WA Delegate: The Confederate Empire of Sheng China (elected )
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Regional Power: Moderate
Today's World Census Report
The Most Stationary in Asiana
Long-term World Census surveillance revealed which nations have been resident in their current region for the longest time.
As a region, Asiana is ranked 5,881st in the world for Most Stationary.
|1.||The Holy Empire of Greater Corea||Democratic Socialists||“All Hail Corea! (대한제국 을 위하여!)”|
|2.||The Confederate Empire of Sheng China||Mother Knows Best State||“大皇后万岁，大帝国万岁”|
|3.||The Republic of Roman Hibernia||Scandinavian Liberal Paradise||“Aequitas, Clementia, Pietas.”|
|4.||The Democratic Republic of Tokora||Democratic Socialists||“Free of blood!”|
|5.||The Most Serene Imperial State of Yaosai City||Father Knows Best State||“Dakiro Shall Survive!”|
|6.||The Federation of The Democratic States of Ablya||Inoffensive Centrist Democracy||“Let justice be done, though the Heavens Fall”|
|7.||The Stratocratic Empire of Greater Polaris||Father Knows Best State||“There are Strong, There are Weak but Nothing is Static”|
|8.||The Empire of Japan Airlines||Father Knows Best State||“Tokyo to Sydney”|
|9.||The Republic of Theodossia||New York Times Democracy||“We Will Endure”|
|10.||The Khanate of Tsaire||Father Knows Best State||“Where We Will We'll Roam”|
- : Outpost crimson ceased to exist.
- : Arstris ceased to exist.
- : The Confederate Empire of Sheng China updated the World Factbook entry.
- : Karlsreich ceased to exist.
- : The Federation of The Democratic States of Ablya updated the World Factbook entry.
- : The Confederate Empire of Sheng China updated the World Factbook entry.
- : The Community of Asiana Crier arrived from The East Pacific.
- : The Stratocratic Empire of Greater Polaris created a new regional poll: "Time Passage in Asiana".
- : The United Empire of Argent changed the regional password.
- : The Empire of Wril arrived from The East Pacific.
Asiana Regional Message Board
Over the Skies of Argent Crimea
The group of three Polarian airships floated gently over the European continent, slowly starting to descend from their cruising altitude as they were about to enter Argent airspace. The bridge was filled with its unique hum and tapping of keyboards and displays, bridge officers ready to call into the Argent air authorities, though the Captain and Detachment Commander would be required for authorization of such. A floor below the bridge in a room that had just as many windows, was the officer's lounge, of which was occupied by the Captain of the Morningstar and the Detachment Commander, in this case, a Major General. The Major General's officer cap rested on top of his face as he sat back on the long and curved couch that followed the round coffee table in front of it, of which held two cups of dark bean soup for the two men, with a somewhat suspect bottle of Polarian Rye next to time, though it was empty and must probably be a display object. The two officers had been playing Gin Rummy long into the night, cards spread across the table with Polarian Standards being exchanged, though no amount too valuable was bet, there was always some amount per tradition.
With a brisk movement, the door to the medium-sized officer's lounge clicked and swished open to show Lieutenant-Colonel Reed and Chief Warrant Officer Whitehall standing in full uniform, prim and proper as the two other officers brought their gaze to them. With a gentle brush of his hand, Aurelio Holt's cap was back where it should be, a incredibly powerful and proper expression on his face even though he'd been sleeping just a moment ago, while the Captain shook himself awake quite visually, it was obvious who was more graceful in their position. Aurelio had his mouth open and talking, with his feet on the floor and walking before his subordinates said anything, "It's time for the arrival then! Come along Dewitt, it IS your ship," and with a roll of his eyes, the airship Captain's adjusted his hat and stood up, his pockets much lighter as all the pocket change had been so generously taken up as a burden to Major General Holt.
With a brisk chat between the lounge and the bridge, the group quickly found themselves at the communications center of the bridge, near the very front and center of the room. A tentative press and a thumbs up from the communications officer later, and the Detachment Commander Aurelio Holt pressed down on the AIR-stat radio button, with a brisk, "This is Major General Aurelio Holt, representing a detachment of three Polarian airships of the Polaris Airborne Navy, requesting docking directives and locations for predetermined landing zone."
Prince Wei would settle into his seat with a warm and relaxed smile on his lips hearing what Owen's intentions for Ablya. "I'm glad and relieved to hear it, Mr President. Honesty like this will make our relationship transparent and grow ever stronger."
Wei's smile brightened with Owen's agreement over the investment into Jin Sheng, but it was Guo Jian that sat forward with a brimming smile. "That is marvelous! I don't think that you understand how much this will help. Although we have the economy kick started and running, foreign investment will really aid us in increasing growth. And with the economy running strong we can really get all the people in Jin Sheng on their feet and prospering. We've been having trouble getting homeland businesses and corporations to expand into Jin Sheng. They see it as too much of a risk." Guo Jian scoffs at his own comment as he shakes his head in exasperated disbelief, "Though in reality it is their racial bias against the Choson in the region I think is what is really holding them back." He lets out a short sigh to relax himself before returning to the subject, "But Clibanarius Incorporated you say? Please let them know of our intentions right away. We would be happy to sit down with them to negotiate their entry into the Jin Sheng market."
