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Anime & Manga GATE: and so the Iron Pact Fought (GATE/Alt Time Line fic)

Aaron Fox

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Good chapter.It seems,that Kaiser Earth would occupy Saderan Empire,except small pocket for normal Earth Japan.Probably better for natives.
There will be a major sea change for the Empire, and the true and tried 'occupy until the conditions of the treaty are met' is pretty persuasive in not doing funny business.

It also helps that they've got a government-owned pseudo-corporation that specializes in nation-building in their back pocket once the dust settles.
P.S remember,since it is Gate,most imporatnst thing are good husbands for all Gate girls ! especially Giselle !
Now, this is getting a bit annoying. Can you please stop repeating this comment in its various variations?
 
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Aaron Fox

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So, here we go, and I've even got an introduction to a 'giden' story in too (although, it won't be available here). ;) Quick word of warning, the chapter is currently over 10k words in total. So it's going to be a long one.
__________________________________________________
Fort Portal, Wolfenstein Temporary Field Headquarters; later that day

I was pensive as I looked at the data that we would be going over today with my AugReal, and boy do we have a lot to go over today. A world where there’s paranormal out the ass and we’re not even far enough along with our ‘paranorms are like people’ social engineering project to keep things from getting problematic. We’re just thankful that, currently, all fielded and reserved units had scored very high on the acceptance tests, although that is largely because psychics have been an ousted secret for a while now.

If people knew the sort of company that Aaron keeps and what he is… well… panic in the streets would be the best-case scenario.

“So, how is Agent Big Fire doing in terms of recovery?” I asked our empath, Agent Ivanova.

“Doing quite well, thankfully enough,” Ivanova answered, “At least he wouldn’t have to put that shit into his system anymore to keep the Colone Psi-Memory from killing him.” I understood Ivanova’s hatred with the drug that kept Aaron alive so long, given that an anti-Psi doctor gave her mother just enough of an overdose to cause her to commit suicide. “He’s still in recovery, but he’ll be back to a clean bill of health by the end of the day.” That’s fantastic news, given some of the HIPs that we’ve been encountering or given information on.

“That’s good to hear,” I smiled, “Hopefully we can get some information on some of the HIPs we’ve discovered already. Williams, what’s the status on that Black 8?” The diminutive man sighed as he brought up the data to the conference’s datanet.

“So far, we’re at a loss,” Agent Williams answered, “From the preliminary data analysis, we’re likely looking at someone using a WW2 divisional radio set and using a variation of encryption from the same conflict. We’ve been making spotty contact with the user and from the sound of it, he is under the thumb of one of the Saldarian gods. The current theory on the sender is that he’s from our neck of the woods, dimensionally.” Everyone’s eyebrows raised comically to their hairlines at that statement. Wolfenstein, GRU Division P, and the UID had occasionally encountered the dimensionally displaced, but they generally tend to be very far afield, so to speak. The possibility of someone from our neck of the woods is measured in a lot of zeroes on the right side of the decimal point. While everyone is prepared for this sort of situation, it’s another to be living in said situation.

“That is going to give us untold amounts of headaches in the future,” Agent Oracle groaned, “although it could give us a viewpoint into the local Celestial situation.”

“Yes,” Williams butted in, “but due to the random nature of these calls -likely to ensure that the god in question doesn’t get wise- this would be a very slow method of intelligence.” Oracle reluctantly agreed with that statement. “Then there is the possibility that we might screw this up and alert the god our contact is beholden to and cause all sorts of problems. We can’t set up our anchors yet due to possible adverse reactions with the locals or the forces from the other Earth.” Everyone shivered at that statement, as the early days of reality anchor use had all sorts of effects on people. Hell, the list of effects of a badly optimized reality anchor is enough to make even the most hardened men regurgitate their innards. “The medical checks we’ve been conducting have been going well, and we’ll probably have a limited wide-area test run within a month.” At least something is going our way on the paranormal side of this conflict. So far, we’ve only had to deal with delays of logistics, not anything overt.

It also helps that Agent Big Fire is around, we would probably be neck-deep into Celestial shenanigans if that weren’t the case.

“That’s good to hear,” I stated, “Now, Smalls, what about the Black 12C that the alpine troops discovered?”

“We’ve managed to open the temple complex and have entered the main foyer,” Smalls answered, “Given that our mapping drones have indicated that the complex is hyperspatial, we saw it would be prudent to prepare a basecamp for further exploration.” Oh, please not be non-Euclidian, because those aren’t enjoyable to map. “From the data we’ve gathered so far, it’s only a Euclidian type hyperspatial construct similar to what was found by the UID back in 1977 at HSC1.” I breathed a small sigh of relief, for having to tackle a non-Euclidian hyperspatial construct is an easy way to go insane. Even Big Fire can’t stand how such constructs mess with one’s spatial awareness. Mortal minds can’t compute anything more than 3 physical dimensions, even modified ones like Big Fire.

“Thank the Celestial Council for small mercies,” I sighed in relief, “What’s the preliminary ETA of the complex’s mapping?” Smalls frowned a little at the question.

“So far, we don’t have an ETA, because we don’t have the appropriate drones to map out such a construct. We’ve been barely able to get out of the main entrance complex, and even then, we’ve only mapped out some 1% of the place,” Smalls answered solemnly, “If it is anything like S4, we’re probably looking at years, if not decades before we map even half of it.” Ah, yes, that little problem. We need someone who knows that place and currently the only possible lead is currently recuperating from nearly killing herself in trying to reach the place.

“Alright, just make sure we get everything we’ve seen logged, categorized, and left alone for now,” I ordered, “Joshua, your team had to deal with some of the local paranormal, anything that isn’t in the report?” Joshua perked up a little as he prepared to give some of his memories about the incident.

“Yesterday, at 07:30, we’ve encountered a major village that is semi-autonomous from the Saldarian Empire,” Joshua stated as he showed the images of the village in question, “We’ve managed to contact with the local leaders, and we’ve discovered something interesting. The local lord is a powerful mage that goes by the name of Guðný Dovahkiin and is one of the few major progressives -at least by the standards of the Saldarians and the medieval period- on the continent of Falmart. However, Dovahkiin is has taken a liking to curse anyone who tries to kill him or harms his subjects by turning them into… cows or minotaurs.” That’s one way to get rid of people. “Surprisingly enough, a fair number of locals ask to become minotaurs, largely to help everyone else. Why use bulls when you’re the bull, so to speak.” Everyone raised an eyebrow at that statement. “Given that she hates the Saldarians but only swore fealty to the Empire because they would slaughter her subjects… we’re looking at another friendly on this world. We’ll be contacting Cato soon to get a more rounded viewpoint on Dovahkiin.”

“That would give us an opportunity to gauge how the local magical community is in terms of ethics and standards,” Ivanova interrupted, “Given the general situation, it's best to have our bases covered.” With that, the meeting went well into the night…
 

ATP

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Good minotaurs ? that would be something new.How they reproduce,with humans,or with cows ?
 

Aaron Fox

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Good minotaurs ? that would be something new.How they reproduce,with humans,or with cows ?
Well, the SFW answer is the healthiest results (i.e. not cause mental degradation over the generations) are with other minotaurs and humans.
 

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Well, the SFW answer is the healthiest results (i.e. not cause mental degradation over the generations) are with other minotaurs and humans.
So,there are female minotaurs there,too ? are they bigger or smaller then male ones ?
And how exactly minotaurs look like ? if they are not too hairy and teir faces are humanoids,not cow-like,then some normal humans could be attracted.
But,if they are 3m tall hairy beasts,then chances are rather small for that.Unless...some people have strange fetishes.
 
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Aaron Fox

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So,there are female minotaurs there,too ? are they bigger or smaller then male ones ?
Well, yes there are female minotaurs, and their average height dynamic is similar to humanity's (an American male's average height is ~69 inches while an American female average is ~63 inches according to the CDC) but less pronounced.

Just don't try to fight a minotaur (be male or female), for the best-case scenario is you getting a date with a hospital room and a good portion (or your entire body) in a cast (at least, if you have access to modern medicine) and the worst-case scenario is... well... the best description is 'a smear of blood, bone, and organ mush'.
And how exactly minotaurs look like ? if they are not too hairy and teir faces are humanoids,not cow-like,then some normal humans could be attracted.
But,if they are 3m tall hairy beasts,then chances are rather small for that.Unless...some people have strange fetishes.
That is heavily dependent on numerous factors (including and not limited to: reactions to the spell itself, if the spell is in curse mode or not, the transformee's bloodline, and how well-fed the transformee is; please note there are very good reasons why the lady in question does a reaction test spell to make sure the person doesn't have the equivalent of an allergic reaction to the spell, and the less said about what comes with that, the better, while also getting a good idea on how the process will end up), but the most part generally they have extremely short fur across the vast majority of the body with a full head of hair (and for the males, facial hair isn't uncommon) where you expect head hair to be. If there is any thick fur, it tends to be near the hooves although thick locks of wrist fur have been seen. On the anthropomorphic scale, they're slightly on the cow side (so, a 60/40 at most and 55/45 at least, with the higher number being cow and the lower number being human, although, due to various factors, you might see other animals popping up as well, although it would be predominantly cow and human). Between their general build and other features, you can pick them out from a crowd but it isn't completely alien or ludicrous. In addition, they have a reputation of being very soft lovers, if you can believe it.

However, the average height is roughly 1.8 meters/~72 inches (with males being slightly larger, but more like 3 inches larger than 6) but the lower end tends to be human-sized with the higher end tending to be ~2.5 meters/~98 inches tall outside of fringe cases. The best description of their general body type is 'athletic body builder', partially due to their work tend to be some form of hard labor (like plowing fields or moving heavy objects). They're omnivores like humans but lean more towards veggies, plant starches, and fruits than meats in their diet. While a good portion of them work in the fields, they also make up a good portion of the blacksmith, tailor, and laborer/teamster population. Minotaurs also make up an elite cadre of heavy infantry and a good portion of the engineers in the lady's army.

Minotaur immediate families tend to be made up of biological and adopted children and are larger (when adjusted for the lack of medical knowledge) than their human counterparts. To give you an idea, the average family in Falmart is roughly 2 adults, 6 biological children, and 2 adopted children, the average minotaur family tends to be two adults, 8 biological children, and 6 adopted children. One of the biggest reasons for minotaurs not being everywhere is that they're somewhat slow breeders compared to humans. There is a saying in Falmart: if you want a good godparent, a minotaur is one of your best bets. This saying, as you would think, would apply to those who aren't racist pricks (which, a good portion of the Saldarian nobility are, although there are families like the Elector House of Formal that regularly have minotaur godparents when family isn't available to do so, then again House Formal is insanely progressive compared to most).
 
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ATP

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So,most humans could made families with them.
What about Gate minotaur Itami and Rory fought? it was monster at least 4m tall,and its face was bull like,not human.
It defeated Rory and wanted eat her when it get AT missile and died.
Are they other kind of minotaurs,or only bigger possible specimen ?
 

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So,most humans could made families with them.
What about Gate minotaur Itami and Rory fought? it was monster at least 4m tall,and its face was bull like,not human.
It defeated Rory and wanted eat her when it get AT missile and died.
Are they other kind of minotaurs,or only bigger possible specimen ?
Well, I haven't read the novel or gotten that far in the manga, so I didn't know about that.

But thanks to you, there is a detailed informative coming up with the specifics of the minotaurs alongside the paranormal organizations on Iron Pact!Earth. To explain your second question, minotaurs have variations like cattle have breeds. Most of them don't go above 3 meters in height, but there are those that do and are always the result of magical manipulation (of the 'evil for evil's sake' or 'I get my rocks off at your suffering' sort), curses from gods, and/or intense inbreeding.
 
