MODUS was the original prototype ZAX unit, commissioned by Ruthven and then stolen by an Ekon strike team led by Ruthven himself, all records eliminated, until a single file was rediscovered that Ruthven had missed, and the ZAX project was recreated to serve as the brains of the Citadel class. ZAX units also serve in secure Torchwood facilities, but require too much hardware to function aboard a ship without dedicated support for it. MODUS has been modified and enhanced many times over since it’s installation on Petrichor, and is quite capable of subverting and manipulating lesser ZAX units, acquiring information or planting information gathering hidden subroutines, then erasing the knowledge.
The Ocearan High Command in response to this, has begun negotiating with TSG and the OTDI to get access to the Luna Class Battleship designs believing it enough to close the gap in naval power if they can replace all of their Terra Class Battleships with Luna Class Battleships. However it would be difficult for the Navy to convince the OTDI to hand them the newest cutting-edge Ocearan Tech before they get something better themselves and the Luna simply cannot be powered with the Reactors of the Navy as is as the Luna has about as many weapons systems as an Ocearan Titan vessel but squeezed in a Capital Ship Hull.
The Citadel has entered serial production, and will serve in the fleets of various LPCN fleets, including the Technate and the Ascendancy.
Drakul Makers and Progeny:
Upon infecting someone whom they intend to transform into an Ekon, an Ancient pours a bit of their blood in the mouth of the infected. As they evolve, the infected transforms into an Ekon over time, regaining their intelligence and personality. This Ekon is now the Progeny of the aforementioned Ancient, who is now its Maker. The two are telepathically connected, the Maker being subconsciously aware whenever their Progeny is threatened or injured, though they can ‘turn this off’ so to speak, an ability the Progeny earns when becoming an Ancient. The Maker is immune to the psionic attacks from its Progeny, though this does not go both ways.
If the Maker is destroyed, any Progeny, as well as everything infected with their strain of the Drakul virus, lose any intelligence and become feral and stupid. The Progeny, because they are Ekon, will shrug this off after a brief period of about 15 minutes. When a Progeny dies but it’s Maker is still intact, they will immediately become aware of this, and while likely angry, sad, or inspired to slaughter those responsible, suffer no ill effects.
The Emperor has forced the OTDI to hand over all materials related to the Luna in and as compensation he has transferred some of his Grand Auxiliaries' tech to the OTDI so they can have their systems more powerful than the normal navy, and now the Navy has formally adopted the Luna Class Battleship as the new frontline battleship of the navy.
The cities of Rio de Janeiro and Cancún are considering levying a $15 per-head fee on disembarking cruise ship passengers. Though both cities rely on tourism as a significant source of income and employment, locals have long complained about the proliferation of cruise tourists in recent years.
Because of the nature of cruise travel, thousands of tourists can be deposited at one time, taxing infrastructure while contributing relatively little to the local economy (unlike traditional tourists, they tend to eat and sleep aboard ship, instead of patronizing local businesses). Because port calls rarely last more than a day or two, they also tend to increase overcrowding at the most popular sites, instead of fanning out to lesser-known areas over a longer period of time.
If the proposed fee were to be implemented, it would be used to help pay for the policing, maintenance, and operation of major tourist sites
Interesting Fact: Throughout the 20th and 21st centuries, Orsonian historians have identified three "Great Migrations" in both of these centuries. A Great Migration is the mass movement of hundreds of thousands of Orsonians (as well as humans living in the Empire) out of Orson and to foreign nations in a relatively short time frame. While it is often normal in Orsonian culture to spend months or even years overseas to learn about foreign cultures or just to travel, these migrations however are exceptional, and are caused by the convergence of several factors (all generally related to the instability of Orson during this time). These mass migrations led to large Orsonian diasporas developing overseas (such as the large Orsonian communities in Buenos Aires and Los Angeles), where the Orsonians maintain their culture, language, and traditions despite having to integrate into the new country.
