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5 days ago
Current [Shows you da wey] [it's the guillotine]
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15 days ago
God is dead and his death created life and the world.
17 days ago
The dialectic will persist, through blood or peace.
18 days ago
1 mo ago
The present movement is dialectical. Resistance will be met with total negation. #Diapergate

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Nation Name:
Posadist Internationale

Flag/Banner(s):


Political Environment and Government Type:
The Posadist Internationale encompasses less a centralized authority than it does a confederation of communalized states and regions that survived the nuclear blast and subsequent rise of the world's oceans. Regularly, the member states of the Internationale meet on Havana Island to negotiate common issues and pass legislation. The nominal head of the Internationale is the Comrade High-commander, elected through the Internationale Congress. Likewise, additional high-commanders rule – if chosen necessary – to preside over the outlying regions as elected by local councils or politburos.

Location On Map:

Cuban and Caribbean islands, northern South America, Central America, and Southern Mexico

Demographics:
Latin American (Cuban, Afro-Carib, Colombian, Venezuelan, etc), Haitian, Mayan/indigenous

As a whole, Christian tradition has been somewhat maintained in the territories of the Internationale. However, severed from Europe as an effect of the nuclear war and general collapse of the modern world, the Catholic Church effectively ceased to exist, at least in the Americas. To fill the void left behind and a stronger center to their beliefs the nature of Christianity evolved to encompass and adapt aboriginal beliefs to make a heresy in of itself. Voodoo and other ancient religions imported to the New World as an effect of the Slave Trade integrated itself and the Creole and Spanish traditions of Voodoo more seamlessly meshing in the regional diaspora.

Compounding it further is the now widespread Cult of the Extraterrestrial, a belief that aliens exist and guide humanity and where the trinity and God take the form of unknown aliens beyond Earth. To the believers, extraterrestrial life has perfected the way to live and its followers seek to emulate their ways to ascend to a high means of existence more in harmony with themselves and world. To the believers, nuclear Armageddon was a necessity to purge the world and lay the way to rebuild humanity in an enlightened harmony.

Culture:
Nominally Latin American still. French-Creole, Spanish, and English is spoken. Within Central America indigenous practices have seen a resurgence.

Important States and Cities:
Havana Island – the seat of the Internationale
Tegucigalpa
Managuqa
San Jose
Barranquilla
Caracas
Belize
Guatemala
Tuxtla Gutierrez
San Juan
Santiago De Los Caballeros

History:
Following the nuclear wars, the devastation was not limited solely to the Great Powers. The nuclear fallout flowed over the Gulf of Mexico as the fires burned north over the horizon. As the seas rose, the problems were compounded as much the Caribbean was thrown into disarray. The governments of Cuba, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic were thrown into as much disarray as the United States. Enveloped in crisis, the governments of the Caribbean islands collapsed as they were drowned by the sea or in migrants fleeing the United States or their not inundated homes.

What was left of international aid proved feeble and week and collapsed within the year. Incapable of hosting large populations, people fled the islands for the mainland, either choosing to brave nascent radiation in America or the relative health of South America. Either way, the crisis banded communities together who took charge of the situation to mostly save themselves. By this point all semblance of government had eroded and what remained in the likes of Cuba of government was isolated on an island and incapable of exercising control over the rest of its former nation.

The ideological importance of the Castros faded in favor of pragmatic survival as large groups turned whole scale to agricultural economies from the now stalled and faded manufacturing economy that the recent reforms in Cuba had been trying to capitalize on to expand the island nation's way of life. But much of this had lost value, and with the ocean waters heated from nuclear radiation hurricanes became all the more powerful and stunning as annually they were hammered by immense storms that swept the Caribbean and Gulf State of the Southern United States.

In the lack of control however, and the call for answers an ember that had been simmering hidden for almost fifty or sixty years became to pop and spark with life. With nuclear annihilation came the rebirth of the fringe philosophy of J. Posadas. While long dead, Posadas' legacy had been carried on by its few believers and on into the 21st century by a group of radical alien believers or ultra-left activists and no less than a few comedic types. But according to the philosophy of Posadas, nuclear annihilation was considered a way to wipe the slate clean, to rebuild the world free from the old sins. And not only that, that it was an inevitability anyways.

The resurgence of Posadism in the discourse of Cubans who have lived under a communist system for decades came as no effort of any one man, and for the most part the early fringe proselytes faded from common history like so many missionaries of the middle ages. Attracted on the promise of a responsive people's democracy, and that all was ultimately well in the world – no matter the crisis past or present – that they could begin again. And with the might and fury of the United States removed from the equation, they could begin again.

It was however another question in how to reconstruct Cuba. As an experiment over the next few hundred years Cuba was stitched together community by community. Ultimately the former government in a much maligned and decayed Havana was itself annexed into the new people's movement. Following which was bringing the revolution to the other islands and the chain of islands remaining in the Caribbean was steadily liberated and incorporated into the collective.

Forays on the coast of South America expanded the new tradition to new communities and swathes of the coastal and near coastal communities of Colombia and Venezuela were brought in over time. As was central America. Though, efforts to bring Revolution to North America were resisted by the city states there, operations have not let up. While in the south the rural inland and jungles proved to the Posadists that their position at sea may have perhaps put them at a disadvantage as a power of the inland sea.

All the same, for the Hispanic communities of central America they became an attractive force, ultimately meeting resistance from the “zombie” government of Mexico and elsewhere with incorporation of Chiapas and the Maya.

Other:
nucc
Nation Name:
Posadist Internationale

Flag/Banner(s):


Political Environment and Government Type:
The Posadist Internationale encompasses less a centralized authority than it does a confederation of communalized states and regions that survived the nuclear blast and subsequent rise of the world's oceans. Regularly, the member states of the Internationale meet on Havana Island to negotiate common issues and pass legislation. The nominal head of the Internationale is the Comrade High-commander, elected through the Internationale Congress. Likewise, additional high-commanders rule – if chosen necessary – to preside over the outlying regions as elected by local councils or politburos.

Location On Map:

Cuban and Caribbean islands, northern South America, Central America, and Southern Mexico

Demographics:
Latin American (Cuban, Afro-Carib, Colombian, Venezuelan, etc), Haitian, Mayan/indigenous

As a whole, Christian tradition has been somewhat maintained in the territories of the Internationale. However, severed from Europe as an effect of the nuclear war and general collapse of the modern world, the Catholic Church effectively ceased to exist, at least in the Americas. To fill the void left behind and a stronger center to their beliefs the nature of Christianity evolved to encompass and adapt aboriginal beliefs to make a heresy in of itself. Voodoo and other ancient religions imported to the New World as an effect of the Slave Trade integrated itself and the Creole and Spanish traditions of Voodoo more seamlessly meshing in the regional diaspora.

Compounding it further is the now widespread Cult of the Extraterrestrial, a belief that aliens exist and guide humanity and where the trinity and God take the form of unknown aliens beyond Earth. To the believers, extraterrestrial life has perfected the way to live and its followers seek to emulate their ways to ascend to a high means of existence more in harmony with themselves and world. To the believers, nuclear Armageddon was a necessity to purge the world and lay the way to rebuild humanity in an enlightened harmony.

