Sep 12, 2020
For Kalar Anakalar and Phrygian, SBBR’s newest recruits, it seemed like another boilerplate mission. A too-warm, too-quiet night in seaside town, making sure that the people in suits and dresses could go about their politicking and gallivanting in safety. But when Ver’Million Blue called in a strange occurrence at the Strand Semaphore station to the north of Auspice, they understood this would be no ordinary mission.
But no warning would prepare these new recruits--or the rest of SBBR for that matter--for GLORY, and the hardest fight they’d faced yet.
This week on PARTIZAN: GLORY Arrives
The Isle of Logos: An independent nation built by the followers of the prophet Logos Kantel’s around their very first church. Though only a small handful of islands in the Prophet’s Sea, the Isles keep a standing defense force that rivals any individual unit of the Major Stels.
The Branched: A post-human society of beings who have transformed their bodies into forms terrifying and spectacular and free--only to have the threat of war force them to rebuild themselves as soldiers first and foremost.
The Black Century: Infamous retinue of the Divine Motion. Each member of this 100-person company serves for 100 years. Motion guarantees them this service.
The Church of the Resin Heart: A Disciples of Logos church on Partizan which claims to be the true inheritor of the prophet’s religious mission. The “resin heart” in question is a 3-foot large object--a component of the Exemplar--pulled from the sea 400+ years ago and displayed as a relic by the Church. In mourning after the loss of Gur Sevraq, though still committed to the cause.
GLORY: With the help of advanced Columnar cloning science, the Glory Project (or simply GLORY), claims to have resurrected (and made immortal) heroes of the nation’s past called Eidolons. On Partizan, they field Kleos, Apothesa, Vervain, Sabeeha, and the squad’s leader: Laurel, elect of Motion.
The Zenith Fund: A public institution of Stel Columnar that incubates, defends, and offers testing for teams pursuing cutting edge projects in a wide range of fields including medicine, environmental science, infrastructure, culture, and emerging military hardware. Aids with major projects across every other Stel, including Apostolos’ Glory Project. Like the rest of Columnar, increasingly tied to the Pact of Necessary Venture.
Break Lieutenant Kalar Anakalar (he/him): A Millennium Break soldier who specializes in fighting Hollows without one of his own. Large, even for the commonly tall, bird-like Talonites. White and grey plumage, a long or cool coat. Originally a steeplejack in Obelle and a member of a religious community devoted to the Divine Peace. Believes that Divines should not be used in war.
Phrygian (they/them): Also known by their callsign, Deck 7, Phrygian is a member of the Branched who arrived on Partizan with a team of undercover researchers who sought to understand the God preached about by Gur Sevraq. While investigating, they and their team were captured and researched by Stel Apostolos and the Pact of Necessary Venture. Phyrgian is the only remaining member of their team.
Cas’alear Rizah (cas/cas’, they/them): Leader of the Swordbreakers, sibling of the Glorious Princept. Cas has brown skin with dark green hair up in a bun, with a few strands hanging down in front of their face (which is framed with similarly colored scales covering cas’ jawline and neck. Broken sword tattoos under their eyes. Reputation as being beautiful and brave by allies, unflinching and unpredictable by foes. Pilots the notorious Ataraxia. Cares more about metaphors than astrophysics.
Boole Batanca (they/them): Chancellor of the Isle of Logos, one of two chief executives of the small sovereign nation. A cephalopod type species, squid-like species, the same as Gigas Acano from Twilight Mirage. White/blue skin with black/brown markings. Tentacle hands, tentacle mouth, eyes adjust in size depending on environment and light. Unlike Gigas, though, this one also has some sort of shell like structure running up their back and parts of their head, almost like hair.
Laurel (they/them): Elect of Motion, new mortal leader of GLORY, and a clone of Cassander Timaeus Berenice, an Apostolosian war hero of the Golden era. Recently selected by Motion as her new elect, catapulting them to leadership. They have served well, with a remarkable propensity for strategic thinking and tactical execution. Pilots the Demiurgos.
Sabeeha (they/them): Sabeeha is pound-for-pound GLORY’s best pilot, though their specialities also include infiltration, disguise, and sabotage. Brown, light olive skin. Brown hair kept short and wavy, close to their head. Face and body both a little long, a little chubby. Big brown eyes. Slightly bushy brows. Pilots the Aporia.
Vervain (they/them): Member of GLORY, clone of their Apostolosian tragic hero namesake, and a bright reflection of Ver’Million Blue. Using their Divine, the historic Vervain was able to predict enemy movements and turn the tide of battles with uncanny strategic foresight.
Kleos (they/them): Skin is fully like a shiny maroon. Bright red cloak wrapped around neck and hanging back like a cape, totally topless otherwise. Khaki army pant capris, a spear slung over their back, and a heavy sidearm at their waist. Pilots the Epoche.
Apothesa (they/them): Former field commander of GLORY’s main Hallow unit. Supposedly a clone of the ancient (perhaps even mythical) eidolon of construction, military action, and history. They have big team-parent energy. Long wavy hair, perfectly kept pilot uniform, stern features, sterner attitude. Pilots the Aporia.
Auspice: A seaside city in the Prophet’s Path north of Marengo (which it is smaller than) and south of Obelle (which it dwarfs). Auspice is the final destination of the land travel portion of the yearly pilgrimage led by the Church of the Resin Heart, which has a great temple in the city called the High Altar. Resting on a landmass that appears on a map to be a finger pointing eastward, it has become a coastal refuge for members of Millennium Break.
