The flame of the future felt so far away. Like a star whose luster was so unimaginably distant that none of its warmth accompanied the light.Once, in a time that you lost grasp of in memory in spite of it only being a few years ago, you and your best friends had been at that clifftop café in Lapizlazulli- you, Leo, and Cesare, speaking of- what else- the forthcoming, and futurism, the vehicle which would bring forth such to Vitelia, and then the world.“If anywhere is to bring about the Dawn,” Cesare said emphatically, “Would it not be Vitelia? Look at us at this table. Anywhere else on this continent, we would be two different peoples, but since our grandfather’s grandfathers, we have become one people. It can’t be much further to become one Class, surely. Greater obstructions have been conquered than stand before us now.”“I concur,” Leo said, “Even if the Professor won’t let us write what he considers to be insurrection material, the nobility are the ones who stand the most in the way- and they have the most to lose. Yet fall they must, either gracefully or no. As the First Empire did to smash the barriers between peoples, so must a bomb shatter the castle of the nobility if they stand in the way of the Forthcoming Dawn. It’s just a fact. It will happen whether they like it or not.”Cesare put a hand on his cheek and leaned on the table and gave his coffee a contemplative look. “Although, is that truly the way forward? Did the First Empire do it, or did it simply happen because the First Empire existed?”Leo was a big, brutish looking man, but appearance belied truth. “I’m sure that at least some of it was a result of the Empire’s active effort.”“Yet,” you observed, “It was also led by nobility above all the others. I imagine any highborn would have aspirations of being Emperor if the highest office now was not that of King, his ministry, or the Signore Delle Opinioni.”“Or Vilja Domkarl,” Cesare added, “But what I was getting at, is that perhaps our unity comes from the fact that it fell, as did the Second Empire that sought to become the First. What I believe, the thesis for my Contemporary Vitelia class, is that our unity comes from an idealized vision of what once was, and an unwitting working towards the future based off of an imperfect vision of, well, what we think was perfect.”Leo frowned and pondered his own coffee- it was empty, and he waved towards the café where the waitress was watching the lot of you talk. “That’s a disquieting thought,” he said, “Because if that’s true, then the way towards the future requires not a great triumph, but a tragedy so ruinous it reaches everybody and unites them in ashes.”
Both you and Cesare had to look up and blink at that.“Well,” Cesare coughed, “I suppose it isn’t necessarily like that…”“Hey!” Gracchio had appeared then and interrupted it all, providing an unintended and welcome diversion. “Should have told the guys you were all coming up here, you know. Anyways, I just saw a mosshead for the first time, and let me tell you, those hips on them aren’t a rumor…”It was a different time then- when you didn’t want to view Futurism as coming about any way besides as a glorious triumph, a thing that would be recorded as nothing but happy times cheered on by all but villains. Yet now, as you lay in your cot in a cold hole in the ground dug by Imperials, you wondered if your collective naïveté had blinded the lot of you. Most of the Young Futurists from those days were dead now, and those you consorted with these days tended to be of noble born blood.Had you found out a truth that would only be discovered through tragedy? Had you grown? If so, then why did you wish for those days to return? At the very least, you wanted to go back to that café again when this was all over, with whomever was left…Besides letters to Leo, Cesare, and your wife to be, the world had shrunk to your company and platoon. Your men were hardly the only men to receive a hiding that day, as the Reich had proven a more difficult opponent than expected by everybody, but it had strung their pride the most. A quick solution was offered and accepted- they would distract themselves from the need to mope and sulk by readying themselves where they clearly weren’t before. There was no more complaints or derisive glances for your efforts to drill them- you worked with united purpose now. What drove them apart once, they had to realize, could not any longer if they were to watch the backs of one another, to support each other to be more than they could be alone.This training continued through limited operations. The broad front attack had failed, despite taking ground, and the lack of artillery meant that the job had to be taken up by the tanks. Yet the task was more demanding than the machines could accommodate for despite your best efforts in maintenance. After a few days of grueling short-term supporting operations, assignments were often on a pair or individual basis at best as the tanks were intolerant of abuse and cold both, and grew exhausted all the quicker when the two were inflicted upon them together. So, despite the need, you found yourselves oddly idle.
In terms of training and not action, though- for a couple of days after the initial operation, the lot of you did naught in your free time but spar. The clack of sticks brought the occasional spectator, but your attentions were focused on each other. Nobody was left out- the drivers learned as well as the commanders, and they were matched without care to courtesy or level of talent, for the Reich would be just as pitiless for a misfortune they could seize upon.Your superior officer, Captain Chiara Di Scurostrada, naturally came by to observe, leaning on the wall as the fighting pairs circled one another.“What are you looking at?” Di Nero, your partner now, asked as he held his training piece in a reverse grip, hunched slightly as you were. “The Capitano has come to visit,” you said, “I expect she wants to discuss something with me.”“Perhaps she is here to watch instead,” Di Nero said- perhaps a bit of an untoward accusation given that sparring was done stripped to the waist. The raven haired second straightened, relaxed his guard. A sign to stop a moment, not something he did near as often as any of the others. “…Tenente, I wanted you to repeat what you said to me two days past.”“Have you forgotten?” you asked, not drawing down your stance. Di Nero shook his head. “No. I want to hear the words as you speak them though, once more.”You shrugged. Why not? “There is no shame in fear. Only the insane and foolish lack for fear, and I don’t see those traits amongst my platoon. The Reich may strike fear into your heart, but in time, you will strike into their hearts what they presently draw forth from you. Conquering fear is an endless struggle, but one that makes you ever stronger.”“Yes, that,” Di Nero said, standing a little straighter. Perhaps it was that he could not feel the weight of such if he heard it in his own voice. He assumed a guard again. “Come at me, Tenente.”You acquiesced with a lunge that Di Nero skillfully pivoted away from- but one that was easy to predict the counterblow from as you avoided overcommitting to your attack, and twisted your arm to strike away the thrust from the flank. A quick darting jab with your stick to Di Nero’s now exposed center, to which he turned away from and jumped back, putting distance between the two of you, recovering quickly before you could capitalize.“Tenente Bonaventura,” Chiara called out as she now approached. You stood straight again and saluted. “Have you watched enough, then?”“Perhaps,” she said, “May I give my own brief instruction?” You motioned with your hand. “No,” Chiara specified, “I meant in proper physical demonstration.”
You looked Chiara up and down, then to Di Nero, who was much larger. Di Scurostrada was shorter than Yena even, and despite what one might think of the differences between man and woman, the size difference here was less comparing people and more of putting an ermine against a wolf. “…Are you certain?” you asked, “I cannot rightly ask Sottotenente Di Nero here to hold back with my philosophy of teaching.”“It will be fine,” Chiara said, assuming your acceptance, should she simply state her willingness herself. “I am no fool, my eyes are not instruments to delude myself.” She unbuttoned her coat and shrugged it off, walking over to hang it on a wall hook, before taking her uniform jacket off as well- a loosely fitting cloth undershirt beneath. For her small size, her muscles were well defined, though still unmistakably womanly- especially as her breasts pushed out further than one might expect. Impossible to notice such with the slightness of that undershirt.Di Nero was already on guard as Chiara took your training stick. “I should hope you are not attempting t put me off guard by disrobing,” he said, “I have seen many a woman more exciting to the loins.”Chiara responded by whipping her arm out, and the training aid flew forth straight and true, striking Di Nero in the center of the chest- he recoiled in surprise as it stuck for a moment and then bounced away.“…I didn’t know you were an adept knife thrower,” you said to Chiara.“Few do,” she said, “I learned well from Arditi craft, you could say.”“Hmph,” Di Nero picked up the training aid and tossed it back, “But what if you had missed?”“I did not,” Chiara said, “You failed to account for an action you didn’t see happening and presented an opening. A weak point, since you presumed my smaller size made me beneath you. Dangerous thinking for a tanker. Now you know better, I hope.”Di Nero crouched, raising his false wooden knife. “Again, then.”Chiara sighed, and raised her own guard. “Again.”Di Nero then raised his hand and pointed his finger, put his thumb up. “I win.”Chiara cocked her head. Then she threw the stick at Di Nero again, and when he flinched, she copied his motion. “Your men learn quickly, Tenente,” she said, “But remember, Di Nero. Pointing a gun does little when we are all ready for death. Next you try that ploy, remember to say bang.” “Methinks that Di Scurostrada is a sore loser,” Di Nero said contemptuously, but Chiara ignored him.“Tenente,” She said to you, “I want to speak with you privately.” You would have squinted at such a suggestion had she not already moved to put her coat back over herself, though not her uniform jacket- perhaps she intended to spar further rather than go through that effort only to barely make two moves. She began to walk off, presuming you would follow.
“You are a capable officer, Tenente,” Chiara said as you both moved up the tunnel, “More than I might be right now, I fear. The Kaiser’s killers can be seen as naught but enemies, and I can deal with such. However, when the troubles come from within…” She sighed, and turned around, having brought the both of you far enough for her liking.“I don’t know of any friction with the other officers,” you said, “Are you and Marcella not over…whatever it was?”“No,” Di Scurostrada said icily, then let the edge fall off. “No, it’s not anything like that. You see, I have been sending letters as usual, and eagerly await some more than others. One person, I know is in a position that is no longer one as dangerous as before, yet…” She grit her teeth. “Tenente, does Giovanno not still exchange mail with you?”“Of course he does,” you said. “Leo is my best friend.”“Then why not with I?” Chiara demanded, “It occupies my mind and spoils my focus. Tell him to cease ignoring my letters. I cannot stand it.”Erm. This was not what you expected. “Why would he ignore your letters?” you asked, “He has spoke nothing of doing such to me.”Chiara gave you an incredulous, annoyed look, and bit her lip. “I know not why. Yet without contact with him through that, I cannot amend…whatever it is. So tell him to make contact with me again.”You knew well what the cause of any drama could be- despite Leo telling you he would resolve it. Yet any affections were supposed to be a secret, and you had been diligent in not intruding where you were supposed to be ignorant.Maybe now was a time for that to stop, if your company commander might otherwise be distracted by frankly ridiculous emotional conflicts.>Leo said he’d deal with it, so that’s what he’d do. Make sure your next letter tells him to take care of his women.>Tell Chiara that Leo was his own man- you can’t tell him what to do. Whatever was between them, you can’t get involved. It’s not your business.>Enough of this. There’s no way to deal with this talking through a veil. Reveal what you know- and what you think. (Write In)>Other?-----First Thread- https://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive/2023/5687489/Second Thread- https://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive/2023/5771752/Announcements and miscellaneous crap are on my twitter @scheissfunker
>>5810252>Tell Chiara that Leo was his own man- you can’t tell him what to do. Whatever was between them, you can’t get involved. It’s not your business.Women. Can't live with em... that's it, you just can't live with them.
>>5810252>Leo said he’d deal with it, so that’s what he’d do. Make sure your next letter tells him to take care of his women.Yeah, buddy needs to at least offer some closure if he wants to wipe his hands free of this. He doesn't need to be her pen pal or anything, but leaving her out in the cold can only be a bad move, for herself and us more than anything.Although.>Other (Try to ask what's going on from her perspective. We know Leo's side of the story but getting the details from her might help clarify why all this continues to be an issue. We her friend, male or otherwise she should be able to confide in us.)
>>5810252>Tell Chiara that Leo was his own man- you can’t tell him what to do. Whatever was between them, you can’t get involved. It’s not your business.>"However, consider- Leo is giving you the cold shoulder, that's an answer in itself"Glad to have you back Tanq. Just finished recapping PCQ, including my first reading of the Silver Lances arc. Fucking incredible character writing. Seeing Maddalyn's skeletons/human experiments stack up in her closet makes me deeply regret supporting her waifu candidacy. It's so fucking bad when you read each thread back-to-back. Richter Von Tracht- dog of the state, dog of Von Blum.. Not!Roland II when?
>>5810252>>Tell Chiara that Leo was his own man- you can’t tell him what to do. Whatever was between them, you can’t get involved. It’s not your business.
>>5810252>Tell Chiara that Leo was his own man- you can’t tell him what to do. Whatever was between them, you can’t get involved. It’s not your business.
>>5810252>Other?‘Chiara you should realise the lack of messages from Leo is the message itself’
>>5810367Supporting this. We did recommend to Leo to talk it out whatever it is and he did eventually sit down with them and somewhat resolve it. I suspect Chiara is just frustrated she lost her hot Arditi hunk.
>>5810258>>5810367>>5810587>>5810588>>5810736>>5810996A man walks the path he chooses.>>5810279>>5810916Time to sentence the man.>>5810815The subtext in notext.Updating.>>5810367On the bright side, there are perks. I've already posted this everywhere but I don't know how many people check the threads and the threads only.This is not the Roland 2, or whatever people decide to call the variant stolen by a runt and iterated upon.
>>5811110Maddalyn is great. The unethical experiments only make her hotter.
>>5811110Danke, I read threads and threads exclusively
>>5811110Wait, there's more than these threads?Sorry for being uncultured, but I just got into PCQ from the last thread.
>>5811228There's the Tanq's twitter. Nothing extra goes on there besides thread announments and art then usually find's its way here anyway.
>>5811235Alright, will check it our when I got the time. Thanks man.
>>5811110>"Noooo don't ask questions just think about the sex RichterI'm on to you Maddy
“Capitano,” you said measuredly, though Chiara already seemed to know how much she would dislike your answer, “Leo, Cesare and I, we all came from where we were to here because we would not be told what to do, or even what was wise by the standard of many. I can’t tell him what to do. Whatever is between the two of you, it is not my business to intrude upon.”The short officer’s cheeks darkened with fury, and her brow creased, her frown curled, but she closed her eyes and contained herself. “…Fine, Tenente. I understand that there are…matters that he may keep to himself, apart even from you.”How much did she suspect otherwise though, you wondered.“If I may speculate,” you added, “I would consider the possibility that Leo’s lack of messages to you is one in and of itself.”“What?” Chara near exploded, “Why in the darkest hell would that-“ she shut her eyes tight again and bit her lip. “Perhaps. But I do not know why such a message would be one he wants to give me.”You neither, then. A bizarre dance, this was.“Come along,” Chiara said suddenly, heading back the way you both came, “I have not had a sparring partner since Leo left, and I trust you more than I might others when I am exerted.”“What,” you asked, “Is Marcella not suited? You’d be at a serious disadvantage in a spar with most others…” You couldn’t imagine her proving any obstacle to Leo, of course, that sort of spar sounded more a farce than anything.Di Scurostrada scoffed as she tore her coat off her shoulders and bundled it under an arm, sweeping her hair back from her face. “I would get nothing more from my driver than using her as a sandbag, and combat while at disadvantage is something I am well used to, and better off not avoiding given our enemy. If the Kaiser deploys a legion of women, I would not aim to be merely their equals.”When you arrived in the improvised sparring space once more, Chiara tossed her coat up where her uniform jacket still hung, and cared little when it fell to the floor instead of neatly hanging from the hook, as she was already fetching a training baton.“On guard, Tenente,” she said with a low edge, and she immediately attacked you.Chiara was an utterly unfamiliar sparring partner- and holding back against her turned out to be a mistake, as you apparently became extremely predictable when using Leo’s techniques while also restraining yourself. She fought you like a mad dog- and when you called for a break, both of you were soaked with sweat, and you had to wonder how much anger you were having to soak up here…-----
Back up you went to your tanks, eager for the winter air’s chill once more after Chiara had worn herself ragged. The tanks required constant maintenance in the present climate, even with shelters being made to try and prevent them from getting showered with snow, the drivers were practically always busy. Even so, Luigi apparently was feeling overly diligent, and saw you as you approached.“Oi, boss,” he said when you got close, himself sitting on a folding stool with a spanner in his hand he was juggling. “They have a sauna set up here and you didn’t tell me?”“Clearly you wouldn’t want one with the firepit in here buried in snow,” you scowled, and looked around. From the other side of your tank, you heard somebody messing around with the parts. A peek over the side. “Oh, hello, Marcella.”“Heya,” she said back, looking up and smiling with a wink and a wave, “Just bored.”“Don’t give Luigi an excuse to be lazy,” you said, “He’ll just waste his spare energy complaining.”“You’re a miser, boss,” Luigi shot back as he got up and stood beside you, “I have to save up just to pay the interest on the kinds of loans your sheep-humping arse gives out. You’d fit in well with the people just north of your home, I’m sure.”“Anyways,” you helped Marcella to her feet, “You can’t just be bored. I know you’re not here to enjoy my driver’s company.”“Haw, hell no,” Marcella grinned, “Know he likes mine, eh, heavy eyes? Actually, Bonetto, I wanted to ask you somethin’,” her smile became a thin line across her face. “’Bout Chi-Di. She’s been actin’ like a huge bitch lately, won’t say why.”“Leo hasn’t been sending back letters to her,” you said, thinking of no reason that had to be secret, “It’s agitating her. Especially since I can’t really help her. Leo does what he wants, I won’t force otherwise.”
“Hahhhmmm..?” the smile smeared right back onto the lady driver’s face, a rather untoward smugness. “Wonder why. Well, if she’s been actin’ t’ him like to me, she’s askin’ for anybody to put in earplugs. Hear she went to spar some. How’d she do?”“She sparred with me,” you answered.“You give her a few lumps on ‘er head then?”“No,” you said testily, “She is my superior officer, I don’t need her thinking affected by me rattling her brain with an idiotic accident.”Marcella crossed her arms and made a pout at you. “Jus’ sayin’, probably more likely ta knock some sense back into ‘er skull.” She waved away the thought with a single rise and fall of a hand. “Anyhow. Bonetto, can you do me a favor? Bleach Head won’t stop treatin’ me like a cramp, so if y’ could send some mail for me..?” She reached down her jumpsuit and pulled out a soggy looking envelope. You stared at her. “Write another letter first.”Marcella pouted at you and made a put-upon face. “Tell the higher ups ta put pockets on these things if y’ don’t like it. What I was sayin’ was, y’ girlfriend’s stayin’ at Chiara’s place, and I wanted ta talk to ‘er more. Was hittin’ it off real well last she visited, but…” She rolled her eyes and hunched over, squeezing her arms tightly together. “Ain’t too many gals ta talk to out here, Bonetto. Know what I’m sayin’? Jus’, no peekin’, hm?”You shrugged. All mail was opened anyways, and you and Yena didn’t keep secrets from one another. Not that you were the sort to peep in mail anyways. Though it did seem a bit odd- after all, Yena was very good friends with Chiara, and while the driver and your wife to be knew each other, you wouldn’t have presumed a deep friendship…>If Chiara found out you were ferrying mail for her rival that she clearly didn’t want sent, you’d surely enrage her. Not a smart or sensitive move. No need to involve yourself at all, that included handling any sweat soaked letters.>A simple request. Why not? Nobody could reasonably get mad at you for letting women talk amongst themselves…>Other?
>>5811603>If Chiara found out you were ferrying mail for her rival that she clearly didn’t want sent, you’d surely enrage her. Not a smart or sensitive move. No need to involve yourself at all, that included handling any sweat soaked letters.
>>5811603>If Chiara found out you were ferrying mail for her rival that she clearly didn’t want sent, you’d surely enrage her. Not a smart or sensitive move. No need to involve yourself at all, that included handling any sweat soaked letters.Sorry Marcella, the Tenente washes his hands of this affair.
>>5811603>If Chiara found out you were ferrying mail for her rival that she clearly didn’t want sent, you’d surely enrage her. Not a smart or sensitive move. No need to involve yourself at all, that included handling any sweat soaked letters.We're washing our hands of this.
>>5811603>If Chiara found out you were ferrying mail for her rival that she clearly didn’t want sent, you’d surely enrage her. Not a smart or sensitive move. No need to involve yourself at all, that included handling any sweat soaked letters.These women are truly a headache. But Marcella is a baddie, sorry Chiara.
>>5811603>If she wants you to send her such a letter (one that will probably be shared by Yena anyway) then let her tell us to our face what it is about. None of this running around in the dark.>no Luigi drawingA tragedy.
>>5811661Some tenth anniversary this turned out to behttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Year_of_Luigi
>>5811603>>A simple request. Why not? Nobody could reasonably get mad at you for letting women talk amongst themselves…
>>5811603>A simple request. Why not? Nobody could reasonably get mad at you for letting women talk amongst themselves…
>>5811606>>5811611>>5811614>>5811616>>5811623>>5811830No dice, boobs girl.>>5811661I'm gonna need to vet this letter.>>5811993>>5812135Just don't get me shot in the head.Updating.>>5811661>no Luigi drawingI intended it to be a both drivers image, but, I ran out of time.There will be a Loogey.>>5811228I wish you luck, considering how much material there is.
“I can’t,” you said, “Whatever is between you and the Captain, I’m not getting involved. That includes going behind her back to do something she doesn’t want you to. Whatever the reason is, I know that she wouldn’t want me to cross her doing that. Sorry, but I have not only the feelings of a friend to consider, but those of a superior officer. My hands are tied.” Even if you weren’t doing your best to wash your hands of any of…this.Where Chiara had seethed in fury at your refusal, however, Marcella merely shrugged, though she half closed her eyes in annoyance. “It was worth a shot,” she said, “Well, I gotta go, then. Got a lotta work to get done.” She waved, wiggling her fingers with a final wink, “See ya later, hips-man.”“Oi,” Luigi piped up as the mechanic woman left, “Hey, hold on-“ He crossed his arms and harrumphed to himself. “Women, ‘swear. Thought I could relax a day for once. The moment you don’t got somethin’ they want…”As much as you’d avoid going into a misogynistic tangent normally, a tired part of you was agreeing with your driver, truly a sign of troubling times. -----The war thought dispensed with returned, as the fight over the river crossing that was spanned by the Howl continued. The Special Weapons battalion, while mostly successful in their operations, had suffered harsh rebukes from the Reich- they were mostly unable to repeat the scale of battle that had been displayed on the New Years Assault.The platoon that had volunteered to conquer one of the riverbanks had been the worst off- having been utterly destroyed. Besides them, most of the Battalion’s units had been reduced in at least a similar capacity to yours, as the Reich’s new anti-tank tactics had developed, and their new weapons had caught you all off guard. Yet, it could not be said that you were unable to adapt, and the small-scale operations that only involved a platoon or two were much less seriously impeded by these new weapons, though the casualties and mechanical wear were such that the operations were less and less frequent over the course of January. The officers joked darkly that they didn’t know that they had signed up to be Arditi- the biting and holding actions had often required tanks to succeed, and though the Reich had not brought up any tanks to counter you, their medium guns were particularly deadly, and more feared than the infantry-borne anti-tank rifles.
Your platoon soon emerged as the best in the unit, especially as casualties were replaced by less of the old guard and hard core. No more combat losses were suffered over seven assaults by your platoon, though the tanks wore down from the weather and rigors of battle until the last one, where you were alone in the last tank in a harrowing attack to claim a hilltop pillbox, and it broke down as the Reich counterattack and barrage begun. You and your driver were minorly wounded- and your platoon was put out of commission for the time being, shortly followed by the rest of the unit as it became apparent that the “battalion” now only had two platoons worth of tanks able to be used in battle, even if there were men ready and able. There simply wasn’t enough parts and spare tanks produced to maintain what was needed- the battle also slowed, and you heard, the commanders grew ever more impatient, and the assaults became bloodier, more persistent, and where tanks once dominated, there were the fresh students of Leo and other veterans, who were thrown into dangerous assignments where none were said to return from more than twice.The tanks remaining were all of Reich models, captured in the past, and when they broke down, there was little choice but to cannibalize another for the parts needed. Sometimes you managed to gain them for the ever-ongoing training, but at the beginning of February, they were committed in their entirety in a massed assault launched in seeming impotent frustration, for the Howl itself. One that your unit could not join, but waited expectantly for news about regardless…An odd outcome after an entire week of fighting- the river was still not officially gained, but the Howl was- the half on your side of the Gepte. The frontlines crossed through, within, and under the great fortification. Of course, all of the tanks were gone now- and you were to be withdrawn- where many of the formerly wounded, including Marcus Di Portaltramanto, would be waiting to rejoin at Sella Castella, where the Battalion’s tanks would also finish their extensive and long awaited refitting.Not that you were allowed peace the whole time. The constant pounding of Reich barrages shaking the earth had been grown used to, but not the probes by Reich tunneling teams. They never broke through near to where you were- but a breach occurred close enough to the battalion headquarters once to send everybody into a state of alert and overturn the bunks in preparation to repel subterranean stormtroopers. You had heard stories through the grapevine concerning tunnelers and counter-tunneling operations. They were not to be envied. You might have preferred to join the Arditi on the surface rather than throw in with the moles.
March. The Spring approached, and from what you knew, the Reich was weakening just in time for the Gepte River to thaw and become the perfect obstacle to smother the offensive, even if pushing further into the Reich was seen as of dubious value by…anybody. However, the month meant something more to you than that.Yena was quite pregnant. It had been just about eight months- not long now before your baby would arrive. Given the amount of time that had gone by with the Special Weapons Battalion forced to sit on their hands, you could take the opportunity to arrange for leave- to be their for the birth of your firstborn, for your wife to be- though it would ultimately conflict with the battalion’s redeployment. In your absence, Di Nero would be in charge of the platoon, and he did seem ready, but still.The alternative, besides staying with the unit, of course, presented itself in an unexpected way. A cadre of captured Grossreich tanks had been accumulated to the north, in the Gilician front, and they needed a commander. The privilege had been extended by old Colonel Di Zucchampo to Di Scurostrada- who had offered it then, to you. It would be quite the career move, a promotion to Captain to command that small unit, but it would also mean leaving behind all of your friends for unfamiliar grounds- in a front that was rumored, though never officially spoken as such, to be extremely brutal and dangerous…>Take some leave to go back and be there for Yena. You were quite sick of war, and could do with some time away…even if your time in the war itself would be envied by most.>Keeping affairs straight in the unit was how you’d keep everybody important to you alive and well. Leaving them in their time of need was improper. You’d stay with the unit for their glorious return, when it soon came…>Gilicia called, and you would answer. Like Leo, perhaps, even if you had to leave others behind, there was a chance to go higher here you couldn’t pass up.>Any other things?
>>5812681>Gilicia called, and you would answer. Like Leo, perhaps, even if you had to leave others behind, there was a chance to go higher here you couldn’t pass up.A M B I T I O NM BITION
>>5812681>Gilicia called, and you would answer. Like Leo, perhaps, even if you had to leave others behind, there was a chance to go higher here you couldn’t pass up.Onwards and upwards
>>5812681>Take some leave to go back and be there for Yena. You were quite sick of war, and could do with some time away…even if your time in the war itself would be envied by most.We should be there for the birth of our child
>>5812681>Take some leave to go back and be there for Yena. You were quite sick of war, and could do with some time away…even if your time in the war itself would be envied by most.
>>5812681Wasn’t our boy supposed to take Yena up a mountain and marry her before she had the kid or else her and the kid are damned?
>>5812681>Gilicia called, and you would answer. Like Leo, perhaps, even if you had to leave others behind, there was a chance to go higher here you couldn’t pass up.
>>5812681>Gilicia called, and you would answer. Like Leo, perhaps, even if you had to leave others behind, there was a chance to go higher here you couldn’t pass up.A quest about tanks.
>>5812681>Take some leave to go back and be there for Yena. You were quite sick of war, and could do with some time away…even if your time in the war itself would be envied by most.Being responsible is neat.>>5812720No, it's very normal for the marriage to occur after the child is born. The whole bastard thing is if the dude never marries her and leaves.
>>5812777>Being responsible is neat.It's one child vs our entire unit. Going with them is also responsible.
>>5812809Oh ok, so you voted to go with the unit then?
>>5812812>Implying taking command of an armored unit in a vital sector is somehow irresponsible
>>5812816That's not what he said though. He was talking about going with our unit, which the Galicia vote says in the text we are leaving behind for the sake of our ambition.
>>5812681>>Gilicia called, and you would answer. Like Leo, perhaps, even if you had to leave others behind, there was a chance to go higher here you couldn’t pass up.
>>5812681>>Take some leave to go back and be there for Yena. You were quite sick of war, and could do with some time away…even if your time in the war itself would be envied by most.
>>5812681>Gilicia called, and you would answer. Like Leo, perhaps, even if you had to leave others behind, there was a chance to go higher here you couldn’t pass up.Fuck hoes, acquire glory
>>5812682>>5812696>>5812749>>5812776>>5812896>>5812979>>5813437Ambition calls you forth- to where the war is all the worse.>>5812705>>5812711>>5812777>>5812804>>5812963>>5813155>>5813229>>5813275The future awaits in the hearth, and you would be there to guide it.Honestly more divisive than I thought it would be. I'm going to assume people's Halloween is going to be plenty busy- not that I've been timely with these updates anyways...
>>5813562Waifu Commander Quest is going strong
>>5813562If I've learnt anything from all the threads, waifu-related votes bring out the most fervent voting.
>>5814453I hope Tanq makes us roll for if the mosshead and/or the shamrock shake baby makes it through childbirth. captcha was TND, it's on my side.
>>5815141Wierd kink anon but ok
Hey guys, not dead, but been knocked off my rhythm. I'll be sure to update tonight.
>>5815956>SoonWell I guess with us going home we could possibly see out the remainder of the war then.
Did I say last night? I meant tonight. For real this time.Unless an illustration of pregnant Yena is extremely necessary to the coming update for some reason, as I am cutting that for time's sake.
>>5816977>Unless an illustration of pregnant Yena is extremely necessaryYou already know what people are gonna say.
The amount of time you had to make a choice was great- but the opportunity to think about it thoroughly did not make this any easier whatsoever.What you would have done before all that had happened would have been an obvious choice. Entering service as a mere soldato and rising up to a commissioned capitano in only a few years was an incredible pace of advancement for somebody not highborn. That it would let you see Cesare again, hopefully, was icing on such a cake. That ambitious route was the one the most optimistic Bonetto of the past would have placed as a fanciful tale of wish fulfillment, near too good to be true.However.The young man who had gone straight from the Azure Halls to the Royal Army had not anticipated Yena. That girl who seemed to fancy you for reasons you couldn’t fathom, who then clung to you, who had been so fragile and closed off, and then, you had saved her…and you couldn’t let each other go after. You couldn’t have predicted it even when you started dating her, thinking it would only be until she was healthier. Only, when she became better, that was when…Now she was going to bear your child. How had that come about? It hadn’t been planned for at all. Anticipated as an outcome, yes, but in the moment? Whomever they would be, they were conceived out of lust for one another, out of an intense moment of passion, with little thought for anything else. You didn’t regret any of it, but admittedly, things wouldn’t be so difficult to decide on if Yena had gotten pregnant after your romp in the forest, rather than on the kitchen floor in an apron.Oh, was that woman irresistible, though. Patient as well. Not one complaint had ever been made towards your absence. She might have kooky mountainfolk beliefs and her head didn’t quite wrap around Futurism, but her charm points were not things that had to be buried from under poison mud, bombs and bones.Yet even still.If you wanted to secure not only your own future but that of your wife and child, of the country, the Saints be willing, then wasn’t this huge opportunity something that you couldn’t pass up? That you could excuse missing the birth of your firstborn for?Both paths to the future, but only one was something you couldn’t get later.So that was how it would be. The Bonetto of the past might curse you for this decision, but then, the Bonetto of the past didn’t go home to marry Elena, and he had regretted that terribly. You’d put in a note that you’d like to be strongly considered for the position being offered, but ultimately, you would be taking a nice extended leave to be with your fiancée. A trip down to Di Scurostrada’s lands, accompanied by your driver, who was included in leave. He said he had friends and relatives who lived in that province…but you somehow doubted that.
All the friends in the unit were given fond farewells, and you passed on command to Di Nero- time would tell if the position would stick. At least you were around just in time to notice that Di Portaltramanto did not eye you with as much spite as he once did. Whether or not you’d return to this platoon, you hoped that what you’d taught them would ensure you’d meet again in the future, even if they didn’t find the glory they sought.So, with that, Sella Castella vanished away into the distance- but the wistful sight was not where your eyes were. The Forlorn still crept about, no matter if High Command downplayed their presence, and in the shadows, you still saw the black coats, and you kept a watch out even if there were already soldiers doing that both on and in front of the train. Luigi was in no mood for that, as he tried to chat you up, but you didn’t feel conversational whatsoever until you had left the Auratus entirely. It would be a poor punctuation to your life to live as you had only to be felled by an ambush far from the frontlines.Yet just when you thought you could relax, as the train stopped at a station for water, you looked to the hills and saw a blackened, ruined village, small in the distance yet disturbingly familiar.“What happened over there?” you asked one of the workers on the train, who suddenly became nervous.“Oh that,” he said distantly, “An accident. Just a little carelessness, and it all went up a month ago. A real tragedy.”Yet you had your doubts- that village looked like it was made the same way places like your town was. Yes, a fire was a serious danger, but they were spaced rather far apart for stray sparks to go around. News from other fronts was rare, but what of further inland? You supposed not much specific came out from there, too. Some complaints you’d heard were of letters from home having sections cut away. Easy to be distracted from near the Reich’s soldiers, but no help to your restlessness now.There was an unwelcome alien quality to the lands now, even as you came close to your destination.“Almost there,” you said to Luigi.“Oh,” he said snidely, “You remembered that I exist. Hey, boss. Has it been long enough that I need to introduce myself again?”“Spare me,” you held up a hand. “You said you were from here. I have to say, it doesn’t look like how you described it.”“That’s because this is near the Di Scurostrada’s private estate,” Luigi said with scorn, “The South Valley’s the place most of us are. It’s less green and pretty there, where all the muck gets shoved to get washed downstream.”“Not very scuro, still.” Rather bright meadows all about actually.
