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Author Topic: Mechanized Warfare: An Arms Race/Core Thread  (Read 2845 times)

Powder Miner

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Re: Mechanized Warfare: An Arms Race/Core Thread
« Reply #15 on: November 03, 2019, 01:21:12 am »

Lore stuff too:
Collected NARRATIVE SLICES (or at least the ones I wrote lmao):
Ancient Age:
The sounds of the sea and the flapping of his sail greeted Saia's ears as he woke -- he had spent the night asleep on his canoe, as did most men of his tribe when the voyaging time came. The life of a member of the tribe was a life conducted often on the move, over the open water, and key to that process was their canoes -- normally, Saia wouldn't be alone with one, as the craft were large, allowing family to stay together as they sailed, but right now he was, well, having a little bit of a spat. It would be fine -- after the days of the voyage they would probably have forgiven him. And well-made craft were capable of going for days, food stored in the back of the canoe, the sail catching the wind and lazily but purposefully drifting along the waves...

Life in Inithar is dazzlingly colorful, a vivid spectrum of oranges, reds, purples, yellow from the flowers of the islands, the green of the trees, the deep unending blue of the seas and skies. The ships of Inithar became no exceptions to this -- starting with voyaging families hanging patterned sets of flowers and vines off of their ships to indicate their presence and to add vibrancy to their travels, it eventually became a tradition to paint the ships of Inithar extremely colorfully, the patterns and designs of color that marked each ship unique and passed through the generations much like the woodworking skills that created the ships in the first place. Whereas the ships may have stayed static, these color patterns didn't, with each successive family painter both learning how to grind the dyes with which the ships were painted and adding their generation's accomplishments to the tale the colors told.

Industrial Age (before the Opening of the Castes, and I hurriedly removed a chunk with some potentially revealing details)
Kolinaisi was a Refocyte-smith. Kolinaisi's father had been a Refocyte-smith. Kolinaisi's father's father had been a Refocyte-smith. And so on and so on, throughout the generations -- but that was to be expected, after all. His family was a family of Refocyte-smiths, and being a Refocyte-smith was simply what they did. That was the norm throughout Inithar, in fact. Not only were you born into your profession, but your family line was, and a set of other family lines, and it was nearly totally rigid. This was because of the generations of carefully honed knowledge and technique that went into every Inithar craftsman's craft, it was because of the social ties between craftsmen that were vital to become somebody important, and it was because this was the very building block of society. Inithar society consisted of craft-castes; though not formally inequal, groups of professions collectively and often separately honed their trades, and grouped together for the forms of political representation. However, the elders of each craft-class typically had a remarkable amount of autonomy, as such was often deemed necessary for each craft-class to be able to best ensure the sharpening and conveyance of its skills.
« Last Edit: November 03, 2019, 01:22:43 am by Powder Miner »
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Twinwolf

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Re: Mechanized Warfare: An Arms Race/Core Thread
« Reply #16 on: November 03, 2019, 05:21:58 pm »

Propaganda Contest: Hakau Sione and the Whistling Jungle

When the fleet left the home islands, among its civilian members (the “support staff”, officially) was a cadre of actors and a film crew or two. The justification for them and their equipment taking up some of the limited berths was “to support the morale of the troops and support staff via entertaining films.” Also, they paid for two extra ships, and brought their own equipment.

While the first productions had targeted their continental enemies as bloodthirsty conquerors who coveted the honorably won and long supported Mainland Territories and the bountiful Home Islands, upon sighting of the Embralian fleet their objective changed. Admiral Vaea requested a change of subject and provided the teams with a few amateur scholars among the soldiers, lacking proper experts due to the assumed lack of Old World nations on Harren.

Their first film attacking the evil Embralians is Hakau Sione and the Whistling Jungle, starring Tavita Peleki and Ailani Kahele. The film follows the heroic explorer Doctor Hakau Sione, of the explorer’s fellowship and a veteran from one of Inithar’s minor wars before it’s neighbors banded together to strike it and one of the best in his field. The adventurous explorer goes further beyond Inithar’s borders than anyone of the age, and discovers a strange foreign land. The people seemed to be ambling along in their jobs without thought, muttering to themselves in an unfamiliar language. They didn’t acknowledge his existence, let alone his questions. Nobody would speak to him for long before he met an attractive young woman who gave him warnings: be quiet and act normal, or else they’ll come. Do not drink the water or listen to the music, or they’ll have you. He could not ask who “they” were before she ran off. In the night, there is a commotion outside of the abandoned building he took as shelter. He hears a whistling noise, and when he looks sees several people, bound and gagged, being taken by men dressed in black with horrific masks that seem to be producing the whistling noise instead of talking.

Hakau assaults them, trying to stop what seems to be a kidnapping, but they get away. One of the men he’d taken down starts screaming, and the townspeople come out and try to mob Hakau - except for one, who instead saves him and helps him hide. He introduces himself as Katon, a member of the resistance and spy for the heroic People’s Union of States. The Embralian empire, through it’s poisonous water and mind controlling music, took this town among many others on it’s borders, influencing them to blind loyalty until they were but drones who existed to serve the emperor. The Sikari that they had just fought had taken most of the rest of his cell, including the woman who had warned him, Caia, for “re-eductation” in the capital.

