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Upon Red Shores (IC Thread - Closed MT/PMT RP)

A staging-point for declarations of war and other major diplomatic events. [In character]
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Upon Red Shores (IC Thread - Closed MT/PMT RP)

Postby Jaragupta » Sun Feb 24, 2019 11:15 am

[OOC IMPORTANT PLEASE READ: CLOSED RP. DO NOT POST UNLESS YOU HAVE BEEN CLEARED TO DO SO!
See OOC Thread for more info.]

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Gyani, Jaragupta

Gyani was a small port city that had fluctuated in growth throughout the ages. Some of the original colonial architecture remained in the city center and around the docks, but spreading out to all sides from the outskirts, the clay and wood hovels clung like barnacles.

They looked quite magnificent, marching down the main road towards the city center. They had on khakhi dress uniforms with maroon epaulets and their matching maroon berets had peacock feathers mounted in them. The feathers jiggled as their feet stomped the hard packed dirt with regularity. They carried earlier model Arakawa ARs that had been recently cleaned. That wasn’t the normal state of a weapon in the JRA (Jaraguptan Royal Army), where drill and ceremony and preparedness were all scarce, but for the Rajah’s Tiger Regiment putting on their full display for the townspeople, it was a matter of pride.

The people that lined the streets were certainly not all that enthused to attend a military review. Every couple yards, a gendarme in regular fatigues was roving, making sure that flags and hands were being waved. Faces that turned away and quit spectating were recorded. The whole of the proceedings were being recorded for a short government film that would be dispersed to the media. The problem was that they could not capture an excited face in that crowd, but that was what modern day digital editing was for. They could certainly try to take care of that later.

This was an occupied, oppressed people. The Hamikh had never had real say in the power of the islands of Jaragupta, and it wasn’t likely to start anytime soon. The military and government were run by the Tamar, the northern people who worshipped different Hindu gods and dominated most facets of society. The royal and noble families were at the top of the caste system, and the Hamikhs started somewhere near the bottom. Even their cities were ruled by Tamar mayors and councils, with maybe a token Hamikh or two. They were allowed just one Sikh temple per 10,000 people. The religion of the Hamikhs was not outlawed, but it certainly wasn’t given much thought and was often frowned upon and misunderstood by the Tamars.

As the lead ranks of the regiment rounded the bend, and began their endrun towards the viewing stand, the crowd trickled away, despite the best efforts of the gendarmes to coax the townspeople closer to City Hall.

Upon the reviewing stand stood the mayor, his council, their families, and an entourage of JRA officers. The southern military district commander was present for the spectacle. They stood to attention as the regiment drew closer. It wasn’t a full parade, but the regiment would perform some drill and ceremony when they drew even with the stand and it would be enough of a spectacle for all but the most jaded of Jaraguptans.

The regiment drew even, and the General saluted as the ranks turned rifles out and heads sharply turned. They marched a bit further on and then the Colonel shouted commands. As one, the soldiers brought their rifles down and it was as if that was the cue.
P-P-BRUMM!!!!...BLAM!!

Four bombs, strategically placed, two on one side of the street, two on the other - one right under the viewing stand - detonated almost in sync. The last one just being a split second behind, even though it was slaved to the same signal. Besides the explosives that ripped and pummelled the bodies nearest them, shrapnel, nails, screws, bolts and other bits of scrap metal were hurled forward, directed in overlapping fields of fire by their placement hours earlier.

The Tiger Regiment was decimated. Those on the reviewing stand were just about vaporized as the one bomb took incinerated them. Some of the surviving soldiers began to fire out, thinking they were under attack from the buildings and beyond, adding to the chaos and the bloodshed as ricochets and errant led took out more men and bystanders. The smell of burning hair and flesh permeated the air. Blood was everywhere. Some crawled for salvation that would come too late, most lay still, if they were still intact at all.
Troops from the JRA garrison on the other side of town and emergency personnel rushed to the scene, but there was little they could do but clean up the mess and attempt to save the wounded, as the perpetrators were long gone.

It was by far the bloodiest day of the insurgency and the newly re-invigorated rebels were just getting started.




Rajah’s Palace
Mavala, Jaragupta


It was her first time contracting for the Guild, although she had been doing contracting work for the USGSC for some months now. Graciela Nacimiento had started her career with the Intexa, the famed support arm of the USG Security Corporation, as an attorney, assisting in the legal branch. While to her, there were some exciting moments in private military and security legalities, it had been time to step over to full contracting, where the real excitement was.

She had had to go through rigorous training, as contracting officers had to expect that they would work with few colleagues, if not alone, and with little support in possibly hostile territory. Contracting officers often double as intelligence officers in a possible client nation, gaining information wherever it was obtainable.
She had done well, if not exceptional, under the tutelage of Mandrakhar Singh, a veteran, senior intelligence/contracting officer. It had been physically challenging and she had struggled. She dropped a lot of weight and built a lot of muscle in place of it. Most of all, the mental challenges with escape and evasion and interrogation had been some of the toughest she could face.

She wished he was here today, assisting and leading the mission, with his intimate cultural knowledge of people that were not that different from where he grew up, but it was because of that very reason, and that Sikhs were the potential hostile force, that he declined, suggesting her to Director Marchand instead. It was perfectly understandable, but frustrating because he would have done the job so well on his own. No matter, she had this. She had to be confident.

Currently, she had chatted with the commander of the JRA (Jaraguptan Royal Army), Marshal Ralabar Balakrishnan, for a while as they awaited the arrival of the Prime Minister and the Rajah, the monarch that ruled this island a scattering of a few others. A shrine that held the icons of Hindu gods was across the room and she could not help but to keep turning her attention to it. The gold Ganesh and Krishna especially sparkled like nothing she had ever seen before, and flowers and the items on the puja tray made it a beautiful display. She could imagine it was much more elaborate than what might be in an average Jaraguptan villagers home. What was different was the picture of the Rajah in the middle.

The Marshal nodded.
“I see you are admiring the puja shrine. It is quite magnificent, is it not?”

“It is but, it’s not as I had studied it might be. Is...is that the Rajah in the middle?”

“Yes, it is. You see, the Rajah, and his father and ancestors before are descended from the gods, and so they must be worshipped equally.”

“So...the Rajah worships himself here?”

“No, Ms. Nacimiento, This puja is for visitors and staff. The Rajah has another shrine in his quarters. I have not seen it, but I believe it bears the likeness of his father in the central portrait.”

“Ah, that would make sense.”

A man in a stark white uniform stepped out from gilded double doors, stopped and stood ramrod straight. He spoke sharply in Hindi, then repeated in English:
“The crown ruler, his highness and ruler of the lands of Jaragupta, Gahana and the Eastern islands, his highness Rajah Jawamadav Prabhunadabaj!”

A middle aged man who was gangly in stature, yet sported quite a gut that was noticeable, even under the purple kurta he wore, entered. Behind him, an older man in a grey western suit followed. Gracie recognized him as the Prime Minister. Apparently, if the PM entered at the same time as the Rajah, he didn’t warrant his own announced introduction.

Nacimiento and the Marshal both stood and bowed as the Rajah approached.
“Hello, welcome to my kingdom, Ms. Nazee…”

“Nacimiento.”

“I’m sorry. This is my Prime Minister, Karam Anagatya.”

“A pleasure to meet you both, Your Highness and Mr. Prime Minister.”
She bowed again for emphasis.

“Ours as well.”

“I know that you represent your company, but I am not aware of your full title.”

“I am a Contracting Officer in the service of the Intexa, the USG Security Corporation’s support arm. But that isn’t precisely who I represent today, Your Highness and Mr. Prime Minister...”

Both looked slightly confused, but patiently waited for her to finish.

“...I am representing the PMC Guild today, several of our companies that have joined together under one organization.”

“So you have formed a super-PMC?”

“Not exactly, sir. The Guild is just a coalition of interested companies. We bond together to serve some contracts and support each other, as well as promote the industry, but also, all the member companies still conduct their own business separately. Just an industry guild that encompasses several security and private military outfits of varying size, elements and focus.”

“I see. I guess that makes sense. Is the USG Security Corporation unable to fulfill the contract on its own?”

“Honestly, no. We don’t have enough assets on our own to fulfill it as well as honor our other contracts, but even if we did, we like to try to bring in these contracts every so often where all of our partners can become more cohesive and working together becomes more natural. Plus, the more Guild partners involved, the more options that are brought to the table, so you, the client, can have your needs better met.”

“How do we know that all your partners are of the same quality as the infamous Uli Schwyz?”

“It’s a valid question. The answer is that you have our word, but you are also welcome to research any of the Guild partner companies that will be involved in this contract. I will have a full list, as well as assets contributed.”

The Prime Minister smiled, assured.
“That works for us. I was told that there would be two of you?”

“Mr. Rejmarak was not able to join us as he’s wrapping up another contract. He will travel here as soon as he can.”

“Very well, perhaps we should get down to business.”

The Rajah swept his arm towards chairs set up, just visible through the doors in the greeting hall into the next parlor. As if by magic, two royal servants, also in bright white uniforms, appeared bearing trays of tea and wine.
“Come, let us find seating.”

They adjourned to the parlor room indicated and the servants put the trays down on side tables, then closed the doors on their way out.

The Prime Minister cleared his throat and started in,
“I suppose you heard about the bombing in Gyani a few days ago, Ms. Nacimiento?”

“I did. Terrible news. I didn’t get the full story, but I understand the city leadership was assassinated?”

“Yes, and the Rajah’s Tiger Regiment was also on review. They took 60% casualties. Plus a handful of civilians were killed.”

Gracie sucked in her breath. That was a lot for a regiment, even in full combat.
“That is ghastly! That I had not heard.”

The Marshal nodded.
“The explosives were well placed for overlapping fields. Four of them including the one that took out the review stand. Whoever had a hand in it knew what they were doing…”

“No one has claimed responsibility?”

“Everyone has claimed responsibility. The HDLF (Hamikh Democratic Liberation Front), the HNLA (Hamikh National Liberation Army), and several splinter groups from both. The issue is that nothing on this scale and this well planned has happened for at least two decades from the Hamikh insurgency. We believe they have some outside assistance. From off the islands.”

Gracie paused.
“Possible, but isn’t it also possible that the local insurgents have just finally evolved and advanced enough to hone their tactics?”

“We have wondered, but no, this is just too much, too fast. There are other indications. Some of our workers have been kidnapped and taken to the Pan-Asiatic States and the Cardwiths…”
The latter nation lay a few thousand km to the southwest, the former, larger union of states was a few thousand more km to the east, just past the Wishton Sea.
“...They were used for socialist propaganda and all across their media.”

Nacimiento lowered her head, not sure where to go from here. She raised it back up.
“Well, the Guild is willing to muster forces and also to train your troops as you originally requested. We have intelligence and recon elements that can probably gather more information as to what outside forces might be at play here.”
Were it to be either of those nations, and they were going to get more involved than just stirring the pot to support fellow socialists, things could get messy. Both were ISC nations.

Marshal Balakrishnan responded,
“I think our intelligence will get to the bottom of it soon enough, but we could always use the help...Training or gathering information.”
He didn’t try to hide his irritation at the training comment. It was something he had rankled at behind closed doors, but the Rajah and Prime Minister had both insisted that the Army, Gendarmerie, and Royal Guard needed more training and perspective from off the Island.

Nacimiento knew when to back off this early on in the contracting phase. She was aware that the PM and Rajah had pushed to form an intelligence agency that didn’t fall under military command, but that the military continued to resist that idea. Also, that he was somewhat resistant to outside training of any kind. It was a battle that could be fought later by Elijah when the Guild was full into the contract and he could outmaneuver the military chief in further negotiations.

There’s something else you should

“Yes, I’m sure they will. I brought papers to sign for the contract…” She had the physical contract in a satchel and her GXT tablet to scan/capture the pages and transmit them instantly to HQ. “...as well as more information on what we would bring in to the Kingdom, like I mentioned before...That is...If we should go any further?”

The Rajah spoke,
“Indeed. I would like to see them, but I can assure you that there is no need for hesitation, Ms. Nacimiento. We will be hiring you, or I guess the Guild, on. The devil is in the details, as they say. Shall we get to it?”

Gracie smiled.
“We shall.”

[Co-RP’d with USG Security Corporation]




Obviously, this is a classic trope set up - A MT/early PMT RP consisting of a rebel insurgency on a tropical island nation, with full blown ethnic and ideological strife occuring.Unfortunately, it is not open unless you are either a member of the ISVC, ISC or the NS PMC Guild, and a couple select invited guests, so please no posting to this thread unless you have been cleared. Membership can be obtained from those organizations by visiting the linked threads. To participants, please don’t post after a spam/uninvited post until we have sufficient time to get it deleted.

It is understood by the participants on both sides (ISVC/Marxists and PMC Guild/Jaraguptan government backers) that standard good conduct NS RP rules will be abided by (ie no godmodding/metagaming, no one liner or poor quality posts, no WMDs or other escalation that hasn’t been agreed to by both sides, no OOC posting in the IC thread, just to name a few)
It also can be noted for the record that we are striving for a good quality thread that all involved can enjoy, so anything that interferes with that will be dealt with accordingly. (Just trying to cover all the bases)

Arbitration in OOC disputes will done be by the OP, a puppet of a NS F&I Mentor, and internally within both involved organizations. The OOC thread that also contains information about the host nation, ORBATs and other necessities is located at this LINK. Any other questions can be directed to the OP via TG, if not to that OOC thread. Thank you for your understanding.
Last edited by Jaragupta on Sun Feb 24, 2019 8:26 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Postby USG Security Corporation » Sun Feb 24, 2019 9:00 pm

Campobello Command Center
USG HQ, Panto Leto


Director Xavier Marchand sat at the head of the table in one of several conference rooms in the command center. This one was more utilitarian than some of the others, but it was available and none of the occupants, including the long serving Director, much minded how posh their temporary accommodations were.

In addition to Marchand, Contracting Officer Elijah Rejmarak sat to one side, and representatives from the contracting divisions of the Blackwood Company, Varangian Guard, SSI, Salamander, and HOI sat on the other. Next to Rejmarak sat his colleague, Graciela Nacimiento, a short, athletic built Latina officer who had initiated the contract they were discussing.
"...As you can see, I have compiled a bit more data on the client since our last meeting. As we know, there is minimal government bureaucracy in the Kingdom. I confirmed that in our contract initiation negotiation. I met directly with the Prime Minister, Karam Anagatya, the head Marshal of the military, Ralabar Balakrishnan, who also serves as the commander in chief, and the Rajah himself, Jawamadav Prabhunadabaj. There is no Interior Minister, and the Prime Minister seems to handle most of the duties that a Foreign Affairs Minister would. They did have a Minister of Foreign Affairs, but apparently he was jailed for corruption and drug addiction.”
Gracie took a sip of water.

Elijah added to her presentation,
“There are benefits and drawbacks to such a skeleton government administration with a client, but ultimately, I don’t see that this will be much of a problem directly for the Guild. The government and the military are weak by any way you look at it. Encouraging them to add layers of bureaucracy won’t much help the situation.”

Director Marchand finished,
“No, and it’s not our place to advise on such matters for a client. It’s unfortunate for the Jaraguptan people that there are less checks and balances in their government, but in the shorter term, that doesn’t affect us and dealing with less officials of the client is only advantageous, I agree.”

The gallery of other Guild reps all nodded and muttered agreement.

Gracie moved on to her next point.
“Speaking of a weak military, they took horrific casualties to one of their top units, the Tiger Regiment, in a very public bombing in the city of Gyani.”

“Yes, we heard about that.”

Elijah tapped a pen on the table.
“Needless to say, that’s a huge moral blow to the Jaraguptan military. I think they would almost welcome news that there were foreign agents at work there, instead of the Hamikhs had gotten the best of them. Either way, they are reeling.”

Gracie took back over,
“From that and from assassinations of high level leaders, IED attacks on other patrols, ambushes...Things have really stepped up from their past activity from all I had heard.”

Director Marchand folded his hands on the table,
“We certainly have our work cut out for us, but this isn’t anything that the Guild hasn’t faced before, both together, and on numerous contracts that all our partners have completed. Insurgencies are a very old story in the history of human conflict.”

Nacimiento side eyed her boss, wondering if she was being mansplained to at this moment.
“Director, that is definitely the case, but I also think this thing has the potential to blow out of control. There may be something to this Jaraguptan suspicion of foreign socialist intervention and we should be prepared for the contract escalating.”

“Of course, Ms. Nacimiento. I understand your point. I’m sure Mr. Rejmarak will keep it under advisement.”

Gracie put her tablet down.
“Well...we both will. Right, Director?”

“I have another contract I need you to initiate. Elijah is going to be taking over this client and taking the next steps to fulfill the contract.”
Marchand saw her readily evident frustration.
“Don’t worry, Ms. Nacimiento, you’ll get your commission.”

“That’s not it, Sir. I put some effort into laying the groundwork for this, I was hoping to follow through.”

“I understand, but you are needed elsewhere. We are thin on the ground when it comes to contract initiatiors. I think perhaps when this next contract is inked, we could look at returning you to Jaragupta to do your follow up.”

“I see.” She decided it would be prudent to not speak again until asked a direct question.

Marchand turned to the other Guild reps.
“I’d like to discuss your contributions to the contract.”
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Postby USG Security Corporation » Wed Mar 06, 2019 11:53 pm

Villa # 11
Tranquil Bay Resort
Resala, Kenega


Tranquil Bay was not as glamorous as some of the other resorts on the southern coast of the tropical isle of Kenega. It had seen much better times in its 1970’s heyday, and was a bit lackluster in trying to retain the attention of the waves of tourists that poured in from Teremara, and elsewhere. It had been through little revamping since that time.

On busy weeks though, it still saw some flow of tourists as the other, more popular resorts filled up and accommodations became scarce.

For that very reason, it had become a favorite warren of safehouses for the Intexa, the support arm of the USG Security Corporation that also handled intelligence and security matters. They had put several of the villas in the resort on permanent retainer as operations during the Hutanjian War had escalated and the need to spy on the enemy, as well as sometime allies, had increased in the neutral ground of Kenega where both sides had been more than active. Villa #11 was no stranger to the top USG officer who occupied it now.

Colonel Laurent Cogant was a legend in the USG. He had been on the home island base for the USG when the Falkasians had raided it and suffered from a rocket blast. During earlier action on Nesselberg in the Hutanjian War, he had lost an eye. Rather than get a glass eye, he had taken to wearing a classic black eye patch. He was rakish, and wore his hair a little longer than would be regulation in most military organizations and was even borderline for the USG. His black wavy hair was heavily streaked with gray, but his most striking feature was his laugh lines. He was quick to smirk or give a chuckle and his humor was infectious to those under his command.

Like Colonel Moller, a fellow Neu Engollian, he had been passed over for promotion to the top General of the USG in favor of the South African, Pieter van Aardel. Unlike Moller, he wasn’t very bitter about it and took it much more in stride, as was his nature.

Now, he waited patiently as his counterparts from the other Guild members streamed into the villa main space. Behind him was a large screen on which a projector hooked up to his laptop would project briefing images. He surveyed them passively as they were escorted in by USG and other Guild junior officers. By Cogant stood a top section officer, Elijah Rejmarak, from the Intexa, the support arm of the USG, who would be providing a lot of the intel for the briefing.

She had hoped to be the last in; perhaps avoid the inevitable scrutiny with the attention on everyone else. Stepping through the villa door, it quickly became apparent that this was not to be the case. She glanced around and took notice. No one was in sight, except for the two USG representatives at the rear of the room glaring intently, aggressively, at her.

The irony hit her immediately, like a cresting wave at high tide on a beach. It made her smirk. They were professionals, so there wasn’t any risk of retribution. That handicap satisfied her deeply. Eelin Kirves languidly made her way to a seat, somewhere in the middle of the pack. It wasn’t in her nature to antagonize. What had happened between Falkasia and the USG was political. Far above her. She had been working an overseas contract for a shipping company running asset protection. But History had a way of being omnipresent, and inserting itself where it was unnecessary.

She sat with only a courteous nod. Where she sat was one of the folding chairs set up, but on both sides of the arrayed extra wooden folding chairs there were a handful of the regular furniture that usually occupied the space: settees, a recliner chair and side tables.

Cogant nodded back, as did Rejmarak to the first arrival. Despite her sense of hostility from them, Colonel Cogant really wasn’t all that perturbed. He didn’t even recognize her at first. Elijah, who had a lot of the material files memorized for this mission, leaned down and mumbled,
“Eelin Kirves, from Varangian. One of the newer groups accepted into the Guild.”

“Ah yeah, the Falkasian company. That explains the frostiness.” Cogant tilted his head and said louder,
“Welcome, Ms. Kirves. We’re going to wait a few more minutes for some of our other colleagues to arrive.”

The Intexa officer added,
“There’s a sidebar with beverages set into that alcove over there. We can get some other refreshments if you’re hungry at all.”
The sidebar held decanters and a few other spirits, a bucket of ice, bar glasses and some 2 liters of soda mixers, A mini fridge directly underneath held water bottles, canned soft beverages, Burgunden Breu beers and Gertners ciders.

“I’m all right, but thank you.” She stated professionally.

Aleksandr Jensen was often known as a workaholic, a man with little time for anything aside from his job. But this wasn’t the case, as he strode down the hallway tapping away at a tablet to check readiness levels and budgetary projections. There was a reason he was one of the most efficient Salamander commanders the company had, after all, and he was a brilliant multi-tasker. For example, going to a meeting, checking up on his men while he chatted with his wife at home in Æsthurlavaj on a Bluetooth headset.

“Nadia, I’m on my way to a meeting.”

“You always are, Aleks.”

“It pays the bills dearest,” Jensen quipped back, handing the tablet to a Salamander employee he’d requested as a temporary aide/bodyguard. Madero, his nametape read, with the Salamander emblem of a roaring monster on the man’s armored chest.

Cogant angled his good, non-patched eye to give Jensen more focus as he and his aide entered. He mumbled up to Rejmarak,
“Did he just tell me why he wants to get paid and call me dearest?”