They would then listen as Owens recanted his lesson from facing against the Konstantinyans. Wei nodded in understanding of the Ablyan nations reconsideration of foreign policy in the aftermath of such war. "War and its tendency to bring one to the edge of the abyss into oblivion has a rather sobering effect on people. Though unfortunate that you were pushed to the that brink, it does gladen me that your government and people now prefer peace and diplomacy over destruction and power." Prince Wei commends President Owens.
The Prince would knit is brow as the name of the Uricry was brought up. "The Uricry are a group of grave concern. The aggressiveness of their militaristic imperialism puts even the likes of the Sheng and the Choson to shame. Unfortunately they are not unique. Their methods are unique in this day of age thats for sure, but their culture is not. It is actors like that who put this world in threat. An element that I am trying to counter in Sheng."
Prince Wei nods his head as another smile surfaces, "You know what? I agree. Enough of politics. All I seem to talk about is politics. I would be happy to chat with you, Mr President."
Guo Jian chuckles as he is quick to sit forward again and refill his cup with wine, "Chat? Let's not be so stuffy, my Prince. I think it's time to celebrate! Let's drink!" He then pours more wine into Prince Wei's cup and offers it to him. He brandishes his most charming toothy smile at the Prince.
Wei can't help but to smile a smile that actually shows his pearly white teeth; a rarity for him. He reaches forward and takes his cup from Jian with a soft chuckle. He brings it to his lips where he stops and takes a small whiff of the aromatic beverage. Pleased with it, as if it is lifting his spirits and loosening his tight muscles already, he takes a long sip.
Pulling it away, the wine leaves a red line along his lips which Wei is quick to wipe away with a near napkin. He continues smiling however as Jian laughs with a bright smile and downs his own wine. Jian then fills his cup again and that of Sun Luban's and all the others at the table. He carefully pushes each cup toward their owner so not to spill but firmly to insist that all should start drinking.
"Now about me?" Prince Wei returns to Owens' question, "Well let's see, my favorite food? I have two. One is Dàzhǔ gānsī and the other is Dézhōu Wǔxiāng Tuōgǔ Pá Jī." Prince Wei laughs with the last one. "Which is a fancy way of saying 'boneless braised chicken'. Dàzhǔ gānsī however is a like a big soup of chicken broth, tofu, and several meats. Both very tasty. Full of flavor."
"I was born in the Imperial Palace of Chang'an; the secondary capital of Sheng and my mother's former fief when she was Grand Princess." He explained as he enjoyed another long sip of his wine. He grows a little more somber with the next subject, "Despite being an Imperial Prince, and the Grand Prince at that, I have seen quite a lot of war. I have served in several campaigns for the Empire including: in the Middle East, Central Asia, Africa, and some in the Americas. I was the primary general in the suppression of the Indian Rebellion."
Wei sighs heavily as his finger circles the cups rim, "I have seen a great lot of the destruction that war brings. I have toppled nations, decimated cities, and broken communities. I have seen the terrible cost of war and I don't like it." He chuckles but it sounds more like a scoff, "Many say I am too young and inexperienced to be war weary. And they may be right, but nonetheless I will bring about peace where I can so as to not see the horrors that I have suffered onto other peoples."
Jian is quick to start filling Wei's cup again, "Come now, your majesty. 3 drink Wei is no fun." He is quick to break the mounting tension and somberness that Wei was emitting. "Tell us all what I gave you for your birthday earlier this year. I am sure that President Owens would like to hear it."
Wei's face lit up with the suggestion after he had taken a careful sip of his wine, "Oh yes! My dear Jian gave me the most adorable Shar Pei puppy. I named him, Xiao Jun; which means Little Lord. I love him!" Wei swoons happily back to his cheerier self which relieves Jian who takes a sip from his drink again.
"So that is a little about me, tell me more about yourself, President Owens. And you as well Admiral Jaden." Wei asks as he pulls himself to the edge of his seat to look more intently at Owens and Jaden.
Sahjhan straightened his back and stretched his neck as he listened to the insolent man standing in front of him that would offer such terms. When the Kazakh finished speaking, Sahjhan's own brow was arched high in skepticism to what he just heard. He ran his thumb against the shaft of his great spear as he considered Ghazan's words.
After a few moments, Sahjhan looked around him with a considering look on his face. He looked at the army in the distance, the land around them, and then at the wall behind them. Then he landed his eyes on Prince Tuzniq.
"Well, Tuzniq, what do you think of the man's words." The red headed prince asked his stalwert friend.
