This story is the tale of the last defensible outpost in a world gobbled up by the sweet tyranny of Femina, a race of nations from the West. Most out-stations in the East put up a spirited fight before succumbing to the power of Feminas. Real warriors they were, worthy of respect and admiration for generations to come. Others, cowardly soldiers, conceded defeat without firing a single shot. This uniquely defensible island in the middle of the vast ocean had an air of mystery Feminas could not understand.
It started as a desert when approached from the South West. Here, it was nothing but sand, rock, and the scorching sun. Gradually, it changed from a barren land into a rain forest as you moved further up the coast with the rainforest just next to the middle part of its Western Coastline. Massive cliffs, as high as 200 metres above the coastline, dotted much of the Northwestern coast. No one knew what lay beyond this coastline or to the east because no one apart from the natives of that outpost had been there.
For this reason, outsiders called the outpost Susurros, Latin for whispers. Unconfirmed rumors spread around the world as people figured that the natives had to be protecting something. Why should they be so secretive about their island? Why should they ban outsiders from reaching the interior? One thing was sure. Feminas were on the warpath. They sent scouts to Susurros as they tried to figure out what lie in the interior. Some Femina nations wanted to pillage. Others wanted to colonize, and some desired nothing more than to destroy the island.
War was coming, and the natives knew it. They did their best to prepare for it, but the might of the Feminas was indisputable. To win the war against such adversaries was impossible. The best the people of Susurros could hope for was a peaceful and just settlement. One they could live with and still be proud that they negotiated better terms than most islands in the East did.
The General in charge of the defenses in Susurros went by the name of Akili. He was a tall, dark man with wrinkled skin, a haughty character, and gray hair. He seemed to have aged far beyond his years yet his military tactics had kept the island safe for years and the natives loved him for it. Roho and Mwili were his two lieutenants in charge of the army and navy respectively. Akili commanded the air force personally as he felt it was too important for Susurros’ security preparations to leave it to anyone else. He never trusted Roho and he always knew that Mwili was unreliable, but he had to work with them. The natives demanded it, and even he could not go contrary to the wishes of the locals.
For years, peace prevailed in Susurros as islands around it fell to various Femina nations. This fierce race of nations from the West had never lost a war. Timing was their most creative weapon. They struck at the most opportune time, when the natives and their soldiers slept oblivious to the forces amassing on their shoreline. Treachery was also a hallmark of their war effort. Rarely did an island fall without a traitor from within its ranks sharing secrets with them. Akili knew that he cannot win, no one ever wins, but he knew that he can fight for better terms of surrender, and he planned to do just that. If only Mwili were trustworthy or Roho reliable.
It did not come as a surprise to Akili when one of his air force commanders reported the sighting of a Femina battleship near the South West shoreline. It was slowly approaching the island, but you could hear the battle drums playing silently in the minds of the natives. War was here, and the finest battleship among the Femina nations had signaled the death of peace for the island. ‘The Seductress’ was on its way and nothing would ever be the same again.
The Seductress was a mighty ship, one of the best-built ships in the world. It had a wide berth that narrowed as you approached it ends. Rays of sunshine bounced off from the surface of the sea onto its bright gray body making it look like the sun itself. It had seven heavy caliber guns that could shoot two thousand pounds shells on the island while it stood thirteen miles away. This distance was beyond the reach of anti-naval guns in Susurros, which could only bomb targets ten miles away.
The sight of The Seductress confused the natives. It left them in awe, but it also left them fearful for they knew what was coming. They had come to terms with the inevitable. In fact, most of them wished for it though not on the same terms as the other islands had accepted it. Here it was, the mighty Seductress, announcing its presence without uttering a single word. It stopped eleven miles off the Susurrosian coastline and stayed there for three days. It was as if it was waiting for the local people to make the first move, to bow and plead for terms. If it only knew, Susurrosians had dug in for a long haul or at least Akili had.
Akili knew that the air force could not strike The Seductress, as it would look like an act of provocation since it was still in international waters. Who knows, it may find some interest in another island after some time. Provoking it would only make sure that the beautiful beast focuses on Susurros entirely. Besides, the response from their better-equipped and trained air force would be devastating for the island. It would also give them an excuse to disregard international law, violate Susurrosian airspace and look into its interior. They could not do this in any other way by air since space technology was still at rudimentary stages of development.
Hope that The Seductress would go away faded when Susurrosian army radar detected a Feminasian submarine approaching the South West as well. It was The Baby Trapper, moving intently, at a speed of 44 knots. Detecting this sleek and highly innovative war submarine is hard, but years of experience, watching islands fall helped the army, air force and navy to develop means of detecting it. In addition, the lighthouse at the tip of the Northwestern coastline reported sightings of a battle carrier known as The Intellectual.
The cliffs at this end of Susurros offer protection against would-be invaders naturally. However, The Intellectual is a launching pad for airborne ranchers who parachute into areas just past the cliff targeting the command center for the defense of the entire island. It is from here that Akili issues order to his troops and if that control center falls then so does the island.
The last report to come in before the Feminas fired the first shot was the approach of a Trojan horse, the Love Ship. It approached the middle part of the island with an emissary aboard it. The envoy, pleasing to the eye, noted the best efforts by the island to stay independent while insisting on unconditional surrender. Roho was at the meeting, and so was Akili. The emissary sensed that Roho was unwilling to go to war as he pondered over the words uttered by her, ‘Why are you so afraid of commitment?’ What a naïve person Roho was. It would not end at commitment.
Akili would later learn that Mwili had already betrayed Susurros. He was on board The Seductress having the time of his life. The Baby Trapper would then use the vital intelligence shared by him to counter defensive maneuvers by Akili. Mwili told The Baby Trapper where it could hit hard and quickly. This hit would destabilize the island while securing support from Roho.
The Femina forces surrounding the island invaded in full force. The natives tried to scatter for safety, but there was nothing where to run. No one could ever escape The Baby Trapper. It is smaller than The Seductress, but the bombs it carries pack a nuclear punch. You could hear screams, cries and shrieks for days as the natives tried to come to terms with their loss of freedom. Roho folded first, and then Akili followed suit.
It was over. Akili, powerless and defenseless, signed a treaty with the Femina nation that conquered the island. They called it, ‘A Marriage.’ He would no longer think as he wanted or move as he pleased. His thoughts, actions, and ideas were now subject to approval by the Femina nation overseeing him. Even a sneer from that nation was enough for him to know that he should arrest his thought process and pursue thoughts Feminas considered proper. It was for this reason that he fought so hard and so bravely to maintain his independence for as long as he could.