The Coup of Halern

By: MSK42
At: 04.07.2015 10:44

The battleship Framúrskarand sailed serenely into the mouth of the harbor, with the battleship Neukrotimyy sailing along side it. Together, the two ships formed a near total block of the harbor. The small city was just 2 km from them, incredibly deep inside their range of 32 km. The grey figures stood at the mouth, looming over the city. There was an eerie silence.

 

On the ship's commanding bridge, Admiral Luciano was waiting for the order to open fire. He sat looking at the town, a small city-state named Halern. They had refused negotiations, thus the Emperor had decided that guns could accomplish what pen and paper would not. He flipped through his reference book, looking at the targets. There was a naval base to deal with, and the Sultan's palace was targeted as well. This man, a tiger, had been an annoying holdout when it came top the Co-Prosperity Sphere. His reverie was broken when his comlink began alerting.

 

Opening the channel, he heard a voice that commanded respect and admiration at once. "Greetings, Admiral."

 

Even though he couldn't see him, Luciano bowed at the mere sound of his Emperor's voice. "Y-your highness! It's...it's an honor to have you on my comlink!"

 

"I trust you know the importance of this mission?"

 

"Yes, sir. The Sultan will be made to bow before us, in chains if necessary."

 

"Good. Are your guns ready?"

 

"Yes, sir, everything is..." His voice trailed off. 

 

"Admiral Luciano, are you there?"

 

"Wha? Oh, yes, your majesty. There's just...there's a boat sailing towards us. They're flying the white flag."

 

"Destroy it."

 

"What?"

 

"The time for negotiation is over. If they have a diplomat, destroy them."

 

He brought out his binoculars and looked closer at the small wooden sailing ship. It was easily dwarfed by the massive iron Holoskan ship. "Your Majesty...they fly the Royal Banner. The Sultan may be aboard."

 

"Really? Well then...here's what you'll do..."

 

---

 

The small ship went up alongside the Holoskan vessel. Using a crane, the Sultan was lifted up onto the ship. He was brought before Luciano, the highest-ranked man on the ships. "Welcome, sir."

 

"I am the Sultan of Halern, you will adress me as 'Your Majesty'."

 

"I only recognize my Emperor, all others are not mine."

 

The Sultan grimaced. He sat at the table, and looked Luciano dead in the eye. "I am willing to surrender unconditionally. If you take me, the city is yours. I know when I'm outmatched."

 

Luciano smiled, and pushed the towards him. "Just sign this, and Halern joins the Co-Prosperity Sphere."

 

With visible unpleasantness on his face, the Sultan signed. Grinning from ear to ear, Luciano rolled up the document and turned to the men in the room. "Arrest the Sultan. Prepare to attack."

 

The former monarch barely had time to react before two Holoskan soldiers had his arms pinned behind his back, and had him down on the table. "What do you mean attack?! I've surrendered!"

 

"The Emperor has made it clear that while your city may have joined, it is to be brought under control. A less pleasant word would be 'Subjugate". But you know how things are." He grinned and left the room while the deposed ruler screamed obscenities at him and at the Empire. When he began to utter a swear against the Emperor, a rifle butt to the head silenced him.

 

---

 

On the bridge, all targets were locked. Just seconds after Luciano arrived on the bridge, the Framúrskarand fired at the city, destroying the palace in just a few blasts from the forward turrets. The rear turrets also blasted huge holes in the city. The Neukrotimyy fired at and destroyed the naval base. Several ships were already heading out, but the smaller guns on the two ships destroyed them before they got anywhere near.

 

Luciano smirked. Another glorious victory for the Empire. He kept watching as the guns on the two ships turned the city into rubble. Only two hours later, the Holoskan flag was raised above the ruins of the city.