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Author Topic: Silence (1910-1920)  (Read 1707 times)

Offline St Oz

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Silence (1910-1920)
« on: July 22, 2014, 07:38:00 AM »
Ozi’pol - 1910

The industrial red sun crept over the mountains that surrounded Ozi’pol, and the first building to feel the warmth of day had its roof at about seven hundred meters above sea level. There stood the distinctive Tower of the Listener on top of the Mountain of Whispers. The tiers of the tower spiraled up ninety meters until the final tier reached another thirty. The tower amounted for only a fraction of the entire complex with high walls surrounding the entire top of the carved mountain. The tower had a presence that moved the six million inhabitants who lived at the base of the mountains surrounding Ozi’pol, and it was a source of hope for 250 million Gaeanists. On top of the tower meditated the one who was closest to Gaea, the Listener.

The Ozians built it to withstand sieges, but after centuries of conflict there was one siege too many. The Haradric Empire finally conquered their last ambition in 1882, the Divine Republic of Ozia. They kept the listener under their guard on top of her own tower, keeping the populace pacified while they slowly crept their own religion in. New temples for their God Melkor were built immediately, and the soul of the nation dwindled.

The Great War of Taijitu brought new embarrassments, because women were not allowed to enlist. The once proud warriors of Gaea were dead or dying, and the new conscripts of Gaean Peoples were disheartened men subordinate to an empire that put them between their bullets and Northern Powers bullets. The Gaean Divisions snapped in the Eluvataran winter. One dead Ozian prisoner triggered the beginning of the Mutiny which put the Haradric armies in retreat back south to Ozia. There they fortified to hold off against rioting, and the impending Northern Powers invasion.

Ozipol, Tower of the Listener - 1910 - Liberation of Ozi’pol

General Idul bin Zarak watched down from the top tier of the Listener’s tower. At the base of the tower were stone palisades that lined around the mountain. He was a tall lanky man with dark skin and dark Ozian red eyes. He wore a stiff dark kepi on his head and a brilliant pure white military coat lined top to bottom with glistening and jingling medals and ranks. He, or rather his servants, kept his pants creased and his boots polished. He kept a ceremonial Ozian blade and an Iseltov semi-automatic pistol attached to his belt, two gifts from his service in the Listener’s Republic.

He thought about these palisades in ancient history with elite Ozian archers patrolling them, but now they had exhausted Haradric conscripts from all across Taijitu defending against the revenge of Gaea. Plumes of black smoke rose around everywhere, and the air had the smells of ash and a dash of burnt flesh. The deep heart-vibrating rumbles of naval battery echoed through the mountains with frequent rattles of rifle and machine gun fire all over Ozi’pol.  While the conscripts held off the assault at the tower’s gate, the imperial administrators and military leaders including himself that lived there since conquering Ozia planned a retreat back to the Haradrim. His emergency orders included the transport of the Listener Zukina Eda Oz too.

Idul walked towards the door of the top tier where the Listener resided, and her loyal retainers armed with Iseltov rifles let him through. He marched down a long carpeted hallway with colorful keffiyehs of past Listeners hung on the walls. He let himself into the study where three pairs of purple eyes looked over at him. Listener Zukina stood by her desk while her two top retainers, Admivis Rae Denizinha Parolaz and Zeitev Sappinho Stureii, stood on both sides of the desk. Rae, a tall muscular woman with a plain black keffiyeh, eased her hand to her pistol holster.

Zeitev shouted at Idul as he walked closer to them, “We know why you’re here. She’s not going with you to Haradrim.”

Idul stopped and looked downward at the short Ozian man with a timid voice. His poor Ozian usually embarrassed him, but the circumstances kept him clear, “Please hear my proposition first.”

“The Listener needs to be here wit-”

Listener Zukina cleared her throat, cutting off Zeitev’s voice as if she physically choked him. Rea also ceased hovering her hand over her hip, then glanced over at a nervous Zeitev as she berated him. “Calm down and let him speak Sappinho. Like we talked about this possibility before.”

