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Mystery In the Dolch See (Europa Halloween Special)


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By now the Salamis had arrived on scene, and the original boarding party had just returned, relived by a a part from the Seylosian ship. The marines had found nothing. Which, was interesting in itself, as they had literally found nothing. No logs in the vessels archive, no manifest, nothing. No signs that anyone had ever even set food on the ship. Even the pantry had been emptied. This Puzzled Faustia and her officers. As if there had been pirates on board, and a confrontation took place, there would be some evidence. But there was nothing. 

What was even more interesting, that the cargo of the ship was still intact. Whatever this was, it didn't have any hallmarks of the usual pirate raid. What stirred the puzzled officers was the fact that the Sullen Wind, the Fulgistani ship, was totally gone. No trace. Pirates never took an entire ship, they took what they needed and left. This was highly unusual. 

Faustia had ordered the communications and intelligence officers to assume control of the drones on board the destroyer, and sent the out on long range patrols to find the missing ship, or at least some sign of evidence to give them a suggestion as to what was going on. In the mean time, she thought it best to liaise with her counterpart onboard the Seylosian ship. 

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A hailing frequency was opened to the Ardent. Faustia began in common. 

"Ave! My name is Captain Faustia, I am currently in command of the FIS Salamis. We have been conducting intelligence gathering and investigations of what transpired here as part of our operational parameters in the local anti-piracy and anti-slavery task force. We thought it would be best we invited you across to our ship to pool resources and consult on our findings."

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"Comrade Captain, sir, we've made radio contact with HMS Ardent. Salamis is also standing by at the wreck of the Sullen Wind." 

"Very well. Open a line to the captain of Ardent, Ensign."

"Aye aye."

Captain Salvatore Fagiole was one of the few members of the Revolutionary Guard to be a native-born Faramanian, an escapee of the Terrone regime, rather than Fulgistani-born. Twin lines of the bumps of ritual scarification crossed the cheekbones under his eyes, and his brow bore the mark of a Faramontese Security Forces machete. One of the most seasoned captains in Fulgistan's meager fleet, he'd been selected to captain the newly-acquired Pallamaran-made frigate SWR Solidarity in 2015. An older Broadhead-class guided missile frigate, it was equipped primarily for anti-submarine warfare, and had been diverted from its routine Adlantic patrols to respond to the mysterious sinking of the Sullen Wind.

In addition to its normal contingent of seamen, the Solidarity also carried aboard a contingent of the brave fighting men and women of Fulgistan's much-neglected naval infantry contingent, popularly termed El Regimiento de los Madrianos, due to its origins in Wulumuqi and its almost all-Madrian membership. Widely considered almost as bad as the FFRU in discipline and combat capabilities, the naval infantry nonetheless maintained a longstanding and very vocal pride in their accomplishments, both actual and embellished. This particular company was led by the valiant, mustachioed People's Lieutenant Matteo Alcubierre.

"Ardent, this is Solidarity, do you read me?"

"Solidarity, this is HMS Ardent, we read you loud and clear. We've located the wreckage of the Sullen Wind, as well as the intact freighter Beaumont. We've rendezvoused with the Adapton destroyer Salamis as well."

At that moment, a new radar contact appeared on the sensor suite of the Solidarity. Previously undetected, the radar profile indicated a ship of frigate size.

"Ensign, what are we seeing here?"

"Unknown vessel, sir. We're doing our best to make contact, but they aren't responding to our hails."

"Ardent, this is Solidarity, can you confirm our radar contact?"

"This is Ardent; we confirm your contact. Bearing 28 degrees southwest, 10 knots in speed. Advise we coordinate an interception."

"Copy that, Ardent. Moving to intercept now."

With that, through the falling dusk over the foggy Dolch, the SWR Solidarity and her crew put full steam on, her pair of scouting helicopters lifting off the rear deck, out, out into the unknown, toward the mysterious ship.

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Shipbucket design credit goes to @Pallamara

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The Salamis had been preparing to host an intelligence meeting between the captains of the ships within the makeshift coalition flotilla as the Fulgistani ship approached. However, before arraignments could be made, the attending intelligence officer called out across the bridge. 

