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|By Hiroakira Fengxian||Part of thecontinuity.|
|Colonial Domestic Force, Fubai Dushi District Squads|
Hiroakira Fengxian, Bao Tai
Military Support, Security Guards, Law Enforcement, Public Force, Riot Control
To enforce law in its colonies in the Earth Kingdom, the Fire Nation uses a variant of the Domestic Force. All of the larger and more important colonies have a number of Colonial Force Squads to protect them, with large cities like Fubai Dushi requiring nearly a dozen or more. Each Squad oversees a district of the city, each is led by a Captain, and all are led by a Commander for each city. In addistion to keeping the peace, some squads can be called upon to act as reinforcement for military operations in the nearby provinces, although with one notable exception this is normally rare.
The Officers of Fubai Dushi's Colonial Force are more or less along the lines of paramilitary or SWAT, as they have to deal with incredibly high crime and insurgency rates, which is why they usually have access to what most would consider "heavy weaponry" and full body armor. Many of those who make up the force these days however have been described as commonly being lazy, cowardly and/or corrupt. Only a handful of the officers are honest, though frequently the wealthy of the city bribe the corrupt members of the squads into performing their duty (usually as a result of some crime being committed against a member of their family). In addition to law enforcement and military activities, the Colonial Force ironically acts as the Fire Brigade.
In contrast to the normal operations of the Fire Nation's military, the city's Colonial Force does not operate as a cohesive unit normally. The command of the divisions are generally left to the discretion of its particular Captain, who commonly runs it whatever way he/she sees fit, allowing for the change of a division's traditional duties to an entirely new set and even the creation of a separate institution connected to the division.
The only general authority to call forth a combined front would be that of an edict from the Governor, or more often the Captain-Commander. It is not uncommon for Captains to not see each other as an entire group for long periods of time.
In addition to the standard swords, spears, halberds, bows, and Firebenders, officers in the Colonial Force tend to carry a Chukenu, a type of repeating crossbow. By pulling a hand lever, the bolts in the magazine are loaded, strung, and fired at a rate of 10 bolts every 15 seconds. Over time advances in Fire Nation technology have improved the power and accuracy of the chukenu, enough that most non-firebending officers carry one with them at all times, as well as a spare magazine or two. Regular recurved crossbows are also available for those seeking greater power and accuracy and aren't concerned with long reload times.
The 12th Division, serving as the city's Riot Force, uses heavy armor, interlocking shields and long pikes.
In recent years, the Colonial Force has acquired tanks as a response to the Rangyi Rebellion, and every division has at least two. The quality of said tanks however, largely depends on how favored that particular division is by the local administration. Thus, the division of District 9, who's captain has been targeted for asassination by the Governor for years, has only two early prototype tanks, which are very prone to breakdowns and engine failures, and the squad has a notably difficult time affording replacement parts.
As with the main military, there a number of ranks within the Colonial Force.
List of Captains
- 1st Division: Zhi Wei Yong: Commander-captain of the other Squads. His ego is enormous, and he never tires of hearing his own voice or exaggerated stories of his "victories". Zhi believes himself to be dashing, manly, charismatic, courageous, sexy, and an outstanding leader, but in fact he's arrogant, cowardly, bumbling, incompetent, vain, cocky, sexist, and painfully, painfully stupid. Although he is corrupt and in the Governor's pocket, his ego and delusions of heroism makes him draw the line at outright treason. Most of his tactics involve sending his men (often Squad 9) on suicide missions for pointless goals, claiming there is no greater way to prove one's loyalty to their superior officer than to die for him. He is an above-average firebender, but his bumbling and flair for unnecessary theatricality and darring-do often screw over his fighting ability. In fact, it the only reason he seems to have gotten his position is because Governor Tao sees him as a good puppet. Zhi also believes men are superior to women at everything except housework and cleaning, and the few women in Squad 1 are given desk jobs and made to wear revealing miniskirts. Yong also considers himself quite the ladies man, although none of the women he's hit on so far (prostitutes included) have accepted his advances, leading to embarrassing rumors of a non-existent sex life and impotence.
