From the Desk Ammunition Crate of Chairman Mao

January 1936 Peace is an uneasy thing. Chiang, that traitorous bastard, lives. He controls the bulk of China. The Japanese remain a constant threat to the North and I highly doubt they¶re going to cede the land they have stolen without significant bloodshed. The question is whose blood will it be? Will it that of my people? Chiang¶s? Both?

I don¶t know what he¶s going to do. He¶s a real bastard, that one. I know I already said that, but it bears repeating. China needs a strong leader to guide it into a new era, not someone who¶s willing to play every side of an issue simultaneously.

So, Zhou, as this is just you and me, here¶s what we¶re going to do. Let¶s play: how do I take over China?

[Are you talking to yourself again, Chairman?]

Of course I am. Let¶s explain this for the readers back home:

We cannot take over China in the situation we are in right now. We¶re going to need one of two things to happen. We either need tremendous amounts of Soviet aide, so much that we can bury Chiang under an influx of Red Army surplus held in the hands of the troops of the People¶s Republic, or« we can get Chiang and the Japanese to duke it out, kill one another, and then waltz in to pick up the pieces.

Let¶s face it. We¶re not in the right place to do this on our own. We¶re going to need help, whether it¶s freely given or scavenged. If Red China is to rise, it will be on either the shoulders of Soviet giants or on the backs of our defeated enemies.

March 1936

Boosh. Shoulders of Soviet Giants here we come. Guess who just got back from Moscow, baby? I¶d never even seen a plane before today, but here I was, riding in one. At first, I thought someone had uncovered the radio frequencies and was playing a cruel joke on me, like that guy who lives a few towns over who thinks I¶m crazy for having marched for ages. Well, now who¶s laughing? I had lunch with Joseph Stalin today and he didn¶t. So there.

Moscow is a beautiful city. It¶s a workers paradise over there. Everyone has what they need, the land belongs to the people, and everyone gets what they want. It¶s the sort of thing I want to see happen in China. It¶s the sort of thing that will happen to China thanks to this handy piece of paper I managed to get signed. This lovely piece says, more or less, that I can now call upon the Soviets for help, should I need it, and if they can oblige me, boosh. Cash money. And troops too.

And they hate Chiang as much as I do! This could potentially be very, very helpful in ensuring my dominance.

May 1936

I went on a nice long walk with Zhou today. Among other things, we discussed the various institutes, centers for, and strategic task forces I was going to have to establish if I wanted to be successful. First thing I figure I have to found is the Chinese People¶s AntiJapanese Military and Political College.

We also talked about how to goad the Japanese. Stalin suggests I simply strike them, but their army is too big for me to knock on their door and attack. That would be suicidal. The architecture does not yet exist to send in crack squads whose job it is to lay down their lives in the pursuit of the higher goal. I may have to result to taunting them. Perhaps some care packages to Tokyo with undesirable things in them, to be delivered to the Emperor¶s doorstep.

Or not. I¶m not 12 anymore, Zhou. It¶s not like being attacked first by an enemy is a bad thing. I maintain it might be a good thing.

Chiang is up to something. I don¶t know what, but he¶s up to something. I should really try to get an agent into the KMT to allow me to better understand his goings on. I think I will.

Three Weeks Later

Agent Hu has successfully infiltrated the political circles of Nanking. He will report back to me regularly. He will hopefully provide me with much needed intelligence as to what Chiang is doing. Hu is going to be one of our top priorities in the coming days. We may need his services if Operation Running Dog is to go into effect.

August 1936

Westerners might not be so bad. Some will allow you to talk to them for prolonged periods of time and even put your words in print. All you have to do is come up with something for them to want to listen to and something they will want to write on. Had I known this would have happened, I would have dissolved that stupid truce with Chiang sooner.

They gobbled up everything I said as to why I had decided this false peace was no longer worth it like candy. Things I¶ve been saying and writing for years were new and unique to them. Chiang is a running dog? I¶ve been saying that stuff for at least a decade now. But all of a sudden, because I¶ve amassed troops at his border, its something new and amazing. It¶s weird, but I¶m not complaining. Its drawing in new recruits to the fold, and these guys are the ones who are going to fight the war.

This war with Chiang will be a trying time for all people. I trust in my ability to command my men so that we may retake China from the running dog. See, there I said it again. It¶s nothing new.

Hopefully, Hu will be able to relay valuable information back to save lives. I¶m not asking for him to broadcast where, when, and how many Nationalist troops are coming, but some advance warning of any sort would be nice.

October 1936

I said advance warning, Hu. Would it have killed you to say ³You there, idiot, you have undefended lands that Chiang is likely to walk into because you¶re defending the wrong places.´

It¶s been a bad few weeks for the glorious Red Army of the People¶s Republic of China. Too many good men have died and too much land has been loss. With these sustained losses, I¶m not sure that war against Chiang cannot be fought on conventional standards. I¶m going to have to fight a new sort of war, a war akin to that George Washington fought against the British. The true strength of our army must be with our support with the people of the lands we still control. We must unite the strength of the army with that of the people; we must strike the weak spots in the enemy's flanks, in his front, in his rear. We must make war everywhere and cause dispersal of his forces and dissipation of his strength.

That would be fine if our problem wasn¶t that we have less and less people to support us. Our attack on Honan yielded poorer results than we had hoped. It still remains in Chiang¶s filthy hands. He controls the Great Desert and Yunnan. Kansu and Mongolia still hold. The winter is coming upon us and I¶ve got no plans to go anywhere anytime soon. Chiang may be foolish and attempt an assault in the snow, but if he does, the weather will take care of him.

You¶ve really got to love the snow. It doesn¶t discriminate as to who goes into it. It treats everyone the same and turns us all into children. We all need our mommies to keep us warm and to remember to wear our mittens and drink our cocoa. As adults, our mittens may be larger and our cocoa may be spiked with schnapps, but we still need to keep warm. Troops need to keep warm. Especially in Northern China.

November 1936

Anybody order a single white immensity? Winter came early this year. The snow was fun to play in. The children played Communists and Running Dogs, pelting one another with snowballs and storming snowforts. Chiang did nothing against me this winter, which is wise.

Hu sent an interesting message a few days ago. It concerned the United Kingdom. I haven¶t honestly given them much thought, given that none of them are named Stalin, but from the sounds of it, Chiang has. Hu says that Chiang has been in deep talks with their foreign minister to create some sort of relationship akin to the one that I have with Stalin, giving him western backing. That could make things sticky for me, as they could provide him with troops and monetary backing. If British troops were used to fight Soviet troops in any future conflicts, that could lead to a major international incident that I¶m pretty sure Stalin doesn¶t want and I¶d be foolish to encourage.

I¶ve got to keep my ears peeled to the politics of the Western World. I want nothing to do with it, but if Chiang gets aide, I may need to tell Stalin to stop annoying me for money and instead turn around and pester him.

April 1937

Ha ha. Chiang¶s deals went nowhere. Hu tells me he shot a man in the face out of frustration. Good thing it wasn¶t Hu, otherwise I¶d be in a bad place. He is destitute, broke, and from what Hu says, out of cocoa. Hah. No cocoa. It¶s still cold, Chiang-y. You aren¶t going to get anywhere without any delicious, nutritious chocolate.

My piggybank problems may be over. As much as I would not like to talk the West, it has its benefits. France and the Soviet Union have officiated a formal relationship. Money will change hands there. And the money wont be mine! And what¶s even better, is if this fear of an accidental Anglo/Russo confrontation ever comes to pass, France can serve as a moderator. The British love the French. They¶re weird buddies like that. So weird that now they have an agreement like the one Stalin and France have. So now, if they really wanted to, the British could transfer a battalion of men to the French, who could change their uniforms and send them to the Soviets, who could reoutfit them with better weapons and give them to me. They¶d still speak English and do things for their Queen, but I could use them just like they were native Chinese troops. How weird is that?

But the best part is that if these guys are willing to talk to Stalin, they might be willing to talk to me and give me some recognition as the government of China. Their recognition could lead to money, which could in turn be used to kick Chiang into Hong Kong or Japan or somewhere like that.

Global politics, as much as I don¶t want to talk about it, has its benefits. News has its benefits. News has a sort of mystery sometimes and with recent events, one cannot really help but wonder, who are our enemies and who are our friends?

August 1937

Note to self: next time I instruct Hu to lay open the gates of Peking, I need to specify which gate I mean. I don¶t want to have to hear from a field commander that my super sneaky attack was met by a heavily fortified wall, which was in turn followed by a crack team of snipers, which was only followed up by an artillery barrage on my forces. There were no survivors.

That wasn¶t the plan, Hu. The plan was to test their mettle, take minimal losses, and report back with intelligence. I understand that in our struggle there will be sacrifices and fatal incidents will be common. We have to remember that when we think of the subjugated people under the thumbs of tyrannical landlords and Chiang¶s rule and the pain that they suffer daily, dying for them means dying for the right cause. I just wasn¶t expecting the death of everyone. I underestimated Chiang in this aspect, and this is something I will never do again.

