Chapter 3: The Gaijin
October 1st, 1905
"Mr. President, the state department has been unable to contact our diplomatic mission in Japan, the fate of Minister Griscom and Lieutenant General MacArthur remain unknown." Secretary of State Elihu Root reported.
In response to the situation developing in Japan, Theodore Roosevelt had called for a meeting of several members of his cabinet. Along with the Secretary of State, the Vice President Charles Fairbanks, Secretary Taft of the War department, and Secretary Bonaparte of the Naval department were in attendance. Over the past few days more information about the situation had come to light, the devastation was immense, nearly all of Tokyo had collapsed into the sea, a fate shared by most Japanese coastal cities.
"That is unfortunate, what of the Russians, have they acted yet?" The President inquired.
"The Russians have do nothing yet Mr. President, and due to their losses in the war I doubt they'll be able to do much of anything for quite a long time." Root responded
Roosevelt sighed in relief, at least the Tsar would not be able to stand in his way.
"Mr. Bonaparte, is the Asiatic fleet ready?"
"Yes Mr. President they are ready to move out on your command." Charles Bonaparte replied
Roosevelt smiled, "Good, Mr. Root please have the Ambassador sent in." Elihu Root nodded and motioned for one of his assistants to retrieve the Japanese ambassador.
A few minutes later Takahira Kogoro entered the office. "Ambassador Takahira, thank you for coming, have you gotten any more information from Japan."
The ambassador bowed, "Mr. President all information I have received has been relayed to Mr. Root."
"Thank you, please take a seat." Roosevelt responded. As the Ambassador took his seat, the president began to speak. "Gentlemen, I have decided on the United States's course of actions in regard to the disaster that befell the Empire of Japan last week." the president motioned towards Charles Bonaparte, "As Mr. Bonaparte just reported, I have mobilized the Asiatic Fleet." Upon the conclusion of this meeting, a telegram will be sent to Manila ordering the Fleet to depart for Japan stocked with food and supplies. They will remain in Japan to assist with search and rescue." The President turned towards the Ambassador, "This of course is conditional on the agreement of your government."
The Ambassador was surprised, he had not expected this reaction from the United States, the nation which broke Japan's voluntary seclusion half a century ago. "I shall contact my government, but please, send them as soon as possible."
"Very well please do so." Roosevelt responded.
Before the Ambassador left the room he turned towards Roosevelt, "My people will forever be in your nation's debt for this. Thank You."
The ambassador left the room in silence, all but Secretary Bonaparte and the President himself knew what he had been planning. "What the hell are you playing at Roosevelt?" Fairbanks asked.
Roosevelt laughed, "Did you not hear what the Ambassador said?!" the room was silent, Roosevelt signed, "Gentlemen, have you looked at a map of the Pacific recently?" Roosevelt paused before motioning to Bonaparte, who produced the aforementioned map from his belongings.
"Gentlemen, I am sure I do not need to explain just how large the Pacific is and the potential problems that our Navy faces when transiting such a vast sea. Luckily, there are many small islands throughout the ocean on which our fleets can stop to resupply or from which we can man defensive structures." Charles Bonaparte explained as he began to mark certain places on the map, "Of course we have the western coast of the United States, where our Pacific Fleet is based. We also have the territory of Alaska, including the numerous islands that form the Aleutians." Bonaparte continued, moving to the middle of the Pacific, "We also have the newly acquired territories of Hawaii, Guam, and of course, the Philippines." Bonaparte moved towards Japan, marking a large cluster of islands, nearly connecting the Philippines and the Aleutians. "Along with the four main islands of Honshu, Kyushu, Shikoku, and Hokkaido, Japan also controls the Ryukyu Islands, which stretch from Formosa to Kyushu." Charles looked around the room, some of the other Cabinet members had begun to realize what the President had in mind. "In the North, Japan controls the southern half of the island of Sakhalin, along with this chain of islands they call the Chishima islands which stretch to the Russian controlled Kamchatka Peninsula." The Secretary of the Navy concluded, "Gaining control of Japan would give the United States effective control of the Northern Pacific, along with access to both China and the Russian Pacific coast."
Root was shocked, "Roosevelt are you suggesting we annex the Japanese?!"
"Of course not, that would be ridiculous." Roosevelt respond "While my experience with them has been limited, the idea that the Japanese would accept annexation is preposterous and would no doubt result in violence." Roosevelt smiled, "What I have in mind is…" He paused, "Well I like to think of it as a mutually beneficial partnership."
October 1st, 1905
The Ruins of Tokyo
Lieutenant General Arthur MacArthur Jr., American Military Attaché to Japan, was still coming to terms with the utter devastation the quake had brought. It was as if the Hand of God itself had descended upon the island nation, humbling all those who resided upon it. The two had temporarily left the city for business in the Japanese countryside, yet had just returned to the city to greet the returning Diplomats when the quake struck.
