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The Lost Bureau (and other stories)-original fiction

WWR-part 1

Mark Poe

The majestic cock
#41
(Late 390s S.E.)

When the wackos are right

part 1​

The first noise that came out of officer Potams’s mouth when he found the blue haired naked elf lying in a clearing deep in the tropical forest was a barely suppressed groan. Yet another case of drunkenness or something equally stupid, among the tourists and now the Mandarin Island Police Department is now once again picking up the pieces.

Mandarin island, part of the Orange island chains, the last group of islands before bumping into the continent of Ironi. The location and climate made the chain of islands the perfect place for everything supporting the endless maws of mining needs, from growing the fruits with their much needed nutrients to being the vacation spot for all the inhabitants of that continent who wishes to escape from that living hell (if only for an all too brief while). There were even some manufacturing going on, though mostly of the military type as it being far enough aways from the old continent and all their prying eyes.

As such, all kinds of weird and disreputable stuff happens, not helped by the fact that the islands were for the most part under the ownership of the Tomson-Palmer Conglomerate, which means a lot of stuff tends to be swept under the carpet if for no other reason than it’ll reflect badly on the tourist trap image they’re trying to build. He signed. No identification in sight, which means more paperwork and bullshit while trying to figure out things such as who the hell she is and who to contact to pick her up.

The elf begin to stir, and Potam cleared his throat. “Excuse me mam, this is the MIPD…”

The elf was in visible confusion, then she noticed him, and a wave of horror slowly formed across her face.

Potam continued his seemly futile attempt to calm the elf down. “The police is here, you will be in safe hands…”

She bolted, and like most elves she was fast. He sighed, this has all the hallmarks of something really ugly.

Well, time to end this fast, and he unslung his shotgun, popped in a net round and a tranquilizer round. Sometimes one has to do unpleasant things to others for their own good…

------

“So you think slaver gangs are operating here?” Chief Umek asked. The two were sitting in his office, after Potam’s return with the unexpected subject, who by this point has been put in one of the rooms in the victim’s quarters.

“Given the behavior of the captured specimen here, more specifically her behavior, I have to say that appears to be the case.” Potam was insistent. “She appears to have no knowledge of our society and its workings, suggesting that she has not have any prior contact with it or being kept away from it.”

“Decent analysis… for a beginner” Umek remarked, “but you’re missing a few points. Namely that from even a cursory glance so far there are no physical signs of injury, no branding, no collars or any other attachments of those nature. The preliminary magi report also came back clean, so probably no signs of mind control or break. That doesn’t sound like any escaped slave I ever heard.”

“So what the heck is it then?” Potam asked, the wind taken out of his big idea.

“It’s a mystery, which is why we’re going to do all we can.” Umek seems a bit smug, “The port authorities have already been alerted and been advised to be on the lookout for suspicious activities, as are the corporate goons. Also I asked the local branch of the Bureau of Exotic Affairs to come and take a look.”

“What? Those loons?” Potam was visibly confused. “What do those idiots over at the Lost Bureau have anything to do with this? What we have here is obviously an issue purely of this world.”

“Well, they’re the closest group of loons on these islands, I believe the current crisis over at Ironi has been taken the majority of everyone else's attention. Rumor has it that some of those ratlings have somehow acquired their own ironclads, among other disturbing happenings.”

------

As Jane came out of her blackout she found herself in a clean but very spartan furnished room. She was lying on a simple cot but no blankets, there was a desk and a couples of chairs in a corner, both seems to be made of hardwood, as was the bed frame itself (the mattress on top seems to be of the standard spring kind). The room has a single highset window as well as a door. Interestingly enough there are nothing that was made of glass or could be made into a rope. Whoever designed and furnished this room has certainly thought out how to prevent someone from escaping… or committing suicide.

The signs are not exactly encouraging. One doesn’t need to read any hentai to know what some of their most popular cliches are, especially with the feedback loop it had with the rise of neo-misogyny in the early 21st century…

… but then again, she’s not on planet earth anymore isn’t she? That huge orc was probably the first indication, if that wasn’t simply the product of her imagination… was she dreaming? Is she still in this nightmare? What the heck is going on?

She looked around some more, then noticing a neatly pile of clothing near one corner of the bed, realizing her still state of undress she took the clothing. It was a simple t shirt and pair of shorts, as well as a pair of loafers. The clothing seems to be rather on the flimsy side, seems that whoever’s in charge of the place is really dead set on preventing escapes or suicides, or in all likelihood a serial rapist and sadist. Both seems equally likely at this point. But clothes are still clothing, and any covering is better than none.

As she put the clothes on she then finally noticed the difference to her body, or at least noticed it in a conscious way. After all, long silky blue hair is something hard to miss, but on the flip side it is also not very important in a life or death situation.

......

She was still in her thoughts when someone knocked on the door. “Mam, we got a couple of guys from the BEA here to help you.” A rather deep voice said, rather apologetically, “If you’re can allow us to come in we can sort out all this.”

“Y..yes.” Was all she could meekly blurt out. What choice does she really have?

The door slowly opened, revealing the terrifying sight of a trio of orcs, except the sight is more bizarre than anything else. There was the orc in what appears to be a military uniform of some kind, the same one who was chasing her earlier… how long ago was that? How much time has passed already? Doesn’t matter now does it? Meanwhile the other two were wearing loud and bright shirts and shorts, one of them carrying a notepad and a pen.

Well, this moved straight from hentai to the twilight zone.

One of the non-uniformed orcs begin to speak. “Allow us to introduce ourselves, I’m Dumens, head of the Orange Islands branch of the Bureau of Exoitc Affairs.” He pointed a thumb at the orc next to him, “This is Knomes, my flunky… I mean, assistant. Cop in the back is Potam, not really important.” The police officer was visibly annoyed after hearing that, but made no motion in particular. “If you feel that you are up to the task we can start the questions.”

Jane nodded, still too stunned to say anything. Dumens then begin the questioning.

“Well, since you seems to be capable of understanding us, we can assume that you speak Anglish. So moving on, what is your country of origin?”

