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The Lost Bureau (and other stories)-original fiction

beast_regards

Well-known member
#51
This part is almost certainly going to be unintentionally hilarious in hindsight, given what I have planned... XD

(then again, my lack of research and humor might displace my hateboner instead, who knows...)

I'll admit though my main motivation (originally anyway) was because I really dislike the majority of the isekai genre (which I almost always stopped reading immediately, douchebag protags being rewarded and portrayed as good & noble tend to be a big turn off for me for some reason), and realized my own toxicity of my hatred, so a channeled that into writing a world exploring a more logical progression, in the sense that the peoples of the other world being more active rather than passive.
Perhaps ironically enough, not only story doesn't feel like you hate the isekai genre, it doesn't even feel like crack story. It has comedic moments, yes, but ultimately it is just about genre savvy and genre blind characters, isekai cramped into the single world and continuing to ... actually pretty logical outcome.

I'll admit, it never occurred to me that I could even do that... that being said this setting will remain here and free. Hopefully helping Horton growing this forum.
I know a writer that does it. For me, it is a lesson there is ultimately no point in reading his work as I will never see finished story. Not all people pay for fanfiction.
 
TI/IR-ch 1

Mark Poe

The majestic cock
#52
Chapter 1: Here we go...​

“Unbelievable, simply unbelievable.” Inek muttered as he read yet another report.

“Yeah, I know, it’s shocking isn’t it? Man’s inhumanity towards its fellow man.” Pimu nodded. The two agents of the Bureau of Exotic Affairs branch office in the human capital of Wyvernwald in the foreign quarter, which despite what it sounds was actually more of a single office in an otherwise unremarkable squat and ugly grey building block, the rest of the building housing a number of intelligence operatives who for the most part were more tour guides for the occasional idle rich on vacation from back home than hotshot spies. After the wars of the last century, the Union hasn’t taken the human kingdoms seriously as a military or economic threat, a view that was only reinforced with the recent conclusion of the Elven human war.

“Unbelievable in the more literal sense, as in the reports are either lying, heavily exaggerated, or written under the influence of certain narcotics.” Inek snorted, “We’re in the fifth century remember?”

“Not where we’re stationed in, if you haven’t noticed outside of the little enclaves like here, the rest of the humans haven’t even gotten out of the third century.”

“Well, since we do happen to be in the fifth century, we should hold ourselves to more enlightened standards, which includes not believing completely unbelievable stories that also happens to be conveniently unverifiable.”

“Which part of all these reports are unbelievable?”

Inek simply stared at Pimu for about half a minute before realizing that the other orc was genuinely confused. He simply sighed at that. The problem with fresh meat is often that they’re unseasoned in the ways of the world.

“To start with, what parts do you actually find believable?” He asked. Education has to start somewhere.

Pimu didn’t immediate answer, averting his gaze away from Inek. Inek facepalmed. This is going to take a while…

“To start with,” Inek begin, “The growth of these secret societies, the so called ‘incels’...”

“Oh yes, the Society of Involuntary Celibate for the Institution of the Glorious Patriarchy.” Pimu interrupted, “their existence has been making quite a stir back home in the isekai communities there. People are scared out of their wits there.”

“The isekais back home are mostly paranoid wrecks as far as anything to do with the isekais of the human kingdoms are concerned. Their opinions could be safely discounted when it’s outside of their niche expertise.”

“The elves are also taking this rather seriously.” Pimu pointed out, “Especially the Imperial State.”

“All the more reasons to dismiss it. Their fuhrer has been looking for external threats everywhere so as to consolidate her grip on power internally. Flights of fancy is a feature rather than flaw over there.”

“So you’re saying there’s no incel secret societies then?” Pimu was far from convinced of Inek’s casual dismissal of hundreds of such reports.

“Not that, merely that we are receiving a very incomplete picture.”

“Really now?” Pimu flicked a finger at the stacks of reports piling around.

“Yes really. Remember the first rule of report filtering: most people are simple minded and incapable of seeing the bigger picture. We’re better than that.”

“And what exactly is the bigger picture here?”

“We been through this before. We are witnessing the decline of an ancient empire whose proud history stretches further than the longest of the dragons. That leaves a lot of baggage on their people, which means that the reverse of fortunes in the previous centuries have cultivated a lot of butthurt folks. That being said, the threat posed by a peasant rabble is about as dangerous as an outbreak of rabbits: a lot of property damage but unlikely to cause actual loss of life.”

“But we’re talking about unrest amongst the isekai populations in the human kingdoms.” Pimu pointed the flaw in Inek’s logic.

“Fuck them, so they’re not the top dogs anymore, tough shit. They’ll just have to live with it.”

“Well it certainly seems that they’re doing something about it, which is what all these damn reports are saying.”

“But the odd fixation on sexual conquest and rape gangs? Isn’t that oddly specific and not relevant to the fundamental problems of the human kingdoms?”

“Well, I never claimed they’re rational or logical, maybe it’s just directionless venting? Or perhaps a backlash against a lot of social norms that the isekais on our side has been pushing?”

“Probably the latter.” Inek nodded, more to himself, “Great, the more you dig at the problem, the more isekais you find as the sources.”

Both orcs were silent for a moment, then Inek spoke. “Well, write up a summary and analysis and send it off to the intelligence office down the hall, and the source material too, just so they can dig deeper themselves if they so choose.”

“Got it boss.”

------

“Well, how valid do you think of these loons?” Agent Telika asked.

“For once, I think the Lost Bureau has underestimated the threat present.” Intelligence officer Buntoc replied. The same dance of processing the stacks of reports repeated itself in the intelligence office, as the summary and analysis from the Lost Bureau was bland to the extreme, and more importantly, didn’t say anything of actual value. “We been beating their head for so long over them making big deal out of nothing that they have gotten into the habit of doing that to themselves.”

“So there’s a lot of rebellions brewing over yonder.” Telika said, a statement rather than a question.

“Certainly, it also appears that these loons are racist as well as misogynist, given their slogan of ‘Man stronk, remove greenskin’. We’ll have to advise the government to issue a general travel warning.”

“Should we also advise them to take more… active actions?” The question lingered potentially in the air for a moment.

“No point, there’s no political will to use military action, the current administration is trying their best to not look hypocritical, especially after than uproar the previous administration raised over the Imperial State’s little military adventurism those few years back. Besides, no one is keen to start a scramble for clay at this point in time, especially with the ever worsening situation over in Ironi.”

“So the usual reports then?”


“I guess so, and a couple more things. Spread the word among the expat communities here immediately, and do a little extra shopping this week.”

“You think we might face something big?

“Almost certainly.”

------

“Hmm… so that’s what’s generating the buzz among our muscle bound friends.” State Security Officer Munessia muttered, looking at the pile of freshly copied documents from the various orc bureaus.

News and information tend to travel fast amongst the various intelligence communities of various nations, especially the kind that people do not want to spread quickly. The relevant (and irrelevant) documents reached the elves almost as fast as it reached the other orcs themselves, and the former wasted little time in reading through the endless reports and ramblings.

“Well, it’s a great casus belli for another short and glorious war if I may so suggest.” Agent Ponos said.

“Unfortunately, the people does not have the appetite for conquest right now, still digesting from the spoils of the last war.” Munessia pointed out, “So mobilizing the armed forces is out of the question, even before taking account of reactions from the other powers.”

“So, what then?”

“Forward a summary to upstairs and let the head office sort this out, any suggestion would be beyond our paygrade anyways.”

“It will be done.”
 
TI/IR-ch 2

Mark Poe

The majestic cock
#53
Chapter 2: See the world, and maybe burn some of it too​

“You need a vacation.” Helen said, with a concern on her face.

“And my life here isn’t one?” Jane replied, without even looking up from her desk. Numerous sheets, some of highly detailed drawings, other filled with numbers and calculations. While no nations was interested in building actual super capital ships for fearing of sparking off a ruinous arms race, quite a few, including the Union, are interested in having a stash of ‘future’ designs ready just in the event the worst came to be. Thus there’s plenty of work, real actual design work, to keep Jane (and the rest of the design staff of the Tomson-Palmer Conglomerate) busy for quite a while.

It was a lot of work. Moreover it’s work that really interests her and where she happened to be good at, and so Jane threw herself into the projects head first, as much to make herself useful as was to distract herself from her situation as a stranger in a strange land. In a sense it was escaping a fantasy land by hiding in another fantasy land within. It was a coping mechanism, not a healthy one by any means, but one nevertheless.

“A person needs a balance in life to function properly, and that means other activities besides those you find in interested in.” Helen sighed, “It’s in both of our interests to have you of sound body and mind.”

“Hmm, I didn’t think you are the type to believe in spiritual mumbo jumbo.”

“It’s not mumbo jumbo, it is established facts. This world does have some advantages, and understanding of the body and soul is one of them.”

“Sure, whatever.” Jane shrugged.

“Besides, since you are here in this world, you should see more of it, say for example the human kingdoms.”

“I read enough hentai and news to know I don’t want to ever step over there unless it’s after the army had cleaned the clocks out of those places.” The look of disgust was visible on her face.

“You been cooped up on this island for the last few years, you need to get out of your comfort zone once in a while.” Helen was starting to lose her patience. “Besides, tabloids fearmonger things all the time. I should know this, I have a cousin who owns a bunch of them.”

“I much prefer not being mindbroken by some fatass rapist or died painfully due to some easily preventable diseases thank you very much.” Jane replied, already making up her mind on the matter.

“That’s it. Pack your bags, we’re leave tonight whether you like it or not!” Helen turned and walked off briskly.

Jane finally looked up from her work, not believing the turn of events.

Looks like she’s going to get off the island one way or the other.

……

Night came to the islands. Hot, muggy night, the type of weather that herds everyone to the bars and other watering holes in search of relief. The short walk from the walkway to the docks was enough to drench everyone in sweat. As the little group composed of Helen, Jane, and Reta (though only to see them off, someone has to keep watch the house… and to run the company in the meantime) walked up to the pier where Helen’s yacht (although privately Jane thought it looked more like a converted gunboat, heck it probably was given what the conglomerate build at its shipyards) was docked, they found that another large figure was already waiting, chatting with the yacht’s captain. Helen sighed.

“Alright Tag, what the hell’s wrong this time?”

“Oh absolutely nothing at all.” The dragon replied coyly, turning away from his conversation with the captain, “I was just hoping that I can hop a ride with you fine ladies for your journey to the old continent..”

