-----December 18, 1932Approximately one month and a half ago, the unexpected alliance between the rival nations of Netilland and Twaryi launched a two front offensive on their mutual enemy of Ellowie. Though Ellowie had a history of fending off one nation at a time, pitting the two against one another diplomatically, this twin onslaught combined with the exhaustion of its repeated conflicts finally resulted in the eastern power’s downfall, and the expansion of the two belligerent states of Netilland and Twaryi. This upset has shaken up the power structure of the sovereign states of Sosalia, which had always accounted for the strong state of Ellowie from preventing the dominance of warlike Netilland or the Caelussian puppets of Twaryi, whom supposedly answer to an empire across the ocean rather than any will of its own people. These two temporary allies are now once again rivals, as they peer across their newly drawn borders at one another, preparing for a new war to determine who will consume the other. Whenever said war may come, for now, there is a shaky peace, as the two countries focus more upon consolidating their gains and quashing resistance rather than antagonizing one another, though standoffs and skirmishes still take place.As the continent is restructured, many parties are making efforts to ensure their interests come out on top. For this purpose, the Archduchy of Strossvald, a longtime regional rival of Netilland, has made a deal with what it sees as the lesser of two foes, and has sent military missions to Netilland in a gesture of goodwill, to aid in training their troops. This was an offer Netilland could hardly refuse; its military has undergone a massive increase in size as of recent, and only continues to swell; undoubtedly for its future conflict with Twaryi. Many of its troops are green, and it lacks in trained officers. With an unknown but assuredly small window of time to get its army in shape for the next war, Netilland is in no position to not accept even suspicious aid, so long as results are produced.One such military mission is headed by Lieutenant Richter Von Tracht and his companions. Secretly instructed by Strossvald’s Intelligence Office to do little more than “watch and wait,” in the meantime, they have done their duties as could be expected of them. However, after quite some time, it may have finally come about that they will not be acting so passively any longer…-----
-----Netillian Reduced Presence Zone R12, Southwestern Border Zone-----Damn it all. No escort, no transportation, not even an umbrella provided by command in this cloudburst, in the cold forest morning. It was winter, was it not? Yet it was pouring freezing rain. His dark green uniform was turned the hue of his black field cap from behind soaked through. This indignity, on a captain. Well, perhaps not a real captain. Captain Raley Kelwin had been appointed such after graduating from officer’s school, only a week before. He should have been a lieutenant second grade, but a double promotion had advanced his career greatly considering that he was only twenty years old (or membership in the Defense Party); at least, so he had thought. Yet here he was, walking to his assigned unit. Maybe Kelwin should have been more grateful, he thought to himself. This would have been happening anyways, probably. Ellowian front garrisons were as short staffed as anybody in the Netillian army these days, and he’d apparently come at a bad time. Fuel shortages or something paralyzing anything but operations deemed necessary; reserved for tanks and armored transports, in other words. Manpower was similarly spread thin, as was equipment. Kelwin hadn’t even been issued a gun, such was the predicament. The army was apparently buying up all the weapons it could, in addition to deploying captured Ellowian arms, and yet…well, better for the shortages to be for now, he supposed, rather when there was an actual hot war being fought.At the end of the path, through the mist, Kelwin finally spied a figure. A sentry? He approached eagerly. Even if it was an Ellowian insurgent, at least it was somebody. Better to be captured than to be shot from the trees. “Hello?” He called out, “Who are you?”The figure had already seemed to have noticed him before he even called out, and approached without responding. Kelwin could tell immediately that they were armed, but they seemed a bit small for a soldier…as they came closer, the reason for such became clear. It was a blonde woman, in a black, fancy looking uniform that he didn’t recognize. It didn’t help that it was being worn completely improperly; it was completely unbuttoned and the person’s midsection was exposed; weren’t they cold? An ugly, deep scar ran across what would otherwise be a rather girlish face, and she clutched a submachinegun that looked far meaner than the person carrying it.“The hell are you doing by yourself?” She demanded, and Kelwin was relieved that she spoke in a Strossvalder accent; the people he was to report to were from Strossvald. “Do you want to get killed by freedom fighters? Dumbass. Should have waited for somebody to get you. Shouldn’t have cared what whoever dumped you on the road said.”
“Well,” Kelwin hunched defensively, “The same could be said for you, you’re by yourself. I’m sure insurgents could find worse things to do to a young woman like yourself than me.”The blonde scoffed. “They know better than to try to mess with me.” Her eyes flicked to Kelwin’s rank bars on his epaulettes. “You must be Captain Kelwin, unless there’s any other officers that high up and newbie enough to slouch through the woods alone.”“I am,” Kelwn said, “I’m to report to a Von Tracht. Do you know him?”Did the blonde girl roll her eyes? “Yeah. I’m his retinue. Toon Boss...er, Sergeant Nowicki.”“Retinue?” Kelwin squinted. “What does that mean?”“It means you shut up and listen to what I say because my word is his. Usually. But don’t let anybody tell you different. Come on, you’ve got places to be and paperwork to do.” She muttered something about fucking paperwork under her breath as she turned and started walking.“I can’t say you were what I was expecting…” Kelwin pointed out.“What, that I’m a girl? Don’t get excited, it’s not normal. Von Tracht isn’t normal, I’m not normal. You’re sort of just stepping into a whole lot of not normal, really.”“…Well that, yes, but…” Kelwin wasn’t sure if it’d be rude or not to point out, “You’re a bit roughed up, aren’t you?”“Hah!” the woman laughed a sharp bark, “You think I’m bad, wait ‘til you see…nothin’, nevermind. Anyways. That’s not important. You know anything about the outfit you’re sitting in the chair of?”“The what?”“Your unit. The people I’m taking you to. C’mon. I know about them, obviously, but I wanna know what you know.”Oh, right.
>13th Guards Infantry Battalion “Brass Gauntlet”-Mechanized Infantry: Heavily equipped with both heavy weapons and armored transports; but not particularly large of a unit. Rowdy foot unit that is at least trained. Political officers ensure procurement priority but may be a pain in some situations.>Company is 3 platoons of 4 squads of 12, including vehicle crew. Ill-disciplined soldiers may cause fear but also resentment among local population if not well controlled; discipline of misbehaving soldiers in this unit is handled by political officers rather than commanding officers. Notable equipment are the Sturmwagen-2 Armored Assault Transports used by some mechanized infantry units; a new sort of vehicle proof against bullets and shell fragments made to both transport and fight alongside its infantry.>5th Combined Infantry Battalion “Midland Rangers”-Light Infantry: Numerous, decently equipped. Raised from militia and inexperienced but well-disciplined and receptive to authority. Assimilation Program Unit status allows use of local recruits and repatriated Ellowian soldiery.>Company is 4 platoons of 5 squads of 15. One of these platoons starts composed of Repatriated Ellowians; more squads or platoons may be granted as reinforcements over time separate from normal reinforcement.>22nd Penal Battalion “Broken Souls”-Penal Company: Talented and battle hardened, but ill-disciplined and poorly equipped. Bottom of priority for resupply and procurement, but never a shortage of experienced reinforcements.>Company is 4 platoons of 4 squads of 10. More squads or platoons may arrive to reinforce formation outside of normal procurement. Ill-disciplined soldiers may cause fear but also resentment among local population if not well controlled.>12th Armored Cavalry Battalion “Blue Knights”-Armored Cavalry: Smallest unit, mostly equipped with armored cars and tanks, assembled piecemeal from captured Ellowian materiel. A new and inexperienced formation, but one made up of people that shouldn’t give trouble.>Company is 3 platoons of 4 vehicles, whose crew range from 2 to 4, each with one squad of 7 infantrymen attached. Warning: Low numbers mean that control over assigned area will be very difficult to obtain without procuring aid or support of local population.The choice of company will be who Von Tracht will be accompanying for the duration of his mission to Netillian-occupied Ellowie. Each has their advantages and disadvantages. I'm sure you'll have many questions, and I'll answer what I can, but be patient for some things; it'll come in due time. A lot of time will be spent setting things up, after all. I would urge to select based off of what you think would be cool or neat rather than tactical expediency for this.
Past Threads are collected here: https://pastebin.com/UagT0hnhTwitter for announcements and various horseshit is @scheissfunkerWelcome back to Richter town, everybody.
>>3407669>>12th Armored Cavalry Battalion “Blue Knights”-Armored Cavalry: Smallest unit, mostly equipped with armored cars and tanks, assembled piecemeal from captured Ellowian materiel. A new and inexperienced formation, but one made up of people that shouldn’t give trouble.>>Company is 3 platoons of 4 vehicles, whose crew range from 2 to 4, each with one squad of 7 infantrymen attached. Warning: Low numbers mean that control over assigned area will be very difficult to obtain without procuring aid or support of local population.Seems the most reasonable since we're tankers. What do we know about training infantrymen?Also good to be back.
>>3407669>>5th Combined Infantry Battalion “Midland Rangers”-Light Infantry: Numerous, decently equipped. Raised from militia and inexperienced but well-disciplined and receptive to authority. Assimilation Program Unit status allows use of local recruits and repatriated Ellowian soldiery.>>Company is 4 platoons of 5 squads of 15. One of these platoons starts composed of Repatriated Ellowians; more squads or platoons may be granted as reinforcements over time separate from normal reinforcement.
>>3407669>5th Combined Infantry Battalion “Midland Rangers”-Light InfantryAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA WE'RE BACK AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA
>>3407669>>5th Combined Infantry Battalion “Midland Rangers”-Light Infantry: Numerous, decently equipped. Raised from militia and inexperienced but well-disciplined and receptive to authority. Assimilation Program Unit status allows use of local recruits and repatriated Ellowian soldiery.Glad you’re back!
.>22nd Penal Battalion “Broken Souls”-Penal CompanyPenal unit sounds fun as hell.Glad to be back tonking.
Write time.>>3407699Armored Cav. Because we prefer our company to be angular and metallic.>>3407793Malcontents and miscreants! What could go wrong?>>3407710>>3407716>>3407719Diversity hires unit. Hiring local has its perks, after all.Seems it's the 5th Combined Infantry Battalion for you lot, then. Writing.Mech elites just not worth dealing with the commissariat, hm? Hopefully you can keep them out of your business...
We back boys.
“I’m with the Fifth Combined Infantry Battalion, er, first company.” Kelwin answered the woman; Kelwin wasn’t a tall man by any means, but this woman was quite short- he wasn’t sure whether to be amused or intimidated. “They’re part of something called the Assimilation Program. There’s Ellowian recruits and former soldiers wrapped up in the formation, and eventually, they’ll be turned over to High Protector Wladysaw XI’s Gendarmes. Otherwise, it’s a normal light infantry battalion otherwise, as far as I know.”The girl squinted at him. “…So tell me, I never hear it straight, ain’t the guy supposed to be King Wladysaw XI? Not that I care. No king of mine, and from what I hear, not the king of anything.”“I have only heard of him as High Protector under the Military Council.” Kelwin confessed, “I don’t think the Generals mind what he calls himself. As far as I’ve heard, he is the royal heir, but the throne was dismantled…some time ago.”“Huh.” Sergeant Nowicki turned her nose up. “Good for him, I guess. C’mon. Let’s get going. This rain sucks and I want to get out of it.” She started leading Kelwin along. “Hey, y’know what happened to the last guy? Last captain of this company, at least.”“I don’t. Did something bad happen to him?”“Yeah.” The girl smiled a malicious, pearly grin as she turned to look at him, “He pissed off the Ellowians too much, and they caught him alone. They cut off his hands and burned him alive in a barrel.”Kelwin felt himself go pale in spite of himself. “…Really?”“Pffhehehe,” the girl laughed, “Fuck no. I’m screwing with you. He went off the path and tumbled over a tripwire mine.” She continued on, at a quicker pace. “Watch your step.”-----
The first couple of weeks in occupied Ellowie had been mind-numbing chaos. Endless briefings, introductions, assignments, and piles upon piles of paperwork you were perfectly trained for and capable of filling out, but had grown comfortable in not needing to in your extraordinary circumstances earlier in the year. After that, though, things had settled down enough to relax a bit, though the situation was still a complex snow flurry such that you were thankful you had subordinates to delegate thinking power to. The Netillian Army, as it turned out, was so short on trained officers that your role as “advisor” included properly commanding and training troops, and the unit you had been assigned was as green as could be, technically not even done undergoing training but shipped off to the front regardless, for what it was. The Ellowians had been defeated (supposedly; you’d heard quite a significant portion of their armed forces managed to escape into Sosaldt), and besides rare insurgent activity and misunderstandings with Twaryians on occasion, there had been a shortage of danger to be distracted by. Each day had faded into a series of chores, exercises, and automatic routine, like you had returned to basic training, only occasionally broken up by the odd raid or call for reinforcement in watching over the locals. However, you’d heard that that would be changing soon enough; as matters settled, the Ellowians were quickly finding out that their new overlords had plans for them that they were far from approving of. More on that later, though. Much more; the political situation was…interesting. Both for Netilland itself and this occupied territory.Spare time was spent with your crews, your officers; you’d finally begun to learn the names of those who inhabited the other tanks under your subordinate officers, relatively few as they were. They had always been there, but circumstances had always been such that it was simpler to identify them by their commanding officer as though each tank were a single organism and each crewman was but an arm of leg. Time was also spent instructing your scarred markswoman, Hilda, on how to read and write in New Nauk. It had come to be time you slightly dreaded; Hilda would do her best, but seemed distracted by her attraction to you; attraction you never tried to dissuade, and perhaps made worse through that, but when you looked at her wounds, the darkness of her presence-burns, and the dying light in her eyes that you’d come to learn was ever present sadness, what could you do but take pity upon her?
Hilda had grown violently ill as of late; you’d taken her to a doctor and been informed that, while hardly healthy, she was merely going through morning sickness. It had been a possibility for some time, and Hilda had never told you, but the doctor confirmed that Hilda was indeed pregnant. You didn’t know how to feel about this. Emma, a wisp that had become a rather constant, if moody companion, never failed to lash out at you concerning Hilda; it had become the only reason she would even appear before you, as she refused to take up smaller requests.“I’m not some errand boy or your dumb minion!” She snapped after you’d asked her to observe some of the Netillian NCOs of the units you were minding. “Go stalk them yourself!” She’d floated away in a huff. Being a spirit, there was hardly anything you could do to punish her, besides maybe shutting her in a can- at least, for a time. This land was different, very different, and was practically crawling with spirits, especially during the night time; Emma herself was beginning to change, and at present, you found to your dread that she no longer fit in the can like she used to…she was relegated to being shut indoors, where you thought, she might be less affected by the ambient Presence swirling about. Why was Ellowie such a place of spiritual power? You didn’t know, and hadn’t sought the answers to why. You merely assumed that, like Salzbrucke, it was because it had undergone a period of suffering and death. Or perhaps the country was just in a funny place. You had been attached to a light infantry unit; though hardly your forte, as mentioned before, Netilland was demanding and not picky, so you had assumed command, helping new officers who were often as old as you were or only a bit older to learn the ropes and hopefully turn into something approaching a competent commander. Were you a competent enough commander to teach them, you wondered. Maybe, maybe not, either way, it wasn’t like that was your true mission here. As far as the Netillians were concerned, though, you were there to help, so appearances must needs be catered to. Your tank platoon itself was treated more as a quick reaction force than the spearhead you were used to. With fuel carefully rationed, the preferred method of transport was bicycle or foot, though you did have a staff car on call for if you needed to make a visit to a place further off. Even with the lack of activity, though, the tanks had been through a wringer over the past month and a half. They weren’t tanks you were used to; they were captured Valsten prototypes, and when something broke down, the solution was often creative. You were frankly shocked they still could be made to work at all, but as was said, necessity was the mother of invention.
>Current Tank Platoon status: 3 crews, 5 tanks>Tank Motor Pool->X-01: Twin 20mm armed support tank>X-11: 80mm howitzer armed support tank>X-12: 50mm armed tank>X-21: 50mm armed tank>X-22: 50mm armed tankThey were deemed the X series, mostly due to lack of other names for them. As far as you had been told, they were unique vehicles, for better or worse; that had let you have some say in how they were armed.The X-01 was currently broken down. It had an unusual shape among the tanks, oddly round from what appeared to be from cast armor. That had little to do with its inner workings, but its armament meant that it was often specifically requested for; it had an intimidating effect on protesting crowds in the local Transition Center…ah, the Transition centers.The Transition Centers- Ubergangszentrum (UGZ) were, for lack of a better term, slum cities. One of Netilland’s many lofty plans was to settle their people in Ellowian lands to get it both productive and stable in a shorter amount of time. However, the profitable land often had the trouble of having people living on it. Similarly, Ellowian vagrants were rounded up and tossed into the UGZs. They weren’t too terrible to live in, from what you saw, but even a disinterested party would hear of the frequent shortages of food and supplies, and the abuses of the garrisons watching over the UGZs. The UGZ local to you was UGZ-09, unofficially known as Ackersdol. It wasn’t actually near to you, which was a good thing, but it was the official UGZ to the sector, which meant that you had had to go there more than you liked. Which was more than once.The UGZs were also where more than a few of the Ellowian volunteers in the unit you were watching over had come from. The 5th Combined Infantry Battalion, dubbed the “Midland Rangers”- a romantic name, and the soldiers had enough heart to be pleasant to be around, though they were new to war, but thankfully, were just as eager to learn. One of the four platoons in the company was made up of Ellowians- you had nothing personal against Ellowians, Strossvald had always had an interest in Ellowie’s well-being, since they did a fantastic job of distracting Netilland until recently. However, they and the Netillians were frequently abrasive towards one another. The most concerning event had been a pair of murders of Netillian troopers in the company, whose culprit had never been found, but was all but certainly, according to rumor, one of “those Ellowians.” At least they weren’t as much a headache as you had heard of the Penal troopers being. That, and Ellowians in the unit made the locals at least a little more trusting of you; quite the boon when one of the primary enemies were insurgents. These designs are a bit outdated, but I'm not quite done with the models yet- thus these are subject to change, but are mostly as they actually are.
So many issues, so many upcoming events. So much to think about, even though ever since coming back from Sosaldt, you felt that your mind wasn't...all there. Like something had slowed down inside. Your instincts, your reflexes, they had all...faded, somehow. You were still putting together problems in your head when Anya burst into your office tent with a Netillian officer in tow; a short, meek looking man, in spite of the status his shoulder boards hinted at.“This is the latest fresh meat,” your blonde, cutface tomboy retinue pushed him forward, “Captain Kelwin.”The officer, in spite of outranking you, seemed to know the present situation- that you were all but his superior, in spite of rank difference, and he held out a hand to shake, though he didn’t salute. You peered at the hand, then at him.Then at Anya’s stomach. In spite of having obtained a uniform; a special one for Retinues, a black jacket and pants with knee high boots and a spiffy cap, Anya brazenly wore her jacket open, exposing her midriff. When you had complained that she was out of uniform, she sneered at you that you were lucky she was following the dress codes as closely as she was already.Though maybe you liked it better this way. Kelwin coughed politely, and you looked back at him.>Take his hand and shake it. It’s a pleasure to be working with you. (Even if you are a Netillian brute.)>You haven’t known this man near long enough to be his friend. Salute instead.>Tell Kelwin to get lost. He can have Von Metzeler show him around.>Other?
>>3408033>>Take his hand and shake it. It’s a pleasure to be working with you. (Even if you are a Netillian brute.)
>>3407625I hate the new tank. But I'm glad it's back in time for Christmas.
>>3408033>You haven’t known this man near long enough to be his friend. Salute instead.He's not a cute girl guys.
Well sweet shit i didn't mean to fall on the ground and die.>>3408040>>3408067>>3408073>>3408090Well howdy, partner!>>3408116Ew cootiesWriting finally. I'll try and make up for lost time from sudden onset comas.>>3408093They're all pretty ugly but there's set to be no shortage of potential alternatives in appropriated gear land
>>3408494>They're all pretty ugly but there's set to be no shortage of potential alternatives in appropriated gear landRear turrets look better on heavy tanks desu.
>>3408500Maybe we could string some garlands on them and paint colorful murals on the hulls to make them look better?
>>3408512Pls don't bully, this is a safe space. >>3408494Maybe hate is harsh but still this is NTRing M-32 chan.
What are we doing about Hilda guys? We shouldn't be sending a pregnant woman into combat even if it is this early.
Kelwin’s hand was gripped firmly and shaken; it was funny to think about how readily you were doing this, really. It wasn’t very long ago that Netillians were thought of as more likely an enemy than not; they were warlike simpletons, controlled by tyrants that had made a mockery of a system that claimed to be an instrument of liberty for its people; a “republic” ruled by a Military Council of generals, with no claims in blood nor antiquity or anything save for spiteful greed for power. Yet when somebody smiled so earnestly and reached out as if to make a friend rather than to meet a superior…perhaps you couldn’t help but feel pleased that somebody was doing this in such a genuine fashion. It wasn’t as if anybody had treated you like in the academy.“A pleasure to be working with you,” you said to Kelwin, who seemed incredibly relieved that you had responded favorably to his gesture, “I am Lieutenant…Coordinator Richter Von Tracht.”“I have heard of you,” Kelwin continued holding onto your hand. “You have some reputation, believe it or not. In the south word has spread of the rogue officer who laid Todesfelsen low.”“Yeah, alright,” Anya interjected, “That was a team effort, I’ll have you know.”What Anya said was certainly true, but having your ego stroked was pleasurable as could be expected. Especially since lately…with the inglorious nature of your work (and Anya putting you on your ass in training every morning) as well as your odd flagging in both talent and nerve, you hadn’t been feeling very good about yourself. Perhaps you shouldn’t have been pleased about being referred to as a rogue, but technically, your trial for desertion had been merely put on hold rather than resolved. The Archduchy’s Intelligence Office cared little about your current legal status, and Netilland didn’t care at all- hell, if you were actually part of Netilland’s army as a native, you would probably find yourself dragged out of the Dissident camps anyways for how badly leadership was needed in their swelling army.“Of course it was,” Kelwin spoke defensively of his praise, “But…well, you don’t really hear of the other names on the grapevine.”“All of the people under my direct command here participated in that battle,” you shared with Kelwin. “I will introduce you to them, if you like. The firebrand next to you is Miss Anya Nowicki.”“Sergeant.” Anya corrected.
“She is my Retinue, who by my authority and that of the Archduke carries the influence of a non-commissioned officer.” It also meant that the state was responsible for Anya’s salary; a good thing, too, because she was a stickler about actually getting money; as she continued to claim, she was a mercenary, after all. “…Thus, if she requests you call her Sergeant, she has the power to demand such.” You had no similar obligation. You stood up, finally wrenching your hand free of Kelwin’s eager grip, “I will introduce you to my second in command, Lieutenant Von Metzeler, and my subordinate officer, Junior Lieutenant Krause. As for the officers of your unit themselves, I will leave such to First Sergeant Tiedtchien.”First Sergeant Tiedtchien was a former penal soldier who had made his way back to his original unit, this one, after having won a pardon from being wounded in the war that resulted in Ellowie’s current occupation. He was a man who was like a sharp stone whose edges had been ground down by tumbling in the sands of a river for years, hard yet smooth as pearl. You wouldn’t have called him particularly bright, but he was experienced and did not hesitate to follow commands, even if the ideas he took his own initiative on were oft simplistic and predictable.“If it’s all the same,” Anya said, her eyes following you as you walked around your desk, “I’m going to go take a walk.”What Anya referred to was facetious; what she actually was doing when she “took walks” was meet with a local insurgency group that she had managed to charm. A group of militant war orphans, that she must have seen a bit of herself in. She had, as she described after meeting them and impressing them, “kept from dying like retarded idiots.” Maybe it had been because of her brusque nature, maybe it was because her name and blood was Ellowian (even if she had been born and raised in Sosaldt), maybe it was because, in her own way, she was…it discomforted you to think about it.
>>3408561>Petty moralityHilda is so autistic she will probably try and and keep fighting no matter what Richter says, like she's done since forever. I guess if it comes to bullets flying we order her to stay back though.
Eventually, in your time here, you had to admit to yourself that something about Anya had caught your special attention. Was she attractive? In your mind, well, yes, but that alone wasn’t that special, especially since her face had been hacked in half. Yet even that was interesting. Anya certainly teased you enough about being distracted by her midsection, but really, you had eventually decided, there was just something fulfilling in having a rival. Competition that inspired you, that drove you, especially in these times after the crusade to Sosaldt that had left your head feeling empty, with memories and instinct fleeing your head in ways that you couldn’t understand. Or maybe you just missed your fiancée and projected her onto petite women, but Anya and Maddalyn were as different as night and day.“You’re spacing out.” Anya pointed out. As far as you knew, she wasn’t nearly as distracted by you, though you did wonder why she lingered around you; it surely wasn’t just the money. Then, what?>I changed my mind. Captain Kelwin, I’ll have Lieutenant Von Metzeler show you around. I need to take a walk, too. (Visit the locals)>Sorry. Come, Captain. Let’s show you around. (Meet with officers)>Actually, we should loosen up a little. Celebrate your arrival, make you feel welcome in this strange new land. (Go to Netillian Colony town)>Other concerns/questions?There’s a lot to process, so this is to sort of space things out. At this point, though, you can start freely asking questions; Richter knows plenty about what’s going on, after all, and it wouldn’t be fair for you to be in the dark about anything he knows, since, technically, you ARE him. By proxy.>>3408561This sort of question is indeed worth asking! Though she's currently out at the moment, so if you want to meet with her, it'll have to be later.
>>3408564>Not wanting a pregnant woman and her child to die in combat is a 'petty morality'Only in PCQ folks. It's why she's burned and pregnant in the first place.She'll follow our orders (note that this means our direct orders and not through some intermediary) so yeah we should probably not have her fight. >>3408565>Sorry. Come, Captain. Let’s show you around. (Meet with officers)
>>3408565>>Sorry. Come, Captain. Let’s show you around. (Meet with officers)
>>3408565>>Sorry. Come, Captain. Let’s show you around. (Meet with officers)>>3408568Hildas aren't people, pal.
>>3408568>>3408573>>3408606Talking with your officers.Writing now.
>>3408568Don’t tell me you arnt at least a little interested to see Hilda go full The Boss.
>>3408565>>Sorry. Come, Captain. Let’s show you around. (Meet with officers)>Pls exposit on the threat posted by Ellowian resistance fighters or insurgents in the area
>>3408565how long have we been in nettiland training dudesalso how do nettilander uniforms look
“Sorry.” You apologized furtively, “Come, Captain. Let’s show you around.” You took Kelwin out of your office tent; it was the heart of the company command camp, but it was an empty, lonesome place, since in spite of your increased responsibilities you weren’t actually allocated aides. Thusly Anya had been delegated paperwork, much to her chagrin. It wasn’t as if there was anybody else to serve that purpose; Hilda still lacked the literacy let alone reading level to be helpful with clerical duties, so Anya’s surprisingly good education worked against her. You’d never seen a more hateful expression on the scarred blonde’s face than when she had to pore over reports and inventories; you knew she was probably more comfortable in a tank (especially given her small size, she was actually very well suited to such), but what were you going to do, make Krause do all the paperwork? Heaven forbid you do it all yourself. Maybe you could dump it off on Kelwin. The last Captain wouldn’t hear of it…“She seems rather abrasive.” Kelwin said when you were out of the tent and Anya had gone her separate way. “Do you have history?”“To say the least.” Your first meeting with Anya had ended with punching her in the face. She had laughed at that. Now she routinely beat the stuffing out of you in her efforts to train you to be better at close quarters combat; something you were shamefully inept at, but her tutelage had resulted in some progress, you figured.>Melee/CQC stat has increased from 1 to 2“She has a Strossvalder accent.” Kelwin pointed out. “But an Ellowian name.”“She was raised by a Strossvalder, I think.” You weren’t sure how old Anya was when she had been adopted by your uncle. She indicated that she might have been ten or eleven, but she didn’t actually know. That she didn’t know her age disturbed you somewhat, though it was understandable given where she was born and raised. “She’s from Sosaldt.”“Ah.” Kelwin nodded to himself, “That explains much.”“Doesn’t it?” Yet not nearly enough.“My oldest brother ran off to Sosaldt when the Military Council took power.” Kelwin shared, “Haven’t heard from him since.”“I’ve never met anybody who shared your name there, I’m afraid.” You preempted the young Captain.Kelwin chuckled morosely. “Oh, nah, you wouldn’t have met him, I bet. I was just saying. He’s probably been dead for years.” You kept on walking. “If I may ask, what made you go rogue?”“A woman.” Krause had told you that that was a cool sounding thing to say. ”A midget.” Anya had corrected immediately after the first time you’d said it, but she wasn’t here to flip this retelling on its head.“She must have been something.”
“…Yeah.” You hadn’t corresponded with your fiancée at all; you’d been distracted, and the Netillians weren’t willing to send any mail from you; intelligence concerns, they cited. Maybe you hadn’t been trying enough, yet, no mail had come for you either… “There. That’s Lieutenant Von Metzeler.” You pointed to the tall and broad man who was your second in command. You had retained your goggles and scarf from Sosaldt, and similarly, Rondo Von Metzeler had retained his checkered kerchief. All of the platoon had left that place changed, and they carried mementos of such.Von Metzeler wasn’t happy with this assignment. He had made no secret between the two of you that he despised Netilland, he very much disliked being the “iron gauntlet to oppress the vanquished,” and he thought Netillian policy decisions he had caught wind of were utterly unjust, and thus revolting.You had asked him then if he would rather not be here, then.“I have a debt to your person, Von Tracht.” Von Metzeler had said then, stiffly as ever. “That debt is twofold that Junior Lieutenant Krause still lives. I have a debt to you, and a debt to Lady Von Blum to keep you well in your hour of most dire need. No matter how ugly I find this place and its rulers, I shall endure until my debts are paid.”Rather overdramatic, you thought, but then, Von Metzeler seemed a fan of such.When you approached with Kelwin, Von Metzeler was waving some of his crew of; from snippets of conversation, they had invited their superior to get breakfast from the company kitchen (Von Metzeler got along much better with his crew than most nobility did, notably; perhaps better than you did your own), but the Lieutenant had noticed you approaching and pointed them off, before standing to face you and Captain Kelwin with his arms behind his back.“Coordinator Von Tracht.” Von Metzeler saluted to you. The gesture was returned. “Lieutenant Von Metzeler. This is the company’s replacement commander, Captain Kelwin.” Captain Kelwin saluted.Von Metzeler narrowed his eyes at the Netillian, but saluted as well. “May you fare better than your predecessor.”“What a thing to say to the man!” you heard Junior Lieutenant Krause call over; all of you turned your heads to see the mustachioed, short and lean officer traipse over with his hands in his pockets, slightly bent over, a cigarette still glowing in his mouth. You wouldn’t have called yourself roguish, but time spent with Krause had taught you that the Junior Lieutenant would have reveled in the descriptor. He had a knack for circumventing requisition troubles…though only for things he felt like.
