Banner of Christ (CLOSED, ATTN PARDES)

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


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Postby Arthurista » Thu Feb 12, 2015 6:20 pm

Near Damnica

" other news, the Ministry of Finance has announced a series of strict capital control measures to prevent hyperinflation in the wake of-"

Brigadier General Andris Ozols angrily tapped his radio off, then stalked off to see his immediate superior in his CP. The commander of the 2nd Air Assault Brigade was, by all definitions, a royally pissed off individual. First, he was informed that his first battalion will be taken from him to act as a QRF against any attempt by the rebels to breach the cordon around the city and breakout. Then, he learnt that while the single most important battle of the war, the decisive encounter, is about to be fought, the man chosen to lead it by the previous government had his head so far up his arse that he did not realise he was heading for a real disaster.

“Sir, I must ask you to reconsider. The risks alone…”

“If you risk nothing, you gain nothing, Ozols.” Major General Vaclav Makovek, commander of the III Corps and in charge of operations in the crucial central sector of the front was, for all intents and purposes, a political appointee from the ancient regime of the unlamented Prime Minister’s government. Once the commander of the media corps, his ability to charm journalists, domestic and foreign, convinced the Ministry of Defence that in this very public war, his undoubted ability to manage the public relations side of the conflict trumps his equally undoubted incompetence in basic operational art.

“The plan stands. The civilians should be mostly out of town by now and it’s time we go in. We will send in the first battalion of the 3rd Mechanised, paired with the brigade’s tank company, to push through the high street in a mounted advance and straight into the central square, blasting every attempt at resistance out of the way. The two motorised battalions will advance dismounted on either side to provide flank security, with all three groups converging in the middle, supported by a battalion of LDV each. Your remaining two air assault battalions will act as reserve.” He paused to let the sharp series of crump, crump series of noise from an artillery battery nearby to subside. For hours they’ve been shelling suspected rebel strongpoints, identified by OPs and Arthuristan UAVs. “Corps intelligence estimates that we will only face sporadic and ineffective resistance on the way in.”

“How, pray tell, do we know that?”

“Well, we’ve received word from OPs that the number of rebel fighters we let escape using the humanitarian corridor-“ Ozols mentally translated this as groups breaking out of our perimeter along routes we couldn’t block “are increasing by the hour. They are running for their lives and I bet those left behind will be in no shape to fight us. One good kick with mechanised troops and they’ll crumble like plaster.”

“And if there is heavy resistance, general? If they’re ambushed they’ll be trapped and cut to pieces with RPGs! Let me send in dismounted recce teams to scout the routes of advance first…”

“There won’t be heavy resistance, they won’t be ambushed, and they certainly won’t be trapped. We promised the people on TV that we will have Konin by Republic Day, and this is what we’re going to deliver!”

You idiotic little shit. Do you have any idea what’s going to happen? “As you wish, general,” he replied, saluted, then walked from the corps HQ back to his brigade’s command post. First, he took out the phone in his pocket, which has been recording the whole conversation. That ought to cover his arse sufficiently well in the inevitable inquiry to come. Then, he called up his XO, operations officer and Anthoran advisor as Grad rockets screamed their characteristic freight-train howl overhead, on the way into Damnica. “Gentlemen, O-Group in five. The assault is going to be a catastrophe, and I have a feeling that we’ll be the ones to retrieve the situation. Let’s figure out a way to do that as painlessly as possible, shall we?”

7km from Gromnik

Not far from rebel-held territory, twelve individuals dismounted from their pair of Tarpan Honker utility vehicles. The team knew why they were there, why they were doing what they were about to do, yet all felt uneasy about it. They were soldiers, yet this is a war of politicians, of perceptions and popularity ratings and the press. They knew that some hardball diplomatic bargaining will be taking place over the next few weeks, and their job was to hand to their political masters what could potentially be their greatest weapon – evidence that Rodarian Orducii elements are actively involved in assisting the rebels in overthrowing the government of a sovereign state.

As to how they plan to deliver the goods, they decided to stick with the oldest and most vital role special forces units were meant to play on the battlefield – long range reconnaissance patrol.

The patrol put together to carry out this mission was a mix of Arthuristan and Bogorian personnel. Its commander was an Arthuristan SAS captain, with a Bogorian lieutenant as second in command. An Arthuristan IT specialist accompanied the team to deal with laptops, phones and flashdrives captured along the way, as well as handling their ELINT gear, while a Bogorian air control specialist was tasked with directing air support where needed. They were protected by two four-men fireteams, one SAS and one Bogorian Special Forces. They would avoid contact whenever possible and report their findings. If cornered, they could bluff their way out if they could, or make use of their ‘kinetic capabilities’ in extremis. They knew that they were not the only team sent – similar Emmerian, Belfrasian and Anthoran-led patrols were also almost certainly dispatched, and possibly Belhavia and Eaglelander teams as well. They did not, of course, know any details about the other patrols, lest they fell into the hands of the rebels.

The fact that they were going to penetrate enemy territory on foot meant that weight was a premium. In the days of the Baharaq War, SAS troopers patrolled with more than 100kg of water, ammunition and equipment loaded into their bergens or strapped to their webbing. Nowadays, all the gear made with mature technology – SATCOM, SATNAV, NVGs and thermal imagers are all far less bulky than before, while newly developed equipment, like their RQ-11, weighed little to begin with, all of it far better distributed using the MOLLE system. Overall, they counted themselves very lucky compared to their predecessors. To further shed weight, all of them forewent the standard-issue Emmerian helmet in favour of boonie hats, although all still wore a plate carrier vest with inserts. They wore civilian jackets on top of their DPM uniforms. Just in case it starts to snow, however, they were all issued with white waterproof smocks.

The relatively austere allocation of equipment allowed them to carry as much weapons and ammunition as possible to ensure that, in the contingency that they did have to fight their way out, anyone in their way would come to a sticky end. All except four were armed with M18L carbine (14.5 inch barrel) or ultrashort (10.5 inch barrel) variants. Of those four, two in each team, were armed with a M18A7 IAR to lay down suppressive fire in an emergency. One in the Bogorian fireteam had a modified M18A1 rifle with 18-inch barrel, 6x scope with RDS and Harris bipod for use as a marksman rifle, while another in the Arthuristan had an Advanced Airburst Weapon. Four locally sourced RPG-76 Komar and a CZ 75 apiece completed the picture.

“Right, listen up,” captain Andy Ryan was eager to get started, but felt that he had to explain this to his patrol before they left the start line. “I got this just before we left Utena. Apparently, the Ministry of Defence said they received intelligence that the two Arthuristan personnel MIA from the border post incident may still be alive, but held prisoner. They want us to look for information regarding their fate, if we get around to it. Bear in mind, however, that this is strictly a secondary objective compared to our primary goal of gathering intel on Orducii involvement.”

“Any questions? Ok, let’s get started. We have a long way to go.”
Last edited by Arthurista on Thu Feb 12, 2015 7:25 pm, edited 8 times in total.

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Postby Virana » Thu Feb 12, 2015 8:13 pm

[OOC: First post in a while, excuse me if it's a little bland. Just getting things started, seeing as I'm entering this RP way too late. We'll start to organize the actual stuff after this. Lemme know if anything's off. ]

Bogorian Army-controlled territory
North of Librantowa, Bogoria

Specialist Jake Matthews put crossed his legs and laid his head back, trying to relax his mind. The only sound he heard was the Bogorian-accented English spewing from the age-old CRT television screen in the tent: "... and the UR Defense Department confirms no Emmerian soldiers have been involved in direct combat in Bogoria, but President Vaziri is continuing to seek authorization from Congress to expand UR forces in the nation to help the coalition fight the insurgency..."

What a load of shit, Matthews thought. Of course Emmerian troops had been in combat. His unit, a team of personnel in the elite U.R. Army Special Operations Force (ARSOF), had conducted operations in conjunction with Bogorian special forces against a number of rebel targets. Just today, they would embark on one of their most challenging and ambitious operations, hoping to perform long-range surveillance in rebel-held territory.

"Hey Jake," somebody said, tapping Matthews on the shoulder. Matthews opened his eyes. It was the team's scout observer, Specialist Dennis Arsaan, the team's newest member. "Jake, Sarge wants you to get your last hot meal before we take off outside the wire," he continued.

"I'll be fine," Matthews responded. "Just grab me some water?"

Arsaan nodded, leaning to the side and pulling out a water bottle from a newly opened pack. "You know, this time tomorrow we could be at war with Rodarion. And we'd be right on top of the front lines."

"I try not to think about it," Matthews said back. "You don't want stuff like that clouding your head. Remember, keep focused. We're going to be gathering intelligence on Orducii movements for the possibility they may be crossing the border. We don't know for sure yet."

"Vaziri seemed to sound pretty sure about it," Arsaan laughed.

Another man walked toward them, with a peculiar expression on his face. He was Bogorian, a member of the Bogorian special forces unit that was embedded within the ARSOF team. He spoke, with broken English: "We need to go, in few minutes." There was a rifle leaning against the wall, an M18A5 carbine, that the man picked up and signaled to Matthews. "This yours?"

Matthews nodded, and reached out his hand. The man tossed him the weapon. "It is good gun for this mission," the man said.

As the squad leader walked into the room, Matthews hoisted himself up. "Alright, action time," the leader announced. Matthews picked up his helmet, a WRETCH with a number of attachments. The team, combined, had a number of weapons: small arms, mostly M18A3s or M18A5s, an M18A7 IAR, a couple of disposable rocket launchers, and standard issue sidearms. They were traveling relatively light when it came to armament, focusing primarily on carrying advanced reconnaissance gear - infrared equipment, unmanned sensors, sophisticated communications gear, and an RQ-11 UAV. They had some night vision devices out of necessity - this was going to be a long-term mission - and carried additional concealment gear for changing weather conditions.

And so they took off from their remote encampment. Thunderous booms could be heard in the distance, a sharp contrast to the relative peace and quiet of their location, and a shocking reminder that they were, actually, in a warzone. Their objective was to perform remote reconnaissance, staying mostly out of sight as they gathered information and intelligence on the potentiality that Rodarian forces - mainly Orducii, but possibly even the ISI - were one of the many players in the house of cards that was the Bogorian conflict.
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Postby Rodarion » Thu Feb 12, 2015 8:41 pm

11 February, 2015 13.04pm - Ostra Gora, Bogorian Christian Republic

Tavitian sat in the bleak looking motel room, staring blankly out of the dirty window across Ostra Gora and what a shithole it was. He was hoping to find a green and pleasant land, not a polluted industrial shittip like in Rodarion, he and many millions upon millions of Rodarians had become tired of the continued smog, dirty soil, dirty skies and dirty wind, everything appeared grey or greyish in Rodarion, even if it was the middle of a fine national park, everything was touched by the nation's industrial heartbeat. His 1,000 fighters had been in Bogoria for eleven days now, reduced from 1,000 to 948, mostly due to the costly victory 11km north, where 300 of his force alongside 600 ethnic Polish rebels defeated a government offensive aimed at cutting Konin off from Librantowa, though the Radanici had suffered at least 200 dead, surely.
His arrival along with his 1,000 elite Orcepa fighters had resulted in serious changes in Bogoria, the capture of Border Station 18 had opened up a secure supply route, from 1am to 5am, using rickety pontoon bridges, the ethnic Poles began to recieve growing numbers of higher quality weapons, including QW-2 MANPADs, T-S9 anti-tank guided missiles and heavy mortars. BDF losses had increased and the rebels were halting the government's advance along the entire front west of Ostra Gora.

"Sir, they're ready for you" a voice softly spoke from the room's door to the hallway, Tavitian nodded and slowly stretched himself upwards. He picked up his Type 11 assault rifle and strolled along the hallway towards the exit to the park outside. In what was a former green space, was now a large encampment for his remaining personnel, the grass was torn up, muddied and scorched from the various campfires. He slowly crossed the open area, saluting his men as he passed. Not a bad day, the sky was cloudless, no stinging wind, no snow which was always good this time of year.

He reached the far side of the park, before him stood two of his men, snapping to attention he entered a former cafe, closing the door behind him quietly. Next to him stood Stoenescu, he had been given charge of observing the two Arthuristan trainers captured eleven days ago at Border Station 18.

"Morning sir" Stoenescu politely spoke up as he lit a cigarette, Tavitian looked around the interior of the cafe, he was impressed by the decor, it appeared to be in homage to the 1940s, alot of shit on the walls and a smell of rotting plaster.

"Morning Lieutenant" he replied with a smile.

"They awake?" he enquired as he lit up his own cigarette, placing his Type 11 down on a table beside him. He realised that this cafe may well have once been a proud hub of the local area, elderly and young, laughter and smiles, now it was dusty, deserted and rotting.

"Yes sir, she's struggling though, her injuries may get infected and we're being forced to focus our medical supplies on wounded rebels" Stoenescu responded quickly, without a tone of concern or pity, Tavitian raised an eyebrow and slowly walked to the cafe's kitchen. He shoved the door open, slamming against the white tiled wall, the man jumped up, the left side of his face burnt and bruised, his left eye barely open to fully gauge the giant now before him. The woman sat slumped forward, most likely unconscious due to the pain. Tavitian exhaled smoke as he crouched before the Arthuristan male, dubbing the cigarette out on the floor.

"Good morning, how are we this morning?" Tavitian spoke in good English, Captain Lewis Thompson looked up at Tavitians bearded face.

"Been better" he responded coldly.

"I can imagine, I also imagine it's hard being in a foreign country, very, very far away from home" Tavitian raised his eyebrows.

"I am home" Thompson smiled with the right side of his mouth.

"This isn't your home, you belong on that big empty island of yours, where you're surrounded and cut off from the rest of your liberal parasite allies" Tavitian leaned in closer, slowly withdrawing his combat knife from its sheath on the side of his left thigh. Thompson looked down at the knife, knowing most likely that has split blood. Tavitian drew the knife closer to Thompson, his heart suddenly erupting into a face pace, Tavitian got up and walked behind Thompson, cutting the rope that held his wrists tightly, releasing him from the uncomfortable metal chair. Lifting Thompson up, Tavitian patted him on the back, Thompson's heart slowed somewhat.
"What's happening?" the fear flowed out of Thompson, enough for Tavitian to lift a smile.

"We're going for a walk, come on" Tavitian smiled still, lifting his left arm in the direction of the exit, Thompson nodded and limped towards the door, Tavitian looked over his shoulder towards the young woman still slumped forward, he shook his head in disappointment, Arthuristans, always in people's bullshit, making a mess on the floor he scoffed.

Following the Thompson out into the park, his men silent, staring at the foreigner with great tension, Thompson swallowed hard as the Orducii slowly returned to whatever they were doing, he looked at Tavitian who looked at him with a stare of pity and hatred rolled into one. He followed Tavitian who walked towards Ostra Gora's cathedral, a mightily old structure, built by Rodarians in the 16th century when Bogoria was a mere province of the Papal States. As they slowly strolled towards the building, Tavitian opened up somewhat.

"Before all of this, before I even joined the Orducii, I worked in a factory in Livada, a fine place, a place of pure comradeship and loyalty. There was a small woman who worked there as a clerk, she was from this place. Such a kind, sweet woman, two years ago she returned home and then last year she was one of eight people killed in a bombing in this very place. Killed for being an ethnic Pole, killed for being Catholic. These are the sort of people you want to defend?" Tavitian enquired, Thompson stood still and looked at him intensely.
"You want to defend people who slaughter 180 civilians?" he shot back swiftly.

"And how many have your government friends in the Defence Force killed since this all started? 2,300 I last heard" Tavitian continued walking looking down at the tarmac road they traversed, Thompson felt his heart sink, he had a point. Eventually they make their way into the Cathedral itself, a cavernous yet frugal interior, the only sign of Catholic decadence were the windows, the vast glass panes showing the Sermon on the Mount, the Virgin Mary, the Crucifixion and finally the 'Salvation of Bogoria', the latter showing Saint Taviu, the Rodarian general who defeated the Pagan king in 1570, which led to the conversion of the Kingdom to Catholicism.
In front of the altar, on her knees was Grace Marsh, she had been moved as Tavitian escorted Thompson to the Cathedral. Thompson looked at Tavitian in horror, was this an execution? he thought so thoroughly. Tavitian took a pew in the second row, as an Orducii soldier motioned Thompson next to Marsh by pointing and waving his Type 88 rifle. He did as he was told, descending onto his knees next to his friend, who looked as if she was near death, Tavitian held his head to one side, observing him.

"Grace? Grace? Gracie?" he whispered into Marsh's ear, she responded with a murmur, clearly too weak to answer. Thompson looked back at Tavitian, who was now straightening his beard, who jumped in surprise somewhat at Thompson's glare.

"Do not look at me like that camarad, the rebels... they want to use you two as hostages and since I and my men shouldn't be here, we have very little input" Tavitian smiled as Thompson's hands were once again tied together, Tavitian stood up, lifted a thumbs up to Thompson and left the Cathedral. Then before his very self stood General Marku Milosovici of the Papal Defence Corps 'Special Operations Division', this 5 ft 7 bald portly man was in charge of the Orcepa forces in Bogoria, he was also third in command of the entire rebel fighting force. ah fuck no, not you, you miserable shitty dwarf Tavitian muttered quietly.

"Captain Romulus Tavitian, you're a hard man to track down" Milosovici stated without smile nor politeness.

"I hope you haven't travelled far, in that armoured jeep of yours" Tavitian replied sarcastically, he hated the PDC, to him they were just jumped up little shits who had power and responsibility rush to their conniving little minds.

"No, just Sobotka. I have new orders for you. I want you to dispatch the 3rd and 5th brigades to aid in the defence of Damnica, I understand entry to the town will be blocked, but attacking those fascist pigs in the rear will help no end. Also I want the 1st Brigade to attack the Zukowka Enclave, east of this position. There is a decent sized airfield I fear the government may use to supply the defenders and launch rear attacks. I have spoken to the UBLF, the 1st Brigade will be joined by at least 300 rebel fighters from the... erm... Solidarity Brigade, I want you to take command of that operation, conduct it as you please" Milosovici took a deep breath, Tavitian just simply nodded.

"What about those two Arthuristans?" Tavitian inquired.

"The rebels will move them, to Nowowola, either until the Arthuristans heed their demands and leave the country, or of course they die" Milosovici took a swig from his canteen. Neither really cared, Tavitian just nodded again.

"where are you going?" Tavitian asked once more as Milosovici slowly turned around and walked away.

"Damnica, camarad, where this war will be won" Milosovici waved his finger up at the clouds, his parting gesture? spitting out the water in his canteen onto the ground beside him. The Papal Defence Corps and the Orcepa were here, the Bogorian Defence Force now faced a greater and tougher enemy.

12 February, 2015 08.34pm - Damnica, Bogorian Christian Republic

Konstantyn Serafin, the Supreme Commander of the United Bogorian Liberation Forces (UBLF), effectively the army of the nascent and fledgling Bogorian Christian Republic stood over a large map of the town, as the thud of artillery shells vibrated the wine cellar, sending small clouds of dust down from above his head. He surveyed the western side of the town with his eyes, his six comrades did the same. He lent over the wooden table, tapping the junction at Hetmanska Road.

"This here, this where we cut off their tail" Serafin nodded to himself, a former technician turned general, he had proven himself capable at the Battle of Mistrzejowice, where the rebels scored their first victory and halted the government advance west of Librantowa.

"I recommend, that we focus the first assaults in the centre of town, then strike their rear echelons, that way we can ensure we cut them off from the exit" Major Konrad Tomko (leader of the Popular Security Detachment militia) spoke up, receiving nods and smiles from the others, Serafin nodded and grinned. Tomko was a former police chief who defected to the rebels in early December in the wake of the Konin protester massacre, he was a major asset to the rebels. A loud thud rocked the aged cellar, the light bulb above them flickered and swayed from side to side, dust descending onto the map. Loud footsteps echoed down from the wine bar upstairs, through the stone archway came Milosovici, his camo and flack jacket covered in brown coloured dust and dirt.

"Fucking bastards blew up my jeep" he roared, throwing his helmet to one side, "those fucking pigs killed my driver as well... he had my cigarettes, fucking joke" he roared once more, slamming his clenched fists onto the table. As he took a few deep breaths to calm himself, he looked up at Serafin who held out a cigarette, Milosovici took it with a calm face and smile.

"We have at least 2,000 fighters in the town, all armed to the best we have, thanks to our brothers in Rodarion. We may suffer from the air, but Rodarian MANPADs should aid us in limiting what they can throw at us" Serafin continued, taking his lighter back from Milosovici.

"2,000 Orcepa fighters are on their way as we speak, due to the fascists use of CDI drones, we've had to utilise civilian vehicles and split up their concentrations to avoid any early detection, they should reach the bastards' lines by midnight tonight, from the direction of... Krajkowo" Milosovici stated as he pointed to the small village 3km south of Damnica.

The other Bogorian six nodded, "we've concentrated 1,800 fighters in the centre of the town, with a final 200 located in safehouses in the western edges, they're currently mixed with the civilians stuck here, once the battle begins in the centre, they'll emerge enmass and close the junction at Hetmanska Road, trapping whatever they send into this place" Captain Hugon Stachiewicz (Central Battalion) informed Milosovici who nodded with surprise at the impressive set up the rebels had decided upon.

All of them knew that forces outside Bogoria were aiming for securing a peace that met their interests, every man in that room knew that wasn't going to happen, despite the fact that almost 3,000 people were dead in 3 months of conflict. They prayed that they score a great enough victory over the BDF to sway any talks in Rodarion's and by extension the rebels' favour. But that depended on how well they fought for their soil. Now they just wait until the BDF advances into Tysiąclecia Square.

The rebel plan was simple, Hetmanska Road led from the M8 highway to the west of Damnica, straight through into the town centre, rebel forces (1,800 strong) would lay in wait on either side of Hetmanska Road and side streets, then ambush the invaders as they reached the square, as the battle would grow, they would rush in rear elements from outside the town, then 200 fighters would seal off the exit at the junction on Hetmanska Road in the western outskirts, trapping the enemy in. A further 2,000 Orcepa fighters would attack the enemy rear south of the town and at least 3,400 fighters would arrive from Konin to the north to break the siege and open the town to supply from the city of 2.3 million.
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Postby Central Prestonia » Fri Feb 13, 2015 10:11 am


Opinion: Dumping the Litas May Help, Not Hinder, Peace in Bogoria

By Hiram Roth, Baron Roth of Belhaven

If you read the Financial Times or pay attention to the economic powers-that-be in Prestonia, you might well think that the Papal Republic has just committed some sort of heinous war crime. Certainly, the Director of the Imperial Central Bank seemed to think so, writing in an op-ed for that paper that the Papal Central Bank's dumping of the Bogorian Litas, and subsequent embargo, were "tantamount to an act of open declaration of contempt for peace in Bogoria." Certainly, it's not hard to see how he and others reached that conclusion. The Litas, never a particularly strong currency, was and is intrinsically tied to trade with Bogoria's neighbors. Cut the Papal Republic out of the picture, and life becomes more difficult for the average Bogorian. From an economic standpoint, it's a harsh but sensible measure; the Bogorian government is on life-support, the industrial half of the country ravaged by warfare. Whatever value was added to the world economy through tiny little Bogoria is now all but gone, reduced to rubble by two months of artillery fire and civil war. No economist alive can seriously dispute that, harsh through the Papal Republic's measures may be, they are the most sensible option among a list of difficult ones.

