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Death And Rebirth


Uralica
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OOC: Continuing this. Since UB is apparently the official successor state of Estovakia, I'll be RPing the areas that were once Estovakia then cut off at a certain point to let Centurius RP the founding of Bosporan in Kazakhstan and Kurgan/Sverdlovsk Oblasts.

Also, since Sarah told me I might as well, I'm gonna go ahead and RP the few Slavorussian parts of this RP as well. Remember, this starts two and a half months before Uralic Bashkortostan is founded. Just under 11 weeks, to be exact.

DAY 1

Near Naberezhnyye Chelnyy, Tatarstan, Slavorussia

Kirill Kalinkov was fidgeting with his KF-7 Soviet as a sudden roll-call had sent everyone at the NabChel base scrambling to prepare for the arrival of General Dmitry Molotov. A four-star, Molotov was in charge of all operations on the Eastern Front, and his arrival meant that something big was up. Could it have something to do with the destabilisation of Estovakia caused by Dark Hand? Apparently the entire front, stretching from Otradnyy in the south to Pechora in the north, was on full alert. He stood in a group with several other soldiers, filling a large room which resembled a large gymnasium - there were some fourteen thousand soldiers present.

And then, General Molotov entered the room. A stern-faced, middle-aged man, he shouted to get the attention of the soldiers.

"ATTENTION!!"

Everyone stood stiff and quiet at that.

"Alright, listen up! The Tsar has just given the order to enter the largest constituent province of Estovakia in an attempt to secure it. Who here knows anything about Bashkortostan?"

"SIR!" Kirill yelled. "I know that the population is a mix of Bashkir and Russian, and that it is traditionally Loyalist, sir!"

A smile came to Molotov's face. He walked over in Kirill's direction and stopped in front of the blond-haired Russian.

"That's more than most Slavorussians, soldier," Molotov said. "But you also need know that there are Dark Hand scum crawling through the area as well! If allowed to control the area, they will become a threat to our sovereignty, especially here in Tatarstan, and in Udmurtiya to the north of us! So the Tsar has several divisions of his army going into Bashkortostan. If we can hold Bashkortostan, we might just be able to help our Estovakian comrades."

"Sir! Where will we be assigned, sir?!" someone else asked.

"Patience, soldier," Molotov said, now pacing around again. "Our men in Sarapul have their sights set on Neftekamsk. The NabChel Corps is splitting into its constituent divisions, of which you men are one. In command of your specific area of battle will be General-Major Murat Tursumbayev, an ex-Estovakian citizen who has extensive knowledge of the Bashkortostan area. He has been reading over a lot of records recently, and he found one man that impressed him. KALINKOV, KIRILL VENYAMINOVICH, HOME BASE DZERZHINSK, NIZHNYY NOVGOROD OBLAST!!"

"SIR, YES SIR!!" Kirill belted.

"Ah, the smart guy," Molotov said, with a smile. "Well, he was so impressed with your records that he has promoted you to the rank of Senior Sergeant and made you his executive officer. Obviously you will also answer to your brigade leader, your regiment leader, and so forth."

"Sir, this is a great honour, sir!" he shouted, with a half-smile.

"You, Kalinkov, are dismissed to go meet with him and discuss larger-scale tactics at once. He is in building 136."

At this, Kirill ran his fastest out of the meeting hall to building 136, which was the equivalent of a few city blocks away, holding his weapon so that he wouldn't have an accident if he fell.

Upon arriving in the building's slightly dingy lobby, he found a receptionist and asked where Tursumbayev's office was. He heard a voice shouting at him from down the hall.

"KALINKOV! OVER HERE!" The man had darker skin and slightly slanted eyes, indicative of a Kazakh. He figured it had to be Tursumbayev, so he went in that immediate direction, turning the safety on on his KF-7.

He looked at the man's rank insignia. Two-star general. A bit more friendly-looking than Molotov, the shortish man held out his hand to shake, which Kirill obliged, grinning.

"I am General-Major Tursumbayev," he said. "I'm glad you are here, Senior Sergeant. Come into my office and have a seat at the table."

Expecting a cramped office with papers everywhere, instead he entered a larger room with Tursumbayev's personal desk in the far right corner and a larger area to his left with a table and a map of the region spread out on it, with another map of the region beneath it:

BashkirMap2.gif

"Okay, this map shows our objectives on the divisional level. We have been told by what remains of the Estovakian Loyalists in Orenburg Oblast that we have their permission to pass through Orenburg to get at the south, so the Samara Division stationed at Otradnyy will handle the area in green. The chartreuse area is for Almetyevsk Division. The Blue area is where Sarapul Division will come in. Now our major area of concern is the red area, which contains Ufa, the regional capital, as well as several key points of ingress. Both divisions stationed here are going into the red, however some will remain at Ufa while others secure the regional border crossing near Asha, and others still dip south and occupy Beloretsk and Uchaly. The large X is obviously Ufa."

"How much resistance can we expect to encounter?" Kirill asked.

"Moderate resistance at best," Murat responded. "Dark Hand isn't particularly popular in Bashkortostan, and I conjecture that most of them are hiding in the major cities - in the case of our corps, Dyurtyuli, Ufa, and Blagoveshchensk are the most likely places that we will encounter resistance. The others might encounter resistance in the other major centres - Neftekamsk, Oktyabrskiy, Sterlitamak, Salavat, Ishimbay, hell, maybe even Sibay. But that's for the Samara and Almetyevsk Divisions to worry about for now. We move in two hours. Our first objective is to secure the Ilishevsky Region, which should be light work considering the heavily rural population. The Bashkirs aren't exactly known for their hostility towards allies of Estovakia!"

2 hours later

As he hopped inside one of the troop transports that would carry those departing Naberezhnyye Chelnyy Military Complex, Kirill reached inside his pocket and pulled out the rather convoluted hierarchy of the corps with units named down to the battalion level, just to review it in his mind:

NABCHEL PEACEKEEPING CORPS - TOTAL TROOP ROLL 30,509 TROOPS

Aleph Division - 14,269 troops

- Tsar's Own Light Brigade (4969 troops)

-- 101 Regiment (2469 troops)

--- Alpha Battalion (619 troops)

--- Beta Battalion (620 troops)

--- Gamma Battalion (613 troops)

--- Delta Battalion (617 troops)

-- 102 Regiment (2500 troops)

--- Epsilon Battalion (625 troops)

--- Zeta Battalion (625 troops)

--- Theta Battalion (625 troops)

--- Eta Battalion (625 troops)

- 301st Kazan' Brigade (4750 troops)

-- 301 Regiment (2375 troops)

--- Iota Battalion (625 troops)