Culture:
Nominally Latin American still. French-Creole, Spanish, and English is spoken. Within Central America indigenous practices have seen a resurgence.

Important States and Cities:
Havana Island – the seat of the Internationale
Tegucigalpa
Managuqa
San Jose
Barranquilla
Caracas
Belize
Guatemala
Tuxtla Gutierrez
San Juan
Santiago De Los Caballeros

History:
Following the nuclear wars, the devastation was not limited solely to the Great Powers. The nuclear fallout flowed over the Gulf of Mexico as the fires burned north over the horizon. As the seas rose, the problems were compounded as much the Caribbean was thrown into disarray. The governments of Cuba, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic were thrown into as much disarray as the United States. Enveloped in crisis, the governments of the Caribbean islands collapsed as they were drowned by the sea or in migrants fleeing the United States or their not inundated homes.

What was left of international aid proved feeble and week and collapsed within the year. Incapable of hosting large populations, people fled the islands for the mainland, either choosing to brave nascent radiation in America or the relative health of South America. Either way, the crisis banded communities together who took charge of the situation to mostly save themselves. By this point all semblance of government had eroded and what remained in the likes of Cuba of government was isolated on an island and incapable of exercising control over the rest of its former nation.

The ideological importance of the Castros faded in favor of pragmatic survival as large groups turned whole scale to agricultural economies from the now stalled and faded manufacturing economy that the recent reforms in Cuba had been trying to capitalize on to expand the island nation's way of life. But much of this had lost value, and with the ocean waters heated from nuclear radiation hurricanes became all the more powerful and stunning as annually they were hammered by immense storms that swept the Caribbean and Gulf State of the Southern United States.

In the lack of control however, and the call for answers an ember that had been simmering hidden for almost fifty or sixty years became to pop and spark with life. With nuclear annihilation came the rebirth of the fringe philosophy of J. Posadas. While long dead, Posadas' legacy had been carried on by its few believers and on into the 21st century by a group of radical alien believers or ultra-left activists and no less than a few comedic types. But according to the philosophy of Posadas, nuclear annihilation was considered a way to wipe the slate clean, to rebuild the world free from the old sins. And not only that, that it was an inevitability anyways.

The resurgence of Posadism in the discourse of Cubans who have lived under a communist system for decades came as no effort of any one man, and for the most part the early fringe proselytes faded from common history like so many missionaries of the middle ages. Attracted on the promise of a responsive people's democracy, and that all was ultimately well in the world – no matter the crisis past or present – that they could begin again. And with the might and fury of the United States removed from the equation, they could begin again.

It was however another question in how to reconstruct Cuba. As an experiment over the next few hundred years Cuba was stitched together community by community. Ultimately the former government in a much maligned and decayed Havana was itself annexed into the new people's movement. Following which was bringing the revolution to the other islands and the chain of islands remaining in the Caribbean was steadily liberated and incorporated into the collective.

Forays on the coast of South America expanded the new tradition to new communities and swathes of the coastal and near coastal communities of Colombia and Venezuela were brought in over time. As was central America. Though, efforts to bring Revolution to North America were resisted by the city states there, operations have not let up. While in the south the rural inland and jungles proved to the Posadists that their position at sea may have perhaps put them at a disadvantage as a power of the inland sea.

All the same, for the Hispanic communities of central America they became an attractive force, ultimately meeting resistance from the “zombie” government of Mexico and elsewhere with incorporation of Chiapas and the Maya.

Other:
nucc
China

Beijing


“All representatives to the Congressional floor.” a voice said over the intercoms, scratchy and distorted, “Debate on congressional bill...” the voice trailed on. The speaker neither enthusiastic or dead. But carried on the dull winds of procedure it simply did what it was to do, to convey information through the offices.

Already seated in the observation gallery Xhu Mang sat leaning to the side, bored and disinterested as the chambers began to fill. Really, it had begun to fill a minute ago and now the late comers would be making their way into the chambers. Here as observation from the Politburo the minister had no particular reason to feel excited and he expected only normal procedure to move ahead on the floor. It would be, as decided before a routine parliamentary deceleration of war as far as he was concerned.

“What do you think these water brains will come to?” asked an attendant.

Xhu Mang shrugged, “Something, that's for certain.”

The attendant - a small narrow browed man – look askance at him, “Comrade, you're on Politburo. I'm sure you'd know.”

“Tsai Tang hasn't been nearly as attentive to this as he could. So the temperature hasn't been taken nearly as well as we'd think.” Xhu Mang said, scratching his round chin. He stopped to rub at the side of his face. Down below the floor was filling in and the many desks were being filled with their respective representatives. It wasn't nearly as full as it could be, that Xhu Mang could tell. Some of the congressmen had already left the city, the present legislative term was drawing to a close and this had come in as one of the last acts of congress.

“That said,” Xhu Mang said, picking up his head, “I hear the Committee of Foreign Affairs and the International Committee are throwing their weight behind it. They might sway the others.”

“So they may. But I'm getting thirsty. You want anything?” the attendant asked.

Xhu Mang waved his hand dismissively to his secretary, and he scuttled off. It was not as hard for him to leave as it was for the Congressmen to enter, the viewing gallery was rarely ever filled to near capacity and it had been several years since it had even done that. Beijing had conducted itself with low drama since and only a handful of politically curious old men stepped in to watch the public display of otherwise backroom discussion take place.

Surely at this point the suggestion itself, among memos and military briefs had been circulated. He had been shown a copy of the circulating material from Xiaogang Wen himself. The pressure to debate the bill had been thrown off with Politburo's own recommendations earlier, and being tied in with proposals to change the official Chinese foreign policy stance it had set back what had been hoped to be an earlier debate to the future. Wen knew this would complicate what would otherwise be a rubber stamp ordeal. But Tsai Tang had signed off on Wen's suggestion the two are partnered together, as one validates the other.

And on thought of the devil, he stepped out to take his space at the podium. The secretary of the congress looked tall and lean in his freshly pressed black suit. He looked up briefly at the gallery and scanned them, and seeing Xhu gave him the slightest of perfunctory bows. Xhu returned the favor with a nod of his head.

After this brief exchange the secretary turned his attention to the congressional floor. “The floor is open to Congressional Resolution 7-7-1960 with Politburo Resolution Clarification of International Protocol v2....” Xiogang Wen went on to outline congressional rules of engagement and opened the floor to preliminary questions and adjustments. It was a dull period of common practice and Xhu dozed off, nearly falling asleep as he shut his eyes for a minute. By the time he opened them his assistant was back with two glasses of water and the functional ceremony of debate had passed.

“Congress opens to recognize the Comrade from Taiyuan.”

There was a ruffling on the floor as someone rose from their desk. Whoever was rising was obscured by the deck Xhu sat on, but soon came into view. With long confident steps, the middle-aged figure of Zhang Shu took the head of Congress. His thinning hair looking more combed over than usual. Leaning into the microphone he spoke with a dry businesslike tone, “For centuries, the Russian Empire has threatened China's northern frontier. For a hundred years the Russians had played puppet master across China's north. For the greater part of the last half of the last century, and for the better part of this the Russians lorded over our Manchuria and Mongolia as a puppet master. It is understandable than enmity is felt among us to the Russian state. And I know in the hearts of all of us here that we burn with an internal happiness to the dissolution of one of our great adversaries and dangers to our national prosperity!” his voice rose on the last line, and was answered with a smattering of understanding applause from the quiet congressional hall.

