Blackwood Gazette #197- Mysterious Message Sent to Arms Summit About Impending Attack; Marcellete Bastian takes a bullet for Rigel Rinkenbach; Attacking Fleet Repelled by Alejandro Julianos and…Captain La Pierre?

By Chester Seaton, News

2/10- The world went a little…crazy, this weekend. As the leaders of Crowndon, Nor Easter, Monteddor, and Sarnwain gathered at a secluded location in the Divide, a large fleet of unknown vessels gathered in the canyons below. The objective of this fleet remains a mystery, but if their actions are anything to go by, it was to eradicate the current power structure of the Imperial Triumvirate in one fell swoop.

Luckily, just a few short moments before the enemy fleet of airships rose up around the desert mesa where the summit was being held, security officials received a mysterious wire said to originate from the colonies. The wire warned of the attack, giving Alejandro Julianos, whose own forces were providing security, time to form a defensive perimeter.

Julianos’ ships engaged the unmarked enemy ships, which are said to have been unlike anything the world has yet seen; kept aloft not by balloons, but by complex rotor systems and armored with metal plating. Julianos did an admirable job of keep the ships at bay, despite being outnumbered, outgunned, and possessing what is, as of this weekend, severely outdated technology.

Perhaps it was this advantage on the side of the attackers that enabled them to put several boots on the ground, who stormed the central chamber of the summit building. Once again, Julianos’ ground forces put up a brave defense, cutting down all but one of the invaders.

The would-be assassin burst into the meeting chamber, where all the delegates save for one threw themselves to the ground. The assassin’s target? Presumably, it was one Rigel Rinkenbach, in attendance with Empress Marcellete Bastian. Seeing that the attacker had Rinkenbach in his sights, the Empress bravely threw herself in front of the shot, taking the bullet meant for Rinkenbach and saving the inventor’s life. The Empress is alive, but in critical condition.

Before the assassin could prepare another shot, Julianos’ soldiers entered the room and incapacitated the man. They tried to take him alive, but the attacker bit into a suicide pill.

Meanwhile, four ships remained in the skies above, the others having been destroyed or rendered inert. The attackers outnumbered Julianos’ flagship, Panther’s Reign, three to one.

The Reign seemed to be on its last legs as one of the aggressors prepared for a killing blow, when a shot from a newly arrived fifth ship struck one of the enemy ship’s rotors. The attack left the rotor-ship listing. Julianos’ crew regained their bearing, loaded up their cannon, and opened fire. As the rotor ship drifted, in flames, to the desert floor, a lookout on Julianos’ ship got a good look at the mysterious third party.

“When the ship went down and the smoke and fire faded out, I couldn’t believe what I saw out there, on the horizon, silhouetted against the setting sun…but none other than the Pernicious Platitude, and at its helm, the pirate captain La Pierre.”

La Pierre began to circle the enemy formation, drawing their fire as the Reign reloaded. The Platitude then joined formation with the Reign, and engaged the remaining attackers. Witnesses on the ground described the situation as “completely bat-shit.”

Once the remaining attackers had gone down, the Reign turned to engage the Platitude. However, we are told that Julianos ordered his gun crews to hold their fire. The Platitude then descended into the canyons below, and has not been seen since.

The Triumvirate leadership owes their survival to the mysterious communique they received just before the attack, though no one seems to know who sent it. It ends simply, “PS”. Why a missive would end with notation of a post-script, yet not actually include one, has baffled many. But Rigel Rinkenbach has a theory.

“It isn’t so very hard to understand,” Rinkenbach told us. “PS doesn’t mean post-script! They’re initials, for Pixie Sinclaire! She must have uncovered the plot and, sensing that I was in danger, sent a message! She does still love me! I knew it!”

The Triumvirate authority has stated that they will launch a full scale investigation into these events, starting of course with the identity of the mysterious attackers, though the working theory is that the enemy force is the fountainhead of all the strange weapons that have been found on battlefields around the globe. It’s hard to say what, if anything, was accomplished by the summit, but many doubt the results will be what was hoped for.

***

Man, that’s pretty much the most insane headline I’ve ever written for the Gazette…

Today’s story marks a fairly important turning point for the Blackwood Empire, and the Gazette. It’s kind of the culmination of everything that’s been going on for the last few months, and sets the stage for what I’m calling “Volume II”.

I’ve decided that, after #200, I’ll be taking a bit of a break from the Gazette for a while to revise what I’ve already written and plan out what comes next. I think it’s also time for me to focus on some more long-form work for awhile.

Thanks for reading!

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Blackwood Gazette #197- Mysterious Message Sent to Arms Summit About Impending Attack; Marcellete Bastian takes a bullet for Rigel Rinkenbach; Attacking Fleet Repelled by Alejandro Julianos and…Captain La Pierre?

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