Sunday, May 26, 2024

Shattergrounds – The Yu Jing Story

At the dawn of the Concilium Security Crisis, known colloquially as ‘Shattergrounds’, the StateEmpire of Yu Jing stood confident: in previous crises facing the Sphere from Kurage to New Hypatia Yu Jing’s subject-citizens had risen to answer. There initially seemed little reason to doubt continued success. 

At outset, some goals were clear: Yu Jing had taken lead in containing the Quantum Anomaly Zones (QAZ) at Huaqiao, home to the Tai Sui Master Clock guiding the calendar of the Sphere as well as the energy research laboratories of Bureau Agni. Securing those facilities would be first priority for the StateEmpire, after which forces could be redirected to supplant the so-called ‘Hyperpower’ or shore up humanity’s defenses where they looked to be faltering.

With Edda so close and the major shift of the Combined Army from war to cooperation, diplomacy would clearly be a major front in the crisis, Yu Jing seeking to continue the fruitful relations achieved with the Nomads, Haqqislam, and the Tohaa (unfairly maligned for the actions of the despicable Spiral Corps) through the Durgama Defence Coalition while also restoring relations with Ariadna and reaching an understanding with ALEPH.

The sudden betrayal of the Sphere by compromised elements within O-12 choosing to align with the Combined Army made such arrangements even more vital, and for a brief moment there seemed a chance of a wider unified front which might even have included PanOceania. Alas, but not unexpectedly, PanOceanian arrogance sank such an effort. Thankfully, despite the so-called ‘Hyperpower’s intransigence, the attempt was not without fruit and led to the formation of the Quantum Containment Coalition uniting Yu Jing, Haqqislam, Nomads, Ariadna, and the Tohaa.

While we await formal AI Historian acknowledgement of our inevitable and glorious victory, we must concede that in theatre metrics show JSA with a narrow margin of victory over us in Huaqiao in both campaign phases.

Yu Jing Concilium Security Crisis Committee


My esteemed Yu Jing commanders, this is Hsien Yue Fei, Commander of the Durian Investigation Unit. Once more, I must ask you for your help.

Confused allies and new recruits sometimes ask why the Emperor of Yu Jing would place a Hsien Warrior of the ISS, one of his famed Immortals, in charge of a mundane task like fruit inspection. For those of you unfamiliar with our work, the origin of my unit is simple. The Emperor and his storied family have always enjoyed Durian, regarding it as the emperor of fruits. Of course, it would be a relatively easy matter to cultivate and provide this specialty food for the Emperor’s table. What other nations don’t understand, is that Yu Jing is a benevolent and egalitarian society.

Our Emperor decreed that all our citizens, no matter how far-flung across the galaxy, should all have access to the same treat that he loved. This necessitated a huge, interplanetary agricultural project, with containers of the finest grade Durian frozen and continuously in transit through circulars and shipping lanes to every corner of our population. This is the reality of Yu Jing, misunderstood by other nations, our people come first and we provide for them all.

With this vast, interplanetary Durian trade, came opportunities for the smuggling of contraband. We’ve found Shasvastii seed embryos, contraband Xenotechnology, terrorist bio-weapons, and invasive alien species, all of it masked inside refrigerated Durian containers. Nations with less refined sensibilities often regarded the smell of spoiled Durian with some distaste and overlooked these serious threats to humanity traveling through their ports.

Thus it was necessary for the Emperor to appoint a special unit of the Imperial Service, skilled in rooting out criminal smuggling conspiracies and unmasking impersonators. My Durian Inspectors have taken a leading role in defending the people of Yu Jing at many of the recent crisis flashpoints – most recently at Novyy Bangkok, Durgama, and New Hypatia.

Reckless figures want to make a scapegoat of the entire Tohaa race. It is with some disgust that we witness Ariadnan commanders rounding up Tohaa civilians into internment camps as if their women and children were all complicit in the destruction of Concilium Prima. As always, when callow politicians persecute scapegoats, their loose words are turned into violence by their lapdogs and used to distract from their own incompetence and lack of initiative. The O-12 and Pan Oceania’s government desperately wants to use these scapegoats as a distraction from their own failures.