“News travels fast these days.” Helen muttered.

“Well, we at the police are supposed to review, or at least skim over the minute reports by the Harbor Authorities, and something such as a request for supplies by the personal yacht of one of the wealthiest person on the island would bound to be noticable.”

“Alright, you made your point.” Helen sighed, with great power comes great responsibility… or at least close scrutiny. A pain the arse either way. Not to mention it never seems to apply to those who actually should be restrained, like those isekais.

“I’m looking to go on a vacation myself, except I don’t want to pay for a regular ticket to the mainland.” Tag said sheepishly.

“How? You are literally covered in money!” Helen facepalmed, even in the era when most government have begun converting to fiat currency, dragon scales remain the hardest known currency in the world. Both figuratively and literally.

“That doesn’t mean I don’t know the value of money!” Tag became rather defensive.

“There’s a difference between being wise with money and being a cheapskate.” Jane muttered. A bit too loud though, as everyone else heard her. It was enough to break up the argument and being back to the topic at hand.

“Eh, what the heck, fine.” Helen shrugged. “You got your bags?”

“Thank you very much.” Tag seemed really to break out in a huge grin, and since he being a dragon it would have been really terrifying. “I’m already all packed.” He points to a small mountain of suitcases.

“Is there anything that would not pass a border inspection?” Helen asked, although her expression seems to already made up her mind.

“We don’t need to go through any inspections. That’s for commoners.” Tag pointed out.

“Right, I don’t want to know what’s in those cases then.” Helen decided that she was better off ignorant of whatever he’s packing.

“I’m so glad that you are respecting my privacy.” Tag said coyly as they all begin to load the yacht.

------

“Are you sure as to the validity of the overall situation as presented?” Amberea asked, her face solemn.

The two of them, Amberea and Oesa, were at the former’s office. It was a weekend night so the government building was rather empty, the only inhabitants being the cleaning staff and the odd low level flunky. In other words as good as a time to discuss some of the more sensitive matters in an informal manner.

“Absolutely.” Oesa confidently replied. “The reports we have from our esteemed orc friends does match the field reports of our agents and informants to a remarkable degree. At least as far as the physical and material matters are concerned.”

“So it is true then.” Amberea nodded to herself, not really wanting to accept the facts even as they’re being confirmed.

“Yes, the end of the Empire of all Mankind is at hand, and great dangers and opportunities awaits for those who can seize the moment.”

“Mostly dangers.” Amberea muttered, then spoke in a more normal voice, “How many isekai rape gangs have been identified?”

“Over two dozen of platoon* size, seven in the company** size, and possibly three of battalion*** size, all estimation including hangerons and slaves.” Oesa said matter of factly. Amberea sucked in her breath before Oesa continued, “For the most part they have been sighted in the western lands of the human empire, but ever since our recent war against them many of them have been moving eastward. We suspect this is a result of the disintegration of imperial authority and general backlash against perceived non-human influences.”

“But is there a secret society known as the incels?”

“Unknown, while all these gangs seems to share a number of similarities in their tactical operations there is no signs of any strategic coordination between any of them. As far as we can tell anyway.” For once Oesa wasn’t completely confident of her information.

“And I’m guessing everyone is suggestion some sort of intervention?” Amberea asked, though already knew the answer.

“Yes. Even the more level headed isekais on this side of the continent have a consensus that such a reactionary and anti-egalitarian movement must be nipped in the bud. They even put them above us in the threat meter.” Oesa snorted after saying the last tidbit.

“Unfortunately there is no need for a short and glorious war right now in the Imperial State.” Amberea pointed out dryly. “Not to mention half the regular army is still cleaning the last mess, and the less said about the militias the better.” Oesa winced at the last part, most of the militias, like her, were from the South Continent, and had reacted to the brutal realities of modern warfare with shock and horror unbecoming of the supposed vanguard of a new, more militant elven master race.

“Unless we can manufacture a little bloodletting…” Oesa begin. Amberea quickly cut her off.

“Forget it, I read enough history of the other world to know that kind of false flag operation isn’t going to stand up to any scrutiny. I am not going to authorize anything like an ‘Operation Oesa’.”

“Damn. So our hands are tied at this critical moment in history.” Oesa sighed.

“Not completely, I think.” She paused, then suddenly spoke again, ”Did any country issued a travel warning yet?” She suddenly asked.

“As far as I know, no.” Oesa replied, taken aback for a bit. “They are all looking to see our reaction to the alleged danger levels.”

“Hmm… you might get your bloodletting after all.”

“Surely you are not implying allowing our citizens traveling there to get raped and sold into sexual slavery.” Oesa was shocked, not the callous nature of Amberea spending the country’s citizenry, but rather at the lack of overall coherence of the plan in general.

“”No, nothing so simplistic as that.” Amberea chuckled, “You are going on a vacation,” She pointed at Oesa, “along with your lovers and friends.”

“Um, what?” Oesa wasn’t getting the idea, “This is no time to take time off from work.”

“You will be traveling to the capital of the human empire, as a display of how safe it is, and that we are not a bunch of paranoid wrecks and opportunistic scavengers. It would then be rather unfortunate that our much vaunted intelligence service have made the miscalculation of their lifetime and now some very important people are going to be needing to be rescued…”

“So no packing guns I presume?” Oesa looks slightly worried, wondering if there’s some power play behind her back, among other things.”

“Don’t be obtuse, it’ll be suspicious if you aren’t packing guns. Actually pack all the cool guns in your personal collection, I’m sure you’re have the opportunity use them as conversation starters one way or the other.”

Oesa nodded, accepting her new mission. “So when do I leave?” She asked.

“As soon as possible, I have this feeling we don’t have much time.”

*~50
**~100
***~500
 
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TI/IR-ch 3

Mark Poe

The majestic cock
#54
Chapter 3: Just another killing​

“And what, exactly happened this time?” constable Pumfee of the combined legation police force looked at the latest suspect that the local city guards have shoved before him. He try to suppress a sigh, not entirely successful.

One of the many concessions the various non human nations wangeled from the human empire since the Second Formation War was the allowance for the major powers to maintain their own police force within their enclaves at the capital of the human empire. Of course such concessions forced at the barrel of a gun bred quite a bit of resentment, and relations between the traditional city guards and the legation police tend to be poor at the best of times. Honestly Pumfee was surprised that the they brought a live suspect rather than a corpse as they tend to do. ‘You’re all criminal scum anyways, deserving of the worst fates.’ as they claimed.

“This filthy greenskin has shot an innocent upstanding citizen of our noble country!” One of the guards proclaimed, while taking another jab at the orc suspect, who didn’t even flinch. It was pretty obvious that he had been roughened up beforehand, quite normal given the racism of the city guards.

“Okay, we’ll handle it from here.” Pumfee said in a monotone voice. “Thank you for your efforts and cooperation.” Although his tone managed to convey the exact opposite.

The guards give the other orc a final shove into the premise of the legation quarter before turning off to resume their duties… probably shaking people down for money or something. The development of a modern police force is not as simple as it looks, especially if most of the population still haven’t got their heads out of that tribal mentality.

Pumfee then looked at the other orc, “Follow me, you got some questions you need to answer.” He said wearily.

……

“I am going to make this clear, this isn’t a formal questioning.” Pumfee begin. Jemtock the suspect and him were in an otherwise unremarkable room within the combined police compound. Unremarkable in the sense that it’s of bare concrete walls and bars on the one window. “I just want to hear your side of the story.”

“Well, they’re right about one thing. I did kill someone.” Jemtock replied calmly. “That… thing deserves it.”

“Um… okay. I’m gonna need more information here.” Pumfee felt something off. If he’s actually in the same room with an unhinged cold blooded killer… nah, that’s paranoid thinking. This poor schmuck’s probably suffering from shock of his actions. Well, at least that’s one point to argue for leniency when his sentencing comes. “Start from the beginning if you can.”

“I was wandering the streets, I had a couple of days before catching the next train back to the Republic.” He begin.

“Please state the nature of your visit.” Pumfee suddenly said, while looking at a piece of paper.

“I was sent by the Uli Trading Company to assess its investments here.”

“Okay. continue.” Pumfee nodded, his story matches the files so far.

“In an alleyway, I saw this large ugly obese human male about to rape this human maiden.”

“How do you came to the conclusion that a rape was in the process of occurring?”

“He was naked, with a hard on, ripping her clothes off, and shouting about another glorious conquest in the name of the patriarchy.”

“Why was no one at the time attempting to stop that crime that was progressing?” Pumfee asked, then immediately realized how dumb that question sounded. “Never mind, just continue.” It was depressing but victim blaming culture is the law of the land, outside of the little corner of civilization known as the legation quarter. At least it was that way since he took up this posting five years ago, although the kooks over at the Lost Bureau claimed this phenomenon was in fact a recent thing, only being around for less than three decades.

“I then walked over and punched that sonofabitch in the face.” Jemtock said matter of factly. “He then made attempted to make a combat stance while shouted ‘Don’t fuck with me, I got the power of misogyny and hentai on my side!’”

“And then?”

“I pulled out my revolver and shot him, two rounds center of mass, followed up by a headshot.” Jemtock said without emotion, as if regurgitating something he learned from somewhere.

“That’s all?”

“Well, I did also say ‘Well I have cordite and lead’ before I pulled the trigger.”

“You in the army?” Pumfee suddenly asked.

“No, just was part of the town gun appreciation society.”

Of course, given the nature of guns being one of the biggest equalizers in this world, it’s no surprise that it has taken on an almost religious nature.

“Come to think of it, where is the revolver now? I assume that the guards when arresting you have relieved you of your sidearm.”

“They didn’t hand it to you?”

“I sure hope that wasn’t an expensive gun, because you will never see it again.” Pumfee shrugged. Among their other charming features was a tendency to take whatever that isn’t nailed down among those that they nabbed. “You’re probably also missing whatever money you had in your pockets before.”

“Oh.”

“Say, what happened to the female human?” Pumfee asked, although already knowing the answer.

“A mob got her, accusing her of a harlot and tempress.”

“Ah. I thought so. A word of advice to you, best not dwell on that too much.” Both orcs fell silent for a bit. Then Pumfee spoke again. “Well, given the lack of hard evidence available to us it appears that legally we cannot charge you for any crimes.”

Jemtock looked up, more confused than anything else.

“On the other hand,” Pumfee continued, “releasing you as is will stir up a lot of of resentment and anger among the local population, so I’m afraid that we do have to detain you for a while. You have to understand that like everything here, we the police also have a political component to keep an eye of.”

