Chapter Prologue : Prologue

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Reddit
  • Pinterest
  • Invite

Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic

Reads: 232

The Argent Empire was perhaps the best and most prosperous country to have ever existed in Terra.

While the militaristic nation used forceful methods and often used propaganda to gain support from the masses, the way they treated the general populace—whether or not their skin color differed, not that it was that important anyways; nor was it that big a deal—was rather different to how one would imagine a fascist country would. Semi or not.

The political party ruling the Empire were considered 'Semi-fascist' because while they employed ruthless and unnecessarily strict rules, they provided some leeway among the citizens if they were affiliated to a certain group.

For example, while normal citizens couldn't arm themselves. If, let's say, they joined up in the National FIrearms Association, they would have acess to most small-arms and a limited number of artillery pieces; the former numbering about ten per family while the latter restricted to five every city they operate within.

The same went for the Demolitionist Connoisseurs. They, and only they were allowed to carry around at least one small explosive in public.

Of course, since these groups usually handle either sensitive information or dangerous objects; at least a certain level of training is required to join them. They were also restricted to only one group per person, and if one were to choose a 'faction'—the official name for specialized groupings, they would be stuck with that particular faction for life.

If one were to leave his or her faction, they would have to be operated on by a special machine that used neural technology to forcefully remove all the information related to the faction. After that, they would have a five year 'buffer' of sorts before joining yet another faction of choice.

This provided the citizens a safe society in which criminals would be hard-pressed in finding ways to commit crimes, thanks to the strict regulations and tedious prodecures. It also provided one with ample information on a certain field they were interested in; like biology or the like.

The system was created in the first place so that society could find alternate sources should the main government fail to produce what was required. For example, should all of the Empire's forces and reserves be redirected to the front lines due to intense fighting, the cities would be left defenseless save for the police. If the enemy were to attack, then the city would be easy prey.

And yet, they aren't. Why?

It was because every city often held as much as a thousand factions, and it is almost a given that at least one of these were permitted to bear arms. So, were a small sabotage unit about to attack one of these cities, then the militia formed by otherwise normal citizens would intervene and engage while the other factions redirect any civilans away from the scene.

Since factions were so specialized, you could easily imagine that at least one militant faction to have well-trained fighters on their side; perhaps even former military. These factions would be the main defense of the city, along with the police and the military should one of the two be present.

This, coupled with the general familiarity of the area, meant that the defending side—despite the majority consisting of civilians—always had the advantage. This let them protect the city with ease.

With a system like this, practically everyone could find a job; whether they be considered 'legitimate' or not. After all, Factions are backed by the government, and are paid by paid accordingly should they prove their usefulness.

Isn't that great?

The factions also proved to be a great buffer from tyranny. If the government were to, say, go too far in their already strict policies; practically driving people out of their jobs. Then it is the faction's right to oppose and overthrow the government to replace with a considerably better and more forgiving political party.

Impressive, ain't it?

Well... the thing is, if you—as a leader of a group—were to implement this very same system into your group of about a hundred. Then the problems it brings would eventually make itself clear sooner or later.

What if a faction disliked another?

What if a faction didn't want the limits that were forced on them?

What if a faction wanted to do something more than just excel in 'borrowed laboratory room experiments?'

What if a faction wanted to split off from the Empire and create their own society?

Well, the cons of such a system reared its ugly head when the Archs started laying waste to the Empire.

These 'Archs' were structures in the form of a half-circle made of some unknown, nigh-indestructible material. They worked as some sort of portal to an uncharted location, most likely oceanic in nature because the moment they appeared, they activated and poured out a massive amount of water.

These Archs were everywhere in the globe, and they were merciless. They flooded cities, colonies, forests, peatlands; practically anywhere that had an Arch in the area.

The floodings weren't alone. Barely a day later, large underwater organisms were spotted on the flooded areas; possibly coming from the Archs themselves. These underwater animals were mostly ferocious predators, and could even chew through metal if you gave them the chance.

All of this, coupled with confusion and mass casualties everywhere forced the Empire to retreat to its fatherland. Populated cities were abandoned, and many civilians left to die. Seeing that the Empire was going to do nothing to help them, many port cities quickly boarded their largest ships armed to the teeth; repelling sea monsters in the process.

Learning from this, other cities followed suit. While the cities further inland didn't have ships, they had the right tools, the right factions, and the right facilities to create one. In a hurry, the cities build massive ships capable of housing an entire city's population; exhausting most resources in the process.

