The Predorian delegation started moving, the Royal Guards fanning out into a vanguard and rearguard and drawing their pistols as they made their way to their airships.
Duke Tritten, noticing his fellow countrymen moving and knowing the Sagamese delegates hadn't arrived via airship, tapped the Sagami Delegate on the shoulder.
"If you wish, Lady Mizushima," He muttered, not skipping a beat with his flawless pronunciation of the foreign name, "You can travel with us. We can provide a lot more security than a state-provided airship."
Harlan was standing in the command tower of the Motherwolf, the airborne warship's engines roaring as they hovered at the edge of Kromkarie's border. It was a waiting game now, Harlan had received a request from the Predorian rescuers to provide a peaceful escort. This was a request the northern king was happy to honour, his father had always preached that needless bloodshed was exactly that: needless.
Soon the combined fleet could see the Predorian aeronef with it's precious passengers hurrying for the border. It had made it this far unmolested, and signals streamed from it, requesting to come alongside and transfer passengers.
The Princess of Predor replied, signalling that it would be best to transfer passengers to the Motherwolf, the faster of the two battleships.
The aeronef signalled confirmation, and hurried alongside to the Motherwolf. The transfer of passengers was swift, and the little aeronef pulled up and away and the King, along with the rest of the would-be delegates, were standing on the deck of the Motherwolf.
King Harlan, along with his first cousin Fenris and his son and heir Magnus, were waiting on the deck when the delegates boarded. Slowly, Harlan approached King Albin and dipped his head in a sign of respect. "King Albin, it is an honour to meet you in person. My own father, spoke highly of your family, a rare compliment from a man usually not too fond of southerners." It was in Harlan's personality to speak plainly but there was a touch of humour in his tone.
A hint of a smile touched Albin's face as he bowed slightly in return. "I am also honoured to meet you, King Harlan. You also have my- and my country's- thanks for assisting our rescue. I am proud to have been considered so highly by your father, and you shall always find a steadfast friend in our family."
“No respectful leader shall be carried in a cargo bag Mr Archer, I knew something like this would have happened, so i brought along a battleship escort not too far from Kromkaries nautical border.” He explained. “We’ll escape in style Archer, come with me.” Ashton got up and left the bunker. He called for a stage coach taxi by waving and got aboard it, “We’ll go a few miles out of town, see the sights before leaving.”
Aleksander sat down with legs crossed and his fingertips clasped together, “What we want? In exchange for our financial, militarial, diplomatic support all we want is the fall of the monarchy here. And hopefully, a start of something beautiful in Kromkarie, freedom for its people through common labor. That is all we want Vincent, but we also do hope to see a more decentralized system of governance, but we’ll get to that later.” He reached out his hands for a handshake. “We fought against our elites Hicks, now our people reap the rewards of our fight, i hope for yours too.”
The General Staff seemed perplexed, states rights was a reason no one thought to do war over in Anercia, or how their civil war is still recent in their cultural zeitgeist. Albert switched from old stories to current status of their militaries, “Well it seems the Anercian Armed Forces have mostly recovered from our Civil War, i wonder how yours faired General Dayne, since it has been six decades.” And after he responded to his question. "And what do you think of Anercia?"
Visit to Damstal
It was the first time the President had officially visited another foreign state, his preliminary review of the Blaiche was a large and proud nation split on deciding whether to leave its nest or to stay and dawdle for a bit more. Now they call for global democracy which surely agitated the other powers on the world stage, it was a risky move to be so forthcoming but it was a bold plan by this. Ashton came to Damstal in a procession of battleships, his airship sandwiched by two Unity-Class Battleships, and behind them 3 Liberty-Class Cruisers. It was a display of strength, of Anercian Airpower to the world and to their new allies. The Presidential airship, or Anercia-One, a refitted royal-era palace liner which the King previously enjoyed long cruises with. Landed in the city hangar, the armed escorts were told to leave and headed back to Anercia, the gangway lowered and out came Ashton Mercer. The first President of the new Republic, his arrival was brought with much fanfare, the local press taking pictures as he and the Chancellor shook hands. Ashton shook his hand and hugged him with much friendliness after, which the Press went wild and snapped for more pictures.
