Somewhere on the surface of Termagant

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Somewhere on the surface of Termagant

Post by Karth Damodred on Wed Jan 20, 2010 1:52 am

Zara: "It does not matter whether you like it or not, husband, it must be done. They will expect to see you immersed in the trappings of wealth. That means clothes, servants, expensive decor, jewelery, a palace..."

Karth: "ENOUGH! I have agreed to do as you wish and invite the alliance officers to Termagant for the Summer Harvest Festival but I won't pretend to be something I am not!"

Zara: "Then they won't respect you, they'll see you as provincial and what they don't respect they will eventually destroy! (under her breath) Dumbass."

Count Karth Damodred stands on the veranda of his modest bungalow overlooking the mountain lake. The smoke from his cigar wreathes his head and his expression goes black as he turns his head and regards his wife. She is lying on her side, bare as the day she was born and looking at him the way a lioness looks at zebra.

Karth: "Destroy me you say? Dumbass is it?"

Mrs. Damodred winces at her poor choice of words. This isn't going the way she'd planned.

Karth: "You forget your rank woman! I am the High Commander of Termagant and all her offspring worlds! They may not respect me but, by god, you will!"

Zara springs to her feet and faces the High Commander, squares off and assumes a familiar, defiant stance.

Zara: "I don't care for your tone or the way you address me as 'woman' you asshole piece of buttfucked dogshit, I mean, Sire!"

Zara performs a mocking, flourishing bow.
For the millionth time Karth is a tad regretful for marrying a Lieutenant Colonel of his Colonial Marine Corp. but also more than a tad proud of the accomplishment.

Karth: "I'm not your sire you salty, foulmouthed, bitch!"

The leg sweep is fast and connects with the back of the High Commanders knees before he has completely finished the last word of his last sentence. By the time his back has hit the carpet the Lieutenant Colonel has produced a knife from somewhere and is nearly completing a maneuver that will leave him helpless and bleeding. It was a mistake to call her bitch, she hates being called that. But there is no un-ringing that bell so, aided by his genetic enhancements, Karth blocks the knife thrust and rolls free of the pin maneuver a fraction of a second before being fastened to the floor by his wife's ceremonial dagger. The flush of her skin and the dilation of her pupils tells Karth that his wife's enhancements are in full swing and that his life may hang in the balance. As he rolls to his feet she is thrusting the blade at his face. He counters with an upward strike to her elbow that would bend the frame of a troop truck. She involuntarily releases the knife and it buries itself to the hilt in the ceiling. His second blow is aimed for her neck and and is delivered with such speed that a vapor trail is actually produced but she has seen her husband fight many times and this maneuver is expected. She arches her back to allow the strike to miss her, plants her good hand on the floor behind her and backflips striking her husband under his chin crushingly with her left foot. The blow launches Karth into the air causing him to bite his tongue painfully and blurring his vision. He hits the ceiling with a loud crash but predictably lands on his feet amidst a shower of plaster and ceiling timbers atop the now ruined executive bed, he is holding his wife's dagger. Husband and wife regard each other amidst the ruin of the master bedroom. They are both injured, breathing heavily, both bare and sweaty. Karth stands up straight, sticks the dagger into the bedpost and spits out a gob of blood onto the disheveled carpet between them. She is the most beautiful and deadly woman he has ever seen and he can deny her nothing.

Karth: (forcefully) "I am sorry that I called you bitch. If I build a palace to receive high ranking guests and commission some gaudy jewelery for you to wear will you be satisfied?"

Zara looks at her husband. In the growing light of dawn he appears to be made of chiseled granite and she has never known his equal. She relaxes her stance and rubs her badly sprained elbow.

Zara: "A palace will require servants, I don't need jewelery"

Karth: "Indeed you do not. Fine, a palace and some well paid staff for it's upkeep. Will THAT satisfy you?"

Zara: (coquettishly) "Almost."

As the Lieutenant Colonel tackles the Warlord of the VnV Nation and an entirely different kind of battle ensues, Karth's forgotten cigar ignites the sheets of the bed where it fell during the melee and is ignored. The fire alarm startles a flock of mountain raptors down by the lake but that too fails to get the couples attention. The fire suppression system finally drowns the flames...unnoticed.

A palace is commissioned and built to the specifications of, and under the scrutinizing eye of, the High Commanders wife. It rests atop the ancient and slightly active volcano, Indomitare, where geothermal power is abundant, the flora and fauna are varied and breathtakingly beautiful and life is more appreciated.

