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The Expedition East


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Exactly fourteen days ago, the last of the scouts has returned. Although it was a great relief to find that he was not killed or even captured, he too had found no foreign contact.

 

The Emperor and his league of wise men decided an expedition would be required, because it was absolutely essential to find another nation, if there still was one left.

 

Messengers were sent out immediately after the meeting, requesting all adventurers to travel to the new capital, N'Vava.

 

Meanwhile, a map was drawn from the info that the scouts had collected and different routes were discussed.

the vague map of the world according to Dragonryders

 

OOC: to be continued whenever the hell I feel like it. cool.gif

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Another couple of weeks passed as the adventurous types kept coming to N'Vava. They were all equiped with fine materials, so there would be no excuse for losing members along the way.

 

..

 

A new day was about to begin. A very important day for many, because their futures would be intwined for an indefinite period. Although every explorer publicly dismissed the chance of not coming back, they all knew every adventure has risks attached.

 

They were well prepared. All was aken care of, where possible. Their dragons were well-fed by the Empire, their gear was shiny new and their leader was wise and experienced: The brave Duke of Cin would hold the Dragonryders banner. It shined brightly as the sun reflected on the finest silk which waved graciously in the soft breeze.

 

"May Tanu guide us!" shouted the Duke as he signaled his dragon to take off. Soon, 80 more dragons lifted themselves and their passengers into the sky and east, towards the growing sun.

 

..

 

A young adventurer looked around. The familiar plains stretched into all directions. "Why are we going East?" he shouted at his nearest travelcompanion.

The officer had a fine dragon built for speed. "If all nations are extinct, we will try to find the City of Gods, which is said to be located at the Sunspring.", he replied. "Wow", mumbled the younger one. The legendary City of Gods would be the highest city in the world and would only be inhibited by the ghosts of the most heroic soldiers, of the wisest philosophers and mentors and the inner circle would be the home of the half-gods. If they found no nations on their path, he would be among the first to discover it.

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After a few days the expedition arrived at the Gulf. As expected, no humans were sighted yet. It was getting dark and the Duke ordered to land and set up camp.

 

Somewhere near was the burried city of Lok. It was very likely that the Restored Empire would be expanding east and rebuild their long-lost citadel city, but that was not their problem right now: ahead, across the river, lay high, inhospitable mountains.

 

"I say we keep heading straight east, even if it means we will have to fly over the mountains" suggested Gero, a very experienced swordsman and officer of the Restored Empire.

 

Afors did not agree: "I've trained thousands of dragons. The Emperor himself rides one of my stable. The air up in the mountains is much thinner and it will cost considerably more effort for the dragons to fly there."

 

"But they'll make it, right?"

 

"Well, yes. But it can lead to exhaustion if we're not careful"

 

"Then we'll rest. Going around the mountains will certainly cost us more time"

 

"But at least we'll have fit dragons at all times and there's no risk of snowstorms or any other dangers that mountains may have. I say we go around the mountains, even if it costs us more time"

 

Soon, everybody was arguing with each other, either taking Gero's side or Afors'.

 

"Listen up, everybody!" shouted the Duke. The tumult ceased. "We all need our rest now. I will discuss the matter with Afors and Gero and tomorrow I will decide which way we're going. If you two would follow me to my tent, please."

 

...

 

The next day, it was decided that Gero would be promoted to Expedition Leader and he would take his voluntary followers across the mountains, while the Duke would take the others around it.

 

And so, the two groups departed in different directions. The Duke and followers headed south, Gero's group east.

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After an easy flight, the Duke's group arrived at a big lake. He decided this would be a good spot to stay for the night, as it was unlikely to find humans during that time.

 

Campfires were made and a quick surveillance was issued to secure their camp.

 

After a little while, the area was secured and one of the scouts reported to the Duke:

"We have found no trace of humans in the vicinity. We also found that this lake mouths out to see in the south. One of our scouts found this in the water." The scout handed over an item that anyone in the 21st century would recognize as an empty plastic bottle.

"This thing is flexible and floats in water, but it isn't edible or easy to cut. It's transparent and beautifully shaped. We suspect it's from some kind of plant we haven't discovered yet."

"That's certainly an intruiging piece. We will take it with us and show it to the emperor when we get back. We will have to keep our eyes open for more of these... Very intriguing."

