• Victoria 3 - Sign up now!

    The journey begins, sign up now and get a special in-game item when the game is released.


  • Crusader Kings III Available Now!

    The realm rejoices as Paradox Interactive announces the launch of Crusader Kings III, the latest entry in the publisher’s grand strategy role-playing game franchise. Advisors may now jockey for positions of influence and adversaries should save their schemes for another day, because on this day Crusader Kings III can be purchased on Steam, the Paradox Store, and other major online retailers.


    Real Strategy Requires Cunning
  • Crusader Kings II Expansion Subscription

    Subscribe to the CK II Expansion and enjoy unlimited access to 13 major expansions and more!


Katapraktoi

Captain
72 Badges
Jan 15, 2005
304
3
  • 500k Club
  • Magicka
  • March of the Eagles
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Rome Gold
  • Semper Fi
  • Sengoku
  • Victoria 2
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • Lead and Gold
  • Cities: Skylines
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • Mount & Blade: Warband
  • Mount & Blade: With Fire and Sword
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Cities: Skylines - After Dark
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Cities: Skylines - Snowfall
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
  • Europa Universalis 4: Emperor
  • Divine Wind
  • Cities in Motion
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • A Game of Dwarves
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
  • For the Motherland
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
The Asian Saga

Book 1

TheTyphoonsofWarImage.jpg

Story:

The Typhoons of War takes place during the turbulent decades before and during the Second World War. It follows the two families the Luos and the Ogawas, friends from before the war but torn apart by the events and circumstances that would change the entire East. The Luos are involountarily drawn into the conflict raging between the Chinese Nationalists and the Communist Party of China; a feud that began in 1927 with the dissolution of the United Front between Nationalists and Communists that had secured their co-rulership over China's warlords. As the battles turn into full-scale war Luo and his family has no safe place to run to. They must make a stand and fight for what they believe in.

On the other side of the Japanese Sea, Ōgawa Kenji is trying desperately as the aide to Japan's peace-loving Prime Minister Okada Keisuke. But nationalistic powers are growing in Japan, unchecked by the Emperor, and soon Kenji finds himself in an unstoppable scenario that will unleash destruction on the home of his friends the Luos. For Kenji there is only one thing to do, for what could a man on his own possibly achieve?


Dramatis personæ:

Major characters:


Chinese:

Luo Ri - A poor physician who has due to unforseen consequenses followed the communists' exodus from Nanchang to Yan'an. Has studied medicine at university in Shanghai.

Luo Chen - Luo's eldest son, also a student of medicine at a university in Shanghai.

Luo Feng - Luo's second eldest son. Has attended officer school abroad.

Luo Huizhong - Luo's youngest son. Without money for an education, Huizhong has stayed behind in his birthtown despite his wish for officer school. He is dragged along with his father when the communist exodus takes place.

Mao Zedong - De facto leader of the Communist Party of China. Member of the Inner Committee.

Lin Biao - Top General in the Chinese Red Army. Close friend to Mao. Member of the Inner Committee.

Zhou Enlai - Diplomat and propagandist in the Party. Member of the Inner Committee. Former political adversary of Mao Zedong, but has since switched sides and is now one of his most important advisors.

Zhu De - Top General in the Chinese Red Army. Member of the Inner Committee.

Chen Yi - Top General in the Chinese Red Army. Member of the Inner Committee.

Deng Xiaopeng - Commissar in the Chinese Red Army and close advisor to Mao. Member of the Inner Committee.


Japanese:

Ōgawa Kenji - Son of a wealthy family he works as medical officer in the Imperial Japanese Navy. In his youth he studied medicine in Shanghai together with Luo Ri. Is an aide of Okada Keisuke.​


Minor characters:


Chinese:

Zhao Mingxia - Luo Ri's wife, residing in Nanchang.

Li Kengong - General in the Chinese Red Army. Handles domestic security issues. Possesses a widespread spy network. Member of the Committee.

Wang Jiaxiang - Diplomat and liaison with the Soviet COMINTERN. Member of the Inner Committee.

Zhang Guotau - Mao's political arch rival and formal head of the Communist Party of China. His power waned considerably after the Long March, allowing Mao to seize power. Member of the Inner Committee.

Chiang Kai-shek - The President of the Republic of China and Commander-in-chief of its forces, the NRA. Mutual arch enemy to Mao Zedong, going to any lengths to destroy him and the CPC.


Japanese:

Okada Keisuke - Head of Government of Japan and Admiral in the Imperial Japanese Navy.

Yamamoto Isoroku - Admiral in the Imperial Japanese Navy.​


Chapter List:


Part I: The Typhoons Rise - 1 January 1936 ~ 7 July 1937
Chapter One
Chapter Two
Chapter Three
Chapter Four
Chapter Five
Chapter Six
Chapter Seven
Chapter Eight
Chapter Nine
Chapter Ten
Chapter Eleven
Chapter Twelve

Part II: In Country - 7 July 1937 ~ 13 January 1938

Part III: The Bridge over the River Yangtze - 13 January 1938 ~ 11 June 1938

Part IV: Resistance - 11 June 1938 ~ 29 November 1938

Part V: Of Love and War - 29 November 1938 ~ 15 December 1939

Part VI: Changing of the Guard - 15 December 1939 ~ 20 January 1941

Part VII: Into the Typhoon - 20 January 1941 ~ 2 March 1941
 
Last edited:

Katapraktoi

Captain
72 Badges
Jan 15, 2005
304
3
  • 500k Club
  • Magicka
  • March of the Eagles
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Rome Gold
  • Semper Fi
  • Sengoku
  • Victoria 2
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • Lead and Gold
  • Cities: Skylines
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • Mount & Blade: Warband
  • Mount & Blade: With Fire and Sword
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Cities: Skylines - After Dark
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Cities: Skylines - Snowfall
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
  • Europa Universalis 4: Emperor
  • Divine Wind
  • Cities in Motion
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • A Game of Dwarves
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
  • For the Motherland
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
The Typhoons of War

Part I: The Typhoons Rise

Chapter One

SUGAMO PRISON
TOKYO, JAPAN
April 13, 1964

And so I have come to the end of the final part of my account. Too long have I waited for my sentence, but I guess my enemies wanted me to suffer. The punishment is just, Ōgawa Kenji, the man holding the well used pencil, stopped in his writing to think. After a moment’s pondering he scratched the last word with two fine lines and wrote instead, honourable. As I face the end it is my dying belief that I worked for the greater good of both my country and the rest of the continent. My only regret is that there are too few people left to recognise that. I die by the leftist hand for trying to preserve that which was right.

He put down his writing tool and reached for his tired eyes, massaging them gently with thumb and long finger. Age certainly had made him fragile, in more than one way. With a heavy breath he let go from his mind the paper sheets lying on the table, his final words written hastily but carefully, and slowly but gradually he felt the presence of the world again. Opening his eyes to the sunlight that flowed through the narrow, barred window high on the wall he rested his cheek in his palm and without disrupting this pose of great philosophers he looked down at the yellow-white sheets again.

No one could possibly know of what he was thinking. Not the guard outside the door, rifle shouldered and his simple mind set on doing his duty. Not the warden either, coming down the corridor with key chains tucked to his belt that rustled the way only keys did, ready to escort the prisoner. Nor did the tribunal waiting for its next victim a few blocks away. No one did, he though, no one knows… except for him perhaps. Him. When Kenji thought of “him” with that sense of gravity to the word only perceivable in somebody’s mind he really could only think of Luo Ri of course. Such events they had been through, both together and separated. A true time of turmoil, destruction, horrendous actions and inconceivable deeds, but also of opportunity, adventurism, building of character and forging of bonds so profound they were alien to most. They had not just seen History pass by like so many, they had lived History. Now however, Luo would most likely have to continue to live it without him.

The feint sound of hard heels against concrete floor coming closer made him snap back into reality. Kenji quickly dismissed his reminiscence yet again and picked up the pencil, took a blank paper and began writing, this time a personal letter. He addressed it:

Kenjisletter.jpg

He deviated from his mother tongue and wrote the last word for farewell in Chinese, zai jian, before signing the letter at the bottom. He stood up and turned half around just in time to hear the key slide into the lock and the unmistakable rattling of its kin as it did so. Kenji hurriedly amassed his papers into a rough pile, counting at least a few dozen or so sheets. He had indeed been busy these last days of incarceration.

With papers in hand the prisoner waited while the steel door slid open inward with an almost ominous silence. Standing in the doorway, feet abroad and with a powerful, authoritative aura, was the warden. Beneath the black cap were emotionless eyes, a clean-shaven face of a middle-aged man, with a dark uniform clinging tightly along his nimble but muscular body down to the equally black shoes. To Kenji however, it was the red star decorating the centre of his cap and glowing like a scarlet beacon that caught his eye. A symbol associated with immense hatred to some, while representing freedom to others. Kenji could not really decide which camp he belonged to.

He stopped prying his eyes on the star and met the warden’s gaze instead. Never before had he been allowed to do so, nor dared to, as prison rules were harsh and the leading strata made sure everybody followed them. No eye contact, no talking with other prisoners, respect the guards, work hard, educate yourself. Kenji above all had sure learned to educate himself. Not in the communist sense though, from the multiple evening classes, literature and other sources of information that were graciously offered the long term interns. Rather he had learned the way to survive and even prosper in prison, picking up the lingua franca so to speak, how to walk the walk and talk the talk, how to get those special things from the guards in return for unquestioned obedience and submission. He had learned that if the rules were followed to the letter life in prison would be comfortable. If anybody had the indecency to ignore any of them though, punishment was severe, swift, and above all effective. Kenji could not think of a single prisoner at Sugamo that had ever made the mistake of disobeying, or even forgetting, the rules again after being “corrected”.

Today however, as of the moment the door opened, that thick, impenetrable steel door which had kept him from freedom for countless years, Ōgawa Kenji was no longer a prisoner of this hellish place. Yet nor was he a free man, not quite. Eventually he would be freed, of that he was absolutely certain. There really was nothing that could convince him otherwise. The question was, in what way would his freedom be delivered.

The warden waited without saying a word, surprisingly patient at Kenji’s reluctance to move. But Kenji knew he spoke with his eyes, telling him that that patience was not unlimited and that he had better start moving by his own accord, else he would be dragged out. As if moving by themselves, Kenji’s legs began stepping forward and out of the small cell. The guard that had been standing next to the door immediately came up on his right side and took hold of his arm. Kenji stopped and turned his eyes to his old habitat. Looking over the warden’s shoulder into the room while the door was being pulled shut, the only thing he could make out was his miniature bed. Above it on the cold, grey wall he could see where he had tried to count the nights he had spent on it, checking each off with a white chalk until it had all but disappeared. He had spent a long time here in this last home of his, and he was glad to be rid of it.