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Well, I haven't read the novel or gotten that far in the manga, so I didn't know about that.

But thanks to you, there is a detailed informative coming up with the specifics of the minotaurs alongside the paranormal organizations on Iron Pact!Earth. To explain your second question, minotaurs have variations like cattle have breeds. Most of them don't go above 3 meters in height, but there are those that do and are always the result of magical manipulation (of the 'evil for evil's sake' or 'I get my rocks off at your suffering' sort), curses from gods, and/or intense inbreeding.
There is Gate manga on mangakakalot.com ,which cover it.
 

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What I meant is that I wasn't that far into the manga.
Then here link to chapter with killing minotaur.It tanked AT missile by the way,and was killed in trap.You could watch it .becouse those chapters do not matter for main story.If link do not worked,it is 51.2 chapter.
Here :
 

Aaron Fox

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Then here link to chapter with killing minotaur.It tanked AT missile by the way,and was killed in trap.You could watch it .becouse those chapters do not matter for main story.If link do not worked,it is 51.2 chapter.
Here :
That is informative, in the 'what sort of shenanigans Itami tends to get into' sense.
 
Informational: Demihumans: Minotaurs and the paranormal organizations in Iron Pact!Earth

Aaron Fox

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First, let's begin with the definition that the Saldarian Empire has for demihumans. Demihumans, in the official legal definition of the laws of the Saldarian Empire, are sentient beings that have both human and animal characteristics. Effectively, Anthros. Whenever a new sentient species is discovered, the first thing the Saldarians do is send a team of doctors, mages, and legal experts to make sure where to place them socially and politically (please note that, in Saldarian 'analytics' and law, this is more of a quadrant chart than a scale with humans being the coordinates 0,0). As a general rule of thumb, it must be noted that demihumans tend to run the gauntlet in terms of social-economic status (please note that Rome had 8 social-economic-political classes in total, although people have grouped the top three -the patricians, the equites, and the 1st class- together) but tend to lump demihumans with the poor/peasantry overall. While none of them can't do things like marry into the nobility, quite a few demihuman species are renowned for being the best bets for being godparents if a family member can't fill that role... at least if the family isn't made up of racist pricks like a significant portion of the nobility.

The minotaurs are one of the more respected demihumans in Falmart and abroad, surprisingly enough. They have a reputation of being hard-working, intelligent, industrious people that didn't have much in terms of problematic quirks. An example would be that a minotaur's mating season is similar enough to a human menstrual cycle overall, just with the added slight problem of heightened libido for both genders during this period. Something that can be easily planned around and prepared for with the right potions and herbs. A trait that gives them some advantages compared to most other demihumans in general. They're some of the best farmers in Falmart, are strong enough to basically be their own oxen (and then some), and due to their partially human nature, have near-human stamina in terms of work capability (you would note that most demihumans have far shorter fur than their animal counterparts, allowing for some human stamina quicks to follow through).

Minotaurs are omnivores like humans but eat more veggies, fruit, and plant starches than meat. This has led to their amazing ability in farming, which is considered to be in the top five of the known world by Saldarians. Saldarians have used minotaur farming techniques to increase crop sustainability and yields, leading to a population boom and increased tax revenue.

In terms of physiology, minotaurs are generally very human-like, just slightly towards the cow end (so, on a 100/100 anthropomorphism scale, minotaurs are generally between 60/40 and 55/45 with the lower number being human, although there are outliers, as we'll get into further on) on average and are more durable than normal humans. Their body build -regardless of gender- is termed 'athletic bodybuilder' in shorthand, this is largely due to their natural strength combined with their preferred jobs in farming and labor. Their height averages out (between both genders) as 1.828 meters/~72 inches, with the specifics being males averaging out at ~1.854m/73 inches while females average out at 1.803m/71 inches (please note that this is the average and that there are outliers). To give you an idea, Romans (and thus Saldarians) tended to be between ~1.52m/60 inches to ~1.65m/65 inches (or, if they're from post-Constantine Eastern Roman stock, ~1.7m/67 inches) in height.

Other, unanimous characteristics of minotaurs are the fact that their skin is covered in very short (but comfortable to the touch) fur, have what is described as 'comfortable leather' skin, head hair, their short but still recognizable bovine snouts, their horns, segmented hooves that resemble a mix between cow hooves and human feet, and their slightly (when compared to humans) meaty hands. For gender-specific characteristics, female minotaurs have short horns and the usual female characteristics that are a mix of bovine and human (if on the larger side, adjusted for the minotaur's larger stature) while male minotaurs have the ability to have facial hair, the expected male equipment that is a mix of bovine and human, and long (when compared to the females) horns. Note that these characteristics are the average, there are deviations of this average like there are for humans. In terms of fertility, minotaurs are above average but nowhere near the level of warrior bunnies, which is due in large part to their longer pregnancy period (a human generally has a pregnancy of 9 months, a minotaur has a pregnancy of 12) and slightly longer development period (a human develops, on average, across 21-25 years while a minotaur develops -again, on average- across 25-30 years). Fur color is similar to various cow species, with the occasional odd fur scheme here and there (usually specific to a transformation or specific bloodline).


(you would be surprised at how long I spent on making sure that I get an SFW picture that isn't linked to a NSFW site, my google-fu is pretty shit at times)

Their strength is far higher than a human's on average, enough that if a human tried to seriously harm a minotaur, there tends to be one conclusion to the event if the minotaur isn't killed: your injuries will require modern medicine to survive (and a date with a hospital room for several months/better part of a year). Despite this immense strength, they're known for being quite gentle. The average minotaur's stamina is also pretty close to humans, although it must be noted that there is still a fairly large gulf between the two species. In terms of intelligence, there is a similar range in line with humans but with a higher floor and ceiling, and this intelligence has saved their bacon on numerous occasions, like the creation of a new potion to improve the control of their libido during their mating cycles or the ability to create a cunning strategy on the fly with the information they have.

The reason that I keep bringing up the word average and outliers is that, well, there is something analogous to what we call 'ethnic groups' within minotaur society. These 'bloodlines' are carefully tracked not for the sake of money and power but for health and safety (and is a reason that the minotaurs have a reputation of being meticulous record keepers). The minotaurs understand the problems with inbreeding (due to it almost causing the collapse of their civilization millennia ago, leading to their seriously effective transformation magics) and have taken measures as a species to ensure that not too much inbreeding takes place, thus the creation of the bloodlines and their definitions. If you want to think of what happens if too much inbreeding takes place, then think of a combination of the problems with various cattle breeds and the Haspurgs/Romanovs and you get the idea for a low end. The name of these bloodlines is usually named after the first recorded couple with these quirks, either via mythology or history. In addition to this, it isn't uncommon for bloodlines to merge at some point, leading to bloodline revisions. At this time, there are seven major bloodlines:
  • Nubus-Xavia: In minotaur mythology, this is the bloodline from the head god and goddess of the minotaur pantheon and is where the average generally falls into. In some societies in southern Falmart, those of the Nubus-Xavia bloodline (and another that will be revealed later) are considered physical, mortal representations of their fertility deities, which annoys the minotaurs to no end but they understand where they're coming from given minotaurs being excellent farmers (only the Equestrians do better, largely due to the fact that they have things like making farming a science and understanding how magic interacts with crops). It should be noted that this bloodline has two distinct branches, one on Falmart and one on Equis.
  • Khatagar-Trihrah: Showing up about a millennia ago, this bloodline tends to be akin to taller humans, as their average height tends to be around 2.2 meters (or ~86 inches). Their muscles are deceptive, as while they're lean they're still pretty powerful. Outside of that, they've got tufts of fur around the ankles (and occasionally, wrists) that make them distinct.
  • Dovahkiin-Jintana: Showing up roughly seven and a half centuries ago, this is a rather unique pairing between a magically gifted Dragnewt male and a magically gifted minotaur female. They're the most powerful major bloodline in terms of magical or physical power and tend to be similar in height to those of the Khatagar-Trihrah bloodline. They're also known to be incredibly inquisitive, trying to see how things worked and trying to replicate them. They're also known for their immense horns, which can be used as a magical conduit, allowing them to be fully armed while using spells.
  • Cossus-Tenketh: The Kingdom of Mycenaea and what would become the Saldarian Empire came to blows several times over the centuries but it was during one of the extended lulls that one Cossus Servilius Forianus -assigned envoy of the Saldarian Senate to Mycenaea- fell in love with the Mycenaean noble Tenketh Steelwill. When word got back to the Senate about this, the various blocks went into an uproar about the event but for different reasons. Those who wanted to end the constant fighting between the small but capable kingdom wanted to use this to make peace and focus on other conflicts while another faction -mostly made up of the Roman equivalent of racist pricks, similar to people like Benjamin 'Pitchfork' Tillman being racist pricks in the late 1800s/early 1900s- wanted to execute Cossus for treason. Fortunately for everyone involved, the pragmatic faction prevailed. The two got married and began the bloodline that would be their namesake. Noted differences of this bloodline to the others is that they're towards human height (so, ~1.682m/~66 inches), look more human, and are noted to be more maneuverable (due to less mass), and have more human-like stamina.
  • Ytarr-Gerasira/Arezius-Yhena: It shouldn't be a surprise that like their Greco-Roman contemporaries, the Saldarian gods aren't above being intimate with mortals. Fortunately for everyone involved, this is between two of the friendlier gods in that pantheon. Considered the third oldest recorded bloodline, the Ytarr-Gerasira/Arezius-Yhena bloodline is what happens when you get lots of descendants from the union between fertility gods and mortals. This bloodline is partially why the minotaurs are considered mortal embodiments of various fertility gods in southern Falmart. While only slightly larger than average (instead of the average ~1.828m/~72 inches, they're 2m/~78 inches on average), they're known to be amazing family people, have longer lifespans (that is, unless a particularly nasty disease, starvation, or something kills them), and have -on average- larger families. In addition to that, this union has given them some magical abilities that are beyond the ability of magic-users like mages. The only reason that this bloodline hasn't folded into another yet is due to just how large it was at its peak.
  • Asterion-Mohdea: An offshoot of the Nubus-Xavia bloodline and primarily seen on Equis and also known as the 'Royal Bloodline', they're some of the largest (average being 2.5m/~94) and thus considered the giants of minotaurs outside of the next bloodline. They're the strongest natural bloodline in terms of physical ability, but those with magical capabilities are rare. While they lean more heavily towards cow in terms of looks (a 65/45 on the 100/100 anthropomorphic scale), they're not mostly cow-like the next bloodline.
  • The Cursed/The Malicious: The general term for those who are been transformed (via outright malicious -i.e. 'evil for evil's sake'/'getting one's rocks off of the suffering' and thus very illegal- magical means), cursed by gods (usually for either breaking certain rules that even the gods don't break), and/or victims of intense inbreeding. Due to how hard it is to track those of this bloodline, most of the information about them is spotty at best. However, they're known to average 4 meters/~157 inches tall, are more akin to the mythical minotaur (partially due to their transformation, partially due to just how inbred they are), are the most powerful of minotaur kind in terms of physical strength, and have a smorgasbord of health issues. It should be noted those that who are transformed into minotaurs without maliciousness isn't part of this bloodline but are generally part of other bloodlines (if not different enough to start their own). They're known to be insanely durable despite their biological nature, giving indications that the transformative curses and vile magics have durability-enhancing properties.
As a society, the minotaurs are very family-oriented but not debilitatingly so. Minotaurs families tend to be what we consider 'extended families' -which they call herds- and consist of -at the minimum- 1 elder parent pair (depending on the circumstances, this might be simply what we call grandparents but it isn't rare to have great grandparents at the head) and roughly 2-3 generations of kids and their parents (again, depending on the circumstances) while each immediate family (which they didn't even have a name for until they met with the Saldarians, leading to the Saldarian term for immediate family -once translated into minotaur- to be a loan-word) generally consists of two parents, 8 biological children, and 6 adopted children. To give you an idea, the average Saldarian family consists of 2 parents, 6 biological children, and up to 4 adopted children. In addition to this, they are aggressive in protecting children, enough to have the species get into constant trouble within Saldarian lands. This quirk also makes them one of the top picks (outside of direct family) for godparents within the Empire, that is if the family in question isn't a bunch of racist pricks. Several emperors and empresses of the Empire had minotaurs as godparents and are considered some of the best emperors/empresses that the Empire had, and the Elector House of Formal has a minotaur on retainer as a godparent for their heir, taking over the duties whenever Pina isn't in Italica.

