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Watching Carth go, Atillian nodded to an Assistant and order "Have 500 Ornithopters provide cover for Carth and his men. Also have a squad of five Nokker accompany Carth as personal bodyguards." Nodding, the Assistant turned and ran off. Then, picking up a Styalus, Atillian sent a message directly to Carth.

To Carth:

[hide]I agree with your plans friend. Five Hundred Trebesian Ornithopters will provide Air cover for you and your men. Also, to make sure you do not come to harm, Five of my Ducial Guards will accompany you until you return. I hope to hear of your success, and if reinforcements are needed, give me a direct link and I'll scramble our forces.

P.S. I have supplied the Nokker with a direct-link to one of my Observation Frigates above the town. Ask them for Reconnisence.

Good luck. Atilian Trebeis, Duke Appearant of House Trebeis.[/hide]

Finishing and sending the transmission, The young Trebesian turned to an Engineer and said "Redirect Arrakeen production to create ten Long ranged Missiles. You will find the plans in the main data bank." nodding, the engineer walked off.

Smiling, Atillian thought I may of just solved the Arsunt problem. and let out a whooping sinister laugh the Baron Harkonnen would of been proud of.

WTF- 20,000 Troops 400 Nokker Guardsman, 327 Ornithopters, 200 Trikes, 100 Quads, 27 De-meks and 1,000 Assorted Artillery & Anti Aircraft Pieces.

Arrakeen- 15,000 Troops, 485 Nokker Guardsman, 1,300 Ornithopters (500 on standby to Assist Carth Bindar), 25 Trikes, 65 Quads, 2,012 Frigates, 20 De-meks and 9,972  Assorted Artillery & Anti Aircraft Pieces + Anti Orbital Weapons (classified) + Classified weapons. + 32,075 Volunteer Defense Forces.

Outpost 9- 3,000 Troops, 50 Nokker Guardsman and 50 Ornithopters.

Guarding Carth Bindar- 5 Nokker Guardsman.

Arrakeen produced long range Missiles- 25% at 15% per post.

(Classified)Operation Hide and Seek- Compleate, initialising.

(Classified)Operation Unseen Trident- Compleate, initialising.

WTF Repairs- Compleate.

WTF Defense Modifications and additions- Compleate.

Arrakeen produced Weapons- Small arms and long ranged, rocket artillery- Compleate.

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OOC-And how did your spies get the message to the rest of the fremen so quickly. Bearing in mind they use disdrams or whatever they're called, which would take awhile to get there. And mobilising that amount of troops takes time especially if your using worms and ornithopters. Anybody going to support me in this that the attack wass unrealistic?

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At the Den:

- MOVE OUT YOU LAZY PIECES OF SHIT! MOUNT THE VEHICLES! WE'RE GOING TO WAAAAAR! that was one officer screaming like mad as the men started running about to their machinery.

Soldiers readying:

- At last! We're doing something.

- Oh yeah! Harkonnen blood!

- Not all of it you idiots. Remember Alexandr is on our side.

- One exception...

- I heard the fremen are on their side.

- Then they're idiots!!!!

- They gave us quite a hard time back into the desrt, well, we're going to pay it to them.

The whole army was on the move towards Tsimpo.

Message to Atilian:

[hide]Thank you for your concern, I accept your men as my guards. And the fleet of ornies. The best is the Platform we can use for reconaissance. Godspeed [/hide]

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"Your performance in the WTF plan was below expected standards." Orianna Lyasma chastised the small group of fremen that stood in front of her. "The Lady Ekaterina was most displeased. However, you have fulfilled some of your obligations, and I understand there is a new offer?"

"That is correct." The leading fremen said stonily. Orianna smiled inwardly at their continued hatred of her.

"Then here is your payment." She said, opening a door. Outside, on a wide 'thopter pad of solid plasteel, waited twenty armoured ornithopters. A single figure waved cheekily from one of the pilot seats. "That is Evander, the face dancer." Orianna said calmly. Personally she did not agree with this move, but it was unavoidable now. Steps had been taken to deal with any... 'occurances.' "The equipment for seven pain amplifiers can be found inside the ornithopters, you will have to power them yourselves."

* * *

"We have recieved word, Commander." The tech woman saluted smartly. "The fremen have donated twenty thousand fighters to the defence of Tsimpo, they are under your direct command."

"Excellent! It's about time this started to make sense." Ariss grinned nastily. "For a start, use our own men to fortify and hold the barracks. The fremen are to use hit and run, and ambush tactics throughout the rest of the city...

