WA Delegate (non-executive): The Vahric Empire of Vanhania (elected )
Founder: The Xurran City of Fraserstone
Last WA Update:
Tags: Capitalist, Communist, Democratic, Fascist, Featured, Future Tech, Independent, Map, Medium, Modern Tech, Multi-Species, National Sovereigntist, and 6 others.Neutral, Outer Space, Post-Modern Tech, Regional Government, Role Player, and Socialist.
Regional Power: High
Today's World Census Report
The Largest Welfare Programs in The Coalition of Governments
Governments ranked highly spend the most on social welfare programs. Nations ranked low tend to have weak or non-existent government welfare.
As a region, The Coalition of Governments is ranked 1,762nd in the world for Largest Welfare Programs.
|1.||The Vahric Empire of Vanhania||Left-wing Utopia||“For the strength of every child of the Crimson Dawn”|
|2.||The Social State of The United Roman Reich||Inoffensive Centrist Democracy||“Fiat justitia ruat caelum”|
|3.||The Unified Unitary State of Ruzalka||Inoffensive Centrist Democracy||“We Have Lit a Flame, That the Ages Cannot Extinguish!”|
|4.||The Micropolis of Paixao||Left-wing Utopia||“Too late now!”|
|5.||The Commonwealth of Uzushiogakure no Sato||Civil Rights Lovefest||“The highest of distinctions is service to others”|
|6.||The Archduchy of Atlexil||Democratic Socialists||“Et honor et pax”|
|7.||The Social-Populist Empire of Soviet Petroburg||Scandinavian Liberal Paradise||“Unity, Duty, Destiny”|
|8.||The Commonwealth of Choinia||Inoffensive Centrist Democracy||“For Peace and Justice!”|
|9.||The Socialist Queendom of Fraserland||Civil Rights Lovefest||“Freundschaft mit allen, aber mit niemandem verbündet”|
|10.||The Principality of Firosa||Democratic Socialists||“Through unity we find prosperity.”|
- : The Republic of Christendom Holy America arrived from The Pacific.
- : Anaestasia ceased to exist.
- : The Unified Unitary State of Ruzalka rejected RHINIA's request for regional embassies.
- : The Holy Monarchy of Patek Phillippe of the region RHINIA proposed constructing embassies.
- : Liwawa ceased to exist.
- : Mandawai ceased to exist.
- : The Social State of The United Roman Reich updated the World Factbook entry.
- : Libertylandutopia ceased to exist.
- : The United Socialist States of Nationalist Aryan Germania arrived from The West Pacific.
- : Feminist amazon scandinavia arrived from The South Pacific.
The Coalition of Governments Regional Message Board
The Kings of the Sea
Director Pollux's motorcade slowly pulled up to the Arx shipyards. Diane Trexler, in her new role as acting leader of the Ministry of Truth, had insisted that a new front needed to be opened in the propaganda war. So he was being whisked away off to the Arx military dockyards. With several naval servicemen standing at the fence, they saluted as the motorcade passed through the entrygate. With him was Head of the Ruzalkan Army, Field Marshall Robinson.
Exiting his car, Pollux and Robinson shook hands with High Admiral Richards. Moving past the dry docks, several of the ships raised their guns in a bid to look like a salute. "Air Marshall Harrison already arrived, he has just gone inside."
Witha final smile and nod at the cameras, Pollux followed Richards inside as the broadcast ended. A large table had been set up, with several officers in the High Command already sat down. Harrison stood, along with the rest of the High Command officials, all greeting Pollux with a Ruzalkan salute. As Pollux sat down, so did the rest of the meeting.
"This meeting of High Command is now called to session." Supreme Commander Melchett, Head of High Command began. "I would like to welcome Director Pollux to today's meeting which I'm sure will be historic."
"I hear we are having issues gentlemen." Pollux began.
"We are facing a severe shortage in armaments and materials." Began Robinson. "With the nationalisation of the armamanets industry, we have lost years of progress. Production has taken a heavy hit."
"Its not just the army." Harrison began. "Only one third of our aircraft are fully equipped with Vertical takeoff and landing capabilities. Another third are not even jets, they're still using rotors to fly."
Robinson scoffed. "At least those work. Our tanks are not being manufactured right. In fact there's such a lack of armor at the back of them that a heavy machine gun could actually pierce it."
As the two bickered, Richards smiled. "The Ruzalkan Navy is at 100% capacity. We are experiencing no shortages, except with some of our submersibles. With the execution of Case Rainbow, we are sure that we can fulfill our role."
"That's fine for you, but the navy alone is not going to win the war." Harrison snarled. "Not the army either. Or even Fighter Command. Bomber Command shall win this war, as we can consign our enemies to oblivion. We need to step up our long range heavy bomber production."
Robinson nearly choked. "I very much doubt that. We need boots on the ground in order to win the war."
"Then we shall do all." Pollux decided, cutting through the arguments. "Arms and Carpet bomber production shall be the largest contribution while we shall order drydocks to increase submersible production. We do not have the means to do more at this time, but the surprise element of Case Rainbow shall ensure a swift victory."
