Chapter 5:

The Recruits Part 1

The Young Knight of the Desert

Tehran, Eurasian Tsardom. July 23, 2030; 1940 hours (Tehran Time)

The Ruslan arrived at Mehrabad International Airport, which services the city of Tehran. Built in 1938, it served as the primary airport for Tehran back when Iran was a monarchical state ruled by the Pahlavi Dynasty. Even after the Eurasian Tsardom’s conquest of Iran in 2023, it was the airport still used to get to and from Tehran, though a new airport ought to be built. The Ruslan, like other Eurasian aircraft, whether be it military or civilian, landed at Mehrabad.

Vladimir Mirov and his subordinates left the plane as the right side airstair was laid out and, as they came out of the airport, they spotted three men. One of three men wore a uniform similar to Mirov and his subordinates, albeit beige-colored. The two others, armed with assault rifles, wore a beige-colored uniform that comprised a helmet, a tunic with four pockets and five silver buttons, a ballistic vest above the pockets in the upper half of the tunic, a brown leather belt separating the tunic and hiding the fifth button, trousers, and black-colored boots.

“Welcome to the Iran Governorate,” the man without the helmet announced. “I’m Leytenant Sergei Grigorevich Vavilov.”

“Leytenant Vladimir Nikolaievich Mirov.”

“Mladshiy Leytenant Giorgi Dmitrievich Kipiani,” the man with light skin, short brown hair in a buzz cut, and light brown eyes said as he introduced himself.

“Mladshiy Leytenant Nadezhda Anatolievna Aslanova,” the girl with long auburn hair, very light skin, and blue eyes added.

“Mladshiy Leytenant Talgat Muchtarov Yusupov,” a man with light skin, black hair in a crew cut, and light brown eyes. Unlike everyone else, Yusupov had a stout physique.

“Please come with me. I have a Loshad ready to take you to the Governor’s Palace.”



2056 hours

The Loshad, a 4x4 multipurpose vehicle, arrived at the Governor’s Palace in Tehran. The palace was once the Embassy of the United States of America to Iran until 1979 when university students who supported the revolution that ended the Pahlavi Dynasty’s rule in Iran forced their way inside and took the embassy complex’s occupants, armed and unarmed, as their hostages for four hundred forty-four days.

Mirov and his subordinates arrived at the office of the General-Gubernator, Aleksandr Borisovich Mirov. Fifty-seven years old, Aleksandr was a man with very light skin, blue eyes, and short blond hair. The man, a subordinate of Ivan Vladimirovich Tsulukidze since his conquest of the former USSR that led to the creation of the Eurasian Tsardom, became General-Gubernator of the Iran Governorate in 2028. While many saw it as nepotism, many also saw the granting of the position as a well-deserved reward for his hard work and skills.

“Leytenant Vladimir Nikolaievich Mirov of the Imperial Eurasian Navy’s 1st Mechanized Assault Regiment of the Black Sea Fleet’s 2nd Naval Infantry Battalion,” Mirov announced before he and his subordinates saluted.

Aleksandr then stood up and saluted in kind. “I’m glad you made it, Lieutenant. Could you please ask one of your subordinates to close the door, please?”

“Da,” Mirov replied before he reared his head to his subordinates.

Volunteering to close the door was Aslanova. After she closed the door, she resumed standing beside Yusupov.

“Glad to see you, Vladimir,” Aleksandr said.

“You too, Dyádya Alik,” Mirov replied. “In any case, we’ve come because we’ve been given an assignment in the governorate.”

“I can imagine why since I heard you were coming. I assume this is related to the Brotherhood of Freedom?”

“Da. While I can assume you’re familiar with the reports that the Middle Eastern League’s FIA is providing weapons to the Brotherhood, this time, the FIA might have armed the Brotherhood with Shagokhods.”

Shagokhods!?” Aleksandr exclaimed. “Are you sure about this?”

“The Director of the OVR seems to think so. I’ve also been told that the FIA hired Iron Dutchman Services to not only guard their weapons shipment but also to assist in training the Brotherhood in using the weapons, including Shagokhods.”

