The January Incident

The January Incident as described by Taianese nationals, is a serious diplomatic incident and the following series of battles revolving around, within the orbital colonies of, and on the planet of Nanjing in 3009 GSC between The Empire of Tai Pan and The Principality of Prydain. Though Nanjing was eventually recovered by the Taianese with the vast majority of its civilian population alive, numerous planetary, orbital and system assets were destroyed along with one of Tai Pan's most prestigious fleets. Worse still, the civilian populace of Nanjing was traumatized by the poor treatment and torture they received during the brief occupation, and the incident itself had far reaching impact that went well beyond just Tai Pan and the Principality, as many others were watching closely.

Despite being a relatively new presence in the sector, The Empire of Tai Pan had established itself as a local superpower within half a century.

However, it was in a precarious position, being not only surrounded by potentially hostile nations, but having undergone a series of armed conflicts within its own borders due to the destabilizing presence of foreigners and immigrants. Worse still, was the reoccurring encounters with forces that defied the laws of physics, which could only be described as 'magic'. Given the Taianese' logical and scientifically minded disposition, this sent shock-waves of terror throughout their community. These circumstances and events, combined together, put Tai Pan on a highly imperialistic and xenophobic footing. In order to counter these foreign and incredible - that is, lacking credit and being hard to believe - forces, the Taianese naturally sent out military-science expeditions to scour the sector in search of information to better guard against them.

Though some were far more conventional and easier to assess and analyze, such as the surrounding foreign nations, others were not, and were far more esoteric in nature. One of these were the rumors regarding an ancient and powerful race. Though traces of evidence were rare, they were consistent and reoccurring enough across civilizations far spread and isolated from one another to imply their reality. Though depicted as both meddling interlopers and helpful guides, a dangerous combination, the Taianese were ultimately interested in their technology, and methodically unraveled enough of the scarce information to find a lead, pointing to an area of space. Due to the resource deprived findings of automated survey probes and the numerous disappearances, many local space-faring nations considered the area to be cursed, treating it like a taboo.

Undeterred, the Imperial Expeditionary Fleet carefully and methodically scoured the area while maintaining combat readiness.

First Contact

As a result of their efforts, the Taianese were contacted by the Prydainians with audio only through their long distance communications channels. Though they were not welcomed and were instead warned off, the expeditionary fleet was instead spurred on by this, concurring that any foreign power that was in hiding would have been weak, and ultimately discovered the homeworld of Prydain. Though scans indicated the planet was undeveloped and relatively primitive by modern standards, the transmission sent to Tai Pan's fleet indicated otherwise.

The following VR conference began with the ambassadors of Tai Pan being immediately stonewalled with orders to vacate the area or receive retribution. This continued for some time, with certain individuals within the Taianese fleet becoming more and more frustrated. As a result, the commanding military officer, Kōrui Hoshiko, correctly recognized the human culture the Prydainians were mimicking and mockingly confronted them about it instead. Hoping to goad a different reaction from them, she additionally threatened to annex Prydain, declaring that the inhabitants would take on the superior culture of Tai Pan.

Unfortunately, Hoshiko's actions did provoke a different response, but not what she had expected. The Prydainians declared that unless an apology and retraction of the declaration was made within a week, they would make a show of force by putting certain facets of Taianese culture on display. Additionally, the Prydainians made it clear that this action was to be in return for the mere threat against their homeworld, and stated that direct action against it would receive far worse retribution, as it was hallowed ground for them. Given the aggressively imperialistic disposition of the Taianese forces and the impression they had of the Prydainians thus far, the diplomatic team considered this a bluff, and the terms were not met.

Though the diplomatic incident occurred at a far distant location, the entirety of its battles occurred at Nanjing, which was likely chosen by the Prydainians due to historical reasons. These battles can be divided into three distinct phases, each centering around the different groups which fought against the Prydainian forces.

Prydainian Assault

The opening military actions of the January Incident were conducted by what are assumed to be Prydainian special forces units. Using advanced stealth technology, their small infiltration vessels went undetected as the teams slipped past local defenses and targeted key space and orbital defense installations while breaking into both civilian and military communications systems, causing chaos and grounding spaceports in the process. As soon as their objectives were completed, the rest of the Prydainian fleet appeared at medium range and closed in to deploy boarding craft. Any offline defenses were methodically disabled permanently, while the Taianese orbital stations - the preferred habitations of first class citizens - were invaded and occupied.

It is here that the Sutākame first appeared, quickly swarming into selected habitats and dispatching any armed resistance. Though initially unarmed, the speed and precision of their attacks suggests a high degree of coordination, allowing them to capture and use Taianese defense force equipment for themselves. From the high ground in orbit, the Prydainians carried out precision strikes on surface installations in preparation of additional Sutākame landing parties, starting with the dark side of the planet first, with operations to seize control spreading as nightfall came across the globe. Though these forces did not have sufficient numbers to obtain complete control of the planet, they did have dominance over what they deemed the most important major cities and population centers, which was primarily composed of second and third class citizens.

Despite the ongoing fighting, it was from this position of general control that the creatures began to not only consolidate and repurpose any useful technology, but use the captured populace to multiply.