From this inciting incident the film follows Hakau and Katon’s investigation and pursuit, and Caia’s efforts to remain herself in the reeducation camp. The former find evidence that Embral is preparing for something very dramatic, while Caia stumbles across Harren refugees in the camp who had been interrogated for all they knew. As the film progresses, it becomes clear that Embral is planning to conquer Harren Island and steal it’s resources, first to wipe out the Union and then to conquer the rest of the world and bring them for it’s emperor. The pressure is on when Caia, due to her resisting of interrogation and reeducation, is chosen as a sacrifice to the Wells, a primitive blood ritual meant to give power to the soldiers of Embral. Hakau and Katon manage to reach the staging grounds where the military is being assembled just in time, battling the depraved head of the Sikari, who uses his magic music to mind control Katon to fight his new friend. After Katon is wounded, he manages to fight off the mind control long enough to hold the head of the Sikari long enough for Hakau to kill them both. Hakau then saves Caia and detonates large amounts of ammunition, setting back preparations by months. While it would make him the happiest of men to stay with his new love after bringing her to Inithar, he declares that he must join the military once again in order to battle against Embral overseas.

Being filmed primarily on a ship and in a frozen wasteland, a large amount of improvisation had to be done for sets and props; but many of the civilians helped in the effort, and the highly skilled actors making stunning performances more than made up for it’s limitations. It has been played often in makeshift cinemas aboard the transport ships since the fleet made landfall.



Spoiler: Climactic Scene (click to show/hide)
« Last Edit: November 04, 2019, 09:20:53 pm by Twinwolf »
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frostgiant

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Re: Mechanized Warfare: An Arms Race/Core Thread
« Reply #17 on: November 03, 2019, 05:58:27 pm »

Spoiler: Anti-Inithot Poster (click to show/hide)

I wasn't planning on making an entry, But I couldn't help myself.
« Last Edit: November 03, 2019, 06:04:34 pm by frostgiant »
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Twinwolf

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Re: Mechanized Warfare: An Arms Race/Core Thread
« Reply #18 on: November 04, 2019, 02:41:31 pm »

Spoiler: Anti-Embral Poster (click to show/hide)
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Re: Mechanized Warfare: An Arms Race/Core Thread
« Reply #19 on: November 04, 2019, 06:57:17 pm »

Spoiler (click to show/hide)

Eh, One more low-quality submission/meme for the road
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Man of Paper

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Re: Mechanized Warfare: An Arms Race/Core Thread
« Reply #20 on: November 05, 2019, 08:40:36 am »

Contest Victory Announcement!


The competition was fierce, with both sides giving some good proposals for their Propaganda! Both teams have gained a resource credit for use at their leisure beginning on the next turn. Unfortunately I promised I'd choose a single winner from the lot for the Research Credit.

So now I have the pleasure of announcing this week's Star Baker the winner! It was a tough decision, and it's very difficult to judge and compare different artistic mediums. Ultimately I've decided that the Research Credit will go to both teams because fuck trying to choose between the very well-done Hakau Sione and the Whistling Jungle by Twinwolf and NUKE's """art""", especially the one about Initharian ships because fuck was that good.

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NUKE9.13

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Re: Mechanized Warfare: An Arms Race/Core Thread
« Reply #21 on: November 08, 2019, 03:46:50 pm »

A slightly edited version of the big history piece I wrote during the Age of War design phase (it is not entirely canonical- some things were contradicted by later design/revision results):
Spoiler (click to show/hide)
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Powder Miner

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Re: Mechanized Warfare: An Arms Race/Core Thread
« Reply #22 on: November 15, 2019, 03:47:53 pm »

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NUKE9.13

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Re: Mechanized Warfare: An Arms Race/Core Thread
« Reply #23 on: November 15, 2019, 03:49:47 pm »

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Twinwolf

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Re: Mechanized Warfare: An Arms Race/Core Thread
« Reply #24 on: November 16, 2019, 03:29:08 pm »

Lore bits just because I felt like doing them.

First Contact

Captain Aroha Maata hated this place. She hated it very much. Her homeland was vibrant and full of life, full of color. This place, it was… dead. White and gray. Snow and concrete and what the scholars had translated from recovered native texts as “rime”. More importantly to her, Inithar was warm and tropical and this place was an even worse cold than the furthest northern territories. That said, she’d prefer even Kona Town, what they were calling the fledgeling colony built on the bones of the old city, to the frozen marshland.

“Lady, there’s nothing out here,” Private Weki said. “It’s been hours since we saw that abandoned comm station, and there’s nothing else out here. We found something, let’s call it an expedition before I freeze my balls off.”

Aroha stopped staring at the horizon to glare at her unfortunately quite stupid driver. Weki, unfortunately, was used to serving under a sergeant. He was not used to the respect due a superior officer. “Oh, did I miss the news of your promotion, Major Weki? Why, yes sir, we can head back right away, sir.”