The events of the Concilium Debacle go deeper than that and we have brought our unique set of skills to bear, unraveling the schemes of the Taagma and unmasking a network of Greif operators like the one pictured above. Tracking down the Spiral Corps is the real task for us, along with the fools or spies in Concilium Coordinated Command who hired them to secure the very thing they wanted to attack. Even now Pan Oceanian generals talk about “holding Cameliard” during the Durgama crisis, when we all know that Yu Jing secured it against a Combined Army attack in the face of Pan Oceanian incompetence and would never have been foolish enough to put double agents in a position to attack it.

The newly founded Yu Jing Concilium Security Crisis Committee, of which I am a member, now needs you to provide all available military resources to protect our people as we evacuate them from the Quantum Anomaly Zones. I will release further information soon, proving another Spiral Corps plot to attack the Master Clock in Huaqiao. If this clock falls, it will disrupt interplanetary travel for all nations attempting to save their people on Concilium. We are going to come under immediate attack from the Spiral Corps and their allies, and the cost if we fail will be terrible.A

Hsien Yue Fei
Durian Investigation Unit
Imperial Service

DIU Intelligence Release from Mountain Grill, Edda

by YueFei

“I twist the truth, I rule the world, my crown is called deceit
I am the emperor of lies, you grovel at my feet
I rob you and I slaughter you, your downfall is my gain
And still you play the sycophant and revel in your pain
And all my promises are lies, all my love is hate
I am the Triumvirate and I decide your fate…”

Standing outside the Mountain Grill in Edda, Hsien Yue Fei could hear raspy, shouted lyrics over the distorted, rhythmic notes of a bass harpset. Something sounded off. The harpset player exhibited undeniable skill, but the song called for additional instruments. While he didn’t consider himself an expert, he guessed that without a lead harpset and some drums, it lacked at least two-thirds of its intended ensemble.

As Yue Fei strode through the doors of the restaurant, the music stopped abruptly. A last whine of feedback from the harpset was muted by the musician’s palm. The sparse audience consisted solely of a trio of aging Tohaa, huddled around a table positioned as far away from the stage as they could manage. Their expressions bore a palpable sense of relief at the music’s sudden halt, though once they registered the hulking frame of a Yu Jing Imperial Agent in the room they made a flustered show of finishing their food and hurrying for the door.

“Yue Fei,” growled the musician, as he stepped down off the small stage. “I’m glad you could find me. I have something you need to know.”

“Le Muet, why do you play in a place like this?” asked the Hsien. It didn’t seem to have brought in any customers, though at least that meant there were no witnesses to their meeting.

“The owner, Lou, is down on his luck. He hopes I’ll keep this place safe for him if he feeds me. He’s been trying to stop me getting on stage, but I worry I’ll forget my music. I get edgy if I don’t play. Sometimes people get hurt.” Even now, the holsters of two large breaker pistols were conspicuous under Le Muet’s bulky, black jacket. “Whatever the cost, Lou figures it’s worth it. The Tohaa community is scared. There aren’t many of us left.”

“Your services were invaluable to us in the New Hypatia docks. I’ll listen to what you have to say. My presence isn’t going to boost business around here though, you should know my Durian Inspectors have been sent to hunt down the Spiral Corps.”

“Hhrm. Those bastards. That’s why we need to talk,” Le Muet scowled.

“And why should I trust what you have to say about them? You’ve worked for Spiral in the past. You could be trying to save their necks.”

“Money is money, I work for everyone. But you don’t know what they did to me, do you? They did all this,” said Armand, waving at the scarred crown of his head. “They said I gave them permission, but the bastards lied to me. This isn’t a haircut or missing leaves on a damned vegetable, this is life to a Tohaa. I can’t even talk to my people without using your stumbling human language. I’m a cripple that nobody can bear to be around. I have no family, I have no lovers. Then they messed with my identity and named me LeMuet… the Corahtaa mute. That’s their joke. But my music helped me unpick the mess they’ve made of my mind. ���� Spiral Corps and ���� the Triumvirate [1].”

“Tell me, what is the Triumvirate?” In truth, Yue Fei had been investigating them for some time. But why let Armand know what cards he held? Better to hear everything.

