Author Topic: Countdown to Inferno: Fiction Teasers  (Read 9640 times)

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Online Luis Dias

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Re: Countdown to Inferno: Fiction Teasers
It sure is a nice addition. I like it very much, except to a certain clichédness of it. At a certain level, I'm especially torn at the "sardonic smile" representation. I know, fiction is not obliged to follow reality, but I find that these kinds of overt sardonicisms and calls for sacrificing entire planets "for the cause" are a just a weeny bit over the top. I.e., it's black and whiteness is too shoved into my throat if you know what I mean? Real psychopaths are extremely charmiing and manipulative, i.e., likable. That's why they are so dangerous.

But nevermind, I enjoyed it and that's what matters! Thank you! :yes:

 

Offline Lepanto

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Re: Countdown to Inferno: Fiction Teasers
CT, I can certainly do that. EA fiction's taking a break for a little while, though. Next, we'll have a couple Zod pieces, including the long-awaited reason why the Zods sit most of the EA war out!

Luis, thanks. Yeah, perhaps I could've toned that guy down a bit. It's hard to tell a story with meaningful moral themes while keeping everyone acting more-or-less realistic.
"We have now reached the point where every goon with a grievance, every bitter bigot, merely has to place the prefix, 'I know this is not politically correct, but...' in front of the usual string of insults in order to be not just safe from criticism, but actually a card, a lad, even a hero. Conversely, to talk about poverty and inequality, to draw attention to the reality that discrimination and injustice are still facts of life, is to commit the sin of political correctness. Anti-PC has become the latest cover for creeps. It is a godsend for every curmudgeon and crank, from fascists to the merely smug."
Finian O'Toole, The Irish Times, 5 May 1994

Blue Planet: The Battle Captains: Missions starring the Admirals of BP: WiH
Frontlines 2334+2335: T-V War campaign
GVB Ammit: Vasudan strike bomber
Player-Controlled Capship Modding Tutorial

 

Offline Vrets

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Re: Countdown to Inferno: Fiction Teasers
First fracking, then they strip mine Mars. Those rotten little jerks

 

Offline Lepanto

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Re: Countdown to Inferno: Fiction Teasers
Emperor Khonsu is dead. Long live the new Emperor!

-------------------------------------

Dharl Degalu: Snapping Shackles

Emperor’s Council Chamber
Oasis IV, Aldebaran
Half to Nightfall, Imperial Standard Time, 47th day of Rising, 2375

   “But, noble Emperor, please, Khonsu had agreed to-“

   “Unlike Khonsu, I will not waste our people’s resources to keep your failed state afloat. Tell the Security Council that I am cutting off all aid for your Gate project, effective in six months. You have no place in these halls any more.” dHArL teS urOS DegALU, 78th Emperor of the Unification Dynasty, motioned the Terran emissary to the door. The woman quickly made the gesture of Imperial supplication and vanished.

   The Emperor, on his ornamented throne, beheld the cavernous council room. His fourteen councilors, mostly holdovers from Khonsu’s reign, had to crane their necks just to see their new Emperor. It was not a sensation they were used to.

   Foreign Councilor Iunmin gestured for the right to speak. Upon Dharl’s curt acceptance, the robed elder pushed himself to his feet. “Beneficent Emperor-“

   “You were beneficent only to Khonsu, but continue.”

   Iunmin hesitated. “What Egyptian name will you take?”

   “None.”

   Khonsu’s old guard glanced at each other, but most kept their tongues. The Terran ambassador, and now this?

   Iunmin sighed. “I shall be plain. Your current agenda is disastrous. You would strain the alliance which Khonsu built?”

   “The Terrans cannot pull their own weight, but we drag them fumbling through the desert. There can be no ties of friendship with them, Iunmin. Only shackles which drag Vasuda down.”

   At Dharl’s gesture, the chamber came alive with projections. Screens and charts lit up and shifted through the air. Bright orange and gray lines snaked horizontally across the councilors’ vision.