“Iron Dutchman Services?”

“A small mercenary group with a negatively well-known reputation due to the destruction they leave behind, thus making them the type of mercenary group anyone would avoid recruiting. Except last month where they were hired by the New United Nations due to a hostage situation that also involved the Asian Pact.”

“Sounds like you were involved in that incident too?”

“Unintentionally. The hostage situation was on Sakhalin Island and it ended with me having to fight the Shagokhod pilot working for Iron Dutchman Services.”

“It also sounds like you’re on this mission for a personal reason.”

“Admittedly, I am. The mercenary pilot stole an experimental Shagokhod and when he refused to hand it over, we fought and I was defeated. I only know of the pilot’s name as Tarou Ganji and to my surprise, he’s seventeen years old.”

“Even I’m surprised by all of this. I imagine I’m to cooperate with your mission?”


Aleksandr sighed, making it known to Mirov and his unit that the former is reluctant to help. “As much as I faithfully serve His Majesty the Tsar, I fear that if I devote plenty of my resources in assisting in your mission, it won’t succeed. Not only do I have to deal with the Brotherhood, I also have to deal with Kurdish secessionists in the west.”

“Ya ponimayu, General-Gubernator.”

“But I can provide you information I get from a contact we’ve inserted into the Brotherhood. However, you will have to be patient.”


“The operative only tells me about movements that the rebel leadership as a whole knows about. As you know, the Brotherhood is divided among different cells, yet a ‘United Command’ practices coordination. Each cell does send a representative for a conference about progress against us.”

“And when will the next conference be?”

“That operative will tell me in due time. Until then, please get settled and until I hear from­ her-”


“I don’t know her name, but if I remember, she asked us to call her ‘Šap’. Baloch for ‘night’.”


“An ethnic group that lived in the southeast but was more prevalent in Afghanistan and Pakistan. They were victimized the most when Revelator crashed into Afghanistan in 1985.”

“It all goes back to that alien ship, doesn’t it?”

“Indeed. Who knows what would have happened had that ship not appeared? In any case, while you’re here, think you could please provide training for the Shagokhod units here in Iran?”

“Why us?”

“It’s what you normally do when you’re not on assignment. Please? Once I hear from Šap about that meeting, I will assist you in fighting those mercenaries.”

“Very well, Dyádya Alik.”

“I have rooms prepared for you at the Azadi Park Hotel. However, you’ll leave for Shiraz tomorrow afternoon where you’ll be training new recruits in our Shagokhod units.”

“Are you sure?”

“Go on.”



Brotherhood of Freedom Cell Headquarters. July 24, 2030; 0747 hours

“So, how are we doing this?” Wouter Vos asked as he, Anita Hamilton, Tarou Ganji, Sunan Wattana, and Yusuf al-Saqqaf gathered in Vahid Farahani’s room.

“I already prepared a schedule for that,” al-Saqqaf answered as he brought out a folded piece of paper and showed it to the mercenaries and Farahani.

“Mind if I see that?” Vos requested, with al-Saqqaf giving the paper to Vos, who began to read it. However, he stopped and looked at al-Saqqaf again. “You planned everything in this paper?”

“I did.”

“But why no time slots?”

“Because of how many weapons we brought,” al-Saqqaf answered before turning to Farahani. “Please tell them.”

“We lost a significant amount of men a month back and it was to make sure this month’s shipment made it here,” Farahani announced. “With these new weapons, we hope to arm our new recruits.”

“And have you been recruiting?” Vos skeptically asked.

“We have,” Farahani answered. “The new recruits will be coming in today in an hour.”

“How are you recruiting?” Tarou asked.

“Naturally, we only recruit willing volunteers.” Farahani answered as he turned to Tarou.

“Will you be recruiting children?”


I can understand why, Tarou thought.

“And these new recruits will show up at 1000 hours if al-Saqqaf’s schedule is correct?”

“They will,” Farahani answered. “I’ve made sure of it.”

