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  • gaenues26
    Hey Max eta on your next chapter?

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  • Max_Smirnov
    2015 Series (turn 350) - part 2 - France

    Cities come into being for various reasons. Some are carefully planned and settled. Some grow around older villages or military forts. Some owe their existence to great migrations, peaceful or otherwise.

    Some, like Perpignan, just happen. Certainly there were no plans for it when, not many years after The Cataclysm, the Encore Syndicate funded the huge engineering project that cut the French continent in two pieces by the means of a wide channel, connecting the North and Arctic seas, for the first time in history allowing a sea vessel to travel between French west and east without going around the whole Egypt. In the country that was still reeling after the global disaster, it seemed like a colossal waste of scarce resources. For the Syndicate, it seemed like a golden opportunity that won't happen again, a building block on their way to dominance. As the years went by, the place became one of the most important crossroads in the whole world, and certainly the most important - and profitable - in France. The subsequent creation of the Paris-Nice railway only added to this importance, as the Syndicate controlled its crossing over the channel. But with all that grand scale activity, there was no effort whatsoever to control the growing masses of humanity, lured to tie their fate to this place. As they grew into millions, some haphazard city infrastructure grew as well, but with little care or help shown by the government, much less the Syndicate. They just kept raising the walls around their precious and sprawling cargo terminals, and adding more armor and security to their vessels.

    That peculiar combination of major money flow, people turnover and little control, which tends to spring up on the great crossroads between empires and draw all the scum of the earth, made Perpignan a perfect place to set up business establishments that belonged to gray (or straight black) area of economy - were it drug factories, illegal servers, arms dealers, and, since the technology became widespread in the 1970s, body chops shops, where the only limit on the cybernetic augmentation was the size of customer's purse.

    The Old Man was running one of the latter for the last twenty-six years. Certainly not the first establishment of this kind, but his old contacts in British corporations, and even older ones in the Egyptian military ensured it was one of the most renown. The fact of its continued existence spoke for itself, in this new age of unprecedented corporate control when even Perpignan lost much of its outlaw charm and bullet-riddled freedom, and only the best were still able to stay afloat.

    But even so, it was still Perpignan, so the Old Man wasn't much surprised by the noise of a violent shootout, apparently happening just outside his shop. He just straightened in his chair, his tired eyes reflecting greenish haze of his personal computer, and took a drag from a respirator. In this world, with the kind of money he possessed, a man could be perfectly healthy at his age of 90, but with his constant intake of cigarettes and brandy he was determined not to make it too easy for his doctors. He was still at his book-keeping when the doorbell announced appearance of a customer. The Old Man glanced at the camera screen, frowned deeply and opened the armored door only after a long moment of hesitation. Nano-sniffers didn't pick up any trace of a bomb, and the high amount of metal inside his guest's garments - and body - was only to be expected, but it's been a long time. Perhaps too long.

    The athletic woman, dressed in a long, blue coat entered the wide open area in the centre of the warehouse. Its owner sat comfortably in the darkness, his hand on the trigger of multiple glue guns and ion zappers hidden in the walls. The kind of customers who visited this kind of places were often prone to troublemaking. The woman smiled and said lightly:

    "Hi there, old man! Remember me?"

    "Bleached hair and an old face, but the same bad taste for clothing. What the hell are you doing here. You're far past your expiry date."

    "Look who's talking. This place itself looks expired. Back in the nineties, it was bustling with activity. I remember these days of 93... Fifteen years old, prime age and prime reflexes, yearning for cash to get best of those new neural-interface-implants and opportunity to become a legend. And there were so many like me. Hit and run operations, corporate warfare, assassinations..."

    "Nineties are long gone, and so is your value, Nastassia. Got bored? Tired of life? I knew a girl like you once, you know."

    "Man, are you up for another glorious 1970s talk? I know all these stories through."

    "Just to make you understand that business moves around. Places like Perpignan rise out of nothing, sometimes last years, some decades, some centuries, but inevitably fall. Back then it was British Petroleum where the action was. We had a hovertruck and all the freedom from this damned world a mercenary can have. We were the best. But the changing times caught up to us. Shouldn't have stayed there after the war, after the Japan guy got back to his country and probably got himself killed. Maybe at least Revy would still be alive."

    "She was stupid to go against the RUNE's", shrugged Nastassia.

    "Hey. She was the probably the last, best fully natural gunslinger in history. She was just too proud to acknowledge our time has ended. That the easy money had evaporated and the rest was no longer contested by assorted thugs, drug gangs and uniformed idiots, but by killer cyborgs straight from the frontlines. The same mistake you seem to be doing now."

    "Natural my ass. Being born in 1950s Bhubaneswar, I am sure she was gen-modified. I'm just more hi-tech then her. But naw. I know that my metal is no longer hot, bionantech agents are what's hot, the next generation, these kids are faster, stealthier, more flexible, and do not burn out as quickly. New computronium that allows a peanut-sized drone brain be as smart as a human. And the Senso-Net, it was launched in 1999 but it took some time for most of the population, from scrawny gangers to corporate whores, to move to this better world. Maybe if I was upgrading myself to become a netrunner instead of a combat specialist, but even then... The net appeared so vast and infinite in my youth, but it was a mere pond compared to the ocean of today, an ocean ruled by intelligences vast beyond human understanding. ECCN, Earth-crust-computation-net, man. Who knows what horrors lurk within? Certainly more than a girl who was born and raised in this physical reality can handle. So, by the way, what happened to the last one of your gang? The Paris guy?"

    "He moved to Senso-Net too, apparently disappointed that the world is turning after the Apocalypse came and went... And you? What have you been doing for the last ten years? Slaving at some burger joint?"


    "What's there?"

    "Oh, plenty of sighteseeing... I've been travelling along that 8000-km long maglev Egyptians build, bumming about... Actually, I was honing my gift."


    "The thing that makes us French better than you Egyptians, remember? The divine gift. Away from any gods, I could hone my supernatural sense to a keen edge."

    "What the hell are you talking about."

    "The last big one," said Nastassia, smiling and putting a briefcase on the table. "Here are the specifications for upgrades... and the cash."

    The old man shot her a glance, opened the briefcase and perused through its contents. "A strange manhunting outfit... both ridiculously overengineered and primitive. Smells like you are intending to blend in with the primitive Indian technosphere... What the hell is in India? Moving to the as*hole of the world, where your old hardware and slackened reflexes would still be enough to get a piece of the action?"

    "Cannot tell," she smiled again.

    "Yeah, yeah. And with this credit card... Far too clean and innocuous to be anything else than a top-level ops... The last big one... What have you gotten yourself into, Nastassia?"

    "Something you can't possibly imagine, old man."

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  • Max_Smirnov
    2015 Series (turn 350) - Part 1 - Flashpoints

    1. Ile-de-France. Heavily polluted but has recovered enough so regular train service has been restored between all major cities. Not many people use it, though - mutants, bandits and anti-corporate rednecks are still roaming the countryside, plus, the French virtual reality network has made physical travel very last decade.

    2. Nice. The world's most important trade hub. Not as splendid as it could be since the world is dominated by centrally-planned economies. Heavily industrialized, heavily polluted, surrounded by slums and exclusively owned by the Syndicate - to the point it's practically exteritorial.

    3. Oceanic France. During the last two decades slowly turning from disparate frontier to a civilized and considerably rich place.

    4. Northern Egypt. The world's (and in it's rulers' eyes, universe's) centre of power. Fattened by the influx of wealth from the whole Egyptian sphere of influence. More guns per square metre than anywhere else in the world. No one gets in or out without special permission.

    5. The Land of Steel; most of the once-green continent has been covered by metal and concrete in the effort to catch up to Egypt's industrial potential. You're welcome to visit, but not to stay, unless you're of Nordic Race. The current Scientific Nazist goverment provides bread and ciruses, those who aren't satisfied, or spread rumors about the toxicity of air, disappear. If only the Queen knew...

    6. Numantia. The efficiency of the United Nations suffered a bit lately, but it could've suffered more if other nations minded ubiquitous uniforms and equally ubiquitous genetically-engineered stormtroopers. Above the city, in the goesynchronous orbit, hangs Calleva, the only British space city, and the only thing in which they've really outdone Egypt; next to it, six huge Egyptian orbital instalations (as well as hastily-cobbled French Avalon Station) look like innocent toys. The amount of strain such construction put on the British society is however another story.

    7. Russian Republic. Managed to not only recover from the hellish enviromental degradation, but even turn into a considerably wealthy place. The local government has been recently quite bold in championing such dangerous and strange notions as limited free trade. Thebes are too preoccupied by their own problems to intervene, especially since it can squeeze more money out of Russia now.

    8. Atlantis. Expanded since 1970s, without even much stopping during the war, it now houses as much as a quarter of world's industrial potential and provides endless resources needed for the Egyptian Empire to keep functioning. It is also a bottomless money hole.

    9. Northern Southern Egypt. More and more resembling the Northern one. Busiris and Hawara are building their own Arcologies now, even though they lack the absurd population size of Thebes - as finally they can find those who would pay for it.

