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The Merrit Isle Disaster (IC, CLOSED, TWI ONLY)

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Atnaia
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The Merrit Isle Disaster (IC, CLOSED, TWI ONLY)

Postby Atnaia » Tue May 17, 2016 7:27 am

The Merrit Isle Disaster
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"Can you see the problem?"

Dangling from the top of the old, wooden telephone pole, Roger could barely hear his friend Mikel below over the buzz of cables and the sound of the waves beyond the levy. "Just a second," he shouted down, reaching to his toolbelt and crabbing a screwdriver. He popped open the box at the top of the pole and hissed between his teeth.

"What is it?" Mikel called up.

"The whole thing's blown out," Roger said, reaching in and touching the grimy, rusty build-up of burned up copper cables. "There must have been a surge or something. Looks like the damn thing was struck by lightning."

"Woof," Mikel called back up. "So no fixing it?"

"This whole neighbourhood isn't going to be making long-distance calls any time soon, no," Roger reached down onto his hip and grabbed some wirecutters. "Whole box is shut down, right?"

"Would I have sent you up there if it wasn't?"

"Fair enough," Roger called back down. He reached in and began cutting melted wires and tugging them from the box. "This whole thing should have been replaced twenty years ago. Miracle it lasted this long."

"Yeah, praise God for that one," Mikel shouted up, the sarcasm in his voice palpable. "If we were over near the resorts, this whole thing would be top of the line."

"Hey now," Roger called down with a grin. "Don't you know the big wigs need their high-speed internet and free long distance from every resort suite?"

"Sure," said Mikel with a laugh. "And us little guys don't have anyone to talk to who isn't a block over. It's not like my daughter's off in Port Gray and I never get to see her."

"How's Liza doing?"

"Making end's meet," said Mikel. "A chip off the old bl---"

Suddenly, the ground shook. Dangling from his harness at the top of the pole, Roger lost his footing for a moment. It wasn't a bad quake, but it was bigger than any they had had in awhile. Mikel caught himself against the old white van, marked with the Merrit City Chamber of Infrastructure logo.

"Holy Baln," Mikel yelled up. "That was a big one."

As if on cue, the earth shook again. This time, it was twice as big. Roger swung from the top of the pole and Mikel got thrown wholly off his feet. Above the sound of alarms going off and he groaning of the earth, there came an ear-splitting crack. A block and a half over, Roger could see the concrete wall of the levy split down the middle and slide off into the sea.

"Holy shit!" he yelled as the quake fell. "Holy shit man! The levy's down!"

Mikel regathered his feet. He touched his head where it had struck the car. "Thank god for work helmets, man, might have split my head open!"

Roger gazed out at the levy. "Man, that's a bad one! That whole levy is going to need to be rebuilt. Wonder how the others fared."

"Not much better, I'd guess," Mikel said. He walked over to the front of the van and leaned in. "Yeah, the radio is blowing up. Bunch of the other levies are fucked up or damaged."

Roger squinted out at the sea. Off shore, a thin white line seemed to be approaching. "Huh," he said. He reached down to his belt again and grabbed his binoculars. He looked out again, and was immediately sent into a panic.

"Mikel! Mikel! Get me the hell down from here! We have to go! Now!"

"What? What's going on?"

"A wave, man," Mikel struggled against his harness. "A giant freaking wave!"

There was a sudden explosive noise, and the before Roger could get out another word, he watched as the levy was consumed. Water swept through the streets, flipping cars, ripping apart concrete, shattering windows. People began scattering as the wave washed through. Below him, Roger watched as the street was swept away by white water rapids inches below his feet. Mikel and the van disappeared.

The telephone pole bent and creaked, and Roger lost his grip against the suddenly slick wood. Attached by hi harness, he dangled freely mere inches above the water. "Holy fuck!" he screamed. The wave caught his foot and spun him around, so that the clouds above turned into a gut-churning spiral. His head slammed against the pole and his neck went sideways with a pop. As the concussion took hold, Roger lost consciousness above the wave.




Merrit City was consumed. Resorts were ripped apart, city streets flooded. The fall of the levies to the earthquake had doomed the city. In a matter of minuted, dozens, hundreds had been killed. Who knew how many more would pass in the coming days? As the rain began, it became clear that the flooding was not going to subside. To the south, the workers in the island's nuclear reactor were in a panic, trying to maintain safety. Around the world, relief efforts began.

And in a conference room at the Hegemony Buildings, a plan was stamped "Approved", and was put into action.
Last edited by Atnaia on Tue May 17, 2016 7:35 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Atnaia » Wed May 18, 2016 3:18 am

Jacob Reid lifted his water bottle to his lips and sipped as he glanced about the room. It was a fairly small space, dominated in its center by one of ANIA's round tables, with the central touch screen information display and USB hook-ups at every seat. Right now, all but one seat were occupied. Across from Jacob sat two Squires: one a young, wiry girl with fidgety pianist's fingers, the other an older gentleman with a curled white moustache and a friar's bald spot at the top of his head. She wore a worn gray hoodie, he wore tweed.

Next to them were three Pages in matching white button-up shirts and dark slacks. The one in the sky blue tie had was fresh out of college from the look of him and vaguely Asian features. The one in the mustard yellow tie was in his mid-thirties and had a bit of salt in his otherwise pepper stubble. The one with no tie was in her late twenties and looked like she was about to fall asleep, the wrinkles in her shirt and rolled up sleeves implying she had just pulled a few all-nighters analyzing some data dump or translating a stack of "rescued" documents.

Finally, there was the woman sitting next to Jacob. Her name was Leslie Ship, and she was a Knight, like Jacob. She was in her early 30s, with dark, curly hair that fell to her shoulders and just little enough make-up to make it seem like she wasn't wearing any at all. Two of the fingers on her right hand were in splints, and she had a nasty red burn visible on the same wrist. Hazards of being in their line of work.

Jacob set down his bottle and adjusted his tie. "So, how about those Floods, eh?"

No one chuckled or commented back. Jacob shrugged. Intelligence agents were a notoriously tough crowd.

A moment later, the doors to the room opened and a middle-aged lady in a white-gray suit walked in. Pinned to her lapel was a badge in the shape of a circular shield, the symbol of ANIA. Everyone in the room stood up. Cavaier Duschene held up a hand.

"Thank you all for coming," she said. "Please sit."

They did, and she took her place in the empty chair. She reached into her pocket and pulled out a steel USB drive. "Before we get started," she said. "I should note that you were all selected specifically for this assignment due to a combination of training and expertise. That being said, this mission, and all information associated with it, is coded priority purple. It will be, for some of you, the most classified mission you are ever involved in. If you wish to leave, you are allowed to do so now, and at no other time. You will be reassigned, with no penalty, to a lower tier mission, and someone else will be selected to fill your role."

No one moved. Most intelligence operatives got into the business through a mixture of loyalty, curiosity and boredom. Right now, that second trait was acting up. Duschene gave them all a moment, then plugged in the USB drive. An image appeared on the central screen.

"Let us begin," she said. She tapped a document on the screen and it expanded. It appeared to be a partially redacted document, maybe from the 1990s or 1980s, judging from the font. Jacob leaned forward to skim it.

"Most of you have probably read the documents from the Civil War that were recently white-coded," Duschene said. "You were probably too distracted by certain kill-orders to make note of this nugget of information. But let me tell you, it is extremely important. In 1982, at the height of combat in the coup, 19 POWs were transferred from Atnaia to Merrit Isle. According to this document, they were shipped from New Harbour, accompanied by two Knights and ten armed soldiers."

She tapped another document on the screen and it expanded. "According to this manifest, from the other side, two Knights arrived, as did ten soldiers, but there were no prisoners."

Jacob frowned. "That makes no sense, ma'am. Why would we have sent prisoners to Merrit? They don't even have a prison."

"Exactly," said Duschene. "But what they did have was an Atnaian missile silo. There are three options with this information. One, that someone on the Atnaian side screwed up. That would be gross incompetence, and I doubt anyone is stupid enough to add 19 prisoners to a register.

"Two, that the prisoners escaped along the way. That would also be gross incompetence, and considering that one of the Knights involved was Armin Painter himself, I find it doubtful.

"Three, that someone on Merrit side left them off the register. This is the correct answer."

"More gross incompetence?" asked Leslie.

"No," said Duschene. "A purposeful action. Merrit Isle had one more thing during the civil war that it was hosting for Atnaia. An ANIA blacksite."

Everyone was silent for a moment. The younger Squire cleared her throat. "Uh...what was it for?"

"That information is coded Black and is not relevant to the mission at hand."

That made the room fall silent again. Duschene glanced about. "we will be going to Merrit under the cover of relief workers for their recent catastrophe. We are going to find the blacksite and eliminate any chance that anyone will stumble upon it. The disaster means that its chances of discovery are raised tremendously, but it also gives us an opportunity. We can cover its destruction as just another casualty of the earthquake or the tsunami."

"Seems like a fairly easy job," Jacob said. "Why do we need a team this big? Couldn't we send in a few soldiers with C4 and blow the place out? Pretty sure the military is already sending over boats."

"The first load arrived twenty minutes ago, yes, to aid in relief," the Cavalier replied, "but there's an issue. This blacksite, with its classification level, is entirely off the books. We have no idea where it is."

Everyone blinked. "We lost a blacksite?"

"We've lost a lot of things in our history," Duschene said. "We always assumed that this little stain on our honour would remain buried. The site has been out of operation for 30 years. That being said, there are a few individuals who may be able to be persuaded to help us find it."

She tapped a document and a dossier opened on the screen. The mugshot of swarthy, bearded man appeared. "This is Dr. Hashmi Syed. He was involved in the operation. Following his...retirement...he remained on Merrit Isle. We have no way of knowing whether he survived the disaster, but our first course of operation will be to find him or, failing that, find his home and any surviving clues he may have left."

Everyone glanced around at each other. "How is this being run?" Jacob asked.

"We will be boarding the HRHS Dastardly in one hour," Duschene replied. "It's equipped with advanced SIGINT and ELINT capabilities, not that they should be needed. While the Knights go ashore, the rest of us will remain aboard as support. The Dastardly should blend well-enough with the other ships being sent. I believe the Attington is the main ship being sent, as are cargo ships and the HRHS Edward. In comparison, the Dastardly is barely a blip. Any questions?"

