Hello again. Today we will venture into what I consider the most controversial chapter of the series. If you see the name Nanjing or Nanking and apply it to a war setting, you could only think of one thing and it's not pretty. So many horrible things happened in this chapter that I was disgusted when writing it. Luckily, there were enough votes for the main character to play nice. Anyways, this might be the chapter where Ooi dies as mentioned before but you have to read to find out. So enjoy the read.
With Kitakami’s rise to fame, the Communists were heavily demoralized. Peace negotiations were in the process but the war still had to be fought. Many pockets that the Nationalists skipped over have now shown signs of weariness regarding the war. Many areas were set up as a defense line to protect the northern capital of Beijing but many people in these regions were dissatisfied. Several cities declared themselves demilitarized and peacefully surrendered to the Nationalists. Unable to establish a defensive position, the PLA continued retreating north and westward. The end of the war was soon approaching. Nanjing was the last stronghold in the southern half of the country and this place will be Kitakami’s next and possibly final assignment. Good news for her, the British were also assisting in this night operation. They were to send a few bombers for support. She along with the other mercenaries and ROCN ships gathered before Lo Yang who will tell them their mission briefing.
The Communist forces are beginning to take flight. The city of Nanjing has been crucial to the enemy’s industrial strategy and the heart of it’s war productions. It’s also the former capital of the Republic of China. The Joint Forces have decided that all Communist war production must be stopped to expedite the end of the war, and has requested our participation of the operation. Operation Rundown is the name. The operation will primarily involve the bombing of ground facilities by the Joint Forces’ bombers. Your mission is the support them with AA and attack enemy facilities. We have achieved near total air superiority over the area as well as naval superiority, thanks to you., around the targeted area, but don’t let your guard down. There may still be sporadic resistance.
Understanding their mission clearly, Kitakami went back to her dock to pick up the necessary equipment for the mission. Since it was mostly land targets and possibly lightly armed river boats that she would face, the best course of action would be the use high explosive shells. However she decided it was best to use a mix with less HE shells because she knew that high explosives would risk collateral damage and could tarnish her image. Once her setup was complete along with Ooi, they headed out for the Yangtze River and sailed upstream towards Nanjing. The Joint Forces awaited them there and the Nationalist army that laid siege to the city began their advance to finally push their enemy out. The mercenary fleet approached the city only to see it start burning.
“Ooi to all units. I’ve confirmed a burning city up ahead.”
“That must mean the bombing has started.” Shiratsuyu said. Overhead was the sound of both British and Nationalist bombers.
“Help escort those bombers. Eliminate all ground and aerial threats.” Tan Yang ordered.
“Let’s move.” Ooi told Kitakami.
“Understood. Guns are loaded and ready for bombardment.” Kitakami confirmed her readiness.
“To all bombers. Remove the PLA’s ability to counterattack. Priority is placed on destruction over accuracy.” The lead bomber ordered his units.
“Initiating bombing sequence. Drop em’ all!” Another Joint Forces bomber said.
Kitakami and Ooi passed by a factory with no defences. They knew it was best to avoid damaging it as their were still civilians working there. The mercenary cruisers also decided to launch their planes in the darkness to help escort those bombers. One bomb landed on the factory the two just passed and blew up near a fuel tank.
“A bomb has hit sector C! It’s about to set off the fuel!! AARRRGGGHHH!!!!” A factory worker said before being killed by the blast over the radio. The sound of that chatter before static cut it off sent chills to Ooi.
“Turn it to ashes! That’s not enough! Drop more bombs!” One Nationalist ship encouraged her allies.
“I thought they were on a precision bombing mission…” Ooi was perplexed by what was going on.
Kitakami continued on her objectives and destroyed only targets that were a threat to the bombers, like AA guns for example. The factories and oil tanks along the river were tempting but she knew that the completion of the mission will bring her family out of Kiso’s debt regardless if she attacked the non targets or not. Not to mention, that the bombers were already destroying them.
