ICON Kartanimor

Tiko

Demon Goat
Administrator
as written by DemiKara

Kartanimor, the Razor Republic
September 16th, 2601
Conference Room in Government Building


It was after lunch, though there were light refreshments on a table to the side of the room, drinks and fruits to nibble, crackers and cheese, for if the meeting went too long. The windows that lined one side of the conference room were large, letting in as much sun as possible, and giving a beautiful view of the city, or as much as a beautiful view as could be managed, largely artificial, with carefully tended rooftops garden visible from the high up room.

The conference room had been selected so that there would be little offence, or as little offence given possible to either party, with bland art on the walls, focused on still life only. The meeting would already be a tense one, but everything had been carefully planned out in light of the attacks on both nations. The same terrorist had taken responsibility for it all. That eliminated all but finding her. In this meeting, they hoped to hash out the details of just that, a rare moment of unity between the two often warring powers. There was a solid threat to both of them in the form of one well armed and well hidden individual.

The ICON delegate was scheduled to arrive first in this meeting. The Hegemony delegate would arrive next. The two would come from different directions, and be spaced three minutes apart. It was a power play, but it was also almost necessary given the relations between the two nations. The ICON delegate was escorted into the room by a higher ranking diplomat. The Hegemony delegate would arrive shortly
 
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Tiko

Demon Goat
Administrator
as written by Azrican

The city of Arator was a typical image of Razoran frontier life, a major state of the dangerous Razorbacks built through human ingenuity and resilience. As one of the farthest states in lawless reaches of the Garden, it was also a vital stronghold of the Coalition and, specifically, the Military Apparatus. Despite it’s picturesque appearance, the small yet sprawling urbanscape was one of only a handful of others that dotted the lonely planet, closer to the Hegemony than it was ‘friendly’ neighboring states of ICON.

That was why, in the wake of bombings, terrorist attacks and a heightened security alert across the entire region of the Wrecker’s Hollow the military presence seemed to be so intense. On no other places than Kartanimor as well.

The calming scenery of the city was distracted from by the constant convoys that trundled along streets, drab-clad soldiers and marines on foot patrol every few miles and the imposing network of checkpoints. Certain avenues and routes throughout the city in some cases were entirely cordoned off to civilian traffic, on foot or otherwise.

It was this image a dark-suited figure stood peering out at from one of the massive waiting rooms just a door away from the conference: bright, charged eyes glanced along shimmering skyscrapers and tiny, squat housing blocks. Then to narrow strips of light industry, assembling plants and packaging factories while he let his mind race.

The events that had brought to, officially, hostile alliances together were never much different than the threats that had caused them to lay grudges aside before. History became a cyclical record playing in the back of his mind again, as a speaker mounted somewhere in the room slowly crackled to life and stray bursts of light revealed an AI avatar standing in the center of the room.

“The delegation is ready to begin shortly, Artifex.” A mechanical voice, almost soft enough to seem real, brought him out of his thoughts as the suited man adjusted the breast of his attire and took one slow step back from the window. “The Commission is waiting for your introduction as well.”

The man straightened his tie with one hand, lifting a blank tablet device in the other before pulling the door open. One glance over his shoulder and he took a last look out of the window, hearing the dull pulse of an airjet that came in low between the buildings, an empty table shaking slightly as the door closed shut.
 

Tiko

Demon Goat
Administrator
as written by Ottoman and Azrican

The arrival was a quiet one, and one under escort. The air-car carrying the Imperial Emissary and his diplomatic staff from their embassy was flanked on either side by both Coalition and Imperial craft, both to protect the Emissary from threats both foreign and domestic here in the homeland of their enemy. Still, the noble reminded himself as he looked out the window to the lightly urbanized landscape below him, their hostilities were, for the moment, suspended. They had a mutual nuisance, after all, and it would suit them both well to dispatch it through cooperation, if only to completely dispel the involvement of either party. Petar sighed at such thoughts, rather preferring to remain in their state of cold war than allow, or at least propose to allow, Coalition operatives inside of their borders. It was a vulnerability that he would rather not expose.

The craft's landing was swift when it came, as was the diplomatic staff as they disembarked, eager to be on their way to the meeting. There was no briefing or hint that the Coalition delegates might have arrived first, a slightly irksome matter but nothing that truly amounted to any significant insult, and so with only a momentary pause upon entering the conference room Sir Petar Stojanovic examined the opposing delegation before offering his greeting: a snap of the heels and a rigid imperial salute accompanied his accented Belkan. "Grüß euch Gott." The jet-black uniform of the Landwächter and the violet Waffenfarbe trim of the various items that comprised it showed that he was a ranking member of the Imperial Foreign Ministry, though the various colorful ribbons and medals that adorned his breast contained neither the colors of House Kampf or the Reich itself, but rather those of House Drazovic.

Petar was a Stovak knight before he was an emissary, after all.

Only upon acknowledgement of the greeting did he moved to sit, bidding that his retinue do much the same. There was no need to waste time after all, not with a potential terror cell on the loose. It was known that this Faith individual had claimed responsibility for the acts, yes, but what her base of power and support was was unknown. With deliberate movement the man snapped the fasteners on his briefcase loose, propping the thing up on the table beside where he sat and removed the relevant papers and documents. "I take it that my office has forwarded the basic information regarding our meeting?" Petar soon ventured, his accented Belkan giving way to heavily accented Aenglis. "I would prefer not to waste time with rituals and niceties with civilian lives at stake."

____

The windows of the suite were dimmed, drained of the bright light shining from inside save for two small illuminations where the diplomats were seated. As the Belkan delegate entered the empty floor strobed with a few whirs, holographic projectors winding up underneath the transparent tiling of the room. Shutter slowly drew over the windows after the suited figure returned a slow salute and the Stovakian Landser took his seat.

“Yes indeed, Herr Stojanovic. As we speak there may already be events underway to forward this person’s agenda.” He said, features unchanging while he lowered a hand towards a brightly lit display in front of him. “Unfortunately the attacks in the Hegemony’s Western Frontier could not be stopped but, when a Apparatus special forces team compromised what we believed was a locally-based insurgent group it was discovered the same individual who had organized the attacks in the Hegemony was also responsible for several operations in the Razorbacks.”

Several images burst into focus in the gap of space between the two delegations, everything from star maps and unit citations to after-action reports and articles pulled from tabloids and newsrooms. In one of the windows, gun-side camera footage scrolled over a man sprawled out on the ground above a puddle of blood: a red armband tightly wrapped around his left arm.

“We believe organized crime and the international network Red Halo may have an affiliation with your, ‘Faith’.” He remarked dryly, and slowly drew a pair of eyeglasses off the table to his ears. “Our assets in the intelligence and action divisions have workable information but, only half of the story -- this individual is, as we understand her, incredibly dangerous and a threat to just more than either yours or ours’ governments safety exclusively.”

An emblem of Apparatus COLSOG was juxtaposed over several of the journal entries and a news anchor silently debating the origins of the attack. Several unit designations scrolled down through a list of active and standby formations before one in particular strobed for a few moments. “Cooperation for the arrest and or elimination of this individual would, I believe, result in a much smoother and effective operation. The Apparatus will provide all the information it has about her operations on this side of the border, and we will stage a counter accordingly.”

01-31-2015, 10:15 PM
Ottoman
Stojanovic watched the various displays and took in their contents with a thoughtful visage and a silent voice. Their own intelligence forces inside of the Coalition had confirmed that the attempted attack that had taken place in their territory was tied to the same cell, and even the same leader, as that which had struck Kosterbrau. It was simply a matter of waiting until the Coalition either contacted them concerning the event, or released the information of the attack publicly - the latter had come before the former. Long had the Hegemony had dealings with the Red Halos, to Stojanovic they were much more unpleasant than in reality, but regardless of his naivety regarding the matter he was aware of a connection. "We are familiar with the Red Halos. The Lord-Emissary and Kaiser thought that it would be a gesture of good will to offer our complete cooperation in apprehending this terrorist, especially since according to our intelligence... she is headquartered in our own territory."

