+ The RINC army is slowly closing in on Gafanna, and news gets back to Gafanna. Many of the RINC POWs are happy to hear this, but the Zakiri soldiers are not as they think they'll be made into POWs. At the same time, State 3 is encroaching on the city with a large force. While the platoon and citizen's bridage are large enough to repulse one force, they cannot do both forces, should the RINCs try to take the city.
+ The State 3 force is one day away. Dana sends scouts to check out their numbers, and, as predicted, it's the largest sent, but with the help of the citizen brigades and Dana's forces, they could hold them off. But in her logic, she realizes that even if they defeat the forces, they would come back with a larger force they couldn't handle. She would need something to scare them off permanently.
+ She walks the hallways of the barracks, listening to the laughs and jibes of the soldiers, both Zakiri and RINC, finally meshed together as a fighting whole. And then she finds a soldier alone. He's writing a letter to his family back in the RINC. She stops and talks with him a while, and relizes he has written a letter every day of his time in Gafana, but not mailed it (he doesn't know if it will ever get there). This gives her an idea.
+ She rummages through the barracks, and finds a RINC uniform from a previously captured soldier which fits the man. She dusts it off, cleans it up, but puts Zakiri rank markers and insignia on it. She quickly writes a note to the head of the RINC army headed her way. she then tells the messenger to rewrite it, as he's more of a wordsmith than she is (the diary is huge, the letters could make up their own book). Once done, she rewrites it again, adds a few code phrases and signals. She hands the letter to the soldier and tells him to meet the RINC army head on. When he gets there, ask for "Messenger's Privilidge." This is a law that would allow him to deliver Dana's message to the head of the RINC legion coming to Gafanna, and be released without fear of capture. She also suggests he takes his letters to be posted.
+ The mood is tense in the barracks, the Zakiri are not looking forward to the RINC army coming and they are prepared (and very willling) to fight. The RINC POWs, including Dana are worried that, even though they were told they would never have to fight their own brothers. Some of the Zakiri and RINCs push hard to flee Gafana and regroup elsewhere when they decide what to do about the double onslaught.
+ The messenger returns with a note and a package. She opens the package, and inside are uniforms and insignia for the RINC army. She looks at the note, and neither smiles, nor frowns, but shows grim determination, and perhaps a bit of dissapointment.
+ She addresses the troops. They are not a Zakiri Platoon. They are not a RINC platoon. They are a Gafana Platoon, and they are there to protect the city. She convinces the Zakiri soldiers to stay - she needs them to defend the city and she will do everything I can to keep you free. She convinces the RINC soldiers to stay - we will not fight the RINCs unless absolutely necessary, and only in defense of the city from desctruction. Theyre are very few desertions before the impending fight.
+ The State 3 assault comes. The Gafana Army shows up, many are wearing RINC jackets over their Zakiri uniforms, and vice versa. Dana is wearing her Zakiri uniform, with RINC insignia, pristine and military regulation for the first time in the whole story.
+ Casualties are massive on both sides, but in the end the State 3 army backs off...but doesn't retreat. Instead, another small force comes in, relief for the first force. Dana had no idea this was coming, but she's not worried. As over the hill come the RINC forces. And they are massive. The Zakiri bid a hasty retreat back to their territory without a second shot fired: They're overwhelmed, and know better than to fight a losing battle.
+ The army marches onto the city. The Gafana military also waits at the border. Dana and Thayla walk out, exposed, towards the army, and stops halfway. The approaching RINC forces pause. She shouts "I am Tarhee Dana Medina, of the free city of Gafana." Thayla wearing a RINC uniform with Zakiri markings continues:"We welcome _peaceful_ visitors to our city, with open arms. Make no trouble here, and you shall have no trouble." The RINC soldiers just pause, look at each other and try to figure out what the hell just happened.
+ Dana had banked on this, hoping the RINC army would provide the scar tactics to help keep the State 3 army away, just by showing up. Had the RINCs attacked the city, or killed her/Thayla during her declaration...she had no idea what she was gonna do.
+ The RINC army has camped just out of town. Dana enters the Captain's tent, the one who head's the RINC Army that marched on Gafana. She's in a Zakiri uniform with RINC markings. He calls her Lieutenant recognizing her rank, but admonishes her for wearing a Zakiri uniform. He expects a salute, but she gives none, standing-at-ease. She's respecting him as a fellow military person, but not as a commanding officer.
+ He tells her he recieved her message, and was not suprised to see her impressed into servince in Gafana. This is the third border city they had come across with impressed RINC commanders. But this was the first that didn't up and surrender the minute the RINC army showed up, instead declaring itself a free city.
+ He had sent along the unifroms so the RINC POWs would be back into uniform ready to report to him for debriefing. Instead only a few did and reupped with his army. "They take commands from me, sir." "And you take command from ME." "With all due respect, sir, I have not taken orders from either the RINC or Zakiri chain of command for some time. We are the free city of Gafana. We are not just RINC or Zakiri, we are BOTH RINC and Zakiri."
+ The Captain is dissapointed. "You've done good work here, under terrible circumstances. I'd hate to see you get a dishonorable discharge for desertion." "You'll have my resignation in the morning."
+ The Captain dismisses her, but she does not leave. "How long will you be staying in Gafana, Captain?" "We need to resupply, and our soldiers could use a bit of R-and-R. A few days, maybe a week to reestablish the supply line. We aren't at war with Gafana, are we, _Tarhee_ Medina?" "Everyone is welcome here, Captain. And, frankly, we could use the company."
+ She leaves, but not before the Captain stops her. "Until your resignation is on my desk, I'm still your commanding officer. I have one last order for you." She turns, kind of surprised he'd pull rank on her, despite her intentions to prove she's independent of his command. "Get a haircut. Those braids aren't regulation." She smiles "I'll think about it."
+ The captain recognizes the autonomy of Gafana, but cannot guarantee that RINC will. For the time being, though, they're at the very lease, friendly. Thayla becomes the first mayor, and de-factor leader, for the city of Gafana. The State 3 raids still occur, but at a much lower, smaller rate. Dana remains his military adviser and liason to the RINC forces occupying the area.
+ Years later, Thayla dies due to the failure of a new pump for his antidote. His last words were: "I never had the heart to tell you...Tarhee means 'Traitor.'" Dana nods: "I know."
+ Dana takes over as mayor/leader, and full diplomatic ties start (with whoever ended up winning the war, most likely the RINCs. In her last scene, she pulls aside her blouse revealing a pump and inserts an antidote cartdridge in it as if it was nothing. It, and Gafanna, have become part of her life.