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  • [Raspur Pact] MV Espirion

    Divided, it stands... somehow. An ancient, revered place filled with equally irreverent people.

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    [Raspur Pact] MV Espirion

    Postby Continuator » Sat Mar 23, 2019 9:30 pm

    As the crew of the MV Espirion gathered on the rust and grease flecked fore deck of the cargo-passenger ship to watch as the incongruously snow-capped mountain which loomed over Glacier City they prepared themselves inwardly for the prospect of death, which is an ever present companion for sailors the world over, but still more so for those who would deign sail into the approaches to the Cibolan island of El Dorado in modern times.

    It had indeed been a cold day in hell when somebody actually required something from Cibola Command, an outfit so moth-worn, out of the way and forgotten about, that they had never even bothered to update the stationery after the SANE alliance changed its name to the Raspur Pact. The specific frozen hell in question was Eliaria, formerly Walstadt, the Jing-Saxon anomaly that had some how found itself a part of the holdings of the hemisphere spanning Kalirion dynasty, after a half-dozen or so dynastic marriages and a succession of increasingly implausible martyrdoms. Eliaria had somehow remained after the Alexandrian Flu had killed off half the population of the continent and the White Plague had cropped up to fell half the number again of those who remained. That Eliria, capital of the vaguely neglected Natopian demesne known as the Two Martyrs, had survived both calamities largely by virtue of its extreme isolation – its only land border was with Zandarijn, another isolate which had managed to ride out the calamitous past few decades by dint of being overlooked as much as anything else.

    The forces assigned to the Cibola Command were, accordingly, vestigial compared to the one-hundred legion army with which Shireroth occupied more than half of Benacia, or the profusion of heavily armed garrisons scattered around the enclaves maintained by the Raspur Pact powers on Apollonia, Eura, and Keltia in the face of the growing Bassarid menace. All Cibola Command had to worry about was protecting the sole year-round ice free port, keeping half an eye on the whaling fleet, and maintaining the satellite relay station around which the main garrison had established itself.

    So it was an unusual turn of events when a gentleman in a Babkhan sarhang's uniform, flashing what he claimed to be a letter of authorisation from the Joint-Military Council and carrying what purported to be warrant cards from the General Service Corps and the ESB Group, turned up in harbour accompanied by an apologetic looking political officer delegated from the Raspur Pact's Permanent Commission. Between them they proceeded to turn the entire facility upside down, throwing it into chaos, as warehouse depots, stores, and armouries were ransacked and the contents loaded onto a rusting hulk of a merchant vessel that had somehow hoved unannounced into the harbour in the meantime.

    The crew those two men had assembled for the voyage north along the eastern Cibolan coast, past the deathly ruins of vanished Alexandria, past the secret coves of the Goetic cult, and finally around the headlands surmounted by the ruinous castles of the knights of Saint-Antoine, now set their minds and their practice to the weapons and biohazard drills that had been their interminable stock in trade for the entire journey. The reports received by the Joint Military Council in Lindstrom had been the occasion of incredulity and horror. The accounts, cheerfully bandied about by these so-called Ralgons themselves, had described an infestation of aberrant lifeforms unrivalled since the eruption of the Ohl'tar in ages past, and only matched in the present by the lurking horrors encountered in the Bassarid occupied zones of Corum and Keltia.

    Passing Glacier City by, the MV Espirion followed a westward course, running parallel to the southern coast of El Dorado - Dragos as the hitherto uncontacted natives apparently called it - and continued along a course that would take it into the sea lanes approaching a sprawling conurbation vast enough that Natopian satellite imagery suggested that at least a dozen Shirekeeps could be lost within its expanse.

    Before then an encounter with one of the looming dreadnoughts of the Great White Fleet was seemingly inevitable. And at that moment would come the test. If the officers aboard the MV Espirion could fully establish that the Ralgon were fully human, that the effects of Temporal Haemorrhaging were not so severe as to necessitate immediate quarantine, and that their humanity had not been corrupted by prolonged contact with the reputed abominations of the "great swamp", then it would be an unavoidable obligation to render every possible assistance to a national community struggling to maintain the human supremacy over their own given portion of Micras. To that end, if they were to be adjudged worthy, a consignment of 24 S-2 missiles were stowed below decks, with a containerised launch module, bolted onto the aft deck, prepped and ready to serve as a demonstration model.
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    Re: [Raspur Pact] MV Espirion

    Postby Shiro » Sun Mar 24, 2019 7:54 pm

    Continuator wrote:snip


    30 nautical miles offshore from the City of Stormhold

    The vast urban areas of the Glacier City metropolis played out around the giant, lonely mountain like a sea of concrete buildings topped with greenery, almost as if a concrete plain had risen from the earth, only to be crowned by a chaotic forest that hid the ugly underbelly beneath. As the fleet passed by the vast metropolis, they saw bizarre patches of pristine orchards and opulent palaces along the coastline and a towering, chaotic mass of buildings in the distance, punctuated by solar panels, trees, and all sorts of odd sights.

    Far in the distance, a roar of thunder could be heard as one of the great Ralgon dreadnoughts engaged and obliterated a stray poison dragon that was inept enough to exit the protection of the swamp and fly out to sea the long way around civilization. Such warships were ubiquitous, but their main purpose was for protection against a far more powerful kind of threat: the rare lightning dragons that could, within minutes, lay waste to huge stretches of urban sprawl if they were allowed to rampage where they pleased.

    The profusion of powerful anti-air guns on many of these massive, blue-painted vessels meant to any keen observers that these types of dreadnoughts weren't meant so much to fight other ships, but instead to bombard heavily armored flying things that wielded powerful weapons of their own. In addition, it was clear that these ships weren't meant to be concealed from the ocean surface (except through radar), but instead offer camouflage against things that would spot them instead from the sky. On the bright side, it was extremely obvious that any airborne attack against Ralgon soil would be met with unmatched fire and fury on their part.

    Instead of being met by one of the relatively few white-painted vessels meant to escort their great merchant fleets around the world, or one of the blue-painted dreadnoughts and anti-air ships, the trading ship was met by a comparable-sized cruiser that bore a paint coat stereotypical of naval surface vessels: an off-grey paint with a faint green-blue tint. Instead of accosting the ship farther out, they were allowed to approach closer to the shore before being asked to accept a small boarding party to determine their cargo. The away party greeted the merchants with impeccable formal attire and due respect accorded to all foreigners, as was customary for the region. The Ralgons meeting the merchants looked human, but many of the higher-ranking officers had very striking hair and eye colors, quite unlike the rest of the world's peoples. This minor trait aside, these humanoids seemed to be quite like the rest of the ones they were greeting.

    It didn't take long for the Ralgon officers t0 determine that this was a merchant ship. Under normal circumstances they would be free to come to port, but instead they were politely instructed to send a ship's representative ashore directly to the Imperial Court for arms-dealing certification before importing weapons of war into Ralgon territory. Without a permit, the senior officer said, the weapons could not leave the ship regardless of destination. However, they were rapidly cleared to trade any non-hazardous cargo they held on board while waiting for approval to sell any instruments of war to a certified party, should they choose to do so.
    Here is Affixed the Signature of:

    His Most Virtuous Excellency,
    Shiro, Prince of the Ralgon Empire
    Chief Minister of the Right (Foreign Affairs)
    (on behalf of His Most Virtuous Excellency, King Nobunag'an Ral IV)
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