“What?” Was all that Jemtock could get out, still not really grasping the sudden change of events. At least from his perspective, it was all too obvious that for Pumfee it was all business as usual.

“You will find that the law is subordinate to reality of this world, rather than the other way around. Just be glad that things are working in your favor for the moment.”

“Oh.”

------

And so the spark that will shook the world was was lit, even though few at the time could have foreseen such a series of events.
 
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TI/IR-ch 4

Mark Poe

The majestic cock
#55
Chapter 4: Welcome to the past, part 1​

“Well, what do you think of it?” Helen asked.

“Quite frankly, it is as backward as I suspected.” Jane grumbled.

The trip to Wyvernwald after getting off the yacht at the port involved taking a train, stopping at the border between the Union and its protectorate to transfer to another train, another transfer when at the border between the protectorate and the actual human kingdoms, and then finally into the heart of the Empire of All Mankind. In all the landward part took the better part of a week and a half. The train rides were pleasant enough, as was the scenery. A notable trend as the train moved away from orc lands to the human lands was the regression of technology and development, as if traveling back in time, and in a sense they had.

Industrialization wasn’t something as easy as wishing into existence or clicking some buttons like in those videogames, even though some did have the ability to summon entire factories out of the ether. In a sense industries are like any other complex organism, requiring a vast number of inputs to produce its supposed outputs, and not all those inputs are mindless raw materials. From finding the deposits of resources to training the millions of workers, it took the better part of a century… to lay the foundations of the subsequent industrialization, which that took the better part of another century.

Not every country advanced at the same rate, as the distribution of those isekais willing to work on the macro scale tend to be for some reasons be more prevalent in lands where there’s less of oversized egos clashing. All that meant that by the turn of the 5th century the Empire of All Mankind was hopelessly far behind in terms of industrialization, and what signs of progress was mostly the results of foreign investments, investments that came with many strings attached. But like the puppet that is aware of his lack off free will, those strings caused many resentments, regardless of what benefits then brought. Not that most there even recognized the benefits to begin with, although many were quick to notice all the negativity.

On the flip side, it means that for the most part the majority of the humans still live in an existence that looked as if it came straight out of a picture book of the olden times. Of course those books neglect to mention minor inconveniences such as the infant mortality rate, rampant diseases, lack of nourishment, and the smell. Oh gods the smell, really ruins the otherwise picturesque image of countless small and timeless villages, but at least none of that’s noticeable to those on passing trains…

The stations that they have stepped out of, along with numerous other tourists and people on more official business, is the central (and only) train station of Wyvernwald. As befitting of a train station in the capital of the Empire of All Mankind, the station complex itself was as grand as any on the continent, even though there was only less than half a dozen operating tracks, there simply weren’t many other places inside the human kingdoms to connect to, given the overall lack of development in most of those places. Oversize aside the place was befitting of an institution of the Empire, which means that it’s overly ostentatious and needlessly expensive. At least the implication being that someone in the imperial court wanted to make modernization in fashion, although given the mild state of disrepair it seems that wasn’t in fashion for the past few years…

But still much of the splendor and grandeur remain, and everything aside it’s a busy station, full of people going to and fo, on business or pleasure. The little group of tourists from Mandarin Island soon filed out of the station and into the city itself.

The station was located in one of the north sections of the city, a section where a number of other foreign influences could be seen, for example, the telegraph office, the power generators, and the water works. The section cordoned off from much of the rest of the city, as the huge and forbidding buildings filled with unnatural sights and sounds were beyond the comprehension of much of the illiterate and ignorant population. It was thus not a coincidence that it was also next to the legation section.

Industrial modernality aside, or precisely because of it, that part of the city is dirty, at least by most isekai standards, as most of them tend to be from developed countries in the early part of the 21st century and used to far higher standards. The air scented with the smoke of coal, the buildings caked with soot, and the streets filled their share of [literal] horseshit (well, how else are good supposed to be transported in a timely manner).

Yet for all that it was alive, filled with people who lived, worked, loved, suffered, and all the big and little things that makes the world so special and cherished.

“Okay, enough of the advertising mumbo jumbo.” Jane said as Teg drone on and on, mostly reading verbatim from one of those travel guides, which seemed to have been written by some third rate hack writer.

“I take it you didn’t travel much even in your previous life then?” Helen asked while Tag pulled out yet another travel guide seemingly out of nowhere and start reading that.

“Way too much hassles, especially since traveling to other countries have been much more difficult since the attacks on September 11.”

“Oh, the attacks on the World Trade Center?” Helen said casually. Jane suddenly snapped around.

“How do you know that?” She demanded.

“All of you isekais from America talked about it at least a couple of times within the first year of arriving to this world. Must have left quite a scar on your national psych.” Helen casually explained, Teg also nodded to that.

“Does give us an anchoring point in explaining some of our world’s events in terms the likes of you would understand.” He added. “Although come to think of it, it’s not exactly all the isekais from freedomland, quite a few appeared to have been too young to remember that, or just too self centered to notice the wider world. Although there were only a few of the latter back home.”

“True, all the ones too wrapped up in their own depraved fantasies tend to congregate in less modner places, where there’s less checks on their powers.” Helen added, then realized what she accidently implied which certainly wasn’t helping in alleviating Jane’s concerns. She immediately facepalmed while Tag merely cracked a shiteating grin, enjoying the hole that she just dug herself.

“So why did you all decided this place is safe enough?” Jane asked, pouncing on Helen’s slip of the tongue.

“Who cares when you have a dragon in the group?” Teg said, almost proudly pointing at himself. Jane merely shrugged.

“Only intimidating against most threats of this world.” She pointed out the one obvious flaw in his logic.

“Well, that’s where the aluminum headwear comes in.” He replied without missing a beat.

GIven the ever present threat of isekai mind controlling and altering powers, it was prudent for all but the poorest to find ways to mitigate the threat. Centuries ago some sage discovered tin’s ability to resist attacks on the mind, and soon despite the high costs of the metal it found itself making its way into common fashion of various headwear. A further discovery in the last century was the discovery that the metal aluminium was even more potent in its anti mind control properties. The brightest minds of the world never figured out why such two different metals would have anything in common, perhaps their coloring? Anti-corrosion capabilities? The expenses involved in their extraction and refining? Some of the isekais seemed to have a clue, but no good answer was ever gotten out of any of them. Who the heck is Alex Jones and what does he have to do with anything of this world?

Regardless of the weirdness and mysteries surrounding those metals it was undeniable that they work, and by the middle of the last century tin have become a common part of everyday fashion even among the civilians who have never seen an isekai before. Meanwhile the rich and powerful migrated into wearing aluminum headwear, whether to flaunt their wealth or more pointedly paranoid about losing it all.

“Right…” Jane said, then shook her head, as if to clearing something from her mind. “I’m sorry for being such a party pooper.” She said suddenly. “I know that you guys are really doing this for me and have me in your best interests, and here I am just throwing water on all your efforts.”

“It’s alright.” Helen said, a bit taken back by Jane’s sudden change of attitude.

“Happy to be of help regardless.” Teg said cheerfully, simply glad that no one pointed out he was simply hitching a vacation with them to begin with…
 
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TI/IR-ch 5

Mark Poe

The majestic cock
#56
Chapter 5: More talk, less action​

“Well, what do you make of all this?” Ambassador Stemkumf, ambassador of the Axeon Union to the Empire of all Mankind, asked his counterpart from the Lasce Imperial State.

“I don’t want to be pessimistic, but I doubt the reformer faction has enough pull at this point in time.” Ambassador Neressia of the Lasce Imperial State answered. “They lost a lot of influence among the imperial court in recent years.”

The two of them, along with a gaggle of other diplomats from the various countries of the old continent, were gathered at one of the numerous rooms of the imperial palace. It was a place set aside for them to discuss amongst themselves after observing the daily going ons of the imperial court that rules all of humankind, at least all of humankind that wasn’t under the yoke or influences of all the other races of the old continent, which was still a lot.

“Right, and I wonder whose fault that was?” Stemkumf wondered sarcastically.

“We had casus belli.” Neressia responded through gritted teeth, “Not to mention it’s not our responsibility to be their keeper.”

“Regardless, now we have an even more unstable giant, gathering more rage by the day.”

“With enough bullets, even the gods could be slain.”

“Not if they’re bulletproof.” Ambassador Daricon, ambassador of the Republic of Mundock, butted in. “Rumor has it that there are many among the recent arrivals to this world with abilities to negate our technological advantages.”

“Which won’t be the first time you lot have faced such problems, you guys should have the institutional experiences to deal with this kind of problems.” Neressia remarked casually, attempting to fish for some tidbits of information that might help her nation in what might potentially to be shaping up to be a massive war of the century.

Sure, the rise of the so called incel movement so far has been merely a local to regional concern, purely domestic issues of the human kingdoms, but if the wars of the past century has taught anybody anything it’s that if there’s a bunch of isekai involved, it’s certainly likely to end in country ending catastrophe of some flavor unless countered by overwhelming force or another batch of isekais. Regardless, it’s a of pain and suffering in those incidents, even when war was avoided. Thus, it never hurts to be prepared, even if the majority of preparations tend to be rather futile in the end all things considered.

“Those institutional experiences kinda rotted away in the past half century.” Daricon said bluntly. “With the buffer states in place our attention has been focused on the exploitation of Ironi.”

“So… in the famous words of a certain isekai, ‘we’re borked’.” Neressia muttered.

“Well, I wouldn’t go that far.” Stemkumf quickly said, “After all, those incels are only mass raping fellow humans on their side of the borders, and it doesn’t look like that’s going to change in the near future.”

“Well, there’s also their increasing influence in some of the kingdoms and by extension the imperial court itself, making the whole of humanity swinging more reactionary.”

“How in the name of gods does those assholes wield such influences?” Neressia asked, to nobody in particular.

“Well, again, mostly because they promised the illusion of greatness and all we offered these days tend to demands of further concessions when not conducting outright war.” Stemkumf said in a deadpanned voice.

The three were silent for a moment, it was a set of impossible goals that they were given from their government: to bring the humans to the modern age while exploiting them to the fullest extent in the meantime. So far the latter tend to far outweigh the former, much to the detriment of their reputation within the human kingdoms.

“So what cards do we have left to play these days anyway?” Neressia was the first to speak again. The bitterness obvious in her voice.