First Taianese Counterattack

During the week leading up to the Prydainian assault, the expeditionary force over Prydain was in a battle posture as their scientists scoured the planet with various scanners. By the time that news of the attack on Nanjing had reached them however, events were already well underway. Having been silent up to this point, the Prydainians contacted the Taianese fleet again, asking if the insult would be withdrawn. However, the commanding officer, Hoshiko Kōrui, refused and chose to immediately head back, being one of the fleets nearest to Nanjing. By the time they did arrive in-system however, orbital and planetary dominance had been achieved by the enemy, and though smaller vessels providing support were present, all major vessels were absent.

Taking note that the circumstances indicated a trap or ambush, the Taianese fleet stayed at combat readiness and set their sensors to maximum output as they moved in-system. Encouraged by the lack of resistance as the smaller Prydainian ships fled, and spurred on by the numerous distress signals coming from the surface, Hoshiko ordered her forces to begin relief operations, sending out assault teams first to the orbital installations and then select major cities. As these operations began to come into full swing, with the Taianese fleet providing precision support fire to assets on the ground however, the Prydainian fleet came out of stealth and began slowly moving in on an attack vector.

As the Prydainians had selected which orbital habitations and cities to strike however, the by-the-book responses by Taianese forces were made even more predictable, allowing the Prydainians to utilize various traps and tactics otherwise not usable such as drifting stealth mines. Though Taianese forces maintained discipline and fought to the best of their ability, they were drawn out between having to support their relief forces, and fighting the ship battle, and were eventually defeated. With the majority of ships being disabled rather than destroyed though, crews were able to escape to nearby orbital habitations and planet Nanjing proper. Though the bulk of the personnel survived, their organizational level varied from group to group, and at most, had armed activities centered on rescuing civilians and obtaining sufficient supplies for survival.

Ultimately, the commanding officer surrendered herself to Prydainian forces after nearly a month in exchange for a cessation of hostilities, both against the surviving fleet members.

Second Taianese Counterattack

Relief forces for Nanjing and Hoshiko's fleet were expected to arrive a week and a half after her own forces arrived. However, the nearest force available was an auxiliary force composed primarily of second class citizens. Due to the politics involved, this force, commanded by Miranda "Fate" Exousia, arrived nearly a month after the first force was destroyed in space. By this time, Hoshiko had already surrendered, and the Prydainians were preparing to withdraw when Fate's fleet arrived at the outer edge of the system. Realizing this, the Auxiliary Fleet attacked, taking initiative and reversing the previous positions. This forced the Prydainians to fight a delaying action as they withdrew. As a result, the fighting lasted for another 12 hours, with the situation being further complicated by Safari Hunters using the captured officer as bait for their hunt.

Despite this, Tai Pan was able to reclaim the system, the vast majority of the civilian populace, as well as the bulk of surviving military personnel.

Though the incident itself was isolated, it had far reaching implications and repercussions.

Locally, the economy of Nanjing was ruined. In addition to the invasion itself, the Sutākame had stripped as much of the infrastructure as possible as they left, and the populace itself was severely traumatized following the treatment they received. The Empire of Tai Pan itself however, did draw experience from the situation, and as a result, is more cautious and methodical than before. The event did spur on support for the Empress' xenophobic policies as the populace grew more wary of all aliens and foreigners, and likely played a key role in the decision to form locations such as the Kowloon Special Political Region.

Additionally, Tai Pan itself and any onlookers had the exceedingly rare opportunity to directly witness the Prydainians' technology, tactics and strategy. Though highly advanced, the technology used by the Prydainians directly appeared to be scarce in number due to the reliance on large numbers of low quality screening forces, while tactics and strategy revolved around leveraging the advantages given by such technology, such as the advanced stealth and recon abilities which supported the initial special forces attacks. What was perhaps most disturbing to any onlookers however, was the intimate knowledge the Prydainians had of the Taianese, which was first suggested when they revealed some of the more unsavory and hidden aspects of Taianese culture and turned it into a physical, living nightmare, and directly evidenced by their subversion of local defenses. This humiliated the Taianese, but worse still, said nightmare was released from servitude by the Prydainians following these events. The very nature of Sutākame creation is a hotly debated subject as well, with some researchers suggesting they were created on the spur of the moment, while others believe the genetics and materials for the Sutākame were already on standby; naturally, this has only lead to even more questions.

As the event has culturally scarred the Taianese, classes gloss over the topic while students are educated behind closed doors with private messages, and the public itself at large simply does not speak of it. Those that attempt to speak of it, such as those who are attempting to aid the victims and bring awareness to them regarding their mental conditions, are often shunned and blacklisted.

Using the captured and repaired Taianese war fleet, as well as any industrial assets they could recover from Nanjing, the Sutākame became a wandering nomadic faction. Though they primarily keep to themselves, they tend to prey on vulnerable, non-governmental groups such as pirates, PMCs and corporations operating far from government oversight. This, combined with their reputation and propensity to illegally mine asteroids or uninhabited planets before moving on, makes them as unwelcome as they are feared. Though this is a lasting negative impact which affects all nations and factions, one of the few upsides is regarding the Prydainians themselves. Though the relationships between nations have grown even more strained with this event, nations can now prepare to deal with the Prydainians properly due to the loss of secrecy. The first step in this was taken by monitoring the only location where Prydainians can be reliably found, which did not provoke further action.

Unofficially however, the rumors surrounding the Prydainians has stirred additional unrest among civilians of various nations, as certain fringe religions and the like have ancient depictions of black and white, triangular or dagger shaped forms among the stars and sky. Though this is ridiculed as conspiracy theory and coincidence, the unease this has generated across the civilian populations is very real.

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  • Last modified: 2019/06/02 02:44
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