Anya, for example, desperately wanted a new Netillian weapon she had borne witness to, called a Munitions Caster. It was something like a small, handheld mortar; or rather, a grenade launcher, often employed in riot suppression, you’d heard, as an effective delivery system of tear gas. The new military variant was based off of earlier designed, and had a larger payload, as well as a heftier kick, but they were also for special issue only. If you wanted to get Anya a gift, you knew what she wanted most, but good luck getting one of those with the unit you were with. Maybe if you had more political connections…or if Krause could be motivated to give a damn about getting things that weren’t wine and cigarettes.“Hello, new captain,” Krause bowed, then remembered what he was and saluted instead. “I am Junior Lieutenant Frederick Krause, the lowliest officer of Von Tracht’s fine platoon. What is your name?”“Oh.” Kelwin brightened after having been cowed by Von Metzeler’s glowering, “I’m Raley. Raley Kelwin.”“Captain Kelwin.” Von Metzeler corrected. “…Eh.”“Welcome to the Border Gap, Captain Raley Kelwin,” Krause leaned back and swept an arm over the horizon, “The only strip of land where the locals are friendly, the quartermasters generous, and the people across the border always happy to see you. I’m kidding, of course. The Ellowians hate you, even the ones in this unit, Requisition is an pain in the ass, and that’s just to avoid upsetting the Twaryians down south who hate both our guts and the Ellowians too no matter what we do. They also like coming over to this side of the border anyways. I don’t know why we bother, really.”“The…Border Gap?” Kelwin asked.“The Reduced Presence Zone.” You explained.From the new border between Netilland and Twaryi, part of the peace treaty stipulations declared the establishment of a Reduced Military Presence Zone extending fifteen kilometers from the border into both country’s occupied territories; out of the bombardment range of most medium sized artillery pieces. Within what had been called the Border Gap, there was a cap set upon how many troops may be deployed and how many supplies enter the area. This supposedly appeased the Twaryians- yet it also made the Border Gap a favorite place for insurgencies to gather to both gain strength and avoid detection.That said, in spite of stories you’d heard elsewhere, insurgents had been laying low around your sector. Maybe it was because Anya was in contact with a group of them, or maybe it was because your unit had Ellowians in it, so you weren’t a priority target. You had participated in raids, sure, but that was in helping other units. Your actual designated territory was frightfully peaceful, though only a fool would go out alone and unarmed.You explained the last part to Kelwin and, oddly, he frowned at that.“…It sounds too good to be true.”
“Which means it probably is,” Von Metzeler said, “You are still a Netillian and the people here Ellowian. If you forget you are surrounded by enemies then you had best be prepared to be reminded, swiftly.”“Urp.” The captain was once again intimidated, but what Von Metzeler said was true- the Ellowians had plenty of reasons to be upset, and perhaps the only distraction from such was the Twaryians.“It’s only understandable,” you shared your thoughts, “After all, considering the history between Ellowie and its neighbors-““Stop.” Von Metzeler cut you off. He looked to Kelwin. “I will make a very long story short for Von Tracht. The Ellowians served the First Kaiser, Alexander, when he made his conquest of Sosalia, in return for their autonomy within the new Reich. Surely you know how this has affected their reputation with their neighbors. This is exponentially moreso for the Twaryians, and yet, the Netillians appear to not be being any more merciful.”“I am in no place to criticize strategic decisions,” Kelwin muttered, “…Is there a Kommissariat officer assigned to this unit?”“No.” Von Metzeler said simply. “They are unnerved by Ellowian volunteers. Political appointees are easy to intimidate if you are a man who would not blink to cut them down in spite and lose nothing.”“One visits every week or so to check up anyways.” Krause told him, “He’s an ass clown. Thankfully, he can’t do anything to us unless he wants to mess with the archduchy. Though maybe you keep on your toes.”“I would rather not my friends and family be further harassed by the Anti-Sedition Department,” Kelwin said morosely, “Do understand.”“Of course.” You looked to Von Metzeler…then on further consideration, looked to Krause. “Will you take Kelwin to the First Sergeant so he can be properly acquainted with his actual unit?” Krause saluted and did so, leaving you and Von Metzeler by yourselves. “You have not eaten breakfast yet?”Von Metzeler nodded. “I will join my men in short order. I trust you will so the same with yours?”>Sure. They’re certainly never impartial to bacon and biscuits. (Anything you want to discuss/catch up with our crew?)>I’m afraid not. I have to go find Hilda. She’s been out for longer than I’d like.>I’m going to visit the Ellowian platoon, actually. I need to talk to Lieutenant Wielzci and make sure Kelwin doesn’t accidentally trip over a landmine. (Anything you’d like to bring up with the Ellowians, as well?)>Other?
>>3408729>>Sure. They’re certainly never impartial to bacon and biscuits.
>>3408700>how long have we been in netilland training dudesJust over a month and a week or so.>also how do netillander uniforms lookGray green tunics with darker trousers and black hats/helmets. I'll have a uniform reference out...I want to say tomorrow.Speaking of which, I am done writing for now, will resume at 3PM EST tomorrow.
>>3408729>I’m afraid not. I have to go find Hilda. She’s been out for longer than I’d like.
>>3408729>>Sure. They’re certainly never impartial to bacon and biscuits.Bring the crew their breakfast like good housewife we are. Ask what the buzz around the place is like from a boot on the ground's perspective. See if they don't have any complaints we can chase up while we've got the weight to throw aroundhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LrAJX9ntk4g.
>>3408729>>I’m afraid not. I have to go find Hilda. She’s been out for longer than I’d like.
>>3408669This isn't Metal Gear nor is Hilda strong like the Boss. That kind of situation would get her and the people around her killed.
>>3408729>Sure. They’re certainly never impartial to bacon and biscuits. (Anything you want to discuss/catch up with our crew?)How are they getting along with the men of the battalion?
>>3408727Is it just me, or has Krause's demeanor changed?>>3408729>Sure. They’re certainly never impartial to bacon and biscuits.
>>3408729>Sure. They’re certainly never impartial to bacon and biscuits. (Anything you want to discuss/catch up with our crew?)Should we tell them we haven’t been feeling well in case it gets worse, or do we maintain an illusion of lordly resilience?
>”A midget.” Anya had corrected immediately after the first time you’d said itAnya is like two inches taller. >Von Metzeler wasn’t happy with this assignment. He had made no secret between the two of you that he despised NetillandThe MC we should have been, but didn't deserve to be. >>3408729>I’m going to visit the Ellowian platoon, actually. I need to talk to Lieutenant Wielzci and make sure Kelwin doesn’t accidentally trip over a landmine.Oh well, I doubt this will make any kind of dark horse race to the finish line, but we should tell them that Kelwin is a young goi who probably dindu nuffin to no one. Of course that should be put in a more Richter way, like telling them Kelwin's life story and the recent history of Netilland informing them how young and inexperienced he is, in the nonthreatening way, not the toothless way.
>3PM ESTOr 5 PM EST, as it goes, I guess. What's the difference. Feh.Anyways.>>3408736>>3408794>>3408803>>3408923>>3409036Crew time.>>3408905>>3408759Hilda>>3409939"Volunteers"Writin'.>>3409036>Is it just me, or has Krause's demeanor changed?Perhaps. A brush with death helps one loosen up some.>Anya is like two inches taller.Two inches taller than a midget!Anyways, this is what a typical Netillian infantryman looks like, armed with a Grunsen Model 1905- which is a copy of the last generation Reich rifle; a single, egg shaped grenade would likely be clipped on wherever it could fit. This uniform, helmet, and weapon is standard for the "old model" army, which is currently undergoing reform; the 5th Combined Infantry is equipped to this standard. Units higher on rearming priority will have such differences as having the new model helmet; a more oblong shaped helm, a camouflage pattern uniform, and potentially one of many new weapons that Netilland is buying up in droves to equip their growing swarm of troops.For a large part, though, "old reliable" here is the standard of the Netillian Army.
>>3410077Does anyone still have uniforms that are vibrant bright gay blue like the French in WWI?
>>3410077Just to check, we're effectively the battalion commander right? Unless we've delegated it to some Netillian like we did in Sosaldt.
>>3410089It's more a dull blue, but Strossvald actually had blue uniforms. However, that's only for the infantry; tankers wear greys and blacks.As do Noble Retinue, shown here. However, this particular one would never actually be wearing it like shown here.>>3410157Company commander. Technically, Captain Kelwin is the actual company commander, but you get to boss him around since he's too new to know much and your (stated) purpose is to be an "advisor."
“I will.” You told Von Metzeler. “They’ve never been impartial to bacon and biscuits, and neither have I.” Said bacon was so incredibly wet and greasy most of the time that the biscuit was needed to clean up after it, but in spite of the ingredient quality the kitchens hadn’t failed to provide; but some variety more often would have been sorely appreciated.“Then I will see you there.”-----Your crew had been haplessly brought along on this mission; not that they had objected. As they were typically riding around inside of a tank in an environment where there was little if any anti-tank weaponry or heavy explosives being used by the enemy, perhaps they thought themselves to be little at risk. However, the environment hadn’t agreed with all of them. In particular, your driver, Malachi, caught more than his fair share of flak from the Netillians. Apparently, they didn’t think much of “mossheads,” and their government felt the same way about them, considering them suspicious. You’d heard tell that it wouldn’t have been unusual for him to be questioned, but any attempt at official harassment of your mountain man driver had been blocked by you. It was true that he seemed suspicious to most, given that he hid his face at all times, and on top of that, clutches of vagrants passed to and fro throughout Ellowie, largely consisting of green haired wanderers. The Netillian Army considered them suspicious, naturally, but stopped short of detaining any without proper reason- were it that they knew what you did, what they were really up to, because it certainly had to do with Soulbinders- “Wizard Bullshit” as Hans had dubbed it. Once, you had forebodingly felt the telltale tingle of a soulbinder being nearby, but neither they nor their Oblitares enemies cared to drag people they thought unrelated to their conflict into said shadow war. Something you were immensely grateful for- and another reason to keep Emma inside. You dreaded the day that they or your less sorcerous allies came to bother you.Less on Soulbinders and their ilk, though, and more on your men.Hans had become much more muted than he used to be, when it came to chasing skirts. You bed that Stein’s sister had more than a bit to do with that; your radio operator and gunner still clashed over that meeting. Stein’s sister, called Smitty by her comrades, had apparently not seen it as necessary to catch up with him as much as he would have liked. No matter how many times Hans reassured him that Smitty was “a bit wrong in the head,” Stein never accepted it. They hadn’t come to blows quite yet- unlike the other members of the crew and the Netillians.
Netillians disliked Yaegirs as much as Mountainfolk, and the first time a passing Netillian recognized Jorgen’s accent and called him a tree-fucker, a brawl had broken out, and your crews and the Netillian’s squad ended up beating the hell out of each other before the officers nearby broke it up. That had thankfully not been repeated, but both Jorgen and Malachi had suffered from discrimination by the Netillians where possible; which elevated them in the eyes of the Ellowians, of course.It had made Malachi sullen, though. He spoke far less, and instead substituted his jabbering speech with gesture and grunt. You didn’t think it was because he feared the Netillians or felt any need to fit in; the way he sighed and slumped just made it seem like he was tired and didn’t think the hassle worth it. Jorgen didn’t do anything like the same, but it only made sense, really- Yaegirs were well known for being a combative and aggressive sort of men, so that he was constantly spoiling for a fight was to be expected. Maybe that Malachi withdrew was indicative of his own blood, but who knew? Most green haired folk you met didn’t have their speech so corrupted with what Maddalyn had once described as “the ancient tongue.”You found your crew in its totality by the tanks, which Hans had oh so cleverly dubbed “Ugly,” “Uglier,” and “Ugliest,” rather than by their decided titles. Though you weren’t about to disagree; Valsten’s armor design seemed to ever trend towards vehicles that lacked aesthetic quality. Or maybe you missed your M/32 enough that nostalgia for it lowered all other tanks. “So what’s new,” you asked them after rounding all your crew up and leading them towards the mess, which was in the camp directly adjacent from yours; the platoons that made up the company inhabited camps that ringed the command center, but the company mess was refreshingly close by. “Do I have to go apologize to another Lieutenant whose non-commissioned officer crossed the wrong man?”“Pfeh,” Jorgen protested, “Ayet lest eh dedn’t paet won tween ennyies.”Jorgen was referring to a time Anya had been caught alone at night by a penal soldier while the company was helping make the rounds in the UGZ. He had intended to sleep with her, forcibly. Anya had disagreed, and she never went anywhere unarmed. Nobody bothered Anya after that. She hadn’t thought much of shooting a man in the head and leaving him to rot, but when you were expecting grief from the penal battalion’s commanding officer, he hadn’t minded either. What unfortunate men the penal units must have had.“Nobody else got beaten up, boss,” Hans said, “Though Stein’s ripe to go nuts if he sees anymore ghosts.”“Everybody can see them but you,” Stein snapped back, “See? There’s one hiding in the shadows there. They’re all over the damn place here.”
Stein referred to a Hungry Darkness spirit that was creeping in the small shadow of a tent, its glowing white eyes peeping out at you from the crack between the tent and the ground. It would have been very startling to anybody unfamiliar with such, but Hungry Darkness were, as far as you knew, utterly harmless for how spooky they looked. However, it was currently daytime. The spirits seemed to settle down when the sun was out; it was when it set that things became spectacularly strange.The nights were extremely strange in Ellowie, and not for a reason you’d think most would even be cognizant of. As the skies darkened, small, pale lights rose from the ground and formed bands of stars below the clouds, streaming off towards the mountains in ascending streams. The forms of the individual lights varied, like strange combinations of floating seed and snowflake crystal. Sometimes, among the flow there would be a strange, ethereal ribbon-like creature that slithered about in the sky like a dragon, sometimes two, and they would be at least as large as a twin engine bomber in length. Small phenomena would occur while the sun had risen, as well, often during cloudy and dim days where the pale light of spirits would be easier to see. Without Maddalyn to tell you what they were, nor any soulbinders visiting or accompanying to give their take, nor any mysterious folk of the mountains that were sociable (Besides Malachi, but speaking on complex subjects with him was still impossible), the best you could do was either ignore the apparitions, or consult with whatever mystics lingered about from time to time, whose explanations were varied and conflicting. You knew you weren’t the only one who could see them, but your people avoided speaking of the spirits openly, with the Netillians nearby. When you were isolated from the easterners, though, there was discussion; though little of it was productive. Most had concluded that it would be for the best to try and ignore it; for their own safety, even, as you advised.Except for Stein, who was as openly superstitious as ever, though his talk was much more popular with the Ellowians than the Netillians. You’d heard the Twaryians were on Stein’s level of fear and respect concerning common apparitions, but they spoke Caelussian instead of New Nauk, and the few you had been around only had angry glares to share.When you got to the mess tent, you had the crew sit while you got them their shares of breakfast. Most officers wouldn’t do this- but you weren’t most officers. A few short words were exchanged with Von Metzeler as they did the same. Krause didn’t pick up for his men, but Krause was also not a noble; it wasn’t a matter of class for him.
“So tell me,” you said as you sat back down, having passed out the greasy plates of dense, chewy biscuits and glistening pork strips, “I have a different view of the situation right now. I’d appreciate if you gave me your general opinion on matters.”“Well,” Hans shared first, “I appreciate you gettin’ us this stuff, though I’d have liked breakfast in bed.”“Byetis skweekytoi’d lek bryekfusen bed,” Jorgen sniggered.“Heh heh,” Hans smirked at that, “Yeah, I bet she’d like a nice big sausage from boss, eh? Heh heh.” The table all found this quite funny save for you. “Lighten up, boss,” Hans made a fake pout at you. “Jorgen and Malachi keep complaining that you didn’t bring any cute girls with you for this one.”“Hrmph.” Malachi grunted defensively. “Neh.”“I don’t see what this has to do with my question.” You were still sullen.“Indulge us, boss.” Hans said. “If we go all business we might turn into you and the world don’t need more of that.”“I’m not all business.”“Yeah, getting beaten up by scarface isn’t business,” Stein said, joining in on dogpiling you. “Nor is reading letters with…scar everything..?”“Elbows.” Jorgen corrected.“I’m not calling her that.” Stein said back. “Honestly, commander, the ghosts…well, there’s other people seeing them, and they don’t know what’s up. They’re thinking of all calling in sick, but they’re saying their officers are telling them to just cool off. I sort of wish your squeaky toy was here to help with that.”You’d have appreciated it if Maddalyn ceased being referred to as a squeaky toy. It was true that her voice was high pitched and indeed squeaky when she got excited, but…
“That sounds concerning,” you agreed, “But I don’t really know what I could do about that other than do what their officers are already saying, and try to ignore it. As far as I know, all these spirits are benign.”“Actually had an idea for that, boss,” Hans leaned forward, looking at you beyond Malachi, “We’ve heard there’s a bit of a social goin’ on soon, close to here, at the Railhead. Heard it being passed around the officers.”You knew what was being referred to; had even been invited. “What about it?”“Ask your boss for a favor. Have your honey flown in so you can take her to the party.”The boss that Hans was referring to was…well, your actual boss. A mystery woman from the Intelligence Office- you had met her before, in Valsten, just before going on the Sosaldt operation. She was a towering woman, with long dark hair, a fair face with eyes ever hidden by sunglasses, taller than you and preferring to stand even taller on heeled shoes. You reported to her every so often, and in spite of your successes, she never failed to act disappointed in you.You preferred to not meet with this odd woman, whose name you didn’t know. She was only ever referred to as the Major- you didn’t think the Intelligence Office followed military rank, so you supposed she used the name for some other reason. Von Metzeler also met with her, you knew; she thought more of him than she did of you, but Von Metzeler also did not hesitate to share that she was strict, stern, and little interested in anything save business, rumor, and opportunity.She also may have not fond of men, judging by the copy of Opal you’d spied lying under a stack of papers in her hideout-hotel room in the railhead city called Kamienisty, though you knew she flitted about elsewhere as well.. Not that you’d presume.>Why not? You were planning on attending anyways, and it was poor form to go unescorted to such matters unless you were looking to pick up one while there…>No. You had decided Maddalyn would stay home for good reason, and socials were silly affairs.>You already had plans on who you were taking to said social. Platonically. Best not to bother the Major about this. [Who?]>Other? (Other topics of conversation, for example?)
>>3410340>>Why not? You were planning on attending anyways, and it was poor form to go unescorted to such matters unless you were looking to pick up one while there…
>>3410340>>Why not? You were planning on attending anyways, and it was poor form to go unescorted to such matters unless you were looking to pick up one while there…I think we kinda need someone who knows their magic around for this that we can trust (cough cough not Poltergeist)
>>3410340>You already had plans on who you were taking to said social. Platonically. Best not to bother the Major about this. [Who?]Anya is an Ellowien, isn't she?
>>3410430Ethnically, yes. At least, she has a surname like she is. Then again, it's not like she was born in Ellowie or particularly considers herself such.
>>3410438Would they even accept her at a social? How uptight are Netillians about class even if they don't have aristocrats?
>>3410448>Would they even accept her at a social? Such is not their choice. That, and the social itself is said to include Ellowians anyways; "helpful" ones, that is. >How uptight are Netillians about class even if they don't have aristocrats?It's more a matter of military rank filling in for aristocracy, here. They indeed do not have near the aristocratic traditions of Strossvald, but one could readily conclude that the military class, given their rise to power, wouldn't be unhappy with instating one again.
>>3410333>Elbows>Squeaky ToyBanter Commander resumes>>3410340>Why not? You were planning on attending anyways, and it was poor form to go unescorted to such matters unless you were looking to pick up one while there…Hope Maddy still enjoys plane rides.
>>3410340>>You already had plans on who you were taking to said social. Platonically. Best not to bother the Major about this. [Who?]>Anya will be required to join us as one of her official duties. Unless she'd prefer more paperwork...
>>3410340>You already had plans on who you were taking to said social. Platonically. Best not to bother the Major about this. [Who?]Anya, in the hopes that it will lead to Richter being bullied.
>>3410340>You already had plans on who you were taking to said social. Platonically. Best not to bother the Major about this. [Who?]Anya
Hm.>>3410342>>3410363>>3410469Arch-Womanlet delivery>>3410684>>3410676>>3410503>>3410430Tomboy, under threat of having to play secretary in your absence.Writing, then.
In Blumsburgh, the events of near two months past, where armed militia and soldiers prowled the countryside in contest for the future of the state, had been long forgotten, that concern replaced by the short lived Valsten War, then that by distant news of shifts in other parts of the world, as Strossvald and her subjects settled into peace just in time for Langenachtfest to appear on the horizon. With December came winter chill, and as the people in the city below donned long coats and scarves, worries long gone and entirely replaced with excitement for the coming holiday with decorative tinsel and lights crisscrossing the streets and stores, the Von Blum manor loomed over, its majestic figure coated in a light crust of frost. Within this manor, the only members of the family who lingered within were the third and fourth born daughters, the last children of Lord Barnabas Von Blum. Maddalyn Von Blum’s study was a dim and sparsely decorated room, with one wall completely covered in dusty books, all very old and written in languages none spoke, and another lined with wooden desks covered with notes and odd devices, as well as a pair of cages with white mice residing within that chewed idly at their home’s wires. An empty chair by the tomes was what remained of the old sage who used to reside here, who had been moved to another place, and another chair like it was where the small, pale, and thin daughter of the Von Blums pored over books she’d read many times, yet continued to search through regardless, looking for answers to questions that she hadn’t considered before. The room protected against the winter outside quite well, but in spite of that Maddalyn felt terribly cold. She’d taken to wearing a blanket about herself all day and night, though the difference between the two little mattered because of her blindness; light or dark, she still saw through an eye possessed by spirits. Its twin floated in a glass jar, covered in cloth to hide the macabre contents; for the sake of the servants, not Maddalyn, as her vision could not penetrate the glass anyways. Cut out nearly a month past, the (apparently blue) eye no longer saw, and Maddalyn merely preserved it for the purpose of experimenting on. Where it once sat there now was a glass eye, which did not deign to swivel in place and stare unnervingly as whomever came close. There was little she could do with it even then; it was practically a curiosity, a nasty eye that refused to die or corrode because of the work of the little spirits who called it home.
She could have gotten rid of it, but she hesitated to. When it had been initially lost, Maddalyn thought it gone forever, just like she had thought her old life gone forever, yet her husband to be, Richter Von Tracht, had come for her when she expected to be abandoned, again. He had kept her eye and returned it to her, fully expecting the damage to be reparable. It wasn’t, but Maddalyn hadn’t the heart to tell him, and to cast away the eye would be to spit on his efforts, it felt like. Maddalyn’s fiancé was a confusing man, and a person who had been unwittingly distracting his wife to be when she tried to study and experiment. He kept her awake when she tried to sleep, and a surrogate for him in her bed had been found in the form of a long and large pillow, but said furnishing lacked the capacity to squeeze Maddalyn back when she embraced it. For all that she missed his presence and his clumsy displays of affection, she was equally frustrated by his other aspects. She would mutter angrily into pillow Richter that he was difficult to understand, demanded answers as to why he had sat in a wretched courthouse wasting time for the sake of honor she cared little about, instead of coming home with her and marrying her before he left. Why had he come for her at all, why did he shower her with kindnesses, only to not tell her a single reason he could feel anything for her? Just like the person it was standing in for, the pillow had no answers.The silence on such matters was what terrified Maddalyn the most. Her and Richter’s marriage had been arranged, certainly, and she hadn’t expected much from it, but she had fallen in love anyways. She loved that she was precious to somebody again, that there was somebody who cared enough to come and save her, to risk life and status to come and get her back. There was no feeling quite as warm and comforting as holding Richter in her heart…yet nothing so soul freezing as the thought, “What if I have no such place in his?”Maddalyn was small, scrawny, pale, weak, and as of late rather gaunt from not eating properly. Blind as she was, she had no idea if she was attractive, or how she compared to other women, but she knew that she was an inferior specimen of a female, was confident of such. There was nothing that scared her more than thinking about the women that she knew Richter was friendly with; none of them were weak as her, blind like her, nor as cowardly or selfish. “What do you think,” She idly asked a mouse as she held it in her hand, observing the effects of her experimentation upon its presence, “Am I at least prettier than Anya?”The mouse responded by biting her hard on her finger. Maddalyn cringed with pain, and almost dropped the thing, then it bit her again and freed itself. Even animals hated her, Maddalyn thought as she held her bloodied hand, how incredibly reassuring.
The next day, she was reading a book on the philosophy of presence; soulbinders were intentionally vague even when discussing their craft even in books meant to be only shared with one another, on top of presence itself being a force that lacked consistency or logic, it made reading these books rather laborious, especially when intrusive thoughts wormed their way into spaces between her reading.That idiot republican girl was so confident in requesting his time. She was some commoner in a country that is a garbage pit, how can I not share her certainty?Maddalyn started over from the top of the page, and only made it a few lines down.Hilda is so feminine. She’s tall, strong, and her breasts are so big. I felt like a child when next to her. If she and Richter had children, they’d probably be tall and strong too. Could I be a mother to anybody like that?The book was being ignored now. Maddalyn merely stared emptily at the faded, blood scribed text. She hated Anya so much. That woman made her blood boil and her breath short just thinking about her, but it wasn’t because of how she had been mistreated by the scruffy mercenary. Anya was strong, aggressive, a warrior, and when Maddalyn had asked Richter what sort of woman he would have pursued if his marriage hadn’t been arranged, he had described Anya almost exactly.The words on the page turned illegible, ideas wouldn’t form in Maddalyn’s head, and she almost threw the book away in frustration, were it not for how irreplaceable it was. She tried to go take a walk in the garden to calm down, to be consoled by the nutty scent of winterbloom bushes, but the weakness in her legs only made her feel pitiful. Anya is a mercenary. I remember her being muscular, and tough. I wish she would die. Richter likes to talk about battles and weapons, she probably likes those things too. He talks about such things to me and I feel like he’s speaking another language... Maddalyn could speak and understand four languages, and could read another that was hardly spoken by anybody. New Nauk, Old Nauk, Emrean, Caelussian, and the Ancient Script of the Mountains. Yet she did not understand a word of the language of battle and war.When Maddalyn returned to her room, she stood in the center and looked up at the ceiling for a long time. She couldn’t talk with Richter about the sky, the land, or anything pretty. She couldn’t talk to him about the things he liked. She could fulfill his curiosity on forbidden arts and spirits…but when were those ever pleasant subjects of conversation? I hate Anya. Or do I just hate myself?
“You’re always grabbing my butt,” she complained to her pillow later, as she lay in bed. “Is it really that nice?” She reached behind her and ran her hand over her hindquarters, “Is it enough to make up for everything else?”She was awakened later by a knock at the door.“Lady Maddalyn?” the voice of a female servant called out, “I’ve brought breakfast. I’ll leave it by the door.”Maddalyn wasn’t hungry, but she got up to get the food anyways, setting it on the tea table by her study chair before returning to bed and squeezing the pillow that had been by her side.“You didn’t want to marry me when we came back,” she criticized the pillow, “Do you feel any different now? I can’t write you any letters, and I haven’t received any from you, either. Ever since we met we’ve been apart longer than we’ve been together. For all I know you’ve run off with Anya. Why wouldn’t you? She’s better than me. What even am I to you? You won’t tell me what you even like about me, what am I supposed to think? That you like me for my blood? Because you’re just supposed to? What?” She squeezed the pillow like she wanted to crush it to death, and she only realized as she felt a wet spot on the pillow against her face that tears were running down her cheeks. The innocent bundle of stuffing was shown some mercy as Maddalyn sniffled, “I’m sorry. It’s horrible of me to think you’re that sort of man. I should be thankful I have anybody at all, but…” She closed her eyes and buried her face in the cloth, “…I just don’t see why anybody would choose me.”Sunlight warmed the curtains. “Lady Maddalyn? Are you there?” the voice of a different servant, “Your tea is here.”Maddalyn was still in bed. She hadn’t eaten a bite of her breakfast, but tea time was probably a decent time to finally get to work. She felt hollow inside, and she read words off of the pages of her books, but they failed to stick. She would read a chapter, and realize with a start that she hardly remembered any of it. Don’t you know why you’re even doing this? She asked herself, It’s so that you even have a hope at having a future with him! Get your head out of the clouds! Then again…did it really matter? Richter hadn’t come back to marry her. He’d agreed with her rather ridiculous condition that they not consummate their marriage even after the ceremony would make it official. Was it possible that she was, as usual, going about this the wrong way?
What if Richter didn’t actually care about what Maddalyn was trying so hard to figure out? She stepped over to the mice in their cages, checked on them, their progress, the differences between the varying experiments and test groups. All were about as conclusive in current results as a path at the start of a thick wood. Fruitless as the research was turning out, her mind went to other subjects. What did Richter want of her, she wondered. Maybe she should learn more about the subjects he was interested in? If she could do anything, it was study. Though…her blindness left most texts inaccessible to her. There were books made for the blind, but not many, as she learned with dismay from a servant sent out to search, that dealt with military history in any depth. What, then?Her thoughts returned to Anya, unpleasant as that was. She was physically fit, a fighter, and Maddalyn couldn’t recall the woman showing an ounce of fear, even when defeated. She pitifully remembered back in Sosaldt; she had been wounded, and had been so afraid after that she had almost been unable to help one of her husband’s friends, comrades. After that battle, she had retired to the rear lines, while Richter had gone on ahead to fight more in the city. Violent, brutal fighting that it was entirely likely for her husband to be wounded in, yet she hadn’t fought to remain with him. Coward. Weakling. No wonder she had been left behind again.Maybe Maddalyn could at least do that; get stronger. Be less of a stick insect, she thought as she squeezed her bicep; it was like wrapping her hand around a stick. How hard could it be? Her resolve had swelled as she dressed herself and went downstairs; a few brisk walks should be a good start, but when she found herself breathing hard at the bottom of the steps, her legs somewhat strained, she found herself losing faith. What if she was too weak to even start? Her pace slowed, crawled, then finally stopped, as she stood in front of the door outside, and lost herself in thought. “Maddy, what is it?” Damn it all, Maddalyn thought, as she knew immediately who was speaking to her from the voice that sounding like she was talking to herself. Her sister, Mathilda, who looked identical to her, sounded just like her, was nearly impossible to distinguish from her, from what she had heard, except from their personalities. “Were you thinking of crawling out of your hole today, or have the servants finally deigned to throw the cockroach out of this house?”Maddalyn said nothing, hoped that her sister would leave her alone. She wasn’t in the mood for this. She bit her lip and stared straight ahead. Ever since…that thing had happened, years ago, Mathilda would torment her whenever she could, and Maddalyn could never bring herself to resist. She did deserve it, after all.
