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Removing roots of the past

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The weather as usual was dismal within the Haru central territory just outside of Tambov, rain and clouds mixed as one, the hellish orange light of the rising sun met the smoke rising from the ground and into the sky and transforming it into red lit heavens. One merely had to look upwards to see Themnzji's anger, the Haru god of war skirted his wrath above them all.

With every crackle of lightening, it was said to be the war gods mighty axe sweeping across the battles beyond mortality. Every thunder fall, a warrior had fallen. What the Tagmatine idealists would term angels, slewn in great warfare never-ending. Every Haru believed when they died they to would join this battle, and forever would war stain their hearts and face.

Peering out of the window slit of an armored staff car, General Su'Nal reflected upon the outside world and the problems of the here and now. With twin flags fluttering at the front of the vehicle, each held a triangle emblem and a dark black circle of which it stood outwards upon.

The flag of the Haruspex is to portray what has happened and what will happen. The red shows the blood of the Haru that died protecting the Principality before the age of the Imperium arose. The black arrows and outline mean death of enemies that will spread like a plague. And the white outlines show the Haru spirit and honor. Another meaning for the white colors outlining the black arrows mean that the Haru are responsible for their enemies's death. This of course was often the contention of the Renor Vlos versus the creators of the banner, under direction of the late Emperor Hak'Arn of House Renor Elemmiire.

Ahead of the General's vehicle, his destination became apparent. The airfields of Ust Vlos, near the township of Azan, a known bastion of the traitor house, Sargtlin. A waiting transport, a Ki-24 IIA just beginning it's preflight. About it, his escorts. A total of four consisting of Ki-24IIB's outfitted for ground and air defense combat. It was standard procedure in this day and age, another Ki-24 IIA would also be following, carrying an honour guard with. Until the word was given to go, the yellow light would not come. (Yellow in Haru is equivelent to green for anyone else).

Yellow box light above the aircrew barracks flashed at first and then became solid, beams of light, shining into the wet night. Klaxon sounded, and the pilots came out of their warm home on the quick step, lugging gear and helmet. General Su'Nal of course was there, stepping stiffly from the confines of the limo. Being trapped in the mobile coffin for twelve hours was less then enjoyable. Not that the limo was entirely bad, it did a decent attempt at preventing any sort of danger coming to him. The Z1A Armored Staff car was pretty much a veritable tank of a vehicle. With IED protection and windows capable of stopping high powered rifle rounds and so on.

His other entourage were also of an honoured house, his. House Mzil Velven elites, identifiable by the blue filter lenses of their goggles instead of the traditional orange. Shoulder patches identified them as the 4th Anubia Tactical Recon force. Hamaii veterans, as well as past incursions. They were para-troops and the old man, The One Lidded General kept those that stemmed from his own roots, close.

Grunted to himself, putting one or two of the aircrew into nervous states for a time. He waved them on with a half gesture of left hand as strolling towards the first KI-24 IIA. A dossier of his to be met tucked under right arm, and his personal escort of two House Renor Elemmiire commandos, personally awarded to him by Fleet-Lord Kaorin. Ah that woman, he had known and watched the meteoric rise of the young lady to Fleet Lord. Honour in her heart, loyal to throne and country alike. Shake of head as climbing into the transport, the sound of air rushing into the intakes already a guttural growl as the gunship pilots went through pre-flight checklist.

The senior officer was a female pilot who like the rest, were all seasoned combat soldiers. He watched as he settled in for the flight, said pilot perform tasks. Settled within the cockpit of M01, serial letter and number of the transport that she was to pilot from now on. Flight gear on, visor of helmet lifted while she sat in the pilot chair, nomex gloved right index finger touching the top center navigation console. A rushing sound of air passing into the engine intake and then expelled with a raspy growl or two. He realized she was humming, that was the sound of operation he couldnt place for a moment.

Slowly moving the center stick to make sure it's calibrated a bit and light touches to the pedals. Pre-flight nearly done as pausing to sign off on a checklist. Radio on, band set to four and running lights as ordered were off. Circle gesture made with right gloved index finger and on cue, the two lead gunships arose at a slight angle, followed by his own chariot, then the other transport, and lastly the other gunships. On their way across the yellow brick road for the land of Oz, or as one might know it from recent activity, Ulusk.

