• Nobles of Null is a forum based roleplay site where sci-fi and magic collide. Here, Earth remains fractured and divided despite humanity reaching out to the stars. Worse still, the trans-human slaves of one major power have escaped, only to establish their own Empire, seething with resentment at abuses of the past. Even the discovery of aliens, though medieval in development, has failed to rally these squabbling children of Earth together with its far darker implications. Worse still, is the discovery of the impossible - magic. Practiced by the alien locals, nearly depleted and therefore rare, its reality warping abilities remains abstract and distant to the general populace. All the while, unseen in the darkness of space, forces from without threaten to press in. For those with eyes opened by insight, it is clear that an era is about to end, and that a new age will dawn.

Prologue

Ray of Meep

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December, 2321

Berlin, Earth


Half of the entire Germanic population crammed into a 20 kilometer diameter that was the Berlin arcology, capital of the Gemeinschaft der Welten, Commonwealth of Worlds, which governed two billion people spread across Earth, the Sol System, the Silbern System, and beyond. Berlin itself was carpeted with cold sleet, peppered with light snow. Suburbs only a century old spread out carefully from the city center, built upon ancient lands mostly left rural, connected by a web of rails and roads, but rarely any independent cars, as the practice was nearly phased out two centuries ago when the entire global ecosystem nearly collapsed. Historical buildings in the city were spared, overshadowed by skyscrapers that reached two hundred meters into the air and fifty meters below ground, connected by skybridges and underground tunnels and rails and helipads. Berlin itself was cold, its residents chased indoors, yet GDW as a whole was in flames.

In a bunker somewhere underground, near the ancient and historical Reichstag Building, Admiral Vencencio looked over a holographic projection of the Sol System and the Silbern System with knitted eyebrows, flanked by the American Union and Soyuz Sotsialisticheskikh Mirov representatives around the central table. The Earth-Luna system was displayed in blue, as were most of the Jovian, Saturnian, Neptunian, and Uranian systems, while Mercury, Venus, and Mars were displayed yellow. The Silbern system was also mostly blue, yet there were also considerable red and black dots spread across it, and the outer planets in Sol.

As the gathering sat down, an assistant carefully placed paper folders in front of those present, analog storages of information that signified that classified nature of the meeting, if the location didn't hint at it already. The exterior of the folder was titled in bold, capitalized black lettering: "OPERATION BLACK BARYON", translated into German, French, English, and Russian.

"Gentlemen, thank you for coming today." The Spaniard clasped his hands together in front of him. Directional sound projectors translated his words into English for the AU reps, Russian for the SSM reps. "On behalf of the Commonwealth, I ask for your assistance in dealing with the rebels that have sprouted up across our territories, convinced our personnel to defect, and seized our assets. Talks with rebel sympathizers on the Council have broken down, as they will accept nothing short of complete economic and martial independence, threatening violence upon loyalist strongholds in the Silbern System and the Outer Planets. In particular danger is are the antimatter production and research facilities on Titan, along with the logistical network that supplies it. I'm sure you can imagine the catastrophe if they all fall into unpredictable hands."
 

steinOS

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Colonel-General Burov decided to head the delegation of Soyuz military men at the table - the only thing he hated more than Daqin terrorists were domestic terrorists and turncoats. There was a fair share of incidents within Soyuz territories in the previous century with anti-communist cells; those who chose to demonstrate their opposition to Soyuz values by murdering civilians and destroying infrastructure as a form of raising awareness to their cause. Actions that in his mind, deserved swift and merciless retribution - for once people discover that they can behave like beasts and face no impactful punishment, it becomes self-reinforcing. Fortunately, the atmosphere and locale of this meeting reminded him of home, which brought him peace of mind to counteract his likely chance of becoming excessively impassioned.

The other commanders, dressed in standard Soyuz military wear, leaned in slightly to get a better look at the provided holographic projection. Studying it carefully, they followed the assumption that those red and black dots were areas of contention and majority rebel control. One man adjusted his reading glasses as his other hand rested over the folder before him. Having to put down a rebellion is one thing, but another level of complexity is introduced when there are sympathisers involved in positions of power.

"Perhaps," he drew attention to himself after Admiral Vencencio paused. His own nametag read 'Gen. I. Kamarovsky', a caucasian man in his 40s with a shaved head. "It would be best to grant said Council members their request for independence by expulsion. If those you have relied on undermine the justice and peace of your nation, then certainly - a purge is in order." Some of the Soyuz military men nodded to the statement. "We would like to hear your plan of intervention, as well as the situations in each of these sectors as it is currently." Burov asked of Vencencio as he pointed his finger to the respective conflict zones displayed on the map.
 

