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Zardugali Slave War
Part of Great Zardugali Civil War of 2513-2527
ZardugalSlaveWar
Zardugal in early 2515
Date: 2513-2517
Location: Zardugal
Result: Political collapse of the Imperial government and the Triumvirate, Abolitionist victory without firm resolution to the conflict, led directly to the War of Saqueyan Secession
Casus belli: Institution of racist policies, the reintroduction of slavery, and general political repression by the Imperial Government.
Combatants
Abolitionist Forces Zardugali Imperial Forces
Commanders
Red Creek Abolitionists
  • General Kimiko Sonoda
  • Yui Sonoda
  • David Quinn
  • Capatain Ger Callaghan
Zardugali Imperium
  • Saiser Volodimir
  • Our Lady Ishtar
  • Chairman David Matthews
  • Admiral Yuri Menzhinsky
Strength
Abolitionist Forces
  • 1,280,000 troops
Zardugali Imperial Forces
  • 4,200,000 troops
Casualties
Abolitionist Forces
  • 456,000
Zardugali Imperial Forces
  • 1,134,000

Path to WarEdit

The Saiserist RevolutionEdit

The Zardugali Revolutionary Socialist Party had long been suffering from internal dissensions ever since the death of Daniel Feterokov during the Zardugali Execution Riots of 2504. With his death, the members of the ZRSP bickered over what Feterokov's true message was. Eventually the ZRSP became split into three main blocs: the Revisionists, led by Feterokov's daughter Natasha; the Traditionalists, led by Feterokov's closest friend Karl von Friedricht; and the Saiserists, led by Colonel Volodimir Saiser, the ZRSP's Second Secretary and hero of the same Zardugali Execution Riots. The Revisionists believed that it had been Feterokov's intention for the ZRSP to advocate a federalist, localized libertarian socialism, while the Traditionalists maintained that Feterokov believed in a strong, centralized government that would ensure equality for all citizens regardless of whether or not they knew it was best for them, while Colonel Saiser and his followers mostly appeared concerned about instituting a form of Slavic supremacism with an economy driven by slave labor and massive collectivization or regimentation of the free workers, with an army and government of unlimited power to enforce, as well as a variety of other ideas that were rarely coherently expressed.

Colonel Volodimir Saiser proved very adept at playing on the hates and fears of the predominantly Slavic ZRSP, and his faction began to grow at a remarkable rate, deeply worrying both the Revisionists and Traditionalists, owing to Volodimir Saiser's bizarre, paranoid, and hateful ideas. By 2513, Saiserist supporters dominated the party. On February 2, in a move that shocked all of Zardugal, Volodimir Saiser stormed into the Revolutionary Socialist Headquarters under armed Silvershirt escort while Chairman Karl von Friedricht was speaking, forcibly threw him out at gunpoint, took the leadership at the lectern on his own authority, and then held an impromptu vote to an audience startled, baffled, and at gunpoint, that granted him absolute control over the party, that Saiser on the spot renamed the Saiserist League.

This event became known as the Saiserist Revolution, and effectively created a whole new party.

The Saiser-Sonoda Duel and the Evening of HateEdit

Around this time the Erisian Liberation Front became reformed into the far more authoritarian Order of the Illuminati, granting the repressive and authoritarian triumvirate of the Saiserist League, Illuminati and HCPZ control of the National Directorate. The Triumvirate immediately began passing several reforms that sparked the ire of the opposition parties. Following a heated exchange between Saiser Volodimir and General Kimiko Sonoda over the new law banning all women from the armed forces, and thus stripping Sonoda of her rank, Sonoda challenged Saiser Volodimir to a duel.

