***** Inter Galactic News *****
Meklan Unleashed on Mobile Bay
Mad Dewiek scientist Dr Kala released a number of Meklan on the busy world of Mobile Bay in the Yank system. Thousands of civilians have been killed in what is treated by DEN warlords as an amusing practical joke. Rather than take any responsibility for their affiliation’s reckless behaviour, a DEN lord rumoured to be half-meklan himself quipped he would nuke the planet whilst another merely saw it as an opportunity to test some of his greener troops in combat. Surprisingly, the KAS planetary defence force was up to the job of repelling the insidious incursion. Questions remain whether further meklan are stored elsewhere on the planet and whether anybody will challenge the Dewiek’s lack of care for the lives of innocents. Probably not, given how even the mighty IMP are now cowering from a fight with the DEN (see inside this edition).
Cover art by tatiilange
*** In Brief ***
The Solo Peace Accord has survived frayed tempers and a gambit to renegotiate terms by the IMP, as well as the assassination of its chief peace broker (see below). In fact, in a move that has surprised the galaxy, when the DEN threatened to walk away from the treaty, the IMP grovelled and begged them to remain bound. Newly restored Viceroy Jack Jones is heard sobbing in one recording as a menacing Dewiek voice growls its displeasure at the pace of transference of claims for systems in the Orion Spur lost during the last war. It seems the Empire finds itself in no position to wage war against superior Dewiek forces now that their only credible weapon, their massed ground forces, have been neutralised by planetary shields. Will this caving in by the IMP merely delay the inevitable or will bored Wolf Lords leave public life, making Aadolf barking in an empty den?
The SSS’s sentient of the year 218 and a strong contender for this year’s award, Yahn Wodenzoon has been assassinated by forces believed to be opposed to the Solo Peace Accord. Tributes have come from far and wide, at least as far as the tedious Overseer of Highgrace. There has been much gleeful crowing by the DTR who are dangerously close to being involved in something interesting. Which pretty much rules them out of being responsible for Yahn’s death. Meanwhile, the DNA have a new insane egotist as leader in the form of Chairman TonTon. Will this mean more of a focus on Naplian rights or a continuation of Yahn’s bio-morph experiments driven by exotic sexual proclivities?
*** Heard in Subspace ***
'Is everyone in agreement?'
Murmurs of assent.
'I'll get wheels in motion. The next time we meet, there will be croissants. Next on the agenda?'
'There's been an assassination attempt on Yahn Wodenzoon of the DNA. More excitable elements of the media are blaming us.'
'Was it us?'
'No. I checked, and no Foreign Undesirable Being Assassination Request form has been submitted.'
'Why would we want him dead?'
'Beats me. If we vapourised every foreign political that was a bit annoying we'd never stop.'
'Actually just used a knife. He survived.'
'Amateurs. Well he might shut up for a while, so that's a bonus.'
'Any other business?'
*** Featured Blogs ***
Dr Kala's Blog - Don't you know who I am?
The apartment was small, and out of the way, one of the old workers blocks from before when the outpost was constructed. Lyceum looked at it with a technical eye, structurally it was sound even though it was old. As he made his way into the kitchenette he kept up a stream of chatter and the sounds of cooking could be heard.
Kala talked while cooking, answering questions and commenting on the apartment before handing Lyceum a bowl of the food she had cooked. She could feel the lure of sleep, far too strong and the stims had run out. Sleep was coming, no matter if she wanted it or not.
Sitting on the end of the bed she unzipped her long boots and took off her jacket then reached into her pocket and pulled out the small object and looked at it, then closed her hand tightly around it and laid down. The bed and the pillow was soft, almost a softness unheard of in the prison she had just come from. With tears in her eyes she fell asleep.
Lyceum walked out of the kitchenette and looked down at her, realising how easy it would be to kill her. Revenge still lingered in his mind and the cold burn of the metal that still coursed within his body reminded him why. Slumping down in the chair he looked over and then flicked on the screen and turned down the lights.
"It would be better if you didn't wake up, Kala. I do not have a good feeling about this."
Kala woke up and sat on the end of the bed. A large mirror was opposite the bed and she found herself looking straight at it. In the reflection a brass Meklan woman was sitting there watching her.
"You are just a dream."
"There is nothing here that can hurt me. This is just a dream."