He blushed a little, although that might have been the temperature. “No, I mean, I’m still-”

“Still as blue as an untouched ocean, I can tell. Well, barring a sudden field promotion, Private, you’ll treat me with respect. You can make suggestions, but you’ll treat me as a superior officer while you do it.”

“Yes sir, sorry sir.” Weki said, saluting.

“And keep your eyes on the damn road you craftless idiot!” Aroha shouted.

“Yes sir!” Weki shouted back, while the gunner stifled a laugh.

Aroha settled back into her seat in the bed of the Wikiwiki, pulling up her scarf. They were the second vehicle in the convoy, and she was more nervous than she liked to admit. They hadn’t seen any of the natives since before making landfall. They hadn’t heard from the Embralians either. The northern half of Harren was utterly barren and deserted. She wanted something to happen, something to make it less dead. At least if there were battlelines to worry about it wouldn’t feel so empty.

She realized her mistake soon after she’d made it. She’d wished for something to happen. She’d asked for anything to happen. Any good soldier knew you didn’t do that. You don’t tempt Aisi’s Postulate, at least not like that. If she were more superstitious (moreso than soldiers naturally are, at least) she’d pray to her ancestors for forgiveness of that transgression.
A few minutes later, something did happen. The car up front signaled. To someone else, the colors used would mean nothing. To an Inithari, it was a loud and clear report: they’d seen something up ahead, buildings. There were a few cheers from the driver and the gunner, but then the second signal came up: it was occupied by someone. Natives? Or had Embral beat them there somehow?

She heard something. She couldn’t describe the sound. It was… strange. “Weki, Kaia, can you hear that?”

Their response was interrupted. The near silence of the cars and the dead lands were split by a series of deafening CRACKs. The lead car jerked and then veered off into a snow mound as if a giant had kicked it off of it’s course. She didn’t even see the enemy, but she knew they were there. “CONTACT!” she shouted. Where were they hiding? There was nowhere to hide, and yet she couldn’t see them on the road-

Aroha looked up. There were two of them, only two. They weren’t planes. They were people, she was pretty sure. Just… floating there, violating every law of physics and aviation. They were in full armor that should have been too heavy to move let alone fly. And yet, there they were.

There they were, aiming their heavy looking weapons at the convoy. “Evasive action!” she called, raising the corresponding signal. The moment she did the cars started swerving, relying on skilled drivers to avoid collisions while the machine guns opened up on the flying figures. There was a series of loud PING noises as bullets made contact, but the unknown combatants didn’t seem to even notice. The bullets seemed to bounce off their armor, at best pushing them back in the air a little bit. They looked at each other, and Aroha could swear they laughed. Then they started firing again, and this time the car at the back was wrecked, the surviving crew clambering out.

Nothing the convoy did could make a dent in the soldiers. They casually picked off soldiers, their fiery bullets burning through the soldiers. The only consolation was that Wikiwikis, not using primitive internal combustion engines, didn’t detonate when the engines got shot to bits.

One of the soldiers landed near the first wrecked car, and seemed to be going out of his way to finish off it’s driver and gunner. “Weki, ramming speed!” Aroha ordered - they might not be doing much damage with bullets, but a couple tons of armored car ramming into them at 90 miles an hour would have a bit more mass behind it than a bullet.

One minute, they were approaching at speed. They were making contact, ramming into the soldier and then they were in the air. Captain Maata didn’t have time to think what had happened before the vehicle, thrown into the air by the utterly unharmed Pact soldier, landed hard.

She wasn’t sure how long she was unconscious for. She was just glad she’d worn a helmet and been strapped in. Somehow, the vehicle had managed to land upright, mostly. Aroha crawled out of the car, trying to ignore the pounding headache. In the time she was out, the battle had ended. The convoy had been destroyed completely. A few survivors such as herself staggered around, and a corporal was trying to get everyone organized.

The mysterious natives were nowhere to be found.

She took command again, rounding up the survivors. Thankfully they included a mechanic, who managed to get one of the Wikis working again. They only needed one; there weren’t enough survivors for other cars anyway.

This was the Pact, then. She wasn’t sure they were even human after that display. What she was sure of was that taking Harren wouldn’t be as easy as they thought.


Home Sweet Home

When the Initharian Expedition force made landfall, it set up a forward operating base at Outpost Kona, from where the initial scouting was done. Once the Rimefields were secure, the Expedition had a decision to make: do they land the civilians, or try and keep production to the ships until they’re certain that the resource areas are secure. But then they made first contact with Pact forces, and the decision was made for them. Securing resources wouldn’t be so simple as landing a few troops and waltzing into empty fortifications and production centers. Initharian weapons were simply inadequate to the task facing them, and this was without considering what Embral would have. Moreover, they’d only stocked so much equipment. It was not long before the decision was made.

