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Henry v. Keiper

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Life goes on in the rest of the world, even with Anastasia's reappearance and the return of order and stability to Russia. Interesting to see that monarchism is on the rise elsewhere in the world, especially in France of all places...

Looks like Masha's star is continuing to rise :)

The last minute record switch has me wondering if perhaps Radio Moscow's "producers" are involved in something clandestine; prearranged radio signals are a common enough occurrence in spy work, or at least spy fiction. Maybe it's related to the coming apprehension of Stalin...

Yeah... sure, kid... it was all to send secret signals... that's it...

Actually, I just wrote that in there to reflect the often chaotic nature of news production. And yes, Masha is growing in popularity.

Moscow Masha reminds me of Hanoi Hannah or Baghdad Bob. Hopefully she remains the source of unbiased news and doesn't become a mouthpiece for propaganda!

That was basically like what I was going for. And don't forget Tokyo Rose and Berlin Betty.

Hoi4 currently really, really likes states getting unaligned and with old monarchies, even without mods, so France going monarchist would be quite the goodness thing to see.

Usually in my games the French AI sort of meanders around their focus trees, not really showing any specific focus, until the war starts and then they start looking more into the military side of things. That's why I was happy, for this game, they actually started going a different route.

A Franco–Russian monarchist alliance would be quite the thing to see.

I'm amused at the conversation that this birthed. But it's good to know my AAR is inspiring such things.

A France restoring the monarchy? How interesting indeed! And the Spanish continue to fight among themselves with little end in sight. I'm concerned at the amount of casualties the Chinese are taking in fighting the Japanese Empire and its allies tbh, hopefully they made the Japanese pay for every inch of land that was taken.

Not only the Spanish, but the Spanish-speaking as well, with Mexico having issues of their own. Finland, Spain, Mexico... that's three civil wars in this AAR so far.

All strategy aside, it seems even monarchist Russia’s news is full of production quotas, machine tools, tractors etc ;) Next we should get a story about some ‘hero workers’ and maybe a Five Year Plan to get the Rodina ready for impending trouble.:p

Chalk that up to my uninspired gameplay. But, to be fair to myself, Russia really was behind industrially and technologically when the AAR began. Basically, a Five Year Plan of some sort was inevitable for the Romanov government.
 
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A French monarchy restoration? Interesting, but probably futile in the end considering they are sandwiched between a Reich and a hard place :p
 

Henry v. Keiper

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When will the next update be ?

Five days ago. Oops, wait...

I intend to post another update. At some point. Real life has sucked me away, as usual, but I haven't forgotten about this.
 
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Henry v. Keiper

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He lives, therefore he writes? ;)
 
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Henry v. Keiper

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Writing is for suckers. Also, I do have an update planned. I've even planned out the story arch for this, since I've played a goodly bit into the era.
 
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rBKVCB2.png

Chapter 17
Leonid


3 November, 1937

The truck stopped just on the other side of the hill, and the engine turned off. The back flap opened up, and a squad of soldiers leaped out, armed with rifles. Behind them came a group of plain clothed men, each one with a sidearm under his jacket. Leonid was among them, a cigarette dangling from his mouth. As soon as he had dropped onto the ground, he dropped the drag to the ground and snuffed it out with his heel. The last to leave the truck was a fellow Okhrana agent and a portly man with a mustache. The man had his hands tied behind his back, and his face was was so covered in sweat that his drenched mustache clung to his upper lip.

The leader of the soldiers, a bitter-faced sergeant, pulled out his pocket watch and glanced at it.

One of the other soldiers turned to the Okhrana agents. “Have you been listening to that woman on the radio?”

“Who?” Leonid asked.

“You know… what do they call her? ‘Moscow Masha’, or something like that?”

A chuckle left the agent’s lips. “Oh, her? I’ve seen her in person. She was at the trial of Yakov Yurovsky.”

The soldier’s eyes lit up. “Really? Is she as pretty as she sounds?”

“Actually, she’s quite a pretty little blonde thing.”

“What about…” The soldier motioned towards his chest.

“Oh yes.”

“Really?”

“Shut up, idiot,” barked the sergeant, his eyes directed to the young soldier. With a groan, the officer returned his gaze to his watch. He held that gaze for a few seconds more, then snapped it shut. “It’s time.”

An Okhrana agent pushed the mustachioed man forward. “Remember: you act natural, and you don’t give anything away.”

The man gulped. “I know.”

“Good. Now move.”

