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Caught In The Web: Astyrian Conflict & Intrigue (IC/Closed)

A staging-point for declarations of war and other major diplomatic events. [In character]

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Nikolia
Diplomat
 
Posts: 891
Founded: Feb 23, 2013
New York Times Democracy

Postby Nikolia » Wed Apr 04, 2018 2:38 pm

Royal Intelligence Service
Carigrad, Nikolia
9th March, 2018, 14:10



Carigrad was unusually warm for this time of year, and the sun was reflecting off the ponds on the street that rain from the last night left. The people already got rid of their winter coats and many of them were already wearing thin jackets and skirts. The centre of the city was incredibly crowded, with cafes opening their street gardens for the first time in this year. Spring spirit finally arrived in the city, and the famous annual spring festival, the Carigrad Spring was just a week or two away. Few streets from the Aleksandar's Square, the Zero Mile of Nikolia, and the centre of Carigrad, was just one of many palaces in Carigrad. From outside, it just appeared like any other palace one could see in literally every other street of Carigrad. But this one wasn't just a palace of some wealthy nobility. This palace stored the headquarters of His Majesty's "eyes and ears", the Royal Intelligence Service. It wasn't specially guarded, no more than some embassies down the street; a tall iron fence, several armed Gendarmes patrolling around the palace, and a checkpoint at the gate that led to the courtyard.
One black LZS F6 was making its way through the streets of Carigrad to that particular palace. Nothing unusual, Carigrad had a lot of such cars, however, only a few of them had access to that courtyard. The vehicle arrived at the checkpoint and was briefly let in by the officers at the gate. As it stopped at its designated parking spot, the back doors opened, and a person emerged from the vehicle. It was a tall man, mid 40's, in a black suit that just couldn't be bought in stores in Queen Ana Boulevard. His blond hair and sharp jawline were his trademarks, but the guy wasn't known just as "that handsome guy", he was Aleksandar Radić, head of the Department of Foreign Intelligence, known simply as the 3rd Department, or RIS 3. As he got out of the car, he fixed his suit and his red tie, and proceeded to one of the entrances.
The interior of this 19th century palace showed that builders didn't spare a cent into making this palace as extravagant as possible; granite floor as smooth as glass, some paintings on the wall being older than the building itself, and marble decorations on the walls and the ceiling gave the royal feeling to this palace. All that fancy decoration hid a network of multi-million dollar worth of equipment some never seen by anyone outside this compound. While the upper floors served as administrative part of the Royal Intelligence Service, with offices and whatnot, the number of floors known only to high ranking employees lying under the ground were the place where all that "spy stuff" was being done. On one of the underground floors was core of the organisation, the Operative Center that looked more or less like a command center of some space agency; large screens covered one of the walls of the room, while in front of it were numerous of computer desks set up in rows of 5 on each side, with a passage to the central desk between the rows. Everyone had their own area of coverage: one agent was watching different news articles about Nikolia, the agent next to him was monitoring internet traffic between certain websites, and so on...
Aleksandar rushed through the main hall of the palace to the elevators, inserted the key and descended himself to whatever the floor Operative Center was on. As the elevator doors opened, it revealed a small hallway with screen doors decorated with RIS logo and with a card reader to the left of them. Aleksandar pulled out his black RIS ID, which allowed him passage to every room of the RIS, whereas other coloured ID's allowed passage only through specific doors. The reader promptly scanned the card and with an audio feedback let Aleksandar through the long and wide corridor with doors on both sides. Down the corridor were another screen doors with yet another card reader, behind them was Operative Center and that's where Aleksandar was going to.
As he entered, he proceeded to the central desk, meanwhile overlooking the rows of computers and what everyone was doing. By the central desk was a tall, slim brunette with a skirt so tight it was nearly vulgar and a matching unbuttoned jacket. She was holding a bunch of papers and was looking at the large central screen whilst talking with someone on the phone. As Aleksandar entered, the brunette, his assistant and head of the communications department of RIS 3 shifted her attention to the doors, seeing Aleksandar. As he approached, so did she to meet in the middle:
"Ah, Sara, long time no see" Joked Aleksandar, since they saw each other some two hours ago.
Sara, his long time assistant hang up the phone and stuffed it in the pocket of her jacket with a rush "Mr. Radić, at last! We need to go to the conference room, the technicians called. They have set up the connection and everyone is waiting there."
The two didn't even have the time to greet each other properly as Aleksandar was nearly dragged to the conference room by Sara.
As the two arrived, they took the central seat at the oval table, with several other people, mostly advisers, sitting on the sides. In front of the table was a large screen that was divided in several fields: one for each member of the conversation. The largest image on the screen was indeed showing Noah Vohen, Deputy Director of Operations of the Caprican Central Intelligence Agency. Several other familiar faces appeared on the screen under Noah's image, most notably representatives from Telora, Jakarta and others.
As the connection was established, everyone introduced and when Noah made an introduction to the topic of this video conference, his colleague, Daniel Zöllne proceeded with the briefing.
Aleksandar and Sara listened carefully whilst occasionally commenting the conference silently and writing the notes in their notebooks. It was unusual to them that such a large and sophisticated Caprican counterpart would ask for help to other intelligence agencies in the world but it was justified considering how great of a threat it was not only to Caprica, but potentially to other countries across Astyria. The specific issue with this being that the whereabouts of this dangerous man were unknown, even more so the whereabouts of this weapon he possessed. The whole thing about this Gabriel wasn't exactly unknown to RIS 3, as RIS 3 had agents in the arms black market in current and previous conflict zones around Astyria. And of course it had, considering that Nikolia was not a country without international criminals, specially those trying to earn their profit in illegal arms trade.
As the briefing came to the end, it was time to ask certain questions, and everyone else in the conference looked hesitant to even say something. Aleksandar had several things to say, so he fixed his posture, cleared his throat and broke the silence:

"Ladies, gentlemen, I believe we all know each other..." he said while shifting his look from one face to another on the large screen in front of him "but out of culture I would like to firstly introduce myself: I am Aleksandar Radić, Director of the Department of Foreign Intelligence or the Royal Intelligence Service, more known as RIS 3." he added.

"Mr. Vohen, my assistant Sara and myself were carefully listening to this briefing of your colleague, Mr. Zöllne, and followed suit the documents we were provided with.

First of all we would like to thank you and your organisation for contacting our, and many other Astyrian intelligence agencies asking for help. As one wise man once said, he who is not embarassed to ask for help is strong, because he knows his limits, and for that you deserve our respect. Now, to get on more serious issues..."

Aleksandar made a short pause while shifting his attention on the bunch of papers laying on front of him on the desk. He "scanned" the documents and with an aid of his index finger found the things he was looking for. Upon finding them, he took a breath, then continued:

"So, we previously reviewed the documents we received from you... Indeed a great threat is onto us considering how this person, Gabriel Sheer is dangerous, however, we are not completely unfamiliar with this individual" Aleksandar then pulled a paper from the pile in front of it, and with audible surprise continued "Mister Gabriel Sheer, Caprican born. As some of you might know, several Nikolian born individuals are high ranking arms dealers in Kamalbia and Insula Fera. We have been tightly monitoring them for at least a year now, and we can with utmost certainty say that one of them, known simply as Viktor, was in contact with Mr. Sheer. Based on our intelligence reports, the two met in a mountain resort in North Fyngaria in late February this year. The details of the meetup are unknown as it was not possible to obtain any further intel other than a footage of the two sitting in the lounge, both carrying briefcases. Day after the meetup Viktor was seen leaving the resort, while Gabriel was not seen. My question to everyone here is: do we know any active group that would be able to purchase such weapon, that is, what group would be the most probable customer of it? Further question is, do we have details on Cerberus, what kind of nerve agent it is, in what form is contained, how it manifests and so on. Thanks"

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San Joaquin Valley
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Posts: 64
Founded: Aug 03, 2014
Democratic Socialists

Postby San Joaquin Valley » Thu Apr 12, 2018 8:14 pm

0000 Hours
Classified Location
San Joaquin River Delta Region


Sitting within the confines of an inconspicuous ranch house, which was infact a numbers station operated by the Servicio Nacional de Inteligencia, agent 'Henrique', a man of 30 years dialed into a familiar shortwave radio station just before midnight & flipped a switch upon his communications board for his headset as to hear clearly without interruption. A partner in the agency, 'Pedro', an older & more experienced member of the SNI approached the room he was in, leaning against the wall to also listen in to the external speakers of the channel. The station they were listening to, dubbed "Radio Contando la Muerte" or "Counting Death", broadcasted at 4625kHz and was under the operation of the Nauvoo Legion in Nova Deseret. The short, monotonous beeping & buzzing tone repeated itself 18 tones per minute, 24 hours per day, every day without fail with the exception to the various hour marks in the day. Upon the completion of each hour, 3 quick beeps would emit to signify its passing, but upon every 6th hour, 4 quick beeps followed by a longer buzz would occur.

It was at these times in hostile days past that coded messages would be sent out to the Nauvoo Legions operatives out of the country. Although the station had been quiet going on almost 8 years, it was constantly monitored by the San Joaquin & other EATA intelligence services. Originally set up in the late 60s by the Nova Deseret Government, its true origin still remains a mystery outside of the Grand Republic despite the outside worlds best efforts to find it. 'Henrique' reached over to the other side of the control panel & flipped an additional toggle which began the recording before the witching hour struck.

...."Beep"......."Beep"......."Beep"......."Beep"......."Beep"......."Beep"......."Beep".."Beep".."Beep".."Beep".."Buuuuuzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz"...................................

The seconds seemed to drag on forever following the end of the buzz, where no beeping continued. He quickly turned to 'Pedro' who was wide eyed, intently staring at the device expecting the beeping to return. He knew what this was to mean while 'Henrique' was to experience it first hand for the first time. Another few seconds passed without additional feedback at which point, 'Pedro' took off from the room to gather items around the home. 'Henrique' remained at his post, listening for any signs of feedback past the static background. His hands gripped with a pen on paper anxiously waiting for what was next, as a bold voice spoke out in clear english:

....................."FIVE, SEVEN, ZERO, NINE, EIGHT, EIGHT, NINE, TWO, SIX, ZERO, NINE, THREE, NINE, NINE, EIGHT, ONE, FOUR, SEVEN, NINE, TWO, FIVE, ONE, SEVEN, ZERO, TWO"...

....................."FIVE, SEVEN, ZERO, NINE, EIGHT, EIGHT, NINE, TWO, SIX, ZERO, NINE, THREE, NINE, NINE, EIGHT, ONE, FOUR, SEVEN, NINE, TWO, FIVE, ONE, SEVEN, ZERO, TWO"...


It was then Patriotic music reminiscent of the Grand Republics national anthem's introduction suddenly blared from the station before cutting out seconds later, returning to the familiar beeping the station was known for. 'Henrique' removed the headphones but kept the recorder in action, incase the message was not over with just yet. A phone within the house began to ring, answered by 'Pedro' who hung up seconds after without a speaking a word to the caller. He looked to 'Henrique' and with a head nod towards to back of the room they stood said, "La noche está activa. Tenemos 20 minutos para llegar a la armería..."
Last edited by San Joaquin Valley on Fri Apr 13, 2018 7:45 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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British Hifax
Diplomat
 
Posts: 627
Founded: Nov 30, 2014
Democratic Socialists

Postby British Hifax » Fri Apr 20, 2018 4:18 pm

[ Cologne, Nidwalden,
2 April ]


‘...and… a brownie, please’, said Ana Paula Lessa to the waitress. The woman, seated by the window and looking through it to the street was waiting for her husband, Juan Ignacio Ferrer, a diplomat from the Hifaxian High Commission.

While she was waiting for him she started her meal and looking to the frozen street a man surprised her, Ana Paula knew him but she couldn’t gave a name to him, the guy approached her and seated in the chair in front of her, the guy looked her and said in german, ‘tell to your husband to take care, Princetown is behind you’, and like he came, he left walking through the door of the café.

A minute or two later Juan Ignacio came and Ana Paula, in a state of nervousness told him about the previous event with the guy, Juan tried to calm down his wife and immediately they left the café. Both got into the Breuer S6 and moved towards their home. When they reached the mansion, Ana Paula went to the bedroom and packed some of her clothes and jewels while Juan Ignacio was doing some calls to friends and colleagues at the High Commission of Hifax in Koninstad, after that he went to the bedroom and asked if everything was done, Ana Paula said yes and he looked for the passports and some thousands of Noordenstaatian Kroons.

Ana Paula Lessa and Juan Ignacio Ferrer left the city in direction to the airport where both bought the tickets for Koninstad in the First Class of AirNid, according to the plan of Juan, this had to be the last buy done with the black card.


[ Grand Hyatt, Koninstad,
Noordenstaat,
4 Wednesday ]


‘We are supposed to have a meeting here but let’s wait for a call or a message first’, said Ferrer opening the door of the presidential suite with a card.

‘Do we know for how long are we going to be here?’

‘Not for too much, if Princetown finds a connection with me and the company we’ll have to leave... for a time, but if not, we’ll be back in Cologne in a week or two at much’, Ana Pula gave a sigh, ‘...but don’t worry, I’m sure they won’t find anything wrong’.

Both did a long silence and Juan said, ‘I’m going to the High Commission, they have a car there for us, don’t you want to come to calm down?’

‘Yes, wait a moment’, answered Ana Pula going for her white coat whom put over a grey knit top and black over the knee boots.

They took the lift to the lobby of the hotel and asked for a car with driver who took them to the Hifaxian High Commission where a university friend of Juan Ignacio -who didn’t know the whole story- was waiting them with the LZS F7. On the drive back to the hotel everything felt weird, behind them, a Range Rover Vogue with diplomatic license plate seemed to be chasing them while at the same time didn’t.

To avoid problems Juan turned to the left and drove through some alleys of the city to reach the hotel on time, however, the Range Rover seemed to appear everywhere they went, doing suspects movements and approaching them on the back.


[ Waldorf Astoria of Koninstad,
Noordenstaat,
6 Friday - 08:15 a.m. ]


For the next night, Ana Paula and Juan Ignacio booked another suite in another hotel not so far from the Hyatt. During the night of the 5th Ana Paula had been very nervous and anxious about their situation at the point to woke up every two hours. For her things weren’t getting better, they were getting worse and she knew that Juan didn’t had a solution for the problem, there was something else that he was hiding, a phone call, a message, an email, there was something that was complicating the things so for the next morning while they were having breakfast at the living room of the suite she tried to bring the topic to the conversation.

‘Juan, I’ve been having the feeling that things aren’t fine, is there anything you want to tell me?’, said Ana Paula leaving the cup of coffee on the marble table.

