World War: Campaign for Surprise
Chapter 2

Copyright© 2018 by Lazlo Zalezac

General Duparde sat at the conference table in the President’s office which was normally meant for cabinet meetings. Pen Hopo sat across the table from him. There were three Swords and two Shields standing behind her. As the highest ranking general of the Army of New Frank, it was up to him to negotiate a surrender to Jade Force.

He scrubbed his face wishing that this day would come to an end already, but it wasn’t even noon yet. He had been awakened that morning by a Jade Warrior who was gently tapping a pistol on his nose. It was just hard enough to be irritating, but not hard enough to break his nose. At least they had been considerate enough to let him dress.

He had been led into a room where four of the Colonels under his command were seated on metal folding chairs staring at the floor. There were a dozen majors and captains sitting the floor. Everyone looked about as happy to be there as he felt; which is to say, not very happy at all.

“What do you want?” General Duparde asked tiredly.

“We want you to surrender,” Pen Hopo said.

“I thought I already did.”

Pen Hopo said, “You surrendered your Army. We need you to surrender your country.”

“What?”

“You’re it. You are the highest ranking government official in New Frank,” Pen Hopo said.

New Frank did not have a history of following a traditional line of succession, although there was a formal line of succession in the constitution. The Presidency was usually filled by coup instead of election. There were elections, but there was only a single candidate for an office and that was the current holder of that office.

“The President?”

“Dead.”

“His cabinet?”

“Dead.”

“I don’t believe you,” General Duparde said.

One of the Colonels spoke up, “They’re dead. I saw the bodies.”

General Duparde looked over at the Colonel who had spoken up. He had always figured the guy would become the next President. He had that same hungry eye that the former president had back when he was a colonel. Not challenging Broussard for the position had gotten him promoted to General. That had been fine with him. Generals tended to live long enough to retire. Presidents tended to die.

“Damn.”

Pen Hopo slid a sheet of paper across the table. She said, “Here are the terms of surrender. Read them and if you have any questions, I’ll be happy to answer them.”

General Duparte put on his glasses to read the paper. Surprised by the first sentence he looked up at Pen Hopo. “The Jade Empire?”

“We’ve got three countries so far. You’ll be the fourth,” Pen Hopo said. “Tomorrow we expect to pick up a couple more.”

“It’s a little pretentious,” General Duparde said.

He looked down at the paper and read a couple more lines. Shocked he looked up and asked, “Are you really promoting Lecure to President?”

“Yes. We’ll also insist on true and legal elections in the future. You do understand what that means, Colonel Auton, don’t you?”

“Yes.”

General Duparde asked, “So if Lecure is running the country, how does that make us part of the Jade Empire?”

“We’ll have an overseer posted to the President’s Office. Our overseer will have veto power over any legislation proposed by your Cabinet.”

“If I understand it correctly, the overseer’s veto is often accompanied by a bullet, is it not?”

“Only if laws are being broken,” Pen Hopo said. “Jade Warriors are Judge, Jury, and Executioner when it comes to crime. We enforce all of the laws pertaining to representatives of the government: theft, embezzlement, bribery, murder, and attempted coup. Is that a problem?”

“Actually, it isn’t a problem. In fact, it will be a refreshing change in how things get done here,” General Duparde said rather bluntly.

“Good.”

“I see you have names for all of the Cabinet posts.”

“Yes,” Pen Hopo said. “Continuity of government is important.”

General Duparte finished reading the rest of the document. He read it through a second time wondering if he had missed something. Frowning, he said, “It looks to me like you are leaving the country under our control.”

“Well, we will have oversight of things. Your military will be available to us when needed.”

“What’s that mean for our military?”

“It means that you’ll have the same relationship with Jade Force as the Misera military has with us.”

“I know some of your generals. They don’t seem that unhappy,” General Duparte said.

“Why should they be unhappy? Their military took part in capturing the governments of Sumar and Desera. Just recently, they conquered Del Moray and Ismel. Soldiers of the Jade Empire now occupy Parie Duex. They went from being an international joke to being one of the most successful military forces in the world.”

