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 Post subject: STGOD!
PostPosted: Mon Dec 14, 2009 5:23 pm 
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1308, Rome

Two men on a street corner. An older one and a younger one.

"Where have you been?" Asked the older man. The younger one shifts his weight awkwardly.

"Sight seeing, it's what we're here for right?" He replied.

"My ass. You did something." The older man snapped, his eyes hardened as he stared down his younger companion.

"So what? I had a conversation. Sue me." The younger man snarled.

"With who? It's damn important." The older one said.

"Rienzo, he thought I was... Well nevermind." The younger man said, the older man just stared at him going pale.

"What? WHAT?" The younger man asked.

"I think... You just changed history." came the whisper.

proficiscor of vicis

Now

The Year is 1930.

It is a time of divided peoples and sprawling empires. In Europe, in North America, in Africa, Asia and even South America, tribes, clans and nations find themselves split apart by the imperial lines burned into the maps of the world.

In Europe the Franco-German Axis glares across the alps at the glory of Rome, mistress of the Mediterranean. The Vasa Commonwealth warily guards itself from the ambitions of Russia. While humbled Spain licks her wounds and plots.

In North America, the United States of America continues to deal with the fact that part of it's traditional land is occupied by the Mexican Empire of the Sun, while the Kingdom of Pacifica rules the waves.

In South America and Africa, the few remaining strongholds of independent nations are surrounded by the colonial holdings of European powers that stride across the world.

In Asia the Mughal Empire dominates South Asia. Divided China gears for war against itself. Iran lurks waiting for the Will of God to show itself and Klavostan and Imperial Japan uneasily share the same ocean with each other and outside powers.

It is January 1930. A new year, but a new year of what?


February 01 to 07 = August 1930. Your build orders are due.
February 08 to 14 = September 1930 Events rolled
February 15 to 21 = October 1930
February 22 to 28 = November 1930 Events rolled

Current events:

France and Germany ask for terms, Spanish offensive stalls.

Scorecard:

Axis:Spain

Amicitia: Rome, Hungary

Neutrals: Britain, Vasa, Russia, France

Begging for Mercy: Germany

War in the Pacific Scorecard:

Brutal Aggressors aka The Gimme Pact: Mughal Empire, United States of America, Republic of the Sun (Mexico)

Valiant Defenders aka The WTF! Alliance: Empire of Pacifica

_________________
"it takes two sides to end a war but only one to start one. And those who do not have swords may still die upon them." Tolken


Last edited by frigidmagi on Tue Feb 09, 2010 3:45 am, edited 5 times in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 14, 2009 6:21 pm 
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January 1st, 1930
Washington D.C.


The lights flickered in the theater as the movie played, President Kincaid smiled as his children delighted at the private showing. Sound and color moving pictures, he wondered what would his childhood had been like with such marvelous things. A song started to play as the cartoons on the screen started to sing;

We dig dig dig dig dig dig dig in our mine the
whole day through
To dig dig dig dig dig dig dig is what we really like to do
It ain't no trick to get rich quick
If you dig dig dig with a shovel or a pick
In a mine! In a mine! In a mine! In a mine!
Where a million diamonds shine!


A slight tap on his shoulder drew his attention to a man in a suit who whispered in his ear, causing Kincaid to sigh before he whispered to his children, "Keep watching, I'll be right back, promise." He got up and left the room as the colorful voices continued;

Heigh-ho, Heigh-ho
It's home from work we go


"And off to work I go. Okay, what's the problem now, Alan?"

"It's the reports from the South, Jon! Did you hear about the church?" he waved a report in front of the President, his voice full of rage.

President Kincaid groaned, shaking his head. "I thought we broke them up for good this time, where do they keep getting the damn support?"

"It doesn't matter where they get the support, what are we going to do about it? They burned down a damn church!"

"Tell Hudson to take care of it. Meanwhile, see if you can get our men on figuring out where the money is coming from. Now, is there anything else, or can I get back to what little family time I have left? It is a holiday you know."

"Yeah, you'd think lunatics would let us have the day off, right? Nobody would ever think of attacking on a holiday," Vice President Vicious's words dripped with sarcasm as he pointedly glared at a picture of General Washington crossing the Delaware.

"Point taken. You know, you should watch this movie sometime with your family. Who knows, you might enjoy it."

"You couldn't pay me to watch that sweetened kiddie crap Jon, that's what the wife is for. Now if some sort of demon came out and they had to fight it, that might be interesting."

Jon scoffed, "A demon? Wouldn't be a very family-friendly movie then, would it?"

Alan's eyes narrowed, holding his report tightly. "Kids know demons exist, they're not stupid. The point would be to show that we can beat them, even if they move from crosses to whole churches."

Jon Kincaid furrowed his brow and nodded, "We'll talk more in an hour. Get everyone ready, I think it's time to talk about our resolutions for this year."


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 14, 2009 9:01 pm 
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January 1, 1930
Delhi, Mughal Empire


Through the austere yet sumptuously appointed halls laid down centuries ago and constantly improved and expanded upon since, a man of regal bearing and hawkish countenance strode, his dark hair and hooked nose reminscent of the most noble of falcons. Wearing bright blue and jade clothing accented by twisting floral patterns and jewellery of subtle yet exquisite craftsmanship, with a talwar in a gilded hilt at his, he walks down the main halls with a train of retainers quietly following behind as he approaches a similarly appointed if somewhat less ostentatious and grayer in the hair man.

"Aha! My uncle and royal brother! How good of you to visit!" Padshah Shaheen Bahadur says as he moves to embrace his relative, Surendra Bikram Shah, King of Nepal. Not that his surprise was entirely genuine, the movements of royalty not exactly the sort of thing that could be kept secret.

"Nephew! I must say that the weather here in Delhi is more agreeable than in Kathmandu this time of year, so I decided to come for a visit. How is the family?" Surendra inquires.

"They are well. Javed keeps getting his head full of dreams of conquest by Shahzubin, and Babur keeps managing to find ways to convince Sohrab, Aung-Hla, and I to spend ridiculous sums of money on ships and aircraft. I cannot fault the boy though, his love of falcons his second only to mine, and when his brother showed him the new dive-bombers the army built for the sieges two years ago he exclaimed that the navy must have them too to celebrate me," Shaheen says with a shake of his head.

"I had heard that he commandeered the new juggernaut squadron, but Nepal is so far from the seas it can take years for such rumours to reach us..." Surendra notes quietly.

Nodding, Shaheen says, "They were not yet true warships, their keels had barely been laid when he convinced us all to switch them over to carriers for his toys. I am entering into my dotage far too quickly if I am to give into the boy so easily, but Aung-Hla has praised the smaller carriers in their ability to hunt the pirates that infest our eastern waters, so if he thinks it a good investment, who am I to argue?"

"And your wife?" Surendra asks.

"Malai winters in Bangkok, a royal visit to remind the people there of the unity of our peoples. She can pine for the jungles of Siam, and I may join her in time, but there are more pressing matters here in Delhi. Matters I am sure you are aware of?" Shaheen explains, giving a regretful shrug at first before turning it into a sly look.

"Yes... as you know, my court keeps contact with the soldiers we send to aid you, and I could not help but learn of the movement of our gurkha regiments," Surendra says, being careful with his words. He doubted his nephew would draw ire, but it was important to tiptoe around the issues of Nepal. As the only king within the Mughal domain not to have his powers completely smashed centuries, he could not seem too weak, but both men knew that Nepal was part of the Empire, and only one of them was leader of that Empire.

Waving his hand theatrically, Shaheen says, "It is the damn Europeans again. I have had more than one ambassador seeking an audience to join with them in their incessant power struggles."

"And...?" Surendra asked leadingly. Many Nepalese soldiers, mercenaries in name really whose price was some independence from the empire for their people, had died fighting Europeans of one ilk or another over the past century and a half.

"And I will do what is best for the Empire, as my family has always done for the past four centuries. I haven't forgotten the Vasans, but I haven't forgotten the damnable Russians either, or the infidel British," Shaheen seethes. Despite the Mughal royal family having rather 'unique' interpretations of religion and syncretism that had lead to a break with their Persian cousins and the rebellion of three-quarters of the Pashtun tribes in the century prior, they remained fervent if heterodox Muslims and the occupation of Mecca and Medina by the British remained a sore spot. He then added on, "Not that the Iranians or Klavostanis are always the best neighbours either, to say nothing of the Nipponese."

"Have we ever been able to track down who exactly was supplying the Afghans for so long? Our people..." Surendra began before pausing as Shaheen shook his head.

"No. I may have been the padshah to reduce the final hold out, but my father was the one to finally break the backs of the disloyal Pashtuns and whoever their supporter was disappeared then. The trail has been cold too long," Shaheen says sadly.

"A pity. Our gurkhas have long petitioned me to find out so that they can sink their kukris into them for vengeance for the blood of the great-great-grandfathers," Surendra notes.

Nodding, Shaheen fingers his talwar and says, "All of the Empire cries out for their blood. But come uncle, let us repose for a time. Would you care to see the gardens?"

"I would indeed nephew, I would indeed," Surendra replies with a smile before the two men head off, speaking of more frivilous affairs to take their minds off the weights of estate.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 15, 2009 2:45 pm 
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January 1, 1930
Addis Ababa, Ethiopian Empire


Heruy Welde Sellase sat at his desk, flipping through a half-dozen reports on various nations. His office was a complete mess, with papers, both hand written and typed, stuck up on the walls. Relations with France were still extremely strained after the Empress's open condemnation of the European country, but he'd done what he could to limit the collateral damage that had been done. Rome was likewise a pain to deal with. They were clever bastards and they'd trick you into slitting your own throat if you didn't watch yourself, and the fact that Rome and France were enemies did not make matters any easier. Still though, he far and away preferred this to what Makonnen and Tafari were having to deal with at the Empress's Court.

Foreigners he could handle. The Ras and the Empress? That was another matter entirely.

Empress Zauditu was once again absent from Court, owing to "Other Important Imperial Business". She rarely attended court nowadays, and rumors were flying as to why. The most popular was that she had grown ill, the second most popular was that the Imperial Regent had poisoned her.

The Imperial Regent, Tafari Makonnen now sat in the chair next to the Empress's Imperial Throne. His face was passive as he listened to one of the Ras in the Southern portions of the Empire complain that his ability to adjudicate, collect taxes, and levy laws was heavily impeded by the new laws that Tafari had passed. A group of Ras grumbled their agreement to the complaints and Tafari smiled patiently, like a father listening to a child's complaints.

"My dear friend, we all understand that these are trying times. But as has been proven time and time again, one must look beyond their own lands to achieve greatness. So much each Ras then look beyond their own controlled lands and see the Empire as a whole. The changes I have made will serve to further unite the Empire and make us strong against outside agressors."

Tafari lifted a hand to cut off the Ras' objections.

"Would you have France overrun us? Or any number of other powers that look upon Ethiopia with a jealous eye?"

Ras Gugsa Welle got to his feet at this point. "I do not fear the French or any other power who would threaten the Empire."

Tafari did not miss the implication there and turned to face Welle. "I do not question your courage or ability, Ras Welle. I am simply espousing simple military understanding. If we are unable to move our troops where they need to be, or call upon all of our forces quickly enough, we will be overcome by our enemies."

Makonnen Endelkachew at this point discreetly began to applaud the Emperor, the motion caught up among about 30% of the collected Ras and Gugsa Welle sat back down, fuming. Tafari was quietly thankful that Makonnen had convinced Hailu that he was needed elsewhere, or this meeting might have gone differently.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 15, 2009 3:52 pm 
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Chancellor Gottfried Rommel sat at his desk. It was earlier than he would like, but the letters needed to be written, addressed to the embassies of both France and Russia which stood in Hamburg.

He finished them up, signed them and then folded the paper and then used a lighter to drip wax upon it, then stamped the seal of the Bundestag upon it. Then he slipped the letters into manilla envelopes and called up the diplomatic courier service. When the boy arrived he handed him both letters

"Take this to the Russian Embassy and this to the French. Inform them that it is urgent that they respond back"

"Ja Chancellor" the boy replied

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- Theodosius Dobzhansky

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The Holocaust was an Amazing Logistical Achievement~Havoc


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 15, 2009 5:18 pm 
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Imperial and Royal Proclamation from the Great Heavenly King of Peace Hong David II, who reigns in the name of his great uncle Jesus Christ and his grandfather Hong Xiùquán.

