Author's note and disclaimer

As always, GATE, its characters and the real word organizations don't belong to me. They belong to their respective owners. Same with Sgt. Steven Grey Ryan, President James Kelly Grey (F-14 Tomcat), Lieutenant Jack Johnson (TheCanadianPatriot), Ronny Marinin(The Tundra Fox), the M1A1 Here We Go Again (Faust1812) and Private Wade Nilsson (MandaloreTheFreedom). Only my OC's belong to me.

Sorry about the complete lack of update in over a year. My muse more or less died out for this fic and Gate in general. I can't really promise anymore updates for the time being. My master's degree has eaten up most of my time and my muse went over to other series, namely Sword Art Online and High School Fleet. I'm currently co-writing fics with a chap named SirStonewall. Go read our stuff!

Luckily, I managed to get enough motivation to finish off this chapter. Hope you all enjoy it. I have a few ideas for where the rest of the fic'll go. Keep an eye out just in case my muse comes back in full strength.

I also have a few ideas for GATE fics running in my head. One is a "what if" scenario featuring an Imperial POV. Instead of opening in Tokyo, the Gate appears in Montreal, Quebec... in the middle of winter when the temperature is -40°c... and it would be a one-shot aptly named "The City of Ice".

The other is something that would a few months after the hypothetical ending I have planned for Van Doos. It would be called "Gate: Thus we Stopped the Nazis Again". I'll let your imaginations run on that.

Finally, the last idea is a crossover fic with Familiar of Zero. Taking place shortly after Queen Henrietta is crowned, a Gate appears in Tristain's capital and connects to Montreal. Rather than starting a war, Tristain, Canada and the United States enter diplomatic relations... only to be interrupted by an attack from Reconquista dragging the North American nations into another war...

Gate: Thus the Van Doos Fought There!

Chapter 11: On the way to Tokyo

General Hazama's office, FOB Arnus, 1200, June 6th

Sitting in General Hazama's office, King Duran wondered what was happening. During the past night, he had been awakened by the sound of Coalition aircraft taking off in large numbers while earlier in the morning, he saw large convoys of heavily armed troops and their support leaving Arnus. Ha had finally gotten some restless sleep, his mind racing with possibilities. Had the Imperial Capital fallen to the Coalition? It would not have been impossible given what he had seen.

Something was happening but that was not the end of it. Fifteen minutes ago, a Japanese staff officer came to his room and picked him up, explaining that General Hazama urgently wanted to meet with him concerning a situation that had developed in the past evening.

The door opened, revealing a rather tired Hazama. Greetings were quickly exchanged between the two leaders.

"What has happened?" asked King Duran curiously. He noted how the Japanese general's office was rather neat and well organized. A few scattered piles of papers here and there indicated that the man was busy with other affairs. Nothing stood out in terms of personal belongings save for a small picture of a woman and two children.

"Yesterday, some of our men arrived at the city of Italica," explained the general, "They found it under a large scale attack by bandits. We've estimated 9000 hostiles."

"Italica?" wondered the Elbian ruler while running his hand through his beard, "That city is one of the most important ones that the Empire has. The area around it is one of the safer ones. "

'Had the situation gotten so bad for the Empire? 9000 rogue men attacking a key trade hub.'

"As you may have already known your Majesty," stated Hazama, "Many soldiers of the Allied Kingdoms have gone rogue after the battles and many were engaged at Italica."

Duran let out a weary sigh.

'More fathers not returning to their homes.'

He mentally cursed Molt for the whole war and the devastation it had brought to Falmart.

"As was expected, most are dead. We have taken many prisoners but we've managed to start negotiations with a member of the Saderan Household."

Duran's eyebrow shot up in curiosity. He had trouble imagining anyone in Molt's family capable of negotiating.

"Who? Crown Prince Zorzal or Prince Diablo?" asked the surprised Elbian monarch. "I personally have trouble imagining any of those two discussing treaties... especially Prince Zorzal. He is a brutish thug and an dishonest snake! As for Diablo, he's a little coward more preoccupied with bedding cheap wenches with his share of the Imperial Treasury!"

'Though Zorzal isn't any better...'