But yeah, underestimating Chiang is something I need to learn to stop doing. I write this from Mongolia instead of Kansu because I underestimated him and decided to focus on the Japanese, who I¶ll discuss later. I¶ve lost my industrial base. That kind of hurt, especially as I know the factories in the production district are being retooled for use against me.

The moral of the story is this: focus on the person who¶s actually at war with you, not the person you think is going to be at war with you. Besides, I have it from Po that they¶re at least a year away from engaging in an assault on the mainland.

Po is my new man in Tokyo. Hu had been training him in Nanking as one of his aides. He¶s vital as he speaks fluent Japanese. Chiang hasn¶t discouraged people from learning that heathen language, it seems, so why not take advantage of it? Po managed to somehow, and I don¶t know how because I thought they were in the middle of a naval blockade of all Chinese vessels, get into Japan. He now runs a sushi restaurant in Tokyo

frequented by several officials high up in the army. Apparently Admiral Yamamoto, or at least the person who picks up his lunch, is not a fan of overly spicy sushi. Who knew?

December 24, 1937

December 24. This is a day that Christians consider to be the birth of their Lord, Jesus Christ. This is the first time in months that I have been able to set pen to paper without fear of my blood serving as the ink. I am a leader without a land, a commander without a command post, a nationalist without a nation. I cannot comment as to where I am right now in fears of this falling into the wrong hands. Chiang has committed the ultimate betrayal. On the morning of October 14, 1937 a scout approached my command quarters with the most distressing news. My chairman, he gasped, the Japanese approach. He sought aide from the infernal Japanese. I have known for a long time that the Japanese planned to assault me. I knew it was coming from the moment they framed me for a terrorist attack against innocent civilians in Manchuria that I did not commit. I had prepared for them, fortifying my border with their adjacent province in hopes of dissuading them from making any sudden movements. I had not prepared for their mobile assault that would wipe out the initial border patrol. They came at me with tanks moving far faster than I had ever expected a tank to move. These were not things I was aware they possessed. They must have been gifts from that fool Hitler, remnants of his successful Spanish Civil War. My initial fortress fell, and I had hoped my defenses would hold. October 21 saw a renewal of the assault, with different results. Having learned from my mistakes, I employed new tactics that resulted in their small advancing party being wiped out. I was hopeful, foolishly. Perhaps I could hold them off. Perhaps I could call in Soviet reinforcements. Such a fool was I. Skirmishes were delayed until November 3, when Chiang, sensing weakness, attacked me from the Great Desert. This was terrain I was familiar with, and I spoiled any attempts he had of a victory. My troops were unseen to him, like the wind is unseen to us all. Amazingly, they all returned, though none of Chiang¶s dogs were slaughtered that day. That would prove to be a mistake, as they returned four days later from Kansu. My losses were less severe; Chiang would be triumphant one week later. November 14, 1937, my headquarters was overrun. I have spent the last 40 days wandering in the desert.

Today is the date that Christians consider to be the birth of their lord. Today shall go down as the heralding of a second birth as well. Today, Mao Zedong was truly born. I cannot treat this conflict as I had initially thought I would be able to. I cannot worry about how I am going to field an army. The troops will come. There are far too many loyal to me throughout China who are willing to take up the banner of the cause and fight for it. I must become like the wind; be everywhere and nowhere. Wherever Chiang looks, Mao will be there. I must transcend the possibilities of what is possible and realize that I must serve a higher purpose. There will be no mercy. The attacks will be swift and serve the purpose of throwing Chiang off his balance. If I must become a guerilla to survive, so be it. I will become the greatest guerilla warrior the world has ever known. Tomorrow, the war begins. But tonight, we rest as we celebrate the birth of our renewed confidence.

PS- Po needs to listen better. Maybe Hu has not trained him well enough.

March 1938

I am a terrifying and opposing figure! Or at least that¶s how I wish the Japanese saw me. They¶ve moved rearm their troops with new weapons, but they apparently don¶t value my war with them as a major conflict. Po said it had something to do with the fact that ³a war against someone who doesn¶t have any land isn¶t exactly a war.´ But it is against Chiang!

Stupid Japan.

As for Chiang, despite rallying a superior force of dedicated soldiers against a weakly defended Nanking, the city held. That infuriates me. I mean, that city should have fallen. And if I had taken it, I could have enacted land reforms that would dampen Chiang¶s following and force him to come to terms with the Japanese threat.

He just annoys me, that¶s all. I mean, the man is responsible for the promotion of fascist policies akin to those of Japan upon the subjugated people of Greater China. He puts on a pleasant face to the British, who seek to make him their lap dog and expand their colonial interests in China. Why they oblige his requests, I really don¶t know. I fail to see how someone even as stupid as he is doesn¶t see this. They don¶t care about China; all they care about is their precious oil field next to China. I hope Chiang¶s puppets enjoyed having to do the official dance of the British Royal Court. I hear they make him actually dance. Their parliament is weird like that.

June 1938

Oh yeah. Plans that come together are the greatest sorts of plans in the world. Hu managed to finally get a diversion right. Through drips and leaks, the KMT thinks that my forces are primed to assault a city again. Totally not the case.

I managed to mobilize my network of rural southern supporters that the time for revolution was ripe and that they should throw off their agrarian based shackles and join my forces. They were given arms and flags and little portraits of me to wave along with a book on do it yourself sloganeering. It worked. Yunnan, Kwangsi, Ichang, Fujien, and Wuhan have formed a new agrarian empire where all land is equally distributed amongst those who work it. Kweichow was supposed to have joined it and given us an industrial base with which to reinforce the peasants, but Chiang got wind of my plans and garrisoned the factories.

This is bad for two reasons: 1) I won¶t be able to hold my empire. If I can¶t produce the weapons to arm my people, Chiang will retake the land. I may as well try to march back north and reclaim Mongolia and Kansu in that case. This southern empire is nice, and the fact that I could technically go home is great, but Northern China just seems to speak to me. You can¶t survive a death march, become a leader, and then wage a war from a snowy fortress and then expect to be perfectly happy back south.

2) If Chiang knew about this, what else does he know? Have I been compromised? It was easy to place Hu and Po. Could it be just as easy for him to get someone to masquerade as one of my loyal supporters and report back to him?

Oh yeah, and then there¶s problem #3: Are Russia and Japan at war? Seriously. That¶s a completely valid question. A skirmish, not authorized by anyone happened and lives were lost. Po¶s business has been booming as Japanese officials are forced to work late nights and drink their frustrations away. It seems that they didn¶t give the order. It just happened.

Stalin¶s pissed. I could use this to my advantage if he joins the fight against the Japanese and backs me to do some of his dirty work. He could draw the Japanese assault, but I hear he¶s not ready. Something about ³I need to interrogate Zhukov more.´ No clue what that means.

December 1938

I have abandoned the South entirely. Let Chiang expend the forces to retake those provinces if he desires them. Let him call upon his friends in the United Kingdom to supply aide to him in their airdrops. I could do the same exact thing with superior Soviet forces if I wanted to. I¶m only one step away from the powerbase that Chiang forced me to build five years ago.

It¶s cold now. The snow is brisk against my skin, but I have my cocoa to comfort me. The cold reminds me that I¶m alive and that no matter how hard he tries, Chiang isn¶t about to get me to surrender. Let¶s go north.

April 1939

Hail, Hail Mongolia! Land of the brave and free!

It is SO good to be back. Chiang stupidly seems to have kept my fortifications as I left them, which is all the better for me. I can build them up, make them stronger, better, sturdier than before. My liquor cabinet lock seems to have befuddled all comers. A few bottles were shot at through the closed doors, but none of the good stuff was destroyed. Drinks would prove to be needed when I learned that Japan has begun to dig its tentacles deeper into ancient Chinese lands and build up two massive factories in Manchuria. I don¶t know where they¶re going, but I don¶t like it. I don¶t want any Japanese workers building weapons on Chinese soil. They must be destroyed. I should really formulate some sort of plan to go after them, but I¶ve a year before anything significant happens there. These things take time. I can wait.

June 1939

Chiang concedes! A halting of strife in our time! We are absolutely right back where we started! That means I technically win!

Okay, so Hu noted that there were talks of possibly putting an end to the war due to the Japanese recent industrial expansion, but I didn¶t think he was serious. But I was wrong. A few days later, a courier arrived with an assault rifle and an invitation to Nanking to discuss a cessation of strife due to the Japanese threat. The gun was supposed to be some sort of token of good will to ensure me that Chiang wasn¶t about to kill me as I was allowed to bring it into talks with me.

I was sorely tempted to use it against Chiang when I saw him, but I figured that since he was being nice, I wouldn¶t shoot him in the face.

