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A Change in Power


Seylos

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Prince Aidan Redmond hopped down from the helicopter as it touched down on the carrier deck. It was an exciting piece of technology, and an import symbol of prestige for the country. He had made sure that his father hadn't screwed up this one thing, especially after having him serve in the Royal Navy for a few years. A dozen or so feet in front of him a middle aged woman in an admiral's naval uniform approach him, walking briskly with confidence. "Your Highness, welcome to the HMS Defiant."

The Prince smiled and jogged up to her and hugged her, the admiral going stiff not expecting the embrace, "Admiral Forrest I'm happy to see you, I hope you're taking care of our new ship here."

Aidan stopped hugging her and she pulled back a little regaining her composure, "Sadly I don't captain this fine ship, that would be the responsibility of Captain Jason Walker your Highness."

"So where is our fine captain Admiral?" Aidan said looking around the deck, "I came here for a tour, might as well have the captain himself show me around."

"I left him on the bridge, I had figured you rather me come to greet you." Forrest replied, "We can take you right to him Highness"

"Lead the way." Aidan extended his hand toward the bridge, "And please Admiral, no more Highnesses, I was a lieutenant on your ship, makes me uncomfortable." 

The Admiral looked visibly awkward at the suggestion, considering she had no idea what she was supposed to call him other than that. They continued their walk towards the bridge as the crews moved past them to tend to the Prince's landed helicopter. "My apologies... Prince Aidan I was just following protocol."

"Tell you what Admiral, if we are doing anything military related we'll just stick to 'Sir'. And write a memo or something so everyone else knows that, otherwise I'm going to be buried under Highnesses"

Forrest chuckled, "I'll keep that in mind sir."

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

Both of them entered the bridge, which to Admiral Forrest's surprise was abuzz with activity. In fact nobody stopped to acknowledge the Prince at all. She was about to snap at them all when Aidan raised his hand in front of her, "Is it normally this busy for a shakedown cruise?"

Irritated, the Admiral replied curtly, "No sir, this is unacceptable."

"Something is wrong." Aidan's voice had tinge of worry in it. He wove his way through the chaos, Admiral in tow and found Captain Walker huddled over a screen with some of his staff. He tapped on the Captain's back, "Captain do you mind?"

Angry at being interrupted Walker turned toward the idiot interrupting him, however his anger turned to embarrassment upon seeing the Prince's face. He stood up stock straight with a salute, "You're Highness, my apologies"

Everyone in the room stopped and assumed the same position as Captain Walker. Aidan waved his hands in the air, "Go back to work!", he paused, "And just call me sir. The Admiral didn't have time for the memo."

The moment he said that everyone rushed back to whatever they had already been doing. Aidan turn back to the Captain and crossed his arms, "Captain what the hell is going on"

Walker looked nervously back at the screen for a second before turning back to the Prince, "Sir, we've lost all ground based contact. It started when we were unable to raise the palace to get an update on your ETA. At first we believed it was a fault int he radio system, with the ship being so new. But when we determined that wasn't the case we knew something was wrong. We've managed to gain contact with the rest of the fleet, with the exception of two destroyers that were docked at Selbourne."

Aidan looked shocked and was trying to think of the next thing to say when the Admiral spoke up, "What do you think is happening Captain?"

"I'm not sure ma'am, but just before you came in we were able to confirm the SBC has stopped transmitting."

"The SBC doesn't just stop. It hasn't had an unexpected outage in decades." Aidan said.

The Captain nodded, "I understand that sir, but if I had to hazard a guess, I believe someone is trying to take control of the country. Several of our ships have begun receiving new orders, including the Defiant. The marines onboard our ships have been ordered to disembark to join 'peacekeeping activities in the city'. As of now however, none of our ships have complied with the orders."

"Christ, I knew he was going to pul something like this." Aidan snapped. "Henry couldn't stay patient could he."

Forrest turn to Aidan, "Your brother. You think he's behind all this?"

"Oh yes, he's been embezzling for weeks. And I suppose all the schmoozing and boozing the nobility certainly didn't make things worse for him. No wonder he tried to pull this when I was away from the city."

