by Max Barry

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by The 🎺 ʟᴇɢɪᴏɴᴀʀʏ ᴡᴏʀʟᴅ ʀᴇᴘᴜʙʟɪᴄ of Silver Commonwealth. . 231 reads.

ꜱᴄ'ꜱ ꜱᴛᴏʀɪᴇꜱ (ɴᴏɴ-ᴄᴀɴᴏɴ, ꜰᴏʀ ɴᴏᴡ)

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Military stories

(In SC's timeline, IRL politicians are still around, but not in places, where you might expect them, or at not least in positions, where they currently are. For example, Trudeau would most likely never rise to politics in SC's timeline. Also, while Mao got killed in SC's timeline, lately he has been declared as one of the most influential figures for the RNGOC remnants.)


Less modern version

Republican Crusader (Also called as Jacobin Death Squads) is an unit, which appears often in SC's science fiction, mostly about stories, which involve SC to an some extent - either as a background character, or the protagonist. It often operates in universes, where SC's triumph continues, and it goes into space, and often starts to attack capitalist, monarchist, and xeno nations on sight. Its capital is Earth, which has mined out most of its valuable resources, and now serves as an manufacturing, and administrative center, which tries to keep in hold its colonies, which have some resources left. All human cultures have been melded into one over time, and English remains an international language. Sometimes it also appears in a post-apocalyptic setting, either as a mercenary, or a part of the remnants of the government, which try to restore the Commonwealth.

Its weaponry, and equipment might differ from story to story, but it most often is a plasma knife, or a plasma, sci-fi sword, and an automatic laser rifle, and a power armor suit, or heavily modified marine armor, with at least two skulls - indicators, that the army is not ready to show either compassion, or mercy towards enemy. There are various kinds of Republican Crusaders - one is the human variant, and second is a clone - a version similar to the human soldier, but more agile, and way easier to produce in mass numbers. It is mostly used in mass wave attacks. Third variant is a robot/AI soldier - Only non-human sentient lifeform, which is allowed to serve as a Republican Crusader. (Most of other species aren't allowed to serve in the Republican Crusader army. Non-sentient animals are used as an assist sometimes, though) Physically stronger than a human, they are an incredible fighting force, but still vulnerable to EMP attack. Still, there is some kind of a creator-creation bond between SC's human, and robot soldiers. And, although SC doesn't recruit other species in Republican Crusaders, it sometimes uses them as a ''slave army'' of a sort, which's commanders are Republican Crusaders. Still, they are under equipped, and serve more as a cannon fodder. Sometimes, however, humans are conscripted in the ''slave battalions'' as well, and unlike aliens, they have a chance to rise in the ranks, buy their freedom, and eventually become members of Republican Crusaders.

As name implies, their primary targets are monarchist nations, and they are ready to all means, to accomplish their goal. In fact, the war, that they wage, is no more conventional, but rather a war of annihilation. So, although they try diplomacy at first, most often they will pick a violent solution anyways. That said, they will not spare republics either - especially if they have alien population, are capitalistic, and/or democratic. Their hate against xenos is one of the things, which origins are still a mystery. One is clear, however - where there is a Crusader, there's war, and ruins. Those few times, when they meet robots, or other humans, however, they are way more friendly - offer a pact of alliance, and friendship. (And eventual assimilation) However, if refused, Republican Crusaders will attack with the same cruelty, as they would against aliens.

Their training is often described as ''very harsh'', with various extreme locations like ice, and sand deserts, high mountains, or even extreme climate planets. One of the last challenges is usually beating your opponent in a pankration fight - although not necessarily a fight to death, death is not uncommon in those fights. A fully trained Republican Crusader trains for at least 2-3 years. Those, who train less, are often assigned as far-distance aircraft pilots, or an assist force. At first, weapon skills are practiced on animals like ducks, as a training practice, but later - on more dangerous animals. Hunting an one is usually like an initiation ritual. After that, soldiers practice to fight against more sentient opponents - at first, by fighting against captured prisoners of war, or slave laborers, but later - with their own comrades.

Nevada Border War


Nevada Border War
Part of the Collapse of Silver Commonwealth (prelude)


Soldiers from Rockies with gas masks, while preparing a defense position near Davis Creek (Up)Soldiers from Pacifica during the Operation Rapid Lightning (Down)



Date

23 November 2167 - 7 December 2167

Location

Nevada, Mojave, California, Oregon, Arizona

Result

Status quo ante bellum

    * Rockies are forced to pay for the damages of war

    * Turmoil begins in the SC as a whole

    * Trinity signs a pact of alliance with Rockies

    * Central America and Canada tighten the border control on the borders of Greater Baja, and Northwest

    * Small unrest begins in the South


Belligerents

Pacifica

Rockies

Guards of the military base (Eastern Colombia)

Commanders and leaders

Pacifica
President James
Colonel Megan Foster
Colonel Oliver Foster

Rockies
Dictator Lloyd
Commander Edward Simpson
Colonel Martin Carey
Colonel Thomas Gordon
Strategus Drake Hunt

Guards of the military base
Commander Leon Gray

Units involved

Pacifica
Local Forces of Pacifica (Power Armor Knights, Paladins, Elite troopers)

Rockies
Local Forces of Rockies (Regulars, Frumentarii, Shock snipers)

Guards of the military base
Military base local personnel

Strength

Pacifica
30,000

Rockies
300,000

Guards of the military base
50

Casualties and losses

Pacifica
3,654 WiA, 1,095 KiA

Rockies
34,970 WiA, 89,785 KiA

Guards of the military base
0


About 46,500 civilians KiA
More than 23 million dollars destroyed in property

The Nevada Border War (Also called as ''Conflict, which started it all'') was the armed conflict between the Mega-States of Pacifica, and Rockies. The war began with soldiers from the Rockies breaching the border as a preemptive attack. The war was caused by long tension between two megastate leadership, and murder of a local border guard was used as an excuse.

Background

Although Pacifica, and Rockies were equally vile in their ideology, and actions, their mindsets were drastically different - Pacifica traditionally considered itself as a ''beacon of progress'', as it embraced new technologies fast, and had very clever scientists. (How progressive it was socially is a different question, however) It had become so powerful, that it even developed its own power armor, and was an influential player in SC's economy. Silicon Valley was one from the most important points of it.

Rockies, on the other hand, were highly traditional, and had been historically a holdout for the conservative party members. Of course, it had also embraced things such as laser rifles, but it still was skeptical against stimpaks, and put a great emphasis on melee combat - although it was required for all American soldiers, soldiers from Rockies mastered this skill the most, alongside with soldiers from Trinity. Its tech still resembled the weapons used back in 50s in some ways as well.

Due of the extensive technological differences, there was a bitter competition between two sides, and Pacifica's leaders weren't afraid to call leaders of the Rockies as ''primitive barbarians''. Meanwhile, Dictators of Rockies called the leaders of Pacifica as ''cowards''. Not only that, but both sides were starting to feel too narrow in their own territories, and wanted to grab more resources for themselves, and territory as well. Bitter competition was verbal at first, but then it turned violent. It was tried to be solved in fighting in fight tournaments, and war games, but that alone wasn't enough to ease the tension, which threatened to explode at one day.

Course of Events

One of the main turning points was in 10th November, when patrols from Rockies mistook a soldier from Pacifica for a raider, and shot him. Although they apologized later on, Pacifica's leadership was already furious. There were already a few small border incursions at 12th, and 15th November, but they didn't escalate to a border war. However, tensions reached culmination in 23rd November, when soldiers from Rockies crossed the border of Nevada, and pushed into the Mojave desert as well.