The First Migration began in 1965. Prior to 1960, 90% of all Orsonians worldwide lived in Orson, however this number would change drastically in the coming decades. The impetus for the First Migration was the ongoing economic and social decline of the Empire and the weakening of the Senate's grip on power over the territories (ultimately leading to the 2nd Orson Civil War), with the increasing unrest forcing tens of thousands of Orsonians to migrate overseas to find new opportunities. It was at this time that the first major Orsonian diasporas began appearing throughout the Timmian lands (especially the United States and Europe), as well as in Mamaran territory.
The Second Migration began in 1995, when hostilities officially commenced during the 2nd Civil War; this migration was the most substantial, with many Orsonians migrating to escape potential violence from either the rebels or the Imperials. As the Empire began to gain ground during the war, many rebel sympathizers also fled the country to avoid being arrested and potentially executed or sent to a labor camp. This migration was among the most chaotic and longest, lasting well into Turner's reign and beyond. During the entire period of the Second Migration, their were two major regime changes, two major civil wars, and by 2026, the Empire had fractured into Federalist-controlled territory and the Imperial remnant factions. This extreme instability and chaos (as well as the totalitarian regime of Turner that led to tens of millions of deaths) led Orsonians to flee the country in numbers never seen before in history, migrating to any country that would accept them as refugees (including major enemies of the Empire such as Oceara). Despite efforts by the Imperial government to prevent this, a number of skilled workers (such as researchers, technicians, etc.) also left the country during this time period, fearing possibly being purged by Turner, ultimately leading to a brain drain in Orson. Ultimately, between 1995 and 2040, roughly 20,000,000 people would migrate out of Orson into foreign nations.
The Third Migration occurred in 2050, at the onset of the Federalist-Monarchist War, as Orsonians yet again began fleeing to foreign nations to escape the violence and bloodshed. Millions of monarchists would ultimately migrate out of Orson when it became clear that a Federalist victory was inevitable. Additionally, a large internal migration in Orson occurred, as millions of people (some having lost nearly everything during the war) applied to become colonists in the Federation's new space program, leading to the development and colonization of other worlds outside of Earth.
(Occurring in 3050 AD)
An Orsonian man, his identity unknown, stood just outside of the Imperial Palace on Arcadia, taking the sight of the palace and the surrounding buildings in. He was dressed in a black robe, with the hood over his head. He used his psionic powers to make himself invisible to any guards or any other people nearby, in hopes of avoiding detection, as well as to hide his own psionic potential (which would undoubtedly had been sensed by the Cybusians on this world). He had been touring the world for some time, seeing how much it had changed since the old days and if the rumors were true or not. The Emperor was indeed alive, but far from his old self- he had apparently mellowed out over the years. The Empire as a whole was a very different place, but this did not deter the man from his true objective. He looked down at the tattoo on his arm, showing the man's identification number, reminding him of where he came from: 494570012, General Purpose Slave Species, Mk. 03, formerly Mk. 02.
The man took down his hood and allowed his psionic presence to be sensed, preparing for the Cybusians to react.
Upon her Coronation as Empress of the Ocearan-Azirian Empire after the deposition and death of Cecil, Amie has stated that one of her primary goals will be to promote international peace through cooperation and communication with other leaders.
She has proposed a direct line of communications be formed between the Monarchs of Oceara, Arcadia, and Orson(As by this time The Fourth Imperium likely has fully recovered from the centuries of instability and violence and is likely not too far behind the Ocearans and Cybusians.) to de-escalate tensions and prevent crises from becoming catastrophes such as the catastrophe that was narrowly avoided with Cecil's deposition.
Alex was dealing with a meeting of the Imperial Consulate when he felt something. Something familiar.
“Ladies and gentlemen, this meeting is dismissed. I apologize, but something urgent has come up that requires my attention. Forge and Koenig, with me.”
As the members of the Consulate left, Alex rapidly walked to his throne room, ordering the Ravenelki to admit the strange figure. He sat on his throne, a black crown with strange red details on it, The Crown Of Artaxes, his red and black armor having changed little since the Rebellion, despite numerous upgrades. He was flanked by Koenig, who wore a new lab coat but had changed little since the Rebellion. His Dark Matter pistol was in his hand, the other hand in a pocket, holding a Nullwave grenade. He looked terrified at the prospect of seeing the ancient Orsonian again, remembering the last time. Forge wore his Marine armor, his two .45s, Mars and Ares, ready to be snapped up and fired, having modified one of them to fire rounds coated in Dark Matter, the other firing concentrated bolts of Nullwave energy to try to render his target powerless. The Ravenelki were ordered to wait in the other room, E-99 weapons primed and ready.
