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Chapter 57[]

Kekku, Part 2

“Loyal Citizens, rejoice, the rebels are leaderless, we have struck down the mad coward that led them with our righteous justice! Now we can put this foolish civil war behind us and bring the Dragon back to the pinnacle of human existence it was before the foolish line of Theodore and his traitor spawn betrayed us all to the Clans and the Davions!” - Announcement by Voice of the Dragon

November, 19th 3057

Best Regards from distant Cousin[]

Secure Wing, Benjamin Military District Headquarters
Fort Shandra
Benjamin Military District
Benjamin, Draconis Combine
November 6th, 3057

Miyako Kurita fumed at need to delay her trip to Hachiman to rally her flagging forces. She flung her robes of office contemptuously as she thought of a suitable fate for the Warlord who dared to tell her no. Her right hand dropped to the hilt of her sword. Perhaps I should use him for some sword practice. She shook her head, banishing the thought, as exciting as it was. I am here reminding one of my Warlords who his loyalties need to be focused on. His mewling about the fortunes of this district means little compared to the need to put the Dragon’s house in order, decisively. As much as he deserves to be made an example of, replacing him would be “problematic.”

She turned to her aide, Sho-sa Ichiro Tomokamai and noticed the troubled expression on her aide’s face. His brows were furrowed with worry, and his face was wan with concern.

“What troubles you, Sho-sa? Do you not agree with our presence here?” Miyako queried her aide, a hint of danger present in her voice.

“Iie, Tono, I see the need for it from a political sense, but the military needs are paramount here, and our forces are flagging on both Hachiman, and Al Na’ir. Not to mention we have reports of Nova Cat movements threatening Pesht, and the Alashain Avengers have departed Chatham and have shown up on Krenice and are attempting to take the world from the Ghost Bears.” Tomokamai drew a breath before continuing, using the pause to carefully construct his thoughts, “Much is happening, Tono, and I think we are grasping for too much.”

Miyako’s eyes flashed with anger “Ask for too much!? Are all our slain warriors asking for too much? Is the blood of our slain Coordinator and his family asking for too much? We fight the best enemy of all, we fight traitors. Sho-Sa, we purify the Combine with this trial, and we will come out the other side stronger, and ready to reclaim all that is ours. Don’t tell me you agree with that baka (idiot) of a Warlord?”

Tomokamai’s eyes dropped to the floor, conceding the argument. “No, Tono, I do not.”

Miyako smiled cruelly. “Good, I would hate to think I would have to prune traitors in my own midst. Come Sho-Sa, we have a Warlord to chastise.”

20 minutes later

“Warlord Marai, I plucked you from the obscurity of your district regulars because you showed a measure of skill in your defense of Dover from the Smoke Jaguars. I am disappointed to hear that your efforts to secure more troops for our drive on Hachiman has been…unsuccessful.” Miyako Kurita circled around the conference table in the secured conference area regarding her Warlord and his staff with the same look a hungry shark gave its prey.

She tightened the circle slightly, making a show of removing her Mechwarrior’s gloves, and dropping them to the floor, and letting her right hand come to rest lightly at the handle of her katana. Her eyes were as black as flint, but the electric energy of barely suppressed rage flowed through them as she fixed her Warlord with her gaze. “I expect better, Marai. Much better. And I will find a replacement if you cannot find a way to do the job.”

Marai nodded and cleared his throat. “Tono, I understand your frustration- “

Miyako interrupted with gritted teeth “You dare to think you can understand the depths of my frustration?! Warlord Marai, you are severely trying my patience. And people who try my patience happen to have dark things happen to them…very dark things.”

Marai nodded again “Yes, Lady Kurita, but it doesn’t change the fact that the well has run dry with regards to men and material. My own Substitution officer has raided every planet within 100 light years to attempt to find qualified warriors. We’re even bringing back veterans of the 3rd Succession War, and their giggling grandchildren!” Marai said the last bit in a hoarse whisper, that in the quiet of the room, was as loud as any shout.

Miyako paused. A flash of calm momentarily appeared in her eyes. It warred with the rage that was the usually in the driver’s seat, but like always, the rage won out. She smiled dangerously at Marai and his staff. Those who had done their best imitation of statues during the entire exchange. Tomokamai swore he didn’t think any of them had blinked during the entire exchange. “Marai, you have a month, get me more troops, or I’ll be sending you and this miserably inefficient pack of curs you call a staff to the nearest front line, with all of you getting the Order of Washzkazi first.”

Marai nodded, a resigned look crossing his fate as even he knew. There would be no pleasing Miyako Kurita, no amount of equipment or men available to either side in the Combine would get Miyako to New Samarkand to depose Franklin Sakamoto. It also meant the forces loyal to Franklin couldn’t get to Miyako Kurita easily either.

The truth was that the Combine Civil War was collapsing under its own weight. Too many regiments on both sides had fallen or simply had left. The entire DCMS logistical network had collapsed, and any fool with an abacus could see that there wasn’t enough of anything for either army to win decisively. Whole chunks of the Combine were declaring independence, or simply not paying attention to either side. The Dieron and Pesht districts were in turmoil, with the worlds of the Benjamin district making up the front line. But Miyako was outnumbered six to two in Benjamin in regiments loyal to the Usurper, with the Ryuken only able to grant local superiority where it went into action, not to mention having to stamp out fires everywhere else. In short, it was a horror show. And the message he had just received was an admission he had received was little more than an admission of the facts.

It still is a betrayal; it is perhaps a good thing that I am not planning to survive this. Tenno Hakka Banzai Kurita-sama! Tomokamai’s mind raced, as he reached for a vial in his pocket. It was small, the size of a small pencil. He applied pressure, and felt the vial shatter, and the deadly liquid contained within splash across his hand. He began to feel the effects almost immediately, and he began to feel the tremors in his hand as the nerve agent began to take effect.

He smiled and turned towards the others in the room who were now looking at him with eyes as wide as saucers. Miyako’s mouth was open in shock. Tomokamai’s smile was wide, as his body began to lose control, and his mouth began to froth. It was a struggle for him to form his last words, but they were simple ones: “Omi Kurita sends her regards.” Tomokamai then collapsed in a heap and began to jerk as his dying nerves misfired and his body contorted painfully in his last moments. It wasn’t long before everyone in the room was doing the same. Miyako Kurita, last of her line, died painfully contorting and fouled in her own fluids and waste. With her last moments full of pain and terror. With her, the Combine Civil War died as well, but like most civil wars, the end was messy indeed.

“I’ll never forget when we got word that Kurita-chan was dead by the hands of an assassin on Benjamin. We were ordered by some general I’d never heard of to surrender. The Ryuken surrender? Iie (No)! We do not surrender. We fight, but for whom? We were not sell-swords, and we were not ronin. Fortunately, we did find an option another Kurita presented us…”

-Memoirs of Tai-Sa Hanji Morris, commander of the Ryuken-san, quoted in “In At The End: The Last Days of the Combine Civil War”
by Hauptmann-General Fritz Kaller, AFFC (ret), Published by Tharkad Green Press, 3071.

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