“As you wish, Listener." He said

The Listener turned her gaze to Idul. Her eyes so piercing that he could hear the non-verbal order to speak in his head. "Right, the Northern Powers landed and seized the port last night, and now they have taken the city so quickly that they’re at the entrance of the tower. The ones carrying the assault are your own people Listener. They are fanatical, they are looting, and they are killing. The Emperor gave me orders to escort you safely to Haradrim should this happen, to keep you safe. We’re not sure how they will treat you after you’ve been our pawn for so many years.” He stepped closer, but then Zeitev gripped the pistol on his hip. He held his hands up continuing forward to try to ease Zeitev. He looked directly at the Listener now, which has always been a haunting experience for him even with her young face and weak stature. “We’ve kept you and your predecessor safe since we’ve been here. There’s no use in harming you now. Please see our side-”

She choked him now with her deep voice, “While you think I’ve been a pawn all this time, the people truly know that I’m just a prisoner in my own home. Your Emperor only kept me alive to pacify me while he converted as much Ozians as he could before he could finally finish me off. I’m needed here to meet my liberators with open arms. I wish to be with my people, and if you take me to Haradrim, then I may never return. I’m willing to go through with the danger”

Idul was impatient, and he could hear the shouts of chaos drawing closer to the tower. The conscripts must have failed to keep them . He placed a hand on his holster and drew his weapon, “There was never a choice in the matter. We have to leave now, and Zeitev lower your pistol as the Listener ordered!”

But he didn’t stand down. While he spoke he heard the draw of Zeitev’s pistol, and their pistols faced each other with fingers ready on the triggers. A few artillery shells hit the side walls of the mountain, causing the room to shake and bookcases to fall over. Rea on the other hand was tense, looking between the three with a hand over gripping her piece.

The Listener waved a hand to Zeitev, “Stand down. It’s out of our control now Admivi, put your pistol down. Are you going to hold off the rest of his men with only one pistol?”

Zeitev grimaced and holstered his pistol, bowing her head to the Sankta, “My apologies, Listener.”

Idul lowered his pistol, and then the Listener stepped around the table to him, “Where to now?”

He watched her chilling and steady gaze for a moment before speaking, “To the tunnels, we can still sneak out of the mountainside to a Haradric platoon just a mile from here. We’ll use a convoy to get there. Are you-”

A gunshot interrupted his speech. He looked down to see blood all over his white uniform, but it was not his own. In front of him, Listener Zukina had an exit wound that flowered out on her temple. Her stoic young face still fixed a stare at him until she dropped to the ground. When she fell to the ground, he saw who the shooter was, Rea had her pistol drawn and pointed at him now. She squeezed the trigger again. She hit his neck, and a few gushes of arterial spray caused him to black out as he gripped his neck in desperation.

Zeitev’s eyes dilated when he found out what was going on, and he drew his own pistol at Rea. He hastened his aim and tried to  fire off his whole magazine at her, but the pistol only clicked. He fumbled the pistol chamber back, but it was empty. “You bitch, you emptied it.”

“Don’t worry.” She laughed, aiming her pistol at him. “We’re going to be heroes.”

“Why?” He asked before the bullet went right through his temple.

“This country will be mine. Out of the ashes will rise my legacy.”

When he fell to the ground she hastened to fit the pistol into General Idul’s hand, then dug his pistol out of its holster. She stepped back, gritting her teeth before she put the pistol to her shoulder and pulled the trigger. She fell to the ground too, writhing in pain.

A moment later, the doors to the study flung open. A squad of war-wearied Ozian Partisans eased in with rifles up to clear the room. However they lowered their weapons to be horrified with what they saw.

The sounds of war in Ozi'pol did not even break the silence of this room.
« Last Edit: July 23, 2014, 04:24:10 AM by St Oz »

Offline St Oz

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Re: Silence (1910-1920)
« Reply #1 on: July 25, 2014, 03:33:14 AM »
Prioža 1904
The Ozians converted a former fisher's guild building into a Free Ozian Naval Headquarters building on the Prioza islands when they were conquered.  The conference room had a line of older women in pre-1882 Republic Naval uniforms sitting in front of a large blue and black stripe Ozian flag with a star. They sat between one empty large seat with five on either side of it. Many of them held their heads up by their knuckles and palms tapping the table, but one decorated with several medals from old Ozia and definitely oldest of the group was the opposite of bored. She sat next to the empty podium with fixed furrowed eyes and a loose posture. She spoke the woman next to her, "Who is this Admivi Iaslo? Fucking Iseltovs and Parpaskis think pushing us around will help with the liberation"

"It's part of the agreement Selia. The only terms they gave us for smuggled war material was the agreement that they could modify the Divine Admiralty Council whenever they wanted. "

"I'm the fucking Admiral! They never bothered us in the past, what the fuck changed?"

The other woman chuckled, "I think you got a little too old for their tastes Selia."

"Shut up Vera."