The blue-painted door closed with a metallic slam and the warden locked it quickly before closing in on Kenji’s other side, starting to lead him down toward the end of the corridor. Along the wall to his right stood armed guards at intervals, and to his left were cells just like his own with the massive doors tightly shut. The windows behind the guards were much bigger along the corridor compared to his cell and while they also were reinforced with sturdy bars, through them Kenji could easily see the wonderful blue ocean of a sky occasionally broken by stripes of white clouds. Perhaps soon he would be out there, able to see the sky and the sun again without having to look though prison bars to enjoy it.

The door at the end of the corridor opened automatically at the sound of a buzzing siren. Together the three passed through checkpoint after checkpoint, always with the same dull, grey design until they finally arrived at the Secured release facility. There a familiar face waited for him as usual.

With a crispy white shirt, dark grey three-piece and a matching stylish hat was Comrade Inspector Lieutenant Kawakita Masato, Kenji’s ever-escorting police officer to the court. He was probably the only friend that Kenji could talk with and trust in, at least to a certain extent. They had exchanged words many times, even about things outside the case. He knew for example how much the Inspector made each month, that he was about half his own age, that he had two daughters with his wife from who he tried to hide his smoking habit. Kenji was convinced the Inspector knew infinitely much more about him however, having read all about him in his profile that presumably still lay inside the black, smooth leather attaché case the man was carrying. The only thing that forced Kenji to trust Kawakita with his newly written piece of papers was this fact. Through their talks the man knew more than what was the official word, even the censored parts.

The guard and the warden who had escorted him released their firm grip and let him approach the well dressed officer. Kenji handed the sheets to the man and said in a low tone that they were important. The Inspector nodded in what Kenji took as an understanding gesture, took the papers and put them inside a plastic folder before tucking the bunch inside the briefcase. He stepped aside and Kenji went past him towards the stairs that were in front of him, knowing the procedure all too well. Kawakita followed him down the narrow steps, the warden closely behind. Yet another short alarm buzzed as the door at the end of the stairs opened up and allowed Kenji to proceed to the underground garage where an armoured truck was waiting for them, already running.

The Inspector climbed into the front seat together with the driver while Kenji was swiftly locked to his seat and with a single armed guard in his back compartment. He saw the warden walk back up the stairs knowing he would most likely never see the man again, no matter the outcome of this day, and suddenly Kenji felt strangely vulnerable. Despite the loathsome condition in prison, at least he had been lulled into a false sense of security after all those years, with the guards and the warden always there. Now that reality had caught up with him he did not know what would happen, and it frightened him. The truck’s heavy doors slammed shut, their echo competing with the roar of the engine as they set off to his final court session.

In the large but spartan courtroom Kenji was made waiting in the accused’s box, standing right in front of the magistrate’s raised table. On the wall above the massive bench of dark wood hung a huge almost circular five-pointed star made out of metal, a deep, dark, coppery red tint to it. In the centre of the metal banner was a smaller convex icon, that of the hammer and scythe, encased by a circle, the sun, and with lines symbolising the rays spreading outward to the star’s borders. A perfect combination of the symbol of the Japanese police force and the Communist Party.

Behind him on the other side of the bar was a gathering of law students, high-ranking military and a few select others wanting to participate in the final stage of his trial. Even further back in the building, outside the closed double doors was undoubtedly the press, waiting for the official statement, most likely carefully planned and verified before being released. Kenji wondered if they had prepared two statements, one for his release, another for his demise. What would be the chances for the previous, he thought.

‘All rise for the honourable Comrade Chairman Ueda.’ The general notice was instantly followed by the soft noise of a crowd standing up as the courtroom paid their respect to the approaching judge and his entourage. Dressed in the yellow-green of the military, the judge, Mr. Ueda Shinichi, was despite his moderate height a figure of supreme authority. If Inspector Kawakita was the person that Kenji could trust the most this man Ueda was certainly the opposite. He knew well to honour this man beyond what ordinary customs of respect demanded, else his life would be ended prematurely.

The judge made himself comfortable in his seat before he cast a steel-cold stare at Kenji, the rest of the crowd, and lastly the prosecutor before telling the room in a short, unpleasant tone to sit down. Again his eyes went back to Kenji who quickly turned down his own not to lock gazes with this man of power.
‘This Supreme People’s Court is now in session. Accused Ōgawa,’ he began, addressing Kenji, ‘during last week’s hearing on the 8th of April, the prosecution put forth the final word on your crimes against the people. Your defence was heard and the court has reached a decision.’

Pulling forth a thin pile of papers from a folder the magistrate started reading directly and the whole courtroom seemed to tense, everybody wanting to hear the verdict.
‘On the charges of high treason against the People’s Republic of Japan this court finds the accused guilty-.‘ A loud gasp of what could be perceived as relief echoed through the room and some even cried out acknowledgements to the verdict, almost drowning the continued statement. ‘-and sentences him to death by hanging.’

The judge paused for whatever reason, drama or just to signal the coming of the second verdict before reading on. It mattered little to Kenji. To him the world seemed to compress anyway, falling in on him as his heart skipped a beat, the sounds and the noise fading and being replaced by the silence of anguish and desperation. ‘On the charges of conspiring with enemies…,’ the judge continued. He had known it all along, but had tried not to think of it, tried to put distance to the thought of losing his life, and so when hearing the death sentence he could not help but being overwhelmed by the feeling of disbelief. Deep inside he had still had the smallest fragment of hope. At an instant, that had been violently ripped from him.

‘…by hanging.’ Now the audience was really making a racket, the noise reaching even Kenji in his chocked state, pulling him back into the courtroom. ‘Order!’ Ueda cried while hammering his club onto the desk before continuing once more. ‘On the charges of upholding criminal and fascist views and encouraging dissent against the lawful rule of the State this court finds the accused guilty and sentences him to death by hanging. Sentence is to be carried out at 9 a.m. tomorrow morning. This court session is now closed.’
With a loud bang of the hammer judge Ueda concluded the trial and rose from his seat. Kenji was still stunned by his realisation and had to be removed from the courtroom by the guards, unable to move by his own will any longer, almost on the verge of collapse.

Held in a small room without comforts Kenji sat paralysed waiting for his ultimate doom. Time was of no concern to him now and he made no effort find out either. Is this how His Majesty suffered as well when he was deposed, he asked himself. Let it not be so. He felt utterly alone now, no one beside him who could ease his pain. His whole body ached in anticipation of his reaching the end. All his life he had thought that the fear of death would ease with the years, but now that he finally did face it he admitted to himself he was terrified. What would be next, he wondered, surely rebirth. Or was his karma to merely cease to exist perhaps. That did hold some small sense of comfort actually, to be forgot by the world, to drift into oblivion and not be forced to relive another life full of hardship such as this. If he left this life now at least he would leave nothing behind. Except those memories. By the forces of good, may the Inspector have the decency to deliver those notes! If so I would have peace no matter what happens next, he cried out in his mind.

He was interrupted in his train of thought by the abrupt opening of the door. Two men in military uniforms entered quickly and without ado seized Kenji by the arms and shoulders and forced him out of the room. They manhandled him, probably on purpose, pushing and dragging him until they reached the gate leading outdoors.

The morning sun shone brightly on the square to where he was led. It was surrounded on two sides by the holding facilities in which he had recently been, and along the other two sides ran a high, red brick wall disallowing vision in or out of the compound. In the middle of the square was a raised platform in sturdy wood with a crossbeam gallows surrounded by half a dozen guards. Also present was a drummer, dressed in the same military fashion as the rest, and yet another person whom Kenji believed to be one of the magistrate’s aides, dressed in black, formal and proper.

As Kenji was being pushed forward towards the gallows the man gave him a disinterested look and wrote something in a small notebook. One step at a time Kenji climbed the stairs to the platform together with his escort. They placed him in the centre of the stage, took two steps back behind him and positioned themselves to his right and left. The man Kenji guessed being the aide asked if he had any final words or request, but being his executioner he was certainly not the person with whom Kenji wanted to have those last words, so he looked up at the sky instead, thinking that he had indeed got the opportunity to see it one last time without the interfering bars in the way. He took in the marvellous sight to the fullest before answering in the negative by shaking his head.

At the nodded behest of the aide the two guards behind Kenji took the noose and fitted it around his wrinkly neck, followed by a white cloth over his head. His breathing sped up involuntarily as his heart started racing even faster than before, almost hurting. The drumming began and all he could hear now was the fast-paced tapping and the sound of his own strained breathing through the cloth. Suddenly the drumming stopped and Kenji felt the steady ground beneath his feet disappear. An inevitable vertiginous feeling of freefall in his gut made clear to him that he had milliseconds to live. A last thought blitzed through his mind before he was no more. Asaka, here I come.
 
Last edited:

Katapraktoi

Captain
72 Badges
Jan 15, 2005
304
3
  • 500k Club
  • Magicka
  • March of the Eagles
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Rome Gold
  • Semper Fi
  • Sengoku
  • Victoria 2
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • Lead and Gold
  • Cities: Skylines
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • Mount & Blade: Warband
  • Mount & Blade: With Fire and Sword
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Cities: Skylines - After Dark
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Cities: Skylines - Snowfall
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
  • Europa Universalis 4: Emperor
  • Divine Wind
  • Cities in Motion
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • A Game of Dwarves
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
  • For the Motherland
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
The Typhoons of War

Chapter Two

YAN’AN
SHAANXI, CHINA
New Year’s Day, 1936

It was a quiet winter morning in the frosty Qinling mountain range. Snow lay peacefully since last night’s storm that had now faded, covering the ground and roofs of the town of Yan’an. But for a few people who were already out shuffling the powder snow away from their entrances, a couple of dogs running loose, and the nightshift guardsmen shivering in the cold all in all the city was still sleeping.

Observing this scene was a man inside his house sitting at a table by the window. He was of normal stature, some 175 cm tall, with a lean build from years of regular Tai-chi every morning. His hair was jet black like any other Chinese’s, approximately a finger’s length and combed backwards. Alert, intelligent black eyes dominated his face above a thin nose ridge and a quite ordinary mouth. Nowhere along his olive-yellow skin could creases or wrinkles of any kind be found yet, despite his somewhat respectful age of 41.