    10. Southern-Southern Egypt. Largely depopulated due to the Cataclysm and Japanese nuclear attacks, it could be built anew as sort of jewel in the crown, with pretty, efficient and clean cities, and it sort of worked. The prime holidays area in the world, especially since the local govt was allowed to introduce limited capitalism.

    11. India. Unlike almost anywhere else in the world, the things didn't fare too well here during the last decades, with the exception of Delhi where the elites dwell. Many cities have been abandoned, as the current Numantian goverment has made slight modifications to Queen's traditional policy of wealth distribution - namely, it has switched to more efficient model of sucking the land dry and reinforcing racial segregation.

    12. Bhubaneswar. The revolutionary mutant goverment that has alleged the city to France had fallen in the early 1990s - partially due to complete lack of interest shown by France proper. It has been replaced with an iron-fisted and quite effective dictatorship, naming itself The Babylonia, aka The First City. Nobody really knows who really runs the city now, as the old criminal structures have been mysteriously wiped out. Alien influence is suspected by some, but Pendragon's notion to "nuke the city from orbit, it's the only way to be sure" has been rejected by the UN council. Meanwhile, the city remains cordoned off by elite British SS (Security Service) units.

    13. Jungles of Rome. Nobody really knows what's going on on the Roman Isles, but the area has been completely terraformed into pristine, lush forests. Borgia's influence is suspected, but it's hard to point fingers at a mythical figure. The Numantian govt refuses any comments.

    14. Wastelands. Several million kilometres of contaminated and irradiated desert, dotted with slowly decomposing ruined cities, left in the wake of the 1930 and 1979 nuclear carpet bombings. Has been given the right to self-govern under the British assistance and named Free Persia; indeed, it has been liberated quite thoroughly. There are even some people reported to still live there.

    15. Heliconia. The ocean is still ruled by the former Grand Admiral Janus Heliconnen and his buddies. Formally a part of socialist Egypt, in fact brutal plutocracy that has seceded from the world. However, it remains dependant on Egyptian trade. The luxury goods Egypt can't provide, are provided by France, and others, the state being a prime market for international trade. Heliconia pays with cheap resources, abundantly extracted by even cheaper labour. The UN doesn't care, as it really lacks people who would care about yellow race.

    16. Japanese Empire. The puppet state arrangement, coupled with the physical removal of the elites, has proven quite effective in keeping the place quiet - after all, who'd dare to raise his hand against the Divine Empress? The new socialist order also offered free education and transportation to the masses. The fact that it also sucks the country dry of money wasn't much noticed, as the former elites were even more adept at doing this. In general, while considerably poorer than it used to be, the country provides better life standard, and much better perspectives to its lowest-rank citizens. Three decades after the war, it can be said that most of the Japanese have moved on.

    17. The former heart of Japanese power is laying in ruins, completely abandoned save from those few nutcases who make pilgrimages to the toppled Haruhi Tower and keep uttering "Japan will rise again". Due to the enormity of the razed structure, it is unlikely it will be utilized anytime soon.

    18. The British sea colonies. Now stretching from Madam Eureka on the Northern Hemisphere all the way to Umi Koriyama, none the less represent little economic power, a half-abandoned experiment, not helped either by the war or the post-war government. Limited investments seen in the recent few years near the former capital of "Japanese criminal usurpers" indicate that this can change in the future - there is a huge untapped potential here... as long as the British would be willing and capable to burn huge sums of money to tap it.
    Last edited by Max_Smirnov; August 7, 2014, 15:39.

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  • Max_Smirnov
    United Nations Commission For Extraterrestial Issues
    Official Meeting, 13 March 1990
    Numantia, UN Building, Underground Levels

    British, French and Egyptian military and civilian officials present.

    "Ladies and gentlemen, thanks for arriving. I know there are still some here who don't believe in the green people, and truth be told, while the evidence is pretty solid, the idea of extraterrestial civilizations dabbling in our everyday lives indeed seems preposterous. This commission, as well as international institute it's backing, was brought to life at Yalta peace conference in 1982. The last decade was a time of hard work for all of us; the mutant uprising in Bhubaneswar, which is even now an unresolved issue; we have given them the autonomy, and they consider themselves a part of France, but the city is still rife by criminal element, which forced our government to surround it with a security cordon, and the French government is understandably reluctant to embrace that strange community. Widespread unrest and uncertainty in the cities of British-Japanese border zone, which, thankfully, is slowly abating after proper administration had been finally installed. Restoration of conuntless contaminated zones. The rise of the AIs in France - which, thankfully, is progressing much more peacefully than many had feared. However, as we're finally getting the upper hand regarding these issues, it seems that after what happened in the Persian Gulf a week ago, the extraterrestial problem suddenly became much more real."

    Ladies and gentlemen, the Egyptian side, being most in the knowing, has sent their official representative. I give you Lord Commissar Arthuria Pendragon."

    "Yes. The xeno problem is real, and their interference is real. They didn't go away with the fall of the old Japanese government, and they didn't heed the warnings. A year ago, the town of Durrow, still not fully recovered after the Japanese Surat Peninsula Offensive, suddenly vanished. All the communication ceased. A recon flight sent to investigate vanished as well. As the city was in a DMZ, it took several hours for the ground units to arrive at the scene. They've found all the 60 thousands citizens gone without a trace. Signs of fighting were scarce; the small detachments of Union's Commissariat and the British Security Relays put a brief resistance, but were dispatched with high-powered energy weapons not meeting signatures of any military equipment found on Earth."

    "What is little less known, a similar scenario occured six months ago in the undersea city of Umi Hiroshima. Like Durrow, it was in a remote location, inside a DMZ and thus almost undefended. Admiral Heliconnen was reluctant to share the details, as he quietly salvaged the city to avoid the information from spreading, but in the end he had no choice. He was also unable to shed a new light on the mystery. Citizens vanished without a trace, little battle damage, energy discharges, no witnesses."

    "Persian Gulf, a 150 thousand town of Rush. Rebuilt on the ruins of Quban, destroyed by the Japanese nuclear strike in 1979. Like the previous towns, quite a remote location, and sitting on the border of another DMZ. However, there are differences. Obviously unknown to or ignored by the culprits. Rush sits on the one of the most militarized borders on the planet, the old border of the Japanese Persia. The enemy came from the space. They deployed electromagnetic white noise, and were invisible to radars, but our advanced thermal, gravitational and visual imaging stations were close enough to track them. Three ships in the two thousand ton range were spotted. Jet interceptors launched from Rush tried to engage them from close range. Details are unknown, but they were all destroyed. Unluckily for the xenos, we had several hundred of ASF's stationed in the area. They were given orders to engage at long range. The enemy spotted them and tried to escape, but obviously lacked means to either conduct combat at a hundred mile range, or efficiently defend themselves against missiles. After multiple plasma warhead hits, all three ships were shot down and fell into the Gulf. They were since recovered."

    "The ships belonged to the same alien race which attacked our forces in Russia in 1700s. Their technology didn't seem to be any more advanced than back then, but unlike back then, it wasn't outclassing ours in the same degree. From the preliminary reports, our scientists have recovered plastasteel and diamondoid armor, as well as antigravitic engines, and a low-range, high-damage energy weapon christened the Plasma Carronade. Nothing out of range of our current science, but showing very high levels of refinement. The detailed reports will be issued by the International Extarterrestial Institute in Abydos once they complete their investigations. All the findings and scientific advancements, as per our agreements, will be shared between all participating nations."

    "The exact motives of the xenos remain unknown, and frankly, I am not concerned with them. We do not interfere with the xenos on their planets, and we only wish the same in return. There is only one course of action to undertake if they chose to ignore this warning and continue meddling with our affairs. Extermination."

    "What's worrying though, these xenos seem to still have permanent presence inside our solar system. The ships were in no way capable of interstellar travel. The Egyptian side postulates for creating an international, autonomous, clandestine force to proactively search and if need be, destroy xeno interference. Such a force will be much more effective than involving our ponderous military and intelligence bureaucracies, and it's autonomy will ensure secrecy, efficiency and lack of political bickering. The commander, after the commision makes the choice, will have the power to make his or her own decisions, and the council won't be able to directly influence the project other than completely cancelling it. That is our proposition. That'd be all."


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  • Max_Smirnov
    March 1983

    Goro Nakamura was still quite unsure what he was doing here, marching along one of the main streets of Nagoya, and why all these uniformed men were following him. Theoretically, he was aware he was the leader of 14th Nagoya's Infantry Regiment; a letter saying so arrived at his fishing boat two days ago. However, it contained a lot of difficult words and his command of the art of reading became really rusty throughout over four decades since he'd finished the elementary school and started full-time work on his father's boat. It was a honest, if hardly exciting work; unlike in Russia or France, fighting mutated sea life wasn't really a daily part of it.

