I have heard a joke about that a while ago, alas I have little or no idea about game consoles.
The order as far as I have been able to reconstruct is this.
1) Steins;Gate (TV series) 24 episodes
2) Egoistic Poriomania (OVA, like an episode. It is two months after the events of the series).
3) Steins;Gate: Fuka Ryōiki no Déjà vu (full movie, 90 minutes. The action is one year after the event of the regular series).
4) Steins;Gate: Sōmei Eichi no Cognitive Computing (4 promotional shorts made for IBM). [they are in the "middle of the series" but are more comic relief/promotional]
5) "Open the Missing Link" (23B). (Is an alternate 23 episode of the regular series that connect to Steins;Gate 0)
6) Steins;Gate 0 (TV series) 24 episodes. It branch from the alternative episode above.
Steins;Gate 0 loop fully inside Steins;Gate integrating completely and filling some holes. And makes the whole more epic and tearjerker.
LazASK question for today: Are there any ruins of ancient civilizations in your nation? What are they like?
Loftegen 2 has many ancient monuments dating back as far as the stone age; megalithic rings and avenues; bronze age barrows; and iron age hill forts. Proper towns and cities only came in about two thousand years ago, with no subsequent breaks in occupation, only changes in management. So there are no ruined cities, like there are in some places.
Rubisco (Ribulose bisphosphate) is absolutely terrible at doing its job in the current oxygen rich climate (relatively speaking when compared with the minimal amounts of oxygen in Earth's early atmosphere. Often rubisco binds with oxygen and not carbon dioxide, making it useless until the oxygen unbinds and carbon dioxide can bind, allowing photosynthesis to occur.). I suppose the inefficiency of the leaf explains whey plants have so many. Most often green light is reflected back out and not absorbed. (I say most often because some leaves can be red, orange etc.) Most photons never hit the leaf in the first place and then factoring in all the other limiting factors such as temperature, carbon dioxide levels and amount of water available makes the process so inefficient as you say.
The Calvin cycle, ometimes called the light-independent reaction and taking place in the stroma of the chloroplasts, takes the products from the light dependent reaction, that occured in the thylakoids of the chloroplasts, and uses the ATP from the light dependent reaction to provide enough energy (when the ATP splits into ADP and inorganic phosphate) to turn triose phosphate, a three carbon sugar into ribulose bisphosphate, a five carbon sugar. When carbon dioxide is added, it makes the ribulose bisphosphate unstable, casuing it to split into two glycerate three phosphate (G3P) molecules which, when NADPH (a coenzyme produced from the dependent light reaction) reduces G3P into triose phsophate, a three carbon sugar when given energy by the further splitting of ATP. Then the cycle starts again.
The Krebs cycle is awesome too. That and the rest of respiration. Glycolysis, the link reaction (somtimes lumped in with the krebs cycle thoguh I learnt it as seperate (thoguh my teachers did say it could be stuck with the Krebs cycle)) and oxidative phosphorylation at the end.
Here we go (I'll walk you all down the steps if you want thoguh I recommend Khan Academy if you wish to be able to visualise it)
Glycolysis: Right, so glucose, a six carbon sugar (C6H12O6 to be exact) is phosphorlyated (ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate) is split into ADP(Adenosine Disphosphate) and inorgainc phosphate through hydrolysis (a process whereby a water molecule breaks the ATP into the aforementioned products))
Now we have phosphorylated glucose, another 6 carbon sugar. This is an unstable molecule though and so it splits into two three carbon molecules called triose phosphate. (see the similarity with plants?) NAD (similar to NADP that's used in plants) is reduced (adds a hydrogen ion to it) to for NADH. This oxidises the triose phsophate which, after producing two molecules of ATP each (net profit four(two were used to phosphorylate the glucose in the first step)), produces two molecules of pyruvate total (one for each triose phosphate) That's glycolysis done.
Now for the link reaction. We'll follow just one of the pyruvate molecules to keep things simple.
The pyruvate is oxidised. This turns it into acetate. The pyruvate has lost a carbon dioxide molecule and two hydrogen ions in this process. NAD accepts the hydrogen ions, forming NADH (reduced NAD) which is used later. The 2 carbon molecule acetate combines with a coenzyme called coeznyme A. This makes acetylcoenzyme A
Now for the Krebs cycle. Named after British biochemist Hans Krebs in fact! Cheers for working the sequence out mate, this stuff is really cool! So the acetylcoenzyme A binds with a four carbon compound to form a six carbon compound. This compound is converted back into the four carbon compound through a series of steps, releasing carbon doixide and reducing NAD and FAD(another coenzyme that is essentially the same). It also produces some ATP!