"Captain! Unknown vessel has been sighted on OTHRN, and RADAR contact is established. The ship bears no markings, or ensigns. It looks to be of frigate class or size. Attempts to make contact are not being answered. The ship is heading at full power. We've detected weapons arming."

Faustia looked shocked. "What the.... Pirates? But a ship so large? Christ! Open a hail!" 

"Aye captain... Broadcasting." Replied the intelligence officer. 

"Attention approaching vessel." Faustia began. The broadcast was covering all frequencies, those aboard the other ships should have picked up the hail. "This is Captain Faustia of the Federal Imperial Vessel Salamis. Abort your advance, disarm your weapons, or we will be forced to engage."

Silence returned over the communications. 

She continued. "I repeat. This is Captain Faustia of the FIS Salamis. Abort your advance!"

Silence again. 

"Oh for fu..." Faustia muttered to herself. "Weapons teams. Bring the bloody missile batteries up now and take aim! And bring the bow gun up." She turn back to the communications array in-font of her. "Unknown vessel. This is your last warning!" As she began, she noticed the Fulgistani vessel begin to advance. "Stand down, abort your advance, or prepare to be engaged!"

This time, the vague fizzle and static of a bad radio communications line became clear. It fuzzed and crackled for several seconds. Eventually, a gravelly, and broken voice came back. 

"[Static]..It.... Must [Static]... Be.... Sent [Static]." 

The radio then fell silent. Faustia, looked to her intelligence office. "f*cks sake! Full speed! These bastards won't get near us!'

Sharply the vessel hurled itself onto it's bearing. And with a lurch, and powerful heave, it propelled itself forward, tearing through the water, whilst smoke bellowed from it's now antiquated stack. Throwing itself into weapons range, alongside the Solidarity

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Captain Lennox was next to the radio operator when the call from the Fulgistani ship came through.

"Ardent, this is Solidarity, can you confirm our radar contact?"

Lennox looked over to the radar operator, "Confirmed?"

The crewman nodded, "Aye sir contact confirmed."

"This is Ardent; we confirm your contact. Bearing 28 degrees southwest, 10 knots in speed. Advise we coordinate an interception." Lennox said, speaking  into the mouthpiece somewhat too quickly. He turned back to his helmsman rushing over to him, "Ensign, set a course towards that radar contact bearing two oh eight. Flank speed."

"Bearing two oh eight, flank speed aye Captain."

The Ardent began a dramatic turn around towards the southwest, away from the stricken freighter. On the bridge, Lennox began to notice the tension building on the bridge, it wasn't often that a Seylosian ship had to go to battle, but he was positive his crew was ready for anything. His radio operator quickly interrupted his thoughts.

"Captain, the Adapton ship has attempted to hail the advancing ship. No response."

Commander McAllister rushed to Lennox's side radio in hand, "Captain deck reports fire from the contact. It appears to be splashing close to the Salamis."

Lennox nodded back, this time no warnings. "Ready Harpoon missiles and the forward gun. Do we have a radar lock on the target?"

"Aye sir radar lock confirmed. Target in range"

He held his breath for a second before giving the command, "Fire Harpoons."

From the bow of the ship two missiles arced away from the Ardent rushing towards the unknown frigate. Lennox couldn't see the ship in the distance, but he could see when suddenly arcs of gun fire could be seen in the distance, aiming at the incoming missiles.

"Captain, we've lost contact with missile one, missile two still on course."

Christ, Lennox thought to himself, these people have anti-missile technology? Luckily he saw a small flash in the darkness followed by his weapon's officer calling out.

"Confirmed hit missile two. Enemy ship status unknown."

Suddenly the ship shook slightly with alarms going off.

"Captain! Deck reports hit on our port bow! No detonation and possible unexploded ordinance."

"Helmsman take evasive maneuvers, forward gun open fire!" Lennox yelled out. "Comm inform the Solidarity and Salamis that we've made a successful hit. Target has not been disabled. Weapons, I need those missiles reloaded now!"

 

destroyer+vertical+launch+BrahMos+anti-s

 

 

 

Edited by Seylos (see edit history)
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"The Ardent has a confirmed hit captain! It seems the unknown ship is still holding however." Came a voice from the intelligence officer. 

