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In Hel's Domain


Kaiser Martens
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OOC note: The sub doesn't count as navy (Which I have not) as it doesn't have any weaponry of any kind. Basically, it's just a plot device.

It was cold. It was really cold. The submarine emerges within Niflheim in a protected underground dock, Martens' personal banner visible right as the upper part had left the waters, which had to be artificially heated in order to prevent ice from forming. A small bridge was extended to connect to the submarine, and a row of Soldiers stood there at attention, clicking their boots and saluting when the hatch opens to reveal the Kaiser. He steps down and salutes briefly, going on with his business and advancing briskly, quickly. A high ranking officer moves closer, "It is good to see you here, Mein Kaiser. We've been awaiting your arrival. Everything is just as you have left it. The Land Governors have been notified of your arrival and will be here in no time."

Martens nods, in spite of the cold of the place he seems comfortable in his regular outfit. "Danke, Herr Thalmann. I will await them in the meeting room, let them know." The Officer nods, salutes and heads off, while Martens now more calmly enters an elevator taking him to a nice little office overviewing that and another nearby underground dock, the place is actually heated. Martens removes his cap and places it nearby, leaning over onto the window section to watch maintenance being performed on his submarine by engineers. His Comrades will arrive soon.

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It had not been more than a day since Sarah had returned from her 'quest' in Nordheim to relocated Larsa's nephew Mikhail and on returning home she had found that in two days her agenda had filled up to a nauseating degree. Returning to her office on a Monday and on progressing through the day on only about four hours of sleep, she felt herself at least every hour or so beginning to droop her head down to the soft mahogany and paper pillows that made up her desk, which was why when a young aide stormed in, blasting through the doors she was incredibly angered from being woken up from her temporary slumber.

She shot up at the sounds and glared at the young aide looking at her. "What is it?" She spit out towards the young man.

Immediately realizing his wrong, but knowing the information he possessed was far too important he only bowed and apologized. "Minister McAlpine, just received word that we have the eventual arrival of an unexpected guest in the Niflheim province."

"Guest? Who?"

"Martens." He said in a hushed voice as if there was someone else in the room that would use the information for ill against the state.

Sarah's eyes widened she turned her head away from the aide for a moment. 'What is he doing here?' She thought to herself. Martens had long since shied away from the public sphere only to return recently in Germany and then in Norsvea, but what did he have to do with the Hansa? Yes, Niflheim had been a Nordlandic colony prior to the Nordland War, but so much had gone on since then. 'Does he want the land back?' Sarah's head was full with questions, but if he was coming to here, that he had demands and questions of his own and there was no point in turning the man away. After all, they had been allies in the Nordland War, even if only short lived ones. Turning back to the aide, she nodded her head. "If you would be so kind as to commandeer my jet for Niflheim, I will have to personally meet with a guest with such prestige as the Kaiser."

Arriving back in Niflheim, Sarah found it practically the same as when it had first been consolidated into Hanseatic territory, the only changes were a few new buildings belonging to the Pacific Trading Company and a larger Hanseatic presence. As soon as she arrived, Niflheim guards, the majority who were still Nordlanders, escorted the Lady Protector to a small office above the docks looking out to the Antarctic waters. Walking in, she immediately straightened herself in front of her guest and bowed before extending her soft hand in greeting. "Your Excellency, what to I have the pleasure of your visit?" This was the first time the two had ever laid eyes on each other. Or at least in Sarah's mind it was.

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OOC: Yeah, I know. We agreed to this RP beforehand.

IC:

Martens stands up, his "trademark" red eyes moved to focus onto Sarah's figure, then he bows slightly yet very respectfully, reaching for her hand and pressing it slightly against his forehead as he still was bowing, in an unusually devoted way of greeting. Next he snaps back to his normal martiallike standing position.. He takes a few steps forwards and fixes his black uniform a little bit. He looked the same as he had always looked, only he seemed calmer nowadays.

"Lady Protector. It is good to see you eye to eye at last. Have you found him? And how is the rest your family, are they healthy yet? He smiled charmingly, like only a dictator knew how to.