First battles

Strategies of both sides were different- Rockies governor prioritized numbers, but Pacifica's soldiers were trained to hold, and push in key positions. So, in some places, soldiers from Rockies met almost no resistance, and even were able to flank a few power armor soldiers, and destroy them. Battles mostly happened in the Californian basin, and desert, as well as in Nevada itself. However, at first days of the conflict, soldiers made a few incursions in Oregon as well. Surprise moment also played a big role, and soldiers were able to march to the Sierra Nevada mountains.

Nuke sites during the war

Although nuke launching sites were located in both regions, they weren't actually controlled by the regional governors, but by the local guards and personnel themselves, and meanwhile Eastern Colmbia's government was trying to handle situation in talks, personnel were told to ''barricade inside the launching sites, and shoot at anyone, who comes without authorization'', as Eastern Colombia's government didn't wanted to see one from the sides using a nuke in the border war.

During the war, both sides mostly avoided the bases with nukes, as no one of them wanted to cause a nuclear war, and they hadn't got time for capturing them, as most of efforts were put into the warfare in Nevada. However, at the end point of war, when Rockies were starting to lose badly, a young, ambitious general got together a group of 400 men, and wanted to assault the nuclear launching site, capture the nuke, and shoot it against the capital of Pacifica, where the Elder James residence was located. Base itself was guarded only by 50 soldiers, but warning shots made the ambitious commander retreat, as he understood, that operation would most likely end in a disaster. Some say, that if the nuke was actually launched at Pacifica's capital, border war would turn into a nuclear one.

Pacifica's counter-offensive in Mojave

However, the deeper troops from Rockies advanced past the borders, the more stretched out they became, and it became hard to secure the supply lines. Also, element of surprise was lost, and Pacifica's local divisions were already preparing to attack the advancing enemy troops in south.

Using the pincer tactic, it was able to perform the same method, that divisions of Rockies performed at beginning - encircling the enemy units. Also, it received a support from better artillery, and using the relatively flat terrain, it was able to push attackers back.

Eventually, forces of Rockies were driven all the way back to Californian border, and troops of Pacifica prepared to wage war again, this time - in Nevada, and Arizona.

At first, this defeat didn't affect soldiers in the central California, as still were facing mostly no opposition until Sierra Nevada. However, they couldn't advance further, as Pacifica's troops guarded the mountain passes, and regulars weren't able to break through them. Eventually, troops were called back, in order to defend from the attacks in south, and north, and they were pushed out from the basin of California.

Push in Oregon, and air battles

In Oregon, things had gone a bit stale- soldiers from Rockies had stopped the offensive, and tried to hold the ground instead. However, reserve forces from the Pacifica - paladins, were able to inflitrate in their camps in night, and used diversions, to weaken the enemy positions there.

At daytime, Paladins attacked the weakened positions, and pushed intruders out of Oregon. In next days, they would cross the border with Nevada, and sow chaos in enemy ranks.

Meanwhile, an another battle was fought in the skies - battle between aviators. At first, bombers from Rockies assisted the soldiers on ground, and helped them to gain some territory in the first days, and helped a bit, when Pacifica started a counter-offensive. However, when Pacifica's vertibirds arrived in battlefield themselves, Rockies quickly lost the fight over the airspace - Pacifica's modern Vertibirds simply were superior, and knocked out slow bombers of the Rockies. Jets from Rockies tried to protect the bombers, but they were also struck down. Airforce of Rockies wasn't that primitive, however.

After victory in airspace, airforce of Pacifica was free to assist its soldiers, and it started to destroy anti-air defenses near the border. It also bombed tanks, and howitzers, so enemy would have less chance to defend back, or destroy the soldiers in power armor. It also kept the enemy planes pinned down, so they couldn't fly out from their airfields.

Crossing of the Colorado river

In order to not let the soldiers regroup, and attack over the border again, Pacifica's leadership decided to cross the Colorado in durable rafts, and strike at the opposite side in coast. Plan was to if not encircle the enemy troops, then at least make them to retreat, so they couldn't mount a good defense.

After crossing the river, army was split into two parts - one chased down the fleeing enemy soldiers, while another one marched to the north, like performing a pincer movement. It was supposed to later connect with the units in the northern Nevada, and complete the encirclement. However, advances were cautious, as Rockies were still strong enough to cut the supply lines off.

Vertibirds also assisted soldiers from the air, and cleared the path for them. They were also used to kill prominent enemy local commanders, and sow chaos within command ranks. Confused, and disorganized, army of Rockies was not a serious fighting force, and an easy prey. Of course, soldiers fought with courage, and bravery, but that wasn't enough, when enemy had better guns...

Operation ''Rapid Lightning''

Meanwhile in the north, war luck was tipping in favor of Pacifica as well. Generals planned a rapid, striking attack at enemy lines. It was supposed to be concentrated against Davis Creek, and Pyramid Lake, as units from Rockies had retreated there after being pushed back by Paladin units from Oregon, and tried to mount defense. Attack was also supposed to cut off a few smaller army groups in the region.

Pincer tactic proved to be successful, and many of the Rockies divisions were encircled, and either killed, or taken as PoWs. After that, road to Vegas was open for the power armored divisions, and they didn't met that much of a resistance. At this point, Rockies had definitely lost the border war.

Last battles, and ceasefire

The last days of the border war were almost completely in favor of the Pacifica. If during the Mojave counter-offensive, soldiers from Rockies at least put up a resistance, then now soldiers in power armor went through their enemy lines like a knife through a hot butter. Rockies were on defensive mode for the last few border war days, and just tried to held out for as long as possible.

After operation ''Rapid Lightning'', and crossing of the Colorado river, Pacifica's soldiers were moving forward like a pincer, and threatened to encircle the troops of Rockies in western parts of Nevada.

At this moment, as a last desperation moment, one from generals had an idea to try to seize nukes from a base, and shoot them at Pacifica. However, most of others were not ready for such a move, and would rather admit their defeat. As previously stated, this plan wasn't successful.

In fears of his soldiers being encircled and destroyed, Llyod called for a ceasefire, and peace talks began in 3rd December. While there were no major clashes during the peacetime, there were minor skirmishes, but those were mostly the Pacifica's soldiers, which pushed soldiers from Rockies back a bit.

Peace treaty was signed in 7th December, with Supercomputer Tom as a mediator. (Live camera) It stated, that ''no sides will lose or gain land, but Rockies will have to repay the damage for destroyed property.''
Aftermath

After the border conflict had ended, no territorial gains were made by both sides. However, Rockies were forced to pay compensation to Pacifica for the losses in war - it was a dent in Rockies economy, and weakened the trust in central ruler. Also, border regions with California were pretty much devastated after the war, due of short, but intense fighting.

Pacifica, on the other hand, was becoming more confident with its capabilities, and started to be more assertive against Tom in Eastern Colombia, as it thought, that ''Eastern Colombia had to side with Pacifica in the border war'', but mostly ignored Tom's attempts of negotiations.

Border war wasn't the culmination of the conflict between Rockies and Pacifica, however. Culmination was a few years later, when SC collapsed as a whole, and so did the complex structure of America's Megastates - SC was reduced to merely a territory in Eastern US, while states themselves were thrown into chaos, and a full blown war followed between Pacifica and Rockies.

Trinity was shocked about the Pacifica's power, and decided to cooperate with Rockies, so it would have better chances of taking it down later on. Most of the other states were less interested about this conflict, however, as they thought, that ''it is just the collapse of the structure, what's coming''. (Except Eastern Colombia, obviously)

Eventually, the amount of uprisings, and wars between members of the SC brought the end to SC as a whole, after it collapsed into a revolt ''10 times worse than Yugoslavia'', as described by the remnants of government a few years later after that.

Later, aftershock waves of the conflict in Rockies even spread as far as Caribbean Isles - socialist revolutionaries in Mexico fled to Cuba after a failed revolt in the Mexico, and successfully managed to take parts of Southern Cuba, and Juventud island. A similar revolt sparked in Haiti as well, and rebels tried to seize Dominican's capital as well, but they were repelled.