--- Kappa Battalion (600 troops)

--- Lambda Battalion (600 troops)

--- Mu Battalion (550 troops)

-- 302 Regiment (2375 troops)

--- Nu Battalion (600 troops)

--- Xi Battalion (600 troops)

--- Omicron Battalion (600 troops)

--- Pi Battalion (575 troops)

- Nizhnekamsk Grenadiers (4550 troops)

-- 201 Regiment (2275 troops)

--- Rho Battalion (565 troops)

--- Sigma Battalion (565 troops)

--- Tau Battalion (565 troops)

--- Upsilon Battalion (580 troops)

-- 202 Regiment (2275 troops)

--- Phi Battalion (565 troops)

--- Chi Battalion (565 troops)

--- Psi Battalion (580 troops)

--- Omega Battalion (565 troops)

Beth Division - 16,240 troops

- Tsar's Own Tatars (5000 troops)

-- 401 Regiment (2500 troops)

--- Alpha Battalion (625 troops)

--- Beta Battalion (625 troops)

--- Gamma Battalion (625 troops)

--- Delta Battalion (625 troops)

-- 402 Regiment (2500 troops)

--- Epsilon Battalion (625 troops)

--- Zeta Battalion (625 troops)

--- Theta Battalion (625 troops)

--- Eta Battalion (625 troops)

- Tsar's Own Fusiliers (4500 troops)

-- 501 Regiment (2250 troops)

--- Iota Battalion (560 troops)

--- Kappa Battalion (560 troops)

--- Lambda Battalion (560 troops)

--- Mu Battalion (570 troops)

-- 502 Regiment (2250 troops)

--- Nu Battalion (560 troops)

--- Xi Battalion (560 troops)

--- Omicron Battalion (570 troops)

--- Pi Battalion (560 troops)

- 299th Kazan' Brigade (4000 troops)

-- 601 Regiment (2000 troops)

--- Rho Battalion (500 troops)

--- Sigma Battalion (500 troops)

--- Tau Battalion (500 troops)

--- Upsilon Battalion (500 troops)

-- 602 Regiment (2000 troops)

--- Phi Battalion (500 troops)

--- Chi Battalion (500 troops)

--- Psi Battalion (500 troops)

--- Omega Battalion (500 troops)

- South Udmurts Light Brigade (2740 troops)

--- Ya Battalion (550 troops)

--- E Kratkoye Battalion (550 troops)

--- Yo Battalion (550 troops)

--- Yu Battalion (550 troops)

--- Yeri Battalion (540 troops)

How the hell does Jarkko handle this stuff? he thought to himself. He had seen the tests that Jarkko wrote, and the logistics organisation he had to do was mind-boggling to his friend Kirill. All he knew how to do was fight and lead. He couldn't possibly come up with all the right numbers.

He knew where he was located in all this hierarchical mess, though - the patches on his shoulder were a constant reminder that he was Alpha, Tsar's Own Light, 102, Theta. And he was in a large truck with twenty or so other men who were the same as he was, rolling down a highway simply marked "M-7". The trucks were large enough to carry small platoons on their own.

"So I hear we have the XO of the entire division leading our platoon," one of the soldiers quipped somewhere down the line, breaking the monotony of engine and road noise. "We have the small platoons in this lot, so whoever he is must be in the truck with us."

"Ya think?" Kirill asked, sarcastically.

"Are you Senior Sergeant Kalinkov?" the soldier asked.

"Indeed," Kirill responded.

"Ahh, so could you explain to us exactly how the hell this setup works?" The soldier asked again, slightly confused.

"Five or six platoons to a company, four or five companies in a battalion," Kirill responded. "After that, we get into big numbers."

A voice yelled from the front.

"Hey guys! We got 20 minutes 'til we cross the old Estovakian border!"

"The first target isn't that far away from the border," Kirill said. "We actually don't need to worry about it too much. The first op point for most of us isn't until we reach Ufa. That includes our particular platoon."

"Poor !@#$%^&* in the 201 have to handle the rural area," another soldier chuckled. "Those Bashkirs are a funny lot though, aren't they?"

"Don't be bad-talking Bashkirs," another soldier said. "I'm part-Bashkir myself. They are very loyal people."

"Oh, I don't doubt that," the first soldier said. "But with all the war going on around them, I'm damned amazed that they still try to keep up their everyday life, farming and hunting and fishing and all that."

"!@#$ing Dark Hand," yet another said. "Why couldn't they just leave Estovakia be?"

"Control?" one soldier answered.

"Bloodlust?" another suggested.

"For the lulz?" a third pondered.

"They're sick enough !@#$%^&* that 'all of the above' probably applies," Kirill said.

A silence followed. They passed through the Tatar junction village of Staraya Matveyevka and headed pretty much straight east. They felt the increase in speed as the speed limit went up as well.

A few minutes later, they came to the last sign of civilisation before the border, a small outpost named Staroye Baysarovo. They could just see the steeple of the church go by as they passed through, going the final few kilometres into Bashkortostan. The first trucks were already well into the nation, and in fact the second truck into the nation, carrying members of the 301 Mu Battalion, stopped at a junction hamlet called Isametovo to ask about local conditions.

The response came through CB radio to all trucks, and was relayed to the rear compartment.

"We have DH activity in various locations along our route," the driver said. "Matter of fact one of them was gang-stabbed by Bashkir Loyalists as close to here as Starokuktovo."

"Op Point Armen," Kirill said. "What's the ETA for the 201s in that area?"

"Another ten to fifteen minutes I'd imagine," the driver said. "We've had to slow down upon entry for obvious reasons. Estovakia - all of it - is still a war zone. This area's no different."

"How many of us are supposed to tag up in Isametovo?"

"None after the lead trucks from what I've heard," the driver said. "Our first scheduled stop is at Op Point Armen."

"I have a bad feeling about this," Kirill said.

Would his pessimism be just that? Or was something bad about to happen?

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The stream of Slavorussian trucks continued to flood into Bashkortostan, some taking different roads than the others to speed up the process.

But near Starokuktovo, something went horribly wrong. One of the trucks hit a mine and exploded, killing an entire platoon instantly.

"TRUCK DOWN! TRUCK DOWN!"

The sound of gunfire followed, as several armed men and women jumped out of hiding and went after the truck that was beside it at the time. The driver of Kirill's truck reported it immediately.

"201-Sigma lost one truck and has another under attack!"

"GOVNA!!" Kirill swore. "Tell 201-Sigma to get their men on foot, pronto!"

A silence followed, but a minute later, the Batallion colonel chimed in.

"Dark-Handers. The entire battalion is on foot seeking them out and attempting to find any further mines on the road."