Tuzniq looked at the man in front of him, sizing Ghazan up. Then his eyes shifted to the army at Ghazan's back before finally returning to Sahjhan's. "I think they're shiet." Then the stone started to crack as a snicker tugged at the corner of his lips before it became a full chuckle. Tuzniq's chuckles were quickly followed by Sahjhan's laughter.
The two men stood laughing with each other for several moments before Sahjhan took a deep breath and returned his attention to Ghazan. "There you have it, Ghazan of Chimkent. Your words are of as much value to us as the metaphorical excrement of your mechanical horses."
Sahjhan picked up his heavy spear and rammed the butt into the ground assertively, "This city is under the authority of the Confederate Principalities of Turokhan, Grand Prince Basil II, and myself." He declares lifting his three crescent bladed spear towards the Kazakh man. "Tell your bloated overlord to remove his blubberous carcass off my land. Or you will all die here."
Kerch Governor's Mansion
In what has become command central for the forward command observing the situation in Caucasia, a rustle and bustle of activity streams around the large room. What was once the large personal office of the governor of the city, has had its high quality wooden furniture and valuable other amenities pushed against the walls to make way for the various officers and staff to walk freely to different stations of computers, communications, and various other screens.
At the far back of the room remains the intricately carved antique mahogany desk and tall leather chair of the governors'. However, it is not the governor that occupies the chair or is the one with their boots on the desk crossed. The man lounging in the chair, stretching his tall lanky body in a position that honestly did not look that comfortable, seemed to be dozing lightly with his burgundy wide brim fedora pulled down over his eyes. The fedora matched the dark burgundy color of his three piece suit. The lapels, trims, and buttons all black with a white dress shirt that sported a black paisley tie.
A young member of the staff cautiously approached the man at the desk. He held in his hand a paper that had just been run off from the printer with the report of the approaching Polarian ships. He stepped forward carefully before gently asking, "Director?" With no response the man stepped forward more and a little louder, "Director Draculesti?" He waited and the man still did not stir. The staffer drew even closer, standing next to the dozing man and lowered his head slightly. "Director Dracul..." He squeaked frantically when very suddenly a hand grabbed the staffer by the tie and brought him down forcibly to face the man in the chair.
The Director raised his fedora and rested it on its proper spot on the crown of his head. He let out a sigh as he starred sharply into the eyes of the staffer with his fiery amber eyes. "What have I told you people about disturbing me?" He said drly but with undertones of irritation.
"Only if the place is on fire? And even then it would have to be really on fire?" The staffer was able to stammer out.
Director Draculesti hummed with a nod, "And is this shiet hole on fire?" With venom in his words growing.
"No, sir?" The staffer finally said to only be rewarded with a tightening of the tie around his neck as Draculesti's other hand found the back of the tie to begin pulling on. "But!" He sputtered frantically, "Word from the capital! The Polarians are arriving." He said trying to direct Draculesti's attention to the paper in his hand.
The Director eyed the paper and could see that what the staffer was saying was true. Draculesti then smirked and then released the struggling staffer. "You should have said that in the first place." With warmth and charm now oozing from his words.
Draculesti stood from the desk and pulled on his suit vest and then jacket to smooth the wrinkles. "Let's head to the airport!" He announced and made for the door. Throwing his floor length overcoat over his shoulders.
The dark overcast that hangs above the city of Kerch makes the blinking lights of the Air Traffic Control tower stand out brightly. The stirring wind of the looming storm causes the scattered leaves and dust to dance across the runways. The tower personnel hear the incoming transmission. Despite their being informed well ahead of time of the approaching Polarians, the personnel were still surprised to hear something other than Argentian military air traffic come over through the speakers.
The lead officer at the tower took the microphone and pressed the button to speak into it, "Major General Holt, this is Kerch ATC. Airship landing pylons 4, 5, and 6 have been made available for your arrival. Approach from the north. An escort of two airship destroyers and their helicopter contingents will meet and guide you directly to the docking area."
As the ATC officer finished, the group he spoke of will have approached the Polarian ships. They will about face and lead the Polarian ships, giving them plenty of room by keeping an open formation.
On approach to the docking pylons, the Polarians will see the sight of the large military airport. Airships and planes moving in and out of the area in synchronization. Trucks move with both material and personnel loads. Soldiers march in their drills or can be seen marching on and off ramps of troop ships or landed airships themselves. Dozens of warehouses shelter mountains of various supplies. Along the boundary of the airport and intermittently on the grounds, anti-air cannons are visible as are patrolling tanks.
Waiting on the tarmac stood Director Draculesti with his hands behind his back and his cape acting overcoat fluttering in the wind. A toothy smill on his face as he watched the Polarian ships approach the airport. Behind him stood several Argentian officers and staffers in their weather overcoats at attention; wishing that the Director did not have a love for stormy weather.