Later on, however, Mexican marines were starting to beat revolutionaries back, by performing naval invasions in Southern Cuba's major cities. In Haiti, however, army came all the way from Dominican, and laid siege on Port au Prince. Anyways, on both islands, a lot of blood was spilled.

Official Reactions

Central America, and Canada reacted to the border war with high concern, as there were risks, that violence could spill over to the Northwest, and Greater Baja as well. Luckily, it didn't happen. However, a few years later, as structure started to collapse, violence also spread to the neighbors of Rockies and Pacifica.

South America was mildly concerned about it, just like most of other Commonwealth States, mainly due to the fears, that something similar could happen in their own territory. In fact, some of those Commonwealth States were unstable way before the conflict in Nevada.

Tom commented this conflict with words ''I feel, that power starts to slip out from my hands, and that my dogs aren't listening to my orders anymore.'' The conflict sent an obvious message to the Silver Commonwealth - ''Tom was no more the master, and that his minions don't follow his orders anymore.''


The Great Plains War


The Great Plains War
Part of the Collapse of Silver Commonwealth


A cowboy patrolling in a some town in Missouri (Up), Midwest Tank division in army training polygon during the war (Down)



Date

3 April 2180 - 26 October 2180

Location

Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Minnesota, Nebraska, Iowa

Result

Decisive Lone Star's victory

    * President-Governor of the Midwest gets overthrown by generals

    * Missouri and Kansas are ceded to the Lone Star

    * Thousands of Cowboys arrive from Texas to settle with their cattle in the new farmlands

    * A lot of farmers from Kansas move to the northern territories of Midwest, increasing the burden of the state

    * Conflict with the Southern States and Lone Star starts to brew


    Belligerents

    Midwest
    Midwest

    Lone Star
    Lone Star

    Commanders and leaders

    Midwest

      Harold Curtis ✝
      Uriah Howard
      Ross Dixon
      Maria Owen
      Freddy Hull ✝
      Ewan Lawson
      Sierra Hodge

    Lone Star

      Blake Barrett
      Ryan Brown
      Josh Barker
      Rhys Price

    Units involved

    Midwest

      Farmer state militias
      Midwest Armed Forces

    Lone Star

      Armed Forces of the Lone Star
      Cowboy divisions

    Strength

    Midwest
    590,000

    Lone Star
    300,000

    Casualties and losses

    Midwest
    67,000 WiA, 320,000 KiA

    Lone Star
    45,000 WiA, 55,000 KiA


    345,000 civilian casualties in total
    More than 560 million dollars destroyed in property

    The Great Plains War was the armed conflict between the Lone Star, and Midwest. The war began with the President-Governor of the Lone Star's order to push into the Missouri. The war was caused by extreme drought, Lone Star's needs for more arable land, and expansionism. Failing of the last few structures, which held SC together, sped up the process.

    Background

    Traditionally, relations between Midwest and Lone Star had been neutral, and even positive at times, but they started to worsen during the period of crisis a few years before SC's collapse, where drought hurt Texas a lot, and price of the beef went up, along with deficit of it. Also, population had started to increase dramatically, and new land for farmers was needed - Midwest had large plains, suited for agriculture, and Lone Star wanted to gain them. Besides that, the current President-Governor at the time was more of an expansionist, and less loyal to the SC than his predecessors.

    Cowboys, which ruled Lone Star, were vastly different from 19th century cowboys - they still herded cattle, but their farms also were owned either by state collectives, or state megacorps, their uniforms were different, and they rather functioned like a cossack unit, and a army. Of course, they also had a way stronger weaponry - of course, it was nothing like some of the strongest state units, but it was still a fairly impressive, and strong military. They practiced fighting on a horseback on a rifle - in cases, when cars or tanks would break down, horses could be used to still advance fast. Common cowboy's weaponry in the Great Plains War was a power fist, laser rifle, a few grenades, and a dagger. Some also had a sci-fi mask as well, which provided an info of the battlefield.

    Midwest, on the other hand, placed an emphasis on state farmer militias - of course, it still had regulars, but militias were an integral part of their created regional identity. However, Midwest's army was one of the SC's armies, which had the most poor performance, and although it had relatively advanced equipment as well, some of its weapons were really outdated, and still used metal rounds. They also lacked the overall mobility.

    Just a few months before the collapse of SC, relations between the two states became even more strained, and diplomatic ties disintegrated. Tom tried to mediate the conflict, but argues got worse with every day. It seemed, that war was almost inevitable at one point in the future. Both sides moved their armies closer to their borders. Situation got worse, as SC's states became more assertive, and less willing to follow Tom's orders - tension, which was brewing for years, was about to explode.

    Course of Events

    At first, there were border clashes, just like in case with Nevada border war. However, Lone Star's army had already prepared a detailed battle plan, and had amassed large forces towards the border, especially with Missouri.

    After the first border clashes, Lone Star demanded Midwest to give up Missouri and Kansas, in exchange avoiding the conflict. Despite having worse military, Midwest refused, because it believed, that ''numbers could do the thing'', and didn't wanted to give up the lands, that it considered as its rightful lands.

    Despite the government's preparations months before the war, mobilization of new troops in cities was chaotic, and it took some time from militias in the north to arrive to the battlefield, although they were actually more similar to a weaker form of regular army than a true militia.

    Lone Star's preparations were more calm, and most of the troops were already on the border, when they crossed it in 3rd April.

    Missouri Offensive

    In the first weeks, Lone Star's armies were able to overwhelm the militia forces in Missouri. Sometimes they retreated so slowly, that they were encircled, and destroyed. In just a few days, Lone Star's troops marched into the Springfield, after a short, but bloody battle. Some of the soldiers were in euphoria, and thought, that ''war would be over within a few weeks''. Militias were no match for Lone Star's tanks during the first days, as their resistance was fairly disorganized, and even regulars failed to push the soldiers back.

    However, Lone Star's generals had underestimated their enemies as well - when war continued on for about a month, it became clear, that Midwest soldiers had recovered from the shock, and were putting up a strong resistance. Missouri offensive, which was fast in the war's first days, became a stagnant mess, and was officially ended after about a month. A new phase of war had began - a painful, slow grind.

    Oklahoma push

    Meanwhile in the west, Lone Star had less soldiers, and Midwest divisions were more organized. At the first days, they made a push in Oklahoma as well, and marched close to the border of Texas. In order to prevent that, most professional units from Lone Star were sent to deal with them.

    In following days, after a battle near Elmwood, Midwest troops were kicked out from the red carpet country back over the border. After receiving reinforcements, Lone Star's troops crossed the border, and started offensive in Kansas as well. However, Kansas offensive was slower than Missouri's offensive, because troops experienced a strong resistance at the beginning already, as units regrouped, and stood in defense positions. Also, at the time, Missouri's offensive was starting to slow down as well, and Midwest soldiers held their positions for as long as possible, and retreated, when pressure from enemy soldiers became overwhelming.

    Battle of Topeka

    When Lone Star's armies arrived at the city of Topeka, they met their first serious obstacle - city was heavily fortified, and units were very organized, and had a high morale. However, some of the main commanders still thought, that it will be an easy victory, because so far, Midwest had trouble to defend from attacks.

    First line of the attackers got moved down by Midwest's machine guns. After seeing the failure of frontal attack, generals of Lone Star changed tactics - they tried to encircle the city. However, at night, soldiers from the city sneaked out from their positions, and attacked enemy camps at night. Also, due of Midwest's reinforcements, cowboys weren't able to completely encircle the city.

    After a while, reinforcements managed to encircle attackers themselves, and although they fought hard for a few hours, they ran out of supplies, and were forced to surrender. After the defeat at Topeka, Midwest's armies started to attack Lone Star's troops, and a new phase of war began.