Touching his lips from time to time was a cup of his favourite tea, Iron Guanyin. It was a miracle he even had that brought with him to this, to him, quite desolate refuge. But a good cup of tea was a small comfort to the hardships he had faced so far, trampling through the snow, mountains, deserts, plains, he almost could not recall it all, his memories so faded yet so recent.

He pushed the thought aside by emptying his cup and changed view to the interior of the house instead. The rest of the house guests were still sleeping, two dozen of them, him included, and all of them still wearing the thickest clothing they had found. He did not blame them, seeing as how he was also wearing a fur hat and already three layers of clothing to keep the cold out. Yan’an was a cold place for southerners such as themselves, but he knew all too well why they were here.

Some of the men grunted when a knock on the door went through the room but when no one moved a muscle the man took it upon himself to open it. He had seen who was striding towards it anyway but complained to himself why he had to do it, he was amongst the older and should not have to do things like open doors. Co-operation in the socialist spirit was one thing, but respect for one’s elders surely was equally prominent in their new society.

‘Good morning, sir Luo Ri!’ the man outside the door said as Luo opened the door, and bowed politely. At least not everybody has forgot, the older man thought as he bowed back, and gestured the man to come inside. ‘Good morning to you too, Wen. How are things?’

The man called Wen, with a young and almost too innocent face, quickly stepped in and closed the door himself, shutting most of the cold out. He had managed to get hold of an overcoat that was much too big for him, and with his rifle on his back he did not look too terrifying, but at least the coat kept him warm Luo guessed.

‘Tea?’ Luo inquired, having already made his way to the tea pot to boil some more water. Despite his limited supply, Wen was a boy he allowed to have some of the true taste of the South. He stopped in his preparations however when the boy answered in the negative.
‘I’m sorry sir Luo Ri, but I’m actually here with urgent news, no time for a social visit. It is the Inner Committee, they have sent for you.’
‘Me?’ Luo asked with honest surprise. ‘I see. I shan’t be long then, just give me a minute to prepare.’

He went for his own fur hat, made sure he had his pencil and pad and then headed for the door where Wen stood ready to open it for him. Together they walked through the streets that Luo had previously scrutinised through his window. Their cold breaths were clearly visible as they made their way towards one of the bigger buildings, a local theatre, which was now used as headquarters for the communist force.

YananPagoda.jpg

A mountainous side in the town of Yan'an, with a pagoda used as lookout tower by the communists.​

Things were still at an early stage but Luo was sure that the leadership would take care of the current residential problems that the army faced, along with several other lesser issues at hand. From Luo’s point of view a better hospital should be one of the primary concerns, and better defences. It had been far too easy to capture the town when they had arrived, and if the Kuomintang ever were to find and pursue them into the mountains, which he was certain of they would eventually, they badly needed some sort of protection. Keeping the citizens pacified until they understood that the Communist Party was their saviour, not enemy, was the easy part. Luo dreaded an attack by the NRA however, as they were diligent and very disciplined. A most dangerous foe, he concluded.

Not quite sure why he had been called for, Luo silently went through to himself some of the issues he found most critical and how he would present them, in the case that was the reason for this early morning’s prestigious meeting with the Standing Committee, an honour reserved for few people. As Wen left him by the entrance to the theatre having done his duty, and disappearing into a smaller alley, Luo went ahead inside and was greeted by a clerk in military uniform.

After a brief introduction the clerk nodded knowingly and proceeded to show Luo the way further inside the building. They went past what he guessed had been the ticket box, now occupied by the clerk with temporary shelves for papers and documents, and then through a side door into a well lit room with a large, oval table in the middle. The clerk saluted the ring of men standing by the table before shutting the door and removing himself.

Luo stayed where he was, looking around the room at the men without trying to be rude about it. He recognised most of them, only one man in question was unfamiliar to him, but whoever he was, he, and Luo for that matter, was in very presentable company. Most prominent of them all despite his humble beginnings was Chairman Mao Zedong standing by the longer side. He was de facto leader of their Red Army and the man who held the real power in the Party due to their current awkward situation.

Luo could not help look at the man standing at the table and be drawn to his passive charisma. Mao Zedong, a leader who had endured as much as the rest of them if not more, and who was the reason personified for Luo’s even being there. An aura of power gently radiated from this man, a power that could change instantly to chaotic destruction when faced with an enemy. Despite being older than Luo he as well had aged very gracefully and upheld a youthful appearance with his still slender body, shaved face and almost boyish face. Yet there was a seriousness to his face that could not be wiped clean, as a life of enemies, conflict and difficult decisions would do to a face.

Next to him stood yet another slim man, dressed properly in his military uniform and cap lying in front of him on the table. Lin Biao was by all accounts considered to be an amazing military commander, being the mastermind behind the Chinese Soviet Commune’s successful evasion of Kuomintang forces in Jiangxi as well as the strategist to take Yan’an with the minimal losses they had suffered. Calculating eyes and powerful eyebrows were this man’s prominent features, and even Luo had trouble reading his thoughts, something he considered himself quite apt at doing with most others.

To Lin’s left was his opposite in both outfit and appearance. The huge Zhu De was dressed in a dusty uniform with a belt, a handgun hanging on his side, circling his generous belly to hold it in place. Luo knew however that appearances could deceive, which was certainly the case with this man. Co-engineer of the Jiangxi breakout together with Lin and with a long record of successful clashes against the NRA, Zhu De was among the top generals that the Red Army could produce. As a strong supporter of Mao, his place by the Chairman’s side was not in question.

To Mao’s right could Zhou Enlai be found, an elegant man with a long beard, who had become the Chairman’s newest ally during their retreat to Yan’an. He was a handsome man, tall and lean, with a smooth face that seemed to be able to disarm anybody, which might have been the reason he was excelling at his post. Luo had not seen too much of this man but enough to know he was in charge of political and propaganda education among the troops and local populace. Already from an early stage in his involvement with the Communist Party he had been a promising politician and leader, running against Mao until recently.

On the side opposite of the Chairman stood Mao’s Long March brother Wang Jiaxiang, the tall leader who together with Mao took the Red Army to Yan’an after their Jiangxi retreat. With glasses and a somewhat sombre appearance Wang seemed to be the oldest of the Committee members. Having studied in the Soviet Union at university in Moscow Luo understood him to be well suited for the task of liaison between the Comintern and the CPC.

The last man was unknown to Luo. He stood as tall as Mao with wavy hair and a round face. A distinct feeling of defeat and humiliation emitted from this man as he stood cowering next to Wang with his head held low.

‘Comrade Luo, good that you could join us. Come,’ Mao said as he motioned Luo to enter.
‘Pardon the intrusion,’ Luo replied formally as he took off his cap. ‘I’m honoured to have been called for Comrade Chairman.’
He quickly covered the ground between the door and the table, bowed to the rest of the gathering, waiting to be introduced to the unknown man.
‘Comrade, you and I have spoken on quite many occasions and as I am sure everyone along this table knows I have come to value your skills. They have proved to be of invaluable use to the Communist cause.’
‘Thank you, Comrade Chairman,’ Luo replied, humbled by the great man’s flattery despite knowing it was all too true.
‘Unfortunately,’ Mao continued, ‘they won’t be much use to the dead. We have come to face a devious situation Luo. Reports tell us that our bastion in Hubei has fallen but a month ago and they are retreating. Coded transmissions have been sent about our location but for all we know, the Second Red Army protecting that convoy will brave the mountains in the west.’ He gave Luo a meaning glance, who understood immediately to what the Chairman was referring.
‘Comrade Zhang Guotao here can assure us of the seriousness of the situation,’ Mao said as he finally referred to the unknown man. He had a slightly malicious glee to his face as he did so, for reasons beyond Luo. ‘Can’t you, Comrade?’

The man called Zhang, up until now still unheard of by Luo, seemed to grow red either with embarrassment or anger at Mao’s remark, and Luo noticed that the rest of the Committee were displaying their self-satisfaction at the man’s disgrace.

Mao turned to Luo again as if nothing had happened, ignoring the frustrated man completely and continued. ‘I have decided to call for a military conference at our western border. There Chen Yi will meet up with us to discuss what we can do to assist the Second in their efforts to arrive here safely. It is imperative that we bring as many of them here unharmed as possible, we cannot afford to let them share the same fate as Zhang’s men.’

Again the insolent remark at the man prompted Luo to humbly ask the question that the Chairman so obviously wanted from him.
‘I’m sorry Comrade Luo, I should have explained myself earlier. Zhang Guotao was the commander of the Fourth Red Army whom I met when we stopped for rest.’ Stressing the last word while giving his left arm a subtle but meaning look for Luo only, made him understand exactly at what Mao was playing. ‘He just recently made it here to Yan’an after having a dreadful encounter with the Ma brothers and their Tibetan lapdogs. We have no intelligence but we fear that the worst has befallen the Fourth. Zhang however, managed to escape with a small entourage and run for safety here tail between his legs. It’s good to have you back with us Zhang.’

Their conversation had made the newcomer squirm in anguish at the manner in which Mao was insulting him and it looked as if he wanted to speak up against the accusing statements, but he held his tongue.

‘Now, on to business again,’ Mao stated, again acting as nothing had happened. ‘We will ready the First to move south-west while sending a small detachment to hold the mountain pass in the southern Qinling range. Zhou, you will stay here to secure Yan’an with the reserve troops while continuing to reach out to the population. Zhang can remain behind as well. Luo,’ he continued, ’I need you to come with me, I could use that quick thinking of yours, not to mention your skills as a physician.’
Luo bowed as custom declared. ‘I would be honoured to serve, Comrade Chairman.’
‘I understand that your son lived through the hardships and is with us now. He is part of our group of fighters?’
‘He is indeed,’ Luo replied, a warm feeling spreading through him as Mao took an interest in his family. ‘Ready and willing to fight just like the next man. I am happy to say that I have taught him well about righteous family- and country matters as well as equality for the poor. Coming from a family of doctors he shares my view of our liberation efforts with the same passion. I can vouch for his devotion.’
‘I’m pleased to hear that. What was his name again, it has slipped my mind?’
‘Luo Huizhong, Comrade Chairman. My youngest.’
‘Wise loyalty?’ Mao nodded approvingly. ‘A suitable name, we need loyal troops to carry on our war against the oppressing bourgeois and tyrannous landowners. I am sure he will live up to his name. What about your other family?’
Luo fell silent when asked about this touchy subject. While Huizhong had endured together with his father the arduous journey to Yan’an, other members of his family were far beyond his reach. ‘They are…’ he began, not really wanting to think about it. It was a difficult memory. ‘… always in my mind, Comrade Chairman.’

