NATION

PASSWORD

10

DispatchAccountCulture

by The Midaic Republic of Midand. . 93 reads.

Tyrant (Part Four - Battle for the South Pacific)

CONTINUED FROM PART THREE

BEGINNINGS OF A TYRANT

We are in the woods, in seclusion from the rest of the South Pacific. A dark, unseen figure stumbles through the woods. He opens the door to a small shed, sitting down at a rotting wooden desk. A device flickers on. A face appears on the device.
It is the future Tyrant, Auphelia.

Auphelia was walking through the school's courtyard with her two fellow candidates, Havenfell and Midand in the Local Council election on a warm, albeit windy, summer day.
She was oddly silent, only listening to Midand and Havenfell's conversation.
Havenfell was quietly chatting to Midand about endorsing each other's campaigns. Quite ironically, she was more active than Auphelia that day.
Midand, as usual, was taking occasional sips out of his treasured bottle of SPIT.
Auphelia would normally have joined their conversation, interrupting with a flurry of enthusiastic quips and humorous jokes, all culminating into them chanting in unison: "May the best candidate win!"
But she was silent. An earlier conversation with Farengeto had made her doubtful, even resentful to Midand, Havenfell, and the entire government of the Coalition.
What had happened to her?
What would this lead to?
A revolution?
She was completely lost in her thoughts when Midand remarked, "Hey Auphelia, you seem awfully inactive today. What's going on?"
Auphelia came back to her senses. "Erm, nothing. Actually, why don't you two go on ahead? I'll...catch up."
Midand and Havenfell exchanged an odd look, and slowly walked away from her, resuming their conversation sometime later.
Auphelia rubbed her temples.
Farengeto silently approached her, surprising Auphelia with a slight jolt.
"Don't trust too many people", he said smoothly. "If our plan is to work, then you must learn to be warier around others."
He grinned.
Auphelia had a perplexed expression.
"You never know who's going to stab you behind your back", he said, his grin turning into a very wide smirk.
Auphelia didn't respond.
"Come", Farengeto said. "I have something to show you."

Sometime later, before the fateful party...
It was dark in the room, save for one very dim lamp in the corner of the desk.
Beside it, lay a shiny suppression shield, gained from Auphelia's victory in the Local Council election.
She was absentmindedly polishing it with a cloth, admiring the sleekness and shininess of such a formidable weapon.
"I wonder what I could do with a ban hammer...", she said to herself, thinking about Erinor's CRS detail.
She used her RMBer to post another message to the Coalition's regional message board.
The political message board was one of many things that TSP used to encourage productive political activity within the region. Every month, Pencil Sharpeners 2 or Aidenfieeld would publish rankings of TSP's politically prominent and how well they did encouraging political activity among its citizens.
The Solar System Scope, her longtime political rival, had been at the top of the rankings for years, using the board for political campaigns, conversations with his supporters, the works. This had made Auphelia really angry, and no matter what, she couldn't surpass his activity.
"That damned fox floofing everyone. Just wait until he's a bartender or something, barely making enough to make do", Auphelia grumbled to herself.
She started polishing her shield much more vigorously.
Suddenly, a device flickered on.
Auphelia set her shield down and pressed a couple of buttons on the device, a new Telegrammer.
Farengeto and the CRS had gotten upgraded models of these devices so they could ping the entire region for their jobs.
Farengeto's obscured face appeared. "Good evening Auphelia. You have invitations to the party, correct?"
"Absolutely", she said, displaying a piece of paper.
"Good", Farengeto said. "We must make this quick, this backchannel is not going to last for long."
Auphelia nodded.
Countless hours of planning had gone into their little revolution. Now, it was ready.
With Farengeto's insider knowledge of the workings of the Coalition and Auphelia's strength, they were ready to take down the corrupt Coalition, instating a new government that would surely do good for the region.
"You know your position, yes?" Farengeto said. "I have been analyzing Erinor for some time now using my dossier. And now we are ready. Be in position to take Erinor's security detail down as soon as they pass by during the party; the party is our only chance to catch them off guard."
"Yes", Auphelia said, grabbing the shield. "I'll be damn sure the Coalition knows what we're talking about."
"Good", Farengeto said. "Well, better hurry now. The party's about to start. Don't want to be late now, don't we?"
"Yes", Auphelia said, storing the shield. "I will show them who their Tyrant is!"
Farengeto's face changed slightly. "Yes...yes we will..."

The fateful party had changed everything. Erinor's security detail was down, and the SPSF was scattered, their chain of command fractured by Auphelia's new regime. Auphelia, with her trusted aides Si-topia and Land Without Shrimp fought their way through TSP, all while Farengeto played both sides as a mole, feeding her crucial information to give her new army time to strike.
After many months of brutal warfare, Auphelia has made it to the castle overlooking all of the South Pacific, while her soldiers pay tribute to their new ruler, their new Tyrant...

Auphelia stood in front of the castle doors, ignoring the dead bodies of the SPSF guards beside it.
"It is yours now, my Tyrant", Si-topia said, her voice slightly wavering. Land Without Shrimp beside her, with bandages covering a wound from an earlier battle, was silent.
Auphelia raised an eyebrow. "Why yes, it is..."
"Is...anything wrong, ma'am?" Si-topia asked.
"No", Auphelia said. "It's just that...this castle was much bigger than I expected. It's...perfect."
She now looked very pleased with herself.
Two of her men scurried to open the doors of the castle, and Auphelia and her platoon walked in.
They made their way through the SPSF soldiers trying to stop them, and soon enough, they had reached the throne room.
Auphelia had a gleeful smile. TSP wasn't a monarchy, but the mighty castle from earlier institutions had remained the same throughout history.
In front of her was a large throne, the very throne the wretched Erinor had sat on.
"It's yours, my Tyrant", Si-topia said.
Auphelia said nothing, and ascended to the throne and sat in it for the first time.
"Ooh, this place could use a lot of remodelling, but otherwise it's perfect!" she squealed gleefully, looking around at the decor of the room.
She stored her ban hammer and suppression shield and sat back on the throne.
It felt good. Finally, the region was (mostly) hers.
She unsheathed a sword and raised it into the air. "Hail to your Tyrant!"
"Hail to our Tyrant!" Si-topia and her army responded in unison.
In the corner of the room, Farengeto said nothing.