“The usual, incoherent screeching backed by the threats of arms, and praying that they won’t notice the useless of the latter.” Daricon said with grim humor.

“Sometimes I really wish the gods would give us a damn break for once.” Neressia said, in a rare display of obvious frustration.

“I think we should stop calling them gods and just call them as the demonic hellspawns that they actually are.” Stemkumf joked, although there wasn’t a trace of humor in his voice. “There’s no carrot to their stick as far as I could see.”

“Welp, time to get back to work.” Daricon said, looking at his pocket watch, “More listening to the rambling of fools while their country slowly burns from the inside out.”

------

The last days of the slow death and fall of a once mighty empire tend to produce the greatest of farces, as either lone individuals make valiant but ultimately futile stand against the coming darkness, or fiddle around while the legacies of their ancestors crumble around them and the barbarians surge through the gates. The last days of the Empire of all Mankind was little different in that regard, for every isekai who fancied himself as the genius needed to prevent a French Revolution style collapse of the empire ten more lie in wait for their chance to lead hordes of assless chaps wearing barbarians in the expected ‘Mad Max’ style post apocalyptic hellscape. Both are of course outnumbered by the rising tide of the incel movement, who with each village and hamlet they descended upon their numbers of slaves and followers swell.

There is no hope left for the past, even if for the first time there were plenty of people gathering the last remnants of it, for historical curiosity's sake or more cynically as a warning to future generations.

This time, there will be no losing the memories to twisted into myth and legends, no whitewashing of supposed ancient heroes and their alleged noble actions. This time, there will the cold silent lens of the camera, bearing witness to horrors that no mortals could stomach.

……

Reporter Dave Jameson of the Luna Times was bored, looking out his hotel window he wondered what in the name of the gods prompted him to accept this posting to the heart of the human empire.

It sure wasn’t the alleged prospect of adventure and excitement, he’s too much jaded for that kind of cheap lies.

It wasn’t for the supposed interest in a whole different culture, seemly still living out of the pages of a history book, he knew the reality was simply a morass of girm, filth, suffering, and oppression.

Ah, he remembered, it was to get away from his failures at home; two failed marriages (thank goodness the Union’s laws concerning marriages and divorces are modern and secular, seeing it as more akin to contract than some sacred oath), a flopping novelist career, a gambling problem (not that he was losing, no, he was winning too much, and those angry orcs had knives and the rage to impulsively use them).

Well, doesn’t matter what his decisions then were, just that now he’s stuck in the heart of a dying country, if not a dying people, and slow death are always such a pain to watch…
 
TI/IR-ch 6

Mark Poe

The majestic cock
#57
Chapter 6: The [incellic] rage awakening​

There isn’t much to be said about the town of Eggenton, and if it weren’t for the railroad and the steam engine it would not have been even a footnote in history. As such it was still mainly insignificant, whose existence on the map was only justified by the need for steam engine to replenish their water supplies, and Eggenton just happened to be around 80 kilometers across the border into the Empire. So the sleepy little hamlet duly received a train station (more like a couple of platforms and a ticket booth, the latter of which was rarely staffed), a small maintenance station (the region is too backward to be relying on things like water troughs, the infrastructure is simply not there), and some other smattering of modern amenities. None of those things matters to the inhabitants of the original village, who still goes around living lives that wouldn’t be out of place since the dawn of recorded history. Tending to their fields and gardens, eking out the barest of existence from a once fruitful land long since declined into a worn existence, crushed by a people who themselves were crushed by high taxes and oppression from above.

On this rather clear ordinary day a passenger train, stopping to take on replenishment water. Most of the passengers deciding to stay in the train cars, as quite frankly there wasn’t much to look at outside, nothing more than what they already seen on since they passed the border. Interestingly enough, most of the passengers riding the train were elves, many from the South Continent. It seems most of them were part of a tourist group or something, doesn’t matter as long as their coin is valid.It’s all just simple business.

Engineer Jigem was watching the water replenishment progress with the usual mild boredom, enjoying the moment to step away from the hot cab (sucks for the fireman, but this isn’t a full stop so a low fire has to be kept). Despite the hard and monotonous nature of the job, the pay is good and the job itself does have a measure of dignity, which already makes it better than the majority of the job in the small village he grew up in. Also being able to see all sorts of sights over the years is a pretty good perk, even though most of said sights were rather similar. There are only so many ways to rearrange woods, fields, and hamlets after all.

Jigem was still half in his daydreams when the screams began.

Suddenly jerked out of his daze, he scanned his surroundings, quickly deducing that the noises were coming from the hamlet, and then he saw them; slabs of pure fat and ugliness that perhaps at some point were humans that not so much as lumbered but sloshed through, but for all that carving a path of defilation through.

“Move a bit to the left, if you will please.” A curt voice cut though his shock and horror, dragging him back to the matter at hand. He looks towards the sight of the voice, an elf, whose dark skin and blond hair marked her as a native of the south continent. He immediately shifted a couple of steps to his left.

The elf pointed a finger at the mass of raping blob making seemly making their way towards the station, it appears those… things have noticed the train and its passengers. A fireball shot out of her hand, crossed the distance as quick as an arrow slamming into them. When the smoke cleared, there was no effect. As Jigem grew more horrified, it was obvious that these vile monsters are much tougher than mere mortals.

Meanwhile the elf merely sighed and muttered, more to herself than for his benefit, “Welp, guess magic based attacks are not all that effective after all.” She turned to a gaggle of other elves, who seems to have gotten out of the passenger cars to gawk at the unfolding horrors moving toward them.

“Might want to break out the fire crackers now.” She merely said.

One of the other elves nodded, and opened a rather large carpet bag and took out a rather heavy looking cylinder, an object that Jigem immediately recognized as a rocket launcher.

He didn’t have much time to wonder how in the name of the gods did a bunch of elven tourist managed to smuggled that level of serious firepower before the elf fired the launcher, a streak of flame flew towards the horrifying blob, making a rather louder explosion than the magic fireball before it.

Even before the smoke clears this time Jigem was already back in the cab. It’s time to get out of there in a hurry. Of course, easier said than done, given the lead time it takes to get up to full steam even with a fire already burning on standby mode. Jigem was sweating profusely as he went through all the checks for getting underway in a blur, it’s either certainly die now or a chance of the train exploding later, which is only a problem down the line if they lived long enough to see that to begin with. Precious, nail biting minutes passed before the train began to move, during which a few more streaks of flames flew forth, more rocket fire, along with copious amounts of gunfire. Seems these elves were more than just a mere tourist party, even the more insane hunting parties don’t pack rocket launchers and machine guns.

Regardless of the insanity of his passengers, their firepower was bought enough time for the train to get away from the doomed hamlet.

As the horrific sights finally disappeared from the horizon and the train chugged along as faithfully as ever Jigem finally allowed himself to let out a sigh of relief.

Then he heard a cough behind him, and he saw that same elf as he turned around, looking slightly worse for wear but mostly in one piece.

“Sorry to disrupt your job keeping us on track.,” She began, “but if possible could you and your buddy the fire stroker over there keep the events of what happened back there to yourselves?”

He could only nod, as even without the pistol that she was holding in her hand, her voice made it clear that she, and who or whatever she’s working for, are not something he ever want any part of, never mind messing with.

“Could, could I at least ask, what the heck are those things?” He simply stammered.

She cocked her head for a moment, as if debating within herself whether to delverge the information or not, before speaking again. “An evolution, or more accurately speaking, a vile mutation of the isekai, you probably will here more about these ‘incels’ in the coming weeks and months. Pray that you will never have to face them again.”

And with that cryptic message, she turned around and made her way back to the first of the passenger cars, leaving Jigem with more questions than answers, not that he was particularly eager to find any of those answers to those questions anytime soon...
 
TI/IR-ch 7

Mark Poe

The majestic cock
#59
Chapter 7: Welcome to the past, part 2 (alternative title: stop overthinking things)​

The candied lemon peels was pretty good in terms of taste, akin to a less sweet version of Sour Patch Kids, although privately Jane wondered about the sanitation standards of the open air street stall they just bought those candies from. Neither Helen or Teg seems to be all that concerned however, but then again both of them are native to this world, not to mention the latter being a dragon.

Can dragons even get food poisoning? Even after living in this world for the better part of a decade by this point most of it was still an unknown to her. Then again, what she learned of this world through the newspapers and history books (their history books) generally run the gauntlet between horrifying and depressing; where the civilized orcs, dragons, and elves indulge in naked imperialism when not outright aping the worst of fascism, and the self styled “civilized” humans read like something straight out of a hentai doujin, and the less said about the horrors on the Ironi continent the better.

And most of all these issues could be laid directly at the feet of the humans from back on earth.

What sick deity would do such a thing to make this world such a cosmic joke? Wait, better not asking that, the answer is probably somewhere between sickening and horrifying.

“Your mind wandering off to dark places again?” Helen hazarded a guess. Jane flinched a bit, feeling a bit guilty. After all, Helen (and Teg too, come to think of it) were doing all this for her, the whole vacation and getting out to see more of the world, and all she could think of were how much she dislike it all, this world.

“Yeah.” She admitted sheepishly, “Just can’t help it at times.” She answered lamely. Teg simply shrugged.

“Well, just remember you’re not alone.” He said.

“Teg’s right you know?” Helen continued, backing him up, “Most of the isekais on our sides tend to have a of issues with homesickness, alienation, and related issues. We been treating these things for over a century now.”

‘Should have seen that coming.’ Jane thought to herself. After all, given what amounts to thousands, no, tens of thousands of people being dumped into this world over this world’s centuries, there would be plenty of people with the same issues as her.

She wasn’t special by any means, isekais are a cliches after all, and cliches implies a oversaturation of the formerly unique, which makes them normal, perhaps overly so.

Ironically, that was the one thing she could live with very well, the last thing Jane wanted was to be special, and by extension the center of attention, like the time the wehraboo elves tried to kidnap her soon after her arrival to this world.

She shook her head, trying to clear her mind a little. Perhaps they’re right, she should just let loose a bit and enjoy this pseudo time travel vacation (although going from early 21st century earth to the steampunk world was already a bit of time travel).

And despite everything, there is still plenty of things to enjoy in a medieval metropolis especially the capital of the Empire of all Mankind, as long as one is a tourist, who by the simple fact of currency exchange rates (official or otherwise) is flushed with money compared to the locals, and being from more powerful countries meant that most would not fancy to do violence on them.