InnerCommittee1936.jpg

The Inner Committee of the Communist Party of China, 1936​
 
Last edited:

Katapraktoi

Captain
72 Badges
Jan 15, 2005
304
3
  • 500k Club
  • Magicka
  • March of the Eagles
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Rome Gold
  • Semper Fi
  • Sengoku
  • Victoria 2
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • Lead and Gold
  • Cities: Skylines
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • Mount & Blade: Warband
  • Mount & Blade: With Fire and Sword
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Cities: Skylines - After Dark
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Cities: Skylines - Snowfall
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
  • Europa Universalis 4: Emperor
  • Divine Wind
  • Cities in Motion
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • A Game of Dwarves
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
  • For the Motherland
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
The Typhoons of War

Chapter Three

SOUTHEASTERN KUNLUN MOUNTAINS
GANSU, CHINA
January 5, 1.15 p.m.

He was China’s hope for a future. They believed so in the West, and it was a flattering thought he often applied to himself as well. Harsh, disciplined, courteous, and charming, he knew he embodied all these qualities, and he had to as well, being the leader of the Kuomintang. Along with such a title only a flawless appearance would be acceptable and therefore Chiang Kai-shek had, before presenting himself to the troops, seen to it that his moustache and shortly cropped hair were in perfect order, his uniform spotless, and that his slim, oval face adorned a fatherly and authoritative look.

Riding along the road on his steed, he inspected both his own men and those of the Ma brothers, the local warlords with whom he was allied. It was a very beneficial alliance as Chiang knew that the filthy communists had fled somewhere northwest. Guarding their own domain in that direction, the Xibei San Ma, or the Three Mas of the Northwest as he knew his German military advisors called them, the related warlords had recently had clashes with retreating communist forces, and these battle reports had been forwarded to Chiang.

Drawing the conclusion that the communist leadership was trapped somewhere between his NRA forces in the east and the Ma clique in the west it was only a matter of time before Chiang could deliver the final blow to these rebellious upstarts so that he could focus on bringing China a bright, new future.

He knew China needed Chinese nationalism instead of separated city or family states, new economic reforms and a sense of honour and value based on Confucianism, not some soviet drivel that fool Stalin was talking about. Of course, once the communists had been dealt with he would have to come after the Mas as well, and the rest of the few warlords still clinging to their lands, but he left that sort of thinking for later. Right now he was close for a final battle with the Reds and it was imperative that he found them in these inhospitable terrains. Scouts had been sent out several days ago when he had arrived to the province by means of plane to the Sichuan Basin, then on horseback to the mountain ridge where he had met up with his local forces. A total of 40,000 men, mostly made up of the private army of the Ma family and led by himself, would be more than enough to crush the peasants, he was sure.

Ma Bufang, the second youngest of the three Ma cousins who reigned unopposed in the region, was commander in field of the support army in the Kunlun region. The last years had been good to him with enough room to consolidate his own power together with his relative Ma Hongkui who had been the person behind the alliance with Chiang Kai-shek’s Kuomintang. All the three of them had to do was make sure that they caught and killed as many of the newly arrived communists and Chiang would be pleased. Perhaps then he would withdraw his troops so that their Muslim state would be left alone.

Waiting on top of a cliff for Chiang to return from his troop inspection, Bufang was resting his eyes on the massive mountains of the northeast to where Chiang assumed the communists had fled. He wondered how much longer it would take for them to end the rebellion seeing as they had utterly destroyed the ragtag army of the communists when they passed through the mountain passes just weeks ago. Bufang laughed to himself at the ridiculous battle that had ensued, one which he had participated in himself. The enemy had been equipped with the most outdated weapons imaginable, such as spears, swords, and muskets centuries old. It was laughable to even consider the communists a threat being equipped as such.

Nevertheless, he understood Chiang’s need to destroy them as they did not only pose the possibility of re-surfacing, but also as an ideological nemesis. And if they did crumble beneath Chiang’s heel, he thought, the Ma family could easily and swiftly expand into those territories. With that possible outcome in mind he was only too happy to oblige being Chiang’s helper in finding his enemies. And in the case that Chiang would prove untrustworthy, Ma Honkui in the capital together with their third cousin Ma Zhongying in the north could amass at least another army of 30-40,000 troops aided by their southern neighbours the Tibetans, who had proven very useful in the recent attacks on the communists. In either case, Ma Bufang was ready to fight anyone encroaching on their territory, whether that anyone would be NRA or communist.

MaClique.jpg
 
Last edited:

Katapraktoi

Captain
72 Badges
Jan 15, 2005
304
3
  • 500k Club
  • Magicka
  • March of the Eagles
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Rome Gold
  • Semper Fi
  • Sengoku
  • Victoria 2
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • Lead and Gold
  • Cities: Skylines
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • Mount & Blade: Warband
  • Mount & Blade: With Fire and Sword
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Cities: Skylines - After Dark
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Cities: Skylines - Snowfall
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
  • Europa Universalis 4: Emperor
  • Divine Wind
  • Cities in Motion
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • A Game of Dwarves
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
  • For the Motherland
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
Alright everyone, that is all I have written for now. I'm in the process of getting some more done but it sure takes time. It's my first time here at the HoI2 forums, but I was active in the EU2 and Vicky forums a couple of years ago. I just recently got the idea to write a WW2 story, so here I am.

I'd be really happy at any sort of constructive criticism of what's good or bad. Particularly about:

  • The text. Is it too bulky? Difficult to read, or is it ok? I was having a more bookish AAR in mind when I started writing this which looked fine in Word, but when I saw the text on the forum it seemed very compact. Should I separate it more?
  • Pictures. Enough, too few? When I was reading this Vicky AAR called Into the west I instantly fell in love with it despite the lack of pictures. In the case more are needed I do have some some that I was planning on posting, but I'm not quite there yet.
  • The story. Is it compelling enough to read? Perhaps a bit too early to say. Just thinking about what I've heard that the reader must be caught in the first moment, else all is lost.

I hope that those of you who will read it will find it enjoyable. Cheers!
 

Katapraktoi

Captain
72 Badges
Jan 15, 2005
304
3
  • 500k Club
  • Magicka
  • March of the Eagles
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Rome Gold
  • Semper Fi
  • Sengoku
  • Victoria 2
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • Lead and Gold
  • Cities: Skylines
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • Mount & Blade: Warband
  • Mount & Blade: With Fire and Sword
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Cities: Skylines - After Dark
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Cities: Skylines - Snowfall
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
  • Europa Universalis 4: Emperor
  • Divine Wind
  • Cities in Motion
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • A Game of Dwarves
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
  • For the Motherland
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
The Typhoons of War

Chapter Four

NATIONAL TONGJI UNIVERSITY
SHANGHAI
January 6, 10.11 a.m.

TongjiU.jpg

The campus of Tongji University was crowded by people both young and old as students and professors made their way to the different buildings and lecture halls. Despite the moderately chilly January breeze, twenty-one year old Luo Chen braved the weather with but a white shirt, the wind tearing at his lush hair. With a smooth face and lean body his mother had always told him he was the spitting image of his father. He was taking after Luo Ri in more than appearance however, since he as eldest brother had complied with following in the footsteps of their family trade by studying to become a physician.

His accommodations were located quite far from the university in the northeastern part of Shanghai and he was already behind schedule for an important lecture on Roentgen and his x-ray’s impact for medical uses. With books in hand he ran for the Medical School as fast as he could. The large, white building was towering high above him and he would have to clear at least five floors in just a few minutes if he was to make it. At two steps at a time he quickly traversed the stairs only to run into something, sending him flying, books included. A muffled grunt of agony assured him that whatever he had run into also was human, and somehow when he looked at the person in question he was not that surprised to find his long-time friend Ping lying on the floor as well.

‘Damn it Ping, what are you doing? Are you ok?’ Chen complained, quickly getting on his feet and picking up both of their books. Handing Ping’s over he gave his friend a look of joking disbelief. It was not the first time it had happened.
‘Sorry,’ Ping said excusing. ‘Thought I had forgot my-‘
‘Never mind that, do you know how late we are?’ Chen cut him off impatiently, starting to drag him to the lecture hall. Both of them quickened their pace and managed to slip into two seats high up in the back just in time to see old Professor Meng enter. With him was a much younger man, Chen guessed him to be in his late thirties or early forties at most, dressed in brown tweeds and with oiled hair glistering in the sunlight coming from the wide windows to the side. The man sat down in the front while the professor approached the podium. He began in Chinese.

‘Today as you may well know there was scheduled a lecture on Roentgen by a guest lecturer. I want you to be alert today as it will be conducted in German, but I know that you will fare well in this endeavour. At the end of the lecture ten minutes will be spared for questions. I trust you will have interesting ones ready. And now I am pleased to present to you today’s lecturer and former student of ours, Doctor Ōgawa Kenji.’
Luo Chen flinched surprised at the sound of the name as the man who had accompanied the professor got up and took the stage.
‘No way!’ he exclaimed hushed, mostly to himself, but Ping easily caught it and gave him a puzzled look.
‘What is it? Do you know him?’
Vielen Dank, Professor. Ja, also, Ich will auf Röntgen und sein…’ The introduction by the man faded between the two friends as they continued whispering.
‘Well no, and yes. You know I said my father had studied here as well right? That’s why I was sent off to this particular university as well. That and not enough money for studying medicine abroad. But get this, whenever my father talks about his time at Tongji he always starts reminiscing about this friend he studied with. That guy was supposedly some Japanese named Ōgawa, and I think I’ve heard Kenji been mentioned sometimes as well. Don’t you think it’d be too much of a coincidence? I’ve never seen him, but prior student and same name, it’s got to be him.’
‘But there are thousands of students here Chen, foreigners as well. Perhaps Ōgawa Kenji is really ordinary in Japan? Like, Wu or Lin.’ Ping countered.
‘I don’t know,’ Chen said unconvinced as he opened his book and got ready to participate in the lecture for real. ‘Perhaps if I’m polite I could ask to have a word with him afterwards.’

The ninety-minute lecture passed rather quickly as the invited doctor explained briefly the physics and discovery of Roentgen rays, then moved on to a more profound elaboration on their uses in the medical world. With their semester finals soon coming up, both Chen and Ping wrote extensive notes and came with a question each when it was time. At the end the class applauded politely before organised chaos broke out when everybody left their seats, either rushing towards the door for the next lecture, or down to the podium to talk further with the appreciated guest. Chen was one of the latter but sitting at the top meant he became the last in line of at least a dozen students curious about what the alumnus thought about teaching, among other questions.