“But, this ambivalence for the north, this blase attitude towards the north sets us as a people against the Revolutionary values of our people! Have we overturned our shackles and melted down our chains to produce the swords and hammers that cemented our own liberation from the likes of monarchs and capitalists to sit idly as people very much like ourselves cry out for freedom? I should think not comrades, for as we liberated Tibet and Mongolia from the reactionary struggles under theocracy and feudalism we struck at a notion that we can well go forward. But why have we not? Why have we stopped at Mongolia. Is it only because as comrade Mo Shun said, 'That Monolia is China, Siberia is not?'

“No, I think it's because we did not have the energy then. And we have the energy now! On behalf of the Foreign Affairs Committee with the support of the Committee of the Military and other advisers that now is the time! Now is the moment we have the might to throw against Russia and bring to it safety, liberty, and order. That the burdens of warlords and reactionary government be lifted from the shoulders of honest Russians, to lend them the assistance like we have so warmly received by foreign martyrs from all over, least of all from the Russian proletariat themselves.

“Comrades, join me in international solidarity. Let us do our duty, and set out to free a people suppressed and liberate! We are the hands that turn the pages of history. Right here, right now! We might for once put barbarism behind all of humanity and bring an enlightened age of peace to the world! But we can not achieve this in emptiness. It is only in right moral action. As we consider here today, I hope it is for the best.”

With that, Zhang Shu stepped back from the microphone and bowed. There was a polite smattering of applause during which immediately a Congressman stood at his desk and boomed over the din: “If it is the Russian people who call for assistance, who do you bring as evidence to this cry? Is it a real man? Or is it a ghost you've seen only in a wet dream of glory and conquest?”

Mild laughter replaced the applause and Zhang Shu could only smile as if unaffected. “I have sources through the Russian diasporatic community who sought shelter here in China. I am answering to call of comrade Dmytro Radek who has taken up his people's cause in China.”

“And are they happy in China?” the congressman asked

“They are very homesick.” Shu responded.

“Then let them arm themselves, and liberate their own country. I find China's involvement in this matter questionable, comrade. Let them organize as an army, let us provide them the arms and training. It is their fight, not ours.”

The chamber murmured in discussion before someone else rose, “In response to the comrade,” a younger man said, leveling a finger in the direction of the other, “I am doubtful whether a few thousand men, assembled into an army, can actually turn the tide of a war such as in Russia. They might have an effect. But what is a few villages in all of Siberia compared to the whole nation? How might they raise the proletariat to defeat the eastern Cossacks? The Japanese?”

Louder murmuring of approval wove through the hall. At that the other speaker turned to Xiaogang Wen and asked for permission to speak. He was granted it and Zhang Shu went back to his desk.

The newer speaker covered much of the same ground as Shu. Mang Xhu leaned back in his chair and rubbed at the side of his face. Taking a sip from his water. For his part, Xhu's secretary at least pretended to care for the congressional debate.

As he finished, the young speaker was responded to by his share of applause and heckles. Another exchange took place, and someone else managed to take the stage. Mang Xhu knew the speaker as one of the Unionist activists, an anarchist. He was an old man with a long sage like beard. “I feel I must call to question this insistence that our influence and authority be exercised on the global stage through force of arms.” he said sternly into the microphone. He was quickly followed by a battery of applause from the ultra-left. “Principally, the act of violence is to force the will of another on a other. For once group to force another group to behave, to be, or to exist in a way the acting group to be. And it is disquieting to hear from our own ranks the obsession to act in violence against another group in such a way as has been spoken of. We act no differently here as the bourgeoisie in Europe and America. Is this not the words and actions of imperialists?

“No comrades, this is not us. And while we beat about demanding change we act as coercive and negatively to freedom of other people's as the English, the Japanese, and the Russians do towards us. As a Revolutionary force we should not seek to perpetuate the cycle of oppression that exists in the world, but to break this cycle of violence and oppression in this world. We should act on others as they have on us as the state-sponsored intervention of the imperialists on our communities. The mobilization of our army in offense and not in defense is a hypocrisy against us!” the far-left cheered and applauded, working themselves up to be larger than they were and in the hopes of convincing not only by rhetoric but the impression of girth.

“I call for a commitment to the better. Not to say that no action should be done. But for the right action to be done. So: the people of a nation cry out for freedom and liberty? Shall they not be provided? Of course they shall. But not at the end of a rifle in the hands of another. This is state-sanctioned violence, and on all accounts we should be made to be non-committal to this. Let the proletariat and the working classes and all oppressed peoples of the world liberate themselves. We do not seek to liberate a people in our own way. If power is held in the hands of the people, then it is their right to obtain that in the way that is customary to themselves!

“We should no beholden ourselves to thousands of years of mistakes. By all means, lend assistance to the suppressed peoples of the world. But let the mainspring of Revolution be from the people themselves, and not from us.”

He stepped back and bowed. Stepped off of the stage he did not even give time for anyone to ask questions or offer short rebuttals and he shut off his own debate then. Mang Xhu snickered sardonically under his breath as the old man sat down. “Not eager to answer to reality.” Xhu said, leaning into his attendant. He nodded in agreement.

Never the less, argument erupted as someone rose and declared the argument full of water. It was like wise answered in the old man's defense by another who said to the other he should be fried like squid. A shouting match erupted, and from the shadows the sergeants at arms appeared briefly to form a line between the two least something break out. But the argument was called to an end as Xiaogang Wen called in order. Another speaker stepped up, and proceedings continued.

At a point the entire ordeal turned from grandstanding to discussing the finer points of the proposal. A general outline for military action was laid out and discussed, involving possible points of entry into the country, assuring the Congress that the presence of Japan is considered, and proposed rules of engagement. Public negotiations were initiated over technicalities in the rules as it applies to technicalities elsewhere, and it was moved along.

Mang Xhu felt he could have been better off napping. But of the few people in the gallery he knew he would be caught easily for having dozed off. He could look displeased with being there, even slightly bored. It wasn't abnormal in the end. But what would be embarrassing is a representative – an outside witness – for the Politburo taking a nap during discussion of legislature they wanted passed.

After several hours, Congress was let out for recess and finally Mang Xhu and his companion could safely stand and move about. They both agreed to walk off their drowsiness in the hall as the congressional theater was filled with the loud din of echoing conversation and moving chairs.

Out in the hall they walked back and forth passed the windows. It was raining outside, Beijing was covered in a thick blanket of gray rain-cloud as droplets of silvery rain splattered on the window. “What do you think?” Mang Xhu asked his secretary.

“I think they're rather loud.” he answered.

“The Unionists?” Xhu asked

“Yes.”

“They're always a clap of thunder.” Xhu stated.