“There’s a story behind that name,” Luigi said, gesturing out the window. “In the Second Empire or something, there was a valley that had a First Empire era road between two important places, don’t remember what they were. One end north, the other south towards the sea. All sorts of money going up and down this road, and a lot of people lookin’ to take advantage. So when a bunch of landless knights came around and cleaned out the bandits, the Emperor gave them that valley and called them Di Scurostrada. Used to be a lot of forest too. All gone now.”“A nice story,” you said, “But Dark Path is still a rather ominous title, isn’t it?”Luigi chuckled at that in a thick, fake sardonic tone. “That’s what the other thing I’ve heard mentions. Not as much somethin’ to take pride in, the other story. You know what landless knights became a lot of the time? Bandits. So there’s as much a chance that the first Di Scurostradas were just bandits who got paid off to not be highwaymen no more. You know how nobles are. Not much better than bandits if they think they can get away with it.”“I don’t think our Captain would appreciate that sentiment,” you joked. Luigi shrugged and joked back with a raised finger. “A noble and a woman. Mama always told me, never trust a woman unless she’s your mum, or one your mum picked out. Never steered me wrong, that bit of advice.”…Mother would never have picked a mountain girl for you… The train pulled into a quaint, rural station that was little more than a stop for water, coal, and passengers, with a little town around it to sustain and be sustained by it. Not where you expected the villa of Di Scurostrada to be, but perhaps some nobility preferred to be away from the hustle and bustle. These surroundings were assuredly what Yena would be more used to, at least. A smaller and more relaxed community, and a link to an important, known figure. A far cry from how she described the Holy City in this time of strife.“Well,” Luigi picked up his haversack and raised a hand, “Guess I’ll see you in…a month? Two? Until your spawn pops out and you feel the need to show him to me? May the Saints guide you, boss. Preferably one of the reasonable ones.” He began to walk off, but you grabbed his ear. “Oi, what’s all of that?” He whined. “We’re on leave, find somebody else to kick into mush.”“You’re meeting Yena,” you said flatly, “What are you in such a hurry to leave for? This leave is so long, and Scurostrada so narrow a territory. If I didn’t know better, I’d wonder if you were in a hurry to head off to the pleasure palaces of Marenabocca.”
Luigi scoffed and spat. “Paellans. They’re what happens when an entire race of people has an absent father. I’d still be tempted if it wasn’t either their finest or their garbage with no in between. Just what I’ve heard. I have too little money and too much common sense to head over for a visit.” “Surely they regret not drawing you in,” you said, “It won’t take long. Stop whining and come meet my fiancée, I want her to know who’s taking care of my tank. Let’s a go.”“Nah, let’s a no, your piece and I will both be happier without eye contact.” Luigi complained, but you kept your grip on him firm until he walked with instead of against you.-----Yena was found sooner than you expected. What you anticipated was that she’d be at the villa, but green heads stuck out like sore thumbs in this part of the country, so you naturally picked one out as soon as you left the station.She was dozing off in the afternoon soon on a wooden bench, a handbag by her side and one hand wrapping a shawl tightly around her- her face looked down and a hat was keeping the sun off of her, but the braid on one side of her head and the roundness of her belly left little room for doubt as you walked over to her and put a hand on her cheek.“Mm,” she breathed as you moved your fingers around her chin and tilted her up as Yena’s eyes fluttered open. “…Palmiro…” She accepted your kiss as soon as you moved forth to make it. “I’m back for a while, Yena,” you said to her, “Have I kept you waiting long?”“Very long,” Yena said as she put her arms around your shoulders. “But I would wait however long I had to. I would come here to wait just in case you came early.”“Then I’m sure you’re hungry,” you said, helping her to her feet, “Yena, this is my-“ Luigi was nowhere to be seen. “Damn it all, he scampered off. I was going to introduce you to Luigi Lucanto, my driver. We’ve been through a lot…apparently he’s had enough of me for now.”Yena pushed herself close to you. “That’s alright. I’ll take his share of you if he doesn’t want it.”You seated your hands around her hips. “Let’s not be too hasty, there’s people around.”Yena purred into your ear in New Nauk, “I wish you would.”You smiled at her and nibbled on her ear- though you had to make something clear. “Don’t speak in that language, love.”“Ah…” Yena looked down, “I’m sorry.”“Don’t worry about it. Do you want to show me back to the Villa then?”“To eat?” Yena raised an eyebrow. “I would rather do that at the café here, if you like.”“Of course,” you said, “But wouldn’t the food at the estate be better?”
“Maybe, but,” Yena looked around at the other people on the street, “It makes me feel bad to eat better than these kind folk just because I’m staying at a place of importance, when you send me money so that I don’t depend entirely upon charity…they appreciate that I spend upon them, too. The people here know I am of the east, not the west. Those of Donom Dei were not so inclined, and I want to thank them for that…”“Alright then,” you said, clasping her hand in yours, “Show me the way, then.”When you got to the place, a little cottage with a dining area closed in to the point that three people couldn’t stand astride its width, you were surprised by how empty it seemed. Were these not the usual hours?“People have to make their money go further,” Yena knew what you were thinking, “Coffee is so expensive now.” Indeed it was, you noted with a look to the price scribed on a chalkboard panel. Three times the price you remembered in Lapizlazulli, and you remembered that being particularly overpriced. “People forget there’s more than coffee to get here, though…”You both got a cup of a kind of pasta soup traditional here, Conchiglie en Brodo, and sat next to each other at one of the optimistically arranged crowded tables- yourself moving your chair close to your fiancée so you could touch her stomach- trying to feel the life within.“I can’t wait to meet them,” Yena said to you quietly as you touched her skin beneath her loose jumper- her stomach was hard, swollen feeling already, but you knew it would grow larger still. “They’re asleep now, but they’re so full of energy, Palmiro, like their father.”You rubbed her belly more. “Have you been feeling alright?” You asked, “I know how rough this is on the body…”“Chiara’s attendants care for me when needed,” Yena said, “And now that you’re here, I want for nothing.”The hot cups came, and you dug out your wallet to pay, but the owner and server, a plump hillman with dark hair and a thin mustachio, shook his head and waved his hands. “No, no, a soldier of the Royal Army need not pay here!”“I would insist,” you said, and pressed proper payment into the man’s hands. “My Yena has told me that you have need of it, and I would rather share.”The owner thanked you profusely, but had to be gifted the money several times before he actually took it. That he had such faith and gratitude for the army…what a different sort of story these people must have believed compared to the truth. “They like the military around here, then?” you asked Yena.
“Many volunteers came from here,” Yena said, “And when I told them about you, they accepted me as near kin. Everything we hear is of the victories up north. The war has been going very well lately, hasn’t it? I’ve been hoping it might even end while you were here with me…” She saw the grave look on your face, and paused in sipping at her soup. “…Palmiro? When do you think it will be over? Will we win soon?”You thought about that. “I can’t say too much,” you said carefully, “But the Reich’s picked where they want to fight, and they’re fighting hard. The Emreans launched a big offensive up north, and I hear they’re smashing the Reich up, but I don’t know. We thought all the fight went out of them months ago, when we started advancing through the Gepte lands. Now we have all of that, and everybody thinks that means we’ve won…only, we’re still fighting. Even though we’re all tired, we’re still fighting.”Yena looked downcast, and put her hand upon yours. “You don’t have to be tired now,” she said softly, “If there’s anything you need to let out, I will listen. A strong and brave man ought to have a wife who is as much.”Earnest- yet you hesitated still. “The time will come,” you told her, “For now, let’s enjoy what is new…”-----The leave away from the front was a happy time. With the news distorted as it was, you couldn’t concern yourself properly with the war even if you wished to, and it engendered a strangely pure bliss. Even if your heart had twinges of regret, knowing that you woke up in a soft bed in loving arms, whilst your fellows knew cold cots at best and wet, muddy trenches at worst. Or graves.Yena, having been separated from you for so long, had understandable priorities which you shared. Even after the rigorous coitus of the first night, her libido had absolutely exploded since you last met. Whenever you had a private moment she was touchy-feely and amorous, and she was always warm and affectionate. Oddly, she had some sort of aversion to using the bed for bedroom purposes- the first you got handsy with her in it, she laughed and told you with a lilt in her voice, “Palmiro, the bed is for sleeping in!” Usually, that meant that sex took place…anywhere else, practically, but often it was either against the wall, outdoors or at the private baths, the two of you sneaking into the glades to be amongst the gardens and trees, where you had to puzzle out new and exciting ways to make love with her new figure.The aversion to antics in bed did not extend to everything. Near every morning, when you woke up, it was to the feeling of Yena’s lips, her tongue, the heat and wet of her mouth wrapped about your manhood. After she was done, she would ask if you wanted any breakfast- every time. Always concerning food, though, not a proper reciprocation. And you were supposed to be the one taking care of her…
Your fair fiancée was not merely sick with love and hungry for you, of course, but the sheer frequency of amorous romps was a far cry from the cold coffee and weary watches, the quaking of shells, the deaf feeling about of tank fighting. Back on the front, you dreamt near every night of fighting in your tank. You scarcely found yourself in command of a machine gun one, yet your dreams still put you in them, or a cannon one, or some strange dream amalgamation of both where you might have one or the other, killing faceless Reich troops. Rolling over bodies that popped. Getting out and seeing Reich and Vitelian uniforms so spattered in mud and blood they were indistinguishable- them fighting so close you may as well have been killing both.Yet if you did not kill them all, they invariably would attack you, for some reason.The dreams continued, but so did the waking paradise, for what it was. March passed into April. April into May. Yena’s belly got bigger, so big she had to lean on you to walk any distance. Until finally, one evening, as you walked in the garden, she finally stumbled.It was time.The eighteenth of May. You waited anxiously, the sun still not peeking its head up, the Di Scurostrada’s own doctors having disappeared into a room with Yena in tow hours earlier. You had been reassured that they were very good at their trade, and moreover, very kind- the Di Scurostradas won the hearts of the people by enabling them to go about the lands and give pro bono treatments of all sorts. There were no better in Vitelia to let midwife Yena, you’d been told confidently by a manservant. For whatever reason, you were similarly assured that it was better for you to remain outside to not distract the professionals.Even still. You were used to saving Yena by your own hand. Helping her yourself. Easing her pains and healing her mind and spirit. Placing her in somebody else’s hands for this felt wrong, but what could you do? You knew about as much about delivering babies as you did about Zhantaoan pottery making.Finally, the door opened again. A nursing attendant called to you. “Signore Bonaventura? We are ready for you.”You took a deep breath. What was it like to be a father? You’d find out now, you supposed……Though a uniformed man of the Royal Army had appeared down the hall and was now waiting as well. Ominously. Like he was only standing away out of courtesy for this special moment in your life, and as soon as it would end, he would demand you for something that would snatch you away from this pleasantness of the past months.>Roll three sets of 1d100 for bab traits. No I won’t say which is which. Also, if any of the rolls are 100, then roll another set of three.
Rolled 65 (1d100)>>5817082
Rolled 25 (1d100)>>5817082
Rolled 80 (1d100)Let's see what a critfail does. >…Mother would never have picked a mountain girl for you… At least somebody in this quest has common sense.
Into the room, you followed the doctor, away from the presently unwelcome portent of misfortune. Yena lay on a bed, sheets being changed out, and she smiled weakly at you as you came in and leaned over her. She was sweat-slicked, exhausted, and shallow of breath, but she looked as happy as you’d ever seen.“…Palmiro,” she wheezed, “She’s ours…our daughter…”You reached out to take her from Yena’s hands- she was big, heavy.“Very healthy,” one of the doctors said approvingly, “As is the mother.”Your daughter…she had your blonde hair, your eyes as she opened them to look at you and wailed in protest at not being at her mother’s breast. You didn’t know what to say, or think, despite this moment having been anticipated so long…“Her name?” an attendant asked, “And her Saint, her honored name as well.”Honored Name being what most referred to as a middle name, as it was traditionally one that belonged to a person respected by the parent who named the child. As for her Saint, well…Yena and you had discussed this- though you paused a bit to make sure you remembered it all well enough. Traditionally, the names given to firstborns were the same as one of their ancestors. Technically speaking you were named after your grandfather, so it would be appropriate to name your daughter after your mother or Yena’s mother, though hardly restricted to such. After all, something so restrictive and traditional wouldn’t be very future, while giving her a brand-new name would be.As for saints, you had to remind yourself, admittedly, of all there were, but you were decided now.>Name your firstborn daughter. It should be something Vitelian, or at least appropriate. (Read- Pasta Pizza, not Bratwurst Sauerkraut) Also- Give her an Honored Name:>Would it not do to call her Antonia, after Anton Ange, father of Utopianism?>Your grandmother would do well. Giorgia- always best to remember her roots. >Yena’s grandmother shared her own name…maybe calling your daughter after her mother would please all involved.>Something else?Additionally- Her Birth Saint:>Saint Grigori, the patron of Stoicism>Saint Emelida, the patron of Heroism>Saint Morginn, the First Saint>Some other domain?
>>5817101>she had your blonde hairJust going to assume this is the high roll.>Would it not do to call her Antonia, after Anton Ange, father of Utopianism?Something something Sigmund Vang.>Some other domain?A natural or legalistic saint maybe, something to do with either the mountains or what Yena's family does.
>>5817101>Vittoria>Would it not do to call her Antonia, after Anton Ange, father of Utopianism?>Saint Emelida, the patron of Heroism
>>5817109I'll go with this
>>5817101>Beatrice>Yena’s grandmother shared her own name…maybe calling your daughter after her mother would please all involved.>Saint Grigori, the patron of Stoicism
>>5817101>Alba>Yena’s grandmother shared her own name…maybe calling your daughter after her mother would please all involved.>Saint Morginn, the First Saint
>>5817101>she had your blonde hairJust going to assume this is the low roll.>Vittoria>Would it not do to call her Antonia, after Anton Ange, father of Utopianism?>Saint Emelida, the patron of Heroism
>>5817109You're not going to believe this, but I came up with my vote before I've seen yours.
>>5817101>>Vittoria>>Would it not do to call her Antonia, after Anton Ange, father of Utopianism?>>Saint Emelida, the patron of Heroism
>>5817101>>5817109I like this
>>5817101DrusillaLucia, after the first Kingdom of Vitelia's founder>Some other domain?Saint Lawrence, The Patron of Cooks
>>5817108The saint of expedition and exploration, he who crossed the northern peaks, Saint Dans. Also he who scribed the codices to distribute abroad in early Nauk Imperial.>>5817109>>5817136>>5817144>>5817199>>5817257>>5817282>>5817336Vittoria Antonia, guarded by Emelida.>>5817146Beatrice Yena, guarded by Grigori>>5817175Alba Yena, guarded by Morginn.>>5817520Drusilla Lucia, guarded by...wait, that's not the Patron of the Kitchen.Calling in an hour though I think things are solidly locked in.
>>5817737Does Vitelia have a national patron saint?
>>5817737>Vittoria Antonia, guarded by Emelida.I'm already proud of our little revolutionary. Hopefully she ends up in one of the less shit factions
Called and updating.>>5817748>Does Vitelia have a national patron saint?Some would say it is Augustus Superbus, the greatest ruler of the Fire Empire, though he wasn't a man who was said to have the holy fire of a proper Saint except for accounts of him made after his passage. As far as what the Vilja Domkarl and the Cathedra would say, the would instead elevate Claudius Lux, the missionary to the west and beyond, founder of the holy city of Donom Dei, which was only later made capital of the First Empire. However, such is less popular and not so well known outside of the city itself, and even in Donom Dei, most would rather venerate the First Empire rather than any previous polities.
Don’t you think that’s a little on the nose? That was what Cesare might have said about your choice of name, but if you really wanted to go overboard, you’d call her Angelina. “Vittoria Antonia,” you told the attendant, “Under the guidance of Saint Emelida.”“Very good,” the attendant said, “We’ll be keeping the mother and child here for a couple more days to keep an eye on them, but visitation will be completely open, barring unforeseen emergency.”“Thank you,” you said, perhaps belatedly, and Vittoria wailed a loud, piercing shriek as babies were wont to do. You placed her back in Yena’s arms, and your daughter searched for nourishment.“…The name we decided for a daughter, right?” Yena smiled weakly as you as she wrapped her arms around Vittoria.“Of course,” you said, curling a lock of Yena’s hair around your finger, “Good work, dear, good work…” The door opened, and everybody looked- it was the military man that had been watching you outside, earlier.“Signore,” a doctor objected, “This is not a public place. Please, wait outside.”“No more waiting,” the man said, a pair of small round glasses seated on his nose, a scrunched in face, his hairline peaked high and his chin recessed. A nasty looking fellow. “I am Maggiore Celere, of the Royal Vitelian Army Interior Command. Tenente Bonaventura. You are coming with me.”You curled your lip. “It can’t wait whatsoever? You had all the time in the world to find me before, but you picked this moment to-““Tenente,” the army man repeated coolly, “There is no time. Be thankful that I allowed you the time I did, and that I did not send an impatient adjutant. Say your goodbyes and be along. I will explain when we are on the train.”He closed the door, and there was silence, save for from Vittoria, who gurgled in ignorance. Yena gave you a confused, pleading look. “Palmiro…What does he want?”“I don’t know,” you kissed her on the forehead, “I’ve not done anything to be punished for, but this is too sudden to be anything good. I don’t have much choice but to go. I’ll be back. Be well.” You rested your hand on Vittoria’s head, “For you, too, Vittoria. Be patient. Daddy will be back before you know it.”
As you’d told Yena, it couldn’t be disciplinary, and Celere reaffirmed as much as you walked with him.“Then tell me,” you said, “What in the world demanded a Major come and find me in the dead of the dark morning, on the eve of the birth of my firstborn daughter, that couldn’t wait a single moment?”“On the train, Tenente,” Major Celere said, his voice a cold, flinty deep. “There are reasons that the Royal Army does not speak openly of everything that occurs. Many a Halmeggian ear might be assumed to be a Vitelian one in the east.” Most would consider that paranoia, though not unjustified. Halmeggia was the neighbor of Vitelia, and an old kingdom, but still one closely aligned with the Reich. Rumor had it that volunteers from there bolstered the Reich’s armies most unnecessarily. “Your driver has been wrangled, along with some others having holiday here. Said rest and relaxation is now over.”No less frustrated, you kept your mouth shut until on the train, and further, until it was in motion, when Celere finally relaxed his posture. “Coffee, Tenente? I think you will need it.”You nodded sharply. “Along with some basic answers.”“First things first, Tenente, you are to not speak so freely should we be fortunate enough to be granted a moment to breathe, but we are in the midst of a national emergency, kept as quiet as we can make it to not excite the populace. All remaining reserves are being called up. All household guards mobilized. Even marines from the Royal Navy have been summoned north to the mainland.”“Why?” you of course demanded, “You make it sound as if we suddenly have no…”Celere motioned to his server, who was actually a non-commissioned officer and far above being a mere waiter, yet still placed cups by both of you. “Your suspicions are what may be the worst-case scenario, but information is not yet clear. What is clear is that the assurances of the frontline command were outright falsehood for at least a week before it became impossible to deny the truth. Said truth being the collapse of our lines.”“…What?” You were dumbfounded. That sounded utterly impossible, and you repeated such. “It may have been a few months back,” you said, “But the Auratus Front’s position was unquestionably sound. We were on the offensive; the Reich was on the back foot. What could have possibly changed?”“The scope is outside of my ability to view, let alone to have a tenente see and judge, however, since you will have the unenviable task of trying to repair this sorry state of affairs,” Celere said, “There is some new weapon the Reich have deployed. It alongside large underground explosive mines were used in an initial attack. A kind of incendiary device, though the reports sound greatly exaggerated."
"I do not know whom besides hysterical shellshocked enlisted would describe a weapon as turning the land into a vision of fiery hell, a storm of fire, pillars of light. Ludicrous." Celere's voice was full of contempt, but tinged with doubt. "However, I would be on guard for anything that the Reich might have deployed. Their greatest trump card played against us rather than the Emreans, who push upon them fiercely to the north. I suspect they wish to defeat Vitelia then focus northwards once more.”“Where are we going, then?” you asked.“I remain in the interior to continue preparations,” Celere said, “That we are speaking is a kindness of fate and my own superior officer, who has a favorite teacher in the Assault School. You, on the other hand, are to take a brevet promotion and assume command of a formation I believe you were already notified about, for it was a safe distance behind the line. Perhaps not so safely distant anymore. North, in the Gilician Front.”Not to your old unit? “The Special Weapons Battalion sounds as though it would have need of its officers in this situation.”Celere’s eyes flashed. “The Special Weapons Battalion was involved in heavy fighting with Imperial Armor even before the current catastrophe. There has been no news of their equipment making it out of the retreat, as the first thing the Grossreich took in the shock of their offensive were the crossings on the Gepte. I know not of the battalion’s men, but the general word has been that all of the armored vehicles in the Auratus have been captured or destroyed.”It was good that you were seated, else you might have collapsed, bent at the knees.“Suffice it to say,” Celere mulled, “A tank commander is better off with tanks to command. This is what has been decided for you.”-----One time, you would have had plenty of time to prepare for the turmoil in the north. Time to get to know who was in charge, who to be friends with, what the enemy was like, the local troops and landscape…everything that would be helpful, perhaps vital.This was not such a time. A file full of “need to know” was pushed into your hands roughly at the same stop Celere got off, and you went over it with Luigi. The information within was from before the current predicament, but even so, it was not reassuring, as it was information that you could tell was hidden from most for how poor it would have looked in the public eye.
The Auratus had volunteers, special units, treatment, as the favorite child of the Royal Vitelian Army. The Gilician Front was not fought over land that was desired, or an ancestral point of pride, but merely because both sides were there to fight, but that did not make it less a necessity to man. For the Reich, Gilicia bordered an unimportant protectorate. For Vitelia, the Reich bordered the path into the heart of Vitelia, into Lindiva and beyond, an important choke point to keep defended. So here the ugly work was carried out. The roughest conscripts, the scrapings of the barrel passed over for other duties, former convicts, the poorest and the vagrants, whoever could be swept up and given a modicum of training, which given the danger of the front, was usually poor. The Gilician Front had represented the majority of casualties taken in the war, and much of the bloodshed appeared completely avoidable were it not for the adversarial relationship between the conscripts and the officers who drove them forth. A constant watch was kept for mutiny, and it was advised that any hint of insubordination was to be harshly punished, summarily, if need be. Captains had no need to consult anybody above them to carry out judgments for insubordination.The Bocca di Muschio, or the Mossmouth Valley, was the place the Gilician front fought over. A mess of foothills in the mountain pass, it was frequently misty and foggy, visibility poor at the best of times, and trench lines and fortifications threaded around the hills in ringlets like spilled spaghetti, with cave and tunnel systems underneath a similar bloody maze. One hill might be utterly unoccupied, but around the edge of it could be a fortress, or an enemy assault. The rises were utterly deadly unless in heavy fog, in which case the height was no advantage, but rather, made whomever resided in the hilltop outposts and bunkers a sudden target as assaults ensued to take them.An already extremely unfriendly place, before the last small note. A little last addition- that the front had suffered from a huge amount of instability now, as the poor morale of the troops had caused them to surrender to the Reich stormtroopers in droves, and positions were fled from rather than defended. Orders were to round up any men withdrawing without permission and send them back…but it gave no actual method or plan on how to do so.“Honestly boss,” Luigi sighed on that last one, “I think we’s best stay outta their way. I’m not gonna get shot by one of my own people if I can help it.”You had to agree. This command might have already turned out to be an unappealing one. Now there was little choice, unless you deserted along with the others…but you shouldn’t be too hasty.When you were almost at the station you were to be dropped at, where the tanks were being kept, you could already here the rumbling and booming of artillery fire.
“Judge Above,” Luigi swore, “How far the hell forward are they? Are we gonna get off the train and find ourselves in a Reich station?”Not so- but the train was immediately swarmed by civilians, pressed back by gendarmes who got off the train, and who were only scattered by a fusillade of rifle fire- not into the crowd, but they screamed and ran as though it had struck them.“Come on,” you told Luigi, “Let’s hurry and find those tanks, at least.” In your hand you carried the badge of a temporary Captain- not that you liked it, but you carried the authority of law here, if you wished to wield it.At least the armor company motor pool was easy to be guided to, even if there was a disturbing lack of people who knew what to call it- or anything, besides that they knew where it was. Many of the soldiers seemed to wander about purposelessly, lost, and some asked you what to do as if you were their commanding officer, but most avoided you deliberately. Finally, you got to the tanks. All Reich model captures, as you’d been told. Five of the heavy model, with their forward cannon and three machine guns. Ten of the lighter model, little boxes with machine guns, a couple with a machine gun and a long, narrow rifle like the ones you’d seen before on the Gepte attacks, but mounted alongside the machine gun instead of carried by a man. Those were three of them, another three were armed with light cannon, and the remaining four had machine guns. All were painted in the blue-green of Vitelian armor, despite their Imperial origins.The crews and commanders lingered- and you noted there seemed to be no separate clique of noble officers. Everybody was amongst one another. Perhaps they lingered because they didn’t want to lose these machines that had been gifted to them. They certainly couldn’t be staying in anticipation of your arrival, with how they looked at you down their noses, through slit, suspicious eyes.“Hello,” you introduced yourself, “I am Brevet Capitano Palmiro Bonaventura. I am here to take command of this armored assault company.A snort from one of the officers. “The Judge must be pissed at you for somethin’.”Perhaps so. “Guess that Cesare guy’s shit outta luck. Gettin’ caught up front a couple klicks out that couple days ago.”“Think the fort’s still holdin’ out?” another officer asked. “Not for long.”…You had to get things moving. To where, though…you weren’t sure, but you had to do something.>Did that man say Cesare? There was no time to waste. You had to get everybody ready for an attack, to break through again…>The situation was chaotic, but not unsalvageable. You’d have to get everybody ready, and dug in, to repel the surely impending Reich attack.>There was no point in staying here, and you knew what command would be popular. Get the tanks started up- and head south. Staying here was suicide, and a waste of man and materiel.>Other?
>>5818101>Did that man say Cesare? There was no time to waste. You had to get everybody ready for an attack, to break through again…
>>5818097>The Bocca di Muschio, or the Mossmouth Valley, was the place the Gilician front fought over>hat the front had suffered from a huge amount of instability now, as the poor morale of the troops had caused them to surrender to the Reich stormtroopers in droves, and positions were fled from rather than defended. Orders were to round up any men withdrawing without permission and send them back…but it gave no actual method or plan on how to do so.Son of a bitch. I should have expected the Isonzo...>>5818101>There was no point in staying here, and you knew what command would be popular. Get the tanks started up- and head south. Staying here was suicide, and a waste of man and materiel.This feels like fence sitting, but attempting a break through sounds like suicide and digging in sounds like it will maintain the status quo, things getting worse for our own side.
>>5818101>There was no point in staying here, and you knew what command would be popular. Get the tanks started up- and head south. Staying here was suicide, and a waste of man and materiel.
>>5818097>Did that man say Cesare? There was no time to waste. You had to get everybody ready for an attack, to break through again…
>>5818101>There was no point in staying here, and you knew what command would be popular. Get the tanks started up- and head south. Staying here was suicide, and a waste of man and materiel.Damn, too bad Palmiro spent time with his waifu rather than his tankfu
>>5818085Honestly, I wonder if Chiara and the named officers managed to get out alive or not. Anyway, it seemed like we dodged a bullet at the very least.Also, saving Cesara might either be a move that completely screw us over or make us a major war hero.
>>5818148Well Julio of all people has to survive, so hopefully some of the Battalion survived/ are stuck as POWs.Could totally see just Bonetto and Leo at the end of this though.
>>5818154I won't be surprised if Julio got too cocky and ended up leading the company to a trap which caused a massive loss to the Special Battalion.I'm also hoping Chiara survives, but without her good luck charm (i.e. us or Leo), I wouldn't be surprise if she got heavily scarred or crippled from the war.
>>5818101>Did that man say Cesare? There was no time to waste. You had to get everybody ready for an attack, to break through again…Charisma, gooooo
>>5818101>The situation was chaotic, but not unsalvageable. You’d have to get everybody ready, and dug in, to repel the surely impending Reich attack.I'm firmly against sending these men into an all out attack simply to save Cesare. Cesare is a smart man, cautious. I believe he will hold out long enough or spare himself and his men by giving up in time if he sees the situation in unsalvageable. Throwing these demoralised men into another pointless attack to save Cesare is cruel and uncaring, no matter how charismatic we are.On the other hand, we can't give up on Cesare and his men completely. Or Vitelia, in this matter. If there's a chance that Cesare and the rest breakout, there must be a decently safe place for them to retreat to. Not only that, if we retreat now, Vitelia will be completely exposed to the Reichdogs. They aren't giving it their all to attack here just so that they can stop. It will be an all out offensive that can very easily kick out Vitelia out of the war and leave us at the mercy of the Reich. However bleak it may look, we can salvage the situation. We are experienced and level-headed. We can do this shit.
>>5818101>>Did that man say Cesare? There was no time to waste. You had to get everybody ready for an attack, to break through again…
>>5818101>Other?Light the beacons and call for aid.
Lel we're gonna get this whole company encircled and captured
>>5818899Yeah I don't know why there's such an obsession with suicide charges. It's dumb.
>>5818959Well, we are not!Italian...
>>5818959>>5818963There wont be a charge because our own troops will string us up lol
>>5818959We are reenacting Isonzo
>>5818106>>5818108>>5818118>>5818137>>5818205>>5818613>>5818721>>5818944The call for heroism, driven by friendship. At least, with one person.>>5818117>>5818127>>5818138The only option is to take what's salvageable and leave- this place is already lost.>>5818609Prepare to repel the invasion- or at least, try.>>5818875You're the aid, buddy.You know, for the romanticism of it, this is probably going to be harder than you may think. Writing.
>>5819228Where's the Kommissarat when you need them, baka?
It was a common name- but one that stood out to you. He had been somewhere north, you weren’t sure where, but just in case it was coincidence…“Did you say Cesare?” you asked, “Do you know him?”“Analyst with a bum leg? Sure do. Can’t help but hear about him talkin’ about Futurism or somesuch.” One of the crewmen said, “Heard he was gonna be attached to this unit before everything went to hell. Why, he call you up here?”Two kilometers through Reich lines. Yet you had tanks, and the front was surely chaos for all involved, so there was a chance. You could do it, if you could band all these men and tanks together and just go. Not even to take the ground for good, but to break the siege…“Get the engines started,” you called out, “You have fifteen minutes, I’m going to find a map, and we’ll be making preparations to attack-““Nah.”What? You looked over to the offending dissent, who was staring at you as blankly as everybody else. He was a scruffy little sea man with an officer’s bicorne, but he wore a plain pullover sweater instead of a uniform. “Excuse me?”“You heard me, Brevet Captain. No. Do I speak for everybody here?” A murmur of agreement. “Hear that? I bet you don’t even know anybody’s names.”“There is little time,” you said, trying to be patient, “Proper introductions will come, but we are in no place of such comfort as to sit around and talk. Lives are on the line, and we can save them-”“We?” Another officer said, though this one was only recognizable by his stature amongst his fellows and his willingness to speak, as he had discarded any uniform pieces whatsoever save for his trousers and boots, plainly clothed elsewhere with a fur hat on his head. Perhaps a Gilician native. “We. Hah. I don’t think you know where you are.”“He’s new, Bruno, we can be easy,” the sweater man said, “First off, Pal. I’m Tenente Dario Corallo, and that’s Tenente Bruno Amaro. Brevet as you are, we’ve got no commissions.” The look on Bruno’s face said he was constantly tasting something like that for certain. “The third guy isn’t present, might be sleeping off the brandy. We have to make something clear, though. Here in the Mossmaw? In the Gilician Front? It was always attack, attack, attack, into whatever it might have been. We got out of that, and now, everybody’s out of it. No more charges, no more offensives. Especially not from some guy I know less about than the first to walk the earth, besides that he come up and think we’re gonna just do what he says because he’s a big shot somewhere.”Bruno flicked a Gilician Razor out of his belt and ran his finger down the edge. “You got a problem, then we won’t, real fast.”
They were trying to scare you, thinking you were some fresh pup, your position a favor of a noble, presumably. Frankly, you’d seen scarier from the Reich, and you pointed to the tanks. “How came you by these?” You asked, “Did you buy them with coin? Did you seduce an Imperial and waddle away with them and a looser backside than before?”“Funny man,” Bruno growled as he flipped his razor in and out, though he didn’t advance at the insult.“We took them ourselves,” Dario shot back, “That’s why we have command of them, why we’re here instead of at the front where we can breathe in poison, get burned black by Imperial chemicals, stabbed, shot, blown up and buried. All of us took our prizes. They’re ours by right, even the shittiest of the highborn slave drivers agree.”“Are they broken down? Unable to function?” you asked rhetorically, “What purpose does a tank that can fight have, if not to fight?”“No fight worth fighting here no more,” Bruno said casually.“Your comrades, your fellow Vitelians,” your voice began to raise, “They are beset upon by the Reich, and you will not use your strength to aid them? Is that not even worth consideration?”You could tell from looking around that you were stinging their pride, as they looked around doubtfully for any others whose confidence in their self-righteous apathy was cracking. Yet the leaders were unrepentant.“We’re not fighting Lucius’s shitty war no more,” Dario snapped, “No matter what. Go and get yourself killed if you want, but if you think you can just walk in here and make us die for a lost cause that never had nothin’ to do with us, you can blow it out your ass. You hear?”There wasn’t any actual counterargument to the point you were trying to rally them around. They just didn’t want to fight. From what you had heard of this front, you couldn’t blame them, but that recalcitrance was petty spite from where you were standing. You needed their help, your friends, their friends perhaps too, needed their help, but this company was just too sick of the war and their commanders to do anything that might help the people they hated more than the Reich.Nothing you could say would change that. Those who didn’t want to listen would hear naught.>Fine then. They could be that way- you’ll take a tank yourself and go. Anybody who was not a coward could follow you, but no matter what, you were going.>If these people wouldn’t listen, maybe somebody else would. Even if you had no tanks, you would still try and rescue Cesare and those with him.>There wasn’t any point in trying to attack without them. Perhaps you could at least convince them to accept your leadership for their self-preservation though- in doing something else. (What?)>Other?