All the troubles of geopolitics, economics, social changes, and other affairs of great importance of surprisingly little influence on the daily lives of the inhabitants of the city, who still goes on living their lives bustling to and fo, doing all the things that makes the world go around, and life worth living.

People are people after all, and left to their own devices they tend to live out lives, for living is a purpose onto itself.

Besides the people there are still many sights to see; the huge (by medieval tech levels) palaces and churches, embodiment of the power and splendor of the emperor and the gods. The lively markets, of which hundreds of shops and stalls compete against each other to sell just about everything under the sun. Many of the buildings and statues were of unimaginable ancientness, or so the locals claimed (and no one has gone through the effort of carbon dating them, that would be an insult to the honor and integrity on the people).

In a sense, even some of initially flaws of the medieval world has taken a charm of their own, and Jane begin to appreciate the simple beauty of a society still living in much simpler times, so as long as she ignore the statistics behind the scenes. Life shouldn’t be a mere numbers game after all, even if that’s what many of the isekais seems to care about.

Jane was still immersed in simply living life for once that she didn’t noticed that Helen and Teg had stopped to listen to a traveling bard. In a society were paper was still too expensive to be used for such trivial purpose as newspaper, and a population that’s not literate enough to read them anyways the main way to get the news being through the oral tradition, and traveling bards being a critical part of that. She was almost about to walk off entirely when Teg noticed and casually dragged her back with a finger.

“Oh sorry about that.” She said, “I was too busy enjoying the sights…” she dropped off as she noticed the worried expression of both Teg and Helen’s faces. “What’s wrong?”

“Newsboy over there is claiming that there have been a number of attacks on railroads by unidentified groups.” Teg said curtly.

“Looks like we’ll have to cut our vacation short. We’ll head back to the hotel to pack our bags.”

“It’s that bad?” Jane asked, not really want to believe things were about to so south that quickly, especially given their little motivational talk earlier.

“Suffice to say it’s better to play safe than sorry.” Teg said.
 
TI/IR-ch 8

Mark Poe

The majestic cock
#60
Chapter 8: Your gods of cordite and tin, what are they good for now?​

It was somewhere in the wilderness, on the borders between true humanity and those who abandoned humanity and now are under the rule of the other races. A sight rapidly becoming a rarity on the old continent, that of the untamed wilds… which abruptly stopped at the border that marked the frontier between the Republic of Setwood and as of yet free humanity (ironic, free in the sense of free to be oppressed by their own kind, but that’s besides the point).

A small column of troops, mainly humans along with a sprinkling of orcs, were crossing the border. A regiment of the Setwood army, their simple march would have been an act of war in more normal times. But times were not normal, not with the few reports the rest of the world was receiving from the few telegraphs that managed to get some message out before they too, went silent.

Potential war or not, something must be done, besides bickering like hens of course, which was what the politicians were all doing in the meantime while it appears that the Empire of all Mankind was eating itself from the inside out.

“What threats do you think that’s out there?” Colonel McAllister, the nominal human commander of the regiment, asked.

“Probably isekai related, the bastards never learn.” Lieutenant Borkmen, the military liaison from the Union, general advisor, and the real authority of the regiment, said curtly.

“This time is really bad is it?” McAllister seems rather worried. “I mean, for all news from over there to suddenly be cut like strings from a marionette.”

“Eh, I wouldn’t worry too much about that.” Borkmen dismissed the concern, “It’s just that we young ones are so used to all this modern technology. Heard in the stories that back in the old days the first signs of coming doom tend to be ominous dark storm clouds.”

He paused for a moment, “Besides, we got cordite and tin, and that trumps the old iron and blood.” He shrugged. “Just remember your mission.

McAllister nodded. This is merely a reconnaissance in force, not an invasion or even intervintation. Quite frankly he agreed with the orders. Them ‘free’ human over yonder can kill each other to their heart's’ content for all he cares, but it’s everybody’s problem if their insanity spills over, which seems to be the case these days.

“Contact!” A voice shouted, so joined by copious sounds of gunfire in the distance as the skirmish line let loose volleys of shots from their bolt action rifles. While the Union was leery of giving their puppets heavy weapons such as artillery or machine guns they do provide the infantry with the latest in small arms, the reasoning being that in times of war the Setwood army would be folded into the Union’s military, which would make their lack of heavier pieces a moot point. Meanwhile if they dare to do something such as declare full independence from the Union then that same lack of heavier pieces would mean that their resulting struggle would most likely be short, fruitless, and painful.

“Well, get to it. You know your duties.” Borkmen mere said, McAllister nodded, and begin to give orders as the rest of the regiment turned towards the threat.

As they made their way to the sounds of combat the level of gunfire seems to drop off. However, it was not the sound of victory. No, it was… eerie, as if the strings were suddenly cut from puppets. As they got closer they could hear occasional screams of terror from their forces, only to be suddenly cut off in the same fashion.

Then they saw them, the lumbering masses of flesh and fat, slowly making their way forward, shrugging off rifle rounds like mere summer rain, an unholy red glow encompass their vile bodies.

So horrified they were at the sight of those monsters that it was a half a minute (an eternity on the modern battlefield) before they noticed the fate of the skirmish line.

It was not a pretty sight, listless bodies, the life and soul has long since gone out of their eyes, now merely the mindless puppets of those monsters.

As they watched the sight unfold in front of them, another number of soldiers lost their souls. First the tin from their helmets simply flew off, overwhelmed by the mind control magic of whatever foul powers those enemies possessed. Then the light of their eyes simply gone out of them, and they dropped their weapons and stumble towards the other direction, now merely soulless husks to a new master.

To his credit, McAllister was quick to recover. He immediately turned towards one of the nearby soldier, who was carrying a large wicker box on his back. “Quickly, send a message back to command. Inform them that we are facing a new enemy, one that can negate our guns and tin.”

The soldier nodded, and he begin to unpack in preparation for the release of a carrier pigeon.

Meanwhile Borkmen was organizing a retreat, or ‘tactical withdraw’ as he calls it. As he was about to move forth with a few men to form a vanguard he turned towards McAllister one last time.

“Whatever happens, they need to know. Everyone need to know what happened here.” Then he casually walked off to his death.

At least it was a quick death, as his head merely exploded along with his tin plated helmet.

The vanguard bought precious minutes. It wasn’t enough to save any of the regiment, but it was enough to save the pigeons, who flew faster than the mind control radius’ expansion, or perhaps they were deemed not important enough.

As McAllister and the last remnants of his regiments were about to be overrun he put the barrel of his sidearm in him mouth. He was not going to die a meat puppet, and pulled the trigger.

There were no survivors of the regiment saved for five carrier pigeons.
 
TI/IR-ch 9

Mark Poe

The majestic cock
#61
Chapter 9: Well, shit​

“Just what in the name of the gods are those things?” General Kulak asked, to no one in particular, as he shuffled through reports after reports bearing grim tidings.

While the Stone Loaves were as ugly as ever on the outside if somewhat bigger than they were since the beginning of the century, the insides of it has evolved quite with the times. Electric lighting, air conditioning, telegraphs and internal telephone lines. Rumor has it that a radio station is in the planning stages. Through it all it was still the same buildings in which the first offensive against humanity was planned almost a century ago.

Now, as it was then, the mood was still rather cynical, but that’s nothing new as far as anything that has to do with isekais are concerned.

The reports from the frontiers of their protectorate the Republic of Setwood, as well as from every other country who border the Empire of all Mankind, were disturbing in the extreme: entire groups of soldiers, some of brigade sizes, were simply swallowed up by the coming threat. The few that managed to send a message, usually via carrier pigeons but at least in one case also telepathy, paints a picture of a new terror, far more potent than anything any of them had faced before in their countries entire history.

“As we of the isekai community and the Lost Bureau have been trying to tell you and the flesh sacks in parliament for years now, we are seeing an incel rebellion of unholy proportions.” Jared Hartman, an isekai residing in the union, and more relevantly an operative of the Union intelligence service. Not the flashest or the most competent, but nothing wrong with his service performance either. Overall quite normal, which in itself is rather abnormal as far as isekais are concerned.

“I’m still not exactly sure what the heck is an incel, first off all.” Kulak begin…

“To put it in the simplest terms, they are losers who can’t get laid back on planet earth, and who have built their existence and identity around that failure. Generally they are also extremely misogynistic and from their stays in this world, pretty racist too.”

“Still, what does all this has anything to do with the current problems we are seeing?” Kulak asked, his patience wearing thin, as so far nothing from either the written or verbal reports made much sense.

“Their rage, of which their entire life has been based on, has been manifesting and fueling their magical powers. Which is quite more powerful than anything we have seen previously in any isekai communities.”

“So, why now?”

“Well, this has been going on for a while now but everyone was sticking their heads in the sand and pretending the problem isn’t there. This current incel uprising is literally a backlash against the march of history for the past decades. They came here to escape from their world, but that world is coming to this one regardless.”

“I’m a general, not a historian. Don’t try to dazzle me with rhetoric bullshit. So basically it’s a long simmering problem coming to a boil and we need to beat them down now.”

“Basically, yes.”

“Well that’s not gonna happen, at least as part of a coalition of nations.”

“I thought you are merely a general.”

“To paraphrase a famous general from your world, ‘war is merely continuing politics by other means.’”. He cracked a cheerless smile. “Not to mention you need more than two for a gangbang.”

“We need all the countries in a united front for intervention do we?”

“Of course. Everybody’s a backstabber these days, that’s why you want to keep them where you can see their guns.”

“Well, the elves are already getting rather trigger happy.” Hartman flipped through some files, finding the one he wanted after a moment. “They and their puppets have been moving the majority of their rail artillery to the frontiers, and rumors were that they been running barrages on any unusual activities on the other side of the borders, which does corroborate with their recent heavy munition expenditures.”

“Well, no surprise that the stereotypical rape victims are the most freaked out about the next apex predators in sexual assault.” Kulak said, secretly relishing the thought of the pointy ear fascists not having things their way for once.

“Wouldn’t that make them more desperate?”

“They wouldn’t dare, they should have read enough trashy novels by this point to know that whatever extreme acts they do will almost certainly backfire on them.”

“Desperate people are rarely rational though.”

“Well then, we’ll save the fallout from that for the politicians. Thanks the gods I’m a simple soldier.”

“Acknowledged.”

“All that being said the army will partially mobilize. After all, if similar conversations were being had elsewhere, we can be certain everyone is thinking of the same things.” He paused for a moment. “The beast is dying, and the vultures have gathered. We are the vultures here.”