“Oh, but you know I’m merely playing around,” Mathilda cooed, stepping up beside Maddalyn, then in front. Maddalyn couldn’t tell exactly what she was wearing, but Mathilda never failed to dress herself fashionably. “We can go and shop for clothes, does that sound nice? Perhaps a bridesmaid’s dress for when your fiancée marries? Baby clothes for your husband’s son?”“Shut up.” Maddalyn heard herself say, quietly.“Hm? Excuse me?” Mathilda leaned in closer, “Would you mind saying that more clearly, or did you not actually say anything, like usual?”“You will not speak of my Richter in that way you just did,” Maddalyn’s voice raised, “I won’t tolerate such slander.”“Oh, my,” Mathilda put her chest out and crossed her arms, sounding as smug as ever, “I’m ever so sorry for implying that your dear husband would rather sow his seed among common slatterns than ever touch you. To even-“Maddalyn lashed out with her hand and slapped her sister across the face.“You…did you strike me?” Mathilda said in shock, slowly raising a hand to her cheek. Maddalyn swept out again and slapped her sister once more. “You whore!” She shrieked, and she tore forward and tackled Maddalyn to the ground, yanking on Maddalyn’s hair and striking her in the face with a closed fist, over and over again. Maddalyn could hardly tell what was happening as blows continued to rain down on her and she wildly clawed out at whatever she could, kicking and screaming, grabbing her sister’s head and slamming it into the floor. Her advantage was only there for a moment before her younger sister overpowered her again and leaned her knee into Maddalyn’s stomach.“Lady Mathilda! What are you doing!?” a servant shouted and came running, dragging Mathilda off of Maddalyn; she kicked Maddalyn savagely with a heeled foot as she was taken up, a few more servants coming running to attend to the elder of the two sisters, but not before Mathilda spat on Maddalyn’s prone form. “Lady Mathilda, calm yourself! Your hands….they’re bleeding black!”“Are you alright, milady?” A servant helped Maddalyn sit up. Maddalyn hurt all over, she felt dizzy, but somewhere inside her, she felt a spark of pleasure as she saw Mathilda check herself over, apparently discover a distressing tear in her clothes, and storm back upstairs. A moment to feel some small pride for before she staggered to her feet and started for the door.
Actual update will be soon, by the way. Just a glimpse back west.
>>3410861Unless she is training those rats to carry shaped charges onto enemy tanks, I don’t think I like whatever is going on here.
“I already had plans for said social,” you stated, “A more local volunteer that I won’t have to force through the Major in order to get here. Miss Nowicki will be escorting me to this social. Platonically.” She hadn’t wanted to go, but you had threatened her with paperwork; that was enough for her to relent…but you had a sneaking suspicion that that had meant you two would now be at war. You dreaded Anya’s opening strike from the moment she didn’t object to be fitted for a dress. You would have thought that the absolute last thing Anya would ever wear would be a dress…hence your incredible suspicion of what could be going on.Your crew stared at you.“You’re a glutton for punishment, huh, Commander.” Stein said blankly.“I am not.”“We’ve all seen how your shrimp crawls all over you, boss,” Hans backed up Stein, “But you’d rather take along the thing that beats the stuffing out of you? I’m half certain to say you like getting pummeled.”“Pardiyenbadtem,” Malachi muttered, “Reddiceut. No feyht.”“I’m sure it won’t be a bad time.” You said to Malachi.“No, esed it’s en behd tem,” Jorgen fixed your interpretation, “Ef ehwere Ellowian, eh’d see thes theng’n gettastiff.”That hadn’t been a possibility you had considered. If you brought Maddalyn to a place where she could be the subject of an insurgent attack… “…See? My choice has some logic behind it.”“Saying you couldn’t protect her?” Hans poked.A memory of a battle in Sosaldt. When Krause’s tank had been struck by a shell, and tore away his leg. Maddalyn was in your tank; she had the ability to save your rapidly exsanguinating officer. You would have to escort her through the battle, but she would be fine. It was only a short run…A crack, the sight of Maddalyn recoiling, the blood on her chest and the fear in her eyes as she realized she’d been shot. Remembering it made you feel sick. Further thinking on it, she had gotten lucky; not been shot in a place where it could have killed her quickly. A small change in how the shooter was holding their gun, and suddenly, the scenario was different. A bullet to the throat, a vision of watching the fear in Maddalyn’s eyes fade as death came to take her, unable to scream or beg as blood filled the back of her mouth…You pursed your lips and said nothing.
“…Boss?” Hans blinked at you. He hadn’t been in your tank when Maddalyn had been shot. It was a foggy memory to him. You didn’t blame him for forgetting.“It’s easier this way.” You said more curtly than you thought you wanted to. “Talk about something else.”“…Well, uh,” Stein picked back up again, “Didn’t we have a mission today? Something for us personally?”You nodded, and dabbed at bacon grease with the edge of a biscuit. “Yes. One of the colony town mayors wanted us to investigate supplies going missing. And a disappearance. The one called New Jorgenstohn.” That town had been the butt of more than a few jokes among you because of the name of its namesake’s founder, coincidentally shared with the loader of your tank crew.The colony towns were another prickly political issue of the new Ellowie under Netilland. Netilland was ever known for overpopulation; this problem, while a useful reserve of manpower, ironically was an economic strain. So the colony towns were a useful way to both pacify the newly conquered land and spread out the untenable poor to turn a profit. Such colony towns were also the target of the greatest amount of spite by insurgents, especially here in the Border Gap where there were simply not enough resources to guard them; yet there were always more colonists arriving by train, by foot, even those who didn’t come with official approval were still welcomed by the occupiers as new citizenry. High Protector Wladyaw XI, the Ellowian appointee puppet ruler over the new territories, was of course more accepting of these colonists than he was of his own people. Especially since the Ellowians held no love for the royal bloodline of their past monarchs.“Bossman,” Malachi suddenly quipped, “Tellbout Vladkeng.”“You son of a bitch-“ Hans cut in, but you were gladly about to share the tale.
-----Ellowie weathered the rise of the Grossreich and Kaiser Alexander by making a diplomatically efficient move; after the Kaiser had subjugated what would be known as Strossvald, and Valsten, when he cast his eyes further east, the then King Wladysaw IV of Ellowie extended an offer of alliance. The Kaiser responded with a demand of subservience. This was not the end of negotiations, however, and a final decision was made that Ellowie would maintain relative independence in spite of being a dominion of the Reich, they would also provide significant assistance in their conquests. This did not endear the Ellowians to the Twaryians when primarily Ellowian armies supported by the Reich swept down to overwhelm them in the name of the Reich; they had already been regional rivals, but this act would cement poor relations to this day.In spite of maintaining their independence, such came at cost beyond merely aiding in war. Heavy taxes were levied on the subject state, so that the plunder from the conquered Twaryian states often went indirectly to the Reich. Taxes continued to stay high until the Archduchy rebelled; as the Reich’s hold on Sosalia crumbled, King Wladysaw VII declared Ellowie’s independence, in the process withdrawing its troops from costly occupation of Twaryi, and Ellowie was once more independent. However, resentment against the Reich, and by extension its monarch puppets, had grown in the years in subjugation. The past two kings had both been assassinated by anti-Reich cells, so in a move to maintain stability and preserve his life, King Wladysaw VII abdicated from the throne and passed all authority to the Electorate of the People, transforming the state from a Constitutional Monarchy to a Republic. The realm left behind was far from prosperous. Ellowie did not lack for mineral resources but its status in the Reich meant that it was ironically taxed more heavily than any of the conquered lands; this combined with the expense of occupying Twaryi meant that the Ellowian Confederated States were practically destitute after formation. Even worse, with the formation of Netilland and the militancy of the Twaryians even after the latter were officially recognized by Ellowie, meant that the country was immediately under threat. However, the first war between the new Twaryi and Ellowie was a crushing defeat for the Twaryians. To call it a war, even, would be facetious, as it was decided within two weeks at a single battle, as even though the Twaryians had no shortage of spirit and willing volunteers, their leadership had little military experience while Ellowie’s armies were hardened and their officers were well trained as well as having had the chance to test their knowledge plenty before this war. So thoroughly was the Twaryian attempt at invasion crushed that her neighbors took note, buying Ellowie valuable time to get back on its feet.-----
“The best part is that you should already have known this.” You nodded to yourself, “To know the local history and the relationships of the people is vital in a successful resolution to their conflicts.”“I don’t see what that had to do with the mission,” Stein complained.“Why, everything,” you played at sounding sagely, “The Ellowians have ever been surrounded by enemies. It’s good information to know.”“Well, what do you think, then?” Stein asked you, “Since we’re about to look into something that, I’d put money on it, was perpetrated by Ellowians. What do you think of them?”>They were the Kaiser’s dogs. They understood the consequences going forward, I believe, and now time has come to reap them. They have my pity, but this was the only way their story could have ended.>You couldn’t help but be fascinated by their martial history. Much like you were by the Reich’s, really. They were a valiant people, never bested by a singular opponent; how could you have anything but respect for them?>Their history was in the past. The injustices facing them were in the present. You had nothing but sympathy for their plight.>Was what you thought truly important? You were not here to save Ellowie or glorify Netilland. You were here to serve the Archduchy.>Other?>>3411027It's just magic, surely it's nothing. What could she possibly be up to that would be bad?
>>3411085>You couldn’t help but be fascinated by their martial history. Much like you were by the Reich’s, really. They were a valiant people, never bested by a singular opponent; how could you have anything but respect for them?>Their history was in the past. The injustices facing them were in the present. You had nothing but sympathy for their plight.Also>Other: The monarchs of the past are the ones who brought this fate on Ellowie. Not her people. >What could she possibly be up to that would be bad?Cursing Anya with von Tracht luck.
>>3411085>You couldn’t help but be fascinated by their martial history. Much like you were by the Reich’s, really. They were a valiant people, never bested by a singular opponent; how could you have anything but respect for them?>Their history was in the past. The injustices facing them were in the present. You had nothing but sympathy for their plight.Ellowieaboo ENGAGED
>>3411085>You couldn’t help but be fascinated by their martial history. Much like you were by the Reich’s, really. They were a valiant people, never bested by a singular opponent; how could you have anything but respect for them?>Was what you thought truly important? You were not here to save Ellowie or glorify Netilland. You were here to serve the Archduchy.
>>3411085>>You couldn’t help but be fascinated by their martial history. Much like you were by the Reich’s, really. They were a valiant people, never bested by a singular opponent; how could you have anything but respect for them?>>Was what you thought truly important? You were not here to save Ellowie or glorify Netilland. You were here to serve the Archduchy.>>Other?
>>3411085>>Was what you thought truly important? You were not here to save Ellowie or glorify Netilland. You were here to serve the Archduchy.
>>3411103>>3411105>>3411175>>3411244Martial history! They're strong!>>3411103>>3411105Then was then and now is now.>>3411175>>3411244>>3411251You're not here for your own bias; you're here to do a job.Also, it's the king's fault, but don't let the King, I mean, High Protector, hear that sort of talk.Writing then,
“I admit that I’m fascinated with Ellowie’s martial history,” you said, “They fended off both Netilland and Twaryi, repeatedly, up until now. They have ever been known as skilled at warfare.” Their pilots in particular were the pride of the country- much of the air force had also managed to escape the fall, with what elements had gotten away. Netilland liked to say that only fragments had escaped, but you got the feeling that they weren’t telling the whole truth there. “I have nothing but respect for Ellowie and its people. However. We aren’t here to serve my bias, be it for Ellowie or its conquerors. Our interests are with the Archduke and Strossvald.”“Hm.” Stein frowned, “I figure we should help people here if they need it, don’t you?”“I’m not saying to not help people. Just that we don’t lost sight of why we’re here.” You interjected, “Besides, we’re going to set out and help some Netillian colonists today. It’s important to not have a particular bias in solving a mystery like this, don’t you think?”Von Metzeler had shared that tidbit with you some time back when handling another case of unknown identity in the Border Gap. However, that was an ongoing case; Von Metzeler felt he had gotten close to catching the culprit of a gruesome set of murders, but he had been officially and sternly requested to stop by Komissariat officers. Something told you that it was a personal ambition of Von Metzeler’s to become a detective, but his capacity to investigate that particular happening had been hindered since; not that you expected that that had stopped him from trying further anyways.
Idle talk took up the rest of the meal, for what was left of it. You were taking your crew along here not for assistance in deduction; it was for them to do their job as tank crewmen. The primary suspects in the happenings around New Jorgenstohn were thought to be Ellowian insurgents; a show of force in the form of the deployment of at least one tank was thought, then, to be prudent; especially since a swift counterattack or raid would be expected once the culprits were either found out or decided upon. That left what you would take besides that. New Jorgenstohn had, as was required by Colonial law, a militia, poorly equipped and unsuited for fighting as they were, they were at least a basic deterrent. The reason your company was stationed nearby was to handle problems that were not dissuaded by the presence of a weak band of volunteer watchmen, though really, you could bully the mayor into lending them to you anyways.>A squad of Netillian light infantrymen; you hardly expected some large band to be behind this. Whoever it was, there probably weren’t that many of them.>A squad of Ellowian infantrymen. You expected locals, and perhaps, when you were directed towards Ellowians, they would be more willing to work with their own kind.>Another one of your officers, and their tank. [Who?]>Your tank by itself would be fine. More than like you wouldn’t find enough to go on right away, even if appearing unready for a scuffle might harm their confidence…>Other?Each infantry squad is fifteen men, armed with rifles and a single light machine gun team for each squad. You can easily take more than one squad, though naturally, both in this and in any operations moving forward, you shouldn't depopulate your main base too much, leaving it vulnerable.
>>3411353>>A squad of Netillian light infantrymen; you hardly expected some large band to be behind this. Whoever it was, there probably weren’t that many of them.
>>3411353>A squad of Netillian light infantrymen; you hardly expected some large band to be behind this. Whoever it was, there probably weren’t that many of them.Ellowian collaborators would be probably hated even more.
>>3411361>>3411370>>3411388>>3411477What better to investigate a town of Netillians than to come with Netillians? Never fear, the Midland Rangers are here! Hopefully that's encouraging to these immigrants.Writing.
You decided that a single squad of Netillian infantrymen would be capable enough aid. The Midland Rangers, as they called themselves, were inexperienced, but they were certainly eager. They were trained, but unblooded, and the insurgency hadn’t been near brutal enough to cool the spirits of most. All you really had to do to get a group thusly was walk into the camp of first platoon and ask Lieutenant Borscholm to give you a volunteer squad leader. Such was found within seconds, and in no time at all, a column of Netillian riflemen were marching steadily behind the X-12 as it rolled forward, though to one side of the road to avoid splattering mud; with the rain, there was no presence of typical clouds of dust. The captured Valsten prototypes were surprisingly quiet tanks; to the point where from your position of hanging out the top of it, you could hear talk between the light infantrymen about where they were going, what they thought of the assignment as it had been described of them- what chance those foolish Ellowian criminals could think they had. Already there was a presumption that Ellowians were behind it, and why not, after all? The afflicted town was a Netillian colony, well despised by Ellowians, and thus the likelihood that it was native insurgents was all but unquestioned. Who else could it be? That, you supposed, was the question you had to answer when you arrived at the town.-----New Jorgenstohn was a small town, population, 121, the last you were informed. Migrants tended to be spread throughout the colony towns- though usually, they were escorted by troops. Or at least, were supposed to be. The replacement commanding officer of your company hadn’t received any accompaniment, after all, so there was a stark difference between what there was supposed to be and what actually was. Many colony towns, you’d heard, were Ellowian towns and villages that had had all their former inhabitants evicted, but New Jorgenstohn was a new construction; you had watched the place go from a few frames to a sleepy town, whose main economy was based on a shiny new lumber mill, meant to process trees coming from the logging towns to the west, near the denser forests. Beyond that, there were other features which capitalized upon the local military population; the typical appeals of taverns.
Absent were brothels; you’d heard of military supported brothels that benefited from good security and medical checks pro bono, but the “Recreation Units” were a case of there being too much demand and too little supply, so for all the Military Council’s efforts towards stamping out venereal disease among its soldiery, the place to go in their long absences, you’d heard, were the UGZs, where apparently one could “sleep with a girl and her mother for ten pfennings and a slice of bread.” You rather hoped that that wasn’t true, and weren’t interested in finding out; asking Lieutenant Wielzci of the Company Ellowian Platoon about the UGZ had caused him to become rather incensed, and you guessed, for good reason.The townspeople appeared rather relieved by your appearance and your train of soldiers; had they been wearing the grey-striped helms of the Ellowian repatriates, you wagered, they would not have been so glad. The sheriff and a pair of clueless looking militia who formed the core of the town constabulary were ready to meet you in front of their office, the sheriff with a sheathe of notes on whatever clues he thought were valuable- whether they actually were or not, as they included testimonies that were potentially…well. Best to go through it all before making a judgment.A courier driver claiming they were held up on the road by a pair of gunmen. The warehouse said courier worked for noting that an entire back lot of canned goods had gone missing through what appeared to be a gaping hole in the back of the building. An Ellowian slogan painted hastily on the wall of said warehouse, fuel for the mill’s generator having dried up long, long before it was supposed to, indicating somebody had siphoned quite a bit of fuel from the tank. All of these thefts, however, were nothing compared to the disappearing of the mayor’s eighteen year old daughter. This had been accompanied with a note proclaiming responsibility for the deed- by what claimed to be a local insurgent militia called the Risen. Said note also claimed responsibility for all the other deeds, and challenged the reader of the note to find them and stop them, while also doubting the reader’s ability to do so.“Have they sent any demand?” you asked after reading the note in question, “Done anything further?”
The sheriff shook his head. “I’m afraid not, Mister Von Tracht. Since they ran off with somebody, though, people’re afraid. It’ll set ‘em in the right head if you can find ‘em. If not that, then havin’ some of your people guarding the town. The constables’re afraid of the Ellowians too, see…”“Uh huh.” You looked back at the proclamation note. It appeared to be on rather fine paper, written with ink in shoddy handwriting. Was this enough to go on, you wondered. If need be, you could certainly roll up wherever you liked and demand that you be allowed to make an investigation, but there seemed so little to go on…The witness testimonies for the disappearance, though. Apparently, multiple people had reported hearing a car in the middle of the night; especially around the area where the mayor’s daughter had gone missing. How odd, for multiple reasons. Additionally, footprints had been found in the mud; from boots, it appeared. They had been washed away by now, but one of the witnesses claimed that it looked like a military boot print. You weren’t used to having to do investigative work like this. However, the normal realm of these things fell to the Kommissariat, and you’d be goddamned if you would willingly call them in. That, and they preferred not to handle cases where insurgents were involved anyways; insurgents were supposed to be your job to handle, after all.Could a deduction be made at this venture, you wondered?>Who is responsible for these crimes? It might be prudent to come up with a culprit sooner rather than later, of course, if they’ll be readily accepted…>Surely rogues from the UGZ. It isn’t that far away from here, they have a motive, the writing was literally on the wall, you may as well bring your people over there and start cracking skulls until somebody coughed up some names.>Some bastards from another unit, making your life a pain. Military style boots, a car, it was most likely somebody further down the line. Maybe now it would be the Kommissariat’s business?>Local insurgents, as theorized. But what could you do? Once they vanished into the woods and countryside, they may as well be impossible to find.>Perhaps it was an intrusion by Twaryians. Though your ability to strike back and render right these wrongs would be questionable…and make a proper mess of things. Which might not be a bad thing for your mission. Of course, before coming to a proper judgment, you can shop around for other clues and leads, if you have an idea of where you might look for them, but the longer you take to produce results, the more nervous the locals might get…or confident, when it comes to malcontents.
Wait is Emma getting fat off of Richter's presence making him more lethargic?
>>3411657She has not been feeding off of you enough to likely be responsible for such, no. At least not for such to be readily assumed.
>>3411669How long has Richter started to feel more down then? Since thinking too hard on the train?
>>3411641Are there any intelligence services known to be operating in the area? So far in Richter's experience glow in the dark CIA niggers have been responsible for 100% of all kidnappings of young women. If not it's probably the Twaryians instigating conflict between the Netillians and Ellowians in order to cause chaos and instability they can take advantage of. Someone should probably be watching that there border for vehicle traffic at the least.
If I had to guess it's either another unit or the Twaryians. Vehicles would be a pain in the ass for insurgents to maintain especially with the whole fuel shortage; plus they'd have to hide it somewhere as well. Also, fine paper and such an obvious sloppy message? Definitely suspicious.
>>3411681He can't really tell. It's been a sort of steady decline into said lethargy and bouts of blankness. He certainly wasn't feeling these things before then, though.>>3411688>Are there any intelligence services known to be operating in the area?Besides the Major and your group you don't know of anybody specifically.
>>3411700I agree but I think we should look around and see if we can find any tire tracks or something and where they lead.
>>3411701What other Netillian units are near us? Any penal battalions or units with discipline problems?
>>3411706Agreed for now try to find some tracks.
>>3411707>What other Netillian units are near us? Any penal battalions or units with discipline problems?The 22nd Penal Battalion is the unit adjacent on the line to the west. They tend to be called in to help quell disorder in the UGZ. They tend to be ill disciplined, yes, but the victims of such tend to be Ellowians, as crimes towards them tend to not be as harshly punished, if not delayed in investigation in the case of particularly spiteful sorts. Thus the chances of them directly causing trouble with Netillians is, at least as far as one would assume, less likely.
>>3411717Right,so I guess for now the main focus is finding if we can see where the car went.
I'll follow up on the investigation tomorrow, but for now, it seems to be in agreement to look for vehicle tracks, given that people heard a car. Easy enough to do.
Dear Pesky Tankers, the Rising and I have taken over the New Jorgenstohn colony. The Mayor's daughter is now a permanent guest at one of our seven Ubergangszentrum. I dare you to find her if you can.
>>3411641>Perhaps it was an intrusion by Twaryians. Though your ability to strike back and render right these wrongs would be questionable…and make a proper mess of things. Which might not be a bad thing for your mission.
>>3411641>>Who is responsible for these crimes? It might be prudent to come up with a culprit sooner rather than later, of course, if they’ll be readily accepted…We should ask the Mayor about his daughter, and her loyalties. Maybe it was an inside job and these are all to throw us off their tracks, if it was fine paper originally from his writing desk say...Anyone reported a vehicle missing? Did the courier get his car jacked?Would fuel from the mill work in a car/truck?Has anyone heard about the Risen prior to these crimes?If there's a new gaping hole in the back of the warehouse how the hell did no one hear that and investigate?Where did she go missing?It's also possible that some of these clues are completely unrelated to the crimes. We have to doubt the effectiveness of the Constable, not quite as good as Archduchy polizei. Worse comes to worse we can ask for help from Inspector Von Clouseau Metzeler.
>>3411857Yeah all of these too. We should definitely inquire into the paper.
You had a decent idea of who it could be- rather, who it couldn’t be, but there were a few more things you wanted to check out before you reached a decision; you reassured the sheriff that it wouldn’t take long.“If they went in a car,” you explained, “Then there should be tire tracks somewhere. This happened recently, yes?”“Mmyeah,” the sheriff nodded, “only a couple of days ago, the night before last. Tire tracks…I guess it hasn’t been raining hard enough for those to go anywhere.”The squad leader was thus told to pick a fire team and send them down the road looking for said tire tracks; specifically, you requested, any going south; recent fuel shortages (artificial as they were due to Border Gap imposed logistical limits) meant that it seemed questionable for just anybody to have a car to hop in and take a joyride to the town with; it would have most likely either been another Netillian formation, by your wager, or Twaryians trespassing in Netillian territory, as they did with…greater frequency than would be reassuring, really. Blaming it on Twaryians would have been an open and shut case. Officially, you weren’t allowed to go over the border; off the books, nobody really cared as long as you didn’t turn it into an incident. Netillians didn’t go over the border nearly as much as you heard the Twaryians did, but you had certainly heard of them doing it anyways.There were inconsistencies that you didn’t really like, though. You went over them with the sheriff.“So this gang, called the Risen or whatever,” you already doubted that they actually existed; you’d been in this region a decent amount of time and never heard of such a group, “Has anybody heard about them prior to this?” The sheriff shook his head no. “I see. And the courier earlier who claimed to have been robbed on the road. Was his vehicle stolen?”“No, just the cargo. The truck’s an allowance from the army, we’d be in a bind if that was taken, and I guess the robbers didn’t want to make themselves that big a target?”Maybe not. “Tell me about the lumber mill’s generator. What kind of fuel does it use?”The sheriff didn’t seem to know, but one of the militiamen apparently had a friend who worked in the mill; he shared what he knew, which was that the generator engine for the mill’s electrical power was a diesel engine; the diesel fuel it used would be of little use in most Netillian vehicles that ran on gasoline. The latter conclusion was your own- however, Twaryian vehicles ran on diesel. That would have been troublesome with the Twaryian vehicles you captured from the Blood Suns way back when, but those vehicles had been, to your fortune, converted to use gasoline engines.
One more thing, then. “The huge hole in the back of the warehouse. Can you show me it?” The warehouse was a short walk away; not a big storage unit; it was sufficient for the town’s needs. In the back, a set of planks lay on the ground around a neatly knocked out hole in the wall; you were told that said planks had been hiding the hole.“Nobody reported anything like walls being knocked down or funny people coming and digging around,” the sheriff said defensively, “This is the first we knew of this even maybe happening.”“…I see. Let me see the note the kidnappers left again?” You were given it. “I think I’d like to meet with the mayor. Can that be arranged?”“Well-““Immediately?”“…Yes, sir.”-----As you were being led to mayor after being shown the warehouse, the fire teams came back; they reported that, indeed, a set of car tire tracks had gone off the road just a bit of the way down, and had gone south; directly for the Twaryian border. So that was that.The mayor of New Jorgenstohn was a squat, potbellied man, with a thin mustache and round glasses- not a particularly rough looking sort, and about as intimidating as a hamster. “Hamster” was actually quite an accurate descriptor of his look, with his wide round eyes and twitching nose. He wore a plaid grey suit jacket, and was nothing if not well dressed.“Mister Von Tracht.” The mayor had deigned to have your conversation in his office; it was a simple affair of a room, with plain cut furniture, but no shortage of décor scattered about in an attempt to bring some culture to the place; a fancy lampshade, prints of paintings, and a plush rug were all vain attempts to turn the utilitarian into the chic. “I am Lambart Gespie, mayor of New Jorgenstohn…I believe we have heard of each other, but have not had the courtesy of meeting-““I’ve never heard of you.” You said bluntly. You hadn’t been trying to be mean, but the mayor deflated somewhat.“Well.”“I’d like to ask you a few questions concerning your daughter,” you went on, walking over to the writing desk and peering over it; it was heavily laden with records, reference, the usual… “We’d like to find out what happened to her, after having gone missing…two nights ago? I suppose the constables were given a day to try and figure it out.”“Yes, but, they were not very useful…”Naturally. “Would you say your daughter was particularly loyal to her country?”
The mayor began to sweat. “Mister Von Tracht, I am not comfortable with this line of questioning. You don’t mean to imply-““I’m not a kommissar, mayor,” you interjected, “I am from Strossvald. I just want to find out what happened. Unless I should ask somebody else about her.”“Well,” Mayor Gespie took a handkerchief from his coat pocket and wiped his head, “Dear Elly, she was…well, I prefer to keep her inside, or nearby. These lands aren’t as safe as they could be, as we’ve found out…she was quite talkative with guests. I wouldn’t say she held any sympathies for anybody but her countryfolk, though…what are you looking for?”The mayor had asked the latter as you started shifting through his desk drawers. “Some paper. I want to take notes. Ah, here’s some.” You took out a piece, then withdrew the note left by “Ellowians-“ both pages were the same shade of bleached white, fine grain paper. The mayor turned as white as the paper. “Would you care to explain something to me, Mister Gespie?” you asked.“Er,” he swallowed hard, “…We can come to an agreement, surely. You must be short of comforts, fuel, things I can help get more of with my position…”Hmph.>Make a deal? [What?]>No deal. He's under arrest.>Other?Also, you may guess what was actually going on this whole time, to place further pressure.
>>3412273Huh this raises an interesting question about Richter as he clearly isn't willing to back down on his public honor in Strossvald and he acts forthright, sometimes. But what about among normal enemies and with a secret mission? We might actually need whatever supplies he can get for us.As for why his daughter disappeared I have no idea, but it seems overall he's using the courier to embezzle town goods and sell on the down low, likely to the Twaryians. Easy for us to close the case if we do accept.For one thing better food would be nice, I'm not really sure what else he access to except maybe contacts among the Twaryians if we really needed those.Up to other Anons how to play this.
>>3412273I'd say the mayor was stealing fuel and selling it to Twaryians, but then why go for this escapade with a fake abduction?Unless his daughter discovered him and he decided to keep her under lock and key or ship her off to somewhere?What we can get out of him, aside from fuel and food, is maybe a way to transport a letter that would be able to reach Maddy.
>>3412273I agree with the other anons, probably selling fuel to the Twaryians and food to the UGZ (imagine the prices you could get on the black market)Anyway I generally >>3412303 has said.Better rations and more fuel would be good.In this case I'd say rather the devil you know rather than the devil you don't;I doubt his replacement will be any less corrupt given they're basically throwing out all the people they don't want to colonize this place.
>>3412273Embezzling supplies definitely seems like the most plausible option. Just want to make sure the daughter is safe and he didn't sell her to the Twaryians or something.Also if we do choose to make a deal, could the next post have a specific list of things he can offer us?
>>3412273>Make a deal? [What?]Letters to Maddy, and his daughter's accompanying us to the dance. That way Anya will be off our back, he can even reimburse her for the dress.
>>3412399This also sounds good along with the food and fuel.
>>3412399NooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooStop collecting women!They only cause problems!Haven't this quest taught you anything?
>>3412418>They only cause problems!>Haven't this quest taught you anything?If we have is daughter in the palm of our hand, he'll do whatever we want. Plus, Anya won't have to wear a dress and Maddy gets to get letters from Richter. It's a win-win-win-win. Unless you're Hilda.
>>3412418If we can get a letter to Maddy in time she can always come.
>>3412303Also supporting this as well.
>>3412303Supporting, I don't know what else he can provide and maybe explain where his daughter is.
>>3412767To add on to this I don't think we should fly Maddy over. While it'd be great to get her expertise, among other things, doing so would put her in the gunsights of the IO as we would have to go through them to get her. She's a helluva lot safer over there and keeping our tank safe. A letter would be good though
We should definitely get him to supply us with fuel and foods use of his militia ect, but I don't want the the letter to maddy inviting her over it should just be a pick me up lovey dovey letter so she feels a little better.
I am actually up now. Seems there's a general consensus to use this guy rather than put the hurt on him just yet- though knowing what he's capable of further would be good. As well as where his daughter is- since it's looking like he really ought to know.And the possibility to snatch away his daughter to bring as arm candy I suppose? I guess we'll see if that can be a thing. Don't really know why but eh.Also Maddy Mail Service.Getting on that, finally.
>>3413233>Don't really know why but eh.I would second it because I definitely think we should take advantage of this guy but I feel like he could be more useful to us in the future when we really need a favor than just getting some generic supplies right now. So if we take on his daughter as a mistress/attendant/hostage he'll basically be in our pocket and we can pressure him for anything we might need a mayor for in the future, whether it's some specific supplies or information or militiamen or whatever.
