6 - Clan Amir: The Shukra War - Cover

6 - Clan Amir: The Shukra War

Copyright 2007 by Ernest Bywater as Ernest Edwards

Chapter 04


The rebellion hasn’t gone as well as planned. The Rebels control most of Shumeer and the main highways. The Royalists control most of the mountains, all of the coast, and the area behind the coast for about thirty kilometres. All of the Shukra Navy is loyal and is still operating because the few naval Rebels were soon killed. According to their plan, by now the Rebels should have control of all of the country except the mountains.

All support for the Rebels has to be flown in or driven in from their northern neighbour. Royalist troops are busy ambushing arms convoys coming in via the northern mountain passes. The bulk of the country isn’t controlled by one side or the other. Both the Royalists and Rebels have patrols roaming across the land, and short battles start whenever they meet up. Neither side has any air support now. The Berant air support is limited to protecting flights, the Embassy, and the borders in order to not risk breaching any International laws and causing more strife; but mostly to deny the Rebels’ backers the right to complain about Berant’s support in the conflict.

The International community is already rallying behind the Shukra Royal Family, and many of the other governments are speaking against the Rebels. The Shukra Royal Family members in Berant are asking for help. Refugees are still flooding into Berant, most are by foot now because almost all the planes have left Shukra and most of the few left are small private planes.

Highcliff Palace

At 6:00 a.m. all are asleep at Far View when Gerry is awakened by a phone call. Answering the phone he listens, then he frowns. Hanging up he tells Nancy to start a shower while he calls Lillian, Isobelle, and Vicky. Twenty minutes later, showered and dressed, they meet in the main hallway, ready for a hard day’s work.

Crossing over to Highcliff he leads them to the Royal Reception Room. King Harold is there with Queen Francine, also present are three officers in messed up Shukra uniforms. A captain and lieutenant of the Shukra Army, and a captain of the King’s Guard. King Harold looks up at the motion of their entry.

The Army Captain turns to see what caught the King’s eye. Seeing Nancy and Lillian he stumbles over and he hugs them. A moment later he stands back, he half smiles as he says, “My dear sisters, our only family losses are father, Frederick, and myself.” Their eyes go wide. He says, “I’m not yet dead, but my wounds are mortal and I’ll be lucky to live to see tomorrow. Adriana is with the children not yet here. She, and what’s left of my force, are being given refuge at Darmore. The 2nd Claymore are seeing to their safety.” He sighs, “This is the time of prophecy, it’s time for the tribes to reunite and for the countries to be one again. However, before that happens we must make it ours again! Of the remaining adults it’s up to you two to do this. Please take care of my wife and children. My officers have the latest intelligence.”

Gerry steps forward saying, “Brother, of course we’ll care for your family, as they’re our family. We’ll do all we can for your people, all we can legally do. And that’s a lot more than the enemy expects.” Turning to the women he says, “Wife, sister, it’s time for us to move. I was up late last night talking to the lawyers. I know how to legally take an Army north but it needs you both to come along, and the risks are high.” They nod their agreement to go.

The next half hour is spent debriefing Prince Mashir and his officers on the conditions in Shukra, especially the area just north of the border, because the information is needed to get troops into the country.

Just after 7:00 a.m. King Harold places a video conference call to the Prime Minister and the Minister of Defence while several other family members are present, but out of view. Prince Mashir, as de facto head of the Shukra Government, formally asks King Harold and the Berant Parliament for military assistance to put down foreign backed traitors in his country. Both the Prime Minister and Minister of Defence refuse to release Army troops to bolster the borders so King Harold can send the Guards into Shukra. The matter is discussed at length.

Late in the discussions Prime Minister Ranslet says, “I’m sorry, Your Highness, I don’t see this as a threat to Berant or a matter for the Parliament. However, if you gave the Parliament control over International affairs it would be a matter for the Parliament and we’d have to act on it.” King Harold’s face loses all expression, while he may not be as mentally sharp as he used to be he can still recognise a naked grab for power when he sees it.