And yet, the do-gooder economists and bleeding-heart analysts of the world find reason to disagree. Break the Litas, they say, and you break Bogoria. Break Bogoria, and you break the impetus to come to the table for peace. (Sidenote: To the best of my extensive knowledge, none of those trumpeting the horrors of embargoing Bogoria have made any moves to purchase Litas themselves). These men may well have a point. But I would offer in counterpoint that the Papal Republic's move is not only sensible but commendable, worthy of emulation by the world community to the extent that the world actually cares about peace in Bogoria. If this sounds insane, one need only a basic lesson in monetary economics to understand the logic in it.

Currencies, such as the Litas, derive their value from fiat; that is, their value is endorsed by a central banking authority. That authority, in turn, typically derives its authority from the government. In a stable society, this works well enough; people wake up knowing that their government will still be there tomorrow, that the central bank will still be able to buy and sell its own currency and others and generally keep the money supply constant. In Bogoria, the world market perceives that the government and its bank have lost the ability to keep their currency stable. Banks that hold the Litas start a sell-off, trying to minimize losses before things get worse. Billions of Litas, previously locked up in vaults or instruments of credit, hit the open market. Economics 101: the more of something you have, the less each individual item is worth. On the ground level, in Bogoria, everyday goods start requiring more Litas to produce or import, and thus more Litas to purchase. Inflation, to be succinct. A little inflation is fine, controllable. A rapid inflation, a hyperinflation, not so much.

Economics Lesson 2: Trade is an intrinsic characteristic of market economics. Hypothetically, if all those items we term "money" disappeared tomorrow, trade would still continue. Goods would be assigned value in reference to one another, and swapped as such: the barter system. We can expect to see this develop, in a sense, in Bogoria, if hyperinflation sets in. Perhaps not in the sense of three-chickens-for-one-cow Stone Age bartering, but more likely in the adoption of other instruments of value; that is, foreign currencies. The obvious choices would undoubtedly come from neighboring states or regional powers; the Papal Republic's leu, the Anthoran florin, the United Republic Dollar. Incidentally, currencies controlled by countries with a standing interest in Bogorian affairs. Naturally, this plays to their advantage. The Bogorian government, reliant on a foreign currency, becomes reliant on the holder of that currency for solvency. A more effective bargaining chip you will find in no national armories.

This, then, is the way forward. The sort of economic shock-and-awe unleashed by the Papal Republic is, ultimately, a supremely effective and nonlethal way of bringing Bogoria to the table in one piece. If the world cares for Bogorian peace, it will follow the example.

Lord Hiram Roth, Baron Roth of Belhaven, is the CEO of RothBank International and Chairman of the Roth Charitable Trust. He is a regular contributor to The Financial Times and PBC Market Watch.
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Postby Arthurista » Sat Feb 14, 2015 1:59 pm



Mandate of Arthuristan forces upgraded from ‘training’ to ‘peacekeeping’


After a seven-hour debate covering virtually every aspect of the Bogorian situation, the motion proposed by the government to upgrade the mandate of Arthuristan forces in theatre was passed in parliament by a comfortable majority.

Allaying the concerns of certain commentators and MPs, who feared that Arthurista would be rapidly drawn into a conflict which is escalating uncontrollably, the mandate of the 800-strong Arthuristan contingent in Bogoria, based on an infantry battalion of the Loweport Volunteers, was contained within well-defined boundaries. At a glance, it entails the following:

* Aiding the Bogorian government in defending its civilian population from attack.

* Assistance in preventing another terrorist incident.

* Assisting a future integrated international peacekeeping force to stabilise the country, pending a negotiated political settlement.

In other words, unless the scope of its mandate is subsequently expanded, at present it will not embark upon offensive operations against rebel forces in conjunction with government forces.

The overall defensive nature of the mandate ensured that it received the solid support. The rhetorics from the government side of the bench, however, revealed that it is prepared to go further, should the situation demands. The recent terrorist incident in Utena and the attacks on the northerner enclaves in the south proved to be the events which helped the garner the most sympathy for the Bogorian government. In fact, Prime Minister Leanne Whittaker defined the latter, which saw northerners killed indiscriminately by rebel militias and others becoming refugees in the north, as incidents of “blatant ethnic cleansing … unconscionable atrocities, which the civilised world cannot countenance toleration." Arthuristan forces currently in-theatre would thus mostly be committed towards the defence of these ethnic enclaves.

Congratulating the Bogorian government for the conviction of the police captain responsible for the Konin massacre, she expressed the hope that “all those who committed war crimes, on either side, be brought to justice, especially the perpetrators of the terrorist attack in Utena which resulted in so many civilian casualties.”

The Prime Minister also reiterated the support of His Highness’s Government for “our partners for peace – Anthor, Prestonia and, yes, Rodarion as well, to attain a negotiated ceasefire as quickly as possible, with a view to creating a final political settlement satisfactory to all sides which guarantees the stability and sovereignty of Bogoria and central Lusankya, as well as its safety from terrorism.” Foreign Secretary Valerie Raman is reportedly about to travel to Utena to convince President Kirkilas of the merits of the federalisation plan first proposed some two months ago.

Although the motion has been passed, the actual deployment of the Arthuristan contingent as peacekeepers shall be on hold until further consultations with partner governments have been concluded.

In depth: how parliament wages war

Unlike countries such as Emmeria, those knowledgeable in the Arthuristan constitutional order know that the two phrases one encounters the most when scholars discuss it are “in theory” and “in practice”. Technically, the power to wage war is a prerogative of the Shield and, as such, exercised freely by the government. The only sure-fire way parliament can frustrate a government hell bent on military adventurism is to defeat its supply bills (budget, in plain English).

In practice, even the most presidential of Prime Ministers seek parliamentary approval before committing to military action. Where said military action involves a major deployment of Arthuristan forces, as opposed to a mere policing or peacekeeping operation as in the current situation in Bogoria, it is customarily considered a confidence motion, meaning its defeat would lead to the fall of the government. This has the effect of keeping governments cautious when deciding whether to use military force. Once committed, however, parliament wages war with remarkable unity. Heated debate may ensue about the subsequent conduct of the war, but the actual decision to employ military force not once again be called into question. Since the establishment of the Commonwealth, the only instance of Arthurista being involved in a major conflict which did not receive the prior approval of the government was the Great Fascist War, which saw the Commonwealth invaded by National State forces, rendering the issue moot.
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Postby Central Prestonia » Sun Feb 15, 2015 11:51 pm


Feds Introduce C120m Humanitarian Aid Package as Bogorian Crisis Deepens

Hudson Federal Party lawmakers today introduced a petition to the Imperial Diet for C120 million in humanitarian aid to the embattled nation of Bogoria, sparking a fresh round of debate over Prestonia's role in that country as Premier Jordan Howe announced a further round of international talks aimed at bringing peace to the war-torn Lusankyan state.

Addressing the Diet today, Howe told fellow lawmakers that he was committed to "a proactive role for Prestonia in the Bogorian peace process" and stressed that Prestonian involvement in Bogoria must come without preconditions from Hudson. This, coupled with a proposal to send 500 troops to Bogoria as part of the humanitarian aid petition, led several on the Opposition benches to criticise the Premier's plan of action this afternoon.

"Mr Howe's inability to say where the limit lies, or rather his unwillingness to assign a limit [to foreign involvement], says volumes about the Federal government's plans for Bogoria," Labour MD Diane Webster told PBC this afternoon. "This Diet will not, cannot give the government a blank check for an interminable and indefinite foreign adventure, however nobly conceived."

Opposition leader Mary Cullen agreed, calling the proposal for deployment "incoherent and untenable," and expressing concern about "mission creep" in coming months.

"We've seen it in Arthurista already," Cullen told MDs today. "First it was 'humanitarianism,' then it became 'peacekeeping,' and now that government is actively supplying the Bogorian government with arms and weaponry. It is a slippery slope from benevolent humanitarianism to becoming mired in a conflict in which we have no business, and I express the concern shared by many of my own party and the Premier's own bench when I say that if we are to commit we must know what we are committing to."

In response, Howe told assembled MDs that he would pledge to refrain from sponsoring any bill for what he called "military aid," but defended the necessity of Prestonian troops on the ground to promote "legitimate humanitarian and peacekeeping conjunction with regional partners."

"I will not see the investment in Bogoria's future wasted by our inability to protect it," Howe told the Diet this afternoon. "If we are to make good on our investment, and ensure that this critical and vital aid reaches its intended target, we must have some means of protecting and distributing it. The Bogorian military is stretched thin and involved in active conflict and so cannot be utilised for this purpose. The Arthuristan forces in-country are similarly occupied with their own humanitarian efforts. The only option left, then, is a limited and sensible deployment of Prestonian non-combat forces for humanitarian relief efforts." Howe also noted that this was not a unique circumstance, referencing the deployment of 100 troops to Emmeria late last year for relief efforts in the wake of Hurricane Nicholas, which killed several thousand.

"The only difference between this and Operation Shining Hope [the Emmerian relief mission] is that Emmeria is not embroiled in civil war," Howe said today. "As far as the mission goes, there is no difference here."

The measure is expected to be put to vote later this week, where it faces an uncertain outcome; analysts and oddsmakers have estimated its chances at passage as varying between 52 and 71 percent, though Diet-watchers have stated that another Federal revolt could quash the effort. The Emperor has indicated that, if passed, he will sign the bill as soon as possible, and today reiterated the need for a united global humanitarian front to combat what he called "the greatest human tragedy of our era."

A Constitutional Challenge?

Further complicating matters is the possibility of a challenge to the authorisation for deployment of forces abroad, which some legal experts say may violate the nation's constitution. Under the 1913 Constitution, elements of the Army are forbidden from deployment abroad, though the exact intent of this provision remains a topic of debate; while jurists have typically held the article to forbid only offensive deployments, the issue remains unresolved at the highest levels of the courts. Capitalising on this ambiguity was outspoken Independent MD Callum Murphy, known in the Diet for his fierce anti-military stances. Murphy, who gained notoriety in the Diet with a 1998 challenge to the High Court alleging that the 3rd Amendment was improperly constituted and that the military as-organised is illegal as a result, today vowed to raise another challenge should the measure as-written pass.

"Morally, we cannot permit our government to violate the spirit of the constitution and undermine the intent of its framers that Prestonia remain neutral and uncommitted to foreign adventurism and bloodshed," Murphy told PBC this afternoon. "If this measure passes, I will file a challenge the same day and compel the High Justiciars to uphold the constitution as they have been negligent in doing for far too long."

While most jurists and political analysts regard such a challenge as unlikely to be upheld, if accepted the measure may involve an injunction on the petition, which could delay the implementation of humanitarian aid for several months as the matter is heard by the courts. A statement released by Howe's office this evening called the challenge "irrational, illogical and irresponsible," and expressed the Premier's confidence that it would not impede the implementation of the aid package.

On the Agenda: A "Grand Coalition," A Foreign Relations Blitz

Both Emperor and Premier have been embarked on what's been described as a marathon of visits abroad since the outset of the Bogorian crisis, with the Emperor returning today from a historic visit to the Papal Republic and the Premier concluding a trip to Arthurista this weekend to speak with Arthuristan PM Leanne Whittaker regarding Bogoria. In a statement today, the Premier also announced that he would be meeting personally with Bogorian President Algirdas Kirkilas in the coming days, and would speak by phone with Anthoran Prime Minister Thomas Dalen regarding the ongoing situation. Foreign Minister Elliot Hawkins recently returned from a previously-scheduled visit with Dalen, though the Foreign Ministry stated that Bogoria was not on the list of topics discussed during that meeting. In discussing his recent schedule, the Premier told assembled MDs that his government would work toward "building a grand coalition of the world" to take part in a joint humanitarian and peacekeeping mission in Bogoria.

"My vision, as it has been communicated to His Imperial and Apostolic Majesty, is that we may play a part in building a coalition which spans and transcends the boundaries we set for ourselves in global politics, and focuses the collective efforts of the world on winning peace in Bogoria and building a brighter future with and for that nation," Howe told the Diet this afternoon. "To that extent, my government has been engaged proactively in discussion with the Papal Republic, Anthor, Arthurista and the Bogorian government, and will continue to seek out and build rapport with those portions of the world community willing and able to commit to this undertaking." Howe's office also released an outline for a peace process in Bogoria, which envisions a multinational peacekeeping force including elements of the Anthoran, Arthuristan, Prestonian and Rodarian militaries in conjunction with the Bogorian military providing "a long-term presence for peace, democracy and rebuilding" in that country.

While Howe's ambitious plan has been met with approval from sources close to Grantham, many in government have characterised it as overly optimistic, calling into question the utility of Rodarian forces in a hypothetical peacekeeping venture amid persistent claims of Papal Republic support for rebel Catholic militias.

"You cannot seriously expect a country that's been part of the problem to be part of the solution," Labour MP Bradley Burton said today in response to the report. "Yet it would seem that the Premier has fallen into the same affliction as His Majesty, that if you believe something hard enough it becomes reality. Well, down here on planet earth we believe in calling a spade a spade. It doesn't take a genius to read through the lines on [the Papal Republic's] rhetoric and see that their idea of 'peace' and the rest of the world's are two vastly different things."
Last edited by Central Prestonia on Mon Feb 16, 2015 2:18 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby The Eagleland » Tue Feb 17, 2015 8:53 am

Camp/Base Tatra
February 17th, 2015
03:45 Local
MSG Konstantinos 'X-Ray' Xiromanides

It woke me up when the plane landed on the tarmac. You know, big planes like the C-130? Big, multi-million drachma melodramatic pieces of Emmerian-manufactured bullshit that do have SOME value to people like me. It is highly ironic. In my thirty-five years of meaningless existence I went from a little hustler on the streets of Athens to a soldier in the Eagleland Army, then a commando, and now I am in the Special Warfare Unit, referred to as the 'Eaglelander SAS'. It did remind me at the time that I was on deniable operations.

In rapid succession, five C-130s, mine included, of the Eagleland Air Force have landed on Camp/Base (more like Cock/Brothel) Tatra. Having taxied to their final positions, the C-130s' bay doors opened, and with it, indeed, were massive stocks of supplies. The staff who opened it were all convinced it had medical supplies. The packages were convincing; on the surface the labels would say that there were syringes, vaccines, bandages and first aid shit, a whole range of pharmaceuticals, defibrillators and blah, blah, blah. The pilots bought it, the doctors bought it, the tossers, assholes, narcissists, malakes and poor fucked up tossers did buy into it as well.

It worked like a fucking charm. The Government did make sure this bluff worked. 'We will send medical supplies to the Bogorian people!', they said. I am laughing like hell, man, even now that I am contemplating that shit. Of the five planes, only 3 were carrying medical supplies for the people. That shit was going to be distributed in hospitals at the capital of Bogoria in order to help local hospital staff keep people alive for a 72 hour period. It is not much, but it is enough time for the lame, retarded and ever-so-stupid and treacherous corps diplomatique to seek a... solution.

The other two planes? They are the part of the bluff, ladies and gentlemen. Aside from the fact that they ferried guns (errhm, note, this is not some factory-made Model 35A2; these are illicit weapons, confiscated in some raid and then... 'redistributed'. No paperwork, and certainly no aetochoric Big Brother-esque oversight), ammo, but mainly mortars and explosive ordnance; RPGs, rockets, shells, and a fuckton of 60 and 120mm mortars. Now THAT is what they really wanted to do; arm the Bogorians for war. And you know what one of those planes carried? Me. Me and a team of other four dysfunctionals, rallied together with another team and our equipment.

Now, there were two teams.

Alpha Team was the best because that was my team. We had 'Boss' (Captain Michalis X - I am not gonna tell you his last name; it's government property), 'Map' (Lieutenants, like Lieutenant Nikos Vlachos, are very good at map reading, indeed), 'Sexy' (somebody tell Sergeant Konstantinos Vlachopoulos that his last name is not Kaulopoulos; [for you foreigners, kavla is the sensation you get during sexual intercourse. Yes, you understand exactly what I am talking about] just because he has big biceps doesn't mean he can fuck that Emmerian slut with those fake boobs), 'Rodarios' (Sergeant Alexandros Romanopoulos has Rodarian ancestry, and although he's more patriotic than those sissified anarchists at my hometown, his Rodarian is picture perfect), and me, Master Sergeant 'X-Ray' (It doesn't derive from my latinised surname, no - it derives from my past as a skirt chaser).

Beta Team was subpar in my mind, but I doubt the Orducii/Ocepa/Omeleta/Omerta or whatever their fucking name is would have an easier time cleaning them pussies up for the world. They called their leader 'Tameas', Greek for cashier, because Captain Kyriakos X (You shall get no last name here either) used to be good at maths until his family died in a car accident and was left homeless at age 15, a perfect victim for recruiters. He was a very good officer, but he had complete dickheads under his rule. His LT, Katerina Stikoudi, aka 'Splinter Cell' or 'Miss Sam Fisher' or simply 'Barrister', might be a very fit female, and might behave politely, but is nevertheless a complete douchebag and boasts her LLB (and, what is it called, BTPC?) like it's some badge of honour. Some call her 'Please Ma'am'. The other three idiots were Sergeant Konstantinos Likas, Jr. (his dad is a cop, which is why we call him 'Officer Lee'), Master Sergeant Matina Kontantinidou (the only other female here; even fitter than 'Barrister', and even worse in character; she hates everybody but her dog and boyfriend, some ENIS Agent who has been some high-performance athlete).

The last fucker was the most interesting. It was my fucking brother. Sergeant Ioannis Xiromanides, aka 'X-RAY SQUARE' because he thinks he's better than me. That fucker always wanted to emulate me, and here I am, tired of his existence (I love him, though, but don't tell him that; I want to keep that asshole on his toes).

Anyway, bullshit over. The two teams were inside the plane, all disguised as medics. That was the most laughable disguise ever. Now imagine eight men and two women, all muscled up beyond reasonable belief. Yeah, we really do look like deflated medics. But no one needs to know more than, well, they need to know. So we simply say we're medics and shit. As the plane landed, we stood up, knowing that our shit will be sent to our secret meeting place underneath the Brothel. We basically stood up and moved around. There were some soldiers along the way. Kalispera, said some private. Ignored. Then an Arthuristan came. Good afternoon, sir. Man, I should have stopped that tea-drinking Arthuristan aristocrat whose kindness is laughable for a former hustler. But I ignored that sucker anyway. Then an Emmerian MP decided to greet us. "Hey.", he said. I gave him the finger and said "Fuck off, bitch." The tosser backed off. He realised I am not to be messed with.

Anyway, after having fun with the regular army ants, we made it into our barracks, which were dug underground. It is always best to meet underground; we can see who's coming much more easily. Who knows? Maybe some GI wants to take a peek at our two exotic females.

As we made it into the tunnel, however, I saw a man with a jacket in Arthuristan DPM, wearing a tan beret, and a pair of trousers in Greek Lizard camouflage. He seemed intimidatingly strong and tough, in spite of his age. In front of him was a desk; on it was a Model 35A2 assault rifle, with an ACOG sight, a foregrip and a silencer. As a secondary weapon he had holstered an old Model 24 45 ACP. sidearm and he had a big Ancient Eagleland Xiphos on his back. Around him, were four soldiers, each of them dressed in pretty much the same outfit, with similar weapons. I assumed the worst; Execution Group 70. If they were the ones, I felt that we were screwed. They have a nasty reputation with the communists, they are even rumoured to be involved in assassinations. But I was not sure at the time. For a moment, everything went silent. Then he made an about turn and saw us as if God decided to send laser beams at our very eyes.

"Welcome to Bogoria, Task Force 56."

I was shocked. I have come face-to-face with one of the most legendary soldiers of the Eaglelander SAS. Adjutant Glaukonas Olorou, aged 59. Associated with the Eagleland Military since his sixteenth birthday, this man knows practically everything about warfare. He has been observing, alongside the ENIS, D19's leadership activities for quite some time. His extensive knowledge of RCO militaries, particularly that of Rodarion, plus his combat experience all over the world, is amazing.

"Thank you, sir!" We simply could not help it.

"Gentlemen and Ladies. This is going to be the toughest assignment you lot have ever undertaken. I understand that we are Eagleland Army members but our real allegiance is to the agency. Not the Army. Am I clear enough?"

"Yes, sir!", we replied.

"Good. I understand that you have been briefed. Come here."

He gestured us to come closer. He had a map and some pictures on the table. The map had a bunch of arrows, pointing towards Southern Bogoria. The pictures were images from an ENIS satellite above the area, positions of CDI and the revolutionary forces' strongholds. He then opened the projector and clicked a button on it's remote control; old school shit. The first thing that appeared was an image of a city that was taken over.

"Team, we have a situation. The Bogorian Revolutionaries, through a number of mini-organisations, have destabilised the country and we suspect the Rodarians are involved. A number of Arthuristan service personnel have disappeared, and I am afraid the worst scenarios I envisioned may be turning into reality. We need to get in and figure out what the fuck is going on in Southern Bogoria."

I agreed wholeheartedly. The plan was unfolding right between our eyes. The legend is serious business.
Last edited by The Eagleland on Tue Feb 17, 2015 2:00 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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Postby Central Prestonia » Thu Feb 19, 2015 11:05 pm


In Bogoria, An Unsettling Parallel to Prestonia's Own Dark Past
50 years later, the scars of Prestonia's religious conflict inform its policy in war-torn Bogoria

By Stuart Jensen

Phyllis McCall still remembers the day her eyes last saw daylight. Even today, fifty-two years later, they retain the same vibrant blue they've always had, though lately, her doctor tells her, they're becoming cloudy with age. This is, of course, to be expected for one who has been blind most of her life. The eye, like any other muscle, atrophies with age and disuse.

Her last day in the light, she tells me, was a bright and sunny one, unseasonably warm. "It was February 11th, 1963," she tells me. "And I remember thinking as we headed to church that day, that at this rate all the snow would be off the sledding hill by the time service got out." Nobody, of course, had any idea that this Sunday would be anything but ordinary.

McCall, then 12, was in Sunday school. "All the kids would go to Sunday school, right after the sermon," she told me. "At that age, I was getting a bit old for it, but my friends still went so I did too. My father said that when I turned 13 I would stay in the service the whole way through, but until then I went, every week." They were about halfway through the lesson when it happened. "All of a sudden, I heard a bang, louder than anything I'd ever heard, and then nothing but ringing. I couldn't see, but I smelled the smoke and the fire. After a second, my hearing came back, and I heard some of my friends crying out." Even years later, Phyllis breaks up as she narrates what happened next.