While the sea level was slow to rise, it didn't mean it was any less threatening. And so in no time, many cities already had massive ships on land ready to be swept away by the current. In about a week, many of these cities were already hundreds of meters underwater. And the massive ships—called 'Arks'—left the Empire's territory to spite them.

After all, what hurts more than to have the government you trusted so much to betray your expectations in a time of desparation?

That being said, going furthur out into the ocean meant that many sea monsters—recently accustomed to the seawater—were attracted by the smell of vunerable prey. Although the Arks were far from vunerable as they had deck guns thanks to the suggestions of various military-oriented factions, they were far from effective as large crustaceans with shells hard enough to bounce HE rounds and flying monsters the size of small aircraft attacked them day after day.

This was when a certain captain suggested to link up with other Arks with similar makeup in Faction alliances. After a while, the birds of the same feather started to flock together, and flotillas of Arks started forming in the middle of the ocean; creating some sort of government in the process.

Eventually, these were big enough to be considered 'Splinter Factions' by the Empire; whose information gathering technology took a large blow.

In order to avoid confusion, Splinter Factions are essentially groups of Arks that number from two to five. And as decided by a majority vote, the remaining members of the Empire unanimously agreed that 'Flotilla' sounded better than 'Splinter Faction'. The term stuck.

Anyway, it seems that certain Flotillae with Arks geared for a certain purpose followed a certain pattern of sorts. The Flotilla with Factions pertaining to metallurgy seemed to prefer power and efficiency; while another Flotilla with Factions that worked with electronics preferred speed and accuracy.

Sadly, the satellites used to spy on these Flotillae suddenly blacked out and ground control had lost all contact. The Empire depended on orbital satellites for information gathering and suddenly losing all of them meant that they were practically blind. That, coupled with the fact that they had been heavily crippled, meant that they couldn't do anything but resist monster attacks and regrow military and logistical power.

Thankfully, it seemed that the Archs had turned off quite some time ago; as was made evident by the sea level no longer rising and the relative infrequency of monster attacks as was compared to the first few months.

There was still the occasionaly desparate monster that really wanted food badly, but they were dispatched easily; whether they be the Empires forces or not.

In the span of a few months, a massive Empire has fallen. Its vassal cities gone and scattered. And almost ninety percent of the military might gone, along with resource gathering equipment.

It seemed everything was beyond repair. And that was closer to the truth than anyone would be comfortable with. Nonetheless, they persisted.

 

That was what the human race is famous for, after all...

 

—-

 

Five years passed ever since the disaster. And while the remnants of the Empire was busy tending to its wounds, the Flotilla overseas had already reached land and had started to create their own country out of the ashes of civilization.

One certain Flotilla had turned to religion. They slowly twisted, warped and bent the original scriptures until nothing made sense anymore; turning them into manical fanatics out for blood. Their equipment was geared towards speed and meele damage, in exchange for durability.

Another had turned to science. Using the technological prowess to their advantage and creating technology unseen before. Soon, they already created a small fleet of laser hovercrafts; prowling the seas to hunt for anything seeking to take their tech. They favoured accuracy and speed, disregarding efficiency.

While the two advanced their own cultures and created innovations—practical or not. A flotilla full of nothing but metallurgists decided that practical and traditional methods reigned above others. They particularly liked designs that were efficient, durable, and strong, sacrificing speed.

In the midst of these radical ideologies lay one Ark ship that had managed to stay alive despite the odds. Like the rest, they found some land and some resource gathering equipment. They also settled on a design philosophy where they used anything as long as it was cheap, in abundance, and easy to produce.

Unlike the rest, however, is that instead of getting as far as they could from the remnants of the Empire and the other Flotillae, they chose a spot a fair bit close to the Empire's remnants; due to their leader's reasoning that the remnants probably had the best equipment among all others.

He was partly right, not they particularly cared or anything. Besides, it wasn't like they knew that a certain flotilla had already surpassed all of them in terms of technology.

In the middle of the night, he and his chosen few had infiltrated past the minefields and the sight of the Headquarters was now in view.

"Alright, here's the plan: we go in there; smack those guards over the head and knock 'em out; take what valuable objects we can; and run for it. Easy, right?"

His crewmates all nodded. Satisfied, he turned his head back in the building's direction.

"Alright then! Mission start!"

Mind you, out of all the Flotilla. This particular group's the least smartest.


Submitted: April 27, 2018

© Copyright 2022 HMSThunderchild. All rights reserved.

Chapters

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Reddit
  • Pinterest
  • Invite

Add Your Comments:


Facebook Comments

More Fantasy Books

Other Content by HMSThunderchild