Faustia, peered out into the darkness, the flashing of lights on the bridge lit up behind her. She zoned out of the chattering, and rushed atmosphere, until, unto her mind, the bridge was silent. She focused herself, calculating. It seemed like several minutes had passed, but it must have only been a few seconds. She closed her eyes briefly. Turned to her Intelligence Office, and to her Weapons Officer, and began her battle sermon. 

"Co-ordonate the drones to counter any offensive activity. Arm forward phalanx. Launch Perseus 1 through to 3. Flash at 11 though to 2. Concentrate bow fire intermittent between Perseus launch. On Mark. Communicate to flotilla, crescent moon advance on target. Screen fire. Let the drones do their work..."

Immediately her officers began pouncing into action. Within seconds the ships began to co-ordonate their advance. A Perseus missile fired off into the dark, directly towards the target, a second after, the main bow gun of the Salamis fired intermittent shots out. 

Three of the Salamis' drone craft had advanced on the unknown ship. It was at this point the flotilla got their first visual glimpse of the vessel via the video feeds. In the dark the ship, of a frigate size, could be made out, however faint. Markings along it's hull could be seen, although disseminating exactly what they were was impossible. It seems also as if the ship was somehow covered in something. What, it wasn't clear, but an eerie oxidised, and overgrown look could be made out. 

Suddenly a reply salvo was fired from the unknown vessel, it was almost unearthly how rapidly the counter manoeuvre was engaged. All the while the ship never seemed to wane under the pressure of battle. It was unsettling. Fortunately the drone craft detected the reply attack, with one drone tagging the incoming missile. Soon after the missile was tagged, the unknown ship, as if telepathically knowing, ripped a burst from its close in weapons system, splitting the drone in half, before it erupted into flames mid flight. The Salamis in return opened with it's forward Phalanx guns and pierced the missile from the sky. 

The first Perseus missile had overshot it's target, while the second was launched. This time with a more stable target acquisition in place. To add to the maelstrom, the remaining drones opened fire with their support missile systems. clashing into the desk of the unknown ship, an starting the first visible fires. 

The night sky have become illuminated by the salvos roaring through the air, and not the flares launched for the Salamis had reached their zenith in the night, the ocean bound battlefield could now be seen. Quite possibly the most intense naval engagement since the Long War was currently underway. But, the horror was far from over. 

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"Solidarity, this is Cormorant 1. We've acquired visual of the target vessel. Adapton drone footage is correct, vessel is a frigate-sized craft in poor condition. The missile launched from HMS Ardent appears to have detonated amidships. Enemy vessel is listing significantly to starboard. We're acquiring a torpedo lock now."

Surging forward over the frigid water, the Solidarity's pair of scout helicopters, Iverican SUISA models, skimmed low over the waves in order to reduce the risk of detection. Their FLiR units gave them a similar picture to the drones launched by Salamis; a frigate-class ship with some sort of strange detritus covering the hull; no matter. An enemey was an enemy, and they were the first line of attack at Solidarity's disposal.

"Copy that, Cormorant 1. Relaying information to flotilla."

The twin helicopters bearing the Cormorant callsign began their attack run. Slung under their bellies were one torpedo each, sonar-guided and quiet as the grave. With the flick of a switch, both rotorcrafts jettisoned their deadly cargo.

"Torpedoes away. Locked on target."

For a few scant minutes, there was a silent tension amongst the vessels of the flotilla.

"Hit confirmed! Target vessel appears to have been struck astern, listing heavily and taking on water."

The bridge of the Solidarity lit up with cheers. Captain Fagiole allowed himself a smile, picking up the handset again.

"Well done, Cormorant. Withdraw and return to Solidarty,."

"Copy that, Solidarity. Returning."

"Ensign, get me the Salamis. ... Salamis, this is Captain Fagiole of the Solidarity. Reporting two hits on enemy vessel, likely crippling. I advise that we coordinate a boarding action, over."

