The Citadel, shortly after the quelling of the riots
The data they'd received from the Deputy Grandmaster and...other sources, was irrefutable. The Collective was building up for a fresh offensive, and it was happening in or around the Kessel Sector.
Our back-bloody-yard, thought the Shadow Lord with a glare at the projected map. Red lines abounded, ships that had been marked as Capital Enterprises and Technocratic Guild crisscrossing the sector. Qel-Droma's pirate, smuggler, and 'completely honest and legitimate' merchant contacts had been offered a small bounty on information about any ships bearing markings related to various Collective groups.
Other information that the Sorenn woman had provided aligned with some that had been gleaned from captured Collective assets on Selen. The efforts of Galeres to defend Estle City from the marauding shipwreck survivors had seen mixed results, but capture orders to Spectre Cell had given them some enemy personnel to work with. He grimaced, the word 'capture' even leaving a bad taste in the Ryn's mouth. Abductions was what they were, taken from the enemy's hidden camp in the night, black bagged and taken to Borea Detention Center for extensive interrogation. The word 'Meredian' hadn't come up, but information suggesting a base or waystation had begun to collate.
"Makes sense," muttered Kordath Bleu.
"Pardon?" asked the red-haired woman sitting on the other side of the conference table. Datapads and small, precise stacks of flimsi were arrayed before her in an orderly fashion. Compared to her Consul's pile of collected intel sources and a spread mess of caf, she looked incredibly professional.
He cleared his throat and looked up at Lucine Vasano. "Said it makes sense, that they'd have a base near tha Kessel Sector. All the bloody intel they got on us, why wouldn't they have somethin' ta strike at us in particular? Bet they thought it was temporary, too," he spoke with a strange calm, yet still with a grin.
"Because they expected the bait and switch at Nancora to allow them to wipe out our presence here on Selen?" asked the Aedile of Qel-Droma, quirking an eyebrow. "Much as they did to several of our compatriot clans?"
Bleu nodded. "Nancora, bloody Nancora. Whatever this place is," he tapped his finger to draw the holoprojection of the Kessel sector and outlier space more into focus. "Whatever bleedin' Meridian is, it won't be another Nancora."
Across the table, Lucine's fingers moved across her datapad, and the projection shifted. Shifting lines of purple appeared, marking Arcona Expeditionary Force patrols and reconnaissance in the area. Several icons showed up in the deeper reaches, past the so-called civilized areas of the sector and Hutt space. Percentages appeared next to them, none quite reaching the ninety percentile range, but the spreading ranges of purple and the data the Deputy Grandmaster supplied was narrowing it down.
"We suspect the installation, or world, is at one of these locations. Further investigation should yield solid results," stated the cultured woman. Her eyes flicked past the Ryn, towards his towering bodyguard. She reddened if but for a moment and turned her attention back to the map. "Dare I ask our objective? A preemptive strike before they can gather to assault Selen anew, this time without our allies present?"
Kordath took a moment to lift his mug of caf to his lips, hiding the smile behind it. It was no secret that the Arconae disapproved of Bleu having credited the assistance of Odan-Urr's fleet with largely helping Selen avoid the same fate as some of the other Clan's homeworlds. Especially Tarentum. Putting a pebble in the Arconae’s boots didn’t bother him much at all. He took a sip and put the mug down, leaning back in his chair.
"We've been rebuildin' Ol'val and gettin' Estle back under control ever since we came home from that reactionary kark-up that was Nancora. Our people been shootin' at or knockin' about our own folks, time for that ta stop, for one. Also, our accounts are lookin' pretty red."
"You intend to rob the Collective?" this time the woman sounded amused.
He shrugged, giving her a sheepish grin. "They've done far worse ta us. This is a righteous cause, now, luv." He lifted a hand and began ticking off points with raised fingers. "One, we get ta, as ya said, preemptively strike before they can do us harm. We've already been tryin' ta catch their merchant ships on that front. Two, we get ta kick in some teeth for all tha raidin' on Estle, not ta mention for Atyiru and Tarentum." His voice wavered as he spoke, and even Lucine had the grace to look away at the mention of her late Master.
"And three," he said, clearing his throat, "if this Meridian place is where they're buildin' up ta stage an attack, that means supplies. Stuff we can use, stuff we can bleedin' offload to tha Hutts. We need tha credits. Could be a solid payday."
"So we're going to go along with the Council's call to arms? They've done little for us this past year."
"They ain't been purgin'," growled the Ryn. "That's a point in Telaris's favor right there. I trust Sorenn about as much as I can, well, you," he gave the redhead a smirk, noticing the slight annoyance that passed over her features but which was quickly suppressed. "But she's not wrong in this. Bloody capable, dangerous women," muttered Kordath.