"I had a searing pain in my head, and I cried out 'I can't see, I can't see.' The nun, Sister Josephine, said to me 'Phyllis, you have to get out of here. Have one of the others lead you up the stairs and tell the congregation there's been a terrible accident. Her voice sounded so weak, so ragged, like she was in terrible pain. She started chanting the Ave Maria, and after a few minutes I didn't hear anything. Just then a boy, Cecil Jacobs, grabbed my arm and led me up the steps, out the door to fresh air. In the distance, I heard an ambulance. I still wasn't sure what had happened, and I remember I kept asking if everyone else was alright."

What had happened was no accident. McCall's church, Saint Francis Assisi in Little Abingdon, had been bombed by a group styling itself the Army of Saint George, the name a reference to the 18th century Emperor who ended the Bloody Century. As the smoke cleared, five of her classmates and the nun, Sister Josephine, lay dead. A further ten, including herself, were injured, losing eyes, hearing, limbs. Though the leader of the Army of Saint George, former SSB commando Roger Young, would be apprehended six years later, the perpetrators of the Saint Francis of Assisi bombing were never identified.

McCall's experience is just one of several hundred that punctuated the better portion of a decade which came to be known as The Terror. A wave of religious violence which gripped the country from roughly 1960 to 1968, when police and military forces finally succeeded in disarming Catholic and Episcopal militia groups, The Terror dominated headlines and seared itself into the nation's consciousness in a way like nothing before or since. Newspapers from towns great and small splashed grisly images of the violence across their front pages; cars blown up, families gunned down in their homes or on their church doors, churches burned and clergy accosted and worse. Rival forces emerged, ostensibly for the protection of their own but dedicated principally to the tit-for-tat violence which had quickly spiraled out of control. In the Protestant camp, there was the Episcopal Volunteer Army and the Army of Saint George, among many smaller others; for the Catholics, there was the ubiquitous Catholic Defence Force, allegedly trained and funded by none other than the Pope himself. In a country that was roughly fifty-fifty split between Catholic and Protestant, it was a volatile mix.

Robbie Fisher is a young seventy-one years old, his looks attributed, he says, to staying in shape and "keeping the mind active." He was fifteen when The Terror started, though he tells me the writing was on the wall long before then.

"I don't know how it were in other places, Hudson and all that," he says in his Middle Counties drawl. "But I knew as a kid that we weren't supposed to play with the Papists, to talk to 'em or anything. We'd be polite of course, to an adult. As a kid you were always told to respect adults no matter who they was. But we didn't fraternise, not at all. It just wasn't done back then."

Fisher's first exposure to religious violence wouldn't come for another two years, one year before Phyllis McCall would lose her eyesight. "It was one day in the summer, my best mate Ned Connors come round and he says to me 'Robbie this sonofabitch from Donington beat my little brother up and I'm gonna go pay him a visit.' Now I knew Ned's brother Jeff, he was a nice kid, always wanted to be part of the big kids growing up, I never got the full story but Ned was like a brother so I of course volunteered to help," he tells me. Here, he pauses, his conscience clearly weighing heavy on him. "I've often thought about what would've happened if I hadn't gone with Ned that day," he says finally, his voice cracking.

Fisher and Ned Conners would find Ned's brother's assailant as he was coming out of Saint James' Cathedral in Donington, a few kilometers from their own hometown Merton. "I remember telling Ned, 'no, we can't do it here, it isn't right,' but before I could convince him he was already out of his truck striding toward the guy, they had words and got into it before I was out of the car. I got out and ran after, threw a few and the guy went down. I remember I kicked him a few times, in the back and head. I'm not proud of that now, but at the time I felt this was a man our age who'd beaten up a thirteen year old kid, he deserves whatever we want to give him. I remember he was in a pretty bad way when we left him and got the hell out of town before the constable showed up." Their victim, Brian Murphy, would survive, but suffered permanent brain injuries. The next morning, Fisher awoke to a brick through his front window.

"There was a note attached, that said next time it'll be a petrol bottle," he tells me. "Signed by the Donington Catholic Defence Force. That was pretty much the beginning of it." Fisher, Ned and Ned's brother Jeff would spend the next several years becoming involved in radical religious politics, joining the EVA in an effort to protect their communities against "the insidious forces of global Papism" as one period propaganda brochure put it. Of the three, only Fisher would live to see the conflict's end; Ned Connors was killed in a shootout with Army forces during their crackdown in 1967. Jeff, Ned's younger brother, whose beating provided the catalyst for the boys' involvement, disappeared after dining at a pub in 1968 and was never seen again. Fisher, meanwhile, was apprehended in 1968 and pleaded guilty to terrorism and conspiracy charges, receiving a life sentence; he would be paroled in 1987 following a general amnesty for Terror combatants. Prison life, he said, brought a changed perspective.

"They didn't house us by religion, there was only one chaplain and one service for all of us," he tells me. "We were forced to live together, and of course not everyone took kindly to that. You had a lot of fights, a lot of stuff like that. I saw it develop, and I said to myself one day, 'I got into this shit, way back, protecting my friends, but these people ain't anything to me from Adam, so who am I really protecting?' It was like a revelation from the blue, and from then on I didn't have it in me to fight." Robbie started talking to fellow inmates, Catholic and Protestant, who shared his new appetite for nonviolence. Slowly, he began to find common ground, and lay a framework for carrying his message to the outside, where the fires of religious tension still smoldered.

On the outside, meanwhile, Phyllis McCall was facing a different challenge: indifference. "When people would ask how it happened and I would tell them, the conversation always ended. It was like after it was over, nobody wanted to talk about it. Everyone just wanted to wipe it from our memory, as if it never happened." The attitude extended to the highest levels of government; while McCall and others received disability stipends, it was not until a class-action lawsuit in 1982 that the government formally apologised for its role in The Terror, in a statement which called its initiatives "poorly-executed, haphazard, prejudicial and of dubious value to the cause of justice," and pledging a full inquiry into the conduct of Army and Crown Constabulary officials during the height of the conflict, specifically including claims that government forces directly aided elements of the Episcopal insurgency.

The result of that inquiry was the Stanford Report, named for its author Chief Justiciar Rhett Stanford and released in 1987. While the most complete report on The Terror up to that point, it was hardly the conciliatory tome it was promised to be; in analysis of the Army and Crown Constabulary's conduct, it found that "significant and major deviations from acceptable standard existed," but said that the full extent and proper placement of blame could not be known with certainty. Examining the root causes of the violence, the report found a pattern of perceived slights and discrimination at a government level toward Catholics, and pledged to reduce "institutional discrimination and barriers to social services and advancement, insofar as these exist in government." While conciliatory on its face, this was quickly pointed out by detractors as a moot point in the increasingly-secular Prestonia, where antidiscrimination laws were a decade old or more.

Today, even as the Report approaches its thirtieth anniversary, nearly every portion is the subject of extensive debate. The Stanford Report firmly established the toll of the eight-year conflict as 900 civilians killed or wounded; survivors' associations claim this number could be as many as 3,000. Most controversially, the Report claims that no evidence exists to support the oft-repeated claim that elements of the Papal Republic funded, armed and trained the Catholic Defence Forces; wartime reports of a CDF propagandist styling himself "Brother Thomas" were concluded as an elaborate psyops campaign by CDF members, despite extant recordings revealing an unmistakable Rodarian accent. Detractors attribute this conclusion to the machinations of the Association for the Advancement of Catholic Prestonians (AACP), the postconflict iteration of the CDF which has become a powerful lobby for Catholic interest in Hudson. And of course, there is the matter of the report's suggestion that a general amnesty to fighters on both sides be granted, in the name of reconciliation.

"At the heart of it all, beneath all the rhetoric about reconciliation, was the same thing we'd heard in the seventies: shut up and get over it," Phyllis McCall says ruefully. "As if it were that easy." Neither was it easy for Robbie Fisher; paroled from prison in 1987 having spent most of his adult life behind bars, he struggled to adapt to a world which seemed hostilely indifferent. Slowly, he integrated himself into the society that had forgotten him and his war, learning carpentry and eventually opening his own business. Still, his history haunted him, as much by its presence as by the indifference of his countrymen. "I remember saying to myself, 'we killed people, we bombed people and beat people and everybody acts like they don't know, like they don't care,'" he tells me. "And as I talked to people, I found out that the younger generations, whose dads were probably involved in it like I was, really did not know what had happened. And I thought that wasn't right, something told me we were making a big mistake by keeping this to ourselves." Phyllis McCall felt the same way, and after some initial correspondence and apprehension agreed to meet Fisher in 1993. Together, they formed Teach Against Terror, an advocacy group dedicated to educating high-school youth about The Terror and the dangers of extremism.

"I always tell the kids, it might not be religion next time, but if we don't act, there will be a next time and it could be you caught up in it," Fisher told me. "A society that doesn't learn from its history repeats it, and we've been working since '93 to get this history out into the light." By all accounts, the effort has been largely successful; seventy-six percent of high school students said that they'd learned about The Terror in school in a 2013 poll, compared to twenty-eight percent in 1983. But McCall and Fisher still say this isn't enough, and that the ongoing crisis in Bogoria highlights the need to spread the effort abroad. Where they disagree is in how to proceed.

"I think what we're doing, the humanitarian work, is perfect," McCall says. "I'm concerned about the governments of the world picking sides in this, it breaks my heart to see the pictures from the south. There but for the grace of God go we, you know? I really wish the world would step back and consider what the Catholics [in Bogoria] have been saying, and see if there isn't some compromise they can come to." Fisher disagrees, saying that terrorism can't be compromised with.

"If you'd tried to tell me in my heyday, 'hey, you know what, Catholics are people,' I would probably have told you to go f*** off and then some. A lot of these kids, they fall under the sway of some adults who fill their head full of lies and hate, and they grow up and continue the cycle. In a perfect world we'd break the cycle with nonviolence but some of these people, these militia leaders who perpetuate the violence, there's no hope for them. So there needs to be a strong response there; these kids are gonna follow the top dog naturally, and if the top dog says put the gun down and go home all but the most hardcore of them are gonna do it." In spite of their differences, however, both agree that the situation in Bogoria offers a stark reminder of what almost was in Prestonia, and the importance of their history.

"As bad as it got here, I thank God it never got that bad," McCall says. Fisher agrees. "Growing up, we always heard that God had a plan for everything. I think, if there's any plan for why this would happen over there, its so that we can use our own experiences to help the Bogorian people."

All of this must surely weigh on the shoulders of Premier Jordan Howe, who must negotiate the complexities of Diet politics and international affairs juxtaposed against his nation's own tumultuous background. At present, Howe pledged that no Prestonian arms will find their way to Bogoria. Whether this pledge endures remains to be seen. Whatever the case, it is certain that the shadows of Prestonia's own Terror will follow the government's actions in the terror of a tiny corner of the earth a continent away.
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Postby Bogoria1 » Sat Feb 21, 2015 3:30 pm

(OOC: a still-alive post. Probably won’t be able to go on IRC ‘till end of next week, but let’s keep things rolling regardless)

Damnica, central Bogoria

The offensive was under way, and the attacking brigade’s 2nd battalion (motorised) was moving forward. Major Vladec, second in command and left at the CP to keep an eye on things as the CO led the 1,000 men left flank column in person, was not a particularly happy man as he surveyed the scene before him.

As he adjusted his binoculars, the town that forms the objective of his brigade came into focus. Damnica was a smallish industrial city, full of grey apartment blocks and square light-industrial buildings. If you’ve seen one wretched 70s-era communist-era township, you’ve seen them all. Unlike the one he grew up in in the bleak-80s and 90s, however, this has a vastly different landscape, recently created rather than long in place – burnt-out ruins, blackened free-standing walls, cratered streets – the dilapidations of warfare. For the past week, platoon- and company-sized outposts have been established to ringfence the city and keep the rebels in, while messages were disseminated via radio and the internet to induce civilians to evacuate. Every time a mortar round or sniper’s bullet is fired towards the besiegers, artillery shells and Grad rockets descend towards the suspected rebel fighting position. Radio and telecommunications intelligence units were hard at work, identifying locations from which the rebels were broadcasting radio signals or mobile phone signals, zeroing them in for an artillery or air strike. The result was a city that was half-ruined – all that is flammable has already been burnt out, while piles of bricks and wrecked cars formed instant barricade materiel. Moreover, none of those shells and rockets would’ve had any effect on fighters and equipment hidden in cellars, waiting out the bombardment and coming out into the streets when the army attacked, where the close proximity between soldier and rebel would preclude any use of indiscriminate ordnance in close support. In short, as the assault begins in earnest, the advantage was about to shift from the besieger to the besieged.

Of course, this is probably why he’d been given reinforcements. Each of the three attacking battalion-sized columns were given their own force-multiplying aid. For the centre column, it was armoured vehicles – a battalion of BVP-2s and M-35 tanks. They’d make the attack mounted in their vehicles and bring concentrated firepower to bear on any threat. The two motorized battalions covering its flanks, however, had to make the same trip dismounted, as their OT-64 APCs were deemed to be insufficiently survivable in close-quarters. Instead of armour to soak up incoming ordnance, they’d have cannon fodders – an entire battalion of LDVs.

Vladec would loathe to denigrate most of the LDV by that epithet. The vast majority of people in those militia groups were good, decent individuals, terrified of another terrorist attack and eager to defend their homes. They were, however, mostly company-sized defensive units, as the name Local Defence Volunteers suggest. They’ve proven to be immensely useful in strategic terms by freeing up thousands of regulars for offensive operations, but they’re operationally irrelevant to the battle at hand.

Those accompanying his column, however, were of a different sort altogether. It was a battalion-sized unit, formed from those who volunteered for deployment to the southern warzone and put together from three different ‘political parties’, for want of a better label. Vladec, like many of his profession, was a staunch conservative and United Bogoria voter. He yearned for order and stability for the south, to reassert his country’s sovereignty. He was suspicious of president Kirkilas’s socialist background when he first assumed emergency powers, but he’d since come to respect him immensely, the strength and determination with which he waged war against Bogoria’s enemies. If the major was from the respectable, bourgeois, civilised wing of the Bogorian right who recognised a patriot regardless of his political alignment, these people were from the absolute bottom of the barrel – fascist skinheads, inner city gang thugs and unemployed layabouts, with an education barely adequate for them to read a lurid 2 haler tabloid, simply given a weapon and an excuse to employ violence against anyone. An Arthuristan general of the early-19th century once said that his troops were the “scum of the earth, enlisted for drink”. Perhaps these urban peasants were more deserving of that description.

Two things he knew for sure – he’d rather they get shot rather than his own regulars. And if they went anywhere near innocent civilians, he’d do that himself.

Time to check on how things were going.

“We’re advancing slowly, Alex,” said the lieutenant colonel leading the column, “but we’re moving. Taking sporadic fire, but we’re systematically reducing any remaining strongpoints. Looks like most of the rebels have bugged out. The militias are being clueless as usual and snarling up the movement plan. More trouble than they’re worth, I say. I’ll keep you posted, Beta-two out.”

Seems like everything was fine, then. Still, something seems off, wrong. He could sense it. The rebels, according to intel, were preparing for a murderin’ great battle, have done so for weeks. Damnica was the obvious place to do it, unless they wanted to make a pocket out of Konin. So why the absence of resistance?

Almost by a whim he decided to check on the all-important centre column too. That’s when he first got the inkling that things have gone very, very pear-shaped indeed.

“…fire from all direction,” hissed the radio, “CO KIA, RPGs…suppress that…”

That, thought the major, did not sound remotely good at all.
Last edited by Bogoria1 on Sat Feb 21, 2015 4:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Central Prestonia » Sat Feb 28, 2015 11:23 pm


Howe Urges Humanitarian Path Ahead of Key Bogoria Conference

Hudson Premier Jordan Howe today urged members of the Diet and fellow world leaders to continue work toward a peaceful settlement of the Bogorian crisis ahead of a round of multinational talks which have been characterised as key to the success or failure of peace in the embattled Lusankyan nation.

Speaking to the Diet today during concluding debates for the C120m relief package his government has advocated for, Howe told MDs that the peace process was "at a crossroads," and urged his colleagues and foreign leaders to back what he called "the last best hope for a peaceful and equitable end" in the months-old conflict.

"I strongly urge the members of this honourable House to endorse this plan for much-needed humanitarian aid as the first step toward restoring some peace and normality in the hardest-hit areas of Bogoria, and I strongly urge the world community to follow this example and work in good faith toward these goals," Howe told the Diet this afternoon. "We cannot pretend to desire peace, and do nothing to work for it. We cannot do nothing, and then wash our hands of what follows. Our humanity compels us to act."

While the Bogoria Humanitarian Aid Act is expected to pass by most political commentators, Howe's remarks come at a time of several setbacks on the path to peace for that nation. Earlier this week, Emmerian President Alex Vaziri announced plans to begin shipment of military aid to Bogorian government forces, which suffered a major defeat at the hands of rebel forces in the key town of Rakovnik that left several hundred government troops dead or captured. News also broke late this week of a humanitarian convoy from the Papal Republic bound for the rebel capital of Sobotka; while strictly denied by the Rodarian government, several sources have alleged that the humanitarian aid is a ruse for Rodarian paramilitary support to Bogorian rebel forces. In a press briefing this evening, Mr Howe addressed these concerns, calling on Oured and Romula to "come out of the trenches and back to the table" as part of a broader plan to de-escalate the deteriorating situation.

"What we need now is not military involvement...from any party," Howe told the media. "We are committed to the idea of disengagement, of a negotiated and equitable plan for peace, mediated and enforced through a multinational coalition with support from all camps. What we don't need, what the Bogorian people don't need, is for the RCO and the CDI to go escalating the situation and picking sides. We must not make Bogoria a pawn or a proxy in a new cold war between Free Pardes and Romula. The Bogorian people, the world, demands and deserves better than that."

Premier Howe is scheduled to appear at a peace conference in Oured in the coming weeks, alongside Foreign Minister Elliott Hawkins, where a concrete pathway to peace is expected to be presented for the first time to CDI and RCO heads of state. Addressing the conference this evening, Howe was muted, but optimistic.

"I believe that we all want the same thing, but that we all have different ideas of what it should look like and how we should get there," Howe said, referring to the peace talks. "And I believe that our common desire will overcome those differences. It is my hope, as Premier and the leading neutral party to this crisis, that my delegation can provide a useful mediating force toward a mutually-acceptable roadmap for peace, once and for all."

Is Peace Possible?

Howe's optimism, however, is tempered by the opinion of his colleagues and coalition mates, many of whom have opined that recent events have made peace in Bogoria a slim possibility for the foreseeable future. Perhaps the most striking dissent has come from none other than Deputy Premier Sir Arthur Cavington, who today told PBC that expectations of peace in Bogoria were "naive, as far as...immediate future" was concerned.

"The facts on the ground all lend themselves to this conclusion," Mr Cavington told PBC this afternoon. "Things will get worse in Bogoria before they get better. The powers that be--that is, Oured and Romula--have no real interest in pursuing a peaceful solution unless that peaceful solution plays to their interest, and therein lies the rub. We will have peace eventually, whether in one Bogoria or two, but I do not see this conference as proving conducive to getting the peace we in Hudson would prefer to see." Cavington did, however, go on to state that a lack of peace in Bogoria should not preclude peacekeeping efforts in that nation on the part of Prestonia.

"There are many in the opposition, and some within our own ranks, who will look at my remarks and say 'what's the point' with regard to humanitarian aid in Bogoria. Why send our tax crowns, our people, to this country when what we want will not now and perhaps never be? The answer to that question, I would hope, is as obvious as it is simple. We go, because we must. Because our conscience calls us to help our fellow-man. Because there but for the grace of God go we. And this is something that Mr Howe and I are in full agreement upon, that regardless of the circumstances we must not allow these innocent people to suffer where we have the means to alleviate their suffering."

Labour opposition, however, has been critical, with Opposition Leader Mary Cullen writing in an op-ed that the Federal Party "inhabits a fantasy world of fairies and gumballs, wherein all lock hands and sing Kumbayah on command." Cullen's office released a statement this afternoon characterising Howe's humanitarian bill as "a well-intentioned but tragically naive and thus dangerous piece of legislation."

"Mr Howe expects that one-hundred twenty million crowns in aid will not balloon into millions and perhaps billions more," Cullen wrote. "He expects that five hundred humanitarian troops will not turn into five-thousand combat troops. He may not intend these things, but he trusts his successors to not intend them either. This Diet cannot leave the fate of this country upon Mr Howe's gut feelings."

Behind the Scenes, Friction with Bogoria

Further complicating matters, reports have emerged of significant friction developing between the Premier and Bogorian President Algirdas Kirkilas, which sources tell PBC could significantly undermine the Government's humanitarian efforts there. Speaking exclusively to PBC, a source close to Mr Howe who declined to be identified told correspondents that "a major rift" has opened between the Kirkilas administration and Howe premiership, focused around the latter's perceived inaction on Bogoria.

"[President Algirdas] Kirkilas wants to see some firm action from Prestonia in its support, as a followup to humanitarian aid. The Bogorians have communicated to Hudson that a firm stance must be taken and military aid must be on the table if peace is to be attained," the source told PBC. Jordan Howe has been under increasing pressure from his coalition partners in the Union Party following his so-called "red line speech" wherein he vowed that Prestonian involvement would not exceed humanitarian capacity; top Union leadership have persistently advocated for an expanded role in Bogoria even as public opinion remains firmly against any military involvement there. Addressing the leaks, Howe dismissed them in a written statement as "baseless political posturing," and reiterated that his government's policy on Bogoria was unchanged.

"My government continues to recognize the Kirkilas administration as the sole legitimate representative of the Bogorian state and people," Howe's statement read in part. "We are committed to working together with President Kirkilas to restore peace to his country through peaceful means."
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Postby Central Prestonia » Fri Mar 06, 2015 12:12 am

Fort Cibola, Anthor
18km from Anthor-Bogoria Border
1745 Local Time

The sky was a dreary overcast grey, an unbroken sea of clouds billowing like a blanket that one has just shuffled about. Perhaps it would rain, or perhaps the clouds held in their depths a late-season snow. A few amongst the 500 present joked, in that gallows-humour way soldiers on deployment do, that the dark skies were a bad omen. Ben Holland had no such superstitions. For the moment, the only thing on the 20 year old Corporal's mind was getting the Ny-114s unloaded before sundown. Ben had never been the type of soldier to pay too much attention to where he deployed, or why, but in the Imperial Army foreign deployments don't happen every day and for months the only topic of conversation had been going over. Nobody, of course, expected the Stanford Rifles to get the call; those things went to Hudson's favorites. Paras, the Albion Lancers, they were the people who went places and did things. Stanford existed, like every other regiment of the Army, to drill and train and drill and train endlessly, taking occasional breaks in preparations for a war that would never come to parade before a politely disinterested populace that would congratulate itself on having such fine looking boys to protect their shores. So, naturally, everyone was more than a bit surprised when the word came that 1st Brigade, the Stanford Rifles would get the call to provide humanitarian aid in Bogoria. It wasn't a war, but hey, it was something.