Years passed under her new regime, while Farengeto silently schemed without her knowledge. Auphelia settled into her new role as ruler of the entire region with much glee, and her regime covered the land quickly. With the fall of the SPSF and any significant remnant of the Coalition, her desires were fulfilled.
Battling through constant attempted coups, from Lily Pad Nation to Erinor, Auphelia made it clear her intent was to stay. She was strong. She was mighty. She had conviction.
Hail our Tyrant.

PART IX

A long and forgotten time ago...
"Drystar, this crate of weapons will not move itself! Get a move on!"
"Yes, Lily Pad, got it."
Lily Pad nodded as Drystar immediately opened the crate of weapons and started organizing its contents.
A large amount of people were in her basement, all in a flurry of chatter and intense planning.
Lily Pad breathed. The day had finally come.
She was already in her armour, the suit of armour that she worked so hard to maintain. It had become a part of her, having worn it to all her battles.
In the months since she started her new rebellion against the Tyrant's regime, it had swelled in size. Their operation had since expanded from small-scale heists to full-grown battles, with her supporters even fighting it out with Auphelian outposts, trying to take back land the former Coalition once owned.
Lily Pad opened up her Telegrammer and sent a message to her aides 073 039 109 032 080 111 112 112 121 and Linguiniland. "HQ at the basement is ready. Me and Drystar coming your way."
A few minutes later, she received her responses. "Got it. Moving to Phase 2."
Lily Pad stored her Telegrammer and retrieved her sword and suppression shield. To Drystar, she said, "We're ready. Let's get a move on."
Drystar, who had finished organizing and storing the weapons, nodded in acknowledgement. "Let's go."
To the people in the basement, Lily Pad said, "Soldiers of our rebellion. It is time. Time to finally take down the Tyrant's evil regime once and for all."
Her rebellion yelled triumphantly in response.
"That's what I like to hear!" she exclaimed. She held up her sword. "It is time to restore TSP! It is time to restore our freedom!"
Her rebellion threw up their hands and cheered in response.
To Drystar, she said, "We're leaving." She then turned to the rebellion. "We all have Telegrammers and RMB messengers, so if anything happens, message us."
The two of them then left, unaware of the fate that awaited them...

Triple S Bar
Lily Pad and Drystar entered the bar, waving hello to a patron, Hanguk-Nippon, as they approached the bartender.
The bartender turned around. The Solar System Scope.
"Good day, TSSS", Drystar said cheerfully.
"Lily Pad! Drystar!" TSSS exclaimed. He quickly poured the two of them drinks. "It's on the house."
"Thank you very much", Lily Pad said, taking a sip of her SPIT.
"Don't worry", TSSS said, cleaning the counter with a rag. "So what brings you here today?"
Lily Pad narrowed her eyes.
"Ah", TSSS said. He reached under the counter and brought out a roll of schematics, of Auphelian outposts and bases. "You have New Haudenosaunee Confederacy to thank for these."
"Thank you", Lily Pad said, tossing a sack of money on the counter.
TSSS grabbed them and quickly tossed them under the counter. "So you're really doing it, huh?"
"Well, you are going to get your post count back", Lily Pad said between sips.
TSSS chuckled. "Good luck. May your rebellion have success. Finally, the freedom we desired for so long."
Lily Pad smiled. To Drystar, she said, "Let's go. They're waiting for us."
Drystar quickly downed his SPIT and got up, bidding hello to Unitedstatesofmrloong along the way.
"Safe travels!" TSSS called out as they left the bar. "Next order of business...Midand's SPIT bottle..."