First, army engineers set up makeshift docks to unload cargo and personnel. They had to work quickly, and mostly in the few hours of the day where the sun peaked out from behind the near-constant storm and made it warm enough to work. They set up shelters in the decrepit ruins of the city, clearing out old homes and workshops to allow the civilian members of the fleet a place to live and work. It took a while to seal them against the elements, and some soldiers were lost to the rime in the first days before the fleet learned to recognize the signs of an oncoming storm.



Leilani Maui wrapped her arms around herself, trying to keep warm. The biting cold they’d faced on the sea seemed to get steadily worse as they approached the shore. It didn’t make sense. Oceans were supposed to be cooler than land, not the other way around. And yet, the land was significantly colder. The warm clothing, sewn up by the Tailor’s Fellowship back in Inithar, had seemed excessive to a woman, and a people, who knew mostly warm weather. She was now glad to have it. If he hadn’t, he may well have frozen to death already.

The boat rocked gently as it came to a stop beside the docks-in-progress. The soldiers had put together a small dock when they’d landed, but real carpenters, masons, and engineers were in the process of restoring the real docks. This city had once had impressive shipyards, they were certain, and they and the associated material reserves had survived shockingly well. They were dated, but it wouldn’t take long to get them functional. They’d even found stocks of materials in warehouses that could be cannibalized for some of the systems or even hulls of new ships, if the expedition needed to make them.

Leilani disembarked, an assistant bringing her luggage behind her, and stared at the bones of the city that the refugees had said was called “Abbera”. What was once a respectable, modern city was silent but for the work of the Expeditionary Fleet. She felt like a crow coming to feast on the carcass of a lion. A rime-filled wind buffeted the docks, and she (along with everyone else) pulled up face masks - the first landings had shown that bad things happened to those that went unprotected against that. As the gale passed, she pulled down her mask and walked to the edge of the dock

A military man was waiting for her, with a Wikiwiki waiting for her to embark. “Doctor Maui?” he said. “Private Kawehi, reporting as ordered by the Captain. I’m to escort you to your destination.”

“Yes, yes. Help my assistant put the luggage in the bed.” 

—-

As the fleet made landfall, the Expedition made some encouraging discoveries. Despite the desolation of the former capital by unknown weapons, it seemed that many of the facilities were outside of the main bombed out area. The docks showed evidence of having seen only mild use even before the city was destroyed, but was in fair condition. It didn’t take long for the engineers to get the docks and shipyards operational, and for the ships to properly put into port for repair of the damage received during the long journey, taken from simple time asea and icebergs.

These ports would allow the mighty Initharian navy, headed by the Kona and Kaipo’u, to dominate the Northern waters, and later to give the Embralians a real fight in the strait. They were kept clear of ice by the Kona’s icebreaking ram and smaller versions attached to supporting vessels.

In the area of the docks, there was the remains of a radio tower. This would not be able to be repaired, but some of the equipment could be salvaged in order to boost the signal of the ship’s radios enough to send reports back home. Each of the soldiers got a few minutes to speak with any family left behind in Inithar, followed by the civilian populace who had not brought their families with them.

—-

The car drove slowly down the streets. While it had a fairly dramatic top speed, the Wikiwiki couldn’t make use of it without crashing into the husk of a building or factory. A bit away from the docks and the supply unloading operation going on, a few buildings had lights in them for the first time in over a decade, as Inithari people set up shelters and worked off of what was already there, working to seal them against the 24/7 biting chill, and more importantly the rime. Leilani shivered, wishing she could go into one of those buildings and sit by the heater, but she had a job to do first.

After a few minutes, they got out of the urban center and into the industrial outskirts. She saw a lot of people moving around the decrepit factories and refinement facilities. “Why do all that? There can’t be that much metal to salvage in there, can there?”

Private Kawehi, to his credit, kept his eyes on the road. “No, ma’am. They’re trying to get them working again.”

Leilani raised an eyebrow. “There’s enough left of it?”

“Wartime industry, ma’am. Couple of those were civilian factories before they got bombed, but a lot of them were built during whatever war they were in. They were built to survive a bombing and to be put back together real quick if they couldn’t. Least, that’s what we figure from how they’re still in mostly working order. All our factories are built tough like that.”

Leilani nodded to herself as they drove past one… then stared at a certain feature that was just utterly out of place.  “...Is that… was that a pasture?”

“We think so, ma’am. Hard to tell under the snow,” the private said, in the tone of someone who had answered that question many times before. “But we believe it was, before whatever wrecked the city.”

“A meat processing plant, next to their metal refineries? That seems rather pointless.”

“It’s linked into the production lines, ma’am. Several of them seem to take input from it.”

Leilani stared at the private for a few seconds. What in the world had they been keeping in those pastures?



Not only that, but on the outskirts of the city were fully functional mines, refinement facilities, and production facilities. While some of these production facilities had large pens that seemed to have once been pastures beside them, there was no sign of whatever had lived in them. And most shockingly, in some of the same mines where they had dug iron, silver, and other materials, the Abberans had missed an even more valuable material: Refocyte, and a lot of it. More importantly, it meant that it only took two months of repairing equipment and restocking production lines, along with some changes and updates to make them produce Initharian equipment.