“Our reasons go much deeper than that, gentlemen,” the Admiral interceded in a solemn tone. “The social and cultural scene at the time was indeed a perplexing. We fought for a revolution to free ourselves from the grips of colonialism, namely to break the chains rendered unto us by the Herredømme. Sixty year later, an insufficient constitution had rendered us disunited, and the others seeking their own destinies of self-determination. We were a nation, and the South could not merely let the North go. Other issues swelled their ugly heads as well: on the topic of serfdoms and indentured service, a common practice and institution in the North, but a cruel one. Civil rights for minorities were non-existent, and the native aboriginals murdered and driven away from their own lands. Our peoples have committed sin to the highest degree, yet we did nothing. It had to stop. The Secession Crisis was ultimately the last straw, and President Mallister sought to eradicate our decadent and degenerate practices once and for all.”
“And we’ve come here, my friends,” General Dayne continued. “Sixty years, and we’ve worked diligently to destroy the old Columbia, to destroy the serfdom completely. We know not the scale of its effectivity, but Reconstruction had been the sole focus of the Confederacy since the civil war. The outside world was a forethought. Everybody wanted their lives to return to a semblance of normalcy, so we worked ourselves to no end.”
“The military... ain’t what it once was,” CNO Tascer interceded. “We’ve got much to work on, Generals, and no doubt a lot o’ reformin’ to do. The departments done sent us as observers, but not that you mentioned it, the Marines could do some good ol’ warrin’, or some such.”
“Which takes us to the topic of Congress. We’ll have to request them for permission, for the purposes of training our own forces,” the Admiral of the Navy admonished. “It was about time the Armed Forces stretched their legs.”
The State Secretary and the Ambassador make their way to their airships, and rendezvous to the safety of the First Battleship Squadron. Read Admiral Prester met with Secretary Tunt, and with head of the State department and the Ambassador Laszlow safely in their hands, they made their way across the Infernal Sea to return to the Confederacy.
With the State Secretary still on his way, President DeWitt took it upon himself to lead the Columbian delegation to represent the Confederacy in the this new conference. The first had been a failure, and he had elected to pursue this one with a grain of salt. Two corvettes remaining and a dozen cutters were to escort the President’s Aeronef, a massive civilian airship reconfigured to become an emergency command center for the Columbian military as well as designed to protect the Columbian leadership. The Infernal Sea, being a treacherous place, was used as justification for these measures.
“Yes your congress is an issue, perhaps you should get rid of it if it’s that bad.” Albert joked. “I must say your nation is quite envious, but here in Anercia while we just got out of our own war, we have taken great strides in giving our citizens, a portion of them anyways, rights and freedoms. Unseen from the likes of monarchies.” He commented. “That in which we are alike gentlemen, however your reasons as to fight for the rights of regions confounds me, but freedom shall be fought with the blood of patriots does it not?” He asked. “Hear hear minister! We! The soldiers of the republic must remain strong to protect it, our homeland from invasions and threats within.” General Luger added. “And with a strong leader at the helm too! Without one the ship shall sink into its watery grave.” Hugitz pointed out.
Departing from Asmodeus was Pirate Lord Silverstry aboard the newly built cruiser 'Bellion'. It had been constructed as a direct opposite of the battleships of the Coast, and designated to chase down convoys and other fast vessels. After the failure of the first conferance the Coast had attended, Silverstry had decided that he should take a shot at it, concidering Pirate Lord Barbarossa had drunk himself to sleep. Only time could tell the success of this meeting and the establishment of this International, though the buccaneer Lord hoped for the best as the 'Bellion' sped over vast mountains and oceans towards Blaiche.
The National Security Revitalization Act
With the Confederacy now tied to foreign interests, so did it necessitate heavy reforms on the condition and organization of the War Department, specifically on the subject of the Army and Navy Departments. Congress passed, and signed into law by President DeWitt prior to his departure, the NSRA of 1890 to outline several major changes into the foreign policy and military establishment of the Confederate States Armed Forces:
— The abolishment of the original defense Department, and the establishment of all-encompassing Department of War, and headed by a single Secretary of War (also known as Secretary of Defense). The separated Department of the Army and Department of the Navy would be integrated into this single unified armed forces command.