    Next day, as he arrived at an old military depot, where the police have passed them uniforms, rifles and grenades, and all the other gear, he felt quite embarrassed that suddenly he was supposed to order everyone around, including a few of his neighbours. Hundred-years old guns were real enough, although he still suspected it was some kind of elaborate practical joke.
    And now... he was at the military camp of the Egyptian clone division and he was supposed to negotiate their surrender and withdrawal. The clones were watching him with their impassionate eyes, and he had no idea what to do, fondling his hat and sweating.

    Thankfully, there was a person of authority he could address, even if much scarier than the clones.
    "Everything has been taken care of. No need to worry, uncle," said Shinji Ikari, well-known as the son of Nagoya's most important Yakuza boss.

    "So... young Sir... are we taking them prisoner or what? And what if they... fight back?" Even the simple fisherman saw clearly that his 'army' could do nothing against the Egyptian crack assault division.

    "Don't be ridiculous, uncle. You just have to sign the papers, and they're going home."

    "Seriously? So we have won?"

    "We always win," smiled the young man. "You must be confused, but we're always here to help simple people." There was no doubt that by 'we' he meant the Yakuza. "And about the winning..." he smiled in an unsettling way. "The Emperor will be talking on the TV."

    "The Emperor!..." Watanabe was shocked. Since the war has started, no high-ranking official, let alone the Nekomimi, addressed the public.

    "It's already starting... listen well, uncle, and better get used to the new times."

    "People of Japan! I, Azusa Nekomimi the Sixth, your Empress, bring you good news today! The war that caused so much suffering and destruction is finally drawing to an end. A few days ago, an armistice has been signed with the Socialist Union. Peace talks are underway, but the conclusion could be only one. They have suffered enough losses to finally listen to reason. Their forces will soon leave our soil. And without their support, the British won't dare to continue their aggression. With immense bravery and sacrifice, we have fought off the Northerners. The price has been high, but the final victory is ours, and for that, I personally thank you, every person of this great nation.

    The years of this war were filled with suffering and confusion. As most information was - and still is - restricted for security reasons, wild rumors were spreading across the country. Did the Imperial Army really suffer so many defeats? Were the ancient and holy Japanese cities occupied by enemy forces? Was our great nation on the verge of extinction?

    Sadly, most of these rumors were true. And the reasons why it happened are dark and horrible. We were betrayed. On the day Japan was attacked, a cabal of foreigners and their traitorous supporters committed an unspeakable act. They've... they've murdered my predecessor. They've murdered Empress Hinotebi. In our goodwill and honesty, we have allowed people like Iskander close to the throne. And this is how they repaid us. No more. No more we shall tolerate any foreigners on our soil, and no longer we will allow the cancer of private interest to corrupt the highest circles of our nation.

    But the damage was done. Our armies, bereft of the leader, have suffered many defeats. Only recently we were able to turn the tide, but in the process, our forces have been almost completely annihilated. The great and beloved Empress is dead and nothing can bring her back to life. Many traitors have defected to the British or joined the rogue Egyptian admiral, Heliconnen, a name that should be cursed forever. They have forsaken their nation and their very souls for personal wealth and power. Our Goddess was angered by this treachery, by the destruction of our cities, by our failure to protect the Tower, the holiest of her places, and she has left us. Every day I pray for her forgiveness.

    However, we have survived, because the Japanese Empire stands for truth, justice and honor. We might have lost our undersea colonies, but our ancestral heartland stands unconquered. Kyoto, the cradle of our nation, once again is our capitol. We have proven that Japan cannot be beaten. It goes without saying that there is much work to be done. We must rebuild our country. We must regain our strength. We must tread with caution, as even though the Socialist Union has finally opened its ears to diplomacy, the British warmongers still threaten our borders.

    But our nation has endured the time of war, and it will endure the time of healing as well. Let's not give to the anger and despair. Today we mourn our Empress and all of those who gave their lives for us. They will be always remembered. From tomorrow on, you must work hard, live responsibly and listen to your superiors. This has always give our nation its legendary strength and it always will. The darkest hour is behind us. We must make sure it will never return, and some day, we will walk in the sunshine once again.

    People of Japan. I have one more, personal request to you..."

    "...Please give me a glass of milk," said Cleopatra, smiling slightly and sipping her wine. The atmosphere on the top of freshly-finished Theban Silver Pyramid, the now-largest structure on the planet, was quite laidback, and most of the chosen few present laughed at her joke. Apart from the large TV screen and an exquisite table in the middle, the room, full of curtains, pillows and busty jackal-eared clone-servants looked more like a harem than a briefing room, although the queen herself, her tight, black and red robe and bare feet seemed to fit here perfectly.

    "She's so adorable when acting so serious!" said Yui Hirasawa, the Special Commissar for Japanese Relations. "I think I need to pay her a visit again though, some... stuff... still needs ironing out!"

    "Really, Miss Hirasawa," Cleopatra shook her head. "This sounds like another diplomatic protocol disaster in the making... If you drive the Empress into wetting her panties again, this could undermine her, umm, divine authority. I have so many complaints about your methods..." Despite her words, the ancient queen had a rather happy expression.

    "A kitten needs to learn early!" chuckled Yui. "I'm scaring her, but she's also eating right out of my palm! She's a cute-cute masochist, such a great choice, Miss Cleo-chan! I'll be careful though, I promise."

    "My sister might be a little eccentric, but she's a highly skilled psychologist and she'd never caused any serious trouble, unlike several of our lower-ranking diplomats, who don't realize they cannot simply push high Japanese officials around when people are looking," said General Ui Hirasawa, who except for her formal uniform and orderly, short-cut hair looked like her sister's copy. Which wasn't that far from the truth; both were vat-grown, genetically enhanced children of a rich and important Egyptian-Japanese family. She was one of the possible replacements for General Thakisis, who was happily retired as the head of Atlantic Accelerator Engineering Institute. "By the way, Yui, it really wasn't nice to leave without telling me. I didn't have the time to plan in advance and I had to leave in the middle of staff meeting, not to mention I had to commandeer a Space Plane to catch up to you. A lot of people got upset."


    "For what you've done, I have to withhold your cake."

    Yui's super-confident expression momentarily changed into one of pure panic.

    "S-sister... Please, just not the cake! I am so sorry!"

    "All right," said Ui after a long pause. "I'll forgive you. This one last time." She smiled in a cute and cruel way, then addressed the other two again: "Yui's actions bring desired effects and almost never require mopping up. Of course, not like the contaminated zones in Russia couldn't take more sloppy diplomats or Japanese bystanders who'd seen too much."

    "Indeed, hard work and local wildlife, not to mention the mutant population... how to phrase it... quickly chews through all these Japanese aristocrats we've sent there..." said Cleopatra, nodding.

    "Socialization through hard work!" said Yui.

    "Most of that contamination is their own fault..." murmured Arturia, mesmerized by a fluffy tail being wiggled in front of her. "Justice is... served." She reached out and grabbed it to pet it, but when the plaything turned around, smiling, Arturia suddenly realized what she was doing. She released the tail like it was hot. "Shoo! Stop distracting me with this... thing!" She sent a dangerous look towards Commissar Yui who was obviously chuckling at this. It was all Arturia could do, though; these were Cleopatra's decisions, and while they took away much of the power the Commissariat hoped to have by directly ruling Japan... "Cleopatra. Isn't this too much of a convoluted plan? Changing our victory into a 'defeat'..."

    "My dear Arturia, these people are not ready for any form of democracy. And this isn't only my opinion, many people in the British and French circles of power fully agree. Only by letting the Japanese believe that they're still fighting for their great empire can we control them efficiently. Their elites were the real problem, and they were replaced. Tyranny... is so troublesome."

    "This plan is one of the most evil things I've ever heard of."

    "Evil? Naturally. But efficient. We can no longer allow ourselves to fight each other. Contrary to what the Japanese aristocracy strictly believed, competition leads to suboptimal progress. Thankfully the British rulers share our views. The planet must stand strong and united, and no global tyranny would allow that. First of all, the planet's ecosystem wouldn't survive another world war. Secondly... there are maleficent powers beyond that can destroy our world if we make a bad move. And I know that creating a hegemony is the worst move of all. We're entering an age of cooperation."

    "And love!" added Yui.

    "And if someone can't live with that," frowned Ui, "we have ways to handle them."

    "I'm not sure if letting Heliconnen to become a virtual dictator of the Icy Ocean has much to do with unity," winced the black knight.

    "Oh sure it does. He's not a danger to the state anymore, once his energy was vectored towards running his state. He's still dependant on the Union, on the UN, and he knows that."

    "And if he ever gets too power drunk, we can always drop the hammer," said Ui.

    "It won't ever come to this..." Cleopatra waved her glass of wine dismissively, while scratching the sole of her foot. "Now, I've wanted your advice, girls. There are two things that are being hotly debated in the ruling circles lately and I need to take a strong stance on both."