“That’s what you need to know. The Tohaa didn’t want to destroy this world. Most Tohaa came here to fight the Combined Army, or to escape from it. But before you humans even built the first circular, the secret, bastard Triumvirate has skulked in the shadows and has been playing us, and you humans, for fools. They brought down the Daedalus Gate and they caused this Concilium Debacle. And right now, for whatever secret reason they have, they’ve sent the Spiral Corps to build a mercenary coalition and attack the Master Clock in Huaqiao. I know because they’re trying to pay me to go there.”

[1] ���� indicates an untranslatable word. Context indicates it may be Vaarso Battlespeak for some kind of curse, probably sexual in nature.

[ LeMuet has generously gifted Hsien Yue Fei a container of unsold “band” merchandise, principally a large number of LeMüeterhead embroidered patches, which will be made available to generals of the State Empire and allies as part of a community patch competition. Competition rules will be shared soon. ]

Phase 2 Announcement


​This is Hsien Yue Fei, Commander of the Durian Investigation Unit addressing all the generals of the State Empire on behalf of the Yu Jing Concilium Security Crisis Committee. You know this because you have been on the front lines, but our defense of Huaqiao has faltered. For the first time, we have been defeated by a consortium of Mercenary forces, with a substantial contingent of Japanese turncoats seizing the opportunity to attack our facilities and the Master Clock. I take personal accountability for my part in our failure, but it would be an abdication of responsibility to step down at this time of crisis.

We have at our disposal an expert in mercenary doctrines and one of the most famous mercenary soldiers in the history of the Human Sphere. This is unconventional for a party address, but it’s important that you hear what he has to say. LeMuet, please tell them what you told me.

“Hrrm. Look at all the ����ing assholes who turned up to fight you [1]. Every mercenary company I’ve ever worked for has shown up. ForCo is here, so you know the pay is through the roof. The Druze had to get a piece. The White Company are slinging pitchers and lead at you, they normally only work for O-12 and Aleph. Dahshat were definitely here and just like always Ikari and the Japanese will fight you for free as long as someone buys them guns and bullets.”

So, as you suspected, is the Spiral Corps and the Triumvirate behind this?

“Well, I’ve seen them here too. Who knows what they’re up to, but I don’t think they’re behind everything going on. This is the mercenary feeding frenzy of the decade, do you know how much money all these bastards like Lt Cuddles charge? Every hour of overtime is authorized and they’re hitting you around the clock. The Triumvirate and the Japanese can’t afford this party, there’s someone with some deep ����ing pockets and some serious finances paying invoices as fast as they get them. Someone with a ����ing yacht.”

Thank you, Armand. Do you have anything else to add?

“Haha, what a shit show. Good luck guys, but hey, buy my ����ing album! shirts and patches are available at the back… <mic cuts>

There you have it. We’re not just fighting the Spiral Corps. We’re not just fighting the Japanese. We’re in a proxy war with Pan Oceania, perhaps even the Combined Army through their recent O-12 acquisition. Nobody else on Concilium has the resources to back this kind of effort. We’re outnumbered and the resources we have to protect at the Experimental Energy Research Center are vital. The DIU has conducted an aggressive purge of Bureau Agni and removed dozens of Shasvastii infiltrators [2], now we need to make sure we can protect the prototype reactors we have secured from falling into enemy hands.

Redouble your efforts. If we use the same tactics we used at Tai Sui we will lose. Reach out to every general you can contact and make sure they understand what we’re up against. Every engagement counts. Show our enemies that we will never back down in our defense of the people of Yu Jing!

[1] ���� indicates an untranslatable word. We think our guesses about the meaning in our last transcript were probably correct.

[2] Bureau Agni now hiring for all senior management positions. If you know someone with advanced reactor research credentials, please forward us their resume immediately!

O-12 Denouncement Announcement

Greetings, this is Admiral Philip von Kruse of the Yu Jing High Command representing the Concilium Security Crisis Committee with an announcement.

Recent events have taken many of our esteemed colleagues, fellow patriots and concerned fellow humans by storm, not least of which is the decision by O-12 to surrender the Rhodan Spaceport to the forces of the Combined Army. Officially according to O-12, this is to secure their cooperation while they act elsewhere. 

