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 The Sun and the Sword

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Heraklea

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PostSubject: Re: The Sun and the Sword   Sun Sep 01, 2013 1:19 am

“I'm sure it is.  Do understand, not all the sort of research projects I'm hoping the University could help us with are so dangerous, but a few are.  The site where those projects are going on is in an otherwise uninhabited system.  That's as much for containment as it is for security.  As I'm sure you can tell, we can get quite paranoid at times.”

* * * * *

“Each system has its advantages, I suppose,” said Miriam.  “I can't argue with the effectiveness of your system at making experts.  I do have to ask though: Colonel, you earlier mentioned re-education in order to move you to a new field.  How long does such a process take?  In Heraklea it can be accomplished with at most a week of intensive training for most jobs. Not as experts, mind you, but more than competent to get the job done.  And, in the event that, stars forbid, Heraklea is ever invaded, the majority of our population on any world can be fully mobilized to resist the invaders in a matter of hours.  Our people are highly adaptable to most situations.”
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Selathorn

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PostSubject: Re: The Sun and the Sword   Sun Sep 01, 2013 8:56 am

(OOC: Getting SCP Foundation-ish vibes from all of this. Do you happen to read it?)

"Containment... interesting. Besides the matter of researching these phenomena, are there any other matters you see fit to discuss at the moment? Colonel Thill has sent me a report that he is more or less on the tail end of his tour, and perhaps you might want to join your family for the very last part of it?"

***

With a shrug, Colonel Thill said, "As far as re-education goes, it really depends. Only a few people receive re-education: former military personnel, former probe team personnel, and people whose fields have been completely and utter obsoleted. Generally, it's two years of theoretical education and then two years of partnership with someone in the new field. The transition's not too bad, though, because they always move you into something related to what you did before. It is a lot slower than what your system can do, but as you can understand our society moves generally much slower than others, with our longevity treatments and long-term planning methods. Also, we expect a high degree of mastery from the entire labor force, and as such anyone who doesn't have it slows down the system heavily, more so than the re-education process."
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Heraklea

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PostSubject: Re: The Sun and the Sword   Sun Sep 01, 2013 1:58 pm

OOC: Sorry, I haven't.

“I can't think of any others. My staff can get together with yours to hammer out a formal treaty we can agree on. In the meantime, I think I will join my family, thank you.”

* * * * *

“A fair point. Our own prolong treatments were still comparatively primitive before we re-established contact. We had to abandon all but the essentials during the Second Flight. Our historians say we suffered a pretty bad neo-barbarism after we left Chiron.”

“Yet still, somehow, we survived,” said Adelei as he entered the creche.

“Welcome back, Addie,” Miriam replied as she gave her husband a quick on the cheek.

“How's the tour been? Fascinating?”

“They have the most amazing self contained biome, Dad,” said Deborah.

“And we saw a war memorial,” interjected Barak. “We had distant cousins who fought in it.”

“Is that so? Perhaps we should look up our kinsmen while we are Chiron.”
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Selathorn

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PostSubject: Re: The Sun and the Sword   Sun Sep 01, 2013 2:25 pm

Colonel Thill nodded, and said, "That could be arranged. The Network Node at the Records Department has information on the heritage of Centauri citizens across all factions, and we could run your biometrics through there and actually see what kinsmen you have rather than just reading their names. Although you should remember that they are not necessarily your blood relations these days, what with the central birthing system, but they carry the same cultural heritage as ever. As I'm sure you know all too well, we Centauri are firm believers of nurture over nature."
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Heraklea

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PostSubject: Re: The Sun and the Sword   Sun Sep 01, 2013 3:50 pm

"Indeed. Please, help arrange it."
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Selathorn

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PostSubject: Re: The Sun and the Sword   Sun Sep 01, 2013 8:13 pm

With that, Colonel Thill again led them through the corridors of UN Headquarters, leading the group to a section of the base dominated by the bright lights of terminals and of numerous holoprojectors. Taking a right turn down into one particular chamber, the group can see an intricate piece of technology that seems to be integrated with numerous outbound and inbound systems. It is a Network Node, the backbone of information storage and transfer on Chiron, and a particularly modern one at that."