Urban warfare hits the city of Tsimpo. Swift and deadly, the fremen dart from crevice to cornice, stringing shigawire across narrow streets and weakening carefully placed supports. They appear out of the shadows, slit a throat, and then retreat before even a gurgle is uttered. As a comrade turns to see what is wrong, he too falls victim to the assassins. There is no gunfire, there are no explosions. The invaders cannot hit what they cannot see, and in this enviroment the advantage is clearly with the defenders.

* * *

"We will talk later, Aleks." Grizelda nodded to her son, who bowed in return as he left the hastily-arranged quarters.

"Of course, mother." He said as he shut the door. A female aide sidled up to him.

"Governor, there is a Trebeisian awaiting your presence in your office." She said quietly. Aleksandr hurried off.

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(OOC: I thought that might be why but I just thought I'd check).

Raynor gathers his patrol into a large storehouse near the centre of the city when he hears of the attacks. He calls his two best men, sergeant Appolyn and trooper Acturus.

"Right men I want you to gather as many men as you can and get them here. Keep your shields up as much as possible and try not to get killed".

Raynor gets seven remaining men to fortify the building and barracade the doors. Not long after 15 more men arrive (the remains of the two nearby patrols). The trickle of men continues for some time untill 500 men are in the werehouse.

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OOC: Usul, that might of been a rather bad move. The Harkonnen have equipment capable of reducing a storehouse and all of your men to ashes.  ;D

Listening intently to the Transmission coming from the Observation Frigate's uplink, the Nokker's features slowly turned grim. Switching off the link, he turned to Carth and reported quickly "Sir, it appears that the Harkonnen have abandoned their defenses and retreated to a heavily defended Fortress of a building which is some sort of Barracks." Smiling, Carth said "Excellant, they ran and hid when they heard of our approach!" Looking even more grim, the Ducial Guard replied "No sir, they were almost immediately replaced by a massive force of Freman. They number in thousands. Also, they have been fighting it out with what appears to be Atreideas."

Running a hand along the side of one of the massive Missiles, Qapmoc felt giddy. Such power! What I would do if I could launch a few without discretion! Turning to a fellow Nokker, he ordered "Begin preperations to have payload attached to the Missiles." The Nokker nodded and rushed off. All this went on under the gaze of thousands of cameras, the entire facility was only acessable by the Nokker Guardsman running the projct and the engineers who were kept in the facility at all times. It was so top secret, not even the Duke knew of it's existance.

Glancing at his Chrono, Atillian asked himself where the hell is the Governor? For days he does not leave the sanctaty of his office, but when I come to meet with him, he's gone! Winking at a passing maid, he said "Well, perhaps the wait isn't that bad. Two Nokkers standing by the door simply exchanged a glance.

Arrakeen produced long range Missiles- Compleate, Arming.

(Classified)Operation Hide and Seek- Compleate, initialising.

(Classified)Operation Unseen Trident- Compleate, initialising.

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- Ok, so what's our status?

- Sir, the Trebeis said that Fremen defend Tsimpo.

- Where there is one fremen surely ther's another. Be on your guard. DO NOT enter the city. If we will, it'll be our graveyard. Use the Trebeis platform to zoom in on the city and tell them to send us the pictures. Sorruound Tsimpo and prepare for siege.

- Yes sir, all men to dig trenches and be on the lookout for the city.

- TWO rings of defence: inner - against the city; outer - against the fremen that must be lurking around the city. Never go alone in the city. NO patrols. If anyone gets separated stand in circle. Or back-in-back. The fremen are good at hiding... the smugglers are good at spotting. Try not to forget what you've learned the past years. Now we're playing soldier and that knowledge IS useful.

- We're getting prepared for siege... BOTH ways?

- It's not my fault you idiots don't read a thing. That's how caesar defeated Vercingetorix. Tha Gaul summoned huge forces to halp him out from the siege, but Caesar made the Cheftain surrender before the romans did. You know it?

- Romans, Gauls, Caesar?

- EARTH! Anyway.... get to work

- Yes, sir!

- Oh... there might be some Atreides in the city... mount a rescue operation. Use the Trebeis info to locate them.

Message to Atilian:

[hide] You are a Great House, right? Then you surely have atomic armament. Try nuking around Arsunt to scare Ekaterina if you have spare. You can say you're making some "TESTS". [/hide]

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"Atilian. My appologies for keeping you waiting." Aleksandr nodded his bow as he entered his office. "You see, someone very important to me has decided to visit. I had to be at the starport to greet her. I hope that you have not been waiting too long."