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Sarah smiled, even if she felt a tad offset by the man that was staring back at her. His compassion in the past had saved her country from being ruled by Nordland itself and then he had been so kind as to take in Mikhail and turn him into the great person that was able to rule Nordheim and perhaps save Europe from further militarism and introduce a new age of chivalry.

"Yes, I actually just returned from Nordheim and meeting with Mikhail. I have to thank you with the bottom of my heart for keeping him safe and more so giving him such a destiny as what he has shown to me he has. As to Larsa, he has returned to me with a new resolve of health and strength which I am happy to see everyday I wake next to his face." Her eyes twinkled as she bowed her head, not many knew so much about her family as he did apparently and perhaps a stranger's care was just as welcoming as a friend's. Though perhaps he was also a friend. "I must say Your Excellency, I never thought I would see that day when we would meet face to face, I have only been a leader for over five years and yet everywhere I go I hear of your exploits and see your persona. When I was in the university I studied the history of your nation and your allies and this is a meeting that I have long since desired. But I must ask, why have you come to Niflheim? Surely not just to wish me well on my family's health, even though I do appreciate it. But there must surely be something more."

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His gaze softens as he nods approvingly when he hears the words. "I could notice that he had talent. He was intelligent. It was a good choice to help him. He was almost captured by the Russians after all. Yet his destiny was not in the East but the North."

He folds his arms behind his back, and then steps backwards a few times, to have a better look at her. "You are not a normal leader. You are more like a mother figure to your nation and people. Most leaders do not have such connection to their folk, or sometimes the people they rule aren't even their folk at all." Then he turns around moving back to the window overlooking the submarine.

"You can call me Michel if you wish. You are correct. I have come here with a very specific purpose. There is a vault here. I expected that you'd have uncovered its location already, but even then it is engineered in such a way that opening would be expensive even for old Nordland. It has been designed to only give me clearance. Inside are documents and treasures, which we figured would be safe. Now the time to retrieve them has come." He nods.

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Sarah blushed at the complement. "Thank you Your Excellen-, Michel." She offered a warm smile to him at this. "Please then, call me Sarah, we are equals after all and I hope maybe we could even be viewed as friends." Looking out the window towards the docks she nodded and turned back to the Kaiser. "I have not spend the necessary time in building Niflheim into a stronger sector of the Commonwealth and for that I am ashamed, however we have moved a great deal of our industry down here and I hope that in the future, when the Hansa requires a more, military voice to be heard in the world that Niflheim will be the staging point for such growth. I would assume that is because of this we haven't yet uncovered any such vault, but also they might have and just not told me about it yet. There is a great diversity here Michel, between all our peoples."

Facing him she stared into his eyes with a soothing gaze. "I know that I have no business with such things, but if I may accompany you down to the vault. This is a mystery of my territory that I would like to see with my own eyes."

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He nods again, watching the water not far from there.

"That is alright. Niflheim was never ment to be a powerhouse, it was ment to be more like a refueling base, a laboratory, and a friendly springboard to other territories. But now that we have you as friends we do not have an use proper. And I simply don't have the heart to take it away. Heh."

He then turns to look at her, when their eyes would met as Sarah was finishing her words. He nods firmly.

"Very well. You will come with me. Let us go." And he begins to walk, opening the door for her to exit the room first, then following and leading right away, going down some stairs to then come to a big, somewhat busy hallway. They took a small car-like electric tram and went on for several minutes, onwards, passing other personnel.

"I like this place. It is the same as when I left. A place too far away from Midgaard, it escapes its corruption."

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As they rode, Sarah sat in silence for the first half of the ride, but indeed there were various questions that she wanted to pose to the man sitting next to her. After all she was extremely intrigued to begin with, it would be a shame to let a historical opportunity as this pass through her fingers like the sands of time. "Michel, if you don't mind me asking. After the Nordland War, you disappeared completely from the public eye as the coalition divided your empire into the Europe of today. What happened? Where did you go? You've been absent for many years now and suddenly you just return. You've missed so much to be honest. But what happen to you since the defeat?"

She hoped that he wouldn't be offended by her questioning as they continued to ride through the depths of Niflheim.