“First off,” you paced back over and pointed the mayor over to his chair, “You tell me what’s going on. Then we can talk some more. For example, where is your daughter? The one that everybody claims went missing, was likely kidnapped? Since you’re suspicious thus far…”“No, I would not do such a thing to my flesh and blood!” the mayor replied fearfully, “I’ll….I’ll tell you what happened…”It took little pressure to make the squat man cave in. As it turned out, he had indeed been facilitating the smuggling of supplies and fuel to sell across the border, as you theorized- the calling cards of Ellowians had been to throw off any trail towards either of the conspirators in the plot. However, such did not answer why his daughter had gone missing.“Ah. That.” The mayor slumped in his chair, “Elly…took a fancy to the man who I dealt with, who visited the house to meet with me. She was not kidnapped- I believe she went with them willingly, of their own accord. I requested that they bring her back immediately, and they refused…so…”“If that was the case, why not simply state from the start that it was the Twaryians?”The mayor wiped his face with his handkerchief once more. “I had rather hoped you would not find out anything else about these goings on. These lands are dangerous, I am risking quite a lot, the people of this town are risking much, surely we deserve some more in the short term for this risk…”“That’s nice.” You didn’t really care about the mayor’s justifications for what he did, but you did care about what he could do for you; it wasn’t a matter of personal gain for you. It was your ability to further conduct your mission; you doubted this mayor’s replacement, should you have him arrested for his crimes, would be any better; it would be best to stick with the evil, as it was said, that you knew, and could control. “So. What can you do for me, that I’ll look over your misstep?”The mayor blinked at you. “I…you couldn’t bring my daughter back first, could you?”“Motivate me to do more than I ought to.” You said firmly.
The mayor, once again, gushed forth with favors. A share of the money? You refused; more practical favors were requested. So the mayor offered food and laborers- as well as fuel, which you were short of. Not necessarily diesel, either; the dispatchers would allow either, all that would be required was a bit of fudging of reasons, and a portion of the fuel ration would be useable for your vehicles…something equivalent to a quarter of your allotment per week. Beyond what was offered there, though, he couldn’t think of anything- though he did offer to do his best on what you might think of, he reminded that this was a small town.“You have contacts, yes?” you asked, “Channels you can send things along? How about mail?”The mayor blinked dumbly. “Mail? I…I don’t see why you would need that, but, yes, I can have things delivered. Letters…to where?”“Strossvald.”The mayor sagged some more, looking very much like an unhappy toad. “…I suppose I could find a way.”You also thought about the possibility of having his daughter be your escort over Anya. A mere possibility; it was good to have options. You didn’t even know what the mayor’s daughter even looked like, after all- not particularly anything more than a passing thought, but from another angle, it was another hook to get in the mayor for anything else you might need from him…perhaps better to think on that more later, though.“So will you bring my daughter back?” the mayor asked hopefully.>You could submit a formal request to be passed along to the Twaryian embassy. It would probably result in nothing. The mayor should be thankful he got that much, though.>So far as you could see it, she went willingly; there was no abduction. Would the Twaryians listen to diplomacy should you head on over? Probably not, but you supposed there wasn’t any reason to not try that first.>Agree that you’ll bring her back. Even though you’ll probably have to sneak over with a few people and *actually* kidnap her to do it.>You had an armed party and a tank. What better excuse to make a raid? Certainly it would make a mess of things, and potentially invite reprisals, but you were here to sow discord, were you not?>Other?Also;>Anything else you can think of demanding from the mayor?Additionally on top of that->Write Maddalyn a letter?And if so, describe the contents. Actually demanding you write a letter would be autistic, I’m not saying to do that. Things like if it’s a simple update and well wishing, something sappy, or whether to include a bald faced proclamation that you’re going to ravish her blind, if you’re feeling like being a bully.
>>3413379>whether to include a bald faced proclamation that you’re going to ravish her blind if you’re feeling like being a bully.Voting for that before I pick anything else
>>3413384Perhaps a different adjective than blind though, consideringyou know
>>3413379>You had an armed party and a tank. What better excuse to make a raid? Certainly it would make a mess of things, and potentially invite reprisals, but you were here to sow discord, were you not?I want to run this by the IO before we do anything though, if they accept sure let's do it.>whether to include a bald faced proclamation that you’re going to ravish her blind if you’re feeling like being a bully.also do this
>>3413379>include a bald faced proclamation that you’re going to ravish her blindI think we already did that....Now for the actual vote>Other? Roll up to the embassy with an armored car and some infantrymen, then conduct diplomacy to get the ambassador's daughter back.I'll get back to write Maddy's letter in a bit. Or vote for someone who has a better idea than I do.
>>3413395I'll support this; clear it with our handler first. Teasing aside also talk to her about all the spooky shit in Ellowie, also potentially how to deal with Emma if things go wonky. Also the general well wishes, any problems or worries she has LOL , will try to keep in touch so if you can find any way to smuggle mail back or any long distance magic communication thingy please do.
>>3413402yes all this stuf
>>3413379Count me in for the general vote of >Ask permission to rumble the border>Go be bad dudes>Write dirty, spooky letters to Mads
>>3413556Same. The world won't miss a bunch of Twaryians.
>>3413556Works for me. Keep it stiff and formal as per Richter's demeanor.Also I hope we just write it out and Richter forgets that it needs to be written in blood.
>>3413379>you were here to sow discord, were you not?Were we? I thought our standing orders were just to watch and wait.
>>3414448That's why I want to get clearance with the IO before do anything hasty.
>>3413808Shit yeah eh, forgot about the blood thing. Let's hope Richter's got enough blood in him for a decent paragraph or two.
I am finally back.>>3413395>>3413396>>3413402>>3413556>>3413658No holds barred- but get permission from the Major first.>>3413384>>3413395>>3413402>>3413402>>3413556Write a dirty letter to your fiancee. With side notes.>>3413808>>3414524Richter doesn't need to write in blood; Maddalyn just needs it to be handwritten. What's actually written in blood are her soulbinder texts; for reasons that even after the text fades, the presence of such remains behind. Or so she says.>>3414448Technically it's to do such until an opportunity presents itself; whether one has here is up to personal discretion. Seems it's time to meet with the elusive Major, then. I'll get to writing.
>>3414554Wait until after the raid and we'll write it in Twaryian blood anyway, you know, make it extra romantic and long lasting
>>3414588Waiting for after a combat mission to write a love letter is such a huge death flag that I don't even know.
>>3414588Do you want to be inquisitioned? Because this is how you get inquisitioned.
“I’ll have to speak with somebody,” you told the mayor, “but if I get the right answer from them, I’ll tell you what I can do in exchange for your help. I can take my people and make a raid into Twaryian held territory to get your daughter back. But.” You held up a finger, “A down payment, of sorts. I want you to deliver a letter for me. It must go to the Blumlands, in Strossvald, though I imagine a person such as you can easily find somebody to take it far enough to be sent there, without it being intercepted.”“I suppose I can try…” you titled an eyebrow at the mayor. “I mean, I can have it done, of course…do, do you have the letter..?”“Not yet.” You were still pondering what to put in it; til now, it hadn’t seemed like something you could sneak in, but now that the opportunity was here… “I will give it to you when I return from my meeting. Do me a favor and inform the people that I am on my way to address the problem, but until then, I will be leaving the contingent I came here with to guard against any mischief…by Ellowians, or Twaryians.” You started to make for the door, “Twaryians, I think, will be the preferable scapegoat.”-----The Major was not a woman who was easy to reach; she was the one who called for you, not the other way around. That wasn’t to say it was impossible, but you would have to make…preparations. Else she wouldn’t deem that it was important enough. Right from when you had met it was clear the Major hadn’t liked you, and her opinion of you hadn’t improved in the slightest. Her speech towards you was curt and short, and she never failed to make a cut at you given the chance. Von Metzeler indicated that this was simply how the Major treated everybody, but the Intelligence Office operative had her ways of making it feel personal.The first thing to do was get to Kamienisty, the settlement on the railhead, where she resided. She never came to your camp; and claimed she would never do so unless the matter were truly dire. Because no woman who knew what was good for her would wish to seek you out otherwise. This required you to head back to your camp, and then call for the staff car to take you to the railhead; going there via tank had been a mistake it had only taken one severe tongue lashing on your lack of sense of subtlety to not think of repeating.
You wanted to take your mind off that particular dread, for now, as the tank rolled back towards camp. A good distraction would be what you were going to put in your letter to Maddalyn; you decided that it should most certainly be flirtatious; something fun, dirty, teasing foremost over anything else. However, when you thought about the words to choose…you’d never been the sort of poetry or expression through literature. Most of the books you read were informational, and any dramatic speech was secondary to a proper account, ideally. You supposed you could simply send a letter declaring your intent to return and ravish Maddalyn’s tiny body until she lost her mind, but yet, there was something…lacking in that.It was artificial, you decided. Lacking in romance. Maddalyn had clearly been uncomfortable enough with the subject in the past to specifically request against it, so you felt that you had to dress things up somehow. Yet, when you called upon your feelings for Maddalyn to provide an answer, it was, like your battle senses…sleepy. Dragging its metaphorical feet. Was it because you hadn’t so much as seen or corresponded with her in so long? Had your affection faded, or was it merely dormant? It almost felt, like so many things, that she was slowly but surely slipping out of your head.It wasn’t something you wanted to discuss with anybody, either. However, if it was the subject of love letters…that was something you felt comfortable talking about with your crew.“So what,” Hans replied to your general query, “You want to her to meet you at the station with no knickers on?”“…I suppose I couldn’t complain about that.” The thought stirred nothing within. Like it had been heard but not listened to. Maybe you were just distracted.“No, I mean, what do you want her to feel?” Hans insisted.“I can’t believe Hans is the one giving you advice on how to treat women.” Stein grumbled.“Herear,” Malachi burbled, “Neneatyeards. Feeleseard betterwahrds.”“Malachi here would tell you to just write in big fat words, I’m gonna stick it in ya.”“Esnahtsey.” Malachi, for once, protested against what was being interpreted.What you wanted her to feel, though, huh..?“Most of all, I think I want her to feel…”>…Desired>…Aroused>…Relieved>…Remembered>Forget anything about that. Anything you’d think too hard about would be fake anyways. It would probably annoy her, but it’d be best off to just be brazen and teasing. Maybe that would make you sound dumb, but the worst thing would be to seem dishonest.>Other?Long time for not that much, sorry. Today ended up being tiring.
>>3414886>…Desired>…RememberedBased on her interlude.
>>3414886And, of course, don't forget to mention that we couldn't deliver letters before and have only just now found a way.
>>3414886r you bulgarian Taня гoтинa иcтopия инaчe
>>3414907I'd normally back this but meta-wise Richter technically doesn't know anything about her interlude. >…RememberedIf he feels like he's losing memories of her then it'd be best if he worked on keeping her in his head.
I am here.>>3414907>>3414913>>3414918>>3415005>>3415181>>3415471Desired, and Remembered.>>3414979Special emphasis on remembering. Are you forgetting something?>>3414925Uh.Writing now.
>>3415962>Are you forgetting something?uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh
>>3415962>Are you forgetting something?Oh shit
>>3416021>>3416035It wasn't anything serious, just memeing Valen because Remembering.
“…I think I know what I’ll write.” You decided.“…Gonna share any of that?” Hans prompted.“No.” you answered. “I hardly need any aid in spoiling the prose.” You went out the cupola again, and let the misty air fill your nostrils; the contemplation about your missive couldn’t be had in a stuffy metal box full of grease.-----In the brief time you spent at camp waiting for your assigned staff car to be dispatched, you worked on your letter; by hand. Maddalyn couldn’t read printed type for whatever reason, though you weren’t about to question how spirits and such differentiated written word and letters pressed into page; perhaps it was the intent? Who knew? So long as it meant she could read it.Indecisiveness plagued the very first word. Should you call Maddalyn by a pet name? Or have things be more formal? You weren’t used to being so uncertain.Dearest Maddalyn,Not a day goes by where I do not think about…that was a painfully cliché line, wasn’t it? No, you had to keep going.Not a day goes by where I do not think about your company, your warmth, the feeling of your touch, your embrace. A time came to mind where somebody had asked you to remind them of your fiancée’s name. It was a shock then to have actually forgotten it, for but a moment. Nobody noticed. You hoped.Until now, I have been unable to convey to you my desire to see you once more. The struggle of deciding whether to hold you in my arms or keep you safe at home cuts me in two, as I cannot decide whether one or the other is the correct choice. Strange things are afoot in Ellowie, things that make me want for your accompaniment even further, however, I would never want a single scratch to tarnish your precious body. Should any troubles stress you at home, I assure you, you have my sympathies, and my promise to act swiftly upon them when I return. Do not hesitate to share your troubles. My own problems are many, but they are naught compared to any that would result in your unhappiness. Should you find some way to reply to me more efficiently than this, do not hesitate to contact me in such a way.I would be remiss to not mention my desire for your company in ways difficult to put to words.
…Here was where you ceased holding back.When we meet once more, such is my need for you that your virginity will be unable to be tolerated any further. I will spend the entire day and night plundering it from your tiny body, and you will be ravished so passionately that you will go blind.Love,Richter Von Tracht…That should do it, no? No need to think of it longer! Straight from the heart! Perhaps. Not like you couldn’t make a rewrite later…but you shouldn’t need to. The staff car came, and you tucked the letter into your pocket. Right after meeting with the Major, after all, you intended to exploit your new contact to deliver your warning to Maddy as soon as possible; word had to be sent as soon as possible that her womb was about to come under siege. …Never actually say that. An odd voice of reason said within.-----The staff car ride itself would be pleasant compared to what would come up. Said staff car was not what would normally be considered such; it was a bulky construction with steel plates welded to its doors, with a machine gun mounted on a swivel in the back, and four seats in front of such, two of which would be carrying submachinegun-armed guards; something meant to be intimidating to any potential ambushers. It wasn’t perfect protection; you’d heard of improvised explosive devices and scavenged mines being used against convoys (such were also used against individual vehicles, of course, but you’d heard they were saved for juicier targets than yourself), but this was at least good enough to prevent opportunistic individuals from taking a shot at you without at least thinking twice.The Major was more intimidating than any Ellowian insurgents by your measure, though. Especially the ones that Anya had made contact with- such had given you some insurance, on top of being with an Ellowian integration unit, of making you any sort of important target or a target at all, but the Netillians didn’t know that. If any new groups wandered in the day you decided to take a bicycle anyways, you’d look rather silly.Kamienisty itself was somewhere between a large town and a small city, situated at the end of the rail line into Netillian controlled Ellowian territory; the rails went on, but the next station was in Twaryian controlled territory, so this place, for now, was the end of the track. It was also heavily garrisoned, by another company from the 5th Combined Light Infantry Battalion, who guarded the station, the entry roads, as well as the depots, each of which were not trusted to the local police for protection.
Your escort dropped you off at a checkpoint and left you to your devices to wander the town itself. Kamienisty was rather firmly decided to be safe; especially because of its heavy garrison. It was only the in-between that was questionable. Of course, the Major wouldn’t be found anywhere where there the Netillians kept a careful eye- you had to go to the downtown, to a fairly upscale bar, which had somehow escaped looting of any kind- Netillians didn’t so much as go near to it, though. It was said that the owner of the establishment was the bastard brother of Wladysaw X, uncle of the High Protector, but such had never been openly stated by the place, as far as you knew; you only knew that the usual tender, whenever you had come to arrange a meeting with the Major, was a one eyed man with a sharply cropped white beard who carried himself with the bearing of one above the common man, who never treated anybody disrespectfully, and without any doubt whatsoever, was one of royal blood; however, he was also not the owner. The Major had two instructions to arrange a meeting with her; that you tell the bartender that you intended to stay awhile, and that you order something you think she would like. Thus far, you had failed to accomplish the second one. The first time you ordered a beer, and she critically asked if you had a brain between your ears. The second time, you asked for an expensive wine, whereupon the Major had asked if you though that she had a brain, as well as a sense of taste.Technically it wasn’t important; she had arrived both those times, and it appeared that the actual second requirement for meeting her was just so she could get free booze, while also sniping at you. It spoke of a challenge to you, though; and you hated to lose by forfeit if you could help it.>You were feeling romantic. Not towards the Major, Judge Above, but it made you feel like asking for something saucy and smooth.>Something that scorched the throat and senses alike. Maybe she’d think it funny.>Order water. Maybe it’s a trick to get actual alcohol.>Other ideas/actions?
>>3416157>>Order water. Maybe it’s a trick to get actual alcohol.
>>3416157>>Order water. Maybe it’s a trick to get actual alcohol.From what's been described alcohol seems wasted on her.
>>3416157>Order water. Maybe it’s a trick to get actual alcohol
>>3416157>Other ideas/actions?Prune juice
>>3416161>>3416169>>3416214>>3416231Water, because it's a trick question.>>3416234An implication.Writing now, then.
A tall, cold glass of plain water was your latest idea of what the Major would “like.” The barkeep gave you a funny look, but you had a little confidence of this choice; maybe the right answer all along was something non-alcoholic, lacking in flavor, and most importantly, completely free. You didn’t dare touch it; the time with the beer, the Major had noticed the smudge from your fingerprints on the glass, and had coolly told you not to touch her drink, thank you. So you waited, as the bartender retreated to a rear room; he always did this, and in some time, the Major would arrive. It was always unmistakable when she did; it was the sound her heels made when she stepped across the tiled floor of this establishment, and the particular cadence of her long, steady steps, like a predator was coming from behind.Clack. Clack Clack.Soon enough, there it was. You didn’t turn to face her. The air changed, a slight wind from her stepping up next to you; you saw her dark-leather gloved hand touch a finger upon the rim of the glass.“Water.” The Major’s voice rang low and clear, like it rose from the bottom of a pristine pool. She wore a dark scarlet leather coat, red enough to be noticeable; not enough to stand out. Long, well groomed and straight dark hair fell to her chest and down her back. Her eyes were hidden by sunglasses, the only adornment on a dour and sharp face that, one would be forced to admit, was quite fetching. It would have been prettier if you saw anything on it other than the expression of a disappointed professor whose hand itched for a switch. “Lieutenant. Water is needed to live. But do you know anybody that likes water? Nobody with any complexity. I suppose you did not intend that, unless you truly do lack intellect. The situation I presented was no trick. Your answers are continuously lazy.” She slid the glass down the bar. “Try next time.”You set your mouth. “Perhaps it is vodka or grain alcohol. You didn’t even bother smelling it.”“I will not drink what I know is water hoping for something better. I may as well drink urine and hope it is mead. Hope is not a force of transmutation, no matter how many alchemists may have wanted otherwise.” She stepped around to the other side of you, and you felt a tug at your pocket; a look confirmed that she was withdrawing your letter to Maddalyn.“Wait-“ you started to stand.
”Sit.” your knees went weak without you willing them to, as the Major slowly pushed on your head with her right hand, towering above you as she shook the letter open in her left and regarded it icily. You didn’t know why, but part of what made the Major so scary was that she had such a forceful way of acting, of speaking, something made your body respond before your mind did; and your mind frequently didn’t have better ideas anyways. “…Hah.” The Major folded the letter back up. “How adorable. Don’t be frustrated, Lieutenant,” she patted you on the head condescendingly, “I am sure your fiancée will appreciate your overbearing attempts, even if they are as titillating as the water you put before me. Though I would not place this letter beside a photograph of her, were I you.” She slipped the letter back into your pocket. “…I suppose you have found a means of conveyance for this lewd letter. It is good of you to be acting more independently.”The Major never told you of her specific plans or about other operatives, or if they were even there. Operational security, she said. “I wished to speak to you concerning something…”“Speak freely. None are here that you need worry about. Look around you.”You did; the bar was empty, naturally; it being still before noon. Any bugs, the Major had informed you, would be hers. You had no reason to not believe her.“I want to make a raid into Twaryian territory,” you said in a low voice, “To rescue a young woman abducted by the easterners. Well, rather, not abducted, but she has been requested to return home. I saw an opportunity to cause mischief while gaining an ally as well.”“So you came to ask me if you should.”“Should I not have?”
The Major put her hand on a hip and leaned on one leg. “Perhaps if you had a better offering than water. Consider your character, Von Tracht. Your history. Do you think it would surprise me in the slightest for you to venture over the border and cause trouble in an independent operation?”“That last time was a mission that was given.”“You volunteered for it.” The Major corrected. “Unless you wish to contest the records. Your lineage is known to thirst for adventure. I measured my expectations accordingly. If you believe that you can act in such a way as to topple my plans, let alone those of those higher than I, however,” she pressed a hand on your shoulder and leaned next to your ear. “Then you underestimate me.” She rose again, keeping her hand on you. “I understand that you wish to be careful, however. Perhaps you merely need to express what your future intent is? Then you will at least be secure in having said it yourself.” She lingered upon that, which meant she expected an answer to it. “You may also,” she noted, “Try again with the drink, if you wish. Perhaps to try to avoid disappointing me three times in a row.”>The Twaryians should be provoked, in your opinion. The most opportunities to exploit would crop up the more chaos was sown throughout the Border Gap, the more tension between Twaryi and Netilland. So such was what you wanted to do.>Netilland was the barrier between Strossvald and the East, its new wall between it and Twaryi, and Caelus. With the Reich on its other flank, should Strossvald not want Netilland to grow stronger? Such would be how you thought matters would be sensible to sway towards, at least.>The destruction of Ellowie was an upset in the balance of continental power. Netilland had been a nation of enemies for generations, in spite of the Archduchy’s goodwill, could they be relied upon to be allies? You thought much more of Ellowie’s resurgence being the best route, as ambitious as that was. Its army was not confirmed to have been destroyed; and its people hardly seemed cowed.>Other?Also>Try again? And if so, with what?
>>3416525>>The Twaryians should be provoked, in your opinion. The most opportunities to exploit would crop up the more chaos was sown throughout the Border Gap, the more tension between Twaryi and Netilland. So such was what you wanted to do.>Try again? And if so, with what?Whiskey?
>>3416525>The Twaryians should be provoked, in your opinion. The most opportunities to exploit would crop up the more chaos was sown throughout the Border Gap, the more tension between Twaryi and Netilland. So such was what you wanted to do.Twaryians are retards, Netillians are cunts.
>>3416540>>3416556Why would you want a country as strong or stronger than Strossvald? >The destruction of Ellowie was an upset in the balance of continental power. Netilland had been a nation of enemies for generations, in spite of the Archduchy’s goodwill, could they be relied upon to be allies? You thought much more of Ellowie’s resurgence being the best route, as ambitious as that was. Its army was not confirmed to have been destroyed; and its people hardly seemed cowed.
>>3416525>Try again? And if so, with what?Milkies
>>3416567It's not that they get stronger, it's that they fight each other.
>>3416567If not a resurgent Ellowie we should at least aim for constant stalemate between Twaryi and Netilland.
>>3416567If we wanted Netilland to be stronger we'd pick the second option.
>>3416571Yeah but worst case scenario with trying to support an Ellowian revolution would be it's crushed and then Netilland and Twaryi can still fight over the land, in the best case the balance of power would go back to normal. I don't think the IO exactly wants that but I'd say it's likely Richter sees it that way.
>>3416525>>3416570I also support milk.
>>3416525>>The Twaryians should be provoked, in your opinion. The most opportunities to exploit would crop up the more chaos was sown throughout the Border Gap, the more tension between Twaryi and Netilland. So such was what you wanted to do.
>>3416570also yes for milk
>>3416570>>3416591>>3416599She's gonna get annoyed even more, isn't she? Though I guess that's our own small way of getting back at her.
>>3416525>The destruction of Ellowie was an upset in the balance of continental power. Netilland had been a nation of enemies for generations, in spite of the Archduchy’s goodwill, could they be relied upon to be allies? You thought much more of Ellowie’s resurgence being the best route, as ambitious as that was. Its army was not confirmed to have been destroyed; and its people hardly seemed cowed.>Try again? And if so, with what?>I may as well drink urine and hope it is meadMaybe that's her way of propositioning us
>>3416540>>3416556>>3416594Prompt chaos, and war; in the ashes the Archduchy will triumph.>>3416567>>3416665Ellowie should be free, as is proper- the continent will crumble should the balance not be kept, and the Archduchy with it.>>3416540Whiskey for the proof>>3416570>>3416591>>3416599...Milk. Well, alright then. I wonder what that could be interpreted to mean.Working on update now, then.>>3416665>Maybe that's her way of propositioning usYou tread a dangerous path, but I would guess you already knew that when you set out on that road.
>>3416525Milk is fine although I agree that prune juice would get more of the point across. >The Twaryians should be provoked, in your opinion. The most opportunities to exploit would crop up the more chaos was sown throughout the Border Gap, the more tension between Twaryi and Netilland. So such was what you wanted to do.>The destruction of Ellowie was an upset in the balance of continental power. Netilland had been a nation of enemies for generations, in spite of the Archduchy’s goodwill, could they be relied upon to be allies? You thought much more of Ellowie’s resurgence being the best route, as ambitious as that was. Its army was not confirmed to have been destroyed; and its people hardly seemed cowed.Honestly best case is both:Getting Ellowie to reform, it helps that we have a bunch of them in our unit and have connections with some of their rebellion. Also if a large portion of their military withdrew into Sosaldt they could used if not for a reborn Ellowie then at least to wear down the two other countriesIt'd be kinda like how the Reich has to occupy Halmeggia depriving them of the resources. While also potentially getting both countries into another war at the same time.
“I would think that the ideal course of action,” you drew a shape on the counter, “Is to provoke the Twaryians. As tensions increase, so do opportunities to exploit. Surely that would benefit your plans. In the end, should the two come to blows, the Archduchy should triumph over both, yes? Yet in doing so, it would also grant an opportunity for Ellowie to be reformed. Even if that is too ambitious, there are no shortage of supporters for such a cause, which provides even more options.”“Hm. All for the Archduchy, hm?” The Major put her hand on her head and rubbed it through your cap, “You’re a good dog, aren’t you? Small wonder Willen is so fond of you.”“…” you ignored the comparison to a canine. “I’m sorry, I’m being rude. I haven’t bought you your drink yet. Barkeep?” you called down the way to the white bearded man, who had stepped away from you and the Major, “A glass of milk, if you please.”The Major said nothing, and, presumably seeing the lack of objection from the frightening, tall woman, indeed got what you requested, eyeing you sideways the whole time. He, you, and the Major were all silent as the ring of the glass sliding across the wooden counter was the only sound besides the bustle outside, and after it slowly span to a half, the white froth washing against a decorative metallic rim on the glass, there was still no sound from within the establishment.“Your drink,” you offered, “Mother.”“…Better than the other attempt. A modicum of wit to it. However.” The Major picked up the glass of milk, still looking down at you behind the tinted lenses of her sunglasses, “The first thing you did when you were unsure was run to [i[mommy, hm? I’m afraid, Lieutenant, that my parenting methods are hardly orthodox.” She kicked out your stool from under you, and caught you with one arm. ”Be still.” She took the glass of milk and tilted it towards your face. “It’ll be better if you open up.”“Hrrarrllggrlghhrrgh” you protested as the Major dumped your drink over your face, seeming to aim to pour it up your nose rather than in your mouth, before just upending the whole thing over you and letting you fall on the ground.
“Do as you will,” the Major said to you dully as you coughed and sputtered on the floor, “Your idea of the objectives are sound enough. As long as you do not think you are making a needless mess of things, even your dull senses should inform you enough of whether or not to follow through. Before we meet again, perhaps you should learn some lessons in being a gentleman from your fellow officer, lest we repeat this once more.” The Major took one step, then turned on her heel back to you. “Ah yes. News you may be interested in. The Minister of the People of the Republic of Mittelsosalia will be visiting the Border Gap soon. Not here, but further up the line, or so is said. An old friend of yours. Perhaps you will want to visit them, perhaps not. They’re scheduled to come in about a week and a half as part of their diplomatic mission to Netilland. Apparently, with their northern expansion and the influx of Ellowian refugees into Sosaldt and beyond to Mittelsosalia, the young leader has been forced further onto the world stage. Just something that might be interesting to you.”“Urghh…” you groaned. Though…the Minister of the People…Mittelsosalia…Mittelsosalia was the new name of what had been called the Republic of Vang. You’d seen news of it ascending; chaotically. Sosaldt was apparently undergoing restructuring, as the last bastions of anarchy saw what way the winds were blowing, and territories began to centralize again. Plenty had decided to cast their strength in with Mittelsosalia. The Minister of the People, appointed to her position by the Congress of Representatives of People and State, was Cyclops, known outside of her nom de guerre as Signy Vang.
Why was she coming here, you wondered? Though you supposed the Major had just told you. Diplomacy. Why to the Border Gap, though? Perhaps to inspect the plight of the Ellowians? Ellowie had been a democratic republic, after all; and as far as you had known, a well-functioning one. Something Signy must have found to be a bastion of freedom, a place of good in the world- and it had been conquered. You picked yourself off the floor. A week and a half. You’d have time to figure out later how, and if, you wanted to handle this.For now, though, you had gotten the approval you thought you needed, regardless of what the Major thought about you being able to simply do it on your own. Should you do it, you wondered, or delegate..?>This was your idea, wasn’t it? You had a tank, did you not? Take the squad of Netillians you took to New Jorgenstohn and make that raid.>You were the commander, but that didn’t mean you had to do everything yourself. Perhaps task Von Metzeler with doing the “rescue,” with aid from the troops already put forward. You would have to take your tank back that way if you wanted to participate anyways, it didn’t have to be you.>You didn’t need support for this; it was a small scale raid. A subtle affair…on foot, with only a few people. That was something you’d done before…even if it was riskier, and wouldn’t do as good a job at making a scene for the Twaryians to gawk at, maybe you didn’t need to make so much trouble so soon.>Other?
Fuck I've come to a revelation. I'm changing my vote from >>3416567to>Netilland was the barrier between Strossvald and the East, its new wall between it and Twaryi, and Caelus. With the Reich on its other flank, should Strossvald not want Netilland to grow stronger? Such would be how you thought matters would be sensible to sway towards, at least.I've been reading through the old threads and I'm at the part where the Dawnseekers conspiracy is being revealed to be a Reich plant job, and it's highly likely a lot of nobility including the Von Blums are in on destabilizing Strossvald and throwing open the Imperial Gates by making Valsten the Archdukes prime target while Reich troops walk through the Imperial Gates. Considering this, I think the Reich's goal is to just make Sossalian states fight each other as much as possible while they do all their political machinations and shit. Including perhaps maybe even infiltrating Strossvald's fucking secret police. So I think having Netilland and Twaryi fighting is actually what the Reich wants. It seems extremely short sighted to just be considering the "Balance of power" in relation Strossvald's local hegemony when the resurgent Reich is breathing down its back. Of course, maybe this IO officer wants Richter to make Netilland and Twaryi fight and even become the fall guy later, who fucking knows. tl;dr: It's too fucking late anyway but the Reich is probably winning and maybe that's a good thing
>>3417258>>This was your idea, wasn’t it? You had a tank, did you not? Take the squad of Netillians you took to New Jorgenstohn and make that raid.
>>3417258>>This was your idea, wasn’t it? You had a tank, did you not? Take the squad of Netillians you took to New Jorgenstohn and make that raid.Might as well go all in now. Before we go though talk to Hilda.