Greetings to all who should read this:

This Proclamation is to reassert and restate the policies of the Kingdom of Serene Heavenly Peace in regards to it's territories and lands currently under rebel administration. The Kingdom of Serene Heavenly Peace once again declares the truth that it is the only legitimate and legal ruler of all of China and all territories who deny it's rightful God given authority are in a state of unlawful and sinful rebellion against the Great Heavenly King and God himself.

As such any outside nation who enters into alliance with the rebels will be seen and treated as agents provocateurs against the laws and Christian Peoples of China and the world. Such an act would be counter to both international law and the Laws of God the most High. At this time, the Kingdom of Serene Peace does not call upon the nations of the world to take action upon the rebels, but instead sternly and dutifully reminds them to respect the internal matters of China as a whole and not interfere.

However, moved by compassion for his citizens in this time of woe the Great Heavenly King of Peace does grant permission for foreign nations to conduct humantarian missions in the name of Christian Charity and for the normalization of trade in areas temporary held by rebel forces and bandits. It must be noted however, that the Kingdom of Serene Heavenly Peace is not and will not be held to any trade treaties signed with rebels, nor will it enforce any such agreements or permit the deployment of foreign troops to do so on Chinese soil.

Such is the position of the Kingdom of Serene Heavenly Peace at this time until the eventual and inevitable reunion of China under it's rightful rulers.

Signed:

Great Heavenly King of Peace, Defender of the Faith, Benefactor of the People and Lord of the Armies Hong David II

Chief Minister of the Kingdom of Serene Heavenly, Chief minister of the House of Commons Peace Sun Yat Sen

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 15, 2009 9:07 pm 
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The night was cold, but not freezing, and the forum empty in the pre-dawn hours. No sound could be heard but the tapping of a brass-tipped cane on marble as Marcus Sarpaedius slowly ascended the steps of the Temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus. Behind him, the forum shimmered in the glow of the electric lights that the Urban Praetor had installed at the end of his term, the white marble edifices and bronze statues gleaming in the un-natural twilight. Emptied of visitors, the forum looked ghostly and otherworldly. Pausing to lean on his cane, Sarpaedius wished that this request had come on some other night, or in some other place.

But it had not.

The bronze doors to the temple of Jupiter were open, and the light of the gas braziers within cast shadows on the reliefs carved there by Michael Angelus Bonarotius nearly four hundred years before. Inside, the statue of Jupiter sat in majesty as it always did, face painted red, thunderbolt in hand, staring eternally out at the Roman Forum like a King. Though no priests chanted prayers to Jupiter Optimus Maximus, the scene was sufficiently pagan to make even a lapsed christian pause. Yet Sarpaedius did not pause from religious scruple, for tradition was nothing to fear in Rome, but from decorum.

"Marcus Sarpaedius," came a voice from within the temple, and though it was soft and even, in the stillness of the forum it was like a gunshot. Sarpaedius knew the voice, all Rome did, and the man who stepped from around one of the entryway columns was instantly recognizable to him from poster or newspaper, but he had never laid eyes on this man before in person. He had not believed he ever would.

"I'm glad you've come," said the man, as he folded one arm in front of himself, his expression calm and guileless. The consular toga he wore seemed to dwarf him, for the man was smaller than Sarpaedius had expected, his hair balding, nose broad, chin pointed, his skin just dark enough to be quickly identified as Turcian. He watched the younger man evenly, his expression unreadable.

"Mustaphus Cemal," said Marcus Sarpaedius, correctly, and he inclined his head slightly, but only slightly. Romans did not grovel to one another like orientals, and Sarpaedius' station was such that he did not even need to do that much. That he did was a matter of care. Paterturcii was known to all of Rome's political elite, but that did not include him. He knew only what was said about the Junior Consul, much, and of mixed report.

The temple behind Paterturcii stood empty, save for the flickering light of gas-fires dancing on marble and ivory. "Where are your vigilators?" asked Sarpaedius, confused.

"I sent them away," said Paterturcii. "I wished to think, and then to speak to you alone."

Sarpaedius did not bother to conceal his surprise, raising an eyebrow at the act. On the night of his inauguration, consuls sat vigil in the Temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus along with their friends and political allies. It was a tradition inherited from Old Rome, re-introduced by Buonapartus Restutitor a hundred years ago. Consuls did not do this by Law, but because of the Mos Maiorum, the Way of Things, the unwritten traditions of Rome, without which, some said, the Republic would wither and die, as it had once, thousands of years ago in the time of Caesar.

Paterturcii smiled, as though amused. "You do not approve," he said, not a question but a statement of fact.

An ally would not have minded this breach of tradition. An enemy would have lied about it. Sarpaedius told the truth. "I do not approve," he repeated.

If anything, this seemed to amuse Paterturcii further. "They say you are a Roman's Roman," he said, though if he was being patronizing, he gave no sign in his speech.

"They say many things," replied Sarpaedius evenly.

"And what do they say about me," asked Paterturcii.

"That depends on who is speaking."

"Do they not say that I am a foreign invader?" asked Paterturcii, leaning against the doors of the temple and grinning disarmingly. "A rapist of tradition and the Mos Maiorum, here to ruin Rome and turn her over to barbarians from the provinces?"

The Turcian said all this with such effortless disconcern that Sarpaedius felt a smile coming to his face despite himself. "I believe the term was 'a Turcian Hayseed with bad Latin and no Greek,'" he said.

Paterturcii smiled and shook his head. "And do you believe them, Marcus Sarpaedius?" asked Paterturcii, in perfect Ionic Greek, though lightly accented with the rough tones of the Anatolian Highlands.

"I am not a Pedagogue," said Sarpaedius, refusing to be boxed.

Paterturcii chuckled at the evasion, and nodded its acceptance. "Come then," he said. "Walk with me."

Slowly they walked around the periphery of the terrace on which the temple sat, looking over the valley of the Forum, and the hills that surrounded it. Paterturcii's slow stroll matched Sarpaedius' cane-hobbled pace.

"I understand that I insulted you," said Paterturcii suddenly. Sarpaedius did not respond, and the older man turned his head. "I did not offer my congratulations on your appointment to the Consularum Militarius."

"You do not know me," said Sarpaedius.

"Yet you are accounted one of the rising lights of Rome," he said. "It was thoughtless of me not to acknowledge this."

"I serve Rome as I am able," said Sarpaedius curtly, beginning to wonder where all this was headed.

"As do we all," said Paterturcii.

"Mustaphus Cemal, why did you ask me to come here?" asked Sarpaedius finally, his temper beginning to fray. "Surely it was not to apologize for an oversight and flaunt your lack of respect for the Mos Maiorum."

Rather than answer, the Turcian stopped, and half-turned back to him. "Why did you come here tonight?" he asked.

"You asked me to."

"But you do not know me."

"You are the Consul," answered Sarpaedius. "I do not need to know you to obey a summons."

"I am not Consul until dawn," said Paterturcii. "And even if I was, I have no power to compel you to come. You are a Legatus Imperialis. You have Imperium. Until the sun rises, I do not."

Sarpaedius rolled his eyes. "It did not seem prudent to ignore the summons of a Consul-Elect," he said, as though explaining to a child.

"It would not have been prudent," agreed Paterturcii, "and so you chose to forgo the Mos Maiorum in favor of expediency, and doing what was right."

Sarpaedius stopped short, and Paterturcii smiled and turned away, walking down the palisade a half dozen paces before turning back.

"I am not a violator of Rome," said the Turcian, "though I see that you think me one."

"I think you may be a violator of Rome," said Sarpaedius. "But if you are, your race is an excuse, not a reason."

"Then why do you suspect me?"

"Because you appear to have no respect for what Rome is. Because you cast the Mos Maiorum aside like a disused rag when it suits you, and cloak yourself in it at other times."

"And you believe I do these things because I am a Turcian? Does it burn at your Roman soul to see me in the Curule chair?"

"To be a Roman is not a matter of blood," said Sarpaedius. "I have known Turcians who knew what it was to be Roman. I do not know if you are one of them."

"That is not what many Romans say."

"I am not those men. But it does not matter what I believe."

"On the contrary," said the older man. "It means much. Not to me, nor to the people, but to Rome itself."

"Why?"

"Because there is a black storm on the horizon."

Sarpaedius stopped in his tracks, saying nothing, as Paterturcii slowly turned back to gaze out at the sleeping city.

"We are surrounded, Marcus Sarpaedius," said Paterturcii. "There was a time when our inland sea was ours to roam as far as we chose."

"It still is."

"Yes, but it is no longer the world entire. Our sea and the lands around it are like a castle with a well in the center, surrounded by a dark wood. And in that wood resides monsters."

Slowly, Sarpaedius approached the other man, standing next to him as the first rays of dawn crept over the Palatine Hill. "This has always been so," he said.

"Not like this," said Paterturcii. "Armed camps fill Europe, and barbarians stare down at Rome with daggers in their teeth. I brought you here because you know this, do you not?"

"I do," said Sarpaedius, "though I didn't..." he decided against finishing, but Paterturcii laughed and finished for him.

"You did not believe that a Turcian hayseed with bad Latin and no Greek could possibly care which barbarian foreigners covetted Rome. Does it surprise you, Marcus Sarpaedius, to hear a Barbarian speak thusly of Barbarians?"

"It surprises me, Mustaphus Cemal, to hear anyone speak thusly of them," said Sarpaedius, this time with genuine sentiment. "All we hear from the Comitia is that Rome is invincible and that no enemy would ever dare attack us."

"The Senate is blind because it suits them to be," said Paterturcii. "But not all of them are such fools as to ignore the signs." He paused for a moment. "We have begun to take steps," he said, "but I asked you here because, when the storm breaks, it will be you that Rome looks to."

Sarpaedius recalled the history of the man before him, former commander of the Tenth Legion, hero of the Fourth Hispanian War, now Consul twice-over, a feat never acomplished by any man not full-blooded Greek or Roman save for one...

"You are a Consul of Rome," said Sarpaedius, and this time there was real deference in his voice. "The Republic follows you in War and Peace."

"But I am not such a young man any longer," said Paterturcii with a chuckle. "I cannot galivant about the battlefield as I once could. And you have the ear of the Consularum Militarius. They decry you as an upstart now, but when the guns begin to thunder, they will look to you to save them."

"Your Auctoritas is greater than mine," said Sarpaedius. "Greater than that of any man in Rome."

"Yes," said the Turcian, "but skilled as I am, I do not have your capacities. I will require you when the time comes, Marcus Sarpaedius, not as a client or a machine for carrying out orders, but as a True Roman who is prepared to labor on Rome's behalf in his own right, even if that means violating the hallowed Mos Maiorum. For the Mos Maiorum cannot exist if Rome herself is destroyed, and thus it is the duty of all True Romans to defend her, whatever the price in Auctoritas we must personally pay."

Sarpaedius stopped. "You wish me to present my warplans to the Senate."

"Yes."

"Will they accept them?"

"That is for the Senate to decide. I have read them. I accept them. They will follow me if I devote my Auctoritas to convincing them to do so."

"Why would you do such a thing?"

"Because Rome is the Light," said Paterturcii, turning back to Sarpaedius. "Rome is everything. If we allow Rome to fall through the complasency of the Senate, then it can never rise again. Last time, it was extinguished for a thousand years. This time it will be extinguished forever. Our enemies wish to see it burn. Men of action must save Rome."

"Rome, who calls you a hayseed and conquered your people?" asked Sarpaedius. "Rome is what you seek to save? Not Turcia?"

"Turcia is Rome, Marcus Sarpaedius," said Mustaphus Cemal Paterturcii. "Whether or not the rest of the Romans have realized that is another matter. Aragonia is Rome. Phoenicia is Rome. The other Imperial Provinces will one day be Rome. That is what I seek, Marcus Sarpaedius. That is why I became Consul. Rome is not a collection of buildings nor a city, nor even an Empire. Rome is a state of being. And if that state of being is destroyed, by those who do not treasure it, it can never rise again." Paterturcii placed his hand on Marcus Sarpaedius' shoulder. "We must never permit that to occur, whatever the price we pay."

