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TauOnline World 2 [Story]
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Old 20 Feb 2010, 03:29   #1 (permalink)
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Default TauOnline World 2 [Story]

Setting: Immediately following the collapse of the planetary government on Ceranine, which was infiltrated by Genestealers until an expeditionary force dispatched by the Order of the Flaming Rose and the Astartes of the Black Sharks Chapter cleared them out. The scope of the infestation was greatly underestimated, however, and though they were ultimately victorious, their expeditionary forces were all but destroyed by the defenders, leaving Ceranine effectively without leadership. Reinforcements have been dispatched by the Rayustian Imperial Guard, but, travel by warp is particularly unreliable this far away from Holy Terra, and it may be decades before they arrive.

The population of Ceranine is condensed into massive Hives, built in clusters controlled by powerful factions. Ordinarily, any ambitions would be held in check by the planetary government and Ceranine Imperial Guard, but without them to maintain order, geopolitical entropy again becomes a possibility.
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Old 21 Feb 2010, 07:59   #2 (permalink)
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It was raining at Ferrum Hive. Grey clouds hung over its tower like a veil, as if even the weather grieved with the stricken hive.
Andrew Roberts, Magi Seniorus of Ferrum Hive, leader of the Guild Mechina, stood numb in the Garden of Remembrance, staring at the fresh grave of his son next to that of his daughter in law as if by simply staring at them he could bring them back to life. He didn't feel the soft raindrops as they fell against his black robe, though whether he could have felt them if his body wasn't mechanical he didn't know or care.
A small sob next to him brought him back to reality.
Standing beside him, holding his metal bionic hand, was his granddaughter, Sarah.
"Grandfather...I...I don't understand." She said
Andrew knelt down beside her, dirtying his robe in the mud. Sarah was six years old Terran Standard, dressed in black for the burial, with pretty blue eyes and black hair.
Andrew straitened her hat with a mechadendrite almost absentmindedly. Andrew was 80% mechanical, and over one hundred years old. He wasn't pretty to look at, but Sarah wasn't frightened at all by her grandfathers appearance.
He reached out and hugged her to him, and in a voice not used to speaking, he said softly,
"Neither do I..."
[hr]

At the apex of Ferrum hive, rain pattered against the windows of the Magi Seniorus' private office, a chaotic rhythm to the constant ticking of mechanical artifacts displayed along the walls of the office.
Andrew placed a hand on his Nalwood desk as he reviewed video footage of his son, archived in his memory banks and played back before his eyes in the Noosphere. He heard and saw him, he could almost touch him.
The massive clockwork doors of the office, three feet of adamantium, ground open bringing Andrew out of his revere.
Mathiew Gearman, Magi Maxima, walked through the doors, his red Mechanicus robe billowing behind him as he approached his senior. Mathew stopped and made the sign of the Cog, bowing. Andrew made the sign also and bad him rise.
<I'm so sorry to hear of your loss My Lord, Daniel was a good man, the Hive grieves with you.>
Canted Mathiew.
<Thank you Mathiew, for your kindness, may the Omnissiah bless and keep you. I understand you have a proposition for me?>
Mathiew smiled under his hood.
<Yes, what does my Lord know of Rail Lines?>
[hr]

<[exloaded from] Guild Mechina [general message distribution to] Arkadian Mercenary Khanate, Valareus Hive Cluster, Aegengrad Hive Cluster, Adil Hive Corporation, Morphican Cluster, Achi/Matar Combine, Invictum Protectorate [begins]
Lo' Brothers of Ceranine, dark times are upon us, but it is through these times that bonds of brotherhood and trust are forged anew, stronger and greater than ever they where before.
Though we have suffered, the all those of the Guild Mechina seek to strengthen our relationship with our brothers and sisters of this planet we share, to light a fire of comradeship that will hearten all Ceranintes and but the fear of the divine Emperor into all those who would be foolish enough to think we are weak.
To this end, I, Magi Seniorus of the Guild Mechina, purpose the construction of a grand Rail Line of Ceranine! A single uninterrupted line of the most modern and advanced transportation possible that covers all of our great planet, from one side to the next, connecting and strengthening our bond with honest labor and providing a great thoroughfare of trade and understanding.
We stand ready, in heart, mind and soul, to stand with our brothers agaisnt any threat to the unity of the great people of Ceranine!
May the Omnissiah bless and keep you, always.>
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Old 21 Feb 2010, 08:47   #3 (permalink)
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It was a normal day for the people of the Achi/Matar Combine. The Achites were being arrogant, and elitist, and the Matar were trying to con them out of more money. The Factories were pumping out toxic gasses, the Military training in the wastelands, and the Assembly lines taking their toll on the population. In all, a good day. Yet, while the common citizens have their day to day lives, the Leaders of this faction are in turmoil.

