tagSci-Fi & FantasyLife as a New Hire Ch. 33

Life as a New Hire Ch. 33


This story plays fast and loose with Ancient History and Linguistics; be warned.

The highest cost of losing a war is the rage of your children.

Editing magic performed by KJ24 and Shyqash, plus contributions by the regular gang of brigands and neer-do-wells.

There is a bit of mangling of the Iliad going on. I apologize to Homer and the countless singers before him who carried the Iliad down through the dark centuries until the Greeks figured out how writing works.


Note: One of History's Lessons

In the last 75 years of military history, airpower had been a decisive factor in every major conflict, save one. Most Americans would think the one exception was US involvement in Vietnam and they'd be wrong: right country - wrong time. Indochina's War of Independence against France was the exception. There, the French Air Force was simply inadequate to the task.

Yes, the United States and its allies eventually lost the struggle in Vietnam. But it was their airpower that kept the conflict running as long as it did. For the most part, the Allied and Communist military hardware on the ground were equivalent. While the Allies had superior quantities of supplies, the Communists countered that with numbers...and therein lies the rub.

Airpower allowed the Allies to smash large North Vietnamese formations south of the Demilitarized Zone and thus prevented the numerical advantage from coming into play. The North Vietnamese and Viet Cong made one serious stab at a conventional militarily challenge to the Allies - the Tet Offensive - and after initial successes, they were crushed.

With the NVA unable to flex their superior numbers, the Allies were able to innovate helicopter-borne counter-insurgency operations. The North Vietnam's Army (NVA) was forced to operate in smaller units, so the Allies were able to engage them in troop numbers that helicopters could support. The air forces didn't deliver ultimate victory, but air power alone had never been able to do so on land. It was only when the US lost faith in achieving any positive outcome in Viet Nam and pulled out, that the North was finally able to overrun the South 20 months later. But every major power today understands the lesson.

End of Note

(Big Trouble in Little China)

The military importance of airpower was now haunting the leadership of the People's Republic of China (PRC), the People's Liberation Army (PLA) and People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF). Their problem wasn't aircraft. Most of their air fleet consisted of the most advanced models produced during the last two decades. The problem was that 80% of their pilots were dead, or dying. Their ground crews were in the same peril. Even shanghaiing commercial pilots couldn't meet the projected pilot shortfall.

Classic PLA defense doctrine was to soak up an enemy (Russian) attack and bog down the aggressor with semi-guerilla warfare (classic small unit tactics backed up with larger, light infantry formations). Then, when the invaders were over-extended and exhausted, the armored / mechanized / motorized forces would counter-attack and destroy their foes. This last bit required air superiority through attrition.

The twin enemies of this strategy were the price of technology and the Chinese economic priorities. With the rising cost of the high-tech equipment and a central government focus on developing the overall economy, the Chinese went for an ever smaller counter attack striking force, thus skewing the burden of depth of support far in favor of their relatively static militia/police units.

So now, while the PLA / PLAAF's main divisions, brigades and Air Wings were some of the best equipped on the planet, the economic necessities had also meant the militia was financially neglected...remaining little more than early Cold War Era non-mechanized infantry formations. To compensate, the Chinese had placed greater and greater emphasis on the deployment capabilities of their scarcer, technologically advanced formations.

When the Anthrax outbreak started, the strike force personnel were the first personnel 'vaccinated'. Now those men and women were coughing out the last days and hours of their lives. Unfortunately, you couldn't simply put a few commercial truck drivers in a T-99 Main Battle Tank and expect them to be anything more than a rolling coffin. The same went for a commercial airline pilot and a Chengdu J-10 multi-role fighter. The best you could hope for was for him/her to make successful takeoffs and landings.

A further critical factor was that the Khanate's first strike had also targeted key defense industries. The damage hadn't been irreparable. Most military production would be only a month to six weeks behind schedule. But there would be a gap.

It was just becoming clear that roughly 80% of their highly-trained, frontline combatants were going to die anyway. Their Reserves were looking at 30~40% attrition due to the illness as well. In the short term (three months), they would be fighting with whatever they started with. Within the very short term (one week), they were going to have a bunch of high-priced equipment and no one trained to use it. With chilling practicality, the Chinese leaders decided to throw their dying troopers into one immediate, massive counter-offensive against the Khanate.