Two days later, the two combatants privately met in a park in Belgae. Both of them drew their sabers, and the fierceness of the Saiser-Sonoda duel has since become the stuff of legend. Both fought hard and fast with their swords, both masters of combat. Saiser Volodimir with all the force of his blind fury and unstoppable hatred, Kimoko Sonada with the discipline of countless years of training and the motivation of purpose. Sonada's skill ultimately won the day, and Saiser Volodimir was stabbed through both his arms and wounded in his shoulder before being left for dead by Sonada. Saiser Volodimir was picked up, though, by faithful Silvershirt retainers and brought to the nearest hospital. Though his injuries were grievous, he began to recover. Around this time Saiser Volodimir's house burnt down, under mysterious circumstances. Whether it was accidental or Diaoist has never been determined. Almost a month later Saiser Volodimir finally regained consciousness, although his left arm would never fully recover.

When it was revealed to Saiser Volodimir that his house had burnt down, he reacted with impossible rage. Silvershirts induced colossal riots in Saqueya, smashing countless Asian stores as well as those of other minorities. Non-Anglos and non-Slavs were brutally beaten, and men, woman and children were lynched, primarily in unguarded and undefended areas. The Asian communities organized with remarkable efficiency, and began repelling the Saiserist crowds. The tide began to trun once again in favor of the Saiserists when the police forces began attempting to arrest the Asians for obstruction of the peace, yet noticeably they were arresting no Silvershirts nor making any attempt to restain them. The violence was halted when the militarily, almost entirely Diaoist, arrived on the scene. They leveled their guns and made ready to fire, but the Silvershirt crowd dispersed before any action was taken. Many lives were lost in the carnage. Many commendations were given to the Asian community for their exemplary courage in repelling a larger and very bloodthirsty crowd. Motions weremade, primarily by the Diaoist-oriented army, to arrest Saiser Volodimir for his complicity in these riots, but the police forces refused to do so and the Saiserist-dominated government threw the motion out.

It became known as the Evening of Hate, and both demonstrated very firmly that the authoritarian forces were firmly in control of Zardugal, but also hardened the deep tensions between the Triumvirate and the liberal opposition.

The Moderates Strive For PeaceEdit

While the blood continued boiling further, there were notable repeated, often desperate attempts by the moderates of Zardugal to reconcile the diametrically-opposed political forces and avert the war everyone could see was on the horizon. Spearheaded by the Cavalier Party, sympathetic to the Daioists, Ralds and the rest of the liberal opposition but seeking to maintain the peace, spent prodigious sums of money on an advertising campaign promoting peace and compromise to the political impasse.

One of their most notable, certainly most famous commercial ran:

'{a gentleman sits in a leather chair, the rest of the room is blackened out. He is wearing a conservatively cut brown tweed suit, he is smoking a pipe, and sports greying hair and a mustache; all-in-all, he cuts a very fatherly-looking figure}

'"Hello, ladies and gentleman" (a very slow, patriarchal tone) "I am the Duke of Broughton, and I've decided to sit down with you all and have a serious chat. Our nation is at a cross-roads. Radicals and zealots have been screaming for everyone's attention lately, decrying all sorts of things and most dangerously, inciting violence. To those familiar, this is alien to our nation's history. I urge each and everyone of you, to pause, and think, what is most valuable to you? And then turn to think about the violence being foisted upon our fair realm.

'"Reject the hostility. Reject the arrogance, and the bigotry. There is no room in our nation for hatred. Let us join together, and throw out those who would do evil to our own fellow Zardugalis. And let us get back to the business of living. Good day to you all, and bless all of you." [This has been a paid advertisement by the Cavalier Party]'

The World is Not Enough and the Rise of the Zardugali ImperiumEdit

The tensions in Zardugal were flaming hot as the year 2513 ended. The Triumvirate had hardened its stance, and the opposition became more passionate, and war seemed on the horizon.

As the new year dawned, the Triumvirate unveiled its most audacious reform yet on January 1st, 2514, titled "The World is Not Enough", and its key provision was the implementation of racial slavery in Zardugal. Vehement protests from the opposition were shouted down by the dominant Triumvirate.

