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The Few, The Forgotten


Subtleknifewielder
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Howling winds. Blinding storms. Freezing temperatures even at the highest, hottest point of summer. A layer of ice and snow so compacted and thick it serves a ground in and of itself.

This is the land that, despite exploration, has served as the last untamed wilderness belonging to the race of man. It has all at once fascinated and terrified humanity with its starkness, and yet its raw beauty. Nations have explored, sent their best and brightest, or occasionally their worst, to learn what they can about this uncharted, frozen desert. Or to be left, forgotten.

Forgotten, the sands of time turning as parent nations rise and fall, these states abandon those they sent to explore, leaving fledgling colonies and research stations to fend for themselves. Many of those forgotten do not withstand this test of desertion, of self-reliance. But those that do are hardened and hardy, passing on their stubborn determination, ingenuity, and no little luck to their offspring. They may not be united in purpose, but they are united in one thing. If the world has abandoned them to their own devices, so too do they intend to abandon the rest of the world to its own.

They are abandoned. They are left behind. They are--The Forgotten Ones. Abandoned, they abandon. Left behind, they now leave behind. Forgotten...but they do not forget...

OOC: OK, you peeps wanted a DoE, this is it. :P This is not, however, open to IC replies yet. Comment OOC'ly all you want, but nothing IC-ly until i have a chance to continue.

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[size=2][size=2]The snow-covered, wind-swept plain had not seen such a gathering in a long while...hundreds, nay, thousands had gathered in response to the summons. A tribal gathering had not been initiated in many seasons, but few questioned the reason for this one. The strange, ongoing, seemingly never-ending occurrence of the lights in the sky to the south had many on edge, not just the leaders and scouts.

It was enough to temporarily overcome factional strife, blood feuds, tribal differences. Warriors and noncombatants alike gathered in a single, central location, putting aside their differences for the time being and letting their leaders confer...[/size]

--------[/size]

[color="#8b0000"]"I tell you, it is a sign we should wipe all others from the face of these lands!"[/color] This outburst, predictably enough, came from the burly, tan-skinned representative of the Sian tribe, who went by the name of Kan. If they had had a table in the little burrow they'd made in the ice, Kan would have smashed his fist into it for effect, but he had to content himself with words alone.

The other gathered leaders paused in their quiet discussions with each other. Startled, a few hands automatically went for weapons that would normally have been on their belts, or strapped to their backs, before they remembered that they had left them at the entrance. No weapons were permitted in the leaders' lodge during a gathering. Finally, one of them, the calmest of the lot, responded. [color="#ff00ff"]"And why, pray tell, should we do that?" [/color]The soft, lilting tones of the female leader settled everyone's jumpy nerves. This despite the fact that Sabina was the youngest of her peers, not to mention her tribe, the Lian, was the youngest by far. They also happened to be the palest of the lot, with their hair not having been completely changed by the long so-called summers. Still, they had been here long enough to earn the right of sitting in at these gatherings. It didn't hurt that she possessed a fairly attractive figure to look upon, or a voice to match--it went a long way to calming frazzled nerves, and she well knew it.

Even Kan wasn't entirely unaffected, which was saying something. His people usually tended to be the most vocal on any issue on these occasions. They weren't quite the most warlike of the tribes (that dubious honor was reserved for the Uro, who seemingly thrived on conflict for its own sake), but they were a close second, and they at least tried to provide justifications for their attacks. Hence Sabina's question was not without merit, and Kan actually tried to sound reasonable. [color="#8b0000"]"They still hail from Those Who Forgot. Those who continue to conveniently forget that we even exist."[/color]

At that, there were a few nods of agreement, even from Jonas, the Kee chieftain. His tribe firmly valued their own independence, never taking sides in any dispute between the others, and though they occasionally raided other clans for resources, they tried to keep such raids as bloodless as possible. [color="#0000ff"]"There's no telling how long they will remain ignorant. And when they lose that ignorance, they might threaten to force us under their dominion with the excuse of [i]'protecting'[/i] us."[/color] There were even more emphatic nods at that, even one from Sabina herself. It was a fear lurking in the backs of the minds of every individual there. Though none were as staunchly neutral as the Kee, who were the only ones never to make so much as even alliances of convenience, they all still valued being free and independent. Such a threat might even be enough to permanently unite the tribes, if it ever came to pass.

