A cool breeze swept across the beaches of Okada, rustling the few trees and showcasing the brilliant purple of the Okadan flag for all to see. The bustling city had temporarily closed its ports in preparation for a massive storm en route. Despite being many miles off, the grey gloom of the clouds rumbled threateningly at the city. The scene was peaceful, for the moment. However, an event was to occur that would soon shatter that ever so fragile peace.
A young man dashed through the corridors of the capitol, stopping for no one. He didn't care who he bumped into or how many looks of disdain he received, he only had one thought in mind: reach the Governor's office. After a few minutes and several less than kind shouts directed his way, the young man reached the massive oak doors of the Gubernatorial office, scarcely knocking before rushing in. Startled, Governor Javek, who had previously been reading at his desk, shot up with surprise. Before he could even open his mouth to speak, the nearly breathless man in front of him sputtered—
"Governor! News from the front! Urgent..." gasp "The north..." gasp "The grey's are coming..."
"Grey's" were the colloquial name for the Ulmians, particularly their armed forces, dubbed mockingly after their grey flag. The Governor's initial shock disappeared entirely from his face, instead replaced with a solemn look of urgency.
"Get me on the phone with Vostok."
Vostok, Khovostov Oblast, Zoygaria
King Arristok Zobieski III, Sovereign Monarch of Zoygaria, Lord of the Imperial Commonwealth, King of Zoygaria, King of Helga, King of Czasza, Grand Duke of Szilazhí, The Lion of the East, was a man. Like any other Zoygarian, he needed food, water, air, and sleep. Like any other Zoygarian, he spoke his native tongue, proudly bore his country's flag, and hoped for the future. He was as Zoygarian as any other, but why was he king? Why was he chosen, above every other Zoygarian, to lead? Why was he special, so different from any other man, woman, or child? These were the thoughts that raced through King Zobieski's head that cold day in February. He had long pondered why he was deemed fit to rule over a nation of millions without so much as a suggestion from those millions, why he was to inherit these elaborate titles and grand halls, wht he was the head of a nation so cold and distant from the troubles of the world. He was no ordinary King, that was not a doubt in anyone's mind. He walked in the streets of not only Vostok, but Akuí, Dinsk, Etzio, Osovieç... he talked and mingled with his people, he attended fencing and football tournaments, and sat down with every homeless individual he could in an attempt to give them proper company for a change. He was but man— not a god, not chosen by God (though his people certainly believed this), and apart from his station, had no real talents to share. What gave one person the right to rule over others without question?
Zobieski's thoughts were interrupted by a knock on the door to his throne room.
"Enter," he said with little energy. Prime Minister Saijto Solski walked in. Zobieski smiled at his friend, but his smile soon vanished as he noted the look of concern on the Prime Minister's face.
"My liege," he began, "terrible news. Governor Javek has just called..."
"Regarding the storm? Are Okada and Sajemi in danger?"
"No, my liege, at least not by the weather. Ulm is moving troops to the border. Our scouts believe they intend to attack."
Zobieski's look of concern only increased as the Prime Minister went on.
"What's more, our strategists anticipate a preemptive strike on the Arastisn colonies. If the Ulmians are here for war, it is more than likely they intend to blitz our holdouts on the Arastian Sea to dampen our naval effectiveness."
"Is there any news from ATSO?"
"No your majesty, all's quiet from the Ale's.*"
King Zobieski thought for a moment.
"Scramble the military, and prepare for war. Do not attack anything until I give the order. They have caught us in a dangerous moment— we cannot send additional support to Aquiląnia while that storm is present. Code Gevé.**"
*Ale— a Zoygarian colloquialism for Germanic/German speaking nations, particularly in reference to ATSO. Comes from Alemagna (Germany), and further Aleman (German language/people), meaning "those who speak German."
**Code Gevé— gevé is the Zoygarian letter [G]. This [G] is short for "guerria," the Zoygarian word for war. Code Gevé means that the state is on the brink of war, but not yet at war.