There weren't. An hour later, the team had boarded the Oste-class vessel and were outbound to Merrit Isle.
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Postby Atnaia » Wed May 18, 2016 3:35 am

The whumpf-whumpf-whumpf of helicopter blades slicing through rain filled Lieutenant Rich Worthington's ears. They had taken off minutes ago from the deck of the HRHS Duke Attington off the coast of Merrit Isle, and the rain had started not long after. It was miserable and terrifying, the thought that at any minute a storm could break out and they'd be in a metal bird in the middle of a lightning storm. It was unlikely to happen, but it lent an edge to the proceedings that was somehow comforting. The last mission any of the men in the helo had run had been combat during the Crisis. Without the immediate danger of death, there was something empty about the flight.

As they passed over the waves and buzzed above the shattered levies, the guy next to Rich whistled through his teeth.

"Shit, man, look at that."

Rich leaned over and glanced out the side of the helicopter. He whistled too.

The city below was a wasteland. Buildings jutted from dirty brown water like discarded blocks, leaning at strange angles. Some were toppled altogether. Rich could see a fishing boat embedded in the side of an apartment building, it's twin outboards catching only air. Smoke rose from a few places. Even during the Crisis he hadn't seen a warzone like this.

"Baln almighty," he said. "It's like someone dropped a bomb."

"Yeah," said the other soldier. "Someone kinda did. God."

"I've got eyes on some people on that roof over there," someone yelled. The helo turned and began to descend. Below, Rich could see a half dozen civilians clustered on a roof, rain pelting them from above and flood water from below. They looked up and leaped to their feet, waving their arms franticly. This was the first sign of help they had seen in the life-and-death hours since the disaster.

Rich helped locked in his harness, and along with the other soldier, who was also certed for rescues like this, they repelled down from the side of the helicopter. The family on the roof were in tears, dirty and ragged and battered. The oldest among them looked to be in his sixties. They youngest was about five. Rich grabbed the young girl and locked her in, and began the ascent back up to the helicopter.

That first load took fifteen minutes to load up, and then they were heading back to the Duke Attington. Over the next few hours, Rich would do the same thing, over and over. He didn't know how many people they had saved, but at the same time, he didn't know how many they didn't. Bodies floated by in the flood waters. Sometimes they would see people pinned under cars, or felled telephone poles, or chunks of debris. It seemed like for every one person they saved, two had died.
Last edited by Atnaia on Fri May 20, 2016 3:15 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Livorino » Wed May 18, 2016 8:15 am

The early morning air felt good as it came in over the port and washed over him. He could see the sunlight gleaming off the water, calm as the sea could be, the saltiness of the air opened his nostrils, the smells of the ocean taking him in. As Captain Ercole Del Pizzo of the LNS Ottaviano stood there on the deck of his De Zeven Provinciën-class Air defense Frigate, watching the loading of humanitarian aid onto his ship, the Ottaviano's sister ship, the LNS Crescenzia, and onto the fleet's two logistical ships, the LNS Capri and the LNS Fornitura.

As he looked out over his men he felt an air of pride, along with a sense of urgency. Following the Prince's announcement that they would be giving aid to a fellow small island nation, the men of the ship's selected felt a pride, that they would be saviors to these people who were in need. They felt virtuous, happy that they would be able to help. There was the general feeling of urgency as the longer they waited the worse it could become for so many. Del Pizzo lit a cigar as he waited, the smoky smell mixing with the salty air to create a smell he enjoyed during his long time as a ship captain.



Below Del Pizzo the ship's quartermaster took stock of all the aid and made sure it was all sealed down. Senior Chief Petty Officer Maxence Aguillon ran down his checklist as he went around the ship's storage bays. While it could not carry nearly as much as the logistic ships, it would still be needed, as even with all that they are bringing, it is likely it would not be enough.

He checked the boxes, full of food, full of medicine, there was clean drinking water, and in some there were parts to fix things like Power Stations, Hospital Equipment, and necessary items like that. In front of him two soldiers were carrying a box stocked full of food, the label Humanitarian Aid plastered on the side. They were walking to the wrong spot, "Seamen!" They looked at him a little startled, he pointed to the other side, "Over there, you are walking to the medical supplies. Do you not see you have Food and that they have Medical on them?"

They looked at each other, "Sorry sir! We will put it where it needs to go." They scurried over to the other side. Maxence just chuckled a bit and moved on, continuing what would be a long process.

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Postby Covonant » Wed May 18, 2016 6:30 pm

It was a typical day in the Union. All over the country, Covonantians attends to their daily lives. In the capital Coventry at the Consul, Parliamentarians argue the government new budget. Inside the consul the Prime Minister Imperatus Marl is handed a note which reads:

Sir, an earthquake as struck north-west of the Union, Merrit Isle, a territory extremely close to the Union. Aid from the Ministry of Defense will be signed off and sent. We request a meeting with immediacy as we have urgent reports-Chief Commander, Intelligence and Data Centre (IDC)


The Prime Minister summons to the House Speaker that he shall be taking his leave. He hurriedly made way to the state car to return him to his office.

Already at the Office of the Prime Minister was the Chief Commander of the IDC Thompson Ananias, Captain Samson Wier of the Union Navy, , and the Chairperson for the Covish Cares relief organization Dr. Antoni Senias. These men are influential Covonantians with greater access to critical information of national importance and interest.

The Prime Minister arrived at Palatine Manor and briskly headed towards his office.

"Mr. Prime Minister some men are here to see you sir, they are already in your office" the secretary to the Prime Minister's Office informed.

Imperatus Marl thought to himself how unprecedented it was for persons to be given access to his office without his approval, he however overlooked it. Imperatus entered his office and saw the men standing all in different places with emotive looks on their faces.

"Gentlemen, may I ask the reason for having me leave the Consul earlier than usual. I get that a natural disaster has occurred nearby but what concern does it have for us" Asked Imperatus.

"Sir" Thompson replied "We have gathered important information that Merrit Isle, the island which the earthquake struck bears deep secrets for the Atnaian government which leads us to believe they would not want it to get into the hands of foreigners, we also believe that Atnaia is still a sleeping giant and is posing to take over Merrit Isle, if such occurrences should happen it could pose a threat to our sea routes."

"Prime Minister, we all know that Atnaia and Covonant have not been the best of friends ever since the nearing of war among our states, but we believe that if they gain control of the territory, it could pose future problems for the Union" Stated Captain Weir

The Prime Minister took off his jacket and pour a glass of white rum, he sat in his chair, took a sip and laughed.

"HA HAHA HAHA, you gentlemen sure know how to make a man's day. How are you so sure that Atnaia's intention is to gain control of the island." Asked the Prime Minister

"We are not entirely sure yet Sir, but we don't want to take any chances, right now Atnaia is sending relief aid to Merrit Isle which we all believe is a front for covert missions." responded Mr. Ananias.

The Prime Minister taking more sip of his rum, reminisced of past events that had almost cost him his Prime Ministerial duties and his nation going to war.

"I think we should not be to rash with this, I don't want a repeat of the last time, and I certainly do not want an unnecessary war, elections are next year and already my government is in the hot seat with this tax reform. In your letter Ananias, you said aid is being sent?" Asked the Prime Minister

"Yes sir, we haven't sent any yet without your approval, but we are in a position to do so once we are giving the green light. I am however waiting for reports has to the severity of the situation on the island and would make subsequent follow ups with you Sir" Responded the Chief of the IDC

The head of the Covish Cares Relief Agency cleared his throat and spoke

"Hmm hmm, Mr. Prime Minister Sir, the Covish Cares Relief would be onboard to deliver well needed aid to the island peoples" stated the chairperson

The Prime Minister shook his head in agreement.

"Very well, we could go under the guise of delivering aid while Ananias could get men on the ground to do some classified works for the Union. I want no war ship or high powered military equipment. This is not a war, nor should it lead to any. One mishap of this and I will be sure you all regret having this conversation." Mr. Marl assured

"Gentlemen, could a give me a moment alone with Mr. Ananias" asked Imperatus

The two gentlemen left, leaving only the Prime Minister and the Head of the nation's intelligence agency.

"Ananias, tell me about Merrit Isle, and its importance to Atnaia, and the real reason why the Union should care." Asked Imperatus.

"The Island is mostly a resort playground where the rich and famous go to pamper themselves, few Covonantians are known to frequent the Isle, we don't know if any Covonantians are among the victims as no citizen is in our database having travelled their since last December, I guess they see it being too close to Atnaia" Ananias laughed to himself. "The Island has a few housing complex but nothing major mostly resorts. They are a sovereign state though with close ties to Atnaia. It is alleged that during the 1980s-1990s Atnaia had a civil war where there is reports of prisoners being sent to the island, after doing our own investigations the Island is too small and undeveloped to have a prison, and why would Atnaia needs to send prisoners when the country is large enough to build 1000. We believe that there is more to this story."

"How does that concern us" Imperatus asked impatiently

"Well it doesn't but there is something of importance on that island that attracts Atnaia to wanting to take it over. I don't want to rush ahead of myself but the business prospect for the Union is also good with investments amounting in the millions. The IDC is more concerned with what secrets Atnaia has on that island, but I know you and the Captain are more interested in securing our sea route. But as i said sir, information at this time are still shaky, but I can assure you they are up to no good." Assured Mr. Ananias
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Postby Atnaia » Thu May 19, 2016 2:49 am

"Have you read about this?"

Hegemon Thomas Wessich looked up from the stack of documents on the Palace's sunroom table and glanced over at his wife. The Princess looked quite concerned as she read from her tablet. Her perfect eyebrows knit together and she bit her lower lip slightly. Wessich looked over his glasses and set down his pen.

"Have I read about what, dear?"

"The earthquake and tidal wave in Merrit Isle," Mary said. "Have you heard about it?"

Wessich glanced at the stack of documents he was signing off on. At least a third of the precarious pile were orders involving Merrit. He smiled at his wife. "Yes, dear, I've heard about it."

"Horrible, isn't it? What are we doing?"