Watching the aircraft leave the airfield as the rain fell against the ferricrete, Fleet-Lord Tiyu of House Bel'la Kyorl dropped his cigarette to the ground and then began to walk towards the waiting SUV. Black as the night above and with blank license plates to signal that it was a government vehicle, rear door opened by a member of the Haruspex Intelligence Security Services - HISS. Looking over the orders from the Emperor and indeed from Lord Jarvis, as well as Fleet-Lord Kaorin. High ranking names that were no less then heroes to the Imperium. A slight gulp, this was far to important to foul up, if he did, well..there plenty of ways to ease around the red tape of the matter. Shelving his doubt to one side, it was time to do his duty. Now that his duties were up, escorting Su'Nal here to the air-pad. 

The Duty at Hand

The song of the morning came against the earth, the snow covered land that the township of Azan rested upon, was at peace. Situated upon the easternmost lands just beyond the city-state of Tambov. A crisp breeze ran it's course along the roofs of the homes in the area, residents trudging about. Birds that had been vibrant before, now fell still and quiet. A growing rumble, as if the earth was being torn apart and a metal upon metal shriek. Men turned to the sound, for it was strange. Children and women paused, and then from the tree-line distant they burst.

Vehicles of tread and armor crashed through the tree-line, splintering them with force as they lumbered into view. A secondary pause before flashes of light and smoke created terror. Infantry ran in a formation that signified a military background, a force in checked formation, advancing to the village as a black wave of death. Taydr du dnyedunc! (Death to traitors!) The old tongue came forth in a yell, a deep baritone voice that was gravelly and yet tinged with an icy beginning. The crackling sound from assault rifles accented the thundering blows from the armored personnel carriers that formed on either side of Azan. Soon enough the paths between homes and inn become soaked in blood and bodies. Officers in hoods walked alongst the bodies, brief clapping sounds escaping as death was ensured.

Ouin ruica crymm vymm du nieh (Your house shall fall to ruin) Growled out by another of the officers present, pointing towards an old man who had stepped out of the shack of a tavern at the commotion and now stood in the path of the charge. Surging soldiers, adorned in the standard infantry gear associated with IRG (Imperial Royal Guard) rushed forth. As the figure of command looked on, an old man died in a withering hail of gunfire that splattered the snow and the wood of the building itself. A gesture caught on recording and soldiers with large canisters upon their backs stepped forth to sweep fire across the kindling that was homes of these traitors.

There was to be no mercy from these men and women. Only the faithful would be spared, and there were none in this village. Caa dras hud yc ouin pnudranc un cecdanc, draca yna dnyedunc uv dra drnuha! (See them not as your brothers or sisters, these are traitors of the throne!) The words came out, loud and rakish in tone. The leader had cried to those under his command. Men, women, and beast found alike were not to be spared, each died either by the bullet or by other means. With savagery to be expected, the snarl of war dogs carried upon the wind, chains let free by their handlers. Four legged beasts leapt across the snow with malice. Hungry mouths, sharp teeth for the flesh of the victim, they carried the scent of blood upon their maws and there was for a moment a shout of pain, screams carried forth as the remaining few of the this place were down, dragged to the sweet embrace of the earth and red stained snow as the whipping motions of the dog heads and sharp canines tore them to pieces.

After a time, and Azan was smoldering, did the soldiers pack up and leave. Tiyu of course took it all in. This was the first time a home of an Imperial House had been struck in this fashion. With the forces of the throne left to clean up the mess left by the fell Ji'Mar. Which could explain the request by the Council of the Nine for more support. Of which he was now tasked with, speaking to the Empress and her advisors about the situation at hand, and to take steps to prevent the Ji'Mar loyalists from fleeing their holdings into other lands. A sigh slowly escaped his lips. If anything he missed the rye fields, something that didn't grow here, instead it was barley. In his hometown, the wind would sweep across the tanned brown stalks, and it would be like so much a wife running fingers through one's hair. Of course one had to have hair still, and have a wife who wasn't an old crow.

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  • 7 months later...

Chel'de Yorn
Citadel of Light
Imperial Temple of Dra Crehehk Cuh (Goddess of Wisdom)

The cool night's air tempered the many pillars that were arrayed on either side of a length range of stairs that led upwards towards the temple itself, half buried within what was left of Mount Lnescuh cduha (Literally means Crimson Stone, in relation to the Cinnabar ore found within the Chel'de Yorn city-state at the beginning of the industrial age.

Copper bowls hung from these pillars, of which out wafted an incense amidst lights that created a haze while illuminating the stairs. A further light could be seen from the individual lights held by citizenry as the mass of observers stretched out at the base as if an ocean of people. 

Ascending the stairs slowly was that of Empress Kira'Karn, with right hand laying within that of her proclaimed partners, co-ruler of the Imperium vast, Autokráteira Ayn Gende Elemmiire. Upon either's head, they wore a steel band, inscribed with the runes and faith of the Haru of old, their attire was that of the gowns, the red hue that called back to the times of yore. 