“America.” She said, then saw that they’re expecting more. “United States of.” Dumens nodded, and Knomes jotted something on his notebook. “Can you get me back home?” She asked, daring to hope for the first time since being in this place.

“No can do.” Dumens answered, immediately dashed her hopes. “Nobody found a way yet, and people have been trying for centuries.” Seeing her crestfallen face, he tried to comfort her like he learned as part of dealing with newly sent isekais. “There are many like you in this world, and they have recreated many cherished parts of it, for better or worse.” And as usual, it didn’t seem to help all that much, well, the questions must go on. “What was the year you were in before ending up here?”

“2018, August 12th. CE” She wondered what will they do with all this pointless trivia, since it had been made obvious for a while that they’re not on planet earth.

“Hmm, seems the newest one so far.” Dumens muttered, then returning to the task at hand. “What was the president of your country in the year 1997 Common Era…”

And so the questions continued for hours, with breaks in between, including a break for tea. Interestingly enough not that there being such a thing as tea in this world, but rather the concept of iced tea and moreover various citrus flavored sweetened iced tea. Actually, barring the weird nonhumans and the lack of electronics, the world seems almostly oddly familiar in many respects. Of course it’s silly to start drawing conclusions from such scant evidence but such was human nature.

“Thank you for your cooperation.” Dumens finally said, signaling the end of the questioning. “The BEA will make further arrangements for your life in this world.” He said as he stood up to leave.

“And of course, we’ll bring you some sturdier clothes.” Potam spoke for the first time since entering the room, almost sheepishly, “You appears to be in no danger of escaping or attempting suicide. Oh, a few other things. The bathrooms and showers for non-personnel are down the hall, I’ll get you some toiletries. If you need any food just ask one of us and we’ll get some from outside. And one last thing.” He paused for a moment. “Don’t freak out at the dragon in the courtyard with his swamp cat, he’s a fellow officer and you can trust him with your life.”

……

“Well this is interesting.” Knomes remarked. The two BEA officers were strolling down the streets of Bluntville, the sun well on its way to set and the nightlife was already breaking out in places.

“That’s a mild way to put it.” Dumens said, “This might be the first case where an isekai jumped species while jumping worlds.”

“Wonder how the main office back home will receive this.”

“Probably sell her down the river to the scientists, those guys are spineless.”

"So you're not gonna write a report?"

"Not until it's too late, and certainly not before talking to a certain someone else first..."
 
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WWR-part 2

Mark Poe

The majestic cock
#42
Part 2 facing the reality​

It wasn’t a dream, nor a nightmare. She was still in that room the next morning. That leaves only long term coma, becoming completely delusional and detached from reality, or the truth that she might be in fact, in another world. All of those possibilities effectively lead to the same conclusion though, that for all intents and purposes she’s a in a strange world and will have to live with that.

Well, for another world it doesn’t seems to be that bad, in fact it’s almost feels forgiving. It’s almost as if these people were used to randos dumped on their world, wait, they made it clear that she was far from the first one to drop in from planet earth.

That brought up more horrifying thoughts. While she has herself never personally read much works of the genre known as ‘isekai’, from what she had gathered on certain online communities, things only go well if the person being forcibly transported to is a mainly male loser with little attachment to back on earth, qualities that she doesn’t possess.

Suppressed thoughts of home once again bubbled up to the surface of her mind, and once again she pushed them away. This is not the time for mental breakdowns, while they did not explicitly state it, but the room she’s in has many of the hallmarks of being a jail cell. She doesn’t blame them for that, probably a sensible precaution too, she doesn’t want to contemplate what any of the previous people did.

Wait a minute. Civilization and technology are still around, though are those because of people like her, or despite of? So many damn questions, and no answers in sight.

She was still deep in confused thoughts when a knock intruded upon her.

“Mam? You have a visiter. Well, actually a few if you count repeats from yesterday.” A voice, probably the cop’s, said.

“Come in.” It might as be a formality, as if her saying no would make a difference. Still, any shred of delusion of being in control of something is certainly better than nothing. Right until the horrors begin of course, but that’s to worry about later, however soon that’ll be.

The door opened, revealing the three orcs from yesterday… and a human. Or what seems to be human, her appearance being a bit off, but Jane couldn’t put her finger on what. It also wasn't her clothing. The cop was in uniform, and the two orcs from the BEA were still wearing loud and bright clothing. She on the other hand was wearing a simple sundress, very understated but almost obviously expensive, as if a member of the aristocracy pretending to be a person of normal social status.

“Jane,” Knomes begin, “Processing the necessary documents for you had proceed very smoothly.” His voice suggests the exact opposite, heck, neither of the two BEA orcs looked too comfortable with the situation at hand. “So you’ll be released today.”

“Also, some extra good news.” Dumens continued picking up where his flunky left off, “Miss Helen Tomson-Palmer here has taken an interest in you, and will be handling your transition in living in this world.”

Jane narrowed her eyes. “This isn’t exactly normal conduct for you people isn’t it?

“You’re damn right it isn’t.” Potam replied quietly, “but then again the capital is far and the corporation is near.” the other orcs give him the stink eye. He ignored them.

“Don’t worry,” Helen spoke for the first time, “You are going to be okay, you are in good hands now.” She held out a hand. Jane, after a moment of hesitation, took it.

One step at a time, one step at a time. If it’s really as bad as the genre would implied her days of sanity were numbered anyways.

“Well, I don’t want to ruin this moment,” Potam coughed, “but could you all please vacate the premise?”

“Of course,” Helen agreed. “My place has a much more relaxing atmosphere.” As everyone begin to file out of the room. Jane followed the group, about to immerse herself into a whole new world, for better or worse.

……

As they walked out of the police station into the courtyard, The first thing noticed was the dragon in a modified version of the police uniform, lazing around along with an alligator, who’s also wearing a police hat. Potam noticed her gaze.

“That’s the dragon I mentioned yesterday.” He explained, “He’s Teg’Stomean, the assisstant chief of police, and the head of the local militia. That swamp cat is his pet, Cookies.”

The dragon opened an eye, and waved at the little group, before closing again, returning to his sunning. The group moved past on, through another gate to a parking lot.