‘Everything’s all right honey, the Range Rover of yesterday was probably from the hifaxian police, they know that we’re here but that’s all, I already made some phone calls…’ answered Juan without looking at her face, like hiding something.

‘A phone call to the company or to the High Commission? or to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs?’, asked Ana Paula with a harder tone of voice, ‘No lo estás entendiendo, nuestras vidas corren peligro y lo sabes’.

‘I can’t answer that now but we’re going to have a meeting today here, I want you to be out… for your own good, you’ll have the keys of the car, there’s a purse with Hifaxians Francs and some guns on the back, úsalos si tienes que, I'll show you later’. answered again Juan finishing his glass of juice and standing up from the coach.


[ 03:10 - Entrance of the Waldorf Astoria ]

Juan took Ana Paula to the entrance of the hotel where the car was parked, both got inside and he said, ‘The car is armored, like any of the cars of the High Commissions so don’t worry if someone shoots you…’ at the same time he extended his arm to the glove compartment and opened it, ‘here, there’s a gun, you’ll know how to use it if it’s needed…’ and closed it, ‘...now let’s go out…’, both got out of the luxurious car, ‘It has diplomatic plate, I’m sure you won’t have any problem with the police,’ said and opened the car boot, ‘this bag probably has a million francs and your passport…’ said while pointing at the Louis Vuitton sac souple, ‘...again, use them if you need to.’


[ 03:29 - Presidential Suite, Waldorf Astoria ]

‘Ok, they are coming, be ready to go down’, said Juan Ignacio to his wife while watching a message at his iPhone.

‘Right, wait a moment and I’ll be ready’.

‘Be fast Ana, please’.

Ana Paula walked down the corridor to the bedroom where she opened the placard and picked a black jean with a white top and combined them with a camel coat, a pair of black high stilettos and a purse, as always.

‘Al mal tiempo, buena cara’, sighed.

After she got ready, she walked to the living room where her husband was, both looked at each other and kissed as it was the last time they were going to see each other, she grabbed her iPhone from a table next to the door and when she opened it there were them, two men dressed with black suits and gloves. The only reaction of Ana Paula was to scream but she was silenced by the hand of one of the guys as the two entered to the suite and closed the door. On her back, Juan ran to the bedroom but a silent gun shot from one of the guys stopped him on the middle of his way. Ana Paula tried to scream again but the man was stronger and took her to the bathroom where with a flower vase hit her on the head leaving the woman without conscience on the jacuzzi, at the same time the other guy threw millions of Hifaxians banknotes around her body.
P R I N C I P A D O....D E....H I F A X
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British Hifax
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Founded: Nov 30, 2014
Democratic Socialists

Postby British Hifax » Tue Apr 24, 2018 11:14 am

[ Brisa Pacífica St. 557
Casuarinas, Princetown
20 April - 04:30 p.m. ]


The day in Princetown was incredibly nasty with temperatures of 10°C outside and even 8°C for some parts of the day. For the afternoon, like the forecasts predicted, it started to rain, however, as many wouldn’t think, the scene in Casuarinas was beautiful, the dark blue sea mixing with the grey sky on the horizon and the waves crashing on the rocks was something that everyone would love to see, specially if you were inside of a mansion on the cliffs.

The house of the dead Juan Ignacio Ferrer and his wife, Ana Paula Lessa, had a modern exterior design of three floors. The first one, guarded from the street with a fence of rectangular green shrubs and a wall of grey stones, contained the garage and some other stuff while the second and the third floors were designed to have spectacular views of the green hills and streets of Casuarinas on a side and the blue sea and pool on the other with enormous windows.

The last days were absolutely crazy and hard for Ana Paula, her mind was occupied not only by the death of her husband but also for the fall of a beautiful world of jewelry and trips on first class around the world. Today, for her luck one of the bests lawyers in Princetown was going to visit her and find a way to not going to jail by the very long record of economic offences on hands of the Hifaxian and Noordenstaater justice.

The bell of the house sounded and and Ana Paula walked to see who was,

‘I am Vicente Fox, your lawyer’, heard Ana Paula and answered,

‘Please, come on in.’

The gate opened and the grey Breuer B9 entered to the house slowly and going through a heavy rain, the lawyer, a blonde, tall man of 45 years old opened his black umbrella that combined with his black coat and suit with a briefcase on hand.

‘Welcome Mr.’ said Ana Paula to the lawyer, ‘Please, give me the coat, I’ll put it to dry.’

‘Oh, please, thank you.’ answered the man while Ana Paula walked to the laundry room leaving Vicente alone on the spacious and luminous living room with immense windows that had view to the sea, however, he focused in another thing, the news on the TV.

‘...Paula Lessa acaba de volver de Noordenstaat, que es lo que en verdad pasó en aquella suite del Waldorf Astoria? todas las repercusiones del caso...’ Ana Paula surprised him from his back turning off the TV.

‘The media, they will always say what they want’ sighed.

‘This is Hifax Ana Paula, media is important but justice is who really reigns’.

‘I hope so, these weeks has been an earthquake in my life... do you want a coffee?’, asked Ana Paula while doing a slight movement with his hand to a servant.

‘Please but let’s start fast, we only have a hours to arm your declaration before the Carabiniers come to take you, a safe source informed me that they are sure about what they will do, it is just a matter of seconds…’ said Fox before adjusting a chronometer and taking out a block of notes from his briefcase.

Outside the day was getting worse and the sounds of the rain and the thunders were even harder than before, Vicente Fox then continued,

‘We both know the reality, your husband, Juan Ignacio Ferrer had a very lucrative business with certain Noordenstaater companies to provide them with an easily way to open offshore accounts and avoid taxes in banks of Hifax… now, the justice is sure that you were an important part of the puzzle… fake signatures, travels around the world, millions without declaration.. it is a fact and Hifax has proven its severity when it is about frauds, tax avoidance and all that… let’s think that they have all the needed evidence, it is obviously they will first ask about your days in Cologne as the wife of an employee of the High Commission, what you could tell me about that?’

‘Well, it was a dream, I can not deny it but it was not extraordinary to my life, everything I could got there I had it here, the dinners, the jewelry, the travels, everything.’

‘How was your relation with your husband? Have you ever talked about work? Have you ever see… uhm… ‘weird’ people? Businessman, people that did not worked at the High Commission?’

‘Well, of course but that was all part of the job, work meetings, contracts with companies, everything was normal and part of his job, I really do not see the point.’

‘The point is easy Ana Paula, a diplomat could travel all around the world without raise suspicions, that, besides the simple fact that he was a connection with one of the tax havens of Astyria, companies knew and know that… as I told you, this is a fact. Now, what you could tell me about your life as the wife of a diplomat?’, asked again the lawyer.

And it was pretty much like that. The 2nd of March a software bug in the servers of the Principal Bank of Princetown revealed that a society was having multiple ‘Business Accounts’ filled with the maximum amount of francs, when the PBP looked closer and analyzed them, they founded that they were all connected with false accounts in banks of Hifax and only one name connected them all, De Wijk Logistiek. Laws in Noordenstaat prohibited this kind of actions and they had tracked this company for more than a year, it was obvious that they knew what was happening so when the failure happened in the Hifaxian bank the Noordenstaatse Rijksbank pushed them to reveal names with the threat of revoking the license of working in the Lorecian Community, for over a month the Hifaxian justice worked in conjunction with the Noordenstaater authorities in the money laundering and tax avoidance topic, with this happening, an order of the justice was enough to lift the bank secrecy and the name appeared: Juan Ignacio Ferrer, a 36 years old diplomat from the Hifaxian High Commission in Cologne. Like Vicente Fox said, a diplomat was not only the best connection with Hifax, but also, he could travel all around the world without raise suspicions. Noordenstaater companies were forced to declare every cent they had to the state but that was not a problem for De Wijk Logistiek, it was a problem for the executives who with extremely high salaries were always looking ways to avoid taxes and Juan Ignacio was a very important contact, he was the bridge between an illegal operation and the high world of the finances leading in the end to a legal operation in the territory of Hifax.

The woman remembered the multiple times that signed documents and opened accounts so she sighed and started again, ‘I do not know where to start but yes, I always knew what we were doing, my brother is also a diplomat and I always knew that the normal salary, by how high it is, it would not be enough to all the things we had, the cars, the mansion, we both knew it but we were blinded… and I was part of that system, I do not think that the Hifaxian justice do not know about me, they probably have tones of documents signed by me.’

‘What kind of documents?’

‘Cheques, accounts, documents in general. I was in charge of opening accounts, send documents to Koninstad, Princetown and inside Cologne. I know many of the names that they are looking for.’

‘Tell me one of the times you signed those documents, who were with you?, what kind of documents you were signing?.’

Ana Paula looked the rain falling over the large pool and said, ‘Cologne, probably the first of December. We both went to one of the branches of the Banca Casuarina, we opened one or two accounts with a false name, we had multiple IDs so it was easy, I signed them all and later in the day an executive went to the mansion, we had a talk and he said that it was a matter of time to have Princetown on our backs so we had to be very careful of what we were doing, they were probably the lasts accounts we opened.’

‘Could you tell me the name of the executive?’

‘Klaas van Geelen.’

‘Ok, yes…’ said Vicente while looking a list in a paper shit, ‘...he is on the papers.’

The conversation continued for over more than an hour before going to the second important topic. The death of Juan Ignacio Ferrer. The tests done by the Noordenstaater police confirmed the presence of a third or even a fourth person in the suite, however, the absence of fingerprints complicated everything.

‘Ok, now, I know this is hard for you and that everything happened so fast and not so much time ago but they will ask you about it and it’s one of the charges that they have against you…’ the men did a pause, ‘...the murder of you husband… is there anything you could tell me?, how it happened?, previous ‘weird’ events?’

‘Well yes, after that visit of Klaas van Geelen that I told you we didn’t opened any other account, we only did a couple transfers of francs… nothing very big but four or three days before everything happened I was in a café of Altstadt waiting for Juan and…’ a mental flash came to Ana Paula, the guy that appeared in the café was the same that went to the mansion , ‘...this… this same guy appeared and told me that Princetown was behind us, after that he disappeared walking through the door, everything was so weird and strange that after a minute Juan came and then we left to Koninstad, I suppose that the idea of Juan was to disappear for some days, I think he knew something, a message, an email, a phone call… I really don’t know. Also, the first day in Koninstad a Range Rover Vogue chased us from the High Commission to the Hyatt, then we changed our hotel… that was also very strange.’

‘Ok, just to let you know, apparently Juan had contact and argues with executives from De Wijk Logistiek, he was going to leave the business but they didn’t let him.’

‘Isn’t that enough evidence to say that it wasn’t me?’, asked Ana Paula.

‘Yes and no, there isn’t a clear connection between that and the murder, the justice may accept it but they also may not so we must think in something… a story to convince the judge and the lawyers.’

Ana Paula and Vicente Fox continued for more than an hour remembering and agreeing in the story that both were going to tell to the judge during the trial. It was not 30 minutes later that they finished when a luxurious black Mercedes Benz Vito with a blue warning light on the roof arrived to the mansion escorted by two light blue and white LZS SUVs of the police. The Carabiniers asked for the lady and she got up in the van leaving Casuarinas in direction to the Palace of Justice to be under detention until the trial in the next morning.
P R I N C I P A D O....D E....H I F A X
Embassy Program | Royal Air | Principal Bank of Princetown | MoAA | Techint
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British Hifax
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Posts: 627
Founded: Nov 30, 2014
Democratic Socialists

Postby British Hifax » Tue May 01, 2018 4:45 pm

[ Princetown, Hifax
21 April - 10:20 a.m. ]


The notice of of the detention of Ana Paula Lessa served as a final point to a part of an operation started by the Carabiniers to find a money laundering network, however, everyone knew that her trial was just the beginning of something bigger. During the trial Ana Paula revealed not only important names from De Wijk Logistiek that were never named, nonetheless, the justice required proofs and evidence that those important names were involved in the case. For this, the name of a famous law firm from Hifax appeared, Erckens Hayek. This law firm was known among the Hifaxian upper class for serve them with one of the best legal and financial assistance but it was also known by the intelligence of the Carabiniers for having certain ‘illicit activities’ in the countries where they operated. Since the death of Juan Ignacio Ferrer, their work with De Wijk Logistiek in Noordenstaat could be one of them.


[ House of Niklas Erckens - Casuarinas, Princetown - 10:25 ]

Until 10:20 a.m., the day in Princetown seemed just like any other, a sunny morning refreshed by a slight breeze. Inside the headquarters of the Carabiniers, the Intelligence division was doing a hard work but it was the final for after a year of investigation. For this morning a selected team was going to stay inside the building watching the 548 cameras around the city-state and tracking Niklas Erckens and León Hayek from their houses to the offices where the Carabiniers were going to have another team.

‘Niklas, maybe this is the time for a vacation…’ said the wife of Niklas while sliding destinations in a tablet and sunbathing in a lounge chair ‘....like we spoke weeks ago, we have the villa in Saint Barths, we could fly to…ah, here, look, Aspen? Ister? Lema? Bali?…’, said the wife of Niklas while sliding destinations in her tablet.

Niklas Erckens and his family knew that this was not the best moment to be in Princetown, the investigation was starting to be dangerous for them after the declaration of Ana Paula and their houses and offices were riddled with documents and money from De Wijk Logistiek and others companies.

‘It’s a nice place to be yes…’, said Niklas while reading the notices at the El Día newspaper where the notice of the death of Juan Ignacio was on the front page, ‘...however, I can’t leave León with this situation, the Carabiniers are ready to act and in any case we must be here to give a formal and clear image…’

‘Niklas, it’s ok to think sometimes in you, León also knows what he should be doing, Erckens and Hayek must give a responsible image yes, but we know that this is not the moment to be here… less knowing that the Carabiniers are behind us…you never know what they could do...’

Niklas threw the newspaper over the tea table and raised his head seeing the infinity pool and the coast in the distance, ‘...book five seats for Bali.. oh, we can’t use the credit card… and don’t take too much clothes’

At the same time María Pía Erckens, daughter of Niklas was in her way to the modern villa of her father. While she was driving her white Range Rover Evoque through the Brisa Pacifica Street before it gets inside Casuarinas, at some point two LZSs SUVs and an Audi from the Carabiniers overtook her car at high speed with the warning lights turned on but she didn’t mind them, however, the police cars did exactly her same route. At the gate of the private neighbourhood inside Casuarinas where her parents lived she listened to one of the Carabiniers say to the gate guard about a detention order to Erckens, in the moment she tried to go in reverse but another car was already behind her so in a state of nervous she grabbed her cellphone from the purse on the back next to her little daughter,

‘Come on Martín, answer the fucking cell phone…’ she said while entering to the gated community and following the police cars, ‘can’t you answer when I’m calling you?’ she said.

‘What’s happening Pía?’

