Strange Winds

Discussion in 'Worldbuilding' started by Omneh, Jul 26, 2010.

  1. Omneh

    Omneh Member

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    I was fairly bored, so I decided on writing a little empires related fiction. Its almost certainly innacurate with regards to the "official" backstory, but I don't really mind, I like it how it is.

    I'll fix the formatting in a minute, bit wall of texty atm

    Strange Winds

    Outwardly, she was beautiful. Dark waves of hair fell to her shoulders, framing a face in which gleamed eyes like pools of midnight. Her skin was ivory pale, clothed by a purple that made the darkest night bright as the sun at its height, and decorated with silver that shone with the light of the winter moon. Silence expanded behind her as she stepped soundlessly along the marble hallway, the cloud of minor nobles, servants and guards who followed three steps behind attempting to emulate her silent footfalls. She held her beauty with a grace and self possession that could prostrate the mighty before her, bow entire nations before her feet, and that it did.

    Internally, she was also beautiful, if perhaps in a manner better appreciated by a biologist, or chemist, physicist or mathematician. She was as close in kin as those following her were to apes, and considering the degree to which even the most minor noble toyed with their own makeup nowadays, enhancing and altering themselves, that was not very close at all.
    Beneath that ivory skin, which itself was laced with a weave of polymer, was a being that was human and human ingenuity in equal parts, working in glorious symphony. Her blood sang with countless numbers of tiny constructs, her bones twined with strands of carbon arranged in a manner that made diamond seem soft in comparison, and her nerves, only partly of flesh, flashed in concert to the song, carrying notes on high to the mind. Her mind, grey folds replaced in part by a fibrous net of strange alloys and scintillating pathways of light. Stranger processes still danced in the depths, where reality seemed only subjective and what was there one moment, was gone the next.

    She mused on her sisters as she walked.

    She was the last, and the only one to have lived. The rest had been failures, forged like her in metallic wombs whose making had been taken from the ruin of a great nation, as had much of the knowledge that had made her. Her sisters had shared her name, but had been each imperfect in their own way. Her makers did not make the same mistake twice. She was that end result, designed to lead the brave new world that her parents - yes, parents, Some small trace of their code remained in her vastly altered own - had forged. Only now, it was disintegrating all about her. The sin of her parents, and her parents parents, all the way back to that first blow, that first spear thrown, that first blade thrust, all the way through twenty centuries, to the present, that sin had reared its ugly head once again. This time, she intended to chop it off, once and for all.

    She reached a pair of vast double doors, plated with silver. A single thought began a series of exotic processes deep within her mind, and the doors swung silently open. Another gift forcibly taken from that humbled nation. Humbled, but not broken.

    The table at the centre of the chamber was round, made of a wood that had been dark when first cut, and had darkened further over tens of centuries to an inky black, inlaid with patterns of silver that seemed to twist in impossible ways under prolonged inspection. These patterns were mostly hidden now, by maps, documents, computers, 3dim projectors, neural scanners, omnisphere interfaces, and what appeared to be the remains of a fried breakfast. She could almost consider the people sitting around this table equals. Almost.

    Those sitting at the table rose to their feet as she silently moved around the table to take her seat, facing the great silver doors which swung shut as she seated herself. The morning light streaming through the great windows behind her kindled the ancient band of metal that circled her head, every leaf worked upon it gaining a halo of wintery light. It was an archaic symbol, its true meaning lost even to her, a relic of something far older than Bren.

    With hurried bows and much scraping of chairs across the marble floor, her privy council seated itself. With a look of absolute serenity, she studied her councillors. Men and women in suits contrasted those who followed the recent resurgence of the old styles, the gaudy coats, puffy sleeves and masses of jewellery, anachronisms surrounded by the trappings of modern technology. Then again, that opulent clothing was not so out of place when the greater surroundings were considered, vast, severe columns rising to shadowy heights, impassive guards armoured in shining breastplates and high plumed helmets, shouldering bulky guns attached to bulkier power packs that she knew that at their highest setting could vaporise a main battle tank in a few short moments. Contradiction everywhere, a clash of orders that she knew, deep down, would be the death of an empire that had endured in one form or another for two thousand years. She was the last Empress, and she would see that Bren died with dignity, and that its successor would be a worthy one.

    Silence reigned in the great chamber. As was her prerogative, she broke it.
    “How goes the retreat, Lord Brend?” Her voice was melodious and carefully neutral. The owner of the fried breakfast gave a start, his tired eyes meeting her own as he spoke.
    “My Queen, what is left,” - he stressed that point, with a hard glance at a woman sitting opposite who was suddenly very interested in her fingernails - “of the occupation force has safely made it across the old borders, and the… enemy seems content with the current state of affairs, considering the lack of new incursions in the last forty eight hours.”
    She noted the difficulty he had with saying the name the insurrectionists had given themselves, the phrase ‘Northern Faction’ as unpalatable to Brenodi nobility as ‘Jekotia Reborn’. She found it distasteful as well; especially considering the acts Jekotia had soiling its name. The thought of that reborn was troubling, to say the least.
    “Very well. Were the occupation forces able to destroy any significant Jekotian infrastructure during the retreat?” The lords and ladies winced almost imperceptibly when she invoked the dreaded name, but they regained their composure quickly.
    Brend gulped and spoke up again, “Not… entirely, my Queen.” He glanced around nervously, but the other councillors remained impassive. “Much of the… Jekotian infrastructure remains intact. Our strategists ah, our strategists suspect that they will soon have complete control over their manufacturing capability, which they will surely use to replace their aging equipment. Whether they will prosecute a full scale attack against us, ah, remains unknown, my Queen.”
    The success of the insurrection with equipment that was in many cases, a century old, or homemade, was a sore point among the top generals in her military, considering their arrogance in believing forty year old equipment would remain entirely superior. Not everything the Jekotians had used had been archaic technologically. In other circumstances, there would be punishment, but now was not the time for that.

