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The Order of Light


Sarah Tintagyl
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It had been a few years since the destruction of Inchon and what Bridgette casually referred to as the incident. In a moment, everything had changed for her; that strength, that power, that monstrous beauty, just the thought made her hands tremble and staring through the candlelight she thought she could see blue dots appearing on her hand. Quickly, however, the Austrian dashed the feral thoughts from her mind. She was a lady of the highest regards, not to be tempted by such carnal, bestial lusts and strengths and more importantly she had work ahead of her, work that needed to transpire into success.

After Inchon, the United Federation of the East and their sniveling allies in Southern Europe had made quick work of the Astrid Corporation. Crackdowns had occurred across the world and within hours the company's stock had plummeted to near bankruptcy. Offices were closed from Paris to Tokyo and the Corporate Headquarters in Pretoria were closed and abandoned with some ton of paper being shredded and thrown into the sky with a plume of smoke. It was no matter to Bridgette though, she got along just fine without the economic side of her operation. After all, she had left Korea with a prized possession of the underbelly of the United Federation, a super soldier serum which she then mutated to better serve her purposes. Those purposes were simple that she should remain the only mutated being on the planet and in selling the variant serums to top bidders, Bridgette always dosed the vial with a bit of cyanide or other beautiful poisons. Her buyers never listened to the warnings on the syringes; dangerous, volatile, risk of death. She always watched with glee as criminals from across the world injected themselves for a moment of carnal brilliance before morphing into a pitiful creature at the point of death. It was a monopoly that Bridgette loved to remind herself she owned.

But was that it? Was scraping the scum of the earth into the wastebasket her aspirations? Her dreams? Of course not. She had been Chancellor of Austria. She was responsible for a disease that sent Central Africa into years of destructive war. She had been CEO of a corporation that spanned the globe. "And where are you now, Bridgette?" She said flicking a pen off the mahogany table onto the velvet carpet. "Stuck in the tundra without a care in the world. I wonder if this is how Napoleon felt. At least he had a beach." Bridgette pushed herself from the cushioned wooden chair and moved over to the frost covered window. Swedish winters were nothing to look forward to, she had seen enough snow in the Alps to last her a lifetime. But here in the frozen north, in an abandoned castle that she had bought under an alias and with what meager funds she had left, Bridgette had made herself a comfortable exile in which to plan her next move. The serum filled her daily with an unimaginable amount of energy, but unless that energy was put to good use, she tossed and turned around the castle fearing any movement may trigger those terrible, yet lovely, blue tint. Luckily for Bridgette, she had a perfectly good avenue in which to direct her energy. The total destruction of the United Federation of the East, the Hapsburg Princesses, and the order of the world to suit one for which she had a greater appreciation.

As she stood with her hands clasped behind her back, Bridgette looked out the window of her study and felt warm, cozy inside her white sweater, khakis and black boots that would have led visitors on that she was a jockey. A fire burned brightly on the far side of the red velvet room with its large mahogany bookshelves, red carpets, and bright hardwood floors. Perhaps, she could, after all this time, get used to the coziness that a room brings on a cold winter's day.

A knock on the door brought Bridgette from her thoughts as she turned to see Dr. Y, her most trusted confidant walking into the room. He smiled and took her hand in his own. "I trust you are feeling okay today, my dear?"

"I haven't had a reaction since that dreadful little spat we got ourselves into in Africa and those revolutionaries deserved it. They threatened to kill us."

"Nevertheless Bridgette, I don't want you becoming unstable, I don't know if the chemicals would re-"

"It's been over a year, Yuri!" Bridgette snarled and moved away from the window. "I've had one reaction! One! Now shut up about it, are we clear? I'm not going to be tested everyday for a drug that I helped create!" She took a deep breath to steady herself and ran her right hand through her flaxen hair. "Now, did you just come to visit or have our guests arrived?"

"The first ones are arriving now. Though I can't for the life of me understand why you're bringing various European nobles up here. People are going to start talking. If we get found out..."

"Then we leave to greener pastures." Bridgette said flicking her hair. "They are a necessary part to my genius. You see, Yuri, I was thinking one day. What am I doing with my life? Am I that pathetic to dedicate everything to destroying Maria and her sisters' happiness? Of course I am. But it is beyond that. I've been thinking too small. Look at the world after all, a bunch of squabbling rich !@#$%^&* fighting for dots on a map and hording their own wealth. Well, I want to turn that up on its side. Greed. Decadence. Order." She gagged herself and giggled. "All pathetic principles of man, of unenlightened man. That is what this little party is for, bringing together people who dislike stagnancy, who dislike not having their fair share. People down on their luck, but still have an ability to change their lot in life."

"A new enlightenment?"

"Indeed, we'll be putting out the old flame and burning a new one in its place." Bridgette walked over to her desk and extinguished her candle with the wet of her hands. Staring through the dark, she smiled at Y. "Come, I don't want to keep our guests waiting." She said and her eyes, in that dark, seemed to glow with a horrifying blue tint.

OOC: I'm always looking for accomplices for my crimes, so feel free to RP someone at this gathering. We warned, if they have an affinity for all that is good in the world, they might find themselves in a dungeon. But that's the fun of a new RP arc, there's tons of time for revenge.

So in so few words, this is moderately open.

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In the months following the destruction of the American Empire, desperate battles back and forth in the continent raged between two brutal leaders and their armies. These final, dying gasps of the old regime were the most cut-throat, deadly affairs of a decade long genocide. Scant millions remained in the country, and yet in these battles hundreds of thousands died every day in the line of battle, such was their strength of personality. They fought in the North amid the shattered rubble of Imperial Center. They clawed and scraped at each other to the south, atop the wreckage of Foundation. When guns ran dry the sides would fight hand to hand; tearing throats out with teeth, stabbing eyes from the head. All manner of skullduggery was evident in these last titanic battles.

