(Yujin said that we wouldn't be able to know that the province is on the verge of being taken - due to reasons I'll include in the text below - but that we should know enough that sending troops would be a good idea, possibly to retake the capital, for example. Might want to rewrite the scale of panic in your post.) Shanghu Xinan Province Shanghu Commandery The Engineer continued on his watch. As of three days ago, his task had gone from supervising the construction of the arsenals, to supervising their maintenance. Two months of hard work were finally starting to bear fruit. It had started simply enough as they arrived on a train from Danbu. And now, as the manufacturing supplies continued to stream in, they worked day and night to build these arsenals. True enough, they had received word that the SEA was being redeployed to Xinhai, and they would be providing vital support in the form of munitions and tanks. The original arsenal, which these two were supplementing, now focused on supplies. Raw materials were being shipped in through Danbu - and soon - through Ningwei, assuming the Union would be able to take smooth control over that city. He'd heard it had become a communist stronghold, which could mean things would not be such a smooth ride. But he was confident that they would be able to find a solution to the problem. Maybe. All said and done, however, he only cared about getting his job done. After all, he was being paid to take care of the arsenals themselves, not the raw materials that would be coming in. That was the manager's job. Ningwei It was a September morning like any other, as far as the people were concerned. That is, over a dozen ships - mostly warships - appeared over the horizon. Was it a foreign attack? No, the Danish vessels that were stationed nearby did not make any effort to engage them. This could only mean, of course, that these foreign vessels belonged to whoever had made the purchase of Ningwei. Whoever these purchasers were, though, it was clear that they had no intention of leaving the port city vulnerable. This squadron had with them an aircraft carrier - an old model to be sure, perhaps from the late 30's, when navies were still experimenting on what the proper carrier design would be. Its origins as a battleship were still visible, in the fact that it held more guns than a carrier sensibly should. Nevertheless, if these purchasers were willing to invest a carrier, then there was no doubt that they wanted security over this place. People with communist sympathies would soon have either a feeling of dread or perhaps indignation, as the ensigns born by the squadron came into view, identifying the power that had purchased the port city. Their worst fear had been confirmed. The belonged to the Mezhist Union, which should not have been surprising. Who else would be interested enough to buy a port city stationed in a war-torn land? Someone with a stake in the aforementioned war. And who better could the Danes entrust this city to, if not their close allies the Mezhists? The carrier and transports had docked at port to unload personnel, who were greeted by the Danish officials responsible for the city. The communist majority of the city had been discussed in the Halls of Giecz. It was better not to shake the hornet's nest if the hornets weren't exactly the same hornets you wanted to eradicate. And as explained in an earlier memo from the Halls with regards to dealing with communism in Ivernia, no violence would be used against communists who did not strike first. Instead, the weapon of the Union would be propaganda and a grassroots movement, to imbibe the locals with the ideal of Mezhism. Or at least, the Sarmatian flavour of it. Communism was a lie. Communism only created the illusion of fairness. Equality for all, including unproductive scum who only leeched off state welfare programs. Where was the justice when the hardworking father of three was paid just as much as a single drunkard who made no contribution? Would it not be better to earn one's own? Certainly, there would be some kind of social welfare. But its purpose was not to give a man a fish. Rather, it would be to give him a rod and teach him to fish. They would transform any bums and scum into productive members of society, people who earned their keep. Such rhetoric would be only one of many tactics to be used in the campaign. Policing the city would be the responsibility of the FBS - which explained why ten thousand of them had arrived aboard the ships. The instructions were simple. Do not abuse the locals. Divide the communists against each other instead, and win them over to Mezhism if possible. Learn to understand the culture, and do everything necessary to keep up a good face. Handing out candies to children would probably be employed at some point. And speaking of the children, sneaking in indoctrination was a high priority. The Danes were still citizens of Danmark. They were to understand that these rights still applied to them. Which meant of course, that the Danish communists would be a challenge to deal with. Close cooperation would have to be made with the Danish government with