‘The Carabiniers are in front of the house of my father, they have a detention order.’

‘What?’, shouted the husband of María Pía, ‘...I’m going, don’t move from where you are and don’t talk with any Carabinier’, said while grabbing the keys of his car.

In the modern mansion one of the officers ringed the bell and the wife of Niklas went to answer.

‘Does Niklas Erckens live here?’

‘Yes… why?’, answered the woman with a preoccupation face.

‘We have a detention order and a search warrant…’ said the officer, ‘...does anyone else live or is in the house now?’ asked while giving the papers to the woman and walking towards the clean white and modern living room with enormous windows that led to the infinity pool.

The officers walked around the whole house searching for false walls, hidden money, documents and anything that could serve as a proof.

‘Niklas Erckens?’

‘Yes?’, answered.

‘You are under temporal arrest for money laundering and conspiracy’, stated the officer, ‘what are the passports for?’, asked when he saw the suitcases in the bed and the wardrobe opened and with clothes out.


[ Mistiqué Café, Princetown Central Station - Casuarinas, Princetown - 10:25 ]

Inside the Central Station in front of the indoor garden located in the centre of it before the immigration and check in process the famous and glamorous Mistiqué Café was located. With a fancy living room with view to the garden and a pair of tables inside, this café was one of the most expensive of the world and Hifax.

‘Huh, what a problem…’ sighed León while reading the same newspaper that Niklas had in his house.

‘Your bill, Mr.’, said the waitress to León.

‘Thank you’, said the man while giving his Select black card.

At the same, two cars from the Carabiniers were going through the big arch at the entryway of the station and stopped at the circular driveway in front of the main entrance. The officers got off the cars and walked towards the central hall of the station where the café was and when they found León they said,

‘León Hayek, we have an arrest warrant against you, please, come with us’.


[ Erckens Hayek Headquarters - Vitacura, Princetown - 10:30 ]

Just five minutes after the Carabiniers reached the house of Niklas Erckens a new team was inside the offices of Erckens Hayek, a modern building of three floors located on the hills of Vitacura.

The three cars stopped at the driveway and a team of 14 officers, lawyers and observers got off from the SUVs and walked towards the crystal building.

‘We have a search warrant, please one of you will have to come with us’, said a policewoman to the guys seated in the reception desk.

In the three floors of offices the Carabiniers stopped the operations and the workers had to move from their desks. Every paper, every document inside drawers and coffers ended in the bigs evidence bags while everyone inside the building, including officers and workers, knew that this could be the way that the Hifaxian justice was going .

Everyone inside the building, including workers and officers, knew that this was not a simple registration to the headquarters of one of the biggest law firms, everyone knew that the papers and documents now in hands of the justice will show more than simple numbers, those documents contained the real numbers of many executives and even CEOs of companies around the world. This operation of the Carabiniers of Princetown and the Intelligence services of Hifax was not only a hit to the wealthiest people of Astyria, but also a hit to the corruption and a sample of the transparency inside the Carabiniers of Princetown and the Hifaxian justice.
Last edited by British Hifax on Wed May 02, 2018 4:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
P R I N C I P A D O....D E....H I F A X
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Ex-Nation

Postby Greater Belkan Reich » Thu May 17, 2018 10:11 am

Central Headquarters Oderland, Northern Belka
Lorencian Front
0130H | Fog | 1°C


A strong northern wind passing over the snow capped peaks of the Steir Mountain Range brought about a sudden chill throughout the plains below. The people who lived in the valleys south of the range, having just grown accustomed to the warmth of summer, were reluctant to dig out winter coats and jackets in response but when faced with the alternative, they were given little choice, it was either button up or freeze. All across Northern Belka, the mythological fatherland of the nation, mothers were bundling their children in layers upon layers of extra clothing in an effort to keep warm and while they were attempting to stave off the cold, thousands more were buttoning up in a different sort of manner.

For months now, Belkans had watched in horror as their fellow countryman who had been on the wrong side of the line a long time ago were hunkered down, fighting a cold of their own; the frigid winds of oppression or so they were led to believe. The Republic of Arstotska, Belka's antagonistic western neighbor, whose very existence was silently considered a direct insult to the honor of the entire nation, had been quietly subverting the attempts of ethnic Belkans in the eastern provinces to rejoin their fatherland and Belkans across the region cried out in horror as hundreds were cut down in massacre after massacre.

The situation had been allowed to continue by the international community, with not one condemnation, not one word of reproach from the liberal democracies and constitutional monarchies that had sought to impose an western style government upon Belka. Scheming fiendishly to deprive Belkans of the unalienable right to be at one with their homeland.

With nowhere to turn and facing genocide, Arstotskans, ethnic Belkans and sympathizer armed themselves in an attempt to preserve their way of life, to protect their communities from utter destruction and again, the world was silent. Not one word was said as ethnic warfare waged right in the heart of Lorecian . Civilians, fathers,brothers, cousins and uncles took up arms against the oppressive republic, crying out at the top of their lungs with every breath in their bodies for the world to hear their pleas, for their right to choose their own destiny and all for naught. The world was silent.

Isolated gun battles raged all along the frontier, the smoldering embers of a conflict long thought extinguished being reignited by the indomitable will of a people to seize their own destiny as their fatherland had done.

While Belkans watched with bated breath as the conflict spiraled quickly out of control, the Fatherland listened and waited until it couldn't anymore. High in the mountains, nestled deep within the picturesque valleys of Northern Belka, plans were being made for the liberation of Belka's children.

First came the mobilization of the reserves, hundreds of part time citizen soldiers, the very embodiment of the civic will of Belka were called to arms silently and without the hustle and bustle commonplace in places like Caprica or Aquitayne. Over a period of six months more than a dozen divisions were brought up to strength and slowly assembled along the border. The infamous 1st Division, known to locals as the Hell Raisers, were the first to be sent to the border, followed by the 3rd Division and the 9th Division which made up what was being called the Northern Army though officially it constituted Temporary Defense Corps I. More than four hundred kilometers to the south, the 2nd,4th and 8th Divisions made up II Corps.

From the very beginning, Supreme Chancellor Vêlik had appealed to first, the World Assembly and then the East Astyrian Treaty Alliance to do something, anything to put a stop to the violence. The ''great'' powers of Astyria were in the end powerless to do anything at all, either through lack of desire or lack of will but Belka could sit idle no longer.

Now, deep in the mountains of northern Belka the entire High Command of the Armed Forces(HCAF) was assembled at Central Headquarters Oderland, awaiting the official start of the liberation of Arstotska, code named Operation: Masterstroke.

Central Headquarters Orderland was an positively massive complex, consisting of dozens of hardened military bunkers, guard towers, no less than six airfields of varying sizes and troop accommodations for an entire tank division and it's vehicles dispersed over one hundred kilometers and surrounded by concertina wire and prepared fighting positions.

Behind the wires, guard towers and uniformed guards; inside a nondescript grey bunker complex, was the entirety of the Belkan General Staff,Generals Peter Bohrer & Manfred Engelhardt, Lieutenant Generals Jorg Auer, Helmut Moede, & Adolf Ertmann and finally Major Generals Hans Frank & Peter Haarhaus and their accompanying staff. Between them, these men controlled the entire Belkan military establishment. They'd developed the plans for the invasion, assembled the troops, moved them to their starting positions, equipped, trained, and provisioned their forces all at the order of the Supreme Chancellor.

All seven were waiting patiently in a borderline opulent conference room tucked safely in the bowels of the sprawling concrete complex. They were seated along an almost ten meter long oak conference table which had been meticulously shaped and carved with Direwolfs and eagles in it's center and digital interfaces along it's edges for those seated around it to interact with various devices around the room and the outside world. Adorning the walls were depictions of famous victories of the Belkan Army and Navy dating back to the 16th century, all recently commissioned by the Supreme Chancellor and done in the particular fashion of the time period that they depicted. Digital screens were mounted every two meters in between the patriotic artwork. And positioned right in the center of the largest wall were two flags; one for the country and one for the National Fatherland Party with the ''Iron Triad'' depicting the titular pillars of the Belkan state, representing the values that would make the country great again, Loyalty, Obedience and Courage.

Sitting opposite of the generals were the highest ranking ministers in Belka; the Vice Chancellor Viktor Metrac, Minister of the Interior Armin Primakov, Minister of Foreign Affairs Herman Brunner , Minister of Defense Thomas Gilzean, Commandant of the State Security forces Albert Kratek, Director of Intelligence Johann Kramer, & Minister of Public Affairs Josef Ritschel. Together these men represented the ruling faction of the government of Belka, all personally selected and appointed by the Supreme Chancellor to assist in carrying out the duties and responsibilities of state.

The military faction for what good it did them weren't Social Nationalists in the normal fashion; when the Supreme Chancellor came to power they were oath bound to follow him and many secretly harbored doubts about the kind of leadership he proposed to bring to the country but increases in both the defense budget and their own salaries quelled most of their doubts and they rapidly fell in line with the regime, if not out of loyalty then necessity as reports of dissidents disappearing under night and fog increased.

In the same token, their counterparts across the table had all either rapidly embraced the party's ideology or already been long term comrades with the Supreme Chancellor and been swept into power with him. Their loyalty was not circumstantial outside of the odd closet opportunist. The two sides were united not by common politics or upbringing, ranging from commoners to landed aristocrats, but by their service to the Supreme Chancellor and the state of which he was master.

And like well trained hounds, the entire room leapt to their feet as the main door opened and two State Security troopers entered, followed by Supreme Chancellor Aldric Velik himself, strolling into the room leisurely as if he was simply taking his morning constitutional.

Velik was a rather unassuming individual, neither towering over his subordinates nor being dwarfed by them, he stood of average height and his rather athletic figure concealed neatly underneath a simple gray three piece suit that was extremely well made and a cream colored trench coat. His hair was immaculately groomed and he was devoid of any facial hair. Though while not unattractive by any means, something about the way his face was shaped prevented him from truly being considered handsome. Wrinkles were prominent near his eyes though and the distinct lack of gray hairs made his exact age hard to pinpoint though it was obvious that he was somewhere between his mid forties and early fifties if one had to guess. His only really distinguishing feature were his eyes which were a truly brilliant hue of electric blue and had a sort of inherent ''life'' about them that concealed immense intelligence behind their stunning depths.

He waved his hand dismissively, allowing the room to relax and he took his seat, at the head of the table in a comfortable but austere looking chair that was different from the rest in the room. If one looked at it from precisely the right angle, it could be mistaken for a throne.

In a calculated and well practiced act of deference, the room waited until the exact moment that the Supreme Chancellor took his seat to do the same, sitting down in unison, both minister and military man alike, though the soldiers had a much more rigid way of going about it than the others.

General Bohrer spoke up first.

''''Corps one and two are positioned and ready along the border, awaiting orders, your Excellency.


Taking the General's lead, the rest of the military spoke in turn, giving unnecessary, personal reports of their respective areas of responsibility from Intelligence to Logistics and armament, to support.

In truth it was all information that everyone already knew, the divisions had been in place for over a month now, with the start date of the operation having been pushed back repeatedly over weather, conflicting reports from diplomats and chiefly spies within Arstotska. Every last detail had been meticulously planned, drilled, rehearsed and planned again. The overall scheme of maneuver hadn't changed since the day the Supreme Chancellor had indicated his intention to go to war in the first place, more than six months ago.

First low-altitude long-range cruise missiles will level the Arstotskan Parliament building and Prime Ministerial residence, along with major roadways, transportation hubs in the capital, military and civilian runways, power stations, military buildings and infrastructure, identified anti air defenses, hangars and water treatment plants followed by the 2nd, 3rd and 5th Air Divisions crossing the border and exposing enemy artillery and anti-air defenses and establishing air supremacy. Simultaneously, ethnic Belkan militias which had covertly receiving arms shipments for months now would strike major government buildings and service stations all across the eastern provinces and engage law enforcement personnel drawing attention away from the border and adding to the general feeling of mayhem that the country will be feeling. After the suppression of enemy anti-air assets, Corps I & II will cross the border push into the country before turning and enveloping all of the responding military units, creating a massive salient and cutting off the entirety of Eastern Arstotska from the rest of the country. A third corps consisting of State Security VANGUARD units mechanized infantry formations will be held in reserve to reinforce either corps if encounters unexpected resistance and eventually mopping up operations in the salient. If no resistance is encountered by that stage then I & II Corps will be reinforced by further reserves held in the interior of Belka and with the III Corps, push directly into the capital and seize the entire country.

The chief strategic goals of phase one of the operation being 1.) The seizure of Eastern Arstotzka and reincorporation into the Belkan Regime, 2.) The destruction of the Arstotzkan state as a functioning government and the seizure of vital strategic assets and 3.) The display of absolute Belkan military dominance in central Lorencia.

All together more than 120,000 soldiers and pilots would participate in phase one with the immediate possibility to bring a further 80,000 into the invasion. A Quick reaction force consisting of the 10th,12th,14th and 15th Divisions along with the 7th, 8th, and 9th Air Divisions and a further State Security VANGUARD mechanized Brigade stood concentrated in Southern Belka near the port city of Sudentor to respond to any hostile action along the border with the Kingdom of Aswick. A fast preemptive strike against that country would prevent a second front being opened up within Belka proper.

Along the coast, every last guided missile destroyer, cruiser and submarine has been picketed to respond with overwhelming force against any attempted naval incursion, presumably by either Riysa or worse, the United Republic of Caprica. Standing anti-air and anti-naval missile battery have been augmented by the activation of further reserve units along the entire Belkan coastline.

If everything was to go according to plan then active combat operations were projected to cease in exactly ninety days with follow on cleansing actions to be taken by State Security VANGUARD battalions at their leisure.

Everyone in the room was well versed with the operation but the military was insistent on ensuring that every aspect was covered in detail and the Supreme Chancellor, a former military man himself, was willing to oblige them. After they were finished he turned to his ministers, specifically, Herman Brunner, the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

''Comrade Minister Brunner, what do you expect out of the foreign response?''

Brunner, a career diplomat who unlike most of his fellow minister was not a early support of the Supreme Chancellor and had only thrown his weight behind him after he was elected Chancellor and it was his support as a senior diplomat that allowed Velik to exert early control over the diplomatic corps.

He was no politician, lacking both the natural charisma and oratory abilities that it required. His strength instead was as a brilliant organizer of people. What he possessed was a keen innate ability to correctly appraise the skills of his subordinates and utilized them to their maximum effectiveness. It was this skill and his usefulness as an ally that had gotten him the top diplomatic post in the regime and he performed it without equal.

It was unique profession, that of diplomacy, one had to know people, what they want, what they need and what they feared both as individuals and in a group. Brunner had neither the brawn to take up a more physical career nor the brains to master the sciences. He lacked both physical stature, being a small, fat man and unattractive by most standards, he held no delusions of grandeur and was content to master his craft.