It was a matter of no small embarrassment, but it was something that really couldn't be helped from where he sat. With a slight bow of his head he looked to the table, to the reflection of the other man and the various displays of light that had been summoned. "She, if such things have genders, is also Erutin." The diplomat spoke simply. "And of course, in the spirit of good will and cooperation, what we have gathered is yours if you're willing to exchange data." The last thing that the Hegemony needed right now was the Coalition thinking that it had staged these attacks, either out of genuine hostility or as a false-flag to produce some sort of desired outcome. They weren't currently ready for a full-scale war on the Western Frontier - though they could be given a short time - and it was something that the Crown didn't wish to bother with at this moment. There were bigger issues, not that the Coalition diplomat across from Stojanovic would ever know of such things until it was much too late.

"Are there any specific questions or concerns that you might have regarding the matter that we might be able to answer?"

____

Brody swung his arm out quickly, the cold glint of the AP-50 caught in the throbbing shine and pulsing lights as he found his target. The figure in front of him buckled as eight rounds suddenly burst through his chest, black streaks leaping into the prickling twilight and thumping tone as the agent sprang forward. The bouncer collapsed onto the floor as Brody k-vaulted over a table, spilling drinks and splashing two women with their vibrant cocktails. He brought the pistol back up, swinging it into another suited man as he gripped at Brody’s right arm and tried to sling him downward.

Before he even left the table the man could only mutter a short gasp before he emptied another five rounds from the automatic pistol into his stomach. His body slid, the Scatterran’s powerful form bringing the bouncer down underneath him to cushion his fall from the vault. He couldn’t hear screaming -- he hadn’t even heard the gunshots, the music was pounding so loudly.

His shoes slid neatly on either side of the bouncer’s own as the two dropped to the floor, Brody seated atop the man’s chest with his weapon aimed. His pistol cracked again and again, the automatic spraying nine or ten more rounds into the crowd before him: a man’s kneepcap burst onto a woman’s sleek dress, suddenly painting her leopard print a vivid red. Then the light’s switched again, everything was aglow in neon.

The next bouncer to approach him got the rest of his magazine in the face, as Brody rose up from his seated position and simply emptied the weapon into the lumbering Oriyak in front of him. Blood streamed out from the man’s ears and nose as he fell back onto a scrawny figure leaning at a table, his focus on the women seated in front of him.

Brody wasn’t even able to hear his thoughts, music clouding any mental process he had. Stepping over the lifeless corpse, and noticing now that there were more than just the bouncers staring at him, he reached over to the figure. His hand gripped firmly about the man’s attire, a simple polo shirt that made him think of those shows the kids would watch when they wanted a “real” drug story.

This is Scatter …

Wide, frightened and confused eyes greeted him as Brody wheeled the man around. His weapon laid rested against his chest, packed tightly against his form to perhaps confuse any other security that might suddenly be coming to avenge their comrades.

Down in there somewhere, however, Brody knew he had found just who he was looking for.

Before he let the man make any remark Brody drew his hand up once more. This time, however, instead of a pistol slamming into the man’s chin it was a knife. A push-dagger conveniently hidden amongst Brody’s attire, wrist specifically, went plunging into the man’s neck. Brody felt bone and ligament tear, blood vessels rend and the man's throat split as he gave one, two, three good shoves.

The man bent backwards, hands flailing wildly and revealing the small handgun in his palm. It went off prematurely: as it was known for the little fish to do so easily. While he knew instantly the weapon fired nowhere near him, all he saw was one of the women’s head shoot back the instant the pistol shot. The black, sticky spray that came from the back of her skull only confirmed his suspicions.

Brody made sure to bury the dagger as deep as he could into the man’s neck, only ceasing to impale the man until after the weapon dropped from the narcos' hand. Then, as his reality came crashing back, he left the only survivor crying helplessly at the table with her hands folded atop her mouth in horror.
 