I arrived in Nanking a few days later, hating absolutely everything I saw and hoping that no one had any desire to kill me. Some peasants cheered when they saw me, some landlords sneered when they heard I was near. I didn¶t care. I was there to get Chiang to stop shooting and to agree to at least one absurd term. Personally, I was hoping to get some antique scotch from his British backers or a silly hat.

Chiang greeted me coldly when I finally arrived at his office. I noticed he had a significantly bigger gun perched on his desk, far superior to the one he gave me. As an icebreaker, I complimented him on his superior firearm. It felt weird. We both acknowledged that it was one of the weirder things one person had ever sad to another. Ignoring my obvious social faux pas, we moved on to the reason we were here.

I demanded all of China. He threatened to shoot me. I insisted that he declare war on the Japanese. He sad he¶d think about it and started cleaning a dagger he kept in a drawer. I declared that all land was to go to the people. He suggested I jump out a window. Finally,

I motioned that I keep all land I have right now. He agreed to that one. He also agreed to work with me on matters concerning Japan. But most importantly, I got my silly hat.

War is over. For now. I don¶t trust Chiang more than I can throw him. I don¶t know how committed he is to actually doing anything against the Japanese, but it¶s good to have this, even if it is only temporary.

October 1939

There isn¶t much happening these past few months. Winter is coming, I¶m at peace, and Stalin seems to be happier latterly. Now that I have all this free time, I suppose I should check in with my spy network.

Hu: With the recent peace accord between Communist and Nationalist forces, there hasn¶t been much talk of skewering Mao¶s head and placing it on a pike as of late. Things have calmed down to the extent that some communist loyalists in major cities are free to wear their hats again without fear of savage reprisal. Chiang has moved to consolidate his control over the industrial bases of China, offering plush rewards and contracts to all ³titans´ of industry who can increase their efficiency to near suicidal levels. Workers are oppressed harder than ever before and seem riper for revolution than ever. No talks are seen between Chiang and Japan, but the push to increase army size makes it seem more likely than ever that war between the Empire and the KMT is actually coming.

Will report more as I learn it. Agent Hu out.

Po: Yamamoto really dislikes spicy food. Met him for the first time a few months ago. Put enough sake on the house to learn that he¶s angry. He¶s upset that no one seems to take him seriously and that his navy is being ignored. Feels he should be doing something. Navy being ignored means that army is being built up. Attempting to find army leaders and ply them similarly. Will hopefully have more results in near future. Certain figures worried about someone named Zhukov, but glad that the Soviet Union is occupied in Finland.

Will report more as I learn it. Agent Po out.

March 1940

Japan is going to open another factory in Manchuria. I really don¶t understand this. Why are they spending so much effort on building their industrial base? They don¶t have the resources to support it. Their factories aren¶t running at optimal capacity. If Chiang is doing one thing right, he¶s at least ensuring that the Chinese factories are fed with enough resources. Even idiots can get some things right sometimes, but not Japan. They¶re perfectly content to build three major industrial parks in Manchuria and not ensure they have the proper resources with which to make things work.

Po reported in. Yamamoto continues to be an angry drunk, but a belligerent drunk that shares my sentiments. He knows his country is failing in its purpose right now. This is fantastic for me. If Po can convince Yamamoto to challenge the army leaders, they might go after Chiang to claim their resources. Remember that little drunken argument I had way back when with myself? If I can get them to duke it out, and if I helped, I can waltz into any undefended lands and rally the people to overthrow their oppressors while the tools of Chiang¶s regime do battle with the Japanese. Of course I¶ll help. They¶re the Japanese. They deserve to be punched in the face. They want to be shot at. They consider dying for the glory of their emperor to be the highest honor they can achieve.

They treat their emperor as if he was a god. That¶s just wrong. This may just be my problem with organized religion talking, but man isn¶t divine. There are certain things that may feel divine (alcohol, women, cocoa), there are certain things that may sound divine (the sound Chiang made when Hu stole his pen knife), but there isn¶t anything that is actually divine. Especially not a person. That goes double for someone who thinks that factories work well when not fully staffed with resources.

Their idiocy may be their weakness. Perhaps a strike sooner than later is the best idea.

June 1940


But the feud isn¶t between Chiang and myself. This time, the strife is between the united forces of Chiang and I against the Japanese curs. Things are going to be different. We¶re going to kick them out of Manchuria, force them into peace on our terms, and for once, I¶m not going to be forced to retreat from my stronghold. I¶ve even instructed all loyal workers to help the war effort by fashioning their own weapons in their home forges.

After months of consultation with Chiang¶s people in Nanking, we agreed on a summer campaign. The Japanese would be weaker then. He and I would assault into Jehol and try to capture the Japanese army by surprise, taking as many of them down with us as we can and then drive into the industrial powerhouse of Mukden and Soviet border of Tshwhatsit. From there, we threaten Chosen and will sue the Japanese for peace, letting them know their days of colonial possession are behind them. There¶s no way I could see an invasion of Japan ever occurring by either my or Chiang¶s forces, so a peace suit with terms and conditions highly favorable to Chiang and myself is the best possible outcome that could come from this. If things go well, perhaps the Soviets could even be persuaded to join in and allow us access to their port to take on the Japanese navy.

Chiang is eager to help in this planning. If there¶s one thing we can agree upon, it¶s our hatred of Japan. We hate those guys. More than we may hate one another. The troops move out in 5:00 hours. The battle could be bloody, but I feel with our combined forces, we will emerge victorious.

Maybe I can trust him. For once.

July 1940

Hey, where are all the Japanese troops? I¶m walking through their lands, but they¶re not here. That¶s odd.

December 1940

Oh, they were in Mukden. All of them. The entire Japanese army somehow managed to magically clear out of the lands that we were attacking and build up in strength in Manchuria¶s industrial powerhouse while my forces skipped through Jehol and Tshimabob. What a magical coincidence.

Chiang has betrayed me. There is no way that the Japanese were able to not only avoid our initial assault and cede ground bloodlessly but also return in greater numbers and reclaim Tshiy. They wiped out my entire garrison. All of those brave men who marched forwards in an attempt to expel the foreign invader are gone. Not a one of them remains. I personally marched with a regiment. It was a combination morale booster for the troops and pacifier for me. I needed to see some action, kill somebody. Get drunk and set fire to something that I wasn¶t responsible for cleaning up.

As I marched with my men, we were flanked out of Chosen. They had us surrounded and severely outnumbered. I called out to them to be brave in the face of the enemy, to remember all we had fought for and the honorable death of those who had come before us. This was our land. This was native Chinese soil. They were nothing more than filthy Japanese who needed our precious resources to survive.

The bloodshed was massive. We were simply outnumbered. I¶m amazed I managed to escape, but I somehow managed to flee the scene. I feel guilty for being alive. Why did everyone around me perish and I managed to escape with only minor bruises. What gave me the foresight to bring a bicycle into a war zone (more on that later)

When I finally returned to our headquarters, I called together all of our followers and I proceeded to give what is the longest speech of my life. I spent eight hours berating the Japanese. I called them murderers. I called them torturers. I called down the wrath of the ancestors. I pledged to destroy every last one of them. I think at one point I plotted to poison the ocean and starve them to death. I don¶t remember all of the details. I tend to do these things from the cuff, so there isn¶t a written record.

What I do remember is going into a rage once I discovered that the very bicycle that ferried me to safety was Japanese made. No wonder it was a worthless piece of garbage that threw me over the handlebars. No wonder I¶ve been wearing leather gloves for the past few weeks as my hands were injured in said accident. No wonder the breaks make too much noise when I activate them. It¶s a filthy Japanese product! It¶s worthless! It¶s not fit to carry me as I ride on it, especially as I ride into battle. Never again shall I ride a bicycle into the theater of war, especially not that bike.

As I write this, the bike is in several pieces. At the end of my bicycle denouncement, which was the end of my speech, I grabbed a flaming torch and set the bicycle on fire. I didn¶t realize those things burned like that, otherwise I probably wouldn¶t have done it. After dousing the flames out, I invited several of my followers to join me in beating the charred frame with rocks and shooting the tires. The bike has been ruined. But it¶s okay. I¶ve already found a new one. This is a sturdy, reliable, CCP made bike. This is a bike I can ride proudly without fear of it trying to betray me. This is the Mao ZeBicycle!

Chiang had some sort of speech in Nanking too, but I didn¶t care. Something about Poland or something, which is an insignificant country that invaded another insignificant, but much stronger country.

Stalin spoke as well. His idiot general (not the one he spent time questioning) stood in the background and upstaged him at the end with a ridiculous remark. I don¶t know why Stalin didn¶t shoot him there. I personally would have. Upstaging a great leader like Stalin at the end of a speech. Such insolence. At least he deployed an armored division

once he was done. I can¶t wait to command one of those against the Japanese and/or Chiang.