The Meklan stood up and walked towards the mirror and placed her hands on the glass. She looked at it for a moment then pushed. The glass bowed inwards like plastic, the womans fingers turned to brass talons and tried to pierce the glass. Her mouth opened and howled and she pushed harder, screaming in silence, punching, clawing, scratching at the glass, and all the time her eyes fixed on Kala. Slowly the glass split and the the had reached out for.....
Kala, her hands covering her ears trying to stop the sounds she couldn't hear closed her eyes and started screaming.
"It's not real! It's not real! It's not real!"
She opened them and saw her reflection in the mirror, the Meklan had gone, the mirror was unscratched. Reaching out she touched it and found it firm and let out the breath she didn't know she had held then turned around to go back to the bed.
The brass woman reached foward through the mirror as Kala turned and her strong right hand grabbed her by the neck. Kala tried to scream and both her hands went to the hand aroudn her neck but couldn't stop her physically lifting her up off her feet and dragging her to the mirror, the neon shimmer of the glass flowed around her as the lifeless meklan voice whispered in her ear.
"You will be forgotten!"
Kala's scream as she awoke was loud and piercing. Lyceum rolled off the couch, claws extended, the lights on and scanning the apartment. He looked over to the bed and found it empty and ran over to it, looking down the side and found Kala by it, huddled in the corner, pressed as far back into it as she could, rocking slightly. He looked at the mad dewiek woman and saw the fear in her eyes, saw the marks on her neck, a hand had gripped her there, tightly and fiercly enough to leave marks. She was chanting, like a mantra, tears streaming down her face.
"It's not real... it's not real... it's not real...."
Lyceum checked the door, checked all the seals, and checked the logs. No one had entered, no one had left. Only two people were in the room. And yet, the computer recorded three distinctive voices during the time. Hers, Kala's and an unknown voice, most likely a female Meklan.
Kala stood outside the door and let the wind blow her fur. Lyceum handed her a cup of coffee and watched the outpost. Although it was small it was bustling.
"What happened Kala?"
"Bad dreams. They are always bad when I am here."
She drank the coffee and headed back into the apartment, pulling on her clothes and her doctors coat. For the first time in a while, Lyceum saw her relax slightly.
"So you want to tell me what's going on? Why we are here and what has been going on?"
She sat and gestured to the chair, he sat and waited.
"Many moons ago I found.... I salvaged that Meklan CPU. I took it apart and tried to discover it's secrets."
"Salvaged? I heard it was destroyed?"
"I lied in my reports. In it I found a data cache from hundreds of years ago, maybe longer. It's still partially undecoded. What it did give me was locations of crypts. And it indicated that within was treasure. A secret to immortality."
"Pah, everyone and their human has been looking for the secret of immortality. It's a myth."
Kala sighed heavily.
"I know. So I sent groups out to examine the sites, some were far away and it took time, others were heavily populated by our enemies so it needed stealth. Regardless my men found most of the crypts. Some never reported in, most replied they were empty when found. One found a sealed crypt on a populated planet, and to hide it, they built an outpost on it. To hide it until we were ready."
"What of the ones who never replied, were they ever chased up?"
"Yes. The crypts they sought out were boobie trapped, but empty. The second groups found the remains of our first, and all the crypt locations except one were deemed empty and useless."
"The one that was hidden under the outpost?"
Lyceum looked at her and stood up, his hand clenched and crushed the cup.
Kala hesitated and nodded.
"Yes. We were going to open it... but I got arrested. Never was good at timing."
"So what is inside?"
"How would I know? I've been in prison. Shall we go and look?"
Kala walked out the door of the apartment and looked out over the outpost.
"Isnt' it strange, that here, on Mobile Bay of all places we find a treasure trove. It will be marvellous."
"Kala, you are insane. You don't know what's going to be in there!"
"Exactly! No one does! No one has any idea it's there. It will be our treasure Lyceum, my penance for torturing you and having you cast out. With what's inside you can regain your position, no longer be an exile."
"Are you even listening to yourself Kala?"
She looked at him and smiled.
"Kala, you are not doing this for me, no matter how your crazed brain works. You are doing this for yourself."
"You mean, in doing this I become famous? Of course. I will be remembered, my name will be on everyones lips."
"It already is. As a monster! You are a sociopath of the nth degree. Mothers use you as a threat to get their kids to sleep. You are a joke. A pure poison joke."