 

-----

 

Meanwhile, Gero and his group kept gaining altitude. They decided to keep flying during the night, as the mountains were far from ideal for settling and the earlier they found humans on the other side of the mountains, the better. However, Gero made sure they did not go too fast, so they wouldn't strain the dragons too much. It was obvious, though, that it cost the animals more effort to keep themselves airborne, as Afors predicted.

 

Luckily, the river under them also went east and the fresh mountainwater kept everyone fresh. Slowly, the river became a creek and the creek became a brook, until there was nothing left, at which point they began descending again.

 

>OOC<

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Meanwhile, The Federation Military Satalite Controle Center. Mount Gustus.

 

"Sir". Said a yound sergeant on the monitor watch."SkyNet 2 has detected movement in the south deserts. Just west of Haken Rider."

 

"What is it". Demanded the officer, with an asstonished tone.

 

"A large moving mass. When we zoom is closer, it seems to be a large formation of flying objects. Moveing steadaly eastwards."

 

"Hmm. Ok send a message, and the images to CI6, and Julia's Office."

 

"Ok sir, will do."

 

_______________________

 

3 Hours Later, a meating was being held in the war office. Julia, and "A" were standing side by side, with generals, and high officals sitting at the long oval table.

 

"Ok. SkyNet 2 has detected a large formation of aircraft heading eastwards, from what we can only say as no where. We have no idea what this is, but we belive we are the first to detect it."

 

Julia then turned to face the table. "Yes, "A" is right. It seems we are the first people to find this. The formation is trvaling toward our allie Haken Rider. Now they are at current consetrated eastwards any, with the war with Ide Jima. So it is posible they have not noticed the formation."

 

"A" then reached on to the table and picked up a remote contrle, about the size of a credit card, and about no thiner. "Now with DP 2000 working, we can take a more detailed look." "A" pressed a button on the conroler, and a large 3d image of the area in question was displayed in the center of the table. This was the latest in technology for the war office. It gave no advantage, just a more detailed look at an area in which a satalite was over. Although, they would never point this over a city, due to the fact it would cause internation outrage. "A" then continued. "Now, the formation as you can see is comeing from here, and is travaling steadily eastwards, as you can see. The formation has slipt in two, however. One wing is heading over the mountin range in the area, and the sencond, is heading awfuly close to our other allie Bhalman."

 

Julia continued. "Yes now, i think we best take our chance. We need to find out what this is. Before anyone one else does. We'll slip a small fleet, about 3 to 4 light ships, and about 40 troops. Not in offince mode, as I call it. Admirals and Generals, can you arange this in fast time?"

 

"Yes mo'om". Replyed all the admirals and generals around the table.

 

"Good. Now get to it."

 

The war staff then quickly scurried off to get the job done.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Behind them lay the mountains. Gero was satisfied with the progress they had made. The view from the top had been astonishing and the group had not encountered any serious problems. The dragons were strong enough and the weather was calm.

 

"There's something you need to say, up ahead, sir" reported a young scout.

Gero and the group followed to the location of the scout's find.

 

"The remains of a campfire! This is very good news, scout." said Gero

"I'm thinking this campfire is about a month old, sir. "

"Nomads?"

"Possibly."

"So, what's all that?" Gero pointed to some collapsed tents a little further away.

"We're not entirely sure of that. They're made of a very thin textile. I think they're temporary shelters, like tents, only really small and light."

"Any sign of the owners?"

"No sir. We've found some cart-tracks, but they've been largely erased. From what I could gather, it was a pretty heavy and big cart and it went east."

"Hm, extraordinary. Let's continue eastward and hope to find more nomads, so we can ask them where the nearest civilized nation is."

 


 

The Duke decided to follow the coastline of the Rivdon Bay in search of other nations. He had organized a very loose formation, so they would cover as much land as they could. There were even some scouts flying above the sea, in case there were people living on boats.

 

Still, there were no results... Were the Dragonryders the only humans left on earth?

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The Adapton fleet had arrived in the large bay next to area 111 and 109. The 5 ships began to anchor. There was two Sharp Class Corvettes. Acompanied 2 Vestian Class Destroyers and a Maximus I class aircraft carrier. The Maximus I was the FS Maximus, it was the old flag ship of the Adapton Navy, now it was a light carrier, given patroling roles, and the crappy jobs. Now that the FS Ramsey, the lastest Maximus II Class had taken over it's role. The crew were desperate to prove themselfs, and they saw this as their chance.

 

"Sir we are anchored, should be begin to send the troops ashore?"