The two stood looking out the windows until Congress was called back in session. Beleaguered, they followed the call and retook their seat. The few old men who had been scattered in the gallery had themselves disappeared. Only an obvious journalist in the far corner remained, idly scratching away in her note pad.

And again, Xiaogang Wen brought the Congress back into session. After some probing motions from his top bench it was conceded voting would transpire. After only a few minutes Congress was disbanded to vote and the two witnesses and guardian of at least half the debated legislation wandered about in wait.

It was after forty-five minutes the decision came back. And in the combined legislature a three-quarters majority was called. Congress had declared war, and all that was left was Hou Tsai Tang's signature of approval. Mang Xhu could already feel the wheels of action move, and soon the army would be moving ahead into the Russian frontier.
Don't worry about it. Your post is fine quality-wise. Some of the people here have been doing PoW for literally years so they've had a lot of practice, but don't compare yourself to that.


Speaking of posts, where are yours?
New Auslassia

Milbury


Echoes sounded in the marble hall as the magistrate walked ahead, his expression gaunt and stoney-eyed. Tucked under his arm was his tablet, the other arm swung free to the timing of his steps. His gray, striped suit was immaculately pressed and it moved without showing any sign of crease or fold. The warm afternoon sun shone through high windows.

It was not a terribly long walk, only a few feet to where he was going from whence he came in the prime minister's estate on the outskirts of the capital. Veering from his straight course he walked to the side to a plain set of doors and opened them without ceremony, letting them close behind him.

“Good day.” the magistrate said in a low voice as he walked into the room. A wall of windows dominated the other side, allowing an unhindered view into the palm strewn garden below the office and the distant city of Milbury beyond it. The man of the hour sat leaning in a swiveling chair, his feet resting against an ottoman pulled up to the window. In the man's hand a glass of liquor hung delicately from thick meaty fingers.

“Oh?” the man in the seat said, turning stiffly about, “Oh it's you Erwin. How's the biters?” he asked conversationally.

“Matilda's taken them to the beach. Kimberly is at home with the nan, she's feeling a little under the rains.”

“Oh, what a shame.” the prime minister said with a sigh. He lowered his legs and rose from his seat, pressing the breast of his suit with a liver-spotted hand. He left the glass of liquor down on the arm of the chair and hobbled around to Magistrate Erwin.

Prime Minister Martin Handlehorn was not a particularly grand man. He had hardly been one when he assumed the office of prime minister. He was awkwardly built, with a face that suggested he be kept at a distance from the cameras with a fat double chin and large elephantine ears. He was a boarish man to look at, made all the more worse for him by small narrow-set eyes and a bulbous upturned nose. Even in those days his nickname was The Boar, and in the intervening years he had taken the nickname closer to heart and had not only grown a graying beard but become fatter and far less coordinated on his feet than any normal man. He had come to prefer sitting over standing, and resting his hand on the large black wood desk at the center of the office he leaned against it, taking the strain of his girth against his ankles off a little.

“Well than chap, what's the gossip?” Martin Handlehorn asked in his gruff voice, “Is it about that mine?”

“Yes, preliminary information has come out after the initial news of the disaster came up.” Erwin began, taking his tablet out of the pit of his arm and turning it on. Leaning against the desk he let himself sit as the handheld computer booted up, “Before you ask, the Ministry of the Interior sent orders to immediately deploy a risk assessment team to see how bad it is.”

“Good, good. Splendid good.” said Martin. He sounded happy, but there was an underlying sense of subdued fear and concern at the incident that had happened in Central Auslassia.

With a ring the tablet was fully booted after a minute and Erwin moved ahead with calling up the early assessment files.

“So the good news is that any wide-spread threat posed by the mining accident is restrained to the immediate.” Erwin said in a conciliatory tone, “It's trapped almost a mile down under rock, and none of the miners are reporting radiation at ground level or even half way down to it. But for safety they haven't gone back into the mine.” he explained.

“Good, splendid good.” Martin repeated.

“We're not in clear water though, quarterly extraction reports from the mine have the South Emmil mine as being the third highest producing facility for essential industrial materials in the country, and the initial news of the disaster has set off investors like a hive of wasps.” Erwin continued, swiping with his fingers from digitized paperwork to economic forecasts, “Market shares in the holding company have dropped like a dingo's pup and not into a soft bed. Already, forecasted energy prices in the fusion field are predicted to raise by 13% as a result of new unrefined walzidium for export or domestic use; we are not expected to see the effects of this for the next six months however, but long term prospects are not looking good.”

“Bloody hell.” said Martin.

“Exactly.” Erwin replied, “We're in crock shit. To make matters worse the National Union of Mine Workers is pressing the government to assist many of the families with funerary costs. One-hundred fifty eight miners died as direct exposure to an unknown level of radiation and there's concern that some four-hundred more may have been exposed to an unknown level of low-level radiation from the initial blast.”

“That's not our responsibility.” Martin said dismissively, “If those back breakers didn't have a life insurance plan set up, then it's not in our department to intervene. I'm not going to drown this government in charity, not like the last administration. Fucking bleeding hearts. What else, what's next?”

“Nothing much, not until the assessment teams get there.” Erwin acknowledged, “A public statement is of course expected. I've had to deflect early requests from early pencil shanks probing for some material, an official statement from the government: something.”

“I'll get on that then. It won't be too terribly heard.”

“You going to script, Martin?”

Martin nodded, “We are deeply saddened.” he began in a dramatic wavering falsetto voice, “Of the incident we have witnessed today in South Emmil. Our administration will work tirelessly to determine the nature of what transpired, and forth-rightly repair the lives and damages that has occurred as a result. We are a nation of strong leaders, and incidents such as these do not diminish our resolve.”

He stopped, and held out his arms. “That's it.”

“Care if I give that to them now?” asked Erwin.

“If you think it works, then please do.” Martin replied, “I don't need to be pricked with too many questions about it. Give them what they need to go away and don't offer anything else. Not until we have answers. The appropriate office then will handle it from there.”

“Understood. By the way, will you be available for crocket tomorrow evening?”

“I don't play sports, you know that.”

“There'll be barbie and beer.”

“I'll be there.”
The advancement of political power and involvement must therefore take on a reform mind to see the desired course played out. This has been a course that has fallen backwards in much of the world today. Where as responses to war and the near perpetual state of war or discord around the world states have drawn into themselves the legitemacy of their own power through the absorbtion of many or all communal assets through which they may excercise their political power. Or in the cases of civil war and ethnic turmoil the elimination of dissent and opposition. This dawns new areas where the case of power is to be studied so that they may be reformed, or identified so well that their use is more to popular benefit than to state or private benefit.

The clearest institution of examination in this regard is that critical institution that has harried and condemned civilization, the private ownership of property. As it applies to the economic condition of the community, and thus its political power as expressed through the economy, the private ownership of property is a denial of the community that broad interest of sustainment and material means by which the entire whole can be positively affected. The history of private economics has concluded to an inevitable point that there are those by no fortune by bad luck that no matter how intensely they might labor they will never advance beyond their station, as they never recieve the full value of the labor which they produce. Where as, the party to recieve the fullest value for labor sustained are those who owned that labor.