[color="#ff0000"]"But what if they themselves are eventually forgotten? We too were once as they are...or our ancestors were..."[/color] The rest of the others turned in surprise to look at Amorette. Middle-aged, she too, like all the others but Sabina, possessed the bleached hair common to all. What explained the surprise, however, on every face, was not what was said...but who said it. This was the leader of the Uro. Why would she advocate something that didn't lead to conflict?

Sabina was the first to recover from the surprise. [color="#ff00ff"]"Well said. I don't think any of us had considered that. But Jonas makes a good point too. We need to find a balance. Some way of deterring...what's the word? An invasion."[/color]

And so the real discussion began. Would it result in complete unification? Probably not, but at least a promise of putting aside all disputes in such an eventuality would be guaranteed, and selecting a provisional leader should the time come. Maybe that would be enough, for now...

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  • 6 months later...

[font="Arial"][size="2"]It had been some time since the gathering of the tribes. The omen itself had faded...but the memory of it all did not, and the warning of potentially dire consequences should it be ignored, or worse, misinterpreted, was taken to heart. [/size][size="2"]There was a lessening of inter-clan warfare, though of course, it did not entirely abate. That would would be nigh impossible without some kind of outside intervention.[/size][/font]
[font="Arial"] [/font]
[font="Arial"][size="2"]Into this, the scout, Linden, returned with news for her clan Chief, Sabina, that the Dragons she and her fellow scouts had encountered...had vanished as suddenly as they came, and seeing as they were gone, she had brought with her samples of their technology...and a map she had conveniently found. of course, a map, for these 'natives' of Antarctica, was useless in most things, but in this particular case...maybe they could find something meaningful to do with it.[/size][/font]
[font="Arial"] [/font]
[font="Arial"][size="2"]Linden returned to a surprise of her own, of course--due to Sabina's calm and even voice during the clan meeting, the Lian were no longer raided. The Chiefs had unanimously agreed that one among them should be the nominal leader, to be invested with authority should they ever face a common threat. And as a sign of their respect, Sabina, despite her youth, was selected from among them, though not without much fierce debate. Therefore...she was in a position to use the items Linden had brought back. One of which was some kind of long-distance communicator. Perhaps...the time had come to let the world know they were here...?[/size][/font]
[font="Arial"] [/font]
[font="Arial"][size="2"]OOC: Next post will allow for others to post, finally. :D[/size][/font]

Edited by Subtleknifewielder
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  • 2 weeks later...

If it had been any other nation announcing their existence, or at least on any other continent, there would have been a hustle and bustle of people moving back and forth, aides getting things ready, setting up the facilities, making sure the leader or leaders were presentable. Presenting a scripted speech to the chosen spokesperson for approval. As it was, there was little of that, other than to hollow out an ice cave almost on the coast itself to house them while they waited, while Sabina considered what she was about to do, its ramifications and whether it really was the wisest course...no. Sooner or later they would no longer be forgotten, whether through accidental discovery, or design...better to do so on their terms.

But what she should say...? When she was certain of that, or as certain as she could be, she pressed the button she knew was for transmission. [color="#ff00ff"]"Greetings, nations of the world,"[/color] her lilting tones called out over the world's airwaves in English, albeit heavily accented, and broken at times as she searched for the right words--it was clearly not her native tongue. [color="#ff00ff"]"My name is Linden, and I am a representative of those time forgot, those cast aside in hr long march of history in this icy place. We exist...we no longer are forgotten, and we are waiting on the shore of this frozen land. Come, meet those who have made a life apart..."[/color]

The short and simple signal went out to the world, with coordinates along the shoreline attached to it, taken from the map Linden had in turn taken from the abandoned draconic city.

Edited by Subtleknifewielder
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When the radio signal came across Helzan airwaves the military was unsure of how to proceed as Valerie was currently not to be disturbed and yet they knew she would demand they take action so they settled on sending out a scout team in two tracked vehicles. The two vehicles left their base and drove out across the ice in an eastern direction towards the coordinates given in the broadcast. The journey would take a fair few hours to make due to the distance and conditions so the scouts settled down and caught some rest or checked their equipment, with orders to avoid contact and to observe only they had to make sure their equipment would be up to the task ahead of them.

