In the year 2750, Ku-Rokti is divided into three nations. The Republic of Ornico, where liberty thrives at the price of corruption, The Holy Empire of Meethos, whose citizens are zealously devoted to the Cleanser, even more so than other Aeoneonatrix, and the Union of Eneki, a communist powerhouse responsible for numerous conquests and atrocities. Eneki will stop at nothing to conquer the other nations and launch into the stars, and the other nations cannot afford to stop at anything to prevent this.
Chapter 1: The Alliance is FormedEdit
Several planes from the Holy Empire of Meethos set down on Republic of Ornico territory. One of their passengers is the head of the Holy Empire's military. An agent from the Republic of Ornico greets the head at the airport.
Agent - Welcome, the Republic greets you with gladness.
Qralthan - Greetings, agent. I presume the matters are truly dire now that my presence is required
Agent - Yes. Please come with us.
The agent escorts Qralthan to a car. Qralthan gets into the car and they drive to the meeting hall. It is raining heavily. Qralthan looks around.
Qralthan - Hm. Picturesque.
Kokata - Indeed, greetings, I am Kokata Deathstriker. Please, sit down.
Qralthan sits down. Kokata sits across from him.
Kokata - Shall I order us a meal?
Qralthan - I'd rather not. It can prove distracting.
Kokata - Alright then. Let's get straight to business.
Qralthan leaned forWard.
Qralthan - I am interested.
Kokata - As you know, the impending threat of the Union of Eneki if obvious to the both of us. They are stronger than either of our forces, but they are not stronger than both of us combined.
Qralthan – You are suggesting a military alliance then.
Kokata - Of the most drastic sort. We must unite fully against Eneki, and work as though we were on, and coordinate a strike on a scale that they cannot possibly be prepared for.
Qralthan - By the Cleanser. Don't you realize a War between Eneki and us will surely result in mutually assured destruction?
Kokata - You speak as though they do not plan to destroy us anyway.
Qralthan - I'd rather see the world under Eneki than turned into the radioactive ash.
Kokata - I wouldn't. Either way, we must act. If we just sit here we will fall like so many others have before. There used to be hundreds of nations on Ku-Rokti, now, there are three. Some united with larger nations out of fear, others were conquered, but all are gone.
Qralthan - So you suggest forming a balance of powers? Interesting...
Kokata - Perhaps. If we made our alliance public knowledge, they might fear us, but in the long run, it is either us or them.
Qralthan - You see the world in black and white, commander. Why can't there be peace?
Kokata - I doubt it. Even if the Union were significantly less aggressive there is a simple reason that they cannot let us live.
Qralthan - And what is that reason?
Kokata - Oh come now, we all know it, and they do too.
Qralthan - Your reasoning eludes me.
Kokata - The space race, Qralthan. At this moment, all three of our nations are on the cusp of expanding into the stars. Our estimates are that we will be hopping from star to star in about 10 years, and I imagine yours are similar. We all put off generational flights, seeing them as pointless, but we will soon be traveling to nearby stars with travel times of only weeks or months, and whoever does this first, will represent our race to the entire universe. Eneki has everything to lose by allowing us into the stars, and we have everything to lose by allowing them into the stars.
Qralthan - The space race, reasonable. What is your plan then?
Kokata - We have to strike first, in a way that they cannot recover from.
Qralthan - This is possible, but what about the consequences? If we strike first, WE shall be conquerors and imperialists, not them. Think of the people...
Kokata - We wouldn't be striking first. They already did, over a hundred years ago. What exactly should be considered their first conquest is a matter for historians to debate over, but the fact remains, they have been at this for too long to assume that they will let up.
Suddenly, sirens began sounding.
Qralthan - What is happening?
Kokata - Those are the hurricane sirens! We must evacuate the city at once! Come, out to the car, quickly!
Qralthan gets in the car.