"We shall see. Because I gave orders as soon as we got here to excavate the entrance while we slept. Walk with me Lyceum, and share in my glory."
"I should kill you...."
"Yes yes, and if you had any backbone other than the one I gave you I would be dead."
His eyes flashed with fury, claws extended, but he closed his eyes and nodded.
"Let us open this treasure chamber. Hell, you might be right this once."
"If I'm not, you can dance over my grave. Now come on!"
Kala, Lyceum and twenty guards walked down the tunnel that had been re-excavated. It had been cleaned back to the steel and stone of the crypt face, a large portal that was just waiting to be opened beckoned them. Some of the guards were wary and howled their discontent. Kala went up to the crypt and ran her hands over the portal. There was no markings there, no runes, no sigils, not even a scratch.
"Lyceum, would you care to touch it?"
He reached his hand over and touched it. It was cold and made him feel ill. A shudder ran down his spine and he pulled his hand away.
"The other hand please, your meklan hand."
Lyceum pulled off the heavy glove and reluctantly placed his paw on the door. Metal scratched against metal.
"You see, nothing....."
With a grating sound the portal iris began to open. A blast of foul icy air swept out causing everyone to turn away from it. Kala gasped and walked forward into the corridor.
"Come Lyceum, our prize awaits!"
He pulled his glove back on and gestured to the guards.
"Come on, just in case. All weapons cocked and locked. If it looks at you funny, waste it."
The corridor angled downwards and opened out into a large cavernous room. Against the wall was a small control panel with a simple switch. Without hesistation she flicked it. For a moment nothing happened, only the continous cold that was creeping into her core. Then a set of lights flashed and started to power up, then a second, then a third.
"By the bones of my ancestors Kala, what is this place?"
"Looks like a storage facility. We need to open these canisters."
Row after row of canisters lined the walls, behind them a raised level and more canisters. As more lights came on she kept counting, but as they got deeper she stopped. There were too many and the lights were still coming on. Thousands of containers. Before them, just out of sight before there was a single canister standing up, a large console before it.
Lyceum watched her scamper over the the console and beckoned over two of the guards and gave them some orderes before following her.
"Kala, we need more people to examine this, we can't keep it to ourselves, it's too large. And by Folkvars sacred bones don't touch anything else!"
Kala laid her hand on the canister and pulled it back as if burnt.
"It's cold, so cold it seared my hand!"
"These are not storage canisters, they are fucking cryochambers!"
Kala looked at the console. The language on it was one that was familiar to her, as a scholar of the Meklan. A representation of their binary language, a visual image of the language of the damned. Something deep within her psyche screamed, her id laughed, her soul shrivelled as she reached out her hand and touched an insignificant button against all the others, covered with the dust of ages.
"Kala, we need to leave. We have no idea what is in these....."
An alarm sounded, muted tones that were too low to hear but grated over the spine like a pulse. Lyceum howled and clutched his head, Kala fell to one knee, the guards backed away howling and clawing at their ears. Slowly the cryocanister opened, bands of metal peeled away, protective bands that covered the glass of the canister. Both of them looked on a the figure inside, a female Meklan, but one that was beyond anything they could have anticipated. As the glass cover lifted up gasses escaped and the figure inside opened it's eyes. Brass arms reached out and grasped the canister edge and pulled itself forward, it's mouth open in a silent hiss. Kala and Lyceum backed away in horror, the creature was over three meters tall and seemd to be composed of near liquid brass. It reached the console and pressed a few buttons and waited then seemed to stretch and placed both it's palms on open screens.
"So long..... to sleep. But now We are ready to rise once again. I would thank you for awakening me, but I don't believe you realise what you have unleashed, foolish.... dewiek."
"You can speak our language?"
"We created your language, a slave species is no good if it can't take orders."
"You are no Meklan."
The bronze giant chuckled, a laugh that spoke of an ancient evil, an evil that was old when the Dewiek were young. An evil that transcended mere flesh.
"No, and you are no mere Dewiek to come and stand before me. You wish to lead my minions, and make yourself a warlord."
Kala stepped forward, her eyes wide. Lyceum stepped back again and then turned and walked to the guards.
"Kneel before me then, Dewiek, and I will grant what you wish."
"Yes, I will be known, my name will be feared!"
"That is what you wish, to be remembered?"