He pushed his wire frame circle spectacles closer to his face, met Velik's gaze head-on, despite how uncomfortable having the Supreme Chancellor's undivided attention focused upon him.

''Your Excellency, I expect no undue resistance to our actions abroad. Ulysses is preoccupied with it's election cycle and I do not foresee Kenway undertaking an military action until he has secured reelection. Paradise City according to our reports is currently tied up attempting to shore up the East Astyria Treaty bloc and without the support of Caprica, I doubt they will risk their troops in Lorencia. The Aquitaynians are known for their military adventurism but with their project in Insula Fera demanding their immediate attentions, I also doubt they will interfere. Scottopia City is a different in this regard, they may very well decide to make a grand show of their displeasure but if it came down to the carrot or the stick, I believe we could persuade them to ignore Lorencia as they always have. Our dear friends in Nouvel Ecosse and Riysa are expected to grumble but will eventually accept the status quo for what it truly is, rewriting a great wrong against our nation. I have spoken at great lengths with my colleagues in Aswick and they assure me that as long as no hostile action is taken against them that there will be no interference. I do believe the stationing of our reaction force away from the southern border directly will be sufficient to assuage their fears''

''And what of Nikolia and Trellin?

''Both have no immediate interest in the affairs of the Lorencian continent and should be no problem. ''

''Are you absolutely certain?''

''Without a doubt, Your Excellency.''

Velik nodded, more to himself than to the Foreign Minister, seemingly satisfied with the last minute assurances that their actions would provoke too great a reason out of their neighbors.

He stood up, prompting the rest of the room to do the same, again in a calculated and well practiced measure of deference to his position and power. He took one last look around the room, locking eyes with each and every one present, it helped him to get the measure of the individual and weed out the weakness in those around him. Any man that couldn't meet his gaze with fire and iron wasn't fit to be in his presence.

''Gentlemen, initiate Operation Masterstroke


Staging Point Rot, Eastern Belka
Lorencian Front
0300H |Rain | -4°C


The V-4 Cerberus missile was a marvel of Belkan engineering; a subsonic surface-to-surface cruise missile, fully programmable and feature it's on active and passive radio and capable of carrying up a 2,000 lb conventional warhead, with a range of just under 600 kilometers it was the perfect weapon for it's mission.

It's flight path was meticulously planned, the missiles launched from concealed platforms along the border would shoot into the sky like meteors before using satellite tracking to zoom over the border at altitudes as low as three or four hundred meters flying well underneath the radar floor of Arstotskan sensors, following railways, rivers and streams to minimize interference before streaking up as they neared their target and accelerating past the speed of sound, barreling into whatever unfortunate building or structure that had been marked for destruction and detonating.

In the early hours of the morning of May 17th, more than two hundred such missiles, each with unique routes were launched into the sky and each one found it's mark, native air defenses powerless to stop them. First was the Arstotskan Parliament building , though struck when no one occupying it, it would be a demoralizing blow as legislators awoke to the thunderous sound of the explosion and look out of their bedroom windows to see the building crumbling under the overwhelming power of the Belkan military. The next target to be hit was the Prime Ministerial residence , though timed to ensure the death of the Prime Minister, fate would not have it so. The Prime Minister found of late night frozen treats had slipped out of the building to visit a local ice cream parlor and it was his guilty pleasure that allowed him to survive though only by mere minutes. He was forced to watch from the counter of the establishment as his home, work place and his wife and two small children were obliterated in the blink of an eye.

All over the country, Cerberus was seeking out it's targets with deadly accuracy. Arstoskan military bases, runways,power stations, water purification pumps, highways, military barracks, radar stations,oil pipelines and armories were being wiped out. The country was slow to react, caught completely off guard and unprepared. Pilots attempting to muster out of their beds were powerless as guided missiles destroyed their runways and hangers, soldiers who had been instrumental in crackdowns against ethnic Belkans in the east were killed in massive explosions as they slept, electricity for tens of thousands was shut off in an instant as the silent harbingers of doom extinguished the spark of civilization, citizens across the country who went to bed that night expecting clean water and peace when they awoke would find neither as water stationed were engulfed in flames, cellphone network stations, bridges, and highways would all feel the fiery rage of Cerberus . Civilian and soldier alike were caught completely unawares as their entire civilization crumbled around them throughout the night.

No sooner than the V-4 missiles had struck their last target; the pride of the Belkan Air Force, flooded across the border to bring more carnage and devastation to the country. Radar stations that had failed to detect the missiles and were now desperately attempting to redeem themselves were struck down as god strikes down sinners, hangars that held now useless military aircraft were demolished with bunker busting bombs. No enemy of Belka was safe.

Border guards who were in their mind were far from important targets, previously occupied with suppressing Belkan insurgents watched with wide eyes and open mouths as legions of Belkan tanks, mechanized infantry and artillery poured over the border. They put a spirited but futile resistance and like thousands of lights further inland, they too were extinguished.

Belka's soldiers had received their orders, anyone who put up a fight was to be liquidated with extreme prejudice. Government officials, law enforcement, intellectuals, community leaders and pro-government militia groups were rounded up and shot outside the cities and if they resisted, shot on sight.

Belka's own loyal children, trapped in Arstotska for a generation, did their duty, seizing control of important government building and symbolically raising the flag of the Fatherland over every inch of ground that they could.

By daybreak, the full measure of the destruction wrought by the opening stages of the war was readily visible. More than a third of the country was without power, another quarter without running water, half of the country's air force destroyed, the military suffering thousands of casualties and even more desertions as the gates of hell opened around them with the rest retreating rapidly towards the capital in whatever vehicles that hadn't been destroyed or on foot. The Second Belkan War had begun.
Last edited by Greater Belkan Reich on Mon Feb 25, 2019 7:03 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Founded: Apr 10, 2013
Ex-Nation

Postby Consular » Tue Feb 26, 2019 6:28 am

Final approach
Krasida Airport
1820H


"Mr. Reid? Excuse me sir. We'll be touching down in 10 minutes."

Frederic opened his eyes, blinking away the sleep and sitting up straighter in his chair. He was trying not to sleep on the flight, but the groggy feeling in the back of his head told him he'd failed. "How long was I out?" He said almost coherently.

His assistant was offering him a glass of water, which he accepted. "Not long at all sir."

He watched as she turned and walked back down the jet, admiring the view for a moment. Taking a careful sip of water, he turned and looked out the window. Stretching out beneath the private jet was a never ending desert. Bathed in the red light of the setting sun, it looked quite beautiful, though the natural landscape was marred by the presence of occasional refinies and mining complexes. "What a shithole" He muttered, before finishing off the water. He stood up and walked down to the bathroom, wanting to make sure he looked better than he felt, because he felt exhausted. Even on a private jet, long flights really weren't his thing. Movies and extremely well paid flight attendants could only hold his attention for so long before the inevitable mild claustrophobia of being in a metal tube kicked in the front doors.

As predicted, 10 minutes later the landing gear gently touched down on the tacmac, and the jet came to a smooth slow pace, taxiing to a small private hangar in a discreet part of the airport. Waiting for the door to be opened, Frederic spent about 30 seconds trying to adjust his tie before becoming frustrated with it, taking it off entirely, and tossing it haphazardly to the side. He decided to forego the suit jacket too, pants and a shirt would do, especially in the heat of the bloody desert.

Stepping out of the jet and down the stairs, his expression broke into a well practiced broad smile. A short way from the jet two black sedans had parked up. Waiting with the cars were a handful of men, dressed in immaculate black suits. At the front of them was their leader, King Remi Kane, his commanding presence dominating the hangar. Though Frederic wasn't so bold as to actually ask, he had guessed the King's age as late thirties. He was very well built, with a well defined and muscular physique, and had strong yet youthful features. Most would describe him as conventionally handsome, and the King definitely relished the praise and attention his good looks could afford him. He was dressed, much like his men, in a crisp and very expensive black suit, perfectly fitted to accentuate his body. The King's suit was of course slightly more opulent, with very subtle swirling patterns woven into the fabric, and a bright purple flower tucked into the suit pocket. He leaned slightly on a gold plated walking stick, but was careful not to actually balance his weight on it.

"Reid!" Kane raised his hands up in a welcoming gesture, and started to walk towards the plane. "It is excellent to see you again my friend." The King's voice was booming but friendly, with a stern British accent he picked up when studying abroad.

"Please my King, you can call me Frede-" He trailed off as the King pulled him into a tight hug, unsure if he was supposed to return the hug or merely endure it, and opting somewhat awkwardly for the latter. Behind him Frederic's bodyguard, an ex-STG operative, tensed slightly but otherwise did not react.

Releasing him from the hug but still holding him by the shoulders, Kane grinned not unlike a child with his favourite toy. "How was your flight?"

"It was fine, though I admit a comfortable bed would be nice." The King had a tendency to want to party at all hours, and he wanted to try and head that off before he was dragged off to some extravagant nightclub or another in his exhausted state.

If Kane was disappointed he didn't show it. "Of course! You will stay in the Palace." The country had hotels of course, but this was very clearly not optional. "The very best room has been prepared for you." He turned and, with one hand still holding Frederic by the shoulder, walked him towards the cars. "You will ride with me. My people will see to your staff." Frederic turned slightly and gestured to his bodyguard, who nodded and walked back towards the plane. Frederic was far too valuable to the King and was in no danger while with him.

The inside of the sedan was surprisingly spacious, and comfortable too with expensive leather seats. The King relaxed into his seat and waited for Frederic to do the same. "Would you care for a drink?" Kane gestured to the minibar in front of them inside the car. Frederic waved him off. Kane shrugged and took a glass for himself, pouring some strange black liquid into it, which he downed in one long careful sip. The car left the hangar and the airport, speeding out onto the highway to the capital. An identical car had taken lead in front of them, and other two behind, providing the King's security escort. The road was not particularly busy, and what few cars there were immediately moved aside as the convoy approached, knowing all too well the consequences for obstructing a government motorcade.

"I trust you had no trouble evading them?" The King was being deliberately vague, but referred to Conite intelligence, who were keeping a relatively close eye on Evenstar. Not close enough of course, because they were not even aware Frederic had flown off overseas. He was smart enough to hire the right people, and keep them very well paid. His personal security team had all worked with ORCA in the past and knew how to evade their surveillance.

"They think I'm lounging around my penthouse after a booze fueled party." Frederic replied dismissively. "Idiots.." He had something of a reputation as a thrill seeker and a party lover, the expected behaviours of a young and reckless heir to a billion dollar company. He was definitely a thrill seeker, and he made sure to enjoy himself as much as possible, but nothing he did was reckless. His was a carefully calculated agenda, with the ultimate goal of making himself as rich and as powerful as possible.

That prompted the King's curiosity, though on a different topic. "Alcohol is still illegal in your homeland, isn't it? Yet. Everybody drinks it." Frederic nodded. Kane found the situation very amusing. He did not understand why a government should bother to have a law if they were not going to punish those who broke it. Nor did he understand why they would seek to deny themselves such a simple pleasure in the first place. "Your people are ridiculous." He stated plainly. Frederic didn't entirely disagree on that.

The capital was an obvious contrast to much of the rest of the country. It was carefully designed to serve as the centre of the King's government, a modern, high tech, and remarkably clean metropolis of skyscrapers, many of which were nothing less than architectural marvels. The citizens fortunate enough to live here, meaning they were rich and ruthless enough to be on the top of the totem pole, wanted for nothing. It was also nothing less than a fortress, with the motorcade passing through multiple checkpoints before entering the city proper.

The King's Palace was not a skyscraper. It was, however, an opulent and sprawling complex plated in extravagant amounts of gold, topped with beautiful vivid blue domes, and sitting amongst a paradise of stunning artificial lagoons and meticulously cultivated gardens. When they arrived, the King escorted Frederic to a large room on the top floor. "Shall I send some ladies up to keep you company?"

Frederic was caught somewhat off guard by the offer, though he should have seen it coming. This was not his first time in this country, and the King had always offered him... well, every pleasure a person might want in life. Though he still considered the country a bit of a shithole, he couldn't deny that he very much enjoyed his experiences here. But tonight he was far too tired for that. "No, thank you, that won't be necessary."

Kane was undeterred, and smiled playfully. "Some men then? I have those as well." Kane did not judge such things. His philosophy was that if something was pleasurable, then it was good. Frederic didn't even get a chance to decline again before the King continued with another offer. "Or perhaps both?"

"Honestly, I'd prefer to just sleep, if it's all the same to you." He said it more firmly this time, hoping to end it there. Fortunately the King seemed to accept this, at least for now.

"Very well. Sleep then my friend! In the morning we will discuss business." Kane turned on his heels, walking purposefully away down the hall. After closing the door, it was barely minutes before Frederic had collapsed into the comfort of the bed.

User avatar
Greater Belkan Reich
Ambassador
 
Posts: 1280
Founded: Jul 26, 2012
Ex-Nation

Postby Greater Belkan Reich » Tue Feb 26, 2019 1:43 pm

Central Occupation Zone, Central Arstotska
Nizry
| Fog | 5°C

Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi, miserere nobis.
Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi, miserere nobis.
Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi, dona nobis pacem.




"Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world." That was the cry, all throughout the world as women were forced to cradle their broken children with artillery shells booming in the distance. Fathers, sons, brothers and uncles took up the banner of war, never to return home again.

‘’Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.’’ But where was this lamb of god, this savior that would wash away all the dirt and evil that festered all around them, regardless of state borders, economic sanctions and all manner of man’s civilized tapestries, meant to comfort them throughout the night.

‘’The Lamb of God is within you’’ It was a small voice, at first. Whispering salvation and eternal happiness to those who had everything taken from them and absolutely nothing to live for. ‘’The Lamb of God is within you and around you. Because we, the faithful of the world, are the Lamb of god’’.

Father they called him. A church less priest, a reformed sinner, a prophet sent by God himself to lead his flock to heaven. He was all these things and none of them.

In beginning, no one paid him any mind, he was another religious man preaching to the downtrodden and poor, worthy of little more than a few extra coins here and there but the deaths kept growing and his words began to reach untold numbers of masses.

It started with internet sermons, shared on the inter webs, then word of monastery of sorts for those with nowhere else to go in Insula Fera, then Kamalbia and now Arstotska. Wherever hopelessness and hate was allowed to destroy the lives of the innocent, Father was there and he gave them hope, and a dream.

A dream not of eternal life within the gates of heaven after an eternity of suffering on Earth. But the promise that with their hard work, determination and eventually, their sacrifice that they could right all the wrongs of the world and bring about god’s new kingdom on Earth in peace and glory.

But first they would have to become greater than they were, do more than they ever thought possible and commit the ultimate sacrifice in eyes of their creator. They would have to become the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.