A young marine approached visibly excited and nervous, "Um Your Highness, Admiral, Captain. I think we've found something."

The trio stared at him for a second and Aidan waved, "Well as much as I appreciate a dramatic entrance, I think it might be best for you to tell us right now."

"Oh yes, sorry, I've managed to get contact with the Royal Marine base at Norfolk. Whatever is going on they haven't shifted their orders and have been waiting on you personally to confirm. I think Norfolk might be the best place for us to go."

Aidan took a second to look him over and then turned to the other two beside, "Well you heard the Corporal Captain Walker, set a course for Norfolk now. This is probably going to be the best luck we'll get on this sh*tty day. Admiral, get on the radio and tell our ships to head to Norfolk, by the order of Prince Aidan."

He turned back to the corporal, "And uh you, do me a favor and keep watch on the telly for the SBC. I want to know what my brother is trying to do publicly."

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Prince Aidan stood on the flight deck of the HMS Defiant staring at the approaching city. It hadn't taken too long to get there, since Norfolk wasn't that far away from Selbourne, but the wait had felt like an eternity. But the sight that beheld him was amazing, at least from his eyes. At least sixty vessels of various sizes and classes idled around the port, some docked offloading things he could see in the distance. Behind him he heard footsteps and turned around, "Hey Admiral, decided to come out and see the spectacle?"

Admiral Forrest walked up next to him and looked out at the scene, "It is something special sir, however I did come out here for another reason."

Aidan sighed, "Well then, report."

"Almost the entire fleet has arrived, luckily most of them were in range of the Defiant due to her maiden voyage. We've established solid communications with the marine base in Norfolk and have begun offloading our own marines to supplement our forces there. SO far yet, we've seen no reaction from Henry. I imagine he doesn't have much control of the country right now. The Royal Army appears to be is a state of severe disarray and the local garrison was more than happy to join our security efforts."

"How many are we talking?"

"Around two hundred, in a port city like Norfolk, the Royal Marines tend to have a much greater presence in coastal areas." She replied.

"Well that's good. Our attractive corporal has been keeping me abreast of the SBC matters. Not too many changes, except for the fact I've suddenly become a traitor and Henry is now king. Which does give me one slightly crazy idea."

Forrest raised her eyebrow, "And that is sir?"

"We need to get to the SBC and transmit from there."

Forrest's eyes widened, "Sir to do that we would have to virtually mount an invasion."

"I don't think so, if you remember our old black clad friends from earlier I think Henry is relying on mercenary forces to keep control. Which makes me believe that the people in Selbourne are most likely not that most excited about their new state of affairs. I managed to score a few popularity points before this. If Brigadier Kendrick is still in the city, something tells me him and the Royal Guard haven't given up yet. And if he's there, we can get in."

Aidan turned towards the Admiral and looked right in her eyes, "Get me a team and a plan to get into Selbourne and the SBC offices, and I want some sort of equipment here for them to continually broadcast."

He could see that she was skeptical about the whole idea but before she could protest he cut her off, "I know you won't like this, just... get it done. We need this"

Admiral Forrest nodded, "Yes sir."

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The past seven hours had probably made Aidan the most nervous he had ever been in his life. Many of the roads had been shut down, but through some clever contacts, their disguised lorries had managed to get into Selbourne. Back in Norfolk a full base of operations had been setup, and with the naval yards and supply depots under their direct control, Henry could starve them of resources. From what he had seen so far though was mostly just chaos, the army wasn't on the streets instead the black clad mercenaries out in droves patrolling important government areas. He had hoped the army would come in and clean them up, but it appeared that Prince Henry had made at least enough allies in the Royal Army to keep them paralyzed through disarray. The only branches that Aidan could count on at this moment were the Royal Navy and Marines, most of whom had moved to Norfolk to prevent any chances of firefights breaking out between confused Army units and themselves.

In the back of the lorry was himself and around ten other Marines, decked out in tactical gear. Sitting beside him was the corporal from the carrier, who had volunteered himself for the mission. And of course Aidan couldn't turn that face down.

"So corporal, I never caught your name all the way."

The corporal looked up from the tablet he had been studying, "Oh sorry sir, my names Gareth, uh Dustin Gareth sir."