The Tyrant's castle...
Lily Pad approached a man waiting by the formidable castle walls that were part of Auphelia's castle.
To the man, she said, "Good morning, Aidenfieeld. Fancy seeing you here this morning."
Aidenfieeld removed his hood. "Likewise. You got my Telegram?"
"Yep", Lily Pad said. "But not to worry. I've been tracking troop movements via Dossier for some time now. Things shouldn't be too unexpected."
Aidenfieeld nodded. "Very well, then. Where's 073 and Linguiniland?"
"Scouting the castle walls", Lily Pad said. "They shouldn't be too long."
Aidenfieeld nodded in response. "Let's get going."
The two split up and walked around the castle walls, making sure not to attract the attention of any guards roaming the streets. When Lily Pad got to a more unguarded area, she took out her Telegrammer and started messaging. "Alice Parker, how are things inside the castle?"
It took a few minutes, but Alice later responded, "Not too bad. I took out their security system pretty easily. Not so many guards will come when you make your assault."
"Excellent job. Alright, find a place to hide inside the castle. Make sure to Telegram if there's trouble."
"Got it."
Lily Pad smiled to herself. The plan was going very well at the moment. She then sent out a message on her Telegrammer one more time, beckoning her army to begin reporting to their squadron leaders.
Soon enough, a small crowd, slightly spread out to avoid attracting suspicion, joined her by the alleyway she was standing in. She nodded towards them, and a lot of them nodded back.
Lily Pad breathed and took out a grenade. She removed the pin...and threw it at the guard tower on the wall.
It exploded with a loud boom, and a massive chunk of the wall disintegrated, taking the guard tower with it. Civilians quickly ran away from the chaos.
Before any of the guards in the street could notice what was going on, Lily Pad and her squadron of rebels had already unsheathed their weapons and began taking them out.
A few guards rushed towards the wall, but it was enough they could easily take them on.
"Push on!" Lily Pad yelled to her rebels. "We can make it to Auphelia before too many of her troops show up!"
They quickly made a massive hole in the castle's defences, taking out unsuspecting guards on their way.
Things were going exactly as planned. Thanks to the lack of a security system, the castle's guards were mostly unaware of what had happened.
Soon enough, Lily Pad met with the rest of her squadron leaders directly outside the main castle building, each with their own respective squadrons.
"So, how'd it go?" Lily Pad asked them.
"Perfectly", 073 said. "They didn't suspect a single thing. We made it through quite easily."
"Same here", Aidenfieeld said.
"Excellent", Lily Pad said. "We should hurry into the castle before too many guards realize what's going on. Also...where's Linguiniland and his-"
"Yoo-hoo!"
They all turned.
"What the-", Lily Pad started to say, but then her face went pale.
Auphelia.
She was standing on the castle roof. Standing behind her were Si-topia and Land Without Shrimp, her trusted viziers, and Lily Pad saw a massive platoon of soldiers marching out of the castle towards them.
"Oh no", Lily Pad said softly. "How...?"
And then she saw Linguiniland standing beside Auphelia, a sombre expression on his face.
No. He betrayed them.
"I'm sorry", Linguiniland cried out. "It's not personal..."
"Hello, rebels!" Auphelia said through a megaphone, looking down at them from the castle roof. "Lovely day for it, isn't it?"
Lily Pad and her rebels said nothing.
"Pitiful", Auphelia said. "You were all doing so well up until this point. But look at you now. Your fates are as good as sealed."
"Should we fall back?" Aidenfieeld asked Lily Pad worriedly.
"No", Lily Pad said. "We should push on. We have a chance. We should take it!"
"What? NO!" 073 said, her voice full of fear. "We can't take this army on, especially with Auphelia herself in charge. Linguiniland must have told her about all our tactics! We have to fall back!"
Lily Pad shook her head. "I am not losing my chance today!"
"Your chance?" Aidenfieeld said. "What about all of us? If we push on, we may lose everything, and I mean everything."
Lily Pad said nothing and only looked towards Auphelia.
"When you inevitably fail", Auphelia said, "no one will remember you. I trust my viziers and soldiers will make light work of this!"
"FALL BACK!" Aidenfieeld said through gritted teeth.
"NO!" Lily Pad yelled. "Never!"
"PUSH ON!" Lily Pad yelled.
"What, no, don't-" 073 started to say, but the rebels had already started running forward into Auphelia's army.
"LILY PAD, NO!" Aidenfieeld yelled.
The last coherent thing Lily Pad could hear was Si-topia yelling, "Advance forward! No mercy!"

Some time later...
Lily Pad stumbled out of the hole in the castle walls, clutching a massive wound in her side.
Tears streamed down her face.
In the battle, she had witnessed her entire rebellion get killed by Auphelia's ruthless forces. 073 and Alice Parker had been killed before her very eyes.
She saw Auphelia and Si-topia enter the battle, effortlessly slaying the rebels in their path.
A horrifying sight.
She didn't see Aidenfieeld or Drystar escape, but she assumed the worst.
She limped through the streets, the people around her giving her looks of worry, confusion, and disgust.
She took our her Telegrammer, trying to message Proctethia back in the basement. The signal had gone dark.
"No...", Lily Pad cried out.
She stumbled her way home, slowly opening the door.
She limped down the stairs into the basement. It was empty. Evidently, the people there had to leave in a hurry.
"No...", she cried out again, tears dropping onto the ground.
And she collapsed on the floor, the failure and sadness on her back too much for her to bear...

