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 09N, 'Merchant's Folly'

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Thimble

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PostSubject: 09N, 'Merchant's Folly'   Mon Feb 10, 2014 7:30 am



The crown jewel of the Empire. Merchant's Folly is made up of eight planets two of which have conditions suitable for human life: Ambrosia and Kaiming.

Ambrosia is the lesser populated one accommodating a mere 3.6 billion people yet it's the most valuable by far. Being the commercial capital of the Empire, Ambrosia is host to extensive financial infrastructure and is the center of Imperial banking and financial services, often attracting outside customers with its policy of confidentiality in matters of business. Ambrosia's moons are also heavily populated with several of them home to millions of people who live in the distinct 'moon cities' dug underground and expanded on over the years to create a heavily networked yet functioning society, particularly large moon cities viewed from orbit are said to resemble over-sized circular space stations.

Several corporations, guilds, and traders are based on Ambrosia and compete heavily with each other sometimes even resorting to piracy and other tactics to undermine one another.

Kaiming is a much more heavily populated planet with around 5 billion people calling it home. It's a primarily industrial planet with several corporate leaders on Ambrosia directly owning much of its massive factories and plants, massive agricultural projects encompass the rest of its economy with it being one of the major food outlets in the Empire as well as a valuable industrial center. The majority of the population lives in low-income housing but several designated 'residential zones' in areas directly owned by the government provide free housing to state laborers.

Many shipyards remain near the planet and further contribute to it's major industrial presence.

The rest of the system is made up of gas giants and barren worlds with much of the space in between blanketed by obscene amounts of asteroids requiring civilian ships to maneuver through designated trade lanes which are often taxed by local powerholders making it very lucrative to be able to have control over one. FTL jumping into the system without extremely precise coordinates could prove fatal. Aside from that there are several space stations and asteroid installations littered throughout the system owned by either private interests or state departments many of which are secluded.

There is currently a large fleet orbiting Ambrosia and large numbers of troops have been deployed to the surface of the planet as a result of the continuing civil war.
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PostSubject: Re: 09N, 'Merchant's Folly'   Mon Feb 10, 2014 7:50 am


Merchant's Folly, in orbit over Ambrosia
Type 86B CVL-22 'Rousselet', Ambrosian Flotilla
Marshal Talbot's Command Center



He sat flanked by his officers, the bridge was dead silent aside from the humming of the ship and the clicking of consoles in the Command Center. The attention in the room was on the man kneeling below the dais before him, he wore the uniform of a captain and he held up a small container. A lieutenant stepped from behind him and lifted the lid off the oddly shaped device, reaching in he grabbed it's dire contents and lifted it high for all to see. The sight of the severed head startled some of the younger bridge officers but to him and his staff it was nothing new, he took no special pleasure in such barbarism but the act held much symbolism. The head belonged to a particularly insubordinate officer in the Imperial Army who had refused the order to stand down and report back to base when it was given, his unit had been preoccupied more with looting than fighting and when the order came down he decided to try and commandeer a private transport rather than give up his stolen riches.

He dismissed his staff, as he sat alone on the bridge he began to think on the war his thoughts used to be filled with optimism and pride yet now they burdened him. His victory over Guild forces was glorious to behold, their fleets had been skirmishing for over a week and it ended when he managed to corner the enemy as they attempted to retreat their losses were staggering and the action resulted in the capture of over 20 ships and several titles were awarded to him. After that the war took a dark turn, it began with the outright destruction of several Commercium stations orbiting Ambrosia and the bombardment of their forces on the planetary surface. Collateral damage was expected but after the deployment of troops and the collapse of the Commercium's military forces the troops began to turn on the civilians themselves.

Imperial troops began mass looting of the initial Guild areas and their surrounding properties to such a degree that brought nothing but shame to the Empire. He had send a message to the capital demanding absolute control of ground forces to prevent pillaging yet he never received a response. The next day Imperial High Command relayed a theater-wide bulletin:


Code:
IMPERIAL HIGH COMMAND
DISPATCH ORDER NO. 237

ANYONE BEARING A WEAPON WILL BE EXECUTED IMMEDIATELY. ANYONE SUSPECTED OF BEARING WEAPONS, ATTEMPTING TO ESCAPE OR HIDING WILL BE HANDLED ACCORDING TO THE SITUATION.