As they progressed, beside each pillar was that of an Imperial Royal Guard, adorned in attire from the days of yore. The legionary of the feudal days wore a type of segmented plate lamellar armour over a cloth attire. Every other one held a pike, while those that did not, carried a kite shield and sword. Beside each legionnaire adorned as such, a member of the Eighth Order in clerical attire, held aloft another bowl, yet not of copper but of clay, with a spout attached. A smoke billowed forth and towards the pair, with the cleric speaking softly, a chant of sorts. Pmaccat ec dra Ran Tejehedo, tu fa uvvan drec bnyoan raymdr yht bnucbanedo. (Blessed is the Her Divinity, do we offer this prayer health and prosperity.)

At the summit of these stairs, in a half moon presentation, stand the senior priests and clerics of the Eighth Order. Standing in-front of them, with arms spread wide, the most senior of all in the clergy of the Order, Thei'de Kantra Velven awaited. His tall frame, neither lanky nor proportionate to the frame presented offered a bow of head to the two rulers.

Two acolytes approached and laid two soft mats upon the stone before stepping back. Thei bade the two to kneel and face towards an iron statue of Dra Crehehk Cuh, of which held a bowl at the top. Thei moved about and made a cut within his hand using a blade, and then an acolyte would step forth and offer a blade to both the Empress and her lover. 

Kira used the blade to cut her palm, and with a clenching of fist, dribbled her life into the waiting cup. Ayn did the same, and then both were held aloft for Thei. He took them, mixing blood, incense, and bones in the bowl. He leaned forward, inhaled the scent, and then returned to his full height once more, having accepted the melting pot of scents before turning about towards the massed crowd awaiting below.

Hear me now, people of the Imperium! The gods have spoken, they acknowledge Kira'Karn and Ayn Gende Elemmiire as heralds! Let their shared blood be touched by the Goddess! A turn about to each forehead before him, and three pronged slide of fingers against each face, rows of the mixed blood being added to those faces. Each adorned, the soot of the incense giving it a more..feral look of sorts, slow ringing about eyes, and mouth, before stepping back.

His voice crooned, rough hewn yet it was a lovely sound as it carried about the temple, the gathered, and those who had come to seek his blessing. Du Kuttacc uv Fectus tu E keja so funtc, tu E uvvan so juela. Du dra feht, du dra cih, du dra cgo, du dra cay, du dra ayndr, tu E keja so bmatka du dra Asbnacc yht ran muja, du cdyht po dra Asbena jycd. (To Goddess of Wisdom do I give my words, do I offer my voice. To the wind, to the sun, to the sky, to the sea, to the Eurth, do I give my pledge to the Empress and her love, to stand by the Empire vast.)

He turned about with arms wide, the blood dripping down his arms, as he spoke to the crowd. We of the Eighth Order stand with the Empress, the Imperial Domain, may she rise and rule as great as Sa'Karn the wise!

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  • 2 months later...

2nd Imperial Legionary Command Headquarters
Control Bunker 2A

Twelve generals, six Vice-Lords, four High-Lords, and two Fleet Lords accompanied by a small host of senior legionary officers and attendants waited with baited breath for the sealed door to open. The highest ranking of this group, those previously mentioned, sat at an ancient, black oak table. Monitors and screens presented the Tagmatine border, and beyond. Feeds from every combat and or deployed location across the territories fed into this location.

Smoke hung in the air, breathed to life by the cigar held firmly between the lips of Fleet-Lord Agail Vek Elghinn. His grey hair cropped close to the skin, shaven on the sides, a deep wound following the bridge of nose and into left cheek. A survivor of the Hamaii Incursion before the Collapse. Eyes of grey-blue stared hard at the door, a man with little use for the finer things in life. 

Beside him and nearly opposite in every way, the lover of good wine, lovers, and fast cars, Fleet-Lord Baroi Vlos Zun. Vibrant reddish hair in a thick cut with stub on the sides. Wild green-blues from being rose tinted glasses, and a slender chain of silver hung from one ear, inscribed with runes of the old gods on the segmented shafts. His sit was not rigid, he was splayed outwards into the chair, a glass of wine in the left hand, balancing between index fingers while he lamented on the lateness of their guest.

On the other side of the two senior lords, were the hawks of the table. So called Raven-lords of the territories, the vice-lords of minor houses. Thin and reedy Graez of House Varis Zun, the somewhat rotund Neeli Hallas Velven, Haughty and cold Tivan, Third Prince of Renor Vlos, the ever regal and yet anti-social Vissa of House Grail Zun, Azulan the painter of House Hallas Elemmiire, and the sixth Prince Hisuk of House Varin Zun.