“Think we could please have our Sayfs modified in the meantime? al-Saqqaf promised us.”

“Very well. Kazem will lead you to the armory. Armin will take care of the rest.”


0818 hours

The mercenaries and al-Saqqaf arrived at the armory of the Brotherhood cell headquarters. Crates filled both sides of the armory with most having come from the shipment the mercenaries and al-Saqqaf came with the previous day and the only one inside was Armin, cleaning up an underbarrel grenade launcher.

“I assume you came here to have your rifles modified?” Armin asked as he saw the mercenaries and al-Saqqaf come inside the armory.

“Baleh,” Tarou answered.

“Is that an M203?” Wattana asked as she pointed at the grenade launcher Armin was cleaning.

“Yes,” Armin answered. “Who needs it for his or her rifle?”

“I do,” Tarou answered.

“Then please give me your rifle.”

Tarou handed over his Sayf assault rifle to Armin. The latter laid out the Sayf onto a table and grabbed a pin punch to remove the sling mount, followed by removing the handguards. After he removed the bottom hex screw, Armin attached the M203 grenade launcher onto the Sayf then screwed the mounting brackets in the front and rear with hex screws; two two-millimeter screws in the rear bracket and one three-millimeter screw onto the front bracket. Then, Armin clipped the trigger guard of the M203 near the magazine, followed by re-installing the upper handguard. As he finished, Armin stood up and gave it to Tarou.

“Mersi,” Tarou replied.

“Anything else you need?”

“We could all use those pistols for sidearms,” Vos answered.

“Then take some, but you’ll have to clean them up by yourselves. Lest no one else here needs his Sayf modified, that is.”

“Well… I do need a foregrip for my rifle.”

“Same here,” Wattana added.

“And I want your AK,” Hamilton asked as she pointed at Armin’s Type 56.

“She’s not good with AR-derived rifles,” al-Saqqaf explained to Armin with the latter nodding.

“Very well, but I assume you know how to dismantle it for maintenance?” Armin asked to Hamilton.

“I do,” Hamilton replied.


0930 hours

Someone knocked at the door of the room where Tarou stayed at with Vos and al-Saqqaf while they cleaned up their respective Sayf pistols. For Tarou, however, he finished, thus he stood up and put the Sikiyn into its holster attached to his right leg. He found Sunan Wattana outside.

“You guys done?” Wattana asked.

“I am,” Tarou answered. “If this is about the other Sayfs, I already have mine modified. I think I’ll go to Farahani and update him on this.”

“You go do that,” Vos replied without looking back.


0949 hours

Tarou then returned to Farahani’s room and knocked on his door. “Who is it?” Farahani asked from the other side of the door.

“It’s Ganji,” Tarou answered. “Permission to come in?”


Tarou opened the door and found Farahani reading a book. “To what do I pleasure of you visiting me?” Farahani asked with Tarou closing the door behind him.

“I came to report that we finished getting our modifications to our rifles. Though with Dr. Hamilton, she asked for Armin’s AK while he got the rifle she refused.”


“She’s only wielded an AK before.”

“Fair enough. Is that all?”

“Yes, sir,” Tarou answered before turning back to the door.

“Wait!” Farahani ordered with Tarou complying. “Don’t you want to stay and chat?”

“I’d like to, but we have new recruits coming in later,” Tarou answered as he briefly reared his head.

“Y... You’re right. Let’s see them.”

Farahani stood up and joined Tarou. The latter opened the door and gestured the former to get out first. After Farahani left, Tarou followed and closed the door.


1007 hours

Farahani, al-Saqqaf, and the mercenaries climbed out of the tunnel and found men and women, most of whom had dark intermediate skin, of varying ages coming out of a Sadko cargo truck, presumably stolen from Eurasian forces. The men and women were followed by the driver, who had an MP5 submachine gun, which resembled the G3 albeit shorter and with a curved magazine. The men and women gathered in the middle of the burned-out village with the man with the rifle, sixty years old and with gray hair that was once black, light skin, and dark brown eyes rushing to Farahani.

