Aug 17, 2022 8:58 AM
Vanda Nosseo lands on a world that fights a lot of wars.
+ Show First Post
Total: 655
Posts Per Page:
Permalink

Well, again. All their neighbors are getting the same offer.

Permalink

Yes, he knows.

Permalink

Nicolas Montrege has been Grand Admiral for more than a decade of war, and was not a young man when he came to the command chair. He is presently in a tent, made to approximately the same design as those of his soldiers if scaled-up and dyed, and rubbing his aching feet. The tent is in the middle of a large army camp in a petty princedom on the far side of the Everfalls from the closest thing to a secure home base he has ever had, and the Grand Army encamped in that princedom has been engaged in a mad dash from one fire to the next for - well, for the past decade, for most of his marshals; since last Tuesday, for the teenage boys pressed into the ranks because he needed more men and had no better option, and Montrege is stretching out to get some sleep, because in six hours his men will need to march again, though their feet bleed or blister, because Montrege has declared war on the kings of the world and would not have done so if he expected to lose.

He a mystery, to most; born in a flyspeck of a country, trained to exacting professional standards and leader of national mobs, devoted ensign as a child and ruthless powermonger as a man, wielder of a hero crest and captain of bandits, liberator of a thousand nations and oppressor of a thousand more. He is known to talk to angels and reliably reports that they talk back.

Permalink

The envoys sent to his encampment do not ask that he be woken from his sleep.

Permalink

(Un?)fortunately, that happens anyway!

So, who are these envoys who the Grand Admiral comes to greet in his implausibly fancy hat?

(His uniform is not implausibly fancy; it is somewhat difficult to tell the immense amount of work that went into very exactly recreating from a not-great-quality manuscript the exact traditional garb of the Admirals, when the office was reestablished more than a thousand years ago after the Great Plague, so all the fanciness had to go into his hat since that wasn't described. It is a hat too marvelous for this side-note to transcribe, though I can mention that it even looked more impressive than the golden bracer on his right wrist, set unlike all others with an implausibly radiant gemlike prism, and, indeed, more impressive than all the other tragically undescribed hats of the aces who have thus far appeared in this serial.)

Permalink

Three of them look like normal humans, and those are called Mateo, Chasa, and Avigail, though Avigail asserts that she has an alien brain parasite friend in her head called Otrik. There's also an Elf, Vëoneo, and a fairy, Junan, to add more credibility to them being from another universe.

Permalink

(He pauses when he sees them, murmurs "Friends of yours?" listens for a half a moment. "Hmm.")

And then greets the six of them before they are introduced, though not by name. "Welcome to our world, travelers," he says with a smile. "I am Admiral Nicolas VII, Protector of this world against demonic threats and speaker on behalf of humanity for heavenly affairs, and you have come to the right place."

Permalink

"Glad to hear it!" says Junan. "We're from Vanda Nossëo, a federation headquartered in a world next to yours."

Permalink

"Not astronomically speaking, surely," he says. "I can't say that Nouterrana's astronomers have mapped out all the worlds in the heavens - quite a number are under Enemy control - but certainly we have a good picture of the habitability of worlds around our star, and this is the only one that can support human life."

Permalink

"Not astronomically speaking," Junan confirms.

Permalink

"Well, then," he says, "come into my tent and tell me about Vanda Nosseo."

To the people around - 

"They are not demons," he says, "nor angels, but they may be Our friends nonetheless. I will speak with them and tell you when I know more."

Permalink

Mateo elbows Junan and laughs very softly, and Junan trips him telekinetically, just a little, but catches him before he falls far.

Into the tent they go!

"I'm Junan," says Junan, "and this is Mateo, Chasa, Avigail and her passenger Otrik, and Vëoneo."

Permalink

"Yes," he says, "We saw. I assume Otrik is welcome?"

Permalink

"Yup!" says Avigail. "But if it'd make you feel better she can come out for a sec and I can confirm without her in my head."

Permalink

"I would appreciate that, yes," he says. "The Enemy relies on mental control direct and indirect, and hero crests are the only shield available to humanity."

Permalink

Out comes Otrik. "We're good!" Avigail says, giving a thumbs-up with her free hand, and then she puts Otrik back.

Permalink

"Thank you," he says. "I appreciate the confirmation."

(There is no direct play of golden light over Otrik, but Vandans Nossëo may well be able to detect that he's doing something anyway.)

Permalink

"No problem, it's totally legit to want to check, used to be a big problem on my world," Avigail assures him.

Permalink

"It was here, as well," he says. "And will be."

He pauses. "So, tell me more about Vanda Nosseo?"

Permalink

"Vanda Nossëo is a multidimensional federation spanning many worlds and planets within them," says Junan. "Envoy teams like this one have landed in every discernible separate polity on this planet to say hello and make our pitch for joining or at least opening up exchange of information and goods and services, and this wasn't a discernible separate polity from space but we were dispatched here after several of our counterparts elsewhere mentioned you to the shipboard coordinator."

Permalink

"Yes," he says, "the traditional legal structure is that the Admiral is in charge of representing the planet at large in the affairs of the heavens, and the national leaders manage terrestrial matters on the regional level." He grins slightly. "Talking to you ought to be my only job - alas, the world's rarely that simple. Still, tell me more about Vanda Nossëo. How does your multidimensional travel work?"

Permalink

"There are a few methods but the one in most common use is a teleportation spell! I don't have it personally, Vëoneo's our teleporter -" (Vëoneo demonstrates by teleporting six inches to the left.)

Permalink

"Interesting. I don't think your word 'spell' is translating, though?"

Permalink

"Oh! I can adjust our translation magic once we figure out what it should render the word as. A spell is a bounded magical effect that a person can trigger - 'cast' - in some way. Differs from a 'superpower' mostly in connotation and in the fact that spells are more likely to be learned than innate."

Permalink

"Then the problem is with the word 'magic'. It translates here to something with connotations of -" he considers a moment "- 'acts that violate physical law', which is a self-contradictory idea, since physical laws are universal." He doesn't say that as if it's ambiguous; it's just, rocks fall, the sun illuminates, physical laws are universal.

Total: 655
Posts Per Page: