White Cell Outline


#1

Reposted!

Outline for White Cell
Incomplete and not well-thought out in every area. That’s why it’s an outline. What Praxer and the Celpo are doing all this time is probably the biggest loophole, at least re: my stuff. I was planning on having at least some Celpo agents support White Cell, if only to facilitate Torstensson’s return
The Run-Up
There were a few big items I wanted to wrap up before launching White Cell. The first was the sadly-still-half-finished Scandian mega. I probably would’ve felt compelled to finish up the whole Organization of Winter arc afterwards, as it features quite prominently in the Scandian mega. (It basically reintroduces it; I can do without, I suppose, but I still remember firing up my old BoF ROM and seeing “Six Goddess Keys” and thinking that this was a plot I could do.)
That would lead into a “Mountbatten’s Secret War” arc, where Mountbatten takes a slush fund and runs his own private covert operations campaign against the Communist Protectorate. He was going to hire Osprey. And I was finally going to out him as gay, which I’ve been planning on doing since like sophomore year of undergrad. It was going to be really obvious in the never-written Web aerospace expo when his drunken ex-wife tries to kiss him, and he says something like, “I loved you, you know, like a sister” and she says, "…that’s never what I wanted."
Anyway, Mountbatten’s Secret War culminates in a plan to get manufacture a major incident between the Scandian League and Tasnica, in order to get the two of them to go to war (or at least spoil detente.) I hadn’t worked out exactly what this would be yet. Anyway, it goes horribly wrong, its revealed that Mountbatten was doing all kinds of secret nonsense, and he gets fired. (He almost certainly is going to be tried, too, though the trial might take long enough for other events to overtake it.)
Probably the Tasnicans feel guilty enough about the whole affair that when the Scandians demand certain concessions, they feel compelled to give in. (Whatever the Scandians demand isn’t important, the whole point of doing it from Travin’s perspective is to convince the Guardians that the Tasnicans have all become a bunch of commie-lovers.)
Also, I was thinking of having the Conservatives win an extremely narrow majority in the Senate, or at the very least, winning enough to have the Populists have a very narrow majority. The point being that the two major parties were of about equal power. (Since Kenny would still be PM, I feel like I have to give the Conservatives the Senate for this effect.)
I also sorta-wanted to do an incident where the Guardian blockade of Merge accidentally shoots down a Tasnican passenger ship. (Similar to when the US Navy shot down an Iran Air flight or when the USSR shot down a Korean air flight.) But the most important thing was that relations between the Great Powers sink to their lowest point since the Leviathan War.
Torsetensson was going to die, too. He’s pretty old and has a terminal illness, it’s amazing he’s lasted as long as he has.
Optional: A plotline with a battlesuit-wearing bounty hunter. Because I like Metroid. And her name would be Moneta Eul. Last name pronounced “oil”. And as someone clever like Praxer will point out, ‘oil’ is formed under very similar conditions to ‘coal’. (The whole name-trick might go under ‘ideas i thought were neat but now i think are dumb’.) Although my plans to give Leisha a battlesuit may make change her shtick, I suppose one can never have too many chicks in battlesuits running around.
In my wildest dreams, I wanted to do the “Year One” mega dealing with the first year of GACA, as the Celiose/Burzmale scenes would set up everything else nicely.
Eblan Lights the Match
Either the elder Kurita dies, or Edge Eblana V dies. I like Edge, but his is the bigger death more likely to actually cause Awful Stuff to happen.
Said Awful Stuff involves the more racist/fascist elements of Eblan gaining political ascendance (led by the younger Kurita, flush with tales of heroism from Merge.) They pass all kinds of laws that do terrible stuff and have ominous names (“The Law to Protect the Purity of the Nation”.) The New Horizon party, the main political party representing Eblan’s non-ethnic Eblanese Provisional community, literally walks out of the Diet; the democratic institutions of the country effectively collapse.
Scande engineers the escape of communist leader Ichiro Mitsuhama who shows up in the western part of the island which is populated with Provisionals. He declares an independent state (something like “Eblanese Socialist Republic”) and asks the Scandians and the Communist Protectorate for protection.
The Kingdom of Eblan views this as a rebellion and asks the Guardians and Tasnicans for help. Guardia jumps on board for some good-old commie stomping, but Tasnica dissembles.
Tasnica decides that the web must be spared another Leviathan War, and try to use the Alliance Congress to open negotiations with Scande, Guardia, and both Eblanese groups to try to resolve the issue. They’re doomed to fail; both sides are just using them to stall for time. The Guardians regard Tasnica as too favorable to the Scandians; the Scandians regard them as too favorable to the Guardians. The Scandians also view these attempts as evidence Tasnica won’t fight for Eblan, and that this is their best chance to fight a war with Guardia without any other great power getting involved.
Negotiations break down, and the war starts. The first part of the war goes pretty much as expected, as the Scandians achieve initial victories on the ground and the Guardian Space Force cleans the Scandians out of Crystal.
Meanwhile, in White Cell’s Secret Base
(I’m gonna go ahead and spoil one big thing right here: White Cell’s secret base is Foo. I’m totally serious.)
So Torstensson Lenart wakes up resurrected. And he’s a cyborg. (Mike had a whole arc where he established the Celpo can do this sort of thing.) Probably recurring Minder Alfred Chekhov shows up to explain the Celpo connection. Torstensson’s chronic pain is apparently gone; he can now walk under his power for the first time in years.
Bounty-hunter lady shows up and reveals she’s Erdeny Cole. She and Torstensson have a long talk about the Grand Army, and what’s it any good for. The GA is created to protect the Web. Since the Hivan War, it has essentially failed spectacularly in doing so. The Omnisent Conflict happened BECAUSE of the Grand Army. Since then, they haven’t stopped the Imperialist War, the Leviathan War, or dozens of other conflicts. The GA’s tremendous power exists only for the apparently increasingly unlikely prospect of interdimensional invasion.
Inevitably they begin to talk about Celiose, and here’s where I want to hit on one of the plot’s key themes: Celiose can be a very nasty guy when he wants to win a war. I fear he’s become too de-fanged of late. Although I would expect the residents of the Web to gloss over some of his ends-justify-the-means attitude in its hagiography of the war, the writers should know a little bit better. (I regret not communicating very well with Dustin during the Omnisent conflict, as I feel I should’ve conveyed that killing a bunch of innocent Tanes was basically not a problem for Celiose if it meant winning the war.)
Torstensson recoils, as this is essentially the path of Burzmale. Burzmale, he says, left to serve the Dark Gods because he felt that a world ruled by the Dark Gods was better than Celiose’s world of NO gods. (This section might need to be expanded since I’m probably not going to get Year One done.) But Erdeny points out that this world has created things that are like gods, but fail to provide any stability or peace. GACA, the GA, the Celpo–all have tremendous power, but don’t do anything to solve any of the Web’s problems.
Wouldn’t it be better if the GA used all of this vast power to get the Web to stop destroying itself?
Celiose pulled the trigger on the Leviathan War after he had ‘found himself’ in Aryth, but if he were there when the war broke out, would he have done the same? In the LW Scande and Esper were both virtually out of resources, would the same thing work if he were facing countries spoiling for a fight?
The only real solution is for the GA to compel complete the nations of the Web to disarm. Torstensson demurs that this is just “peace at gunpoint”, but Erdeny claims, first, that this is better than no peace at all, and second, it’s not so very different from the state that exists within most of the (stable) countries of the Web. Most importantly, the GA would still be ultimately accountable to the political leadership of the Web through the Alliance Congress, who would still choose the Generalissimo.
Torstensson is beginning to come around to this way of thinking, but he still thinks beating Celiose is essentially impossible. Erdeny claims that he is probably the only person who can do it. “Yes, and I know better than to try,” grumbles Torstensson. He’s probably on the above crisis in Eblan makes another Great Power war imminent, convincing him that stopping the war at gunpoint isn’t such a bad idea after all.
They’ll be some throwaway lines in here about building the conspiracy. I would like to do a few posts to establish it as a subject of concern in the GA. Erdeny reveals a few big GA players on her side, like Victor Velasco of SAGA and the leaders of the ex-GA mercenary unit, the Moonslayers. There’s a scene where Torstensson goes and talks to Model to get him to come in (and he brings the Sixth Army.)

