Life is a Dance with Death (AMW)
The Gupta Dynasty
OOC:This RP is a closed RP for members of the "A Modern World" RP'ing group. Thank you.
The Ottoman Embassy, Samarqand, Depkazia
Yusef Süleiman stared at the gilded walls of the Ottoman embassy in the ancient capital of Depkazia. It had to be ostentatious, he reminded himself again. It had to be. Both countries paid a huge price of being ancient and obsessed with their past. This building was supposed to signify the rebirth of a powerful Islamic friendship. Instead, as he repeatedly told himself, it looked like a gaudy apartment complex. But he continued to tell himself that he was Ottoman. Being silly about decoration was in their blood.
He didn't like Samarqand. He missed Istanbul, the city, the culture. He had grown to love it, having come there as a boy from Trabzon. He didn't remember the northern city. He only recalled his home, the great city of the Sultanate. He smiled wryly. Ottomans were good with titles as well, he thought. But Samarqand was so different from his home. In Istandul, strangers were welcomed into the homes of the people around them. In Istanbul, everyone was everyone's brother. But here...it was all different.
It must have been because it was his first trip away from home. Yes, that must have been it. If Ibrahim (no, why was he calling him that? Ibrahim was the brother of the Sultan, the only one who had survived the ritual killing!) had not told Yusef to come, then he would not have come. But, it was a way to expand his horizons. And to do the bidding of a great man. Yusef was under no illusions why he was here. He was here to do something that would shake the foundations of all seven of the continents.
There was a slight knocking on the door and Yusef spoke up. "Içeriye gir." [Enter] It was Omar Khayyam Basir, his companion. "Sen kimin telefonda olduğunu biliyorsun." [You know who is on the phone]. Yusef nodded and spoke softly in reply. "Eyvallah." [Thank you] He rather easily walked out of the room into an open hallway. On the table was the most intricate (and, in Yusef's opinion) disgusting looking phone that he had ever seen in his life. He could tell it worked (the handle was off the hook) but, in his life he had no idea why anyone would want to use it.
He put the phone to his mouth and stayed quiet for a few second, afraid of who he was talking to. He was frightened of making the first move so he tried to indicate that he was on the phone...resulting in a sort of half squeak-snort. To his pleasure, the man on the other side of the phone line made the first move. "Nasıl are sen? Nasıl bkz. Be her şey?" [How are you? How is everything?] The voice on the other side of the line was cultured and soft, not in a hurry at all. It was obvious that the other man was expecting good news.
Yusef was careful to reply diplomatically. For all he knew, Ibrahim might have been expecting them to have succeeded already. "âlâ. Biz -si olmak değil yönetmek -e doğru almak a karşılaşma , ama başka türlü her şey bkz." [Very good. We have not managed to get a meeting, but otherwise everything is fine.] It was disguising the fact that they had failed by loading it with success. Ibrahim was clearly not amused. The tone and his words of his reply conveyed his disappointment - to a clear extent.
"Be para cezası. almak a karşılaşma kısa bir süre içinde illâ biz -ebilmek -si olmak a problem." [Get a meeting soon or else we might have a problem.] Yusef began noddding frantically, then realized that the other man could not see him. "Evet , efendim." [Yes, sir] He then relaxed and asked a question near to his heart. "Be Istanbul , efendim? peki." [How is Istanbul, sir?] Ibrahim's response chilled his heart. "O -ecek var olmak düz daha iyi eğer biz başarmak!" [Very well. It will be even better if we succeed.] The phone clicked off.
Yusef immediatly rose, his face ashen and yelled to the servants in English, his, and most Turks' second language. "Get us to meet the Khagan! There is little time!"
Samarqand, crossroads of cultures
Yusef Süleiman was clearly a man of high standards in at least some respects. Alexander himself was forced to admit surprise at the majesty of the place, it lay on the silk road, and it impressed Tamerlane sufficiently for him to make it capital of his famous empire. Today, the turquoise domes are working once more, a world-famous architectural feature only a step behind the Hagia Sophia in distinctiveness, and the eternal snows remain still on the mountains north of the Zerafshan Valley. Here lies the powerbase of Chingiz, son of Tchokareff; who, in keeping with the family tradition, over-threw his father; and, after ressurecting the Depkazi Khanate, established dominion over northern Afghanistan by creation of the Bayliks of East and West Bactria.