“Wait a minute, the army can partially mobilize?” Hartman suddenly realized something rather out of place.

“What do you take the army for, a bunch of savages? The Guns of August is required reading for the general staff after all.”

“Wait how do… never mind.” Hartman decided some things are better off unanswered.

------

Meanwhile in the Lasce Imperial State, a similar yet vastly different conversation was also taking place in the heart of the Hall of Assembly.

“So the bastards are bulletproof and magicproof.” Amberea said, a simple statement. Throwing a stack of reports she has been reading on the desk, sighed and looked at the gathering of generals and other military bigwigs. “Not to mention capable of overwhelming traditional tin plating and other such anti magic wards.”

“Well, technically, they appears to be merely bullet resistant. According to certain reports the average number of rounds…” One of the generals begin.

“Irrelevant. We cannot afford that level of conventional expenditure anyways. Not when the rest of the loons are waiting for us to overreach. I believe it’s high time we deploy the more unconventional weapons.”

“My fuhrer, Surely you’re not suggesting we break out the Zyklon B this early?” Another general asked, taken aback by the suggestion to open the pandora’s box.

“Not that, that’s for the concentration camp we’ll be building to dispose of the stragglers. I’m talking about the chlorine and phosgene gas.”

A collective gasp erupted from the generals. Amberea didn’t even bat an eye.

“Why not?” She continued, merely shrugged, “We’re already paying the penalty by our mere existence, so might as well reap the bitter fruits of our labor.” The simmering anger was barely audible, but still there all the same.

“It’s still a world of difference if we break such sacred conventions in actual fact.” The first general spoke up.

“Yes, they will rage, maybe cancel some arms deals. The usual. What they will not do is to attack us directly.” Amberea stated.

“How can you be so sure?”

“Because we will have shown our resolve in using any weapons, no matter how forbidden. With one foot in that door, they have no choice but the gashing of their teeth, or plunge the world in a darkness beyond the worst of the legends. I think even the most firebrand warhawk over yonder will pause before that. Not to mention we’re not using it on them.”

“It’s still a gamble though.”

“Imperium audet fortunati.” Was merely what Amberea answered with, although no one in the room (including Amberea herself) knew any latin, given that it wasn’t a language of their world, the general idea wasn’t lost given the sheer pop culture osmosis many of them received. Just as well, it’s not like said phrase made any sense, or rather arrogant, not that the Imperial State was unfamiliar with such mentalities. She then continued, “Now with that out of the way, the casus belli. What’s the latest status on Oesa and her crew?”

“Somewhere near the capital. An incel band finally got the train they were on.” A colonel barked out, “They are running low on ammunition but otherwise stable on supplies. Oh, and they don’t have any maps of the region they’re currently.”

“Well then, we must hurry and mobilize some forces then.” Amberea said in a voice as cold as the night stars. The military staff then realized, in the deepest sense, that to her, no one really matters except as pawns for her scheme, or lambs to be sacrificed on the altar of geopolitical necessity. She continued, “How many troops can we have in a fortnight?”

“The introduction of aluminium plated helmets has been going on slowly due to the costs, we currently have around two brigades since…”

“I am not asking how many we can safely deploy in light of recent findings. I am asking how many we can deploy in total, regardless of their readiness.”

There was a collective sucking in of breath among the gathered. Seems the fuhrer is dead set on more bloodletting of the most horrific fashion.

“A… around four divisions my fuhrer.” the colonel stammered. “Including three companies of combat golems.”

Amberea nodded. “Well then, get to it.” She waved a hand, signalling the end of the meeting.

As the military staff begin to file out, she suddenly spoke again, as if an afterthought to herself. “It might take decades, or even centuries. But history will vindicate us.”

------

The storms of war once again gathered on the old continent, the lands as ready as ever to receive the blood of thousands. As usual, the people believe that this time it will be different, yet the more things change the more they stay the same.

The savage nature never left, and now the veneer of civilization is about to be cast aside.
 
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TI/IR-ch 10

Mark Poe

The majestic cock
#62
Chapter 10: Doors are locked, y’all are stuck in this level​

“Well, this is not good.” Teg stated nonchalantly, as he, Helen, and Jane looked at the closed train station.

Well, to say the station was closed might have been an understatement. All the windows have been boarded over and not a single light to be seen within. As if the building has all but been abandoned. In fact, it probably had, though not like it matters much as the trains had stopped coming in for a while by this point.

That’s the problems with vacationing in places where media technologies tend to be lagging behind, as sometimes the difference between fresh and stale news being a matter of life and death, and it seems that main way to avoid the latter has just been cut off.

“Well, there’s always the option of hiking all the way to the nearest civilized country.” Helen said, not even having any faith in her own idea.

“Besides the sheer distance involved, over a thousand kilometers I believe, through mostly untamed lands that’s probably infested with who knows how many raping incel gangs. None of us actually has the relevant maps.” Teg pointed out the obvious.

“So what now?” Jane asked.

“Well, first we head back to the legation quarter.” Helen begin, “Then we see if anyone there got any good ideas. There’s has to be someone with some contingency for this kind of emergencies.”

“Wait, I thought it’s mostly diplomats and tour guides there?” Jane asked.

“The former tend to have guards around them like flies and most of the latter are probably spies.” Teg said. “What, surely you don’t think they are what they claimed?” He added, after seeing Jane’s shocked expression.

“Alright enough talking, let’s go.” Helen said, while turning her head around to scan their surroundings, which was not looking too good either.

Contrary to what some of the more popular fiction (of both worlds), the release of the true magnitude of the incel/isekai problem didn’t plunge the humans in the city into headless panic. After all, it won’t be the first time that some great threat has come forth in yet another attempt to ruin everything good and wholesome, and surely once again they’ll be defeated by the heroes. It has barely dawn to them that this time, the threat was coming from the supposed heroes who were supposed to save the world. A world that quite frankly, doesn’t exist and hasn't been for decades.

The solution has become the problem, unfortunately by the time of realization it was far too late to prevent the coming storm already brewing.

However, that wasn’t to say the city was completely oblivious to the events from far away (and not so far away): there were far fewer stalls and shops open, and what ones that were open were mostly out of goods as any who had the means have already bought what they could. The streets themselves much less active, as was the city overall. Many (mainly humans of the kingdoms) took their chances and fled the city on foot, a choice the vast majority would soon regret.

…...

“You know what? This does make me feel slightly better.” Helen said as the trio walked through the gates and into the legation quarter.

They being far from the only ones stranded. The central plaza was filled with all sorts of people. Elves, humans, orcs, and even a couple of dragons milling around. Worry lined most of their faces, as most of them were the idle rich, second or even third generation of the rich and powerful, born into wealth and power, expecting the world to revolve around them. This time, however, is a time or rude awakening, and much akin to the superstition that the ending of a dream of dying ends in actual death, not all will survive this rude awakening.

“In the sense that there are people even less prepared than us?” Jane asked, raising an eyebrow. “I didn’t exactly mark you as the sadistic type.”

“You have no bloody clue…” Teg begin, although quickly cut off when an orc in the uniform of the combined legation police force made his way towards them.

“Anyone here with any knowledge on fighting? Especially with firearms?” the uniformed orc said wearily, not even bothering with a greeting such was his weariness.

“About that,” Teg begin, “I would like to retrieve my bags from our hotel suite…”

“The rocket launcher with three reloads, heavy crew service machine gun with 2,000 rounds of ammo, 3 shotguns, 2 500M Special bolt action rifles, 6 revolvers, 3 semi-automatic pistols, and a landmine.” The orc ratted off without missing a beat.

“Yes… wait, what the heck?” Teg said, surprised. “How do you-”

“Look. If you haven’t noticed yet we’re kind of desperate for any weapons here. You can file a reimbursement after the crisis. If we’re still alive that is.” He said, seemly more weary than ever.

“Why in the name of the gods did you pack a bloody landmine?!?” Helen finally butted in.

“For hunting purposes.” Teg muttered unconvincingly.

“Hey guys,” the uniformed orc tries to calm the situation, “We’re really grateful for his, um, hunting cache.”

“I hate to ask, but what’s going on?” Jane finally spoke up.

“Incel groups have taken over much of the surrounding regions, and rumors has it they’re heading for the city to kill every foreigner. That’s us by the way.” He said, and put out a hand. “Constable Pumfee of the combined legation police force, at your service.”

Jane shook his hand, still in a daze of sorts. Then Pumfee turned towards Helen and Teg again.

“I’m assuming that both of you have some experience with firearms.” He said, getting back to his original question.

“Pretty much.” Helen muttered, still mildly annoyed at the extent of Teg’s arsenal. While she figured that he would pack some guns, given his fetish towards those thing, she wasn’t expecting the sheer amount of heavy armaments he did managed to pack. No wonder the bastard couldn’t afford a vacation of his own.

Pumfee then turned towards Jane, “Mam, do you have any useful skills? Sorry to be so blunt about it.”

“I… know a bit of water magic.” Jane managed to stammer out. Her mind still mostly freaking out over the horrifying specter of incels overrunning the city and committing unspeakable horrors on them.

“Good, please report to the water treatment plant over there for further instruction.” He pointed towards a large ugly cement building with numerous piping protruding from it. “Sorry for being so coarse, but right now the legations quarters are under martial law, and we need every body and talent we can get our hands on.” Pumfee seemed to be rather uncomfortable telling Jane what to do, even though he seemed to have no such problems with either Helen or Teg.

Helen was the first to notice that. “What’s so special about her?” She asked Pumfee.

“I thought she was part of your group?” Pumfee asked.

“Yes she is.” Teg said. “What of it?”

“Where the heck are you people from if being around a deity is not unusual?” He asked incredulously.

“Oh good grief here we go again.” Helen sighed, “For the how many time Jane is not a deity, no matter how much bullshit you been reading or hearing. Just because she matches the apprances and possibly powers doesn’t mean she’s one.”

For a moment it seemed that Pumfee was about to argue the point before quietly dropping it. “Please come with me to the police armory.” He merely said, “We have a lot of work to do.”

“I call dibs on my machine gun. I’m probably the most qualified being to handle it anyways.” Teg said as they begin to walk towards the armory.
 
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TI/IR-ch 11

Mark Poe

The majestic cock
#63
Chapter 11: technicality exploit​

“I think we’re lost.” Jenvessa said, as the group of elves trudged through the unfamiliar forest.