White Cell Strikes
Emerging seemingly from nowhere (Foo!), the White Cell forces engage the Scandians on the ground and the Guardians in space. They catch the Great Powers off-guard and are able to pull off some stunning victories. A mix of tanks and infantry cripple the SLCM’s Dracoforms, and the Executor proves every bit as formidable as advertised in action against the GSF Crystal Fleet. (I was going to ram a Tyrano into it and do hardly any damage, because someone would think of doing this desperate counter at some point anyway, and I wanted to get it out of the way and prove it wouldn’t work. A Blackbird is probably more reasonable, though. Building the Executor up makes Thames’ later triumph over it that much more bad-ass, on the other other hand.) In a matter of weeks, White Cell demonstrates its power by achieving a victory over the Web’s best land army and its best space force.
White Cell sends the Alliance Congress a list of demands, which amounts to: stop all your wars, give up all your weapons. The AC and the House of Lords meet to discuss the situation.
The GA Divided
White Cell-Most of SAGA, Second Army, Sixth Army, Moonslayers (and a few other odds and ends)
Grand Army-(maybe they need a nifty faction name for this, too?)-First Army, Seventh Army, most of the Luftwaffe, most of the Kriegsnavee. I’m hoping to have sea power and traditional air power play a big role at some point.
It’s important to note that White Cell regards itself as part of the Grand Army–in fact, the whole point of the war as for the Alliance Congress and House of Lords to acknowledge White Cell as THE Grand Army. (Which is why they never directly attack the AC/House, and have a big argument over whether attacking the capital of a Great Power is a good idea.) White Cell uses its GA ranks and conducts itself with GA procedures. They even follow the Hosluftgrad Conventions with regard to treatment of prisoners, even though the GA is not a signing party.
Celiose’s Plan
In the center of the huge meeting hall are plaques for two people. “C. Cole, Generalissimo” and “P. Riose, Director of Celpo”. Praxer’s not there. This is bad, because this is exactly the sort of thing he should be concerned with. Nonetheless, the presence of Celiose inspires some confidence. Even though some delegates will no doubt point out that Torstensson is not the first high-ranking lieutenant to betray him, deep down they all know that the Generalissimo is their ace in the hole who can deliver victory in almost any situation.
Probably a few countries think White Cell’s proposal is a good idea. Probably the Scandians and Guardians, who just had a bunch of their soldiers killed by White Cell, are in no mood to agree. I personally like the idea of the smaller and disenfranchised powers being amenable to White Cell’s proposal, while the Great Powers refuse to give up their sovereignty.
Celiose is asked about Ultima weapons. Celiose reveals that though White Cell has significant Ultima weapons in its space fleet, however the GA still retains the entire sea and air based arsenal as well as the key land-based installations of Kefka’s Domain and Death Mountain. Celiose points out that Torstensson, like all GA soldiers, would prefer to capture an objective (in this case, the Web) intact rather than raze it to the ground. The leaders of the Web are a little less then reassured that the professional restraint of Celiose and Torstensson are all that stand between them and fiery Ultima death.
Celiose then presents his plan to win the war. (Someone points out that doing this to such a large audience isn’t wise, but Celiose points out that he and Torstensson know each other so well they both know exactly how this will play out.) The simple fact is that White Cell needs to win big victories, fast, because they have no way of replacing their losses. They have no population or industrial base to draw on; they have no source of replacement parts, new recruits, or ammunition. Torstensson’s first move, if his initial 'shock and ‘awe’ demonstrative victory fails, will be to secure a built-up industrial area. Probably in space, given his huge superiority in that area.
“So space will need to be defended.”
“No, that is impossible,” says Celiose (managing to piss off the Tasnican and Guardian delegates), "the space colonies will need to be destroyed, to deny White Cell the industry and resources.
None of the spacefaring powers like this idea. The Fringe countries also hate it, because they’re effectively written off as well; "Should we in the Fringe also destroy all our industry and technology?"
Celiose, with characteristic bluntness and political deafness, says, “Yes.”
(Note: Might be a good time to adopt less derogatory term for “the Fringe”, like maybe “the Extensions” or whatever, “Core” is still fine probably).
The political leadership of the Web fundamentally rejects Celiose’s “Scorched Space” policy. However, they know that they need to retain him at Generalissimo to win the war. The Alliance Congress rejects the White Cell ultimatum and tells Celiose to prepare for war.
Opening Clashes
So here’s a part of the story that’s a little open-ended; I just had a few vignettes to set the stage for the showdown in Albrook. Mostly its White Cell beating up people, though where there is Celiose, there is victory. Many White Cell units, once confronted with the Generalissimo decide to surrender rather then fight him (part shame of facing him, part his reputation for invincibility on the battlefield.) There’s even a neat trick where Celiose shows himself to an enemy prisoner and then allows the prisoner to escape, so that the White Cell commander KNOWS he’s there in person for sure.
At some point someone (probably some non-Halder Skalice Scandian commander) will decide that the White Cell forces cannot be out-muscled, but they can certainly use superior speed to outmaneuver it. This goes very badly, because the GA invented modern mobile warfare and Torstensson was one of its finest practitioners.
I was also SORTA hopeful that one or two countries might throw in with White Cell out of overall sympathy to their goals.
White Cell is really in a strategic bind, here, even though it wins everywhere it fights, it’s unclear where it should be fighting. Attacking the nations of the Web directly just pisses them off, and is counterproductive to WC’s long-term goal of being recognized as “the legitimate” Grand Army by the Alliance Congress. However, without any resources or factories, they have no way to replace their losses.
Crisis in Tasnica
The Tasnica Republic becomes a giant cluster-fuck.
It takes a little time, though. At first the RAF (not led by Mountbatten, but the inferior Helmut Nicias) is pretty sure it can beat WC’s space forces. When White Cell beat the GSF, it had the element of surprise, and as true Tasnican patriots, they all believe deep down that the RAF is better than the GSF anyway. At first, everyone in the war cabinet is freaking out, as this represents a problem well beyond the existing military capabilities of the Republic (who only planned on fighting another Great Power or so). Nicias is the voice of calm.
And then Admiral Nicias gets his ass kicked in a big space battle that wipes out most of the RAF’s capital ships. White Cell commits heavily to Manaspace because of the large space-based manufacturing infrastructure available there. (In other words, what Celiose predicted would happen, happens.) Velasco’s White Cell forces seize all of the Tasnican space colonies. (And, presumably, Heinlein/Sanctuary.)
And then it all goes to hell in a handbasket politically in Tasnica.
It’s clear to Kenny and his war cabinet that it’s time to do something really, really drastic. In fact, a couple of things that are really, really drastic. Despite the loss of all its space colonies, Tasnica still has a large economy and lots of military potential; unfortunately, it is ONLY potential. What they need more than anything is someone who can turn money into guns.
And that’s how Kenny Brackhaven ends up appointing Damien Gavalian Defense Minister.
Kenny’s well aware that any drastic measures will need the approval of the (Conservative) Senate, so he plans to present all of his proposals to the Senate at once as the “Extraordinary Emergency.” Highlights:

If you have a bunch of raw materials, money, and STUFF, and you need killing machines quickly, there’s an easy answer: ROBOTS! Breaks the treaty with the Guardians, probably pisses off all the robotic voters in Tasnica, requires suspending decades-long interpretation of the Code of Belgememnon, and as everyone knows this can easily go horribly wrong. (Trying to remember if Rajaat’s status as a former robot is common knowledge.) But when you think the country’s not going to make it through the next couple months, you start to contemplate some Seriously Fucked Up Shit.
The Tasnicans also discuss Project Breakout. Breakout was a pre-war study on how fast Tasnica could rapidly produce Ultima weapons should another Great Power break the Hostluftgrad Conventions. (I think I’ll stick them about a year away from an actual weapon. This is largely to establish that making Ultima weapons is Hard; I don’t think I’ll have the Tasnicans go through with it, because part of my desired post bellum is to have fewer Ultima weapons.)
Bundle in a few more (assuredly temporary!) restrictions on individual liberties, and the requirement that the Senate is essentially suspended for the duration of the Extraordinary Emergency (meeting only once a month for a “Yes or No” vote to continue the Emergency). And yes, everyone in the room has Rhodes Palmerston’s Great War leadership in the back of their heads, and knowing that they made it through the Great War without doing anything like this.
Kenny meets with the Senate’s Conservative leadership to discuss the package. Although the Proconsul, Maxwell Nordsten, substantively agrees with the package as a dire necessity, Aggronor Stonebreaker, of the party’s more libertarian wing, goes ballistic. The Extraordinary Emergency would destroy everything about Tasnica worth saving. Kenny worries that Aggronor might lead a walk-out of the Conservatives, which could destabilize Tasnica as it had destabilized Eblan.
The next day the Senate votes on the package. Many Senators make it clear they are Not At All Happy with the state of affairs, as they feel they’ve been bypassed by a backroom deal and been forced to a vote without proper debate through scaremongering. The Extraordinary Emergency narrowly passes, though many Senators who vote for it make it clear they’re doing so grudgingly. Kenny finds Aggronor in a last-ditch attempt to keep him from “doing something crazy, like staging a walkout.” When he finds the dwarf, the Senator brandishes a needle-gun and shoots the Prime Minister. (“So always with tyrants!”) Kenny’s carted off in critical condition. (I can’t bring myself to kill him, though, so I think he’ll just be in a coma.)
So rather than actually wage war, Tasnica starts to argue with itself. With the PM unconscious, Proconsul Nordsten becomes Prime Minister. Under other circumstances, he would’ve sought this position, but the situation is clearly over his head from day one. The Populists aren’t happy because a Conservative just shot the founder of Populism, which resulted in ANOTHER Conservative taking power; the Conservatives are divided over the Extraordinary Emergency. I see Nordsten’s previous political career as behind-the-scenes, backroom operator, so he can’t draw on a huge well of popular support, either.
White Cell totally exploits the situation by fanning flames of dissent in Tasnica’s various extradimensional possessions. White Cell begins supporting independence movements in Carrion, the Moogle States, the Tasnican-Ticonderan Territories, and elsewhere.
At some point (probably AFTER Battle of Albrook, haven’t decided yet) White Cell starts an invasion of the Quad, to secure the valuable industrial areas there. They start with Egmont; Damien Gavalian, unwilling to let his recently rebuilt city get trashed again, buys them off with himself. This leads to the whole Leisha-builds-a-battlesuit-to-go-rescue-him arc I mentioned earlier.
Battle of Albrook
Inevitably, it will come down to a showdown between Celiose and Torstensson. And, of course, the place for that showdown will be Albrook. Torstensson has his best forces at his disposal (Second Army, plus Model’s Sixth) and Celiose has the best ‘loyal’ GA forces defending it (First Army, Rimmel’s Seventh).
Celiose orders an evacuation of the city, which leads some to believe that he’s preparing for an intense urban struggle. Torstensson thinks it’s a bluff, though, and he’s proven right when Celiose choices to engage in a large-scale, mobile, field battle on Albrooker Plain. (The Torstensson v. Celiose matchup has a curious “I had guessed that he had guessed my guess” quality to it. Many of the higher-ups believe Torstensson can actually win, but both Celiose and Torstensson KNOW with absolute certainty that, one way or another, Celiose will always wins.)
Celiose begins the battle by launching Rimmel Coward and his Seventh Army (an “Unstoppable Force”) at Torstensson’s left flank, covered by Model’s Sixth Army (an “Immovable Object”.) Rimmel hates this idea. He’s sorta regretting coming out of retirement to do this, and wishes he was back home with his wife. Rimmel thinks his attack is pointless; Model’s army are well dug-in. Rimmel also feels that his men haven’t had enough time to train with the new Leo mk IV and V tanks. (It’s about time we have them, I’m thinking they’ll be gravtanks, but I’m not sure I’m ready to give up on crushing treads just yet…) Celiose is dismissive of his objections, saying basically, “You need to trust me, because I’m Celiose.” It’s easy to accuse Celiose of arrogance or overconfidence, here, but I can’t imagine anyone familiar with Kupopolis who is reading this would for a minute believe Celiose is going to lose.
Rimmel’s attack is a mess for both sides; the two armies wipe each other out, and Rimmel and Model kill each other. Torstensson is now in a quandary; his main remaining force is Second Army, a tank-heavy force ill-suited to the urban fighting in Albrook that now confronts him. His instinct is to call off the attack, but instead he decides to pour more of his precious front-line infantry into the city. (Important strategic point: White Cell has plenty of technological toys, but with no manpower pool of its own, its always short on poor, bloody, infantryman.)
Tex, way-back-when, suggested that the Hannibal would side with White Cell, and bring the Esperians along with them. I’m thinking that this would be a good time to do it (for Torstensson to suddenly get all the troops he needs), but I’m also wondering if this battle should remain a GA ‘intramural’ contest. But Torstensson takes the city, though he takes heavy losses and ends up trashing all of the city’s fortifications in the process.