Just as Temujin predicted they would. Things were playing out according to plan.

Note: World Events Summary

Round #1 had seen the Khanate unite several countries under one - their - banner. Earth & Sky soldiers had rolled across the Chinese border as their Air Force and Missile Regiments had used precision strikes to hammer Chinese bases, sever their transportation network and crippled their civilian infrastructure.

Next, the frontier offensive units had been obliterated, the cities bypassed and the Khanate Tumens had sped forward to the geographic junctures between what the Khanate wanted and from whence the PLA had to come. In the last phase of Round #1, the Khanate prepped for the inevitable PLA / PLAAF counter-strike.

Round #2 had now begun:

Step One: Declare to the World that the Khanate was a nuclear power. As history would later reveal, this was a lie, but no one had any way of initially knowing that. Hell, the Khanate hadn't even existed 72 hours ago. Satellite imagery did show the Khanate had medium-range strategic missiles capable of hitting any location in the People's Republic. In Beijing, a nuclear response was taken off the table.

Step Two: Initiate the largest air-battle in the history of Asia. Not just planes either. Both sides flew fleets of UCAV's at one another. It wasn't really even a battle between China and just the Khanate. Virtually all of the UAV technology the Khanate was using was Japanese, South Korean and Taiwanese in origin, plus some US-Russian-shared technology thrown into the mix.

When the South Korean design team saw the footage of their bleeding-edge dogfighting UCAVs shooting down their PRC opponents, they were thrilled (their design rocked!), shocked (what was their 'baby' doing dominating Chinese airspace?) and anxious (members of South Korea's Defense Acquisition Program Administration - DAPA - were rushing over to chat with them).

Similar things were happening in Japan, Taiwan, Russia and the United States. The Communist Party leadership in Beijing were beginning to seriously consider the possibility that everyone was out to get them. Of course, all the Ambassadors in Beijing were bobbing their heads with the utmost respect while swearing on the lives of their first born sons that their nations had nothing to do with any of this.

These foreign diplomats promised to look into these egregious breaches of their scientific integrity and were saying how sorry they were that the PLA and PLAAF were getting ass-raped for the World's viewing pleasure. No, they couldn't stop the Khanate posting such things to the internet - something to do with freedom. Paranoia had been creeping into the Potentates' thoughts since the Pakistan/Aksai Chan incident.

As they watched their very expensive jets and UCAV's being obliterated, distrust of the global community became the 800 pound gorilla in the room. To add habaneros to the open wounds, the United States and the United Kingdom began dropping hints that they had some sort of highly personal communication conduit with the Khanate's secretive and unresponsive leadership. Yes Virginia Wolfe, the Western World was out to get the People's Republic.

'Great Mao's Ghost', all that claptrap their grandfathers had babbled on about (1) the Korea War, (2) the Sino-Soviet grudge match, (3) the Sino-Vietnamese conflict and (4) the persistent support for the renegade province of Formosa all being a continuous effort by the liberal democracies and post-colonial imperialist to contain Chinese communism, didn't sound so crazy anymore.

Step Three: Plaster all those PLA ground units that had started moving toward them when the air war began and the Chinese envisioned they would control the skies. The T-99 was a great tank. It also blew up rather spectacularly when it was stuck on a rail car (you don't drive your tanks halfway across China - it kills the treads).

As Craig Kilborn put into his late night repertoire:

"What do you call a Khanate UCAV driver who isn't an ace yet? Late for work."

"What's the difference between me coming off a weekend long Las Vegas bender and a Khanate pilot? Not a damn thing. We've both been up for three days straight, yet everyone expects us to work tonight."

Some PLA generals decided to make an all-out charge at the Tumens. Genghis's boys and girls were having none of that. They weren't using their Russian-built Khanate tanks to kill Chinese-built PLA tanks. No, their tanks were sneaking around and picking off the Chinese anti-air vehicles.

The Chinese tanks and APCs engaged the dismounted Khanate infantry who, as Aksai Chin had shown, possessed some of the latest anti-tank weaponry. In the few cases where the PLA threw caution to the wind, they did some damage to the Khanate by sheer weight of numbers. For the rest, it was death by airpower.

