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The saving of Neophyte Alessandro

The saving of Neophyte Alessandro
By Algienon

Neophyte Alessandro led the Unnamed Holy One along the dimly-lit corridor; lit only by the lantern he carried and silent but for the occasional inhuman shriek somewhere ahead. Only his companion’s calm disregard had kept Alessandro from bolting back to the daylight. Those sent to search for records in the lower levels of the archives, hundreds of meters above where Alessandro was now, came back with tales of barely audible screams, an overwhelming smell of burnt meat and of smoke seeping from the ventilation ducts. As far as he knew these corridors were rarely visited. None of the neophytes could remember seeing a single person pass through the huge thorlium doors that barred the way to the lowest levels, but they all knew that black shuttles of the Inquisition landed in the dead of night and disgorged numerous cargo crates. Left outside the thorlium doors; by morning everything was gone – the shuttles and the crates.

Alessandro had been roused from his cell some time before dawn. The dishevelled acolyte instructed him to report to the Abbot’s study immediately and then scurried off before Alessandro could ask any questions. He had been struggling with his studies and had been sent to the Abbot’s study on more than one occasion. He assumed this summons was another opportunity for the Abbot to express his disappointment and then assign Alessandro to yet another menial duty to allow him to contemplate his place in the universe. What he didn’t expect to find was the Unnamed Holy One himself sitting by the fire and the Abbot looking flustered and fidgeting nervously with his beads. He thought it was a fitting turn of events for the way the Abbot had made him feel on numerous occasions. Possibly not something someone hoping to be a monk should be thinking, but the old wind-bag did seem to delight in droning on and on at him. He was snapped from his thoughts by the Abbot addressing him.



“Alessandro I have an important task for you. His Grace will be visiting an old friend in the lower levels. You are to light his way and follow his every instruction. You are to say nothing unless spoken to and you are to tell no-one of what you see or hear. Do you understand?”

“Yes Reverend Father”

“Take this map then

"Your Grace, if you are ready?”

The Unnamed Holy One nodded his approval.

Alessandro thought back to what he’d heard of their enigmatic guest whilst he followed the Abbot and the Unnamed Holy One to the doors leading to the lower levels. A figure shrouded in mystery. Reputedly an Inquisitor, sanctioned by the Patriarch himself to use any means necessary to extract information for the church, including flaying, excruciation and excommunication in extremis. What was he doing here? And who was the old friend he was visiting in the lower levels? The stories of this night would improve his standing amongst the other neophytes significantly.

The Abbot had withdrawn a small key from beneath his robes, unlocked the huge doors and given Alessandro final instructions about where his Grace was to be taken. That had been an hour ago. The map had been easy enough to follow; though there had been many dark side passages. He had heard the screams almost as soon as they had left the Abbot; and they had become louder as they had made their descent. In all that time they had seen another soul

At the end of a long corridor Alessandro heard The Unnamed Holy One mutter a brief prayer and then knock on the door. Another shriek pierced the air, before being suddenly cut short.

“Remain here”

The Holy Unnamed One opened the door and a wave of heat and acrid smoke rushed out, momentarily blinding Alessandro. By the time he had cleared his eyes he was alone. He started intoning a prayer to the True One.

...

The Unnamed Holy One surveyed the scene around him. He was at the top of a large, deep cavern. Below him, 7 levels of plastisteel-fronted cells ran for as far as the eye could see. The occupants were predominantly alien, but here and there he saw the occasional human. Heretics! Worse than aliens; for they had renounced the True One’s gift of an eternal soul and thus damned themselves for eternity. Their disease could not be allowed to spread. They had to be cleansed!

The cavern floor was covered in as many contraptions of torture as humanity could think of; and a fair few that they probably couldn’t. He smiled at the sight of them. Like seeing long, lost friends again. He spotted a group of robed monks praying around one of the contraptions and made his way down the stairways towards them. As he approached, one of the monks, with hair as red as flames looked up and smiled.

“Take this one back to his cell and see to his wounds. Neither unconsciousness nor death shall save him from the Truth of the True One”

The monks opened the iron maiden and carefully removed the unconscious body of a man in the tattered uniform of naval officer of the Detinus Republic.
The Unnamed Holy One stepped forward.



