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|Author:||Steve [ Sun May 09, 2010 9:58 am ]|
"What do you mean you gave Rienzo 'an idea'?!"
"Oh come on, what's the worst that can happen?"
Six Hundred Years Later
Caroline Palace, Sacramento
1 January 1910
For many people the New Year was a day of celebration and even relaxation - a chance for the coming of the new year and of new possibilities to be considered. But there was no such day for the Sovereign of the Kingdom - for the Prince Frederick, now ruling as King Charles V, and his young wife Queen Larissa, there was work, the ceremony and duties involved with giving the New Year's Honours. A list of parliamentarians, intellectuals, local businessmen and political leaders, scientists, inventors, and military officers had been submitted for the granting of everything from memberships in prestigious Orders to Knighthoods and one Baronetcy.
Now the long hours had finally been completed and the Royal Couple were free to retire to their private chambers in the Palace, protected as it was by a Royal Guard contingent drawn from the King's Own Mexican Grenadiers. Here was where they could again be "Freddy and Larissa", a happy young couple of scientifically-curious students intrigued by the advances of their age. The handsomely-furnished rooms were covered in books and magazines from all forms of publications, most concerning scientific studies - things like biologist expeditions into the New Guinea wilds, physicist publications, and chemist journals.
"What do you think of these heavier-than-air aeroplanes, beloved?", Charles asked his wife as she laid against him on the sofa, her head on his shoulder as he held a magazine open to show the schematics of the craft - the designer of which, Henry Wright, had been on the List of Honours today with an admission to the Order of the Pacific Empire. The army already had a few hundred of them, using them for reconnassiance, with some believing the technology should be further refined and more Aeroplane units raised.
"They seem quite cumbersome," she answered, settling a hand on his leg. "But imagine what it could mean for us if the technology continues to grow. Our children may one day fly to Los Angeles as you and I might take a train."
"I know," he said, sighing. Being a young King meant he would likely live to see such developments occur and new wonders come into existance. It was an exciting time to be alive, certainly, if dangerous. The Filipinos were agitating for more local rule, the Wanese, Chinese, and Vietnamese contesting each other in East Asia, and on their own continent the risk of a renewed Continental war was always present between the United Republics and the Iroquois state. But for all he had to worry about, Frederick's heart - for he still considered himself to be 'Frederick' in private - was content, having faith in the future of his nation and of Humanity.
|Author:||Steve [ Fri May 14, 2010 3:22 pm ]|
Los Angeles Times
6 January 1910 Edition
PACIFIC DEFENCE ACT CONSTRUCTION STARTS
Sources have confirmed by wire that construction has began on the new series of coastal fortifications ordered by the Liberal Government with the passing of the Pacific Defence Act last year. New naval fortifications are being erected in the Philippines, Guam, and Australia to improve the defence of the Kingdom's furthest ports and harbors - the extensive Oahu fortifications shall also be greatly reinforced, making Pearl Harbour arguably the most strongly-protected harbour upon the Earth.
The Government's First Lord of the Admiralty, Winston Churchill MP, has made several statements to this paper and to others on the positive effect of the new defenses, which are "providing solid work for working men and solid protection for some of the Empire's most vital holdings".
The Act has also authorized further construction of the Navy's new "Battlecruisers" and of the newest of the "dreadnaught" ships, including HMS Philippines which has been named in honor of the Royal Domain of those islands due to their provision of bonds and payments to permit the construction of the vessel. Small destroyer vessels were also ordered to permit the strengthening of defences in the Philippine Islands.
NEW GUINEA EXPEDITION TO CLAIM REST OF ISLAND?
An expedition led by noted naturalist Sir Juan Calderon has already set off for a trek through the unclaimed regions of New Guinea but new statements made by the sponsors of the expedition have hinted that Calderon may make claim to the rest of the island for the Crown. The western half of New Guinea is currently unoccupied due to its abandonment by the Dutch during their defeat by the Bourbons. Several nations, including the United Kingdom, have not made physical claim to the region but maintain they have a legal claim to what is now considered terra nullius. The Colonial Secretary's Office has made no comment on the issue.
|Author:||frigidmagi [ Sun May 16, 2010 5:25 am ]|
Lincoln City Times!
New Government Inauguration
Today on the very steps of Capital Building where President Lincoln took the oath of the Presidency and took command of the Army of Central Illinois the new President took his oath today. A man of mixed heritage reflecting the majority of own populace Samuel Running Fox, named for his material grandfather better known to most of our readership as Mark Twain, took the oath in good spirits.
President Running Fox was elected with 56% of the popular vote, the first ever Christian Democrat President elected in the history of this Republic. Along with him were elected 25 Representatives and 4 counselors from the same party with the new Nationalist Party coming close behind. The election of last year was clearly a major victory for the Progressive agenda put forth by the Christian Democrats and fairly well supported by the Nationalist and SPNA. On his list will be outlawing child labor, giving the government the strength to fight monopolies and trusts, regulation of the economy and protection of trade Unions. And above all hacking back the cancer of corruption.
The outlawing of child labor will the be the easiest task facing our new President who campaigned on a platform of change, reform and strength. Even there it is likely that certain interests will fight to the last blueback hour and copper cent. We can only hope the President is as good a statesmen as he is a campaigner.
The Fate of the Nation
On this day we face the change wrought by the voting members of the public. There are Republics across the world from Eternal Rome to our own Iroquois brothers but few can boast of our accomplishment. We have united many different races and creeds under one roof of brotherhood and nationhood. We are not a multi-national empire held together by a king or emperor like the UKP or the Bourbons. We are a constant campaign of "civilization by assimilation" as Rome is. We are a band of different peoples who have melded together of our own will to create a single united nation in the face of a world that would have seen us snuffed out in the womb.
We have risen to a industrial powerful state. Despite the fearful mismanagement of the last couple GRP administrations our army is still among one of the most powerful on the continent. Our factories are efficient, modern and productive. Our farms produce enough to feed the entire continent. But we are surrounded.
Without a oceanic coast, indeed lacking even control over the Mississippi basin we are the utter mercy of our neighbors in terms of trade. Unable to so much as ship out a single sheaf of grain without the indulgence of the powers around us. Until we are able to exercise control over our own trade and have the means to meet the world on our own terms we are practically helpless and eternally flanked. Locked in a prison of geographic doomed to reduce to a backwater until we are swallowed by one of our neighbors.
We owe it to our forefathers and children to avoid this fate. The sacrifice of John Brown and Stand Waite, the heroism of Crazy Horse and the legacy they left the world in our nation demands greater.
Oklahoma Counselor William Charles Rogers, Nationalist Party.
|Author:||Charon [ Sun May 16, 2010 8:29 pm ]|
"Happy New Year!"
The crowd that had gathered outside in the cold Pennsylvania winter to celebrate the New Year. Kisses ran rampant across the field of people and Freydis Sweetwater found her lips locked with the man that had been standing beside her. She would later find out his name was Kevin, an extremely unmanly name in her opinion.
Colonel Roy Colt sat and slowly scanned through the reports on his desk. Most of the rest of his more immediate staff were on leave for the night, which left him with perhaps his most loyal second, and the one he trusted the most, Lisa Hawkeye. The current reports were just deployment figures. The 1st Massachusetts, the army he was in, was to continue being stationed in Pennsylvania for the time being. Though they were not on the border, they were still close enough that in a worst case scenario they could be on the scene quickly. The 1st Pennsylvania was currently stationed in Maryland to serve as discouragement to any Acadians that may decide they wanted more of the Chesapeake. The 1st Seneca was down in Panama, mucking through forest and doing their best to exterminate Malaria, a fight not even the mighty Seneca could truly win. Finally, the 1st Delaware was stationed at Newark, a cushiony position that was awarded to an army that had been on the borders for too long.