"So, this is Anthor," Ben said to himself as he heaved another crate of MREs over his shoulder and joined the line of similarly-encumbered troops heading toward a marshaling area. Any minute now, the forklifts should be in to take over, but command didn't want to wait, so the soldiers were made busy. A few minutes, a few mindless repetitions of this human ant-chain, until the call came for the men to fall in and proceed to Building C-2, a few hundred feet away. Building C-2 was evidently some sort of briefing room, with seats arranged in an auditorium configuration with a lectern at the center of the stage area. A Prestonian flag had hastily been hung up next to the Anthoran one that graced the front wall; a map of the world and a handful of Anthoran recruiting posters complemented the remaining walls and lent the room a certain vintage feel. After a few minutes, the Brigade CO entered, causing every soldier present to rise in unison.

"Be seated," the Brigadier said crisply. The room was for a moment filled with the din of sliding chairs as the troops obeyed. In another moment, all was again silent. The Brigadier cleared his throat here, and continued. "Gentlemen," he said, in that serious tone all staff officers developed around the time they made Major. "Welcome to Anthor. Do not get too comfortable; tomorrow, we roll out for Bogoria. Our mission is to provide humanitarian aid and supplies to the people of Bogoria in support of the Bogorian government's own humanitarian efforts. You've all been briefed on the mission basics prior to deployment, but I just wanted to go over some quick reminders and SOPs before we head out tomorrow."

"For those of you who don't watch the news, Bogoria is currently in a civil war between the north and south. North are Lithuanian, follow traditional religion, south are Polish and follow the man in Romula. As you might expect the religious aspect is a major flashpoint here. As such, the open display of any religious texts or symbolism is strictly prohibited while outside the TOC. We will be operating in the area north of Konin, which is currently disputed territory. While the BGF--that's the Bogorian Ground Forces, the government's army, for those of you who didn't pay attention in pre-brief--has assured us that the area is under their effective control, the situation may change rapidly. As such, standing orders are that all personnel keep their weapons system on their person or within arm's reach at all times, loaded at all times, and that at least two full magazines be carried in reserve at all times. Officially, we are not deployed for combat. Unofficially, if someone shoots at us, we're shooting back."

"In addition to humanitarian aid, we will be conducting patrols around our immediate AO for site security. There is a possibility that these will be conducted in conjunction with BGF or Arthuristans; specific orders in these cases will vary and be relayed to you as necessary. Patrols will to the best of their ability note the approximate age, physical description and disposition of any military-aged male encountered. Primary adversarial forces are the United Bogorian Liberation Front; these guys know the lay of the land and most of them have military experience. These are not your average drunken Joes turned into guerrillas. Their tactics have become increasingly sophisticated and it is possible that they will attempt to disrupt operations to further terrorise the Bogorian people. Be on your guard, gentlemen. We are not at home, these people will not greet us with roses, and I will not be putting any of you into the Elysian Fields. Is that clear?"

A resounding "yes, sir!," came from the seated troops. Nodding, the Brigadier continued.

"A few more items. While you are here you will not purchase or sell any goods or services to the Bogorians you meet. The economy here is nonexistent, and some of the women have turned to the world's oldest profession. A Prestonian soldier will not indulge this trade. The honor of our regiment and our country goes with us, and I intend to see it preserved. You will cooperate with local civil authority where it exists and within the bounds of our mission. We will help, we will not door-kick. Read through your phrasebooks. Be reasonably able to respond to civilians in the language they address you in. Language is a tricky issue here, a simple hello can make or break perceptions. Our efforts here are all about perceptions, remember that. If the people do not believe that we care for them, then we have failed. Best behaviour. We move out tomorrow at 0700. You are dismissed."

The troops departed, leaving only Brigadier Owen Harper and his staff officers present. Harper shuffled through his briefing notes, exhaling as he did so. "Hudson wants a damn war," he sighed finally, the businesslike tone of early dropping to a gravelly consternation.

"Beg your pardon, sir?," an aide-de-camp, a Major, responded.

"I said Hudson wants a damn war," Harper snapped. "The whole damn country needs humanitarian aid, so why here? We get into some shit with the rebels, they get their justification to throw us into it."

"The Bogorians have assured us the area is secure," the Major said automatically.

"Kirkilas is a damn fool," the Brigadier said. "I don't like this one bit, Major Evans, not one bit at all."

"We'll get through it, with God's help," Evans said. "Our boys are up to it."

"I guess there's no point in stressing over it. We're here, the plans are in place, and we'll take the rest as it comes. You're dismissed gentlemen. Get some sleep."

The remaining handful of officers exited, leaving Harper alone with his own thoughts in the empty auditorium. "With God's help," he muttered to himself. "God got us into this damn mess."
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Postby Bogoria1 » Fri Mar 06, 2015 2:34 pm




Regulars and LDVs massed for major counteroffensive against rebel forces

February 20, 2015| 11.00 AM PCT | înregistrate| By: Filipina Bonkowska | @FBonkowskaBBC

In a surprising turn of events, the Ground Forces have launched a major counteroffensive operation against rebel forces besieging, Rakovnik home to a substantive enclave of northerners and the site of one of the BAF’s largest airbases.

”Began at dawn”

“The counterattack began at dawn,” reported Maria Zuokas, our correspondent from the front, “I could hardly see the rising sun on account of the mist, yet the entire horizon was lit up in a sheet of red – the army says more than 150 guns and Grad launchers were massed for this offensive – some as part of the combat brigades taking part, others hauled from old People’s Army warehouses, hastily refurbished and manned by reservists. Beholding the sight from some 5 km away, and hearing the thunder of the propellants, the freight-train roar of outbound munitions, I could definitely believe it.”

“Leading the way are the sixth, seventh and eighth brigades of the Bogorian Ground Forces. So far, they’ve taken relatively little part in the fighting. I was told by the Ministry of Defence that they constitute the army’s main strategic reserve, and they’ve been unleashed for a decisive confrontation with the enemy, where they’ve abandoned their traditional guerrilla or urban warfare tactics for a pitched battle out in the open, where the regulars’ armour, artillery and airpower can confer on them a decisive edge.”

“Speaking of airpower, the Bogorian Air Force has deployed an unprecedented proportion of its combat strength in close support of the ground operation. After the losses previously inflicted by shoulder-launched missiles and anti-air guns, they’ve stuck to high altitude operations, deploying precision-guided bombs and air to surface missiles. How it obtained its stockpile of high tech munitions when a year ago they were struggling to get enough parts, I do not know, though I think our friends may be the ones to thank. Aside from the jets, the transport planes have been busy at night, parachuting supplies into the perimeter so the defenders can hang on while the brigades beyond strike at their besiegers. “Hammer and anvil” was the metaphor used by the Ministry spokesman, a very accurate one, I believe.”

“Long range strike are also being carried out by the BGF’s surface-to-surface missile forces. I’ve been informed that Tochka armed with cluster warheads have been launched against concentrations of rebel forces in the open in support of the ground operation. Longer ranged Scud-Ds have also been used to deploy scatterable mines on the main supply routes the rebels use to sustain their offensive against Rakolvnik. A relatively safe means of interdicting them, compared to risking our pilots’ lives for the task.”

“Of course, let us not forget the contributions of our patriotic citizens – the Local Defence Volunteers, seven battalions of whom are accompanying the regulars in this offensive. Many of them are providing infantry support to complement the mechanised forces, but they are also performing vital rear area tasks such as line-of-communications’ security, supply, maintenance, medical and other tasks.”

“Overall, I think the decisive battle is at hand. The commanders have picked the moment well and caught our previously elusive foes in the open, and it is time to trust the troops to deliver.”

”Peace is our objective”

“The objective of our government is to cease, as quickly as possible, this plague of bloodshed with our compatriots in the south,” said president Kirkalis in a press conference this morning, just after the beginning of the counterattack, “peace is our objective. Indeed, I shall be heading for the conference at Oured to fight our country’s corner. What we do not want, will never accept, is peace with humiliation, peace without sovereignty, a peace wherein our nation’s very territorial integrity is trampled with impunity.”

“What Bogoria, north and south, needs is peace with dignity, which we cannot achieve unless rebels cease combat operations against the forces of the legitimate government. We are prepared to offer a truce in place, subject to a negotiated settlement at the peace conference. If they force our hands, as they did at Rakolvnik, they leave us no room to manoeuvre but to fight back with every weapon in our arsenal until we can force them to the negotiating table.”

“The ball, as the Emmerians say, is in their court. This is their play now, what will they choose?”
Last edited by Bogoria1 on Fri Mar 06, 2015 3:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Virana » Sun Mar 08, 2015 7:04 pm

Treaty of Oured
March 8, 2015

This Treaty, approved by the Parties undersigned;

IMPLEMENTS a mandatory, immediate, and full ceasefire between the armed elements of the Republic of Bogoria (hereinafter Bogoria) and the self-styled Christian Republic of Bogoria (hereinafter CRB) as of 00:00 midnight on March 8, 2015,
    NOTING that the Papal Republic of Rodarion, undersigned, approves this treaty on behalf of the Christian Republic of Bogoria;
REQUIRES both engaged combat parties to pull out heavy weapons to equal distance with the aim of creation of a security zone of a minimum of 50 kilometres apart for artillery of 100 mm calibre or more, and a security zone of 70 km for MLRS and tactical missile systems, from the actual lines of contact,
    NOTING that the pullout of the above heavy weapons must begin no later than the second day after the ceasefire takes effect and must finish within 14 days;
ALLOWS international observers to arrive in order to ensure effective monitoring and verification of the ceasefire regime and pullout of heavy weapons, using all necessary technical means such as satellites, drones, radio-location systems, etc.;

CALLS UPON signatory parties to actively reign in engaged combat forces to ensure the ceasefire regime is upheld according to the terms of this treaty;

PROVIDES pardon and amnesty that forbids persecution of persons in relation to events that took place while involved parties were engaged in combat;

PROVIDES for the release and exchange of all hostages and illegally held persons, based on the principle of "all for all";

REQUIRES involved parties to provide safe access, delivery, storage, and distribution of humanitarian aid to the needy;

REQUESTS an international mechanism to oversee the previously specified distribution of aid.

Alex Vaziri
United Republic of Emmeria

Algirdas Kirkilas
Republic of Bogoria

Octavian Ceausescu
Papal Republic of Rodarion (on behalf of the Christian Republic of Bogoria)

Thomas Dalen
Kingdom of Anthor

Leanne Whittaker
Commonwealth of Arthurista

Jordan Howe
Prestonian Empire
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Postby Central Prestonia » Sun Mar 08, 2015 10:54 pm

Government House
5 Richmond St
Hudson HN3300
Empire of Prestonia

Office of The Premier Counselor to His Imperial and Apostolic Majesty

It gives me great pleasure to announce that, in conjunction with my esteemed colleagues from the Papal Republic, Anthor, Bogoria, Arthurista and the United Republic, the articles of an international agreement to bring about a ceasefire in Bogoria have been agreed upon and duly endorsed.

The Treaty of Oured contains much for which my Government has been a persistent advocate, including a mandate for those engaged to provide humanitarian aid and an expressed support for the formation of an international mechanism to accomplish the same. It is my dearest hope, that these conditions in conjunction with a mandate for immediate ceasefire and withdrawal of heavy weaponry will lay the groundwork for a return to peace and normality in Bogoria and the strengthening of the bonds of human conscience which unite us despite our differences.

And yet, I am a realist. While we applaud our words in Oured, we remain keenly aware that our actions in Bogoria will be the standard upon which history judges us all. In this moment, we have overcome the chasm of ideological difference which divides us, and done what the cynics and pessimists said could not be accomplished. In the moments to come, we must make good on our word. What we have accomplished today is an important, indeed an historic, first step, but it must not become the only step, nor may we tolerate our work being undone by a culture of cynical mistrust. The hopes of Bogoria, and the eyes of the world, are fixed upon our actions in the months to come. We must not fail them.

I am profoundly grateful to President Vaziri for his gracious host and initiative in undertaking this historic summit. I extend my thanks also to Prime Minister Thomas Dalen, without whom a Prestonian aid mission would not have become reality; to Prime Minister Leanne Whittaker, whose commitment to an equitable peace in Bogoria is unparalleled in our world; to President Algirdas Kirkilas, for his strength and leadership in this most trying of times; and to Consul Octavian Ceausescu, whose words and actions this weekend have shown a man who cares deeply for peace in Bogoria and the world. I call upon the parties to this agreement to now join me in focusing their efforts upon the establishment of a permanent peace in Bogoria, one which respects the territorial integrity of the Bogorian Republic and the right to self-determination of every Bogorian citizen without regard to race or creed.

The road which lays before us is not an easy one; we must expect and be prepared for setbacks and adversity as we continue to strive toward a more peaceful Lusankya and a more peaceful world. Let us go forth, therefore, steeled against the challenges ahead, even as we seek the golden light and verdant pastures of a better age to come.

Si Dieu Veult


Rt. Hon. Jordan Howe MD
Premier Counselor to His Imperial and Apostolic Majesty
Last edited by Central Prestonia on Sun Mar 08, 2015 10:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Central Prestonia » Thu Mar 12, 2015 10:47 pm

Dear Liz,

Sorry I haven't written sooner. Isn't much to talk about in Anthor. Pretty country, I'm sure, but all I saw was a military base. Aside from different language, not much different from home. We're rolling out to Bogoria today and everyone's excited and a bit nervous. I am too, to be honest. Command says we're operating in government territory but who really knows anymore. The government doesn't seem to control too much anymore, from what I've heard. I can't say where we're going, but we should be safe, if the government forces hold.

I don't tell you all this to make you scared, just to let you know what I'm getting into. I'm looking forward to it, to be honest. We've trained for this since we all joined the Army, now we finally get to use it. It's hard to explain, really, unless you've been here. We're doing something that matters, whatever the politicians back home say. These people in Bogoria, you wouldn't believe the conditions they live in. It makes me grateful for what we have, even if it isn't much by our standards. There but for the grace of God, the priest always said, and the more I'm here the more I realise it's true.

I have a surprise for you when I come home. Tell my parents I'm doing alright, and give your dad my regards. He always decent to me, even when I didn't give him any reason to be. I appreciate that. You've always been my second family. If I don't make it back, I want you to go into my dresser and find the envelope under the box that holds my gun. Give it to my mom, she'll understand. I don't want to scare you, I just want you to know my wishes in case anything should happen. But I will make it back, Liz. I promise.

With Love,

-Letter of Pte. Adam Holland to his significant other, Bogoria Campaign (Operation Sentinel)

Highway 47
En Route to Turek, Bogorian DMZ
0930 Local Time

What passed for a major highway in Bogoria would have barely rated as a county thoroughfare back home. This four lane road, kept reasonably well-maintained (present circumstances aside) and well-traveled, once represented a lifeline of commerce and travel which roughly bisected the country. Originating on the Anthoran border, it wound its way through scenic villages and rolling hills to Ketryzn, where another highway joined to carry travelers south to Gromnik and onward to Damnica and Sobotka. Beyond this, the 47 again snaked through the countryside, reaching eventually the city of Turek, joined again by departures to points north and south. Finally, beyond the operational area of the Bogoria Force (BFOR), the highway reached Jestibnik and eventually snaked onward to the Rodarian border.

It was this highway that led the 500-strong Prestonian mission toward Turek. Whether on account of the conflict or simply the hour of the day, the convoy of Humvees, trucks and Pandora APCs had the road essentially to itself; the Bogorian Border Guard agent at the Anthor-Bogorian border waved the convoy through lazily, evidently having not much to do in recent days. His boredom, evidently, was well-founded; aside from the odd Lada or ox-cart, the 47 was abandoned. Once in awhile, as they passed a village, a handful of small children and old women would come out to watch the spectacle. Mostly, though, the convoy was left unmolested and indeed thoroughly ignored; perhaps the locals had learned to fear columns of armoured vehicles in recent weeks. Perhaps they had simply ceased to care.

The convoy was just outside Ketryzin, approaching its first major city. Private Keith Gordon, manning the machine gun of a Humvee, was the first to speak in his vehicle, undoubtedly echoing sentiments throughout the convoy as he mused to himself and anyone else who cared to listen.

"Nice country," Gordon said. "Almost reminds me of home."

"Yeah, home during the Terror maybe," came the retort from another soldier in the vehicle. "Beautiful, and crawling with Catholics. Ten crowns says they're relaying our position to their buddies up in Ketryzin."

"Damn shame," another soldier said. "How far out are we from Ketryzin anyway?"

"About twenty minutes," the response came from the driver. "We're taking the 471 loop around the north end of the city to avoid going straight through. BGF says this is government turf, but Command doesn't wanna risk it."

"So what time are we getting into Turek?"

"We're shooting for 1230, but once we're past Ketryzin we can speed up a little," the driver replied. "Nearest rebel lines are down in Gromnik and intel says they're still tied up there. Shouldn't be any trouble til we're passing through the exclave."

"And then what?"

"And then we pray the LDVs have been told we're coming," Gordon replied dryly. "Not that Pandoras look like anything the Roddies have sent to the south. Let's just hope the local militias see it that way."

"Yeah," came the sarcastic reply from the driver. "Because the giant fucking Prestonian flag isn't a clue."

"You never know man, you never know."

"Whatever. We'll blow that bridge when we come to it. We're coming up on Ketryzn, ten minutes out. Check weapons. You see anyone not in a uniform with weapons, you light their ass up Gordon. We are not losing anyone in this convoy before we set up shop, understood?"

"Yes sir," came the reply. In the distance, the city's ruined skyscrapers could be seen. What it held, only God knew.
Last edited by Central Prestonia on Thu Mar 12, 2015 11:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Rodarion » Sat Mar 14, 2015 1:43 pm

Damnica 6 March, 2015

It had been 22 days since the BDF had entered Damnica and faced a hellstorm of bullets, RPGs and rocket artillery. The rebels had surprised the intruders on all sides and after four days, trapped 650 government soldiers inside the town as they sealed off the main road behind them. Within a week, 484 lay dead in the streets or in burnt out ruins, hunted down by rebel units like animals in a prized hunt. A further 100 surrendered, only to be executed in a basement in some generic block of grey flats, the rebels simply didn't have the resources to feed them and keep them going. The remainder either escaped back to their lines or were in hiding, praying for their lives to continue.

The battle inside Damnica had been a resounding success, the speed of which the ambush cut off the central column allowed the UBLF to re-take the western outskirts, utilising their experience and Rodarian supplied weapons they pushed the government back to their starting positions and managed to hold onto their spots, albeit at a cost. The UBLF assault on the Rakovnik Enclave to the south, forced government units away from Damnica, but above all it preserved the M54 highway, keeping the way open from the deep south to Konin, Damnica was constantly resupplied and its manpower replenished, with growing numbers of Orducii fighters and of course local volunteers. Damnica had turned from a possible annihilation to a great victory.

Konstantyn Serafin stood over the burnt remains of a government APC, inside, 10 burnt rotting corpses of what were men fighting for Utena. He was emotionless, he and his fellow UBLF commanders had undergone 22 days of artillery bombardment in a smelly, dank wine cellar, now that the artillery had ceased somewhat, he took in as much fresh air as possible. The sounds of war continued on, the thumps of artillery shells and the echoing snaps of gunfire rang out as normal, but at a further distance, much to Serafin's delight. He looked at the corpses, black and red in colour, he did not pity them, nor did he mourn them. He stepped closer, normally the smell would turn any man away, but nearly 3 weeks in a damp wine cellar had denied him a sense of smell, he looked at their rotting bodies, scowled and then spat at them.

"Sir, they have attacked just north of Rakovnik" a voice behind him bellowed, Serafin's heart sank, the UBLF was days away from wiping out the enclave's air force base and its 1,200 defenders, now they fucking bastards had taken that away from them, the anger at Utena was now firmly replaced with hatred. He turned around and rushed towards the voice, running down a tight flight of steps into another cellar, before him was a fully modern headquarters, donated by Rodarion. Laptops, secure radios, fibre-optic wires connecting to radio emitters and the like, this headquaters outstripped most of the outdated crap used by the BDF.
"Mass artillery bombardment, from the north-east, we're expecting a full-blown offensive with the aim of breaking the siege" Major Tomko reported.
"Fuck... Milosvici, what do we do?" Serafin enquired the Rodarian Orducii commander.

"We're outnumbered, outgunned and in open in this, though if we pull back we'll lose this chance to crush the bastards. I've spoken to Romula, a further 1,000 Orducii are in bound, with several 152mm howitzers, enough to blunt their offensive an..." before Milosvici could finish, Serafin erupted.

"We don't need more fucking ground troops, we need tanks and APCs to push these fucking cunts back and wipe them out, come on Milosvici, send us fucking tanks, I cannot win this war without my men getting the shit they need to kill this fucking fuckers!" Serafin roared, slamming the map table over and over again. Milosvici frowned.

"Don't you think I fucking know that? What do you think I work as? A fucking housemaid? I know you need tanks and APCs, but if the government won't send them, we can't get them. I have told them over and over and over again, that you need heavy vehicles and artillery, but they're waiting for the right moment" Milosvici shot back.

"The right moment? is the right moment when those bastards are on the Vistular river look over into Rodarion itself?" Serafin replied. Milosvici sighed, eventually shrugging, he didn't know, no one did, but Serafin respected Milosvici and the Orducii too much to rant further. Truth was, the 6,000 Orducii already in Bogoria had made a huge difference in the war, the ORCEPA division of the Orducii had all but secured the rebels' latest victories over the government, but now all of that was in doubt if the government could beat the UBLF in Rakovnik.

"We should, focus on loosening the front around the AFB, let them open a salient, then cut them off. It's risky, but if it works, we've won. We have superior anti-tank weapons, they can easily finish their armoured spear head off, we just need to make sure the salient doesn't reach the AFB before we cut it off. The new units from Rodarion will get here in a day, the 30 or so 152mm howitzers will help hugely, plus they're sending ELINT equipment so we can tap into the BDF's communications, they use radios from the 80s and 90s so it will help hugely again. My main fear is that their arty will decimate us in the open, so we need to focus our positions on the AFB's housing block, Obdiza and Hill 03, we hold them, we can stop them from reaching the AFB from the north and east. Good cover in these areas, we'll force them into urban fighting and fighting in thick woodland" Milosvici explained, using his finger as a pointer on the map. Serafin and the six other rebel commanders nodded and took mental note, they could see the front-line forming in their minds.
"Let's do it" Serafin nodded, Milosvici nodded in return and all eight of the officers returned to their focus on the map and screens showing unit deployments.

