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The Alisandre Capital Diplomat’s Quarter had already been evacuated. For that and other tactical reasons, this was staged as the zone of experimental conflict against the portal invasion for the Capital city. Equipment was set up around the perimeter; larger physical weaponry blocked some streets, and various technological safeguards were set up in emptied buildings. The streets were quiet, though the viewing portals apparent here continued broadcasting, like the others throughout this city and multiple population centers in every federet.

Only King Proxem Vario and General Draig Claymore were physically present at their communication point, where they were planning the coordinated disruption effort. The face of each federet’s General occupied a screen panel, their files and schematics hovering in the surrounding airspace.

Upon initiating records for this session, they’d done their roll call. “All federets represented by top level, Iparia by Lieutenant Corporal,” stated General Alisandre-Claymore.

“Any message from General Iparia?” asked King Proxem Vario to the reporting officer, named by her federet in this current role.

She replied, “He said I would be understood if I reported that he was rabbit hunting, Sir.”

Vario turned to share a look with Claymore before his acknowledgment. “We’re familiar with his passion for this particular prey. At times his drive has become all-consuming, and we’ve never yet held that against him. We’re glad to have you, Lieutenant Corporal Iparia.” He brought forth a fresh communication. “I’ll share with you the most recent update on this situation from our analysts.

“People have identified certain forms in the images sent by the strangers as biometrically human, and distinct from the Strangers, who are non-human while possessing similarities of conformation. People are now reinterpreting some of the scenes with that in mind, though the images are made mainly of forms without details.

“There are shapes under debate in these scene captures, many claiming that they resemble some of our dated technology, which places some scenes within time frames. Some government databases are experiencing increased reference, including rejections of requests for classified information.”

Each portal shared its own sets of images in its own fashion, it had been determined. Though images were shared within the total pool, there appeared to be unique perspectives and sequences of presentation. This excited the puzzle workers of a populace bored for lack of its usual sources of entertainment.

“At this point, we have to demonstrate defensive capability, or at least willingness,” was Vario’s estimation. They continued synchronizing phases of the pre-emption. Each federet had slightly different sets of equipment, but they would use them all to similar effect in their experimental zones. They would activate shields and white/pink noise walls, then fire up sonic and signal storm generators. Multi-frequency focused beam arrays were aimed at the projection patches in both passthrough and stationary-stop patterns. These would be engaged beginning with one test patch, then in ascending sets throughout their areas. They planned an alternation of amplitudes and waveforms that could theoretically affect or create a reaction in the projections.

Plans were in place, and the time had come. Each commanding officer, Generals and Lieutenant Corporal, confirmed their plan sets and went from their respective chambers to their command centers, General Alisandre with King Proxem Vario apace.

Here in the Capital, the command center was staged in a meeting hall with a centrally-facing four story window. This building and its surrounding area housed one of each type of active equipment, performing with those staged in other buildings. They were running communications with old fashioned local area line connections, along with three kinds of early-prototype remote signals that worked around the widespread net interruption being experienced in projection portal areas. There were just enough operators with extant equipment to run that for these areas, but not for the wider populace, in signal darkness like they hadn’t known during this generation.

Emerging into the center, Draig was immediately flanked by four to seven in chain of command who began accepting their plan sets from him. Each at his side was replaced by another in efficacious rotation until all systems had worked through their startups and reached states of concerted readiness.

Soon, the people around him had no further actions and were waiting on his word. Draig rested his eyes on the Aquari outdoor murals within view, inherently active and displaying unusual mood patterns. Hard to know whether it was all personnel reflection, or whether any of it was reading from the portals. Tension and conflict were the apparent themes in jagged and ragged clashing color, interspersed with the flat calms of zero reading.

The quiet sound of the synchronizing timer began on General Alisandre’s fingerfall.

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