[CANON] [RP Episode] The New Age


#1

”So Danheim finally did it…” mused Felix, as his small ship flew across the waves.

After several months of killing various monsters and beasts for the local Keelish colonists, he had accumulated enough money to buy himself a small boat, one which he could pilot. Using it, he moved from area to area, hunting down creatures as needed.

But when news of the war between the North and South reaches the far-flung Keelish outpost, he decided to leave. The populace knew him, but as a Valkorian, and one who didn’t help out for free either.

Remembering his promise to Draedan, Felix left. Sailing south, going from forsaken isle to sandy sailing, he eventually reached Allura once again. He had barely arrived when…

”You came back.”* It was not a question, merely a statement of fact.

”Yes. The locals were beginning to distrust me.”

”I hope you brought your swords, Venandi.”

Felix did not reply, but continued sailing, landing on a black, rocky shore. Mountains smoked in the distance, and the air smelled of sulfur and fumes of fire. The ground was hot, and here and there, pools of fire lay, hissing.

A dark shape rose from the mountain, which seemed diminished with its absence. The Dragon rose, and swooped down to land in front of Felix.

”You’ve grown, Dragon.”

Draedan examines Felix. ”Have a run in with my kin, warrior?”

”Yes.” Felix felt the rough hard ridge that was the gigantic scar running down his left eye.

A sudden force upon his mind, struck him down, his brain ringing like a hammer. His head swam, and spots swirled in front of him. The Dragon, intent on being free of his curse, was attempting to slay the Valkorian through mind control. Felix struggles back to his feet, and struck back, the force of his will hitting the Dragon.

A screaming shriek echoed from mountain to mountain. The beast contorted, writhing in pain, as his wings dissolved, turning to smoke, his hard scales falling apart into nothingness. The Dragon roared again and again, until at last his once proud jaws vanished, and Felix stopped on one knee, panting. He felt a surge going through him once again, a feeling of raw unbridled strength. His eyes grew blacker, and then returned to their brown color.

A tall figure, with menace in his wake and bearing two bright swords, left the island. Az-Zhal-Ghun would have to seek a new mount.

@Ariovistas


#2

Dawn came to Allura. Far away, on the large deck of the naval ship JTNS CV-501 Xshathrya, a row of dark figures boarded their vehicle of choice. Some of them were exceedingly bulky, huge figures in huge suits, threatening barrels suspended under their arms. Others were more modest in size, but the weaponry they had with them looked no less vicious because of it.

Standing a little distance off, arms crossed behind his back, stood a figure made of shadows. Long hair whipped about in the wind of the twin rotors’ warming up routine. The beat of the engines quickened, and the transport helicopter gracefully lifted up from the deck. It made a circuit of the airspace, the morning’s quiet disturbed by the throbbing of the rotors. Below, the Xshathrya was outlined as a vast dark shadow against the ocean, escorted by numerous other ships.

After completing its circuit of the fleet below, the chopper swung north. Following the tiny tracking beacon, attached to the quarry’s vestment during his time in the Kleriel ghetto by a cunning operative, they knew exactly where to go.

The heli caught up with the target right when he was about to board his small ship. Green light switched on in the passenger compartment, and the bulky soldiers smashed their helmets together with loud hoots of exultation before jumping out of the heli. They plummeted almost 70m down before firing the hydrogen/oxygen jets in their boots to slow down. The four figures crashed into the ground heavily in a rough diamond pattern, impacts flinging bits of rock and sulphur around. Only their powered exoskeletons kept the men’s legs from snapping like twigs. In the morning light, the armour showed itself to be a dark grey, highlighted here and there with shades of blue and red. Optics glowed a bright cyan.

The Valkoran Venandi was right in the middle of their formation.

The heli itself touched down between Felix and his boat. The remaining troops fanned out, rifles at the ready, powered scopes and grenade launchers visibly attached. The lead soldier strode forward, hand on the huge pistol shouldered at his side, and a cold, electronic voice rang out of the man’s helmet.

“Felix Mehemii, you need to come with us.”


#3

Felix didn’t say anything. The ground exploded.

Smoke burst over the scene, and a inhuman roar was heard. Before the otherworldly soldiers had a chance to react, one of their number went flying along the beach. The smoking body of a dragon whirled about, and Felix jumped into the air, punching another man when he landed, flooring him instantly. While the troops tried to lock into him, the Valkorian flipped backward, and kicked another man several yards away. Breaking bone followed by a scream could be heard as he crumpled on top of a rock where he landed.


#4

Sighing inwardly, Argbed Mirza spoke into the helmet microphone. “Execute protocol Utayuiti. Have corpsman Nîma see to the wounded. Set their bones and prepare for spinal cyber-replacement where needed. Take care, the Father wants him alive.”.

At the Argbed’s orders, the three Vata-Azadan warriors pulled light sidearms from their belts. Powerful targeting optics in their helmet compensated for the likely course of the target’s movements in the next .2 seconds, and they aimed and fired. Twelve light wires punched into the beast’s skin, and within moments the man was writhing on the ground, powerful jolts of electricity coarsing through its body. Mirza knew it would wear off in moments, so had Nîma inject a powerful sedative into his eye.


#5

The darkness vanished, and Felix collapsed. ”Not again…”


#6

When Felix came to, he was bound, gagged, laying on some sort of cold metal surface. On both sides of him, sitting on benches against the walls, were rows of chatting men. Now that they’d taken off their helmets, he could see that they were, in fact, human. Their language, their skin colour, their long hair, their facial tattoos - everything about them screamed Kavehan. But they were unlike any Kavehans he’d known before.