Present day
Lily Pad Nation then woke up with a jolt.
She sat in the chair, anxious. She hadn't heard of any news from the Tyrant's castle.
She was now worried about Erinor and his group. What had happened?
Did they fail just as she did?
Or worse?
In her living room, she stared at a photo of her friends before the Tyrant rose to power. Their group would later go on to attempt to infiltrate Auphelia's castle. It was her, 073 039 109 032 080 111 112 112 121, Linguiniland, Aidenfieeld, Drystar, and Alice Parker, all lined up, smiling in front of one of Erinor's speeches.
The very picture saddened her.
It made her hate the Tyrant even more.
Her thoughts were interrupted by frantic knocking on the door.
Lily walked up to the door and looked through the peephole.
It was Linguiniland, with a panicked, pleading expression on his face. There was another Auphelian official with her.
"He's here to arrest me", Lily Pad said to herself.
Disgusted, she walked away.
The knocks persisted, and she heard sounds of genuine fear come from him.
Hesitantly, she opened the door a crack, making sure to obscure her face in case her suspicions were true.
"Lily Pad!" Linguiniland exclaimed, his face filled with fear. "You gotta help me, man! I don't know what's going on, but Auphelia has gone off the deep end! Her soldiers just murdered my colleagues, and I'm next! Come on, you gotta-"
"I'm sorry, who are you?" Lily Pad asked.
"Lily Pad it's me, Linguiniland!" he seethed. "Don't think I don't know what you've been running here. Come on, you think I wouldn't have reported you by now...fellow rebel?"
Lily Pad rolled her eyes. "Try to report me, and you're dead...traitor."
Linguiniland's face had a brief pained look, and he and the other officer scurried in and hid behind the table.
"Who's your friend?" Lily Pad asked, locking the door and closing the curtains.
"Uh...Concrete Slab. We barely escaped with our lives!" Linguiniland responded.
"And why are you here again?"
"I-I-I don't exactly know", Linguiniland said worriedly. "All I know is Auphelia's soldiers are killing off my colleagues. Some of them are marching out into the street and literally killing people!"
Lily Pad was stunned. Auphelia, while she had slipped off the deep end some time ago, would never treat her trusted soldiers like this.
Would she?
"How do I know this is not a trick?" she asked inquisitively.
She looked at both of them threateningly.
"Please, we'll do anything!" Concrete Slab pleaded, breaking the silence.
"Anything!" Linguiniland repeated, and he started pouring out his pockets. "We got money, lots of it!"
Lily Pad looked confusedly at the piles of marshmallows coming out of his pockets.
"Erm...don't ask", Linguiniland said. "But you have to believe us! Please! We're just about willing to leave the Tyrant ourselves! You just gotta let us stay until this all blows over."
Lily Pad didn't respond, deep in thought.
Auphelia was really making a mess of things now. Perhaps, Erinor really failed.
Perhaps she needed to step up.
"I...need a moment", she said. "Stay right where you are. I'll...be right back."
She left and entered a room in the building's basement.
She turned on a light, which flickered dimly in its dusty environment.
It was her rebellion's planning room.
Charts of Auphelian troop movements were plastered over the walls, covered in dust after years of neglect.
A long table stood in the center, where Lily saw herself, Aidenfieeld and 073 039 109 032 080 111 112 112 121 at the end, planning for their fateful strike against the Tyrant.
Thoughts raced through her head. She walked through the basement, running her hand against the dusty table.
She stood at the end of the room and found a cracked, dusty display case.
It was some SPSF armour, which she had worn to the attack. Her trusty suppression shield and ban hammer lay beside it.
She picked up the suppression shield, and let the memories run through her head.
"But if I do this, I'm going to fail." she thought. "But you still have to try."
Her thoughts were interrupted by a loud crash and a bloodcurdling scream from upstairs in the living room.
She instinctively put the suppression shield by her side and slowly walked up the stairs and into the living room.
She froze for just a split second when she saw what she saw.
The dead body of Concrete Slab lay sprawled on a concrete slab at the feet of a soldier, presumably one of Auphelia's.
Linguiniland lay in a corner, scared for his life.
The soldier grabbed a radio and spoke into it. "My tyrant, Concrete Slab is taken care of and Linguiniland is in my custody. I will-"
He was interrupted by Lily Pad knocking him square on the head with the shield, and he went unconscious and fell to the floor.
She helped the frazzled Linguiniland up.
"See?! I wasn't lying to you at all!" he exclaimed, still shaking.
She ignored him. She was focused on the sights outside.
Soldiers were running through the street, being tailed by a marching army.
People were being forced out of their homes and into the street, being beaten down by the soldiers. They screamed and protested, but the soldiers were relentless, beating away people and letting the army march through.
"For our tyrant!" they chanted as they walked.
Explosions and fire raged outside, and in the distance, she heard the faint sounds of gunfire.
"Oh...wow...", Linguiniland said, his mouth agape. "I...didn't know they were capable of that, even under Dark Thunder..."
Lily Pad ignored him again. She instead turned around and walked backed into the basement.
She ripped the armour out of its display case, walked back up, and threw it on the couch.
"Well, she doesn't know what I'm capable of", she said with conviction.
She pointed at Linguiniland. "You are still a traitor. You still betrayed us. You still caused some of us to die or get captured. I will still never forgive you for that."
Linguiniland nodded solemnly.
"But there is one thing that stops me from knocking you out too", she said. "You have intel on Auphelia's castle, correct?"
He nodded.
"Good", she said, pointing the suppression shield in the air. "For the Coalition."

PART X

Havenfell found herself struggling to keep up with Farengeto's pace. They walked along one of the castle hallways, while an entire squadron of Farengeto's soldiers followed them.
They saw two soldiers looking panicked and frazzled in front of them, not part of a group, but by themselves.
A high-ranking official whispered into Farengeto's ear. "They're loyal to Auphelia."
"I see", Farengeto said. He motioned for two soldiers to break formation.
Havenfell watched in horror - but she did not let it show - as they were swiftly executed.
"Good work, loyal soldiers!" Farengeto barked. "Project Tropic Shadow is sure to succeed! Let's move!"
Havenfell scurried up to Farengeto's side. "Sir, I would like to inform you that not even Auphelia would treat the citizens this way. If Tropic Shadow is to go off without a hitch, I would suggest-"
Farengeto interrupted her. "Tropic Shadow, is on the contrary, flowing quite smoothly."
Havenfell silently seethed.
"Our plan is to conquer all the Pacifics one by one with our soldiers and accumulated raider force. Some meddlesome citizens simply stand in our way. I think you will come to see enforcing martial law will be quite a good idea", he said calmly.
He then turned to the official. "Colonel, where is Auphelia? That damned Pencil Sharpeners 2's grenade must've allowed her to escape. What is your soldiers' progress on the search?"
"Erm, nothing yet, my tyrant", the colonel said in response. "She probably knows the castle better than Erinor did. Wherever she is, she's hidden well."
"I understand", Farengeto said. "Well, on the next order of business: position troops at the borders of the region. We begin advancing on The East Pacific, the West Pacific, and the Pacific when w eare ready. Our clamp on the region must be tighter. Get a dispatch out and make a post on the Regional Message Board. Send out a message via your Telegrammer. We are enforcing martial law on the entire region, Colonel. Any citizen that protests, take them away. We will...overlook casualties."
"Yes, my tyrant."
This was enough for Havenfell. "No."
Farengeto turned to look. He raised an eyebrow inquisitively.
"No", Havenfell repeated, "you are sick. You are not the true Tyrant. Auphelia was. And at least Auphelia knew there was a line not to cross. You crossed that long ago."
"Is that some activity I see, Havenfell?" Farengeto said, amused. "Your posts from the RMBer were few and far between, and look at you now. All riled up and very active!"
Havenfell put a hand on her suppression shield.
"Oh my...", Farengeto said. "I think you'll find Auphelia's tactics outdated and weak. Her mind was weak. How do you think I manipulated her? She is not the true Tyrant. I AM!"
Those last two words echoed through the hallways.
"No", Havenfell said once more. "Enough with this. Even the Coalition was better than all this."
"I guess...you're not loyal to me anymore, right?" Farengeto said. "Oh, well."
Before she could have time to unsheath her weapons, Farengeto had already taken out a ban hammer, hit her square on the head, and threw her into the wall.
She was dead before she hit the floor.