“He was on a wireless tech headset, sir. Jensen, from Salamander.”

“Ah, yeah. The Azurlav firm. Very good then.”

”You’re always on the road, Aleks. Just once, can I get a vacation with you there?”

Jensen chuckled, recognizing he had stepped into the room proper and needed to get to business.

“Tell you what? After this job, I’ll take you to that island resort you’ve been asking about. And I’ll stay for the whole thing this time. Promise.”

”We’ll see about that, Husband.” came her wry response as the call disconnected. She was a military wife, she knew exactly when she was being signaled to go for a minute, and Jensen chuckled a moment as he realized his new obligation.

“Ah, love you too,” he muttered before reaching up, pulling the headset down and rubbing his hands, grinning beneath a thick and bushy black mustache. “So! Who’s ready to make some money?”

Elijah nodded, then waved over to where the side bar was.
“Come in and get comfortable, Mr. Jensen. There’s beverages over at the side bar.”

“Ah! Excellent! Business over a good drink!” the Salamander commander gestured Madero away a moment before strolling over, slapping both hands down on the bar. “Where do you keep the draft beer? I will have only the best of your stock, of course!”

Another diminutive USG staffer slipped out from the kitchen area of the villa. She wore a light, cream blouse and khaki shorts with sandals. She had shockingly orange-red bobbed hair at the shoulders and was very tan and freckled. She sidled up to Jensen, in the same motion gesturing under the counter his hands rested on to a wide, short refrigerator.
“There are Burgunden Breus and Gertner’s ciders in there, sir. We have a larger refrigerator back in the kitchen that has a handful of non-Teremaran beers, including the local island light lager, Starflow.”

“Ah, a good start!” The merc proclaimed, reaching under and extracting a Gertner to begin with, twisting off the top and taking an experimental sip, only sparing the staffer a single glance. A married man he may be, he was allowed the occasional look. With a satisfied sigh, he set the hard cider down and wiped the froth from his mustache, having drained a third.

“Good to see you all again, it is! I hear we get to shoot some communists this time? Marvelous! I’ve been itching for a good vermin hunt for a while.”. He chuckled, low and dangerous as his powerful hands swished the drink around in the brown glass bottle.

Cogant chuckled.
“We never really stopped shooting the commies, Jensen. The locations change, but a lot of the same faces show up. I will make it clearer in just a bit, but we are waiting on a few others to show up before we officially start the briefing.”

“Oi! Some of our best allies are hardline commies and religious fanatics!” Interjected Cpt. Bradley of the 90th Legion of Hurtful Outcomes Incorporated. “At least when their loyalty is bought and paid for, they stay loyal… the ones to worry about are capitalist employers with questionable business practices.”

Merlin mumbled again,
“Bradley from Hurtful Outcomes Inc.”

Cogant nodded, “I actually guessed that one on my own, Merlin. Welcome, Bradley.”

Bradley then took a seat and generally seemed at-ease. For him this was just another day, another discussion of a contract, and members haggling over which assets are to do what for the greater good of the guild. Sometimes he wondered why he bothered attending Badb Catha Military Academy of advanced strategies to study Endorsian nuclear-psychostratology and brinksmanship.

One of the last to arrive was a pair of powerfully-built individuals, clearly operational personnel by their bearing & mannerisms. The first (and oldest) was slightly larger, clad in a reasonable pair of formal ‘summer-weight’ linen pants & a flashy red-and-white lotus-pattern Hawaiian shirt that hung about his muscular frame like a curtain, dangling from his broad shoulders in a manner that didn’t flatter a physique he’d obviously spent time cultivating, but did lend itself to hiding a large-frame handgun on his person. His graying, red-brown hair had been shaved into a tight mohican to preserve what little youth he had remaining by shaving the graying temples. His general demeanor hinted that he wasn’t in the least bit happy about this.

Dekker Bray was one of the most veteran (read: oldest surviving) operators on Blackwood Company’s staff. A former Navy SEAL from various teams (Six included) with operational time in Iraq (two different wars), Afghanistan, and Africa (for various benefactors); Bray had logged more time in contact than most men his age had logged in office spaces. He was not unscarred by this process, however. His left leg was clearly less bulky than his right, owing to the fact that it was a titanium prosthetic below the knee. He’d lost the leg during one his first Blackwood operations (at the ripe age of 49), but hadn’t lost a step in terms of combative ability. Blackwood’s corporate arm, however, had stepped in and placed Bray in an operational management role before his perceived handicap could impair his ability to visit harm on behalf of his employers. As previously stated (and readily apparent from his scarred visage), he wasn’t happy about this fact. Bray was a shooter, pure and simple, and he’d been forced into his operational role via a better pay grade & less operational risk,but his jovial expression did little to betray this. Dekker had embraced his reluctant role with the expected professionalism.

The second man looked much like a younger, angrier version of the first. He lacked the polish of age, of a senior command position. Ragnar Nielssen was a frequent Guild asset. Much like Dekker had been back when he was twenty years younger, Ragnar was a living example of martial prowess. A veteran of the Argonian Civil War in the counter-insurgency operations of the 1st Ulfhednar Regiment, he had extensive experience leading special-billet troops in such operations. He’d been assigned two Special Mission Teams (SMT’s) for this operation, and that was a high honor. In the wake of his last Guild operation where he’d been shot, and therefore been forced to drop out of the contract he’d redoubled training efforts & effectively advanced himself to the next level of proficiency. The men under his command expected to be led by example, and unlike other private units, Blackwood didn’t maintain a formal rank structure. Ragnar had no other authority or respect than what he personally earned, and maintaining his edge went a long way towards cementing his authority.

His beard remained somewhat long for a private contractor, but not overly so. His hair was a different story; Ragnar’s hair was a mess of rusty-red dreadlocks on top of his head and a neat clean-shaven look on the sides of his skull. The man cared little for public judgement, but respected the Gungiri custom of not cutting one's’ hair until one lost a conflict. In Ragnar’s case, this was obviously infrequent. His dreadlocks, although tied back, hung down to his shoulders in a more-or-less dignified manner, a ‘noble savage’ in most respects. The small runic pattern tattooed across the bridge of his nose & cheekbones likely held similar symbolism, as did the visible ink on his thick forearms. His clothing was no-nonsense; cargo khakis, trail-running shoes, and a t-shirt with the company logo that was tight enough to show off his impressive physique but loose enough to hide a pistol worn in the appendix position.

Both men seated themselves without a word, Bray grabbing three fingers of the oldest vintage of scotch from the bar cart. Nielssen treated himself to nothing, already annoyed by the humidity. He’d tagged along to get a better understanding of their operational environment. Dekker would be doing the talking & he’d be on hand to put faces to names in the event there were other operational personnel attending who’d be on the ground with him once operations began in earnest.

“Bray and Nielssen from Blackwood.”

The USG Colonel raised his hand.
“So good to have you here. Dekker Bray, your reputation precedes you. Glad to have you and Mr. Nielssen aboard.”

The two Blackwood personnel nodded in greeting, Ragnar just taking sunglasses off after allowing his eyes to adjust.

There was a not so quiet, almost awkward, shuffling at the door. A few moments later, the operational commander sent by SSI emerged. Much like any former spook, he could have just as easily been the neighbor across the street, or perhaps the tenant upstairs who quietly kept to himself. No matter how hard he tried, however, Roland Weber couldn’t quite shake the former military look. Though dressed in business casual, his hair was cut high and tight, and his long sleeve shirt clung tightly - especially around his biceps. For a man in his mid-forties, it didn’t seem as if he ever skipped a chance to skip out on time in the gym.

He wasn’t alone either. A couple of his employees, security contractors in their own right, trailed in his wake. They were a tad more formal, dressed in suit and tie. Earpieces were tucked snugly into their ears, and they undoubtedly had body armor under their clothing.

“Good morning, ladies and gentlemen.” Roland greeted as he stepped in. Running a hand through his shortly cut hair, he looked around and nodded to them all. “I apologize for being a few minutes late. There were some weather issues back home and it took my flight a bit longer to take off than originally expected.”

“You made it. It’s the same day, within the same couple hours. We’re glad you’re here, so grab a seat.” Cogant waved to the couple chairs that were left.




Elijah Rejmarak worked on making sure the connection from his GXT 5 (a Schwyz DS/Logiztek manufactured tablet) was working with the projector he’d set up and the scrolled down white screen was centered.

His mind wandered to the fact that he might not even be in charge of Intexa operations on this contract had Mandrakhar Singh not declined. Singh was the top contract initiation officer, as well as a brilliant field intelligence officer for the Intexa/USG. He was also a Sikh and had identified with the Hamikhs, who would be their main adversaries on the contract. Singh had removed himself from consideration upon being approached for the job initially. He had felt there would be too much inner conflict for him to do the job properly. So it had fallen to Elijah, who was also a field officer secondary to his primary job, a section leader analyst for the Intexa. He was next in line due to his language, field, and analytical skills.

Colonel Cogant prompted him,
“Are we all set, Merlin?” Merlin was Elijah’s field cover name.

“Yes, sir. I think so...Anyway, welcome all. I think I speak for the USG and the Guild, that we’re glad that you could all make it and that you’re aiding and partaking in this contract. It seems pretty standard on the surface, but there are some complexities and unknowns that could make this quite a difficult contract, at least in the short term.”

He put up the first slide by clicking on the appropriate button in PushPop, Schwyz’s popular electronic slideshow app that came integral to the GXT. It looked like all was on track as the map of Jaragupta appeared with no fuss. He breathed an inner sigh of relief.



“The main island there is Jaragupta. Our client is both the royal house and the government. The Rajah, or King, is descended from a dynasty of long lineage that has held the throne. There is a parliament and PM, a more recent addition of the last 5 decades, but don’t be fooled, they do not hold the power of your normal constitutional monarchy. Parliament has been shuttered and the PM dismissed by the Rajah on more than a few occasions. Those in power, along with the oligarchs and other upper class are all of the Tamar ethnicity. The Tamar have never relinquished or shared power with the Hamikh for generations dating back to when they were separate kingdoms. It’s believed that less than 3% of the population is neither Tamar nor Hamikh, so I won’t even get into that. Ms. Selen is going to be passing out fact sheets for all of you that will be instrumental in getting a grasp on this particular situation.”

The slide on the screen showed the Hamikh people at a traditional dance.


The cute, redheaded Intexa staffer that had been in the kitchen earlier circulated the fact sheets to all the Guild and allied personnel in the room.



“The map is on there as well. We don’t actually have exact population figures as Jaragupta has never submitted to the WA census, nor conducted internal government censuses. It’s believed that they might fear that exact figures would dictate that the Tamar are the actual minority, not the Hamikh. There are a few million inhabitants, most of them on the main island and most of that population in the cities.
In any case, while we weren’t hired on to tell them how to run their government, my Intexa team, along with any other Guild support personnel, re-directing their policies might aid us in a more successful contract.”

Cogant waved him on.

“...Moving along. There are two Hamikh factions vying for independence. The HNLA, or Hamikh National Liberation Army, who are more Sikh fundamentalists and nationalist in nature, and the HDLF, or Hamikh Democratic Liberation Front, a Marxist group that seem to pull from Castro, Tito and Mao, equally, as odd as that is for those of us who have read up on our political science.The HDLF is more popular and has more fighters and support. Both have worked together against the government, but more often they are at odds.”

Another slide showed protestors marching in the streets of a major Jaraguptan city with police firing tear gas.


“Initial analysis by my team indicates that we have a chance to win over the HNLA, if we can get some guarantees from the Jaraguptan government to concede some autonomy.

As for the HDLF, well...short of eradication, we need to shut them down.

The Jaraguptan government has no tangible intelligence service, other than a branch of the Royal Guard that acts as a security service. They have been quite ineffectual in infiltrating or even predicting the efforts of the Hamikh separatists of either faction. In short, they are vastly out of touch on many levels. Part of our job will be in adequately training them to fill in the gaps in these shortcomings.

Guild units will need to train their Jaraguptan counterparts in the JRA, the Royal Guard and the national police force in effective COIN tactics for the short term, integration for the long term. We’re still working on final terms, but the Jaraguptan government, even with the foreign military aid packages, will not be able to fund a long term Guild contract. There will be a definitive end point for this contract.”

A Jaraguptan soldier walked down a street, his early model Murakami made Arakawa AR slung over his shoulder carelessly.


Were we just up against the HDLF, I think we could all agree we could have this contract sewed up in record time. Unfortunately, the Marxists are getting some unverified outside support. A media report that recently surfaced out of the Pan-Asiatic States suggests that they might have or want to have a hand in Jaragupta. Rumblings picked up from our friends in the HSA (Hutanjian Security Agency) says the Cardwithians might also be up to their old tricks in stirring up revolution.

Reading between the lines, the Intexa says all of the above.

Both nations are International Socialist Congress and ISVC members. Yes, our old adversaries in the ISVC. There’s no proof to verify either, but sometimes you have to connect some dots. The Cardwiths are due West of Jaragupta, by several thousand klicks, but still technically in the same Wishton Sea. The Pan-Asiatic States are due East and a little north by a little more distance. One is making noise about Jaragupta, the other always makes noise about any socialist group they feel they need to rescue. We don’t think it’s a far stretch that either or both are involved, which would mean all their socialist allies, so we need to be prepared.”

Slides of the Cardwiths map, then the giant span of the Pan-Asiatic empire flashed in progression.


Cogant took over from there.
“We can nail these guys. We’ve done it before. We have the upper hand and they have to sneak in. They won’t…they shouldn’t...be showing up with an ISVC fleet offshore, but the Jaraguptans have friends to ensure that won’t go unchecked. This should be a fairly low scale affair where we hunt down the HDLF groups in the jungles and mountains, and their cells in the cities. If your troops happen to capture any foreign agitators, we’ll keep it hush, but they will need to be shipped to wherever we have facilities to interrogate and deal with them, likely in Mavala.”

Rejmarak interjected.
“If we expose them early on, I think we can discourage further support from the ISC or any other outside communist backers and turn world opinion against them for interfering in a sovereign nation’s affairs.”

The Colonel nodded.
“I have faith that Merlin and his colleagues can help give the media a gentle push in that direction, along with Galien X platoon...A fine set of cyber warriors. Depending on what all of you, our Guild partners, bring to the table, the USG is willing to supplement with anything else that is needed to get this to successful completion. We will be dividing up zones for each of the units, who will be working with their client counterparts.

I won’t be out there much in the field with you all, unfortunately, as I will be coordinating with the Jaraguptan command staff in Mavala. That being said, even if we can not meet in person for regular command staff meetings, we will need to regularly keep in electronic communication.

Major Ignacy Pyrczinski will be the field commander for the USG’s Galien Regimental Combat Team. GRCT is made up of specialized platoons picked from all of our tactical regiments. We’ll also have the Red Arrow Squadron and the Dragonfly Squadron in the AO, Red Arrow is a fixed wing multi-role unit and Dragonfly is a assault/transport combined rotor unit. All USG air will be under the command of Major Yoshi Masuhito. We haven’t decided yet where to set up our forward bases, but that should sort out quick enough.”

Elijah cleared his throat and nodded over to a man who had as of yet, not been introduced, dressed in a basic linen suit. No one had noticed him as he’d been in a side bedroom up until moments ago, working on his tablet. The olive skinned man had entered the main villa space, ready for his part after some study of maps, logistics and numbers.

Colonel Cogant craned his neck around. He had maintained an aura of slack comfort and almost a sense of boredom at the proceedings so far, but he was on the contrary, very in tune to the dynamics of the room.
“Oh, shit! Yeah, sorry, Colonel. You were so quiet back there...So, ladies and gentlemen, this is Colonel Haidar Akkadi of the Riysian expeditionary command to Jaragupta. The powerful benefactors I was talking about earlier. They’re going to be gathering intelligence for us, supporting the Jaraguptan navy in patrolling, advising the government, and just generally they will be a lot of our major support. I’ll let him take over from there.”

Eelin Kirves nodded, a multitude of thoughts rushing through her head. While none scared her, the potential of a Cardwithian invasion, likely supported by the regular Falkasian forces stationed on the islands, would cause significant complications for the operation, possibly pitting Falkasian against Falkasian. She knew well enough that the alliance was not one based on ideology, but of convenience to grant access to the rich mineral reserves on Nesselberg. Not really dissimilar from her intention here. ‘Kiss the pig then enjoy the bacon’, as the saying went.

“Quietness is a virtue in my organization.” Colonel Akkadi stood up, speaking in lightly accented English. “Thank you Colonel, and hello everyone. I am Colonel Haidar Akkadi, from Riysa. I will try to keep this brief - Riysa has a vested interest in making sure that Marxists don’t take over another country, especially one where there’s a lot of money at stake, so here I am. So what am I bringing?”

He raised his finger. “Istikhabarat - Intelligence, first. We have many ways of uncovering information about the rebels and the ISC, so we’ll put our apparatus to work and give us an advantage over them. Navy, two. We can deploy patrol vessels to assist the Jaraguptan Navy in intercepting any smugglers or blockade runners. Of course, it’s not that helpful against an enemy battlefleet, but if the ISVC sends one, then there’s no point in keeping up the charade - just lob our bombs at each other and be done with it. Diplomacy, three. We can negotiate with the government, play politics with other nations, secure extra supplies, et cetera, et cetera that - no offense intended - it’d be harder for a company to do by itself.”

“Of course, that is just some of the things we can provide to the operation. Otherwise, thank you Colonel for hosting me here today. We’ll be monitoring the Jaraguptan situation closely as of now. I look forward to working together on this operation.”

Elijah glowered, but didn’t say anything. He wasn’t going to get into the Intexa plans for intelligence operations to do exactly what the Riysian Colonel had outlined. They would either work together, or stay out of each other's way.

Cogant corrected,
“A collection of companies...But I can’t totally disagree with your points, Colonel. While the Guild can accomplish some of those things, we certainly are not in the business of diplomacy with other governments that are not clients. And while some of our Guild partners have naval vessels - Combined, I don’t think the Guild could field a whole fleet.”

“If transportation simply getting to the AO is going to be a problem, I may be able to pull a few favors from our navy to get a few LCU-2000s to haul supplies in and provide security during offloading… however they won’t stick around. I likely don’t have that much political clout unless someone tries to sink or hijack one of those ships.” Bradley added.

“I think what needs to happen is that some of the boats are provided by the Riysians, some by our client, and some by you. For every day operations, we’ll want to rely on our own Guild vessels, of course, HOI or otherwise. We will also have plenty of air assets all around. I don’t see a huge issue here.”

Colonel Cogant waved his hand to punctuate the last statement, then stood up and sauntered over to the mini bar, reaching into the small fridge to grab himself a Burgunden Chateaux. He popped the top off with an opener built into the side of the bar. “Does anyone else have any more questions up to now, or can Elijah run through some details of the contract?”

The Falkasian shook her head, and glanced around. Everyone else seemed to share her sentiment. The Hurti seemed to be more busy returning some texts than actually listening, likely furiously trying to pull favors and make other arrangements for his unit without interrupting the non-discussion.

Roland Weber coughed quietly as he shifted in his seat. He had been mostly silent during the meeting, having arrived late. That aside, he was simply content to watch and listen. SSI had been called in to handle the job, and they would do so admirably. They had one thing some other companies couldn’t so easily muster - manpower, and lots of it. “No questions from me. I have a pretty good idea of what my company will be sending to the area of operations. If we find ourselves in need of additional logistical support, I have certain contacts that could lend their assistance.”

Elijah Rejmarak, the stocky Cornellian, took back the floor,
“Well, we certainly are always interested in new contacts for sub-contractors, Mr. Weber. So, we have the basics down. We will do the best we can to sweep out the major groups of rebels. We’ll train the Jaraguptan Royal Army and forces on how to keep up with that when we’re finished up, as there’s just no realistic way they will all fold it in and be done when we pack up, so...we follow through on that training part of the contract. We’ll keep an eye out for foreign agitators and we’ll try not to leave these islands messier than we found them, right?”

Elijah got some chuckles from that last comment.
“This next sheet that our assistant is handing out contains details of each company’s AO. Also, this slide…”

The AO map appeared on the screen.


“We will do our best to coordinate, and we will get a QRF together, but in some aspects, you’ll be on your own, coordinating with the local indige forces, whether it be gendarmes, JRA or some local pro-government militia.
We will be here for some period of time, so we have to look at the infrastructure. If your people feel that we need to get the client government to bring in more resources or services for the locals, let HQ in Mavala know ASAP. A lot of this can still come down to winning hearts and minds. No matter how cynical you want to be about stereotypical COIN tactics, some things do work, time and again. It’s just a matter of hitting the right combination of methods. I firmly believe that and so does Colonel Cogant.”

“Yes, I do.” The Colonel confirmed.

“I’m going to break down each area for us, with major government military installations, local companies and resources and other possible assets. Then we will discuss what tactics may be best to use for each of your areas. First, we start with the capital, Mavala…”

An hour later, Elijah had covered it all and handled some questions. Some details would have to be handled in country, but he felt they all had a pretty comprehensive overview and each of their units would be able to get the job done as intended.
“Let’s break, then the Colonel and myself will take one last round of questions.”

[CO-Roleplayed with Salamander PSE, Hurtful Thoughts, Falkasia, Shalum, Wandering Argonians and Riysa.]
The most famous of Neu Engollon's Private Military Companies. TG me about possible contracts or apply directly to the storefront. New updated storefront in the works.

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The Cardwith Islands
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Posts: 305
Founded: Nov 05, 2012
Father Knows Best State

Postby The Cardwith Islands » Sun Mar 10, 2019 9:01 pm

2 Months Prior to the Gyani Bombing
Kavunga Multi-Force Base
Markville, North Cardwith Island


It was not entirely accidental that The Cardwiths were the closest base to Jaragupta, just to the northeast by a few thousand kilometers of the Wishton Sea. They had a vested interest afterall in seeing a turnover in the old imperialist and capitalist nations in the Wishton, both from a national security standpoint, but also in their greater mission to spread a global socialist revolution. To be able to start in their home waters only came natural.