 

Commadore Johnson was looking striat at the shore. The white sandy beaches, and the Palm trees he loved. He slowly turned to Captin. "Yes let the Major Wilson to begin sending his troops ashore. We can then escoart them with the JSF's as far as they can go untill they need refuling, the VC-10 will be here in a few hours which will then be able to refule them fairly easily."

 

"Yes sir." The Captin shot off to let the Major know.

 

Several moments later Panther transport helicopters began to take off from the Maximus, followed by Apache helicopters 2 Chinooks, and 2 JSF's. Commadore Johnson looked out of the main window of the bridge, and thought to himself. "Ah, good old Adapton Government, always over prepered."

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Haylen stepped trough the sand, his shoes shuffeling the dust. He cursed to himself and emptied his shoes again, like he does every three meters. He hated the desert, he hated the fact he couldn't jump into a pool to mock the heat.

 

"Don't like it here?" Elia said, laying on a towel, sunbading in her bikini. Her eyes were shielded by big sunglasses. "Remember it was this or doubling our years".

 

"I'm no longer so sure if I have picked the right option", he replied. "a schoolyear stays a schoolyear, they're all the same. But my summers... All I ask is for 3 months of free time in a year. I had plans to go with some friends to ride the waves of Brazar Bay..." He turned back to the van to check for the sixth time if it was really true: he was stuck in the desert and the cooling box was full of no beer. His mom had been nagging so long to take extra clean underwear that she had pushed away the only thing he had learned in college"always pack alcohol".

 

He looked at Elia.

"Elia...?" -"Yes?"

"Where's the profesor?"

"He mumbled something like "oooow, rocks!" and went that way", she waved her hand in the direction. "If you're bored, you could always do what we came here to do: study the fauna and flora."

"It's the DESERT. Nobody cares about the desert, except a Riderian... I mean look at it, it seems like we're the only humans left on earth." He rubbed his eyes, who were irritated by the sand.

 

"Fascinating, I have discovered a Plutuna Kold, it was believed that you couldn't find them anymore in this particular area." The professor came running to the two, carefully holding a rock in his eager hands."

"Look professor, I've been touring my van for two months now and all we did is find the same stupid rock in every stupid place. I like to save some of my holiday for surfing. I crave for the waves, man, I need it like air. I can no longer endure this... anti-water."

"Ow, but we're just a few kilometers from the sea, my good lad... You can even hear the waves from here."

 

Elia's jaw dropped. "That isn't the sound of waves..."

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  • 2 weeks later...

"GO DOWN, GO DOWN!!" A scout came rushing towards Gero's group. There was panic on his face. In a matter of seconds, all dragons were standing on the hot sand. The scout jumped off and drew a small circle in the sand. "This is our group." A horizontal line through the circle was to illustrate their course. "There's something coming at us at this angle" He drew a vertical line above it. "They're fast and noisy, but most important of all: they fly!"

"WHAT? HOW? You mean they have dragons?!" asked Gero.

"I only saw them from a great distance, but it aren't dragons. I did not discern any wings and they were too big."

"Damnit! If they're hostile, we don't have the advantage of flight. We must evade them, if possible. Did they see you?"

"I expect not, sir."

"Good. We will continue east, with haste and at low altitude. Alert all other scouts."

Less than 10 seconds later, the words were put into actions and the group accelerated to their maximum speed.

"SIR, DUST" exclaimed a nearby soldier to Gero. Looking back, he saw what the man meant. The soil was dry and fine and the group was throwing up a massive amount of dust. The leader cursed loudly and signaled to land. He had to think of something very quickly. "Everybody dismount right away and hide your dragon's wings!! Use sheets, cloth, whatever you can get your hands on, NOW NOW NOW. We shall pretend to be nomads with big lizards. If they prove to be hostile, we will have the element of surprise."

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The Helicopter convoy was travelling low, and fast. Major Wilson was in the lead Panther helicopter. The pilot wound his neck around the small wall which separated the pilots? cockpit from the load area in the back where Major Wilson sat. "Sir, we're picking up a large group of what possibly seems to be the formation we're looking for."

 

"Good, head strait for it. Let the 2 F-35's know, that I want them to do a routine fly past, and check the area. After that, the three Panthers, with en-circle the unknowns, land, and then be followed by the two Chinooks which will be used as reinforcements. The Apache's will provide supports."

 

"Yes sir."

 

After a few seconds, about thirty or so. The two F-35 JSFs sped forward. They flew through a canyon in a rock formation which was separating them from the "unknowns". They flew over the "unknowns" at high altitude. Unable to get a good look in, they circled and this time came back in at low altitude.