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The ride proceeded speedily, although not threateningly so.

"Well..." Martens looks at her, then tilts his head to the side as he looks away, going back and thinking of those days.

"I did many things...the destruction brought me great sorrow although it was needed to make Nordland stronger. If you look at it today you'll notice it's at least three times the strength and capacity it was before. We owe that to our enemies...all of them are dead but one. We Nordlanders are like bones. When we break we only form stronger than before. I let Nordland break like that. Somehow, it worked, counter intuitive as it was for a solution. I stuck around to fight, but fought as a normal soldier. Noone would expect to look through the low ranking grunts. Once that the war was over, I left..."

"I simply walked away. I headed east first, walking through the Russias, even Moscow, I even saw their leader once from afar. But most of what I saw was nature. I just walked and walked, stopping only when I had to eat or sleep. You would not believe how beautiful it was. I also stopped by small villages of natives now and then. In time I made it to the ocean...it was all so cold. After that I headed to other places, but it is safer for you not to know the details."

"I have been born to serve the Reich. Forever. For all eternity I shall be at Nordland's assistance. I have absolutely no other purpose, goal, target or use in this life. Only music and wandering are able to calm me. Wandering like that is the same I did the other time after Hamburg got nuked the first time around. In a sense, Nordland is my home, but I also have no home. Each Nordlander is my friend, lover and family, but I have not had a family in a long time, though I have friends. Do you know what it would be like?"

The ride stops and he steps down, approaching a rather insignificant metal door.

"To be here forever condemned to invincibility? Wandering Midgaard eternally? One cannot live as such without a purpose. That is why I made the Fatherland my purpose. It is the only thing that can be like myself, eternal. Aside from my Land, everything else I will ever touch, is destined to die before my very eyes."

He opens the door and steps in, turning a light on, it seemed to be just a minor power regulation station so far.

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She turned her eyes and bit her lower lip in pain, she would not dare tear in front of him. "I know what you mean and I understand your sadness, perhaps not from your terms, but as a servant, as daughter, wife, and mother of the Hansa I know the pain that exists when you see your family die in front of you in great droves. When Germany attacked Helsinki with nuclear weapons, it was devastating and it tore at my soul. Michel it still tears at my soul and it will always do so. After my countrymen and I left Europe and came to Australia I promised that I would make the state stronger and that I would make myself stronger." She looked back at his grim figure. "Sometimes that promise is the only thing that calms me to sleep at night and still the nightmares persist, sometimes I fear sleep for the same reasons."

When the ride stopped she got out with him and listened to his words of wandering. "That is the responsibility of leadership my friend, when the state suffers we suffer and when the state blossoms we share in the joy and prosperity of those around us." But when he talked about the death of his friends and all those who perceive him she looked down at took his hand in hers. "We are all destined to die Michel, but you and I are strong and we are resilient, there is a dark shadow over the earth, but we will get through it and we will live. I promise you."

After he opened the door he ushered Sarah in first and she waited to see where else he would take her on this strange tour of this realm.

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He smiles lightly, knowingly. She didn't get it. She didn't really get what he said, yet it was understandable. It was interesting. He moved up to one of the pannels and seemingly flicked a switch arbitrarily, then moved into a similar smaller room nearby. It was really interesting, his thoughts went on, but for now he focused on getting the key right. He would flick other power switches, eventually this caused a section of the brick wall to receede and reveal a hidden passage, stairs heading even further below, Martens then pulls out a very small flashlight from an inner pocket and activates it. The path went on for so long it was hard to tell where it ended. They would begin going downstairs.

"You know. It's funny. And it is remarkable. You are incorrupted by politics. You're a ruler but you are still a human being. That is not normal. You're still a human being in spite of being in the deepest hole of global society, politics. Germany...he wasn't ment to invade Italy...or nuke anyone...that part...was in no plan...but there will be no further issues surging from there, I hope. Part of me just wants to retire. But as I said, this is my one and only purpose. What would I do? I couldn't simply wander forever." They keep heading downwards.

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What would I do? I couldn't simply wander forever.