He tried to sit up, failed, then tried again. Suddenly he was assisted by one of the warriors, who helped him up, removed the gag, and then handed him a cup of hot mint tea. He tried to speak, but had to shout over the noise of the shuddering vehicle’s engines.


#7

”…What the HELL!? COME ON NEPTUNE, REALLY?? REALLY?! I JUST GOT OUT OF PRISON!!” The battle-trained voice of the Venandi rang out. He started snapping at them in Kavehan. ”And what the hell is YOUR deal?”


#8

Corpsman Nîma did not respond, but pointed outside the window. Felix looked out to behold the most wondrous sight: below was a vast ship, as large as a Valkoran battleship, with a flat deck and a number of aircraft and other vehicles on it. Its conning tower soared, and the deck itself had been embossed with a wide blue band showing what must’ve been the goshawk banner of Kaveh, but superimposed over it was a unfamiliar sigil: that of a great snake, or dragon, eating its own tail.

The ship was escorted by numerous smaller vessels - obviously warships, dotted with strange white domes and surprisingly lightly armed for their side - only the occasional light cannon was visible.

The heli circled overhead, giving the Valkoran passenger a wide view of the naval squadron, before touching down on the flat deck of the large ship. As the noise from the engines died down, the warriors stood as one, filing out to form a guard of honour of sorts outside the chopper. It was clear Felix was expected to disembark.


#9

“Times change eh?” Felix smirked cynically as he walked out. “I see you finally decided the sea was useful for more than fishing.” He strode across the flight deck of the ship, taking in the sight of Kavehan naval power. “Now where is the Shah. Or is he not here.”


#10

“The Father waits below.”, said the Ãrgbed. He beckoned with his hand, and Felix followed him inside the superstructure. They went deep inside the bowels of the ship, up to a door labeled CIC. The officer opened it, revealing to Felix a scene out of some science fiction book.

Uniformed Kavehan men and women sat in front of glowing screens that trailed information, speaking into headsets or typing on keyboards. In the middle was a large round table, showing a map of the nearby continent - it seemed the fleet was headed south, between the volcanic isles and the mainland. Around it was a constellation of senior Kavehan officers, rich golden rank emblems shining dully in the blue light of the room. One of them, in particular, looked up.


#11

Felix’s face showed no emotion.

“It’s been a long time. I hope you aren’t planning something for the south. There is only one Emperor there now.”


#12

Armoured boots rang off the deck, as the Shahanshah Gilgamesh the Golden strode forwards. He wore the same kind of exoskeleton-supported armour as the soldiers, and on his head glittered one brilliant Arejo crystal, wrought into the goshawk-shaped crown.

A rich, deep voice rang off the metal computer consoles when the man, for he had truly become a man, spoke. “Come now, Felix. It has been too long indeed.” he reached out a hand, waiting for the man to shake it.


#13

Felix shook the hand, his iron grip unflinching.

“And your father?”


#14

A shadow crossed Gilgamesh’s face. “Dead, and tens of thousands with him. But let us not speak of war and death. Today is a joyous event - one which we hope to celebrate with friends.” He started pacing back and forth, a habit eerily reminiscent of his father. “As for your question, I was wanting to meet with your Emperor over that. But first I would ask you to tell me about current events because, clearly, things have changed.”


#15

Felix nodded.

“You could say that. War is now everwhere…” He explained, leaving out the description of his powers.

“…I am not certain if Caesar would treat with you, I shall be frank. Do not count on my aid, I have long since lost favor in Valkoria. And it would depend upon the state of the war here in the North.”


#16

Gilgamesh turned away, pensively, stroking his beard with his one hand while the other scribbled down rapid notations on the radar map with a stylus that left glowing white letters. “War, hm?” He suddenly whirled, throwing the stylus across the room to clatter against the far bulkhead. He growled. “I hate war.” Calming slowly, he exhaled. “Still, a show of strength would prove to Caesar that to deal with us, rather than ignore us, might mean a significant advantage.”

He pointed at one of the naval officers. “Navbed, prepare operational orders. Execute protocol Zayin-Wãw-Shahin, mark 3.” He turned back to Felix. “And as for you, I will offer you my hospitality, such,” - he gestured at the metal everywhere - “as it is. If Caesar failed to see your worth, it only makes him a fool. I would also offer you a place in my service as Azadan of the court.”


#17

”I must decline the offer. I do not belong in a court, of any kind.” Felix gazed about him some more. ”And what will you do?”


#18

At the Valkoran’s response and question, Gilgamesh gave a bitter, mirthless laugh. “I will do what I have always done, Mentor. I will go to war. It seems that, in this day and age, a man has no choice. Not if he wants to protect his people.”

"We will split the fleet. The majority will be heading south, to establish a foothold at the mouth of the Azar. See what has become of our city. But I will detach a task force to proceed due north, to repay the debt of a hundred years. If what you say is true, Valkora is sorely outmatched. Caesar should welcome some evening of the odds.


#19

Felix’ eyes widened. This had not occurred to him, but his military mind had already jumped to the conclusion of what this would mean.

“Kleriel has joiend Danheim, to defend their interests. But any strike on the city of Danheim would most certainly disrupt the Northern Alliance. Caesar will be quite grateful, I am sure.”


#20

At this suggestion, Gilgamesh snorted derisively. “Danheim! That pack of frozen savages, sitting in their wooden barns, counting the stolen coins of their petty thieving raids? I have heard of Danheim. They are not worth my attention, and neither do they pose a threat to the Valkorans. No, it is Kleriel we will target. We will match our air power against theirs. Valkora lacks that ability. If Kleriel gets knocked out of the war, or decisively weakened, then I’m sure your Emperor can handle a few sloops with pirates.”