"Well, I already have ships loaded up with troops, engineers, doctors, food and medicine out there," Wessich replied. "I sent our flagship. We are sending relief money. Don't you worry, dear, Atnaia is helping."

"No," Mary said. "I mean what are we doing? Us. Personally."

"I'll be making a statement later today, comforting victims," Wessich shifted in his chair and took a moment to sip his coffee. "I've also signed off on a personal donation of half a million dollars to the relief fund."

"Doesn't that seem so distant though," Mary cocked her head and her curls fell over her shoulder. "I want to do something."

"I'm the Hegemon, dear," Wessich said. "I'm needed here. I have matters of state to attend to. I can't go to a disaster zone at such a critical time in the formation of the Hegemony."

Mary set the tablet on the table. "That's true, I suppose," she murmured.

Wessich removed his glasses and leaned back in his chair. "Cheer up, dear," he said. "I said I can't go. If you want to help, I will make sure you can help. It would be good for Merritian morale to see that the Princess of Atnaia is willing to stand among them in their time of need. You can go over, help with food distribution, lend comfort to evacuees..."

"Evacuees?"

"I'm signing off on an evacuation order for communities near the nuclear reactor," Wessich said. "Technically, it's not the place of Atnaia to sign such orders, but in lieu of the presence of the Merritian Council, we are the next closest thing to a stable government in their nation. We need to ensure that the reactor is safe following the earthquake before we can allow people near it again."

"That makes sense, I suppose," Mary said.

"You will have to wait to go over until we know it is safe enough," Wessich said. "Make sure the aftershocks have died down, that the flooding has receded a bit, that the reactor isn't going to blow. Then you can go and help."

Mary smiled. "Thank you, Tommy."

"Of course, my dear," Wessich said. "Anything for you."
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Postby Grand Illon » Thu May 19, 2016 2:18 pm

Administer Tower

Varis Zainer was busy filing blocks of paperwork for the Service until his communicator rang and flashed red.  He was an agent of RSIS, one of the best, and he knew what the communicator was trying to tell him.  He quickly cleaned his workspace and as if on cue, the communicator began to talk.  

"Agent Z14... Code Red.. Your presence is requested in the Crimson Room immediatly... ",  a distorted female voice from the control room said.

He immediately  made his way through the glass door and headed to the elevator.  The Crimson Room was on floor 51 of Administer Tower while his office was at floor 32.  

After spending a few minutes inside the elevator, he directly went to the Crimson Room's door.  To get inside, he needed to scan a passcode that was sent to his communicator.   He showed his communicator and the door scanned the following codes 67H-YR7-R69-5g9 . 

"Access Granted", and the door opened.


Varis sat there and saw some of his fellow agents and two high ranking generals.  The atmosphere was heavy  and none of them talked to each other.  No one knew why they were summoned, but they know that its going to be top-secret.  You only get summoned to this room if its super important.

He wondered why were they summoned there in the first place?  

"Probably about Jahe..." He said to himself.  

His thoughts were interrupted as the Main Door of the Crimson Room opened. Everybody stood up as the RSIS director, codenamed H. entered the room.  She went in front of everybody and began to talk.  

"Does anyone know why you are all here?" she asked.

"New leads on Jahe's nuclear program, madam." Xyran Fletcher, a logistical agent said. 

"As much as we want to gain intel, no, that is not what we are here for", she grabbed a tv remote control uniquely designed for the room.

"The data that I am about to show you is strictly confidential and must not fall into the wrong hands".   She pressed the remote and the screen showed a video of the destruction in Merrit Isle.  The screen turned to a nearby nuclear facility.

"There are a lot of things going on in Merrit Isle, destruction.. death.. and emerging conflicts...  but as you already know, there will only be more of it.   The micro-nation has a long history with our nearby ally Atnaia.  With the country falling into anarchy its only a matter of time before Atnaia makes their first move.", she remarked.

"Are you saying that Atnaia will occupy the island?"  Varis asked.

" Yes." she said with assertiveness.  "We have recieved word that they will do so in a matter of weeks.  Now we cannot stop them as they are our ally, but we need to gain intell fast". The director placed  her arms in the table and looked at each person in the eye.

"And that is where you all come into play.  I want you to gather intelligence regarding Atnaia's reasons for their advances".  

She pressed a key on the remote and pictures flashed on screen.  "I want you to move your attention to this nuclear facility and gather every resource you can.  Also.. be cautious, Atnaia's growing military presence could threaten this operation."

"Individual assignments will be briefed in your communicators.  All of you were chosen because of your skills and effectivity in the field.  The king personally approved of this.  Do not fail your country.  Goodluck gentlemen"


After the meeting ended, Varis left the room and returned to his office.  Once again, his communicator flashed red.  A file was sent.  He opened it and it read the following:

Join the Humanitarian Aid that will be sent to Merrit Isles tomorrow morning at 6:00 onboard HMS Greilin.

Further instructions will be sent.


His instructions were clear, he knew what had to be done.

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Postby Ostehaar » Thu May 19, 2016 6:53 pm

Laara had to pull many apologizing faces as she walked hurriedly down the hall to the meeting at conference room 3M. "Sorry!" she said over and over again to her friends in the Intelligence Department as she passed them by, "meeting with Bergman at 3M..." She waved 'hello' to Dihn and Sara from Doppler Section and smiled to Dora from Miklania Section. "Gotta run, but I'll see you for tea after?"

Conference room 3M was a medium-size meeting room at the end of the 3rd floor hall - The 3rd underground floor - at the OVAST building in central Porohare. An impressive, uniformed guard stood right outside the room, his arms firmly fixed over his chest. "Good morning, miss Vehter," he declared as Laara approached from across the hall, "you're about two minutes early." He opened the door with one hand, keeping the other fixed to his body. "Mister Bergman is already in there."

"Ah, Laara!" Alen Bergman announced and quickly rose up from his seat to greet her. "I'm glad you could come at such a short notice. Again, I'm sorry we had to call you in the middle of your vacation, but... You've seen the news." A bit embarrassed, Laara smiled politely. "Please," Alen said, gesturing to an unoccupied seat, "sit and I'll explain." Laara looked around the table as she sat down, and recognized almost all faces. They were friends of hers - Analysis, SIGINT specialists, and translators from Atnaia Section and Mesder Section. Two others she couldn't recognize sat in the room, and Alen Bergman of course, the head of the OVAST Intelligence Department.

"Thank you all for coming," he opened the meeting and cleared his throat, "as all of you have heard, a disaster struck Merrit island near Atnaia." He clicked a remote control and the a map of Merrit island appeared on the large screen behind him. "Satellite images currently show that many of the populated areas of the island are flooded, and an upcoming storm is expected to make matters even worse." Another click, and a 2-day weather map layer on a satellite image of the island appeared.

"Grand Illon, Arpite, Livorino, Covonant, and Keomora announced they'd be sending aid," Bergman continued, "but as of several hours ago we only spotted Livorino's vessels on the way. Atnaia is sending a lot, of course..."

"I'm sorry, sir," Laara interrupted, "but what about the old Atnaian facilities on the island?" All eyes in the room rested on her.

"An excellent question!" Bergman smiled, "that, my friends, is why I called you all here." He clicked and a set of old, grainy pictures appeared on the screen. "As most of you know, over the past 20 years we've received quite a lot of information - a lot of it is probably fake - about the existence of several Atnaian research facilities, and perhaps even a silo, on the island. There could be other facilities which were kept a secret. In any case, our analysts at the Atnaia Section -" he pointed at them - "have a theory. There's a chance that the Atnaian expedition to the island includes more than humanitarian aid."

Bergman paused for a moment to let the information sink in. "So, dear friends, you are all here because the Minister of Defense had authorized me to send a special task-force to Merrit, in order to find out if the Atnaian expedition is really just there for aid. While we're there, we'll use the sudden mess caused by the disaster to uncover as many details as possible about the Atnaian facilities there."

Bergman pointed at one of the men Laara didn't recognize. "This is agent Mehk Uhdin. He has recently returned from a long recovery at an Atnaian hospital, and he'll be running the operation from behind the scenes, here or at a ship close to the island. You'll all answer to him. The person next to him is agent Alek Grehlen," the agent nodded in approval, "and he'll lead the task-force on the ground with some of our operatives. They'll be joined by friends from 1088. The minister had decided to send them in order to evaluate the state of the nuclear reactor and the possibility of us... Constructing a new one for them."

Laara spoke again, "so we're all going to stay behind, here or on a ship, and get the information from the operatives?"

"they -" Bergman referred to most people in the room - "are going to stay behind. You, miss Vehter, are going to join Alek on Merrit. You'll be acting as a diplomatic adviser to our symbolic humanitarian aid expedition."

"Oh," Laara gulped. From across the room, Alek looked at her as his face wore a sly grin.
Last edited by Ostehaar on Thu May 19, 2016 6:58 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Postby Atnaia » Fri May 20, 2016 5:10 am

The refugee camp was packed to the brim. It was a ramshackle, make-shift affair. No one had organized its creation, it had just sort of popped up. The south of Merrit City had been relatively untouched by the disaster, and while the old hotel had a few felled trees and collapsed balconies, it was still in modest repair. People had flooded to it in the few short days since the disaster, and the area around it had become something of a tent city. Tarps were strung up on old wire, making small roofed areas. Dotted amongst the blue and khaki shelters were green military tents. When the Atnaians had realized where people were going, they had swept in and taken control of the hotel as a distribution center for food and medical care.

Everywhere you stepped, there were people, hundreds of them, crammed into the converted parking lot and lawns of the hotel. They slept on the ground, gathered in groups to trade supplies, moved in herds to and from the hotel. Dirty, ragged, broken, they searched for each other, shouting names or pinning pictures to every available surface. Occasionally there were fights, swiftly quelled by the Atnaian soldiers who patrolled the area, handing out fresh water or packets of rations. Helicopters would buzz in from the city or from the Duke Attington carrying more and more people in.

Yet, despite the sheer numbers, there was oddly and disquieting feeling of loss, like for every person in the crowd there should have been three, four more. Strange gaps would appear in the crowds, as if they sensed the presence of missing people.

