Whilst reading though fanfictions on the net, I've decided that 40k stories are all-too-often war driven. This seems rather obvious, considering the setting and the focus of the tabletop game, and is definitely far more exciting than "A day in the life of a pencil-pusher Administratum worker"
. However, I felt it was my duty to at least have a go at demonstrating a bit of inter-species and inter-caste relations in the building of the city of Kai'er, upon my outpost world of E'uan. And so, armed only with limited knowledge and my own intepretations of it, I give you: The Coalition of Kai'er
This little segment of story is set after the first post of Heart of the Fire
(The latter post of this one was written whilst bored one day, and so is somewhat later in my chronology) and just after Brutal Annexation
had taken place. Enjoy!
The young Fio'la was unsure of what to do in this new environment. The dry air around the centre of E'uan was taking some getting used to- totally alien to the swamps of D'Yanoi which she knew so well. And to make matters worse, aliens were abound. She perfectly understood the need to bond with aliens, and she even got on well with a scaled Dae'Kin singer back on her home planet. No, their presence was far from alarming to her, but they could do such sloppy work.
With a tap on her wrist-controls, the drone detached from her shoulder-strapped harness. Her back straightened slightly as she stretched- the weight was no major hindrance to her, but having the weight off her back was a relief. She tapped the controls again. The air from the back vent of the kor'vesa blew her hair gently as it hummed past and began to scan the wall for loose screws and bolts. It set to work near instantly . If the megastructure were not so far ahead of schedule already, she'd swear blind that the human beside her had cost more time than if she'd worked alone.
Communication was hardly easy. She wished she could point out the flaws in the gue'la's work, but she could not. For a start, neither of them spoke the other's language. She doubted he'd improve much if she did. The male was clearly trying to help, but he didn't. He had only a rudimentary idea of how the drone controllers worked, no comprehension of following the simple diagram of how the panels fit together... but, if nothing else, the human had an enthusiastic smile. It was strange for the Fio'la. She rarely saw the humans smile. She had been told that the humans knew only grim darkness and war, but was glad that they could feel at least some of the emotion that the Tau do, which cheered her enough to continue working with him.
He stood expectantly as her drone inspected his handiwork, awaiting her approval. It was as if she was schooling a child, and she had no intention of upsetting him and making this slower than it already had been. Handing him a drone controller, she pointed at a cluster of maintenance and builder drones on the floor. She feebly returned his smile, as if to cue him to begin work. Instead, he closed his eyes in reverence and started whispering to himself. The Fio'la simply sighed and turned back to her duties. As soon as the Por'Vre interpreter came back, serious words would be had.
As it happened, Por'Vre Gira was trying to solve an almost identical situation at the other side of the structure. From the frantic yells from both Tau and gue'la, an entire section of the thermo-electric panelling had collapsed whilst the latter of the two was otherwise occupied. Trying to establish some semblance of understanding was getting increasingly difficult as the two argued at him, without even understanding the other. The rapid changes between Tau and Gothic were starting to get infuriatingly difficult.
“Yes, you told me that, Fio'l- Human, please, give m... I understand your grievances Fi... Machine spirit? What are you...?”
Thankfully for the two beings, Gira wasn't a Por'Vre of T'olku for nothing, and not one to loose his cool. He turned back to the Shas'la pilot of his Piranha transport, lifting a hand to signal that he'd need a few more rai'kor sorting this one out. He took a deep breath and closed his eyes, before putting on a faux smile and turning back to the argument at hand. They'd run out of steam soon enough.
Atop the great structure, the revered Ethereal Aun'El Naruu strode across the wide boulevards and gazed at the tall, elegant buildings that were swiftly being constructed by the Earth caste, assisted by the Vespid. He smiled to himself over the speed and fluidity of progress that had been made on the newly named planet of E'uan.
In the few short months since the 'Brutal Annexation' peace agreement (Now regarded as one of the greatest pieces of propaganda in the Tau Empire in the last twelve tau'cyr), the reports he had received informed him that human-tau relations were quickly improving, and all castes reported increased productivity with the aid of the gue'vesa.
Beside the ethereal walked the newly promoted Por'El, diplomatic mastermind behind the annexation of the planet. Although her initial policy of swaying the gue'la to join the Greater Good by a demonstration of military might had resulted in a small-scale war, Naruu trusted her judgement and skill more than he did any other on E'uan.
“As you have seen, Aun'El, the city is ahead of schedule. Fio'O K'usovai approximate that it will be fully constructed in less than three kai'rotaa at the current rate of construction. The anti-gravitic panelling will be fully functional in only one.” Despite her various talks with commanders, human governors, and even demanding the surrender of the gue'la army as they fired at her, the Por'El never felt quite as nervous or excited as when addressing the Aun'El with progress reports. His eyes shone the deepest red, and behind them, only caring and wisdom seemed to reside.
“I trust that quality is not being compromised, Por'El?” His voice was slow and deep, its ever syllable resonating through the Por'El's mind. It was as if every word had been contemplated deeply, despite the simplicity of the sentence.
“I... I would hope not, Aun'El. Of course, I wouldn't know...” It was perfectly reasonable to think that the Earth castes reports may have stretched the truth somewhat in their progress. Or even that her own caste had edited her reports slightly, in the name of propaganda. The ethereal tilted his head towards her quizzically. Realising she'd spoken herself into a corner for the first time in years, she quickly changed the subject. “My reports indicate that the Kor and Shas coalition are moving against other planets in the system? If I may, I am more than ready to assist in-”
“Thank you, El'Ro'Kunas,” the use of her given name by the ethereal caught her off guard, making her trip over her flowing dress robes, “but your work here is far more important to the Greater Good. I assume that these are our quarters?”
Their walk had taken them to a shimmering tower, bearing the newly designed banner of the E'uan outpost world cut into a giant, ten-storey window at its peak. The coalition command centre of the city of Kai'er was an awe-inspiring sight, designed to house officials from each of the races, castes, groups, mercenaries and trading companies who resided there. Whilst only as tall as the other buildings in the city, the building gave off a sense of grandeur that could not be described without seeing it with ones own eyes.
As the only functional building in the city, a steady stream of dignitaries and their aides were filing to and from the building to various anti-grav transports. The smell of food and the subtle perfumes and aromas of various traders and races mixed with the artificial garden before the building. The floral plants and trees encircled a plinth large enough to house an Orca dropship, which stood empty. As the two walked towards the tower the ethereal nodded towards the open space.
“What is the progress on the statue? We could not have a city without reminding the people our shining hero, after all.”
“We have five of the finest Fio'vre sculptors available working on it, Aun'El. Once completed, the Shas'O's valiant actions will be remembered here for all eternity.” Something in the back of her mind resented this statement. She recognise the need for a propagandised figurehead for the takeover, and typically one who would be seen to be heroic, noble and just. Suam'Va did seem the perfect candidate. He had even saved her life more than once. Hero or not, however, she couldn't help but slightly resent the spotlight the Fire caste always attracted.
As if reading her mind, the Ethereal placed his hand on her shoulder, sending a delightful tingle down her spine with his assurance.
“Your actions will not be forgotten, either, noble diplomat. It is the actions of the Water caste, not the Fire, that sets the Tau Empire apart from the barbarians and tyrants that plague this universe. Let the warriors claim a warrior's glory. Let the true dignity of the Tau Empire be yours.” He turned and strode into the building with unfathomable purpose, leaving a weak-kneed Por'El Ro'Kunas at the the door.
That's all for today, apologies for typos and the like, I'm currently on my laptop on a train, and so lacking any reliable spellcheck program!