Bells in the void part 2 (closed.)

Feilans have finally entered the realm of space in their solar system, a vast area, full of exotic planets and phenomena. The colonies created by the old Edwinish Party have developed into a new faction, the Dmitrians, whom are descended from Feilans, but whom have developed a separate cultural identity from their colonial forefathers. At the edge of the system lurks the formidable faction known as the Immortals, a group of furs whom have used technology to live forever, in a constant state of hostility with Feila and Dmitri, both of whom are on tense enough relations as it is. All natives are furry (Skin Avian are present here too). No native humans.
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Re: Bells in the void part 2 (closed.)

Post by Sade »

“Who are we, without our memories?” Etienne murmured cryptically. He knew the answer already. It was an experiment he had conducted countless times by now, in the form of a service provided. Hundreds of thousands of the damaged and downtrodden coming to him, filtering in by their ones and twos, following whispers of help in the Club, whispers perpetuated by Etienne himself.

“Very well, Mortain,” Etienne said, and then, “it is done.” It happened without any fanfare. One second the memory persisted in the ferret's mind, and the next... it was as if the basement of his thoughts had fallen out beneath him, plummeting into void. Thought and reason were vanquished for one infinitesimally brief and terrifying moment. And then, by the time the canine had spoken again, all had returned to normal. Mortain would be able to remember asking to have a memory removed, but that memory was now whiped out, utterly and permanently, without the slightest trace. The synapses and neurons, literally burned out. It now lived on only in Etienne, as did all the others, as they would for the rest of eternity.

He allowed a moment for Mortain to test out the erasure, so to speak, and then he set the world in motion. The vast convention space dissolved around them, evaporating into motes of dark and light which condensed into long flowing streamers like rivers suspended in the space around them. A circle of floor a few hundred feet across was all that remained solid in this place, and they could feel it begin to move beneath them, both dropping rapidly like a huge elevator platform and moving laterally within the starfish structure.

After a few minutes the walls of flowing nanites which surrounded them began to thin out, draining away into a lazy vortex near the ceiling like a scintillating whirlpool suspending a thousand feet above. Through the now open space they could see cloud strata of Nantes' atmosphere, roiling clouds like vertical hurricanes and glowing red super-convective plasma currents. They were inside the brown dwarf. An arm of the starfish loomed above them. The starfish station was revealed to be only a tip of the iceberg, its arms dipping inside the failed star and spiraling deeper, deeper, out of sight. The floor and wisp-like remnants of the nanite “walls” formed a nodule like a huge polyp, a thousand feet across, hanging beneath this arm of the starfish. One of thousands they could see in the dense stellar matter.

And there were ships. Club Bouncers, Escorts, and Dancers, in familiar and unfamiliar forms, arrayed in formations like three dimensional lattices. Distance and stellar haze obscured details, but they seemed to be changing shape much as the nanite-image of Sakura's ship had. Right up to the enormous Bouncers, all were growing slightly longer, refitting themselves with the advanced drive systems gleaned from Mortain- or more precisely a derivative Etienne had been designing elsewhere in his consciousness. As one ship completed its self-morphing refit it would move off into the star and another would take its place. The whole process seemed to take minutes. Thousands of ships, all retrofitting themselves in mere minutes, without the need for dry docks or support structures or technicians.

“You needn't worry, Sakura,” Etienne spoke at last, and revealed that he had been eavesdropping on her thoughts with what he said next, “I am not going to keep you here against your will. In fact I will only allow you to remain for so long.”

“I'm speaking to you, and showing you all of this, for a reason.”

Yet again, the canine did not elaborate on that statement. Instead engineering stations began to extrude themselves from the floor. Everything the dragoness needed to design her new ship was soon forthcoming, and just about all of it assumed a Feilan and/or Dmitrian form with which she would be familiar. Computer stations would provide her the technical schemata for any piece of technology she would have had access to back home, but aside from the new drive core, that was all. Etienne had not agreed to provide advanced Club technology. A noteable new design tool was a sphere of nanites floating in the middle of the work space. Etienne demonstrated how one could touch the form and literally sculpt the design of the ship by hand. “The new ship itself will be built from conventional materials,” he reassured by why of clarification, “alloys and machines. No nanites.”