The doors of the conference room creaked open, which were never oiled since the Admiralty Council first arrived there. They heard faint footsteps from the hallway coming towards them at a comically slow pace.

"Maybe this lady's older than you Selia."

Selia jabbed her elbow at Vera, and she hushed an exclamation.

Around the corner, the slow-paced woman finally walked into the room. The woman stood an intimidating six feet tall, and her skin color was darker than the average Ozian. She still had a young face and fashioned her hair in one long, unkempt braid. The old women sitting in a line arched eyebrows and scratched their cheeks when they saw her attire. She wore a black felt fisher's cap, a plain navy blue cotton naval uniform without any pendants, metals, ranks, or anything, black worn pants with a tear, and scuffed black boots with sloppily tied laces.

She stopped pacing at the center of the room, "I'm Admiral Theodora Ulivaninha Iaslo. Anyone who can't run five kilometers in twenty-five minutes, go home and hang up your uniform. Anyone who can is free to stay."

The was silent for a moment until the women started to break out in laughter.

She repeated herself, louder and meaner this time, "Anyone who cannot run five kilometers in twenty-five minutes, get the fuck out! That's an order!"

They laughed louder this time. They said to each other, "Can you believe this hardass?" and "Is she really the Admiral?"

Theodora drew her revolver, pointing and shooting it at Vera and Selia. The two dropped face first into the table with a pool of blood flowing over onto the floor. The room was uncomfortably silent now."

"Anyone who can't follow this order will end up like these two, now do I have to repeat myself."

The old women snapped to attention with frightened faces and slammed their hands into tense fists against their chests as a salute.

"Can you all run five kilometers in twenty-five minutes?"

The women now looked at each other, then at the two former colleagues with their bloodied faces. They started to pick up their things and walk out of the room, she watched them go and then took a seat in the big chair. On her right beyond the two dead women, one still stood at attention, she leaned forward and looked at her, "What's your name?" The Admiral asked.

 This woman was twice the age of her, with dark skin like hers, "I'm Admivi Vinzi Ghaloinha Faral. I run every day and believe I can do it."

"Clear out the bodies. Better yet, leave them. Go get these women's young subordinates. I want them to see who their new superior is."

January 1910, Day before Battle of Taifeliv, Western O Strait
Admivi Vinzi walked in with a uniform much like Admiral Theodora's, empty. She snapped her feet apart in attention, then pounded her heart with her chest, "The U-boats are ready for battle, are you sure you want to go through with this?"

"What's wrong?"

"The Haradric Navy outnumbers us three to one, we have one dreadnought to five, and half of our ships are just these plucky U-boats. How can the Primav expect us to deliver on our word to the Northern Powers?"

"Wasn't the Primav who promised the Northern Powers. It was me." She smirked at her subordinate, "I also told them we have four times as many ships as we have. Those paper worshipers wouldn't agree to a plan like this if they actually saw our fleet, but I have faith in our fleet."

"They'll be angry when they see us with so few ships."

"Good, haven't seen flustered Aelu'zhi in awhile."
« Last Edit: July 25, 2014, 04:39:24 AM by St Oz »

Offline Myroria

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Re: Silence (1910-1920)
« Reply #2 on: July 25, 2014, 05:05:45 AM »
“Get us more rum, colonel!” exclaimed a very, very drunk Brigadier Enos Indiotrovth. Lieutenant Colonel Taren Indiotrovth, the brigadier’s first cousin once removed, was the lowest-ranking man in the officers’ quarters and thus had been running back and forth to the liquor cabinet all night. After a long stumble across the room to the locked metal cabinet welded to the superstructure of the ship. The lieutenant colonel rummaged through assorted empty bottles among the shelves before slowing to a stop and standing almost in a trance.

“There’s no more liquor.”

The three remaining officers at the table, previously full of laughter, immediately fell to silence.

“What are we going to do with ourselves?” asked Colonel Llandras Vrotrith. There was silence in the room for several more minutes as the lieutenant colonel returned to his seat. Colonel Gamin Hlorovth, a dark-haired man who always had a slight look of malevolence in his eyes, stood up and placed his semi-automatic sidearm on the table in front of the gathered men.

“Lieutenant Colonel, turn off the lights. Then you all hide,” he began with stone-faced seriousness.

“You will all yell ‘cuckoo’ and I will shoot in the direction of your voice. We’ll each go one-by-one while the rest of us hide and once everyone has emptied their chamber we finish.” The room sat in silence once more.