They would have to become, Agnus Dei.


Nizry


Ralph Schmidt never considered himself a particularly pious man, not even religious to be honest. He had gone to church first because his mother had wished it and later because his wife had insisted. She had said, ‘’ God has sacrificed so much for you, the least you could do is sacrifice a few hours a week for him.’’ It was an argument that he could neither content with nor wished to for that matter. There was always something about going to church that gave him a sense a peace. Maybe it was the friendly parishioners, or the Priest, Father Putin that put him at ease. Whatever it was, he never put up too much of a fight when his mother or wife woke up early on Sundays or for a holiday service.

Now things were different, much different. The Belkan onslaught was quicker than anyone had expected and much more brutal than anything he had thought possible. In the dead of night they came, with their missiles, tanks and jets and ripped everything he had ever held dear in his life.

Only months ago, he had convinced his elderly parents to move out of their family home that they had occupied and move to an apartment building a few in the capital, where he worked at the power plant. It was only logical he told. ‘’The trouble is in the East, along the border’,’ he said. ‘’This way you’ll be closer to family’’ To be honest, it was simply much cheaper to care for them in the city. He didn’t have to drive two hours away to check up on them and it was easier to drop them in the inner city where rent was cheap. His father knew but said nothing. He just shook his head like he always did and drank cheap vodka on the porch, like he had always done. His mother, the kind soul that she was, went along with it as long as he agreed to take her to the church Father Putin moved to, on the outskirts of the city. A fair trade at the time.

The bombs came silently and without warning. It was the middle of March and the Belkans were agitating the situation in the East as normal. But things were different this time. The air was thick with something he just couldn’t place his finger on. At least until the first explosions shook the entire city. They struck the power plants, the roads, the water treatment facility, even the Reserve Army’s armory.

It was the same armory that was less than a block away from his parent’s apartment building.

No one can really describe the raw power a 2,000 lb pound has until you’ve had to experience the effects first hand. It blew a crater fifteen meters wide and eleven meters deep and leveled the entire building. The explosion shook the foundations of every building within four blocks and anything that wasn’t nailed down, was blown away.

Mother’s apartment building wasn’t some new luxury condo like they have in Caprica on TV. It was a forty year old tenement that had recently gone through some renovations to make it livable. It didn’t have a hardened structure or blast resistant windows. It was an old building that was placed in the wrong location at the wrong time.

For all that, it did it’s best to protect its occupants from harm. It stood for a remarkable six minutes before it collapsed. Six minutes should be more than enough for people to get out but his parents were old. Their bodies didn’t move like they used to. They made it to the second floor before the entire thing came down right on top of them. The firefighters said they died instantly, in each others arms, painlessly. That’s what they said, not what he believed.

That was the first time the war took something precious from him.

Less than a week later, before he could even bury his parents they struck again..

His wife and son, a boy not even sixteen yet, were helping evacuate people from the suburbs as word came in that the Belkans were moving much faster than anyone could have predicted. They’d be in the city by the end of the month and if the reports from the border were to be believed, they were slaughtering anyone that got in their way.

Sasha wasn’t a soldier, she wasn’t helping the Army fight the invaders. She had volunteered with the Red Cross to help those who still had a fighting chance of surviving, unless his parents. She was a nurse by trade, they had met a cafe and fell in love at first sight if such a thing was possible.

His son, Nikolai wasn’t a partisan, he wasn’t ambushing the oncoming Belkans. He was only there to help his mother and help others. He was a gentle boy, a sweet boy. He would’ve given the shirt off his back if it meant someone who needed more could have it.

The 1st Belkan Mechanized Division, the Hell raisers they were called blew through the town like hurricane winds. There wasn’t a structure over two stories tall left standing by the time they left. They shelled the town for a full twenty four hours. Twenty four hours for a town of less than thirty thousand people. The army, if you could call it that, had evacuated the day before. A couple hundred men, boys really packed in industrial lorries and fell back towards the capital rather than face total annihilation.

The civilians, the Red Cross, my Sasha and Nikolai stayed though. They stayed and tried to help those people escape. And when the shelling started, I guess they found some shelter and tried to wait it out, thinking the Belkans would just move on and leave them be once they realized the soldiers had left.

I supposed they would have if it weren’t for those fools that fashioned themselves the resistance. They looted a few stores and tried to ambush the Belkans with hunting rifles. They died like the fools that they were but the Belkans weren’t satisfied. Drunk on their success and hungry for revenge they set upon the town like a pack of wolves. Any man, woman or child they came across was labeled a rebel and partisan and shot on sight.

Suppose they were just unlucky. Unlucky to have picked that town, unlucky enough to be caught and unlucky enough that the group of soldiers that shot them were better marksmen than the ‘’resistance’’ that attacked them.

The Belkans left them on the street where they died, like stray dogs that had to be put out of their misery.


It was easy enough to find them after the Belkans had moved on. Not as easy to bury the last two people on the entire planet that you could call family.

I wandered around the country for a while, hoping that I would meet the same fate as my family one way or another but death’s sweet embrace eluded me and I was too much of a coward to do it myself. Father Putin says it was god’s will that I found myself in his church that Sunday, hungry and ragged.

He’d been the parish priest at this church right outside the city for the better part of forty years. He’d watched me grow up, married my wife and I and even baptized my son. And in all those years I had never seen the look in his eyes that was there when he saw me. I didn’t know it then like I know it now but it was right then that he made a resolution to take matters into his own hands, just as I was going to do now.

It didn’t take long after the war for Father Putin to reestablish his church, but it wasn’t the friendly neighborhood parish that I remembered from my childhood days. It was filled with widows, childless parents and other useless, broken things.

His sermons weren’t the same. We were no longer to life thy neighbor as we loved ourselves. We were to take solace in the sacrifice of our lord and to learn to emulate him in all things, to look forward to the day, that we too would the Lambs of God who take away the sinners of this world.

Today was that day for me.

It was a relatively simple process for me. I had no living relatives, no home to speak of, no one other than Father Putin to even mourn me in my absence. I still resisted at first, a lifetime of teachings held me back from realizing my destiny, place in god’s eternal plan. But under Father Putin’s and later Father’s teaching, I came to see the light and I no longer mourn my parents, my wife or my son. I was comforted in knowing that like me, they had been sacrificed to bring about the end of all suffering, the end of pointless conflicts between man’s nations, and we would together bring about god’s kingdom on Earth. A country without borders, without divisions, without classes or hatred. A global community modeled on God’s own eternal kingdom in Heaven.

We started first with secret meetings in the church basement, Father Putin and others would teach me how to work the instruments of our salvation. The vest which was loaded with explosives that would mimic our lord's’ holy fire and the detonator which would trigger our entry into God’s warm embrace. Others learned different tools, weapons of the invaders that would give holy justice to the blood stained hands of the murderer.

I walked a different path, my calling was for greater action. The administrative building that the Belkans had taken over was a symbol of their oppression, a concrete monument to their pact with Satan and it was my task, my duty to see it smote in the name of our Father.

We planned for weeks, watching and waiting. Taking notes of their comings and goings, when they were weakest and when they were strongest. Double and triple checking to ensure nothing would stand in the way of what was to be done, what would be done.

Others had been dispatched on similar missions. Father’s eyes were all seeing, a holy blessing from God so that he might see his will done on Earth as it is in Heaven. Belka, Nikolia, Aswick, Noordenstaat even as far East as the Conite Republic and Caprica and as far west as Ionicus. They would all feel Father’s wrath.

Today we would start with Belka.

Many more of Father Putin’s children had been sent out ahead, They would clear the way for him to carry out his task, causing havoc and destruction throughout the city, weakening their presence in the the center of their occupation, where they counted themselves as safe.

It was surprisingly easy to approach during the panic, the guard were distracted and confused. The tell tale rumble of the city as others were embraced by their creator cleared the way for him. He’d managed to get all the way to the oaken double doors that had only a few months ago symbolized nothing other than the vital machinations of a functioning government before he was noticed and by then it was too late. He smiled at the guard behind him, he was young boy, couldn’t have been more than a few years older than his own son should’ve. What he was doing was a good thing, his sacrifice would spare this boy the pain and suffering of war and terror and allow him to enter into the peaceful tranquility of God’s garden of love.

He smiled at the young man, lifting his jacket to reveal the forty pounds of explosives hidden underneath his overcoat and pressed the button, allowing himself to be engulfed by the fiery warmth of heaven.

User avatar
Consular
Minister
 
Posts: 3026
Founded: Apr 10, 2013
Ex-Nation

Postby Consular » Tue Feb 26, 2019 7:54 pm

The King's Palace
The Capital
0932H


"So what you are telling me, Minister Zedala, is that you can provide no legitimate excuse for the delay." It was not a question. King Remi Kane delicately stirred his tea with a small teaspoon, before carefully lifting the cup and taking a sip. The flavour was perfect. The waitress who served it was to be commended. The Minister, on the other hand...

"The deadline you have set for me is-" Zedala stopped abruptly, and cautiously reconsidered how to phrase the objection. Kane would not take well to any suggestion that the fault was his. "I need only more time. By your grace, the project will be completed, my King." He glanced at the tea in front of him, but dared not touch it unless invited.

Kane seemed to ignore Zedala, putting down his tea and gesturing to one of the attendants, who promptly approached the table. "The new Kingsman has surely arrived. Send him out to me." The attendant bowed and retreated. The man he was fetching was a former special forces soldier who had been selected to join the King's personal guard, pending approval of the King.

The King and his Minister of Infrastructure were seated in comfortable padded sheraton chairs, at a small table in a shaded courtyard, next to one of the stunningly blue lagoons that surrounded the Palace. The only sound was some soft and distant music playing from the main Palace complex, and the occasional interruption from the birds who lived amongst the Palace gardens. The King was, as always, wearing an immaculate suit, this one being clean white in colour, with a vibrant blue tie. The Minister had opted for a plain black suit, though one could see it did not fit him perfectly.

The pair sat in silence until the Kingsman arrived, approaching the table and standing at attention near the King. Kane relished the silence, whereas the Minister seemed increasingly uneasy with his situation. The Kingsman was a young man, perhaps mid twenties at oldest, dressed in the crisp black suit and black shirt that was characteristic of the King's personal detail. He looked mildly nervous, though he was also clearly trying to hide it, as Kane glanced him over. "What is your name?"

"Morana, my King." He replied curtly, bowing slightly as he did so.

"I expect much from my Kingsmen. Tell me. Will you do anything I ask?" Though the question was directed to the Kingsman, Kane did not look at him, instead maintaining eye contact with Minister Zedala, who squirmed nervously in his chair.

"Of course, my King." He replied instantly.

"No. That was too fast. I need you to understand the commitment you are making today." Kane leaned back in his chair, crossing one leg over the other, and smiled pleasantly to the Minister. "Again. Will you do anything I ask?"

This time the Kingsman paused. But he had already made his decision before coming here today, and there was no going back. "Anything."

"Good, good." He noted that the Minister had broken eye contact and was looking down at the table. Disappointing. A promise needed to be tested, and now was as good a time as any for his new Kingsman to make good on his promise. "Please kill Minister Zedala."

The Minister panicked, but, to Kane's delight, the Kingsman did not hesitate. In less than a second the young man reached the table, grasped a rather sharp butter knife that was resting with the rest of the cutlery, and drove the metal knife deep into the Minister's left eye. Zedala screamed and tried desperately to fight the man back, but was easily overpowered. Soon his screams turned to horrible gurgles as he choked on his own blood. The Kingsman violently stabbed the Minister over and over again, in the face, the neck, and eventually the chest too.

Kane turned and gestured to one of the attendants. "Is our guest, Mister Reid, ready for our meeting?" She nodded. "Excellent. Do bring him out." She bowed and retreated. The attendant did not show any reaction at all to the scene unfolding at the table.

He turned back to the Minister, who was by now a barely recognisable bloody corpse, the butter knife visibly protruding from his right eye socket. The Kingsman stood at attention next to the chair, his suit and face now thoroughly drenched in the Minister's blood. The new Kingsman would do. "Excellent. Please report back to Miss Lotus, my Head of Security."

"Shall I clean this up, my King?" He asked, bowing slightly.

"No, no. Leave it." The King said with a dismissive wave. The Kingsman left as instructed. Kane stood up and straightened his tie, noting that a few specks of blood had tainted his otherwise perfectly white suit. He decided he rather liked it, the crimson gave the suit a bit of flair that it was otherwise lacking.

He turned to see an attendant escorting Frederic out into the courtyard. He smiled and his voice boomed. "Ah, Reid! Good morning my friend. I trust you slept well?"

"Very well, thank you." Frederic couldn't help but stare past the King, at the corpse sitting at the table. Just like that, the illusion of paradise the Palace presented was shattered, and he was reminded rather jarringly of who he was doing business with. "Will... Will he be joining us for breakfast?"

That got a hearty laugh out of the King. "Unfortunately the table is only set for two. Come." He gestured towards another table, set up in the shade on the far side of the lagoon, where attendants were laying out food.

Kane waited until they were seated before speaking again, turning immediately to business. "Now. Have you considered my offer?" He carefully cut open a croissant and started to butter the inside, which he did remarkably neatly considering he wasn't looking at the food at all, instead maintaining eye contact with Frederic.

"I have." For his part Frederic did not immediately touch the food, his appetite being a bit diminished after seeing the bloody corpse back at the other table.

"You understand what I require then. Everything." That last word had heavy emphasis.

"For what you're willing to pay, you'll have access to everything." What the King was willing to pay was quite literally more money than Frederic had ever seen in his life, and he was already a very rich man, so that was really saying something. This deal would make him the richest person in the Conite Republic. Not that anyone would ever know that of course, this money would need to be carefully hidden, the trail obscured within several shell companies.

Kane was visibly pleased. "Excellent. Let this be the beginning of a long and fruitful relationship."

User avatar
Blackhelm Confederacy
Minister
 
Posts: 3361
Founded: May 31, 2006
Father Knows Best State

Postby Blackhelm Confederacy » Thu Jun 20, 2019 3:00 pm

Image



Today, the Incorporated States of the Blackhelm Confederacy, in conjunction with the Lorecian Community and Nikolia, has decided to take coordinated action in response to the Greater Belkan Reich's continued aggression against Arstotska by completely severing all trade with the offending state. Any Belkan vessels in port within the Blackhelm Confederacy, and any Belkan nationals on Confederate shores, will be expelled immediately. Those seeking asylum will be allowed to plead their case on a by-subject basis.

In year since Belka started its campaign of aggression against Arstotska, we have stood firmly with our Lorecian partners in opposition to Belka's malignant and illegal actions. Belka's attacks against civilians seeking to cross into Aswick represents a dangerous escalation and a violation of international law. We call upon Belka to immediately return to Arstotska the seized seized territory, and to return to the pre-conflict borders. We also call on Belka to respect Arstotska's sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders, including its territorial waters.