The driver heads inland at maximum speed, knowing that the airport is close enough to the coastline that it is certainly already flooded. As they drive on, their options for roads become narrower and narrower, as the lower roads are flooded by the hurricane's torrential rains. Eventually, they reach a very hilly stretch of road. As they navigate through the hills and valleys, their flooding gets closer and closer, but driving off road is impossible due to the muddy nature of the ground. Eventually, they reach the lowest valley, and it looks like they are not going to make it before it floods, but they do. However, by the time they get to the top, both of the valleys have been closed off for good by the water. They are trapped on the hill.
Kokata - Can you swim in wind speeds past 100 miles per hour?
The water rose higher and higher.
Qralthan - Not sure about that...
Kokata - Well then, it looks like we're going to die.
The water rose higher still, until it was visible from inside the car at the top of the hill.
Kokata - So, any last words? They won't make it into the history books but this is still our last chance.
Qralthan - I don't have any.
Kokata - Well of all the things to get me, a hurricane, a random event, a force of nature. I hoped to at least have the honor of being assassinated by an enemy I respect.
The water rose to the tires of the car. Suddenly, a wave crashed over the car, flipping it over, and causing it to fall into one of the valleys.
Kokata - Crap!
The driver tries to push the door open.
Kokata - Save your energy! It's no good until the car is completely filled with water! Until then, the water pressure will make the door nearly impossible to open. Does anyone have a way to break the window?
Driver - No.
Qralthan - I sure don't.
Kokata - Well then, sad to see that that alliance isn't happening...
Agent - Indeed.
The water eventually filled the car. All four of the occupants, the Agent, the Driver, Kokata, and Qralthan escaped the car, but drowned at some point before getting inland.
By the time the hurricane ended, it had claimed nearly 10,000 lives. No alliance was formed.
Lingur arrived at the pier from which he would be launching. He saw the ship. "So that's the Seastreamer?" he thought, looking at the large vessel. The vessel was a relatively average battleship, all in all. Lingur wasn't sure how to feel about his not getting special treatment. He had expected to, given his family history, but he figured denying it to him was the logical thing. As he smelled the salty air and saw the beautiful blue of the sea, he was greeted by one of the ship's crew members.
Crew Member - Welcome. May I have your name?
Lingur - Lingur Wildlight.
Crew Member - Wait... Wildlight? As in Tumat Wildlight?
Lingur - He's my father.
Crew Member - I see. Well welcome aboard Lingur! It's nice to have you here.
Lingur - Thank you.
Crew Member - Follow me.
Lingur followed the crew member on board.
Crew Member - Come, let me show you to your station.
Lingur - Alright.
The crew member takes Lingur below deck and into one of the rooms below.
Crew Member - You'll be working here. Your job for now will be to keep monitor this radar here.
The Crew Member points to a radar screen in front of him.
Crew Member - Just tell the captain if you see anything out of the ordinary. All you have to do is speak into this microphone. Press and hold this button to turn it on.
As he spoke, the Crew member gestured toWards all of the objects he referenced.
Lingur - I see.
Lingur suddenly notices a pink-furred female in the corner of his eye. He turns to see.
Lingur - Huh... Who's that?
Crew Member - Why do you ask?
Lingur - The pink fur. People with that fur-color are usually from Eneki.
Crew Member - What's the matter? Are you a racist or something?
Lingur - No, it's just very unusual to see Enekians in the Republic of Ornico.
Crew Member - Well then, if you must know, that's Callanni Candleflame.
Lingur - Wait... No, it can't possibly be that Callanni Candleflame can it?
Crew Member - Oh, it is.
Lingur - What? Why? Why do you have Gusia Candleflame's daughter on a this ship? What's she even doing in our territory?
Crew Member - She defected.
Lingur - What?
Crew Member - Yes, a few weeks ago, she came here saying that she wanted to immigrate here, and serve in our military.
Lingur - And you trusted her?
Crew Member - Well given all of the information she could give, we had little choice.
Lingur - I see.
Lingur began walking toWards her. The crew member thought of stopping him but realized that his shift would not being for a few minutes, and sat back to watch.
Lingur - Hello.
Callanni turned around.