Both Ministers’ faces turn to stone when Gerry, from out of the camera’s view, says, “I see you’re still the bullying, money grubbing rat you were in school, Rancid. When you get voted out at the next election remember your total disregard for the people today. You could’ve helped, but now we have to do this the hard way. Mark my words, you’ll pay for this, Rancid.” The line is cut by King Harold before anything more can be said.

King Harold looks sternly at Gerry while shaking his head as he says, “What now, brother?”

Gerry replies, “He won’t play ball to do this the easy way, so now we bend the rules. I thought we may have to so I had some things checked out last night. A few more phone calls, a few signatures, and a public announcement by you after Parliament opens today. Later today we start preparations to cross into Shukra with the Shields and the Rocks. Tomorrow I’ll have a volunteer Army to go with them.”


At 9:00 a.m. in a Shukra Royal Palace conference room General Ashmed is speaking to the remaining main leaders of the rebellion - General Maskeer, General Mendar, General Dungar, Colonel Habeen, and Minister Lubey. Angrily he says, “This morning I finally made radio contact with the Third Regiment to recall them to Shumeer. They’d caught up with the bandits early Monday morning and Prince Frederick refused to break contact to treat wounded. The wounded were left with locals or to fend for themselves until after the battle. They fought a running battle in the jungle from 8:30 a.m. until nearly 4:00 p.m. Over fourteen hundred bandits killed, including their leaders. The fifty prisoners taken were executed, so the bandits are no more. Yesterday afternoon Prince Frederick died of wounds sustained in the fighting. The regiment is no more as they suffered over a thousand dead and the rest wounded. Captain Bentley is in command and he’s returning to Shumeer with forty-eight severely wounded, many in need of serious treatment if they live that long. Damn, I needed those troops, and now they’re wasted.”

Colonel Habeen says, “That appears to have been the King’s orders to the Prince. We’ve found papers showing the King was informed of the rebellion sometime in the last two weeks. His private orders to the Prince were to destroy the bandits and to destroy the Third Regiment at the same time because he knew it was all Rebels. Also, much of our supply system is known to the King’s supporters. The Berant Royal Intelligence Service is passing the information directly to the King’s local agents.”

They all swear as that explains a lot of their current problems.

General Maskeer says, “We may as well give up and leave the country. With so many of the Royal Family making it to safety the UN will never recognise us, and when U MAMA realises that they’ll pull their support. Once that happens we’re dead. By trying to take the Berant Embassy I’ve already lost many of the mercenaries and most of our troops in the city. Now they’ve been reinforced with two regiments of Guards we’ll never take it.” What upsets him the most is the fact that of his five prime Regiments of six thousand five hundred personally loyal troops less than five hundred of them remain alive, and most of them are wounded. His strongest personal supporters are gone, killed by the Royalists.

General Ashmed replies, “Once we have control of the country they have to recognise us because they’ll have no choice.”

Minister Lubey says, “The moment King Harold orders the full force of the Guards against us we’re done. The only reason he hasn’t is he hasn’t yet found a lawful reason to do so that’s acceptable to the UN and the International Community.”

An aide rushes in to speak to General Dungar. Dungar grimaces, then he orders a TV to be brought in and turned on. They watch the news broadcast an announcement by King Harold. After watching it they turn off the set and they all swear, because they’re dead men walking with nowhere left to go or hide now.


At 9:00 a.m. sharp the Berant Parliament opens for the day’s work with the session being broadcast on the local TV channel all of the general sessions are broadcast on. Before they start on the business on record the Member for the 8th District requests leave of the Speaker to raise an urgent matter. The Speaker gives permission.

Standing up the Member asks, “Mister Prime Minister, did you refuse to provide the King and the legal Shukra Government military aid earlier today?”

Prime Minister Ranslet hotly replies, “That question is out of order,” and he refuses to say any more.