While several of the members of the High Command looked unsure, but wouldn't voice up any opinion that contradicted the Director's. With Pollux standing, indicating the meeting ending, several officers followed, leaving a few still in the room, attempting to carry out the Director's orders.
OOC-Sorry for the lack of posts, I have been very busy working on stuff for my region Arkonos.
Officers of the Community
Senya held her palm up as she walked, her fingers gently digging into the white-colored cloth of her glove and massaging the tender skin beneath. She had injured her hand a day ago while moving some boxes with her husband. Even the morning after she could still feel a slight soreness emanating through the gloves, constantly reminding her. Thankfully the way they constricted and tightly wrapped around her palm and fingers was pleasing and dulled the pain to merely a small memory of the day before.
Her partner looked at her, a curious glance on her youthful face. Her name was Yamate. She was a junior member and it showed on her blue uniform, missing a small bracket near her breast that Senya wore marking her as an experienced member of the city’s police force with tenure. She knew that Yamate was somewhat self-conscious about being new and didn’t want to be seen as inexperienced, which Senya found endearing. Together the two of them chose to wear their Party pins, a little flowery populist roundel that Senya and Yamate had affixed to their dress tunic’s lapels. For Yamate, the way she carefully applied it each day to her uniform was a clear symbolic gesture.
Senya figured that she did it out of a sense of belonging, since the Populist Party was welcoming of everyone who stood as a member. Realizing the woman was looking at her she dropped her hand and continued down the sidewalk with Yamate. Her dress uniform was simple, blue in color with red accents, primarily on the collar of her white dress shirt which bore her rank in the police force. The police had options for their uniforms and Senya wore pants while Yamate wore a skirt that rested just barely above her knees. The appearance of the police was considered appropriate given their new tasks in modern Yechia.
Having long turned away from matters of capitalist enforcement and control for the regime, the modern peace officer in Yechia was a civil servant and community idol. They were neighbors and friends, close confidants for many and regulars around the cities and towns they lived in. Most importantly they were populist and served as an icon of the civilian wing of the Party, extolling the virtues of Yechia’s Council Populism across the nation and serving as a civic reminder of the state’s ideology. They were propaganda if propaganda was a shoulder to lean on and a friendly face to remind you of your home and peers.
Neither of the women carried firearms. They were uncommon in Yechia and reserved for the military and rarely the police in the worst of situations, but everyone liked to believe that such violent crime was rare and uncommon. Crime was an element of antisocial activity and that a policeman or policewoman with a handgun would do no better than a psychologist and doctor at fixing the ills of society. Senya did carry a telescopic baton, however, the cold metal resting against her waist. Her partner was not armed in any fashion, since the city’s police had never been under any real threats in decades now, and she was a junior officer at that.
The two of them came to their regular stop at the front of an intersection, where a crosswalk led down to the otherside. Senya was quite confident in her junior partner and let the woman patrol on her own a few times, and this was one such occasion. The two of them waved at one of their comrades working the traffic, Senya raising two fingers as she gestured for the man to see. After a moment she looked over at Yamate and exchanged a smile.
“Make sure to stop by the Matupas residence. I hear they just had a child and are probably tired from the hospital stay.”
“I know them.” Yamate said. It was a humorous confirmation since she already knew that. They both knew the family, and basically everyone else on their patrol route.
Senya nodded and parted ways with her partner, looking back for a second to see her junior officer cross the street with a crowd of pedestrians and disappear off around the corner. In a small way Senya was happy to be alone now, not because she didn’t like the woman assigned to her route, but because her youthful curiosity got the better of her. She didn’t want to announce yet that she and her husband were moving away from the city, and Yamate would pry without even understanding why.
She waved at a few people while continuing on her route, a wide smile on her face as she said a few greetings to the people she passed. The morning was still young and the sun barely just over the horizon. The earliest risers were already about, and Senya made sure to say her part to each she saw. Many were elders accustomed to rising early in the morning, either from choice or from problems with staying asleep as they aged. Others were school-aged children and parents off to work, and Senya recognized most everyone that she saw along the route.
Crossing the corner was Enaya and her young son, Nanoh, who was dressed in his school uniform: a plain white dress shirt and red shorts, and he wore a crimson neckerchief around his collar. The child’s uniform was somewhat reminiscent of the police’s, except with less symbols and workplace emblems. The mother was off to work and walked each day to school with her son since it was along the way. She looked down the path and saw Senya, and perked up upon noticing the officer.
“Senya!” The mother exclaimed. “How are you today?”
The policewoman smiled in kind, clasping her hands in front of her waist.
“I’m very well, Enaya. Thank you for asking.” She replied with a grin, adding “how are you?”
“Just great. I’m taking my son to school, you know, but I’m quite relieved today since the office is giving the first and second floor a half-day.”
“Don’t you work on the third floor?” Senya remarked, hoping that she remembered correctly.
“I do, but that means that tomorrow will be a half-day for us.”
Senya nodded, happy that her friend was pleased with herself. Some people didn’t find office work as exciting, and she was glad that Enaya wasn’t one of them. She, on the other hand, was and much preferred to be out in the field and talking with people instead of being stuck behind a desk for the majority of the day. Not that it still didn’t happen, but she made her indignation clear to her superiors.