It’s not a large parking lot, probably an indication that vehicles were still not all that common. There were a couple of cars and a truck painted in blue and the letters MIPD, they seems to be rarely used, at least compared to the rack of bicycles next to them. On the far corner near the outer gate there was parked a sedan, an elf in an almost skanky looking maid costume stood next to it, with a bored look on her face. When she noticed the group her eyes suddenly grew wide and she almost gasped. No one beside Jane noticed that, Helen being too busy talking to the orcs of the BEA.

“Well, if there’s anything else, we’re only a call away.” Dumens said to Helen.

“You guys finally got a phone line? Shocking.” Helen pretended to be surprised. She turned away from the orcs and towards Jane. “If you haven’t gathered, we’re going to my home. Just us, the BEA’s involvement ends here for now.”

She then turn towards the elf maid, “Reta, start the car, we’re going home.”

…..

“You’re rich, aren’t you?” Jane asked Helen, as they were in the car which was meandering through the narrow and winding roads. The car itself, which certainly appeared to be an ancient design lacking basic things like AC or even powered windows, was obviously a product of luxury, at least the leather seats were any indication. “Like, really rich?”

“Well, being the grandchild of isekais does help, but really it’s what one does with one's’ inheritance and a fair bit of luck that determines the most in the results.”

“Wait, you, you’re a descendent of people like me?” Jane couldn’t believe it.

“On my mother’s side anyways. Father’s side was far more normal, a mix of dragons and elves.” Helen replied.

Well, that went a long way in explaining some of her more nonhuman features.

“So, people like me have been popping into your world for that long?”

“According to historians and archaeologists, it’s been happening for the better part of four centuries. Weird thing is the time between the worlds doesn’t seem to move the same way, all of the peoples from your world seems to be plucked from the era around the beginnings of your 21st century.”

“Oh.” Jane wasn’t sure what else to say.

“Switching to another topic.” Helen said suddenly, “How did you managed to get here, if I may ask? Got hit by truck?”

“No, I’m not sure what happened. The last thing I remembered was falling asleep on a bus. It was a greyhound, that’s a long distance bus.”

“Oh, guess that bus probably fell into a river or crashed or something to that effect then.”

“And it was on my way to a model shipbuilding gathering.” Jane sighed. “Then again, not sure if they’ll accept me in real life.”

“You have an interest in ships?” Helen was suddenly a lot more interested in the conversation.

“Yea, especially warships of the early 20th century.” Jane blushed a bit, “I know, it’s weird for a girl to be interested in that stuff.”

“What is the extent of your knowledge?” Helen asked, her mind already working somewhere else...

------

Meanwhile somewhere on the ocean a bit outside the coastlines of Ironi, a cruiser of the Lasce Imperial State was chugging along in no hurry. A dark elf in the tropical uniform of the State Service was lounging around on the port bridge wing in a wicker lawn chair. A messenger delivered a freshly typed paper to her.

“Latest dispatch from one of our agents on the Orange Islands.”

“Thank you.” Oesa replied, taking the message and begin reading. As she read through the message she begin to smile.

“It’s so nice to be vindicated.” She said to herself. She then turned to one of the crew of the ship, of which there’s always a few scurrying to and fo.

“Inform the captain that this cruiser will be making an unscheduled stop to Port Pulp, and tell him to inform the port authorities there that our official reason was due to the recent crisis over at Ironi forcing us to truncate our resuppling there.”

“Acknowledged.” One of the crew said, she didn’t even paid attention which one. It doesn’t matter, as long as they all behave like the good soldiers and sailors that they’re supposed to be.

Soon the cruiser turned slightly but noticeably, towards the chain of islands…
 
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WWR-part 3

Mark Poe

The majestic cock
#43
part 3​

“So, just how specific if your knowledge of the warships of your world?” Helen asked Jane.

The two of them were at her office in her house, though Jane privately thought it more as a mansion cosplaying as the Maginot Line, as far as the outside decor goes. She did mention something about the house also serving as the depot for the local militia, the island’s redoubt in time of war, and being the storehouse for her company’s trade secrets. She’s still not sure if this is a sign of humbleness or extreme narcissism. Regardless it certainly gives a vibe of a unhealthy lack of divide of work and life.

On the insides though, it was rather minimalistic, in the sense that the furnishing were originally meant for a house much smaller, and no one has bothered to add any additions. Soon it became all too obvious why that was the case, as it turns out that Helen and the maid, who also doubles as a secretary and general assistant, were the only two permanent residents of the house.

With a victorian era tech level, house cleaning would have been an almost insurmountable task given the personnel at hand at the best of times.

It has been a few days since she started staying at Helen’s place, and it has been… continuously surreal. There was an overall subconscious sense among the peoples of this world to recreate life back on earth, from the decor of the buildings to the mannerism of the peoples to even the pop culture references that everyone who’s well read seems to know.

She learned that there was in fact many communities of people like her scattered around, and by bullshit powers of knowledge they managed to shape the world much closer to what they’re used to, though for some reason neither Helen nor Reta wanted to talk much about the native humans of the world, or anything on “the other side”.

Of course, the exchange of information wasn’t merely one way, which bring back at the conversation at hand, as Helen seems to have taken an interest in her hobby.

“Mainly warships from the late 19th century to the mid 20th century.” Jane answered, it felt oddly calming to be discussing something so familiar after all the weirdness of the previous days.

Helen nodded, then she stood up, walked over to one of the bookshelves, and took out a rather battered looking dark blue tome. She put it gently on the table.

It was a hardcover, the original dust jacket was long since gone, and the letters on the side were somewhat worn, though it was also obvious that much effort had been expended to keep its condition from deteriorating too much. The words were something she never expected to see again:

CONWAY’S ALL THE WORLD’S FIGHTING SHIPS 1860-1905

“Where, where in the world’s did you come across this?” Jane was taken aback. It shouldn’t be possible, not with what happened to her and what she had been told.”

“I have the rest of the volumes too.” Helen was looking mighty smug for a brief moment. “The thing is, one of my grandmother’s ‘cheat’ ability, was the power to summon books she had read. Turns out she was a minor naval buff too, among other things. But enough about that”

She opened one of the drawers on the deck, took out what appeared to be a photo. Then passed it to Jane. Jane took the photo and looked at it.

