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10 Kirtal 1206 (12 November 2022)

The seas were nice and quiet. No large waves would hit their ship, nor would there be any weather to bother any of them. It was a nice, calm day. A perfect day to go out and enjoy oneself, if you wanted to. Perhaps it was for that reason that the Port of Tailat was bustling today, with people coming in. Cargo ships came in and out, some bringing imports of food and raw materials from abroad, others loaded onto them oil that was to be sold to other countries across the wurld.

Krel walked quietly through all of this activity. Everything had been laid out for the plan. Every person was right where they wanted to be, and every officer they knew for sure would be on board was with them. Now there was one last step to take before it would be set into motion. So far everyone involved had given the okay, there was just one more person left to go.

“Colonel Torez,” a man said as he approached Krel. “To what do I owe the pleasure?”

It was Keraz Rakim, Captain of the Kolhari naval frigate Karnaq. He had been a good friend of Krel’s since they went to secondary school together, brought together by their shared passion for the military. Though Keraz’s choice to enlist in the navy rather than the army had separated them, it seemed their paths had crossed once more.

“Captain, your ship is to depart in an hour, correct?”

“Yes, at 0900 hours. Why do you ask?”

“Have you considered my request?” Krel glanced at Keraz.

“Indeed I have.” Keraz answered. “I have spoken with my nephew about it.”

“And?”

“We need more time to discuss it, but you will have your answer shortly after I return.” Keraz said with a smile. Krel smiled as well. They both knew what that answer really meant.

“Well then, I wish you a safe journey.”


A few hours later.

The Karnaq cut through the seas like butter as it sailed east of Kolhar. She was old, being one of the first of her class, but she was still still the same reliable beauty she was when she was launched. She was perfect for the mission she was assigned for.

The orders were simple: head east, patrol the shipping lanes for any potential threats to Kolhari shipping. They were to especially keep an eye out for pirates and such. It was an important job that Keraz knew needed to be completed. And yet, this job would go undone this time.

They had a greater duty to accomplish today.

Keraz glanced at his XO, Commander Ater Nabiv, and his “nephew”. They didn’t need to exchange any words. Both knew what the silent question asked was. Ater simply nodded. That was all Keraz needed to start with the plan..

“Helm,” Keraz said. “Change course, heading 160.”

“Uh,” The helmsman was caught off guard. Not that anyone could blame him, this was not the heading they were supposed to go on. But, he seemed to be prepared to follow orders.

“Heading 160, yosor.1

“Belay that.” It was the ship’s political officer. “We are to patrol the northern shipping routes. Heading south is a direct violation of-”

The political officer stopped as he felt someone touch him on the shoulder. He turned around to see Ater shaking his head.

“We know, political officer. Helm, follow the Captain’s order.” Ater said. The helmsman stared back at the three of them, confused. He didn’t dare disobey the political officer, but he wasn’t sure what the captain and XO was doing either. That was good enough for Ater.

“Now, you’re either with us or against us.” Ater said as he stared the political officer directly in the eyes.

“What are you planning?” he asked.

“Something we should have done a long time ago.” Keraz answered. “Giving our country a brighter future.”

The rest of the crew seemed to light up when Keraz said that. But the political officer grew enraged.

“This is unacceptable!” he screamed. “You both are relieved of duty and are under arrest. Weapons officer, take them away.”

“No.” the weapons officer, Milana Aibak, barked.

“What?”

“And by the way, I have a name.” she said.

“Nevermind,” the political officer said. “I’ll do it myself.”

He rushed for Ater, but Ater dodged it quickly. Then, with one swift motion, he grabbed the political officer and slammed him into the wall. The political officer's head made a large cracking sound, and he slumped over. He was still conscious, but only barely. Captain Keraz nodded.

“Milana, restrain him.” Keraz said. “Then bring him to the medic.”

“With pleasure,” Milana answered with a smirk. Keraz then turned towards the helmsman.

“Helm, set a course-”

“Heading 160.” The helmsman interrupted as he began moving the ship. “Yosor.”

Keraz smiled as his crew carried out his orders. Then he picked up a mic to address the entire ship.

“All hands, listen carefully.” Keras said. “I’m sure you all remember the oath that we swore when we enlisted, voluntarily or not.”

Everyone on the bridge nodded.

“To serve and defend the Party and our nation. We all remember it. And we’ve been faithfully serving the first part of that oath. But we all know the state of our nation. It’s in shambles. The way the Party runs it directly goes against the very idea of honor and fairness. How can we say we are defending our nation, if we are also defending a Party that is actively damaging it?

“So, my fellow sailors. No, my friends. I, alongside many other officers, have come to a decision. We are taking action so that we can fulfill the second part of our oath. Even at the expense of the Party.

“I am about to commit a direct violation of our orders and an act of treason. Anyone who objects should do so now either to me or your superiors. You will not be required to take part and will be released as soon as possible.”

A silence permeated the bridge of the ship. Then, Milana spoke.

“Sir, I believe I speak for everyone here when I say… to hell with the Party.”


1 - "Yosor" is a word used in Kolhari maritime circles. It roughly translates to "steady" or "keep her steady", but can be used as an acknowledgement after an order given by a superior. Equivalent to the Japanese "ようそろ".

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