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Death And Rebirth: Prologue


Uralica
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[OOC Background]Takes place 11 weeks before Uralic Bashkortostan is formed.

This is the beginning of what I hope will be a very thorough RP of the transition from Estovakia's downfall to the rise of Uralic Bashkortostan and also Bosporan. I'm waiting on Centurius and Justinian to get involved, but until then, I'm going to continue the Character RP I started here - http://forums.cybernations.net/index.php?s...t&p=1371689 - , but only for this one "episode."

[/OOC]

Jarkko Salomäki arrived in Tallinn at around 10:00, having caught a flight from Yoshkar-Ola at the first possible opportunity and crossed a time zone in the process. Once he exited the airplane and went inside the smallish terminal, he almost immediately noticed a young woman holding a cardboard sign with his name on it. She was tall as women went, and had long blonde hair tied back into a ponytail. She was also wearing a military uniform. He approached her swiftly, and saluted. The woman returned the salute.

"Chief Warrant Officer Jarkko Salomäki, at your service ma'am," he said, respectfully.

"Tervehdys. I am Second Lieutenant Auli Saarinen, and after today, there will be no need for such formalities," the woman said, with equal respect. "Please, come with me. Our escort awaits."

Jarkko wasn't about to ask questions. He followed the woman outside to a waiting car, a smallish, blue four-door custom-built Merkuur whose windows had been bullet-proofed. They got in the back.

"Maardussa," was Auli's only word to the driver.

"Why we going to Maardu?" Jarkko asked, inquisitively. "Isn't that place only for bigwigs and bureaucrats in this neck of the woods?"

"Normally yes," Auli said, looking at Jarkko and grinning. "But some of those 'bigwigs and bureaucrats' want to talk to you about those test you took in that city whose name I still can't pronounce properly."

"Yoshkar-Ola?" Jarkko asked.

"No, the one with all those unrounded 'u' sounds," Auli responded, irked. "You know, the one in Komi Republic."

"Ohhhhhhhhhhh, Syktyvkar," Jarkko said. "Now I remember. To be fair though, I only wrote two tests there. I wrote most of my tests in Yoshie."

The car began to move away from the airport, and found its way to Peterburi Maantee, the main highway that led east towards Kohtla-Järve and eventually St. Petersburg. Maardu was to the north of this.

"So how did you find Yoshkar-Ola?" Auli asked.

"Boring," Jarkko said. "At least, the part of it I was cooped up in. All dull and dreary. All the culture was on the other side of the goddamn city!" He looked out the window. "At least the outskirts of Tallinn have SOMETHING cultural about them." He pointed at a cathedral. "Uralo-Gothic architecture at its finest."

They came to an overpass indicator that read:

< FOSFORIDI, MAARDU

KOGRE, LIIVAMÄE >

The driver turned right onto the off-ramp, then at the top, after stopping for a red light, hung a left to head north towards Maardu, through an industrial area. Not too much later, the road forked, and the car turned left again to continue on Fosforidi, until they reached a street marked Kombinaadi - another left turn.

Jarkko was reminded of how much he hated industrial parks by this area. He found them dirty, smelly, and downright miserable. He was trying to hold his breath at the smell of sulfur dioxide and other pollutants.

Kombinaadi itself eventually forked, at which point the car turned right on Põhjaranna Tee and headed north, at which point Jarkko finally exhaled. It would only be minutes until the commercial area of Maardu, largely the realm of big business and government officials, came into sight.

To Jarkko's surprise, they completely bypassed the southern entrance to Maardu, continuing for another two or three minutes to reach Maardu Tee, at which point they hung a left. They proceeded past the northern core of Maardu to an office building which was right on the main road, at which point the driver pulled off into the building's parking lot and let the two out.

It seemed an ordinary office building on the outside, but its basements housed military administration facilities for the area. They entered through the main entrance of the building, which faced the road, and entered the nearest elevator on the left side of the hallway by which they entered.