    Midwest's counterattack

    After the victory, Midwest launched a counterattack in Missouri. After the defeat in Topeka, some of the Lone Star's units were on retreat, and were caught off-guard by the offensive wave. Midwest soldiers even recaptured Springfield - just as fast as Lone Star's soldiers had captured it a few months ago.

    At the same time, a separate offensive was launched at Kansas. It was less effective, and although some land was gained, cowboys used the same tactic, as Militia's used in Topeka- fortified in cities, and kept the armies pinned down. Midwest's armies suffered large casualties from Lone Star's traps as well.

    By the end of the month, fuel for both offensives was exhausted, and Lone Star started to slowly push back again. Some of the reconquered towns were lost really quickly, including Springfield once again. After the war, it was in a need of massive rebuilding.

    Battle of Omaha

    Midwest retook Omaha a week before offensive stopped, but Lone Star's soldiers were already moving closer to it. Military commanders ordered militias to harass the soldiers of Lone Star in countryside, but regulars were ordered to fortify the town, and prepare for defense.

    However, Lone Star had already expected such a strategy, and started to shell the city with artillery, and tank fire, and used bombardment tactics as well. Although defenders of Omaha had got anti-air guns as well, it wasn't enough with just them - planes needed to support them, but Lone Star's aviation practically controlled the skies of Omaha at that day, and bombers dealt massive losses to the defenders.

    Met with the massive losses, General of the Army took a drastic decision - he ordered to go out of the positions, and attack the enemy, in an attempt to inflict some losses, and capture its anti-air batteries, in order to use them against Lone Star's airforce. Of course, the decision turned out horribly - at an open field, Midwest's soldiers were easy prey for Lone Star's army. Although they managed to get a few AA guns, a lot of them were killed or wounded. Lone Star's army suffered fewer casualties.

    However, Midwest's army couldn't do very much with the achieved AA guns, as Lone Star started to move forwards. It had to retreat from the city, to avoid complete destruction. Lone Star had achieved a decisive victory.

    Battle of Ogallala

    After the defeat at Omaha, soldier morale fell drastically, and it took some time for commanders to reorganize their morale. One from the most prominent commanders - Harold Curtis, was killed in the battle as well. In battle of Omaha, a large part of the regular army was destroyed as well, and militias couldn't hold off the Lone Star's army, as it started to move forwards again.

    Lone Star's soldiers captured hundreds of towns in their way to Ogallala, and some of the towns simply surrendered, when the troops arrived. All of Missouri and Kansas had fallen, and Lone Star had pushed deep into Nebraska, before being stopped at Ogallala city - General of the Army had assembled a large army near the city, and planned to lure it in a trap.

    When Lone Star's army entered the city, it seemed abandoned at first. However, then the soldiers came out from buildings, and attacked the Lone Star's soldiers with explosives and RPGs. At the same time, a lot of TNT was activated, completely destroying a large part of Lone Star's army in Ogallala. Snipers then started to pick off the soldiers, which survived explosion, before they started to flee. Operation was successful - Midwest suffered minimal losses. However, perhaps then it was already a bit too late.

    Stalemate, and trench warfare

    Although Midwest had won the battle in Ogallala, its armies had suffered so much from casualties and attrition, that victory didn't have a large impact on the war - Midwest was able to push Lone Star's armies back a bit, and after that, war turned into a stalemate.

    During the few next months, most of the fighting was stale - so much, that in some places, even trenches were made. In other places, natural objects, and roads were used as positions to hold the frontline. Armies sometimes made incursions into enemy territory, and night raids, but usually were pushed out, and frontlines returned in pretty much the same position.

    However, it didn't mean, that battles had became less intense - there was intense gunfight in the day, and melee weapon skill became important - many of the soldiers also used sharpened shovels, and other improvised weapons. Grenades also were commonly used for storming the positions.

    Battle of Waterloo

    Stalemate was broken in late august, when Lone Star's troops started to advance again, when their airplanes had gained aerial superiority over the skies. Most of the Midwest airfields were constantly bombarded, and planes couldn't depart from the airbases. Still, anti-air batteries of the Midwest were a headache for Lone Star's airforce, as it wasn't that strong in the first place, and a lot of planes were lost during the conflict.

    Tanks helped a lot in the Lone Star's offensive. However, when they reached the Waterloo, they were destroyed by Midwest's artillery - Waterloo was turned into a stronghold. Bunkers had been built, and lots of barricades as well. Most of buildings were converted to fit for urban warfare, and most of civilians had left already.

    First wave of attackers was repulsed, but second wave was more organized, and powerful. Although many from the attacker soldiers were killed into the streets, defenders weren't completely able to remove them from the city. Tanks weren't that effective in urban terrain, and even when using planes, Waterloo was hard to capture.

    In fact, Battle of Waterloo stopped Lone Star's advance northwards for a while, as it needed to divert resources in order to capture it, and even when it managed to encircle it, it still continued to fight. When the last city defenders finally surrendered, city was in ruins, and Lone Star's armies were exhausted. After the battle, Midwest's partisans harassed enemy units at night, and in combination with attrition, it took weeks for Lone Star to start large advances again.

    March to Minneapolis

    However, after the battle of Waterloo, most of Midwest manpower reserves were depleted as well, and after they had recovered from attrition, Lone Star's armies marched into the Minnesota, with target of reaching Minneapolis. They were constantly ambushed by partisan attacks, and sabotages, but Midwest army didn't dare to face it in open field anymore, as it was severely crippled. Towns received orders to ''barricade in, and try to hold out attacks as long as possible, in order to stop the advance''. Meanwhile, many bridges over the rivers were destroyed, especially while Lone Star's soldiers were marching over them, so they lost equipment and soldiers in the result.

    However, at this point, it wasn't enough to stop Lone Star anymore. in 28th September, Lone Star's troops took Rochester without much of a resistance, and took many more towns in following days, only to discover, that they have been abandoned, and militias have moved towards more defendable positions, and cities.

    In 7th October, a small, regional offensive was launched by Midwest in Nebraska, but it soon was stopped, as it proved to be a disaster - losses were horrendous in offensive's first days already. After then, Midwest continued to fight almost only in defensive mode, and with partisan tactics.

    Howard's operation, and surrender of the Midwest

    One of the generals - Uriah Howard, which was still willing to fight to the last stand, started to perform raids, and diversion attack behind the enemy lines in conquered territories, and harassed cowboy troops as well. He had some successes at the beginning - Lone Star's advance was slowed down, as it had to tighten the grip over its territories, to find the general, and with cooperating with partisans, Uriah waged chaos behind the lines.

    However, in 24th October, his luck ran out - he, along with his regiment, was captured by a military patrol. After the failure of Uriah's operations, both state leaders signed a truce, and started to talk about possible peace. In the next day, a peace treaty was set up - Midwest's unconditional surrender.

    Also, when Uriah was captured, Lone Star was dangerously close to the capital of Midwest - Minneapolis. It was heavily fortified, and would take time to capture, but Midwest's governor didn't wanted to see it being destroyed in warfare - morale was at critical point as well.

    Aftermath

    After the war, Midwest lost a significant amount of farmland during the peace deal, and those farmers, which didn't wanted to comply to the new rule, or were expelled out of their farms by Cowboys, moved towards the North, and this economical pressure crippled Midwest's economy a lot.

    Army of the Midwest was hurt a lot during the war - most of the professional forces were annihilated during the battles, and a lot of militiamen were killed too. After the war, both Great Lakes, and Trinity moved their armies close to the border of Midwest, in preparations to partition it. Midwest knew it, but with weakened army, it couldn't do much against it.

    A lot of the land was ceded to military, and Lone Star's government, which then implemented Cowboy collectives in the newly conquered farmlands. A lot of industry was shifted in favor of cattle.