She looked over to her friend’s son, Nanoh, and spied him for a moment before deciding to comment on his academics.
“Your mother tells me that you’re a wonderful student. Top of the class. You know that makes me just as proud as it makes her, to know that the future is going to be great with people like you leading it one day.”
The child looked up at her, somewhat unprepared to speak since he wasn’t expected Senya to address him, and he stuttered out a response.
“Thank you ma’am.”
“Awh,” Senya said with a blush and smiled. She glanced at the mother for a moment before kneeling down to speak with the boy, her eyes level with his. “Such a nice and respectful young man. Thank you, Nanoh, but remember: I’m your friend. We’re all friends here and you don’t have to show me respect just because of my uniform, but because I’m a person. Just like you. Do you understand?”
“Yes, I do… Senya.”
She smiled and playfully ruffled his hair before rising back to her feet.
“You have a wonderful family, Enaya,” she pointed out as she clasped her hands and returned them to her idle position. Her friend cracked a smile at the response and Senya was satisfied to have brought her some happiness with her compliment, then checking the time on her watch sighed.
“Well I'll be absolutely upset with myself if I held you two up and made little Nanoh here late for school. It’s the most important part of your young life, and I know you take it every bit seriously as I did.”
Nanoh nodded quickly in agreement.
“Wonderful! Well then don’t let me hold you any longer.”
Enaya thanked her friend again for speaking with them and soon the two were off down the path, disappearing into a crowd of people heading to their jobs or morning runs.
Senya lingered for a moment and paused in continuing with her route. She rubbed her tongue against the back of her teeth and thought for a moment, instinctively raising up her hand and massaging it around the tender points of her palm. Each small jolt of pain seemed to remind her of an ever present reality that was closing in around her, and that the realization came like driving into a brick wall.
Leaving this all behind was going to be rough.
Pushing Through the Pain
That was all Admiral-well, former Admiral-Morgan York could identify. The cold texture of steel under his palms, the smell of burning steel corroding through the room, the steely pain in his leg. Oh. His leg. Morgan forced his eyes open, patterns of brilliant light still imprinted on his vision. He struggled to look down and check the damage and oh gods-
The Admiral threw his head to the side and vomited, practically drowning his screams in stomach acid and bile. “Oh, Luna protect me...gods.” He sat still for a moment, breathing heavily, before looking back to his lower body. His left leg was fine, albeit a bit singed, and his fatigues had even managed to stay mostly intact. His right leg, on the other hand. Morgan had to choke back another surge of sick as he surveyed the damage. Everything below his kneecap was gone, save for a few sinewy bits of muscle and bone shards connecting the remains of his mangled calf to his thigh. York had never been much for emotions, but he found himself on the verge of tears as he took in the extent of his injuries. This wasn’t something doctors could fix, certainly not here. Still, it was far from the worst outcome possible. Realistically, with a hit that bad he was lucky to be-
Morgan whipped his head to the side, sending jolts of pain through his battered body. He’d been shell-shocked. The officer gritted his teeth and resisted the urge to yell. You damn fool.
On the wall across from him, or more aptly what remained of it, was the source of the metallic stench. A large, almost entrancingly symmetric circle of molten metal marked the entry point of a railcannon round. For all its firepower, the Indus’ Wrath was a missile destroyer, not a battleship, and even with its (admittedly meager) armor the destroyer’s citadel had crumpled like paper against the supersonic munition. The force of the weapon’s entry was apparent; the shell had gone directly through navigation, obliterating most of the bridge’s auxiliary crew. Morgan felt a pang as he examined the helm. Captain Damesworth was practically gone, bits of his lower body all that remained at his workstation. For a superior officer the captain had been a decent man, and had even grown to call York a friend. He forced himself to look away, continuing to follow the path of the round. The lane of destruction found its end at a similar hole in the wall nearest to him. Despite himself York let out a hearty chuckle. “Damn thing overpenetrated.” The shell was made to kill battleships, not destroyers, and fired at such close range it had gone straight through the ship’s core without the payload even detonating.
The ship’s relative lack of armor had been its saving grace; had the shell gone off inside the citadel, York wouldn’t have been alive to consider his luck, or anyone else on the vessel for that matter. As it stood, the bridge was in utter disarray. Morgan hadn’t been the only survivor, and as far as he could tell out of those remaining his injuries were the worst. With his proximity to the shell’s flight path it was an act of the gods that he was still alive, one that he’d have time to thank them for later. York grabbed a sailor’s rifle off the floor and pressed it barrel-first against the ground, growling as he forced himself to his feet. “CIC! Report!” A panicked enlist jolted into action, frantically attempting to read from a rapidly flickering monitor.
“Uh, sir, the uh, the, the, the...” The sailor shuddered, taking a moment to collect himself. Despite his officer’s stripes he couldn’t have been more than twenty, and his inexperience bled through in his demeanor. Still, he steeled his jaw and focused on the task. “The enemy cruiser; the, ah, Argus, sir, it’s accelerated course. From the looks of it they haven’t...hm. Sir, they haven’t fired any of their missiles yet. It could be that they made a...mistake, firing on us, and maybe they’re...maybe they’re not going after the transports, sir.”