Oxidative phosphorylation next, the final step.
This occurs in the mitochondria of a cell (happens in organsims that are not plants.) and is much like photosynthesis in chloroplasts. Anyway, the hydorgen ions in the reduced NAD and FAD are donated to the first molecule in the electron transport chain. (excited electrons move down here, giving little bits of energy to different key components.) As the electrons flow down the ETC, the energy provided allows for the transport of hydrogen ions across the membrane and into the inter membrane space. (mitochondira have two membranes) The accumulation of hydrogen ions is not something nature likes. (nature likes balance and balancing positive and negative charges is no exception) The hydrogen ions move through a protein called ATP synthase that snythesises ATP. The hydrogen ions end up in the matrix of the mitochondria (think the cytoplasm of a normal cell or stroma of a chloroplast). At the end of the ETC, electrons combine with hydrogen ions to form water. Water is always useful and the binding allows for more electrons to travel down the ETC.
Whoo that was long but enjoyable. I love my A level biology textbook. (Live in England and it's equivalent to the end of highschool) if anyone doesn't know.
My, the world is beautiful sometimes. So much knowledge held by so many kind people. I'm on summer break right now but I'd give anything to talk to my teachers again even for a few hours. Ah well, there's always university (college) still to come.
Okay, I have never seen a spoiler that long. Sorry.
Aigania and Loftegen 2
If we're taking on the Lazmap, nope because it's still ancient. Non map Mzeusia has plenty all over the place. Temples, warehouses, houses, shops etc.
Ruins? A few very old ones. The Snoodian government has for an extremely long time maintained a policy of restoring towns, cities, villages etc. to represent different times in history. This will show anyone who goes there (they can't but if they were able to) the historical advances in Snoodum and how life would have been at different points in Snoodian history.
Some ruins exist though they are old and crumbling (yes there are maintenance projects ongoing). These ruins tell of Snoodum pre-proper recorded history i.e. pre-early medieval level of tech. This consists mostly of crumbling cities made of brick or stone. Writing was around then, it was just gradually lost until King Darvig I ordered all records recovered, restored and recorded on paper and on clay tablets (where feasible.) Back up copies were ordered too so no information has been lost. He also set up a system so that old texts could be rewritten so they didn't crumble into dust. This has carried on through to the modern day with the internet making it much easier for copies to be made.
There was never something akin to the Bronze Age collapse it's just that records were forgotten or were discarded for being out of date. Why do you need the amount of grain in storage ten years ago? You don't so out it goes. All you might need to know is whether that grain was used to stave off famine or was it hoarded? Who cares how much was there? That was the thinking of people before Darvig I.
Beer leader is awake AMA to help the twins get ready for their trip with stinky monkey butt. What should he himself do today: dreaded (but essential to complete this weekend) paperwork or start with his house project and then sprinkle in paperwork when he needs a rest or things need to settle? Ah decisions decisions.
Talking about biochemistry ...
Yes, RuBisCo is terribly inefficient. What it is more puzzling is that is hasn't been subject to more evolutionary pressure to improve. Alas, the C4 and CAM plants provide a better alternative to increase efficiency.
The use of photons in fact is quite efficient thou, they are subject to some interesting quantum mechanics effects. The colors of the leafs when not green is for seasonal species, and the results of others pigments. Where it is interesting is in algae. The old classification of algae ... "The coloring of the algae is very varied and depends on the pigments present in the plastids. Thus, chlorophyll is green, red phycoerythrin, brown fucoxanthin, orange carotene, blue phycocyanin and yellow zeaxanthin." depending of the ecological niche and depth of where the photosynthesis is taking place is fascinating.
The Calvin Cycle is the point of fixation of CO2 and where the C4 and CAM plants enter in action. The discovery of the cycle is itself quite interesting. It was done with radiolabelling techniques developed during the Manhattan project as far as I can recall. It was quite tedious.
The Krebs cycle is the fu.... center of the metabolism. From there you can go anywhere.
The oxidative phosphorylation is amazing! the pumping of protons to create a gradient to force the ATPase to catalyze the ADP + Pi --> ATP formation is quite cool! It is pure natural bio nanotechnology. A small turbine chucking small packets of biochemical energy.
Wonderful! Interesting the bits. I loved it when I was too a freshman at college (several years ago). Enjoy your summer break, once in collage the workload can be crushing.
P.D. Fortunately in England don't have the deranged university system that we have down here. For example, I have a (first compulsory, later elective) subject of "Advanced Biochemistry" renamed "Control and Integration of Metabolism", where the exam would be three hours and two questions. One of 5 minutes or so, and the rest for the PROBLEM. It would be something like this.