Roy Colt sighed and pushed the papers away, glancing up at the fair haired Hawkeye who had not moved in five minutes he let himself smile and then put the paperwork away. "Lieutenant Hawkeye, I believe I'm done for the night. You're dismissed."
Hawkeye glanced at her superior officer. "I shall escort you to your car first, sir."
Col. Colt smiled again. "Very well, Lieutenant."
Charles Fairbanks, the Vice-President of the UIS and the second most powerful man in the country sat in the Office of the President along with the other Chief of Staff and their leader, Theodore Roosevelt.
"It's talk of war if I've ever heard it." Muttered Leonard Wood, the current Secretary of War. The rest of the room nodded slowly. "It's from the Nationalists, big surprise there too."
Fairbanks spoke up. "They just lost by a not so pretty margin too, probably just talk to rally the base."
Leonard frowned. "Probably. But it makes sense. Eventually the U.R. is going to want oceanfront property."
Roosevelt nodded, finally speaking. "Either way, I think it would be in our best interests to remind them not to look our way for land. Inform General Sveinson that he should prepare for war games. Nothing too extravagant, just a reminder of what they'll run into should they look East."
|Author:||Simon_Jester [ Fri May 21, 2010 1:42 am ]|
|Post subject:||A Coolie for Pacifica|
November 13, 1909
"But Grandfather, one tael every six days is good money."
The reigning patriarch of the Zhou family was nearly convinced, or he would have given the idea a flat "no!" But Heng knew from experience that Grandfather wouldn't let anything this important be decided without asserting his authority. He is a good man; it's best this way.
"To go beyond the sea and work for the gwailo... it will be difficult. I should know!" He stamped his left foot, the one that had lost two toes to frostbite pushing the Central Pacifican Railway through the Sierra Nevada, more than fifty years ago. "I took the gwailo's money in my day too. They did not pay so well then. And do you know why?"
There was nothing for it, he had to ask or there would be no end of trouble. "Why, Grandfather?"
"Because they need to make fools of us to get us to go! In my day, we did not know better! They told us that the streets of San Francisco were paved with gold, that we could come back as wealthy notables. And what did we find when we got there? They treated us like dogs and worked us like oxen, boy. Without Prince Fu's agents paying good silver to bring back men who had learned to work the railways, I would be there to this day, and I would hardly be better than a slave!"
"Grandfather, it is not so bad. Remember the guarantee!"
Once in a while, decrees from the provincial capital were read aloud in front of the village yÃ¡men. Once every few months, from Peking. For a decree to come from the hand of Prince Fu... that was a rare thing indeed. Surely it was copied a dozen times before it reached their village, but even so it was almost like having an order passed down from the heavens.
The Prince Regent called for young men from the villages to come to the cities and sign up for terms of labor overseas. He promised sixty taels of silver to their families for every year of labor, though in the order it was written as "two kilograms." He promised that the eye of the government would remain on them, even from thirty thousand li away, that they would perform honorable labor and be well rewarded on their return.
To Zhou Suiheng*, it had seemed like the offer of a lifetime. Just last summer he had helped to build the railroad spur from Chongqing to he river at Hechuan. That had paid well, but not so well as this!
Heng's grandfather stroked his chin. "...It will be difficult, difficult. But you are a strong boy, and the money will be good for the family. If you wish to go, then you may go- on one condition!"
The old man grinned and reached into his robe. He pulled an icon over his head and handed it to his grandson. "Take this. You're going to need it."
Heng looked down at the worn image of the goddess Guanyin. "Thank you, Grandfather!"
Heng departed from his village the next day, with a bundle of travel goods slung over his shoulder. He wore his heavy railroad worker's boots. A few hours' walk carried him down to the river. In the rugged country at the edge of the Sichuan basin, watercourses were far and away the easiest paths. Reaching Hechuan would take him three days on foot up and down steep hills; even though the river wound back and forth like the coils of a snake, the steady current would bear him to the railhead in little more time. Someday they will bring the railroad all the way up to Nanchong...
After reaching the river, he headed south along the footpath by the bank. The riverside villages were large and prosperous, supported by both fishing and farming. It was orange season; Heng was lucky that the pay offered to his family was enough that they were willing to let him go from the picking.
Barges drifted past him along the river, mostly laden with oranges and cured hams. As the afternoon carried on, Heng stopped in a village inn by a dock protruding out into the river to wait. As the sun dipped toward the horizon and the half-moon high in the sky became more visible, the first barge crew pulled up and piled into the tavern.
November 16, 1909
The riverboat drifted down the Langshui River. Heng had thrown on a heavy jacket to shield himself from the evening chill. Passage would have been more expensive than he'd planned, except that one of the rivermen had fallen sick the day before he met them. Heng had agreed to work off his passage, manning a pole along the side to help keep the boat in the channel.
Heng remembered the twisting course of the river from the summer, how it looped back and forth. There were places where walking a short distance over a hill to the next coil of thhe Langshui could cut dozens of li off the journey. But the barges floated all night, and a man could not, not without straining himself to the limit. All things considered, he would stick to the barge.
On a hissed order from one of the rivermen, Heng lifted his pole and shoved a rotten log further away from the boat.
|Author:||Steve [ Sat May 22, 2010 6:59 pm ]|
No. 12 Parliament Street, San Francisco
The ministers of HM Government had gathered for their usual meetings at this time of the month, discussing the various domestic issues facing the Empire. Home Secretary Alistair Simpson, an older man and entrepreneur, had come upon his term and discussed the business relating to the Home Office. Statistics relating to the nation's status were read out, culminating with his report on the recent influx of Chinese workers to help expand Pacifica's rail network. "The cost of the Chinese labour is higher than it was in decades past," he noted, "but it has permitted us to expand the scope of our planned construction."
Sitting at the head of the table, Prime Minister Stephen Garrett gave a slight nod. A stocky, large man, he was quite capable of towering over the other members of the Cabinet, though he was known for having a gentler, calm disposition unless provoked, making him the perfect leader for the Liberal Government with the Tories standing in Opposition. "It would seem the Empire remains in good status then. What about this planned legislation for expansion of the Territorial Army?"
"It is focused, Sir, upon the desire for more specialized combat engineers to be assigned to the higher commands as assets," Kevin Maxwell-Fyfe answered. In his capacity as Secretary of State for War, thus the civilian minister responsible for the Army, he laid out the statistics of the expansion. "We must recall that our borders here in America are very wide and hard to defend," he concluded. "Further access to trained combat engineers will permit units to create field defences more quickly and to repulse enemy maneuvers against them."
The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Lord Edward Howard Duke of Norfolk and of Bakersfield (and the ceremonial Earl Marshal of the House of Lords, under the traditions of the Kingdom), spoke up next. "You are adding a hundred and fifty thousand men to the active rolls of the Army," he pointed out, "and expanding the ready reserve by nearly fifty thousand more, not to mention an extra division to the Australian Army. Can we justify such expenditure with our current situation?"
"More than sufficiently, Sir," Maxwell-Fyfe answered. "We share a large and vast continent with two nations possessing great and powerful armies. Though they might not pose, immediately, a direct threat to the Kingdom's heartland in California and Cascadia, many thousands of His Majesty's subjects are in harm's way should a war break out, and we need as many divisions as possible to protect our continental frontier."
"Well spoken, Mister Secretary," Stephen agreed. "It will be put to Parliament immediately with the Government's full encouragement. First Lord Churchill, you had remarks upon the Naval Program?"
"Only that I would prefer it if we were to add new construction next year," Winston Churchill, First Lord of the Admiralty, answered. "We must remember that we face the great fleets of the Wa and of Vietnam in the Pacific. The security of the Empire rests upon our sea communications to Manila and to Sydney, we must not let such be jeopardized by falling behind on dreadnought battleships."