Callanni - Hello there.
Lingur - So... they told me who you were.
Callanni - Oh. Is that a problem for you?
Lingur - No, no. If you've joined our side I welcome you with open arms. I just...
Callanni - You don't trust me?
Lingur - Well...
Callanni - Understandable I suppose. Is that all you came over here to say?
Lingur - I'm honestly not sure...
Callanni - Than you'd best get back to your station.
Lingur - Alright th... wait, I do have one question.
Callanni - What?
Lingur - Well two acually.
Callanni - Go on.
Lingur - First, what do you do here?
Callanni - I'm a scientist.
Lingur - I see. And why did you come here?
Callanni paused for a moment.
Callanni - Because I agree with your nations’ ideals.
Lingur - I see, but how? One would think that the Daughter of Gusia Candleflame would be too heavily indoctrinated to--
Callanni - Well they'd be wrong. I was the freest person in the Union. I was my father's treasure; I always got my way.
Lingur - Even still...
Callanni - It's true that he raised me to believe in what he did, but he never had the control over me he needed to prevent me from seeing the horrid nature of his society.
Lingur - How can that be--
Crew Member - Your shift starts now.
Lingur - *Turns to the crew member* Alright. *Turns to Callanni* I've got to go.
Callanni - Indeed you do.
Lingur returned to his station.
Callanni's Absence DiscoveredEdit
Gusia sat at his throne deep in thought. He was considering how to finish off the other nations once and for all. There were two enemies, both full of many greedy, worthless persons, who selfishly opposed his utopia. These, in his mind, wanted to have freedoms only to abuse them, to have classes only so they could climb the latter of success, and exploit the innocent poor persons, in a similar way to the horrific things his father had seen.
Suddenly, a messenger burst in.
Messenger - Sir, I bring horrible news.
Gusia - What?
Messenger - As you know, your daughter has been missing for more than a month now.
Gusia - Around at the bars again?
Messenger - We assumed that at first, but... we got reports from our spies in the Republic of Ornico...
Gusia - Continue.
Messenger - She... she seems to have joined them...
Gusia - LIES!
Messenger - I only report what the spies have said. Also, we were unable to find her at any of her usual hot spots. Indeed, she is nowhere on our surveillance. She does not seem to be anywhere in the country.
Gusia - Why would she leave, this is preposterous!
Messenger - I have no idea, sir. I have heard some suggest that the Cleanser got to her.
Gusia - Callanni wold never do that.
Messenger - I wouldn't have believed it either sir, but, if she did not sell her soul to him, what else would get her to--
Gusia - Madness. Have the agents track her, and bring her here.
Messenger - Of course sir.
The messenger left.
Tijor Duskhowler looked out the window from his new office. He stared at the skyline in the capitol of the Republic of Ornico. He could see the billowing towers of black smoke coming from the roofs of nearby factories. He had been appointed the new head of the Republic's Military after Kokata died. That hurricane had been unfortunate, but it would not prevent him from making the alliance that would be necessary for Ornico's survival.
"This was an unusual time of year for a hurricane though," he thought.
His secretary walked in. "Sir, the meeting has been arranged, you will speak with the new head of The Holy Empire of Meethos' military three evenings from now."
"Alright," he said.
The Alliance FormsEdit
An agent from the Republic of Ornico greeted the Holy Empire of Meethos' Military Leader as he stepped off of his plane.
Agent - Greetings, the Republic welcomes you with gladness.
General Halzani - Well met, sir.
Agent - Shall I take you to the meeting hall?
Halzani - Agreed.
The agent leads Halzani to a car, which drives them to the building where the meeting hall is housed. The agent leads him inside where Tijor Duskholwer is waiting.
Tijor - Greetings.
Halzani - Greetings. What have you called me for?
Tijor - I wish to form an alliance, so that we may better combat the expansion of the Union of Eneki.
Halzani - Combat? You don't suggest an all-out War, do you?
Tijor - I suggest we coordinate a large scale military strike which will cripple them so that we may subdue them before they can conquer us like they have conquered so many others.