   “Look at the flow of our respective GDPs. Ever since Reconstruction, we have prospered under the monarchy’s guidance…” The orange line hovered high, with a trough over the last decade; Khonsu had arranged to pay half the cost of the Sol Gate.

   “…And the Terrans have spared no expense in driving themselves into the ground!” The grey line lagged below the orange one, with sharp troughs around the NTF Rebellion and Capella, and only a recent gradual recovery.

   “This despite Khonsu’s unparalleled generosity.” Dharl waved up another graph, showing Vasudan lending and economic aid over the years. The Terran debt to Vasudan banks stood at 19.7 trillion GC, 89% of the Terran GDP.

   “And the Terrans repay us with this?” The facts and figures vanished, replaced with a diorama of the GTA Hades smashing a Vasudan node blockade. The Hades’s orange flux lances gutted a fleeing Aten, and Lokis shot down fleeing escape pods.

   “The work of a few bitter rebels, they pleaded. That our alliance would last, they assured us. Then, just when we had forgiven them their indiscretions…”

   “Die, Zod scum! Neo-Terra Victorious!” A simulated blast rocked the council chamber. The display now showed a Terran freighter crashing into the former Vasudan capital of Oasis III, taking much of the landscape with it in a roaring antimatter eruption. “Eleven million dead, in just one of the NTF’s attacks. 24 million dead in the entire NTF war.”

   “But Aken Bosch was hardly content with ripping apart his species and ours. He then called down the Destroyers upon us.” This time, a Sathanas juggernaut’s red lances tore through the GVD Psamtik. Another flicker of screens; Serapis fighters, protecting fleeing Terran transports at Capella, were snuffed out in a storm of Shivan missile fire. “78,000 more Vasudan crew dead. All to protect the very species which huts both us and itself at every opportunity.”

   “No, Iunmin. No, Khonsu. The Terran is no ally, fit to walk side-by-side with us. He is a shambling corpse, stabbing himself and stabbing us as we try to drag him through the predator-filled desert.”

   Dharl dismissed Khonsu's Gate funding from the budget with a gesture. The projected Vasudan GDP evened out, as the Terran financial recovery slackened.

   “No, we will not be shackled to a corpse. Trade with the Terrans? Yes, though not at cost to our economy. But will we save them from their own rebellions, their own economic suicide, their own suicidal provocation of the Shivans? No more. We snap our self-made shackles! Let the Terran wither, parched and alone. We will only fight for this Vasuda we have forged among the stars, our Vasuda everlasting!”

   “Iunmin, your loyalty to Khonsu will only bring further strife to my government. I understand you will tender your resignation?”

   The beige elder fixed Dharl with a stare, pondering a rebuttal, but he slowly signaled his assent. “Yet as I am no longer an officer of the government, I am free to leave you with one last proverb. ‘Let your brother stumble, and he will not lift you up when you stumble.’ Our people are not sinless. Recall the Galatea, and recall the Hammer of Light.” With a last sigh, the elder stood up and made for the door.

   “If any others here cling so tightly to Khonsu and the Terrans that they cannot serve our new government, you may wish to retire with dignity for your loyal service.”

   The councilors glanced around uneasily. Four left their seats with stiff gestures of supplication. The Emperor’s loyalists ushered them out in silence.

   As Dharl began laying down the policies of his new regime, Iunmin and his colleagues strode out of the chamber.

   “Dharl’s regime is already six councilors short,” the ex-Finance Councilor muttered.

