As the smoke clears from the war torn battlefields World War One it reveals a weak and ravaged Europe, even as the the nations start to rebuild and establish stability the world's problems are brewing. The newly formed Soviet Union ignites a guerrilla war with resistance fighters for influence and control over the Baltic states. In India and China defiant protests turn into open rebellion against colonial powers. While in the middle east Jews and Palestinians alike wage a war against each other for supremacy in the Promised Land.
Official Russian Government Broadcast: December 18, 1918
“Today armed Latvian terrorists open fired on Russian forces on our border that resulted in the death of ten members of the Russian Army, our brave men have crossed the border in honor of our fallen comrades,” blared a monotone voice from the ancient radio sitting in the corner of the barracks. George let out a silent sigh he would have given anything to listen to some music but there was only one legal channel in Communist Russia.The Latvians weren’t idiots the Russians had been gathering forces at the border away from the eyes of the West ever since the end of the Great War, they knew war was coming. He had never wanted to a soldier he used to be factory worker in St. Petersburg until they had come knocking on his door with a order of do or die.
“Hey, George what's so funny,” questioned his fellow comrade Alex. Alex was a short but powerful man, his voice seemed to crack through anyone and he had the muscles to back it up.
“Huh, I was just thinking about my fiancée ,” George said blushing to cover his lie. He didn’t know who could be hardened communist supporter, any of the men could be a government spy.
“Thats all good but remember we’re fighting for them,” Alex replied grinning at him as he walked out into of the quarters. George retreated back to his bed and stared out into the starless night eager to catch a glimpse of the new tanks, they seemed tiny and cramped but intimidating just from the sounds it made. The new mechanized armor or tanks had arrived that evening, he suspected that they'd be moving out tomorrow. Why else would the move the French F-1 tanks here? More trucks arrived bring dozens of more new recruits every hour until midnight when he could finally fall asleep.
The Middle East, December 18
The fighting had been brutal under the relentless sun bearing down on the fighters. British police had fallen back to the British Headquarters and armed militants had taken over the streets. All the chaos had began when a group of Arabs had been denied passageway to the Holy Shrine by some Jews after that things had escalated into firefights and arson. In the Jewish side of the city a group of men and women gathered for a meeting.
“Today under the cover of the violence we will deal a huge blow to the British and the Arabs, and with this the Promised Land will be ours,” shouted David the leader of the freedom movement. He opened a the cracked wooden drawer and took a map scribbled with red lines and circles. “Here at the British Government Office the Arabs and the Brits are gathering for land talks,” he said stabbing a finger at the map. “This land is ours and ours only we cannot cede any of it.”
“How exactly are we going to do this, it seems too well protected,” said a woman shaking her head at the map.
“I’m glad you asked,” he said smiling and stepped back to reveal a large package.
Haedi wiped the sweat off his forehead more from his nervousness then the heat. He took a brief glance at his watch. Twelve, the planned called for the denotation in ten minutes.. He took a step out of his car, he was in the dull brown shirt of a courier. A suspicious look around him revealed nothing; no one was eyeing him. In rear of the building, he was going through the kitchens when a guard stopped him.
“Who are you?” said the officer.
“I’m just a courier and I have a package for the Secretary.”
“What's inside the package then?” he said touching it with his hand.
“Honestly, I don’t know I’m just a courier nobody important,” fretting over more possible questions and answers.
“Ok, the Secretary is in a meeting on the top floor.” He crossed past the guard and out into the hallway. There were two guards in front of the the stairs in direct of the radiator room. Haredi pushed himself against the wall his watch read twelve o’five, could he plant the bomb elsewhere? David's words rang throughout his head “We have to cause the most amount of damage or else our voice will be ignored.” This had to be done he unholstered his hidden pistol and poked it out of the hallway and made his mark on the men. In successive order they both were gunned down. He unloaded the crates next to the basement machine and pulled the trigger, for freedom he thought as he ran out away from the blast. Over on the other side of the globe morning arrived. . .
Delhi, British India: December 19
“Freedom, we want freedom,” chanted the massive mob threatening to spill onto the British column. The Viceroy’s officers stood unfathomed holding the line steady. Millions of men encircled New Delhi including hundreds of thousands of armed men from former units of the first World War, their aims marked with preciseness honed from years of war in Europe. The ex-commander of the Indian Expeditionary Group now the general of India’s First Infantry Division carefully held his musket on sight of the British Viceroy. He pushed the trigger and the bullet speed out like a falcon down on it’s prey and hit him in the forehead knocking him off balance and down to the ground. The surprised officers on the pavilion immediately relayed orders to fire on the protesters.
“Open fire”commanded the British officer extending his hand. The Indian sepoys held their fire. They looked at each other for assurance, many of these men had fought alongside the revolters in Germany and Austria. The sepoy commander gave a nod of his head and they turned their fire on their British officers. Caught off guard many were killed and the survivors fled to the safety of English held lines. Massives numbers of Indians; sepoy and revolutioner rushed the Royal Army. The British discharged their guns in unison halting the charge. Instead of fleeing like countless other protesters before, the veterans gathered in a formation forcing the English back with their superiority in numbers.
As the British retreated back the Union Jack was torn down from the nation's capital and the first Indian National flag was hoisted above the city.
“There's no going back now, no home rule—only independence,” declared the general waving the flag with pride.
“Only independence.” roared the crowd and with that centuries of colonial rule came to an end.
British Prime Minister’s Office: December 20
The sun beat down on London, as reports rushed from across the world into the PM’s office. The public having just won a war had put their worries behind and were focusing on domestic change. Behind closed doors three men were arguing about Britain's national interests.
