Red Sun Rising

Discussion in 'The World Stage' started by Xinhai, Sep 3, 2012.

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  1. Xinhai

    Xinhai Well-Known Member

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    Liaojiang Railway
    Jiangbei Province
    Sihe Commandery
    12:48 a.m.


    "Bao!"

    The sounds of heavy footfalls pattering against the gravel shattered the silence that had fallen over the dirt roads of the village. Accompanied only by muted coughs and the not so distant sound of a raging river gushing around twisted metal and pinned corpses, an eerie feeling had set in between the camps of protesting workers and the Imperial Police who sat just outside the village, illuminated by paper lanterns and torches. The courier hurried into the command tent, and, despite the waning hours of the night, was greeted with stern faces starkly set in the harsh light. Patterns and shadows seemed to contrast the natural senses, and the messenger quickly snapped a salute.

    "Lai," the commanding officer beckoned the courier to come closer with no subtle notion of respect. The courier quickly stepped forward and extended an arm, within it a sheet of paper. The commanding officer snatched the paper from him and ignored the salute the young boy offered. His eyes, from behind the shadows that covered his face, read the note with dissatisfaction before crumpling it and throwing it into a fire at the center of the tent.

    "We can not afford a hostage crisis," he spoke to the men around him. "Move in on the protesters and secure the foreigners. Shoot anyone that resists. These are orders from Zhenjing. Move at once."

    "Hao'a!" the men replied in near unison, quickly hurrying out of the tent. The police commander, who when more radiant rays graced his face thought himself a gentle man, feared the gun of his commander only slightly more than the blood that would be spilt today. He wondered if, perhaps, obeying orders was not the wisest decision.



    Liaojiang Railway
    Jiangbei Province
    Sihe Commandery
    1:13 a.m.


    "Bao!" someone shouted, signalling an important message.

    Jie Balian jumped from the makeshift cot that he had called home for weeks. He had been selected by his fellow workers to represent the strike, and had found himself in a bind. Two sleepless nights had passed, accompanied only by the echo of crickets and marching as the Imperial Police had moved in. He was no longer in contact with the Union; the highest ranking Union member, He Dianle, oversaw four of the prisoners. He turned his eyes to the three who slept comfortably in the tent beside them. They had been fed and treated well, Jie Balian knew it would not be beneficial to their situation to treat them poorly.

    Though the Danish had oft treated him ill, with their haughty attitudes and racist preconceptions doing no good to increase worker morale, Jie Balian at least had respect for the foreigner who had worked, fair weather and poor, beside him day by day. No sooner had Balian's feet touched the ground than had the messenger arrived at the tent.

    "The police are entering the camp!" he shouted.

    "Shenme?!" he inquired with surprise. He struggled to gain his balance as he rose to his feet too quickly, hurrying out of the tent despite the blood still struggling to push itself upwards against gravity.

    He exited the tent and turned to the camp entrance to the north. He could see the figures of the Police moving quickly underneath torchlight, and he hurried to them.

    "Where are the hostages?!" they shouted.

    "What are you doing! There are supposed to be negotiations!"

    "Are you Jie Balian?" inquired the commander.

    "Yes. I represent these workers!"

    The commander unsheathed a pistol and fired four shots into Jie, his limp body hitting the ground below him. No sooner had he crumpled int a lifeless pile that had shots begun flying throughout the camp as the Police began executing the workers.



    Liaojiang Railway
    Jiangbei Province
    Sihe Commandery
    1:17 a.m.


    The gunfire made everyone in the tent jump. The hair on He Dianle's neck stood up on end, and the cacophony of gunshells that followed created a pit deep in his stomach. He could feel his comrades dying.

    "They're killing us!" someone shouted.

    "I knew they'd never negotiate with us, what are our lives to them when there are so many others!?"

    "Zhukou!" Dianle shouted. He pulled a pistol out from his pants and rose from the chair beside the table where he had waited for, dreaded, the moment that had arrived. The hostages sat across the room, bound in their chairs, eyes full of terror as they realized their fate. "They did this," he explained in broken English. "They must learn. They can not do this anymore. We are people!" He raised the pistol and fired two shots into each of the prisoners. Two officers stormed into the room, and Comrade Bangshi lunged at one with a knife, cutting his throat open.

    "Gaisi!" Dianle shouted, raising his pistol and firing the last shot left in the pistol. The round flew true, penetrating the cloth of the tent and decelerating, increasing the damage of the round at the moment of impact. The commanding officer had but a fraction of a moment left to regret his actions before his brains were splattered across the dirt in front of the tent, to the tune of mass executions being conducted throughout the camp.
     
  2. Xinhai

    Xinhai Well-Known Member

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    URWA Hall
    Cai Province
    Nianxu Commandery
    3:27 p.m.


    The bang on the door was a noise that Chuan Mengde was not accustomed to. "It's open," he called out to the men at the door, but there was no response. He sat at an old, worn desk made of imported cherry that had seen better days. The chair was a sturdy wooden thing which had never seen padding, it's finish fading away by years of sweaty bodies wearing against it. He rose from his office and hobbled towards the door. Chuan Mengde was not alone in the building, but many of his staff were busy trying to find out more information about the incident at Jianbei Province. So far, they had contacted no one, and they had no credible leads. His staff were en route to the construction site but, if the rumors were true, the police would have fully isolated the site and begun cleaning it of evidence. His mind still ran across these thoughts as he opened the door and was greeted by small, unwelcoming eyes and a shining, bald head.

    "Ni hao," Mengde greeted the man, thinking of his feet and careful to avoid any notion that he had been caught off guard. He was an aged man, now growing into his sixties. Well respected by his colleagues and the wider community, he had learned how to play politics in the difficult environment created by the Xiong Dynasty for Unions. He was lucky that he could organize at all, and he had to learn how to control the Imperial Household as much as his own subordinates. "Qing jin, qing jin."

    The other man nodded his head and entered, followed by a retinue of western-suited men who wore dark sunglasses. Every bit fulfilling the stereotypes maintained by Yujiner society on how an Imperial agent looked, Mr. Chuan immediately knew the nature of the visit, but he intended to see how far his opponent was willing to go.

    "Do you have any information for me regarding the Liaojiang incident? I've tried contacting the Ministry of the Interior many times, but I have yet to receive a response," Chuan Mengde inquired.

    The bald man glared back at him, "No. When the Ministry knows, you will know. I am here to inform you that the Police will be launching an investigation into incident to uncover any abnormalities... if you would please oblige, we will start here."

    "But the incident occurred in Jiangbei, what would we have to do with that? We don't even have any telephones here, just the payphone outside," Mengde insisted.

    The bald man waved to the agents. "Begin searching."

    "I'm afraid I can't allow that. You see, there is nothing to investigate here--" he was cut off as the bald man unsheathed a large envelope.

    "This is an Imperial decree, superior to a warrant. We have the authorization to search these premises. Unless you wish to commit lèse majesté, I highly suggest that you step aside. I am now the authority here." The bald man nodded to the agents who proceeded to storm through each room, ripping out drawers and spilling their contents on the floor arbitrarily. Chuan Mengde's coworkers looked on in frustration and anger as their work was disorganized, and their attempts to search for information on the rumors of Liaojiang were set back days, if not weeks, as personnel files were stepped on and wrinkled and smudged under the dirty boots of the Imperial officers.

    After what seemed to be half an hour, one of the agents shouted from upstairs. "Bao!" the man hurried down the steps, holding a pristine envelope within his hands. It was still sealed, and the bald officer shot an accusatory glance at Mengde before opening it.

    "Let's see here," he said, pulling out the contents. "Yes, exactly what we needed. It seems to did order the murder of police at Liaojiang. Arrest him!"

    "Shenme?!" Mengde shouted. "I did no such thing. That letter is a plant, I wrote no such order! I have not been in contact with those men for a week!"

    Another joined in the scuffle as Mengde resisted arrest. "How could you know the contents of that letter! There are thousands here, why that one! This is surely a plant!" Both men were thrown to the floor, their heads crushed by the heels of boots and their bodies beaten by batons long after they had stopped resisting. Broken bones casting pain through Mengde's body, he could do little to stop the shackles from being bound around his wrists. His body was carried away to a truck waiting outside.
     