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Re: Bells in the void part 2 (closed.)

Post by Rackenhammer »

It's hard to say what Gilgamesh would or would not have done, had not Dai-ko appeared when he did. If Peter was hoping for an elaborate suicide, threatening everything Gil cared about while being a whiny brat besides had its effectiveness. But seeing the new arrival reminded the admiral of the larger picture. Not for nothing was Dai-ko an avatar of balance...

"So, you got on board here too, did you? Used the same method as me, I'll wager." He spoke, somewhat cryptically as far as Peter was concerned. That hybrid thought he was the eldest surviving son of Catalina. That was not quite true... "As for you, boy, if it's a fight you want, I'll give it to you, under the following conditions: one, we wait until after we've saved the universe; two, I choose the weapons and win condition."

As for what Peter wanted to do to Etienne... Well, the admiral didn't consider that to be too out of line. Honestly, if he had the same capability, he would probably have tried something similar. Actually, having an actual weapon that could permanently cripple the Club was a tempting prospect. Perhaps after this temporary alliance-

*No, best not think too far ahead.*

~

Thinking ahead was hard to do on no sleep, regardless of caffeine intake. It might not have been out of line to say that Vanessa had managed to seize control of the room because she'd slept the night before, while SupremeComm had not. "My nephew's not one to actually throw a bomb, not one of his own making. He hasn't anything like a real commitment to anarchy, you know? He's most likely bluffing. He's the sort that'd bluff even if he had four aces. Or no cards at all, for that matter."

~

The lieutenant sighed, trying to figure out how to be both complete in her explanation, and yet timely enough to not be interrupted by further developments. "Well, if you can tell us what the name 'Etienne' means to you, you would know more than I why you're so important. He's apparently the president of the Immortal's club, and he asked for you by name as condition for his temporary alliance against an ancient goddess of chaos."
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Re: Bells in the void part 2 (closed.)

Post by Catalina Tamiko »

Peter looked between the two. Before pulling a gun and aiming it Dai-Kio. The later wolf merely observed. Holding up a paw to tell Gil to let things be. "I am neither a fool nor a target to you Duke Tamiko. I am, however, aware of the flaw in your weapon of choice. Your mother had designed it to be a stun gun for beings like us. It backfired. Quite literally. Stunning the user's paw. TO a mortal, a simple burn. To you or I, a numb arm for a day. Think carefully before you pull that trigger."

"And I am expected to believe the words of a soothsayer whom is at the beck and call of a military brat, the son of the man that killed almost my whole family?" "No. While your words are true to a point, I am not at his beck and call. In fact... The entire military force is at mine any moment I desire it. As for soothsayer... yes. I am of sorts. I find it brings me peace, bringing peace to others and their troubled hearts. But I am by no means going to lie to the only brother I have...." THe wolf stepped forward slowly. Peter was backing up until his back bumped the rail, and the taller wolf was chest to gun barrel. "IF you think I speak falsely then shoot me now....." Peter dropped the gun and opted for something more personal. His fist.

Dia-kio never actually expected this. while the blow staggered him, it forcibly shattered every control panel in the room with the sheer impact. The older wolf was jarred and staggered back a step. rubbing his jaw. The girl clung to Gil tightly, terrified of the sheer power before her. The tempurature began to rise again. This time easily reaching temps that would make them all sweat. Except for Peter. He was generating that heat. "If you ever.... speak about being a blood relative of mine again.... I swear I will collapse this whole galaxy in on itself before it ever forms....." "A threat you will carry out no less." Dai-kio said softly in return.