Electronic invitations go out to all the Governors of all the colony worlds of Termagant and fine parchment invitations are hand delivered to every officer of the VnV Nation. The invitations read;

My esteemed colleague,

It is with great pleasure that I invite you to come to my homeworld of Termagant and celebrate with us our highest holiday, the Summer Harvest Festival. Three days of music, food, dancing, strong drink and good company. I know many of you by wartime communique only and that simply will not suffice. Come and celebrate life with at least the same zeal with which we take it. The universe demands equilibrium and who are we to deny it? Festival begins in three weeks, please RSVP with any accommodation requirements that you may need.

Expectantly,

Warlord & Warlady Damodred



Karth reviews the invitation amidst the hammering of workmen repairing his mountain home.

Karth: Warlady, Zara? Really?

Zara: (smiling)"If you get a title for a crappy little poem then I certainly deserve one for putting up with you."
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Re: Somewhere on the surface of Termagant

Post by Vehemence on Wed Jan 20, 2010 9:24 pm



Not long after the invitation was sent, a reply comes from the Palace:

Esteemded Count Damodred,

I cordially accept your invitation, and look forward to seeing your homeworld. You must forgive me but last I visited it I had little eye for the scenery, I hope there are no more lasting effects of our first meeting.

News has also reached the capitol that you are constructing a palace befitting your title and position in our Nation. I can only encourage your choice in doing so, your underlings will respect for your actions, but a palace inspires awe. I must admit that I dod not expect this from you, but it is a welcome surprise. I am curious as to your design choices.

I hope this message reaches you in good health, I will be arriving in a few days. Please make sure that my sleeping accomodation has no windows, and a single reinforced entryway. Also take into account that I wil be bringing a dosen servants.

Regards,

Arch Chancellor Vehemence



Last edited by Vehemence on Mon Jan 25, 2010 5:44 pm; edited 1 time in total

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>>>\/<<<

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And in small compass the dark waters cram."

"Farewell, friend. I was a thousand times more evil than thou!"
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Re: Somewhere on the surface of Termagant

Post by Dick Steel on Sun Jan 24, 2010 3:30 pm

<<<< INCOMING TRANSMISSION >>>>

Chancellor Steel shall attend.

May Odin guide you,
Wolf priest Ranak
<<<< END TRANSMISSION >>>>

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Re: Somewhere on the surface of Termagant

Post by Guest on Sun Jan 24, 2010 5:09 pm

Sitting behind his desk, Baron Ernie reads over the invitation. His office is neither small nor large, as simple as three bare walls ending at a 10x reinforced plasma proof window that gave an awe inspiring view of the Metropolis beneath it. Devoid of any furnishings except for a large desk in the center of the room and holo-projectors to display data and meetings, the room is silent. The Baron puts down his hollow-pad and walks to the window, debating what to do regarding the message.

Wonderful...a party. In a massive and new palace no less. Too flashy for me, but I cannot refuse lest I offend. I had thought the Warlord of similar tastes as I, an enjoyment of the simple things in life. Not that high pleasures of the material world are not enjoyable and permissible, but letting them rule one so totally that they construct massive edifices in their own name....that was not Stoic at all. Oh well, it will be good to see some old faces, and meet some new ones.

I will not dress like some fool dandy however, and if I spend the entire festival drinking Scotch and smoking unfiltered Nabootin Ciggerets by myself while being mocked for being so low brow...then so be it. I must pulse my RSVP now before I forget. And did that say "Warlady"...oh meeting her is going to be a treat....

<>
Warlord, I am humbled to be invited to your home to share in this festival with you and your people. Including my aide and personal guard there will be 15 in my retinue. I thank you again for your hospitality and look forward to seeing you Warlord.

<>

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Re: Somewhere on the surface of Termagant

Post by GRIZZLY on Mon Jan 25, 2010 1:44 am

in his free time, baron Grizzly cleanes his ancient weapons collection in his war collections room, one of his secretarries knocks on the door, and entres with a data pad.
I have some pleasant news my league, Count and warlord Karth damodred and his wife has invited you to selibrate the summer harvest festival on his homeplanet; what shall i repli sir?