  3. Nitra

    Nitra Well-Known Member

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    Median Cargo Ship Darya

    Political Commissar Vadim Ostasenko was seating in the bridge of the cargo ship Darya beside a sailor as they were looking how two tugboats were literally competing to reach the ship and tug it into the Liangang port. Vadim took his cap off his head showing a sandy blonde short hair. With his green eyes, he was a peculiarity for Media. He was an average heighted, but solid. He was wearing olive green trousers and a coat with the same color but with red collars. After a few minutes, he felt the ship started moving. As the captain came to the bridge, most knew that the three day trip was over and the ship will soon dock.

    As the ship was unloaded, it looked like it would take all day; Vadim went to take care of the documents to take the oranges to Karakhstan and to make sure that those were seen as oranges.

    A few bribes put here, some sympathizers there and he knew that even if he was on foreign soil, as long as they will stay in the Karakhstani part of the port, away from monarchist eyes. Even if it is normal in a country which was in a crisis, like Yujin, to be suspicious of foreigners, especially from a ship from a socialist republic, he wanted to keep everything as quiet and normal as possible. Vadim loved the treaty between Karakhstan and Yujin now. The fact that the monarchist weren’t allowed to inspect the ships was something which he believed saved him as his oranges were dangerous.

    The next day, the oranges were loaded in a train bound of Almatii. In the first carriage, Vadim had a small place for him and two Yujin sympathizers. Vadim knew how to fluently speak Yuhua, but he didn’t found the interest or energy to enter the conversation of the two Yujiners. They were armed, at first he was suspicious about it, but soon saw that is was mostly to defend him. They were talking about some woman who was working at the port authority. The main topic of this subject was that the woman was a foreigner and also blonde, so their main problem was if the woman was blonde everywhere. Vadim could not do anything but laugh, but he also felt uncomfortable as he was also a blonde. So, now he was asking himself if the Yujiners see him as some kind of freak because of his hair. From time to time, Vadim would sometimes feel the need to make them speak with a lower voice, as their yells sometimes were covering even the noises of the steam locomotive and of the carriage. After a 16 hours trip, the train stopped in southern Karakhstan. As one of the Yujiners opened the door of the wagon, Vadim jumped out of the train happy as he numbed there.

    He recognized Wu Jindiao easily. He began walking towards him right in the moment in which an inspector came from the station to do the documents for the transport.
     
  4. Xinhai

    Xinhai Well-Known Member

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    Southern Karakhstan
    5:21 p.m.


    Wu Jindiao looked happy, his short black hair and suave goatee not embodying the image that many held of him as a communist. He bore a scar on his chin, one that did not disappear despite the smile that had planted itself across his face as he walked towards the foreigner and the inspector. He was a man of average build and height but with a charismatic aura about him. Some would consider him good looking, other would just think him another squinting Yujiner. The fact that this man, this Median, had come so far told Jindiao that this man was neither.

    The inspector, a Yujiner born in the north, perhaps Mao or Yun Province, approached the foreigner with a pad that obviously detailed the shipping manifest. His eyes glanced over the lengthy train, perhaps twenty cars or longer in length, before looking quizzically at the Median. "Oranges?" he asked questioningly. "Who could possibly need so many oranges?"

    Despite his blonde hair and strange green eyes, Wu knew that this was the businessman that he was looking for. "Dangran! Hen duo cheng!" he laughed, slapping the inspector on the back knowingly. The inspector shot him a nervous glance, but when the two gunman stepped off the train and held up red cards before Wu and brazenly snapped their martial salutes in public, the inspector simply nodded and checked the box before walking away.

    Wu nodded to the two gunman before turning to the Median. "You look nervous, my friend!" Wu smiled, moving towards the Median and shaking his hand. It was not a traditional Yujiner greeting, but was one he had found himself growing accustomed to using as he met people from around the world. There was no need to salute here, neither outstripped the other in rank, and some semblance of disguise needed to be maintained. "No need to fear, we're among friends here! I'm Wu Jindiao, leader of the Hongmenghui" he said, lifting his arms and gesturing to everything around him.

    The entire industrial district of southern Karakhstan was, in one way or another, in Wu Jindiao's pocket. The unions which managed the Yujiner expatriats was responsible for ensuring 'quality and good service' in unloading products bound to destinations throughout Karakhstan met their destination. It also had the additional benefit of providing the Hongmenghui with a good base of operations to organize their secret society and plan.

    "These oranges, I assume that they have quite a zesty kick?" he inquired.
     
  5. Nitra

    Nitra Well-Known Member

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    Vadim approached Wu Jindiao. He recognized the man from some posters he saw on a demonstration of the Peasant’s Party in which the then Premier Dan Shuvalov spoke about great socialist revolutionaries from abroad, one of them being Wu Jindiao.

    “My name is Vadim Ostasenko. I am a political commissar of the Commissariat of External Affairs and I’ve been sent to give you those oranges… a gift from the people of Media to the friendly liberators of the Yujiner people,” he said in Yuhua.

    From the carriages, a crate was put on the platform and opened. It was something Vadim always liked to joke about in Media... they wanted to see if the oranges were sweet or sour. An inspection or better said taking a glimpse at the gifts before Christmas morning. As one man opened the crate, Vadim put his hand on a PSM-40 and after a sigh he said with a smile:

    “Yes, those oranges can give a strong throb to any movement and put any plan into movement. Also, I’ve been told that there are some other things prepared for you if a port is to be liberated.”
     
  6. Xinhai

    Xinhai Well-Known Member

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    "Hao, hao," Wu smiled and nodded, examining the 'oranges' that the foreigner had brought. They were good weapons by all appearances, with features that allowed for a faster rate of fire and reload than the weapons traditionally used by both the Empire and those arms carried by most Hongmenghui. He nodded to several gunmen who themselves were perusing the weapons with great interest. Most of his men did not have the training to maintain the weapons properly, he knew this from some experience gained abroad, but they would learn. He still had some weeks before everything would be put into motion.

    "Yes, indeed. These will help spark the fires that will burn away the corruption that has its chokehold on Yujin," he smiled. "You see, Hongmenghui has been organizing for decades now. We have thousands upon thousands of members in every walk of life; from emigrant to bureaucrat, baker to soldier, Hongmenghui has bided its' time and learned from the examples of its predecessors. The Republican Revolt that failed to overthrow the monarchy did not plan - it was an instantaneous decision. The government crushed them because they were unprepared, but they will find us more difficult, I think," he paused and nodded to the weapons. "Especially when we have friends supporting us."

    He motioned for Vadim to walk with him some as he meandered around the secluded area of the train station - there were no prying eyes of Karakh guards here, they had been paid off or reassigned to different posts to ensure that no one was endangered because of these events. "You see, in Yujin my people have suffered for centuries - the Emperor hoards money for himself, and gives it to foreigners who want to do nothing good for Yujin except pay us pennies, chop off our childrens fingers, and fire us when we are broken. Most people in Yujin can only afford to grow enough food to feed their families, and yet the landlords come and steal their 'share' of the harvest. Many are forced to sacrifice growing grains to produce cash crops, only for the landlords to ask for even more the next harvest."

    "Our people are oppressed, their faces held under the waters of poverty. Most people think that the Republicans failed, but they did not. They showed the nation that change was needed," he continued, nodding to the men who now held guns, each of them no doubt had families left behind in Yujin who would be executed if the government discovered that either man was a member of Hongmenghui. "Do you understand what I mean?"
     
  7. Nitra

    Nitra Well-Known Member

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    As Vadim was walking along the socialist leader, he was listening closely. He observed how the history of Yujin sometime had many parallels with Media.

    “I see. In Media or should I say Altai then, we had the same problem. The Czars held all power in Altaisk and in 1935 we had a first socialist rebellion, which actually managed to make the Czardom fall but in the power void which ensured, the army led by Hetman Roman Glushenko took power and ruled Altai with an iron fist for the next ten years. This dictatorship is known in Media as the Hetmanate. In the end it seems that the Talemantine Empire saw how weak the country has become because of the dictatorship and declared war on us. We lost the war and Zamosk is in their hands.