Transform a molecule of Leucine into a Glucose. Putting all the chemical reactions, enzymes involved, their location on the cell (organelle), and of course the regulation of the enzymes in each step, putting with chemical exhibited in the enzymes a function as allosteric regulation. Activating or Inactivating.
Have fun memorizing the full pathways of carbohydrates, lipids, proteins ...
The wisdom of having to memorize that for an exam and never use it again was beyond me. Specially when the lab and the offices where plastered by posters of the reagents suppliers showing all of the above.
It was surely something about the power games between different Departments of the University to maintain their hours of lecture in the studies with us a guinea pig.
P.S. Don't be discouraged! Biology can be amazing! And biochemistry is the fundamental work of it, and most importantly today with the great convergence of technologies (NBIC) Nanotechnology, Biotechnology, Information technology and Cognitive science.
All of this is fascinating! I'm actually going into English with Creative Writing at University but in my writing I'm going to have a strong biological and chemical slant. Fantasy creatures would actually need to work and magic would need to be at least somewheat grounded in biological and chemical realities. I'm now more certain than ever that I also want to do biology in some way at university afterwards. I was thinking about immunology or some such branch. I'll have a more thorough look closer to the time but I know I'm doing something! I've been following the Ebola outbreak in the DRC closely. Through my writing I hope to teach people about biology and chemistry and the wonders of all that that entails!
Thank you for being so open to talk about this. If you have anything else you want to dazzle me with, feel free to post it or TG me!
It's because you're THE NEW CALIFORNIA REPUBLIC! with the flag and everything.
It's clearly mod bias
Guiness Freaks and Loftegen 2
Well that was the plan but beer leader had difficulty getting motivated so he worked on the phase 1 of a painting project which will have to dry now. So time for breakfast of champions (pop tarts leftover from the twins) and some coffee and will attempt the paperwork. Thanks.
The Custadian Ministry of War is tight-fisted, and it appears that in this case their beauracracy prevented Custadian arms manufacturers such as Vaada kM from making tenders in time, though they did approve eventually. This is a pity, since Custadian missile technology is rather advanced.
Naval BT-16 bombers carry AM-04 anti-ship, sea-skimming missiles capable of Mach 2.4 with a range of 170 nautical miles, though their range is significantly reduced when carrying a nuclear payload.
The pinnacle of Custadian achievement in this field, however, is the hypersonic GM-12 ground-launched anti-ship missile. In service aboard Custadia's missile cruisers and with coastal batteries, their scramjets are capable of propelling them at Mach 8.7 only twenty meters above the sea. With programmable waypoint-based flightpaths and a range of 230 nautical miles in that configuration (350 in a semi-ballistic configuration) operators can ensure that the missiles have the best chance of penetrating enemy defences.
Aigania and Loftegen 2
In Piggy Cliff, Treadwellia, the Rotund Royals have finished a two-woman maternity ward addition to the palace, near the nursery. Why two?
Apparently, the Biggenbottom-Tubbiuses conceived their next little one the same night Tubbius and Mrs. Tubbius made "MORE." Better to be able to care for both mothers-to-be in one place!
At the moment, both Mrs. Tubbius and Martha Biggenbottom-Tubbius are trying out the new beds in the delivery rooms. Both women find them most enjoyable and very comfortable. In fact, to His Immensity's blushing amusement, Mrs. Tubbius admits She could spend many future nights in it!
She is just teasing, of course. At least, that is what His Obesity hopes.
The biography of Mzeusia's second king, Holsikas Hyrasa, has been released!
Here's a link to The Dispatch Writing Guide to help you write a good dispatch.
Holsikas Hyrasa, the second of the Hyrasan kings, was a man dedicated to securing Mzeusian borders much like his father. Unlike his father however, he did not go about doing this primarily with marriage alliances and trade deals. Instead, Holsikas believed that the only way to truly keep the nation safe, was to eliminate those seeking the threaten it once and for all. The king would spend much of his time outside of Mzeusia on campaigns, and across his lifetime, he managed to forge a mighty empire. His motivations might at first appear clear, but historians have long argued about what exactly led him to make the decisions that he did. Holsikas’ most notable achievements are the subjugation of the three southern kingdoms, and the securing of the country’s northern border with Gartunia. When it was clear that his health was failing him, Holsikas returned to Mzeusia to live out his last days in the country he had sacrificed so much for.