The natural industriousness of the Inithari people showed in spades. Kona Town rapidly changed from a dead city to a bustling colony, and the troops could breath easier knowing they didn’t have to count every bullet they fired.



Leilani disembarked the car at one of the few entirely new constructions in Kona Town. It was a camp on the outskirts of the former city, with a few tents and a rather large building in progress. “This is what we have so far?”

“It’s not much, I know.” the private said, “But considering how long we’ve been here…”

“Yes, I know, it’s impressive that we have this much so fast. I expect that research and development has already begun?”

“Yes, ma’am. A few of the rooms have been connected to the heating already.”

Leilani didn’t let it show, but that was a distinct relief. She was going to start working regardless, but the fact she’d do it in relative comfort was good to know. She helped her assistant get her equipment out of the truck, then bid farewell to the soldier.

The entry room was pleasantly warm, at least compared to outside. It was still chilly compared to Inithar, but compared to Abbera’s lethal cold it was a tropical paradise. A couple of men were already inside - people she knew, from the journey and from some cooperation before it.

“You two dunces got assigned here too? We might as well give up now.” she said in a friendly jab. The Nima brothers, nicknamed the “dunces” for a propensity towards random nonsensical humor that wouldn’t have looked out of place in a classroom, were actually quite intelligent and had helped produce a good amount of the equipment used by the Initharian Expedition. So had she, of course. So had everyone else in the division. It was why they had been picked for it.

The brothers greeted her, and the first words after “Hello,” were “Look at this new gun we’re working on.”

Despite the environment, it would seem that Inithar’s inventive spirit would stay strong.



The Expeditionary forces knew after first encounters that their existing equipment would not be nearly enough to win against the Pact, and while Embral may well have been on a similar footing they would in all likelihood not be idle either. It was fortunate indeed that the various engineering and design fellowships of Inithar had sent a copious amount of representatives, united into the Initharian Expedition Research and Development Corps, which would endeavor to bring the army to parity with the Pact and dominance over Embral.
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Re: Mechanized Warfare: An Arms Race/Core Thread
« Reply #25 on: December 03, 2019, 09:09:02 am »

Aboard the Inithari Snow Express



On the edge of what used to be Abbera, away from the crowded ancient core of the city, in what someone back in Inithar would’ve called an outer suburb, a snowplough moved smoothly; silently speeding through the blizzard that had enveloped the landscape along a forgotten piece of railway – its plow sending snow flying to either side of the vehicle as fine mist as it did.  From the quiet confines of the beast’s cabin, Atu was cursing the ever-present cold that seeped in even through the thick isolation applied to the locomotive’s walls. The metal body of the Kepuala creaked and groaned as the second railway engine shifted in the storm, to which Atu responded with a few strokes of the command paddles, bringing it back to bear by adjusting its suspension yet again. The command bridge was a clutter of controls and instruments marked by nothing but colorful bands, while behind him were wooden tables on which lay heaped charts and itineraries; mappings of this strange world hand-drawn since the expedition’s arrival months ago. Indeed; the first thing one would notice upon entering the bowels of the mighty Kepuala were not its construction, but the characteristic tang of Inithari tobacco, and the scent of alcohol and treated leather worn by its crew; Atu and his men, Tahwiti and Manoa, whom were passed out on a small couch not far behind – and technically the farwatchers too, though they came from the Navigator’s Fellowship and remained unseen, separated by a sheet of metal and padding in the upper sections. They were as much under his purview as was the time, though they were as accurate.

This mundanity ended at the cab’s windshield, before which an alien world unfolded before Atu’s eyes – scarred by whatever cataclysm was unleashed upon Harren and made its mark. Even after months since the landing, even after he had walked much of it – and even after he had a hand in changing its face once more by building roads, reclaiming infrastructure and constructing a permanent colony – still Atu found it fascinating. But did he ever hate the cold. There were cities turned into fortresses by beings who had lived here, and remade their world, and vanished – blown themselves to bits no doubt!

His thoughts were interrupted when the shriek of the alarms sounded.

‘Not again…’, Atu thought as he made the brakes screech from below. If he was ever in doubt that his crew were awake, he was certain when a silent thud emanated from behind and the usual groans that came with every urgent break reared their ugly head. Of course, the farwatchers had seen the acursed trees blocking the track ahead just in time, despite the low visibility in the storm, but it was a pain all the same, and the engineers cursed the cold season once again as they prepared to exit the relative comfort of the locomotive.
 
No matter how many times an Inithari walked out into this frigid wasteland- no matter how many layers of clothing stood between him and the frost, the wind always made you feel as if icicles thin like needles pierced your skin from all sides. It was not long after the three men had moved the first of the trees off the tracks and already they felt exhausted – grizzled men that had worked in the confines of Kona Town for months already weakened by the weather, and despite the heaters no less! Atu cleared the snow that had fallen onto his cowl in this short while. The other two seemed even more distraught – no doubt beset by a hangover; he could see by what little of Manoa’s eyes showed through their masks. He yelled to the man so as to be heard through the storm, muffled by a thick scarf.