"Then perhaps we should focus upon the Dreadnoughts and not upon these 'battlecruisers' your boy Lord Fisher has been promoting," Maxwell-Fyfe remarked. "Admiral Beresford has begun rallying the Tories to oppose the Government's Naval Program on the grounds of promoting the construction of the two Battlecruisers the 1910 Program has ordered."
"The 1910 Program is merely completing the order laid by the 1908 Naval Acts," Winston stated. "We were to have a squadron of four such 'battlecruisers' in service should it be necessary. As for Admiral Beresford, if he wishes to oppose the Government let him retire his commission and stand as a candidate in a by-election or the next General Election. I will gladly take his questions or the questions of any of his Tory partisans in the House."
"If it comes to that, Winston, I'll hold you to the offer," Stephen remarked. "Now, as for these figures..."
|Author:||General Havoc [ Sun May 23, 2010 1:10 am ]|
31st December, Ab Urbe Condita MMDCLXII, 11:53 PM, RST (Roman Standard Time)
Augusta Praetoria, Valles Augustana Praefecture, Noricum
On the last night of the ninth year of the XXth Century, Mustaphus Cemal, Praefectus Superius and Deputy Commander of the Roman Tenth Legion surveyed the twinkling lights in the valley below, and wondered where it had all gone wrong.
The night was "razor-sharp", as the locals said, with air bitingly cold, beyond the wildest nightmares of any Turcian, yet dead still, and clear as the finest Venician glass. In the far distance, Mustaphus Cemal could see the faint glow of the watchfires on the peaks of the Mons Alpinus, the forward reconnaissance posts of the Legion's eternal watch on the North, and beyond, the border posts of the German soldiers, who for centuries long past had spent nights like this watching and being watched by the Armies of Rome. It was a known quantity. Augusta Praetoria had been founded as a legionary fortress to protect Italy in 25 BC. It remained so today. The Tenth had not always been here, but for the last five centuries, some Legion had always been posted at Augusta Praetoria, keeping ceaseless watch on the north.
Below stretched the camps of the Tenth Legion, the Turcian Legion, one of the most formidable fighting forces on the planet. 85,000 strong, the Legion filled the valley below and up either side to fortified posts on the peaks. From his vantage, Mustaphus Cemal could see the roads that led south to the depots of the Cohortes Tormentae and the Artificitors, could count the lanterns and torches of the night patrolls that moved within the Pedarius camps, and the supply wagons bringing food and goods forward or taking them back towards the town of Augusta Praetoria itself. Rome's legions had grown to the point where the venerable post no longer could contain a full legion, and cohorts were spread across the Praefecture from Allaen to Sanctus Nicolaus to Castillon.
He remembered the first time he had come to Augusta Praetoria, fresh from the military boarding schools at Iconium, a freshly-minted Contubernalis placed under the tender mercies of the senior Centurions in the hopes of being made into an officer. The place then had seemed equal parts paradise and hell, with mountains that towered many times higher than those of his home province, capped year-round by snow that never melted. In winters, the Boreas winds would blow south from Germania and freeze the very marrow of his bones, until he was certain he would wake every day to find his limbs frozen off. Mustaphus Cemal was not religious, any more than his family was, but that first winter, he had prayed to Allah the Merciful and most Benevolant to take him away from the frozen hell of the Mons Alpinus.
Allah the Merciful sent him a war.
Standing here now, in peace and quiet, he remembered the blood and the fire and smoke of the war. Historians called the Fourth Hispanian War an accident, a mistake that the hot-blooded Aragonians had dragged the Empire into, a mere skirmish of no importance, where no laurels and glory had been won. Mustaphus Cemal remembered it differently. He remembered the Centurion, a monster of a Turcian with the defiantly un-romanized name of Mehmet Ali Fikri, in the hills around Turiaso during the fighting there. A beast of a man, whose tongue and forearms were felt by every officer cadet in the Cohort, leading his century to the assault. He had been mid-word, screaming an oath at Mustaphus Cemal to damn him for some infraction, when a Bourbon cannonball removed his head, moments before destroying the centenial command tent, killing or maiming every Centurion and Optio in the century, devolving the command of a hundred Turcian and Pontic legionaires to a stunned officer cadet of 17.
Yet that bloody day at Turiaso had not been the end. It had been the beginning. Reacting on instinct and cool judgment, he took the Century, and with it, peeled the Bourbon company back from the gates of Turiaso, driving them in ruin and slaughter across the border into Leon. When enough men had died, they had made him a Military Tribune, and given him command of the entire Maniple. Across the length of the burning frontier he had marched his battalion, spilling blood from Cartago Nova to Perpignan. When a second Maniple was crushed by its commander's foolishness, he had absorbed the survivors into his own as a battlegroup. To it, he attracted a third, this time of local Triarii, eager to rally to the banner of the famous Tenth. When his impromptu force shattered the Bourbon counterattack near Andorra, the Commander saw fit to award him a Silver Crown, and with it, his own Cohort, the 8th of the Turcian Legion. Six thousand men marched to his command, and with them, he carved his way out of the disaster at Carcasonne, his brigade crushing first one Bourbon division, and then another. With the end of the war came the Corona Aurea, the Golden crown, along with the rank of Praefectus. Back in Turcia, they had begun to speak his name, anticipating a career of glories everlasting.
He knew, as they did not, that it could not be so.
For a decade now, he had languished, the promise of the Legions vanishing daily before his eyes. Praefectus he was, Praefectus Praetorium as of three years ago, a rank that most nations would call "Colonel" or even "Brigadier". From the 8th Cohort, he had ascended to the command of the Cohort Principalis, and eventually to the deputy command of the Legion itself. Yet he knew, even as he had been promoted, that he would rise no higher. For a Rome at peace, high command was a strictly guarded currency, and even now, more than a century after Turcia's franchise, none of it would be wasted on a Turcian. The Army to Italy, the Navy to Greece. That was the great unspoken concord of the Empire. A man of ambition could rise within the Legions to a point, but only to a point. Nevermind that there had been Aragonian Legates, Cilician Navarchs, and of course the greatest Imperator of them all, a Corsican half-breed turned Modern-day Brutus. They were exceptions, not rules. A Turcian could serve in the Legions as Pedarius. He could become an officer. He could command a Cohort, or second a Legion, but true command would never be his. A Turcian would never be granted such.
But even that knowledge paled by comparison to the one who did command the Legion. Ludivicius Cadornus Virferratus, the so-called Man of Iron, whose sole quality was that of iron inflexibility to such rules of discipline as he liked, and total ignorance of those he did not. A martinet, whose officers, Turcian, Pontic, Thracian or Italian hated him with equal vigor, Cadornus was the appointed commander, the Legatus Pedarius, of the Tenth Legion. He either did not know, or did not care for the contempt that his officers held him in. And as Praefectus Praetorium of the self-same Legion, it was Mustaphus Cemal's duty these three long years, to serve as his deputy.
It was a trying post. Cadornus was not merely a fool, but arrogant to a degree that even Romans could not stomach. He had left his original formation, the First Legion, in a manner that led to rumors of violently unacceptable behavior swept under the rug for the sake of propriety. Exalted though he was, Legatus Pedarius of one of the most famed formation in the Empire, he hungered for more, for a place on the Consularum Militarius, the high command that directed the Empire's military forces and advised the Consuls themselves. He would not get such a posting, for his incompetence was known and whispered about, and he knew it, and in knowing, he became bitter and wrathful at the "Turcian rabble" he was called upon to command. He could not make his hatred known legion-wide, for the Turcian Tenth was the pride of the Roman Army, and to have taken harsh measures against it in peacetime would bring down the wrath of his fellow Legates if not the Press. Robbed thus of his chance to assert superiority over the rank and file, he did so of his officers.