"Well Dustin, " Aidan said pointing at the tablet, "Where are we now?"

Gareth looked down at the tablet, "Just about at the SBC offices now sir."

Aidan stood up, "Alright everyone let's get ready, this is it. If you see our own people you hold your fire unless they fire on you. Any mercenary forces are fair game if you go live. We won't have much in the name of stealth trying to enter the building so we have to be quick."

As all the marines around him starting checking their equipment he felt a tap on his shoulder, it was Gareth who had a concerned look on his face, "Sir I don't think you should go on this mission, we can't risk losing you-"

"I appreciate how much you care, but a group of random marines can't make a statement on the telly and expect everyone to respond to it. It has to be me, a Prince."

"I'd say King sir." Gareth replied

"I think that might be jumping the gun much don't you think?"

Gareth shrugged, "I don't think so sir, I'm no Royal but I'm thinkin, if we win this you're King. And even if we don't, you're our King right now and that's good enough for me"

Aidan couldn't help but blush for a second, he hadn't quite realized the loyalty of all the people below him, "Thank you Dustin."

Suddenly the lorry stopped, and banging was heard from the wall connected to the cab. "Alright everyone! Supressors on and remember the ROE. Let's move."

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

The team quickly exited the rear of lorry into an empty ally close to the SBC, the sounds of the normally busy city muted. They silently made their way through the alleyways until the rounded the corner. Standing at the rear entrance of the building was a squad of Royal Army soldiers who immediately sprang up at the appearance of Aidan's group. Soon both sides were pointing their weapons at each other in silence, the Army soldier's not sure what to do seeing their own military's marines. One of them spoke up soon enough though, "That's enough don't move any closer identify yourselves!"

Aidan stepped forward cautiously, pointing his weapon down and letting it hang by the straps, "We're all on the same side here, don't shoot alright."

The nervous soldier shouted again, "I said halt! But your damn weapons down now!"

"My name is Prince Aidan, do not fire,"  He slowly unstrapped his helmet and made sure his face was clear, "See? Don't shoot."

The soldier looked in shock, "My god your Highness, what are you doing here? Everyone stand down now."

The soldiers on both sides started to relax lowering their guns. Aidan spoke up again once everything seemed settled, "Look we need into the SBC now. You and me both now my brother can't run this country. I need to make a statement to the people."

"Sir we are under orders to prevent anyone unauthorized from entering. We're just the public face, those people in side are those mercenaries in black."

"Tell you what, I won't tell anyone if you won't" Aidan replied with a sarcastic tone, something he still couldn't quite help himself from doing even in a situation like this.

The squad leader looked distraught not sure what to do, "I don't know your Highness..."

"You know what we are going to do needs to be done."

In what looked like a sudden wave of confidence the soldier straightened up, "My apologies, the King of Seylos can go where he pleases, I can't stop you from going anywhere."

Aidan smiled, "Alright there's my man, before we go in there, I need to know everything you know."

 

 

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Prince Henry was shaking in rage on his phone. Everything was falling, apart, he thought the support of powerful nobility was going to be enough but he didn't count in the navy refusing his order and the Marines to stick by Aidan's side. But he should have, he knew that Aidan was friends with that admiral but why did he tell Henry it would all work out.

A member of his personal guard walked through the door and saluted, "Your majesty, there's been a reported firefight at the SBC offices. We've lost all contact with the mercenaries you stationed there."

Henry slammed his fist on the table, "Christ where was the f*cking army!?"

The guard steadied himself the oncoming onslaught, "It appears the units stood down and ceased contact with us when the building was taken."

"Get the f*ck out. Now!" Henry yelled, throwing the nearest object he could across the room. The guardsman quickly retreated out of the room.

Henry started pacing around the room, "Christ no could Aidan be with them, f*ck."

"You know he is, he's going to destroy you"

"Piss off you git! What do you know he can't stop me!" He yelled, grabbing his head with his hands, "Don't say anything unless you are being useful"

"You need help, get your friends. They'll help you kill him finally"

"Not yet I can't, it would make me look weak. Lose support..." He stopped and looked around the empty room and realized, if Aidan was at the SBC, something else was happening. He ran to the television switching it to the SBC. And there his bastard brother was, talking surrounded by his pretty little marines.