Hazama took notes of Duran's declarations and shook his head.

"Neither them, our forces have met Princess Pina Co Lada in Italica," stated the general, "She appears to be of good faith."

The king shook his head in disbelief.

"No, General Hazama. Princess Pina is little more than a mere child that has seen too many plays about warrior princesses and leads a group of naive noblewomen. She is fifth in the Imperial succession despite being Molt's third child. A daughter born from a lowly concubine might I add!"

For Duran, this was an absolute farce on behalf of Pina's part that bordered on usurpation. Hazama on the other hand, stood up before walking over to the window. Turning back to the elderly ruler, the general began to speak.

"The fact that she has chosen to come and attempt peace negotiations means that I must give her a chance to prove herself. A small chance of ending this conflict quicker and bringing peace to both our worlds is one I must take," replied Hazama, "It is part of my orders."

"You will not gain much from Princess Pina as she is very low ranking and has little influence in the Saderan Imperial Court," stated Duran.

"I will give her a chance," stated Hazama, "It is better that I try every possible avenue in order to finish this war without too much needless bloodshed."

Road to Arnus Hill, 1215

Pina and Bozes could seldom believe what they were witnessing. The trip from Italica had gone by quickly and rather comfortably despite the vehicle's speed. That alone was mindboggling for them.

They witnessed a proud military display before them. In the skies, wings of Coalition fighters flew in perfect formation at high altitude while combat helicopters formed alongside the convoy.

As they advanced on the road, loud booms were heard. Looking out the window, the two young nobles saw great horseless tan iron chariots rolling in formation. From their snouts, they spat great fireballs at targets around them while footmen manoeuvred alongside.

"Wha-what are those?" asked a wide-eyed Bozes, "How can they have such constructs!?"

Pina's mind raced at this. 'Were these the metal monsters that they talked off the other day?' She got her answer from one of the Japanese soldiers.

"That would be the tanks," explained Tomita, "These are from Lieutenant Foley's country though ours and the Canadians have also sent many here."

The nobles gulped as they saw more soldiers and metal creatures exercising what they assumed to be various combat drills. This demonstration awed Bozes while at the same time confirmed the princess' worst fears. The Empire was utterly outmatched and she knew it. The young royal could only hope that she find a way to save her people.

Pina looked at Lelei with despair. The princess knew that this war was one of revenge.

"Have the Imperial Legions down such terrible damage to their world that they seek such brutal vengeance?"

The emotionless mage's unblinking eyes started at Pina.

"I do not know how much damage your armies did to To-kyo, the capital of Japan."

Pina's mind jumpstarted. If the Empire attacked an enemy capital, had many of the nobles of Japan been harmed during the assault? That could explain why they had struck back with such might. That could explain the large presence of the other two nations, Canada and the United States. Had some of their great families fallen victim to the Empire's attack? A thought hit Pina and she tensed up.

'How many of the slaves brought back from the initial Gate expedition were part of their nobility?'

The implications of such a situation could only spell more strong handed negotiations. Bozes had sensed her superior and friend's change of mood.

"What is bothering you your Highness?" she asked. The captain tried to appear strong but Pina could see that Bozes was afraid.

Itami's voice rang out from the front of the jeep causing the royals to turn their attention to him and the road ahead. Both were leaning towards Itami.

"Excuse me everybody, but we've made it to Alnus town!"

"Town?" asked Pina with a raised eyebrow, "There is no village anywhere near-"

"Your Highness!" exclaimed Bozes, "Look!"

The knight was pointing at a fork in the road that led to a bustling town of sturdy wooden buildings that was quickly growing closer. The two royals were stunned.

"Wh-when was this town built?!" asked Pina.

"After the battles against the Empire and its allies, we were sent out to scout the areas around the hill and find our way around. We found out that many villages were attacked and destroyed by deserters and bandits," explained Itami proudly, "We built this town to help the people displaced by the war as well as making sure that the other villages and towns were safe."

For Pina, it was a slap in the face. The Empire couldn't even protect its own people against enemies that were on their level. Instead, the enemy was the one that took over that task. It was humiliating for her as a member of the Imperial household.