As things start to look bad, several of Celiose’s closest advisors (including Shana) urge him to flee. He refuses. “Captains and majors can retreat,” he says, “but Celiose Cole?” He scoffs at the possibility that the White Cell forces will kill him if he is captured. “Torstensson will know better than to even try,” he says.
Celiose does, however, arrange for his family to leave the city, including his mother, who is in critical condition. (He argues with the doctor of whether or not she should be moved.)
When Torstensson eventually storms the GAHQ operations room, he finds Celiose there, in his full dress uniform and Illumina at his side in his scabbard. Torstensson and the soldiers iwth him don’t know what to do at first. Celiose stands up from his chair, and the White Cell men in the room twitch and start, as though Celiose would draw the sword and singlehandedly cut down their whole army right there.
“You have to shoot,” insists Celiose. “That’s the conclusion of all this, isn’t it? You have to shoot.”
“The legend of Celiose Cole needs to die,” says Torstensson. But still he hesitates.
“Why do you hesitate?” demands Celiose. “Is it my weapon you fear?” And he draws out Illumina, and puts it on his desk. "Go on, then."
Eventually one of Torstensson’s soldiers freaks out and pulls the trigger, and Torstensson knocks the man’s arms aside to keep him from firing again. Blood starts to stain Celiose’s uniform; but it was just a glancing hit, and the Generalissimo is still standing.
“You see?” taunts Celiose. "I’m just a man."
After another moment’s hesitation, Torstensson informs Celiose he has been taken prisoner in accordance with the Hosluftgrad Conventions, and has his solders escort him to the ‘General’s Wing’ of GAHQ.
After the battle, Torstensson is talking with Erdeny. She asks why he didn’t have Celiose killed. (Erdeny has a lot of daddy issues, it seems.) Torstensson insists he was right. “Generalissimo Celiose Cole was not born to be gunned down like some dog.” Reflecting on the battle, Torstensson says, "It should not have been so easy."
Erdeny is shocked. "Easy? We’ve lost all of Sixth Army, Second Army took heavy losses…this wasn’t easy at all."
Torstensson says, “Defeating Celiose Cole, at Albrook, with his best troops available–that’s something that should have been impossible.” He reflects on the losses and what they mean for White Cell’s strategic position. Albrook’s fortifications are all destroyed, and White Cell’s position is now exposed and vulnerable. The supply depots of Albrook are not nearly as large as hoped, and the city has little in the way of industry. White Cell’s inferior navy means that Albrook’s position near the sea-based Albrook Portal Set is worthless. Rather than a commanding fortress dominating the Core, Albrook is now open to attack from the entire Core. And White Cell has lost huge numbers of its best troops, and one of its best commanders (Model), which it has no way of replacing.
Erdeny is dismissive. “You need to sacrifice your pawns to win the game.”
“You sacrifice your queen to win the game, if that’s what it takes,” says Torstensson. "And that’s what Celiose has done. Your father is a great tactician, but an even better strategist. A tactician wins battles; a strategist uses battles to win wars. Celiose has lost the battle to win the war."
Erdeny points out that Celiose that if this was Celiose’s strategy, he’s in no position to run the next part of it. The GA’s ground forces are all in terrible shape, too, and there’s no Celiose-like figure who can coordinate the Great Powers.
After Albrook, White Cell suspends operations temporarily. They reissue their demands to the Alliance Congress, with one modification: that they name a new Generalissimo.