Peter turned on Gil and jumped across the ruined control room. Inches from the male's face he hissed. "You pick your weapons and have yourself ready. 24 hours after we kill shiba AND tellissa both and all their soliders... Then we settle the standing debt between our blood. And I swear it will end in blood. ENough to drown the planet...." Peter stepped away and moved to the broken console. Piecing it back together he spoke. "Now.... get off my ship... You found your way here... HOw about find your way off before I cross these wires and flush you all out into space." Dia-kio placed his paws on Gill and the girl's shoulders. all three just materialized on the bridge of Gil's ship. "Best not to antagonize him further. We almost unleashed a monster there Gilgamesh. Hmmmm.... YOur daughter and my sister. Shall I embue her with the family memories?...Oh? New ship designs? Haven't seen an update in a while..." He smiled at the crew. For as big as he was he was also mostly a gentle giant.

~~~~

Mortain stayed close to Sakura. Moving to help her with the ship as best as he could. The ferret was quiet and happy when working amid computer and mechanical components. He was smiling at least. In fact he was humming again. His paws were working diligently as he tinkered and checked and rechecked. His performance was the top of the line as far as a belter technician went. He was lacking in physical power. But exceeding in mental prowess.


~~~~~

Tellissa nodded to Vanessa. "No real commitments anywhere....except to his few people left. A boy, whom is thrust into a crown can quickly become a dictator...or worse. You and I both know that tale. And as it stands... we can't fight his technological advantage. He's got enough of his mother and father in him to make him as unpredictable..." The comm system and vid feeds were suddenly restored. "Well... a change of heart... or a blow to the head?" She asked softly.

THen a single transmission came down. IT wasn't video. It was not audio. it was just a simple text message that began to flicker across every screen in the room. DO WE HAVE A DEAL? Tellissa couldn't shake the feeling something was horribly wrong here. Peter was many things. but direct and oppressive was never one of them. This was out of character. It was aggressive. It was confrontational and frightening. Tellissa knew he had depths of power untapped. But he was never one to use that power. And for a brief second she thought she sensed something very very powerful indeed. Just over there heads. "Vanessa... You don't by chance have the tech or senses to detect Ginjutsu do you? I have a sinking suspicion that We may be facing a war on two fronts now. One from without, and one from within."
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Re: Bells in the void part 2 (closed.)

Post by Asyriel »

Sakura watched in awe as everything around them literally shifted and changed before their eyes. Thankfully there was still enough around them that they weren't left to float in space, or more likely get drawn into Nantes itself and crushed to death. Once it was clear that the structure they were in was at least relatively safe, she took the opportunity to really look at the view around them.

Nantes was beautiful from the distance of their platform, but what really caught Sakura's attention was the sheer scale of what The Club had at their disposal, and she found herself wondering just how much of Nantes was still brown dwarf, and not nanites. So absorbed in this observation was Sakura that when Etienne spoke again, she nearly attempted to jump into Mort's arms.

"Thank you." she murmured with a small degree of uncertainty. Now she wondered at the reason for the exposition, just what did he expect them to do; she couldn't convince herself that he wasn't working some sort of angle. All of that was quickly pushed to the back of her mind though when every piece of equipment she could have ever wanted for designing and building a ship materialized around her. She nodded as it was explained that her ship would not be made of nanites, which suited her fine. She kept to herself the fact that the idea of flying a ship made of nanites that could quite easily be under someone else's control made her uncomfortable. "Thank you...for all of this." She replied before making her way over to the ball of nanites.

As she began manipulating the nanites, she used her telekinesis. Watching Mort's reaction to the initial invasion of the nanites into him had her a little skittish, even if it was silly considering the platform they were using was itself nanites. Her design aesthetic continued along the unique vein reminiscent of ancient atmospheric flight that Inari had shown, though it was larger and unique from Inari herself. Sakura started working through ideas how she could take a larger ship, and give it the maneuverability she had enjoyed with Inari.