Halzani - But what if we don't succeed?
Tijor - Then we die and our people will be subject to their hellish communism, the same outcome that will be the result of inaction.
Halzani - There must be a better way. War is, ultimately, our last resort. Perhaps we could hinder them economically? A War in shadows... Our intelligence agents could disrupt their society...
Tijor - They have no economy of the sort you can sabotage. They have slaves, profits for the leader, and rations.
Halzani - A rebellion, then! We may counter their propaganda with ours. Viva la revolution!
Tijor - Last resort time has come Halzani. There used to be hundreds of nations on this planet, now, there are only three. The rest were either conquered, or joined with others out of fear.
Halzani remained silent, then suddenly slammed the table.
Halzani - Fine then! If the Union wants War, then by the Cleanser, we shall give them War! Our cause is just, and our enemies shall fall!
Tijor - Heh, that's the spirit. Now, we need to organize a strike. We need to at least cripple them enough to prevent a counterattack allowing for another strike which will bring Gusia out of power. Do you have any ideas?
Halzani - Destroy their key centres of industry?
Tijor - Perhaps. I suppose it is the best idea available to us. So, how shall we go about this?
Halzani - Our strongest forces, all at once, to the same point.
Tijor - I suppose that is the direct approach.
Halzani - We could also demoralise the Union: after all, they rely on propaganda a lot. A few destroyed monuments, and...
Tijor - That should come after we've destroyed the infrustructure.
Halzani - Indeed. What of their armies though?
Tijor - Well, we'll just have to overpower them.
Halzani - We have the plan then? Attack, destroy their economy, then demoralise them.
Tijor - Yes.
Halzani - Very well then. Next time we meet, we shall do so on the battlefield... and hopefully, we shall win.
Tijor - Indeed, now, shall I get you lunch?
Halzani - No, thanks. I am not a fan of your nation's cuisine.
Chapter 2: The Assault on EnekiEdit
Back on The SeastreamerEdit
That night, on the Seastreamer, Lingur stood outside of Callanni's quarters. He hesitated, then knocked. Callanni opened the door.
Callanni - I see you're back for another round of akWardness. Are you attracted to me or something... Lingur is it?
Lingur - No... it's not that.
Callanni - Then what?
Lingur - You said you came to see the error of your previous ways on your own. I don't believe you. I think it's obvious that he got you.
Callanni - And what does it matter if he did? Either way, I'm on the right side now. I'm not hurting anyone anymore.
Lingur - I know--
Callanni - Look, I'm flattered by how fascinating you find me, but I've had a long day and been doing a lot of difficult things radar boy, so unless you have information to give me or a sinscere question to ask, you really ought to just go away.
Lingur - I... Alright. I'm sorry for disturbing you.
Callanni - Your apology is accepted.
The Spies ArriveEdit
Two spies from the Union of Ekeki made their way to one of the Republic of Ornico's many docks. On it sat the Seastreamer, a seemingly unimportant ship, but one which allegedly housed Callanni Candleflame. They had been sent to confirm these reports.
They were greeted by the same crew member who had greeted Lingur.
Crew Member - Hello there, you are our two new recruits?
Spy 1 - Yes. We are.
Crew Member - Great, welcome aboard.
The Crew Member leads the two onto the ship. The two spies are lead to their quarters. It being night time, they had no duties until tomorrow, when of course, they'd be long gone and reporting to Gusia. They entered their room.
Crew Member - Sorry, you guys will need to share a room. I hope you don't mind.
Spy 2 - No. Not at all.
Crew Member - Great then.
The crew member goes off.
Spy 1 - So do you think there's any validity to this?
Spy 2 - No. Lady Candleflame would never do anything of the sort. My guess, her name was added here either as a sick joke by one of these capitalist scum-suckers on another, or else in an attempt to mess with us.
Spy 1 - Perhaps.
Spy 2 - You're unsure?
Spy 1 - This is an unusual amount of time for her to be gone.