"ETA to Op Point Armen, Ruslan?" Kirill asked the driver.

"With the backup in traffic, it could be a while unless we go through a farmer's field or something," the driver responded.

"We gotta do what we gotta do," Kirill said. "Find the nearest dirt road and head down it. Also, see if you can get the rest of 102-Theta to follow."

After a pause, Ruslan looked back with a smile.

"Not just Theta, sir, the whole 102 Regiment is going to follow."

"Some poor Bashkir farmer's not gonna like having a hundred troop transports going right through his fields," Kirill chuckled.

"We're out of luck, sir," Ruslan said. "The forest belt gets in the way. It's too great a diversion. We'll have to wait it out."

Just outside of Starokuktovo, one of the drivers made a risky move to clear the road, ramming the burning hulk of the truck that had struck the mine and rolling it off the road after a few good pushes. This also caught two unfortunate Dark-Handers unawares, and they were crushed under the burning wreck.

The entire Sigma battalion - all 565 of them, barring the 25 that were killed in the mine impact - were now on foot and searching for the two dozen or so remaining Dark Hand members. Their drivers had pulled off to the side of the road and gotten their weapons as well. Most of the weapons were mid-grade - primarily KF-7s with the occasional shotgun for good measure.

The XO of the battalion was shouting orders left and right, and frantically looking for his minesweepers while taking cover behind one of the trucks that was still intact. Once he found them, he ordered them - and an entire company worth of cover to boot - to search the road ahead for mines.

In the meantime, one by one, the Dark Hand forces were picked off as they attempted to flee the scene. It would take over an hour to subdue them all, because of the partial protection the thick ground foliage gave them from being seen.

By the time the fighting near the town was finished, any mines that did exist along the road had been cleared, and two entire brigades carried by some 380 trucks - the Tsar's Own Tatars and the Tsar's Own Fusiliers - had gone through the area where the skirmish occurred and were well on their way to Ufa, where the majority of the troops would be needed, even though two battalions of the the Tatars had been assigned further north to Blagoveshchensk.

The next round of trucks to pass through were the Tsar's Own Light Brigade, and near the front of that line was Kirill's truck, driven by Ruslan. Kirill peeked out behind the truck to survey the damage, and saw the small craters created by six mines as well as the burning wreck of the truck that had struck the mine.

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DAY 6

Izhevsk

Jarkko Salomäki sat in his room in the military base at Izhevsk, watching the Udmurt News Network.

"After five days of skirmishes in various regions of the former Estovakian province of Bashkortostan, Slavorussian forces have successfully secured the area. Resistance was fairly minimal, due in large part to the large population of Loyalists in the region, with most of the seditious people still in the north, in Sverdlovsk and even parts of the historic region of Ugria, or in hiding in other oblasts in the area. The death toll was in the low hundreds for both sides, as Dark Hand used guerrilla tactics to defeat Slavorussians in some areas, however those in the open were eventually forced out of the area as the Slavorussians simply sent too many soldiers - around sixty-five thousand total - into the area. Of particular note was the corps of troops from Tatarstan base Naberezhnyye Chelnyy. We caught up with one of their higher-ranking enlisted men, Senior Sergeant Kirill Kalinkov, as he left an Ufa hospital wearing an eye patch after receiving surface damage to his eye when a grenade exploded nearby, which killed six of his comrades. He simply said this, 'Dark Hand must perish.'"

"Amen, brother," Jarkko said. "Amen."

So he's finally come to his senses, he thought, with a grin. Wasn't even two weeks ago when he was trying to convince me to join Dark Hand!

"In other news, Western Kazakhstan has broken out into rioting," the female news anchor continued. "The southernmost province of Estovakia, Atyrau, both deeply Islamic and heavily Loyalist because of the Empress' non-discriminatory policies, has erupted in a wave of anti-Dark Hand sentiment, which clashed with the pro-Dark Hand sentiment of the Rebel factions remaining in the West Kazakshtan province even after the mysterious and suspicious death of their leader in Gracemeria in the north."

There was a knock on his door. It was Jarkko's superior officer, General Matvey Sokolov.

He stood and saluted.

"As you were, Major," Sokolov said. "I've come here to ask you a couple honest questions."

Jarkko began frantically searching for a chair.

"Don't worry, I'll stand," the general said.

Jarkko sat back down.

"So what do you wanna know?" he asked.

"What do you make of the Estovakian situation?" was the general's first question.

"It's a mess," Jarkko answered, bluntly. "The whole country is now on the verge of breaking into its constituents. Surely you must know that. The rebels have a stranglehold on certain areas - eastern Orenburg Oblast, West Kazakhstan, Sverdlovsk Oblast, and I think parts of Chelyabinsk Oblast as well. The Loyalists are in control in Bashkortostan, even more so now that our guys are in there. They also have a stronghold in Atyrau province. It's only a matter of time before another civil war, unless something really bad happens to change people's minds."

"Wow," the general chuckled. "You're better educated on this subject than me! Perhaps then, you could tell me how you see Slavorussia factoring in?"

"We already have," Jarkko emphasised. "The Bashkortostan campaign has told the Dark Hand heathens that we will not stand for what they did. Seriously, the only thing they have not resorted to is genocide."

"I wouldn't put it past them," the general said, gravely. "Their leader Dark Mind is said to be pure evil. Beyond redemption."

Jarkko looked the general right in the eyes.

"I pray every night that somehow, some of them could be redeemed," he said. "But Dark Mind seems to have almost a hypnotic effect on those he brings into his ranks. He's like some malignant demon."

"This is what a cult of personality will do, Salomäki," the general said.

"It's beyond that," Jarkko said. "And I get this horrendous... 'vibe,' for lack of a better word... whenever I see him, hear him speak, or whatever. I don't think there is an individual on this planet, ruler or otherwise, that has that effect on me. He honestly scares the hell out of me."

After a pause, the general spoke one last time before leaving.

"There will come a time, Major, where you will have to face that fear head-on," he said. "And when that happens, I know there's that something inside you that will come out and subdue the fear. I've seen your records. I've heard of your exploits. Be the 'Edgecrusher' or whatever it is you call yourself in those situations. Maybe try burning your fuse to detonate the human machines of hate. I think that's how the song goes, isn't it?"

Jarkko grinned broadly. To hear his general quote Fear Factory made him feel a little better about the situation.

Edited by Uralica
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DAY 9

Oral, West Kazakhstan, Estovakia

The clashes between the two regions of Kazakhstan had ground to a halt after a couple of days, and the rioting had died down somewhat, after former Estovakian Army members had assembled to keep the peace in both. However, with the Dark Hand still very much a presence in West Kazakhstan, things were likely to happen sooner or later.