General Kimiko Sonada stood up from the New Diao delegation, and the National Directorate went silent, as she shouted out words that have since passed into Zardugali history,

"Hear me and hear me now. The military has been preparing itself for this measure, and is ready to make good on the following. Any body, force, person, entity, company or religion found to be taking, using, or capturing people for the express use of the slave trade will be shot on sight, the taken liberated. Furthermore all known installations, buildings and viable areas of the entity under fire will be destroyed with the full might of the military. Pass this measure, and you will initiate a civil war."

An enraged Saiser Volodimir shouted back from the National Directorate lectern his infamous reply,

"Hear my personal vow ,if the military makes any move to interfere with the legislative process of the State, the State's retaliation will be swift and brutal. I think I can speak for the leaders of the Order of the Illuminati and HCPZ when I say this. Whilst my Party followers would probably adore the sight of all those Asians, who think they're so mighty just because they have a uniform on, hanging from wires slung over telephone poles, I personally would dearly hate to have to break your pretty face."

General Kimiko Sonada marched out of the National Directorate, and following her were the delegations of the New Diao Party, the Rald Party, the Democratic Party, and Cavalier Party, effectively granting uncontested control to the Triumvirate. This is generally considered to be the beginning of the Zardugali Slave War.

After the delegation exodus, the Triumvirate reformed the nation from the Free Federation of Zardugal to the Zardugali Imperium. The war had begun.

ZardugaliImperium-Flag

The Flag of the Zardugali Imperium

2514: The Early Imperium AssaultsEdit

Creation of Red CreekEdit

Over the course of the next two weeks, military units and members from both the Daio and Democratic parties systematically ejected or assassinated members of non-aligned parties from Saqueya. Followers from the other Prefectures assembled there as well, and the classical Saiserists (those who still clung to the ideals of the old Revolutionary Socialist Party) reluctantly joined their ranks. How their evacuation order to the population was received dictated the response. Almost universally, the police departments were depopulated. Negative responses were met with immediate lethal force. Neutral responses were met with ejections. Positive responses were left with defensive means and orders to fortify their home or business.

General Sonoda soon afterward set up a base of operations in Red Creek, a large but obscure farming town located in the central hills of Saqueya, and declared it the new Capitol. The "nation" of the Abolitionist Rebellion henceforth became best known as Red Creek. At this point, the soldiers and militia that had sworn fealty to her proceeded to clear the borders, erect a dual-fence, and heavily mine the area between. The border was patrolled 24/7. The issue of slavery had effectively divided the nation, and a fair portion of military hardware lay in the hands of the Abolitionist Rebellion.

Sonoda ordered all Discordian structures in Saqueya destroyed, along with the Neo-Saiserists. Inside another week, they were. She had fully secured the prefecture, and immediately declared martial law. The tepid response of the Imperium to the rapid established of Saqueya as the stronghold of the Abolitionists is generally credited with being a key element in allowing this large-scale rebellion to progress into the total civil war it would swiftly become.

RedCreekAbol-Flag

The Flag of Red Creek and the Abolitionist Forces

Famine in the Imperium and the Capture of Yui SonodaEdit

In the absence of any form of opposition, the Triumvirate swiftly molded the Zardugali Imperium totally into the nation they envisioned it as. The policies of "The World Is Not Enough" were implemented with brute efficiency, and a variety of labor camps, death camps, and slave markets sprang up almost overnight. Brutal police crackdowns were even greater in severity than the ruthless rule in Red Creek, and swiftly quelled the already complacent populace from any thoughts of further rebellion. The Saiserist League, who had emerged as the chief moving force behind the political Triumvirate and thus the Imperium, established a new League capital and unofficial national capital at Capitalis in the dead-center of Unkassa. At Saiser Volodimir's orders a colossal Capitol of the Saiserist League, informally known as the League Palace and more derisively as the Saiser's Palace. Tens of thousands of slaves were assigned to the task, and though it was completed in just under two months, the death toll ran to several thousands worked to death, and became known as one of Saiser Volodimir's greatest atrocities.