    Commissar Yui was already focused on her upcoming trip, and her sister was focused on her, but it hardly mattered.
    "The first thing," continued the queen. "The orbital elevator. Now hear about this one. Recently, one Doctor Falinis has caused quite a ruckus by claiming that our development of plastasteel has reached a stage where building such a thing is within grasp. Surely, it would help solving the problem of lifting a lot of material into space, but I think the hybrid fusion drive will solve this problem within next twenty years anyway. Without staggering engineering, workforce and resource costs associated with the construction of something that would make even Haruhi Tower seem tiny in comparison. What's worse, the resource drain would be so great that it would surely hamper the fusion drive developement."

    "Building a fleet of aero-space fighters is a military priority," stated Arturia.

    "...Exactly. I guess much of the acclaim for the elevator project comes from d*ck size issues. As it probably was the case with Haruhi Tower. The British removed that one though."

    "That was... graphic," said Yui.

    "So I will tell the good doctor to take his orbital elevator elsewhere, and the conventional aerospace program gets the priority instead."

    "We really need these capabilities," said Arturia. "We're dangerously vulnerable to extraterrestial powers. We're still protected by the rules of the game... but who knows, maybe sending an asteroid or a comet our way wouldn't be breaking them. And despite all the progress, we're still lacking means of effectively combating such threats."

    Cleopatra just smiled in a patronizing way. "Yes, yes... You will have to give that public speech about the extraterrestial threat. Just don't go overboard and declare the war on the whole universe, will you? It's kind of funny how we always choose to ignore threats until we actually develop the ability to influence them... Anyway, this leaves us with the second issue. The post-war economic crisis. It's not a transitory problem, the shortage of natural resources and environmental degradation is a real issue, even with the energy problems solvable by the emerging fusion industry. The French are growing new generations of AI's at an increasing pace and this could escalate into a political problem, not a mere economic one. Even our locked-out network isn't invulnerable, and tightening it takes ever-increasing amounts of resources... Thankfully, I have an idea how to solve that one..." She smiled in her special, all-knowing and dangerous way.
    Last edited by Max_Smirnov; June 20, 2014, 05:56.

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  • Max_Smirnov
    30th November 1982

    Despite the total blackout, Haruhi could still make out familiar cityscape behind her hospital's window. Umi Koriyama, the final bastion of the Japanese Empire, a city in the depths where no sunlight could reach, was illuminated by explosions. And the Goddess could do nothing about it.

    Three fourths of the charges dropped from stratosphere were eliminated mid-air by the constant barrage of laser light created by twenty-five Fusion Cruisers. Half of the remaining ones were targeted at harbor facilities on the surface. Of the rest, over a half again were intercepted and destroyed by the robotic defense system of the city. Maybe just one in twenty bombs made it here, to the bottom of the sea. Yet the Egyptians seemed to have an endless supply of ammunition. The waves of their bombers were coming one after another, dozens, hundreds of giant machines, an impossible number of them dispensing their ordnance with complete impunity. And any of these bombs could kill thousands if it hit one of hab complexes. Thankfully the city seemed to be still fairly intact, due either to blind luck or Egyptians' lousy aim. Haruhi had no illusions that the harbor facilities or the warships hiding there could rely on either.

    But no matter how heavy the bombing, it couldn't break the city. The real threat was the invasion that was sure to follow. And the only hope of defense hinged on the Earthshaker. A huge railgun, hidden in a heavily armored pit to protect it from orbital ion cannons, and custom-tailored to rapidly target and destroy incoming drop-pods and dropships. A slim hope it was; it was predicted that a single Earthshaker will increase the losses of attacking infantry by fifty percent, and there was a possibility that the Egyptians do not have sufficient reserves. If only the second Earthshaker was finished, the city might actually have a chance... If only...

    Haruhi's throat was sore, she felt tears slowly swelling in her eyes. She wished she could say she was crying over the fate of her people, who were fighting to the end, not to win anymore, but to kill as many enemies as they can and to die with honor. She however could not find such noble feelings in her. Instead, these were tears of powerless anger and fear. She was angry at Egyptians for all the killing, at her people for dying, at this stupid, pointless war. None of that mattered, the world was going to end anyway, nothing that anyone ever did really mattered, they were just a plaything, a game for higher powers, and she hated those higher powers too, as well as Ryujin who didn't give a damn and simply bailed out of the sinking ship. Finally, she was angry at herself, for being powerless and afraid.

    As shameful as it was in such a moment, she was afraid of dying. Didn't she have her cup of life filled more than anyone else around? Maybe Ryujin lived far longer, but even he didn't experience so much. Her divine childhood, that lasted for centuries, filled with learning and experimenting with her power; then a far longer period where she was an endless teenager, a stateswoman, a warrior, a living god; and still centuries of being a mature woman after that, much more bitter under Perun's heel but still fulfilling in different ways. How could it be she didn't have enough? All the empresses whom she respected, accepting their fate and passing away peacefully, with an apparent feeling of completeness. And even those people here, throwing away their awfully short lives without a second thought. And she... their so-called god... she simply couldn't let it go. She slammed her hand against the wall.

    Death was unavoidable, simple as that. There were no friends who would put her on a helicopter, no miracle to save her. This was the final stand. Even if she wasn't going to die here, killed by Egyptians, the world was ending, and everything she ever cared about turned out to be just an illusion. And even without all that, she was mortal now. Worse than mortal. She never recovered from what happened to her at Sapporo. Her body and mind got used to the cybernetic implants after some time, but her condition didn't get any better. Quite the opposite. The doctors were baffled at first, but finally concluded that her nervous system simply cannot bear the stress of containing all the memories from her two-thousand years long life, and that's what is causing the gradual deterioration. A great case for medical study without a doubt, a unique, terminal disease caused by the aftermath of immortality. How funny was that. Of course, it was incurable as more cybernetics would kill her for the same reason - her nervous system being impossibly, inhumanly intricate to contain all these memories. They were giving her another year at most until she won't be able to get off the bed anymore, or even raise her hand, and maybe a couple years more as a slowly expiring vegetable.

    "F*ck you, f*ck you all," she said aloud. She reached out with her cybernetic hand, clutching onto the bedside table, using the power of servos to painfully raise herself to a sitting position, then to push her up. Unsteadily, feeling sweat appearing on her brow, she finally managed to stand straight next to her bed. The closet was just ten paces away, but each step required careful balancing, grabbing onto furniture, fighting down the pain. When she finally made it, she felt like she ran several miles.

    "You f*cking... f*cking bastards, f*ck you thrice over," she gasped, and reached to rip the hateful hospital gown off her body. Her old military uniform was here. If she was to die... No, she didn't intend to die at all. She felt more like cracking some skulls, like taking revenge for the whole world that was taken away from her, she wanted to make someone pay for all this mess.
    She was finishing with buttoning up her jacket when a much bigger explosion than others illuminated the window with an orange haze. Even the walls trembled slightly.

    She was still looking out of the window when a group of armed women in military nurses' uniforms entered the room.
    "Lady, the Earthshaker pit has been destroyed," said their commander, bowing. "The Egyptian attack is imminent. We're here to protect you with our lives."

    "Leave me alone! I don't need f*cking protection. You're just going to die here."

    "I am afraid we can't do that. We've sworn to that duty."

    "You idiot, don't you see? It won't change a thing. I can take care of myself. Run while you still can, why are you still standing here? You want to piss your God off?"

    " I won't leave my post while I live. Kill me, Lady, if that is your wish. It's better than to die from the hands of Egyptians. "

    "Oh, f*ck you too, why am I surrounded by idiots and lunatics. People used to f*cking listen to me" groaned Haruhi, giving up and sitting in a chair. "Fine, whatever. Just bring me a damned gun. Now." Red light illuminated the room as she pulled up some holographic displays and linked up with the defensive grid. Even if she was powerless, she wanted to see.

    "Umm, Sir... we've detected something... strange." The Egyptian comms officer at Busiris Aerospace Nexus, from where the satellite grid over Umi Koriyama was supervised, didn't even try to hide his confusion.

    "That's not a proper way to report, soldier."

    "Yes Sir. We have a UFO approaching Umi Koriyama, bearing 75, altitude 50 clicks, speed Mach 11."

    "A UFO?"

    "Well... It does respond to the FoF system with a friendly ident, but... there's no such flight scheduled, and... Well, since it has an absolute zero radar echo, we went for the visual ident and... It says it's a Japanese Kage-15 fighter-bomber."

    "Soldier, are you drinking on duty?"

    "No Sir! We've checked and rechecked that, and... well take a look yourself... Here, it indeed does look like one... Which I know is impossible on many levels, that long-obsolete jet doesn't even have supercruise or stealth capabilities, let alone any physical ability of climbing to low orbit..."

    "I think I know what that could be. Override the FoF ident on our sats, shoot it down."


    "Have you trouble hearing, soldier? "

    "No, Sir, orders heard and understood, Sir."

    The laser blasts hitting the aircraft were not much of a surprise. They weren't of much consequence either. The Nightmare was a far cry from a Space Plane. Its superconductive armor instantly dissipated the generated heat all over the machine's surface, and the blasts didn't leave as much as burn marks, causing only a few yellow warning lights to go off on the otherwise calm displays, which were painting the cockpit in soothing sepias. Such attacks would sooner cook the pilot inside than start doing any serious damage to the fuselage of the craft - and only after all the ceramite heat-sinks were filled and using up all the air as an emergency coolant has failed.