Last edited by Celiose on 06 Apr 2015, 15:09, edited 1 time in total.

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Post#2 » 06 Apr 2015, 14:59

And that was as far as the outline got. I had some notions about how the rest would play out:
-The nations would fight over each other over which one of them got the new Generalissimo, with Admiral Thames and Halder Skalice emerging as leading candidates after having some success against White Cell forces in Gatespace and Ticondera
-The Scandians devise a chemical weapon that can suck the energy out of magitek, and use it against White Cell. Since White Cell uses GA equipment, its almost all magitek, so the Scandians are able to secure a decisive land victory.
-White Cell demands the Alliance Congress expel Scande because of their use of illegal weapons, even if the weapons didn’t actually hurt any people. (Travin’s response: “You’re a sore loser.”)
-Erdeny takes the Executor and the White Cell fleet into orbit of Dragon III and start nuking cities from orbit. This leads the rest of the Web to organize a fleet under Thames to save Scande (who, in the pre-White Cell runup, was pretty much at odds with everyone. OH THE IRONY!)
-Celiose (apparently) gives his life to self-destruct the Executor

Post White Cell:
-Scandian League broken up into various warlords
-Tasnica essentially intact, but loses almost all of its territory outside the Mana Dimension
-I was going to leave it to other writers to decide if the GA should continue to exist; I personally think GACA is sorta central to the story’s universe, but if there was a time to build it all newer and better, this would be it


#2

Stuff I hope to revisit (and…yeah, you’re supposed to show and not tell, but whatever.):

The Family Cole - White Cell is the last Celiose story. (I mean, there’s always flashbacks.) He is confronting Erdeny, and faces a Civil War in the army that he created. Other writers have done fascinating work with Celiose and his family, and seeing Mike’s, Dustin’s, Aurora’s, and Adam’s interpretations of the character has been one of the best parts of Kupopolis. As fun as it is for me to focus on the strategic aspect of the war, wrapping up Celiose the character means addressing his oft-estranged relations, including Christian, Amitam, Celes, Locke, and especially Shana (before ultimately confronting Erdeny). The way I see it, the lead-up to White Cell should see Celiose trying to mend fences with his family – not doing a great job, but trying. He accepts Christian as his brother, he tries to be there for Amitam. He forgives his father, Locke, because “Mother wouldn’t want us to fight,” and recognizes that Locke has a bond with Amitam. He probably hasn’t quite reconciled himself with the imminent death of his Mother, but that’s tough. And Shana…well, this has always been a deeply problematic relationship (as Dustin and Aurora have both pointed out); should Shana eternally suffer for the sake of the Web? Part of Celiose’s arc in White Cell involves confronting the fact that although he has saved the Web, he has sacrificed other people to do so, and he has sacrificed Shana more than anyone.

But he knows if he goes to war again, it will all be gone. He will again become death, destroyer of worlds, the Kupopolian Achilles-- the Generalissimo. And, on some level, he sorta prefers that (a fact which terrifies and saddens him.)

I feel bad, because I JUST YESTERDAY had the perfect idea for the final scene of this arc (but obviously it feels silly to post it first…and I might actually want to save one or two twists.)

GIANT ROBOTS FIGHTING – You know, the other day I stayed up re-reading most of the Neo finales, and the Battle of Contac had a smorgasboard of mecha-on-mecha destruction. We have all these mecha aces in the Web, all these giant robots, I want to smash them against other. I want to pit Robotic Tournament Season 1 winner Sheila Sporr against Season 2 winner Tor Stonecliff. I want to see Hannibal and his Malakim wreck shit with glorious, indestructible plastic.

The Battle of Albrook – There are lots of battles in the war, this is the one I HAVE to write. It’s the key White Cell units against the key GA units, with Old Breed generals on both sides. Celiose v. Torstensson. Rimmel vs. Model. Soldier 1 vs. Soldier 2. (I feel a little bad, as I’ve already stated the outcome in the outline…at the time I was hoping to milk some tension out of the fact that surely Celiose Cole could not lose a battle defending Albrook.)

“The Emergency” - Lots of fighting happens around Tasnica. I kind of think of the Four Seasons Campaign in the Upperlands, and the battles around Centwerp and Olivawk as the “ostfront” of the GA Civil War: it’s a long slog for White Cell, but if they win here, they have the resources they need to win the war. White Cell wins almost all of the major battles, but the Tasnicans continue to come up with enough STUFF to stall the advance and stay in the fight.

As befits Tasnica, though, the most fateful moments are all political. There’s the part where they decide they’re going to lose unless they mass-produce a robot slave army. (I’m thinking of calling them Janissaries.) There’s the part where Kenny, despite a lifetime of fighting the AAA corporations, realizes he must put Damien Gavalian in charge of the Defense Ministry. There’s the part where the Tasnicans swallow their pride and admit they really do need help from Pandora and Kakkara. There’s an attempt on Kenny’s life (not by White Cell, but another faction in Tasnica, of course). And finally, there’s the “grand bargain” with Tasnica’s empire: After the war you may go your own way, but now you must stand with us.