March 1941

Japan finds new ways to annoy me every day. The entire expeditionary force that was supposed to struggle valiantly against the Japanese has fulfilled its purpose. They¶ve struggled all right, and valiantly too, but they seem to have forgotten the whole surviving part while they were at it. They¶re gone. All gone. Jehol has fallen back into Japanese hands. That strike, as well intentioned as it was meant to be, was meaningless. Po reports gloating Japanese army commanders toasting one another for throwing the ³Red Fool´ out of the way.

Red Fool. I¶ll show them. Mao is not one to be trifled with. Especially not since they have angered Chiang as well by invading an unguarded province in the South. Kwangsi, which was so lovely all those summers ago, is now in Japanese hands. They flew in like raiders in the night and made off with the governor, replacing him with one of their own. Chiang is sure to be furious at this turn of events, and now that he has direct access to Jehol again, we should be able to renew our assault.

On the diplomatic front, things have gotten urgent. My attempts to create a stronger relationship with Moscow were thrown onto the back burner when the sounds of Panzer tanks were heard thundering into Soviet territory. War exists between the German Reich and the Soviet Motherland. Hopefully this will make him realize that my assaults on the Japanese were justified, as now he too is fighting fascists.

I released the following statement praising Stalin and wishing him well: ³Despite the recent harsh words from Comrade Stalin on my completely justified assault on Japan, I must take up my pen to wish him well in his destruction of the Nazi curs. May they rue the day they invaded the Soviet Union! May this foolish assault bring shame to their ancestors for 10,000 generations! Long life to the Soviet Union! Long life to the People¶s Republic!´

10,000 generations. That¶s an awfully long time. I mean, if a single generation is genealogically defined as the time span between the birth of a daughter and the birth of the daughter¶s first daughter, that¶s what? 25? 30 years? Can we say 27 for the sake of argument? So I¶m condemning the Nazis for 27,000 years. That is an awfully long time. Hopefully Stalin will hear it.

Feh. They deserve it.

August 1941

He heard it! Yay! I made it into Stalin¶s May Day speech rallying the workers to defend the motherland! He totally stole that idea from me, by the way. The whole ³oh, take up arms and defend your country! Lead your own resistances! Do not let the vile [foreign] invaders take what is rightfully yours!´ bit is totally my routine. Works well for him. I especially hope it serves him well in the coming days, as the Great Gates of Kiev were thrown open and German armor powered into them.

He just needs to remain strong while I fight the Japanese. Once he expels the invaders and cranks up his war production, he can start sending me Soviet troops to fight my battles too. That is if he ever bothers to sign that piece of parchment I keep putting on his desk. It¶s been nearly a year now. He¶ll expel the invaders through the superior forces of the Soviet General Old Man Winter and then he can turn to helping me with my offenses.

And I could really use the help. These probes into Japanese territory aren¶t nearly as effective as I hoped. Japan loses a scant few compared to my losses.

And something¶s up. Hu and Po haven¶t provided much useful chatter lately. They don¶t talk to me as much as they should. Chiang has been unreachable as of late, even to discuss further war plans, which I seem to be the only one doing. Why isn¶t Chiang moving to retake his lost territory?

This seriously worries me.

September 1941


October 1941

Good God, is it really October? Did I really just spend the past three weeks in an alcoholic stupor? Where did all of these people come from that look like they¶ve a month dancing? What is this ridiculous tattoo come and what is that smell?

«oh, wait. That¶s me«

Chiang is a running dog. He is a traitor. He is a very not nice person. One could say that he is a


In the mean time, the Chairman has spent the past three weeks in a constant state of drunkenness. He commanded a troop of drummers and pipers to follow him around at all times in case ³I feel the need to express myself!´ I don¶t know where he got the poppies or the opium. It¶s not like him to indulge like this, but given the situation, I didn¶t stop him, and because I didn¶t lay a finger on him, no one else dared. It would have been fine if it was just him, but he managed to convince a band of young people to join him in his festivities. Hopefully none of them will be able to prove parentage. I¶m fairly certain at one point, he proclaimed that he was ³Captain Lavender of the Hep Cat Star Children, Here to free our minds and bodies from Chiangy Wangy and the Japanese Squares.´ At this point I started to restrict the amount of alcohol he was getting, but he found more whenever I cut his flow off. At the end he just passed out and I made sure didn¶t die. This is the first time he¶s been coherent enough to write. I should probably give him his pen back now. - Zhou]

And that¶s to say nothing of his mother.

So there¶s a new order, is there? In with the old, out with the new? Let peace and prosperity reign in their fascist little world. Chiang wants to be the American housewife, who fetches her husband¶s slippers and pipe once he returns home from work and tends to his every need, unquestioning and obedient, as anything else would go against their way.

That¶s a load of crap, that¶s what that is. Their supposed new order is built on the back of the workers. I always knew Chiang was a fascist flunky. Tried to warn the world. Did they listen? No. They just thought it was silly old Chairman Mao and one of his silly speeches. Now who¶s the silly one?

The British actually sent me a box the other day. Filled with toffees and sweets and alcohol. At least there was alcohol. They felt awful for being duped. Wanted to start talks with me. I¶ll entertain them if they¶re willing to send me troops. France sure can¶t use them right now.

Po and Hu have gone into hiding for the time being. Po managed to pass his disappearance off as a vacation, keeping the shop open by means of his employees. Hu just hid. He can always chalk it off as fear of uncertainty with the whole fascist coup parading around China.


He¶ll pay for this, oh, he will pay.

In the mean time, I should really take a bath.

March 1942

Greetings from sunny Venezuela!

So the recent troubles in Asia have got you down? Forget about them! There are no Japanese here. Here, there is no Chinese Civil War. Just sandy beaches and sunny skies. There are these delicious finger foods called tapas that can be eaten either warm or cold. It¶s amazing. I¶ve staked out a perfect area to serve as the new Summer Home of the People.

I am not being delusional. I am not trying to compensate for having Mongolia overrun by Japanese forces after Chiang took Kansu and my production base. I am not trying to come to terms with the massive Soviet losses this past season or to the addition of another country to the fray. What would give you that idea?

This whole thing was Wilkie¶s doing. He¶s the one who suggested that the People¶s Republic gain tighter ties with Latin America. Really. He told me to pick a country, any country. So I picked Venezuela. Crazier things have happened on the heels of a successful book tour. I can only imagine what his ulterior motive for me settling down here was, but I don¶t care. It¶s sunny. And warm. And I like it. I don¶t think I¶m going to leave any time soon.

I¶m not exactly sure if I can leave any time soon, to tell you the truth. I¶d hate to be stuck here while China suffers, but I don¶t see how I could sneak back in.

July 1942

I¶m back!

A phony mustache should not be such a convincing disguise. Yes, I was fortunate that every individual who could have been detrimental to my flight back to China were possibly the most thickheaded individuals ever, but I¶m back.

This is most likely due to the fact that the Japanese have decided to continue their involvement with Asian politics. All Soviet lands that bordered China are now Japanese. They plowed in and took nearly all lands east of Moscow, somehow crossing through Siberia and over the Ural mountains in a single season. I personally thought that was impossible, to be honest, but they did it.

The Soviets continue to bleed territory to the Italian and German invaders. There are simply too many fascists fighting the Red Army for them to keep their head above water. At this point, it looks like neither of my ideal states will be possible. They¶re not going to be able to give me support and Chiang isn¶t going to go against the Japanese.

Can Communism survive? That is a serious question I¶ve got to ask myself. The Western powers are content to sit on their hands and play politics, but right now, the Nazi war machine grows in power and will soon be able to turn and face Europe. Fascism could potentially enslave the world. France has constituted a new government that seems content to establish a religion and engage in some socialist reforms. The United Kingdom is busy with elections. America does nothing. It looks like I may have to cease not caring about the West and work with Stalin to try to convince them to come to our aide.

Ugh. I need a drink.

December 1942

Stalin continues to lose land. The West dithers. Germany sends a squad of its new jackbooted thugs into an Italian province and bloodlessly (ha) proclaims it their own. Chiang and Japan sign an increased alliance. They can now send him massive amounts of troops and aid packages should I ever make my way out of this cave complex. Po and Hu report massive amounts of gloating on both sides. High fives and drinks for everyone.

Whoopdie freaking do.

Times like this, while you watch your life, your dreams of empire, your ambitions, your hopes and aspirations slide out of view, you have to dance. And drink. And taunt those who seek to oppress you. Because there¶s nothing else to do.

The following letter was delivered at great personal cost to the senders: To: Chiang, Japan, All the Doubters Out There

Don¶t call it a comeback! I¶ve been here all year! Rockin¶ my peers, putting suckers in fear. Watching the rain and snow fall down like a monsoon; listen to the cannons go boom. They said I should have been imprisoned and in a torture chair, instead I¶m in Yenan and the troops are still here. The Chairman¶s home, the Chairman¶s home. Let¶s celebrate it all with a drink of Patron. For lack of a better word, I¶ve got my drink and no goosestep, my drink and no goosestep. It¶s on, Chiang, it¶s on. Get the Patron and tell¶em that it¶s on.