Moscow Univ1

The Capitol of the Saiserist League in Capitalis, derisively known as the "Saiser's Palace"

But the most important reform implemented by the Imperium with regards to the Zardugali Slave War was the nationalization of all industry and all agricultural operations. Bungled mismanagement of the new industries coupled with systematic corruption skimming the cream of all production to a top-down political network swiftly led to an economic crisis in the Zardugali Imperium, particularly in the area of agriculture where production swiftly hit a nosedive. Markets for desperately-needed imports were extremely limited due to international protest over the Imperium's racist and slavery policies. The only nearby nation that continued to supply Zardugal with badly-needed food was an opportunistic Deltarian government who charged ridiculous prices they knew the Imperium had no choice but to pay. This drove the Zardugali Imperium deep into debt, left the Zardugali Imperial Forces badly undertrained and underequipped in attempts to slash national costs, and resulted in a massive famine not seen in over a century and a half. The death toll is still not known owing to systematic destruction of the records by the Triumvirate government.

After it became clear that General Sonoda was consolidating the Abolitionist Rebellion in Saqueya and swiftly establishing a de-facto nation, the Imperium sprang into action moving to intercept the numerous peoples, militia, police and soldiers striving to make it to Saqueya to find a safe haven in which they could fight the Imperium. Silvershirts and the Imperial Forces undertook most of this, with all regular police forces being assimilated into the Zardugali Imperial Forces, however a secret police force called the National Guardians was established initially for the very purpose of rounding up attempted emigrant-rebels. Codenamed Repatriation, after it got into full swing it proved immensely successful at stopping the flood of escaping rebels in their tracks. Many citizens ended up in labor camps who were captured under Repatriation. National Guardians stormed a safehouse in western Unkassa in mid-March 2514 where they captured over two dozen blacks attempting to flee certain enslavement and seek sanctuary in Red Creek, but in the same safehouse they captured Yui Sonoda, younger sister of General Kimiko Sonoda, who had stayed behind to help guide the black refugees in their quest for freedom.

Less than a day afterwords, the two main Zardugali television channels, ZNN and ZBC, which had already been heavily censored by the Imperium for almost a year, were closed down by Imperial authorities. In its place ZST, or Zardugal State Television, was set up and made the sole channel available to Zardugal. In the rush to complete the ZST facilities, however, many of their structural, procedural, and hardware necessities had corners cut, leaving its core mechanics little more than a skeletal network. The first broadcast of ZST focused on a grand speech made by Saiser Volodimir on the balcony of the League Palace in Capitalis, wherein the high-level captive Yui was brandished on the balcony before a screaming crowd. To the crowd's delight, Saiser Volodimir slung her over the balcony, holding her hand in his injured left arm. After a few minutes of these tortuous antics, Saiser Volodimir turned to the crowd and the ZST cameras and gave the most famous address of his life.

"My brothers, words have failed, as I always said they would! It is true, that now is the time for blood and iron! We, the Master Races, have been granted by the Divine Eris explicit orders to hunt down and kill these weaker beings. It is fortunate moreover, that many of the Daioist Party members had family or friends living or visiting outside Saqueya. Hear me, rebellious soldiers! I will personally ensure that one man, woman or child dies every minute until you lay down your arms. Our allies of the Comintern and their Pan-Terran Red Army should be reinforcing us soon. And to you personally, General Sonoda, you know what I want. I am going to take your precious sister, who you really hould have thought of before you launched your coup, which suddenly made the Saqueya border a very dangerous place to live... I am going to take her into the deepest, darkest cell in all of Capitalis' jails, and I swear within an hour she will feel so much pain, like nothing she can possibly comprehend. Within three hours she will beg me for death, but I'll not grant it. And at the end of every day, your beloved little sister will lick my proud Slavic feet. I will not stop this until you meet me for a rematch. I say we make it on uninhabited, tiny Krilt's Island off the coast on the Saqueya-Kalvere border, once I hear word ascertaining a date. I'll be waiting there, and the instant you arrive I'll return dear little Yui, and then I can demonstrate once and for all the superiority of Slavs. I order all resistors to the State to lay down their arms immediately. Let us remember that at this very moments we are rebuilding our biological and chemical weapon's supplies. I would dearly hate to use it on such an important industrial area, but it just might be worth it."