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Oil has always been a key-factor in Sayfi-Seylosian relations. Sayf often exports oil to Seylos at fair and reasonable rates. The Sasyfi government believes that there is a large amount of pirate activity in the Dolch sea. Due to the value of the Dolch Sea to the local petroleum industry, Sayf has dispatched a group of three ships to investigate and eradicate piracy in the region to maintain Sayfi interests in the area.

Three Sayfi Ships, S.R.S Turitun, S.R.S Baghdadi, and S.R.S Salman have been assigned to anti-piracy operations in the Dolch Sea to protect Sayfi Oil Interests

"Commodore, we've verified the coordinates of the distress signal, how shall we proceed?"

"Set course to the coordinates, hopefully, we'll be able to catch some pirates and go home."

"Yes sir,  we can expect to arrive in one and a half days."

The Commodore, Rashid Al-Qalea aged 44 has only ever engaged in light combat with small pirate ships with much less firepower than this ships he's headed. He was conscripted when he turned 18 and never left the Sayfi Navy as it offered him a college degree, good pay, and stable employment. Sayf hasn't experienced a major conflict since the Sayfi Civil War in the 70s where radical Islamist groups attempted to take over the country and turn it into a theocracy. Rashid was born shortly after the conflict in 1974, so he wasn't able to gain any combat experience on the sea outside of squabbles with small pirate bands and combat simulations. Rashid believes that whatever lies ahead in the rough waters of the Dolch Sea, will be nothing but an incompetent band of slavers or pirates.

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The Group of ships departing from Sayf

Edited by Sayf (see edit history)
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Faustia received the communications from the Fulgistani ship, and captain Fagiole. She initiated a reply communication. 

"Solidarity, this is Captain Faustia of the Salamis. We're already preparing a boarding group via air. I am relaying our intelligence and radio communications to your ship for collaboration with your boarding teams. Our 6 strength team is looking to board the bridge from above. If you can spare the manpower to secure the fore and aft we can rendezvous teams at the centre deck before clearing the lower decks together. I will prepare some AA suppression if we can coordinate AA suppression together can get a better chance at the teams landing first time."

She then turned back to her weapons officer. 

"Target the unknown vessels weapon systems, and engine systems, suppress their AA fire, and try and pin them where they are. Try and coordinate with the other vessels to get effective focus fire."

The Weapons Officer nodded, and continued to carry out his duties. Within a few moments, the Salamis had retargeted it's weapons and was now firing from it's bow gun, and suppression batteries at the vessels weapon systems, focusing on crippling it's ability to effectively manage any anti-aircraft actions. 

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The HMS Argos had continued its patrols in the Dolch See following its original mysterious encounter with the frigate it had been pursuing. Upon hearing the news that the Ardent and two other ships were currently engaged in a difficult battle with a ship matching that same description, Captain Deanne Domnall was beginning to question her original decision to break off pursuit. However her orders were clear for the moment, unless the situation over there becomes critical, the Argos will continue its normal patrols in hopes of stopping something else.

"Captain, we just received a brief burst of a mayday from a Limonaian ocean liner traveling through the Dolch." Domnall snapped out of her thoughts upon hearing her communications officer call from the other side of the bridge. She turned her back to the bridge's window and almost jogged her way over to the officer who was still messing with the controls on his equipment.

"Are they still transmitting?"

The officer shook his head, "No ma'am I lost the signal almost as quickly as it started. They were briefly able to mention that whatever the ship was that was approaching them appeared to be coming from the general direction of Derthalen's coastline."

Deanne took a moment to think to herself, this could be another one of the Sentists attacks, as her crew has started to call them. But something felt a bit off about it, attacked an ocean liner of any size would mean some serious commitment to their actions. While she had no doubt in her head the Sentists were a threat in the Dolch, they didn't appear to be some monolithic organization that could just capture and process hundreds of people like that. "Keep sending replies to their mayday, see if you can get them back."

She turned around to face navigation, "Navigation, set a course towards the last known location of that ocean liner. Check their filed plans and let's see if we can use that last radio contact to figure out where they may be. Take us there full speed ahead."

Something about this particular incident seem to sit wrong in her gut. But until Argos got there, Domnall made sure to try and quash ever growing list of theories.