In the feudal tradition this was the realm of the feudal noble, who taking tithes of produce from the peasantry enriched his coffers on the backs of slaves, however their full legal position in society be deemed. These tithes drawn from the laboring parties were classified as rent, meant to sustain their existence on the land which they do not own. Though the reality is that that which is supplied to the noble or the magistrate as tithes does not often go to the sustainment of the labourer, as the world over the labouring proletariat as produced enough that he may sustain himself well on the efforts of his or her own work. The conditions by which he or she works is plainly an expression of power over the working serf or peasant, as either by claimed divine claim or through legalistic code the man who collects the tithe is recognized by the system of his own design to be the sole owner of that vast land by conquest, gift, or inheretence and all who live on it are in effect property of the noble, through a forced bondage of having to work off an unpayable debt of labor for the mere act of existence. The profit thus made off of the use of labor of the peasants is thus used not for the sustainment of the peasantry but for the enforcement of the noble's or magistrate's office through the maintaining and raising of an army or mercenaries.

Raised across the national scale the model of imperial power is laid bare as a succession of tithe payments in a hierarchy of governance with the Emperor at the top. These tithes – as taxes – go to the outfitting and sustainment of the Emperor and his house. And to the raising and sustaining of an army. Often it may manifest down as works of infrasturcure, but rarely does this directly benefit the working prolestariat save only as a feature they must continue to pay for as an extension of the tithe and taxation system, and so more of their labor is reduced to see the fruits of other projects for the benefit of other nobles, or of merchants.

Very much so: the deeds and guise of the capitalist is much the same as that of the noble, who buys and sells the labor of the peasant and the worker for his benefit. Though while the noble takes from the peasant as what he deems is share as a model of rent, the capitalist takes all and gives back a small sum as wages, handed out and earned not as compensation of total value produced but as time compensated. The worker then may perform and produce more or less labor value, and he will always recieve a flat wage as recompensation. And to the capitalist bourgeoisie this is considered fare, for the worker is liberated from serfdom from birth and enters then into a free contract. A contract though that is devoid of any particular freedom, as it is often that the conditions of the contract do not change much between manufacturery and manufacturery. The labourer then becomes locked in a system set against him.

Feudalism is not set far from capitalism, and it excercises very much the same force. Though from the influences of the European evolution of ideology into liberalism, to be a capitalist is to be much freer than a feudal noble. As to be a capitalist is to sustain a position through the merits of ones of labor and capacity to work. A capitalist may fall, but a feudal noble must never. For the two exist in two opposing fields of political philosophy. One ruled by merit, the other ruled by divine right. A count or duke may be a poor steward, and his lands may decay; but he will always be one. But the liberal bourgeoisie assert that a capitalist may not stand if he is a poor steward, and he falls with his lands. It is considered fare then, because as far as the dynamics of the class is sustained it is a shifting sea. The old might be swept out of the back door and the new ushered through.

But this does not address the totally unchanged dynamics expressed through the private ownership of property and the relationship between the owner and the rentor. Noble or Capitalist, the owner will always hold as is own that which he does not work, that which he does not share. While taxation becomes wages, the labor of all is never the labor of the one. And maintaining the relationship is no less changed. Whether through the coercion of promising raises for the most productive or the levee'ing of privledges on the most productive, or the use of force as through the police or the army; the worker will always be suppressed. As such, the fullest limit by which a society's and the state's power will never be broadly distributed and we can not say we have a fully involved society.

These divisions that arise between the people as classes too damages the society as a whole. That at any point the tolerance of this style of ownership – whether directly as slave, or indirectly by another means – is tolerated in the modern world is objectable. To be forward thinking and future minded for the body of the whole, as a collective shared among all individuals one would have to admit that this relationship is archiac, reactionary, and a crude weight to punish the majority for crimes they did not commit, only because they existed in one social rank over another.

To maintain this too, even in the modern era these modern feudal barons, these false dukes and counts: the capitalist claims his power is rightly obtained. That he worked for it, that he labored hard to obtain it. But if it was so: there are millions of others more rightly deserving than you. Once born to wealth, the son of the wealthy buisinessmen will enjoy far more the advantages of that wealth than the impoverished. He will go ahead to foreign lands to study the best of fields and return to the home country, assuming all the property and power and wealth that his father enjoyed. It is work yes: but only such that maintains a facade of importance. For in the end the inheretince of these properties is none different from the nobility. It should be suggested, that in the case of economic property accumilated by a single individual, that on his death that property pass out of the single ownership of that individual.

And how does this look? How might it be done? Perhaps if working all one's life one would accumilate property to the economic service of his own self, and he brings in cash renters to assist producing for him. And that when he dies that institution he creates is not passed to his son but to the workers, or the munincipality, or it is dissolved and liquidated. Or that more favorably: anything that grows beyond the man and is accomodate for more like minded individuals becomes an effort partaken by the whole as a common aim irregardless of who began what, where individual labor is rewarded to the fullest extent possible to maintain it. Where every individual at work there is a manager of his own abilities, and co-manager of the entire enterprise. That the power of a society as manifested economically is shared by all within it.

On Power and Politics

Hou Tsai Tang

December 9th, 1954


China

Tianjin


Stepping out the car, Nguyen Sinh Cung was greeted by a guard. Bowing low he greeted him to the home of Hou Sai Tang. Pleasantries were exchanged between he and the old man as he was guided around. They did not walk through the house, and instead walked around the outside. Coming onto the side of the house, he was lead to the garden. There under the veranda, in the shade, Hou sat at a stone picnic table, pillows on the bench seat for relief from the rough granite the entire piece was made of. Hou looked up as Sinh Cung was announced, and he turned from his seat, rising and bowing; welcoming him to his house.

“Is my visit interrupting anything?” Nguyen asked, pointing to the papers laying across the stone of the table's surface. Hou looked down and shook his head, “Just light reading.” he admitted, taking his seat as his guest followed.

“I am happy to see that.” the Vietnamese man said, “But it looks important.”

Hou looked nonplussed, and shrugged. “Perhaps it is.” he admitted, “Depends on how you consider your open letters and articles.”

“Oh, so you read those?” Nguyen asked, leaning in. The two were as contrasting as they were alike. Both appeared with a narrow frame. Though near to him, Nguyen Sinh Cung appeared the frailer figure to Hou. Sai Tang himself sat and stood slightly taller in comparison to his southern contemporary, and with paler skin.

“I had to ask for translation.” said Hou, “I am afraid Vietnamese is one of those languages I never mastered. You are a determined individual, comrade Nguyen; that much I give you credit for.”

“My home is my life.” Nguyen said, “That much is true.” and it was no secret between the two of them at the table why the two were there sharing the same space. It was an issue which was of mutual interest, at least as Nguyen believed of Hou. While Hou collected the articles and Hou's notes he asked, “May I smoke?”

“Feel free, we're outside. My wife doesn't like it outside though.” said Hou. Nguyen briskly lit up, and Hou broached the topic of the meeting unimpeded, “I am told your a hesitant man.” said Hou, “I am of the opinion that the Bureau could have approached others, but instead went directly to you. But as I have been told; you do not wish to go through. Can I ask to understand why?” Hou asked.