Standing here, this night, Mustaphus Cemal wondered why he persisted. Deputy to a thug who loathed him, in a position where he would never see the rank of Legate himself, why did he not do the sensible thing, and return to Turcia. Was that not what Ismailius Enverius Pseudocomes (as always, the Latin was more direct than the Turcian name) had done? Should he not retire back to Turcia, and use what small fame he had to obtain one of the small handful of seats in the Senate accorded to the province? For a century now, ambitious Turcians had done so, and yet here he remained, on the frozen slopes of the Mons Alpinius, waiting for something he knew would not come.
Why was he even here? Glory? Fame? Love of the Legions? There was no glory or fame to be had in peacetime, and love the Legions though he might, the Legions would never love him back, not the way they loved Ludovicius Cadornus, despite his grotesque faults. His family had written to him, telling him to abandon this pretense that the Legions held further advancement for him, and come back to Turcia, to the run the family business or pursue provincial politics, to settle down with a family, as he wished to.
Perhaps it was time, he reflected. With another year coming and no greater prospects than the one before, perhaps it was time he sheathed his sword and bayonet and returned to Turcia. Leave Ludovicius Cadornus Virferratus to rot in his own crepulence. Perhaps he should simply go.
The muffled sounds of cheering from the valley below, sounding like a murmur on the wind, told Mustaphus Cemal that the hour was midnight. He took a deep breath, sniffing the air of this, the two thousand six hundred and sixty third year of the Roman State, and sighed.
Perhaps it was time... and yet... perhaps not.
|Author:||Comrade Tortoise [ Tue May 25, 2010 12:29 am ]|
December 31st 1909
King Georg V (Pronounced Gay-org), King of Britain and Hannover, Emperor of the Germans was thoroughly enjoying the new year's celebration in London. Courtiers and nobility, including a lovely waify fellow he would need to try to get to his chamber later, were everywhere mingling politely. Everyone was drunk.
Georg was a rather lackadaisical king. The idea of actually ruling an empire as vast as the KaiserkÃ¶nigreich both horrified and bored him. Oh sure, he strictly speaking had veto power over everything coming out of the Privy Council and he did need to sign any new law that came through either domestic legislature, but actually saying no to any of these was something he preferred to leave to the British Prime Minister, the German Chancellor and President of the Privy Council who for obvious reasons had similar abilities.
Near Midnight, December 31 1909, outside Zurich
Members of the Elite Doppelsoldner Infantry Division stationed in Zurich were bored. German special forces assigned to guard the border between the part of Switzerland controlled by the KaiserkÃ¶nigreich and Rome, they had seen far too much peace for their liking. They did however have a longstanding tradition. Giving the Roman border guards in Augusta Praetoria stress induced seizures. The romans would of course return the favor. One hundred years of peace on the border had lead to a whole different sort of rivalry
Several hundred of their number were given a 24 hour leave with the wink and nod of their superior officer and carried kerosine and matches to their target position. A mountainside overlooking the encampment of the sixteenth roman legion, on the Roman side of the border. They got past the roman search lights and sentries and proceeded to climb the mountain.
The plan was executed perfectly. On the stroke of midnight, marking the transition to 1910, the mountainside erupted in fire. For a few brief minutes the words, each some 60 feet tall read on the mountain:
"Turicum, Vierhundert fÃ¼nfundzwanzig Jahren und ZÃ¤hlen"
|Author:||Charon [ Tue May 25, 2010 10:47 am ]|
February 1, 1910
It was the Presidential Inauguration, and Theodore Roosevelt, having been swept into office for a second term, had been talking for not too long, but he was beginning to wrap up his speech, and it was time to tell what his administration would do during his term.
"Many times in our history other nations have looked to the United Iroquois States and wondered how they will fit into the global politics. They have wondered what we have to offer to the world or treated us as small children who are not worthy of greater attention. In my second term, I will see this change. This nation will show its greatness, just as we did in the War of '98."
President Theodore Roosevelt stood in front of an audience of thousands. His small glasses perched daintily on his nose as he read from his script with his usual fiery passion.
"Europe's time is past. It was two Vinlanders that taught man to fly. It was an Iroquoian that first lit up the night. It was a member of these United States that sent the first radio communication out into the sky!"
A great cheer rose up from the crowd and it took nearly a minute for them to calm down enough for Roosevelt to continue speaking. Roosevelt let them cheer, he was in no rush. "Now I plan to take us into the next act of greatness. Great Nations are founded on great accomplishments of engineering, as the Ancient Romans proved time and time again. It is time to show the world what we are capable of, with the construction of the Panama canal!"
There was some cheering, but much more subdued, after all, there was already a Nicaraguan canal, what point was there in a Panama Canal?
"When the Acadians built their canal, it was seen as a great show of their engineering might and their power in the Western World. It took them 18 years to complete their feat of engineering. We will build a better canal, and we will do it in just five years!"
The crowd seemed, in a word, shocked. Everyone knew that the Panama Canal had been in the books for years, and everyone knew that most projections said it would take a minimum of eight years to complete.
"Is it possible? Is it truly possible? I tell you we are a nation built on achieving the impossible! It was said it was impossible for us to defeat the French in war, and yet we did. It was said it was impossible for our nation to gain control of the Northeast, and yet we did. It was said that we could not harnass the power of the Niagara Falls, and yet we did! It is time to prove again that we are a nation built upon doing the impossible and make our mark upon the world!"
This got another round of screaming cheers from the crowd that had gathered in the chilly Toronto winter. Roosevelt smiled broadly, knowing that soon this statement would cross the world.
|Author:||frigidmagi [ Tue May 25, 2010 8:24 pm ]|
Defiance, Missouri United Republics of North America
4:30am Saturday, February 2nd
It was a quiet sleepy town near the border with the Republic of Kentucky. Named for the fact it had been John Brown's command post during the Brother's War, the statue of General Brown in bronze in the town square was the main attraction. The Corps that garrisoned Missouri was concentrated on watching the UIS so the sum total of Defiance's military strength was the sheriffs department of him and 2 deputies and a milita which was more of an old boy's club. One of those deputies was suppose to be on duty but at the moment he was asleep in the office, propped up on his chair. Of course everyone else was asleep in town as well.
So they were not prepared for the hundreds strong force of men on horse back carrying rifles and torches. They set the sheriffs office on fire and shot the deputy as he tried to exited and swept over the town. Various townsmen attempted to put up a resistance but disoriented and disorganized they were swiftly burned out and shot down like dogs.
Overlooking this destruction and madness was a tall severe figure in a black suit. A pale, brown haired man with a full mustache, he made an out of place figure among the more scruffy looters, many of them in the bits and pieces of Kentucky Army uniforms.
"Captain MorrowSir, we've gotten the bank vault open, the manager caved when we found his daughters." A piratical subornate declared with joy.
"Ah, excellent work Sgt. Get the money loaded. The Colonel is awaiting us."
They stole horses and wagons as needed from the town to cover their withdrawal and burned whatever was left.
Out of a 1,500 souls only 430 were left and many of brutalized by the attacking force. Attracted by the smoke and fire, men from the next door town arrived at 7am. The news went over the telegraph across the nation. By 930am the news would be in the papers.
Lincoln City Times
Kentucky Deserters Attack URNA Town!
Kentucky Civil War Spills over the Border!
Defiance was a historical spot for our nation, a place where the great martyr and general John Brown made his command post while battling with General Sherman during the Brother's War. I say was for a simple reason. The small town of Defiance Missouri was wiped off the map this very morning. Not by an act of God or accident but by the cold uncaring hands of bandits and marauders. An army of murders and worse, numbering in the hundreds swept over the poor peaceful town and in hours not only slaughtered the majority of the inhabitants, not only robbed it clean but burned it to the ground. A town of the URNA has been wiped off the map by foreign hands.