As Jacob moved through the crowd as a relief worker, dressed in khaki pants, a stained white t-shirt and a keffiyeh, he glanced over at Leslie. She was dressed similarly, and was smiling as she handed out water to the people they passed.

"How in fuck are we going to find Syed in this mess?" he said.

"No idea," she replied. She glanced around. "He's a medical professional, right? The jarheads are scooping up every medical professional they can find and having them treat people in the hotel. I checked. He's not there."

"Christ," Jacob grunted. "What's our move then?"

"We have to call it," Leslie said. "Eighteen hours here and not a single clue. We have to operate under the assumption that if he's not dead, he's at least not out of the city."

Jacob nodded. "That means getting into the city. Troops are locking the place down for most people, aside from rescue workers."

"Can't blame them," Leslie replied. "Half the city is underwater, and the other half is ready to collapse with the next aftershock. Can't have all these people trying to pick through it for their belongings or loved ones and getting trapped in a collapse."

"We're here as relief, not search and rescue," Jacob said.

"Yeah," Leslie replied. "Any ideas?"

Jacob frowned. "Most of these guys are First Army Corps, but some look like Stone Wallers. Think we could pay one off? Get us past the quarantine?"

"Maybe," Leslie said. "I'll call the Dastardly."




A few hours later, Leslie and Jacob were curled up under a tarp in a military truck, bouncing over a shattered roadway. It had taken surprisingly little greasing of palms to find them a way into the city. As they lurched to a halt, Jacob stretched his cramped fingers. As gentlemanly as he could, he twisted so that he could see Leslie's face. Unfortunately (or fortunately, Jacob had a hard time distinguishing) that gave him a fairly clear view down her shirt.

"That was easy," he said.

"We're in a disaster zone now," she replied. "This is where the hard work starts."

The tarp was pulled back. A young man in fatigues marked with the blue castle logo of Stone Wall-Bastion glanced down. "We're past the checkpoint," he said.

Leslie and Jacob pulled themselves from the cab and stretched their stiff bones. They were on what appeared to be an overpass. Behind them, they could see the road to the checkpoint, somewhere off behind a small stretch of buildings. In front of them, the road fell into shallow mire of flood water, only a few inches deep, but a warning of things to come.

"As for our agreement?" the soldier asked.

Jacob tossed him an envelope. "Don't spend it all in one place."

"Where am I going to spend it?" the guy asked, opening it and flipping through bills. "All the shops are closed."

"Fair comment," Jacob said. He glanced at Leslie, who was gathering their supplies. "Shall we?"

They took a moment, and descended into the destroyed city.
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Livorino
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Postby Livorino » Fri May 20, 2016 12:50 pm

Del Pizzo let his arms holding the binoculars fall to chest level. He had been expecting destruction, he hadn't expected it to be this bad. From where they were they could see the side of the city that got hit the hardest. From where he was on the bridge of the LNS Ottaviano he could see ruined buildings, flooded streets, and the buildings that looked ready to fall down at any time.

The bridge, usually bustling with activity fell silent as the staff took it in. No one spoke as everyone had their own thoughts about what was going on. Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, Del Pizzo turned to his bridge staff. Everyone looked to him for orders. "Communications send out a message on the open channels that the Livoran Expeditionary force is in the area ready to help and will scout out a place to land aid. Along with that try to raise the Atnaians who are here, we will have to coordinate aid and search and rescue operations. I want everyone on board to be ready to go out and deliver aid, so I want anyone who is nonessential at this moment to go down and talk to those aboard."

There was a resounding "Yes, sir!" and Del Pizzo turned back to Merrit Isle. The death that was there, the pain they would see. They needed to do this, to help out their fellow man as best as they could.




Down in one of the crew quarters four men sat playing rummy. The four men were from the Livoran Intelligence Agency, on mission to gather intelligence on those who were operating in the area and the nation of Merrit Isle at large. For the next however long, once they landed, each of these men would complete different missions. From merging with the population to scouting different places around the island.

None of them were their superior, all equal, but they all looked to what could be perceived as the leader to anyone outside the group. Liam Moss at this point in his life was 42, he had been in the LIA since he was out of university at 22. He was the most experienced of the men assembled, he had not gotten this far by being someone outstanding. His best quality was how average he was. He stands at 5'10, 170 pounds with brown eyes, and short cut dark brown hair. His skin was moderately tanned and his hands resembled that of a man who did hard labor for most of his life. They were calloused and scarred, when you shook hands with him it was probably the most firm handshake you ever receive in your life.

He picked up his card and laid out his hand. "Out." He leaned back and smiled as the others responded with a chorus of light hearted insults from his fellow agents. Someone knocked on the door. Liam piped up, "Housecleaning?"

The door opened and a Lieutenant Junior Grade came in, "The captain says that we're almost at our destination. Get ready."

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Postby Atnaia » Sat May 21, 2016 12:49 pm

Image


Jacob and Leslie splashed through knee-deep water that was growing deeper with each step into the city they took. A pair of cars had flipped across the road and smashed through the front window of a nearby shop. Somehow, the place was still getting power, and dull red light poured from within, reflecting off of the muddy water that filled the streets. Above, the clouds were bright and heavy, ready to rain at any moment. The pair of Knights stopped at the cars and laid out a map across the exposed undercarriage of the vehicle.

"This is where we're going," Leslie pointed at a point on the map. "Syed lived in an apartment near the Historic Market, above a shop."

"What kind of shop?" Jacob asked, glancing about. They didn't want to get caught out here by rescue crews. At best, they'd be taken back as refugees who hadn't escaped the city. At worst, they'd be arrested as looters. The second option was more likely, with the handguns they each wore on their hips. It wasn't like they were carrying their little leather card cases with their ANIA badges or anything.

"Does it matter what kind of shop?"

"Well, I mean, we're in Merrit City," Jacob said. "If it's a souvenir shop..."

"We're on a mission," Leslie said, shaking her head.

"And I keep souvenirs," Jacob said. "I have the bullet casing from the first time I was shot in the line of duty framed on the wall above my bed. I'd be happy to show it to you."

Leslie rolled her eyes. "Show me Syed first."

"Fair enough," Jacob replied. There was a rumble under their feet and some rubble fell from the shop wall above, splashing into the floodwater next to them.

"Jesus Christ," Jacob said.

"Aftershock," Leslie replied. She folded the map and shoved it away. "Come on."

They pushed down the street, the water getting deeper with each passing block. When they reached the Historic Market, it was up to their armpits. They'd been forced to take off their gear and carry it over their heads. Luckily (or unluckily, again Jacob couldn't quite tell), while the water was deeper here, the rubble and partially collapsed buildings were also more frequent. Pulling themselves up and out of the water, onto an island of rubble, the two took a moment to collect themselves.

"This place is a damn wreck," Jacob said. He was right, of course. The Historic Market was a touristy area of the city. Old, stone buildings clustered tightly together here, rising a dozen stories above their heads. Only a few days ago, they would have been home to shops, restaurants, boutique hotels. Now they were home to ocean kelp and dead fish, flung against their walls during the wave. Advertisement billboards clung stubbornly to the walls, showing everything from tourist attractions to Birdie Cola.

Leslie pointed and frowned. "Birdie," she said. "They're going out of business."

"I know," Jacob said. "I heard. Sad."

Suddenly, there was the sound of a helicopter, and a military helo buzzed over the roofs. Without a thought, Jacob and Leslie looked at each other and leapt into the dirty water. Plunging below, they sunk to the bottom. Jacob grabbed a hold of a fallen streetlamp to prevent himself from floating upwards. Even below the water, they could hear the muffled sound of whirring blades above. It seemed to go on forever. Jacob's lungs screamed for air, and by the time the sound of the helicopter disappeared and the ANIA agents could sputter back to the surface, he felt like he was on the verge of drowning.

They tugged themselves back onto the rubble. Their gear was left right where they had ditched it. Coughing and gasping for breath, they fell onto their backs on the broken concrete. A moment later, Jacob rolled over. "So about Birdie..."

"Shit," Leslie interrupted. She reached into the pocket of her green camo pants and pulled out the sopping wreck of a map. "Fuck."

"Why in god's name would you put that in your pocket?"

"Force of habit," she said. "It's fine. I know where Syed's apartment is. And we can find our way back."

"Sure, whatever." Jacob stretched. "Where is this place?"

Leslie looked around. Her face contorted into the picture of desperation. "God damn it," she said and pointed. "There."

Jacob followed her finger. The building she was pointing at was a three story affair. The first story looked to be half pub, half souvenir shop, and was in good repair despite the flooding. The second two stories, on the other hand, were a mangled wreck. A fishing boat was lodged bow first into the building, and the roof had mostly collapsed in. Netting hung like webs down from the boat into the water below.

"Any chance the place is alright?" Jacob said.

"We have to go see..."
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Covonant
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Postby Covonant » Sat May 21, 2016 5:16 pm

Devios City, Devios

INTELLIGENCE AND DATA CENTRE

Mia Stone had just received a letter requesting her immediate attendance at the IDC. When she arrived at the building, she quickly made her way to the conference room, showing her pass which she received in the letter for security purposes. Once in the room she was greeted upon unfamiliar faces.

"Good Afternoon" she greeted. No one responded.

A few moments pass when the head of the IDC, Thompson Ananias walked in.

"Good Afternoon. I know you are all wondering why you have been called to attend this meeting, and who is who in this room. I am Thompson Ananias, the man in charge of this important national organisation." He sent around a file containing information on every individual in the room.

    Mia Stone: Age 25, Residence-Kanaute, Devios, Educational Background-Naval University of Kanaute

    George Carmichael: Age 27, Residence-Malvern Alstaer, Educational Background-Covonantian Military Academy

    Gloria Stephens: Age 24, Residence-Coventry, Romast, Educational Background-University of Covonant

    Senica James: Age 29, Residence- Coventry, Romast, Educational Background-University of Covonant

    Malik Anderson: Age 26, Residence Devios City, Devios, Educational Background-University of Coventry

"I hope you all are aware of the devastating earthquake and tsunami that affected our neighbour to the west, Merrit Isle. The Union along with other nations will be sending humanitarian and relief aid. The IDC however believe that a few nations will be doing more than just humanitarian works. To ensure our interest in the region, you all will be undertaking special classified task for your country to ensure our interest and position in the region is not undermined. You will all be disguised as members of the Covish Cares Relief Organisation, where you will board the UNS Deliverance bound for Merrit Isle with goods and medical supplies along with medics and other aid personnel. The ship leaves Kanaute at 0900 hrs. On board the ship you all will be given special equipments to help make your task a lot easier." explained Mr. Ananias

"What if our plans are uncovered by the foreigners" Asked Malik

"The Union promises to pledge on your behalf, but no one is expected to fail, you are among the best in this country and so we expect nothing less than the best. If you are caught, it would mean a failure on your part to follow orders."