Then, placing his datapad within a designated access point for the terminal, and then allowing a biometric scan, the Node soon allowed access for him. Gesturing towards the rest of the group, he said, "I need one of you to give the system a biological sample for it to bring up your relatives here on Chiron. One of the children would probably be preferable, that way you can see both lineages."
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Heraklea

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PostSubject: Re: The Sun and the Sword   Sun Sep 01, 2013 8:20 pm

Barak quickly again jumped forward and placed his hand on the reader before his siblings could.
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Selathorn

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PostSubject: Re: The Sun and the Sword   Sun Sep 01, 2013 8:58 pm

The datapad began to display a detailed readout of the analysis, with a 3-d projection of the face of each person. From the Yuval side of the family, it can be seen that Talent Henrietta Yuval, the sister of Johan Yuval, who came on the Sonoman Colonization Mission, is still alive and well. There were almost a hundred other living family members displayed on the interface as part of her lineage, and she already had great-great-grandchildren. On the Kirrin side, many more dead family members are recorded, partially due to military service and partially due to shorter lifespans, however there are a fair number of Kirrins who still survive, perhaps twenty. As Colonel Thill warned, one looking at the projections would notice that it was very clear that there was little to no resemblance: many were clearly of different ethnic backgrounds. Still, for the Centauri, a family was a heritage, not a bloodline, though it remained to be seen if the Herakleans were of the same opinion.
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Heraklea

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PostSubject: Re: The Sun and the Sword   Sun Sep 01, 2013 10:48 pm

"Well, let us contact Talent Yuval and some of the Kirrins. See if we can organize a meet and greet."
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PostSubject: Re: The Sun and the Sword   Mon Sep 02, 2013 7:27 am

With a nod, Colonel Thill retrieved his datapad from the Network Node, and quickly wrote a message to Talent Yuval, requesting her presence at Meeting Chamber #A2, before writing another such message to some of the older living members of the Kirrin family, although rather more politely given the nature of his request. Then, as he began to guide the group into the meeting chamber, he said to the others, "I believe that the Spartans have arranged for their transportation by needlejet, which means that they should be here in no more than thirty minutes. Talent Yuval should arrive not much longer after we do, however, so you should be able to spend that time with her."

They soon arrive in the meeting chamber. This seems to be one of the ones used by higher-ranking Talents within the leadership of the Governate; on its walls are a variety of handmade art pieces of various types. Compared to the rest of the base, it had a much more pleasant ambiance, with soft lighting and aesthetically pleasing furniture. Gesturing for the others to take a seat, it was not long before Talent Henrietta Yuval appeared. Though it was clear that she had aged, it had not taken such a great toll on her besides a few creases in her face and a slight wrinkling of the skin. In all truth, not too bad for an 140-year-old.

With a smile, she said to the group, "Hello! I'm Talent Henrietta Yuval, sister to Johan Yuval, who I understand was the distant ancestor of most of you here. Welcome to Chiron, my... well, relatives. I can't imagine how many generations have passed. If you have any questions about Johan or myself, feel free to ask."
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Heraklea

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PostSubject: Re: The Sun and the Sword   Mon Sep 02, 2013 12:09 pm

"There are plenty of records of what Johan was like after the second flight, Talent. Can you tell us what he was like before the Flight?"
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PostSubject: Re: The Sun and the Sword   Mon Sep 02, 2013 12:29 pm

Shrugging, she leaned back in her chair, and said in reply, "Johan? It's been a long time, though I remember those days well enough. He was always a rather hands-on sort. He wasn't much into theories or technology, and it didn't surprise me at all when he was tracked for the military. When he was younger, it seemed like his hands were always occupied with one thing or another: he was always assembling, reloading, and disassembling those models they used for military training. If he wasn't doing that, he was usually sparring, or sometimes if he had a spare moment he'd play football or basketball at the rec commons. Now, on the other hand, I was the opposite: they put me in the research track. If I wasn't reading the text in the curriculum - it was all dumbtext back then, before the expert systems - I'd be in the reading room, leafing through old holobooks. Our paths didn't really cross much, in the grand scheme of things."

