Military Air Station Kalibad/Kalibad International Airport
The unmarked 737 swept in from the north and after levelling off a few feet over the runway, finally set itself onto the runway, as two Flankers pulled away to enter a circuit over the airbase. The plane taxied into an empty military hangar and as the doors opened and the stairs unfolded from the plane, the waiting company of mixed military personnel came to attention. “Guard! Pre-sent…ARMS!” The men and women in the platoon brought their Simonov rifles infront of their bodies all while keeping their eyes straight ahead. The CM preferred the older rifles for ceremony because of their simple shape, with much less to get caught on a uniform. The guard looked sharp, they’d been practising all week, their rifles had been cleaned by the staff at the Presidential Guard in Coocoobad, where they’d been brought from and the drill staff from the same unit had the group well versed. They were mostly army from the Airborne division, which had been deployed in the whole Oblast for some months, some Airmen from this base and a few Naval personnel from the local reserve division, that had decided not to go away for the summer.
President Andrei Pakhomov knew most of this as a former soldier and always made a point of recognizing their hard work by inspecting them properly. He chatted with a few of them breifly, keeping things moving along, as even in the hangar, the hot sun was a nuisance to all of them. Then, he clambered into a Sport Utility vehicle, which he was using as a replacement for the older Chaika limousines, which he hated and sped off towards the city proper. He had always found it odd that the symbol of power and luxury in the Soviet Union was named after a god damned Seagull, and never found them to be luxurious in the least.
They set out, with the two SUVs of his security detail flanked by a Coocoo Autonomous Oblast police Car at either end. As they passed a bridge, Pakhomov took note of the inflatable boat putting along near the pylons, as well as the divers sitting by a UAZ van on the shore. When they passed a fork, they saw an armoured riot jeep with several helmeted police special forces waiting beside it. They arrived at the tallest building in the city, the Executive Hotel, a large, cylindrical glass structure and went to one of two large rooms on the top floor. Quickly he settled in, as the people under him made sure that the reception in the basement was ready and that the guard, band and welcoming party at the airport was ready for the next group.
Back at the Airport
“I keep telling you, I swear to god I saw a half-woman, half-cat driving a tank.” One of the Airborne Junior Sergeants was trying to convince a reserve navy cook of what he’d seen when he’d crossed paths with their visitors before as they sat on folding chairs in the hangar next to the one where the President had deplaned, before it was towed to the hangar on the other side, so the red-carpeted, spotless hangar could be used again.
“That’s not possible, that’s just too odd.”
“I thought so too, but you want to know something? She was quite beautiful.”
A friend of his butted in. “Are you professing your feline crush again Kolya? Tell you what, when that Herc with their cars pulls in, why don’t you go say hi to the first cat-girl you see? You could end up with a house with a white picket fence, a trampoline and a literal litter of them.”
“Well I could bring them by to visit their ‘Uncle Borya’ and have my littlest put a hairball right in your mailbox.”
The group of them quite enjoyed that quip and went about shining and waxing their rifles again, even though they looked very good already, the sun would melt the finish before they were done. A C-130 pulled in with a steady drone and went out of their field of view.
The sailor talked to Borya this time. “So you’ve really seen these, these cat women?”
Borya, who was a PFC, leaned forward. “Oh yeah, they’re something like 10% of their military. Good soldiers though, the…Hannabi regiment? Something like that, anyhow, they hold a candle to us paras. You know those armoured suits they have?”
The sailor nodded, somewhat wide-eyed.
“The cat-people drive them almost exclusively. They’re called Ravens, they are some stuck up though. You know how your Divers act, right?”
The sailor thought a second then remembered living in the diver tent on an exercise. They wore army greens most of the time, instead of the Navy coveralls, kept to themselves and though of themselves as special forces, when by any definition other than theirs, they weren’t.
“They’re aloof like that too. Still, they’re worth the discomfort of getting used to them.”
The Herc pulled to a stop with the ramp half down as a crew of the Royal Dannistrian Air Force began to unload vehicles. Sure enough, one of them had a black bob with dark brown triangluar ears poking through and a brown tail with white spots on it. The sailor’s eyes grew even wider. Finally, he spoke. “You know Junior Sergeant?” He was speaking to Kolya. “You could be right about these cat girls.”
They laughed again, before their Warrant Officer interrupted them. “ALRIGHT GROUP! Keep it to a dull roar!” He turned to face the sailor. “And son, the Junior Sergeant is completely right about the Nekomimi as they’re called. You’ll be happy to know they’re predominantly female, but, watch out for scratches, as they’re just like any other cat’s.” He smiled and walked off. The sailor paused, reflecting on how the already odd army sense of humour was only multiplied by these paras.