With that Mr. Ananias left.

"Those dirty bastards, dragged me all the way from Coventry to tell me I have been selected to do their dirty works, I thought this was a recruitment interview to work for the organisation." vented Gloria Stephens.

"Well technically, we are working for the organisation, just not in the post we may want" answered Malik

Mia was quiet thinking why would they select her. She was valedictorian of her graduating class and graduated with first class honours and top of her class, but she somehow couldn't understand why would they select her. Despite her thoughts she was nervous, she had never done something of this nature and while everyone was afraid to say it, they all know this task was really...ESPIONAGE

The door to the Conference room opened with a man in a dark suit appearing. "You are all expected to be in Kanaute by 01900hrs, a vehicle awaits outside for you all."

They all went outside and boarded the black Cadillac armoured SUV which drove off heading south for the country's naval and port city Kanaute.
Last edited by Covonant on Sat May 21, 2016 5:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Grand Illon
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Postby Grand Illon » Sun May 22, 2016 2:46 am

Felici was a nurse onboard the HMS Greilin. Their destination is Merrit Isles. Usually, when foreigners head to Meritt Isles they are there for a week long vacation or a business venture. However, things are different this time. The people onboard the vessel did not head there for vacation. They are there to help, to tend the people who lost everything, to get them back to stand pn their feet.

Felici could just wonder about the destruction up ahead. She breathed heavily, thinking about the people who lost their homes, families, friends, and their lives. She stood by the balcony of the ship and stared at the ocean in front of her. It was night and the crew was silent. They were briefed back at Arkhindopolis and Lux Univ about the catastrophe, and what they should be doing once they land at Merrit City.

"Beautiful isn't it?" A fellow nurse by the name of James stood beside her.

"Yes indeed, the moon and stars are awake." Felici smiled. "It's a shame we have to see it like this. I fear for the lives of the people."

"That's why we're heading there." He assured her with a pat in the back. "I'l go to bed now. You should get some sleep top." Felici looked at the man as he went back inside.

'It's going to be a long night.' She thought. "Well, better head of then."

She made her way back to her room. As she was walking through the halls of the ship, she came across a room where the Chief Coordinator of the relief aid was talking to an intern. She glanced and eaves dropped on what they were talking about, but they left the room before she was able to do so.

Felici hastily went back to her room. Her fellow roommates were already asleep, so she closed the door quietly and tucked in her bed. She prepared herself for what is to come tomorrow.




As the HMS Greilin was approaching the harbor in just a few minutes, the crew on board hurriedly rechecked every supplies that they had. They have food, water, medical equipment, and tents to help those in need. Once everyone finished the tedious task of checking and rechecking the supplies, they head of to the balcony to see for themselves the destruction of Merrit City.

Felici looked at the broken down houses, the fallen trees, and the refugee camp that had people who are sick, injured, and dead. She saw smoke and broken electrical lines scattered all over the city, and she knew that traversing this concrete jungle would be a challenge. All she could do now is just wait and help the broken people of Merrit Isles.

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Ostehaar
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Postby Ostehaar » Sun May 22, 2016 6:23 am

The OMS Barium gradually disappeared in the background as Laara and Alek walked down the road back from the docking area to the refugee camp. Alek's dark blue cargo pants were already dirty with soil and the dents on his hands were evidence to that fact that he spent most of the morning carrying heavy equipment.

"We've set up a tent close to the outer perimeter of the camp," he said to Laara on the way, "Martin has been touring the camp since we've arrived, so we should have some information on the Atnaian deployment in and around it by this evening."

He lowered his voice as they approached the entrance checkpoint. Both presented their humanitarian aid identification cards and waited patiently for clearance. The soldier nodded and mumbled their names to himself as he looked on their cards, checking them versus a list of authorized personnel. "Thank you," he finally said and returned their cards, "we're glad to have you Osters around to help." Alek faked a satisfied smile and pulled Laara with him into the camp.

Their tent looked like a warehouse from the inside, with boxes and crates creating narrow passageways between piles of humanitarian supplies and electronic instrumentation. Two jeeps parked outside, where several Oster doctors finished setting up a small medical tent for severely wounded locals. "This is our small real contribution," Alek chuckled. Laara sneered at him and got in the tent. She found a relatively comfortable chair, and in a few minutes she was already in deep sleep, following almost three days without one. Martin, who came back from another scout tour a minute earlier, looked at Alek. "Should we tell her that she has to get up for briefing in an hour?"



"Well," Alek explained, "the first step would be to reach the city and see if we can find anything of value. The files we got indicate that individuals who were involved in the Atnaian businesses lived in the city."

The surprise on Laara's face was as clear as the lack of surprise on the faces of the others. "But if I'm not mistaken," she said, "we don't actually know who these people are. We just know that there were such people, and that they lived in and around the city. That's the information I'm familiar with."

Martin cleared his throat. "You're right, miss Vehter," he answered, "but we do have some leads, bit of information we can work with... For example, that report from 2012 by a source living on the island, about the existence of an old Atnaian archive in the basement of the city hall? Do you remember that one?"

"Yes, of course," she asserted, "but we have no idea if that's -"

"We know, Laara," Alek interrupted, "but we're here to check. I'm going out there with Martin before dawn to start investigating. You'll stay here with the rest of the team for now. The guys from 1088 will work on getting to the reactor. That's the plan for tomorrow."

"And how are you two going to get past the quarantine?" Laara asked, "do you have certificates?"

"Yes, actually," Alek grinned, "very craftily forged."
Last edited by Ostehaar on Sun May 22, 2016 6:27 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Atnaia
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Postby Atnaia » Sun May 22, 2016 6:32 am

Rich Worthington forced himself to stay awake. The hypnotic drone of the helicopter threatened to tug him from consciousness. He had lost count of how long he had been in the damn thing, doing passes over the ruined city. The sun was slipping away and, for a brief moment, the moon slipped out from behind the storm clouds. They'd be heading back to the Duke Attington again soon. Empty handed this time. It was becoming harder and harder to find survivors, at least from the air. The ones the guys on the ground were finding were in bad shape, pinned or trapped beneath debris or in collapsed buildings. At this point, the rescue operations were turning into corpse recovery. Still, they would find the occassional survivor on a rooftop, and would lower themselves down and bring them into the helicopter. Just enough to keep them from slipping into depression.

"Hey, Worthington," said Jones, the other soldier who had been doing the descents. "You see that?"

Jones pointed into the streets. Worthington leaned over. Down in the roads below, he could make out the flashing reflection of lights against the floodwater. His eyebrows raised. "Flashlights?"

"Yeah," said Jones. "Costly, take us around."

"Roger," said the pilot, and he buzzed around. to move above the lights. As if on cue, they went out.

"Why would survivors turn off the lights when they hear a chopper?" Jones asked.

"When those survivors don't want to be found," Rich said. He hooked up his harness. "Keep us steady Costly, we're going down."

Jones and Rich descended to the ground and unhooked from their ropes. Rich racked his gun and splashed through the waist deep water to where they had seen the lights. They found themselves outside a small electronics shop, the sort of half-legal, gray market place that sold pirated copies off Heron OS and off-brand TVs. The glass windows were shattered and the door hung off its hinges. Worthington sighed.

"Fucking really?" he said.

"What?" asked Jones.

"Come on," Rich replied. He led them through the up the concrete steps and through the dangling door. The inside of the place had peeling, black-and-white linoleum floors and long glass cabinets filled with second-hand tablets and out-of-date cell phones. Rich flipped on the light on his chest and glanced around. A few of the cabinets were shattered. One side of the back wall was collapsed in. Rich could see an arm sticking out of it. A few flies buzzed around the exposed hand.

"Shit," Jones said.

"Come on," Rich replied. He walked over to the nearest shattered display case and glanced in. All of the contents were missing. "Fucking looters, man."

"What do we do?" Jones said.

"You're acting like you've never seen looters before," Rich said. "The Crisis was good for you, eh?"

"I wasn't active during the Crisis, I was still in training," Jones replied.

Rich sighed. "Just follow my lead."

There was a door behind the rear counter. Rich walked over and listened at it. Dimly, he could hear movement behind. He glanced at Jones and signalled with a hand. Jones nodded. Rich held up three fingers...two...one...

He kicked in the door. Three figures were in the back room, loading a duffel bag with small rectangular boxes of tablets and laptops. Without a thought, Rich fired a spray of bullets above their heads. "Drop the boxes," he shouted.

The looters instinctually dropped the boxes and covered their heads. Rich moved in, pulling zipties from a pouch on his chest. Jones rushed in. "What the hell, Worthington?"

Rich pointed to the blue and black patch on his chest as he ziptied one of the looter's hands behind his back. "I'm Stone Wall SPD, remember? This is how we handle looters."

"You can't just open fire!"

"Yes, I can," Rich said. "As long as I don't hit anyone."

A few minutes later, they led the looters out and lifted them into the helicopter. "I'm reporting this," Jones said.

"Go for it," Rich replied. "Anyone in command saw the Crisis. They know the best way to handle stuff like this."

Soon, they were flying back to the Duke Attington with three prisoners in tow.
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Livorino
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Postby Livorino » Wed May 25, 2016 2:43 pm

On a hill to the South-West of the city was where the Livorans focused their relief effort, the Livoran Expeditionary Force had requisitioned an abandoned warehouse for the distribution effort. From where the Livorans were they could see not only the city, but also the overcrowded mass that was the Atnaian Refugee center. It was Del Pizzo's hope that if they set up separate they would be able to draw people away from the Atnaian camp and make it less overcrowded. It seemed to be working as a large amount of people were now camped outside of the Livoran Humanitarian Aid camp.

