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Author Topic: The Patriotic War (Panic and Lenaara)  (Read 371 times)

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Offline Panicbroadcast13Topic starter

The Patriotic War (Panic and Lenaara)
« on: October 16, 2019, 10:22:56 AM »
That fateful morning was cold and wet. That was all Tiberius could remember on that fateful day. He was roused from a restless sleep early in the morning by heavy knocking at his door. He sat up slowly rubbing the sleep out of his eyes. He hastily threw on a robe and opened his bedroom window. He ignored the knocking for a moment and sat looking out of the window. The smog that had covered Central Moscow was as heavy as ever. He had been granted a residence near the Grand Kremlin Palace across from the Moskva river. This was granted to him when he attained the rank of General-Feldmarshal. Supreme Commander of the Russian armed forces. As he looked across to the military installation. He witnessed commotion. Soldiers running this way and that. He was unsure what was going on.

The knocking grew ever insistent. He snapped his gaze to his door and hurriedly headed for the front door of his home. He had not yet officially assumed the post of Supreme Commander. Today was his first day on the job. He had dreamed of this day since his father told him stories of the glorious victories achieved by the army in years past. That was all to wait as he heard two men screaming him name. He opened his door and the two men stiffened “Sir, Voyskovoy Starshina Alexei Nikolayevich reporting for General-Feldmarshal Krieg” Tiberius towered over the small Lieutenant Colonel and his aide. “The Tsar requests your presence at the Kremlin immediately” Tiberius looked at the two men confused “Surely this is nonsense, the Tsar can wait!” he said gruffly and aggressively. “Sir, the border between Finland and Russia has been violated. The Finns and the Swedes have violated the non-aggression pact.” Tiberius looked at the men confused. “This cannot be, I spoke to Hakan just the other day! We were supposed to dine with his majesty this week, tell the Tsar I will be there shortly”

“Sir” The two men stood to attention, saluted and quickly left. They had left Tiberius with the official identification badges, that he was to pin to his uniform. He was now in command; these badges would get him access to anything and everything. The only person that had authority over him was the Tsar. Everyone knew that the Tsar was lazy and a womanizer. It was Tiberius who was now running the show. He was unstoppable.

He walked back to his bedroom in a hurry and put on the uniform he had earned. It glistened in the mirror and he looked regal. As his black boots clicked along the paved street, he arrived at a checkpoint where two mechanized drones stopped him. In a robotic voice they stammered “Intruder, identify yourself in the name of the Tsar!” Tiberius breathed heavily and waved them off. “Krieg…” he grumbled and flashed his badges. With a wave, the drones deactivated and fell to the ground as two guards ran to meet him.

“Sir, we have reports of several squadrons of mechanized infantry and mech’s penetrating the border near St Petersburg, we have mustered the local garrison forces to intercept” Tiberius waved them off and kept walking calmly asking questions about the situation. Upon arriving, he had realized that the several squads were two squads and they were little more than mechanized infantry. “You will stand the garrison down and send in the Praetorian Guard” The young guards gasped. “sir?” they asked inquisitively. Tiberius roared at them like a mighty lion. “You rouse me from my bed at this hour and activate invasion protocol 12 for two squadrons of mechanized infantry?!” he said. “If this invasion was real, they would be at the capital by now and we’d have bigger things to worry about” The Praetorians can and will handle this” He said. The men nodded and trotted off to enforce orders.

Tiberius entered the Grand Kremlin unphased. The bright lights and beautiful ornate oak bannisters flanked a staircase made from African ivory. This ivory was won from one of his fathers’ campaigns in Africa that had saw his family and his star rise. He ascended the stairs and, on the wall, directly beside his office was a portrait of his late father. He stood there solemnly for a moment and saluted. “I will make you proud father” He turned into his office and sat behind the giant oak desk. Indeed, this desk was no ordinary desk. It was the same desk that the previous Supreme Commanders held.

On his desk was a pile of Dossiers and issues he had to deal with. As Supreme Commander, he was no longer just a soldier, but a disciplinarian and a diplomat. Essentially, he was a bureaucrat. Something he hated immensely. He spent the first few hours on the job assuring the Tsar that everything was under control.