The Member says, “I ask you, once again, Prime Minister, yes or no. Did you speak with the King this morning? Did he ask you to release troops to cover the borders so he can send the Guards into Shukra to provide the help requested by Prince Mashir of Shukra?” Prime Minister Ranslet folds his arms and refuses to respond. The Member continues, “I see, you stand mute.” Holding up a piece of paper he places his briefcase on his desk as he says, “This is my resignation from the party. You should try thinking about people as people, Mister Prime Minister, not as votes or district numbers in your struggle for personal power. At seven a.m. this morning I was present with King Harold when Prince Mashir, Princess Lillian, and Princess Nancy of Shukra requested military assistance from King Harold. I was present when he video conferenced you to ask you to release Army troops to cover the borders so he can use the Guards to provide that assistance. I was present when you tried to blackmail him into giving you more authority by refusing to release the troops unless he gave you the control of International affairs. I was present when Prince Edward called you a money grubbing bully. I agree with him, and I find I can no longer be a member of a party led by you or a party that supports the likes of you.” The Parliament is in uproar while he walks down from his seat to hand over the letter of resignation from the party then he takes a seat amongst the Independent Members. Standing beside his new seat he says, “If you’d ever bothered to check the Parliamentary Register you’d find that my name is not ’Member for the Eighth District’ as you’ve always called me in party meetings. My name’s Donald Amir, King Harold is married to my first cousin.” He sits down while Parliament again breaks into uproar with many members talking very loudly or yelling at each other. They’re upset about the ramifications of all this.

The Prime Minister is in shock when thirteen other members of his party walk down from their seats to hand him resignations from the party before they move to sit with the Independent Members. With fourteen resignations his party majority in the House of one hundred members has dropped to thirty-nine members from fifty-three members. He now has just two seats more than the opposition’s thirty-seven members, while all of the future votes will be decided by the twenty-four independents. More concerning is his dirty politics just got aired on national TV.

A house usher hurries in to give a note to the speaker. The speaker reads it and says, “The King is making a special public broadcast. I’ve been told we should view it. Unless anyone is dissenting I’ll have it played on the main screen.” No dissenters, so the TV is turned on. They watch the broadcast. When it ends the Prime Minister swears and moans, because his political career is over as of the next election. After this he couldn’t get elected as anything except as a live target at a rifle range.

Highcliff Media Centre

At 9:20 a.m. the cameras are rolling while the Palace Media Officer announces a special announcement by the King. The room shows a map of Berant and Shukra with areas in Shukra marked as being in Rebel control, or in government control, or neither side as having control. TV screens show scenes from the seven major refugee camps: Berana International Airport, Birdman Field Airport, Darmore, Thistledown, Highreach, Northern Highway, and the Embassy in Shukra. They all show people milling about while they get breakfast with huge fields of tents behind them and the Royal Guards around the perimeter of them providing security.

King Harold walks to centre stage and places some papers on the podium. Looking up he says, “People of Berant, over twelve hundred years ago the peoples of this region united under one Amir King. Nine hundred years ago one tribe sought their own destiny and they have lived it since. Our cousins in Shukra are now in trouble and need our help. As you can see on the monitors we’re helping as best we can, but these refugee camps are overwhelmed by the floods of refugees crossing the border. Best estimates are twenty percent of the Shukra population are within Berant borders with another fifteen percent moving toward us. Forty percent of the Shukra population are in areas still controlled by forces loyal to the government. In simple terms, seventy-five percent of the population are clearly against the mercenary backed Rebels fighting in Shukra. We have confirmation King Ahdeed and Prince Frederick are dead, so are many loyal citizens. Many of the Rebel troops have died as well.”