In the midst of the battle...
Erinor, Beepee, North Prarie, and Volaworand were hiding in a closet.
The sounds of gunfire and warfare echoed throughout the castle.
Beepee, North Prarie, and Volaworand looked at each other nervously, and then at Erinor.
He was silent and huddled in the corner of the closet beside some mops and a vacuum.
Erinor was afraid.
Very afraid.
He had lost some friends very dear to him that day. He witnessed Auphelia finally get a taste of her own medicine, but only to see an even bigger threat rise from her.
He saw soldiers loyal to Auphelia get thrown about, killed, or arrested. He was fairly certain Farengeto's regime was spreading throughout the region.
Would it spread to other regions too? The North, the East, the West?
He shuddered at the thought.
And then he thought about his rebellion. How their numbers had shrunk to this point.
The tears were almost about to come again, and he buried his face in his hands.
"Um...Erinor?" Beepee asked timidly. "I know what's going on here, but...we really need a plan now."
Erinor said nothing back.
Volaworand quickly shook his head at Beepee.
He turned to Erinor and put a hand on his shoulder. "We've been through a lot today. I know. It's been a very long day. We've lost many people this past while and now it seems there's no end in sight."
Erinor still said nothing. He just sighed.
Volaworand continued. "But Beepee's right. We need a plan. Anything to get out of this damn castle, regroup, and try again. You said it yourself. We're taking the Tyrant down for good."
Erinor finally spoke, his eyes red. "I also seem to recall saying we're done running and hiding from failure. Look how that has turned out. And I also seem to recall starting this rebellion with a lot more people."
Volaworand said nothing.
Erinor continued. "Besides, we've really hit the deep end. Why even bother trying anymore? Every one of our attempts has resulted in disaster. I can't ask much more from any of you."
He looked around at everyone solemnly and turned back to Volaworand. "And plus, you have a family on the line. I can't ask them to make that sacrifice."
Erinor put his head back in his hands. "Maybe it's time we stop for once."
Volaworand sighed. "I love my family. But should I and the rest of us have to make that sacrifice, then so be it."
He looked around at the rest of them, who nodded in agreement.
Volaworand's voice rose slightly. "We shouldn't and won't stop. We must stop Farengeto's regime from spreading too far. You tell yourself we might as well stop trying. But we shouldn't do that. We should at least try to make a difference, because what's the point in at least not trying to stand up for what's right? Should we fail, well...then so be it. At least we will be a spark for future generations to provide the basis for the fire."
Erinor still said nothing.
But those words did hit him. He slowly dried his tears and sighed.
"For...the Coalition?" Beepee said timidly.
There was a moment of silence before Erinor repeated what he said. "You know what? Fine. For the Coalition."
Volaworand smiled. "For the Coalition."
"For the Coalition", Beepee and North Prarie chimed in.
They turned to Erinor. "I guess we're doing this. One last time."
The rest of the group looked at him with conviction.
Erinor's face changed into one of confidence. "Beepee's right. We need a plan. We are taking one last stand against tyranny and liberating the South Pacific once and for all. If we fail, well... as Volaworand said, we are the spark that will in the future, light that fire."
"Very well, Erinor", Volaworand said, smiling widely. "What's your plan?"

Lily Pad Nation's residence...
Lily Pad Nation rolled the blueprints up quickly and handed them to Linguiniland. "There we go. It seems we have a plan to infiltrate the Castle. I trust the routes you made me take will result in success?"
"Yep", Linguiniland said, munching on a marshmallow. "Trust me, I've been working with Auphelia for a very long time at this point. These blueprints are good. You're sure to get inside and find out what's going on."
"Very well then", Lily Pad said, taking the rolled-up paper from Linguiniland. "For the...Coalition." She stowed it in her pocket. She then stood still for a couple of seconds, lost in thought.
Linguiniland stared at her, perplexed.
Lily Pad blinked and shook her head. "I'm...going to put my armour on and prepare to get my rebellion. You stay here in the basement. Call if there's trouble."
Linguiniland nodded and continued munching on the marshmallow. "Got it."
Lily Pad grabbed her armour, exited the basement, and entered her bathroom and changed into it.
As she put her helmet on, she stared at herself in the mirror. A memory flashed in her head.
Of her and her rebellion together, faces filled with conviction. Surrounded by her trusted allies, Linguiniland, Aidenfieeld, and 073.
Ready to charge at the Tyrant on that fateful day.
"I could just...not do this", Lily Pad thought. Stay home. Stay safe. Let it all blow over.
She secured her helmet, equipped her weapons and walked out of the bathroom, heading for the planning room in the basement.
She was nearly there before the house was hit by a cannonball and exploded into a million pieces.
She heard the screams of Linguiniland before she was thrown into a wall.
Barely conscious and dazed from the explosion, she ducked to barely avoid debris crashing down on top of her while the house collapsed.
Dazed, she got up and dodged falling debris. She crawled her way through the flaming wreckage and saw what was left of the now collapsed basement. Her eyes turned to Linguiniland's dead body, wedged in the flaming rubble.
She wanted to scream, but she heard the voices of soldiers coming from outside.
She hid behind a pile of debris and unsheathed her weapons.
A soldier made his way through the rubble and checked into the wreckage of the basement.
"Oh yeah", she heard him say. "He's definitely dead. Job done."
"Good work, soldiers", another voice rang out. "We're done here. Pack up the cannon and move into the street. The Tyrant expects us to get all marked officials taken care of by the end of the day."
The soldier turned around and made his way out of the wreckage.
Lily Pad, keeping a hand on her suppression shield, slowly made her way out of the wreckage of the house.
She noticed a squad of soldiers dismantling a cannon and leaving into the street.
How did they find them? Auphelia must have gotten her hands on Linguiniland's information on her.
But why was she massacring her own people?
Something wasn't right.
She had to get to the bottom of this.
Her thoughts were interrupted by the sickening sight in front of her after emerging out of the house.
The region was on fire. Dead citizens lay in the streets. A huge platoon of soldiers marched in perfect formation through the wrecked streets.
Other soldiers were dragging citizens away, either beating them down or tossing them aside.
What horrified and confused Lily the most, however, was soldiers beating down some of their own. Why would they do that?
But she had realized one thing: her time had come for her rebellion to rise.
Unsheathing her suppression shield, she held it up in the air and charged into the streets in search of her rebellion.