Eventually the fighting reached a fever pitch and hit the Quarantine Zone. The wall was still under construction and entire sections gave way under the sheer weight of the battles outside. Tens of thousands of former Imperials streamed out to defend their new homeland, and at last the two warlords were stopped from their rampage. They retreated, even so still engaged up to the interior of the amazon. Months later it was heard that neither side survived the last nihilistic onslaught. And with that, the last of the Imperials were no more.

[i]I have seen things, and I have hungered. This world will be ours once more.[/i] Deep in the recesses of his priestly robes, the living blight of a man known as Nergal smiled grotesquely.

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Theo Torstenson arrived at the castle in northern Sweden, minus the usual entourage of a staff officer and an aide, a rising star in the ranks of the Swedish Military, he served the country of his birth because of the nationalist sentiment that coursed through his blood. His family had a long and distinguished history serving Sweden, when it was an empire, when it was bereft of its Baltic Empire, standing on guard while Sweden watched the great destruction of the World Wars. Theo had wept at the disgrace Sweden had been dealt during the last war with Finland, when the country's fortunes were reversed, and the nations' leaders gave up on the military campaign when victory was still a possibility. He had been but a junior officer then, having served with the [i]Livgardet[/i], now he was a Colonel in the Swedish Armed Forces, an honor for anyone who was at the age of twenty-nine.

As a commanding officer of one of the regiments of the [i]Livgardet[/i] or "Life Guards", the guardians of the Palace at Stockholm, and a man of noble birth, having inherited the title of the Count of Scania, he was a close friend of Her Majesty, the heir-apparent Caroline. He had been vocally disapproving of the government's choice to withdraw from pursuing a campaign in Finland, and now was disdainful openly about the state that had replaced the old Finnish state. As he entered the castle, an aide allowing him in after he presented an invitation, wearing his ceremonial uniform, his sword clinking lightly as he stepped inside, he saw a man cloaked in a priests' robes already in the entrance hall and he nodded slightly. Torstenson's appearance was dashing, with a flash of blonde hair cut short due to his military service, his stature tall, his ceremonial uniform crisp as he removed the overcoat he wore over it.

The invitation had peaked his interest, it spoke of changing the status quo, the elimination of those that had wronged humanity - in his mind - for so long. Greed and decadence, while the monarchy was, of course, decadent, it was a tradition Sweden was willing to not go without. The real decadence were those that had let their subjects wallow in poverty and not attempt to help them, the Swedish monarchy had been different, allowing for political change necessary to ensure that their subjects were rightfully cared for. The real people who bereft the Swedish nation of its true power, to break the stagnant status quo, and return it to power once again, were those who sat in the [i]riksdag[/i], they had allowed the nation to be lulled into submission by other nations, split into sections, and continued to remain in sections. While Ericsson and his government had been able to secure northern Sweden, that was by lucky chance, Kalmar and Gotland remained in the hands of a country that Sweden used to rule over. Torstenson was a nationalist at heart, and maybe, just maybe, this invitation would lead him to the person, or people, that would help him ensure the rise of Sweden once again.

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[i]Four Months Ago..

"Captain Hayabusa." Vladimir Olyich said as he kneeled before his commanding officer. The Left Hand's headquarters was setup in many way like a traditional japanese dojo, its leader importing his tradition to the Federation. The cool pacific air swept in through the sliding door.

"Guardsman Olyich. I am glad you were able to come on such short notice. I have an assignment for you." Ryu said looking up from his tea.

"What is your orders?" Olyich asked.

"I understand you are familiar with the criminal Saengar?" Ryu asked.

"Yes sir. She was assigned to my unit for profiling after the Incheon Incident." Olyich replied.

"Yes... yes she was. And you've spent the last eight months learning everything we know of her?" Ryu asked.

"Correct... I've reviewed all the Austrian and Federation files, along with records we have from the Africa incidents when the West African Republic collapsed. Do you have a new lead?" Olyich asked.

"Something like that. I believe she's resurfaced in Europe... the place has been rather chaotic since the collapse of the Germans." Ryu explained. "I further believe that her organization now extends beyond her, and that taking her down may not be completely productive. We dismantled much of her resources and she just came back. We can't just cut off the head. We have to remove the entire body. As such I'm sending you on deep cover to discover what it is that she's up to, but also what her organization now is. This assignment will not be complete till we're ready to dismantle her completely."

"My cover?" Olyich asked.

"I understand you can speak German fluently without an accent, you'll be integrated as a relative in one of the more influential German business families, but one that she's not had much dealings with. Your will run a distribution network in Central Europe which may be of use to her."

"Understood." Olyich said.[/i]

Olyich or rather Franz Von Strimoff smiled thinking back on it as he entered the castle. He had had to work harder than he expected to get this invitation. Bridgette did not trust easily, and he understood why. He had met her a few times in passing on his journey to infiltrate, and he was struck by her remarkable coldness to most. He knew her fall from grace had not been pretty, but she seemed even more overcome with rage now than before. It was subtle, but he could tell her ticks.

He breathed outward, his breath showing in the chill of Scandinavia. This was cold, even by the standards of Siberia. [i]Well I guess my true work begins now[/i] the thought to himself.

Edited by Triyun
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It was snowing outside as Salvatore Farnese read the letter from an ambiguous source in Sweden, he sighed as he turned his chair towards the window. When Switzerland was fully integrated into the Western Athenian Federation he had been granted the title Count of Zurich and given the city and surrounding areas officially, in reality he had no more power than the Duchess of Bulgaria or one of the many other nobles. Power was all centralized to the Imperial Administrator of Switzerland. It was also always clear that it was just a way for Rome to get rid of him without angering certain wealthy people. His father, the original heir to the Farnese legacy and in a position of power during the Akhatova regime, was now sitting in an Atlantic prison. Convicted for crimes against the state, the most common crime dissidents were convicted for. The letter opened a way to restore what was rightfully his and to take revenge on the people that had almost destroyed his family and history. A disgruntled noble of a long forgotten house with a long forgotten claim on the Italian and Spanish lands.