"-you all to know that I am safe, and this government will not fall to the likes of my brother. He has committed a crime against you all, and I can't let it stand." Aidan spoke from the screen.

Henry backed away slowly, he knew it was over. If those army units walked away from him on sight... Nobody would remain loyal, just the other people he made traitor.

"Call them Henry, do it, save yourself. Be rid of him later."

Henry walked slowly to the desk and picked up the phone.

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

"I need you all to trust me now. We were at the brink, but we can be safe. I'm calling on all branches of government to answer to me, and to resume the critical services they provide to this country. To stop the the foreigners marching around in our street playing soldier, and to get life back to normal." Aidan said, looking confidently into the camera.

One of the SBC staff they had rescued came up from the side of the studio, "Your Majesty, there is a call I think you would like to take, it's video."

He turned to look at the woman, "Wait we can take calls right now, really?"

"Um, yes your Majesty, Prince Henry didn't get control of the country's network-"

"Never mind, who is it?"

"Selbourne's Chief of Police"

He looked back at the camera realizing it was still going, he began to realize the absurdity of what was happening. "Right, never hurts to take phone calls during a coup. Put him on."

A TV screen next to him came on with the Chief on it, "Your majest I hope you are all right."

"Well, considering how many people we had to shoot to get in here, I'm doing alright. I'm hoping there is some good news with a national television call"

"Of course, I wanted to tell you myself that this city's police are on your side Majesty. We've already begun the process of arresting those vagabonds on the streets. The people should no longer be afraid to leave their homes."

Aidan smiled, "I'm glad to have you on Seylos's side Chief."

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

It was an exhausting session of sitting for hours talking on the television, he hoped to reassure his people. The Army and Royal Guards had deployed a large amount of troops outside after he had made his presence known. After he finished and the live feed was cut he let out of sigh of relief. He couldn't believe this gamble had worked, but considering how terribly his brother had thought this through it would be surprising if it didn't. In front of him Corporal Gareth approached him, "Your majesty are you ready to go home?"

Aidan groaned, "God no not yet. You like a pint instead?"

Gareth was taken aback, "You want to go out drinking right now?"

"Dustin I think we military has this under control, and you know I'm beat. So let's go get a drink." Aidan waved at the other marines standing about, "You lads up for a pint?"

There was some laughter and a resounding cheer, "See they're down. There's a nice place next to the palace. It'll be fun."

Gareth laughed, "Alright you're majesty, I suppose we can fill the role of royal guard tonight."

"That's the spirit Dustin, let's call it a date, " Aidan replied, giving him a wink.

--------

OOC: I know it's a bit of a nice ending to all this part, but this story was meant to be more of an intro to the King Aidan character and Henry character. I wasn't intending any sort of super civil war to go down. But trust me there is much more too this...

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SSO Designation: Island DER-0023 | 0930hrs UTC 0
22nd June 2018
Somewhere in the Adlantic

 

It was getting hot in the day, despite the mid-morning hour. A man set perched, still as a statue over an outcropping of limestone. Around him, the azure waters of the Dolch-Adlantic lapped and played against the coast of the small uninhabited island behind him--his personal slice of paradise.

The man, however, hadn't been concerning himself with the pearly white beaches with sand as fine as powder, nor was he intent on appreciating the lush greenery from which rare migratory birds now played. Indeed, his gaze was cast downwards, at a smaller and decidedly duller prize.

A plain, grey mullet was wandering slowly closer to his perch.

Not a muscle twitched, the Y-tipped pole in his grip remained steady and unwavering. His eyes carefully tracking the progress of the little creature.

 

---

 

Later, as the mullet browned slowly over his fire, the man's attention turned to a beeping from his hut.

He got up from his squatted position over the firepit, treading the soft white sand towards his dwelling, a little stilt-hut made from bamboo and driftwood. Common among fishermen in these parts, it even came complete with a small ENN satellite dish and little fishing motorboat moored along a rickety quay of adobe and driftwood.