The small party moved over the hill. Leonid realized he should have felt nervous, but he really didn’t. Training had prepared him for this, and now it was all just routine. The soldiers and agents were to accompany this man – a captured Bolshevik – to the entryway of the Bolshevik hideout. Once he had lured them into a false sense of security, they were to storm the place and take it over. Their ultimate goal?

The arrest of Stalin.

It was here, at this abandoned mine, that Stalin had made his temporary headquarters. He had apparently taken to changing his headquarters often, but with the army cracking down on Communist activities it had gotten harder to move around as frequently as before. Trotsky had chosen to come out of hiding and cooperate with the government; Stalin had chosen to hide himself like a rat in his hole. Now Leonid and the others were set to get him out.

There was a small patch of woods just before the small ridge. An old cart rail came out of the entryway, which was covered in a wooden door. The soldiers and agents all took positions behind trees. The one agent holding the Bolshevik gripped him by the arms, tore out a knife, and cut off his bindings. One good shove sent the portly man forward. “Go on, and act natural.” The Bolshevik nodded, then walked over towards the wooden door. He knocked on it three times, and a small slot opened up near the top. Through the dim light of the night, Leonid could see the hint of eyes staring out.

“Password,” came a voice.

The Bolshevik fidgeted with his fingers. “It’s Feliks! Open up. Hurry!”

“Give the password!”

“You know me! Hurry up and open!”

“Give the stupid password!”

“Alright, alright…” The Bolshevik let out a sigh. “‘Moscow Masha’. There, ya happy?”

What in the world, Leonid thought. She’s being noticed by everybody!

“See how easy that was, you idiot?” The eye slot closed up, and there was the sound of a door lock clicking.

That was when the Bolshevik made one final glance back at the woods. A glimmer was in his eyes.

Leonid’s jaw dropped. He looked over at the army sergeant, who had turned to meet his glance. Both of their faces said the same thing.

Oh sh...

As soon as the door clicked open, the man ran inside. “IT’S A TRAP!”

The sergeant lifted up his rifle and fired off a shot. He got the man right in the back, and the Bolshevik flew forward.

Leonid pulled out his twin pistols and surged forward. The doorman stood there, gaping at the corpse before him. Leonid fired off two blasts from his pistols, and the man went down. Shouting and screaming could heard coming from inside. The sergeant was barking orders to some of his men, who were already pulling out grenades. They got up to the door and tossed two inside. Explosions lit up the darkness, and screams were heard.

They only had a few seconds initiative. Leonid knew that. He turned and rushed right into the tunnel, guns raised. He was greeted with a dimly lit cavern, going down into the mines. Candles lined the walls. Men were running about barrels, crates, and even a cart. Leonid surged forward, firing blasts in a spray across the scene. He wasn’t even aiming – he was covering from one side of the wall to the other, trying to pin the men down. He could see the heads bobbing down behind cover, and only one managed to get a shot off. The bullet ricocheted off the stone above Leonid’s head, and he ducked and rolled behind a crate. He looked back, and saw his tactic had worked: his fellow Okhrana agents, and the soldiers, had poured in, and were returning fire.

Bullets were flying about now. A soldier was struck in the chest and fell down. Leonid emptied the clips from both pistols and reloaded them. With his shoulder, he gave a gentle nudge against the crate. It shifted easily. Now he gave it a harder push, and brought it flying forward. Bullets sent wood chips flying over his head as it was struck. He felt it hit something. To his right, he saw a Bolshevik hiding behind a rock formation. He fired from his pistols, and the man slumped down. He twisted his body up.

And came face to face with a Bolshevik who had moved to his crate for cover.

And was caught reloading.

Two shots melted the Bolshevik’s face into a red mess.

Leonid now rolled to his right, right into the mine cart. The clank of bullets hitting metal rang loud as his body slumped into cover, and he could see the sparks lighting up the ceiling above him. With his landing in the cart, he felt his weight start to move it downward, into the tunnel. His boots rested against the end of the cart, where the unloading door would be. He gave it a good kick, and the old metal door gave way. Suddenly, he was staring at Bolsheviks from behind their covers. He pointed his guns and frantically fired shots. He missed some. He hit some. He hit more. There was panic as the Bolsheviks realized they were suddenly being fired at from two different angles.

The cart continued rolling down. It was gaining speed – and Leonid suddenly realized he had no idea where it might be headed. It curved down one pathway, then crashed into something. A man’s head peeked over, and Leonid shot him with a single bullet. The agent immediately popped up and looked around, pistols at the ready.

