Blood Ties

Fiction detailing the ongoing events on the Homeline and numerous parallel Worldlines.

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Blood Ties

Post by arcanus » Wed Aug 31, 2011 8:57 pm

Oceanus IV - 10th Century
Divergence Point: Archean Period 2.5 Billion years ago, continental landmasses fail to form above sea level. Earth evolves as an Ocean World.
The sky was a luxuriant blue with a haze of dawn red, Cirrus Cloud formations stretched tens of miles across its expanse, the Aetherium air freighter The Gossamer Swift rocked gently at an altitude of forty thousand feet. Looking down the view was spectacular, fluffy cumulus cloudscapes stretched thousands of feet below, occasionally allowing the azure ocean beneath it to be seen.

The Gossamer Swift was 365 meters in length a large traditional dirigible multi-cell gasbag with two decks within the bag and three below it.
The ship wasn’t quite what the Skyjacks referred to as a Junker, but its amalgamation of parts and superstructure meant it wasn’t far off, that being said you weren’t a proper Jack until your ship had been junked.

The ship’s captain stood at the stern of the oval lower gantry, breathing in the pure fresh air a feeling that prickled his lungs with cold, some ten thousand or so feet below he watched a squall roll itself lazily into a storm.

‘Penny for them’ she’d often said to him, when she’d found him in that same place watching the sky, he sighed, he’d broken that and now she wasn’t aboard. With that he clambered up the exterior ladders to the top exterior deck and into his study.

Kennedy I - 1967
Divergence Point: November 22nd 1963 - Lee Harvey Oswald misses JFK, Kennedy wins a second term and withdraws US Troops from Vietnam.
The soft top Alpine A110 tore around the precariously curved Italian Aurunci mountain roads of Palmero.
Its drivers shoulder length hair whipping in the wind, gold mirror shades mirroring the cat that had got the cream grin upon his face.
The driver was inordinately pleased with himself, he’d secured the loan of one of only three Soft top Alpines, the Italian sunshine was glorious and he was flooring it along some of the most nail biting roads at ninety miles an Hour. Pure adrenaline racing through his smug system as he headed towards the greatest adventure in a fairly long list.

His self indulgence was interrupted by a chime from the flat case on the Alpines passenger seat, momentarily taking his eyes from the road he tapped the cases lid opening it.
Swerving back onto the right he watched from the corner of his eye as football sized droplet of Water floated from the esoteric device within, stopping once it floated a few inches above.

“Hello little brother” grinned Edward Hoste

Oceanus IV - 10th Century
A gust of wind superseded the usual high altitude breezes and sent a shudder of turbulence through the Gossamer Swift.
Elliot Hoste smiled to himself his paying guests would undoubtedly suffer for that, having not gained their air or sea legs as yet.
Hoste’s study sat within a singular gondola affixed to the underside of the gasbags frontal dome, it was a thoroughly old fashioned affair a combination of brass and wood and distinctly Victorian in theme.

Sat at his desk he looked upon the circular grey stone, along its outer rim were inscribed ancient glyphs these ran around a shallow bowl within its centre, a bowl always full of dark water.
Elliot drew his finger around the glyphs, once he’d completed the full circumference he heard or sensed a resonance within the water.
A single drop of water floated from the pool, hovering above the stone, further drops flowed upwards growing the watery drop into a sphere, once it had grown to the size of a soccer ball.
The Shew Stone hummed with a watery twang, its recipient already connected by blood.

“Hello little brother” said the face that appeared within the water, Elliot both smiled and frowned his brother was using his stone whilst driving, at speed from the look of it.
“Mother is furious with you” began Elliot
His brother merely grinned, a little too widely, bringing a deep frown
“Things came up” he finally replied
“Those things being some regatta or bender” Elliot replied “You know how important Mothers Balls are!” he continued
“And she’ll have other ones, I wanted some of my own R&R” in turn he frowned in concentration, taking a sharp bend
“By my calculations you have another month of leave?”
“And my greatest adventure yet”
Elliot sighed, pouring himself a coffee from his cafeteria, watching a huge flock of birds follow a thermal to the ships starboard, he winced as distantly he heard retching.

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Blood Ties

Post by arcanus » Wed Oct 19, 2011 4:27 pm

Perigord - 1922
Current Affairs: North American is balkanised into five Nations, leaving a neutral contested territory running from Northern Idaho down to Texas.
Monte Carlo style racers now conduct Life or death road races within the territory.

Divergence Point: Napoleons forces are innoculated against Yellow Fever and destroy the Haitian Slave rebellion in 1802.
French foreign minister Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord persuades Napoleon to reject Thomas Jefferson’s request for the Louisiana Purchase and reinforces his American Colony with newly freed slave soldiers.
The Westward Expansion is halted leading Joshua Norton to successfully establish the Bear Flag Empire on the West Coast and a North America divided amongst Nations.
Copeland Logging Town, Boundary County, Idaho - January
Heavy boots crunched on frozen gravel, breath frosting in the predawn twilight.
The logging town of Copeland was a sturdy timber affair, hewn from the surrounding ocean of pine forests that stretched far north into British Columbia.
Edward Hoste considered himself in the glass facia of an office door, dressed in cream breeches, maroon knee length driving socks, a thick lambs wool sweater, a black and white checked overcoat and topped off by his brown leather pilots helmet.

He took a long deep breath drawing in the cold, pure air and then admired the scenery, the ambience of the quaint town illuminated by soft yellow lanterns, until he spotted his partner in crime Sonny Yardman emerge from his cabin.
Sonny was a great bear of a man, waxed jet black hair, fashionable pencil thing moustache and a ruddy complexion. He now threatened to awaken not just the town but the whole forest with a loud and exaggerated yawn, he was dressed almost in opposition to Eddie, his breeches tartan check, a plain camel skin great coat and enormous floppy cream flat cap.
He broke into a huge grin and proceeded to snip the end from a large cigar, Hoste returned his grin both of them giddy as schoolboys on a grand adventure.

Indeed it was a grand adventure, the race of their very lives facing incredible danger.

Sonny slapped Eddie on the back, a move that had he not braced would have certainly knocked the wind from his sails, both strode out to the assembly field where their fellow racers were groggily making their way to their racers.
The pair approached their pride and joy in no small degree of reverence.
Eddie walked the length of the body work and after visually taking her in, looked at the grinning face of his companion, “She’s a beauty” he whistled
His face grew serious; he whispered “Any out worldly modifications?”
Sonny feigned a look of innocence and shrugged, the well trimmed black moustache twitching with amusement, and then he leant over the car.
“Machined in the Hollywood chop shops, all native materials and parts, just some modern techniques introduced quietly, that and ceramic heat distributers, improved suspension and solid tires”
He winked “You’ll thank me for that as we get going, remember there’s no such thing as a freeway, all dirt track and cross country!”

Hoste nodded and again admired the racer, she was a 4 seat Aston Martin 12-Litre 1921 Sports, in line with the crazily advanced automotive industry she sported a twin turbo and super charger, on top of her monstrous engine
Sonny reached down to the walnut console and flicked five brass switches in turn, the front wings opened upward allowing twin machineguns to rise up on mechanisms.
Curved reinforced rams extended from the front and back of the cars chassis, spikes popped from the armoured hubcaps, a second cannon upon an articulated tripod between the back seats and finally some ominous pointed nose cones from tubes running the side wings.

Again Hoste whistled, “Very impressive!”, however he had a feeling they were going to need everything they had and more.

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Post by arcanus » Fri Oct 21, 2011 8:14 am

Perigord - 1922
The Assembly Field, Copeland, Boundary County, Idaho - 05.30am.

The low sun cut across the pine forest mist boiled off the fallen snow, the break in the twilight painful upon the eyes.
The amassed drivers and co-drivers performing yet another set of oil and ammunition checks, despite the fact that in barely an hour they’d be trying to blast each other to hell a jovial spirit pervaded.

Beside Sonny’s car stood the French and Prussian drivers of a Jaguar 12-Litre SS92 racer, another sleek looking beast, which Eddie couldn’t help but admire.
“She is a impressive no!” the Frenchman had looked up from his engine checks
“She certainly is” he replied
Hoste smiled and extended his hand, surprisingly the Frenchman returned his gesture
“Michel D’Voe”
“Eddie Hoste”
“Ah an Englishman” replied Michel
“On my Fathers side, Russian on my Mothers” the frenchie merely nodded in acknowledgement
“This is Augustus, my co-driver”
“Sonny” Eddie swept his hand over to point out his huge driver, who waved in return
“Your first time monsieur Hoste?”
“Yes, I wonder how many will make it through to the finish” replied Eddie looking out across the drivers
“A few” replied the Frenchman “Its not so much the other drivers you need to watch, but the marauders and hunters”
The pairs gaze fell upon a big American guy, who amazingly seemed to have his young son with him, complete with racing goggles and flat cap
“Is he crazy?” hissed Hoste
“Most certainly Môn Amie, no offence but these is the trouble, little rich boys who think these is just a race, its assassiner sur roues, anyway Eddie the very best of luck, ah ope I see you at the finish ”

Eddie once again shook Michel’s hand “You too, stay safe”, he glared at the man who was now in a heated argument with another driver, presumably about the boys safety.
The boy stood in the rear seat of their racer, clad in his twead shorts and matching waistcoat, looking very alone.

