[RP Episode][CANON] Land of the King


#21

Jahangir grew more serious and nodded. “Your sacrifice won’t be forgotten, Marcellus. Neither will your family’s. Now, I was away to organize our voyage. The captain’s a friend of my family - he won’t betray us. We sail tonight, just after dusk. Do you have everything you need to take with you?”


#22

Unwrapping the bundle, Marcellus drew out a Valkorian short sword, 3 and a half feet long, and razor sharp, the hilt dirty, covered in sweat with old blotches of blood. Nevertheless, the shining steel betrayed the care which had been lavished on it. A long rifle, with a bayonet beside it, was also inside. On his belt was a padded box, and a coil of wires. A small backpack was also on his back.

“I’ve got my tools, weapons, and coin, as well as clothes. Is that sufficient?”


#23

Smirking, Jahangir nodded. 'That should do the trick. I see you take good care of your weapon."


#24

“As every good soldier should.” he replied. “Shall we go?”


#25

“Just a few more moments. Roxana is cleaning up the last of our Doîthra tail.” he waited for some moments, until the silence was brutally pierced by two loud gunshots, then led the way. 'And there we go. After you, Centurion."


#26

The two slipped down the docks, hiding their weapons unobtrusively, and boarded the Kavehan ship. Marcellus stowed his gear in the cabin, and headed up to the after-deck to watch the city slip into the distance. He smelled the air, and heard the seagulls shrieking. It was good to be at sea, the home of every Valkorian. They may conquer the land, and wage war upon, trade in it, farm on it, but the vast, rolling depths of the ocean are where they feel truly at home.


#27

CHAPTER 2: THE LAND OF THE KING
September 2, 119 AE

They arrived in Kurshid a week later, early in the morning. The radiant light of the city could be seen from dozens of miles away, outshining even the dawn, and as they grew closer Marcellus could see the towering buildings, the wall overlooking the harbourfront, and the great temple that was the center of the Kavehan’s religion. The port was busy, many vessels arriving. Some, like his own, were fairly modest in size - regional traders. But the port also boasted docks for the great cargo-ferrying mammoths that bore hundreds and hundreds of cargo containers across the sea to the Kavehans’ rumoured jungle homeland. Several naval cutters were on patrol, their masts showing the red-and-blue quartered streamer of the Shah.


#28

Mirroring the words of the Kavehan a week earlier, Marcellus gestured. “Lead the way.” He looked somewhat smug at the small size of the Kavehan naval vessels.


#29

Jahangir laughed, slapping the man’s shoulder “Come on, you smug bastard. Let’s get ashore.”

The vessel docked, hitting the quay with an audible thumb as automated magnetic clamps fastened to the hull to keep it in place. A gang plank extended, and thhe crew filed ashore. The harbour was packed with men and cargo containers strewn about left and right. Gulls sang overhead, and the city hubhub was unabated. Motor vehicles drove on the narrow, two-laned roads, and Marcellus noted to his discomfort that many of the civilians he saw had replaced body parts with shining metal.

Jahangir pointed to a tall building. “That’s customs. We’ll have to file through there, get you a work visa, but it shouldn’t be too hard. Officials go really easy on Valkorians for some reason. Must be a political thing.” They joined a short queue in front of the building, which had two Asha policemen stationed in front, a long Imperial banner hung above the entrance. The police looked at ease, chatting with passing citizens, and no firearms in evidence. Upon passing between them and having exchanged pleasantries about the weather, Jahangir and Marcellus entered into a large foyer. Set into one side were a number of booths, staffed by uniformed Kavehans. They could move straight to one of the booths, and found themselves face to face with an attractive woman with her hair in a businesslike knot. Garedh, citizen. How may I be of service?” Jahangir responded easily. “By giving my friend here a work permit. I brought him in to aid in our mining business. Expertise field: demolitions.” Nodding at this, the woman turned to the Valkorian. “It’s a pleasure to welcome a Valkorian to our nation. May I see your papers, please?”


#30

Marcellus chuckled slightly.

”Forgive me ma’m, but I do not have any. Valkorians only have their proof of citizenship, and that I left at home for safekeeping. We are most detailed when it comes to finance, but travel is unrestricted.”


#31

The receptionist frowned. “Yes, I believe now that you mention it that we have ran into this issue before with Valkorian migrants. If you’ll fill in this form instead, please? You can press on the digital keyboard’s buttons with the stylus and the letters will appear onscreen. Do note that, if you intend to take up residence here permanently, you will need to procure a valid identification document no later than two years from today.” She passed him a tablet minicomputer showing a form, and a thin plastic stylus. The form listed the following:

NAME:

OCCUPATION:

FIRST NATIONALITY:

EXPECTED DURATION OF STAY:

SPONSOR’S NAME:


#32

NAME: Titus Varelianus

OCCUPATION: Engineer

FIRST NATIONALITY: Valkorian

EXPECTED DURATION OF STAY: 6 months

He looked at Jahangir, then put his name down under sponsor.