In it was a battleship, a pre-dreadnought type. The ship was appeared to have been at a harbor in a tropical location. Her condition seemed to have been a bit worse for wear though, her hull covered in soot and grime, as if she was at the end of her life.

“So,” Helen begin, “What class of ship is the one in the picture?”

“Majestic Class,” Jane answered with some confidence, “the side by side funnels and the full turrets distinguished them prior and later classes, though I’m not aware of any ships of that class ever bring in that condition in that type of location.”

“That’s because the photo was taken in this world, actually on one of these islands.” Helen smiled at the wave of shock on Jane’s face. “Long story short, one of granny’s other cheat ability was to be able to summon objects from the books she summoned, though needless to say summoning large objects took much more mana and experience. That ship she summoned near the end of her life, I think it was the late 50s? Well, we never had the infrastructure or the technology to maintain her at the time, and well, there you see.”

“So… um, where’s that ship now?” She has so many more important questions, but has no idea where to begin with the rest. This seemed like a safe question.

“Scrapped about a decade ago, back in 87, when the islands finally built the proper facilities. You did well, most isekais thought it was the Miskasa for some reason.”

“I would guess because either they played too much Kantai Collection or World of Warships. Damn weeaboos.” She groaned at the thought of those types polluting even this world, but then again, given how the whole modern thrown to another world situation was literally catered towards them, she really shouldn’t be surprised at how many probably made their way here.

“That’s something we can agree on, thank goodness most of those crazies tend to gravitates towards the elves. Not sure why, probably because they been going fascist for a while now.”

“Wait, what?”

“Yeah, this world has a minor fascist problem too, another dubious thing we learned too well from you people. That being said they are good customers, always pay up front and in hard currency.”

“Wait, you’re selling them stuff?” None of this seems to make sense, it was obvious that Helen wasn’t a big fan of fascism, yet she’s cheerfully selling them stuff all the same.

“If I don’t do it, someone else will, and all the governments are too toothless to enact embargos, not when the elves had long cornered the mana market.” She shrugged, “Mana is as important as oil in your world Actually, probably much more important, given how much our societies depend on magic and mana is used to fuel that.” She shrugged again, “If it makes you feel any better, the rest of us still have the bigger guns.”

“Didn’t prevent Hitler from overrunning Western Europe and murder 6 million Jews in World War Two.” Jane muttered, mainly to herself. To her surprise Helen nodded, as if she knew what she’s talking about.

“You have to keep in mind that none of us in this world have the collective institutional experiences of your world, and the gods keep on importing douchebags to our world. So for the most part fascism isn’t seen in the same negative light as back where you came from, not when there are bigger problems to worry about.”

“There are bigger problems?” Jane can’t really imagine things worse than nazi elves running around and militarizing with the backing of magacorps.

Helen was about to reply when a knock on the door.

“Sorry to disturb you” Reta’s voice called out, “but there is a developing problem.”

“Come in.”Helen said wearily, “This is the weekend, what could possibly go wrong?” she asked. As far as the everyone’s concerned, the weekends were always the time for the islands to transform into full tourist trap mode, which means the usual factories, offices, and shipyards tend to be all but abandoned.

“A ship of the Lasce Imperial State has just docked a few hours ago, and State Security Minister Oesa was onboard. She’s on her way here for a chat with you.”

“For what reason does she wants to chat with me for?” Helen was a bit nervous now, as far as she remembered all the weapons sold to the Imperial State was of acceptable quality.

“It’s about their archaeological and historical research, specifically the rumors that the water goddess Photinsea has been sighted on this island.”

Helen quickly turned her gaze to the blue hair elf with the soul of a human, her face suddenly clouded by worry.
 
WWR-part 4

Mark Poe

The majestic cock
#44
part 4​

“Get her safely hidden away now!” Helen immediately snapped into action. Reta simply nodded, grabbed Jane by the left hand, and almost dragged her out of the office. The last thing Jane heard Helen say was “It will all be explained later, please bear this for a bit longer.”

In the minutes that followed the two of them hurried through a maze of corridors and staircases, going steadily downward towards towards deep into the basement levels where Jane has not yet stepped into at all since she first came to this house.

It was the underbelly of the beast, in a sense. The storehouse of the island militia and if things go bad enough, where the island make their land stand. Obviously, it’s not a happy looking place, being large rooms piled high with all kinds of stuff strewn around everywhere, the thick layer of dust on them indicating that no one has actually gone there for quite some time. Reta quickly begin to pick up a number of equipment and other assortment of things from the various piles.

“What is going on? What are we doing?” Jane was still in shock at the sudden change of events and personalities.

“Just need you to be out of their sight for some time, for your safety, and if worst comes to worst, the safety of the world.”

“No way.” Jane said flatly. Sure, overpowered douchebags with overpowered cheats are a dime a dozen in isekai literature, but usually they weren’t all concentrated in a single world. If they are in this one, it would mean either the continuous collapse of civilization or they cancel out, and since she’s in a house with functional plumbing and electricity, it must be the latter.

“This time is slightly different. Come, follow me.” Reta finished packing, strapping a rather ancient looking holstered revolver to her right leg. She opened a previous hidden door and went in. Jane, not really seeing a good alternative, followed.

The air in the tunnel was dank and mushy, but at least there was electric lighting in the form of a couple of bare bulbs. Reta started rambling, answering the questions that Jane haven’t even thought of yet.

“Thing is, it’s different this time because you just happen to match the description of an ancient elven water deity that the present fascist regime is interested in. Your existence will confirm the superiority of the elven race and civilization in the moment of their greatest revanchism. Fun things all in all.”

“But, but, what? That’s madness!”

“If you haven’t noticed, this world is a bit off the hinges ever since you people have shown up.” Reta muttered, slightly bitterly.

“Hang on a minute, aren’t you an elf?” Jane suddenly realized, and then remembered that the maid was armed while she herself was not…

“I’m not a citizen of the Imperial State, for a start.” Reta said. “When then chancellor Amberea declared the formation of the Imperial state replacing the old Confederation many towns exercised the secession clause in the last moments, already seeing the writing on the wall. Luckily, I was from one of those towns.”