Above Kerch Airport, the Morningstar Bridge
The Major General pulled his finger away from the microphone key, sighing pleasantly as he heard the quick reply from the Argentian air traffic control. He crossed his arms casually as his next exhalation gave out a sigh of light annoyance as he then spoke, "Mm... we'll be meeting... Director Draculesti, of which their title basically rivals either a... viceroy or high level bureaucrat? I personally know nothing about Argentian culture so if shaking someone's hand will start a war, please ensure you either tell me before, or ensure I am evacuated for the bombs drop on the ships," though his voice had sarcasm in it, he seemed awfully worried that there would be a incredible amount of bureaucracy before they could start liberating people. Polarians love moderate amounts of bureaucracy really, though most commanders and ambassadors fear kafkaesque foreign bureaucracy in any form, maybe it is the light xenophobia ingrained in their culture, or refusal to change from the standard CANAO forms that military officers hate the least, it's a weird type of love/hate. "No matter, I'll be in the officer's lounge shining my boots until we touch down, try not to crash the ship Dewitt," Aurelio was incredibly snarky with the Captain, and while they were friends to a degree, Dewitt responded with a steely gaze that said, 'I swear to Lucifer themselves that I will throw you off the side," but non-verbally of course, faces can't speak, mouths do, and Dewitt's mouth didn't move.
Holt didn't have to worry about the docking procedure or open formations, that was the Air Fleet's shtick and he was busy shining his boots, well, busy attempting to. To be honest, Holt had his feet up on the table, trying to lean forward from a somewhat far back couch, and eventually Chief Warrant Officer Whitehall 'took pity' on him as he posed with his hand on forehead, like a damsel in distress, "Oh, how I couldn't survive without my support staff...." though his other entourage member, Lieutenant-Colonel Reed rolled his eyes very visibly. Warrant Officers, while varied in Polarian hierarchy with many uses and specializations, it has often been called, 'the Commissioned Officers Babysitting Corps' by literally any other soldier due to the fact that most Warrant Officers are a side-grade to Commissioned Officers, like a civil servant assistant to a elected politician.
Some of the background about Aurelio Holt is that he has a somewhat shaky reputation within the Polarian Army itself, though stories of him are hushed and shared as inside jokes with little to no evidence of the consequences of his attitude available to the international stage, as Polaris rarely lets citizens emigrate without reason, let alone military members. Some believe he is incredibly cruel and sadistic in battle, or perhaps heavily hedonistic in his personal life, maybe a organizer of several orgies? Differing sexuality, BDSM, natural drugs and all sorts of things called 'debauchery' by other cultures are completely accepted in Polaris, though most people even of the Satanic Pantheon stress moderation, especially in the military. Really, no one actually knows what he is involved in, nor has directly addressed it for fear of the most common nickname and persona given to him, that being 'the devil himself' in avatar form, due to the fact that it is widely speculated that he attempts to indulge in all Seven Deadly Sins as often as he can, in small ways; additionally this comes from his mysterious nature. Being a Satanic nation, this persona slash term given to him is more neutral than one would expect, with many being given this nickname in the culture, and it somewhat translates to him being 'a simple man that likes to indulge himself' for the best case scenario, while worst case, is well, worst case. The latter-most theory of Holt is the most likely thing to be known about him outside of Polaris if anyone were to look into him extensively, officially though, he's a fine and effective officer of the Polarian Army, gentleman and honourable ladies man.
After Landing, Kerch Airport, Airship Docking Areas
Heavy metals cables are swaying in the picking up wind of the local area, landing gear of the airships were still hissing as they ever so slowly lowered themselves onto the concrete below. The Morningstar had landed at the very front,with the two transport airships roughly one-hundred or so meters behind it, as the unloading ramps for the Morningstar was on it's stern, while the transports had them on their front, making the area between the airships an unloading nexus, though none of the ramps had fully gone down, due to the landing gear still lowering. The Officer's gangway down to the welcoming party from Argent however, was completely ready, with Holt and his entourage in tow, of course. He had more than the Lieutenant-Colonel and Chief Warrant Officer, though the others were his subordinate's subordinates for the most part. The ramp they came down was lined with durable red carpet, not too fine, though not cheap persay, and the Major General's boots could probably blind someone with the right sun light, though the overcast didn't allow such a thing, not to mention all of the Polarian officers were wearing their belted overcoats.