The Republic of Kentucky has been in a minor civil war for the last year as the Morrow Brothers, a pair of Kentucky officers who mutinied along with their men waged an insurgency on the weak government of that state. Eastern Kentucky as been a war zone that the former administration has utterly ignored and that has led to it killing over a thousand of our citizens. President Running Fox must find an answer to this action and soon, or more innocent blood will stain the ground of our fair and no longer safe Republic.
|Author:||Charon [ Tue May 25, 2010 9:27 pm ]|
February 9, 1910
The Buffalo News
Kentucky Rebels Strike, Town Annihilated
URNA in State of Panic
Defiance was a small town on the Kentucky/URNA border that had once been the staging point of the Rebel general John Brown while fighting General Sherman during the Brothers War. That defiant standing ground was completely destroyed just last week. Sources have confirmed that out of 1,500 people, only a little over 400 were left, and the town itself was burned to the ground. Leaving nothing but ruined women and children in a burned out hulk of what was once a thriving town.
The perpetrators of this vile act were none other than Kentuckian soldiers that had crossed the border to rape and pillage. Kentucky has been a fractured country in recent years, with the weak government being incapable of putting down a coup. Now that coup has spread over the borders into URNA territory. How long will it be until they next strike Boonville, or Bethel, or Cincinnati? This is no time for President Roosevelt to speak softly, this is a time for him to use the big stick.
|Author:||Steve [ Tue May 25, 2010 9:44 pm ]|
No. 12 Parliament Street, San Francisco
4 February 1910
The Prime Minister, as he often did, took his lunch out of the office, on a balcony overlooking the inner courtyard of Parliament House. Next door to the Palace of Parliament, where the Houses of Parliament during their sessions, No. 12 Parliament Street was the home and office meant for the Prime Minister to dwell in with his family. In the case of Mr. Garrett, its private rooms and studies were full of books upon the matter of the Navy, paramount among them being the work of Captain Sir Alfred Thayer Mahan OPE, a naval officer whom he had an acquaitance with from his Navy days.
Stephen was sipping at a noon-time tea and enjoying a light meal in the company of his wife. Even after two decades she was still the same exotic beauty that had captivated him upon meeting her in Manila, during his posting to the Asia Squadron aboard the protected cruiser HMS Charybdis. Her mother was the daughter of a Chinese merchant who moved to Manila and converted to the Church, her father the son of a criollo civil servant in Luzon and that man's mestizo wife. This mingling of Chinese, Filipino, and Spanish blood had, to his eyes and the eyes of many, created a woman of extraordinary beauty; that her intellect was sharp enough to match his was what made their relationship work.
"Stephen, did you hear about the raid in Missouri?", she asked, her English accented as it was with many Spanish-speakers.
"I did, dear," he answered with a sigh.
"Do you think it might provoke a war?" The question was direct, pointed. It betrayed her curiosity and her knowledge that this could very well be the spark that caused the continent to explode.
"I do not care to speculate on what our neighbors to the east might or might not do over this travesty," Stephen remarked, with a bit of smoldering anger. His time in Asia Squadron had let him see enough brigandry - be it from Moros raiding the Viscayan islands or from patrols off China and the countryside banditry that the Qing had been struggling to put down at the time - to know how terrible it was. "I have already spoken with Lord Reginald about the dispatch of a formal note to the United Republics offering condolence and moral support."
"Moral support, you say. What if they desire to deal more decisively with the issue? I do not imagine the Acadians nor the Iroquois will look kindly at UR soldiers marching through western Kentucky."
A dry chuckle came from him as he considered her face for a moment. "Nor do I, but nor do I imagine they want these Kentuckian highwaymen robbing their towns." He reached for a copy of the San Francisco Standard, which had the news of the raid splattered on the front page. It was making good press in Pacifica, if only for the similarities to how things used to be in the Southern regions of California, where Apache raiders would attack settlements and towns and fade into the wild to avoid cavalry pursuit. "Perhaps I should have Mister Simpson from the Home Office offer to sent elements of the Royal Mounted Police to aid the United Republics in chasing these men down? Think that would go over well?"
"Oh, certainly," Rafaela replied drolly. "I can only imagine the complaints you'll get then if they enter Kentucky."
"Yes, I imagine Lord Reginald would be rather cross with me," Stephen mused. "I imagine he will be less cross should I donate privately to charities to help the victims of Defiance, of course. What do you think, Rafaela?"
"You've got quite the heart, Stephen. It's why I married you, you know," she said kindly, though she then smiled mirthfully. Always one to take up a good tease, Rafaela added, "Of course, your sense with money, and holding on to it, has been a source of tension with Father all these years."
At that, Stephen could only laugh.
Official Communique from HM Government to the United Republics
His Majesty's Government extends its condolences to the people of the United Republics for the outrage they have endured at the hands of Kentuckian brigands. It is our hope and prayer that justice is meted out to the perpetrators of this atrocity. His Majesty's Government furthermore offers diplomatic support in dealing with the unstable Kentucky Republic and doing what is necessary to bring the murderers of Defiance to justice.
Lord Reginald Baden-Gray, Secretary of Stafe for the Foreign Office of HM Government
|Author:||Dark Silver [ Tue May 25, 2010 10:45 pm ]|
Baton Rogue, Louisiana
Presidential Suite, Maison Blanche, No 10 Victoria Street
President James Cortez sat in briefing with his Cabinet when news came in on the outlaw raid on Defiance, Missourri.
"Initial reports indicate the town has been wiped off the map," spoke Minister of Military Affairs General Anton Boudreaux, "We should expect the URNA will react accordingly."
"The Civil War in Kentucky is spreading beyond it's borders. if it's spilled into the URNA, then it could very well travel into our own borders."
President Cortez nodded, "Send a letter of support to President Running Fox, expressing our condolences and offer of support. Let's just hope this doesn't lead down the road of greater War."
To: The Office of President Running Fox, United Republic of North America
From: Office of President Cortez, Republic of Acadia
The Republic of Acadia expresses it's condolences to the United Republic and her peoples for the attack perpetrated upon them by the Kentucky brigands. We offer our full support in anyway that it should be required.
|Author:||General Havoc [ Tue May 25, 2010 11:50 pm ]|
2nd Januarius Ab Urbe Condita MMDCLXIII (1910 AD)
Augusta Praetoria, Valles Augustana Praefecture, Noricum
"Nicolaus Ivanovus, I am holding you personally responsible for this disgrace."
Standing at semi-attention on the right side of the tent, Mustaphus Cemal thought that Nicolaus Ivanovus, to his credit, looked rather like he was trying to decide who, in this tent, he wished to kill first. If it had been Ludovicius Cadornus Virferratus Legatus Pedarius' intention to intimidate the Thracian Praefect, he had not succeeded.
But of course, that was not his goal, and Mustaphus Cemal knew it.
"Legatus," said the furious commander of the 3rd Cohort, "My men are spread across thirty miles of border. We cannot guard every goat path in the Mons Alpinae!"
"This legion has been sitting on this border for eleven years, Praefectus," snapped back Ludovicius Cadornus. I will not hear excuses about how the mountains are too tall. This is supposed to be the most elite formation in the Empire, not a bunch of tit-sucking children. Your men were drunk, as Turcians are wont to become! You have seven thousand men under your command, thirty-six hundred of which are Pedarii. If they cannot do their jobs and keep the Germani on their side of the border, then I will send them back to Turcia to bugger one another in peace!"