With their anti-air shield gone, the battle became little more than a grisly, real-life FPS game. It wasn't 'THE END'. China still had over 2,000,000 troops to call upon versus the roughly 200,000 the Khanate could currently muster. The PLA's new dilemma was how to transport these mostly truck-bound troops anywhere near the front lines without seeing them also exterminated from the air.

After the Tumens gobbled up the majority of the PLA's available mobile forces, they resumed their advance toward the provincial boundaries of Xinjiang and Nin Mongol. There was little left to slow them down. The Chinese still held most of the urban centers in Xinjiang and Nei Mongol, yet they were isolated. And Khanate follow-up forces (the national armies they'd 'inherited') were putting the disease-riddled major municipalities under siege.

All over the 24/7 World Wide News cycle, talking heads and military gurus were of two minds about the Khanate's offensive. Most harped on the fact that while the Khanate was making great territorial gains, it was barely making a dent in the Chinese population and economy. Uniformly, those people insisted that before the end of November, the Khanate would be crushed and a reordering of Asia was going to be the next great Mandate for the United Nations.

A few of the braver unconventional pundits pointed out the same thing, but with the opposite conclusion, arguing:

1.There were virtually no military forces in the conquered areas to contend with the Khanate's hold on the regions.

2.Their popularity in the rural towns and countryside seriously undercut any hope for a pro-PRC insurgency.

3.Driving the Khanate's forces back to their starting points would be a long and difficult endeavor that the World Economy might not be able to endure.

When the PLAAF was effectively castrated after thirty-six hours of continuous aerial combat, a lot of experts were left with egg on their faces. One lone commentator asked the most fearful question of all. Where was the Khanate getting the financing, technical know-how and expertise to pull all of this off? There was a reason to be afraid of that answer.

And while I was entertaining my six sailor-saviors, there were two other things of a diplomatic nature only just revealing themselves. Publically, Vladimir Putin had graciously offered to mediate the crisis while 'stealthily' increasing the readiness of his Eastern Military District. If there was any confusion, that meant activating a shitload of troops on the Manchurian border, not along the frontiers of the former nations of Mongolia and Kazakhstan.

After all, Mongolia was terribly poor. Manchuria/Northeastern China? Manchuria was rich, rich, rich! From the Kremlin, Putin spoke of 'projecting a presence' into the 'lost territory' of Manchuria, citing Russia's long involvement in the region. By his interpretation of history, the Russians (aka the Soviet Union) had rescued Manchukuo (the theoretically INDEPENDENT Imperial Japanese puppet state of Manchuria) from the Japanese in 1945. They'd even given it back to the PRC for safekeeping after World War II was concluded.

Putin promised Russia was ready and willing to help out the PRC once again, suggesting that maybe a preemptive intervention would forestall the inevitable Khanate attack, thus saving the wealthy, industrialized province from the ravages of war. Surely Putin's Russians could be relied on to withdraw once the Khanate struggle was resolved? Surprisingly, despite being recent beneficiaries of President Putin's promises, the Ukraine remained remiss in their accolades regarding his rectitude.

In the other bit of breaking news; an intermediary convinced the Khanate to extend an invitation to the Red Cross, Red Crescent and the WHO to investigate the recently conquered regions in preparations for a humanitarian mission.

That intermediary was Hana Sulkanen; for reasons no one could fathom, she alone had the clout to get the otherwise unresponsive new regime to open up and she was using that influence to bring about a desperately needed relief effort to aid the civilians caught up in that dynastic struggle. A Princess indeed. No one was surprised that the PRC protested, claiming that since the territory wasn't conquered, any intervention was a gross violation of Chinese sovereignty.

End of Note

(To Live and Die in Hun-Gray)

Orsi may have been the troupe leader, but Anya needed me more, so she came first.

"I need a shower before we catch some dinner," I announced as we meandered the streets of Mindszent. My lady friends were all processing that as I wound an arm around Anya's waist and pulled her close. "Shower?" I smiled down at her - she was about 1.7 m (5'7"). It took her a few seconds to click on my invitation.

"Yeah...sure, that would be nice," she reciprocated my casual waist hold. Several of her friends giggled over her delay. We were heading back to the Seven Fishermen's Guest House.