>>3417254That was almost as bad as the piano, damn it.>>3417258>>You didn’t need support for this; it was a small scale raid. A subtle affair…on foot, with only a few people. That was something you’d done before…even if it was riskier, and wouldn’t do as good a job at making a scene for the Twaryians to gawk at, maybe you didn’t need to make so much trouble so soon.
>>3417254>“Hm. All for the Archduchy, hm?” The Major put her hand on her head and rubbed it through your cap, “You’re a good dog, aren’t you? Small wonder Willen is so fond of you.”If this doesn't scream Reich agent I don't know what does. WE NEED TO BREAK THE CONDITIONING AND SAVE NOT ONLY STROSSVALD, BUT THE WORLD FROM REICH EXPANSION!Unless breaking the conditioning is basically just a game over. You'd tell us, right tanq?
>>3417262Eh, I have some reservations about that anon. While it is in the Reich's interest to have Sosalia divided, no way in hell will the Strossvald aristocracy even be thinking about collaborating with the Reich, given what the Kaiser did to the Czeissan nobility (like Owl 3's family)Anyway honestly from what we've seen so far, IMO most of the Sosalian states are kind of useless militarily given their decentralisation (Sosaldt,Plisseau) or the fact that Strossvald can take them on and win pretty easily.(Valsten,Netilland)In this case I'd say the main thing is Strossvald really doesn't want a two-front war if the Reich comes rolling over the Gates so the more time Twaryi and their masters get bogged down trying to occupy this place the better.>>3417280Should honestly just refuse next time.
>>3417284> no way in hell will the Strossvald aristocracy even be thinking about collaborating with the ReichMetzeler and Richter both speculate it would be very likely that lower nobility and disenfranchised second sons and shit who have no land themselves to look forward to could very well be collaborating for the Reich. If it's not a large amount of nobility it's definitely at least some. Metzeler could be wrong of course but he doesn't seem like someone to throw accusations like that around senselessly and if he as someone who is in the world is considering it might be true I'd at least say it's very well possible
>>3417289I could see a bunch of defectors but no way in hell the major nobles like Von Blum will think about it. They benefit so much from the current political system which will all be gone if Strossvald simply becomes another Reich protectorate. We've already seen that the Kaiser is willing to purge them if their influence is a threat to is rule.
>>3417297Sure maybe it's not as wide ranging as I think but I still think it would be smart if the Sossalian states entered a general defense pact against the Reich of something, and the first step towards that I see is the two big powers of the region coming together in alliance.And sure maybe a lot of Sossalian states don't have the best military but that's why you'd unite against Reich. It can't hurt.
>>3417283>Unless breaking the conditioning is basically just a game over. You'd tell us, right tanq?Only game over is getting killed. And even then that means you switch to Von Metzeler. And so on and so forth.
>>3417300DESU I'd find it more interesting if the IO was seeking instead for Strossvald to become the Grossreich of Sosalia in order to have a state in the region to deal with the Kaiser as it were rather than all of them being some Czeissan fifth column. That should be people like Loch's job (assuming he actually is working for the Kaiser)Though as a side note the interesting thing is we haven't heard much about the other major military powers on the continent who don't like the Reich(Emre and Naukland) so who knows how the political situation will be like with them involved.
>>3417254>Drink the milk, Richter.>>3417258>>This was your idea, wasn’t it? You had a tank, did you not? Take the squad of Netillians you took to New Jorgenstohn and make that raid.Why not stop by our base and pick up another tank or two to bring with us on the raid?
>>3417329Don't mind bringing Metzeler or Krause along yeah.
>>3417301Oh god, what if the real bad end is running out of backup lives and winding up stuck at the bottom of the ladder as Malachi; all our friends dead, unable to speak to anybody but the occasional vagrant Mosshead and Richter's crazy-mouse-lady war widow. Is this hell?
>>3417335We could always go back to Reinhold at that rate :)
>>3417339>Comfy life in the Reich as an amateur women's boxing refereeMite b cool
>>3417335>Malachi>Bottom of the ladder????We will have achieved ultimate power and the ability to use a tank to drift, freeing us from the chain of traumatized waifus unfortunately orbiting Richter's dick and giving us bitchin' green hair.
>>3417258>This was your idea, wasn’t it? You had a tank, did you not? Take the squad of Netillians you took to New Jorgenstohn and make that raid.I think we need a spot of tankery to clear up some of the cobwebs.
>>3417258>This was your idea, wasn’t it? You had a tank, did you not? Take the squad of Netillians you took to New Jorgenstohn and make that raid.We just have to make sure and spin it to them that we've been unofficially commanded to do this.While I agree with Anons that believe the IO is up to something ultimately antagonistic to the Archduchy and Richter in particular, I don't think it is collaboration with the Reich. If I remember correctly, that it was only after we delivered the traitor Colonel to the local IO office that we even blipped on their radar. One could argue that they just took the prisoner from us and let him go later, and then co-opted Richter to prevent us from causing more damage to their plans, but they'd have to be running some serious Shadowrun level double blinds when it'd be a lot simpler to simply disappear us.
>>3417368Decided to go look back at the archives with all this talk about the IO and yeah in general the Archduke and the courts really don't trust them at all. So at least it's not like they're totally keeping everyone in the dark. However it does seem that their goals are aligned to a certain extent based on the interactions they have.
>>3416522>>3417254Hm. This is textbook emotional abuse.Now, the question is whether she is simply revelling in her control over us or trying to strengthen this control by dominating us psychologically despite apparently having us under a hypnotic suggestion with her red text.In any case, we don't have to play her games and guess at her drinking preferences. More likely than not there's no actual correct answer and it's just a psychological trick to put her in charge of our frame of mind.>>3417258>This was your idea, wasn’t it? You had a tank, did you not? Take the squad of Netillians you took to New Jorgenstohn and make that raid.
>>3417300I thought there was already a pact in place if the Reich attempted to invade, atleast there was in the original defunct quest>>3417258>>This was your idea, wasn’t it? You had a tank, did you not? Take the squad of Netillians you took to New Jorgenstohn and make that raid.>>3407625The tank's shape screams LVT
>>3417422>More likely than not there's no actual correct answerThe one drink she might actually be happy with would be if we offered her a glass of our own sweat and blood, but it might not be worth the trouble to collect it.
I won't be running until a good bit later today; probably around 7-8PM EST, but I'll count the votes now.>>3417263>>3417267>>3417323>>3417329>>3417361>>3417368>>3417422>>3417638Take this on, with allies.>>3417280You don't need any help, or any tank.>>3417267Go find your shadow.>>3417329Why only one tank? Why not get more in on the fun?Pretty overwhelmingly towards making this event a party, but the latter two are decent options. So here's what I'll do; Until I get back at the aforementioned time, I'll have a vote open as such->Go speak with Hilda first? Or do this after coming back from the raid?And>Take another tank+officer? If so, which and who? The options for another vehicle are listed here->>3408028Though keep in mind that the aforementioned statement of the X-01 still applies; it is, for now, broken down.Also maybe you want to give them nicknames that aren't X-Number. Your choice.
>>3418121>>Go speak with Hilda first? Or do this after coming back from the raid?Eh do it first. We don't want her fighting
>>3418121>Go speak with Hilda first? Or do this after coming back from the raid?Supporting >>3418131>Take another tank+officer? If so, which and who? Take Krause and let Metzeler hold the fort while we're gone. Bring one of the 50mm tanks.As for alternative names, I was just thinking we could re-number them so they're easier to tell apart given the different gun sizes. So:X-20 (Twin 20mm)X-80 (80mm gun)X-50,X-51,X-52 (50mm guns)Saves us trouble having to look back.
>>3418121>Go speak with Hilda first>Don't take more tanksAlso supporting the naming scheme from >>3418170
Slept longer than I wanted to. Alarma just don't work it seems if I don't sleep for a minimum amount of time.Anyways, writing soon, seems it's time to see Hilda and grab Krause to go along.
After managing to make yourself look more presentable, or at least, not completely milk stained, you departed the tavern to head back to base- it was time to start a fight. Finally. Maybe it would knock some rust off of your fighting senses; if it was rust, at least. Though something told you that it wasn’t rust; fighting had felt natural right out of the academy, and it had grown to be something less so. Could it be reinvigorated? Was it a good thing that you wanted to do so? It’d be hard to do your work here otherwise, you figured.A slight change of original plans, though; since this was going to be a raid into Twaryian territory, you decided that you needed to take another tank, commanded by Junior Lieutenant Krause, so that Von Metzeler would continue to be the command authority back at company HQ, and though he didn’t have the unusual experience of dealing with large formations you had gained in Sosaldt, he had been your second in command most of that time; he was trustworthy. It wasn’t that you didn’t trust Krause, of course. Just that he was the only other choice.Speaking of reinforcement…no, certainly not reinforcement, in this case. She was ill. That was on top of plenty of other things, but she never claimed that said things hindered her. It wasn’t impossible to think Hilda was lying to you whenever she insisted that she was alright. She’d only admitted to being ill enough to have a doctor check on her when she couldn’t keep any food down for a whole morning, and was practically falling over from fever (the doctor was of course utterly baffled by her burns, but accepted that they were something old and…dealt with). Even still, she had taken off last night, saying she’d be back in the morning. However, when you arrived back at camp to see if she had come back, she was still absent.You knew Hilda could take care of herself. She insisted such since you’d met her. Yet…
Hilda near always hid her face, as well as keeping her arms bound up in wrappings up to almost her shoulders. It hid her scars, as well as twisted grey and black burned that had solidified into odd patterns wherever their mark on her was dense enough. You could tell that she didn’t like being looked at; you didn’t demand such, though whenever you had her around for her literacy lessons that you had promised, you noticed that she shed her heavy canvas overcoat, whereupon her low cut sleeveless blouse made it easy to see what appeared to be the one section of Hilda that hadn’t been cut apart or burned. Her heavy bosom had a nature of drawing the eye that you weren’t particularly proud of, especially when she noticed your eyes flicking there of their own accord, and didn’t seem to mind at all.However, even though she kept a scarf bound tightly over her lower face whenever she could, when you were teaching Hilda letters, grammar, calligraphy (her handwriting was still utterly terrible even now), she seemed…happy. Her voice toned higher and lighter, she was eager to please, though, in doing so, she did her best to sidle as closely to you as possible…until she detected that it was discomforting you, whereupon she would back off, only for the process to repeat itself again.Though you had kept Emma inside, apparently Hilda still saw her; and Hilda was a continual source of disagreement between you and the increasingly frustrated spirit. “She hurts all over,” Emma had complained to you, not for the first time. “I can remember things, you know. Hilda didn’t always look like she does now. I remember what she used to look like, used to feel like. I’ve jumped into her then and now. You wouldn’t believe how worse off she is. Is she some sort of tool to you? That you’ll just use until she breaks? She tries to come across like she’s invincible. She’s not, you know.”“I do not think she is a tool.” You had defended yourself, “She is here because she wants to be. She made one request of me. After all that she’s been through, could I deny that one request?””She wants a lot more than that. She just knows you won’t give her those things.”This criticism was unfair. It wasn’t a case of won’t, it was a case of couldn’t…right? Though sometimes, when your mind wandered, you found yourself doubting even that. For now, though, you had deemed that you were doing…your best. Though the more you thought about how Emma had stated the change in how Hilda looked, merely on the outside, you found your mind swirling into emptiness.Maybe Hilda was happy about the state of affairs, but you couldn’t say you were. She was pregnant now, even. Even if she objected, could you keep her around in good conscience? Or was it the least that you owed her?
At the very least, you knew where you could find Hilda. When she went out, ostensibly to help in efforts to find and track insurgent movements (as well as stalking Twaryian incursions, when it turned out she had a knack for finding those in the night), the two of you had made sure to arrange a series of points where she would go if she needed to be found. Thankfully, she was at the point closest to camp; conveniently the first place you went to check. She was laid down against a tree, completely wrapped up in her overcoat, though you could see her face peeking out. When she thought nobody could see, you knew, she liked to take her scarf off her face. You wondered if it was because it was uncomfortable. Her face was still flushed with fever, and her breathing was uneven, but she was fast asleep; a sort of unusual calm was on Hilda’s face.Hilda shouldn’t have gone out while sick. You had told her against doing such yourself…but Hilda was stubborn. Maybe you hadn’t been forceful enough with saying so, yet here she was.“Hilda?” you called out to her quietly, but she did not stir.>Wake her up; you could discuss a few things before you went out to make a mess of things. [What about?]>Pick her up and carry her to camp. She wouldn’t get better if she slept outside in the rain, that was for damn sure, but you shouldn’t wake her, either.>Other?Also, if you wake her->Tell her what you’re about to go and do, or keep her in the dark about you wandering over towards Twaryian territory?
>>3419271>For now, though, you had deemed that you were doing…your bestDon't delude yourself Ritcher>>3419275>Other?>Pick her up and carry her to camp to get out of the rain and then wake her there.>>Talk about?Her condition and that she should be taken off an active role in this force. She'll protest, but be firm. Bring up the idea of having her return to Maddy's for the time being. Maybe apologize>>Tell her what you’re about to go and doBut be firm in that she is *not* going due to her condition. We'll post a damn guard at the door to make sure she stays put and doesn't follow so she can get some rest.
>>3419349Supporting. Please give Hilda some rest.
>>3419275I'll jump on this >>3419349 as wellApologise, then stick her on the next outgoing train to the Blumlands and have her guard the manor in case any unexpected bears show up
>>3419349>>3419356>>3419405So before I decide anything, what do you want Richter to apologize for?Or is that "yes"
>>3419349Works for me. She's going to resist or want to track us but we can even get Emma to tattle on her for us if she tries.
>>3419453For me it's 'yes'. Richter and her are a couple of dumbasses but Richter and by extension us had more than a few chances to not let things get this bad, but we didn't.
>>3419453Putting her through all this in the first place.
>>3419349Yeah sending her away sounds good. Maybe admit her to a hospital first to ensure she'll be fine to make the journey? Also I'd assume Emma would go with her.
>>3419487Yeah this sounds good.
>>3419461>>3419463>>3419467>>3419468>>3419487>>3419491Time to try and make things right between you, then. Does she think she was wronged? Maybe not, but it hardly matters, does it?Writing then.
>>3419512Just to check how far along is her pregnancy at this point?
>>3419515About a month and a half, maybe a bit more. You wouldn't be able to tell from looking at her, suffice it to say.
>>3419522Alright, maybe then we should also raise the issue on what she's gonna do with the kid? Abort it, raise it, adopt it?
>>3419525Part of me thinks her being a mother and raising a child might actually be good for her.
>>3419529 I mean ultimately at the end of the day it's her decision, so let's go see what it is currently.
>>3419529Feeling this as well. No 'bort bab
You paused for a moment, considering things, since the thought had come up once more. Your face creased with a frown.“Come on,” you said to Hilda as you squatted down, taking and slinging her satchel over your shoulder, and put your hands under her knees and behind her back, “That’s no good for you.” She wiggled slightly and hummed when you picked her up; Hilda was rather heavy, but that was to be expected, since she was near tall as you were and, in spite of everything, still densely built with muscle. You had to keep your pace a bit slow to not wake her up, but you managed, though having to adjust your hold a few times as her limp form slipped here and there, to take her back to the headquarters camp; receiving no shortage of odd looks upon your return.Her cloak was wet and dirty, so you took her out of it before you put her on the sleeping roll, itself on a cot within your tent. Her boots had to be removed, as well; she must have been ill and tired indeed to not stir through yanking those off. You watched for a moment after you finally laid her down, watched her chest rise and fall, her breath clouding the air above her…it wasn’t really warm in here, you would need to roll out the blanket. Though before that, your curiosity turned to her arms, wrapped in cloth strips. You knew she changed them regularly; they would have to be changed now, certainly, as they were as dirty and wet as her overcoat had been. So you took the chance yourself to take her gloves off of her hands and unwrap her arms. She didn’t like them being seen, you knew, but…They weren’t as bad looking as they had once been. The skin of her arms no longer oozed, and had solidified into still unhealthy looking stiff, papery black…stuff. Ridges raised up and down that reminded you of something vaguely familiar- when you thought about it, they reminded you of the runes that had been on the golden armor, beneath the steel of your tank. Marks of sorcery. You ran your hand down her arm without thinking, feeling what her corrupted skin felt like. It tingled to touch, and it felt as rough and dry as it looked.This wouldn’t have happened to her were it not for you. You didn’t muster any will to contest the inner voice’s accusation. What worth was it to debate what happened in the past? All you could do now, you thought solemnly as you began to unwind bandages from Hilda’s other arm, was try and mend what had gone wrong.“Mmm.” Hilda stirred, and you looked over your shoulder at her, seated on a stool at her side as you were. “…Richter.” she looked side to side sleepily, “…How did I get here.” Her voice was tired, and dry, as it usually sounded. The raspy tenor induced from illness didn’t help it.
“You picked a poor place to sleep.” You continued taking Hilda’s bandages off, “I thought I should fix that. I took some of your things off because they were dirty and wet, by the way. Do you have spare bandages in your bag?”“…Yes.”You got up and, after a swift search, found the rolls of cloth. They had remained dry, the thick canvas of the satchel shielding most of its contents from the damp. You started pulling it out as you sat by Hilda again, and took her arm to wrap it again.“You don’t have to do that.” Hilda said weakly, “I’ll be alright doing it myself.”“I don’t think so.” You shook your head, as you bound her forearm tightly, and steadily looped the bandage roll further up. Hilda did not object further. “The way things have been going, I think I realized something,” you told Hilda, “Something I should have realized earlier, really.” You stopped wrapping her arm, and brushed you fingers against the blackened section of her arm again. “You didn’t deserve this.” Your frown deepened. “…I’m sorry.”Hilda stared through you. “…Sorry..? You’ve already said, though, and…”“It seems the longer you stay around me, the more you’re hurt, and somehow I don’t quite realize how much.” you kept your hand on her arm.“I…you didn’t-“ Hilda tried to protest, but you didn’t let her.“I could have kept you from being hurt, yet here, you’ve been injured worse than I could have imagined. And you’re still here.” You half closed your eyes. “A commander’s duty is to their people, as well. Do not try and take this failure away from me. I failed you, and I’m…sorry for that.” You finished binding her arm, and began to move to the next.Hilda didn’t say anything for a bit, but when you were halfway down her other arm, she coughed. “…You know that I can’t do anything but forgive you. I…even if you don’t like that I got hurt, I…” Her face fell, and she turned her head away from you. “…I’ve never regretted that we met. That we spent the time together that we did. That I’ve come with you…I’ve been hurt, and it still hurts…some days, I feel like I’m going to fall to pieces, but when I’m with you…” Hilda tilted her head back to you and did her best to try and smile, even though with how her scars twisted her face, and the ashen countenance her burns game you, it couldn’t help but look off. “I don’t hurt anymore. It all just goes away.”
“That’s another thing.” You couldn’t smile back at her. “I’ve been jerking you around. I didn’t think I was doing it, but I’ve been using your heart as a plaything. I thought I was being nice, but it turns out, it may have been the cruelest thing I’ve done to you.” You took your cap off and looked down after you finished binding Hilda’s other arm. “I’m sorry about that too. Even more than the other things.” You took Hilda’s necklace out of your jacket and looked at it in your hand. You’d never quite been able to divest yourself of it, for whatever reason.You felt a hand brush the side of your head. “…I don’t agree.” Hilda said quietly, “Maybe you were being silly. But so was I. You didn’t trick me into anything. Maybe you can fool somebody into liking you, but I don’t think anybody can fool somebody…into falling for them.” Her words said one thing, but you couldn’t help but feel another thing as you felt the blackened, stiff skin of her hand against your cheek. “You can’t say everything is your fault…just like I can’t either. I came here to protect you…to help shoulder your burdens.” She ran her hand under your chin and tilted it up to look at her, “I forgive you. Could I do anything else, since you forgave me? It makes me unhappy to see you the way I must have looked…”“You are pregnant with a bastard…” you went on. “Surely that is a step beyond the others. What do you even plan to do with them?”Hilda withdrew her hand, and put it on her stomach, looking to it. “…To be honest, and…I don’t think you’ll like hearing this. Sometimes, I catch myself thinking back…and wishing they were yours. That that time I didn’t do something…that I wish that I did, instead. Or that I’d lie to myself about it. But that’d be selfish. Maybe it’d make me happier about the baby…but it’d be awful for you, and if you really love someone…you don’t just try to do things that only make you happy.” She passed her hand up her belly, “I didn’t want them. I’ve done my best to forget who fathered them, because…a lot of reasons. But…they didn’t ask to be alive. I know what it’s like…to not be wanted. I thought about doing things that I would regret. I thought about passing them on to somebody else…but they exist because of me. To do anything other than care for them, to love them in spite of where they came from would be…wrong.”
“All the more reason then,” you followed on that morosely, getting up and getting the blanket, “That I can’t keep you doing these things I’m having you do.” You threw the sheet over her. “You’re ill, you’re pregnant, you’re weakened. Until further notice, you’re to sit still. Rest. Keep yourself safe. No more scouting. No more poking around. No more following me to make sure I don’t get shot.”“No.” Hilda said after the last, “I…I can’t let you go unprotected. I made a promise to-““My decision is final.” You had to be firm for this, otherwise Hilda would protect you until she was in an early grave. “I’m thinking of having you return to Strossvald. No sane man has thought a war zone is any place for a pregnant woman, let alone that one should fight in such. Would you do that?”“That…that would mean…”Hilda was conflicted. She clearly disliked the idea…but she was being held back. Maybe you could say something to push her along? Or at the very least, cool her off for the time being. You still expected to have to post a guard…but knowing Hilda, she would find some way to circumvent that…>Maybe if this was just between you and her it would be different. But you can’t involve her child in this.>Maybe if this was between you and her it would be different. But you can’t involve *your* child in this. >Reiterate that you think she’s gone through enough. You wouldn’t stand for the very likely possibility she’ll be hurt more than she already has. >Promise that you’ll keep her around, just in case; but she won’t do much good for herself or you if she doesn’t let herself get better, for a while at least.>Other?
>>3419756>>Reiterate that you think she’s gone through enough. You wouldn’t stand for the very likely possibility she’ll be hurt more than she already has."You're going to be a mother. Instead of worrying about me, for the next few months focus instead on making sure your child comes into this world safely and healthily."
>>3419756>But you can’t involve *your* child in thisDoes this option mean Richter considers the kid his?
>>3419762Both parties are aware that you can't retroactively declare genetics, but yes, it would be a way of taking responsibility. Unless one wished to have it interpreted another way.
>>3419754>I’ve been jerking you around. I didn’t think I was doing it, but I’ve been using your heart as a playthingFUCKING FINALLYI don't even remember how many times anons voted against realizing this. I can't begin to guess why.
>>3419756>Reiterate that you think she’s gone through enough. You wouldn’t stand for the very likely possibility she’ll be hurt more than she already has.
>>3419756>>Reiterate that you think she’s gone through enough. You wouldn’t stand for the very likely possibility she’ll be hurt more than she already has>>3419766Lots of anons couldn't care less I guess.
>Reiterate that you think she’s gone through enough. You wouldn’t stand for the very likely possibility she’ll be hurt more than she already has. I'd be up for putting her up with a cozy job back at the family manor if she needs a way to provide for her kid but I don't know that just seems like keeping her at arms reach and playing with her heart some more. Would it be better to just tell the Hilda to go away?
>>3419756>>Maybe if this was just between you and her it would be different. But you can’t involve her child in this.Declaring the kid ours would have the opposite effect of what we want, reiterating isn't strong enough to convince her and promising to keep her around is just stringing her along more.There is a risk stating that the child is holding her back and keeping her away from us. But it is the strongest argument to keep her safe.>>3419775Go where? She has no friends beyond the unit and her brother doesn't care for her. Hell Jurgen is more of a brother to her.
>>3419775>>3419799IMO the main thing we don't want to be stringing her along but at the same time you don't want her to go into some mental breakdown. I think sending her back to our parents for the duration of her pregnancy seems like a good option for now; it's not like we've even gone home for the entire quest anyway and it ensures she'll have some form of support. Good opportunity for Richter to write to his parents as well.
>>3419799Her brother cared about her enough to try to set her up with us.
>>3419756>>Reiterate that you think she’s gone through enough. You wouldn’t stand for the very likely possibility she’ll be hurt more than she already has.She's sick, she's pregnant, shes no longer any use to us so lets send her way
>>3419756>Reiterate that you think she’s gone through enough. You wouldn’t stand for the very likely possibility she’ll be hurt more than she already has.>Other?"You've been making good on that promise for so long and far beyond expectations. You also deserve gratitude for that far beyond what you've received. After everything that's happened some time off for yourself is the very least of what you've earned. I'll be okay Hilda. Believe it or not this crew of ours is pretty reliable. It won't be long before we'd see each other again and I can write to you along with my parents in the meantime. You can consider those letters a test for your studies if you want. In fact if you keep it up while you're resting you can even write back to me. So can you make me another promise while you put the other one on hold: Focus on resting and taking care of yourself. Please."I'm also seconding sending her to our parents. We can write them a letter explaining some of Hilda's circumstances and most importantly that 'This woman has saved my life, Maddy's, and taken bullets for me. She needs some rest so please see to that she is cared for. Also help her with her literacy studies if you have time.'
>>3419775>Would it be better to just tell the Hilda to go away?No. Maybe at one point early, but now she needs support. We'll need see how she's handled the time away from Richter.
>>3420039"P.S. the baby isn't mine."
>>3420039>>3420066>P.S. the baby isn't mine."underscore and bold that part in the letter
>>3419756>Reiterate that you think she’s gone through enough. You wouldn’t stand for the very likely possibility she’ll be hurt more than she already has. We are responsible for this child in a way, and I think the really cruel thing to do would be leaving Hilda flapping in the wind. I don’t think we have to adopt the kid or pretend it is ours, but I feel like we should help raise it, at least in the “it takes a village” sort of way.
>>3419775Yeah alright I've decided set her up in the manor and send the letter
Aight. So I'll be writing an update now, but for most of the day, I'll be occupied with a game, so I probably won't be updating again today til late, so you all know.>>3419761>>3419770>>3419772>>3419775>>3419962>>3419965>>3420039>>3420322You've gone through enough, and if you stay, you'll go through more- intolerable.>>3419799Think of the children! Child. No presumptions here.>>3420066>>3420090Also I didn't knock her up. Don't worry, your parents wouldn't assume that anyways.>>3420039>>3420353Send her specifically to the Von Tracht household, as well.Writing this up then.
“You’ve gone through enough.” You said before Hilda could complete her thoughts, “You promised to protect me, I know, but you’ve made good on that for a long time, beyond what could be expected. I haven’t paid back that dedication near what it deserves. After all that’s happened, the least you deserve is time off.”“…What would be the most…” Hilda trailed off. “…Sorry.”“I’ll be okay, Hilda.” You resumed. “You shouldn’t be expected to do all the work in making sure I don’t get killed. I can at least expect my crew to take up the slack. Believe it or not, they’re pretty reliable.” Extremely reliable, really, but… “We’ll be hanging around again before you know it. I can write to you along with my parents…I was thinking of sending you to stay with them, really. They’re pleasant people, they’ll take you in without question. If you want, you can consider the letters a test; we aren’t finished with your reading and writing, are we?”Hilda seemed to not entirely be paying attention, but she blinked at the notion of being sent letters; her attentiveness clear again, you finished your spiel.“Can you make another promise to me? That you’ll keep yourself safe. Focus on resting and caring for yourself. Please.”Hilda’s face was set. Most of her was below the sheet you’d thrown over her, but she sat up, and put her arms over it, scrunching up the blanket in her fists, and letting them go, then bunching them up again. “…” She opened her mouth, but nothing came out. She tried again. “…I don’t want to. I’m afraid that the moment I leave, you’ll find some way to get in trouble. But it seems like if you worry over me, you’ll be in just as much danger from being distracted…and I’m not in any shape to help right now, am I.” She pitched her gaze downwards. “…I had a dream. I was living a life I’ve imagined myself maybe having. It’s a silly, stupid fantasy, but…stupid in a way that made me happy to think about. After…well, I looked in a mirror in the dream, and I saw a terrible person…then I was that person in the mirror, looking out at the person I thought I was. A prettier, nicer person. That person shamed me for trying to have their life instead of mine, and left me. I tried to break through that mirror, I wanted that life back…but it was a mirror, not a window. So it just broke, and left me alone in the dark. It was a very sad dream.”That sort of came out of nowhere for you, but Hilda clearly wasn’t done, so you made no comment.
Hilda did continue, though it took a moment for her to gather her thoughts, and she continued to paw nervously at the blanket. “I’m still so unsure of what direction I’m heading in. I’m fine with where I’ve ended up, but I’d have to be even crazier than I already am to say I was fine with every step of the way.” Hilda swallowed hard. “…I’ll go along with it. I’ll go back to your house. Stay with your parents. Have my baby in peace. But I want you to promise…that you’ll stay alive and safe yourself. I want to show you…that not everything was a mistake. That even somebody who’s made so many mistakes…can have something good come from them.”“I promise.” You said without even thinking.Hilda smiled slowly, and sniffed. “It’s so…like you to just…say that right away. It’s…” She wiped her eyes. “Richter? You said…that I didn’t receive enough. I don’t want to demand anything, but…” Hilda swallowed again, and looked at you then to the side. “…I know just because I want something, doesn’t mean I’ll get it. Even if I want it so much I felt I could die, sometimes, I have to accept that what I have already is good. There’s been times where I wanted something too much, and all that ended up happening from trying too hard to get it, was that I hurt myself…hurt other people…but…” Hilda’s voice broke, and she gathered herself up again, blue eyes near stuck wide open. “Since I was little…I always…I always wanted…to be…kissed…by…somebody I love. The longer I go on, though, the more I think, that’ll never happen, I already didn’t think it could happen for a long time, and now…” Hilda coughed, as though she was hacking up the last of something that had lodged in her throat. “I know…I know I can’t ask for that. Of course I want more, but, I know I shouldn’t expect anything. But…I think I’d be happy, with just once…and nothing more. Nothing further. Just…”Hilda didn’t look at you. She leaned forward, and put her head in her hands. From under her bangs that fell forward, you could see an eye, looking almost hopeful.It would take an idiot to not know what she wanted. Would it also take an idiot to dare give it, or an idiot to not indulge her after she declared her wish?>That indulgence would only hurt her and both of you knew it. Part ways and wish her well. When you met again she would do well…perhaps from being away from you.>Tell her that you know she’ll have that wish someday.>Kiss her on her forehead. That should be fine.>Kiss her dutifully; it couldn’t be anything personal.>Kiss her like you mean it.>Maybe she could be satisfied with something more. Only once, and nothing beyond.>Other?
>>3420616>That indulgence would only hurt her and both of you knew it.Part ways and wish her well. >>OtherHow about an embrace instead? Shows affection without necessarily the connotations of a kiss.
>>3420616>>That indulgence would only hurt her and both of you knew it. Part ways and wish her well. Are we finally going to be rid of Hilda
>>3420616>>That indulgence would only hurt her and both of you knew it. Part ways and wish her well. When you met again she would do well…perhaps from being away from you.