After watching outside for a few minutes he decided he would go, however not using the jet or any of his other private possessions. While wealthy and a major holder of shares in EADS and Hellenic World Services he also knew half his staff worked for the CSS and any wrong move could end him up in the cell next to that of his father. Without a doubt he pressed on a button on his desk that activated the intercom.

“Eva please get me a ticket to Stockholm from Zurich first class, in the evening”

“Understood, your grace. Will you need any arrangements once there?”

“No thank you, I will arrange that myself”

While the FIA already monitored all incoming and outgoing flights in the new regions it was less suspicious this way, after all many would most likely think he was just leaving the country to get some privacy. Not even the CSS could look that much into it, they were busy enough with making sense of the chaos in Central Europe as it was. As the hours passed and late in the evening the plane arrived at Stockholm he would go through the regular procedures. The required documents had been arranged by his people in Zurich around the time he arrived at the desk in Stockholm.

“Are you here for work or pleasure?”

Salvatore had to smile at the question. “Oh pleasure, certainly pleasure”

He would rent a car at the airport and arrange a hotel near the location of the event where he could stay for the next couple of days. Eventually when the time was ready for the event to start he would enter the castle wearing a normal suit with the emblem of the House of Farnese displayed on the tie. As he looked around he noticed there were already others, rather than approaching them he would find his way to a more secluded part awaiting their host.

Edited by Centurius
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[b](OOC: Correct me if any of the info I have here is wrong.)[/b]

Paul was in one of his snow vehicles heading toward the same castle. His cover was himself, although many people there probably knew who he was they didn’t know how he feels on the inside. France had received word from a anonymous source about this meeting and knew that they had to investigate. Jesse and Delta would wait in some vehicles a ways away from the castle and monitor him so that if anything went wrong they would be there within minutes. If anyone asked why he was there his answer would be simple, he would say that he was tired of being under Geoffrey’s shadow and never had total power himself so he was going to set things streight. Paul was still nervous about this even though he was the one that volunteered to go in. “Jesse are you sure this is going to work?”

“The people there are mostly businesspeople and politicians but they have all had shady pasts. The Empress already told you the rest once you volunteered for this. Simply put: Bridgette was good once but turned on the Empress and stole a formula to create super soldiers. No one even knew where she was until one of her aliases bought the castle and our source heard about the private auction. She is selling the forula and we need to get it before anyone else there does. Stuff like that will throw the Power in the world out of balance and we all know what will happen if it does. Once we have all of it we need to destroy it.”

“Still are you sure they won’t find anything on me?”

“That comm device and camera are in your head now remember? New technology, so small no scanners there will ever find it and since the doctor was able to connect the camera to your eyes we will be able to see everything your eyes do. As long as it does not get jammed you will be able to hear us and we will be able to see and hear everything you do.”

“Dang, Spy technology really has come a long way. OK let’s do this.”

He then gets out of his car and once past the security he heads inside. Jesse was talking with Brian in their vehicle which was a ways away from the castle but still in range of the devices Paul had on. “Nathan, Ben, and Anthony are in their positions near the castle in case anything happens. Luckily the snowstorm and their camo suits will make it very hard for any security forces to spot them. They are not to engage anyone unless spotted or I order them to. We are here to investigate, not make a scene, but if anything does go wrong we will be ready.”

Brian was still worried about him, “You sure Jesse. Paul is putting himself in a lot of danger by doing this.”

Jesse answered firmly, “He knew the risks when he volunteered. Plus he can blend in there a lot better than any of us could. As long as he plays his part and no one suspects anything about what he is doing he will be fine. They might have a lot of security there but we have gone up against much more before and came out unscathed. He will be fine.”

Edited by jesbro
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Putting on something far more elegant, a long black dress with a white fur shawl to cover her shoulders, Bridgette descended the staircase of the castle and walked into the large parlor where her guests had been ushered. She stood there, there bright blue eyes shimmering at the doorway, the flames of the fireplace reflecting off their azure brilliance. Her hair was lightly curled and it hung elegantly towards the center of her back, while her smile, curt and clean offered a welcoming presence, though for those better trained in subvert human language, behind her eyes and smile was a cold, vengeful woman with an appetite for power and a touch of death.

"Well aren't you all the lively bunch this evening." Bridgette said with a chuckle. "I'd like to welcome you all to Chateau Saenger, unfortunately I haven't gotten around to dinner yet, but if anyone is famished or parched, I can have one of the maids whip up something to curtail your discomfort. However, if no one has any problems, I believe we all have some trifling issues to discuss."

The room was open, with a fireplace on the far right side of the room and two large Viennese style windows, which she had custom made for the castle. A large circular ebony table stood in the center of the room with velvet cushioned chairs neatly arranged around it. A billiard table was arranged parallel to the table, along with a smaller table presenting bottles of scotch, brandy, and other top-shelf liqueurs. Pictures of both the Saenger and Visari families hung on the walls, one rather strange picture taken while Bridgette was still an infant of the infamous Scolar Visari, prior to Tintagyl's invasion of the Greater Nordic Empire. Sitting down in one of the chairs, the hostess took off her shawl, her slender shoulders brushed up against the velvet cushion and she purred quietly as her eyes glanced around the room.

"Well gentlemen, as I assume you are all human." She said glancing at Nergal. "You've received my letter through secure reasons and since the Swedish police have not yet battered down my door I assume you have all come here to cooperate. You especially Herr Torstenson. Knowing I have a Swedish national present does much to ease my ailing heart. What I would like to offer all of you, is a chance that I have been struggling for my entire life. A chance that has been whisked away from me, time and time again because of how the world is governed now." Pressing a button on her bracelet, the picture of Scolar began to turn around, revealing a large map of the world, painted beautifully in the Victorian style. "Look at that. It is an utter mockery to the human species. A painter should be able to create a map of the world and no matter who you are, a person should get to the ground and kneel because it is a representation of everything good that man has created. What is in front of you is civilization, it is technology, it is advancement, and it is progress." She chuckled, "Well, that's what it should be."