After his meeting with his chiefs of staff and high command, he set to work ensuring that any disobedience or toe out of line would not be tolerated. He was going to institute Praetorian regulations over the entire armed forces. He signed documents for a while sending people to prison with the stroke of a pen finally arriving at a Dossier for Valeria Rostislavnovna Orlova. She was the pilot who had directly disobeyed orders from a superior officer putting her life and the lives of her crew in danger.

Tiberius was surprised to see that none of the information in her dossier was redacted. After all, he had the highest security clearance there was. He reached under the oak desk and found a bottle of his favorite bourbon with a bow on it from his high command. “May you rule and command in good faith Tsarevich” Tsarevich was an endearing term used for the head of the military. He basically was the Tsar’s power embodied. He looked out the window to see his men and women prepping a bi-pedal tank. This project was nicknamed “Shagohod” It could deploy nuclear missiles anywhere in the world at a moment’s notice. It was gloomy and smoggy outside from all the truck fumes and industrial production. He sat down and took a long swig of bourbon.

Pressing the call button on his desk phone, two men entered the room. “Podporuchik” Tiberius mumbled. “Bring me this woman” He said tossing Valeria’s military redacted record at them. “I want her here soon; she and I need to have a little chat” He said firmly wondering how he was going to make an example of her.

Offline Lenaara

Re: The Patriotic War (Panic and Lenaara)
« Reply #1 on: October 19, 2019, 01:57:32 AM »
She awoke to a throbbing headache and incessant banging on the bedroom door. A simple ringtone echoed on the other side, Ding Ding Ding, and her head pulsed like it longed to stay in rhythm with it. When the melody had gone off, rousing her into a half-dazed state, Valeria found herself in the company of dim light and a room she couldn’t recognize.

Heavy drapes pulled over floor to ceiling windows. Plush settee and an armoire. A vanity stocked neatly with bottles of perfume, skincare and cosmetics. Two armchairs across each other with a little coffee table in between. And beneath her, a bed so big she could sprawl across it, sinking into the soft cool comforter, and never reach the edges. Flowers bloomed in tall vases placed around the room, their aroma almost masking the smell of bile. Almost, not quite.

“Miss, please, you must wake up.” The person on the other side continued to knock and the phone continued to ring.

When no answer came from the bedroom, the door opened and a young woman in maid’s uniform burst into the room. She hurried to the bed and thrust the device to the dishevelled woman curled inside the comforter.

“Please, miss, you must answer. Mistress says it is important that it’s you.”

The phone wasn’t hers, either. Wrapping her hand around it, Valeria tried to push herself forward, prone on the bed, and managed to slightly prop herself up with her elbows. The maid read out the number, a number Valeria recognized by the last 4 digits. She pressed the answer button and took a deep breath in an effort to sound sober. To her credit, she almost pulled it off.

Her words slurred a little, betrayed her not yet awaken state. The conversation went as well as she’d expected, the Rear Admiral’s mood even more sour than usual. He claimed he tried to call her earlier, and she wouldn’t answer – she lied her phone had died – and had to go call her emergency contact instead. He’d begrudgingly approved her request for paid leave but that was – the maid told Valeria the date when she’d whispered the question to her mid-call – six days ago. And it seemed she wasn’t going to enjoy her last day off, either.

“Cut the bullshit, Orlova. Your presence is requested at Grand Kremlin by General-Feldmarshal Krieg. I don’t know what you did, but you better get your act together.” He paused, perhaps ready to end the call when he added, “and charge your damn phone.”

The line cut off, but Valeria remained statue-still, hand still holding the device to her ear, the other paused on her knee where she was absently smoothing creases in the comforter. The maid returned with a pitcher and a glass of water on a tray; Valeria sent her back to the kitchen for hard liquor.

“But the Missus said—”

“I don’t care what Anna said. Bring me the strongest thing you find.”

She reached for the pitcher anyway and downed two glasses of water before rising from the bed. Someone had changed her clothes, for she was standing in a long nightgown with a tall, modest collar and cuffed sleeves. She raised an arm to her nose and sniffed, trying to pinpoint the smell of bile that could only be originating from her, and winced.