    Unable to cope with the defeat, former President-Governor of the Midwest committed suicide after being overthrown by generals, which blamed him for loss of the war. Some of the colonels were publicly disgraced, and scapegoats were needed.

    Conscription continued even after the war, as Southern States had brought a massive army down to the borders of Louisiana and Arkansas, armed with powerful laser weaponry, jets, and armor - SC had left a size able chunk of its military stockpile in the Southern States, before it collapsed. Tension remained strong at the border of those two states.

    Official Reactions

    To most of other American factions, defeat of the Midwest went mostly unnoticed, because SC was already in a full-blown chaos back then, and each state was fighting with another one. Ontario condemned the actions of Lone Star, however.

    Template by Frievolk available here

    Ending


    ''Destruction of the Supercomputer Tom, and ''Fort Indestructible'' came as the last straw for the weakened Commonwealth, which was already starting to tear itself apart. Without the leadership, and mediator skills of Tom, the whole system started to crumble down.''

    ''Without the shadow of the Tom, brave Cowboys of the Lone Star formed a mighty empire, which would influence politics for years to come.''

    ''Remnants of the government fled the capital, as chaos started in it, and went to various military bases, in order to plot their Plan B, and try to restore Commonwealth one day.''

    ''New England found itself independent for the first time. The young nation struggled to enforce law and order during the first weeks, as its army, and police was way weaker than SC's main units. It also struggled with controlling its holdings.''

    ''After breaking off from the falling Commonwealth, already fanatical Rockies became more and more savage, as time went on. Eventually, they started to launch raids in their former ally territories, and tried to establish themselves as the dominant force in the region.''

    ''With the collapse of the Commonwealth, Midwest found itself in a tough spot, as the new army was critically weaker than its neighbors, and it mostly just tried to survive for as long as possible. Its economy became even more dependent on grain, as time went on, and crop failures hurt it a lot.''

    ''Trinity signed a trade agreement with both Rockies and Pacifica, and managed to profit from both sides, when they clashed, and in such way, they managed to secure their independence for a long time.''

    ''Pacifica became one of the beacons of technology, and suffered less from chaos than other states. Silicon valley prospered, and minds from all of the Commonwealth tried their fortune there. However, there was always a threat from the more savage Rockies, which sought glory as well.''

    ''Great Lakes were less hurt by the spoils of chaos, and scientists there continued to produce better versions of armor and weapons. Eventually, Great Lakes started to trade with the neighboring communities and countries.''

    ''Dixie, with the weapons in their stockpile, tried to recreate Commonwealth as well, but with them in charge, with limited success. Wars with the Lone Star, and Eastern Colombia eventually started to bleed them dry.''

    ''Remnants of Canadian government fled to the south, and established themselves in Toronto. They were one of the few actual friends of the formerly powerful government, who was now a shadow of itself. However, they didn't wanted to restore the Commonwealth either - they liked their independence as well.''

    ''After Canadian Commonwealth's collapse, Prairies finally got their independence. However, as it turned out, supplying itself without benefits was way harder. It struggled to fight back against the growing raiders in northern territories, and eventually had to abandon the attempts to control forests in the north. Over time, they became a no man's land.''

    ''Using the power vacuum in the Greater North, local Inuits overran the units loyal to the government, and finally declared full independence. The Great Warchief was elected as the first President of the Sovereign Inuit Republic. However, over the years, republic slowly fell apart, due of clan infighting, and bad infrastructure.''

    ''Over the time, Quebec became one of the dominating powers in its region. During the border conflicts, it eventually won control over the Northern Ontario, and fended off remnants of Canadian Enclave. However, at the same time, it couldn't hold to everything, and northern Quebec was abandoned to its own, and eventually it became a breeding ground for raider groups.''

    ''Northwest become an important player in the west coast, after the rise of Cascadian nationalism. While friendly with Pacifica at first, eventually conflicts broke out between the two, and took many lifes in the process. Despite the Alaskan oil resources, and attempts to modernize further, Northwest lost the war, and was forced to pay reparations, also becoming a vassal of Pacifica. Raiders from Bering sea also started to grow in size, and eventually took Attu island as a stronghold.''

    ''Greater Baja remained disadvantaged, and couldn't defend its land from Chihuahua during the Sonora War, and retreated into Baja California Peninsula. Last nail in the coffin came, when Pacifica's Elder declared war, taking Tijuana and Baja's La Paz in less than a year, bringing ruin to those lands. Baja's demise was a thing, about which few leaders cared about.''

    ''At beginning, Tijuana was one of the new, rising powers - successful war against Sonora, and raids in New Mexico brought significant loot, which funded further Chihuahua's campaigns. Once, Chihuahua even captured Mexico City together with Central American forces. However, every victory can't last forever - eventually Lone Star became interested in Coahuila, and launched a surprise attack, devastating Chihuahua's capital. In the following years, Chihuahua lost its power.''

    ''After collapse of Central American Commonwealth, Valley found it difficult to defend itself during the first years, as Tom's supplies made up a big part of its military might. Humiliating sacking of the Mexico City by Central American Army still sat in leader's minds for years. However, it eventually struck back against its enemies, and asserted its position in Central America again.''

    ''By utilizing securitrons at the Panama canal, and playing cards correctly, Central America was able to rise to a status of a strong power in a few years. At its peak, it was finally able to put end to the Darien Gap border wars, by destroying infrastructure behind the lines, and overrunning Gran Colombia's troops. However, when Valley rebuilt its strength, it recaptured Yucatan, and Chiapas states - as it turned out, technology wasn't answer to everything, and sometimes sheer manpower triumphed.''

    ''A wave of instability rose over the Caribbean Federation. In order to avoid complete collapse, Caribbean Isles were split in two parts, similarly to Roman Empire - Westindies Federation in the East, and Greater Cuba in the west. Still, even that couldn't stop the slow crumbling, and eventually both island federations fell prone to invaders - Dixie captured Havana, in an attempt to rebuild its strength after defeat against the government remnants.''

    ''Collapse of the Commonwealth came in wrong time for Antarctica, as it hadn't developed technological, and supply self-sufficiency yet. Soon, communities in Antarctican towns started to die out, due of starvation, and lack of warmth. In Halley Town, a civil war broke out for the last supplies of the food, and electricity. Isolationist faction won, and it sealed itself from the rest of Antarctican towns. At the expense of other communities, and extreme austerity, when it came to food supplies, it managed to survive for a bit longer, as it managed to grow food in its greenhouses. It became the last stronghold of human life on the overall lifeless Antarctican soil, while the rest of communities became abandoned ghost towns, left for snow to be consumed.''

    ''Patagonia tried its best to survive, as it was way weaker militarily than its large neighbor La-Plata. Good rulers ensured stability, and peace for a while, but all things must come to an end - when La Plata started to become hungry for more land, war was declared to Patagonia. Although Mapuches fought valiantly, they were both outgunned, and outnumbered, and their lands were annexed by the rising superpower.''

    ''Greater Guyana found itself as a hostage of its own geopolitical situation - it was trapped between three relatively large countries. Gran Colombia, which was also a rising power in South America, eventually invaded Guyana, At the same time, Brazil also invaded it from the south, putting it in a very uneven fight, and soon situation became hopeless. Later, Gran Colombia drove out Brazilians out of Guyana, mostly thanks to the advanced robotics from its technology institute. Smaller Commonwealth states usually seem to be swallowed first in this new world...''

    ''Andine Confederacy also found itself in a hard position, as ever expanding La Plata wanted more land after conquering Patagonia, and allied itself with Gran Colombia, hoping, that its advanced robotics would save it. Later, large Argentinian army invaded Andine Confederacy, with intent of taking Bolivia. Alliance managed to repel La Plata's armies, but only with heavy losses. In fact, war devastated it so much, that it found it difficult to repair the war casualties. However, at least La Plata's expansionism was stopped - for a while.''