The dawn was breaking now, and the sounds of the city coming to life began to filter through to the forum, as Paterturcii removed his hand and turned back to the sight of the city, watching as the sun rose over the Hills and blanketted the valley in light. Neither he nor Marcus Sarpaedius said a word for quite a while, until finally Paterturcii spoke.

"What do you say to this, Marcus Sarpaedius?"

Down below, Marcus Sarpaedius watched the light reflecting off the polished bronze statue of Napoleon Buonapartus Magnus Restutitor, off the crown of laurel that ringed his head, and the toga folded around his body, and the vexillium he held aloft, branded with the letters "SPQR", crowned in laurel like Napoleon himself, and topped by a perched eagle.

"I say," said Marcus Sarpaedius, as he felt a smile of hope coming over him, "that for a Turcian hayseed, Mustaphus Cemal, your Latin is not that bad..."

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Havoc: "So basically if you side against him, he summons Cthulu."
Hotfoot: "Yes, which is reasonable."


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 16, 2009 2:03 am 
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Westminster Palace, Los Angeles
31 December 1929



With the exhausting process of finishing the formal grants of New Year's Honours finished, King Alexander I, King of the Pacifican Kingdoms, True King of the British Isles, and Emperor of the Pacific, opted to spend the last hours of 1929 in the balcony of Westminster Palace, looking out at King Carlos Hill* and the cool winter night sky. The lights of the bustling City of Angels, winter retreat of the Stuart Dynasty since the relocation of the Government to Sacramento in 1865, obscured the stars that otherwise shined above. There were more private palaces that the King could, and would, enjoy in the summer, where the stars did shine, but for now he was in the middle of one of his realm's largest cities, bustling with 4 million souls in the immediate metropolitan zone out of the 90 millions that he counted as his subjects.

Los Angeles, the City of Angels, where his prestigious predecessor Prince James had been crowned Henry IX of England, Scotland, and Ireland after the Cromwellian Restorationists severed "Bonnie King Charles"' head from his shoulders back in England, where the Loyalists of both the American Colonies and of the British Isles had flocked to for a new life in a new land, a bittersweet beginning after being defeated back in their initial homelands. From this city the realm of the newly invested "Duke of California" - Henry IX proclaimed such by his father-in-law King Carlos III of Spain - had expanded. The colonists of Australia and Zealandia had joined in rejecting the overthrow of their nations' ancient monarchy, proclaiming their loyalty to the exiled Crown, and too far for the Cromwellians to successfully subdue them.

These distant, disconnected corners of the Stuart Dynasty's remnant realm had expanded in their continents, fighting Pacific and American tribes alike for land whenever peace could not be made or kept, exploring and exploiting the native resources of these lands, and gradually growing larger in population as they took in other populations; Chinamen fleeing the brutal war that saw the Fall of the Qing and China's division into the Xian and Taiping realms, Spaniards and Mexicans loyal to the Bourbon crown of Spain ejected from the heartland of Mexico by the new empire there, Roman aristocrats and their retainers and friends who had opposed the overthrow of the Roman Kings; Yankee Americans leaving the East during the Civil War and, later, the Mexican and American invasions of the short-lived Confederacy; finally, enterprising folk from all over Europe who were drawn to the lands of California, Cascadia, Australia, and Zealandia by the allure of the gold and silver and other mineral riches found in those lands. Bold Pacifican sailors and soldiers had raised the national flag over numerous isles of the Pacific. The King of Hawaii and of Samoa owed the survival of his own Crown to the Stuart Dynasty, and so had accepted a subordinate status in the Pacific Kingdom, rendering it the Pacific Empire.

A hand, light in tone and soft in texture, pressed against Alexander's as he looked out upon the lights of the great city. His wife sat beside him, adorned in a light coat and dress to keep warm from the slight chill. Larissa Pallis was descended from the Greek aristocracy of Rome, claimant to the County of Corcyra off the Adriatic coast of Greece. Twenty-five years of age to his Twenty-nine, they had been married for six years after a year-long courtship that gained the blessing of his late father, King Henry XI. Larissa was the near-stereotypical Greek beauty in the figure of her body and the shape of her face, though instead of the dark hair associated with Mediterranean Greeks her's was a bright, near-golden blonde, and in personality and in passions had proven very much the match he desired for his Queen.

"A new decade," Alexander pondered aloud. He thought of what had come this decade; his coming of age, the deaths of his parents and his bitter ascension to the Throne and all the further responsibilities it demanded, the various tensions and problems around the world. When 1920 had dawned he had still been Charles James, the Prince of Wales, not yet to assume the peculiar regnal name of Alexander (in honor of the late Aleksandr II of Russia, whom he had admired as a child) nor to meet the lovely bride who now offered him a cup of tea. Nor, also, to have to contemplate darkly all the troubles and terrors that the future might hold for his wide, diverse realm.

"Yes, with all sorts of promise." Ever the optimist, the Queen waited for Alexander to finish his sip before leaning over and putting her lips to his cheek. As she did so a cry of joy came from the streets. The clocks had struck midnight. Fireworks erupted from the districts around Chinatown, in the distance from the side of the balcony. A new year had come.

For a moment they would enjoy their tea; then they retired to their chambers, looking to begin the New Year by accomplishing the one thing they, as a young couple, had as of yet failed at.
Having a child.


*Yes, you know what hill this is In our world it has this big sign that says "HOLLYWOOD".

Galverdas Estate, Outside Vallejo
1 January 1930



Many hundreds of miles north of where the King was enjoying a winter retreat before returning to the capital, his seniormost governmental servant was having a holiday of his own. Born to a family of Yankee immigrants from the Eastern Seaboard that had settled at the riverside city of Astoria on the mouth of the Columbia, Stephen Garrett had gone through nearly twenty years in the Navy before leaving to marry the lovely Rachel Galverdas, first daughter and second child of His Lordship Rafael Galverdas, Baron of Vallejo. At the Baron's term for the match, he had retired from the Navy as a Commander, having just served a tour as Executive Officer on the dreadnought Orion, and accepted an endorsement to run as a Liberal MP for his hometown of Astoria (his background as a Protestant Yankee-descended Oregonian had been considered unelectable to the predominately Latin Catholics of the inland Bay region), where he had been triumphant since.

Aside from trips to Astoria every year when Parliament was not in session most of PM Garrett's life since marrying Rachel had been spent at the Galverdas Estate, consisting of a palatial mansion and three guest houses on the Baron's personal property, one of which was usually for his immediate family during their stays. As it was just a half day or so by slow train - a few hours by the faster direct lines, rarely taken since he began to rise in prominence as the Party's leading figure - to Sacramento, they were able to make weekend visits even when Parliament was in session, and it had become a preferred home over the cramped house they dwelt in during their stays in Sacramento, a half hour's walk from the Parliament Buildings north of the river. Here, in their grandfather's open lawn and fields, their three youngest children could play while Rafael, now aged 15, slaved away over his textbooks and study material. Rafael was seeking admission to the prestigious Monck Naval Prep School in Oakland, the first step to a guaranteed spot in the Royal Naval Academy at San Diego where he sought to follow his father's footsteps in the Royal Navy.

Stephen sat by Rafael at the dinner table and helped him with a difficult trigonometry question, recalling faintly his own struggles with such in school and then having to apply it as a gunnery officer in the Navy. Rafael gave him a nod and smile in thanks and then refused an offer to take a break.
Sighing, Stephen walked out to the porch. Their children - Thomas, age 12, Sophie, age 9, and Gabriela, age 3 - were playing with their cousins of the same age range that had visited for the Christmas holidays. Rachel was sitting at the table, reading a book. He took in a breath of cool air, reached back into the house for his coat, and said, "A bit cold out here, isn't it"?

"Somebody has to watch the children," she answered, whisps of air coming out of her mouth as she did. And never took her eyes of the book in the process, he noted. Sitting down, he looked at the cover of the book Rachel was reading but had trouble seeing the title. "Is Rafael still inside?"
"Working on his trigonometry problems. He's determined to get accepted into Monck this year," Stephen answered.
"How like you, he wants to sail," she answered, still keeping her eyes on the book. "Papa has invited us to come tonight, he's hosting some of the local notables. I imagine you're looking forward to asking the director at Mare Island about the naval development."

"The new Pegasus Fast Battleship concept is something I am keenly interested in, yes," Stephen confessed, "But the cost of the Excalibur and her sisters has severely depleted the Exchequer and we're still recovering from those enormous costs. Damned Conservatives and their cost overruns." After muttering that last line under his breath, somewhat keenly aware that Rachel's father tended to favor the Tories more than his own Liberals, Stephen added, "I imagine the Duchess San Joaquin will be badgering her husband for an inspection of the Challenger when she returns from her shakedown."
"Oh, no, actually, she is currently enjoying Baja, a villa that the Countess of San Luis is said to have leased near La Paz." The mischievious twinkle in her eye was all that need be said about the Duchess and her... "dear friend". Though discrete enough for the sensibilities of the Court and the Sacramento elite, it was well known just what the Duchess Danielle and Countess Amber tended to indulge in together, just as how the First Sea Lord Earl Reginald von Gotha of Esquimalt, Duchess Verdes-Howard's husband, was well known to seek the company of fine and discrete men of the civil service.

"Well, I imagine that will make the Capital somewhat quieter for the next few weeks at least," Stephen remarked. "If Her Ladyship Countess San Luis's sister can keep herself out of the papers at least."
"You may as well ask the weather to give the children snow," Rachel said, indicating the clear skies above.

"True," he answered. "Well, at least your father's guests will be pleasant enough company, I am not looking forward to returning to Sacramento and dealing with Parliament. Or with Winston and his agitation for 'more troops, lest Sonora be lost!'. The Conservatives exhausted the Exchequer greatly in their five years and, I'll grant, we did not help in the beginning of the decade; we must bring back confidence in the Economy and restore the roads first."
"Dear, you said no politics on the holiday," Rachel scolded him.

"Yes, I suppose I did, but I am Prime Minister. Every thought in my life inevitably revolves around politics, whether it is talking to MPs for legislation, working with those obstinate men in the House of Lords, or causing our trips to Sacramento to take four times the length so I can press hands to a hundred strangers and look my part as the smiling leader of His Majesty's Government. Perhaps my brother is right, and I should have gone into the Admiralty as a civil servant." He shared a grin with his wife; they both knew his words were not as sincere, and for all he might gripe about it he had a keen sense of working his way through the boardrooms and smoking rooms of Sacramento to get the Liberal agenda, as he saw it, forwarded upon all fronts.
His first year as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of the Pacific had drawn to a close (though, of course, a full year had not passed and he had four more months to go before that anniversary); there would be up to four more before another General Election upon which the citizens of the Realm would judge his Party's performance - his performance - and cast their ballots accordingly.

_________________
Chatniks on the (nonexistant) risks of the Large Hadron Collector:
"The chance of Shep talking his way into the control room for an ICBM is probably higher than that." - Seth
"Come on, who wouldn't trade a few dozen square miles of French countryside for Warp 3.5?" - Marina


Last edited by Steve on Mon Dec 21, 2009 10:17 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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December 31, 1929

A handsome young man with light brown hair and a darker woman stepped off the trolley car. They both wore heavy coats and the man held a bag in his free hand. The other one firmly held the woman's hand.

"What if she doesn't like me?" the woman asked nervously.

The man smiled. "She'll like you. Everyone likes you."

"Even though I'm Roma?"

"This isn't the sixteen hundreds," he said smiling. "She'll love you. Trust me."

The walked down the block towards a brownstone. The man raised his hand and knocked. A moment latter the door opened to reveal a smiling grey haired woman.

She hugged the man and kissed him on the cheek. "Gabor," she said with a smile. "Welcome home. Even if you did miss Christmas."

"We spent it with Dora's family mama."

"Well then you'll both have to spend the next one with us. Fair is fair." She hugged the younger woman. "Welcome to our home. Now come inside before you catch your death of cold."

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Two young men walked up the stairs of the apartment building. "Trust me Ferenc," said the one in the lead. "There's nothing in the world like Bucharest girls.