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Post by arcanus » Fri Oct 21, 2011 8:15 am

Perigord - 1922
The Schweitzer Mountain Dirigible Station, Sandpoint, Bonner County, Idaho – 05.30am

Below the balcony ran a sheer drop of some several hundred feet into deep snow and hidden rocks, Flora Whitney Vanderbilt shivered and drew her mink coat around her, heiress to the combined fortunes of the eminently powerful Whitney and Vanderbilt families, she was soon to marry into the Roosevelts.

Her good friend silent film actress Claire Du Brey offered her a smoke from an ornate silver case, Flora smiled and promptly inserted it in her cigarette holder, the two stood admiring the snow covered mountainscape.
The station was a large grey construction built in the style of a European fortress or castle, projecting high above it were two huge mooring pylons, attached to one was their days conveyance, a stately Lockheed dirigible skyliner.

The two flappers watched as some adventurous souls skied down the slopes, her fiancée Quentins late father had talked of turning the station into a resort, perhaps his son would tackle such an exciting adventure.
Flora turned and watched her son Whitney career around the balcony, occasionally slip on the patches of ice, much to the annoyance of other society people clustered in their cliques awaiting the invitation to board the skyliner.

‘Good boy’ thought Flora, let them sneer and grumble, Whitney was a Vanderbilt Roosevelt, let no one forget that, she returned to idle chat with Claire as Quentin started to reign in his wayward stepson.

A growing sense of excitement was gathering amongst the American young and wealthy, nothing beat the blood and gore of the Death races, they were the new Roman senate watching their gladiators go to battle.

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Post by arcanus » Mon Nov 21, 2011 9:49 pm

Oceanus IV - 987 AD
The Gossamer Swift swayed, sitting at the much lower altitude of five hundred feet, she was subject to stronger winds.
Brout Winsack shimmed along the rigging cables, circumventing the gangways cluttered with passengers, he muttered something dark in Apache before swinging out in a wide arc onto the vertical cables leading down to the hull pylons.

From his vantage point on the upper balcony Elliot Hoste smirked at gasps from the collected scientists on the lower platform, as Winsack vanished down into the underside of the ship.
His Homeline passengers had assembled on the lower balcony to take in the view, the real reason for their descent was for the riggers to take aboard water for ballast and desalination.

The true spectacle was however the Aquanesians, the aboriginal seafaring folk who’d dwelt on this World Line for millennia, having spent so much time in its seas they’d mutated into incredible swimmers.

“This World is truly incredible” said a voice behind him, Hoste turned, acknowledging one of the science delegation, he supplemented his ships income by towing a science research pod on their journey from trading post to conveyer station.
It meant that they’re journeys took a long time as the boffins had to be given enough time to conduct their studies, but gave him a reliable cashflow that covered in the very least running costs.

“Professor Stoyne!” he said in greeting

The scientist was a shortish man, clad in a vaguely Edwardian tweed, with short ginger hair, if Hoste were a betting man he’d have placed the man’s origins as Jewish, possibly Eastern European, he joined Elliot at the rail. “It is a beautiful place” Hoste replied, looking at the perfect blue sky

The two men watched the Aquanesians who had strung a great number of their reed canoes together making a platform, the assembled group were in the process of dragging a dozen three meter long tuna onto their platform to be chopped up.
“Does everything grow so big around here?” asked Stoyne
“Between vast oceanic ranges, a higher oxygen level and slightly lower gravity, yes most species are bigger, even the Aquanesians are on the large side” replied Hoste
“Amazing” muttered the Professor
“So what field of study brings you to Oceania Professor?”
Stoyne seemed to snap out of his musing “I’m a Climatologist, specifically a xeno-climatologist”
Hoste’s only reply was to raise his eyebrows
Stoyne chuckled “I study non Terrestrial climates, whereabouts in the past this would have been through sheer speculation and applied chemistry, access to the numerous World Lines allows us to survey locations where the atmospheric development of Earth didn’t follow the usual path”
Intrigued Hoste turned and regarded the scientist “Are there many of these Earths?”

“More than you’d think, World Lines where higher levels of Hydrogen, ammonia, even hydrochloric acid developed and even more bizarre elements in some cases” he stated
“Of course we use robotic probes in most cases, avoids unpleasantness” he added mirthfully
“Smother is probably the most famous hostile atmosphere World Line”
“Considering the hostility of your usual subject matter, what brings you to Oceania?”
Stoyne smiled “An Earth with no pollution, even undue methane, unique weather systems, not to mention the fact its Oxygenation was created from its immense plankton shoals” he beamed.

Elliot’s attention was drawn to a swell in the waves some way off, some of his crew had also spotted it, the scientists oblivious, the swell vanished and activity resumed around the ship.
Hoste however wasn’t convinced, he whistled to his chief rigger Estefan and signed a message to him, the lanky Spaniard dropped from his vantage point on the cables, allowing his lines to swing him under the hull.

Suspended by a convoluted array of winches and pulleys hung a large circular wooden platform, hanging from this array were several smaller baskets or tanks to collect sea water or allow crew members to fish.
Hanging upstairs Estefan bellowed orders, a frenzy of movement followed as the crew scrambled to reel the smaller baskets up, unbeknownst to the passengers.

Stoyne stopped talking when he realised that Hoste’s attention was elsewhere “Captain!”
A huge surge appeared in the water, a great wave rose in front of it, the Aquanesians were already abandoning their boats, those close to the sea diving in.
The less fortunate were caught as a massive marlin like fish some 10 meters in length exploded from the water, destroying the platform, crushing the Aquanesians unfortunate enough not to jump clear and leaping at least 20 meters into the air.

The ship rocked as the giant fish collided with some of its collection baskets not winched up in time.
“Good God” exclaimed Stoyne, his fellow scientists on the deck below either in a state of shock or chattering with each other in an excited frenzy.
The chatter paused to watch the mighty fish plummet back into the water, its immense tail pulsed propelling it at awesome speed back into the depths.

“Is every creature so bloody big” repeated a wide eyed Stoyne
Finding himself repeating himself Hoste replied “No extinction event, no wide scale fishing, the monsters of the Oceania’s deep have had all the time in the World to grow excessively”, a series of sharp whistles from their captain galvanised the crew who recommenced their tasks.
“Was it hunting” the Professor chattered with nervous energy
“Yes, it was probably chasing the tuna, which in turn was undoubtedly pursuing an Armada shoal”
“Armada Shoal!”
“Every things bigger here Professor, Armada Shoals number in the hundreds of millions, possibly billions of fish”
“Incredible!, For an airship captain, you seem to have considerable knowledge of this world!”
Hoste smiled “This is a very different place Professor Stoyne, knowing its workings is paramount to success and survival” Elliot Hoste’s attention was now turning to the running of his vessel
“I’ll leave you with this thought Professor!, if the Giant Marlin was hunting the Tuna, what was hunting the marlin?” he smiled enigmatically and hauled himself up the steps towards the bridge.
Stoyne turned and distantly he thought he saw a huge fin disappear below the ocean’s surface.

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Post by arcanus » Mon Jan 30, 2012 12:54 pm

Perigord - 1922
Current Affairs: North American is balkanised into five Nations, leaving a neutral contested territory running from Northern Idaho down to Texas.
Monte Carlo style racers now conduct Life or death road races within the territory.

Divergence Point: Napoleons forces are innoculated against Yellow Fever and destroy the Haitian Slave rebellion in 1802.
French foreign minister Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord persuades Napoleon to reject Thomas Jefferson’s request for the Louisiana Purchase and reinforces his American Colony with newly freed slave soldiers.
The Westward Expansion is halted leading Joshua Norton to successfully establish the Bear Flag Empire on the West Coast and a North America divided amongst Nations.
Boundary County, Idaho – 7.13am
Automatic fire tore through Douglas Fir and gorse bushes, filling the air with explosions of maimed foliage.
Eddie Hoste sank a little lower in his passenger seat as 7mm Rounds filled the air like angry hornets, in a detached manner neither he nor Sonny were unduly alarmed by being under fire, after all it came with the territory.
The pair of them within their respective fields were hardened to the conditions of constant danger and the requirement for nerve, no the surge of adrenaline came from not being wrecked or killed having only just started the race.

Eddie could still hear the boom of the starter pistol and the thunderous discharge of dozens upon dozens of roadsters charging toward the exit tracks and once more into the breach.
Sonny compensated by hand braking the Aston into a wide rightwards slide, brake off, shift and pedal to the floor, the Aston roaring as she flew out of the dirt track bend and their pursuers line of fire.

The first forty miles of the race was just that, a sprint to the County Line at Sandpoint then the hunters entered the affair, unfortunately whereabouts a number of racers drove for speed, others chose to reduce as many of their competition as possible.
Two heavier armoured roadsters had moved onto Sonny and Hoste after quickly riddling a couple of unfortunates barely past the starting line.

Those roadsters were now in dogged pursuit.
“Damn fools, you’d have thought it would be better to have more cars when the hunters join in!” shouted Sonny “More targets!”
Eddie nodded, however this was the bloody 20s and 30s in Homeline violence and bloodshed were common place whether it was the gangland killings in Chicago or anti Semitic murders in Europe, these were not times of a great appreciation of the value of human life.
Perigort only differed in that it had a more obvious and gruesome outlet.