She’d taken some spare clothes from the armoire and took an ice-cold shower. It washed off the remnants of sleep from her eyes and the smell from her skin. The headache subsided but she knew it’d remain a constant companion throughout the day, a reminder that for the past week she hadn’t been sober for even a moment. The last six days were a blur of hazy memories and sounds, of places she couldn’t recognize and people she didn’t know. How Anna found her, she hadn’t a clue. Her sister – her heavily pregnant and deeply in love sister – must have gone to every sleazy bar in the area in search for Valeria.

And somehow, her sister wasn’t angry in the slightest. When Valeria left the bathroom, Anna was there and so was breakfast, sadly without a morning glass of quality whiskey but it had coffee. Anna did not demand apologies nor promises and did ask not of the bruises on Valeria’s hands. She sat on the bed in silence and styled Valeria’s hair in a neat bun, while the other chocked down a croissant and chased it with coffee, wishing it to turn into rum.

The Grand Kremlin loomed in the distance, a dark shadow behind the curtain of rain. Valeria had the sense to take an umbrella with her when she left her apartment, where she’d changed into her uniform after leaving Anna’s. In this weather, her black fit over sunglasses had earned her odd looks from the passersby, her uniform catching less attention now than it did when she was Captain. Gone were the days of golden epaulets. She did not miss them but that uniform fit better, looked better; it fit her like a glove.

A number of things felt off since her return. The people had changed - and not for the better - her comrades had changed. The apartment in the centre of Moscow felt too big and spacious, meant for someone just as grand. Its furniture and design felt foreign now, too sterile and pristine, not suitable for someone whose hands were stained with blood. But most of all, she thought herself an impostor every time she said her own name.

She sold the apartment and bought a smaller one instead, a little room in an urban area. The furniture was given away in favour of thrift shop finds. Her name and how she felt about it was much harder to change. Valeria sounded wrong, felt wrong, a name of someone who was brimming with ambition and patriotism.

But that was her name and she could not sell or nor give it away nor move on from it.

A Podporuchik greeted her in front of the Supreme Marshal’s office. He requested the glasses to be taken off while he verified her IDs, then said nothing when she complied and folded them in her hands. What was Valeria’s eyes now was a complex system of circuitry. The latticework fanned from the pupil and extended far beyond the iris, over the whites and past, etched into the skin and eyelids. A pair of see-through metallic grey lenses covered the iris, obscuring a vivid olive-green colour specked with yellow. The skin around the eyes not covered by the electric circuits was instead marked by an old burn. A purple bruise bloomed on her right temple, too close to the circuits.

When the process was complete, she put the glasses on and stood by the office door. Once, she may have been anxious, maybe nervous, most likely hopeful. Now, she couldn’t care less what the Supreme Marshal wanted with her.

Finally, the Podporuchik nodded and pressed a button on the phone to announce her. “Sub-Lieutenant Valeria Rostislavnovna Orlova, reporting.”

Offline Panicbroadcast13Topic starter

Re: The Patriotic War (Panic and Lenaara)
« Reply #2 on: October 19, 2019, 01:19:24 PM »
The buzzer on Tiberius’ desk buzzed requesting entrance to his office. It was starting to get windy. He had a small window in the corner of his office open. The wind was blowing the scarlet red drapes about in a frenzy. With a wave of his hand, one of his attendants rushed to close it. He sat down in the majestic chair that sat squarely in the center of the floor behind his desk. He was a man of symmetry and had been so since he was a child. He felt at edge when things were out of place. He poured a glass of bourbon and plunked one ice cube into his glass. Though society had developed rapidly due to the rapid advancement of technology, Ice was still the one thing that remained highly expensive and out of reach of most citizens. Owing to his status, he never had need of whatever he had wanted.

Two guards entered the room flanking a woman of above average height. He stood as was customary of a man. The first thing he noticed were her eyes. He recognized those ocular implants a mile away. Though the main thing he had noticed was that they were years out of date. Likely due to the lack of funding the Tsar gave the Air Forces. Tiberius of course had the ability to obtain the latest ocular implants that looked less like machines, but rather looked and felt like actual eyes. However, he was intent that should anyone be granted something, they would earn it.