Getting to her feet Bridgette walked over to the map and with her fingernail began trace a line from Sweden to the south. "But what do we have now? We have a world that is divided into quarters. One quarter is nearly abandoned, too weak to create their own governments and so they rely on others to govern for them. Sloth. One quarter make it their only prerogative to expand their borders as fast as possible, sitting on the vast wealth of so many nations and in the wake of such a horde, they leave only withered earth, people suffering because their humanity was taken away. Greed. One quarter, sits in a state of eternal neutrality, and they care not for the rest of the world. Avarice. The last quarter governs this world, but because they sit atop their mighty thrones, unable to be touched, they smile and let such a maelstrom take place. Pride. Now of course I have only mentioned four of the sins the world is guilty of, but my grandfather always said that it is necessary to cure a bad thing with a worse thing. It makes men shape up. Which is where I come in. Wrath."

She stepped forward into the center of the room so that all eyes were on her. "You all come from unfortunate pasts. You've been wronged by these sinners and your future is rather bleak, which is why you come to the bleakest place on earth, physically and figuratively, and now I would like to help you, if you all can help me. We all have the same goal, we want our fortunes changed and I want the world changed. If you help me create the greatest cataclysm that the world has ever seen, I can assure you that in the new world I build, you will all be center stage with me. Of course, people may have to die, but lets face it. The way leaders behave, they've been doing this all along and if there is a way to cut off the rotten flesh of the being that is Earth, I'm more than welcome to it. I just don't believe it is possible. After all, as I am sure Herr Nergal can attest, a billion or so people died when your regime blasted itself off the face of the globe. Shame that we let such a large amount of dead flesh fester, alas, perhaps we can save other continents so they may not join the same fate as South America."

Closing her eyes, she pressed her bracelet again as the map faded back behind the wall. "So then, can I count on your help gentlemen? Help me change the world and maybe we can make it a paradise. Purge the rotten flesh through flame." Bridgette had long ago learned a magic trick with a bit of sulfur and flint and as she spoke, she snapped her finger to create a flame from her hands before it smoked into the air. "Oh, by the by, this is a one way show. I'll accept critiques to my plans provided I like you." She said with a smile at Theo. "Otherwise, I don't really care. Secondly, if you are disinterested in this entire display, I would be happy to escort you off the premises. I do sincerely hope I wouldn't have to say good-bye to any of you fine, like-minded, gentlemen."

She smiled. "So, where do we stand?"

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Theo, being the independent individual that he had been for a very long time, having lived a rather spartan lifestyle due to his military service, arranged his own drink at the smaller table, listening intently as Bridgette spoke. Selecting a bottle of brandy from the mix of bottles, he poured it into one of the glass tumblers, and took a seat at the table. He nodded gently when Bridgette addressed his presence as being a bit of a soothing ease, as he could imagine, this woman, from what he knew about her, was not well-liked in a number of locations about the globe. A file procured from the Special Reconnaissance Group's archives had done little to give him insight into the character or full exploits of Bridgette Saenger, who addressed the assembled group around him.

Being part of the Royal Guard of Sweden had made him very astute, although he was always invited to royal functions, dinners and balls galore, he was one of the quieter guests. Oh, of course, he would enjoy waltzing around the ball room a few times, and sharing a few conversations with close friends, such as the now heir-apparent Caroline, he still ultimately felt out of place at such events. Most functions he was not only a guest, but part of the security apparatus, which had made him very good at reading body language and also reading peoples' intentions through how they spoke, the [i]Livgardet[/i] required training in psychology and human behavior at the military academy before induction, and Theo had taken more than the required number of credits in such classes. As he listened to Bridgette intently, he flicked his eyes around the other assembled individuals, watching their body language, he would affix the gentleman who had come from France with a glance, he seemed out of place, for lack of a better word [i]awkward[/i].

His attention was quickly drawn away by Bridgette, as she wrapped up her opening statement, jumping slightly when she had flame appear in her hand before quickly disappearing as fast as it had come. He would blush slightly when she affixed him with a smile, and he took another sip from his glass of brandy that he had been nursing over the course of her statement. Her speech had come down to the simple fact, it was the [i]will to act[/i], to reverse their fortunes that was probably the largest factor in this plan overall. As she finished her statement, Theo looked down at the glass of brandy, then at his arm, his re-enlistment chevrons, which now numbered at five, for every two years he served. He served the Swedish Armed Forces to defend the nation, as his forefathers had done before him, at one point, one of his forefathers had countermanded orders given by the king himself in battle, and had issued new orders because the enemy had attacked in a different location then the king had at first perceived. Instead of losing his head, he had won the respect and admiration of one of Sweden's greatest rulers to date, because he had had the will to act, to do what was necessary. Doing a little evil to do greater good, for his country, and for the world at large, had always been the basic underlying tenets of being a soldier.

Theo arose to his feet, and adjusted his dress uniform, "This part of my country may be one of the bleakest locations on Earth, Frauline Saenger, but it is part of the nation that I call home, that I have served for ten years. I have spilled my own blood for this nation, I have seen my friends die for this nation, their blood on foreign soil, only to see their efforts and lives wasted by politicians who have, for centuries been cowed into submission. If your plan to overthrow the world order can assure that Sweden's fortunes for the past two centuries can be reversed, then you can count on my support."