>>5819491>If these people wouldn’t listen, maybe somebody else would. Even if you had no tanks, you would still try and rescue Cesare and those with him.The time in the tank has made us weak. We don't need those fucking things to save our boy.
>>5819491>If these people wouldn’t listen, maybe somebody else would. Even if you had no tanks, you would still try and rescue Cesare and those with him.
>>5819491>If these people wouldn’t listen, maybe somebody else would. Even if you had no tanks, you would still try and rescue Cesare and those with him.Well, if we're going to be retarded might as well go all the way with it. Abandon our command and infiltrate like back when Bonaventura was enlisted
>>5819491>If these people wouldn’t listen, maybe somebody else would. Even if you had no tanks, you would still try and rescue Cesare and those with him.Try to get more details out of them at least. Who else is stuck in the fort, how big a force? Any significant armour presence up ahead or mainly infantry/stormtroopers?
>>5819491>Fine then. They could be that way- you’ll take a tank yourself and go. Anybody who was not a coward could follow you, but no matter what, you were going.I really don't think we'll find any significant numbers to go on this suicide mission. Might as well take some armor with us.
>>5819491>>Fine then. They could be that way- you’ll take a tank yourself and go. Anybody who was not a coward could follow you, but no matter what, you were going.
lmao time to die for something meaningless. What happened to that whole speech about keeping yourself alive was a greater glory?
>>5820396We already have a daughter to pass on the legacy now.
>>5819491>Fine then. They could be that way- you’ll take a tank yourself and go. Anybody who was not a coward could follow you, but no matter what, you were going.
>>5820400Yeah, but she'll be rejected by her mother for being soulless cause we aren't married to Yena.
>>5820396You're being too pessimistic, the situation was different, but we've been in this type of situation before and we can do it again. We'll make it back to properly marry our wife and we'll bring Cesare's cripped ass to see it done!
>Fine then. They could be that way- you’ll take a tank yourself and go. Anybody who was not a coward could follow you, but no matter what, you were going.The leaders don’t want to, that’s fine, but the rest of the tankers might join us. Lead by example, and use Bonetto’s force of character to make things right.
>>5819502>>5819535>>5819542>>5819546>>5820562End of Panzer, return to Pasta.>>5819726>>5820300>>5820403>>5820706>>5820842Panzer Commander ForeverCalling or rolling off in an hour.
>>5819491>>5820905>If these people wouldn’t listen, maybe somebody else would. Even if you had no tanks, you would still try and rescue Cesare and those with him.I don't see much stock in taking just a handful of tanks if it means we're also lacking for a decent sized infantry screen. Better to consolidate what men we have into infantry and get across the battlefield as fluidly as we can without bringing along any big targets.Also ask Luigi if he wants to stay behind. He's a good driver/mechanic and I don't recall him being touted as particularly proficient in hand to hand combat training, so there's no use throwing him into the trenches if he doesn't think he's fit for itm, though having him watch our back instead of one of these reprobates would be appreciated.
>>5820905>>Fine then. They could be that way- you’ll take a tank yourself and go. Anybody who was not a coward could follow you, but no matter what, you were going.Avanti!
Rolled 2 (1d2)>>5820917>>5821012Still tied up huh.Well, I'm two hours late, but I'll roll it off here. 1 for no tank, 2 for tank.
Going to love the reaction of High Command when the man they sent to stabilize the Front somewhat ends up riding in a sole tank into enemy lines to save his friend
Fine, then. If they would not be moved by words or purpose, then so be it. That would not keep you from going, though.“There are men whose lives are worth fighting to save, whom for all the purposeless death this war has wrought, it would be worth risking life to keep the war from taking them too. If that is not enough to motivate you, then nothing will be enough. I will still go, however. When I return, I will take a tank, and anybody who has the valor to follow me. If I go alone, then let that be a black mark on whatever pride you hold.” You flashed a glance back as you turned your back. “A true knight is worthy of his armor, but no knight is made so by his metal.” Walking away, Luigi trailed behind you, glancing back at the tank yard as you left. “Hey, boss, that was a nice speech and all, but I’m not too hot on heading in all by our lonesome, tank or not. The two of us by ourselves could crew one of the little ones, but that’s not enough to break no one out, y’know?”You looked to the squat driver with a resigned gaze. “Luigi, you’ve been at my side since I found out what a tank was, you’ve been my partner through many battles, but if you don’t want to join me in this, you don’t have to.” He didn’t know Cesare- and if you were forced to do this alone, you didn’t want to take him down with you- even if you did need him. Luigi scoffed at you and raised his eyebrows indignantly. “Huh? Did I say I wasn’t gonna help you? Not how this works, boss. When I was little, my mama told me, Luigi, no Lucanto’s ever taken back his word on nothin’, ever, and if you’s the first to do it, your great granddaddy will never let you sleep again. I’m an only child, so nobody’ll break that word but me, if I do it.”“You’ve said many things,” you noted, “The only thing I’ve heard you give a promise like that on is that my taste in coffee is as good as my taste in women, and I still don’t know what you mean by that.”“I was gettin’ to that!” Luigi said peevishly as you turned towards a trench pointing to where the headquarters, and more, vital information on the chaos of this situation would be. “When we were about to go, I got stopped by the Captain, and she goes somethin’ like, keep the Tenente safe. I say I’ve already been doin’ that, but then she says, give me your word. So that’s that. It’s not my choice no more.”“…I’ll pay you back someday,” you said.“Pay me back now, more like,” Luigi said pointedly, “Whatever crazy thing you’re thinking of doing, make sure I walk away from it.”-----
The headquarters was a storm of indecision, panic, with small pockets of resigned quietness where a few continued to do the necessary work so that all the scattered pieces of what once was a command structure didn’t fly away on the winds. It was at one of these places that, being an officer, you managed to find a sympathetic ear to your plight. A raven haired bespectacled young sea woman with a fresh red bruise on one side of her face- presumably from being struck, despite being in a secretarial position. Her voice was too quiet to properly hear amongst the mess, so you helped yourself when she answered your questions with gestures to papers and locations.The picture of the situation was less and less reassuring- regardless of how optimistically you might have already been viewing it. As was normal on the Gilician front’s foothills, the fort that Cesare and anybody with him was holed up in was less anything like a castle and more a burrow on a hill, with a bunker atop it, though this particular complex was spread over three hills forming an elbow shape in concert with another pair of forts. Its flanks had been taken if it was isolated, but there was still an approach to it from the south- this particular fort line, while intricate, was only one “line” thick, as further development had been abandoned when the fighting advanced beyond. Now, regrettably, the fortifications that would have prevented further disaster lay incomplete- and the Reich’s assault was crashing down upon the hastily assembled frontlines only a kilometer ahead. The only reason you could think of that they hadn’t broken through already was because they had used up their burst of speed, and attrition had chewed apart the offensive force to the point where it couldn’t immediately shatter the subpar attempt at a defensive. That left a small amount of hope to any plan for a counteroffensive. Not a general one, Judge Above, no, but a small enough one to force a gap in the swirling storm of steel so that you could break out…how many people were in this fortification? It could have been a platoon, it could have been two, it could even be only a dozen people by the time you got to it.Or it could be zero.The maps weren’t doing any good here, so you took them. Some small solace found its way in when you realized that the chances of mines being around was nil considering how fluid the lines were, but there was plenty of things that could ruin everything. Stormtroopers, enemy tanks, Flayer vapors that you’d heard of but didn’t have the misfortune to experience, and of course, whatever the strange secret weapon was that had supposedly broken the lines here and to the east.
Nobody who was put together seemed to know what that was. Those who might have directly experienced it were so traumatized that they were either rendered dumb or incoherent. The only reliable thing you heard was that, whatever it was, it turned the sky itself red as fresh spilt blood, set aflame like lava from a furious mountain- that it felt like the air itself ate away, ever so slowly, at the flesh and mind, like a frog drying in the sun.Maybe you’d never see it. Maybe, for how terrible it was, the Reich might not have any more. No more that it would expend against you rather than Emre…-----When you returned to the tank yard, a few people had cycled out, and back in. Bruno watched you with contempt from the other side, but didn’t lift a finger or say anything when you and Luigi picked out a familiar model of what the Reich called a Panzerwagen Three, one with a machine gun, and the oversized rifle mounted in the hull also. Reich-captures occurred in the Auratus as well, so you did know how to operate them, their tolerances, everything needed- though you considered them inferior to the C2. Perhaps one of the Kriegswagen-Sturm, would have been preferable, but without a full crew to operate it, you’d only be crippling any attempt you made at this rescue.It wasn’t to be suicide- despite what some might consider an attempt like this. Yet you owed it to Cesare to try your absolute best. After every other one of your friends had lost their lives- not just because of Leo, as he might put it, but because of you. Leo was safe- Cesare very well could be the last of your old friends, and as far as you were concerned, he was still in reach.“Hey,” a slurring voice approached- it belonged to a sea fellow who wasn’t wearing trousers, a pair of dirty trunks all he wore below the waist. His eyes were heavy and red, and he near limped. Intoxicated? “What’re you doin’ with my tank, whoever you’re s’posed t’…” He trailed off.“Requisitioning it,” you said without concern for what the owner might think, “It is doing no good sitting here. Who are you?”“Tenente Giulino,” the man said in a drawn out syllable smashed together, “Why’d you need my tank for?”“To save lives.”“Whose?”“Good men,” you answered, “But mostly, my friend Cesare.”
“Agghhh, him, aye,” Giulino nodded exaggeratedly, “Sounds good, I’ll…I’ll be right there, just gotta…” he stumbled off, and fell over near the wall. At least somebody was giving their blessing- even if it was a man still drunk from the past day.The engine was started up, the ammunition and fuel checked- full up on both at least. As the engine warmed up, you called out to the camp:“Anybody who feels the smallest bit of kinship with their fellow Vitelians,” you shouted, “Any of you at all who would wish to do more than sit here and wait for Alexander to take them, then start your vehicles and follow me when I leave! The plan will come when we all are at the edge of our lines. For all the worthless attacks made in contempt of your lives and bravery, this will not rank amongst them. Those of you whom do not follow- when we return, I expect you to fall in line!”The time to depart came, and you ordered Luigi forth. A compliment to the Reich’s engineers- a sufficient screen between you and the engine meant it was possible to properly communicate within the tank, at a shout. Though even if you wanted to kick Luigi, the inside of the tank was not constructed in a way to allow such, a cramped box you had to sit and squeeze yourself within, though for now, you could push yourself out the top hatch to observe. A steel helmet rested upon the top of your head now, rather than a bicorne. You’d have liked to have the armor you’d seen on some Arditi, but here, the steel helmets were the only protection available, whether they were more primitive earlier models that looked like they were beaten together by an amateur blacksmith, or the newest models that were neat ridged domes, the latter being what you had managed to get.Not until you were near the lines did you gather the strength to look back to see who had followed, even if the noise assured you something did tread in your track-trails- your confidence might have faltered otherwise, and the sort of confidence you wished to exude could suffer no self-doubt…>Roll four sets of 2d6, for eight individual d6 rolls. On a 1-2, there is no follower. On a 3-4, there is a PW-3, on a 5 there’s a PW-3S (cannon type) and a 6 is a heavy tank.
Rolled 2, 2 = 4 (2d6)>>5821917
Rolled 3, 2 = 5 (2d6)>>5821920lmao>>5821917
Rolled 3, 1 = 4 (2d6)>>5821917
Rolled 6, 4 = 10 (2d6)>>5821917
When you looked back, you could be disappointed, but you had been prepared for worse. Not by much. Three PW-3 types, all machine gun armed, and a singular KWS. The last was puzzling, but hardly unwelcome. All in all, it was a single reduce platoon. Something you could work with. A compact fist that, if driven into the right soft place, could do plenty of damage.You stopped, and calculating that there were no Reich sharpshooters around to take advantage, decided the time was right for theater. You climbed atop the hull of your tank and stood on the roof, turning to face those who had chosen to follow. You waited, as the other commanders popped out to see what the deal was. You motioned to them to exit.One man you did not expect to come along- and you addressed him immediately. “Did you have a change of heart, Tenente Corallo?” He had commanded the lone heavy tank- all the more important you understand why he had come.The squat Sea Vitelian squinted at you, contempt and skepticism in equal heavy measure. “No matter what you say about us, we’re part of a group. Anybody who made the fool decision to come with you, I have to try to bring back, whether they’re in one piece or they need to be scooped up in a can. Also, if you’re going to do this to our people, I’m going to make sure you’re the first in. No more standing at a safe distance while the others do the dying.”That made you burst out laughing. “Tenente, you’ve no idea what sort of man I am. That threat has no substance. You will all be following the trail I carve out. It is not the way of a Young Futurist to follow meekly. Nobody can arrive at the future by standing still and watching from afar. Especially not on a day like this where what is ahead is so uncertain.” Fire and fog, full of foes- it was stunning to you to think of how easy it had been to say words of similar weight when there was no threat whatsoever. Now that it was time to prove your mettle…would you have hesitated before? “If there aren’t any further concerns about my character,” you jumped down to the level of the others, “Let me get started on how we’re going to do this.”
Going out beyond the frontlines, there were either three or four hills to either cross or go around before you got to the besieged fort where Cesare was, depending on the route you took- the first two relatively wider and flatter compared to the harsher inclines of the next two before the fort. With the last two, crossing them on the low ground still involved clearing a saddle- there was no flat and open ground to be had here. Logically, the escape being cut off meant you’d have to break through or drive off at least one section of enemies, of what type, nobody could be certain of. The presence of the KWS and your own tank’s huge rifle meant that even enemy armor wasn’t quite insurmountable, if you wanted to just push through enough to allow an escape, but getting there was going to be the most uncertain part of this operation.The bunkers were at least only armed with machine guns- though you couldn’t say how heavily armed the Reich’s soldiers would be, only that there wasn’t anything heavier they could have taken advantage of.>Plan your route of advance. Trenches and bunkers are marked as grey structures. Your tanks are able to cross most trenches- or find a way over them. These aren’t the best developed obstacles.>Being in the lower two terrain tiers means being in mist- you can’t see far, but things can’t see you well either. Being atop the hills here or near the tops means being quite visible.
>>5822698I say we try to move through the mist as long as possible until we get to that last hill. The exact approach to it I'm not sure of, but I think it's among the best places to enable a breakout, since using the mist to go around the sides of the second set of hills seems like too much of a detour.
>>5822698Plan 'Fuck these machine gun bunkers in particular and avoid sneaky AT gunners in trenches at all costs'. Red strike throughs are what absolutely needs to die before we progress, anything else is to be left alone/entertained with harassing fire if disturbed
>>5822766+1. I don't like the idea of punching through a hill trench + bunker combo while being visible to whatever forces are on the fort
>>5822757This. The other plan has us try to clear two trenches up a steep slope, this one only one up a gentler slope.
>>5822766Support plan "stick to the mists"
>>5822757>>5822905>>5823218>>5823263>>5823434Plan A>>5822766>>5823104>>5823454Plan BUpdating.Attachment unrelated Since she sure as shit doesn't look like this at this moment of the timeline- but I think "late by over a year" is a new record for me since this was supposed to be done the halloween before.
>>5823757An unexpected but not unwelcome appearance of best Luftpanzer girl
The ideal route would be to avoid fighting for as long as possible- which meant keeping out of sight until the moment you’d be making your decisive attack. It also meant not being able to see around you, but that was the sacrifice you’d have to make- and the chances of being surprised by somebody that could destroy you were nil, if you evaded the trenchworks. The Reich’s medium guns and anti-tank rifles were still quite cumbersome, and never expected anywhere but a prepared position. No, the greatest concern would be tanks, and artillery. Anything else you hoped to either slip by or surprise in the dense fog.The plan explained to your ad-hoc platoon, you had them line up in a close order column, yourself at the head and Corallo at the rear in his heavy tank. At the head, you had to peer over the top of your PW-3 through a rather poorly designed hatch, unsuitable for anything but escape, as the periscope was simply unsuited for keeping awareness by itself. Even though the size of the hatch cut into the roof and its lack of rim meant it practically invited a grenade to be thrown in while open.The platoon crept forward, down the slope, into the mist. The clouds swallowed you, and one of the few indications of where you were was whether you were suddenly either going up or downhill, your map in one hand and checked constantly- because the place where you couldn’t afford to look around anymore was a trench line coming up that faced the mist. Even if the Reich’s infantry weren’t probing yet, they undoubtedly had men in that trench you had to pass by.Around the first hill you went, and you promptly shut the hatch, expecting rifle fire to chase you- but none did. A search with the periscope- the trenches were there, though difficult to see. Was there nobody there? Or- was it possible- the Reich only expected their own tanks? Much more than the silhouette of your vehicles would be hard to see, and as far as you knew, the Reich had no reason to expect Vitelian crewed tanks here, especially with the collapse of the line. Fortuitous, if your assumption was correct. If only you had a uniform, your knowledge of the Imperial language might even have proven invaluable. Alas, it was already testing your luck to be advancing in entirely the incorrect direction.Worse, that you weren’t immediately opposed meant that there was certainly Reich tanks here.The turn came- and you pushed the signal lights to turn left, thanking the Reich for not interrupting this most vital movement. It was already hard enough to grope around in the limited visibility, but if you had to do it while being shot at, there was a good chance you’d get hopelessly lost in the mist, and end up on the wrong hill, or in the midst of enemies. That was going to happen soon anyways, if the rise and fall of the northward journey didn’t tell you that you were about to reach the critical point of the advance. If the Reich didn’t know your intent yet, they would very soon.
The hill- it was a rather steep slope for a tank, and you were aiming to cross right over its saddle.“Luigi,” you said loudly in the tank over the banging of the engine behind you, its noise only somewhat dampened by a thin sheet of metal and wood panel, “Can we make it up this?” It was steeper than you’d ever tried to move over. Not a problem if you were on foot, but you weren’t sure if you had the power to make it up this way.“Don’t know,” Luigi replied, “The big guy might be too heavy, but I’ll give it a try.” He waved over behind him, “If I mess up, though, we’ll crash right into anybody following. We’ll need to do this careful.”“Do you think the others can do it?” you asked.Luigi glanced at you. “Honest, boss? I’m not sure on this, which means, hell no.”“Damn.” You looked back at the map, then around the mist. “There’s a gentler slope that way,” you looked with the periscope. The map lacking proper height was rather a problem, but you supposed that command had thought it wouldn’t be needed, and you were lucky to have this at all. “A saddle between these other hills, but it will put us in front of a bunker.”“Don’t think we have much choice, boss,” Luigi said gravely. “Doesn’t seem like that one guy wants to let you out of his sight, and splitting everybody up in this weather..?”“Fine then,” you said, “We’ll have to try the crossing. If anybody doesn’t make it, they’ll have to go to the right. Wait here.”Quickly darting about from tank to tank, you spread the backup plan about- but you hoped against hope you wouldn’t need it, because the most expedient way forth was to avoid as much fighting as possible until you were actually at the fort Cesare was holding out in…“This is it, Luigi,” you said as you vaulted back over on top of your tank and down the hatch, “Forward!”>Roll 3 sets of 5d100. First is for getting over the initial hill, Second is for breaking through, Third is for following through. Failing the first makes the second roll more difficult. DC is roll over 25 for yourself (the first dice), 40 for the PW-3s, and 75 for the KWS. Afterwards, rolling over 20 is better, 50 if not passing the first roll.
Rolled 23, 15, 81, 24, 19 = 162 (5d100)>>5824038Is the Judge with Vitelia today?
Rolled 68, 39, 45, 76, 83 = 311 (5d100)>>5824038Rolling.
>>5824047Lmao He definitely isn't.
Rolled 23, 26, 98, 84, 65 = 296 (5d100)>>5824038
The tank platoon fanned out into a line- and with you at the head of the wedge, you charged forth to conquer the hill. It would have been an inspiring sight- until you stuck the hill proper, and near every tank faltered at the steepest portion. Including your own, failing to climb further after nearly beating the hill. A singular tank from the platoon cleared the hilltop- alone as it raced forward in ignorance.“Luigi!” you cried, “We’ll have to divert-““Ain’t no driver,” he huffed, ignoring you, “Gonna beat a hill that I can’t!”The extra burst of determination found the tank sliding down somewhat, but finding purchase on a piece of the hill just barely more amenable, that collapsed as soon as you crossed over it in a tumble that shook the tank just before you also rose over the top. An admirable effort- but you’d have preferred Luigi swallowed his pride. Nothing to do for it now- time to fight, as the trench ahead was immediately bustling with activity as your allied PW-3 raced up to it, gun blazing and chattering, return fire coming with equal ferocity- especially as the tank stopped to get better shots.“Don’t stop!” you shouted at Luigi as you checked the machine gun one more time- a group of Reich soldiers jumped from the trench to flank your fellow, and you sent them either to the Judge or back to the trench with a pair of long bursts. A quick poking up of the flag- Advance. Stopping here would be your doom, with your numbers as they were.Both of you pushed through, plunging forward into the mist as you went- the next you’d need to see, you’d be at the fort, which was already under attack at the moment. Hopefully two tanks would be enough to buy time, at least, until the rest came.As you exited the mist again, you were sent reeling by the mount of gunfire directed at you, and you had to pull yourself together to start shooting at shapes in the trenches that seemed the right color. With that, the fire subsided some. The people in the fort, perhaps, realizing your allegiance.You had no further time to think. As soon as they realized what was happening, the Imperials began to weave about your tank through the trenches, doing their best to distract you, and your partner- until they realized that the other tank had shot through a belt of ammunition and was reloading, whereupon they sprang an assault.They were repelled, just barely, but grenades had been hurled en masse at you and the other tank. Stinging bits of shrapnel had peppered you and Luigi, and something had punctured the PW-3’s inner workings, as the engine protested at the slightest movement. Luigi theorized that it was a coolant leak, and the other tank was definitely leaking. Fuel, water, nothing good. The only upside was that the other tanks had arrived- and the Reich’s attack to the south had been driven off, them retreating when they saw how outmatched they were.
Finally a moment of quiet- and after you caught your breath, dared to look about with the periscope rather than the gunsights- you checked the machine gun belt, took out your pistol, and went over the top. Collapsed to the ground, waiting for a straggler to take a potshot at you. A look to your reinforcements rejoining you- one tank was missing. You motioned to the trench- you needed to reconvene while the Reich gave you peace.One of the tanks had been lost- Corallo said that a pair of Reich tanks had engaged the others from another hilltop, as had the bunkers. One of the PW-3s had been disabled and was stuck behind, and there wasn’t a tank in the whole platoon that wasn’t seriously damaged in some way-mostly in regards to mobility or prolonged maneuvering. No more hill riding- and no speedy retreat either. Not unless you got enough time to try and make some hasty repairs. Unlikely.Above all else, though, you ordered Corallo to remain outside and keep watch, and didn’t wait for him to agree before you went towards the bunker atop the hill, through a communication trench leading to a tightly closed hatch. It opened to accept you- a wide eyed conscript remarking that they didn’t think anybody would come for them.“I-I th-though that,” he stammered as he shut the heavy iron door behind you, “That, there wouldn’t be a counteroffensive so…”“There isn’t one,” you shut down the boy’s hopes. He was too young to be within the conscription age- perhaps a state’s lord had fudged the numbers so they could provide more of a commitment, or get rid of certain undesirables. “Get me to your commanding officer, or failing that, a man called Cesare Fabius. We don’t any time.”You were brought to the latter, without being told whether he was the former. After so long, you weren’t sure what to expect- Cesare had changed his look a lot. Heavy bags now weighed his eyes, and his mustache had vanished, his hair cropped close to his head, but when he looked up at the mention of you, his old, easy smile came back, like he’d remembered something long forgotten.
“Bonetto,” he said, holding his arms out as you embraced one another, “It’s so good to see you…but we don’t have any time, do we.”“Nor is this a place to get comfortable.” There was so much you wanted to talk about, to catch up on, but if you didn’t get things going, then you’d lose any chance to get what was left of the gang together after the war. “I’ve come with tanks. A single platoon. We’ve driven away an attack to the south and scattered troops on the way here. Whomever can move, we have a route of evacuation to take.”“Those tanks came for me after all…” Cesare sighed, “Show me. There’s twenty five men here still able to fight, and as many who are wounded. We probably can’t move them out, if you were only able to come with one platoon…”The two of you started heading out- though troops were already commanded to move, to peel off from their defensive positions if they could. Mortarmen in the center of the fort continued to work feverishly as you moved outside with Cesare, him impatiently pushing himself forward with a walking stick.“What condition are they in?” Cesare asked.“Poor,” you said, “They sustained heavy damage on the way here. We won’t be able to make it back the way we came. Not without field repairs. We don’t have the benefit of time either.”“But without the tanks we have no advantage,” Cesare said, tapping a finger on his chin. “It’s your decision. You know the tanks best, from what I hear. I think we need them to escape just like you needed them to get here, but if you think that haste is more precious, then I’ll take your word for it.>You’d have to take the tanks as far as they’d go, back the way you came- and drop them when they failed. That way you had time and tanks…at least, for a little bit.>The tanks could still move. You’d just have to stick to the valleys and not test them on hills…though that would take you near occupied trenches and ground not gone over.>You could delay for a bit- the way you came would be the best way to return, and you would only be able to do that with tanks- so you’d fix up the tanks and do it.>Other?
>>5824285>You’d have to take the tanks as far as they’d go, back the way you came- and drop them when they failed. That way you had time and tanks…at least, for a little bit.
>>5824285>The tanks could still move. You’d just have to stick to the valleys and not test them on hills…though that would take you near occupied trenches and ground not gone over.Time is precious, our tanks aren't fit to make it the whole way back we came, so we must simply make a new hole in their lines
>>5824285>You could delay for a bit- the way you came would be the best way to return, and you would only be able to do that with tanks- so you’d fix up the tanks and do it.
>>5824285>You could delay for a bit- the way you came would be the best way to return, and you would only be able to do that with tanks- so you’d fix up the tanks and do it.More speed, less haste.
>>5824285>The tanks could still move. You’d just have to stick to the valleys and not test them on hills…though that would take you near occupied trenches and ground not gone over.
>>5824285>>The tanks could still move. You’d just have to stick to the valleys and not test them on hills…though that would take you near occupied trenches and ground not gone over.
>>5824291>>5824646>>5824738Taking them the way you came- as far as they could.>>5824295>>5824440>>5824449>>5824487Move where you can move, without breaking down just on the climb.>>5824304>>5824344>>5824470Make a delay, so you can make it out at all.Writing.
“We got this far with the tanks,” you said, “We’ll get as far back. Though we won’t be able to run them roughly. We’ll have to stick to the mists and push through whatever’s in the way there.”“Risky,” Cesare said, scratching his chin and looking doubtfully over the hills before reflexively ducking his head back into the trench, “But we don’t have much choice, do we?”“It was risky to get here in the first place,” you said, “But there won’t have been a point unless we make it back.”Krause looked at you with a soft frown. “I don’t agree,” he said, “But we do need to get going now. I’ll get the men ready; I’ll trust your men to you. The moment our defenses aren’t manned, they’ll know, so find me the moment you’re prepared.”“Right.” So you went- and gathered up the tank officers once more. Officers being a relative term, since they didn’t seem to actually hold commission. “So,” Corallo said darkly, “What now. The tanks are beaten like a dockworker’s wife, and we’re at the top of the Reich’s shit list. Do we run or die?”“The former,” you said, “The tanks are still hot, and they can still move as long as we don’t test them on the slopes. Look here,” you traced your finger on the map, “That’s the path we follow. It’s roundabout, but simple. We just follow the land back to our own lines.”“In front of two trench lines,” Corallo added, pointing himself, “Crazy. That’s against every sensible way to fight on this front.”“Not when it comes to tanks,” you countered, “Their machine guns can’t move. Ours can. Think like you want to win, or we won’t.”Corallo had no smart remark to make to that. He knew as well as you did that nobody here had a choice besides to give up or do what you sid, and they had no better plans, or the will to remove you from authority. “Get the men ready,” you said, “I’m getting Cesare and we’ll move as soon as the men are out, down and into the mists. No looking back. We’re halfway through, and all we have to do now is run down the other side of the proverbial hill. Vittoria per Vitelia.” A scoff all around at that, but you had to say it anyways. “Vittoria per il Futuro,” you added. “Your future. Our future. Fight for that even if all else has betrayed you. As soon as you see me again, get the tanks moving. We’re out of time to debate.”Yet the addition you made was not mocked like the first part of the war cry- a silence that spoke beyond words.-----
The engines of the tanks complained, screeched, and groaned as they were made to push the tanks forward again, protesting at not being allowed to lay down and die. A controlled descent was made down the hill’s slope, the infantrymen disposing of any caution and stumble-running ahead of you into the mist, where they knew that being hidden was a greater safety than anything else on this front. Cesare himself could only run awkwardly, but he refused to be taken on a tank to ride, afraid he would get in the way. Not that your tanks could outpace the well-motivated infantry in the condition they were in anyways.Many wounded were left behind, but there was no choice but to do so when you had to fight all the way back. You could only hope that the Reich here was lenient and merciful, and not spiteful in their present victories.“Boss.” Luigi said to you as you descended into the mists again.“Luigi,” you responded, “I don’t want to make a hasty judgment, but I think I’ll be able to keep my word to you. This has gone decently well, despite all the setbacks.”“Just thinking about what happens after,” Luigi said as the slope ended abruptly and he released the hand brake with an angry squealing from the tank, “We get back, and then what? The Reich’s still ready to crash down and break the line again. Do we run past the trenches and keep running?”“We’ll decide when we get there,” you said as you pressed a signal light and waited for a response from behind to reform the column, “For now, just keep me alive and I’ll do the same for you.”The first obstacle, so long as the mists remained thick enough to conceal you, would actually be a communication trench rather than a fighting trench. Then there would be a trench on the slope, designed to oppose an advance just like the one you were making.This time, the Reich would not make the assumption that you were one of their own, and there wouldn’t be any hesitation. For them as you, this would be life and death.>Roll 3 sets of 4d100 to determine tank reliability. On less than 25, the tank falters at that leg of the fight.>Then, roll 3 sets of 1d100. The base DC is rolling above 25. For each lost tank, the DC rises by 10 for the legs after, and for each lost battle DC, the next rises by 10.
Rolled 27, 90, 32, 31 = 180 (4d100)>>5824854
Rolled 11, 52, 76, 38 = 177 (4d100)>>5824853>Krause looked at you with a soft frown.20 years too early lol.>>5824854
Rolled 95, 59, 27, 98 = 279 (4d100)>>5824854
Rolled 10 (1d100)>>5824854
>>5824872You got greedy.
>>5824866>20 years too early lol.yfw The Revolutionary Man was never actually a canon event in the Reich/Emrean War, but just one of Von Metzeller's many sexy bed chamber roleplays (that all feature Frederick) instead
Rolled 83 (1d100)>>5824854>>5824866And battle roll.
Rolled 30 (1d100)>>5824854
>More pasta btfo'ingForget WW1 Italy, more like WW1 Russia.
>>5824866There is never enough proofreading.>>5824886Surely Klaudia does not deserve this bullying.Anyways, update coming later tonight.
The first fight was an utter debacle.In the mists, hidden from one another, a Reich force coming to flank your earlier attack, accompanied by a few PW types of a kind you’d never seen before with turrets like the C-2, ran headlong into your column, and neither of you realized what was happening before you were parallel with each other, tanks, men, and all. It was a chaotic mess of shooting- you didn’t know how many hits you made, how many shots were true, the targets were just as often gone the moment after you pulled the trigger and the flash and smoke cleared away. You couldn’t even tell Luigi to stop- the tanks were in such close order to do so would result in collisions. Instead, the command to spread out came, but you couldn’t check behind you to see how it was executed, not when pointed helmets were still washing over and past.It was over before you knew it, and there was no time to count the wounded and dead, as you hurried onwards, leaving behind whatever enemy was left before they could chase you down. Trying to find each other again would result in naught but another surprise, with possibly worse an outcome.The communication trench was reached, and sprayed down with machine gun fire from multiple tanks before it was stormed by the footmen. This was the normal of Gilician Front combat- emerging from the mists with little time for more than a single shot before closing with bayonet, club, and grenades to struggle over what cover there was to be found, or taken. There didn’t seem to be foes awaiting your attack, but the amount of time to react meant you had to assume, to fire before you thought.The trench ahead was given the same treatment. You knew that it was there, so all of the tanks hammered it with machine gun and cannon fire while barely able to see the dishevelment in the hill, the infantry charging up between the glowing tracers. “Forward!” you ordered Luigi, “Don’t let them fight alone!”The tank shook as it charged up the hill, and as it pitched forward with Luigi stopping it just before the trench, you emptied the rest of the belt at the fleeing shadows to send them on their way- the tank turned, and you raked the trench, only for the tank to suddenly be rocked with an explosion that tipped it sideways into the trench. Luigi tumbled into you, and you were a tangle of limbs for a moment before you recomposed on the side of the tank, you motioning to Luigi to stay behind as you drew your pistol and prepared to exit the hatch.Only allies surrounded you when you sprang out, though. Wordlessly, you motioned for the advance to continue down the trench. Luigi following you in a daze before picking up a discarded rifle himself.Not even now could you stop. Attacked from the flank by tanks and more, the Reich vacated the trench in haste, and you ran into little more opposition that didn’t throw down its arms and flee on the spot.