Shortly after this speech, a secret meeting of the Triumvirate came to the conclusion that their best bet to secure decisive victory over Red Creek and the Abolitionist cause was to starve them into submission. Despite the famine wreaking its way throughout the Imperium, it was Red Creek whose food situation was more precarious owing to the concentration of their agrarian lands and the limited amount of agrarian capacity they possessed. At the moment, Red Creek was running a food surplus, but even a minor cut-off would threaten to bring them to their knees. Military plans were put into the works to secure the agrarian lands of Red Creek, and massive rebuilding of the Imperial Fleet began in Kalvere in preparation for a blockade of Red Creek ports.

Hacking of ZST BeginsEdit

Less than a week after ZST began broadcasting, a very startling event happened that heralded a progression of occurrences throughout the Zardugali Slave War. Rebels who had infiltrated the Imperium, almost undoubtedly helped by domestic resistors of the Imperium who worked at ZST, managed to hack the ZST in mid-broadcast and began broadcasting through the ZST network a taped message from David Quinn, the leader of the Ralds and a key political leader of Red Creek. Panic immediately ensued in ZST as workers and state officials frantically rushed to halt the broadcast and return to original broadcast. However, on the televisions throughout Zardugal they saw the militarily-dressed figure of David Quinn speaking directly to the camera. His message read,

"Heh, heh, heh, foolish Saiserists. They truly believe that our side are helpless. Well, we are not. Your "glorious leader" has failed to tell you that we of the Rald Liberation Army have captured several Air Force bases. We have taken what we want and we have destroyed what we didn't. Even as I speak, our brave men and women are flying to defend what we hold dear, what the Saiserist forces seem intent to destroy. Democracy. Freedom. "Since Saiser came to power within the Zardugal Revolutionary Socialist Party, he has taken the party to such an extreme betrayal of its founding principles that I am sure that Daniel Feterokov would feel outraged at the way his party has been abused. But that is not all. His legislation, his words and his deeds prove that he wants to force all Asians, all Africans, all Hispanic, all Irish, all that do not support his twisted ideology, all that he sees as undesirable to leave the land we hold so dear, so it is free for him to spread his hate. We cannot let this happen. "Do not think you will stop us either, Saiser. For every one you kill or capture, a hundred will take his place. Our new aircraft will counter whatever you attempt. You cannot defeat us. We issue a general call to all those who want to protect our democracy. Slavic, Asian, African, Hispanic, Irish, it does not matter. You will be welcomed warmly." "Oh, and if you're thinking to use this station as a propaganda source, forget it. We'll monitor what you broadcast and interrupt, quite rudely, when a lie is broadcast. Given the fact that the lead story in the first program of the news was a whole pack of lies, we'll be interrupting quite often."

Before the message could continue, the source of the hack was isolated and cut off, and normal broadcasting of ZST resumed. The infiltrators managed to sneak away without getting caught. However, the outdated and outmoded infrastructure of ZST that allowed such easy hacking of its transmission was not repaired or upgraded.

Starvation Plan, South Saqueyan Assault and the Imperial BlockadeEdit

Unsurprisingly, the Zardugali Imperium moved first in regards to the actual military considerations of the rapidly evolving civil war, in their bid to realize their overall strategic decision to force Red Creek's surrender through seizure of their vital grain reserves and key agricultural areas, a strategy that became known as the Starvation Plan. A large striking force of men struck from Kalvere for the agrarian fields in southern Saqueya in what became known as the South Saqueyan Assault. Fighting proved brutal and bitter against the well-entrenched defenders, but overwhelming numbers helped the Imperial Forces and progress was made. Countless reports were sent back to Saiser Volodimir begging for the operation to be called off until it could be better prepared, but all were denied. The offensive ground on over several months. The brutal machine of the Zardugali Imperial Forces was finally fought to a certain halt in the marshes of central-east Saqueya. Of the 100,000 men of the Imperial Forces who formed the spearhead of the offensive, only 15,000 survived the ill-fated assault on the marshes, for roughly 35,000 Abolitionist casualties. The South Saqueyan Assault was stopped just a few miles shy of the critical agrarian lands vital for the sustaining of Red Creek. Had the South Saqueyan Assault succeeded, it is very likely that the Abolitionists would have been starved into submission. The Battle of the Western Marsh was a crucial victory for Red Creek, which allowed it to cling on to its continued existence.