Watch out, haters. -Mao

I eagerly await their response.

April 1943

Moscow has fallen.

I have retaken Mongolia, Jehol, and Tshimicallit, but they all seem to be insignificant trifles right now. Moscow has fallen.

[The following is the Chairman¶s prepared statement on the events of the past few months. There was, of course, a speech. He¶s too depressed to keep writing, so I suppose I should enter this into the book to ensure it gets noted ± Z]

It is nice to have my desk back. Writing proclamations on that portable ammunitions crate was cramping my wrist and hurting my back. Today I stand to write on several things. First, the situation in the Soviet Union is obviously a bleak one. It troubles me greatly to have read of the fall of Moscow, a city I have grown to respect immensely and come to value the kind people and honest officials. My dealings with Comrade Stalin and his generals were fair and forthright in the Kremlin and it angers me to think that the same chairs that the good Comrade and I sat in and smoked cigars in are currently being occupied by Nazi and Italian invaders. I hope, for their safety, that all pertinent Soviet officials have fled. I urge the citizens of Moscow to take up arms and expel the mongrel invaders and return Comrade Stalin to his rightful seat.

The second point I must raise my pen towards are the recent goings on in the heart of Nazi Germany. There are men, separate from the German army, going about for an unspecified purpose. If the rumors are to be believed, there are camps in the works that serve an unknown purpose. But if the rumors are to be believed, there are people being shipped to these camps. These camps distress me greatly. They remind me of my own march and the harsh conditions I was forced to endure as I fled with my people into safety. There is a man in France who has stated that Jews are those who others consider to be a Jew. He further goes on to state that if the Jews did not exist, another stereotype would be created to fill their place. I suppose then, to Chiang and the Japanese, I¶m

nothing but another Jew for the combined forces of the Axis to exterminate. [I¶m not sure what he¶s getting to here. No such writer exists, as far as I know, but I could be wrong ± Z]

I¶m not about to let that happen.

This brings me to my final point. I call out to the brave soldiers of the army of Chiang Kai Shek. I have taken strides to do the things that he refuses to do. I am the one who has entered Manchuria and begin to reclaim it under the banner of China. I am the one who seeks to drive the Japanese traitors out of our lands. It is I, Mao Zedong, who has done these things. I return to the offer I made earlier: join me. My cause is just. Abandon your posts and join me in Manchuria to reclaim the land that is rightfully ours!

Japan: All your industrial bases belong to me. You have no chance to survive; make good use of your remaining time on this continent. You are on your way to destruction.

[Oh great. The drummers and pipers are back. I need to get him out of here before he spends another month in a haze]

July 1943

Rather than spend more time enjoying myself and not remembering it, I¶ve decided to be productive. I sent Zhou to the United States. While he was out, Chiang and the Japanese retook everything I had worked so hard to take, forcing me back into these caves, but Zhou had a good time.

[Greetings from the United States. I managed to secure British transport out of India while they were busy calling up the League of Nations, an organization that we would like to be a member of, but due to Chiang holding the designated China seat, are not. The United States, despite its official policy of neutrality, took kindly to the British call to formally condemn Nazi Germany, which I took as my signal to attempt diplomatic maneuvers with the West. Mao has forgotten at times that my prestige with the West is far greater than his and that, frankly, I¶m a better statesman. I speak English and French, a fact he often forgets. He¶s a big ideas person. I work on the details. I admire him greatly for his ability to see things in the big picture, but diplomatic finesse demands that attention be paid to the smaller facts.

I snuck my way out of China and in to India, where a British plane met me under orders from their foreign minister to take me to Paris and then put me on a steam ship bound for New York. Despite the tumultuous relationship between our peoples, the UK sprung for a first class suite. Note: Perhaps diplomatic channels would accept an official relationship with terms attached.

I arrived in New York and was greeted warmly by an organization of missionaries sympathetic to our cause. I abstained from revealing my opinions of their work and politely declined their pamphlets. From New York, I boarded a train to Washington, where I had managed to obtain an audience with several Congressional aides who were at work on a modified immigration law that would impact the way the United States dealt with a specific class of refugees.

It was clear to me that they meant well educated European Jews who were coming under intense pressure from Nazi Germany, but this was to be the in I was looking for to get some aide, even if it was solely symbolic, to our cause from the United States.

After hours of negotiation, multiple pots of tea, and the promise that I¶d get the Chairman to stop putting on ballets, I emerged victorious. The United States called on all concerned citizens to voluntarily boycott Japanese goods and cease doing business with Japanese companies. Estimates show that this will cripple their oil intake, which up to this time was being supplied by American conglomerates.

I returned to New York a happy man. On my last night there, I saw a production of a curious musical, ³Oklahoma!´ It detailed the life of agrarian workers in the early 20th century. There¶s no way Americans sing as much as these people did. Figuring Mao could possibly enjoy it (or at least use it as a less destructive habit), I purchased a phonograph to join the Chairman¶s eclectic phonograph collection.

I returned home successful. Now let us see if the Chairman can parlay this diplomatic success into military success in the field.

Zhou out.]

This record is phenomenal. Rogers and Hammerstein are geniuses.

December 1943

Three major developments have occurred, two relate to heads of state and one deals with Chiang.

First, the West. Zhou¶s mission has been more successful than he could have ever hoped for. The American president Roosevelt has decreed that all American businesses are to cancel their contracts with Japan, effective immediately. No resources are to be gained from American shipping lanes. Japan must now look elsewhere to fuel their war machine. Further ³naked aggression´ on the part of the Japanese could potentially lead to American entrance into the Pacific theater to take down Japan.

While he was returning, Zhou made a quick stopover in Paris and met with one M. Laval, who despite being a lesser fascist and a westerner, was willing to possibly give us money. Despite being Westerners, the French seem all right. They have that Thorez guy. I like him. He¶s a communist, like me! He speaks for prolonged periods against a fascist who controls parts of his country, like me! He held the speech record for a brief period of time, but I took it back from him. He¶s a good guy. He¶d make a great leader of a fanatical populist resistance. They also work with the Soviet Union, so any friend of the Soviet Union is a friend of the People¶s Republic.

Second, Soviet relations. Though it has been obvious to everyone for ages now, Stalin and I are buddies. We just didn¶t have a ³treaty´ with one another, something I have long lamented. That has thankfully changed. Stalin felt it was finally time to do so as I had some spare cash lying around that he sorely needed to try to break out of his snow fortress.

Third, and possibly most significantly, Chiang. Po and Hu have been sending in more reports this last week than they have for a year. Something is rotten in the city of Tokyo. Chiang had apparently been ordered to move against the Soviets and aide the Japanese in their attempts to flush out Stalin, but he refused. More than simply refusing, he demanded

Manchuria be handed over to the KMT as he felt that given my most recent skirmishes, Japan was unable to safely ³maintain order.´

This is huge. If Chiang and Japan are to dissolve their ties between one another, I may still stand a chance of claiming China. A protracted war between the two of them could lead to me cleaning up their mess and using my [He means my] friends in the West to force Chiang and Japan to recognize my government and my authority.

Telling Japan that he¶s not their lapdog (comical, given the fact that he is a running dog) is one thing. He needs to follow the words up with actions and the actions up with military maneuvers against Japan. Then we¶ll see if he¶s really changed, or if he¶s just doing this for the show.

April 1944

Greetings from Siberia!

It is really, really, really cold up here. I know there¶s significant diplomatic wrangling going on right now concerning the status of Czechoslovakia or Slovakia or whatever they wish to call that country, but I¶m in Siberia! I took a possession away from the Japanese that was once Stalin¶s. That makes me more effective than that dunderheaded nonZhukov general of his.

I think this calls for the drummers and pipers.

[An Interlude

The Chairman seems to have lost sight of the true mission. Those infernal drummers and pipers addle his mind whenever they¶re brought in and he makes horrible decisions under their influence. We have no reason to be in Siberia. It¶s not our fight to reclaim Stalin¶s lost ground. Those forces should have driven south to Kansu to reclaim our industrial base so that we can produce new weapons. The ones we are using are antiquated. The attempts to cause Chiang¶s forces to desert his cause aren¶t working. If anything, he¶s emboldening them. I¶m going to have to sit down with Mao and tell him to knock off the northern advances or I¶m going to start turning away the new recruits ± Z]

August 13, 1944

Generalissimo Chiang Kai-Shek,

This letter is for you for once and not your troops. I must commend you for your socialist spending to improve the infrastructure of China. And that one hundred flowers line was poetic. I may have to steal it for use at a later time. But your rhetoric and roads are not why I¶m writing you now. I¶m writing you to warn you of the imminent danger facing you.