Not long ago, the entire human sphere was in a death-struggle with the forces of the Ur-hegemony and O-12 championed the cause for the protection and security of the sphere. Now however, they have seen fit to grant a provisional seat to this former foe who has caused us all such great suffering, along with a strategically vital position in the Rhodan spaceport.

Furthermore, O-12 forces apparently find the prospect of these Combined Army forces seizing more territory to be an agreeable proposition, as they have not commented nor condemned the Combined Army’s attempts at seizing territories  such as the Bhai Terraforming Environmental Studies Campus, or even the Huaqiao Tai Sui facilities, despite the fact that by making these attempts, the Combined Army forces are violating our national interests and sovereignty. 

Truly, this is a dark day for the Human Sphere, and O-12’s tacit approval of these aggressive actions on the part of the Combined Army can, in the opinion of the Concilium Security Crisis Committee, only be described in one way: Treason.

The Yu Jing Concilium Security Crisis Committee will continue in our efforts to guard the interests of the *Human* Sphere and our own national interests. The aggressive actions undertaken by the Combined Army at Huaqiao will be repulsed and O-12 collaborators will be held accountable if they end up in Yu Jing custody.  It is our sincere hope that other nations true to the Human Sphere such as PanOceania and Haqqislam will take up arms in expelling the Combined Army forces from Edda, and Concilium Prima entire!

Stay strong and resist the invaders, for the Human Sphere and the State Empire!

PS: If any officers or journalists ask about my name again, please for the love of all things holy, I am descended from European immigrants to this great nation. Stop asking.

Emergency Ninja Detection Training Test

Durian Investigation Unit

Hsien Yue Fei of the Durian Investigation Unit was tipped off to possible Spiral Corps activity in Huaqiao by triple (or quadruple?) agent Armand LeMuet, who had grown frustrated with both the Triumvirate and his floundering musical career in his solo act LeMüeterhead. The rather unilateral influence of the Durian Investigation Unit on the Yu Jing Concilium Security Crisis Committee steered Yu Jing forces to commit to defending the Huaqiao Tai Sui facility.

The Quantum Anomaly Zone and weird probabilistic anomalies defined Yue Fei’s campaign more than anything else. Hsien Yue was killed twice, first by a moderator’s combi rifle and in an extremely unlikely sequence of events, in close combat with Sir John Valdez, hero of Durgama. Luckily, as one of the Yu Jing emperor’s Immortals, he was resurrected twice.

While a side note to the campaign, an expedition to an undersea black lab in Montalban revealed clues of an alarming conspiracy: it appears that some shadowy party in the Human Sphere is attempting to recreate a Walruspode similar to the one the DIU tracked down and defeated in New Hypatia.

The DIU is still burdened with distributing Le Muet’s unsold band merchandise, as part of the contract signed with him at the start of the campaign.

Crisis Committee Closing Thoughts

Hsien Yue Fei

“Yue Fei, if you’re awake, we need to talk. Aleph has applied statistical models to your last two engagements and come to an alarming conclusion.”

Yue Fei woke, in his second new Lhost in ten days. Celestial Zhou was nowhere to be seen and this time the disconcerting eyes of a Deva Functionary were the first he saw. The precise and slightly cold voice that had woken him clearly belonged to this synthetic agent of ALEPH.

“You are the nexus of a sequence of increasingly improbable quantum events. This reached an alarming crescendo during your last engagement when the boundaries of the Huaqiao QAZ shifted to encompass your engagement with the Military Orders.”

“What does that mean? Did I make some mistake?” His post-resurrection memories of his engagement with Sir John Valdez seemed like a hallucination and made little sense. At least his memory of the pain seemed real. He reflexively put his hand to his ribs, where the Knight’s sword had punched through his body, somehow expecting to feel a scar. Of course, the skin of the new LHOST was completely unmarked.

“We have conducted an exhaustive statistical and tactical analysis of both your engagements. You made few, if any, mistakes. We estimate a lower than 2% probability for you to be killed in a gunfight with a moderator,” waiting a second or two to make her point, she continued. “The probability for a Knight of Justice to make it through your defensive screen and field of suppressive fire was a fraction of a percent at best, and for him to win combat with you and Adil was even more unlikely.”