He entered, passing his hammock, steamer trunk, and cheap floral and cartoon patterned curtains. In the corner of the room sat a small collection of Argic-War era radio equipment, not uncommon among fishermen, who used them regularly for tuning into weather services akin to SUMATRA

He woke the old laptop jury-connected to an emulator for the radio set. Silencing the beeping notification, he went through his reception protocol--scanning a dozen different bands and frequency listed for this month's transmissions.

Using his personal decryptor key, listed in shorthand in between notes on his fishing log, he unravelled the first serious set of orders he'd received in over half a decade.

Taking to his feet, he disconnected the laptop, stuffing it into a gunny sack--containing a change of clothes, a fake ID, and some stacks of currency in several denominations--that had swung behind the hut among others filled with fermenting fish offal.

The radio set went out the window, landing into the saltwater with a splash. Outside, he tossed the sack into his boat and grabbed a jerry can.

After the hut's thatch was dowsed and crackling merrily, the ripped the starter cord on his boat's motor and shot off into the blue, leaving the burnt hut and charred, uneaten mullet, smoldering in the rear-view.

Far into the horizon, the silhouette of a Manille Freight Lines vessel emerged slowly from the distant haze.

 

---


 

SSO General Headquarters | 0330hrs UTC -6
22nd June 2018
Intreimor City, Iverica

 

Less than an hour earlier, a contact from the Kingdom of Seylos had made a call to a satellite-connected botline, a special keyword was registered resulting in a ping to both the SSO General Heaquarters and a field office (posing as a travel agency branch office) in an Adlantic island.

Having worked the protocol for the scenario beforehand, the data was processed quickly by the dutiful hands of a comms-operator in Intreimor, sending the go-ahead to the Field Office. The office then forwarded its activation order to one Green Asset currently manning a listening post off a tiny islet, tracking potential Derthaler activity in the Dolch.

Now in motion, a Blue "affiliate" Asset in the Manille Freight Liners dispatching office in Port Hedland, @Gallambria was contacted and the ship CF Claridad II, had two adjacent stops added to its route. This was not uncommon, as it was normal for under-loaded cargo vessels to make impromptu stops at ports to take on sufficient cargo to at least break even. What was unusual, however, was the sudden orders from head office to place the crew on paid shore leave, with a smaller skeleton crew rotated in from the company berths.

As the company supervisors turned a blind eye, the replacement crew immediately halted the loading of further cargo, placing them on a waiting list for the next vessel to pick up. Instead, a series of empty containers, containing pre-fab housing usually for charity housing missions was taken on. That--and a single pallet of goods marked with the diplomatic "do not inspect" tag of the Executive Ministry of Iverica.

Once passed the Gallambrian Adlantic waters, the ship changed heading, making ahead-full for the Southern Dolch Sea. 

 

---


 

OOC: Just some background to explain how my people are suddenly appearing near Seylos. I left some bits out to be later explained like: Why exactly we are involved among others. At least this should explain where we came from and not just magically god mod a cargo ship and SSO Agent into Seylos' territory. 

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Henry stared at the tablet in his hand, reading what little reports had come through. It was over. Virtually no part of the country remained loyal to him, the real King of Seylos. He fought a little to keep his rage in check at the news, and for now what little remained of his supporters began their flight west. In an hour he'd be in the eastern port city of Abroath, not too large of a place but a big enough import and export port to where cargo freighters would be a common sight to see.

All in all he had maybe a thousand people loyal to his cause, mainly because of how much he paid them. But with his wealth safely tucked away offshore he wasn't worried about their loyalty anytime soon. Especially when it came to the Mayor of Abroath whom he had bought early on to make sure a port lay under his control should an extended civil war occur. Now with it all over his investment would still pay off, as it would be his salvation.

His original phone call only took a minute, a few short words and the wheels were set in motion. His prior arrangement had been well paid for, and well planned. With the Seylosian navy grouped on the western coast around Selbourne and Norfolk, he didn't expect too much resistance in this matter.

By the time they reached the city it was deep into the night. The streets were deserted for the most part and his small convoy passed through unhindered. His men had cleared the docks before his arrival and preparation we being made for the movement of personnel and supplies. Of course while he still had a thousand people under his command not one thousand could make this trip, they would have to be smuggled out at a later date. While his people continued getting ready he made his way to the communications hub for the docks. There amongst all the radio equipment he sat down and produced a tablet which he began to hookup. After making some adjustments the left the tablet to do its task.