“You need not squint so much, Manoa!”

“I’m angry, Atu. When I’m angry, I squint!”

“Yes, I know, you also grind your teeth!”

“No I don’t!”, he said a bit more quietly- the three now closer together so as to be heard more easily and, at least among themselves, for warmth.

Tahwiti decided to capitalize on this obvious lie- “Of course not! And I don’t speak Inithari.”

Now Atu reminded them calmly of the issue at hand: “Well whatever the case-“, Atu ignored Manoa’s attempts at a comeback, accentuating the last part of the sentence, “- I understand you’d both love for nothing more than to retire, but for all the grumbling, this is our job now.” A morning of convincing them to join in the affair had soiled his mood, even before the eventual excursions outside, and one would never leave the colony without the other. ’You can’t leave him in the same spot as my Mahake, Atu! And the other… He’s had his eye on my wife ever since the landing, and now he’s leering at my daughter, Atu! I swear, my friend, I swear!’

Manoa replied tactfully, “All I want, chief, is for us to get our asses back to Kona Town before a damn Pact demon blows us to kingdom come. Well if it weren’t for the Engineering Fellowship…” Indeed.  Had it not allowed its engineers to ferry along their families, Atu was sure they’d have strangled each other by now.

Tahwiti was the first to break off and inevitably the rest soon followed. Their spirits restored, they had managed to get the rest of the felled trees onboard the train for supplies at their destination – material for everything from furniture to the inside of vehicles – and continued along their way.



The work of Atu and a dozen others like him would prove pivotal for Inithar’s ability to remain in these lands for long. Ever since the landing, the Expeditionary effort has grown exponentially- pressed on by the matters at stake and fuelled by the tight, although cold, at times, cooperation between the Fellowships. Having rightfully identified the danger of ever dropping temperatures, proper snow fences and heating units were placed along strategic railways during the summer to allow for the transport of resources to the factories of the main colony, and makeshift snowploughs like the Kepuala constructed to maintain them through-out the season. Of course- this was the minimum needed to keep the colony ticking, for if the flow of materials were to stop, the flagship and the supplies could only keep them alive for so long. Work was hard out in the wastes, and ever harder as the Cold season advanced.
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Noble Nafuni Engineer

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Re: Mechanized Warfare: An Arms Race/Core Thread
« Reply #26 on: January 17, 2020, 04:00:54 pm »

Nalani Fucking Hates Harren

It was precise, slow, and steady work, being a refocyte-smith. That was the one unchanging rule of how it had been for no less than centuries, and even with the tools of the modern-era that allowed working the substance to be much easier and safer, that was the rule that the Fellowship of Refocyte-smiths stuck to practically religious. This was something that Nalani Ka'ana'ana was no exception to -- in fact, he was known among his compatriots as being a particular stickler to the techniques and rules set within the fellowship's books. This was something he reflected on as he twisted with deliberate, small movements of his hands, pliers clamping down on refocyte and moving a mechanism back into shape -- a repair job. You couldn't rush a refocyte-smith; refocyte was a dangerous material, and it was such an important one that his fellowship constantly maintained that the precision and quality in their work were vital.

This was one reason why it was so fucking infuriating that the useless practical-neophyte Nalani found himself having to work with, Ikaiah of the Mechanic's Fellowship, kept shouting at him to hurry up. He just didn't get what even newbies to the fellowship had drilled relentlessly into their heads, and that meant it was like working with a child.

The second reason was a kind of incident, and it was specifically one that was happening right now. Nalani was bent over his work, focused utterly into it as his work slowly restored a rather impressively damaged industrial machine back into shape, each motion undoing a very specific, tiny piece of the destruction. The refocyte was his world for a moment, and he was its master, three decades of life spent around the substance and centuries of those who had gone before him channeled into shaping that world in detail -- it was moments like this where Nalani was reassured that he had found his calling, that he was becoming a master of his craft.

And here on Harren, it was inevitably moments like this where Ikaiah burst into the room. The words "Nalani, when the hell are you--" passed loudly through the younger man's lips, and that was all it took for Nalani to screech like some sort of dying animal and startledly slam his knee into the bottom of the table, managing almost impressively to jump the heavy device an inch up off of it, with the landing resulting in the refocyte of the device acquiring a slight green tint.

Nalani let out a curse and clutched his knee, but then his eyes settled on the tint now in his work, and this is where (just like many incidents before) he exploded. Still gripping his knee, he whirled on Ikaiah and managed the impressive volume he always did. "GET OUT! GET OUT! GET THE FUCK OUT OF MY WORKSHOP! GET OUT! GET OOOUTTT!"

Ikaiah stood his ground for a moment, an almost admirable but most assuredly foolhardy bravery coming from him. "Nalani," he began, "I can't just keep waiting for you like this! We have a schedule of things we NEED to get done to bring that factory back online, and we NEED to get this done soon for the sake of--"

"FUCK YOU! FUCK YOUUU! GET OUT! GET OUT! FUCKING GET OUT! YOU DON'T FUCKING GET IT, YOU CAN'T RUSH ME, GET THE FUCK OUT!" If his volume beforehand had been impressive, Nalani's voice now reverberated through the building, and Ikaiah eventually gave up and retreated from the domain of the raging refocyte-smith. With his knee now smarting and his work now a bit more dangerous, Nalani gritted his teeth, storm-clouds practically over his head as the man's stormy mood filled the room.