He ordered his personal troops to disregard the order but other Imperial units pushing further into the city proceeded to kill and loot with tacit permission. Reports started to indicate that civilians began forming militia units and had started firing on Imperial soldiers. A resultant rebellion at a chemical plant resulted in over 100 dead civilians which only spurred on further strikes and demonstrations, the people had grown weary of the constant internal strife within the Empire. The platinum and gold storehouses as well as the jewelry refining industries in the Richmond District became the site of a bloody battle between the 12th Air Corps and the 42nd Mechanized Infantry Corps as both units fought over the spoils in a deadly series of infighting.

The last message he received had been from the First Minister himself urging him to do whatever was in his power to seize control of the situation. He would see the heads of many more disobedient commanders before the day was through.


"My Lord," he looked up surprised he hadn't noticed the young adjutants entrance while he was lost in thought,

"Yes, go ahead." he straightened up.

"I have a message for you from my liege," the man held up a folder. He was about to ask about his master when he noticed the badge on his uniform, it bore the proud eagle of House Taejo.




Ambrosian Streets
Rochy District
112th Urban Warfare Corps


The cruel war dragged on.

Sgt. Marlin hit the ground with a thud as he disembarked the IFV, his squad had already beaten him to creating a perimeter. He looked for his commanding officer, Lieutenant Dazhao had just gotten off comms when he spoke "Alright, it was a fuckin' song and dance but we've got our objective." he motioned in a direction.

"About 5 kilometers out is the 'Ambrosian Cultural Center' the 81st has been defending it for the the past few days and they've come under constant fire from the nearby slums. We've been tasked with conducting a quick sweep of the area after which we will withdraw and unite with the 81st at the Center, two other squads have been given the same objective and we'll most likely link up with them during the withdrawal. Let's move." he nodded and Marlin gave a push to the man next to him who stood and took point, the rest of the squad followed suite. Dressed in Imperial style uniforms they began their advance.

The IFV turned and drove off unsurprisingly it had been detached from the squad as soon as it had arrived, the slums were a deathtrap for armor. This hadn't been their first raid on a slum and although they learned quick from their initial engagements, it still made him anxious. The squad was made up of twelve men and standard procedure dictated that clearing the alleys and streets of the slums was to involved a 'screen' of about five men in front with Type-20 SMG's who would theoretically be capable of laying down easy suppressing fire in the event of ambush as well as clearing out rooms and alleys with ease the men started to call those in the front rank the 'Forlorn Hope'. The rest of the squad would be stationed behind the front were usually equipped with battle rifles and LMG's to provide accurate support or suppression in the event of a combat situation.

Marlin took his place just behind the front, gripping his battle rifle tightly his eyes darted around the windows and blown out holes of the buildings they passed no doubt caused by artillery fire. Command had to actually start restricting artillery assets as too often squad leaders would call in a strike at the drop of a hat without bothering to check what they were actually hitting, he had heard some nasty rumors about Imperial troops calling in careless artillery on civilian buildings and reporting the unarmed bodies as enemy combatants. Air assets were restricted as well, it turned out that gunship pilots were shooting anything that looked remotely hostile word came back they lit up a formation of Hussars and an entire Air Wing was put on lockdown afterwards. He never asked any inconvenient questions, even if he did it was doubtful anyone would ever be able to answer them. A chorus of gunfire alerted them,

"That fire's close." one of the newer guys said.

"No shit," the Lieutenant reached and pushed on his comms "Sword One here, Two and Three you out there? We're hearing enemy fire down here, is anybody out there?"

"Sword One, Sword Three here we've been engaged by enemy forces we've taken several casualties, they fuckin' took us while we were clearing the market. Sword Two isn't responding at all. We've got fucking wounded here Checkpoint 12 isn't responsive either if you can get down here you better hurry because we're fucking finished without support!" he grew uneasy listening to the comm chatter,

"Sword Three calm down and hold, we're en route." he clicked off his comms.