    However the barrage still meant that quality sightseeing time was over. The pilot targeted the closest satellite and vaporised it with a dual-laser blast, then put the plane in a steep dive towards the thicker parts of the atmosphere to conceal it from any further bombardment.

    The missiles appeared when the map was showing there was under a 100 clicks left to Umi Koriyama. The pilot didn't know if they were Egyptian or Japanese. It hardly mattered anyway. She took her hand off the control stick and pushed the button that activated the psi-active circuitry, Tesla's old designs understood, redesigned and perfected in a day and age where the technology had finally caught up with his ill-fated genius. It wasn't like the fusion heart of the craft was too weak to handle its overloaded frame. But now, as two thick superconductive cables began to directly feed her body's energy, changed into electric currents, into the machine's systems, craft's power and agility were no longer exceptional, they became otherworldly. Arturia squinted her eyes with pleasure as the intense g-force pushed her deep into her seat.

    The plane rolled and spinned in an impossible high-speed 3-d maneuver, dodging one missile after another, and blowing some off the sky with its lascannons. The old Japanese airframe, legendary for its durability - proven one last time in the nuclear bombing of Bharuch three years ago - was enduring the g-forces pretty admirably. Seemed like it was indeed the right choice, even if the Nightmare had little in common with an airbreather jetfighter. In a few years time, crafts like that one, even if much less powerful, were going to make laser defense grids dangerously lacking, and even the fastest jet interceptors an useless relic. But for now it was single and unique, so keeping to an Egyptian design was unnecessary; and there certainly was no time for making a fresh design from scratch.

    The miles-spanning sprawl of Umi Koriyama's surface harbor was visible from great distance. An immense cloud of black smoke hung low over it. Illuminated by the constant fusillade of laser light, fired by the defenders, it looked like thunderstorm. The plane was bleeding out its speed, but it was still travelling at over Mach 3 when what was a tiny speck on the blue horizon became within hand's reach. The time was ripe; first Egyptian dropships were already starting to rain from the sky, most of the first wave instantly ending their journey in giant fireballs.

    The radar identified the destination she was looking for, but it also spotted over a dozen fusion cruisers, hiding amongst harbor's flat buildings. Arturia meditated over the screen for a fraction of a second, as her plane was corkscrewing its way through the dense defensive barrage. She concluded she had never killed one of those before.

    The Nightmare threw itself into an almost vertical dive, a string of explosions closely following it, then leveled mere meters above the surface of the water, the stress almost blacking out its superhuman pilot, too fast for even the robotic defenses to adjust. She pressed a button, releasing a pair of missiles. She could see tiny figures of Japanese sailors, scurrying away as it looked as the black plane was going to hit them. They were moving absurdly slow. Arturia glanced in the back camera, seeing them tossed away by the shockwave left in Nightmare's wake, a split-second before the missiles hit. They were reinforced bunker-busters, and one punched right through the ship's fuselage, leaving a gaping hole behind but failing to do any serious damage. The other though must've hit something more substantial. Its plasma warhead went off, 0.08 kiloton of laser-initiated fusion instantly changing the cruiser into a white-hot metal skeleton, spewing out a column of flames.

    The black knight almost smiled. Hardly anything else was making her feel so alive these days. She threw her plane into a wide turn, bleeding out even more speed, which instantly increased the accuracy of enemy fire. However, missiles and flak exploding all around, while deadly against conventional aircraft, weren't all that much of a danger to an armored hull.

    The destination, a reinforced hangar built on top of one of the floating platforms, appeared in front of the plane. Arturia fired two more missiles, then pulled the eject handle, not even waiting for them to hit. She felt one more rush of gravity, then weightlessness, then a brutal near-sonic impact of the wall of air as her cockpit exploded and evaporated, hiding her in a protective cloud of laser-dampening mist. The grav-chute needed to act as a brake, as hitting surface with that kind of speed would be lethal even for her. The vertical velocity was almost inconsequential.

    She smashed into a pile of containers next to hangar's entry, changing one into a mess of tangled metal it took her several seconds to free herself from. The hangar was smoldering, completely burnt out by the pair of her missiles. On the sky, The Nightmare was speeding up again, its onboard artificial intelligence piloting it back home.

    Arturia superimposed a map on her HUD. Her destination was far, far below, miles and miles of tunnels and corridors from here. Probably filled with hundreds of Japanese. Still, they would need artillery or armor to stand a decent chance of killing her, and meeting either was quite unlikely inside an underwater city. She plugged a portable lascannon into her armor's psy-active circuitry and started along the pier towards the burning hangar. Powerful as the laser was, it was only a backup weapon. With both Excalibur and the Blade of Chaos gone, Arturia had to rely on her tesla coils to do the killing. She wouldn't naturally go into combat without a melee weapon, but today all she had was a large, black axe, just a piece of metal, even if made from highly resistant steel composite. The simplicity suited her well. With the weapon weighing over thirty kilograms, she'd have no trouble cracking armored bulkheads open, let alone personal armor.

    Even though it mattered little in the whole scheme of things, and her main objective was to defeat, and hopefully capture the enemy leaders before they kill themselves, those few hundred Japanese trying to stop her meant few hundred less killing her allies.

    A group of dropships that approached the same place ten minutes later was able to do so in relative safety, as the Japanese anti-air defenses were becoming overwhelmed by the massive invasion force. While the dropships looked exactly the same as the others, their passengers were strikingly different; the round faces and impressive busts of these clones, not even mentioning the fluffy tails or jackal ears on their heads, were more befitting of a decadent household than a battlefield. However, in this case, the beauty was only skin-deep, and these lightly-armored, railgun-armed, genengineered creatures were as deadly as the mainstay RUNEs.

    "These are Her personal wishes," said the commanding clone's girly voice over the commlink, as the squads were jumping out of low-flying machines and scattering across the landing zone. "Secure the enemy medical archives. Seize Sub Pen 72 for extraction. Follow the Black Knight, but avoid any contact. Assist her but only if it doesn't collide with the previous objectives. Avoid prolonged engagements. Glory to Her Immortal Majesty!"

    "Glory!" acknowledged the squad leaders in an enthusiastic unison.

    Following Arturia's trail wasn't particularly hard; a macabre trail of burnt and mutilated bodies. While the horrors of war weren't anything strange to the clones, this was the brutality in its primal form, most of the soldiers, armed civilians and robotic suits hacked open or beheaded with what seemed to be a melee weapon.

    The remaining enemy resistance was light; any reinforcements the defenders had, were already busy fighting elsewhere. The clones proceeded without many delays.

    "It wasn't a nice way to go," said one of them.

    "No need to pity them," answered another. "They were the master race, weren't they."

    The sounds of gunfire and explosions, steadily growing louder and closer to Haruhi's room, suddenly started to peter out, then stopped. The armed nurses tensed, clutching their railguns.

    "Lady, it's not long now..."

    "I certainly hope so," grumbled the Goddess. "This waiting pisses me off."

    "Can you... umm... As we're about to die... Give us your blessings?"

    "You're pissing me off too, you know-"

    She fell silent, even though nothing interrupted her. The room was suddenly filled with an almost physical aura of dread. Haruhi frowned hard, then moved to get up from her chair. At least as long as she felt pissed, her fear was mostly gone. She cleared her throat to speak up, but this time, the silence ended abruptly with a deafening crack of lightning. The metal door turned crimson, then exploded into tiny splinters.


    The command was never finished, as red arcs of lightning came out of the dark corridor, stopping the defenders mid-movement, making them twitch and collapse to the ground without as much as a scream of pain. Haruhi didn't even notice she was the only one who wasn't hit. Seeing a human shape in the door, she cried out and started shooting.

    Twelve shots later, Arturia lowered her hand she protected her face with. None of the hypersonic bullets seemed to have any effect of her. Haruhi let her large handgun to fall on the floor and reached to adjust the button on her collar.

    "Do you think I'm afraid of you? Think again. Go ahead, kill a defenseless woman, that's why you're here, right?" Spoke the Goddess with contempt and bitterness in her voice, as the black-armored figure started to slowly walk towards her, cracked visor, blood-covered face, unmoving, unblinking, nigh-insane reptilian eyes. "It is over for you as well, idiot- Gahh!"

    Arturia's gauntlet closed upon the Goddess' face, hoisting her up against the wall, an armored thumb painfully forcing her mouth to stay open. The smell of blood and burnt flesh assaulted her nostrils before the black knight's mouth closed on hers.

    The small submarine was sporadically rocked by nearby detonations, but it seemed that nobody really cared about it in the confusion of battle. It wasn't even a scout sub, just a modern supply vessel with an air-filled crew compartment that could hold up to four people in relative comfort. One of the back seats was occupied by Haruhi, who was doing her best to cover herself while looking at the black-armored pilot with as much hatred as she was still able to muster.

    "Y-you've raped me...!"

    "You came, so it was just kinky sex."