“Brother Pyros, there is a neophyte at the door upstairs that has much hubris and may stray from the path of the True One. The gentle caress of the maiden may save him from that fate”

Brother Pyros nodded and turned to the monks, “See to it”.

Two of the monks head for the stairs, and Neophyte Alessandro, while the others disappeared amongst the forest of contraptions; taking the officer to be revived and cured prior to the tireless efforts to save his eternal soul.

“So you have finally come my nameless friend. Are they now ready for the cure that I bring?”

"The Church has sat idle for too long. We have become bloated and complacent. For too long our wealth and privilege has shielded us from the savagery that surrounds us. Aliens, heathens and heretics infest the Empire! No longer! You are instructed to go forth from this gilded cage and bring Truth in His name. To the Coreward Arm you shall go for the Church. Billions there wait to burn with faith or burn in agony. It matters little. You shall commence a burning crusade that shall ignite whole worlds. From the ashes we shall renew the Church. You will make war in His name. The True Name..."

“Finally”





 
News
Is open for business...
 
***** Inter Galactic News *****

*** Videtis quantum scelus contra rem publicam vobis nuntiatum sit? ***

The Flagritz Empire is no more! The Flagritz Republic is reborn! Quick on the heel of the collapse of the Empire, the Fessin caste declared a new era of foreign and economic policy with a rapid withdrawal behind the Black Gate.

The new ecologically-friendly Prime Minister Kayxaer, asked for patience as “economic” reforms were undertaken. It remains to be seen whether there will be any price to pay for the dramatic changes being made by the reclusive Flagritzi or whether it will all be sunshine and rainbows going forward.

Inside this issue of the SSS: * Large at Large * &etc

 
***** Inter Galactic News *****

*** Bravo for Freedom ***

Naplian Forces have attacked three human pirate outposts in the Morroglyph system. A spokesperson for Naplia HQ told the press that the plucky duct-tape loving free people would continue their war against slavers and pirates in their home periphery.

One salty Naplian libertarian told the SSS, “The people of the Naplian Home Periphery are sick and tired of human criminals coming here just because their homeworld is an overcrowded hell. It’s time for them to go back home.”

Inside this issue of the SSS: * Igor of Fang and Horns * Admiral Loves Dick Turpin * &etc

 
***** Inter Galactic News *****

.What is It?
..a wOrmhOle?.
…No.. worse..
….the KANG singularity!…
…..It pulls us IN…..
……lOOks sO familiar……
…….yet so strange…….
……..what is……..
………that?……..

*** Flagritz Liberalise Economy ***

In good news for all the galaxy the Flagritzi have vowed to liberate all slaves across their Empire. Furthermore, the hectapods have given up eating other sentient species; taking up a strict diet of veganism and soy chai lattes. Sales of turtle neck sweaters and Forbidden Fruit laptops have skyrocketed.

The news was cautiously welcomed by the benevolent Felini Tyranny who looked forward to reducing the War phase of their daily Nap-Lick-Nap-War-Nap-Eat-Sleep cycle to a perfunctory forty winks.

Inside this issue of the SSS: * Baron Womble * A Short History of the DPP * &etc

 
***** Inter Galactic News *****

*** Empire Strikes: Solo ***

A massive fleet of some 1600 warships, including large numbers of super-heavy capital 300 and 400 hullers, attacked the DEN in the Solo system, catching them with their metaphorical pants down. The DEN gate platform and some two hundred DEN freighters were subject to antimatter missiles amongst other high tech ordinance.

Jack the lad, Viceroy of the Empire, claimed a victory for freedom and the Imperial (right of) way leaving the sullen Dewiek unusually unresponsive.

With DOM platforms firing on CIA ships, will the IMP now demand the DOM add them to the Do Not Fire lists as well? And what exactly is the nature of the DOM and DEN alliance in light of the sustained attack from the Empire? And will the DEN’s alien friends stand idly by as the Empire fleet camps in the vital gate system of Solo? How will the DEN retaliate for this action or are they ready to roll over and have their bellies rubbed?