“They’re killers Sonny, they aren’t in it for the race, just to kill, another notch in the belt!” he shouted back
“Well do me a favour, how about making it a little more difficult for them, navigator!!” Sonny bellowed back, both of them groaned as he slewed the car dramatically to the left, avoiding another barrage.
Hoste winced as more 7mm rounds reflected off the boot and the metal shield situated behind their heads, giving Sonny a frown he drew the shortened Thompson SMG, positioned himself to face backwards and gave Sonny the nod.

The big man spun the wheel, this time sliding the Aston to the right, a shower of chipping clattering against the axle and the attacking roadster, which by now had closed to a stones throw behind them.
“AGAIN” he shouted and Sonny swerved left, giving Hoste a good look at the armoured Cadillac, every inch of her was reinforced, a metal grill across her windscreen, steel plating protecting her radiator and an ugly pair of Vickers Machine guns mounted along her lengthy bonnet.
Firing at the driver was pointless, however blinding them wasn’t out of the question, in keeping with their agreement to not cheat Eddie braced himself for another swerve and produced their emergency flaregun.

“Those things must weigh a ton, can’t we outrun them” he shouted
“Dirt track, their weight actually helps them dig in, if we make it we hit what they call a main road in twenty or so miles, then it’s our game!” Sonny shouted in reply
“If we make it that far!” grumbled Hoste
“WHAT”
“NOTHING JUST KEEP US OUT OF HARMS WAY”
“WHAT DO YOU THINK I’M DOING” responded Sonny in disbelief
A momentary flash of pessimism was jolted out of Hoste as the nearest Caddie lined up and sent a volley into the Aston’s surreptitious titanium armour, anger prevailed
“KEEP HER STRAIGHT”
A ridge in the road sent the Roadster into a jump, as she landed Hoste waited for their pursuer to do the same, as the lead Caddie landed heavily he fired sending the flare clumsily across the bonnet and exploding across the drivers visor.
Wasting no time Hoste swapped weapons and drained a drum into the drivers nearside tire, quickly reloading he repeated the action, despite the advantage of solid rubber tires the barrage eventually tore great chunks from the tire and it rapidly began to unravel, sending the car into a spin.

The second Cadillac tore forwards without pause it rammed the spinning bonnet of its predecessor and sent her careering off the track, such a manaouver however was entirely expected by Eddie who had used the commotion to arm four Mills hand grenades.
As the cars crashed over the ever more bumpy terrain he bowled them along the ground, the first exploding after the murderous car had passed over it, the second and third however detonating beneath its axle with the fourth bouncing out to its right and going off beside its drivers door, the whole car was violently thrown into the air and then smashed down onto its left side.

“You just used all our grenades?” challenged Sonny
Eddie merely grinned “Nope, those were my personal supply, plus I’ve set up a few surprises along the way”
Sonny merely frowned, the road levelling he accelerated and headed for more open country.

***
Boundary County Airspace
William H Fox watched the proceedings with interest, not from the gruesome opening engagements of the race, but from how successful Bairds new Cathode Ray Tube telescopic projector was working. The device connected to a motion picture capture telescope was following the race and projecting an enlarged image into the viewing lounge of his Lockheed dirigible skyliner The Herald.

His ship was moored at a lower altitude to the West of the race routes, whereabouts the society parasites vessels were at a higher safer distance to the East.
He snarled at his useless interns and aids as the picture occasionally went out of focus, however over all the image was good and boded well for Bairds further experimentation on his television.

Each Skyliner on the trip had been fitted with such a device, which would keep the important paying customers happy with their fill of gore.
His attention was drawn to a violent exchange on one of the narrower South East tracks, two armoured Cadillac’s were chasing down a faster roadster, the latter losing its advantage due to the road conditions.
Like a beleaguered deer the roadster had swerved and ducked to avoid being chewed up by the Caddies machineguns and then had dramatically turned the tables, leaving the pursuing cars either in the ditch or on fire.

Still far too many roadsters had made it to the main Hope Road, leaving the armoured cars behind “BRAUNSON” he snapped
“Yes sir, Mr Fox Sir”
“Quit standing around boy, go get me the Baron!”
Braunson didn’t reply he just moved, William H Fox nodded and returned to his viewing, he’d didn’t want the damned Roosevelt’s complaining they were bored, his face darkened ‘scum’ he mentally cursed

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Post by arcanus » Wed Feb 01, 2012 10:37 pm

Winter Palace – 1951
Divergence Point(s): Earth orbit is further from the Sun, leading to the climatic temperature being 10 to 30 degrees cooler, the Northern Hemisphere has been gripped within a perpetual Glacial Age since Primordial times.
In 1689 the Russian Empire defeats the Tatars in the Battle of Zelenaya and goes onto defeating both the Manchurians and Ottomans, absorbing them into the Empire
Current Events: The Tsarina Anastasia rules the most powerful Empire on Earth and Gregor Cavorite has discovered his anti-gravity material.
The Imperial Opera Hall, Omsk, Russia
Beneath the gilded arches of a three century old vaulted ceiling, the ornate filigree and classical depiction of Orthodox Testament, the Troupe of the Mariinsky Ballet pirouetted in perfect time.
Their patron however missed the closing scens of Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring, instead he stood within the grand Cupola situated high upon the Halls roof, he stood looking to the north and its pristine white snow fields.
Unlike his adopted brothers who loved their speed, their oil and their machines he loved beauty and majesty, there was nothing like the frozen vistas of the Motherland, The Baga Yagas hunting ground or the poetry of the Ballet.

Closing this eyes he drew heavily upon his cigar, allowing the thick blue smoke to slowly pass back through his teeth a motion that drained the tension from him, he was always nervous before the big shows, especially when the Tsarinas Princesses were in the Royal boxes.
A hand caused him to open his eyes again, turning his head he looked upon his daughters angelic face framed by coppery blond tresses.
“Папа, вы пропустите финал” (“Papa, you'll miss the finale!”)
He smiled and stroked her face “Я видел это сто раз, ангел” (“I've seen it a hundred times, angel”)
Feia gasped scandalously “Вам нужно будет преклоняться перед принцесс” (“You will need to bow before the Princesses”)
He nodded that was true, almost on cue a stage manager appeared quite out of breath at the top of the stairs, he nodded, stubbing out his cigar and hurriedly made his way down through the labyrinthine stairs and corridors of the Opera Hall.
His timing was as good as his troupe stepping out on stage for his ovation.

Tchachinsk Heights, Omsk, Russia
The weariness flowed from him with the elation that the 1950 season was over, another successful tour, it was good to be home.
Foka opened the double doors, the butler had served the family for years and smiled with his return, followed in by Miss Feia, they weren’t stopping the end of season ball was starting in a couple of hours.

Vander Hoste stopped as Foka nodded toward the drawing room, Feia skipped up the ornate staircase unawares, he waited until she had disappeared along the expansive landing and into her bedroom.
He then stepped into the large antiquated room, curiously noticing his Mothers Russian dolls amongst the antique clutter on the mantelpiece.
Sat in two of the armchairs were two familiar although not entirely welcome faces

“Officers Markov and Briunes, what are you doing in my house” said Vander Hoste, a thunderous frown clouding his face.

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Post by arcanus » Sun Jun 03, 2012 9:49 pm

Winter Palace – 1951
Divergence Point(s): Earth orbit is further from the Sun, leading to the climatic temperature being 10 to 30 degrees cooler, the Northern Hemisphere has been gripped within a perpetual Glacial Age since Primordial times.
In 1689 the Russian Empire defeats the Tatars in the Battle of Zelenaya and goes onto defeating both the Manchurians and Ottomans, absorbing them into the Empire
Current Events: The Tsarina Anastasia rules the most powerful Empire on Earth and Gregor Cavorite has discovered his anti-gravity material.
Veliky Novgorod , Western Russia
Even the sky was an ice grey, the temperature was -20 and amid great mounds of thick Mother Russian snow Boris Yulan ran as silently as he could, cursing every crunch of his boots.
Behind him Gotr and Nillav each carrying their PPS Sub-machine guns, Gotr carrying the RPG.

Their targets ZIL 115 limousine was trundling down the snow ladened road, they caught up with Ivdy Vinena who had reached a vantage point hidden beside a three meter high snow dune.
She poised raising her SMG, as Boris reached her she leaned out to check how close the car was, the left side of her head jolted with a pop of blood, as she tumbled forwards the back of her skull exploded across his chest.

Panic tore through the ambushers, Boris looked across the road to the opposing copse of trees, where their comrades were positioned, puffs of snow exploded into the air as two comrades collapsed fatally shot.
Their ambush had clearly been discovered, Boris turned to shout to Gotr only to see his headless corpse lying oozing blood into the frozen tundra.
In horrified shock he stumbled back to the corpse and most importantly the RPG, releasing the safety catch and hurried back to fire upon the car, as he cleared the snow pile he was struck in the chest, a blow that smashed his chest bone and rib cage.
As he was thrown backwards he was caught, four long blades sliding into his back.