"Hmm a festival": he sais, " it has been a long time that a good grog has passed my mouth, reply to the warlord and warlady that he can excpect us within a week, we will bring a few ton of our finest grog and mede (medieval liquor and honeywine) , by the beard of zeus, tis wil be a party to be long rememberd"
"it shall be done my league" replies the secratarry , leaving the Baron with a great smile on his face. while she leaves the room she can hear him shouting:" LET THE BOOOZE FLOW RUUUUUUUUUUUUUSH"

>>>>>>>>>>incoming transmition to warlord & warlady<<<<<<<<<<<<<

We are honoured by your invitaton and shall attend to this festival.
As token of your hospitallity we already send 3 hercules cargo ships with our bests liquor and mede [only to be found at our homeplanet BYSS-001] at yourdestination.

we look forward to meet you and the festivities
Baron Grizzly Blacklight & Barones wissneda of the BYSS empirium

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>ending transmition<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<
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Re: Somewhere on the surface of Termagant

Post by Guest on Mon Jan 25, 2010 2:28 am

The cold wind sweeps the barren fields of the surface of Frigid. The newly named Lord Severns sat at his console, looking over maps, battle statistics and figures from his last campaign when he is startled by buzz at his door.

"Come," he commands. In steps one of his communications corps leftenants in the new Frigid uniform, the leftenant says, "Sir, we have just received communication from Termagant. Count Damodred has extended an invitation to the Lord of Frigid to attend their summer harvest festival. What is the reply that should be sent?"

Lord Severns, much like his galactic neighbor, Baron Ernie, was never one for "needless" decoration or fuss. His command room had a single, long table in the middle of the room, surrounded by blank walls. There was a single seat at the end of the table, and the entirety of the rest of the table is covered in graphs, charts, and other official documents. "I suppose that I should make nice and let everyone know who I am, what I do, and how much the Frigid people want to help...."

"Transmit a reply, informing the good Count that I will as a matter of fact be attending."

Just after he said this, he thought, "I need to remember to bring my scotch for this one...."

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Re: Somewhere on the surface of Termagant

Post by Maenhout on Mon Jan 25, 2010 2:47 am

The battlestar lay in orbit of Sirius Tau...

Overlooking his tactical data, commander Maenhout sighed.
The temperatures down on the planet averaged from -90°C to -50°C...

The work on the space station in orbit was not proceeding to plan. The miners stationed there were on strike again, complaining about the temperatures and work conditions on the ground. They didn't want to work in those harsh conditions, and actually, he couldn't really blame them.

Looking up, he glanced at his NCO...
"Deploy marines, and put the miners to work."
"You heard the man," yelled the NCO "I want a full tactical report in 15 minutes!"

Sleep was what commander Maenhout needed now. The insurgence had lasted for 4 days, the miners had been sabotaging the space station, and the policeforce had proven unable to do anything.
As he made to leave, first lieutenant Kat stopped him in his tracks.
"Sir, an invitation from Termagant."
Quickly looking at the invitation, commander Maenhout stopped to think.

"NCO, double the amount of marines at the space station, and tell them to hold and secure all facilities for a prolonged time. We are leaving, and I don't want any reports of troubles here."

The helmsman got the message and asked "Where to Sir?"
"Set course to Termagant, first lieutenant Kat will give you the coördinates. I also want messages to be sent to our admiral, vice-admiral and ambassador. Except if they've got a very good excuse, I expect to see them there at Termagant. And reply to the invitation, tell them we'l be honoured to attend."

With that, commander Maenhout left the CIC, off for some well deserved sleep.

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Re: Somewhere on the surface of Termagant

Post by Widah Xulub on Fri Jan 29, 2010 8:57 pm

Widah Xulub's mind is weary from the last few days of putting his new home on Thera in good order. His best and brightest had remained behind to attend to the growing needs of their people back home in the Ninth Galaxy, so there was no one of sufficient ability to delegate such a chore to. He didn't really mind. The change was rather exciting despite having to leave his family behind for the time being. Ever since he could remember he had had a certain fascination with the mundane labors of the common citizen especially those of the master craftsmen that came to the palace. This hardly compared, but Widah had been taught to apply the principles that governed thought and action to even the most trivial of tasks which he found to be a perfect prophylactic for boredom. Thus he gave his all to the work, but one must know one's limits even as one strives to overcome them. He dropped into his chair in his new office in the Northern Estate not yet warmed by the presence of living beings. That would soon change. Widah spent a moment reflecting on a savage tribe of an age past that used the severed head of an enemy to "warm" a new home. Lost in thought his eyes came to rest on a small object on his otherwise empty desk.