Soon the small radio tower transmitted a a quick series of encrypted bursts signalling the all clear. Henry stood out on the outside railing over the moonlit water alone, waiting for him to talk.

"See? You've outsmarted him."

"But for how long? He'll come for us."

"He can't yet, you know that. He's too weak to finish the job, and too oblivious to know our next move"

"I'll build something more powerful than he can steal, and then..."

"We'll be back Henry. We'll end him."

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CF CLARIDAD II | 1930 hrs UTC 0
23nd June 2018
Roughly 22km from Southern Seylos

Clumps of hair fell haphazardly into the sink. Just above it, the tanned man continued the culling of his once-flowing jet-black mane. He worked the straight razor slowly, deft hands sliding across the sides of his scalp, careful not to cut himself from the ship's gentle rocking.

Clean shaven, sporting a close-cropped crewcut, the stepped into his narrow quarters. A sports coat and a three-piece hung from the handle of a single, slim locker. On the narrow bunk lay various effects unpacked from a suitcase that he had retrieved from the Executive Ministry "do not inspect" pallet.

Outside, a radio sang faint tunes of Carlos Gardel and Flamenco guitar, accompanied by noises of the crew moving about the mess.

He donned the white Oxenfurt shirt, and leather shoes. Among the various paraphernalia on the bed, he picked out the P-31 Subcompact single action and its shoulder-rig holster, checking the single-stack magazine of .40s, he slammed it home and chambered one. 

Slipping on the sports coat to conceal the well-fitted holster, he donned his ID lanyard. It read: Joaquin L. Scolopací--Senior Inspector, Civil Maritime Authority Office, Executive Ministry of the Republic of Iverica.

Checking himself in the mirror, the SSO Green Asset, callsign "Piper", adjusted his collar carefully before sticking a finger in his mouth, making sure the false molar remained firmly in place.

Glancing at the Patek Philippé piece on his wrist, he made to leave. Retrieving the Prince, or rather, the King--as he would obviously stylise himself as would take place shortly after midnight. 

 

---

 

The man, better known as callsign "Piper" stood on the topdeck starboard railing of the Claridad II. The night was windy, but the waters were rather calm. The ship's position was just shy of coastal visibility, roughly 24 kilometres--well within international waters--off Seylos' South Western Coast. 

He scanned the horizon, still regarding the pitch black expanse. The coastal ferry was nowhere to be seen yet. Piper took the time to recommit some points to memory.

He had read through the briefing packet earlier, as he enjoyed his first real cup of coffee in 5 years; it brought to attention some interesting details--one, that Prince Henry was Schizophrenic and two, that he would have to take a few hundred passengers on board, document them, and send their information back to Intreimor for processing. Each and every passenger had to be profiled and their backgrounds swept. If there was any affiliation at all with the Empire of Derthalen, any Circle of Death Cell, any @Fulgistani partisans, or similar groups, they would have to be rejected or detained (Piper dismissed this as unlikely, but it wouldn't hurt to be thorough).

Apart from the strict background sweeps, Piper was ordered to take special caution with the Prince's mental state. Quickly wracking his dusty Psych-Eval course memories, he made some mental notes; he would keep his eye contact short but not evasive, bow and never make physical contact unless necessary, and keep his speech modulated, formal, and laconic. Above all, he would maintain a business-like manner and speak only when he needed to. Mood swings were a distinct possibility and as much as Piper may be tempted to, shooting the man was most definitely not a part of the operation. Instead, he would keep a polite distance and keep his egress routes in mind. If all else failed and a violent melt-down was imminent, there was Grav-Naga or a taser.

The information also included some handy details about the civil unrest in Seylos--something Piper had not been privy to given his being stuck on a deserted island for five years listening to nothing but the guttural grunting of Derthaler radio communications. Apparently, some months ago the Prince had elected to open a channel with the Special Security Office through a Yellow Asset (non-affiliated "courier or puppet" assets), and a deal was struck. Preanticipating his need for a contingency option a few months ago, either the Prince himself or one of his advisers had coordinated with the SSO Adlantic Division and made the preparations to spontaneously charter an escape vessel and have most of their documentation and arrangements processed with the Executive Ministry in advance. What was being offered to Iverica in return... Piper neither new nor cared.