“Our model of the universe suggests that our universe is just one amongst multiple possible universes in a multi-dimensional quantum probability field, and that every concrete decision point we observe takes us further down a timeline in just one of these possible universes. There is a grave danger that your continued role in this engagement is interacting somehow with the T’Zechi Digester to force increasingly unlikely decision paths. In the twentieth century, this was colorfully imagined as the ‘stupidest timeline.'”

“Whether this hypothesis is true or false, there are burdensome logistical implications on your unit. The invoice from the C.R.A.S.H.E.Rs that retrieved your cube from the QAZ was sizeable. Then there is the matter of resurrections, which always carry an astronomical cost. As you know, we operate with an actuarial model to guarantee the availability of Silk and new LHOSTs to senior Yu Jing staff, however I have been asked to warn you that we have no further resurrections prepared for you. If you die again, it may be some time before we can bring you back.”

“It is unfortunate, but we believe that you should be removed from active combat duty. If you were to continue to insert yourself onto the battlefield you might interact with the boundaries of the Quantum Anomaly Zones in a catastrophic fashion. In fact, though it might not be through conscious action, the dire circumstances Yu Jing’s forces on Concilium Prima find themselves in could be entangled with and caused by your choices. This is a topic for further research.”

“Finally, we have to pass on sincere apologies from the tattooist. It seems that they were under extreme pressure and somehow misprogrammed their tattooing device. The mistake will take hours to fix and there simply isn’t time right now, the Concilium Security Crisis Committee has requested that you join them in person to assess the situation at Huaqiao Energy Research Center.”

Glancing in the mirror at the words on his back as he dressed, he read 好漢饒命[1]. Covering it quickly with his shirt, he began to worry there might be some truth to the Deva’s theory.

[1] Translates, roughly, to “Bro, spare my life”

Adm. von Kruse

Though Yu Jing commanders fought valiantly against the mercenary wave, they were unable to maintain security at the Master Clock as the campaign entered its second phase. Hardly surprising given the obvious sources of their funding, the mercenaries continued to advance at Huaqiao, towards the Energy Research Center of Section Metis. The experimental quantum power laboratories there were of great importance to the Sphere both to study the QAZs that had erupted on Concillium and to unravel the secrets of the Combined Army’s quantum containment devices.

All efforts were targeted towards securing those facilities, for the dark motives of those seeking to disrupt such studies were clear. The fighting was intense throughout, control changing hands between the StateEmpire and the mercenaries several times, but in the final moments the mercenaries managed a last advance which disrupted Yu Jing’s control of the Center. 

Numerous factors were identified by Party analysts as contributing to Yu Jing’s disappointing results, primary among them overconfidence and difficulties for StateEmpire commanders deploying forces in theater. The strength of opposing forces must also be acknowledged, many mercenaries involved proved worthy opponents despite the evil intentions of those holding their purse strings. Other factors such as the need to secure Edda’s desalination facilities and the unbalanced structure of, and use of artillery in, ALEPH training exercises were deemed of only minor relevance. 

Nevertheless, no fault could be found with the Yu Jing forces, who fought bravely from beginning until end and ensured the StateEmpire’s objectives never grew distant despite the difficulties faced during this crisis. All setbacks are unfortunate, but with comrades such as these will be naught but brief pauses in the StateEmpire’s ascent to its rightful place as leaders of the Human Sphere!

Shout Outs!

These are a just few of YJ generals we’ve commended during the campaign. It’s hard to sift through and read all the reports, but these are some that jumped out for various reasons.

Ninja Training Test Results

Additionally, we suspect Yu Jing’s lackluster performance can be blamed on our distaste at making the best of the new ITS season rules:

2 thoughts on “Shattergrounds – The Yu Jing Story

  • It was an honor to serve the glorious StateEmpire alongside heroes such as yourselves. Thanks so much for the shout out!! This campaign season was a ton of fun, can’t wait to return to form in the future!

  • Thanks for the initiative. This was my first time playing a campaign and it was a so much fun. I’m still new to the game and trying to understand White Banner but I enjoyed participating in here. Thanks a lot.


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