    But as Aleksandar Vinokourov once said, a people will realize that it needs a revolution only when they lose a war. The defeat opens their eyes, as it opened our eyes and we saw how criminal that clique was. By the time of the second rebellion, which is now known as the Median Revolution, the whole people raised to rebellion in solidarity with the victims of the dictatorship. That is why I volunteered for this mission. I am fed up by the power held only by a small rich clique, while the people is starving.”
     
  8. Xinhai

    Xinhai Well-Known Member

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    "The Republicans may have lost, but we will not," Wu Jindiao said flatly, running his hand over his shaved head and tanned skin. He looked strange compared to the paler Karakh-born Yujiners that worked the facilities here, their pale skin a testament to the northern climes they were more accustomed to. Wu had yet to spend a winter in Karakhstan, but if it was anything like Zhenjing then he knew that the people of Karakhstan were a hardy folk.

    "The problem is not that there are rich and poor," Wu continued, his words contradicting the mainstream thought held by many communists around the world, "it's that the capitalist system requires there to be poor in order for their to be rich. A man can build for himself what he can, with equal opportunity as any other, but the system should not mandate that there be those who are relegated to a slave-class overlooked by their 'betters' simply because they are not provided opportunity. Yujin will become a country of opportunity for all, I can promise that." Wu was not a traditional communist. He believed in values associated with Yujin traditions - familial piety and fidelity, honor and loyalty, and service and duty. But he also saw men as different beasts; a woman was meek and fragile, and regardless of the opportunity provided would only under unnatural forces become an able soldier. A man, contrarily, was unable to give birth of nurse young children simply because of physiology. It would be unnatural for any state to force a man or woman to fulfill the duties other than those traditionally provided to them - but he would provide them with the opportunity regardless. An opportunity for all, success for those willing to seize it.



    Nianxu Imperial Courthouse
    Cai Province
    Nianxu Commandery
    7:18 p.m.


    The protesting crowds pushed against the barriers harder this time, the fragile fence leaning at an angle that seemed to defy physics. How it still stood could only be attributed to the poor quality of its Yujiner construction, or perhaps the stubbornness of the hands that built it. Picket signs cursing the Imperial Court and the soldiers who had been tasked to defend it were thrust to the sky, a rising sea of frothing white waves amidst a churning tide of flesh and anger made manifest.

    He Weimin was little more than a conscript clad in drab grey, a rifle held in his white-knuckled grip. He was afraid now, watching the crowd push the gate further and further. Several canisters of gas had been unleashed upon them, but it had only made the situation worse. Now they stampeded forward towards them, struggling to get away from the gas that was blown inland by a coastal gust.

    The situation had deteriorated rapidly after the court had announced the sentence of Chuan Mengde and his comrades to death for their part in a conspiracy to commit treason. The prosecutors had called in the "Worker's Plot", but defense had called it a show trial, but none of that mattered now, as the crowd surged past one thousand angry protesters, well beyond the limits authorized by the government, and even beyond the scope envisioned by the Union's that had organized the event.

    The people were angry workers, many of them URWA members, but also steel workers and coal miners and other men who worked difficult jobs. Jobs whose risk warranted the kind of protests against Union crackdowns that He was unfortunate enough to see today. He sympathized with these people, many of whom would be injured or die some day in the future in their factories or mines or construction projects. They were the sacrificial lambs of progress, the necessary few that would die for the greater prosperity of Yujin.

    Prosperity, the word echoed in He Weimin's mind. He was the fifth son of a petty farmer who could not afford to feed another child, a man who had been forced into military work because the 'prosperity' of the country hadn't reached the people. But he had been taken by the military and shaped into a new man. No longer able to fully think for himself, he was a cog in a machine.

    A familiar shape appeared in front of him. The high crested cap of an officer, his dao raised high in the air. It's blade glinted in the waning rays of sunlight that seemed to disappear behind the buildings further with every passing minute. His uniform stood out easily from the crowd, it was well ironed and his boots were polished well enough to admire one's own reflection in.

    "Men!" he shouted as the fence looked to collapse entirely, "prepare your rifles!"

    The clatter of men slapping their guns to life, snapping to attention, was audible despite the roar of people. Those men who had been pushing the fence took a moment's pause, but those behind them continued to push forward. The fence began to teeter.

    "Zhunbei!" he shouted. The men raised their rifles to firing positions. He Weimin complied without thought, taking aim at the closest civilian. His mind raged against him, but his body had been drilled into this motion. It had become an instinct to follow these orders, he could not disobey. He watched the face between the notches of the sight contort into fear and panic. He covered it with the post, knowing in his body that his aim was true, and in his mind that his aim was terrible.

    "Da!" the officer shouted the final command. Weimin clenched his finger, and in a fluid motion released his trigger finger, moved his hand to the bolt, slid it back and ejected the round before slamming another into the chamber. He set the iron sights on another man, just as the fence began to fall. He pulled the trigger. The incessant sound of gunshot and bolts slamming rounds overwhelmed whatever noise the crowd had made. Five shots, the clip was empty. He set the butt of his rifle against his thigh and pulled out another five round clip, sliding it into the chamber until all five had been eaten by eat. He pulled out the strip and snapped the bolt back into place, taking aim and gunning down another worker.

    "Advance!" the officer shouted, using his sword to cleave through the body of a worker that had madly dashed to stop the massacre. The move seemed graceful and elegant, but the power behind the strike was obvious. He Weimin took a step forward, firing shot after shot into the retreating workers as they scrambled into buildings, down alleys, and beyond the range of the guns. Like cockroaches they had disappeared, but beneath his feet he saw a stream of blood flowing northwards, towards the river that would take it to the sea. His boots were bloodied, and in that moment he had enough sense to gather himself long enough to feel regret and pain. The screams of the dying and wounded were all that was left now, a terrible, agonizing noise that never seemed to stop even after the soldiers had ended their miserable lives with the ceremonial dao's they all carried.

    And, at the corner of his eye, he could see the white faces of families too scared to peel their faces away from the corners of their windows higher up in the multi-story complexes that rose around the courthouse. They watched him, their eyes full of accusations, knowing that he was little more than a murderer in a uniform.
     
  9. Miroslavl

    Miroslavl New Member

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    The People's Palace
    Volodymr, the Soviet Republic of Miroslavl


    Four red phones rang in four offices at once. Four hands picked up the receivers moments later.

    "Get in here." The voice on the other end of the line was quiet, gruff, and not under any circumstances to be denied. The men were out of their offices within seconds, and standing before the doors to their superior's office in minutes. The four men were amongst the most powerful individuals in the Soviet Republic of Mirosoavl. The black-uniformed guards of the Fifth Directorate guarding the Premier's doors searched them twice all the same.

    The Premier's office was extravagantly appointed - a legacy of it's past as the private study of the Kings of Miroslavl. The windowless room was at the very heart of the palace's structure, located upon the top floor and well guarded by several sturdy walls all around, not to mention the palace's roof, reinforced with concrete and steel some thirty years prior. While the structure could not of course withstand a sustained bombardment, it was serviceable enough to protect those within - especially until they could reach the private metro station buried deep below. Inside, facing the doorway and centered beneath a Miroslavan flag, Premier Iosif Miroslava, head of state and undisputed leader of the Soviet Republic, sat at his desk and calmly smoked a pipe as four of the eight members of the State Advisory Committee filed quietly into the room.

    They were unsurprised to see a fifth member of the Committee already waiting when they arrived. Ivan Miroslava, the Generalissimus of the Soviet Republic and, technically, the supreme commander of the Miroslavan Soviet Armed Forces, was already seated off to one side, frowning as he leafed through an unmarked folder. The Premier's son and designated successor had been involved in every meeting since he had first been appointed to his position two years ago, and while his health and ideology may have been somewhat suspect his competency or validity was not in question. The Committee was, however, slightly surprised to see a third figure in the room - a beautiful young woman of obvious Kozak descent, wearing the uniform of an Efreitor in the Miroslavan Red Guard.