>>3420616>That indulgence would only hurt her and both of you knew it. Part ways and wish her well. When you met again she would do well…perhaps from being away from you.
>>3420616>Kiss her on her forehead. That should be fine.>Tell her that you know she’ll have that wish someday.
>>3420616>Kiss her on her forehead. That should be fine.>Tell her that you know she’ll have that wish someday.She'll find someone else one day given enough time. Someone that'll love her unconditionally.I hope.>>3420642More like Hilda is finally getting rid of us for awhile. Poor girl. Richter doesn't deserve her.
>>3420616>Kiss her like you mean it.>Tell her that you know she’ll have that wish someday.Hint hint, by investing time in your baby not on Wizard bait Richter, dummy
>>3420616>Kiss her on her forehead. That should be fine.
>>3420616>Kiss her dutifully; it couldn’t be anything personal.She deserves it, more than this, but not now.
>>3420616>That indulgence would only hurt her and both of you knew it. Part ways and wish her well. When you met again she would do well…perhaps from being away from you.>Tell her that you know she’ll have that wish someday.Are we actually doing this?
Alright, I am here once more. Let's see.>>3420627>>3420642>>3420646>>3420650>>3420682>>3421611>>3421674Hilda has cooties. Shouldn't get them from a hug at least.>>3420659>>3420674>>3420861>>3421018A sentimental gesture.>>3421142A man's gotta do what a man's gotta do>>3420696A man's gotta wew what a man's gotta wewThe greater share didn't include the extra sentimental message. I'll presume intentionally. Writing now.
>The greater share didn't include the extra sentimental message. I'll presume intentionally.Lame. I feel that was the more important thing to get across to her, but I can't tell if people were just lazy, didn't care, or thought it meant a kiss from Richter specifically later which it doesn't.
>>3421872>I can't tell if people were just lazy, didn't care>Caring>About Hilda>From the same people who lead her into the shape she's in now.How did that one guy put it...? Oh yeah.>She's sick, she's pregnant, shes no longer any use to us so lets send her way
You knew what she wanted. You strongly considered it; not a kiss on her lips, of course, but on her forehead; something that you thought, would show some tenderness, but not imply anything more, that would hurt this poor woman. No. Even that indulgence would be too much. It would hurt her and both of you knew it; and you had decided to not be responsible for any more of her pain. Would a kiss on the forehead really be too much? Could you risk it being such?…You could embrace her. Give her a hug. That was at least something.Leaning forward, you put on hand on her shoulder and the other on the back of her head, and pulled her into your chest; Hilda was practically a limp doll, as she moved without protest, and you wrapped on arm around her back while feeling her hair with your other; it had grown longer, and she had combined her hairstyles; a ponytail accompanied the pigtails at her cheeks, and her black hair was as soft as ever. It was like petting a fancy cat, really, but this didn’t give you joy to do. Not now.Maybe you should have said something, but you didn’t- neither did Hilda.“Take care of yourself, Hilda,” you told her, “I’m going to go off on a raid, now. In case something happens, and I was wrong, I’m sorry. But Von Metzeler will make sure you’re seen to a safe place. I’ll draw up a letter in advance telling my parents that you’ll be heading to them. I’ll try and make sure I see you off at the station when we get you cleared to leave, too. I’ll see you later.”Hilda was released, and but she didn’t like back down; she was still sitting up when you went for the entryway, and for a flash you saw as you glanced one last time at her face, she looked terribly sad.-----
Your letter to your parents was stiff, awkward, and felt uninspired; it was mostly explanatory, as much as you could get away without anybody concerned about military intelligence raising eyebrows. Naturally, most of the exposition of your goings on was for the sake of your mother- she always wanted to know every little thing. Your father said that it was because she cared so terribly so and was part of why he was attracted to her in the first place, but it was tiring for you; always had been, and was a large part why your letter writing was relatively rare.It was easier to write about explaining why you were sending Hilda over. You noted especially, with great care, that she was not pregnant with your child. Though really, neither of your parents would have assumed that. When your marriage had been arranged with Maddalyn your father had made a joke that if it weren’t for that you’d never have tied a knot with anybody from lack of effort. It wasn’t a joke you appreciated at the time, but it was true that your father had been directly responsible for securing that deal in the first place. It wasn’t like you regretted being engaged to Maddalyn, either.Though when you tucked the letter beside its partner, you noted to yourself to be especially sure of what you sent where. You really didn’t need your parents to open your note saying how you intended to make a ruin of Maddalyn’s loins…neither did you need Maddalyn to read several lines insisting how you hadn’t made Hilda pregnant. That in particular made you shiver.As part of your final preparations at camp, you roused Krause and his crew to take one of the other 5 centimeter cannon armed tanks in preparation to your return to New Jorgenstohn for the raid, to get your crew moving on preparation, and then went to Von Metzeler to tell him about the raid and what you were going to do as well…and to start the ball rolling on Hilda’s departure from the country.
Lieutenant Rondo Von Metzeler had never gotten along too well with Hilda; you had nudged him into trying to draw away her attention from you some time back- one of many mistakes, as it turned out. Hilda was abrasive towards most people when they tried to get closer to her- somehow, you had found a crack in the wall she often threw up, but Von Metzeler had not done the same. He had swiftly and angrily put a stop to his efforts, declaring he wouldn’t “waste his time,” and relations between the two had been icy, if not completely lacking, as Von Metzeler would avoid her given the chance. So when you told him about your plans, he simply nodded.“I will have her conveyed to your household, with my regards”“Should I give you my letters as well?” You asked for your second in command’s opinion.“No.” He said firmly. “Consider it motivation. If you fall in your duty, then I will take it upon myself to recover them along with your remains.”That was an awfully morbid way of putting it, but you thanked him and saluted before leaving regardless. Judge above, if the enemy found your letter to your fiancée...-----
You finished briefing the assembled strike force on the current situation; a squad of Netillian light infantry, which would be supported by two tanks, both Valsten prototypes armed with 5 centimeter cannons; different models of such. Yours you had decided to dub, plainly but also distinctively, X-50, while Krause commanded the X-51. The most notable difference between the two was that the X-51 was armed with a machine gun; your own tank was not, sacrificing its space in the turret for a larger, more flexible armament. Both were quite thinly armored- you had been told that testing had indicated they were proof to 2 centimeter cannon fire; the heavier side of light weaponry, the equivalent of light anti-aircraft artillery or fighter cannons, but it meant that you had to be wary of enemy cannon and tanks. Half of tank combat was getting the first shot anyways, you supposed. Your own tank’s engine was in its front half, which may have provided more protection, but it would mean the engine getting shot up anyways…You decided you would simply have to be careful.“Gentlemen,” you moved on to the next subject; the disposition of the forces on this mission to raid into Twaryian territory and take back the Mayor’s daughter, potentially causing mischief in and out of the way, “On the subject of encountering the enemy…”>Fire for effect. No need to hesitate to spill blood or raze outposts. This was intended to send a message…and perhaps dare the enemy to attempt the same.>Be imposing, but do not fire unless threatened- you were imposing your will through force of implied strength, not blowing aside any in your path like cutting and clearing a wood.>Do your best to be subtle; the tanks even would be in reserve to rescue the infantry, and would stay out of the primary predicted mission area. It would be for the best if this was as quiet as possible and incurred as little collateral damage as could be expected.>Other?
>>3422034>>Fire for effect. No need to hesitate to spill blood or raze outposts. This was intended to send a message…and perhaps dare the enemy to attempt the same.
>>3422034>Fire for effect. No need to hesitate to spill blood or raze outposts. This was intended to send a message…and perhaps dare the enemy to attempt the same.
>>3422034>Fire for effect. No need to hesitate to spill blood or raze outposts. This was intended to send a message…and perhaps dare the enemy to attempt the same.>Other?In and out, we don't want to draw this out longer than necessary.
>>3422034>Fire for effect. No need to hesitate to spill blood or raze outposts. This was intended to send a message…and perhaps dare the enemy to attempt the same.If we got em, might as well use em. Except if it’s a Hilda, then we send it home with less than a kiss on the cheek.
>>3422034>>Fire for effect. No need to hesitate to spill blood or raze outposts. This was intended to send a message…and perhaps dare the enemy to attempt the same.Also, a Maddie
>>3422134Looks too happy to be Maddy lol (nice picture though)
>>3422034>>Do your best to be subtle; the tanks even would be in reserve to rescue the infantry, and would stay out of the primary predicted mission area. It would be for the best if this was as quiet as possible and incurred as little collateral damage as could be expected.Isnt the intended basis of this raid to "rescue" the mayors daughter. Might want to secure her first before we light the entire camp up.>>3422105Probably for the best, the poor girl dosnt need to be traumatized by Richter accidentally waterboarding her with his sloppy wet kisses.
>>3422135The choice of expressions with the mouths were pretty limited and tanq consistently draws her with the little dimple beneath her lips so that's the one I went for. Shame there weren't more options with the colour of the hair. https://picrew.me/image_maker/3595
>>3422134Ths is a cute Maddy. Not flat enough though.
>>3422143Actually it's Maddalyn who gives the sloppy kisses, at least from Richter's perspective. It's still objectively undetermined how sloppy Richter's own kisses are.
Okay I am somewhat alive. Most of today seems like somebody replaced all the sawdust in my head with wood chips.>>3422042>>3422054>>3422057>>3422077>>3422101>>3422105>>3422134Rip and tear!>>3422143Sneeki breeki.Well, I guess you go in shooting, then. Getting that ready.>>3422134This is indeed cute. Too bad you probably won't get to see her for a while.>>3422162I think most things are unable to portray the levels of flatness necessary to be fair.
“…don’t hold back when we encounter them. We’re going to raise hell wherever we can. No need to hesitate to spill blood or burn whatever we run through. We’re sending a message-let them know what happens when we’re provoked.” Perhaps, you thought, they would be provoked to give their own response. “That isn’t to say I will permit us to be savages. Our overwhelming force should be efficient. If we blow everything up and accidentally kill our objective, for example, we’ll look foolish as hell.”The location of the mayor’s daughter was vaguely known; the mayor had shared with you the apparent location where the people he had been dealing with came from. A forward supply post a little ways into Twaryian held territory, apparently set up solely to process the goods the mayor had been selling over. Quite small; quite vulnerable. It could be reliably counted on that his daughter would be there still, but if she wasn’t…you’d have to figure out something else. The men besides Krause hadn’t been told of the reality of the situation, that the mayor’s daughter was hardly in need of rescue, but had rather gone over with the foreigners of her own accord- the mayor had stopped short of claiming she eloped, but since he was requesting you get her back, he must have felt she wasn’t going to return home on her own. That would probably mean you’d have to force her back as well- you weren’t really looking forward to that, but the benefits of having an ally in the mayor were too strong to reconsider now.“We will need to get in, retrieve the person of interest, and get out as quickly as we can,” you said next, “Or else we’ll risk being caught by a quick reaction force. Probably one with tanks.” Twaryian tanks were a mixed bag. One type you’d encountered before were T-8s, which your own tanks certainly outmatched. The other were T-15s, which would be very bad news for you, especially since the Twaryians had seen fit to begin armoring them even more thickly than before, when their frontal protection was already impressive, and according to intelligence reports, the Twaryians had begun to properly produce armor piercing shells for the T-15’s cannons. There were a few other tank types as well, but none so threatening as the T-15 now.
The Netillian squad seemed nervous; most of the 5th Combined Infantry Battalion was green as spruce saplings, and while they had undergone training, save for the Ellowian platoons that included repatriated prisoners of war, most of them had seen very little if any combat. The machine gunner clutched his bulky weapon hard enough for his knuckles to turn white already- he was less fortunate, in a way. He was responsible for the squad’s primary offensive capability, with the help of two assistants in the machine gun team, but by all accounts you had heard the weapon he had been issued, the w.DB 29 type machine gun, was a very unpopular weapon and for good reason, as it was bulky, heavy, and was still prone to malfunction even after three years of teething troubles and design adjustments, and was supposedly only entered into production and continued manufacture to this day for political reasons rather than its quality as a firearm. His first time in battle, most likely, would see him entrusting his and his fellows’ life to a gun that he most likely had heard nothing but ill tidings about.Hopefully he didn’t feel similarly to his commander as he did to his weapon.No questions were asked; Krause had already spoken with you on the way here and raised his concerns; largely about how large of a mess you planned to make. He knew as well as you what you all were here to do, but he had admitted wanting to avoid collateral damage on the citizenry. You’d told him you wouldn’t let reprisals happen to civilians; whether Krause believed you were capable of preventing such, though…
Rolled 44, 61 = 105 (2d100)The Netillians fanned out behind your two tanks as you headed south for the border. You wouldn’t quite know when it was passed over; it was unmarked save for irregular signage and treaty stipulations had stated that the border itself would not be fortified (not that that had helped keep affairs peaceful). There was no way to know when the fighting would start- whether you’d encounter a patrol and have to hurry matters along, or if you’d be able to, as you planned for and hoped, to lance in and out like lightning.A boon in this operation was that your Valstener tanks ran rather quietly for tanks; the Twaryians wouldn’t hear your approach quite as easily as with other models of tanks. If you were lucky, perhaps you could catch whoever you ran into by surprise. The mayor had tragically been unable to furnish you with patrol schedules- either you would be lucky or both you and a random bunch of Twaryian soldiers would be very surprised.>Rolling for possible encounter, as well as detection- 1-33 is nothing, 34-66 is a Twaryian foot patrol, 67-100 are unaccounted for elements. On a roll below 70, they spot you. If it’s below 50, they see you *first.* They are more likely to detect you once you're set to see them, of course, because you're parading a couple of tanks about.
Preferring to bound between patches of wood, at first, your advance seemed absent of opposition; there was much territory to occupy and watch over, after all, the situation was similar on the Netillian side of the border gap, but you could scarcely believe your luck.That was, until you ran over a clump of undergrowth and suddenly found yourself staring a bunch of wide eyed Twaryians in the face. Black uniformed, with square-ish helms, holding rifles save for a one man with a fat drummed submachinegun. Approximately six of them were visible; you would count on there being at least a few more if it was a squad. They all had their weapons shouldered- either they had been looking for you, or were looking for something else entirely and found you instead.“Kako geczertcha…?” the man who appeared to be the patrol leader said quizzically, staring at you- you wore a Strossvalder tanker’s uniform, and rode on a Valsten tank, painted in Strossvald blue rather than Netillian green-gray. It was understandable that he took a moment to squint and try and figure out what the hell you were. However, the Netillians bumbled up from behind, and his eyes immediately narrowed. “Muchkodehm..!”>You didn’t speak a word of Caelussian- maybe you could sign to them that they should lay down their arms?>You supposed this was where the party started, then. Give the order to engage.>Attempt some faux-diplomacy. You weren’t near the objective yet, maybe you could try and imply you got lost chasing something? (What?)>Other?
>>3423845>>You supposed this was where the party started, then. Give the order to engage.
>>3423849>>3423856>>3423898>>3423952It turns out that this is a fight.Your tank is not equipped with a machine gun. Hopefully this is fine.Writing then.Though first, there'll be some fire traded while you button up. Contested roll, difference between the two is how many more the loser loses.
Rolled 51, 97 = 148 (2d100)>>3423991Ahem.Well good thing I forgot to put in the command and who was who.Former is yours, latter is the enemy. Your people have a -10 due to being newbies, but a +10 because they're close to a big spooky tank. Evens out.
Rolled 2, 1 = 3 (2d5)>>3423995Oh dear.Well, I also didn't dictate whether lower or higher was better, but I hope I can be trusted in that I intended higher to be better as per past examples of this.Though really roll under and over are all over the place, so I'd like to codify now in case I forget in the future that combats like this are higher-better, as was the case in past battles of the simple opposed roll style both in this quest and Luftpanzer.Anyways, this number rolled is what the attacker and defender infantry both take, but the winner takes fewer by a factor of how much they rolled over. I'll decide since you took the initiative in ordering to fire, though, your own people get a reduction of one loss.All over the place, I know, sorry, still feeling muddy it seems.
“Light them up!” You shouted to your soldiers, before pulling the cupola hatch over yourself in a hurt to get out of what would quickly become a firefight. “Krause,” you aid over the platoon radio next, “Move on line with me and prepare to engage. There’s about a squad of Twaryians and they all need to be put down.” Next, over the intercom, “Load high explosive, target, 1 o’clock, behind that tree, ten meters.Krause’s tank began to move up and the turret creaked as the power traverse was engaged, but in the initial conflict, you noted that your squad’s machine gun had not yet opened up, while the enemy’s had immediately began to rip bullets in your group’s direction. You looked out the back viewport to note your people’s positioning, to watch a pair of Netillian troopers scramble to take cover behind your tank, only for a grenade to bounce off the turret and land in the midst of them.You didn’t watch what happened next, only swore under your breath, when you felt your senses…lock up. Just for a moment, you forgot how to do anything, and heard nothing, not even the gun firing even as the recoil mechanism slammed against its rear retainer.“Boss!” Jorgen smacked his hand against the back of your head, “Wehkkup!”Already this seemed like a colossal mess. Were you supposed to draw back or go forward? For some reason it seemed so much less certain than before.>Have your crew handle things in the tank; you had to exit the rear hatch (Yes, your particular model of tank does have that, might have been worth noting earlier) and try to coordinate the squad.>Order the tanks forward- you had to try and press the Twaryians backwards, and with infantry support, you theoretically needed to worry less about them trying to climb on.>Reverse. You were too close, and lingering was too risky.>Other things?
>>3424071>>Have your crew handle things in the tank; you had to exit the rear hatch (Yes, your particular model of tank does have that, might have been worth noting earlier) and try to coordinate the squad.
>>3424071>>Have your crew handle things in the tank; you had to exit the rear hatch (Yes, your particular model of tank does have that, might have been worth noting earlier) and try to coordinate the squad.Leading from the front, oh boy.
>>3424071>Have your crew handle things in the tank; you had to exit the rear hatch (Yes, your particular model of tank does have that, might have been worth noting earlier) and try to coordinate the squad.Golly gee I sure hope 'breaking Richter's le conditioning' doesn't turn our main character into a vegetable in time for the totalkrieg haha
>>3424091>>3424095>3424095>>3424113>>3424127Panzer Commander swiftly turns into infantry leader. Who needs armor anyways?Good thing Richter's a good shot. Writing.
>>3424135>Panzer Commander swiftly turns into infantry leader.Gotta get that practice in for when the IO throws us under the bus and we're stuck in a penal unit in some meat grinder of a battle with only a rifle.
“Jorgen, you’re in charge,” you pushed yourself down, “I have to take care of things outside.”“Outside?” you heard Stein say in disbelief before you disconnected your headset and throat microphone from their jacks, “What the hell do you mean outside?”Staying around to explain yourself wasn’t an option. You grabbed the Messer submachinegun off the wall and tucked a grenade into your belt, shoving a spare magazine into your jacket pocket before, cramped up against the rear hatch, you had a moment’s hesitation.A commander of Strossvald feels no fear, you thought to yourself, and things became clearer again. The eye of the storm passed overhead, and you pushed your way out of the tank, only for the first thing for you to step on to be a bloody body. You kept on moving, only glancing at the fallen long enough to establish that neither of them was the Sergeant- it was good that the middle of the command structure, so far as you knew, remained intact- though who knew for how long with all the crackling and snapping of shots being traded back and forth at close range. A quick glance over the side of the tank told you that most of the enemy had taken cover, and were probably fit to stay that way as Krause’s tank rolled up a good bit to yours’s left and proceeded to spit its contribution of fire. With two tanks about, these people probably wouldn’t stick around and fight, but it wasn’t ideal to allow them to retreat. The sound of gunfire and cannon was hardly unexpected in the Border Gap, but you would have to be a fool to assume none would come to investigate. The fewer that could be found to tell a story, the better, even before you got to the small supply depot outpost that was your objective.A glance around the surroundings told you that the Netillian squad had at least gotten on line and taken cover, but their machine gun still wasn’t firing, while the Twaryian support was loosing long bursts from an unseen position. So far as you could tell, it wasn’t precise fire, but every time it opened up the shooting from your own infantry disappeared.The Twaryians would slip away at this rate, you thought angrily. You had to get the initiative back somehow, but what to do?>You may do two of these things.>Find the machine gunner and get them shooting again; they were the squad’s primary weapon carrier, they couldn’t be silent any longer.>Find the squad leader and get them moving forward, they couldn’t afford to sit here and hide in cover.>Try to sneak forward yourself; you were hardly a Reich paratrooper, but you knew you could do some damage on your own as long as you were clever about where you put yourself.>Call everybody to charge forward; there was more people in your squad than in a typical Twaryian one, you knew, and you had tanks, and they were close. It was time to fix bayonets.>Other?
>>3424201>Find the machine gunner and get them shooting again; they were the squad’s primary weapon carrier, they couldn’t be silent any longer.Best course of action, from there we can direct fire at what we need dead, which is that Twaryian MG.>Find the squad leader and get them moving forward, they couldn’t afford to sit here and hide in cover.If they cant do this automatically on their own initiative after we get the MG operational then what the hell have we been doing here for the past month.
>>3424201>Find the machine gunner and get them shooting again; they were the squad’s primary weapon carrier, they couldn’t be silent any longer.and yell at the Natillians to keep their heads up and firing.
>>3424201>Find the machine gunner and get them shooting again; they were the squad’s primary weapon carrier, they couldn’t be silent any longer.
>>3424210>>3424221You can take two actions, as a note; if you don't like the other standard options you can write in a second.
>>3424201>>Find the machine gunner and get them shooting again; they were the squad’s primary weapon carrier, they couldn’t be silent any longer.>Find the squad leader and get them moving forward, they couldn’t afford to sit here and hide in cover.
>>3424228In that case add>Find the squad leader and get them moving forward, they couldn’t afford to sit here and hide in cover.to my vote, tell him to move when we get the gun up or if Krause or Jorgen silences their mg in the meantime
>>3424201>Find the machine gunner and get them shooting again; they were the squad’s primary weapon carrier, they couldn’t be silent any longer.I don't like the idea of hanging around outside the tank any longer than we have to. Hopefully the squad leader finds his marbles and remembers out what he's supposed to be doing once the MG is firing
>>3424228ok then I pick these two>Find the machine gunner and get them shooting again; they were the squad’s primary weapon carrier, they couldn’t be silent any longer.>Find the squad leader and get them moving forward, they couldn’t afford to sit here and hide in cover.
Back now.Seems the idea is generally to get the Netillians moving if they need it, make them do the hard work. It's working efficiently, after all.Writing.
First things first, you needed the machine gun firing. It was the squad’s primary weapon, practically; everybody else save the squad leader had a bolt action rifle, and though the squad leader had a submachine gun, the Netillian submachinegun was a rattling stamped ugly piece of junk, while you knew that the Twaryian standard SMG was a terrifying piece of equipment indeed; what would sound like somebody blowing an extremely loud raspberry was actually that thing blowing out more shots per moment than the ear could properly register.You took a breath, spotted the machine gunner cowering in a ditch, and ran faster than you think you ever had in your life to dive for that defilade…fortunately, the presence of the tanks was hampering the Twaryian’s ability to do more than suppress, with how the explosion of HE shells kept them moving, save for the unseen machine gunner. There was still a discomforting crack that spat behind you as you flew through the air for what only felt like a second or two before rolling next to the machine gunner.“What the hell are you doing?” you hissed, “Where are your assistants? Get that gun firing!”The machine gunner pointed a finger towards the back of your tank, and then pitifully looked down at his gun. “I-it jammed! I can’t…”He demonstrated his problem by pulling at the bolt, and following by trying to flip the magazine release; which did nothing. The w.DB 29’s magazine release was infamous for failure- and it was very difficult to force the magazine out otherwise. Mostly, though, the cause of failure was gunk getting in it.“Give me that,” you tore the machine gun away and opened the action. Typical- a feed malfunction that would have been able to be cleared simply if the magazine could be remove. “One moment.” “One moment right now?!” the Netillian whined, but you had taken out your knife; not something you usually carried, but Anya had started insisting you carry one. It turned out to be useful in between now and then anyways. You dug the point of the knife into the gap in the release, pushing about, until the magazine clicked out and a clutch of unfired rounds spilled out. You pulled a spare magazine from the Netillian’s webbing, racked the bolt to expel anything left in there, and fitting the magazine in, before handing it back. “You hear that?” you pointed in the direction of the other machine gun firing off, thankfully not sending a line of cracking zips over your head at the moment. “You know what to do.”The Netillian gunner needed no further encouragement; his confidence returned with the weapon’s functionality, and you got up to go find the squad leader.
It turned out that once the machine gun got back on line, the squad leader was quickly rounding up his relatively scattered troopers and urging them forward. You linked up with him as he pointed for a fire team to go around the other side of Krause’s tank to exploit its presence on the field.“What’s going on, Coordinator?” he asked as you backed up against a tree near him.“Making sure everything’s not gone to hell,” you panted, “Get going forward.”“Already on it, sir-“ a bullet cracked by and blew apart the tree wood next to his face, and he flinched, wide eyed, before shaking his head and pointing onward, “You heard the Coordinator, guys, let’s get ‘em!”>Keep with them- you’d lead the attack, and educate by example for what was likely their first firefight.>Go back to your tank and get the armor going forward now that the troops were in a better situation. It was time to turn this around all the way.>Take a small group of men and go around the flank- you could try and box in the retreating easterners and keep any from possibly getting away.>Other?
>>3424410>>Go back to your tank and get the armor going forward now that the troops were in a better situation. It was time to turn this around all the way.OK we had our bout of bravery let's get back inside the metal box.
>>3424410>>Go back to your tank and get the armor going forward now that the troops were in a better situation. It was time to turn this around all the way.Kind of wish we had Bat Company with us for this.
>>3424410>Go back to your tank and get the armor going forward now that the troops were in a better situation. It was time to turn this around all the way.
>>3424410>>Go back to your tank and get the armor going forward now that the troops were in a better situation. It was time to turn this around all the way.Discretion, valor, tonks
>>3424410>Go back to your tank and get the armor going forward now that the troops were in a better situation. It was time to turn this around all the way.We are a tank commander after all.And the first order of action is to crush the machinegunner.
>>3424428>>3424443>>3424450>>3424506>>3424511Back to the tank, that's quite enough bullets for today. Special priority towards getting your mitts on that machine gunner.Writing.
In case it wasn't obvious, I fell over and died while in the middle of writing. I'll be back at it in about twenty.
Rolled 77, 9 = 86 (2d100)You watched the sergeant run forward; as the Twaryians were drawing back, it was actually relatively safe (so much as a gunfight could be called such) to advance; and for you to get back to your tank. You stepped over the two bodies of the poor saps from your company that had taken that grenade earlier, and stepped back into your tank, clambering up into the commander’s seat and plugging back into the radio and intercom.“I’m not dead yet, it seems,” you said calmly, “Driver. Forward, slow, keep behind our foot traffic. Gunner, scan for targets.” You switched to platoon radio. “Krause, we’re moving forward. Stay on line with me…” you thought a second, “…though behind our riflemen. If I go forward beyond that, stay back.”“Should I be concerned?”“For somebody, yes.” You switched back to tank intercom. “Malachi, I’d like to ask…actually, both you and Stein. There’s a Twaryian machine gunner out there who’s been a menace. I’m putting a bounty on his head. I don’t care if he gets blown up or run over, first person who gets him gets…whatever they want.”“Aiyaie,” Malachi crackled back, and the tank immediately started forward.“Commander, what if he surrenders?” Stein asked warily.“Then whoever runs to him faster.”“Yuufahkedbuss.” Malachi said, you guessed that he was already declaring his victory over Stein. “Deddmee.”“Malachi, hold up, I’ve got a target!”Malachi politely stopped, but only for long enough for the cannon to fire and not a moment more- though you were half willing to bet he only stopped because he knew Stein hadn’t found the machine gunner. You had faith, at least, that one or the other would get the blot on this operation soon enough.>Next combat roll- With both tanks on line and supporting, the Netillians now have a +30 bonus. The Twaryians are attempting to retreat, so they have a -20 penalty; but both sides will take 2 less casualties each as a result. Former is Netillians, latter are Twaryian’s roll.
Rolled 5, 1, 5 = 11 (3d5)>>3425053Wow.Well, time for casualty factor; your own people wll take six less, in addition to the two reduction already in place.Arbitrary addition to ruling states that one side having armored support means they get an extra damage dice to throw at the other side, so the third is slung at the Twaryians only, in addition to the combined result of the first two.Eventually I will decide on what works for all mechanics instead of just the large scale rules for Luft.
The Twaryians had detected how the tide of battle was quickly turning, but their egress wasn’t nearly swift enough once the tanks started moving. Combined with the renewed energy of attack from the Netillian infantry, the Twaryians were flushed out of their positions, and cut down by supporting fire from the tanks and machine gun. You didn’t end up catching all of them, by your wager; you spied a pair managing to slip to the side, though it seemed as though they were creeping and hiding rather than trying to run away. Malachi had ended up winning the bounty; Krause had reported the position of the machine gunner as it had tried to button his tank in an attempt to slow his advance, and he had reported its position to you. Malachi ended up being told the positon as well, and had swiftly raced the quick Valstener armor over. The Twaryian gunner tried to get away, but the front end of the tank clobbered him. In the aftermath, you had gotten out to inspect him, and found that the man, while stunned and bruised, had managed to pass under the tank otherwise unharmed.Confusion swept through the Twaryian lines after your tank’s charge, and those who were left surrendered quickly afterwards- not including the aforementioned two who were hiding. The only casualties on your side had been the two slain by the grenade at the start of the battle, which dampened the squad’s spirits; though, the Twaryians had been their allies so recently, that they seemed ambivalent towards them. Whether this would be a problem later would have to be considered. If you had taken Ellowians, you knew, they would be much less receptive to so readily accepting surrender. There was serious bad blood between them and the Twaryians.
“There’s two more of them hiding,” you told the Netillian squad leader, “Have you been looking for them?”“’Course, sir,” the squad leader replied. “I guess we’re either looking for them or just moving on, but…” he looked backwards, “We lost a couple of guys…what are we going to do about them? I want to take ‘em back, but…”>Go ahead and have some people take them back. You wouldn’t need too many people to attack the small depot; it should be very lightly guarded and you have tanks.>Leave them for now. They could be picked up and transported on the tanks on the way back, should nothing go wrong.>Inform the squad leader that you can’t promise anything; the dead would come second to the living.Also>Leave behind the squad to find the remaining two Twaryian fighters; you and Krause can attack the depot on your own, and you’ll move faster without the infantry, too.>Leave behind part of the squad to search for the remnants, and have a pair of teams ride on your tanks for when you attack the depot.>A pair of men couldn’t cause much trouble. Pick up and start moving again.>Other?And>Take the prisoners back with you when you retreat.>Leave them behind, but restrained.>Leave them behind, under guard.>Other?Summary execution is a war crime and not one protected by your advisor status should you be found out.
>>3425078>>Leave them for now. They could be picked up and transported on the tanks on the way back, should nothing go wrong.>Leave behind part of the squad to search for the remnants, and have a pair of teams ride on your tanks for when you attack the depot.>Take the prisoners back with you when you retreat.