[hr]

"No! I refuse to accept that excuse for a plan!" Rang through the room, accompanied by the sound of fist slamming into the table. "We need to attack those Cultists, NOW! Before they taint the whole damn Planet!"
Morrison sighed. Just another Noble, caught on his own self importance.

"Can't you see! Attacking Dor's Hives would leave us at the Mercy of the three surrounding factions, regards of their allegiance! Which you have no proof of anyway! We cannot -" Stated another Moronic noble, before being interrupted by the first.
"It is our Duty to the Emperor! He has shown me! It should be just done, not argued about!"

Morrison sighed again, and looked to his companion, the head of the Achi Nobles. Newton nodded. Morrison sighed a third time. He hated meetings. Generally, between him, the leader of the Matar Hives, and Newton, the running of the Combine was running smoothly, with the help of some of the more intelligent Nobles. On the other hand, when the particularly dull Nobles tried to interfere, like now, Morrison got annoyed. But, Duty calls, and Morrison must answer.

"Unfortunately, Phiser, we have no proof of any Cultist intentions. In fact, almost the opposite! Anyway, attacking them would over stretch ourselves, and leave us vulnerable to attack. In addition, as shown by these reports, Dor's Hives are surprisingly well developed. I'm not sure if we can even beat them in straight combat. So, I suggest waiting for a while. I have a feeling that one of the surrounding factions will want to at least claim those lands, as do you. If they do, I suggest offering assistance. Until then, we wait, and watch..."
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Old 21 Feb 2010, 09:24   #4 (permalink)
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Lukas Fletcher was not a happy man. Not a happy man at all. Riots all through Hive Lokran, most likely due to the pacification of a suspected chaos cult. Or, more worryingly, caused by a chaos cult. Not a lot he could do from his current position, on an observation deck at the top of hive Valeryn, overseeing the deployment of a full regiment of Arkadian 'Peacekeepers' to be sent on to Lokran. With him attached as a regimental advisor.

Already he could hear the whine of the twin turbines atop each Lord Corvine. The unusual vehicles were about the only thing short of Valkyries that would work in this godforsaken region of the planet. Fletcher didn't even bother to ask why the Arkadians considered it so valuable. There were also several larger aerial vehicles with massive lift jets carrying light tanks and APCs underneath. Why they needed tanks for a simple peacekeeping mission to one of their own hives was also not discussed.

[hr]

Nathaniel Grimm, head of the 5th Arkadian, looked over the missive from the Guild Mechanicus with interest. A high speed rail line was certainly an interesting prospect. He had heard of the famous trans-Atenate express on Gudrun, and had wondered if a similar line might ever run through the Ashlan Peaks. He signed off on the basic idea, then sent it down to the administratum levels. They could work out the details of this, he needed to figure out a plan of attack to retake their lost hives from the Invictum Protectorate.

The opportunistic bastards there had capitalised on the Arkadians confusion when the governor was killed and they had fallen out of favour as temporary PDF, and in the mad rush to avoid the conflict between the Astartes and the horrific Xenos beasts. There was a way, he was sure, and launching the attack from Defiance seemed somehow fitting.
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Old 21 Feb 2010, 17:08   #5 (permalink)
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"Where to we stand, Phaliklos?"

"At present, in firm standing, save in the North. The Invictum have taken Jaeson Hive, and Asephor is in grave peril." By contrast to the deep and sonorous voice of the first speaker, Phaliklos spoke with to tone of carriage bolts in a food processor. His dozens of miniature servo-arms and augmented extremities hissed and clicked eternally, but his appraisal was worth such distractions.

"We must be decisive!" The third speaker had a rich tone characteristic of the upper classes of the Aegentine house, but it was terse, clipped, and measured - sign of an accent trained, rather than born. Grand Warmaster Garthon continued, unheeding of the disapproving jet of steam from Phalikos' nostrils. "We still have the capacity to move forces underground to Aspehor; we should break the Invictum lines take Jaeson hive back immediately."

The figure standing on the balcony waved him to silence. Even through the foot-thick armaplas window, Ceranine's sun beat down on him scorchingly bright, a sight seldom seen through the toxic artifical clouds of the planet, a dizzying distance below.