"If you say so Tibor."

"My friend, you have no idea. Bucharest is like Paris, but better. In all ways. And you've barely left your rooms except to go to class. What kind of friend would I be if I didn't broaden your horizons?"

The stopped at a landing and walked down the hall. The sound of music leaked through the door. Tibor knocked.

A beautiful dark haired young woman opened the door. Her smile was white and inviting. "Tibor."

"Anna," Tibor replied. "This is my friend Ferenc," he said in Romanian.

"Hi Ferenc," she replied.

"Very pleased to meet you," he managed.

"Come inside. The party is only getting started."

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

"Schiesse," said Helmut as he through his cards in. "Can you deal me a decent hand for once in your bloody life, you fucking Slovak?" he asked in Magyar.

"Sorry," said Boleslav in the same language, the grin on his face calling him a liar. Every man at the table wore military fatigues with the raven and eight red and silver stripes of Hungary. The German got up from the table and went over to the window.

"What do you know? No fucking Poles coming over the border. Maybe they've got better things to do, like worry about Mother Russia and the Vaterland instead of throwing themselves against our fortifications. Christ, what is the point of this?"

"It's our job corporal," said a voice from behind him.

The German soldier spun around and saluted. The gamblers at the table stood and did likewise.

"At ease," said Lieutenant Ionescu. "Unless the Polish hordes are attacking, in which case you are all derelict of duty for not reporting it earlier." A polite chuckle circulated through the room.

He held up the bottle in his hand. "It is almost midnight. Drunkeness on duty is forbidden, but one drink is permissible. And it would unpatriotic not to celebrate the new year."

Champagne went into ration cups. The lieutenant checked his watch.

"Sixteen, fourteen, twelve, eleven, ten, nine . . . "


January 1, 1930


"A beautiful day."

"Indeed it is your majesty. A most splendid afternoon."

"Afternoon? Already. Indulgence takes its toll."

"That it does majesty."

"The city is so calm. Peaceful. Beautiful. All the great cities of the world are beautiful, but there is something unique about Budapest. Perhaps because it is my city, but it feels special. Uniquely wonderful."

"I feel the same way."

"I hope it lasts."

"Majesty?"

"Europe has been very hungry for armaments recently. The whole world in fact. Hungarian artillery has been sold to every corner of the world, in nearly record numbers. Somewhere, someone is going to decide to use it. We can only hope the fire doesn't grow too large."

"As you say majesty."

_________________
It's not that I'm unforgiving, it's that most of the people who wrong me are unrepentant assholes.


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10 Marlborough Street, Westminster Square, Sacramento
17 January 1930



Stephen was alone in his office when Rachel arrived, bearing with her a prepared meal she had made to join him for a late lunch in the office. He smiled at her and accepted a soft kiss on the lips as she set the steak and potatoes on the desk before him, putting her own plate opposite his. "How has your day been, love?"
"Ah, the usual excitement of His Majesty's most exalted and senior civil servant," Stephen lamented with more than a hint of sarcasm in his rather high-sounding description of his job. He finished rifling through his papers before putting them to the side. "Requests for speaking appointments, proposals for Acts and Resolutions in the Parliament, budget requests from the bureaucracy. Winston and Robert had another argument about the coming year's Defence Budget and Miss Haversham deigned to remind me that I am obligated to write my papers in the King's English, not 'Yankee English', after she noticed a speechnote where I scribbled the word 'honour" without the 'u'." Stephen chuckled to himself. "She should take a look at Robert's papers, really, his writing shows how the Yankee population in the southwest of New South Wales is far more prevalent than the one from my hometown."
"Why you kept that uptight shrew around I'll never know, I swear if she complains one more time about my choice of blouse..." Rachel was referring, in that, to her tendency in the summer to wear sleeveless blouses, sometimes with a lower cut, and not at all meeting the secretary's conservative approval.
"I find it better if you ignore her over such things." Stephen took to starting the meal, as Rachel did, with tea to wash it down. Small talk dominated the meal - when he was working they never quite got as much time to indulge in such - when the telephone rang. Snatching up the new Bakelite phone, Stephen almost barked into it, "Yes?.... Oh, hello Winston. Having lunch with Rachel. Yes, I saw the proposal." He sat back in his chair, speaking whenever he got a moment. "Well, I believe that Miguel made his point eloquently... yes, I know the Royal Mountaineer Regiment proposal has serious merit, but.... I don't think a budget increase to permit active training in New Guinea is in the cards, Winston, I have considered the price of leasing territory elsewhere, but it's got to wait a while. We have other concerns, you may recall. No, I don't think that's to be worried about for now.... I'll see you at the meeting Monday, yes.... have a good day." He put the phone back on the receiver briefly then punched in a few numbers. "Switchboard, yes, this is the PM. Hold all calls for me for the next hour... yes, they can leave notes with my secretary. Thank you." He hung up again and gave a slight smirk at the wide grin on Rachel's face. "Some peace and quiet, finally."
"You're shaping up to be a marvelous PM, love," she said with a hint of humor.
"So some say, honestly I just hope that various persons don't try to pull on me what they used to do to poor Sir Alex and go over my head to appeal to the King directly, or to even worse draw the Queen into the idea. Talking Alexander out of an idea is hard enough; talking him out of it when the Queen is in favor of it means you might as well be trying to convince a Tory to raise taxes for unemployment insurance."



Office of the Admiralty

In the office of the Lord of the Admiralty, Robert Dale of Finley, NSW appraised a financial report on the feasibility of a new run of Aircraft Carriers, these to be build to the tonnage of an older battleship, as opposed to the current vessels in service. Across from him was Reginald von Gotha, First Sea Lord and Earl of Esquimalt, also the Duke-Consort of Her Grace the Duchess of San Joaquin and of Norfolk. "Stephen's budget for the next year will simply not permit this construction," Robert remarked sadly.
"We were hoping you could convince him otherwise, Sir," Reginald remarked. "Other Navies are starting to pursue air power as a means of shooting down the observation craft launched by the battle line and to protect their own such craft."
"With six such carriers already in operation, we aren't exactly unarmed in the manner, and our latest ships do have a fair anti-air armament," Robert pointed out. "The Government's spending for the next year is, I'm afraid, quite spoken for."
Sullenly Reginald accepted that remark. "And what of Winston? I suppose he got what he wanted."
"Some," Robert had to admit. The Army was to get further motorized forces, as it stood, as well as new standard foot divisions and bombers for the Air Force. Only the Navy was being completely spited for the year. Unfortunately, Robert found he could not argue with this, not given the situation. Building the six superbattleships of the Excalibur-class had nearly wrecked the Pacifican economy over the last few years. Now that those vessels were completed, well, the Liberals had been elected on a platform of reinvigoring a stalled economy, expanding and improving a rail structure that military expenditures in the face of massive Army buildups by the Yankees and Mexicans. Military expenditures that, granted, still had to continue, but which the Liberals were trying to curb until the economy had recovered and other projects were being fulfilled, or at least on the way to such.
"Do they expect us to deal with the Klavos with what we have, Robert?"
"With what we have in reserve? Yes. And that is what we must do," Robert remarked.


Club for Lady Poets, Sacramento


Like many of the city's elite during winter, the patrons of the Lady Poets Club took to the heated rooms of their club, two blocks from Torres Strait Square, to commisserate on the evenings. The Lady Poets were a generally fashionable collection of numerous female members of the Sacramento elite; the wives of Parliament members, officials of the government and civil service, the intellectual, business, and financial elite of Sacramento, and of the aristocracy... in this day and age, some were even themselves members of corporate boards, intelligentsia, and a couple lady Members of Parliament (not counting those of the peerage who held seats in the House of Lords by right).

In the case of the Lady Sarina Kellius, her claim to the elite was by birth, the younger daughter of the old Earl of San Luis from a deposed Roman aristocrat family that followed the Stuarts to California as retainers back at the turn of the 19th Century, seeking to flee the victories of Napoleon Buonapartus and the rise of the Second Republic of Rome. Her father was dead and her older sister Amber had taken his title; as the younger child she was only entitled to the honoriffic of "Lady".

As a member of the hereditary peerage Amber Kellius had a purpose in Sacramento, taking a seat in the House of Lords. Sarina, meanwhile, was here primarily to partake in the culture of the city and, when the family finances were able, to wine and dine also in the somewhat less conservative atmosphere of the elite of San Francisco and the Club chapter there. Either was preferable to the stuffy family home in rural San Luis, where the family estate was large and boring and there was no local social scene for Sarina to glorify in. The same isolation that made the estate so preferred by her sister and her sister's lover in the summer months kept her away as often and as long as possible.

For the wives of newly-elected MPs or newly-promoted or appointed bureaucrats, whether in private or in civil service, the Club for Lady Poets might by exterior seem like a meeting place for upper class ladies, and a few pretentious middle-class ones, to discuss poetry and literature. This was done in lower rooms, but this was primarily for appearances and for screening the curious out from the preferred membership of the Club, not the full intent of the club.

The astute and those "in the know" for the club's intent would make the connection once they saw the dedication to the "matron" of the club in the building's dining room, which the founders proclaimed to be the first known classical female poet, Sappho of the Island of Lesbos. And given the erotic texts attributed to her, one immediately got the terms "sapphist" and"lesbian", that is, a homosexual woman.
Some women knew the club's reputation and purpose from the moment they saw it. Less knowledgable ones needed to actually partake in the lighter activities to notice the signs of intimacy between members, which only the most naive actually missed, usually having to wait until they saw a stolen kiss or an affectionate touch in a silent corner of a room. At these points those not interested usually excused themselves (refined women not being the type to descend into open disgust and verbal recriminations, though such happened from time to time out of embarrassment on the offender's part and generated much irritation from the others) and never returned. Curiosity brought some to remain, either physical curiosity at the sensations offered in the rooms of the upper floors or a more innocent curiosity at how such women lived.
Eventually those who proved curious and willing enough started visiting rooms on higher floors. Some rooms were much the same as the others; studies and quiet rooms where the club members could enjoy fine wines and teas, prepared snack foods, and books and magazines (including some published for their specific community). Some lounging rooms had record players with the latest Yankee Jazz or compositions from Europe playing; others had radios playing music, news shows, and radio shows.

Others were... not so. There was a communal bath room and adjoining saunas were the ladies could wash and relax in each other's company, towels for the most part optional. Rooms with locks and beds or couches where a pair of lovers could experience intimacy if such was not available in either of their homes. Some rooms had a bit more, somewhat unspoken even amongst the club's established membership, where more unique appetites could be satisfied, again for those who had no opportunity to do so at home due to husbands, children, and domestic servants.
One of the more mundane "sleeping rooms" was where Sarina tended to meet her usual partner, Helena Carver, daughter of a bureaucrat in the Foreign Office that was attendiing school in Sacramento. Helena was late, sadly, probably held up by any number of circumstances due to the things her father had her do from time to time. So Sarina sat in the dark, waiting for her lover to arrive so they could indulge in their passions and begin what promised to be an entertaining weekend in the city, seeing shows and enjoying meals.
When the door opened Sarina stood up, just to pull a sheet over the couch over herself as a pair of other ladies entered, still dressed. "Oh, we are sorry," the lead one stated. "We thought the room was unoccupied with no lights, and I was given a key..." Sarina noted her alabaster complexion well, a pair of sweet blue eyes and light brown hair done in a usual fashion. Her acquaintance was shorter and both darker and distinctly non-Caucasian, having an Oriental face but with a tropical skin complexion that placed her as Filipino-Japanese mix, probably the daughter or, more likely, granddaughter of one of the old Spanish colonial officials that moved to Pacifica after Japan's dominion over the Philippine Islands was confirmed by the Congress of Stockholm in 1888... and considerably more attractive to Sarina's eye.