He looks at his notes then says, “Early today Prince Mashir arrived at Highcliff. With the support of Shukra Princesses Lillian and Nancy he requested military aid to end the fighting in Shukra. In a teleconference with the Prime Minister and the Minister of Defence I asked them to release Army troops to help defend the borders to allow me to use the Royal Guards doing that to enter Shukra as asked. Both the Prime Minister and the Minister of Defence refused my request. They said they would only consider it if I gave them authority over International Affairs. I refused, because it was clear to me they see their political power grabbing as being more important than the welfare of the people. It would be a dereliction of duty by me to give such people any more power than they already have. An alternative method of providing support is needed. The Royal Guards are stretched thin because the Fourth and Fifth Claymore are already deployed to Shumeer in defence of the Embassy and the large refugee camp there. The Peregrines are fully deployed supporting them and patrolling the borders, so are most of the other Claymore troops. My advisers have found a way for us to help, and we need your help to do it.”

He stops to take a sip of water. Looking up at the camera he says, “I don’t have time to raise new Guards units to meet this challenge, and the rules for the Guards training and skills are strict. Yet I need trained troops now. We’ve checked the laws and the Constitution. The Tribal Councils of the Amiri and Amira Tribes have agreed to assist us. Under the Constitution and the law they are entitled to raise a militia equivalent to two percent of their population. The Amira have offered to combine their militia with the Amiri militia and both will loan them to us for this task. Neither has much in the way of militia at present, and two percent of their current populations entitles them to field four regiments on top of what they currently have. The Royal Protector is adding the Shields to the force being sent. That will give the commander a full brigade once the militia is raised. We need trained troops, preferably experienced troops, so we can move them straight into the field. I’m asking all retired Guards, those who are still able to fight, to volunteer to join the Amiri / Amira Militia to help free Shukra from these killers. I’m also asking the employers of volunteers to allow them the time off to do this work. The combined force will be under the civilian control of Princess Lillian as the acting head of the Shukra Government. General Gordon Mannheim, Golden Claymore, Claymore, Valour Cross, of Tim’s Halt fame will be the military commander of this force and he will conduct the campaign. He wishes to move into Shukra very soon. We’ll provide body armour, weapons, and transport. Volunteers are asked to contact the Claymore Association with their names and we’ll pick you up. Thank you, God Bless, let’s move. For the people!” He looks straight at the camera, snaps a salute, turns right, and he walks off the set. The image fades then the stations return to their normal programs.

Shumeer Again

At 11:00 a.m. in the Palace the Generals hold another meeting. With them are General Riley, the commander of the mercenary forces, and Colonel Sherman, the field commander of the two local mercenary companies. They’re all upset with the loss of so many troops and they don’t have sufficient control of the country, nor enough troops to take control of the country. Of the seven regiments, six infantry and one armoured, based in the city they’ve only five hundred Shukra troops left. They’ve eight thousand six hundred casualties when they’d expected to have less than two thousand. The other two regiments, two thousand six hundred troops, intended to control the surrounding countryside have also suffered over seven hundred casualties in clashes with the Claymore near the Berant Embassy. The troops intended to suppress the regional farmers are now needed to control the city. So, after much discussion they ask for the main mercenary force to be sent in by road hours earlier than planned, and to come to secure Shumeer first instead of the coast. This force is waiting in a harbour just north of the border. The message is sent and confirmed they’ll drive to Shumeer and should arrive tomorrow night or the next day.

Colonel Sherman, the Commander of the mercenary forces in Shumeer, isn’t happy with having to tell his men their usual conquest perks are out of order. They don’t have enough troops to keep the city, not if the entire populace is roused against them. Any such battle would see horrendous losses amongst the city residents while it would also mean the destruction of their force. Also, a civilian massacre would destroy all hopes of any International support or recognition which would destroy any chance of receiving the U MAMA bonus payments.

Mid-morning the Clan Fathers, led by the Shuken Clan Father, gather at the Royal Palace with fifty people. They’ve come to collect their dead. The Major in charge of the mercenary force refuses them access until General Mendar orders them to stand aside and he gives them access. He knows refusal of this would see the whole city in arms against them, also, over half of their remaining troops would turn against them as well, because the place of the tribal laws and rituals is too entrenched in the people.