It was at Registan Square that the Ottoman diplomat was to be received by Chingiz Khagan, Malik ul-Mugāhidīn, Lord of the City of Samarqand and of the Cities of Osh, Talas, Toshkent, Kesh, Bishkek, Andijon, Farg'ona, Djizak, Khavakend, Margilan, Namangan, Karmana, Nukus, Nasaf, Rishdan, Dushanbe, Asbara, Termiz, Āmul, Bukhara, Karakol, Balasagun, Istravshan, Khujand, Jalalabad, and of the Port City of Krasnovodsk, and of the Twin Cities of Merv and Mary, and the Three Cities of Aşgabat, Nisa, and Konjikala, and many other towns, and Master of Tamerlane's Gate, as the young man would be introduced to him.
And he was a young man. Rough of skin and hardy of constitution, Chingiz was otherwise a king in the body of a boy, fairly short as his de facto orphan status during formative years saw him hard done to by life as a neglected child in a neglected nation. But his years of wandering the deserts and mountains of Mid Asia made him tough beyond his years and inches, and his titles were swelling to replace his lost childhood. Still, after Samarqand failed to move Yusef, one couldn't be sure that the Ottoman would be much impressed by the little man who was only just able for now to resist the urge to claim for himself the title of Caliph, advised repeatedly that it would perhaps not at this early stage be conducive to realisation of his aims with the Ottoman Empire.
The Gupta Dynasty
OOC:Sorry about this post, Dep'. I was a bit distracted when I wrote it, so if it contains spelling eorros or is un-understable, I apologize.
Registan Square, Samarqand, Depkazia
Yusef Süleiman could help but to raise his eyes and the type of people who lived in the city. They seemed so...what was the word? Ah, yes. Aloof. That was it. He had to admit that their city was beautiful (though still not a patch on Istanbul, in his mind, of course). The domes and minarets rose in splendour over houses and markets, ruling the landscape. Yusef nodded to Omar Khayyam Basir, who rode next to him, dressed in the most hideous-looking silk robe that Yusef had ever seen. Perhaps it would be what the Khagan would be wearing. He wasn't quite sure, but if the city and the people were any guide, then the Khagan of Depkazia would not be the sort of man who Yusef would be interested in meeting.
They were on top of horses, beautiful horses from the steppes of Central Asia. There was no doubting that whoever kept these horses knew precisely what to feed them, what to give to them, and how to treat them. They were glossly and strong, muscles pulsing underneath their coats. Yusef nodded at the man next to him once more and spoke quietly in English to him. "Chingiz is supposed to be very stubborn and rude, at times. He's also nothing like the picture of a true leader. He's short, stuck-up, and obsessed. Don't let your temper get too much of you." Actually, Yusef was more talking to himself than Omar. Omar was a calm man who kept his temper under control. Yusef was the opposite.
They were lead to a large square in the center of Samarqand itself (or, at least, Yusef believed it was the center, from what he had seen of the city). This was the famed Registan Square, where so many events in history had occurred. It was an important place in Depkazia. A heralds stood up and intoned loudly in his overinterested voice, "Chingiz Khagan, Malik ul-Mugāhidīn, Lord of the City of Samarqand and of the Cities of Osh, Talas, Toshkent, Kesh, Bishkek, Andijon, Farg'ona, Djizak, Khavakend, Margilan, Namangan, Karmana, Nukus, Nasaf, Rishdan, Dushanbe, Asbara, Termiz, Āmul, Bukhara, Karakol, Balasagun, Istravshan, Khujand, Jalalabad, and of the Port City of Krasnovodsk, and of the Twin Cities of Merv and Mary, and the Three Cities of Aşgabat, Nisa, and Konjikala, and many other towns, and Master of Tamerlane's Gate!" It was clear that Depkazia was trying to impress the Ottomans. Yusef rolled his eyes and waited for the short man in the center of the square to make the first move. As far as Yusef was concerned, the meeting had already gotten off on the wrong foot.