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There was little in the way to distinguish the untamed ice from any territory that might be claimed by those who sent out the message. The bleak landscape was covered with snow and ice, the wind often howled at them, but they could be thankful for one thing...they ran into no storms, so the way was the least treacherous it could be. Not that there weren't pitfalls, of course. Crevices in the ice could sneak up on one quite suddenly, even if they were out in the open...and often they weren't, covered with only a very thin layer of ice that would give way to a long drop if too much weight was put onto it.

The first contact, at least the first that they would be able to detect with any surety, was about twenty miles out from the given coordinates, turning out to be a startled sentry. Despite their equipment, the sentry had not seemed to have been there at all until they sprang up from their position against the ice. Heavily furred in clothing that matched the coloration of the surrounding ice, it would not be difficult to surmise how they might have missed detecting this person. Despite the fact that it had a weapon, a throwing spear, in its hand, they weren't taking a threatening posture. In fact, after a moment's hesitation, it waved to the travelling scouts, babbling in some unknown language, but clearly trying to attract their attention.

At this distance, and with so many layers of clothing shrouding them, it was impossible to distinguish a gender of the sentry.

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Scouts were all hand picked for their observation abilities and the same was true for the crews that transported them in their vehicles so any pitfalls that were encountered were avoided before they became a danger. However, the lone sentry had indeed gone without notice until he sprang up almost directly in the path of one of the scout carriers which slewed to a halt in a spray of snow with the second quickly following suit. The first vehicle lowered its rear ramp to allow two scouts to disembark after which they slowly advanced on the sentry their rifles held ready before them whilst a gunner popped them top hatch on the second scout vehicles and covered the pair with the mounted machine gun.

Approaching the fur clothed sentry the first scout motioned for the person to drop the spear as they were not about to take any chances, the second one meanwhile kept scanning the local area for any other possible surprises.

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There would be no other surprises around, just the sentry. Still seemingly unconcerned, that lone guard didn't flinch as the vehicles came to a stop within a couple feet of turning them into a pancake...

----

Idly brushing the snow off her coverings, Jolinda watched the newcomers warily, though hidden as she was in her layers of clothing, it would be impossible to discern any tension in her body language, much less her facial features. The vehicles were unfamiliar to her, as were the weapons they used, but the way they held those things, and the way they gestured at her with them, made it clear exactly what their purpose was. And the gestures were unmistakable, as well. Apparently unconcerned, she thrust her spear into the ice, where it stuck up like a pole that rose to her shoulders, and then reached her hands up (slowly, to avoid misunderstandings), and pulled back her hood to reveal shoulder-length, snow-white hair, pale skin, and emerald-colored eyes that exhibited curiosity, but no fear.

She spoke, then, softly but distinctly, just loud enough to be heard over the wind. Not that it helped...she spoke no language they would recognize. Realizing this quickly, she stopped talking, and simply tapped a finger to her chest. "Jolinda." She gestured again, palm outward, to the scouts, which combined with the questioning look on her face, clearly indicated she wanted to know their names. Just in case they were unsure, she spoke the only other words in English she was familiar with. "You...names?"

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The lead scout would briefly turn to his partner and nod his head once before they both advanced on Jolinda with one going left and the second going right and they kept their weapon sighted on her as they advanced as did the scout covering them from the vehicle. As long as Jolinda didn't try to run or go for her weapon the scouts would surround her, one at her front and the other behind, the one in front would indicate downwards with his weapon whilst speaking orders to her. "On your knees immediately, on your knees." This was said in broken English and if Jolinda didn't respond or comply the one behind her would attempt to kick her in the back of her legs to get her on her knees.

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Jolinda frowned...she recognized the words as English, but she didn't understand. Helplessly, uncomprehendingly, she listened to the commands. She did, however understood the gesture well enough...but she didn't understand why. Had she done something wrong, violated some custom of these visitors?

She blinked, trying to understand the apparent hostility, when she felt a kick to the back of her leg. Reflexively, she dropped to her knee, turning her head to see the one who'd done it. Though her jaw was dropped a little in surprise, there was no mistaking the glare. No, now she was certain she had done nothing to warrant this. Slowly, so they wouldn't think she was reaching for a weapon, her hands reached up to pull the hood back over her head, and the wrappings around her face...though there was little apparent reason to do so.