The final trench would be ahead- and you lead the next attack without hesitation. Just like Castello Malvagio…you wouldn’t see the blood until you were in the trenches with the enemy. You’d drilled and trained for months, but you hadn’t been in such a fight as this since that dark day.“Charge!” you cried, “This is the last-“A sudden flash from the mist, like that of a cannon- then a loud crash, and…darkness.-----It felt like it was dark for a long time. A peaceful, quiet dark, without even a whispered suggestion to stray from it. No thoughts, no fears, or sensation. Simply blissful emptiness.Then, whispers. Voices speaking furtively to one another. You heard snatches of conversation- about you, about the future, about plans, but nothing that you could follow. You simply floated…until you felt weight again, and warmth.“Wake up, Bonetto,” an annoyed, familiar voice spoke- a feminine one, from a long time ago. “God, did you stay up late the night before our wedding?” You opened your eyes- a blonde hill woman with straight hair down to her shoulders was pointing accusatorily to you, a loose blouse and taut work trousers on her. Bright blue eyes, a speckled face and neck, a light tan of labor. “Didn’t you come back to be with me? Not to study more Emrean rambling? Besides…” She bent down and kissed you on the lips, “I want to keep you up all night, so you’d better get enough coffee in you to be up all week.”“Wuh…” You shook your head, “Elena?”Elena pouted at you, then grit her teeth in a fuming scowl. “What, you’ve forgotten my name now, too? Yes, idiot! It’s your fiancée! Now get up, you’re making everybody wait on you.”But…this wasn’t…You got up, and the world wobbled, shifted in color, went from day to night. You were looking out the window, suddenly, at the moon and stars. Elena’s voice came from behind, and her arms went around your neck.“Bonetto…” She sighed, “Come back to bed. I’m a married woman, I don’t want to sleep alone.” You turned around- it was day again, and Elena was sitting on the bed, her belly large, and her eyes red. Something was in your hand- you looked down. A conscription notice?“They can’t wait?” Elena sobbed, “Why do they need so many people? I thought we would have won a long time ago…”You looked down again, but this time, instead of a paper, it was your empty hand, gloved, the sleeve of a uniform, covered in dust, mud, ash. A look upwards again. Barren hills, a dark sky…then a column of light splitting the night, a rumbling in the earth, a scream felt by your spirit but unheard by the ears…then the light burst into a swirling inferno, and the sky was set alight with a bloody light…It was hard to breathe…Suddenly your eyes flew open again and you gasped for air. Where now? What now?……
…It was dark, but light filtered in from outside- starlight. The room around you was grey and blue with the night. A lamp- you flicked it on, and it stung your eyes. Your arms and legs felt uncharacteristically weak, and you sat up with a creak in your back, an ache in your shoulders, a ringing pain in your skull…but this time, the moments passed by without the world going blurry and changing.Were you awake? Alive? A hospice gown covered you. What was the date? Where was a newspaper? No. Merely a volume of the Saints’ Chronicle. You sat and flipped through it until the sun rose…and somebody came through the door of your room.“Ah!” a young nurse girl, “Signore Bonaventura, you’ve woken up!”Time to get straight to the point. “What day is it?” you asked directly.“Huh? Oh…” She had to think on it. “The eighth of June.”…A whole month… “…of the year Nineteen and Ten, right?”The tension went out of the nurse’s shoulders. “Oh, Signore, it hasn’t been that long since you came here. Of course it’s Nineteen and Ten.”You exhaled in relief. “…Good.” Only a month. “Is the war..?”The girl blinked. “Oh, right. An…armistice? Ceasefire? It was declared just yesterday. Vitelia isn’t…in a war anymore.”Oh…you would have asked after the circumstances of such, but you already knew. Vitelia was in no position to have a favorable ceasefire. What of Emre, as well. Surely the Reich didn’t win again……Now wasn’t the time. You had to get dressed and leave this place. You’d been here far too long. -----Nobody at the hospital knew anything that you wanted to know. The nature of what was kept secret remained, and they didn’t even know who had entered you beyond the unit- you had been shipped in with a bunch of other stable, but helpless living bodies. You’d come in with a severe inury to the head- the remnants of which still ran in a pale like running through your eyebrow to your scalp. You didn’t feel like you had a brain injury, though, and nothing could keep you here against your will.So you had to leave. For somewhere else. Anywhere else.>Somewhere military, perhaps where Leo was. Somewhere you had authority. You needed to learn what happened- and if you were needed.>Go to Yena. She probably had no idea what happened, or where you were, and you needed to prove you were alive.>Head home. It’d been long enough since you’d left there, and anybody else could find you there anyways.>Other?
>>5825327>Somewhere military, perhaps where Leo was. Somewhere you had authority. You needed to learn what happened- and if you were neededMy fellow revolutionaries, the Dawn is nigh!
>>5825327>Go to Yena. She probably had no idea what happened, or where you were, and you needed to prove you were alive.
>>5825327>>Somewhere military, perhaps where Leo was. Somewhere you had authority. You needed to learn what happened- and if you were needed.
>>5825327>Somewhere military, perhaps where Leo was. Somewhere you had authority. You needed to learn what happened- and if you were needed.
>>5825327>>Head home. It’d been long enough since you’d left there, and anybody else could find you there anyways.
>>5825327>Somewhere military, perhaps where Leo was. Somewhere you had authority. You needed to learn what happened- and if you were needed.Altough, we should write a letter to Yena.
>>5825327>Somewhere military, perhaps where Leo was. Somewhere you had authority. You needed to learn what happened- and if you were needed.Sitrep first
>>5825327>>Go to Yena. She probably had no idea what happened, or where you were, and you needed to prove you were alive.Checking up on the wife was probably the first thing a soldier that got out of the hospital would do.
>>5825327>Somewhere military, perhaps where Leo was. Somewhere you had authority. You needed to learn what happened- and if you were needed.We missed the end of the war for two females. Good job, simps.
>>5825327>Go to Yena. She probably had no idea what happened, or where you were, and you needed to prove you were alive.Though I do want to contact the military sometime again.
>Go to Yena. She probably had no idea what happened, or where you were, and you needed to prove you were alive.The military situation can wait with the armistice. Yena not knowing Bonetto’s alive is a much more pressing concern.
>>5825327Are we still in Gilicia, or back in the interior?
>>5826054Cesare isn't female..
>>5825336>>5825353>>5825443>>5825574>>5825626>>5825995>>5826054Get up to speed with your duties.>>5825352>>5825676>>5826013>>5826063>>5826091Check on your woman and smaller woman.>>5825559Go home.Updating.>>5826161I am presuming the other female is Vittoria.
>>5826135In the interior- Specifically near Donom Dei.
>>5826194Bit out of left field, but I'm flipping through the archive, and a while back you mentioned a picture of Anya in the new Republic's uniform with her courier motorcycle, but I can't for the life of me find it.Would you mind dropping it at the end of the thread for me? Insert joke about Anya being the bike here
>>5826194Do you have any casualty estimates of the Reich/Vitelia/Emre for the conflict? Between this and a full scale civil war to come down the line I'd imagine modern day Vitelia's demographics is going to be impacted with the loss of so much fighting men.
>>5826161Yena and the daughter are.
Much as you wanted to go find your fiancée and her daughter…the real one, not the…other one. You had to clear the fog around what was happening first. There was a danger of outpacing any letter depending on the state of the nation, but you’d write one anyways. Not a long one- no need to go into detail about falling in battle and waking up the Judge Above only knew where. A military long term care hospital near Donom Dei, as it turned out- minded over by a nearby Cathedra Convent. Even though early on in the war, you’d heard that the Vilja Domkarl had condemned the war.The trains weren’t running nearly on time. You asked around for what lines you’d need to take to get to the Assault School, in the center of the country. Near Monte Nocca, actually. It took you a day and a half- which gave you plenty of time to write and drop off a letter for Yena. A far longer travel time than would be normal, but every train was accounted for, and eventually, you simply hung on the outside railings when the last leg simply would not take passengers, no matter their import, such as, say, a Brevet Captain. Your attaché case with what few things had been sent with you in one hand, you clung to the freight train with the other until the station came into view, whereupon you pushed yourself off with a mighty leap, intending to walk the rest of the way rather than come up with an excuse why you felt the need to stow away. A brushing off of the dust on your shirt and trousers, and a running of your fingers through your hair. Somebody had shaved off your mustache- at least they prevented a beard from scuffing up your face. Maybe Leo wouldn’t be too different when you met with him again, as you hoped to. He would give you an unfiltered opinion on what had gone on, and in your state of mind, you didn’t want to deal with the evasiveness of official releases. The walk was longer than you thought- and what wouldn’t have been tiring before, was now. You’d grown weak while recuperating. That wouldn’t do. Finally though, you reached the town, a small place called Gruccia, and had a light lunch with coffee. The prices were sky-high. The ceasefire apparently hadn’t caused an end to all the other aspects of the war…you’d borrow more money from Leo. He owed you some still from a couple years ago.The sun began to sink as you arrived at the gates of the complex called the Assault School- you checked the watch that had come all this way with you, beaten like a schoolboy’s lunch tin. Three o’clock. Back in university, now would be when the last daytime classes would be wrapping up. Would Arditi still be training now? If the ceasefire stayed, they wouldn’t be needed. If it didn’t, then they would be. A flash of your rank badge at the gates- you were allowed in. The gate guards had pressed for an explanation or a record of an appointment, but only once- they didn’t seem to care at all that you were there on a whim.
The training yards were empty- clean. Not used recently. That answered that question…but, from a large shed, there were the telltale grunts and whacking noises of somebody training with a heavy bag. Curiosity led you there- and you found the object of your search early, Leo training with his shirt off, cloth tape around his hands, furiously laying into a tall leather bag that buckled and swung with each powerful blow, the sound of impact echoing off the inside of the thin metal roof and walls. With a shout, Leo put all his power into a right haymaker that tore the bag open. Whatever didn’t explode out spilled all over the floor, a storm of grain seeds all over the place.“…Damn it,” Leo sighed as he checked the burlap shreds hanging limply from a rope, “Third one this week.”“Not saving any equipment for me, I see,” you said.Leo’s head snapped around to look at you, and he grinned widely as he approached. “Bonetto! Last I heard, you were…” He embraced you and held you tightly against him. “…I’m glad you’re up and at it again, Bonetto. I only heard that you were in a coma when I asked after you. Are you feeling alright?”“I could be better,” you admitted, tapping Leo’s bicep to let you go. You were narrower than you were when you had last tussled, after all. “I went out to try and save Cesare…have you heard anything about..?”Leo hesitated. “…No. Sorry, Bonetto, when I asked, they said he was missing.”“How did I make it back?” you asked.“Your driver,” Leo said. “But he said that somebody else was guarding you by the time he made it over to lug you back. From how he described the person, can’t have been anybody else than…y’know.”You looked down. Bit your lip, grit your teeth. You’d come there for him, not the other way around. Now nobody could say where he was, or if he lived. It had been a month, who were you kidding? Yet you wanted to believe, somehow, you had made just enough difference to see him again.“Sorry,” Leo said as he went to the table and put his shirt on, pulling his arms through long, dark sleeves. “I didn’t want to hit you with that, but that’s what you ended up out for so long for, and all.”“I’m alright,” you put on a brave face, “I’ve missed a lot. I need to know what happened, what’s going on, where…everybody, is.”“All the heavy stuff first, huh,” Leo said as he pulled out a stool and sat on it. “Find a seat, anywhere’s fine. No students here right now anyways.”
As you pulled up a crate full of training grenades, judging by the label, Leo went into the events since that dark day. He wasn’t sure himself, but he’d heard some things from officers, from sneaky correspondences, and plain observation. After the Reich breakthrough on both fronts, the Vitelian army was sent sprawling- but wasn’t destroyed. A shocking number were isolated and captured, surrendered, or were otherwise put out of the war, but the Reich had only dedicated so many resources to this sudden offensive. It had largely been halted two weeks past, at the end of May, and while not all of the ground taken over the winter offensive had been lost, the Vitelian Royal Army was in a precarious state, the lines held by household militia and Royal Navy sailors, whomever could be scraped up and armed. That was when the Reich extended a hand in negotiations- a ceasefire for now. All territory currently held to remain occupied as it was, until a later date. A good deal considering the ruined state of the army- one that High Command was quick to seize upon proclaiming as a victory.However, most didn’t see it that way. How many lives had been lost, how much money sent down the drain, equipment destroyed, blood shed and bodies broken for…what? Some islands and a slice of the Auratus, if current occupation remained the terms of peace? Unrest was rumbling throughout the land, in many cities. Most had been told that victory was eminent, only to have their expectations shaken. Even they didn’t know the full extent of the truth, but were enraged at the ceasefire. After all, as far as they knew, the Reich was hanging on by a thread. Especially with the news of the Emrean Offensive in the north, recently, hitting a new stride and pushing the Reich out of the Emrean protectorate in its entirety. They were now charging south, through the lands known as the Emmerach, down to the Reich Proper, and potentially destroying the Grossreich for good. Yet Vitelia would, for some reason, not be a part of this noble endeavor? Ridiculous, said many, and quite a few left to join the volunteer brigades that already had been in Emre. All of them people ignorant of the war. No soldiers. Mostly politically motivated youths, like the two of you had been.
He had heard from your household- the one you took, not your actual hometown. Yena was doing just fine- though she was despondent at not hearing at all of where you where, or what might have happened to you.“Really though, Bonetto?” Leo raised an eyebrow at you, “Vittoria Antonia? What are you going to name your next daughter, Angelica Loch?”“After a Reich philosopher?” you turned your nose up, “And Vittoria is a fine name, thank you very much.”“I think you might slip and speak in Imperial,” Leo smirked at you. A little much needed levity. Especially for what was to come next: as Leo knew some people who had access to casualty reports that were otherwise not widely distributed. They were still incomplete, given that the ceasefire had only been declared two days ago, but given how the Special Weapons Battalion had fared earlier, it was either a case of them having made it out…or not.>Roll 6 sets of 1d100 for the fates of your fellows. 50 is the baseline for intactness- lower is worse, higher is more heroic. In order- your driver, your former commanding officer, her driver, your second in command, your rival’s cousin, and his own friend and rival.
Rolled 61, 95, 56, 60, 40, 49 = 361 (6d100)>>5826548
>>5826549My bad, just take the first roll.
>>5826306>Do you have any casualty estimates of the Reich/Vitelia/Emre for the conflict? Between this and a full scale civil war to come down the line I'd imagine modern day Vitelia's demographics is going to be impacted with the loss of so much fighting men.I don't really have ones I'd be happy with since I haven't thought long and deep enough for it, but I can say with certainty that, proportionally speaking, the Grossreich and Emre actually suffered more than Vitelia did, but Vitelia was still not prepared at all for the brutality they would have to endure. They still lost too many, considering what comes after...>>5826251Sure, I've got it here. Though it is pretty old and was never properly finished- I've thought a lot about remaking it, but there's a lot of things I have to get done before I remake old digital stuff. Lots of pencil stuff.
Rolled 13 (1d100)>>5826548Lets see for Chiara
Rolled 93 (1d100)>>5826548
Rolled 51 (1d100)>>5826548
>>5826587RIP lol.If Cesare is also gone it's really going to be Bonetto and Leo left....
Rolled 91 (1d100)>>5826587RIP Chiara, you were a good midget
>>5826587I guess if we have a second daughter we have a name picked out for her already.
Rolled 64 (1d100)Well this isn't what I expected.One more roll to seal it.
Rolled 67 (1d100)>>5826548
>>5826587>Everyone but Chiara made itBig oof
>>5826641Maybe that high Marcella roll can save her?Would be funny to see the PCQ maimed female tradition continue though.
Most had lived. Your platoon, which distinguished itself in your absence and escaped when their tanks failed. Your driver, Luigi, had rejoined with the other tankers and done his duty admirably with only small wounds. Marcella and Chiara had exceeded expectations in their respective capabilities…only…Cesare being potentially lost had already shaken you. To know Chiara was…was…You buried your face in your hands, and the tears came no matter how you wished they wouldn’t. Those days consulting one another, the mornings with cold coffee, the talks about the future, about your platoon, your performance, her frustrations with her inadequacies…and what Yena would think when she found out…“It’s alright, Bonetto,” Leo said flatly, “It’s alright to cry. The Judge Above knows that I did.” He put his head against the shed’s wall in contemplation, remembrance. “I didn’t want to accept it, Bonetto. I wanted all our…our bullshit to be something we put aside ‘til later. Yeah, I fucked her, and you know what? I saw how happy she was when I did. I didn’t want to take that from her. Then I went ahead and took it. I didn’t want to make anybody sad, so I left everybody out in the cold. Now she’s dead. And I liked her, Bonetto. I really, really did. But I didn’t want to hurt her. But she’s dead now, and what really kills me…is that I kept her away when it would’ve made her happy if I just wrote back a little. I had plenty of time, Bonetto. I could have done it, just to make her happy. Then, she goes and gets killed. She lives long enough to write me one last letter, and I read all of them, Bonetto, and that last one most of all. Know what she said? She wanted me to live happily like she promised herself she would make me live. Make Marcella happy, for serving so well despite how she spited her when she shouldn’t have.” He whirled on you, a mad look in his sky-blue eyes. “I’m a fucking failure of a man, Bonetto. Tell me I’m not, I dare you. I got Cesare killed because I begged on my hands and knees to not fight alone. I could have brought Chiara with me if I wasn’t a fucking pussy, and now she’s dead. I’ll never see that gladness in her eyes, that smile, so hard to get on her face, it’ll never come back. Some Imperial devil stole it from her, and I hope that the Judge Above puts his worthless soul into the deepest, darkest abyss, for what he stole from this world, and I hope he puts me right next to that bastard.”
You looked up, your cheeks wet, your eyes only wanting to close…but you didn’t want to hear these words anymore. You stood up, opened your arms, and wrapped them around Leo’s back.“Leo,” you said wearily, “Don’t leave me alone. Please. You’re the only one left…” You patted him on the back, “The only one who understands what we’ve been through…don't give up yet.”Your closest companion, your sole compatriot in the journey for the future, froze like his spine had turned to ice, then melted, and put his arms around you too. “Sorry, Bonetto,” he whispered, “I’m supposed to be the strong one. I shouldn’t make you carry me on your shoulders. Even if you’re strong enough.”You released one another respectfully, and collapsed back to your seats. Stayed silent. There was nothing that could be said, nothing that could distract from the truth of your lives, save the passage of time. You let the sun set as you continued the silent remembrance, and reassurance.Leo finally broke the silence. “…Bonetto.”“Mm.”“I’m sorry.”“Leo,” you said sharply, “I came along with you of my own accord. There’s nothing to apologize for. You know we all believed in the same thing.”The big man looked down again. Spoke once more. “Alright. Just one thing, then.”“Anything.”“I’ve realized something, Bonetto,” Leo looked up at the roof of the shed with an empty gaze, “I need to go for the top. When I found out what happened to Chiara, to Cesare, I was full of hatred, felt I had to go…I don’t know, fight the Reich. Now there’s peace, and I thought about going to Emre to fight more. But no matter how hard I fight, no matter how good I’ve gotten at bleeding the Imperials enough for their blood to make the Vitelian Sea turn red, it’ll never be enough. Not as a single soldier. So I have to try and get as high as I can.” He looked back to you. “What do you think, Bonetto? It’s all over. So what next..? I want to know what you think.”>Go for the top, like he said. You’d catch up. You’d be there with him. What was this war for, if it couldn’t at least place you where you needed to be to vanguard the future?>Leo had fought hard enough. Trained hard enough. He was strong enough. Chiara wanted him to be happy and to take care of Marcella. You knew yourself where happiness was…>Other?
>>5826662>Go for the top, like he said. You’d catch up. You’d be there with him. What was this war for, if it couldn’t at least place you where you needed to be to vanguard the future?Either way he should have a long talk with Marcella now, not sure how receptive she'll be to being the 'fallback option' as it was.Also suggest he swing by the house soon-ish, I think Yena could really use the emotional support as she and Bonetto mourns.
>>5826662>Go for the top, like he said. You’d catch up. You’d be there with him. What was this war for, if it couldn’t at least place you where you needed to be to vanguard the future?This debacle wouldn't have happened if we were in charge.And yeah, he should definitely come visit. If nothing else, we need him to escort us and our mosshead wife up the tallest mountain.
>>5826682Additionally we have to attend the wake and funeral, if it hasn't passed yet.
Shit.I'm so sad I can't even vote.
>>5826662>>Go for the top, like he said. You’d catch up. You’d be there with him. What was this war for, if it couldn’t at least place you where you needed to be to vanguard the future?We need to make it to the TOP
>>5826662>>Leo had fought hard enough. Trained hard enough. He was strong enough. Chiara wanted him to be happy and to take care of Marcella. You knew yourself where happiness was…
>>5826662>>Go for the top, like he said. You’d catch up. You’d be there with him. What was this war for, if it couldn’t at least place you where you needed to be to vanguard the future?
>>5826662>Go for the top, like he said. You’d catch up. You’d be there with him. What was this war for, if it couldn’t at least place you where you needed to be to vanguard the future?RIP, blonde battle midget. I hope we don't lose any more of your kind...
>>5826682>>5826688>>5826709>>5826743>>5826776>>5827179All the way up.>>5826732>>5826756>>5826974Don't you think you can rest a bit?Writing.
“I think,” you said, “That you should go for the top. If people who were forward thinking were in charge…” You paused- King Lucius was rather progressive a man, but he was not the sole power in the country- ironically, to be king was not enough to rule the country for true. “All the way up. I’ll catch up. I’ll be with you. What was all this war and loss for, if we can’t at least be in the vanguard for the future at the end of it? To take up the dreams of all our fallen friends and bring them with us into the dawn?”Leo put his hands together and exhaled slowly. “Alright. To the top.”“Though,” you added, “We have other things to do. I need my best man and my witness for my marriages. And we need to attend…any funeral there is.”“The wake already happened,” Leo said morosely, “Burial too. Family only. You know how nobles are. They wouldn’t accept that we were close. I’m told there’s going to be a funeral honoring all the local fallen back at her home, in a few days. That’s…gonna have to do.”It was twisted to you that the wartime censorship meant that Chiara was already in a grave before Yena was even allowed to know, or you, or anybody else. At least her family had known, you supposed, even if they had to keep it a secret. How much more delayed tragedy would be coming out now, with the ceasefire in place?“Come on,” Leo stood up, “Help me clean all this up. Not like we have much else to do. I’m supposed to be on leave anyways, since the ceasefire was declared.”“Sure,” you stood too, searched for a broom. “I don’t know what I’m supposed to be. Dead? Sleeping? My actual leave was interrupted, so if the Royal Army wishes to complain, then I’ll wait for them to get to me.”It was small busywork, mindless and simple, but it helped distract you. So precious was such a thing, that the entire night ended up being errand running, until you were too tired to think, and collapsed in an inn’s room at the witching hour.When you dreamed, it was a different one than usual. You were in a meadow, a battlefield grown over with grass, the broken barbed wire, trenchworks, and wrecks of bunkers and tanks all falling apart, sinking back into the earth, while flowers poked from underneath the destruction. Seated beside you was your old commanding officer- alive and well, and in your hand, white flowers smoldered and scattered into ash.Chiara wasn’t in her uniform, but a simple, white dress- unafraid to look like the woman she was. You opened your mouth to speak- to apologize, perhaps- but nothing came out.The flowers finally vanished into ash in the wind, and so too did Chiara, crumbling and fading away into a sparkling mote of dust, spread like smoke into the blue sky.Maybe your dreams had tried to make something beautiful of it, but this one was as much a torment as any of the ones before full of blood, murder, and terror.-----
Leo and you went back to the lands of Scurostrada, to the family villa. Yena was happy to see the both of you- but the news had been unavoidable for her to hear, with the public funeral for the fallen of the land coming. The gladness in her smile was outweighed by an emptiness in her eyes. Any crying she had to do had been over with, but she didn’t respond to conversation save for in single words, she stared into the distance, and she certainly was not feeling affectionate whatsoever. She would sit lost in her thoughts as Vittoria nursed…to the point you felt concerned. Yena told you that she just needed time, and frankly, you couldn’t think of anything you could give that would be better, besides holding her close whenever you slept.The funeral came. In the tradition of the land, it wasn’t supposed to be a sad time, but a celebration of life, but the broken men and those lost were too many, and any smiles were uneasy, and forced. Done for the sake of those men without legs, with lost arms, who had come home weary and couldn’t bear to return to more misery. Honey cake and cheese and wine were served freely- bought at their exorbitant prices by the Di Scurostrada family and their relatives.Old Colonel Di Zucchampo was in attendance as well- he had kind words to say, but his eyes were as hollow as Yena’s were, and he had a slump in his shoulders, his feet dragged. You’d heard of no embarrassment to his command or his service- but you supposed that his niece had been particularly precious to him, as nobody seemed as sad as he was yet still. Despite how venomous their relationship had been when you last saw Marcella and Chiara, the lady driver had come. She and Leo hung around one another, talking, loitering- though you noticed no attempts at anything romantic. When you talked with Leo about it, he told you that Marcella felt guilty- that they had been in the same vehicle at the time, but she had lived, while Chiara hadn’t. That anything else between them would have to wait. It would be disrespectful, she thought, no matter what any last letter might have been written. After all, she had been the one to deliver it in the first place. Another month passed. Yena recovered slowly, and Vittoria grew stronger. You had to grow stronger as well, if you were to climb any mountains. A month in bed took the mass out of one’s muscles. The scars were still present, but the pain had faded from the community. However, without Chiara’s direct sponsorship, the patience of some members of the Di Scurostrada family had begun to wear. It was time to go- while matters were still polite.
The war continued without Vitelia. Portions of the Reich’s northern territories were now breaking away and driving off occupying garrisons, toppling Reich sponsored regimes, as the Emrean offensive forced the Reich back south, save for a few stranded islands that the Grossreich’s Northern Fleet fled to after the loss of the great northern island Geant Solitaire to the Revolution a year back. Feallin and Felbach newly emerged once again from the pages of history to Vitelia’s north- the latter country now on the border where so much vicious fighting had taken place, where you had been struck down. Already, furious diplomatic exchanges were being had with the fledgling Felbachr authority, despite there being multiple factions clawing for the former Imperial protectorate governor’s chambers. There was rumor that it might be time to occupy that territory, now that the Reich had vacated it, and that the country had slipped out of Imperial possessions…but the King condemned such rumors. Unrest followed- supposedly the most of it coming from the Gilician territories, in spite of the suffering they had undergone…or perhaps, exactly because of that.An immediate expectation was that the north would be thrown into utter chaos. News was already coming out of territorial disputes and skirmishes between militias and armed forces of the small northern countries, resulting from the sudden absence of the Grossreich. There were stirrings in the east, too; the longtime maritime rival (of a friendlier sort) of Vitelia, Valsten, was undergoing great levels of unrest. News of foreign countries was much more readily printed and exchanged, discussed about. You and Leo talked about it easily- and Yena tried her best to keep up, though she had come from the mountains, where most cared little about the world beyond the peaks.Leo said that this was an opportunity that was being passed up on by Vitelia’s authorities- not to conquer, as some rumbled they should, but to make new friends, new alliances. There was a power vacuum, and Vitelia was in a place to take advantage…possibly. Despite all the losses and the economic dysfunction, what better way to solve both?>Diplomacy was best when backed up by force- why not use such force? Vitelia still had more than any of the disparate north, after all…that’s what you would do.>You had to agree with Leo. All of Vitelia’s friends were far off in the war. Imagine how things would have gone if this happened before? Perhaps a ceasefire wasn’t the best idea now after all, considering…>Vitelia was in a poor position to do anything but lick its wounds. You had to agree with the King- before you could make any new friends or enemies, Vitelia had to be repaired. Let the North squabble while you enjoyed some peace.>Other?
>>5827406>You had to agree with Leo. All of Vitelia’s friends were far off in the war. Imagine how things would have gone if this happened before? Perhaps a ceasefire wasn’t the best idea now after all, considering…>Other (Though, it's impossible to tell how rough a spot we're really in with all the censorship. If a lust to see the empire laid low was tempered by actual knowledge of how the war was really going, maybe pushing forward would be possible. But with all the people, even those in the military being lied to for so long, there's no way morale would be enough to meet the challenge a continued war would need.)
>>5827406>Diplomacy was best when backed up by force- why not use such force? Vitelia still had more than any of the disparate north, after all…that’s what you would do.Vitelians and ill-concieved interventionism go together like Emreans and poofishness
>>5827406>You had to agree with Leo. All of Vitelia’s friends were far off in the war. Imagine how things would have gone if this happened before? Perhaps a ceasefire wasn’t the best idea now after all, considering…From an IC PoV, tying Felbach and Fealinn into a Vitelian-Emrean bloc would be advantageous, as well as create a direct overland route between the countries.
>>5827406>You had to agree with Leo. All of Vitelia’s friends were far off in the war. Imagine how things would have gone if this happened before? Perhaps a ceasefire wasn’t the best idea now after all, considering…But what about the Sixth Ison- Gilician Offensive?
>>5827406>You had to agree with Leo. All of Vitelia’s friends were far off in the war. Imagine how things would have gone if this happened before? Perhaps a ceasefire wasn’t the best idea now after all, considering…
>>5827406>Vitelia was in a poor position to do anything but lick its wounds. You had to agree with the King- before you could make any new friends or enemies, Vitelia had to be repaired. Let the North squabble while you enjoyed some peace.
>>5827406>>Diplomacy was best when backed up by force- why not use such force? Vitelia still had more than any of the disparate north, after all…that’s what you would do.
>>5827406>Diplomacy was best when backed up by force- why not use such force? Vitelia still had more than any of the disparate north, after all…that’s what you would do.
>>5827420>>5827425>>5827430>>5827439>>5827755>>5827792>>5828111>>5828160All my friends are dead so we need more.>>5827424>>5828121>>5828295We don't need friends, we need land.>>5828080I'd rather not, all things considered.Writing.
“I don’t know for sure,” you said to Leo’s theories of alliances and unions, partnerships. “The idea of alliances with freshly freed countries? Stabilizing our north to bring them against the Reich, doing away with the ceasefire and marching forth to a certain victory? I think it’s a good idea on its face, I can’t think of many reasons not to with what we know, but what about what we don’t know? With how limited the news is, how little we can say for sure about our own country, then maybe it’s not so simple. I know for certain that if our country lies to us and everybody knows, the doubt that creates amongst us is such that we’d be too distracted with that to bring what’s needed against the Reich.”Leo sighed, sprawled his arms out over the back of his chair. You were all lounging at a coffee house- sparsely populated as was usual these days. “I agree with that. We lost our best early on in the war. Then again, perhaps, so did the Imperials.” He turned his head to the vacantly staring third, and the gurgling, ignorant fourth at the table. “What do you think, Yena? Not so keen on more war yourself, I’d bet.”Yena shook her head. “I have had enough of my friends die in violence, but I will not pretend at knowing what is best for kings and their lands. I do know that I have been taught, from the lessons of my fathers before my father, that diving into a pool too dark to see the bottom of is unwise, unless you are prepared to never breathe air again.”“You drown.” Leo nodded.“Well,” you felt the need to add, since Yena had told you the story of that. “You might also turn into a fish.”“What?”“Either way,” Yena interjected, closing her eyes sagely and nodding, “You may never be seen again. Drawn into a world that has trapped you for your need to sate your curiosity.”“Sheesh,” Leo muttered, “Bonetto, make sure you tell your daughter some Vitelian bedtime stories.”Yena pouted, her eyes opening again to look extra cross. “My folk’s children’s stories are plenty gentle. Much more so than the Reich’s, at least.”“Anyways,” Leo looked out the window, to the mountains you were all preparing to head towards, “The tallest mountain, Leo?”“The tallest,” you affirmed, “But Yena says it is a holy place, and from what I’ve asked, it’s not an exaggeration. The Nief’yem there are empowered by the King to bar passage to all unless they are approved by their elders.”“The who what?” Leo asked, “That the mountainfolk term for themselves?”
“It is,” you said, “It means Prophets, or Learned Ones, or something like that.”“I would have thought it meant green headed.”“Vittoria is a Nief’yem,” Yena sulked. “Sorry,” Leo said laxly, “But we have to wait to climb it is what you’re saying.”“Indeed,” you said.“Will we need any gear for it?” Leo asked, “Rope, pitons, hammers?”“No. The path upward has no cliffs, and is meant to be walked on by people who don’t mountaineer,” you said, “Maybe they’d need the endurance, however.”Leo looked to Yena, and Yena turned her chin up. “Mountain women have never sat still in their hovels. We have been blessed with the proper sort of body to climb upwards and down.”…You might have other opinions on the purposes of Yena’s sort of body. Regardless, she seemed more confident than you were. You still weren’t quite as strong as you used to be. But then, it would be about a week before you would be making the climb anyways.-----The process for approval was quite brief- and happened faster than you expected. Besides a quick interrogation of Yena to ensure that she was knowledgeable of the ways of the mountain and could instruct those who were ignorant of what to do and not, and what might be encountered that was of threat or no, the three of you were made to wait for a big fellow in a huge, ceremonial looking coat and hood to look over you. Far taller than any of the other mountainfolk, you had to wonder just who he was. You felt bold enough to ask such when he came to inspect the lot of you.“Who am I?” he echoed you, “Just a man who likes to wander. Like you, perhaps? Heh heh.”You squinted at the man- under the hood, he wore an odd wooden mask, that hid his face and made his voice sound somewhat strange, but that was not what caught your attention. ”This man speaks Vitelian oddly,” you said to Yena in Imperial.”You speak New Nauk oddly,” came the cloaked man’s response. “Didn’t I say I was a wanderer?” A mountain man walked up beside the tall hooded one, asked a question. He was given a curt response and the mountain man nodded, said something to Yena, then went away.“Good luck, then,” the hooded man said in a somewhat mocking way you didn’t like, “You’ll need it.”He went away, and as he loomed back into the village from whence he came, you had to ask Yena just who that was- the mountainfolk seemed deferent.Yena gave you a worried look. “It is better not to ask,” she said.“What did he say to the other guy?” Leo asked.