Boris Yulan’s corpse was then thrown backwards and forwards as two enormous paws played with its victim, a monstrous feline tossed its annoying toy away and stood.
It sniffed the air, then cocked his head as if listening to something or someone, turning he looked out past the copse of trees spying several stragglers fleeing, tensing its legs it pounced, bounding into the trees.

Devin Stratinski stood from his snow hole, shaking his icy covering off.
He moved down the slope and over to the treeline, raising his Silenced Tokarev rifle and drew a bead on the fleeing Bolsheviks, however his line of sight was unceremoniously broken by an enormous tiger.
He grimaced as Vlad thundered into the last runner, a full fifteen feet long from nose to tail, massing a full 1300 lbs, Vlad was a giant tiger white as snow with pale grey stripes and piercing crystal blue eyes.
In two bounds he’d intercepted the remaining two, each brought down by a swipe from a paw 12 inches wide, their deaths were swift as he pounced onto their necks snapping them like twigs.

Sat within the back of the ZIL a woman managed to close her connection with the monstrous tiger before he began to play with the bodies.
Silently the driver waited for Stratinski who equally silently got in the front passenger seat, they pulled off leaving Vlad to catch them up when he’d finished.

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Blood Ties

Post by arcanus » Wed Jul 04, 2012 9:39 pm

Oceanus IV - 10th Century
Divergence Point: Archean Period 2.5 Billion years ago, continental landmasses fail to form above sea level. Earth evolves as an Ocean World.
The Aerotary The Halley rocked with greater movement than the scientists had grown accustomed too, essentially it was a dirigible in its own right, however it lacked the power for long distance flights.
Its mass given over to more spacious quarters and laboratory space, to compensate for this poor range she was tethered to The Gossamer Swift, a long range freighter.

She also lacked the ability to attain great altitudes, however despite having been towed to a high altitude to avoid the winds, she was still being buffeted.

The pod had now assumed a rocking motion not dissimilar to a boat bobbing upon the ocean,
Professor John Stoyne watched as for at least the tenth time a number of small objects such as pens, paperweights and similar ornamenta slid from one side of his desk to the other.
A few lost their fight with gravity and plunged to the floor.

He thanked god for advanced nausea suppressants, however he still felt distinct unease, conceding defeat he stood from his reading and secured anything not strapped down, quickly catching his tablet as it made a bid for the floor.

“Its not good is it!” came Professor Lightens reedy voice from his doorway
Lightens was one of the resident biologists, Stoyne turned to regard him “Beg your pardon”
His visitor looked distinctly greyish green “Please don’t vomit in my cabin!” cautiously said Stoyne “What’s not good!”
“The weather it shouldn’t be like this should it” Lightens shrilled
Stoyne smirked “We’re on the edge of storm season, Hypercanes are building across the Antarctic region of the planet”
“Hypercanes” stammered Lightens
“Yes super sized hurricanes large enough to eclipse a continent” replied Stoyne as he checked his tablet, he was unfortunately for Lightens enjoying his explanation and the discomfort it was causing
“Mother of god” gulped the biologist

“Not to worry Captain Hoste will have us away before they approach”
“So this isn’t the Hypercanes” replied Lightens
Stoyne looked a little astonished “No Gerry this is just storm winds, you’ll get used to it”
“They won’t settle down”
“Not until we head north no” he replied
By this stage Stoyne was now feeling a little sorry for the scientist, the worst thing he’d probably experienced was a bit of turbulence on a flight, he poured him a cup of tea from his flask, allowed a bout of rocking to subside and passed him the cup.

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Blood Ties

Post by arcanus » Sun Jul 08, 2012 9:37 pm

Oceanus IV - 10th Century
Divergence Point: Archean Period 2.5 Billion years ago, continental landmasses fail to form above sea level. Earth evolves as an Ocean World.
“All ahead full!, extend the crown”
“Aye sir” replied Mr Bronski, the overly large pilot
The Swift shunted as her props rotated into full spin, Hoste watched as the sails unfolded from the bag and hull, a curved construction of rigging when fully extended making the ship appear like a man-made scorpion fish.

The curved crown of sails immediately swelled and before the ships props had added much in the way of speed the wind was doing it for them.
Many of the old hands took umbridge with extending the crown in high winds, the turbulence was difficult and many a ship had been torn apart by its own crown being ambushed by
hurricane speed cross winds, however it added 30 knots tailspeed and that couldn’t be argued.
Not when they had storms greater than any back home building behind them.

The Swift shook violently as the wind sheer tore across her hull, air pressure was building around them, the ship jolted again as the props fully kicked in launching her forwards and running ahead of the megastorm.
“Capn” Elliot Hoste turned from his checking the barometer, Bronski looked ahead to a swirling vortex of lightning infused cloud.
He shuddered as a glimmer ran through him, “Engage Mag ram full rotation, about 20 degrees port, crown to a third”
Bronksi spun the wheel and cranked the Crown sail back, their Leverman Mr Martins fired up the ram, above the bridge gondola a large drum shaped appendage began to rotate at high speed.
Upon the tail of the ship a second ram began its own rotation.

A second Glimmer made Elliott flinch “ABOUT, 30 degrees port, ahead 2000 yards and 50 degrees starboard”, in the two years of his Captaincy, Bronski had learned to trust Hoste’s decisions and strange intuition.
The helmsman spun the wheel and veered the ship to the left, as he did so lightning rippled through the huge black cloud looming ominously to its starboard, illuminating its core so that it resembled some wretched black heart.
Beads of lightning arced from its swollen mass drawn to the row of lightning rods lining its spine, each rod connected by a conducting wire, the whole assembly positively charged by the spinning rams.

Below Decks – The Gossamer Swift
The humidity had soared within the engineering compartments, housed above the exposed suspended gondola decks, within the gasbag itself.
The air had grown stuffy, static electricity gave the greasers mild shocks, lighting flashed on and off and the they were covered in sweat.
“HE’S A DANG FOOL!” bellowed an itinerate greaser, above the roar of the steam turbines, pistons and dynamos, “He’ll kill us all” wheezed another through his sodden beard
“STOW THAT” roared a voice that cut through the discord like a knife “SECURE THOSE HATCHS,
SHUT THOSE SWITCHES DOWN!” an old man hard and grizzled as if carved from stone, stood among the greasers who suddenly became decidedly busy
The old greaser was the only not to be cowed “Don’t change the fact that’ll ell kill us”
“No you’ll be getting us killed by distracting everyone, now shut your hole and keep her running, these engines die and we are dead”
The greaser grumbled, the old man kept glaring at him until he started to move back to the engines “Anyway if you wanted a quiet life why’d you sign on as a Skyjack”, to which the old greaser had no answer.

The Aerotary - The Halley
Unlike the majority of his scientific companions Professor Stoyne was not huddled within the bowels of the pod, instead he stood in the foremost compartment with biochemist Evan Grantley and his daughter Grace.
Stoyne was rapt below them he could see stormheads building, they were racing across a weather front that could well be a thousand miles long.
He watched as the Gossamer Swift manoeuvred left to avoid flying head on into a lightning cloud hundreds of feet tall, fascination gripped him as lightning surged from the cloud and arced along some form of lightning rod spine following the larger ships dorsal.

Evan was one of those annoying curious creatures, a great athletic figure who just happened to have an IQ of 130 and a doctorate in Biochemistry, he was also an extrovert thrill seeker so safe to assume despised by the majority of his introverted academic brethren.
He was cuddling his daughter who did not share her father’s enthusiasm for knuckle biting and death defying stunts, she jumped at every bright white flash.

“Your loving this” commented Evan
“I could hardly love meteorology and not be awed by its majesty and there is nothing like this on Earth, look at the scale”
Evan merely chuckled and hugged the scared form of Grace.

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Blood Ties

Post by arcanus » Sat Aug 25, 2012 1:01 pm

Perigord - 1922
Current Affairs: North American is balkanised into five Nations, leaving a neutral contested territory running from Northern Idaho down to Texas.
Monte Carlo style racers now conduct Life or death road races within the territory.

Divergence Point: Napoleons forces are innoculated against Yellow Fever and destroy the Haitian Slave rebellion in 1802.
French foreign minister Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord persuades Napoleon to reject Thomas Jefferson’s request for the Louisiana Purchase and reinforces his American Colony with newly freed slave soldiers.
The Westward Expansion is halted leading Joshua Norton to successfully establish the Bear Flag Empire on the West Coast and a North America divided amongst Nations.
Boundary County Airspace - Idaho.
From the main balcony of the Lockheed dirigible skyliner William H Fox concluded expressing his wishes to the tall powerfully built man stood beside him.
Unlike his minions and employees, he treated this one with measured respect, this one was an Alpha like him, a pack leader, the man nodded and marched away.

Fox turned “Baron”, The man stopped
“No mercy” in reply he merely nodded and resumed marching.
Five minutes later a Red triple wing Fokker D disengaged from the aeroplane pylons and dropped into the sky below, a signal having roused four biplanes of the same squadron from their nearby airfield.

***
Hope Road Boundary County, Idaho – 7.41am
Despite Sonny’s dire warning of the trip being all dirt road, Hope Road was a decent piece of road, the Aston gripped the road which was useful considering it was peppered with wreckage.