…and Kenny might get to go all civ-style Mahatma Ghandhi at the end…still undecided on that…

The Dragon Roars - So Scande gets its ass kicked in the first battles of the war. White Cell makes it a point to show that it can beat the GSF (the Web’s best space fleet) and SLCM-Ground (the Web’s best army). The Scandians respond as you would expect: with EVIL! As Tasnica is debating its moral fiber, Scande has no qualms torturing White Cell prisoners, resurrecting chemical weapons program, and working its population to the bone to produce more giant robots. There’s lots of fighting in Ticondera. (Tasnica had hired the Moonslayers, a mercenary unit of ex-GA soldiers, to protect the Tasnican-Ticonderan Territores; the Moonslayers join White Cell. SLCM has a big task force in the FTSR, nearby.) The handful of major ground battles that White Cell loses in the war are mostly to Scandians.

The Scandians develop an anti-magitek chemical weapon. Along with their large navy, seaborne commandos, and legions of giant robots, they launch a counterattack and liberate Albrook – achieving the most decisive land victory against White Cell in the entire war. (Of course, it was Celiose’s plan to set White Cell up for this fall but forcing them into a pyrrhic victory in the first place…but the Scandians are the ones who actually do it.) White Cell adjusts their magitek to protect against the secret chemical weapon and counterattacks, but the Scandians hold – showing the whole Web that “these monsters CAN be felled, they CAN be beaten!”

And, for their trouble, White Cell writes a letter to the Alliance Congress demanding that the Scandian League be punished for its use of illegal weapons. Travin’s mocking reply: “You’re a sore loser, Erdeny.”

…and then Erdeny takes the Executor into orbit around Dragon III and nukes Travin’s bunker, and starts razing the planet.

The Battle of Dragon III – I think we should just this this “The Kupocolypse”

Our era of the Grand Army, Great Powers, and big wars needs to end with a grand, great, big old bang!

Who should be there?

Everyone.

youtube.com/watch?v=7pSs9Vb … tml5=False

Writing this out like this, it occurs to me that one thing I want to do with this “anthology” approach is mostly wrap up existing characters (or give them their moments). This is about one last hurrah for a the whole “web as we knew it.” More importantly for me anyway, this give Proper an END – we can see across the vast sweep of millions of words the rise and fall of men and nations. Although I’ve thought a lot about reborn, I really want Proper to end as a complete story.


#3

I’ll reiterate Mike’s point: youtube.com/watch?v=MsuH1msEkvM

This all sounds pretty awesome to me! On my end, I’ve got a few ideas.

Hannibal and the Malakim

As I mentioned, Hannibal and the Malakim throw in with White Cell. (We’ve even seen this in Avalon!) I don’t think Hannibal reveals himself to the Esper Union after all; he doesn’t want to be a leader of nations again, and he considers it… but he can’t bring himself to bring the Esperian people to ruin. He views the conflict as a grim, brutal necessity so that monsters like him can never bring the Web to its knees again. (Let’s face it: underneath the stone cold badass, Hannibal always had an undercurrent of intense self-loathing.)

I’m torn on a couple of things. First, I’m not sure what – if any – role Hannibal should have in the Battle of Albrook. The Malakim are GA, but they’re a different breed of GA. I feel like they could upset the “classic Kupop” tone of the Grand Army fighting itself, tanks and infantry in a gigantic melee. However, they’re also an incredible for White Cell. I think if they’re not there, they should be doing some significant action at that time.

I’d like Hannibal to get a swing at most of the mecha pilots in the story, since he’d evolved into one of the finest – and by this point, he has a downright terrifying Seraphim that includes an “Ultima Projection Field” that does exactly what it sounds like. He should throw down with Fel and Sporr; he should have a slobberknocker fight with Clay Reynolds.

My thought is the Malakim are broken in the Battle of Dragonspace, possibly even on the ground. Hannibal will be having serious reservations about Erdeny at this point. I know me and Matt talked about this ending in a fight of Derik versus Hannibal, which I like. We could build up to a sort of apocalyptic, Achilles versus Hector type match. In the end, like all good enemy aces from a giant robot show, Hannibal is presumed dead… but there’s no body.

Esper Union

I think the Esperians stay out of the war… for the most part. Their government ends up crippled; with Halberg dead, they had issues already. The Esper Union’s Sovereignty Council is simply divided on what the hell to do about White Cell and whether to throw in, while the Esperian United Soldiery (EUS) is increasingly dissatisfied with the way the EU has failed to backup their Guardian allies against the Communists.

This changes when the Scandians launch the attack to retake Albrook from Torstensson’s forces. At this point, I think two things are the case. First, the Occupied Zone has started having officers come up through the SLCM’s ranks; as Travin promised, their children grew up Communist. Moreover, Esperians who’ve spent the last sixteen years under Communist rule have thrown in because this wasn’t a temporary thing. Thus, the Scandian attack actually includes a large contingent of what will be – after the Scandian League falls – the People’s Army of Greater Tzen.

Parts of the EUS decide to strike. Publicly, this is the Aerospacy, They throw in with White Cell because they consisted of a lot of the dregs of the SRAN’s Esperian officers… and the malcontent, the unhappy, and the desperate that they recruited from the Fringe. Their commander was a former space pirate (and a name on a page). However, there is real concern that other EUS leadership is supporting them covertly (and they are). The Aerospacy tries to attack the Scandians from the rear as they hit Albrook, to pull the Esper Union into the war on the side of White Cell.

This could make the Second Battle of Albrook more complicated, especially as the newly formed Phoenix Knights rush to assist the Scandians in a black ops style mission and stop the EU from being dragged into a war it’s not remotely ready to fight.

Sky Riders

The Sky Riders, having had the whole quasi-multinational approach and independence (remember, they even had Tasnica as a member!), throw in with the Grand Army as soon as Erdeny issues her commands. I figure they see a lot of action in the Fringe and trying to fill in for the GSF while it recovers. However, they end up taking heavy losses; for one, they were pretty much at the forefront of putting the Fringe down, and I figure the weaker forces out there that suddenly have SAGA backup are doing a number on them. The SRAN was generally anti-piracy and brutally so; this comes back to bite them, as SAGA gives exciting new options for them.

