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post #17 of (permalink) Old 11-06-15, 10:17 PM Thread Starter
Myen'Tal
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The command center was a claustrophobic cell with an appearance of a prison warden’s staging area rather than a planetary head quarters. Mirathir tread gingerly over a metallic floor covered in dense wiring that writhed its way into every crevice. The hologram projector in the center of the small chamber hummed as it revealed the planet Tarmathon IV. A dozen different emblems and markers pulsed across her surface. The floating, transparent globe was surrounded on all sides by servitor-manned cognitor stations. None of them paid Mirathir or her entourage of Sorcerers any heed as they crowded themselves around the projector.

“I have gleamed the future.” Aitan, a dark-skinned apprentice of some repute, gestured toward a crimson marker that pulsed on Tarmathon’s ancient and ruined capital. “I am aware that our mistress has witnessed the portents as well? The Tau Empire are mere days away from invading our plantary stronghold. The old Imperial capital should be considered as one of their potential deployment zones.”

Mirathir smirked. “True enough, Aitan. None of our strongholds are within reach of the old capital. The Tau Empire could deploy their forces without fear of much reproach. Unless, of course, we mobilized an army with the task of contesting Shailon in mind.”

“Too much risk.” Illyia replied. The young sorceress crossed her arms beneath her chest. Her full lips were creased in a frown. “Maintaining sufficient supply routes could prove bothersome, if what I’ve heard about the Tau Empire is true. That does not even address the issue of potential loss, should that display of raw force be met with overwhelming firepower and destroyed.”

“What do you suggest then, Illyia?” Mirathir touched upon the hologram and the entire planet transformed into the ruined capital of Shailon.

“Raven Prophet,” Illyia intoned. “Allow the Tau their deployment and let them attempt to claim our fortresses. Our forces shall certainly outnumber their own by a vast margin. Once the aliens commit themselves to three or four sieges, we can then mobilize from our hidden strongholds and take the enemy by surprise.”

Aelius the elder dismissed Illyia with a wave. “Fooling the Tau into thinking that we are weakened will require much sacrifice. Defeating them through your strategy could well mean losing those fortresses entirely.” Aelius shifted his gaze to Mirathir. “You must not underestimate your opponent, Mirathir, the Tau Empire have won victories against more unfavorable odds.”

Decimus added. “Whose to say that the xenos won’t deploy anywhere else? Or will not assault our strongholds directly from orbit?”

“Foolish question.” Mirathir scoffed. “Our orbital batteries will give them enough problems, let alone them attempting to fall right on our heads. And our numbers? We would massacre them piecemeal.”

Decimus added more scoldingly. “Then that leaves only one question unanswered: how do you intend to match the Tau Empire’s firepower? You cannot hope to triumph because of numbers alone. I despise having to play Devil’s Advocate for every strategic plan-“

Mirathir’s eyes turned to slits. “Then do not. You are trying my patience.”

“But we could use stalwart allies.” Decimus continued. “A pity that the siege of Tyrannus has undone so many years of diplomacy. As the ancients used to say, when the war is over, make alliances.”

Aelius inclined his head agreement. “Decimus speaks the truth, my lady.”

Illyia placed a hand over her heart as she said, “I have confidence that you can win this war, Raven Prophet. I only doubt that you will be victorious in the way that you intend to. There are still lingering strands on the skein that can be tied to our own.”

Aitan said. “Shall I commune with the warp?”

“Unnecessary,” Mirathir replied. “I shall appeal to our Demoness for aid and to those whom I desire be forgotten from your minds. I sincerely doubt that Captain Tyrioc would arrive to our rescue after his humiliation. He suffered much at the hands of Tyrannus’ Imperial forces after Nyst took her premature leave of the battle.”

An elegant, ethereal voice originated from behind Mirathir, by the entrance into the command center. “Perhaps this Captain will listen to the whispers of his patron?”

Mirathir recognized such a voice immediately and spared a long glance over her shoulder. “Aenaria?” She said more casually then she would have liked. “What dire news has brought you here?”

“So,” Aenaria furled her ebon wings around herself to avoid catching them on stray wires. She approached the hologram map and gazed into the image for long moments, tantalized. “A mortal world?” She answered Mirathir without looking at her. “Important matters bring me to Tarmathon IV, Raven Prophet, but for your ears alone.”

“Come,” Mirathir smiled warmly. “I would gladly show you Tarmathon IV then spend another moment in this pit. Everyone else, get out of my sight!”

“Evil is relative…You can’t hang a sign on it. You can’t touch it or taste it or cut it with a sword. Evil depends on where you are standing, pointing your indicting finger.”
-Glen Cook, The Black Company


Tales of Heroism and Bravery, in the 41st Millennium and the Old World. Perhaps some Realm Gate Wars in the future .

Gods' Hall (Completed)
https://www.heresy-online.net/forums/...d.php?t=161618

The New Word (Completed)
https://www.heresy-online.net/forums/...d.php?t=121879
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