The big man swerved, frantically spun the wheel to correct and pitched the car right to avoid the next chunk of twisted metal.
“THIS CAN’T ALL BE RACING CARS” shouted Hoste
“THINK IT IS, NOT ALL FROM THIS RACE” Sonny shouted back “THINK THEY LEAVE THEM HERE!”
Sonny’s logic made a lot of sense, small arms fire bounced off adjacent wreckage, he’d forgotten the other racers.
Hoste’s attention however was drawn to a deep drone, his neck crunched as the car veered once again across the road, he searched around from the noise until his vision was drawn upwards.
“Shit” he watched as a ominous red fighter plane levelled out, behind it flew four other fighters
“That can’t be good” he muttered “WE’VE GOT A PROBLEM” he roared at Sonny, just as canon rounds tore up the road ahead of them.

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Re: Blood Ties

Post by arcanus » Thu Jan 03, 2013 11:23 pm

Oceanus IV - 10th Century
Divergence Point: Archean Period 2.5 Billion years ago, continental landmasses fail to form above sea level. Earth evolves as an Ocean World.
The Gossamer Swift bucked and jolted as the thunderhead closed in, the mass of dense cloud pushing in on itself, as the ionized vapor contacted the ships dorsal fin its contained charge surged back into the head emitting a thunderclap that could be heard for hundreds of miles.

The electrics on the ship shorted plunging her into complete darkness.

Engineering
“GET THOSE CRANKS MOVING” roared the old man
The greasers connected T-bars and began to furiously turn the mechanical cranks, sparky’s hurriedly replaced or flicked breakers, yelping as the greasers managed to get the dynamos charged ahead of them.

Sparks flew illuminating the sweaty darkness, for a long moment the greasers, Sparks and stokers held their breathes, then the lights flickered and the engines started to thrum once again.

The Aerotary - The Halley
The cloud had now encircled the ship like some predatory creature, the buffeting had reached a fairly violent level of buffeting, so much so that the cowering scientists had decided that their was nowhere they were really safe and gathered in the viewing suite with Stoyne and Grantley.

As the resident climatologist Stoyne had suddenly become both their salvation and then the source of their fear, until Grantley had shouted them into submission.
Stoyne watched as the winds drove the storm around the vessels and frowned.

Grantley had now finally settled Grace for the second time, glaring at the scholars, countering the pendulum like motion of the deck he stood beside Stoyne
“I’m guessing this isn’t good” he whispered
“No the storm is faster than we are, meaning we’re getting enveloped” replied Stoyne in hushed tones

The Gossamer Swift
“CROWNS DOWN” shouted Bronski
Elliot Hoste watched the array of suspended lanterns, barometers and charms swing from side to side, the manic rocking motion fortunately didn’t make his stomach turn, instead it got his blood pumping, his adrenaline flowing.

“CAPT” shouted Bronski again, the pilot looked out of the windows at hell itself, he was deafened by the roar of the wind and creaking of the ship, then back at Hoste who seemed oblivious, in some sort of daydream, Jake Martin looked at Bronski nervously.
Martin looked back at his brass encased meters, “TOWING LINE TENSIONS SLIPPING!” he shouted

Hoste’s eyes snapped open, he winced as another Glimmer hit him
“PORT 30 DEGREES, AHEAD FULL, DESCEND 30 METERS, NOW” he bellowed
Mr Martin immediately opened the gas vents, the buoyancy gas in the cells exposed to nitrogen vapour, immediately making it heavier and pushing the ship down.
Bronski snapped to action however he frowned when looking ahead he saw nothing but the blackest areas of the thunderhead, lightning seethed throughout the cloud, Bronksi a hard man gulped as he pushed the wheel forwards taking the Swift down into a sweeping descent.

The Aerotary - The Halley
“AGGGHHH, MOTHER OF GOD!” screamed Professor Gordon Baxter
The Science Pod lurched and weaved as it followed the Gossamer Swift downwards at speed.
“Bloody hell” grunted Stoyne as the lurch slammed him into the hand rail
“I don’t believe it” gasped Evan Grantley
The pair looked through the sheets of swirling rain, lashed around by 80 mile an hour winds, their attention was upon the great metal tether that connected the two vessels and more importantly on what appeared to be a figure hurtling up the cable.
The two of them looked at each other speechless.

The Tether
Clad in thick padded clothes and gloves, the figure allowed the mechanical pulley to whizz him up the tether, he just had to hold on for dear life.
Buffeted by the hurricane the figure reached The Halley, swinging from the pulley it took him some time to connect his safety lines before stepping out onto the tether platform and through into the winch room.

Stoyne and Grantley both charged down the stairs, each banging their heads and receiving multiple cuts and bruises from being thrown around the stairwell before reaching the lower deck and along to the front of the Pod.

The figure was removing his face mask, arctic goggles and his trappers hat as they arrived, both looked at the bearded man his face despite the mask red and slapped.
Both of the scientists stood mouths agape, before Ewan managed to blurt “Are you insane!”
“Aye certifiable” replied the man in a Scottish brogue, he cocked an eyebrow at a horrendous howling noise that accompanied the clanking of metal and rigging, “Right quit yer gabbing and give me a hand” he barked, turning to the wall high array of levers and turn cranks before him.

Within seconds he had them turning pulleys until the accompanying dials were showing the numbers that the Scotsman ordered
“What are we doing” asked Stoyne
“Fixing the Tether tension” the man replied absently as he spun three more wheels, the creaking started to subside, it occurred to Stoyne if this man had braved a hurricane then he didn’t want to know what would have happened if it hadn’t have been fixed.

The Gossamer Swift
“THE OLD GROUSE HAS DONE IT, TENSIONS GOOD” shouted Martin
Hoste chuckled and then winced as thunder burst beside the bridge, the concussion blew anything not tied down across the space, sucked the air from their lungs and the pressure shot stabbing pain through their temples.
Lightning danced across the hull, the sparkys hurrying around like little boys plugging the dam, the ship was literally shaking itself apart.

Hoste grabbed a brass rail, while Mr Martin lost his feet and tumbled across the bridges floor as the Swift seemed to strike a wall, the concussive impact actually turning the dirigibles nose aside.
“CAPT WE’RE GETTING TURNED ASIDE” bellowed Bronski
“KEEP HER AT FULL” he shouted back
A streak of lightning screeched down through the grey roaring cloud ahead of them, then the wind switched the Swift shoved to starboard, the props screaming and she shot forwards, the Halley twisting along behind her.

Bronski blinked as sunlight blinded him and they ran out into open sky the storm front a colossal force seething and roiling behind them.
Hoste quickly relayed headings to the pilot, at full ahead they cut away from the pursuing rage heading north.

In the Halley the Scotsman grinned, nodded and simply said “Aye” before turning and heading off to find a drink, it had been a busy afternoon.

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Blood Ties

Post by arcanus » Sun Jan 06, 2013 9:24 pm

Cinnabar Island - The Gulf of Guinea, The Equatorial Zone, Oceanus IV
The change from barely twelve hours previously was startling, the seas had calmed, the skies blue streaked by fluffy stratocumulus.
Professor Stoyne breathed in the rich air, feeling pleased that the purer oxygen didn’t make him descent into a coughing fit, having descended down the tether he now surveyed the cloudscape from the Gossamer Swifts balcony.
Hundreds of miles behind them a wall of hurricane cloud stretched across the entire horizon.

“We have a reprieve” said Gerry Lightens “How long before it catches us up” he added nervously
Stoyne smiled, a kinder smile than previously “We’re in the clear Gerry, atmospheric tides and mass evaporation across the Tropic of Capricorn provides a wall against the Hypercanes”
“So they won’t reach us here?”
“No Oceanus has a band of clear sky encircling its equator supported by tropical tidal streams, this is where most sensible way stations are built in calmer seas, you don’t want to be in arctic or Antarctic territories right now” replied Stoyne
The pair watched as the ship descended, venting vapour from its gasbag moving down towards the artificial island below.

***
The past twelve hours had been turbulent for the crew, the engineers had been particularly aggrieved at the hurricane episode, in particular one particular Greaser Kleef.
The ship now in safer skies and preparing to dock, Hoste had agreed to meet Kleef, something that his First Mate Reardon was particularly against.
Standing upon his cabin balcony Elliot watched Bronskis skill in manoeuvring the great vessel down in such a stately manner , his solitude interrupted by Reardon clambering down the ladder from the main platform.
“He’s on the bridge” snarled the old man
Hoste looked at him and smiled “You’re not happy”
“Shit no, look my time to tell you whats what are gone, but Kleefs an asshole, he’ll never be happy no matter what you or anyone else says!”
“True, but I want to hear what he has to say”
“Fair enough, I said my piece” to which Hoste nodded in appreciation

Reardon scurried back up the ladder with surprising agility for a man of his age and appeared shortly afterwards with Kleef in tow, the greaser was every bit the picture of his trade, wiry beard, face perpetually covered in old and grease, seamans cap on despite the heat now climbing into the high seventies.
“Mr Kleef” said Hoste with a thin smile
“Captain” replied Kleef gruffly
“Don’t fuck around Kleef, state your business” growled Reardon, Kleef gave the First Mate a scowl and started
“Me an the boys are real unhappy with you taken us through the storm, captain!”
“How many of the ‘Boys’ would that be Mr Kleef” replied Hoste still looking out to sea
“Well quite a few of us” he muttered
“And why would that be Mr Kleef”
“Well on account of you putting us all in mortal danger”
Hoste shook his head “I was under the impression Skyjacks were hard men Mr Kleef that a bit of a storm was day to day life?”
“I think there’s storms and then theres flyin through a hurricane capt, not a man on board would agree with the danger we were all in a day ago” Kleef said insolently
“You’d prefer to be on another ship then Mr Kleef” Hoste replied quietly, Kleef remained silent
“Capt asked you a question Kleef!” barked Reardon
“Of course not because working on the Swift pays you more than 20% better than the going rate” Hoste turned “20% more due to the scientific trips we run which mean we have to stick around and let the scientists study what they’re paying for!”
“Sounds like you and your boys want your cake and eat it Kleef” said Reardon
“Look I didn’t come here to be bullied” Kleef whined
“No but you sure as fuck don’t shut your mouth when your in engineering you ungrateful bastard” sneered Reardon
“Mr Kleef you reason I agreed to hear you out was to remind you of your circumstance, your free to step off on Cinnabar and find another ship, that goes for any of engineering, you might also want to remember that the Swift has been refitted to deal with storm damage, all that secondary cabling and reinforcing”
Kleef frowned but said nothing more, Reardon quickly gestured him to leave and when the pair had made their way back up to the main gantry swung the Greaser around.

“What the fuck is your problem” the old man hissed
“Like I said a bit of extras one thing, suicide flights is another” growled Kleef
“Then fuck off find an easy flight”
“What if I don’t want to” retorted Kleef
“The reason you don’t want too is because you like to stir the shit Kleef, you always have”
“That’s not fair, things were different when you ran the Swift”
“Didn’t stop you making trouble back then and those days are gone”
“Don’t give me that, buy him out take back your ship” said Kleef
“Reardon gave the greaser a look of pure distain “You don’t get it, I said those days are gone, in case you haven’t noticed the Swifts making three times what she did under my watch, that’s why I sold her”
Kleef sneered “What’s he got over you Reardon?”
“You’re a dumb shit Kleef, he’s got youth, he’s a younger man with better ideas, now he might be giving you the nice option, but here’s the deal, you decide if you aint going to get on and stop stirring your gone, I’ll end you Kleef, I aint having stirring down below, if you can’t do it I want you off by sundown”
Kleef was just about to respond when he felt the nudge in his guts, looking down he saw the glint of Reardons large hunting knife “You’re a fucking psycho Reardon” he said as he pushed himself way and stalked off towards engineering.

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Blood Ties

Post by arcanus » Mon Feb 18, 2013 10:38 am

Perigord - 1922
Current Affairs: North American is balkanised into five Nations, leaving a neutral contested territory running from Northern Idaho down to Texas.
Monte Carlo style racers now conduct Life or death road races within the territory.

Divergence Point: Napoleons forces are innoculated against Yellow Fever and destroy the Haitian Slave rebellion in 1802.
French foreign minister Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord persuades Napoleon to reject Thomas Jefferson’s request for the Louisiana Purchase and reinforces his American Colony with newly freed slave soldiers.
The Westward Expansion is halted leading Joshua Norton to successfully establish the Bear Flag Empire on the West Coast and a North America divided amongst Nations.
Hope Road Boundary County, Idaho – 7.42am
The scarlet Fokker Dr.I banked left and then swept right into a downward assault, Spandau machine guns churned 7.9mm Mauser ammunition across Hope Road.

Sonny grimaced and screwed his face up tight, rather than curse, roadsters ahead of them were being chewed up by their ariel attackers, Hoste watched as the malevolent tri-plane raced over them like a streak of blood across the morning sky.

“IT’LL BE GREAT, HE SAID” started Sonny, spinning the Aston to avoid skidding caddy, its occupants riddled with holes, “BEST RACE OF OUR LIVES HE SAID”
Eddie Hoste rolled his eyes and shook his head, all the while pulling a sturdy leather holdall up from the foot well onto his lap, within a few seconds he had assembled the Steyr Composite carbine contained within.
“JESUS” Sonny finally gave in, as the pursuing bi-planes blanket of fire thudded off the trunk, fortunately the Astons composite armour repelled the assault.
The big man’s gaze momentarily darted to the weapon as Eddie fitted its scope
“THOUGHT WE AGREED NO CHEATIN” shouted Sonny over the roar to the engine, gunfire and the screeching of devastated cars.
“IN CASE YOU HADN’T NOTICED THEY’VE GOT WARPLANES, I DON’T REMEMBER THAT BEING ON THE POSTER” retorted Eddie, wincing as a cloud of dust swept over the car.
“WELL IN THAT CASE DO SOMETHING ABOUT THEM!” bellowed Sonny as several Mauser rounds punched across the right drivers side and shunted the roadster sideways, and off the concrete.

Fortunately running off road granted them a brief respite, as Sonny performed a quick gear shift, gunned the engine and raced along the slope on the side of Hope Road.
“WHAT DO YOU THINK I’M DOING” retorted Eddie, having finally assembled the Steyr, “WE NEED TO BE BACK ON THE ROAD!”
Sonny nodded and the pair ducked as a Cadillac erupted in flames, careered into an older piece of automotive wreckage and became airborne, descending down over the slope and finishing its death roll on the scrubland below.

The Aston bellowed as the big man let her out “ITS ALRIGHT GIRL”, he said patting the wheel, Hoste for his part thought that his driver had finally lost it, kneeling up on the seat he jammed his right knee against the walnut dash, he then leant the carbine on the oval wind shield and sighted up on the red tri-plane.

The Red Baron swooped into a downward elevation, levelling out at a height of 70 feet and racing towards the four remaining racers, his Jagdstaffel better known as the Flying Circus had fanned out each swooping in turn to harass or destroy the racers from the rear.

Hoste fired, in reality Eddie was no soldier a competent combatant but no real training other than with his Mothers people, however high tech recoil compensation and scopes worked wonders.
The Starburst Flare rounds erupted around the tri-plane, each dissolving in the air and then igniting in a great eruption of light.

“Ficken Hölle!” swore the Red Baron, as his corneas were bombarded by piercing flashes of light
“Was zum Teufel war das?” he grunted as he banked and accelerated, as the Tri-plane thundered past Eddie clicked the dual mags and fired, hitting an ariel target travelling at over a hundred miles an hour from the ground was borderline miraculous for his marksmanship, so he was quite pleased when the plane appeared to shudder from his burst.

“WHY DIDN’T YOU JUST SHOOT HIM WITH BULLETS INSTEAD OF FLARES?” Sonny shouted grumpily and swung to avoid another burnt out vehicle
“HAVE YOU EVER TRIED SHOOTING DOWN A PLANE?”
“NO” replied Sonny
Hoste gave his partner a scathing look as he swung himself round to face aft, another racer lost its rear end to the Spandau’s careering round and then receiving a riddling from the next two Fokker D.VII’s , waiting like eager hawks.
Sighting up he switched mags once again and fired, sending a line of Starbursts across the front of the warplanes, Hoste blinked in shock as one of the planes shuddered and started to tumble, one of the rounds having landed in the open cockpit and setting the pilot on fire!
“Holy crap “ he said
“WHAT, WHAT IS IT” bellowed Sonny, annoyed that he couldn’t see
“I GOT ONE”
“ABOUT TIME!”
Eddie looked incredulously at his driver and resumed fire with real ammunition.

“LANS” bellowed the Red Baron as he saw the already blackened plane plummet
“Ficken Arschloch” he snarled as he swung around, ‘How the hell was a marksman from a car able to hit them?’ he mentally cursed

The remaining Fokker’s spread, their pilots shaking the flares effects, unfortunately for the racers daylight had diluted the impact of the flares and the Red Tri-plane was circling back.
“SHIT” hissed Hoste
“WHAT NOW?” shouted Sonny
“THE FLARES AREN’T SLOWING THEM AND I CAN’T TOUCH THEM WITH REAL AMMO!”
“SO WE’RE SITTING DUCKS, WE’RE CLEAR OF THE WRECKAGE AND COVER” the big guy replied
Eddie chastised himself ‘Damnit think Hoste you idiot!’

The Aston broke onto open road, the last of the wreckage passed, the Red Baron fell in with the rest of his Flying Circus, the wreckage of former kills was no clear the surviving racers had nowhere to go, revenge would be sweet.

“GOT IT” shouted Hoste, making Sonny jump
“WHAT”
Hoste ignored him and scrambled around in his pockets cursing as his quarry eluded him, finally he produced the stubby plastic tube with a clear Perspex tip.
He quickly re-positioned himself as one of the bi-planes dropped from formation into an attack, “Take this you fucker” he snarled as he activated the device and sent a red beam of light up at the planes pilot, the high intensity laser pen struck the planes wind shield and then flashed across its pliots goggles
“GOTT IM HIMMEL” shouted the blinded pilot as the flickering red light blinded him and he uncontrollably banked right, Hoste flashed the next two to descend, dropped the pen in his lap, replaced both this magazines and opened fire.
Explosive incendiary rounds erupted around the flailing Fokker planes, their pilots experienced enough to compensate for losses of vision due to flack, they however still had to slow their planes to avoid losing control.
The lowest planes engine stalled as its pilot surrendered to panic and it careered into the road, the next felt his plane get struck and a sudden gain in drag as Hoste’s scattershot fire had found its lower wing, the third plane fell victim to Eddies second piece of luck his rounds striking the prop and subsequently engine head on, erupted in flames and straithed the now descending remainder of the Circus with shrapnel.