“So these men and women are those who opted to join us?” Farahani asked to hi subordinate.

“Baleh,” the subordinate replied.

Farahani then faced the men and women before him. “State your name, age, place of origin, and why you joined.”

“Arash Beg. Twenty-two years old. Yazd. Joined in order to get revenge for being unable to attend university due to my father’s subversive activities.”

“Mahan Kadivar. Twenty-three years old. Abdan. Joined to liberate the lands my family lost due to businessmen from the Tsardom.”

“Bijan Javadi. Twenty-eight years old. My sister Jaleh and I are from Sajadeyeh and we joined to avenge our parents when they died at the hands of a policeman for attempting to take advantage of her.”

“Jaleh Javadi. Twenty years old. I too joined to avenge my parents.”

“Houshang Davani. Thirty years old. Dehram. I joined to avenge my family who was killed by a bomb dropped by Tsarist aircraft.”

“Leila Alam. Eighteen years old. Emad Deh. I honestly don’t know why I joined but I figured fighting to free Iran would be a good reason.”

“Kamran Ghorbani. Thirty-nine years old. Daralmizan. I joined simply for excitement.”

“Manuchehr Farahmand. Forty-seven years old. Born in Zobar but moved to Ahram while in the Iranian Army, where I was a part of its 92nd Armored Division and its boxing champion. I simply hid for years from Tsarist forces and I joined hoping to fight until they are forced out of Iran.”

Bunch of colorful characters, Vos thought.

“I am Vahid Farahani, Commander of this cell of the Brotherhood of Freedom,” Farahani declared. “As all of you joined under your own volition, I will now begin the oath. Each of you must state your name and swear the following: ‘I swear to treat those amongst me as brothers and sisters and must obey orders for the sake of the liberation of Iran’.”

Every recruit lined up. First to reach Farahani was Arash Beg. After he recited the oath with his full name in it, Mahan Kadivar was next to do so. As he finished, Bijan Javadi swore his oath with his sister being next. Houshang Davani followed Jaleh then Leila Alam. As Leila finished, Ghorbani followed with Manuchehr Farahmand being the last one to swear his oath.

“Now get yourselves fed first,” Farahani ordered before turning to his sixty-year-old subordinate. “Ghasem, please lead them to the tunnel.”

“Yes, Sir,” the man named Ghasem replied.

Farahani then turned to Vos. “Mr. Vos, I need you and your men to follow Ghasem and the new recruits, then go to Armin and have the weapons brought out here. After the recruits have finished their meal, they’re to come back here because they will need to be shown the weapons they’ll be using.”

“Got it,” Vos replied.


1134 hours

Elsewhere in the underground complex, Vos and Tarou carried a crate that they delivered the day before, with Hamilton and Wattana behind them while Armin and al-Saqqaf led them to a ramp leading to a square-shaped hole.

“What is this place?” Vos asked.

“This is how we brought the supplies you delivered,” Armin explained. “The truck will be here any minute, so please wait.”

“Can we at least put this down?” Tarou asked.

“Fine, but please help load it into-”

Armin, however, was interrupted as the truck appeared. Driving the truck was Saman.

“Never a dull moment,” Vos lamented before he and Tarou picked up the crate and delivered it to the truck.


1211 hours

The recruits gathered at the destroyed village again, with Ghasem and Farahani watching them. The truck returned with the mercenaries and al-Saqqaf getting off and delivering the crate.

Getting a crowbar, Tarou opened the crate and grabbed a Sayf and appeared beside Farahani, who then grabbed it and showed it to the recruits. “This is a Sayf assault rifle,” Farahani explained. “It’s Arabic for ‘sword’ so the Farsi equivalent would be ‘shamshīr’. Chambered at approximately six millimeters, this is the standard service rifle of the Middle Eastern League, our supplier of weapons. You will learn how to use this weapon and others the League have risked their lives to deliver. As part of your first day as recruits of the Brotherhood of Freedom, you are to try using these rifles.”

“Beg, you’re first,” Ghasem ordered to Arash Beg.