Holsikas’ early life is not well documented, but he was trained in the art of warfare from an early age, and often continued past the strictly necessary training, sparring and discuss tactics with his father’s generals when Serankles himself didn’t have the time. He took great pleasure in wrestling any comers, and even once presented his father with a step by step plan for how to take Gartunia, the three southern kingdoms, and Hefan (a very small nation to the east) in less than a decade. Serankles was so pleased that he gave Holsikas the title of Master Plotter. It has been said at this point, that Holsikas became obsessed with titles like that, possibly providing the motivation for his later conquests.
One thing that is very prevalent in the writings we have of young Holsikas, is his religious fervour. Serankles brought him up as a devout follower of Mzeusism, and the boy would make many a sacrifice to the gods as he grew up, praying to them every morning, afternoon and evening. Although not in the traditions of Mzeusian, at the age of ten he went on a month long fast because he wanted to prove that he was strong, so that the gods would favour him in his life.
Gradual Acquisition of Power
As his father’s health declined in his old age, Serankles began preparing Holsikas more and more for the job as king, giving the man more and more responsibility. Under his father, Holsikas had accompanied him on many a diplomatic mission, and had played a pivotal role in bringing Mzeusism to all of Mzeusia, as well as taking the lead in putting down any Thoonian uprisings. It was the uprisings which he really loved and excelled at. He writes of the joy and the thrill of battle and the sense of duty when he deals with Thoonian discontent, that one can immediately see what kind of a king he would be.
Holsikas took any new responsibility he was given very seriously, and he almost always impressed his father with his efforts. Nevertheless, he voices frustration at what he saw as his father reigning him in and being too cautious when it came to war. When Serankles was on his death bed, he gave Holsikas a great deal of advice about how to run the nation. He also asked his son to construct the tomb that Serankles had been designing for much of his life, and to deal with the southern kingdoms that had been raiding. During Serankles’ lifetime, he managed to stop two of them from raiding by paying them tribute (which he found extremely humiliating) but the other kingdom carried on despite all diplomatic efforts. Serankles left Holsikas the task of destroying all three of the kingdoms.
With those last words, Serankles died in his bed. Holsikas, who had been mentored throughout his life, and had been trained to be a king from the day he was born, could finally assume that position.
Holsikas’ First Act
As soon as Holsikas was crowned, he immediately ordered the construction of his father’s tomb. Before he could go on campaign, he needed to make sure that Serankles’ tomb would be a masterpiece. The plans his father had left behind were detailed, and Holsikas got together the best architects, stone masons and carpenters to construct the tomb, with the very best artists coming from across the seas to compete with the locals in order to have the honour of painting some of the painting depicting Serankles’ great deeds. The tomb was finished in a few months, and as it stood on the mountain-top high above Mzikos, Holsikas is said to have ordered that nobody be allowed in until he had visited. What Holsikas had in mind was, however, much more than a visit.
The king climbed up the rough-hewn steps, passed the many statues of his father that dotted the way up, and entered the tomb courtyard. In the centre of the courtyard, the tree (at this point just a sapling) that was growing on Serankles’ ashes. Holsikas knelt before it and spoke. It is not known what was said as he never told anyone, and since nobody had accompanied him, his words were unknown to all.
In all, Holsikas spent the better part of three hours in the tomb, and when he descended from the mountain he spoke to his advisers who were waiting for him at the bottom. “My father is pleased with the tomb and he gives his support for the campaign. Prepare the army, for I am prepared to see an end the dogs in the south who humiliate our great nation.” More information about the tomb can be found here.
Securing the Northern Border
As Holsikas was gathering his armies, ready to launch a devastating campaign against the southern kingdoms, the Gartunian king decided that then was a good time to strike, and in 41 AI (After Independence) the rumours of the Gartunian army massing, reached the Mzeusian king. He swiftly rode up the border, receiving more intelligence as he went. It became clear that the enemy was attempting to go through the Thekraton pass. Holsikas knew he was outnumbered, and he decided that guarding the narrow pass was the best option. He stationed his men in the pass, and as he was discussing the situation in his command tent, he ordered General Mavitirus to speak to the men in order to ready them for the battle.
The General roused the men, and reported back to Hyrasa, that they were “now more ferocious than a pack of wolves, with their eagerness to do battle, knowing no equal.” The Mzeusian was said to have smiled at this, and as the light from the Gartunian torches came into view, he reportedly rushed out of his tent and rallied the men, watching excitedly as the torches were doused and the Gartunians drew their weapons.