— The establishment of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and primarily as military advisors to the President, the Secretary of War, and the Secretaries of the Army and the Navy, but as administrative roles to govern the policies of their respective services. The titles of “General of the Army” and “General of the Navy” are converted into the Five-star general rank, with the additional Six-star general rank to be granted posthumously to national military heroes.
— Respectively, the Service Chiefs are primarily known as “Chief of Staff” of their respective service branch.
— Operational authority is given to the War Department’s Supreme Command of the Confederate States Armed Forces, with the subordinate Army and Navy departments instructing the High Commands of the Army and the Navy.
— The establishment of consistent budget plans for the military, to be passed annually by a motion of Congress.
The Standard-type Battleship
The Navy has announced the new Standard-type battleship to be constructed by the Confederacy, a far cry from the old Pequot-class pre-dreadnoughts, with the passage of the 1890 Defense Budget, and coinciding with the National Security Revitalization Act. The new CSS Independence, named after the State of Independence, was launched after construction, and was commissioned into the Second Battleship Squadron, along with a further two cruisers, three corvettes, and three destroyers to accompany the new fleet. Another Standard-type is also being constructed by the Piscataway Navy Shipyard, and is scheduled to be completed and commissioned at once.
Internal Bureau of Security Report
Mr President, I hope this letter finds you in good health,
I am Captain Tanner Rogan of the Internal Bureau of Security in Carnolia, everything seems to be going fine. Our investigation against the Carnolia Journal has found them guilty and sentenced to hang by friday. I think you will be happy that we got rid of such a pain in your reputation and destabilizing force in the nation. The investigation against Antov Sutherland is on its way, but so far nothing to catch him with. So far we have gotten rid of some journalists and opposition campaign organizers, with foul and fair means of course. Progress has been good, our infiltration of police stations is steady, I thank you for the means to secure our country. However some bad news.
Our agents in Metaxas have uncovered some unsettling facts, the mayor is colluding with RFC elements. Attending pro-scarlettan rallies, working with opposition leaders, and his popularity is still quite high. It will take sometime to get more dirt on him but rest assured, this sympathizer shall fall.
General Staff Report on Anti-RFC Operations
Our divisions have been successful in uncovering and defeating RFC holdouts in the countryside of Barcona, some towns given their support of them and even given them safe passage to retreat once their bases were destroyed. This is a slippery enemy with many sympathizing elements of the population that sees them as freedom fighters, we believe that we need more troops and funds diverted into this operation for it to succeed. For now our three divisions consisting of 40,000 soldiers will hold the line and destroy any of these rats nests we can find. But there have been some rumors of a major headquarters near Narba close to the Alpala Mountain Range. However they are unsubstantiated and merely some townsfolk trying to get reward money out of it, if there is though we could strike a major blow to the RFC.
Status on Women's Rights
Anercia, despite its history filled with revolutionary women fighting heroically alongside their male counterparts, still does not provide equality and equity to them. Protests have since doubled after the Court’s decision to overturn the anti-terror and crime bill. Harsh vocal complaints have been received by the president, mainly by women's rights organizations and especially from the Anercian Democratic Party. To address these grievances Ashton has called a meeting between him, his VP, Chief Media Strategist, and Minister of Culture.
All of them come in single file, first his strategist, a sharp and well dressed man with a hawk-like face combined with a goatee. Then his VP, a clean shaven but with a slack and unfocused gaze, with bags under his eyes and smelled like strong cologne and whisky. Then the Minister of Culture, a scarletta woman with fiery curled red hair and rosy skin, her sharp jaw and passionate deminor never broke attention. Sitting down she spoke firstly.
Rohava: Mr President, I'm glad you called this meeting, this is our chance to do good for the women in this country.
Ashton: I’m glad too, hopefully we can lessen these protests, they give me a headache every time i visit Magnolia.
Finn: Well first i think we should consider the political capital this will cost us, and our voter base. Sir, our conservative base is quite happy with us but the liberals do not and nor do the socialists.
Ashton: I think we can knock two birds with one stone here, and still be reelected right?
Aleksander: Right, but I wonder if the nation can take such a leap. I’d rather not listen to Luger’s speech about how we’re turning our backs on tradition and all that.
Ashton: I think we can endure another lecture from the old man Aleksander.