He said that as they descended and she grabbed his shoulder to stop him. "Michel, don't. You don't need to wander anymore, you don't need to do this. I know I am a naive girl, I know that I do not know the world as well as a man like you does and maybe I don't know your pain, but I know you don't need to wander." Her eyes sparkled for a moment. "There are people that live in the Hansa that I have no relation to, people that came across the sea looking for a home, it was these people that allowed the Commonwealth to annex Niflheim to begin with. Michel, stop wandering, you can still in the Hansa, you can stay with us, this can be your home. This can be your state that you are husband, son, and father to!"

Sarah stopped and pulled her hand back from his shoulder and from his gaze and turned away. "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to sound so brash. My apologies Your Excellency."

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He stopped and turned his head to listen to her with attention. It had been such a long time since those words had been last directed towards him. It has a bittersweet taste to listen to them. The place was so quiet, almost as if they were on another world. Like Nordheim, yet opposite there underground and cold, ungraceful and safe.

"..."

He knows she would understand only with the passage of time. One day looking at him while she was old, she would finally understand what Martens once ment to say.

"...It is not over yet. There is one last enemy I must deal with before peacetime..." He keeps going down, then, a thick metal door in the distance. "After that we'll be fine for a number of years. But conflict is inevitable and the old foe must perish. Until then there shall be no peace. Maybe after that..." Yet, he knew he was only fooling himself. From his perspective, it'd never end, although it would for the rest.

"No need to apologize..." He raises a finger to press a code on a pad by the door, it had never been used before. A green light announces the door before it lets them through to a much greater underground cavern. On an end, there was a massive safe. On the other was oddly enough a small country house. Far beyond was a metal box which appeared to be and was a computer, with no ports visible. Once inside, the door closes behind them.

"This is it."

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This was the second time in a week where the customs of the Nordlanders had thoroughly freaked Sarah out. First she had been thrown into a deep labyrinth, flanked by old Norse Valkyries, which had led her to find her long lost nephew. Now the man that half the world revered as a god had trapped her in an underground vault beneath the ice of the Antarctic. 'Always interesting.' She thought. 'Nordlanders always have something up their sleeves for when you think nothing else could go weird, it gets weirder.'

"Michel, what is this place? What's going on?" Sarah said turning around over and over again. "What is this?"

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"Oh. It's just a pretty little vault. Come here, I have some things you'll find useful." By then, he had stepped up to the safe and pressed in another code, stepping back to allow its door to open. Inside were a number of boxes - metal boxes, which seemed like a mix between a safe and suitcases. He began to pull them out.

"Just some personal belongings. It'd be somewhat hard to explain." Next he moves on and retrieves a spear, Gungnir, restored from the original, attaching it onto his belt again. "Nice. Very nice. I have missed these. Look, there's something here for you too." Taking out another suitcase, he places it before her. "Blueprints to Old Nordlandic technologies and methods. I know Prussia also has these, but I figured they'd be a good gift to your nation. It also includes historical, outdated blueprints and data for reference. There's a disk there also detailing our battles, well, this is Old Nordland in a Suitcase. You understand why it is valuable." He steps away leaving the rest of the suitcases nearby, closing the safe. "Cmon, lets go in here." And he headed for the oddly placed house, opening the door, it still smelled of new even if it had been there for a long time...it was simple, it didn't have anything that seemed outstanding, was it a refugee?

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As Sarah shuffled through the briefcase she felt like she was back at the university going through old school files and old assignments, messy papers littered the small table the case sat on, but the information was more valuable than Sarah could ever have imagined. Though by no means did the Hansa have the technological abilities to successfully develop the military, cultural, and industrial technologies that made Nordland great, one day they would and one day they would help make the Hansa as great as Nordland had been in the past. She was speechless. "Your Excellency, thank you, this means so much to me. I can't thank you enough."

The disk of the battles would also be extremely valuable. Sarah did have plans to eventually build an army, not for aggression, but to defend the great nation that she had created, to defend it from those that would seek to destroy the beauty of what she had created and her generals would find this information decisive if it came time to fight for the continued survival of the Hanseatic people.