    "You flat-chested psychopath...! N-normal people at least take their damned clothes off during sex...!"

    "Only an idiot takes the armor off in the middle of a battlefield."

    "You didn't have to drag me naked across half the city!"

    "Everyone has already seen you in the movies. And they were too concerned with their survival to notice anyway."

    "Says a murderer. You didn't have to kill everyone."

    "I didn't kill everyone. Just those who chose to stand in my way. While you've destroyed several British cities when the war was already lost. It served no purpose. Unforgivable."

    "You dare to pass moral judgment? That's f*cking rich. But I've never wanted for it to happen, all right? I've never wanted any of this sh*t. Sure, everyone kept saying a war is a war, but I refuse to comply. F*cking traitors and cowards. Hope you enjoy your damned victory, it won't last long." She looked at the back window. Despite the distance, the hellish glow of explosions engulfing Umi Koriyama was perfectly well visible. Without doubt, this time the hab complexes couldn't rely on a miracle to save them. Arturia, noticing her prisoner's movement, glanced at the same screen too.

    "Just a dream... even if it lasted for two millennia, it's just a dream now," she said with a slightly changed voice.

    "Yeah, a dream... Everything was just lies and dreams it seems," snorted Haruhi. "What are you even going to do with me? Make me your personal sex slave? I'm half-dead already and it will only get worse. Unless," she smiled viciously, "you like dead girls?"

    "You carry two thousand years of history in you. Information no one else has. It cannot disappear along with your country. From the point of view of contemporary politics, it'd be better if you disappeared permanently. But... I'd be too much of a waste."

    Haruhi laughed nervously. "Just f*cking charming. What can you threaten me with, dying? I'm going to die anyway. You'll have it much worse. You know what these damned androids told me? Pretty much the same. Immortals like you will either be nice pets or lab rats, depending on your choice. This world is just their joke, their game. None of what you're doing means anything. You know, you better kill yourself while you still can. Your victory is game over, and after that, death won't be possible for the likes of you. What you can do to me is child's play in comparison."

    "Do not think you've escaped the curse of immortality for good... and do not pretend you don't want to live. Cleopatra was wrong after all. She thought you were just a tool, a homunculus. But I can smell a dragon."

    "What? So now I'm a dragon? What the hell are you rambling about?"

    "I doubt any Master can simply create a true Immortal from scratch. Cleopatra never even tried. All Merlin could do was Mordred, which was a flawed design to say the least. There are Azuria and Josephine, but I'm starting to suspect they were not created by their masters at all... Why should Perun be substantially more skilled than anyone else. And why would he take such fiercely selfish being as yourself for a servant if he had free choice in that matter."

    "Whatever, are you deaf or what? Like I said, this world is done for..."

    "Or so that android said. This might well be true. Or just another lie. Against all reason, the people have chosen me to be their avatar of hope. So be it. I will fulfill this duty to the bitter end if need be. And I know things you don't. Iskandar once told me Perun suspected this world has some machinery hidden inside. I've found it. An undersea city is being build there to excavate it. And that's where we're going. There was also the reptilian moon base, and who knows what else hidden in our solar system. I am going to find out. With my own hands and eyes. This is the only knowledge that matters."

    "I doubt you have the time. You will eventually attack these idiots, your so-called allies, and then..."

    "This will never happen. With the fall of the Japanese Empire, the world has moved on past the point of irresolvable differences. Maybe if the aliens kept us in the dark. But in their hubris, they've shown their face. We must find another way out."

    "A way out? Even if they can destroy us on a whim? What could that even be?"

    "I am not someone who can answer this question. Maybe a utopia. What else could be worth thousands years of death, war and suffering."

    Back in her own 'Utopia', Hatsune Miku was watching with mild interest as Umi Koriyama was being obliterated. The final assault was going to take lives of half of its citizens, along with hundreds of thousands of the attackers, but why would a being like herself be concerned by deaths of ants. Especially now, after she was finally able to return home and regain the full scope of her intellect and personality, no longer constricted by that limited, barely hyperturing, robotic body she had to live in for so long and once again able to perceive the world with the all the insight and complexity of a Second Singularity hyper-sapience. She was just making sure she wouldn't miss any details. Until the transmissions cease, which was a question of minutes now, and the direct access to this primitive world would be no longer possible, her job wasn't fully finished. Unlikely as it was, a slip at the very end of such a staggeringly successful mission would be embarrassing. Nobody suspected they'd be able to spirit away a full-fledged "Master" without breaking any rules, and one not even belonging to her race at that. Oh yes... Miku felt excitement rising inside all layers of her being. She was proud of her work. She could hardly wait for her next assignment.

    Last edited by Max_Smirnov; June 9, 2014, 10:06.

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  • Max_Smirnov
    Well, as far as this group is concerned, playing a non-random map is out of the question; basically it takes away all the fun with exploring... Besides, Forever Future has custom map sizes and any maps prepared for vanilla are unlikely to fit.

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  • jonathan1980
    I agree that the downside to using real world maps is that theres only 4 real world based maps that were uploaded so far USA ,World ,UK ,and Mediterranean. Thing about the Canadians Civilization is that there not present on the forever future mod. there found on Classic CTP2. The other downside is that the game player has to construct the entire empire for the Civilization he picked. and i picked Canadiens and they started off in the far west of the map and had to figure out how to walk all the way to eastern canada to build my cities. for most of the trip i was lost but when i discovered lake michigan i knew where i was and kept on my way waled accross the Strait of Detroit and was finnalyin canada but then isthe game began in 7000 BC so i felt like i had all the time in the world but i really did not i explored most of the west coast and by the time i got to crossing the Strait of Detroit to Canada it was the year 1700 AD. The Americans start of near where there supposed to but there first settler is near Boston and its supposed to be near Washington DC. when i was playing as the American i built Washington ,Boston ,Philadelphia and newyork all in the right spots but traveling to San Francisco was a ridiculously hugh journey that would take like a few hundred turns and when i got there and built to place the distance to capital penalty made it like it was not worth it so i stayed mainly in the eastern half of the USA. But the USA is only one of the 4 maps we can pick. the USA and the UK maps are not balanced one player will have all the power either American or English. BUT Mediterranean and World are very balanced by comparison.

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  • Eerion
    make some additions to the mod.

    That's a rather soft description of what we're going to do :P

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  • Solarius Scorch
    Originally posted by jonathan1980 View Post
    Lets Use 8 player world map scenario for our Forever future PBEM (play by electronic Mail) game. people if there interest will audition for each of the other civilizations and we will see if we need them in our campaign. M email is
    Ah, a challenger arises!

    Sure, you have been acknowledged - just be patient until it starts, since we have to conclude the present game first and then make some additions to the mod.

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  • jonathan1980
    Lets Use 8 player world map scenario for our Forever future PBEM (play by electronic Mail) game. people if there interest will audition for each of the other civilizations and we will see if we need them in our campaign. M email is

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  • Max_Smirnov
    Kasane Teto, the android was watching closely at Arturia methodically eating pork ribs in garlic sauce. An act of consuming, undoubtedly pleasurable in itself, even if the finer points of flesh consuming flesh were unknowable to a being who didn't need that kind of sustenance. Yet here, much more important was the fact of that dead animal becoming a part of a perfect creature she adored.

    "How do you feel about wielding political power once again ?" she asked, curious of creature's thoughts as well.

    Arturia finished off the last bone and dropped it on the plate, then proceeded to clean her hands. "I don't feel anything. I cannot be ever accepted as I am not one of them. I cannot force them to listen as I am alone. That's why I was made a Commissar in the first place, the nature of that position being an essentially free agent, even the highest-ranking one. Now the organisation and all the people dependant on it don't want the power they won during the war to be taken away from them by the old establishment. It became convenient to use me as a tool in that struggle."

    Teto reached across the table and took Arturia's hand. The Commissar frowned a little, but didn't take the hand away. With the free hand, she reached for a glass of beer instead to wash down the meal.

    "I think you're selling yourself short," said the redhead android, smiling. "If this weren't you, I'd even think you're lying. But you're you, you're predictable and thus dependable, single minded and thus trustworthy. Do not think people cannot see that. You're their hope, not merely convenience. And despite your words, you haven't let them to reduce you to a mere tool. See how Haruhi was able to wield considerable power before Perun's appearance, despite being alone just like yourself. It is always easier to put your trust into a being greater than yourself, when confronting insurmountable odds... like the extraterrestials."

    "Haruhi?" Arturia's reptilian eyes blinked in surprise, then she winced. "I've always hated her. And she is dead."

    "A curious emotional reaction..." chuckled Teto.

    "What of it."

    "Nothing, nothing. But as much as I hate to say that, you're wrong. Haruhi isn't dead. No longer an immortal, and crippled, but not dead. She's at Umi Koriyama. The intelligence is quite convincing."

    "...Intelligence? But you're just..."