“All across the globe we facing huge crisis,”said the British PM, David Burgy.
“Sir, you need to make a decision quick we don’t have the manpower to deploy to all these places,” said his secretary John, throwing a stack of papers on the table.
General Smith who was standing right next to him said “It’s actually pretty simple, we already have a army from fighting Germany just use them.”
“If we move all our forces, we face the threat of a German uprising plus the public would turn on us for not returning the men that were drafted,” said the PM smoking his pipe.”We can’t lose India, with all its riches, gather our forces from Australia and Africa to attack India,”
“How about the Jewish bombing?”
“If they want freedom give it, the Jews and Arabs can fight it out themselves instead of costing the lives of our men. . .Latvia will have to fend for themselves if we intervene now, we risk a war with Russia.”
“We might want to also contact the French they have colonies in India as well,” interpreted General Smith.
“Thats a good idea, do it,” said the PM happily sitting down.
“Russia is a growing problem aswell I recommend we keep some troops around the Baltic states just to show the Russians that we aren’t going just give in to them,” said John.
“I guess we can do that but we can’t really fight a war on two fronts that would leave the treasury exhausted and public opinion might turn especially after a long and tiring war.
Russian Border: December 20
Just like George had predicted the next morning they were packed into trains and shipped out. The train rushed forward to Latvia with the carts extending out then back in like a slippery snake breathing in and out. Slowly the green flourishing fields turned to burned brown and craters bigger then a man no doubt the work of Russian artillery the day before. Even now some fires burned small but hot and loud. The train came to a halt at a sleepy town that seemed almost untouched by all the devastation around it At once men raced out to the train station eager for a fight, but what he saw made George sick. Men on beds, on the ground arms and legs cut off coughing up blood. In front of of a stone and brick house men waited in line for treatment some had already froze to death waiting. The Latvians were a small group of inexperienced fighters, how could they have caused all this.
“George, you’re in charge of the hospital commanding the men protecting medical supplies and you know whatever else you need at a hospital. So you are now officially a lieutenant.” said Captain Monan handing him letter.
“Yes sir,” he replied walking off towards the building. He had wanted nothing to do with the hospital.The place felt of death and he wanted no part in looking over dying men, at least on the battlefield it had glory than dying with all the pain; with the feeling that you’re aren't dead yet but you are going die you just don’t know when. George tried entering through the front door bad idea.
“Stop cutting,” shouted the men in line. They became violent pushing and shoving him in all directions. For sick people they could still throw a punch he thought as he was knocked to the ground.
“You’re crazy thinking you that you could cut the line,” said a black haired nurse coming from behind him. George stared up at her stoned faced ivory eyes.
“Do I look sick?” said George sarcastically pushing himself of the bloody dirt.
“You never know if you're sick on the inside,” she remarked taping her skull.
“I’m the new lieutenant in charge of this hospital so you will show me some respect,” he snapped furiously at her joke.
“Well you better enter through the back,”she said leading George to the back entrance. Built into the rear side of the house was a small door guarded by a lone soldier he let me pass when I showed him my promotion letter. The inside was just like the outside dozens of men in beds and more laying on the floor and leaning on the walls. The worst ones were the men that had gotten amputated, all the rolls bandages in the world couldn’t stop the blood from seeping through, it poured out and went into the big bowls placed under their beds to collect the blood.
“Natalie over there,” shouted a blonde haired woman in a apron more red than white. The woman ran over to the bed with a roll of bandages. He closed his eyes in disgust, George hated blood.
A few days passed in the agony and the constant screaming of men, everyday it seemed there were more men arriving at the hospital and it got more cramped and sweat inside. On the fourth day of his charge Captain Monan appeared.
“George, I just got word you’re heading into battle under my command,” said the Captain. George gulped the army had to real desperate if they were calling the men guarding the hospital.
“We have three F-1 tanks too damaged to move and a small guerrilla force has them pinned down
“What were we supposed to do?”
“Our mission is to sidetrack the Latvians so the tanks can escape.” There were twenty men in all for the mission. Captain Monan wanted them to outflank the enemy and fire from the sides to avoid getting hit by mortar fire. Fallen bricks and smoke swept the area covering their arrival.
“Ok, men the morta—” Captain Monan was cut short has a bullet entered his skull spraying blood onto the dirt. The unit immediately broke up with men fleeing in all directions for cover. More men fell to the sniper as they scurried for cover.
“They have a sniper,” screamed George spying the windows for any signs of a gun. A bullet went straight for his head, clink the round hit a wall and bounced off. He barely dodged it but he’d seen where it came from.
“There” he said as he fired his gun off at a distant window. Seconds later more fire followed him as the men began to fire too. There was flash of light and then blood. George turned his attention to the streets and heard vehicles coming in from around the corner.
“Throw your grenades,” and small grey balloon sized explosives landed inside the old brick home sending hundreds of pounds of stone hurdling down at the Latvians. The men cheered in victory celebrating George. They stormed the stairs taking up position along the hollow glassless windows.
“Fire,” the muskets hit the retreating wounded and worn Latvians.
“Target the mortars,” George said to them and there was another round of shots hitting the men reloading the weapons shutting off the machines for good. The Latvians backed off to their entrenched machine gunners, “They’re regrouping.” All at once a familiar intimidating roar echoed from behind them. The tanks they had been repaired. The noise fell on the ears of the enemy, they too realized what it was and they began running away in fearing defeat.
“Hurray” said the men lifting up their guns in victory.