The main city of Oral was about to become the epicenter of a much larger battle. Sure, the day had started quietly enough. It was a typical early spring day in the Kazakh steppes. The children were at school. The adults were at work plying whatever trade they professed. And the Dark Hand in the area was plotting an assassination.

Their target was Oral's mayor, who had four children, of which two went to a certain primary school on the north end of the city. He had once made the move of calling Dark Hand "a menace to society" and "disruptive of the peace." Obviously this didn't go over well with Dark Mind, who ordered his termination.

But at 3PM, the plan of the criminal organisation went horribly awry.

The mayor was just getting back into his car when the shot was fired, however he had bent over to pick something up off the floor and the bullet missed him...

... and hit his youngest daughter between the eyes, killing her instantly.

The mayor heard the impact and howled in disbelief and utter sadness, then turned his head. Despite his eyes being full of tears, he could still see the now-stunned sniper in a window of the apartment building behind him, on the side of the road opposite the school. He then looked back at his daughter, took her lifeless body in his arms, and began sobbing uncontrollably.

But the look he took at the sniper drew the attention of other parents, who frantically dove behind their cars with their children shielded. Some phoned the police. Others phoned the local news. Still others, mostly infuriated fathers, stormed towards the apartment building. One was taken down by another bullet from the sniper, but the rest pressed on.

Within minutes, police and ambulance arrived, and the sniper had bolted from his nest, having understocked himself with ammo. He busted through a door on the opposite side of the hallway, startling and mortifying a bathing woman who happened to have her bathroom door open, then broke a window and proceeded down the fire escape.

However, by the time he had gotten to the bottom of the fire escape system, the police had already begun to surround the building. The gunsman began running his fastest towards the fence separating this apartment building from the next one over, then he scaled the fence just as the police were finishing their encirclement.

But he was in for a nasty surprise when he got to the other side of this apartment building. Police everywhere. Having heard the description of him - 5'8", shaggy black-haired ethnic Russian wearing a black hoodie and blue jeans, with a slim build - the police knew almost immediately that it was him and converged on his location. He attempted to double back up into the building, but he tripped over a cable and was jumped on by five police officers and cuffed.

But in spite of the fact that the killer was apprehended, it would soon be the least of the law enforcement's problems, because of the local news and rumours spreading like wildfire that Dark Hand was behind it, rumours only reinforced when an unnamed police officer leaked interrogation evidence that implicated them, not the least of which was the tattoo on his left shoulder - the very emblem of Dark Hand.

People were incensed beyond control. By the end of the day, vicious rioting had started in Oral, Atyrau, and every other major town in the area that once comprised the south of Estovakia. Looting and burning would follow. And then the armaments stores were hit. All hell broke loose. By midnight, there were armed bands of vigilantes roaming the streets, shooting anything that resembled a Dark Hand member. Unfortunately, those shot were not always Dark Hand. The area began to fragment into tribes. It wouldn't be long before warlords emerged.

The Kazakh Revolt had begun.

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DAY 14

Izhevsk, Udmurtiya, Slavorussia

Jarkko Salomäki had been following three situations intently in the last eight days in Izhevsk.

The first was, of course, his friend Kirill's term in Bashkortostan. They had been corresponding by e-mail, and Jarkko received bi-daily reports.

The Bashkirs were a friendly lot, according to Kirill - predominantly Christianised, proud of their heritage but also hospitable towards non-Bashkirs, unless they happened to be Dark Hand, quite fond of Slavorussia, but at the same time, wishing that they could have self-government. Under Estovakia, Kirill also noted, the Bashkirs were an officially recognised minority and their language, which he called 'beautiful, but hard as hell to learn,' had official status regionally. They generally miss Empress Motoko.

The second situation was the civil war that had arisen in Estovakia South. There were seven identifiable factions - the Dark Hand, the Police Force, an extremist pro-Estovakian group called Motoko's Martyrs, a radical Islamic group, a Kazakh nationalist faction, a pro-sovereignty faction, and one group that simply banded together "to make civic life safer in the area."

The third situation was in the Protectorate Zone. There were rumblings of a powerful new nation emerging in the area, and Jarkko wanted to make sure that this nation would treat any Uralics within its borders well. The news networks were almost a constant presence in Jarkko's room when he had free time from his duties as a Major in charge of his own company, in an entirely Uralic brigade, Tsar's Own Finns.

In his two weeks in Izhevsk, Jarkko had gained a reputation as being unorthodox, intelligent, and a solid leader. Not only had he honed his troops' skills in combat in open fields and (by way of "field trips") forest, he had also held drills within the city of Izhevsk itself, giving his troops an unusually high amount of practice in urban combat. The General noticed what he was doing and reported him directly to the Marshal of the Army, who was wildly delighted with the tactics and not only promoted Jarkko to Lieutenant-Colonel, but insisted that his methods be used by all Slavorussian units on the Eastern Front.

The General broke the news to Jarkko at around 10PM.

"Salomäki," he said, with a grin, approaching Jarkko in the Mess Hall. "You'll be glad to know that the Marshal of the Army has promoted you, and insisted that your urban combat training techniques be employed in all army bases in Eastern Slavorussia. Your Edgecrushing ways appear to have won you favour!"

"It would seem thus," Jarkko said, still in shock. "I didn't think urban combat drills would go over this well. It isn't like we'd be expected to actually fight it out inside buildings or on city streets, but I guess with the Dark Hand filth resorting to coward's tactics, we have to adapt."

He didn't know how right he was about "coward's tactics." As he went to sleep around midnight, he had no idea what would happen overnight.

DAY 15

He was awoken abruptly by the sound of screaming alarms at 5 in the morning. He heard the sounds of officers shouting.

"SCRAMBLE!! SCRAMBLE!! SCRAMBLE!!"

Not another snap drill, Jarkko thought as he literally fell out of bed and hustled to get to his field uniform to put it on over his underclothing. Just as he had finished and had started looking for his personal weaponry, the General burst in.

"Get your ammo ready, Colonel," he said. "We've got one BAD situation in Estovakia. The Tsar himself has put Slavorussia to DEFCON 1."

"Saatana!!" Jarkko cursed. "What the hell happened?"

"Starting at 1PM this morning, Dark Hand launched a full-scale campaign of terror against Chelyabinsk and Orenburg Oblasts. The hardest-hit area was the city of Chelyabinsk itself. Reportedly there are nearly half a million people either dead or missing."

That's half the population of the entire city, Jarkko thought, now mortified. He searched frantically for his assault rifle, finally finding it next to a Glock that he had been given as a birthday present from a friend of his from Mariehamn. He stuffed the Glock in a holster on his right hip and strapped the assault rifle to his back, diagonally upwards to his right, and joined the general.