    The Premier's daughter wasn't unknown to them, of course. In fact, one of them - Minister of State Security Aleksandr Dzerzhinsky - was even her godfather. Precisely what young Ekaterina Miroslava was doing at a meeting of the State Advisory Committee was a mystery, however. One they did not get much time to ponder, as the Premier began speaking immediately after the Committee had sat down.

    "The situation in Yujin is developing to our benefit." the Premier said without preamble, standing and beginning to pace behind his desk, head bowed in concentration. "Their Imperial government is beginning a crackdown on dissidents an has ordered the execution of several prominent political activists after an obvious show trial. This is, of course, as likely to work out well for them as it did for our ever-so-wise king fifty years ago." Iosif turned towards them, gesturing with his pipe. "The Soviet Republic must be ready to add a spark to all that fuel the Yujin imperialists are so thoughtfully pouring all over their country for us. And we must do it quickly, before someone else intervenes. Opinions?"

    It was, of course, Minister Dzerzhinsky that everyone turned to first. An old hawk who had been leading the Soviet Republic's law enforcement and intelligence service - the People's Commissariat for State Security - since it's inception, it was the agents of the Second Directorate of the NKGB who were the Soviet Republic's chief eyes, ears, and hands worldwide. Aleksandr Dzerzhinsky was not a man to be trifled with, and his loyalty to the Miroslava family and the Soviet Republic was absolute.

    The Minister cleared his throat and leaned forward. "There is little in the way of an organized communist movement in Yujin." he admitted. "Despite our agitation. And I expect even a half-hearted purge on the Imperial government's part will eliminate what little support we have there."

    "Taking control of Yujin's government is not the chief concern." Premier Miroslava replied, sitting back down. "Controlling Khitai and Raigestan effectively is already difficult enough. Merely helping to establish a more friendly government will suffice."

    "Which is precisely why we've been supporting those 'post-delegationists' in Boliatur." Dzerzhinsky nodded. "This is why I've been pursuing another angle. Yujin's communist movements are scattered and under attack. They're useless to us. Their Christian population, on the other hand..."

    "You're speaking of Qiangzhou." Ivan Miroslava said, frowning. "Fairly isolated. Do we have contacts with them?"

    "Some. They lack equipment and reason to fight, however. The Yujin government may be autocratic, but it hasn't attacked the Christians yet."

    "So give them a reason to."

    Everyone turned toward the unexpected speaker. Ekaterina smiled thinly.

    "I understand that Yujin has a state funeral planned soon....."
     
  10. Nitra

    Nitra Well-Known Member

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    Vadim Ostasenko looked at the Yujiner as he explained his views on socialism. Vadim as tired after the trip. Even if he liked the political discussions, he wanted to retread to get some sleep. After the Yujiner ended the sentence, he asked:
    " What is the plan of action? When will the revolution begin and what will be my future duties here in the Hongmenghui? I was given order from Altaisk to advise and supervise the friendly people of Yujin in their fight for freedom."
     
  11. Ashkelon

    Ashkelon New Member

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    43RD HOLY MISSION OF THE UNITED CATHOLIC CHURCH
    QIANGZHOU


    Fr. Gwido leafed through the day's reports. Things seemed quiet as they usually were, though not as they should have been. There were always tensions in this area, given how it was a minority region. More importantly, there were Christians in the region. He had informed the mother Church in Giecz about that hogwash Miroslavan propaganda a few weeks back, as that was part of his job. It was of course, half of the reason why the Union remained quietly content during that affair, while even the Potenzan Reformed Church went so far as to make an inquiry of the Imperial Government. The other half was because Miroslavan Propaganda was, well, mostly propaganda to begin with.

    The priest sipped from his cup of hot chocolate, the thick bitter kind, which had a certain charm to it. The role of this mission here, and its subordinate projects, was twofold. On the one hand, to promote Christianity in this land, and, well, faith in general, if it came to that. On the other hand, it served in a role not all too different from past times, during the dark days of the deluge, where even the clergy fought hard to protect Swieczieman sanctity from any vile foreign influence. Indeed, beginning in 1897 with the Modern Inquisition, it had dedicated significant resources to the preservation of the doctrine of the faith, to root out the greatest heresy of all.

    And in this nation of Yujin, the Inquisition was very active. In fact, it was on the offensive. Pledging the destruction of communism for the protection of the faiths in this land, it had been involved with collecting information on their activities and feeding what they could find to the Imperial Government. In return, they would mostly leave the Christians alone, to their own devices. That was part and parcel of the mission's role in this Empire. After all, if one wished to grow a tree, the seedling would have to be protected to the best of one's ability.

    Using age-old methods refined to a highly efficient modern finish not unlike government intelligence agencies, there was no doubt that if anything were to happen with regards to the Christian population of the Empire, the Inquisition would hear about it even before their respective mother churches found out. Gwido flipped the report to the next page. Yes, this was a tiresome, thankless job, but blessed was he who persevered until the very end. That was the whole point of why he volunteered to lead the mission in the first place.
     
  12. Socialist World Republic

    Socialist World Republic Well-Known Member

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    Strategic Orders
    Revolutionary Army Intelligence
    Section 7 - Toyou

    Confidential


    Recent events in Yujin have reinforced us in our belief, that the country is rapidly approaching pre-revolutionary conditions. Both the local bourgeoise as well as the imperial government it has allied with are unwilling and unable to satisfy even the most basic needs and desires of the lower classes and further modernization of the country will naturally result in an increasing proletarization of the population. We expect local communist groups to capitalize on growing revolutionary sentiment and enter into a stage of rapid social developement, enabling it to restructure state and economy into a socialist society.

    However, the increasing reactionary backlash, both on a national and international level, puts this developement at risk. The Workers' Republic, as defender of Socialism and workers' rights on an international level, has the duty to aid the organized and conscious members of the Yujiner proletariat. Goal of this involvement must be to empower the organizations of Communists in Yujin and enable them to repel attacks by the Imperial government and its foreign supporters, expand their powerbase and influence, achieve a cultural hegemony over the national discourse and create mass organization able to see the revolutionary struggle to its conclusion.

    Our analysis thereby rests on a few fundamental assumptions:

    1. The Communist movement as it exists is rooted in the developing industrial proletariat of the country, as evidenced by the most radical struggles occuring in the environment of traditional industrial struggles for working conditions and wages.

    2. Yujins capitalist class has allied with the most reactionary feudal remnants in the Imperial government to deny the working class any progress in the perpetual class struggle.

    3. This - perhaps ironically - scrutinizes the reformist and revisionist parts of local labor organizations and empowers those which propagate a revolutionary answer to the problems of the industrial class in Yujin.

    4. Increasing repression of workers organizations endangers the fledgling revolution in Yujin. This issue is one of the most important that needs to be adressed.

    5. The industrial proletariat on its own must be considered too weak to see the revolution to its end. Its most promising ally in Yujiner society is the agricultural proletariat, that is growing rapidly as the capitalist mode of production expands further into the sector and reorganizes the land into monopolized structures by merit of economic force.

    Given these assumptions, our orders for the Revolutionary Army Intelligence are to establish contacts with influental Communists throughout Yujin and maintain communication channels with Carentania and inbetween the isolated groups. Reliable members of these groups of varying influence and position are to be invited to Carentania to receive a professional education in socialist sciences and military training, where applicable.

    Further orders will follow, as the situation developes.
     
  13. Xinhai

    Xinhai Well-Known Member

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    Southern Karakhstan
    5:23 p.m.


    Wu Jindiao paused for a moment and looked around, running a hand over the short, black hairs that covered his close-cut scalp. He allowed himself a moment to think. There were many things that needed to be done; training troops, translating propaganda, purchasing provisions, even entertaining the men. Jindiao frowned and turned his eyes to the ground for a moment.

    "Comrade Ostasenko," he began, letting his hand fall to rest on his hip, "I think I might require your services in the field of intelligence. I need a man who can predict the moves of our enemies, and can help us establish some for of communications network. I'm going to need radio's." Wu smiled for a moment, looking at the blue sky above. "Lots of radios."