"Oh it's one of those data-crystals. Someone from the palace or the city must have delivered it," he thought to himself. He and his staff were still getting used to the technology, but he thought it a fantastic idea. His new desk was compatible with the medium, so he placed the crystal into the appropriate slot to satisfy his curiosity.


|||| || |||||||| | ||| || ||||||| ||| |

Forwarded transmission. Original Source: Termagant

My esteemed colleague,

It is with great pleasure that I invite you to come to my homeworld of Termagant and celebrate with us our highest holiday, the Summer Harvest Festival. Three days of music, food, dancing, strong drink and good company...


Expectantly,

Warlord & Warlady Damodred

|| |||| | | ||||||||| || |||| | ||||| |


"Brilliant! This is just the excuse to get away I need. It's been far too long since Karth and I reveled together, and many others I long to meet face-to-face will no doubt be attending. I'm sure we could all use the respite." His fingers activate a keypad and begin typing out a reply.

Count and Countess Damodred,

Prepare for my imminent arrival, old friend, and prepare your liver! Nothing special; there'll be little time for sleep.

Yours in fellowship,

Widah

p.s. The Chief Ambassador's Envoy, Parax, will be in tow as well.


Last edited by Widah Xulub on Tue Feb 23, 2010 11:58 am; edited 2 times in total
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Re: Somewhere on the surface of Termagant

Post by Karth Damodred on Thu Feb 11, 2010 12:23 am

Karth Damodred gazes out of the front view screen of the command transport Intransigence. Mount Indomitare looms in the distance and already the palace, under construction there, is a dominating feature. Two colossal statues flank the road that leads up to the massive wall around the palace courtyard. The two hundred meter tall statues are wearing ancient, horse hair crested helmets favored by his ancestors. They are nude ("of course" Karth thinks) with their inward arms outstretched toward each other, hands clasping, to form an arch over the wall gate. They appear to be made of volcanic glass but it is a fair bet that they have been reinforced on the molecular level to withstand the frequent tremors common to this area.
As the Intransigence circles the palace Karth can see that the royal structure completely encircles the maw of the volcano and the entire monstrosity appears to be made of the same volcanic glass that the vulgar statues are made of. The radio crackles and Zara's voice comes over the comm loud and clear.

Zara: Karth, my love, glad to see you finally take an interest in our new home. Meet me outside the gate, I want to show you something. Zara out."

Karth sets the Intransigence down just off the road outside the gate, opens the starboard hatch and strides out into the warm, late morning breeze. Zara is trotting over to greet him and He openly admires her. She clasps his hand in hers and smiling mischievously, pulls him into the middle of the road facing the giant gate.

Zara: "Well? What do you think?"

Karth: "About what?"

Zara punches him in the kidney playfully.

Karth: "Well it certainly is big, did you have to have it stretch all the way around the entire mountain?"

Zara: "Not the palace stupid, the statues. What do you think?"

The High Commander knows it would be a mistake to say "they're big".

Karth: They're lovely (waving his hand in the statues direction), Vehemence should feel right at home.

Zara: "You haven't looked very closely at them have you?"

Karth is looking his wife in the eye and the glint he sees there begins to make him a bit uncomfortable. He regards the statues more carefully.

Karth: "Well, the male looks very strong and the female... looks...

Karth's voice trails off as he notices the familiar angle of the female's shoulders, the curve of hip and thigh. He knows this form... intimately.

Karth: "Holy fucking shit Zara! Have you lost your mind?"

Mrs Damodred is laughing out loud now, bouncing up and down a little and squeezing her husbands hand tightly.

Karth: Jesus fucking Christ honey, everyone is gonna see this and... and...

Zara: "No one will know except us, well, and the sculptor of course." (more giggling) "We've been immortalized Darling!"

Karth: "What do you mean we?"

Suddenly the blood runs ice cold in Karth's veins. He slowly turns away from his wife and faces the statues. Looking at the male his eyes widen, his face reddens and his fists clench until the knuckles pop loudly.

Zara: "I scanned you when you were asleep. I think the artist captured your form quite well. If you look closely you can see that old scar on your shoulder and from behind he even got the dimples on..."

High Commander Damodred has turned back to face his wife and the look on his face carries the promise of unspeakable violence.

Karth: (in a low voice full of rage) "Who. Scanned. You?"

Mrs Damodred presses herself close to her husband, wraps her arms around his rigid body and whispers in his ear.

Zara: I did husband, the same night I scanned you, on our honeymoon 17 years ago. I wanted to preserve the moment and I thought this would be a fitting monument to our accomplishments since then. Don't be angry with me. Come, let me show you the inside."