The button pad looked odd to Jarkko. It had several buttons, but none of the basement buttons were lit. There was also a slot beneath the buttons that looked as if it were used for card entry. Auli reached into her pocket and produced a card that resembled a credit card, except it had a notch in its top left corner. She stuck this into the slot, and the basement lights lit up immediately. She then pushed the button with "B3" on it.

After a short trip down with the elevator, they were in the third basement. Jarkko immediately noticed the air quality smacked of air recycling systems, which gave him a slight headache. But he followed Auli through a couple dead-silent halls, before coming to a room marked, "0106." They entered together.

The room was fairly plain-looking. White walls, four tall, white filing cabinets against one wall, and a large, wooden desk at the very back of the room with a computer off to one side, and a black-haired middle-aged man sitting behind it. Jarkko and Auli both saluted when they saw his insignia. He was definitely a military official.

"Ah, zdrastvuytye," the man said. "Welcome back Lieutenant. And you, you must be Jarkko Salomäki. Please, have a seat." The man indicated two chairs at the opposite end of his desk.

"This is Brigadier Aleksey Vinogrodov," Auli said. "One of the few military officials that prefers his desk job."

"Let's cut to the chase - your test results in officer training were well above average," Aleksey said. "Obviously your experience in war on behalf of Slavorussia was counted to you as practical experience, in which your commanding officers were consistently impressed with your leadership skills. So they had me look over these tests again, and they clearly show the mark of one who will be a great leader in the Empire's military machine. I sent my recommendation to the Slavorussian Military Command, and they sent me back authorisation to grant you a rank as high as Major." He paused, then turned to Auli. "Lieutenant, could you leave us two for a few minutes?"

"Yes sir," she complied, and walked out the door. After a few more minutes, Aleksey continued as a bewildered Jarkko wondered what was going on.

"There are two things that come up on your psychological profile that were of great interest to me in particular," Aleksey said. "Obviously you are Uralic - you are Finnish, for God's sake! But you were said to take a great deal of pride in the fact. Also, you seemed to have this fixation with Estovakia, which as you know is coming apart at the seams as we have this conversation."

"Both are true," Jarkko said. "But what of it?"

"Although we Slavs are the dominant people of Slavorussia, we also take issue when our third-largest ethnic group is persecuted in other parts of the region at large. Also, I have lived here in Estonia for forty years. My wife is Estonian. I have a personal vested interest in Uralic affairs. When I asked my superiors where I was allowed to assign you, they said they would prefer if it were somewhere along the Estovakian border or at least close by, so you could monitor the situation and mobilise in the case of Dark Hand spilling over into our lands. Therefore, I am sending you to the closest Uralic-dominant centre to our border. Return to Yoshkar-Ola and start preparing to move to Izhevsk immediately."

Jarkko grinned from ear to ear.

"Yes, sir!" he chirped enthusiastically. The enthusiasm seemed a little much even for Aleksey.

"Is there something or someone in Izhevsk?" he asked. "I'm just curious."

"Yes, sir, there is," Jarkko answered. "You know of Dr. Ovdey Shlomov of the University of Udmurtiya, right?"

Aleksey grinned. He knew what Jarkko had in mind. For Ovdey Shlomov, who was a professor of Education, also held a vested interest in the well-being of Uralic peoples around the world. It was mere coincidence that Aleksey had chosen Izhevsk, the capital city of that region, for Jarkko's deployment. But it would end up fulfilling the needs of Slavorussia, of Aleksey, and of Jarkko.

[OOC]Next post: Jarkko meets Ovdey.[/OOC]

Edited by Uralica
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Four Days Later, Izhevsk, Slavorussia

After staying the night at Tallinn, Jarkko had returned to Yoshkar-Ola.

He then drove to a moving van rental place to rent a van, went home, gathered all his belongings and crammed them into the moving van, drove the roughly 220 kilometres of highway that separated the Mari capital from the Udmurt one (which would also take him through Kazan' and several other minor cities), found the military base, completely unpacked the moving van into his new assigned residence, went the whole distance back to Yoshkar-Ola, returned the moving van, gotten his own "beater," and drove the whole distance a third time, in one day. The following day, he had no time early on to arrange his new living quarters, as he had to attend a debriefing meeting at 0:800, which he was at until 13:00.