Tiko

Demon Goat
Administrator
as written by Saarai

"Again." Ordered the Separatist interrogator, one of his men slamming the electric rods he held into the body of a man they had chained up in an old warehouse.

He was suspended from the ceiling, a chain and handcuffs around his wrists keeping his toes just barely above the floor. The man convulsed and barely held in a scream as the electricity ran through him.

He was trained to deal with torture, but it had been nearly five days of it. He'd give out eventually and the terrorists had more than enough time on their hands to see it through.

"Who do you work for?" The interrogator asked, "You don't come snooping around here for no reason." He continued, "Talk." He said to the man, but he remained silent. He wasn't planning on making things easy now, they were going to kill him anyways. Why not prolong their frustration?

The interrogator was getting ready to order another shock until one of his men burst into the warehouse, "He's here!" He said, "Already? Fuck." The interrogator cursed, taking a final look at his captive before heading towards the exit.

The captive could see sunlight through the open door. At least he knew it was daytime.

He heard yelling from outside, his other captors did too. And then a gunshot. And then another. The yelling stopped with the first, the second made sure there would be no more any time soon.

The Separatists raised their weapons at the door, ready for a gunfight.

"Enough." Said the gun-wielding man in a trenchcoat that stepped into the warehouse, his accent was distinctly Austran. He was no local goon, not with the government and not at all in the mood to play games.

He was an older man with fair-skin, his brown hair receding back and starting to grey just like his beard.

"Let him go." He said to the terrorists, "Who are you?" One of them asked, "The new man in charge. You're done here. We're going to continue this campaign, but with more class and more finesse."

"We don't take orders from-..." The separatist was cut off by a bullet from the Austran man's pistol finding it's way into his cheek. "Either you all take orders from me or none of you do. You outnumber me, but you do not outgun me." He told the other separatists in the warehouse.

"Let him go." He ordered again, a terrorist hastily moving to remove the handcuffs from the captive. He dropped to his knees immediately, barely able to stand now that he was free.

He wasted no time in stumbling towards the exit, "I know you know who I am." The Austran said to the now free man, "Let them know I'm coming for them."

The free man sighed a sigh of relief once he stepped out into the sun, running for his life only seconds later. He didn't want or need to be around if the Austran changed his mind about letting him go.
 

Tiko

Demon Goat
Administrator
as written by Saarai

"How are things back at home?" Tyler asked the holographic image of Arya Sloane, an Invictus operative based on Valore. Early morning sunlight shone in from between the skyscrapers of Arator. His suite was messy, armor and weapons laying all around.

Tyler never got the chance to clean, there was always work to be done. Always a terrorist to catch or a cartel to chase.

Not that he would have cleaned the room. He wasn't paying for it.

"Hectic, Ty. Shit ain't looking good for the Terrans." Arya answered, "Westeria is out of control. Who knows when the Aschen are coming back? Terrorists and criminals are gonna have a field day." She told him, "I know. I wish I was there." Tyler said.

"It'd be so fun..." He mused, "Not having fun there?" Arya asked, "I'm rapturous here, Bones. I'm German enough that I can pretend to Austran and scare bad guys." Tyler told the woman, "What the hell's an Austran?" Arya asked him.

Tyler rolled his eyes, "Does anyone read my reports?"

"I skim." Arya joked, trying to glance around Tyler's room as a loud banging could be heard from the suite's kitchen. "Your cow not-so-dead?" She asked, "Nah, that's work. Talk to you later, Bones."

Tyler waved to the hologram as it dissipated, turning to walk towards the kitchen. The banging continued, "Hold your horses. I'm a coming." He said loudly, approaching the freezer, the source of the banging.

He opened it up to reveal a nude and shivering man, an Azrik who fell to the kitchen floor with a hard thud. "So, you gonna tell me what your Red Halo friends hired you for, Mr. Drug Dealer?" Tyler asked, kneeling down next to the man.

The Azrik looked up at Tyler, cold spit shooting out from his mouth onto Tyler's shirt.

"In any language, on any planet, in any galaxy, I know that means, 'Go fuck yourself'. You've earned yourself a trip back into the freezer."