As the Major General saw the Director standing quite solidly next to the officers, a gentle smile came across his lips just before the two could really see each other's face. Holt seemed a bit more enthusiastic than earlier when he was in the bridge as he finally stepped down from the gangway, uniform prim and proper, sidearm on a thigh holster, Polarian battle rapier in a belt sheath with his short officer's cape flapping behind him. He seemed rather forward as he reached out for a left handed handshake, traditional in Polaris military interactions, "It is a pleasure to meet you Director Draculesti, I do hope that I pronounced that right, our tongue might come from the same origin, but we certainly did nurture it quite different over so many centuries," his hand was firm as ever in the shake, doing so for but a moment before his arms were behind his back, somewhat at-ease as he continued to speak, somewhat loudly as the sound of tank tracks hitting the tarmac finally came, in mass amounts as well. "I'm rather eager to lead my troops into combat, we've most of our equipment ready, having set it up as we were approaching the airport, mind you all the munitions still need allocation and such.... I believe Major Callahan lost a key or two, but that's why statistics exist so we see these things coming," he lightly rolled his eyes when he mentioned Major Callahan, gently chuckling as he laid on the charm and somewhat formal 'buddy-buddy' attitude.
Holt swiftly looked around the base as he might have waited for the response of the Director if it came, then spoke again in a precise manner, "Of course, before anything, we need to establish oversight of our issue to the East, coordinate any escort forces and provide logistical support, we've plenty of Polarian-specific munitions to go around with spare transports sitting around in Regalia, though my detachment is certainly interested in the Argentian military cuisine," he tilted his head slightly as he spoke, seeming quite animated as he kept going on, "The favorite MRE among the ranks seems to be the meatloaf with a side of garlic mashed potatoes, though personally anything that doesn't taste like the same five pastas with slightly different flavours is pretty good."
"Finally, whatever information you can provide on the Tsaire's numbers, equipment and technology is most appreciated, and since we are fighting in the interest of the Argent Empire, rules of engagement must be agreed upon. Mind you, Polarian intelligence has it's own sense of the scope of battle before us, you can never beat a squad with cameras and binoculars sometimes," he spoke briskly and like a hot knife through butter, though his dialogue seemed done for the moment as he let the Director respond.
Draculesti stood before the Polarian entourage unmoving from his original pose as he watched them disembark from behind his yellow tinted classic goggle sided sunglasses. His hands behind his back, standing tall with his hands behind his back. His only movement was to take and reciprocate the Major General's handshake before returning his hand to its place behind him. He nodded along as Holt spoke. The whole time he did not break his cheshire smile.
When Holt finished speaking, Draculesti remained unmoving and still sporting his wide grin without speaking. A tick later and the Director started a throaty chuckle, breaking the moment of awkward quiet.
Draculesti then sighed which broke the chuckle. He took his sunglasses from his face and produced a cloth from his pocket. Wiping the yellow glass with the cloth, his amber eyes flicking up to look at the Major General through his eyelashes, Draculesti speaks with his rough suave voice, "You're a bit of a talker. I wasn't expecting that seeing you traipse down that ramp. With those boots no less." He shrugs his shoulders "Guess I shouldn't be surprised actually. I was spectating the meeting between your Emperor and mine." Satisfied that the glasses were now clean to his standard, he pocketed the cloth and replaced the sunglasses on his face. "Now he is a bit of a chatter." He notes with his wide grin returning.
"Anyway, let's see if I can answer everything for you." His arms cross as he begins which lets the bottom of his overcoat flap with the breeze, "You are free to all and any arms and munitions within the Imperial Army. Should you require more Polarian specific arms and munitions, further Polarian ships have been granted clearance to land here in Kerch to supply your forces."
The Director unfolds one of his arms to gesture to the line of jets and helicopters off in the near distance in standby, "We will be providing you with air-support; recon, supply drops, and air supremacy. Everything short of actually dropping bombs or firing a bullet." He then gestures in another direction to show a line of armored transport trucks and light jeeps. "On the ground we will be doing the same. Recon, intel, supplies, and such. As you may have heard we are restricted from actually firing any weapons per the dribble drooled out from the Imperial Senate. So you will be our guns so to speak."
Draculesti then breaks his statue like stance and begins to walk, bowing slightly and gesturing for the Major General and company to follow him. As they walk his own officers fall in line behind him. Allowing his words to settle in as he had fired them off quite quickly, the Director hails a near loading supply truck. He approaches a container and lifts its top to pull out a sealed plastic bag labeled MRE. Draculesti shows it off to Holt and company, "Personally I am partial to the goulash and jumari which is spiced pork fat. Though the boys and girls in the field these days enjoy a bit more range then when I served." He reads the contents of the bag for a moment before returning his attention to them, "As I'm told they like their snitel and tocana with baclava for dessert. Your soldiers will find Argentian MREs and standard military cuisine focuses on protein and fat vs carbs." He tosses the bag back into the container and leads the group away. They are heading toward the east end of the airfield base.
"The Tsaire, much like their Amisgal sire, sport their intelligent nearly autonomous animal designed mecha mounts as their primary weapons though they are all also armed with assault weapons. Remaining true to the unorthodox manner of these steppes people, their armor and arms range widely between plated kevlar in carbon fiber for light armor to full body armor from out of China and the former Choson. Fortunately, most of their forces are on the former end of the armored spectrum." Draculesti now leads the entourage towards a tall sentry tower. It stands several stories tall with a large anti-air gun sitting on its top. The grounds around it are built up with sandbags and ditches, with two mobile anti-air tank guns flanking either side of the tower.