In the past, they had also meddled in Dachine, the Gaulic (Terre des Gaules) colony to the northwest, and also in Kenega, due straight north, which was a commonwealth of an Anglo union, in addition to their continuing presence in the home jungles of their biggest foe, Hutanjia.

So far, their political power far outpaced their military power, which had taken a beating during the not too distant war with their neighbor Hutanjia. In all instances, acting unilaterally, they had only moderate success against the imperialists, especially when it came to trying to flex their military muscle. Their elite units had some extensive training from their Falkasian benefactors, but a good portion of those highly trained troops had been lost during the Panto Leto raid at the end of the Hutanjian War.

The Cardwithians did best in advancing insurgency abroad and disrupting the capitalists with their PAST (People’s Action Strike Teams), cells of highly trained covert operators that were a mix of political cadre, assassins, guerrilla tactics advisors and other skilled specialists. They operated in cells of 7 to 10 personnel, typically, but when the mission called for more, multiple PAST could work together for multiplied results. PAST, unlike the CPA (Cardwithian People’s Army) special forces, reported directly to the UFF political party militant wing, not the Army command. While the People’s Action Strike Directorate were highly regarded by their peers, and even grudgingly by Hutanjia and allies, many in the West considered them terrorist thugs due to the tactics they used.

Currently, two PAST and a scattering of CID and other personnel representing the Card contingent waited in the hangar off the main air strip where ISVC personnel were assembling. Besides the Cardwithians, there were Pan-Asians, Yellowsians, Vionna-Frankenlischians, Gylians, Commonwealthers, Mubatans, Ressians, and Great Viets, not to mention the handful of their new allies from the HDLF. The Hamikhs seemed to be truly in awe of the assembly in that hangar.

For the next two weeks, this hangar would be the staging center for the CAIF, (Corps Adivsory Implementation Force), the ISVC’s initial scouting force that went into hot spots ahead of major deployments in order to best assess the needs of the socialist ally they were assisting, whether it be a government or a rebel group.

CAIF would then move operations to the territory of the new ally, and major conventional ISVC forces would take over that structure, as well as the whole of the Kavunga base, which would become one of the major ISVC staging bases to bring in forces to the nation in crisis...should that be deemed to be warranted. The way things were looking in the debate going on in the International Socialist Congress currently, they may have already decided such, without CAIF even arriving on the ground to make their assessment.
However, procedures and processes would be followed. Commissar for Revolutionary Action Akession had gave marching orders to General Tozimbga, who in turn had passed down orders to Colonel Fodenka for mobilization and ordered the CAIF to gear up, so here they were, ready for a briefing. A small party of the HDLF, the Hamikh Defense Liberation Front, were near the back wall of the hangar, where maps were on the wall and a projector was set up for an upcoming briefing. Not being all that technologically savvy, they had rehearsed with Rosita Esongka, the PASD Deputy Director that was to head up the Card contingent for the CAIF.

Other ISVC personnel lingered in various parts of the converted hangar. Some were getting refreshments from battered card tables that had been set up to display a buffet of snacks and beverages, all non-alcoholic - water, sodas, and energy drinks. Others were connecting with their counterparts from other national contingents before the briefing began.

In the corner of the room lay the quiet and melancholic Pan-Asiatic Task Force Jaragupta, the first combat-ready unit prepared by their very own Ministry of Defense for the adversary ahead. A small fraction of the whole deployment, they were grunts who showed little to no emotion. Indonesian-faced Marines of the 20th who were used to operating under both the cold Siberian winters, and the hot Bornean summers. Their missions are scarce known, their deeds nonetheless vital.

The Asian Army was nearly invisible wearing their infamous ‘black pajamas’. These soldiers were no regulars, they also wore black Maoist caps, with almost ecclesiastical patches; members of the Ministry of State and Public Security (MSPS), International Intelligence Division. The Babaylan, elite combat techno-specialists, wore yellow caps with their attire.

Their silence was eerie, almost reflective. Some were reading novena, others, Maoist propaganda or the day’s local newspaper. A group of five was playing checkers with discarded bottle caps. Some of them, like the Datu, who Daimyō-Heneral Chegal Jung-Eun had assigned to lead the initial landing, had taken a bite to eat. Datu Suou Kaori, munching on his piece of stale bread, was anxious for the assault.

”Ensaimada’s still better than this.”, he remarked to himself.

Keeping to themselves for now were the Gylians, a team of 10 political and economic specialists committed for the initial stages of the operation, to advise the Jaraguptan revolutionaries and coordinate things. They were civilians, standing out from the crowd of ISVC personnel by appearance.

Heading the Gylian team were Nírol Lyun, Aruna Giu, Carme Verdaguer and Demetrios Simonides. They were the first Gylians to have become personnel in the ISC — it already seemed ages ago that the Socialist Party had first joined the ISC as an observer before the rest of the Progressive Alliance committed to membership — and had mostly seen their share of organisational aspects. They took part in the first ISC congress with their colleagues Eleni Oikonomou and her husband Lartæ, and had also been slated to join a few missions but ended up not being called in for various reasons.

Carme and Demetrios were perusing a file and discussing it; Aruna scanned the hangar visually — the multitude of unknown people scurrying to and fro had a tense edge to it, nothing like seeing a crowd of people walking about in the city. The few party colleagues who were involved in international affairs would understand, although they were lucky to have never gotten into any scrape as serious in Tyran. Nírol was re-reading something on their tablet, with a blank expression and a slight nervousness in the way their eyes darted back and forth over the text, over and over again, as if trying to stamp it into memory.

Seeing her colleagues busy and their assistants too, Aruna took a chocolate bar out of her pocket and started eating it.

Rosita Esongka eyed the Pan-Asiatic group, but chose to bypass them for now, as they seemed to be putting off a ‘Do Not Disturb’ vibe. She approached the Gylians instead, smiling. Like them, she was a civilian, but many of the aspects of her job had her performing paramilitary tasks. Today she wore a practical, sporty, khaki jumpsuit that was actually as durable as it was fashionable. She had light hiking shoes on, a compromise between the basic sneakers she usually liked to wear on missions and combat boots which were just too bulky for her.

Her hair was in its full glory - A large tight afro with gold frosted tips, as was popular with the majority of the Melanesian people of the Cardwiths these days. She carried a slightly bulky satellite phone in one hand and a small tablet in the other that was no ordinary civilian model, but highly encrypted and programmed with the Card version of the Falkasian VICE system.

She slipped the phone into a web pocket of her jumpsuit and stretched her hand to out as she closed the last meter towards Aruna, their leader. She knew these Gylian ladies from past mobilizations of the CAIF, although most of the missions, but for training, had been cancelled. It was good to see familiar faces, especially friendly ones.

“Hello! So good to see you, Comrades! Myself and my team are excited to be working with you again. How are we doing? So glad you could make it here to see our home islands, too bad we won’t be staying long as I would have loved to show you all around.”

Aruna smiled with a bit of relief on seeing Rosita approaching. The feeling was certainly mutual: she was the person that it was fair to say the Gylians had most enjoyed the company of during CAIF missions.

“Hello, hello there comrade!”, Aruna greeted back, shaking Rosita’s hand. “It’s great to see you again!”

After adding her own greetings, Carme added, “The feeling is very much mutual”, and giggled. “I’d say we’re doing well. I was just going over some details with Demi. Aruna was clearly hungry.”

“Hey, I didn’t anticipate that delay!”, Aruna protested jokingly.

“And Nírol is…” Carme said as she looked bemusedly, “...trying to memorise the Iliad?”

Nírol laughed and set down the tablet for a second, pointing a pointer finger at Carme. “I’m…” A pause. “Er…” Their eyes wandered off upwards slightly.

Aruna dived right in: “At a loss for a witty comeback.”

Nírol had a good laugh and pretended to punch Aruna on her shoulder. Then they greeted Rosita as well. “Great to be working with you again, Rosita. Let’s hope we’ll have some time afterwards so you can show us around.”

“That’s going to be our motivation to get the job done then,” said Carme with a laugh. “How about you?”, she asked Rosita. “Hope you’re doing well, and your team is likewise.”

Demetrios also took a moment to introduce himself and shake hands. It seemed safer to err on the side of caution; no point trying to guess strangers’ level of comfort with personal contact in a greeting. “Hello. I can tell I’m a new face in the group, haha. I’m Demetrios Simonides, Demokratikí Kommounistikó Komma.” His Hellene accent was strong enough to make Aruna feel relieved when he dropped back into his native language; she found Hellene to be a… weird-sounding language, to say the least. “Pleased to make your acquaintance, comrade.”

“It’s nice to meet you, as well, Demetrios.” Rosita demurely took his hand, after chuckling a bit herself at the Gylian women’s playful poking of their leader.
“You are with a strong group of women here. They will certainly teach you a lot, as they do us all. They are some of the finest political and diplomatic negotiators I have ever met...As for being hungry, well…” She patted her taut stomach. “...I had a snack earlier, but I might hit that snack table over there just to give me another boost. It’s got local fruits, spiced and pickled seafood and chicken, along with some other Cardwithian delights. I’m not going to hit you with the patois names, but just tell you it’s good shit. So, yeah...The team is well and glad to be back together. It will be nice to get out in the field again. I get tired of administrative work, although I do get to check up on our PAST cells from time to time. We’re going to kick this off soon, so I’m going to head over there, but it was good catching up.”

Demetrios nodded. “Yes, indeed, some of the best people I’ve met in the PA. We disagree a bit on some tactical things...”

“And other times on goal things.” Nírol added.

Demetrios smiled slightly and gestured in the direction of the snack table. Gylians had a habit of pointing at things or people with their pointer fingers; after all, why would people have index fingers if not for pointing? Though they did sometimes notice other people took that badly. Demetrios was doing it naturally here and thus he never paused to think that might be the case with the Cardwithians either. Rosita didn’t seem to mind at least.

“Oh yeah, that table? There is definitely some good shit on there,” he said. “I’ve tested it out myself.”

Carme added, “Demi has a stronger stomach than us.”, in a slightly jokey voice.

“I wouldn’t know if it’s stronger, it’s probably just differently habited.”

Aruna looked confused at nothing for a second. Wait, she thought, that’s… not the term they was going for. But what was that word again? She could remember it in Varan, but not in English at the moment.

“Indeed it was. Glad to be teaming up again”, Nírol said. “We’ll see if we can work out a way to abolish meetings in the future!”

“You work at the IPL now?”, Carme joked.

“I don’t have enough imagination to,” Nírol quipped back.

Rosita smiled. The fun, frenetic energy the Gylians brought would definitely be welcome. Especially as there was likely to be some dark times ahead for the CAIF. It wasn’t an easy task going into the territory occupied by a counter-revolutionary regime and trying to support the underdog.
“Well, I leave you all to it. Enjoy the food, those of you who do indulge. We have to get this show on the road in a few minutes.”

She headed back towards where she would help to direct the briefing.




Colonel Fodenka, in contrast to his civilian colleague, Deputy Director Esongka, wore basic camo fatigues and boots. The uniform held no rank or identifying unit patches on it, for security reasons when they arrived into the host country. He was not originally supposed to head the Card CAIF delegation, but had opted in at the last moment, eager to gain more firsthand knowledge of their Hamikh allies. Also, he was responding to a direct request of General Tozimbga. Like Rosita, he also was carrying a similar tablet and sat. phone.
Unlike Esongka, he did want to talk to the Pan-Asiatic commander, as they would be contributing a substantial part of the larger deployment, but he found himself drawn to the Great Viet group as he headed that direction. They seemed to be leaning up against a wall and not integrating well with the rest. He hoped to help bring that barrier down.
He walked towards them in a relaxed manner, mumbling to other lower ranked ISVC personnel that he passed, who recognized him: “At ease. At ease...Carry on. Good to see you. Thank you, Comrades..”

He was even with them, but he was a fraction behind their salutes as he threw his own up,
“Trần Thanh Hùng, it is an honor to finally meet you in person. I am Colonel Tennison Fodenka, of the 6th CPA Regiment, and also the Cardwithian Expeditionary Force commander.”

"Greetings, Comrade Colonel. It's my honor to meet you." Trần Thanh Hùng saluted the Cardwithian colonel slightly followed by the surrounding Vietnamese personnel: "As you know. I'm Trần Thanh Hùng, commander of the 2nd Propaganda Unit for Revolution, also, let me introduce you to the other officers of my unit."

These personnel were the leading officers of Great Viet's contingent which would be sent to the conflict. All of them were members of the PUR, a military unit which served the dual purpose of guerilla fighters and propagandists.

As the other man would realize, the uniforms of these personnel were quite different than those of your usual Great Viet military personnel. Their uniforms used a simple light green in main color and followed a pattern which resembled those of the early Cold War era.

After he introduced his officers, the Great Viet's commander sincerely asked: "How may I help you comrade?"

Colonel Fodenka bowed,
“You are already helping us by being here, Trần Thanh Hùng. I just wanted to greet you and welcome you to the fold. Some of the delegations are veterans of past CAIF deployments, but I know this is your people’s first one. My staff and I look forward to working with you, as much as all the other delegations.”

Fodenka and Trần continued to chat for a few more minutes, with the Cardwithian Colonel making note of some of the Viet commander’s concerns.
“I need to get up to the briefing area, but I promise you sir that I will pass along your concerns and questions to General Tozimbga and Commissar Akession. We will talk again, Comrade.”




Martin Evans had been here before. He had served in the Gallandian Civil War, he had attended staff meetings in preparation for the great offensives of the Vionnan Red Army and the Gallandian Communists. That was many years ago, when Evans had directed batteries of guns, howitzers and mortars by the score. His men and those great guns had blasted hundreds into submission. At the great Siege of Martineux or the bloody Battle of Tillmaine, thousands fell beneath the shells and bullets his men had thrown at those valliant peasants, hardy farmhands and craftsmen who died to protect a King they had never met, to uphold an institution that held them in serfdom.

Martin Evans and his men had butchered those brave men in their hundreds, in a dozen battles in those bloody days. Now this was a different kind of staff meeting. Here, dozens of men and women from all corners of the world had come together, people who had certain skills, or certain trades or just had connections. People who had one cause, or at least one main cause, to spread their ideology. To fight for what they believed in. Martin Evans had never cared much for politics but he remembered the days, the so-called ‘Red Decade’. Evans remembered the premiership of Marshal Howell, a man paraded as the Vionna-Frankenlischian Stalin. He remembered the decade of prosperity, of peace, of the people’s representatives making choices and not being vetoed by some lord they’d never heard of. That is why Martin Evans was in the Cardwiths, that was why twenty like-minded old officers of the Vionnan Red Army stood by him.

Rosita Esongka was making her way over from the Gylians to where she would help to lead the briefing when she spotted Evans and his Vionnan-Frankenlischians. Although she knew a handful from past training and aborted missions, she didn’t know all the CAIF leaders, especially the ones who had joined the ISVC more recently.
She and Colonel Fodenka had studied photos of all the delegation leaders of the CAIF so that they could eventually introduce themselves and make those interpersonal connections as soon as possible in order to enable a very tight leadership cadre that had excellent communications.

She was even with them,
“Comrade Martin Evans! It is a pleasure to meet you! The reputation of you and your colleagues precedes you. We are very glad to have you with us on this mission. I am Rosita Esongka, a Deputy Director of PASD, our revolutionary subversive operations directorate.”

“And we are all glad to be here,” Evans replied, smiling with genuine joy at finally having a purpose, “Comrade…” He added, contemplating the title. “Heh… Nobody’s called me that since the eighties. People barely called me it back then, it was always: [i]‘Will you sign this, Brigade General?’ ‘When will we be going home, Brigade General?’ ‘Did you see the way that Imperialist column disappeared under our guns, Brigade General?’” Evans put on a different comedic accent for each impression, presumably of soldiers he used to know. He chuckled to himself, several of the old officers behind him joined in the merry laughter. “Eh…” He sighed, running a hand over what remained of his grey hair, “That was years ago now… I was young then, they needed young officers y’see. I had only just got out of uni, as I recall.” Evans was clearly a sincere man but he had a tendency to fall into reminiscing too quickly for the tastes of his comrades. “Anyway, I digress. It is quite the honour to be here, I can’t help but be a little excited for seeing the shores of Jaragupta, to finally feel like I’m doing my bit to bring that prosperity that my country had all those years ago to foreign lands…”

Rosita indulged the older officer his reminiscing, waiting for him to trail off.
“We would all like to see that, Comrade...Brigade General Evans. It’s going to probably be a long road before prosperity comes to all the people, Tamar and Hamikh, of Jaragupta. Hopefully we can speed things along, though. I know that your crew can help with that.”

“Oh, absolutely, Comrade Esongka. My fellows and I all served in the old Vionnan Red Army and we know what we’re doing.” Evans assured the Colonel. “We all have our own skills, of course, but we call all pull our weight. Despite our ages, that is.” The youngest officer in Evans’ group was 56. “I commanded an artillery brigade in Gallandia, you know about all that? I know how to work the big guns, reckon I can still teach a peasant how to become a soldier too. I’ve got men who commanded tanks, men who worked with special forces, hell, Harkness back there even commanded a Bridging company!” Evans looked back at a well-aged yet muscular man, dressed neatly in the clothes of a country squire. “Point is, Comrade, we know a lot, all together, and while we’re all past our prime, not a man here will shirk his duty. We know that we might be killed. But what does that matter?”

Esongka pumped her fist.
“That’s the spirit! Everything for the cause, Comrade!”
She straightened up and took a more somber tone.
“We are glad you’re here with us, Comrade Evans. I must get things rolling here, but we will talk again.” She nodded to him and continued on up.




Rosita finally made it to the front. Colonel Fodenka stood to the side, having made his own way through the hangar while connecting with other CAIF commanders. She didn’t have any slides or fancy holograms to show, but a large map of the archipelago spread out on a big board. She motioned everyone closer.

“Welcome all, Comrades! Brothers and sisters of the Revolution!” Rosita started out. She smiled,
“Let’s save all the windy speeches for the Socialist Congress, shall we?...We are happy that you are here, speaking on behalf of the Central Committee, who we are here at the behest of...who gives the authority to Commissar of Revolutionary Action Akession, who in turn gives marching orders to General Tozimbga, commander of the revolutionary forces of the ISVC, who authorized this advisory team. Some of you have been assigned to CAIF teams before, some of you are brand new to such deployments and to the ISVC. What is for sure is that you are all highly skilled in what you do, otherwise your parties would not have sent you here…
We are the pathfinders for the rest of the ISVC forces that will lead our comrades in the HDLF to revolutionary glory over their imperialist overlords.

That victory will end with the toppling of the government and their Rajah, an inbred royal that profits off the misery of his people, even when half of them revere him as a god.
Here’s what we can’t do. We cannot let this continue to be an ethnic conflict between the Tamar and Hamikh. If it is an ethnic conflict with no chance of Tamars being allowed to find the revolutionary way, then we will not hold the moral high ground.
While the majority of the south of Jaragupta is Hamikh and they have been the most repressed people, we must always be sure to leave the door open for the Tamars to join the side of right to topple their false god. Not every Tamar leads a comfortable life, just like we can’t assume that every Hamikh is a beaten slave wage laborer or against the government in Mavala.

We have to find a way to encourage those Tamars who are not at the top levels of the caste system to go against their leadership, just as we do those Hamikhs who are not at the bottom. We also have to find a way to stifle or completely cut off their means of recruitment of future loyal soldiers and government workers.

They need to be helped in finding their outrage. Luckily, we have plenty of psychological, cyber and political experts from the ISVC delegations to make that happen.
That is the purpose of our council, the political, humanitarian and social one that will be composed of all the ISVC CAIF cadre leadership with those skill sets.

Now, I’m going to give the floor up to Colonel Fodenka…”

The Cardwithian colonel stepped the last few paces through the huddled CAIF personnel, having just wrapped up his chat with their Viet comrades just a couple minutes prior to Esongka starting the briefing.
“Yes, comrades, this is the part where us military folk come in. We have orders, direct from the Commander of ISVC forces, General Tozimbga, and Commissar Akession, our Revolutionary Action leader. The Congress has decided, and the Central Committee has followed through with a plan of action. We will commit to liberating Jaragupta from the counter-revolutionary monarchists. Some of you, like Comrade Esongka and her colleagues, are on your way to that island to ensure the influence of world socialism.

While some of us are on our way there to ensure the wrath of world socialism upon the Jaraguptan Royal Armed Forces and their allies and mercenary lackies.
We are the pathfinders. We are the ones that will either lead the HDLF to victory in a rapid toppling of the corrupt cabal in Mavala, or lay the groundwork for the follow on ISVC forces that can eventually accomplish that. Our goal is the complete destruction of morale in the JRA, the forced pullout of any allied forces, and the liberation of resources for the people of Jaragupta and for the greater good of the world revolution.

Let’s be realistic now for a minute...We can’t assume that the government will just roll over and dissolve itself or the military will run with their tails between their legs every time they hear a loud bang. We are likely to have a long road ahead. We really won’t know until we get there, how things will turn out, but we have to be prepared for the worst and also for the incidental best. We will train the HDLF in sustained operations against the government and military and how to best take out their means of support and hit them hard at the moments of our choosing.

With us today is one of the top officers of the HDLF, Dhiajir Surakhan, sent here to address us by their leader, Tarun Ghalujan…”

Surakhan had stood passively listening to Fodenka and Esongka with his two lieutenants by his side. He agreed with most of what had been said, but he was rankled that they thought they could win over the Tamar populace to join the revolution. Much as they didn’t want to make this an ethnic war, it already was one. Still, he would do his best to not refer to them as the Tamars, but rather the government.