When Martens had finished with the files and had turned to the house, Sarah dropped the papers and followed him. Surely only more secrets awaited them there.

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He got a bottle of red beer from a nearby fridge and opened it, then gestured towards it, to let her know she could get anything she felt like.

"You know. I didn't like the Romans much. They brought Christianity into the continent. But they had their good things. They kept saying that if one wanted peace, one would need to prepare for war. I'm sure that those documents will be good for that. I'm fairly positive that you folks will remain peaceful for the forseeable future anyway, so there is little hurry."

He drinks from the bottle and then puts it down as he sits at a table, leaning back, staring out of the window towards the ice wall outside.

"I have one more thing to offer you, Sarah. Let us sit..."

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Taking another bottle twisted it open and the carbonation released from however old the bottle may have been. Bringing the glass to her lips, the liquid went down nice and soft, she wasn't much of a beer drinker, but this was good. Sitting down across the table she nods. "Agreed, I hope that the Hansa will stay peaceful for a long time in the future and though war may very well come upon us again one day, I trust that we will be more than ready to combat it now and I know that we will continue to survive and prosper, but again I thank you for this information."

As he took his seat she watched him and smiled. "Of course Michel, please continue."

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He was enjoying his beer. He grinned, noting how often she seemed incline to pronounce his name, he sips again and waits for a while before answering,

"I can offer you eternity and strength. I can offer you the power to withstand the endless onslaught of time."

He just watched, waiting for the answer.

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He takes out a small silver box which had been concealed within his jacket, and places it on the table. He opens it, and it has several thin injections of a rather clear liquid, but ever so slightly yellowish.

"This is one of the secrets...of our Reich...Übersoldaten indeed. There will be no aging. There will be no tired or sores muscles. There will be no finity in our existance. This is why our soldiers invariably have managed to endure the worst of conditions. This is why I have been around for so long."

He pushes he box forwards, towards her, and then sips from the beer again.

"This is our blood made eternal."

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Sarah's mouth hung open as she picked up one of the vials and started at it. "So this is the legendary Übersoldaten serum." Her hands literally trembled as she held it. Within one of those little glass tubes lay power that Sarah could not even begin to fathom, with that kind of power inside her body there was no telling what she could accomplish, but did she want it? More so, would she be able to handle it?

"Why are you offering this to me? Why am I deserving of this?"

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"Indeed. That is it. The true Northern Blood..."

He folds his arms, and sips from the bottle before leaving it on the table, breathing in calmly.

"I'm offering it to you because I can. I know you will always be loyal. And I know that you need more strength to achieve your goals. But beware. We only have so many of these, for the technology used to engineer it was even greater than the greatest nation of today by far. Of course, otherwise we'd have given it to every single Nordlander...heh. What this means is that very, very few people will ever have access to it. There's so few of us that one hand can count us. You will cease to think like people normally think. A year will be an hour, and an hour will be a minute. For me, the time I've been away was just some weeks so to speak, that is why I take my time, it changes you, as you know you'll be around forever provided you don't get physically obliterated. And your loved ones. Your loved ones will be gone."

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So she sat there holding vial in her hands and contemplating on Martens' words and she couldn't get over the fact of what she was really holding. Essentially, she could be leader of the Hansa forever and she shuddered. That indeed was one of her dreams, but Larsa would disappear, her friends would disappear and what would be left? The world, the world would constantly continue to change, and perhaps the Hansa would still be around, but would she end up like Martens? Doomed to eventually wander the world, encased in her former self. This was indeed the great crossroads that everyone came to at least once in their lives and Sarah's choice could indeed change her forever. It was now, was her duty to the state more important that the duty to herself.

The question racked her brain, but Martens was revered and he was wise and he would not offer something like this, this power aimlessly then her mind drifted to the world itself. People had called her, one of the great hopes to mankind, to establishing peace on earth and maybe this was why he was here. She would have the strength at her fingertips, with this she indeed could change the world, and perhaps then she could fade away to watch the world grow again after peace had been established. Martens had opened the world clear for her. That was her mission, to establish peace, total peace once again on the earth.

She looked up at him and smiled. "I understand the consequences, but I am ready."

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