The Director continues to explain the situation as he walks, "The raucous rabble number has risen to about 50,000 now that purges are going on in Tam Amisgal proper in wake of the uprising. They've collected 15,000 in local slave conscripts however this is nothing more than cannon fodder. So in total they are about 65,000."
They all come to a stop at the side of the road that rings the airbase as a pair of Argentian Sentry Tanks roll by with their foot soldier detachments marching alongside. After they pass Drculesti keeps walking and talking, "As for engagement, your primary role is to destabilize their ability to fight and maintain control over the region. Attacking camps, engaging supply lines, eliminating scouting parties, ambushing warbands, cutting communications, and when called upon you will engage in large scale battles in coordination with the Amisgal and/or the Turoks. You are ordered not to raise any flags after liberating an area, town or city. You are liberators only. Occupation will be left to your Amisgal and Turok allies."
Reaching the tower, Draculesti invites them onto the elevator whos doors opened as they approached. After entering and rising up to the top of the tower they arrive to the observation deck. Looking out into the short distance can be seen the Strait of Kerch, which divides Crimea from Caucasia. Draculesti points to the heavily fortified bridge in the distance and then to its end that disappears into the horizon. "There is the enemy. That 18 kilometer bridge is the only way across. Your first mission is to secure the other end of it and the whole of the Taman Peninsula from the Tsaire."
His wide smile returns as Director Draculesti turns towards Holt, his gravelly voice showing hints of enthusiasm as he now goes on. "I suggest you split your forces, and using the mechanized amphibious assault vehicles at this base and at your disposal, make for a pincer attack. Assaulting Blagoveshchenskaya or Vyshestebliyevskaya on the southern end of peninsula and while simultaneously taking Za Rodinu or Temryuk on the northern side."
The tall man's voice would grow even more animated with a hint of bloodlust, "I would then move inland and west cutting off their communications and silencing their scouts while a bombardment from our side, orchestrated by the assistance of your artillery pieces, would occupy their forces attention in Taman. Under the cover of the bombardement you would then assault their forces from behind, slaughter and destroy them, and secure the bridgehead. Thus allowing your heavy armaments to cross the bridge safely along with maintaining a secured supply line to continue the advance into Caucasia."
Draculesti takes a deep breath and relaxes his shoulders that he found he had tensed up in his enthusiasm. He leans back against the wall next to the elevator door. He produces a lighter and a pack of cigarettes from his pocket. Placing one between his lips, he flicks the lighter ablaze and burns the cigarette alight. He snaps his lighter closed and takes a deep inhale and lets it out a moment later in a great plume from his lips and nostrils like a drake. He a throaty chuckle erupts from the Director again much like earlier with seemingly no source for amusement. "Seems I was the chatty one this time." He continues to chuckle deep in his throat before taking another long drag of the cigarette. "So, Major General, got anything for me? Or should I just point you in the direction and set loose the dogs of war." He grinned again menacingly.
Ghazan isnt surprised by the response. He actually completely expected it. Ghazan still sighs dejectedly; disappointed in the outcome he knew was coming. He announces it as such.
"I gotta say, I am disappointed. My master won't be. But I still am." He rubs at the back of his shaved head to relax the tense muscles at the connection of neck and head. Eyeing a small stone on the ground he kicks it gently. "I was really hoping to avoid a battle."
Ghazan sighs again. He shakes his head as he stands straight and tall. Approaching Sahjhan and Tuzniq, he stops right before them with his hands fisted on resting on his hips. He then rests his right fist over his heart. "It will be an honor and privilege to do battle with such esteemed men as yourselves."
Turning, Ghazan strides to his mecha mount. Putting his foot in the stirrup, he hoists himself up and throws his leg over the other side. "It is my hope that you'll quit the field before it's too late. Would be terrible to die over something as paltry as this seaside town."
Pulling on the reins of the horse mecha, Ghazan leads it to turn around and is followed by his entourage who do exactly the same. As the horses trot along a thought comes to Ghazan. They walk a few yards before Ghazan stops and turns his horse around to look at Sahjhan and Tuzniq again. He calls his men to stop as he trots back closer to the Turoki princes. When he is closer Ghazan leans forward over the horse so that his guard might not hear, "Unless I can convince you to join us instead? You would be richly rewarded. Most importantly you'd be alive! Honor can always be regained later." He asks in a half joking half serious tone.
Sahjhan and Tuzniq look at side eye each other before breaking out into chuckles. Tuzniq breaks the chuckling to speak, "No, Ghazan of Chimkent. We actually have value for our honor. Not that a pack of mutinous cur would get that."
