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About Traditional Art / Hobbyist Member ViktorMale/Belgium Groups :iconalternate-worlds: Alternate-Worlds
In the sea of time
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QFA-60 by VoughtVindicator
So after hyping the Children of the Drones a bit it was time I designed what they fly in. This is the "rival ace squadron" of my yet-to-be-named Ace Combat fanfiction/reimagination. The whole squadron is children, mostly war orphans from drone strikes or ex-child soldiers who have been observed to posess an uncanny, natural talent in flying ENSI-habilitated aircraft. They are both completely desensitized to violence and their young brains are still very neuroplastic, two traits which combine to make of them deadly pilots which can almost effortlessly bring down the standard AI-flown aircraft of the 2050s, usually by adapting their flight skills from mission to mission faster than what the AIs can keep up with.

The Children of the Drones always sortie in groups of at least seven. They control their aircraft from far away via ENSI datalinks through something called a "COFFIN Hub" and grimly nicknamed the 'mass grave' by ground support staff. This device enables every one of the Children to simultaneously control every aircraft at once, so that the Children do not pilot individual aircraft as much as they collectively fly the entire formation and are able to utilize swarm tactics much more effectively and with a much smaller electronic footprint than networked AI flights. Usually COFFIN hubs cause too much dissonance between the minds of the different pilots to be able to work properly, but the Children synch up almost perfectly.

To exploit their unnatural skills they are given the QFA-60, a distant and significantly upsized development of the older Malebolge-series drones. The QFA-60 is a supermaneuvrable, hypersonic, three-winged suborbital interceptor and air superiority fighter launched ballistically from a flyback rocket booster. The costs of a single sortie are through the roof, but this gives the Children immense reactivity as the entire squadron can bring its force to bear in an hour at most anywhere in the globe. As their ballistic boosters are air-launched from large cargo aircraft, there is usually almost no warning given before the Children arrive to the battlefield and, once they do, they have a kinetic and altitude advantage so significant over even high-altitude scramjet interceptors such as the Aurora that it's almost as if they are drones striking at static ground targets.
Nobody knows how large is the territory encompassed by the League. In fact, in most of the languages spoken in the League, said question cannot be ennounced without incurring in paradox as the League is seen as an intrinsic quality of space, like volume or lenght. No traveller or lineage of travellers from anywhere in the League has ever crossed the entirety of its territory and, were they to do so, what they would find would certainly not be any more alien than what their original homeworlds would seem to them like after centuries of travel. It is thought that the League expanded from a world called Antikythera, it is thought that antikythera is located in the center of the universe.

The languages and cultures that pullulate inside this unencompassable territory tempt infinity, each as unaware of the true extent of the League as the ones around it. They are aware of their stellar neighbors but to their collective explorers the infinite vastness becomes unexplore. No single culture encompasses any significant portion of this territory; one would believe that no single organization of statehood could possibly permeate the lenght of the League, yet the opposite is true: three organizations, as obscure and infinite as the League, rule over and define its existence. The Immortal Armada, the Mameluks and the Church of Selfobliteration. In most of their languages reality is also mentioned as being the fourth organization, but my personal beliefs impede me from passing on this judgement in good faith.