“Hello, I am glad to be here. I want to thank you all again for your dedication to our cause, even though we know it is for a greater cause. My people will forever be grateful…” Surakhan spoke with a thick accent, but was still able to make himself understood in Common (English)
“...We have been building and trying to achieve our goals for some time. The government has always been stronger and have received numerous aid packages from foreign companies and governments who want a piece of the resources of Jaragupta. Yes, sheer greed has kept our people down for this long, and it needs to end, and soon. We have patience, as we have had this situation for decades, maybe centuries...But some of the people have lost hope. We need to know that the greater socialist world has not forgotten about us. You all can hopefully reverse that…
We have about about six thousand, five hundred fighters we can call upon. We want that number to increase and again, hopefully you can help with that by increasing morale. We need Mavala and their lackeys to feel our power well magnified beyond our actual numbers. They need to be afraid again. To the Revolution!”

Surakhan took a couple steps back to show that he was done speaking.

Colonel Fodenka stepped forward again,
“That was powerful. Thank you, Comrade Surakhan. We will be preparing to make our journey by a neutral-flagged cargo ship that will hold all of us and our equipment. It will take a few days to get to Jaragupta, where we will dock at a southern port under the temporary control of our HDLF comrades in the late hours.
If any of you have any questions, now is the time to ask before we prepare to board.”

[RP CREDITS: Co-RP’d with Gylias, Pan-Asiatic States, Divine Great Viet, Vionna-Frankenlisch and Jaragupta]

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Jaragupta
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Founded: Feb 02, 2019
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Postby Jaragupta » Tue Mar 12, 2019 7:05 pm

5 Days after leaving Markville Port
Suraksha, Jaragupta


The cargo vessel called the SS Tolvindy arrived late in the night, as promised. Port officials that had been bought off or were sympathetic to the HDLF cause were also on station that night to receive the ship, as promised. Later, those officials who couldn’t be trusted to keep their mouths shut, despite pocketing tidy sums of rupees, would find themselves weighted down with rocks in their same beloved port waters. Minus the rupees, of course.

Surakhan, the deputy HDLF commander, was one of the first off the boat followed by his people. He greeted his comrades warmly, glad to be back on firm soil and in his homeland again. They gave hugs and clasped hands firmly.

Many of the ISVC leadership and top personnel would agree that he was quite surly and they were sure that he had a secret loathing for all of them, but it was just part of Surakhan’s nature. Any friend or longtime colleague that might have witnessed him on the boat for the five day voyage would agree that it was possibly the most cheerful they had seen him in some time. He just wasn’t that gregarious or complimentary at all. He had really put effort in trying to get to know the foreigners that they would be working with and by his estimate, he had done well in that endeavor.

Sure, there was a brief time before they embarked on the SS Tolvindy that he was very salty and bitter, mostly having to do with the news that the Cardwithians would not let him fly back ahead by sea plane. Rosita Esongka explained to him,
“Comrade Surakhan, it will be best that you stay on board the ship for our voyage over so you can acquaint yourself with our revolutionary leaders and us with you. We have a lot to learn from each other, and much to teach…”

He was not as dense as the vibes he picked up from the Cardwithian woman and the others. He was pretty certain that the teaching would be one way, with the ISVC teaching him and his people how to conform to their ways. Then he had made the decision to not be so cynical and attempt to make the most of the voyage back home on this boat of foreigners. That decision was heavily influenced by a call on a sat phone handed to him by Esongka, with Great Comrade Tarun Ghalujan on the other end, telling him to play nice.

He didn’t like being manipulated, but he did as he was told. He watched the Viets play card games; watched the Yellowsians wrestle; witnessed the Vionnan old men fart and laugh in their hammocks and watched all the ISVC commandos take target practice at junk thrown overboard. For some reason, the Pan-Asians had elected to go separately from the rest of the group.

After some late nights, he came to the conclusion that with some exceptions, they were a worthy group of people to lead his people to freedom. He would do his best to make sure his troops welcomed the foreigners and opened their minds to what they had to teach.




A New Stage of Revolution

The ISVC-CAIF leadership had had several meetings during the voyage, mostly poring over maps and some satellite photos provided by some of the member states who had been able to divert satellites and high altitude reconnaissance flights over the Island, like the Pan-Asiatic States. They had come up with a list of where they could deploy their meager assets of the CAIF, and also a rough outline of a plan and some of the tactics they would use. Again, due to the Pan-Asians electing to go to the island separately, some encrypted communication had to happen with their team.

When they arrived in port, they and their loads of equipment were rushed to safehouses around the city. Again, this took some bribing of local officials to look the other way.
In the morning, transport had been arranged to get most of them, those not staying in Suraksha, on to their next destinations on the islands. They said their farewells and made sure that the communications equipment was fully operational, in order to coordinate their various planned operations.




Escalation Across The Island

Within weeks of the ISVC-CAIF arrival, the Royal Jaragputan government began to feel the effects of their campaign to liberate the islands in the name of world socialism. Village government and law enforcement officials were kidnapped, often returned in pieces, with PAST having a heavy hand in it. Gendarme and JRA patrols were ambushed on a regular basis with the assistance of Pan-Asian, Viet and Vionnan military cadre.

The bombing in Gyani that took out the city leadership and much of the Tiger Regiment of the JRA was orchestrated with the help of Mubatan explosives experts, and Yellowsian and Ressian engineers. It was a big flag to the royal government that they were in deep trouble and that the leftist rebels efforts were only expanding exponentially each week.

Defections from the Jaraguptan Royal Army and especially the gendarmes became common. Especially those in the Hamikh south who were more likely to face recriminations to their families if they stayed in the Gendarmerie or Army. This was the state when the Guild contract was initiated and the mercenaries began to pour ashore at multiple ports across the main island and Gahana.
Last edited by Jaragupta on Fri Apr 12, 2019 4:20 am, edited 2 times in total.

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The Cardwith Islands
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Founded: Nov 05, 2012
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Postby The Cardwith Islands » Tue Mar 19, 2019 12:49 am

Mehatar, Jaragupta

Deputy Director Rosita Esongka and Colonel Tennison Fodenka went about making sure that the CAIF HQ was set up the first couple days they were there. While it would be easy to assume that the HQ consisted of one central building, it was an actual series of safehouses in close distance on the southeastern side of Mehatar. Putting all, or even many of their assets in one location was a recipe for disaster.

To add to the difficulty, Fodenka put a halt to radio and cell communications, or at least a temporary moratorium. He was worried about who might pick up on a sudden flurry of bandwidth activity. They used HDLF runners to send messages between the locations. For now, the only electronic transmissions would emanate from the Commonwealther cyber warfare specialists that were set up in a warehouse within the circle of safehouses. The locals had been doing their share of rallying via social media and cyber engineering, so it could be considered a natural course progression.

A lot of gear was stored in that warehouse, as well, for future operations. Manning it with HDLF guards would be a dead give away, and so they didn’t, but there were many eyes on it at all hours from close distance. A handful of the Mubatans were also in the building, but they didn’t show themselves but for occasional trips out tucked away in a native driven van. They were ready to come to the defense if the warehouse was attacked, but they had their own projects to work on in the meantime.

There was some assurance of safety, both visually and with cyber footprints, as the Jaraguptan government did not seem to be running very sophisticated counter-intelligence operations, and in fact, didn’t have a proper security agency at all.

That was not to say that the ISVC personnel could operate flagrantly and with impunity.
Gendarmes were out in force, especially in the majority Hamikh city that was considered by many to be the heart of Hamikh culture and laid claim to the largest Sikh temple on the island. The JRA maintained a large garrison on the outskirts of the city.

While Fodenka was preparing to head on to the Eastern cities to check on the progress of the other groups, Rosita sat with one of her colleagues, Ference Markutu, a couple of the Mubatans, and the Gylians, in an apartment that overlooked the warehouse.
They were discussing the day’s events.
“...The deep infiltration team is on their way into Mavala. We probably won’t hear word from them for at least a week.”
From subsequent briefings, it had been established that the group of CID and RLO intel officers and remaining tactical Commonwealther hackers would make their way in through a multitude of routes, using trunks of cars, as well as the backs of trucks of friendly farmers and distributors, in order to elude checkpoints around the capital.

“If even one of them is captured, it could mean a very bad down turn in events for us. On the plus side, I think we are well set up here, but we must not let our guard down, just because the local resistance is happy to see us and willing to aid us in our missions. We have to keep vigilant. They blend in, but we do not...yet. It could be easy for them to forget that, but we must never.
I’m doing my best to set up a meeting between you folks…” She indicated the Gylians, “...and some local HDLF cadre. It may require travel out from the city here to the villages. We can’t risk meetings at the moment with local politicians who are higher in stature, as we don’t know who we can trust, even if the HDLF say we can, and also, they might inadvertently say something to the wrong person, again tipping our hand as to our presence before we are ready. What are your thoughts on this? Aruna, Carme, Dem and Nírol?”




Gahana Island, Jaragupta

The grizzled woman dangled her feet into the water off a low dock, enjoying a rare moment of solitude since their harried arrival here.
Yamela was head of PAST (People’s Action Strike Team) #22. She was a professional and a veteran of several missions undertaken on behalf of the UFF and her nation, The Democratic Socialist Republic of the Cardwiths. Most of her test by fire had been during the Hutanjian War, but there had been more recent ops. There never was a shortage. Half her team had been with her for some years, while the rest were fresher faces.

She was lucky as many teams had much higher attrition.
Many comrades had been done in by the HSA (Hutanjian Security Agency) and CP (Council Police) of New Edom. Others had been absorbed into the newly formed CID after the war, in an attempt to re-organize the intelligence and black operations into a more formal, government run organization. She had resisted going to the CID, and her superiors had fought to keep her. The mucks in Norritts had relented and she remained a Team commander in PASD, the shrunken, picked over rival of CID.

Being separated from the mainland and the ISVC network that was digging into the southern cities had both its positive and negative aspects. In a positive light, if some of the network were rolled up by the Jaraguptans and their foreign lackeys, they were relatively insulated over on the second biggest island. Negatively, if they became the object of wrath, they were pretty much on their own, aside from what HDLF local help they could muster.

PAST #22 were not the only ISVC personnel here in this CAIF group.
She had had her doubts about the old Vionnans. They moved at a different pace and sense of urgency, but they knew their shit and kept their cool. They were solid and their knowledge was already paying dividends. The Gylians were not fighters, nor were they expected to be. Disadvantageously, they had to be protected should it come down to fight or flight. Advantageously, they could gain more fighters to the HDLF cause with their diplomatic skills.

Currently, they were in a coastal fishing village that was all Hamikh. Many of their number were taken to the smaller islands to the south for guano stripping. It was rough work when minimal technology was used. Several villagers had died, as had other Hamikhs. For that reason, this village was solidly pro-HDLF. Still, they had to tread lightly and should consider splitting up soon. She stood up on the dock, her brown legs glistening with water from the calves down. She headed back to her host’s hut.

The hammer had to hit somewhere, at some time. Yemala just hoped it wasn’t here before they were ready.

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Aressna
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Founded: Sep 26, 2017
Liberal Democratic Socialists

Postby Aressna » Fri Mar 22, 2019 5:15 pm

It was a long way from Aressna’s temperate climate. Aressna’s ISC delegation had sent 22 volunteers to Jaragupta as Aressna’s initial landing force. The contingent was made of 12 volunteers with an engineering background (Sappers), and 9 with a medical background (Meds). The remainder was the contingent’s designated CO, Vilém Jaroš. Aressna’s contingent, as well as the rest of its ISVC contribution, were volunteers. They had completed extensive military training and had served their period of conscription into Aressna’s Armed Forces. The contingent offered medical and various construction assistance to the initial landing force. The members were chosen for their experience and expertise, and Jaroš was expected to present a report of the contingent’s operations to the rest of Aressna’s contribution when they landed.

The contingent were dressed as tourists, so as to avoid suspicion, when they landed. They had made their separate ways to their designated safe houses, to avoid suspicion. Equipment was packed into suitcases and the rest (uniform, etc.) were in packs on their backs. Of course, they were being watched by allies and were more or less safe from attack, but word from civilians could spread quickly, and this was the best way to avoid information spreading. When they arrived, they unpacked their equipment, set up beds, and took the chance to relax, playing cards, talking or reading. They were all nervous, even Jaroš, despite their experience and their training, and it showed.

They had attended the briefing on North Cardwith Island, and had become invigorated by the diversity of the group, their hopes turned towards the liberation of the people in Jaragupta, side-by-side with their international comrades. This morale was waning as they settled down, but all were committed to the task and hand and had full confidence in each other and their CO, and were willing to fight to the last.

This was most certainly not Jaroš’ first covert mission, nor the first group under his command, but this was his first with the ISVC. He was also nervous, but he was inclined to not show his nervosity to his group - after all, he was their leader and their role model. He was a stern man, and showed little emotion when on a mission, but he definitely felt it more than ever. He had developed a deep love for this group over the course of training as well as the mission, something which he was sure would come back to bite him later. He now stood by a window on the building’s west side. Positioning himself so he could see out, but was out of sight from the outside, he watched the sun-set over the ocean, hoping for the best for him and his group.
Aressna is a socialist MT nation in Eastern Europe.
UNOE Resident & Senator
Proud ISC Full Member, and contributor to the ISVC.
General Secretary and Premier: Sophia Dimitrova
President: Melissa Eisenmenger

Our Nation | Photos from Our Nation | Our Armed Forces

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Falkasia
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Postby Falkasia » Sat Mar 23, 2019 12:10 pm

Mehatar, Jaragupta

The sun hung low in the sky, barely cresting the waves. Eelin squinted, trying her damnedest to separate the fiery tangerine's soft orange rays from her own piercing hangover. Three dark objects occasionally eclipsed the bright spot, gently bobbing up and down in the surf as the tide rolled in and out. She rubbed both weary eyes with her wrist, glancing down to the half-finished bottle death-gripped at the stem in her right hand. With a shrug, it was released and fell from the railing to the empty street below. Thank god she wasn't in the Army.

The street below her, she took notice, was littered with the unconscious corpses of her comrades and local villagers. To her left, barely visible at the angle of her perch atop the third floor balcony, was a faded sign. "Mehatar Grande", it read. The only hotel in the city, and frankly, the only real establishment large enough to host their entire unit. Casting her eyes downward she acknowledged the hotel's proprietor, an ungainly large man who had only introduced himself as Singh, flung across an overturned table. Aside from the casual movement of his backside, she'd have segregated him off as another unfortunate casualty of the night prior. He had been none too happy when the Guard rolled into town and commandeered his place, at least until she had presented him with a check covered in more zeros than his bulging eyes could comprehend. An endorsement signature was all it took for every lock in the building to magically disappear, including the one protecting the en-suite restaurant's liquor bar. Chaos ensued.

Winning the "hearts and minds" of locals had never been so easy. The lure of socialism be damned. All it took was a well-furnished bank account and free booze; and suddenly everything was right with the world.

Eelin rolled her bloodshot eyes and stepped back. She stumbled for balance with each step, sending discarded bottles of unfinished liquor rolling in all directions. The otherwise quaint sounds of the tropical morning were shattered alongside breaking glass across the faux-Venetian tile patio. A car alarm pulsed faintly in the distance. Passing through the balcony's now dislodged french door, she was blasted with the bone-chilling, almost corrosive artificial cold of tropical air conditioning. Her eyes quickly faded into focus.

Overturned banquet tables? Normal. She side-stepped over Pierre, an enormous African nearly twice her size. Two locals lay battered and bloody to either side of him, clearly having lost whatever grievance they had. His signature cockneyed Captain's Hat still adorned his head, although the French-style epaulet engraved with the name Sophie had been ripped off and sat a few feet away from him. Kirves smirked, barely noticeable given the numbness in her face, and continued on and down the staircase.

Twin brothers Rakesh and Rajesh were slumped together and snoring loudly, propped up against the bottom step of the staircase. Golden plates displaying the names Thresher and Rivalry reflected from their chests. Unable to control herself, Eelin tripped and unintentionally punted a ramshackle pyramid of beer cans across the room. Several dozen empty vodka bottles also rolled haphazardly across the floor as she steadied herself against the banister. Rakesh, disturbed, allowed gravity to take over and fell to the ground opposite his brother. Unrestrained, Rajesh followed like a smokestack undergoind a controlled implosion.

They would regret it later, but her ramshackle crew had survived the night. Approaching the door, she had to step over a small dogpile of locals who had succumbed during a poorly-executed game of beer pong. The floor was sticky, and her boots ripped at the floor with every step. It was a noise like nails across a chalkboard to her ears. Exiting the hotel and into the street was a welcome relief, leaving behind the frosty bite of the air conditioning and replacing it with the subtle humidity of a tropical morning.

There was space out here, at least, for her to stumble without fear of kicking out any of her troops' teeth. Piles of discarded bottles had collected into the road gutters, and shattered glass crunched underneath her feet as she made her way towards the docks. One of the U-2 light trucks they had brought with sat idle off to the side of the road, its front window broken after having smashed into a now-charred palm tree. Both front headlights were blinking in rhythm, despite the vehicle's battery having long since lost the power to support the car alarm. A few fallen palm fawns continued to burn on the cobblestone street around the truck. Pushing aside a momentary sense of concern, she took note that both doors were open and there didn't seem to be any evidence of injury. Likely a low-speed impact.

They'd handle it later. Clean-up would be part of the penance, and everything else would be covered by Universal Defense. One of the many, many perks of working on behalf of a multinational defense conglomerate. For now, she needed to get back to her wardroom down at the harbor. A few hours of sleep, even if it meant an agonizing hangover, was duly warranted before their first patrol around the city. Rumor mill from last night suggested they already had infiltrators to deal with.

Whatever problems may be left over from last night though; they'd handle it later. For now, Eelin needed sleep.
Last edited by Falkasia on Mon Mar 25, 2019 5:10 pm, edited 9 times in total.
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Wandering Argonians
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Founded: Antiquity
Moralistic Democracy

Postby Wandering Argonians » Wed Apr 03, 2019 8:01 am

TALKIA AREA OF OPERATION

Jungle heat wasn't an unfamiliar sensation for a private military organization based in what was basically one large swamp, but it was one Dekker Bray had never come to enjoy. He'd spent a number of years coping with it, truthfully, but he'd never become a fan. Even the sticky summers of his native Appalachia were tame by comparison. With a growl, he lit up his morning cigar & began to take mental stock of the day.

The Blackwood contingent had arrived in 'The Goop' (what his troops were calling their new home) the day prior, along with their 'FOB in a Box' kit the logistic wizards had assembled for them in a series of shipping containers. The perimeter wall had already been assembled by a vetted team of local laborers under the watchful eye of the advance party and SMT - 209. The sight of freshly-filled Hesco barriers was a familiar, almost nostalgic sight. Stacked three units high in a semi-open "U" shape blocked at the open end by a serpentine of sorts, the shipping containers they'd had flown in had formed an additional inner wall, interspersed with concrete & sandbag mortar shelters.

The containers themselves were purpose-built; housing a medical suite, kitchen, armory, tactical operations center, field gymnasium (the "Iron Palace" as the troops called it), and Dekker's field office in addition to an incredibly well-stocked bar and sleeping facilities for all sixty or so troops. Said troops were already deep in the midst of their own team rituals, be that checking equipment or making full use of the facilities. 209 had stayed on as well, the direct action SMT tasked with security of the Blackwood FOB & duties as the local QRF for the COIN teams once they went out hunting. Dekker himself would be rotating between his field office & the main Guild HQ as the situation required, followed by a small four-man PSD he'd hand-picked for operations like this. His number 2, Ragnar Nielssen, would be next in line if something happened to Dekker, otherwise the teams would hash duties out among themselves. These were grown men, professional operators of the highest pedigree. They didn't need Dekker babysitting them.

He was due to rotate back to Guild HQ shortly anyway, eager to get a fresh SITREP to pass along to the guys in the intel section, and from there out to the COIN teams so they could begin the dangerous task of rooting the insurgency out of the jungles while the FID teams whipped the local trigger-pullers into shape for future integration. Once that phase of the operation went into effect, the FID teams would gradually draw down their presence on patrols, only tagging along on high-threat ops or COIN taskings requiring greater manpower. The job was simple. He'd have a better idea about timelines once his FID boys integrated with the locals & got an idea of their state of readiness. There'd been contingency plans put into place for forming a specialized unit if the client was willing to pay, but that hadn't been thoroughly discussed yet.

Dekker took another drag off of the Cuban in his left hand, exhaling a cloud of dense smoke a moment later. He'd swapped his usual Hawaiian shirt for a more professional polo bearing the company logo along with summer-weight khaki cargo pants & a visibly worn Glock 19 on his right hip, opposite a pair of mags, with a small IFAK at the small of his back, next to a K-BAR that looked like it'd seen more than its fair share of use. His equally-worn Oakley Half-Jacket sunglasses rested firmly on his often-broken nose & did little to hide the massive scar that started in his hairline on the left side of his face & ran down over his left eye to end in his upper lip. It was a souvenir from his first real war, back when he'd still sworn allegiance to a national government instead of the almighty dollar.

This was a job he'd worked in one form or another since he was seventeen years old, a career spanning Marine rifleman through trident-bearing Frogman, direct action intelligence asset, hired gun, and finally Chief Operations Officer for Blackwood's Guild operations. He was sitting (barely) on the wrong side of sixty, but there were few places he'd rather be...

Another day, another war.

Another drag on the Cuban, and the faintest of smiles...
Last edited by Wandering Argonians on Fri Jun 07, 2019 7:25 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Gylias
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Founded: Dec 19, 2012
Left-wing Utopia

Postby Gylias » Sun Apr 07, 2019 10:30 am

Mehatar, Jaragupta

Demetrios still felt somewhat dazed by the new surroundings. Some of the specialists of the Gylian team had taken part in ISC missions before and they were more familliar with it. But for Demetrios and some of his colleagues, it was definitely a disorienting change, being huddled in a bunch of safe houses, complete radio silence.

From the packed plane to packed like sardines, as Demetrios thought when they arrived. At least the apartment Rosita had brought them to was a welcome change. There was more room to move. To breathe. Not so many other people carrying guns.

"The first thing that comes to mind, Rosita, is geography.", Demetrios said. Rather sheepishly — he felt a bit embarrassed that maybe the first thing to say should've sounded more important. "It is probably better if we meet up with the HDLF"—he said it like a word, Hydylf—"in one of the higher areas near us. Very fortunate we're in Mehatar at the moment."