Chingiz came out to meet the Ottoman diplomat amid a notable hush.
In truth, Süleiman was probably correct in his assessment of the Depkazi leader, to be fair. Chingiz was, owing to his struggle to even survive infancy, shorter than average, though quite well built and tollerant of pain and adversity as a result of his difficult childhood. He was often taken as somewhat rude because he spent so long wandering alone, defending himself against those who would take advantage of a boy without a ward, and had developed very limited social skills during this lonely formative time. He was stubborn because that was what it took to get to the top in Depkazia, to survive in the desert and in the mountains, and to remain straight-faced in opposition to a father's spurning and neglect.
Besides, he was indeed obsessed. Chingiz wanted to be someone. He wanted his people to be something. This little man wanted to be leader of the Islamic world, unquestioned Khan in domination of Central Asia, and certainly believed that he could yet be remembered by the most populace continent on earth as one of the ten most important men in history. After all, if he wasn't killed before then, he had probably a good fifty years of life in him at this point. Plenty of time to make good on his dreams, especially after rising so far so fast.
"Peace be upon you, friends, and welcome to Smarqand, to the Depkazi Khaganate... the Turkic People's Republic of Depkazia!"
Chingiz was displaying a slightly sickly smile, broad and shining but, somehow, unnatural. A Pan-Am smile from a man who, in spite of his achievements, felt little personal joy and smiled when he thought that he should rather than when he felt it. Most people would be taken-in, only a learned expert realising the significance of his facial expression and the depth of unhappiness that it betrayed.
The Depkazi Khagan, Khan of Khans, titled leader of fifty million people, commander of almost a million fighting men, and owner of almost five trillion cubic metres of natural gas, lead his guests into the refurbished buildings of Registan. Inside, though he claimed to be an Islamic champion (he had not yet claimed to be head of the Islamic world, unsure if he could do so without directly challenging the Ottoman leadership that historically made the same claim), Chingiz lead the men past murals that included artistic representations of people, and other features that might have failed to meet the approval of the strictest of traditional Islamic scholars. Though the style was not always something that would pass, say, a Taliban censorship board, the subject matter was generally positive, featuring historic struggles against the Soviets and other enemies.
Seating himself and his guests in a well appointed library room, Chingiz began again.
"I believe that we have much to discuss in this, the hour of rebirth for both of our historic and holy nations."
The Gupta Dynasty
The surroundings quieted down and for a second Yusef asked himself if he was doing the right thing. But that second of indecision vanished quickly and he waited for the Khagan to speak with a steely resolve. In truth, Yusef Süleiman was not totally commited to his task. He was a diplomat, for sure, but in a country like Depkazia seemed to be perhaps someone like, say, Anwar Rashid, may have been a better choice. But Anwar was in Berlin, carving out Ottoman influence in Central Europe, and Yusef was here, in Depkazia, in the most important mission for the Ottomans in the twenty-first century.
Chingiz strode slowly, yet purposefully, and stopped in front of Yusef's face. Yusef couldn't help but to think of how much taller he was than the Khagan. How could this man be the ruler of one of the most powerful countries in Asia (or even, in the world)? Yusef breathed out. Sure, the Khagan was short but there was something about the other man's eyes that Yusef couldn't help to be afraid of. Not that that mattered. Yusef had spent most of his life entertaining people who he was afraid of.
"Peace be upon you, friends, and welcome to Samarqand, to the Depkazi Khaganate... the Turkic People's Republic of Depkazia!" The Khagan wore a smile, somewhat lopsided, that was very genuine. Yusef couldn't help to think that maybe his wary feelings earlier had perhaps been misplaced. Beside him, Omar lightly touched Yusef's shoulder. Yusef shook his head. The assassin was right. Why was he, a diplomat, falling into a trap so easily? It was these little things that made one gain what one wished.
Chingiz then lead his two guests into the buildings of Registan itself. Murals lined the halls, rich with color and shade in forms of all kinds. The great majority of these depicted the bravery of the people of Depkazia against the Soviets. It was not Islamic art (despite the Khagan's claim to be "an Islamic champion") but it was well-made. Nothing to compare with the mosaics of the Romans and Byzantines which covered Istanbul, of course, but they were certainly well-made.
