The Rightful Return

Dichnya, Bastok

The inn was silent, just like every other night. The small suburb of Ushmun had avoided much of the fighting, unlike the island capital. Everyone knew that militia was present in the city, though they were too afraid of the Union government forces to begin fighting. The inn was relatively empty - just a men at the bar, a few human men sitting at a table, as well as a few lupine men sitting further away from the humans. The lupine bartender was cleaning a few glasses, content with the way things were going.

Both groups of men spoke in hushed tones, though almost everyone knew that the lupines were part of the underground militia and the humans were members of the secret police. While the inn was peaceful, tension was high. It was only a matter of time before things erupted. After a few more moments, the humans stood up and began walking over towards the lupines. The lupines quickly noticed, and cocked their hidden weapons.

Suddenly, all eyes were drawn to the ceiling as the sounds of low flying jets broke the silence, and several explosions echoed throughout the sleepy coastal town. The lupine men were spared as the humans quickly exited the bar just in time to see an APC explode. Shouting quickly filled the void of noise left behind by the explosions as technicals raced down the road, followed by irregular militiamen. The trucks flew the flags of Bastok and Glubina, as well as of the Laiatanese Federation.

Several helicopters then flew overhead, and by then it was obvious. Below, after the technicals and militiamen, a much more organized force came rolling down the street. Several APCs and IFVs moved quickly to support the militia as automatic gunfire broke out further down the road. A full-scale invasion had begun.

Bashara Market, Glazovo, Bastok

The sounds of explosions and automatic resonated across the market square, the site of an intense battle between the militia and regime forces. There was no silence. When the guns stopped, shouting took over as commanders barked orders at their troops, trying to gain the upper hand. Civilians had practically vanished in the capital city of Glazovo, either hiding in their homes or fled the islands entirely. Neither side really worried about civilian casualties.

Radio chatter was frantic as front line commanders requested assistance in the form of airstrikes and ground support. Before long, the requests were answered. Laiatanese planes shot down harassing helicopters and bombed buildings crawling with regime troops as heavy armored vehicles rolled into the market, engaging the retreating regime troops. Several rockets slammed into the ground surrounding the lead vehicle, others slamming into the sides, destroying its ability to move. It was able to respond with its main weapon, and quickly dispatched the rocket troops as the soldiers it was carrying moved from the vehicle.

Five armored personnel carriers arrived to assist in securing the market, and deployed 35 troops to assist the slowly emerging militiamen. They were covered in dirt, grime, ash - anything and everything. In contrast, the Laiatanese soldiers were somewhat cleaner, but it was obvious to the militiamen they had been into battle before. As most of the soldiers moved to help finalize the securing of the market, the Laiatanese unit commander was greeted by the militia unit commander.

“Thank you for showing up,” the militia commander said, giving the other commander a firm handshake. “I am Colonel Alexander Tsyanotochek, Free Bastokian Army.”

“Sergeant Pyotr Ushlakov, Spezialzekeinheit.”

“Oh, your men are special forces? That explains the swiftness. I must admit, it’s nice finally seeing that flag,” the weary colonel admitted, pointing out Pyotr’s flag patch.

“It’s nice finally helping you guys. We heard stories.”

“All true. It’s been awful. I know your country will make it all better,” Alexander said with a growing smile, his ears perking up as a small firefight broke out across the way - though it ended quickly as the SZE swept through the room.

“Well, our government is supporting you. That much is obvious. Perhaps one day you’ll be brought into the Federation like you should’ve all those years ago,” Pyotr said with a small chuckle, patting Alexander’s arm.

“Perhaps,” Alexander replied, nodding and smiling hopefully. “Now come, let us plan our next move.”

Central Office, Prezidenthaus
Federal City of Volkgoroda, Laiatan

President Kreskov had his back turned to the Secretary of Defense, his eyes watching the early morning commuters head off to work. “How goes Operation Homecoming, Avksentiy Kirilovich?”

“Excellent, Herr President. We have secured a foothold on both islands thanks to support from local militias and have maintained low casualties. Bashara Market was secured by SZE troops moving in to support the Free Bastokian Army, the FBA put up a Laiatanese flag over the market.”

“Good. Winning hearts and minds are key if we want the referendum to go the way we want. An independent Bastok and Glubina would be nice, but it would be much better if they flew our flag.”

“Agreed. The only issue would be the influx of pro-Union humans brought into the Federation, but that’s for the Interior to worry about.”

“Wrong. They’re your problem until the referendum.” Kreskov turned around to face the Secretary, hands clamping down on the back of his chair. “Bastok and Glubina are not Laiatanese provinces. They are combat areas controlled by an enemy. The areas we control are controlled by the military. Yes, the Interior will help you. But only after the islands are Laiatanese provinces. Until then, the Internal Security Service will be assisting you in squashing opposition to Laiatanese rule. Lupines shouldn’t be the problem, it’ll be the humans. But you know this. You’re smart, you read the reports.”