Itami continued talking however. He took on a more serious tone

"We also ran into your legions that were scorching the earth. Sometimes, we were able to save the villages and sometimes, we were too late and arrived when the people were about to leave their burning homes."

Pina sat down in her seat, deep in thought.

'Everything we have done against this Coalition has only made them stronger. We have driven our people into their very arms.'

The convoy bypassed the town, heading directly to Arnus Hill and began driving uphill. The princess could see what had become of the hill. On the flanks of the hill, intricate networks of trenches had been dug but the most impressive was the massive fortress atop the hill.

The two royals had never seen anything like it. The great walls were made of a strange grey material. Rather than being vertical like the great walls of Sadera, they were angled and didn't form a square but rather, it was a star shaped fortress.

After reaching the main gate, the convoy split up and headed in different directions. Itami's group however, stopped their trip in front of the Coalition's headquarters.

As everyone disembarked, Pina and Bozes started to take in their surroundings in their enemies' redoubt. The buildings around them were simple. Grey walls that formed rectangles and were dotted by many glass windows. They lacked the elegance of the palaces of the Imperial capital, trading architectural beauty for stark utilitarian lines. Despite this, the glass windows stood out. Generally, they were reserved for the wealthy families of the Empire as they were expensive to make. Here, the Coalition had then on every building of a military installation.

The two Imperial delegates could see a red carpet at their feet. Meanwhile, Itami had been talking to an American Marine. He finally turned back to the VIP's with the Marine walking towards them. Pina deduced that they belonged to the same warrior order as Lieutenant Foley as they wore the same uniforms but looked cleaner. The man introduced himself quickly and stated that he had orders to escort her and Bozes to meet with the commanders of the Coalition. He also instructed his Japanese counterpart to tell Lelei to join them to serve as translator.

The two royals and Lelei were then led into the headquarters' main building while Itami and his group left for another part of the base. As they were led throughout the hallways and stairs, Pina and Bozes could see men and women working at small offices that were filled with light despite not having windows. The blond knight tugged on her princess' sleeve.

"Your Highness," whispered Bozes, "There are so many women here."

"Perhaps their world is more tolerant towards woman in their armies?" deduced Pina, "The way their weapons work make it easy for anyone to fight. So woman can join their armies as well."

This worried Pina. If woman were serving as warriors alongside the men, were those of high birth still married off to foreign kings and princes to seal political deals? Perhaps these women were noblewomen who had the right to fight alongside their men? Her thoughts were interrupted by Lelei. By now, they were standing in front of a door with the Marines having taken up positions on their sides.

"Excuse me your Highnesses but we have arrived at the meeting room," droned Lelei, "The Coalition's commanders are waiting for you."

Pina mentally braced herself as she imagined the kind of lords that led the outworlders. Men that probably oozed with arrogance and contempt. The princess prepared to grovel at their feet, perhaps offer her body to save the Empire and its people. As the door opened however, she stunned at the men before her.

The three war leaders looked to be in their 40's with very different complexions and what Pina assumed to be dress uniforms. Their elegant clothes were covered with medals. Most importantly, they appeared to be disciplined and intelligent. The center one with a skin tone similar to Itami and Huynh began speaking.

'This must the man from Japan, the liege nation', deduced Pina, 'He looks far more modest than I expected. Why does he have fewer medals?'

"Greetings your Highnesses, I am General Koichiro Hazama of the JGSDF and these are my colleagues." He first pointed to a dark skinned man on his right. "This is Lieutenant-Colonel Arthur Hancock of the United States Marine Corps."

"I am pleased to meet you your Highnesses."

There was a steely professionalism in his voice, one that Pina had rarely heard save for warriors of a high caliber such as Grey. He seemed to have the same confidence that she had seen in Lieutenant Foley when he led his men at Italica against the bandits.

The Japanese general then pointed to another man sitting on his left. This man had black hair, a pale complexion, and behind simple glasses, in Pina's mind, the warmest blue eyes she had ever seen.

"This is my colleague, General Francis Maxwell of the Canadian Forces."

"It is an honour to meet you Princess Pina and Captain Co Palesti."

Here, unlike the meeting at Italica with the three lieutenants, it appeared that the liege nation was spearheading the talks rather than the vassals.