"Some serious heat you're packing there," the general mused. "Where'd you get the AR-44?"

"Brigadier Vinogrodov in Tallinn," Jarkko answered. "The Glock is a gift from an old friend from Mariehamn."

The alarms suddenly stopped.

"What the hell?" the general and Jarkko gaped, almost simultaneously.

A lieutenant ran up to the general.

"We've been told to stand down," she said.

"There better be a damn good reason for this," the general hissed.

"Depends on how you define 'good reason'," the lieutenant said. "Apparently our non-RUSSIAN neighbours all got their dander up when we went D-1. So we're back down to DEFCON 2."

"Those bloody Nordlanders will have egg on their face and then some when they hear that five hundred thousand people plus being killed in Chelyabinsk were the reasons for our actions," the general groaned, facepalming. "Jarkko, turn on the news, will ya?"

"With pleasure, sir," Jarkko said, saluting and darting back into his quarters, turning on his TV. What he saw made him nauseous almost immediately. Dark Hand wanted people to see what they had done. The entire city was in burning ruins. People were fleeing every which way. Buildings collapsed in clear vision. Even some Dark Hand members looked disgusted with the work of their own hands.

The other officials just stood there in shock.

"!@#$ Dark Hand," the General said. "I'd love to tell them all 'k Chortu' right about now."

Another lieutenant came racing in. This time it was for Jarkko.

"Colonel Salomäki," she said. "Message from the Tsar... for you specifically."

Jarkko extended his right hand abruptly, as if to say, "gimme!" He took the specially sealed envelope, opened it carefully, and read it aloud.

"Lieutenant-Colonel Jarkko Hannu Jukkovich Salomäki,

What you are about to read is going to change your life forever. You are to be released from active military duty effective immediately. The reasons are many.

Because of your unorthodox-but-brilliant strategies in urban combat, I am giving you a personal, special assignment. As you may know already, we are not exactly liked by our neighbours to the west, and already, several of them have threatened military action because of our attempt to mobilise for active invasion of what was once Estovakia, in order to purge Dark Hand from the area. Although it is my belief that the death tolls being on television in the area will embarrass them for doing so, I still wish to act more roundaboutly so they cannot touch us.

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to assemble a personal militia. Your skills are perfect for such a task, and Military Command knew that full well when they saw your officer training tests. We are sorry for the confusion caused by your promotion yesterday, however the abruptness of the situation requires abrupt response. I expect you to relocate to the city of Syktyvkar effective immediately. You will be treated as if you had never lost your rank, however you will no longer be required to partake in active duty. Instead, you may work under your own regulations, as long as it is not in direct intervention with an officer equal to or greater than the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel, or against Slavorussian law.

Khoroshaya Udacha.

- Tsar Justinian The Mighty"

"Dammit all anyway," the general groaned. "First they wake us all up to tell us we can't fight, then they take my best subordinate away from me! This is madness!"

"This is necessary madness, unfortunately," Jarkko said. "I see what he means by wanting to be roundabout. A private militia cannot be held to be attached to any one country. The only thing that sucks about this besides leaving you guys behind is the fact that I have to move for the second time in the last three weeks."

"Don't worry about renting a moving van," the General said. "We will provide one for you this time. There is more available at this base than there was in Yoshkar-Ola. It will take you two days at least to reach Syktyvkar though. You should stay the night in Kirov."

This had easily been the wildest month of Jarkko Salomäki's life. But it was going to get much wilder.

OOC: Next post, Jarkko gets to Syktyvkar, begins working as a bounty hunter; Bashkirs begin to mildly protest Slavorussian occupation.

Edited by Uralica
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DAY 18

Syktyvkar, Autonomous Province of Komi, Slavorussia

Only a day after settling into his new home in frigid Syktyvkar, Jarkko was already at the rougher bars in town, mingling with the rough and rugged, and recruiting for his new cause while jockeying for bounties to hunt. He had full access to the military base at nearby Pazhga, and was a common sight at the shooting range, both with his Glock and with his AR-44 assault rifle. Word spread quickly about him amongst the military in the area, as he would go through an entire clip of AR ammunition before giving up on a single target, or be lethally accurate with his shots if he were using his Glock.

Syktyvkar, while a pleasant and very cultural city, also had its darker side, where people would go to basically "get lost" from the sight of the Slavorussian Armed Forces, who had regulations to work by. Fortunately, Jarkko had been released from most of said regulations three days earlier, without having to give up his rank.

His first bounty was surprisingly simple. Even thought Dark-Handers were forbidden in Slavorussia, a couple had managed to sneak into the country from the lawless Protectorate Zone on the other side of the Urals. Jarkko found this person skulking around the back streets of Syktyvkar as he left a certain bar on the city's west side. With amazing precision, he caught the back of the left knee of the Dark-Hander with a Glock shot from a considerable distance, dropping him to the ground instantly. Jarkko closed in on him immediately and put his gun to the man's back.

"Resistance is death, Dark Hand filth!" Jarkko said. "Hands behind your back, NOW!"

The man, who had to be in his late thirties, begrudgingly complied, and Jarkko cuffed him just in time for the military to arrive to apprehend him. With them was a Colonel, who handed Jarkko a cheque.

Five hundred thousand Slavorussian roubles, Jarkko thought. That's enough to buy myself some new weapons!

Returning home with the money, he turned on the news.

"...allegedly, a number of Dark Hand members have turned themselves in at the Bashkortostan border," the newscast said. "It should also be noted that a good number of these are Uralic peoples. In interrogation, a good number of them gave the same reason - the atrocities that took place in Chelyabinsk Oblast, especially the city of Chelyabinsk."

After listening to the back story of this, Jarkko cracked a smile. It's about time my people came to their senses, he thought. He also wondered if his ex had finally come to hers.

DAY 19

The Dark-Hander, as it turned out, was not one of the Uralics giving up on Dark Hand. He was an ethnic Latvian and was supposed to join a splinter cell, but got caught before he could meet up with his contact, thanks to a certain Jarkko Salomäki, who was already on the hunt for his next bounty, which would be found not in Syktyvkar itself, but in the nearby junction town of Yemva.

Some Komi had tipped Jarkko off to a potential Dark Hand splinter cell in their "humble town," so Jarkko drove his white Merkuur (which he had bought in Syktyvkar his first day there) up the highway to the small town, taking with him three other bounty hunters from the bar he frequented most often. One was a Nenets originally from Naryan-Mar, which had since been claimed by the Veran Empire - his distinctly Asiatic features and darker skin gave this away. Another was a Komi. And the third wasn't even a Slavorussian citizen at all - he was a middle-aged Yukaghir from Vaule, who didn't even speak his people's language. The sun was setting as they travelled up the P-25.