    Imperial Heroes Cemetery
    Zhenjing Province
    Zhenjing Commandery
    5:57 p.m.


    The motorcade had arrived at the cemetery in sombre fashion. A ceremonial guard awaited them, snapping salutes whilst carrying older-model rifles upon their shoulders. Their uniforms, stark grey parade dress reminiscent of Western attire, expressed the attitudes by the people as they filed out of the vehicles on the evening of October 2nd. Several high ranking officers of the Imperial Police moved to lift the heavy casket, while others dressed in formal wear proceeded to where the ceremony would take place.

    The graves of the cemetery were traditional in style, small tombstones like thrones nurtured within a small incense carrier and pedestal for burning offerings to the dead. Behind each tombstone, a cylindrical marble wall no wider than the tombstone sheltered a small shaft of dirt and lush green grass; within the body of the dead. Many newer cemeteries did not maintain the grass tuft behind the tombstone, the monument was simply constructed atop the grave. But the Imperial Heroes Cemetery was different, it afforded its eternal guests every honor.

    The elderly officers, approaching retirement as they carried the bodies, were escorted by an honor guard who carried the flag of the Empire. It took the procession many long minutes to finally arrive at the open graves, and in total hundreds of people now stood to send off the dead. Deathly quiet, several men, the most honored men of the Imperial police, stood before the tombs as each casket was prepared to be sent down to the underworld. The governor of Zhenjing, one of the highest ranked members of Imperial society, and brother-in-law to Xiong Qirui, bowed before the nine caskets. The crowd, hundreds large, followed suite.

    It was a depressing sight for Ge Hulan, who watched through a pair of binoculars from a hotel near the outskirts of the cemetery. Two men fumbled with each other, nagging over this and that. The nuances of when mattered little, Ge realized. But, as he pushed the button and watched the flash rip through the crowd, and felt the thud that sent pieces of plaster falling from the old walls of the structure, accompanied by dust and soot, Ge Hulan truly felt like a devil.

    "Wan le, wan le," one of his brother-comrades reflected in abstract shock as his eyes looked out the scene.

    The shouts and orders of soldiers scrambling to the scene was quickly drowned out by the screams and wails of the dying. He had turned his eyes away from the scene, but in his mind he could envision the carnage. He fell to his knees and moved his hands in the sign of the cross on his body, kow-towing before an invisible entity that he felt he had wrong.

    "Tianzhu, yuanliang wo."



    Somewhere in Liangang
    Mao Province
    Liangang Commandery
    6:42 p.m.


    Men shuffled about the small basement, muttering amongst themselves quietly. Some of them disassembled and reassembled rifles, others exercised on crude implements, while others attempted to relax. Some wore rudimentary combat dress, green uniforms. Others wore heavy coats, preparing for the cold weather to come. A crude radio stood beside a table surrounded by four men smoking cigarettes. Two of them played Go, their eyes analyzing each other stringently despite the tunes that came from the device beside them. The others watched them, occupying their time with plans and strategies of their own.

    Li Jinyuan had planned several moves in advance and placed his black piece beside a white piece, trying to distract his opponent so that he could entrap a block of his opponents. It was a game that required much foresight and strategy despite its simplicity, much to Li's enjoyment.

    A sergeant named Huai Yuli sat across from him, his opponent. Yuli wasn't as talented as Jinyuan, and did not anticipate the creeping trap Jinyuan had set up as he placed his white piece where Jinyuan had anticipated he would. He'd fallen into his trap, it would only take a few more moves to make that apparent.

    "Yuli," Jinyuan started as he placed his piece and puffed on a cigarette, "have you heard from the wife?"

    The question was a simple one, but one that mattered. Many of the men in Jinyuan's unit were young and married, and the women worked hard at their homes to make them clothing and food and to find them new recruits. Most of the people in Hongmenghui were men, but a few women were members as well. Those women tended their needs, serving as medics and cooks and teachers. Few of his men knew their characters, even Jinyuan struggled to read basic orders. A man sifted through unopened letters, cracking them open and translating them for the others. Too few people got word from their families, and Yuli was one of the lucky few to have married an educated woman. His wife, Meixing, had organized a woman's club and kept the units women organized. Ostensibly, they were little more than a knitting club, but in reality they wrote propaganda and letters for each other to keep their husbands morale high.

    "Not for a week," he muttered as he placed another piece down. Yuli's face was youthful and round, and small whiskers had begun to grow on his top lip, contrasting poorly to the thick black hair that fell past his ears.

    "I got a letter yesterday," beamed a private named Po. He straddled a backwards chair, his arms hung over the back of it and his chin rest against them. "My wife tells me that many others are arriving daily. Hongting will be full of revolutionaries as well, she says. She says the ladies think that the fight there will be quick."

    Another private, known as Hong, wore a hat and round glasses that made him appear educated. His crooked teeth made him look awkward as he clouched in his chair to Jinyuan's right. "With words like that, you'd think the revolution would be successful in a night!" he guffawed, flashing the gnarled shapes in his mouth in an ugly smile.

    Captain Jinyuan was quiet, placing another piece on the board, which spelled out for certain Yuli's doom. He cursed and threw away his cigarette.

    "Damn you, Li tongzhi, you're too good for me," he grumbled.

    "Oh! Even I didn't see that one!" professed Hong, slapping his knee. Jinyuan did not gloat, however, and simply waited for Yuli's next move. The sergeant seemed flustered but knew that the game was still to be finished.

    "What do you think about it?" one of the men who had been cleaning his weapon asked. Everyone called him 'Bang' because he liked the machine gun best. The man next to him, who was his loader, was known as 'Tong', because he played with bullets too much. Tong liked to make his own bullets, putting in as many grains as gunpowder as the situation required. Both their eyes were turned to Jinyuan, who looked back at them.

    "About what?" the captain asked.

    "About the revolution? Do you think it'll happen in a night?"

    Jinyuan shook his head slowly. "No, I don't. Make sure you tell Gushi to write a letter to your wifes, war has a way of ruining these things." The room was quiet after that, the soft tunes of the radio and sound of metal on metal and greasy rags filling the room, providing little comfort to the men.

    "Breaking news:" the radio interrupted, "Governor Xiong Kelai of Zhenjing was killed in a bomb attack at a funeral ceremony honoring the dead officers of the attack at Liaojiang. No word on how many have been killed, but New Army officers have declared martial law to be in effect for the capital region and military units throughout the nation have been put on high alert. The Imperial government has vowed to root out rebels who participated in the attack, and Emperor Xiong Qirui has stated that those who support such villainous revolt can expect to be tried for their crimes."

    The room remained quiet.
     
  14. Miroslavl

    Miroslavl New Member

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    Secret Communication
    Second Directorate
    People's Commissariat for State Security


    Stage one complete. Continue to stage two. House condition irrelevant to mission. Plan will continue.

    -----​

    Road to Yujin
    Central Rouran


    The trucks moved east at a steady, unremarkable pace, spaced multiple miles apart. Each truck was of a different type, or at least painted a different color. Their cargo and crews were much the same, however.

    Mikhail Vorobev glanced mournfully into the passenger side mirror, looking back towards the west, towards home. After a few minutes he glanced over to the driver of the truck, his partner and brother-in-arms Anatoly Novikov. For five years, now, the two of them had been teammates, fellow members of the Soviet Republic of Miroslavl's infamous People's Commissariat for State Security, better known as the NKGB. Operatives of the Second Directorate, their task was one of securing the stability of Miroslavl through operations in foreign nations. Thus, their current mission to Yujin.

    So why were they being deployed while Miroslavl itself was at war?

    "Anatoly... do you think this is really the right time for us to be doing this? Our motherland is under attack, and here we are in the east, trying to advance a cause that isn't even our own?"

    Anatoly glanced briefly at Mikhail before turning his eyes back to the road.

    "Orders are orders, brother. The boss wants this done. So we do it. Simple as that."

    Mikhail was unconvinced. "And our homes?"

    "The Soviet Republic will be safe without us. What precisely do you intend that we do on our own, anyway? Two more guns? A hundred more?" Anatoly smiled thinly, glancing briefly over at Mikhail again. "If Yujin is liberated, we can possibly count on a million more guns. But that's not why we're here, and you know that."