    ''Using the leftover electronics from the robotics institute, and its oil supply reserves, Gran Colombia was quickly able to crank out an army of killer robots, which asserted its position in Southern America. Those robots compensated for the lack of manpower, and proved to be useful in Bolivia, halting off Argentinian armies at mountain passes, while being outnumbered, and warfare in Guyana.''

    ''Although wastly weakened without its southern, and western states, Brazil still proved to be a tough opponent, and didn't go down without a fight in Guyana, and manged to repel La Plata's advance, while being forced to cede territory after the peace deal. Deep in its soldier spirits, there was one dream - reunification of South America under their blue banner.''

    ''La Plata was one of the most successful states, which arose out of SC's corpse - it had a large amount of land, population, resources and industry - a nation destined to rule over the continent. During the next years, it launched various wars of conquest, and militarized heavily, with intent of becoming the ''sole powerhouse in South America''. It gained few, if any friends, as it preferred to mostly intimidate nations with its heavy military might.''

    ''In the power vacuum, that followed after the dissolution of South American Commonwealth, tree, and cattle barons took over the Amazonas region, and installed a corporatocracy, with highly lax labor laws, and bills of incursion into Native territories. That said, it lasted only a few months, before Amazon's inhabitants, thanks to smuggled weapons from abandoned arsenals, and bases there, kicked them out, and declared the State of Amazonas. Overall, it remained non-interventionist in regional matters, and just kept a small sea coast for trade. It preferred to observe the world, rather than to participate in it.''

    ''Following the unrest in South Africa, Pan-Africanist states intervened in the conflict, and declared war to South Africa, and its apartheid. While still having an overall better technology, gap between advancement wasn't so high anymore, and Boer troops were vastly outnumbered. While they achieved victories at first, eventually it became clear, that war was lost, and they fought only to survive for a bit longer. As a last ditch effort, scientists in Namibia launched South Africa's missile arsenal, and WMDs against its enemies. What happened after that is for the most part a big mystery, as a green mist engulfed most of the Cape, and southern Namibia afterwards, and major locations were sealed by blue forcefields. Any attempts to reach them from the outside failed, as soldiers were struck down by ''monsters with ruby red eyes''. Transvaal, Natal, and Orange fell in chaos afterwards.''

    ''Most of Congo's soldiers retreated from Southern Africa, to Angola and Mozambique, and finally - back to the Congo, in order to avoid the hellfire, that Boer missiles unleashed in the frontline. However, automatic aiming systems also targeted major cities behind the frontlines, and vital objects. That was one of the last straws for already weakened Congolese territories, which were starting to suffer from internal tribalism. Not too long after that, Commonwealth of the Congo was dissolved, and various rulers parted their ways. Some tried to restore it to its glory, but with varying success.''

    ''Ethiopia, and the rest of the Horn of Africa continued to stand in face of the impeding threats. Having resisted colonization for so long, they all were sure, that they would be ready to defend their land again, if there was a necessity. Also, they had received better guns, and improved their variants with their own designs, giving them the strength to keep away the raiders. However, guns aren't a key to everything - better infrastructure also helped to maintain larger swathes of land.''

    ''While far from the frontlines, Chad also wasn't spared from the flames of war - a modified, far-distance rocket, filled with chemicals, launched by scientists from the institutes in Namibian deserts, decimated the N'Djamena, making ruins inhospitable for years to come. With it taken out, a lot of the road networks leading to Saharan desert were severed, and eventually it was abandoned by the government, and turned into a no man's land, occasionally a home for Tuareg nomads. Most of the leadership moved down further South, to Lagos, which was a new, rising city, which even the Commonwealth's collapse couldn't stop from growing.''

    ''Egypt-Sudan continued to regulate the trade across the Suez canal, becoming rich from the profits there, despite the fact, that there were less trade ships than in the past. Eventually, it built a considerable army, and attempted to take Libya from Maghreb Federation. While they captured desert territories seemingly easily, actual problem came, when they ran out of supplies, as they overstretched them too thin. Tuareg cavalry attacks also demoralized the army, and eventually it had to stop its war campaign, only gaining some of the Libyan desert, and none of the coast.''

    ''Rulers from Monrovia used the leftovers to further develop the Ivory Coast. Eventually, it even engaged in trade relationships over the Atlantic ocean, exchanging tech, ideas, resources... But still, instability was slowly rising, due of the ethnic tensions. Also, the rain of the far-distance rockets from the far south certainly didn't help, as it decimated some major communities. Still, Liberian army remained one of the strongest armies in Western Africa for years to come.''

    ''Using its phosphate factories as a cover, Maghreb Federation was able to start producing phosphorus weaponry on its own again. Due of its extensive resources of petroleum, it was also able to fuel some of its tanks, and strike back Egypt-Sudan. However, at one point, containing the raiders became very hard, and at first Maghreb hired local Tuareg, and Moor divisions, to protect the terrain, but eventually abandoned most of the desert, only securing the supply routes. Still, cracks in the federation soon became visible.''

    ''Without funding from the Federation's government, the forts on the border of Ural Crossing were soon abandoned, and area became pretty safe to pass again. Siberian robots were able to explore human constructions, and wondered, why they would be so afraid from them. That said, mines, and other automated defense systems still caught some unlucky persons (both humans, and robots) in their claws once in a while. Forts remained as a memory of once tense political situation.''

    ''In the south, unrest was slowly rising, as indigenous peoples, and people around the Trans-Siberian Railway wanted to be more assertive from the robots in the south. Tensions almost turned into a bloody conflict, but issues were able to be negotiated, and in the result, Buryatia gained its independence, as Aykhan didn't wanted to kill the very people, for which he had looked after, and tried to protect all these years. However, without protection from the robot army, Buryatia found itself in a tough spot, as it had to fight off the Mongol raiders for years to come. Eventually, however, the trade through railway started to bring prosperity to the region.''

    ''After the secession of Buryatia, indigenous peoples in the north started to demand sovereignty as well. There, however, the great robot schism happened - Aykhan, and RBHU-3 parted their ways, and RBHU-3 established their own state in Taiga region, along with the rest of followers. Unlike Aykhan, RBHU-3 thought, that ''humans are too stupid to rule over themselves, and need someone to lead them'', and decided to subjugate the indigenous communities. Soon all fires of unrest died down, and robot armies patrolled in the RBHU-3's region, establishing a techno-theocratic dictatorship. From a protector, RBHU-3 had turned in a tyrant.''

    ''Permafrost, and Sector-1 continued to be a shining oasis in overall cold, and hostile Siberian tundra, and dead ice plains. Due of the savings before the collapse, and profiting from natural resources, and robot production, Permafrost suffered from collapse way less. It could be even said, that it opened new opportunities for Aykhan. Under his rule, various science institutes continued to work on better weaponry, and robots. He also put down riots firmly, yet didn't go in excesses, as RBHU-3 did. Technocratic dream was still alive there, and cogwheel - running.''

    ''Finis.''

    Zhong Ru



    The Frontier of Western Manchuria
    Zhong Ru


    Old photo of Zhong from RNGOC's times

    President-Governor of Western Manchuria

    Style

    – Mr. Eminence (Formal)
    – Governor Zhong (In-Formal)

    Reign

    2035 - 2050 (As a monarch), 2051 - (16 years)

    Appointment

    03.03.2030 (As a monarch), 23.07.2051



    Born

    12.03.1991 (a.61)

    Spouse

    Mei Ru (née Ning)

    Issue

    None



    Full Name

    Zhong Bai Ru

    Household

    Ru

    Father

    Jiahao Ru

    Mother

    Nuan Ru (née Ai)



    Education

    Beijing's Officer Academy (Graduate)

    Religion

    Confucianism

    Signature



    Military Service

    Allegiance

    Silver Commonwealth
    Western Manchuria
    SC's China
    RNGOC (Formerly)
    Kingdom of Fengtian (Formerly)

    Service Branch

    2nd Manchurian Division

    Years of Service

    2013-2018

    Rank

    Captain (Last rank)

    ''I renounce all my royal titles, which I have held in the past, and will adopt SC's republicanism. From now on, my first title will be President-Governor, Jiduwei as second, and I will continue to rule with the same iron fist as before.''