Nalani hated Harren. He hated being stuck into the same production schedules with the same people over and over. He hated the way that he didn't have his fellowship-mates to back him up, and instead had to work one-on-one with members of other fellowships that just didn't understand his craft. He hated the way that this was his centrally assigned task -- even if it was probably the only reason he hadn't faced real punitive action, the Grand Fleet had very specific things they wanted them to do, and they didn't get to freely choose their work. He hated the way he was stuck in this same little piece-of-shit cramped building, for he longed to move from island to island, which he couldn't exactly do when everyone was in the same sad ruins of the same sad city, could he? He hated the reason WHY civilians like him were almost entirely confined to this city, the biting cold that he swore was about to freeze and shatter his skin every time he dared to step outside... the idyllic sun of Inithar this certainly was not.

"I fucking hate Harren," he muttered to himself out loud, and then he picked up the pliers and got back to work.
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Twinwolf

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Re: Mechanized Warfare: An Arms Race/Core Thread
« Reply #27 on: January 17, 2020, 04:19:30 pm »

The Scavenger’s Fellowship

Generally speaking, it’s thought that it’s cooler underground than aboveground. In Timoti’s decades of experience mining and spelunking, usually it was. In Abbera, that was not the case. The old mines of Abbera were significantly warmer than the surface, because they weren’t exposed to the rime. It made mining an almost pleasant experience, if you could even call this mining.

Timoti’s job was not to mine. He heard the miners working in the nearby tunnels, but that wasn’t him. They didn’t have the equipment or miners to get all the mines back on line, and most of them were caved in from whatever had ruined the country. His job was to sit here until -

There was a crash from down the tunnel, and a surprised shout from one of the miners. Timoti stood up and walked over, buttoning his coat and readying his tools. A dust-covered face grinned at him. “Found somethin’ for you, scav.” He said, stepping aside and theatrically gesturing to the end of the tunnel.

Timoti’s job was to search and scavenge. Many Abberans had fled below ground when whatever catastrophe had frozen them occurred. They had died. But the equipment they brought was still in vaguely working order and the fleet could always use more mining equipment, more metal to melt for ammo and ship hulls. And they could also use the veins of refocyte lacing the Abberan mines. Most of these caches were in caved in sections of the mines, and whenever the miners broke through to something it was an event.

This miner had found something big. A full on bunker rather than just another rest area, and one that looked mostly intact. Timoti slapped the man on the back and took out his own pick. “Good find, good find - help me get the last of this out of the way, would you?” He asked. But when he turned around, the man had already left to have a break and some extra food for his find.

Timoti got to work. While significant parts of Inithars occupation could be considered the same, finding these bunkers and caches filled with dead people who had been trapped by the cave ins stunk of graverobbing to most. It was one thing to move in to the empty homes, but to take from an area that had actual skeletons in it? That was totally different, wasn’t it? But some jobs needed doing. The psychopaths over the strait were probably doing worse, and they couldn’t fall behind.

The bunker smelled rotten. People had died in there, so it made sense. The others would be here soon, but he got first pick of the goods. A stash of bullets and a couple rifles. A woman (probably) had died clutching a frying pan. A man’s skeleton was collapsed over a table with several papers with the word “BEEG” stamped over them - that was a good find, it would probably be a blueprint for something. Timoti picked through the dead quietly. They wouldn’t complain about his taking their stuff now, so he shouldn’t feel guilt.

And yet as he stuffed his bag, and then went up, passing another scavenger on the way, he felt like a maggot burrowing through a corpse for whatever nutrients he could find. That was what they’d been reduced to in this hellscape. The fact that the Embralians would be doing the same but with less freezing and more burning in Salvios’ capital was a cold comfort.
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Madman198237

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Re: Mechanized Warfare: An Arms Race/Core Thread
« Reply #28 on: January 17, 2020, 07:06:32 pm »

Quote from: A Day In The Life Of A Bureaucrat
Administrative Assistant Saval was having another fine day in the sweltering heat of the former Salviosi capital. The taxes from one of the outlying mining "villages", really a civilian barracks attached to a preexisting military position with a Well nearby, had arrived that morning and in the exactly correct amounts. The weekly Wellmaterial shipments had arrived a few days ago, not only on time but with a minor surplus, and the weather was....well, at least the humidity was down. It was never pleasantly cool or even pleasantly sweltering in Salvios. It was usually hot enough that the Bureau of Standards would say that an egg cooked on a frying pan would in fact be edible, though it would take long enough that one of the spontaneous micro dust storms or wind gusts would likely ruin your egg, your eyes, and your frying pan before it finished. That Gavrillium dust was nasty stuff sometimes.