    Mikhail lowered his head, grimacing. "Yeah, brother. I know." He looked up, again glancing into the rear view mirror. "Doesn't make it any easier."

    The two NKGB men were silent the rest of the trip to Yujin, their truckload of foodstuffs concealing the far more important cargo of weapons for the Yujinese Christians beneath.
     
  15. Nitra

    Nitra Well-Known Member

    Joined:
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    Bystrica
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    Ovi
    Vadim gave a slight smile when the Yujiner finished the sentence. He received an order from the People's Assembly, and especially from his friend Alen Sidorenko. The Premier said it clear: Yujin must become Socialist. And Media will do anything to help them in this adventure. Vadim couldn' let down the People's Council, let alone his friend so, changing his smile to a grin he said:
    "Media will provide with nearly anything you need. From those radios to technicians which can help your men create this communication network. Just make sure that every Median ship which docks in the Karachi docks in Lliangang are safe from indecent looks."
     
  16. Xinhai

    Xinhai Well-Known Member

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    Southern Karakhstan
    5:24 p.m.


    Wu Jindiao nodded his head at Vadim with a smile. "Liangang is as good as ours, my friend. Is there anything else you need?"



    Mao Province
    Liangang Commandery
    8:19 p.m.


    Darkness had encroached upon the city quickly, but still the crowds had not dispersed from the streets of the budding metropolis. Signs and banners still lingered, their slogans and phrases denouncing nigh everything. Many were dressed in their uniforms, designating them as factory workers, miners, or construction workers. Others were little more than peasant farmers who had run into a bad harvest season and were in the city to decry the governments failure to help.

    Indeed, much of the promised food aid that was to help the people survive the drought was still moored in the harbor that they now surrounded. The rally organizers knew this, and some thought that they planned to storm the expansive harbor and take the grains and foods for themselves. There was no chance of that, however - though more than ten thousand protestors stood outside the harbor gates, several hundred armed police kept them at bay. A strong, sturdy barricade had been constructed and a machine gun looked down on them from a watch tower. Several officers shouted from megaphones to demand the crowd disperse, while lively activists blared through their own poorly-made megaphones to drown out the noise.

    Huai Yuli made himself as inconspicuous as one could be in a teeming sea of animosity, raising his fist and joining in the chants but doing his best to avoid the front ranks. Among other cadres from his unit, his responsibility was to distribute fliers encouraging further protests. The papers had colored pictures on them showing diligent soldiers, hard-working farmers, and coal-smeared miners with their fists raised to the sky in unity.

    "Deng! De! Fa! Fan!" he shouted the slogan over and over again. 'Equality, Law, Justice, Food'. By now, the concerted chants of the Hongmenghui organizers had made the three words one of the more common phrases being demanded by the crowds. Equality for the workers. Law for the masses. Justice against the rich. Food for the starving. All the best phrases came in four simple characters, Huai Yuli knew. The protest may not have been organized by the Hongmenghui, but by now no one was in control of it. These four simple words would sow the seeds of the geming in each of them.
     
  17. Xinhai

    Xinhai Well-Known Member

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    Outside Liangang Harbor
    Mao Province
    Liangang Commandery
    12:20 p.m.


    In front of the gates of the harbor the crowd surged against sturdy barricades set in place by the police. Private Hong did his best to stay away from the front of the crowd, but like lemmings the mas of angry bodies pushed him steadily forward. "Deng! De! Fa! Fan!" they shouted. New signs had replaced the old, and it was clear the a socialist message was being presented by the crowd. Demands for food, equal pay, and worker's rights were all being made. But one sign, larger and newer than the rest, had stirred the most controversy.

    The two character's were painted in red atop a flag of white, dripping like blood. "退位" Simple and few in strokes, the two characters together demanded the end of Empire. When the banner had first been presented, soldiers in the harbor had stirred to life. Now shouts were being thrown by both parties. Bottles soon followed, and fists were shaking in the air angrily beating on invisible soldiers. To the west along the road a line of soldiers quickly began to form. A group of protesters, a small fragment of the protest but numbering more than a thousand in their own right, turned to stand off against this new threat. An officer in the crowd spoke through a megaphone, demanding the crowd disperse peacefully. But now, threats of force were being made, and rifles were present in the arms of the soldiers. The ranks of the New Army had been bolstered, from a few squads to an entire company.

    They pushed forward towards the crowd, marching through the no man's land that separated the New Army from the protesters. Adolescents in the crowds threw empty bottles and rocks at the police, and though the objects no doubt hurt the oncoming infantry, it did not stop them. Until one kid, no doubt a naive university student, hurled a strip of firecrackers. The strip began to erupt mid air, and landed in the midst of the military unit. Some of the cracks didn't sound like the others though, they were deeper and more forceful. One of the soldiers collapsed, followed by another. Panic set on, and the soldiers raised their weapons and fired without command on the protesters.

    The mass of thousands of protesters was overtaken by chaos almost immediately. The people fled the gunfire from the New Army, heading back into the crowd of protesters. The demonstration turned into a stampede, and dozens of men by the gates were desperately trying to climb the barricades to prevent being trampled by the crushing mass behind them. Two decades-old machine guns mounted on trucks behind the barricades opened fire on the crowd, and scores more died. Even after every soul which had tried to climb the fence now seemed to drape the crest like blood-soaked tapestries, the guns continued to fire into the crowd. Bodies lined the boulevard outside the harbor, and groups of hundreds broke out into the streets surrounding the port, fleeing into neighboring districts for shelter.

    At the end of the massacre, the sign which had called for the abdication of the Emperor lay on the ground, riddled with bullets and stained by blood, surrounded by the screams of the dying, and trampled by the boots of soldiers who policed the bodies into trucks. Those who weren't dead were simply shot. Soon, paths were cleared and trucks began to leave the port, bound for their destinations to deliver the delayed cargo. The drivers of the vehicles nervously averted their eyes, and no one asked where the dead would be buried. By the end of the day, marksmen were patrolling the rooftops and two tanks sat outside the harbor, bunkered down with sandbags.

    Hong himself had made it out of the massacre alive, but he was a ghost of a man as he entered the basement where his cadre was. "What happened?" Captain Jinyuan asked, "I heard gunfire." Hong was rattled and jittery, shaking nervously. His clothing seemed unkempt, as though someone had tried to rip it off of him. "Tell us, Hong. We need to know."

    "They... the army came. And they just started shooting, and didn't stop until everyone was gone or dead."

    Li Jinyuan fell into his chair, speechless. The other men around the room had all stopped what they were doing and looked at him. He had hoped that he would have more time to organize his forces in Liangang, but at this juncture that would be a costly luxury that could cost him victory. "Men, we need to spark the revolution now, or else it will be beyond our control. Huai Yuli, I need you to get another demonstration organized, I want the people on the streets again in three days. Po, get another group together and demand the return of the bodies. We're going to need to turn this into something that angers people, not frightens them. We won't win if the people are too afraid. Understand?"

    Po and Huai Yuli shook their heads in acknowledgement.

    "Good. Take who you need to make sure that you can get those things done. Send word to the other safehouses that all men are to be at their posts at all times now, if we're to act it will have to be done within minutes, not hours." The others around him shook their heads again, but no words were said. Private Hong sat in his chair, still dishevelled and staring through Jinyuan as though he were a ghost. The boy had never seen someone die before, he had never been a member of the Army and as such had never had to feel the pain of putting down a peasant himself. It was not easy to witness your first murder, much less the massacre of hundreds, Jinyuan realized. Sad that those dead would not be the last.



    Nicolaj stepped off the boat cautiously, the plank connecting it to the dock swayed with every wave. Liangang seemed to be strangely quiet he thought to himself as he carried a large duffle bag down the ramp and onto the pier itself. Another man followed him closely, carrying a briefcase within which he carried an expensive 8mm video camera. Conflict was erupting across the globe, and Nicolaj knew that many of those stories would earn him a lot of money, but something had compelled him to come from Danmark to witness the tensions building in Yujin. Many of the other conflicts were already being reported on by dozens of sources, and the market was too saturated with information to be worthwhile. But few cared of the happenings in some Eastern nation.