It took Chen fifteen minutes until he was finally the last one left, except for Ping who had patiently been waiting at the door. Now that he was closer Chen finally got a better look of the excellent speaker. Standing at least as tall as Chen, Doctor Ōgawa Kenji still was quite different from him. With a curiously fair complexion compared to most Asians the man looked quite elegant and handsome, in a sort of Western way. His neck-long hair had remained in its oiled setup, neatly combed backwards showing ever so slight a recession. Excited about his previous thought Chen blurted out in Chinese without thinking.
‘That was an amazing lecture Doctor. And to think you’ve studied here yourself, it really gives me hope for the future to know that the university is prestigious enough for foreigners as well as Chinese.’ He stopped when he realised his blunder, seeing the slightly confused face of the man in front of him.
‘Entschuldigung Herr Doktor!’ he added apologetically, face turning red.
‘Not be, only not used with Chinese. Never good learner,’ the older man replied in surprisingly fair Chinese. Only his vocabulary needed some working, Chen quickly thought to himself.

Chen continued in German, knowing from the doctor’s flawless lecture he was well versed in that language at least. ‘I’m sorry, I didn’t realise you were familiar with Chinese, Doctor. Actually that is why I approached you. I couldn’t help reacting at your name when mentioned.’
‘My name?’ the Japanese replied, he too now having switched to German.
‘Yes, you see my father studied here at Tongji and he always spoke of a friend whose name is identical with yours. When the Professor introduced you I thought perhaps there was a slight chance that you and this friend might be the same person. My father’s name is Luo Ri, I am his son Luo Chen. Is that a name you know, Doctor?’
At the mentioning of Ri’s name the Japanese’s face lit up first in surprise and then changed to delighted recognition.
‘Why yes! Yes of course, upperclassman Luo,’ the doctor exclaimed as he nodded smiling. ‘Of course I remember him. So you’re his son. How about that, he really did meet up with that girl after all.’
Doctor Ōgawa chuckled to himself and suddenly seemed to be in a world of his own, almost forgetting about Chen. Then he came back and looked directly at the young man.
‘So how is he? We were great friends but after he graduated I never saw him again, and with my continuing my studies here at Tongji before returning home to Japan we never really had a chance to keep contact. A shame really.’
Ōgawa’s question about his father’s whereabouts stung Chen in the heart, and although he had had to lie many times before when others had asked the same question he always found it hard to pretend.
‘He is in the West, researching. Mother believes him to be back at least not for another year or two.’

His reply seemed to bring the doctor back to normal as the memories of their youth that burned in his eyes went out. ‘Oh,’ he let out, his disappointment not well concealed. ‘Well I guess I did realise that the chances of seeing Luo still here were slim when I got the word I could tour some of China’s universities and Tongji being among them. Still, it would have been grand to actually meet him again after all these years.’
‘I’m sure he would have thought the same, Doctor. He does talk a lot about you whenever Tongji comes up. Mother almost gets jealous that you get more attention when he reminisces about it, despite the two of them courting from their very first university year,’ Chen said smiling.
‘Is that so.’ Ōgawa said, perceivably flattered. ‘Well we were close. Did you know that your father was the one who-‘
‘Luo!’ Ping called out in a soft but meaning tone. ‘Next lecture. Gonna have to run again…!’
‘Right, so sorry Doctor, was a real pleasure meeting you, but we have got to run,’ Chen said, clutching his books tightly, ready for another dash.

‘Absolutely my boy. Go right ahead,’ Ōgawa replied with an understanding nod. Then he raised his finger as he came to think of something. Quickly pulling forth a pen and paper he started writing.
‘I don’t want to keep you, but seeing I cannot talk to my good, old friend Luo then perhaps the second best, his son, would care to talk some more at a more suitable time.’
Handing Chen the finished note he added, ‘This is the address for my hotel I am staying at, together with my room number. I am staying in Shanghai for another week before I move on south to give a guest lecture at the College of Medicine at Guangxi University. If you’d like please don’t hesitate to contact me. Beyond lectures I have not much to do here in Shanghai, perhaps you could show me some of the city? I am sure it has changed a lot since I was here last time.’
Chen took the note with delight and bowed. ‘It would be my pleasure and honour, Doctor, truly.’
Ōgawa smiled and nodded good-bye as he started packing his own things, letting Chen and Ping rush to their next class.
 
Last edited:

unmerged(157789)

Major
1 Badges
Aug 23, 2009
694
0
  • Hearts of Iron III
It looks interesting and I'll check on it tonight but the block of text usually ... intimidates some readers who tend to follow AARs with a lot of pictures. Other people, like myself, who regularly pop on for short periods have trouble trying to read something like this while checking on our own AARs and the ones we follow and putting an update out.

As I said, I'll read through it tonight and offer my thoughts. Keep it up though !
 

unmerged(86922)

Major
3 Badges
Nov 8, 2007
744
0
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Heir to the Throne
Very Good.
 

Katapraktoi

Captain
72 Badges
Jan 15, 2005
304
3
  • 500k Club
  • Magicka
  • March of the Eagles
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Rome Gold
  • Semper Fi
  • Sengoku
  • Victoria 2
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • Lead and Gold
  • Cities: Skylines
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • Mount & Blade: Warband
  • Mount & Blade: With Fire and Sword
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Cities: Skylines - After Dark
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Cities: Skylines - Snowfall
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
  • Europa Universalis 4: Emperor
  • Divine Wind
  • Cities in Motion
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • A Game of Dwarves
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
  • For the Motherland
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
TemplarComander, mad general, Thank you very much for reading. I hope you enjoyed the story so far! =)

As I mentioned before I do realise that a block of text might be daunting, yes. I will try my best to find suitable pictures here and there, but I don't think I can do it for every single update. Not to fear though, I already have a few ones ready, but most are for when the war starts. I also have a few of my gameplay obviously, but I am trying to be economical about those because for some reason I don' think they fit well with the text, seeing as I'm following things on a very down-to-earth level and not from an armchair general's perspective. I've also tried already yesterday to fix the text to make it somewhat more reader friendly. I hope I've succeeded.

Update to follow tonight, I'm working on it at this very moment.
 

unmerged(50292)

Lt. General
Nov 8, 2005
1.243
0
I've also tried already yesterday to fix the text to make it somewhat more reader friendly. I hope I've succeeded.

It certainly looks much more readable now! :)
 

Katapraktoi

Captain
72 Badges
Jan 15, 2005
304
3
  • 500k Club
  • Magicka
  • March of the Eagles
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Rome Gold
  • Semper Fi
  • Sengoku
  • Victoria 2
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • Lead and Gold
  • Cities: Skylines
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • Mount & Blade: Warband
  • Mount & Blade: With Fire and Sword
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Cities: Skylines - After Dark
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Cities: Skylines - Snowfall
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
  • Europa Universalis 4: Emperor
  • Divine Wind
  • Cities in Motion
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • A Game of Dwarves
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
  • For the Motherland
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
The Typhoons of War

Chapter Five

COMMUNIST ADVANCE HEADQUARTERS
NEAR THE GANSU-SHAANXI BORDER
January 7

Through blizzard, gale and rain Luo had travelled in the front of a long column for almost a week, down from the mountainous fortress of Yan’an to the hilly valley separating the Qinling and Kunlun mountain ranges. From time to time he had spotted his son further in the back, but opportunity to talk had only arisen during their camping at night. During their marching hours he seemed quite comfortable walking with the group of men he had been assigned with, so Luo decided to give the young man the freedom needed to make new friends. He figured independence with a firm hand to guide in the right direction only at critical times was a good way to raise his youngest son. At least it had worked with the previous two, he thought.

Despite Luo’s good physical condition the journey had been very straining and as they approached the large camp just a day’s march from Pingliang he welcomed the break. One of the soldiers told him that he was to present himself to the Committee the very next day and that he should have considered plans how to set up effective means of treating wounded with their limited resources by then. Positively exhausted from the exercise he still got to work by drafting a quick solution for a short-term treatment facility that could be moved at will. He made a mental reminder before gently stretching out on the bed that he had to explain to the Committee the importance of real medicine and supplies to help the wounded. Despite the dozen other men in the large tent he fell asleep in an instant, not minding their complaints about the coldness.

The next day came all too quickly and Luo’s body was still fatigued, the night’s rest not being nearly enough to recover. He moaned sleepily but got up at daybreak as the sun ventured further into the tent through its slits by each minute it rose. Even with the late morning he was still the first in his tent to rise. As usual, he thought, condescending. From outside however, there were clearly others up and about as he could hear an immense ruckus through the thin fabric. He brushed the door aside with his hand to reveal the scene outside. The first thing he laid eyes upon was a neat column of men doing exercises with their rifles. Contrary to what Luo would have expected in the cold morning the men were only wearing undershirts and they were soaked with sweat, huge dark spots on their backs and their arms gleaming in the sun. The one drilling them must have worked them hard, he thought. He wondered if his son participated in the same kind of exercises, or if he was one of the lazy ones. Luo snuck an eye on the men resting inside the tent again, scorning them in his mind. He hoped not.

After a quick breakfast of cold rice gruel Luo figured he would have time to see his son properly before being summoned to the Committee, so he made his way toward the tent area at which he knew his son’s fighting group was located. After a short walk he reached a large clearing where the soldiers had put up tents in a circle around it and indeed in the middle of the field a large group of men were practicing some sort of advanced drilling, but with no head for tactics Luo was unsure what they were actually learning. He could however spot his son among them and was pleased by the discovery. Tucking his robes even tighter he waited for the group to finish before calling out for his son, raising his hand to catch the attention of the sweating youth.

‘Father!’ Huizhong quickly dressed and met up with Luo. ‘What are you doing here?’
‘Is that the way the way the rest of these men greet their parents? I don’t need an excuse to come visit my son, do I?’ Luo replied, frankly a bit hurt.
‘I’m sorry, I did not mean it like that. Of course I am pleased you wished to see me, I was just surprised that’s all,’ Huizhong said politely, apologising.
Luo nodded. ‘There’s no need for that Huizhong, I know you are a good son. So,’ he continued, changing topic, ‘doing exercises I see. Preparing for combat?’
At the new subject Huizhong’s face lit up and he started talking fast and with enthusiasm.