As you¶re aware, you have been breaking off your ties with the Japanese to moderate success. The Emperor has decreed the Manchuria problem must be dealt with immediately, and thanks to their gains, the Japanese army surrounds you on three sides in Jehol. Your initial expeditionary force will be destroyed. Your production base is inferior to that of Japans. You may have substantial reserves that have up to this point been used as a garrison to suppress my supporters and hold off my assaults, but these will have to be pulled to resupply your front against Japan.

Here¶s what I think will happen: Japan will take Jehol. They will advance into your cities, raping and pillaging like the dogs they are as they go. They may make it as far south as Nanking, assuming they do not use their naval routes, before the internal politics of the Tokyo Court gets the better of them. They will debate assaulting Hong Kong, but the threat of American involvement will keep that from happening.

At this point, they will sputter and you will repel them Northward. Whether or not you claim Manchuria, I cannot see. But what I can see is clear already, as I have witnessed it in the present.

One of your silly little portraits made it to my camp. One of the children picked it up and started playing with it. On a walk with Zhou to explain to him the latest reason that the

British hate you, I came across this child. I asked the little girl what she was doing. Her reply was ³I¶m praising the Generalissimo for his great civic projects´

Zhou grabbed the girl before I could move. I later saw her singing one of our work songs, loudly. He left the portrait, though. In my rage, I called my followers to our communal meeting place and broke my own record for length in oratory. I still have that Frenchman beat, by the way. Stalin confirms this and I have the competitive medal to prove it. The point of my speech, as long as it was, can be succinctly described as this:

Chiang Kai-Shek, the Fascist Flunky, is our enemy. We will destroy him.

At the end of my speech, I set your portrait on fire to tumultuous applause. I¶ve enclosed it along with this letter and a shiny new portrait of me. Feel free to put it in your office.

I will destroy you, Chiang. While you are busy fighting the Japanese, I will sneak in behind you and take back what is rightfully mine. You will be helpless to face me as you¶ll be too busy fighting the Japanese. You can give out as many little paintings of yourself as you¶d like, Chiang. The people are still on my side. I will rain down blows of destruction upon your head I will lull you into a false sense of security and will strike when you least expect it.

The Soviets have been given back Moscow, and are indebted to me for providing them with relief. The British despise you and feel you to be a traitor to the Crown. The French, save for Laval just plain dislike you. And the Americans could care less about you.

I, on the other hand, am in line for the Red Banner. To Attlee, I¶m ³zesty.´ Laval does not personally dislike me. And that Yankee embargo you joked about? That was because of ME. The American moral embargo of the Japanese is in recognition of their offenses against the army and citizens of the People¶s Republic of China. Me.

You can¶t wage war against both the Japanese and my forces simultaneously. You¶ve chosen Japan, which is commendable, but this will lead to your downfall. Welcome to the real Chinese Civil War, Chiang. I hope you¶re ready for the bloodshed.

Taste my pain, Chiang. It¶s over two decades old, just like a superior scotch. Only my vengeance doesn¶t go down as smoothly and can¶t be cut with ice. But like a superior scotch, the amount I plan to administer will leave you stupefied and with a bad headache.

Drink up,

Chairman Mao

November 1944

The world is oddly quiet. Something¶s amiss with the King of England, President Roosevelt isn¶t running again, and there seems to have been a temporary cease of bloodshed. I¶m in the caves, as usual, but the world just seems quiet.

Except for Japan, that is. Chiang has ceased his understanding with the Emperor. Po tells of pro-Chinese riots on the streets of Tokyo and Hu says similar things are happening with Nanking. Somehow I¶m to blame on both sides. I don¶t know how, but it¶s nice to be relevant in all the silence.

March 1945

So much for silence.

The world is now engulfed in flames. War has broken out seemingly everywhere and major shakeups have occurred in governments.

First, in the immediate area, Japan¶s government is in chaos. Po has no idea who is in charge. Those who were normally leading the charges have gone missing or have simply not been seen in ages. The only person who remains constant is Yamamoto, who still dislikes spicy foods. Attempts of the Privy Council to declare war on Chiang seem to have failed. The Emperor himself is said to be intervening in this crisis.

I have mobilized myself in the South again, attacking two major industrial targets. Chungking is now my new industrial stronghold and new weapons are being created to ensure that the Red Army is well armed and ready to take on anything it encounters. Had those weapons been immediately available, perhaps Kweichow could have joined us in our efforts, but we will take solace in knowing we killed more of them than they did to us. I don¶t know how long I¶ll be able to maintain order here before Chiang diverts his attention to me, but I¶ll keep it for as long as it holds.

Moving east, America has a new president. At the worst possible time, someone who wants the United States to have absolutely nothing to do with the affairs of the rest of the world managed to edge out the handpicked replacement of President Roosevelt. President Taft now serves where his father once did. Oklahoma is to blame for it, but its aiding and abiding in this tragedy is not the fault of Rogers and Hammerstein. It remains to be seen if the United States will help anyone.

Finally, in the ³west,´ the Nazi war machine has turned its cannons on to France (who has a new government), Britain (who has a new King), and Belgium. Belgium, who I had

never heard of before today, was made short work of as the Nazis rolled into Northern France and British bombers flew overhead and stymied production capabilities.

It was one of the bloodiest days in human history. The world is truly at war now, and all we can do is hope the UK and France can hold off the Nazis while the Soviet Union breaks out of their snow fort and joins in from the other side.

July 1945

Remarkably, I¶m still in Chungking. The Japanese, who are now run by a new set of grinning fascists, declared war on Chiang, keeping his primary forces were otherwise occupied. He assaulted me, certainly, but he didn¶t get anywhere. Neither did my attempts of taking the grounds surrounding Chungking, but who cares about that when there are fascists dying?

The most significant development actually has nothing to do with either Chiang or I, but with his wife. She has gone to America to try to charm the Americans into attacking Japan. She arrived to find American consumers spending money provided by the government. They¶re blowing a perfectly good defense budget on station wagons and pots with chickens in them. Whether or not she¶ll succeed isn¶t clear. What has become clear is that Chiang¶s problems stem from the fact that he¶s stuck in a monogamous relationship. He should live a little. That¶s why I keep my followers around.

[I¶ve stolen the drums and pipes. He¶s not calling them in now. ± Z]

The west is bloody, but it could go either way. Paris is in German hands [Something I¶m in mourning for], but the German industrial base is occupied by the British. Next stop Berlin?

August 1945

To: The People of China CC: JWT Polling

My people,

Let us not forget the tragedy that has befallen us at Chiang s hands! Always remember the turn away from our ancestral roots and the barbarous understanding that existed between him and the Japanese. How he turned our troops into imperialist puppets. How he gave valuable resources to our enemies. How he allowed the production of factories working against Chinese interests in Chinese sovereign lands. How he went to Tokyo and spoke with the cursed emperor. How he thought you foolish enough that he could buy your love through cheap civil projects and posters of himself.

My people, he takes you for fools, for simpletons, for flunkies.

Let us prove him wrong. Tonight, I seek to do a first recapture a major city. Do not resist me. Join me, if Nanking is taken, the landlords will be expelled and their land will be divided amongst the true owners, the people.

The people are the heroes now. This is not about me or about him. This is about freeing China from the boot of foreign powers.

May we all be victorious, Comrade Mao Zedong

November 1945

[A proclamation on the successful taking of Nanking. I¶ve allowed the drummers in, so the Chairman is otherwise occupied ± Z]

Women of the world, Unite! For far too long, you have been looked down upon and cast aside as secondary citizens of China, as creatures whose sole use is to propagate the next generation and to care for them until they are ready to stand on their own. Girls are subjected to torments upon birth that are only increased with age. Women must throw off their shackles. Break your chains of bondage, sisters! Let us join hands and unleash our combined fury as a mighty force for revolution.

In recent days, Chiang has continued to expand his army and his domestic spending in attempts to curry the favor of the people of China. He has done this in the name of the wealthy and of the elite. In doing so, has stolen the sons of China to fight a losing battle against Japan. By stealing China¶s sons, he has broken the hearts of the mothers and sisters of China. They weep for his mistakes and they are the ones who feel the burdens of his oppression. The women and daughters of China are left to suffer.

For far too long, the women and daughters of China have suffered the barbaric practice of foot binding. They have been subjected to this ignoble torture for generations and Chiang, in his so-called ³modernization´ campaigns, has done nothing to correct this situation. Chaing¶s distribution of money has gone solely to males, to the landed, to the ones who can afford to be given money. They are the ones who insist on binding the feet of their wives and daughters to show that they are wealthy enough to keep the women they consider property idle and sedentary. This is an atrocious behavior and must be stopped immediately.

Therefore: let it be known, that in all areas controlled by the People¶s Liberation Army all those under the banner of the People¶s Republic and all those yet to be liberated, foot binding is from here in banned. There is to be no talk of it, no practice of it, no engaging

in it. Foot binding is to be halted, permanently. No longer should a girl be born and discover that she will be unable to do her fair share of the labor because there are physically unable to. No more will girls be treated as second-class citizens. Women hold up half the heavens! They are our equals and must be treated as such.