Nguyen drew deep on his cigarette and exhaled a long stream of smoke before entertaining a response. His expression grew quickly melancholy. “Simply, history.” he said, “Our countries have been at long odds and competed with each other. Your people even occupied my homeland for a time.”

“That is ancient history. We are in new times. There is no grounds that China would seek to enslave Vietnam again. As it matters now to the new world the slates are whipped clean. Together our two countries can liberate ourselves from our colonial pasts, and the foreign bourgeoisie of all of Asia, Europe, the world perhaps.”

“And will China send its armies against the world?” Nguyen asked, “Where has it been for the passed ten years? Fifteen? Twenty years?” Nguyen almost growled, embittered.

“Here nor there.” Hou dismissed, “I will be the first to admit to you that China's policies in regards to your homeland and towards others have been less than practical. I understand your frustration, for it has frustrated myself too. But it's a matter I have to be realistic about; I can't and won't call for total war on the war anytime soon. But I can now say we are in a position to start helping.”

“And when China is done with us, what is the future of Vietnam then? I do not want to turn my country other for other's ambitions.”

“That is up to you.”

Nguyen nodded, and turned his head out towards the sea. It glimmered and shone clear to the horizon passed the posts and the poles upholding the canopy veranda. It blew it a soft sweet smell of salt that mingled with the flowers. “How far beyond your own country have you been, Sai Tang?” he asked.

“I've never left it.” Hou admitted, “Though I've been all over it.”

Nguyen nodded, “I am willing to admit that the people of China wish for nothing different from Vietnam, as of France; America. We are all one of the same type. A large extended family.” Hou smiled at the brief reference to his own writings, “Though I am critical of the Europeans by experience. I have seen their people to be immoral and lost to harmony, it's hypocritical of them to hold themselves up as the true beacon of civilization. While France held Vietnam and claimed to be civilizing it it did not destroy my home country's dignity. It did diminish its heritage, the strength of its ancient heritage. And I see it's done little to diminish your country's.

“But...” Nyugen continued, trailing off into a thoughtful silence, “I must admit I have afraid of recruiting Chinese help in the matter. For I fear that they have done much to damage Vietnamese pride in the past. And you might convince me on the matter: but what about the rest of Vietnam? If my people see Chinese troops in their streets, and marching passed their fields; at their docks and on their shores what sort of conflict are you leading your people into?”

“I'm under the impression it is not sending our armies, but preparing your own. Yes: your people deserve to have your country liberated. Yes: we are willing to see it through. But we not necessarily need to be the primary actor. There is much we can do, but there is things China needs before making an advance. Permission on your part to take on this roll, as an individual high in your community.”

“And you want me to say yes?” he asked.

“I want you to take the offer out and to see if it becomes a yes. At this point I am acting above what the Bureau wants. The Bureau wants you as a chief commander for a primarily Vietnamese army to invade Vietnam and wrestle control of the north from an as-of-yet unknown foreign power. If we were operating strictly along the guidelines the Bureau wants, it would be just that and I would be giving you all the honors I possibly can to convince you.

“But I am not. I am making an open offer, based on what is deemed necessary by those it effects. If I am to arm them, I will. If I am to be a negotiator: I will. If there is to be negotiation between China and them to see things through if conditions change, so it will. To the best of my abilities I will find the balance to make this possible.”

“Can I think?” Nguyen asked.

“You can.”

South China Sea

Golf of Tonkin


Adrift in still moonlit waters, the small Chinese ship containing the agents sat waiting and at watch over the horizons for their target. The deck was alive with silent observers as the two agents lay with their heads against the cut stumps of the masts. They drifted in and out of sleep, occasionally looking up into the sky to check the moons and the stars. Occasionally a sailor would step out onto the deck and try to make measurements of their position based on the sun and stars and sometimes the engine would start up to correct where they were if they had moved. But in general all was quiet and still. No one reported any lights in the distance, no dark shape moving across a sea glowing soft moon-light blue, sparkling with the reflection of the bright band of the Milky Way across the night sky.

By early in the morning when no light had yet to breach the horizon, but the moon was sinking low a sailor came out on deck with a teapot and poured for the watchmen hot cups of tea to compensate for the time and the relatively cool night. Terse hush words were exchanged with each, offering condolences for the bad watch, or simply just laughing at the piss poor luck of them. Then the sailor would return.

By the first breach of sunlight still nothing had changed, and with their backs turned on the eastern sun a long shadow of the ship stretched out onto the sea and they could see their reflections stretching far out across a languid and still ocean and the early morning ripples. A light breeze blew across the deck, bringing the taste and smell of the sea which by now they had grown numb too. An early breakfast was served, a tasteless noodle bowl with broccoli; but no one took their eyes off the distance as they waited in the shipping lane.

Huang Du checked his watch. Five in the morning. If the ship hadn't left now it soon would be. He wondered about the sailing speed of a large freighter, and tried to calculate how long they might see it if left that moment. He didn't know all the variables. And settled on a vague guess of the next five or twelve hours. It was very helpful. He prepared himself to settle back into another day of monotony.

As the sun continued to raise, there was no ship yet to be seen. Distantly on the horizon one of the spotters made a comment about catching sight of an airplane on patrol over the ocean. But it may have also been a bird. It didn't matter much. By about this time the rest of the crew was on duck attending to the normal duties of their post, if simply to keep busy. The deck was cleaned from bow to stern. From below the sound of maintenance on the engine could be heard while the motor was silent and mute. It was over soon.

But still, there was no ship on the horizon.

“I have something!” a sailor called out excitedly, and suddenly after nearly twelve hours of waiting. There was a sudden jolt of energy on the deck as boots raced across to see. Huang Du and Arban shot up, and muscling through the crowds made their way to the side and squinted out over the horizon.

“Binoculars, looking glass, something!” Huang Du called out. A pair of binoculars were dutifully brought to him.

Pressing them against his eyes Huang Du looked out over the ocean waves to the faint suggestion of a ship. Sure enough, it was a ship. But the details were still far too distant to make out, anything small too blurry, to splotchy. With a raised voice he gave the call to sail for it, and the engine was fired up and the boat puttered and rumbled towards the ship on the distant horizon.

Moving along the deck Huang Du kept following it to the point that he was the compass arrow for its direction. Periodically holding the binoculars to his eyes to get a better view, or to find it. The skipped over waves, and the boat rocked back and forth. A sudden recurrence of nausea came back to Arban who retired as quick as he could to the rear of the boat and cradled himself to puke into the wake of the rickety vessel.

As the two practically set a course towards each other, the distance between the two rapidly diminished. It came to a point that Huang Du was sure by now the other boat could see them. He directed the Helmsman to keep a distance, and get around the sides of the ship as if to pass. They might perhaps find evidence of who owned the ship.

Passing alongside, Huang Du looked out over the ship and saw flying its flags. There above the bridge was the flag of the Philippines, and on its hull its name. Huang Du shouted to Arban, they found something.