   The ex-Foreign Councilor looked back at the empty seats, then nodded. “When we lack an Emperor, what need have we for councilors?”
"We have now reached the point where every goon with a grievance, every bitter bigot, merely has to place the prefix, 'I know this is not politically correct, but...' in front of the usual string of insults in order to be not just safe from criticism, but actually a card, a lad, even a hero. Conversely, to talk about poverty and inequality, to draw attention to the reality that discrimination and injustice are still facts of life, is to commit the sin of political correctness. Anti-PC has become the latest cover for creeps. It is a godsend for every curmudgeon and crank, from fascists to the merely smug."
Finian O'Toole, The Irish Times, 5 May 1994

Blue Planet: The Battle Captains: Missions starring the Admirals of BP: WiH
Frontlines 2334+2335: T-V War campaign
GVB Ammit: Vasudan strike bomber
Player-Controlled Capship Modding Tutorial

 

Offline Jellyfish

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Re: Countdown to Inferno: Fiction Teasers
Looks like someone is about to steal a Het'Ka.
"A weapon is only as powerful as its wielder. With this weapon, you'll be but an annoyance, which would greatly dishonor it. With this weapon, I can change history. With me, this weapon can shape the universe."

 

Offline mr.WHO

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Re: Countdown to Inferno: Fiction Teasers
Good stuff!

 

Offline Lepanto

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Re: Countdown to Inferno: Fiction Teasers
Looks like someone is about to steal a Het'Ka.

No Vasudan civil wars, I'm afraid, at least not quite yet. :) Besides, we don't even have an HTL Vasudan superdestroyer yet! :p

You do, however, have your explanation as to why the Vasudans are so uncooperative with the Terran-EA war effort. This guy.
"We have now reached the point where every goon with a grievance, every bitter bigot, merely has to place the prefix, 'I know this is not politically correct, but...' in front of the usual string of insults in order to be not just safe from criticism, but actually a card, a lad, even a hero. Conversely, to talk about poverty and inequality, to draw attention to the reality that discrimination and injustice are still facts of life, is to commit the sin of political correctness. Anti-PC has become the latest cover for creeps. It is a godsend for every curmudgeon and crank, from fascists to the merely smug."
Finian O'Toole, The Irish Times, 5 May 1994

Blue Planet: The Battle Captains: Missions starring the Admirals of BP: WiH
Frontlines 2334+2335: T-V War campaign
GVB Ammit: Vasudan strike bomber
Player-Controlled Capship Modding Tutorial

 

Offline Jellyfish

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Re: Countdown to Inferno: Fiction Teasers
But when the EA manages to take most of the Terran part of the GTVA, the Shivans return and all your Het'Kas get stolen, who are you gonna call?
This new Emperor isn't gonna fly.
"A weapon is only as powerful as its wielder. With this weapon, you'll be but an annoyance, which would greatly dishonor it. With this weapon, I can change history. With me, this weapon can shape the universe."

 

Offline CT27

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Re: Countdown to Inferno: Fiction Teasers
Good story. 

With how anti-Terran the new Vasudan emperor seems, I'm surprised he didn't try to pull the Vasudans out of the GTVA entirely.  Does he want to do that?

 

Offline jr2

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Re: Countdown to Inferno: Fiction Teasers
Maybe he wants some fragments o a relationship with Terrans for if the Shivans decide to come back on his watch.  He can talk Vasudan superiority all day long, but neither species has fared well against the Shivans without the other, and even then, they don't survive on their combined strength and skill alone.

 

Offline CT27

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Re: Countdown to Inferno: Fiction Teasers
I imagine these developments wouldn't make the Terran president happy.

 

Offline CT27

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Re: Countdown to Inferno: Fiction Teasers
Expelling an ambassador is kind of a big deal I'd think.

 

Offline Zarax

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Re: Countdown to Inferno: Fiction Teasers
Vasudan democractic rebellion in 3... 2...
The Best is Yet to Come
Windows Media Wiki

 

Offline Lepanto

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Re: Countdown to Inferno: Fiction Teasers
I imagine these developments wouldn't make the Terran president happy.

Oh, the Terrans as a whole are not happy about this development. But, given they're the weaker alliance partner and more dependent on the Vasudans then the Vasudans are on them, there's not much they can DO about it.

Vasudan democractic rebellion in 3... 2...