"The pleasure is ours General."

"As pleasant as this is, why have Imperial leaders come to our base to discuss with us?" asked warily General Hazama.

"I wish to broker peace between the Saderan Empire and your Coalition," declared Pina, "This war has gone for far too long for my people."

"I understand."

Bozes then cut in. She swallowed nervously and was blushing before she started talking.

"As a token of good will, I wish to apologize for the incident that happened earlier as well as doing what is necessary to make amends. I had no idea that the Empire had a truce with you. I hope that this will not cause problem in the peace negociations."

Her voice had an apologetic tone to it while her head bowed. She dared not meet the eyes of the enemy.

"On behalf of my men," answered General Maxwell, "I accept your apologies. There was no harm done to any of my soldiers and I can understand communication errors Captain."

Bozes' eyebrows shot up in surprise and she barely managed to suppress a gasp.

"Th-thank you very much!"

"Now that we've settled that, I must inform you that we've discussed with King Duran," said Lt.-Col. Hancock.

Pina was slightly taken aback by this new information. She had not expected him to be alive. The rumours that had circulated around the Elbian monarch was that he had died at Alnus...

'Of course, those news did come from the court of Perragon...'

"What did he have to say?"

"Your Highness, I must be honest," stated gravely Hazama, "King Duran has told us of your position in the Imperial succession line."

Pina's eyes widened as she blanched. There was no way that she would be able to lead any negotiation efforts now... and she knew just what kind of men the Empire would send instead to. Images of haughty men mocking the Coalition's diplomats and aggravating the situation. The Imperial diplomats being sent back in pieces while the enemy's army marching on Sadera.

"Pl-please give me a chance to prove to you what I can do," she pleaded, "I promise you that you will not find me wanting."

Hancock smiled before nodding his head.

"After discussing with our leaders earlier today," explained the senior officer, "They are willing to give a chance to anyone high in the Imperial nobility to help with peace negotiations."

Pina almost leapt out of her seat in belated joy while Bozes had a small smile and tears of hope in her eyes.

"Th-thank you very much," almost shouted Pina. She took a moment to recompose herself as she remembered her etiquette lessons.

"I must thank you on behalf of my people."

She was met with kind nods and smiles.

"We are happy to know that there are leaders in the Empire who wish for peace," replied General Hazama.

A thought flashed through Pina's mind.

"Would it possible for us to meet with any of your kings and princes?" she asked seriously. This could be an opportunity for her to marry into their royal families and secure peace... perhaps even more.

The three men hid their amusement at this and General Hazama was first to speak.

"Your Highness," he explained with as little condescendence as possible in his voice, " Japan's royalty has not taken to the field in over a thousand years. Our world's kings and princes rarely go to war today."

Hancock added an explanation.

"My nation has no king ruling over it. America got rid of the idea of royalty a long time ago."

There was strong pride in his voice. Pina could seldom believe what he said.

"What about Ca-na-da?" she asked with a hint of nervousness.

"Our situation is somewhat more complex," stated General Maxwell, "Technically, Queen Elizabeth II is Canada's sovereign though she does not use her powers in our country's affairs."

The general paused briefly before looking at his colleagues.

"Perhaps we could have something made to inform them about how our government works."

Hazama nodded before writing it down. The Japanese general turned back his attention to Pina.

"Your Highness, once you reach our world, you are to meet in private negotiations with representatives from our government along with ambassadors from the United States and Canada," Hazama explained, "As I have mentioned earlier, our governments are aiming to end this war. We wish to avoid needless bloodshed and we want to end this war quickly and peacefully if possible."

The princess and her captain were deeply relieved at hearing this. It meant that they had a chance of saving their people and country from destruction.

"We share the same wish General Hazama," Pina declared.

Major Parent's office

"From what you are telling me Lieutenant Huynh," said Major Parent with an exasperated tone, "Is more proof of Rory Mercury's bloodthirstiness."

"Yes sir that is correct. She literally leapt from the Eastern wall before engaging the enemy in melee combat."