The message to Belka is clear – the international community will not stand by while Belksa continues to violate international norms and laws and the Astyrian community stands united in our efforts to counter Belkan aggression.




Sincerely,

Cornelius Pureheart,
Head of Senate
Incorporated States of the Blackhelm Confederacy


As the Senate released it's proclamation completely severing economic relations with the state of Belka, the Confederate navy would also begin covertly making moves towards the renegade state to better enable a response should the Belkans seek to escalate the conflict any further. The Auroran-made Skjold Class SSGN Juno, carrying a powerful arsenal of forty Zircon cruise missiles, was making its way north where it would begin its 120-day patrol off the north Belkan coast. The vessel was one of the most advanced in the Confederate navy and was, in fact, one of the quietest in the world, perfectly suited for its mission so as to not alert the blundering Belkan navy. With the ship went satellite images and coordinates of several Belkan ammo dumps, air bases, and naval facilities, all of which would make valuable targets should hostilities break out in the troubled region.
~Got Oil?~

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Ord Caprica
Envoy
 
Posts: 220
Founded: Oct 23, 2015
Ex-Nation

Postby Ord Caprica » Fri Jun 21, 2019 1:51 am

Ulysses, C.D
Executive Residence
2019 June 21
0217 Hours


Image




It's amazing what a few months will do to your perception, in fact, it's amazing what a few seconds will do for your life. I'd only been away from Bright Hill for four months and a single day and yet as I climbed the steps, it was like moving in all over again. The grounds were foreign, the people different and the air, the air was thick with something I couldn't put my finger on exactly. It wasn't exactly bad but it didn't feel right. A few seconds, I was giving a speech and a few more seconds I was gone, cold and distant. The doctors said I was fighting for my life but there was no fight, I wasn't struggling to live or breath, that was my body doing what all bodies do, try and survive. I was somewhere else, somewhere unfamiliar, not unlike where I was now through the situations that were slightly different.

The steps up to the main building seemed longer and steeper than I remember, though it was probably the fact that even after four months, my recovery was still a work in progress. The reality was, the steps, the distance hadn't changed in over a hundred years and despite having made the climb hundreds of times without any effort, he as winded by the time he reached the top. The Secret Service offered to help, not in so many words but their eyes, but just nodded no and kept his head up and pushed forward.

This was something he needed to do, for himself if not for the country.

In some primal, masculine way, like the steppe raiders of old, if he couldn't climb the steps to Residence, then he wasn't fit to rule, wasn't fit to lead. And he climbed those steps, he climbed them by himself and stood at the top, taking just a moment to take pride in his accomplishment. It wasn't a big one, no one would applaud him for climbing twenty or thirty feet worth of steps, hell, to be honest, no one would even care but for those few seconds, he was on top of the world.

But it was just a few seconds and reality stared him in the face as he looked forwards towards the gilded doors of the Executive Residence, at Bright Hill. It was time to get back to work.

Inside the Executive Residence, everything was exactly how he remembered it when he left in early February 20th, gilded metalwork, and marble floors and staircases adorned the interior with priceless Caprican artwork depicting great military victories or stoic statesmen from a time long forgotten by all those except the students of history. The property itself was worth more than ₮500 million and the artwork and statues brought the total value up closer to ₮1 billion than many people would think. Extensive remodeling in the early 2010s ensured the residence kept up with times. State of the art fiber optic cables, smart toilets energy efficient LED lighting with wireless lighting control, smart appliances digital and holographic displays ensured that the country's most important home remained at the cutting edge of technology.

New additions to the property's security features included biometric access points, a 360 degree CCTV system, pedestrian security checkpoints all along the exterior and interior of the grounds, a completely secure private network, and a completely private power supply system with three different backup systems. More than 400 people worked at the Residence during the day and that wasn't even including security personnel which swelled it to almost a thousand. One was truly never alone at the Residence and the ever-present shadow the Secret Service reassured you that this was the most secure location in the world.

That thought elicited a slight chuckle, from the President.

Security had previously been something he thought of off hand, something that other people were concerned with. Now it was something that he had to contend with daily. He'd refused to talk to anyone about the attempt outside of what was expected but the truth was, once he came out of the coma, it was all he could think about for a long time. He'd been shot a few times, and it'd changed his reality in a major way. Loud noises worried him, crowds made him uncomfortable, two things that he'd have to deal with for the rest of his life in politics.

His life in politics wasn't over. He wasn't given up on his career and he would not let the whole ordeal break him. They tried to kill him and they had failed and that was that. While the official report was still being drafted, the preliminary summary had revealed that the men who had shot him were from Belka, they were likely not to be acting alone and it was likely someone in the Belkan government had orchestrated the whole deal. A harrowing assessment of the situation and one that confounded him. His administration had never directly stood in opposition to the regime in Belka, hell he hadn't even visited the country and no sitting Caprican President had in more than 60 years for that matter. It wasn't a diplomatic snub, nor was it a matter of policy as far as the Intelligence Community knew. So the question remained, who and why had someone tried to kill him.

It was a question that had to be answered but not exactly tonight. Tonight he was to get settled back into his home and tomorrow he was to get an early start on picking up on where he left off, plus a few extra things.

Primarily, he had to figure out what to do with the Belkans outside of the assassination. They had invaded Arstotska right as his reelection campaign had picked up momentum, and he made the conscious decision with his campaign staff to ignore the situation with the rest of the world. It was an issue that could be addressed later, that later had come now. The Lorecian Community had jumped first, presumably announcing sanctions in response to the Confederate Chancellor's remarks to the media and everyone seems ready to jump on the bandwagon there. As far as he was concerned, it was a Lorecian problem that the Lorecians should solve and the fact that they let the country get invaded months after intelligence and common sense would've suggested that things were about to get bloody only confirmed his opinion. The blood is on their hands.

The only way forward at this point was to figure out what Velik wanted and see if there was some form of middle ground. The sanctions would take time to take effect and if he was the man that the National Clandestine Service thought he was, he wouldn't sit around on his laurels waiting for his economy to shrivel up and die. Handling that situation would require a full spectrum approach and he'd need his full team on board to make it happen.

To make matters worse, the State Department was estimating that between one and two million refugees were looking to get out but the Belkans were holding them at the border or setting them up in makeshift holding grounds near the ports. Director Kayser is saying that it's shaping up to look like a hostage situation in a big way. Which is good and bad news. It's good because taking hostages means that negotiation is still on the table and bad because any man that's willing to hold a million or more women and children hostage is not someone to be trifled with. It would've been better if everyone reacted a bit sooner so he could ride their coattails on this one but now it was effectively all on his shoulders.

Chase did a pretty decent job of managing the situation given the circumstances. He'd agreed to be my running mate as long I kept things under control. Getting shot wasn't exactly keeping things under control but he did his duty given the situation and for that, he has my respect. I'll have to get him a card or something.

The Alliance will have to be dealt with pretty soon, I can't imagine they'll let us quietly pull out without putting up some kind of fight about something unless they're distracted so the whole Belka thing will keep them preoccupied. Smooth is fast and fast is smooth as the saying goes.

Last weeks approval ratings have me sitting well about any potential challengers so the domestic situation will be the easy fight of the year if things hold out. I might even be able to pull of Education and Legal reform in a year. UPN wants to ask about immigration like that's a problem. A hundred thousand foreigners a year is more than enough for the country. It keeps the numbers manageable and allows them to assimilate and not congeal. We don't need little Confederacy's or little Kamalbia's popping up all over the place. Just enough to keep things interesting and diverse enough to keep the liberals from complaining. If anymore want to come over they can enlist in the Marine Corps and earn their place in Caprica like everyone else.

Ascending the marble staircases to the Presidential sleeping quarters was a considerably easier task than getting into the residence, not sure whether I needed a warm-up lap or they just weren't as steep as that outside. Chase had been respectable enough to not attempt moving into Bright Hill, saying to the press ''It's not my residence, not my home and not my place. Bright Hill belongs to the President of the United Republic and the First Family and since I am neither, I will remain where I am.'' It was a real class act and bought him major brownie points. Besides, if he had then Miranda would've chopped his balls off before he had time to take a shit in the toilet.

The First Lady had stayed at the family estate in Alleghany and would be flying back to the capital Sunday. To give him time to adjust without the family. Arielle had been granted a leave of absence from school during his recovery but she'd be returning during the fall semester and Trip would be leaving to attend his annual platoon leaders course. He'd broken the news that he would be joining the Marine Corps after school during the middle of the campaign, the little opportunist that he was. It was a solid choice, not the one I would've picked for him but it wasn't my life to live, it was his and he was living it. Technically the Marine Corps was a part of the Naval Service which meant that he wouldn't be breaking our family's 200-year tradition of naval service. Elizabeth would be bringing Natalie back to Bright Hill later this week, which hopefully would be the last thing needed to return a sense of normalcy to the place.

Oliver Kenway wouldn't be the President that got shot. That can't be the story that's told about my Presidency 100 years from now. I climbed too high, traveled too far and sacrificed too much to let that be how the story ends. I will overcome this and I will do whatever it takes to ensure that my legacy stands the test of time.

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Greater Belkan Reich
Ambassador
 
Posts: 1280
Founded: Jul 26, 2012
Ex-Nation

Postby Greater Belkan Reich » Sun Jun 23, 2019 8:49 pm

Dinsmark, Belka
Federal Chancellory
2113H | Fog | 20°C



The summers in Belka were unique. Mild-mannered and agreeable just like the people that lived in the country. Today was nothing if not a perfect example of this fact. Warm but not hot, and in Dinsmark, far from the humid climate of the coastline, the dry heat and northern winds mixed to provide the crowd of spectators with near-perfect weather.

The Social Nationalist Party had been quick to organize in response to international sanctions, orchestrating a series of parades, torch-lit marches, and protests outside the diplomatic offices of the Confederacy and others in a show of defiance and solidarity with the ruling government, or at least that's what was intended. One could do little else but marvel at the speed and efficiency that party leaders orchestrated marches throughout the capital, starting first with local party members and then enchanting thousands more patriotic Belkans, using some of the most gifted orators in their arsenal to whip them all up into a frenzy. Hymns to the glorious fatherland and songs painting in vivid detail how the nation's enemies would be met with blood and iron for their offenses against the nation echoed throughout the city for days now and it seemed with each passing hour that the voices would only continue to grow louder.

Tonight was intended to be the largest of such torchlit parades. More than two thousand party members, citizens and military honor guards had been enlisted to send a message to all those nations abroad that had aligned themselves against Belka that they would not relent. Any observers would be hardpressed to find anyone on the streets that wasn't standing totally behind their government. This was by design, as anyone that might've had an alternative opinion to recent events were cowed into silence by the ever-present threat of being visited during the night by the Security Service and carted away to any number of detention centers that had become incredibly numerous in the last 12 years.

The culminating event this evening, as the parade reached its final destination in front of the federal chancellory building was a speech by the Supreme Chancellor himself, Aldric Velik.

It was all an incredibly choreographed show; dozens of Belkan and party flags lined the roads leading up the building, with SS troops manning positions on and around the grounds. Local police had all been enlisted into service for the event. More than six thousand spectators had gathered to hear the Chancellor speak with both domestic and international media present to broadcast the entire thing live.

Inside the chancellory, Velik stood silently near a window, watching the procession of events with an aura of keen disinterest. Minister of Public Affair, Josef Ritschel, was giving a rather rousing speech, decrying the mistreatment of the country by the international community, doing his job of prepping the audience for his own speech.

It had all been carefully thought out, down to the last detail in over a dozen emergency cabinet meetings. State media agencies would continue to incite the people in righteous indignation, blaming the Lorecian community, Nikolia, the Confederacy and anyone else who had lined themselves up in opposition with the government. Slanderous coverage would about their leaders would play 24 hours a day until everyone in the country was utterly convinced that they were being targeted by a vicious cabal of gutless, depraved eunuchs. The sanctions would bite, very hard at that but it wasn't the end of the world and it was a contingency that had been thought of before the invasion. Alternative trade partners were being identified and courted even now in the dead of night and if the world was so upset about what was happening to those filthy Arstotskans then they surely would negotiate to secure the welfare of Belka's sixty million hostages. The land and resources were what was important, the people were not. If they could be used as a bargaining chip to stabilize the situation then they would and if they couldn't then they'd have to be taken care of ensure the front lines of the upcoming war were safe from partisans and insurgents.

Ever a student of history, it just wouldn't do to not learn from the mistakes of others when it came to counterinsurgency operations. They let the population play both sides of the fence and rebellion festered as a result. He would not fall into the same trap. There were twenty-three detention centers located in Belka and occupied Arstotska, capable of ''processing'' up to twenty thousand customers a day. Seventeen larger sites were in the works, hopefully coming online by the end of the year. Once things were finally set up, the entire population could be processed in as soon as eighteen months, minus those that had been identified as suitable for labor and intellectual tasks vital to government. There were thousands of scientists and engineers that had a place in the new order and that kept them and their families safe. Other, classically educated intellectuals were of no use and security liabilities as potential agitators, they would be the first to be shipped off.

In the meantime, the Security Service's financial office would have to be upgraded. While the government had its hands full administering both Belka and occupied territory; the SS would spearhead both the effort to acquire foreign currency. Director Kratek had just presented a proposal for the expansion of the SS' operations in special administrative zones; the sales of arms, narcotics, and contraband to foreigners would have to expand in a major way. This expansion in addition to its duties in securing Arstotska would necessitate an increase in their armed presence. He'd authorized an increase in recruitment to the tune of twenty thousand more of Belka's best men and women. They would be organized as the SS' first standing field division, The 1st SS Division ''Nightwatch''. It was a pretentious name but there was value in building morale. These new praetorians would be trained first by the party to ensure that there was a proper ideological foundation before being sent to the armies special schools to become the vanguard of the party. Existing special VANGUARD units would form the core of this new division.

Kratek had insisted the division being equipped with new Tiger Mk4 tanks but they were more useful in the hands of experience army soldiers than an entirely new formation of recruits with a cadre of unblooded officers and Non-commissioned officers. A single tank battalion outfitted with many Tiger 2 and 3s was a suitable compromise. Because of the SS' unique duties and the fact that it could for the most part finance itself, it was decided that it would be much heavier than a traditional line division in the army. Its end composite strength would number three mechanized infantry regiments, an artillery regiment, reconnaissance, intelligence, communications, and medical battalions. The support battalions in addition to the tank battalion would be partially staffed by the army until they were confident that the unit could function effectively on it's on. If the concept proved to be successful then the tank battalion would be upgraded and additional SS formations would be authorized.