The generals littered about the table were from all walks of life within the legions vast. Aero, border, naval, imperial defense regiments, as well as home guard, police, and even administrative. Some were attached at the hip to houses, others were without, rising on their own merits to their ranks. Young, old, middle-aged, a variety of histories and abilities.

Yet, they were united. The Empress and her Autokráteira were making the Imperium weak. Their ideas, their rule had to be corrected. The group waiting would do just that, or their would be no more Imperium. No more throne to rule them. 

Using their own resources, they had cultivated the idea, then gathered in secret. Watching the Sargtlin fall into disarray, ruination, and then destruction on top of that, was a cold reminder of what the powers that the throne wielded. Best to have a powerbase they could control, so as to deflect any imperial grasp afterwards. Tambov was that control, long had it only grudgingly accepted imperial rule, a wild border city-state it still was.

The headquarters of the 2nd imperial legion had been chosen because of the many generals present held sway, and the control bunker was a leftover from the time of Sa'Karn and Fayh. It was out of the way, and wasn't officially in use. Only the trusted would know, and only those would also guard it.

A message had been sent to the Council of the Nine, for a meeting. One that would reshape the Imperium. Those who were trusted passed into the throne. She, the Empress was to come alone, leaving her guards and support in Prathen. Within Tambov her highness would be escorted by trusted legionary, and it was here she would accept the demands, lest her rule and country devolve into anarchy and fire.

Imperial Ward 
Royal Palace
Throne Hall

Glanced at the message, re-reading its contents. A slow glance upwards to see her spymaster and intelligence Fleet-Lord holding a smug look in her facial features. The woman could look to devour children sometimes. Ria Mel'Ana Velven, the name struck fear into those who heard it when captured. While mostly a public figure for the ECC, she had cut her teeth in Zero Circle first, the ruthless HISS. She was almost giddy which was somewhat terrifying thought Kira.

Well, I suppose you've news then as to your plot my dearest Ria. At the use of her name minus status, she drew up and took a regal bearing. M'lady, I do indeed! The snakes one and all, have come to nest within the trap, even now they await your arrival, unknowing of their own peril. Of course we have access to their communication equipment, we are quite ready to broadcast your response to them, live of course.

A slow tilt of head, placing hands behind back as she wore a variation of the red gown from her most recent public appearances. Very well, let us begin. Of course M'lady, Ria replied. Camera operators, a singular boom technician and a green screen were deployed. After a moment, the lead operator began a count down with fingers, 3...2...1...

Control Bunker 2A

Baroi was about to grumble when the monitors flashed to black, all of them at once. He swiveled his head about left to right, watching the junior officers and the like trying to scramble about and see what was going on. Then the light of the screens returned, but this time it bore the Empress's face, and she seemed, saddened if he had to guess. He heard soft muted gasps about the table from some, silence from others. A slow lean backwards into his chair, and he idly commented. We've been had.

Through the screen, Kira began. I am saddened today, that I address those of you in this fashion. Sons, daughters, fathers, husbands, wives of resolute and honorable citizenry. Yet, here you reside, having made the choice to threaten all of their lives. I am sorry that we must escape the old ways, that we may no longer rattle a saber, or vest our lives and those around us in blood and tears. You would have me surrender all that we are for a darkness of yore.

We will tell your families you died, in service to the Imperium, and to its citizens. Not that you were cowards and traitors, that is my gift to you. You should know, I waited until you believed yourself safe, that you could gather in one place, that this safety you assumed, would guarantee your lives. Your trusted beyond the sealed door have already been dealt with, none shall open the door until it is time. 

The ECC took great pain to make it seem like you had all that you needed and that it was secure, enjoy these last few moments, reflect on your actions, for you shall one and all, be dead. I will watch, these final moments, as the life leaves your eyes and your bodies, I will be the Judge of your Passing. 

As Kira spoke, Baroi swore he could smell peaches, as if a can was opened right next to him. While this scent danced about, he watched as Graez began to convulse, while others slumped over as if hit on the head, his counter-part Agail was talking to himself, or at least trying, the man looked as if he'd lost the ability to use one side of his mouth.

He himself was finding it hard to breath, he clutched at his collar, trying to loosen it, and all the while, the impassive face of the Empress watched him. Eyes taking in as he fell from his chair, body convulsing as the last little bit of life was wretched free of his body. Within ten minutes, the bunker was silent. No voices, no cries, it was a tomb now.

The monitors dimmed then shut off. Kira stood still for a moment, a low breath escaping. Ria? Yes M'lady? Burn all that remains, then seal the entry way to that bunker. Yes M'lady, you will be done.

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