“Valeria Orlova, it is a pleasure to make the acquaintance of the woman who has been causing quite the stir amongst my generals and admirals alike” He bowed slightly eyeing her suspiciously. He made sure that his standing was abundantly clear. He was not the Admiral who had taken a liking to V despite her numerous attempts to subvert authority and disobedience. “You don’t mind if I call you Valeria do you? I detest nicknames, they are so…impersonal” He said slyly.

After reading her dossier, he knew that she had an unhealthy dependence on alcohol. Even if he didn’t know it, the smell of cheap whisky clung to Valeria like the soot that covered the cadets working on the aircraft and Panzer’s across the nation.

Tiberius was not a man of brute force. He was far too intelligent for that. He preferred to exert control psychologically. Afterall, one could recover from a physical beating, but once he had control over someone’s mind, they were his completely. He took a swig from his glass of bourbon relishing the burning feeling of the liquid in his throat. It tasted vaguely of cherries. He snapped his fingers and suddenly a tray of soup and a crystal glass appears having been delivered by eager waiting attendants.

“Eat up Valeria, you look like you haven’t eaten in days. I’d offer you some whisky, but I know of your penchant for it.” He opened his drawer and pulled out two folders. One was scarlet with the Tsar’s eagle on it and the other was a green one with Valeria’s dossier in it. He tossed the red one at her watching it land in her lap. “This my dear is your training report from your application to the Praetorian Guard, it looks like you failed most of the testing except for piloting and then you vomited in General-leytenant Malenkov’s face."

"You must have been drunk.”

Tiberius was manipulating the young Sub-Lieutenant’s emotions. “How do you think your father and your brother who fought so valiantly in the First Patriotic war would feel if they saw you now hmm?” He stood up and walked to her side stroking her hair softly. “They would be quite embarrassed I’m sure, What about Anna?”

He took a photo from the dossier and showed it to her. “Such a beauty married to a middling man of no worth. What a waste” He noticed that she had not touched the soup in front of her. Luckily it was kept warm by wonderful kitchen technology that had developed with plates keeping the soup hot at a light boil. “I said eat the soup” he said forcefully. Whenever he projected his voice it made people shudder. It showed just how authoritative Tiberius was. He was not imposing but when he projected people listened to him.

“By no means do I intend to torture you oh no, that is much too vile. Plus, you’d probably withstand the torture without issue” He raised his finger. “On the contrary, you are going to work for me where I can personally watch you. That said, I am demoting you. You are no longer an officer my military” He got up and strode casually to the window waving his hand. Two men with the rank of Feldwebel appeared from the office adjacent to Tiberius and forcefully ripped the officer insignia from V’s shoulders and removed the identification badges from her right breast pocket. After they were done, they tossed her two felt rank patches.

She was demoted to Ryadovoy. For all intents and purposes, she was made a private.

Tiberius sat back down, his demeanor remaining forceful. “Now, I of all people realize that a simple demotion will not stop your disobedience, so what shall we do with you?” He snapped his fingers and his aide dragged V’s sister Anna into the room. She was in chains and sobbing. “You must have wondered where she was after you left. Well my men went and arrested her. You see Valeria, I do not take lightly to disobedience. So Anna here is going to go to prison for your misdeeds. Rest assured that she will be looked after, but it is now up to you to redeem yourself my eyes only. For my word is the only one that matters. If you behave and rehabilitate yourself, I allow you to work your way back up to Captain. Anna of course will be released and no one will hear about her prison term”

He got up and waved Anna away kicking and screaming. The guards dragged her away. He looked at V softly returning to his kind and previous demeanor. Bring in Nataliya and Dasha will you?” He said as his aides left and returned some minutes later with two women. Tiberius rose as they bowed. “Sir they both said in unison.

“Please take Ms Orlova to the baths and clean her up. Bring her back will you. We will have lunch and then hopefully we will have her decision as to how she wants to proceed” He said softly. They nodded moving towards V swiftly. Tiberius stopped them before they left. “Your actions now have consequences, Ms Orlova. I will not let you off that easy for this contrary to what my staff suggests. I look forward to becoming fast friends.”