Beg, a man with light skin, curly black hair, and dark brown eyes, grabbed the Sayf before Ghasem silently instructing him to turn to his left where a target was delivered by Saman. However, the way Beg aimed the gun forced Ghasem to correctly aim and stand while doing so.

“Look well,” Farahani instructed. “You do not want to copy the way Mr. Beg aimed.”

“Yes, sir,” every other recruit replied in unison.

“Now squeeze the trigger,” Ghasem ordered to Beg. “This is only your first day here so you don’t have to be precise.”

“Yes, si-”

“Call me Sergeant, is that understood?”

“Yes, Sergeant.”

Beg aimed, but at a split second, he pulled the trigger of his Sayf. However, as the shot moved out of the barrel and into the target, Beg faltered due to the recoil of the rifle. While the bullet hit, Beg almost collapsed into the ground.

“It’s fine,” Farahani said to Beg. “We can do something about the rifles tomorrow.” Farahani then turned to the other recruits. “Those who wish to volunteer next please raise your hands.”


1510 hours

At the village, the recruits, Farahani, al-Saqqaf, and the mercenaries prepared to watch how an EG01 will be used. All watched with curiosity as they had never seen a Walgear other than the ones used by the Imperial Eurasian Army. The EG01 then faced the recruits and lowered its legs. Coming out of the cockpit after opening it was Tarou Ganji.

“This is an EG01,” Tarou explained to the recruits. “The first Walgear built by the Euro-African Alliance. We will now test if any of you can use this as this will be beneficial to future operations against Eurasian forces.”

“Who wishes to volunteer?” Farahani asked to the recruits.

“I do,” Leila Alam answered. The girl had long black hair hidden in a veil and dark brown eyes.

Tarou then jumped out of the cockpit and stepped out of Leila’s way. After getting into the cockpit, Tarou appeared behind her.

Leila looked at the cockpit of a Walgear with amazement. It resembled that of a bicycle yet there were two levers with buttons, a steering wheel, and two levers at the bottom front.

“This is a Walgear?” Leila asked.

“Yes,” Tarou answered. “Although lightly armored, it has enough firepower to provide in situations where heavy armor can’t be used. Unlike most Walgears, however, the EG01 is basically a fast tank as it doesn’t walk nor does it have a Strike Knuckle.”

“Strike Knuckle?”

“It’s the melee weapon used by Eurasian Walgears, which the New United Nations copied with their Walgear. It’s for that reason the Euro-African Alliance built another Walgear that can be for melee combat, but the Middle Eastern League has yet to acquire such a Walgear.”

“How will you judge the way I pilot this thing?”

“I’ll instruct you on that. However, you’ll need to program this Walgear’s communicator to mine.”


“See the buttons on the control panel in front of you?” Tarou asked as he pointed to a series of buttons and a glass screen, with Leila nodding as an answer. “Find the button that says ‘On’ and ‘Off’.”

Leila looked at the buttons in front of her and found a button that said “On/Off”. After Leila pressed the button, she and Tarou heard the Walgear being activated.

“Good. Now, find the button that says ‘Comm’.”

Leila found the button that said “Comm” and pressed it. The screen became sky blue with the word “Communicator”, colored white, appearing on the screen. Below The words “Please input frequency” appeared below “Communicator”, with three five white-colored lines and a dot appearing; the dot dividing three lines away from two lines.

“The frequency is for a Walgear pilot to make sure he or she is being contacted without his or her name being used. That way, others do not hear communications between Walgear pilots and elsewhere. Come up with five numbers and I will contact you.”

“Alright,” Leila replied as she found the buttons that corresponded to numbers 1 until 0. She pressed the buttons for 1, 2, 8, 0, and 4.

“Now, my frequency is 140.10 and when I’m to connect my mobile communicator to you, you’re to respond yes,” Tarou added. “There’s a button that says ‘Enter’. When I’m connecting to your frequency, the screen in here will ask if you should connect with the choices being ‘Yes’ and ‘No’. There are also directional buttons, so use the left or right buttons to choose between yes or no and when you’ve chosen yes, press the ‘Enter’ button. Did you understand all of that?”