“That doesn’t seem like a good idea, Colonel,” Taren said.

Nonsense!” said Enos, standing up. “The chances of any of us getting hit are miniscule. I think it’ll be exciting. I insist we play.” A dark smirk came across Gamin’s face. The other two men, both slightly unsure, mumbled agreement once their superior officer expressed his support. Enos laughed. “Brilliant! Lieutenant Colonel, get the lights.” Taren slowly got up and turned off the lights while Gamin stood up on the table. The room was pitch-black and silent except for the sloshing of waves outside. Taren snuck behind a couch on the far side of the room and had just settled into position when he heard Enos yell “cuckoo!” from the right wall of the room. A shot rang out and Enos laughed. He and Llandras both yelled the word again and another shot could be heard hitting the metal wall opposite Enos. There was more laughter and yelling and by the end of the first round no one had been injured.

Next it was Enos’ turn; by the time he was able to drunkenly balance himself on the table it had been ten minutes before the lieutenant colonel turned off the light and hid between a shelf and the liquor cabinet. Gamin yelled “cuckoo!” and a shot lit up the room while the men laughed again. Llandras, hiding behind the couch that Taren was taking shelter behind, yelped again while the men laughed. A shot rang out and he started screaming.

“Major General,” said Taren frantically, nudging a man passed out face-down on the floor of his quarters. “Major General!” eliciting no response, Taren stood up and ran his hands through his hair while pacing frantically. He knelt down again and pushed harder. “Major General!”

The man stirred and breathed in deeply and suddenly.

“What? What?”

“Major General, Colonel Vrotrith was shot.”

“What the… what the hell?” The general pushed himself to his feet and smacked his head several times.

“Major General, the Colonel was shot.”

“What happened?” he asked, reaching for a bottle of whiskey on the dresser.

“We were playing this game and, well - “

Game?” Throwing his hat on, the two men walked on deck towards the general officers’ quarters. “We were playing this… well it’s called ‘cuckoo’,”

“I don’t want to hear it, Taren. Not now.” Taren cleared his throat as the major general strode ahead. A guard stood in front of the door.

“Major General Fendryn Quarrovth. I’m in command of this division,” he began, adjusting the bottle of whiskey in his inside dress jacket pocket. “What happened here?”

“Colonel Vrotrith was shot,” the guard said, stepping out of the way. Walking inside the room, Fendryn saw the colonel laid out on the floor, shirt undone, in his death rattles. The other men in the room looked mortified. Fendryn let out a heavy sigh. He made eye contact with the colonel as his breath faltered and then stopped. It was only then that he noticed the overpowering smell of feces. He sighed again before turning to the guard.

“If you hear gunshots from the officers’ quarters, you tell someone, yes?” Fendryn said as if he was speaking to a toddler. The guard slowly nodded before looking away. He sighed again.

“Clean him up,” he began, turning to Taren. “and don’t delegate it. I want you three to clean him up. You too, Brigadier. We’ll tell his family he was… shot by a Harad sniper. Goddammit,” he said, taking a swig from his bottle.
"I assure you -- I will be quite content to be a mere mortal again, dedicated to my own amusements."

Offline Myroria

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Re: Silence (1910-1920)
« Reply #3 on: July 27, 2014, 01:35:06 AM »
Major General Fendryn Quarrovth, his uniform much more put-together than it was at 1:30 in the morning, hustled along the upper deck of the transport ship carrying him and a quarter of division. Passing by a coffin draped in the black Moomintroth flag of Myroria, he rushed towards the bow of the ship where his presence had been requested. The decks were dense with soldiers nervously awaiting confirmation of the rumors that the Ozian fleet had been much, much, much smaller than anticipated, as well as confirmation of the exact number of troops that would likely be killed during this operation.

Taking a quick drink from a flask located in his jacket pocket, Fendryn passed the superstructure and reached the point where the wall stopped and the front of the ship opened up into a clear space to breathe.

“Major General,” a sailor said as Fendryn made a bee-line for Taren, standing near the bowsprit with binoculars in his hands.

“Major General,” Taren said as Fendryn approached. “It’s as bad as they say,” he continued, handing the general his binoculars. Raising them to his face, he saw a smattering of dreadnaughts and a few u-boat towers here and there.

“I’m no navy man,” Fendryn said, “But this doesn’t seem like a grand armada.” He sighed. “Goddammit.”
"I assure you -- I will be quite content to be a mere mortal again, dedicated to my own amusements."