Stage Left

The Crossroads Present Time

Jack: (sigh) Come on girls. She lost her home and has no one else to relate to. We at least owe her that much.

Leaha seemed affectionate as she hugged Jack with her large chest which annoyed the competition. Jack of course was trying to be polite since he knew any favoritism would be troublesome at this point. After bidding Lekka goodbye, Jack and his harem prepared to make the jump back to Iris's ship only to land back at the Crossroads.

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http://www.ongoingworlds.com/images/character_images/character21210-image.jpg?r=754939469

Jack: Oh come on man we just took on a god-like monster!!! Can't we get a break in?

Jack was looking at the Being who was simply smiling at him.

Jack: Seriously man can't this wait?

Being: Time waits for no man Jack. You of all people should know that by now.

The Being then created a holographic screen before Jack to read like a datapad.

Being: Read up on the next world you will visit. I included the key components for you.

Jack: Gee thanks for the extra work.

The Imperium of Zakar - An aging multiversal empire with a massive slave economy and military. Of the big 3 empires, Zakar has the most advanced technology.

History: Ahmad Al-Zakar was a shrewd and cunning Lebanese general during World War II. One night his men captured a crashed UFO (one of the Arbiter's ships) that had been damaged and the crew killed when it flew too close to a battle between German and British forces. Whilst aboard with a few of his men that were examining the strange 'flying disc' the craft inadvertently took flight and transported Al-Zakar seemingly back in time to what appeared to be the 2nd century, but which was really an alternate earth. Unable to properly operate the craft to return home, Al-Zakar saw a chance at glory and took it. Using a replicator device aboard the fantastically advanced Arbiter ship to create many copies of the machine guns he and his men had with them, he allied with a Parthian prince and trained a few thousand Assyrians to use these firearms, and then marched on Rome. He easily captured the city, effectively seizing control of the Roman Empire. Al-Zakar turned it into the Zakar Imperium and went on to conquer the Parthian Empire and Han China. Centuries later, after studying the technology of the Arbiter ship, the Zakar Imperium that now controlled all of earth were able to construct other crude but functioning vessels, which they used to carry out a policy of aggressive imperial expansion. By the second millennium the Zakar Imperium had conquered thousands of alternate realities and realms across the multiverse, applying the Ancient Roman bureaucratic approach to conquest that ran things much like a huge business enterprise.

Significant ideologies: The goal of the Zakar was to accumulate fabulous wealth and establish a multiversial domain that, much like the multiverse itself, would have no apparent end. They financed their military invasions through the slave trade that provided a ceaseless supply of disposable labour and slave soldiers. Due to their rapidly continuing expansion, their control over their territory was at first relatively weak until they began to encounter rival powers such as the Hont, and the Draemorthan Union that insidiously rose from within the borders of the Imperium itself to overthrow the Zakar.

Significant Institutions: The Zakar are ruled over by an Emperor who is the head of the Zakar dynasty, the ruling family that trace their lineage to the Imperium's original founder. The Imperium is made up of numerous interdimensional sectors comprising hundreds of conquered worlds; the sectors are ruled over by a supreme imperial governor and each single world by a minor imperial governor. The governors command the Zakar military forces that are divided among them, including immense Legions and smaller Auxiliaries. More wealthier and powerful than many of these governors are the great Slaver Khans of Zakar, who command a monopoly on the fierce and lucrative slave trade. The rich clans of Slaver Khans have their own private armies of soldiers and raiders, and collectively they keep the marketplaces across the Imperium flooded with human and humanoid trade goods, which are in such high economic demand that entire world populations have been known to sometimes be sold into slavery.

Major Technologies: Interdimensinal capable ships that are crude, inferior versions of the Arbiters vessels. Directed energy weapons of various types. Missiles. Energy shields. Unlimited and cheap cold fusion power. Anti-gravity devices. Cybernetic enhanced soldiers. Nanites that can be used to medically heal organic tissue, or used as weapons to tear it apart.

Additional comments: After many centuries of continual and largely unchallenged expansion, the cruel and decadent Zakar are now struggling to hold off the powerful Hontian Empire, the upstart Draemorthan Union, and the unseen hand of the Followers of Chaos that sew internal dissent and feuds among the Zakar governors and khans.