Both men were seated at the major's desk. Behind them, the door was closed while the windows' curtains had been pulled. A steaming mug of fresh coffee was lying next to a pile of reports from the latest battles that the Van Doos had fought. The files were scattered all over the desk. The major had dark circles under his eyes.

"Nothing new then," sighed the older man, "Now that we've talked about that, you remember the Diet summons?"

Kinh tensed up slightly in his seat and nodded.

"Yes sir," he answered flatly.

While he relished the prospect of being back on Earth, the lieutenant didn't enjoy the fact that he had to deal with opportunist politicians.

"I don't know if you've followed the situation back home?" asked Major Parent.

"Only with a distracted eye honestly."

With all the demands of military service, the normally well informed Kinh had trouble keeping with the developments on Earth despite his chats with Marie. He had gleaned that Trudeau had kept his majority in Parliament but had remained disconnected from the rest.

"Most of Canada is supportive of our efforts here in Falmart with high approval ratings as you may know. The same goes for our old friends on the south side of the border."

"But there's a but sir," interrupted Kinh.

"Yes Lieutenant, the Japanese citizens aren't as motivated as us to continue the campaign despite everything that's happened. The dragon incident, in some people's minds, is proof that the Coalition can't handle operations here and some groups want all of us out."

Kinh rolled his eyes in annoyance at this before letting out an annoyed grunt.

'Do the Japanese people really think that the military have some kind of protocol against a fucking dragon. Oh wait... probably due because of all the Godzilla movies."

"Well sir, if you have anything I can read up before, I'll take it."

The older officer opened a drawer before withdrawing a folder and handing it to Kinh. He briefly opened it and perused it quickly before closing it again.

"Thank you sir, I'll make sure to read this as soon as possible." said the Lieutenant as he left the room.

'As soon as I finished the reports for Italica,' mentallyshrugged Kinh. He groaned at the paperwork that waited him.

Imperial Planning Room, Imperial Palace, 1400

A tall blond man scowled at the reports he was reading. A crown adorned his forehead while luxurious red clothes covered him. His red eyes narrowed in anger. Meanwhile, his subordinates looked at him nervously. Some wore robes while others had donned their battle armour.

He looked up from his parchments to his nearest advisor.

"I do not suppose you have any good news to tell me," growled Crown Prince Zorzal with his infamous scowl covering his face. The man before gulped before starting his reports.

"It appears that Princess Pina has been surprisingly successful in evacuating Alnus province and preventing the enemy from enslaving. However, her forces are stretched thin fighting and if the Outworlders attack, she'll be unable to keep them in check."

A thin smile appeared on Zorzal's face as his mind processed this information.

'Let us hope the enemy attacks then. One less rival for the throne.'

"What of the rebuilding of the legions?"

"I'm afraid that the losses on the other side of the Gate and in the battles in Alnus province have taken worst tolls than we thought," answered one of his assistants, "With so many and with many vassals having cast their lot with the enemy, we are spread thinly."

"If only we could the dead to fight again," sighed another one of Zorzal's assistants. A brief glint went through the Saderan heir's mind.

"Tell me," asked Zorzal with a wicked smile, "Have we spoken to the mages of Rondel about this war?"

Meanwhile in Alnus, Canadian Officer's quarters

Lieutenant Huynh was looking over his dress uniform. It was a simple but elegant design with few decorations and insignia on it. This was his first combat deployment after all. The shoes had been carefully polished as well. Kinh was also making a mental list of arguments he'd have to face in front of the Diet summons. He quickly remembered the instructions that Major Parent had given him as well, the words echoing in his mind.

'The VIP's have been told that they can ask certain questions about our world. We will give them brochures that'll explain the basics once you reach Tokyo but you'll have to answer with the best of your abilities until then. Another thing Lieutenant Huynh... they are not academics so keep it simple!'

It surprised him that the Japanese government had decided to have junior officers appear in front of a committee about the Coalition's campaign in Falmart along with UN officials taking part. As far as he remembered, the Canadian government had never done anything similar with their involvement in Afghanistan. Surprisingly, the Canadian government had sent representatives . He briefly remembered that one of his old bosses from his summer job was a grizzled, short tempered Afghanistan vet.

'Wonder what happened to old Gauthier huh.'