Back in the castle...
"How's progress on the plan, Erinor?"
Erinor was deep in thought, running scenarios and plans through his head. "Not much."
Beepee looked at him inquisitively.
"The situation at the moment is quite complex", Erinor said. He sighed. "But I do have the workings of a plan at the moment."
The group looked at him expectantly.
Erinor sighed again. "This may be our final choice. Volaworand...you may not like it."
Volaworand looked at him, confused.
"I do have some sort of a plan...but in order to carry it out...we need Auphelia."
The group reacted in brief shock.
To Volaworand, Erinor said, "I understand you have your...reservations about Auphelia. But now, we truly need her. She may be our only chance to take down Farengeto's regime at all. If we truly are to prevent all the Pacifics from descending into total war, then we are going to need her. She has intimate knowledge of this castle and has the expertise we could use to take down Farengeto's soldiers. I need you...to trust me."
Volaworand looked at him and slowly sighed. After some time, he nodded somberly. "Very well, Erinor. We'll use your plan."
"I promise you, Volaworand", Erinor said. "Auphelia will face justice. But now...we're out of any other options."
Volaworand nodded again. "So how exactly are we going to get to her?"
"I haven't really worked that out yet", Erinor said, shrugging. "That we need to-"
And then, the door to the closet flung open.
A Farengeto guard stood in front of them. His face flashed between confused to angry. He held up his weapon threateningly. "Don't move a muscle."
He lifted up his radio. "Unit LG-456A requesting backup. I found the last of our rebellion."
"I guess we got our answer...", Beepee whispered to the group.
"Quiet", the guard said menacingly.
Suddenly, an entire squadron of armed guards entered the area, weapons pointed right at the group.
"Take these rebels to Farengeto", the leader of the guards said. "He has unfinished business with them."
The guards then forced the group out of the closet and led them away, with weapons pointed right at their heads as they walked.
As Erinor and his group were led through the castle, Erinor couldn't help but be horrified by the violence they saw.
Farengeto's soldiers were massacring the Auphelian soldiers with no mercy. Bodies lay strewn across the floor, while flames and debris cluttered the once-grand corridors.
But what was the most horrifying was the courtyard as they were led out.
Erinor's jaw dropped.
The entire courtyard, once grand and beautiful, was cluttered with flames, debris, and smoke.
Bodies were flying left and right.
The courtyard was in total warfare, as a platoon of Auphelian soldiers lay huddled together in one side, trying to defend themselves from incoming enemies.
Farengeto's soldiers were relentless, slowly chipping away at the every-decreasing supply of soldiers still loyal to the original Tyrant.
Explosions echoed throughout the area.
Cannons were fired and gunfire was ever-present.
Erinor couldn't imagine what Farengeto's plans were for the citizens of the regions he was attacking.
"This...this is horrible", Beepee said in absolute shock.
"Did I ask you to talk?" a guard retorted threateningly.
The group was led to a small, well guarded and reinforced area, where Erinor saw Farengeto was standing, guarded by ten of his heavily armoured soldiers.
"Sir", one of the soldiers said to him. "We've received a new video feed of the regional borders via Telegram."
"Really?" Farengeto said. "Show me."
Another soldier opened up a Telegrammer, where a video played.
Erinor nearly gasped out loud.
Soldiers at the border were already beginning to launch cannons and infantry.
The war had already begun.
"And the citizens?" Farengeto asked.
"Martial law has now been fully enforced in the region, my Tyrant. We've had to put some down along the way, but Tropic Shadow is a success, sir."
"Perfect", Farengeto said with a smile. "But what about Auphelia?"
"Still searching, Tyrant. As far as we know she has disappeared into the castle entirely."
Farengeto shook his head. "We need to intensify this search. She poses the only remaining threat in our path to the total domination of NationStates. We must find her!"
"Absolutely, my Tyrant", the soldier said.
"Farengeto, my esteemed Tyrant", one of the guards escorting Erinor's group said. "We have found Erinor and his posse."
Farengeto turned, undisturbed by the chaos around him as his soldiers battled it out. He grinned. "Perfect."
He stepped down from his platform and approached the group.
Erinor winced uncomfortably.
"Greetings, rebels", Farengeto said calmly.
Erinor couldn't believe how he could keep his composure in the middle of a total war zone.
"Safe travels?" Farengeto asked, his grin growing wider.
Erinor said nothing.
Farengeto approached Erinor, breathing down his face. "It is time to finally eliminate your meddlesome rebellion, once and for all. As you can see, there is truly no one left to help you. Not Auphelia, not her soldiers, not the citizens, not even your friends, no one."
Erinor's heart was racing, as was his group around him. Smoke was pouring into his eyes and lungs, and he teared up and coughed.
Farengeto loudly unsheathed his sword and held it towards them.
Erinor and his group collectively winced.
"But...I want to make this hurt", Farengeto said coldly. He stared angrily at Erinor.
Erinor gulped.
Farengeto used his boot and kicked Erinor in the stomach.
Erinor groaned in further pain.
Farengeto kicked Erinor towards his group, who hurriedly kneeled down towards to his level to check if he was okay.
"Let your deaths go down as the final word in the history of rebellion!" Farengeto declared loudly. He turned around to survey the battlefield.
Beepee and Volaworand slowly helped Erinor up.
"You alright?" North Prarie asked worriedly.
Erinor groaned in pain and massaged his wounds. "I'm...fine. But if something doesn't happen soon, we all won't be."
"We need Auphelia here then", Beepee said, while brushing the dust off of Erinor.
"But how do we find her?" North Prarie said.
"Enough talk!" Farengeto said, turning to face them. He held out his sword. "It is time for your collective demise."
He approached the group and beat them all down to the ground.
"I. Am. Your. TYRANT!"
He held the sword up, and began to swing.
But he never followed through.
Erinor looked at him confused.
Farengeto had turned around, looking at something in the courtyard. He was still.
"Sir...what do we do now?" a soldier asked him worriedly.
Farengeto was silent.
Erinor moved around slightly and took a peak...and gasped.
A massive army had entered the battlefield, all yelling out a collective battle-cry.
Erinor was in total shock, as was his group and Farengeto and his soldiers.
Leading the new army was Lily Pad Nation, holding up a sword as her army ran forward into the fray.
"I never knew her rebellion was this big", Volaworand said in shock.
"It's...it's not a rebellion", Erinor said, looking closely. "They're citizens. They're fighting back!"
"She did it", Beepee said. "She somehow rallied the citizens of TSP to revolt against the tyranny once and for all."
Farengeto was evidently caught off guard. "Mobilize all troops to intercept those...people! I cannot have anyone entering the castle!" he shouted.