    Still there was a case to be made for reporting in Yujin, Nicolaj knew as he walked towards the terminal where immigrants and tourists were processed. The number of people there was quite small, but despite their low number they were quite abuzz. Much of the media coverage in Yujin was strictly regulated, there was no pretended freedom of the press. The one agency which did cover Yujin, known as the Imperial Daily, was a biased organization given little credibility outside Yujin. That meant that any information he could get would be much more valuable. He did face one risk, however: it was doubtful he'd pass security as a journalist. The government maintained a monopoly on power, and it meant to keep that.

    He lowered his head and pretended to go about his business, ignoring the guards mostly and feigning interest in some Yujiner phrase book. He had learned what he felt was necessary to communicate, but surely the people of this country were smart enough to understand English. If not, Nicolaj had enough money to pay for an interpreter for nearly a year, plenty enough to ensure he found whatever if was that had drawn him here. The lined pushed forward slowly, but when one of the guards began to shout at an immigrant, Nicolaj couldn't help but look up. He watched as a club came down hard on the mans face, again and again, and every time the assailant struck Nicolaj couldn't help but wish he had learned a few more words. The man was drug off to a room at the side of the facility and the blood on the floor was mopped up. Nicolaj spared a glance at the bucket and noticed that the water had already been well stained. The drying water left behind a faint red stain. Nicolaj felt nervous and fumbled for his passport as one of the guards demanded to see it.

    "Woah boo show Yujinhuah," he stammered nervously in toneless Yujinhua as the man began to ask him an array of questions. He pulled out a form he had filled on the boat and handed it to the guard, who looked at him with animosity.

    "You press? Foreign media?" the guard seemed to ask in a sharp tone as he looked at the document.

    "No, just a student. I'm here to study. Nian shoo."

    "You no student. You press," the guard stated matter of factly. "In Yujin no foreign media."

    Nicolaj scratched his neck and smiled nervously, repeating the same phrase again. He had planned his lies out better on the boat, but the language barrier meant that his fancy language skills were absolutely worthless. He sincerely wished he'd hired a translator on the boat now.

    "You must come. Follow," the guard said in poor English. Nicolaj had presumed too much, if the government couldn't even assign foreign speakers to the nations main port of entry, how could he hope to pass in the country itself without knowing Yujinhua. Nicolaj followed the guard into a room next to where the bloodied man from before had been taken. His companion, Artur, followed behind. His face was pasty looking, it was obvious that he doubted they could enter the country. At best, they would be sent home, Nicolaj felt. At worst, they wouldn't.

    The entered the room and almost immediately the dufflebag was torn apart and searched especially thoroughly. The briefcase within which the expensive camera was contained was pried open with a wedge, and the camera within was looked at scrutinously. Nicolaj tried to speak to them to ensure they didn't damage the device, worth more than all of the Yujiners annual salaries combined, but the effort was futile. The film was ripped out and smashed under the boot and the camera was thrown back into the briefcase. "You are press. Now we send you to jail."

    "But we haven't even enterred the country!" Nicolaj protested. It didn't matter, within minutes the shackles were on, his belongings were thrown into burlap sacks and he was hauled to a wait truck. Two guards there watched him curiously but said nothing. He was loaded into the vehicle and had a black linen bag pulled over his head. The rattling of the axle as each bump in the road was hit accompanied the coughs and chatter of two guards speaking their native tongue. No doubt they were mocking him, Nicolaj knew.

    After what seemed like forever the vehicle finally stopped. The hood was pulled off his head and, after adjusting his eyes to the bright light, he looked around. A guardsman squatted in front of him, his narrow eyes looking into Nicolajs curiously. Nicolaj wanted to speak, but he couldn't. He took a brief moment to look at his surroundings and realized that he wasn't at a prison at all. They had taken him to a park, no doubt in some secluded corner of the city. "Are you a journalist?" the guard asked in very good English. Nicolaj was taken aback for a moment, but shook his head no. "Answer me honestly, or I will take you to the jail and there you will stay. We do not have such a fair court system here as you do in the West, so I advise you to tell me."

    Nicolaj hesitated for a moment and didn't answer. Instead he just looked straight into the eyes of the guard daringly, and the guard looked back at him. After a minute the guard simply nodded and smiled. He was not the same one that had questioned him at the port, he realized, and there seemed to be something different about him. He did not have the air of an aristocrat who was privileged enough to gain an education, something about him seemed familiar.

    "Where are you from? Engellex, by your accent, I think?" the guard asked again. The second guard raised an eyebrow but did not speak.

    "Danmark."

    "Is your camera broken?" the man asked.

    "No, but I lost my film," he frowned.

    "You have more I bet," the guard said as he lifted the briefcase and knocked on it. A hollow sound accompanied the rattle of tin, "no doubt a secret compartment?"

    Nicolaj looked at the ground abashedly. "Yes."

    "Good," the guard said. Nicolaj raised an eyebrow in curiosity at the guard but was quiet. "The West should know what is really happening here. You and your friend can take your camera and go, but do not get caught filming. In a few days, you will have your story. The West thinks that the only thing happening here is protests and union crackdowns, they don't know the truth." The guard reached into his jacket and pulled out a rumpled up piece of paper and a red card with a golden cross on it. On it was a bakery address written in Yujiner character and English. "Go here and show them this red card. Tell them who you are, and you will have your story."

    The guard untied his and Artur's binds and Nicolaj rubbed his wrists but did not take his eyes off the guard. "Who are you? Why are you letting me go?"

    "We're Hongmenghui members. That is all you need to know. Now go, we must leave." The guard forced Nicolaj out of the vehicle and motioned to the other. "Lai! Lai!" They mounted the vehicle which rumbled to life and sped off, leaving the two Westerner's in the middle of the city without a map, passport, or translator.

    "Well, it's better than jail," Nicolaj mumbled to his companion Artur as they walked to the closest store. Nicolaj stuffed the red card into a secret pocket in his jacket and looked over the wrinkled bakery business card. At least it had Yujiner characters on it, someone might be able to point him in the right direction.
     
  18. Xinhai

    Xinhai Well-Known Member

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    (ooc: continuing where I left off)

    Liangang
    Mao Province
    Liangang Commandery
    6:20 a.m.


    Nikolaj finally arrived at the inconspicuous bakery, looking down at the card, back to the address, then to the buildings flanking it to make sure he had the right address. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary by this building, though it was early in the morning and a fog hung low between the buildings and prevented him from looking far into the distance. Dim lights illuminated the fog, which created a strange sense of both brightness and darkness. Nikolaj rapped his knuckles against the door, tucking away the instructions and pulling out the red card, flicking it between his fingers.

    A moment passed and Nikolaj felt nervous. He rapped on the door again, and behind it he could hear some muffled voices. The door creaked open, revealing shadows within the as yet unopened shop. Nikolaj could only make out the silhouette of a figure peering back at him from the crack between the door. Nikolaj felt the hair on his neck stand on end, the distinct gut sensation that there was a weapon pointed at him sent a shiver down his spine. He raised the red card into what little light there was, and the door opened. Two men burst out and quickly grabbed Nikolaj and Artur, pulling them inside.

    "Nimen shi shei?" a voice asked curtly.

    "What?" Nikolaj asked, completely ignorant of what the Yujiner had said.

    The man shook his head and seized the red card from Nikolaj, stuffing it into his pocket. "Who are you?"

    "Press," he responded quickly.

    "Why are you here? Who sent you?" A light turned on, and Nikolaj could see through the man's plain clothes that he was a man who was ready to fight.

    "One of your people picked us up at the harbor yesterday," Nikolaj said, "they said to come here. They said you'd have use for us. We have a camera, we just need a story."

    "A story? You were at the harbor yesterday, you did not see?" another Yujiner inquired.

    "See what?"

    "Some reporter you are," the man muttered. Nikolaj was not sure what he could have said, but the other man raised a hand signalling for the others to be silent.

    "My name is Li Jinyuan. You are?"