"The last time I saw him was when he was on leave at UN Headquarters, just before he was assigned to the UNS Sonoma. The meeting was more coincidence than anything, we were both at the rec commons when we saw each other. It took me a moment to recognize that it was him - it had been almost a decade by that point. He told me how excited he was that he would be assigned to the UNS Sonoma, and get a chance start to all over again on Helena. No more mind worms, no more fungus, and no more Progenitors, he said. It was like a dream come true. I was excited for him too, but really, I was about as far away from the war as I could get. I didn't have the same kind of perspectives that he did on the front."

"So, how was he after the war? I'm curious to hear what he did after the landing."
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Heraklea

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PostSubject: Re: The Sun and the Sword   Mon Sep 02, 2013 1:38 pm

"He fought. When King Richard launched his coup, Johan warned Piter Kirrin and the two of them ensured the refugees were able to land without Lambert's interference. He joined Piter in Kirrinvale after the destruction of the Sonoma and was placed in charge of the defense of Hellas Pass. He held it against armies ten times the size of his defenders. After Lambert's War, he was in charge of Kirrinvale's militia training, ensuring the entire population of the barony could be raised in defense, and was one of Piter's closest advisers until his assassination."
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PostSubject: Re: The Sun and the Sword   Mon Sep 02, 2013 2:02 pm

Nodding her head, Talent Yuval said, "Sounds just like the brother I once knew. It's sad I won't be able to see him again, but such are the sacrifices that we all must make."

Then, the sound of a doorbell could be heard, and Colonel Thill got up to check the door. Checking the identification displayed on the door's datapanel, he then punched in the sequence allowing access. Standing to the side, three others then entered the room, two men and one woman. "Grand Admiral Kirrin," he said, gesturing towards the newcomers, "These three are Nikolai, Clive, and Zoë Kirrin. Nikolai, I believe, is Piter Kirrin's nephew, Clive his great-nephew, and Zoë his great-niece."

Clive Kirrin cleared his throat, and said, "That would be Talent Clive Kirrin, Colonel."

With a deferential nod, Colonel Thill replied, "My apologies. Yes, Talent Clive Kirrin. As with before, I'm sure that they will be glad to answer any questions you might pose."
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Heraklea

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PostSubject: Re: The Sun and the Sword   Mon Sep 02, 2013 5:16 pm

"Well, it is a pleasure meeting family from the old country, as it were. Nikolai, tell me, did you know Piter when he was still on Chiron? From his journals I've gathered that he was a hard man, very uncompromising before he left for Sonoma. Does that track with your own recollections?"
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PostSubject: Re: The Sun and the Sword   Mon Sep 02, 2013 5:42 pm

Nikolai shrugged. "Did I know him? Yes and no. Yes, in the sense that I was familiar with him and had seen him before, but no in the sense that I never really talked with him myself. I do remember his arguments with my mother, though. Back then, my mother was on the economic advisory board, and she was one of the reformers who wanted to bring some more civilian control back to the economy. Whenever the two met, they always argued about it, my uncle arguing that it was an example of backsliding into decadence and my mother pointing out how stagnant economic growth was because of inefficiency. Well, turns out that the reformers won out, and I remember that Piter wasn't too happy about it when he found out. Still, he had no choice but to be quiet, though he left for the SCE not long after that."
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PostSubject: Re: The Sun and the Sword   Mon Sep 02, 2013 10:56 pm

