Freebuild for The Insurgency (Galactic Imperium). I know I'm due for a rank up but I kinda needed to do this first so that will be next.
About this creation
March 9, 2098
The Oyster Building
Since the bombing of the Oyster Building, for which four IIA agents had initially been blamed, repairs had promptly been made. As soon as he was able, Takeshi had returned to his office on the top floor and had resumed work.
Currently he was waiting for someone to arrive for an important meeting. Takeshi stared at a clock on his computer monitor. The visitor was two minutes late. Right then the doors to his office slid open and in walked a Zaraan dressed in posh robes.
Takeshi: "Mr. Seynar, welcome" said the Trade Minister standing up.
Holdok: "You may call me Holdok," spoke the Zaraan in a synthesized voice.
Because most of his species had limited vocal capabilities, some opted for apparatus for better speech.
Takeshi: "Very well, Holdok. Please, have a seat. We have much to discuss."
Holdok: "Just my offer, I think. Seynar Industries takes pride in creating some of the best combat robots in System 54. They could be most useful to the Galactic Imperium."
Takeshi: "Your company is based on Zarus. How come you didn't go to Aurelia first?"
Holdok: "Not all of Zarus supports Aurelia. Similar to how not all of Qoter supports the Imperium. I am correct in saying that, am I not, Trade Minister?"
Takeshi: "Yes... We are seeing some resistance here lately."
Holdok: "Precisely why you need Seynar's bots. For security."
Takeshi: "I will need to see some numbers."
Holdok: "Certainly," said Holdok sliding over a data pad to Takeshi. "Our price for 200,000 units, a small army. Negotiable of course."
Takeshi looked at the datapad. He saw what it would cost if the Imperium wanted a robot army. And they did want one. Aurelia's military strength had grown significantly after all the support they had received in System 55. At the start of the war, Aurelia was a mere rebellion. But now they were a powerful nation nearly matched with the Imperium.
Takeshi: "I'm afraid we simply cannot afford this."
Holdok: "Oh? Have I overestimated the Imperium's wealth?"
Takeshi: "I have been told much of our funds are being diverted to a secret military project. A robot army does not seem to be within our budget. My apologies, Mr. Seynar. I did not wish for you to come here for nothing."
Holdok: "Not at all. Perhaps you will reconsider in the future. Our offer will stand unless of course... Someone else is willing to pay."
Holdok and Takeshi's meeting was brought to an end and Holdok left the office. Takeshi sat quietly in his chair for a few moments before pressing a button on his desk to contact his secretary.
Takeshi: "I am taking my lunch break. Please hold my calls."
He stood up, grabbed his black overcoat, and left the Oyster Building.
Takeshi walked through the streets of Lileven to clear his head. The northernmost city of the planet was not quite as hectic as Regentis but still had large crowds and loud noises coming from everywhere. The Trade Minister didn't have a particular place he wanted to go to for lunch but the street he was currently on had several small eating establishments alongside it for him to choose from.
Takeshi stopped in front of a noodle bar and looked at a holovision mounted on the wall inside. It was playing some news feed about an Imperial general that had been killed on Qoter a couple days prior. Takeshi recognized the tall blonde man as Henrik Bjorson, who coincidentally had been impersonated during the attack on his office. The real general was sitting in the back of a transport when it was ambushed by rebels. The general and his driver were gunned down and only one of the escorts had escaped.
Suddenly Takeshi turned as he heard a troop transport coming to a stop nearby. Several Imperial soldiers jumped out and immediately started grabbing random pedestrians. Others screamed and ran away but three were unlucky.
Takeshi watched from a distance as those three Qoterian citizens were lined up and pushed down on their knees. The soldiers then aimed their guns at their heads while the leader shouted into a voice amplifier.
Soldier: "You rebel scum are a disgrace! If you think you can get away with the murder of an Imperial General with no consequences, you are gravely mistaken! Open fire!"
One by one the firing squad executed the citizens. Innocent men who had done no wrong now lay dead in the street. Reprisals, the Imperium called them. Kill one Imperial and random others would pay the price. It was a power move, to make any resistors think twice.
The soldiers quickly got back in their transport and sped off, leaving the bodies where they were. Takeshi stared in horror with a grimace on his face. He began slowly walking backwards then turned around and increased his pace to return to his office. Was even he safe from this? He couldn't understand the Imperium's fear tactics. His Imperium. But was it? How could it be if they committed terrible acts such as this? Once more he found himself questioning the side he was on.
Underground IIA Facility
Mojave Desert, Nevada, USA
All IIA operatives that had been working out of North Carolina were temporarily moved into the Nevada facility. Until the new headquarters was ready, this would have to do.