“He wanted to know what the taller man was concerned about, since he asked to see us after he saw our names. He said that he just…wanted to…see us.” Yena seemed the sort of uncomfortable she became when she was asked something she was expected to know, but didn’t. Her best idea was a guess.“Why would he..?”“I don’t know,” Yena said, “I know of these mystics. It is better that you not grow curious of them. They love to observe, but they are like spirits that love dark crannies. They don’t like anybody looking back at them.”You had to frown deeply at that. You’d have kept an eye on the cloaked man…but he had vanished from sight.-----The night was spent in the village- it was accommodating as the one on Monte Nocca, though since you were explicitly preparing to ascend the mountain for marriage, there were a few rules- one was that you had to leave before the sun rose to go up, you had to undergo a ritual bathing purification, and lastly- most importantly- you couldn’t have sex with Yena before the ceremony, or while on the mountain after, or engage in any other activities that would be attempts to skirt the ruling. She hadn’t been in any dirty moods lately anyways, so you had to shrug at that. Another rule was that she couldn’t be menstruating, but her nursing meant that wasn’t happening anyways, apparently. When you woke up and took your bath in a pool that ran off of a nearby hot spring, you couldn’t help but notice that…you shared the bath. Not with people, but with Living Stones, that stared at you weirdly with their beady eyes, like they were waiting for you to leave. When you did, they slipped into the water themselves.Yena had an explanation. “They are Bathwater Stones.” She was donning a long coat- the woolen trousers she had on underneath clung tautly to her bottom and thighs in a way that might tempt you to break the rules if she hiked with nothing but those pants on her lower half. “Living Stones are like crabs, but most do not live in water anymore. Bathwater Stones are the exception.”“Why baths, though?” you asked.“They feed on the leavings washed off,” Yena said casually, “They help keep the pools clean. In exchange, when they use them to breed and lay their young, we do not disturb them.”That seemed a bit off-putting, but you supposed that nobody ate Living Stones anyways, so who minded what they consumed?
You, Leo and Yena left while the sky was beginning to lighten from the sun’s approach. The village was halfway up the mountain- itself called Shi Hat Sufhe, or something like that. Easier to call it by its meaning- the Watcher’s Peak. Not what Vitelians called it, but there was a reason for that. Leo, as your witness, was given a stone headed lance about as tall as himself. Usually, the witness was also the guide- but Yena was in no place to ward off any wild beasts. Not that the ones here were daring- it was more tradition than precaution. After all, it could be said both that Leo wouldn’t need a spear to fight a beast- and that he’d probably shoot it instead.“At the top of this mountain,” Yena said as she followed behind you, crossing a swaying plank bridge, Vittoria tightly bound to her with a special sling, “There is a giant, ancient Living Stone. They call him the Watcher, and that he has watched the rise and fall of many an Empire on this continent.”“That would be a very old Living Stone,” Leo said, “Is that just a story, or is it true?”“I don’t know,” Yena said, “But there is a very large Living Stone, and it has been sleeping for many, many years.”“Living Stones hibernate at the top of mountains?” you asked.“No,” Yena said, “They wait for death atop them.”Ah. “He’s been waiting a long time, then? Not like it eats anything up there.”“The Watcher might be dead,” Yena said, “Living Stones do not decay like other creatures. An ancient one is more shell and rock than flesh or anything. They are also said to not sustain themselves upon anything but the spirit of the earth, either. They grow too large for food to sustain them like it once did, at least, in the amount the mountain can provide. It is said they know this, and thus, if they become too big, and they are not encumbered by their own weight, they either accept the generosity of the spirits of the deep, or waste away slowly.”A rather morose site for a wedding, maybe, to have it on top of a dying old crab, if not a dead one anyways, but Yena said that even these simple creatures considered it an honor to make the mountain reach higher by piling their bodies. No mountain that could be tall was not also a burial ground. Such was what her elders had passed down to her.
Finally, you were near the top. The air was noticeably thinner, but the sun was also high by now, and the breeze cool. Yena constantly checked and doted on Vittoria, while Leo went over the notes he had been given. The Witness didn’t need to have particular qualifications besides ideally being close to the family- and the rites were not difficult words. They were promises made, and then Emck was done. Simple enough once you got to the top of the mountain.As you rounded the last bend, you noticed something.“Yena?” you asked, pointing, “That right there. Is that one of its eyes?” A clustered set of cloudy globes poking from underneath a sagging brow of a boulder. It looked completely unseeing- if it wasn’t just some sort of sculpture. “It is,” Yena said. She knelt close, and spoke a few quiet words in mountain tongue to it. Her eyes widened, as though something had responded, and she stood again. “The Watcher lives, and speaks.”“What does it say?” you asked, not particularly believing Yena wasn’t imagining it. Yena shook her head. “If you ask questions of it, you do not speak the answer it gives.”“…Can I ask something of it?” “You may,” Yena said, “But only one question. He may not answer in your tongue, either.”…Alright. What was the harm in it? You went and asked the giant crab a question…>What question do you ask?……It answered. Not quite in the way you thought. No words- just a strong feeling that when you next slept, you would be told.The four of you now sat atop the Watcher, atop the mountain. It was time.“Under the eyes of the Heavens,” Leo said reverently, “From the blood of the World and its people, we are here now to bind Palmiro Bonaventura and Yena of Monte Nocca together. If either of you do not wish this, then leave this place and feel no regret nor shame.” A customary minute to allow this- not that it happened, though Vittoria had to be quieted down after she started crying. “Then,” Leo said, “Palmiro Bonaventura, of your wife, you must curse her one thing- and promise her another. Your greatest misgiving of her, her person, her character, her body, her soul, let it be spoken to the heavens and to her, so that you know for true whom you are one with. Then, what you intend to give unto her, as she keeps the hearth of your home and your spirit. The two threads to keep you together, woven together, stronger for each other than they are alone.”Yena and Leo looked at you expectantly. This was your part- to be critical of your wife was not something she was expected to reciprocate, but traditionally, you were supposed to be blunt and honest here, if anywhere. Likewise, the promise made up here could be grand and abstract- but you were meant to make it for true.>Your curse and your promise?
>>5828491>What question do you ask?>Q: In their greatest time of need, will I be there for those who care for me? (Idk, I can't exactly formulate a really good question woopsie)>Your curse and your promise>Curse her with many babies>Promise to give them and her a bright future
>>5828491>What question do you ask?>What should I do now?>Your curse and your promise?>Curse that she does not understand the bright future you speak of>Promise to give it to her and to your children anyway
>>5828491>What question do you ask?Will me and my allies be able to bring forth the Dawn in our lifetimes?>Your curse and your promiseCurse: That she doesn't understand and can't properly discuss the Coming Dawn.Promise: That we will always think of her and our children first and that all we fight for we do for their sake.
>>5828468>the three of you were made to wait for a big fellow in a huge, ceremonial looking coat and hood to look over you. Far taller than any of the other mountainfolkeyyyyyy, look who it is>What question do you ask?>Your curse and your promise?This is pretty good >>5828505.
>>5828491>What question do you ask?What is the Truth?>Your curse and your promise?Her insatiable appetite.To always provide.
>>5828491>What question do you ask?Is Cesare somehow still alive? >Curse and Promise>>5828505 is fineAlso hi Poltergeist
>>5828491>>5828505SupportI'll miss Poltergeist after his last visit to Richter
>>5828499Ask the crab if you'll be where you're needed most.Ruin Yena's body.>>5828503Ask a big dead crab for life advice.Too bad your wife doesn't get what being revolutionary means. Else as before.>>5828505>>5828507>>5828509>>5828532>>5828587>>5828607Wil we see the Dawn?Even if my wife won't know it.>>5828547Where is my salad?I'll call it when I get up in the morning.
Alright, as before.Updating.
“My love,” you put your hand on Yena’s cheek, “That you do not understand the Forthcoming Daw is my greatest regret. That you feel nothing when we speak of it or how to bring it forth makes me lonely in your presence. That such is the worst I can think of you is great flattery, but it pains me nevertheless.”Yena closed her eyes and dipped her head solemnly. This was ceremony, not an airing of grievances.“I swear to you on my life and honor,” you continued, “That in the world, I will place you and our children first. Whatever battles I fight for will be for your sake foremost before all.”Yena pushed herself close to you. “I place my flesh and my spirit into your hands, that even beyond death…” She had to catch herself, her voice going high with a sob before she recomposed herself. “We are one of soul, and those who come after us will look back and see whom they are.”“As witness to this union,” Leo recited, “May the Judge Above strike me of what is most precious should I deny that this took place, and that you are now of one another. Under the eyes of heaven and ancestors, you are man and wife.” He let out a sigh, “…There anything else to this?”“Just the flower burning,” you said as you withdrew a little back from your pocket, “Get us the candle and a match.”As the Emck was done, you sat silently with Yena while Leo stood, staring off into the distance. From the top of this mountain, you could see over the other peaks- to Vitelia. The eyes failed to take in the totality of it, just how far you could gaze. Parts were concealed by low cloud, others bathed in sunlight. Roads and villages, towns, the splotches of forest and farmland like a painting. A beautiful country- if only you didn’t know how much it had suffered. Were you a painter, you’d have quite a picture to scribe upon canvas. “…How long we gonna be up here?” Leo finally asked, long after the last smoke had blown away.“I was waiting for you to ask,” you said.“The air up here is rather thin and cold for Vittoria,” Yena added.So that decided it. Time to head down again.-----Much as either of you might have boasted being able to take the mountain, climbing up it and back down in a day (though really it was already halfway up with the village you stayed at) utterly exhausted you and Yena- though Leo was perfectly fine. So you stayed at the village another night. Yena was all smiles- and she chattered with the locals in their inscrutable tongue.“I was wondering,” Leo said as he sat by you at a firepit where skewers of herb-rubbed goat and roots were roasting, “That tattoo on Yena’s cheek. What’s it mean?”“The circle means she’s married,” you said, “the curly line through it means she’s married to a foreigner, with children.”“…Didn’t she have that before your daughter was born?”
You shrugged. “We weren’t married either.” You really ought to have gone and filed that with the government by now. Maybe another time though, since if there was any time for red tape, it was these days. “What are you thinking of doing now, Leo? Back to the training center?”“When my leave ends. Which is…they didn’t even say when.” Leo shrugged and picked a skewer up, poked the meat with a finger. “Are you going to pay a visit back home? It’s been…how many years?”“Almost seven,” you said, “I haven’t sent letters since the war started either. I wonder if they think I’m just not coming back?”“Sheesh, Bonetto,” Leo said with a sardonic smirk, “And I thought I was bad about keeping in touch. My folks at least know I’m alive. They were…pretty happy about me getting into the place I’m in now.” He shoved the skewer back into the pit. “…Though I don’t know if it makes up for what I might have prevented by not going.”“Never know when your luck might have run out,” you said, gesturing to the scar on the side of your forehead.”“Guess not,” Leo admitted, and he reached out and touched it. “Split your skull right in two, but you’re feeling fine now, right?”“More or less.” Somewhat a lie. When it was quiet, you could swear that you could hear a conversation in your head. Talking about something, but you couldn’t quite hear what. Just that it was definitely speech. Possibly like yours. It seemed like something that would go away. You’d been asleep so long before, after all, that it didn’t particularly bother you to still have remnants of dreams sticking around.You were reminded that very night, when you bedded down with Yena, Vittoria tucked between you. They were inscrutable as ever- though tonight, more insistent, fervently speaking. Every so often you caught a word- sometimes, Yena’s name. They were no distraction from falling asleep, though.When Yena had told you that the Watcher would answer a question, you weren’t sure what to expect. All that had popped into your head was that the answer would come in a dream- and certainly, you did dream that night.An abstract, a flashing by of days and nights, of time. Not pictures from your mind- but rather, like pictures shown to you- the perspective was all wrong for a human’s idea of what the world was. An idyllic, peaceful meadow, a tiny village, sheep and chickens, a microcosm of a home you once knew.Then, it grew dark. Fires were lit in the night- torches borne by mobs swept back and forth across the darkness. A fire started- spread. As all was consumed by flame, all the burning homes, bodies, all, came together in a great ball which was thrust up into the sky. It was day again- and beneath the fog and the ash, sprouts began to push up through the ruin.
There would be a dawn. A dawn of fire, of blood, of weeping and gnashing of teeth. A dawn of broken dreams and twisted purpose. After those, yes, there would come the dawn of Utopia. The long night could only be ended, as Futurism declared, through the searing birth of a second sun, scorching the world so that the seeds of Utopia could grow in its new warmth when the ashes cooled.…It was an answer, but not a dream you wished to linger upon after you woke. Seeking the future from a giant misplaced sea creature was a fool’s errand anyways. Its whim was not inevitability. Else if it told true, then you knew that the fire and ruin was not what had just been experienced. It was something yet to come. These days…would be the good ones before the fall.-----When you checked with the Royal Army, they had no assignment for you- the clerk you asked told you that you would probably remain “wounded” until you were sent for next. Things were a proper mess, and it was easier to keep you on leave than it was to try and reincorporate you. So, you continued to stay out…even if you weren’t being paid more than half your commission obligation, which being a Lieutenant’s rather than a Captain’s, was not very much.Until you were called back, though, you’d have to find a place to live, and you wouldn’t be helped out by the army with that. There were a few places you could think of that were practical…though you would have preferred if Di Scurostrada’s estate with its accommodation had remained open.>Perhaps it was time to go home. There would be a house there- and it would be a decent place to raise children- though a green haired wife might not be so welcome.>Head back to Lapizlazulli. You’d probably have to find work to stay there, but the city was a much more suitable place for a future than some rural farm town.>Make your hearth back at Monte Nocca. Yena’s father would surely be glad to see her again, and a military camp was right there, so you wouldn’t have a delay in being found…>Some other arrangement?
>>5829524>Head back to Lapizlazulli. You’d probably have to find work to stay there, but the city was a much more suitable place for a future than some rural farm town.Time to experience the toil of the Worker!
>>5829524>Head back to Lapizlazulli. You’d probably have to find work to stay there, but the city was a much more suitable place for a future than some rural farm town.What's Bonetto's degree in again?
>>5829524>Head back to Lapizlazulli. You’d probably have to find work to stay there, but the city was a much more suitable place for a future than some rural farm town.We should probably send a letter back home, let them know that we are atleast alive.
>>5829524>Some other arrangement?To the ends of the Earth.
>>5829524>Perhaps it was time to go home. There would be a house there- and it would be a decent place to raise children- though a green haired wife might not be so welcome.Seven years!
>>5829524>Make your hearth back at Monte Nocca. Yena’s father would surely be glad to see her again, and a military camp was right there, so you wouldn’t have a delay in being found…
>>5829524>Make your hearth back at Monte Nocca. Yena’s father would surely be glad to see her again, and a military camp was right there, so you wouldn’t have a delay in being found…City life is overrated.
>>5829552>What's Bonetto's degree in again?Philosophy and History.So, you know, not exactly qualifications for a trade, besides potentially teaching.
>>5829580A fellow useless humanities chad, based
>>5829524>Head back to Lapizlazulli. You’d probably have to find work to stay there, but the city was a much more suitable place for a future than some rural farm town.
>>5829534>>5829552>>5829555>>5829588The city of beauty.>>5829558You can't take every honeymoon to Paelli. >>5829560Go home to be a family man.>>5829563>>5829564To the mountain.Calling it in an hour and a half.
>>5829524>Make your hearth back at Monte Nocca. Yena’s father would surely be glad to see her again, and a military camp was right there, so you wouldn’t have a delay in being found…Might as well go full native.
>>5829688Another for Monte Nocca. However, it seems it is time to slick in the city.Writing.
>>5829580Tbh, teaching/academia sounds like a good way to attract and nuture the next generation of Young Futurists.....
It was time to go back. Not home. Not yet, though you’d send something to let the family know their first son was still kicking. The home away from home. The white cliffs, the sparkling blue, the city of the new era. Lapizlazulli- just as you left it three years ago. Even if nobody that you had befriended there remained. Even if most of them weren’t alive anymore.Yena was enchanted by the place’s beauty, though the more you looked around, the more you saw the differences. The closed buildings, the quieter streets, the scars of conscription and war taxes, of rationing where specialized luxury places once thrived. The coffee house that was the favorite of the Young Futurists no longer served coffee, even if the owner smiled at you and greeted you as he once did. His daughter had left. Gone to be a nurse for the war effort, found a soldier lover and was going to be married. She’d be back, soon enough. Married just like you were now.Going down memory lane, you showed Yena the Azure Halls, where you had studied philosophy and history, the arts, the thoughts that made up the modern moralities. The study of what humanity was, and how it had come to this place. If you could, you’d like to enroll here for further study, but that was not an option at present. Still, you visited some old professors, a few acquaintances barely remembered, if they were still in schooling.Living in Lapizlazulli wasn’t cheap. Even the least expensive housing, apartments on the edge of the city with four rooms at best and a toilet, were rather more expensive than could be sustained on your half-wages. There was a reason for this- Lapizlazulli was a very well maintained and patrolled city, with very little in the way of crime. People who couldn’t live here- were simply thrown out. Donom Dei had plenty of room for vagrants, as far as the police and the upper crust of the city were concerned. Anybody who wished to improve their means while also staying could find a place at the churches and the workhouses. Though, the latter’s gangs were near cleaned out. The Royal Army had apparently scooped up most of the poorest of the poor here, where they were often physically fit enough to be worth mustering.To supplement your income, you had to find work. Your education would have made you a decent schoolteacher- for children, not a member of the Azure Hall’s elite, but the state demanded readiness from you- something the schools didn’t like, even if there was an opening available, which were frankly waiting on an academic rather than a soldier.So, you did work for some of the few people who did particularly look for stray soldiers: the Constabulary. They had much in the way of backed up office work that needed doing, and appreciated learning the techniques you had inherited from the finest of the Arditi. Not that Lapizlazulli suffered from crime more serious than the occasional drunken violence of the dockworkers.
A month passed easily. News from Emre arrived on eager wings: a great mutiny on the Grossreich’s lines had caused their army to near utterly collapse. The Reich’s best defense now was the sheer distance the Emreans had to cross, but all who spoke of the matter seemed to agree that the Grossreich’s days were numbered. The specter of Alexander would vanish completely, and everybody you talked to about it couldn’t even imagine what the world would be like without the Reich. The world of eld had been undone by the Shattering shortly before the first Kaiser changed the continent forever. Would there be a new world order? Would Vitelia finally rise to the lofty heights it once occupied? After all, the Emreans were friends, and a brother people. If Vitelia and Emre joined forces and united the continent’s west in purpose, perhaps the entire world would have to take note…Vittoria was three months old now, and healthy. Leo had come by a few times, as the transportation troubles had somewhat resolved in light of the Royal Army getting a chance to breathe, and the structure of the Kingdom relaxing after the crisis just before the Ceasefire. Information was still quite restricted, but as far as you were concerned, things were fine and dandy in Lapizlazulli. Funny how the Azure Halls studied the world and the harbors brought in goods from all over, how the Solitario River brought people and their wares up and down all the way to the northern edge of Vitelia, but you scarcely heard what happened in the country outside of the beauteous city. Until this particular morning, as someone else came to visit.You and your wife were having breakfast- sometimes, this was something preceded by another morning exercise when she made it with naught but an apron, but today was normal, as Vittoria had been particularly cranky the last night and all you and Yena wanted was buttered bread, blackberry preserves and “coffee” of a sort made with roasted barley blended in to reduce the price of it. A knock came at the door- you went to get it, though both of you were decent for the day. The home didn’t need much maintenance, so Yena often went out with Vittoria, as she would do after seeing you off at the cable car station.You might have expected a neighbor, or perhaps a salesman, or the newsboy, who was late as usual, but the person at the door was one of the people you least expected to see here.It was a vision you’d not have seen in a long time, were it not for the Reich’s spite. Her hair wasn’t how you assumed it would be, as it was longer, and tied behind her in a loose bun, and her eyes were tired and heavy- there was a new thinness to her cheeks, and she was dressed in blacks and greys, though still the loose blouse and trousers that wouldn’t be out of place at a country faire. Tall, strong bodied- though still smaller than you. There was a flash of something that used to be, when you looked upon her eyes, her lips.
“…Hey, Bonetto,” Elena tried to smile, but something was sucking out all the warmness that was once in it. “Long time no see.”“Elena?” you squinted at her like she was a mirage. “I…didn’t expect you. Or company at all.” You looked around. “I wouldn’t have thought you’d be alone either.”“Yeah.” Elena put her arms behind her back, “I’ll…get to that. Not out here.” She looked past you, into the apartment. “…Really did marry a mosshead, huh.”“Oh,” you turned to Yena and beckoned her over, “Dear, come over and say hello. This is Elena. She’s…a friend from back home.”“Ah!” Yena got up excitedly and hurried to the door, her hands clasped together, “Hello! Palmiro told me about you. I’m so happy to meet another friend of his! Won’t you come inside? We have breakfast things, if you’re hungry.”Elena blinked at her. “You call him that?”“It’s his name,” Yena said as she stepped back into the house, “Unless you mean breakfast, in which case-““No, it’s just that,” Elena coughed, “Nobody really calls him that, ‘cept his mom and dad. Anyway, uh, sure, I’ll come in…” She looked around at the walls as she did so. Yena had decorated them quickly after you had moved in with what few things you had; mostly imitation plants and the going away gifts she got from moving away from the Di Scurostradas, a shawl she got from the Watcher’s Mountain. “You said you had a daughter, right?” She asked.“She’s sleeping right now,” you said in weary gratitude for the current quiet, “You’ll be staying a little while, right?”“I’ve come far enough,” Elena said as she eyed the table. There were only two chairs around it. You’d hardly anticipated being a host here, and were frugal with your accumulated savings. “...Had to come and see ya, Bonetto. Most of the people at home, they…they sorta figured you died or left the country, so when that letter came…it’s been a long time, Bonetto, to not see you…”You looked down at your shoes. “I didn’t feel encouraged to, when your family made you get married.”“Wasn’t my choice.”“I know,” you said, “But it was mine to stay here. I know it’s not an excuse, but I think you should know, I ended up regretting that a lot.”Elena looked over to Yena, perhaps expecting a disapproving look, but Yena didn’t feel threatened. She knew this story. “You asked ‘bout my husband.”“Is he occupied?” you asked carefully, “Or is it more…”“Nah,” Elena shook her head, “His name was Giuseppe Giarno. Seppe. You knew him, I think.”“Not really,” you said, “I don’t remember him being a bad guy.” Not what you would have said once, but that was a feeling clouded by spite.
“He wasn’t,” Elena sighed and leaned over the table, putting her chin on her arms. “But I didn’t want him. We did the ceremony. Flipped the black cloak to white. Gave him a kiss. Nothing else. I told him what I thought of all of this, and he got it.” She clicked her tongue. “Guess I thought you’d get your head outta your ass and come back.”“You keep saying was,” Yena said measuredly, “So…”“The draft came up,” Elena said flatly, “Hadn’t given him kids. Hadn’t slept with him. Nothing. He was too damn gentle hearted. He went to serve the Kingdom…” She pointed a finger, dragged it, then splayed out her hand with a pop of her mouth. “Poof. A year later I find out he’s been killed. Don’t even know how. Just that I’m a widow, and his personal belongings were sent back. One was a picture of us. One where I couldn’t even be arsed to smile.” She let her arm fall back on the table. “Guess the Judge got the last laugh on me, seein’ the two of you.”“Elena…” you stepped forward and put a hand on her shoulder. “I’m sorry about your loss.”“Didn’t realize how dirty I did ‘im ‘til he was gone.” Elena said bitterly. “…Sorry, you two, I guess I had a lot t’ get offa my chest.”“It’s alright,” Yena came over and touched Elena’s other shoulder, “You’re Palmiro’s friend. This is a safe place for you.”“…Thanks,” Elena said, as she brushed your hands off her shoulders. “I mean it. But that’s the past. I came t’ visit, not ta mope.”So, she stayed with you for a week- one of the days, Leo came back, and you introduced them to one another. They seemed to hit it off pretty decently…When Elena left again, she bid that you come back home, that there was a place for you, and that she’d try and convince the others to try and accept that you had a kid with a Kallean…regardless of how Yena wasn’t one. A word of thanks for her coming around, and for her well wishes- a last embrace. The old Bonetto wanted to tell you to kiss her, but that time was long, long past.-----Time went on. Days into weeks, into months. No letter came from the Royal Army summoning you back, still.In the middle of October, horrifying news came. At something called the Battle of Karadenstohn, a catastrophe had befallen the Emrean army, primarily, its aggressive and revolutionary aspect. The Grossreich had rounded upon them, reconsolidated, and crushed the offensive near utterly. The entire continent was aghast- and in but a day, the mood of the peoples was turned on its head. In those days, unease rattled everybody to their core. Would the Reich now crush the Emreans, then turn to Vitelia? You anticipated being recalled any day.
Yet, that did not happen. That was the last big battle you heard about, but it turned out that the Reich was in no condition to turn around and win any wars- merely that after the huge defeat, the Emreans in positions of influence shifted around to those content to draw the lines at their freedom, and their traditional borders. At the end of October, another bizarre world event took place. To the east, Valsten broke apart and made war with itself. An opportunity the Reich might have capitalized upon…but apparently could or would not. With the start of November, the fifth of nineteen and ten, a ceasefire was declared for what had become known as the Emrean Liberation War, and diplomats journeyed all over the west to determine what was going to happen. Another month. In the beginning of December, with winter just around the bend, the Treaty of Lunaire was declared, which granted the former Emrean protectorate its independence and autonomy. The countries of Felbach and Fealinn were also recognized, and the Reich decided to sell its remaining northern possessions, the islands to the far northwest. It also ceded the islands of the Vitelian Sea to Vitelia, while the Gepte protectorate would be rendered an autonomous province, to be jointly administered by Vitelia and the Reich both. A referendum would be held every five years to determine its fate afterwards. War indemnities were also to be paid, to the tune of a combined twenty billion and eighty billion Reichmarks to Vitelian and Emre respectively.Peace at last.Yet the reaction was not relief, but rage.Two days after the peace was declared, you were called into an emergency assembly of the police, as a huge group of students from the Azure Halls assembled in a giant protest that very nearly became an outright riot. You’d liked to have taken credit for calming down the leaders, but in truth, you doubted that the students wanted to fight with the now particularly tough and well-equipped police once they showed on the scene. One rowdy part was given the treatment many soldiers got in the Auratus War when tear gas grenades were thrown amongst them, and that was that. Further protests occurred, but none were as fiery as that initial happening.The fury of the people was understandable, though. All that sacrifice- and what was gotten in the end? Some gold, some islands, and a slice of land that Vitelia couldn’t even claim as its own? That the Reich was made to kneel was the smallest comfort, and something most people forgot was even part of it. After all, the final battle of the war had been a resounding victory for the Grossreich- and the Reich still stood, when many had been led to believe it would be crushed utterly. You shared in certain misgivings, especially considering that the protests you saw were from ilk you were not too distant from...
Still, though. You were not recalled in spite of the unrest, even when you asked after why. You were simply told that you should recover further- that you would be activated when the state deemed it necessary.More time. The hurt from the war’s resolution lessened a little with the Year’s End Festival in Lapizlazulli. You hadn’t seen wartime ones, but apparently, special favors and preparations meant that the glory of a pre-war Year’s End Festival was seen once again. Yena was absolutely fascinated and gleeful at the scale of the thing- and you were happy as well, to see her so. Even if Vittoria didn’t like the loud booming of the fireworks, and preferred her mother’s milk to any of the festival sweets you tried to proffer her. Leo even came down for the Year’s End again, with Marcella in tow (though they were not in any relationship you knew of)- you had to admit that, for yourself, life couldn’t have been better.Months. Then it had been a year since Vittoria’s came into your lives, and her first birthday party was an extravagance, considering your means and that she was a one-year-old girl. Not long after, though, Yena began to pester you about another matter, since Vittoria was weaned.“Palmiro,” she cooed to you, “I want a large family. You know that, yes? I’ve told you enough times?”Yena had been an only child. She often daydreamed to you about how many children she wanted, and you were only happy to agree with her. Though with finances being somewhat tight…“Don’t worry,” you had told her, “We’ll have plenty.”“That’s not what I mean,” Yena said as she pushed close into your chest, “We are blessed, Palmiro, I’m pregnant again..!”…Oh. You had to admit you weren’t being careful at all, but nothing had happened for the past year, so………Ah well. Another year passed…>You know the drill. Three sets of 1d100, if any of them are 100, then roll another three.
Rolled 39 (1d100)>>5830057
Rolled 43 (1d100)>>5830057
Rolled 9 (1d100)>>5830057
The fourth of June, nineteen and twelve. A son was born to you while the sun was high in the sky, in Lapizlazulli. The city’s many modern amenities included a hospital as well equipped and staffed as the one belonging to the Di Scurostradas- quite the boon, as back at home, the best one might have were fellow villagers as midwives, or perhaps the wandering doctor that only visited every few weeks as he traveled between rural villages and towns, hawking cure-alls at a “generous” price. He seemed a little weak for a few days, but recovered well with Yena’s nurturing- she was happy as ever, and you would have been as well, despite the strain your wallet had been feeling lately…If it wasn’t for how the strain would be coming to an end rather soon, from a long-anticipated letter, from that organization that had ever the worst timing. Or perhaps the world was spiting you each time you had another child. Either way, you’d have a bit more time to get to know this boy than you had for Vittoria, but the letter you held loosely in your hand, that had been hand delivered, wouldn’t have been minded perhaps a month later.The Gilicians weren’t feeling particularly courteous from the sound of it- Capitano.>Name your son. As before, it should be something Vitelian, or at least appropriate. Something Mountainfolkish wouldn’t be out of place if Yena has an input.Also- Give him an Honored Name:>Your father, though not present here, was nevertheless your ancestor. So his name would honor your first son: Pietro.>Even if you knew not where he was nor if he lived, perhaps Cesare would appreciate it someday, knowing your son bore his name as an honored one.>Something else?Additionally- His Birth Saint:>Saint Albus, the patron of Purity>Saint Augustus, the greatest of Vitelia>Saint Morginn, the First Saint>Some other domain?
>>5830098>Name your son.Lorenzo>Even if you knew not where he was nor if he lived, perhaps Cesare would appreciate it someday, knowing your son bore his name as an honored one.>Saint Morginn, the First Saint
>>5830098Name:>Giovanno (Leo's actual name, even if like Bonetto no one calls him that)Honored Name:>Even if you knew not where he was nor if he lived, perhaps Cesare would appreciate it someday, knowing your son bore his name as an honored one.Birth Saint:>Saint Augustus, the greatest of Vitelia
I ought to add, because somehow I missed mentioning it, this kid's a greenhead, has his mum's eyes.
>>5830098>Name your son.Lorenzo>Even if you knew not where he was nor if he lived, perhaps Cesare would appreciate it someday, knowing your son bore his name as an honored one.>Saint Augustus, the greatest of Vitelia
>>5830126>this kid's a greenheadE FINITA
>>5830098Name:>ClaroHonored Name:>CesareBirth Saint:>Saint Albus, the patron of Puritysomething something the epilogue of Harry Potter>>5830126>this kid's a greenheadWhat do the abortion laws in Vitellia look like?
>>5830098>Name your son. As before, it should be something Vitelian, or at least appropriate. Something Mountainfolkish wouldn’t be out of place if Yena has an input.Raphael>Something else?After Yena's father>Some other domain?Saint Julian, the saint of killers
>>5830098>Mario>Your father, though not present here, was nevertheless your ancestor. So his name would honor your first son: Pietro.>Saint Augustus, the greatest of Vitelia
>>5830098>Name your son. As before, it should be something Vitelian, or at least appropriate. Something Mountainfolkish wouldn’t be out of place if Yena has an input.Half way house. Emmanuele>Even if you knew not where he was nor if he lived, perhaps Cesare would appreciate it someday, knowing your son bore his name as an honored one.>Birth SaintIs there some equivalent to Saint Camillus de Lellis?
Condensed to first name before sorting for now.>>5830104>>5830113>>5830134>>5830302Lorenzo.>>5830121>>5830214>>5830243Gio>>5830122I know not what you supported as it seems to have been deleted, though I'm guessing it was reposted, unsure.>>5830204Claro.>>5830205Raph.>>5830256Did you know that Mario is a name descended from the Latin Marius? So that, if you think about it, Julius Caesar's greatest role model and the most electable consul of the Roman Republic was Mario? I thought that was interesting.>>5830267E-Man>>5830204>What do the abortion laws in Vitellia look like?Absolutely forbidden save for in medical emergency. >>5830267>Is there some equivalent to Saint Camillus de Lellis?A Saint for healing and the sick, as far as a cursory search gives me? Sure. Lady Gianna, who cared for the wounded and the ill spreading from the swathe of destruction following the Dhegyar hordes in the fall of the First Empire. Traditionally she is a noble who discarded her name- and thus many lay claim to being related to her. Notably violently martyred, though it depends on who you ask whether it was a Dhegyar horseman, or a Fire Empire legionary who executed her for treating wounded Dheg outriders.I'll be calling this in an hour.
>>5830445What are the most popular Saints over on the other side of the Imperial Gate, or do Sosalians not really care much about the practice with the Cathedra being largely excised there?
>>5830445>Fire EmpireFirst. >>5830458>What are the most popular Saints over on the other side of the Imperial Gate, or do Sosalians not really care much about the practice with the Cathedra being largely excised there?The latter for the most part, though a sizable portions of Ellowians still adhere to the Cathedra. Twaryians, of course, revere Saint Rufiya- who is actually recognized by the Cathedra, as Old World Saints are largely recognized, though that move didn't sway most Twaryians into turning away from the Old World's church.
Not rolling off yet, I've done some pre-writing but not enough to push out an update, and I have to go out for a bit. I'll be calling and updating when I get back.
I return.>>5830622Lorenzo it is.As for the other portions, Cesare seems to have won out, and the guardian saint is Augustus Superbus. Just don't give him any ideas by calling him Caesar Augustus.Writing.