‘Yes, it’s amazing. I’ve been assigned to fight in the First! Can you believe it? We’re training now because the corporal says we’re going strike back soon or something. He’s one of the former NRAs, that’s why he’s training us now just like them. To make us good.’ His face took on a graver look as he continued. ‘Too many died at… you know.’ Huizhong shook his head as if trying to forget a painful memory. ‘How I would’ve wanted to fight, father! Why wouldn’t you let me? I thought that’s what we were doing, that’s all I’m being told in the army, to fight the others.’
‘Son if you had fought then and there you would surely have been killed. I know you want to fight and be in the military, but right then you were not ready. It was a crazy time for both of us. I barely got through it alive myself. I just wanted to see you safe. There will be plenty of opportunity for fighting, you said it yourself didn’t you. And this time you’ll learn it the right way, being in a fighting force.’ For free, he added to himself in his mind.

Huizhong looked at his father slightly unconvinced.
‘It’s not officer’s school but it’s fine for now.’
‘Be grateful Huizhong, considering the situation. I know it’s not easy being third in line, but we still have each other.’ He put his hands on Huizhong’s shoulders, looking into his son’s eyes. ‘Family will continue to be as important in our new society as ever before.’
‘Yes father,’ his son replied dutifully, but Luo could still sense the slightly rebellious tension in his voice. He brushed it off as adolescent behaviour.
‘Good. Have you had anything to eat yet?’
Huizhong shook his head. ‘No we started practice right after getting up, before dawn.’
‘Then let’s get away from his coldness and fill our stomachs. I can almost smell your hunger after all that kicking and stabbing and all those other moves you were doing.’
‘It was alright, I’m quite used to it after our mornings of Tai-Chi together. I’d like some more aiming practice instead, but with the limited ammunition-‘
Huizhong was cut off in his explanation as an exhausted guard ran up to Luo, gasping for air. ‘Comrade Luo, the Committee wants you to report to the command tent.’
He looked to his son with an apologetic expression and Huizhong nodded, understanding. The two parted after a brief good luck from Luo, who then set off to his own tent to fetch his notes.

The tent that was used for war plans was not in any way conspicuous compared to the other tents used for lodging, with its ordinarily white cloth fluttering violently in the wind as Luo entered. Only the sturdy poles were keeping the tent standing. Inside sat the Inner Committee on the bare ground with but a blanket spread out on the tent floor and with maps of the current terrains, involved in an intense argument. Besides Chairman Mao, Lin Biao, Wang Jiaxiang and Zhu De who had been present at the Yan’an gathering, two new people Luo had not laid eyes upon were sitting down, relaxed in their posture, not participating. Luo spoke up to announce his arrival but no one seemed to be interested at the moment so he took a seat and waited for a better opportunity.

‘It would be a huge mistake, I cannot emphasize that any more than I already have,’ Lin replied to a statement uttered prior to Luo’s entring the tent.
‘As long as we use hidden tactics and make sure that his forces are encircled, it’ll be alright Lin. I thought you’d be confident in these sorts of manoeuvres,’ Mao said, showing on the map a pincer attack with his hands.
‘When we were on the move yes, Comrade, not if we are to face them head on in a regular battle.’
‘Which is exactly why we should split our forces into three. Chen will lead the better equipped NRA defectors in a feint attack coming from the front. In the meantime you and I, commanding a group of guerrillas each will encircle and support from the flanks. Granted that Chen isn’t as masterful at feints as you, no offence Comrade Chen,’ Mao said. ‘None taken,’ one of the men unknown to Luo said. ‘…but he will be able to pull this off, he must. Thoughts?’

‘Zedung, you know I wish to fight them as much as you do, but I just cannot imagine a head-on attack, feint or no feint, in a mountainous region to be a wise idea. Chiang is no fool, he will not rush at us but use the terrain to his advantage,’ Lin countered. ‘However,’ he continued before anyone could interrupt, ‘I know your way of thinking, Chairman, and I respect that. All I want is the two of us infiltrating the region to set up good hiding spots for our guerrillas before Chen sets off for Chiang’s lines. Then I would strongly consider your tactics. I think this would increase our chances for an ambush considerably.’ He nodded, as if reassuring himself about his previous doubts. ‘That is my advice.’

‘Chen, you’ve listened to the arguments, with what input can you contribute?’
‘Chairman, you can order me to march ahead already today and I would. If I am to meet the capitalists head on then I will do so until I succeed or fall myself,’ the slightly overweight man said. ‘If I am allowed to be frank, I wouldn’t mind truly going straight ahead, none of this feint-and-run tactics.’ His prominent brows were wrinkled, clearly thinking hard on something.

‘How about staging another feint, further away, to draw Chiang’s attention?’
The question made everybody in the tent realise Luo had arrived as he spoke up.
‘I’m not really sure who we are attacking however. All I know is that my son mentioned we’re going up against the enemy.’
‘He’s right,’ Mao said. ‘We’re finally hitting those damn Ma warlords. Cockroaches beneath Chiang’s heel. He will squash them in time anyway if we do not. And I do long for revenge after their attacks. I am going to make sure nothing similar happens to our Second Red Army once they have escaped the Kuomintang in the east and are heading our way.’

‘When you say further away, what did you have in mind?’
Zhu was the first to word his curiosity about Luo’s suggestion. At the sudden attention of them all, Luo grew a bit nervous. He was by no means a military strategist, and yet here he was charged with explaining himself to the highest military organ in the community. He took a deep breath.
‘Well I don’t make any claims at being of your calibre, Comrade General, but I’ve been thinking about our own flank and rear a great deal since I spoke to my son this morning. Now, being given the task of trying to establish some sort of care for our soldiers my thoughts are based on the fact that we need a safe location for long-term stay of our wounded.’
Luo held up his notes for a brief show and Mao nodded acknowledging to show he had not forgot Luo’s primary reason for actually attending the command meeting.

‘If we could establish that sort of help in this nearby town we would have access to the roads and whatever goods are available to the townspeople. However, if the army moved wherever it is you are going-‘, Luo saw Zhu quickly mark out the spot of attack and their own position on the map at the same time as he spoke,’-then it’s obvious it’d be unprotected from the Nationalists from other directions, am I right?’
‘True in one aspect,’ Zhu said, ‘but if you think we would leave a rear unprotected, if we even do leave a rear, then you can’t think highly of us… Comrade Luo was it? We haven't become Generals for nothing. We know what we are doing.’
‘I’m very sorry Comrade General, as I said before I did not intend to question your leadership in any way. But, let me come to my point. What if that flank could both be tapped, as well as acting as the distraction you need? We are here, if I’m not mistaken.’

Luo came closer to the maps and the others made room for him to join the circle. He pointed to the marker Zhu had made previously. ‘The valley between the Qinling and Kunlun mountains. The only way in or out of this valley to Kuomintang territory is to the south. If we could attack this entrance as a feint manoeuvre perhaps it would distract Chiang’s forces enough for an advantage.’
‘Out of the question,’ Chen replied. ‘We need all the troops we can spare for the attack on Chiang in the mountains. If we separate our forces not even for an encirclement but to two different fronts we won’t have enough manpower.’
‘Wait, actually this does sound more appealing by the minute,’ Lin interjected. ‘My proposed action of infiltrating the mountains of an ambush would require the men to be stealthy, and the less men the higher the chance of that happening makes Comrade Luo’s suggestion viable. If we used the less experienced troops in the south we could appear as a force that puts Chiang off while giving us room to go around him. Then Chen will appear with his force in front of the Nationalist-warlord army for our second feint. If they believe our forces to be separated in that manner they might actually charge, giving us a fair chance for our guerrilla tactics.’

‘This could work to our advantage,’ Mao exclaimed. ‘Objections?’
No one spoke up.
‘Good. That was well conceived advice, Comrade Luo,’ Mao commended. ‘Don’t hold back next time.’
Luo bowed to the compliment. ‘Thank you, Comrade Chairman.’
‘Well I believe that you came here for another reason originally?’
Pulling forth his notes again, Luo nodded.
‘I don’t think the outcome will be as grand though. I’m sorry to say I cannot do more than try to set up warm, dry rooms, with access to hot water, plenty of rest and food. And I need some help as well, preferably from anyone with medical or nursing background naturally. I’ve written it all in these papers.’
Mao stretched over for the papers and glanced them over quickly before putting them aside.
‘I will try to provide everything you ask for. Unknown to you from before we do have a small stash of medicine, it shall be readied for your disposal. I believe we lack in medical staff of your expertise, so we are quite lucky to have you, Comrade Luo. We will endeavour to find reasonable aides.’

Mao stopped to think, then continued. ‘In about two days our main army will arrive, as we rode with the vanguard. Once they enter the valley they will reside in that very town, since we lack tents for them. Once they have taken it and put it under our control, we’ll see if we can’t find some sort of local hospital or the like. Comrade Deng will see to it.’
Mao introduced the second unknown man to Luo, who bowed politely and Luo responded in kind.
‘Deng Xiaoping, a pleasure to meet you.’
The man was cleanly shaven but for a well groomed moustache, and his large nose was quite daunting to Luo. The black eyes were those of a man searching the other whenever he met somebody to talk to, but Luo found no hostility in the act, deeming it to be merely a profound curiosity.
‘He’s a very good organiser Luo, if you have any questions you should try to get to this man first. If he is not available, then you can come see me. I value your efforts like any else’s, but I am a busy man as I am sure you can understand.’
‘Thank you, Comrade Chairman.’
‘Well if that is the end of your report on the requested issue, then you may leave. We need to discuss our new approach. Naturally everything that has been said is confidential.’
‘I understand fully, Comrade. Not a word will be ushered.’
With that Luo took his leave as the Inner Committee once again proceeded with discussing how to eject Chiang Kai-shek, arch rival of Chinese Communism, from the western provinces.

DengChen.jpg
 

Katapraktoi

Captain
72 Badges
Jan 15, 2005
304
3
  • 500k Club
  • Magicka
  • March of the Eagles
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Rome Gold
  • Semper Fi
  • Sengoku
  • Victoria 2
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • Lead and Gold
  • Cities: Skylines
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • Mount & Blade: Warband
  • Mount & Blade: With Fire and Sword
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Cities: Skylines - After Dark
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Cities: Skylines - Snowfall
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
  • Europa Universalis 4: Emperor
  • Divine Wind
  • Cities in Motion
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • A Game of Dwarves
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
  • For the Motherland
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
The Typhoons of War

Chapter Six

SHANGHAI
January 11, 12.01 p.m.

It was a bright, sunny Saturday when Luo Chen and Doctor Ōgawa Kenji met up at Le Riche, a reputed French restaurant close to the harbour promenade, to meet over lunch. Chen had as requested by the visitor contacted him about meeting up since they had had precious little time to discuss obvious common topics of interest the last time. Chen had put on his best set of pants and a thick, milk-white sweater to keep him warm since the sun unfortunately did little to keep the chilly wind at bay. Ōgawa was dressed in less formal, grey tweeds this day, but he still looked very proper with watch in one of the pockets and a matching bowler hat in his hand.