“Oh,” Jane was quiet for a moment. “I guess the Imperial State then conquered them?”

“Actually no, fuhrer Amberea was at first too distracted by internal problems, and by the time that was over the Union and the Republic were handing out sovereignty guarantees like penny candies.” Reta allowed herself a brief smile. “You can always trust the orcs to do the right thing, if only because they’ll get to annoy somebody else in the process.”

“So, you’re country’s still free?”

“Yes.”

“But would they really think I’m a water deity?” Jane remembered that her original question still haven’t been really answered. “Aren’t magic users rather common in this world? She still has a hard time contemplating how she herself could be so disruptive to the world at large.

“Well, we’re not dealing with rational and reasonable people here. We’re dealing with people who are grasping any straw they see, even if it’s the product of their own delusions.” They finally reached the end of the corridor. Reta then fiddled with the doorknob and the long unused door creaked open, revealing dense tropical growth. She looked backed at Jane.

“You know how to live out in the wild?” She asked.

“My family dragged me out to camp back when I was a child.” Jane answered, with slight trepidation.

“Close enough, let’s go.”

As the two walked out into the forest, neither had noticed a few peculiarities around Jane, such as despite the crushing heat and humidity of the outside climate neither seemed to have affected her, nor the thin nimbus of water vapor surrounding her, as if a protective forcefield of sorts.

------

It was an almost comical sight as the group of State Security troops of the Lasce Imperial State arrived at the door steps of the Tomson-Palmer residence in an obviously rented horse wagon from the local area, the orc driver being as bored as the old horse lazily pulling the whole thing into view. Comical, that is, when one ignores who the wagon was transporting.

Helen tried her best to put up a cheerful veneer, however thin. After all, it’s just another perfectly ordinary day here at Mandarin Island. Well, if nothing else she could always just blame it on the all pervasive heat and humility.

Even before the wagon stopped, A dark elf figured jumped gracefully from the wagon. She then walked, almost a fast march, briskly up to Helen, quickly closing the distance between the two.

“It’s good to see an old friend once again.” Oesa, head of the Lasce Imperial State’s State Security Service, said, as she embraced the [mostly] human. A greeting normal for the elves of the South Continent (who always seems a bit too friendly to outsiders) but less so for a head of a powerful intelligence apparatus.That’s the thing about dark elves; they are just so friendly and cheerful in everything, even when they’re committing unspeakable horrors and meddling in things mortals were not meant to know.

Helen’s discomfort was all but showing on her face, however briefly, during the quick embrace, but luckily no one was paying much attention. After Osea stepped away, she managed to catch her breath again.

“Yes, it is good to see you here, although I’m curious as what matters of fate conspire you to be in this humble vacation spot? Do come in, let us get out of the hot sun.” She quickly attempt to get the entire group of elves into the house, before they pay too much attention to the surrounding forests. In her haste in trying to distract the elves she herself did not notice that a couple of them were carrying some rather bulky and heavy equipment...

“Oh, the usual, unexpected insanity from the forces of chaotic evil rudely truncating our archaeological expedition there to find the first colony and the resupplying of the LINS Salt, so here we are, at the next more convenient port of call, and I simply could not miss an opportunity to visit a good friend of our country.” As expected, a combination of useless information, half-truth, and worthless platitudes.

Helen sighed a little as the group files into her house, it’s gonna be a long day…

……

“Your maid not here?” Oesa asked. The two of were sitting in the rear patio,

“My assistant is out shopping.” Helen scowed, mildly annoyed that Oesa, and almost everyone else for that matter, seems to always assume Reta being merely her maid. Then again, such underestimation is useful at times, this being one of them.

“Oh, how unfortunate. Just as well though, I got the impression that she doesn’t like me.”

“I wonder why? Maybe it has something to do with the geopolitical situation that’s being going on for the past couple of decades.” Helen said, slightly sarcastically.

“Her devotion to her country is admirable, shame that it just happen to be to a country my country happen to have… some issues with.” She paused, “But that will change soon, when we find the ancient powers and the truth will be obvious to all.”

“Excuse me, but what the heck are you babbling about?” Helen asked, feigning ignorance. “I figured that your visit here was about something to do with some of the recent weapon purchases your country made with my company.”

“Oh, my apologies, I guess you weren’t aware of some of the latest discoveries in the field of archaeology that’s being happening.”

“To be perfectly honest, it’s more that I have been intentionally making myself ignorant of a field that’s been uncomfortably close to grave robbing and historical revisionism.” Helen had to choose her words carefully now, as too much ignorance and disbelief would be seen as an indication of hiding something as much as accidently revealing too much.

Oesa sighed, “Well, allow me to enlighten you then,” She smiled, “You’re not wrong.”

“What?” Helen was taken aback. She hasn’t expect Oesa to actually admit as much. “Is this the part where you monologue before killing me or something?” The patio suddenly felt a bit colder, despite the blistering heat of the outside.

“Of course not!” Oesa giggled, “Only morons attempt to emulate those trashy dime novels.” She became serious again, she continued in a more hushed voice, “The thing is, we did found quite a bit of evidence suggesting that grand ancient civilizations had existed before.” Helen stared at her in disbelief. “Well, obviously not on the same technological level as the present ones, it’s a really different context.”

“How… what?” Was all Helen would get out.

“Those ancient civilizations were what we have dubbed ‘keystone’ civilizations, whose prosperity, and in many cases even continued existence, were dependent upon the powers of a few individuals blessed with incredible mana and powers.”

“How much mana are we talking about?” Helen asked, who has recovered and was becoming interested in the topic, if only mildly.

“According to the experts, some of those individuals possess mana output that’s potentially greater than the National Mana Reserve of the Imperial State.” Helen whistled at that. The NMR was the Imperial State’s trump card, giving it both the flexibility for their massive industrial and infrastructural expansion as well as the threat of overwhelming military power. To imagine such powers concentrated in the hands of a single individual… or the Imperial State having, or even pretending to have, such power…

“But all that’s ancient history.” Helen respond hesitantly, “It’s not as if any of them… deities are running around today, douchebag isekais notwithstanding.”