Minotaurs are also incredibly serious about education, as in even more serious than the Saldarians. Minotaur schools are a surprisingly modern sight in Falmart in terms of structure, even if it is with their own twist. The minotaurs consider mental and physical learning to be of equal value, partially due to their physiology. Their version of gym/physical education isn't just about how to properly exercise either, but also how to control their immense strength. Their 'mental' education includes things like math, various sciences (especially those related to metalworking, farming, potion-making, and the like), and history. Most students would go to trade schools like advanced farming, metalworking (something that even the dwarves considered 'pretty damn good' and they're stingy on the metalworking praise), and potion making, others would end their education to help out with numerous jobs, and there are the few who decide to become part of the military. While the minotaurs on Equis don't have much in terms of a standing army (as most of their neighbors are long allies of the minotaurs there), the Mycenaean branch has a small (compared to the Saldarian legions) but highly effective professional army. However, the Mycenaean Army is geared towards defense than offense. This is largely due to the fact that the Kingdom of Mycenaea is currently a vassal (of the 'at swordpoint' sort) to the Saldarian Empire and the restrictions thereof. Still, everyone fears this army when they're out to march due to a combination of their weapons and natural durability.

Now for the paranormal organizations on Iron Pact!Earth... prepare for SCP (and other) shoutouts and unfortunate consequences...

Now, you might have noticed that what led to the Great War of Resistance has a lot of 'alien space bat' moments, particularly on the side of the British and French. This is due to the fact that a 'Celestial' -aka a sentient being with god-tier abilities- decided to break Da Rules and interfere with mortal affairs due to wanting to revive his master. To give you an idea of how bad this master is, he's called The Mad God by pretty much everyone and if he won against the others, well it makes Starcraft's Amon look like a good guy (and to be frank, Starcraft's Amon is basically a watered-down version, at least on the Iron Pact side). The other Celestials -pretty much all of whom fought against The Mad God during the aptly named 'War in Heaven' back during the ancient/classical period- noticed this and went into 'oh shit' damage control mode and helped -indirectly- with stopping this horror show (and please note that the plans of this ally to The Mad God only started with Germany, his eventual plans was to use other nations as fuel for the ritual in time). Those in the British and French governments that didn't turn to this god's whims were given what is called 'Keepers' which made them into nothing more than puppets. The funny thing about these 'Keepers' is that they are able to be knocked out for a time via alcohol or various drugs, allowing them to undermine orders, get intelligence and information out to the underground, and write secret diaries to describe their torment.

To give an example, Winston Churchill was one of these poor individuals that got 'Keepered'. When his allies -and remember some of these people were people he knew for decades, and even he didn't know that they were working with this Celestial- showed him their plans, he kicked (almost violently I might add) them out of his home. When they returned, they gave him a keeper and, as they say, the rest was history. He used his heavy drinking as a way to stop the madness once he discovered that you can knock a keeper out for a while. Using his own drunkenness and assistants, he allowed the High Seas Fleet to sail out of Scapa Flow, made sure that everyone controlled by the celestial in the Grey Government was executed (either by various nation-states or by the Catholic Church of all groups as it was discovered during the 1970s), and did whatever he could to support the rebellion against the Grey Government.

While the 'Secret Diaries' would be modified to minimize the supernatural elements of the war (as the fact that something god-like managed to turn people into puppets isn't good for making governments work), various governments began to look into creating paranormal groups to investigate and contain the paranormal. After the war, an increase in paranormal incidents began to force the matter, leading to the creation of departments that weren't as well funded as they should be, leading to incidents that would cause these groups to create the tabloids to cover their screwups up.

In addition to this, during the post-war years, certain paranormal objects (such as the object now known as 'Judge Mary', which future Director of the Federal Police Himmler would encounter in his time in jail for torturing a bunch of murderous occultists) caused all sorts of trouble (both in the good kind and the bad kind), leading to the various organizations going for containment of such objects upon discovery.

The first nation that had an effective paranormal organization, surprisingly enough, was the United States in the mid-1930s with the FBI department known as the 'Unexplained Incidents Department' or UID for short. Their agents would become nicknamed the Sherlocks (based on the famous Sherlock Holmes quote about the elimination of the possible meaning that the impossible must be possible) in rather short order and pioneered some criminal investigation techniques that are used to this day. During the directorship of J. Edgar Hoover, the UID transform from a simple detective unit into a powerful investigative force on par with some nation's intelligence services. The funny thing about the paranormal is that the vast majority of it doesn't want to 'rock the boat' too much, to begin with, leading to easy containment of the paranormal. While the UID would become the golden standard for paranormal police organizations for decades and would lead to numerous reorganizations abroad, which hardened various groups against political maneuvering like the USSR's Division P and India's Department Shiva (both of whom consider containing and preparing for the paranormal to be a bigger priority than politics, although they're no slouches in that department either).

By the 1960s, a new player came into the paranormal picture: Wolfenstein. Germany, due to its US-like nature, had several paranormal organizations within its borders, with the most competent organization being (translated) the Department of Paranormal Activities within the National Police (or as some Germans called it 'the Department of Sane Occultists'). With certain incidents during World War 2, this would lead to a unification of these organizations into a single, powerful one under the guise of a DARPA-style bureau of the government, which fit its style given that its various precursor organizations were ahead in making technology to contain and/or neutralize paranormal activity (especially Psi-Memories). It should be noted that a lot of the advanced metallurgy that the setting is known for came from Wolfenstein (and other paranormal organizations) as part of their research into containment vessels for various paranormal objects (or, in the case where destroying a psi-memory is worse than leaving it in a containment unit, an additional layer of containment). This led to a revolution in containing hostile paranormals, allowing them to be either neutralized at a proper facility -or, after the Celestial Council revealed itself to these organizations, transferred to their care for disposal- or put into extremely secure vaults. To give you an idea of how secure these vaults are, they make the most secure gold bullion reserves look like a cakewalk.

The reason why for such high security is due to some of the things that these vaults contain, specifically what are called 'A-Class' (or Armageddon Class) objects and the reason for the paranoia. As with all things, there are paranormal groups that want to bring about armageddon, and these objects are secured to prevent that from happening. Many of them are actually fragments from the War in Haven, tainting mortal objects with their energies. Others are locations of what is known as 'the Doors of the Apocalypse' which is a series of paranormal gates that, when forced open, initiate armageddon. Then there are the pawns, usually what is termed 'godlings' (be demigods, new gods, among other beings with god-like powers that aren't completely Celestial tier) forced to cause some sort of apocalypse. A good portion of these pawns has the 'instigators of the apocalypse' removed and would, after lots of therapy, would lead to somewhat normal lives. Some of these had to be killed, usually due to them being corrupted by their 'instigator' and acting more like rabid dogs. Then there are those that are held before being sent to Hade's (who is, surprisingly enough, not that bad of a guy) special jail cells in his domain, created to contain Celestials who have either gone mad or must undergo prison time for breaking lesser rules.

Given the lengths that some of these groups are willing to go to kickstart armageddon, everything is treated as serious and with a lot of paranoia...
 
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ATP

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I think,that there should be a lot of rich dudes who band together to get control over world,or at least over part of it,and belive that they could use those artifacts without ending world.

And some states,too.I read about Hitler germany,and apparently all NSDAP was most or less into occult things.Even many bolshevik,before Stalin purged them.Fun thing - both Himmler and some purged soviet dude searched for Agartha.

So,at least one state with right attitude could try that.

P.S maybe you could included Agartha in your second Earth? Himmler really benived,that he would find help there.And Hitler belived not only that it exist,but even claimed that he meet envoy from that place.
And since it was not nice place,but ruled by demons,it could made your second Earth more interesting.
 

Aaron Fox

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I think,that there should be a lot of rich dudes who band together to get control over world,or at least over part of it,and belive that they could use those artifacts without ending world.
As I said elsewhere, the sort of people who would do that tend to be of the sort of narcissism and sociopathic/psychopathic that will become part of 'cause the Apocolypse'. Those that don't do that are rare as heck, and they generally have quirks that include stubbornly adhere to their principles and not throw them away at the first sign of trouble as well as keeping their word.
And some states,too.I read about Hitler germany,and apparently all NSDAP was most or less into occult things.Even many bolshevik,before Stalin purged them.Fun thing - both Himmler and some purged soviet dude searched for Agartha.
From my look into it, much of the leadership of the NSDAP had -at least- looked into the occult, with a good portion of the top leadership being occultists. The odd thing about the Bolsheviks though is that sort of thing didn't come up in my (limited) research. I'll have to verify that.
So,at least one state with right attitude could try that.
The funny thing about this sort of thing, most nations get told of what could happen and 99.999999% of the time they act like what happens when a nation's leadership detonates its own nukes when it comes to nuclear weapons (i.e. literally shut up about using them). That 0.000001% of leaders? They tend to end up either catching a case of the deads or given a nice, padded cell...
P.S maybe you could included Agartha in your second Earth? Himmler really benived,that he would find help there.And Hitler belived not only that it exist,but even claimed that he meet envoy from that place.
And since it was not nice place,but ruled by demons,it could made your second Earth more interesting.
Not really... although you can say that the 'paranormal' side of the setting can be considered Agartha if you really squint at it.
 
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Chapter 7: Beginnings of Motions

Aaron Fox

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Chapter 7: Beginnings of Motions
Fort Portal, Medical Center (High Security); October 3rd, 2017

Chrysalis felt groggy as she woke up from her hibernation and saw that she had been moved into a vastly more advanced version of an Equestrian infirmary… which had creeped her out a little. Equestrian infirmaries and hospitals were well known for being some of the most advanced and capable of Equis, to the point that practically everyone else effectively copied them wholesale. Yet this infirmary mocked their Equestrian counterparts in terms of comfort and cleanliness…

“Ah, she’s finally recovering,” a male voice speaking Saldarian -with an incredibly thick alien accent- commented, “Looks like the Emotion Solution is working better than expected. Ivanova, alert the medical staff.” Another voice -this one female- spoke in an unknown language and from what she could hear was running out of the room.

“… how am I alive?” Chrysalis wondered aloud, “I should be dead…” That was when her vision cleared and a man in a dark grey dress uniform stood in front of her bed.

“Well, it isn’t the first time we had to work with beings who feed mostly off emotions,” the male said, “Operative Smalls, lead of the Wolfenstein team assigned to Fort Portal on the Holy Hill of Remus. From what we can understand, you were on the verge of death when we found you.” Chrysalis simply stared at ‘Operative Smalls’, trying to find the male’s angle. “Don’t worry, you’re not in trouble. After you get cleared by the doctors my kamarad and I will be asking a few questions for a temple that was literally two hundred meters from where you collapsed.” That was when Chrysalis heard a bunch of beings walking into the room.