They finally settled in a library room. The shelves were covered with all sorts of titles, abounding in their variety and the variety of their languages. Yusef was forced to admit amazement, but this was Samarqand, after all. Some had once called Samarqand, the "book dealers in the House of Islam", but that had been close to five or six hundred years ago. Yusef was interrupted from his reviere by the voice of the Khagan. "I believe that we have much to discuss in this, the hour of rebirth for both of our historic and holy nations." he spoke, his voice soft, yet hinting at other plans.
"Perhaps not the hour of rebirth, but very close indeed." Yusef's words were accompanied by a smile, but they carried undertones of something else. "It is in your knowledge of why and by whom I was sent, correct? I brought someone else integral to our ideas, here." He indicated Omar, who had taken an ancient Arabic title off of the walls and was now immersed in poetry of the highest class. "You know of the Sultan's brother and his plans, do you not?" Yusef's voice had sunk to a whisper, but there was no one who might have been listening.
State security troops, armed with 5.45x39mm AKS-74U submachine-guns and Makarov pistols, having left the room to stand on guard outside, one peering through a viewing hole in a doorway at the far end of the library, Chingiz continued to speak.
"Of course, my friends." He said, suddenly feeling an uncertain twinge in his belly and a gladness at the friendly setting and presence of armed men in his nation's uniform. If things were the other way around, Chingiz could imagine setting-up foreign backers to an attempt on his life or position to expose themselves as he was perhaps about to.
"It is of course a terribly serious and grim situation. But that is, unfortunately, befitting of our time. I expect that you are equally aware of the general progress of events in Afghanistan. With the Armandian communists attempting to over-throw the government of the faithful, they bring death to the Khaganate's frontier, and the Combine is a problem shared on the Ottoman Empire's eastern border. The time for the introspection of the current Sultan's administration has passed with the coming of new ambition to the Combine. The integrity of the Khaganate and the very survival of Afghani Islam depend on strength in the Muslim brotherhood of nations. If Afghanistan falls to the infidel, the Khaganate will appear weak and will carry no weight to its dealings with the Chinese and will suffer enforced isolation... then the Ottoman shall have choice taken from them and shall be alone no matter who stands in charge.
"So, I must ask, as a right-thinking man who, for now, holds all the power that is available to him, how it is that I can help my Osmanli brothers to the path they desire?"
The Gupta Dynasty
As the Khagan continued to talk, Yusef noticed Chingiz's eyes wander towards the door. What the Khagan was looking at out there, Yusef had little idea. Most likely, it mattered little. What Yusef was more interested in was the direction in which Chingiz was steering the conversation. The other man seemed reluctant to discuss anything which was related to the Ottomans themselves, and was talking as if it were a conference with many nations about, as opposed to the few who were here. He talked of the Combine as if he were a radicalist imam...something that both frightened and intruiged Yusef. Perhaps Chingiz took his religion a bit too literally? Or was that a blind he wished to put onto he face of his Ottoman guests?
"An interesting question, coming from one such as you, mighty Khagan. It is but a question that I must pose to you in response. You are a very devout man, are you not? And yet, you are willing to do much in service of yourself. How much? How far are you willing to go to serve yourself, and perhaps not God?" It sound very philosophical, but in reality, Yusef was simply setting a foundation for his points. "Which of the line of Osman the Great are you willing to follow? The Sultan? Or the Sultan's brother? Perhaps you will support us when the storm finally bursts over Ankara and Istanbul?" There was no question as to what he was referring to. There could be only one thing.
"But enough of that. In Afghanistan, we watch anxiously indeed. You know of the Elian puppet, Shareef? You may not know of the support of the Ottomans of Elian operations in the area. Have you considered an embassy to Baghdad? You and the Elians have a mutual enemy in the Combine. Will you exploit that in Afghanistan?" He knew that Depkazia had most likely tried that already. Yusef Süleiman was just setting the stage for anothe topic near to the Ottoman heart. Energy.