A horn, somewhere in the black of the night broke his line of thought. Some minutes later, a signal light sent a brief burst of morse to them. It was time.

 

---

 

A gangplank was put out to bridge the ferry and the Claridad, anchored side by side with the smaller vessel. Prince Henry was the first onboard, striding down the plank and onto the deck with the air of a man that thought himself the victor of a great campaign, rather than one forced to abdicate and commit an exodus.

Piper certainly respected confidence, false-facing, and bravado, but the appraising look Henry gave everything, coming off as if he was inspecting little playthings rather than people assured Piper that his precautions were well-founded.

"Your Majesty", said Piper, giving a polite bow.

The man nodded, still looking about. Piper took this as recognition and made to guide the Prince to his accommodations. The rest of the crew, briefed earlier, took to assisting the rest of their new passengers and collecting passports.

"We've made the arrangements for four-hundred of your citizens and personnel", said Piper as he led the Prince and his primary retainers into the crew compartments.

"I understand your journey has been long and of no lack of excitement. As such, I suggest a brief respite before we take to conversation regarding the future of your contingent", said Piper as they continued towards the Captain's quarters, vacated and prettied beforehand.

"In the meantime, I have been instructed to relay to you the essential notices. For one, your refugee status--necessary to be granted prior issuance of sanctuary--has been approved as you have discussed with my superiors in the past. Upon our arrival at Altaria, the State shall find you suitable quartering in a multi-national Interzone as we arrange for the necessary documentation. From there, the Executive Ministry may continue negotiations on your establishment of an independent settlement", Piper finished just as they reached the Captain's cabin suite. 

 

---


 

OOC: Yes, all SSO agents have bird callsigns (Kingfisher from Project Canamo), Sandpiper for this one--Joaquin "Scolopacidae". Forgive the wall of text exposition, honestly not quite sure how else to explain the info here.

In case it wasn't clear to everyone else reading this stuff: The backstory is that Henry's camp realised a few months ago that a contingency option was needed in case the power swayed to Aidan's side. They contacted the SSO through a 3rd party channel and made a deal guaranteeing their safe exfiltration and the future support of the Iverican government in procuring a new land to settle.

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Henry turned to Piper after reaching the Captain's Cabin with a smile, "I thank @Iverica for it's commitment to our... expensive deal. I will arrange for the last our our people to join us. But in this group is the wealthiest, and I assure your country its investment will returned tenfold."

He entered the cabin leaving behind the Iverican agent. He took a second to collect himself and took a seat. Then another knock from the door. Thinking it was Piper he yelled out, "Come!"

In walked another face, someone he wasn't too fond of but necessary due to his frustrating circumstances.

"Settling in... your Majesty" Duke Easton sneered, walking into the cabin.

"You're lucky we are both exiled and you're rich, or I'd shoot you, Duke."

"Indeed, well there is one more part to my deal."

Henry groaned, "You're medication."

"Yes," The Duke threw a full bottle of pills at the Prince. "Mood stabilizers, take them. Now, or my money is gone."

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

Aidan couldn't hide his shock at the report one of his aides had handed him while at a meeting of his top military advisors. For a moment he hung his head, then composed himself and looked back up. Brigadier Kendrick sighed and asked the question everyone in the room was wondering, "What is it Majesty?"

Aidan leaned back in his chair and shoved the report toward him, "It's Henry, I can't believe I didn't know. That was a Royal Physician's report, god he's sick. They diagnosed him with schizoaffective disorder. He's had this for f*cking years, and that git never told me."

Admiral Forrest, also at the table, grabbed the report first and gave it a once over, "What would you like to do about this your Majesty"

"Christ what can I do, I think we all know here that I'm not even remotely objective in this matter. Admiral, Brigadier both of you get me a report on our options. He's disappeared, hell a fifth of the nobility has gone silent. Thank god for us they didn't run anything particularly important... except Duke Easton. I need more to work on, get me that information.

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