Through the main doors walked an important looking man escorted by a pair of intimidating guards in blue and white armor. He received several curious glances from the other workers who wondered why he was here. The man and his guards went straight to the desk of Arthur's secretary.
In a not so glamorous office, Director Savile continued his business as usual until a light on his desk began flashing.
Secretary: "Director Savile, there's a Senator Thane here for you."
Arthur: "I wasn't expecting anyone..."
Secretary: "He says he was sent by Governor Sterling."
Arthur: "Um... Send him in," he said after hesitating.
Arthur stood up as the somewhat elderly gentleman confidently strode into the office.
Percival: "Percival Thane. I don't believe we've officially met," said the senator extending his hand.
Arthur: "Arthur Savile. How do you do?"
Arthur realized he had seen the man before. He was a senator on the Earth senate. They had never been introduced but Arthur remembered being slightly intimidated by his seemingly permanent stoic expression.
Percival: "Sit down."
Arthur immediately did as he was told. They were more or less peers however for some reason Arthur felt as if he were a child about to be scolded by a grown up.
Arthur: "My apologies for the set up, it's only temporary. Can I ask what brings you by?"
Percival: "I'll try to make this quick. Mr. Savile, you're being relieved."
Arthur: "I'm sorry?"
Arthur was suddenly beginning to feel a sense of dread. What did 'relieved' mean?
Percival: "I'd say we've appreciated your work but I think we both know it's been rather underwhelming."
Arthur: "I... Don't understand..."
Percival: "You're being let go. Governor Sterling has had enough of your constant failures. Quite frankly I'm surprised this didn't happen sooner. You're a mess, Arthur. You should have resigned a long time ago. Your agency is riddled with moles and double agents. The terrorist, Dane Duscott, was working right under your nose, you allowed a dangerous Cast to escape and don't think we didn't notice your arrest at that country club. And you seem to be spending a lot of time with Irina Volkov, head of the RIS. What is all that about?"
Arthur: "I... We-"
Percival: "It doesn't really matter. The list just goes on."
Arthur: "No, hang on now. I've done a lot of work for the Imperium. I delivered on Project Salvation. With its capabilities we can likely wipe out Aurelia."
Percival: "You delivered only the plans to the station. You were specifically told to recover it, not destroy it. The Governor is especially angry about that. You've cost us a lot of money."
Arthur felt a lump in his throat. Everything the senator was saying was true. He felt ashamed. But he wasn't going to go down that easily. He had earned this position. He had devoted his whole life to the Imperium and while he may have made some mistakes, he'd done a lot of good.
Arthur: "You need me. The IIA is more crucial now than ever."
Percival: "Of course it is. Nothing is happening to the IIA, only it's leadership is changing."
Arthur: "And who will replace me?"
Percival: "Governor Sterling has asked me to take over."
Arthur: "You?" he couldn't believe this. "You're a politician, what do you know about running intelligence operations? I was in the Core. I've been in this world since I was ten years old!"
It was a most uncommon sight to see Arthur angry. But it was reasonable. The IIA was pretty much all he had these days.
Percival: "Obviously that's helped very little. Don't make this more difficult than it has to be, Mr. Savile. You have until this afternoon to gather your things. Then you will make a public resignation at a press conference in Los Angeles where you will hand over the reigns to me."
Arthur sat silently for a few moments, letting Percival's words sink in. This was happening. It was over.
Arthur: "So what happens to me?"
Percival: "Fortunately for you, Chris is not completely without mercy. You're being transferred to Siberia. You will be in charge of a military outpost there."
The former IIA Director stared intensely at a small chip in his desk, saying nothing.
Percival: "You must understand, Arthur. We can't afford to make mistakes now. We need to have the right people for every job."
Arthur: "Spoken like a true politician... Well then I wish you luck, Mr. Thane," Arthur spoke with a fake smile. "You will need it."
Los Angeles, California
Not too far away from the IIA facility was Los Angeles where William and Dino were entering a small coffee shop. They had finished up a mission earlier and now had some free time. Though William intended to make some use of it. They spotted Arcus Forai, a historian and museum curator from Qoter, sitting at a table and approached him.
Arcus: "Ah there you are," he said as the IIA agents sat down across from him.
William: "Thank you for meeting us, Mr. Forai. I know Earth is a little out of the way for you."
Arcus: "It's no problem. I was here on business anyway and I just can't get enough of your Earth coffee. So how is the Sword of Finnivere?"
William: "It's proved to be very useful. I can't say much more because it's classified."
Arcus: "I see... Well anyways you said you had some questions for me?"
William: "Yes, I do. How much do you know about the Collective?"