"The wait was not without its interests." Atilian replied diplomatically, his eyes flickering to one of the maids, who was standing on a high ladder to dust the top of a bookcase. Aleksandr, who had noted the position of the woman, did not follow his gaze. He stepped backwards, behind his desk, and shuffled the newer strata of paperwork aside. He felt the absence of Aleron, and sagged for a moment. He was relying more and more on the secretarial skills of the younger man. Still, that was only natural now that he was in charge...

Coming back to reality, Aleksandr looked up at Atilian's expectant face. "So, what was it you wished to speak of?"

"Carth Bindar, whom you may have heard is back in action, has started to lead a strike force to hit Tsimpo. I have sent with him some of my own forces." Atilian grinned. "Early reports indicate that a group of Atreides survivors had already been engaging the enemy when they arrived, we have more allies than previously suspected. With any luck, soon there won't be a single Harkonnen left alive in the city. Saving your presence." He addded. Aleksandr frowned.

"I would prefer it if attempts were made to capture the forces of my sister alive, if possible." He said, slightly wistfully. Atilian started to look shocked. "I know that they will shoot to kill, and that an invasion force can hardly afford to pull its punches, but there isn't a need for wholesale slaughter. Especially in the case of a surrender." He added pointedly.

"That is most unlikely." Atilian said skeptically.

"I know." Aleksandr shrugged, glancing over a report. "But this is not Arsunt, this is Tsimpo. And this is not Danforth or Thorne, this is Ariss. Ariss is talented, but unimaginative."

"How would the difference in cities be a factor?" Atilian asked, leaning forward.

"Arsunt is under the direct control of m- my sister." Aleksandr replied, with a slight hesitation. "She will have Alacia and Danforth. Between the three of them, they will place the defenders so that there is no chance of retreat and no oppertunity to surrender. They will fight until there is nobody left to die for them."

"We will have her head yet." Atilian promised. Aleksandr looked up sharply.

"You won't kill her." He said sharply, his one blue eye flashing. "I will not allow it. My sister is to be taken alive. Even if Arsunt is destroyed utterly by a lasgun hitting a shield, we will find a way to preserve her life." Atilian, surprised by the Harkonnen vehemence, recoiled slightly.

"That, I suspect, is hardly what she thinks of you." He commented dryly. Aleksandr held his poise for a moment longer, before sinking once more.

"Yes, I know." He shrugged. A hint of strength crept into his voice. "But I will not allow that to interfere with my principles. Ekaterina is family, and family is-" his eyes went wide as he realised the implications of what he had just said. "Ek...aterina. Yes. She is family. She is blood. I will not allow her to be killed, even if she holds a knife to my throat." He turned to look at Atilian. "Do you understand?"

"I... understand." The Ducal heir realised that something important, something vital had just occured, but he did not realise what. "So... Tsimpo. Would you be willing to send any men?"

"I would be willing to send men, in order to bring a quick end to the conflict." Aleksandr replied, shuffling his papers in a businesslike way. "But these are Harkonnen troops, after all. Do you think it wise to send them to fight their comrades? Perhaps friends?"

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"perhaps not against the Harkonnen forces, however there is also reports of Freman.... Possibly to aid in the defeat of these combatents? Atillian replied. Shuffling through some more papers, Aleksandr said "Freman.... Do we have any figures yet?" "the reports are still coming in, unifortuneately your sister has appearantly allied herself with the desert dweller, so they have gained proeficiant transportaion." Noting another flicker in the Harkonnen's mismatched eyes at the mention of his sister, Atillian wondered what precisely was it that happened to him in the past day to encourage this shift in behavior? Aleksandr turned to face toward the city, during which Atillian glanced at a Nokker, who nodded and left.

Walking through the Corridors of the Governor's residence, The Nokker thought if I can find the man's aide, We can quickly find the source of his unease and continued on his search.

Continuing on the discussion, Atillian inquired passingly "so who's shuttle was that? I thought that no one except for the enemy and the Ixians had access to the Highliners...."

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"Sir, sir" called a newly arrived trooper.

"What is it now" Raynor replied.

"There are forces surrounding the city and they're not Sardukar or Harkonnen".

Raynor thought about the attacks they had suffered and the liklyhood of survival if he stayed here.

"Gather the men. We will all move together in line, with shields activated. Once people become fatigued stop and deactivate. If we come under fire do not engage just reactivate shields and try to help the fallen. We will head along the main roads until we reach the wall".

"Yes sir".

Captain Raynor wished he had not been so foolhardy. He had been so willing to kill Harkonnens that he had put his men at risk and lost many for nothing.

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Around Tsimpo the Fremen were silent. The Smugglers knew of their presence, they felt it even if they weren't so skillful as the fremen at hiding or reading signs on the ground.