They work their way through the official palace. When dead are identified by the Clan Fathers they’re carried away to be prepared for burial according to clan laws. Weapons are stacked nearby for removal by the soldiers. In the large entertainment room near the back of the official palace they clear away the debris as they lay out the unidentified dead from these rooms and the garden. The people work for hours stacking the rubble in piles and removing the dead. They continue until all of the rubble is stacked, most by the garden’s side walls, and the dead are either removed or laid out in the entertainment room ready for identification by others. Many will require DNA analysis to identify them from the national database.

By 3:00 p.m. they’ve identified eighty percent of the dead and removed them. The Clan Fathers set about identifying the rest. They examine the military identification items on the troops. They even get permission to identify who owned certain side-arms based on serial numbers and who they were signed out to. Finally it’s down to DNA analysis of the body parts that are left. The majority of the workers leave and technicians arrive with some DNA testing equipment. They set to work identifying people and parts of people by checking samples against the national DNA database. This will enable them to identify all of the members of the larger clans and most of those from smaller clans, because about ninety percent of the population are in the national database.

Big Mistake

By 5:00 p.m. the only people left working on the dead are five DNA technicians with three people to collect samples and tag the identified remains. The Sergeant in charge of the ten mercenaries watching these people agrees with his troops: the nice blond female in charge of the collectors is a good looking woman in her late twenties. They figure they can control this small group while they have some personal fun with her.

Waiting until they’re all in the room at once and the blond is a few metres apart from the rest he orders one trooper to cover the rest of the civilians while he and the rest of his team move in on the blond. The six male civilians start to move toward them. The soldier makes a show of taking his rifle’s safety off, and the blond waves them back. Smiling, the Sergeant says, “Smart move, girlie. We’re going to have you, with them dead or alive.” He places his rifle down near the door and he undoes his clothes while he walks toward her. The trooper puts his safety back on. Smiling back she walks toward the Sergeant. When they near each other he reaches out for her. Knocking his hand aside she slams her left palm under his chin in a sharp upward motion to snap his neck. Drawing his combat knife with her right hand she steps past him to slash it across the throat of the next mercenary before throwing the knife. It flashes across the room to slam into the throat of the trooper facing the others, severing his throat and spine before it pins him to the wooden wall panel. The trooper with the cut throat gurgles a scream of pain while he drops to the floor. The blond continues past him to grab another trooper by the shirt while she bends and kicks a trooper to the side in the groin. When the grabbed trooper stumbles past she gives his neck a quick twist, snapping it. The kicked trooper bends over in pain in time to receive another kick in the throat to crush his windpipe. He drops to the floor while he chokes to death. Reversing the spin from the kick she moves into the group of remaining troopers. Snaking an arm around the neck of one she’s quick to lift him up and over her hip, snapping his neck when she does. At the same time she drives stiffened fingers into the throat of another, he drops to the floor, dying. Drawing the combat knives of these two she throws them into the faces of the two troopers furthest from her. One takes the knife though his eye and into his brain while the other one has it smash through his teeth and into his spine. The Corporal is drawing his side arm when she reaches him. Breaking his forearm she places the pistol under his chin and she fires one round. It blows the top of his head off. Dropping him she turns to the last trooper, he’s backed up against the wall staring at her. He’s scared stiff and he’s wet himself. This is his first deployment in a combat area and he’s never heard or seen anyone who can fight like this. It isn’t supposed to be this way, and he’s scared, very scared.

With a very cold smile she says, “You can die or you can cut your dick off as your apology to me. Your choice.”

Gibbering with fright he reaches into his pants, pulling his penis out with his left hand as he draws his knife with his right hand, then he cuts his dick off. When he screams with the pain and falls to the floor she picks up the severed appendage and toss it out the window. Opening his medical kit she applies a tourniquet and bandage.