For the present, however, the division would rarely if indeed ever be thrown into combat wholesale, the SS was charged with maintaining the internal security of the country, so its battalions and companies would be distributed across the occupied territory as needed. Not that this fact dissuaded Kratek or any of his subordinates from fighting to make it a reality. An interesting system had been put in place over the last few years were SS troops were shuffled throughout the organization, gaining experience in basically every detachment under the responsibility of the service. It was a useful tactic to ensure both loyalties to the organization and familiarity with every facet of the Security Service from liquidations to the processing at the detention sites.

It was these same troops that formed both the core of the honor guard for tonight's march and provided security for not only the Chancellor but the Chancellory itself. They were multi-talented killers, to say the least.

''They're ready for you Sir.''

Velik nodded at the soldier, walking, or rather strolling from his vantage point at the window down the corridor and out of the building towards the raised dais from where he was to speak. The procession had stopped directly in front of the building and turned to face the crowd, putting an even larger obstacle in between the leader and six thousand people that had gathered to hear him speak.

He'd been master of Belka for over a decade now, working tirelessly to mold the country into his vision and it was apparent in almost every facet of Belkan life and yet for all that, very few knew the man or where he had come from. His story was something of a closely guarded open secret. Those that needed to know already knew and if one was not already blessed with this information, he would be hard-pressed to discover it.

An unassuming individual by himself, only slighter taller than the average Belkan, with dark hair and electric blue eyes and an even more ordinary voice when speaking in a conversational tone.

Tonight he was dressed in the garb of a party leader, a simple black suit adorned with the three outfacing arrows of the party's emblem on an armband. He deplored the more eccentric modifications some had made to the uniform, it made them look like clowns insecure in their position, not that any of them should ever be secure in their position. One false move, one too many failures and they would be the ones being processed at a detention camp.

He approached the podium and raised his hands to silence the crowd. His brilliant blue eyes gazing out into the crowd, studying them all. He did this for several moments but no more noise came from the crowd, they were all eagerly and patiently waiting for him to speak, to speak to their very souls.

'' My people, Sons, and daughter of Belka. More than a decade has passed since that faithful day summer morning that you, the Belkan people, my strength and will, bestowed upon me the privilege of leadership and the responsibility of our shared dreams. What was given to me was not a superpower, we were not a nation of excess or even the basic necessities. We were broken, shunned and oppressed! Driven into the dirt by those with more than we've ever had and persecuted with such malice that God himself wept for his people for weeks. We possessed neither hope nor optimism. All we had was a dream. A dream of a day when the wrongs committed against us were finally made right, a dream of a time when Belkans we could live in peace and contentment, free to look into the midnight sky and know that while the world may not be happy, that Belka, our fatherland was safe and secure. I dreamed of a day not too long ago when Belkans would not try to leave our glorious community in search of better opportunities elsewhere because the best opportunity was here with us. I dreamed of homes filled with proud fathers, loving mothers and eager children with no concerns about trivial concerns such as enough food to eat or enough water to drink.

But these are dreams and we are faced with the harsh truth of reality. There are men and women, OUT THERE!, that are trying to snuff out the very life of our nation. There are men and women, OUT THERE!, that are working tirelessly to ensure that our beloved fatherland never reaches the heights of glory that is our very birthright. Cowards and immoral serpents are lined up outside our very gates! And as I speak to you tonight I say that the days of Belka bowing and scraping in hopes of scratching out a meager existence are over. But that time has passed! For years we have suffered unbearable hardships. Abandoned by our enemies to die from the disease and famine. But that time has passed! For years we worked away on empty stomachs, slowly rebuilding our strength, our pride and our nation... But that time has passed!

On the very eve of the anniversary of our triumph over our enemies, they seek to strike a mighty blow against us, to condemn us back to the dark ages, with the very idea of their terrible retribution. But I say to them right now my friends that we will not bow our heads ever again. If they wish to deny us peace and refuse to acknowledge our rightful place in this world then they will have to do it with fire and blood, blood and iron. They will have to do on the shores of Belka and in the streets of Dinsmark. Are you equal to the task Chancellor Eagebrand? Are you really so afraid Prime Minister Charlotte Mann? Is little Aleksandar strong enough to break the will of my people?

I am here to tell you, fellow Belkans, my friends and family, my heart and soul, that we are fighting for our right to exist. I am fighting for our right to exist. All I have ever wanted is for a safe, secure and more prosperous life for all of us. And if it can be done, with peace and respect then by God's own grace I will not incite bloodshed in his holy kingdom. But if the time comes when I must make the choice between sixty million Arstotskans and two hundred million Belkans then it will not be us who perish. If we must choose between right and peace then the world will never know a silent night ever again. We will tear the very light from their eyes, the hope from their hearts and the dreams from their minds! Our dream will not be a dream! Our dream will be our reality! We will not fade silently into the night! We will not surrender without a fight! We will strive as we have always done, tirelessly on empty stomachs and overburdened backs, with one heart, with one mind, one soul, and one will! With determination and strength! With unity and loyalty! With blood and Iron!


The crowd's emotion was uncontainable, erupting into thunderous applause and spirited cries of ''Blood and Iron''. Over and over they cried out, hundreds saluting the Chancellor with tears in their eyes and the echoes of his words in their hearts. Velik returned their adorations with the traditional party salute, basking in their love and fervor for just a moment before returning to the interior of the Chancellory. Even within the hallowed grounds of the building, the cries from outside could still be heard as loudly as before if not louder as they continued, ''Blood and Iron''.

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Blackhelm Confederacy
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Father Knows Best State

Postby Blackhelm Confederacy » Tue Jun 25, 2019 9:14 am

Nothing had ever quite been the same in Platteisen Adler since 2007. The country which had prided itself for decades on its neutrality, on its ability to sit back while the big boys duked it out around them, had suddenly all come crashing down beneath the tracks of Belkan Tiger 3’s. Hardly anyone in the country could say that they didn’t know of someone – a friend, a relative, a loved one – anyone who hadn’t lost their life in the invasion. Everyone knew someone, and everyone swore it would never happen again.
Until last year.

Last year, when Belkan tanks swarmed across Arstotska in a bloody repeat of 2007 the people of Platteisen Adler saw a repetition of history playing out before them. They remembered well how Belka had smashed Arstotska just a decade prior, and then turned their eyes north and rolled through the Adlerite countryside, looting the capital of Ironfalcon and then turning the entire country into a warzone as a coalition of Blackhelm Confederate, Rombergian, and Caledonian troops fought to reclaim the country.

This time…this time the Adlerite nation was not going to sit on its ass and wait for the Belkans to strike first. The reserves were called up as soon as the first Belkan tanks pounded their way across the border, swelling the Adlerite army from one division to four. The Blackhelm Confederate government also began sending monetary aid to the Adlerite state, to ensure that the reservists receive their pay and that any job loss as a result of the reservists being away from home is properly compensated.

With the reservists in position, Adlerite forces felt more secure than ever. The Third Reserve Division was moved to the de-militarized zone along the Belkan border, reinforcing the Adlerite Border Brigade as well as the brigades from Caledonia and the Blackhelm Confederacy that had been manning the line since the last war ended. The Adler Division – the nation’s largest active peacetime formation – was moved to the Adler-Arstotskan border, reinforced by the 1st Reserve Division. And in the capital, the 2nd Reserve Division began making preparations should the inevitable Belkan storm penetrate the first lines of defense.

All over the country too, Home Guard units had been making their own preparations for the last year, identifying potential fifth columnists and keeping tags on them while also laying the groundwork for a possible guerilla war. With more than a year being actively preparing, and more than ten years planning things out on paper, the Home Guard planning a well-executed mission of vengeance should things go south for Platteisen Adler.

This mission of vengeance, however, was about to take a much more pro-active turn now as summer began to set in. With each passing day, as more and more Arstotskans were being trotted off to slave labor camps or being executed in droves by their new Belkan overlords, the Adlerite people became more and more anxious and eager to act. And so, today, June 25, 2019, the Adlerite Army would authorize the first offensive missions in the history of the modern state.

The mission planned would not be a direct contact between Adlerite and Belakn divisions – that would be tantamount to suicide. Instead, Adlerite Jaeger commandos would slip across the relatively lightly defended border into Central Arstotska and then make their way west. There, the commandos along with a handful of former Arstotskan border guards who were hand-picked for the mission would begin looking for a man named Dimitri Sevchenko.

Sevchenko, better known by the nickname Gizmo, seemed to be the last solid, non-insane rock in the entire nation of Arstotska that was still willing to put up a resistance against the Belkans. Most of the fighting – especially in the center of the country – had been taken up by Agnus Dei, a radical religious cult group that often targeted Belkan and Belkan-loyalist forces with IED’s and suicide bombings. Sevchenko, however, he still represented the old regime, and from his positions in the hill country in Arstotska’s northwest corner he carried out his daily struggle against his nation’s occupiers.

The Jaegers were unsure of exactly how many men Gizmo had under his command, or even if they could completely rely upon him and his so-called “Winter Battalion” to serve as reliable partners, but he represented their best hope towards restoring a normal, functioning, and peaceful government in Arstotska. More importantly, he would also not remain a puppet of the Belkans, and he had the potential to end the massive exploitation that the Belkans enforced across the country.

Should contact be made with Gizmo, the Jaegers would not only assist the Winter Battalion directly in the form of planning and carrying out raids, but they would more importantly assist financially. Arms, money, and advisors could quickly, discreetly, and easily be ferried through the porous northwestern border, and since the Belkan and Belkan-loyalist forces held relatively little power the risk of border problems was nil.
The biggest problem, of course, would be actually locating Gizmo and his troop. Fortunately, search and recovery was one of the things that the Jaegers excelled at.
~Got Oil?~

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Greater Belkan Reich
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Ex-Nation

Postby Greater Belkan Reich » Wed Jul 10, 2019 2:37 pm

Northwestern Arsstotska
Winter Battalion Zone
0913H | Fog | 22°C


''The winds of winter are coming

Better pack your coat and prepare

There's not enough food to share, but better not despair

The winds of change are coming

Old ways will be blown away''


The winter of our discontent had been replaced with the summer but discontent would be too mild a word to describe the situation. The sun's warm rays of light warmed the Earth and eastern winds swept the country, cooling it just enough to make the heat just hotter than pleasurable. Azure skies and green farmland was in abundance though willing and able hands to enjoy the weather and terrain were few and far between. The invasion had turned society upside down and right side up again in the span of a few months. Within the same year, basic services such as running water, fresh food, and internet access had been disrupted and restored for the majority of the population. From the outside looking it, it wasn't like much had changed for anyone's day to day life.

But that was on the outside. Beneath the surface, under the veneer of civilized life, people were going missing. Armed soldiers in the cities patroled with watchful eyes, looking for any overt or covert signs of resistance and heaven forbid if they found any, or thought they found any. Entire families disappeared under night and fog to never be seen again. The nationwide curfew ensured that as far as the occupying forces were concerned, anyone caught after midnight was a terrorist and terrorists were to be shot on sight.

Things like petrol, alcohol, premium foodstuffs like beef and steak were heavily rationed and controlled, if you weren't part of the collaborating government then you most likely weren't allowed to drive, let alone possess an automobile. Regular people were recruited right off the street to help liquidate their country's national treasures from museums and banks. No measurable amount of gold, silver or most importantly copper was allowed to exist in the free market. If you were found to have any and not to have reported it, then night and fog would be the last thing you saw. The whole process was professional and efficient, the Belkan's were quick to set up the Provisional Transitional Government and out of work civil servants were even quicker to sign on to help them, if not out of self-preservation then out of a desire to simply have things return to normal.

Collaborators were everywhere and if you got in their way then the Belkan's had no qualms about instructing you on how things were going to work post-war. For what it was worth, they were surprisingly lenient when it came to governing the country. As long as their puppet government continued to send in trainloads of raw materials and precious metals and the terrorist attacks didn't affect them then, you were more or less safe. The Eastern, pro-Belkan half of the country were the first ones to get comfortable with the new rule of law and were rewarded by being declared a green zone. The curfew was lifted, people stopped disappearing, the rationing was relaxed enough to even allow night establishments to run something resembling a profitable business.

The capital region wasn't quite there yet, but the attacks by Agnus Dei were, for the most part, limited to government buildings, and as most of the wealth was concentrated there, it was declared a yellow zone. Some restrictions on movement were relaxed, the rationing wasn't as strict and the government worked hard to protect the more innocent of subversives from the more impulsive reactions of their conquerors. The rest of the country, in the mountains and farmlands in the east, were deemed a red zone. The entire area was considered to be full of rebels, terrorists or subversives and for good reason. Gun attacks on Belkan checkpoints and a steady stream of people attempting to flee the country meant that control over the region was partial at best and shaky at worst. There were even areas in the mountains that were completely off limits for anything smaller than an infantry battalion. The presence of remnants of the former Arstotskan military and unfavorable terrain meant that dismounted patrols and checkpoints would invite attacks on Belkan troops which was an unacceptable situation. An unofficial bargain had been struck, as long as foodstuffs and minerals from the mines continued to flow eastward then the Belkan Army would stay along the border and keep their distance. In exchange, what passed for a credible resistance movement was allowed to die a slow and dignified death, cut off from both material and manpower from the more populous capital region.

It was because of this bargain that what was left of the 11th Arstotskan Rifle Regiment, led by former Army Major Dmitri Sevchenko, was able to regroup deep in the mountain ranges along the Western Border. It was a hard life, scratching out a living and planning a way to retake their country. Sevchenko had taken on the name, ''Gizmo'' to throw off Belkan intelligence and his rifle company that formed the nucleus of his force was christened the Winter Battalion after they survived arguably the hardest winter's in their lives. In the months after the invasion, they'd attracted former soldiers from other units that had managed to survive the war and the roundups that followed, patriotic citizens that refused to give up their homeland without a fight, even reformed criminals that wanted a return to the days when having a bottle of vodka wasn't punishable by a life sentence in a labor camp.

The battalion was spread out in the valleys and hills in mountain country in decentralized camps, centered around what passed as their HQ, an encampment with several dozen of Major Sevchenko's army comrades, repurposed civilian and military radios and a veritable collection of small arms and man-portable anti-air weapons. Men in camp wore a collection of civilian and military attire, complemented by flak jackets and kevlar and hunting gear acquired through whatever means necessary. Within arms reach of everyone at camp was a variety of small arms, mostly Arstotskan rifles, some Belkan and Aswickan equipment, and even the occasional hunting rifle. The defining characteristic being the immaculate condition of all the weapons which stood in stark contrast to literally everything else about them.

If it weren't for the obvious paramilitary nature of the camp and the men who occupied it, the beautiful lush green finger that surrounded them would be the definition of a mural dedicated to the beauty of the country with clear white streams crisscrossing the immediate vicinity.