Just recently, when William had traveled to the Orbital Defense Platform, he had heard recordings from a scientist that had mentioned 'Collective science'. This had been bothering him ever since then and he was hoping to find some answers on what that meant.
Arcus: "A fair amount. I've been studying them since they arrived in this System."
William: "And when did they arrive?"
Arcus: "Well just a few years ago, after the Shift and before they declared war."
William: "Is it possible that they've been here for longer? Maybe going unnoticed?"
Arcus: "Actually it is interesting you bring that up. There have been some theories..."
Arcus: "Leading to one conclusion: The Collective have been here before."
William felt slight chills when Arcus said this.
Dino: "Wait, they've been here before?" Dino asked surprised. "What do you mean?"
Arcus: "Well not here as in Earth but Qoter. System 54. It's said approximately a thousand years ago we received visitors from another galaxy. During Qoter's Knight era. Remember how I told you the Sword of Finnivere was enchanted by a wizard? It's possible the wizard was actually a Collective Mage."
William wasn't sure he liked his sword having ties to the Collective due to his attitude towards them. But he decided to ignore that for now.
William: "Is there... Proof for all of this?"
Arcus: "Some time ago there was an archeological team that discovered an underground vault dating back to the Knight era. It was filled with strange alien technology. Highly sophisticated, far beyond our capabilities at the time. It's because that technology was exploited, Qoter was put on the track of being the most advanced planet in the System. The archeologists didn't know what it was or where it came from. But now that we've seen the Collective and their weapons and whatnot... There's many similarities."
William: "How come there wasn't a war back then? What made them come back now?"
Arcus: "I believe the Knights met a very small group of the Collective. Not an invasion force, perhaps scouts. It seems we've been intertwined since. It's all very intriguing."
William: "Yeah... Well thanks, Mr. Forai. This was very... Enlightening."
Arcus: "Anytime, my friends. I always enjoy giving a history lesson."
William and Dino then left the cafe and walked on the street outside.
Dino: "Hell of a coincidence."
William: "I'm starting to get a little worried by all these coincidences lately."
Dino: "So Qoter used Collective technology not only to evolve their world but to build the Orbital and the black hole generator."
William: "Looks like it."
Dino: "And now we're going to start making black holes? Is that a good idea? I mean if they can't control it, a black hole could consume everything."
William: "We don't know if they're making black holes. There was a lot of research and science on those Orbital plans. They could build something else from it."
Before they could talk any further, William's communicator lit up. It was his girlfriend.
William: "Hey Claire bear," he said answering the call.
Claire: "Guys, Arthur's leaving," she said worriedly.
William: "Leaving? What?"
Claire: "He's resigning. They're holding a press conference over there which we have clearance for. I'm on my way to it."
They said their goodbyes and ended the call. William was shocked to be hearing that his friend, the man he saw as a better father than his real one, was leaving the agency.
Dino: "I can't believe he's quitting. It's so sudden."
William: "We should get to that conference."
Soon the pair arrived at the nearby conference hall. They met Claire inside.
William: "Hey, what's going on?"
Claire: "I don't know. Some new guy's taking over as the IIA Director."
They turned to look inside the crowded event room to see Arthur walking up onto the stage. They went in to listen to what he was saying.
Arthur looked solemnly at the crowd of reporters and photographers. He noticed three of his former agents standing towards the back of the room and quickly darted his eyes away.
Arthur: "Perhaps many of you are unaware of all IIA affairs due to their confidential nature. But I must unfortunately admit that in recent times, we have seen many shortcomings in our work. No one but myself can be held responsible for these failures. It has become apparent that I am no longer suited for the position I have held for the last two years. Therefore I shall be stepping down as Director of Intelligence. To have this transitional period go as smoothly as possible, a new Director has already been appointed. It is my... Honor... To introduce Mr. Percival Thane. The new Director of the Imperial Intelligence Agency."
The crowd watched and took photographs as Arthur walked off the stage and Percival stepped up to the podium.
The three agents simply looked on, shocked to see their boss had resigned.
Percival: "Thank you, Mr. Savile. And I thank you for your service also. I will say, and I think my good friend, Governor Christopher Sterling, will agree, that Arthur Savile is a good man. He has been crucial in establishing a primary intelligence service for the Galactic Imperium. But I need not remind you that we are at war. Every single action has an effect on the future of the Imperium. We cannot afford to make any mistakes. Sadly, Mr. Savile has made one too many. I will be taking over his work effective immediately. Now I promise to do what is in the best interest of security for our empire."
The crowd applauded.
William saw Arthur walking out of the conference hall and went after him. His friends followed.
Arthur stopped in a hallway when he saw them approaching.
Arthur: "Hello everyone."
Dino: "Why didn't you tell us you were leaving?"