>>3425078>Leave them for now. They could be picked up and transported on the tanks on the way back, should nothing go wrong.Such assumptions.>Leave behind part of the squad to search for the remnants, and have a pair of teams ride on your tanks for when you attack the depot.>Take the prisoners back with you when you retreat.Make sure to tie them up, no need for the remaining Twaryians to try and be heroes and free them to overwhelm the squad we leave behind.
>>3425078>>>Leave them for now. They could be picked up and transported on the tanks on the way back, should nothing go wrong.>>Leave behind part of the squad to search for the remnants, and have a pair of teams ride on your tanks for when you attack the depot.>>Take the prisoners back with you when you retreat.
>>3425078>Go ahead and have some people take them back. You wouldn’t need too many people to attack the small depot; it should be very lightly guarded and you have tanks.>Leave behind part of the squad to search for the remnants, and have a pair of teams ride on your tanks for when you attack the depot.>Other?Leave part of the squad behind, maybe we can get the squad leader to part with his submachine gun so its easier for one guy to handle the restrained prisoners while the rest search for the last two guys. If anyone can talk to the Twaryians see if we can get one to go with the search party to yell at the two hiding that if they come out they will all accompany us to the border with our casualties, then we will let them go to handle their dead. If they do not come out we will take their friends as prisoners anyway. Depending on how exactly we want this attack to be retold, I don't know whether we want them let go or if we want them as prisoners, but it didnt seem like we had a great place to hold prisoners so I think they should be let go.Also run over their guns, just to be safe.
>>3425078>Get a small detachment to transport both the prisoners and the dead back.The prisoners can carry the bodies. Leave enough people that those two runaways couldn't take them on.
>>3425078>Leave them for now. They could be picked up and transported on the tanks on the way back, should nothing go wrong.>Leave behind part of the squad to search for the remnants, and have a pair of teams ride on your tanks for when you attack the depot.>Take the prisoners back with you when you retreat.
Here once more after lunch.>>3425086>>3425120>>3425135>>3425139>>3425178Keep some guys behind, have them watch over the spoils until you and the rest get back; quickly, then take them back home. Is it kidnapping? No, it's appropriation of human resources.Also restrain them.>>3425146>>3425172Have the dead taken back- and leave some people to look for the stragglers.The former vote wins, but I'll include >>3425146 's write in to trade weaponry potentially, if not keep the SL behind to keep order, announce requests and ultimatum, and destroy weapons.Writing.
“We’ll take them on our way back,” you told the squad leader, “Along with these prisoners we’ve taken.”“…Are we allowed to do that?” the squad leader frowned.“Probably not, yet here we are.” You led him over towards the rounded up Twaryians; and across from them, their pile of surrendered weaponry. The Twaryian submachinegun popped out to you- you’ll be taking that, thank you. “Or take something from the pile before we run it over with a tank. So that the people you leave here will have an easier time watching over the Twaryians.”“Ah-“ the squad leader opened his mouth and pointed a finger to the weapon you just captured, but you gave him a look that answered his question before he asked it. “Affirmative.”“Pick five other men to ride on the tanks with you. Assign your assistant to watch over these prisoners with the remainder. That same group should look for the two remaining enemies unaccounted for.” You rattled off, “Anybody in your squad speak Twaryian?” The squad leader shook his head. “Get a move on, then.” Next, you addressed the huddle of prisoners, several wounded. “Any of you speak New Nauk? Neeww Naaukk?”“Fuck you.” One of them piped up.“You can, then?”“Fuck you, fuck you fuck. Fuuuck you.” His pronunciation was slightly off- you sighed, guessing that the man was simply repeating curses which were the only part of your language he could speak. It would have been nice to deliver an ultimatum to those who were left.“Krause!” you called over to the Junior Lieutenant leaning out of his command cupola, “Come and destroy these weapons. We’ll move out after. According to our info, the depot should be real close, and it should be lightly manned. Once we spot it, we’ll discuss over the radio what we do.”As you headed back to your tank, you heard the sound of groaning metal and splitting wood as Krause had his tank run over the Twaryians’ weapons. Clambering back into your tank, you told the crew what to do, and then remembered something.“Crap, did I say what the bounty was? Because Malachi bagged that guy, alive, too.” It was a wonder to capture somebody alive after hitting them with a tank, though whether that was purposeful or an accident was difficult to tell with Malachi- he had done less believable things with tank driving before. “Tehkknoodinyapeckter.” Malachi told you over the intercom. “Donnawanpekter. Wanseefyukandoutded.”“Excuse me?” you coughed.“Yeah, I don’t think anybody caught that, Mal.” Stein said for everybody, “Say it slower.”“Whetebakkabase.”
“Fine, then.” You dreaded what on earth he could be asking for, as you popped out the top of the turret and confirmed that your passengers were clambering onto the hull. Once everybody was aboard, as well as on Krause’s tank, you announced to them that you were heading out, informed Krause of the same, and then told your drive, “Forward, fast!”-----After but a couple minutes, the depot was in sight. It was indeed small, and more importantly, very lightly garrisoned. From about fifty meters away, you surveyed it, with the Netillian infantry that accompanied you already complaining about the bumpy ride and disembarking. In total, there was probably about five men throughout the place, not nearly enough to do more than watch over it, though they had assumed defensive positions, presumably over the recent racket. Understandable. The depot itself was made up of a pair of open, slanted tin roof structures under which were steel barrels and crates, a small sized utility truck, and a pair of ramshackle buildings that looked to have been thrown together in a day, and not expected to last much longer than a week, though they had somehow clearly endured for longer. Only a few foxholes and piles of sandbags indicated light fortification. You searched for your quarry through binoculars; no sign of them. They could be behind a building, in the truck, or, the worst case, not there at all.“Maybe we could resolve this like gentlemen,” Krause proposed to you over the radio, “There are so few of them, and look at what we have. It doesn’t seem like any reinforcements are about to arrive. We can just roll up and demand they surrender. We can’t speak their language, but we can certainly imply what they want with a few good warning shots, a slow approach, and a firm shout. Not that one of them probably doesn’t know some New Nauk, if they got that girl to go along with them. We take them all back and we torch the place. What do you say?”>That sounds good to me. Saves ammunition and saves stress. Let’s do it.>There could be a trap. I’d prefer to not fall into it. Best to pick through a defeated enemy than negotiate with an intact one.>Sure, but we’re not taking any prisoners; let them run off. They’ll only slow us down. We can still raze the place just fine.>Other?
>>3425543>>That sounds good to me. Saves ammunition and saves stress. Let’s do it.
>>3425543>>That sounds good to me. Saves ammunition and saves stress. Let’s do it.It still screams trap. But how much hardware could they really just keep guarding a place that isn't supposed to exist?
>>3425543>>That sounds good to me. Saves ammunition and saves stress. Let’s do it.Keep Krause back to provide overwatch.
Back again now.>>3425589>>3425620>>3425645>>3425685>>3425766Going with Krause's plan of swaggering up and implying that they should act reasonably.Though he gets to be the cover element instead of the swagger. Writing.
“That sounds good to me.” You told Krause, “Saves ammunition, and stress. We’ll do it.”“Great, I’ll just-““You will stay back and cover my approach.”Krause clicked his tongue. “You know, that wasn’t really my idea of it.”“You’d prefer to go?”“We could share, if you like.” Krause offered with fake, coy innocence.“This place could be trapped. I’d rather us not both fall into such a thing.”“Was only a joke, Lieutenant. Besides, I think you’re worrying too much. This ain’t like that other time, that place won’t blow up and take out a whole city block with it. Unless you think the mayor screwed us, but then why do this?”“Indulge me.” You said to Krause. “You got it.”“Gentlemen.” You said as you pushed your headset off your head to speak with the Netillians, “We’re going to walk forward and meet as guests. Don’t shoot the head off the first person you see, but if they start shooting, be careful. There’s one person we want to get out without any new holes in them after all. Fan out to my flanks and be ready for anything.”Rolling slowly out of the woods with a line of Netillians jogging along, yourself standing confidently out of the hatch, might have looked quite the stunning photograph, but for the first few moments, you were gritting your teeth and waiting for Krause to be wrong about the enemy’s disposition. However, your faith in him was well placed. Perhaps because the two Twaryians watching you must have known, if they resisted your approach, they would be blown away- if you wanted to kill them, it was also obvious that you could have done so easily by now. So what else was there to do but see what you wanted? Running away or hiding might provoke you, after all…you figured, was what they thought.One of the black uniformed easterners, with no square helmet but a floppy cap on his head, kept a curious, wary eye on you through your whole approach. He had stood, arms at his side, though his compatriot kept his rifle at his side and leaned towards a nearby pile of sandbags. He continued to gaze up until your tank pulled to a stop before him, and he and his partner were staring down many times their number in armed rivals.You pushed yourself up and over the edge of the cupola, hung your legs over the side, and slid off, walking up to the man.“Eh,” he pointed off to the side, apparently understanding that neither of you could likely understand each other, but giving an unmistakable gesture for I’ll get my boss. This was responded to by you drawing your pistol and holding a hand up. “Ah ah.” You closed your hand and waved a finger, then pointed it down.
“Hm.” The Twaryian frowned, but stayed put, until you motioned for him to turn around; he didn’t make further trouble as you pushed him along, pistol in his back.“Get the other one,” you said to your people, and a couple volunteers stepped over to disarm the other man.Your hostage’s hands in the air, he led you to one of the shacks, which he opened for you, and after a few words inside, led you forth. The two occupants were Twaryians as well, seated, and with their hands raised; they appeared to not want any trouble as you and a few Netillians filed in.“Yaskessalam chteto plokeyehdea.” He said gravely to one of them. The man he was talking to was a broad faced fellow with a shaven face and a small nose, his youth seeming to have stuck around longer than anticipated about the face. He nodded, and shrugged.“So.” He said in only very slightly east-tinctured New Nauk, “I suppose you’re here about Elise. Was all the shooting earlier you? You didn’t have to do that. We could have just talked if this was really so much trouble. This won’t go over well with our people.”>Too bad. At least you’re behaving well, unlike the others. Keep that up while we take you away and I promise you’ll be well cared for. Maybe we can even make a deal.>There was never a time for talking, especially not now. Bring out the mayor of New Jorgenstohn’s daughter immediately, or we find her without your help.>I’ve got some questions for you, since you’re so chatty… (What?)>Other?Obviously, telling him to shut up and do what you say precludes conversational inquiry.
>>3426201>>I’ve got some questions for you, since you’re so chatty… (What?)And kidnapping a Netillian woman will not go over well with ours. Where is she?What deal did you strike with the Mayor? ( I want to hear his version of it)How long has this been going on?Where are the rest of your men?Then,>Too bad. At least you’re behaving well, unlike the others. Keep that up while we take you away and I promise you’ll be well cared for. Maybe we can even make a deal.It's likely he won't want to come with, I'm willing to be open to that as depending on what he offers.
>>3426262This sounds good to me.
>>3426262>>3426297>>3426399>>3426515>>3426534Pretty unanimous choice of action. A quick interrogation; then an appeal to any sense of gain.Writing.
“You’re quite chatty, aren’t you?” you chose to be snide to the single person among them who could speak your language. “In that case, I have a few questions. First and foremost. Where are the rest of your men? Is this all of them?”“Myself, your captive, and he are all there is beside one other man outside are all who are stationed in this place, though, you surely have taken him under armed custody as well.” He asked the man you were sticking up a question in Caelussian, who gave a swift and simple answer. The man looked back to you. “Such is the case. If I am lying, then you will shoot me dead, won’t you? I hope you find that motivation enough for me not to lie. If we are to speak as equals, though, where I am from, even if a man is my enemy we ought to know one another’s names-““Your name is unimportant at present.” You cut the Twaryian off. “Next question, concerning the relations of Netillian and Twaryian. Our actions here could not be expected to be anything but proper reprisal. Would you expect the abduction of a Netillian woman, especially that of an official of the state, would go unnoticed, unpunished? I think now. Where is she?”“Abduction?” The Twaryian squinted at you. “Did dear mister Gespie refer to it as such, or are you telling me what I will stand accused of later? You should know that no abduction took place. Elise Gespie came with us of her own volition. If that is abduction, then my list of kidnappings grows to include yourself. She came willingly, and you may hear it from her own lips if you wish it.”“Then have one of your men show where to find her. Or ask your leader to do so. Whatever position you are in.”It seemed that he was the boss of this place, as he looked to the man sitting across from him and gestured towards the door with a short, quiet request in Caelussian. The other soldier rose, raising his hands, and went out the door to escort some men from outside to show where the Mayor’s daughter was hidden. Or rather, was hiding.“You’re right, though. I know the score.” You told the Twaryian, “You struck a deal with Mayor Gespie, to buy supplies and fuel from him. This deal has henceforth ended, whatever it was; you will inform me of the details of this deal.”“Now why should I tell you that?” the Twaryian said smugly. You pushed your prisoner to a side and pointed your gun at the man you were questioning. His mouth turned down slightly. “A fair point. Know my position, though, for how maliciously you came over here, if I answer your every question completely, you will have no more use for me being alive. I would appreciate some insurance that I will not be kneeling before the Judge this day.”
“Your good behavior thus far tells of your future being full of life.” You told the Twaryian, “Keep that up and when we take you away, I can promise you and your men will be well cared for. Perhaps we can even make a deal beyond that.”“How mercenary you presume us to be. I suppose I have no choice but to accept such a generous offer, don’t I?” the Twaryian sighed, “We made a visit to the town upon its founding. The mayor arrived quite poor, but eager to become rich, and the state was not providing to his satisfaction. So, with permission from my superior, I furnished him with money, and we exchanged it for his goods like proper customers. He did not leak any information, I assure you. He knew but a few cards to keep close to his paunch. Don’t believe me? I’m sure you could have Mister Gespie replaced, imprisoned, on such a charge as leaking intelligence to a potential…no, I suppose there is no need to play at diplomacy, is there? Your enemy. In any case, none would question such a judgment, but you have my assurance he did nothing of the sort. Then again, I did not offer to pay for such.”“Bullshit you didn’t.” you accused. Yet the man only shrugged. “How long has it been going then if it’s since the founding. A bit more than a month?”“About that much. We did a fantastic job of not being discovered, didn’t we? Until the mayor decided to change loyalties, again.”“His scapegoat was not you.”“Yet here you are.”“You Archduchy imperialist pig!” a shrill voice from behind. Suddenly, a short woman blew from around you and got in your face; she was ghostly pale with long white blonde hair tied in a pair of tails, and eyes so pale grey blue they almost seemed the color of morning clouds. She wore a heavy, puffy blue and grey wool coat that went down to her knees, and she looked extremely agitated. “Sorry, Coordinator,” an apology came from behind, “She just-““Daddy has kept me cooped up long enough! I am an adult, and I demand to be treated like one! You can turn straight around and go back to tell him that.”>Tell her to stay if she wants. But this place is going to be on fire in a few minutes and her father’s house may be restricting, but it is plenty hospitable.>Insist that she needs to return; her father cares enough about her to wish for her return, does she think these strangers have anything good in mind for her? They probably would have done things she couldn’t imagine to her, had you not arrived.>Inform her that the only thing standing between her friend’s continued life on this world and your ire is her cooperation. What, were you going to try and convince her to come along? Unlikely.>Pick her up and carry her off. The objective was yapping her head off but you had no obligation to listen.>Other?
>>3426613>>Pick her up and carry her off. The objective was yapping her head off but you had no obligation to listen.
>>3426614>>Inform her that the only thing standing between her friend’s continued life on this world and your ire is her cooperation. What, were you going to try and convince her to come along? Unlikely.>>Pick her up and carry her off. The objective was yapping her head off but you had no obligation to listen.We're doing thing for us and our unit's welfare not her after all.
>>3426614>>Inform her that the only thing standing between her friend’s continued life on this world and your ire is her cooperation. What, were you going to try and convince her to come along? Unlikely.>>Pick her up and carry her off. The objective was yapping her head off but you had no obligation to listen.A Netillian calling us imperialists? How ironic.
>>3426614>>Pick her up and carry her off. The objective was yapping her head off but you had no obligation to listen.Hokay then let's bag em all up and run like hell. If those Twaryians escaped earlier then we gotta hustle. Also I envision lots of practice for our Netillian charges in infantry tactics and how to shoot a gun.
>>3426614>>Pick her up and carry her off. The objective was yapping her head off but you had no obligation to listen.Richter's got 99 problems and enough of them are women already. Let's just go.
>>3426614>Listen lady, you could be a kidnapping victim or you could be a state traitor, colluding with potential hostiles. Your choice.
>>3426621>>3426681>>3426683Abduct her back!>>3426624>>3426629>>3426703Make a smart remark and then carry her off, regardless of response!Either way, no shit is being taken from the young lady, it seems.Writing.
“If you’re fond of your friend here, you should know that my vast patience is all that stands between your friend’s life and its swift end. As for everything else you have said, you have a choice of being seen as a kidnapping victim, or a traitor.”“You-““Thankfully I’m making your choice for you.” You holstered your pistol and grabbed Elise around her waist and hoisted her over your shoulder.“Aaagh! Put me DOWN!”“Sergeant!” you called out as you exited the premises, “Have all four Twaryians here restrained and taken back to the other tank. My crew and I will prepare to raze this place. Be ready to run as soon as this place lights up, because if the gunfire didn’t tell anybody what was going on, the pillar of smoke will. Grab any papers from inside the shacks, and let’s leave real quick.”“What a waste,” you heard the Twaryian who could speak New Nauk sigh from behind.-----The presence of fuel meant that there was no issue making the depot inflammable in spite of the drizzling rain; the place was set alight, and once it was certain that it wouldn’t anticlimactically extinguish itself, the tank was remounted, and the only parting glance the depot was given was to aim the tank cannon at the small truck by the depot, and nail it in its engine with a high explosive shell- it touched off its gas tank and the whole thing rose into the air in a plume of flame and smoke. Satisfied with the havoc you wrought, you had everybody head back to the site of your first engagement.Elise meanwhile made no shortage of trouble for herself. She hadn’t been bound at first, but when the first thing she did was pop you in the nose, she found herself hogtied. She hadn’t even hit you hard enough for you to mind that much; she had simply set a precedent. As she thrashed about on the floor, stuffed into a convenient corner with her hair tied around a section of hull, the thought came to mind to warn Hans to keep his mitts off of her, but where there had once been a hopelessly lecherous radioman, was a much more subdued person. Mind you, he still made no shortage of crude jokes and implications, but his tendency to be handsy with women had near disappeared after he had met his old beau, Stein’s sister (more significantly, the head mechanic of your late uncle’s top notch mercenary company the Iron Hogs) Smitty, back in Sosaldt. She had taken him away and…well, you could guess what she had done, but ever since, Hans had seemed to have been completely content with ceasing any inappropriate touching. For the most part.
A loud alarm sounded just as you made it back to the rest of the squad with their prisoners; the prisoners were made to carry the Netillian dead, and in no time, everybody was hoofing it back across the border, where one could breathe a sigh of relief…after making it back to New Jorgenstohn. It would be safe enough for now, even in the case of a reprisal attack; counter raids tended to only be proportional to the offense made on them, you had heard reliably, and avoided larger settlements or any fights larger than the one you had been in. That, and there was a sort of unspoken courtesy implicitly agreed upon in the Border Zone- if one made an offense, they got a response, and that was it. No counterattack for a counterattack, tit for tat. Though whether your current raid would be interpreted as an attack or a counter would be up to interpretation…would they have known what you were doing and why you were there, you wondered.Elise complained still as she was escorted back to her father’s home.“They didn’t do anything,” she choked bitterly, “We didn’t do anything wrong. They just wanted to show me places.” She continued her crabbing until she was met with by her father, who extended what looked like a warm welcome with true concern, spoken quietly, but she shoved by him and into another room, slamming the door behind her.“…Well,” Mayor Gespie muttered, “She is home, safe and sound. I-““Our previous arrangement.”
“Yes.” Gespie took his handkerchief out and wiped his face all around. “It will be as we discussed. I take it that the mission went well?”“Two men died.”“O-oh.”“We managed to make it worth their sacrifice, though. We’ve captured ten Twaryian prisoners.”“Oh.” Gespie seemed concerned all of a sudden. “And what are you planning to do with those?”>They’d be going straight to Battalion HQ- they’d probably be sent right back over the border and put back into Twaryian units as a diplomatic courtesy, but it would look good in a report, and thus a sign of your thriftiness when it came time to ask for requisitions.>You’d keep them with your company. It would be simple enough to find a place to keep them, though you weren’t sure what to do with them yet.>You expected the mayor to keep your prizes here in this town- you certainly didn’t want to have to deal with them, but you didn’t really want to just hand them up the chain, either.>Other?Also, you should decide what to do next after this.>Give in to caution and have your units dig in in preparation for a reprisal attack; it would mean everybody’d be stuck in place for the day for the most part, but it would keep everybody safe.>Anya should be back soon; get a checkup on what her contacts with the local insurgents are saying.>You’d been requested to visit the UGZ; there’d been reports of plenty of unrest there, maybe it would be good to check it out?>Take some much needed R&R. Was but a half day’s work cause to celebrate? Why not?>Other?In addition to all this, concerning the contents of your report to the higher ups on this operation:>Smugglers tracked to Twaryian territory and dispatched. Light casualties. >Skirmish was provoked on border. Conflict escalated. Light casualties.>Investigated reports of abduction from New Jorgenstohn. Found Twaryian involvement. Recaptured prisoner.>Other?
>>3426747>>They’d be going straight to Battalion HQ- they’d probably be sent right back over the border and put back into Twaryian units as a diplomatic courtesy, but it would look good in a report, and thus a sign of your thriftiness when it came time to ask for requisitions.Might need those favours in the future.As for what to do next, I'd say all of them; we can talk to Anya and get the company to start digging in (good practice anyway) then head to the UGZ.>Investigated reports of abduction from New Jorgenstohn. Found Twaryian involvement. Recaptured prisoner.
>>3426747>They’d be going straight to Battalion HQ- they’d probably be sent right back over the border and put back into Twaryian units as a diplomatic courtesy, but it would look good in a report, and thus a sign of your thriftiness when it came time to ask for requisitions.>Give in to caution and have your units dig in in preparation for a reprisal attack; it would mean everybody’d be stuck in place for the day for the most part, but it would keep everybody safe.>Investigated reports of abduction from New Jorgenstohn. Found Twaryian involvement. Recaptured prisoner.Safety first.
>>3427698I also remember when Hilda wasn't burnt to a crisp
>>3427698>>3427705Fixed that for you
Boy I'm starting real late today. Sorry about that. Fridays.>>3426748>>3426770>>3426772>>3426788>>3427530Send the prisoners to HQ, send report saying the issue was kidnappings, then do...everything...!>>3427492As before, but special emphasis on digging in.>>3427030Should have called her back if he wanted that so much.>>3427698Cute! >>3427781Rude!Anyways. Writing now, finally.
“Right back to Battalion HQ.” you didn’t need to answer the mayor’s question, but sharing that you were going to do exactly what you were supposed to do with prisoners was hardly a poor idea. They’d probably sent right back over the border, either as part of a trade or a diplomatic courtesy; somehow still a matter of concern, but either way it would look good in a report, so when time came for requisitions, you’d stand out more among the many needy.“Oh. Well. Of course.”“Our deal, though? To make certain?” you prompted.“Yes, yes,” the mayor got back on his proverbial feet, “Basic sundries, fuel and rations. Though I wouldn’t expect too much of the former unless you wish our productivity to plummet…”>Weekly fuel ration increased by 1. Fuel in the Border Gap is closely rationed, so it may not be possible to take the maximum amount of vehicles for a certain amount of missions. Fuel ration is based off of what has been reported used; unless gained from another source such as the town, Logistics will see that, should you be hoarding fuel, you clearly don’t need any more!“As long as you aren’t selling whatever you offer across the border, there won’t be a problem.” You told the mayor. To be true, the lack of fuel had been a burr in your trousers for some time. The freedom to move was an essential element of the most advanced armored warfare tactics, and to be shackled for want of gasoline rather than obligation to the battle line was much more frustrating. “We will stay in touch. Watch out for real brigandry, in the meantime.”“Y-yes…” for as nervous as Mayor Gespie was, he had really turned out the better in this arrangement. Though you certainly wouldn’t be paying him a single pfenning.-----As soon as you returned, you apprised Von Metzeler of the situation; and how it went, meeting under the overhang of the command tent where normally a few aides would be assessing paperwork; currently, it was the workplace of a revolving set of individuals, including you, your officers, and the sole retinue.“Two men died to serve a favor to a corrupt official?” He echoed, before you told him of the benefits won. “I hope that is worth the sacrifice.”“Do you think that the company will not think so?” you frowned, wary now.“Men die in war for far more daft reasons.” Von Metzeler said, not seeming so critical now, “One should be mindful of where the profit for such appears to fall, though. Not that I believe you would gorge yourself on misbegotten loot, but if any determine you are up to suspicious activities for other reasons, and they find out about your war chest…”
“I will keep that in mind.” Von Metzeler of course referred to your coffers of paper money, which represented a substantial sum of money for your small group’s use. It was exchanged for a portion of the gold that had been part of your reward (and resources for executing) the mission to Sosaldt. The IO had been happy to cooperate in facilitating the exchange of such a vast amount of Strossmarks to the Netillian currency of Gildr; substantially more Gildr, as Netilland lacked the economic might of Strossvald in spite of having about as much war potential with its expansion. Though, according to the odd newspaper, it was insisted that the Gildr was on the uptick. “I sent Junior Lieutenant Krause to the battalion headquarters with the prisoners we rounded up, as well as a report explaining our operation as investigation into an abduction, which was found to have Twaryian involvement. I’d hope that gives us good rapport on high, at least.”>Prisoners sent to HQ- RP for next Requisition Phase increased by 1. Requisition is how you request reinforcements and equipment and additional units, according to need. The Border Gap only allows a set number of troops by treaty; increasing your numbers and capabilities requires some clout represented by RP investment.“Command does like their prisoners,” Von Metzeler agreed, “Even if they like them so much that they send them to their home swiftly afterwards. I cannot imagine you were able to capture anybody important in such a small net, however.”It would have been a surprise if you had. “No, it seemed like just a few Twaryians involved in as low level a scheme as would befit their rank. I doubt anybody was a ranking officer, even. Even the most unusual one was only such in that he was oddly agreeable, and could speak New Nauk.”Your second in command squinted his eyes. “That is very unusual for a rank and file enlisted. He was not dressed as an officer?”“He was not.” You were quite unaware of what would be abnormal concerning Twaryian culture itself outside of military affairs, though. “Why is it so unusual? Sosalia near universally speaks New Nauk. Twaryi is belligerent and openly hostile to its neighbors but they do communicate with them.”“The teaching of New Nauk is banned in Twaryi, Commander.” Von Metzeler explained to you. “One must have a special permit to receive tutelage in it. They are especially spiteful to the effects of the Kaisers’ dominance.”You let your mouth droop a bit. “Are you saying I should have kept that prisoner around?”“I would were I you. However, I doubt that anybody truly important would be as directly involved in a scheme as low level as this was. He is more a curiosity then than a missed opportunity. Unless…”
Von Metzeler’s lips tightened and his eyes brightened, in an expression you’d learned as him getting a whiff of the scent of a mystery. He was awfully compelled by such things, though in some cases, mostly related to Strossvald’s army and the Intelligence Office, he was oddly passive. However, such was not the case this time. One would have wondered why Rondo Von Metzeler did not become an investigator or detective instead of a panzer officer. The answer would lie in his family’s infamous yet not publically recognized misdeeds and criminal practices. To put it bluntly, one of their number would not be tolerated attempting to force justice upon them, and certainly not one who was as adherent to the concept of such as Von Metzeler. One had to wonder if he learned it from outside his family or if it sprouted up of its own volition within him.“The young lady went willingly with him, yes? I would investigate, given time. Immediately, unless other duties occupy us.”“They do. I’ve ordered the whole company to do defensive drills. To sharpen them up, as well as prepare for any reprisals coming our way. I’d prefer to be sure to prepare against such.”“Hey!” you heard a high, lilty and sharp voice come from the edge of the camp. You recognized it as Anya’s voice; she had returned with a plain blue umbrella that she certainly hadn’t embarked with; she didn’t particularly mind rain, or cold- you suspected that her open abdomen was some sort of furnace in disguise with how little she cared about wearing her jacket open in December, even a rainy one and not a snowy one, since instead of a normal shirt under her jacket, she wore a close fitting top that, without the Retinue jacket exposed her shoulders and cut off a few centimeters below her breasts. It made her very distracting, though from what you had been told, very few besides you felt the same... “What the hell’s going on outside? Everybody’s tunneling like shells’re about to start dropping! Did you piss somebody off?”“Lieutenant Von Tracht believes he may have. So the unit is now fixed in place.” Von Metzeler said dully. He didn’t seem to like Anya very much; not that they had particular issue with one another, from what you could tell; you supposed he just wasn’t very fond of energetic women. Or maybe it was because of your behavior with her. He had plainly noted, once, that in spite of Anya’s face bearing a particularly disfiguring scar, that you should not take that as an excuse to ogle her stomach. You claimed that you had no idea what he was talking about. He returned by saying that you were extremely poor at concealing where your attentions wandered.
“I don’t suppose Richter’d tell me then?” Anya asked, coming up and occupying the space under the overhang with the two of you. She was at least a good head shorter than either of you, but your body tensed up in reaction anyways; it had experienced how much even her wiry arms could hurt if she felt like doing so. “You know, I’m pretty sure navel gazing is supposed to refer to inspecting your own.”You pretended that you weren’t caught. “We did a favor for the mayor of New Jorgenstohn by retrieving his daughter from across the border. We shot a few people and burned down an outpost.”“Sounds like fun.” Anya said. “Beats playing big sister to a bunch of kids.”Whether or not what happened could be construed as fun was irrelevant. The latter comment, though, was a reference to the insurgent cell Anya had managed to come into contact with, supposedly, completely by accident. As much Ellowian manpower had been drained by wars and especially this last one, there was actually a relative dearth of adult men, especially in the area you were stationed in. That meant more than a few militias drew adolescents into their ranks, from a rough age range of eleven to fourteen years old, sometimes younger than that. The small group Anya had run into, who called themselves, succinctly, The Ashes, hadn’t recognized her uniform (not uncommon considering with how she wore it) and had tried to recruit her. Anya had humored them, and subsequently advised them against what she deemed as “acting fucking retarded.” Anya had been a child soldier herself, in the past. You wondered if she was attempting to steer these wayward youths into not repeating what mistakes she had, but whenever Anya talked about her past, she never seemed to regret having been a mercenary at an age far younger than most. “How are they doing, by the way?” You asked.