"However, if I may play devil's advocate, Bridgette," he stated, electing to say her first name, to emphasize the personal level he was speaking on, "Jean-Baptiste Karr once said, 'the more things change, the more they stay the same', the power can change hands in this world, but those who gain power, more often then not, become the villain they were trying to oust. All revolutions contain the seeds of their own destruction, buried deep under the fervent patriotism or reasoning in the hearts of those that charge headlong into the abyss of political revolution. How can we assure ourselves that we aren't going to become the villains we are trying to replace?" He would pause for a moment, looking around at some of the other assembled members, before continuing, "In truth, we can't assure ourselves, but for me, if there is hope that I can see my nation once again stand in the sunlight on shores that it once ruled over, to see a unified Sweden be the force in politics that it once was in Europe, I would spill every drop of blood in my body to see it through."

As he took his seat, he stated clearly, "Of course, I do not know the exact definition or parameters on how we proceed, or what the full details of the plan you have outlined to us are, I can give you my word, that the Count of Scania is with you. For Sweden, for honor, through the times."

Edited by TheShammySocialist
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He arrived somewhat late.. a shadowy figure dressed in a robe. He walked in on the part Bridgette was speaking of being human. At the end of her speech he would ask, "Do transhumans fit into this plan?" He would pull back his hood revealing the person who would appear to be Geoffrey de'Plantegenet.

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Gotzin Tenzov was not the ordinary Marscurian Siberian for three reasons.

1) He was Vauleyo-Buryatian, not Marscurian.
2) He hated Marscurians and Marscurian Siberia in general.
3) He was the only person in a nation of 1.5 million to figure out the Miss Doctor Victoria Kismet was really Bridgette.

He had become a kind of overnight fan, ever since she suddenly abandoned Marscurian Siberia and the Khagan suddenly in the middle of the night, he viewed that as the ultimate insult to the nation, its people, and its leader who he specially despised. From Bridgette's speech, he reasoned that Marscurian Siberia was in the avarice quarter, while he would place them in his own quarter, stupidity. How could only 1% of 1% of 1% of the people see past such an obvious rouse? He figured the Marscurians were just too trusting, believing what people told them and not bothering to question deeper. That would just make things easier for the group in the future.

After failed careers as a terrorist, a mobster, and a pirate, all fighting against what he thought was Marscurian tyranny, Gotzin had a good feeling about this.

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Franz leaned back in his chair. Taking in what Bridgette had to say. It was a novel way of looking at the world, and in truth there was something to it. In truth there were only a list of countries that could be named on a single hand that had any sort of real influence. Most others were directly influential by there ability to get the core countries to act, if at all on their behalf. There were land grabbers hopelessly clinging to power but... they weren't much. They threw around their nukes and their paper tiger air forces as if they wouldn't be cut through in a week like a hot knife through butter and called it power. They were a joke at best.

In some ways Franz had grown to very much admire Saenger, she had courage and she had vision, not unlike the Federation's own leaders. But he also knew her true nature. Her magnetic charisma and poise were even more evident in person. It was said one could get brainwashed by her easily, but not to mix metaphors, however he was no casual observer... he just played on on TV.

He laughed at the end of her speech, "Miss Saengar, I do think that you have some noble visions." he said, "However, talk is cheap. How many have talked about changing the world before you? How many times have you tried yourself. Its often futile. I remember others telling us to march and to create a new world. Things rarely come of it.

Here you gather the riff raff of destiny. Men from a Empire that took far too long to die a wheezing death, soldiers at odds with their own government, those who worship scaley lizards, and well... scumbags like myself." he said somewhat arrogantly at the last part. "I like your spunk, but I'm not really convinced you're worth the hipe! How do I know your whole legend isn't some convenient excuse for the Greeks and Chinese to bust in half the doors in the world?"

Edited by Triyun
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[quote name='Maelstrom Vortex' timestamp='1321639916' post='2846393']
He arrived somewhat late.. a shadowy figure dressed in a robe. He walked in on the part Bridgette was speaking of being human. At the end of her speech he would ask, "Do transhumans fit into this plan?" He would pull back his hood revealing the person who would appear to be Geoffrey de'Plantegenet.
[/quote]

Jesse, Brian, even Paul all of a sudden felt as if they !@#$ their pants. That was enough to almost throw Jesse over the edge, "WHAT THE $%&@ IS HE DOING THERE?!! Paul, I thought the Empress said she wasn't going to tell Geoffrey unless she really needed to?"

He was talking loud enough for Jesse to hear but quiet enough so no one else would hear him, "I don't think she did. Something else is going on."

Jesse was a little pissed but worried, "Well if he sees you it could blow your cover. You need to either get the hell out of there or find a good place where he can't see you."

Paul, "I need to stay to try to find out what she is planning. After what I heard her say it can't be good. I know Geoffrey, he wouldn't blow my cover on purpose like this. Besides if I hide then people will notice. Geoffrey will not rat me out. I can guarantee it."

Jesse, "Well for your sake I hope so. Nathan please tell me you guys are in position. If his cover is blown you may need to provide some covering fire to keep the security guards off him."

Nathan, "We are in positions with our snipers. If any of the guards try to make a move to take out Paul we will put bullets into their brains."

Jesse, "Brian get prepped, it looks like we may need to move in soon."

Brian answered, "You got it."

Edited by jesbro
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[i]The letter had somehow reached him in the remote wilds of UFE Administered Central Alaska, delivered to a lonely cabin that had no address by a dog sled team whose driver hadnt stayed to talk. The contents of the letter interested him to say the least, he was a man who was getting up in years and his scenic tundra abode wasnt his home by choice. There were more than a few people who had done him wrong, and more than a few countries he wouldnt be sorry to see buried in a history book. He paced about his one room cabin until he came upon the spot he was searching for, he bent down and gave a good tug on the floorboard which came free in a cloud of dust. Revealed was a compartment filled with a loose pile of pictures, a coronation, weddings, a man in military uniform leaning over the railing of a ship sailing out of harbor, tears in his eyes. He rifled through the pictures until he grasped the edges of something hard, wooden. He pulled the rectangular, polished oak box out of the floor and carried it over to the small table and chair underneath the cabin's only window.