(At this point, if @Letter Bee is in any position to respond if he so wishes then he may, and depending on what happens may be viewed as an option of a possible collab)
If we're all good on Assyria, then MetalBoye can move it to Characters and be ready to go.
The client states do feel a big forced in there. It's fine you want the territory, but stuff like this should probably be done in IC if need be.
New Auslassia

Central Auslassia


Claustrophobic tunnels. Stale air. Dense humidity. One sweated when he simply moved. Among the cacophonous noise it was difficult to hear one so much as think. Drill hammers thundered against hard granite walls, breaking free and drilling out veins of metals and ores embedded deep underground. Operating at nearly a mile underground, ranks of miners operated in space at a premium, closely drilling into the walls to break free rock and minerals. The minerals then would then fall onto, or be shoveled onto a conveyor belt that carried the rock far and away back to the surface, where it would be separated and processed as marketable ore for the refineries on the coast or abroad.

Despite the natural noise – jacks hammering like machine gun lightning, the cries and ringing of heavy lifting machines, the rattle of the conveyors – someone somewhere in the tunnels had set up a radio that blasted a loud raucous music with electrical amplification. The singer shouted over the heavy twangs and moans of guitars and drums that sang so deep that even through the limitations of speakers made the chest bounce harder than with a machine tool in hand.

With all the noise, to communicate through word of mouth was hard to do, and much that needed to be said was done through hand signals and gestures. Team members turning to and placing a hand on their partners and flagging something with motions of the palm and finger. It would be understood, and there's be a nod, shake of the head, or even a shrug.

The miners in these deep tunnels were assembled in teams and because of the heat wore close to nothing but the bare essentials. Heavy soot and dust choked boots, denim jeans that were packed with rock dust, salt, oil, sweat, and grease, and hard hats to protect from any falling debris. Some of them wore gloves, others did not. The teams were of mixed races, but mostly dominated by Alternatives, the vast total of humans ended up serving as supervisors or specialists in the teams, making sure the line kept moving and keeping the pressure on to keep digging. A brief break would come on when a great faded yellow machine would rumble down a narrow tunnel forcing many of the man-animals to press tight against the walls as a heavy bit would be pummeled into stubborn stone to break it up, or to remove an excess load of refuse left on the ground, clearly of no value save to be used as gravel.

As the machine left, a short mongoose hobbled in on quick steps, pushing ahead of him a metal cart with a large plastic tank. Taking a hose wound up against its side he went from miner to the miner tapping them on the shoulder. As they turned to see who it was they noticed him and his truck and happily opened their mouths for the hose to be turned on their faces sprayed with water. From miner to miner he went, distributing as much water as they thought they'd need for another fifteen minutes. As each miner in the branch was watered, he quickly picked up and left through the chaos.

The teams kept drilling, the noise as it had been. The smell of sweat and oil strung and bitter in the air, a salty alkaline smell of industry and hard labor. A metallic clang and snap went unnoticed as a miner's bit struck something and the drill head exploding clear to the drills impact mechanism. “Ay fuck you fucking jizzbiter cunt!” screamed its handler to a world made deaf by its own racket. He was a large wolfish beast, well over six foot and barely big enough to stand in these tunnels. He had been in the mines for years, far longer than most and his skin and fur was permanently stained a deep black and gray from the hard wages earned deep underground. He hissed and grumbled angrily to himself and kneeled over the broken machine he had thrown to the ground. Broken and twisted fragments lay haphazardly across the ground and embedded even in the hot sweating stone around the hole he was drilling out.

He was a hard beast, not only stained he was scarred and twisted from the work and his triangular snout was broken and twisted in several locations from where rocks had fallen and punches thrown to break his nose in several ways. An old mine blast had charred and boiled the left-side of his face and his lips there were permanently pulled up in a sneer exposing long sharp yellowing teeth. His fingers as well had been broken and thickened with callouses from the pick and shovel and they took up the broken machine from the ground. While it was scorchingly hot around the bit he painlessly pocked and spun it in his hands inspecting the damage wrought on it.

He glowered down. The bit had been not just broken, but shattered. The metal too had been mushroomed from the force of the freshly broken shaft impacting against rock several more times before he had noticed. Oh well, all the same. This happened many times. Taking it back up in his hands he stepped back to his supervisor and called in his attention. Holding up the impact drill he pointed out the broken bit and the fat burly man that supervised him nodded and stepped away. He came back a half a moment later with another and quickly the old wolf miner detached the old bit and reinstalled the old one. It thundered and rattled as he fired it back up and he lunged at the wall again. Moments later, after breaking through stone the bit exploded a second time and he fell forward cussing, “Ya sick pissa assblowin' cocksucker!” he swore angrily, distraught and shocked at his misfortune. He threw the drill against the ground and began picking at the rock with his fingers.

What the fuck was he hitting, he thought to himself. He scratched and picked at the loose rocks and even picked out the embedded shards of metal jammed into the rock, but saw nothing that looked unusual. In the harsh halogen light that beamed in from his back he thought he saw what might have been the shine of a fresh vein of ore but he couldn't be certain.

But he needed another bit. Getting his supervisor's attention again he showed him the broken drill, and through signals began recounting the piss-poor luck he had with his particular wall. The supervisor didn't believe him, but was soon convinced to at least look. With a flash light and a small rock hammer and chisel they went to the wall and began working, clearing aside the worthless rock and shining a light on the dull gray-black metal underneath.

Out of curiosity, the supervisor provided the wolf with a new bit and had him drill at the shiny metal where he had been drilling. After a few strikes, the bit exploded and the machine was thrown against the wall. By now several of the nearby miners had noticed and began looking over to what was going on, dropping their drills and the audible chaos subsided.

They began moving over to the supervisor and the wolf, crouching down on their haunches to look at the hole that ended so suddenly, as illuminated by the small pocket flashlight in the supervisor's hand. There was uncertain and deaf mutterings of uncertainty as they looked at what mystery they had found. Packing away the flashlight the supervisor pulled out his tablet and punched in a short message and sent it. Seconds after he made out a second shorter one and PDAs in all the miner's pockets vibrated and work trickled to a stop and the machines shut off as no more ore came up. Even the radio was turned down to a faint murmur as everyone came over.

“Whadda'we got chief?” asked a rat, removing his ear plugs as he spoke.

“Hard to say, lads.” the supervisor said, “We're going to stop working for fifteen. Gotta stubborn turtle to move.”

The crews nodded and began shuffling off back up the shaft, their tools in tow. Coming the other way a small specialist team of explosives experts came down with their heads low. Hard hats with lanterns glowing in the dusty murk of the tunnel as they hulled large cases of explosives down with them.

As they came down one of them stopped and looked around, “How deep are we?” he asked.

“About two kilometers.” the supervisor said. The specialist nodded, “How's the bone?”

“Hard granite, packed in layers. Sand or some shit between here.”

The specialist again nodded, and thought. Taking out a personal tablet he ran some notes and spoke with the supervisor about certain statistical specifics. “We might have a big bump. Can you and your diggers get at least five-hundred meters up?” he asked, “We're going to evacuate this level.”

“Is it going to be that big?” the supervisor asked. The explosives specialist shrugged.

“It might be, but I don't want to drop anything on anyone. Even alties.”