"The Invictum have made more enemies than just the Aegentine, Garthon. The Arkadians have also found their people under the thumb of the Protectorate. Dispatch an envoy."

The hot-headed Grand Warmaster nodded. "As you wish, Lord Othalion."

"Now, to other matters - which of the lower conglomerates is most trustworthy? We must remove the Genestealer threat from Urael Hive, but I fear that involving ourselves directly would be unwise..."

[hr]

(Edit for clarity.)

OOC: Aegengrad dispatches an envoy to the Arkadians.
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Old 21 Feb 2010, 18:13   #6 (permalink)
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Brother Nathaniel walked up and down the walkway overseeing the factory as it inhabitants started work on bolstering the Hive Clusters defences, this particular factory was making the antitank guns for the lower ring of Hive Valari, the people were working hard and had the faith of the emperor to protect them. When Nathaniel got to the overseers room he received a comm contact, "Come to the Afature Hive quickly as we need you to start work on our military arms." After receiving this he started to make his way to the only port left in the hive and start work on building a glorious military.
[hr]
"As we are the only side of this continent we do not need to worry about the other hives as they Will not bother us. We need to build more homes, get a better life for yourselves and build a great military so we can defend our grand hives, Valari, Afature, Constine, Xernam, Brethor, Slamis, Rime, Torane and Quitus! Do you want your hive to be taken by other factions?" The crowd started to to cheer and clap as the orator started to speak again. "We need you, people of the Xernam Hive to build our navy. As you are the closest to the other Factions you are the first line of defence for us so you are the most important! Do the right choice and help your hive today. The crowd cheered louder and louder as they were taken up in this mans thrall.

The same thing was happening in other hives at that point telling to build the airforce, bolster the defences and join the military to help their hive.
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Old 22 Feb 2010, 02:58   #7 (permalink)
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The war-room that Dor had chosen in Tyrannis Primus was almost pitch-black, save for an unhealthy red glow that seemed to permeate everything. Several figures stood around him, staring at the out-of-focus holomap on the table before them.

"As dificult as it is to say, Warmaster, our power is nowhere near what it needs to be for a successful rout of imperial forces. The Dark Gods' heads are turned elsewhere, to more important theatres..." a ritually-scarred man opposite Dor was a sorcerer, and the chosen leader's right-hand man. Dor sighed, turning from the rest of his command staff.

"We cannot go about this like we did on Sacrament, brothers. N'rael is correct, if we are to survive here in the coming darkness, we must take drastic measures to hide our true purpose. Hyatt, if the army isn't ready, we must choose another method. Bring me a handful of the devout..." As the ritually-tattooed officer ran out, Warmaster Dor turned to his brother-sorcerer, "Dig deep into their minds, brother. Make them truly believe that we are worshipers of the False God. Most of these scavengers that have come to live under my roof know not of our chaotic machinations regardless. We will send sleepers to the outlying hives that we do not control. Governments are forming there. We must make ourselves known as potential friends, not as bringers of their desolation..."

The Sorcerer smiled with rotten teeth. his leader was a wise one indeed...

Chosen are sending out diplomats that truly believe that Dor's government is imperial and harmless in nature to outlying factions. The Guild, Adil, Morphican, and the Combine should be getting diplomats. These will not explode, promise.
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Old 22 Feb 2010, 06:52   #8 (permalink)
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"...And so, with the shortest distance between the Guild and the Arkadians, the Valerians, and House Aegnid lying in our territory, along wiht reduced effectiveness of sabotage of the line itself because of redundancy with shipping across the Bay of Morphic, House Morphican poses to make great profits from trade along the Adept's proposed High-speed Rail line; the possible use for intra-national transport and trade, and also the reduction in Global Warming, the 4th Risk Assessment pannel finds the proposal to be an Alpha-Grade proposal because of its high benefit and low risk.
"Outstanding. What is the judgement of the 4th Finance and Management Pannel?"

"Its cost has been graded as moderate, and as such the Standard Operating Procedure reccommends a maximum benficial procrastination index of 4; a procrastination index of 0 (or immediate action) has been judged as extremely beneficial and highly profitable, so we reccommend immediate action."

"Most Excellent! And Skipper, this can be pushed with the public, and it would advance our long-term plan?"

"Yes, lets go for it, Magistrate." Johanass stood up, and the nods had it before the little green lights had already proclaimed that the board had voted in their favor. The Big green light that was his only made it more so.