All this remains unknown. All that is certain is the “feel good” factor across the DTR has increased, with citizens reassured that for some time yet, they may continue in their slumber with the easy assurance that their number is not coming up anytime soon.

Inside this issue of the SSS: * New BHD Guy * DOM Statement * &etc

 
***** Inter Galactic News *****

*** To Ur Is Dewiek ***

Dewiek forces had a hefty smackdown against the mysterious living ships known as the T’Cath (TCA). Seven adult TCA 400 hull capital ships, each firing eight of their notorious plasma cannons, were killed by a DEN and DOM fleet of some 700 ships.

Of the minimal losses suffered by the DEN / DOM, one-eyed Magnus and Nevets Motnhap of the FEL were amongst the dead.

Inside this issue of the SSS: * Caribbean Congo Continues * Ur Witness Report * * Hive Briefing * &etc

 
***** Inter Galactic News *****

*** The Long Quiet Season ***

Listen…
There’s no sound of anger or of annoyance,
There’re neither cruisers racing on the jump lanes
Nor there jump lanes for them to race on,
There’re neither monks chanting on the battlegrounds
Nor bells calling us to the True One.
There’s neither the lightning cracking of the sky
Nor the persistent Naplians pattering on my roof.
There’s no Dewiek arm in arm to admire the magnificent view
There’re no war drums to feed Human ears
Nor Hive sirens to steal the boredom away
There’s no unfamiliar wing creeping underneath the Falconian sun
Nor floods to enshroud the Aquaphid grounds
The land lies lonely out here
On this lazy summer’s day
There’s no pollution to poison the airs of Inversion
Nor forests to give them life
All I hear is the hushing sound of the wind
Assisting the sand to fall into beautiful undulations.

Whilst we’ve been away: * Operation Giantslayer * Naplian Liberation * Back in the DTTR * &etc

 
***** Inter Galactic News *****

*** Falconians Saved ***

The Imperials have cunningly saved the Falconian Republic from being consumed by the Dewiek Elder Nation and at no small cost to the DEN either. Whilst the new pro tem Consul crowed about the “victory”, all former FCN systems besides Acropolis have been taken over by the two warring Empires - Human and Flagritz.

Was it all worth it? For the IMP / GTT it clearly was, for the movement of a few hundred thousand troops is surely nothing to the cost they endured trying to and failing to knock the DEN out of Solo after the fact. The FCN now plucked off most of their navy and wider assets are a tiny nothing of their former self. The DEN may have resorted to some dirty namecalling but can the costs endured to save an enfeebled FCN have really been worth it? Time will tell.

Inside this issue of the SSS: * INDignation * FELicitous Caribbean * Nah Plan for Naplia * Mercs Trouble DEN * &etc

 
***** Inter Galactic News *****

*** Acropolis Now ***

The IMP and GTT have brought peace and stability to Acropolis.

 
***** Inter Galactic News *****

*** Goodbye Falconians ***

The galaxy bid farewell to the Falconian Republic as the Human Empire subsumed them into their expanding territories. This marks the second death of an alien civilisation at the hands of the IMP / GTT in recent years. Like the extinguishing of the nearby Ulians, no voices of opposition could be heard from other quarters. This marks a long-period of appeasement by the Detinus Republic and Dewiek Elder Nation.

Inside this issue of the SSS: * DOMination * &etc

 

Free Ship when you sign-up
Complete missions for in game rewards
Control everything, up to an entire empire
Dedicated human moderators
Player and Moderator driven plotlines
Discover new worlds to explore, exploit & colonise
Over 20 years of content development
Persistent Browser-Based Game (PBBG)

I’ve played on and off for approximately 10 years, over a 20 year spell. After some interesting debate on the in-game forum, I did wonder what, exactly, has kept drawing me back to the game, when for so many others I’ve generally lost interest after a few months.

Ultimately, I think it is a combination of automation (that allows the game to handle thousands of positions to interact on a daily basis) coupled with Special Actions (that allow the story arc to develop in a way that could not be catered for by a set of predefined list of available orders).
-Zigic