Rakovnik Air Force Base, 6 March 2015

Radu Stranescu lent on a bullet ridden white wall, puffing on his cigarette. All around him, the constant pounding of Grad rockets echoed into both his ears, his chest vibrating with every bang, the government counter-offensive had caught the rebels off guard and most not directly in the firing line, felt fear for the first time in a long time; real fear. Radu Stranescu was with the 2nd Orcepa Cohort who crossed the Vistula four weeks prior, he had six kills under his name, his squad had lifted the UBLF's flag over the Housing Block of the AFB themselves and had become nothing short of local heroes. Before him rose smoke in great plumes from the town of Stryzawa, the lead elements of the BDF's counter-offensive had met 500 men of the 3rd Orcpea Cohort along with their Spike NLOS ATGMS and PF-98 120mm anti-tank recoilless rifles. The pounding of artillery was ceaseless and deafening, but Stranescu, his fellow cohort comrades and their UBLF cousins had become immune to the sound and its psychological powers.

Behind Stranescu, at least 400 UBLF and Orcepa fighters took cover in various buildings that lines the eastern half of the AFB, most had suffered severe damage, the ruins of course provided the best cover, allowing the rebels to use the ruins as a warren of tunnels and caverns too hide themselves away from the government's counter-offensive and sniper fire from the government half of the air force base. However Sergeant Stranescu knew that the AFB wasn't issue now, the huge force of BDF charging from the north-east was the problem and he had received orders from higher up to transition two kilometers to the east, to the Dabrowka Forest which filled the gap between the towns of Dabrowka and Obdiza.

Stranescu dropped his cigarette butt, waved to his ten men and up they went. Walking along tired and antiquated country roads towards their new deployment, all the while, sounds of gunfire and artillery dominated every direction, these men were the best of the best in the Orducii, but still even they felt fear on some level, though it was obvious they held higher beliefs of God in war than t he average soldier no doubt. Stranescu and his ten men were being joined by the 3rd Battalion of the 2nd Cohort, 500 men, battle hardened men.

"Keep your heads low, steady pace, we'll be in our deployment area in about 15 minutes" Stranescu advised, his men didn't reply, a week of constant fighting denied men such energy.

Grodzizcno, 6km east of Rakovnik AFB, 6 March 2015

Jakub Białkowski had expended his second magazine of rounds, having one thrown to him along the debris covered wooden floor by Jaworski, loading the mag into his Type-88 rifle, he perched up and continued to fire down upon the government troops on the street, the sounds of war were like a deafening cacophony around him, compared to the distant pounding Stranescu suffered. Roars of Polish, Rodarian and even English rolled through the building as the UBLF units inside fought hard to keep the BDF back. Occasionally a round would burst through the wall by the window frame, hitting the interior wall, bringing with it, puffs of plaster and brick, each time it hit the rear wall, the men would thank God, because if you see and hear it come through the exterior wall and not hit the interior, you know it has going into someone.

Białkowski didn't stop, he contorted his body to strike down at BDF soldiers without denying him the cover of the wall, firing in bursts of three or four. In front of the nine-storey, bland grey apartment block was a green open-space, one of a tiny number in the industrial shithole that was Grodzizcno, the BDF launched its attack several hours ago after taking Nowa Chelmza in the space of 35 minutes. The green space was blasted, mostly thanks to the fact that two BDF APCs had been struck by PF-98 120mm anti-tank recoilless rifles hidden in the lobbies of the three blocks that covered the space's south, west and eastern sides. The poor souls on the street were trapped between three sources of gunfire, but really this was a drop in the ocean, Rakovnik had become the largest and important battle of the war to date and Białkowski knew he would be here for a very long and painful time.
"Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori"

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Postby Bogoria1 » Thu Mar 19, 2015 7:21 pm

Near Rakovnik, 6 March 2015

Major General Martin Hodza is not, by nature, a bold man. His career began in another era, an older, simpler time when warfare was thought of as a methodical affair. Careful planning, detailed preparations, painstaking staff work preceded every move. An organised combined arms team, utilising every instrument in its arsenal, would break through an enemy’s forward battle zone and punch through into his rear areas. That was the book that he had been taught when he was a cadet, aspiring to be an officer in the communist army. The commisars which watched a CO’s every move, scrutinising his every act for non-conformity with ‘the book’, political or operational, may be long gone, but their baleful influence remains. The current civil war, a kind of emergent, 21st century hyper-modern hybrid/network-centric war, involving internet propaganda, guerrillas who aren’t guerrillas and improvised armies of football hooligans is hardly his cup of tea.

All of which explained why he was so elated when, at last, he was called upon to lead his country’s strategic reserve into a pitched battle in the open – force against force, as he had been taught. He’d line up his artillery for miles, send in the tanks with banners a’flutterin and smash his way to glory. Or so he thought.

The opening moves of the offensive went his way, naturally. Caught in the open, the advancing rebel forces were caught by an unprecedented deployment of air power, artillery and surface-to-surface missiles, dropping metric-tonnes worth of cluster munitions. Advancing under this application of firepower, his mechanised forces, supported by the ‘skinhead-brigade’, had made tremendous headway. Now, though, came the decisive moment – the final assault into the airfield area. This was when he began to feel, perhaps, a little nervous.

Thankfully, he had an excellent advisor – the Anthoran Major Peter Dalton, executive officer of their 95th Air Assault Battalion.

“Sir, I’m not going to lie to you – this is the most important part of the operation, but also the most difficult;” the Anthoran had a knack for analysing complex situations in the most straightforward manner possible, a gift which his host liked. “Your forces have indeed made great gains, but there’re two major problems ahead. Firstly, our recent successes have been won using our advantage in artillery, armour and air power. In the open, against forces without them, these are devastating force-multipliers. In close terrain, such as what we are about to encounter now, these advantages can be swiftly equalised by the opposing force which, let us not forget, has at least numerical parity with us.”

“There is another problem, not in the direction of the spearhead, but further to the north. I’d like to draw your attention to these towns, here, on the map – Grodziczno in particular, but also Dabrowka and Obdiza. These are towns which are being invested by your forces – invested, but not reduced. Until they are neutralised, the enemy forces therein pose a significant threat to the lines-of-communication leading towards the spearhead formations.”

“Here is what I advise we do – this time, don’t lead with your regulars. Save them for the decisive moment. If you want to assault fortified positions, send in the cannon fodders first – those fascist skinheads ought to do the job. Once we’ve identified the enemy strongpoints with their heroic self-sacrifice, we’d know where to unleash the real troops to clinch the final victory. At the same time, keep at least two battalions of air assault troops behind as a reserve, preferably a whole brigade – just in case our LoCs come under threat.”

Two hours later, Hodza had gained a much more sober view of the battle. He’d sent a company of motorised troops in eight-wheeled APCs along with the hapless LDVs in the initial assault to bolster the illusion that it was the main effort, and the effects were gruesome. Yards of ground just beyond – or, in some areas, amidst – the rebels’ fighting positions were covered in bodies – mostly in civilian tee’n’jeans plus a unit-identifying armband. A hailstorm of automatic weapons and mortars had cut them to shreds when the skinheads had advanced, out in the open into a maelstrom of fire. They might have been the scum of the earth, but Hodza could not help but admire their headlong courage.

“Well, at least we know where the centres of resistance are, now. XO, fireplan delta-three, please. Time to end this once and for all.”

This, the general reasoned, was the decisive battle. As the events before him unfolded, the masters of the universe were about to converge on Oured to hammer out a peace deal for his motherland. Well, it’s time to show the planet that the true sons and daughters of Bogoria were still fighting hard for their homes, and as much territory as they could solidly grasp before the ceasefire.

Two minutes after the order went out, every remaining defender of the airfield – the ‘five hundred-heroes’ so lionised by northern blogs, were ordered to take such cover as available in their battered entrenchments. Kilometres to the northwest, the units which would carry out fireplan delta-three executed their general’s order.

Nearly four kilometres from the airfield, four Mi-24s popped up about 1.5 metre from behind a ridge, in the shadow of which they’d hid until now. They carried sixteen AT-6 Spiral missiles apiece, armed with thermobaric warheads. All were aimed at the air base’s terminal and control buildings in one coordinated volley. The blast that they elicited was spectacular to behold.

Ten seconds later, an even more devastating salvo was to arrive. Every gun, Grad and heavy mortar battery within range of the airfield were dialled in. Now, they spoke at once. At the moment of their impact, they’d be joined by six Tochka ballistic missiles and a quartet of L-159 Alca would streak above in a low, high speed past – he’d counted on the thermobaric missiles to temporarily stun any MANPAD gunners in their way. If they weren’t incapacitated, well, this was not the time to hold back. Both the missiles and the planes were armed with cluster munitions. All this hailstorm of steel and fire would be deposited within a three kilometre radius, thrown into the ruins of the airfield in a devastating, simultaneous Time-on-Target attack.

From where the general stood, observing the proceedings from a distance, it seemed extremely unlikely that anything at ground zero would survive. This was how he was taught war, how he understood it – careful planning, meticulous organisation and preparation, all condensed into a millisecond of indiscriminate destruction. This was THE battle of the war, after all. It was only appropriate that he’d utilise his entire arsenal – every weapon at his disposal would now be unleashed in an all out attempt to snatch victory from the jaws of a disappointing ceasefire.

“All units, advance, repeat, advance! Time to earn your pay, boys!”

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Postby Rodarion » Sun Apr 12, 2015 12:26 am

11th April 2015

A month and three days had passed since the ceasefire was introduced to the Bogorian maelstrom, it had held relatively well, despite the odd skirmish and mortar exchange. Its initial success could be owed in part to the complete failure of the government counter-offensive aimed at breaking the encirclement around the Rakovnik Air Force Base, though 232 brave BDF souls did manage to break through rebel lines and enter the base, they too now suffered the agony of complete seclusion and with no prospect of escape. Since then, the war in general had been dull, but as many ordinary people in the south noted, it was the calm before the hurricane.

The month’s “peace” had offered the UBLF the respite it desperately needed, with over 2,000 dead and a further 3,200 injured in the five month long conflict, they couldn’t have afforded to engage in a longer protracted confrontation with government forces. Though, the true extent of the blood-letting was greatly concealed, and with the fledgling Bogorian Christian Republic being assisted by Rodarian propaganda geniuses it was working. The month’s peace had also seen the UBLF receive further truckloads of weapons and ammunition, not only that but both Orducii and Papal Defence Corps were training the UBLF in asymmetrical and conventional warfare respectively. The UBLF also received over 5,800 volunteers from across the BCR held territories; 2,000 of which were women.

But perhaps most importantly, the BCR was receiving financial assistance, mechanical experts and further Orducii volunteer groups from the Papal Republic. Since March, the PRR had dispatched over 85 mechanics from the Papal Army to maintain the United Bogorian Liberation Forces’ 46 captured tanks and 103 captured IFVs and APCs, which had all been transported south to Sobotka from their sites of acquisition. There inside a massive warehouse, they were repaired by Rodarian mechanics and thanks to the former Bogorian Liberation Army’s draconian national service, there were plenty of trained gunners, loaders, drivers and commanders in the BCR’s grasp. The senior commanders of the UBLF knew that time would grant them power on the field and five months of sacrifices in the name of family, Christ and motherland was beginning to pay off.

However the month’s peace had caused another eventuality; the rise of hatred and inconsolable rage towards the North. The BCR political leaders were eager to avoid ethnic hatreds, since their aim was not succession but simply regime change in Utena, but they could not stop it. Across the BCR, hatred for the Czechs, Lithuanians and Latvians was rising at such a level, that the BCR government had no choice but champion it in order to morph the hard feelings into supporting the war effort, what they didn’t respect that such an action would have dire consequences in the future. Several days after the ceasefire was announced, all media providers for the BCR were nationalised by the rebel state and all news, put it simply, was Rodarian provided, with internet down across most of the South, the citizens within the warzone and the BCR strongholds in the deep south had no access to opposing opinion or anything that contradicted what the BCR or Rodarian media was saying.

With strong backing on the home front so to speak, the BCR and its UBLF army was now ready to take the fight to the government, the ceasefire offered nothing in terms of directions towards a lasting peace agreement, just the means to stop the fighting and hope for the best, the UBLF and its political masters didn’t want such a resolution. The war was not yet over, to many the war had hardly begun.

Damnica – 22km north of the Rakovnik salient

Konstantyn Serafin, stood beside a bombed out café, his cigarette lit, his mug of coffee warm and his eyes set firmly upon the distant fading plumes of smoke rising from the Rakovnik Salient. The occasional snap of gunfire and thud of mortar shells was a calming thing after months of brutal and bloody conflict, but he knew and he was sure the oligarchic fucks in Utena knew, that this ceasefire couldn’t last forever. With Damnica secured through stalemate, the UBLF had the forces necessary to carry out the operation they had been planning since the ceasefire, with further units moving up from the south, this time with tanks and armoured vehicles, as well as some heavy artillery from Rodarion (mostly 155mm howitzers), along with 6,000 UBLF and Orducii fighters, the Bogorian Defence Force and its neo-fascist Local Defence Volunteers wouldn’t know what hit them.

The first moves were ready to be made, the government had to be drawn into renewing the war, whether the UBLF had to shoot first didn’t matter, the government only had to shoot back in greater volume.

Kurtzenik, 3km south of the salient

Among the poorly treated gardens of low lying wooden houses, the UBLF had amassed at least 32 80mm to 120mm mortars for use against BDF positions facing south, the positions were also in range of BDF lines facing west towards the Air Force Base and had played a key role in stunting the BDF’s advance a month prior, now they would play a key role in renewing the war that had hardly begun.

The men around the heavy mortars woke to the morning sun in lighter moods than first enjoyed, the coffee was warm and their breakfasts cooked. As they opened the crates of shells, they shared jokes, sang songs and exchanged in general chat, the target locations had been passed down that evening, they tuned their mortars and readied themselves.

“Good morning fuckers” one quipped as he dropped the 120mm shell down the tube, two seconds later, the mortar roared and the shell was dispatched, all around that particular mortar in that particular garden, other mortars burst into life, throwing forth shells towards BDF lines just yards east of rebel held areas of the Air Force Base.

Jakub Białkowski had survived the fighting in Grodzizcno, though his mind would be scarred with the sheer violence of the foray. He did not wish to count the number of lives he had taken, whilst others in his squad did, it was not worth the emotional self-destruction. In the middle of march, Jakub and his platoon were redeployed to Kurtzenik to aid in the village’s defence from a BDF attack, luckily again he survived and the UBLF succeeded in defeating the northern aggressors. Unfortunately that luck he enjoyed was apparently shared among his entire brigade, known as the “Stonewall Brigade”. And it was his brigade that was tasked with opening the way for the UBLF offensive against the salient.

He and the other 1,042 men of the Stonewall Brigade had been up since 5am, prepping their weapons and themselves for the fight to come. Although they weren’t ordered to breach BDF lines, they were expected to provoke a major response, especially artillery, enough for the UBLF to call the government out on breaching the ceasefire. But the attack also provided the role of probing, allowing the UBLF to fully gauge what they faced; response times, artillery concentrations and the capabilities of the BDF’s defensive lines, but above all, it provided a distraction from what was to come.

Jakub and his squad slowly and as quietly as possible rose over their trenches, slowly advancing northwards towards the BDF lines. Between them and the lines were 300 yards of wooded terrain, flat and dreary looking like the rest of Bogoria these days, the mortar shells continued to explode before them, the screech running over them before ending in a bang and most likely death. Across a kilometre wide stretch, the entire Stonewall Brigade advanced, lying low, moving at a slow and safe pace. The pounding of mortars before them echoing back at them, suddenly a snap and whistle blew passed Jakub’s ears, a bullet. He lifted his Type 88 assault rifle and returned fire, dropping down onto the damp soil, within seconds his fellow squad members did the same, opening up on the BDF trenches in front of them.

Tracers shot across the sparse ground in both directions, all around Jakub soil jumped from the ground as rounds dived into the earth, Piotr one of Jakubs squaddies, contorted himself to fire his 40mm grenade launcher towards the BDF pigs shooting at him. The ceasefire was now dead, bullets had returned and the shells took to their normal flight.

Only time would see if the UBLF’s move would allow it to destroy the salient with the world’s sympathy.
Last edited by Rodarion on Sun Apr 12, 2015 12:33 am, edited 2 times in total.
"Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori"

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Postby Belfras » Wed Apr 22, 2015 12:50 pm

Parliament Building,
Royal Capital of Isn Deslen,
The Kingdom of Belfras.

The morning breeze carried with it the familiar chill that waved down the Fanwerth river, all the way past the Merryton Hills and out into Portsdown Bay. That breeze fluttered the flags in front of the Parliament, causing their colours and hidden histories to bare all in the ever-majestic fashion that flags do. Nineteen flag poles. The fifteen provinces of Belfras had their own flags, each flew from their respective flag-poles in unison. Laesico, Belfras' oldest overseas possession and now major naval base, had it's own flag, the quartet of stars partnered with the Belfrasian cross sounding it's history back to the imperial days of the Empire. The final flag was Yoshiwa, an archipelago nation that chose to rejoin the Kingdom following the dissolution of the Western Confederacy. At the head and feet of this line of flags flew the Belfrasian cross, mighty as ever and noticeably larger.

"The Bogorian situation isn't going away." a pointy nose, crooked teeth, and scars that were too many to be explained away by mere accidents. Charles, or Mister Charles, was probably one of the best directors the Royal Intelligence Agency has ever seen and was, put simply, a 'scary person' that your parents always told you to stay away from. If it wasn't for the armed guards that followed him around or the motorcade he rode in, you'd expect him to be at a kids playground offering candy. "If anything, Mister Prime Minister, it's getting worse. The Rodarions are on the verge of invading. It doesn't take being Director of Intelligence to know this. What does the King want to do?"

"His Majesty prefers to leave matters of state to the elected government, Charles." Sentar snorted briefly, spitting a wad of phlegm aside before taking a puff on the cigarette in his right hand. "All he wants is to grow old and tend to that fucking garden. Still, could be worse." he noticed he had attracted Charles' gaze. "He could be tending to his culinary skills."

"Funny." Charles said in his typical dead-tone voice. His sense of humour was as pale as his skin, which stood in distinct contrast to his black suit and burgundy tie. His eyes left Aaron to look at the surrounding area in the Plaza, the high walls and the million-Belfrie garden gave Parliamentarians an outdoor break area without the risk of things like cameras, sniper rifles, or the common on-looker. At times Aaron had a hard time figuring out which one the Parliamentarians feared the most, a sniper would give their parties a good pity-vote majority at the least.

"The Rodarions are playing things far too obviously now. They're rejecting proposals for an investigation by other nations into the tragedy and have magically found proof. Proof nobody else has found. It happened under the microscopes of many satellites, yet only theirs was magically trained on this one location and saw a smoke plume that witnesses on the ground never saw. Very convenient."

"I know." Aaron tossed the spent cigarette aside. "Fuck it - Everyone knows. Everyone except those damned, brain-washed fools in the Papal States and their fiendish friends. Theirs exactly jack and shit we can do about it. Shit, theirs nothing anyone really wants to do about it. Not here, at least. It's some shit-filled country that doesn't affect us in any way, shape, or form. What would you suggest?" Aaron's voice was a mixture of condescension and a struggled, honest question.

"Mister Prime Minister." Mister Charles spoke quietly, his eyes were fixed beyond those dark sunglasses and onto a rabbit. "Your predecessor was despised on the public stage for cowering away when he thought his domestic ratings would get hurt. He was ridiculed, and his only trophy of his premiership was when he stared down the Rodarions who tried to take our waters just off Callis. Bogoria isn't just about the land, either." he eyed Aaron briefly before settling on watching a plane gently soar across the sky. Charles' brain knew exactly what it was, the 09:30 Isn Deslen to Portsdown flight. "It's about an idea. It's very much CDI versus RCO. And if Rodarion wins, where else will they try their luck? Rodarion wont risk opening up a war over that place, and so far they haven't had a reason to back out."

"So you're suggesting?" Aaron asked briefly, he didn't realize he was speaking as quietly as Charles.

"Start being vocal in your defence of Bogoria." Charles replied, nodding briefly. "Start arranging, very noisily, to send supplies in. Medical supplies, food, whatever. Just be vocal about everything. Loud enough that people wont notice the Myrmidons headed in to start assisting BDF Special Forces. I've got agents in places they can use as safe spots and a relatively safe corridor to get them to the front without much attention."

"Well." Aaron sighed, nodding. "Best laid plans, right? Better one than the rest of the war cabinet gave me, at least. Know anyone in SECGRU we should put in charge?" he raised an eyebrow.

"Oh yes." he grinned a nasty grin.
Last edited by Belfras on Wed Apr 22, 2015 12:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Bogoria1 » Tue Apr 28, 2015 7:29 pm

Utena, parliament building

As President Kirkilas approached the podium in the brightly-lit parliament building conference room to address the press for hundredth time in the past few months, he felt the weight of history pressing upon his shoulders. Well, given the his job, and the state his country was in, that was par the course most days. Today in particular, however, he felt that Bogoria has reached a moment of true crisis. The world will scrutinise him for what he is about to do in the following weeks. Posterity, he was sure, will pass judgement. Right now, he had few options but to press on and dare fate to do its worst.

“At this critical juncture, I believe it is appropriate for me to make a statement, to clarify my government’s position on the developments in the south. Actually, I’m not entirely sure what good it is, clarifying matters, because matters cannot be any more clear than they were yesterday or the day before. All I will do here today is to repeat what I’ve already said before, and say it again, perhaps say it in a simpler manner, so that those who didn’t understand the first time can finally catch on.”

“First of all, we categorically deny that the Plowy missile attack was carried out by the Bogorian Defence Forces. For that to happen, there had to be a Tochka missile launcher within 70km of the village which, I’m sure, those of you living in a cave and thus without access to Wikipedia will know, is forbidden by the Treaty of Oured, which set a 100km exclusion zone for such weapons. This is a satellite picture of the area in question on 14 April, as shown on a commercially available Emmerian source. Circled here are the military assets the BDF had in the area – there are tank parks, infantry strongpoints, fuel dumps, logistics depots and artillery below 100mm in calibre. Nowhere within 100km can one discern a single Tochka system, because there simply wasn’t one in the vicinity. We did not break the truce. Our actions on this front over the past months are open for all the world to see. Where our troops acted, they did so in self-defence, nothing more.”

“Who hasn’t adhered to the terms ceasefire? Whose treacherous behaviour cost the lives of civilians on a daily basis? The militants and their foreign backers, of course. If one wants to find out who is far more likely to have fired the missile, look no further.”