Nírol looked in the distance for a second, out the window. "I hope we'll be able to get more details about their strength at the moment.", they said, looking at Rosita. "Best to get it right... uh..."

They turned to Aruna and asked, "<What was that phrase? Again?>"

Aruna giggled, and replied out loud, "Out the horse's mouth."

"Yes, that.", Nírol replied, pointing at her.

"How many people do you think we should bring?", Carme asked, directing the question sort of at everyone in general. "Obviously it can't be just one, but I worry that the more we are, the higher the risk of being caught."

Aruna silently contemplated the question as she went over some material she had, perusing possible ways to increase support for the resistance. A Gylian trying to convince someone?, she thought with gallows humour, Well, this'll have to be the day.

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Pan-Asiatic States
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Authoritarian Democracy

Postby Pan-Asiatic States » Thu Apr 11, 2019 9:36 pm

P.A.S Type V-322E Jurōjin-Class Aircraft Carrier Honshu
International Waters





The 2nd Reconnaissance Echelon of the 1st Reconnaissance Wing, Pan-Asiatic States Air Force; a small aerial contingent flying which had been clandestinely operating over the Jaraguptan archipelago for quite some time now, continued their work from aboard the Honshu. The V-322E Jurōjin-Class conducted its work too far from land to be suspected as a foreign vessel by onlookers. The Carrier was accompanied by no fleet either, a risk which the Federal military was willing to take, but a necessary one to ensure that the deployment did not seem like a war armada to the Jaraguptan government, as it wasn't. Long-range, high-flying reconnaissance aircraft like the Florentino "Scavenger" JZ-11s were unarmed, and thus, more lightweight than typical Pan-Asiatic aircraft variants.

The progression of the assignments ensured that most military installations of the Kingdom were reported to the Pan-Asiatic intelligence agency, the Ministry of State and Public Security. Every movement, every transfer of even the smallest of Jaraguptan artillery weapons and divisions were swiftly jotted-down by young interns aboard the Honshu and forwarded through secret communication lines to the metropolitan capital.

The work would be compiled, and some of it even, were presented to the ISC through the Pan-Asiatic States' delgate, Jiang Xuegang, in his case for intervention. Information was crucial to a modern war which would be fought on many fronts.





Pradhaan
Kingdom of Jaragupta





The 20 Marines in Pradhaan arrived through ports disguised as local fishermen. The skin complexion and facial features of the Nusantara Echelon made the assignment perfect for them. The well-disciplined agents of the Federation had studied Jaraguptan culture for months in preparation for the task at hand, and did not find it too hard to understand it thoroughly. They were told to learn the dialects, which were close to the Indonesian dialects they were accustomed to. They learned the religious affairs and cultural nuisances of the nation, which they acted to be attributed with.

The representing deployment from the Pan-Asiatic States had vied to go separately because of local unrest that had occurred only recently. Terrorist cells had staged an attack on East Timor months prior, and the Asian Military Command (AMC) arranged for the creation of a Special Police Force to control and investigate the situation from the military's finest. The Nusantara Marines were regrouped, their best commanders, severely crippled and reorganized into the Force. That was of course, not to say, that those exchanged were not one of the finest either.

The initial infiltration in Prahaan went along smoothly. Nusantara Echelon Marines were fabled for this kind of irregular operation. Leading them in Pradhaan to secure the Eastern coast was the infamous Commanding Datu of the Battle for Cromwell Island, Abner Berampu, a legendary replacement and famed among the troops. Abner had only been recently promoted, and one of the youngest Datu of the Pan-Asiatic Army no less. Mere months earlier he earned this when he and a half-company of his Marines overcame Fascist insurgents in the Republic of New Narsia. Integrated as reinforcements into the 80th Airborne Company when a foothold had been secured, Abner's contingent successfully fended-off the enemy forces until a peace was secured and the Fascists had surrendered.

Now, in Pradhaan, he needed his wit more than his blade. He rendezvoused with the Great Viet and Mubatan operatives, reaching out with great courtesy. Establishing a place-of-operations in a cave hideout not far from the city, the Pan-Asiatic Marines maintained a stable settlement by working as fishermen by day. These operatives were tasked too with knowing the general population; their thoughts and feelings about the political turmoil that was happening in their country. Perhaps, if they were lucky, they could even find or make a few collaborators and make the eventual transition of power a little more cooperative in their own small way.

In the ten agents of each group, four were Integrated MSPS Operatives, the veteran infiltration specialists less acquainted with warfare and more with intelligence operations. The six in the group were too, but not as well as the other four, and were mainly purposed with guarding the four specialists. The talking would be left to the specialists, the fighting to the Marines. These specialists harbored what the Asian army referred to as the Babaylan: highly-trained, highly-learned, and very effective scouts as the army's mechanical, technological, and communications experts. They were the very product of the Pan-Asiatic focus on infantry-maneuvering doctrine, and their work had only just begun.

The agents in Pradhaan quickly established clandestine radio communications with the P.A.S Honshu using long-distance encrypted transmitters. While the 'boys of the burning azure' did their work in the air, the agents on the ground continued their work of scouting here. Amassed on these foreign shores, truly, was the full operating capacity of the Pan-Asiatic Ministry of State and Public Security. This was the Ministry's first major operation, for it had already been clear from the beginning that this was not to be spearheaded by brute military strength.

In fact, this may very well be the young Federation's first 'illegal' intervention on foreign soil. Some soldiers would be hesitant about this fact, considering that it was this kind of operation which their established Federated People's Republic stood against, but not the Nusantara Marines and their loyal Babaylan companions. These were men hardened by training, experience, and indoctrination; a new kind of man with no loyalty to himself. Men of can-do.

Pradhaan's coastline was a vital and strategic point in the ISVC's operation. Here, the Datu wanted to focus on securing public opinion of Socialism in their home country before raising military elements. It would be hard, considering the recent bombings which turned some people afraid and reluctant, but it wouldn't be impossible either. He also began to radio other ISVC operators near Pradhaan, calling to pool what little resources they who were left there had. Contacts, currency, information; these were the golden treasures which poured through these lands that the Ministry of State and Public Security was so eager to loot.

Datu Abner Berampu attempted to create reputable connections with HDLF spies stationed within the city. This endeavor worked two-fold. The rebels were reluctant to give away their positions, a reasonable distrust, he thought. The Datu supported HDLF operations before attending to the ISVC's immediate ones, like training and reinforcement of HDLF military forces. The Babaylan bribed, inquired, and jotted-down military estimates for the HDLF commanders; the Marines, under the banner and the uniform of the HDLF, intimidated small figures like local businessmen and port authorities, continuing the work done previously. The Datu conspired with HDLF commanders to plan and strategize pending assaults.

In doing so, the Datu and his Pradhaan operatives were daunted closer and closer to moral ambiguity. It appeared tensions between the North and the South still seemed most unsavory. Some missions seemed more ethnically-driven than ideologically driven. But it was no matter, Abner thought. Trust between the two groups grew closer by the day, and that satisfied Asian Military Command.





Suraksha
Kingdom of Jaragupta





The proceedings in Suraksha had encountered minor trouble from the very first day alone. The 20 here on boat, who operated under the same mission guidelines as the agents in Pradhaan, had been questioned by local border patrol of their origins; halted in their entry of the island. The situation seemed lost, and many wanted to turn the other way. With the Kingdom's deductive eyes on their own, and armed guards honing assault rifles attempting to stick into the hidden crates of weapons the contingent was attempting to smuggle with them, the pressure was high. Many simply wanted to fight another day.

Thankfully, however, the Datu of the contingent, Mursalim Ho, came prepared. Revealing a sack of local currency, a bribe was initiated. It seemed the obstacles of imperialist society were also its weaknesses.

Datu Ho was a middle-aged operative of Chinese descent, which made him the most foreign of the Nusantara Echelon. The state-formed echelon had been established so soldiers could fight alongside their fellow statial brothers, and whilst the Federation had always tried to crown itself to others with an ornamentation of familial inclusion, Asians, like the Jaraguptans, racial tensions between the 'Northerners' and the 'Southerners' had never truly been done-away with.

Whether or not this distrust would affect mission parameters was yet to be seen. Datu Ho had always been a loyal soldier of Asia, and an excellent one at that. Experience rightfully put him in that position; combat experience from the deserts of Tel-Aviv to the forests of Hokkaido.

Upon setting-up shop in Suraksha, together with the Vionna-Frankenlischian VRA training cadre, Great Viet PUR operators, and Mubatan training advisers; his contingent operated as a single fighting-force. First, they would utilize all resources available to them to seek-out Marxist insurgents from the settlement itself. They worked as fishermen, and rented a small apartment by the coast, like the Pradhaan group. From this humble hovel, they would spark the flames of revolution.

Datu Ho reached-out to other ISVC operators in the area as well. He had already established a line with the Pradhaan group, and it appeared both teams were well in their current state, risking little to no discovery by the Kingdom as of yet.

Mursalim was a little discomforted by the Pradhaan group's attempts to collaborate with the HDLF in freelancing operations, but it appeared to be working better than his own strategy. Mursalim focused on getting supplies to their location, and offering it to the operatives rather than letting the HDLF order his men around. But to do this, he needed to get his hand dirtied a little bit more. He needed the Rupees to bribe port authorities, and information to ensure their loyalty fades quickly.
Last edited by Pan-Asiatic States on Sun Apr 14, 2019 11:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Mubata
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Founded: Oct 22, 2014
Iron Fist Consumerists

Postby Mubata » Sat Apr 13, 2019 9:26 am

One to Two Months Before the Guild Arrival
Gyani, Jaragupta


They took a local bus to Gyani that drove from Mehatar, stopped in Suraksha, and then reloaded to continue on East. For the most part, they took the coast, and it was easy to see how this country could be a popular tourist destination in other circumstances. Sea cliffs, waterfalls, idyllic fishing villages and Indian-style architecture were the backdrop for their journey along the southern coast. For security purposes, the Suraksha team had taken a different bus. For further security purposes, the Gyani team didn’t mingle with each other on the bus, and barely even talked among their sub-groups, the 4 Cardwithian humanitarian workers, the 4 Mubatan bomb experts and the 21 Ressian advisers, who had split up into 4 smaller groups throughout the large double decker bus. A couple HDLF contacts rode with them as translators and guides.

The Hamikh locals on the bus were friendly, and tried to engage the foreigners, but as per their training they were polite enough, but monosyllabic and good at shutting down further conversation. The fact that they didn’t speak Hamikh, and the locals didn’t speak a lot of English, or any other of the languages that the CAIF teams spoke (Wishtonian patois, Ressian or Zama), helped to keep the conversations abrupt.

It was tougher for the Cardwithians to not engage, as normally, it was part of their job to connect with the local population in order to best serve their needs, but protocol for the mission forbade it, at least until they reached their final mission camp.

Finally, they arrived in Gyani. With luck, the bus had to drive all the way through downtown before stopping at their destination, where their secondary transport provided by the HDLF would pick them up. That journey through the center gave the ISVC personnel the opportunity to recon a good bit of downtown, as there weren’t too many larger buildings to obstruct their view of the blocks beyond. A lot of mental note taking was occurring at that time.

For the Cardwithian aid workers, they could generally tell where the most blighted areas were that they would need to focus their attention on. For the Mubatan demolition experts, they took a tally of where the weakest points were to plant IEDs and other explosives. For the Ressian advisers, they focused on where the most likely structures were that ISVC and the local red rebels could hold in case they had to engage in pitched urban battles against the government forces. Likewise, they pinpointed those targets most heavily guarded by local gendarmes and JRA soldiers in the downtown area.

More indepth reconnaissance would need to happen, most likely overnight, but it helped to get their bearings during the daylight.

They arrived at the drop off point and got in different vehicles to go to different safehouses around the city. The Ressians were split, some of them going with the Mubatan demolition team, some with the Cardwithian aid workers, and the rest going with a couple local HDLF leaders.

The Mubatans were from the Oryx Brigade of the MFM, but they weren’t your ordinary guerrilla fighters. This small group were demolitions experts, with a focus on IEDs, anti-vehicle and armor mines and setting up booby traps for unprepared patrols. They were led by Asani Belakume, an older veteran of the MFM struggle against the Tizi-led Mubatan government. As soon as they arrived at their safehouse destination in Gyani, Asani gave a supply list to their HDLF minders so they could begin making bombs. They also requested trips out to scout out likely areas to plant their wares, including the roads leading into Gyani. The HDLF were hesitant to let the ISVC people roam around unescorted, but the larger the group, the more likely they were to be noticed.

When a mole gave vital information about the upcoming military parade through the city center, the Mubatans knew they had their big opportunity to step up the insurgency against the Jaraguptan government, but it would take a lot of planning, coordination and compartmentalizing with the HDLF and the CAIF leadership.

Fortunately, they had the Ressian engineers to help them in figuring out the best placement to decimate the city block where all the top level city and military officials would be. It was quite a marvel in physics as to how the ISVC personnel set up their explosive ambush.

After the bombing in Gyani, the HDLF spirited the ISVC team out of the city and northwest, to the jungle. They didn’t know the name, but they were put in a little village that was far off the beaten path from the main national roads. They prepared to move them further on to the mountains north of Suraksha, but it was difficult to move as more roadblocks and checkpoints went into effect after Gyani.

The Cardwithians were disheartened, as they hadn’t been able to really do their best work, having to stay incognito, which was not the best way for humanitarian workers to operate. As they settled into the village, the leader of the Cardwithian contingent went over to discuss with the Mubatans, Ressians how they could best be effective, but also maintain cover. There just weren’t many options at the moment and they didn’t want to idle around too much, as that could draw attention, too.

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Vionna-Frankenlisch
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Founded: Jun 21, 2014
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Vionna-Frankenlisch » Sat Apr 13, 2019 1:37 pm

Rujinga, Gahana, Jaragupta

They sat at the dock by the waterfront, watching the sun set over the vast horizon beyond the eastern shores of Gahana. They were drinking local brews and coconut liquor as the evening started to darken. They had been working on the next operation that they could run on the island, but also enjoying the view and the chance to soak in the beauty that was all around them. PAST cell #22 did their best to relish such treasures in life, considering the amount of destruction they brought to most of their mission spots.

They sat there in their little discussions in patois as Evans and his compatriots walked up from behind. Evans was in the centre of a gaggle of older-looking men. Each wore a khaki uniform, musty and moth-eaten from years of hanging up in country-home wardrobes. Evans laughed heartily as a former Major of Engineers finished an anecdote to his left.

“Good day, fine comrades!” Evans exclaimed, cheerily to the Cardwithians to his front, coming to a halt nearby. His fellow veterans standing behind him.

Yamela stood up.
“Hello comrades! General Evans! Gentlemen. It is good to see you again. You remember my colleagues...Giorgio, Fenton, Cook, Batina, Jessika.” She used their usual cover names, as all PAST operators were assigned at their initial introduction into the Cardwithian black operations service.
“We were just discussing our progress over the last couple weeks. It would be nice to have a big coup against the capitalists like the Gyani team did.”

“Indeed, well, if we can whip these local chappies into fighting shape then maybe it’ll be possible. I can’t speak for explosives, though, I’m not sure what we have lying around.” Evans replied, nodding. He grinned and turned to his fellows, “In our day, a rifle per man and ten rounds was all a partisan needed to overthrow his imperialist regime. That’s how it worked in Gallandia.” He sighed. “But I suppose times have changed…”

Yamela nodded.
“I don’t know much about Gallandia, but what you speak is truth. It’s tough to have literally as big a bang as taking out a city center, but I think that a political assassination, a kidnapping, or maybe...in our setting, the sinking of a large corporate vessel, might have the same effect. What do you think? You have been working on training the local HDLF cells....Do they have what it takes to have that impact?”

“Hmm…” Evans vocalised, thinking deeply on the suggestion. He considered the cells he’d visited and the reports of his officers. They were not in shape to fight the security forces man to man, that much was obvious. But maybe, with the technical knowledge that Evans’ aging officers had taught them… “You know what…” Evans replied, intrigued, “I think they do… Every one of them is committed to the cause, they’re some of the best motivated men I’ve ever met. And my officers have given them the technical know-how that they’d need for something like that…” Evans stroked his chin, scratching his grey goatee with keen interest. Around him, his officers nodded. “Yes, I think they do.”

Fenton looked back from the docks to the sleepy fishing village. The Gylians had all gone to bed earlier, having conducted long sessions of political classes that day with several eager elders trucked in from many villages around the island. Gahana was the second biggest island in the Jaragupta archipelago, but far outshadowed by the main island that was about 20x the size. He replied to Evans,
“That is good news, General. Because we need to act fast, before the government begins cracking down and operations become tougher to execute. There will come a day soon where we won’t be able to conduct our business so openly as we are now.”

“Yes, of course,” General Evans replied, settling down as Colonel Daventry pushed a chair behind him. “By your tone, I suspect you have something in mind…” He added with a knowing smile. “I think the lads’ll be ready for anything, besides a pitched battle.”

Giorgio and Cook passed around beverages to their Vionnan-Frankenlischian comrades, local beer, liquor and water to those who didn’t imbibe. While they did that, Yamela took her time to answer.
“I think that the best idea we had was an assault on the gendarme garrison in Gahana City. That is the center of military power here on this island. They have a whole battalion, as you know, that is based out of there, however. As you said, a pitched battle, even with every able body of the HDLF here on Gahana, would likely be disastrous. What we need is something to draw the bulk of Viper Battalion out of their HQ, so that we could take out the facility at its most vulnerable. I wonder if you have a good notion as to the feint that would draw them out?”

Evans held a can of beer with a strange lack of confidence, the look of a man used to pint glasses and pubs. “We have roughly three hundred locals with us, perhaps a third of them are in a fit state to actually fight, if that. The rest are fit for other duties, however. If we set those two hundred to causing havoc on the outskirts of Gahana City, we can draw out the enemy to multiple different locations. Whilst this is happening, the hundred fighters attack the garrison.” Evans did not seem overly confident with his plan, “I have given no specifics, I know,” he admitted, “but it is early days. We can develop it if need be.”

Yamela mused on what General Evans said.
“I do worry that we might sacrifice a good many of our local allies in such an attack, if we’re not careful to train and arm them properly. Perhaps I’m envisioning the worst, but I feel like that might involve a small scale human wave attack. That’s a lot of martyrs. What if we were to request heavier ordnance from the main island? More rocket launchers? Mortars? Anti-material rifles and such?”

It was definitely an operation on the scale that Rosita Esongka and the Colonel would want to know about, and support. It was also one that was a ‘make or break’ operation. If it failed, it could set back operations, at least on Gahana, for some time, even shut them down. Success might bring more recruits to the cause, but Gahana wasn’t an all-Hamikh area like some of the other areas the ISVC were operating in. There was a good split with between Tamars and Hamikhs here on this northeasterly island.

Evans nodded, “Yes, of course.” He pondered for a moment. “We could use rocket launchers and mortars to support the assault on the garrison. The anti-material rifles would be useful with the harrassing forces, in case the enemy decide to react with vehicles.” Evans tapped his knee, the cogs of his aging military mind cranking into action. “We would need to deploy groups of saboteurs around the circumference of Gahana City’s outskirts so as to draw out the Viper Battalion to different locations at once. If it's possible, we could even surround these smaller groups and defeat them in detail. I doubt that it will be possible but it's worth considering.”

Cook took a long swig out of his beer.
“Anything is possible, General. We just have to wonder whether the sacrifice can be made.”

Yamela looked at Cook, then back at Evans. She looked back towards the village to see if any locals were listening in.
“He has a point. We have to assume that failure is the most likely option. Can this local branch of the HDLF afford to lose so many fighters in one big play?” She didn’t let it go there,
“The answer, in my mind, is...Yes. It is worth the sacrifice for the greater cause. If such a venture fails and the local HDLF is annihilated, then we import more fighters from the main island. If that’s not viable, then we close up shop here and start again on the main island. There’s plenty of area being underserved by ISVC advisers right now. The revolution will come back to Gahana if it was meant to. Maybe the question is do we tell the HDLF fighters that they might be sacrificing themselves for the greater cause, and give them a choice to opt out or not?”

“They know what they are risking, they are some of the bravest people I’ve ever met.” Evans admitted with pride, “They are armed and supplied to a workable degree and, if we bring in the equipment as I said, they’ll be as ready as they’ll ever be.” Evans closed his eyes, sadly, “I think you’re right… I think it’s do or die with this lot. I just pray they’ll be enough.”

Yamela nodded in agreement.
“Then it’s settled. I think we need to start planning it out first thing in the morning. With your lots of assistance from your team, of course, General.”

Evans bowed his head graciously, “It would be an honour,” he confided.

She gave a slight bow in return. “Very good. We will start the planning tomorrow in earnest…”

Before she could say it, Giorgio, a diminutive man, even for a Cardwithian, but very capable demolitions specialist for the PAST cell, stood up and beat her to the punch.
“For now, let us make more toasts to the Revolution!”

There was much clinking of bottles and glasses between the Cards and Vionnans.

[Co-RP’d with The Cardwith Islands]
"All they that take the sword shall perish with the sword." Jesus Christ

"In this country it is found requisite, now and then, to put an admiral to death, in order to encourage the others." Voltaire, in Candide


Domestic Marshal of the ♔♚IMPERION COALITION♚♔
Commissar of Revolutionary Action of the INTERNATIONAL SOCIALIST CONGRESS

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Founded: Sep 19, 2016
Compulsory Consumerist State

Postby USG Security Corporation » Sat Apr 27, 2019 9:07 pm

Mavala, Jaragupta

Lukewarm. That was the best way he could describe their arrival into Mavala International, the capital airport that also served as the primary Air base. Sure, when the USG and Guild command staff officers stepped off the C907 Cayman, they were greeted by counterparts in the JRA. They were greeted formally and professionally, as to be expected.