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The Empire of Hont - A multiversal empire ruled by a powerful and malevolent sorceress and her nearly immortal children.

History - The Hontian Empire rose to power in the doomed universe of Aran. Led by the immortal sorceress Adora Coulter, Hont conquered all of Aran shortly before Aran was destroyed. Utilizing the power of a multi-dimensional portal called the Dark Star, Adora was able to evacuate most of her forces into another universe, which she then proceeded to conquer as well.

Significant Ideologies - Hont is a matriarchal society in which woman generally have much more power than men, whom are usually consigned to grunt work. The only exception to this are the Coulter Princes, who still usually have less power than than their female counterparts but are otherwise able to achieve notable positions within Hont's military and governing administration.

Significant Institutions - The Hontian Army is divided into three different, independently governed organizations (although they all still answer to Empress Adora Coulter), each with different command structures. The White Army, led by Grand Marshal Saetia Coulter, makes up the bulk of Hont's military forces and uses mostly coventional units. The Black Army, led by Field Marshal Viola Coulter, is an elite strike force bristling with war mages and mind-control mages. The Gray Army is Adora's personal protection force, and is led by Commander Lukas Coulter.

Hont has an extensive spy network that is active in all places that Hont intends to conquer. Hont's spies scout out territories and sow discord amoung the targeted peoples well before armed forces arrive to take over. Hont's Department of Intelligence is led by Director Maria Coulter.

Significant Characters - Adora Coulter has had thousands of children throughout he multi-millennia of existence. These children are put through an education program almost from the moment of their birth to prepare them for service to Adora's empire. Most of them never meet their parents, at least until they they achieve a notable rank within the empire. Competition among the Coulter Princesses and Princes is expected, and the conflicts often become deadly as assassins get employed to facilitate someone's attempted rise to the near top (however, everyone knows that even thinking about taking out Adora is a death sentence). The Coulter Princes and Princesses are born with a blood curse that makes them infertile.

Significant characters include the almighty Empress herself, Adora Coulter, her various military branch leaders, Saetia, Viola, and Lukas Coulter, and her Intelligence Director, Maria Coulter.

Major Technologies and Magics - Hont used 16th century western military technology and strategy supported by potent war-magic and mind control magic to conquer Aran. Since then, they have struggled to adapt technologically and organizationally in order to compete on a multiversal scale. They have managed to get their industry to a point where they can produce interwar period weaponry but struggle to apply it strategically. However, Hont still has extremely gifted and dangerous magic users, if a rather limited supply of them.

Hont uses Dark Star Portals to travel between universes. Empress Adora derives most of her power from the Dark Star, and she is able to open portals to additional universes.

Jack looked up at the Being and rubbed his face out of fatigue.

Jack: You're kidding right? How in the h@ll am I gonna stop these two empires? I got lucky the last few times. This is two worlds trying to conquer the multi-verse.

The girls read the holographic text and dropped their jaws.

Cindy: This can't be real right?

Iris: How long before they take our worlds.

Being: The nearest possible time is fifty years.

Iris: So we need to warn our worlds to prepare for the war right?

Jack: With what proof? They won't take it seriously and if they try to scout it out they will be discovered.

Jack looked at D with concern.

Jack: I take it I will find someone there?

D: Yep. Another Heroine. I wonder what will happen?

Jack: Not now.

D: If you do not make a decision soon war will be inevitable anyway.

Jack as relieved no one could see or hear D since she usually gave bad news.

Jack: So are we going to the Hont or Zakar first?

Being: It will be your choice Jack.

D: Zakar.

Jack sighed as he contemplated.

Jack: I am sorry ladies, but it looks like we will be going to Zakar. I am guessing we will need to help a new heroine defeat her enemies.

Cindy: Great more competition.

Iris: Jack your harem is to large already.

Larissa: Please don't send me away Jack.

Leaha: Jack I can't........please keep me by your side.

Jack: Cut me a break ladies. I need your help to get through this mess. I have a feeling this will be even worse than our last missions.

Larissa: Worse than a Demon King?

Cindy: Worse than a Dark Mage?

Iris: Worse than a Galactic Emperor?

Leaha: Worse than a Godly Beast?

Jack: Yeah.........(looking at the Being) ....... After this we need a break okay?

Being: I will see what I can do.

Jack then sighed as the being opened a portal and they walked through it.

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