    Nikolaj looked at Mr. Li for a moment, then to the other men in the room, wondering just how safe he was. The entire country seemed to be dangerous for him now,he still remembered the rough reception he had received when he first entered the country. "My name is Nikolaj. This is my cameraman, Artur."

    "Welcome Nikolaj and Artur, to our little operation. We are Hongmenghui, revolutionaries seeking the downfall of the Emperor and the rise of the People to power. If you want a story, you have arrived just in time. War is coming. In two days, you will seen everything that needs to be seen."
     
  19. Xinhai

    Xinhai Well-Known Member

    Joined:
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    Beihai Jie, Liangang
    Mao Province
    Liangang Commandery
    7:12 p.m.


    Northsea Street was an otherwise inconspicuous street, standing out from dozens of other medium-sized thoroughfares in no significant manner. It was three car spans wide, flanked on either side by dwellings built atop street-level shops. Almost everything could be found on this street, from watchmakers to plumbers to bakers, the street was an image of the thriving economy of Yujin's wealthiest city. Despite this, however, shops began to close one by one, in broad daylight. Metal doors and gates closed over the shop fronts, signs turned out informing would-be customers that they were closed.

    Then, trickling in slowly at first, came men of all shapes, sizes, and professions. Workers poured into the streets, dispersed among them loosely were signs that held various slogans. Some of them demanded justice for the massacre that had occurred only days before, others demanded freedom, others demanded bread; most demanded a reduction in income taxes, which unfairly discriminated against wage workers in industries and not the subsistence farmers of the interior who earned no income. The people were gathering for a number of other reasons, some were former revolutionaries from three decades prior, many others were scions of the revolutionaries, raised with unrealistic goals and ideals. Others were nationalists, sore that the nation's prestige and sovereignty had been sacrificed to defeat a rebellion; in their eyes, the government had lost the legitimacy and right to defeat the rebellion for such an act.

    Several stores hung large banners decorated with various slogans from them, and by the end of an hour the street was completely full of protesters. Some police watched from a distance, astride horses and a handful of cars. They did not have the means to disperse the crowd, and so they simply watched. Whether or not they wanted to join, who could tell. There were no red flags being woven here, though; no Hongmenghui had organized this rally. It was one of many which had spontaneously developed over the past day as a result of the massacre, the nations most prosperous city was slowly being shut down by masses of citizens who demanded answers from the government.
     
  20. Xinhai

    Xinhai Well-Known Member

    Joined:
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    Liangang Harbor
    Mao Province
    Liangang Commandery
    2:25 p.m.


    The harbor of Liangang, the largest and perhaps most important import/export center in the nation, was still alive with activity despite protests having shut down much of the city for the past week or so. The government had responded in force, with soldiers guarding numerous locations. Once could tell the conscripts apart from the professional military by their garb; the "Imperial Army" were ill-trained conscripts with outdated equipment, more often than not wearing traditional blue robes and bright red conical hats typical of servants of the Emperor. "New Army" troops, dressed in drab grey, were professional troops equipped with the best weapons - submachine guns, automatic rifles, and vehicles. The New Army soldiers kept watch over the gates, while the Imperial Army monitored the harbor itself.

    There was widespread dissatisfaction among the Imperial Army men, many of whom had joined the Hongmenghui. Once such man now assisted a retinue of Yujiner workers unloading crates from a ship ostensibly flagged as a Siyang merchant vessel. No one was the wiser as the crate was loaded onto a different truck, itself sputtering to a start. The soldier shook the hand of the worker, hopped into the utility truck, and drove off towards a nearby warehouse. He took off his robe and conical hat, wearing the clothes of a typical worker, and motioned for the assistance of some other workers.

    These men had no affiliation to the Hongmenghui, but they did not know better. They unloaded the crate, and together with the soldier, carried it into the warehouse, never bothering to inspect the contents or cross-reference it with the cargo manifest. The soldier shook the worker's hands and departed, leaving the truck parked nearby. Whether or not anyone heard the ticking inside the box, who could say.

    An hour later, it - and its contents - exploded within the main ammunition dump within the Harbor. The resulting cascade of explosions tore through numerous warehouses and set no less than half of the harbor ablaze.



    Somewhere in Nianxu
    Cai Province
    Nianxu Commandery
    5:02 p.m.


    "Alright, let's get this meeting started," said one voice rising above the murmurs of the others around him. "The meeting is in order! Attention, please!" The crowd began to hush.

    "The order of business is this: the Hongmenghui (红盟会 Red Oath Society) seeks to form a formal alliance with the Fuguotuan (复国团 Restore the Nation League) and the Dongyuhui (东陆会 East Coast Association) to overthrow the Emperor Xiong Qirui," the man began. He was not Wu Jindiao, but his words carried weight. He was Wu Jindiao's right hand man, Shen Diguo; the other men in the room, however, were equally important.

    Han Juemin of the Restore the Nation League was head of a united front of Republicans and scions of revolutionaries from a generation past who still sought to establish a Republic. He was a principled, discriminating man who held no love for Wu Jindiao, a man he thought of as little more than a terrorist and an idealist.

    Zhu Ciwei of the East Coast Association represented a number of business interests that were unhappy with the Empire's discriminatory laws that had prevented Yujin from capitalizing upon its early industrialization attempts. Radical and yet pragmatic, Zhu Ciwei envisioned widespread social change that would carry Yujin to the forefront of the world's economy. Ideologically, though, he was as much of an enemy to Wu Jindiao as he was to Xiong Qirui. The Hongmenghui and Dongyuhui were little more than allies of necessity, pooling their resources together to topple the greater evil. There was no doubt that the two would ultimately come to blows, though.

    Han Juemin rose from his seat, clearing his throat and carefully avoiding looking too closely at either Mr Shen or Mr Zhu and instead speak to the crowd as a whole. This reduce the opportunity for an unnecessary confrontation, one which seemed likely given the diverse interests represented in this room. "We are in agreement with Shen Diguo, the Emperor must abdicate."

    "Abdicate," agreed Zhu Ciwei, not caring to avoid confrontation so much as Han Juemin had, though. "But in favor of what?" he asked.

    This was a source of great contention among the three main groups, their disparate ideologies nigh incompatible with each other save for one facet which Shen Diguo pointed out: "The will of the people, brothers and sisters. The Emperor no longer deserves the Mandate of Heaven, as he would seek to style himself as endorsed by such a phenomenal idea. Instead, I believe that we can all agree that a new era has come, an era where the Mandate will pass from huangdi to renmin."

    "I agree with Mr Shen," Han Juemin added.

    "But which slice of the people? The Hongmenghui represent the poor, we the wealthy, and the Fuguotian everyone between them. Speaking directly to the problem, the poor outnumber the wealthy and those in between five to one. We simply cannot see how we stand to profit from this endeavour." Zhu Ciwei calmly continued.

    Han Juemin seemed upset that the Republican ideals he maintained would not be put forward before the people for a plebiscite, but he could not argue with Zhu's cold logic. Shen Diguo, however, had yet another answer. "Once the Emperor has abdicated, we will work together to write a document upon which to form a system of government. Each interest will be able to shape the future system and ensure that it works not only in their favor, but in favor of the future of the nation."

    Zhu Ciwei toyed with his mustache which Han Juemin consulted with an aide. No one else could hear their whispers, the words shared between the two men were ones of mistrust however. "The Hongmenghui are obviously bluffing. They'd never share power with the Fuguotian, must less allow the Dongyuhui to shape the future system," Han whispered. The other man nodded to Zhu Ciwei, "He is considering the offer. There must be some advantage to this. We must worry about eliminating the Emperor first, then we can determine the future of Yujin from a stronger base of power..." his aide advised him.

    "We agree," Zhu Ciwei spoke after a moment, his eyes glancing to Han Juemin.

    Han turned from his aide to Shen Diguo, "We agree." Han's eyes turned to Zhu's knowingly.

    "Then we are in agreement. From today, we form the Yujin Geming Lianmeng (余金革命联盟 Yujin Revolutionary Alliance). For the future of Yujin, together we stand opposed to the oppression of the Emperor," Shen Diguo raised a cup of rice wine in toast.
     

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