Arthur: "Because I hadn't planned to. I didn't exactly have a choice. But it's true, I've made too many mistakes."
William: "I thought you were a great Director."
Arthur: "Thank you, William. But we need someone better now."
Claire: "And that's this Thane guy?"
Arthur: "It doesn't matter. You all report to him now."
William: "So what's gonna happen to you?"
Arthur: "I've been transferred. To Siberia."
Arthur: "Yes, the cold will take some getting used to..."
William: "Well I'm sorry, Arthur. We'll miss you. I'll miss you."
William felt bad that Arthur was having to leave his job involuntarily. He felt he could relate as he was also discharged from the military when he wanted to stay.
Arthur smiled and shook William's hand.
Arthur: "You were my top agent, William. You've made me proud."
Dino: "Good luck out there," Dino said also shaking his old boss' hand.
Arthur turned to Claire who gave him a hug.
Arthur: "Don't let William get into too much trouble."
She chuckled. They watched as Arthur left. He would be going down a different path now.
Shortly after, Percival came walking down the hall with his guards.
Percival: "Wait a second," he said to them when he spotted the agents standing off to the side.
Percival: "You must be William Nantucket," said the new IIA Director approaching the poster boy. "Everyone in my circles speaks very highly of you. I have to say I've set my expectations accordingly."
William: "I hope to surpass them, sir."
Percival: "Good," nodded Percival.
William: "These are my friends and colleagues, Dino Modena and Claire McMadden."
Percival: "It's good to meet you all. I look forward to working with you soon."
The Director then walked off with his entourage.
Dino: "So that's the new boss."
Claire: "He seems creepy."
Claire: "I don't know, there's just something about him..."
William shrugged. Whether they liked him or not, they would have to do what he said. The three left the conference hall as well. Soon they would see exactly how Percival would be running things.
New York City, New York
March 12, 2098
Somewhere in the city of New York, Mercer Bowen walked around, searching for a particular alley. When he seemed to have found it, he looked in at the dark and shadowy passage. After hesitating for a brief moment, he walked into the darkness.
Man: "Shh! Keep your voice down!" whispered a man. He stepped out of the shadows to reveal himself to Mercer.
The man looked like a typical vagabond with long, unkempt hair and a scraggly beard. Except he was wearing a very torn and worn out IIA jacket. Mercer realized he recognized the man even with the grime on his face. It was Felix Loiter, a former agent.
Felix: "You the reporter?"
Felix: "Good. I'm Felix Loiter."
Mercer: "I know who are. We worked on the same floor in Raleigh. You look terrible by the way."
Felix: "Well that's what months of being hunted by the IIA does to you."
Mercer: "The IIA..." Mercer said remembering his time there.
Felix: "They're a bunch of scumbags."
Mercer: "You're telling me."
Felix: "That's right, they fired you didn't they?"
Mercer: "Yeah. I hated that place... So now I dig whatever dirt I can find on them to make them look bad. You said you had a story for me?"
Felix: "Ah, ah, ah. Cash first."
Mercer: "Right," Mercer said producing a bulging envelope from his pocket.
Felix grabbed the envelope and counted at the credits inside. A smile came over his face as he put the packet away.
Felix: "Well, my friend. Have I got a story for you?"
Since this one was a bit shorter I'll throw in a teaser for the next episode (which will be the rank up) here.
Should be interesting.... Definitely more than this one :p
As for the commentary on this one... Yes Arthur is gone. I have had this planned for a long time and I'm relieved that I finally got to it lol. Percy will be a fairly different character once he gets in the spotlight. Also I kind of like what I'm doing with Takeshi's internal conflict... Most of my series shows the GI as being the "good guys" but the scenes with Takeshi show how that's not really the case. He'll become more important very soon.
The whole thing with the robot army may seem random but it's kind of a nod to how the Separatists in Star Wars had a droid army. I kind of like to look at the GI/Aurelia conflict being more like the Clone War than the Galactic Civil War...
Apologies for the delay in getting to this. I liked this one! A nice mixture of things. It's a shame to see Arthur going, but his replacement seems interesting, and I'm sure we've not seen the last of Arthur. I agree with Wolff that shooting random civilians is a bit of a huge leap for the GI. Governor Boan would never allow that - unless he doesn't know. I have a way it will work, so don't worry about it too much. I liked the minister's internal conflict too, as it's good to see the story from both sides. Overall, a good one! Just shows that you don't always need action to be interesting! 6 points!
One very solid episode mate! Shame to see Arthur go, but the new Director looks interesting as well! Also cool to see the other side of the GI, though I'll admit it does seem a tad extreme, unless the soldiers are a few loose-cannons. Still, lovely to see where your story's going! Looking forward to the next one!