Such as strapping very powerful reactors to asteroids, stealth paint to coat them, and targeting computers to make sure they rip through Sky Rider vessels. I’m picturing some sort of scene early on where the Sky Riders declare they will “neutralize” Alter Space with a massive fleet, and then most of it is shredded in a cooperative space pirate/SAGA engagement.

The survivors end up under the command of Van Norris. Van holds the Sky Riders together as best he possibly can, but he’s only in command until Dragonspace. There, they lose more of their forces – and Van surrenders his life, navigating the last Hosluft-class flagship into a shot from the Executor’s cannon that would have obliterated another Scandian city. The remains of the SRAN end up rejoining the Esper Union – with some of their ships defecting to the Crystal nations that were members of them.

Battle of the Quad

I was thinking that this might be a fun place to do a gigantic, terrifying, Stalingrad-esque urban battle. I was thinking of writing some stories about a Grand Army sniper from Eblan who sees some of the horrors of the war firsthand, and this might be her big arc, where she comes face-to-face (or scope-to-scope) with a peer in White Cell. But it also feels like another place to tell stories?

How do we focus this?

This is one thing I’ve been weighing. We want the freedom to write what we want, when we want – and to not feel we need to show everything. However, I know Matt was emphasizing the importance of collaboration, and I agree. Moreover, it’s hard to collaborate if one person’s writing the beginning and another’s writing the ending at the same time. Thus, maybe we should have a few of the bigger events that we’ll mostly write around simultaneously – and have the freedom to do the rest as we see fit.

Thus, we say when we’re doing one of those events – like, posting it here – and try to coordinate and plan then. I’m thinking these would be the huge, multiperson battles and events – the First and Second Battles of Albrook, the Battle of the Quad, the Battle of Dragonspace, and others we develop. We don’t need to make this formal – indeed, let’s go back and visit them if we want as we write – but it can make it easier to work together on those.

On my end, I’ll probably mostly write chronologically. It’s easier for me. But, I doubt I will exclusively.


#4

[quote=“Tex”]Battle of the Quad

I was thinking that this might be a fun place to do a gigantic, terrifying, Stalingrad-esque urban battle. I was thinking of writing some stories about a Grand Army sniper from Eblan who sees some of the horrors of the war firsthand, and this might be her big arc, where she comes face-to-face (or scope-to-scope) with a peer in White Cell. But it also feels like another place to tell stories?[/quote]

I’ll admit, this is something that, as soon as some of the details of this White Cell Saga came out, I thought of something like that.

I could picture Mister Bones getting involved in the political intrigue parts of the conflict-- being dispatched by the Celpo to take out key officers or something, or to try to steal intelligence, since he’s now got the rep of being able to steal the unstealable after “stealing” the mask of Norstein Bekkler.

Likewise, Kuat Arms Experts getting used to support the Brackhaven Administration after Damien gets selected to head the Defense Ministry. That’d give me the chance to bust out the Tag Team again for some gunfire violence.

I need some refresher, however, on which city (or cities) the Quad is/are, since the Kupop Wiki seems to be down.

[quote=“Tex”]
How do we focus this?

This is one thing I’ve been weighing. We want the freedom to write what we want, when we want – and to not feel we need to show everything. However, I know Matt was emphasizing the importance of collaboration, and I agree. Moreover, it’s hard to collaborate if one person’s writing the beginning and another’s writing the ending at the same time. Thus, maybe we should have a few of the bigger events that we’ll mostly write around simultaneously – and have the freedom to do the rest as we see fit.

Thus, we say when we’re doing one of those events – like, posting it here – and try to coordinate and plan then. I’m thinking these would be the huge, multiperson battles and events – the First and Second Battles of Albrook, the Battle of the Quad, the Battle of Dragonspace, and others we develop. We don’t need to make this formal – indeed, let’s go back and visit them if we want as we write – but it can make it easier to work together on those.

On my end, I’ll probably mostly write chronologically. It’s easier for me. But, I doubt I will exclusively.[/quote]

I tend to write chronologically for these kinds of projects, though flashback chapters are always likely.


#5

[quote=“Jay2K”]I’ll admit, this is something that, as soon as some of the details of this White Cell Saga came out, I thought of something like that.

I could picture Mister Bones getting involved in the political intrigue parts of the conflict-- being dispatched by the Celpo to take out key officers or something, or to try to steal intelligence, since he’s now got the rep of being able to steal the unstealable after “stealing” the mask of Norstein Bekkler.

Likewise, Kuat Arms Experts getting used to support the Brackhaven Administration after Damien gets selected to head the Defense Ministry. That’d give me the chance to bust out the Tag Team again for some gunfire violence.

I need some refresher, however, on which city (or cities) the Quad is/are, since the Kupop Wiki seems to be down.[/quote]

Oh, not just me. We’ll have to poke Mike on the wiki.

And yeah, both of those sound like fun! I’d love to see Mister Bones caught up in this. Depending how I swing the EU’s heads trying to avoid a civil war, the leader of the Phoenix Knights might also hire him to help stop the Aerospacy from attacking the Scandians and pulling them into the war. (Also because haughty mage knights working with Mister Bones to save Communists sounds funny to me.)


#6

Yeah, not just you guys… Travis and I tried to go into the wiki a couple times over the last few days and it doesn’t appear to be there somehow.


#7

I do like the idea of focusing the action around a couple of “flashpoints” to keep the story focused and foster interactivity, and I mostly agree with the ones Tex said. I would, however, add one major one, which is the start of the war…it seems silly to start this anthology in the middle. Guardia and Scande start a war in Crystal over Eblan, and White Cell comes in and beats them. We get to establish White Cell as a fear force (instead of just talking about it!), and there’s also plenty of opportunities for giant robot throwdowns in Eblan. Plus, this whole arc feels incomplete without the various Web leaders contemplating that they may well be completely fucked.

