Friday, 21 February 2014

Council of Seven Information Services (C.o.S.I.S.) - N



Nameless Spawn MVP, Nameless TheNameless Bloodsucker, Nastanza - Twilight Huntress, Nem-Rath, Nexus Psi, Nightshade MVP, Number 88.

KEY - Deadzone, DreadballDreadball Xtreme.

Nameless Spawn MVP.

Impossibly old, Nameless Spawns are simply hulking masses of scales and tentacles that are well adapted to play DreadBall, so much so that those cunning (and some what brave) mercenaries that are able to capture one have made a small fortune by selling them on to a DreadBall team. The creature known as the Nameless Spawn is the ultimate defence against enemy Strikers, an absolute monster of a Guard with almost as many kills as he has tentacles!

On the pitch, the Spawn is able to catch the ball with a scaly webbed hand and can entangle its victims with its mass of tentacles - there is a 66% percent chance of death by suffocation when a Nameless Spawn is on the pitch.

Nameless, The.

From their appearance it would seem that these close relatives of the famous MVP John Doe are, in fact, several related races rather than one. Or, if not that, several races that come from the same planet. Apart from the tentacles, the biggest clue is the similarly unintelligible babbling screeches and clicks which pass for language and which defy even the most advanced computerised interpretation. Luckily, a few Argolian specialists (of the 4th Grade and above) can understand enough of this speech to act as go-betweens, which is how the Corporation learned of their passionate enthusiasm for DreadBall.

The Nameless Confederation is home to many related species living in harmony. The Ancients reflect this in their playing style, each player working closely with his team-mates to achieve victory. The first of these teams was simply called the Nameless, and it’s a term that often gets used as a catch-all term for all three races. Other team names focus on their suspected origins, or their many tentacles.

Ever since John Doe first stepped into an arena, DreadBall fans have been crying out for more Nameless teams. Sure enough, more are arriving every season, and are fitting in just great!

Nameless Bloodsucker.

Registered Nameless teams have become incredibly popular in DGB-sanctioned arenas, but the Yxaal are notably absent from their ranks. This is most likely due to their horrifying habit of snatching victims up into their tentacled mouthpieces and draining the vital fluids from their bodies. Even DreadBall fans have their limits.

Nastanza, Twilight Huntress.

It is said that if one was to catch a glimpse of Nastanza they would be hollowed out – joyless, emotionless: forever empty.

A solitary figure, she is neither human nor Asterian, more an agent of something altogether more sinister. She is the silent reaper, stalking across the battlefield cloaked behind her camo shield, taking pleasure in the slaughter. She is the invisible executioner, a precision shot and expert head hunter responsible for the murder of countless soldiers.

She is the Twilight Huntress, and where Nastanza walks, only darkness follows. Nastanza is a silent killer, stalking her prey across the battlefield under cover of a camo shield. Her business is death, and her clients pay a handsome fee for her prodigious skills. Where she walks, only darkness follows.

Shuutavar are observers, or "watchers" to translate their name literally. Their role is a passive one of observing the commander and his demeanour in battle. Should he fall in combat they will sometimes step in and take command of the Cyphers themselves, though this is not really their primary aim. Mostly they are interested not in the outcome of the mission as such, but the way in which the commander conducted himself. How did he cope with setbacks, loss, disaster even. These are of more interest than the result itself. Military losses can be replaced and battles re-fought. An individual's road to purity and calm can be set back centuries or stalled forever by a careless response. The Asterian way is a fragile one.

Even among the Shuutavar, Nem-Rath is regarded as being something of a stickler for the traditional. In a position that focuses on maintaining the Asterian way, Nem-Rath is a leading light. He is unflinching in his criticism of those who fail which makes his infrequent praise all the more valuable. His many years of experience and the finest battle gear available make him a formidable warrior in his own right - not that he will be pleased if he has to take part. Ideally his presence should not be felt by either side, save by the Asterian commander who will be hard pressed to avoid the sense that his every move and thought is being scrutinised which, of course, it is.

In the unlucky event of the commander being slain a Shuutavar’s objective changes. Nem-Rath, like any other of his class, will take over the command, completing the mission or recovering resources as he deems appropriate. The commander’s loss is regrettable, but need not be compounded by failure.

Nexus Psi.
Nexus Psi was just another mission.

The keyboard jockeys called this kind of operation RandR – Reclaim and Recover - or sometimes Sweep and Clear if they were feeling particularly aggressive. Here in the strike craft, running through weapon checks one last time as it dropped through the burning atmosphere, the veterans of Strike Team 91-Urilla called it what it was: Search and Destroy.