Spy 2 - Yes but... surely Callanni would never abandon all that she's fought for, all that she's loved?
Spy 1 - I guess.
Spy 2 - Don't guess. Understand. Understand that she would never do this.
Callanni's Identity ConfirmedEdit
In the middle of the night, the two spies quietly exited their rooms. With great stealth, they headed to the science officer's quarters. They just needed to quietly open the door and identify Callanni. They approached it and began to carefully open it. She was asleep. Spy 2 approached the bed, sure that this would not be Callanni, despite being able to tell it was an Enekian female from a distance, but as he approached, he saw that it was.
He was absolutely shocked. How could she side with the greedy capitalist vermin? Surely she knew who they were? What they wanted? The injustice of the system they supported? What was she doing here? He knew she couldn't be here sincerely. Had her father sent her here to gather information? No, that was implausible. He wouldn't have used her for that. It was just unimaginable.
In his shock, he must have made a sound, because her eye was open and she was looking at him.
Callanni - Umm... Hello. Can I help you?
Spy 2 - Oh, no, I'm sorry, I must have stumbled into the wrong room...
Callanni - You're a spy aren't you?
Spy 2 - Not at all, I must be going now.
Both of the spies ran away. Callanni pressed an alarm which awakened specific forces to take care of them. The two spies ran, hoping to arrive at their pick up. They ran side by side, but one of the soldiers managed to separate them at a fork and lead Spy 2 down a dead end. They captured him, and took him off of the ship, carrying him off to be interrogated. Spy 1, however, escaped, and got to the aircraft which was waiting to pick him up, which safely returned to the Union of Eneki's territory.
The Report to GusiaEdit
Having escaped in the helicopter, Spy 1 ran into Gusia Candleflame's palace at the scheduled time, and, as was customary, kneeled.
Gusia - Welcome, Fugras, where is your partner?
Fugras - He didn't make it back, my lord, but I have worse news than this.
Gusia - What happened to him?
Fugras - He was captured, my lord.
Gusia - That is not good, so then, what were your findings? Have you put the rumors to rest?
Fugras - My lord, they're, they're all true. Callanni is over there, and she is one of them.
Gusia - LIES!
Fugras - I wish that were so my lord but... he saw her, and I heard her voice. It was her, there is no doubt. She activated the alarm that got him captured.
Gusia took a second to take this in. He sat down in his throne and buried his face inside his hands.
Gusia - Where did I go wrong? WHERE DID I GO WRONG? How could my own daughter, my treasure, my jewel, side with these capitalist pigs?
Gusia began to cry.
Fugras just kneeled there, looking at his ruler.
Gusia - How... how could she? She was my treasure! All of the great things she accomplished for the Union, how could she betray me like this? It must be that blasted Cleanser, he must have stolen her soul, and forced her to do this!
Gusia began crying profusely.
After a few minutes, Gusia regained his composure.
Gusia - Fine then. I shall simply get her back. I will not give up on my treasure easily.
Gusia looked up to the sky.
Gusia - You hear me, soul stealing vermin? I will take my daughter back from you if it is the last thing I do!
Gusia turns back to Fugras.
Gusia - Begone, spy, I will call you back in when I have a new assignment for you.
Fugras nodded and left, leaving his lord in his distraught state.
A Conversation Between BrothersEdit
Not long after, elsewhere in the palace, Taesorack walked along, looking for his brother, Goroserge.
As he walked through the palace, the twilight of the evening outside came in through the many windows and lit up the dark gray stones out of which the palave was made, as well as the red and pink ornaments with which it was decorated. Eneki's flag, and the Candleflame family's seal, both featured heavily. The Candleflames were candle makers before the founding of the Union.
Gusia and his wife were moderately successful, and lived comfortably, if simply, that is, until the local aristocracy became neglectful and allowed the economy to fail. Suddenly, starvation was everywhere. Inflation was so bad that a loaf of bread cost more money than a single Aeoneonatrix could carry. Gusia watched in horror as all those he knew and loved slowly starved. He knew that the aristocracy was to blame. Not just the people, but the very system itself.