 

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Lennox breathed a sigh of relief as it had seemed the battle had finally died down.

"Captain, both the other ships have confirmed they are beginning boarding operations."

Lennox nodded, "Go ahead and send a reply stating we will be holding back, we have possible unexploded munitions on board that could be a hazard to the other ships if we approached."

The communications officer nodded and began to relay the messages.

Lennox's second officer approached him holding a radio in his hand, "Captain I've got Leftenant Elliot down below decks saying he's got eyes on the shell that hit us."

Lennox immediately grabbed the radio out of his hand, "Leftenant, this is the Captain tell me what your seeing."

"Aye captain, seems what we've got here is a partial penetration of the shell. By the looks of it I'm thinking it might be a dud but I can't be too certain. I'm taking a closer inspection right now, but it seems to be fairly old."

Both Lennox and his second officer exchanged quizzical looks, "What do you mean old?"

"Judgin by the intact marking sir, I'd say this shell is probably... over fifty years old. Certainly not Seylosian. The language looks maybe something like Limonaian? I can't imagine they would have produced this in years though. I'd want to be extra careful with this particular piece, many of these older shells have a chemical anti-tampering device which could set it off."

"Well I'm fairly certain we haven't been exchanging fire with a Limonaian frigate tonight... leftenant I want you to document everything you can before going through with any sort of defusal. Make sure that section is evacuated of any non critical personnel."

"Aye sir, we're on it"

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The Adapton helicopter has levelled itself above the unknown ship's bridge. The two remaining drone craft circling and covering it's hover. As it steadied itself The three aircraft in tandem fired off a barrage of flares and lit the entire night sky as if it was day. The unknown vessel had fallen silent. Eerily silent. 

Four lines dropped down from the transport aircraft. And the first four of the Adapton marines repelled down onto the bridge. With the final two following shortly after. The three helicopters instantly retreated back to the safety of the Salamis. The Adapton team of six moved in silence, which made the boarding action seem even more eerie. Clad in black, with black case-less rifles, there was no trace of the presence of the Adaptons aboard the ship. They noticed almost immediately upon boarding how old the ship seemed to be. No technology of a modern vintage appeared present at all. 

After gaining entry to the bridge by somewhat old fashioned methods, by Adapton standards, they made their way through the command tower of the ship. The bridge itself was vacant, with no sign anyone had even been on the bridge during the confrontation. 

Eventually, the team moved off the bridge and into the lower part of the tower silently but quickly. They split into two sections of three each. Moving with grace and precision. Suddenly, the unmistakable sound of one of the case-less rifles firing off twice, the famous double tap of the Adapton military. The section leader called out across the cross-com system. 

"Status?"

"One X down, room clear. Investigating then proceeding."

As the shooter approached the corpse of the now neutralised attacker, it seemed to have vanished. None of the team members seemed to notice, just one minute a body was there, the next, it wasn't. As they rounded the next corner, expecting an injured assailant to be there, they were assailed by another. This time the lead team member parried away a bare handed attack from an almost wild looking assailant. As the savage attacker reared for another assault, the men suddenly noticed, there was something wrong here. An almost feral expression was across the mans face. As he lunged forward, a swift counter-move from the lead marine side stepped the attacker. Followed by a quick swipe to the legs, and as the attacker tumbled a sharp thud to the back of the head saw him fall to the floor unconscious. 

"One secured." Came across the comm system. 

"Tag and retrieve." Came the reply. 

The team continued on their boarder action, en route to rendezvous with the Fulgistani teams. 

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Racing at high speed across the choppy Dolch, the four RHIBs of the naval infantry took a pounding from the spray. Hot on the heels of the Adapton helicopters, the brave men and women of El Regimiento de los Madrianos gripped their folding-butt rifles with apprehension; nobody knew what the hell was on that ship, and they had the dubious honor of finding out. A few thousand yards out, the meager flotilla split, a pair of boats each heading to the bow and stern. Scaling ladders slipping off the rail and pinching fingers, they hurried through the mist up onto the slippery, seaweed-covered deck. People's Lieutenant Alcubierre unslung his rifle and assembled his half of the company.