The Immortal Armada is the most visible of these organizations, hypothetically forming the armed force of the empire. In practice the chain of command that guides it is so long that any orders or reports can not be feasibly hoped to ever arrive to their destinataries. As such the Armada assumes the cultural form of a para-state feudal realm in which fleets of increasing size are lorded over a nobility of increasingly important positions. Strange lineages of royal blood, intrincate trade routes and a web of shady alliances crisscross the millions of ships that eternally hold guard over the stars. Feudal wars rage, consuming ships by the thousands, often spurred by pursuit of power or the interpretation of arcane orders sent eons ago. The languages and customs spoken and adopted in these ships are just as varied as their planetside peers but the polygonal, gold-plated ships that they man remain largely the same regardless of where they are, giving an element of visual uniformity seldolmy seen in the League. From this they draw that they are an organization. However, like the League itself, they are unaware of how many ships are subordinate to the legendary and godlike "Grand Admiral" that sits at the head of the chain of command and nobility. This has caused some to conclude that their ships are simply an universal axiomatic truth, and can even see other fleets as alien cultures. Wars with planet-dwellers are not unheard of.
The Immortal Armada is thus in practice a network of infinitely fragmented, independent, self-sufficient fleets sharing a single, vague, structure of nobility erected on top of their chain of command. General fleet movements generally take the form of massive multi-generational demographic migrations which tend to clash against one another. These large migrations tend to act as cultural currents that go through the ocean that is the League, mixing and merging different cultural traditions in the worlds. Many literate gentlemen in many worlds have drawn the conclusion of the League's existence from the abundance of cultural changes, arguing that were they not part of a system, cultures would have become much more independent and differentiated.
The merchant fleet of the League is assumed to operate in some form under the hierarchy of the warships, which draw tribute from them.

Associated out of convenience with the Armada, the second organization, the Mameluks travel onboard or alongside their ships spreading cryptic folklore of the League. It is to them that anyone owes the knowledge of Sultan Kaynak II, the regent of the Antikytheran League. All that remains knowable about him is simply transmitted down as the physical sensation of 'centeredness' translated throughout the countless philosophies, languages and dialects of the League. This vague, abstract concept was eagerly given to me in exchange after I gifted the members of their 'Pineal Priesthood' with many a precious manuscript from my collection and gave several lectures discussing and teaching my faith. To them, these two offers appeared to be equal; we had exposed to each other the totality of our beliefs. Needless to say, I did not manage the conversion of a single one of them to the good faith of Luciella. Perhaps the reader will find it more forgivable if I talk about their corporeal nature, which is predominantly mechanical. To call them cyborgs would be disinforming; little remains of their human bodies. Perhaps aware of how much their people mutated across space, they decided to take these cybernetic forms so that everything that changed remained constant. The machines are uniformly imposing, standing head and shoulders above their tallest men. Their vaguely skeletal design is constructed from ancient instunctual blueprints, only the pineal gland of the convert remains.
Incurring in a great risk of seeming highly disrespectful should I ever encounter one of them again, I dare write my hypothesis that they do not infact consist the religious body of the League but rather something more analogous to a legislative or policing force. That vague pull towards the center that was verbally described to me could be simply the only law of the League: it exists and you belong to it. A second hint at this nature was the frighteningly military appearance of the Pineal priests and their status as legendary warriors amongst the peasantry and nobility of the Immortal Armada, having fought in many of its battles against itself. The third premise that leads to my conclusion is that the only religious belief that can be said to be shared across the entirety of the League is the Selfobliteration, or, simply, the Obliteration.

The Obliteration is perhaps the only recognizable tradition of the League despite that it takes as many forms as its citizens and worlds. It holds a belief that should be apparent to any faithful reader (that death is not the end) but its conclusion has been expanded monstrously. I humbly request that the faithful reader be wary.
The lifetime of any citizen of the League extends into infinity. War, disease and violence quell their endless numbers, but following every death, atom-precise neural images of their beings are constructed and imprinted into new bodies, created either out of cloning in the civilized confines of the League or traditionally in the less so. Consciousnesses have their own bloodlines, being copied and imprinted into new bodies every time after death, to carry on living with all the experience it has behind it. The fact that they cannot prove that it is really continuations of them and not merely copies yet fervently believe in it forms their only dogma; the practices and folklore of the Obliteration are as numerous as the stars, all connected by this central belief not in god or in the universe but that their consciousnesses can be reimplanted.
A man will thus go through many bodies and many lives. The only virtue in Obliteration is experience, living each life differently; every individual is expected to live as a man and a woman, a beggar, a king, a slaver, a prisoner, a mameluk, a poet, a warrior, a murderer and a hero. No single thing, however, abhorrent, is sin; the only sin that the Obliteration accepts is the sin of invariability. Once a person has experienced everything that is to be felt, he is said to reach godhood. The most abhorrent depravity and vileness coexists with the most sublime glory in a strange holistic harmony that is unbearable to behold; many a time had I to witness massacres, torture, injustice and other indescribable acts, barely able to hold myself from drawing my dagger out of principle, knowing that this, to them, was no less precious and holy than the most beautiful painting, the purest of their ascetic virgins or the love of a family. My hands tremble still from witnessing such acts, but my faith kept my spirit steeled during those dark times. Likewise I beheld glory, glory to a scale and perfection that merely thinking of putting it on paper would turn it into a shadow so faint it would serve no purpose.