"So we split this four ways, right, Jarkko?" one asked.

"Not exactly," Jarkko responded. "I've agreed to take a smaller cut. You guys all take 30%. I take 10%. I'm still on a military stipend so I don't need as much as you guys do."

"A generous bounty hunter?" the Yukaghir asked. "That's a first."

"Not really," the Komi said. "Most Uralic bounty hunters would do the same thing in his shoes. I honestly don't think Jarkko hunts bounties to live."

"If you don't, you shouldn't be in the business," the Yukaghir said. "No motivation."

"That's hevonpaska," the Nenets said, cursing in Finnish. "If you've seen Jarkko around the bar, he doesn't just hunt bounties. He's been trying to recruit for some militia. There's more to what he does than even we know, I'm sure."

"You'd be right," Jarkko said. "Ever notice that the only targets that get any consideration from me are all Dark-Handers?"

"Holy !@#$, dude," the Yukaghir said. "You don't want to mess with Dark Hand too much or you'll find yourself being hunted."

"Wouldn't be anything new," Jarkko said. "They hunt me, I kill them. I hunt them, I give them a chance to turn from their evil ways."

"Self-righteous much?" the Yukaghir asked.

"Shut the hell up," the Komi said, punching him in the shoulder. "You want this bounty or not? Jarkko would have every right to pull off to the side of the highway and boot your $@! out of this car!"

"Cool it, Suvan," Jarkko groaned. "Lev, I have my reasons. Think of Estovakia for example. Chelyabinsk. Do you think those people deserved what happened to them?"

"Well no, but..."

"...but nothing. Dark Hand must die. And even if I don't kill them myself, I'll be damned if I don't try to do something about them."

The car was dead silent until it reached Yemva, which was actually a bit bigger than the hunters expected, even Jarkko. Historically it had even reached "small city" status, but war and lack of work took its toll, and the population was now down around eight thousand people, primarily the indigenous Komi.

They pulled into the town and began looking for a location called Sintosh, which was a pub literally translating as "Blackbeard." Finding it, they entered, all four, and sat down at a stall. A Komi man had noticed them enter, and tried to speak his best Russian so that everyone could understand. Suvan knew he was struggling, so he beckoned the man to speak in Komi instead.

After a few minutes of talking, Suvan looked at his fellow hunters and grinned slightly.

"Here's the deal," he said. "Our contact here found a splinter cell in the basement of one of the larger buildings in this town, quite by accident, in fact. It is two blocks from here. There are seven of them, so we should really pack heat in case they decide to get belligerent." They left the bar quickly, going back to the Merkuur and getting some very heavy weaponry out of the trunk. Jarkko had his AR-44, while the other three had various automatic weapons of other types. Putting it on the ground, they then got light body armour out of the trunk and put it on.

Once it was on, they grabbed their weapons and began stealthily half-running towards the address that the Komi man had given them, using back alleys to cover their presence.

They got to the building the Komi man had referred to. It was only four storeys to the outside viewer, but it also had two basements. The building seemed completely locked down at first. However Suvan found otherwise.

"GUYS!" he hissed, trying to be emphatic and quiet at the same time. "They left the emergency exit open!"

Jarkko, Lev, and the Nenets quietly followed Suvan into the building, eased the door shut, and headed for the nearest stairwell. Although it was almost pitch-black by the time they got to the second basement, there was also a faint light coming through the door.

The foursome heard a noise from above.

"What the !@#$? Someone shut the door! Hui... I guess I should open it so Kamil can get in."

This was followed by loud knocking.

"Good to see you finally made it, Kamil," the voice said.

Crouched in the small space between the stairwell and the wall, the four stood waiting for signs that the two men upstairs had taken the elevator. Jarkko peered through the small window in the door to the second basement, and saw a light off in the distance. After a while he also saw the elevator door open to the side.

The two men entered a small, well-lit room on the side opposite the elevator they left.

Jarkko heard some barely legible speech, and noticed the words, "Dark Hand."

"Let's go!"

They opened the door and eased it shut. Then, they stormed into the room, catching seven men completely by surprise.

"FREEZE!!" Jarkko yelled at the top of his lungs. "Get down on the ground!" One tried to go for a weapon, but Lev caught him in the act and opened fire, hitting him with four bullets in the space of a second - two in the chest, one in the left shoulder, and one in the left hand. He was dead within seconds.

"DOWN NOW!!" Jarkko roared. The other six Dark-Handers saw no other choice. They did as they were told. Jarkko and Suvan systematically tore the Dark-Handers' shirts off and verified that they had the Dark Hand tattoo. The seventh man was also found to have the tattoo. After they had been verified by Jarkko and Suvan they were cuffed by Lev and the Nenets bounty hunter, both hand and foot, and left there as Jarkko pulled out his very clunky cell phone, dialing up the Syktyvkar military base on a classified number.

"Base Zero Two Six, this is Edgecrusher," he said. "We have seven DH marks in Yemva. One's dead. The rest are cuffed. How long'll it take you to get here?"

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DAY 22

It was business as usual for Jarkko. Another day, another bounty to hunt. His frequent successes (5 bounties collected in five days) were garnering him a reputation in the bounty-hunting community for his efficiency. The Yemva affair was the only one he took as a team, as most of the bounties were one-person (and for that matter one-man, as women were seldom put up for bounty).

He had just returned home from a bounty-hunt that saw him deliver a high-ranking Dark-Hander into Slavorussian custody, and the "feds" would end up taking him into custody.

Returning to the bar around 10PM, he was mortified to see whose name had been put on the list. Apparently a "Sirkka Pyhäjärvi" had been sighted in the extreme frigid north, near the border Slavorussia had with an exclave of Vaule, separated from the rest of the country by Vera'Kis.

He took the bounty immediately, then went home and to bed and was up early the next morning.

DAY 23

Using money from his stipend, Jarkko booked a flight on a small private plane from Syktyvkar to the northeasternmost city in Slavorussia, Inta. Virtually right on the border of a Vaulian exclave, it was an important port-of-call... and an easy place to get lost. However, someone had noticed Jarkko Salomäki's ex-girlfriend wandering around the city and called the police about her. However, the law could not find her, so the discoverer contacted the military in its closest location, which, prisons aside, was the city of Ukhta. It trickled down to the bounty hunters when the military command thought it too trivial for them to handle, as they saw Sirkka as little more than a common grunt.

Jarkko drove south from the air strip and into the city proper, looking for bars that he had gotten a list of on the previous night after asking about popular bounty hunter haunts in the Komi Republic. He found one particular bar in the far west of the city limits and decided to enter.

