"RKC unit K-10 to Medical Corps. Reporting an emergency, Domina's Quarters. She's dying."

No need to say who "She" was; in the Domina's own quarters, there was only one person who that could mean.
Satisfied that help was on it's way, Kaiten let the haze of exhaustion created by poison and loss of blood overwhelm him, and once again he slumped to the floor.

State Security Corps Center, Deep Tsarai, Tsaraine

"Narek keiKaran, you are charged with aiding and abetting an assassination attempt on your soverign ruler. How do you plead?"
Narek stared at the two State Security Corps Inquisitors who had just burst into his office.
Oh, Fate! Mirell ... no, no, it can't be. Mirell wouldn't do that ... would she?

"Oh Fate, Mirell! I swear I didn't know she was doing anything, she told me the Domina told her to get the cameras turned off, I thought-"
his babbling was cut off suddenly as one of the Inquisitors slapped him, hard, across the face.

"You idiot, you never saw an authorisation code, did you?"
"Uh, n-no, I trusted her!"
"Doubly a fool, then. You should know that you need an authorisation from a Sub-Corps Commandant at the lowest to get cameras turned off. You should have learnt that in basic training! Kari Kymni, how you got through training I have no idea.

"Being a stupid lo!'n isn't a punishable offence is it Baris?"
This last was adressed to the second Inquisitor, who scowled angrily.
"I'm sure for this stupid idiot we can make an exception, T'arkh."
"Such a pity we need to keep him, then."

The Inquisitor turned back to Narek, the iron disc hanging around his neck rattling on it's chain like bells, like bones.
"Today's your lucky day, lo!'n. I'd love to exterminate you for your part in this mess, but unfortunately we need to question you. Maybe when we're done you'll be able to get duty fertilising hydroponics somewhere."
"I don't know anything!" Narek gibbered in terror.
"That remains to be seen. Please extend your hands to be cuffed."