"Ah, 'The Dangers of Decadence.' It was a treatise written by Piter Kirrin. It wasn't published for general consumption until Arthur Kirrin established Heraklea, but it was required reading for all members of the house and the upper levels of the Barony's leadership. He demanded that everything in Kirburg Castle have a function. Even the swords that adorned the walls were kept combat ready as a last resort in case of invasion. He strongly supported a cultural concept of the 'beauty of utility.' He had a strong effect on how Kirrinvale and subsequently Heraklean culture."
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PostSubject: Re: The Sun and the Sword   Tue Sep 03, 2013 5:48 pm

Talent Clive nodded as he listened, but he didn't seem to be entirely in agreement. "From what I've heard from others, the man definitely was a hard-liner. These days, his views would be considered somewhat heterodox, seeing as the reformers have come to leadership. I think that Piter was correct in that all things should have a function, but for us a function does not necessarily need to be anything tangible. There is, for example, little tangible value in a national arts system, but such a system holds great value from the viewpoint of a memegeneer like myself. Piter was a product of a time when memegeneering was only a fledgling field and not nearly as developed at the modern day."

For a few seconds after, there was a brief silence, and then Zoë spoke up for the first time. "So, sir, it has been a long time since your people have left Chiron. How did it feel when you came here yourself? Surely it could not have been exactly as you have expected it to."

(OOC: If you want, you can end this thread after you answer this question, because I don't think it's really going anywhere else.)
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PostSubject: Re: The Sun and the Sword   Tue Sep 03, 2013 8:37 pm

“I'd say that's a safe assessment, Zoë. Until the Mojendo-daro stumbled across us, we had assumed Chiron was either full of craters or entirely inhabited by Progenitors. Any preconceived notions I might have had were pretty well put to pasture upon discovering neither of those situations held true.

“Still. It is quite beautiful. Very lush with quite diverse biomes. It is quite world we left.

“You know, in the coming days we will be concluding a treaty that formalizes and firms our relationship with the Centauri government. It would be a pleasure if you all could be in attendance as my guests.”

OOC: That's really the last thing is treaty stuff. I'll PM you with what I've got.
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PostSubject: Re: The Sun and the Sword   Tue Sep 03, 2013 9:18 pm

Nikolai nodded, as did Talent Yuval in agreement. "It'd be our pleasure to do so," he said.

With that, the meeting and thus the tour concluded, with the scheduled allotment time by both sides used up. Colonel Thill escorted the Heraklean party back to the shuttle terminal, back into Port Garland, and finally back to the Herkalean vessel. With one final salute to Grand Admiral Kirrin, he closed the docking door behind him, and thus both sides parted ways.

***

Brother Lal's Office

While reviewing the documents submitted to him by the Herakleans, Brother Lal heard the characteristic tone that announced the arrival of a visitor. "Come in," he said, not looking up from the documents. He knew that it was Talent Zhang, for he had scheduled a follow-up meeting with her following the departure of the Herakleans.

Taking a seat before Brother Lal, Talent Zhang asked, "So, how did the meeting go? I heard from Colonel Thill that it went quite well, and that he even took the Grand Admiral's family on a tour of the base. Do you confirm?"

With a shrug and a nod, Brother Lal replied, "It went more than well enough. There was an exchange of gifts - look at the sword in the case, is the craftsmanship not exquisite? - and we went on to business. We have entered into a united front with them concerning the Christanan issue, and as you are well aware we are in the process of formalizing an agreement of partnership and mutual defense between our polities. It was a surprise for all of us, I'd say. Chiron was not what he expected it to be, and Kirrin certainly wasn't the man I expected him to be."

In a rare moment of mirth, Talent Zhang chuckled, and said, "What, did you think he was going to be male Santiago? I apologize for my impudence, but..."