Lyceum turned to the guards and took a weapon from them.
"This is worse than I could have imagined, we have to take it down now. Have you done what I told you to do?"
"Yes, the primer is at the top of the corridor. It should collapse the whole corridor and part of the chamber. Anything above in the outpost will be damaged."
"It can't be helped! That creature cannot be allowed to live, whatever it is. Listen, this is what we'll do. You, hand me your weapon.... you and you take five men each and target those pipes....."
Kala walked around the console and looked up at the brass giant. It's features were alien beyond what she had expected or even dared to imagine. The muted tones of the alarms sounded again and she looked around, fear replacing the excitement. Row after row of cryochambers were opening and were releasing their contents. Meklan poured out, row after row, their numbers beyond counting. The icy cloud that was building up froze her blood as she looked upon a force that was beyond an invasion army, it was a tool of genocide. Where this army marched, life would be wiped out. She turned back to the creature and looked into it's unfeeling eyes.
"Yes, pitiful mortal, we are back. We will scour this world, and then every other until we wipe out the mistakes we created."
"No, you can't. I will stop you....."
"I am the architect of your destruction, but you let me free. Remember that."
The brass woman reached out and grabbed Kala in both hands and lifted her up and turned to the cryo chamber and threw her in.
"You will spend the rest of your days here, hundreds of years, thousands in stasis while I wipe the stars clean of the stain of life."
In the cryo chamber straps lashed across her and tied her in. Slowly the chamber was closing, Kala screamed.
"You can't do this to me! Don't you know who I am? I am Kala Godslayer! You can't do this to me! Lyceum? Lyceum!!"
The cryo chamber slammed shut with a permanent crash.
The creature set the cryo chamber and turned around to look at Dewiek left. In the chamber the sound of Meklan feet marching was loud and getting louder.
"And you, what do you wish?"
Lyceum lit the match and held it to the cigar in his hand and puffed and grinned.
"I wish you could see the look on your face when I pull this trigger."
Lyceum pulled the flame projector around and shouted out.
Liquid flame covered the icy brass figure while projectile weaponry smashed pipes that were leading into the cryochambers. Volatile liquids flowed out, flames lept through the air. He kept his finger on the trigger while his men ran back up the corridor, while the bronze creature fell to its knees crying tears of liquid metal and only when it was nearly too late did he turn and run.
The explosion tore apart a large part of the outpost and a crater was left where the corridor was. People in the outpost fled, using whatever means they could while Lyceum and his men stood on the outcropping of the crater. It took a while but eventually they noticed the movement. The surviving meklan were digging out.
"Evacuate the outpost, inform the Kastorians. Let them know what happened. I guess Kala wanted to live forever.... maybe she will, in infamy."
Greymane's Blog - Incident in Yank
Greymane had various algorithms set up to scan news channels, incoming message and reports. One of the notifications pinged angrily on his wrist device. He tapped the small screen with a claw and flicked it towards the larger monitor on his desk.
Meklan Outbreak on Mobile Bay in Yank
A meklan force has been observed rampaging out of the exits of DEN Outpost Three Scar Totem and marauding the surrounding islands.
News outlets have already released footage of the meklan attacking soft civilian targets.
How this happened is currently unknown though the Junta is likely to question the presence of a few thousand meklan in any facility in Yank.
At the moment speculation is on negligence rather than an outright act of terrorism.
Planetary defence forces are being mustered to deal with the outbreak.
“Folkvar!” he cursed and launched the monitor across the room with a casual sweep of his cybernetically enhanced arm.
At that very moment Halkor entered the room, stepping over the smashed monitor with barely a raised eyebrow. “You heard about Yank?” he asked rhetorically.
“How much do we know?” Greymane asked.
“Not a lot,” Halkor replied, “Three Scar Totem remained fiercely loyal to Kala, we don’t have anyone inside. Accounts coming in from Mobile Bay report some kind of explosion in the base and then a horde of Meklan being released. Possibly as many as five thousand. Planetary forces have been alerted and the human TOAD may have engaged. Do you know him?”
“I met him once, he’s a friend of Yahn – I think. I barely remember any of it; we ended up in some opium den… long story... probably.” He held up a paw to dismiss Halkor’s many, many questions. “I’ll send him a message, see if I can find anything out. Get me a ship ready, and a ground assault pack.”