Furious the Red Baron signalled the survivors of the Flying Circus, each peeled off gaining as much altitude as possible and turning away.
The final Fokker its wing damaged turned slowly to retreat, Hoste having more breathing room sighted up, cold anger crossed his face, he allowed the plane now side on to him to cross his sight and fired, riddling its fuselage with eruptions of explosive fire.
He finally removed himself from his uncomfortable physical wedge and slumped back down in his seat, Sonny said nothing and opened up the throttle.

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Re: Blood Ties

Post by arcanus » Mon Feb 18, 2013 10:45 am

arcanus wrote:Perigord - 1922
Current Affairs: North American is balkanised into five Nations, leaving a neutral contested territory running from Northern Idaho down to Texas.
Monte Carlo style racers now conduct Life or death road races within the territory.

Divergence Point: Napoleons forces are innoculated against Yellow Fever and destroy the Haitian Slave rebellion in 1802.
French foreign minister Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord persuades Napoleon to reject Thomas Jefferson’s request for the Louisiana Purchase and reinforces his American Colony with newly freed slave soldiers.
The Westward Expansion is halted leading Joshua Norton to successfully establish the Bear Flag Empire on the West Coast and a North America divided amongst Nations.
Hope Road Boundary County, Idaho – 7.42am
The scarlet Fokker Dr.I banked left and then swept right into a downward assault, Spandau machine guns churned 7.9mm Mauser ammunition across the asphalt.

Sonny grimaced and screwed his face up tight, rather than curse, roadsters ahead of them were being chewed up by their ariel attackers, Hoste watched as the malevolent tri-plane raced over them like a streak of blood across the morning sky.

“IT’LL BE GREAT, HE SAID” started Sonny, spinning the Aston to avoid a skidding caddy, its occupants riddled with holes, “BEST RACE OF OUR LIVES HE SAID”
Eddie Hoste rolled his eyes and shook his head, all the while pulling a sturdy leather holdall up from his foot well onto his lap, within a few seconds he had begun to assemble the Steyr Composite carbine contained within.
“JESUS” Sonny finally gave in, as the pursuing bi-planes blanket of fire thudded off the trunk, fortunately the Astons composite armor repelled the assault.
The big man’s gaze momentarily darted to the weapon as Eddie fitted its scope
“THOUGHT WE AGREED NO CHEATIN” shouted Sonny over the roar of the engine, gunfire and the screeching of devastated cars.
“IN CASE YOU HADN'T NOTICED THEY'VE GOT WARPLANES, I DON’T REMEMBER THAT BEING ON THE POSTER” retorted Eddie, wincing as a cloud of dust swept over the car.
“WELL IN THAT CASE DO SOMETHING ABOUT THEM!” bellowed Sonny as several Mauser rounds punched across the right drivers side and shunted the roadster sideways, and off the road.

Fortunately running off road granted them a brief respite, as Sonny performed a quick gear shift, gunned the engine and raced along the slope on the side of road.
“WHAT DO YOU THINK I’M DOING” retorted Eddie, having finished assembling the Steyr, “WE NEED TO BE BACK ON THE ROAD!”
Sonny nodded and the pair ducked as a Cadillac erupted in flames, careered into an older piece of automotive wreckage and became airborne, descending down over the slope and finishing its death roll on the scrub land below.

The Aston bellowed as the big man let her out “ITS ALRIGHT GIRL”, he said patting the wheel, Hoste for his part thought that his driver had finally lost it, kneeling up on the seat he jammed his right knee against the walnut dash, he then lean't the carbine on the oval wind shield sighting up on the red tri-plane.

The Red Baron swooped into a downward elevation, leveling out at a height of 70 feet and racing towards the four remaining racers, his Jagdstaffel better known as the Flying Circus had fanned out each swooping in turn to harass or destroy the racers from the rear.

Hoste fired, in reality Eddie was no soldier a competent combatant but no real training other than with his Mothers people, however high tech recoil compensation and scopes worked wonders.
The Starburst Flare rounds erupted around the tri-plane, each dissolving in the air and then igniting in a great eruption of light.

“Ficken Hölle!” swore the Red Baron, as his corneas were bombarded by piercing flashes of light
“Was zum Teufel war das?” he grunted as he banked and accelerated, as the Tri-plane thundered past Eddie clicked the dual mags and fired, hitting an aerial target travelling at over a hundred miles an hour from the ground was borderline miraculous for his marksmanship, so he was quite pleased when the plane appeared to shudder from his burst.

“WHY DIDN’T YOU JUST SHOOT HIM WITH BULLETS INSTEAD OF FLARES?” Sonny shouted grumpily and swung to avoid another burnt out vehicle
“HAVE YOU EVER TRIED SHOOTING DOWN A PLANE?”
“NO” replied Sonny
Hoste gave his partner a withering look as he swung himself round to face aft, another racer lost its rear end to the Spandau’s careering rounds and then receiving a riddling from the next two Fokker D.VII’s , waiting like eager hawks.
Sighting up he switched mags once again and fired, sending a line of Starbursts across the front of the warplanes, Hoste blinked in shock as one of the planes shuddered and started to tumble, one of the rounds having landed in the open cockpit and setting the pilot on fire!
“Holy crap “ he said
“WHAT, WHAT IS IT” bellowed Sonny, annoyed that he couldn't see
“I GOT ONE”
“ABOUT TIME!”
Eddie looked incredulously at his driver and resumed fire with real ammunition.

“LANS” bellowed the Red Baron as he saw the already blackened plane plummet
“Ficken Arschloch” he snarled as he swung around, ‘How the hell was a marksman from a car able to hit them?’ he mentally cursed

The remaining Fokker’s spread, their pilots shaking the flares effects, unfortunately for the racers daylight had diluted the impact of the flares and the Red Tri-plane was circling back.
“SHIT” hissed Hoste
“WHAT NOW?” shouted Sonny
“THE FLARES AREN’T SLOWING THEM AND I CAN’T TOUCH THEM WITH REAL AMMO!”
“SO WE’RE SITTING DUCKS, WE’RE CLEAR OF THE WRECKAGE AND COVER” the big guy replied
Eddie chastised himself ‘Damnit think Hoste you idiot!’

The Aston broke onto open road, the last of the wreckage passed, the Red Baron fell in with the rest of his Flying Circus, the wreckage of former kills was now clear, the surviving racers had nowhere to go, revenge would be sweet.

“GOT IT” shouted Hoste, making Sonny jump
“WHAT”
Hoste ignored him and scrambled around in his pockets cursing as his quarry eluded him, finally he produced the stubby plastic tube with a clear Perspex tip.
He quickly re-positioned himself as one of the bi-planes dropped from formation into an attack, “Take this you fucker” he snarled as he activated the device and sent a red beam of light up at the planes pilot, the high intensity laser pen struck the planes wind shield strobing into the pilots goggles.
“GOTT IM HIMMEL” shouted the blinded pilot as the flickering red light blinded him and he uncontrollably banked right, Hoste flashed the next two to descend, dropped the pen in his lap, replaced both this magazines and opened fire.
Explosive incendiary rounds erupted around the flailing Fokker planes, their pilots experienced enough to compensate for losses of vision due to flack, they however still had to slow their planes to avoid losing control.
The lowest planes engine stalled as its pilot surrendered to panic and it careered into the road, the next felt his plane get struck and a sudden gain in drag as Hoste’s scattershot fire had found its lower wing, the third plane fell victim to Eddies second piece of luck his rounds striking the prop and subsequently engine head on, erupted in flames and straithed the now descending remainder of the Circus with shrapnel.

Furious the Red Baron signaled the survivors of the Flying Circus, each peeled off gaining as much altitude as possible and turning away.
The final Fokker its wing damaged turned slowly to retreat, Hoste having more breathing room sighted up, cold anger crossed his face, he allowed the plane now side on to him to cross his sight and fired, riddling its fuselage with eruptions of explosive fire.
He finally removed himself from his uncomfortable physical wedge and slumped back down in his seat, Sonny said nothing and opened up the throttle.

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Blood Ties

Post by arcanus » Mon Feb 18, 2013 11:34 am

Perigord - 7.50am
Boundary County Airspace – The Lockheed Skyliner: The Herald.

William H Fox’s cuban stogie hung from his open mouth purely by being stuck to his his lower lip, his expression was a rare one of pure shocked surprise.

His usual perpetual state of curmudgeon anger smoldered with a degree of indignity, his prize fighter had just been given a bloody nose, of all things a shooter in a car had bested the Flying Circus.

However Fox’s annoyance due to wounded pride was very quickly replaced by his business acumen, what a coup, this race was proving to be one of the best he’d seen in years and shaping up to be the best ever.