There were no bands playing. No color guards on display or children with flowers running to meet the exotic foreigners. And there shouldn't have been, either. Colonel Laurent Cogant had seen that before in his time with the USG, also known as the Uli-Schwyz back in the day. On Hutanjia, when they first arrived, he had been a Major - head of Zeta Company/Uli Regiment and destined for an epic battle for their FOB on Nesselberg in which they were almost overrun. It was the battle where he’d lost one of his eyes.

The Hutanjians had loved the mercenaries then...until they didn't. At the end of the war, there were definitely some dark feelings from the clients that Van Aardel, then a Colonel, had pulled the Schwyz Regiment at a crucial point of the West Cardwith campaign in order to rescue the USG home island from raiders. He had done it against the orders of General Tell, but no one, not in the USG anyway, could fault him for his choice. It had however, helped to seal the collapse of the allied front on West Cardwith.

Other contracts he'd served, they had gotten differing reactions, but usually bordering on indifference. He recalled one contract initiation in a certain Slavic country where they had landed at a deserted airfield and had to drive some kilometers to find their local liaison, passed out drunk at an outpost while the battlefront raged just 30 km further on.

This though...this would work. No garish fanfare, but no unprofessional buffoonery either. General Van Aardel would approve as well. For another brief moment, he had thought of General Nelson Tell instead. God, he was going to miss working for the old carrot top. Not that he didn't have the utmost respect for Pieter van Aardel, but it would still take some time to get used to the regime change.

Meanwhile, to the north, at the ports of Nevala, Chedankashasar, and Nartaki, sub-contracted cargo boats, escorted by Jaraguptan and Riysian ships, unloaded both men and equipment, artillery, and vehicles of the USG, as well as other Guild units, to begin to fulfil the contract. They would begin a journey south and east in convoys to the besieged cities. The cities of Northern Jaragupta were dominated by the Tamar ethnic population. They were at relative peace, with smaller JRA garrisons, except when the HDLF decided they needed to get a taste of terror. The south was where critical control needed to be re-exerted by the government and their new contractors and allies.

What couldn't be flown in to Mavala for the USG was shipped in via the port at Nevala. While they certainly could have docked at Mehatar or another southern port, there were definite security reasons for the northern destination. For one, while the Tamar people were very curious to watch the foreign troops disembark, they were deemed to be a lot less hostile to control and keep at a safe distance than the Hamikhs.

Secondly, if there was a spy trying to document everything being unloaded, they were more likely to stand out here than down south where everyone would be trying to report back what the Guild forces were bringing in. The merely curious would be the exception in that crowd. At least this was according to the local authorities, represented by what passed as the intelligence apparatus of the national gendarmerie.

Merlin (aka Elijah Rejmarak) felt a little differently after being in country a few days. From what he could tell, there would be spies in any port reporting disembarkation operations, no matter whether it was a Tamar or Hamikh dominated city. Both the HNLA and the HDLF seemed to have that reach, even if other, smaller dissident factions did not.

However, he felt it wasn't a battle worth fighting with his counterparts in the Jaraguptan gendarmerie. There were sure to be plenty of other more critical issues to stand his ground on. He would bring it up with his counterparts in the Mukhabarat, the Riysian intel agency, who were beginning to make themselves known in the island republic.
Meanwhile, USG sergeant majors and lower ranked officers who weren't attending the Guild command staff briefing were busy getting the ranks in order and gear ready for their last stop for this deployment: Their respective unit FOBs.

Not to throw shade on their fellow Guild operators, who were all of the highest professional caliber until they proved not to be, but the USG had a slightly different decorum, especially when it came to larger scale deployments, versus small team missions when USG operators deployed out of uniform, but very much laden with gear.
In Jaragupta, they wore their issued uniforms: fatigues of a subdued camouflage pattern. On tropical and arid climate contracts, tactical shorts were authorized on base and for non-combat duties. Due to the local flora and fauna concerns, long fatigue pants still needed to be worn in the bush and on urban patrol when their legs might be easily cut up by debris, then exposed to infection without more protection, but shorts were still authorized for some instances.

The most distinctive item of uniform were their hats. The USG headgear was something of a cross between a tactical boonie hat and a smaller version of the Australian-style slouch hats. (Air crew and mechanized personnel were still authorized to wear the grey berets.)
The slouch hats had been re-adapted by General Tell about a dozen years previously, after being abandoned in the 1980’s in favor of berets. While they sometimes got in the way, they were a distinctive feature and a matter of old Uli-Schwyz tradition. It was also why they were sometimes dubbed ‘The Cowboys’ by clients, because it certainly wasn’t due to a cavalier attitude.
So the landings continued unabated...

The helicopters, VTOLs, IFVs, APCs, mobile mortars and AA, and artillery were packed up in innocuous shipping crates, loaded up onto flatbed cars and trained down to the capital where the JRA had loaned the Guild their second largest base, which also had its own operational airstrip. Cogant had decided the base name was too hard to pronounce, so he had re-christened it Panther.
At Panther, the rotor and light aircraft, along with many of the vehicles, were to be assembled and readied by Intexa logistical crews to stay, or be flown or driven further south and west. To the east, similar actions were playing out in bases given over to Shalumite Security International and Hurtful Outcomes, who would cover the northeastern and southeastern sectors.

Some of the aircraft, especially the LIRCAS Sergeants, small light Neu Engollian manufactured planes that served as both light reconnaissance and ground attack fighters, and the rotor gunships, were flown to closer loaned operating bases where they could cover USG, Blackwood, and Varangian Guard forces during COIN operations. The first base, closest to Mehatar, was dubbed Bengal, while the one near Talika was dubbed Chital. Where accommodations were deemed inadequate, the USG engineers got to work to reconfigure the bases to handle the workload that Cogant and the rest of the Guild staff had in mind for them.

As they met on the tarmac, other air transports were also arriving, as well as the NEF-33A Warrior multi-role fighters that had escorted them in and KC700 refuelers that had kept them aloft. C2000s and C74 Carlys were also taxiing as they arrived to disgorge more troops and gear. Contract initiation was a wonderful sight.

"Colonel Cogant? I am Captain Dhasha Gayapjani, an assistant to Marshal Balakrishnan. We will take you into the city to meet with the JRA command staff and your compatriots who are already here."

Cogant straightened his eyepatch, an affectation that he continued to do, despite having had a patch for years. He also had never considered the surgery to put in a cosmetic eye, despite the funds to do so. He liked the mystique and slight apprehension that the patch brought out in those that defied him.
He was confused for a moment
“Compatriots? You mean Merlin?”
He referred to the cover name of Elijah Rejmarak, the Intexa spy.

“Yes, him, but also the Riysians are here...And we are choppering in the other commanders that have landed at the ports, as per your wishes.”

“Oh, yeah...Very good then. Lead on.”

They climbed into JRA Mahindras, light utility vehicles, and were sped into the city, escorted by heavier armored vehicles. They were in sight of the palace with its domes, but instead stopped at a lower brick building, less ornate and more utilitarian in nature.

It was a military depot that was going to be given over to the Guild staff.
They were escorted into the main floor where they came upon the very officers that Gayapjani had confirmed would be there.

Merlin approached him first, hand outstretched. He had been a military man at one time. He too, like many other USG troopers, was a Hutanjian War veteran, having served in the Edomite 21st Lancers. He had now been a civilian for some time. Due to his job, and the length of his absence from military service, he was quite comfortable in that civilian skin. Cogant took the much shorter man’s hand, letting him speak first.
“Good to see you, sir.”

“Merlin. How are you settling in? You’ve been here for what...2 weeks now?”

“About that, sir. I have been productive. I have quite the bombshell for you.”

“Anything that the rest of the Guild and our allies can’t hear?”

“Well...no…”

“Good. Then save it for just a bit when we’re all gathered for the briefing.”

“Yes sir, I can do that.” Merlin took it in stride, instead of getting put out. They turned as more new arrivals also walked in.




The Riysian counter-surveillance team hung around the site in a couple of rented cars, cameras and radios at the ready to help keep this meeting safe. Just a little bit earlier, they had been inside with TSCM equipment, a Mukhabarat-developed all in one kit, with spectrum analyzers, IR detectors, directional antennas, etc. to find and trace any bugs that might’ve been planted in the room. Thankfully, they found nothing - as the JRA and Intexa had assured them, having also examined the room.

Not that Colonel Akkadi hadn’t believed the others, but...

Someone in the West had coined the motto: “In God we trust, all else we monitor” - and this summed up the Mukhabarat’s overall attitude nicely. There was never such thing as “too much” security, especially in a critical time like this.

Speaking of the Colonel, he had just arrived here, in the back of a black diplomatic car from the embassy. Flanking him was the Riysian Ambassador, representing the political side of things, and the military attache, Maj. Tarfa, the only Mukhabarat officer at the embassy who’s identity he knew - because it wasn’t a secret to anyone. They carried folders and briefs, information at the ready to support their new allies.

With polite smiles and greetings to everyone, they settled in to their positions at the table. It felt a little awkward though, as there hadn’t been much communication since the initial briefing between the Riysians and the Guild/JRA. But, hopefully today, they could lay down the framework for better cooperation - something they would sorely need if they would crush any chance of Marxism taking hold in Jaragupta.




Dekker had arrived fifteen minutes prior, as he expected would be typical among a collection of ex-military types. With him came four shadows, at least in the metaphorical sense. His personal security detail had shuffled him from the rotor-wing landing pad, through to the Guild-supplied vehicles, and finally to the destination itself. They’d swept into the facility in a non-threatening (albeit authoritative) manner. Much like their commander, each man was dressed in varying shades of khaki or brown cargo pants and the presentation-style Blackwood Company logo-bearing polo shirts under light plate carriers with minimal accessories. Each carried a short SCAR-styled carbine as well, outfitted with telescoping stocks & close-range optics, in addition to holstered pistols.

The boss was also armed, along with his typical air of mild irritation & nonchalance, the holstered Glock on his right hip was as much a part of the uniform as the polo shirt, which barely fit his powerful frame. The shadows faded into the corner of the room, remaining attentive but generally out of the man. The “Old Man” (as Dekker was frequently referred to) was more than capable of taking care of himself, but corporate policy dictated he didn’t move without at minimum four long-guns in his immediate vicinity.

Standing over six feet in height & built like a man who’d lived in a powerlifting gym, his graying reddish-brown hair & beard were neatly groomed, although he’d tilted a pair of battered Oakley sunglasses up into his close-cropped hair. Heavily tattooed & smelling heavily of expensive tobacco, Dekker carried a gently-steaming cup of coffee in a travel mug in his left hand, along with a small, worn-looking notebook. His right hand remained free, out of habit.

With a faint sigh of resignation, he settled into the briefing...

Major Ignacy Pyrczinski was normally Commander of the USG’s Alpha Company, Galien Regiment, but now he had been appointed the GRCT field commander. He had moved up quite a bit in the ranks since his early days as a young NCO in the Polish GROM special operations forces.
He stood near the doorway as the Blackwood entourage walked in. He respected their professionalism in bringing their own security. He’d had Colonel Cogant do the same, despite the locals informing them that there was already security provided by the Jaraguptan Royal Guard.

On their arrival at the old JRA depot, his doubts were justified when they realized that the squad of Royal Guardsmen assigned to them were all lounging about in the main meeting hall of the building. Not even one of them was manning the security room that had one working monitor hooked to a fuzzy old CCTV that’s view was fixed on a view of the street gutter near the front door.

Pyrczinski had put USG shooters around the block, with concealed pistols, and counter-sniper teams on the roof. He had sent the Royal Guardsmen back to their HQ. It was probably better that they weren’t around to hear and report back on what would undoubtedly be a very critical brief of theirs and their bosses observed performances so far. Unfortunately, the JRA aide to the Marshal would have to stay.

Belatedly, he also realized that the Riysians had had the same plan and just not bothered to dismiss the useless locals, waiting for the Guild officers to do that. His men stumbled upon the Riysian security as they got into position.

He thought about approaching Bray to introduce himself, but thought maybe it could wait until after the brief. Bray didn’t seem to be in the mood. Also, his attention was drawn away by another Guild leader’s entrance...




Outside, farther down the road, a small rusty sedan puttered languidly towards the building. It bounced without much direction or suspension, clearly in no hurry to get where ever it was going. Abruptly, it came to a stop in front of the building as the tires proceeded to deflate with a satisfying whoosh.

The driver’s side door opened, and out stepped a rather short individual clad in black sunglasses, a gray hoodie, tan combat trousers, and mismatched shoes. Eelin glanced around and removed her sunglasses, allowing her bloodshot swollen eyes to take in the surroundings.

“Fuck this shit,” she mumbled unsatisfactorily under her breath, before replacing the sunglasses on her face.

Her gait remained a bit wobbly, and the numerous dents and scrapes on the car she had been driving mailed the message home. She didn’t care though, least of which as she curled in on herself and shuffled past the few concerned guards who rushed up to look at the spectacle. She made sure her official contractor badge was easily noticed, to help mitigate the fact her garb screamed incognito spy.

Once again, the frigid corrosive tropical air conditioning hit her unexpectedly as she stepped inside. Even with the thick sweater she had on, the bits of exposed flesh were heavy with perspiration and burned when in direct contact with the cold. It only took a few moments for her eyes to adjust, but she had no desire to remove her sunglasses.

There were others around. Cogant, specifically. And some local officer whom she really didn’t care about.




Behind the rusty beat up sedan, a Range Rover pulled up painted two tone white and forest green with a rack of lights on the roof. A shield bearing an elephant on both the passenger side and driver’s side door was that of the National Gendarmerie. Two gendarmes exited their rover and approached the sedan, hands on holstered Murakami side arms. When they saw that the car was empty, they slowly and alertly approached the old Army building.

Pyrczinski trotted out of the building, having had an eye on the doorway for the Guild command staff to show up. Kirves had slipped through the door before he got even with her, but the gendarme patrol car concerned him. As the two gendarmes approached, he flashed his Jaraguptan government issued contractor badge hanging from a lanyard. Just a week in, it wasn’t so familiar to the locals, but they recognized the government seal. He gesticulated wildly and spoke in his Polish accented English as they angrily pointed in the building and fired back in broken English mixed with Hindi.

“I don’t care what she hit! She’s with us. You need to move on. This building is out of your jurisdiction!”

Finally, the sergeant threw up his hands and motioned to his partner. They headed back to the Rover, cursing about the Guild personnel. They climbed in and backed up, speeding off. Pyrczinski went back inside, catching up to the Falkasian woman.

“Ms. Eelin Kirves? I am Major Ignacy Pyrczinski, field commander for the USG. Welcome to…” He paused as the heavy alcohol fumes hit him. He’d seen her stumbling, but thought maybe she was adjusting to the heat. He spoke in a hushed tone that no one a half meter away would hear.
“You need to get squared away, Ms. Kirves. We have a major brief in a few minutes. I’ll get you some water.”

She narrowed her eyes at him, although her glasses did a good job of keeping the move concealed.

“Thank you. My head hurts,” she mumbled under her tequila-laden breath and she continued to beeline for the meeting room. “The locals love us, on the upside.”

Pyerczinski tilted his head at that, but said nothing as he went to retrieve a bottled water from a portable cooler sitting on a table.




As though relations could not get more sour, a gendarme Gazelle quickly approached, smoothly flaring in for a landing at Panther base. Just as the wheels touched down a familiar figure was pushed out of the cabin, followed by a local officer brandishing a black eye and a limp. They were escorted into a Mahindra MUV that took them to Guild HQ. Once there, Bradley climbed out of the vehicle and sternly walked over to Major Pyrczinski and made a brisk salute before quickly explaining his situation.

“There appeared to be a misunderstanding at the docks in Pradhaan, sir. As the dockhands were still expecting Salamander group instead of our forces. As such, our papers were not to their liking…. I personally believe I’ve already settled matters there, and we are currently offloading supplies for the rest of our battalion…. This particular officer still refuses to believe my story, and I’d like to arrest and interrogate him for possible intentional sabotage of operations.”

Pyrczinski blanched a bit.
“No, please don’t do that! I think we may not have ensured that all the officials in Pradhaan were aware that Salamander personnel would not be arriving, and to expect HOI instead. That’s on us. Let’s not complicate things further. I think you would agree that keeping the locals happy and cooperating with our operations is the best possible outcome, Mr. Bradley?”

“I suppose, but is our mission not only to help train the locals, but also assist in identifying and removing overzealous and treasonous elements within their existing command structure as per the hearts and minds campaign?” Bradley shot back. “As they are now well aware of our purpose and presence, further obstructions of our lawful duties are not to be tolerated. Especially if their actions are hurting the local civilians.”

He gave the gendarme a stern look, knowing he was listening in. The fellow blanched a bit at the prospect of being sent to the equivalent of a gulag, or worse. The Hurti was obviously not sharing all the details regarding how he came to blows with the officer.

Major Pyrczinski motioned it off.
“Just...just let it lie for now. Don’t do anything to any personnel of our clients, please, Mr. Bradley. I beg you. Just keep it in check for right now and we’ll discuss this after the briefing. Okay? Thank you. Dobro.”

Technically... since they are not the ones financing this contract, they are not our clients, But as you wish.”

Pyrczinski frowned as he siddled away, not ready to turn his back on Bradley. He would have some work in smoothing things over with the local gendarme commander in Pradhaan, once this brief was done.




SSI was not in the business of taking chances, especially when it came to the safety of their own leadership. If nothing else, it set a poor precedent with the clients they hoped to attract. The vehicles they used for transport had all the looks of a luxury SUV, but in reality, were heavily modified trucks with expensive interiors. Director Roland Weber’s personal vehicle was boxy and black, and equipped with a hearty assortment of armored sections and even launchers capable of deploying tear gas to provide for a quick getaway while under fire or swarm attacks.

The Rhino, as it was designated, didn’t so much squeak as it did groan to a halt. No matter how well maintained it may have been, it took a lot of force to bring a several ton vehicle to a stop, even when it had begun to slow well in advance. The first three men out were loaded for bear, bedecked in protective gear and weapons slung across their chests, quickly pulled down into gloved hands as their feet hit the dusty ground. Behind them was Roland Weber, a man who looked a trifle more comfortable in fatigues with a pistol on his side rather than in a suit and armed only with a briefcase. The rest of the party who followed him out was the rest of his protective detail, primarily made up of men who he had served with for years if not longer.

“We’re on time, it looks like.” He noted with a quiet grunt, rolling his shoulders as a door slammed shut behind him. It sounded like a vault closing, really. “But not the first here. Thank the Maker for that, I’ve always hated being the first to the party.” His lips curled into a tight smile as he began to walk forward, the ground crunching beneath his feet. “Remember boys-”

“Heads up, eyes forward.” They all intoned, more or less as one. A few chuckled under their breath, while others just smirked silently as they followed diligently. Eelin sat hunched in her folding chair, the hoodie she was wearing pulled tightly around her face so only her sunglasses poked through. In the presence of such a secure location, they all seemed more or less at ease, but it didn’t make them any less prepared. No one knew what to expect, other than that this was supposed to be one of the seemingly endless meetings that had come with the contract.

Pyrczinski gave a wave to Weber, then focused up as the Colonel started the procession.
Colonel Cogant started the meeting since everyone was there and gathered, even if some didn’t seem to have their full mental focus.

“Hello Guild partners! We run our groups differently, but we all have the same goals and we’re getting our paychecks cut by the same people right now, so it would help if we can coordinate and get this job done well and done right. Accorzu? That’s Frandit for okay, right, you with me, etcetera....Anyway, we’re all getting settled in and I just want to make sure we get any issues or questions and concerns out of the way. I think we could meet at least once a week for the first few weeks, then, as things settle out into a routine and we have our full network set-up, we could cut back to once every fortnight or monthly in person, beyond that. If that works for everyone?”

Bradley huffed but generally remained silent, thinking that if he had to show up here to slap some motivation into the USG liaison every week, something was already off to a dreadfully bad start. Usually it went the other way around with commissars paying visits to the boots in the fields, rather than regularly recalling the crusty old boots to the parlor-room. But their ways were their own for reasons, even if they failed to make much sense to a simple company-commander.

Ultimately, while Cogant was deferring to all the Guild field commanders for this contract, it was a contract that had been inked by the USG - they had brought their Guild partners in afterwards. (With the Guild they were partners, but usually with any other company set up, the partners not in on the initial deal would be sub-contractors.) So they had top rights to call the shots on how the contract was going to run. Plus, the client was deferring to the USG as the liaison for the Guild.

However, Cogant could only push so hard because the USG could not field the numbers for a contract this big on its own. If he pissed off one of their Guild partners, he eyed Bradley when he thought about that, and one or more left, after already losing Salamander, the USG would not be able to fulfill the contract on their own. Not properly, anyway.

“The Riysians are here and have been starting to set up their own operations with our clients. We will need to work with them as closely as possible and defer to them as needed. If you didn’t read the brief, just to let you know, Varangian Guard and Blackwoood, due to their smaller numbers, will fall under the USG logistical support and we will coordinate operations more closely with them, providing air and vehicle assets as needed.”
He pointed to the Blackwood chief,
“Dekker Bray has agreed to be my XO. Feel free to run shit by him if you can’t get a hold of me. He’ll be going back and forth between here and Talika/Bengal.”

Dekker waved as an afterthought, so the others could put a face to his name. He didn’t have much to contribute at this point.

Colonel Cogant continued.
“As you may know, Salamander PMC opted out after the Kenega session we had. They cited various logistical issues and previous contract commitments. If things escalate, we may be able to entice them back in, but my doubts are high. Let’s not hold our breath on that. HOI is taking over what was to be the Salamander AO.

SSI and HOI have good, full operations, so we will leave them to run their shows as they see fit, helping where we can. As for the VG floating tin cans, I’m not fully versed on working with naval assets as the USG usually leaves that up to the clients, so...they’ll be working directly with their Riysian naval counterparts to coordinate.

Also, besides Riysian intel, The Mukhabarat, we’ve had some of our people, in the form of the Intexa, here for a couple weeks or more, so they might be able to give us some insight on what they have found. Merlin? You had something important to share, so I’ll let you go first. Then our Riysian friends.”

