As always when entering the Room in Versailles, Marc Vergnières couldn't avoid the feeling of unreality that permeated the area. Everything felt flimsy compared to a high-tier Professional… and there was no higher rank in the whole of the French Hegemony than the Tyrant himself, Masterful Watchman Napoleon Bonaparte.
The two guards were there mostly for show. Napoleon had far enough skills and ranks to be able to deal personally with anything except a massively overpowered Professional team. The Tyrant left nothing to chance when it came to his build, and his regular expeditions in the Labyrinth’s high-end lairs were used to fuel a growth that few could hope – or be allowed – to match.
Vergnières knew well how to report to the Tyrant. The man had little tolerance for nonsense or flowery introductions.
“The teams have returned.”
There was no need to elaborate on the teams in question.
“Achieved. They had two full tier six teams active and looking for ours, but they were not expecting that form of attack in the slightest. The Gate is shut down,” confirmed Vergnières.
“As expected, the structure itself remains indestructible. The gate itself blew up. There was a massive loss of life apparently. People were torn apart by the Gate… substance.”
“I do not care for losses. What matters is that they will be unable to access the Labyrinth, and advance their technological development and industry. Once they’re strangled, Europe will no longer have an enemy at its door.”
Vergnières added, “Deschanel’s team report having been able to see the Gate descriptor.”
For once, the Tyrant was surprised. This happened rarely these days.
“Indicating that the… transit from Earth to Grailburg is disabled.”
Bonaparte leaned back on his chair.
“Unexpected. Something for the Academy to speculate about. Those wankers will be thrown in a tizzy.”
The Tyrant harboured one of his rare smiles. But Vergnières had kept the bad news for last.
“Deschanel himself didn’t make it, though. The Cowen team managed to kill him.”
“They will have wasted no time and resurrected him in the Tower’s Professional Prison. Pity. He’s a good one.”
“They have good interrogators.”
“Interrogating a tier 7 like Jacques is easier said than done,” said Napoleon.
Required: 365 FOR, 292 INT, 188 PRE
+20 health/+15 endurance/+35 mind/+65 aether per level
+1 Milestone/10 levels
Masterful Watcher Milestone: +18 FOR, +13 CON, +9 INT, 1% aether conservation
Skill set: Opponent / Control
Vincent Archer wrote his first story around age 11. On a mechanical typewriter, with carbon paper for a mimeograph to distribute in class. His teacher knew enough to make vague encouraging noises rather than really tell him what she thought. He wrote more stories afterward, but Time has thankfully managed to erase every trace of them.
Now that his career has settled in a mix of routine and insanity and that he's figured out that herding cats would probably be easier, he's finally started to write stories again on a media rather than inside his brain. Some of those are even potentially good enough to show to other people.
Silvergates is his first attempt to finish one rather than admit defeat against the usual writer's block.