The slightest trace of a smile formed on Brother Lal's face, and said, "You are permitted to laugh - you know me all too well. Yes, I fully expected to have to deal with male Santiago, and I was quite pleased to say that it was not the case. I enjoyed seeing his family, as well. The very nature of family is an archaism, but there certainly was a dynamic about it that I admired, and it did remind me of older times. Though the Heraklean society still represents a degenerate version of our own, it is certainly preferable to what the other polities can provide. They will make good partners moving forward from here."

Bowing her head, Talent Zhang said, "May it be so. Now, if I could take my leave, as I have some other matters to attend to..."

Waving her away, Brother Lal nodded, and replied, "Dismissed."
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PostSubject: Re: The Sun and the Sword   Wed Sep 04, 2013 12:49 am

The walls of the great hall where the ceremony was held were adorned with alternating Centauri and Heraklean flags.  Honor guards of both states stood in two rows facing each other across the center-line, also alternating.  It made for quite an image.  At a table at the end of the hall, Brother Lal and Grand Admiral Kirrin reviewed the treaties before them.  Satisfied, they each lifted their pens and signed the copy before them, then exchanged and signed again.  With that act, the two leaders bound themselves and their nations together.

Pact of Brotherhood and Alliance between Alpha Centauri and Heraklea
Nations of Korel, Attend!

The Planetary Governate of Alpha Centauri and the State of Heraklea declare that the time has come to confirm through a solemn pact the close relation of brotherhood and affinity which exists between their two peoples.

Firmly bound together through the inner unity of their common history and the comprehensive solidarity of their interests, the Centauri and the Heraklean people are determined also in future to stand side by side and to strive with united effort for the securing of their sovereignty and the maintenance of peace. In this way, prescribed for them by history, Alpha Centauri and Heraklea wish, in a galaxy of unrest and disintegration, to carry out the assignment of making safe the foundations of Galactic culture. In order to establish these principles in treaty form, they have agreed upon the following terms:

ARTICLE 1
The Parties will remain in permanent contact with each other, in order to come to an understanding of all common interests or the Galactic situation as a whole.

ARTICLE 2
In the event that the common interests of the Parties be jeopardized through international happenings of any kind, they will immediately enter into consultation regarding the necessary measures to preserve these interests. Should the security or other vital interests of one of the Parties be threatened from outside, the other Party will afford the threatened Party its full political and diplomatic support in order to remove this threat.

ARTICLE 3
If it should happen, against the wishes and hopes of the Parties, that one of them becomes involved in military complications with one or more other Powers, the other Party will immediately step to its side as an ally and will support it with all its military might in space and on land.

ARTICLE 4
In order to ensure, in any given case, the rapid implementation of the alliance obligations of Article 3, the Governments of the two Parties will further intensify their cooperation in the military sphere. Similarly the two Governments will keep each other regularly informed of other measures necessary for the practical implementation of this pact.

ARTICLE 5
In the event of a jointly waged war, the Parties will conclude any armistice or peace only in full agreement with each other.

ARTICLE 6
The two Parties are aware of the importance of their joint relations to the Powers which are friendly to them. They are determined to maintain these relations in future and to promote the adequate development of the common interests which bind them to these Powers.

ARTICLE 7
In order to guarantee more efficient production by their various industries, the Parties shall lower trade barriers as practicable and engage in trade at favorable rates.  The Parties shall not be required to engage in trade their governments feel will reduce their security.

ARTICLE 8
Acknowledging the importance of the development of new technologies to continue the advancement of their societies and their peoples, the Parties shall engage in joint efforts of intellectual pursuit and share the results between them.  Such results, if deemed security risks, shall be maintained classified until a joint decision by both Parties is made to release the results for public consumption.

ARTICLE 9
This pact comes into force immediately upon its signing and ratification.

ARTICLE 10
Each Party shall be given a copy of this treaty, each of which shall be considered valid.

Done, this stellar date, at United Nations Headquarters, Chiron.

Signed,

Brother Pravin Lal, Planetary Governor, Planetary Governate of Alpha Centauri
Grand Admiral Adelei Kirrin, Chief of State, State of Heraklea
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