In response to the failure of the South Saqueyan Assault to secure its primary objective, a massive fleet was set loose from Kalveren ports to enforce a determined blockade of the Saqueyan ports and still starve them into surrender. Even with their domestic supplies largely intact, Red Creek could not hope to survive completely cut off from international aid. The rebellious forces possessing almost no navy of their own, the Zardugali Imperial Naval Forces met no resistance as they anchored themselves outside the Red Creek ports. The blockade appeared set to be a stunning success. The easy aid boats from sympathetic foreign nations dried up in the face of Imperium battleships. As the weeks dragged into months in the waning yea of 2514, crisis was breaking in Red Creek. Failure to adjust from surplus to the strict rationing required in times of destitution exacerbated the crisis, and in early December 2514 Red Creek and the Abolitionists appeared to be on the edge of absolute starvation in which their hand would be forced. The Imperium's flag flew high on the battleships that stayed within sight of the Red Creek ports. Mid to late 2514 was undeniably a year of crisis for Red Creek and the Abolitionist Forces. General Sonoda, David Quinn, and the other leaders of Red Creek began desperately planning some sort of military retaliation to solve their crippling starvation problem, sending out diplomatic messages like madmen to all nations sympathetic to Red Creek. Finally, they chose to stake everything they had in one desperate gamble, one that depended even more on the goodwill of others than their own actions.

2515: The Year of Extraordinary OccurrencesEdit

The Battle of the Green CapeEdit

The Red Creek government, desperately short of food supplies and near the end of their rope, continued radioing for aid from the outside world as the year 2515 began. They received almost no responses. Some governments informed them covertly that they had their "moral support", but no more. An offer came from Deltaria to supply them with food aid and military equipment at absurdly exorbitant prices they knew Red Creek could not pay. They did, however, receive a cryptic message from certain political factions in Sekowo stating, "We earnestly desire to assist you in any way we can. There are political obstacles currently in our way, no promises or guarantees can be made. Hold tight." Attempts by Red Creek to garner an explanation received no response.

On the last day of January, the Imperial forces grew tired of simply waiting for the Red Creek rebels to starve to death, and on direct orders from Saiser Volodimir finally opened direct shelling fire on any target within range, concentrating on the major coastal city of Saqueya Minor. The shelling, though very indiscriminate, caused countless Zardugali Rubles in damage, and within two weeks and accelerated the impending capitulation of Red Creek. The shelling, however, also provided the political push in Sekowo for the government to authorize renewed shipments of aid to Red Creek under military escort. With Red Creek pushed to the limit, the Abolitionists launched a last-ditch, desperate attack on the Zardugali Imperial Navy. Mustering their scratch naval forces and the entire air wing of the Rald Liberation Army, the aero-naval force under the strategic command of Major Quinn and tactical commmand of Captain Ger Callaghan set out on their hopelessly overmatched battle. Admiral Yuri Menzhinsky, commander of the Zardugali Imperial Navy, watched contemptuously from the bridge of their flagship aircraft carrier ZSS Saiser the puttering patrol boat and corvettes with the pitifully small contingent of F-22 Raptors above them. According to a subordinate he stated, "This will be like swatting flies with 12-inch guns." The tiny Abolitionist force continued heading straight for the implacable wall of Zardugali battleships and destroyers, with the ZSS Saiser well-shielded by their screen.