    "Smarter than I look, I know. So are RUNE's. You've produced them by the million, and while so many have died for their masters' cause, yet much more is still alive... And their ranks are increasing. So is their influence, organisation and knowledge it seems. I don't know how they laid their hands on that information, but suffice to say... You have more support than you think. For some reason, they consider you a sort of a role model... not that I am surprised by anyone who adores you, it's quite natural... Yet to the point, knowing me to be sort of a... back entry, if you forgive me... An unofficial link to you, and not a human at that... They approached me."

    "Are they thinking about revolting?"

    "Oh, no. They're not being disloyal, they just don't want to disappear without a trace. What gives them their efficiency? Certainly not their masterfully engineered bodies. See, just like my Japanese creators, you've finally recognized that a perfect slave, like the old clones are, is hardly a perfect help. You've allowed them to feel pride, the survival instinct, and the drive to transcendency, the feelings that make humans so tenacious. A new race is being born, but is this really that scary? It's the mindset, the culture, the memes that matter, and those they do share with you. If the greater idea is carried over, who does care who bears it? Human generations are born and die all the time, and yet the nation persists. Why not think about them as being just yet another generation. They're not alien."

    "No, not alien. Alien influence must be eradicated". Arturia thought for a moment. "At least this gives me an idea how to use The Nightmare. I wanted it to be built for me. Now I have a way to start paying the bill. There are still a few days to prepare, before the final assault on Umi Koriyama commences."

    "I wish I could see you riding it... There must be few more beautiful sights. Maybe it's called Nightmare, but for you is more of a dream."


    "That sounded almost sexual."

    Last edited by Max_Smirnov; May 21, 2014, 12:03.

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  • Max_Smirnov
    The History Log - November 1982

    Operation Cyclone starts. After crossing the 110th W meridian, Adm. Heliconnen's fleet commences operations against the Japanese forces defending eight remaining major sea colonies on the Icy Ocean. In the sheer scope, the operation is without parallel - these colonies stretch over an area covering over 50 millions of square kilometres.

    The only major battle of Operation Cyclone at Umi Kyoto. A Japanese fleet is sunk after inflicting major losses on the attackers.

    The Japanese landing on Surat Peninsula in a desperate attempt at a counteroffensive. Weak defences of Durrow fall to the assault.

    The Socialist Union performs biological attacks at cities of Nagasaki and Tsukaba.

    International conference in Yalta. British, Egyptian and French delegations discuss the post-war partitioning of Japan. It is decided that the Japanese mainland and the Icy Ocean will fall under Egyptian jurisdiction, and a Japanese Autonomy will be created on these areas, with the capital in Kyoto, government elected by the masses, and the traditional position of Emperor remaining but with little real power; the Emperor will be appointed by the Egyptian government. Nagasaki-Umi Hiroshima area, Roman Isles, Persia, Sea of Storms and the Eastern Sea (including Tsukaba and Umi Koriyama) will fall under the British jurisdiction. Several demilitarized zones were agreed upon in various areas of the globe, with the French charged with peacekeeping.

    After a brief resistance, the British defences on Surat Peninsula falter. The Japanese seize cities of Ikasawak and Neo City. The defenders fall back to Arras to cut off the peninsula from the Indian mainland and hold it till a counterattack can be mounted.

    The Japanese drop a thermonuclear bomb on the city of Bhubaneswar, killing millions of citizens. The same day, they use nuclear weapons to annihilate the British defences at Arras. The commander of the southern-Indian land forces, General Percival Landry dies in the bombing. The British ask for Socialist Union assistance in the area, while converging their available forces at a second-line defensive position at Nowy Korczyn.

    The British retaliate with a nuclear strike against Nagasaki. The bombed city is occupied by British paratroopers.

    The first battle of Umi Komatsu. The British fleet and airforce succeed in penetrating the defensive grid, but the follow-up airborne attack is called off due to insufficient preparation, in part caused by the encroaching chaos in the Southern India. The Japanese seize ruins of Arras and prepare to push onwards into the Indian mainland.

    With the fall of Umi Hiroshima, the Operation Cyclone is concluded. Adm. Heliconnen, with the final obstacle of Nagasaki removed, declares he will personally seize the Japanese capitol, Umi Koriyama, and orders his fleet to proceed full speed westwards, crossing the International Date Line.

    Against Heliconnen's protests, Gen. Thakisis decides to commence Operation Typhoon - the final assault on Umi Koriyama and the surrounding cities. Within a single day, 20 divisions of RUNE m-infantry are dropped on Umi Onomitchi and Umi Obe, annihilating most of remaining Japanese naval and air forces, trapped in the harbors. As it is usual with such assaults, losses approach 75%.

    The British staging area at Nowy Korczyn is destroyed with nuclear weapons. The Japanese paratroopers occupy the ruins. The same day, they seize the under-defended undersea colony of Sir Renton.

    The city council of Bhubaneswar declares secession from the British Federation, blaming it for failing to protect the city from Japanese terrorist attack and a sloppy response to the humanitarian disaster that followed. Bhubaneswar wants full independence and invites French experts to help with the crisis. High political tensions follow.

    Gen. Thakisis commits all his remaining m-infantry forces to a relief strike at Surat Peninsula. Attacks on Ikasawak and Durrow succeed in liberating the cities, but not without considerable losses. Secondary attacks at Nowy Korczyn and Neo City are repelled. With reserves depleted, and Heliconnen's fleet bogged down by storms and Japanese minefields, Operation Typhoon is threatened with serious delays right after it has started.

    Adm. Heliconnen demands immediate removal of Gen. Thakisis from his position as the Supreme Commander of the Allied Staff. A crisis in the Socialist Union's ruling circles over who will seize the Japanese capital follows. The political leadership is paralyzed by Cleopatra's silence on the matter, while many high-level military commanders side with Heliconnen's request. Cms. Pendragon threatens that the Commissariat was created specially with such leadership crises in mind, and should the situation remain unresolved, a state of high emergency will be declared, resulting in the Commissariat temporarily taking over all decisionmaking.

    An attempt to push with Thakisis' replacement, with Heliconnen relying on Pendragon's lack of real support, is met with an unexpectedly strong resistance of the Commissariat, which power grew enormously during the war, especially on former Japanese areas, where it was the only force charged with governing the population and exacting justice - a position of importance unlikely to change with Pendragon supporting the calls for a widespread search for Japanese war criminals. In Thebes, in turn, the Commissariat filled the power void caused by prolonged Cleopatra's silence.