As the Warlord and Lady Damodred walk hand in hand up the road toward the palace Karth's anger drains away amidst his wife's enthusiastic descriptions of the palace and it's unique architecture and the hustle and bustle of the enormous construction crew. Inside, the main hall stretches for two miles around the crown of the volcano and the inside wall is transparent affording a spectacular view down the gullet of Mt. Indomitare.

Karth: "If this thing decides to blow we're all done for you know."

Zara: "Actually no. This building is designed to withstand a full eruption. We are quite safe dear."

Karth: "Did you receive the replies to our invitation I forwarded to you?"

Zara: "I did indeed. Arch Chancellor Vehemence has requested a virtual vault for himself and his retinue, we are of course, accommodating him fully. Chancellor Steel has replied via that unpleasant man Ranek. I do hope that wolf priest is house trained. Baron Ernie will be in attendance, he replied to the invitation personally, a nice touch that. Baron Grizzly Blacklight is coming and has already sent a huge supply of his native liquors that I believe includes a kind of fermented honey. Can't wait to try that! Lord Severns has replied in the affirmative and is threatening to bring some of what his people call scotch, that aught to please you anyway. Lord Maenhout is coming and may be bringing along three of his Chiefs of Staff. And lastly that jumped up vagabond Count Widah Xulub will be coming and he is bringing his envoy along, someone named Parax. It'll be nice to see Widah again.

Karth: "And the gifts I commissioned?"

Zara: "Well the materials are quite rare as you well know but they will be finished on time to be presented on the eve of the harvest moon." (smiling sweetly)

Karth: "You have done well my wife, as I knew you would... except for... uh... nevermind."

Zara: "Come Karth, let me show you our rooms. I am certain you will be pleased."

As the High Commander and Lieutenant Colonel move off toward the turbolift some of the workers point, whisper, grin and perhaps stifle a laugh but only after the royal couple is well out of earshot.

Wink
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Re: Somewhere on the surface of Termagant

Post by Guest on Fri Feb 19, 2010 3:28 pm

In the outskirts of the Termagant system a lone Heavy Cruiser, with multiple laser blast marks on her hull, is on a slow approach towards the Homeworld Termagant. As the ship enters the system, a small attack fleet appears almost out of nowhere.

"Unknown Heavy Cruiser this is Termagent Security Fleet Yankee 22. You are an unkown attack ship running with no colors or identification in the Termagent system durring a time of war. Come to a complete stop, disable all weapons systems, and prepare for our security teams to come aboard. Refusal is not an option. "

Seconds later, almost as expected, the ship pulses its reply.

" Termagent Security Fleet Yankee 22 this is Stoicis Heavy Cruiser Refusal , personal ship to Count Ernie. Pulsing our ship and verification codes over now. The Count awaits your reponse. "

Several minutes pass as the Captains of the Security fleet analyze the Pulse.

"Refusal we apologize for the reception. UFP ships have been seen in the area. How may we be of assistance?"

"Understood Security Fleet. Our ship has been damaged during a surprise attack by UFP earlier today, and the Count having remembered the upcomming festivities that are still some time away, instructed me to plot a course towards Termagant in hopes of finding a port to repair our ship. The Count is not able to speak at the moment, but he would like to inform you to that you are to conatct your superiors and see if this is suitable. The Count understands the emphasis the Warlord has on security, and will press no further until word from the Capitol has arrived."

"Roger that Refusal, we will stay on and set up a perimeter around the Count while we await word from Warlord Damodred."

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Re: Somewhere on the surface of Termagant

Post by Karth Damodred on Fri Feb 19, 2010 11:14 pm

"Attention Stoics Cruiser REFUSAL, this is Security Fleet Yankee 22, permission granted to proceed to command station LIGHTHOUSE for repairs and medical support. Warlord Damodred's command vessel INTRANSIGENCE is en route to rendezvous with you there and provide transport for Count Ernie and his entourage to the Indomitare Palace at the Count's convenience. Welcome to Termagant REFUSAL and have a bright harvest, Yankee 22 out.

************************************************************** MEANWHILE ******************************************************

Karth: "I want a Prometheus class destroyer and a flight of Poseidon's to escort the REFUSAL to the LIGHTHOUSE. Our visitors are to be refused nothing in regards to repairs and medical supplies is that understood Lighthouse Commander Fiske?"

Fiske: "Completely Sir. Shall I observe all security protocols when the REFUSAL is within range Sir?"

Karth: "Hail them and ask permission first, then scan the vessel"

Fiske: "If they refuse permission to scan Sir?"