We'll be exploring the Degalu regime's internal frictions in future releases.
Spoiler:
As I'd totally planned of all along. Thanks for pointing out stuff that the story really ought to cover.
"We have now reached the point where every goon with a grievance, every bitter bigot, merely has to place the prefix, 'I know this is not politically correct, but...' in front of the usual string of insults in order to be not just safe from criticism, but actually a card, a lad, even a hero. Conversely, to talk about poverty and inequality, to draw attention to the reality that discrimination and injustice are still facts of life, is to commit the sin of political correctness. Anti-PC has become the latest cover for creeps. It is a godsend for every curmudgeon and crank, from fascists to the merely smug."
Finian O'Toole, The Irish Times, 5 May 1994

Blue Planet: The Battle Captains: Missions starring the Admirals of BP: WiH
Frontlines 2334+2335: T-V War campaign
GVB Ammit: Vasudan strike bomber
Player-Controlled Capship Modding Tutorial

 

Offline CT27

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Re: Countdown to Inferno: Fiction Teasers
Did the Vasudans develop the Hetka SD like they did in the old Inferno TL?

EDIT:  You should probably link "Snapping Shackles" in the OP like you've done with other story segments.

 

Offline Lepanto

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Re: Countdown to Inferno: Fiction Teasers
As of currently, we have a Vasudan SD in the works, but you won't be seeing her for a couple releases.

Oh, thanks for pointing that out.
"We have now reached the point where every goon with a grievance, every bitter bigot, merely has to place the prefix, 'I know this is not politically correct, but...' in front of the usual string of insults in order to be not just safe from criticism, but actually a card, a lad, even a hero. Conversely, to talk about poverty and inequality, to draw attention to the reality that discrimination and injustice are still facts of life, is to commit the sin of political correctness. Anti-PC has become the latest cover for creeps. It is a godsend for every curmudgeon and crank, from fascists to the merely smug."
Finian O'Toole, The Irish Times, 5 May 1994

Blue Planet: The Battle Captains: Missions starring the Admirals of BP: WiH
Frontlines 2334+2335: T-V War campaign
GVB Ammit: Vasudan strike bomber
Player-Controlled Capship Modding Tutorial

 

Offline CT27

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Re: Countdown to Inferno: Fiction Teasers
Vasudan democractic rebellion in 3... 2...


What would this Vasudan democratic rebellion think of Terrans?

 

Offline Zarax

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Re: Countdown to Inferno: Fiction Teasers
Vasudan democractic rebellion in 3... 2...


What would this Vasudan democratic rebellion think of Terrans?

Hard to say, but in every empire there's some unsatisfied group that could cause trouble if stirred up the right way and that's something Terrans don't lack skill at.
The Best is Yet to Come
Windows Media Wiki

 

Offline CT27

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Re: Countdown to Inferno: Fiction Teasers
I guess what I was saying was since the new emperor seems to be very anti-Terran...if a democratic coup overthrows him would it support restoring good relations with the Terrans?

 

Offline Lepanto

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Re: Countdown to Inferno: Fiction Teasers
Something to keep in mind. Monarchy, as an institution, WORKS for the Vasudans. Khonsu revitalized the Vasudan government and economy when he personally took power from the bureaucratic PVE. The average Vasudan probably doesn't have the same affection for democracy as the average Terran/modern human does.

Not that Dharl's own reign will necessarily be smooth... :p
"We have now reached the point where every goon with a grievance, every bitter bigot, merely has to place the prefix, 'I know this is not politically correct, but...' in front of the usual string of insults in order to be not just safe from criticism, but actually a card, a lad, even a hero. Conversely, to talk about poverty and inequality, to draw attention to the reality that discrimination and injustice are still facts of life, is to commit the sin of political correctness. Anti-PC has become the latest cover for creeps. It is a godsend for every curmudgeon and crank, from fascists to the merely smug."
Finian O'Toole, The Irish Times, 5 May 1994

Blue Planet: The Battle Captains: Missions starring the Admirals of BP: WiH
Frontlines 2334+2335: T-V War campaign
GVB Ammit: Vasudan strike bomber
Player-Controlled Capship Modding Tutorial