Very little of the city had remained above water, and the parts that did were completely destroyed. Yet, despite this Arthur was grateful, he had not yet requested his son be transferred to Tokyo to serve with him.
They had been trekking through the city for days, trying to find some way to contact Washington, but progress was slow. The Minister, Lloyd Carpenter Griscom, had injured his leg in the Quake, yet even so he insisted that they stop to assist anyone they could, and when they found those who they could no longer help. The devout Quaker made sure to say a quick prayer for their souls.
Many of those the Minister had saved joined the group of survivors as they journeyed through the devastated city, further slowing their progress. The group had been surviving of whatever food and water they could find from the ruins, or had been given as thanks for the Minister's help. Unfortunately, it was not enough to feed everyone and the Minister had begun to refuse his food, saying it should be given to those who needed it more.
MacArthur become increasingly concerned for the Minister's health, yet as he scanned the Bay as the early morning sun illuminated the ruins that poked above the waters, the something odd stood out to the General.
In the hours immediately following the quake, some fires still raged across the bay, yet there was only one pillar of smoke in sight on this morning. The General produced his telescope and focused on the source of the smoke.
"Minister Griscom, you need to take a look at this." The General said loudly.
The injured diplomat limped over to the General and took the telescope, "A ship… could it be the returning diplomatic delegation?" Griscom asked.
MacArthur shook his head, "No, they should have already returned to Japan. Furthermore, I know a warship when I see one." MacArthur explained, taking back the telescope. "Judging by her size… she's most likely a battleship." he examined the ship for a few extra moments, "She's steaming in our general direction, possibly looking for somewhere to dock." The General put away the telescope and turned to the Minister. "We should shadow them, perhaps they have a way to put us in contact with Washington."
The Minister nodded, "Very well, I'll do my best to inform the survivors."
One Hour Earlier
Onboard the Mikasa
Admiral Togo had remained awake throughout the night. Finding a suitable place to dock was beginning to look impossible. The outer edge of the bay was extremely shallow, and the ship was at risk of crashing into submerged buildings.
Luckily, the children were still alive, unconscious, but alive. Yet he did not know if they would last. Apart from the himself, the bridge crew, and the medical staff, no one else knew the identity of the children, and he hoped to keep it that way. The devastation surrounding them put enough stress on the crew, that knowledge that three young members of the Imperial family were in mortal danger would not help in that matter.
There was a knock on the door to his quarters, one of his officers. Admiral Togo gave him permission to enter. "Sir." He saluted
"What is it?" The Admiral asked
"The lookouts think they have found a way to bring us ashore, they're navigating the ruins as we speak."
"Good. What of the children?"
"No changes sir."
The Admiral nodded, "Very well, anything else to report?"
"Thank you, Inform me when we come closer to shore, dismissed."
A/N: Computer got fixed, but I had enough of this written to power through during spring break. Unfortunately, y'all shouldn't expect anything else from me until May at the earliest. The next thing I write will be the next Crusader of Zero, but after that I think I'll alternate between these two fics.
As for the "Behind the scenes" I was originally going to have Griscom be killed in the quake, but after researching him, I found out about his involvement in the rescue efforts in the 1908 Messina Earthquake, and I felt I needed to honor that somehow. And Yes, Arthur MacArthur is Douglas's father, and yes he was assigned to Japan at this time.
Before I answer some of the reviewer's questions, I want to ask for some help. As you may have figured out, Hirohito is going to be the Emperor in this story. However, his historical "era name' Showa (meaning something close to "Glorious Japan") does not really fit at all with the state of Japan in the story. Ideally I'd want something closer to the current (AT TIME OF WRITING THIS WILL NOT BE TRUE IN A MONTH) Era Name Heisei which Wikipedia tells me means something along the lines of "Peace Everywhere". But I really don't want to use that name (nor whatever the New Era name will be when the Japanese government reveals it on April 1st) because that seems like a bit of a cop-out. So if any of you readers has a substantial knowledge of the Japanese language or even better, is Japanese. Feel free to PM me with a suggestion, and if I end up choosing it i'll credit you. I'm looking for something along the lines of Rebuilding, rebirth, and/or peace.
Just PM me your suggestion and tell me the meaning/symbolism behind it.
Now for the reviews:
Lucyandyoshika: It's right now
DownTownAlpha: 1905 is the canon date in Haifuri i believe, and I can say for certain that Japan will not be involved in World War I. The Japanese navy will have a significant role in this story however, so don't worry.
To FreeWar: Unfortunately you should consider "We Are Legend" dead at this point. I came to realize that adding Carriers to HSF essentially nukes the universe into oblivion and completely breaks the logic behind the story (They'll find the Harekaze in like 5 minutes, and if Carriers get infected by the virus they can just bomb cities). I came to realize that an alternate WWII without japan nor carriers is a much more interesting story to tell. As for your other question… I don't want to say much… but Montana's looking pretty nice this time of year.
Thank you, and I appreciate your reviews and any Era name suggestions,