    continued below
     
  2. Omneh

    Omneh Member

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    The lady who had been so carefully studying her fingernails looked up suddenly, her eyes ablaze with zealous fire. “My Queen, if you will give me command of the Sixth, I promise I will retake what is rightfully ours, and purge the insurrectionist filth.” She fixed her with a stare that was a modicum more intense than was proper, then dropped his eyes. Her outward calm was unaffected, but she sighed inwardly. Another hawk desiring glory, another relic of a dying time.
    “That will not be necessary, Effen.” Effen spluttered, but she went on, “Even if the might of the Sixth was not near broken in the retreat, I would not risk giving the Jekotians a clear victory over such a fabled division as the Sixth, and I will not break the situation as it is. We must use this time wisely, while Jekotia consolidates herself, to rearm, rebuild, and then strike with every iota of our being at them, and break them once and for all.” Several heads nodded agreement, others looked unsure, and some, including Efen, looked mutinous.
    “I think we can all agree that Jekotia as it once was cannot be allowed to live again.” More heads nodded, Efen’s emphatically. “We can all remember the horrors of that time,” From the looks on their faces, very well indeed. The media that had leaked out of Jekotia during that time left an indeliable mark on ones soul. “and we remember how it rekindled all the ancient hatreds, old wounds and prejudices, and embroiled us in a war that began in the age that gave birth to the machine gun, and ended in a war fought with weapons that make those machineguns look like a flint axe.” She paused, just long enough to let those words sink in, before ploughing on.
    “During the course of that war, we both changed. While on the battlefields men of both nations slaughtered each other indiscriminately, at home we both strove to be better than our opponent in more ways than simple martial progress. We abandoned the oppression of our people, and while the monarchy was maintained it was opened to criticism and rational debate, and the barriers between classes broken down. In Jekotia, they too abandoned their old ways, seeking to better themselves in gentler ways than fruitless genocide. At the end, Jekotia was not the same nation that began the war, and neither were we.”

    Another pause, then she continued, “The Northern Faction does not represent the Jekotia that died after the discovery of the City. They are the old guard, the warmongers, the military that guarded the extermination camps, the military that rounded up those deemed ‘unsuitable’ by old Jekotia. They opposed the moves towards peace that New Jekotia made, they opposed the peaceful co-exploration of the ruins and the wonders they held.” Her mind strayed to the guns the guards held, and the deep recesses of her own brain. “They led the coup which scattered the old government even before its destruction in the breaking of the capital, They initiated the second war, they now lead the Northern Faction, Old Jekotia Reborn.”

    Silence lay heavy on the table. She drew a deep breath, suddenly aware of how warm the morning sun was against her back, how heavy the laurel crown was upon her head. “We are not blameless for this uprising. We planted the seeds of rebellion by forcing a new order upon them, by retaining ancient prejudices and expecting them to abandon theirs, by treating them as a vanquished foe, instead of a partner in the dream of the New Empire, a dream that was in itself antithetical to everything Jekotia and its people had stood for. Now the Northern Faction is swelled by ranks of Jekotians ignorant of the ways of their leaders, believing they fight for freedom and justice, the principles of the New Jekotia they knew. We were arrogant in victory my friends, and we are to pay a high price for our hubris.” The silence that followed that statement was heavier than a mountain. Her ears rung with those last words. Studying those sitting around the table, she saw her words had struck true, given shape to those guilty doubts that each of them harboured.

    One of her councillors raked a hand through his hair, deep in thought. Fixing the air above her left ear with an unsteady gaze – it had been a long few days, and even the best modifications could not banish fatigue forever – he said, as if to himself, “What are we to do now?” The question repeated itself faintly back to him, as it bounced among the columns before losing itself in the shadowed ceiling. Allowing a smile to grace her lips, The Empress of the Brenodi said, “Why, we fight and we die, of course.” Another pause. The sun burnt her to ash; the crown crushed her under the weight of worlds. She refused to let the weight bow her head. “In generations to come, we will be remembered, and we must do all we can to see that we are remembered well, in some small way. We shall have victory over half the injustice of the world, and then we shall allow ourselves to die, and thus cleanse the world.”
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2010
  3. Trickster

    Trickster Retired Developer

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  4. Dubee

    Dubee Grapehead

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    To lame didn't read.. You write romance novels when your bored?
     
  5. Senor_Hybrido

    Senor_Hybrido Member

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    Anyway that took a lot of effort for something that was done out of boredom.
     
  6. Omneh

    Omneh Member

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    oops.

    It only took an hour or so tops, its fairly bad really.

    Dubee has a point on the first bit, I was reasoning if you are going to design a female absolute ruler, you may as well make her fairly good looking as well as fill her with all kinds of technowizardry and stuff. I didn't pull it off very well and it reads a bit lame. Hell, the entire thing reads a bit lame, should have developed the other people sitting round the table more.
     
  7. Jessiah

    Jessiah Member

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    I like the subject, but the writing is, at times, outright confusing. Keep it up mate =]
     
  8. Dubee

    Dubee Grapehead

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    also strange winds kinda sounds like another name for farts.
     
  9. complete_

    complete_ lamer

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    metallic wombs
     

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