 

"Foxtrot One, this is Foxtrot two. Just looks like a group of nomads mate."

 

"Well we're still going to have to let the major and his lads take a deek at what?s going on."

 

The two aircraft headed back toward the area where the ships were anchored. Sending a long range radio message back to the helicopter convey, that they had seen a large group of nomadic people's. Major Wilson being a big headed arse thought to stick to his plan. Although big headed, he knew the culture of the people of this region of Europa well. Spending several years living here. This was the reason he was chosen to lead the reconnaissance group. He knew that nomads travelled light, and not in such a large formation. He gave the order to press on. His helicopters were about and hour away from linking up with the nomads.

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"What in the Temple's glory are those?!!" exclaimed Gero after the loud jets had gone by. Some members of his group were having some trouble keeping their animals calm, while uncertainty or fear was on the men's faces.

 

"Not even the best dragons stand a chance against them", he mumbled.

"Sorry, what did you say, sir?" asked the scout who had warned the group earlier.

"You led them to us, you FOOL!" Gero jumped on the slender scout "You will die right now, traitor!"

But before Gero could anything, the two were seperated by other members of the group. "Damnit, let go of me already, I must think"

His training had learned him to always create an advantage in engaging an unknown enemy. The element of surprise, superior numbers.. To his frustration, he had to conclude he could only wait for the loud ones to return, while they were either gathering reinforcements, which would likely mean the end of all his men's lives, or they were arranging a negotiator, but since the Dragonryders were the inferior, negotiations could only be negative for the Restored Empire.

 

"Listen up, all!! The loud ones will probably come back for us and I don't know whether they will welcome us with swords or words. We must prepare ourselves for both situations, so I need a welcoming tent prepared with all the luxury and comforts we've brought. At the same time, I want you all to ready yourselves and your dragons for battle, but keep your weapon sheathed until I say we attack."

 

"You" He pointed to the scout who was still on the floor. "Go find the Duke of Cin and report about the Loud Ones."

Although the scout wanted to protest as nobody knew where the Duke was right now, he mounted his dragon and started flying south. Another scout was sent back to the Restored Empire, to report to the Emperor.

 

Gero looked at the fading white stripes the Loud Ones had left in the clear sky "May the Gods be merciful."

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Major Wilson's Panther droped back slightly as, the other two took the lead. They both flew around a small ridge, which separated them from the "Unknowns". As Wilsons' Panther came around the ridge, he could see the nomads, all huddled, and looking very primitive. He thought to himself. "Are these nothing but a tribe we have desturbed?" Yet he still plowed on.

 

Sand began to kick up violently. The Major peered his head out of the large open door. "These look no way like a modern civilisation. They look more like something from the dark ages." He said to himself. He then looked down at his rifle, took out the magazine, and then took the round which he previoulsy cocked into the breech, reloaded it into the magazine, and then placed the magazine back into the rifle, then made the rifle safe.

 

The first Panther hit the ground and the troops brust out. Major Wilson heard one soldier shout. "Stop right there you f*ckin' rat bags." Then Wilsons' Panther touched down. As troops ran around securing the perimeter of where the "Unknowns" were now huddled. He could see a large greyish coloured animal tail pertrouding from one make shift tent. He steped fromm his Panther and walked over toward the large group od nomads, and stoped about twenty-five feet away from the group. With about thirty troops surrounding them.

 

By now the helicopters had lifted off again, and had flone to a safe distance. Wilson looked around the faces of the nomads. He saw the fear in most of their eyes. But yet anger, and a sence of readyness filled their presance. It was Wilson who was sceared. He had came in peace, and it felt as though he was an aggresor, and as if he was going to be assaulted. So he acted, before they could.

 

"I am Major Eric Wilson, of the 3rd Light Infantry Brigade, and commanding officer of 9th Company, Durham Light Inftanry Regiment. We have not came to threaten you. A satalite of ours picked up a large formation of moving bodies, which flew. We mearly came to investigate."

 

Wilson then stood, gazeing at the nomads, waiting for a responce and, at his own men, who were poised, they had came for a fight, but Wilson would not alow it. He noticed one of his men's dust cover was open on his rifle, that only meant he had cocked it. He looked down at his own rifle again, and cocked it, very sly, and quiet, and loosly tilted the muzzle toward that certin soldier. Then he continued his wait for the nomads to reply.