“They’re just tossing bombs all over the place.” Shiratsuyu observed the bombers dropping their payloads wherever they please. Regardless, they still had a mission to do and bombarded any AA guns they could find in the darkness. More bombs exploded over the city and the Communist radio chatter could be heard.
“No! Our city is going up in flames!” One of them freaked out.
Then a missile launched by the Nationalists hit a random building and set it on fire.
“A cruise missile just hit the city. Are those guys serious?” Ooi saw it happen in front of her.
The Nationalist Army unit continued to advance almost unopposed, but the fires caused from the bombings gave away their position and Communist planes started to attack them.
“Attention allied units. Our tank unit’s advancing to sector 2, but some Communist planes are giving us trouble. Take down those planes for us.” A Nationalist platoon leader requested.
Kitakami and the other mercenary ships, activated their AA guns to shoot down those enemy planes. The cruisers also ordered their floatplanes to shoot down the enemy. A few planes started to fall out of the sky and crash as fiery wrecks.
“This is Shiratsuyu. Somethin’ strange is goin’ on down here. The number of burning areas has suddenly increased.” The destroyer noticed.
It was true. The bombers were dropping incendiary bombs and the city of Nanjing started to light up in flames. So much for the precision bombing run.
“Inform all units. This is an order from Operations HQ. ‘Abandon Nanjing.’” A PLA unit received a message. “‘However, do not retreat until all facilities are destroyed. Leave them nothing.’ That is all.”
It turns out the PLA had set the city of Nanjing on fire as well as part of a scorched earth policy. However, the civilians were not notified and many were about to pay for their actions.
“The Communists are setting fire to their own…” Ooi was shocked to find out. Just then, the Nationalist army platoon that was heard over the radio had visual on the cruisers. They saw the flag hoisted on the two and appreciated them being there.
“Mercenaries? Well, we appreciate the help. We’ll be moving on.” They said.
“It’s not an issue. Good luck out there. You need to capture the city before it all burns down.” Kitakami thanked their acknowledgement.
Bomb explosions could be heard throughout the city. Smoke from the fires filled the skies to blackness while Kitakami destroyed a few more guns along the river.
“Burn the the entire city! Set fire to the buildings on your way out!” A PLA commander ordered his troops. If the nationalists were to take the city from them, they thought it would be best to leave them nothing.
The PLA also had a transport plane taking off and retreating from the invading force. It made the orders from upper command clear. “Get out of Nanjing. We don’t have anything to do here.”
“So this is the price we pay for losing.” A loyal Communist said.
Ooi has been unusually silent throughout the mission. Maybe it’s what she saw was going on around her. A city that was a former HQ for the Nationalists and a city that gave them much pride was being leveled to the ground and the sight of many civilians being burned alive appalled her.
“Don’t let them push their way into PRC territory.” One of the Communists ordered.
Just then, several river gunboats from upriver tried to make a last stand against the Nationalist ships.
“Nanjing has fallen to the Joint Forces.” One of the Communists admitted.
“Even Nanjing has fallen. What has become of our mighty army…” Another PLA unit was visibly upset.
The bombers continued bombing the city to rubble as if it hasn’t been bombed enough already. Even the accompanying Nationalist gunboats shelled the city with no direct motive.
“Xiu! Make some space on the truck bed.” One PLA unit ordered over the open radio.
“How am I supposed to do that?” Xiu replied.
“We’re carrying a damaged vehicle.” The superior ordered.
“Release all bombs before you get shot down!” A British bomber said. A few interceptors were in their path but the floatplanes of Kitakami and Ooi dealt with them. The river gunboats were also being picked off by Kitakami as they were almost no threat to her.
“They got bombers up there! Fire! Fire away!” The retreating PLA units said.
“The city is going up in flames!” Shiratsuyu blurted out loud.
“Learn to accept it, kid. This is war.” Ooi finally spoke up.
“You expect me to believe arson and indiscriminate bombing is war?”
“There’s no mercy in war. It’s a collision of powers.”
“Even war has a set of rules to follow!” The destroyer argued.
“I’ve detected a few more boats and planes on radar. Take them down.” Tan Yang gave an update.