"No, it's alright," she answered in turn, and with the momentary instinct of modesty having passed, she dropped to sheet to display her full, unclothed body, much to the obvious appreciation of the two ladies. "I am Sarina Kellius, you?"
She got the introductions immediately; the Lady Margaret Small-Douglas, wife of MP Douglas of New Glasgow, and Miss Zoe Yumiko Takahara, illegitimate daughter of a Japanese consular official and a lover he'd taken in Sacramento from a Filipino-Latin family. Or at least those were the titles they'd have in a formal setting; here in the Club for Lady Poets it would be simply "Margaret" or "Madge" and "Zoe".
With those done, and Sarina's immodesty perhaps emboldening the other two, they commenced removing their own clothes too. Sarina went to get her's, contemplating for the moment the prospect of asking the two if she could join but uncertain if such a prospect would be tolerated; most of the club's women were monogamous and some could be quite rigorously so, such that they frowned on those who were not.
As she retrieved her knickers, Madge removed her's and spoke up. "You're the sister of the Countess of San Luis, right?"
"I am."
"Is it true, what some of the ladies in the Radio Lounge say?"
"What do they say?"
"That the Queen has not born His Majesty an heir because the only thing that's actually been pleasuring her are the tongues and hands of your sister and the Duchess of San Joaquin?"
That old ugly rumor - that Amber and/or Danielle Verdes-Howard were the Queen's secret lesbian lovers - brought a bit of a sneer to Sarina's face. "As true as the story where Amber and I strap the Duchess onto a bed and take turns ravishing her," she sarcastically responded, some contempt dripping from her voice. "Which is to say, no truth whatsoever. Frankly my sister and the Duchess are too busy with each other to do such to the Queen. As for their predilections, all I know for sure is that the Duchess has to strap her husband to the bed, after getting him good and drunk, in her efforts to conceive an heir with him. Apparently her attempts at dressing up as a young boy stopped working shortly after their marriage, and given her figure I often wonder how it ever could work."

A blush came to Zoe's face, while Madge let out an amused laugh. "Oh my dear, that is quite a morsel."
"The only passions shared in that marriage, I can tell you, are the passions for the Royal Navy and how heavy its newest battleships are to be armed," Sarina continued. "The Conservative Government could cut unemployment pensions and debate the ending of sick leave subsidies all they wanted in order to keep taxes low, but God help them if the Duchess found out they wanted to cut the cost of the Navy's precious battle line."
The two women giggled at Sarina's rant. And it was a heartfelt one; Sarina cared much for the plight of those less well-off, tending to give spare change when she had it to the less fortunate in the street and encouraging her sister to aid her in philanthropical efforts. Something of a social radical in the eyes of many, she had yet to actually embrace the theories of the German economic philosophers Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, but she shared their antipathy toward the fat, wealthy capitalists and financiers that drove the Pacifican economy, a distaste she inherited from her father Lucian, who as a traditionalist Earl distasted the "petty city elite" and its apparent lack of sense regarding the civic duties and responsibilities of the Upper Class. Ever the Roman in heart and mind, if not in nationality, he had often gone off on angry rants about how the Upper Class, noble or commoner, were the "Patricians of Society" with set obligations to the "Plebians", usually in response to stories of the financiers and industrialists failing to live up to that rigorous, oh-so-Roman standard. Amber shared her views but did not hold them as strongly, not in the high society of Sacramento where even complaining about the debauchery of the upper classes in the wrong tone could cause any Tories in earshot to begin tossing the angry epithets of "Socialist!" and "Anarchist!"

It would, of course, occur to Sarina that remarking on "debauchery" in a negative fashion was the height of irony, and arguably hypocrisy, given the own increased beat in her heart and heat in her face at the sight of Zoe Takahara without a stitch of thread on her. She was committed to Helena, but the thoughts of what she could do with... well, that stopped the moment the door opened and Helena entered. She barely blushed at the sight of the two undressed ladies arranging themselves on a couch, instead noticing Sarina's half-dressed state. There was, perhaps, a hint of jealousy there when she asked, "Seeking to indulge, Sarina?"
"No, dearheart, not at all," Sarina said in as assuring a tone as possible. "Simply... a case of room mix-ups. We'll have to find another."
"Ah, well, perhaps you should just get your clothes and let us do so quickly to give these ladies some privacy?"
"Hrm, I suppose so." It occurred to Sarina that she was in, perhaps, for a weekend of some irritation from her lover over this situation unless she managed to soothe Helena sufficiently, and that would probably require her to be quite imaginative and attentative once they found their own room.

_________________
Chatniks on the (nonexistant) risks of the Large Hadron Collector:
"The chance of Shep talking his way into the control room for an ICBM is probably higher than that." - Seth
"Come on, who wouldn't trade a few dozen square miles of French countryside for Warp 3.5?" - Marina


Last edited by Steve on Mon Dec 21, 2009 10:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2009 12:12 am 
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February 7, 1930
Just off of Sri Lanka, Bay of Bengal


Mulugeta Yeggazu did not look as though he were happy as he lifted the binoculars to his face. It wasn't monsoon season, so that was one less thing he had to worry about. But the territorial waters around here were a mess, The Mughal, Vasan, and Ethiopian waters all collided within 200 miles of water. So possible international incidents were always a concern, especially when they were doing maneuvers like this.

There was one other thing that made these waters even worse, they were a gold mine for pirates, a pirate who managed to grab their loot and then get into another country's water fast enough could be potentially safe from retribution. The Mughals and the Ethiopians were working out the details of a joint pirate hunting expedition, but that left one place the pirates could go that Mulugeta had no intention of letting his navy go, Vasan territorial waters.

Right now, the IEN were attempting to do just that. A patrol of Konstantinos had caught sight of the Mughal supply ship that had been taken by a group of pirates that was now on it's way towards freedom. They'd radioed the coordinates to the Mughal group that they had been working with, and now the Mughal escort ships were already closing in and surrounding the stolen ship.

One more day of dull drudgery was completed.

Back when Mulugeta had joined the IEN, a different leader had been in charge, Menelik had promised victory in battle, and Mulugeta had been there when the battleships had blasted away the last of Sri Lanka's resistance. He'd marched into Jaffna when the Sri Lankan's had surrendered. It had been the proudest moment in his life. Of course, those days were done. Menelik's grandson had been an idiot, and Mulugeta had been among those that had tossed him out in favor of his Aunt. Zauditu had promised that she would continue the work of her father. But so far nothing had come of it and he'd been stuck here for a year hunting pirates at the request of the Imperial Regent, the man who stepped in and cut off the Empress' power to hold it for himself. Every time Mulugeta asked why he was out here, he was given the answer that he was assisting in forging alliances.

Setting the binoculars back down, Mulugeta walked back inside the command tower of the Carrier Eskender.

February 24, 1930
Shashemene, Ethiopian Empire


Gugsa Welle sat at his estate, he'd been staring out over his illustrious garden for over an hour now. His wife was without power, and if he did not do something soon, she would be removed from office, and his own power would die with hers. Tafari Makonnen was a threat to everything that Ethiopia had built over the past thousand years, and if no one else would deal with this danger then he would.

Gugsa finally moved and rang a bell. A few seconds later a servant appeared.

"Yes, master?"

Gugsa looked at the man. "I will require paper, and a pen. I must write letters to my men. Also, bring two nicer sheets, I have to send letters to Honored Ras Haymanot and Ras Yeggazu."

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 23, 2009 6:30 pm 
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The Taiping/Xian Border:
Shandong/Jiangsu Line


Lines of barbed wire, trenches and pillboxes studded the main apporaches between the Kingdom of Serene Heavenly Peace and Imperial Xian. They were however not on the border itself, instead set back beyond artillery range with the expections of hidden observation posts. Saddly neither side was made up of morons. Hence the division of China continued.

The roads were small and delibrately under maintained. Today a single messenger trotted up to the border station. A line in the road with two wooden huts facing each other. Each with a single squad of soldiers who were chosen for their ability not to start wars that their Lords and Masters would find... Badly Timed.

A Xian messenger awaited his Taiping counterpart. Under the watch of both squads they exchanged their diplomatic notes. This was necessary has neither nation was willing to recogize the other (both claiming to be the sole legitmate ruler of China made things like diplomatic relations awkward) so there were no real ambasadors between the two.

The Taiping Note:

Quote:

To The Self Styled Emperor of Xian

Greetings,

It being the western year of 1930, marking nearly 2000 years since the death and resurrection of our Lord Christ, in the spirt of his Love and Compassion we write to you. Once again as has been traditional, I urge you to abandon your sinful and unlawful rebellion against the throne and accept the rightful dominion of the Heavenly King of Great Peace. Futhermore for the welfare of your soul, your rightful monarch with full secrenity and desire for your salvation asks you with humility and brotherhood to abandon the pagan supersititions that cloud your mind and afflict your people and embrace the true faith of God and Mankind.

You are reminded that you risk not just phyiscal danger, for if war should come between us, no mercy can be shown to the rebel. Nor will God aide you, for you stand between the people of our northern realms and salvation and retemption by the blood Christ our savior. Both God, the Savior and my own Divine forefather will lift their hands against you so their glory may be known. Instead you risk spirital danger and annilation. For no man may stand against God and his sons, nor may they expect mercy in the afterlife for such rebellion.

Surrender up your vainity and you will not be punished but welcome as the lost sheep! It is not written there is forgiveness of sins? Do not set yourself against God's will. Rather repent of your pride and humble yourself before both God and his chosen ruler of the Chinese people. As is traditional I extend an offer of amnesty and forgiveness if you only repeat and accept your rightful role as subornate under the true King Under Heaven.

Signed;

Hong David II Great Heavenly King of Peace, Defender of the Faith, Benefactor of the People, Lord of the Armies and the Four Gates, Rightful Lord of all China.


_________________
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Last edited by frigidmagi on Wed Dec 23, 2009 7:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 23, 2009 8:00 pm 
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Walking along the carefully-made stone walkway through the plains and across the brook, Counselor Munez leaned upon his cane for support. His body wasn't getting any younger, but what he'd seen of Mexico during his life made him smile. This beautiful Motherland of Many Peoples was doing very well.

Striding with confident steps despite his age, the Counselor arrived at the Counsel enclave with time to spare. Despite being a place where many important decisions and ideas were discussed, it made to be beautiful in its functionality, more blending into its surroundings with its old stone and grassy walkways around and within it, rather than the ostentatious marble and gems he'd seen in some other countries' places of power. Even with its running water and electricity, such things were always cleverly hidden to blend in with the rest, and to not stand out unless there was reason.

Arriving at last to the meeting chambers, he found most of the others, including the Pope and the President had already arrived. All of them stood in respect for him, as they would for the others - but it was the little things in life that made it interesting. The small electrical lights were hidden behind thin wall hangings, giving the room a soft and comfortable ambient light.

Seating himself on the floor cushions for his seat, that of Agriculture, the Counselor to his left handed him a cup for the ubiquitous tea, ever-present at the meetings. Passing over the daytime Yerba Mate tea, far better to keep long meetings without tiring, he decided instead to have the red tea, better suited to nighttime, and old bones. "Gracias, Counselor," he said with a respectful nod of his head, getting the same, accompanied by a warm smile by the lady.

"So, now that everyone's here, shall we begin?" asked the President, looking around the room for other opinions. Seeing none, he continued. "Very well. Our forefathers and mothers saw wisely when they foresaw Mexico gaining prominence in the world stage, and it falls upon our shoulders to continue doing so, while maintaining the dignity and honor of our people. To this end, the Pope has graciously offered to send himself and some of his priests on unofficial diplomatic missions to various countries and peoples, to be followed with official state diplomats for actual conversation between nations. What say you?"

A comfortable, thoughtful silence fell over the room, as each thought things over. Counselor Santiago inclined her head before speaking in her careful and thoughtful way. "My only concern would be the possible perception it might have to other nations for us to send priests, who are not an official part of Mexico's government, as a precursor to official state business. I grant that the Catholic church is a prominent part of our country now, but I am concerned for future effects."

Silence fell once more over the room as others digested her words; even the Pope was nodding slowly to himself, staring into his tea with lips pursed in thought. However, it was he who broke this silence. "I hear your words, and I understand your thoughts, Counselor. I would ask you for more of your thoughts as well, given your seat of Engineers. However, as this was my idea originally, please allow me the honor of explaining my reasoning to all of you at large."