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Jolinda was not stopped from doing so though she was watched the whole time at gunpoint and once she had done so the original scout that had assaulted her would retrieve a set of handcuffs from his webbing and would move to secure her hands and arms behind her back. As long as she didn't fight or try to stop him in anyway he would handcuff her and then forcefully try and guide her towards their scout vehicle with his partner following and covering him.

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The young woman thought, just for a moment, about drawing the knife hidden up her sleeves...the thing about such bulky garments was that even if her captors felt for weapons, they wouldn't necessarily detect it. But...that would get her at most, one, two of them, and then she could do her clan no good, give them no warning...better go along with this for now...seize an opportunity for escape if one presented itself, and in the meantime, learn all she could about her captors. So in the end, she decided not to resist, standing and moving without complaint as she was escorted to their vehicle. She would come quietly...but she would be watching their every move.

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The scouts would quickly take a hold of the Forgotten sentry and take her into the back of one of their vehicles where they tightly secured her to the sides of the vehicle so that she hopefully couldn't escape. Then they would close the rear hatch and pull back from their position as they had felt they had been still for enough time as it was and wanted to move away in case anyone came looking for them or their prisoner and once they had moved some distance away the scout leader contacted the headquarters back in Helzan territory and reported they had a prisoner and they were quickly informed that their scouting mission was over for now and that they were to return with the prisoner with all due haste. With this understood the scout teams turned about and headed back for home leaving Jolinda in silence in the back with them to contemplate what lay ahead for her.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Jolinda, of course, discretely tested her bonds. She figured it was even odds on whether she'd be able to break free, but that would still not accomplish her anything. Not yet. She simply watched from behind the veil over her face, the veil making it difficult to read her in any fashion. She simply waited, watching, listening--waiting for them to possibly slack off so she could take advantage of their lack of attention.

Meanwhile, at the coordinates, the welcoming party still waited...

Edited by Subtleknifewielder
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The ACNS Gettysburg was conducting endurance trials to train for long overseas deployments and this deployment happened to head south through the Atlantic towards the coast of Antartica and then from there the Gettysburg was to proceed to the Indian and Pacific Oceans, around South America and home again. It was during the time off the coast of Antartica where the transmission was intercepted by the Gettysburg CIC and relayed to the captain. Captain Jonathan Perry was sleeping in his quarters when his XO knocked on his door and woke him.

"What's this about?" inquired the captain as he rubbed the sleep from his eyes. "Sir, we've started to receive transmissions from out of Antartica" his XO said with a hint of disbelief while handing the captain a transcript. "The hell?" the captain stated. "This makes absolutely no sense, I don't recall any major settlements that remain in Antartica". Captain Perry pondered for a minute. "It's probably just a bunch of people who've been stranded there and need rescue" stated the captain. "Prep the Seahawk for search and rescue and get them over to those coordinates". "Aye captain!" said the XO as he saluted and began to exit the captains quarters. "Wait, put a marine contingent on the chopper, just in case". Perry was still thinking about the transmission after his XO had left. [i]'Oh well, I'm up now and I mind as well do something'[/i] he thought as he got up and went to the CIC.

The SH-60S Seahawk was piloted by Lt. Harry Engleman and took off from the Gettysburg with its crew and a marine fire team, heading for the coordinates given in the transmission while the second Seahawk was on standby and ready to take off in less than five minutes if needed. It was about 20 minutes for the helicopter to arrive at the location and thermal sights indicated a human presence so the Seahawk landed and the marines disembarked and cautiously approached the group waving and identifying themselves as American Commonwealth Marines.

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Linden waited with the gr oup of guards clustered in a loose ring around her tribal leader, the nominal Queen, Sabina. She nervously eyed the machine as it drifted down to the surface, kicking up ice and snow in a great gust of wind. She did not understand how it worked, but in her travels, she had seen enough to convince her it was not magic...no, simply technology she did not understand. Still, as it landed, disgorging its passengers, she eyed it warily, tense...starting when she felt a hand on her shoulder. [color="#ff00ff"]"Calm, daughter,"[/color] Linden said, speaking formally as she would to any member of the tribe in these circumstances--they were not actually related, but the clan leader was in many ways considered a parent to every member of the tribe they led. [color="#ff00ff"]"If they were hostile, they would come in greater numbers."[/color]