In the city progrss started to be made as the city was concentrically squeezed by Carth's forces. Even so, only an insignificant area of the city was cleaned. Not even in the city the fremen did not engage the smugglers. Yet.

- Sir, we spotted the Atreides moving towards us.

- Well... where are the thopters? Help them out!

- Yes, sir. They don't seems to be really bright, they're moving on the MAIN streets, on the middle of it, with their shield turned on. It's like saying HERE SHOOT ME!

- They're not born on this planet. I know, we'd have used back strrets, moving out of view... Now move and help them out! Before the fremen get what's left of them.

The Trebeis platform started to do its job as pictures of Tsimpo reached Carth's HQ. His men were able to detect fremen presence. The signs were so faint that an offworlder would not have noticed. Even so, there was no concrete pinpointing of the fremen positions, if there were any.

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Ghosthunter goes away, Barbarossa goes away, Beowulf goes away... almost like a conspiracy.

"Hmm? Oh. My mother is visiting." Aleksandr said in a distant voice. Atilian felt a surge of mingled anger and bloodlust.

"Harkonnen, here? I mean, other than you..." He trailed off in the face of the Governor's glare. Somehow, glinting in the light of the window, it was the metal eye that was more disturbing.

"I will remind you," Aleksandr sighed, "that my House is Moritani, by birth. And before you can begin a tirade against them-" he held up a hand to prevent Atilian's coming protest against the ethical reputation of the Moritani, "-you should know that my mother married into the House. Like myself, she is yoked with a name that is not truly her own.

"..And what House is she from?" Atilian asked, resentful.

"Does it matter?" Aleksandr asked quietly. Atilian just stared. "Oh, very well. She was born into House Ordos, the third of four girls and the seventh child overall. Does that satisfy you?" He absently traced the crossed bones of the Ordos crest onto a building contract. It was emblazoned on the side of her shuttle, after all... "She's travelling as Ordos right now, so this isn't an official visit."

"What does she want?" Atilian asked sharply.

"Does a woman need a reason to visit her son?" Aleksandr defelcted the question calmly. He waited for a moment while Atilian frowned. "As for the shuttles, you will find that the merchants of the city are still quite able to leave, if they choose. They are all too afraid to do so, but the choice is open to them. Houses Minor and neutral Houses, such as the Ordos, are free to pass into and out of Arrakeen, as long as they submit to a search-"

"So it's only our shuttles being targetted?" Atilian asked eagerly.

"Indeed." Aleksandr raised an eyebrow. "Everyone is searched, ours are refused transport offworld. And before you think of some plan-" he forstalled Atilian once again, "I should remind you that any attempt to fool, 'remove,' or bypass these searches will be construed as a direct attack on either the person or the authority of the Guild."

"How did she get the Guild?" Atilian hissed.

"She probably didn't." Aleksandr shrugged. "We are the weaker side, in the eyes of the Imperium," he added, "and the Guild no doubt wishes a swift end to this mess so that things can get back to normal, and profits can be as high as they usually are." He looked around. "Did you per chance notice Aleron in here? It's not like him to be absent for so long."

* * *

Aleron was hurrying up the steps to the Governor's residence, papers and notes clutched tightly in his arms. Having been unable to commandeer a groundcar, he had been forced to hitch a lift. Had he been full of himself, the indignity would have rankled harshly. As it was, he accepted it as an inconvenice. He nodded to the guards, who smiled warmly back, and slipped inside. He began to follow the familiar path to the office.

* * *

"The enemy is retreating." Tertiary Commander Ariss grinned at the statistics before him. The Atreides had been routed without a single Harkonnen casualty. The fremen were keeping quiet, but it was doubtful that they had lost many either. High Command would be most plesed with this. He relished the thought of a promotion at last. With that traitor Thorn on the other side, it was certain, it had to be... Around him, more practical members of staff were assessing the situation. Tsimpo held, but it was still surrounded by Atreides, and newcomers. And there was that blasted platform, just out of range... Well, if it got any closer then it would be AA-ed into dust.

In light of the absences of two of our posters, remember not to take advantage of people here. And don't get frustrated when they don't reply the next day. ;) 

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(OOC: well the back streets are trapped and patrolled by fremen which is why I didn't use them. Admitedlly your commander wouldn't know that).

Raynor noticed the ornithopters fly towards him. He didn't see any Harkonnen livery but that didn't mean anything. As they neared two of them began to descend onto the square in front of them. A man who looked like a smuggler stepped out and beckoned them closer.

(OOC I'll let you role play it Davidu ;))

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