Elijah Rejmarak, aka Merlin, moved to the front of the hall. He thought about the ‘Riysian friends’ that the Colonel had mentioned as he walked right past them. So far, Intexa and the Mukhabarat hadn’t gotten onto the same page to coordinate intel gathering activities. It was the nature of both their organizations that they were not prone to working with others when they could internalize security and keep leaks to a minimum. He understood that, but he couldn’t help but feel some professional rivalry that the Mukhabarat was stepping on his toes when he felt he and his people could do this whole contract just fine on their own.
He dismissed the thoughts to focus on what he was about to say.

“I’m going to cut to the chase here. Our local clients managed to tap two independent sources in the Hamikh community...”
The JRA Chief of Staff liaison, Captain Dhasha Gayapjani, had been silent up until now, and he didn’t break that streak, but nodded emphatically to confirm what Merlin was saying.

“...Both report that a ship docked at Mehatar over two months ago bearing a foreign crew - black, brown, East Asian, and white people ‘so white they were almost blue’. That’s a direct quote, by the way...Dozens and up to maybe three hundred of these foreigners disembarked and were whisked off by known HDLF revolutionaries to other destinations. Again, I’m just going to speculate here and say that is the ISVC crew we were dreading. I don’t know who else it could be. They sound like a very motley, international crew to me....supporting a Marxist insurgency. The list is very short on who operates like that.”

Cogant shook his head,
“So they’ve had a 2 month jump on us to get set up?”

Merlin shrugged.
“I’m afraid so, Sir. They have indeed had a healthy chance to burrow into the local population and integrate into the insurgency network.”

Cogant paced for a moment as Merlin paused. Then he addressed the Guild and Riysian officers.
“We need to capture one or more of these foreigners...Alive. We need to confirm that the ISVC are indeed here. Not only for the propaganda coup, but it will bring every anti-commie nation in on supporting - throwing money towards - Jaragupta. A financially stable client is our best possible hope. They get more funds for better war fighting, our contract gets that much easier to execute...I wonder…” He turned to the Riysian officers, “How would the Riysian leadership feel to have it confirmed that there is a concerted international socialist effort present to subvert the current Jaraguptan government, your ally?”




“Maker almighty.” One of the Shalumite operators murmured as he dug around at his hip. It took a moment, but his fingers finally found purchase, tugging a canteen with company branding free from where it had rested against his belt. “This is going to be as bad as Concordia was. Two months, really?”

“No, it’s going to be worse than that.” Another bodyguard muttered as he leaned over, fingers silently drumming against the stock of his personal defense weapon. “At least we were relatively close to home back then.” It had been within their own borders, though far out from the domestic areas they normally serviced. Even so, supplies and reinforcements were only an hour or two away at most. Here, however? They didn’t have that kind of luxury. All they had to fall back on were their local allies and Guild partners, and if they were going up against an entrenched enemy, the chances were good that they would have problems all their own.

Weber grunted under his breath and glanced around at his partners. “That isn’t exactly the sort of news I was hoping to hear, but we’ll manage regardless. Right everyone?” He smiled tightly. “We’re all professionals, and I know I’ve dealt with worse in my day. Just let me know if there’s anything my agency can do to help. With all the teams I’ve got coming in, I have no doubt I can spare a few plus air support.”




Merlin walked around the circle of Guild field commanders, hearing the murmuring.
“This doesn’t have to be too difficult, ladies and gentlemen. Like I said, they landed a small battalion strength at most, and they’re probably divided up. It would be operational suicide for them to be operating out of one base. If...IF...They are the ISVC, this is the initial scouting mission. What they call the CAIF, or Corp Advisory Implementation Force. I would venture to say less than half would be combatants. Well trained combatants, but a company’s worth or less. The rest are likely other skilled technicians and personnel - spies, engineers, humanitarian workers, medical staff, communications and cyber techs, training and political cadre…Preferably, we get more, but just one captured foreign agent with any documentation, and we could crack this wide open. It might convince Jaragupta’s allies to blockade the Islands to keep any larger ISVC force from landing.

Dekker took the opportunity to chime in. “The good news is that the dudes in charge of shit won’t be hard to pick out. That does explain the uptick in insurgent effectiveness, though.” The statement was followed with some note-scrawling in the notebook.

Blackwood’s intel apparatus had suspicions of outside involvement, a sudden sophisticated attack amid a series of limited-proficiency strikes stuck out as an outlier. It was the reason the construction of Blackwood’s FOB had been constructed with some standoff distance from the local troops they were supposed to train, at least until they’d have time to properly vet them, starting with the most recent recruits in their AO. Insurgency 101 involved infiltrating key government agencies, especially those with access to training manuals, weapons, and explosives.

The Riysians stood silent for a second, before smiles appeared on their three faces. Dr. Muhsin, the Ambassador, spoke up first.

“Its excellent, Mister Merlin. Thank you. I think our 'neighbors'..." He said, glancing to the Mukhabarat officers on his right. "Can make great use of this information as well."

"It is more than that, in fact. You've found the missing piece that we needed!" Colonel Akkadi exclaimed, trying to show .

“Let’s start at the beginning...please pass this around.” He reached into his folder, and pulled out a sheaf of papers. Each one was a simple, single-page, double-sided report with Arabic letters - classification markings - crossed out at the top and replaced with a simple “Exceptionally Secret” designation.

“This is what we know, that’s relevant to Jaragupta. Though we didn’t realize it at the time.”

The document described, in very general terms, the suspected formation of a new Cardwithian special operations force, with a potential order of battle based on known elite Cardwithian military units. A very high resolution satellite image, from a Riysian satellite, showed off what looked like an airbase - but with no planes or personnel visible on the tarmac. An ellipsis, just under 100 meters from end to end, was overlaid onto the hangars. The image was dated about two months ago.

“So, we, er..identified what we thought was the activation of a new Cardwithian unconventional forces unit. But we noticed that something was strange. Major Tarfa could explain a little better.”

“To put it simply, ladies and gentlemen, it isn’t a People’s Army formation.“ Major Tarfa, the military attache, spoke in a direct manner. “The reason is right below on the report.”

A little down on the page was a paragraph describing a certain person and her organization being the sponsors of the new unit, and her presence at the unit’s activation. A rather bland photo of a woman was attached, looking like it had come from a customs desk or a passport.

“We believe a Miss Rosita Esongka was in attendance during the activation of this formation, along with the unit’s CO. She is one of the deputies of PASD, which is separate from the Cardwithian military itself. I’m sure most of you know who they are, but if I was to crudely summarize it...think Party militia and terrorists.” Major Tarfa leaned forward a little. “We immediately believed that it was another one of their strike teams. Our suspicions were deepened when we saw Esongka and the unit depart North Cardwith Island. But we didn’t know where they were going. Considering that a single strike team is small, about the size of an infantry squad, we wondered if it was just for VIP protection.”

A couple of lines mentioned them departing, two months ago. There was a consistent lack of detail through the report to the point; it would be clear to the readers that, while Akkadi would welcome cooperation, the Mukhabarat wasn’t willing to show its methods.

“At the same time though, some of the Cardwiths’ Marxist allies moved around their recce assets.” Colonel Akkadi jumped back in. “Satellites followed new TLEs that gave them a lower slant angle - better visibility - of Jaragupta and the surrounding area. Recce flights were also noticed by us - not very sneaky of them. Data downlinks were aimed at the sea nearby.”

The report described some of the Marxist actions in uncharacteristic detail, but as before refrained from explaining how the Riysians came to know this. Though, satellites could be tracked by even amateurs, so it wasn’t a big feat.

“We didn’t see where the team had ended up, though. Plus, as the Cardwiths themselves hadn’t conducted any overflights of Jaragupta, and we didn’t believe in them having an interest in Jaragupta, it was initially believed to be separate. And...I hate to admit it, but it wasn’t considered urgent at the time. We were wrong on both counts, judging by where we are right now. This report and its conclusion was only made after we came together to form this intervention. Merlin, as I said earlier, this piece of intelligence brings everything together - now we all know what we’re going to be facing."

Tarfa, rubbed his eyes. "Unfortunately, there's not much I can say either - our insight into the rebellion in Jaragupta is miniscule. Captain Gayapjani, I offer my sincerest apologies to the JRA - had we known that foreign terrorists were coming, we would've sent a warning. Hopefully, now that our vision is clear, we won’t have to suffer any more terrible surprises.

Dr. Muhsin nodded, while Col. Akkadi leaned back, thinking about how they got there. He had participated in some of the initial analysis of the data, and a tremendous amount of work had gone into that single leaf of paper. And all of how they got it would be a secret.

They wouldn’t know that the Mukhabarat was tipped off by some query-focused datasets that noted the Cardwithian devices coming online and talking to government servers.
They wouldn’t know how the Mukhabarat discovered it was Esongka, by correlating calls from her known phones to the position of the satellite phone.
They wouldn’t know the direction-finding capabilities of the Wahda “overhead system” that had helped them geolocate the devices.

Even among friends, even inside the same directorate, methods were sacred. Akkadi silently thanked the nameless analysts who had made this sanitized report - it was certainly not an easy, or well recognized, job.

Elijah’s mind raced. The Riysians had satellites focused on the Cardwiths. On a constant basis. There was a lot of territory to cover across the globe, but they seemed to have patterns over that bit of the Wishton Sea. Another question he had was how they had cracked through Cardwithian encryptions, but he wasn’t entirely sure if they had or just gotten lucky that particular night in question that the meeting had been held.
Balancing that out, the Riysians had political and material resource interests in Hutanjia, the main foe of the Cardwiths, so there was cause for them to divert time and energy, and ultimately finances towards that area in order to protect their investment.

He was very eager to know what other Marxist, allied nations and their assets, they had been tracking. He could guess to at least a couple of them. The amount of assets in play to keep monitoring all the areas in question was very astounding, but again, had to be worth it to them.

The Intexa needed to deepen their ties to the Mukhabarat, that much he was willing to concede. He was an analyst first, and a field officer second, so his reaction to the Riysian effort was a bit more exaggerated and incredulous than your typical field operator as he could appreciate all the working parts that had gone into this intel report.
Merlin tried to collect his thoughts to speak.

The Shalumite operational commander licked his lips, but chose to remain otherwise silent, reclining against the back of his seat as he glanced from one representative to another. It was some damning evidence so far as he could tell, the kind that was likely to make his job harder in the coming days. He was not, however, about to lose his cool over it. Whoever the enemy was, he had faced worse in his time; surely they couldn't have been any more menacing than what his boys had fought in the Maldoria province. Quietly, he picked up a cup of coffee and sipped it, pale hands tightly wound around the metal cup.

Colonel Cogant looked at Merlin then around to the other commanders.
“The Riysians are here and evidently putting considerable effort into identifying whoever is backing the HDLF. Which we are nearly conclusive on, but I’d still like some live prisoners to confirm it. I am curious about the Falkies and what their involvement might be, though. I think it’s something that we should discuss further, later.”

Merlin was perplexed, but also trying to move past it. He wanted to be constructive and move forward from this dischord between the Intexa and Mukhabarat, as well as the Guild and the other allies of their client. Colonel Cogant had asked an excellent question about the Falkasian involvement. Another one he was urgently hoping to get an answer to was whether every single attendee at that fateful meeting over a couple months ago, including Deputy Director Esongka, had actually made it to Jaragupta.

Cogant said it again, as apparently Merlin hadn’t heard him the first time.
“Merlin?...Merlin, did you have anything to add?”

Merlin shook himself loose.
“Um...I will debrief all the Guild commanders about the threats in their specific areas of operation after we break here, as well as information about their local client contacts.”
He looked around at the confused faces that reflected how he felt.
“That’s it. That’s all I have for now.”

Cogant nodded.
“Alright then. Seems like no one else has anything, so...Get your individual Intexa briefs and materials before heading out. We’ll be in touch through the usual codes and channels. Carry on and let’s get our AO’s in order.”




Major Pyrczinski was able to get a loaner Katla SUV to Eelin Kirves to take with her back to Mehatar, after Merlin went over her individual brief. He was going to loan her a USG HQ staffer as a driver, too, but she insisted on taking the vehicle herself, and he was convinced enough that she had sobered up and weathered through the worst of the hangover. She went peeling off as the Polish USGSC Major shook his head.






Guild HQ
Mavala, Jaragupta


They sat in a side meeting room mentally digesting all that had been said during the first, but hopefully not the last Guild command staff brief. It was just Colonel Laurent Cogant, commander of USG forces in Jaragupta and nominal head of the Guild unified command, and Elijah 'Merlin' Rejmarak, Chief Intelligence Officer, head of Intexa operations, USGSC.
Merlin was agitated and driven, but Cogant wanted to get him back and focused on the tasks that both the USGSC, Guild, and their clients needed to accomplish.

"I just don't understand, Colonel. Why couldn't the Riysians share this intel sooner? We're on the same side. Their lack of transparency is going to hinder our ability to be successful on this contract."
Not to mention, he was still astounded at their capability, but he was keeping that one closer to the belt.

Cogant blew out a small puff of air.
"Listen Elijah, I'm going to put it to you like this. If you were them, and had their depths of information, would you share it with us? This is the first time that I've seen you in a while without a shadow from the Royal Guard or Gendarmerie of our clients. No offense to our clients, but if I were Colonel Akkadi, I would assume that the client is riddled with moles. No telling how high up it would go, either. Maybe he was waiting on a good chance to talk to you alone and just never saw that opportunity, or he thought you might share it with the J-goops.”

Merlin winced at that new derogatory term for their clients.

The Colonel continued.
“In any case, you spooks operate pretty predictably, when it comes to sharing and caring. You don’t share. I don’t know why you’re fucking agonizing over this. Talk to USG HQ and get more of our Intexa assets here to up your game. You don’t have to run it by me first, and you know it. In the meantime, I’m not gonna hold your hand here...I am going to be going to the Mukhabarrat for intel as much as I do you. At least until you can all get on the same page.”

Merlin stood up, pushing in his chair in a salty manner.
“I have work to do.”

Cogant pointed at him, turning up the screws.
“Damn right you do! Get your head screwed on straight and get me some solid fuckin’ intel. The clients had contacts who saw some foreign fuckers get off a boat?! What is that shit? That was your big revelation?! Get your own informants out there. You were an analyst at a desk not too long ago. Now you want to get back there? Keep up your current play and I’ll have a word with General van Aardel. Otherwise, let’s get back in the game, Merlin. Akkadi made you look like a clapping seal. We need you focused here. Right now!” I gotta go confer with Dekker. (Dekker Bray, Head of the Blackwood Co. contingent and his Guild XO)...Sorry if I came down on you hard, but we really need to get on the same page. Dismissed.”

The Colonel was up and out quick, leaving the slack jawed Merlin still trying to push past his dress down.




The Tamanna River
SW of Mavala
Between Mavala and Prakaran


While the Guild command hashed things out in the capital, the contracted troops in the field were well into operations to fulfill the contract.

The JRA (Jaraguptan Royal Army) were in charge of patrolling the mighty muddy Tamanna, not the navy. It was an edge over their branch counterpart that they relished and despite foreign disdain for their overall effectiveness, some effort had been put into keeping the waterway secure. They maintained a small fleet of river patrol craft and this current day found 3 of them abreast of each other. Two held crews of Jaraguptans from 3rd Platoon, Gha Company of the Elephant Regiment, while the southern flank boat held a mix of JRA and USG advisory personnel.

Three USG contractors who had worked with each other for several years now looked out on the banks of the Tamanna: Captain Geirmund Olsen, Master Sergeant David Coleman, and Tech Sergeant Eugen Rothas. This was their 4th voyage out onto the river since their arrival over a week ago, and it had started as uneventful as the previous patrols, so they were at ease, trusting that the JRA trooper manning the .50 caliber gun on the top gunwale would have things in hand if they came under sudden attack. None of them said much but for the occasional necessary communication or head nod and point towards activity on the southern banks, which was where their main focus was. Mostly, they kept to their own thoughts.

Usually it was a group of children or women, bathing, playing or washing clothes in the river, but twice they spotted men who could be insurgents pulling boats up or moving items up on the shore. While there were fishermen active on the river, commerce and trade along the major river that bisected the north and south of the Jaraguptan main island was a main cover for insurgent resupply.

Captain Olsen shook his head when he saw the current group of young men hauling crates up the bank and onto the shore. It was likely a HDLF cache or resupply on the move, but could also be HNLA or one of the other numerous Hamikh separatist splinter factions arming.
He shouted, then got on the radio to communicate to the other two boats that they would be stopping to investigate. Rothas and Coleman took their ARs off safety and prepared to jump from the boat as they closed in. When the Jaraguptans began to ran, they knew that they had a legitimate cause for concern. The JRA trooper on the mounted HMG fired off a burst over the heads of the running suspects, letting them know that the next burst might cut them in two.

As the patrol boat came in hard, it knocked the large dinghy out of the way, dislodging it from the shore, but the expert JRA boat pilot avoided grinding ashore, instead veering the craft out slightly as the momentum slowed.
A landing party of 4 JRA soldiers and the three USG contractors leapt onto the bank, immediately clawing for purchase on the muddy, slimy bank with their free hands. The JRA men bore Arakwawa ARs, while their foreign merc advisers had a mix of SSG 553, FAR 22 and NEG 25 ARs, but all chambering the same caliber rounds. Coleman hung back with 1 indige trooper to secure the abandoned crates while Olsen and Rothas moved in on the three young men who had frozen in the reeds a couple meters in from the bank.

The smell of urine and fear was strong in the air. They were all wearing scrappy T-shirts with many holes and well worn shorts and duct taped sandals. They were frozen and wide eyed after having the large caliber machine gun fire at them, but for one who must be the leader, who squinted in a grimace, trying to look tough.

Olsen nodded over his NEG 25 to his local counterpart, a Lieutenant Patel, who took charge. The men were all put to their knees and searched, then plastic zip tie cuffs were secured around their hands, bound behind their backs.

On the communications, Coleman was quick to chime in on the USG proprietary net.
“Yeah...We cracked open the crates....Mostly rifles and grenades. We got ‘em.”

Olsen shook his head, visible from the short distance as he muttered over the net.
“We got three scared boys with a couple crates. This isn’t the motherload, but it’s a good start.”

MSG Coleman swore under his breath.
“Better nip than we’ve had lately. Decent dent out of their ops, I should think.”

Olsen nodded. He didn’t need to take this away from his men or the indige allies.
“Yeah, I would say so. Let’s load up the crates and we’ll secure the prisoners to interrogate back at Panther.”

“Roger that.” Coleman waved on two more of the JRA Elephant Regiment troopers and set them to hauling the crates aboard the boat.

It was at that moment that a hidden party of insurgents opened fire from the tree line. The first burst caught the young JRA private carrying one of the crates in the back of the neck, just above his plate carrier collar. He went down gurgling and grasping as bright arterial blood sprayed everywhere.

The rest of the landing party scattered for cover and began to return fire. A fierce firefight erupted and Captain Olsen knew they might be in trouble.
“Panther Base, this is River Snake One requesting air support!”

“On the way, River Snake. Passing you over to Umber Flight.” Three LIRCAS light prop aircraft modified for ground attack, known as Umber flight, were already in the air south of Mavala and itching for a fight.

“Roger that.”

About a minute passed.
“River Snake One, this is Umber Actual. We are reading your location. Can you light up the bogies with smoke?”

“Roger that, Umber One.” He took hold of a smoke grenade, which happened to be red, then pulled the pin and gave it a toss. It landed somewhat short of the treeline, but was a good mark.

“Bogies are south of that red smoke in the treeline, we are closest to the riverbank, copy?”

“Copy that, River Snake, sit tight and get ready to break for the boats.” The comms were also transmitting to Coleman and Rothas’ earpieces, even though the JRA troopers remained ignorant of the communications. Rothas and Coleman passed the word along to their local allies to get ready but continue to fight and keep the insurgents at bay.

The three diminutive LIRCAS attackers came buzzing in low, bursting over the horizon quickly. It didn’t take them long to mark their target line by the red smoke and instructions from Captain Olsen. Within a second, the first rockets were off towards the insurgent ambushers. The treeline lit up with fire as the rockets struck home. 20mm canon fire from the planes followed up the rockets, raking the base of the trees.

Rothas and Coleman fired bursts at HDLF rebels attempting to escape the maelstrom by running out from the foliage and pressing the attack towards the river backed government patrol. Their JRA counterparts followed suit, holding their ground, emboldened by the USG air support. They covered each others’ retreat back to the river, leapfrogging backwards.

As reminded, Olsen got the remaining men, prisoners and mortally wounded JRA trooper back on the boats, while the other two USG troopers and JRA men continued to take turns covering their comrades. Grenades detonated the crates in place so that any follow on insurgents wouldn’t be able to recover the arms.

It was at that moment that Umber flight felt their first real panic. While there was the possibility of small arms fire causing some issues with the low flying aircraft, it wasn’t a large concern. However, RPGs were a whole other level of concern. MANPADS would be even another level for most aircraft, but for LIRCAS turbo prop aircraft that didn’t give off a lot of heat, they weren’t that credible of a threat.

The RPGs streaked up, narrowly missing Umber Three, while two others went further wide, paralleling the river line.
“River Snake One, please bug out soonest.”
Umber One didn’t need to add that the longer they kept over the area, the higher chance a rocket would get lucky. They were circling, despite the heightened danger, but what had been a confident charge in was now three planes doing evasive maneuvers back out. As they were well north of the river, they took a different formation back in, one low, one above and another cutting across, all looking for targets and jinking as much as possible.

“Umber Actual, this is River Snake One. We’re already loaded up and on the water.”
This was true. The gunner on the boat continued to work the MG, raking towards the tree line. The boat was churning brown water as the motor worked to get the boat in reverse. The other two craft had circled back when the fight had started and were also sending fire in.

Were it not for the heavy concentration of fire from the river and the air, the HDLF might have
pursued them to the boats. They motored back towards Panther base as Umber flight completed their second pass over the targets, once again earning two more RPGs coming close to taking out one of the agile CAS aircraft.

