By Mark A. Ciccone

Two presumed-dead genetically augmented soldiers search for the truth of their origins... and discover far more than they ever imagined.

Thursday, 11 May 2017

New Approaches

Hello again, everybody!

Since the launch of this project last month, there have been a fair amount of views, yet the pledge levels haven't quite matched this number. Up till now, Outside World demands--along with a general newness to the whole process--have kept me from much in the way of direct messaging or other promotions. Thankfully, with classes soon to be over, there'll be plenty of time throughout this summer--maybe even with help from an agent, which I've also held back on trawling the listings for, the past few months. I'll be starting the first round of direct messages on Facebook, Inkshares and other sites next week; apologies in advance if any of you who have already pledged receive one--although please don't hesitate to pass them on to others who may be interested! For now, enjoy the next weekly outline snippet below, and as before, feel free to read and critique the project excerpt!

2032: DPRK dictator Kim Jong-un is incapacitated by a stroke in mid-April, leading to an internal coup by elements within the North Korean military, and claims by some of these of Jong-un's poisoning by the CIA. This results in North Korea moving massive numbers of tanks and troops to the DMZ; the U.S., having withdrawn much of its forces to the SCS or elsewhere in the world, initially appears unlikely to aid South Korea. Then, on April 29th, two days before the DPRK’s planned “Glorious May Day Campaign,” reports are leaked of destruction of key supply dumps, travel junctions, and communications posts, and even of whole units going dark. Within four days, it is plain that the DPRK’s military machine has been rendered all but impotent; within six, word comes that major damage is also being wreaked on civilian infrastructure, prompting previously unheard-of mutterings of popular dissent. On the seventh day, the coup leadership declares a stand-down, and even offers to open unification talks, in the hope that such will forestall their own (violent) removal. While ostensibly a victory for the Koreas (and the D.C. Vanguard administration’s new “Measured Response” strategy, helping it to remain in power that election year), this episode will turn out to be the first in what will soon be called, simply, “the Turmoil.”

2033: On March 1st, a suitcase nuke is detonated in Quetta, Pakistan, killing much of the military-backed “democratic” leadership, which is there in preparation for a conference with multiple Central Asian nations. Within an hour, a Pakistani offshoot of the old Taliban (largely broken up at this point due to Western attacks and internal feuding) claims responsibility, and fierce fighting breaks out that evening between various factions (Islamist, military, and newly-risen civilian militias) in Karachi, Lahore, and Islamabad. The U.S.’s official response is to deploy two carrier groups in a show of support for the remaining “democratic” leaders and India (which is remaining studiously neutral), as well as aiding in setting up U.N. refugee camps and warning off any hints of Chinese or Russian intervention. After nearly ten days, however, word comes from across Pakistan of “giant devils in black” destroying major arms and fuel caches belonging to various factions throughout the country, removing nuclear warheads from multiple bases, and assassinating prominent Islamist and other faction leaders—often by knife or other close combat, and escaping without even being touched by guards or bullets. By the end of March, fearing more such attacks, the surviving leaders agree to a cease-fire, and a tense peace slowly descends over the country and region.

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