"Something I am told you once had value for before your fall to mutinous cur." Sahjhan quipped with a sly smile. "A man of honor and loyalty. So at least a little bird belonging to the Great Khan told me rather recently." Using his spear, Sahjhan points to a near tree. In the tree sits a great golden eagle. It would be apparent, on closer inspection, that the eagle is in fact a mecha belonging to the Great Khan Batzorig herself.
The redheaded Turoki prince brings the heavy spear down again with a heavy thud. "A hero at the battle of Aktau. Where you fought in the name of the Great Khan. For the 10th time. Now you fight on the behalf of the heavy load over there."
Tuzniq scoffs. Disgusted by Sahjhan's statements. "What leads a man of such esteem to fall so far."
"Into blubber no less?" Sahjhan says with a chuckle. He shakes his head turning to Ghazan. "No, you return to your master, dog. There will be no treachery or dishonor from the Turoks today. Just your continued besmirchment of your own honor and reputation."
Sahjhan then lifts his spear to rest it on his shoulder before turning to walk away. As he passes Tuzniq, the stone faced young prince spits at the ground near Ghazan's mount's feet and turns to follow after Sahjhan. The two men saunter with their heavy weapons on their shoulders and their guards disbaning formation to reenter the city after them.
"Maybe reconsider your position, Ghazan." Sahjhan calls out to him but continues walking away without looking at the Tsaire commander. "There may yet still be a chance for you to redeem your honor. Your true master is of course always...watching." He notes just as the golden eagle mech in the near tree takes flight and soars over their heads. "Watch your step on the way. The floodplain is a muddy mess. Wouldn't want your honor dirtied anymore than it is." Sahjhan and Tuzniq start to boisterous laugh with each other. The great gates of the city then firmly shut behind Sahjhan and Tuzniq with their guard in tail.
Inside the gates
"What do you make of it, Sahjhan." Tuzniq asks as he hands over his great axe to two servants. He then proceeds to stretch his arms and rub his shoulder where the axe had been resting.
Sahjhan also hands his spear off to servants that approach him. They hand him a damp cloth which he uses to dust his hands and wipe his face, "They have numbers and mechs. That is it though. If old Ghazan out there shows anything, is that their camp is deeply divided and only working together out of circumstance."
After wiping down his face and throat with the refreshingly cool cloth he tosses it away and then gently shakes his hands of the droplets of water, "Which leaves their numbers to mean little. Their greatest advantage is still those mechs."
Tuzniq nods his head after having intently watched as Sahjhan wiped his face and especially his sculpted throat. He clears his own throat to joke, "I think they'll be in for a shocking revelation about what their supposed advantage actually amounts to."
Sahjhan chuckles with a sly smile before he purrs out, "Agreed. And they'll be all washed up." He chuckles sinisterly as another servant approaches with his gold and black winged, red crested, black helmet. Before placing the helmet over his head, Sahjhan smiles again. "Now...shall we begin?" He then pulls the helmet on over his head and turns to head to the walls with his servants in tow.
Tuzniq bows his head and receives his own gruesome bear shaped helmet form his own servant. He then loudly announces for the area to hear, "Prepare for battle! All forces prepare for battle!"
Ghazan kept his mouth shut during the tongue lashing he got from the Turok princes. He was glad now that he approached them without his guard. That exchange was a hit to his pride and it really stung. If the camp had heard, or worse if Hayder Khan had heard that, he would be a joke.
When they had turned their backs on him, Ghazan let out a heavy deflating sigh. Shaking his head, he pulled on his mounts reigns to bring it around and trot to his guard. In formation they crossed the plain back to their camp. As if things could not be worse they plain is wet and muddy drenching his mount and his legs. He mutters curses under his breath as they finally break through the mess.
When the group finally trots through the camp of rowdy soldiers, Ghazan makes it to the yurt of Hayder Khan. Dismounting, he hands the reigns to his horse mech off to one of his men. He walks up the stairs to the yurts mobile platform. The Khan's guards stand at attention and nod to Ghazan as he passes them. From inside the large tent Ghazan winces at the sound of whimpers and cries being joined with rough sadistic laughter and grunts. Ghazan sighs again as his stomach twists from the revulsion of knowing what was happening.
Without hesitation he marches up to the gong on the platform that sat just outside the currently closed tent flaps. He ripped the cloth malet from the bewildered attendant and struck the gong. The loud sound and vibration shakes the platform and causes everyone in range to flinch.
After the sound calms an angry shout called from inside the tent, "Who the f*** hit that!"
"Ghazan, returned from Sochi with the response from the Turoks." Ghazan shouted in response. He threw the gong mallet back to the attendant.
Ghazan stood before the tent flap a few tense seconds before the flap opened to reveal the Khan's victims slinking or straight up limping out of the tent. Their skin bruised and their eyes wet. Ghazan pitied the poor things and wished them a quick return to oblivion rather than continue with the abuse they received from the twisted Khan.
"Come!" Came the order from within which Ghazan obeyed. Entering the yurt, Ghazan noticed as the Khan lazily pulled on a robe and threw himself back down into a giant pile of pillows that acted as his bed. "So...what the hell did they say that was so important to interrupt me?"