The supervisor nodded, and walked away. A evacuation order was given to the miners on that level, and there was a general exodus to the elevators as hundreds made their way to the main and secondary shafts. On the whole, it was fifteen minutes to get started and everything fell largely silent. Ten minutes later, and the demolition team had joined them at the mid-level shafts, among the red and orange rocks. At computers they began the work in priming and setting their charges and began their count down to three.

At three, ears were plugged and mouths opened as the signal was given and there was a deep thumping shake that rattled the entire tunnels, following by a rumbling rolling roar that coughed up through the elevators thick clouds of smoke and dust that filled every passage it could, spreading out and filling in to settle. The pressure of the blast was like a full body squeeze by the hand of god and many of the miners felt their breath escape them. As the explosion settled they gasped for breath and coughed on the smoke. The demolition men looked at each other and nodded. The power to the elevators was tested, and an empty platform was sent down. When it stopped it was summoned back in working order. It was dusty and littered with small rocks. But it could move.

One by one and orderly the platform was filled and the teams went back under the earth. First among them the wolf, his team, and supervisor. As the chains and chords of the elevator rattled in the air they felt the air grow warm again. But then not become simply warmer, but to go beyond until it got hot. Barely a burning hot, but an uncomfortable oven heat.

It grew until it felt it was to become insufferable. Then everyone began feeling sick. Alongside the wolf a thin athletically built man started panting heavily and heaving as he turned and leaned forward against the elevator. He coughed and cried, before finally vomiting. The sight made the wolf miner sick as well, but he was feeling something too. A powerful all-body discomfort. His gut turned in on itself. His skin felt it was crawling. As he collapsed to his knees he even watched the fur on his arm fall off. His brain and eyes burned as a headache set on quickly and rapidly, fading between an acute skull splitting pain to a dull throb. His vision blurred as he watched the rest of the miners on the platform succumb to the same effects, falling over moaning, vomiting, and shitting themselves. They started passing out, hair and skin boiling off.

As the elevator hit the ground, there was no one on the platform alive to register it had. It was kept there for a moment, giving the dead time to leave before it rattled back up.
South China Sea

Golf of Tonkin


They had drifted and wandered at sea, allowing the currents and rhythms of the sea to pass them away from the Paracel islands and back closer into land. Several days after leaving the Paracel Islands, Hainan appeared briefly on the horizon as a dark smudge far over the horizon. Realizing where they were, the boat was motored back out to sea and left to drift again.

Around this time, Chinese patrol aircraft had spotted them, and demanded to know who they were over the radio. Both the Bureau agents had rushed the rest of the men out while they gently negotiated for freedom from harassment. It had taken a lot of maneuver from their part to convince them they were Chinese, they had a mission, and were out here with a purpose without exposing their own mission. They hadn't entirely convinced the pilots, but they had left all the same. After that incident, they were not harassed and the two fell into the belief that they had gotten the message.

They floated out of Chinese waters then into the contested maritime territory of Vietnam. Short of being found out by patrols of Chinese territorial waters, any freighter passing into Vietnam would in this part of the sea stick close to Vietnam. But as they drew closer to Vietnam the crew worried that being so close would constrain their abilities vs being in the open ocean. At this point, any ship coming in would most likely end up in specific ports, and this close there was steadily decreasing room to maneuver or escape should any group becomes suspicious. There was idle discussion as someone asked if they could disguise the ship somehow to appear like a fishing trawler.

“The ship is too big.” a sailor had pointed out, he spoke confidently with a strong self-satisfaction of his opinions. “I've seen and been on plenty of fishing boats close to these waters, and they don't get as big as ours; though ours is small. It would be conspicuous. And this far out? There'd be questions.”

“We wouldn't need accuracy to pass off suspicion, just convincing enough they don't think anything too quickly.” Huang Du said.

“Still, I wouldn't count on it.”

“Couldn't we throw something together to look like we're dragging a net behind us?” another sailor asked.

“We're still rather large.” the other sailor remarked.

The exchange went on for some time, and nothing was settling. After a time of being adrift some more they opted to again head out closer to the open sea. There was a brief inventory of the stocks aboard, and they concluded they would have to leave soon. They wondered if the mission would be all for nought.

All the same they fired up the engine and puttered out back into the heart of the South China Sea and search for the shipping lanes again.

The doubt though was persistent. Huang Du found himself bored, and while Arban was settling into the nauseating rocking of the boat, he was becoming quickly impatient with the whole ordeal. The crew was taking to complaining.

There was salvation to be had though.

“Jade Lily, Jade Lily.” their radio began to squeak one day. It had been left on the channel they last negotiated with the airplane with last time. “The Jade Lily, this is AS-050. Copy in.” the voice said.

A helmsman looking over, perplexed. Could this really be for them? They were half-way out to the Parcels, this was dangerous air for aerial surveillance to fly. Huang Du stepped in and took over control of the radio. “We copy.” he said.

“What are your coordinates?” asked the airplane.

Huang Du was struck. None of them had done much to track their coordinates, not closely. A strict chart was not kept. Hurriedly he put his hand over the speaker and began demanding for a reading , some kind.

“Give us a moment, please. Over.” Huang Du said.

“We spotted a ship.” the airplane called in, “We are ready to give you the approximate location of where we found it. But we need your position.” the pilot demanded. “Over.”

An impatient few minutes, and a slip of paper was in Huang Du's hands. Several quick takes had been made at retrieving rough coordinates. He read them to the pilots, who after a pause gave them theirs, and offered directions. The ship was headed back into the Golf of Tonkin. Huang Du ordered their boat to be turned around, and they severed communications with the air surveillance.

The spirit of apathy lifted from the men and a sense of excitement rippled on the air as word had reached them they had a break, finally. They set a course north-west back to the Golf of Tonkin to catch a ship that had come to them late. From the description given, it had yet to really pass the extreme point of China's outermost maritime territory, making its way to a tight turn around it, as close as it could comfortably get if not closer. In all possibility, if there were any exercises in the area the navy might see it. But they would not care to investigate it further.

Past that, there could be only be one possible port it was on its way too, given the description of its trajectory: Hai Phong. Failing reaching it before it was too close to Vietnamese shores, Huang Du and Arban both concluded they might catch it coming out and get a identification on it.

“You think we're going to catch it?” Arban said openly, to no one in particular in the tent of a bridge.

The sailor at the helm turned to him and shrugged, “We might be able to move as fast, or faster. But we're not carrying and fuel. Unless we want to drift back home I doubt it.”

“We'll catch it on its way out of port. How long do these boats take to unload?” he asked.

The sailor shrugged, and he looked out. It was later afternoon already. “It'll be an overnight unload.”

“So what does that mean?” Arban asked.

“Depends on how the Vietnamese work. Might not do anything, or they might unload it. Could be leaving after midnight or after sun up.”

“We're going to take a shot at it. At worse we'll catch it leaving.” Huang Du interjected. He looked over at Arban for approval, “Thoughts?”

“I'm done with the ocean, I want to go back to land. Whatever it takes, double watches so we don't miss it it need be.”

Huang Du nodded, and the helmsman sighed. The plan for the day and the night was set.
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