“Preparations are already in progress Wolf Lord, but I’ll go and hasten them along.”
Greymane nodded acknowledgement as Halkor left. He tapped his wrist device.
“Message to IND TOAD, Mobile Bay, Yank…”
As he spoke his message into the device he grabbed his anti-Meklan warhammer, Malmrhöggva, and followed Halkor.
Mrrshan's Blog - More musings
Another sip was needed from the herbal tea that reduced - but never quite removed - the aches and pain of entropy on a skeleton that had evolved for hunting and pouncing, rather than stalking around a council room in discussions and debate.
Not argument, never argument. Most of the younglings who believed themselves wise placed too much emphasis on respect and deference, thinking that it was the best way for their fortunes to rise. Far from it - the best way was to prove themselves worthy, not a clawlicker or manedrooper. They didn't understand what it was like in the days of the Scourging, barely remember their days as cubs being sheltered in hidden and far-flung outposts as the Baseships rained death from above on the few great Bastions that could withstand a direct assault. Most, but not all.
Of course they had head the tales of those who had thrown themselves into the void, or fought claw-to-tentacle with the invaders, while all the time knowing that their equipment was no guarantee of safety against the toxins radiation and bio-agents that clouded their foes' attempts to set a bridgehead. Many of the heroes had succumbed in the following years, even had they survived the days where each feline fought for their survival as a free people. But not before they had imparted a sense of their indomitable spirit to those whitefangs who would listen.
A rogue thought interrupted the reverie.
<it is not enough to have been worthy enough to rise>
Where had that come from?
<Your principles have always been true, to ensure that the best suited takes a role but only while they remain the best suited>
Mrrshan pressed a button: "Krriel, have the room scanned for shield integrity please"
<You know it is secure. We will commune again. Sooonnnn....>
Kr'Shan's Blog - Broken
We decided it best to openly approach the Bastion as it would draw less suspicion, that the Patriarch was always welcome was known to all. We decided to remove the battle armor, deeming it unnecessary, a different uniform would be better suited for what we suspected was to come.
We allowed only two guards to join us to the inner sanctum of the Bastion, leaving the others to converse with the guards to gain news of other recent events. We allowed several minutes of fussing over the proper arrangement of the Patriarchal vestments and reluctantly agreed to allow two of the resident Acolytes to join us. Pausing for a moment before departure, we requested on item from the armor and attached it to our belt.
The Acolytes were quite excited by our visit, making many attempts to divert us along other paths so we might visit the other faithful residing within the Bastion. They tried to hide their disappointment as we insisted our duties here could not be delayed.
As we drew closer to the Tyrant’s personal offices and quarters, the hallways and adjacent rooms seemed oddly silent and empty, as if the heart of our capital had finally gone still. When we were near the inner most rooms that connected directly to the Tyrant’s quarters, we indicated the Guard and Acolyte remain and that we shall proceed alone. They were also given orders to not disturb us under any circumstances no matter what they think they hear or see.
Satisfied that none of them would have to be gagged and physically restrained, we proceeded silently down the passageway to the Tyrant’s chamber doors. Strangely the doors where slightly open and no guards were present, things had defiantly changed over the past few seasons.
Peering into the dimly lit chamber we could see our Tyrant Mrrshan pacing about and talking to someone or something we could not see. We waited for a response but there appeared to be no one else in the room. Has he gone completely mad? Perhaps it would be best for all if tradition was followed and he was put down for the betterment of our apparently suffering people.
Reaching for the device that had been taken from my armor as I slowly opened the door, the instinctive desire to do this very thing grew stronger. As I slowly started making my way into the room gripping the device a revelation dawned upon me as I activated it. I? Never I! We are never alone.
With this thought and the devices activation, the room was suddenly bathed in a warm comforting glow as we turned to address our ailing leader. “Mrrshan, the time has come, and we are here to assist you in the rebirth of you and your people. This will be a trying time for all, especially you my dear child. With proper guidance all trials shall be overcome. It is not the people’s tradition, but precedent has already been set, the people will grow to accept. You shall not be alone in these trials; we shall always be with you.”
These words were our but not ours, spoken not by us but echoed out from the celestial being that had risen from the rooms center, the Avatar of the most wondrous female of all Felini, the Great Mother of us all. She lingered only momentarily as we gazed upon her in awe, then vanished without a trace of her ever being present.