They needed little help finding their way to the fight it sounded as if the entire war was being fought only a few blocks away. They arrived to witness utter chaos, heavy MG fire rained across the abandoned market where their allies attempted to return fire in desperation only to be suppressed once again. Luckily they had approached from an alternative angle which gave them the element of surprise.

"Lieutenant, give me the Forlorn and I'll flank 'em." Dazhao had a similar idea,

"Good thinking, I'll use the rest of the squad to relieve them and draw enemy fire." with a nod exchanged between the two Marlin gathered the five men and made his way towards the MG nest. They came across an adjacent apartment complex at the same time time a massive flurry of rifle fire made the location of the Lieutenant known, it was up to them now. Entering the courtyard of the apartment building they could continue to hear the booming sounds of the MG as it fired burst after burst.

They made their way up a damaged staircase keeping a constant attention further up the structure,


"Mille ans à l'Empire!" One Thousand Years to the Empire. A figure leaped from an open doorway only to be cut down by a burst of gunfire from the pointman, a young man named Lille who just earned his first kill. The familiar snap of a bullet spurred them immediately into action, the entire squad rushed forward storming into the open room for cover. Jumping over the mans corpse another burst of SMG fire heralded a second kill for the recruit, this time it was a young woman.

No time to question it, a man immediately went to cover the doorway as the rest of the squad got to work at spotting the MG, it was across the street in the corner of a half demolished building. They must've expected further gunfire as they continued to hose down their allies position further down the street, what they didn't expect was the thermobaric rocket which annihilated their entire unit. With their position relieved the mop-up was easy the enemy had been plainclothes and was heavily armed with stolen Imperial military equipment, a badge of a Gendarme was found on what remained of the person manning the MG.

"Saddle up, it's a long way to the Cultural Center."
Dazhao looked stressed at the discovery but as usual they didn't ask questions and just kept moving.
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PostSubject: Re: 09N, 'Merchant's Folly'   Thu Jul 31, 2014 1:56 pm

Somewhere in Merchant's Folly
Site 12, Weapons Testing Area
Primary Control Room



Situated deep within the massive ocean of asteroids that comprised much of Merchant's Folly a top secret military installation was seeing greater use than ever before.

"Missile 1 is experiencing propulsion failure, say again Missile 1 is experiencing propulsion failure."

"Merde!"

A sigh rang out amongst the crewmen in the Control Room as the awaiting retrieval teams out in space instinctively began their increasingly routine advance to recover the now disabled missile. Franz Pahlke had been working incessantly since his appointment as head researcher of the New Terran Ballistic Missile Program, ever since the coup he was hard-pressed by the General Staffers to push further into the nations development of Interstellar Ballistic Missiles, even a novice could understand why, with tensions increasing with the USC it was wise for the Government to drive towards setting themselves on an equal footing with their competitor. Although he was happy to be working it was still irritating having to deal with the unending pressures put on him by the Directors of the project.

But still Pahlke was relieved, at least he was assigned to a project that could be easily and even feasibly completed. His original station had his team working on the development of the dramatically titled 'Carrier Killer', a theoretical missile capable of disabling or destroying the gargantuan USC vessels from long range and thus rendering the larger ships completely obsolete. There was plausibility to the plan, sure, but it would take several more years of research before they could get anywhere near the development of possible schematics let alone an actual prototype. Development of the ISBM was different, whilst it was a program that could've taken years to accomplish from scratch several 'recovered' documents allowed a viable delivery system to be accomplished within months, he of course never asked questions as to how this convenient information came into their possession but he figured it had probably resulted in quite the leadership shake-up in either the USC, SRoZ, or UCFP.


"Mr. Pahlke, site crews report all ready on Missile 2 prep."
one of the Comms Operators said, looking up at him.

"Very well, begin the test, let's hope the second prototype fairs better than the first."

"Understood." he looked back to his console. "Begin Missile 2 test!"

All attention was on a slowly opening blast door far out on an adjacent station port just barely viewable from the main window of the Control Room. Franz stood, hands in his pockets, anxiously waiting to see the results because otherwise it would be another missed dinner and lengthy schematic re-evaluation meeting for him with the bosses breathing down his neck.
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