“Soldiers of the Jade Empire?”

“Yes. Elements from Misera, Del Moray, and Ismel.”

“You’ve already integrated Del Moray and Ismel into your army?” General Duparte asked.

Misera had conquered Del Moral and Ismel only three months ago. It was hard to believe that they’d incorporate those forces into their military so quickly.

“Yes. We’ll expect your military to cross train with them,” Pen Hopo said.

General Duparte looked at the terms of surrender once again. He shook his head and said, “I don’t get it. There’s got to be a trick in here.”

Pen Hopo said, “Look, you get to keep your flag, your form of government, your traditions, your holidays, and your military. All we’re doing is imposing a little oversight and access to your military resources.”

“I’m not a lawyer. I’d like to consult with a lawyer,” General Duparte said.

“How about Lucure?”

“Sure,” he said.

Pen Hopo said, “Sword Trang. We need Lucure.”

“Okay,” Sword Trang said even while slipping out of the room.

Pen Hopo said, “It’s about lunch time. Shield Mandy, could we get a Hearth up here with some food?”

“Okay,” Shield Mandy said. She whispered something into the microphone attached to her armor. “The food will be here in ten minutes.”

“What are they bringing?”

“Sandwiches.”

“Nothing hot?”

“Hey, the Swords and Shields are still securing the area.”

“Alright,” Pen Hopo said.

General Duparte started wondering if this was some kind of dream. He had always thought he’d known what surrendering entailed, but it wasn’t anything like this.

The telephone rang. Everyone turned to look at it. Sword Trang said, “That should be Song Chu. Should I answer it?”

“Please do,” Pen Hopo said.

Sword Trang reached over and pushed the speaker phone button. “Helllll-looo.”

There was a long silence on the phone. Clearly the caller wasn’t used to being greeted in that fashion.

“Who is this?”

“Who is this?”

“I’m Song Chu, Premier of Chen.”

“Hey, Song! How’s it going, good buddy?” Sword Trang asked as if he were meeting up with an old fishing buddy for the first time in ages.

There was a long silence and then, “Where’s President Broussard?”

“He’s not here.”

“Get him.”

“I can’t do that.”

“Why not?”

“He’s dead.”

There was another long period of silence.

“Who are you?”

“I’m Sword Trang of Jade Force.”

There was a click and then a dial tone.

“That was rude. He hung up on me.”

Pen Hopo said, “What do you think he wanted?”

“I imagine he wanted to know why the Harbor Master keeps postponing permission for the Chen fleet to dock his ships.”

“I guess he got his answer,” Pen Hopo said.

“He’s not going to like what comes next,” Sword Trang said.

Unable to keep quiet, General Duparte asked, “What comes next?”

“His fleet surrenders or gets blown out of the water,” Sword Trang answered.

The matter of fact answer was frightening. It was as much the tone as the words that sent a shiver down his back. What was even scarier was that there wasn’t any admitting that the Chen fleet might get away.

General Duparte asked, “What happens if he surrenders?”

“We’ll drop his folks off in a neutral country like Amra and keep his ships.”

“I hope he surrenders. That would double the size of our Navy.”

“General Duparte, do you know if there are any retired Captains or Admirals who would like to take command of a nice used war ship?”

“No. You’d have to ask Admiral Re.”

“Okay,” Pen Hopo said.

General Duparte was silent for a moment and then asked, “Where is Admiral Re?”

“We’ve got him stashed away down the hallway in case you don’t surrender the country. It’s his turn next,” Pen Hopo said.

A man worried about his life probably would have signed the surrender right then. General Duparte was actually a patriot and wasn’t going to sign until he was assured that the treaty didn’t hurt the country. He was going to wait until Lucure arrived to examine it.


Admiral Jang couldn’t believe what he was hearing from the Harbor Master. He picked up the microphone and said, “Would you repeat that?”

“You are to surrender your fleet or we will sink it.”

“I’ll never surrender my fleet.”

“Would you like a little demonstration of just how bad your position is?”