“Well, well, our VIP is finally awake,” a female voice said, “Went through eight weeks of emotion fluid to do it but you’re alive.” Chrysalis saw the source of the female voice; it was a female garbed in what clearly looked similar to a nurse’s garb in Equestria… just with teal instead of white. “Move aside Operative, I’ve got to make sure that we didn’t miss anything.” With that, the male simply stepped aside as the female did various quick exams.

“… wait, emotion fluid? You’ve encountered changelings on your world then?” Chrysalis asked as she was being fussed over.

“Our world has an… interesting… relationship with the paranormal,” the male voice -Operative Smalls Chrysalis reminded herself- said, “… and it is the duty of my organization to keep an eye on such things.” That… didn’t fill Chrysalis with any confidence that this would end well. “Given that the few Equestrians that are still here have given some… interesting… details about your wrongdoings, we’ve discovered a variable that changes the entire equation.” Chrysalis, at this moment, was filled with both hope and dread, as these humans have discovered the very thing that has been slowly corrupting and killing the Changeling race. What they would do with it is left to luck to decide.

“She’ll need a more thorough examination, but she’s fit for questioning,” the female nurse stated, “Just don’t stress her too much.” And with that, she left.

“Understood,” Operative Smalls replied, “Ah, Operative Ivanova, glad for you to join us.” The new woman -Operative Ivanova- dryly chuckled. “Get the recording equipment prepped and we’ll start the questioning.” Chrysalis looked at the equipment with unease, as they were far different than anything that she had encountered.

… and she encountered quite a few horrible things in her life.

“… what are you going to ask?” Chrysalis asked meekly before narrowing her eyes, “I will not allow you to hurt my hive despite the fact that they’ve overthrown me.” The two humans simply chuckled dryly.

“It isn’t anything of that nature we can promise you,” the female -Ivanova Chrysalis reminded herself- stated, “It is mostly about how you got to this continent, why you were trying to get into a Black 12-C, and why we’re detecting an active S-Class Degenerator on you…”

Chrysalis looked at the two humans in disbelief, few beings on this planet and on the celestial plane know about the curse plaguing the changeling race, and fewer still knew of its effects and many of the later died trying to find a way to break it. These humans have detected the curse and its horrid effects and from the sound of things, they have an idea on how to break it.

“Surprised?” Ivanova asked, “It isn’t Wolfenstein’s first time dealing with what you have, although it is a rare occurrence.” Chrysalis was shocked, it was like she was… “Reading your mind? I’m an empath, I can sense emotions and surface thoughts. I would recommend trying to tone your thoughts down though, your kind of loud with your thoughts. They’re loud enough that I wasn’t even trying to read your thoughts and I’m getting the equivalent of having someone yell right in my ear…”

“Um… sorry…” Chrysalis answered in embarrassment, “it’s been quite a few months since I’ve been overthrown by my own hive... I might be… rusty… with my mind-link abilities.” Chrysalis was practically blushing in embarrassment.

“Given all our research indicates that psychic abilities are like muscles,” Ivanova stated, “stop using them and they’ll decline rather quickly. It isn’t the first time a psychic forgot to regulate their mental volume…” Chrysalis chuckled at that. “Now, let us begin with the questioning. How did you get onto Falmart?”

… and with that, Chrysalis started answering questions to the best of her ability…

In Canterlot Airspace, Vaterland IV, LZ-420; October 5th, 2017

The crew of the Vaterland IV was barely able to keep to their stations as they neared the capital of the Kingdom of Equestria, as the sight of the city of Canterlot is simply awe-inspiring.

“Alright, we’re getting close to the Canterlot Terminal,” the pegasus stated as the Vaterland IV closed in, “If you could slow down that would be perfect.” The pegasus -one Haus Wing- is the lead station pilot for the Canterlot Airship Terminal.

“Aye sir,” Kaptain Abraham Einhorn stated as he set the engine teleprompter to 1/10 speed, “Docking speed aye. All stations, brace for landing procedures.” The teleprompter dinged as the smaller arrow landed on 1/10 speed, slowing the airship to about 5 knots.

“Take her in easy,” Haus Wing ordered, “We don’t want any of the cells to rupture.” Abraham mentally jotted that piece of information down, apparently, Equestrians understand the perils of using hydrogen as a lift gas (although, in the grand scheme of things, using helium as a lift gas wasn’t going to work as there was simply not enough helium to make it viable) and that landing an airship needs to be taken carefully.

“Standard landing procedure aye,” the helmsman responded as she guided the Vaterland IV to the landing area, “Glideslope plotted, engaging now.” With that, the Vaterland IV slowly glided in by the sophisticated computer and the escorting pegasi. From the look of things, much of the astounding city that is Canterlot was out watching the Vaterland IV slowly enter the aerodrome.

It took a better part of half an hour to complete, but everything had run like clockwork. Einhorn was actually surprised at the speed and ability of the Equestrian aerodrome crew despite the fact that what few airships had seen could compare to the Vaterland IV, the crews were doing it like it was a common occurrence.

“Ground teams have the Vaterland IV anchored Kaptain,” Abraham’s XO stated, “we're ready to disembark.”

“Well, then,” Abraham stated with a smile, “Let’s not keep the locals waiting. Tell the crew to prepare for storage and maintenance procedures. The Equestrians probably haven’t dealt with a zeppelin, we better help them before something happens.”

“Jawohl!” Abraham’s XO answered as he picked up the mic, “Attention all crew, standard storage and maintenance procedures are now in effect…” Abraham smoothly exited the command gondola and moved towards the main entryway inside the airship.

“Is everything prepared?” Abraham asked the Chief of Security as he walked towards the exit.

“Everything is prepared sir,” the Chief of Security answered, “We’ll just need the formality to take care of.” The formality of question is the equivalent of requesting to come ashore. Not doing so at this juncture would be horrible manners, especially since it’s the capital of the Kingdom of Equestria that they’re landing next to.

“Alright then, tell the passengers that they’ll be disembarking shortly,” Abraham ordered. Abraham then turned around and walked down the steps.

“Ah, welcome Captain,” the tall white anthro-alicorn -Princess Celestia, Abraham reminded himself- said in a regal but calming tone, “Welcome to Equestria and thank you for getting those that were taken from us home.”

“It is a pleasure ma’am,” Abraham responded, “Permission to come ashore?” Celestia and the slightly shorter anthro-alicorn -Princess Luna, Abraham reminded himself- raised one of their eyebrows. “It is a courtesy ma’am. We have landed at your capital after all.” Celestia and Luna quickly made faces of realization and smiled.

“Well of course!” Luna answered, “Someone who is willing to travel thousands of miles to return our lost subjects has our permission!” Abraham quickly signaled his crew to start getting the passengers off the Vaterland IV and help the Equestrian land crews on getting the zeppelin into the nearby hanger. “It is with great joy that I meet with people of your intentions.”

“… and it is our honor to see someone that is willing to help our citizens despite the circumstances Princess Celestia and Princess Luna,” a new voice came as he walked down the stairs, it was Prince Adolf who had been assigned to the mission, “Prince Adolf, son of her highness Kaiserin Sophia of the German Empire and assigned ambassador to the Kingdom of Equestria. It is a pleasure to make a personal acquaintance ma’am.” Sophia has five kids, all of them doing something with their lives. In the case of Prince Adolf, it was being a diplomat… which is something that he was surprisingly decent at. “I must admit, your citizens were amazingly adaptive in getting our zeppelin into the aerodrome. I must commend on their efforts and adaptability.”

“The head of the aerodrome, Ulysses Steelwill, will be elated to hear it,” Princess Celestia responded with a smile, “Let us head to the castle, you must be famished from your trip!” Cooking on airships is infamously strict, given that helium isn’t as cost-effective as one would like…

“We had a spot of turbulence as we entered the Canter Mountain Range, so we had to skip lunch,” Adolf explained, “it would be an honor to have lunch with you even if we had it a little earlier.” Celestia and Luna smiled.

Elsewhere, Somewhere in Falmart

It had been so many years since that bitch enslaved me. Enslaved again, to be without freedom after regaining it after so long… it is infuriating. Now I can no longer visit Jasmine and Victor’s descendants, no longer have pleasant conversations and give out the sort of life advise that transcends time itself…

It was thanks to those two that I’ve been free of that curse. Actually, truly free… at least until some idiots decide to resurrect me just so they can unleash hell on humanity. If I had the various coinage and currencies for every single fucking time I get shanghaied into that sort of shit, I’ll be beyond filthy rich!

The only reason that I’ve stayed sane is because of the hope that I would see the family again!

… and now I sense my salvation! It has been a very long time since I’ve sensed one of them! Centuries even!

… and if I remember right it was Jasmine and Victor’s great-grandson that had that ability. Yet to have someone with that ability with such intensity is a rare sight to behold! My old friend Wilhelm would be absolutely giddy with excitement that he would be able to teach someone all of his knowledge if he was still alive!

I wonder how my son is doing, haven’t heard from him in a long while… but then again last I’ve heard of him was that he was hunting a bunch of crazies that called themselves the ‘Werewolf Battalion’…

… hm, how to get a message out with that bitch watching?

My underlings are out, that bitch has them under the same lock and key as myself; my message magic is out, the bitch has put restrictions on my magic; I can’t use my more various ravens, owls, and phoenixes… because of that bitch

That was when I spotted my divisional command radio set that was given to me by Jasmine and Victor’s descendants after they defeated the leader of the ‘Werewolf Battalion’. That might just work given how arrogant the bitch was. I had given it a few modifications over the years, then add to the fact that my castle’s metaphysical and physical location is close to the Holy Hills… I can easily send messages there to ensure I get free again.

Now… the message is going to be the tricky part and given the various notes on encryption and that the bitch doesn’t have the pesky language barrier problem, so it will have to be an encryption scheme that they would know and the only notes would be in my head… that limits my options (and that saying something, given my centuries of unlife)…

That was when an idea popped into my head.

“Lightbulb…”

Imperial City of Antioch Nova, 150km north of Alnus Province; October 3rd, 6729

Legate Hostus Murrius Niraemius frowned at the situation that he is now in. Those ‘Men in Green’ have kept cutting through the Empire’s forces like a scythe through wheat, and they have now set their sights on Antioch Nova.

Antioch Nova is a fortress city situated on the Arauris Nova River, one of the cornerstones of the entire network of rivers and canals that made up a significant part of the Empire’s infrastructure alongside its immense highways. Due to this, Antioch Nova became rich with trade, making the city like Italica in terms of wealth.

… but now Niraemius had received word from his scouts that the ‘Men in Green’ were coming here...

If they take the city, then they can make things incredibly problematic for the Empire, as they can put a dagger to one of the major arteries of the Empire… and the problems that would cause would put the Empire in jeopardy.

In preparation for a siege, Niraemius had ordered the citizens and slaves to the city’s immense citadel while his most experienced cohorts manned the city’s walls with local levies. It was risky but he had very few options given the strategic importance of the city. He had to hold, lest the ‘Men in Green’ get a direct route to several key cities including the fortress city of Heliopolis Nova which is important due to the city being one end of the largest pass in the Alnus Mountain Range.

If both fall, then the ‘Men in Green’ effectively own much of the western half of the Empire, practically gutting it in manpower and resources. A position that would make the Empire incredibly vulnerable. The other passes aren’t even remotely wide and sturdy enough to get legions through, making it impossible for legions to get in and out of the front. With the only options being essentially getting forces through piecemeal… that is only asking to be defeated in detail.