The battle began, and the Gartunians advanced. The Mzeusian soldiers however, proved to be too capable a fighting force, and the Gartunian casualties stacked up. Eventually, after the Gartunian army had loss a fifth of its fighting men in the narrow pass, they retreated. Mzeusians casualties were heavy, but nowhere near as bad, and a day later, a Gartunian representative entered the Mzeusian camp and negotiations were held. The Gartunian representative was impressed with the Mzeusian resistance. After a brief disagreement in which the Mzeusian general Mavitirus was insulted, Holsikas told the Gartunian representative, that if he did not cease all aggression against the Mzeusian people and their lands, that the army would advance into Gartunia itself.
The negotiations went on for a few days, with both sides trying to impress upon the other, but they went nowhere. With the Gartunian king suddenly needed to quell an uprising about poor harvests, as well as dealing with a larger threat than Mzeusia, to the east. An agreement was signed, declaring peace between the two nations for the decade, but really it wasn’t a peace with the intent to foster better relations, it was a peace in which, if they were sensible, both leaders would be building up their armies and gearing up for the return of the usual hostilities. After this event, Holsikas added the title of Breaker of the Northmen, and insisted that people refer to him as Emperor Holsikas Hyrasa, Master Plotter and Defender of the North.
The Artenrian Campaign
After securing the ten year peace with Gartunia, Holsikas focused on fulfilling one of his father’s wishes. As soon as he had become king, Holsikas had ceased all annual payments to the southern Kingdoms. They had now grown complicit with their raiding, and the humiliation had gone on long enough for the king. Artenria was the first of those nations to which Holsikas now turned, and it had continued raiding despite many Mzeusian diplomatic attempts to stop this. Now, Holsikas had the reigns, and he had been planning the campaign for a few years. As Holsikas marched downwards from Gartunia, he gathered more men, and before he even got to the border, he came across a raiding party. He managed to lay a trap for them, and killed around half of them, capturing the others.
What followed, was one of the first orders that marked Holsikas Hyrasa out to be an extremely brutal man. He simply told his soldiers to find their own justice for the pillage of Mzeusian lands, and the men, now utterly unrestrained, fell upon the Artenrian raiders with a savagery that has lived on and stood out in all the tales of the Mzeusian conquest.
After this was done, the Mzeusian king proceeded to press into Artenrian lands, and began an unprecedented sacking of all the towns and villages in the area. Only to most precious artefacts were taken, and the food of the settlements were used to feed to army. Any livestock not killed for eating, was killed anyway. Holsikas was hellbent on taking revenge for his people, his father, and himself and the army swept through the northern part of Artenria wrecking huge devastation.
It took some time for the Mzeusian army to be opposed by an army in the field, but Holsikas was eager to face them. The men had been well-fed and were looking for more of a challenge than the occasionally stubborn villager. Despite being outnumbered, Holsikas met the foe, and managed to win the day convincingly, leaving the Mzeusian army free once again to continue their destruction.
More armies came against the ever-advancing Holsikas, but he defeated them all, employing superior tactics and greater manpower. When the king was a few days march from the capital, the Artenrian queen asked for peace. Her terms were generous, but Holsikas was not after peace, he wanted the total destruction of the country that had dared to continue raiding.
In spite of being about three days away from the Artenrian capital, Holsikas got there in two days, and the ensuing siege reminded all present, why Holsikas had a reputation for being brutal. There was no respite for the defenders, with conditions inside the walls growing worse and worse by the day, until starvation was common, and groups of defenders surrendered. When the city walls were final breached after a few months, Mzeusian troops swept through the streets, taking everything of value, and destroying the rest.
After the fall of the capital city, Holsikas moved to conquer the rest of the country, and there was little resistance. What there was, was crushed, and by the end of a three-year campaign, Artenria was brought fully under Mzeusian control, with the Queen and her entourage fleeing to another country. For this great feat, his soldiers started calling Holsikas Conqueror of Artenria, making his full title now Emperor Holsikas Hyrasa, Master Plotter, Defender of the North and Conqueror of Artenria.
The Jissini Campaign
After a few months of recuperation, and efforts to administer and rebuild the badly looted new territory, (by dividing Artenria into several counties and having favoured, important people run them) Holsikas was focusing on Jissin, one of the two nations who had demanded tribute. The Jissni Campaign began soon after Holsikas had ensured that trusted men were running his new territory.
Like Artenria, Holsikas had already planned the Jissini Campaign many years ago, but he had learned one thing crucial from his conquest of Artenria. He would need to restrain his army if he planned to fully incorporate Jissin into the empire any time soon. Having to rebuild Jissin would not do, and only take up more of his time, time that Holsikas would want to be spending campaigning against Omurare, the other nation who had demanded tribute.