As the Battle of the Green Cape opened, things proceeded much as expected. The plucky corvettes barely dented the Imperial battleships, while colossal Imperial guns blew the Abolitionist ships apart one by one, though great difficulty was encountered in hitting the smaller patrol boats. Captain Callaghan and his Raptor squadrons viciously engaged the swarms of Imperial fighters flying off the deck of the ZSS Saiser, holding their own despite the 4:1 ratio in forces, yet nonetheless being inexorably worn down through the trademark Saiserist tactic of sheer attrition. Within an hour of chaotic fighting the Abolitionist forces had been whittled down to less than half their original number. Over his radio Captain Callaghan nobly called for them to rally one more time, for a final charge at the Imperial destroyer screen. The Abolitionist aero-naval forces steamed straight down towards the Imperial guns, yet just as all hope seemed lost all forces, Abolitionist and Imperial alike, were awestruck as they saw the magazine stack on the Imperial battleship ZSS Supremacy explode while the ship cracked in half.

On the far horizon a fully armed contingent of the Sekowan Navy had arrived, escorting vast number of transports laden with food and other aid. Against the sleek, elegant ships of Sekowo, a nation with an intercontinental naval tradition stretching back to time immemorial, the Zardugali Imperial ships now seemed pale and brute. Now caught between the hammer and anvil of the Sekowan and Abolitionist forces, the Imperial Navy folded quickly. Many of the Imperial officers and sailors jumped over the railings and fled rather than "go down with the ships". As Admiral Menzhinsky prepared to execute a Captain for the impending defeat, Sekowan shells punched the side of the ZSS Saiser while Abolitionist bombs cracked the deck apart. The ship tilted and swiftly began to sink, and despite desperately and violently pushing back all others in his way, Admiral Menzhinsky drowned with much of his crew. The Captain who was narrowly saved from summary execution managed a bare escape, and was soon afterwards picked up by Abolitionist forces.

The Battle of the Green Cape would be recorded as possibly the greatest Abolitionist victory in the war, annihilating the Imperial Navy utterly. As Sekowan food and technical aid poured off the ships, the Red Creek government breathed easily for the first time in over a year. It seemed likely now that the Saiserists would have few more tricks to throw at them. As Captain Callaghan landed his Raptor, he let out the exclamation that would quickly become a slogan of the entire conflict, "All people are equal, no matter their nationality or ethnicity. After all, we all eat the same food, we all drink the same water, we all bleed the same blood."

This affair was also considered one of the most embarrassing wartime moments for ZST, which had been covering live, "OUR GLORIOUS FINAL VICTORY!". ZST did not manage to cut the live feed until almost 30 seconds after the ZSS Saiser began sinking. The ZST anchor reportedly shew one of the very few instances in ZST history of unscripted emotion, to the point that supposedly, "Even his Silvershirt uniform looked totally despondent. It was obvious he was doing all he could to stop himself from crying." The ZST anchor managed only to say, "Well, er, despite this minor loss, we shall prevail against those who conspire against us Slavs. We are destined to..." before ZST cut to black over what was later explained as a "technical malfunction".

Imperial CrackdownsEdit

The catastrophic failure of the Battle of the Green Cape immediately provoked an all-new, even more vicious than any yet proceeding it. Yet, unlike previous, largely indiscriminate purges and repressions, the 2515 Crackdown far more specifically targeted those who had sparked the political ire of the Imperial government, particularly those within whom seemed to lie the roots of possible rebellion. The most sudden and unexpected victim of the 2515 Crackdown was the Discordian Free Press, which thus far had been permitted to remain one of the very few information outlets of any kind outside State control. After the owners, the Erisian Labour Knights Local 666, refused to obey a legal summons that could only mean governmental "expropriation in the name of the People" of their newspaper, a raid was led on their printing offices by an armed strike team. The few members of the ELKL 666 who resisted were gunned down on the spot, while all the other members of the labor union simply disappeared, and no surviving records point to their fate.