A helicopter fired up its rotors and outside the camp in the helicopter landing area dust and debris kicked up. Three Livoran Expeditionary Force Infantrymen started walking to it. Search and Rescue operations had become one of the main focuses for the LEF, working in tandem with the Atnaians it was hoped that the two forces could save as many people left stranded as possible. Today their work would take them into the most dangerous part of the city, the area closest to the destroyed levies where the sea took over the streets. Any buildings left standing could possibly have civilians inside, civilians that were trapped.

As the helicopter flew over the three soldiers could see horrible destruction, many buildings were destroyed, but there were plenty that were still standing. Sergeant First Class Pierre Paulu while scanning his side of the helicopter saw movement in one the buildings. "Pilot. I saw movement in the windows of the building to our left, take another sweep by it."

The pilot hovered near the building, as it did this Pierre could now see a women in the window, she opened it and called them for help. "Alright set us down on the roof, the building may be unstable so be prepared to leave if the building starts to give out. Alright men, lets go get them"

The pilot set down on the building and lifted off as the three jumped out. Moving over to a stairwell, the door was locked. PFC Altier kicked the door in and went in first. The other two followed and they were down the stairs. Pierre yelled, "This is the LEF, anyone still in the building we are here to help and bring you back to our aid station." They heard the woman yell for them downstairs.

They moved down the stairs. The stench was awful, it smelled of rotting bodies. As they came onto the third floor they could see a couple bodies around, they had grueling injuries to them, most likely from the Earthquake, but it was possible the Tsunami smashed objects into them. The woman was still by the window, she had her blouse wrapped tightly around her leg, it was covered in blood. She started crying and thanking them. Specialist Antony Caes ran over to her and knelt down, he started asking her questions about it and opened up his first aid kit.

The other two watched as Antony cut the blouse off her leg, fresh blood started to well out of the cut, it smelled quite bad, it was possible it was or would become infected. Antony put powder on it that was to help prevent infection and then wrapped field compression bandage around it. He asked her if there was anyone else but she said no, the rest had died before her. As Antony treated her Pierre checked the second floor. It was a total mess, destroyed and it was a bit flooded, no doubt he could not get to the first floor, there were a number of bodies around.

When he got back up, Antony lifted the woman over his shoulder and the three proceeded to go back to the top. As they did that, Pierre called the helicopter to come back. The woman later would have to have her leg amputated, but she would survive, even finding some of her family.

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Postby Atnaia » Thu May 26, 2016 3:22 am

Jacob and Leslie splashed over to Syed's building. As Leslie slipped in to scout out the undamaged first floor, Jacob took stock of the damage to the upper levels from below. He wasn't hopeful. The fishing boat seemed to be about a fifty footer, and it was embedded four-fifths of the way into the building. Twisted metal, glass and concrete wrapped together above like a modern art installation. Thick, knotted netting hung down, skimming the floodwater below. From Jacob's perspective, it looked like any rooms above the pub were now filled with boat, and their contents were likely pinned under several tonnes of steel and fish.

Leslie returned. "The stairs are completely gone."

"Shit," Jacob said.

"What do you think?" Leslie asked. "Do we abort?"

Jacob glanced around. "After a couple of little setbacks? No. Come on."

He walked over to the netting dangling from the boat and gave it a tug. He leaned his body weight on it and nodded. "We can get up this way," he said.

The pair scaled the netting onto the deck of the boat. For the first time in his life, Jacob was grateful for the climbing nets at basic training, something he truly thought was never going to be useful. Stepping onto the deck, he could imagine his old drill sergeant feeling an unexplainable sense of pride, wherever he was*.

The boat creaked, and as Leslie pulled herself onto the deck it shifted slightly underneath them. The pair of Knights glanced at one another. "That's disheartening," Jacob said.

They inched across the deck to the cabin, which was half-jutting from the wall. It was too dark to see through the windows inside. Jacob tried to open the door but found it stuck. Leslie walked around, trying to find another way in to the apartment, but found that rubble had formed a seal, and the cabin looked to be the only way in.

Jacob sighed. "Grab ahold of something, in case this whole thing goes down," he said.

"What are you going to do?" Leslie asked, and before she could object, Jacob threw his shoulder against the cabin door. There was a thump and the boat shook. Leslie shot forward and grabbed a handle at the edge of the deck. Jacob slammed forward again and the boat shook again. One more time and the door swung open and Jacob stumbled into the cabin.

It was dark inside. Reaching up to his shoulder, he flicked on the flashlight clipped to his backpack strap. Behind him, Leslie came in. They both cleared their throats simultaneously.

What had looked like a fifty footer embedded thirty feet deep in the building was actually two thirds of a fifty footer, clinging stubbornly to the inside of the building through rubble. Less than ten feet of the boat was actually inside the wall, the front half of the boat having been sheered off by the force of the wave. From the door of the cabin, it was a five foot drop to the floor of the apartment the boat was clinging to.

"Well," Jacob said. "I'd say we should get inside."

With as much haste as they could muster without toppling the whole fishing vessel out of the side of the building, they hopped down and onto the third floor. The boat groaned behind them. Jacob swallowed. "That was close."

"That was dumb," Leslie replied.

"It got us in," Jacob said. In the light thrown by his flashlight, he could see that he was in a small living room. All of the furniture ahd been tossed against the far wall. Wicker chairs lay pell-mell across the top of a shattered glass coffee table. An old tube TV with rabbit ears lay on its side. Dozens of family photos still hung on the far wall. It looked and smelt like an old woman's apartment.

"Where did Syed live?" Jacob asked.

"Second floor, right below us." Leslie said.

As if on cue, there was a crash of glass below. They glanced at each other again. They weren't alone in the building.


*As a side note, the drill sergeant in question had retired a year earlier and had moved to Merrit Isle with a sizable savings account and a dream of steak dinners and dark beers for dinner every night. In point of fact, he had survived the Disaster, and was only a few short miles to the east, having joined up with the Atnaian military and volunteering to help with the relief effort.
Last edited by Atnaia on Thu May 26, 2016 3:23 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Keomora » Thu May 26, 2016 4:21 am

March 17, 2016
It would be fun they said thought Emmeline to herself as she navigated through the ruins that was now Merrit City. Nothing bad is going to happen in Merrit Isle... yeah right. She shouldn't have listened to her friends nor should she have gone alone. Emmeline took one last look at her phone before throwing it away in frustration. While the action was futile it allowed her to vent her rage however briefly.
Alright stay calm... undoubtedly help is going to arrive which will mean aid, and judging from Atnaia the restoration of law and order. But right now it was dangerous for her. At the moment there would be no law and order due to the fact that the entire city got destroyed which meant everyone left from the government was busy at work and overstretched. That meant the possibility of looters or worse. The only things she had to protect herself was a kitchen knife she "borrowed" from the resort she stayed at.
"I should have gone to Livorino," muttered Emmeline to herself as she continued her trek through the flooded part of Merrit City.

Benezandria, Keomora
Code: Select all
-Classified-
Situation: Merrit Isle struck by natural disasters, situation Pending
Valuable Personnel on the Island, Classification: Hydra
Status: Unknown
Recommendation: Send Hospital Ship for Humanitarian Aid and Strategic Team Gamma
For Peace and Honor.

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Postby Covonant » Thu May 26, 2016 10:09 pm

The five individuals and the escorts arrived at Eaglet Naval Base to board the UNS Deliverance. Many relief aid workers could be seen packing the final packages for distribution. The five individuals were presented with equipments that would better aid them in their task

    Ultra range walkie talkies
    Night sight
    Spy recording pen
    .45 colt pistol
    High powered laptops
    High powered smartphones

They were all briefed of their task one final time by the man in the dark suit.

"You all have one simple task and that is to find out what the Atnaians are up to and get full assessment on the nuclear facility, the IDC have reasons to believe it may pose a threat to us or may have valid informational importance. No one is to suspect anything out of the ordinary. Once you arrive you will blend in with the relief workers. At around 02000hrs three of you will make your way to the nuclear facility were you will do some investigative work, the other two will make their way around key points on the island that will be marked on a map sent to your smartphone devices. Once something important is found you should immediately report it back to the IDC."

With that the man in the dark suit left.

The ship had set sail, they knew that they were going into a area that was ghastly. They were prepared but still unsure of what to expect.

On board the UNS Deliverance, many relief workers were getting ready to have lunch, the five individuals joined them not wanting to seem out of place, but left early as the journey to Merrit Isle won't be long.

4 hours had passed, the ship was approaching the island, from the hull of the ship many could see the state of the island. Trees were laying on the beach, garbage could be seen piled in an area, other vessels were seen that indicated other nations humanitarian aid had arrived.

Mia looked on curiously trying to get as much of an understanding of what she would have to deal with. She was tired and being on the seas made her sick but she knew how to hide her emotions and feelings well.

Everyone was called into the eating area for briefings. The Captain of the Vessel Nikoli Simmonius expressed his appreciation for their interest in the mission.

"We have a problem, the dock is too small to hold our vessel and the others, we would have to use small row boats to travel to the island shore. Once you all have reached on shore, set up our humanitarian area, the packages will be air lifted in and some by boat. We won't do much relief work today but at the break of dawn we show these people good Covonantian charity."

The row boats were lowered. Mia fear of the sea increased as now she would be very near to it. She was tired, sick but more so unsure, seemingly unsure of what to expect.
Last edited by Covonant on Thu May 26, 2016 10:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Atnaia » Fri May 27, 2016 4:11 am

The fields around the Merrit Isle Nuclear Reactor Facility were quiet. They had been for a few days, ever since the Atnaian military had wheeled in and moved out the people in farms and ranches for fifty miles around the facility. That first day had been hard work. The people of Merrit were fiercely connected to their land, and were loathe to be moved from it. Anchors, the lot of them. But with a little persuasion, a little over a hundred and fifty people, plus several hundred sheep, goats, cows and horses, had been gathered and moved away. Now, the soldiers stationed at the facility had little to do but wheel about from farm to farm, making sure no one had slipped under the quarantine. It was lazy, boring work, but at least they weren't stacking bodies like the other soldiers in the city.