Chingiz looked back on the foreigners, regarding their mannerisms with as much care as they gave his. As he spoke he also watched. Initially, the Khagan had perhaps thought too little of Yusuf and his quiet friend. He ought to be drawing on his earlier experiences, when life was hard and he met people with real smarts, not allowing himself to sink into comfortable familiarity with the inept ranks of the government his insane father left behind.
International diplomacy was still new to Chingiz... quite new to Depkazia, truth be told. The nation was independent only since the early 1990s, after all, and, until recent months, almost equal to the Ottoman Empire in terms of isolationism.
The Khagan decided to kill his doubts. This was his domain, after all. And he could gain little by lying to the Ottoman, be they conspirators or legitimate authorities.
"Yes, the Sultan's brother, he is a most wise fellow, would you not say? A fit bearer of the Osmanli heritage. I do feel that the time for the Sultan's stable approach to administration is passing, too much unambitious and, perhaps by no fault of his own, increasingly out of step with the world beyond the borders of the empire. The Depkazi Khaganate would be much encouraged by a change in Istanbul and Ankara, and has every reason to be supportive of the Ottoman Empire during such a radical upheaval."
Chingiz sat back and allowed his body to lean over to one side as he listened, one hand stroking his chin.
United Elias, and Mustafa Shareef. Impossible to ignore.
"I like the Pakistanis." He started, slowly. "But I find it hard to imagine a world in which peoples such as the Somalis and the Indonesians flock to us if we be found complicit in the secular imperialism of Baghdad's current masters.
"Far more importantly, we must play to our strengths. Ours are the kingdoms of the faithful. Why should my people favour me over my father if I too betray them? Why should they favour the Sultan's brother if he opens the Empire only to align it with the insipid infidel?
"You may be right to wonder. I do feel that I am indeed important, and that I must look to myself... I am Khan of Khans, Malik ul-Mugāhidīn, and my failure is the victory of the unbeliever. I must recognise that men such as myself and the Sultan's brother carry heavy loads of great value, and that we must look to our own defences against the bandits.
"If I fall, if the Sultan's brother fails, it matters not whether our nations survive... for, in such a circumstance, they should survive without us only as spoiled husks."
Chingiz was now a little worried. He wanted to see the Ottoman Empire open-up, on the proper terms. But China was increasingly working with the Combine. Having written-off Russia, Depkazia couldn't afford to isolate itself from the Chinese. The Khagan couldn't reveal much of his thoughts on North Pakistan, either... in truth, Chingiz wanted Shareef gone and Pakistan as an ally in Afghanistan, but, for now, he didn't want that fact getting back to Mustafa, and so could not say much in the company of those who might have good reason to toe Baghdad's line.
For now, he hoped that the global Islamic tide, rising on at least two continents, may appeal to the Sultan's brother as much as it had to him, as a force by which to secure an administration. Such a force, uniting Depkazia and the Ottoman Empire on either side of the Combine, with North Pakistan (with or without Shareef) in control of trade routes to China, and the outside support of Somaliland and Indonesia, might be used to keep the Armandians in check without confrontation spreading beyond Afghanistan. Chingiz could not bear to think of introspective Elias ruining his vision.
The Gupta Dynasty
Yusef was, at first, surprised by the candid nature of what the Khagan was saying, but that feeling quickly disappated when he began to understand what the Khagan of Depkazia wanted. He felt like smiling, inside. This was just too easy! The Khagan, who was clearly inexperienced at what he was doing, was trying to manipulate the Ottoman Empire? It was all too much. He felt like breaking down and laughing. Then, as he turned his head to the side, trying his hardest to look interested, he caught eyes with Omar. The assassin knew what was inside Yusef's head, and the assassin moved his head slightly. Yusef quickly caught the meaning. He should not be too overconfident. Most likely, the Khagan was not what he seemed. Perhaps there was more that the Khagan had not yet said. Perhaps Yusef was falling into the Khagan's trap.