“No...no, they’re trying to keep this under wraps. LADAR went blank right before the volley hit; they’re using full spectrum jamming equipment, which means that we can’t get any signals out, and they can’t lock on using radar.” York fiddled with the stock of the gun for a moment, his eyes busily darting around. “So they hit us with a few volleys, push power to engines, and hunt down the transports before they get wind of what happened.” He spat, leaving a worrisome amount of blood in his wake. “Sneaky little mongrels. Unfortunately, the Indus doesn’t seem to be quite as dead as she appears. Armory! SITREP.”
The officer at the console motioned towards the readouts and shook her head, a sour smile betraying her answer. “Hah! Respectfully, cap’n, even if we still had the main cannon and the solid third of the bow the forward magazine took with it, our chances of doing anything but chipping the paint on that beast are laughable. We might as well be a floating paperweight.”
York gripped his makeshift crutch, his knuckles practically white. The nerves in his leg were starting to regain feeling, and the bolts of pain riding up his side were doing nothing for his concentration. “I don’t mean the cannons, Connelly. Are the missile bays still active?”
The officer furrowed her brow, checking over the viewscreen once more. “Rear VLS systems are still active, but if they're using full spectrum jamming then even at optimum range there’s no way we can get a lock-”
“Not conventionally.” York turned to a separate crewman, hobbling towards the gore-stricken command center. “Get on the wire to the barracks, see if we’ve got any marines left. Tell whoever’s still breathing to get their ass on deck with a JTAC system. Armory, contact the engineers back towards the launch bays and get the safeties off the halberds. That cruiser’s gonna notice we’re still operational any second and we can’t risk waiting for it to leave minimum safe-” The Admiral’s commands halted as he collapsed, an agonizing scream slipping past his lips. The enlist from navigation abandoned his station, hurrying to York’s side.
“Sir, I..oh, Luna protect us.” His gaze matched York’s as he surveyed his damaged leg. He knew it was bad, but not even being able to drag the blasted thing behind him...York grit his teeth, letting out a quiet growl. He couldn’t afford to be slowed down. There was a battle to win and too little time to waste to try fixing the situation. With a sigh he eyed the ragged strips of sinew and cloth holding his lower thigh together.
“Sailor, I’m gonna need you to do two things for me. First, you’re gonna have to help carry me around this goddamn bridge.” He closed his eyes, hesitating for a brief moment before drawing his combat knife. “Second, look away.” With a start he raised his blade, holding it at the top of its arc for just a moment.
Victory at any cost.
The knife plunged downwards.
Morgan York jolted awake with a start, a brief cry escaping him before he managed to contain himself. He held still, breathing heavily. “Gods be damned...” His arm was still shaking, the muscles within long past their prime. He shook his head and muttered. “Animals. Okay, animals. Alpaca. Bear. Coyote. Deer. Eagle. Fox...” The man continued for a minute, the ritual making it all the way to Okapi before he managed to swing himself out of bed. He hit the ground with a suprisingly loud thud, his prosthetic leg’s pressure management system overcompensating and putting a dent in the already worn carpet. York couldn’t help but sigh. Another problem, another fix for the pile. He gingerly walked to the window and toggled it open, the metallic shudders sliding open to reveal a sun much higher than he’d expected. “Overslept. Again.”
His eyes drifted from the nearly cloudless sky to the mass of activity below. The newly christened Indus’ Bay was less of a barren beach and slowly starting to resemble an actual settlement. Several dozen smaller ships lay anchored at three sizable dock structures, crafted from the sturdy treeline just beyond the shore. Past them were several of the larger vessels, primarily smaller vehicle carriers and former pleasure yachts, slowly being dissected and built into housing complexes and more secure steel structures. The Indus’ Wrath, the first ship aboard the beach, was almost completely gone now. With the exception of the VLS systems in the rear and the connecting supports to the bridge superstructure, almost the entire ship had been cannibalized into the island’s first military complex. It was truly an inspiring sight; former warships and commercial craft turned into homes and supply stations, giving the once adrift refugees a permanent place to call their home. It was certainly the second-most impressive sight on the island. As York stepped out on the balcony to the cacophony of noise and commotion surrounding him, he couldn't help but feel a twinge of self-satisfied pleasure at being able to stand atop the first.
High above the Indus’ Bay, atop the mighty cliffs dwarfing the landscape for miles on end, was the heart of the nation that called itself Firosa. If the bay below was the first town they’d had, the clifftop settlement was the nation’s first city. Sunrays beamed down and glinted off a veritable mass of metal, illuminating the short roads under construction between towering structures filled with everything from high-end housing to office complexes spanning dozens of floors. The craftsmanship was far from perfect; many buildings were obviously makeshift, with some of the more hastily constructed still sporting portholes, but with the time they’d been here York couldn’t help but feel truly inspired at the ingenuity of his fellow refugees-although he supposed they were now his countrymen. Towards the edge of the cliff alarms blared as an enormous freight elevator rose into view, rows upon rows of cargo containers and rough-cut metal filling the rudimentary machine. At the base of the cliff York could just barely see the source of the shipment. The bow section of a former SuperMax freighter protruded from behind the cliff. The cargo had been long since removed, but the ship itself, once considered a floating city, had found a different use. Massive metal supports anchored the vessel’s structure to the cliff, and its starboard side had been flattened and made into a loading ramp. The surplus construction equipment that hadn’t been brought to shore was anchored to the vessel’s superstructure, massive torches and cutting gear disassembling smaller ships and loading their components onto the elevator system. Although the structure of the ship itself held buildings worth of usable metal, a petition by a few Yechian engineers had streamlined the once-arduous disassembly process into something that, while not perfect, actually resembled efficiency. Another grin graced York’s expression. One of so many examples representing the fruits of what he’d fought for-what he was fighting for-a nation of the world’s outcasts and pariahs, brought together to improve life for each other one crazy idea at a time. He’d long past forsaken the idea of good and evil as storybook simplicity, but if there had ever been a noble cause in the tumultuous bloodbath that was Lerodas...well, this was probably it.