“I did.”

“Good. I’m getting off. After I do, press the button that has ‘Open’ and ‘Close’. After pressing that button, find and press the button with the words ‘Stand’ and ‘Kneel’.”

Tarou then got off the EG01’s cockpit. As she remembered Tarou’s instructions, Leila found the button that said “Open/Close cockpit”. Upon pressing the button, the cockpit closed, trapping Leila inside the EG01. Remembering what Tarou ultimately said before he got off the cockpit, Leila found that button that said “Stand/Kneel” and pressed it, making the Walgear stand up.

The other recruits gave facial expressions that showed how impressed they were with how Leila got the Walgear to stand up. Tarou then used his smartphone and accessed the application “Military Communicator”. She then typed in the numbers 128.04.

Inside the EG01’s cockpit, Leila saw the numbers 140.10 with the words “Yes” and “No” in white appearing on the Walgear’s screen. Finding the “Enter” button, Leila pressed it.

“Alam, do you read me?” Tarou asked over the other end of the communicator.

“I do,” Leila answered.

“Good. For today, you’re to move around in two laps. The Walgear has an automated instructor with a voice that will instruct you on how to use the Walgear. Follow it and you’ll do just fine.”

“I hope so.”

“Hello, I’ll be your automated assistant in piloting this Walgear,” a male voice announced throughout the Walgear’s cockpit. “I am to guide you in learning the basics in piloting a Walgear.”

“Mersi,” Leila replied.

“I wonder if she’ll make it?” Wattana mused.

“I’ll be the judge of that,” Tarou replied.

The EG01 moved backward, then it moved away. Everyone watched with amazement; some opening their mouths. Tarou used his smartphone again to contact Leila.

“You did well moving and turning,” Tarou said. “Now, I need you to do two laps, then you can get off and let others use it.”

“Got it… ” Leila said incompletely.

“Tarou Ganji.”

“Got it… Mr. Ganji.”


1730 hours

“So, how are the new recruits?” Farahani asked the mercenaries and al-Saqqaf, as everyone was now at the office of the former.

“They can handle a gun well, but they’ll need a little more polishing to be an effective fighting unit,” Vos commented.

“That’s where Ghasem comes in. He was a former Revolutionary Guard.”

“But he’s sixty,” Wattana said.

“Best man I know of who could whip men into shape. He’d been with me since I came back from the Foreign Legion,” Farahani replied to Wattana.

“How did you join the Foreign Legion?” Vos asked.

“After the Eurasian victory, I hid in a refugee camp then I saw some men and women as old as I am accepting an offer of citizenship to the Euro-African Alliance in exchange for joining the Foreign Legion.” Farahani answered as he faced Vos. “I figured ‘why not’ so I was in the Foreign Legion for five years and learned a lot. Then I decided to try to fight again for Iran’s freedom by joining the Brotherhood of Freedom. With my increased combat experience from the Legion, I was given my own cell in the Brotherhood, but that left me with little resources.”

“Why?” Tarou asked.

“I thought differently compared to most cell commanders. With a few exceptions, most want to restore the Islamic Republic that had existed since 1979. I voiced my opinion that it shouldn’t and surprisingly, they allowed me to command a cell instead of outright killing me. Of course, when it came to increasing casualties, they couldn’t help restore my losses.”

“So what are you really fighting for?” Hamilton asked.

“That… ” Farahani replied to Hamilton with a slight hint of hesitation in his tone. “Simply, I just want to run a farm when this is all over. That is all.”

“Doesn’t sound too bad,” Vos remarked.

“But enough of that,” Farahani said. “Let’s have dinner.”


Shiraz. 1750 hours

The An-124 Ruslan, whose pilot was Andrei Bazin, landed at Shiraz International Airport. Getting off the Ruslan was Vladimir Mirov, Giorgi Kipiani, Nadezhda Aslanova, and Talgat Yusupov. After doing so, another officer guarded by two men with helmets and assault rifles came to receive them with both parties, sans the two men with rifles, saluting.