A mercenary lieutenant and a Shukra Army captain race into the room with a group of mixed troops behind them in response to the pistol shot. They stop to look at the carnage. Facing the Captain the blond says, “I object to people who say they’re going to rape me. He lives because I accepted his apology. He needs to go to medical so they can seal his severed dick.”

Looking at the trooper they can see the blood stained knife in his own hand. Realising he’d cut it off himself they stare at her in shock. Even the male civilians are staring at her in shock. In a few seconds she’d killed ten armed soldiers. While gulping hard the Captain orders the men to take the private to medical and he orders others to remove the dead. With that done he orders everyone out, because he’s not risking any more losses.

After they leave the last member of the civilian team, a plain looking brunette female, looks up while saying, “Tch, tch, sister. I know you were rushed, but even I saw three strikes off centre. What would your master say?”

While laughing the blond says, “He’d probably make some sarcastic comment about needing a better skilled Sensei Cho.” The men stare at her because she’s a senior instructor in the Way of the Hand, the local form of martial arts. Oh dear, those fools never stood a chance.

An hour later Colonel Sherman is wandering around reinforcing his orders about leaving the locals alone. That was a costly error, and they can’t afford any more like that. They really couldn’t afford the one they already have.

Far View

At 11:45 a.m. the Amir Clan Conference Room is full of people working at telephones and computers spread out on tables and desks. They’re vetting the many militia volunteers and sorting them by skills, experience, and fitness. Those approved of by Gerry or Jessica Tandar are contacted and told to travel to their local Claymore Association office. Transport is being arranged. So far they’ve enough volunteers to field two full brigades. Nancy and Lillian are almost in tears of joy at the level of support they’re getting from the people of Berant.

Across the room Mashir and his officers are contacting the loyal troops by radio to arrange for them to gather together in the open plains of the 9th District. The militia will meet up with them there, then the whole force will move on the Rebels in Shumeer.

The force will be much bigger than people will expect because Gerry is also moving the 2nd Raptors, 3rd Raptors, 4th Raptors, and the 3rd Claymore are moving north to be part of the force without making an announcement about it. He’ll have command of nine regiments, nearly double what the Rebels will be expecting. This will be the single biggest Berant military force to ever take the field as one command.

Having a nasty thought Gerry remembers he’s empowered to have two regiments of Shields. He tells the people to find him a total of five regiments of militia because the 2nd Shields will be a militia unit. They all smile at his subterfuge, and the old swords will love the work.

Turning to Jessica he says, “You know, with two full brigades to work I’ll need another brilliant general. Know where I can find a good re-tread general for the post?”

She grins back, “Yes, sir, just a moment while I volunteer.”

Looking up from her desk Isobelle says, “Gee, I’ve already got you on my list. Either you forgot you have or someone else put you in.” They all laugh while they watch Isobelle finish adding Jessica’s name to the list of volunteers.

At 12:15 p.m. a RIS intelligence update arrives. Gerry reads it, and he swears. U MAMA is going for broke because they’ve moved up the deployment of their main force of forty thousand mercenaries with one thousand light tanks and crews, it’ll cross Shukra’s northern border tomorrow morning. They must be stopped dead before they near Shumeer. He studies the map for a few minutes. Turning to the combat tactical group in one corner of the room he asks for updates and live displays of all of Shukra. Turning back to the recruitment team he says, “I need one full regiment of militia armed and deployed along the northern border by 5:00 p.m. See who you can recruit to meet that requirement.” They turn back to their computer records to run new scans to look for those nearest to the northern border.

Walking over to the computerised tactical display table he motions for Jessica, Nancy, Lillian, Mashir, Isobelle, and Vicky to join him. He points at the map while saying, “Prince Mashir, please confirm for me. Your people hold the coast, the western mountains, and most of the southern mountains. The bulk of the remaining Rebel troops are thinly spread in a line holding back your people who hold the coast, a very strong force in the south, and the rest in Shumeer. Most of your people holding the western mountains are small militia groups and the Rebels are just leaving them be, except for harassing patrols to stop them uniting. Is that how you see things?”

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