Lorenzo Cesare was your son’s name- his hair and eyes as green as Yena’s, like how Vittoria echoed you in all ways but being a girl. Saint Augustus Superbus wasn’t a saint in the classical way, but you hoped for great things for the boy- so who better to ask for the guardianship of than the greatest of Vitelians?When you returned from the hospital with Yena, you showed her the letter from the Royal Army, and she understood immediately, with a sad look down to Lorenzo, and across to Vittoria who you held. “Will it be long?” she asked.“I don’t know,” you answered, “But it won’t be a war like before. I’ll write to you as soon as I can, as soon as I know. Until then, I’ll try and ask somebody to help you. Maybe Elena.”“Not one of the neighbors?” Yena said, looking up from Lorenzo.“Maybe,” you allowed, “But…I’d like to have more of my old friends back in my life. Maybe after whatever this is, I can drag Leo back.”Yena smiled at you. “I’d like that. We can never have too many friends with us…”A couple days passed- your uniform and your spare were cleaned, pressed, and you made sure you still fitted in them. You certainly did- to your satisfaction. Even with the frankly subpar constables as sparring partners, the hilly terrain of Lapizlazulli had kept you fit and strong without having to spend too much time rigorously keeping fit. With a final embrace and kiss for your wife and both of your children, you got on a train heading north once more- towards what was once the headquarters for the Gilician front against the Imperials. Now…for something else.A familiar face was waiting, the same that had pulled you away from your family the first time. You regarded him with a glare, then a salute.“Maggiore Celere.”“Capitano Bonaventura,” he said back with a salute and a smile. “I’m glad you remember me. I don’t call you away out of spite, truly. Things just work out this way.”Surely. “I didn’t think I’d come back to a promotion,” you said, “When I only had a single day of a brevet captaincy.”“The rank is necessary,” Major Celere said coolly, “Because the duty isn’t one that’s desirable. The Royal Army considered that you would appreciate a rise in status and wages in exchange for something less glorious.”“It can’t be worse than frontline duties,” you said, “There’s no war anymore, after all. Unless you need a captain to eat dung, in which case I’d rather pass.”Celere gave a single bark of a chuckle. “Not quite. I’ll tell you on the way.”-----
Information was graciously available for this particular surprise, but as Celere said, you didn’t find yourself looking forward to it. In summary the decision to not move north and occupy what was now Fealinn whatsoever, combined with general animosity over the suffering of the war, disproportionately felt by the common folk of Gilicia where a disproportionate amount of conscription had occurred, had finally boiled over. Large numbers of veterans had journeyed over to the northern border, united with Gilician militias and mobs, and had marched over the freshly cleaned portions of the northern border- declaring that they were doing the will of the Vitelian people.This was of course unacceptable to the government and the Royal Army, who were now assembling to occupy Gilicia, place it under martial law, and disarm the populace and any wayward “militant assemblies.”“Is anybody in charge of these…militant assemblies?” You asked as you looked up from the faded type on the pages. “It doesn’t say.”“They’ve set up a parallel government structure, yes,” Celere said, “But the keystone of the whole structure is actually the Bishop of Gilicia, if you can believe it. He got his position only a year past. You’ll never believe what he was before.”“The clergy don’t serve in the military,” you said, preemptively.“Except as volunteer chaplains, in non-combat roles,” Celere corrected, “But yes, the new bishop, one Rodolfo Verga, served anonymously in such a capacity. He got into institutional power, and before anybody knows it, he’s organized all this with a bunch of other troublemakers. So he does need to be arrested- and the Cathedra, as can be expected, is protesting the military laying their hands on one of their own. Pah. Even if our analysts think that nabbing him would make the rest of the pieces of this uprising fall apart on their own differences. Their main link is their devotion, and that link is the easiest to break, if we only know how to get at Bishop Verga. But you won’t have to worry about that. For now, all you’re expected to do is to keep the peace.”“With?”“Your old unit, of course,” Celere said, “Not the Gilician one, heavens no. Members of your old Special Weapons Battalion have been assembled into a new structure. One of armored cars and Emrean tanks that have been built based on their plans, a generous donation from them for our contribution a few years past. Such armored vehicles are thought to be suitable for resisting ambushes, after all.”
“Perhaps,” you said, “But I only have experience with these vehicles in the assault capacity. It sounds like this won’t be used for that.”“They shouldn’t be,” Celere said, “As said, there is no open armed conflict. If any parties refuse to be disarmed, however…perhaps the presence of overwhelming force such as this will prove convincing. Anyways. I am not your commanding officer for this.” He pointed out and off, away from the headquarters’ train station. “Best you be off to reacquaint yourself. Your old partner, Giovanno Leone, he’s up here too. Maybe you’ll find more time together than before, eh?”Though you thought of something else as you walked by the assembling soldiers, most of them fresh faced, astonishingly few of them seeming like they knew what war was. They were relaxed- like they thought that this really would be as easy as marching in and asking everybody to turn over their weapons. Somehow, you doubted that this would be so simple. The number of former soldiers who’d come over here was uncertain, as was the number of militias, or just how many friends this Gilician uprising really had. They were apparently enough of a threat to move in on Fealinn and occupy territory, however, defeating whatever meek defenses they had mustered, so they weren’t nothing.No, what you were thinking of was what to think about this new opponent. Should they even be your enemy, truly? Doubt crept into your mind. Everybody around seemed a stranger. How much of your old unit would be there? Just your platoon? Would they agree with the state’s mission on this? You knew little of what they might think of this whole affair…but you did know that you could sway others to your thinking from no small share of experience. Perhaps that was the real reason for your promotion.>You sympathized. Perhaps too much. After all…was this not a revolutionary act in a way? They did claim to be doing it for the Vitelian people. Maybe you ought to find out more about them.>Regardless of who they claimed to be doing it for, this uprising was violence against an undeserving people. This was wrong- and you agreed that these people had to be brought to heel.>You didn’t care for either the short-sighted raiding and conquest or the sitting on hands that opposed them. However, if you were to be called here, perhaps you could help reconcile matters without force?>Other?
>>5830872>You didn’t care for either the short-sighted raiding and conquest or the sitting on hands that opposed them. However, if you were to be called here, perhaps you could help reconcile matters without force?
>>5830872>Regardless of who they claimed to be doing it for, this uprising was violence against an undeserving people. This was wrong- and you agreed that these people had to be brought to heel.
>>5830872>Regardless of who they claimed to be doing it for, this uprising was violence against an undeserving people. This was wrong- and you agreed that these people had to be brought to heel.The uprising likely cannot be calmed down, only redirected, and what would we redirect it towards?
>>5830872>You sympathized. Perhaps too much. After all…was this not a revolutionary act in a way? They did claim to be doing it for the Vitelian people. Maybe you ought to find out more about them.Are these guys important in any way? What do they do? I almost want to pick the second or third option but I don't know much about this group.
>>5830872>>You sympathized. Perhaps too much. After all…was this not a revolutionary act in a way? They did claim to be doing it for the Vitelian people. Maybe you ought to find out more about them.
>Regardless of who they claimed to be doing it for, this uprising was violence against an undeserving people. This was wrong- and you agreed that these people had to be brought to heel.We did vote for the choice where we thought that Vitelia needs new allies and allowing a bunch of insurgents to attack a potentially friendly country seems counterintuitive to that idea. Altough, I'm interested behind the ideology of these militias.
>>5830872>>5830881Changing to >Regardless of who they claimed to be doing it for, this uprising was violence against an undeserving people. This was wrong- and you agreed that these people had to be brought to heel.To avoid people sympathizing with the violent mob trying to play subjugators.
>>5830872>You sympathized. Perhaps too much. After all…was this not a revolutionary act in a way? They did claim to be doing it for the Vitelian people. Maybe you ought to find out more about them.
>>5830872>Other?It's time to shit.
>>5830872>You didn’t care for either the short-sighted raiding and conquest or the sitting on hands that opposed them. However, if you were to be called here, perhaps you could help reconcile matters without force?Our position as a Futurist revolutionary and a member of the reactionary army gives us unique opportunities to see both sides and perhaps broker something interesting.
>>5830872>You didn’t care for either the short-sighted raiding and conquest or the sitting on hands that opposed them. However, if you were to be called here, perhaps you could help reconcile matters without force?Also>Casually asking your ex who obviously still has a thing for you to help babysit for your wifeChad move
>>5830913>>5830930>>5830997>>5831090>>5831092>>5831096Bringing this disorder to heel- as wished of you.>>5830983>>5830992>>5831038>>5831121These people must be looked into- if they're who they claim to be.>>5831231>>5831310This isn't happening for any reason you support. So neither side needs to win.I'll be taking today off of writing, though. Just to let me think more about how things are gonna go.
>>5831483Any relevant information about pre-war Gilicia that Bonetto would know that might help with the diplomatic approach, besides their knives? Stereotypes/traits of the region and its inhabitants, anything else they're known for in Vitelia etc.
>>5830872I will change my vote to>You sympathized. Perhaps too much. After all…was this not a revolutionary act in a way? They did claim to be doing it for the Vitelian people. Maybe you ought to find out more about them.If it's a choice between these two.If my ID changed I'm >>5831231
>>5830872>>5831310I'll also switch to>You sympathized. Perhaps too much. After all…was this not a revolutionary act in a way? They did claim to be doing it for the Vitelian people. Maybe you ought to find out more about them.
>>5831577>Any relevant information about pre-war Gilicia that Bonetto would know that might help with the diplomatic approach, besides their knives? Stereotypes/traits of the region and its inhabitants, anything else they're known for in Vitelia etc.Gilicia is a rather rural province, save for a few clusters of cities in its south, the most populous of which that holds over 20% of the province's population is centered around the provincial capital of Fons Lacrimea, the Well of Tears- which is near a group of moutains that spews forth enough groundwater to source a lake and a river beyond, its name coming from a regional folk tale, where Gilicia's three patron saints calmed a furious volcano- though there are many variations on this tale, and the Fons Lacrimea area, while having some vulcanism, has never been recorded as having an eruption, a caldera topping the biggest mountain being the sole indication of an ancient eruption.Gilicians are exclusively hillmen as well, and notably, edge out Mountainfolk wherever they may be, because Gilicians are well known for being extremely religious, and what some might consider fanaticism is normal in Gilicia- so their support for the Cathedra has traditionally been far stronger than their support for any empire or kingdom. Anywhere else in Vitelia they're seen as a kooky, as their superstitions and devotion are on average a level higher than most, and they don't like leaving their home, so they're extra wary anywhere else- this caution and anxiety ending up being what most think Gilicians behave like all the time, which isn't particularly true if one lives amongst them in their own lands.As mentioned before, their knives notably don't have a point to them, and any tool not meant to be a weapon has its point filed off or bent. Gilicians take conflict very seriously, and while they're normally adverse to fighting, if they are either sufficiently provoked or believe they have no other choice, they don't back down unless a side either cannot fight any more, or flees. Lying face down on the ground is the usual posture of defeat- averting your eyes from an enemy is taken as an implicit gesture of giving up.Besides their oddities, while the Gilician province doesn't have the agricultural output of Lindiva, it isn't a poor province rather than a sparsely populated one, as outside of its cluster of cities, its people usually make their livings ranching, hunting and trapping, logging, or near the mountains, digging into the rock for silver and copper amongst other things. There's little in the way of industry even within the larger settlements, as cottage artisans make the majority of just about anything- even if the exports from extraction are often funded by interior companies.In short, they're a difficult and reclusive people, most well regarded for being stalwart and sturdy, a good source of scouts and rangers. Prior version was mislabeled.
>>5832043Thanks, better not mention we're married to a mosshead then. Now I kinda want to see Jorgen interact with Gilicians when Richter heads out west, it sounds like they'd either get on extremely well or poorly. Would be absolute hell for Mal though.
Alright, so,>>5831537>>5831671>>5831680Three more for sympathies.Closely pushing it over for being more open to this bunch. After some looking about. Writing.
It wasn’t as though you could be so easily seduced by the implied identity of what was, in the end, a violent mob. Having many of them being made up of former soldiers who had served like you? Being a soldier in the Royal Army didn’t make one a saint, you knew that well enough, nor did having a Bishop in a position of great influence make a movement holy in its entirety. Yet, that wasn’t all of this, was it? If you looked at any of the individual factors, you didn’t feel particular favor towards any of it. Soldiers gone astray, like those that wouldn’t follow you to rescue Cesare, Gilicians, who would disapprove of your choice of woman and forward-thinking ideology both, and a man of the Cathedra trying to bind them together- though you weren’t one of the Young Futurists who had chosen to forsake belief in rebellion, a tenant of Futurism was that the church was not to meddle in the affairs of the state by using a connection to holiness as an unfitting bludgeon. So why then, did you feel some sympathy for the lot? Why did you not disdain these people who were taking what you believed to be exactly the wrong action when the fires had settled and times were ripe for making friends instead of enemies?Maybe it was because the missing pieces were things you did find good in. That they went against the state, and tried in their own way to directly serve the Vitelian people. Perhaps there was more to this situation than you were told. Was trusting what the Royal Army and the King’s government said, when they were so recently either withholding information or lying, truly wise? You’d have to pursue answers yourself. That was what you ended up deciding on, as you made yourself alone with your thoughts walking away.The place the Royal Army Headquarters was situated at for this operation, now dubbed the Gilician Operational Headquarters, was not far from the train station. A city that straddled the river to the south of the provincial capital, a relatively new place that had gathered around a new construction, the Duefiume Ponte- named because of its purpose, during the last King’s reign, to modernize the country by linking it better together. A great bridge and railway that went over the city’s titular bridge connected two of Vitelia’s major rivers near their sources, allowing for two routes to the sea from the north of the country. It had been an incredibly successful project, and the city around the bridge had grown explosively.Too bad that now this city was not a symbol of cooperation, but the site for the springboard for a military occupation against what could be generously be called civil disobedience at best and banditry at worst...
A familiar face was waiting as you went from the station to the streets, seated at a table and chair by the river, a broadsheet in his face and a cup of coffee at the table, until he saw you and stood up.“Telegram said you was supposed to be here an hour ago, boss,” Luigi said sourly, folding up the news, “Wouldn’ta kept me waiting if I was a lady, bet.” He’d changed little in two years- besides becoming a bit paunchier. You moved forward to embrace him, instinctually, but he held up a hand. “Hey, none ‘a that.”“It’s good to see you again, Lulu,” you said.Luigi looked embarrassed on your behalf. “Boss, just Luigi is fine.”“You said your friends called you that.”“It sounds stupid now,” Luigi muttered. “…What, you that’s what we are?”“Don’t be a numbskull,” you said, “Of course we are. I never got to properly thank you for saving my life.”“I didn’t really,” Luigi said in stuffy resistance, “…Fine, you’re welcome. I dunno, name your kid after me or something.”You smiled at that. “I already named one after the other half that saved me. Maybe I will.”“Judge Above, you aren’t gonna call the poor kid Lulu, did you?”Luigi hadn’t become any more mature or less acerbic, but you had missed this thing you’d once considered an annoyance. So many people gave you reverence for your service in Lapizlazulli, that it hardly felt like they considered you human. Even if nobody besides Leo and Marcella from the old unit had bothered to search you out, you were already looking forward to meeting them again. Especially since your old platoon surely had many tales to tell…“Are we walking?” you asked Luigi.“Hell no,” he scoffed gesturing to the road to a covered top automobile, far fancier looking than anything you’d seen before. “We ride in style around here. See that? It’s a Fulmen Twelve, came out just a couple months ago. Normally you’d have to be in the money bad to afford one, but if you’re in the army, you drive like it.” He started off to it, “Eh, but don’t feel too bad, apparently a tank costs more than this thing, and this seats double a C2.”
It was admittedly a beautiful machine, with deep sloping curves and shining polished metal, though where bright colors might have adorned a racing car that you’d heard about, this was dressed in the drab green of the Vitelian Royal Army, a crest of such stenciled in white on the front doors. Luigi was already cranking the engine by the time you sat inside- the seats were soft black leather, and you looked around in wonder at all the devices scattered around. You turned a crank, and the window descended into the door. Fascinating- you turned it up, then down again.“Alright boss, knock it off, you’re acting like a kid that just found out women have tits,” Luigi said after he had started the engine and climbed into the driver’s seat next to you. “You’ve been in a tank, but you’ve never been in a goddamn car? Like hell.”“Not one that’s as good as this one.”Luigi started to drive- and you barraged Luigi with questions when you started going, and stopped toying with the gadgets in the car. “I was told that there’s others from the old Special Weapons Battalion here. How many?”“Not a battalion,” Luigi said, “Just enough stuff to outfit a company, all under you. Don’t know who we’re under, don’t care. Each platoon’s got one of your guys, and the company mechanic is Boobs.”“…What?” you grimaced at him, “You mean Miss Orologiaio?” Luigi glanced at you, utterly puzzled. “Marcella.”“See, you knew who I was talking about.”“Her name isn’t that hard to say.”“Figures you’d be more into the other side. And what I called her is easier to say than either of her names,” Luigi said unrepentantly, as he turned the car to go over the road portion of the bridges over the river- it was levered sideways right now, to allow a barge passage, and you were forced to wait. “Not like she gives a shit. Responds to it just the same.”“Learn her name,” you said stiffly, “Whatever energy you save by not saying a syllable or two is less than I’ll have to save when a superior officer overhears me copying your bad habit.” The bridge closed again, and Luigi put his foot on the gas again. You looked around- most of the other occupants of the road were also military vehicles. “More trucks here than I ever saw near any front,” you mused, “Or going up to it.”“A lot of stuff coming up,” Luigi guessed, “From what I hear a lot of it’s because the Royal Army wanted to rebuild in a hurry, and now we’re reaping the benefits of overpreparation for a war we didn’t get back to fighting.”You toyed with something that leaned the seat back and forth. “So the equipment for the unit,” you said, wondering how much luxury had gone into certain hurried gear, “I’ve been told it’s Emrean stock and armored cars. I take it you’re well familiar with it by now.”
“Two platoons of six of the Emrean tanks, same sort of weapons as our C2s had,” Luigi said, “Two of six of the armored cars, Vitelian models.” Those didn’t end up being used much from what you recalled. They weren’t designed to stray from roads.“Same ones as we know from the training grounds?” you asked.“The same. Basically, the old turtle trucks with metal shells on ‘em, a couple of gun holes. They took the machine guns off, but they could put them back in without much hurry.”Turtle Truck referring to the CA.1906 and its characteristically curved upper portion. They hung low, and as expected, would probably be of best use in…environments like this. “New low velocity tear gas shells for the cannons, too,” Luigi said, “Things have been quiet. People here aren’t as hard on about whatever the Gilicians are doing than they are up north, or in their capital. Bet that’ll change when the Royal Army starts marching in and making people stand down. Won’t be long, since one of the people on the other side’s come down t’ make trouble, from what I’ve heard.”You asked who that would be, not expecting to be presented with any familiar names. “And why wouldn’t they just get grabbed?”“Because the guy came around as a mediator. Maybe the people in charge here don’t want to act too heavy handedly, with the Crown Prince here talking about overseeing things. He always was a softie.”Ah. The Crown Prince. One day he’d be Lucius the Fifth, it was expected, but for now, the man who was you and Leo’s age, King Lucius the Fourth’s only child and son, was called Qaercio. A man as supposedly forward thinking as his father, but one openly critical of progression by force of arms since the Emrean Liberation. His following was one of pacifists- him being in a position of military command was out of character, yet rumor had it that he was no stranger to battle, though it was unknown where he had been.“So who’s coming to raise a fuss while the Crown Prince is here?” you asked.“Dunno. Can’t say I really care for people making a mess when things don’t need any help with that these days. Rather he go home and we get on with business, and the people here not get encouraged to act like we’re further north than we are.”You sighed to yourself. Then got an idea. Surely, you weren’t being demanded to be perfectly punctual, and Luigi had this car to drive you all around. Perhaps you didn’t need to go right to work…>Or maybe you did. Perhaps less from an industrious spirit than seeing all your old people again, though.>Maybe it was worth seeing this unknown rabble-rouser. Have Luigi take you to see him.>The Crown Prince was in town, eh? You had no appointment- but you had a desire to visit nevertheless.>Other?
>>5833224>The Crown Prince was in town, eh? You had no appointment- but you had a desire to visit nevertheless.
>>5833224>Maybe it was worth seeing this unknown rabble-rouser. Have Luigi take you to see him.Somehow it's Cesare.
>>5833224>>The Crown Prince was in town, eh? You had no appointment- but you had a desire to visit nevertheless.
>>5833224>Or maybe you did. Perhaps less from an industrious spirit than seeing all your old people again, though.
>>5833224>Maybe it was worth seeing this unknown rabble-rouser. Have Luigi take you to see him.
>>5833224>Maybe it was worth seeing this unknown rabble-rouser. Have Luigi take you to see him.Let's try to see what these guys are all about.
>>5833224>The Crown Prince was in town, eh? You had no appointment- but you had a desire to visit nevertheless
>>5833224>Maybe it was worth seeing this unknown rabble-rouser. Have Luigi take you to see him.Not!Hitler?
>>5833577He's over in Netilland, probably grinding his painting skills as we speak.
I ended up sleeping way too long as a nap.>>5833235>>5833257>>5833391Go see Prince, if you can't see the King.>>5833250>>5833308>>5833315>>5833316>>5833367>>5833432>>5833577Shirk work to go watch some guy's podcast.>>5833266Drawn to people who you can shakily call friends.Writing.
“…Luigi, don’t go to our base just yet, the motor pool won’t up and leave without us. You said that whoever this rabble rouser was, he’s in the city, right? Let’s go find him.”“Uh,” Luigi stopped at an intersection- there was a constant stream of civilians walking one way. The conclusion was hardy difficult to make. “Sure that’s a good idea? We could just get supper instead if you want to put off the paperwork more.”There was paperwork to do? Ugh. Wasn’t that what officers above Lieutenant had secretaries or adjutants for? “We’ll be fine,” you said, “There won’t be a surprise appearance by black coats, it’s just somebody talking.”“I more meant us showing up as army people,” Luigi said, “To this guy people are coming to hear speak.”“All the more important that we behave ourselves and make a good example,” you said, “I don’t like going into something like we’re going into while ignorant of what we’re even against. Whenever I did writings for the Azure Halls, I made certain I was as knowledgeable as I could be on what was to come. Whenever I went in with more self-assuredness than knowledge…” You frowned, and reminisced on the numerous failures of your life. “Fate turned against me more often than not.”“Putting the blame on fate would fit you right in with the hoodmen, boss.”“Hoodmen?”“What people call Gilicians deeper in their country here,” Luigi said, “You wanted to know more, that’s one thing. See a man wearing a hood, even when it’s sunny or warm, it’s somebody who’s placing themselves as a disciple of Saint Saulius, who hid himself from the sun or something. Women follow Saint Svajone, and wear lantern effigies, usually on the backs of their heads.”Saint Saulius and Sain Svajone, two of the three patrons of Gilicia. You knew that much. “You haven’t mentioned the third yet.”“Bad luck to,” Luigi said, “The Unspoken Third, of Holy Wrath. Speaking his name’s a curse even to the less devout here.”Nobody could hear you in the car, but you nodded. Saint Vilhelmas was said to have gone back north from whence he came unlike his compatriots, and vanished- his last wish being that his name only be honored upon his return to the lands that would soon become part of the First Empire- a homecoming which never happened. He was not a Saint who recorded any chronicle, and he was said to be a terror in battle and short of temper. A wild sort of holy man, who might never have been so were it not for the two he traveled with.“I wonder,” your eyes followed the flocking line the car followed the path of, “How many of the veterans flocking here think the same. How many of those who returned are Gilician themselves, and how many aren’t?”
“Maybe we’ll find out,” Luigi said, “But ask me, I think that they’re here because it’s not been easy for ‘em the way everything’s pricier, the way people don’t like how the war ended up. Some places they didn’t have anywhere t’ go back to, ‘cause they were conscripted from bein’ poor as dirt. Other places people don’t like the soldiers for fightin’ a war they didn’t like, places like Lindiva. So they go to this place where everybody’s sayin’ they’ll take whoever comes.” He turned the car to the side of the road to park it. “…How’ve you been doin’, boss? Money wise.”“Lieutenant half-pay isn’t enough to live on,” you said, “So I was working with the Lapizlazulli constabulary.”“Big city,” Luigi sniffed, “Going right from the Azure Halls to that. Not too bad on the wallet.”“I have two children now,” you added, “Yena can’t work like she used to if she’s taking care of one, let alone two. A lot of people I’ve talked to felt the same way. They’re hoping things get better soon.”“Taxes were already pretty heavy even before, boss,” Luigi said dimly as he shut the engine off. “C’mon, we’ll hoof it from here. You strapped?”You didn’t expect to have to be armed, but you nodded. “My old Imperial friend’s come far.”“You’re welcome, by the way,” Luigi said haughtily, “Fucker fell out. Bullet nearly took my hand off when I got greedy. Figured it was the Judge telling me I’d better give it back.”Many things to pay your driver back for- you hoped it wouldn’t go to waste, but then again, you also really hoped, in a way, that it would…Plenty of suspect looks were given to the two of you, uniformed as you were, but when you looked back, any wayward glances were quickly diverted. Here and there, you saw teams of four soldiers marching back and forth. They would see your bicorne, and salute reflexively. Those patrols ceased to pass you by the closer you got to the crowds’ convergence, respectful distance, though, rather than fear, as you noticed a few other uniformed sorts also coming closer- unarmed, seemingly on break, or perhaps absent, as they shied away from your gaze. A podium had been set up in a public park, in front of a fountain, where crowds of people pressed in on what space there was. You kept away- no need to be closest, you thought. Especially with what looked like newfangled public address system- a set of devices made to amplify sounds like voices. Yet when the speaker moved up to the top of the podium, you became less concerned about what he had to say- and more who it was.“Who’s that?” Luigi asked, “You recognize that old guy?”“I do,” you said, “That’s…the Comte Di Zucchampo.” The man who, without whom, you just might have gone nowhere…and whom you’d last seen, devastated and hollow, at the funeral gathering for Chiara Di Scurostrada. “What’s he doing here?”
From there, you had to listen past his opening remarks, thanking all for coming, especially those who were in service to the Royal Army of Vitelia- the colors he wore even now, though they were faded, much like the Colonel. His hair had greyed further and further over the course of the war, you had heard, but it had now lost its former black color altogether, and his wrinkles had deepened, but his voice had regained all the strength it had once had when you first heard it six years ago. “Vitelians. Gilicians and Lindivans, soldiers and citizens, sea folk and hill peoples, I have seen and known all. I know all of we Vitelians desire a better tomorrow, and if we were told, this is what must happen to get such a thing, we would not hesitate in doing what was needed. Yet, tell me, what happens if there is an obstruction to these better times? What must happen if there are those who seek not only to block the way forwards to a brighter future, to times as good as long ago, but also who seek to destroy us, to undermine our ways of life, to take all we have worked for and make it their own, right down to our very lives?” Murmuring in the crowd, but Di Zucchampo adjusted the voice piece in front of him with a small echo, and swept a fist out. “Sometimes that answer is easy. When we faced the Grossreich of Czeiss, we felt no hesitation in facing them on the field of battle. Why would we? They have been our enemies since before the times of our fathers, after all, or the fathers of fathers. What of it when those who stand against us are not so easy to face, though? What when they are not our enemies since our births, but our own fellows? Other Vitelians, other people of our own class, or those we sought to benefit? Then, it is understandable that we hesitate to remove their opposition as we otherwise might.”From there, the old Colonel went from problem to problem with the times of the day. Corrupt nobility and officials, the downward trend of morality and the influence of the Cathedra over the hearts of the people, the inability of said people to prosper- thus why they fell to depravities unknown before. A steady descent into a morass of chaos where one sold all they held dear for the scraps of those who gorged upon the corpse of a great nation, who would scrape it to the bone without a second thought. People whom the virtuous of the state were being hindered by, even the King, whom most would have thought the highest authority of the country. If there were those who sought to disrupt the authority of the king, was it any surprise that the same ilk would seek to undermine the divine will of the Saints, of Holy Judgement?
You were well educated in the philosophies and addresses of past leaders, of speeches and pleads and kindling of zeal. Stefano, Conte Di Zucchampo, had the experience of some of your professors at the very least. When the people buzzed and raised cries of support or outbursts of consternation at things, he wasn’t moving the crowds with naught but luck and prodding. He wasn’t necessarily influencing them with truth either, though.After he descended from the podium, many people wanted to speak with him- but plainly dressed strongmen warded them off. Each wore a round, cloth hood over a drab brown cape- like aesthetic monks, perhaps, but they wouldn’t have been so broadly built. Troublesome, if you wanted to stray any closer and they disagreed- as you did, and they did.“Halt, Capitano,” one of the burly fellows said, holding up a hand stiffly as you came close, Di Zucchampo heading down the street with them, “No personal audiences.”“Truly?” you asked, loud enough for the old Colonel to hear, “Not even to hear Soldato Bonaventura?”That made Di Zucchampo turn his ear to your voice, then his whole body. “Stand aside, Paolo,” he told the guard blocking your path, “He is an old friend.”The guard stood back, but said warily, “Many old friends may turn out to not be so, in time, Stefano…”“Bonaventura is no player in a great game for power, Paolo,” Di Zucchampo put his hand on his guard’s shoulder and pushed past him. “He was a good friend of my niece, when she lived.”“I see.” Finally, this Paolo stood aside in full.Zucchampo looked you up and down. “You do not stand as straight as you once did, Bonaventura,” he said, “But your feet seem much surer. Has life treated you and Leone well?”“It has,” you said, “I have a wife, a daughter and son now. Times are not easy, but I am content with where I am. Leo…I’m not so sure about.” You put your hands behind your back, not sure how open Chiara had been about her…relationships. “He hasn’t settled down yet.”
“You sound as though you wouldn’t have minded staying out of the uniform for good,” Zucchampo smiled slightly, eyes closed. “If only every man who donned it were so lucky.” He opened his eyes again and looked into your eyes. “I imagine you have many questions. None that I can answer, however. Not here. If you want to meet with me, and help Vitelia’s tomorrow,” he gave you a slip of paper. “Then come to this place in two days with any who are also interested. Otherwise, I’m afraid I’ll have to delay any nights out or some time. For now, all I can say in summary is,” he bent his head and spoke lowly, “There are people and families, organizations, who I referred to in my speech up there. I do believe we can wrest them out of their places of growing influence, if only by starting in this place, proceeding a little at a time until they hold nothing. There is a reason that certain nobility and corporations have been evicted from the soil to the north, Bonaventura, and to fight against these forces does not mean fighting Vitelia, but for it. Not even in battle…but, again, that will be for later. If you hear nothing else…” He patted you on the shoulder and turned around, “This is what Chiara would have wanted to do, in this time. It is a tragedy for the old to have to pursue the dreams of the young, who cannot chase the stars any longer…but…I must do my utmost, as penance for my encouragements, my short-sighted hopes.”He walked away, and left you standing with Luigi, who himself had been kept back by another guard until all went with Zucchampo. You looked down at the slip of paper- printed with type on it was an address.…Would you go, you wondered. You hadn’t even been to your base camp yet, your suitcase was still in the car, you didn’t even know where the bed you’d sleep in tonight was, but you did know that if you did accept this offer…you wouldn’t have to accept it alone.>This wouldn’t do. You were here on behalf of the Vitelian Royal Army- not yourself. This just wasn’t your battle, nor the place you’d choose to have it, no matter what the former Colonel said.>…Why not? You’d at least hear him out. You did have your sympathies, after all. Though you’d only come alone…>Sounded like a party to you. You owed Di Zucchampo for being able to even come this far. He earned your loyalty more than anybody else had.>Other?Also->Anything you want to catch up with or do concerning anybody you’ll meet at base?
>>5834366>…Why not? You’d at least hear him out. You did have your sympathies, after all. Though you’d only come alone…
>>5834366>…Why not? You’d at least hear him out. You did have your sympathies, after all. Though you’d only come alone…Revolutionary Utopianist time.
>>5834366>…Why not? You’d at least hear him out. You did have your sympathies, after all. Though you’d only come alone…Colonel's a good man, time to pay it forward.
>>5834366>This wouldn’t do. You were here on behalf of the Vitelian Royal Army- not yourself. This just wasn’t your battle, nor the place you’d choose to have it, no matter what the former Colonel said.>Anything you want to catch up with or do concerning anybody you’ll meet at base?Superior regarding promotion prerequisites and procurement regarding requisitions requests
>>5834390Also go find Leo if possible, see what he thinks of this.
>>5834366>>Sounded like a party to you. You owed Di Zucchampo for being able to even come this far. He earned your loyalty more than anybody else had.
>>5834366>Sounded like a party to you. You owed Di Zucchampo for being able to even come this far. He earned your loyalty more than anybody else had.
>>5834379>>5834383>>5834390>>5834535>>5834749>>5834754>>5834980A solitary visit.>>5834489See if you can consult another mind on this?>>5834484A negative.Also, how do I get higher up and get more stuff?>>5834590>>5834811>>5835293Let's get a crowd in.Haven't been in a writing frame of mind today, the muscle needs relaxing, you know how it is. I'll update tomorrow.
Update will come soon- though if I don't manage to get it done in a couple hours I'll have it done later tonight. Work hours and all.I wouldn't say goofing around like this and digitizing pencilwork directly cuts into writing, but I won't say it's very industrious of me either, just that it's not taxing on any faculties to do.