Jissin had responded to the invasion of Artenria with an increased military presence on the border and was altogether a more militarised nation. When Holsikas began his march into Jissin, sending a declaration of war to the king, King Heirnisa. Holsikas was met within a few days, by a larger army. The Mzeusian Emperor did not shy away from the battle, and when he was challenged to single combat by the Jissini general, he accepted. They fought for a few minutes, but it was clear that Holsikas had the advantage. The Mzeusian killed the enemy general, and the next day, the battle commenced.
Although outnumbered, Holsikas won the day, the lack of the most senior Jissini general, and the strong defensive position taken by the Mzeusians proving too much for the enemy. Afterward, Holsikas moved on, demanding that all towns and villages submit before his army, telling them that if they were to do so, and to send a certain amount of food, they would not be harmed. Holsikas stuck to his word, but when one town refused his orders, he marched upon it, seized it with his army, and raised it to the ground.
Holsikas’ advance was met by stiffer resistance than he had encountered in Artenria, but his army was able to lay siege to the major cities of Bythun and Remehni. When the army was bearing down upon Fidrun, the next large city in the Mzeusian path, news of a Jissini army massing to the East reached Holsikas, he took up a defensive position. The Jissini force approached, camping a few kilometres from the hill. Attempts to surround the hill went poorly as Mzeusian archers showered the attackers with arrows and stones, and when night fell, a devastating charge into the enemy camp broke their ranks, overwhelming the units who had formed up in time. After the victory, the king of Jissin sent Holsikas a strongly worded letter. Holsikas demanded that it be written down so that “I can read it to the arrogant fool, as he kneels before me. The letter Holsikas was sent was as follows.
Dear King Holsikas,
I commend you on your recent victory, but If you do not leave my nation at once and continue paying tribute, I will have no choice but to crush your army, send you back in bag, and devastate your home to such an extent as to render it uninhabitable for 1000 years. Your initial success shall do nothing for you for I am marching at the head of an army that shall crush the Mzeusian banner under-heel. You have dared to challenge the might of Jissini, and you shall not escape punishment, not in this life, not in the next life, and not in any other lives after.
King Heirnisa of Jissin
Upon reading the letter, the Mzeusian Emperor flew into a rage. “How dare he not address me by my full title, how dare he call me a mere king. I am an emperor…I am Emperor Holsikas Hyrasa, Master Plotter, Defender of the North and Conqueror of Artenria. If he so wants his tribute, he shall get it, but this time it will not be paid in gold and produce.” Holsikas then gave the order for the nearest town to be burn to the ground, and for the ash from the buildings be placed into bags. He then sent the bags off to the king with a note attached. “It’s not all wood ash.”
The Mzeusian subjugation of the towns and villages nearby continued, but it was clear that Holsikas was moving on the capital. He was met however, by the Jissini king himself, at the head of a mighty army. The two armies were divided by a river, and Holsikas fortified his position by digging ditches and adding rows of spikes in front to break up any cavalry charge. He sent a contingent of cavalry into the forest for an ambush and waited. King Herinisa sent him a message demanding his surrender, which was promptly refused. Holsikas ordered his men to perform displays of strength, having them shout battle cries, and move rapidly into different formations. This scared some of the enemy, but they held their ground, and Heirnisa continued to survey the battleground unperturbed.
As night fell, Heirnisa attempted to cross the river with some of his forces, but the Mzeusians were alert and archers repelled the attack, driving the enemy back across the river. Holsikas had already sent his men in search of a suitable place to ford the river, but there as none, so he ordered that one hundred letters be sent to Heirnisa at different times during the night. They were all signed by people known to Heirnisa, including the general Holsikas had defeated when first entering Jissin. Heirnisa’s men were constantly interrupting his sleep with reports of supposedly urgent letters, that the king only managed to get a few hours of sleep. He had to make sure that he was not discarding actual correspondence from generals, so he would always wake in the night.
As the battle wore on, Holsikas concocted plan after plan to keep Heirnisa awake, including hosting a large party, staging a series of military exercises that were much loader than normal, having his en sing insulting songs long into the night, and even driving a herd of local goats, horses, pigs and cattle along his side of the river. After a few hellish nights of this, Holsikas sent the cavalry that had been waiting in the forest across the river and over to the enemy camp to harass them. The enemy’s response was so slow that Holsikas believed his plan had worked. Before he could order a crossing of the river however, a lightning storm sounded from far off, and during the day it only grew louder. The already tormented Heirnisa’s condition only deteriorated, and Holsikas delighted in the helping hand from nature. The army even began calling him Summoner of Storms, which he took a liking to, and insisted it be added to his full title.