Eyes shifted to Mustaphus Cemal, but he said nothing, afforded no chance to as Nicolaus Ivanovus barged ahead. "My soldiers were neither drunk nor engaged in buggery, Ludovicius Cadornus," said the Praefect, his mustache bristling like a living animal. My Primus Pilae Centurions inspected the positions personally and assured - "
Your Primus Pilae Centurions are drunken Turcian barbarians, and you are too stupid for words for believing them. I want all eight of them flogged, stripped, and cashiered from the Legion immediately."
The assembled officers were used to Ludovicius Cadornus' rants, but this elicited a reaction. Quintus Caecilius Niger, the Legion's Artificitor Maximus, was the first to venture a reply.
"Legatus," he said, "you... cannot simply - "
"One more word from you about what I can and cannot simply do, Quintus Caecilius, and I will send you back to Etruria in an offal cart!" thundered the Legate. "If this were wartime, I would have these men crucified on the Appian Way."
Another strong reaction. Crucifixion was still technically on the books, but in practice had been allowed to languish ever since the blood-sated aftermath of the Battle of Dyrrachium during the Second Turcian Revolt when 25,000 Turcian prisoners had been crucified as punishment for the murder of the entire Roman citizen population of Turcia and Cilicia provinces. Though two centuries had passed, and much changed since that brutal day, the incident remained a sore one in Turcia as in Rome. To speak of Crucifixion when referring to Turcian soldiers was in singularly poor taste at least. Nicolaus Ivanovus' mouth opened. Even Quintus Caecilius Niger, who was about as Turcian as Romulus, looked aghast. But Mustaphus Cemal did not permit himself to react overtly.
Ludovicius Cadornus either did not care or did not understand what he had just said. Mustaphus Cemal assumed the latter. The Legate turned on Alius Rizus, the Praefectus Minutius of the 8th Cohort, in temporary command while his superior recovered from illness. "And I suppose your troops were also 'celebrating'?"
Alius Rizus looked frightened, thought Mustaphus Cemal. He had reason to be. "Legatus," he said, "my men received authorization to return to Augusta Praetoria for the celebration of the New Year. Nothing we - "
"You received what?" bellowed Ludovicius Cadornus. "I gave no such order! Under whose authority were these - "
"Under mine," said Mustaphus Cemal.
The entire tent went silent, as all eyes turned to the deputy Legion Commander. The Legate himself blinked several times, as though he could not credit his ears, before he turned and approached Mustaphus Cemal.
"Your orders?" said Ludovicius Cadornus. "And by whose authority, Mustapha Kemal, did you issue such orders?"
Another insult. Like many Turcians, indeed like most peoples in general, Mustaphus Cemal had adopted a Romanized version of his Turcian name for use by those outside his coterie of intimate friends and family. To employ the non-romanized name was to imply that the person it belonged to was not a Roman.
Mustaphus Cemal ignored this provocation as well.
"I issued these orders by my own authority as Deputy Commander of the Legion," he said simply.
"You issued orders to denude the frontier of troops, permitting the Germani to enact this act of aggression against the very Dignitas of the Empire itself?!"
"I issued orders that the 8th Cohort, along with the 6th, 10th, and the Equites, were granted 48 hours leave due to the festivities."
"In the face of the enemy?!"
"Are the Germani our enemies now?"
"Have you working eyes?! Did you not see what they did to the Lauentia Mons?!"
"They lit fires to commemorate the fact that the last time they were relevant as a military force was four centuries ago," said Mustaphus Cemal. "I do not see how a petulant foolishness on the part of Germani children broadcasting their own military ineptitude is an attack upon the Dignitas of the Roman Empire"
"If you had the first conception of what the Roman Empire consists of, Mustapha Kemal, you would not say such things. But then I do not expect a Turcian hayseed from the eastern provinces to know the first thing of Romanism!"
"Am I to take that Romanism consists of expelling decorated, career Centurions of Primus Pilae rank from the Legions because of idiocies such as this?"
He might have ranted further, but instead, Ludovicius Cadornus simply smiled. "These men are not Centurions, Praefectus," he said, spitting the word out like a curse. "They are children, play-acting at Legionary. That is all they have ever been, and the Empire will do well to be rid of them."
The Legate turned away from his officers and sat back down at his desk. He bent his head to the papers upon it, and did not look up again.
"I want them drummed from the Legions with full Nefastas rite by the end of the day," he said. "Flog them and strip them of their rank. Publically. And then send them packing back to their shithole of a province."
The Legate had spoken, and as always, there was simply nothing more to say, except the required formula that Ludovicius Cadornus required of all of his officers, without fail.
"Ave Legatus," said Mustaphus Cemal. And just for a moment, he wished that the Germani had set fire to more than just a mountain.
|Author:||frigidmagi [ Wed May 26, 2010 7:01 am ]|
February 3rd 5:00am
"Okay... What happened?" President Running Fox asked. He was a pale complexioned man, with dark hazel eyes and dark hair. His facial structure, looking as if it was carved out of the rocks of the Lakota badlands betrayed his mixed blood status.
"Well Mr. President, the last couple administrations allowed the active army to run down I'm afraid. We only had a single Corps in Missouri. And it was all on the UIS border." General Bell said quietly. General Bell was frankly a political General, but not a bad one. He had done his level best to see to the army needs under the administrations of the Grand Republic Party which had been increasing interested in grandstanding and showmanship over substance. Like deploying light crusiers in the damn Great Lakes. The civilian rule over the military had however been to important to risk in confrontation in his opinion. Republics could survive degraded armies, they could not survive armies that made a habit however justified of overruling their civilian superiors.
"I see. General Bell, forgive me for asking but is there reason to keep over 50,000 highly trained men on the border with the UIS?" The President asked his hazel lancing into the General.
"Well sir, they are the nearest nation with a comparable army capable of launching an invasion. There is also a history of hostilities..." The General said.
"Is there a reason to keep the Corps on the UIS border?" the President asked.
"... No Sir." The General sighed.
"Then redeploy them. What else do we need?" President Running Fox asked.
"Well Sir, the Corps... All of them are under supplied with artillery. We could also stand to reinforce the regular forces. Part of the reason this happened is because our standing army is spread to thin. Our borders are simply to long for 30 divisions to police." General Pershing replied.
"Fair enough. I recall a budget request to raise the extra artillery regiments and another 2 corps for the regular army. I'll push it and get it passed. In the mean time get the boys on the right border before more people die for no damn reason!" President Running Fox said.
Open Diplomatic Letter
As President of the United Republics let me say I appreciate the sympathies and care of my fellow North American Nations in this dark hour. I will be touring the Missouri border lands myself in a matter of weeks. I cordially invite my fellow President Roosevelt to join me.
To United Kingdom of the Pacific
We thank you for your sympathies. Before the situation spins out of control we request a meeting between your foreign minster and our foreign relations security if possible.
To Republic of Acadia
The URNA extends it's thanks to the republic of Acadia for it's sympathies and well wishes.
|Author:||General Havoc [ Wed May 26, 2010 1:08 pm ]|
Headline from the Observator Romanum, 14th Februarius Ab Urbe Condita MMDCLXIII (1910 AD)
Military Funding Bill announced in Senate
In the first major restructuring of the Roman military since the foundation of the Republic one hundred and six years ago, Consul Superius Eleutherius Venezilus Ethnarcus announced today that the Senate had agreed to a massive expansion of funds and appropriations to overhaul the Roman military and expand its wherewithall.
"The responsibilities of the Empire have expanded since the time of Napoleon Buonapartus Magnus Restuditor," said Eleutherius Venezilus in his statement on the Senate floor in support of the bill. Our responsibilities now include lands and peoples outside of the Mare Nostrum, as well as the increased requirements of protection for all of our many peoples within the Empire as a whole. This program, judiciously allocated, will enable the Empire to take on any threats that may manifest against themselves, as well as give us the ability to defend our own interests where our furthest provinces are concerned."