“Morgan!” The former sailor started, turning around just in time to nearly get floored by an enthusiastic hug. He sputtered, flailing his arms for a moment before returning the gesture. “It’s so good to see you!”
“Hey now, ease it up there.” Morgan straightened himself, returning the giddy visitor to his own two feet. “ ‘S only been a couple days there, friend. No need to get all clingy.” The lithe Kiyonari leaned on the balls of his feet, letting loose a toothy smile. He was smaller than average for his race, but even so almost matched Morgan's significant frame inch for inch.
“Respectfully, sir, I enjoy hugs far too much to take that into consideration.” He swiveled on his heel and slipped back into York’s quarters, almost bouncing with each step. “Man, you need to get some art in here. I know you’re into that whole utilitarian aesthetic and everything but you should see some of the stuff in the political suites upstairs! I’m sure you’d be able to convince Yanni to put some of his works in here. Hell, maybe she’d even do the walls!” The Kiyonari spoke with frenetic pace, his words matched by an energized gait around each corner of the room. Morgan reached out on his third pass around and grabbed him by the shoulder, halting him in his tracks.
The young mammal jolted to a stop, shaking his head rapidly. “Right! Right. You’ve been asked to a meeting up in the Cerulean Room. Something about a contingent of volunteers for expansion? Caan didn’t mention why he didn’t call down himself, cause it’s in an hour and that’d be much faster, but if I know him, which I do cause I’ve been exposed to him far too much, not by choice of course but you know that...anyways! Bloody pangolin was probably too scared to risk waking you up so he sent me. And, uh, yeah. That’s the thing.” Karim coughed, nervously fiddling with his pseudo-scales in front of York’s bedraggled form. “Also I sort of volunteered cause I wanted to say hi and I hope you don’t mind, sir, I just like seeing-” Morgan leaned in and patted the smaller person’s head plating, giving a reserved smile.
“Thank you, Karim. I appreciate the company.” He slowly turned and opened the small closet, sifting through some heavily used formal wear. “Tell Caan I’ll be up shortly. Can never be too early to these things, after all.” Karim gave a quick nod and darted out of the room, returning into sight a second later to close the door and muttering an incomprehensibly fast apology before sealing Morgan in once more. The sailor sighed and picked out an outfit, placing it on the bed before him. He’d had his rest; now came the time of the day where he had to make a difference.
Halagoria Province, Cherseiros Themata, S.R. Marossia
“Protests continue to intensify in provinces in the Cherseiros Themata, following the general election. After former candidate Livius Sala’s landslide loss against former and current Generalissimos Silvester Myron and Hugo Cojocarus, tensions in the southern provinces flared, under a general fear that the concerns of the citizens who live in these areas are being ignored. This rings especially true in the border provinces of Astryae and Halagoria, who are not only low population, underdeveloped provinces, but also without the protection of the border wall that protects the province of Seloricus. Fears of a sudden attack from Krakheim has caused the most-”
Amilcar clicked the TV off, and got up to stretch. The protests had been going on ever since the election, and no longer was of any interest to him, especially since he never bothered to vote in the first place. The protests were likely to do nothing anyways, considering the Cherseiros provinces were all backwater, and of no general use to the nation anyways besides the lumber industry. The lumber industry, in which the protests could not even try to shutter correctly, as the strikes that followed simply resulted in those jobs being replaced by machinery...leaving several villages without jobs and missing much of their working age population. The Republic was never the most lenient with protestors, and Myron was determined to have a smooth transition. Not that the only 50,000 or so people who lived within his province would have affected that anyways.
He found Myron to have been an honorable man and leader, having taken his loss with grace. And although he would have much preferred Myron to win another term, he found himself pleasantly surprised with the reforms that Cojocarus have been able to put forward. The ability for every trueborn Marossian to vote, was quite a big deal, especially since much of the people protesting would not be able to vote in the next election without it. His neighbors on the other hand, did not seem to appreciate that, blinded by hatred and fear stemming from a war that has been cold, far, far longer than it has been hot, and a missguided longing for the “good old days”, which all of them were not even alive for.
Sala had truly poisoned the minds of this Themata.
With a sigh, Amilcar picked up his fishing rod and walked out the door. He hated the lumber industry. Could never work in it, something about all the sawdust and bugs made his skin crawl. Of course, most legal work in his particular neck of the jungle involved wood, so he had to find work in...less than legal areas.