Seeing no objection from the others, he continued again after a moment. "It is for the Catholic Church that I and some other priests will travel, both to reconnect with other priests of other lands, as well as to help the needy and disadvantaged where they are found. For my part, I will head to Rome, and to where the Vatican stood, as there's some unfinished business that needs resolving there. The others will simply carry the good will of the Holy Church abroad. Now, the secondary benefit to this would be carrying the goodwill of Mexico abroad as well. After all, any society can be best judged by how they treat their poor, and I for one am very proud of Mexico for how we treat our poor and disadvantaged. We're seeing an influx of emigrations from other countries already as a result, and what better place than here?"

"So, the excursions later by official diplomats won't be as also-rans or as follow-ups, but as proper diplomatic missions?" Counselor Santiago replied.

"Correct," replied the President. "That was the idea. What say all of you?"

Another few moments of comfortable silence passed, as each sat with their thoughts. In the end, it was agreed unanimously, and the Pope set out on his journey that very night, though the other priests traveling abroad didn't leave that long after their Pope.

Counselor Munez smiled as he walked back to the trolley station, en route to his villa. Yes, Mexico seemed to be moving properly indeed, and with due diligence.

_________________
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 24, 2009 8:26 am 
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A diplomatic letter:

Quote:
To the Warlord styling himself the Great Heavenly King of Peace.

Salutations.

As has been so for the five years since his ascension, His Imperial Majesty desires your attention. He urges and commands that you abandon the rebellion rasied in the time of his father's father and submit to his rightful rule. Lay down your arms and acknowledge the true ruler of all the lands under heaven, or the gods shall surely visit misfortune upon you.

The Son of Heaven has no desire to see his people suffer, as would surely be the case if war should commence. Nor does he wish to see his people punished for the stubborness of their leaders. He invites you, therefore, to heed the will of the gods; the Mandate of Heaven is held by the Lord of Ten Thousand Years. He, who possesses rightful authority over the territories to the north, the west, the south and the east, entreats you to lower your battle standards, dissolve your armies and swear loyalty to the chosen true ruler of China.

His Imperial Majesty is not without compassion. Acknowledge his rightful rule, atone for your misdeeds and spare yourself the wrath of heaven. Submit yourself to the true ruler of all China, abandon your Western traditions, and no action shall be taken against you, your servants, subjects or their families. Persist in defying His Imperial Majesty and, regrettably, such mercy may not be possible.

Most amiable regards, in the name of;

His Imperial Majesty, the Emperor of the Great Xian Dynasty, Son of Heaven, Lord of Ten Thousand Years, Rightful ruler of All China.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 25, 2009 1:58 am 
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"Conscript Fathers, this is an outrage."

The Comitia Senatum was packed today, the first day of February, the first day that the Junior Consul held the fasces, and would preside over the Senate. Though his colleague was nominally the senior of the two, not a man in Rome was under any mis-impressions as to who would be running matters in this year.

"The Fourth Founder of Rome, the honored Cola Di Rienzus Tribunus Maximus, knew precisely what to do with representatives of the Pope," thundered Benitus Andreus Mussolinius Fabricus. "When the Pontifex Maximus demanded our submission to his rule, he burned his lies on the altar of St. Petreus' Basilica. Now he would return to our lands to sow discord within our Empire. For such an outrageous insistance, I suggest that we hurl this would-be pontiff from the Tarpean Rock!"

"By all means, Benitus Andreus, do tell us what you really think," said Mustaphus Cemal Paterturcii, loading his words with sarcasm.

"This is not a laughing matter," said Benitus Andreus. "This is an attempt by another foreign power to impose their will on Rome, and to achieve via stratigem what they could not through arms."

"Mexico has no claim on Rome," said Camilius Lorentius, a Senator from Latium, one of the central players in the Roman Catholic League. "And this Commitia has no authority to bar a Privatus from entering Rome as he would."

"We do if we issue a prescript against it," said Mussolinius. "Persona Non Grata."

"He would enter Rome regardless," said Lorentius. "I would host him. I would feel honored to, regardless of the will of this Comitia. The Lex Buonapartus guarantees the free practice of all faiths within the Empire. Is it our intention, Conscript Fathers, to extend this law only to Turcian barbarians from the far provinces and not to proper, god-fearing Romans?!"

Uproar followed this comment, and Marcus Sarpaedius glanced to Mustaphus Cemal, who sat carefully, remaining composed as he waited for the Senate to calm enough for him to be heard. Yet it was Mussolinius, no friend to Paterturcii, but unable to let a comment such as this pass, who chose to answer this.

"A proper Roman fears nothing, Camilius Lorentius," said the former chairman of the Factio Socialistus Imperialis Romanum. "He does not prostitute himself to the Mexican Pontiff as soon as he is granted an audience at the scraps-table."

Calimius Lorentius leapt to his feet and might have set upon Mussolinius, but was prevented by the Senior Consul, who signaled to the assembled lictors. The lictors pounded their fasces on the marble floor for silence, giving the Junior Consul a chance to speak.

"I have no interest in who wishes to worship what," said Mustaphus Cemal, "but I will not make an enemy of Mexico for no reason."

"No reason?" exclaimed Mussolinius. "This is clearly a Hispanian plot to split the Empire. Whose tune do you believe this 'pontiff' dances to? I say that Rome is no place for a Pope, anymore than a King or Caliph. This Pope would speak to us of the fate of his precious Vatican Palace, let us tear it down brick by brick and send it to him to do with as he likes. No Kings in Rome, whatever they should style themselves." He said the last words while staring Paterturcii in the eye, though as before, the Consul would not be baited.

Benezilus Eleutherius Ethnarchus now rose. A consular and senator of long standing from Greece. The Senate fell silent as he began to speak.

"While I have no interest in bandying the merits of worship with such a man as Benetus Andreus," said the aged consular, "I agree that care must be taken, Conscript Fathers, that we do not, in this visit, find ourselves manipulated. As inconvenient as it may be for some members of this Comitia to recall, we are not all subjects of the Mexican pontiff in the Empire. My brothers in Greece have no interest in gestures of catholic unity detailing the new policies of this Empire. If this means that we make an enemy of Mexico, then so be it."

"Do you not see, Conscript Fathers?" demanded Mussolinius, leaping to his feet again. "The mere mention of this visit already tempts a Roman Consular to stand before this Comitia and declare himself unwilling to obey its decisions. What horrors will an actual visit lay upon us? I say no to would-be pontiffs! No to Kings and Popes alike. We are Rome!"

"We are Rome," said Paterturcii. "And is Rome an Empire that collapses at the touch of an old man from Mexico? Napoleon Buonapartus Magnus Restutitor did not fear the Turcian people, ill though we were thought of at the time. I shall not in turn fear my fellow Romans, Catholic though they may be, nor this Pontiff that Mexico would send us. I say that Rome is stronger than any man, and stronger than any Hispanian plots. Let this Pope arrive. Let him see what Rome is. Let him plot if he wishes thereafter. We have nothing to fear from him, or from any other."

"Is that why you counsel us to attend to rumors of war from the rest of Europe, Mustaphus Cemal?" asked Mussolinius.

"I would have you attend to those because they are a true threat," said the Junior Consul. "Armies of Germani are a threat I fear, not this Pontiff." He turned back to the rest of the Senate and rose to his feet.

"I will see a division."

The headcount was un-necessary. Taking their queue from Ivanus Bonomius Mediator, the majority of the Italian senators, and every single Aragonese and Gallic one, moved in favor of extending the invitation, as did the Turcian bloc at the behest of Paterturcii. Eleutherius Ethnarchus moved against, and took much of the Greek and Phoenician senators with him, but the Thracians and Epiriots sided with the majority, as did the Africans in the main, and the motion was carried with a clear majority. Rome would welcome the Pope back to Rome, though only as a visiting dignitary, for the first time in six hundred years.

What would come after would be up to him.

_________________
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 25, 2009 3:07 am 
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Imperial Valley Exercise Grounds, California
27 January 1930



Some of the desert of California's Imperial Valley, on the west bank of the Colorado, had been set aside years before as Army land for providing barracks to local units and land for drilling and, in more recent years, large-scale maneuvers and war games. The rise of the gasoline-powered motor vehicle had promised a number of potential alterations to warfare. Already Pacifica employed troops trained for moving by lorries - trucks to Yank observers - and the use of the armored tractor vehicles with caterpillar treads. Some designers and thinkers proposed even more alterations, like armored vehicles meant for carrying troops through harsher terrain than a lorry would permit.

A group of uniformed Army officers stood in an observation post, their commanders looking out with binoculars at the scene in the desert. A contingent from the Light Dragoons, one of the few remaining horse mounted regiments, were riding at a favorable gallop across the desert sands, guns slung over their shoulders.
Behind them rumbled treaded vehicles, the 1929 model Vickers-Whitney Armored Tractor. Light vehicles of only about 6 tons and carrying thin armor and machine guns, they were keeping pace with the galloping cavalry of the Light Dragoons, on loan from 2nd Armoured Division of I Corps for the purposes of the exercise.
A cannon blast echoed in the air. This was the signal to begin the engagement phase of the maneuver. Fighting as literal dragoons, the Light Dragoons dismounted and brought their guns up. As they began creeping forward, staying low to avoid fire - aided in this instinct by the sudden burst of gunfire from an opposite hill - the tanks continued on their pace. Their own guns fired in reply as they moved forward.
So the exercise continued until the combined force was victorious; the tanks, covering for the mounted dragoons, suppressed the defenders enough that the dismounted soldiers could then take it by an advance on foot.

Some applause came from the post, but the commander simply kept looking intently at the battlefield. "Too slow, dammit, too slow," he raved, his accent indicating having a Yank parent while his voice had a high, almost squeaky connotation to it. "We need faster tractors!"
"Still, this should get the old boys in Sacramento thinking," his nearby subordinate remarked. "Every exercise has shown what's been said about having armored tractors assist the advance."
The two turned to hear final reports coming in via telephone. Col. George S. Patton Jr., His Lordship the Baron of San Gabriel, was still clearly dissatisfied as the estimated casualties of the day's sequence of maneuvers came in, the casualties that would have resulted had the force been fighting an enemy. Major Richard O'Connor seemed content. His commander was impatient to prove to the more conservative generals of the Cavalry Division that the theories that he and other "radical" thinkers - Captain Liddel-Hart and that chap Fuller from the Imperial Defence College - had crafted about the future of land warfare were sound. Today the consensus, from analyzing past wars, was generally the great superiority of the defense in prepared positions with pre-ranged artillery, trench systems, and machine gun nests. Pacifica's defensive strategy relied on such positions to at least delay enemy attack until attrition and reinforcements permitted counterattacks with enough mass to overcome the defense's advantage and force the enemy to fall back.
What "Ol' Georgie", as he was rather sarcastically called among his less-admiring peers and superiors, advocated, along with Fuller and Liddel-Hart and O'Connor himself, was to think ahead to the further development of the armored tractor. As more powerful engines were developed, bigger and more powerful tractors could be made practical in an evolving combat situation. Instead of all but the lightest of the tractors being too slow for anything but breaking enemy defensive positions, tanks would also have the speed and fuel capacity to cut behind enemy lines, disrupting lines of communication and logistics and forcing an enemy to retreat lest his army be cut off. Already the Yanks and the Mexis were employing large armored forces, it was known. And when considering some ideas for "half-track" armored tractors that could sacrifice larger guns and turrets for cargo space to carry troops, it might change how wars were fought in the coming years.

A Lieutenant arrived at the opening of the post to inform them they had a visitor. Patton glumly waved him off, not saying no but still wrapped up in hearing final figures for the maneuvers. O'Connor watched a man in a civilian khaki suit enter, desert hat and all, and instantly recognized the Secretary of State for War. Winston Churchill extended a hand toward him and O'Connor quickly accepted it. "Mister Secretary, Sir, it is quite a pleasure to have you here."
"I would not have missed this display for anything, Major, though I can think of a few things that could have tempted me," the known, and occasionally controversial, Liberal politician replied, a slight grin of humor on his face. "It seems you are doing well."
"We believe we are proving the efficacy of the armoured cavalry concept, particularly in operations over more favorable, wide terrain. With further development tractors that can operate from sources of fuel for some periods of time could even further the concept of a decisive breakthrough."
"Oh, yes. I relish every report I've gotten of these exercises and personally interceded with the PM whenever certain Army officers have attempted to sour him on the issue, we musn't let progress pass us by after all. Our place is far too dangerous for that." Churchill, noticing the Colonel putting the phone down, extended a hand. "Colonel, a pleasure. I see you have done quite well here."
"Thank you, Mister Secretary. A pleasure and an honour." The two men shook hands as well.
"I see you have been quite successful."
"We could do better if our tractors were faster," the Colonel replied candidly. "None of our tractors can match a cavalry horse at full gallop."
"Perhaps not, Colonel, but I do imagine that not a single cavalry horse can go at a full gallop as long as a tractor can go at full speed," Churchill answered, no stranger to the cavalry himself. A couple old wounds that still ached him from time to time were all he needed to remember cavalry charges or desperate battles in the bush of northern Australia, fighting the Klavos in the war back when he was a young man. "I look forward to sharing with the Prime Minister your accomplishments."