"All of them?" a soldier asked.
"ALL OF THEM!" Farengeto shouted.
"But sir, what about Auphelia?"
"I don't see Auphelia taking on an entire damn army! Mobilize all troops to intercept!"
"Yes, Tyrant."
The group of soldiers around Farengeto was now in a flurry of activity, sending messages via Telegrammer and shouting orders at each other.
Erinor looked down at the courtyard to see Lily Pad's army begin to take on the soldiers. Suddenly, a thought crossed his mind. "She doesn't know what happened!" he said worriedly.
"Well then we have to warn her, or else we're taking down a crucial bit of backup", Volaworand said.
"But how do we get down there?" Beepee asked.
Erinor noticed that the guards around them were now completely distracted, frantically conversing with the soldiers around them.
He silently began whispering to them. "You might not like this, but we need to run into the battlefield if we want to get to Lily Pad. The guards are distracted. Let's take our chance while we still can."
His group nodded in response.
Before a guard could react, Erinor and his group quickly jumped down from the platform and into the battle in the courtyard.
"Just don't die!" Erinor called out.
They ran through the battlefield, dodging gunfire, explosions, and falling debris.
It took a very long time, but they finally got to Lily Pad, who was surrounded by Drystar, Aidenfieeld, and Proctethia.
She was yelling orders and coordinating troop movements from her cover under a pile of wreckage, while the war raged around her.
"Lily Pad!" North Prarie yelled.
Lily Pad turned and gasped. "Erinor! You guys are alive!"
Erinor and his group quickly slid into cover with her.
"Of course we are", Erinor said.
"So what happened?" Lily Pad said, peeking over the pile of debris to survey the battlefield. "What's going on with Auphelia?"
"Oh...it's not Auphelia", Erinor said.
"What?" Lily Pad asked, confused.
"It's...Farengeto", Erinor said. "He was behind all of this. It's hard to explain, I'll tell you later. But now...Farengeto's leading an all-out assault on TSP and its surrounding regions. We have to stop him!"
"But...what about Auphelia?" Lily Pad asked, shocked.
"I know you have your reservations with Auphelia, but...as of now, she is a potential ally. I understand why that may not ring well with you, but...she may be the key to stopping this madness. I promise, after this is all over, she will face justice. Please...trust me."
Lily Pad looked at Erinor and sighed. "Fine. I will inform my army accordingly. So we're supporting her troops, correct?"
"Yes", Erinor said. "Farengeto has turned many of Auphelia's troops against her, and at the moment, they're working on flushing them out. If we are to stop his regime from spreading too far, we have to take him and his army out."
"Very well then", Lily Pad said. She immediately took out a radio and started shouting orders. "But...what about you?"
"We're going to find Auphelia", Volaworand said, ducking a piece of flaming debris.
"Got it", Lily Pad said. "I will be sending Drystar, Proctethia, and Steampunk Engineers with you. And, hey, you might need these."
She tossed Erinor and his group a bunch of Telegrammers.
Erinor smiled. "Thank you."
To Beepee and North Prarie, Erinor said, "Stay with Lily Pad Nation and assist in the battle. Me, Volaworand, and Lily Pad's escort are going to find Auphelia!"
"Yes, sir!" Beepee and North Prarie both yelled.
"How are you going to find Auphelia though?" Aidenfieeld asked Erinor.
As if right on cue, one of the massive towers of the castle exploded and collapsed into chunks, falling onto the castle below.
"Oh, that's definitely her", Beepee said.
Erinor nodded and ran out of cover with Volaworand, protected by Lily Pad's escort of soldiers.
They ran through the flaming battlefield, as Lily Pad's, Auphelia's, and Farengeto's armies clashed with each other.
They ran into the castle towards the tower, where chunks of debris littered the corridors, all while Lily Pad's army gained ground outside.
"We're almost there!" Volaworand yelled.
Dodging more gunfire and debris, they reached the wreckage of the tower, which had fallen through the roof and caused a massive pile of flaming debris.
"How are we going to find her here?" Proctethia asked.
"She may have run off...but she should be close", Erinor said. "Proctethia, Steampunk, guard the area, make sure none of Farengeto's soldiers make it through. Drystar, Volaworand, with me. We're going to look for Auphelia."
"Got it", the group collectively responded.
Erinor, Drystar, and Volaworand all searched the corridors around the former tower. The bodies of Farengeto's soldiers littered the floor.
"This is definitely her handiwork", Volaworand said, kicking a piece of debris aside.
"I can see that...but where did she run off to?" Drystar said, peeking around a corridor.
Then there was a massive clang, and Erinor and Volaworand both turned to see Drystar being hit square on the head with a ban hammer, and he collapsed dead to the floor.
Farengeto, battered and bruised, emerged with a crazed expression on his face. "You don't think I wouldn't notice this too? Likewise, I am looking for Auphelia also. But look what else I found..."
Farengeto raised his ban hammer towards them. Erinor and Volaworand both backed away.
"No more running", Farengeto said darkly. He had clearly slipped off the deep end.
"Farengeto, you don't have to do this...", Erinor said.
"Maybe...", Farengeto said, "...but also..."
He stabbed Erinor in the leg.
Erinor howled in pain.
Volaworand tried to interfere, but Farengeto swiftly knocked him out and threw him into a wall.
Farengeto removed the sword and pointed it at Erinor again. "This is only a momentary setback. I will defeat Lily Pad's army and take over the South Pacific. You are simply an obstacle in my path."
He threw Erinor to the ground and raised his sword again. "You see...I...am...your Tyrant!"
Farengeto began to strike...but was interrupted by Auphelia stabbing him with a blade.
"No...I am...", Auphelia said weakly and removed the blade, letting his body collapse to the floor.
Auphelia helped Erinor up and checked his wound. "You'll live."
Erinor nodded weakly.
He then saw Proctethia, Steampunk, Aidenfieeld, Beepee, North Prarie, and Lily Pad run into the corridor they were in.
"Erinor! The soldiers in the courtyard are surrendering!" Lily Pad exclaimed. "We have to move; we still have to take down the soldiers in the street. We're-what the...?"
She saw the mess in the corridor, and was evidently confused.
"Long...story...", Erinor said weakly, clutching his wound.
Lily Pad nodded somberly, noticing the bodies in the corridor.
Erinor turned to Auphelia, who had a sober expression.
"You...", he began, "...killed many people. Took over our region. Spread tyranny. You can never truly be forgiven."
Auphelia nodded.
"I don't think any of us can ever begin to forgive you. But you have saved many of us today. I am thankful. But you will still be punished accordingly, and your troops will face appropriate consequences."
Auphelia said nothing.
"You are a tyrant, yes. But, come. We still have work to do."
Clutching his wound, Erinor and his group helped Volaworand up and slowly walked out of the castle.