Karth: "Do it anyway, If that vessel is in any way a danger to the LIGHTHOUSE you are to deny permission to dock, raise shields and contact me immediately, Commander Damodred out."

Zara: "Come back to bed, husband."

Karth: I cannot my sweet, Count Ernie has arrived, barely I'm told, and I must get to the LIGHTHOUSE to greet him. Will you see that everything is ready for his arrival here?"

Zara: (rolls over sleepily) "Everything has been ready for a week"

Karth: "You never slept in like this before you retired Colonel, gettin' soft I suppose."

Zara's only answer is a middle finger

Karth: "I shall have to punish you for that later you know."

Zara: (challengingly) "Pack your lunch!"

Still chuckling Karth jogs up the steps to the rooftop landing pad where the INTRANSIGENCE is berthed and sets a course for the LIGHTHOUSE.
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Re: Somewhere on the surface of Termagant

Post by Vehemence on Sun Feb 28, 2010 6:24 am

A streched blur was all that could be seen when the Duke Arioch and the Promethean First attack wing dropped out of hyperspace. Since the war had ended the rules had changed. Arch Chancellor Vehemence position and reputation made him a very attractive target for attacks, and though he always liked a impressive entry whereven he went, the logistic required to move even a part of the the Praetorian fleet as guard was astonomous...

The comms activated:

"Duke Arioch this is Temargent ground control, we have you on our scanners. You have permission to position yourselves near the third moon. Sector 7-45-321. It is an honour to receive you."

"Temargent ground control, Duke Arioch responding. Be advised that the assigned sector does not offer enough space to accomodate our entire wing. Check your lidar info."

"Confirmed Duke Arioch. We will advise.......... Duke Arioch, premission granted to take up polar orbit around Temargent, please try to pass our equator as soon as possible, the people down there really do enjoy their sunlight."

"Affirmative Temagent ground control, Duke Arioch out."

_________________
Sincerely,
Chancellor Vehemence.
>>>\/<<<

"I, while the gods laugh, the world's vortex am;
Maelstrom of passions in that hidden sea
Whose waves of all-time lap the coasts of me;
And in small compass the dark waters cram."

"Farewell, friend. I was a thousand times more evil than thou!"
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Re: Somewhere on the surface of Termagant

Post by Widah Xulub on Mon Mar 22, 2010 7:14 am

by Envoy Parax


Parax, master of Arcus, stands alone in front of the high windows of the shuttle’s great cabin, silently watching the violent white of the storm raging outside; blinding white, the color of Arcus XV is no color at all, but a deadly, howling maelstrom of a thousand shades of nothing. At first the movement is imperceptible, only the sharp, faint increase in the engines’ pitch and a pleasant little music of the glasses on the table beside him vibrating slightly and tinkling against each other to indicate any action at all beyond the tempest outside.

But as the whine of the engines rises, so does the sensation of being lifted, though the view from the glass is never changing. Parax stares at it just the same, lost deep in his thoughts.

Within moments the all consuming white abruptly falls away as the shuttle erupts from the endless boiling clouds that blanket the surface of the frozen storm-locked planet below. The bright blue sky above quickly turns deep sapphire and dark, soon dark enough to show the countless galaxies beyond it. Minutes pass before the blue dies away entirely to the brilliant midnight black of the vacuum, leaving the great reflecting curve of the planet falling receding below. Parax picks up one of the glasses beside him and studies it before taking a swallow of its oily amber liquid.

A tall wiry man, with thinning grey hair, in light body armor of engraved black steel, sidearm strapped across his chest slips mutely into the cabin. “Irgos,” Parax says to him without turning around, “tell my security detail that they are to stand down. You alone will accompany me to Termagant.” The man nods, and backs out without a word. Parax’s fingers absently wander to a scar ridge that runs from his brow to the corner of his mouth, clouding his eye on its journey down the right side of his face, a gift from a Trugat Assassin, and a reminder of constant vigilance. He thinks of all the other scars, the twelve others that count, only one received in battle. The others earned in the desperate, solitaire struggle in a dark passage or by a quick treacherous strike from a crowd; three alone in his back, two near his heart, testaments to both the hatred of his enemies and their fear of him. He has been assured that he will be beyond their reach, and he has no doubt that is the truth, but he hasn’t let down his guard for many years, and old habits of self-preservation are the deepest running.