_________________
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"The chance of Shep talking his way into the control room for an ICBM is probably higher than that." - Seth
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 26, 2009 3:13 am 
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A bright dawn broke over the eastern horizon, heralding the first day of a new year. It was met with contented snores coming from somewhere in the middle of a large and rather comfortable bed. The most junior chair was enjoying a rare, though well deserved, vacation from his governmental duties. An inopportune roll brought him squarely into the blinding sunrise, rousing him groggily from a wine-and-liqueur induced sleep.
Freshly finished his first year of service, he still wasn't sure how he managed to sneak three whole days to celebrate the new year on a lovely beach side resort in southern France. Not only was he the most junior chair, he was also the youngest person to have ever held the position, not to mention the first single, un-landed, un-independently wealthy one as well. It seemed to be a fortuitous combination of talent and vision, combined with the public speaking ability to relate his ideas and aspirations of a modern France to his peers and paramours. A narrow victory to replace a seat vacated by an untimely horse riding accident fatality, Pierre Garcon proved to be diplomatic and persuasive, his voice often heard and closely regarded on the floor. A landslide second term election led to a surprise nomination for chair, and an equally surprising win by a comfortable margin.
Taking the votes as a mandate to continue in his ideology, Garcon introduced legislation to aggressively expand manufacturing and industrial production, with generous spending on the military and sciences. France's history was filled with famous scientists and inventors, and he felt that a return to those roots would serve France in her civilian population, but also serve to strengthen her military arm as well. Seeing the rapidly escalating arms wars occurring around the globe, he felt that a strong defense relied not solely on raw numbers as it had in the past, but on technological superiority as well. This position was not shared at first by the military heads, but after a few poignant demonstrations of the effectiveness of some of the new technologies and applications being rolled out of research laboratories around the country, ideologies and tactics were quickly adapted.
Crawling from bed and staggering to the sink, Pierre looked at himself in the mirror, sighing heavily. He knew that the road ahead would not be easy, and refused to delude himself into thinking otherwise. Washing his face, a mental tasklist of items to be addressed with his return to Paris started to form. It was going to be a long few months.

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Never shall innocent blood be shed, yet the blood of the wicked shall flow like a river.

The three shall spread their blackened wings and be the vengeful striking hammer of god.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 26, 2009 7:11 am 
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January 2nd, 1930
Washington, D.C.


"Good evening my fellow Americans. I previously wished all of us a happy holiday season, and while I know that my time spent with my family was dear to me, not all can stay the same. My friends, I wish I could say that no troubles plagued this great land during our season of rejoicing, of kindness and love and renewal, but I cannot. By now no doubt many of you have heard about the terrible events that have occurred, of crosses burning in front of the houses of our friends and neighbors. Now these fiends, who would tell you not to love thy neighbor but fear them, have destroyed several places of worship on the first day of this New Year. It would seem their resolution has been to scare us, dear nation, to make us afraid. I tell you now that these attacks of terror will not be taken lightly. For the last two years I have worked to remove the lack of trust in our government, to strengthen the bond between the people of these great United States and those should, and now do, serve the public. Today, I shall tell you of my resolution for this year. This year, America the proud, America the beautiful, America the brave will stand before those that would cow us and say never again! We are free from the shackles of fear and doubt, and we stand tall among the world as one of the greatest nations on this good Earth! The only fear we shall face is the fear that others will not be free as we are!

As of today, National Guard Reserves will begin hunting for those responsible for these terrible acts and bring them to Justice. Let it be known that no coward in the night will make us afraid ever again, for we shall always protect our freedom. Thank you, and good night."

The Radio broadcast had been a regular thing since the beginning of his term, suggested by a former Governor of New York that Kincaid had stolen into his cabinet. It had raised eyebrows at the time, having a multiple party cabinet, but Roosevelt had been key in disassembling the Tammany Hall structure. Upon leaving the fireplace area with the recording equipment, Kincaid pulled aside Vicious and whispered in his ear. "I need you to start getting things ready Alan. I have a feeling things are going to start sooner than I'd like."

"Already?" Vice President Vicious raised an eyebrow.

"Tell me it looks different."

"No, this meets the criteria, but damned if it doesn't move things up."

"Get the military on the border to work with the local guard, I want every possible road into and out of Mexico watched. These bastards are getting support from somewhere, and it's not through the Rockies. While we're on it, I want the fleets on the coasts to start sending out more patrols, I want to watch the Gulf like a hawk. Anything odd that happens, I want a full report. We are going to stamp out these bastards and leave a message behind. Make sure a delegation is sent to Mexico, I want to hear every word that they don't want us to know. Send the proper instructions to our embassies across the world, if what I fear is happening is about to, we're going to need as much support as we can get."

January 18, 1930
Tuscaloosa, Alabama


Colonel Hudson smiled as his command car drove up to the waiting National Guard. He took the unlit cigar from his mouth and patted his driver on the shoulder, letting him know to stop. He stood up and looked out at his task force. "Okay men, we all know why we're here. A bunch of rednecks thought it would be a good idea to burn a church, and you know why? Because it wasn't as lily white as they'd like! Of course having smelled them out, I think it's safe to say they can't even keep their drawers that lily white to begin with!" The troops laughed uproariously before being settled down by a motion from the Colonel. "Right then! These bedsheet wearing sons of bitches have guns, they have the terrain,, and they have a deep running hatred of every damn thing we stand for. They'd like it if the South never came back! Hell, they'd prefer it if most of us were in the fields picking cotton for their lazy asses! So there's a damn good chance it will come to shooting. If it doesn't, hey, that's fine, we'll march them back to stand trial. If it does, remember your training and you'll come back alive. Now, let's go get those church burning sons of bitches!"

The National guard unit let out a hoot and a holler and started marching towards the last known position of the KKK, at the same time as numerous other units in the South started similar marches.

January 21, 1930
USA/Mexico Border


Shots rang out as several frustrated National Guard soldiers fired uselessly into the air as several Mexican citizens fled for safety. The hunt had been stalled, but not without its successes. Several leaders of the order had been captured, and with luck, so would the others.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 26, 2009 5:09 pm 
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Dec. 31 1929

The fireworks lit up the wharfs along the cold waters of the Baltic, colored light illuminating the barges in the harbor and the faces of the crowd along the waterside. King Jan Erick of the House of Vasa chuckled in pleasure as he finished the last of his vodka. The scion of one of Europe's greatest dynasties and ruler of millions across Europe and the rest of the world was taking a moment to enjoy the simple pleasures of life on this New Year's Eve before the pressures of reality returned. A young man, without attachments, he knew even his personal life could be a matter of state. For now, though, the fireworks.

Reports on trade relations with Hungary and the Romans, proposals to expand the forts protecting Kiev, intelligence repors on discussions between the German and Russian governments all waited him on his desk. Since taking the throne on the death of his mother, Jan had never seen the surface of his desk. Granted, it had only been six months, but he suspected that he'd never quite work through all of the documents he had to review.

Danzig sat at the center of one of the world's great Empires. Largest in Europe save for Russia, the Vasan Commonwealth stretched from the icy waters of the Arctic Ocean to the Black Sea coast. Although Russia's seizure of Odessa at the end of the last war threatened that last part Jan thought to himself as he strolled across the room to a large map of Europe plastered across one wall of his private study. Nodding to the guard standing unobtrusively in the doorway to the rest of the palace, he stretched to pop his back back into place. His empire was certainly an odd duck. An amalagation of two of Europe's oldest kingdoms, Sweden and Poland, united under a single dynasty through nearly four hundred years of good luck. An imperial capital that technically belonged to neither of the two proper kingdoms, a free state within the empire. Children who frequently grew up speaking two or three languages-while the school system his grandfather had designed had faults, language instruction was generally considered not one of them. Significant ethnic minorities that together nearly outnumbered the Polish and Swedish populations, from the Germans of the capital and Courland, to the Lithuanians, Ruthenians, and Norweigians that were major parts of the Empire, to countless small minorities. To say nothing of the native populations of Vasan Africa, India, and Tahiti.

She had generally good relations with her neighbors-Russia excepted, of course. There hadn't been a war with Hungary or Germany in over a hundred years, and even in India the Mughals found enough reason to cooperate with the vasans rather than try to seize the European tip of a very Indian subcontinent.

Russia, though, Russia remained an issue. While Jan was under no illusions that his country was innocent in the centuries long-confrontation with the juggernaut to the East, the reality was that the Muscovites had started more wars, especially in the last century, than the Vasans had. The fact that they still held large tracts of traditional Vasan territory-Finland and significant portions of the Ukraine-rubbed most of the Vasan population very wrong. And while Jan had no desire to start a war with his country's greatest enemy in the near future, by God he'd finish it if those fucking barbarians poured over the border again.

Sighing, he placed his glass on a bookshelf and straightened his clothing. He'd been brooding too long, it was time to go back to the party and circulate. At least he didn't have to worry about his mother conspiring to match him up with some woman he'd never even heard of before anymore. If there was one benefit to her sudden death to cancer, Jan supposed that was it.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 26, 2009 8:18 pm 
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February 10, 1930
Bay of Bengal


The frigate Swift Wind (باد سریع) raced along, bearing down on a particularly irritating pirate craft that had been plaguing the waters claimed by the Empire for several months, attacking merchant ships and then fleeing into the confusing tangle of international borders around the southern tip of the subcontinent. While any nation that caught pirates, no matter who they were plaguing, would deal with them, nothing was worse than having to call off a chase because you were about to enter foreign waters and no one on the other side being present to pick up where you left off.

"Commander Ajit, by dead reckoning we have to be nearing the Vasan boundaries," the navigator report while the small ship rode across the steel waves of the disturbed ocean. A minor, unseasonable storm had blown in, and was making the chase a bit tricky.

"Do you have anything more precise than that?" Ajit asked while checking his scopes to keep his eye on the modified ship nearly on the horizon.

"No, not with the Calcutta beacon down and the sky overcast," the navigator replied.

"Then until you can confirm our position, I'm not letting this bastard slip away again. I almost had him three weeks ago, and he's not running again," Ajit growls.

"Very well sir. I will continue to attempt to ascertain our proper location," the navigaor answers before returning to his charts and instruments.

Watching the flighty little craft putting everything it had into speed, no doubt causing tremendous damage to its engine, but that would pale in comparison to the tremendous damage the Swift Wind would cause if they caught up.

Finally, growling in frustration, Ajit declares, "We're within range, load shrapnel and Agni rounds and shred the whoresons."

There was a pause on the bridge before the XO asked, "Sir, what about any possible hostages?"

"If those bastards get away any hostages are dead anyway. Besides, the last thing they hit was a Vasan vessel," Ajit replies coldly. The XO looks to raise another protest before shaking his head and ordering the guns to load shrapnel and Agni rounds.

The guns on the frigate, popguns in comparison to the monsters on battleships but still massive in comparison to the weapons on the pirate vessel, all moved with well oiled precision and then paused, waiting for the order. Ajit gave a grim nod and said, "Kali take them all. Fire."

The Swift Wind fired, launching shells high into the air, and within the spinning hunks of metal and high explosive, fuses burned away. A tricky bit of math considering all the factors involved, the fuses were set to hopefully go off just above the enemy position to shower it with its deadly payload. For the shrapnel rounds, this consisted of a package of ballbearings and preformed fragments designed to tear apart flesh and ravage unarmoured machinery. For the Agni shells, a much more wicked payload awaited. Carefully sealed and inspected near hourly, the shells contained hundreds of hard balls of white phosphorous suspended in oil. The oil kept moisture out, but when the explosives went off, it would just add to the incendiary properties of the shells.