This brings me to point two: prostitution. This is a degrading profession for all those who are forced into it. Women¶s lives are ruined by the abuse they suffer at the hands of their clients and their traffickers. They are routinely raped and murdered should they not meet their earning quotas. It damages them both psychologically and physically. Truly, a practice like this must be stopped.

Therefore: let it be known, that in all areas controlled by the People¶s Liberation Army all those under the banner of the People¶s Republic and all those yet to be liberated, prostitution is from here in banned. There is to be no talk of it, no practice of it, no engaging in it. Prostitution is to be halted, permanently. All battered women are welcome to our camp, where we have established a refuge for those who seek shelter from their former lives. We welcome you with open arms and we want you to know that someone cares.

These two steps forward are great gains for China, but they are addressing the side effects of a greater problem. Women¶s feet are bound and are forced into prostitution not on their own accord, but on the societal structure they find themselves in. this structure is the same structure that feeds Chiang¶s machine. It is the structure that lead to the rise of the hated Emperor. It is the structure that forces peasants to give their earnings to a faceless figure that cares for naught and reaps all the benefits of the labor of those below him.

I speak, of course, of the landlords. These creatures, absent from their properties, are some of Chiang¶s biggest supporters. They force their tenants to follow in their set ways. They force the mothers to give up their daughters to become their concubines, whose feet are subsequently bound. They force the mothers to give up their sons to become the

soldiers, enabling Chiang¶s armies. The landlords are our problem. The great Marx was correct when he so wisely stated that landlords love to reap what they never sowed.

The landlords must be dealt with.

We are now poised to make our first blow against this establishment. Nanking has been liberated and now the Red Star flies over the tomb of the Forerunner of the Revolution. In fact, I have penned this declaration from Chiang¶s office. To celebrate this epic achievement, I hereby order that all land owners be stripped of their property and for all land to then be equally distributed amongst those who till it. It makes little sense for one individual to have so much. This must be changed.

All able bodied workers must be given their full chance to succeed. The land is bountiful. Let us all reap its bounties!

[Negotiations with the British proving to be successful. War conferences with Comrade Stalin perfect place to establish terms for the inking of a treaty backing the PRC as the legitimate government of China and the providing of equipment and technology. Gifted forces to be used solely against Japanese aggressors, not in Civil War. Need Mao to sign off on agreement. Should be an easy sell. ± Z]

March 1946

You know what? Today sucked. I know that language is blunt, but today is possibly one of the worst days I¶ve had in a long time. And this is coming from a man who has been forcibly removed from any sort of recognized territorial holding, what is it, three times now?

Today was supposed to be a good day. Today I was supposed to reap the rewards of my redistribution of the land and have the people of China go back to adoring me. Today was not supposed to be a day that I wanted to kill my radio.

First, there was the message from the British Ambassador to interrupt my morning tea. I was supposed to be hearing from the winning side (more on that later) about how they were going to back me as the proper China and send aide in my war against Chiang, their former client, and the Japanese as part of their ³Death to Fascists´ campaign. Instead, I get a fuzzy transmission apologizing for all this bother, informing me there are far more pressing matters at hand, and telling me that sorry, it¶s not going to happen right now. Maybe later. If ever.

Before I could ask as to what the more pressing matters were, he faded into white noise. Some people are just impolite like that. But, just as soon as he faded away, Stalin came through as clear as a bell. Stalin¶s been annoying lately, I have to admit that. Calling me at all hours of the night, asking for things. We¶re both against the wall, I know that, but you¶re supposed to be my donor, not the other way around. This time he wanted two things: troops and something I had hoped he never asked for.

³My orders stand that you immediately cease hostilities with Chiang unless attacked. Second and most importantly attack the Japanese with all haste and force. The Japanese cannot emerge victorious from this conflict. Both you and I know this only too well. Best of luck to you comrade, onwards to victory!´


I put down the radio and walked over to a tent where I knew a certain individual was hiding. Hu and Po had made it painfully obvious that there were agents from both Chiang and the Japanese government hidden in my ranks years ago. After learning this, I managed to root out who they were and didn¶t have them killed on sight in case I ever needed a message delivered. This was the exact occasion I was dreading, but where Chaing¶s man proved to be useful.

³Tell your boss that I¶ve been ordered to stop smacking him and work on the Japanese instead. Nanking¶s probably already back in his hands by now anyway. He should be happy that I¶m being mandated to look at the Japanese bastards.´

He wondered how I knew, but he got the hell out of my sight before he could think to ask any questions. All the better for him.

I returned to my command center, hoping to sooth myself with some scotch (the British have some advantages), but no. More bad news. Looks like Yamamoto was able to finally convince someone to let him sail. And what does he do? He decides that, along with the Italian navy, he¶s going to destroy half the British fleet. And the Italians go and steal some rock.

So, for those keeping score at home, the French and British are currently at war with Germany, Japan, Spain, and Italy. And are getting their respective buttocks handed to them. And as a reminder, the Soviets have been held up in that snow fort for ages. Chiang controls all of continental China. And the United States of America is getting rich of the backs of the workers, granting them a pittance of their money back in return for their votes.

I know I¶ve said it in speeches before, but I actually mean it this time. This war isn¶t about me anymore. Communism may never get the chance it deserves to flourish. I don¶t

know. I can¶t see the future. But Chiang¶s form of popular fascism isn¶t about to survive either. The Japanese despise him. They may subjugate China. I don¶t want to see that happen. They have to be stopped.

Right now, I just hope to make it out alive. And to cause as much chaos as I can.

Soldiers of heaven, uphold the sky. You may be the only thing keeping us from destruction.

August 1946

The United States of America are not only a nation of capitalist pigs, they are a nation of useless capitalist pigs. They plan to do absolutely noting as the war continues to rage. I will say I found it comical when I overheard Chiang¶s spy listen to him fume about being locked out of the United States Capital building in Washington DC. He had hoped to deliver some sort of speech to get those fat lazy people who seem to love his wife on his side, but their president refused to allow him to speak.

Hu told me that Chiang was circulating a statement around Paris, London, and somehow Stalin¶s bunker denouncing the Americans, so I made a formal request to the spy to see it. He refused. Zhou asked. He refused. Then we held him upside down for a while, did some of our usual tactics, you know, monkey pulling reins, airplane ride, the usual, and lo and behold, the statements on my desk. Essentially, Chiang got the world to denounce America for not doing anything. Naturally, as this was Chiang¶s doing, I was not to be allowed anywhere near the petition, so I drafted a statement of my own.

There were two versions: the four-hour speech (that I really hope someone recorded, as there was some interesting rhetoric there that I found myself using. Stuff like ³we will bury you´ and ³we will one day hold massive amounts of your debt.´ Good stuff. New stuff) and the very, very short statement.

The short statement, for all of its brevity, went as followed

Hey America!

You guys are useless! Hope you enjoy a Japanese Pacific and a Nazi dominated Europe!

Love, Mao

PS ± Chiang is still a fascist pig, but even he seems better than you right now.

It was an awful summer. All attempts to siege to the north were met with crushing opposition. Few, if any, of the initial battalions survived. My hope was to reestablish my base in the north and then drive to the west to disrupt the Japanese production capacity, but sadly they seem to have deeply entrenched themselves there and do not look like they¶re going to move any time soon.

My failures have become evident to the people. Their willingness to aide and abed has become evident as less and less of them show up to our camps to help fight for the cause.

Stalin had minimal success in freeing himself as well, with Himmler¶s SS soldiers continuing to do their job. Australia may dissolve its ties with the British ³Empire´ now that their kiwi eating cousins are under Japanese control.

All that aside, the saddest news today was something of my own doing. It is with great sadness that I report the closing of the PRC embassy in Venezuela. If the Americans are going to be tools, I figured I should probably get out of their hemisphere. I¶m going to miss that place. I miss it so much, I raided their treasury to ensure that The Summer House of the People remains fully operational and that one final giant container of tequila and tapas made it back out before the gates were shut for good.

Via con your silly little dios, Venezuela, and thanks for all the great memories. And that weird itchy rash.

It has been an awful day.

[The Chairman has given me his pen to finish writing. He¶s gone into a corner and is rocking back and forth, murmuring the Soviet National Anthem to himself while he eats biscuits out of a jar. It¶s depressing to say the very least. I should probably go to talk with him to make sure he doesn¶t do anything drastic. ± Z]

September 1946

My head is miraculously clear. I plan to make camp in southern Mongolia to assault the Japanese, personally. I ve decided to test my luck and throw my life into the hands of the die of fate. Rather than lead this siege from afar, I m joining my troops in this assault and will lead the command from the front lines. I don t remember my mind being this clear in years.