“Secondly, we unreservedly refuse to acknowledge the findings of any purported investigation not carried out on the ground by all the signatories of the Treaty of Oured or, alternatively, one done completely by nations unaligned in the conflict. If the militants and their paymasters truly believe their version of the story, then they have nothing to hide. I urge you to open the site to international investigators from all nations. After all, if you have the truth on your side, what exactly is it that you are afraid of?”

“If this missile attack was indeed carried out by Bogorian servicemen, those responsible will be tried for war crimes. I, myself, will resign my office and submit myself into the custody of the Ministry of Justice.”

“I am, however, confident that this will not be the case, for the simple reason that we are innocent of such a deed. May Perun and all the gods look upon us and separate the just from the unjust, and the lies from the truth. History will condemn he who would murder the innocent and then deny his guilt with falsehood, I guarantee it.”

The front, not far from Damnica

The Local Defence Volunteers are decidedly a very mixed lot. Some are just, as it says on the tin, organised armed civilians, eager to protect their village or their neighbourhood from a repeat of the Utena terrorist attacks. Others, those who go to the front, have a reputation for recruiting among the unrespectable elements of society – hooligans, skinheads and thugs.

The 1st Student Volunteers, though, are very different. The battalion was formed by those attending two of the capital city’s largest institutions of tertiary education – the Utena Metropolitan University and the National Polytech. They were well-funded and much-publicised by its sponsors, not to mention well-trained by the BDF, well-aware of the PR-value of such a celebrity unit. Compared to other LDV units they were remarkably disciplined and affected an air of competence. Only now, however, would their mettle be finally put to the test.

2nd Lieutenant Pawel Kruba, until recently a masters student in finance, was appointed as leader of the first platoon in the Volunteers’ B Company. Most understood the appointment as what it was – his father, a telecom magnate, had forwarded roughly a quarter of the funds for the fledgeling battalion and nobody would have dared to deny his son a commission. The man, however, had also remembered his years as a conscript in the old People’s Army and was no fool. He personally made sure that the platoon had a combat veteran from the regulars for a sergeant and the young man had enough sense than to argue whenever the grizzled non-com proffered one of his politely-worded ‘recommendations’.

Then, one day, about a week after the ‘Plowy Missile Crisis’, they received the fateful order from higher up.

“They want us to go into no-man’s land,” Pawel didn’t sound very perturbed when he announced it to the sergeant, “a wide patrol, go a few kilometres then come straight back.”

“A trench raid?” They’ve done it before, of course. It was routine at the front ever since the truce was signed and the front lines solidified. The insurgents would launch sudden small-unit attacks against isolated government outposts, break through the barbed wire at the dead of night to bayonet soldiers in their sleeping bags. The next morning, the army would retaliate by staging an incursion of their own, backed by mortars and grenade launchers. These viscious little skirmishes, along with the regularly scheduled shelling and mortaring just about summed up the state of the fighting after the so-called ceasefire.

“Sounds like it, only this time we’re not doing a demonstration. Battalion wants information about enemy positions, troop movement patterns and what not.”

“They must be getting antsy after Plowy. Reckon the rebels are planning something huge.”

“Do you think they are?”

“Don’t know, and that’s where we come in. A reconnaissance in force is difficult to do right.”

“Especially if we are to do it at night.”

“Battalion must be crazy if they think that’s a good idea.”

“The rebel scum have been doing it for weeks. Plus, we have satnav. What can possibly go wrong?” Pawel projected an attitude of nonchalance, though both knew it was a mere façade. He’d wanted to see action, at last, but the thought of being shelled and shot at rather put him off breakfast that morning. Moreover, the full weight of his responsibility finally hit him with the force a freight train. This was his command, the fate of 33 men and women was in his hands. The sergeant was there to help and advise his totally green lieutenant, but the ultimate responsibility with any catastrophic screw-ups would lie with him alone. A hefty burden for a master’s student.

The thought stayed with him as his platoon moved out at 0030 hours. Though they’d been issued MT-LBs, they rode on a trio of OT-64s instead – the eight-wheeled APCs were deemed quieter for a patrol than the former, a tracked vehicle. They rode on them, literally – veterans had advised them that the vehicle’s belly armour is of little use against an anti-tank mine, which would shred all those within the passenger compartment. The day after, all those involved would be very grateful for whoever made that recommendation.

It began with a dull thud. An APC stopped dead and a road wheel streaked off into the darkness. The passengers dismounted and spread out, just in the nick of time, as the fire that was undoubtedly burning inside the APC spread to its fuel tank and the vehicle burst into flames.

“We have to get the driver out!”

“He’s dead, sir, the mine cut through the vehicle’s floor.”

“Have we blundered into a minefield, sergeant?”

“Looks like it. We’re too far off the roads for IEDs.”

“We’re less than three kilometres from our lines!”

“They must’ve sneaked up at night and laid them then. There’re rises here and dips here, enough cover to do it unnoticed, even from NVDs.”

Before the sergeant even completed his sentence, another explosion was heard. Something that looked unmistakeably like a mangled foot by the fire of the burning vehicle flew past the little command group, trailing blood.

“Make that a mixed minefield, sir. AT mines for the vehicles and AP mines for the sweepers. Everyone freeze!” He shouted to those dismounted, then turned to his officer once more. “We have to get out of here, post haste.”

“The mission?”

“Everybody in the vicinity would’ve heard that, believe me. We no longer have the element of surprise. We have to abort, sir.” It took exactly two seconds for him to be proven right.

One moment, there was silence. The next, pandaemonium ensued as unseen rebels in bushes, trees and grass opened up on the little band. Instantly, the mine field was forgotten as everyone scrambled for cover – possible death by mines was preferable to certain death by being caught in the open by a machine gun. To judge by the sounds and the screams, several fell victim to the former in the ensuing few seconds.

What followed took place over barely five minutes, but for Pawel, in a mental haze, it seemed to last for hours. He found shelter in a shallow hollow, shouldered his rifle and shot at muzzle flashes in the tree line beyond. He saw someone with an SVD pull out its magazine and yank the charging handle furiously to unclog a stoppage. He saw a girl pull a wounded man into cover and all three APCs splutter and burn. He felt and heard shrapnel from RPGs and mortars tore through the air barely centimetres above his brand new Emmerian helmet. Then, finally, a fellow prone figure sidled up to him and prodded him on the shoulder.

“The sergeant is hit, sir,” the newcomer – Pawel recognised him as his friend Johann, a corporal leading his first squad – reported breathlessly.

“Where is he?”

“Just behind the tractor there, sir.”

The pair half scrambled, half crawled ten metres through the underbrush to where the sergeant laid, and at once Pawel saw that the man was a hopeless cause. Shrapnel had sliced through his throat and carotid arteries. He’d be dead in minutes, regardless of what they did then.

The tough old veteran was not quite finished, yet. Once he saw Pawel, he tried to speak, gave up, then just gesticulated feebly until he finally gave out.

“Just what do you think he meant?”

Unlike Johann, Pawel had no doubt in his mind what the sergeant tried to communicate to him in his last moments – to get his command to safety, whatever the cost. He had no real soldier to guide him now, no deputy who knows his business to help him get things done. IF they were to get out of this, it was by his wits and his ability alone.

“Johann, you’re now 2iC. Get your squad up behind that rise and lay down suppressing fire with your GPMG.”

“Yes sir!”

“Second squad, on me!” He was shouting now, “return fire to front and retire along our line of advance! Third squad, watch the right, suppress them if they charge to rush our flank. Maria!”

“Sir!” His comms person, hauling an Arthuristan Bowman radio, answered at once.

“Tell battalion where we are and how much shit we’re in. Whatever fire support assets they’ve got in this sector, tell them we need them now.”

“Right away!”

“Right then, let’s move!”

A peelback and attempt to break contact under fire was difficult in the best of times with experienced troops. With green, half-trained amateurs, it could unravel very easily. Yet, miraculously, the ragged skirmish line held together as squads and fireteams gave each other cover fire, allowing each other to retire to the next bit of shelter.

As predicted, groups of rebels tried to rush forward now, scenting blood. They quickly realised, however, that their wounded prey still had much fight left in them. Each of the platoon’s three squads are centred on a GPMG, with every member carrying extra ammunition for it, and these put down interlock fields of fire to deter any such attempts. Mortars, friendly this time, put down a box-barrage around the group, giving them valuable protection, while 85mm field guns counterbatteried suspected rebel mortar positions. Before long, a full company – regular army troops, moved forward with the help of a pair of tanks. They held down the enemy long enough for the platoon to finally reach friendly positions.

Or, so Pawel thought, what was left of it, anyway. They got almost all the wounded out, though not the dead. A few among the former will likely join the latter before long. Overall, only twelve out of the thirty three that they started out with were neither temporarily or permanently hors de combat.

“So, what did you find out?” The company commander had no illusion that the force he sent out had managed to come anywhere near accomplishing its mission. Still, couldn’t hurt to ask.

“Sir, we blundered into a minefield, fought a pointless little skirmish and lost more than half the platoon.”

“That,” the captain said pensively, “is a neat summary of everything that happened in the last four weeks.”

He continued after a pause; “still, no doubt about it. Given the circumstances, you did a splendid job out there. I’ll see that you get recommended for a decoration for this. Once we have your platoon sorted out…”

“Sir, what platoon? We’re all that’s left.”

“More of your fellow students volunteer to serve the fatherland every day, Pawel. Social networking does wonders in arousing the patriotic sentiment of our youth. In a week, your command will be reconstituted. In two, they’ll be back in the line. The rebels are planning something big, all the brass know it. When that happens, we’ll be in the thick of it.”

The captain turned and left. As he did, 2nd Lieutenant Pawel Kruba contemplated his harrowing baptism of fire, and suddenly wasn’t entirely sure he wanted to be in the thick of anything ever again.

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Postby Rodarion » Mon May 04, 2015 8:16 am

May 4th, 00.03am

The previous day was relatively quiet, albeit for a botched raid by a LDV unit made up with young kids, probing attacks over the past 19 days had kept the government forces on their toes across the Rakovnik area, the violence was enough to keep their attention, but not enough to warrant a full-front resumption of fighting. But that was to change, since the start of March, the UBLF had been building up its forces, conscripting a further 10,000 men and gathering the vast array of weapons sent from Rodarion. The early hours of the 30th April, would mark the official death of the Oured Agreement and the biggest push in the UBLF's war so far.

The government's offensive to free the Raknovnik Air Force Base had produced a 10km long salient into rebel territory, 16,000 government troops were within its lines and now the salient was to be shut down and those 16,000 troops, surrounded and destroyed without mercy. If the UBLF scored a victory here, the government would suffer a traumatic blow, the morale boost would be unmatched, the sense of quality and purpose would be resounding. The UBLF and the rebel south in general craves this victory, not only as sign that they have the means to defeat the government, but to show the world that they will seek out victories and attain them, no matter the cost.

The entire operation consists of almost 25,000 fighters, plus 3,300 Orcepa sent all those months ago. But most importantly the operation now contains a more offensive element; the previous day 20 Type 66 tanks were sent from Rodarion along with 43 RM-70 MRLS and 11 T-122FG howitzers, this is on top of the 36 tanks and IFVs captured from government forces over the course of the war, also being arrayed against the government in Rakovnik. In total 38 tanks and 18 OT-64s and BMP-2s were to deployed beside the 28,300 fighters, a vast amount of resources the UBLF normally could not spare, but it was most definitely required.

"Major" Konstantyn Serafin, the overall commander of the UBLF had been stuck in his command post in Damnica since the government launched its offensive at the city months ago, yet from this position he remained full in control of the situation, he and his subordinate commanders and their Rodarian guest had saved not only Damnica, the Rakovnik operation but most importantly the city of Konin, only 12km north of his location, should they have been defeated at either Damnica or Rakovnik, Konin would have been completely cut off and surrounded and the UBLF would have lost its largest city under its control. Within the centuries old wine cellar, the UBLF commanders readied themselves for the greatest battle of the war so far, 19 days had allowed the UBLF to amass and ready themselves emotionally as well as in the materiel sense.

The room was silent, save for the tapping of keyboard keys and mouses clicking as officers maintained a vigil on the front through computers and laptops. Serafin lifted his sleeve and take a look at the time, 00.05am.

"The time has come gentlemen, give the go" he said calmly. His commanders nodded, a young woman in green fatigues lifted a secure networked phone, one of the fine gifts from their masters in Romula.

"It is a go" she uttered and placed the phone down and took her seat.

"May God bless us with a swift and sweet victory" Milosvici muttered quietly enough for the commanders to hear, the atmosphere changed from a calm apprehension to outright tense fear of failure, but the focus remained, now it was down to the fighters on the ground to focus and bring that victory home.

Stage Point 1 - 00.05am

That single word unleashed hell, across stage point 1, 20km south of Blachta, 18 RM-70 MRLS and 11 122mm howitzers began to fire on BDF and LDV positions along lines just north and south of Blachta, as the fiery streaks rushed over their heads, the 10th, 14th and 18th UBLF battalions began advancing north towards Blachta, accompanied by all 36 tanks and 18 armoured vehicles, these 2,400 fighters fresh from training outside Sobotka had never tasted battle before, yet the veterans of the war so far had proved highly valuable in training them physically and mentally.

Stage Point 2 - 00.05am

Stage Point 2 was located 8km north of Nowa Chelmza, although this force lacked armour or heavy artillery, it contained 4,000 fighters from the Damnica front, veterans of that failed government offensive, an experienced force in the viciousness of urban combat, supported by almost 80 mortars and Type 63 rocket launchers, they packed a solid punch. They too at the word 'go' began advancing south towards Nowa Chelmza, before them, low lying bursts of orange lit up their target horizon, the muffled echo of rocket and shell pounding the ground drawing them in. The subtle bird song that added beauty to the spring night ceased as the soundtrack turned into a cacophony of explosions, gun fire and screeching shells and rockets.

The vast mass of men walked slowly through fields,that once fed families and the nation, Michal Zalewski held his Type 88 rifle close to his chest as he and squad advanced through sparse woodland, their eyes transfixed on the burning horizon, there was no flares, no torchlights to alert them to what was on the ground in front of them, the aim for surprise on the ground was strong enough to let the fighters trip over branches, rocks and potholes.
Suddenly a groan, as one of his comrades fell to the floor, Zalewski lifted a clenched fist and his squad halted.

“Jakub?” he enquired as quietly as possible.

“I am fine, tripped over some fucking root, shit… ah no, my trousers have ripped at the knees, fucking joke, why can’t we have something to see where we are going?” Jakub Sochowski groaned as he lifted himself and his SS-77 general machine gun off the ground, the rest of the squad struggled to keep their laughter inside them, Jakub turning around to send out a gaze that would kill.

“Everyone watch your step, can’t lose any of you to broken bones, best your shot dead by those bastards, so your families know you died a martyr’s death” Zalewski whispered as he looked south towards the enemy lines. His radio crackled into life,

“All units this is Command 2, switch to radio silence and continue advancing. Radio silence I repeat, end of communications, over” the rusty voice commanded, that final click at the end of the message sent shivers down the spines of all them, this was it. Zalewski waved his hand southward and the squad continued to move. The effort to the Stage 2 force went for the surprise element was extensive, all pieces of metal on their webbing, clothes, boots and weapons were painted black, their helmets covered in camouflage netting, the risk of the moon or any other source of light glinting of them, was not going to be taken or tolerated.

Still they continued to advance, every step brought the sound of explosions louder and closer, the orange glow on the horizon was now directly before them, every few seconds the glow erupted in size as 122mm shells, rockets and mortar shells slammed down onto of government positions. Behind them, the thud of mortar shells lifting up into the sky echoed at a much more quieter volume, they were nearly there.

“Ready yourselves brothers, read yourselves” Zalewski whisphered as he cocked his rifle. Heavy breathing rose up as gunfire now echoed across the burning plain, Zalewski didn’t know where from, the Stage 1 force wouldn’t reach the southern lines until 00.15am, that was five minutes from now, didn’t matter any minute now they would be the victim of entrenched government weapons. The heavy breathing from his squad didn’t cease and Zalewski soon found himself breathing heavily, as if to enjoy every last gasp of life before he was snuffed out by a sniper or a machine gun. As he came to accept the prospect of his death in the name of Christ, gunfire erupted all around them, as the rest of the force launched their attack, tracers darted through and between the trees over their heads, he and his squad diving to the damp leafy ground.

“Do we advance or return fire?” one of the voices behind him bellowed.

“Advance, we’re not at the point of attack yet” Zalewski roared, waving his men forward. Picking themselves up, they continued to move forward as low as their knees would take them, the sound of war deafening to all within its grip, this was it, the battle that could turn the tables and more. The next 20 yards will feel like a life-times crawl.

Stage 1 Force – 5km south of government lines.

Grigore Istrati, arrived in Bogoria with the third Orcepa Cohort, in early March, since then he and his 1,000 strong Cohort had seen vicious fighting further east along the front, mostly repelling government and LDV attacks, his training and that of his cohort (like the rest of the 5,000 elite Orducii forces) was so invaluable, they were given no choice in spearheading the Stage 1 assault against Blachta. Stage Force 1 was the primary fist aimed at punching through government lines, taking Blachta and meeting Stage Force 2 on the A55 road that runs between Nowa Chelmza and Blactha, Stage Force 1 and 2, were the in effect the ‘lid to the bottle’, cutting off the government’s route for escape.

Walking forward with his squad, the constant barrage of shells and rockets now rumbled their chests, the enemy was nothing more than 30 yards away, Istrati lifted a clenched fist, his squad dropped to their knees, lifted their guns and awaited the signal. To their east and west, the rest of the 3rd Cohort did the same, maintain a straight line for almost 800 meters. Behind them the 2,400 UBLF fighters amassed, alongside their tanks and armoured vehicles, and at least 10 flatbed trucks with ZPU AA guns bolted onto the back. Gunfire from the north echoed down south, that was the signal.
“Ești citit martiri?!” Istrati roared as loud as he could.

“Da Tata!” his men and hundreds more around them in the woods roared back, as the last syllable left their mouths, they rushed to their feet and charged forward, firing off shots towards the outline of government lines, then hell erupted on earth. Tracers returned in their direction, dodging them as they ripped past their heads, snapping into life. Istrati lifting his Type 11 assault rifle and firing off a 40mm grenade, behind them automatic grenade launchers fired off, blasting away government positions. Istrati and his squad took cover behind tree trunks or clung to the ground for life, returning fire on those they couldn’t see, but only their muzzle flashes.

Suddenly the 125mm gun of a Type 66 tank roared as it sent an incendiary shell at a position on the government line, the entire mound of dirt and sandbags erupted into a red and orange flame, several men emerged from the maelstrom in flames, dashing left and right as they were engulfed in flame. Using the break in enemy firing, they rushed forward, a quick muzzle flash was followed by a comrade falling to the ground in a pool of blood and flesh, a shot straight through the face had taken his life in a second. Diving to the ground once more, the entire squad unleashed a fury of bullet and grenade, blasting away chunks of the government line and again the 125mm cannon sent forward another incendiary, missing the top of the line and striking a BDF jeep, which exploded into a mass of burning twisted metal. UBLF squads began moving up to add mass to the pressure on the lines, their fresh training by Orducii officers hopefully would pay off. They had to get as close to government lines as possible to avoid deadly use of artillery, unless the BDF was willing to blow its own men into a thousand pieces. Above their heads, not just at Stage Force 1 but also 2, mini-drones (most of them donated by wealthy Rodarians; bought off the internet and with a camera strapped to the bottom) flew over to keep watch of government forces and deployments. To the north of the battlefield, Zala 421-08 drones (6 to be exact) were flying northward in search of government artillery, this was aided by two Rodarian counter-battery radars dispatched in early April in preparation for this very offensive, the government would no longer have monopoly over artillery fire.

12km north of Kurtzenik

Jakub Białkowski, still lived, along with his entire squad. Despite their reservations they were becoming legends of the Rakovnik campaign, there from day one when the enclave was besieged and to this day. Despite receiving a DshK round gashing his left arm, he was alive and well and eager to continue the fight. He and his Stonewall Brigade had a key part to play in this offensive, just as they opened the first attacks, they would now launch an identical attack on the same position, this time backed up by mortars and heavy support fire from ZPU AA guns.

The Stonewall Brigade was joined by similar attacks to the west and east, in fact all across the western half of the salient, the BDF lines were about to suffer deadly concentrated attacks on points along the line, this was it, the beginning of the end for the Rakovnik Campaign, but also the end of the beginning for the entire civil war.

Jakub and the Stonewall Brigade gave out a cry and as they charged toward the burning hellstorm before them.
Last edited by Rodarion on Tue May 05, 2015 3:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori"

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Postby Virana » Mon May 11, 2015 4:08 pm

[OOC: Been planned for a very long time. Now's the time to go through. ]

Camp Halloway (Naval Support Facility Northshire)
Near Northshire, Caprica
United Republic of Emmeria

The ridges and valleys of the great Allowigans studded the landscape near the Emmerian Victorian seaboard. Spectacular scenery of rolling emerald mountains covered in a blanket of towering conifers stretched deep into the horizon, their gentle peaks reaching into the azure sky. Cascadia Mountain was one such peak, located near Northshire, a town in the heart of the western state of Caprica. Part of the westernmost ridge of the Azuran Mountains, forming a small enclave of the endless Allowigan range in the center of the west coast, the 2,000-foot-high Cascadia Mountain was known throughout the state for its breathtaking views, natural scenery, eternal historical significance, and its everlasting position within the Indigenous Emmerian mythos.

The Cascadia Mountain National Park held authority over most of the mountain, administered jointly by the National Parks Service, the Caprica State Park Agency, and a host of private companies. Visitors and tourists who came to Cascadia Mountain National Park could relax and play in the park's grassy fields at the foot of the mountains; they could read national landmark signs describing the park's rich, deep history; or they could explore its many hiking trails, climbing up the mountain to Northshire Rock at its peak to see, firsthand, the entire mountain range in front of them.

The maps of the park available at the visitor's center demarcated the boundaries of the park and of other state and national reservations in the area preserving the natural landscape of Emmeria. One section of the mountain, however, was completely unlabeled. It lied outside the boundaries of the national park itself, and was seemingly not a part of the sections of protected state and federal land. To visitors who did not live nearby and were unfamiliar with Northshire, this place was simply known as the name labeled on the national park map: "Unauthorized area". To those more familiar with the locality, who had access to more conventional maps or had seen road signs around the place, knew why the area was unauthorized for the public.

It was Camp Halloway.

Camp Halloway, officially termed "Naval Support Facility Northshire", was a section of the mountain cordoned off as a military base under the administration of the United Republic Navy (which was a misnomer in and of itself, because the area was nowhere near the ocean). Yet that official description - and inland naval base for the military - undermined its actual usage. There were no military vehicles, no (visible) missile platforms, and no apparent security - although in reality, tight security measures and constant video surveillance of the surrounding area were present.

