World War: Campaign for Eastland
Copyright© 2018 by Lazlo Zalezac
The Raspi army attempted to engage the Jade Empire army, but ended up chasing a single brigade across the country while the remainder of the Jade Empire forces in Raspi headed directly towards the capital. With the Raspi air force sitting on the ground, not daring to engage the air force of the Jade Empire, the army was effectively blind.
When the Jade Empire army appeared on the outskirts of town, the government of Raspi surrendered. It was a weak government and its surrender meant very little in terms of ending the war in Raspi. That war had to be won in the countryside. As always two tribes didn’t believe the threat of surrender or die and attempted to hold out, but the Jade Empire wiped them out. A few tribes grumbled and complained while signing the contract of surrender. Most of the tribes were thinking about marrying off some unwanted daughters and that soon life would go on as it always had. They would conquer the invaders by absorbing them.
The world’s attention turned to focus on Venu. It was obviously going to be the next target for the Jade Empire. Venu was silent on the matter. The Jade Empire was saying nothing about its plans.
There were a lot of areas in which Venu came in second in terms of comparisons with other countries on Eastland, particularly with respect to Khung. It was the second largest country on the continent, coming in behind Khung. It also had the second strongest central government of any country on the continent, coming in well behind the government of Khung. It had the second largest army which was all aimed at an invasion of Khung, coming in behind the Jade Empire. It was the second richest, coming in behind Khung.
There was one area in which Venu was clearly in the lead. It had the most radicalized version of worship of Jarjan of any nation in the world. It was a version that believed that Jarjan was supposed to be spread across the world with all nations governed by laws dictated by the religion of Jarjan. Many of the fighters in Palarma had come from Venu. The secular kingdom of Khung was a particular irritant and it had tried for decades to take over Khung.
The army of the Jade Empire approached the coast across the sea from Venu just so that it was obvious it was there. It then halted its forward advance. Taking Venu would be the hardest of all countries up to that time. It had a large well trained army, it had the wealth to fight the war, it had a near fanatical religious cohesion, and it was a large country. It didn’t have an IFN army supporting it, since that had been defeated soundly in Ulamb and Hamasada. It didn’t have the politics of the IFN interfering with military decisions.
It was time in the expansion of the Jade Empire to regroup and reorganize. The Red Lords took positions within the governments of Ulamb, Hamasada and Raspi. With suitable prodding from the Red Lords, minor political changes were taking place across the countries. Repairs to infrastructure were initiated. The remainders of the local military forces returned to base and began to work under the direction of Jade Warriors.
Temporary fortifications along the shore of Raspi were under construction. It was too much work for Jade Warriors alone. Local companies were brought in to prepare the basic structures under the watchful and suspicious eyes of Shields.
Divisions of the Jade Force military which had been spread across three countries moved forward to occupy positions along the Raspi coast across from Venu. Equipment and munitions left by the IFN forces were inspected, refurbished, and moved to the border.
The Jade Warriors started cycling through the Jade Citadel in Misera taking a much needed break from the frantic pace of war. Some of them, like Sword Miguel and Sword Tomas, returned and slept for a week.
The political front was another matter. Things were heating up on the world stage. After the defeat of the coalition forces, the coalition was falling apart. Countries were pulling back on their commitments. Others were ready to surrender outright until learning of the conditions for surrender. Other countries wanted to rebuild an army and send it into Venu. Of course, Venu wasn’t too wild about that idea since that would put too many nonbelievers in Jarjan inside the country.
A new debate in the IFN general assembly was taking place. With the Jade Empire in control of twelve countries, it had far more representation in the IFN than any other country. A motion had been put forth to restrict the Jade Empire to one representative for all of those countries. That motion set off a fire storm. Some said that the Jade Empire wasn’t a recognized state and shouldn’t have any representation. Others said that the countries were still countries and that each deserved representation. Still others put forth the argument that the Jade Empire had to be recognized as a state.
A reporter asked, “Do you think that the Jade Empire deserves representation in the IFN?”
Jacques Descroix answered, “The Jade Empire is not a nation. It is not a recognized state. Since it is not a recognized state, it does not deserve representation in the IFN. That is the current official policy of the IFN and I see no reason to change it.”