He opened the box and was greeted by the familiarity of the things that lay inside. Wrapped in green cloth was an ornate scabbard and sabre, detailed with etchings depicting great scenes from antiquity and adorned with a series of red-green Alexandrite stones running along the hilt. He pulled out too a worn and battered Makarov, it was clear it had seen a lifetime of service from the number of nicks and scars it carried. Snapping the lid of the container shut, he placed the box in a large green duffel bag on his bed and began to pile clothes on top of it. Just as he was about to leave he paused and looked again at his now mostly bare closet. Hanging to the side was an old military dress uniform, all white with gold and crimson braiding along the sleeves of the jacket. The epaulettes carried five gold stars and a crimson embroidery of an eagle clutching a thunderbolt and scroll, the insignia of the Royal House of Okhrana. He folded his old uniform and gently placed it in his bag.

In a matter of hours, Peter Duncan, defender of one nation and father of another, boarded a small charter jet and flew to the meeting in remote Northern Sweden. On the plane he changed into the old uniform he had almost not brought with him. Turning to inspect his figure in the mirror of the plane's bathroom, he was surprised to see it still fit him perfectly. It had been almost two decades since he had last worn it, after the death of his wife when he fled the ruins Port Haven and fled into the wilderness. Two decades in the wilderness had kept him sharp, lean, focused. Even now, in his mid fifties, he still cut a dashing figure. He had few wrinkles and his hair grayed only at the temples, though his once auburn hair was now just a dull brown.

The flight had offered him ample time to reflect on the events that had come to define his life, the events that now inspired him to make this journey to Sweden and put himself in league with one of recent history's more interesting characters. He still remembered vividly the Winter War with Ubersteinia; how is country's neighbors had taken advantage of the civil war in his country to wipe his homeland off the map. He had lead the rearguard action against the German and Ubersteinian troops as the advanced on the last civilian evacuation point in St. Petersburg. That Germany was gone now along with Ubersteinia, but Slavorussia yet remained.


He arrived just as Saenger had finished her presentation. As the map behind her slowly faded, he walked in.[/i]

You will have to apologize for my tardiness, Alaska is a remote place. Getting out is just as difficult as getting in. [i]He took a seat at the table across from Saenger and flashed her a wry smile,[/i] Which makes me wonder how you managed to find me.

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"Oh well this is lovely." Bridgette said clasping her hands together at the arrival of de'Plantegenet. "Such court intrigue happening right in front of my eyes. First the Duke of Andorra shows up, possibly mad at both the former King of the Angevins and at the new Empress, or rather old one, who sits on the French throne. A bloody hoax if you ask me. Then!" She spread her arms wide in a dramatic outburst. "The very king deposed by the Empress walks in as well. You French haven't changed at all, revolution after revolution, it isn't surprising to me that your nation could never hold itself together. But nevertheless, welcome, welcome to you new faces. Welcome to this den of thieves that seems to be growing every moment; larger and larger." She chuckled and turned her back to the congregation for a moment. "I'm curious if you all of the guts to stick this out until the end."

Facing her audience again, Bridgette crossed her arms and looked at the crowd, her eyes set on Von Strimoff and Torstenson. "Well gentlemen, I understand your qualms and yes, you are right, most revolutions do fail. Why? Because the insides are corrupt and I can already tell by looking around this room that if I were to build an organization based on virtue I would find myself short of such belief. But that isn't my plan, I'm here to plant a revolution of the mind. A revolution of fear. See, I want to remind our righteous leaders of the world that there is something to fear, that at any moment their power can be stripped away and if they are not responsible, they will be left to rot along with the population they send to their graves. How does this work you say? You all will be the leaders of your nations, of your factions, and then you will listen to when I come bumping in the night. I can tell you now, I'm responsible because I am utterly insane, mad with power and passion and eventually all of you will be as well. If your aren't, then I'm afraid you will fail somewhere down the line and as we peel off the rotten flesh of the world. I will do the same to you."

Then turning to Von Strimoff she approached him and leaned in close, her blue eyes letting off a dim glow from the back of her irises. "Don't talk to me about the Chinese or the Greeks. They are the first on my list to go. You cannot imagine the pain they have caused me in the past few years." She went to his ear and whispered quietly so that no one else would hear. "If you knew the demon they turned me into, that they really turned me into, you wouldn't sleep for days."

She stood back up and paced around the room. "But that is the plan, insight a slow revolution that will begin to cover the world, placing like minded people as yourselves in power, whilst all of you will come to know the consequences of failed leadership. Sound good?"

Then hearing mumbling from her side, Bridgette turned to Paul. "What was that Monsieur Rousseau? I didn't quite catch what you said."

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Light danced beneath eyes gone dark as Nergal listened to the downtrodden of history give their introductions. He smiled slightly at the reminder that no less than ten percent of the world's population had just disappeared into the furnace of a massive civil war. There were dozens of representatives here that did not understand the truth; the one final piece of insanity that invalidated all before it. Humankind existed solely to wipe each other off of the face of the world. Since time immemorable, societies had been building themselves up in order to make war upon their lessers. The blood which flows forth from such conflict slakes the thirst of the elder gods.

Nergal sighed then, and swept the deep-set hood of his tattered religious vestments from his face. "Begging pardon sir Franz, master of all ye survey," His voice was unhurried and calm. And yet simultaneously, his vacuum cold voice was full of venom, "but if memory serves hasn't the UFE for example has came and went in various incarnations over the years? Whether the United Federation of the East or the Francoist Fascists, the lineage is the same. And," he continued without any emotion in particular, "they have already lost. Sounds like a very similar example to an Empire which took far too long to destroy.