“Yes, Herr President.”

“Good. Meet with the Director of National Intelligence. She’s expecting you.”

Avksentiy nodded and turned, walking out of the office as Kreskov turned back around to look out the window.

Kolki, Bastok, Kazakavo Islands

The ruins of Kolki, an old lupine settlement built in a predominately human area during the 1990s and destroyed just hours before by the Kazakavo central government was soon overrun by Laiatanese troops who faced zero resistance. Upon arriving at the ruins, they found there was not a soul in sight. The bodies of lupine civilians were still scattered in some of the public areas, and it was obvious the genocide was still happening just moments before the Laiatanese troops arrived.

The unit that took the ruins, a recon platoon comprising of 21 men in three PGN-4 APCs deployed as the APCs took up defensive positions in town. The platoon split into their fireteams, ensuring the ruins were under control. All remained quiet for several minutes until the sounds of shouting and automatic gunfire echoed through the desolate settlement, followed by more shouting. A fireteam found multiple Kazakavo government soldiers near an open pit just down the hill, and dragged them up the hill to the town square where the lieutenant was waiting.

“We found these guys by a pit down the hill there,” one of the soldiers spoke, motioning towards the hill. “Dumping bodies into a mass grave.”


“Yes sir.”

The officer turned to the prisoners, who were now down on their knees with their hands restrained, guns pointed at their backs. In English, he began speaking to them. “Who ordered the executions?”

None of the men responded, and kept their eyes from meeting the lieutenant’s. The lieutenant gave a nod to the soldiers behind the prisoners, who hit them in the back with their rifle stocks, the men collapsing from the hit. The lieutenant drew his sidearm, sliding a round into the chamber.

“Who ordered the executions?” The lieutenant repeated.

“I ain’t telling you no-” A gunshot echoed in the square, the lieutenant moving down the line to the next one. Each one remained silent, and were promptly executed themselves. The last man was nearly in tears by the time the lieutenant got to him, and didn’t even let the officer ask his question.

“G-g-government. Government ordered. All lupine settlements in human areas. Wipe them out.”


“Back pocket.”

One of the soldiers dug in his pocket, pulling out a map with the settlements marked. “Got it.” The lieutenant gave a nod as he holstered his sidearm, taking the map from the soldier before looking up after another shot rang out. The lieutenant looked back up calmly, shifting his attention to the slumped forward prisoner. “He was laughing as he tossed a child in.”

The lieutenant paused before nodding in approval, turning back around and making his way to the APC as the soldiers that accompanied him began moving the bodies of the executed troops.

Yesterday evening, the village of Arsaki on the Vilkas Bluffs

“The war is lost, Premier. The capital is overrun with rebels and Laiatanese regulars. They hold the palace. The country is going to fall. Glubina Island is already under their control. We have to leave.”

With a sigh, Premier Anton Barinov nodded, looking down at the world map spread out across the table. Several of the countries were circled, while others had a large red ‘x’ place through them. Vulshain, Vekaiyu, Listonia, SHACOG, BGP - all places with an ‘x’ through them. They were too close to Laiatan, both geographically and politically, Barinov reasoned. Others, like Pax-Draconia, Xoriet, and Severisen were circled and under consideration because of their location and large sizes.

Barinov’s hands were shaking slightly as he trailed his fingers over the names of his potential homes, and General Kresnik Seitz, Barinov’s second in command, noticed this. He’d never seen his Premier this nervous. Even during the 2000 riots, Barinov was calm. He was calm after the 2002 assassination attempt. In the twenty years Seitz had served with Barinov, this was the first time he was visibly shaken. The illusion of being untouched by anyone had been shattered.

“Get some sleep, Premier. We’ll leave in the morning. I’m just a village over,” the general told Barinov, patting him on the back and taking the map. Barinov nodded, standing up straight and stretching, shutting his bedroom door. Outside of the door in the living room sat several armed bodyguards, off in their own little worlds. They were certain nobody knew where the Premier was.

Late last night, the village of Arsaki on the Vilkas Bluffs

Two fireteams converged on the village after being dropped several miles away via helicopter. One of the fireteams consisted solely of Laiatanese trained Free Bastokian Army rebels while the other consisted of SZE troops. Though they were there for support, the rebels’ central command requested the SZE take a larger role in the operation. The SZE would take the lead in this operation.

Moving under the cover of darkness, the fireteams made their way towards the small house that they suspected Barinov to be in. There were no guards outside, though the troops noticed a man would look out from a window as they approached. A flash of lightning broke the darkness as rain began to pour from the sky, the soldiers stacking up at the two entrances. Switching their safeties off, the fireteams kicked in the doors and deployed flashbang grenades. They entered as the grenades went off, their suppressed weapons firing and dispatching the bodyguards.