“What if they were to apply for recognition?”
“We would have to deny it since they actually have no territory of their own which is a country of ‘Jade’ or something like that. They have occupied nations, each of which is recognized and represented in the IFN. They might have organized something like a government, but that is a fiction. If we were to grant them recognition as a state, then any other criminal organization could make the same claims.”
Sandy Dancing asked, “Don’t you think that it would be better to recognize the Jade Empire and not allow the nations to have individual representation? After all, they will all vote the Jade Empire agenda.”
Jacques Descroix looked thoughtful, as if he was considering this issue for the first time. He had wrestled with it for a while. He had come to a decision although it was one that he wasn’t happy with.
He said, “While it pains me to say this, the occupied countries are recognized by the IFN. Denying them representation could have long term negative effects on them. When we manage to defeat Jade Force, they will no longer be under the control of an evil empire. That is when their representation in the IFN will be most necessary.”
“There are no governments in exile claiming to represent any of the nations that have been conquered by the Jade Empire. There do not appear to be any kind of revolutionary groups forming inside those countries. Wouldn’t that suggest the countries are finding rule by the Jade Empire acceptable?”
“No. The reason there are no revolutionary groups is because the people in those countries are so oppressed that no such groups stand a chance to develop. They bomb entire towns in which even a single individual tries to throw off the yoke of oppression.”
Sam said, “It appears that the gross national products of the countries in the Jade Empire that are located on Surprise are growing, even in a time of war. The standard of living is increasing. It doesn’t seem to be all that oppressive. Would like to comment on that?”
Jacques Descroix answered, “All I can say is that those numbers are being provided by the Jade Empire. We all know from experience that dictatorships, particularly oppressive ones, often inflate statistics to put themselves in the best light possible. I wouldn’t put too much credence on what the Jade Empire claims until we can independently verify them. I’m sure that we all know what the result of that would be.”
“Several countries have now tried to surrender and have discovered that the terms are outrageous. Do you have any comments about that?”
Jacques Descroix answered, “First, I am disappointed that a number of countries are trying to withdraw from the coalition. I find their lack of faith in our military leaders to be profoundly disappointing. Second, I’m not surprised that the Jade Empire makes unrealistic demands. They are a mercenary army and fight for money. Third, I think that we’ll see how the Jade Empire acts when we finally defeat it.”
“With what army?” Sandy Dancing asked.
“We are currently putting together a second army to deal with the Jade Empire. It will be larger than the previous army. Don’t forget that Venu is committing the majority of its forces to this war.”
“Don’t you mean that you’re putting together a third army or is it the fourth?” Sandy Dancing asked.
Another reporter asked, “Where will this new army be stationed? Venu has already said that it wouldn’t allow foreign armies on its soil.”
“We have several countries that are willing to host our forces while we prepare for an amphibious assault.”
Sandy Dancing said, “So you get this army together and go off to defeat the Jade Empire. What kinds of demands are you going to make upon their surrender?”
Jacques Descroix smiled condescendingly at Sandy Dancing. He said, “For the record, reparation demands are made upon nations and states that surrender. The Jade Empire is neither. The individuals claiming to be the leaders of the empire will be arrested and tried for crimes against humanity. I imagine that they will spend the rest of their days in jail.”
Sandy Dancing said, “I didn’t think of it that way. What will they demand of the IFN should they win?”
“Don’t be absurd. They’d have to defeat the whole world.”
Sandy Dancing said, “It looks to me like they are doing a pretty good job of doing exactly that.”
Jacques Descroix glared at Sandy Dancing. He was not amused.
Shield Pua turned the chair to face the door in the office of Red Lord Kami, overseer to Hamasada. She sat down tiredly. She adjusted her rifle so that the muzzle pointed towards the door, just in case someone came bursting in. She was a Shield, after all.
“You look tired.”
“I am tired. I’ve been running from one town to another convincing them that we meant no insult.”
“It seems to be working. The town watches are reporting tremendous improvements in relations with the towns. There have even been talk of a few marriages possibly taking place.”
“You should be pleased.”
Watching the door, Shield Pua said, “Fat lot of good it did. We’re facing an even bigger problem.”