"The Holy American Empire was weak. And yet, in its' death throes it found the strength to tear a world apart and burn a billion souls to fire the machines of war. But all that hardly matters." He smiled then, and the sight was terrible indeed. Flinty-blue eyes flat with impersonality gazed unblinkingly in his direction. "For are we not a group of men and women without country? A terrible circle of those who have no illusions about the power brokers of the world? Then why do we dwell on the arbitrary groupings known as nations from whence we came? Instead, I propose we forget such reminders of a past life and move on to the future.

"The question on my mind, Miss Bridgett, is what you would have us do about this world we live in?"

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"I've faced death before, in the service of my country, I've bled before for my country," nodded Theo, lightly, as Bridgette addressed the audience again. "I knew the consequences of coming to this meeting before I entered this castle, and any military tribunal, at this point, could probably convict me of a plot to overthrow the Swedish Government. I will see this movement through to the end, provided that I know that I can assure that Sweden will be a better place after we are done. In my line of work, sometimes one will pay the ultimate price to see that their job gets done. You can count on my service."

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The sound of applause echoed around the room containing the conspirators and a man walked out into the light dressed in an immaculate black business suit and tie, his hands were gloved and he continued to applaud as he approached the occupants. Taking a few further steps forward he settled into an approriate place to look at everyone assembled. There was a clear gleam of madness in his eyes and he raised one hand to stroke his unkempt beard as he spoke.

"My my my such an elegant speech my dear. Your words strike a fancy to a place deep in my dark heart". Shaking his head he looked across to stare directly at Bridgette before continuing. "My apologies for not introducing myself. My name is Kevin Kingswell, founder and leader of the Black Death terrorist organisation. All we desire is to cause chaos and anarchy across the globe and I hereby pledge our undying support in your mad quest".

He finished with a smile before giving Bridgette a neat and respectfull bow from the waist.

Edited by Kevin Kingswell
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[quote name='Sarah Tintagyl' timestamp='1321661788' post='2846653']
Then hearing mumbling from her side, Bridgette turned to Paul. "What was that Monsieur Rousseau? I didn't quite catch what you said."
[/quote]

Jesse was a little nervous because it looking like Paul's cover was blown. He had contacted the Swedish authorities but he didn't know when they were going to get there or if they were going to even come. They had to capture Bridgette or at least find out what she is planning so they could put a stop to it. If Geoffrey did turn out to actually be working with her Jesse would try to capture him as well, "Paul at this point I don't care what you say but you need to make it look like you are on her side. Say that you will support her, we need to find out what she is planning or at least keep her distracted enough for us to capture her. It all depends on you here."

Paul of course lied, but to him it was not a total lie. "You have my support. I have seen enough dictators and tyrants rise and fall to know that things need to change and we need to create a world where there is no suffering and where we are the ones pulling the strings. [He looks at Geoffrey] I told you Geoffrey that I did not trust our new Empress but you still went along with it as well, as if you knew what you were doing, and yet I find you here. Now I am starting to question how much we really know each other. She came from nowhere and you let her take control. If I had not done the same she probably would have attacked later on as well. To the people she seems like some divine miracle worker sort of like how Jesus was but we both know that is not the case, there is something else going on and I intend to find out what that is. Even if I have to side with someone like Bridgette to get that message through. I will not let her take control of the french armies so she can wage her own personal war of conquest like she tried to do in the past. I agree with the reports that say she should have died in that last great battle yet somehow she is still here. I will not let our beloved France get destroyed again like it did so many times in the past. This is a time for change, only one question remains. Are you with me or against me?"

Edited by jesbro
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"Geoffrey is such an interesting character.. isn't he? But I am not him. I just got lucky and happened to become him." He smiled to Paul. "May the deep one's gaze smile upon you, for I am a herald of Chaos itself. I care not for who controls the world so long as it progresses towards its most entropic state."

Edited by Maelstrom Vortex
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[i]Quote of the Day: "It doesn't take the most powerful nations on Earth to create the next global conflict. Just the will of a single person."[/i] or in this case, whoever this new chaos guy is. The quote itself was said by Makarov in Call of Duty MW3.

Jesse was still a little nervous even after Paul said all that, “Guys get ready to move in. We can't let Bridgette slip away before we learn what she is planning. We're moving in, with or without help from the Swedish authorities.”

It would still be a few minutes before they get into position to attack and they would give Paul enough time to get out of there before they moved in. Right now they had to capture Bridgette no matter what. If anyone else got in their way they would kill/capture them as well. "Paul, if you can hear me it is time to get out of there. Your cover has basically been blown by that guy and we need to move now if we are going to have any chance at capturing her."

Paul looks back at the evil chaos figure, "Well I intend to set things right and you stay out of my way. [Paul looks back at Bridgette] What did you have in mind. How are you planning to accomplish your goals?"

Edited by jesbro
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"The man who believes states are arbitrary is arbitrary himself Herr Nergal." Bridgette said looking at the demon. "They are our creation as much as literature or math is part of our personal psyche. Men cannot live without the idea of the state. It is all he knows, it is all he has known since Eden and it will only continue. As to the world you inherit, govern how you believe that the divine should govern. Govern how you believe that the world should be led. Govern with a hint of insanity and madness, different from the way leaders govern today. I can approve of something like that."

But as she spoke with Nergal, Bridgette heard another voice rise up as Paul went accusing the Lizard-man of bowing too easily to the French Empress. Though she could tell, his heart spoke with conviction, but it was an actor's conviction, it was a player's conviction and needless to say, it was a lie. "Look at you. Paul of Andorra, sitting here in my den of thieves asking if anyone is with you or against you. Where do you get the nerve?" She stared into his off colored eyes and grinned. "Hello there, I can see you...yes...you...on the other side of the camera. You know, I dislike people who mettle in my business." She touched her bracelet and a siren began to go off outside of the castle.

Unfortunately for the seemingly all-knowing Delta Squad, their luck was about to run out. This was not the Commonwealth of Africa dealing with pathetic little splinter cell groups. It wasn't Inchon dealing with Cultists who thought they could bring back some stupid dragon. No, this was the big leagues, and they were in for a real treat.