“Hey! You’re late? Where have you been?!”
Amilcar smirked. Teo was his work partner. They are part of an industry the government refuses to either support or acknowledge, the river fishing industry. The Psontos and Staiga rivers were prohibited to commercial ventures as they were part of the DMZ between Marossia and Krakheim. But it wasn’t like the Marossian patrol boats cared much, or the Lizards ever bothered to do anything about it. Hell, it was more common to see more of the scaly bastards while on the water than fellow humans. And any problems could be solved by a simple bribe...or perhaps a cut of the sales. Never cut much into the profit anyhows, people pay top dollar for river fish. They weren’t really edible, but they were often used for folk medicine.
“Not really. Not like we have a set schedule.”
“Man, you know that patrols pick up again in an hour or so.” Teo replied, exasperated.
“Not like anything is going to happen, besides the Psontos is nice and calm this time of day, nothing to worry about.”
“Whatever.” Teo began grabbing the various buckets and containers and tossed them unceremoniously into the motorboat. Thing was rickety, but it got the job done. “Hop in already, we’re behind schedule.”
As the boat roared to life, Amilcar and Teo remained quiet. Teo was never a talkative man, all business, no fun. He had a family to feed, which made things more serious for him, verses Amilcar who was only in it for the money. Teo was injured during his military service which made getting a lumber job difficult, and that pay from the government simply was not enough for a family of seven.
There was never much to talk about while working anyways. It was nothing but thick jungle, and the occasional boat, maybe a wild animal or two stopping for a drink. Not that Amilcar would ever try that, the river was full of parasites and diseases that would probably kill any human fast, or at least be unpleasant for a while. The Krakians on the other side of the large river, did not seem to have that problem, almost as if they had adapted to the environment or something.
“Hey.” Teo said, suddenly. “Do you...see something moving in the water?”
“Uh…” Amilcar raised a brow. The waters were murky but there was always enough visibility in them to at least see a rough silhouette of what was underneath. “...I think…” He leaned forward a bit. “...I think it might just be a crocodile, grab the gun, just in case.” He stepped back a bit. Crocodiles weren’t uncommon in the river, it was quite dangerous to traverse, so it was often for fishers to at least bring a firearm with them for protection. Cherseiros has the most lax gun laws in the nation, due to the additional danger of living in the middle of the jungle, and they were sure to take advantage of that.
Teo grabbed the gun, then gently placed it behind him on the deck.
“I keep seeing it circle the ship, I’m trying to get a better look at it.” Teo leaned towards the shape, inspecting it. “You sure it’s a croc?”
“Uh, I saw its head pop up a bit, had feathers.”
“What? Wait a second,” Teo said, puzzled. He leaned in further. “crocs don’t have feath-” Before he could finish his sentence, a large figure popped out of the water and grabbed Teo, dragging him under the deep waters.
“What the?!” Amilcar scrambled for the gun left on the deck, and hesitantly peered into the water himself. There was no possible way he could try and get Teo, but he could at least try to survive himself. And maybe kill whatever thing is lurking in the water...with...feathers…
“Wait…” Amilcar began to himself. “Don’t the Krakian ladies have-”
Suddenly, he heard a loud splash. As he turned towards the noise, the figure lunged at him. He closed his eyes, leaned back as far as he could, and fired blindly. The loud thud was enough to tell him he was safe.
Slowly opening his eyes, he stared at the corpse in front of him.
It was indeed a Krakian.
She had on a uniform that was definitely not the standard uniform of any of the branches in Krakheim’s military. She was not wearing a helmet, which he supposed made sense considering she was going for a swim. But...why? Were there others around?
Amilcar pursed his lips, and stared back towards the Marossian side of the riverbank.
This is going to be hard to explain to the Feds…
The Curious Case
“Looks like… multiple lacerations to the chest. Victim was uh… likely coming down the alleyway to cut by the traffic down mainstreet. At least that’s my suspicion—people come through here a few times to make it back home, or get to work quicker if they’re not taking the busses or tram.”
Officer Payo said, his hands resting on his belt as he looked down at the grisly sight. A young woman. She had been killed in the alley maybe earlier that night, stabbed multiple times. It was all quite unusual. Payo had seen a few corpses before, his training had them working about cadavers donated to science at the local academy, but the city was usually quite peaceful. Violence was one thing, but a murder like this was something else entirely.
The man beside him kneeled down, taking a look over the body for a moment before he lowered the cloth back across her. His name was Kanaye Tusuko, a member of the police force’s detective branch. His presence, especially his demeanor around the crime scene, was a bit unnerving for Payo and left him questioning the man’s intentions. He didn’t know him well at all, since Kanaye’s work was way above his pay grade, but for him to be called in on scene was concerning enough.
“She’s got bruises on her hands. Cuts too. She saw her victim and tried to defend herself.”
“Wasn’t friend or family then?”
“It could still be,” Kanaye noted as he rose back to his feet, “but it doesn’t seem to fit the motive.”
Officer Payo followed beside the detective as the two men crossed the police lines and left the alley, entrusting the rest of the work to the morgue. He exchanged a few looks with some of the other officers he recognized as he kept up with Kanaye.