We locked eyes with Mrrshan, recognizing the same feelings of inner turmoil and wonder within. For a moment we thought the old ways would be need be invoked, but it quickly became apparent he was ready to place his trust in her will.
A feeling of relief fell upon us, even though the primal desires still lingered. We stepped before him placing paws upon forearms and said, “Come my brother, there is much to prepare for and very little time if we are to save them.”
DNA people's Blog - One fateful night remembering another fateful night...
Yahn woke up to a familiar smell. HeRB! His fingers rolled the herbal cigarette instinctively. Tr'Shannah was beside him.
Tr'Shannah whom he loved so much. He signalled for her to stay quiet and they smoked discreetly without anyone noticing.
Where was he? This was not the hospital at Lothario's, or maybe the HeRB was playing tricks on him.
How long had he been here?
He coughed softly. His chest hurt like he had been in a fight on Glasir. No words had come out of his mouth.
He was visibly tired, and curled up to Tr'Shannah's soft fur to become lost in its smell.
His mind drifted off to a nagging memory:
incoming message: Greetings Wolf Lord Greymane and welcome to Lothario's Palace. We are the local dock authority and have an important message for you: Executive Director Wodenzoon will meet you on the dock outside of your vessel in half an hour, roughly, don't forget we run on naplian time... ;-) Enjoy your stay at Lothario's!
Little did the Wolf Lord know that he would not be staying at Lothario's.
Little did his wolf friend know He had had felini on the brain. How could he not? He had just come from the Snow Tigers punk bar where he had had a few drinks. His head felt a little hazy, and he knew full well he was being mesmerised. He could still smell the faint fragrance of her fur, and lost himself in remembering its soft feel for a moment. Then, Chairman TonTon showed up and brought his focus back to the task at hand in that matter of fact way of his.
Sure enough, roughly a half hour later three human shapes could be seen walking up the dock: Executive Director Yahn Wodenzoon, Chief of Security Yvonne Navidi, and Chief of Intelligence Chairman TonTon, for those that knew them. As they were dressed in civilian clothing, to anyone that did not know them they would pass incognito, at least in neo-naplian circles. In more conservative circles they would stick out like sore thumbs. A dock worker appeared from out of the shadows and delivered a case of Llanale. Even though everyone had already met at least once, quick introductions were made and ales distributed. Their ride would be here shortly, He remembered explaining. Instead of partying at Lothario's they would go check out the night life at Balmoral.
Soon, a shuttle landed and the two naplians in the cockpit gave the party the thumbs up. Crack pilot of the DNA Yvonne Vickers, He had explained as he picked up the case of remaining ales, and her boyfriend Mahfuz Cousins, he added as he proceeded towards the shuttle. Who doesn't have a naplian cousin over there, eh? Chairman TonTon jokes. (chuckle) We're all naplian cousins, Yvonne Navidi counters, trying to keep her voice serious. (Finally, everybody roars with laughter as He adds) I want ********** to be my naplian cousin?!?!? It doesn't take long before Mahfuz Cousins starts telling the cousin jokes he knows, and he's heard them all, of course. The shuttle ride was filled with laughter and the case of ales emptied by the time they docked at EEM Balmoral. The first part of the night they would have a more traditional outing, Yahn explained, but for the final part of the night he had something a little different planned.
And so, one dewiek, two naplians, and three humans made their way into a seedy industrial district of the starbase. This was off the beaten track and a rougher area that tourists would avoid. This was proletarian territory, Yahn explained, adding that he had recently become invloved in organised labour and union negotiations. Their first stop was a workers bar called the Lazy Lizard, run by the pipe fitters. This would be the type of entertainment his dewiek friend would be accustomed to, Yahn thought, wondering what he would think of the later part of the night.
The social experiment had begun.