The facility was now inhabited by a mixture of its original crew and a bunch of Atnaian engineers and scientists, working to make sure that the damage from the earthquake didn't grow to disaster levels. So far, there had been no issues, but everyone was keeping strangely mute on the nature of the damage and how close the facility really was to melting down or exploding. It did not give Private Frances Auckland a lot of good feelings, being that close to a giant reactor that could at any minute flood the whole area with sweet, sweet radiation. It gave her the heebie-jeebies, just looking at the place in the distance from the small farmstead she and her squad were rolling through.

"You think it's gonna blow?" she asked Private Mark Witton next to her.

"You think you are?" he asked. She punched his arm. He shrugged. "Nah, thing's been hit by quakes before, right? Remember in 2004 when everyone freaked out because they thought it was going to collapse or something."

"Yeah, but that wasn't a quake like this one."

"Sure, but it was right under the damn place. This one was more than a hundred miles away. We're good."

"I don't think that's how earthquakes work."

"Are you a seismologist?"

"No."

"Then I'll take my misinformation that makes me feel safe and comfortable over yours that makes me feel like I'm helping babysit a triggered nuclear bomb, thank you."

Frances had to give him that. It was a nicer thought, although she couldn't shake that nagging fear of Armageddon less than twenty miles away.

A dog barked at them as their jeep bounced by. Frances frowned. "Someone left their pet tied up."

"So?" said Sergeant Lords across from her.

"So we can't leave the poor thing tied up there, it'll starve to death."

The Sarge sighed. "Fine. Stop the jeep."

Private Duncan slowed to a halt and Sarge looked at Frances. "It's your damn dog," he said. She hopped out and walked over to the small farm house. The dog was a big mutt, somewhere between a German Shepherd, a Dalmatian and a Jack Russell. As she approached, it barked a few times, but it's tail shook wildly. Frances grinned.

"Hey bud," she said, kneeling down and giving it a scratch behind the ears. "You're a pretty shitty guard dog, aren't you?"

It licked her hand in response. Frances untied it from the bannister of the porch. Suddenly, there was a bang and the front porch door swung open. A somewhat pudgy, middle-aged man huffed out. He had a hunting rifle in his hands, and he brought it up at her. Frances shot to her feet and the crew in the jeep brought up their weapons and disembarked.

"Step away from my damn dog!" the man cried.

Frances' hand dropped to her sidearm. Behind her, the Sarge levelled his rifle at the man. "Drop your weapon now!"

The man didn't move. "You drop your weapon," he shouted back, his gun still levelled at Frances. The dog bounded back and forth, oblivious to what was going on. A really shitty guard dog, Frances thought.

"Sir, there has been an evacuation order," Frances said in a measured tone. "You shouldn't be here."

"Yeah, I heard," he said. "On the TV and the radio and when you lot showed up banging on my door. And I'm not leaving for any Atnaian piece of paper. No Merritian signed the order."

"Sir," Frances said. "The reactor could explode. The nuclear reactor."

"You're here," he said.

"She's a soldier," the Sarge yelled. He and the rest of the squad were moving forward carefully. "She knew what she signed up for."

"Exactly," the man said. "You lot are soldiers. A foreign occupying force, my dad would have said. I'm defending my homeland."

The man was shaking somewhat, but his rifle didn't move. "And now, you're stealing my dog," he said, his voice rising. "And you're kicking me out and I WON'T LET YOU."

He pulled the trigger. There was a bang and Frances felt the heat in her shoulder as the bullet slammed into her. A through-and-through, she thought as she spun and collapsed on the ground. There was an explosion of gunfire from the others, and a moment later the fields fell silent. Frances was rolled over by Mark. "Fuck," he said. "Guys, this one's bad."

"Get her on the Jeep," Sarge replied. "We'll get her to a medic."

The dog licked her hand, and then the others lifted her up and carried her to the jeep. She didn't know who, but someone had the good sense of lifting the dog in after her. She could feel it's heat next to her. She ahd no idea what they did with the farmer's body. As they bounded over the dirt road, she felt pressure on her wound, but slowly, surely, she lost consciousness.
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Postby Atnaia » Sun May 29, 2016 9:55 am

Jacob crept forward to the staircase to the lower floor. Leslie came up behind him, her sidearm up and ready. Jacob nodded at her and tossed his handgun over. There was no certainty that whoever was downstairs was hostile, and he didn't want to look like an armed thug when he ran into them.

"If you hear me scream for help, please shoot the fucker trying to kill me," he whispered.

She nodded. Jacob rolled his shoulders, and with deliberate cavalierness slipped down the stairs. After one floor, they became lodged with rubble, but that was fine. He only needed to go one floor down anyways. He strolled into the hallway below. In front of him, the lower half of the torn-apart ship spilled its contents into the hall. Hundreds of pounds of fish lay dead and glassy-eyed on the floor, filling the hallway with an unbelievable stink. Jacob kicked one aside with his toe and pushed over to the half-open door to Syed Hashmi's apartment.

"Hello?" he called out. "Anyone here?"

He pushed open the door. Apartment beyond was small, but mostly untouched by the boat. A threadbare couch was pushed against one wall, a dining room set against the other. A door opened to the right, heading, probably, to a bathroom and bedroom, although only the linoleum floor of the kitchenette was visible.

"Hello?" Jacob repeated. There was no answer. He furrowed his brow and glanced about. The room was mostly empty, no sign of any laptop or papers or anything that could constitute information on the blacksite. Jacob moved over to the door to the kitchen and looked in. Still nobody. On the far side of the room, two doors stood open, one to a small, dark bathroom, the other framing the foot of a bed. Water spilled from the bathroom, and Jacob could see chunks of porcelain on the floor. Somehow, the toilet had been shattered during the quake. He stepped into the kitchen, and crossed carefully to the bedroom.

It was small, with a twin bed on the far wall. To the left of the door was a small desk, with shelves mounted above. The contents of the shelves had been spilled onto the desk and floor. Dozens of books, piles of paper, several USB drives. Jacob looked around and knelt down, beginning to sort through the papers.

Most of it was useless: patient data, tax forms, that sort of thing. Down at the bottom, however, visible only after several minutes of searching, were three, brown, leather-bound journals, tied shut with red ribbons. jacob carefully unwound the ribbon on the first and flicked open the journal, revealing lines of tiny, perfect handwriting.

May 11th, 1984, the first one read. The facility has grown more tense as of late. Locke's dismissal has removed a vital component of cheer that had been keeping us all from realizing quite how awful things have become in the past few months. It was easy to forget what we are doing when Locke was around, joking. Now, though, there is only the work...

Jacob grinned and closed the journal. He took off his backpack and threw the journals in, then grabbed a handful of other papers, some USB drives and whatever else he could fit, and stuffed them in too. As he stood, he felt a wave of accomplishment in his chest. As he turned, he felt the butt of a rifle in his face.

He stumbled backwards and caught himself on the bed. In front of him was a big guy, with grimy dark hair, dressed in torn jeans and a stained shirt, with a duffle bag hanging from his side. In his hands, he held a hunting rifle.Clearly not military, but big. Probably a looter. Jacob grinned up at him, rubbing at where his face had been hit.

"Sorry," Jacob said, "was this your robbery?"

The man blinked at him, clearly shocked that his first hit hadn't knocked Jacob out. He raised his rifle to bash down again. Jacob swung sideways as the gun came down tossing the sheets from the bed upwards towards the man's face. Bundled up as they were, they weren't much of a net, but they were just distracting enough for the man to miss his strike and for Jacob to get around his side. Jacob punched forward into the man's ribs and felt one crack. The looter let out a cry but didn't go down. Not surprising. Judging by the man's scars, he had been in a few barfights before. He did, however, drop his rifle. Jacob had an instinct to grab it, but the man was already turning towards him, meaty fist swinging, so instead Jacob kicked the gun sideways into the kitchen and dove after it, through the gap between the looter and the door.

Jacob rolled to his feet in time to see the looter's wild punch slam into the wall with a crack. Jacob grabbed for the rifle, but the man was surprisingly fast and tackled through the door after him, broken fist and all. Jacob found himself driven to the ground, tailbone striking linoleum. The man punched twice, but Jacob managed to get his arms up to protect his head. He kicked up, tossing the man off of his chest towards the living room. Jacob once again made a dash for the rifle, but the wet floor from the bathroom flood sent him slipping to the ground. The looter regained his feet and moved forward again, kicking Jacob's ribs. Jacob slid a foot across the ground, slipping partially into the bathroom. As the looter moved forward, Jacob grabbed the first thing to come to hand and tossed it forward at the man's face. The fist-sized chunk of toilet porcelain hit the man square in the forehead and sent him reeling back. Jacob regained his feet and leaped forward, tackling the man out of the kitchen and into the living room.

As they slammed onto the carpeted ground, Jacob brought an elbow into the middle of the man's chest. All the air exploded, hot and sickly, from the man's lungs. The looter, to his credit, managed to not completely lose composure, and threw another pair of wild punches, tossing Jacob backwards onto the couch. The looter stood, shaking his head and getting his breath back. Jacob, in a suddenly relaxed position cleared his throat. "Any chance we could not beat each other to death?"

In reply, the looter reached sideways, grabbed a dining set chair, and tossed it at Jacob's head. Jacob managed to throw himself to the floor in time for the chair to explode against the wall. "That's a no," the looter replied.

"Fair enough," Jacob answered. He darted forward, leapt, and crashed into the man's chest with his knees. The looter fell back against the wall. Jacob landed on the floor and kipped up. He went to throw a punch, but was, amazingly, blocked. The looter was more than an average fighter. With a huge fist, Jacob's opponent caught the punch and slid down Jacob's arm into his shoulder, sending Jacob stumbling back to the far side of the living room. A fish caught under his foot and he went spiraling into the hallway through the open door. Jacob's head struck the far wall, next to the exposed innards of the boat in the wall, dazing him.

The looter followed, coughing from the many strikes to his chest. He grabbed Jacob's head in one hand and brought his face in close. "For a free Merrit, spy."