The cart had crashed up against some crates, and the mine opened up into a larger room nearby. There were tables covered in candles, and their bright glows illuminated the maps and reports that were scattered about. Some beds, with the sheets rolled back, were nestled against the rocky walls. A radio buzzed beside one of the beds. Down the tunnel, Leonid heard shouts, screams, and gunfire, which seemed to be steadily getting closer. He had to imagine the soldiers and agents were clearing their way down to where he was.

Against the wall, in the opening he had discovered, Leonid realized there was an open door, leading into darkness. That was when he heard of a car engine, and saw the lights from a vehicle illuminate the ground through the doorway. Leonid gasped and surged forward. As soon as he got to the door, he saw a small car speed past him. He realized quickly what was going on: this was a small extension of the tunnel, and when he looked to the side, the tunnel opened up through tall grass to an opening – the car was getting away.

Nearby were two motorcycles. Leonid ran to one, hopped on it, and immediately kicked it on. The wheels screeched against the dirt and gravel before ramping up to full speed. Leonid had cranked the throttle without a concern for just how fast this thing could go. In a moment, he was catching up to the car. He lifted up his free hand, pistol still in it, and fired at the wheels. The wheels were struck, and the car spun out of control. It crashed against the wall of the tunnel, just before the entrance. Leonid turned to stop the bike and realized too late that he hadn’t lifted his hand from the throttle. The wheels spun, and he rolled. Rider and bike landed on the side and spun for half a turn. As the dust settled about him, Leonid forced himself out from under it, and immediately felt a pain in his leg. As he shook off the dust from his clothes, he heard the car open, and saw a figure run from it. He lifted up his pistol and fired a shot right in front of the figure. As soon as the dust shot up from the ground, the figure stopped, turned, and raised both hands.

Leonid approached steadily. The pain in his leg caused him to limp, but at this range, his shot wouldn’t have missed. “Keep those hands up. Who are…” Leonid blinked. The man had dark hair, combed back. A thick, burly mustache lined his upper lip. Squinted eyes gazed at Leonid under upraised eyebrows. The agent smirked and said, “Comrade Stalin, I presume?”

The man chuckled. “And you are the errand boy for the Romanov whore?”

“I am an agent of her majesty, the Empress of the Russian Peoples – and you, sir, are now her prisoner.”

Not too long after that, Stalin was found guilty of crimes against the Empress and the Russian people, and was sentenced to execution by firing squad. Leonid was present at the execution. One of Stalin’s last words were, “Aim for my heart, idiots. Though you probably can’t even shoot straight.” That was proven false as soon as the volley was given. Ludmila was beside Leonid, watching impassively as the Bolshevik leader tumbled back and onto the ground, his chest a bloodied mess.

“Next time, try not to get killed,” Ludmila remarked.

Leonid chuckled. He reached down to his leg, where a cast was placed. Apparently, he had banged it up pretty bad when he fell off the bike, though he didn’t know it until they examined him afterward. His hand balled into a fist, and he tapped the cast a few times. “Knock on wood.”

Ludmila shot him a disapproving glance – more so for the pun than his actions. She turned back to Stalin’s body. The officer in charge of the firing squad walked over and, as per regulations, fired another shot into his head. There was no doubting now whether or not the Bolshevik leader would ever get back up again. “To think… this was a man who wished to one day rule Russia.”

That thought sent a chill up Leonid’s spine. The stories he’d heard of Stalin from captured Bolsheviks and Mensheviks… the tales of what he’d done to captured prisoners… the way he’d committed atrocities against Russian civilians… to think that such a man would rule Russia? What would his rule have looked like? What would it have done for the Russian people? Leonid was happy it hadn’t come to pass… and was grateful for Russia’s sake that it had never come to pass. What nightmare had they been spared from…?

oEplxSm.png
 
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Now this is a proper Russian aar.
 
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Henry v. Keiper

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TWR97

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A violent end for a violent man. Russia is spared of the nightmares that man would have introduced had he been leader.
 

Crimson Lionheart

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The Romanovs send their regards
 
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Henry v. Keiper

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Bullfilter

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A very welcome return - sorry for the delay in commenting, but the alerts didn’t seem to be working, or I missed it.

Nice write up of the game event - I’m a big fan of taking the bits the game provides and working them into a dramatic narrative. A big thing to capture Stalin - opening up a new future, no doubt.

Leave the gun, take the borsch.
Ah, a Godfather reference - perfect! :D Stalin had (as alluded to in the description) gone to the mattresses - but was caught napping!
 
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