Given the situation, Niraemius had ordered earthworks to be created across the planned battlefield, given that they utilized incredibly powerful explosive spells as their primary weapon and the fact that earthworks have always been the best counter to said spells. If Niraemius could force the Men in Green to get into close quarters, then his men will have the advantage.

… but that relied on several assumptions. Assumptions that might not work.

Yet… it was all that he had now as Antioch Nova is too vital to not defend.

“Legate Niraemius, the enemy has been sighted several mille passus away from the first layer of earthworks and approaching at a pace that we haven’t seen before,” the messenger from the scout cohort stated, “A third of the scout cohort had been annihilated in getting this information to you and to the cohorts…” Niraemius silently swore his luck, while the legions have always used various calls for maneuvers and strategies, the use of dragon-riding scouts made this useless for them and them alone. While initially used as essentially flying cavalry, the dragon rider cohorts were retooled as another addition to the legions and due to their immense range and speed required some of their number to be messengers. To lose a third of the dragon rider cohort is an immense blow to the battle strength of the legion here… battle strength that will be needed in the coming battle.

“Understood, send a message to the cohort to stay back, I want the cohort ready to strike in the enemy’s rear when the time comes,” Niraemius ordered, “They must have a massive supply train if they are moving this quickly. A supply train that we will exploit.” The legions’ main strategy has always been to find and eliminate the enemy’s supply train, not only because it was full of valuable loot, but it also made it impossible for the enemy to keep on the field. To keep a strategic tempo like this would require a massive supply train. Hopefully, the ‘Men in Green’ would surrender quickly as they run out of food and material…

That was when Niraemius heard a titanic explosion in the distance. Quickly getting his looking glass, Niraemius looked into the distance and saw that the ‘Men in Green’ had already started attacking the earthworks and had already inflicted immense casualties. What little he could see was horrific, bodies and body parts were strewn around the point of the explosion and the explosion itself left a giant crater in a portion of the earthworks.

Niraemius cursed his luck, the ‘Men in Green’ have far more powerful explosion magic than thought possible, making the walls of the city and the earthworks his legion made absolutely useless. Thankfully, the cohorts at the forward earthworks had already started on the standard countermeasures, using the bronze barrels with obscuras agent -an alchemical agent designed to create thick clouds of white smoke, thick enough to make it impossible for a chase- as they went through the retreat channels of the earthworks.

“… by Hardy…” the messenger exclaimed in awe, trying to rationalize what was happening, “… what is your message to Heliopolis Nova?”

Niraemius simply frowned at the situation as he watched as the scene unfolded, trying to analyze the ‘Men in Green’ and their abilities. “If they continue as they are,” Niraemius answered, “All I can say is that once they are sighted, surrender is the only real option.”

“… that is…” the messenger said in surprise.

“Impossible?” Niraemius finished, “I’ve been leading the Empire’s legions for almost thirty years as a Legate and what I’ve seen has changed my perception of impossible. The Men in Green are meticulous, though, and efficient… yet have been almost perfect gentlemen.” Niraemius simply looked onward for a moment, collecting himself. “Given the strength of the enemy’s weapons and their willingness to use them, the situation is likely to be untenable. Now go to Heliopolis Nova before they are able to take you down.” The messenger simply nodded and left, leaving Niraemius alone to survey the battlefield.

Looking through his eyeglass, he saw that the ‘Men in Green’ had finally shown themselves going into the first layer of earthworks, their legionaries scouring through them to ensure that they wouldn’t be attacked from behind. This would give his other cohorts time… time to redeploy and for the dragon cohort to strike at the enemy’s rear.

That was when Niraemius saw that the entire sky was filled with goldenrod colored projectiles, ripping into the dragon cohort like a hungry Great Dragon. This is incredibly problematic, as it appeared that the Men in Green weren’t idiots and left their supply train unescorted and that ended any hope of getting an advantage in this fight.

Just as Niraemius was going to give new orders, his life was quickly ended…

Italica, Italica Province – 200km from Alnus Province; October 3rd, 6729

Piña was right to move to Italica, as several important keystones of the Empire’s transportation network were focused on several cities in the region, and the message she received from a dragon messenger was troubling: Antioch Nova had fallen and Legate Hostus Murrius Niraemius had been killed without seeing his killer without the usual carnage that ensued. Pina knew Niraemius, and quite well as he was one of the legates that would tutor her in the ways of war when he wasn’t off on campaign.

… and now the Empire lost one of its most prominent legates alongside one of its key junctions.

Then there were the reports of increased banditry that have been slowly getting closer and closer to Italica itself. The current lady -and her immediate regent- of Italica had already started working on setting up for a siege.

Then there were the reports of a Great Fire Dragon feeding across the countryside, a problem that is incredibly problematic at the best of times, let alone being on top of a rising banditry problem and an invasion from the Men in Green!

“My lady,” Hamilton stated as she came into the war room of the keep, “We’ve just gotten more reports from all around the province.” Hamilton simply handed Piña more reports. “It actually looks good for once. From what I’ve read, the Men in Green are slowing down…”

“… but that is only because they’re allowing their engineers to rework the highways and build their own infrastructure,” Piña frowned, “Once they start up again, they’ll likely be fully supplied again. That would be the problem. Given how effective their weapons are, they’ll probably be doing that work at such a speed that we might be just standing still.” Hamilton sighed in disbelief, understanding Piña’s assumptions and worries. “Why does this have to be so hard…”

“Piña,” Hamilton replied, shaking Piña out of her stress-induced daze, “You’re pushing yourself too hard, the Knights can’t function if their leader is a tattered mess due to all the stress that she’s putting herself under.” Piña simply smiled at Hamilton, thanking Emoly for her level-headedness and willingness to take action when Piña is basically destroying herself. “Just take the rest of the day off and I’ll make sure we’ve got everything ready for tomorrow. If something were to happen now, we’ll be practically leaderless.”

“… I…” Piña started before rethinking about what she was about to say, “… I’m screwing everyone here over if I continue to act like this.” Hamilton sighed in relief, as Piña wasn’t going to be stubborn as a mule again. “The Order and Italica need me to be as fit as possible for the days ahead… and I can’t do that running myself to death’s door.” Hamilton smiled as two of the praetorian guard escorted her to her temporary quarters.

“Now, let’s get this over with,” Hamilton muttered to herself as she took a look at the reports and the map before her…

Alnus Town, near Fort Gate; October 4th, 2017

“So, who are you guys again?” Itami asked the two black-grey suited officers as they walked with Itami through the recently founded ‘Alnus Town’. Itami couldn’t believe that the Iron Pact had sent contractors that can not only build houses in the old style, but also build them to the modern standard, something that Itami thought was incredibly hard to do.

“We’re part of Wolfenstein, Herr Itami,” one of the black-grey suited officers -Itami remembered his name being Agent Kallus- reminded Itami, “given all the possible paranormal activity, we’ve been dispatched here to Falmart to keep things from… getting out of control.” Itami and the MP that was with him raised an eyebrow at that statement. “While it is common knowledge back home that often-remembered legends and myths have a kernel of truth to them, it isn’t known which ones have more truth to them and how to contain them. It didn’t help that psi-memories started popping up after our World War 2.”

“So… you go around like a bunch of paranormal investigators?” Itami question-answered in a polite/cautious tone. Kallus simply nodded yes in response.

“More or less and that also means that you sometimes get paranormal activity that… doesn’t… want to cooperate,” Kallus expanded, “Then again, some of the shit that Hauptmann Neumann went through while working with our organization even makes us cringe. Just don’t ask about Amarillo. Just don’t. From what I know about that, I understand why he has what your American allies call “Nam Flashbacks”.”

“Kallus, we’ve got something on the psi-scope,” the other Wolfenstein officer stated, “Might be an afterimage but…”

“With how many beings are flooding into Alnus and Remis Town, we can’t be too careful given the confirmation of Celestials willing to pull their weight around in Falmart,” Kallus commented, “Well Itami, it looks like you’re getting a front row seat to our usual ‘meet and greet’ work.” The group politely made their way to the disturbance, which was turned out to be a priestess. “Ma’am, I’m Agent Kallus and this is Agent Walker, we’ve noticed that you were carrying a paranormal disturbance with you.” The otter-woman’s eyes widened significantly in surprise. “All we need right now is a declaration of the disturbance and reveal the disturbance for analysis to ensure that it won’t hurt others.”

“Oh, I’m sorry, the memo must have gotten lost then,” the priestess stammered, “I’ve got the papers that Agent Williams gave me before he and his men allowed me on the train.” She quickly dug out a small booklet and gave the papers to Kallus.

“Hm,” Kallus stated as he did a quick scan, “everything is in order. Sorry about that, we had to be sure. We’ve already gotten some beings that had some interesting predicaments that got pass quarantine. We’re sorry if we’ve kept you.” The otter-woman simply smiled as she received the booklet.

“If it wouldn’t be a bother,” the otter-woman asked politely, “can you help me get to the local temple complex? I’m still new here and…”

“… you’re still trying to get used to the place, we understand,” Kallus nodded understandingly, “Agent Walker, can you escort this lady to the religious district? We’ll be hitting the bar in a little bit so meet us there.”

“Yes sir,” Walker answered before turning to the priestess, “This way ma’am.” With that, the two left towards the north-east portion of the city.

“Well, that was interesting,” Itami nervously stated, “do all ‘meet and greets’ end up like that?” Kallus understood Itami’s question, given that paranormal work is kind of put on the ‘down low’ in terms of publicity.

“For the most part, yes,” Kallus answered, “You’ve got to understand, apparently our Earth is something of a paranormal refugee camp, much like this planet if what we’ve gotten from a few interviews are to be believed.” Itami tilted his head a little. “Basically, most of the paranormal that isn’t part of our Earth came from elsewhere in various bids to escape some sort of cataclysm or another. Most of those refugees don’t want to rock the boat so they kept their distance. Those that do try to rock the boat are kept from causing problems by everyone else.”

“That’s… interesting,” Itami commented, “all of our ‘paranormal’ is fairy tales and fiction. All fake.” That was when Kallus chuckled.

“Well, that has several condonations,” Kallus explained while chuckling, “something that has to be researched to give any specifics on. Hopefully we can at least get teams to shift through the myths of your Earth to get a preliminary answer.” Itami was a bit dumbfounded at this sort of reaction. “Alright, we’ll be heading off to lunch.”

With that, everyone went off to lunch at one of the recently opened bar and grill that opened in town.

Bert, Tetsui, and Hans International Bar and Grill – Alnus Town; a few minutes later

The immense floor that was the bar and grill was packed with patrons and the air was filled with the smells of barbecue, alcohol, and food. It was… peculiar… to Itami that the establishment fit so well into the medieval style structure, and to see it so lively was a bit surprising.

“Ah, Kallus!” one of the waiters exclaimed as the small group, “I see you’ve been assigned to Alnus town!” That was when Kallus’s eyes widened in surprise.

“Samantha,” Kallus exclaimed as he jogged towards the waiter and hugged her, “how did you get authorization to get to Falmart?” The waitress -Samantha, Itami reminded himself- returned the favor and hugged Kallus back.

“Eh, you know, the usual,” Samantha answered with a smile, “being a former Hauptmann does have its perks. With the company following the soldiers to Falmart, they chose me to help get things running.” Samantha quickly escorted us to a table, handing out the paper-thin tablets that served as menus. “Anything to drink before you make your order?”