When the storm passed, Holsikas decided to test out the enemy’s response time, and sent the unit of cavalry he had originally stationed in the forest to the enemy camp in order to harass them. The reaction was minimal, with the Mzeuians reporting back on how groggy the Jissini warriors looked. Encouraged by this, Holsikas ordered the Mzeusian army to make a bridge and cross the river, immediately going to seek high ground. On a hill not far from the camp, Holsikas initiated the next step in his plan, and ordered the river to be dammed. The water flooded onto the lower plain upon which the Jissini camp was situated.
The water swept up to the edge of the camp, and in the chaos that ensued the Mzeusian army encamped behind the hill rounded the side and stormed into the disorganised camp. A slaughter took place as blades flashed and spears thrust through the air. At the end of the attack, only a few hundred Jissini warriors had managed to flee, but Heirnisa had been captured. It is said that Holsikas ate lunch before seeing the king, keeping him kneeling in the dirt for the whole time. When Holsikas strode up to Heirnisa in a chariot, he surveyed the man before him with contempt.
As the two men looked at each other, Holsikas ordered a body of a dead Jissini warrior to be brought forth and burnt. The Mzeusian took a handful of the ash and dropped it in front of the chained Herinisa, looking straight into the humiliated king’s eyes as it drifted away. “It’s not all wood ash.” Holsikas declared. “It is also the ashes of your kingdom.” With that, Heirnisa was bundled away to be a prisoner of the army.
Next on Holsikas’ list was the capital. He met no resistance as he marched up to the walls. He brought forth the bruised and defeated Heirnisa so that the defenders of the city could see him. “Your king stands defeated before me, and your army lies defeated behind me.” This sight so disheartened the defenders, that as soon as Holsikas offered to spare the city and everyone inside if they crowned him king of Jissin, they opened the gates and did just what he asked.
A year later and the entirety of Jissin had fallen well and truly under Mzeusian control. Holsikas was said to have paraded Heirnisa around the streets of Jissini cities, and before the man was executed, he was forced to refer to Holsikas’ updated title which was now Emperor Holsikas Hyrasa, Master Plotter, Defender of the North, Conqueror of Artenria, Tamer of Wild Jissin and Summoner of Storms.
The Omuraren Campaign
Inevitably, Holsikas looked now towards the last of the southern kingdoms to have humiliated Mzeusia and he father. The Omuraren King, a man called Jussib II, sent him a letter as soon as Jissin was consolidated into the empire, forgiving the fact that tribute had not been paid for a few years, and promising to cease all raiding indefinitely. It seemed that Holsikas’ lust for conquest was scaring all the right people, and Holsikas writes of his glee at receiving the letter. Nevertheless, his father had tasked him with the destruction of Omurare, and nothing could therefore prevent the war that was to come. Holsikas Hyrasa once again began building up his army. Jussib had heard nothing from Holsikas after his first letter, and so he sent another one along the same lines. By this time Holsikas was ready to wage war and In reply, he sent the King a detailed account of what he had done to Artenria and Jissin. The letter sent such ripples through the Omurare that Jussib could only muster a fraction of the troops to fight.
The formal declaration of war was issued to Omarare, and within a month, Mzeusian troops had pushed into hostile territory with a significant army. An assassination attempt was then made on the Omararen King by a faction at court, which was unsuccessful, but the court did not fare well in the ensuing purge that followed, as Jussib got rid of all those who did not give him their full backing.
Taking advantage of the instability, Holsikas took cities and towns that might otherwise have been supported, and pushed deep into Omurare. Jussib was trying to hold on to an ever-fracturing nation, and he decided that the full force of his army would do battle with Holsikas, in one final attempt to stop the nation falling. The king choose a good position to fight from, but his supply lines were cut and water-sourced diverted. Starvation and disease devastated the camp, and the king surrendered after the situation became hopeless. Upon receiving the defeated king, Holsikas told the man that he must die, but that his nation and family would not be harmed. The King accepted this and was allowed to be given a royal funeral after taking poison. The conquest of Omurare was swift and comparatively bloodless. Holsikas could now return to Mzeusia, declaring that he would modify his title to Emperor Holsikas Hyrasa, Master Plotter, Defender of the North, Conqueror of Artenria, Tamer of Wild Jissin, Defeater of Omurare, Bringer of Retribution and Summoner of Storms.