Shanghai1936.jpg

‘Young Luo, there you are,’ he began as they ran into each other just outside the restaurant. ‘Good that you made it.’
Chen bowed politely. ‘The pleasure is mine, Doctor.’
‘Well, shall we?’ Ōgawa continued, and gestured for the interior.
They headed inside and waited a quarter of an hour for a table as the restaurant staff was immensely busy during lunch time.
‘Perhaps we should’ve come during another time,’ Ōgawa stated, concerned about the waiting. ‘Seeing it’s your day off and all we could’ve gone at any time, really.’
‘It’s perfectly alright, Doctor. And to be honest I only have a few hours today. With finals coming up soon, Ping and I have study sessions together every weekend. I only have until around 4 p.m. today, I’m afraid. Very sorry.’
‘Should be more than enough time for us then,’ Ōgawa replied confidently.

Once they got a table they ordered the restaurant’s recommended dish and immediately got to talking. Chen had much to ask of the supposedly best friend of his father, while Ōgawa in turn had plenty to inquire about as well, but he let the young man start.
‘There’s so much I’d like to talk to you about Doctor, I’ve been thinking ever since the lecture about the coincidence that we should have met. It seems quite unreal, and yet here we are. My father’s been talking so much about you but never really what you did outside of school, how did you meet in the first place for example?’
‘It was quite the stroke of luck actually!’ Ōgawa said. ‘You see, when I came to China as a young man back in 1914, tuition fees paid by my father for Tongji, I ironically could not speak Chinese. How about that.’ He smiled briefly at the thought. ‘Study at a Chinese university without knowing the language.’
He took a sip of the coffee they had been served.

‘I did have a brand new Japanese-Chinese dictionary with me, mind you, but since it was a medical school my German would of course guide me through the courses, but when I had barely arrived there I really was a bit lost. Chinese all over, and while I could make out road signs so-so, I had no idea how to read addresses. But as a stubborn, adolescent boy on his way to become a man I refused to acknowledge that and was determined I could do it on my own. Bags in hand I wandered straight from the docks to the university area, which I luckily knew where it was from beforehand.’
‘So you were lodged at the university campus then?’ Chen asked.
‘No not really, that was the problem,’ Ōgawa said chuckling. ‘I had no idea where my apartment was! It had kindly been arranged by the university, and the address had been handed to me. So, setting off to the university I was hoping I could get some help from the administration without losing face too badly. Now, this is where your father comes in. I’m not sure to this day if I was giving broadcasting that I was foreign and lost, but once at the university campus looking over the map there he was, looking at me as if knowing at an instant I needed help. At first he tried his way in Chinese but when he figured I didn’t know any he switched to German. At that moment I knew I was saved. I wouldn’t have to embarrass myself in front of the university, and we immediately started talking about my apartment. As it turned out, your father lived in the very same building as I! How about that.’
Chen smiled amused at the story adding, ‘And now years later you’ve met his son at the very same university.’
Ōgawa laughed, ‘Precisely! It’s almost like fate.’

‘But not knowing any Chinese, how come you spoke to me in Mandarin after the lecture? Did you study Chinese after arriving?’
Ōgawa nodded. ‘More or less. It was actually your father that made me learn some of the local tongue, as it undoubtedly made it easier to live. I don’t think I would’ve prospered very well outside the university and its German unless I had picked up Chinese. The fact however, is that your father, brilliant as he was, started learning Japanese, and faster than I did Chinese mind you! It was not long until we could have simple but fruitful conversations in Japanese, and sometimes even in Chinese. It was a very fulfilling time in my youth. Upperclassman Luo proved to be a good and helpful friend.’
‘I’m sorry Doctor, I don’t mean to be rude,’ Chen said, meaning it, ‘but when you say upperclassman, how much younger does that make you compared to my father?’
‘None taken my boy. Your father was two years ahead of me. I remember it clear as day because just a few months after our meeting up he was celebrating his 19th birthday at which time I was seventeen. Since he was ahead of me I could always ask him about problems I didn’t understand. Beyond a friend he was a good tutor. Very sharp mind.’

‘So,’ Ōgawa continued to not lose the momentum, ‘your father is working abroad now you say?’
Chen swallowed unnoticeably to clear away any nervousness.
‘Yes, that’s correct,’ he began, always unsure about this particular sort of situation. He hoped the food would arrive soon.
‘Well,’ Ōgawa said, leaning forward slightly. Chen figured this man would unfortunately be more persistent and thorough compared to people previously asking about his father, being a close friend from university after all. He had to lie good this time.
‘He’s in Portugal.’ Chen tried to remember the name of the capital. ‘Lisbon! Actually.’
Ōgawa was clearly taken aback by the news looking at his reaction. He was almost stupefied and Chen thought he was safe for another while, which would give him time to work on the story.
‘How about that! Lisbon. I’d never have imagined. How did he come to possess a job over there?’
‘Research,’ Chen corrected him, remembering what he had told the doctor before. ‘He was not too clear on the details before he left, but it had to do with the Spanish flu.’

Chen wondered if his face was red because he started feeling extremely hot and it only got worse for him through the entire lunch as he continued to elaborate on his father’s duties in far-away Portugal. He tried to be as vague as possible about everything while still keeping up certain details that could form a red thread which connected and supported his claims. When the dishes had been cleared away by the waiters and they were waiting for a light desert of cheese and locally produced wine fit for a French restaurant Chen felt the need to change the topic, else he would say something that finally contradicted what he had said before.

‘Well Doctor, I really hope that clears some of the questions you’ve had about my father.’
Ōgawa nodded somewhat distracted, as if still thinking to himself about what had been said, trying to figure out what it all meant. Thinking quickly about a new subject Chen decided to be bold, never really having been given the opportunity to talk to a Japanese about it. He started off politely as usual.
‘I’ve been thinking Doctor, I was really hoping I could ask you some questions concerning an issue that is being discussed widely at the university, by virtually anyone, not just the medical students.’
Coming back from his thought process seemingly ready to face a new topic Ōgawa nodded acknowledging but said nothing, reaching for his third cup of coffee instead.
‘It is a matter of both Japan and China, I believe,’ Chen said, trying to feel Ōgawa. When no reaction came he continued.
‘I’m not sure about the final details, no one at the university does I believe, but I thought that as a native you might have some more insight about the Japanese plans for…,’ Chen sought for the expression in German. ‘…a Greater East Asian Co-prosperity Sphere.’

‘Ah!’ Ōgawa finally reacted and put down his coffee.
‘Yes, yes, where have you picked that expression up? I didn’t know it was well known outside of Japan.’
‘I’ve only heard it at university, but perhaps compared to your times we don’t really have many Japanese students at Tongji. I couldn’t say for sure, but I for one have never met a single Japanese.’
‘They sure are missing out on something, my fellow countrymen,’ Ōgawa said before returning to the topic. ‘I don’t think I mentioned it before, but the fact is I work for the government. I am not just any doctor, I work for a man called Okada Keisuke, perhaps you’ve heard of him?’
Chen thought hard but shook his head.
‘I might have heard the name but I can’t recall. I’m sorry to say I’m usually good with anything but names.’
‘He just happens to be the Prime Minister of Japan, but beyond that he is also admiral in the navy. I in turn am working as his aide as a medical officer in his staff. Just like Luo, I have been quite fortunate in my life after Tongji. But I’m digressing. Of what exactly were you curious concerning the Co-prosperity Sphere?’
‘Then you must be the best person to talk to about this I could ever meet!’ Chen exclaimed, not really believing his luck. ‘I hope I won’t offend you with any of my questions.’
Ōgawa made an inviting gesture with his hand. ‘I shall endeavour to answer your questions objectively without taking offense, that I promise. Go ahead young man.’

‘Very well, I know that there are talks about the Co-prosperity Sphere where all of Asia will benefit from a joint effort to secure the land for Asians, and that Japan seems to wish to lead this order together with other Asian countries. But from my point of view right now Japan isn’t doing exactly that, more like disrupting the stability of China.’
Ōgawa seemed sceptical of Chen’s suggestion, but kept quiet.
‘The Republic is trying to establish its supremacy over the local warlords in order to unite China, but this is being made impossible by Japan’s entry into Manchuria, wouldn’t you agree Doctor?’
The older man seemed to let go of his previous disposition and think carefully about what Chen had said.
‘With a Japanese-sanctioned government that is ruled by one of these warlords it even further complicates things when the Chinese government is trying to control the rebellious factions across the country. And it doesn’t help that there is a Japanese corridor between government troops and the northern warlord in question.’
‘By corridor you mean the Japanese-controlled land by Kiautschou Bay?’
Chen nodded, ‘Yes, exactly. Land that should be in the hands of the Chinese. If Japan wants to hold on to it, and also support the warlord militarily and economically, how can we ever achieve this Co-prosperity Sphere together?’
‘Lands formally conceded to the Japanese government after the Great war, though,’ Ōgawa said. It almost felt like speaking to old Luo again, he thought. An impressive feat, well pulled off by the man’s son. Deep inside him it pleased him greatly.

‘By a treaty that was not recognised by our government, beyond the fact that it was Chinese lands before even being leased to the Germans who then lost it to Japanese occupiers. I’m really sorry Doctor, but this is an important issue to us Chinese, especially students. We who are educating ourselves for a future in China are quite conscious of issues such as this,’ Chen continued, clearly burning for discussion of the topic.
Ōgawa nodded friskily, positively astounded at the young man’s profound knowledge, before answering.
‘Chen my boy, I understand why you take this to heart and just to clarify things, know that I do agree with you. I’d have you know that Mr Okada is working ever so diligently for peace, I of all people should know. Moderate forces in the Japanese government are what will pull our nation through the hardships of today, what with the lousy economy at the moment. Here is what I believe; a true Co-prosperity Sphere is definitely viable, where we can wrestle control of Asia from the Europeans and Americans to make our own destiny while at the same time retaining good trade relations with mentioned countries. At the same time Asian countries will be able to recognise and support each other to maintain legitimate governments while solving current disputes. This way we can restore the economic situation to everyone’s benefit.’