“Braunson” he said a great deal more quietly than was usual, his aid cautiously stepped up. bracing himself “Sir”
“Contact our agents at The Cove, I want them to check out that Aston Martin and most importantly its drivers?”
Braunson braced for the customary verbal lashing, but none came, somewhat confused he cut his losses and hurried off to the telegraph cabin.

Hands folded behind his back, William H Fox merely tapped his foot and puffed thoughtfully on his cigar.

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Post by arcanus » Mon Sep 16, 2013 9:20 pm

Cinnabar Island - The Gulf of Guinea, The Equatorial Zone, Oceanus IV
The ceiling fan provided a welcome breeze of refreshing air, Elliot Hoste stood within a long rectangular room, the restaurant was a wooden affair with a thatched roof standing above the waves upon great stilts.

It was a typical Caribbean style construction, minimal flair, weathered wood, no glass just open windows looking out onto the radiant blue ocean.
Deceptive waters thought Hoste filled with monsters, his teeth ached as the Psiorb opened within the bowels of the complex across the lagoon, his visitor had arrived.

It was some hours before she would appear, Elliot settled himself down on a large rattan recliner upon the restaurants balcony, from beneath his shades he watched the Boom net send a sonic pulse out into the waters warding off something inquisitive.
Before he knew it he’d slipped into a restful sleep.

***
Cinnabar Island - The Gulf of Guinea, The Equatorial Zone, Oceanus IV
The swirling blue sphere stood eight feet tall, the energies forming it possessing an almost liquid quality, washing out across the metal decking and steel walls of the chamber.

Devin Stratinski swep his gaze about taking every detail, turning he saw the sphere bulge and allow a fur topped boot emerge, the remainder of the visitor appeared revealing a small but lithe woman of indeterminate age. Sharp features and cold penetrating eyes exchanged a knowing look with her faithful retainer.
“Right” she purred with a deep Russian accent “Let us find my lovelorn youngest” Stratinski silently nodded.

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Post by arcanus » Sun Sep 29, 2013 8:40 pm

The Trade and Tariff Office, Cinnabar Island - Oceanus IV
The woman having stepped out onto the main deck had decided that a change of clothing into something eminently more suitable was required, her home worldliness average temperature was -10°, whereabouts Oceanus equatorial zone was a bright 100°.

Initially distracted from her primary reason for visiting she decided that a quick inspection of her facilities was in order and after an hour of reviewing arrived at the Trade and Tariff office.
The small metal affair resembled a cabin from a World War 2 frigate, a small queue of traders and captains were quickly processed, leaving the clerk and the woman.

The steel walls were segmented by curved metal ribs, joined by heavy rivets, within each panel were picture frames displaying a mixture of group portraits of ship crews and ships.
The rear of the cabin lined with filing cabins, antique scales and barometric devices, all positioned behind a well-worn teak desk, sat behind this desk was a studious balding man in his indeterminate later years.

Anisa Miriv Hoste regarded the man, although he looked the part of the administrator he had the bearing of a man accustomed to the harsher challenges of life.
He diligently completed his ledger before looking up and smiling, Anisa returned a tight lipped smile in return, remaining silent.

“Can I help you maam” he asked with curiosity
She regarded a photograph of a fishing crew, fin hunters, madmen who hunted the great ocean beasts, posing before the corpse of a huge serpentine eel.

“Business is brisk?” she replied
The administrator was slightly taken aback “Uh, yes business is very good!”
Before he could continue she cut in “Still the work must be tedious”
He looked puzzled “Work is work maam”
She turned and locked eyes with him “I meant for one such as you!”
“I’m not sure what you mean”
“I think you know exactly what I’m saying Agent” she stepped up close to him so that he inhaled her fragrance and aroma of Russian tobacco, with that she smiled and strolled from the cabin.

Alighting the stairs taking her to the next deck she gave Stratinski a wry self-satisfied smile to which he returned a stoic raised eyebrow.

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Post by arcanus » Thu Apr 03, 2014 8:59 am

The Gulf of Guinea, The Equatorial Zone, Oceanus IV
Cinnabar Island.jpg
Electrorock music blasted out into the quiet night, Cinnabar Island’s rolling hills and industrial complexes were shook by bass guitar, the clash of cymbals and the gravelly tones of Ectophases lead singer.

Despite his predilection for the Classics Professor Stoyne found himself tapping his foot, he looked down upon the throng of people, dockers, fishermen, clerks and admin all side by side.
Cinnabar Island was an artificial island, its landscape sculpted to resemble rolling hills descending down into lagoons, the concert stage had been erected on the main docking platform on the north shore.

Across the island at the southern quays mother and son sat down in La Alegría Restaurant.
The establishment was empty apart from the pair and the staff, the finest seafood fare was placed before them.
“Business is good” started Anisa Miriv Aravich Hoste, a cold piercing eye flicking from her plate to her sons face
“You know it is” he replied without looking up, she frowned in annoyance
“Since when did my youngest son become so wilful?”
“Around 20 years ago mother!”
Anisa pursed her lips, she was a powerful, ruthless woman, not used to insolence or even confidence however it was difficult to exert an iron rule over her children, especially when most of them were in their forties.
“You seem troubled Elliot?” her tone softer
He looked up at her suspiciously but said nothing, she scrutinised him and again frowned
“Your not still pining for her!” her tone immediately hardened, one thing Anisa couldn’t tolerate was self pity, weakness!
“That is none of your concern” he replied cooly
“It is every bit my concern when it affects my profits” she retorted icily
“The Gossamer Swift is my ship, bought and paid for by my means, I pay you my tariffs like every other captain, so I hardly think anything will affect your oh so important profits!”
“Now your sounding like your brother, petulant”
“And as usual your talking to your children like employees”
Stratinski looked up from his book, sensing the agitation “Elliot you must show мадам Hoste respect”
Elliot’s face contorted in anger “Go to hell Stratinski, crawl back in your kennel”, the bodyguard made to rise but was frozen by Anisa’s glacial stare, he nodded acceptance that he had transgressed and sat, his gaze immediately returning to his novel
“Elliot, I know you don’t want to hear this but she wasn’t for you, and although I didn’t think her good enough for you…” Elliot rolled his eyes “I respect that she was honest with you!” Anisa finished
Her son let out a sigh and took a long draw of his wine
“So can I expect your brother and yourself at the Winter Ball?”
“I’ll be there however I can’t speak for Eddy” he replied
Her face darkened “Edward, his name is Edward” he merely looked at her in amusement
“Why do my sons have to act like teenagers despite being almost middle aged and your brother he’s worse than you, you used to be the good one” she exclaimed to whatever powers were above, taking a drink herself
“So will he be there or not?”
“I honestly don’t know but I know it means a lot to you so I’ll try and convince him, but if you pester him he’ll dig his heels in” Elliot responded
“I should have never let the pair of you get caught up with that stupid Doctor, neither of you had such delusions of free will or grandeur” she said to no one in particular “At least you’re not associated with him anymore”
“You just don’t like that we’ve struck out by ourselves”
“The least you can do is accompany your old mother for a stroll” she responded, the irony that she looked no older than her late thirties was not lost on Elliot, who stood and offered her his arm.

The two of them walked back along the wharf and started up the grassy slope towards the hills, Stratinski slowly followed at a safe distance.
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Blood Ties

Post by arcanus » Mon May 19, 2014 9:38 pm

Perigord - 1922
Current Affairs: North American is balkanised into five Nations, leaving a neutral contested territory running from Northern Idaho down to Texas.
Monte Carlo style racers now conduct Life or death road races within the territory.

Divergence Point: Napoleons forces are innoculated against Yellow Fever and destroy the Haitian Slave rebellion in 1802.
French foreign minister Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord persuades Napoleon to reject Thomas Jefferson’s request for the Louisiana Purchase and reinforces his American Colony with newly freed slave soldiers.
The Westward Expansion is halted leading Joshua Norton to successfully establish the Bear Flag Empire on the West Coast and a North America divided amongst Nations.
Kaniksu Forest, Boundary County - 08.12am
The forest was an old frightful place, its trees ancient, strong but gnarled as if twisted by the yearly bloodbath spilt upon its roots.
Michel D’Voe weaved the Jaguar SS92 racer through its narrow track at heart stopping speed, hitting a straight he opened her up the track narrowing to barely a cars width, a heavy branch bending the driver’s wing mirror.
The thick shrub flashed by, Michel scanned the forest as they approached a bend a flicker of movement grabbed his attention, he gave Augustus a sharp jab in the ribs.

The Prussian lofted a large shotgun like weapon with an impossibly large barrel, bracing himself he let rip releasing an enormous blast and levelled a large area of foliage, the scenery was splattered with blood from an unseen foe.
The pair of them heard gunfire from ahead, figures darted through the trees, Michel looked at the bend ahead almost certainly an ambush “HOLD ON MON AMI”
The Jaguar surged forwards heading straight at the foliage covering the bend in the road, the car bounced as it cleared a hidden ridge and both men bellowed in fear and exhilaration as the sportster sailed down through the air towards the forest floor.

The Jag bounced with bone jarring force as it struck the forest floor, sending snow and old leaves flying, Michel wiped blood from his brow, gunned the spluttering engine which whined in protest, figures slid from the bushes on the slope above them, drawing his service revolver he fired.

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