Inside his bedroom, Barinov woke suddenly as the flashbangs went off. He tore open the drawer next to the bed, chambering a round into his pistol and fired several rounds through the door. The living room grew silent as one of the soldiers crept forward. Two of the rebels left the building and went around to the side of the house, smashing open the window with the butt of their rifles and tossing in a flashbang. Barinov’s pistol dropped to the floor as he covered his head, the grenade going off and disorienting him slightly as the rest of them men spilled into the bedroom. Once he got his bearings back, he realized he had six rifles pointed at him from inside the room, two pointed at him from the window.

All color drained from his face as he stared at the masked men, and he slowly raised his arms. A helicopter flew overhead, circling the house. Two of the soldiers grabbed his arms as another took the pistol from the ground. Barinov was cuffed and physically dragged from the building before he began walking, his head hanging. Several villagers stood outside their homes as they watched Barinov get loaded into the helicopter.

“It’s done.” One of the rebels said to another, his wide grin hidden by his mask as he and the rest of the men climbed on, returning to base in the helicopter…

Prezidenthaus Press Briefing Room, Federal City of Volkgoroda

Kreskov made his way down the hallway into the press room, which was filled with representatives from the various news sources in Laiatan. They stood as he entered, several taking photographs as he got comfortable behind the podium. He cleared his throat, flashing a smile to the crowd.

“Morning everyone.”

The greeting was returned by the group; several on the edge of their seats, others leaned back and relaxed.

“As all of you know, we have been engaged with government forces of the Kazakavo Islands in support of several rebel groups.”

Kreskov peered down at the papers in front of him before returning his eyes to the crowd.

“I am pleased to announce to the Laiatanese people that Laiatan’s combat role is ending in the Kazakavo Islands. Laiatanese forces and rebel groups control roughly ninety-five percent of Bastok, and one hundred percent of Glubina. Rebel groups will be securing the remainder of Bastok with strategic support from our military.”

Almost every hand went up in the room as the flash of cameras nearly blinded Kreskov.

“We have been collaborating with rebel authorities, who have formed the Kazakavo Transitional Council, the new government of the Islands. The KTC has announced that a referendum has been scheduled on the matter of independence. As I’m sure you all know, Kazakavo unilaterally seceded from Laiatan during the Civil War, and our government continues to maintain it does not recognize the Islands as a sovereign nation. Therefore…”

Kreskov flipped another page, adjusting it before continuing.

“This referendum will determine whether the Kazakavo Islands should continue working with Laiatan to achieve full independence, or become integrated into the Federation. The referendum will take place on October 7, 2014.”

Kreskov closed his papers before looking back up to the crowd, where plenty of hands were raised.

“I will be turning this conference over to the Press Secretary, she will answer all of your questions.”

Flashes from cameras began once again as Kreskov handed the reins over to the Press Secretary, and he exited the room.

Capitol Building, Glazovo, Kazakavo Islands

The sound of glasses clinking together broke the silence of the new Governor’s Office, currently occupied by Governor-General Kiril Kirilovich Novmansky of the Laiatanese Army; until the people of the Kazakavo Islands elect their own governor. He was sitting on one of the cushy chairs left behind by the old regime, with his president sitting across from him in a similar chair. Both of the men took a drink from their glasses after toasting.

“The first Laiatanese president to step foot on the Kazakavo Islands. Congratulations, Herr President,” the middle aged lupine said with a grin, his blue eyes flashing in the sunlight that peered through the windows. “You’re bringing our great nation back into the spotlight.”

Kreskov let out a hearty laugh, setting his glass down on the dark oak desk next to them. His lips curled against his teeth, flashing a grin to the General. “I must admit, it does feel good reuniting Laiatan Proper. I regret that it took the lives of brave Laiatanese men and women to do it, but it had to be done.”

The General nodded, swirling his drink around in his glass. “Herr President-”

“Why is Seitz still alive?” Novmansky’s eyes dropped to his drink as his ears fell flat against his head, submitting to his superior. “Kiril Kirilovich, I want Kresnik Seitz dead. I don’t care if he’s executed in a prison like his boss, or if he’s killed in an airstrike.”

“Yes, Herr President.”

“Forty people are dead because we didn’t get him with Barinov. It was the first terror attack on Laiatanese soil since the Eighties. I will not have it happen again.” Kreskov pulled a small envelope from his jacket pocket, and tossed it on the desk. “New intel from FIS, couple hours old. Get to it. I’ll see you tonight at the dinner.”

Novmansky gave a respectful nod to Kreskov as he stood up and left. Once the president was gone, Novmansky took the envelope and opened it up to read its contents.