The Consul's statement is being taken as reference to events in North America, where tensions between the URNA and the semi-stable nation of Kentukia have reached a crisis point following a major raid by Kentucian rebels against UNRA townships near their mutual border.
The plan before the Senate calls for the creation of four new Legions, three this year, and one the next, along with a program to enhance the overall effectiveness of the standing forces by "promoting" one existing legion from Principe to Eligere status. No word on Legionary titles, symbols, or compositions have yet been announced. In addition, the plan authorizes the expected third round of construction for the Nemesis-class Battleship, with the eventual goal of seeing a dozen units in service simultaneously.
The plan has come under withering attack from various sources. Ex-Consul Dionysius Sonninius Volator, chairman of the Factio Res Publicae (Party of the Republic) criticized the program as "spendthrift wastefulness," and said that it was "designed to further entangle Roman resources in areas that do not contain our natural interests." Deputy chairman of the FRP Lucius Pellius Impius went further, criticizing the timing of the plan, which will take place at the same time as the long-heralded Economic revitalization program that commenced in December of last year. "The Legions as they stand have defended our Empire for a hundred years without fail. Napoleon Buonapartus himself required no more than these. For what purpose should we cast aside his legacy?"
Thomas Tittonius Interrex, chairman of Roma Aeternum Subactus (Rome, the Eternal Conqueror) also criticized the plan, saying that while his party supported military expansion, the timing of the plan and the purposes to which the dominant FSIR-CPG factions of the Senate would put them to were "cowardly and reflected poorly on the Empire as a whole". Thomas Tittonius would not elaborate on his comments.
Despite these criticisms, the program is widely expected to pass, with heavy support from both consuls and the parties they chair. Consul Ordinarius Gulielmus Marconius Gnarus Marchio encouraged the Senate today to vote in favor of the legeslation.
"The world has become more dangerous, and our resources must increase commensurate with that danger," said the Consul Ordinarius, chairing the Senate meeting as customary in the second month. With him, at his invitation, was Arminius Didacus, Legatus Imperialis and member of the Consularum Militarius, who spoke briefly in favor of the proposal.
"The days where the temporary loss of a province was considered acceptable are over," said the Legatus Imperialis to the Senate. "All Roman citizens must know that the Empire will protect them from their enemies to the very bitter end."
|Author:||Steve [ Wed May 26, 2010 4:34 pm ]|
Foreign Office Building, No. 19 Parliament Street
4 February 1910
Just down the way from the Prime Minister's office and lodging was the Foreign Office Building, a large officious structure containing the bureaucracy responsible for the Kingdom's relations with other states. The entire facility was under the oversight of Lord Reginald Baden-Gray, Earl of Baymont, one of two members of the House of Lords that had been asked to serve in the Liberal Government. The aging man within, already bereft of most of the hair on his head, was seated with Parliamentary Under Secretary of State James Calling, MP, the two having a week's end business meeting (like many government offices the Foreign Office was mostly closed over the weekend). "So the United Republics desire a face-to-face meeting," he remarked. "I've yet to apprise the Prime Minister of the request."
"I hear the Royal Trans-Continental has an excellent luxury car for journeys into the UR," the younger Parliamentarian remarked. "It has heating and cooling mechanisms."
That drew a smirk from Baden-Gray. "Ah, angling to see me go, James? Hoping perhaps my elderly disposition would not hold up from the trip?", he teased, chuckling wryly. "Promotions for everyone in the Foreign Office."
Knowing Baden-Gray's sense of humor, Calling laughed too. "Seriously, sir..."
"If the Prime Minister asks me to go, I shall go, it's as simple as that," Baden-Gray remarked. "And I shall probably drag you with me, if just for that remark."
No. 12 Parliament Street
Baden-Gray was his usual gentlemanly self, nodding kindly to the Chinese immigrant housekeeper that the Prime Minister had employed and working his way to the PM's office. The Polynesian groundskeeper walked by him, on his way out to care for the flower beds along the courtyard. He could hear in the distance the PM and his wife speaking, talking in a disjointed mix of Spanish and English as they freely alternated between the two languages. The Prime Minister's secretary, a smiling young Cascadian woman of fair skin (though with some facial structure indicating a native grandparent), waved him in and introduced him. It was to Baden-Gray the Empire in a microcosm; Asian immigrant, Polynesian subject, Caucasian but with some native blood, and finally, Rafaela Garrett herself, whom he had to admit had aged far more gracefully than his own Elizabeth.
"Lord Reginald, thank you for coming. I hope today at the Foreign Office has not been too busy on this fine Friday?"
"Thankfully no, but one item has come over the wires." Lord Reginald retrieved the note given to his office by the United Republics Ambassador. "The United Republics has asked me to meet with their Foreign Secretary."
"That is interesting," Stephen noted. "I take it you've heard about the Royal Trans-Continental's new Gold Cars?"
"Mister Calling remarkked upon them" Baden-Gray answered. "Though they do go both ways, and I imagine San Francisco is warmer and altogether more palatable than Lincoln City is at this time of year..."
Dispatch sent by Foreign Office, Lord Reginald offers to host UR Foreign Secretary for private meetings in San Francisco or "in whichever location you may find more palatable". Lord Reginald will probably point out that his estate in Baymont (Marin County) is quite enjoyable and has a lovely view.
|Author:||Charon [ Wed May 26, 2010 5:26 pm ]|
Open Diplomatic Letter
As President of the United Republics let me say I appreciate the sympathies and care of my fellow North American Nations in this dark hour. I will be touring the Missouri border lands myself in a matter of weeks. I cordially invite my fellow President Roosevelt to join me.
"Well sir?" The Secretary of State spoke in a hushed tone.
Roosevelt snorted and laughed. "I have little choice, even if I did not want to go he made it so I would have to."
Roosevelt took up the invitation again, looking at it. "I have a few good guesses at what he wants me for. I do not believe I shall disappoint him. Call up General Freydis Sweetwater. Tell her I will need her and 100 of her best men to escort me.
Roosevelt's secretary nodded and left the room while he sat down at his table to write his response.
To President Running Fox
I would be more than pleased to join you in a tour of Missouri to take stock of the situation. In such dark times I feel it is important that two brother nations work together to maintain the peace and prosperity of our two separate nations.
The President of the United Iroquois States of the Free East
|Author:||Beowulf [ Fri May 28, 2010 7:10 pm ]|
"The next topic is the Naval Bill for next year. The Navy is wishing to be able to match the threat of the Pacific Empire, and wants 3 each of battleships and dreadnought cruisers. These will also require additional screening vessels." Gensui Itoh was representing the Navy at the current budget meeting.
"Doesn't their proposed Naval budget only have 2 of each of those? We will match them. We need to beef up the army against the Chinese horde. Not that the Chinese are our enemy, but they could be." The Taisho Emperor over-ruled the Navy budget. "Speaking of the Army, what is it's final budget proposal?"
Gensui Oyama responded, "Beyond maintaining our current force structure, we have planned 3 new regiments of aeroplanes, as well as 16 new artillery regiments and 4 Corps of reservists. Additionally, construction of new fortification lines around several key cities."
"Unfortunately, we'd need to slash all the dreadnoughts from the Naval budget in order to afford that. And you know it. What's your realistic one?"
"Two aeroplane regiments, 12 separate artillery regiments, and 3 corps of reservists, sir. Also, construction of a fortification line around Ryojun, to help protect against a Chinese attempt against our fleet base there by land invasion."