"I was met by Prince Sahjhan and Prince Tuzniq at the gates of the city." It took a lot of willpower for him to do it, but Ghazan suppressed his smile as he retold what the Turoks had told him, "Prince Sahjhan proclaimed, and I quote, 'Sochi is under the authority of the Confederate Principalities of Turokhan, Grand Prince Basil II, and himself.' He then proceeded to order me to, 'Tell my bloated overlord to remove his blubberous carcass off his land. Or we would all die here.' End paraphrased quote."
Ghazan watched with very great happiness as the Khan's face twitched and grew red with anger; like a giant tomato. He stepped back as the behemoth stood from his sweat and bodily fluid stained nest of pillows.
Hayder bellowed with anger with the sound like an angry bull. "I'll have their heads! I'll make their skulls into athletic cups!" Ghazan swallows a laugh as Hayder nearly trips from getting up. The large man jostles himself upright and charges the the tent flaps. He throws open the tent flaps angrily as he bellows out to all to hear, "Form up! Kill every single one of them! No prisoners!"
Every man within shouting distance was immediately to their feet and running to pass on their khans orders. The camp quickly came to life as man and machine began hurrying to the forward position on the field. Men shouted and cursed as they pulled on their armor and grabbed their weapons. Mecha beasts bellow and roar as they come to life from their sleep modes.
Ghazan steps away from the platform after the rotund khan hurried himself back inside to fit into his armor. He briskly walked to his section of the camp where his own man were waiting. They had already been prepared and only waited for the call to battle and their commander to return to them. When one of his officers approached with a question on his face, Ghazan cut the air with his hand to stop the younger man. "We stay near the center and observe the battle." He ordered which received a firm nod from his men.
The khan's army loosely form into a mass of rowdy soldiers more than an actual battle line. For them though it is a controlled chaos with mixed light infantry and mounted soldiers at the front, the second group consisting of the heavier mounted troops, and the final line being artillery and guard lines.
Hayder Khan sauntered out of his tent in full battle armor with the platform quaking from each fall of his elephant feet. "I want a bloodbath like no other! No quarter! No prisoners! Skull f***'em to death if ya have to!" He yells out to his army. He looks sharply at the next platform that holds a great horn. "Get on with it then!" He orders angrily. By his command, the 3 attending soldiers bows in a rush and return to their posts on the horn. Each soldier takes up a position at a mouthpiece. Together they blow into the mouthpieces which lead into twisting pipes that come together to create the horn. The thunderous long sound of the horn echoes over the everyone. Shaking the entire camp deep to the core.
At the blast of the horn the front group of Hayder's army advances forward with the cheering of its soldiers and the cries of its mech. His soldiers were excited and growing more blood-thirsty with every step that they took into the plains before them. Their eyes firey and bearing down on the walls of Sochi that lay before them.
The march is slow at first; deciding to conserve their energy rather than run straight up to the wall. They march together, hooting and howling. The mounted troops, armed with a variety of rifles, are saddled onto the backs of light swift moving mechs such as horses and sable antelope. Lumbering along with the light troops are 6 elephant mechs built with ladders and outfitted to work as like siege towers. Other mounted men ride on the backs of lion and tiger mechs that slink through the crowds. On the perimeter of the army group is a line of a hundred buffalo acting like an advancing shieldwall.
After they trudge across the wetness of the flood plain, the group breaks free and begins to pick up pace as they march on the wall. As they double timed onto the city the artillery guns at the rear of the army began to fire on the walls. Several shots coming short of the wall and blowing dirt and dust into the air. The next volley of fire closing in on their intended target with a stray shock even finding home against the wall.
Hayder Khan watched with glee as his forces swarmed like locust towards the city. He spied Ghazan from the corner of his eye as the older man approaches the mobile yurt with his soldiers. "Getn to old to fight, Ghazan?" Hayder chortled.
"My Khan, if I did not stay here you would be left unguarded." Ghazan informed Hayder; gesturing to the empty camp around them. "And yes, my knees could use a break too."
Hayder took a moment to look around him and noticed that he was indeed alone in the camp with nothing but his own guardsman. He returned to Ghazan and nodded, "Fair enough. Not that I'd need it, but s*** happens." The mountain of a man then whistled to attedants that stood near the tent who then brought forward his command chair. He dropped himself down into the chair much to the piece of furniture's distress. Looking at Ghazan when he was comfortable he chuckled and pointed to his tree trunk thick legs, "Knees!" And chuckled more as he looked out to see the war unfold. As he chuckled a crew of attendants approached with several trollies of foods and wines which Hayder began picking through and shoving into his gullet.
Ghazan sighed heavily in disgust seeing the display. He looked away to field to see the army line reaching the walls of the city. Sighing heavily again with Sahjhan and Tuzniq's words running in his head.