“Welcome to Shiraz, Leytenant Mirov,” the officer said. “I’m Mladshiy Leytenant Matvey Felixovich Kaminsky.”

“Thank you, Mladshiy Leytenant,” Mirov replied.

“Please follow me. Your transport to the Shagokhod Training Center is prepared.”



1839 hours

Mirov and his subordinates reached the Shagokhod Training Center in Shiraz. After their victory in 2023, the Eurasian Tsardom opted to rebuild certain cities with Shiraz as one of those cities. Unlike cities further into the east, the damaged Shiraz endured during the crash-landing of the alien ship Revelator in Afghanistan in 1985 was large, but it didn’t obliterate the city. The Eurasians built the Shagokhod Training Center on the site of a training center where armored personnel from the Iranian Army trained at.

Mirov and his subordinates then reached the office of the training center’s commander and principal, stopped, and saluted. The commander, a man in his late thirties with light skin and blue eyes, returned the salute.

“Leytenant Vladimir Nikolaievich Mirov,” Mirov said as he introduced himself.

“Kapitan Tigran Pavlovich Nazarov,” the commander replied. “The General-Gubernator already told me why you came here. I’ve already planned out tomorrow’s training exercise.


“We’ve also arranged for accommodations for you and your subordinates.”


“Anything else you wish to avail from us?”

“Just one: will the General-Gubernator notify you if there are any updates in relation to why I’m really here?”

Nazarov thought about what he was told by Aleksandr. He crossed his office, deep in thought. “I believe he mentioned something about your assistance in dealing with the Brotherhood of Freedom,” Nazarov answered. “Of course, I’d like to hear why you’re really here because I doubt they would ask a team from the Navy to come all the way here.”

“I’m here because the OVR had heard a report that the Middle Eastern League’s FIA have finally provided Shagokohods to the Brotherhood and that they hired the mercenary group Iron Dutchman Services to not only guard this shipment but to train the rebels in using them.”

“Y… You’re joking, right?”


“It’s already troubling enough that the Brotherhood are getting bolder in their attacks, but getting Shagokhods? Very well, I’ll do all I can.”


“I assume you haven’t eaten yet? I suggest you do so then get settled before going to bed. You have a big day tomorrow. In fact, I’d like to learn how ‘The Lightning Baron’ fights with a Shagokhod despite my position myself.”

“You honor me with your praise.”

“Then until tomorrow.”


Mladshiy Leytenant – Russian for “Junior Lieutenant”. Cyrillic: Младший лейтенант

Full names of Mirov and his subordinates – traditionally, a Russian full name consisted of a forename, a patronymic (used to denote who the individual’s father was), and a surname. In Mirov’s case, “Vladimir Nikolaievich Mirov” means “Vladimir, son of Nikolai, Mirov”. In Aslanova’s case, her full name being “Nadezhda Anatolievna Aslanova” points to her father being named “Anatoli”. “Aslanova” is the feminine equivalent of the surname Aslanov as a woman from that family must have her surname modified.

Loshad – Russian for “Horse”. Cyrillic: Лошадь

General-Gubernator – “Generals-Governor” in Russian. A General-Gubernator historically was in charge of a subdivision of the Russian Empire that collapsed in 1917. Cyrillic: генерал-губернатор

Dyádya – Russian for “uncle”. Cyrillic: Дя́дя

Alik – a diminutive of “Aleksandr”, mostly used by Russians of Jewish descent. Alternative diminutives include “Sasha”, ‘Sanya”, and “Shurik/Shura”.

Ya ponimayu – Russian for “I understand”. Cyrillic: я понимаю

Baleh – “Yes” in Farsi. Original Persian: آره

Sadko – the protagonist of many bylinas, Old Russian epic poems. Cyrillic: Садко

Kapitan – Russian for “Captain”. Cyrillic: Капитан

Net – Russian for “no”; pronounced “ni-yet”. Cyrillic: Нет