“I’ve been making sure they’re eating properly.” Anya said, annoyed. “They’re wrapped up enough in freedom fighting that they want to get things they think will be useful instead of maintaining their bodies. They still don’t want to see how harmless they are.” In spite of wanting to be educated in war, Anya had told you before, she hadn’t done such. “They told me another group wandered into this sector. They heard of the social coming up. It’s a juicy target. Means it should be fun.”“Is your dress ready?” you tried to tease Anya.She stepped up and flicked you on the nose. “You just can’t wait for any surprises, can you?”Von Metzeler cleared his throat. “They told you they predicted an attack on the event at Kamienisty?”“Literally everybody is predicting an attack. The security’ll probably be too good for most to try because even a moron knows that it’d be bad to be hit there. I don’t need a bunch of kids to tell me what’s obvious, I told them to get closer to this new bunch and see if they’re the right blend of competent and stupid to try something dangerous. The runts haven’t really been up to anything- thank me for that, but it’s what these people we don’t know would do that’d be a problem.”>Ask Anya any questions about The Ashes? (If it's something you would have been told already anyways, it will be gone over anyways, just not in the context of a conversation.)>Tell Anya to close her jacket.>If Anya’s back, maybe it’s time for a spar? You hadn’t had it yet today. Only the early morning run and exercises that she ran you through to “turn you into less of a stick.”>Other things/matters/actions?Also>You’ll be visiting the UGZ soon. Who do you take with you? None of the company soldiers are available due to the drill.The Requisition Point and Fuel stuff will come up on a bigger interface when it’s relevant; just figured you’d like to know the profits sooner.
>>3428862>>If Anya’s back, maybe it’s time for a spar? You hadn’t had it yet today. Only the early morning run and exercises that she ran you through to “turn you into less of a stick.”>You’ll be visiting the UGZ soon. Who do you take with you? None of the company soldiers are available due to the drill.Our officers and retinue
>>3428862>Ask Anya any questions about The Ashes? (If it's something you would have been told already anyways, it will be gone over anyways, just not in the context of a conversation.)Who did they report to?>If Anya’s back, maybe it’s time for a spar? You hadn’t had it yet today. Only the early morning run and exercises that she ran you through to “turn you into less of a stick.”>You’ll be visiting the UGZ soon. Who do you take with you? None of the company soldiers are available due to the drill.officers and retinue
>>3428906>Ask Anya any questions about The Ashes? (If it's something you would have been told already anyways, it will be gone over anyways, just not in the context of a conversation.)How many of them are there?What kind of firepower do they have?Just how widespread is the Ellowian Insurgency?What does she think is the best way to deal with them?>You’ll be visiting the UGZ soon. Who do you take with you? None of the company soldiers are available due to the drill.I don't think we should take too many officers, I don't know how the new Captain will act without some Strossvalder command nearby to steel his nerve. But bringing Anya and maybe the crew would help.
>>3428862Seconding this >>3429200
>>3429200Krause can return here once he drops off the prisoners; having Metzeler around may be good if we end up with more stuff to investigate.
>>3428862>Ask Anya any questions about The Ashes?How do they view the Ellowians in our unit. Do they keep contacts with the UGZ.>You’ll be visiting the UGZ soon. Who do you take with you? Officers and retinue, except Anya. If someone in the UGZ is in contact with the Ashes, she can be compromised.
I'll still not be writing for a bit but just as a general comment, it's not raining very hard, but the ground is pretty wet.I have only realized now that voting to spar is basically "tomboy mud-wrestling."That is all.
>>3429406I retract my questions.>If Anya’s back, maybe it’s time for a spar? You hadn’t had it yet today. Only the early morning run and exercises that she ran you through to “turn you into less of a stick.”>Tell Anya to *lose* her jacket.
>>3429406Lol if that's the case leave the sparring for later. Also since we managed to wrangle laborers out of the mayor as well maybe we can build better accommodations for our camp rather than be stuck in a tent for the next few months?
>>3429407>Tell Anya to *lose* her jacket.thisthisthisthisthisthisthisthisthisthisthisthisthisthisthisthisthisthisthisthisthisthisthisthisthisthisthisthisthisthisthisthisthisthisthisthisthisthisthisthisthisthisthisthisthisthisthisthisthisthisthis
>>3429407>>3429413Calm down you virgins.
I'll be back to update in a couple hours after I go to a gun show. Most if not all of the questions are the sort that would have been known so that they can be answered in an out of context aside; voting appears to swing in favor of having a spar rather than not, so we can go with that when I return.>Tell her to lose the jacketI think it can be safely concluded that it wasn't being kept on anyways.
So before everything else.>>3428997>Ask Anya any questions about The Ashes? (If it's something you would have been told already anyways, it will be gone over anyways, just not in the context of a conversation.)>Who did they report to?As in who are they affiliated with? Nobody but themselves, as it seems; hardly surprising, as many insurgency groups are too disparate/lack power to come too much out of hiding. Such may change rapidly soon with rumored consolidation in the Border Zone.>>3429200>How many of them are there?About two and a half dozen. They're a bunch of orphans who either live in or hang out in the woods.>What kind of firepower do they have?Pathetically little. Whatever they could scrounge up, which isn't much.>Just how widespread is the Ellowian Insurgency?It's all over the country, but isn't quite unified...so far as you've heard. Ongoing crackdowns have kept them laying low, but the Border Gap due to the treaty concerning the amount of troops allowed within is theorized to be a place where they'd be trying to reorganize and grow in strength.>What does she think is the best way to deal with them?The insurgency or the Ashes? Because Anya's basically implied what her solution is. They're children; prevent them from doing anything stupid and try to help them survive their new reality.>>3429366>How do they view the Ellowians in our unit?That's a bit a complex topic. When Ellowie fell, just as many people were tired of the fighting and constant wars as were those who wanted to continue the fight. It's a divisive subject among Ellowians even; those who are resistant and those who are tired of it. Your unit includes, though, both volunteers and the voluntold; useful sorts conscripted from POW camps. Generally, though the Ellowians in the assimilation units themselves share an opinion that they are hardly slaves to their conquerors; they're certainly belligerent enough with Netillian soldiers. However, hardliners would argue that they're still fighting for the enemy; even if many of them would prefer Netillian occupation over Twaryian (another subject that the soldiers in your unit agree on, they would rather fight for Netillians than for Twaryians).Suffice it to say, it's complicated, and opinions are mixed. Most of the Ashes are war orphans, after all, but they may know others' fathers who may very well be prisoners who accepted re-conscription for their family to be better taken care of.>Do they keep contacts with the UGZ?Not really. They specifically live outside of the UGZ; them seeing the UGZs as pens (as they very well may be, though exiting them is hardly impossible for its residents, though it's hardly easy either). They're disorganized youths, really; and about as much should be expected of them, though they still come across information that others trust them with due to at least believing they are a resistance group.Anyways, with all that, I must needs focus on the actual update.
You opened your mouth to ask a few questions, but then, thought of something else.“We haven’t had our spar today,” you pointed out to Anya. “Do you want to take care of that now?” Ever since she had started “instructing” you in close combat technique near a month and a half ago, every other day was deemed to be a sparring day. Her teaching methods left much to be desired, in your opinion, but she insisted that you were learning; to be fair, it did feel as such, but Anya had not yet let you win; whenever you advanced, she would hold back proportionately less. It was every other instead of every day due to time constraints; and Anya not holding back as far as the force of her strikes went, leaving you aching the next day. As she had said once, ”I’m smaller and weaker than you, but even something puny can hurt plenty if it’s put in the right place. That’s how a bullet works. If a machine gun’s shooting at you, you’d have to be dumb to think you’ll be fine just ‘cause the bullets are little.” At least she never punched you in the face. You wondered why that was. There were a few rules for sparring, but not many; unspoken ones, really. You didn’t strike for Anya’s breasts (small and hard to hit as they were), and in turn she didn’t try and whack you between the legs. The day that invisible pact was broken would be a rueful day for you indeed.Anya tilted her head in response to your proposal, and leaned her umbrella against the side of the tent. “Huh. Figured you’d want that later. Alright then.” She loosed her jacket from her shoulders and whipped it around to throw in your face. “Hold this.” As you pulled it off your head, you saw Anya toss her cap to Von Metzeler, who caught it reflexively, then scowled.“Commander, surely there are more pressing matters.”“Are there?” Anya asked, genuinely, stretching her arms behind her. “I’ll try not to beat him up too bad if there’s things that actually need to be done.”Von Metzeler pursed his lips. “Not that I can think of.” He handed off Anya’s cap to you. “Feh.” He sauntered off, muttering something about inscrutability of…something.Anya’s vivid green eyes followed him for a moment, before they flicked back to you. “What’s eatin’ him? Whatever. Do you want to spar or not? Hurry up and put my stuff somewhere. Take your jacket off too, unless you want grass and shit on it.”-----
You followed Anya out to a space to the flank of the camp; Anya didn’t particularly mind where this was done, but you preferred to not make too much of an exhibition of your rocky learning process. It wasn’t a bad thing to walk a bit of a ways; it let you have a good view of the scenery. The mist in the distance, dull green spruce trees and wildflowers that stubbornly held on through the chill. A knocked out Ellowian tank that had sat around rusting ever since its war had ended. Anya’s shoulder blades and her dusty blonde hair bouncing with her steps. The crease of her spine, the-“You remember where we left off?” Anya asked.“Huh?”“Judge, bugger me. Where we left off last time. Spit out the right thing or I’ll beat it into you harder so you remember right.”“It was…that I was too stiff in body, right?”“Yeah.” Anya turned around fully, and gave you a slight push. “Even steel’s gotta bend sometimes. If you hit a rock with a hammer it’ll bust apart, but if you swing it at a bush it’ll weather it fine. If you’re too rigid you can’t move right. Here, feel me.”“I’m sorry?” you couldn’t help but blink.“Don’t make this weird, dummy,” Anya admonished you, taking up a fighting stance. “Just touch me.” …Your head told you to do one thing immediately, but your reason wrested control, and you reached out and squeezed Anya’s upper arm. “See?” Anya moved the gripped arm forward and back, “If you lock up your muscles, they can’t move as fast as you want them to.”“I would have appreciated hearing that without being beaten.” You could also swear you’d heard such a thing before, but bits of the memories of basic training were randomly falling out of your head; not that you had ever been any good at close combat drill anyways.“Ah, shaddup, you like it. Learning’s easier when you have screw-ups and pain to look back on anyways.” Anya brushed your hand off of her. “Anyways. You need to be faster, since you hit the wall of being about as good as you can get otherwise a bit ago, and if anything, your tenseness’s actually gotten worse. So we have t’ un-fuck that up.”“How do we do that?”“Same way you fix an engine. You beat the hell out of it.”“I don’t think that’s-“
“Talking’s over, get fighting!” Anya declared, and she gave you a light tap on the chest and beckoned with her hand as she danced backwards, feet moving as though she tread on clouds. Your attention should have been on the stance she took, the ways she could move, as Anya sometimes snapped advice at you before and after abusing you. However, you were distracted by the drops of rainwater running off of her skin, and the realization that, if you did hit her, shouldn’t you hold back in order to avoid bruising her? You did intend to put her in a dress, after all…Suddenly Anya sprang forward and took hold of your arm, stepping forward and entangling your leg with your own before tugging with her whole body and sending you into the ground and pinning your arm behind your back.“Agh!” you protested, “I wasn’t ready!”“I was, and that’s all that matters. I said we were starting didn’t I?”“Psh.” You resigned yourself to the damp grass. “Fine.”Anya loosened as you stood up, put her thumb in her pocket, and made a mocking c’mere curve of her finger. “Know what? This is a bit same-y. So I’ll give you a free shot. Better make it count~”What a proposition that was. It made you wary- was it a trap, or was it a dare..?>Wait. She’s certainly bluffing.>A free hit? Fine then. As hard as you could, in her- (Where?) The last time she got punched full force in the face she just laughed about it.>Grab a hold of her and push her to the ground; see how she’s smirking after being dipped in a mud puddle.>Ruffle her hair- see if that annoys her.>Other?
>>3431272>>A free hit? Fine then. As hard as you could, in her- (Where?)Stomach.
>>3431272>A free hit? Fine then. As hard as you could, in her- (Where?) Right in her chest. I want to see Richter cry every day from this moment forward.
>>3431272>Ruffle her hair- see if that annoys her.If we belittle her, maybe she’ll double beat the shit out of Tracht.
>>3431305>Right in her chest.May I ask that you specify what section?Are you daring to attempt a boob punch?
>>3431337Yes. I want Anya to start mudstomping Richter's dick in every single session henceforth.
>>3431272>A free hit? Fine then. As hard as you could, in her- (Where?)The front of her throat, don't be dumb.
>>3431337boob punch and then tackle into mud
>>3431305>>3431314>>3431341What's with all the masochists?
>>3431379They're all the same person :^) >>3431272>>A free hit? Fine then. As hard as you could, in her- (Where?)Stomach.
>>3431387Yikes. Anyway let's just this over with.
>>3431272>A free hit? Fine then. As hard as you could, in her- (Where?) Grab her arm and sock her in the armpit. It hurts a lot but it shouldn't leave an obvious mark for the party.
>>3431272>Ruffle her hair- see if that annoys herIt will and it will be wonderful
Arma is over. Time to count votes.>>3431290>>3431317>>3431387Destroy the object of fixation.>>3431305>>3431314>>3431355>>3431411Danger zone>>3431471Apricot preparation>>3431333>>3431473Floof molestationWell you'd better not waste this then.Give me up to three sets of 1d100, averaged, to sock Anya right in the tit. Lower is better as per typical skill.
Rolled 2 (1d2)>>3431964Apparently I counted one pair of bobpunch votes twice. Silly me.Rolling off before, then. 1 is stomach, 2 is boob.Besides that, the 3 sets of 1d100 rolling is still on.
Rolled 23 (1d100)>>3431964
Rolled 44 (1d100)>>3431974Ehpheckeet
Rolled 19 (1d100)>>3431964
>Roll Average: 29You opened and closed a fist, and Anya stood there, with her legs apart, just watching. One free shot, huh? Where would you hit her, you wondered…right in the stomach seemed like a good place, but maybe not the best place to get your one big hit in. Your gaze wandered to her chest. Not that you made a habit out of punching women, but you knew enough to know the breast was unpleasant to get struck in. If Anya wanted to toy with you, then…You curled your arm back and stepped forward, putting all your weight into this punch. You felt soft flesh around your knuckles cushion your blow for an instant before the rest of the force went full into her ribs. You'd been growing stronger under her training, knew how to exploit your newfound strength better- hopefully she would appreciate the fruit of her efforts.“Oof!” Anya coughed, staggering back and keeping her stance wide, a grimace on her face, “Man, that actually sm-“You didn’t let her finish, as were already bounding up to tackle her. She seemed off balance, but in the past, Anya had feigned being unready only to turn the tables in a flash. Hopefully she’d be distracted enough by your admittedly distasteful play to let you nab her with this all or nothing dive…>Give me another set of 1d100s, up to 3, averaged.>-20 bonus due to success of last roll
Rolled 9 (1d100)>>3432119
Rolled 99 + 20 (1d100 + 20)>>3432119
>>3432147I give you a 9 and this is how you repay me?
Rolled 61 (1d100)>>3432119WITNESS ME FOR TOMBOY
>Roll Average: 43Anya got her second wind quickly, but not quickly enough for you to already be leaping for her. She dodged to the side, but you caught hold of her middle and you both span onto the ground, tumbling over several puddles before you came to a halt with her on top of you; not exactly how you wanted to end up, though both you and her were now soaked and spackled with mud. Your current position would have been funny if Anya wasn’t immediately winding up, it looked like, to sock you right in the face.She hesitated.You had already recoiled in preparation for the punch, and opened your eyes again when she didn’t hit you. She had a frustrated scowl on her face, her fist still raised back. Was she going to punch you in the balls, then? What vengeance was she cooking up?It seemed she hadn’t figured it out either, by the time you figured out you probably had an opening.>Turn the tables and get on top of her instead>Punch her (Where?)>Make a smartass comment (What?)>Throw mud in her face>Other?
>>3432194>Throw mud in her face
>>3432194>>Turn the tables and get on top of her insteadDon't get kneed in the balls
>>3432194>Turn the tables and get on top of her instead.
>>3432194>Throw mud in her face>Turn the tables and get on top of her instead>Punch her (Where?)Stomach
>>3432211>>3432215>>3432216>>3432221I suppose this can all go under the umbrella of >>3432224Alright then. This time, give me another set of three 1d100s; this time, it'll be for each of the three parts, rather than an average.
Rolled 68 (1d100)>>3432232
Rolled 33 (1d100)>>3432232
Rolled 81 (1d100)>>3432232Damn I'm so turned on right now.
Rolled 82, 34 = 116 (2d100)>Rolled 68, 33, 81With a quick spasm you scoped up a handful of muddy dirt at your side and flung it at Anya’s face; she recognized what you were doing, and covered her face with her arm just before the projectile could blind her. Ah well- it didn’t matter, as she was distracted enough that you could push her off of yourself and pin her down in the mud with your weight. You’d finish this with a good punch to her stomach, you decided- she’d probably yield after that. It certainly wasn’t your intention to beat her too badly; just enough that- finally, you could say you won. With a handicap, sure, but you had learned if anything to not be picky about what victories you gained.You pushed your knee down on Anya’s thigh as you slammed her into the ground, a splash of water accompanying her subdued ”Uff! One hand pinned her right arm down; her better arm, though both of them were fierce, and you curled your arm under your side to deliver the final blow.Yet Anya was more slipper than you accounted for. With a fantastic writhing she near wriggled free of your grip, and your planned blow ended up being more of a slap and a press as you tried to hold her down. It was for naught. She managed to slip out of your grip (her wet skin turned out to be rather hard to keep a grip on) and roll to the side, whereupon she spun up to her feet and raised one foot into the air…>This might hurt.
>>3432314>This might hurt.
>>3432314Lol what's that roll for tanq?
>>3432257The heck is with some of you people?
You barely threw yourself back in time to avoid Anya’s boot rushing for your chest; from the air rushing past as it whiffed by your nose, but your dodge was imperfect and your stance unready, so you splashed onto your back, Anya flying over you and landing gracefully onto her feet above you. Before you could react further, you felt a tug on your arm, and…God damnit.“So.” Anya huffed, as she held your arm in an iron-tight lock with her legs, ready to yank it out of its socket in a moment. “You gonna give up now, or are you going to take what you’re gonna get right now?”>Bite her>Yield>Other?>>3432326The People's Boot followed by a grapple.
>>3432342>>YieldCan we just finish this already.
>>3432342>Bite herHow many times must we bite a tomboy before she learns?
>>3432342Honestly I'd base it on our previous performances which I'm not sure about. So I will compromise.>Other?Normally you're bragging about your stomach but you have really strong legs too.
>>3432344>>3432398Listen to the brain.>>3432359>>3432363>>3432374Listen to...your spite?>>3432378She has not granted you an opportunity to bite her again.Complement her legs? This is an odd time to be flirting.Anyways, writing.
Look folks, she'll definitely respect us more if we keep fighting, plus we can't just lay down and get beat. Fuck that. We already punched the boob so what's biting a leg?
“You know,” you whined, “You don’t let up on strengthening your legs, do you?”“You don’t let up on strengthening your jaw, for how much you yammer.” Anya shot back.“Oh yeah?” you said heatedly, before opening your mouth wide and sinking your teeth into a length of tomboy thigh.“Ow! Ow!” Anya yelped, “Fuck you! That hurt worse than the first thing, you shit!” As Anya began to tug on your arm and you felt bones begin to shift, you accepted the coming pain as your just desserts. So close. Yet so far. At least Anya had a second bite mark in that infernal leg of hers.-----“Why’d you hold back?” you asked as you sat up in the mud and let Anya put your arm back into its place, “I was expecting you to hit me in the face after I tackled you. Then you didn’t, and I expected a knee in my groin.”“Hmph.” Anya pushed on your shoulder steadily and hard, “You’re going to marry that midget, aren’t you? I don’t want to mess things up for her more than having to marry you in the first place. She’ll be even more pissed at me if I break your face, let alone if I bust up your junk.”Maddalyn is blind, you almost blurted, but you clammed up.“You about to say something?” Anya demanded, her blood still up but slowly cooling down.“I didn’t realize my genitals were a concern was all.”“Not for me they’re not, dumbass.” Anya said scornfully, “…Look. Whether I like it or not, you’re the last Von Tracht, yeah?...I don’t think I want that line to end with, and then Richter Von Tracht was neutered while sparring with a badass mercenary, and thusly never knocked up his midget wife. Hate it when a story has a bad end. I've seen too many like that and I'm sick of 'em.” With a soft crukk, your shoulder was back in place; stinging, but functional enough. “Swear that was the same arm as before,” you muttered, rotating it to and fro to test it. “So…”>Did I get better? Or did that not count somehow?>What do you care about my legacy? I get the feeling I only got so far because you held back. You don’t have to do that.>Are you alright? I hit you pretty hard, I’m sorry if I hurt you too much.>Other?
>>3432474>>What do you care about my legacy? I get the feeling I only got so far because you held back. You don’t have to do that.
>>3432474>>Did I get better? Or did that not count somehow?>>What do you care about my legacy? I get the feeling I only got so far because you held back. You don’t have to do that.
>>3432474>Did I get better? Or did that not count somehow?>>What do you care about my legacy? I get the feeling I only got so far because you held back. You don’t have to do that.Pretty solid combo
>>3432481>>3432485Hurt me more.>>3432489>>3432508>>3432539>>3432557Did I get better at least? And why the concern over a family that isn't yours at all?Writing.
“Did I get better at least?” you asked, “Or did that not count somehow, because…well, you let me hit you.”Anya paused a moment. Idly sweeping dirt off of her skin. “…Nah. It still counts. You either win or you lose. I let you hit me because I thought I’d be able to take you anyways. If I lost, then I lost because I was wrong.”“How humble of you.”“If I lost because I read things wrong, then my ass’d better be pretty humble.” Anya grumbled, pawing at her middle to try and get a persistent stain of mud off. It was a good thing she was distracted by it, because you were distracted by it too. Shamefully. You were hurting and fatigued anyways; one could hardly help some mischievous eyes. “Yeah, fine. You’ve gotten better. Hit me right in the titty, I guess you absorbed something about making the most of your chances.”“I like to think I’ve followed that philosophy in general, though maybe I haven’t seen it as much in fighting.”“You’ve been pretty crappy at following it at some really important points, from what I’ve seen.”“How so?”“…if you don’t know, then I don’t really need to tell you.” Anya was disagreeable, more than usual, for but a moment. “Never mind. It’s your life, but you’re learning. You’ve gotten better. You’re not there yet, but maybe in another few months…” Anya fixated her gaze at the horizon, her lips set.
“It doesn’t feel like I’ve gotten that far, though,” you lamented, crossing your legs, “Because I feel like I only did better because you held back. You don’t have to do that. What do you care about my legacy? If I need to get kicked in the balls, by all means, do it.”“Is that an invitation? Weirdo.”“No, no!” you instinctively protected yourself, “I’m fine with having none of that. Metaphorically, I mean.”“Yeah, I know.” Anya looked even more wistful. Her eyes turned sleepy, but her lips remained downturned. “What do I care about your legacy?...Long story. I don’t feel like telling it yet. The short version is, I was nobody. I was fine with being nobody. Then I lost even that, and Hell Gitt…Heller Von Tracht, he gave me my life back, right when I was thinking it was all over. Now he’s gone. You’re what’s left. All I’m doing is the least anybody with even a pinch of principle would do.”>Weird hearing a mercenary talk about principle. I think Heller Von Tracht would be awfully proud of you.>[Say nothing]>Gee, I must have hit you harder than I thought for you to get all like that.>Tell me more about…(What?), if you could? (She may or may not answer; if she thinks it’s too long to talk about or too personal, for example.)>Other?Also>You’re heading off to the UGZ soon. Is there anything in particular you want to investigate or find out about? The current situation in the UGZ is one of increasing tensions; protests and small riots have begun break out more frequently, and regularly. There is plenty of speculation that something very large and troublesome will happen soon, but rather little information on precisely the cause. Of course, if a subject of investigation is something Richter already knows, I will share that information.As far as who you’re taking to the UGZ on your quest to investigate, I believe it was the “officers and retinue”- Which I took to mean Von Metzeler and Anya, since it was mentioned Krause could return and watch over things while you were away. Of course, if there are any additions or amendments to such, go ahead and discuss such.This'll be the last update for tonight, by the by. I'll pick back up Sunday.
>>3432683>>Weird hearing a mercenary talk about principle. I think Heller Von Tracht would be awfully proud of you.>You’re heading off to the UGZ soon. Is there anything in particular you want to investigate or find out about? Who's nominally in charge of administering the UGZ? Probably best to go to them first and see what's been happening recently.
>>3432683>>Other?>I...really appreciate that. I don't meant to take advantage of my uncle's good deeds when I had no part in them, but I hope I can at least some day come close to living up to his legacy.
>>3432718Supporting. Though rather than living up to his legacy I'd rather be forging our own that can be illustrious as his.
>>3432718This works>You’re heading off to the UGZ soon. Is there anything in particular you want to investigate or find out about? Have their been food shortages?How widespread are the kommissars allowed to work in the UGZ?I've been re-reading some of the archives and I've got a few theories.>Tell me more about…(What?), if you could?Did my Uncle ever have a camera?
>>3432683>>You’re heading off to the UGZ soon. Is there anything in particular you want to investigate or find out about?How big is the UGZ? Also any major recent events; ration cuts, influx of new people etc.
>>3432683>Weird hearing a mercenary talk about principle. I think Heller Von Tracht would be awfully proud of you.Have you tried the Steel Division 2 Beta Tanq?
Today didn't turn out to be great for running; I'll have to be elsewhere soon, but when I get back, I'll see if I can't push a few updates out; that should be in about maybe a few hours.>>3432707>>3432781A mercenary? With principles? How odd.>>3432718>>3432723>>3432737>>3432744>>3432752Much appreciated, the quest to live up to the legacy continues.Some questions will be answered in the update proper due to not being general knowledge but->>3432707>Who's nominally in charge of administering the UGZ? Probably best to go to them first and see what's been happening recently.This will be included in the update, but Richter has met them; they're a military officer.>>3432752>How widespread are the kommissars allowed to work in the UGZ?As far as you know, the kommissariat prefers to work within the Netillian army and domestic affairs, but this can be investigated into as well.>>3432778>How big is the UGZ? Also any major recent events; ration cuts, influx of new people etc.The events and other matters will be covers- as far as general size, UGZ-09, also known as Ackersdol (a more civilized name that the Netillian authorities prefer it to be known as by the locals) was built on top of an existing town, but it's still overcrowded, housing around five thousand people in variable states of housing. The whole affair is naturally fenced off with razor wire. You can't just run off while your transition to another area for better assimilation into the nation is being processed, after all!
>>3432781Forgot to get to this one too.No, I have not. The first game didn't particularly draw me in; I played a lot of Wargame at one point, but I didn't pick up Steel Division.
>>3434581So is there any plans to resettle the inhabitants or is it just going to permanently remain as the concentration camp that it basically is?
>>3435129As it is referred to as a transition center, so it is; it can be both in location and in assimilation purposes. It's certainly not supposed to be a permanent affair. Not that a concrete duration of the programs has been set...some proclaim a few months, others years.
I know it's already been dealt with, but I feel like the letter for Maddy that we have currently might send the wrong message. We should have written about our desire for a proper wedding, and activities we'd like to do with her besides playing womb raider.The current letter makes it clear we remember and desire her, but more as a fun sized piece of meat to squeeze and grope. A sentiment i don't think she'd mind, but not the one I'd like to send and have her festering over.
“…Huh.” You were taken off guard by what Anya had said. About your family’s heritage- how your own was intertwined with your uncle’s, and how that had ultimately tied her here- out of a sense of principle you would have thought lost on the common mercenary. “I…really appreciate that. I don’t mean to take advantage of my uncle’s accomplishments, since I had no part in them, but I hope I can at least come close to forging a legacy as great as Heller Von Tracht. Or Hell Gitt’s, I suppose.” Your uncle had adopted a new name upon going to Sosaldt, though he had plenty of accomplishments under his belt before he was banished anyways. “I can’t say I expected to hear that from a mercenary, though.”“An Iron Hog.” Anya said firmly, standing up straight and tall. “Hearts of gunmetal, souls of steel!” She followed that with a perfect Archduchy salute- it was utterly baffling to see such from a young woman who otherwise so shirked regulation and standard. Anya hadn’t been part of said outfit when you had found her, of course. She had been with a different group; rivals of the Iron Hogs, even. She claimed to have left them because, after your uncle’s untimely death, his successor had been somebody she had seen as unworthy. Her attachment to what was before though, surely, was what drove her away so hastily from Todesfelsen as well, given the chance.“I hope I’m not being patronizing when I say that I think Heller Von Tracht would be awfully proud of you.” You near recoiled, expecting backlash, but Anya’s mouth set, and she wistfully brushed her bangs out of her eyes.“I know he’d be.” She declared. “Just sort of…wish he stuck around to see.” She hooked her thumbs in her pockets again and arched her back in a stretch, “Rrrgh. C’mon, get up. You have shit to do and I’m not feeling like beating you up any more.”“I’m going to the UGZ,” you told Anya, “I was planning on taking you and Von Metzeler.”“That an order?”“I’d rather it not be.”
Anya shrugged. “Fine then. I don’t like the UGZ, but I guess it’s not like anybody does. It gives me the creeps, reminds me of the shittier places in Sosaldt, ‘cept even then, people could leave. Not to mention that the jailbirds patrol around there.”“I’ll make sure none of them come close to you.” You declared, finally rousing yourself to come to your feet.“Nah, don’t worry ‘bout that,” Anya said dismissively, “I can handle myself fine. It’s hard enough saving your own hide, focus on that.” Much as Anya would like to say that, you doubted any Penal Battalion troopers would want to force themselves on you. Hopefully. “Not that I like being faced down anyways. I’ll stick around you and the other LT if you’re that bent over about that happening.”Though, the comment about the UGZ giving Anya “the creeps” was a bit there, too- like much of Ellowie, there seemed to be quite a few spirits, but in that depressing place they appeared to creep about in force even during the day. The tingling sensation that gave from being near was almost omnipresent in the place; you wished you knew why. It reminded you of Salzebrucke, even. Though ironically, in spite of being the person whose blood originated from Ellowie, Anya appeared to be completely blind and deaf to the presence of the spirits. You hadn’t bothered to explain them to her, since it hadn’t been necessary, and to be honest, you were hoping it never would be necessary.“Gonna hit the showers before you head over, mud puppy?” Anya snickered at you suddenly, “Wouldn’t want to meet any handsome penal soldiers without your pants and your boots spick and span, would you?”Well, you couldn’t expect Anya to let up on you for too long, you supposed.-----Much as I would have liked to go beyond here, this seems like a good cutoff point and since I dropped the ball the past day and today, may as well wrap it up for now. We'll get into the UGZ next week.Hope everybody's having fun, thanks everybody for voting, discussing, the like.>>3435887Worth noting is Maddalyn's resistance to playing said game! No need to only send one letter, really.
As a sign of how tired I've been lately; archived without a number! Yay...Kill me.
>>3438110Thanks for the run bossman
>>3438110>Spirits in the UGZIt's a death camp, mark my words.