“Oh, the isekais are nothing compared to the ancients.” Oesa shrugged them off, “But we have heard rumors of such powerful beings still existing.” Seeing the look of disbelief and mild disdain that Helen was trying, and mostly failing, to hide, she continued, “Oh come on, we’re not being that delusional are we?! Beings that powerful don’t just die off into the pages of history!”

“But you have to admit, it’s rather difficult to suddenly believing that.” Helen countered.

“True, and you may have a point. Given that all we found so far were just wisps in the wind.” She sighed.

“I hate to further ruining your day, but I seriously doubt that you’ll find what you’re looking for here.” Helen said, seeing the opportunity to disabuse her of poking around. “This island is pretty well mapped out and developed. At most you might want to go ask the MIPD about any suspicious activities.” Knowing that the police will never yield any useful information, mostly because both Umek and Teg’Stomean happened to be the most obtuse two persons on the island, also probably why they get along so well with each other.

“Regardless, we’re going to be here for a while anyway, the ship needing to resupply and the sailors in need of some well deserved shore leave.” She stood up, “So you’ll be seeing some of us around for a time yet.”

“Wonderful.” Helen was trying to keep her tiredness from seeping to her voice. Forget about a long day, it seems that it’s going to be a long month.
 
WWR-part 5

Mark Poe

The majestic cock
#45
Part 5
“What the heck you lot think you’re doing here?” Potem shouted at the group of elves who were digging up a storm at the beach.

It was one of the smaller beaches of the island and not very popular since it’s almost right next to the dockyards, of which the noise and fumes tend to drive tourists away. All this made it even weirder that anyone would be doing anything here, much less a group of them.

But then, the shipyard is next door, and if they’re spies or saboteurs, he’s gonna need some backup…

“Oh sorry,” One of the elves said, presumably the leader of the bunch, “we are just doing an archaeological dig here.”

Even to Potam’s untrained eyes, the scene before him sure did not look at all like a supposed archaeological dig. A bunch of elves of both genders, all clad in swimsuits, were using shovels… wait, is that a digging machine over there? There’s also a number of other equipment and objects scattered about.

Damn. He definitely should have called back up. Too late to be wallowing in regrets though, he still has a job to do.

“Do you have your papers in order?” He asked. The elf looked at him in surprise, it appears that it wasn’t the turn of event he was expecting.

“No… no, we weren’t aware of any need for such documentations.” He managed to reply.

“Well, unlike over the in the wilds of Ironi, we have laws here, and the law clearly states that all archaeological digs must first go through the office internal affairs for permission first.”

“Oh. We are so sorry then.” The elf now looked relieved. “Is it possible for us to fix the issue then?” He asked earnestly.

“Yes, that should be possible.” Potem couldn’t believe it, they might actually be exactly who they say they are, a mere archaeological dig. “Now pack up all your stuff and follow me to the city hall, with any luck they’ll process your request within the day.” He ordered.

‘Here we go, more paperwork.’ Potem thought to himself as he watched the elves packing up their equipment. Another day on the grind.

------

“Ugh, how the hell is there so much damn work here?” Knomes wondered out loud.

The two of them, Knomes and Dumens, were at the BEA Mandarin Branch Office. Actually, to call it an office might be overstating things, given it was literally a single small room that also had to serve as their dwelling. Land and housing prices being a premium on the islands, and the BEA’s funding as always more of a joke than an actual thing, especially for some far away tourist trap.

“We been over this before, it’s called bureaucracy,” Dumens sighed, “I don’t like it anymore than you do, but this is the price to be paid for society and government to work these days.”

“Guess you’re right. After all, the government certainly doesn’t want a repeat of parts of it wandering off and doing their own thing in the name of the whole, and so they bury us all in a mountain of paperwork and sea of red tape.”

Both sighed at the same time. In the modern world the paper and pen are the strongest chains of them all.

“Well,” Dumens finally said, “it’s time to disappear ‘that’.”

Knomes nodded, and opened one of the drawers in the filing cabinet. He then pulled out a rather thin file.

It was a cream colored folder, rather unremarkable in appearance. Important things rarely come in actual important looking packaging, contrary to popular culture would suspect. In the meantime Dumens was putting some other paper into the trash can, as well as cracking open an window.

“Well, here it goes.” Demens said, pulling a pack of matches out of his pocket as Knomes threw the file into the trash can. “After this we’ll all agree that absolutely nothing of note happened a few weeks back.”

“Yep. All is peaceful on Mandarin Island as usual.” Knomes agreed.

Before Demens could light a match however, there was a knock on the door.

“Um, who the heck is this?” Demens asked, while kicking the trash can under the work deck.

The door opened, revealing a pair of elves, wearing the tropical uniforms of the Imperial State’s State Security Service. One of them was holding a pistol in his hand.

“I’m terribly sorry for intruding you good people” The elf said, “but I believe that you have something rather important in your possession.”

------

“Hmm, to be honest, they’re dressed more conservatively than I expected.” Jane muttered as she aimed the telescope at the group of elves, the female amongst them clad in one piece swimsuits, busy happily digging on a patch of a beach.

It has been a few days since the fateful day when Oesa paid a visit to Helen’s house. Reta and Jane managed to make their way back after a short excursion to the forest looking no worse for wear about a day later.

It has been a few nerve biting days since then, as no one really had any idea if or when the Oesa and her posse would pay the place a visit again. After a while though, when Oesa’s cover story seems to be actually holding (and no one showed up after Reta found and destroyed a disturbing large number of bugs and other devices the elves managed to put in various places in the house in their prior visit).

For now though, it was just simply waiting and occasionally watching, as Helen and Jane were doing from the same back patio, with a couple of telescopes that in happier times would have being used for gazing at the sky instead of down at other people.

“You can thank some pedo weebs isekais for that.” Helen muttered.

“Right, never thought I would see that horrid fetish taking a foothold in this world.”

“Remind me again why are the elves so susceptible to crazies?”