Rohava: Back on topic, the first reforms will come in changing the declaration of rights. Its too male-centric and does not allow women to vote. I mean we have women MP’s! But they can’t vote for who’ll be president?
Ashton: Right, we can change the declaration to include valish women also.
Rohava: But what about Scarlettan women?
Ashton: That's another topic for discussion, too many tangles with that.
Finn: Yes, too many radical reforms will stir the pot too much, things take time Ms Rohava.
Rohava: Fine, if we are willing to change even a bit, i’ll be happy.
Ashton: Good! Eh, do we have to draft anything new then?
Finn: No sir, the ADP is willing to extend their hand on this issue, since they’re already working on a new bill to change the declaration and among other things.
Ashton: *sigh*, will i have to work with that a*shole again?
Finn: Yes sir, you will have to work with Mr Antov again, he is afterall the party chairman of the ADP.
Ashton: Fine then, meeting adjourned, i think this has been fruitful.
Rohava: I think it has Mr President.
The three were dismissed and Ashton contacted ADP headquarters in Lenshaven. He took a sip of whisky before calling, preparing to talk with his political rival.
Antov: Who is this?
Ashton: Its me.
Antov: Oh, its you, what do you want?
Ashton: Reforms, I'm willing to work on those women's rights reforms.
Antov: Oh? Really now, what changed your mind.
Ashton: Your annoying chants in the streets, now do you want my help or not?
Antov: Yes Mr President, i will want your help, your party does have the votes, and you have the judges.
Ashton: Yeah yeah, send the d*mn bill over already ill approve it.
Antov: Thank you Mr President.
Ashton hung up on him and rolled his eyes, tomorrow he will sign the bill into law and redress the wrongs against women in Anercia , and to silence those god awful protests and their tacky posters.
Equal Protections for the Sexes Act
This new bill will change the wording and language of the declaration of rights as to give Valish Women the right to vote. It also allocates a small stipend to support working mothers, ban discrimination based on sex, ban intermarital violence, ban arranged marriages, legalize prostitution, and allow women to divorce whenever they want to. The EPSA aims to uplift women in society and culture, tearing down barriers of entry in many fields of work, society, and passion.
The following week on the assembly floor, Ashton gave a speech on it, “Today my brothers and sisters of this fine and glorious country. Is a day in which the sons and daughters of the revolution that freed us from the shackles of tyranny, will march in lock-step together as one! No longer shall our sisters face the terror of violence and discrimination, let us embrace each other in the dreams of our fight to free ourselves, join me members of the assembly on this bill!” He proudly and passionately spoke, gaining a majority of cheers but with some booing from the conservative wing of the assembly.
At the end of the voting, the bill passed with 189 ayes and 111 Nays, passing with a supermajority. Ashton officially signed the bill into law on the floor when it passed, the assembly roared with mixed reaction of joy and seething anger. He shook hands with some of the women MP’s and Antov but begrudgingly so. Then he left in his motorcade back to the White Palace
Bad Women's Rights->Good Women's Rights
"If you have some way out of here, yes I will follow you." Archer says excited with a sort of fake smile. "Guards prepare your belongings and follow behind, and you send a telegram saying orders compromised", leans into the guards ear and whispers, "we are escaping with the package, will funnel information back to Command. Comrade Thompson."
"Ok we're ready! I hope you do know where to go as all the places are under Revolutionary control, and coaches can only get you so far being that this nation was made with pure rail. Roads only stretch a few km's out from cities, otherwise it's just swamp and mud." Archer follows the president into the stage coach.
Vincent Hick putting his gun on the table leans over and shakes the VP's hand, "Then we have a deal, but stay out of our government, I have a meeting later that is on that topic of organising a Government."
"Another telegram comrade Hick".
Vincent Hick skims the telegram before saying, "I must bid you farewell Com... No, Mr Aleksander, for I have much to do in organising this revolution. Good Day."
One of the soldiers walks over the the VP, "Will you be requiring assistance out of Kromkarie? We can provide you with an airship that can take you north out of Kromkarie around the mountains and back to your nation Jizruriz. I mean Jesruriz."