Why that meeting was even necessary, I'll probably never know, Jarkko had thought of it. He found it boring and redundant as he already knew much of the information already. What little he didn't know was in the handouts he received. He spent the rest of the day, barring lunch and supper, arranging his living quarters so they actually looked presentable.

Although it was poor discipline, he was so thoroughly exhausted that he slept in the following day. When he finally got active around noon, he surveyed the Izhevsk complex of which he was to become second-in-command.

Which brought him to today. His first official day on the job. But giving orders and receiving classified documents were the last things on his mind. After finally having received his new uniforms - one, his standard uniform with new insignia, sent from Yoshkar-Ola, and the other, a neatly-pressed, fresh-off-the-loom dress uniform - he showered, trimmed his beard, shaved his head, and re-dressed in his dress uniform so as to look presentable when he met Dr. Shlomov for the first time. After being fully satisfied with his appearance, Jarkko exited the room to find Auli waiting for him... and impressed by what she saw.

"Well, aren't you looking handsome today?" she asked, semi-flirting. "You look better in that than you did in those ragged-$@! field clothes you wore before."

"Were you assigned here as well?" Jarkko asked, slightly surprised.

"No, I'm actually headed for Perm'," Auli said. "But I was asked to stop here. I might as well drive you to the university, considering it's north of here."

"I would appreciate that," Jarkko said. "Thank you."

"No problem... sir," she remarked, winking and grinning.

Going to the parking lot with Auli, Jarkko saw a white Lootus two-door waiting, so he got in the passenger side. Auli got in the driver's side. Jarkko noticed that the back was filled with luggage.

"Time to pop in the Fear Factory CD," Auli said, starting the car up.

"Just like the good ol' days in Viipuri," Jarkko retorted, grinning, grabbing a CD off the tray between the two front seats, and putting it in the car's CD player.

The CD put in was "Demanufacture." It was an interesting sight in Izhevsk, watching two 25-year-old military officials yelling, "I GOT! NO MORE! GOD DAMN! REGRETS! I GOT! NO MORE! GOD DAMN! RESPECT!" at the top of their lungs. Auli was worried that Jarkko was going to put a hole in the floor of her car with his air-kickdrumming along to Raymond Herrera's lightning-fast bass drum beats. It took ten minutes to get from the military base to the University, by which time they had completed the song "Self Bias Resistor" as well.

Izhevsk's university was fairly small, but it was well-known for its Education program, which was headed by Dr. Shlomov. However, Jarkko was not going to the University to learn how to teach. He wanted to meet Dr. Shlomov and discuss the Uralic peoples.

He stepped out of the car and looked up at the dozen or so old buildings that stood before him, said his goodbyes to Auli, being sure to ask if her moving arrangements had been taken care of and wish her luck, then began to search the premises for a map.

Finding one, he looked for the ideo locator, then upon finding it, he looked for the education building. And facepalmed when he found it. It was at the easternmost point of the university. He stood at the westernmost. So he began walking. It took him ten minutes to get from that sign to the Education Building.

He made his way to the top floor of this building upon arrival, and inquired at the head Education office about Dr. Shlomov's whereabouts. He was in the building next door, apparently preparing for a lecture about something that had nothing to do with Education - Uralic people.

He ran as fast as he could to the room address the secretary gave him. He wanted to catch the lecture.

When he got there, he found the room empty, except for a grey-haired, grey-bearded man that looked to be in his late fifties or early sixties. The man turned, and was somewhat surprised to see someone in full military dress in his lecture hall.

"Can I help you sir?" he asked.

"Dr. Ovdey Shlomov?" Jarkko responded, with another question.

"Yes, that's me," Dr. Shlomov responded.

"Major Jarkko Salomäki, Slavorussian Armed Forces," Jarkko said, introducing himself. "Huge fan of your papers on Uralic self-determination. I'm actually here for the lecture. And to talk to you afterwards, on semi-official business."