"Sweep the deck; neutralize any resistance, take as many prisoners as you can. We don't know what the hell's belowdecks, so we'll wait until we rendezvous with the Adaptons before proceeding below. Move out!"

Shivering on the wave-rocked deck, the fireteams spread out and advanced toward the middle of the ship; initially, it was all quiet, but it didn't take long before something characteristically awful happened.

"Aaaaah! Un pez bastardo y bien feo! Mierda!"

The clatter of carbine fire rang out across the ship, ricochets hitting the rail, the bridge and the deck. Rounding a corner, Alcubierre came face to face with a bloodbath. A trio of scrawny, malnourished men had jumped out of a hatch, silver daggers in hand, and run smack into Corporal Gutierrez's fireteam, and all four of their automatics. Private Jimenez was dry heaving over the railing for a while, sure, but the assault pressed on. The other two platoons had reported no contact, and soon enough, the company assembled in full outside the bridge. Motioning to his two best squads, P. Lieutenant Alcubierre and Sergeant Fuentes moved to breach the door. Giving it a dramatic kick, Alcubierre rapidly discovered that the door, in fact, opened inward, and that kicking metal doors really, really hurt. Cursing his bruised foot, he swung open the door, chucked in a grenade, and shut the door again. Upon reopening, it was discovered that he had bravely fragged a collection of empty boxes. Sighing, he cocked his rifle in a dramatic and unnecessary fashion.

"Adelante!"

Edited by Fulgistan (see edit history)
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The Adapton Fireteam had rendezvoused at the pre-determined section of the ship where they expected the Fulgistani troops to meet them, however the Madrianos were not to be seen. The now three marines, held their position, and checked their communication systems for updates. The fourth marines, who had stayed back with the captured sailor was making his way back to the gangway by the bridge for extraction with said captive over his shoulder. But the transport helicopter wouldn't be back on scene for another 8 minutes. 

Suddenly, a series of explosions and gunshots rang out. The three fireteam members looked at one another with readied weapons. A ping on their monocle systems notified them from the circling drones, that the explosions and shots were from the Fulgistani team. The Adapton marines lowered their readies weapons. The lead marine turned back to his other team members. 

"Stand fast. According to the drones, they're closing in." The marine radioed back to the Salamis. "Any chance you could either radio link us to these amateurs, or ping them and tell them to wrap their fire before they accidentally fire off in our local!"

Just as the marine finished radioing back, a large metal clank could be heard, followed by another explosion. This time the explosion seemed to be very close by. The marine immediately screamed out in Common.  

"STOP F*CKING THROWING GRENADES! WE'RE RIGHT HERE!" Quickly, as if reading his mind, the Fulgistani phrase for stop sprung across his monocle system. "F*CKING, TING-ZEE!" He bellowed in the worst broken Fulgistani one could fathom given the circumstances. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

The Argos  had been traveling along the route where the Limonaian ship had disappeared for some time now. For the whole length of their course they hadn't found a thing. Domnall knew something was obviously wrong. Of course her mind had turned to the Sentists as the obvious cause. Up to this point they had been the ones that were causing all the trouble in the region, but everything here was off. Ever hail was unanswered, which of course made sense, but the Sentists had done one of two things: Either destroy the vessels they were attack or kidnap the crews that were on board leaving the full ship to drift on the open seas. There was no way that she believed that these Sentists had the means to capture and process a thousand people while also stealing an entire ocean liner. Where would they take these people? What would they do with them?

Her mind however wandered to one distinct possibility, Derthalen. They could take the liner, and they could berth it somewhere to offload a thousand people to be used for whatever horrors awaited them. She had no definitive proof, but everything in her mind pointed to them.

"Commander, anything yet from the Limonaian ocean liner?"

Her second in command shook his head, "No ma'am, we've found no evidence of its destruction, or even of its existence here. At this point it's safe to conclude it has been hijacked and taken somewhere local."

She hung her head slightly, they were gone, and she knew she had to report her findings and her opinions. "Continue the search Commander, as fast as possible. Though, I feel we already have the answer to who took these people."

She turned he attention to her communication officer, "Get in contact with Selbourne, I have an update to our searches."