“We’ll have to make a list of subjects then. Any friends or family that…”
“Miss Machetai.” The detective responded.
“Right—list of any family or friends that Machetai had. Ask around and try to figure out who the last people she was seen with were. We’ll bring in the witness for questioning as well since he recognized her. Could be coincidence, but maybe not—gotta play it safe, you know?”
Kanaye nodded, the two of him reaching his car at the end of the street. A crowd of onlookers stood just a few feet beyond, curious and conversing among themselves as some of the city police handled them. Crowds sometimes emboldened people and made them act out, and the crime scene was still being photographed and recorded.
“Well you’re definitely on a right course,” the detective said as he leaned up against the hood of his car. “But I doubt it’s anything to do with friends or family. She probably didn’t even recognize the guy.”
“How do you figure that? Or that it’s a male suspect?”
The detective seemed to slump his shoulders at the response and didn’t answer for a moment. Instead he got off of his hood and walked towards the driver seat, leaning through the window and pulling out a pack of chocolate-coated candy sticks. He offered one to Payo but the officer refused and Kanaye shrugged, taking a bite out of one as he rested his right arm on the roof.
“The attack? The stab wounds are focused around the upper chest. Probably wanted to get a good look at his victim as he killed her.” He paused for a second to look at Payo, frowning. “Motives match a few other murders in a town over. Serial.”
“Yeah, definitely. At least that’s my suspicion. The previous murders were in the countryside, for the most part. Stuck around secluded areas… but from the looks of it,” he said while glancing back to the alley, “our killer’s moved on to the big leagues now.”
Officer Payo shuddered at the thought.
“This is a lot worse than I first imagined. Thought it might have been a one-off. Angry ex or something like that.”
“Nope,” Kanaye said lightly. “It’s a serial for sure. Motive matches.”
“Oh… well… I’m going to have to get the station all-hands on this. He might still be in the city and—”
The detective shook his head, taking another bite out of the candy stick.
“Nah. Look officer, you’re doing a good job, that’s for sure. But this ain’t your problem anymore. It’s out of your jurisdiction if he’s been crossing precincts. It’s the Gendarmerie’s problem now. Out of my hands as well, beyond turning in this report to ‘em.”
Payo scrunched his mouth at this news but said nothing to refute it. Yechia’s Gendarmerie was about the only people that could see this case to completion. He supposed the military could as well, and perhaps the republic’s special agencies, but that would be violating the careful distinction between civilian and political life. The Gendarmerie straddled that position, which was an important distinction to be made, and carried a lot of weight and significance about it.
Trouble at the Starting Gate
Town of Hierdie. Krakheim
At first glance Erin Velmet look just like any Krakian sitting by the outside terrace of the quaint local diner. He was wearing a drab short sleeved casual linen suit with some stylized krakian tribal markings on the shoulders. The only thing making him look apart from any other Krakian was a small circular grey data port just behind his right ear opening that identified him as a Roman.
He looked at the empty plate next to him and contemplated getting another serving of some local poultry that had been truly exquisite. The Krakians truly knew how to prepare the meat. Some upbeat synth-pop was playing on the open radio. A handful of people was out and about on the streets. Erin was going over the daily news on his notepad with a cold Krakian Caltus beer by his side. He hadn’t been much of a fan of the drink at first but the locals venerated it enough that he had learned to enjoy it just enough to be able to socialize properly.
He flipped a few digital pages going through the Krakheim Post, the most venerated of the major news outlets in the nation. An article went over how the Government had extended their congratulations to the victory of Hugo Cojocarus in the Marossian election. The same article also briefly mentioned how the senate was slipping into a divided state.
“Knew I’d find your lazy tail here.” laughed a dark spotted Krakian that came walking up towards Erin.
“Wife kicked you out again?” Erin quipped without missing a beat at the newcomer who slumped down by his table.
“Nah, Just wanted to talk about the game.” he said while producing the sports section of a crushed newspaper that he put on the table. The front page was the starting numbers for a major horse race comming up.
“Waiter!” Erin shouted looking towards the interior of the diner and establishing eye contact with the krakian inside. “Got another Caltus for Kervo here?” The barkeep nodded and Erin returned his focus to Kervo and his paper. “You got a good feeling?”
“Nah, worse, a bad feeling.”
“Just a feeling?”
Kerov put a hand on his chest, razor teeth gleaming like a Cheshire smile. “I feel a lot but these are solid rumors!”
“What is it then? Which horse?”
“Your Five-Six.” Kervo said with gravity. “You know I told you from the beginning that it was a no good one.”
“What?” Erin looked at the list “Appropriate Abercrombie?”
“The same.” Kervo confirmed. “I got it on good authority, as far as rumors go, that he’s gonna run injured.”
Erin’s face remained neutral but internally he cursed. Running injured ment that things were developing against their wishes a potentially majorly at that. “No, have you heard anything about what kind of injury it is?”
“They say it’s an inflammation. The hoofs or what not.” Kervo replied as the waiter came over with his beer.
Frakk... Erin mentally cursed. Inflammation ment that there was violence involved and since the horse was running injured as opposed to breaking off it meant that he was causing the violence. He looked at the list. Five-Six Appropriate Abercrombie was one of the major ones that they had really buttered up over the years. Things had looked like they had started to gain momentum recently but if Kervo’s intel was solid he was here to let Erin know that Sh!t was about to blow up in their face.