No problems had come up in his area of responsibility, but others in the governmental offices had had more paperwork than usual. One of the outermost garrison posts in the Rupture region had lost several patrols that had ventured into the Mesas. Pact forces were believed to be responsible, and so far nobody had been able to track them down. He felt lucky that his was not a military post, nor was he responsible for anything outside the Rupture or any places within the Rupture that did not produce Wellmaterials. Supposedly, even anything with a military escort was vulnerable to being raided by the Pact if it ventured too close; civilians usually weren't killed but the Pact was willing to steal and use various materials that were less plentiful in their regions.

Assistant Saval's responsibility, however, was full of places that were increasingly civilian in nature. Places in the Rupture never needed an escort, though some distant mines still had one. Proper towns and villages were beginning in places with no strategic value or preexisting military installations, and more and more nonmilitary folks arrived on a daily basis. It was almost impossible to grow food anywhere on Harren, but the lure of mines full of barely-exploited ore, amazing new materials, and even new Wells was stronger than the problems of feeding so many. Shipments of food from lush Embrallish farmlands came every day, and trucks and newly built railroads shipped food out amongst the towns and villages. As food came in, materials went out to supply the homeland. Most convoys departed from the Rupture, and stayed well away from both hostile territory and the Maelstrom, and were mostly fine.

New arrivals were plentiful, and some of them were sorted through his office. The testing of new Wellminers was, luckily, not his job, as it was very tedious at the best of times. The relocation of families, however, did affect him, as he had to account for both the increased productivity, change in necessary taxes, and the increased food consumption as each Well village's population increased. It could be a lot of work, and Saval was beginning to wonder when he could reasonably ask for an assistant, as he was starting to fall behind even if everything somehow seemed to work out anyway. Disputes solved themselves, criminals disappeared in the wilderness, convoys avoided the rest of Embral's enemies. Things just...worked out.

The next day, Saval would receive an assistant, without ever asking for one. Things working out, as they always did.

Almost always, at least.

The humidity was up again.
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Re: Mechanized Warfare: An Arms Race/Core Thread
« Reply #29 on: January 17, 2020, 07:38:26 pm »

WIP Title

“Transmitter clear?... Radio mast clear.”

Sitting in the sound booth, Armani Tuar was quite possibly the most comfortable and secure person in the entire Embral Held Region. Here in the booth, Armani was air conditioned, sitting down, and protected by meters of concrete and dirt.

Looking over the notes, Armani began to settle into the normal routine for a normal broadcast. Trying to convince herself that this was just like in Samnium was a fool's errand at this point.

On the way to the island, you could convince yourself that this was just an overly long tourist trip. But once you stepped off the sub into the hot sand, you felt more than just the heat bearing down on you. Both the citizens and soldiers all over the island felt the force of this not being their land. That sense that you were the Foreigner couldn't be escaped and it put everyone on edge in different ways.

“We are green to go. Timeslot starts in 7 minutes.”

On the other side of the glass, Tech Sergeant Dubrhal gave a questioning thumbs up, to which Armani responded with a shaky nod.

7 Minutes left until Armani was the voice heard by thousands here on Harren. This wasn't like back home, where in a comfortable studio she could talk about the weather, news of the week, and play music. Here, the weather forecast was stuck at sweltering. So far from the war at home where her countrymen died defending against a juggernaut of terror. It didn't matter to Armani that on this forsaken island they where to discover what they needed to turn the tide at home, what mattered was she wasn't home.

Abruptly, the standby light flashes red. 1 Minute left. She knew what she was going to say. That was her Job. Speak into the microphone and help people get through the day, maybe even convince people things would get better.

“We are live in 10..., 9..., 8...,”

Things would get better. They would find the technology to win this war, the war at home, maybe even *all* wars. If they could just pull it off against what felt like all odds.

“3..., 2..., 1...,

At this point, Armani just had to have faith.

‘We are Live”

“Hello Everyone, even you Inithar. This is Armani Tuar broadcasting live for Hamigabaraḍa Radio, from Moga in the south of Harren.”

*Deep


“To open, a heartfelt thanks to the men and women in the new provinces keeping The Pact contained. And to those on the shores, my love to you all.”

“For those of you new to the Island, welcome to the only talk-radio show on the entire island! Today, we will be covering some Regional news, putting on some records, and doing our best to beat the heat.”

“Starting with the News, in the New Provinces Governo Aayakar Ranur is happy to announce that over two dozen new settlements have been completed, with new arrivals set to begin settling down later tonight.”

“Roadway 13 has been reopened after the Pact raiding force hindering traffic was removed. That should shorten the commute for those on the other side! ”

“And now for the weather; It's hot. Id break out the thermometer, but I don't think anyone in Our Provinces needs me to tell them that. Make sure to stay in the shade when possible and drink up. Dust storms are beginning to build up on the west side, so stay indoors until the next weather bulletin gives the all clear.”

“And that’s the news. Now, some music. We will be opening with a classic, straight from the heart of the Embral. Ill be back with another hit, right after this. ”


[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r2S1I_ien6A]






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