A number of vehicles rolled up the winding streets through the mountains. At the front, two Brandt Outlaw police cars led the way, their sirens blaring and sinusoidally echoing off the mountainous terrain as the setting sun illuminated the reflective writing on their side: "U.R. MARSHALS". They were followed by several black Delacroix Detox full-size SUVs, also with their sirens on. Sandwiched between several of these SUVs were two elongated black sedans: limousines brandishing the Imperial luxury car brand logo. Each of the two had a flag on either side of their engine hood: an Emmerian flag on the right, and a blue flag bearing a seal with a golden eagle on the left.

One of these limousines held the President of the United Republic, Alex Vaziri.

A man in his early 50s from the suburbs of Alana, Antea, President Vaziri had a relatively short but successful career in Emmerian politics. Breaking onto the scene at the helm of a small-town law firm he'd started with the knowledge he'd gained at some of the premier colleges in the nation, Vaziri would eventually serve as the delegate from his home in Jamestown, Frentia. It was several years later that he ran for governor of the southwestern Emmerian state. A turbulent two terms as governor followed, in which Vaziri, a self-styled states' rights libertarian and dedicated moderate in the conservative Federalist Party, masterminded a free-market centric healthcare plan for his state and saved it millions through a number of programs and public-private partnerships. He was the dream politician of the modern Federalist Party: dedicated to conservative ideals, committed to small government, and deeply in favor of economic and social anti-statism. After years of underground political deals and what could best be considered borderline scandals - all of which occurred behind the scenes of Emmeria's complex political system - Vaziri became a firebrand critic of the National Democratic presidential administration of Luis Castilla. He ran a successful presidential campaign for the 2013 presidential elections at the conclusion of his second term as Frentia governor, stepping into the limelight as an outspoken delegate-turned-governor-turned-leader of the free world.

Today he was headed to Camp Halloway, which, despite its Defense Department operation, was a thoroughly demilitarized place. It was a presidential retreat, built in 1942 as a scenic retreat for members of the federal government. About 50 miles southeast of Oured, it was where the president, his family, his friends, and his colleagues would go to enjoy natural beauty and conduct executive affairs outside the turbulent political house of cards that comprised everything in the country's capital.

Once he reached the retreat, he was driven to the Mullen Lodge, a lodging area a quarter mile from the entrance. The Mullen Lodge, located in the midst of a scenic portion of Cascadia Mountain, housed a spacious kitchen and dining area, a presidential office, and three conference rooms that were home to some of the most significant international summits in history. Many a U.R. president had hosted world leaders at Camp Halloway. These meetings often shifted between the formal conference rooms, vast dining area, and the panoramic patio outside.

Today, Vaziri was headed straight into the lodge's primary conference room. U.R. Marshals, who were charged with presidential protection duties, led the way as he entered the room. To his expectation, the room was filled with people: Vaziri's presidential advisors, security officials, and a few select members of congress. They sat in black and blue seats around an expansive, elongated mahogany table. At the far end of the room, along the traditionally designed wall decor were seven flags: a U.R. flag and a flag for each of the nation's uniformed services.

As the president walked into the room, everyone stopped talking. They looked towards the president with faces of expectation and respect. Vaziri nodded to them uncomfortably, adjusting the blue windbreaker he wore over a black sweater and dress shirt. Compared to several of the people surrounding him, Vaziri was spectacularly underdressed - but, with this being a presidential retreat, he was hardly out of line.

Taking his seat at the far end of the table, the president rumbled, "Shall we begin?"

The discussion began on the topic of Bogoria, as it had for several strenuous months. The central-Lusankya nation was situated in an uncomfortable position between Iron Vale, Anthor, and Rodarion. Iron Vale was a free-market state that had arisen after the dissolution of the Western Confederal States; Anthor, a massive, religiously-observant empire. The worst, Rodarion, was the home of global Catholicism - and also a bellicose, highly-territorial regional power.

In the 1930s, Bogoria had gone communist. Its neighbors, all harshly anticommunist, did not take the revolution lightly. The result was a 15-year war where the United Republic of Emmeria and Papal Republic of Rodarion fought alongside each other, in vain, to overthrow the communist government. This was one of the earliest flashpoints of the world's Cold War. The result was decades of harsh and endless sanctions. After the collapse of the Koskazgan Cooperative in 2001 and end of the Cold War, Lusankya shifted dramatically geopolitically. Bogoria turned rapidly capitalist, earning the trust of Free Pardes nations like the United Republic (which had largely joined the collective security alliance CDI). The CDI began to use Bogoria as a pawn, strategically located against Rodarion, a brutal theocracy whose alliance with Free Pardes had quickly deteriorated as their mutual enemy, global communism, collapsed. In 2014, the Bogorian Civil War had erupted: Rodarion-backed rebels in the south fighting against CDI-backed government forces centered in the north. The ongoing war headlined world news because it manifested a proxy of the geopolitical relationship between two of the world's premier powers: Rodarion and Emmeria.

For weeks, President Vaziri had been faced with a choice: to consolidate his forces and watch the south, or to directly intervene.The middle-eastern nation of Ankara had already taken over Eagleland's New Pontus territory with force - striking at CDI morale - and Eaglelander forces there surrendered quickly after days of bombardment led to millions of civilian casualties. Vaziri had avoided military action, and for weeks he had regretted it. A congressional committee's report even contextualized his lack of action by explaining how he could've acted, and how he should've. The scandal was not politically friendly to the U.R. president.

Not all of his advisors agreed.

One of them, firebrand critic and Deputy Secretary of Defense John Lyall, railed Vaziri. "Mr. President, we have no other option at this point. The militants completely ignored the cease fire they signed, and they're getting stronger every day. Rodarion keeps sending more and more support to the militants. Hell, we even have intelligence that Rodarian tanks might be flooding over the border. Our ELINT and SATINT and recon and stuff is all consistent: the Rodarians are militarily supporting the insurgency, and the Rodarian government has denied it all," he raged. "If we intervene militarily, openly, they'll have to either admit involvement or watch their troops die. For them, it'd be a lose-lose. And the good guys, the Bogorian government, they would win." John Lyall was an interesting character. An angry-looking 60-year-old political veteran and the most hawkish supporter of an aggressive Bogoria policy, Lyall was determined to influence the president's decision. His opinions were largely respected amongst the political community because of his sheer experience. Lyall had served for a time as the head of the Pardesi World Bank in Chaleur, he'd been the Undersecretary of Defense for Policy under President Castilla, and he had held several prominent government positions in the past. During this time, he was also a senior scholar at the Foundation for Emmerian Security, the nation's leading neoconservative think tank. He was a firm believer in neoconservatism, especially a brand of the ideology highlighted by the belief that it was the duty of Emmeria to pursue liberal policies and objectives in other nations to serve as the global voice for democracy.

"Their involvement is exactly why we cannot jump in militarily," Secretary of State Grant Meradala shot back. "Do you not understand that you're asking us to drop bombs on the Rodarian military? Do you want to start a war against Rodarion?" His face looked appalled as he took a sip of water. "I don't think you get that you're begging to start a nuclear holocaust between the two leading world powers, John. Who cares if they have to admit involvement in Bogoria? I don't think the related public backlash going to matter when both countries are going up in flames with nukes flying all around the place, all for a shit-stained banana republic in the middle of Lusankya." A vein seemed to pop from Meradala's temple as he spoke. As the head of U.R. foreign policy, Meradala had significant sway in the president's decision-making process. He was far more conservative when it came to use of force; a stubborn realist who preferred to be sure his side was dominant before acting. A seasoned politician, senator, and retired military captain, Meradala found himself always at odds with Lyall. Their opposition to one another's opinions was an ongoing debate between the two that stretched back almost three decades.

Lyall looked visibly disappointed at Meradala's response. "Look, Grant, you have to understand that it is our duty to act here," he said. "Rodarion is involved. No nation in the world, outside of our borders, can stand up to them. They are sending military equipment to overthrow the Bogorian government. I have proof, right here," he said, pointing at a folder of papers on the table in front of him. The cover of the folder read 'CLASSIFIED' in plain lettering. "We let them march through Bogoria today, and tomorrow they'll be marching into Iron Vale and Ebonaria and who knows where else."

"Okay, that's a damn slippery slope, John," Meradala retorted, pointing accusingly at Lyall. "What we need is be more careful and realize what's at stake here. The future of this entire damn planet. We launch an attack like that now and we could be destabilizing the whole world. There's a billion people in Rodarion, literally, that would get up and club the closest Emmerian they can find. We could be starting another cold war--"

Lyall cut him off. "And that's not a slippery slope?!" Lyall seemed visibly furious. "What's our other option, let the apeshit crazies in Romula steal the world show?"

"No, that's not what I--"

"Look Grant, we aren't going to be attacking Rodarians," Lyall continued, ignoring Meradala's attempts to speak. "I'm saying we start attacking the militants because the legitimate, sovereign, internationally recognized government and the representative of the Bogorian people is on its knees begging us to. We hit them, the, uhm, rebels, under the banner of enforcing the cease fire they've broken, what can Rodarion do? They know they don't want to go up against us. They can't survive that war, and they know that."

"You don't know that, John," Meradala responded.

"Really? The best they could do is watch us take down the rebels they've propped up, piece by fucking piece. Hell, we could even ask the international community for peacekeepers or humanitarians. Start conducting humanitarian assistance with real international oversight." Lyall slammed the table with his fist, seeming excited, as if his entire vision for a policy surrounding Bogoria was coming to life. "Paint the phony Rodarian military supplies they call humanitarian operations as the fakers they are. Show the world that we are the good guys. Only the brown-nosers in fucking Estovakiva wouldn't jump to our side."

Meradala dropped his mouth, laughing insultingly. "Do you realize we aren't the superpower we were in 1990? We can't appeal to the 'international community' and expect to get the level of support we used to. That Ankara resolution, that was pure luck. And even then we struggled in the final days of the vote to lobby for to get passed, even though everything about it was common sense. If we proposed that in 1990, the only damn country not voting in favor would be Ankara itself. We should always seek to build a coalition and work with the international community, but they're no longer that always-supportive bunch they used to be."

"Oh, really? Then tell me this. I've got written telegrams, and I'm sure you have copies on you too, from all of our allies voicing their support." Lyall opened his folder and pulled out a stack of papers, laying them down one-by-one. "Look. Arthuristan Foreign Office." He pulled out another document. "Belhavian Foreign Ministry." Out came two more. "Eagleland Ambassador. Kalenian President. And there's more where those came from."

"And how many of those can we trust to be fully committed?" Meradala retorted. "A lot easier to say you're going to war against a billion people than to commit to it. I'm not saying we wouldn't get CDI support; of course we would, John. But look at how many third parties here would dissent. We can't afford that. If we could still manage to set up a dogpile of CDI and the rest of the world, this would be great." Meradala noticed Lyall was shaking his head vigorously in disagreement, but he still continued. "But that's no longer the case. The best we can muster are countries that would support us anyway. We'd be forming a new bloc that would become part of a new cold war. That's not what we want."

Lyal angrily threw his folder down onto the table. "Oh come on Grant, stop going back to that 'new Cold War' argument. Our goals always going to be to prevent another one from happening. All of CDI has our back here, perfect with the president's whole thing for coalition building." Lyall pointed at Meradala aggressively. "You know that if we work hard enough we could even get support out of Hudson and the rest of OSEN - God knows they haven't exactly been buddy-buddy with the RCO lately. If we set up airstrikes and have a concurrent, internationally supported humanitarian mission led by the somebody else - Prestonians, for instance - and let anybody else participate in that, we're on the moral high gr--no, we're on the moral Mt. Zampanelli. If the Rodarians said anything negative back, they'd lose everything. And I know you've thought about this too, Grant. For Christ's sakes, you're the Secretary of State, what would you even say we do?"

"What we need to do is hang back, continue to show the world that Rodarion is breaking international laws here. Show everybody what they're doing wrong so we can actually facilitate building a coalition to put pressure on them. It's too soon to launch strikes, but it isn't too soon to start a smear campaign to get them to back off."

"But Rodarian forces could be pouring over the border any minute. They don't care what the world thinks. And once they do, it's all over."

"Even the Rodarians aren't that stupid, John."

"Gentlemen, enough," President Vaziri broke in. "Thank you for your opinions. But... I've decided what I'm going to do. Grant, call our allies. I'll tell them personally. And Zain," he continued, referring to the Secretary of Defense, Zain Arian. "Call the Joint Chiefs. I want to speak with them as well."

* * *

It had been just an hour after the conference concluded at Camp Halloway. The sun had set by this point over the Emmerian west coast. Vaziri was looking out the window of his helicopter. The dark ground below was studded with characteristic nighttime lights, most of which were focused around city centers and dissipated as they got farther away. It was a beautiful sight, Vaziri thought.

He wondered if he'd made the right choice. The president had always been a leader, and he valued the advice of his colleagues more than anything. But he felt like he was a puppet, and his advisors were simply fighting a tug-of-war for his brain. As he looked down upon the illustrious cities of western Emmeria, he truly wondered. Had he made the right choice? Or was he merely jeopardizing the lives of the millions of people who lived below?

At that moment, the pilot announced they were about to enter a descent. Slowly, the helicopter came closer and closer to the lights below, until it came to a controlled landing in the South Lawn of the Presidential Residence.

The UPN news anchor stared into the camera. The white banner graphic in front of her read, in large, bold letters: "BREAKING: VAZIRI GREEN LIGHTS STRIKES".

"We're being told by our correspondents in the Presidential Residence that President Vaziri has authorized the United Republic military to conduct strikes in Bogoria," she announced. "As we await the president to give the official address to Congress regarding his executive order, let's talk with UPN foreign policy analyst and former U.R. diplomat Leala Vallee in San Loma," the anchor said, and her image moved to cover only half the screen. On the other half, a young looking brunette in her 30s appeared. "Leala, you've been following this crisis throughout its entirety. What do you have to say on these strikes and what they may entail, what with the ceasefire being signed just days ago in Oured?"

There was a characteristic pause on the screen as the video feed Vallee received was delayed. A couple seconds later, she began to speak. "Yes, thank you Clara. As far as I know, the president hasn't released the exact details of the strikes, all we've gotten is a short press release that the President is going to speak shortly regarding his authorization. But from conjecture I would assume it will involve some sort of cause in order to support the cease fire agreement. It's entirely possible the president may throw it out the window since it's been broken blatantly already, but it's also possible he may choose to conduct the strikes to enforce the ceasefire."

"Thank you Leala," the anchor said as Vallee's image disappeared from the screen. "Now we're going to switch over to the Presidential Residence Press Room; we have word the president is prepared to give a statement."

The camera switched to a deep, mahogany podium with the presidential seal. Behind the podium was an elaborate, ornately decorated hallway, lined by gold-trimmed Emmerian flags.

A man appeared from the doorway at the end of the hall. He was dressed in a deep black designer suit, likely custom made by some of the world's greatest professional tailors. On the right side of his chest was a small glint; as he approached the camera, it was clear it came from a lapel pin of a waving Emmerian flag with a golden outline. He smiled as he walked towards the podium, giving the occasional personal wave to the short, light applause from behind the camera.

But as soon as he reached the podium, his characteristic easygoing expression vanished. The smile was wiped away. They were replaced by a serious, no-nonsense expression. The clapping stopped; everyone knew that the president was prepared to speak.

"Good evening. Tonight, as many of you know, I have signed an order authorizing the United Republic military to conduct strikes on militants in Bogoria. These strikes are being launched to support the Oured ceasefire agreement, signed on behalf of the militants by Rodarion. The militants in question have blatantly ignored the terms of the ceasefire. They are responsible for unspeakable atrocities towards the Bogorian people. They commit crimes against human dignity. They actively and deliberately prolong a war that has cost the lives of thousands of innocent people.

"The Oured ceasefire agreement calls upon signatory parties to reign in active combat forces. Naturally, it is the duty of the Rodarian government in these circumstances to reign in the Bogorian militants. They have failed in this endeavor, so it is our responsibility, as the torchbearers of the rule of law, to enforce the terms of this ceasefire.

"Our strikes are designed to degrade and destroy the militants' capacity for offensive operations, so that they may return to the negotiating table under the terms specified in the ceasefire. I would like to specify that we are not aiming to destroy the rebel movement altogether by dropping bombs and launching missiles. You do not defeat an insurgency by winning battles. You defeat an insurgency by winning hearts and minds. And we will continue to support our ally in the Bogorian government in their efforts to captivate the hearts and minds of the Bogorian people.

"Instead of supporting these endeavors, the militants have committed to the destruction of the Bogorian government. We want a representative, inclusive Bogoria. They want a Bogoria perennially split on ethno-cultural lines. They want to continue to undermine the innocence of civilians near combat zones. They want to destroy Bogoria for half of the Bogorian people.

"It is our view that Bogorian peace cannot be realized without diplomatic negotiation. And diplomatic negotiation cannot be achieved when servicemen and women are being fired upon by their countrymen. And this can only end when there is an effective, well-enforced ceasefire in place. The militants have shown that they deliberately do not care for the ceasefire signed on their behalf. And so, we are enforcing the ceasefire.

"Our operations will be significantly limited in time and scope. We will avoid civilian casualties at all costs. We will target anything we feel may be detrimental to the enforcement of the Oured ceasefire signed this past Sunday. Once we assess the situation and conclude that the Bogorian rebels are no longer able to violate the terms of the ceasefire treaty, only then will we cease our operations.

"This is an international mission, and we have the support of our dearest allies. We will open up humanitarian corridors from northern Bogoria and call for an independent, international oversight body to ensure that weapons of war are not being sent to fuel the battlefield under the banner of humanitarian aid. We will protect and defend international humanitarian forces so that they may distribute aid and provide much-needed relief to the Bogorian people. We will do everything necessary to protect the livelihood of the Bogorian people as best we can, so that they may endure through this dark period in their great nation's history.

"I appeal to Congress to issue a bill authorizing the use of force in Bogoria, so that the United Republic military has a more flexible timeframe to conduct these operations. And I appeal to the international community to support the Bogorian people by providing humanitarian assistance and aid. May the whole world come together in these terrible times to defend the Bogorian people. To defend democracy and God-given right to self-governance. To defend the spirit of humanity.

"Thank you, ladies and gentlemen."

[OOC: I'll get a news post up soon. ]
Last edited by Virana on Mon May 11, 2015 9:01 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Postby Rodarion » Tue May 12, 2015 8:40 pm

Romula, Papal Republic of Rodarion
Consul’s Office, Senate Building

Octavian Ceausescu took a quick sip of his tea as he overlooked proposals for changes to constituency boundaries, it was monotonous, but the changes were to be done in such a way that they would reflect demographic changes benefiting the National Catholic Party, his party, the party that has ruled Rodarion for 60 years, despite the 8 year blip from 1997-2005, but that doesn’t count. Last November he got his landslide victory, he got his seal of approval from the people to pursue the destiny he and his fellow National Catholics believed to be ordained by god, returning the Papal Republic as a major world power, a hegemon of southern Lusankya and Bogoria was the first step in that direction.

As he lifted the page on seat projections for the new changes in Voluntari, he noticed in the corner of his eye, President Alex Vaziri appear on his television over the fireplace in his 16th century old office. He grabbed the remote next to the overflowing ashtray and turned up the volume, his English was fluent enough to enable him to have United Press News on his tv during the day, why he had it on that day was a mystery, for what he was about to hear, he would most likely wish he had Vatican TV on instead.

"Good evening. Tonight, as many of you know, I have signed an order authorizing the United Republic military to conduct strikes on militants in Bogoria. These strikes are being launched to support the Oured ceasefire agreement, signed on behalf of the militants by Rodarion. The militants in question have blatantly ignored the terms of the ceasefire. They are responsible for unspeakable atrocities towards the Bogorian people. They commit crimes against human dignity. They actively and deliberately prolong a war that has cost the lives of thousands of innocent people….” Vaziri’s voice bellowed from the TV
Ceausescu’s mind went blank, his mouth dropped, it was if he entered a trance of which only a nuclear bomb exploding on top of him could bring him back to reality. His heart sunk to a place he could not fathom, his hands began to shake, his eyes transfixed on Vaziri’s face, as soon as he entered the realm of bewilderment, he re-emerged.

"I appeal to Congress to issue a bill authorizing the use of force in Bogoria, so that the United Republic military has a more flexible timeframe to conduct these operations. And I appeal to the international community to support the Bogorian people by providing humanitarian assistance and aid. May the whole world come together in these terrible times to defend the Bogorian people. To defend democracy and God-given right to self-governance. To defend the spirit of humanity” Vaziri concluded.

Ceausescu slowly rose from his chair, staring at the flashes of cameras as Vaziri left his podium, his shock was quickly being replaced with fury, he could feel its burning heat rising from his stomach, through his chest and into his head. He clenched his left fist, tightened his jaw and without a second’s thought, launched his china cup full of hot tea at the wall to his right. The muttering of Emmerian accents replaced with the crash of the cup against the glass framed picture of Mihail Sollomvici’s Holy Trinity, the 1584 dated painting, gifted to the Office of the Consul by Pope Julius II in 1917, a priceless treasure of Rodarion’s equally coveted cultural heritage. He looked to survey the damage, the glass had shattered and the kind yet saddened face of Christ dripped with tea, a tear across his left eye was easily visible, Ceausescu didn’t feel guilt or remorse for damaging this sacred relic of Rodarian renaissance beauty, instead it only fuelled the fury.

“Că dracu grăsime!” Ceauescu roared at the top of his voice, his young secretary rushed into the room to investigate, the television in the waiting room didn’t deny her much other reason to suspect his outburst. She turned to the painting, her mouthed dropped and a small yelp came out as she began picking up the china and glass.

“Don’t piss around with that, get me the Security Council now” he bellowed at her, raising his arms at her, as quickly as she came in, she rushed out once again, picking up her phone to begin collecting the members of the State Security Council. Ceausescu took several deep breaths, standing perfectly still in what was quickly becoming a major shitstorm around him. After eight deep breathes he returned to his desk and picked up the cream coloured phone, lifting the reciever he got through within a second.

“How may we help you Consul?” the male monotone voice enquired.

“Direct call to his Holiness please” Ceausescu responded flipantly. He picked up a cigarette, lit it and took the deepest and longest drag of his life so far, breathing out the smoke slowly, as the ring tone hummed, he watched the cloud of smoke rise up towards the cieling.

“Octavian?” Pope Constantine’s rusty voice enquired.

“Your Holiness, have you been watching the news?” Ceausescu replied, flicking ash into the ashtray.

“Only PRRB, why?” the Pope sounded concerned, he knew Ceausescu a long time as Dean of the College of Cardinals, he knew when something awry was going on.

“President Vaziri has ordered air strikes agains the UBLF and is requesting international support” Ceausescu struggled to explain the situation in detail, his mind had not even computed the details, he didn’t want to.