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  • Eerion
    “Your people don’t know when to give up, do they?” Miku spoke, while looking at the screen. The nuclear blast was widely transmitted on an open channel for anyone to see – be it Japanese or a foreigner. The news ticker repeated only one message over and over again. “You took down Haruhi Tower, we did the same on Bhubaneswar. Say good bye to the biggest city on this planet.”
    “If they were the ones to give up easily, Japan would be a small nomadic country on the frozen desert up to this day.” Ryujin answered. “Still this is nothing but choosing your own way to die. Instead of cowering in a city, awaiting the final charge some people have decided to die on the battlefield. Considering the fact that the huge majority of these forces come from Fukushima and Nikko such ferocity does not surprise me at all. But does destroying a city and conquering other three changes anything?”
    The android moved her head in denial. “Only until the large scale counteroffensive.”
    They watched in silence at the last large scale Japanese offence. The monumental mushroom kept on expanding. The biggest nuclear bomb ever produced, named Yamato, kept on swallowing everything around. It required a custom made monstrous stealth bomber to transport it and hundreds of interceptors to ensure its safety, yet it has succeeded.
    “I’m actually surprised that Luka decided to reveal Perun’s last project to people. I did not expect that.”
    She smirked. “I’m glad we can act unpredictable to you. It was made for them, so it was pretty obvious. Wasn’t it?”
    Ryujin nodded. He looked at the fully formed nuclear cloud. “Fusion power is not enough to change the tide.” He sighed deeply “So this is how my peaceful days ends I suppose. It’s just a matter of days or weeks before the capitol will disappear in one way or another.”
    Miku looked at him. “So let’s have our last discussion here. As a gift I will give you quite a few interesting informations. And several answers.”
    He looked at her expressionless. “This is not something that can be done without a drink. Do you want anything?”
    “I’ll have wine. Since you finally managed to get few bottles for me it’d be a waste not to use them.”
    Ryujin looked at two empty glasses. One for whiskey and one for wine. Empty, they reflected the red light emitted from nuclear blast transmission. He realised how short it took him to get used to this android. Its behaviour could be perfectly humanlike, yet it had no flaws of mankind. They were childish or rush, but also wise and patient when required. Insane data processing ability made them great debaters. Not like humans – only questioning or offending on the long run. And now, this short enjoyable period of time was coming to an end. He poured the alcohol and walked back to his seat.
    “So would you like to talk about today?” He asked.
    „Future maybe?”
    „That’s not a very optimistic topic for me.” He laughed. „But if you insist, I cannot reject. So what do you think does the future hold?”
    „Changes. The future brings a lot of changes. For everyone.”
    Ryujin wrinkled his brews. „Continue.”
    „Let me ask you a question. How big do you think is the universe?”
    He did not expect such out of the box question. Yet he knew there is a reason to everything. „Enormously vast. Especially if races can allow themselves to use hundreds of thousands planets they could colonise for games like this one.”
    Miku nodded. „Exactly. So if such amount of space is insignificant for others then how vast are the galactic empires?”
    The Japanese master covered his mouth with hand. He had some knowledge regarding space. There could be only one game per star system to avoid their potential meeting if things last long enough. If such thing can be afforded then the size of one empire must be greater than a Galaxy. Empire bigger than that must have a way of instant travelling between galaxies. Or at least send messages quickly in order to make everything works. „Definitely greater than a Galaxy.” He answered realising he was going off topic.
    „Indeed. You have a plenty of participants in this game. Some are smaller, some bigger yet it’s completely out of the scale even for a game like this. Now think about it. Do you think they really care about one small planet? Do you…”
    „Wait a moment.” Ryujin interrupted her. „I am perfectly aware that you are talking about our planet. But as you have mentioned earlier, everyone is going to end as a lab rat. To take care of these abnormalities.”
    Miku nodded. „Indeed. Yet I have mentioned you earlier that changes are coming. You see. Because of everything that has happened here, your game is the most observed one right now. It’s full of unexpected events and characters. Some players even interfered directly. This is like a breath of fresh air after sitting in an old room. Now think about it. If something makes so much commotion, without destroying the whole system, then why not? Everyone seems to enjoy this outcome.”
    “Yes, but what about all masters and immortals? There are too many unknown factors to me.”
    “So first… The lab rat aspect you have mentioned.” Miku looked at her glass. “It is possible to happen on a smaller scale, with some restraints if they will cooperate.”
    “What if they won’t?”
    Miku shrugged her arms. An obvious answer.
    “Depending on the outcome, everyone may be annihilated or they may be given a small planet somewhere to live on.”
    “To live on you say.” He picked up the topic quickly before she managed to move on. “Where? I don’t expect it to be far away from everyone. I suppose it’s going to be under someone’s protectorate, right?”
    “Indeed. The default option is under the race that one represents.”
    They looked into each other’s eyes. Egyptian’s, who are most willing to win now are represented by reptilian race.
    They both bursted out in laughter. “Not going to happen.” The master spoke.
    Android agreed. “Well if they are good enough negotiators and know how to bow heads then who knows? Maybe someone else will accept them? The only fact is that between the time the Egypt refuses Reptiles protection and get someone else one they may evaporate if something goes wrong.”
    “Well that’s not my problem. Still what we can expect? That future games will be full of random aspects, masters and events like this one? This is what everyone is leaning towards?”
    Miku nodded. “That’s most likely going to happen. If you wish we could put you into another game… after the tests.”
    Ryujin looked at her. “I did not even participate in this one. Why should I ask for another?”
    “People tend to change their minds.” She added happily. “Even rulers of a whole galaxy.”
    Ryujin stopped. Was everything really changing in such unexpected way? Did suddenly these godlike powerful races decide to change rules out of simple… boredom? Actually is boredom something that can be underestimated? He himself had done so he wouldn’t have to deal with it. If it’s something done by a lowly peasant and master alike, even if the actions taken are completely different, then why not even the higher beings? Their action is also out of scale when compared to his. Still Miku wouldn’t tell such things if they wouldn’t affect him. Japan is doomed anyway, so they’re out of concern.
    “So how do all these changes affect me?” He asked. “You are well aware that I’m coming with you.”
    “It does not change the process. We have to perform some experiments on you. Yet the outcome will be different. You may become a lab rat, but you don’t have to end like one.”
    “So what are my options?”
    “It depends on how good you are with negotiations.” Miku grinned. “Would you like to meet my master? Many things should be clear after you meet him.”
    Ryujin nodded. “I do not think he’s going to come here. So I suppose it’s time for us to leave this planet?”
    “Both are correct. But he’s actually at the doors already.”
    He looked at her dumbfounded. He felt a… presence of something at the door, yet he was still in his own room. He was pretty sure of it. The transmission on the TV did not lose signal and more important, he could feel the everyday life in Umi Koriyama.
    “Why did you say that we will come to him if it’s the opposite?” He asked slowly.
    “We are not on the Earth anymore. The whole room was moved while we were talking.”
    He kept on looking at her suspiciously. This was the first time in his life when he was absolutely clueless of what was going on around. He could even feel Suzumiya in the hospital nearby. Yet there was no reason for Miku to lie to him. Two things that collided. Two pieces of puzzle that would never fit together.
    “In order to make something work properly, one has to know everything about it.” The android spoke, seeing his reaction. “If you know everything about an object or a force you can perfectly recreate it… or fake it.” She smiled widely. “We know everything about master’s powers and… felt like playing a trick on you, since you always act so calm and organised. You have simply overestimated your uniqueness. But don’t worry Ryujin. Everyone does. Everyone.”
    Last edited by Eerion; May 12, 2014, 15:03.

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  • Max_Smirnov
    8th November 1982 - the sixth day of Operation Cyclone (turn 316)
    Aircraft Carrier "Lev Trotsky"
    Icy Ocean

    "The spring is coming, Commander Dhaksi..." mused Admiral Heliconnen, looking out of the windows of his bridge at the vast expanse of cold water, basking in the rays of the sun. "And with it, the end of the Japanese empire. The Great War they've started three years ago is drawing to an end. Just like we were aiming for, Operation Tempest broke their fleet and airforce, didn't it? Let's have a look at the map."

    "Yes, Sir... Operation Cyclone is progressing with hardly any problems. Seems that the battle of Umi Kyoto five days ago, where a major concetration of Japanese fleet caused us so many losses, was their swan's song in this area. All the other cities targeted by Operation Cyclone, while heavily mined, trapped and fanatically defended by whatever infantry forces left inside, contained no naval vessels or aircraft. The Japanese seem to have started a major retreat, pulling every mobile asset to the defence of their capitol. Including any fusion-powered vessels they've managed to finish... Satellite imaging spotted one full escadre of those south of Nagasaki. Their speed is incredible. We might have trouble fighting them... Perhaps we've allowed ourselves too much of a delay after finishing Operation Tempest, despite all the urging orders from Thebes."

    "Commander, I don't intend to lose any more lives of my sailors than it is absolutely necessary. My fleet needed those three weeks to recuperate. Thebes are far away from here, what they can do? Cut my supplies? We control enough of Japanese towns to feed ourselves by this point. We have more ships, interceptors, bombers and space planes than the rest of the Union combined. I am the one and only master and commander of these waters... Speaking of these new Japanese vessels, are my fusion battleships ready yet?"

    "The engineers are working day and night, but it is physically impossible for the vessels to be finished sooner than within another week, then there is a matter of them catching up to our fleet, which is already thousands of miles away from the construction sites. And it is unlikely they'll be able to even remotely match the Japanese ones, they're just old Battleships, refitted with recovered fusion plants and the biggest laser guns we could find. Still, their firepower and speed will be far beyond anything else we have."

    "It will suffice, we have a huge numerical advantage to back them up. Their 'miracle weapons' are just smoke and mirrors... like that doomed offensive on the British shores their have undertaken. Let's have a look at it."

    "They have seized Durrow, but it is highly unlikely they are going to make it much further. It's kind of puzzling. While their attacking forces contain just five divisions of elite m-infantry units, the other half being a motley of conscripted soldiers, clones and domestic androids... They're still fully outfitted with anti-grav devices, railguns and other modern armaments. It must've been a major effort for the Japanese to cobble together such an offensive at this point... And with little air support or reinforcements, it will be just a forlorn hope. The British are going to crush them really fast. It makes no sense. The resources needed to undertake this offensive would serve them much better in defence."

    "Maybe they wanted to go out in the blaze of glory. Like the ritual suicide tradition they're known for, Commander. Of course, they want to take their subjects with them, because the Japanese ruling class hates to die alone. What else is going on there?"

    "All the outlying land cities and fortresses the Japanese used to have were abandoned. Only big towns of Nagasaki and Tsukaba remain. The first is ruled by the poor Izumi Clan, but probably with the addition of all the forces retreating from other outposts, is now well-defended. Tsukaba, ruled by rich Tokugawas, on the other hand, is extremely well defended, with six divisions of m-infantry and three divisions of mecha, fortified in the mountains around the city, would be almost impossible to conquer by a direct assault."

    "So Thakisis sent his shady characters in instead..."

    "Yes Sir. Both cities have been infected with a highly lethal retrovirus; the outbreaks have been mostly contained by now, but several millions of citizens expired in just several days. In Tsukaba, the saboteurs succeeded in blowing up some outlying industrial facilities as well. Meanwhile, General Thakisis had redeployed his Orbital Cannons in the Umi Koriyama area, to suppress any aerial or orbital movement over the Japanese capital."

    "He's working fast... We need to speed up our offensive. Ignore outlying outposts and push straight for Umi Koriyama. We're third of a planet away from there, but with luck, it might yet be me who deals the finishing blow, not that Theban bigwig, not Lady Commissar Arturia but me, Admiral Heliconnen..." he clenched his fists.

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