Chen bowed to his father’s friend in earnest gratitude.
‘Thank you Doctor, it feels very good to hear you say that, considering your position. I understand this might not be the official standpoint today but I hope that the rest of the Japanese will be as wise as you. Would it be possible for me to discuss with my friends at university what I have heard from you today?’
‘I wouldn’t mind at all, son. Frankly I am quite happy to see you involved to this degree. I know that your father was interested in the same thing. His interest must have passed on to you, I’d say.’
Chen took the last of the cheese on his plate and pondered while slowly chewing it before speaking up again.
‘So, having said that, you sincerely believe that there won’t be any sort of disputes with Japan as aggressor? What I mean is,’ Chen said, explaining himself before being prematurely misunderstood, ‘some of my university friends claim that Japan might actually be ready to increase its military presence both at land and at sea. I’m not saying it’s projected at China solely, but some of my friends are questioning what your government wishes to gain by it.’

Ōgawa took on a very grave and serious look. He knew exactly what Chen’s concerns were about. Less than two years ago Japan had broken its naval treaty with England and the United States which limited the navy, and was now modernising and expanding heavily. Ōgawa knew those signs could not bode well for anyone. His superior Okada had been a firm opponent of the dissolution of the treaty, but his faction had been the losing side, and although he wished it not so, Ōgawa knew that nationalism to an extreme degree was growing as a cancer in his country. He prayed to the Buddha that the Prime Minister could turn the unfortunate events around before being voted out of office. To Chen he tried to keep up his appearance by quickly putting on an unconcerned expression.

‘You will see that everything happening is for a good reason. You can safely tell your friends that Japan has no intention of acting aggressively against any country in Asia, else as you say, the Co-prosperity Sphere would be a fiasco. Rest assured young Luo that Japan takes care of its neighbours.’
‘Thank you again Doctor. It is truly well to hear such news in these times when one only hears of dissent and tragedy. This warlord business is quite straining.’
Ōgawa nodded understandingly.
‘Yes I can imagine. Alas I feel bad about telling you about my next destination.’
‘Guangxi University right?’ Chen interjected. ‘Yes I believe you mentioned it after the lecture. I didn’t mean it like that though, Doctor. I don’t have anything against the people in Guangxi, it’s the policies that keep us divided that make us students protest. I wouldn’t be surprised if they thought the same, really.’
‘I am of the very same opinion son,’ Ōgawa replied as he called for the check, and to signal its ending he added, ‘Well it’s been a wonderful lunch.’
‘The pleasure was all mine,’ Chen added hurriedly, meaning it.

‘It was really delightful to chat, Chen. It reminded me of my time with your father, in more than one way. Very enjoyable. Actually there is a thing I’d like to ask of you, if it’s not too much trouble.’
Chen shook his head, not sensing the trap he had laid for himself.
‘Being in Lisbon it might be a long-shot, but I’d very much like to get in contact with your father.’
Chen cursed himself in his mind as Ōgawa pulled forth pen and paper, the same used as before.
‘Would it be possible for me to get his address, or at the least your family address in China so that I could write him? Naturally I’ll give my address in Japan as well so he can reply at his earliest convenience.’
Chen tried to make the best out of the situation by smiling as he wrote down his family address in Nanchang, Jiangxi province.
‘It’ll be better if we send any of your letter with our own batches, then we can be certain the address is correct, I really can’t recall the exact one at the moment. Portuguese street names and such, I’m sure you understand.’
‘Certainly,’ Ōgawa replied seemingly oblivious, before writing his own address in Japan. ‘Perhaps I’ll write him in Japanese, see if he remembers any of it,’ he added chuckling.

As they both got up with exchanged addresses Chen felt honoured to shake the doctor’s hand. ‘It’s been a true pleasure, Doctor. I understand why my father appreciated your company, sir.’
‘Don’t mention it my boy, any friend of Luo’s is mine, and more so his son!’ Ōgawa said, flattered and pleased. ‘Be sure to study hard now, don’t want to let your father down now would we.’
‘I will, Doctor. You have my word on that.’
 

Katapraktoi

Captain
72 Badges
Jan 15, 2005
304
3
  • 500k Club
  • Magicka
  • March of the Eagles
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Rome Gold
  • Semper Fi
  • Sengoku
  • Victoria 2
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • Lead and Gold
  • Cities: Skylines
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • Mount & Blade: Warband
  • Mount & Blade: With Fire and Sword
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Cities: Skylines - After Dark
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Cities: Skylines - Snowfall
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
  • Europa Universalis 4: Emperor
  • Divine Wind
  • Cities in Motion
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • A Game of Dwarves
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
  • For the Motherland
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
The Typhoons of War

Chapter Seven

COMMUNIST ADVANCE HEADQUARTERS
NEAR THE GANSU-SHAANXI BORDER
January 14

It was already late night when Luo could install himself in what he guessed would be his work place for the coming months. While the army, including his son, had moved on the town of Pingliang a few days ago he had started going through the meagre supplies of medicine which had been stockpiled from various raids previously undertaken against the Kuomintang. This work had soon been interrupted by the news that the town had given up without a fight, a pleasant surprise the Committee had been unprepared for, believing Pingliang would resist just like Yan’an had. Moving everything in the camp to the town, Luo thought he would finally had access to proper housing facilities to use for treating any wounded soldiers, in addition to the real hospital that was present. However, as he arrived he had been informed that the hospital in question had agreed to provide its services to the liberators which meant the army could be treated by the usual medical staff. Instead, Luo had been given the, to him, unusual task of supervision and administration of the medical facilities. Beyond this however, he had also been charged with the task of medical training as the Inner Committee had concluded there were almost none in their charge with a medical background.

Luo felt unsure if he really was the proper person to run such an enterprise never having run more than his small clinic before. The order had come from the Inner Committee however, and when Luo tried to reach Chairman Mao through Deng the man had told him the members were unfortunately too busy to talk to Luo, instead discussing the coming tactics as they moved inevitably closer to Chiang’s position.
‘I find tactics somewhat boring to be honest. I am more of a social engineer,’ Deng said. ‘Chairman Mao has been kind enough to ignore my absence at our Inner Committee meetings whenever such plans are taking place. I only attend when it is necessary,’ he mentioned with a smile.
‘I do believe we will strike soon against Chiang and his position in the west though.’
‘I see. Well, I just hope I can live up to the expectations laid on me,’ Luo explained with uncertainty looming over him.
Deng looked at him for a quick moment, scrutinising him before telling Luo to have faith.
‘If Chairman Mao trusts you enough to have the Inner Committee issue such an order as this he certainly seems to think so. As he mentioned before we are somewhat lacking in men in your department, and probably of your calibre as well. Any help whatsoever you could bring to the cause would be a valuable contribution I believe,’ he reassured him.
Luo thanked him for his words, before retiring for the night. Before he had removed himself completely however, Deng managed to bring up a new topic.

‘There’s just one small thing, Comrade,’ he said, catching Luo’s interest.
‘During the Long March, did you ever have the chance of firing a gun?’
The question took Luo by surprise as he had not really expected such a sudden change of subject.
‘No, I actually never did. I was part of the few non-combatants in our group.’
‘I see,’ Deng replied. ‘Well doctor or no doctor, I think it would be good if you put in some rifle training between your newly assigned duties. We are precious few, Comrade Luo, and the more of us being able to handle a gun the better. You never know when you might hav eto defend yourself.’
Luo nodded.
‘I will strive to make that happen, Comrade Deng,’ he said to end the conversation.
He bowed before leaving and then went to sleep in a room of his own, a luxury he had not enjoyed for over a year.

Already the next day Luo met with the staff of the hospital and to his delight the head doctor was quite familiar with Western medicine, the same which Luo had studied in Shanghai.
‘Yes I’ve had the pleasure of studying at the nearby Western China Medical University. I graduated but two years ago,’ he said.
‘Very good, Doctor Maling. What about the rest of your staff? Have you worked with all of them these last two years?’ Luo asked, looking at the rest of the gathering.
‘I have,’ the head doctor said. ‘I took over the old doctor’s job and everyone in the present staff were already employed when I arrived. I think I can say with certainty that we all have worked together well and professionally. The staff is experienced and reliable in my opinion.’
Luo greeted the fifteen nurses and the other two doctors present at the morning assembly while doctor Maling was speaking. When the doctor was finished Luo addressed them all.
‘Despite a short briefing I believe it will be a pleasure to work with you. I hope I can rely on your skills in the coming times. There might be more to do than usual from now on, but this is to be expected. At any given time you might be asked to assist in the training of new people that are brought here. This country is already facing a civil war and schools and other seats of education are getting fewer. Therefore first-hand experience will become ever so important during the following years.’

Luo took a deep breath, coming to the hardest part. He did not have the stomach for speeches, but he wanted this particular issue out of the way.
‘I understand if some of you might be surprised or even upset about recent events, but I would like to assure everyone that things will be quite normal. All that has changed is the casting off of the Kuomintang’s yoke. It is my hope and wish that it won’t take long for you to realise this. We are after all, ladies and gentlemen, creating a new China, and your services will be highly sought after.’
‘I must say,’ the head doctor interjected, ‘that the armed guards in the hospital do not enforce your words very neatly, Doctor. In fact we as a whole were quite ready for your entry into our city.’
Luo had a hard time hiding his surprise.

‘Don’t look so surprised, Doctor. You must understand that most of our patients are locals from outside the city. It is inevitable to not notice their support for the Communists, being out in the borderlands of Kuomintang territory, basically forgot by the Nanjing government. With all they have said about you, it is hard for us as well not to take sides, and with the aggressive Ma warlords close by who would take any step to expand east into our lands - ignored by General Chiang because of their alliance, mind you - we were quite ready to side with Mao Zedong. Why do you think we did not resist when you approached the city? No police or military fired a single shot, did they? That’s why these guards feel somewhat unwelcome, especially in a hospital, when we have given ourselves to you like this, even continuing with our duties as medical staff for your benefit. Having said that, we would have continued most likely anyway. We have a sacred duty as doctors to save lives no matter nationality or political belief.’

Luo understood precisely what the man said and felt, and he had to admit to himself he felt quite relieved about it. Unfortunately it was not his decision to keep guards in the hospital, but he made a mental notice to himself that he would do everything to have them removed.
‘You have my sincerest apologies. Because of the situation we must be precautious, but I will try my best to have the guards reassigned with haste, especially now that I know of your disposition. I understand that they are distracting to you and your staff,’ he said.
‘I’m glad you see this our way,’ the head doctor replied, nodding relieved. ‘If eventual future problems can be solved as efficiently as this I will look forward to our co-operation.’
As the meeting was dismissed and Luo set himself to the task of organising the hospital for medical training to the best of his ability, he felt good about the morning’s achievement. Not only would the hospital co-operate under his leadership, they seemed to quite support the socialist way. Luo thought to himself that he would have good news to write in his report this time.