regards to eliminating the threat - not by making them disappear, but perhaps, through some other means. Nevertheless, violent communism would be met with violence. There was no reason not to shoot back if they shot first. All said, of course, there was nothing stopping a few enterprising FBS officers from firing a blue gun and then painting it red, for the sake of more quickly dealing with communist problems. But Giecz was strict on this. Such false flag operations would only be authorised if absolutely necessary. The top priority was maintaining the city's stability. Its infrastructure was after all, still solid, and would be a shame if conflict destroyed it. Nevertheless, maintaining the stability while protecting the planned operations from prying communist eyes was a daunting task, to be sure. But with the FBS and FID running the city, it was a safe bet that many plots would be undertaken to erode communist support and prop up the Mezhist-Imperial cause. To the intelligence officers, it was a challenge that they were more than enthusiastic to undertake. Giecz, Mezhist Union The Director of International Affairs had welcomed the Sikandari Ambassador as per Sarmatian traditions, with only the best tea and food available. None of that teabag stuff. Only freshly grown leaves from the southern coast. Such was Sarmatian hospitality that they encouraged their esteemed guest to have the first sip. Now, from what he understood, Qiangzuo was a vital connection between Sikandara and Yujin. When they began supporting the Empire in this war, it was the only way of entry, and the Halls of Giecz did not like the idea. The Swieczieman Imperium did not prosper on single thin supply lines. And the Mezhist Union most certainly did not believe in such absurd notions as putting all of one's eggs in one basket. The Trans-Swieczieman Railway was a greatly useful network of railroads that provided for much needed industrial support. However, the late Premier Apostle Stukow had initiated the construction of the Autostrady in the late 20's, understanding that the automobile would play a vital role in the future, where it would serve as a robust supplement and alternative to the TSR. Today, the Union had a large and growing highway network that would ensure a strong and beating industrial-economic heart for generations to come. As such, from the very outset, the Union intended to set up supplements and alternatives to that one Trans-Touyou Railway. This was already seen by their work in Danbu, their recent purchase of Ningwei, negotiations with the Potenzan colonial government of Port Arturo, and plans to bypass the Caretanian blockade of Siraama, in order to restore that port city's functionality - and perhaps in the future, establish it as a prominent trade port. They had plans to open up other ports, of course, just to be sure. Suffice to say, if the increasing intensity of the attacks on the Qiangzuo leg of the railway were anything to go by, then trouble was brewing in that province, and some action had to be taken immediately. The Halls had given him their orders. An expeditionary force of, ah, "volunteers" was to be deployed to Qiangzuo and stamp out these accursed communist attacks for good. Intelligence was, of course not perfect, and the extremely rural, undeveloped, and isolated nature of the province, where many towns didn't bother to report to the authorities for months, if not years, on end, meant that neither state could be truly aware of just how bad the situation had deteriorated. The capital was almost gone. However, it retaking it certainly seemed feasible. As such, Giecz had estimated that 24,000 "volunteers" should be enough to deal with the situation. After all, this was three times the size of the Dashan garrison and so the communists wouldn't know what hit them. This contribution of "volunteers" was something that the DIA assured the Ambassador would be done immediately. Indeed, even as they spoke, the "volunteers" were already boarding the next transports to the Port City of Azirpur - surely, the Sikandari government's approval of the idea was a foregone conclusion. Danbu What had been a sleepy little port town had over the past months, grown into a large port town. Ships from the Imperial government's allies arrived here, carrying "safe" materials, essentially neutral cargo that by no means be considered weapons. Food, fuel, supplies... all generally good and useful things from those who wished to aid the Empire with things that did not explode or kill people arrived here. What had been built up was now a sanctuary for relief efforts, a gesture of goodwill from the friends of the Empire to its needy people. Any attack on this port, any sabotage of the efforts here, would only result in an outcry against the obvious enemies of the Empire as terrorism. This was also the perfect place to legally smuggle in raw materials for the manufacture of tanks, weapons, and other implements of war. Metals, chemicals, rare materials like rubber... Protected behind the shield of humanitarian aid, Danbu was nevertheless growing into an important asset in maintaining the Empire's ability to wage war.