EPILOGUE
Together with Auphelia, Erinor and Lily Pad, with their new army, quickly made their way through the region, stopping the soldiers in their tracks before they could fully take over.
Over the next few weeks, they slowly dismantled the Hegemony bit by bit and put an end to Tropic Shadow, preventing the Pacifics from descending into total warfare.
One month later, with the destruction of the last Hegemony battalion, Erinor and the newly rechristened SPSF put a definitive end to the tyrannical regimes that had plagued TSP for years, bringing peace to the region at last.

Erinor stood on the balcony, watching the restoration work on the castle.
Behind him, a ceremony commemorating their fallen had just started, and the attendees were beginning to trickle in.
It was...a difficult event to go through. Erinor thought back to the ones who had honourably given their lives to restore peace to the region.
Roavin.
Land Without Shrimp.
Alice Parker.
073 039 109 032 080 111 112 112 121.
The Solar System Scope.
New Haudenosaunee Confederacy.
Unitedstatesofmrloong.
Tilipria.
Goverwal.
Si-topia.
Pencil Sharpeners 2.
Drystar.
Even Linguiniland, Midand, and Havenfell, and countless others in previous rebellions.
Erinor sighed as he watched the sunset over the horizon.
In his hand was the notebook that held many precious memories. He held it dear, as a token of happier times.
"Hey, Erinor!"
Erinor turned. It was Lily Pad.
"Speech time."
Erinor nodded and put the notebook back in his pocket.


"My friends of the newly rechristened South Pacific Coalition.
Thank you for coming. It means a lot to us.
I would like to thank you.
All of you.
Two months ago, together, many of us took one last stand against the tyranny.
Against the sinister New TSP Order, and its brief successor, the Hegemony.
But there is a reason all of us are gathered together here this day in this fashion.
We succeeded.
But not without sacrifice.
There are some people here who are not in this room, and never will.
Many lost their lives that day.
We thank them for their service to the cause, and we bid them safe travels to the beyond.
We are here to commemorate our weighty victory, and to honour our dead.
Let us not forgot our victory, and the sacrifices we made to gain it.
Let us continue on in maintaining the peace and freedom we value so dear.
Let us live happier lives now, free from the tyranny that plagued us for so long.
Long live the Coalition!"

And so life continued.
A new government was formed, composed of Erinor, Beepee, Volaworand, North Prarie, and Lily Pad Nation, though as the years passed, an ageing Erinor later retired from government and retired to a peaceful life in the tropics.
Democracy was established, and freedom and peace were highly valued.
Auphelia, her crimes not going unpunished, was banished by the High Court, barred from ever entering TSP or its allies ever again. She was recommended to be banished to the lonely region of the Rejected Realms, though she took it upon herself to leave somewhere else, to the Far Lands of the world, where, supposedly, she was never seen or heard from ever again.
Supposedly.




THE END

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