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Hi, I'm horror and science fiction author Steve Kozeniewski (pronounced: "causin' ooze key.") Welcome to my blog! You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and Amazon. You can e-mail me here, join my mailing list here, or request an e-autograph here. Free on this site you can listen to me recite one of my own short works, "The Thing Under the Bed."

Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Last War: Chapter 9

Most Venerable Parents,

Greetings. You have my apologies for not having written in such a long period of time. I've had little time of late when I was not in battle or preparations for battle.

All goes well on the front. We are pushing the Ivans back quickly. It's an easy war, though I fear my comrades are growing over-confident. The Golden Army is great, but not invincible. I suppose it's unpatriotic to say such things, but I must. I have a fear in the pit of my stomach that victory will not last for long.

I'm surrounded by all these "Chinese-turned-Mongols" as the Emperor calls them. The Chigols are weak and scared subhumans. I must say it, I don't trust them. And yet how much of our army do they make up?

I apologize. I don't want to burden you. Actually, all things go well, I am merely anxious. I've been in a real battle! We've crossed the border to Mongolia and our scouting forces have slaughtered bands of Ivans. All of our skirmishes have been successes thus far. But, as the lieutenant tells me, the Ivans are on to us. They had massed a large force at a town called Ulan-Ude, just across the border. Apparently, they meant to beat us back right there. It's laughable! A band of Russian sub-soldiers beat the Golden Army in one battle? Ha!

The commanders sent out a battle group of Chigols to test the Russian forces at Ulan-Ude. The whimpering dogs were routed, but still they gained important information on the Ivans. They were mostly hungry peasants, in worn out clothes, and though the force was large, they were weak.

So, we slowly advanced, in case the Ivans had scanners. Ah, I apologize, you may not know of this latest mechanical breakthrough. Some of our commanders have small computers called "scanners". Once a "scanning station", which is a large radar and sonar observation base, is built, it can transmit data on troop movements to each scanner. The scanner can be held in the hand, and yet it shows the movements of troops, enemy and own, to an accuracy of meters. In this manner, a commander can keep track of literally everything that is going on in a battle at one moment, and issue orders based on up-to-the-minute intelligence.

So, in case the Ivans had scanners, we advanced slowly. As it turns out, they did now, so we were able to hide in the brush. Had they had scanners, they would have been able to detect us. But they did not. The snipers inched forward and killed their important leaders. This, however, alerted them to our presence. Company after company emerged from Ulan-Ude, and we fell into personal combat.

At one point, I was standing behind a tree, firing at Popovs. One of the came running at me, but he did not know I was there. He ran right past my tree! I shot him, but he survived, and turned on me. I realized then that I had no more ammunition in my gun! I was unable to reload before he was at my throat. We fell to the ground fighting each other tooth and claw.

He bit me! Would you believe I received a wound medal because a Russian dog bit me? But, finally, I took the advantage. I flung him onto his back and pulled out my knife. I realized now why they issued daggers to us. I drove it into the Russian's neck.

It was only then that I looked at his badge of rank. It seems he was a captain. I turned to see his unit. Leaderless, they were like a snake without a head. So, I grabbed some of my troops and we charged forward at them, firing and yelling wildly. They turned tail and ran. Many of them fell dead.

Things went well infantry against infantry, but soon our tanks entered the battle. I don't think I've ever cheered so hard as when our armored units came into the Battle of Ulan-Ude. So many of the Popovs were crushed under the treads of our tanks, that we barely needed to fire the turrets!

No Russian escaped the Battle of Ulan-Ude, or the victorious forces of the Golden Horde! Those who were not dead were captured. I think we caught the Ivans to the man. That is what the lieutenant told us. It was then that I was promoted from corporal to sergeant. I hope you are proud of me, mother and father.

I will continue to fight for the glory of Mongolia. Until Mongolia sees oceans on all sides, I will continue fighting. After we are a true empire, I will return to you. May the imperial and the divine keep you.

Your son,

Sergeant Darbet Kazakh, 76th Mongolian Heavy Infantry

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