The meeting continued, long into the night, as different factions jockeyed for money, before the Emperor brought the squabbling to an end.
|Author:||Simon_Jester [ Mon May 31, 2010 4:18 pm ]|
|Post subject:||A Coolie for Pacifica|
November 17, 1909
Hechuan, Hezhou District, Sichuan Province
Heng waved goodbye to the rivermen as he stepped off the gangplank. They would be going back upriver under tow from a steamer; he had to make his way to the offices of the district government. The waterfront along the mouth of the Jialing was busier than it had been in the summer, with produce from upriver being offloaded from barges like the one he had made the journey in. He looked around, trying to get his bearings. Can I find the district office without asking for directions? He ought to be able to; heâ€™d been paid off there only a few months earlier, after all...
Luck was with him; he did. It helped that the magistrate had moved the offices into a great new building, four stories tall and broad enough to house a small village. Heng almost hesitated to enter the palace-sized building. How would he know where to go? Before, heâ€™d been led as part of a group of workers through a side entrance, and had lost all sense of direction almost immediately. The district offices were a maze of rooms and hallways larger than any heâ€™d ever seen in his life.
But after joining the stream of people climbing the broad steps to the main entrance and stating his business to the guards at the door, he found that the magistrate had provided for this. A great row of desks stretched across the far end of the room, which rose the full height of the building and was illuminated by skylights in the roof above.
Lines of people stood before the desks. Uncertain and feeling out of place, Heng joined the line on the far right side of the room almost by instinct. Movement was slow, and Heng found himself mounting a series of shallow steps cut into the floor as he approached the front. Hat in hand, he stood before the worthy at the desk.
â€œI am here to join the overseas work program, sir.â€
|Author:||Simon_Jester [ Tue Jun 15, 2010 5:16 pm ]|
|Post subject:||A Fleet in Being|
November 18, 1909
Forbidden City, Peking, Zhili Province
Prince Regent Fu leafed through the duplicate blueprints at a speed that would have surprised those unfamiliar with his ways. The commodore before him, though, was quite well aware of the Prince Regentâ€™s reputation as a polymath. He stood quietly, awaiting comment.
The unfortunate shock of the â€œdreadnought revolutionâ€
|Author:||General Havoc [ Tue Jun 15, 2010 7:40 pm ]|
17 Marcius Ab Urbe Condita MMDCLXIII (1910 AD)
Augusta Praetoria, Valles Augustana Praefecture, Noricum
"You are a madman."
Mustaphus Cemal raised his eyebrow and gave the Praefectus Minucius a look of as close to pure innocence as he could. "Why Nicolaus Ivanovus, whatever do you mean?" he asked, doing his best to sound wounded at the barb.
"You know damn well what I mean," said Nicolaus Ivanovus in the tone that he used when he wished to conceal his admiration for something. "I mean Osdemius Caracus Flavius, you filthy Turcian bastard."
"My Centurio Maiorus!" shouted Nicolaus Ivanovus much louder than he likely should have. "I just saw him!"
"If he's your Centurio Maiorus," said Quintus Caecilius Niger, standing next to Mustaphus Cemal, "then I would hope you occasionally see him, Nicolaus Ivanovus."
"You ignorant Roman mentula," exclaimed the red-faced Thracian, "Osdemius Caracus was supposed to have been drummed out of the legion two months ago! The Legatus ordered it himself." He turned to Mustaphus Cemal. "Your own men dragged him off for the flogging!"
"I remember," said Mustaphus Cemal. "What of it?"
"Well what the hell is he doing with the eighth Cohort if he's been drummed out?"
"How in the world would I know that?" asked Mustaphus Cemal with just a touch of authority, authority that Nicolaus Ivanovus ignored as usual.
"You spiritted him off, you beautiful Turcian bastard. You did it to all of them, didn't you?"
"Praefectus Minutius, I have no idea what you are talking about."
"Bah!" exclaimed the Thracian. "Don't play your politics games with me Mustaphus Cemal. You son of an Anatolian dog, I could kiss you!"
Quintus Caecilius rolled his eyes. "So this is what happens when they let barbarians into high office," he said. "Are you drunk, Nicolaus Ivanovus?"
"Are Thracians ever not?" asked Mustaphus Cemal sarcastically, yet the Thracian prefect only laughed and in one movement, dragged the smaller Turcian in for an enormous slavic bear hug.
"I always knew you were a sneaky little bastard, Mustaphus Cemal. Just wait until Virferratus hears about this. The best fireworks since the fall of Troy!"
"That's Praefectus sneaky-little-bastard, Nicolaus Ivanovus," coughed Mustaphus Cemal. Now release me or I'll have you cashiered."
The Thracian Praefectus finally relented. "Ave Praefectus," he said, grinning like an idiot, and with a sloppy salute, he turned his back on the two other officers and strode off, humming some abominable tune to himself.
"You know," said Mustaphus Cemal, "I think he is drunk."
"It's no more than you deserve," said Quintus Caecilius Niger. "What in the hell were you thinking, man?"
"My thoughts haven't changed since the last time you asked me, Quintus," said Mustaphus Cemal. "I was thinking that the duty of an officer is to his men."
"Those weren't your men."
"I am the deputy commander of this Legion, exactly how were they not my men?"
"Mustaphus, there are ways to deal with this sort of thing without resorting to fraud."
"Those ways are shit, and you know it, Quintus," said Cemal, permitting his annoyance to shine through. "What board of inquiry would doubt the word of a Legatus Pedarius with the Consularum breathing fire up their asses?"
"They were career Centurions, Mustaphus, not shaveling children. You don't need to coddle them from their commander."
"Nobody should need to coddle them from their commander," spat Mustaphus Cemal. "But that's not why I shifted them. The Legions stand or fall by their Centurions. Eight Primus Pilae are more than any cohort can afford, let alone one from the Tenth."
"I presume then that you did shift them all?"
"I spread them around the other cohorts. My staff cleaned up the paperwork."
"So who got cashiered in their place?"
"We made up some names and paraded a handful of other rankers with pending discipline records before the flogging post. Returned them to their Centuries with an extra wine ration each. My staff took care of the paperwork. Stop worrying Quintus, it's all sorted out."
"What gave you the impression that I was at all worried about your sorry Turcian ass?" asked Quintus Caecilius Niger, a remark that brought a smirk to Mustaphus Cemal's face.
"If I never see another Turcian again it will be too soon," said Quintus, "but just for the sake of argument, what happens when Virferratus finds out?"
"Ivanovus did, and he's a drunken lout."
"Ivanovus is not a lout," said Mustaphus Cemal.
"But he is a drunk. So what happens when Virferratus, who may be a lout but is not a drunk finds - "
"There are seventy thousand men in this Legion, Quintus, nine out of ten of them Turcians. Virferratus has trouble telling me from the rankers, let alone Centurions he's never met personally. He could walk up and stare every one of those men in the face and swear he'd never laid eyes on them in his life. He will never find out."
"You would. I would."
"You and I subscribe to the old-fashioned and hopelessly out of date belief that a Praefectus or Legatus should make an attempt to know the men he commands," said Mustaphus Cemal. "This archaic notion is one that Virferratus does not find value in."
Quintus Caecilius Niger had no answer to that, and turned away, shaking his head. Mustaphus Cemal turned back to his coffee and newspaper, deeming himself to have won the point, when Quintus suddenly stopped and turned back.
"Mustaphus," he said, "you didn't slip one of those Centurions into my Artificitors, did you?"
"Have you gotten any Centurions lately?" asked Mustaphus Cemal.
"Six, from the quarterly transfers," said the Artificitor Maximus. "Were any of - "
"Mystery is the spice of life, Quintus," said Mustaphus Cemal. "You're dismissed."
Left speachless once more, Quintus Caecilius Niger could only grind his teeth, salute, and turn away, resolving that the instant he returned to his headquarters, he would bring all of his new Centurions in for a little chat...
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