(And, this also completes the Total Destruction Tour of my plot assets, covering Eblan, Tasnica, Albrook, and Dragon – and of course, the GA itself!)

I might suggest that we run each “Flashpoint” as a mini-IS, giving ample time for participation before moving to the next bit. (And understanding, of course, that any action outside of these could be posted whenever.)

Chronologically, we should go:

Start of the War - “The Match is Stuck” (discussed above)

First Albrook - “The Day the Web Turned Upside Down” - Interactivity is always welcome, but this was always conceived as a fight between my various GA characters, with the “twist ending” of “CELIOSE CANNOT SAVE YOU NOW! YOU’RE ON YOUR OWN!”

The Quadfront - “Republikdammerung” -In my earlier ideas, I had thought about focusing the fighting on the Upperlands, but after hearing people’s ideas, I’ve realized that the Quad is a well-developed piece of Kupopolis real estate and it’d be a shame not to fight over it. Olivawk is a huge prize for White Cell (which desperately needs a space elevator to reconnect its space and ground elements), Centwerp as a canal city has interesting possibilities for defense, and I don’t think I could pass up Defense of Egmont: The Legend Continues. (And meanwhile, if Tasnicaport falls, Tasnica’s vast and fractious empire almost certainly shatters.) There will, of course, still be fighting in the Upperlands for those who want a change of scenery.
And I also think there’s enough people with enough connections here that we can get almost all the writers involved, which is good.
Fighting here probably lasts the whole war – it starts before First Albrook and ends after Second Albrook, but bookending what looks to be the “main theater” with the battles of Albrook appeals to me.

Second Albrook - “The Dragon Roars” - Although it’s worth noting that Scande is fighting White Cell forces in Ticondera during this time, which is why White Cell is caught off guard when they attack Albrook.

Battle of Dragon III - “The Firefight” - Discussed before.

Look good? This does focus a lot on my stuff (which is my only gripe), but I think it’s big enough to give the suitable epic sweep without feeling overwhelming. (There’s plenty of “off stage” fighting which we can reference without having to actually dive into, at least at this time.)


#8

Oooh yeah, okay, we definitely need to give Mike a poke. Something’s wrong there.

[quote=“Celiose”]
Look good? This does focus a lot on my stuff (which is my only gripe), but I think it’s big enough to give the suitable epic sweep without feeling overwhelming. (There’s plenty of “off stage” fighting which we can reference without having to actually dive into, at least at this time.)[/quote]

All that looks good to me! If we see a couple flashpoints we wanna hit as we go, we can do that.


#9

Ok, I’m glad the wiki is not just me…I thought maybe it was a China thing…sometimes certain websites don’t work for no reason, or they are just very slow to download.


#10

[quote=“Jay2K”]Battle of the Quad

I need some refresher, however, on which city (or cities) the Quad is/are, since the Kupop Wiki seems to be down.

[/quote][/quote]

The cities of the Quad are:
Tasnicaport - The capital of Tasnica
Olivawk - Major industrial center and location of the Void Bridge
Centwerp - Financial hub
Egmont - location of Kuat Headquarters (which was proudly Defended against rock demons by various volunteer forces)

Hopefully the wiki returns, I had more in-depth write-ups on each of them.

(also, I would love to add the “Metafact” that the name of “the Quad” was inspired by the “residential quad” of four dorms at Tufts University.)


#11

So plenty of cities to have an awesome gigantic siege in!

Also, like, Stalingrad-level urban warfare in an era with modern 24-hour news coverage. (Kupop had 24-hour news coverage, didn’t it? I may be remembering wrong.)


#12

[quote=“Celiose”]The cities of the Quad are:
Tasnicaport - The capital of Tasnica
Olivawk - Major industrial center and location of the Void Bridge
Centwerp - Financial hub
Egmont - location of Kuat Headquarters (which was proudly Defended against rock demons by various volunteer forces)
[/quote]

That’s what I figured, but it’s nice to have confirmation. Thanks.

With regards to my existing characters, Mister Bones would certainly be doing some wetwork for the Celpo in some fashion-- be it assassination or asset acquisition-- while the Tag Team would probably be doing some serious defense work in Egmont, including setting booby-traps in the city to thwart and harass invading troops and planning how to burn the whole city down to stop it falling into enemy hands. (Which Iggy Smucker would defend as “a last-ditch, scorched-earth idea,” and one he only wrote up ahead of time as a case of disaster preparedness planning.)


#13

I dig it, Jay.

I think we could start with the beginning of the conflict, then? The combination of the Guardian-Communist showdown in Eblan, plus White Cell’s early recruitment efforts. I could do a thing with someone selling it to Hannibal.


#14

Yes, I agree that the beginning makes the most sense.

…I kind of want to add a secret mission to Foo to sabotage White Cell’s infinite resources bitch (by deploying some device that destabilizes dark matter). Is this an awesome thing we have to do, or is that a bridge too far?


#15

I, for one, support the Foopocalypse.


#16

Sometimes I wish the rest of the world read Kupopolis so they would understand the terminology we use sometimes.

“And in political news today, the candidates for the GOP primary have been making frequent stops in Las Vegas, Nevada, where Sheldon Adelson is holding court. Adelson, a wealthy casino magnate who makes frequent contribution to conservative causes and candidates, has yet to declare whose Infinite Resources Bitch he will be in the coming contests.”


#17

Oh hey, Matt and Travis, I had an idea.

I was thinking by 52 WR, Doma’d managed to successfully win independence from the EU but it’s just getting started. I was thinking Doma might try to join with Eblan and Guardia in the early days of the war, basically trying to win allies and stuff.

Then this goes horribly awry. (But also, former Esperians vs. former Esperians in Eblan.)


#18

Sounds good to me, Tex. I take it Figaro is still part of the EU, though?


#19

It is! It’s a bit like Scotland: there’s talk of independence but the economic ties make that harder.