Before the looter could slam Jacob's head against the wall, however, there was a bang, and he released his grip. A second bang followed, and the looter stumbled sideways into the exposed hull of the fishing vessel. There was a creak, then a sound of metal-on-metal, and the boat cantilevered backwards and slipped out of the wall, crashing down the fifteen feet to the ground below with a bang. The ground shook. Jacob coughed on a wave of dust that poured from the ceiling and looked sideways. Leslie stood at the bottom of the stairs at the end of the hall, gun raised. Jacob grinned. "Took you long enough," he said. "I got the books."

"Good," Leslie said, holstering her weapon. "Now let's get out of here. that boom is bound to bring around relief workers."

Jacob stood. "Does Merrit have an intelligence agency?"

"It has a population of like 100,000 on the whole island," she replied. "No, it doesn't."

"Because that guy was almost certainly intelligence," Jacob said.

"We'll figure that out later," Leslie replied. "For now, we have to get back to the Dastardly."
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Postby Ostehaar » Wed Jun 01, 2016 11:13 am

"That went well," Alek said in satisfaction as he and Martin drove away from the quarantine checkpoint towards the city. He theatrically kissed the forged certificates they were given, before he shoved them back into his pocket. Their rusty and shaking jeep produced such a loud noise, making them shout to each-other everything they had to say. "Where to now?" Martin asked, keeping his eyes on the road and pointing firmly on the large folded map caught between the front seats, "I can see a T-crossing up ahead."

Alek opened the map and rested it in-front of him on the glove compartment. He followed the path they were driving with this index finger, and then stopped and tapped with it on a certain location. "There," he announced, "turn left here when you get to the T, and after about a kilometer we should be right next to the edge of the flooding." Martin nodded and took the turn.

From his side window, Alek got a clear view if city center, still far away from them but sticking out above the relatively flat skyline. He couldn't tell if the stench and staleness he sensed were a reality or just a psychological reaction to the view of the ruined city. This is going to be a different kind of mission, he thought. Martin cleared his throat to get Alek's attention - Right in-front of them the road inclined gradually downward into the water. "This is it," Martin determined and lifted the parking brake.

Alek stepped out and pulled the sheet covering the equipment they carried on the back of the jeep. He put aside the many supply packages and humanitarian equipment, revealing their own gear - Their weapons, reconnaissance equipment, and ammunition.

For almost an hour they had to go through completely flooded streets, their legs up to their knees in the murky water. They headed towards the city center, changing between narrow streets and alleys, making sure not to walk in the open through the main streets and wide avenues. Sounds of wooden doors and fences breaking disturbed the almost silent disaster area, and occasionally shouting or gunfire was heard from afar. As they got deeper into the city, buldings grew taller and shadows grew larger and darker, making it easier for them to remain hidden from attention.

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LIA Part One: Great Deeds sometimes hide insidious affairs

Postby Livorino » Wed Jun 01, 2016 6:45 pm

A nudge brought Ivo Vaccarello back to consciousness. The soldier to his right told him his drop point was coming up in 2 minutes. He nodded to the soldier and did a quick last minute check, not that he had to, but it focused him, drove off the usual pre-mission jitters. He opened his wallet, his ID said he was Henry Scotts, black hair, brown eyes, 6 foot, has a dick. It's all in order there. He looked around more, 200 bucks, a photo of "him" and his "wife" on a beach, a couple store cards, even a credit card. It was the stuff you would expect to find in a guy's wallet. He had his phone clipped into his pocket and his knife was also in there with it.

His backpack sat there, in-between his knees, filled with different things which would help him with his mission. The thing that mattered to him most though, was the .45 HK USP that was holstered on his right side, it would be his protector and his persuasion if words were not enough. The soldier smiled as Ivo looked at his pistol, "Sir, that looks like a mean weapon, wish we had that kind of caliber." Ivo laughed, "Yes, but I do not get an assault rifle like you do."

The soldier nodded, "Sir, we are at the drop point, good luck."

"The same to you, good luck and Godspeed." With that he jumped out of the helicopter landing 3 feet down on a building in the city. His mission would be to learn and find any information he could, and possibly figure out if anyone else was snooping around. It was his second actual mission he had been on, the first being an infiltration of a PMC that was getting a little to close to Livoran sovereign waters. It went well and with some diplomacy the PMC realized that the nation could defend itself without needing to pay a PMC. Hopefully this would also go without a hitch.

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Postby Atnaia » Sun Jun 05, 2016 4:50 am

"So, what do we have?" Jacob asked, leaning over Page McCann's shoulder. She glanced sideways at him with death in her eyes. Jacob took a step back. McCann looked back at her screen.

"What we have is bupkiss," she replied. "Nada. Nothing. Goose egg."

Jacob raised an eyebrow. They had digitized what he and Leslie had brought back from Syed's apartment, and the three Pages (McCann, Zhang and Worde) had been disseminating info from there ever since, combing over the journal entries over and over again for any minor mention of the facility, the project, anything. They'd even looked for codes, or hidden information, even patterns in doodles or language that might be meaningful. If McCann was right, they had nothing.

"Well, not nothing," said Zhang, rolling over. "Just not something. Just because you do not see something does not mean something is not there."

"What's that supposed to mean, Confucius?" Jacob asked.

Zhang frowned. "Racist."

"You're speaking in riddles," Jacob pointed out.

"Fair enough," Zhang replied.

"What he means," interrupted McCann, "is that we haven't found anything of value yet. But we have found leads. Well, a lead."

"A lead that could be nothing," said Zhang, "or something. Or everything. Or not a lead at all."

Jacob shot the kid a glance. Leslie spoke up from where she was leaning against the bulkhead. "What is it?"

"A man walks into a bar," Zhang replied.

"Christ, kid," Jacob rolled his eyes. "You don't get a lot of love from the ladies, do you?"

"No," said Zhang. "But I'm gay, so that doesn't really bother me."

Jacob wanted to throttle the kid for a split second, but another part of him wanted to high-five the glorious asshole. Zhang rolled his shoulders. "What I mean," he said, reading the room, "is that we found a bar. Hashmi mentions a specific bar no less than twenty-six times by name in his journals, with sideways references no less than sixty-four times...moreso than any other location. Furthermore, he mentions it in connection to several people we know worked at the blacksite. Therefore, we have to assume our guys went there during the operation of the blacksite. It is possible that someone there knows something."

"Ugh," said Jacob. "So I have to go for another swim in filthy flood water? I'm still depruning from last time."

"Actually, no," piped up Worde, from his computer monitor. His voice was high-pitched and weedy, so he didn't talk much. True to form, he fell silent after his interjection, offering no explanation.

McCann glanced over while everyone waited awkwardly for an explanation. She coughed. "Chunks of the city are relatively in tact and untouched," she finally said. "And some businesses are going so far as to reopen, despite...well, everything. This bar, from the chatter, is one of them. The owner, Geoff Dover, is serving relief workers and desperate survivors who are willing to trade food supplies and survival stuff for a chance to forget."

"The guy is operating a nightclub in a disaster zone?" Jacob said.

"He's a profiteer," Leslie replied.

"A not-so-charitable description," said Zhang. "But accurate for this particular douchebag."

He typed something at his monitor and a picture popped up. A mugshot of a fat guy with thinning hair and a mole under his right eye. "Dover is a bit of a card," Zhang said. "And not like a king, or even a passable queen. He's a...ten of clubs or something. A two-bit, second-rate ex-mobster who ran away to Merrit to avoid persecution and set himself up as something of a Mafioso, by the extent that such a thing can exist on Merrit. He essentially sells pirated software and runs a few seedy bars. By all accounts, a bit of sleazebag. But he has owned the bar since 1979, and he may remember our guys and know a next step."

Jacob nodded appreciatively. "Nice work. Transmit all of this to Duschenne. Leslie and I will get boots on the ground as soon as we have confirmation."

"Should we transmit, though?" McCann asked. "I mean, we don't exactly have secure channels around here."

"Who the hell is watching?" Jacob asked. "It's not like there's an army of counterintelligence operatives out there. We're on Merrit, not Stasi Germany."

"Fair enough."

Moments later, the information was being wired back to Atnaia, and Jacob and Leslie were prepping to head off the Dastardly and back to the city.
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Grand Illon
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Founded: Apr 06, 2016
Ex-Nation

Postby Grand Illon » Sun Jun 05, 2016 6:46 am

The refugee camp was packed to the brim. Local and foreign relief forces alike were busy dealing with the survivors from the disaster. It has been days after the devastating event that destroyed the lives of all Merritt citizens yet there is little progress in helping restore the nation in it's former state.

One could only think of the good old days before it happened. The bright blue sky, the cold breeze of the ocean and the smiles on the faces of its people... It was like living in paradise. Now, it was just a dream, a thing of the past.

Those wonderful things are replaced with death and destruction. If only we could return to the past
.


It has been days since Varys landed in Merritt Isles. He has not received any word on what he should do other than the words uttered by the RSIS director through the computer screen after he got on board the ship.

"Go to Merritt Isles and secure the perimeter. You shall blend in and serve as our primary agent on field."

"What shall be my goal?" He replied.

"Time will tell Agent. You will receive the details on field... Do not disappoint me and your King."

As doctors and relief workers were busy dealing with the sick and wounded in the camp, he was tasked with looking for survivors throughout the debris that piled up all over the city, although his main goal now is to gather important intell . If you take a closer look at the surroundings, it would more resemble a war zone rather than an natural disaster. Smoke, debris, and stench filled the city and one could wonder how these people can restore their old lives.

He was accompanied by other relief field workers who were waiting at a stop point. Soon enough a huge truck appears. It was filled with rescue items such as a ladder, stretchers, and other things that you would find in an ambulance and firetruck.

"Good morning lads! Time to move it." said the driver.

The men and women entered the truck in an orderly fashion.

"Where's our destination this time?" someone asked.

"The capital district and other surrounding areas ma'am. There's still a lot of debris that needs to be cleared. Might be hiding a person or two."

'Capital district... I guess my work begins here. Varys thought. Soon they stopped on a large open area in front of the capitol building.

"Move out so we can cover more ground. I'l go to this area over here." A rescue operator said, pointing to a huge pile of rocks and cement.

"I'l go check the capitol building." Varys said and he immediately went inside.



To be continued

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