    Zhong Ru, after being sworn in office as the President-Governor of Fengtian Republic (Western Manchuria)

    Zhong Ru (Zhong Bai Ru in full name) is a President-Governor of Western Manchuria, former RNGOC's bureaucrat, and a former monarch in Manchuria. While his image is somewhat controversial between his former partners during RNGOC's times, he definitely is one of the most influential post-RNGOC warlords in the territory, and has about 75,000 men big army in his control, along with several advanced tanks, and even his own set of power armor. He currently reigns from Hulunbuir in Western Manchuria, but hopes to return in Harbin one day, and retake the Presidental Palace (Dragon King's Palace in the past).


    Sometimes referred to as ''The Wasteland Monarch'' as well, as he was one of those, who arose out of the chaos of other two superstate collapse, and established their own kingdom, and unlike various royal dynasties like Windsors, they don't have any notable royal traditions. As of now, he plots of how to regain the Eastern part of Manchuria from Manchurian nationalists, and how to turn Manchuria into a future powerhouse - he is ready for all methods, when it comes to it, including authoritarianism, and surveillance.

    Early Life


    Zhong was born in 1991, in the crossroads of millenias, and a period, which overall was a big challenge for all three superpowers - in SC, reformist period was actively going on, but other two superpowers were starting to stagnate. He was born in administrator, and soldier family, so he got the chance to experience both worlds. However, despite his father being a veteran soldier, he liked administrative work more, and although joined an officer academy in Beijing, he was generally turned off by the fanaticism of some soldiers there. Despite that, he still served in the RNGOC's armed forces for about 5 years, and managed to even reach the rank of a Captain - it helped him later on in the life, when he had to assemble a new government. He mostly fought in Manchuria, but was also dislocated in Central Asia once. There, his unit also experienced a gas attack from the Empire's troops.

    Political Career


    As a bureaucrat of Manchuria (2025-2030s?)

    After his service in RNGOC's military, he returned in regional administration in Manchuria. His first important role was being the mayor of Liaoning, but later on, he even participated in RNGOC's party's elections for the role of Manchurian General-Secretary, albeit he lost, mostly due of accusation of having ''little'to no ideological beliefs''. Some say, that Zhong ''saw the writing on the wall a long time ago'', but some believe, that he was still devoted to RNGOC's cause till the very end. Anyways, at one point, it became hard even for him to deny the instability in the region, as Empire's armies started to break the treaty signed after the Great Nuke War many years ago, by advancing way past the disputed zone, as if Empire got desperate.

    He overall disagreed with the fanaticism of many of RNGOC's leaders, and was convinced, that ''reforms were taking way too slow to implement'', and, if compared to some of other RNGOC's administrators, had a more practical plan for the future. Still, he intended to save RNGOC, as he knew, what political chaos can do to a country, and deep in heart, he was still loyal to it, so he tried every possible measure, to keep Manchuria intact, and thriving, and was very disappointed, when RNGOC collapsed. He blames for RNGOC's collapse not only the corrupt bureaucrats, but regional nationalists as well, against which RNGOC's authorities were ''too lenient'' in Zhong's opinion. Some say, that the RNGOC's collapse influenced Zhong's strong anti-nationalist beliefs.

    As a Dragon King (2035-2050)

    After the collapse of RNGOC, Manchuria fell into chaos, as various bandit clans, and cliques started to fight with each other. However, many of the former administrators of the region came together, and re-forged the Fengtian clique (Some of their ancestors also fought for Fengtian during Warlord Era), with its capital in Harbin. Unlike some other government members, Zhong hadn't been passionate about military service in RNGOC, and never served in Fengtian's rank's himself, but he was still picked as leader, as he had more experience with regional administration. He still was one of the main founders of the Fengtian army, by ordering to gather any possible valuable technology left behind by RNGOC, and due of the fact, that Manchuria was one of the most industrialized RNGOC's provinces, it provided to be a good basis for growth. After months of conquering the southern parts of Manchuria, he crowned himself as the ''Dragon King'', and declared the ''Kingdom of Fengtian'', based on the name of a warlord government in Manchuria in 30s. He had a dream to not only reunify RNGOC, but also restore the Qing borders.

    In 2040, his armies managed to capture the borderlands province of Rehe (Jehol), which was contested by his, and the forces of the northern remnants of RNGOC for a long time. (Yiguandao split off from the Blue Shirts Society, and went to the Southern China, as those groups had formed RNGOC's government for a long time. Eventually, Yiguandao submitted to SC's advancing Australasian troops) Inspired by the success, he immediately ordered to repair some of the roads in Jehol for better army movements, and recruited even more soldiers. He later launched a raid to Beijing, in hopes of quickly seizing the power there, and even encircled it, but RNGOC's remnant reinforcements from other provinces managed to break the siege, and surprise moment was lost, so Zhong had only one choice - to retreat. RNGOC's remnants chased his troops as far as Jehol province, and stopped only at the border, where Fengtian's armies could mount a better defense.

    After this failure, Zhong turned his sights to the northern Manchuria, which was taken over by raiders back then. During various campaigns, he was able to cut down on banditry for the most part, and settle a permanent soldier population in the region. However, raiders rarely engaged Fengtian's armies on an open field, but used asymmetrical warfare instead, which drained the Fengtian's resources. Zhong also organized a military expedition to the Amur river, in hopes of establishing Fengtian's rule over the remnants of Vladivostok, but Fengtian's soldiers got massacred by a rogue group of former Empire's soldiers, which were roaming around after Empire's collapse. Normally, Zhong would respond to such move with military force, but keeping order in northern territories cost so much, that Zhong found it easier to abandon his plans. For the rest of his kingdom's life, Zhong fought against the raiders in the north.

    While Zhong wasn't aware of SC's advances at first, the first warning signs were reports of Jucheist army's attack over the border in Manchurian territory - usually The Leader had adopted an isolationist stance, and only attacked, if foreign troops were attacking first, and Zhong had made no provocations before that. Despite that, he was pretty optimistic, and sent out a few of his divisions to deal with invasion from Korea. However, it turned out, that enemy's forces were way bigger than expected, and also had various soldiers, which he had never seen before. However, he recognized a few of them - Japanese, Indonesian, and American troops, which he had fought in the disputed zone. At the battle, his forces were vastly outnumbered, and defeated. Zhong had realized, that SC had arrived, and The Leader had joined them.

    In effort to fight back, Zhong recalled all his armies from Northern Manchuria. However, raider gangs rose up once again, using the lack of presence of Manchurian soldiers in the north. At first, they cut off parts of the railway, which supplied the north, and sacked a fort as a preparation stage. As a next step, they took the control over railway completely, and beseiged the few large cities there. Few remaining soldiers in north, and civilians held out for as long as possible, waiting from supplies from the South, but they never came, as main armies were busy in the Korean front. Raiders eventually overran them, killing a lot of the defenders afterwards. After that, all raider armies grouped together under the leadership of the Bandit King, and started to march to Harbin, with goal of taking the city.