Despite my personal vendetta, I sent a communiqué to Chiang and informed him that I am going to keep my momentum up against Japan in Mongolia and it would be wise for him to do the same in Manchuria at once. I told him I knew this could be foolish, launching a major campaign in the winter, when conditions could be poor at best and dire at worst, but this was our best chance. The Japanese work best when they have the element of surprise on their side. That s how the French and British colonies fell so quickly. They would not be expecting a winter onslaught and would not be ready if we were to strike now.

He agreed. But only to a siege in late October. If I wanted to move in the winter, I would be on my own. I ll take it.

[The Chairman left last week to venture north to Mongolia. I m proud of him for the first time in ages. He hasn t drunk anything in weeks and he actually shot one of those infernal drummers in the head when he started playing. This is the man I agreed to follow. His eyes have their old fire in them. He isn t a crazed alcoholic right now, he s a leader Z]

December 26, 1946

We emerge victorious. We have lost may good men these past few months, but we sent more of those bastards to their graves than they did to us.

The siege began mid-October. Chiang sent one of his ranking field commanders into Jehol on horseback to surprise the Japanese in their camps. It worked. His advancing army lost the bulk of its men, but they caught the Japanese unaware and were able to mow down two thirds of the defenders. The Manchurian garrison is currently so weak that even I could take it, but I m going to abstain from that for now.

My initial assault on Mongolia proved to be misguided. Attempts to surround their main camp and outflank them were met with equal numbers of casualties and wounded men. Nearly half my strike force found itself eliminated. I emerged from the siege unwounded.

Rather than retreat back to Yenan, my men and I spent the entirety of November and the bulk of December scavenging for supplies, and most importantly, the right people. Mongolia is the ancient home of skilled horsemen. Their skills can be modified, updated, and used to considerable success. We found one such tribe of horsemen, angry at their native land being turned into a Japanese fortress, and persuaded them to join us in our attempt at repelling their occupiers. Over the course of a month, they taught us many things about the art of horse-based assaults.

Finally, on the evening of December 25, we decided it was now the opportune moment to strike. We decided we would recreate the American general Washington s famous crossing of the Delaware River. Then we realized that there aren t really any major rivers in Mongolia. We ignored that, and still decided to attack on Christmas Eve. Then we remembered that there was very little chance that these soldiers would be celebrating Christmas, given that they think their foolish Emperor is god.

Despite the fact we had no river to cross and no Japanese Christmas parties to break up, we still struck. And it worked. We wiped out the bulk of their entrenched Mongolian force. They took almost our entire force down with us, but today s battle was a harbinger of times to come.

I must return to Yenan now. With my head finally clear, I can once again fully lead my struggle against the Japanese, and more importantly, Chiang.

That, and I m cold. I lost my earmuffs in the battle. They were the good pair, too. The black rabbits fur ones.

All this talk of lost earmuffs makes me grumpy. Someone fetch me my teakettle. Hot cocoa to all survivors!

March 1937

Renewed attempts at Mongolia to pick up where we left off have not gone as well. The Japanese seemed to have learned from our previous successes and reinforced their soldiers with the ability to deal with horses. I did not go up personally with the men this time to attend to matters, but the scant few who did make it back tell of pikes and dogs and just the sort of things you d expect from a country with no respect for life, be it human or equine.

Somewhere, there s a horse screaming. I know it. I can just feel it.

Let us forget about failures in battle for now. It has been a momentous time for the Red Order. With the arrival of Thorez to his Snow Fort, Stalin seems to have remembered that communism is a global struggle, not just one confined to Asia. Working with that, he called me up to the snow fortress and we all had a little chat about what nations would be prime targets for insurrections and uprisings.

Operation Red Balloon will be an extended one, with the ultimate goal of returning Thorez to Paris and reestablishing a second Red front in the global war on fascism. Spain was just the beginning of the renewed struggle against the Nazis. Successes there have fortified the belief that just because a government may occupy a people s country, it doesn t occupy a person s heart. Communism will prevail in the long run.

It will start with the resurgence of several Eastern European communist parties in Nazi occupied holdings. From there, we will stir up trouble in a more active participant in this global war. We can t say for certain yet, but I m going to have to get Po and Hu to engage in some heavy level reconnaissance on what the entire world is doing.

Once that s been achieved, we go after France. They re the final target in all of this. The hope is to reawaken the spirits of those who feel the Nazi menace has emerged

victorious and get them to join a resistance, but more importantly, succumb to their communist urges. Thorez is thinking of mild things no major battles. Just disrupt a supply line here, commit some espionage there, and firebomb a theater when you get the chance. You know. The stuff you d expect resistance fighters to do.

I have Thorez s permission (not like I needed it) to begin my own work on one of their former colonies, French Indochina. Chiang just wrestled it from the Japanese and I hear there s a man there I should talk with. Ho Chi something or the other. Rumors say he makes me look like a sane. He could be an ally in my war against Chiang. It could help divert forces south to deal with an invisible threat. I mean, have you ever seen the place? It s jungle. Nothing but thick, impenetrable jungle for as far as the eye can see. You d need some sort of massive bomber campaign to ever be effective against an insurgency mounted out of that country, and even then it probably wouldn t work.

If anything, it could make for an interesting conversation piece.

The trap has been sprung. Yugoslavia has hoisted the red banner. Greece tried, but sadly failed. We march onwards. And hope that Stalin hasn t forgotten about us.

Oh, and the United States is no longer a neutral country. We ll see how that works.

August 1947

For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.

The action: The newly minted government of one Anthony Eden in the UK declares that they re going to roll back the clock into the late 1930s and reestablish a relationship with the government of Chiang Kai-Shek, making him their lackey just as the Japanese had. Chiang claims he has renounced his fascist ways, but that s obviously a farce. He s tasted the bitter nectar of totalitarianism and he became addicted to it. He may claim to be reformed and whatnot, but he s not going to change his ways. On the plus side, this could serve to infuriate the Japanese even further as now they ve Western interference with Asia once more.

The reaction: The liberation of Kweichow. I knew full well that this city was lightly garrisoned as Chiang had other dealings to attend to on his border with the Japanese. After making a show out of sending troops towards Japan (troops that never made it back ), I quickly dispatched a team southwards to occupy one of Chiang s industrial bases. I thought I told them to instigate land reform the moment they secured the city, but I guess the orders got lost in the mail, so I ll casually remind them of this fact before Chiang comes to reclaim it.

Chiang will most likely be furious, but he can shove it. I feel like I m the only one fighting the Japanese again. He advises me to move north, but he holds defensive actions against the invaders. He s too afraid of losing his prestige. Doesn t he realize I m instigating massive reforms right under his nose? Doesn t he realize that his rule isn t as secure as he wishes it were? The people of China clamor for change. They want to breath freely under the rule of someone who isn t bought and paid for by the Emperor.

This England thing is only temporary. He ll revert to his old ways when he has the opportunity. He ll come up with some new way to subjugate his people and call it

reform. But then, I ll be there free the oppressed from their shackles. Fascism rests upon the shoulders of an individual. Communism is an idea. The freedom of the oppressed. The liberty to those who demand it. Not having to toady down to some idiot calling himself Generalissimo.

Meanwhile, Stalin did as he said he would and attacked an Axis power. I helped! Well, Po and Hu helped in finding out what the diplomatic actions of the fascists would be undertaking to ensure that the time was truly ripe. Stalin dealt with the remnants of the French and with the British, so now the streets of Italy teem with communist supporters. They ve infiltrated Rome. I ve heard rumor from Stalin that they could be engaged in an assault on the head of the religion.

I ve never understood Christianity. As far as I can tell, it s a faith that celebrates a chocolate bunny that gives children toys when they re good and can turn any liquid into pure alcohol. I ve come across a few missionaries in my time, but I never paid any real attention to what they were saying. Just to that last part. A man with the ability to turn anything into alcohol seemed fascinating, but as for the head of the religion, I hear he has a hat a really pointy hat. And he s a fisherman with some sort of metal staff that he can thwack people with.

I should get a big metal thwacking staff. That d be handy sometimes. And my hat is better than the Chocolate Bunny s hat.

I wonder if believing in the chocolate bunny gives you better cocoa. Wow. Imagine if he turned the cocoa into alcohol. That would probably the best thing ever, hands down.

December 1947

Dear Chiang,

Stop Brainwashing kids. It s not cool. No one should have tai chi forced on them.


Dear Landowners of Kweichow,

Yeah, you re going to have to give your land up now.


Dear Ho Chi Minh,

Mess Chiang s shit up. Two words of advice: inexorable quagmire.


Dear People Who Got Land In Kweichow,

Enjoy the free stuff. Try to remember who gave it to you.


Dear Stalin,

Quit ignoring me or I ll come up there and pontificate. (Good stuff in Europe)


Dear Zhou,

If anything bad happens to me, you re in charge. And I want cocoa.


Dear Thorez,

Go kill some Nazis. If you ever get the chance, stab Himmler for me.


Dear United Kingdom,

Good job rigging the Hong Kong election.


Dear People of China,

Do not give up hope.


Dear Professor Barnhart,

Thank you. Mao

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