As the planet below grows small, no larger than a child’s ball, he thinks of the old friend who he is meeting and of their youth together. This wiles away the time, hours, until a red light blinks in the dim chamber; a warning of incoming ships, and a call for him to make ready.

As he walks from the windowed cabin, Irgos falls in behind him, the old warrior’s eyes scanning the seemingly empty corridors ahead, his hand always by his weapon. Parax makes his way to the bow and fore air lock, where his steward and meager luggage await him. Shortly the thrumming of the great engines is replaced by a hissing silence of pressure hoses and power conduits as thrust is cut and the ship eases towards its destination. A loud hollow clang echoes through the shuttle, abruptly culling the silence. Metallic grinding shakes the ship for a moment, and climaxes in a great, hollow, shaking thud. A far klaxon accompanies a flashing light, and the front bulkhead falls away in a tremendous whirring of engines, and the sounds and lights of the great chamber beyond flood the dim little airlock. The gate drops open into a cavernous hangar, brilliant and full of noise. Alarms, voices, the dying roar of the engines, the thumping of running feet, all echo in the great room. But standing still, front and center in the midst of it all is his old friend, splendid in his finery, heirloom sword and pistol at his hip. Behind him an honor battalion stomp and clash, presenting arms. Parax steps briskly out onto the hangar deck, strides forward, and the two embrace.

“Welcome, brother,” says Widah Xulub. “It’s been far too long. Now to Termagant go we for yet another reunion.”


Last edited by Widah Xulub on Sat Aug 21, 2010 12:21 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Somewhere on the surface of Termagant

Post by Karth Damodred on Mon Mar 22, 2010 7:52 pm

Karth is rattled out of his reverie by the alert tone of his personal comm unit. He pulls it out of his pocket and checks the ident of the incoming call. His wife again. Karth puts his phone back into his pocket without answering it. He knows what she'll say, he knows he won't like her tone and that it'll end up in a fight so, really, by not answering the call he is actually preserving peace in his marriage. Karth chuckles at the thought.

Keying the LIGHTHOUSE comm on his desk Commander Damodred barks into the mic "Lighthouse Commander Fiske!"

Fiske: "Yes High Commander?"

Karth: "How are our guests proceeding through Decon?"

Fiske: "Baron Ernie is receiving his final inoculations as we speak and will be cleared to go planetside within the hour. The Arch Chancellor has refused all inoculations and is putting up with the decontamination process with... minimal casualties sir."

Karth: "Casualties?" The hair on the back of Karth's neck begins to stand on end.

Fiske: "Yes sir, one of the decon technicians said something unkind to the Arch Chancellor about beer, pizza and hydrogen tanks and was... er... smacked in the mouth for his trouble"

Karth: (rubbing his forehead) "Did the technician live?"

Fiske: "Oh yes sir, he will require some minor dental reconstruction but otherwise he is quite alive."

Karth: "Commander I don't want the Arch Chancellor to have any more contact with personnel hailing from the Pantera Archipelago where 'first contact' with Vehemence's fleet occured do you understand?"

Fiske: "Completely Sir, the order has already been given and I took the liberty of informing the Lieutenant Colonel of the incident and recommended that palace staff be likewise screened."

Karth: "Thank you Commander Fiske, that is all."

Fiske: "Fiske out."

Karth stands and moves to refresh his drink and gaze out the window of his office aboard the LIGHTHOUSE. He can clearly see the REFUSAL, with repair crews swarming over her hull, docked with 'E' deck. Next to her is Vehemence's shuttle, sleek and distinctive.

Karth: (quietly to himself) He's only been here an hour. (sigh) I'm going to regret this I just know it.



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Re: Somewhere on the surface of Termagant

Post by Widah Xulub on Sat May 08, 2010 2:27 am

Widah leads the two between the ranks of the honor guard in impeccable order to either side followed at a respectful distance by Parax’s steward.

“Impressive display, my friend. I see Shifak’s hand here. An invaluable asset to your House the strength of which waxes still although how this can be with you on the throne remains a mystery,” comments Parax, one corner of his mouth turning up into a grin.

Widah claps him on the shoulder. “Hah! It’s good to see that your troubles on Arcus haven’t chilled all the humor out of you, but I’m afraid there’s no hope for old Irgos,” he jerks a thumb at Parax’s Master of Assassins. “Parax must be keeping you very busy.” Widah turns to smile at the grave face of Irgos.

“Good to see you too, duke Widah,” says Irgos returning the slightest of smiles. “I see your own trials haven’t bled the irreverence out of you yet; nevertheless, you’re father would be proud. “

“He’s been busy indeed, but at last Arcus knows a semblance of peace.”