“What problem? I’m not aware of any problems.”
“That’s because no one has been talking to as many of the tribal leaders as I have. The tribes are already feeling restless.”
Starting to get concerned, Lord Kami asked, “What do you mean?”
Patiently, Shield Pua said, “Look, these tribes are fighters. They have been for generations. If they aren’t fighting off invaders, they run raids against each other. These aren’t the kind of people who are going to sit in their towns singing songs of happiness about peace and love.
“They aren’t the kind of folks who join an army. Let’s face it, the army of Hamasada was pathetic. The soldiers of Hamasada have never defeated an invading army. It is always the tribes. They aren’t soldiers, they are fighters. So telling all of the young men to join the army isn’t going to work.”
“I hadn’t thought about that,” Lord Kami said. “You’re right. This could be a minor problem.”
“Minor problem? No. This could turn into a civil war as tribe fights tribe instead of fighting Jade Empire.”
“That would be real problem.”
“I have a solution. It’s kind of lame, but I think it might work in Hamasada and Ulamb, and Raspi. It should work in Venu and Joma once we’ve conquered them, as well.”
“We create an Ultra-light Infantry Corp made up of a number of individual raider groups. They’d be small, fast, and effective in executing raids on the enemy. Each tribe provides a raider group of its own. They would all wear a common uniform, but they’d have their own patches to identify them.
“The Corp would have almost no vertical structure. We’d have raider groups overseen by a Jade Warrior, most likely a Sword.”
“It could work.”
“Think about it this way. We have Gangin scouts. They’re the best scouts in the world. We’d have raider groups, fierce fighters for lightning fast operations. We have an army of soldiers, trained by Jade Warriors, to face armies and hold territory. Then we’d have Jade Warriors, the only warrior force in the world.”
“When you put it like that ... I’m really beginning to like that idea.”
“We construct a bunch of barracks built to hold ten to twenty people. One building per raiding group. We don’t manage who is assigned to it, we let the tribal leaders do that. The raider groups work under a contract with the Jade Empire so that we maintain some discipline over them. With the invasion of Venu looming on the horizon, they’ll have people sleeping on the roof.”
“I like that idea a lot.”
“I thought you might,” Shield Pua said.
“Let me talk to the Black Lords.”
“You might want to hang around. You may be going back to each of those towns.”
“Susanna is fine. She’s very happy. She’s living in a dorm with other orphans her age. She’s going to school and soaking up knowledge like a sponge. She’s even tutoring other kids on numbers.”
King Francis XII was seated on his throne surrounded by his advisers. He ran a pretty informal throne room on a daily basis. The throne room was more or less his living room and his advisers were all family members. Every adviser had his own chair, one that the adviser bought and brought in. It was quite an odd collection of chairs that included a recliner, a wing back chair, and three rocking chairs. He had an ottoman for his throne, but it wasn’t actually part of the throne proper.
Red Lord Sami walked into the room knowing that she was a little late for the daily briefing. He looked up her and said, “How’s our red lobster today?”
The first time she had returned from the Jade Citadel wearing her red armor, he had commented that she looked like a red lobster in misery. Despite the frosty look she had given him, the nickname had stuck. Of course, he was the only one who dared use it.
“Avoiding hot water,” Lord Sami answered earning a couple of chuckles.
“Let’s do the five minute briefing,” King Francis said.
He liked to have a quick summary of everything up front. He called that his five minute briefing. Then he’d pick one or two subject areas on which to devote the rest of the meeting.
“The currency is stable. Unemployment is constant at 1.5%. The GNP hasn’t wavered in three years now. Imports and exports unchanged.”
King Francis said, “Your reports are always so boring.”
“I think that’s a good thing, your Majesty. You don’t want volatility in the economy.”
“You’re probably right.”
“Danny’s company is coming home for leave. They’ll be here for three weeks before going to Raspi.”
“Are we going to have a ceremony for when they arrive?” King Francis asked.
“I was thinking we should have one. They did see a little action and we have medals to hand out.”
“Good. I enjoy those ceremonies. Anything else?”
“Schools are back in session. The Knowledge Olympics is coming up in two weeks. You might want to add it to your schedule. The kids really like it when you hand out the awards.”