He turned towards his room's window. It was getting close to sundown. He remembered that at this time of the year, Marie would be wrapping up her classes and exams while he was firing up his barbecue. Friends would be over at their place enjoying the warming weather.

'Let's hope this ends soon... it's almost been a year since I left home.' he mused as he adjusted his tie and left the room. After walking through the busy hallways of the Canadian officers' barracks and the various yards filled with Coalition personnel bustling around for their next missions or tasks, Kinh finally arrived at the bus waiting for him.

Waiting for him was Itami and Jimmy as well as two members from RCT3, Kuribayashi and Tomita. All of them were wearing their respective dress uniforms. The JGSDF personnel had ones that were simple and somewhat similar in style to the Canadian ones. They wore berets and had few insignias on them as well.

As for Jimmy, he was dressed in Service Alphas while he stood there waiting. To kill time, he was playing a game on his cellphone.

"So where's everyone else?" asked the Canadian as he approached the other troops, "Aren't we bringing along the locals as well?"

"Yup, the Royals were getting a tour of the base," explained Jimmy as he took his eyes off his game, "One big dog and pony. They should be done soon."

"Good enough for me," answered Kinh, "At least I'm not the one doing it."

Jimmy merely rolled his eyes at this while Itami silently agreed. The Canadian just got too enthusiastic about explaining anything.

"Kinh man," he groaned, "You'd have given them a fucking 5 hour monologue about the invention of the toilet or about that summer job you had."

"Va chier man." Kinh replied as he raised his middle finger, "I'd have been super relevant. The joys of being a historian."

As the two were arguing with each other about what would happen if the Canadian ever gave a tour to anyone from Falmart, Itami noticed a group of people walking towards them.

Dressed in their blue and yellow robes, Pina and Bozes were being led towards the bus by a dozen guards drawn from the three nations' armies. They did their best to hide their emotions after such a day but it showed in their eyes. The sights and sounds of the Coalition base was overwhelming to them. It boggled their mind that man could build such things so quickly.

Upon seeing them, both Kinh and Jimmy stiffened up. After all, they were representing their countries in front of the two nobles and didn't want to look bad. The Canadian bowed his head in respect before clearing his throat while his American counterpart followed suit.

"Good day to you your Highness," politely greeted Kinh, "How has your visit of our base gone?"

"Thank you Lieutenant Huynh," Pina answered regally, her etiquette lessons kicking in. She did her best to hide her awe at today's sights. The Coalition's stronghold was unlike anything she saw. Even the mightiest Saderan fort was a small child's mud castle compared to this and it had taken less than a year to be set up.

Jimmy was talking with the man leading the guard. They saluted before the Marine turned back to the assembled nobles and Coalition personnel.

"Our transport should be here soon," he said in English, "There's also going to be a medic waiting on the other side if anyone from Falmart gets sick or anything."

"Understandable," replied Kinh. At the time, Lelei was translating what Jimmy had said. The girls had looks of confusion on their faces.

"Lieutenants, why would we get sick?" Bozes asked curiously. Kinh was about to answer but Jimmy cut him off.

"Our leaders are merely taking precautions," he explained, "In case if there's something that in our air that might affect you."

"They want to ensure your comfort and well-being before they start discussing with you," added Kinh with a smile, "This is the first time such an event happens for us so our leadership wants to ensure that everything is done right. You are nobles after all."

The rumbling of a large bus interrupted them.

"Well our transport's here," stated Itami enthusiastically. The prospect of being inside a comfortable ride appealed to the man. His dress uniform was getting rather hot and the feeling seemed to be shared by their colleagues. The Coalition officers led the Falmart guests to the bus. Most were wide-eyed at the horseless wagon before them except for Rory who looked bored.

The royals were led to the bus by the Coalition officers. Everyone enjoyed the cooler temperature inside with those wearing service uniforms blowing small sighs of relief. The various passengers took up different places inside the bus.

Kinh had taken the rear most seat of the group while Jimmy and Itami along Tomita and Kuribayashi were at the front. In the middle sat the Special Region guests. Itami cleared his throat before speaking.

"All right, as a gesture of goodwill from our leaders, we've been told to answer any questions you may have about our world so that you can come to a better understanding of Japan, the United States and Canada."