“We been lost since we stepped off the train.” Oesa remarked, seemingly somewhat cranky.

One could hardly blame her, given the circumstances of the events leading up to a group of badly disguised elves wandering somewhere in the vast untamed wilderness deep within the territory of unconquered humanity.

It was such a simple plan: get to Wyvernwald, make some threatening gestures towards the human imperial government and bully them to get them to get off their arse and do something about the incel infestation. All while under the guise of concerned but influential civilians.

Well, the plan was derailed, literally, before they even got to within 50 kilometers of Wyvernwald (best guessmate, although in reality no one really had much of an idea just how close or far they are from the human capital). The incels were significantly more bold than even the most pessimistic and cynical forecasts. Who the heck thought they would in effect unilitarly enrage the entirety civilized world? Then again they were spoonfed since their earth days that they are supposed to be the heroes who can take on the world and win.

Sometimes Oesa wondered just how damn crazy that earth must be, as from what intel from the other nations have suggested that what they’re dealing with are in fact merely the scraps and rejects of earth.

Damn lucky there isn’t a full size portal connecting the two worlds, or whoever or whatever that’s sending these incels aren’t sending the best of earth.

Regardless though they’re in a hostile territory with no good maps, low ammunition, and not much of a plan beyond surviving and getting to the general direction of their original goal, which seems further away than ever before.

“Probably should have followed the railroads more closely.” One of the other elves in the group spoke up.

“We did, until we unloaded the bulk of our ammo on one of those roving incel bands.” Oesa said bitterly. “Which only bought us enough time to get lost into the woods.

Perhaps it was ironic, actually, it’s pretty much the height of irony, if not a punchline to a joke, that a group of elves being lost in the forest. Ever since being freed from adhering to the stereotype of being tree hugging hippies the elves proven that in fact, stereotypes were pretty much bullshit most of the time. Whatever natural affinity they had with the forest was moot as they embraced modernity with great gusto, as whatever vegetation they incorporate into their urban planning was firmly subordinate to the needs of modern infrastructure and vanity.

In reality, elves are more natural city dwellers than tree hippies. Doubly so for the paper pushers and camp guards that make up the State Security Service. Thus the unhappy group wanders around semi-aimlessly in the seemingly endless forest.

“I’m picking up something.” One of the elves sudden spoke up. “Strong presence of mana… over there.” She pointed toward a direction somewhere to their right.

“Northwest.”Oesa muttered. If they ever get back, she thought to herself, she’s definitely going to get the Security Service to implement some outdoors courses. Or scheme the destruction of all untamed nature, whichever one being easier. Who the heck knows these days, people are dumb and machinery seemingly all powerful.

“Should we be heading towards it though?” Jenvessa asked, not unreasonably.

“It’s either that or dying slowly in these woods once we run out of the rest of our supplies.” Oesa pointed out. “There are no good choices right now.”

“Point taken.”

……

As the group made their way closer to the detection of the strong concentration of mana they were once again reminded the sad fact that there are plenty of worse fates than death in their world. The screams rang out far before they could seen the cause of them, shortly followed by other more horrifying sounds that signals incels enjoying their latest victims.

“Welp, time to turn around.” Jenvessa said, “We all seen enough hentai to know what's happening over there, and our guns and magic are useless against those bastards.”

Meanwhile Oesa was looking at her surroundings, which are still the trees that are same throughout the rest of the forest. She then nodded to herself.

“Direct magic doesn’t work, and it takes a lot of force to take them down.” She muttered to herself. “Well then, time to go back on some old tricks.” She sat down, cross legged.

Then the trees around them begin to move, uprooting themselves with creaking and shrieking of the damned themselves. Of course, the modern scientific answer being that plant cells, having cell walls, are not designed to be movable, and just because extreme amount of mana forcing the issue doesn’t mean such a violation of the natural order is painless.

But as the old saying goes, put enough thrust and a brick will fly, put enough mana and even the boulders will move. No one ever claimed that the moving would be painless though, and it’s not like the trees have mouths to express the amount of pain they’re going through.

Regardless, they no longer had a choice in the matter, and the now animated trees lumbered forth at the unseen direction of the dark elf channeling her mana, towards the sounds of unspeakable horrific acts being committed.

The rest of the elves in the little group watched as the trees lumbered off, soon swallowed up by the rest of the forest. It took a bit longer for the sounds they made to recede into the distance as well, but that came along soon enough.

Then came the sounds of more screaming, soon joined by screeching and the unmistakable sounds of wood snapping, and possibly an explosion or two, although what caused those was anyone’s guess, and probably something no one really want to find out in any detail.

Then Oesa simply collapsed, and the rest of the group diverted all their attention to her. It was only after they stabilized her condition (only mana exhaustion, unsurprising given the amount necessary to uproot and command a dozen fully grown trees) did they realized an eerie silence has descended in the distance.

Well, something happened.

……

“So precise application of brute force still works as fine as ever.” Jenvessa commented casually while survey the devastation of the village. “As long as there’s enough of it to throw around.”

Oesa merely nodded, still rather worn out from her little stunt with the trees.

And what devastation, as there was no a single house left standing. Although it’s not as impressive as it sounds at first, as most of the buildings were simple straw and thatch construction, generally lacking in even foundations. Meanwhile a half dozen or so trees were spewn around, one even upside down in the middle of what was passed for the village square.

As for the bodycount, it was rather hard to tell. Well, at least it’s hard to count how many incels were involved, as most were torn limb from limb in best case, and in the worst cases, simply torn to shreds. They did managed to take out a half dozen full sized moving trees, wooden splinters littered the landscape, along with some larger pieces such as branches and slices of trunks. Quite a few of the wreckage suffered the telltale scorch marks of fire burns.

And then there’s the rest of the humans, the original inhabitants of the now almost non-existent village. The few examples still alive that is. Already not in the best of shapes given their hand-to-mouth existences, the incel raid and the subsequent fight with the moving trees did them no additional favors. Now they looked at the group of elves with sullen eyes, too tired and broken to move or even care as to their fate.

“So what now?” One of the others in the group asked.

“Ask for directions.” Oesa finally muttered.

“Acknowledged.” Jenvessa nodded, and went off to the villagers, brandishing a pistol as she went.

And so the spoils go to the victors as the elves poke and prodded around the ruins of the village for useable supplies, which wasn’t much. It was a pre-industrial village after all, far off the beaten path from anything important. The villagers simply stood and watched, just another group of fiends taking what they want. It’s merely the natural order working as it had for thousands of years, the strong take what they want, and the weak bear what they can. Out here, justice only comes in the form of a naked blade.

After a while, suddenly, one of the elves spoke up.

“Detecting another spike in mana concentration!” She shouted, “Bearing… thataways.” She pointed towards a direction somewhere to the west. Oesa muttered a couple of choice words.

“Time to get the heck out of here.” She merely said wearily. The rest nodded, and quickly regrouped. The villagers soon realized what’s happening, and for the first time a different expression appeared on their faces.

Fear.

But there’s nothing that could be done, and soon the elves were on their way of getting lost in the woods again, as Jenvessa’s attempt at getting directions was not all that fruitful, and they themselves were terrible at following what little directions there were in any setting without conveniently places signposts.

They were barely out of sight of the former village when the screams begin again.
 
TI/IR-ch 12

Mark Poe

The majestic cock
#64
Chapter 12: 55 days in Wyvernwald​

Wyvernwald was in flames. Well, parts of it it anyways, mostly the mundane parts of the city. It would be ironic if it weren’t for the depressing fact that it’s rather well known that saviors tend to destroy the very things that they set out to save. Thus it came to be that the arrival of the incels to drive the filthy orcs, elves, and dragons out of sacred human lands simply sparked rioting and looting of epic proportions. The few city guards, already sympathetic to the incels to a certain extent (mainly in driving out the foreigners), were only too happy to fan the flames of chaos. It was a time to settle old scores and score new loot.

While the imperial court and the nobles watched on helplessly but safely in their grand palaces and castles as the city burned merrily before their eyes the situation was similar but also at the same time very different over at the Legation section.

The walls of the Legation section, which despite their faux medieval appearances were constructed with the best reinforced concrete elven money could buy (as both the orcs and dragons were far less concerned about the dangers of rioting mobs than the elves, who seemed to have assumed that all humans were only a couple of steps away from caricatures straight out of hentai). The overly ostentatious fake-ish fortification finally came in handy though, as the tops of the walls were patrolled by a ragged collection of Legation police, diplomatic guards, intelligence agents (some of those paper pushers still seemed to have problems figuring out which end of the gun they should be pointing at the enemy), and random tourists, the last of which were still mainly excited than anything else, mostly because they have yet been exposed to the real bloodletting and horrors unique to isekai fueled civil disturbances.

Needless to say, while the various departments and agencies had plans in place for various contingencies for such disturbances, but none with each other, especially not with those of other countries, rivals and even potential enemies they might have been, now all thrown in the same crisis. The orcs of the Republic’s embassy were ready to make a ‘thunder run’ and even had a truck ready, which they claimed will strike terror in the hearts of all isekais. That plan was shelved when the engine simply refused to start, as the truck itself was left in storage without maintenance for over half a year (the rest of the city’s medieval, nowhere to use it anyways).

In the end, everyone decided that the best course of action was to sit tight and hope that their countries would come and rescue them.

Then the telegraph lines were cut, and they became more cut off than ever before.

……

“Remember, women and children first.” Buntoc said as he took another potshot with his rifle at a fleeing woman carrying her infant child through an alleyway. His voice and actions as cold as the great northern mountains. The shot missed by at least three meters.

“How about you use a little tact and not talk about this in front of a reporter?” Teg tried his best not to simply facepalm while eyeing Jameson just a couple of meters away, busily jotting down notes or sketching, whatever reporters do normally when on the job.

“Why not? Pretending the ugliness of the world doesn’t exist will only make it harder to clean up said ugliness.” Buntoc retorted as he took another potshot, again going wide.

Teg merely sighed, went over to the reporter, grabbed him easily in one hand, and dropped him off the inner side of the wall. It wasn’t a long drop, merely less than a meter until he came in contact with the roof of a building, a general store of all things.

“So you come over to my way of thinking I see.” Buntoc barely glanced over.

“No, but since I can’t fix your psychopathic tendencies right now I can at least hid it from the general public for a bit longer.” Teg growled.