[Bulgarian] "Do you do this...picking up strange girls you've barely met for...you know?" she looked at me expectantly.

[Russian] "Yes and no," I began. "I often find myself encountering very intriguing women, for which I know I am a fortunate man. I embrace sensuality. That means I know what I'm doing, but I'm not the 'bring him home to meet the parents' kind of guy."

[Russian] "What of your fiancée? Do you feel bad about cheating on her?" Anya pursued me.

[Russian] "Hana is wonderful. I've met her father and it went badly both times," I confessed.

[Russian] "How?" Anya looked concerned for me.

"Would you two speak a language the rest of us can understand?" Monika teased us.

"Very well," I nodded to Monika, and turned back to Anya, "The first time, his son raped a girl and I threatened the young man's life," I revealed. "Jormo, Hana's father, wasn't happy when I did so. The second time, he hit me twice - once in the gut and once in the head," I continued.

"Why did he hit you?" Orsi butted in.

"I'd rather not say. You may think less of me," I confessed. Pamela gave me a wink for playing my audience so well. I'm glad she's family (kinda/sorta).

"The boy - he is dead?" Magdalena guessed. "Hana's brother?"

"I really shouldn't talk about that," I evaded. "It is a family matter." That's right. The family that my grandmother had brought me into as her intern / slayer-in-training. There is no reason to create a new lie when you can embellish a previous one.

"Do you ever feel bad about what you do?" Katalin asked Pamela. We love movies.

"As I see it, if I show up looking for you, you've done something to deserve it," Pamela gave her sage philosophy behind being an assassin.

"Are you...bi-sexual?" Jolan murmured. Pamela smacked me in the chest as I laughed. "Did I say something wrong?" Jolan worried. Pamela was a killer.

"No, you are fine," Pamela patted Jolan's shoulder. "I'm straight and happily so. It just so happens that most of my co-workers are women. Day in - day out - nothing but sweaty female bodies working out, sparring and grappling together - and afterwards, the massages."

That was my Grandma, poking all the lesbian buttons of the women around me. Best of all, she did it with the detached air of a sexually indifferent matron. She was stirring up the lassies while keeping them focused on me. We walked into the courtyard of our guest house.

"Don't take too long, you two," Orsi teased us.

"Ha!" Pamela chuckled. "That's like asking the Sun to hurry up and rise, the Moon to set too soon, or the sea to stay at low tide forever."

"Anya," I whispered into her ear. "How many orgasms do you want?" Anya's eyes expanded. Her eyes flickered toward her friends, then back to me. She held up one finger - I grinned speculatively. Anya held up two fingers. I kissed her fingers.

"Your wish is my command," I susurrated {Triple Word Score!}. We went to the group room long enough to grab our toiletries - for me that meant a tiny shampoo bottle.

The majority of my stuff had burned up in the car the Black Hand delivered me in. Unlike some guys, I have no problem using female-friendly cleanliness products; but Anya's stuff was back on their boat. We made the best with what we had. I put on a condom right off the bat. Anya was unsure of herself. It turned out Anya had had two, rather feeble, previous male encounters.

Her first was a medium term relationship which ended when he was unable to perform on their second attempt. The second guy was an internet date. That guy sounded like the king of the One-night Stand: get in, bang 'em and never return their e-mails. Sadly, that often left the girl wondering what she'd done wrong, although the truth was the guy was incapable of five minutes of small talk to save his life.

I encouraged Anya to wash me while I washed her. I didn't want her thinking of her and me. I wanted her focusing on the 'us' in order to blur the lines between our individuality. She was double-handed pumping my cock without thinking about it for thirty seconds when she gasped, "Oh God!" as she realized what she was doing.

"Why did you stop?" I gave her a compassionate grin. "I liked it." She blushed, looked down and away then smiled. "Please?" I requested. Now she looked up. Making your sex partner happy is its own erotic boost. Anya returned with a timid hold on my phallus.

I used her indecision to create my own reward system. I placed kisses on her forehead, temple, cheeks and finally the corners of her lips as she rubbed me. As she got happy and more confident, her hands became more adventurous. My hands tracing the lines of her small breasts was my response, although kisses continued. I'd stroke the tender masses, then twirl her nipples. Anya came back with little pre-orgasmic huffing noises.

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