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Waking the Wind

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Camel Market Ward, Bogd Gioro, Feiguang Province, Worker's Republic of Fulgistan


The once-lauded Khiimori Aeronautics concern was much diminished these past few decades. At points, they had been a significant contender on the Alharun aircraft market, not only in fixed-wing craft, but in helicopters as well. Founded by Limonaian Giacomo Collini in 1926, in what was then the tentatively-liberated city of Jintakh, they had gone on to produce several influential designs (mostly for fighter aircraft and light bombers) through the 1930s and 40s. In the late 1950s, jet aircraft appeared on the scene, an advance which proved somewhat of a stumbling block. The firm had the technical knowledge of how to build jet engines, but were not able to secure adequate quality control assurances from the syndicated factories, who were unwilling to work under new regulations without significant compensation. So the jet project remained shelved until the mid-1960s, when Khiimori was able to produce a working copy of an Iverican jet fighter, which became the Khii-33. Such was the state of neglect of the Revolutionary Guard Air Force that this very same airframe remained in service today as a fighter-interceptor.


Powerful and venerable though this "People's Workhorse" was, it needed replacing, and soon. The People's Great Khural had at last, at the urging of Generalissimo Choinom and the political officers of the armed forces, approved the allocation of several hundred billion tenges to fully replace the Khii-33 in service by the close 2022. This was no small task, and the committee formed to accomplish it was keenly aware of the risk involved, both political and economic. It was with this in mind that lifelong Party member and head of the Committee to Restore the Air Fleet, one Colonel Li Huanggou, had chosen to consult firstly that most stalwart friend of the Fulgistani people, the Marenesian nation of Bulgenstaz. This was the obvious and safe choice. More controversial, but also more potentially beneficial, was the decision to bring the Elegy corporation into the mix. Omnipresent and seemingly omniscient, the corporation had more than once been denounced by members of the Party as yet one more organ of capitalist domination, of seeking not only to control the means of production, but also to control and commodify human life itself. The recent happenings in the Sunset Sea Islands, as well as the fragmented intelligence reports, did little to quell these concerns. Nonetheless, when Elegy came to the table, they came to win. Moreover, this was an opportunity for the Worker's Republic to solidify itself in the international community, to dispel notions of isolationism or pariah status, and to put three fish together, as the sages might say, to make one fine stew.

Expected at Khiimori's Bogd Gioro offices were General Merov Krasnosk of the Bulgenstazi Liberation Army, Venh Seng of Bulgenstazi Military Technologies (the national arms concern) and the notorious Lien Viênxuan of Elegy. Properly, Khiimori's headquarters were in Jintakh, of course, but since the desert mining city had no international airport, and even most Fulgistanis were loath to cross the desert frivolously, Colonel Li had elected to hold the meeting in the concern's more modest, perhaps dated capital offices. A reception hall had been prepared for the delegations, complete with a planned luncheon (for the Huang conducted no business on an empty stomach if it could be helped) and a digital tour of Khiimori's production facilities in the west via video conference. Colonel Li straightened his peaked officer's cap, cleared his throat, and stepped out from the main lobby onto the sidewalk to greet his nation's honored guests.

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Even before Lien Viênxuan took charge of Elegy, the corporation had pursued the acquisition of new talent aggressively. Flyers and posters at technical faculties? Check. Hacking competitions? Check. Sponsoring computer rooms and robot soccer teams? Check and check. It was common knowledge that data and technology would be the oil of the 21st century as well as the weapons used to acquire it, logically, Elegy wanted to be at the forefront of that development. Working with the @Fulgistanis would be a chance to utilise some of the talents that would rarely be used in the Radiant Republic. Whilst new legislation and political decisions in recent years made it easier again to work in less pacifist economic branches, the topic was still a bit touchy with the general populace. Lien had dozens of programmers, analysts and 4X strategy game enthusiasts itching to use their skills for an application other than home electronics, computers, phones and surveillance devices. Writing the software for the Fulgistanis' project would pose the perfect opportunity to make some good money, to develop technology that might come in handy later and to foster some relations with new clients and all of that without the attention of the home audience.

During her flight to the Worker's Republic, Lien did not stop processing business affairs. Thanks to modern telecommunication, it did not matter whether she was typing away on her computer in her office or at cruising altitude. Her train of thought was only interrupted on her way from the private jet towards the black armoured car that would take her to Khiimori's Bogd Gioro offices when she noticed the difference in air humidity to back home. Whilst Lien was used to spending days inside buildings and months inside the metropolitan skyway system and its filtered, room-temperature air, the lack of humidity in Bogd Gioro's atmosphere stuck out to her. Anyone leaving the Sunset City skyways would be met with the moist, maritime air rising from the sea in the west and the rainforests in the far east, where the city slowly tore into nature. Here, the heat was similar, but the feeling was totally different. She pulled her wide, black sun hat deeper into her face, furthering the shadow cast across her stylish, @Galahindan sunglasses, which stayed on her nose until she stepped out of the car again to shake the hosts, Colonel Lis, hand.

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