“Figures, you milita types are really just civilians roleplaying military.” Buntoc fired another shot. Another miss, this time missing a child by five meters. The streets, already rather empty, now approaching absolutely deadness, only the rats and other vermin dare to crawl forth, too insignificant to warrant even stray shots. “Too soft to be able to make the hard choices when it counts.”

“Says the tough talker who seems incapable of hitting the wide side of a building, never mind a moving target of any size.” Teg shot back, the words more biting as he merely used his normal voice and vocabulary, the contents need no embellishment.

“Not like bullets are all that useful, given what we know of the threats ready to assault this place. Not to mention one less civilian means less fuel source for the incels.”

“Suppression fire is still a thing, as is kinetic energy from impact. Old instincts die hard. Not to mention you’ll look less like a psychopath.” Teg give up on convincing the obviously bonkers intelligence officer of the madness of his thinking.

Teg himself might be a trigger happy gun fetishist, but he drew the line on shooting unarmed civilians in the name of denying resources to the enemy.

------

It took a while, as all research related matters when the topic being controversial and the subjects too dangerous to be observed at any but at distance, for some (mainly those whose jobs are to study such matters) to figure out the horrifying way in which the incels gain power. IN hindsight, it wasn’t that surprising given their mentalities and whatever ironic and sadistic logic that the world seems to cater to the more depraved isekais.

It still doesn’t morally justify shooting women and children, but morality was rapidly becoming a luxury in the besieged section. Hard times calls for hard men to make hard choices.

No… no, no. It shouldn’t be that way. The forces of evil must be denied on all fronts, even in the battlefields of the soul, battles that many have already lost, and many more in the process of losing.

------

Bullets were not the only things in short supply, nor military personnels the only ones losing their temper and sanity. Since the beginning of the siege all contact with the rest of the world has been effectively cut off; the water pipes cut (although the legation section has their own water treatment plant), as were power and telegraph lines. The roads that weren’t blocked with rubble were filled with roving incel bands, hellbent on raping anything that’s alive, be they humans, elves, dragons, or even cats.

……

Pumfee slumped into a wall, utterly drained from dealing with yet another day full of whining and insufferable brats. It would be a lot of efficient to simply throw them out of the compound and let the incels have their way with them, then maybe the rest of them might actually have a fighting chance. Then again, surviving long enough just to be thrown in a court for throwing civilians to their certain doom is also a pretty lousy option.

“Tired?” Jane, who was leaning on the wall next to him and also seemingly just as tired, asked.

“Exhausted.” Was all he could get out.

“It’s like running a kindergarten isn’t it?”

“If you mean heading a large number of undisciplined children, yes. That would be the case.” He thought to himself for a moment. “How come you aren’t like them?” He finally asked.

“My life in the previous world was solidly middle class.”

“So were most isekais…” Pumfee begin, then he noticed the glare Jane, a glare of pure, distilled rage.

“Forget I said that.” He lamely finished.

“Don’t, ever, ever, compare me to them.” Jane said through gritted teeth.

“Yes mam.”

“And drop that deterrence act, I ain’t nobody special.”

“The blue hair and the water purification abilities beg to differ.” Pumfee said, silently thankful of the fact, since the water treatment plant had been unable to meet the higher demand while losing much of the usual electric and personnel that normally needed to run it.

Jane merely snorted, “I don’t get why people are still all over those little mundane powers.”

Pumfee decided to drop the topic, too tired to explain the fine nuances of magic and mana usage, not that he himself knew much of it. Once seen as a race wide curse of sorts, now in the age of machines and science the general many have wonder if it was a blessing in disguise. After all, the cray crays tend to be rather limited instead of potentially entities of mass destruction.

Life and societies has become too complex for rampaging nutjobs with actual powers. Case in point the current crisis.

…...

“This isn’t looking good.” Pimu muttered, reviewing the remaining inventory.

“No they are not.” Helen agreed.

As with all sieges, rationing was instituted as soon as the gates were locked. However, the problem was as always the civilians, specifically those of the upper class, who are not used to hardships of any kind. Thus it was a constant fine line between preventing the spoiled brats from rioting by robbing paul to pay for peter while keeping an eye on the irreplaceable supplies.

“At least the one thing we don’t have to worry about is water rationing, thanks to your friend.”

“You don’t need to remind me that every day.”

“Hard not to when no one seems to have an idea how long her mana reserves will last.”

“And you think a little bit of faith on your part would help?”

“Think more of it as reassuring my own mental state, what’s left of it anyways.” He paused for a moment, “Say, how come you aren’t like most of them?”

“You mean like a spoiled little bitch?”

“I wasn’t thinking in those coarse terms, but yes, especially when half of your grandparents being isekais.”

“They weren’t normal isekais, and for all their faults at being parents and grandparents, they at least tried to instill good values on their descendants.” She sighed, “Not that it did much good, given what most of us ended up as. A bunch of greedy bastards hellbent on stuffing ourselves while the going was good.”

“I’m sorry if I touched a nerve.”

“It’s fine, we probably won’t live long enough as is, might as well let out our last confessions.”

“You think it’s really that bad?”

“Aren’t you supposed to be the expert?”

“Given what the government pays me? I doubt it. Then again, we been crying wolf so many times that we have learned to just ignore our own findings.”

“And so here we are.”

“I suppose the shepherd boy was telling the truth the last time, didn’t do him much good though. Speaking of which, I always wondered did the wolves ate him too or just all the sheep that he was supposed to protect? I never got a concrete answer from all the isekais I talked to.”

“Probably because there was a number of different versions of the story.”

“Well damn it I can’t even get an answer to a simple question in my last days.”

“Welcome to life, cheerful isn’t it?”

------

Sieges weren’t just hard on the bodies from the rationing of supplies, they also took their toll on the minds, as distilled, it’s just a mind waiting game, with potentially a terrifying surprise at the end.
 
TI/IR-ch 13

Mark Poe

The majestic cock
#65
Chapter 13: Silent war, unholy war​

Another dawn begins again on the land formerly known as the border between the Lasce Imperial State and the Empire of all Mankind as it has been for the past few month, with the symphony of the artillery from the elves.

On this day however, while the guns themselves boomed as loudly as ever, the shells they flung were not. Oh they whistled through the air as like other shells from the previous months, but they landed without the expected flaming explosions.

Then the clouds begin to rise from the open shells, the touch of death dropping all those it came in contact with. Little fuss, little noise, just death.

Chemical warfare has finally graced its deadly presence on the battlefield.

……

The lines of soldiers slowly advanced through the deadly clouds, as silent as the chemical weapons they passed. Clad in gas masks and bundled in protective clothing that belies their size, hand signals and flags being the only ways they communicate with each other and the rest of the army. Following them were the artillery, drawn by golems who ignored the chemicals, much as they ignored the weather regardless of what’s coming down from the skies. It was the one endearing feature that made the Imperial State so invested in them over traditional horses, despite their much higher costs.

Meanwhile in the skies squadrons of witches, who scan the land ahead, ready to rely and potential threats back to the rail artillery, of which were already aiming higher, their crews ready with more charges.

The vultures have begun to descend on the dying empire, and the pickings are many to be had.

------

Meanwhile on the borders between the Orcs (and their human puppets) and humanity the invasion was far more conventional, the orc war machine lunges forward… and stops. Taking halting steps forward, slaved to the needs of the autocannon and field artillery teams to set up covering positions and the packing when the forces moved beyond the range of their support.

The incellic rage might make them bullet resistant, but that just means bigger guns were needed. Penetration isn’t the only point of bullets and shells and shrapnel. Kinetic force in sufficient quantities also do the trick well enough, never mind more exotic ammunition such as pyro rounds...

The orcs have learned from the death of their human ancillaries of the earlier disasters, and this time there will be no arrogance, only overwhelming force and firepower.

------

There was no mercy, none to be expected nor given from all sides. Only the slaughter brought upon by the might of industrialization against the incellic rage of worlds, with many of various degree of innocence in between. Steel against mana, science against magic (although the lines do blurred quite a bit, especially where the elves were concerned). Blood flowed freely, along with some other unmentionable and probably no longer important fluids. Chemical weapons tend to not do puncture wounds, but what they do tend to be much worse.

But the incel groups weren’t the only enemies the various “intervention” forces had to deal with. Also roaming around were the various human armies, originally sent to suppress the rebellions. Many instead swore allegiance to the isekai incels, seduced by the prospect of regaining lost glory, or simply mind controlled as they lost their souls to the great unknown. Regardless of the reasons it doesn’t matter to the orcs, dragons, and elves, the latter only holding off the chemical weapons on them due to supply constraints. Had to save the potent stuff against the truly dangerous threats after all. A few of the human armies picked a third side, specifically a side of their own. Seeing the writing on the wall (what’s left of it anyways), many choice to carve their own path in the collapse of imperial power. Still didn’t help them when some ended up in the way of real modern armies.

Armed with everything from knock-off modern firearms to weapons more suited for the museums, and with skills ranging from near professional to what most isekais would call ‘noobs’, their overall contributions was that of more chaos, making an already muddled situation more unclear, not to mention causing more collateral damage to the landscape, whether from their foraging activities or standing in spots that seemed all too mundane, but was marked on certain maps, maps of artillery girds that is.

Few could withstand the king of the battlefield, none when chlorine and phosgene were throw in the mix.

The battles did not just involve the petty lives of mortals, even the land and nature itself became involved, in the negative sense of course. The elven army in particular targeted forests and woodlands with a witch’s brew of herbicides, deciding that the best way to deal with potential ambushes was to deny the enemies potential places to hide in. The dragons on the other hand prefer capeting villages suspected of harboring incels with pyro artillery rounds, urban warfare not being their forte. Total civilian death were never counted, but no one was in the mood to care, no one important anyway, they’re all just mobs right? Even otherwise they are the others, and therefore okay to kill in the name of preemptive self defense.

Logic and reasoning has long since abandoned the situation.

------

In the elven army’s wake was silence, not just the silence that comes from a cession of the noises of civilization, but that of an unnatural silence, one that being devoid of all living creatures. It was the power of death straight out of the legends, but now in the era of science and progress such power lies not just in the hands of the gods themselves, but governments and militaries, all run by mere mortals.

And mortals have proven themselves to be just as incompetent and sadistic as the gods before them, truly made in their image indeed. Somewhere in the beyond, the gods must be laughing at the irony of it all, and the suffering of the mortals but the latter already assumed given the entirety of recorded and unrecorded history of the world.

Welcome to war, industrial war.
 

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