…What reason was there to not hear out old Di Zucchampo, you thought. After all, you did have sympathies towards what he at least claimed was the cause. There was a thought to bring all who might be interested, but you erred towards caution as you considered how much more you had yet to hear. Whether Di Zucchampo would only be asked for your ear, for a little help on the side, or…something more. He had been the pioneer behind the Special Battalion, before it was apparently needlessly wasted as a higher commander saw meat that could be sent forward instead of precious minds better used for something else.Besides Leo, none of your old friends that had joined up with you, or that you’d even met before joining with the tanks, none of them were left. How many had been thoughtlessly sent to die or be captured by the Reich, when they had been torn from wiser purposes?Back to your car- back to base. Luigi had little more to say- he had learned to not expect answers when you were in thought like this.Your unit, now dubbed with no grandiose name, but simply the Armored Company of the 5th Interior Security Battalion, was repurposed from a line infantry unit that had more or less demobilized. Mostly militia that had been mobilized and never made to stand down, they were more or less an untested bunch of less than willing troops, contended with the fact that they were formed around a hard core of an “Urban Arditi” company, and the Armored Company, which would theoretically take on the least pleasant jobs expected while the others patrolled or stood guard. If things came to that.It was a pleasant surprise that Leo was attached to the same formation you were- which you found out quickly after paging through the 5th ISB’s portfolio. He wasn’t a commissioned officer, but he was a senior enlisted, and right hand to the Urban Ardti Company’s commanding officer. A shame you couldn’t both be officers, really, but this was just about as good, considering.You met with each of your platoon leaders- they were familiar faces, all formerly your direct subordinates back when you commanded a platoon. Di Nero, Di Portaltramanto (the more pleasant one you knew), Di Aceroro, and Menia- who had been unremarkable compared to the others, save for that he was here now. A friend of Marcus Di Portaltramanto.They weren’t particularly interested in more than business, and it was fair. The lot of you hadn’t talked to each other in two years, though you heard that Di Nero and Di Aceroro were both married men now. Good for your second in command- it was a sign he had mended his ways, perhaps. Or maybe his womanizing had been stamped down upon by family with a rather crude mechanism, while Di Aceroro married the woman that he and Di Portaltramanto had apparently been fighting over. Though, the two weren’t as antagonistic towards one another as before, despite such.
To the vehicles, then. About half were vehicles dubbed by a newly created classification system as ABV 5/10, unfamiliar Emrean designs, though as Luigi had said, they either had a machine gun or a stumpy cannon just like the C2s did. Why you were using these instead of C2s, you weren’t sure. Luigi had guessed at some other company getting a contract for themselves instead of the C2s being renewed, and it sounded right to you, though you had to wonder if these vehicles were actually better in any way or if there was something deeper to it.From the mechanic shed, though, you hard familiar chatter- and you moved towards it with relief. Leo would be easier to find than you thought. No scheduling or running around, he had, perhaps knowingly or not, come right to where you’d be. The former, as it turned out.“Look who finally decided to show up,” Leo raised a mug of coffee in your direction, smiling. “You’re late, Bonetto. Being a married man’s made you a sloth.”“Aw, give him a break,” Marcella was there too, her jumpsuit’s upper half tied around her waist revealing a striped shirt beneath- one that did not contain her whatsoever, but she had never cared about avoiding looking provocative. “He’s left enough at home to be excused fer draggin’ his feet some.”She had a good opinion of your character- in truth, you had to feel a bit bad about your mind’s reaction towards being free of the children’s needs and Yena’s relentless physical affection for a little while. Your head was more relaxed than it had been in a while- more open to the world, ready to meet old friends again and see new horizons. Eventually you’d be lonely…or, maybe, it wouldn’t take long at all and you’d go back to Yena right in time for her to want another baby.“I smelled the coffee,” you said, raising a waving hand, “Do you have some good brew?”“C’mon,” Marcella grinned widely, “Y’know there ain’t been such a thing as good coffee fer four years.”Four? The stuff back during the war wasn’t that bad, was it? “As long as it’s at least half actual coffee, it’s good enough. Right Leo?”“I’d settle for it not being half piss,” Leo said, and you couldn’t be sure if it was a joke or not with the Arditi being as they were. “So how’s it been since the Year’s End?”You told them- mostly, the big news concerning how you had a son now. To Leo, how you’d called him after Cesare- and almost after him.“Don’t have to do that, Bonetto,” Leo frowned.“Of course I don’t have to,” you scolded him lightly, “But it’s the fruit of my loins, so it’s up to Yena and I.”“Suit yourself,” Leo shrugged, “But I think it’d get confusing, you know, since I’m intending on bein’ around.”“Now that you are…” You glanced between Leo and Marcella, “I wasn’t interrupting anything, was I?”
“Eh?” Macella’s smile slid away, then returned in a giggle, “Hee-heh, nah nah, you weren’t.”Leo was a bit crosser, but rolled his eyes. “Still single, Bonetto. I’m not in any hurry to get hitched.”Were you still keeping your knowledge of affairs a secret? Everybody here knew everything. Just not that everybody indeed knew, everything. “Just making sure,” you said, “I don’t want to be known as a Capitano who rains on a room.”“Congratulations, by the way,” Leo said, “They finally recognize your worth.”“And don’t recognize yours.” You said to Leo, “Are you happy with how things turned out for you, Marcella?”She gave a spirited thumbs up. “Don’t gotta drive or get kicked in the face, only get to play. Happy as a honeybee in a flower house!”…So that just left the other thing. “Marcella,” you said, “I want to take Leo aside for a moment. Could you let us be for a second?”Marcella blinked at you, then threw up her hands. “’Kay, I see how it is, gotta talk to ‘im about the bad sorta girls.” She winked and smirked, “Just kidding.”Leo sulked when he came over with you. “Is it really about…that?” He started off, curmudgeonly, but you cut him off.“What? No. That’s not my business, Leo.” You got right into telling him about what you understood of why you were even here, but more importantly, talked about Di Zucchampo, and what he had said- his invitation.
“…So our old Colonel’s up to this, huh,” Leo said, scratching his chin. “Wouldn’t have thought he was the type, but if he’s saying he’s doing it for Chiara…”“He wanted to see me in a couple nights,” you said, “Gave me a location. I wanted your thoughts.”“…” Leo paused, and considered. “Di Zucchampo’s a good guy. Saw what we were good for when nobody else would. But, Bonetto…” He gave you a concerned look, “You’re not as free as you used to be to just…do things. You’ve got a family now. A new one that you made, not the old one you keep blowing off. I went with you to the top of a mountain for that family, Bonetto. I think you ought to be careful about not getting too deep in.”“Hardly the brashness I expected of an Arditi.”“Sure, but,” Leo crossed his arms, “I’m not thinking about my part, but yours. We’ve never stood in each other’s way, Bonetto, if anything, it’s the opposite. But if I was standing where you were I’d just be sure that whatever I might get wrapped up in is worth it. That there’s no other way.”“I appreciate it, Leo,” you said. “…In the first place, I did leave behind my family and all I loved for the future. I haven’t thought about if I want to do that again.”“There’s time to,” Leo said, gesturing back to Marcella and the tank she had been looking over, “Come on, if we don’t get back to the lady then I’ll start getting haunted by the ghosts of my guys again thinking I like sausage more than milk.”This is all for now, will finish update later tonight when I get back. Unless there's anything in particular you want to bring up with anybody at base, that is, besides the procurement stuff. Personal talk and all that.
>>5836549>spoilerI suppose we could ask Di Nero and Di Aceroro about what their deals are, if there's really no bad blood left between them and how they've been feeling about their lives. But on the other hand it might be too personal and we really don't know either of them that well. What do you anons think?
>>5836549>spoilerAsk Marcus if he knows what his cousin is up to these days, whether or not the family's still dabbling in tank design business.
>>5836572Don't think we should pry too much unless it comes up, sometimes it's better to let sleeping dogs lie.
Sorry for the delay, almost out with it, just hasn't been a good day for being productive.
“So?” Marcella asked the two of you when you came back, sitting on a water barrel, “All done with the secrets?” What she was wearing in the summer evening was something that wouldn’t be out of place as underclothing (which it was normally- under the uniform)- and extremely standout in this place, probably, though not a place like the coast or Lapizlazulli- where it would still be provocative.“It’s something you’ll find out about in time, probably,” Leo said, “Not like you don’t have plenty to do.”“Not ‘til they started breakin’ apart,” Marcella sighed, and she gave you a hopeful wink, “Or ‘til somebody signs off on me tryin’ out some ideas.”What ideas, you wondered. Back in the war, everybody was still rather uncertain on how best to even use tanks as they were, and if anything happened here, you anticipated things being different. Especially with the vehicles being completely different. Still, though. You were reminded of what you appreciated of this woman- why she was probably much better off out of the line of fire.“Actually,” Leo said, “You talk to him about that.” He excused himself, walking off, “I want to poke around about…what we talked about just now. I’ll be around.”He turned and went out of the motor pool, and Marcella’s eyes followed him, wide open and baffled, until they landed back on you. “You must’ve really thrown him fer a long one. Haven’t seen ‘im like that in a while. Sure y’ don’t wanna tell me?”Marcella might have been an example of somebody who didn’t benefit from how society was presently structured, as a common woman with an inordinate amount of skill, but she wasn’t somebody of a particularly revolutionary mindset when it came to society. She was very agreeable- but not political. “It might turn out to be nothing,” you warded her off, “Knowing ahead of time won’t do you any good.”“Ooooh how mysterious,” Marcella smirked at you impishly, crossing one leg over the other, then again. Bouncing her feet against the barrel. “Fine then, I won’t pry, Bonetto.” A small pause, and Marcella’s smile faded. “Hey, can I talk about somethin’ with ya? Concernin’ Leo.” You nodded. “So…guess y’should know already, that last letter Chiara wrote. Tellin’ Leo that he should make me…uh,” She looked down, “How much d’you…know about us. Chiara and I were, sorta, havin’ a bit of a fight over…”“I know.” You said, flatly.“…Should tell you everything, then, huh.”“I know already,” you said again, “It wasn’t any of my business.”
Marcella grimaced like she’d been freshly caught with a hand in the cookie jar. “Kay. Kay. Yeah. What was goin’ on was…pretty stupid. I should’a backed off. Leo was way more important t’ her than I thought. Or else she wouldn’t have been so…y’know. Everything. I jus’ wanted…” She rolled her eyes at herself. “I wasn’t think’ so much about it, but I don’t like givin’ up easy. And she was bein’ a bitch about it. Y’know how I got here?”“Scouted by Chiara, weren’t you?” you had spoken about it before.“Yeah, but there was more to it than that,” Marcella leaned forward onto her thighs, “My grand pop worked with machines, not like these, but like clocks and watches. But his eyes went bad, so I had to take more an’ more of the work, since my dad an’ mum got fever an’ kicked the bucket. Did it in my grand dad’s name, still, then this creep found out, said he’d expose me.” Marcella bit her lip, “Not too proud that I got scared into…y’know. But the jobs had t’ keep comin’, and they were comin’ for granddad, not me. ‘Til Chiara came around with somethin’ we hadn’t done before. Weird music box. Had t’ figure it out myself. Then she figured out how things were all on her own, somehow. Maybe she just thought better a’ me. Weren’t fer that…” She closed her eyes and grinned widely, and pushed her breasts up with her crossed arms. “Well, good thing the Judge didn’t jus’ give me a good brain, eh?” She slapped herself across the hip, as well. “Hee-hee, heh. Hm…” She didn’t really have to tell you any of that- it seemed something she was deeply ashamed of. “I’m sure you would have made it somehow with your mechanical mind.”“Never know,” Marcella’s smile slipped again as fast as it had been wrenched on. “Point is, can’t help but feel like I did Chiara dirty, and then she bled out all her blood jus’ so I could take her man? That’s not right, is it? Like if Leo an’ you were fightin’ over me, and he bit th’ dust, you wouldn’t just go fer it, right? Because he’s been hittin’ it up real good with that friend a’ yours, whenever she’s around. Can’t help but think,” she sighed, “Somethin’ like, there’s too much between us that’s no good, and he’d be better off tryin’ for somebody who’s fresh, with no bad feelin’ baggage. You get?”
“I told Leo at the time,” you said, “He’s his own man. I want him to decide his life his own way. Besides, you’ve been hanging around him more than I have, haven’t you?”“It’s not about that,” Marcella said, her voice more level and less songlike than normal, “I want t’ know if you approve or not. Chiara and Leo, they’re not just my…friends, I guess. Not mine and no one else’s. They’re yours too. That’s why I’m askin’. ‘Cause if I don’t ask and just do it…” She drew her legs up and hugged her knees to her chin, “I’ve had enough a’ breakin’ hearts, an’ chargin’ through without a care like blondie told me to, once. Thinkin’ maybe, all along, I was better off jus’ workin’ with junk instead a’ human beings.” Marcella’s lips pursed into a deep frown, an extremely rare sight to see on her. “Makes me think, maybe I should a’ been the one to die if I’m like that.. Never messed up a machine, y’see. But damn if it don’t hurt bad t’ only get t’ see inside a’ things that don’t got no soul. I get interested in people or machines, an’ I want ‘em, if they’re interestin’. Guess I’m greedy, but, wouldn’t a’ gotten anywhere in th’ first place if I weren’t. Y’know? So…yeah. I need the thoughts a’…not me.”She stared silently, expecting a response.>You wouldn’t say that she should be a hermit for it- but yes, you did think she shouldn’t go for Leo. For Elena’s sake, too. It would work out for the better for them all to find new people.>Who were you to stand in the way? She wanted it. Leo probably did too. Let things go forward again.>Frankly, you weren’t sure if Leo hadn’t just sworn off romance altogether. There were plenty of fish in the sea for voluptuous women anyways.>Other?
>>5838023>Who were you to stand in the way? She wanted it. Leo probably did too. Let things go forward again.As we've maintained from the start this isn't really our business, everyone here is an adult. If he accepts then best of luck to them, if he doesn't it's time for both of them to move on.
>>5838023>Who were you to stand in the way? She wanted it. Leo probably did too. Let things go forward again.
>>5838023>>Frankly, you weren’t sure if Leo hadn’t just sworn off romance altogether. There were plenty of fish in the sea for voluptuous women anyways.
>>5838023>Frankly, you weren’t sure if Leo hadn’t just sworn off romance altogether. There were plenty of fish in the sea for voluptuous women anyways.
>>5838023>You wouldn’t say that she should be a hermit for it- but yes, you did think she shouldn’t go for Leo. For Elena’s sake, too. It would work out for the better for them all to find new people.
>>5838023>Who were you to stand in the way? She wanted it. Leo probably did too. Let things go forward again.Still not our business. If Leo is fine with it then so are we.
>>5838023>>Who were you to stand in the way? She wanted it. Leo probably did too. Let things go forward again.
>>5838023>>You wouldn’t say that she should be a hermit for it- but yes, you did think she shouldn’t go for Leo. For Elena’s sake, too. It would work out for the better for them all to find new people
>>5838026>>5838027>>5838029>>5838046>>5838187>>5838213>>5838276>>5838449Shoot your shot, boob girl.>>5838082>>5838125I'm so tired of women.>>5838154>>5838586Wingman for the childhood friend.Updating.
“Who am I to stand in your way?” you asked, “Or I in front of him? Do what you two want to, not what I want. I just won’t suffer to force things anybody’s way.”Marcella didn’t seem to expect that, and squinted at you skeptically. “I mean…don’tcha have any opinion on it? He’s-““What I want,” you felt the need to wearily say another way, “Is for my friends to be happy. To not be held back by gripes about the past or what ought to be or not, but what is right and best. To me, that means you should do as you wish. It’s simply not my decision to make.”Maybe you were right in thinking she should be thankful, but Marcella only frowned as she slipped off the barrel and put her coveralls back on as much as she could. “Y’know, Bonetto,” she said as she buttoned up, “There’s gonna be sometime where y’think somethin’s not your business, but it is, and then the people ain’t gonna leave off just ‘cause y’think it’s better they figure it out themselves. Sometimes they ain’t so sure as you might see ‘em.”“I think you’ve already figured it out, though,” you said, “Haven’t you? From where I stand, it’s been decided for some time now. I can’t make either of you want something. You have to want it yourself. Otherwise, things will always stay frozen in time, good or bad.” Such was how the dawn had to come. The sun would never rise for a people who did naught but wait- that was what separated a Revolutionary from the visionary yet ultimately meek views of Ange. Marcella didn’t look satisfied with that answer, but her downturned lip turned into less of a put upon pout. “A’ight, fine. I’ll think on that.” She wasn’t happy about what you tried to tell her, but she’d get over it, and see things your way. Would she be the best thing for Leo? Well, maybe Yena wasn’t the best thing for you at one point, but you thought that worked out well enough…Left alone, you wondered what else to do. Look over the machines? Perhaps, but maybe you could find out more about than than their names and place of origin. You found yourself curious of what a man who you knew had a direct link to Vitelia’s armor development might tell you. A man who had long been your subordinate now, and hopefully, somebody who trusted you.The now Tenente Di Portaltramanto was loitering around his tank with a pair of his subordinates and their drivers. His platoon was one blessed with tanks, of two, the other belonging to Di Nero. The youthful, handsome man noticed you coming, greeted you with a high held waving hand.“Hello, Capitano! Is there something you needed?”“There is,” you said as you approached, and the officer dismissed his tank commanders with a curt pointing motion. “You didn’t have to make them leave if you didn’t want to.” “I was unsure if you might ask something they shouldn’t hear, Capitano.”
You raised an eyebrow. “There is no unpleasantness between us, is there?”Marcus Di Portaltramanto blinked in surprise, and shook his head, ruefully. “In truth, once, there was. However, in the worst times of the Auratus War, what I thought to be needless and astringent tutelage turned out to be our salvation. That, and I thought that to treat you as anything closer than a superior to be obeyed at convenience would be to insult my dear cousin Julio, who has never done anything but well by myself, while you have been partly responsible for harm upon himself.” Well, that wasn’t technically true. “However,” he looked discomforted, “When I thought he had repented from his fouler tendencies, I discovered that he had doubled down in committing them, and perpetrating heartlessness upon women in need. He has not forgiven as he claimed, as I overheard him gloating about an insult done unto you.” He snapped his eyes shut and turned his head sharply to the side, “Thus while my love for family is undiminished, he bears my contempt in all other ways now.”…You didn’t envy the man’s misfortune to have discovered what you thought obvious, but if you didn’t have to second guess his intent, there was good that had come of this. “Gloating about an insult done to me?” you asked, somehow curious. The other things didn’t seem like things he wanted to share further, for the shame of it.Marcus opened his eyes and glanced at you sidelong, “I know that I am angered and distressed when a lady friend of mine is insulted in the way he spoke. That it was spoken concerning one you love dearly, I should hope, makes me imagine that it would be most unpleasant to your ears. So I would rather not repeat it.”He was probably right. “A fair judgment.” Marcus breathed a sigh of relief. “We got a bit sidetracked there. That wasn’t actually what I wanted to ask you about.”“Then I am a font of information, I hope.”“These tanks,” you pointed to the row of them that had been rolled out of their sheds to be washed and dried, “They’re of Emrean make. I know your family dabbles in the design of armored vehicles. Have they been doing anything? I had expected Vitelian contributions to this unit. Or are these such?”“In truth,” Marcus Di Portaltramanto said as he led you on and walked by an ABV 5/10, and dragged a finger across it, “I’d wonder if you were making an informed assumption or if you were actually told, because this particular model of armored vehicle was an interest of the upper echelons of the family entrepreneurs. The Titano, even if I never got the opportunity to command one, is an excellent vehicle. So I’ve been told. Excellent except for one thing.”
Marcus rubbed two fingers together, the same he had touched the tank with. “The price tag. Abominable. The Royal Army actually refused to buy them. They went with my cousin as a demonstration through partial donation. So instead, a model with an appreciable preexisting reputation was sought out, and successfully sold. Thus, this is here, alongside the other similar examples that were bought more directly from the Emreans rather than recreated.”“Is there a way to tell between the two?” You asked.“Certainly,” Di Portaltramanto pointed to the turret, “Emreans mark their turrets here. If there is no marking here, it is of Vitelian make, as the stamp is on the rear of the turret. Though, even ones of Emrean make are not suitable for use right away. Important work done involves changing out fittings to make Vitelian weapons fit where Emrean ones once did. After all, they use different ammunition than we do, so some cost is saved by them being sent weaponless.”True enough. Such was included in their specification folder, and it seemed unlikely that the Emreans, whose weaponry was based off of Grossreich logistical requirements from the start of their revolution, would use calibers fit for Vitelian requirements. “You have experience with these? How would you say they compare to the old C2s?”“Inferior, frankly,” Di Portaltramanto said, “It’s a combination of personal preference and environment. The C2 was very easy to get in and out of while utilizing it as cover, as the entryway was in the rear. The ABV 5/10, or as the Emreans call it, the AdJ Zephyr, has its entrances from the top and front, as the engine is in the rear. The Zephyr is of similar speed, but the engine is not accessible from the driver’s space, so if a breakdown occurs it cannot be tended to from within. Most of all, though, it is designed for the cooler climes of the north. Even here in Gilicia, in the summertime as it is now, it runs quite hot, and this heat spreads to the crew compartment readily. Extremely uncomfortable to operate with all the hatches closed up, and the C2 already got quite hot, and when running hot for too long, something causes the engine to fail and remain failed until it has cooled completely.”“They could be greatly improved upon, then,” you concluded. “I see. Thank you for your time.”“Of course, Capitano. I should add,” he saluted, “The others are relieved to see you back. They were afraid you might not have come back, especially after word came that you were severely wounded.”You tapped your head where the pale mark of a scar persisted. “It wasn’t enough to keep me away forever.”-----
Two days passed- mostly what you did was a matter of catching up to duties left undone, but that couldn’t be done by anybody but you. Administrative hold ups, requests and reprimands for things made in your absence, before you had even come up here. The Armored Company hadn’t been deployed in any particular mission yet, but in drills, the members of it had complained about the harshness of their superior officers. Apparently, your methods had been passed down. Well, the new recruits were going to learn not to expect sympathy from yourself.You and Luigi got acquainted with the new machines as well, though you would not be commanding from a tank this time, but from an armored car that had been outfitted with communications equipment- a new sort of wireless that could be raised in a long mast to talk to the rest of the city. Just in case, though, you did toy with the ABV 5/10s, and found out their unpleasant flaws for yourselves. Luigi adapted what he had heard from other crews, and turned the engine off whenever the tank was idle- for whatever reason, the heat accumulated even when the tank was not overworked. This worked well enough- the engine could be cranked back to life again inside the tank through an access hole, but Luigi complained of how arduous it was to do, especially with the reduction in space for the driver compared to the C2. It was better than having to access the tank, however, and you no longer had to kick Luigi to signal to him, shouting being plenty enough.Though you did resort to old methods anyways when he complained enough.The night of the arranged meeting came- and you wandered the streets of Duefiume Ponte, asking locals about different addresses close to your destination to point you better without betraying the destination. After all, you knew no superiors would approve of this meeting, regardless of intent. The coat and hood pulled over your head must have prompted false assumptions- most were entirely willing to help without hesitation.Along the way, in your wanderings, you passed by a disturbing performance. A hooded man who wore a hammer sigil about his neck, holding a sign covered in writing too small and dense to read anywhere but right up close, hoarsely shouting curses.”Death to the king!” he shouted “Death to the nobles! Death to all those who sent us to our doom for the sake of their greed! Death! Death!! DEATH!!! The Judge of All Things knows your sins, and your sins only deserve many deaths over as foul as those you condemned your countrymen to! Death! Painful and agonizing death! Torture in the Abyss for eternity, until you accept your punishment as just and suffer in satisfaction!”
A man severely afflicted with shellshock, if you had to guess. Though his words found sympathy if not necessarily advocacy somewhere in your heart- somewhere you weren’t sure to trust. He hadn’t been rounded up by constables or soldiers yet, but he surely would be soon. The common folk around looked haunted and disturbed.Arriving at the address that Di Zucchampo had written for you, you looked around again- wondered if it had been wise to come alone after all. A last moment of anticipating the worst, just in case, before you knocked on the doors of what seemed to be an apartment complex.An elderly man answered- you told him the room you planned to visit, to see “a friend.” He nodded, and led you…downstairs.“At the end of the basement from here,” the old man said as you descended the stairs, “There is an empty shelf. Put it to the side, and push on the door behind. Go down all the way to the end of the hall past, and there will your friends be.”In the dim light of the basement, the door wasn’t particularly well hidden when you knew to look for it. Was this level of security really necessary? The Royal Army seemed quite passive at the moment. A general order to not escalate tensions was quite easy to do when the populace here was largely peaceful and the soldiers didn’t have to do anything besides sit in place and walk back and forth. Many openly wondered why they were here at all. Perhaps you were about to find out, as you swung the shelf away from the far door and pushed through, entering a tunnel that seemed to go across the street, and bend to the side. It seemed quite old, from the brickwork, and not some crude carving, but some old construction whose original purpose had been lost, as the bricks ended and the tunnel swerved off to the side. Not far from that change, another door waited, one with a sliding block to look through. You knocked- and a pair of eyes appeared with the block’s opening- and stared at you inquisitively.“Hello?” you stared back, “I am Bonaventura, I’m here to see Di Zucchampo?” The block closed promptly, and the door opened. You were let through by a pair of burly looking toughs in work clothing. Porters, perhaps. “You could have made the way here more circuitous. Was passing through the caverns and through the center of Velekam truly necessary? Are you going to usher me to a giant slingshot to shoot me up to the golden planet next?”“Can’t be too careful,” one of the toughs said gruffly. “We’ve been expecting you. Come along.”You were escorted to a normal looking room, that even had wallpaper put up. A bit cramped, but a serviceable dining room for perhaps six at most that was equipped with cabinets set into the walls, and fine dishware placed on display racks. Not the accommodations of some improvised closet to say the least. Already seated was Di Zucchampo, dressed casually, but spiffily and well groomed.
“Capitano Bonaventura,” he greeted you, “You’re prompter than I expected.” You checked your watch- only a few minutes late even with the unexpected diversion. “I suppose I was trained to not be late, Colonello.” You seated yourself. “So. I’m here. I’ve many questions.”“I have many answers,” Di Zucchampo said, motioning with a finger. The toughs left and closed the door behind them. “But I think I can answer some of them ahead of time, all at once, by answering the first one. What is happening in Gilicia and why, I imagine.”“I’ve been given a briefing,” you said, “But it lacks your perspective.” You relayed what you already knew, and Di Zucchampo nodded.“Incomplete as can be expected from the Interior,” he said, “But that is their intent of course. They don’t need more fighting men coming over to the other side.” He unstrung a leather folder that had been resting on the table, and opened it- unfolded a paper inside another time. It extended into a map of the nation- lines printed on it. You recognized it as a map of aristocratic claims and land titles, as well as those belonging to the church, or the crown, and sovereigns with no noble claim such as Lapizlazulli or Lindiva. “To properly explain what is happening here,” he put his finger on Gilicia- new borders had been drawn in red. The province’s borders, rather than any titles within. “We must talk about what is happening in Vitelia. Tell me, Bonaventura. Who rules Vitelia?”“King Lucius the Fourth,” you said. An answer any common child would know even before they knew sums. So you elaborated. “Though the monarch requires the consensus of provincial councils to act upon interior manners, and his cabinet advises him on foreign relations.”“The King is indeed given rather broad power on paper,” Di Zucchampo said, “But as nothing can be done outside of the country without the interior functioning, it isn’t so simple as him having all power in decisions of steering the country’s place in the world. Some might criticize Lucius as having directed this country into the disaster of the Emrean Revolution, but make no mistake, there were those who intended to profit, and did so mightily. Who, even if any plans for territory or the dismantling of a great foe failed, still achieved their aims. No proof of such can be made concrete with but a few pages and notes, but if you know the relations, who ended up with what, then the conclusion is unquestionable.”
It took some time for Di Zucchampo- or, everybody called him Stefano, but you couldn’t- to explain. He had the names listed, their regions of influence, maps of where taxes and commerce had flowed. Transferals of land that had taken place before, during, and directly after the war, alliances of marriages and controversial lapses in enforcement of laws. Some of which you remembered the Young Futurist club talking about heavily at the time they occurred. He spoke of them in extreme summary, to get to the point of it all faster.“Lindiva’s sovereignty swept out this cabal’s feet from under them,” he said, “So they have been taking steps to ensure their control over what remains. We’ve taken to calling them the Three Points. The north, west, and south all have powerful alliances that form a structure underneath a structure- and one of their pillars was Gilicia. Or such was their intention. These lands have great potential for industrialization, but it was made up of Church possessions and free sovereign lands. Through the forces of heavy conscription and heavy indirect taxes…”“Indirect taxes?” you asked.“Indeed. Through price control and currency minting. During the lead up to the declaration of war, a vital step for mobilization was organizing Cathedra-held and sovereign lands and settlements under administrative districts, which oversee trade and internal security. Utilizing these structures, Three Points influences slowly usurped influence and authority. In much of Gilicia, the pressures of encroaching administration and financial and societal stress led to them accepting a sort of occupation, financial support, and ultimately,” he pushed his fingers down on the map, splaying them to form a group like points in a constellation, “All but annexation. An internal coup that just might have worked, if they did not make so many enemies in the process.” He took his hand off. “Bonaventura, I am well familiar with revolutionary principles. Many theorists would say that all of the upper class are the enemies of the lower class. That they constantly scheme to preserve their power and influence, in defiance of an inevitability of utopia that might otherwise come. So this might not seem to be of much surprise to you.”“Even though I didn’t know of the details,” you said, “It isn’t much a surprise, no. I don’t know why the sun burns but I know well enough of its brightness.”
“You did not seem to me like a socialist crackpot who only ever saw the world from within the Azure Hall’s imagination of it, so we can dispense with the nonsense that there is no such thing as a moral noble, no? It makes as much sense for beggars to condemn the common worker. What is expected is that the Three Points cooperate, that they develop the land, and all grow wealthier for wise investments. What is not acceptable is the blatant robbery of what belongs to the people and church, and the undermining of the land’s authority. That is the unifying principle of the North Morning Star. The organization which has seen fit to place me,” he leaned back upon his chair, “In a place of great influence for my contributions. The North Morning Star is one of the groups that makes up the Gilician Alliance. The greater organization that the Three Points, or as they might claim, Vitelia, would wish to suppress here. As the Gilician Alliance has driven out their corrupt administrators and reclaimed what is rightfully theirs, and refused the imposition of both tax and reparation to anybody but the King.”“So these Three Points have called on their friends in the army,” you surmised.“As well as in higher places. However, their actions are poorly planned and desperate. They do not wish to have to fight. So I believe the Gilician Alliance has a high probability of getting what we want,” Di Zucchampo put his hands together on the table, “Not that it is perfect. Bishop Verga and I agree that the militants are too brash in their efforts.”“The incursions into Fealinn.”“Among other things. I would actually say that the Fealinnese do not garner much sympathy.” Di Zucchampo pursed his lips. “They see Vitelian prisoners of war as a valuable bargaining chip. It has been almost two years since the end of the war and they have not returned them. The Three Points have influenced them, of course. Many prisoners they hold are ones that have been deemed as undesirable to allow back in, for one reason or another, though Fealinn still runs many camps that contain soldiers who do not share the animosity of the wrong powers.”This was not something you had heard of. “Surely these prisoners must be demanded returned! Exile is hardly something to be handled by another state kidnapping Vitelians.”
“The failure of the war has affected the King, I’m afraid,” Di Zucchampo said with scorn, “Where he was once confident, he is now weak willed. Hence why we must solve our problems on our own where we might once appeal to his majesty. Perhaps our success here will once again embolden his lost spirit. Now, though, since you have been told these things, the important question.” He leaned forward, sizing you up. “Nobody will compel you one way or the other on this decision. This is a matter of my respect to you as a man, and a friend of my niece. But I know of your education, your aspiration, your friends and how many were lost. Many of them that were once under me were seized most spitefully and sacrificed by the very people who set themselves against me now. Their appeal as grist for the mill was increased by their problematic ideas, despite their value as much more than sacrifices to the machine gun and the artillery of the Reich. I would thus have you join us, and convince as many of your people to go along with us when the moment demands. However, I also know you are a man with a wife and family now. I know you have married one of the mountainfolk, whom are not welcome in these lands. If you ally yourself with the Gilician Alliance, I can make no assurances that they will not be used against you, or that they will not be endangered should they remain in Vitelia. If I were in your place, I would not consider this an easy choice. If you refuse, you will be allowed to leave, and you will find nothing in this place should you reconsider. If you accept, then we can adjust our preparations when the time comes to…escalate. And frighten off the Three Points.”“No halfway measures, then,” you said, already thinking back to the war- when you would see nothing of Yena for months.“I know your character well enough,” Di Zucchampo said, “You are a brave and charismatic man, Bonaventura. What you are not in any way whatsoever is a cunning one. If I aspired to have you serve as an inside agent or an element of internal division, then you would be caught by the Interior Command’s intelligence near immediately. I would not underestimate them were I you, nor their existing suspicions of you, despite your service. Also, when failure would be demanded of you, it would harm your auspicious career, and waste all you have accomplished without much gain.”Perhaps so. You leaned back in your own chair and twisted your mustache in a finger in thought…>The Revolution might be almost here- and you wouldn’t miss its advent. Pledge your support.>Apologize- you could not join this endeavor. You had a family and a nation. Gilicia was neither. When you left, whether you liked it or not, you would be set against one another.>You couldn’t fight on behalf of this- but you wouldn’t fight in support of a Royal Army that served a shadowy cabal. You would resign your commission and go home rather than fight.>Other?
>>5839617>Apologize- you could not join this endeavor. You had a family and a nation. Gilicia was neither. When you left, whether you liked it or not, you would be set against one another.
>>5839617>The Revolution might be almost here- and you wouldn’t miss its advent. Pledge your support.
>>5839617>Other?Will you support the King or replace the Three Points?
>>5839617>Apologize- you could not join this endeavor. You had a family and a nation. Gilicia was neither. When you left, whether you liked it or not, you would be set against one another.Thank him for sharing such with us- we will see what we can do in future within the army and Vitelian heartland itself, but we swore to our wife we'd put her and children first- as the Colonel mentioned both potential choices for them would be...unappetizing.>QuestionIs there a face to this hydra, that most Vitelians would recognise? Surely even such a cabal has a first amongst equals, if not an out-and-out leader.
>>5839617>The Revolution might be almost here- and you wouldn’t miss its advent. Pledge your support.What are we if not a Revolutionary?>>5839723If we truly were to put our wife and children first we'd resign from the army, something that is not supported by either the option to apologize for opposing the Revolution or supporting it.