Bridgette's castle was not simply your run-of-the-mill European fortification, it was much more than that. In the deep annexes of the building, the Astrid Corporation's intellectual powerhouse was at work. Underground sensors covered the countryside for a ten mile radius and when the Delta Squad had first arrived, they were already being monitored by others working for Bridgette's organization. Suddenly the countryside would explode with the sounds of gunfire as squads of Astrid soldiers moved in, surrounding as best they could, Jesse and the other members of Delta Squad, cutting off their ability to reach Paul in the castle or at this point to even help him. The guards outside, though a few of them might immediately be sniped, Delta Squad would not be able to move fast enough to kill all the guards on the perimeter of the castle grounds.

In addition to the scouts who had already been out in the field when Delta Squad had arrived, others within the compound were beginning to barrel out on their snow mobiles with AK-47s attached to the front. Soon the countryside became a flicker of the present gunfight occurring.

Back in the castle, Bridgette stared menacingly at Paul and the Lizard-Man. "You know I do appreciate you both attempting to stop me here though. A damn Dreamer Enthusiast and a Wanna-Be Spy. This should be fun." In her normal dramatics, she bowed to the others in the room. "Unfortunately gentlemen, we seem to have a predicament here." Two armed guards entered the room, placing gun shafts against Paul and Geoffrey's back. "Well, now this complicates things. My meeting is ruined, but if I let any of you go, there is a chance you could go to reasonable authorities and have my operation closed down. No, I can have that. Especially with your little friends outside Paul. No, I think we'll all go for a ride. I'll have a plane prepared immediately."

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The statement itself made Salvatore have serious doubts about going to the meeting into the first place, the words that had come out of Bridgette's mouth were very tempting but delusions at best, at least that was his believe until he saw the events surrounding the Duke of Andorra and the former King of the Angevin Monarchy. It had become clear that this was a woman who had resources and experience. For the first time since he arrived he would speak up after stepping forward.

"You will have my dedication, though I can not predict if we will ultimately succeed I find it worth the fight."

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Franz looked at Bridgette as she approached him. Taking her words to heart he looked at her eyes, meeting her stare. The Soldier Serum which had been reported in Captain Hayabusa's report could well have been what she was referring to. But it was unclear what its effects would be so long after exposure. Even with Lieutenant Rhee's full cooperation, the Imperial Guard still felt uncertain about what effects the serum had had. By Rhee's own guess, Bridgette when they fought was about one in a half times more powerful in pure strength, skill excluded.

He paused, realizing she was still standing next to him, "Of course." he said, a smile forming on his face. "I..." he then broke eye contact with her, so see the spat going on between the two freaks from France. "I shall look forward to seeing a demonstration of your abilities, afterall a monster is only feared because it [i]is[/i] powerful, is it not?"he said his eyes returning to her. "In the meantime, you have a reluctant ally."

He then looked at the unfolding of the pathetic attempt to go after the castle with a special forces team, [i]God damn.[/i] he thought. Why anyone would even launch such a foolish raid was beyond him. Oh well, it would be some entertaining television, and perhaps a time to advance his own cover further.

Edited by Triyun
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Being the soldier that he was, the sound of gunfire was all-to-familiar for Theo, his ears perking up and the hairs on the back of his skin standing up as the firefight began outside the castle walls. His first instinct was to reach for his sidearm, which he had decided against bringing, his hand only falling on the ceremonial, yet still equally useable sword that was lashed to his belt. As he watched guards put gun barrels to the back of the man who had been able to take the appearance of the King of Angevins, as well as the man he had had earlier concerns over, he took a last sip from his glass of brandy. He relaxed slightly, the first sounds of gunfire intermixing with others, while the first shots had unnerved him slightly, his military composure returned almost as quickly as it had been lost, his fingers still fidgeted with the hilt of his sword, but only out of instinct.

He finally rose, as Bridgette declared that the congregation would be taking to the air shortly. "If I may, Bridgette? I may be of some assistance in such a capacity, I have the ability to authorize flight plans to anywhere in the country, or out of the nation altogether, directly with the Swedish Air Force, without question. If I would be allowed to have the use of my phone, I can arrange that right now."

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It was too late for them to get in and safe Geoffrey and they all knew it. They have done raids on fortified places such as this before but they were not trying to rescue someone in those missions. Although they probably could get past all the guards it would still be too late for them to get Paul. They had to make a strategic withdrawal and Jesse had an idea, "When the guys on the snowmobiles come around for another pass kill them and hijack their rides. We will use those to get out of here."

Brian, "What about Paul?"

Jesse answered, "It is too late to save him. She has not killed him yet which means she wants him for something and as long as he is still alive we will be able to track him down later on."

Brian, "And what if she turns him into one of those super freaks, heck she might even have something like what the cult used."

Jesse answered very firmly, "Well lets hope it does not come to that. Meanwhile we need to get out of here before we are flanked."

As the guys on the snowmobiles came around for another attack Jesse and Delta shot them and hijacked their snow mobiles. Anthony would be in the one ahead of them taking out any guards that got in their path while Jesse, Brian, Nathan, and Ben were in the other two following him while shooting at any that followed them. Once they were in the clear they would wait for the Frnech helicopter the was set to pick them up. "We might have failed in this raid Brian but as long as Paul is still alive we will be able to track him."

"And what if she turns him into one of those dragon creatures?!"

"Well lets just hope it does not come to that. Besides we need to get back to the Palace of Versailles to tell the Empress what happened. And after that we are going to see if Geoffrey is still there. Something weird is going on and it seems Geoffrey has something to do with it, and if we can't find him than we will make him come to us."

Meanwhile Paul was really pissed at this dragon guy who was captured with him, or Geoffrey, or whoever the $%&@ he was, "I had everything under control until you showed up. If you are not Geoffrey than who the $%&@ are you anyways?!"

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