Kitakami could see a few more boats approaching her and she engaged them. She made sure to sink them all while her fighter was in the air to intercept more fighters. Instead, Samejima 1, Kitakami’s plane, found out some were actually bombers.
“Burn them to the ground.” One PLA bomber said. “They’ll pay for what they’ve done to the People’s Republic.
“I’ll destroy them all.” Her friend said.
“I won’t let them get back alive.”
“Torpedo Division X, engage!” One Joint Forces bomber ordered before being shot down by an enemy fighter. It shouted “Mayday!” before crashing.
“This is Bomb Unit 3! I’m taking enemy fire! What happened to our escort planes!?”
Samejima 1 answered their calls and shot down the enemy fighters that tried to intercept. He also took down the bombers that were about to wipe out the Nationalist Ground units.
“Down all Communist aircraft.” Tan Yang confirmed. The mission for the mercenaries was complete. However, Kitakami and Ooi still had to observe the destruction of what was once a beautiful city. Nanjing was on fire and civilians were caught in the crossfire. They could hear the screams and cries for help as the cruisers and destroyers sat out in the river helplessly. Many innocent lives were lost during that night. The event has been an atrocity and the Communists were calling the event out as a war crime committed by the Nationalists, but that was not true. Even they had a little blood on their hands.
“Ignore the civilians. Our priority is withdrawing all units out of the area. Abandon Block D. Join up with 5th company from Block C” The retreating Communists ordered.
“Don’t leave anything behind for the Nationalists.” Another ordered.
“Mission objective fulfilled. All units, return to base.” A Nationalist bomber confirmed. Tan Yang ordered all ships to turn back and return to base. The mission was a success, but at what cost?
“Damn them all…” Ooi muttered under her breath. Kitakami noticed and thought what she said was strange. Still, she didn’t want to question it as her sister appeared to still be upset over the battle.
When they returned to base, Ooi was being quiet before the debrief. Lo Yang came up to say her words of concluding the mission.
Pursued by Nationalist forces, the Communist forces have taken flight, abandoning Nanjing. Without military production capabilities, the PRC is in a bind. We were also able to confiscate samples of what seem to be experimental weapons from the abandoned war factories, before the Communists had time to use them.
Once Lo Yang was done, Ooi still appeared to be silent. Kitakami was worried for her, but hoped she would brighten up by next morning. So she left her alone during her sleep and thought she would ask if she was alright when she woke up. In the meantime, Kitakami got her pay and has earned enough money to save her sisters. She wired the cash to Kuma and she could finally rest easy. She planned to call her the next morning. However, when Kitakami woke up from her sleep, she saw Ooi gazing out at sea in silence in front of her. She finally had the courage to ask what was up with her.
“Ooi, is there something that needs to be addressed?” Kitakami asked worriedly.
“You saw what happened last night? We shouldn’t have participated in that battle.”
“But we did it to save our sisters while helping the Nationalists advance.”
“Is that so? Then what was our mission?”
“That we had to assist the bombers of the Joint Forces?”
“WHAT WAS OUR MISSION!?” She repeated while being visibly upset.
“Whoa, chill. What has gotten into you?” Kitakami was concerned for her sister.
“You just don’t understand do you? I saw what happened last night and I’m disgusted.”
Ooi calmed down a little bit and then continued to get her point across.
“Nobody knew why they were fighting anymore. All I felt at that point was sadness for the world. That’s why I…” But she was cut off when the base’s raid sirens went off.
“We’ll continue this after the emergency. Right now, we need to report to Lo Yang.” Kitakami said. The two rushed over to see what was up because their next assignment was an urgent one.
TO BE CONTINUED…
Kitakami earned a low payment of 100k credits but that puts her 90k credits above the 6 million goal. Congratulations, Kitakami just saved her family! Now we must predict when Ooi will die. It wasn't this chapter so it will probably happen later. Give me a guess in which chapter number it will happen.
Thank you for reading the most controversial chapter of my series. Hope you enjoyed and can't wait for what will happen next. See ya!
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