“Ah I see, well that certainly changes things” the Pope uttered as he slowly sat down on his terrace wicker chair overlooking Saint Peter’s Square, the birds were singing all around him, he could smell the stench of flowery life from the Vatican gardens, the square was relatively empty, save for a few groupings of tourists and pilgrims from across the country, this was his view of life, this was his life.

“I have called for the State Security Council to meet, will you attend or?” Ceausescu asked, his voice sounding more stable, this was the Consul the Pontiff trusted and loved as a parishoner and as a near son.

“I have a public event tomorrow in Bacau, my flight leaves in an hour and I will need sleep, my weary old bones need rest and I cannot postpone or cancel it, people will know something is horrible wrong and we need to appear uninterested, we cannot let those arrogant bastards in Oured think they’ve got us scared” the Pope replied, taking off the red shoes of the Papacy he had been wearing all day long, he took a deep sigh and stretched his back, looking up the sweet purple of a fine dusk sky.

“Of course your Holiness, though I must ask whether I have your full authority to organise a response in a manner the SSC finds suitable?” Ceausescu asked, hoping for a yes answer, not only would it be more effecient it would also save the Holy Father from inevitable hatred from Emmeria and its lackies across the globe.

“Of course Octavian, though we must show restraint, we cannot rush into this like hotheaded bulls, we cannot risk international isolation” the Pope replied, leaning back forward, he began to wonder how many other Popes who had lived in this very apartment, took the same decisions, suffered the same pressure, assumed the same responsibility, recognsied the prospect of becoming a War Pope.

“Thank you Father, you should get some sleep, leave this to us” Ceausecu said softly, the Pontiff replied with a hum and ended the call, the Pope placed his head in his hands and began to pray, a prayer for mercy and guidance.

Ceausescu placed the recieve back down onto the base, his room returned to silence, he took another drag and looked out of the window of his office, just across the courtyard over the red tiled roof, he could see the dome of Saint Peter’s Basilica, he knew what had to be done. As his mind snapped back into the state that had led him from the near heights of power in the 1990s, through 8 years of wilderness in opposition, return to goverment under his predecessor Ion Iliescu and his eventual rise to leader of the NCP and Consul, he could envisage the Papal Republic’s response.

Ceausescu was not a normal member of the NCP, he had a sense of pragmatism about him, he could unite the factions of the NCP in a way no other predecessor could, but his greatest strength was his vocal ability to convey his nationalist ideals and dreams of the country, these weren’t the dreams of a lunatic or an airhead, but dreams everyone could relate to, a dream that encompasses all and benefits all, he was and remains the most popular Consul since Adrian Antonescu who led the first NCP government and paved the way for Rodarion’s development into the co-premier power of the world.
His secretary returned, carrying numerous files from the Consul’s personal array of boxes containing data, images and ISI collected intelligence relevant to Rodarion’s policy towards Bogoria. Ceausescu took the files off the young woman’s arms, smiling as he did so, that was his apology for shouting at her and accepted it with another smile.

“They’re being collected, the room is ready sir” the sweet natured yet ruthlessly effecient secretary shouted from her desk, shutting off the office’s phone, the media were going mad and wanted answers.

Ceausescu nodded as he left the office, turning left down a well lit marble corridor, every 50 meters on each side of the corridor stood two Seraphim Guardsmen, more gifts from the Vatican, as he passed them they snapped to attention, their boots echoing down the hall as their heels smacked the white tiled floor. As he turned right at the domed centre of the Government Quater of the Senate complex, he was suddenly flanked by two security advisors, they said nothing to each other or the Consul, nor he to them, this was too serious to start procasternating in the middle of the corridor.

The Senate building was built during the 17th century, a fine baroque structure, its main doorway flanked by statues of Saint Peter and Paul, it was 500
meters east of the Vatican, the heart of the Papal Republic, it was an imposing building in its own right, but not enough to out shine the centre of the Catholic universe. Within the chamber itself, key members of the State Security Council sat motionless as an obscure Green Party backbencher berated the NCP’s policy towards water waste being dumped into the Draganesti Sea, usually the Consul would be present, but with the constituency boundary changes, Proconsul Alexandrescu took the show.

As he stood to retort the nonsense of this egotistical tree hugger, a young aide walked down the aisles of the NCP’s allocated seats and rushed up to the central terrace, whispering into the Proconsul’s ear, the rest of the chamber began muttering about this unsual interruption. The Pretor of the Senate (Speaker of the House essentially), Chivu Stoica appeared rattled.

“Proconsul Alexandrescu, will you retort to the honourable man’s question?” he barked from his “throne” behind the Proconsul, turning to face him.

“If you would forgive me Pretor, I and senior members of the Cabinet have been requested for an urgent meeting, please excuse us” he retorted as he waved the senior cabinet members up, they all knew who was to go.

“Very well, I excuse you” the Pretor replied, not pleased that his session had been so abruptly ended. Within seconds Senators across the chamber began checking their phones, news had reached the PRR’s political elite, the muttering turned to shouting as the senior cabinet rushed out of the chamber.

State Security Council Room, Ministry of Defence and Homeland Security

The Ministry of Defence and Homeland Security was moved from a delapedated former Guild Hall to a former covenant building several hundred meters away from the Vatican in 1988, mostly to avoid having to refurbish the crumbling renaissance structure, but also to centralise the location of government ministries and offices, luckily there was an underground tunnel connecting the Senate building to all the government ministries, these tunnels were not dingy or ugly, rather they had mood lighting and replica frescoes from the Vatican, the best of the best interior design for the best of the political machine in Rodarion.

The SSC room was not just an ordinary conference room, it was the most unique looking place possible, the renaissance walls were covered in television screens, showing live news, satellite images, maps, documents and drone footage from Bogoria, the seating area was surrounded by soundproof glass and within its confines a lengthy black tinted glass table, flanking it were computers staffed by Papal Defence Corps intelligence officers, with direct contact to UBLF commanders, usually they would be turned off, but Bogoria was important, on the cieling about the table, was a Sollomvici painting, showing the Battle of Targu Bajor, one of the greatest victories in Papal history.

Ceausescu was already seated at the head of the table as the senior cabinet and the Proconsul arrived, he was swiping through preliminary reports of air strikes on UBLF positions around Rakovnik, just as its offensive had begun, to his left sat Field Marshal Ionatan Codreanu (Minister of Defence and head of the Papal Army) next to Codreanu sat General Atticus Flaveresu (Head of the Papal Defence Corps), the heads of the Papal Air Force and the Papal Navy were yet to arrive, just steps behind the cabinet was Sandor Radek (General Superior of the ISI), George-Viorel Voinescu (General Superior of the Office of the Holy Inquisition), Cardinal Remus Draganescu (Cardinal Secretary of State) and Cardinal Emilian Radulescu (General Superior of the Orducii), almost a complete full house in a single drove, almost.

All took their seats as they entered the sound proof cube of glass, no one said anything, they waited until all were present and accounted for. Several agonising minutes passed before Admiral Vladu Corlățean (head of the Papal Navy) and Major General Fănică Cârnu (head of the Papal Air Force) rushed to their seats, visibly sweating from the run from the lobby up to this dungeon of tension.

Once the group had settled they turned their gaze towards Ceausescu, he looked up to find their furious eyes staring him down.

“What has happened, is clearly a serious threat to not only our national security but our necessary actions to secure our nation’s rejuvenation, no one saw this coming, but we suspected, but did not see it coming today” Ceausescu attempted to beat down the sense of self guilt as well as for the others.
“We must take action now, show those arrogant asses that we are not weak, we are not the Rodarion of 1905 or 1955” General Flavarescu roared, lifting up his glass of water with a heavy grip.

“How do you suppose we act General?” Foreign Minister Mircea Basescu retorted with a stare that would turn the sun cold.

“We deploy what forces we have so far across the border and secure key rebel positions along the frontline, wipe out government forces in Rakovnik to secure that salient, then beef up the front, show them that we intend to protect the rebels from their cowardly airstrikes” the General replied, shooting off his own stare of death.

“This is the sort of attitude that will seriously jeopardise our economic development, we have spent over 40 years and ceaseless energy getting to where we are today, are we really going to risk it all, over some shithole where only half the country sees us positively?” Marian Dumitrescu (Finance Minister) shot up, tapping his pen on his brief of the situation. Dumitrescu had been Finance Minister since 2010 and was one of Ceausescu’s closest political allies, he valued the military, as much as they valued him; after all, he always agreed to increase their budgets. Despite that, he was no push over.

“Listen, I know Bogoria is of vital interest to our country, but so is continued economic growth, imagine the pain and the fury on the streets if our economic power was wiped out by this action, we and I mean all of us would be gone, finished…” he took a deep breath, the SSC was silent, they knew what he meant, but no one was willing to dismiss out of hand.

“Your position is valid Marian, but we seriously cannot take no action at all over concerns for the economy, we will be humiliated by Vaziri and such a situation will not only destroy our interests in Bogoria, but give madmen like Auriol in Paris a window for opportunity to take against Saint Viktor and I will not, as the head of the Papal Army see such an eventuality. I agree, we must take action” Field Marshal Codreanu spoke up, taking off his glasses in a sign of authority.

“What action are we talking about exactly?” Ceausescu enquired shaking his joined hands, he unlike any other NCP Consul had complete authority over the military, though both he and they answered to the Pope of course. They respected him, they treasured him as a man who shared their nationalistic world view of Rodarion’s future.

“Intervention now would only send us into international isolation and that will empower Vaziri’s hand” Basescu replied, flicking through the brief.

“Well, I propose that we let them bomb the UBLF..” before Codreanu could finish, he noticed the sharp glares from the others, this was rather callous.

“Let them bomb the UBLF? You cannot be serious? We must act now, we cross that river into Bogoria, with 40,000 men and the necessary assets we could be in Utena within a week, we could end this shitty charade once and for all, not only that, we will show the world that the Papal Republic is capable and willing to exercise its power, Vaziri will back down and cower over his lost backbone and we will regain Bogoria as the lost territory of the Rodarian nation that it is, how can you propose such a thing Ionatan, when we have an opportunity to show our true strength” Flavarescu roared, rising up from his seat, Codreanu looked away, Cardinal Radulescu raised an eyebrow as he shot a gaze at his fellow Cardinal.

“All due respect General, your energy and spirit is what keeps you in his Holiness’ high regard, but please, you must respect that such an action at this early juncture would only lead to isolation and that as Minister Basescu said would empower Vaziri and his lackeys, I could easily imagine, Vaziri using such isolation to take the advantage through the OPA, we would become a pariah, I will not back such an action nor will his Holiness or the Sacred College” Cardinal Draganescu finally spoke, he was in effect the unofficial Foreign Minister, he was afterall the foreign minister of the Romulan Catholic Church, but he also held great sway over domestic politics, he was the Pope’s eyes and ears in the elected half of the Rodarian state. The Cardinals statement swayed Flavarescu, not to back down from his militarist position, but at least to sit back down on his chair.

“In reality it does not matter, when we intervene, the truth is, is that we must intervene at some point. If we do not, air strikes will most likely be followed by ground units, or at least a seriously emboldened and empowered Bogorian government, the UBLF will be defeated as a result. No one, around this table wants to see the UBLF wiped out, we all agreed when this began in November that this was our path towards reuniting Bogoria with the Papal Republic and that we will pursue that goal regardless. But perhaps Marshal Codreanu has a point, if we let the Emmerians bomb the UBLF, the government will counter-attack, they will take Librantowa and Konin and is that not, is that not the red line we set ourselves for intervention?” Admiral Corlățean arose from the brief, so far he seemed to be the only person who read it thoroughly, yet his words sparked thinking and accommodation.

“Go on Admiral” Ceausescu prompted the Papal Navy head to continue.

“In the event of those two cities falling to the fascists in Utena, we could easily claim a righteous war, which is within Catholic thinking, we accumulate a larger force, we intervene, the BDF and all of its fascist militias can do nothing to stop us, we rebuild the UBLF, resupply them and together we end this war once and for all, would Vaziri dare bomb a Rodarian tank column? I seriously doubt that. Would Leanne Whittaker send all of her boys across the world to a different continent I do not think so. We are far superior in weapons and numbers that the BDF would only last a matter of days against a major combined Papal Army and PDC force, I would suspect gentlemen that around 80,000 men and their required assets would do the trick, we can launch Operation Penitent Warrior at this point, I suspect air strikes would have ended then” the admiral continued.

Ceausescu nodded, the others showed their own signs of agreement. Ceausescu saw a subtle nod from both Cardinal Radulescu and Draganescu.

“Are we in agreement with Admiral Corlățean’s proposal for waiting until the air strikes cease to make our move?” Ceausescu enquired, 13 of the 14 man group raised their hands, Ceausescu himself raised his hand, it was unanimous.

“Very well, the military heads will begin preparing for this eventuality, in the meantime what should our response be; suggestions” Ceausescu sounded more confident, this was it, this was the decision that would alter Lusankya in several weeks’ time.

“We denounce the air strikes as strong as possible, diplomatically of course, I would recommend that we attempt to limit the amount of support for the strikes internationally, though I doubt we will see much luck with certain CDI lackeys of Oured, Goldman’s goodwill usually runs dry when Vaziri commits to something, as we all know. We must use the Plowy Missile Attack against Oured, claim that they’re defending a government responsible for a war crime and the murder of Rodarian nationals and so on, though we should make provisions for protecting the border crossings, especially for refugees” Basescu entered his element.

“I agree, we should send the UBLF some form of defence, a maximum of 2 or 3 HQ-17 surface-to-air missile system, to at least bite into the Emmerians, we will deploy higher grade air defences along the border with Bogoria, to ensure our security and that of the border, but we shouldn’t risk escalating the situation prematurely before our preparations for intervention are met” Marshal Codreanu gained the backing of the group.

“Very well, that will be our course of action, I will also request to you Cardinal Radulescu, that you send a further 3,200 Orducii fighters to the south to supplant inevitable losses of fighters, we can resupply them with equipment when we see fit, but we must make sure that they know we have not abandoned them, in the meantime, we have a serious diplomatic battle to wage against Vaziri, we will meet again on Friday and further outline our intended actions. Marian we will discuss your concerns in depth tomorrow and Mircea fight back now. Thank you gentlemen and may God bless us with righteous might and swift success” Ceausescu smiled for the first time since news broke, perhaps Vaziri will regret his actions in weeks to come for the rest of his life.
"Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori"

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Founded: Nov 19, 2014

Postby Bogoria1 » Wed May 13, 2015 6:12 am

12th May 2015

The sun was just beginning to rise over Utena, casting a golden glow over the capital city with its curious mix of medieval, early-modern and brutalist concrete communist architecture. There was, however, no crowd in the street, nor any street lights, for that matter – wartime curfew was still in effect. So it was that the limousine of Sir Thomas Dugdale, knight of the Commonwealth, ambassador to Bogoria and, for all intents and purposes, the CDI’s main liaison with the Bogorian government, passed through streets which were empty and deathly-silent to the residence of president Kirkilas, there to console, consult and reach a decision as to how to proceed as the country was once again plunged into all out war.

The atmosphere in the briefing room was despondent. The president’s staff – it couldn’t really be called a ‘cabinet’, given that Kirkilas was ruling by decree under a state of emergency – were morose to a man. Nobody had high hopes that the truce will be effective. With the cessation of large scale fighting, however, most believed that the way forward to a political settlement was finally open. Now, it would appear that they, along with the rest of the civilised world, had been conned. The rebels never had any intentions of negotiating in good faith. They simply used the truce to gather their strength in preparation for a renewal of the struggle.

There was, however, a glimmer of hope - the civilised world has been deceived and betrayed. It had taken on Rodarion at its words and it now seemed that they never intended to keep its promise. Whittaker made a terse address to parliament, accusing Ceausescu of ‘perfidy’ and ‘treachery’. The response of the powers who stood guarantor for the Treaty of Oured, she said, would be ‘swift and credible’. A few hours later, Vaziri spoke to a stunned world just what that response will be.

The president shook the ambassador’s hand and spoke first. “All the generals are advising that the salient cannot be held,” he said, “they said that we have to pull out, regroup, concentrate on breaking the rebel offensive before doing anything else. What’s your take?”

“Exactly what they said, Mr President. I’m afraid our own people came to a similar conclusion.”

“You’re talking about territory we sacrificed much to gain, Sir Thomas, Bogorian sovereign territory which is ours by right. The fact that we even deigned to attempt to negotiate with these rebels…”

“Mr President, the reality of the situation is that your army has neither the strength nor capability to hold the salient. The Emmerians have promised air strikes. The air component of the Commonwealth Army on the Rubicon will do the same. These air strikes can accomplish two things. First of all, they can make large scale rebel ground movement very difficult. Secondly, rebel supply columns can be interdicted. These sorties will serve to immobilise, or at least slow down, enough rebel forces to your ground forces to pull out. Where the rebels manage to pursue, despite the air strikes, they’ll have to fight delaying actions to get free and resume the retreat. Once you’re out of the salient, your lines will be shortened, such that you can economise on the frontline forces and build up a mobile operational reserve again to confront any further rebel attacks. If we can inflict enough attritional damage to rebel forces in the course of taking the salient, they might not be in a position to launch any more offensive operations for a long while yet.”

“That’s it? Run away? Abandon all our hard won gain? The country will never stand for it.”

“This, Mr President, is one of the few advantages of the form of your current authority, that you don’t have to deal with the electorate for the moment. I understand the domestic political situation. On a global scale, however, ultimately there is no politically viable way for the Utena government to keep the south. Public opinion among your allies believe that the southerners have legitimate grievances, ignored for too longs. They support our assistance to you mainly because they view the rebels as proxies of a government determined to pursue aggression as a means of foreign policy. In the end, the survival of the Bogorian state depends not on domestic opinion, but foreign.”

The president and the knight stood facing each other for nearly half a minute, as the former absorbed the enormity of Dugdale’s message. Finally, he turned away and sat down on a leather chair with an air of finality.

“If we do this, Sir Thomas, we lose the south, possibly forever. The people will never forgive me.”

“But history will. Whatever people think now, posterity will see you as the saviour of the Bogorian state. Take a long term view, Mr President, and choose wisely. The fate of millions are in the balance.”

Kirkilas picked up the phone on his desk of solid oak and called his chief of general staff. “General Havel,” he began, in a tone others present will remember as a combination of reluctance, resolution and defiance, “I have two tasks for you. First, have your staff work out a joint operations plan with the URAF and CAF liaison people. Second, evacuate the salient. It’s time to save the army.”
Last edited by Bogoria1 on Wed May 13, 2015 6:16 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Founded: Nov 19, 2014

Postby Bogoria1 » Mon May 25, 2015 12:53 pm

B Company, First Student Volunteers,
the Damnica Salient

“Sergeant, go to that crossroad at E6 and look up what’s going on. The transport platoon is late and this fuel dump isn’t going to move itself.”

“Yes, sir!”

Captain Pawel Kruba, the brand new commander of B Company, 1st Student Volunteers, was in no mood to celebrate his sudden promotion. After all, that only happened because a stray piece of shrapnel decapitated his predecessor. The fighting that killed that unlucky gentleman was, as of this moment, getting quickly into full swing as the long-awaited major rebel offensive hit the government front like a sledgehammer.

The powers that be, Pawel realised, were acting with much more sense and purpose than he usually credited them with. They weren’t milling about like helpless chicken, paralysed by indecision. Nor were they demanding that they hold the precarious Damnica salient to the last drop of blood from their comfortable offices in Utena – a scenario Pawel considered to be far worse than the first. Instead, they are pulling out. The line will be shortened. Troops, especially mechanised and armoured units, freed up to recreate mobile reserves. With luck, the front will stabilise along a line run roughly a third of the way up the country, positions from which they would be nigh impossible to dislodge, if well- supported and properly set up.

Unfortunately, this entailed two things which Pawel did not like in the slightest.

Firstly, the salient was won through the sacrifice of hundreds of regular soldiers, not to mention thousands of LDVs, who clawed through ferocious resistance for days before they managed to reach the outskirts of the airfield. Now, all that sacrifice has gone to waste. Pawel was enraged by this, even if he intellectually grasped and acknowledged the strategic reasoning behind such a move. He wondered what the dim-witted right wing thugs who filled the ranks of the operationally-deployed LDV units are thinking right now.

Secondly, such a retreat required the performance of that most difficult of military manoeuvres – to break contact, retire along your line of communication and beat back the advancing enemy long enough to see your forces through to the next line of defence. Over the past week, battle groups, many of them with a mix of regular and LDV companies, have fought a series of running battles and delaying actions along ridgelines and in villages, alternating between fighting and moving north, buying precious time for their compatriots to escape the trap closing in on all sides. They’ve managed to inflict quite a bit of damage to the advancing rebel forces, in conjunction with the coalition strikes. Their own losses have been murderous – over 500 regulars have been killed in the past week alone, and certainly far more than that among the LDVs.

Pawel could hear the distant sound of explosions, most likely artillery fire. After months of absence from the front in order to comply with the terms of the ceasefire, the Bogorian Army’s howitzers and Grads returned with a vengeance, many of the batteries now proud owners of SATNAV devices supplied by the CDI. Most of these were simple handheld models common among drivers of the first world in the days before smartphones. In the hands of Bogorian gunnery officers, however, they made the fire support arm far more effective than before. Overhead, a pair of jets streaked towards the front. Amazingly, he recognised that they were Bogorian planes – an L-159 Alca light modular combat aircraft (a euphemism for a modified trainer). The tiny Bogorian Air Force has gallantly, if pathetically, decided to carry their own weight in the joint coalition bombing campaign, helping to unleash the torrent of ordnance aimed at interdicting rebel supply lines and moving units in the open in an attempt to attrit, slow down and delay the pursuing forces, buying more time for friendly troops escaping from the salient. In the process, the local pilots are paying a frightful price. Between SPAAG and MANPADs, half of the pre-war strength of the BAF has been expended already, the majority of which in the single week of combat following the end of the ceasefire.

“Sir,” the sergeant returned, and judging by his expression did not come bearing good news. “The lorries aren’t coming.”

“Say again?”

“The rebels are advancing on axes parallel to the main north-south roads in the salient and have bracketed them all with artillery and rocket fire. We have barely enough wheeled transport capacity under these conditions to evacuate personnel, especially the wounded. Supplies and fuel will have to be left behind.”

The captain swore, then grudgingly, as always, accepted the necessity of such a decision. Materiel lost can be replaced from CDI stocks. Troops left behind to be trapped when the cauldron closes are irreplaceable.

“Right, there’s no helping it then. We’re not going to leave this fuel dump to the enemy. Burn everything, then pull out.”

The company pulled out that evening, but not before making sure that their handiwork could be seen for miles on end – a pillar of smoke in day time and a pillar of fire at night. By the time the fuel dump was finally extinguished, they’d be kilometres north of where they were, fighting, retreating and fighting again, until they, and the rest of the army, finally reached a place where they could make a proper stand against the advancing enemy.



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