Tyler grabbed the man to toss him back into the freezer despite his struggling, "W-wait!" The Azrik cried, as he was pushed "Wait, don't put me ba-..."

Tyler slammed the freezer door, "Paulo, read me? You guys awake?" Tyler said aloud, "Got you, Goodnight. What's up?" Paulo responded, voice resonating through Tyler's head.

"Let the Apparatus know I need about... another hour to get them some useful information."
 

Tiko

Demon Goat
Administrator
as written by Azrican

Lo Belselva, RKHA
173 kilometers from Picculasa, Great Forest Territory


Capitaine Roland Cousineau rose from a squat, tossing the charred piece of wood back into smoldering remains of a camp fire as the Razoran infantrymen milled about the ruined trapping camp. A few dead caribou hung from wooden splits, some still bearing the knives in their side before whoever was in the process of skinning and preparing the precious meat was interrupted. By what, the Captain could only assume as he studied the ground and followed another RKHA soldier as he carried a stack of hunting rifles the trappers seemed to have abandoned. His eyes went from every upturned leaf and muddy boot print, every discarded pelt jacket and upturning of dirt where it seemed a struggle had taken place, or a body had fallen.

His path through the camp brought him directly to Lieutenant Aglae Giroux, directing a fireteam of soldiers up the path with their machineguns and rifles to search for any possible survivors or, at best, a body. The imposing woman chewed at the end of a cigar, and one hand gripped tightly at the officer’s revolver she held at her hip. Captain Cousineau pulled the officer’s cap from his stub-cut head, a sigh rushing through grit teeth as he ran a muddy palm over his head.

Combien de morts, vous pensez?” He asked in Salian, watching the gruff woman count on one hand for a second until she replied.

Grande fete de la chasse, at least twenty or twenty five men. It couldn’t have been a bete, nothing from this planet could catch so many men off guard.” Aglae replied, pulling the cigar from her mouth to speak while a pall of smoke rose from her nostrils. Cousineau chewed at his lip trying to keep back a curse, fixing the cap over his head once again.

“We’ll have to call back to Arator to get a registry for the hunting party … wonder what they were after.” Cousineau replied, kneeling down as his eyes caught the glint of a spent brass casing and he plucked it from the mire.

“This deep into the Great Forest? Peut-etre quelque chose. At best they must’ve been nearing the end of their supplies, those caribou were freshly killed … maybe just a morning before whatever happened here.” The Lieutenant replied, standing with her CO in silence for another few moments as they scanned the camp. When she spotted a pair of Amerians trying to pry open a chest buried in the mud, a piece of wire could be heard snapping from pressure and she pointed with one finger before letting out a short whistle.

Vous deux, cabots muets! Make sure that thing isn’t booby trapped God dammit!”

The Lieutenant quickly struck off to berate the two infantrymen, who had dove away from the cache just as quickly as they had begun trying to force it open. Roland on the other hand set off back towards the center of the camp to try and find the platoon radioman, and not only make contact with the rest of the company but also send a message back to the Central Army Headquarters in Arator.

He found Specialist Wessel Alerda sitting on a dead horse, still tied to its wagon full of furs and lumber. From what the platoon found there were three wagons in total, this one being the only that hadn’t been entirely looted: it appeared that the wagon carrying most of their hunting weapons and ammunition was most severely hit, besides only a few lumps of meat it seemed the beast towing it had been literally ripped to shreds.

Specialiste, word from Western Command?” He inquired, shifting the FS-6 off to his side and putting one foot atop the dead beast’s neck, unwittingly causing a few blotches of thick blood to pump from one of the bullet wounds lining the cob’s lifeless form.

“No Capitaine, for now at least. We're ready to broadcast back to GFS Base though." He said, gnawing at a piece of jerky with one hand as the other fetched the wired telephone attached at his side. After he offered it to Captain Cousineau, Alerda reached over his shoulder to extend the radio antennae from the large quantum array mounted on his back. "You'll be on VHF-two hundred-two-zero-one monsieur, le Invictus may be on QRF or exfil."
 
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