Alex stared at Charles, fingers digging into the arms of his throne, suppressing his desire to attack him.
“494570012. Charles Orson. I assume you have come to finish what you started? Or have you come for something else?”
Forge and Koenig said nothing, Forge fighting the urge to shoot Charles in the head. Invisible to everyone, Nyarlathotep watched, in one of his avatars, a regal-looking figure, with dark skin, pitch black eyes, and the general appearance of a pharaoh. He smiled, intruiged by whatever was about to happen, his two ancient puppets reunited at last.
Far away, Elizabeth Green sensed something. She immediately began trying to find out more, the Hivemind beginning to send out sonar-like pulses to try to detect this new magic user, and get a lock on its location so she could investigate herself.
Thrax hissed. He instantly knew something was amiss. He could feel it in his bones, a very familiar feeling. He had been “alive” since before the Rebellion, and he knew what this signature was. He said nothing, returning to his bloodmeal and pondering how this could possibly happen.
(OOC: Around this time, the Fourth Imperium is pretty much on par with the Ocearans and Cybusians, and could hold its own against either power. It has also recovered from the instability of the Triumvirate period and is fairly stable.)
Empress Branda Harren, monarch of the Orson Empire at this time, has agreed to the creation of a direct line of communication between all three empires. The Imperial Cabinet has confirmed the Empress's decision, agreeing with Empress Amie that this hotline could allow future crises and catastrophes to be either avoided or quickly dealt with, and could also avert potential wars between the major powers.
Charles Orson followed the Ravenelki as they took him into the throne room. It was the first time Charles had returned to the Imperial Palace, after the fateful duel between him and and the Emperor so many years ago. Charles stared right into the Emperor's eyes, immediately recognizing Alex's face- it was a face Charles could never forget, not even after many millennia. His armor seemed identical from the armor he wore during the Rebellion, though Charles noticed the crown on his head, which he had discovered was called the Crown of Artaxes. He recognized one of the two men flanking Alex as Koenig, while the other was Forge, who Charles had never encountered before; apparently this man was now the Director of Torchwood, after Hartman's demise. Charles also noticed their weaponry and technology, which he had become familiarized with after spending fifty years surveying this reality. They were certainly an upgrade from the old electric guns.
As Charles began to speak, a smile appeared on his face, noticing how uncomfortable Alex was. "Alexander Mercer, Emperor of the Cybusians. We meet once more, after so many fateful years. I see that you've changed- no more slaves, no more purges, no more...outbursts, for a lack of a better term. I take it your balls dropped off as well after I killed you?"
“Not quite. I realized there are other ways to get what I want without running the risk of uprisings and such. The carrot comes before the stick. Besides, as you can see, my death didn’t quite stick. Speaking of which, you’ve clearly mellowed over the years, seeing as you haven’t tried to kill me yet.” He smiled slightly.
“Where did Nyarlathotep hide you away for all these years? I’m sure he’s already told you what he did, just as I’m sure he’s watching us now, somewhere in here. Why are you here? Do you want to try to kill me again?”
"Yes, I know exactly what the dreaded outer god did, and I see you're still a fool as always." Charles nodded to his right, where Nyalarthotep thought he could hide himself. Little did he know, Charles had become far more powerful than ever over the millennia. "He's standing right there."
“Hello puppets. I see you two have met. I’m slightly disappointed in you Alexander, I thought you’d try to kill Charles the moment you saw him. Oh well. Shall I remind you that he stabbed you and the magic left by the blade slowly and painfully killed you?”
Alex responded with a deadpan “I got better. And your lacking your usual charm, Nyarly.”
“And what about you Charles? Suffering as a slave, being tormented and tortured? Now that you’ve toured the Empire, do you still want to kill Alex? A little fancy window dressing and a strange new tolerance for others cannot make up for pain and torment, can it?”