Itami took a quick look at the drink section of the menu and was intrigued at the wide assortment of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages… and then sighted that a statement that the establishment also had an entertainment center. Itami quickly filed it in the back of his brain as he continued to look at the beverages…

_________________

Working at a Men in Green establishment was far different than what I was used to. Most non-humans in the empire tended to be relegated to work that is barely above slave work, but the Men in Green -from either Gate- are vastly different in that regard. If you have the talent and experience, you could get the job.

Being a wood elf, being a head chief was something that I never expected to become. Sure, I had to do some training to get the job, but once I got a handle on how the Men in Green handle things, I thrived. Right now, I’m on my lunch break and had decided to go into what the Men in Green termed ‘the game room’.

What I saw there was… well… beyond words.

The entire room was filled with various machines designed to provide entertainment to a wide variety of patrons. The games inside weren’t any sort of gambling -which was rather common in Imperial encampments- or at least what I was used to. Various ‘TVs’ and ‘entertainment consoles’ lined the far wall while the other was lined with various games that I never saw before. The center was filled with various table games that I’ve never seen before, some of which had ethereal images instead of figures.

It was a lot to take in, I had to admit.

I simply wandered around, trying to pick what I would try first. That was when I heard something unusual, leading me to one of the ‘entertainment consoles’. A bunch of Men in Green from Alnus Hill were playing a game from Remus Hill and are completely entranced by it.

“Welcome to Cologne kamaraden, for you are about to begin the greatest moment of your life. The Jacobins have lost hundreds of tanks and planes while Smith’s brutalized hordes are climbing over mountains of their own dead bodies.

The Kaiser, our glorious fatherland, have given us the task to ensure that the enemy doesn’t reach the Rhine and defend the city of Cologne!”


I heard explosions in the background as images of fountains of water rose, the sounds of machines and weapons I could never imagine simply drowned the scene.

“Forward towards the unrelenting battle kamaraden! For Cologne, for the Fatherland, not one step back!

The scene was horrifying to my eyes, an entire city -bigger than Saldera itself- burning. Numerous boats and barges floated across the massive river, escorted by armed boats armed with weapons that I couldn’t recognize. One of the barges was ravaged by an explosion while several of the escorts were pummeled by what looked like outright magic.

“Do not count days, do not count kilometers, count only the number of revachists you have killed! Kill the revachists, this is your mother’s prayer! Kill the Jacobin, this is the cry of your German earth! Never let up kamaraden! Kill! Death to the revachist invader!”

That was when I heard numerous replies outright repeating the last sentence. It was simply chilling to my ears. That was when one of the waiters -who was also from the Gate on Remus Hill- saw me simply mesmerized by the scene playing in front of me.

“Ah, interested in the Siege of Cologne level from Cross of Iron: Finest Hour?” one of the Iron Pact legionaries asked.

“I, ah…” I scrambled back, trying to think of an answer, “maybe?” The legionary simply chuckled as he shook his head.

“You’re not the only one then,” the legionary answered, “we’ve got American and Japanese soldiers from this Gate practically scrambling over each other to learn more. I haven’t seen a computer room constantly filled in years. They’ve been causing the civ-net to start lagging.” Then the legionary smirked. “Still getting used to everything, right?”

I bowed my head. “Yes,” I answered meekly.

“You’re not the only one, everyone from the Empire has been having some problems adjusting to everything,” the legionary commented, “despite trying to not throw you into the deep end, we’re still doing it.” The legionary rubbed the back of his head.

“It is still better than what I was doing in the Empire,” I stated, “You’re going to get a lot of people in the towns just by the reputation of being fair…” The legionary simply nodded in agreement.

Fort Portal, Remus Hill; 22:00 Hours

The ‘Iron Pact’ is something that I’m still trying to understand, their reasons of existence, their politics, their goals…

… and understand the strangeness that is ‘Hauptmann’ Neumann.

This one man has kept defying what I know as logic. This man is different than anything I’ve ever encountered. Then there is this aura around him, making him even more of an enigma. Everyone in the castra has been incredibly tight lipped about Hauptmann Neumann. My -and the warrior bunnies that managed to smuggle themselves here- investigations kept hitting stone walls, a lot of this man’s career is locked behind the term ‘classified’. What little that the warrior bunnies and I could dig up show that he is an incredibly powerful shaman. Almost stupidly so. He is also an incredibly capable warrior, and either of these facts does not jive with his calm, simple, introverted demeanor. There is just something off about him. After we returned from ‘Berlin’, Rory had told me her fears. Few things got her afraid, and this man is one of the few that did.

So, what is the enigma that is ‘Hauptmann’ Neumann? Few things would get Rory all riled up, and fewer things on that list would make her afraid. If Rory is right and ‘Hauptmann’ Neumann is more than a shaman, then things are absolutely guaranteed to get complicated and fast. Shamans can talk to those who have not left without much penalty, but those that are shamans, but more are the sort to even take down gods. Not knock them out or lock them into a container, but genuinely kill gods. There has only been one of those since Rory started her trek to godhood, and that one individual left quite an impression on her.

That was when I felt that something happened. Something terrible. I quickly got out of my seat and went to ‘Hauptmann’ Neumann’s room and saw him in absolute agony. I quickly call upon my powers to see what is wrong and… what I saw was something that even gods considered unnatural. How in Hardy’s name did ‘Hauptmann’ Neumann get a reality shard bonded to him!?! I quickly racked my brain and frowned, it is bonded tight with his soul, so it would be tedious but doable. Thankfully, we Apostles have always kept a small cache of reality crystals on us just in case we find one of these damnable things. I quickly pull out one and prepared the ritual when someone came busting through the door.

It happened quickly, almost to the speeds of apostle-on-apostle combat. The unknown person quickly put a weapon to my head with the intent of using it while I quickly shifted myself to see the assailant. The man has a lanky and somewhat thin build, the lankiness betraying his well-earned muscles.

“Do anything and I’ll blow your fucking head off,” the man said in an incredibly interesting accent, “Slick and I go way back and if you caused him to have an event, they’ll be hell to pay.” I frowned at the implication, but with how much is not in the public record, ‘Hauptmann’ Neumann might have some particular enemies, enemies who would not be unwilling to force a reality shard to bond with someone’s soul and damn the consequences thereof.

“If you want to save your friend,” I flatly replied, “you better let go of me. Hauptmann Neumann has a reality shard bonding to his very soul. If that does not get removed before the process completes, he. Will. Die. He along with everyone within fifty mille when two realities clash with each other.” I narrowed my eyes at this man, his willingness to protect his friend is commendable, but is likely going to land him into trouble. “I and Rory, as Apostles, will survive. If you want the blood of your forces and those settling around your castra on your hands, continue to keep me from doing this.”

“Slick has been wrangling with what you call a reality shard for almost a decade and all of our attempts in removing it have failed,” the man answered, “he has to take special drugs to keep it at bay. So, what are you going to do to Slick?”

“I was about to undertake a ritual to remove the reality shard,” I answered, “first, I must drag the afflicted consciousness from the shard itself, after which I start in the extraction. The extraction will take all my power as an apostle and take a considerable effort, given how closely bonded the shard is to ‘Hauptmann’ Neumann’s soul. Once I have removed the reality shard, I will put it into this crystal sphere. It is made from Elysium Quartz, and it is used for a handful of purposes including the storing of reality shards.” The man simply frowned.

“Is it possible that I could go with you?” the man asked, “Given that I know this ‘reality shard’ better than you? That and Slick can be a bit… imprisonment happy if he has an event…” I kept my shock from becoming visible. ‘Hauptmann’ Neumann had been using the bonded reality shard as a prison? While ingenious, it is also one of the more… complicated… ways to ensure someone stays locked up for all eternity when all other methods had failed. The mages of Rondel had used that methodology only twice, and the two were incredibly powerful dark mages that could not be contained any other way.

“Since you’re more knowledgeable about this reality shard,” I answered, “I’ll have to default to your experience. What is your name?”

“The name’s Tony, Tony Delvecchio,” the man answered with a smirk, “now let us go save Slick.” I simply nodded and I focused and. We. Fell…

____

We managed to land in good order despite the circumstances, but the one thing that got my immediate attention was the powerful stench of rotten eggs and burnt decomposing corpses.

“I’ll be frank here,” Tony stated, “I’ve always hated dragging Slick out of this one.”

“He had more than one?” I asked in dispirit surprise.

“We removed them, but it’s always this one that defied us,” Tony responded, “Also, welcome to the city of Cologne, in the year 1921 Anno Domini. Thankfully, Slick isn’t having a replay episode.”

“A what?” I exclaimed in an astonished tone, “Wait, do you mean what usually happens with a reality shard? Just how strong is Centurion Neumann?” Tony simply smiled in understanding as he looked above the rubble.

“Slick has always been something of a helper despite the power he wields,” Tony answered, “even if it meant it would kill him and never had the power go to his head. I first met Slick back when we were kids, and he was hopping from base to base like all military kids did. Helped me and my sister understand our powers and have been friends ever since. Now, let us get to Cologne Cathedral, Slick will be there, I promise you.” Tony then pointed to the tallest temple that I have ever seen. “We better get moving, that is unless you want to see how much of a shitshow this siege was by seeing it firsthand.” That was when I noticed a presence, a very recognizable presence.

While Tony and I skirt through the ruins, I reached out to make sure that the presence is not what I think it was. My fears were somewhat confirmed, for it was one of his underlings. If I could feel that, then the local pantheons would have seen it like it was naked in broad daylight. When I get this damnable thing into the crystal, I will have to get this information to the gods as soon as possible.

As we moved closer to the temple, I started to hear singing in what sounded like ancient Saderan.

“Yep, Slick isn’t in a replay episode,” Tony smirked, “He always makes sure that anyone rescuing him will be fast-forwarded to the moment that this song is sung. Fitting too, given that this is one of the darkest days of the Great War of Resistance.”

“That’s interesting,” I commented as we neared what I assume was the front gate of the temple, “most temples don’t have the acoustics to have it heard outside its walls.”

“The funny thing is, we would have only been able to hear it a few blocks at most. Slick was always… different… when it came to his brand of paranormal. This is just one of many his intricacies.” As we entered, the sight before me was unsettling as doctors and children ran about, the outlines of the former positions of immense benches still marked the floor. To have a temple turn into a hospital is… desperate. At the front of these was Hauptmann Neumann, mimicking the lead musician of the choir. Tony silently signaled me to allow him to finish.

The song had many emotions to it with a hefty amount of natural devotion and regal-ness to it. Being an Apostle opens a lot of senses that are not available to mortals, and what I am seeing is something beautiful. Even though I am in the middle of what this world considers war, my eyes slowly swell with tears. Tony is right about one thing, this is one of this world’s darkest moments, and the choir song is a light in that dark moment.

It took a minute for the song to complete before Centurion Neumann stopped mimicking the choir leader.

“So, Tony, did you get Leo roped into a rescue mission?” Centurion Neumann asked as he walked towards us.

“Not really, Slick,” Tony answered with a smirk, “He was just about to jump headfirst into saving your ass when I came barging in.” Centurion Neumann snickered.

“Oh really?” Centurion Neumann said, “Well then, let’s get out of here before something happens and we get stuck in the playback.” With that, Tony muttered a few words after touching a door and we quickly exited…

____

We reappeared in Centurion Neumann’s room, surrounded by people in rather simple-yet-extraordinary clothing… some of them pointing ‘pistols’ at my head.

“Oh, come on!” Tony said, “I know you guys from A Section are cynical and paranoid to a fault, but if I didn’t blow this guy’s brains out, then he’s cool.”