Uso

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There was a certain amount of annoyance being expressed by the woman representing the AU delegation. It seemed to be the only expression that she had, likely aggravated by the enormous weight of the responsibility around her neck in the form or a heavy duty Lanyard that held a weighty stack of identification cards. Her suit-jacket and red undershirt helped distinguish her from the American Union general sitting beside her, clad in an outfit that had call backs to the classic pink and greens of old.

Perhaps it had something to do with the failure of the American Union to secure its own colonies,

Or the embarrassment of now having to compete with the Soyuz as a security provider for space, the domain that had made the Union the undisputed dominant power. To maintain its status, the AU couldn't say no.

"This would be easier if you loosened your laws regarding data-privacy, and further allowed Stellar access to your interplanetary networks." She started, immediately turning to corporate-power to rein in this particular issue, "If the issue has gotten this far along, then it is safe to assume you've lost control of the narrative onboard those stations. Before we land troops to bring them under control we will need to have our media-game in place otherwise you'll just end up creating more rebels. Sanitizing their communication channels will also need to happen. Our forces can be there in..."

She would look over at the general accompanying her.

"If we divert from our own holdings in Sol, we could have the initial data-network tasks completed within twelve hours, and start landing soldiers in stations today. However I would strongly advise against a purely AU force attempting an enforcement action onboard a GDW station."
 

Ray of Meep

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Right, this was never going to be easy. On one side were the communists, who were all too trigger happy against dissidents. On the other side were the corporates, who figured the best way to solve a problem was throwing money around in politics. No, they preferred to keep problems unsolved. Admiral Vencencio thought, but kept the bitter opinions hidden behind the face of a stoic military man.

He addressed Kamarovsky first. "I have no say on the Council. Whatever they decide to do within their ranks, the spaceborn representatives, that's a domestic affair. I am only concerned with the success of the military operations we are to conduct."

"Likewise," He then turned to the American woman, "If you wish to wage a propaganda war against our spaceborn station-states, bring that up with the Committee of Public Information and Distribution."

"No, general dissent amongst the public will be dealt with by other, with a slow, gentle touch, ladies and gentlemen, but our focus here is narrow and decisive. We are to forcefully secure key strategic infrastructure by launching a multi-pronged attack on several fronts, simultaneously, so that the rebels cannot react in time with more guerilla tactics and public opinion wars."

He dotted several locations on the hologram with a pen. "There will be a Saturnian theatre, where antimatter is being produced and implemented on Titan. The Neptunian theatre, where our primary fusion fuel refineries are located. Then the most troubling of all, the greater Silbern theatre, where we source most of our Wofleonium from. The Silbern system holds most of the rebel forces, and in order to strike simultaneously, we'll need to wait until our forces to the system get into position, which may take weeks or months, depending on how covert we want to be with our deployments."
 

steinOS

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Burov observed the American leader in the room, her last words rang true for the CCM forces as well. Not much time passed since the war - a lot of disgruntled and grieving families were out there in GDW space. It was far too much to expect from GDW citizens to view Soyuz's intervention as a chance of mutual redemption, rather than an oppressive force. The idea of adding more rebellion to the plate was distasteful for the Colonel-General. Perhaps their aid would be accepted more willingly if it was the alternative to an absolute breakdown of order.

"It may be best for our Red Army assets to tackle the most critical pain points; public cooperation with our troops may be hard to secure due to the low opinion we've earned recently." He rubbed his chin in thought.

"We can also use some of our vessels to impose a lockdown on in-system rebel communications and unauthorized traffic. Our familiarity with fusion fuel logistics and handling may give the CCM troops an edge in securing objects on the Neptunian theatre - though ultimately only you know the true state of affairs and requirements for each zone, Admiral. I will defer to your judgement on where best to utilize our fighters."

The other CCM commanders returned their gaze to the map to study possible asset diversions and placement.
 

Ray of Meep

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Vencencio nodded. "The 4th Neptunian fleet will work besides you to secure the refineries. Please be aware of a 4th party, the Neptunian Assembly, that is now participating more in that system. Intel is sparse on them; we believe their general technology to be outdated, but they've been in the area since the initial colonial establishments, and have supposedly mastered cryo-technology. The strategic importance there is to be determined."

He turned back to the American delegation. "We'd like your help, specifically, in Silbern. We need a large amount of assets moved without going through the SLE chokepoints."

Finally, he addressed the room as a whole. "Saturn will be a complete, joint operation involving all parties. Once we secure Titan, refitting the assets present with antimatter FTL engines and particle canons will begin. We expect rebel interference during that process. Consider the refit the first of many rewards for the successful completion of these operations."
 
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