“You must tell me all about it, Parax, while we break bread, but first let’s get you settled.” Widah leads them on, and the barking of the Sergeant Major and the stamp and clash of the battalion follows them out of the hangar.

Widah brings them to a finely furnished state room with a wall of transparent steel that offers a magnificent vista of the outer reaches of the Arcus system which is marked by a huge gas giant of swirling blues, oranges, pinks, and whites accompanied by a handful of visible satellites natural and artificial. “Make yourselves at home my friends. I’ll send someone to fetch you presently.”

Out of the windows the last planetary bodies begin drifting away. Then the whole scene is stretched into countless lines of light and color, and with a flash the vessel seems submerged in a river of blue and purple light as she enters hyperspace. The steward begins unpacking the luggage, and Irgos immediately breaks out a small black case and removes a pair of scanning devices to begin the habitual search for the devices of the enemy. Parax raises a hand. Irgos frowns and puts the scanners down. “Do try to enjoy yourself while this little respite lasts. I’m as safe here as I’m likely to be for a while; Widah’s people are very thorough,” his master admonishes.

***

Days pass uneventfully; a welcome change from the murderous games played by the political class of Arcus. The young empire-builders reminisce on the old days in the comfort of Widah’s cabin. “Hah! Remember when we were just Plebes at the academy? Karth’s penchant for insubordination got him sent to the penal battalion for two weeks! We had no choice but to sneak him some extra rations. It’s cruel what they were forced to eat,” remarks Widah.

“Ah yes. Cruelty of the sort only Commandant Jad could have imagined. We probably wouldn’t have gotten caught had you been able to leave well enough alone,” replied Parax admiring the fine legs left by the tawny liquor in his glass as he swirled it around.

“You can’t fault me for being a man of vision; besides, it was destiny. Think what an important growth experience that was.”

“Of all the character building experiences my parents imagined I’d have when they sent me to the academy, learning to catch and eat rats while spending a month in the Hole probably wasn’t among them.”

“Bah." Widah makes a dismissive gesture. "It was hardly the worst we’ve been through. It was just the Universe preparing us for what was to come. I wonder if Karth’s name can still be read on the wall down there. "Hmm,” Widah pauses thoughtfully. “I think we’ve arrived.”

“Huh?”

A handsome woman in a yeoman’s uniform enters the cabin. “My pardon for the interruption, my lords, but the Captain thought you might like to know that we have entered the Termagant system.”

“Thank you. You may go. Come Parax, my friend. We’ll want to see this from the bridge.”

On the bridge the stark beauty of the planet, Termagant, comes into view through one-hundred eighty degrees of transparent steel.

“Yes, it’s quite nice--a gem among the stars. Shall we take a closer look?”

“Yes, we mustn’t keep him waiting. Is the shuttle ready, Commodore?”

“It is,” answers the stoic figure standing alongside them with his arms behind his back.

“Very good. We will leave at once.”

“As you wish, my duke.”

Some minutes later Widah, Irgos, Parax, and his steward are launched from the hangar of the cruiser in Widah’s well-appointed but well-armed and heavily shielded shuttle. Widah pilots the shuttle himself.
“Ah. We’re finally away. You wouldn’t believe the argument I had to stifle to be left alone, or maybe you would. I wondered who really ruled House Xulub. They assured me I did, of course.”

BLEEP

“Oh, we’re being hailed,” interrupts Parax from the co-pilot's seat. House Damodred interceptors could just be seen arcing around the planet towards them.

“Welcome to Termagant, Duke Xulub. You are expected. Please minimize velocity to rendezvous with your escort which will lead you to LIGHTHOUSE for Decon. We apologize for the inconvenience, but there are strict protocols that all arriving vessels must follow without exception. Enjoy your stay.”

“Well that was pleasant. Karth runs a tight ship it seems,” Widah says as he slows the shuttle to wait for the rapidly approaching escort.

“Aww, our little Karth is all grown up.”

From behind the planet the monolithic space station, the LIGHTHOUSE, rises to meet them as they follow the lead interceptors on their new vector. There they are well-received by Commander Friske. “My lords, I bid you welcome. The Arch Chancellor has only just arrived. Count Damodred awaits you on the surface, but first there is the little formality of Decon. If you’ll come with me please, we’ll have you planet-side directly.”

The crew in Decon seem a little rattled, and perform their duties obsequiously.
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Re: Somewhere on the surface of Termagant

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