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Monday, September 7, 2009

The Last War: Chapter 57, Part 1

"We must strike back against the Russians!" Igoumensita said, slamming his fist down onto the table, "If only to show them that they shall never be victorious."

"How would you propose we strike back against Russia, Dimitri?" asked Bleda Khan who was brooding and laconic.

The Greek stopped for the first time in his rage to think. They were all seated around a lavish table, far different from what Igoumensita was used to in the field of battle. Jagatai and Bleda Khan were there. Jagatai seemed to be interested only to know what the plans would be so that he could implement them, rather than to actually take part in the decision making process. Bleda Khan was being very thoughtful. Metzger was not seated, he was walking around the room looking at various pieces of art and sculpture. He had said nothing so far, and it was beginning to grate on Igoumensita’s nerves.

"I would suggest an invasion of Russia from two fronts. I can correlate an attack with Marshal Jagatai. Mongolia from the south and the Eastern Bloc from the west. Is it possible, marshal?"

Jagatai looked up and said, "Certainly it's possible. I can begin work on the plans instantly."

The Mongolian marshal began to scrawl on a map of Russia immediately.

"We'll complete the invasion of Russia once and for all. We'll throw everything we've got into it. I'll stop concentrating on Western Europe and start pouring all of my troops into the Russian front. We can ask the Africans for help. We'll slaughter Russia, and show them not to toy with the Coalition. The invasion will be spectacular."

"Do not assume something will occur when it has not yet."

Igoumensita looked up at Metzger, who had spoken for the first time.

"You have something to say, marshal?" he asked testily.

"Yes," said Metzger turning to face his rival, "And I just said it."

"Are you suggesting that we can't invade Russia?"

"I'm suggesting nothing. I'm stating the simple, incontrovertible truth that in war nothing is certain and all things are a gamble. Unless you've heard some brilliant prediction from an oracle."

Igoumensita waved off Metzger's words as though they had no basis in anything, and completely ignored his final insult.

"We've been dividing our forces thus far. If we all concentrate on Russia suddenly and swiftly, we can take the country by storm."

"The same thing has been said many times before by many generals greater than you, Igoumensita. And Russia has yet to be taken."

The Greek leapt up and flung Metzger against the wall. Then, drawing the Sword of the Sun, he held it's blade to the German's neck.

"You little Boche shit!" he exclaimed, "You've done nothing in this war! Not a god damned thing! And you propose to preach to me about military strategy? I've taken Germany, harrowed Russia, I rule the European seas, and I've sent troops to my allies all around the world. You? You've done nothing but sit in Washington and act pompous!"

"Perhaps you'd rather have the Americans down your throat and up your ass," hissed the Butcher of Bavaria with calm, cold, malevolence.

Igoumensita began to raise his sword slightly as though he were about to try something.

"Stop it, both of you," said Bleda Khan silently but forcefully, "You're acting like children. Dimitri, don't forget that Lars has almost single handedly toppled the American government and kept them out of both of our hair, not to mention the fact that he forged the Coalition. And Lars, it's true that you really have done little to support your allies, and it's natural that they'd be sore when you begin acting arrogant. Now both of you sit down!"

The two generals, as though mesmerized, sat down at the elaborately carved table. With a gesture from his emperor, Marshal Jagatai stopped his preliminary planning for an assault into Russia.

"I've been considering carefully, and I've developed a plan on how to deal with these precocious Russians. After invading China and parts of Russia, my troops discovered something interesting. Five interesting things, actually."

"Sir," began Jagatai, quite startled, "You can't mean..."

"Yes, marshal," said the emperor of Mongolia, "That is precisely what I mean."

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