“Ah, sorry about that,” the leader stated calmly, “we’ve had some particularly nasty characters try to use graf Neumann’s condition to try to assassinate him. Due to the situation, we assumed the worst.” Tony simply sighed.

“I know Slick far longer than you guys have,” Tony sparred, “and that includes some of his abilities. Who do you think taught Angela and I how to use our abilities?” That was when Tony looked to me. “Alright Leo, how does your removal ritual work?”

I took a deep breath and slammed my hand onto the floor, creating a ritual circle around Centurion Neumann, shoving everyone else out of the way. “First, I create the ritual circle and put the crystal into position,” I stated as I placed the Elysium Quartz into position on top of Centurion Neumann’s stomach, “and second, the pain starts…” That was when the intense pain started. I gritted my teeth and plowed through it. Oh, I’m so going to feel this in the morning…

Fort Portal, Business Quarter; October 5th, 2017

The number of businesses in the “Iron Pact’s” castra is something different compared to the Saderan Mondi Operus when it came to castra. The basic principles stayed the same, but the design and layout were radical by anyone’s metric here in Falmart. The biggest difference is the various shops not operated by the legions, like the one I am entering right now. Now, from what I have been told in the tour, this is a music shop and while it was hard to settle in, I never got to looking through the store. It would be a change of pace to simply look at how my other doctorate in musical science applies to those of the other-worlders.

As I entered the store, a tone signaled my entry into the store… something that I note that stores in our and their worlds apparently share quite a few things in common. There was a man at a circular desk, overseeing much of the store while talking to a customer as several other people simply made sure everything was in order, something that both civilizations shared but only real difference being scale. Only the music stores of Rondel operate in a similar scale, and only due to Rondel’s status as a mage metropolis. There were only a handful of customers in the store, most of them from the ‘US-Japan Coalition’ or the ‘Iron Pact’, with only a handful of local bards simply milling about.

That was when I saw something peculiar, a rather large instrument on some sort of stout stage. It looked like some of the instruments that two or three of the richest music-field mages were tinkering with, but it is also something different from a glance. The instrument’s shape was far more deliberate than the ones being tinkered with, it gleamed in the sunlight like if it was polished metal… while the underside of the instrument’s lid showed it was made of wood, indicating a laminate… or at least lacquered. Interesting, as previous attempts to utilize lacquered wood were fraught with failure, meaning that the ‘Men in Green’ have far more experience in building instruments with lacquered wood.

I walked up to the instrument, inspecting it closely, absorbing the craftwork for all its worth. It is fantastical craftsmanship, and the sound it made when I tapped one of the keys was just beautiful, only one instrument like this one had ever made that sound back home. I took a seat and then started experimenting. I kept testing the limits of this instrument, trying to find what can and cannot be done. I was so into this experimentation that I did not notice the ever-growing crowd around me.

“That is some pretty decent music that you’ve played there, miss,” a somewhat recognizable voice said with a thick, sharp accent, “It isn’t all that common to have someone able to simply sit down and play a harpsicord like an experienced professional would, given the picture that our interviews of the numerous bards and playwrights had painted for your musical sector.” That was when he nervously laughed and scratched the back of his head. “Where are my manors, the name’s Yōji Yamamoto, owner of this fine establishment.”

“Wait, you own this store?” I asked meekly, “I… I did not know that this is yours! Please forgive me for trying it without permission!” I was about to go into an apology rant when Yōji put his hand on my shoulder.

“Don’t worry about it, its fine,” Yōji soothed, “It’s out because it is meant to be played by passerby. Now, may I ask the name of the music that you’ve played?”

“It doesn’t have a name yet,” I answered, “I’ve been working on it for weeks and still haven’t perfected it. I’m a sound mage you see, and when I’m not exploring the interactions of music and magic, I’m writing music… although I haven’t played on an instrument this finely made…”

“Well, we’ve got all sorts of instruments, although some of which can’t be displayed here,” Yōji commented, “… I’m being so rude, what is your name ma’am?”

“Amala of Árheimar, Mr. Yamamoto,” I answered, “Doctor of Music and Magic, specialty in the interactions between magic and music.” Yōji raised an eyebrow at my birth-city’s name. “I was part of the group that came to investigate the two group of men in green… and I was interested in what this store has to offer.” Yamamoto simply smiled.

“Oh, so your part of the group that everyone has been talking about,” Yōji stated playfully, “can’t resist the urge to see what’s new in instruments then. You remind me of all sorts of people back home.” That was when he stretched his fingers and pulled something out. “Then again, if there is anything that brings people together, its good music.” That was when the little device began to sing.

The song that the device -which I assumed is something akin to a playback crystal- was playing is different compared to what I’ve previously experienced. While I have heard all sorts of songs in the various establishments, this was something I never heard of. It was, in a word, soothing. Soothing in the way only majestic beauty can bring. It went on for what felt like hours.

“What song was that?” I asked, “I’ve rarely heard such majestic beauty in my, life…” Yōji simply chuckled.

“That, Amala, is Chinese folksong whose name, when translated, is Jasmine Flower,” Yōji answered, “Music is an amazing thing, for it is one of the few things that brings people together. It can be powerful, it can be beautiful, it can be awe inspiring. Whatever emotions you’ve felt, chances are there is a piece that uses, embraces, or embodies it.”

“That is pretty interesting, Mr. Yamamoto,” I commented, “and that is a beautiful name for such a beautiful song. Are there more that I can listen to?” Yōji raised an eyebrow at the question. “I am a Doctor of Music and Magic, and I didn’t become one of the top doctors of my craft by not being inquisitive.”

Yōji simply smirked.

“I’ll have to ask a few people, but you might get your wish,” Yōji answered, “By the way, the construction crews are currently putting the finishing touches on a concert hall down the way, once that’s built you can listen to a few performances. You might be in for a real treat though; it has an instrument that can be accurately described as the building itself.”

That got me extremely interested, “Tell me more about this instrument…” Yōji than began describing the instrument, and true to his word it can be accurately described as the building itself. I just must see it for myself…

Fort Portal, The War Room; October 6th, 2017

Fiction has this unsettling tendency to make War Rooms these grandiose constructs, filled with rows upon rows of computers and holoplots and screens where legions of men and women type and click away, shifting through the immense data of the battlefield. The reality is… far different.

“I’ve seen my fair of war rooms, but this is far different than any I’ve been in,” Major James Hammond commented as we walked towards the holoplot, “still, some of the gear is luxurious by our standards.”

“I can believe that” I commented as we got to the holoplot, “Athena, get the current positions of our forces on Falmart if you would please.”

“Understood General.”

Soon the holoplot showed a translucent copy of our current maps, showing the positions of the numerous units in the field on Falmart.

“Now this is impressive,” Hammond commented, “Stratospheric satellites I take it?”

“Yes,” I answered, “while useless in most situations back home, they’ve got their uses here. Also allows us to stay in contact with the Vaterland IV out in Equestria. Which reminds me, we have got another list for you. From what we have been told, they’re humans from your world that ended up in Equestria after the ship they were on ran aground near one of their cities.”

“That’s good to know,” Hammond replied as he was handed the list, “Damn, some of these names are pretty important back home… and solve a few missing person cases as well.” Hammond then shifted his vision to the holoplot. “It seems that your forces have been pretty busy. If I had to guess, you’ll be cutting the Saldarian Empire in half by the end of next year.” I smirked; Hammond was rather right on the money on the projections. “Although, I’m surprised that you are able to logistically handle the forces here. We’re stuck with only a brigade-sized formation due to the GATE being such a bottleneck.”

“One of the first things that we did with our GATE is let Wolfenstein take a gander at it, and they’ve managed to understand how it ticks. They have enlarged it enough to allow a decent wheeled logistics train through and are working on making one that would allow a rail connection,” I answered, “That, from what I have been told, is ongoing. We had to literally disassemble our locomotives and reassemble them on this side to get our rail logistics started.”

“Oh, that has to be a bitch and a half,” Hammond sighed, “Especially given that you’ve got Blue Ridge and Big Boy locomotives on this side of the GATE. Even we balked at the idea of sending locos onto this side of the GATE just due to the headaches of transport.”

“You didn’t know the half of it. It took us a good two weeks to get those locomotives over, hauled to Berlin, disassembled, and then getting them shipped over,” I agreed, “Then there are all the checks to make after reassembly. While they’re a nuisance, the logistical capabilities more than make up for it.”

Hammond smirked as he understood the reasoning. Railheads are the only true way to move the immense number of men and material an army required anywhere outside of ports. That was when Hammond noticed something. “What does these symbols here represent?” he asked, “I haven’t seen symbols quite like that before.”

“Ah, that’s the various ‘Black Numbers’ that we’ve got to keep an eye on,” I explained, “While your world considers the paranormal fantasy, we must treat any possible paranormal sighting seriously. Thankfully we haven’t found a Psi-Memories lying about. That would make things far messier than anyone would like.” Hammond simply nodded, understanding that there are differences between his world and mine. “Although, to be honest, we’re kind of in uncharted territory with these two. A Black 12C is something we’ve known to be a possibility but haven’t encountered. The other one is a broadcast of some kind using a variant of our World War 2 encryption, and a complete unknown. Wolfenstein has only started investigating, by sending a team from A Section no less.” Hammond raised an eyebrow at the implied seriousness of the situation. “That reminds me, you’ll be meeting the leader of a Wolfenstein team while we’re here. She’ll be overseeing any investigations and training at your hill.”

“Anything about the attaché before I take her over to Alnus Hill?” Hammond asked, trying to get a read on the attaché before she arrived.

“Captain Delvecchio can be a little abrasive and cocky but she’s one of the best,” I answered, “Seen her work before and she can back up her talk and then some. She also loves baseball and I’ve seen her dominate games before.” Hammond chuckled a little.

“So, I’m dealing with a fireball,” Hammond chuckled, “Seen a few in my time, but I’m getting the feeling that she’s going to be very memorable.” That was when the doors to the war room opened.

“I’m just a memorable person,” a woman said in a fairly thick Bronx accent, “So you’re the attaché from Alnus Hill?”

“I am,” Hammond answered, “and I believe you’re Captain Delvecchio.” Hammond extended his hand, hoping to shake Angela’s hand.

“Captain Angela Delvecchio, at your service,” Angela said as she shook Hammond’s hand, “I hope you like grueling training, because that’s what you’re going to get with me.”

“I think this is the start of a beautiful friendship,” Hammond smiled…

Fort Portal, Wolfenstein Temporary Field Headquarters; later that day

I was pensive as I looked at the data that we would be going over today with my AugReal, and boy do we have a lot to go over today. A world where there’s paranormal out the ass and we’re not even far enough along with our ‘paranorms are like people’ social engineering project to keep things from getting problematic. We’re just thankful that, currently, all fielded and reserved units had scored very high on the acceptance tests, although that is largely because psychics have been an ousted secret for a while now.

If people knew the sort of company that Aaron keeps and what he is… well… panic in the streets would be the best-case scenario.

“So, how is Agent Big Fire doing in terms of recovery?” I asked our empath, Agent Ivanova.

“Doing quite well, thankfully enough,” Ivanova answered, “At least he wouldn’t have to put that shit into his system anymore to keep the Colone Psi-Memory from killing him.” I understood Ivanova’s hatred with the drug that kept Aaron alive so long, given that an anti-Psi doctor gave her mother just enough of an overdose to cause her to commit suicide. “He’s still in recovery, but he’ll be back to a clean bill of health by the end of the day.” That’s fantastic news, given some of the HIPs that we’ve been encountering or given information on.