Not all of the fuses were set properly, some going off early and the dispersal doing minimal damage, while others went off only after plunging into the water, and not all of the shells were close enough for their burst cones to overlap with the pirate vessel, but enough went off that a massive plume of steam not caused by the burning white phosphorous in the water indicated a hit on a boiler. The pirate vessel immediately lost much of its forward velocity.

"Good shooting! We can catch them now! Move along side, rake them with machine gun fire if they offer any assistance, and then send over a boarding party," Ajit crows delightedly, watching the huge cloud of smoke forming from the WP pellets in the sea and the damaged ship.

"Sir! I have radio beacon triangulation back up!" The navigator calls out while listening in on his headset to the ticking report of the machines.

"Do we have a location?" Ajit asks, only half interested.

"We are... oh sweet Allah, we are two nautical miles into Vasan waters," the navigator announces after a few seconds of calculation on his little slide rule.

"All stop! All stop! Get us turned around now and back into any waters but these before someone notices us! I repeat, get us out of here now!" Commander Ajit bellows out, causing the bridge crew to leap into a pandemonium of action. "You're sure?" He ask the navigator.

"We're close enough that at least the pirate is in Vasan waters," the navigator replies, looking a little queasy. "I knew the waters were sending us off estimation by dead reckoning, but..."

"I'll deal with this if we get caught, you just do your job," the commander replies as the Swift Wind heels about rapidly in the rough waters, leaving behind the burning vessel as evidence of their accidental intrusion.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 27, 2009 12:54 am 
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*static*

Loud saxophone music blared through the static from the speakers, a wailing jazz number that briefly became crystal clear before dissolving again.

*static*

"... and the Lord God said...."

*static*

"... and greatest! Get yours tod..."

*static*

"... mostly quieted down. At least two dozen sailors identified as French and Roman nationals are currently in the hospital. At least ten more, nationality not known, are reported dead. Eyewitnesses report that the fighting began in the Green Mermaid brothel and rapidly spilled out onto Fishmarket Street. The brawl finally broke up near the Pacifican embassy on Fishmarket, with some reports of possible injuries amongst the legation guards. We will have more information as the story unfolds. In other news, a rumored labor action against Freehold Military Industries was averted today following negotiations between union and company representatives. Details of the deal are sketchy but reports are that negotiators for both sides are 'pleased' with the deal. Share prices for FMI are up three at this hour in heavy tra..."

*static*

After another flicker of static soft classical music started to play from the AM radio, surprisingly clear all things considered.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 27, 2009 6:15 pm 
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Imperial Palace, Danzig Free State
Vasan Commonwealth
Feb. 11 1930



Jan tossed the paper back on his desk, upsetting a pile of projected farm reports for southern Poland in the new year. "So, we've got a burning wreck in our waters with ten dead pirates and we think three of our nationals, and no clue as to how this unfortunate series of events came to pass?"

Admiral Franz Dickman shifted uncomfortably in his seat. "More or less, my lord. We have our suspicions, of course, but nothing with any evidence."

"Let me guess, a Mughal warship chased a pirate into our waters a little too far and didn't care that the hostages were onboard because, after all, they were only Europeans." Jan spat, throwing his arms up in frustration. Peace and even a certain degree of mutual trade existed between the two powers, but there was certainly no love lost.

"More or less, sir." Dickman said, shoving the file into his own briefcase with more force that was really necessary. After all, he was as frustrated as his liege lord.

Jan tugged thoughtfully on his lower lip for a moment. "Allright, let's send a message to the Mughals, for now politely, inquiring officially if they know anything. I've got some ideas on how to take it from there, depending on how they respond."

The foreign minister, Edvard Bull, nodded. "Yes, mi'lord. I'll have the dispatch out within the hour."

"Good. Thank you gentlemen, I have a meeting with the Minister of Trade in a few minutes I need to prepare for."

---

Message dispatched to the Mughals, politely inquiring if they've got any idea what the hell happened.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 27, 2009 9:53 pm 
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13 Februarius, MMDCLXXXIII Ab Urbe Condita

"The reports are presently unclear," said Paulus Cunturiotes Navarchus, "but it would appear that piracy in the Oceanus Indicus is up again for the fourth year running."

Bernardinus Grandius shook his head. "The largest naval concentrations in the world, and they still can't suppress banditry..."

"I would say 'won't'", said Galeatius Cianus Comes Orator. "Pirates are a useful tool to employ against one's enemies. None of the regional powers save Madagascar rely on oceanbourne trade, and it wouldn't surprise me if Madagascar had a hand in this incident."

"All the better reason to teach them proper respect for the Empire," said Bernardinus Grandius.

"Madagascar is not our concern today, nor shall it be for many years," said Mustaphus Cemal. "I wish to attend to the things that are our concern. Marcus Sarpaedius, you indicated that your contacts had compiled their report on the northern situation?"

Marcus did not rise, for his mangled leg prevented an action with grace. Instead he leaned forward, speaking as directly as he dared to men whose Auctoritas dwarfed his own.

"The situation in the North is becoming increasingly dangerous," he said. "The combined forces of Francia and Germania threaten our positions in Gaul and in Noricum. A loss of these positions, I need not remind you all, would result in the exposure of Italy itself to invasion."

"Rome has many borders, Marcus Sarpaedius," said Bernardinus Grandius. "This is but one of them. Why this obsession with the Franks and Teutons? It has been more than a hundred years since they dared unite against us. Do we yet have proof that this 'compact' of theirs is a reality?"

"No," answered Galeatius Cianus, who for twelve years had served as the senate's unofficial foreign minister. "But it is my opinion, that it is so. All of the unofficial inquiries I have made indicate to me that there is a complete unity of purpose between the Frankish Republic and the Teutonic one. What direction this unity of purpose is aimed at is presently unknown, but I believe at this time we should regard the existence of a Frankish-Teuton Alliance as fact."

"If such an alliance exists," said Mustaphus Cemal, bringing the conversation back around, "what is our position, Marcus Sarpaedius?"

"Our position is highly dangerous," responded Sarpaedius, as he had been instructed to earlier in the day. "The combined forces of Francia and Germania dwarf our own deployments in the area. Our estimates are a better than 5-1 superiority of aircraft in their favor, worse if one considers only striking power. The Frankish in particular, and the Teutons to a lesser extent, rely heavily upon large concentrations of armored vehicles, of various classes. It is our belief that they will seek to employ these vehicles to attain a decisive result in the event of attack, potentially in a concentration point, using their air forces to support such an offensive. Theories of this nature have been in circulation for over twenty years in various staff collegia across Europe and the Americas."

"It's the damned Austrian Knights all over again..." commented Bernardinus Grandius with a shudder. "Have we no defense?"

"We have many defenses," said Mustaphus Cemal, "but it is not wisdom to trust to defenses as though they were indestructible. The armaments race in Europe is accelerating, not slowing, and the political movements from the north are becoming more and more worrisome. I do not wish for the Empire to be caught flat-footed should the worst come."

"You believe they mean to invade us?" asked Paulus Cunturiotes.

"I do," said Mustaphus Cemal directly. "But even if they do not, they wish to change the paradigm in the north, such that it is us that will be forced to accede to whatever demands they wish, rather than vice versa, as it should be."

"Surely they cannot be so rash," said Bernardinus Grandius. "Napoleon Buonapartus taught them the consequences of such actions, did he not?"

"Buonapartus has been dead for a century and more," said Mustaphus Cemal. "And warfare has changed since his day. The situation is presently favorable to them, and shows indications that it may become moreso."

"There is another danger," said Marcus Sarpaedius. "While the imbalances in the north can be corrected, those in Antilia are more endemic. The combined Teutonic and Frankish deployments in the Americas outnumber our own by a factor of three to one on land, four to one in the air, and roughly seven to one on the sea, though a comparison is difficult. They have deployed heavy formations to that region, while I note that we have not."

"We have an entire sea to patrol," said Paulus Cunturiotes. "One we call our own. We do not have the means nor the interest in extending naval dominance three thousand miles beyond our shores.

"Yet that has not stopped us from deploying one of our Legions to defend Antilia," said Marcus Sarpaedius. "My colleagues in the Consularum Militarius wish to know why it is that our plan appears to be to strand an entire Legion in Antilia if our navy has no intention of supporting them there."

"The Antillian Fleet stands ready to support the operations of - "

"The Antillian Fleet," interrupted Marcus Sarpaedius, "consists of a handful of ships, none of which is larger than a Constantinopolis Cruiser. The Germans alone have three different warships in the region that could, by themselves sink the entire Antillian fleet and be home in time for dinner! Am I to tell the commander of the Fourth Legion that his troops are to be sacrificed because Rome would not support him properly?"

The Navarchus frowned. "What precisely would you have us do, Marcus Sarpaedius?" he asked. "Deploy our entire fleet thousands of miles away from our Empire for the sake of a handful of Islands we never should have taken possession of in the first place?"

"But we did take possession of them, and it is now our responsibility to defend them in case of war. What I would have us do is to trust to the defenses of the Mare Nostrum, and send our fleet where it is likely to do us good. I would have us assemble a task force sufficient to sweep the Germani Antillian Fleet from the seas, and to send it to Antillia in conjunction with a major land and air re-enforcement."

"And where would you draw these forces from?" asked Galeatius Cianus, as the senators murmured.

"For air re-enforcements, I would draw from the Calpe detatchments. For land forces, I would employ the Rapax Legion from Aegyptus. The combination of these additions should dissuade any hostile action in the Antillian Sea on the part of our enemies."

"A move at this stage would be interpreted as an act of hostility," said Mustaphus Cemal. "The Americans and Mexicans would protest at the increase of tensions in the region. I do not believe it is wise to act yet, but should signs point to war, I will ask this House to approve this re-distribution of force."

The majority of the senate seemed to be swaying in Cemal's direction, and he glanced at Marcus Sarpaedius and smiled craftily. "We shall call this proposal, 'Operation Geryon'..."

_________________
Gaze upon my works, ye mighty, and despair...

Havoc: "So basically if you side against him, he summons Cthulu."
Hotfoot: "Yes, which is reasonable."


Last edited by General Havoc on Sun Dec 27, 2009 9:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 27, 2009 10:36 pm 
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The message was supposed to be secure, delivered from point A to point B without interference or spying. That it was not, was the fault of someone in the Roman Civil Service. In the end, the result was that instead of being sent on by sealed telegram, the message was broadcast to the Roman Embassy in Paris by open channel, where any spy with a radio could pick it up and translate, once they had broken the antiquated cipher of the Roman diplomatic corps. By now there had to be few nations who had not.

_________________
Gaze upon my works, ye mighty, and despair...

Havoc: "So basically if you side against him, he summons Cthulu."
Hotfoot: "Yes, which is reasonable."


Last edited by General Havoc on Sun Dec 27, 2009 10:43 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 28, 2009 2:41 am 
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It did not even take a spy to pick up the radio message. To get from Rome to Paris by radio a signal would have to be strong enough to reach into the heart of germany. As a result a cryptographer stationed in Vienna received the message, translated it, and cabled the full text via secured line to Hamburg. Eventually the communique reached the hands of Chancillor Rommel.

It was probably too late to intercept the message that was to be sent to the French, but there were only so many things that such a message could be. Things had been tense with Rome lately, and the combined military assets of the French and Germany would make short work of the romans own military if it came to conflict.

Rommell however knew better than to let that disturb him. He sat down and set the communique on his desk. He lit a cigarette and started tapping out a message in morse code on his telegraph machine, cabled to the german embassy in Paris, asking them to look into the matter. He was not too worried, but it would be stupid to be blase`.

_________________
"Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution."
- Theodosius Dobzhansky

There is no word harsh enough for this. No verbal edge sharp and cold enough to set forth the flaying needed. English is to young and the elder languages of the earth beyond me. ~Frigid

The Holocaust was an Amazing Logistical Achievement~Havoc


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