"So, immediate action will begin. Inform the Techpriests, let them rejoice, and lets get this thing cranked out. What's next, that Imperial? Hopefully not more Fanatics... At least the Martians have someone other than the God-Emperor to worship. But I digress, we all know my views." Darik A. Johanass regained his formal-casual poise and straightened hsi face. "Send him in."


[i]Sadly Late OOC: Construction on Rail Lines begins
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Old 22 Feb 2010, 08:34   #9 (permalink)
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Nathaniel Grimm looked at the envoy over the top of the slate he had just been handed. It would appear the Arkadians were not the only force that had been angered by the Protectorate in the fighting. Aegengrad would make a powerful ally, with their much greater industrial base and larger tract of occupied lands.

"This is accurate?" He asked the envoy.

"Yes, sir, it is, sir."

"Good. Tell Warmaster Garthon he has the full support of the 5th, should he so desire."

With that, the envoy was dismissed, escorted back to his transport, and out of Nathaniel's way. A full regiment of the 3rd was now en route to Lokran to quell suspected chaos taint. Taint that should have been eradicated by the terrifying Astartes during their purge of the place. It was going to get ugly, the output from Lokran would drop, they would distrust the Arkadian military and civilian morale would plummet. But it was part of his bounden duty to destroy the arch-enemy whenever it reared its ugly be-tentacled head.

The 5th, all of it, now stood at full readiness, about to be transported to Defiance, ready to retake Dastayr on the eastern border of the Khanate's current territory. Already several 94-X's were en route, carrying Desert Rats to scout the arid terrain. The rest of the army was on thrity minute readiness, Lord Corvines fueled and ready, Ebon Raptors loaded into cargo 94's.

[hr]

Lukas Fletcher thought he might just give in an vomit out the side of the Lord Corvine. He was beyond caring whether he would look weak in front of the Arkadian soldiers, he just wanted this emperor-damned flight to end. He could at least see the hive approaching, but he had no frame of reference for scale except the massive Ashlan peaks in the distance. And the fact the hive seemed to be a part of those mountains.

"How much longer?" He asked queasily over the cabin intervox.

"Thirty minutes, no more. We'll be setting down on the Uprise."

"The Uprise?"

"Upper levels, noble houses, fortified landing pads. It's risen up from everything else."

"Such inventive names," Lukas replied with a dry laugh, before finally throwing up out of the open side hatch.

OOC: Arkadian 5th accepts the idea to launch a combined attack.
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Old 22 Feb 2010, 14:47   #10 (permalink)
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The sunshine after the rain that came to Ferrum Hive was almost less welcome to Andrew than the rain had been. Even though he knew the bright sunshine was a boon for the solar energy panels that made up the outside skin of most of the hive, it was still taxing on what was left of his flesh-body.
"Grandfather! Hurry up, or you'll start to rust!" Yelled Sarah at him indignantly from farther up the path of the park.
"Oh, don't mind me, I'll get there eventually." he said with flesh-voice. Since his sons death he had been taking more time with his Granddaughter, and the voice he was born with was getting more exorcise now than it had in years. So was his body since he had been taking her to several parks.
His predecessors had taken steps to ensure the hives of the Guild Mechanica where not the ecological wastelands that Hive Cities where known for, or at least, not as bad. Solar energy, cleaner processing and waste management meant that clean water and air, as well as parks like the one they where walking through with trees and grass where a common thing. Not as common as he would like for the lower classes though...
Andrew sat down on a bench beside the path. It was times like these that he could clear his head from the economic and political troubles of running a conglomeration of hives. The Rail-Line that Mathiew had proposed had been accepted by the Arkadian Mercenary Khanate, and the Morphican Cluster, which was excellent as those two territories where required for the Line to cross the continent. The Guild had begun construction on the Rail Line yesterday to much pomp and ceremony. He had been there to bless machine-spirits of the work crews.
Something troubled his mind though. An envoy claiming to be from the Tyrannis Hive Cluster had arrived at their doorstep. The checkpoint had turned him back, but Andrew found the news somehow..trubling. Tyrannis had been silent for awhile now, and he wasn't eager to sift much through that swamp.
"Come on now Grandfather, you haven't even made it half way!" complained Sarah, jogging the old Magi out of his revere.
He smiled.
"Tell you what my dear, when we get home, we'll make you 80% mechanical, then we can walk at the same pace."
Sarah looked aghast and the old man laughed for the first time in years.

OOC: the Guild has begun construction of the Rail-Line and refused the entry of the Dor governments diplomats
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