- 2nd Division: Zhenfan: A colorful and eccentric man, Zhenfan, called Zhen by everyone, likes to kill the mood with his trademark brand of dark humor. Zhen is something of a loner and often makes himself a pest to normal society. That said, he is proud of his working-class background, and openly disdains people he considers "soft". Zhen runs a tight ship while on duty and is uncompromising: his officers can either submit to his authority, or they can get the hell out. He goes after targets with an almost Ahab-like obsession, and can be almost violent in his self-reliance.
- 3rd Division: Baiji: A burly, brutal, and stocky thug. One of Governor Tao's henchmen, he seems to have no conscience and delights in using violence against the weak. Although he is reasonably intelligent, he often lets his anger get the better of him.
- 4th Division: Kumiho Shachiko: She is one of the most mysterious Captains in Fubai Dushi since her sly smile and slitted eyes, combined with her heavy use of sarcasm and mocking politeness, make it very difficult to discern what she's thinking. Many find her demeanor and appearance rather unsettling, and combined with her piercing psychological insight and her ability to find out almost anything, there are very few who are willing to trust her. Kumiho seems to be fully aware of the effect she has on others and more than once has been seen toying with peoples' emotional states for her own amusement. Although she is technically on Governor Tao's payroll, considering her ability to find out secrets this may be more along the lines of blackmail payoffs than graft, and it's unsure where her true loyalties or motives lay. Although physically she seems to be in her early twenties, she's supposedly held the position of captain for several decades! Kumiho's talent is in gathering information, and as such she is the Head of the Intelligence Depertment in addition to her post as captain. She frequently insinuates to people that she may very well know their deepest, darkest secrets and likes to toy with and occasionally blackmail adulterous spouses in particular. She also seems to know what is happening anywhere in the world at any given time, although where Kumiho gets this knowledge and what she plans to do with it only she alone knows. She likes to tease people, and sometimes playfully flirts with others. She has taken something of a particular curious interest in her fellow captain Hiroakira Fengxian, who frequently borrows reading material from her vast library. Although she is said to be a particularly skilled firebender, she's almost never seen using it, and prefers to psychomanipulate her opponents. She is also good at disguise, and seems to be able to appear and vanish at will. Her favorite foods include fried tofu, sweet red beans, liver, and rice.
- 5th Division: Dongmu: A rather violent former Army Officer, Dongmu is a man who does not hesitate to cross professional and ethical boundaries in pursuit of his own vision of justice, especially when the law is poorly served by inept bureaucracy. He adheres absolutely to his own code of ethics. He is completely incorruptible, is devoted to protecting and avenging the victims of violent crime and when pursuing criminals, tries to minimize the danger for innocent bystanders as much as possible. Even so, his fight against criminals is ferocious and merciless and he shows no hesitation or remorse at killing them, justifying his actions by claiming it "Gets results". He sees things in black-and-white terms: there are good guys and there are bad guys, and the bad guys must be punished, and has little use for any "official rules" of conduct. As a result, the District 5 Market is safe from violent crime, as nobody is willing to start trouble. Dongmu shows open disgust at the rampant corruption in the city, and is even willing to go after corrupt fellow officers.
- 6th Division: Ping Yi: A second-generation public force officer, Ping Yi's father also used to captain Squad 6, and it seems corruption runs in the family as well. When he first started as a patrolman he was honest and tough, but soon started taking heavy bribes from criminals to look the other way. Soon he was extorting local business owners and shopkeepers for protection money. Even in spite of his corruption, Ping Yi refuses to directly involve himself in criminal rackets, he keeps his promises, and takes pride in keeping the streets of the 6th District clean of hoodlums and violent crime. In his mind, he believes he does his duty in keeping the general public safe (and damned well too), so why shouldn't the general public provide him with a little extra income?