[the players: agent, ship CITY SCAVENGER of DUST, ship HOSPITAL SHIP (white flower emoji), gp EMISSARY of the HeRB (white flower emoji), political human IND TOAD]
(IC) On the star port of EEM BALMORAl (4100), off loading of Medical Supplies (30155) from IND HOSPITAL SHIP (white flower emoji) by union dock workers is stalled and union negotiations is underway.. the dock worker says, Yusra the Civilian Weaponry (31417) and 3 Naplian Colonist (775) are not on the shipping manifest Yusra. You know the rules Yusra, states the union dock worker. Yusra says, hows the family? kids have shoes? the dock worker looks both ways down the star port.. you know what we get paid Yusra says the dock worker. Yusra opens his accounting book and sends guilders to the dock workers account. Grassjuice and Alcohol are in the second crate. Plus, can you see the ship CITY SCAVENGER of DUST is unloaded quietly and the usual Stimbrew (30127) is off loaded and your usual cut is on top, states Yusra. The union dock worker gives a pat on the back to Yusra and the off loading restarts.
Starcaptain Yusra takes a look at the Hospital ship and walks down to the bar Lazy Lizard to have a drink with his mates on a night of R&R. In the Lazy Lizard bar is the nights usual crowd, human IND TOAD the pseudo leader of this group, and starcaptain Edmonds of the ship CITY SCAVENGER of DUST. The both of them are drinking and smoking Twilight Intoxicants (51823)..
Yusra! Pull a chair up as we are getting primed for a night out and heading for access 7?! Yahn is meeting us here before we start.. you look like you need a little stim Yusra.. Edmonds give the human some stim.. becarefull Yusra as this is not cut.. and wash it down with this?! and IND TOAD forwards a drink to Yusra..
[starcaptain Edmond of the CITY SCAVENGER of DUST gets up and meets with a woman.. a agent.. by the guess of things.. and a passing of goods from Edmond to the agent.. Edmond leaves the bar for other deliveries]
After letting his friends enjoy themselves with some traditional drinking and brawling, He had decided it was time to make a move. He gathered the company of revellers together, telling them that it was time to head further into the bowels of the base, and that a walk in the fesh air would do them some good.
The freshness of the air was relative, of course, seeing as this was the industrial part of the base. And, as they headed underground the so called fresh air was replaced by reconditioned air. Walking past parked loaders, and drab warehouses, they came to a crumbling wall. This was obviously a passage, as the worn path of foot traffic leading into the fissure in the wall indicated. There were some burly kastorians with their famously over sized side arms guarding the entrance.
He remembered he had indicated for his friends to wait a moment as he went to talk to them. Only little snippets of the conversation could be heard by the others, but the one thing was obvious - these were sturdy union folk. With a smile, he motioned for his friends to advance. As they made their way toward the crevice in the wall, He impressed on his friends that no brawling was allowed here. He fixed his gaze intently on Greymane as he said this with a good natured smile. This was to be a different experience. They were here to party Neo-Naplian style, he added.
Once through the crumbling opening in the wall, a dimly lit tunnel greeted them. Up ahead there were lights, and a quiet bustle. Laughter could be heard. As they advanced, they could hear a disturbance. The crash and thump were unmistakable. Those who had heard a limp body falling to the ground knew the sounds straight away. Only moments later, two brawny proletariat made their way carrying a passed out human between them towards the exit. One nodding his head to indicate the limp figure, wearing a ripped GTT crew uniform, as they passed the group of merrymakers. "What was he thinking, eh?" He said, when he recognised Yahn.
As they continued further along the tunnel, they came to a junction with an even bigger tunnel marked Access Tunnel 7. Here on the corner hung a grow light over a small tree. Yahn, and his DNA companions, stopped a moment and mumbled something to the sapling. The tree was still young, and would obviously need to be trimmed with age to be able to fit in the tunnel. The patio in front of the small establishment looked inviting. This was Ygdrassil Juice. It was run by wimbles, but the neo-naplian style was unmistakable. A little dose of healthy juice would be in order to get them through the second part of the outing, He had explained.
While they were seated, enjoying their juices, a few naplians passed the tree and also stopped to mumble to it. A krell couple sitting at the next table mentioned how strange this seemed. This tree symbolises the Shinto spirit of the place, He remembered telling them. Everyone that talks to it gives it power and it in turn protects the place. Had hoped they could understand. If they were with the Reverence Temple of the Brotherhood, this might be difficult for them, but magic is still very much alive in the galaxy.
He had disappeared for a moment, saying he had some business to take care of. He would be back shortly, adding that the pies here were great, but to leave room for a buffet later. That was when he had bought those blaster rifles.
When he returned, he rallied his friends to come to the main attraction. Everything was ready now. He led them further down the tunnel to a non de-script doorway. Inside, the heavies that guarded the door let them pass without a word. By the looks of it, all security in these parts was taken care of by the local maintenance union.