Uprising of Kolvers
The recently Republic controlled city has been turned to the revolution as a violent uprising of workers under the influence of the UWR vincentist's. The workers once again siphoning weapons from factories took arms and revolted against the Provisional Democratic Government. Banners and flags held high, placed upon building and factories with the grand Symbol of Vincentism being hung on factories and city hall. The Republic soldiers attempted to passify the revolt however were outnumbered and unwilling to fire at the people they pledged to protect. Only small firefights occurred on the streets with some soldiers attempting to stop the uprising. With this loss the Kromkarie Republic has lost its only city and manufacturing hub.
"The lies of this Democracy have fallen and the people have liberated themselves from the Elitists that proclaimed themselves elected. It is obvious that these lies can not be sustained and through the unity of the workers we are able to tear them down and dismantle the system that keeps us on the backfoot. The workers have shown they have had enough of elitist scum and will destroy all those who dare separate us, lie to us and oppress us. So to the rest of the common men and women of Kromkarie and the world I say, Rise up, Rise and take your places in a truly equal society one devoid of elitism. - Vincent Hick's speech
Middle Predor, worried about the collapse of the nation in complete bloodshed, states its support for the rightful rulers of Kromkarie and begins sending supplies to the kingdom.
I am Aston Turner, a soldier of the Kromkariean army. I was sent north to fight the revolutionaries, but I can't, I can't just fire on people that are of my own. My commander says they are traitors and yes he is right but, I can't do it and others within my division don't want to kill them either. But we do our duty for the fractured crown.
While marching, well trudging through the swamps of Kromkarie we found a few revolutionaries hiding tending to a wounded civilian trying to escape the frontline. The revolutionaries started aimed their guns at us, but we put ours down and told them we won't report them. After proving we wouldn't heart them, we gave them some medical supplies and some tea rations. We both shook hands and exchanged names. There were 3 soldiers all with names coming from families fighting for what they believed to be true. They said to us they didn't expect soldiers of Kromkarie to help such low born, but we told them that even us soldiers are of the same class. We couldn't stay to long as we had to catch up with the rest of the platoon.
This war is another stain on our nation, a fight of good and evil, or just opinion. These KMIA are nothing more than evil, they replaced all our superior officers to ensure loyalty. I hear of soldiers deserting to the Revolution and each day I can see why. No lashing, instead of marching for a king you never see, you march for each other.
I shouldn't be writing this for if a KMIA agent were to find this, I would executed. Maybe I am delusional from all this marching through the swamp and killing of innocents. Maybe the KMIA aren't so bad and are only trying to keep me good.
"Hey, comrade look at this I found."
"yeah, what is it."
"it's part of a journal entry made by a soldier named Aston Turner. describes part of his time in the civil war."
"Did you say Aston Turner?"
"I think that is the man I met, he gave us medical supplies to treat a civilian."
"I wish the fighting would end, I can't keep shooting these soldiers either, but at least I'm in no conflict of whether I am making a better tomorrow."
Shipyards Be Churning
In the shipyards and factories of Croscaunt, engineers, designers and other workers were scurrying about. In the middle of a massive drydock sat the lightly snow-covered hull of what would soon become the Coast's third battleship. Barrels of the various guns were being assembled and mounted onto the hull, as painters were soon to be finished with painting the underside of the hull. It wouldn't be long until it would become ready to launch.
In the other drydocks, various smaller ships were also being prepared to launch as a compliment to the battleship. One cruiser, 2 destroyers and 3 corvettes would be launched at the same time. Alongside this, the Coast's first ever naval pre-dreadnaught would be launched, to finally begin the modernization of the Coast's current wooden fleet of ships.
In the skies, the second Dominion-class battleship floated, watching over its sister ship being put together. Alongside it were 2 cruisers and 3 other destroyers, guarding the slumbering behemoth. This was the current extent of the Pirate aeronavy, with the exception of 2 other cruisers docked at Gulabria alongside the first Dominion-class battleship known as the Black Panther, and 3 corvettes and 2 destroyers, and with the last destroyer currently transporting Pirate Lord Silverstry to the nation of Blaiche.
Soon, the Brotherhood of the Broken Coast would have multiple new vessels to conduct operations with.
With the race to build more ships, the Anercian Aeronautical Corps has decieded to commission another unity-class battleship along side 2 liberty-class cruisers and 3 sutherland-class destroyers.