- 7th Division: Cheng Fu: A stuffy and beurucratic man, Cheng Fu is a conservative man who prefers to do things "by the book". The captain is in failing health, due to his post being smack-dab in the middle of Smog Forest, a stretch of the city comprised mostly of steel mills and factories which still bealch out plenty of coal smoke despite the recent economic downturn. His hacking cough and frequent headaches make this man cranky and irritable, or it could also likely be his shrewish wife.
- 8th Division: Chun Kuk Xingzhe: A tough guy with a sense of honor and a belief in tough justice, he has values reminiscent of a Wild West sheriff. A good acquaintance of Captain Fengxian and 2nd Lt. Yori, the two share a mutual level of trust and respect, and Chun even bent the rules to send Hiro reinforcements at the Battle of Blood Road.
- 9th Division: . The youngest captain to have ever served in the Colonial Force, as well as the highest-ranking noble to hold a position, 15-year-old Archduke Hiroakira Fengxian is rather easy-going and nonchalant about his duties. He has low recruitment standards, requiring that candidates can fight well and aren't too pushy about timely payment. The governor has repeatedly cut funding to the 9th Division in an effort to leave Hiro vunerable, so the captain has had to make deals with local criminal bosses in order to gain any income at all, often in the form of grafts and bribes. Guarding the 9th District slums and the outlying Rice farms is tough enough, especially when one considers that Division 9 is the one most often sent into battle around the province, in effort to pacify uprisings against the Fire Nation. Despite this and the almost weekly attempts on his life, Hiro maintains an ever friendly and jovial attitude, and crime drops whenever he's around. Although this may be attributited to the fact that Hiro causes massive destruction whenever he gets into a fight, so no one in their right mind is willing to give him the excuse needed to start one. The 9th Division is staffed by a rather colorful variety of individuals, often people whom Fengxian has recruited on a whim. Among the 9th's ranks are former fishermen, farmers, gangsters, prostitutes, serial killers, mercinaries, bounty hunters, retired underground martial arts fighters, and earthbenders who have defected to Hiro for personal reasons. These earthbenders know enough to not advertise their elemental powers, and Hiro does his best to hide their identities to protect them from arrest.
- 10th Division: Jai: A whiney, sniveling, cowardly, rat-faced little weasel, he lost his position as captain of the 5th District and transferred to the much less desirable 10th when he ruined one of the Governor's scams; a scheming backstabber who's looking for any opportunity to gain his position back. The Tenth Division also has to regulate the Entertainment and Red Light districts.
- 11th Division: Heji Okita: He hides his compassion behind a cold and ruthless front. A brilliant strategist and fighter, he has a real knack for battle. When dealing with enemies, Okita is practical, direct and reckless. Okita refuses to have anything to do with the government's corruption, and as a result has been delegated to overseeing Old Town. He is openly critical and stern toward the captain of the 9th Division and his method of running his Squad. The officers of the Eleventh Division also serve as prison guards, and the HQ is across the street from the prison.
- 12th Division: Arieh Shishizi: Another former Army Officer, she doesn't say why she was reassigned to Fubai Dushi's Colonial Force. A fierce warrior and an outstanding commander, she is a brutal but efficient taskmaster, relentlessly drilling her men in the art of war and combat. Under her leadership, the Twelfth Division has become an elite fighting force, a group of powerful men and women who never give ground, never show weakness, and look death square in the eye without flinching. Although just a single officer is physically more than a match for five average men, working as a group they are nearly invincible, even able to challenge multiple benders. Shishizi and her men live by a strict code of honor and comradre, and are fiercely loyal to the Fire Nation. However, Shishizi does have compassion and knows when to bend the rules for the greater good. She has great respect for Captain Fengxian, and is in on some of Squad 9's secrets. Division 12 guards the important shipyards and acts as the MP's for the local Naval base. They also act as the city's Riot Control Force, and frequently use large shields in complex formations in order to combat against large unruly mobs.
For the collective works of the author, go here.