In theory the minds would be copied and reimplanted on a 1:1 basis with a birth for each death. In practice, that realm of precision belongs to the divine as far as the League is concerned. In this way the imprecise nature of the Obliteration adds to the chaos and uncertainty by having minds be copied several times, minds be imperfectly copied, minds not being copied at all, minds being implanted centuries after their last death, minds sharing bodies, minds being fragmented and rebuilt together. Minds reincarnating not in humans but in supercomputers, ships, aliens, dragons, sentient mountains and weather systems. Hooded figures discretely rumor that some minds have reincarnated as the Sultan for a couple nanoseconds, and in the lenght of time before revelation killed them again they saw the faceless God that hides behind all the other Gods. As the reader might now suspect, an ample purification journey preceded my return to Luciella's holy grounds.

This belief serves to further bloat the already inimaginable dimensions of the League. Not only is it unknowably large in space, but its individual citizens have lived for so long that they cannot possibly remember their origins and ignore their future. The League is thus beyond grasp also in time. From this I hope the reader understands my difficulty of providing an adequate answer as to the measurement of the Antikytheran League.

-Lux Aeterna
Miguel Leovigildo Ochoa Pérez Morayta
Mr. Morayta's Report
This grew out of a conversation with :icondarknighthawk: where I came up with the idea of an empire so large it was unaware it was one.
The arrival of Justice. by VoughtVindicator
The arrival of Justice.
"Someone argued that if infinite knowledge was beyond our reach, we had to create a being for which it was not. The tribunal was composed of individuals from every facet of our society, but the final verdict was entrusted upon Justice, so that the wisdom of God spoke through his mouth and put the arrogance of our species to shame."

Drawn for :iconemperormyric: who asked me to come up with the design of this thing.
  • Mood: Artistic
  • Listening to: The King
  • Reading: Ficciones
  • Watching: Breaking Bad
  • Playing: Wargame Airland Battle
  • Eating: Kinder Buenos
  • Drinking: Fanta
Pretty much what it says on the tin, since after the last batch of drawings I'm feeling confident and kinda wanna step beyond my comfort zone, whatever that is. I'll take 3 requests and the same number of comissions, will free up spots when they get finished


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MH11387sly Featured By Owner 6 days ago
VoughtVindicator Featured By Owner 5 days ago  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
MH11387sly Featured By Owner 5 days ago
how are you?
VoughtVindicator Featured By Owner 5 days ago  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Uh, good, you?
(1 Reply)
KingWillhamII Featured By Owner Oct 8, 2014
Happy Birthday!:D
Here's your gift:… ;)
StormAlchemist15 Featured By Owner Oct 8, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Happy Birthday!!
Mirumoto-Kenjiro Featured By Owner Oct 8, 2014
Happy Birthday!
Lemmy-koopaling Featured By Owner Oct 7, 2014  Student Digital Artist
Happy birthday! :party: 
withinamnesia Featured By Owner Oct 4, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Happy Early Birthday!
Ronin201 Featured By Owner Aug 5, 2014
Thanks for the watch!
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