She was thankful for Mort's help, his expertise with the new drive would be quite helpful. "So..." She eventually said to Mort. "With this drive, how easily does it shift direction?" She asked

~~

Freya's eyes widened, and an array of emotions played across her features as the name Etienne was mentioned. Her awareness instantly shot out in several directions, though she purposely avoided the direction of Nantes. She wasn't ready to make contact with him, not yet. She did get a sense of what was going on around Dmitri though, and suddenly shook her head at the lieutenant in front of her. "No, no, no....not right now. I can't do this right now." She looked around quickly as she felt three new presences arriving. "I'll come back." She said quickly, though there wasn't much conviction in her voice, as she took a step forward and vanished.

She appeared in one of Dmitri's many moon colonies. She was in a large underground space that resembled a mix between a laboratory, manufacturing facility, with alchemical trappings mixed in everywhere. "Lenares..." She called into the place with some urgency. A female canine/dragon hybrid stepped out around a large piece of machinery
"Mom?" The hybrid asked. "When did you start jumping around the solar system?" She paused a moment to take in her mother's expression. "what's going on?" She asked.
"Your father." Was Freya's reply. "Well, it's far more than that, but..." She trailed off, unsure just where to start or what to say for the moment. She needed to get her thoughts in order.

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Re: Bells in the void part 2 (closed.)

Post by Sade »

The Club Escort had continued along with the Belter fleet over the preceding hours, but a far more substantial Club force was now beginning to arrive. Whether this was a rendezvous or an interception was rather ambiguous. Club Bouncers arrived at the center of combat groups consisting of many Escorts and multitudes of Dancers, joining other combat groups to form larger fleets. The 800,000 ton Bouncers took position nose to nose with the rather smaller but more numerous Belter capital ships.

The preponderance of Club ships had a more insidious and difficult to detect effect on local space: they increased the power of Etienne's psionic and aetheric presence in the region, just as they did around Nantes. He could feel the living Feilans inside their ships now, for example. He knew that Gilgamesh had returned with two unfamiliar creatures because he could sense their presence. He could also tell that another had been there just recently, though she had teleported away before his presence had grown strong enough to identify her.

Etienne did not advertise this advantage by using telepathic communication. Instead he used the transmission systems of one of the Bouncers to hail the Belter flagship. “You are running out of time, Gilgamesh,” he warned.

---

It was by utter coincidence that Etienne was walking across his virtual cosmos to gaze down on Dmitri as Freya was teleporting there. The technocratic nation had taken notice of all the recent, provocative Feilan fleet movements, particularly that of the Belter fleet and the 115 Reserve, and was reacting with growing alarm to what was beginning to look like a prelude to Feilan invasion. General mobilization was under way- though the civilian population wasn't yet privy to this- reserves were being called forward, mothballed ships recommissioned, and- of greatest relevance to Etienne's current planning- Dmitri's fleets were moving to counter the perceived threat. They were moving inward towards the Felecis Asteroid Belt and in a solar retrograde orbit towards Atalfa. This made sense. Dmitri's defense doctrine was built on the premise of an early counter-attack deep into Feilan territory.

The bulk of Etienne's assault force, meanwhile, was closing in from the outer system in a prograde direction, having covered much of the distance using the new Feilan drive system before dropping to his own slower, stealthier spatial impellers. The Dmitri fleet movements had removed all but the frailest of obstacles between Etienne and Dmitri's most heavily populated colonies. He would have a clear path to their shipyards and the heavy industries supplying their war materiel. And, if Shiba was able to secure Freya as agreed, the Dmitrian population would be spread bare before him, defenseless. Running on their impellers, his ships would finally enter Dmitrian detection range in the following days, and the dismantlement of the Dmitrian military would begin.

Etienne's psionic influence blanketed the solar system, too tenuous to detect and of little practical use to Etienne himself most places, but as with the fleets gathering opposite the Feilan Belter Fleet, here too the space around his assault force was dense with his psionic aura. It swept ahead of the approaching ships like a vast prow shock. As yet imperceptible to most, his growing presence would allow him to surveil the Dmitri system within and without in ever greater detail as time went on.

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