Gusia did the only thing he could do to lead his people out of starvation, he led a revolution. He overthrew the aristocrats, punished them for their decadence, and took power himself, installing a system of economics that he knew would eliminate the starvation he'd seen. Many of the persons he'd led the revolution with betrayed him, and he had to make them disappear, but by the end, all was well, or at least, that's how Gusia had always told the story.
As Taesorack reached Goroserge's room, he knocked.
"Just a second," Goroserge said. Goroserge always sounded young for his age. He was, in fact, thirty, but could easily pass for a minor if he didn't have to show his face.
After about a minute, Goroserge opened the door. One of palace servants, one Callanni had chosen from the population a few years before, walked out of the room, and Goroserge stood in the doorway.
"May I come in?" Taesorack asked.
"Certainly," Goroserge said, stepping out of the way.
Taesorack entered the pale yellow, closer to white in many ways, room, and sat down on Goroserge's bed. Goroserge sat across from him.
"I assume you heard?" Taesorack asked.
"About Callanni?" Goroserge asked.
"Yes," said Taesorack.
"Of course," Goroserge said, "Anyone anywhere near Father's throne room has heard him wailing about it."
"It's hard to believe," Taesorack said, "the prevailing theory seems to be that the Cleanser got to her, but that hasn't been proven. It's hard to imagine, though, how she could fall so far so quickly. An ally of our just cause one day, an enemy the next."
Taesorack once again remembered his father's stories. After he took over the small coastline nation which was originally Eneki, Gusia saw that other countries were often not much better. None of them were where Eneki had been, but they bore the preconditions. Capitalism itself was aristocratic by its nature. Even the nations with no designated nobility or aristocracy had one none the less.
None of the people capitalism claimed to promote were a part of it, either. It was nothing to do with merit, nothing to do with skill. They were all of one of two sorts. First, the men who most wickedly sought to gain as much for themselves as possible, and second, their heirs. Gusia could not sit back and allow others to suffer as he had. He saw only one option.
Any nation who would not accept his rule, and as it turned out, none did, would be taken by force.
"He had to have gotten her," Goroserge said, "it's the only explanation. Nothing else has ever been known to convert an ally to an enemy as fast as his Cleansings."
Indeed, the dedicated were almost always enemies of the Union. The rite had long ago been banned in the Union, and many had been eliminated to prevent them from evangelizing the Cleanser's message. Still, no one doubted the beings existence. No one could, given not only his effects on people but his frequent appearances. All the people of Eneki did was shut their ears to him, and that's all they could do. It worked pretty well, but these sorts of defections still happened on occasion. Still, how could Callanni fall? Was the message to never sell one’s soul that hard to understand?
“What shall we do, then?” Taesorack asked. Uncertainty was evident in his voice.
“Whatever father orders,” Goroserge said, “I’m fine with most anything he might wish for her.”
“How could you say that?” Taesorack asked, “She’s our sister.” Even as he said those words, Taesorack knew why Goroserge did not find the prospect of doing most any horrible thing to Callanni anywhere near as disturbing. Callanni and Taesorack had always gotten along well enough; at least since they both became adults. Goroserge on the other hand had never gotten along well with her. Their personalities seemed to always clash easily, to the extent that their rivalry now was more intense than when they were children.
“She’s a traitor,” Goroserge said, “now that her soul belongs to that thing, she is no longer one of us. She’s no different than any other enemy now, and besides, now I can at last prove myself to father. He has always favored her, and I may now show him that he is misguided to do so.”
Callanni had always been the most favored of the three. This was not without reason. Callanni was always the most accomplished. Taesorack had felt the same jealousy Goroserge did, but Taesorack was mature enough to handle it. Goroserge was not.
“I suppose that is true,” Taesorack said, still having trouble accepting that his own sister might do something like this. He looked down, unsure of this whole situation.
“It is,” Goroserge said.
Taesorack had nothing more to say. He excused himself, and went off to fetch one of the servants.