The bartender seemed to recognise Jarkko and started making an odd head gesture towards one side of the room. Jarkko looked in that direction and noticed a familiar black-haired woman sitting in a booth. He walked over towards the table, and the woman's face seemed to light up.

"Jarkko Salomäki," she said. "I'd never have thought I'd be happy to see you again, but I have much to tell you."

Jarkko sat down.

"You do realise that someone had a price placed on your head, Sirkka," Jarkko said, quietly. "I came here to make sure your bounty wasn't claimed by force."

"Everyone with a Dark Hand tattoo seems to be getting taken in these days," Sirkka said. "I had no intention of being in a splinter cell, myself. Quite the opposite. Jarkko... after all these years and all the heartbreak I've caused you... I'm amazed you can sit here with a straight face, not being mad at all." She was trying to hold back tears.

"Why should I be mad?" Jarkko asked. "You did come to your senses after all."

"I did," Sirkka said. "I can't believe that it took me all these years to do so... and the deaths of millions."

"Maybe we should take this conversation elsewhere," Jarkko said. "It's a three-hour flight from here to Syktyvkar, and since you earnestly defected, you won't have to put up with interrogation chambers or anything."

"I agree," Sirkka said.

Just then, someone else entered the room. A Dark Hand tattoo was plainly seen on his left shoulder. Everyone froze, including Sirkka.

"Well, well," the Russian said, fondling a Luger. "I've found the Uralic traitor. You know, you Uralics were becoming untrustworthy to Dark Mind, so he has put a hit out on many of you. And surely your friend wouldn't be so brash as to oppose me taking you away from him?"

Jarkko snapped his Glock out of its holster and shot the Russian in the chest before he could even change his facial expression.

"Yes, I would," Jarkko answered, snarkily.

Everyone present began applauding Jarkko's action there, except Sirkka, who simply stood open-mouthed.

"How the hell did you get to be that fast with a gun?" she gaped.

"Lots of practice, lots of working out, and some help from the Big Boss Man upstairs," Jarkko replied. "This is war, Sirkka. Killing a Dark-Hander in defence of a key informant doesn't constitute murder. I think the Hebrews always used a different word for that sort of thing."

One Komi came up to Jarkko and asked his name.

"I'm Jarkko Salomäki," Jarkko said. "And I'm Uralic just like you guys."

Jarkko and Sirkka got up and headed for the door, but Jarkko slammed two hundred Slavorussian roubles on the bar before leaving.

"Thanks, pal," Jarkko said.

Back In Syktyvkar

By 2PM, Jarkko and Sirkka had landed at a military air force base in the northernmost suburb of Syktyvkar, Parcheg, and they were escorted by armoured vehicle to the main military installation in the south of the city.

When they got to the installation, Jarkko escorted Sirkka to the ranking official, General-Lieutenant Gennadiy Morozov. An average-height man with piercing blue eyes and brown hair, he shook hands with both Jarkko and Sirkka, despite her Dark Hand tattoo.

"Welcome," he said. "If you will follow me, please... both of you."

They followed him into a small room with four chairs and a table. Jarkko and GL Morozov sat on one side, with Sirkka on the other.

"I'm glad you got to me when you did," Sirkka said. "The information I have could save hundreds of thousands."

"We're listening," Jarkko replied.

"Dark Mind is preparing for a campaign of terror against all Uralics," Sirkka said, gravely. "As you might have heard, quite a few of the people who left Dark Hand after Chelyabinsk were Uralics - in fact, 72% were."

Jarkko felt anger welling up in him.

"Any ex-Dark Hand who is Uralic is earmarked for execution," she added. "Me included. It is far worse than the man in Inta said it would be."

"What... man in Inta?" Gennadiy asked.

"Some bozo that I airholed for basically threatening Sirkka's life," Jarkko answered, rolling his eyes. "Dark Hand sent an assassin to find Sirkka. He is now various states of DEAD."

Sirkka giggled.

"Anyway," she continued, "it is of utmost importance that all Uralics in Slavorussia are warned, especially those living in border states like Udmurtiya or Komi Republic."

"That's it?" Gennadiy asked, somewhat disappointed.

"Not quite," Sirkka said, reaching into her jacket pocket and pulling out a compact disc. "This is Dark Hand's entire contingency plan for Slavorussia." She cracked her knuckles.

"You always were a sneak," Jarkko joked.

Overnight, things would take a gruesome turn, and spark perhaps the largest protest in Slavorussian history.

OOC: Next post: Over two days, Dark Mind begins his racist campaign against Uralics, Jarkko completely snaps, Uralic riots on Day 24 lead to mass migration toward Syktyvkar on Day 25, and the foundation of the Uralicist Movement.

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DAY 24

Syktyvkar

Jarkko was absolutely furious.

When he got up around 7AM, he turned on the news, only to find that a tape of a Finnish woman, who had previously been Dark Hand, butchered in an undisclosed location by Dark Mind himself. He then said something that sent Jarkko over the edge.

"What you have just seen is the beginning of the true cleansing of this area of Uralic filth. The untrustworthiness and irresponsibility will be put to an end."

For once, Dark Mind's gaze didn't make Jarkko afraid. It made him seethe. There was no way he would let any true ethnic cleansing get off the ground. He heard that only around 750 Uralics had been killed in the former Estovakia, but for him, that was 750 too many.

And he wasn't alone.

By noon, there were loud protests in all the major centres of Uralic culture - Sytkyvkar, Inta, Pechora, Ukhta, Perm', Yoshkar-Ola, Glazov, Izhevsk, Sarapul, Saransk, Viipuri, all the major centres of Estonia, and even St. Petersburg - denouncing what Dark Hand was trying to start.

By 3PM, even the government was in on the act, with Tsar Justinian issuing an official edict of condemnation of Dark Hand.

The seeds had been sown for Jarkko's special mission to come to the forefront.

Jarkko went to his usual bar at around 7PM to have supper, and he was immediately approached by the bartender.

"What's up, Yuri?" Jarkko asked.

"Holy crap, Jarkko," the bartender responded. "The last seven or eight hours have been call after call after call after call looking for you. Where the hell you been?"

"Where do you think?" Jarkko asked. "Recruiting. Seriously, my militia has increased thirty-fold in the last five hours!"

"It'll be a LOT more than thirty-fold if the number of phone calls I've had to answer is any indication," Yuri groaned.

"Tell them all to head towards Syktyvkar," Jarkko said. "This is gonna be the staging points of one of the largest private militia operations in the history of this planet."

The phone rang again. Jarkko answered it this time.

"Jarkko Salomäki speaking," he said.