#33

Jahangir nodded. “The sponsor is legally responsible for your behaviour during the stay. So you’d best behave! On the bright side of things, you’re now also covered under my health insurance.” He then looked back at the receptionist. “Will that be all, madam?” She nodded and took the pad, looking it over to make sure it was properly filled in before nodding again and looking up. Then she turned to a small machine set on her desk - one that turned out to be a 3D printer. It whirred into action, printing out a smooth plastic identity card, which she handed to the Valkorian. “This card has a microchip in it to identify you. It’ll allow you access to the city, holds required information such as insurances, social security number and so on, and you can pay for purchases with it. Garedh na Kaveh, mister Varelianus.” She smiled at his blank gaze. “It means ‘welcome’.”.

After nodding and thanking her for her time, they left the building through a side door. Neither took much notice of the camera in the corner, which whirred appreciatively and focused on the Valkoran’s face. “With that taken care of, let’s head to the safehouse. It’s in the city, next to the cybernetics factory.” He shrugged at that. “Ironic, I suppose.”

They walked through the crowd, past the roadways, and moved to the gate. Jahangir slid his citizenship card through a narrow slot in one of the side doors, and it smoothly slid open. Marcellus followed his example, and ducked under the low archway. He emerged in to the full glory of the City of Kurshid. Tall buildings reached to the sky, and great factories bellowed out plumes of thick white smoke. The city was overflowing with people and light, neon advertisements and the sound of commercials everywhere. If he looked between the gaps between buildings, he could see the city wall, studded with towers that held automated gun turrets and missile launchers.


#34

“And that is the equipment of the guards? What weaponry do your insurgents have?” he asked, nodding towards the towers. The city was so different, so many blaring lights, that it made him wish for the relative quiet and peace of Valkorian cities. He blotted them from his mind, to concentrate on the task at hand, learning about this foe.


#35

“The wall towers are configured to target aerial threats.” Jahangir shrugged. 'But right now? We’re severely outgunned. That is why we’ll have to be careful in when and how we strike. We cannot stand up to the army in a straight fight." They got on an automated bus, once again swiping their cards to open the doors, and sat. The city rolled past, endless light and concrete and metal. Jahangir reclined into his chair, looking at the Valkorian. “So how find you Kurshid? Does it feel like home yet?”


#36

Not wanting to offend, he hesitated.

“It is quite impressive…but do you never feel trapped? The stimulus is quite overwhelming.”


#37

'You get used to it.". An electronic voice sounded, announcing the next stop. “That one’s ours.” Jaganhir got to his feet, moving to the door and scanning his card again to exit the vehicle with Marcellus. They were in one of the more remote areas of Kurshid, close to the Outer Wall. “We need to be careful here. The Inner Wall holds the air defenses, but the Outer Wall has heavy armaments, accelerator cannons and machineguns to ward off land forces.”

They walked to one of the apartment blocks. 'Most people who live here work at the factory. Come, I’ll show you around." Entering the building, they first emerged into a large hall, lit by fluorescent lights on the ceiling. It had some benches and chairs to the sides, and a thick woven rug on the floor. At the back was the elevator and a staircase. Jahangir walked up to the elevator and pressed the button to summon it. 'We’re on the 11th floor. You don’t want to climb the stairs to that."

A few minutes later, they were at the door of the apartment. Jahangir knocked twice, waited a second, then knocked twice once more. The door opened just slightly to show both a Kavehan’s tattood face and a gun barrel, and then more fully once the guard recognized Jahangir. It turned out to be Bahraz, who greeted Jahhangir with a smile and an embrace. Once again he didn’t say anything.

The apartment itself was fairly spacious, thick carpets covering the floor and a thin covering of wood on the concrete walls to give it a homely feel. A plastic chandelier hung on the ceiling in the living room. “Kitchen’s the first door on the left. Bathroom is beyond that. Second door on the left is the main hallway. First bedroom is mine and Rox’s, second has the other guys, third is yours. Make yourself at home.”


#38

After feeling his way about the small apartment, attempting to avoid bumping into the various unfamiliar items, Marcellus managed to reach his new home without racking up a bill of broken glass. Placing his gear neatly in an alcove, he changed out of his traveling attire and made himself familiar with the room, despite his lack of knowledge of many of the household pieces.

After settling in, he walked about of his room, seeking Jahangir.


#39

Jahangir was in the kitchen, preparing some sort of heavily seasoned dish that made the whole apartment smell of bellypeppers, garlic, and chili. He looked over his shoulder when he heard the tall man enter, smiling pleasantly. “Ah, Marcellus. Good of you to join us. I apologize abandoning you like that, but food won’t prepare itself despite all our technological advances, and the stomach wants what it wants! I will show you around soon, demonstrate some of the devices to you that will probably appear quite arcane right now, but not to worry. You’ll get the hang of the computer and the 3D-printer soon enough. Now, if you’ll be so kind as to call the others? Dinner is ready.”

He took the pan off the electrical cooking plate with thick oven mitts, placing it on the table. After that, he proceeded to pour out six cups of steaming hot tea in shallow clay mugs, which Marcellus noted were the first non-plastic item he’d seen in the kitchen.


#40

“You don’t use a lot of non-manmade materials do you?” he stated, before turning towards the rest of the apartment. “Rahim! Bahrz et Bahman! Roxana! Huc veni obse-damnit. Supper is ready!” He switched to the common tongue mid-sentence.