“Frakk, you saying I’m about to lose big on that one?”
“He’s not getting through the preliminaries in the shape you wanted that’s for sure!”
Frakk, frakk, frakk! Erin though. He would have people to call and messages to send. Things were not looking bright.
Business District. Krakian capital Duffla.
Maike Klerks was steaming at the phone, giving the person on the receiving end an earful that spelled it out in no uncertain manner that she was not ammunes and that she wanted her instructions followed to the letter. “...and if I don’t get a status update out of Baoa-Panur by midday I’m going to give you a evening visit with my personal strap-on!”
The phone talk cut out with a click. She didn’t have anger management issues per se, she wouldn’t be allowed to have the job she had if she had. But she were quick to raising her voice and had an imposing and forward personality that had earned her the nickname Dozer throughout her school life. Being by far the shortest and the only female in a group of five overly active reptilian siblings would do that to you. But she had been learning to call the shots back then and she sure were calling them now.
Being the Head Coordination and Operations Officer, HeadCoo, for the Special Purpose Recognizance Division in Krakheim she was the queen spider in the web of all the SPRD’s activity in the country. And what an activity it was. Krakheim may have been a close ally to the URR but that didn’t stop the SPRD from investing heavily in the nation. As a matter of fact in terms of strictly budgeted resources Krakheim had the largest percentage of activity by far compared to any other nation. Friendly or hostile.
Things had been going good. They had done solid progress for years. Their monitoring of public opinion seemed satisfactory in terms of all the relevant key points. They had even had the resources to produce movie scripts and other multi media items tailor made for the Krakian market. The Reich Commissar of the Security Council himself had written a letter of praise to Maike and her department.
Now things were looking quite different however as something seemed to have gone horribly wrong. One of the main Horses that they had been betting the resources on and which had gotten some massive momentum recently now appeared to be much more of a hardliner against the Marossians then what they had been led to believe. She cursed herself since their had been a short number of warnings that the horse in question was no good but the evidence at hand at the time had lead them to run with it anyway. And the bloody Federal Chancellery had just congratulated Hugo Cojocarus for his new position moments before things were about to blow up. Did anyone at the Krakian government know what was about to go down?
Maike cursed like a sailor as she went through a long list of encoded messages that were steadily flowing in. She had woken up this morning thinking it would be a fine day and now just a couple of hours later she was in full damage control mode. One thing was clear. If half the sh!t flowing into her workstation was true then she had to get her people out of the crossfire as of yesterday.
Senatorial District. Krakian capital Duffla.
The Roman ambassador in Krakhem, Ira Toshi was a third generation immigrant from Krakheim that still held close ties with her Krakian family although with a busy work schedule they hardly heard from one another outside of special holidays. She had finished her morning with a dreary meeting with the Krakian Minister of Foreign Affairs Adrian Huldermans. She had always felt that she had had good rapport with Mr. Huldermans although this morning had been unusually wooden and the Minister had appeared focused on other matters.
Ira had taken the rest of the day off, planning to head out to her relatives by way of public transport when a familiar face waved at her across the street. Bram Erkens was another Roman krakian stationed in Krakheim and he usually acted as Ira’s in between to receive and spread word between the Romans in Duffla.
“Morning sunshine!” Bram greeted as he passed the street to Ira’s side. “How’s life treating you?”
“You seem unusually chipper?” Ira asked, her mind growing concerned by his choice of words.
“Wasn’t fancying to run into you.” He lied with a toothy smile. “But it’s good that I did. I’m going back to the Union you know.”
“What? This is the first I’m hearing of this?” Ira aske din ernest.
“It’s a pretty new thing.” he shrugged. “I grew bored...”
Ira cocked an eyebrow. That Bram was going home due to boredom was code, code for operations being pulled and dropped. “But what about the business, you quitting that one as well?”
“Yeah I’m taking what little I can with me back home but we’ve already given notice to the handymen.”
Ira did her best not to look shocked as Bram’s words sunk in. This was all indicating a massive 180 shift in policy and she couldn’t understand why she was being informed like this unless the policy change came straight from the Field Office here in Krakheim. And if the Field Office had overruled the Foreign Ministry back home that meant that sh!t was about to go down fast.
“Damn, Bram, I’m sorry to hear that. But if that’s the way you feel I suppose it’s what you gotta do.”
“Yeah, don’t take me wrong I’ve really enjoyed my time here but you know. I don’t know if I’m getting old but I’ve just gotten so restless lately whenever I think of home… And I do that more and more.” Bram shrugged. “Fish out of water.”
“Yeah no, you gotta do what you feel is right. Didn’t mean to be overly inquisitive.”
“No problem.” Bram grunted with a shrug and started digging through his pockets, producing a small flash drive that he handed over to Ira.
“Take a look at this. It’s pictures from our last work on a water damage. It’s gonna give you some sweet laughs I promise you.”
Ira looked at the small flash drive. It would contain all the encoded information she would need to get up to speed on the issue. And the term water damages perfectly explained what she were to expect. Something had gone horribly wrong.