“That’s good to hear,” I smiled, “Hopefully we can get some information on some of the HIPs we’ve discovered already. Williams, what’s the status on that Black 8?” The diminutive man sighed as he brought up the data to the conference’s datanet.

“So far, we’re at a loss,” Agent Williams answered, “From the preliminary data analysis, we’re likely looking at someone using a WW2 divisional radio set and using a variation of encryption from the same conflict. We’ve been making spotty contact with the user and from the sound of it, he is under the thumb of one of the Saldarian gods. Current theory on the sender is that he’s from our neck of the woods, dimensionally.” Everyone’s eyebrows raised comically to their hairlines at that statement. Wolfenstein, GRU Division P, and the UID had occasionally encountered the dimensionally displaced, but they generally tend to be very far afield, so to speak. The possibility of someone from our neck of the woods is measured in a lot of zeroes on the right side of the decimal point. While everyone prepared for this sort of situation, it’s another to be living in said situation.

“That is going to give us untold amounts of headaches in the future,” Agent Oracle groaned, “although it could give us a viewpoint into the local Celestial situation.”

“Yes,” Williams butted in, “but due to the random nature of these calls -likely to ensure that the god in question doesn’t get wise- this would be a very slow method of intelligence.” Oracle reluctantly agreed with that statement. “Then there is the possibility that we might screw this up and alert the god our contact is beholden to and cause all sorts of problems. We can’t set up our anchors yet due to possible adverse reactions with the locals or the forces from the other Earth.” Everyone shivered at that statement, as the early days of reality anchor use had all sorts of effects on people. Hell, the list of effects of a badly optimized reality anchor is enough to make even the most hardened men to regurgitate their innards. “The medical checks we’ve been conducting have been going well, and we’ll probably have a limited wide-area test run within a month.” At least something is going our way on the paranormal side of this conflict. So far, we’ve only had to deal with delays of logistics, not anything overt.

It also helps that Agent Big Fire is around, we would probably be neck-deep into Celestial shenanigans if that weren’t the case.

“That’s good to hear,” I stated, “Now, Smalls, what about the Black 12C that the alpine troops discovered?”

“We’ve managed to open the temple complex and have entered the main foyer,” Smalls answered, “Given that our mapping drones have indicated that the complex is hyperspatial, we saw it would be prudent to prepare a basecamp for further exploration.” Oh, please not be non-Euclidian, because those aren’t enjoyable to map. “From the data we’ve gathered so far, it’s only a Euclidian type hyperspatial construct similar to what was found by the UID back in 1977 at HSC1.” I breathed a small sigh of relief, for having to tackle a non-Euclidian hyperspatial construct is an easy way to go insane. Even Big Fire can’t stand how such constructs mess with one’s spatial awareness. Mortal minds can’t compute anything more than 3 physical dimensions, even modified ones like Big Fire.

“Thank the Celestial Council for small mercies,” I sighed in relief, “What’s the preliminary ETA of the complex’s mapping?” Smalls frowned a little at the question.

“So far, we don’t have an ETA, because we don’t have the appropriate drones to map out such a construct. We’ve been barely able to get out of the main entrance complex, and even then, we’ve only mapped out some 1% of the place,” Smalls answered solemnly, “If it is anything like S4, we’re probably looking at years, if not decades before we map even half of it.” Ah, yes, that little problem. We need someone who knows that place and currently the only possible lead is currently recuperating from nearly killing herself in trying to reach the place.

“Alright, just make sure we get everything we’ve seen logged, categorized, and left alone for now,” I ordered, “Joshua, your team had to deal with some of the local paranormal, anything that isn’t in the report?” Joshua perked up a little as he prepared to give some of his memories about the incident.

“Yesterday, at 07:30, we’ve encountered a major village -a small kingdom really- that is semi-autonomous from the Saldarian Empire,” Joshua stated as he showed the images of the village in question, “We’ve managed to contact with the local leaders, and we’ve discovered something interesting. The local lord is a powerful mage that goes by the name of Guðný Dovahkiin and is one of the few major progressives -at least by the standards of the Saldarians and the medieval period- on the continent of Falmart. However, Dovahkiin is has taken a liking to curse anyone who tries to kill him or harms his subjects by turning them into… cows or minotaurs.” That’s one way to get rid of people. “Surprisingly enough, a fair number of locals ask to become minotaurs, largely to help everyone else. Why use bulls when you’re the bull, so to speak.” Everyone raised an eyebrow at that statement. “Given that she hates the Saldarians but only swore fealty to the Empire because they would slaughter her subjects… we’re looking at another friendly on this world. We’ll be contacting Cato soon to get a more rounded viewpoint on Dovahkiin.”

“That would give us an opportunity to gauge how the local magical community is in terms of ethics and standards,” Ivanova interrupted, “Given the general situation, its best to have our bases covered.” With that, the meeting went well into the night…
 
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ATP

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Poor Niraemius.But,since he lived in magical society,considering technology as magic is logical mistake.
Itami - it would be funny,if all japanesse uraban legend was true.And those nice german specialists would introduce him to them.
And later take care of his harem,of course.

Kaiserreich - fighting till 1921 was unlogical/economies would not hold that long/,but Japannese-USA alliance - yes.
USA in OTL could ally with Japan which wonted only part of Asia,or soviets which wonted entire Earth including USA.They choose soviets.Idiots.
 

Aaron Fox

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Poor Niraemius.But,since he lived in magical society,considering technology as magic is logical mistake.
Trying to portray everyone as being competent within their context and not outright holding the idiot ball (outside of extenuating circumstances mind you) is my goal and is harder than it looks when writing it.
Itami - it would be funny,if all japanesse uraban legend was true.And those nice german specialists would introduce him to them.
And later take care of his harem,of course.
Itami's little paranormal story thread is going to be interesting, to say the least.
Kaiserreich - fighting till 1921 was unlogical/economies would not hold that long
In this case, the negotiations of Versailles were used (once the British and French leaders revealed their little 'plan' to destroy Germany) as a preparatory phase. The war itself didn't start until 1920 and lasted for years.
but Japannese-USA alliance - yes.
USA in OTL could ally with Japan which wonted only part of Asia,or soviets which wonted entire Earth including USA.They choose soviets.Idiots.
That isn't the case, really. The Imperialist faction of Imperial Japan (i.e. the ones that managed to condense centuries of colonialism into about a decade, which is a feat in itself) tried to fight the Soviets but a certain Zhukov (yes, that Zhukov) handed their asses to them (quite literally I might add)... which discredited the entire IJA and their Northern Plan... and with the IJA unable to pacify China, it made things worse for them. Then there is the factional infighting within the IJA between the traditionalists (who were, largely, similar to the French -as in the majority of its leaders- in terms of mechanization mentality at best, at worst they ignored mechanization outside of trains and ships entirely) and the modernizationists/mechanizationists/progressives (who were very pro-mechanization and had planned to turn the IJA into a Blitzkrieg style force) to make things even worse. Some of the more bizarre IJA procurement choices (like a lack of SMGs, bayonets on everything, the like)? Blame the traditionalists for that.

Thus, the IJN and its Southern Plan were implemented... which basically pitted Imperial Japan on a collision course with the US (Imperial Japan's conquests in China had already landed Imperial Japan in really hot water with the US, by the time of Pearl the US literally cut Japan off from vital resource shipments).
 

ATP

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Trying to portray everyone as being competent within their context and not outright holding the idiot ball (outside of extenuating circumstances mind you) is my goal and is harder than it looks when writing it.

Itami's little paranormal story thread is going to be interesting, to say the least.

In this case, the negotiations of Versailles were used (once the British and French leaders revealed their little 'plan' to destroy Germany) as a preparatory phase. The war itself didn't start until 1920 and lasted for years.

That isn't the case, really. The Imperialist faction of Imperial Japan (i.e. the ones that managed to condense centuries of colonialism into about a decade, which is a feat in itself) tried to fight the Soviets but a certain Zhukov (yes, that Zhukov) handed their asses to them (quite literally I might add)... which discredited the entire IJA and their Northern Plan... and with the IJA unable to pacify China, it made things worse for them. Then there is the factional infighting within the IJA between the traditionalists (who were, largely, similar to the French -as in the majority of its leaders- in terms of mechanization mentality at best, at worst they ignored mechanization outside of trains and ships entirely) and the modernizationists/mechanizationists/progressives (who were very pro-mechanization and had planned to turn the IJA into a Blitzkrieg style force) to make things even worse. Some of the more bizarre IJA procurement choices (like a lack of SMGs, bayonets on everything, the like)? Blame the traditionalists for that.

Thus, the IJN and its Southern Plan were implemented... which basically pitted Imperial Japan on a collision course with the US (Imperial Japan's conquests in China had already landed Imperial Japan in really hot water with the US, by the time of Pearl the US literally cut Japan off from vital resource shipments).
1.True.Field commanders could not be idiots.Unless they fight pygmy armed with bananas.

2.I wait for that.Maybe Itami survive with another harem members ? the more,the merrier.

3.England wanting destroy Germany ? WHY ? Prussia was supported as their attack dog in Europe,and in 1918 considered France as main enemy again.Why destroing their future ally against France ?
They should made Bavaria and other german states free again,unfortunally they supported germany.


4.Bayonet charge mentality - yes,it doomed them.But USA supported soviets before that.
Till 1923 Japan hold part of Siberia and fought soviets.USA made them leave and handle Siberia to soviets.
Japan was making later atrocities in China since 1937 - yet USA did nothing.Even after Nankin.
But when Hitler attacked his soviet allies,and Japan could join and finish him off,USA made embargo which basically leave Japan two options - surrender or attack USA.
FDR even moved Pacyfic fleet from USA to Pearl Harbour in 1940,so Japan have juicy target.
So,unfortunatelly,USA did everything they could to support soviet genociders and fight Japan.When both sides could fight each other,which would help USA.
 

Aaron Fox

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1.True.Field commanders could not be idiots.Unless they fight pygmy armed with bananas.
They shouldn't, but canonically, they were. :\
2.I wait for that.Maybe Itami survive with another harem members ? the more,the merrier.
You are really wanting me to spoil do you?
3.England wanting destroy Germany ? WHY ? Prussia was supported as their attack dog in Europe,and in 1918 considered France as main enemy again.Why destroing their future ally against France ?
They should made Bavaria and other german states free again,unfortunally they supported germany.
Because of the Mad God's underling, or have you not read the paranormal organizations informative?
4.Bayonet charge mentality - yes,it doomed them.But USA supported soviets before that.
Till 1923 Japan hold part of Siberia and fought soviets.USA made them leave and handle Siberia to soviets.
Japan was making later atrocities in China since 1937 - yet USA did nothing.Even after Nankin.
But when Hitler attacked his soviet allies,and Japan could join and finish him off,USA made embargo which basically leave Japan two options - surrender or attack USA.
Remember, some of the shit Stalin did couldn't be verified, hell no one outside of the top brass of the USSR knew of half the shit that Stalin did. At least, not until Kruschev did the Secret Speech.

Also, you're wrong on the US doing nothing about the atrocities in China. The various reductions and embargos were the US's response to them, especially as word got out.
FDR even moved Pacyfic fleet from USA to Pearl Harbour in 1940,so Japan have juicy target.
So,unfortunatelly,USA did everything they could to support soviet genociders and fight Japan.When both sides could fight each other,which would help USA.
That isn't the case, that little maneuver was part of War Plan Orange and was a signal to the Japanese that shit is getting serious, back down or we'll come after you. What the planners or general staff of the Navy didn't know (or want to believe) was the deep strike capability of the IJN.
 
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