"I see that you misunderstand me, Khagan of Depkazia. You must understand what I am saying from what I am not saying." He waited a second, wondering if the Khagan got his meaning, and then decided to elaborate. "Let me explain. I once heard a story that you may find a little interesting. Two neighbors had disliked each other immensly. Their quarrels in the neighborhood were infamous for gossip and other such means. One day, a new man moved into the neighborhood. Quietly, without disturbing the others, he managed to buy off the entire remained of the neighborhood, by explain to each neighbor that he was doing to combat this neighbor's fight with the other neighbor. Then one day, he grew strong, rich, famous, and bought over all the land."
Yusef took a deep breath. It was a dreadfully simple moral he had in mind, and one that the Ottomans had long since been thinking about. "Take Elias as one of the neighbors and take the Combine as the other. We must se the Elian hatred of the Combine, and visa versa, to liberate our the remained of the world. Use the Elians to get to Shareef from another angle. Work with the Combine in the case of...say, the Caucases. Move into the Horn of Africa with the Elians nd the Somalis, pretending to combat Rocyelandian aggression. Play both sides at once, then convince both sides that we work with them. Then war shall break out and we will end as the victors!"
As Yusef spoke, his voice steadily rose into a long crescendo. He reached the peak then and there. "The Sultan's brother believes the Depkazia and the Ottomans can make a new alliance, one powerful and rich enough (especially on oil and natural gas) to challenge...say, NATO, or even the Holy League. You understand, good Khagan?" He knew very well that the Khagan did. It was not a difficult plan to understand, nor even, to come up with, but he had decided to act like it was a masterstroke of genius. It was all part of playing Depkazia, and its Khagan, like a harp.
OOC: Once again, sorry about the quality. My creative juices have been running low over the past week.
Chingiz would not, continuing to stroke his chin from time to time.
While rare clouds passed in the crystal sky outside, shafts of light seemed, every once in a while, to creep across the library and jump suddenly back to where they'd started, and it was as if some celestial secretary had just reset the divine typewriter in readiness for the laying of a new line in worldly script. The jolt, apparently, shook dust from the shelves, for each time that the light returned, Khagan Depkazi was once more sprinkled in soft, vanishing rain.
Carried through the small windows on this side of the building, along with the light and any of its sacred inspiration, distant drill instruction and the fall of military-issue boots. Every passing minute, every convoluted diplomatic exchange, every resetting of the typewriter, seemed to be punctuated better than the last. The Khagan's hordes were learning soldiery, their heels and steps less the irregular clatter of keys and more the electric qualification of a modern computer.
Chingiz did not want to appear disinterested by or lost to the fables of the Ottoman, and he did worry, still, that they might be in pursuit of some aim in conflict with his own interest.
But he was already working towards his own ends. The Ottoman, perhaps, were coloured through to the bone by their introspection. Chingiz had named himself for one of history's greatest conquerors, and he meant to press on with provision of justification for that arrogance.
All this waiting around, playing enemies off against one another in the long term, this may keep an empire safe in isolation, but it does not a king make! Certainly no king of kings! Crack together the heads of your enemies on the night before battle, perhaps, give them not time enough to reassess their standings. By his confrontations, Chingiz had built two Bayliks under the Turkic Khaganate... what had the Ottoman done in the same time by their schemes, so subtle as to go unnoticed even by those who should act on them?
The Khagan had sponsored a Jihadi army against the Maharaja of Kashmir, and had greater plans for the adventure.
No, he shouldn't be afraid of these Osmanli, he'd concluded.
"Very well said, if perhaps untimely. The world has contracted since the barring of Ottoman borders. Armand has more neighbours than Elias, concerns to his left as well to his right. The world in turmoil, what do we gain by waiting? And how do I present my wrinkled, unaccomplished self, dead of old age, before paradise and expect to be believed for my sincerity in thinking it right to wait?
"Brothers, the Depkazi Turks are ahorse. We ride, a jihad of the sword, with urgency, east. The Libyans fight, and I am sure that the sons of Algiers will find the courage to join them.
"The global war that is in action today is one fought by European Christians and international atheists, but it is one that must be won by Islam. The time for waiting, watching, plotting, it is bygone.
"Act to shape it, or be left behind by it, for, today, the world changes!"