The Russo-Udmurt Jew perked up at this statement.

"You're early," Dr. Shlomov said. "But it's good to see such interest in Uralic affairs by the Slavorussian military. I know Slavorussia's government, while definitely geared towards the interests of the Slavs, has also been beyond accomodating to Uralics like you and I, and also the Volgaic Turks."

"Estovakia was like that as well, at least from what I've read of Empress Motoko," Jarkko said. "I'm still pissed that she was killed. Saatanan Dark Hand... "

"She will be mentioned in the lecture," Dr. Shlomov said, scratching his beard. "Speaking of which, classes should be ending soon, so the rush of people shall come. Matter of fact, there are already people arriving. Come on in!" He waved on those people entering the room.

Within ten minutes, the room was right full. And Jarkko got the best seats in the house for what would turn out to be a very fascinating hour-long lecture about the recent history of the Uralic peoples, including Mariehamn Arms, Slavorussia, Molakia, Xenix, and even the old Hanseatic League. Empress Motoko Kusanagi was mentioned several times. Estovakia was mentioned. There were even mentionings of potential future Uralic movements. Jarkko borrowed several sheets of looseleaf paper from a student sitting next to him, and by the time the lecture was finished, the pages were all full, both sides. There were notes ranging from the failed Vorkuta or Bust Movement to the Dark Hand and the fact that their destabilisation of Estovakia has caused a large anti-Uralic backlash due to buried tensions dating from pre-Estovakian times.

After the lecture, Ovdey left promptly, beckoning Jarkko to follow him, which Jarkko did, taking his notes with him.

Jarkko caught up to him in the hallway.

"Downstairs is a private meeting room," Ovdey said. "Let's head there."

Finding some stairs, they went down to the second basement of the building, then through the dimly-lit halls to a small room with a table and two chairs in it.

They both sat down.

"Were you sent by Brigadier Vinogrodov?" Ovdey asked.

"How did you..."

"He told me you would be coming to discuss a potential Uralic movement," Ovdey said. "And I must say, if even members of the military are willing to partake in such an endeavour, it might just have a chance of surviving. Now Slavorussia has treated its Uralics well. The former Estovakia and the Protectorate Zone, not so much. And still, our people join Dark Hand, thinking it will help."

He noticed Jarkko's left fist clench and his face turn red.

"Dark Hand are heathens and cowards," Jarkko hissed. "Even though you do not share my particular faith, we can agree on this, can we not?"

Ovdey chuckled.

"Most Uralics are Evangelical Christians," he said. "Yet they have always treated us Uralic Jews with respect and dignity, and we have reciprocated. And one of the funny things is, we find ourselves agreeing on more than either of us would like to admit. Any Uralic Jew who's been found to've joined Dark Hand has been unilaterally disowned by our community. And yes, I do agree. Heathens and cowards. Only way of redeeming one of those is to get him to leave. And even then, Dark Hand hunts those who leave down."

Sirkka... Jarkko's thoughts turned to his ex-girlfriend yet again.

"My ex-girlfriend from my years in Viipuri joined Dark Hand," Jarkko said. "She became my ex because I did not hold with Dark Hand's ideals. I'm rather ashamed that so many Uralics are members of that filth, because coups are against Christian teaching."

"It would take something tragically drastic to change any of their minds," Ovdey said.

"Indeed," Jarkko said. "Now, on another topic, where do you think is the best place to launch this movement if it happens?"

"Syktyvkar," Ovdey replied. "It is considered the heartland of Uralic culture. However, unfortunately, something drastic is needed to get any movement going. We must bide our time. We should speak about this at a later date. I shall check my schedule and try to book an appointment to see you at the military base."

Both men got up and shook hands, after which Jarkko left the university and walked all the way back to the military base, taking the time to actually look at the city while he did so.

END EPISODE

OOC: here's the cut-off. The next move should be a Slavorussian occupation of the Bashkortostan region.

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