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  • 3 weeks later...

Some time had passed since the confrontation of the unknown vessel. Whilst both the Fulgistani and Adapton marines were still present investigating the ship, the captive had been retrieved, and was now in a holding cell aboard the Salamis. Several of the on board medicus (medics or doctors) however, had acquired quite the curiosity about their new addition.

Upon initial medical inspection, several peculiarities were noted, as a result, the captive was placed under a closer watch. Despite still being unconscious. The lead physician onboard has noted the very pale skin of the man, which seemed to shift to a blue, or green hue, depending on which way the light shone. In addition to this, it seemed as they his skin was covered in a sort of constant perspiration, making it appear oily, or even scaly in some light. 

It was also noted, that the man was almost completely hairless, save for some blonde hairs on the ridges of his brow. Although the examiners were still unclear whether this was actual blonde, or whether the man was in-fact albino. That analysis would have to wait. 

Meanwhile, the unknown ship was yielding interesting data. The composition of the ships hull was bizarre to say the least. Appearing metal, but heavily oxidised, almost as if the ship was made of bronze. Which was of course, seemed unfathomable. The outer coating, which was first noticed by the drone footage was, as yet, undetermined. But was providing a bit of a hinderance to properly investigating the ship, since the coating seemed to obstruct the boarding teams the further down into the hull they ventured. 

One thing, which had been noted, was the absolute lack of any form of munitions onboard the vessel. Faustia had ordered a full intel team to make their way to the ship, to throughly investigate, which the current finders were sent to the allied vessels in the area. 

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  • 4 weeks later...

A good 48 hours had passed at this point, and serious analysis of the unknown vessel was starting to be returned. It had been determined that the heavy oxidisation seemed to be stagnant. As in, the oxidisation process had stopped, and not continued beyond a specific point in time. More interestingly, was a carbon dated samples from the ship, seemed to indicate the vessel was many thousands of years old. Investigators had, as such, declared the findings as inconclusive. 

Similar investigations around the captured prisoner were also yielding interesting results. An increased level of aggression was noted by the captive, as time gone on. Provisions offered to the captive were all ignored, with the exception of water. In which the prisoner seemed to have a fervour for. Eventually, the medical crew on board the Salamis were forced to sedate the captive, due to the highhanded aggression. 

Faustia sat alone at her desk in her quarters. Only one dim light gave the room a sense of life, that and the muted tones of conversation. 

"...In summary, the situation seems peculiar. I'd like permission to investigate further. I haven't disclosed the findings to Agamanon yet, I thought best to directly report to the High City." Faustia's voice was heavy with seriousness. 

An unmistakable tone returned from the dim light. "You were right to inform Aedesia. We've pulled you from Agamanon's operations, and given you cover. He is unaware. I've authorised a contingent of Apostles to rendezvous with you in the next few days. Two agents will arrive. They will be directly under the command of Aedesia, but you have the right to utilise them as you see fit. I'd like you to maintain control of the Seylosians, and Fulgistanis. They know of this, make sure, they keep it quiet. I've ordered the Informationes Officium Bellica to begin off-info operations to limit the spread of this incident. You're the sole responsibility of this operation now Faustia. Because of the nature of this, we're limited in the scope of support we can offer, that being said. You have our full backing. Use the measures you have to hand in anyway possible. We will support you." 

"Thank you Augustus."

The light dissipated. And Faustia was now alone in the lifeless room again. Contemplating the scenario she was in. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Dolch See, Eurth. 

 

It has been a few days attempting to locate the ship that called for help. "Commodore, we've been sailing for days trying to locate our ship. This is taking longer than expected. I suggest we turn back-" The Commodore would cut him off "No need to tell me that, we've been reassigned." "Reassigned sir?" replied the First Mate "Yes, we're to regroup with a fleet that's been assigned to be the a permanently assigned to the Dolch See, Baghdad has reevaluated the region as a high-risk conflict zone and we need to protect our interests in the area, so they made the executive decision to beef up security here. Anyways, plot course for these coordinates, we need to resupply and join the new group." "Yes, sir." The three ships apart of the Sayfi fleet depart to join their new assignment. 

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