Linden forced herself to relax, though she still eyed the approaching Marines warily. Unfortunately for her complete peace of mind, they spoke in a language none here but Sabina understood, so the fur-clad, spear-wielding natives had no choice but to part and let her step forward to meet the approaching Americans. She listened to their hails, gathering what she supposed were the important details about it. Not that she knew the names or terms, as she pulled back her hood, revealing pale skin, sharp blue eyes and long, light, strawberry-blond hair that fell past her shoulders. [color="#ff00ff"]"Marines...American Commonwealth? I...afraid I...not understand,"[/color] the Queen spoke in broken English. [color="#ff00ff"]"But you...we welcome...this land."[/color]

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Normally a fire-team would have been lead by a sergeant but due to the circumstances Lt. Marcus Rivera was in charge of the unit and the rescue mission although it was apparent to him that that might not be the case as the situation unfolded before him. He told his men to hang back as he approached what appeared to be the leader of the group. The marines still held on to their weapons but didn't point them at anyone so as not to provoke them. The Seahawk powered down the engine to a lower level to conserve fuel and improve visibility but still had to keep it running due to the climate. The crew chief on the starboard side of the helicopter kept his hands on the M134 Minigun but had it pointed upward to appear less threatening.

As the person unveiled herself the lieutenant breathed a sigh of relief. At least they were human and not some strange human-dragon hybrid that were rumored to exist here. "My name is Lieutenant Marcus Rivera. We're marines from the American Commonwealth" announced the lieutenant a bit more slowly. [i]They may not need rescuing but they obviously can't speak English too well[/i] he thought. "We received your transmission over the radio and thought that you needed assistance" he said as he waved his hand held radio in the air. "We're here to help. Who are you and where are you from?" he asked.

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A few of the guards relaxed as they say the bulk of the approaching party hang back, and their weapons in a non-threatening position. Like Linden, the rest of them also recognized those as weapons, even if they did not understand how such things worked. It also helped that the wind kicked up by the helicopter was no longer so severe, and the noise much more tolerable, though behind their veils and hoods, many stared in curiosity that was hidden to the outside world. To the marines, they would appear stoic, faceless natives with spears propped, equally nonthreatening, blades-first into the icy ground between each set of feet.

Sabina smiled, still not getting most of the terms, but understanding the person was giving his name, at least, and where he was from. She still did not understand the concept of a marine. [color="#ff00ff"]"Marines...a...special warrior?"[/color] she asked, curiously. But he had asked her questions of his own before she replied, so it was only polite to answer them first. [color="#ff00ff"]"Assistance...not needed. Will take...what is word...trade? Barter?"[/color]

But the question about where they were from...that clearly puzzled her, and her brow wrinkled in a confused frown. [color="#ff00ff"]"Forgotten ones...this...our home,"[/color] she said, gesturing all around them with a single, graceful movement of her arm and hand, indicating the icy landscape.

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Lt. Rivera did his best to listen to the broken English. "Special warrior?" he chuckled. "Yeah kind of" he said. Listening to the rest of her response he began to realize what was going on. "Could you wait for a moment" he asked and he began to talk into his radio. "Patch me through to the skipper" he told Lt. Engleman in the helicopter. The comm relay worked and he began to explain to the captain the situation. "Skipper, these people don't need rescuing. I'm pretty sure they live here". "What?" asked the captain in disbelief. "How is that possible?" he asked. "They call themselves the forgotten ones" replied the lieutenant. "I'm guessing these people must be remnants of the many colonization attempts in Antarctica. It's a new nation" he concluded. "Well that's a lot to swallow lieutenant, I'll call Washington but you seem to be the point man so keep it up. I'll send the second chopper when yours reaches bingo fuel. Captain Perry out".

[i]Point man? Since when did a lieutenant conduct diplomacy on behalf of his nation like this?[/i] wondered Rivera. Trade? Rivera grew up in a working class factory so he knew how trade was supposed to work but what was he supposed to trade here? He was pretty sure that Antarctica didn't have masses of factories pumping out goods or anything. He turned his attention back to Sabina. "I'm beginning to understand what is happening here. I've told my superiors what's happening and they'll decide on something soon. Perhaps we should become acquainted. Like I said my name is Lieutenant Rivera. What's your name?" he asked as he extended his hand towards Sabina.