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The strangers came back and the wind was their companion. Out of the dust came a group of about thirty oddly looking men. Gero stepped towards them as their leader began to talk in a strange dialect. It took him some effort to understand the man, but essentially, they did speak the same language. But at least they didn't come with anything that looked dangerous, except maybe the flying things. Still, he was relieved to actually hear they did not come to fight.

 

The officer asked about a flying body. Gero didn't immediately know what to answer. Whatever he meant with satellite, it was obvious that he had seen the scout. He could send these men after the scout, but the object of the mission was to establish contacts with a foreign nation and this company must belong to one.

 

"Gero of N'Vava, Expedition Leader and officer of the Duke of Cin. May the blessings of the Temple be upon you Major Eric Wilson. We do not have any flying bodies, as you can see." he laughed as if the concept of flight was ridiculous for them "We are marching through the desert looking for contact with other nations in the Restored Empire's name."

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Wilson stood puzzled. He understood the nomads, but their dialect was strange of a modern nation. He relized, they were speaking old english. He clicked on to the term of the "Restored Empire". His knowlege of the area let him know about an old empire, where Dragons romed the land, that went into isolation. he thought this could explain the flying formation. He relised that these people, if so from the old empire would certinly be secretive of the fact they had flying animals.

 

He again looked out the corner of his eye. The soldier which had been ready to shoot - a young recruit eager to shoot his rifle and get a kill, was looking very agitated, he was looking for the first sign to blast the nomads into pices. Wilson signaled to his warrant officer, who was aproching behind the young lad. Then Wilson continued his speach.

 

"I have romed this area alot. I know it's in and outs very well, it is my favourite part of Europa. Due to my travels here, it led me to have a great knoledge of this area." Wilson tried to alter his dialect so they could probably understand him better. "I know it is strange for people to be travaling in such a large group through this harsh land, on foot. It could lead to your end. I have found out several times with my companions." Wilsons brothers died in this area of Europa when the four of them once tryed to treck the land, but got lost. "And, as you wish to establish contact with a nation to restore your empire, we would like to help you. We can take a delagation of your men back to our homeland, several thousand miles away. Then our government will press others for your reconization as a nation. We are here to help, not to be hostile."

 

The agitated soldier again began to twich his trigger finger. Warrant Officer Gavin Smith approched from behind, and Wilson nodded. Smith grabbed the soldier from behind, and pulled him away. "We're here to help not kill you stupid bastard!" as Smith dragged the soldier to the floor his MR-C rang on, and hit another Adapton soldier in the leg. Wilson looked, and jumped into action.

 

"My friends." He said to the nomads. "I am sorry about this, he is new, please do not take this as hostile. He will be punished for his action, he has injured one of his own." Hopeing this would stop the nomads from becoming hostile, Wilson ran over to check the wounded soldier. The wounded man was Luitenant Fawcett. His leg was baddly damaged, and the troops on the ground relised they did not have the medical supplies avalible, and the helicopters, that did have the supplies has departed for refuling with a VC-10 about 50Km north. This was a deep hole Wilson was not is.

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"A fiery weapon? Are you..." Gero hadn't expected to find the City of Gods or any of it's inhabitants, because he always thought of that as a fictional story and until now, he assumed the major and his crew were normal humans, but this was magical...

"I would be infinitely honored if you would take me to your city. Please, allow us to take care of your wounded and I will have a meal prepared for you and your men that is worthy of your status."

He turned around, before Wilson could answer. "Quick, get a medicine man over here and prepare a lavish meal for these Heroes."

Gero turned back and bowed and the rest of his group followed his example.

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Wilson was stunned, he was sure that would have ended in the nomads seeing them as a threat. He turned back around. By now he had droped his equipment and was sorting out the wounded man. He stood and said back to Gero. "We would be hounered of you're hospitality, and you're medicine. We thank you greatly." He then turned to one of his trused sergeants. Sergeant Davids. "Sergeant, can you get these new recruits back to the ships. If one is trigger happy, then so could the rest be." The sergeant nodded, and hearded off the other newer troops.

 

The had brought the wounded lad forward, and had treated his for shock, but that was all they could do, they then handed him over to the nomads. Weapons had been all placed on safe, and the troops moods had changed from nutral to very friendly.

 

Helicopters and Jets had been told to return to the ships, and about 15 troops stayed to acompany the nomads. Mainly officers and NCO's. Wilson looked at Gero, and with a puzzled face he said. "So, where are you people from, and what are you doing in such a large group travaling these harsh lands?"

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