“An inferiority complex and the knowledge that they need to pull some miracles to catch up. Which combined to make for some very desperate people who were willing to try anything and listen to anyone.”

Jane sighed, “I don’t even know what to say anymore except I’m really sorry for all the assholes from my world somehow ended up in this world.”

“It’s not your fault whatever deity’s running the show seems to be a petty sadist.” Helen merely shrugged. Then, seeing something in her telescope, lightly nudged Jane. “Looks like they’re gonna get in trouble with the law.” She said as they watched an orc cop walked up to the group. “Though I doubt much will come of this, governments on this island tend to be rather laid back on most matters. Not that I have any room to complain about that.” She muttered the last part, mainly to herself.

Whatever Jane was about to say after than was cut off as the door to the patio opened rather violently and unexpectedly, with Reta being pushed out to the patio.

The two immediately turned around, just in time to see Oesa leading a group of elven soldiers through the same door. While their rifles were slung their bayonets were out. The previous air of carefree cheerfulness nowhere to be found on Oesa herself.

“Well, well, well.” Oesa said, “What do we have here?”
 
WWR-part 6

Mark Poe

The majestic cock
#46
Part 6
“Ah, I guess those weren’t all the bugs you planted then.” Helen said almost casually, trying to keep down the rising tide of fear she’s feeling. She had miscalculated the stakes badly and now it looks like she’s about to pay the price with her life.

“No, it would be insulting to you if they were.” Oesa said with a thin smile. “The troubles at Ironi did mean that we have a generous supply of broken gear. I have to say though, I’m rather impressed with your efforts to hide a discovery of such magnitude from us.” She then turned towards Jane, who was desperately, and utterly failing, to make herself smaller in a corner, and gasped (although far from the first elf to do so, as pretty much all the rest of the elves in the group had already reacted in various ways, usually surprised mixed with reverence).

“I… you…” For once, Oesa found herself at a loss for words. She then instead turned back to an male elf among the group, the only one who wasn’t wearing an uniform. “Is she the one?” She asked in a soft voice, much of her previous bravado leached out of her.

“I don’t know.” The civilian elf stuttered, checking the gadget he’s holding, as much to avoid making eye contact with Oesa as was to comprehend the reading from it. “The reading higher than anything we have ever seen before but nowhere near what the legends said.” He was certainly not sure of himself, if nothing else.”

Oesa breathed a sigh of relief, and returned her gaze back to Jane, who was still cowered in the corner like a deer with nowhere else to run. She cracked a smile, with far more warmth than the last one.

“Grab the subject, we found what we came for.” She said to the soldiers, who begin to move forward.

“Over my dead body!” Helen suddenly shouted, her eyes suddenly filled with defiance. Oesa merely raised an eyebrow.

“Before I make that happen, and don’t think I won’t, may I ask where did this sudden death wish come from?” She asked casually, already not going to care much regardless of what she hears.

“Simple, because there is no place for me or the corporation in the new order that you seek.” Helen said simply. “Such powers are not meant to be in the hands of the likes of you.”

“Hm. History will see about that, and we will be the ones to write it, for I intend to be a winner.”

“That’s enough!” A voice, sharp with anger, rang out. Everyone turned towards the source of the voice.

------

“Go ahead, if you can find it.” Demens said casually. The Elven elven soldier’s eyes narrowed.

“No, seriously. I don’t care anymore.” Demens continued as he threw up his hands, not in surrender, but in exasperation. It was true, the job doesn’t pay enough to deal with this kind of shit, and he doubt anyone would care if he defended some paper to the death. Certainly not him, he likes living too much. The elf flinched for a bit, but kept his hand steady. With his other hand he waved the other soldiers in.

The soldier continued to cover him and Knomes with his pistol as the rest of his comrades begin to ransake the room. The two orcs merely looked bored rather than concerned, which made the elves even more nervous.

They were still fruitlessly searching through the cabinets when a booming voice, amplified by a bullhorn, broke the pace.

“To all those unknown individuals who are currently in the BEA office.” It begin, sounds like Umek’s using it. “Release the hostages and surrender now or we will have to take more extreme action-”

The voice suddenly stopped, while a number of other sounds took place, as if someone was fighting over the bullhorn. When a voice returned, it was a lot deeper, as if from a dragon.

“You have five minutes before I open fire. Actually, I would prefer you guys to fight to the death as I am itching to finally use this gatling cannon here, I want to see how well this electric motor I just installed on here works.”

At this point, everyone in the room, elves and orcs alike, were looking out the window. What they saw was a crowd of people had gathered across the street around Umek, Teg’Stomean, and a gaggle of police officers and militia personnel. Teg’Stomean was wearing the cap and armband of the island militia, as were the other militia members, and they were twiddling around a gatling cannon, which looks plenty sinister.

“He’s not gonna actually use that is he?” The elf asked, to nobody in particular.

“Pretty sure he will actually.” Knomes replied grimly, “That dragon has delusions of grandeur and was always annoyed that he never has a chance to fight glorious combat.”

“Isn’t he supposed to protect you people?” Obvious question perhaps, but when reality seems to not align with common sense…

“We are talking about a dragon who’s itching to use his big gun.” Knomes pointed out, “Teg’Stomean’s operating in the authority of the militia here, and they care much less about protecting the individual as opposed to the collective, but mostly because he’s a bloodthirsty nutjob like many of his species.”

Upon hearing that, the elf turn away from the window and begin to pace around. “Damn it, we are so close.” He muttered, “Too close to give up now, just because someone is out for blood anyways.” He returned to the window.

“How do we know that our lives will be spared if we do, in fact, stand down?” He shouted to the forces arrayed against them across the street. The reply was prompt, if less than authoritative.

“You don’t-” Was all that Teg’Stomean could get out before Umek took the bullhorn out of his hand. Then the two begin a rather long argument.

“Well, at least that bought us some time…” He muttered, “Continue the search.”
 
WWR-part 7
#47
part 7

‘Well, this is awkward.’ Potem thought to himself as he saw the commotion at a nearby street. As he walked up to it he found the reason behind it, as Umek and Teg’Stomean were arguing over killing the elves while the rest of the police and militia looked on, twiddling their fingers in the meantime.