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Sabina nodded at his answer, then patiently watched, waiting as he spoke those he answered to about the situation. She had an idea how that might work, considering how she had managed to contact these people in the first place, but she didn't [i]know[/i]. Still, the patience was a virtue...not like she had anywhere she needed to go anyway. Though her attention wandered a little, inspecting the other 'Marines' as the Lieutenant spoke with...whoever it was he was speaking with. When he moved to return, however, her gaze snapped back to him with alacrity, and she offered a smile. Though she was quick to apologize when he offered his name again.

[color="#ff00ff"]"My...apologize, Lieutenant Marcus Rivera. I am Queen Sabina,"[/color] she said, bowing her head before staring at his hand uncertainly. After a moment, one of her guards stepped forward, without their weapon, and whispered something inaudible in her ear, before stepping back. Understanding bloomed on her face, and she grabbed his hand with hers, shaking it with quite a bit of enthusiasm. Perhaps overdoing it, but then again the custom was new to her. [color="#ff00ff"]"Am...doing this right?"[/color] she asked, that smile returning. For someone so slight, Rivera would note she had quite a strong grip.

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"That's fine" said the lieutenant smiling as he let go of the handshake. [i]A Queen?[/i] he thought. [i]Guess I was right after all[/i]. "Hey LT, the captain's here" one of his men shouted. As he turned around he saw the silhouette of the Gettysburg appearing on the horizon. Their helicopter returned to the ship and they saw that the second helicopter was on the way. As it landed the marines watched the helicopter as the door slid open and Captain Perry stepped out. "Captain on Deck" shouted a sergeant and the marines came to attention as he walked past them. "At Ease" he said and the marines relaxed. The captain approached the lieutenant who crisply saluted when he got near. "At ease lieutenant. Is this their leader?" he asked nodding towards Sabina. "Yes sir" he replied. Captain Perry turned towards her and saluted. "Hello ma'am, my name is Captain Jonathan Perry. I have been told by my superiors that the American Commonwealth would be interested in starting diplomatic relations with your people. To that extent we were hoping to be able to create a small diplomatic outpost in this area to facilitate communications between our people."

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Jolinda was brought back to the capital which was now under martial law and placed inside a prison cell under armed guard, there she would be left alone for some time before a soldier arrived bringing both a tray of food and water as well as a Helzan nursery book. Though strange this book was for children just learning to talk and as such was filled mostly with pictures and the accompanying words in the Helzan language. Hopefully this would help this young woman to start learning their language to help with her eventual interrogation.

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Sabina felt relief course through her. Despite what her guard had reminded her of, she had been unsure. That was really an accepted custom of greeting? So strange...probably just as well they didn't try their own. Probably wouldn't have been understood. He released her hand after a few moments. She stepped back a pace as one of his men suddenly shouted something at him, startled, but quickly recovering. The guards were not so quick to recover from the sharp, quick movement brought on by the Captain's arrival...more than one reached for their weapons, but when no further sudden moves were forthcoming aside from the Lieutenant saluting the Captain, hands returned to their sides. These outlanders were strange...marking their superiors in such a way would be a death sentence in any serious clan feud.

Sabina felt a faint flush on her cheeks when the Captain turned and in turn saluted her. She realized he'd spoken however, and nodded.[color="#ff00ff"] "Queen Sabina. Diplomatic relations..."[/color] her tongue stumbled over those words as she replied. [color="#ff00ff"]"Captain Jonathan Perry...that 'tis why we called...to...communicate with...others."[/color]

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"Yes, I understand that and we look forward to being able to communicate with your people" said Captain Perry. "The problem is that it's not very convenient to have to send a ship back and forth to communicate especially with the distance between our nations. I understand that this is your land but it would be beneficial for both of us if you permitted us to set up a facility on your territory for more direct diplomacy. Of course we would be willing to host some of your people in return".

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So much, so fast...she puzzled through several of the words and concepts. Her grasp of English was far from perfect, but it was likely the only language they had in common. She did understand one basic thing, she was certain...they were asking permission to leave a few behind, to set up a place for their people to stay, in this place. Sabina nodded. [color="#ff00ff"]"That...is good. Acceptable. Not sure...anyone willing to go, but...people may stay, here. On this spot. No...further than here."[/color] She meant, they could set up here, but they should not venture past this point. Why they should not, she would explain later, once she had a better grasp of the language.

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