[CANON] [RP Episode] Paitiyas


#21

“How can I trust you to keep your army in check, Gilgamesh? I cannot and WILL not be drawn into another war so soon.”

The Emperor picked up a small lamp that was on the map. A white crystal shone from within.

“Has your people advanced beyond the need for ‘Arejo’?”


#22

“Keep my army in check? How dare you.” outrage sounded in the Shahanshah’s voice. “Do not mistake me for some warlord who must cajole the obedience of his soldiers with petty bribes or threats of punishment.”

It took all of Gilgamesh’ dignity and courtly training to keep him from spitting on the carpet in disdain. “The obedience of my military is absolute. It was forged in fire, blood, and mud over years of death. If the foreigners come to our shores, wanting to rape, pillage and steal, they will be met with the same. The Shahanshayr demands peace. I will give it to her.”


#23

“No one will be raping, pillaging, or stealing from Kavehan shores. Only two powers could even try, and both have morals that forbid such actions. You had peace. I doubt you will now.”

Gaius pulled up a chair, and gestured to another one opposite for Gilgamesh to sit in.

“I am almost a century old, and I have spent most of them fighting, intriguing, plotting, and ruling. Now I am waiting for the next cycle of war and destruction to start again. The South must be ready. Valkoria, must be ready.”

“Valkorian Emperors did not spend thousands of years creating an empire with more land then any other while having one of the lowest populations by allying with nations that attack kingdoms that would have been content to dwell in peace. However, you are correct, the war would not have succeeded if not for your attack, and I consider the debt repaid.”

“Now enough of this. What does Kaveh have to offer Valkoria? And what do you demand in return.”


#24

Gilgamesh raised an eyebrow. **“And how would you have responded, Emperor, if we had arrived on rickety, leaking sloops with clubs and sharp rocks for weapons? Would you have treated us as equals? Kaveh needed to prove her strength in order to be taken seriously among the great powers of the continent. The only peace that endures is peace borne of a position of clearly apparent strength. This is one lesson my father taught me well.”

Stepping up to the map, Gilgamesh pointed at the Azar river. “As for your second question, I will answer the following. The Shahanshayr of Kaveh reaffirms its ancestral claims to the Azar estuary and surrounding steppes - lands cultivated for a century by our forebears. We will broker no disagreement here. Kurshid will be rebuilt and revitalized into a suitable commercial outpost of the Shahanshayr, and will provide living and working spaces to those Kavehans who wish to immigrate from the Homeland.”

He continued. “We are willing to share a basic knowledge with you - particularly with regards to the combustion engine and electronics, in which our sorcerors have long experience. Our engineers and technicians will come here to teach you of these things, as a token of our goodwill and friendship.”

Then, Gilgamesh beckoned one of the men who had accompanied him into the room. He was huge for a Kavehan, well over six feet tall, and bulky in his powered armour. A large beard framed a head shaved bald, and deep-laying eyes shone a brilliant blue. “This is my… cousin, the Lord Yâtavo. Under my grandfather’s reign, there once existed a system by which Kavehan soldiers were offered a place in the Imperial Legion. I will offer you his service, and that of those of my soldiers that are ill disposed towards peace, as mercenaries.”


#25

Caesar looked at the man.

“How long have you been in the army, Lord Yatavo? How many years in combat?”

The Valkorian’s eyes had a searching look to them.


#26

The man’s voice rang out - iron, metallic. It was clear he had to use a vocabulator to talk.

“I have been fighting since the age of 15, sire. Kavehan noble society is… unkind to the scions of bastard houses.”


#27

“No society is. After after all these years of war, how much do you think your life is worth?”


#28

At this he smiled cruelly, showing a mouth full of scarred flesh and metal teeth. Heh, sire, more bullets, blood and steel than the enemy would care to fucking pay, that’s for sure."


#29

A smile tugged at the corner of the Emperor’s mouth.

“That is a price I am willing to pay, if he is not. But as for coin, what do you value your services?”