Then he heard a number of guns cocking behind him.

“Fuck my life…” Me muttered. He didn’t even need to look back to know that he has just become a hostage to the elves behind him.

------

“Don’t you see, this is the time for glorious and bloody battle!” Teg shouted at Umek. “We are at the crossroads of history!”

“Snap out of your damn delusion you overgrown swamp cat! You been baking in the sun for too long and your brain has melted!” Umek knew it was a bad idea when Teg’Stomean first alerted him to suspicious elven activities on the island… while decked out in his militia uniform and dragging along that gatling cannon, his eyes filled with expectations of using that damn thing.

Whatever Teg was about to say back was abruptly truncated when they noticed that another group of elves were walking up to them… with one of the police officers as yet another hostage.

“Ah hell nah, this is bullshit.” Umek muttered as he turned around towards the new threat. The situation was getting more complicated by the hour.

As the two sides stare off at each other sudden massive plumes of water rose out of the ocean. It must have been truly massive because they were nowhere near the beaches. As all parties switched their attention to the sudden unnatural act of nature more plums of of water rose out from the sea and soon formed a massive wall of water surrounding the eternity of the island.

The police chief and the militia head looked at each other, and realized that whatever they’re dealing with up till now has just paled in comparison with what’s unfolding.

“Damn it, mobilize the rest of the militia and get the civilians to safety!” Umek snapped at Teg, knowing that only the militia has the manpower to deal with such a crisis, and also to get him and more importantly his cannon out of the way.

“On my way.” Teg answered, his voice far less confident than a minute ago.

------

The first indication that Oesa’s skepticism of those half made up ancient faiths might have been premature was the massive plumes of water rising out of the ocean. The next thing was far closer, as a thick nimbus of fine mist begin to swirl around the blue hair elf, who have stood up in the meantime, her face full of rage that casually threw out her previous fear. A moment later Oesa’s own suspicions were confirmed.

“Mana readings are off the scale!” The male elf said, as the device smoke and sputtered in his hand, its internals overloaded by the sheer amount of power present. “There appears to be a focus of mana being drawn into her from all over the island and beyond!”

Well, that explains that, but it doesn’t help what was quickly appearing to be a situation that’s quickly going completely out of control.

“How dare you, all of you, treat me as if I am some... object to be fought over!?!” While the voice was soft as ever, the anger and threat behind them need no higher volume to make it clear.

Now it was Oesa’s turn to be the one scared, and the chief of State Security felt a sense of fear that she hasn’t felt for decades, that of a small child who has majorly screwed up and the adults in the room were in no mood for mercy.

“And you expect us to act as if you’re not the biggest potential threat to everybody in this world?” Helen spoke up. She seems oddly calm about it, although it might have something to do with how she has already accept her imminent death.

“What?” Jane was taken aback, expecting that her little pleading for the innate nature of human empathy would sway everyone, and was genuinely shocked that it didn’t work out at all.

“Yeah, we had enough of that load of hypocrisy from the usual suspects.” Helen continued, “You think you’re the first one to be bitching about being played around for others? This world has been at the mercy of irresponsible assholes for centuries, and we say, never again.”

That took the rage out of her, and as suddenly as it appeared, the plumes of water went back almost as fast as it first shot up. Soon the oceans surrounding the island was as tranquil as always.

------

“Well, I’m terribly sorry for making such a horrible first impression.” Oesa said sheepishly. The elves, Jane, Helen, Umek, and Teg were at the docks, the latter two watching the elves with still suspicious eyes. “I hope this won’t poison your opinion of us forever.”

It has been a week since the oceans around the island has gone nuts, the official story being an unnatural and unidentified act of paranormal by unknown forces. After the botched confrontation Oesa did arrived in time to have the rest of her forces to stand down, and in the interest of not creating a international scene neither Teg nor Umek decided to press any charges or make much of it, not even an official report, although quite a bit of IOUs and favors changed hands.

“Well, I have been given thoughts about all of this,” Jane said, waving her hand aimlessly around, “and all this mess was because all of us have been jumping into conclusions too early.”

She paused a bit, as if thinking of her next words. Then continued, “This is why I decided to stay here and work as a ship architect for now. Some stability and normality is good for the soul.” Not to mention a safe base to digest information and news, she thought to herself.

“I promise you that we as a people will strive to be worthy to be graced with your presence someday.” Oesa stated, all seriousness in her voice. The events of the past couple of weeks has had a change, almost akin to a new age of religion. Jane sighed inwardly, it’s like that episode of Star Trek, except miracles do exist and there’s no organization to enforce a prime directive. Well, now it’s time to pick up the pieces and put them in a safe place, out of sight and hopefully out of mind.

“Hopefully we can put all of this behind us and move forward, as we naturally should be.” Helen interjected.

“Of course, but now we should be on our way. Goodbye.” Oesa agreed as she turned around to go back up the cruiser.

“You think they’re really gonna change?” Jane whispered to Helen as they watched the elves embarked onto their ship.

“Suffice to say I doubt even divine intervention is enough to get it through their skulls as far as something they made up their minds on. That being said it won’t be the first time they made hard turns to their society.” Helen muttered back.

------

“So, the myths and legends are true after all.” Amberea remarked.

It was a month since the unnatural and unexplained events occurred on Mandarin island, and Oesa was reporting to Amberea at her office. Oesa nodded.

“In a sense, what we have not expected was that she is in fact an isekai, at least her soul is of one. This complicate matters as she appeared to have the mentality of those associated with the Euro-Atlantic democrices back in her world...”

“... which makes her having a rather low opinion of our little operations here.” Amberea finished. She nodded, almost to herself, before continuing. “We’ll just have to change the flavor of the ice cream, or the toppings.”

“You really think that would work?” Oesa was a bit skeptic.

“Contrary to what they proclaim, most isekais are still authoritarians deep down, the only differences being which flavor they prefer, and how much the truth is hidden.”

“A rather cynical view coming from you.” Oesa pointed out, tactically agreeing to her points.

“You are far from the only person to see a lot of the uglier side of large scale management and leadership.” Amberea reminder her.
 

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