Samarqand wanted Istanbul at its shoulder, yes, but the young Khagan, hardly more than a teenager, had not yet known defeat. He'd achieved something -usually everything- at every attempt, and was only to be a good ally to one who shared Chingiz's vision, or who could make his own one that might coincidentally benefit from the Khagan's pursuit.
Still, Chingiz was offering some currency to support any Ottoman operation in Libya. That must mean something.
The Gupta Dynasty
Yusef was beginning to feel irritated by this continious talk of Islam, Islam, and Islam. He had never much of a devout believer, thinking more in the vein of "God does his stuff, I do mine". Sometimes, he did pray to the powers beyond his control, yes, but the constant reiteration of religion was beginning to get on his nerves. It was obvious that the other man took his religion (and his supposed "power") very seriously and Yusef was beginning to think that it may not have been worth talking to him in the first place. Perhaps the Khagan was just a fanatic, one who had gained control of a country, and one who was planning some insane venture. But the Khagan seemed anything bu insane to Yusef.
Thankfully, before he could let his feeling flow onto his face, Yusef's cell phone easily rang. There was only one person who could have been calling him at that time, on that number. Yusef raised his hands, seeminly rudely, and looked at the number appearing on the reverse side of the flip phone. He exhaled his breath, that he hadn't realised he was holding, quickly. It was the Sultan's brother Ibrahim, the man who had sent him on his venture on the first place. And there was only one reason he might have been calling. The Ottoman quickly hurried out of the room.
As Yusef sped into a safe area where no man was eavesdropping, the other man in the room opened his mouth and spoke in a soft, cultured baritone. Most likely, Chingiz had dismissed Omar Khayyam Basir as ornamentation, but the assassin was there for a simple reason; because he wanted to be there. It had not been part of the original plan to bring him along and Yusef Süleiman had always been a little uneasy about bringing him, but who had any choice in the matter? It was not as if anyone would try and disagree with the fearsome assassin.
"You misunderstand the Ottomans, Chingiz." It would have come as a surprise to the Khagan that the assassin used his first name, but he would probably not be one to tell the assassin not to. "You live in a simple world compared to us. The Ottoman Empire has to balance between East and West, Islam and Christianity. The Ottoman Empire has to agree with the Slavs and the Elians, the Soviets and the French. Depkazia can do, to a point, what it wants to. The Empire must tread a line. Yusef is trying all he can to protect the rights of his people. Yusef is -"
Before the assassin could finish talking, Yusef returned to the area. "I am afraid that Omar Khayyam Basir must leave immediately." he said, upon entering. "The Sultan's brother wishes his presence." Both sides knew what that meant. "I am afraid that I must return to the consulate as well. But I am glad to see what has been accomplished here. We wished for your help and we have it. You wished for our help and you have it. We may not agree on everything, but you are certainly allies and friends of the Ottoman Empire. If you want me, I am in the Consulate."
He hoped that that had not been too abrupt and rude. Within seconds, he decided to take a gamble. Grabbing the Khagan's hands, he spoke once more. "Mighty Khagan, I wish for you to know that both I and the Ottoman Empire regard you as a friend. We hoped you extend us the same." Both men swept out of the room.
OOC:I'll post the actual assassination and some other stuff later this weekend.
Thirty-million Yugoslavians, with Muslim dissent in their midst; a hundred-odd million Arabs afraid of even greater infiltration and silent for months, years at a time; the remote and increasingly assaulted French; and the Soviets, who are closer to my gate than the Ottomans'?
With this they qualify the difficulty of their position to a man on the border of a Russian Empire more than two hundred million strong, the even larger Armandian Combine, the Afghani warzone, and the largest nation on earth?
If they are not cowards, then I am truly heroic, emboldened directly by Allah!
Chingiz remained seated and quiet, thinking, as the Ottoman pair left Registan. He would take the title of the Khalīfah, after all. Clearly, the House of Osman lacked the desire to lead the community of Islam, and, besides, was insufficiently bold to manage it, anyway. The Khagan would attend to this as his next order of business, perhaps increasing the profile and appeal of his jihadi army as it marched to Peshwar, before the Sultan's brother had time to acquire the title for himself.