"Indeed," spoke Lucine, dryly. "Oh, should I inform the new Rollmaster that she should prepare her charges for battle?"
He winced at the segue but nodded. A tap on the projector controls switched the display from a map to an active duty roster of ships, crews, infantry and 'specialists'. The Shadow Lord was under no illusions. People would die because of this plan, but a whole lot more folks would be lost if they didn't act.
"And Lucine?" he spoke, as the woman gathered her things, pausing to give him a glance. "Let tha others know, Morgan told all tha clans. That means this is a bloody race, far as we're concerned. Let 'em know, not all tha loot will be for tha treasury. This is fer our people too."
The fresh and able Director of Intelligence gave him a nod, and threw a glance towards his bodyguard once more.
"Oh bloody well help her with her things, Strong," sighed Kordath, leaning back in his chair again and staring at the ceiling.
I should check on that stupid bloody lizardman anyway.
/me borrows mic
*For the next five minutes.
Obviously a lot's been going on this month. There was an ACC event for the club that Arcona dominated (seven sexy fighters entered, and seven placed in the top ten), we had some House events finish their rounds at the start of the month (hi HQD) and we, obviously, got another Episode of Sins of the Past completed! Yaaaaaay!
Pictured here, the events on Selen:
(Yeah you bet I'm abusing being able to put GIFs in a report again)
Now, Terran and I and our conspirators are working on getting the last chapters of the conclusion for Episode IV out for you all — things are moving slowly because of attention divided by the big Vendetta that we're going to be yelling at you about for the next five weeks — and we'll get them out to you soon, hopefully this week. A lot of the plot is going to feature pieces taken straight from submitted fictions thanks to our lovely and willing writers, so good job you guys and much credit and love to them. We're always telling you that these comps are your chance to be a part of and direct the Clan storyline, and we mean it.
I could wax awhile about how we were really impressed by some multimedia entries and appreciated all those fictions, but what we're really here for is results, right? So, without further ado, I'd like to congratulate the Red Qek, Q himself on winning Episode IV: A New Threat! Q honestly dominated this round. Like, his points were almost double second place. But that's not to lessen our other placers a bit! Congratulations and very well done also to Zujenia on second and Timeros and Skar both on their shared third place. Well bloody done, guys and girls. We're proud as hell. Just goes to show any one of you Arconans can show up, be you a regular member, current summit, or old man brushing off dust (<3), and you can still be excellent if you try.
A big shout out to everyone who participated — 16 in all! — this round!
Oh, and one more thing.
This Episode sure shook up the overall competition leaderboard. Where Kordykins the Consul once held an almost unquestionable lead, the gap has closed with Q hot on his tail! Many of you are also in the running to catch up, while others currently above you have left the Clan. With three more Episodes to go, things are by no means over yet. You want to kick some ass? Go and get it!
That's all for now, my darlings. Go ahead and shift your focus and energy to the Rite, and we'll be working diligently while doing the same to show you what happens with Varon, Lea and Ever, Arcona, the Citadel, and our hold on Selen! It's all going to take place, timeline-wise, before the start of Meridian, so you needn't concern yourself with it overmuch while writing your stories or playing your gaming matches. Just do us proud and do like Arcona always does: perform, no matter the odds!
See all your Rite of Supremacy information below. Rise up, eyes up, kids. It's important.
The Rites of Supremacy are here! Well, here actually. There’s a TON of information there, take it piecemeal. There’s links to the relevant fictions worked up by various Dark Councillors aaaaand those are important because they contain the answers to the Shadow Academy courses related to this event! Also fictional background for your fiction entries and ‘team writing (run-on)’ exercises.
Speaking of, if you’ve NOT signed up with a Run-On team, do it NOW. After the first two weeks of the event is over, you will NOT be able to get participation in this event.
And the highlight of this, the Rites is not about ‘winning all the things’ or the usual. It’s about show of force, it’s about doing all the things! Participating in ALL of the event bins will earn you (and the Clan!) bonus points. That means ONE competition out of every bin, do that, and you’ve done an awesome service to your fellow Arconans!
As the introduction fiction for this report shows, the Collective is in our backyard. That means this is personal for Arcona, that means we gotta show how badass we really are. Show up, do your part, and show that Arconan spirit that makes us the most amazing, awesome, fricken fantastic Clan around!
Note: There are event long gaming events if you did NOT sign up for the bracket, so do some gaming, earn some clusters, score some points for the Clan!
Donny/Uji/The Log asks,
Tali Zorah asks,
Xenna Azara asks,
Lucine asks a bunch more!
Doctor Rhylance asks,
So, that sums up the report for September/October! Proud of all of you who took part in Sins, and prepared to see the awesome that you’re all gonna bring to the Rites of Supremacy!
Until next time!
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