Another fairly prominent victim of the 2515 Crackdown was Anson Wilor-Bertton, host of the pirate radio show, "Conspiracy Redux". For a long time the official policy towards "Conspiracy Redux" was that it was a technically-illegal irritant that was simply too irrelevant to destroy. Wilor-Bertton's show had become increasingly controversial in recent years as he regularly attacked all political parties, implicating them in various conspiracies both plausible and far-fetched. After the government took control of all radio stations and he was forced into pirate broadcasts, he started focusing his ire on the Order of the Illuminati, the Saiserist League, and the Historical Communist Party of Zardugal (HCPZ), which grew even more vicious and deranged with time.

Around the same time Foreign Minister Archangel Id-Be disappeared under mysterious circumstances. Oddly, Minister Id-Be had been one of the most stalwart and vociferous advocates of the Imperium and the Triumvirate government, yet had very angrily feuded with his political leader Lady Ishtar on numerous occasions. Even more odd than his unexplained disappearance was the absolute absence of any mention of his disappearance on Zardugal State Television. TRUTH mentioned only, "Popular ELF Foreign Affairs Minister Archangel Id-Be was sent on a diplomatic mission touring several countries one year ago. While it hasn't been reported in any official or mainstream news media outlet, Id-Be's last known whereabouts was at a global warming conference in Indrala, Kirlawa, on 23 November last year. He checked out of his hotel room, but apparently did not board the plane that was to take him back home to Belgae." andsubsequently dropped the story.

Escape of Yui Sonoda and the Red Creek Economic ReadjustmentEdit

With the utter failure of the Starvation Plan and the annihilation of virtually its entire navy, the rest of the year 1915 ticked to its end quietly. The Imperium and the Red Creek government both simply completely lacked the requisite resources to assault one another. However, in one of the most stunning feats of the Zardugali Slave War, Yui Sonoda managed to escape from her cell in the vast subterranean basements of the Saiser's Palace. After many months developing her plot and slowly setting it in motion, via small words or subtle signals, she was able to seduce her Warden sufficiently to slay him with his own army knife. After retrieving the keys from his corpse, Yui Sonoda was able, through both luck and skill, to slip unnoticed from the Saiser's Palace as all hell broke loose inside the building once her escape was discovered. Despite an organized manhunt of a scale unprecedented in Zardugali history, she nonetheless managed to evade the patrolling forces of the Imperium and escape into the safety of Red Creek, being first reported there on December 5.

Some days later, on December 18, General Kimiko Sonoda announced a program of massive economic reformations in Red Creek, carefully timed to a new shipment of Sekowan food and technical aid, that came to be known by the unassuming title of the Red Creek Economic Readjustment. Under Sonoda's orders, currency was phased out while, using the technical aid provided by sympathetic Sekowo, a colossal agricultural shift was made to hydroponic farming, greatly lessening the previously precarious position of Red Creek's food resource reserves.

2516-2517: The War Winds DownEdit

The Historical Communist Party of Zardugal Steps Up Its CommitmentEdit

Though the HCPZ had been legally supporting the Imperium since the beginning of the Zardugali Slave War, and was a core member of the Triumvirate, they had thus far refrained from any active role in the conflict and their leader David Matthews had relentlessly shunned the spotlight, leaving Saiser Volodimir to become the public face of the war effort. However, as the war began to wane Matthews and his HCPZ assumed a more prominent role than they had previously. As it became increasingly clear the Imperium's war machine was bogging down, the HCPZ attempted to give the Imperial Armed Forces a shot in the arm to regain the initiative in the war for the Imperium, and began mobilizing its militia and contributing them to the war effort. Though officially the HCPZ only listed their militia mobilization as a "response to the recent internal tension", it has been widely suspected that political strong-arming by Saiser Volodimir played no small part in the decision. In his first major public appearance in over five years, David Matthews appeared on ZST to elaborate on the HCPZ's decision, including his now semi-famous stoic statement, "I find it despicable that any party in Zardugal would expect our military to go against our legislative process and undermine our entire legislative branch of the government."

ZST and the Imperium Enslavement Bureau Hit Their StrideEdit

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