The Marine mentally groaned. He wanted some sleep on the drive to Tokyo. He caught a glimpse of Kinh. The man just looked too enthusiastic for his own good though Jimmy hoped that his Canadian friend would talk enough so that he didn't have to.

Pina timidly raised her hand.

"How do your countries work with no royalty in power? Especially the US?"

It was a simple question but for the young princess, it meant a lot.

"You want me to answer or..." asked Kinh.

As much as Jimmy wanted to shove the responsibility to someone else, it was his country that was being asked about. He certainly didn't some maple syrup drinking Canuck messing up his country's history.

"Well your Highness, the United States rebelled against a tyrant over 200 years ago that ruled over us from a distant land," he explained, "In doing so, my nation established a system where the common man chooses who will lead him but also one where no one can have complete power over the United States and its people. Our courts of justice, our Congress and our President are dependent on each other for power. This ensures that no tyrant can take easily take over."

Bozes and Pina looked surprised. A nation this powerful was run by a man chosen by commoners? But they remembered that Japan and Canada had monarchs that were mentioned by their generals.

"The United States is a union of 50 different states and multiple smaller territories with their own local leadership."

"But what about Japan and Canada?" asked Bozes, "Generals Hazama and Maxwell mentioned their emperors and queens."

Before Kinh could put in a word, Jimmy quickly spoke up.

"Hey Itami, think you and your troops can explain Japan's political system?"

Itami didn't seem pleased but luckily, Tomita decided to speak instead.

"Japan has an Emperor but he's been more or less a figurehead for most our history," stated the man, "He does have special powers but is happy letting the Diet and the Prime Minister run every day things."

"Diet?" asked Pina

"Our senate your Highness," said Kuribayashi, "The members of our Diet and our Prime Minister are chosen by the people of Japan as well."

For the nobles, these two nations had some surprisingly similar systems to the Empire. But their royalty not exercising their power? It was unheard of.

"But what about Canada?" said Bozes, "One of your soldiers said that he was from a Royal regiment."

There was a massive, overenthusiastic grin on Kinh's face.

"Ahh allow me to explain!" exclaimed the Canadian with gusto, "Canada is part of what is called the Commonwealth. It is a union of nations that formerly belonged to the British Empire."

"British Empire?" wondered Pina.

"It used to be a powerful empire centered around a country named Great Britain but it had to let go of many of its territories because it risked collapse," explained Kinh with enthusiasm, "Its royal family still has ceremonial powers over those countries which include Canada. For almost 90 years, Queen Elizabeth II has been on the throne. Some of the Van Doos actually served as her honor guard a couple of years ago."

This information surprised Pina. A queen ruling for almost a century? Not as a regent? She wondered just how terrible and ruthless such a woman had to be to keep her throne for such a long time.

The sound of a throat clearing was heard by everyone. It was Jimmy.

"Hum Kinh, I think they weren't looking for a history lesson there." he said in English.

There was a slight frown on his friend's face followed by a small "oh"

"Well, Canada has a governor-general that is the Queen's representative in our country as well as lieutenant-governors in our provinces though they have no real power whatsover." explained Kinh, "We elected our Prime Minister and our Parlement. Each province also has a Prime Minister and its own Parlement for local affairs since my country is simply too vast to be run directly from Ottawa."

The royals blinked.

"Ot-ta-wa?" wondered Pina.

"Capital of Canada." stated Jimmy quickly.

"But just how much territory does your nations have?" asked Bozes, "If you have so many governments?"

Kuribayashi decided to answer that question.

"Japan is an island nation with lots of mountains so our government is smaller if we can say that. The US and Canada on the other hand have many times more land than us."

Kinh's face lit up as he raised a finger.

"An image is worth a thousand words," he said, "Perhaps we can show you once we get back on Earth."

Jimmy and Itami nodded in agreement.

"We could ask our superiors to give you a map of our world when we get to Earth," the Marine added, "It shouldn't be too hard."

Suddenly, the intercom rang out.

"We're here!" called out the bus driver.

Hope you guys enjoyed it and saw the writing on the wall for what's coming next...