Major Sevchenko held no delusions inside a nondescript tent in the center of the camp. An impressive specimen and the archetypical ''military man'', he was an even six feet tall and a comfortable two hundred pounds, clean-shaven and hair cut in a short, cropped style even with the lack of professional barbers. Sevchenko wasn't a handsome man, his face marred by half-healed scars and burn marks that weren't earned in the kitchen. He wore hunting attire and could've passed for a hunter if it weren't for the Arstotskan body armor that adorned his body and rifle that was propped up in a nearby chair. The tent was large, decorated not with hunting trophies or paraphernalia but with tactical maps and supply crates marked with the seal of the Arstotskan Republic.

The Major wasn't alone in the tent, a half dozen other men, dressed in a similar fashion and possessing the air of men who had grown accustomed to hard living and death far from the homes of their childhoods. No one was speaking, at least not verbally, all eyes were center on Sevchenko, Gizmo as he was affectionately known to the men who had volunteered to fight with him, though the men who shared the tent with him, still referred to him by his rank, Major.

Major Sevchenko had been a rising star in the army before the invasion and was now a genuine war hero in their eyes. A company commander in the 11th Rifle Regiment, his unit had been the first and one of a handful of Arstoskan forces to put up a respectable fight during the invasion and had held open the escape corridor for over a week, allowing countless thousands of military personnel to escape the fate their comrades would later be doomed to. He then led his battered company in fighting order to retreat as far west as this mountain range and set up camp. Over the months many had joined them and many had died as they continued their fight against the invaders. The men were tired, a half heartbeat away from surrendering or deserting across the border to find a place to live out the remainder of their days in defeat. Unit a messenger from one of the units camped further inland came in the early hours of the morning, before dawn with news that foreigners, foreigners offering support had approached sympathetic townspeople. It was an offer too good to be true but if it was, it was also too good to turn down, at least categorically.

'' We can't afford to not accept. We've lost twenty men in firefights along the border this month alone and another dozen to desertion. We don't have enough food to last the winter and if we take more from the villages down the mountain then they'll starve and if we range further out then we risk antagonizing the Belkans to root us out here. With weapons, food, and men we could strike deeper east, where they'll feel us. '' Captain Markov, his Executive Officer whispered.

''And what if they aren't here to help us? What if they are Belkan intelligence? You would have them here, in our mist, scouting our positions and counting our numbers? Is that what you want, Captain?'' Sevcheno replied, stress readily apparent in his voice.

''What if they're not?''

''And what if they are?''

''Comrade, we're out of options. If there is no help coming then we might as well give up, the men need a victory and food. On our own, we can provide neither, this is our last chance at a credible resistance movement.''


Sevchenko knew he was right, he had thought of all the options but outside a cohesive military organization, everyone was here of their own will so, a consensus was the only way he knew how to lead them. The Battalion was organized into 4 companies of about four hundred men each, with 3 platoons in each company. The platoons were dispersed all along the mountain range and near friendly villages. He held a reserve of about two or three hundred fighters in a valley near the border along with most of the battalion's supplies and munitions. He could muster almost two thousand soldiers to fight if he concentrated his forces but he wouldn't be able to equip them all and never with enough ammunition to make such a large operation viable. By the end of summer, he'd be almost out of ammunition and even with heavy rationing, they'd be out of food by the end of the year. His troops would desert before then, and if they didn't the Belkans would wipe them out if they sensed their presence wasn't as strong as they'd been led to believe. Daily raids against border outposts kept the window open for refugees to escape abroad. They couldn't afford to stop and they couldn't afford to keep going, something had to go their way, whoever these men were, they had to be allies.

Gizmo silently prayed to Saint Michael, patron saint of soldiers.

''Bring them in. We don't have a choice.''

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Blackhelm Confederacy
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Father Knows Best State

Postby Blackhelm Confederacy » Fri Jul 12, 2019 7:53 am

“This place was probably a pretty nice little town,” Adlerite commando Pedar Eschenbach thought as he scanned the village before him through his binoculars.

“It’s a damned shame the place looks like something out of Fallout 4 now.”

Within the village, a four-man team of former Arstotskan border guards was working to build the trust of the local population and to learn more about the so-called “Winter Battalion” – the ragtag band of ex-soldiers and patriots that represented the last remnant of civility left in this hellscape.

The journey for the commandos had not been without incident. A few days ago, in fact, was the first time that the men of Jaeger Team 4 actually had to fire their weapons in the more than two weeks since they’d been in the country. And it was for good reason too.

During a routine patrol to sweep for Belkan units or any signs of the Winter Battalion, Hauptmann Eschenbach and his team came across a refugee band being held up by the Agnes Dei – a violent, radicalized cult that had turned preying upon the Arstotskan desperate into something of a sport.

At first, Eschenbach and his men simply watched as the cultist held the men, women, and children at gunpoint. After all, the Adlerites were under explicit orders not to engage with anyone unless absolutely necessary to ensure the survival of the operation. Just in case, however, Eschenbach ordered his snipers to take positions, and deployed a scout team to make their way closer to the unfolding scene.
At first, the cultists seemed content to simply strip the refugees of the few items they had left on them – mostly bits of food, a few small heirlooms and trinkets, nothing major, but enough to mean something to the truly desperate. That was until the cultists spotted a teenaged girl amongst the roughly 30-or-so asylum seekers and began to separate her from the group.

Seizing the girl by the hair, one of the dirt-covered cultists yanked the young blonde from the crowd. A man, perhaps her father, attempted to protest but was met with a swift butt of a Belkan-made rifle, which sent him crumbling to the ground. The others in the group looked on in horror as the filthy hands of the cultist tilted the young girls face upwards as if inspecting her, before nodding and ordering his comrades to take her away. The others in the refugee column knew better than to protest further, as what had befallen the man now crumbled upon the ground was a relatively light sentence compared to the barbarity that Agnes Dei was known for.

While those in the refugee group were helpless to the whims of Agnes Dei, the Adlerites were not. Eschenbach, upon seeing the fear in the girl’s eyes through his binoculars – indeed during her search for some savior she virtually locked eyes with the Adlerite officer, although she did not actually see him or know he was there. Instead, her desperate gaze peered right towards him, and the pleas across her face forced Eschenbach to act.

“Take them out,” Eschenbach whispered to his adjutant.

“Sir, they do not pose a threat to the mission, we are under orders not –“

“Do it, Hans. Do it now.”

The adjutant for the operation, Wachtmeister Hans Freitag, nodded before relaying the order down the line. Within seconds, the teams three snipers had found their targets and fired, dropping the dirt-covered cultist near the girl as well as two others who appeared to have influence over the rest of the bandits.

The sniper attack was swiftly followed by several bursts of suppressed automatic fire from the woods near the road as the scout team opened up upon the group. The entire ordeal was over in seconds, and the refugee group stood silent, in shock, at what just happened. And none more so than the young blonde, who now wore the blood of her near-captor in streaks across her face.

From the woods, the scout team emerged, their leader’s hand held up as a symbol of peace, his gun lightly held by his side as the snipers continued to watch over head. Nearby, a cultist groaned, revealing he was still alive, only to be silenced by a swift bullet from the sidearm of one of the scouts.

“You’re safe now,” the commando announced. “But we need to hurry. The border isn’t far from here and patrols are all over the woods.”

The scout leader, Bernd Tangemann, then looked around at the collection of a little over a half-dozen cultists laying before him and shook his head.

“We can’t let you go alone” he announced. “It’s too dangerous.”

Leaving his two scouts behind to hand out the newly liberated, ex-AD assault rifles to the men of the refugee column, Tangemann trekked back into the woods to meet with his commanding officer and discuss what to do with this really rather helpless mass.

“Sir, we need to escort them out of the country,” Tangemann said. “They have no chance on their own.”

“Absolutely not!” Wachtmeister Freitag said, the steam nearly visible coming from his ears. “Even this operation was too risky. We can not, in any circumstance, divert from the mission any further to bring these people to the border.”

“These people will die without us”

“We will die with them!”

“Enough” Eschenbach finally said. “We can escort them to the border. It isn’t very far.”

“Sir, our time tables!”

“There are three other teams out here to maintain their timetables,” Eschenbach replied. “Let them make contact. We need to help these people.”
And he was right, too. In total, four ten-man Jaeger teams had been sent over the border to occupied-Arstotska, each one augmented by a four-man team of former Arstotskan border guards who knew the lay of the land.

And so it was, just like that that Jaeger Team 4 had been diverted from their duties – much to the protests of the Wachtmeister – to serve as the shepherds of the poor and the desperate. That mission had set them back several days, but now they were here at this small mountain village, acting upon tips from locals, confident that they would be finding a member of the Winter Battalion any minute now.
~Got Oil?~

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Aswick
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Posts: 24
Founded: May 15, 2015
Liberal Democratic Socialists

Postby Aswick » Thu Jul 25, 2019 5:26 pm

Inside Arstotska


Aswickan Special Forces were being inserted into Arstotska and Belka in preparation of a big operation. The SAS had been given control over Arstotska, while the SBS would go into Belka. Their objectives were twofold. They were to:
Locate and recover shot-down pilots by any means necessary, and bring them to harbor areas to be set up by 15 Air Assault Brigade.
Destroy or eliminate any target of opportunity including but not limited to radar installations, launch sites, and command centres.

In order to remain concealed, they would be performing high altitude low opening jumps from slightly modified civilian airliners. It would not do to suddenly have a large number of military cargo planes flying over foreign terrain.

The SAS’ “B” Squadron’s Air Troop had just landed and had quickly assembled. They would now start moving to their first objective: Their motorbikes and quads. Following that, Captain Alex Jansen’s objective was to move further north to make contact with an Arstotskan guerilla group.

The troops were not entirely happy with it, but they’d do it nonetheless. They wanted to be out there doing what they did best rather than negotiate use of the guerilla’s territory as a harbour area and train them into a capable fighting force.

After about an hour, in complete darkness they homed in on their vehicles. Quickly mounting up, they began their drive. Keeping their lights off, they drove entirely on their AN/PVS-15 goggles.

Blackhall, Winchester

“Fine, pass it off as an exercise”[/b] one of the Generals suggested. There was about to be a large influx of foreign aircraft and troops. There was no way that could remain a secret even if their enemy did not have sophisticated techniques. Passing it off as an exercise would give some legitimacy to the claim that they weren’t up to anything.

The fact that most of the planes and troops would be from countries not traditionally associated with Aswick would raise some eyebrows though. Historically Aswick didn't have a lot of friends. In fact, most of the participating countries had been on the opposing sides for nearly the past 200 years. There wasn’t even a consensus amongst the general staff as to how wise that decision would be.

“Very good, general. Mister Parker, I want you to prepare a communique to the countries involved.” the King finally said to the Foreign Secretary after a few minutes of deliberation. During this ‘exercise’, a lot of Aswickan bombs and jet fuel would be used, so there would likely have to be some diplomacy involved. After all, Aswick couldn’t be expected to bear all of the costs no matter the objective, and despite the billions of pounds they received from Aquitayne every year.

To the Honourable heads of state, as well as commanders of those states’ armed forces greetings,

His Majesty, by the Grace of God, William Stonebridge the first, of Aswick, Scotia and Sandown and all His Dominions beyond the Seas, Protector of Winchester, Earl of Parrum, Count of Tyrsis, Lord High-Admiral, Defender of the faith wishes to invite you to His palace in Winchester to discuss preparations of Exercise Northern Lion.

Signed by His Majesty’s Command,
Rt. Hon. Russel Parker, MP
Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs
Last edited by Aswick on Sat Jul 27, 2019 2:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Nildwalden
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Founded: Aug 13, 2017
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Nildwalden » Sat Jul 27, 2019 11:47 am

[ Cologne, Nidwalden ]

The situation in the north of the Lorecian continent was a concerning issue for the administration of Charlotte Mann, the conservative fronts of the parliament were demanding a rapid response from the Nidwaldester government as the rest of the Lorecian Community was moving forces to their closest borders with Arstotska and the Grand Duchy was suffering an increasing immigration flow of refugees. Nidwalden always had a pacifist and humanitarian protagonism during conflicts in Astyria and the Belkan invasion of Arstotska was not an exception, the Mann administration had already published several reports about human rights violations and imposed restrictions to Belka, but now the situation was different. Charlotte Mann had no other option to reunite with the Grand Duke and the Minister of Defence to agree on a common policy aligned to that of the Lorecian Community.

The black Volvo of Charlotte Mann arrived at the Bergedorf Palace, a palace surrounded by the public Bergedorf Gardens in a central and aristocrat neighbourhood of the city which was the residence of the Grand Duke in Cologne. The car stopped at the checkpoint entrance where the home guard did a quick procedure and allowed the chauffeur to continue its drive through the grave to the entrance of the palace, once there, a man opened the door of the SUV and Charlotte got off walking towards the apartment of the Grand Duke. The Monarch welcomed the Prime Minister and both sat in the private office, a luminous room delicately decorated in clear tones with classical elements and views to the park and the city behind.

''Now Charlotte, I strongly believe you are right, the situation in Arstotska is demanding a stronger move from us, we have to show confidence in the rest of the Community... but this Exercise...'', said Wilhelm moving his pen and making a doubtable gesture.

Charlotte smiled, left her purse on the floor and responded, ''Your Majesty, it will only prepare the region in case of having to attack... Frank Lühmann has already prepared a plan... I have little doubts that if we do not accompany Lorecia in this, we will lose credibility in our future movements'', finished

''My concern goes far from our credibility, I mean, what is the EATA going to do, especially the Blackhelm Confederacy.., we can not continue having a humanitarian crisis, wars and foreign influence in the continent''.

''And that is why we must be there...'', said Charlotte unfolding documents, ''in any case of an invasion, the Lorecian forces will be more, after that, we could push to sign agreements and even hold trials here''.

The conversation continued for some more time until Charlotte gave Wilhelm the documents made by the Minister of Defence to clarify the plan, the Monarch read it carefully and without doubting twice, signed them. The Prime Minister saluted the Monarch and left the office walking with the documents under her arm. The chauffeur opened the door of the Breuer and she got up asking the be drove to her office in Old Town. The car made a turn in the roundabout and left the palace, in the route Charlotte grabbed her iPhone and called Frank Lühmann to publish a communique. Back in Bergedorf, the Grand Duke informed the Chief of Defence about the desicion and in less of 15 minutes, the JAV 16 Adelaars and F-35s of the Nidwaldester Air Force were taking off from the Cologne, Lech and Saint Moritz air bases in direction to RAF bases in northern Aswick to be part of the Exercise Northern Lion.
T H E.....G R A N D.....D U C H Y.....O F.....N I D W A L D E N

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