"No it can't, Nyarlathotep. Nothing can ever make up for the horrors my people have endured over millions of years, not even the satisfaction of killing Alex and ruling the universe in that alternate reality you created. I admit when I discovered your deception 50 years ago, I wanted to come here and properly finish the job, but I've had 50 years to think and realize who the true enemy is. As such, I am not here to take your head today, Alex. I am here to propose an alliance."
Nyarlathotep smiled. “Against me, I assume? How cute...and cliche...two people who hate each other coming together to fight someone even more.”
Alex rolled his eyes at the Outer Gods mocking.
“Interesting...against Nyarlathotep, presumably? I only ask because there’s plenty of other horrors out there. Your people have come a long way, and an alliance between the two of us would do much to mend relations with our species.”
"Indeed, there are other horrors, but I have come to the conclusion that Nyalarthotep is an existential threat to this reality, one that must destroyed, or at least banished at all costs." Charles was now staring at the outer god threateningly. "He had a part to play in the Rebellion as well, manipulating both sides. He gave me the power to revert all Orsonians to their previous forms, allowing the war to start. I suppose I could thank him for that, but he deprived me of what I've desired for so many millennia."
“Yes, I’m aware of that. And yes, I agree. I’ve been trying to destroy him for centuries.”
“And failing spectacularly in every attempt.”
At this, Forge spoke up.
“I wouldn’t brag about that. I’ve personally put a bullet in the brain of many of your avatars. At the very least, you seem to enjoy it, since you keep coming back to be slaughtered over and over. Who knew you were into the rough stuff?”
Nyarlathotep glared at him.
“I think I’ll cut out that waggling tongue of yours Director.”
His fingers became jagged knives, and he approached.
Forge glanced at Alex, then Charles, obviously having intended to get Nyarlathotep to make the first move, and for Charles to engage him, trying to gauge the strength of the ancient rebel.
Nyarlathotep frowned, and, with a strange wet squelching noise, pulled himself off of Charles’ fist. Forge opened fire, a fullisade of Dark Matter coated bullets hitting the Outer God’s flesh. Alex used his Crown-enhanced powers, and pinned Nyarlathotep’s arms to his side, advancing with twin blade arms formed, ramming both of them into his shoulders, attempting to cut the arms off. Nyarlathotep scowled, and a wave of energy blasted out, hurling Alex and Charles back. Alex rose up again, and began projecting black lightning from his hands, the energy melting the avatars flesh.
Charles growled as he was thrown to the ground and quickly rose back up, charging at the outer god and took advantage of a moment of weakness as the avatar was being blasted by lightning. Charles pinned the avatar down and began savagely beating it, his fists moving so fast that it appeared to be a blur.
Nyarlathotep smiled and grabbed one of Charles’s fists, and started crushing it in his grasp. Alex formed a whipfist and slashed his arm, channeling lightning through the whip, forcing him to let go. Nyarlathotep snapped his fingers and dozens of copies of Nyarlathotep appeared, all attacking them.
Then, there was a flash of emerald light, as a woman appeared, a “dress” of red biomass covering her. Her poison green eyes settled on Alex and lit up with joy at the sight of her former lover. The air hummed briefly as they communicate telepathically. She turned to Charles, having been instructed not to kill him, and scowled. Then she turned to Nyarlathotep.
“You.” Her voice sounded distinctly female, but it sounded as though there was a chorus of other voices whispering in time with her lips. Her expression was now one of outright anger.
He began casting bolts of black lightning toward her, and she responded by forming a pair of sickle-like blades and advancing, cutting down the clones, vines growing on the floor to try to snare Nyarlathotep.
"Alright, time to end this," Charles stated as he instantly healed his fist from Nyalarthotep's attack. Charles took out what appeared to be a metal rod from his robe, and used his psionic powers to activate it. As the rod glowed a bright white color, it would become immediately apparent what the weapon was: the infamous Sword of Tritus, which Charles had kept in his possession since his duel with Alex thousands of years ago. Charles charged the outer god and struck him with the rod, knowing that while it probably couldn't kill the outer god, he could at least destroy the avatar.