>>5839617>The Revolution might be almost here- and you wouldn’t miss its advent. Pledge your support.Bonetto taking part in the civil war is a canon event. If we refuse now, I'm afraid of what must happen to force him to. Afraid for Yena and the children.
>>5839617>You couldn’t fight on behalf of this- but you wouldn’t fight in support of a Royal Army that served a shadowy cabal. You would resign your commission and go home rather than fight.The other anon brings up a good point in that leaving the army is probably the best way to put our family first, especially now that we know there's going to be a revolution.
>>5839617>>5840137Screw it changing my vote to>The Revolution might be almost here- and you wouldn’t miss its advent. Pledge your support.We're a man the Revolution, let's follow it.
>>5839671>>5839762>>5839965>>5839974>>5840053>>5840144>>5840148I think the thing that needs to be considered is if this is the "revolution" we want Bonetto to be part of.Is this clandestine cabal filled with people we don't like and who would probably hate us and our family the type of ride we want to hitch our wagon to, or do we want to wait for our own opportunity to set the dawn in motion, on our own terms later down the line? Just because Palmiro is a man of revolutionary intent, doesn't mean THIS is the way it should or has to be done. Now there's also the idea that we can possibly change the core of the Revolution from the inside, it's happened before and there are many such cases in real-world modern history. But that's normally not the prerogative of a single man and is known to be mostly done in situations of more decentralized leadership.And given he's a man with a wife and children, of a race that this group is specifically against, is that really a risk we want Palmiro to take?
>>5840178 Just be like Leo and go all horseshoe theory by crossing over to the opposite side of the political spectrum /s
>>5839635>>5839700>>5839723>>5840182Sorry nothing>>5839671>>5839762>>5839965>>5839974>>5840053>>5840144>>5840148Revolution Tiempo>>5839688What's your game old manNo update today, it's gonna be busy, just tallying for now.
>>5840426Is there any Thanksgiving analogue in Sosaldt? Maybe in Valsten?
>>5840432Regional fall festivals with feasts are common (though mostly in October), but a direct analogue is something too...real world American to be a thing by my measure. Vinstraga's colonization, as it were, took place almost two thousand years ago, with most of the continent being some blend of whatever native cultures there were (the primary remaining ones being the Mountainfolk, who are reclusive, Yaegir, who are bellicose, and the Vyemani, who are nomadic but moreover are both insular and ill regarded by all) and Nauk, and people who came after such as the Dhegyar, Sea Vitelians and most recently Twaryians. So there's much more a gap when it comes to meetings of peoples who were completely foreign to one another.
>>5840432>>5840605I misread the question. The answer is that Sosaldt is a bit much of a mish mash of everything to say for sure, and for Valsten...I haven't developed the lore of Zeeland enough to say, sorry.
>>5840605Perhaps some kind of Columbus Day analogue for Nauklanders, celebrating Sverrsk's arrival onto the continent?
>>5840840*Though is he an actual historical figure with records and such, or more of a Romulus-type legendary founder for Nauk Imperial?
>>5839617>Apologize- you could not join this endeavor. You had a family and a nation. Gilicia was neither. When you left, whether you liked it or not, you would be set against one another.I'm going to be quite honest, this doesn't seem like the kind of Revolution we want. It's headed by a religious figure in a notoriously particularist and traditional province whose people oft discriminate against Yena's people. It seems more like some reactionary uprising than an Utopian one. I'm afraid that we would be replacing this Three Point Alliance with just another devil. Hell, the presence of these hooded men gives me some serious religious extremism vibes and it could also be a ploy by the Cathedra to gain back some of its power.
>>5839617>Apologize- you could not join this endeavor. You had a family and a nation. Gilicia was neither. When you left, whether you liked it or not, you would be set against one another.It's probably too late to change the vote, but joining this seems like an awful idea.
I'd vote to simply leave the military if we didn't make that promise to Leo to try and make it to the top with him.
>>5841207>>5841215>>5841441>1 post by this id
>>5841486I'm not going to tell you it's not suspicious. But it is the season. People are away from their usual set ups for a variety of reasons.
>>5841486There's this one >>5841445 too. Although he said he didn't vote, so giving the benefit of the doubt is saying he's a lurker and not one (or all) of the previous 1 ID votes.
>>5841510>>5841441>>5841445>>5841501These are all me if that makes you feel better.
>>5841530It technically doesn't since it's three different IDs, but I appreciate your transparency anon.
Just posting here to confirm I'm a lurker that wanted to finally vote for once and not a samefag.
>>5841486Uuuuh, hold up.>>5830997This is my OG id, but it changed. Haven't been present for the last few days because of studies.
>>5839617>The Revolution might be almost here- and you wouldn’t miss its advent. Pledge your support.It's good to be back.
>find panzer quest is back again>decides to post in thread>suddenly a surge of 1 ID postsWell fuck me I guess. Maybe next vote or the one after my vote will be more legitimate. Which sucks since I probably won't be here for a day or two because of work.
lGQX6Qo6 and /SUheu2y have the right idea.I'll also confirm my ID.
>>5840840>>5840910It's arguable how much of what was recorded actually happened as it did, but Sversk was an actual historical figure as much as a legendary one, as there are records of him from the old world and his expedition in particular, and immigration afterwards.>>5841207>>5841215>>5841441More for nay.>>5841682And the breaker.Alright then- though such is what it would be if I called it earlier anyways.Updating.
“Take your time,” Di Zucchampo said as silence filled the room- no whisper of the outside world sneaking through the underground. “I was in your place once, and it took me more time to decide than you can stay here.”Admittedly, you were conflicted. Not on whether you would or should- it was more for who you could be leaving behind. At the worst time, for who could say how long. “Since the war, even before it ended,” you told Di Zucchampo, “I’ve wondered if I’ve been in a state of standing still, rather than moving forward. If the death of all my fellow Young Futurists left me unable to move on, if I’ve become stuck rather than having any drive left to improve the world, or do any more than live for myself. The chance coming to push Vitelia forward again as I’ve dreamed should be one I jump for, but…” You took your wallet out- pulled out your latest picture. Yena was tired- she was still woozy from the rigors of having given birth to Lorenzo, so you carried him and Vittoria in your arms as you knelt by her in her chair. You showed the picture to Di Zucchampo. “I can’t help but think of myself as a husband now, a father, before other aspirations. You are a husband and a father as well…”“Indeed I am,” Di Zucchampo said, clasping his hands and looking glum, “Though my wife is well established and my children are adults now, ready to take up the place I once stood at, so I am free to rise from my halls pursue my whims outside them. Your children are but babes. If I were in your place, I am unsure what I would do. I will not deceive you into something you didn’t know what the consequences might be. War has already done that to you in many ways. The uprising here could resolve its goals in peace in only a few months, or it might be forced to carry on for years. You might slip out with none having known of your actions, you might have to wait for amnesty, or somebody could spite you by never allowing you to return. In any case, it is not something I would advise a family man to do if he wanted to be certain of his future, nor certain for his family in this country. Your estrangement from your old family might be for their best, but for these new people, I would think about sending them away somewhere before another gets ideas of where to do so. One of the mountainfolk, nor their children, should come here. The Trelani are seen as unwelcome settlers wherever any whom look like them appear.”Sending Yena and the children away…you weren’t even sure where you could. What if you did just hide them here? Yet they’d have to hide with people bigoted against them just for their race. It wasn’t fair. Yena was plenty Vitelian. She had no accent, no consideration of the people of her own nation as outsiders. Yes, she thought of her own people as special, but she hadn’t hesitated to mate with you and make Vitelian children, with Vitelian names…
“One more thing,” you said, “When Gilicia throws off its shackles for good, and the good done for its sake made permanent, will it swear loyalty to the king? Or will the Three Points merely have been replaced by another triad?”Di Zucchampo smiled at you. “Perceptive, Bonaventura. Such is why I wished to include you. The future of this land nor Vitelia is ill served by dogmatic hounds, and Gilicia is a place of strong beliefs and opinions as is. But I do not have an answer that is both truth and also a pleasing answer. I have no doubt that there are those who, when seeing an empty throne, see little need to do further more but occupy it and fortify it against anybody taking it. However, I believe that Bishop Verga is a good man, and the militants can be brought to heel if the Gilician Alliance does not allow them to dominate. It will not be easy to ensure, Bonaventura, but not impossible. Tell me, have you heard of one Sigmund Vang?”“I have,” you answered, “Especially as of late. An associate of Edmund Loch. From Naukland.” The two were apparently active in influencing the newly liberated Emre- especially with the Emrean Revolutionary faction disgraced as a result of the disasters at the end of the war. “Not very revolutionary. Advocates of reform, if I recall.”“You recall correctly. Sigmund Vang is an activist for the principles of Democratic Republicanism. As typical of Nauklanders, they believe that what Naukland does is best in all things. How he can stand Emre with such in mind, I’ve no idea. While he and the Emreans may never reconcile whether Nauk or Emreans are superior in culture and intellect, the influence of the Revolutionaries in knocking over all power structures and the interest of the old guard in keeping what they have, makes them quite open to the idea of Representative Democracy, despite its flaws. One of its benefits, however, is something that Sigmund Vang has articulated in one of his writings. On Power and its Place in State and the People. The concerns brought up within are relevant to preventing matters from simply turning back to another possession by another Three Points here.”“I confess,” you said, “That I don’t remember that one very well.”
“You wouldn’t,” Di Zuccampo said frankly, “It has been banned in Vitelia, despite being much more mild than more provocative texts not banned.” Ah. “In summary, Sigmund Vang writes that, in order for the society to be changed decisively, a group must have power to do so. This is non-negotiable. The question comes in the group in whom power is invested in. The upper class? Then, unless they are conscientious, they will move to keep and exploit it. Even a benevolent dictator may become an eternal one, and his successor, as the all-corrupting nature of power sinks in. The people, then? I’m sure that the concept of a popular uprising has appeared in your Utopian readings, but he condemns such as well, as the mob is easily swayed by a few. The replacement of one domineering class, potentially a greatly flawed one, with another.”“Though if nobody gains power then nothing changes, as he says,” you pointed out. “Indeed. That is why he advocates for Republican Democracy, to be instituted by a morally inclined decisive faction in the limited time that they have influence without corruption. A shared balance of power between region and populace, land and man. Naukland is a democratic nation, but in order to vote, a person must have an investment in the fate of the country. Land, contracted labor, a business, sufficient investment. Not a great barrier, but a voting man must also be a working one. A person who cannot be argued to benefit the country in some way. The question he seeks to answer in On Power and its Place is achieving what has taken place in Naukland- or perhaps better, in his lofty dreams. In either case, he argues that any greater power must be broken up and shared amongst a constituent group. A peaceful struggle for power that cannot be resolved with violence between the groups is fertile ground for compromise and balance. When the power has been divided up and secured to a particular degree, malicious powers become unable to seize it, by nature of the structure of this power. Or so he says. Whether that turns out to be the case, such idealism is what I see as the best way forward for Gilicia. Decisive and unified action when needed, then breaking down both barriers and power alike so that we must work together to keep what we have attained.”“Yet Sigmund Vang is in Emre and not here.”“That may change. Sigmund Vang is quite a young man for one so learned and visionary. Only perhaps a decade older than you.” Di Zucchampo made a poke at you. “I would suggest developing some of your university writings into books. It never hurts to sell your ideas abroad as Sigmund Vang does.”That prompted a dim bark of humor from you. As if. You hadn’t had the time. “But you didn’t give an answer one way or the other.”
“I prefer reform over revolution, where it is an option,” Di Zucchampo said, “I imagine that the Gilicia that exists under the structure I described would still serve Vitelia and the Kingdom, in a similar way that Lindiva does now. Though I would not advocate for a state as self-serving as Lindiva.” You would have to agree.A minute more thought. Would you find yourself alone again, or would there be those who would come with you? Who also saw a brighter future in helping the Gilicians than pressing down on them and returning things to status quo? Even there, you could but hope. The members of your company were ambitious men whose place in society didn’t benefit their lofty aspirations. Leo had become wary of revolutionary overcommitment, of gambling for fate as he had once been quick to. If things went to war, fighting for Gilicia was a good way to exile oneself from Vitelia forever…but also perhaps a chance to propel oneself further inside it, if fortunes blew the way you hoped.“I’ve made my decision,” you said, “I will help you, and Gilicia, for the future. I just want to know what is asked of me and when.”“As I hoped,” Di Zucchampo said, “I was afraid for a moment that you would decline…but I would have understood why.” He reached into his pocket and withdrew a small, silver ring, that looked like small threads of metal woven over each other in a loose basketry, practically a mesh. “This ring means nothing to most. To the most important members of the North Morning Star…” He pointed to an eight pointed glimmer tied into the middle, formed of crossing silver wires where there would have otherwise been a grid, “It is a sign of unquestioned allegiance. Do not let it be seen. The time to start wearing it will make itself apparent, and we will likely not speak again until then.”“When will that be?” you asked, “What do I do in the meantime?”“One to three months,” Di Zucchampo said, “you will be told ahead of time, with plenty of warning. Until that comes to pass you should do as the Royal Army says, and present yourself as naught more than a normal officer doing his duties. No reason should be given to doubt you. If any less thoughtful rabble rousers have to be caught, then they would have done nothing but damage to the cause anyways for their lack of caution or craft. However,” he moved a few pages of his folio and pointed to pictures of the motor pool taken from outside, “These. These are the most intimidating pieces of equipment that might be used against a civilian uprising. If you could make preparations to ensure that these are on our side or unable to be used, then that would be an incredible windfall. A devastating opening act might make the whole affair as short and painless as possible.”“I’ll see to it,” you rose, “Do I simply…” you gestured to the door, “Walk out?”
“You will be escorted to a place where you can appear in the street once more,” Di Zucchampo said. “Returning here will serve no purpose, as we will have vacated it within the day. I wish you luck. Oh, and Bonaventura?” “Yes.”“Thank you for this. It is not a small favor.”“Colonello Di Zucchampo,” you saluted, “I have you and your niece to thank for very, very much. A man who I was indebted to being refused my help would be ill principled of me.”“Ah, that old rank,” Di Zucchampo shook his head, “We are not part of that hierarchy anymore, Bonaventura. I am Stefano Di Zucchampo, and you may call me by such a name.”“Then, Signore,” you said, “You may call me Bonetto. It is what all my friends call me.”As you stepped out the door, you flashed the ring to one of the toughs as the other checked inside after you, and both nodded at you.“Welcome, brother, to the cause.”A bit corny. That was what the Young Futurists said to each other, way back when. Especially the younger ones. You weren’t even blindfolded- either Zucchampo trusted you greatly, or what he said about leaving immediately was quite true. Not that you would have sold him out, but perhaps, the whole thing where you wouldn’t know what they were planning or doing, or where they were until things were ready, would protect you as much as it would the North Morning Star.Though, when you emerged on the streets and found yourself standing out little more from all the others, instinctively shirked away from the patrols of soldiers and constables despite still being their ally, you wondered about Yena and the children. Your friends and comrades, who served with you still. How much there was to do, even if the day of Revolution was not so soon.For the family…>Keep them within Vitelia. Perhaps sending them to a community of mountainfolk, like Monte Nocca, would insulate them while keeping them in the country.>They would have to leave for another country. Where, you couldn’t say- you had no foreign friends, but it would be safer than any familiar place… (What country? If you’re less familiar with the setting then a general description might best match a place.)>Send for Yena to bring the family here. You would protect them, and not have to leave them behind. It might be dangerous, but not so long as you could watch over them.>Other?For the friends…>Keep quiet about everything. Anybody who wished to join you, would jump to do so when the time was right. Anybody else couldn’t be trusted to stick with it.>Inform your closest acquaintances of your leanings. That way they can aid you- and hopefully, accompany you.>Use your charms and talents to try and spread sympathy for the cause of the North Morning Star. It might bring suspicion on your head- but what was the worst that could happen? To speak freely was not to break the law…>Other?Also->Any other preparations?
>>5842137>They would have to leave for another country. Where, you couldn’t say- you had no foreign friends, but it would be safer than any familiar place… (Moutainfolk nearby but non in the country)>Inform your closest acquaintances of your leanings. That way they can aid you- and hopefully, accompany you.>Any other preparations? (Do some reading on current political thinking, and start trying to compile our own thoughts on things. Having a firm framework will do a lot to help sway hearts and minds, both in and out of our group of new friends.)
>>5842137>Keep them within Vitelia. Perhaps sending them to a community of mountainfolk, like Monte Nocca, would insulate them while keeping them in the country.>Inform your closest acquaintances of your leanings. That way they can aid you- and hopefully, accompany you.>Any other preparations?Seconding this >>5842150 idea
>>5842137>They would have to leave for another country. Where, you couldn’t say- you had no foreign friends, but it would be safer than any familiar place… (What country? If you’re less familiar with the setting then a general description might best match a place.)The Vinterlands, where the icy chill seeps into the bone and the nights are longer than the day.>Inform your closest acquaintances of your leanings. That way they can aid you- and hopefully, accompany you.>Any other preparations?Find out who runs the motorcars, their schedule, and try to replace them with your own trusted people.
>>5842137>They would have to leave for another country. Where, you couldn’t say- you had no foreign friends, but it would be safer than any familiar place… (What country? If you’re less familiar with the setting then a general description might best match a place.)Would Yena's clan/tribe have connections with other communities overseas? Kallec or Trelan would be my first thought, based on their mosshead populations. If she stays in Vitelia though best to house her somewhere other than Monte Nocca, being next to a millitary base will be dangerous for her now.>Inform your closest acquaintances of your leanings. That way they can aid you- and hopefully, accompany you.>Any other preparations?Start sorting the commanders and units along the line with us into loyalists and potential revolutionaries; even if we don't talk to them would be useful to consider who might turn their coats when the balloon goes up.
>>5842137>Keep them within Vitelia. Perhaps sending them to a community of mountainfolk, like Monte Nocca, would insulate them while keeping them in the country.Probably not in Monte Nocca.>Inform your closest acquaintances of your leanings. That way they can aid you- and hopefully, accompany you.>Any other preparations?>Attempt to replace commanders, motorcar divers, and the like with potential revolutionaries and loyalists to us. See if we can try to figure out the schedules of the drivers.>If and only if we have any time left, do some reading on current political thinking, and start trying to compile our own thoughts on things. Having a firm framework will do a lot to help sway hearts and minds, both in and out of our group of new friends.
>>5842137How do Lindivians view mountainfolk?From a scale of tolerance to Gilicians, or merely disliking them like Bonetto's family?What about Halmeggians? Paelli doesn't really seem like a good place for her.
>>5842137>Send for Yena to bring the family here. You would protect them, and not have to leave them behind. It might be dangerous, but not so long as you could watch over them.>Use your charms and talents to try and spread sympathy for the cause of the North Morning Star. It might bring suspicion on your head- but what was the worst that could happen? To speak freely was not to break the law…
>>5842191>Would Yena's clan/tribe have connections with other communities overseas? Kallec or Trelan would be my first thought, based on their mosshead populations.There are no mountainfolk communities overseas- though I presume you mean on the same continent, and the answer is that, typically, mountainfolk will welcome one another all over the continent on principle, as they range far and wide- though they usually travel in clumps of mystics and vagrants rather than wandering by their lonesome. They do have to be able to identify as such though, be it through a particular genotype expression or being able to display knowledge of language and culture.Yena has both. Though your children will be brought up in their ways if left amongst that culture for an extended period, is the implicit deal.>>5842505>How do Lindivians view mountainfolk?>From a scale of tolerance to Gilicians, or merely disliking them like Bonetto's family?Not particularly favorably- but they do tolerate them. The latter, to summarize. They might think that it's distasteful to dip your dick in a green haired lady, but unlike Gilicians they don't think you're interbreeding with not only a foreign race but also an out and out earth cult heretic.>What about Halmeggians? Paelli doesn't really seem like a good place for her.Halmeggians don't mind mountainfolk at all, but their association with the Reich means there's some regional friction with Vitelians. There was no direct violence between the two states in the war, though, and trade and migration are rather open at the time being.Paelli would indeed not be great for mountainfolk, as they view them with disdain because of Kallec in particular. That and not having independent income to care for oneself and two children is a good way to become a debt slave in their society.
>>5842137>Send for Yena to bring the family here. You would protect them, and not have to leave them behind. It might be dangerous, but not so long as you could watch over them.>Inform your closest acquaintances of your leanings. That way they can aid you- and hopefully, accompany you.>Other (Start sorting the commanders and units along the line with us into loyalists and potential revolutionaries)I do like the idea of us building a more coherent political expression than "Revolution is cool! Class is bad!" to help combat what will assuredly be less reasonable voices within the faction. But we might not have the time. And I'm also not sure QM actually wants to get into that sort of political nitty-gritty. Not here of all places.
>>5842137>Keep them within Vitelia. Perhaps sending them to a community of mountainfolk, like Monte Nocca, would insulate them while keeping them in the country.I'm loathe to send them to live with the rock-humpers but last time Yena was close to the front lines she was almost raped. >Inform your closest acquaintances of your leanings. That way they can aid you- and hopefully, accompany you.>Other (Start sorting the commanders and units along the line with us into loyalists and potential revolutionaries)
>>5842137>>5842350I think I'll chance my first vote to>They would have to leave for another country. Where, you couldn’t say- you had no foreign friends, but it would be safer than any familiar place… (What country? If you’re less familiar with the setting then a general description might best match a place.)>A place that's politically stable and sympathetic to us.Since that part about Monte Nocca being near a military base doesn't sound good.
>>5842546What and where's the highest mountain on Vinstraga located?
>>5842137>Send for Yena to bring the family here. You would protect them, and not have to leave them behind. It might be dangerous, but not so long as you could watch over them.
>>5842150>>5842191>>5842814Out of the country, with mossheads.>>5842158With Saint Noel.>>5842157In Vitelia>>5842521>>5842747>>5843358Bring your mosshead here. You are not finished building your company to fight Di Alba's with.>>5842150>>5842157>>5842158>>5842191>>5842350>>5842747>>5842770Your closest acquaintances. I think we can presume who they are.>>5842521Try and get more dudes.>>5842150>>5842157>>5842747Clarify your ideology more. Book money!>>5842158>>5842350Car Stuff.>>5842747>>5842770Gauging and evaluating.Calling it later tonight.
>>5843468How plausible would it be to hide Yena's tattoos? I guess we can dye her and the boy's hair, Vittoria should be able to pass as a full-blooded Vitelian.
>>5842852>What and where's the highest mountain on Vinstraga located?It's a peak in Ohtiz, on the border with Trelan, called Stulpakalnas, or the Pillar Mountain, though some call it the Stulpostabas, the Pillar Idol. The "World Pillar" being what in regional folklore was spiked into the ground to separate the heavens and the earth, its collapse being the beginning of the end when all become one once more.Considering such, whether one views this mountain by such mythology is a matter of how much of a wary eye one wants to keep on it. It certainly stands out to a great degree from its stouter brethren nearby.>>5844039>How plausible would it be to hide Yena's tattoos?They are of a temporary sort. Markings amongst mountainfolk vary from face paint, to tattoos, to ritual branding. Usually communities more integrated with the rest of the country limit their practice to paint- though not maintaining the paint of a vow or oath is distasteful, and not keeping one of, say, a marriage with children of a foreigner, would be seen as the sort of deception a harlot might practice.
Woke up too late today, won't be calling and updating til late tonight.
Alright, so I wasn't sure how to call things, but I think that sending Yena and the family away is the decision, even if it's not particularly certain where. The other ones are either more decisive or not mutually exclusive.Writing.
>>5845120How many more major plot beats do you think there'll be until we get to the present day?
>>5846436I was thinking it would probably be the thread after the next or the one after that.
>>5846575So much for a one shot
>>5846575>>5846603>yfw this ends up longer than Luftpanzer
>>5846765I wouldn't complain.
Things are in progress. There's just a lot to do and sometimes it's hard to find where a good vote point is instead of making there be too much time passage.>>5846436I can't say, but it should be only one more thread at most. There's going to be a few big jumps depending on what happens here. There definitely won't be as much detail gone into as the Emrean War.>>5846575Good God I hope it's not for two more threads. This has already gone so much longer than I've wanted it to that I don't know if I'll do the pseudo-civ, since that might not even last as long as the preamble has been.
>>5847638>I can't say, but it should be only one more thread at most. There's going to be a few big jumps depending on what happens here. There definitely won't be as much detail gone into as the Emrean War.That's fair.>Good God I hope it's not for two more threads. This has already gone so much longer than I've wanted it to that I don't know if I'll do the pseudo-civ, since that might not even last as long as the preamble has been.My two cents is that you could incorporate it into PoV shifts while we go back to Richter? I'd expect that the events and outcome of the Civil War will have a pretty significant impact on the newest mission, so having them going on concurrently might not be a bad thing.
The first order of business you had to get out of the way was that of your family- the ones who couldn’t claim you hadn’t even been around for near a decade. You sent a letter home to Yena, to tell her to take the savings, consign what she didn’t want to give to a neighbor for safekeeping, and take Vittoria and Lorenzo to Monte Nocca- not to stay there, but to take care of the next step you couldn’t be certain of how to accomplish. If you were to engage in subversive activities, you didn’t want Yena and your children in Vitelia. At least, not somewhere they could be found. So your best hope was to send her to a place where her relatives and relations were, and bid that they send your family to another community far away. You knew that mountainfolk traveled between villages in bands of mystics and traders. How far, you weren’t sure, but you told Yena that it’d be for the best if she went far enough away that you would have to track her down instead of knowing. To avoid such a suspect message being screened, you used terms like “holiday” and sent the letter along civilian channels. It’d be slower going, but nobody was going to steam open them to check if you were talking about something you shouldn’t. A gap in military security that should have been accounted for- but hadn’t been in the postwar years.When Yena’s reply came, she wasn’t happy about it- she had grown quite comfortable in Lapizlazulli, and taking care of two children on the move would be difficult- but wished you luck, and provocatively told you to hurry back when you could. After all, she was already feeling very lonely- and wanted more kids. The ones you already had weren’t enough? She really was impatient.It was true that you’d also grown accustomed to being around Yena, at a proper home, even if it was a very modest one. Grown used to morning with her, whether they were started with intimate awakenings with the heat of her breath and the moistness of her lips and tongue, or if she struggled to keep her eyes open with her hair a grassy halo of threads around her. Walks down the beach, where she never failed to be fascinated by the ocean and all things about it, up and down the hills where she was reminded of home by the verticality of the city, getting Vittoria to take her first clumsy steps and trying to coax her first words (mama) and guessing at what toys she liked and which inexplicably disgusted her. Two years old now- and when you left, aware enough to cry at you leaving, even if her vocabulary couldn’t express it. Even the boys at the constabulary who you barely knew and poked fun at you for your taste in women had become friends you missed.But this was important enough for you to tolerate the wistful longing.-----
A couple of weeks after you sent the letter to Yena, a surprising person came to visit- for some reason, Elena Solluce had come to visit- and you met her by the river, a quiet place along the road where the noise of crossings didn’t disturb peace of mind.You embraced one another- but you had to ask her why she was here. “Yena’s gone along fine,” Elena said- her look had changed, to something more decidedly…local. “She said she would be alright with her people. I was getting in the way at that point anyways.” She shrugged. “So I came here. To…I don’t know. Help. I did volunteer work for the Vitelian Order of the Poppy. They taught me some things. A few things that I already knew on the farm, but still.”The Order of the Poppy was an international collection of charity and aid organizations. They had been most active recently in places torn apart by the war.You pointed to the lantern pin that held up a hair bun. “That’s new,” you commented.“It is,” Elena said, touching a finger to it and spinning the little lantern piece on the spindle, “If I’m gonna be in Gilicia, I oughta fit in, don’t you think? You know what it means, yeah?”“Something to do with Saint Svajone?”“Yeah.” She let her hand down to stop toying with the pin. “The Saint of the Night Travelers and Refugees, the Keeper of the Lost. She would find people in the dark and lead them to safety.”“Well, I don’t think I’m lost,” you joked.“Nah,” she reached forward and poked your nose, “Not right now at least. You never had the best sense a’ direction. Went and got so lost you found the sea before home, idjit.”That got a chuckle out of you. “Are you sure you’re not lost yourself? This is pretty far from home.” A pause. “Do you have a place to stay, if you’re going to be here?” You hesitated on telling her what was going to happen just yet- that she might not want to linger.“I do,” she nodded, and leaned on the railing over the river, “You’re not busy, are ya? I wanted to stay here and talk some.”You shrugged. “I’m not. The Armored Company hasn’t had anything to do at all. We have to keep ourselves occupied. I’m not sure why we’re even here, the way things have been.”“I’ve got an idea of why,” Elena said, “It’s the Vilja Domkarl. He’s been really sick lately. Along with everything else, that’s got people here in a stir. It’s not like I’m in Zhantao here, Bonetto, the Poppy had me here before.”Ah. You nodded in new understanding, though she hadn’t brought it up before. To be fair- there were things concerning the ruins…that you didn’t want to speak of either.“Bonetto?”“Yes?”
“For a long time, I wanted to ask you why you didn’t come back. I was angry with you, y’know. Mad that you were off doing whatever instead of coming home. Only, I’ve been thinking about it, ever since my husband got drafted, and died, all without ever touching me.” Elena hung her head dimly, staring into the coursing river. “I realized that nothin’ was keepin’ me from following you. I could have just run off, but for some reason, I never thought about it. Not ‘til now.”“…I don’t know if you’d want that,” you said, “If you followed me everywhere I went…I might have lost you. Even where the front line wasn’t, it was dangerous.”“I wouldn’t have cared,” Elena said with an aggressive insistence, “Or I shouldn’t have. If I had that sorta spirit in me I’d have chopped my hair off and said my name was Eleno.”Elena’s long face didn’t suit short hair, you thought. The boys in the village all agreed, but she had kept it out of spite for a long time. “I knew somebody who did that, sort of,” you said. “She’s dead now though.”Elena pursed her lips. “Is dying fighting that bad? Would have been better than…sittin’ at home and holdin’ out for…” She shook her head. “Maybe I can make that up now.”“You don’t have to,” you said, now warier of what was to come. “Things are different. It’s been long enough-““Bonetto,” Elena said with a tired lightness to her voice, like a weight suddenly placed upon her. “It’s been eight years since you left. Six since I got married. Of course things are different. You have two children and a wife, and I’m a widow. We aren’t playing knights. We’re not at a country faire where we don’t dance with anybody else. back at the fields after catching stray sheep, napping in the sun, you’re not touching my breasts while you think I’m asleep-““You noticed that?” you asked, astounded. To be fair, you’d been thirteen…and a ruffian. So had been Elena.“What? Yeah? How couldn’t I? But…I let you. Because…y’know. But that’s behind us.” The purse in her lips and the glare into the dark water had an unspoken addendum. “It’s been eight years…but that isn’t long enough to let eighteen years blow away on the wind like it’s nothin’. So I’m here. And I’m not gonna go anywhere no matter what happens here.”You put your hand around Elena’s shoulder. “Alright then,” you said, “Just don’t be afraid to come to me if you need help.”“Same.”
From there, you went to a café- talked about home, about what was happening here in Duefiume Ponte. About Lapizlazulli and your children- then about why you wanted Yena to move. Not yet, you had said- or at least, not there. So you both went to the hotel she was staying at, and as you bid her farewell for the day, you hinted that you would give her a letter with an explanation soon enough. As soon as you could be more certain of what was actually going on.That night your dreams decided to mock the conversation had by showing you the memory of a black coated Reich soldier holding his revolver up to Elena’s head and scattering her brains on the ground, shooting every bullet until only half her head remained before he let it slump to the ground. Two more black coats held your head, so you couldn’t turn away as the corpse had her clothes pulled off- the violation was combined with cannibalism as more soldiers stalked up, crawling like wolves, and ripped flesh from bone. Another dream you wouldn’t be able to share the weight of, and would simply have to try and forget.-----Even though Elena had mentioned the possibility of something happening with the Cathedra, the unimaginable happened in the middle of that month of June, so soon after it was spoken about- the Vilja Domkarl, whom had been so since before you were born, abdicated his place as Will of Saints. He had been in poor health, but rather than deteriorate in office as near all Vilja Domkarl did, he had deemed it proper to lay down his square crown and scepter. He was only the third man in history to do so, and all around was the clamor of uncertainty and anticipation. The bishops were obligated to attend to the Holy City to select from amongst them the next Vilja Domkarl- and this included the very popular Bishop Verga, as well as the newly reestablished Emrean bishops, who though not as influential in the new Emre as bishops were in Vitelia, had not themselves had any place since Alexander had taken over the north. Now they would be part of selecting the new highest office of the Cathedra- something that was making the locals particularly distressed, but it at least distracted them from the occupation and patrols. Bishop Verga, for his part, was apparently wary of being snatched either on the journey to or while staying in Donom Dei. He remained within Gilicia, and instead sent a representative to go in his place. Those against him sneered at cowardice, those for him shared the word he spread, that the people in Gilicia needed him more in this province than they needed him to deliberate and cast a vote in person.
As talk both on the streets and the barracks spoke without cease on this matter, you were poking about, testing close associates and comrades for if they would go your way. An innocent enough suggestion- should all fall to chaos and the King vanished, would one go with their comrades and the people, or the nobility? Of your company, Di Aceroro and Menia didn’t seem sympathetic to the Gilician Alliance’s cause. Their interests were firmly for the King and the Nobility, and half of the company seemed to agree.The other half appeared more amenable, especially two platoon leaders including your second in command, Di Nero and Di Portaltramanto, though for different reasons. Di Portaltramanto apparently saw himself as an adherent to Revolutionary theory, at least on the Reform angle. He and Di Zucchampo seemed like they would agree, as when conversation went to the woes of the people, Marcus Di Portaltramanto was very sympathetic, and he even knew something of the Three Points- though he referred to them by the principle family names rather than s