Admiral Jang turned to the Captain and said, “Signal battle stations for the entire fleet.”

There was a loud thud.

“What was that?”

There was a second thud.

“That was from below the waterline.”

Captain Eng said, “It sounds like we just got hit with a training torpedo.”

There was another thud.

“Captain. All of the ships are reporting strange thuds from below the waterline.”

There was a fourth thud.

Admiral Jang shouted, “They’ve got submarines out there. Where are they?”

The man seated in front of the sonar answered, “I don’t know, Sir. There’s too much clutter on the sonar. It’s too shallow here and there are pleasure boats all over the place.”

Admiral Jang said, “Send up a couple of helicopters. Maybe they can see something.”

A helicopter lifted off the deck of the aircraft carrier. It made it about a quarter mile away when a missile launched from a pleasure boat reached up and took it out of the sky.

“Admiral Jang. Surrender your fleet.”

“Rear Admiral Wu is on the satellite phone. He wants to know what is going on here. Premiere Song just got off the phone after having discovered that Jade Force is in control of the government here.”

“Tell Rear Admiral Wu that we are under attack,” Admiral Jang said. The last thing he needed was his boss breathing down his neck in the middle of a battle.

Admiral Jang turned to Captain Eng. He took a deep breath and asked, “What is your take on the situation?”

“They hit us four times. If those had been real torpedoes, we’d be on the bottom by now.”

“The other ships of the fleet?”

“They all reported the same thing,” Captain Eng said.

“Rear Admiral Wu wants to know what the situation is.”

The Admiral looked at the charts. The Harbor Master had directed the fleet well into the mouth of the harbor. There were freighters in front of him. There were freighters backed up behind him. There was no room to maneuver. He was stuck and he had no idea where the enemy was located.

Admiral Jang said, “Tell all of the ships to wipe the computers and destroy all classified equipment.”

“Aye aye, Admiral,” Captain Eng said. He turned to pass the order on to the other ships.

Admiral Jang picked up the microphone and said, “I surrender.”

“Good choice, Admiral. Stand by to be boarded.”

Admiral Jang frowned and shook his head in disgust. “My first war time command of a fleet and I lose it without ever firing a shot.”

“We had no way of knowing this port had fallen into enemy hands,” Captain Eng said.

“That will look good on my court martial papers,” Admiral Jang said.

He walked over to the satcom handset, picked it up, and said into it, “Rear Admiral Wu, it is my duty to inform you that I’ve surrendered the Second Fleet to Jade Force.”

“Why? How did this happen?”

“My fleet is stopped in the middle of a busy harbor. There is no room for us to maneuver without running aground. The harbor is filled with commercial vessels and pleasure boats. We are surrounded by an unknown number of submarines and they’ve just hit every ship of the fleet with practice torpedoes. We have no idea where the submarines are.”

“Did you have any warning?”

“None.”

“You know what to do. Wipe the computers and destroy all classified equipment.”

“It’s already being done.”

“I’ll inform Premiere Song.”

A helicopter hovered over the front of the ship. A rope was released and then three Jade Warriors slid down to the deck. Even while sliding down the rope, they held their weapons in a ready position. They released the rope and watched the helicopter fly off. The whole maneuver had been performed with a precision that was striking.

Admiral Jang said, “Look at them. Even from this distance they look dangerous.”

Captain Eng said, “They don’t look dangerous. They look ... arrogant.”

Admiral Jang said, “When I was a kid, my family went out into the country on a picnic. I was off by myself when a tiger came out of the brush. There I was looking face to face with a real honest to God tiger. Just looking at him you could see that this was a dangerous animal. It didn’t have to growl, show its fangs or claws to advertise itself. It just looked dangerous and powerful because that was its nature.

“I was frozen in place. It just glanced at me with a look of almost disdain, like I wasn’t even worthy of being noticed. Then it slid back into the brush and disappeared.

“I see that tiger when I look at those three.”

The three people finally made their way to the bridge. One walked over to the Captain. Another walked over to the Admiral. The third stood off to the side to watch.

 
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