The Golden Branch: A sector of the galaxy extremely far from PARTIZAN, on the other side of the galactic core. The civilizations of Kesh and Apostolos first began there. Now, it is home to the Branched.
The Divine Motion (she/her): Long after enemy fuel tanks run empty, Motion continues to power Apostolosian machines of war (like its infamous retinue, the Black Century) and service (including the massive Barranca Loop that allows Apostolos to regularly launch ships spaceward). Ver’MIllion Blue’s rival. Has taken a new elect, Laurel, a clone of the Apostolosian war hero Cassander Timaeus Berenice, a young, yet intuitive Apostolosian commander known to be attentive and authoritative in equal measure.
Strand Semaphore: Using ancient Hyphan technology, this messenger service is able to send text-based communications to anywhere on-moon, so long as they’ve built an outpost there. The backbone of the private comms network used by Millennium Break.
Ataraxia (Cas’alear’s mech): A white, purple, and yellow mantid-shaped machine blessed by the divine Commitment and developed by Stel Columnar’s Zenith Fund. Each of its six curved limbs can light up its edges with energy beams. On the ground, it can dance in combat in such a way that any two limbs can be its temporary feet, and when it’s in flight, it becomes a complete whirlwind of violence. Named for the philosophical concept key to ancient Stoicism.
The Demiurgos (aka “The Demiurge,” Laurel’s mech): A Pneuma model (see below) which has been modified using cutting edge research and materials, including recovered parts of the supposed “exemplar,” Branched materials, stabilized Perennial Wave particles, and, of course, Motion’s own divine power.
Aponia (Sabeeha’s Hallow): A highly modified Kosmos unit (see below) which is able to transforms into a high-mobility aircraft mode. Though it can be outfitted with a custom, solid-state rifle, this limits its maneuverability and flight length, so Sabeeha often chooses to leave the weapon behind, instead favoring the machine’s built in energy blades, featured on its wings in flight mode, or extending from elbows and knees in humanoid forum. As a holdout weapon, this configuration also comes with energy-powered throwing blades.
Katalepsis Mk. II (Vervain’s Hallow): Like Milli’s own Katalepsis, this model began as an exploration into combining features from both the Kosmos and the and the Obscura (see below for reference on both). Deep, dark teal with gold accents, rounded head shape built to scan its surroundings. Can launch dozens of drones into the air for reconnaissance and observation, which will quickly locate anything nearby, but must remain stationery to do that. Can launch micro missiles at locked targets from its shoulders. Its signature weapon is a huge V-shaped rifle that gives it a unique silhouette when attached to the Katalepsis’ back. Because it is powered by Motion, the V Rifle is able to release incredible damaging energy attacks: Either in a devastating, short range spread when open, or as an incredible powerful long range railgun-like shot at range. Up close, Vervain can run this energy throughout the interior of the V’s two “blades,” creating a unique, shear-like melee weapon.
Epoché (Kleos’ Hallow) A Kosmos unit highly modified for top-of-class melee functionality. Deep brown, triangular head headshape, humanoid machine with gold accents, and a faceplate made of brown stone, and heavy skirt plates to defend its upper legs/lower torso. A long, oval shield built onto it’s left arm, a pair of grappling hook launchers on its skirt. Wields a guisarme--a spear that has a hook on the reverse side of the blade. The bottom of the weapon’s shaft is weighted with a dense metal to allow for heavy clubbing attacks, and since the guisarme is able to split into two, connected by a long electrified cable, both the blade and club are able to be wielded simultaneously. Kleos is known to spin it around in a disorienting fashion and wield either side as a ranged weapon, using the electrified cable to disable anyone who gets caught up in the chain.
Aporia (Apothesa’s Hallow): A Kosmos unit retrofitted for high level defensive tactics. Able to deploy both physical walls and particle fields to block off areas of the battlefield. Additionally, wields a glaive and shotgun.
Zenith-A Project Kosmos (for reference): Designed by the Columnar Zenith Fund for Apostolosian use, these hefty hollows are designed for melee supremacy. Their bulky, reverse jointed legs allow them to explode with speed into close range (where they can do serious damage with their long heat glaives), or to hold their ground from incoming assaults (supported by the stock, circular shield each unit wields). The cost of this strength is a lack of versatility: Between the added articulation and pre-programmed combat routines required for the elaborate weapon use these hollows are known for, there simply wasn’t room left for any serious ranged weaponry.
Z-A Project Pneuma Prototype (for reference): The Pnuema is a model based on the basic design ethos first explored with the Z-A Kosmos. Instead of being focused on extreme close range, the Pneuma is meant to dominate the battlefield as a heavyweight, mid-range commander. Despite its increased scale, large ovoid vernier engines allow it a great deal of mobility, making it an intimidating machine to face--even more so when you take into account the fact that its heat glave has been affixed with a pump-action rocket launcher.
Zenith-C Obscura (for reference): Wide shoulders that lead down to treaded legs. Can launch dozens of drones into the air for reconnaissance and observation, which will quickly locate anything nearby, but must remain stationery to do that. Can launch micro missiles at locked targets, has small vulcans for infantry and small armored counter attack--does little to close range mechs.
Rules of Engagement
Deployment of chemical, biological, and/or poisonous weapons: Even in the case of open combat, none of these weapons are to be used. We need to convince the Isles of Logos to joining up with us.
Prisoners must be taken alive: We need intel, we need bargaining chips, and we need to show this world that we’re just not the terrorists that we’ve been made out to be.
Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Produced by Ali Acampora and Austin Walker
Music by Jack de Quidt (available on bandcamp)
Text by Austin Walker
Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)