The briefing had been nothing new. An artefact had been recovered on Nexus Psi, and the fallout hadn’t taken long. Recon had swept the planet and tagged a prime vector, which had been designated their secondary target. Primary was the artefact itself, and tertiary was the retrieval team that had been unlucky enough to dig it up. No one in 91-Urilla entertained the notion that any of them would still be alive. Or human.

Just another mission.

The outposts of Nexus Psi are mostly made up of Habtainers, modular prefabricated buildings which are freighted to new colony worlds in bulk. Their hypertanium and neocrete walls offered some protection against the Plague outbreak, but nowhere near enough. Now these settlements are little more than blasted-out hunting grounds for the warriors fighting over the world’s remains.

Jasper hunkered down, his back against the habtainer wall and pistol fully charged. As he shifted his foot he grimaced as fragments of shattered plexglass crunched softly under his heavy boot. The air was humid and the breeze blowing through the broken window above him brought with it the sharp, acrid taste of chemical death; the Marauder pyro was close.

The wind picked up, carrying with it the distant staccato clatter of small arms fire and Jasper idly brushed away the papers that the cooling air disturbed, scattering them from the desk to drift slowly to the floor. He breathed out and focused. Senses honed from countless skirmishes melded together and his mind sifted through the feedback with lightning speed, dismissing the mundane and irrelevant, searching for the tell.

There. The almost imperceptible hiss of the pyro’s pilot flame, close enough to hear as well as smell now. Jasper grinned. The Orc was outside the window to the right, probably thinking to immolate him within the office building while he cowered inside. Almost close enough… now. Jasper rose from his position, took aim and fired at the point where the Orc head would be with the accuracy and smooth precision of a veteran. His shot burnt its way through the air to slam into the wall the other side of the alleyway and leave a nasty carbon scar, neatly underlining the corporate logo advertising a new energy drink. A fraction of a second later, he registered the pyro’s flame tanks and burner unit abandoned on the alley floor, still turned on, issuing a gentle hiss.

Jasper’s instincts screamed at him but he never saw his killer. The only thing he saw of the instrument of his death was the cold, hard Orc steel which punched out through his rib cage. There were rich pickings to be had in Outpost 7G9 and the Marauders now had the upper hand.

Nightshade MVP.

Rumored to be the child of former Asterian DreadBall star Iga Kizawa – or as some unsavory individuals in the sport claim, a clone of Iga himself – the Striker known only as Nightshade has quietly been making a name for himself over the last couple of cycles – very quietly in fact, as Nightshade is famed for never making a sound.

With a shady past, dubious playing style and a penchant for cheating, Nightshade is aptly named indeed. On the pitch, Nightshade was not initially thought of as the most spectacular of players, and was scathingly described by the DNN reporter Shane McLansky as “ordinary and uninspired”. After Shane’s gruesome kidnapping, torture and execution (still unsolved) there was a perceptible shift in the criticism of Nightshade’s style, and most began to describe it as “inspired” or at least “highly talented”. Nightshade had no comment on this either.

The most iconic thing about Nightshade is his sculpted body suit – custom DreadBall armour around which the air shifts and swirls as it moves. Technicians theorize that there is some kind of anti-matter projector that allows Nightshade to manipulate not just the ball but also his very appearance, making it incredibly difficult for him to be caught.

Sowing confusion and fear in opposing players is his primary tactic. Blackouts in stadiums have been momentarily reported only for the floodlights to burst back into life just at the moment that Nightshade has found himself in the Strike zone, hurling the ball into the Strike hex. Officials have tried to question Nightshade about these “events,” but he refuses to speak of them.

Asterian teams in the league have taken a lot of damaging criticism for Nightshade’s questionably immoral take on the sport and distance themselves from him at every mention. Leading Asterian coaches have said they would refuse his services, no matter how many points he has accumulated in his relatively short career.

Number 88.

He or she (nobody is quite sure) appeared from nowhere, disappears entirely between matches and never gives interviews. This, of course, only makes the fans want to know about Number 88 even more, and the speculation has reached conspiracy theory proportions about where he/ she comes from and what they actually are. Robots, aliens and vat-bred super soldiers all feature heavily among the tabloid sports channels. Nobody knows for sure.

Gmorts Chaotica would like to thank James M Hewitt, Mantic Games, the Quirkworthy Blog, Titan Games and of course the Corporation for their invaluable assistance in the compiling of this encyclopaedia.

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