"Jarkko!" a familiar voice chirped. "I've been re-assigned to Syktyvkar to help you out!"

Jarkko grinned from ear to ear. It was Auli Saarinen.

"Auli, thank GOD you're getting involved!" Jarkko cheered, triumphantly.

"I'm not the only one," Auli said. "I got a phone call from Izhevsk and I've been asked to join a couple other friends of yours in Perm'."

"Who?" Jarkko asked.

"The names Kirill Kalinkov and Ovdey Shlomov ring a bell?"

"How the hell?"

"Brig's orders. Old man Vinogrodov told me to meet Shlomov in Perm', turns out Kirill was heading there too because General Molotov had assigned him there. So I'm meeting one at the airport and the other at Permin Yliopisto!"

"Kirill flew out of Ufa under those conditions? What a nutter!"

"Anyway, I'll see you in Syktyvkar tomorrow afternoon. We'll probably end up staying the night in Kirov. Ahh, there's PY right there. Moikka!"

She hung up.

Jarkko audibly cheered.

"YES!" he hissed, fist-pumping.

DAY 25

Yuri the bartender couldn't have been more right about Jarkko's militia.

Prominent members of various Uralic peoples had made their way to Syktyvkar, and by 1PM, they had a meeting going. Representing the Mari was Kolya Petrov. Dr. Shlomov represented Udmurts. Major Kennet Fredrikssen was there on behalf of the Saami peoples. Juku Rask was there for Estonians. Kaleva Shmestrov provided a Karelian presence. Mikhail Suvanov was a Komi. And having flown all the way in from The Greater German Empire was Tamas Kaposvari, a Hungarian. Auli and Kirill were present. There were also a few admirers of Jarkko's and a couple of Ovdey's Uralic students on hand.

Meeting in the Council Hall, they agreed that an agency for the protection of Uralics was needed within the region. Ovdey's suggestion of a "Uralicist Movement" in several of his academic papers seemed to best fit the bill - there was even a proposed constitution within said papers. But Jarkko also had his mission to complete.

Ovdey, when reading through his papers, realised this.

"Jarkko," he said. "What is your status on the private militia Auli told me you were working on?"

"I have about two thousand members," Jarkko said. "But apparently this city is going to be over-run with several more able-bodied men and women today."

Auli pulled out her personal arms, a DD44 Dostovei, and held it up.

"You have my gun as well," she said, before reholstering it.

"Get as many people as you can," Ovdey said. "We will need to help ALL Uralics, so we need a sizable armed force at hand."

"Will do," Jarkko said. "Auli, Kirill, Major Fredrikssen, Tamas, wanna help?"

The four all answered affirmatively.

"Jarkko, maybe you should speak for us as well," Ovdey said. "I've read your records, provided by a certain Brigadier Vinogrodov, and he said you always aced your public speaking electives."

"Gimme until 5PM," Jarkko said. "I'll have a speech ready by then."

3 1/2 hours later

There was a balcony at the Komi Capitol Hall that Jarkko used to great effect, as the streets of Syktyvkar were absolutely packed with people who had come from all over Slavorussia to find him. He actually sat on the balcony when he was writing his speech, and people saw him. Word travelled fast, and Uralics helped fellow Uralics find where he was.

By the time 5PM had rolled around, he had an audience numbering in the millions, combining the three hundred thousand people crammed into Syktyvkar streets and numerous others watching on television.

He stood up, and cleared his throat.

"Uralics, and supporters, welcome to the madness," he started. "For a thousand years, Dark Hand has been terrorising this area, going back to when our peoples were either serfs on Russian farms or nomads in the frigid north. They have caused nations to fall by their very whim, and they even went so far as to kill the beautiful Empress Motoko of Estovakia. Until recently, their only blamelessness was that they had neither committed genocide nor resorted to out-and-out racial discrimination. But in the last week, both of these have changed.

I think everyone saw what Dark Mind said and did yesterday. Her name was Riita Suhonen. She was a mother of two, a wife, a sister, a daughter, and a friend. But she was killed for being a little different. For being Uralic. She was once a member of Dark Hand herself, but saw the error of her ways through the atrocities of Chelyabinsk. In that one night, more people were killed than there are standing here in the streets of Syktyvkar today!

Dark Mind has us marked for death. Well guess what, that is NOT gonna happen! Today marks the dawn of a new age for Uralics! The Tsar himself gave me this initative - to bring Uralics... ALL Uralics together under the banner of solidarity, to protect ALL Uralic people and all others who would be victimised by the pure evil that is Dark Hand! The Uralicist Movement has begun, and as part of it, anyone who will fight with me will be part of a Uralic Protection Front! An Army to exceed anything that Dark Hand could possibly throw at us!"

Before the people could even start cheering, he began quoting Fear Factory, roaring at the top of his lungs:

Hey you! Wake up!

Open your swollen eyes!

Erosion invades your mind!

A cancer that grows over time!

Hey you! Rise up!

Rise to fight, eliminate!

Burn your fuse to detonate

the human

MACHINES OF HATE!

The crowd erupted in applause.

"And yes, folks, I did get permission from Fear Factory to use that," Jarkko continued. "I felt that no one song ever written could better describe how I feel about this situation. We can win! WE WILL WIN! It is our bounden duty, not just as Uralics, but as men and women who fear the Lord, to drive these murderers THE HELL OUT OF OUR ENTIRE AREA!!!"

The crowd again cheered loudly, even louder than before.

"Beginning tomorrow, we will have registry available for anyone who wishes to fight. If you do not, but wish to help anyway, there are other ways to help. We need people to work in factories. People to tend to the wounded. People to look after children. People to calm the spirits of traumatised civilians. God gave you all gifts, and you can use them to the benefit of the Uralic people and the glory of God!!

This is not revenge, people! Dark Hand is comprised of murderers and true heathens! We war not because we want to, but because we MUST! The remnant of Estovakia, and the entire region of Historical Russia and Central Asia, needs them GONE! WIPED OUT! ERASED! EXTINCT! If they aren't eradicated soon, it won't be just the Uralics who will be memories in textbooks, MARK MY WORDS."

Down on the ground level, Auli was standing next to Sirkka.

"And you gave him up for Dark Hand?" Auli asked, with a raised eyebrow. "I should have taken your place."

Sirkka laughed this off.

"The guy's a natural," Sirkka said. "He'd make a good nation ruler. He can convince the people to follow him, plus he has principles."

OOC: Next post: Bashkortostan Provisional Government allows Uralic Liberation Front to use Bashkortostan as a staging point for war against Dark Hand; Bashkirs' leeriness and Uralic work to alleviate; Kazakh Revolt spreads north into Estovakian Orenburg.

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