#30

Yatavo pulled a paper from his pocket, and summarized. “Simply put, sir? You’ll pay each of my men a living salary, as well as restitutions for making repairs or requisitioning new vehicles or equipment from the Homeland if needed, and pensions for those widows whose husbands fall in your service. We also claim our share of the loot, or plunder, or whatever it’s called here. In return we will serve your needs as an armed force in combat, with two important conditions: firstly, that you make no attempts to reverse-engineer or steal our equipment, and secondly, that we will not take up arms against our own nation of Kaveh. Is this acceptable?”


#31

”It would be…if Valkoria were at war. Gather your men, Yatavo. I shall call on you if I need such a force. At the moment however, I do not require more soldiers,” he switched back to looking at Gilgamesh, ”I require the means of equipping mine own. The Arejo mines are still functioning, and great stockpiles have been gathered in your absence, serving as substitute for coal during the civil war in some places. The price has risen however. 1400 sesterces per ton instead of the former 1000.”

Gaius moves a few more pieces across the board.

”And after Kaveh’s return and rebuilding, what will you do?”


#32

“We will fortify the area around Kurshid and use it as a staging ground for further expansion in the area, with the ultimate goal of creating a self-sustaining outpost capable of furthering the nation’s economic interest. That, my dear Caesar, means trade. If you want to outfit your armies efficiently, we are willing to sell you weapons and vehicles - stripped down, of course, both to make them usable to your people, and to not give away too many of our secrets. In return, we will purchase all the crystals you can mine, and I will also offer you assistance in furthering those mines’ productivity, like the agreement you once made with my father.”


#33

“The trade is acceptable. The mines are likewise at your disposal, however we are perfectly capable of mining them ourselves. Foreigners are not welcome in Valkoria at the moment.”

Caesar was about to speak, when a messenger interrupted, bursting through the door and saluting rapidly.

“Ave Caesare! My apologies for the interruption sire, but this message just arrived from General Marius.”

Taking the scroll and unwrapping it, the Emperor’s face remained unmoved.

“My apologies Gilgamesh, I have business to attend to. If you wish, we can continue our discussion later to day.”


#34

As Emperor Gaius swept out of the room, the Shahanshah stood there, dumbfounded.

“…did that rude ûthem just, honestly?” He made a throwaway gesture with his hands. “Bah, he can go suck the xrafhstraîsh’ teat for all I care.” Beckoning his guards and entourage, the Shahanshah returned to his vessel


#35

As he left, aides exploded out of the offices into which the Emperor has vanished. By the time the Shah reached his ships, a very tall Valkorian with a scarred face was marching out of the city, a long column of legionaries behind him.

Caesar returned to his map, while General Marius led a group of 3 cohorts north, and passing through the border wall, marched on, moving at a good pace, hindered only by their small baggage train. No heavy weapons were in the column, to increase speed, and so the legionaries only carried their normal equipment of rifle, sword, and shield.

After the troops had left, and the city’s routine was once again normal, a messenger was dispatched to the Kavehan ships, inviting the Shah to a dinner in honor of his return.


#36

Upon the arrival of the messengers, Gilgamesh came out of his quarters, a deep frown on his face. “Well? What does your Emperor have to say for himself?”


#37

”You are invited to a dinner, celebrating your return and victory over your old enemies. Only a few other Valkorian high ranking officers will be there, and Caesar invites you to meet them, relevant as they are to the current situation.” The messenger spoke somewhat stiffly, as one accustomed to the workings of politics. He had a faded scar crossing his forehead.


#38

Gilgamesh frowned. “Your Emperor offered me great insult today. Why should I deign to come, so that he can do it again?”


#39

“If an apology from the Emperor himself in person is not enough recompense, then there is no need for you to attend. Caesar had a matter of international importance to deal with, and now he would speak more plainly with you, as men instead of kings.”


#40

Gilgamesh grumbled. “Very well. I will attend the Emperor’s celebrative dinner, and will attempt to forget today’s earlier proceedings.”