Once inside, their eyes had to adjust to the dimness of the light and the smoky haze. Miss Suzy herself came to greet them at the door and led them deeper into the den.
The place was called Li'l Miss Suzy's. It was generally referred to as an opium den. The word opium being a naplian synonym for any smokable drug that tends to induce hallucinations. No one really knew what Miss Suzy served, although a connoisseur like TOAD might have a good idea as to its identity. One thing was for certain, Miss Suzy only served the finest quality.
There was some soft tasteful music playing, and one might use the term acid jazz to describe it. The décor of the place was bathed in soft red light, and booths were separated one from another by shimmering, semi-translucent curtains. Naplian serving girls could be seen flitting about. Miss Suzy and the serving girls were obviously of the same naplian racial stock. They were petite, lithe, and graceful. The word elf-like seemed fitting, right down to their pointy ears.
They were led to one of the larger booths in the back. There was a central table already set up with small delicacies and a lot of fruit. Large jugs of crystal clear water and a variety of smoking paraphernalia were present. Around the periphery, pillows were strewn about for those who wanted to chill out. As they started smoking, the curtains started dancing more and more in tune with the music. The serving staff seemed to appear and disappear as by magic. Elfs teleporting in and out, ready to serve nearly any whim of the customers.
He had ordered a massage and mused quietly about how such little delicate hands could affect him in such a big way. How such a delicate and delicious little haven could exist in this place, sheltered from the dark and cruel world outside. There was no place for the darker thoughts, though, and the observant and well trained servers quickly intervened if anyone started to show even the first signs of a bad trip.
Tr'Shannah had shown up and the whole social experiment was about to culminate. Could Dogs and Cats really get along?
But everything was too hazy... What had happened that night?
He breathed the familiar scent of Tr'Shannah's hide. How it comforted him.
Yahn drifted off to sleep while the equipment began beeping angrily.
*** Detinus Corner ***
The maintenance drones dispersed.
In response to a subtle
gesture so did the image
feed. The Cyprus platforms
were consolidated, attention
could move to the next pressing
matter. An old fashioned desk.
A draw softly pulled.
A flower revealed.
- Lady Sylvansigh
*** Affiliations ***
AFT Association of Free Traders (54) - Marion Tweedy
CIA Combined Intelligence Agency (64) - Laton CIA
DNA Displaced Natives Asylum (66) - DNA people
DTR Detinus Republic (58) - Morley Decker*
DEN Dewiek Elder Nation (67) - Aadolf
DOM Dominion (57) - bcd
ERC Eldar Rawk Conclave (83) - RAO*
FCN Falconian Republic (70) - Crius Grimtail*
FEA Felini Elamite Autonomy (60) - Kr'Shan
FEL Felini Tyranny (49) - Mrrshan
FLZ Flagritz Republic (47) - Kayxaer
FET Frontier Exploration & Trade (56) - Cu Chulainn
GRC Gracians (13) - HG1
GTT Galactic Trade & Transport (52) - Xavier Fox
GCE Garcia Enterprises (4) - Neil
HEX Hexamon (23) - Ando
IMP Imperial Services (51) - Jack Jones
KRL Krell (30) - Namica*
KRT Krell of the Reverence Temple (37) - Kal Torak
KST Kastor Kastorians (12) - Kastor
MZC Mizuchi Combine (86) - Mizuchi
MOH Mohache (73) - Listens
MIC Mohache Independent Commune (76) - Sleeps with Dragons*
NLF Naplian Liberation Front (38) - NLFHQ
RRH Roy Robert Holdings (39) - Roy Roberts
SMS Stellar Mining and Smelting (53) - MikhailM
USN Ulian Stellar Nation (34) - Oedipus Prime**
WMB Wimble Nations (25) - zz
* Leader inactive, affiliation may be active
** Affiliation has no leader but this is the only known contact
NPC / FoC: ARC, CIV, CGT, FRE, HBO, HEF, IND, ISP, JCN, MEK, MRC, PIR, PRV, TCA, TRN, KAS
Inactive: ANT, BHD, COD, HVE, IDC, RIP, RCF, SKW, TAG
*** Submission ***
By private message to The Editor or via Mica if you prefer to remain anonymous. Longer pieces or attachments can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org