The Mzeusification of the Empire
With the southern nations under Mzeusian control, Holsikas rushed up to the Gartunian border. There was however, no threat from the Gartunian king, as he was busy fighting a war with his eastern neighbour. He had also heard of Holsikas’ exploits and had no desire to fight Mzeusia. With the potential attack averted, Holsikas could not make sure that his empire was stable. He sent diplomats out to all the countries that now bordered Mzeusia, and managed to establish good relations with them, even setting up some trade agreements. Holsikas then approached one of those countries, Nifidia, with a marriage request. The King gave one of his daughters to the Mzeusian emperor, and Holsikas accepted. This served to strengthen relations and provide a valuable ally to the east. All the while, Holsikas was also looking inward. Throughout his conquests, governors and generals had been rewarded for their service with pieces of the newly conquered territory (Generals would get the title of Governor when they were put in charge of a county) . One governor administering one county in Mzeusia and two in Artenria. Holsikas ordered that al of these men be inspected, and where they were doing well, they were rewarded. Where a county was not doing as well, Holsikas would either put more resources into it or fire the governor. Through this process, Holsikas was able to make sure that Mzeusian borders were safe, and the counties within them were put on the road to prosperity.
Another important thing that Holsikas was keen to do, was to ensure that Mzeusism was spread to every conquered land. To do this, he had many temples erected in cities and towns along the way and gave them all Mzeusian sounding names. He also encouraged Mzeusians to move there to influence the locals. Artenria, having been so badly damaged by the Mzeusian army, was an easier place to Mzeusify, as there were not as many natives left, and those that were, were subdued and did not overtly protest.
Holsikas' Later Rule
After he was satisfied with Mzeusian security, Holsikas began to visit his father’s tomb much more frequently, and also began thinking about his own death. When he wasn’t doing that, he was starting his family, with his wife Dorina bearing him two sons and a daughter. The eldest of them, Alchios, Holsikas taught in all the ways of kingship, as well as doing the same with this other son, albeit to a lesser extent.
Holsikas also utilised the now much expanded coastal border to increase trade with other nations, bringing vast amounts of wealth to the empire. He also instructed that the size of the navy be increased, and that the pirates which occasionally saw fit to raid the coast, was hunted down. This was achieved with limited success, but the people loved him for it all the same.
Holsikas spent a good portion of his time after that, planning what his own burial should be like, but after some deliberation, he felt that he would receive more public support if he did not deviate too much from the traditional religious burial practises. The only alteration to the usual customs was to have a small clearing around the tree that would grow, and a statue of himself placed on the edge. A stone was to also be placed, with the full title of the emperor to be carved upon it.
Holsikas' Final Act
Even today, historians continue to be amazed by just how much Holsikas achieved in his time an Emperor, but there was one thing that the now old man had not done quite right. The Gartunian threat was still looming, and the Gartunian army was a force to be reckoned with. Holsikas feared that Mzeusia would be struck when his young son inherited the throne, and the country was weak, just as Gartunia had done when he himself was crowned. In one final act, he sought an audience with the Gartunian king. The audience was accepted, and the ailing Holsikas made his way up to the Gartunian capital. After a long negotiation lasting around a week, Holsikas walked away in triumph. He had struck a deal to have his second son wed the Gartunian king’s third daughter, thereby neutralising the Gartunian threat for the foreseeable future.
When the Emperor died, thousands turned out to watch the body burn. Despite the rain, the flames devoured his body, and when that was done, his ashes were collected. The usual religious practices were obeyed. The statue had already been carved when the Emperor had been alive, and it was now brought to the edge of the clearing that had been selected. Holsikas’ ashes were placed in the ground, and the tree was planted. Nowadays, the clearing does not remain, but many have taken solitude in knowing that somewhere in the forest, the ashes of one of the greatest Mzeusians lie. The exact date of Holsikas’ death was also recorded upon his order, and so it can be said with certainty that on April the 23rd, Emperor Holsikas Hyrasa, Master Plotter, Defender of the North, Conqueror of Artenria, Tamer of Wild Jissin, Defeater of Omurare, Bringer of Retribution and Summoner of Storms passed away.
The Loftegen 2 Air Force would like very much to purchase a number of AM-04's for testing purposes. As noted elsewhere, we are in the very early stages of deciding what we need/want, and are eager to look at anything (within reason) that someone would like to sell to us.
Umm, about rationalizing how fantastic creatures could work the Laundry Saga by Charles Stross it is quite fascinating.
Immunology is really cool ... and hardcore. A dazzle of proteins (factors), cells, and genetic networks. But it is essential for biomedical research and other areas. I heard that even in material science, they had use an immune assay (like an ELISA) to use some antibodies to recognize the underlying structure of the material, thanks to the highly tuned affinity for molecular structure.
No problem, I will be around here!