    As a President-Governor of Fengtian (2051)

    At late 2050, SC had taken most of southern Manchuria, including Dailan port, and a lot of Zhong's soldiers were dead, and raiders were at the doorstep of the Harbin, and Dragon's Palace. Zhong sent an ambassador to SC as a last ditch effort to save his men, and land from total destruction. Surprisingly to Zhong, SC accepted his offer of talks, as he was aware of SC's highly anti-monarchist nature. (Probably because it had learned a hard lesson from killing previous warlord monarchs, as such acts often resulted in regional collapse, and return of warlords, meaning, that SC would need to rebuild it from zero once again, and due of SC being overextended, it wanted to avoid it as much as possible.) During the talks, SC's generals offered Zhong to help maintain order in Manchuria, and drive off the raiders, under the condition, that he will become a President-Governor, and will renounce his royal titles. He knew, that SC will probably want something more than just that, but Zhong was basically cornered at this point, so he had no other choice. (Later on, he was allowed to pick a secondary, regional title, though)

    Agreement came in time, as bandits had besieged Harbin, and wanted to assault the Dragon's Palace, and take control. With SC's leader aid, Zhong was able to kick out Raiders from the city, and chase them all the way to northern Manchuria, and restore order in northern railway, and northern cities, and crushed them in a few small battles. Bandit King, along with various other major raider leaders, was killed, and after that, the large gang pretty much disintegrated, and those, who weren't killed, went in underground again. After the event, Dragon's Palace was renamed to Presidental Dragon's Palace by Zhong, and his rule over the entire Manchuria was secured once again. For a while, at least.

    He had expected, that SC would ask for something else as well, but even that came as a shock to him, when SC demanded him to give up eastern parts of Manchuria, in order to connect the Korean, and Amur provinces together by land, but in reality, Onoue Misao (Leader of SC's Japan) wanted to snatch more land for the Ring of Fire. While Zhong protested the decision, SC ruled in favor of Misao, and Eastern Manchuria became a member of Ring of Fire. Manchu nationalists were put in charge in Eastern Manchuria, and they hope to re-vitalize Manchu language by adapting it to Latin script, and employ Natalist policies.

    Zhong retreated to Hulunbuir in the west, and re-connected with the rest of RNGOC's remnants in the north. They too had bitterness left - western, and southern parts of RNGOC were split away from them, laving only Northern China under their control. With their support, Zhong has been rebuilding infrastructure, army, restoring education, and healthcare system, all with one goal - to overcome his rivals in the east, and eventually aim for re-unification. For a while, he considered building a border defense wall, but due of the concerns of his generals of static defense system being ''outdated'', Zhong decided to invest in more mobile defense, and rapid strikes instead, alongside with reassuring the population, and restoring food charity for those in need.

    Ideology



    Political Views

    Despite being quite old already, Zhong rather represents the new generation of bureaucratic intelligentsia - pragmatic, against ideological extremes, yet still remaining authoritarian, supportive of a strongman leader, and with not a particularly strong sense of nationalism. Economically, he remains a skeptic towards capitalism, yet opposes most of communist points as well, like seizing the means of production for the workers, and supports a slight corporatist system.

    On a regional scale, Zhong prefers an unitary government, and envisions future Manchuria as a highly centralized state, as he has seen, what the effects of warlord era were in China, and thinks, that ''decentralization makes government too weak''. He is opposed to world government, but more of practical, than ideological reasons, as he thinks, that ''SC doesn't have enough resources to properly control the world yet, and technology is not advanced enough''.

    On social issues, he is pretty much a social conservative, with emphasis on extended family model, with multiple generations under one roof. He has been impressed by the fact, that even the Megastates have adopted the extended family model. He is also a traditionalist, when it comes to gender roles, and usually looks down on the liberal opposition, but is ready to make a few concessions, in case if he feels, that ''pressure is too high''.

    Policies

    • Peace-time conscription - As Zhong has proclaimed reunification as Western Manchuria's goal, obligatory military service is important for its citizens, as ''every soldier is valuable to him'', according to some of his general words. Training of civilian usage of small firearms has also been commenced.

    • Energy weapon research - After witnessing the destructive power of SC's energy guns at the Battle of Dalian, Zhong ordered to divert money from poison guns to energy guns, as SC's technology had vastly evolved, and Zhong saw the opportunities of the laser rifle force, and more effective microfusion usage in future wars.

    • Selective immigration - Zhong wants to increase opportunities for particularly skilled immigrants from the south, like engineers, scientists, quantum physics, military geniuses, etc, in order to aid him in his quest.

    • Anti-raider campaigns - Although order has been restored in north once again, and most of major bandit leaders have been killed, some of them still dwell in the far north of both Manchurias. There, Zhong has to put his distaste aside, and cooperate with Eastern Manchuria, in order to destroy the remaining bandits there.

    • Surveillance of socialist groups - Despite being in favor of economical regulation, Zhong has deemed those groups as potentially dangerous, and ordered military to keep their activities both within, and outside government in check.

    Pro: Autocracy, paternal conservatism, political pragmatism, bureaucratic control, conservatism, status quo, backstabber politics, Chinese religious philosophies, ''high-standard'' immigration, youth organizations

    Neutral: Rights of small firearms, market socialism, reformism, Christianity, war economy

    Against: ''Benevolent'' dictatorship, nationalism, rights of big firearms, radical republicanism, communism, anarchism, ideological extremists, totalitarianism, minarchism, isolationism

    Religious Views

    While Zhong is a supporter of confucianism, taoism, and other East Asian religious philosophies, he doesn't favor any of them, when it comes to his political decisions. Unlike in some other regions, Zhong is even a bit more atheistic, and opposes further incorporation of churches, and state, while having nothing against the current level of it, as he views Western Manchuria rather as a base for future reconquista of Eastern Manchuria, so he has ''no time for religious babble'', according to his own words. He is neutral on Christianity, Buddhism, Islam, and in general most of other religions, except religious cults not recognized by SC.

    He also isn't the religious leader of any of the churches in Western Manchuria, and has voiced a staunch opposition for an idea of army priests, saying, that ''soldiers need to focus on battlefield, not something, that a some random priest tells at them''. This policy has brought him in conflict with many religious governors like Cousineau, which have complained about this to Tom, but Zhong keeps insisting, that he is a ''loyal confucianist'', and that ''accusations of atheism have no weight''.

    Hobbies


    • Go (Board game) - This ancient board game, which is wildly popular in SC's East Asia, is one of the favorite hobbies of Zhong, as has various combinations, and move variations, and is great for sharpening the mind.

    • Shooting bottles - While Zhong might not be participating in battles directly, he does want to keep his shooting skills fresh, and he finds empty bottles as the ''best means'' for that.

    • Tasting bitter grape juice - While Zhong can't drink wine in large quantities, due of the health guidelines written by his personal doctor, he instead brews his own grape juice bitter on purpose, with adding a little bit of sugar in.

    • Archery - While he owns modernized weapons like poison gun, and laser rifle, he likes to practice with weapons like bow and arrow as well, in order to defend himself, if he would run out of microfusion cells during a battle.

    • Hunting - After stressful work, Zhong usually likes to hunt gazelles in Northern Manchuria, and sometimes - grey wolves for pelts.

    Trivia


      Karma: Neutral

      S.P.E.C.I.A.L stats:Strength: 5
      Perception: 7
      Endurance: 4
      Charisma: 6
      Intelligence: 7
      Agility: 3
      Luck: 6

    • Zhong could be described as double-dealer, as he can be if not polite, then at least neutral, when speaking. However, in his mind, he often throws a snark for those, who he likes, or spews poison for those who he dislikes.

    • Zhong stands at an impressive 185 cm / 6'1 ft height, and has brown eyes.

    • He is a skilled marksman with sniper rifle, but worse in sword, and melee fights. He also has an unique variant of poison gun with a stylized Chinese dragon on grip, and not only its poison deals more damage, but its plastic parts wound more parts internally, and has faster reload speed.

    • His favorite snack is Sachima - a pastry made out of fried batter, which is bound together by sugar syrup.


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