Once they were out of the line of fire, the men on the boat began to lighten and untense. A JRA NCO suddenly began shouting in Hindi, pointing at one of the prisoners. The USG men looked at each other, then at their trasnlator/guide. He shrugged back. It wasn’t that he didn’t understand, he just didn’t feel that translation was necessary.

Suddenly, the NCO had a large blade out and was approaching the prisoner. Gene Rothas was on an intercept course. He brought the barrel of his FAR 22 down on the wrist of their JRA ally, knocking the blade skittering across the deck, as well as an anguished shout from the shocked NCO.

For a moment, there was a stand off as Olsen and Coleman leveled their ARs at the reacting JRA men, while also shaking their heads. Coleman spoke first, breaking the thick air,
“Nuh-uh. Sit the fuck down!”

Dhruv, their translator, reluctantly gave the corresponding Hindi.

Captain Olsen looked at his counterpart, a young lieutenant.
“Jayy-zus! We’re gonna have to have a chat back at fucking Panther base. We sure as fuck can’t do that shit anymore.” He pointed towards the knife.

The boats motored towards shore as the uneasy stand off continued.
Last edited by USG Security Corporation on Sun Apr 28, 2019 8:35 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Falkasia
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Founded: Jun 22, 2008
Father Knows Best State

Postby Falkasia » Sat May 04, 2019 12:22 pm

Mehatar, Jaragupta

"Now that everyone's awake..." Eelin began unevenly, her voice fluctuating in pitch as she struggled to vocalize her thoughts. "We need to understand the plan forward."

She paced slowly, unsteadily, on a ramshackle stage. Wooden shipping crates served as benches for her unit, scattered disorderly on the warehouse floor before her. Behind her, a bare whitewashed wall with only the slightest hint of an antiquated advertisement, served as the backdrop for a video projector. The protector itself was haphazardly secured with duct tape and fishing line to a gently swaying ceiling fan. A ladder just below provided support to the single power and HDMI cable weaved in and around its form like a spider web. Several human-sized pyramids of discarded water bottles, the leftovers of an unsuccessful early morning recovery effort, added further disorder to the space. To top it all off, a gentle tropical breeze blew in through the enormous bay doors which opened directly to the pier; and by expansion, the three ships of their small navy moored serenely nearby.

Eelin turned away from her men and towards the wall.

"This is us... right here." A green laser point appeared on the wall and bounced around somewhere near the oceanfront. "And there... here... is the Mehatar Grande hotel. These locations will operate as our two headquarters. Overland operations shall be coordinated in the city, while our naval actions will be run out of the warehouse here. Ideally, we'll use the basketball courts behind the hotel and town square... here and here... to host some of our air operations as well. First order of business will be to lock them down and start security patrols. Our remaining fixed wing and combat assets will be hosted remotely at the nearby airbase. They'll be on-call at all times for close air support."

The green laser pointer had since fallen from the wall; Eelin's wrist drooping as her equilibrium began to falter.

"And here..." the pinpoint completely missed the location, instead lurching into the audience and nearly blinding two of her men. "Is where we believe the insurgents are hiding. A small compound on the outskirts of town is serving as a safehouse for them. I suspect.... we suspect..." she cast a languid bloodshot glance as Pierre, who stood towards the back of the room leaning against a wall. His head was slumped over and eyes closed.

"We...." she aggressively laser beamed him. "We..."

With a lurch, he stirred and attempted to play it cool.

"We..." she stated, satisfied with a smirk, " believe that there may be tunnels running through the city as well. Fortunately most of the locals are at least ambivalent towards us being here. For Operation Machiavelli to be successful, it is imperative we neutralize the local threat immediately so that the citizens here don't come to think of us as occupiers. You all have been briefed on the actual mission."

She paused and turned on her heel, nearly toppling over as her balance failed to correct. Most of her unit had already succumbed to alcohol poisoning and were doubled-over before her. With a proud smile, she nodded.

"Excellent. Tonight..." there was a pause, " we ride."
Last edited by Falkasia on Sat May 04, 2019 12:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Vionna-Frankenlisch
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Postby Vionna-Frankenlisch » Sat May 04, 2019 3:13 pm

Operation Islander
TOP SECRET, for approved eyes only



Strength:
6 Cardwithians
10 Vionna-Frankenlischian
300 HDLF Insurgents
- 100 fighters
- 200 others


Operational Order of Battle
Overall Commander: Brigade General Martin Evans
-
Assault Group
Commander: Major Richard Saunders, Fenton
Strength: 100 HDLF Fighters, 2 Vionna-Frankenlischians, 3 Cardwithians
Task: Assaulting the garrison in Gahana City.
Arms: Rifles, SMGs, LMGs, Shotguns and Grenades
Organisation: Organised into 5 squads of 20 men each for tactical reasons. Vionna-Frankenlischians and Cardwithians to be distributed during the action.
-
Support Group
Commander: Brigade General Martin Evans
Strength: 40 HDLF Other Insurgents, 3 Vionna-Frankenlischians
Task: Supporting the Assault Group in their attack.
Arms: Rifles, Mortars, Machine Guns and Rocket/Grenade Launchers
Organisation: 'Mortar Team' of 21 men with an indeterminate number of mortars. 'Weapon Team' of 22 men with an indeterminate number of heavy weapons.
-
Sabotage Group
Commander: Yamela
Strength: 160 HDLF Other Insurgents, 5 Vionna-Frankenlischian, 3 Cardwithians
Task: Causing havoc on the outskirts of Gahana City and drawing the attention of enemy forces. Disrupting, damaging and/or destroying enemy installations.
Arms: Rifles, SMGs, LMGs, Shotguns, Material Rifles and bombs.
Organisation: Organised into 8 squads of 20 men each for tactical reasons. Vionna-Frankenlischians and Cardwithians to be distributed during the action.


Step-by-Step Plan

1. Sabotage Group enters outskirts of Gahana City and draws attention to itself by sabotaging enemy installations, engaging small enemy units and generally causing havoc. Recommend that different squads enter from different directions to divide enemy attentions.

2. Once sufficient enemy strength is drawn away from the garrison, Assault Group and Support Group enters Gahana City by separate directions to Sabotage Group to avoid enemy attention.

3. Assault Group, with support from Support Group, assaults the garrison. The attack is to be swift and heavy-handed. Close-quarters combat is to be expected and not to be avoided. Heavy casualties are affordable.

4. Once the garrison is captured, intelligence, equipment, supplies and other materials of worth are to be moved to safehouses within the city or evacuated from the city entirely. HDLF banner to be raised over garrison as a show of force.

5. HDLF forces are to melt away into the country, making any attempt to destroy, damage or booby-trap enemy installations in the process. Sabotage Group to cover the retreat of Assualt Group and Support Group. Any materials that cannot be evacuated must be destroyed.


Notes: This is a high-risk operation, failure is probable. High casualties are to be expected. If successful, Operation Islander may set an agreeable precedent and inspire support across the nation. Despite risks, Operation Islander is one of the very few options available to us and I believe that it must be taken if we are to accomplish anything of note on Gahana.

The Operation is scheduled to take place alongside an organised political protest within Gahana City. This is to provide even further distraction for government forces.

- Brigade General Martin Evans, IVEP-VFWSP
Last edited by Vionna-Frankenlisch on Sat May 04, 2019 3:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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The Cardwith Islands
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Major Plans for the People

Postby The Cardwith Islands » Sun May 05, 2019 12:38 pm

Rujinga, Gahana, Jaragupta

Yamala and Martin Evans walked through the village, finding the hut where the Gylians were staying. Children played and women began to light cooking fires to warm up pots for supper around the dwellings. Soon there would be marvelous smells, Yemala knew from experience of several nights spent here.

She lightly tapped her hand on the open doorway, hoping it would pass for a knock.
“Hello? Hello…? Oh…” She saw the Gylian leader and her group at the far end.
“Do you mind if we talk?”

There was a brief silence as the Gylians looked at each other, and then chuckled as they realised they weren’t sure who should’ve answered Yamala’s question. It ended up being Carme who took the initiative. She was probably the best qualified among the group at being a friendly face to make a good first impression.

“No, there’s no problem at all.”, she said. She shook hands with Yamala and Martin. “Pleased to meet you both. I’m Carme Verdaguer, political agitation division, Gylian contingent of the Task Force.”

She said the introduction with playful irony, then quickly pointed out her colleagues, who greeted the two in turn.

“I assume you bear urgent news.”

“Ah, somewhat urgent. And I apologize, Carme. I didn’t properly introduce myself before as we were setting up. I’m Yamala, and I’m head of my cell. This is Brigadier Martin Evans, of the Vionnan Red Army. May we sit?”

When Carme nodded, she took a seat and Evans sat next to her.

“We have plans that your people would be instrumental in, but unfortunately, I can’t tell you what those would be exactly. What we need is for you to organize a political protest in downtown Gahana City, at their city administrative center. As time gets closer, we will know the exact day and time, but for now, we don’t even have that. Can you do it?”

Carme thought, holding her fist onto her mouth for a second. “Yes,” she replied. “We can do it.”

“At the moment, we probably couldn’t guarantee a large turnout, but that’s if it would have to be like tomorrow,” Nírol added.

Yamala shook her head. “No, not tomorrow...or the next day. We’re at least a week out, if not more. There’s much more planning to do on our end.”

“Of course.”, Nírol said. The scenario of it being tomorrow was the most extreme form of short notice they could think of.

“We’ll get in touch with our contacts so we can start preparations,” Carme said. “Don’t worry about not being able to tell us what the plans are.”

Demetrios nodded silently, thinking to himself they were probably some kind of misdirection operation or a cover for something else. It wasn’t yet at the point where a general uprising would be launched, obviously.

The Gylians were good people, and Yamala hated to not be able to give them the bigger picture, but if they were caught by the gendarmes in the thick of the protest, and they were squeezed, they could give everything away. If everything went right, it wouldn’t matter, but if it went wrong...

Yamala looked at them all, then back to Carme.
“I’ll try not to worry, but I know it doesn’t help you with your planning. Security has to be kept up. We’re really going to be on the very thin edge here and the government is going to start reacting hard, no matter how big or small the operations we conduct.”

Demetrios sighed sympathetically. “Yes, when you’re up against a force like that, it really forces you to think on your feet.”, he said.

“At least we’re doing this for a good cause,” said Aruna, “helping people free themselves.” She wasn’t a fan of the cloak-and-dagger aspect but at least the knowledge they were doing what they did to help the Jaraguptans rather than stage a revolution behind their backs was comforting.

Yamala nodded. Anything more she might add aloud was pointless. She’d said what she had to say. Brigadier Evans had remained very quiet and circumspect the whole time, which worried her just a little. They would need to have another discussion soon, which was necessary anyway to firm up these plans for Operation Islander. She might ask him again, away from the Gylians, what he thought about their part in the operation and the chance for success of the decoy political protest.

They got up and said their farewells.
“We shall meet again soon. I think that within 3 days time should suffice for all of us to progress our plans. Thank you again for your dedication to the cause and continued cooperation, Carme, Aruna, Demetrios and Nirol. May the rest of the day bring you wonderful vibes.”

Yamala and Evans left the Gylian’s temporary abode. Then they parted ways with a few words, promising to meet again in the morning.

[Co-RP’d with Gylias and Vionna-Frankenlisch]




The Next Day

Yamala had a lot of work to do and not much time to do it in. She was certain that Rosita would have her head if she was not apprised of the big plans of the Gahana team.
After further discussion with Evans and the other Vionnans, plus some nervous chatter with her own PAST cell the night before, she went to work.

The ISVC CAIF at this point were not making direct calls to each other, but instead using a system they had nicknamed the 'Mosaic' Network. It was one that had been patched together by veterans and students of such conflicts as the Hutanjian War, Northern Tavlyrian War, The Ashmore Islands Conflict, The Red Decade (Gallandic and Imperial Civil Wars to the Vionna-Frankenlischian War of Restoration), MFM insurgency in Mubata, The Gylian Liberation War and Russo-Asian Cold War.
Satellite calls were made between rural stations from the main and smaller islands, then runners were sent into the cities with the message; Certain proprietary signal flags (not standard semaphore) were used from towers and high points in some instances; Cryptic, coded landline calls on Jaragupta’s old analog phone system in other instances; Other runners were sent across the city on bicycle, scooter or taxi to deliver the next leg; Encrypted, coded emails were bounced up through underlying layers of proxies to cities in the north, then back down to cities in the south with innocuous messages that only the recipients knew the true meaning of; More runners were sent until they reached their final recipients.

In this manner, it took the better part of a day for Yamala’s message to reach Deputy Director Rosita Esongka in Mehatar, but it got there hopefully intact with no interlopers listening in. Both women set out to meet each other at a pre-agreed upon spot. Rosita taking various transportation to the east coast of the island.

Meanwhile, Yamala left Fenton in charge of PAST #22 and took a small motorcraft piloted by a trusted HDLF rebel, from around the southern tip of Gahana, and west to the same strip of Eastern coast of the main island.




Two Days Following The Gahana Team Meeting
Rhangajardam
32km South of
Tuzarkha, Jaragupta


Rosita made her way along the trail until she reached the clearing. There sat Yamala, calmly waiting for her on a worn rock that had served the same purpose as a seat for generations of Jaraguptans - to view the small waterfall and stream that ran through this clearing.

On the perimeter in the trees surrounding, Rosita had sent ahead a group of 2 Mubatans, 2 CID agents and some extra vetted HDLF guerrillas to provide security for their meeting and to divert any casual locals that might head their way. It was doubtful they would need to do so. While picturesque, it wasn’t quite magnificent enough to serve as a popular tourist spot, and few locals made their way here these days due to HDLF planted superstition rumoring of ghosts of slaughtered villagers. Scouted weeks back, it was considered a solid meeting spot for such occasions.
Rosita turned to her old comrade, who she had once served in the same PAST with during the Hutanjian War, or the Struggle for Independence as their side titled the conflict.
“It is good to see you, Comrade sister.”

“You as well, Comrade sister. I will make this quick, so as not to strain our security.”

Deputy Director Esongka spread her hand as a signal to continue.
Yamala detailed their operations so far and her perceptions of the strength of the Revolution on Gahana. Rosita listened patiently.
“Thank you for sharing that Yamala, but your request for a meeting seemed more urgent. This report could have been sent along normal channels, although I am glad to hear your thoughts in person…”

Yamala took a deep breath.
“This is true. There is another important matter. We have decided to speed up our timetable and to put our effort towards one big push…” She took a moment to dig in the pocket of her dingy, foliage stained utilitarian bush pants and came up with papers. Copies of Operation Islander drawn up by Martin Evans. Rosita opened up the first page and scanned it quickly, flipping on to the subsequent pages.

“This is quite ambitious. You were right to show this to me now. When is the launch?”

“Well, it’s not set yet, but I should think in about a week’s time. We don’t want to draw out preparation too long as that has risks for exposure. What do you think?”

“I think that it’s ambitious as I said, but it could be successful. Could be foolhardy and create a lot of martyrs, too. It certainly will effect all our other operations across the Kingdom.”
No sense in wasting the opportunity. She would begin to coordinate small attacks that could happen simultaneously in the other team AOs.
“I guess I could sign off on this. I can run it by the other team leaders. I will do my best to get you the arms and explosive ordnance you will need to pull this off, but we can’t ship it all overland across the island. The mercenary Guild are here now and they are starting to make the JRA more effective in intercepting our logistics efforts. I think we will have to have our Pan-Asiatic comrades ship the rest in by submarine. I will get that in motion right away.”

“Thank you, Roh, er...Comrade sister.”

Rosita frowned, then smiled. She had forbidden her colleagues from using her real name once they arrived in Jaragupta. Even with such assumed privacy such as now, good habits needed to be encouraged.
“Of course. For the Cause. We should meet in five days time.”

“Here?”

Rosita tucked the secret papers Yamala had given her into a bottom compartment inbetween the foot compartment and the sole of her boot.
“No. No need to tempt fate. Let’s go with Site D. Can you do that?”

“Yes. I will be there.”

“You are strong and brilliant, Comrade Sister. Keep up the good work.”
She leaned in for a hug.

“Thank you, sister. Your guidance has made me who I am. I won’t let you down.”

It was a bold promise.
“Just do your best. The odds are not in your favor, but the Revolutionary spirit is. I have trust in you to make the right calls. Until the next time.”

They parted ways, their fingers lingering to the last touch of each other as their bodies carried them apart simultaneously. It was a traditional Cadugu tribal parting and a solid part of their culture.

Within a few more hours, all that the two had discussed was set in motion on both islands of the Kingdom of Jaragupta, in contravention to the Royal government, and under the noses of their allies and contracted Guild auxiliary forces.
Last edited by The Cardwith Islands on Sun May 05, 2019 5:30 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Shalum
Minister
 
Posts: 2443
Founded: Oct 07, 2012
Scandinavian Liberal Paradise

Postby Shalum » Wed May 08, 2019 8:00 pm

SSI Operational Zone
Suraksha, Jaragupta


With their operational commander still meeting with the rest of the guild bigshots up north, interim authority fell to the shoulders of Colonel Sven Mayer. Standing in the temporary command tent that their combat engineers had set up only hours earlier, he took a moment to suck in a low breath and relish as the cold air of the mobile air conditioner system washed over him. The last few days had been the sort of unpleasant that one could expect during a military operation as he and his men had first landed in country, only to board their convoys and head south to what would soon become their assigned area.

SSI, unlike some of their allies, was going to be working from scratch as far as their base of operations went. While local units may have had their own stations already, none of them were exactly prepared for the sort of manpower that the company was planning to bring to bear. It was no small undertaking, with hundreds of vehicles (which needed proper motor pools and refueling stations) and thousand of security personnel in need of barracks. Tents would suffice for a time, but sooner or later they would need proper facilities to maintain their equipment.

The colonel didn’t bother to put too much thought into it as his gaze shifted to the maps laid out in front of him. The city itself was what he had on his mind at the moment. While he planned to get the local forces whipped into shape, he could only assume that they would probably have to take on additional duties in the meantime. Thankfully, the majority of his men were veterans of one form or another. Some had served in Maldoria, arguably the worst stain on his country’s past, while others had seen combat as recently as the Imperial intervention in Nalaya. The Imperial Army was like a revolving door, and his company was always happy to hire on operators who knew their way around a rifle.

“So this is where we’re at then?” Although he could work his way around any city in a few short days, Colonel Mayer had barely left the confines of the officer’s section of the encampment, much less ventured beyond the hesco bastions that his engineers were still laboring over. Reaching down, he leaned against the table with one hand while he used the other to motion to a section of the city map that had been highlighted earlier. He was already missing the digital, real time displays that his company usually used, and his technicians had assured him that they would be set up by the end of the week.

“Aye, roughly, sir.” One of his captains bobbed their head as shrewd eyes looked over the map. The printed paper didn’t exactly reflect how the base had grown over the last few days, but it was close enough. Picking up a pencil, he made a few scratches to mark the new boundaries of their forward operations center. “As our head of engineering was saying earlier, we should be really set up here in about a week. The bastion walls are taking a little longer than expected, but that’s what you get with the company we hired out for it.” He shrugged a shoulder. “Patrols are handling perimeter security in the meantime.” Even once the walls were finished, they’d still be out in force, just with fewer and far between.

He shifted a bit, moving the tip of the mechanical pencil towards what had been an empty lot. “This is where we plan to have the training areas be.” Security wasn’t the only reason their brigade had been deployed. Given time, they could pave the way for the local government to field troops with a more unified, western sort of armed forces. It could take months, if not years, but as long as the checks were good, the company would be there. “Obviously, kill houses and ranges come after living quarters, but the engineers set up some plot plans earlier.” There was a rustle of papers as the captain shifted a stack to the side around. “I know they’re around here somewhere.”

“It doesn’t matter right now.” The extra shipments of weapons and ammunition hadn’t even arrived yet. Colonel Mayer didn’t even want to consider setting up shop until the motorpools were done anyways. “You said you had the patrol routes finished up?”

“Oh, uh, yes.” The captain bobbed his head quickly as a few more staff milled around in the tent. They were still waiting to hear back from their operational commander as to how to proceed beyond their current mission parameters. Picking up a pencil, he began to scratch down some rough markings. “We’ll have people move along roads here, here, here, and so on.” It formed a solid, multi-layered perimeter around their base. “We’ll be sticking to foot patrols for now, sir. Once we’ve got a more consistent supply line established, we’ll probably mix in some armored vehicles as well.”

“How long till the first ones deployed?”

“Should be anytime now. The squads for today’s patrols were assembling last I’d heard…”
Conscription is the vitality of a nation, the purification of its morality, and the real foundations of all its habits.

It is better to be a warrior in a garden then to be a gardener in a war.

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Yellow Star Republic
Spokesperson
 
Posts: 132
Founded: Nov 06, 2012
Iron Fist Consumerists

Postby Yellow Star Republic » Sat May 11, 2019 11:05 am

Outside Mavala, Jaragupta

They had stopped in some type of meeting hall on the outskirts of the capital. Their Hamikh guides motioned to them that they didn’t have much time. RLO Chief Officer Bjellandsson aka ‘Skjöldur’, in charge of the Yellowsians, (all two of them including himself that had travelled to the capital) was very alert to any potential ambushes. He nodded to his subordinate, ‘Karhu’, and they spread out, machine pistols at the ready. They couldn’t be certain that they had not been betrayed, or fallen into the hands of a more radical offshoot of the HDLF, one that might be more anti-ISVC.

The man in charge of the PAST cell approached him. He went by the name of Jerome and they had acquainted themselves well on the boat ride over from North Cardwith.
“Skeelduhr...” Jerome gave his best attempt at pronouncing the Yelskja name.
“This is where me and my team part ways with you all. I think it’s all for the best, due to our profiles, and our hosts agree.”

“I agree also. They have your safehouse all set up?”

“They do. Of course I can’t even tell you which direction.”

“As you said, all for the best. We are under the most heat here, so we need to take as many precautions as possible until we’re ready to act.. Anything to minimize the risk. We are going to keep the Commonwealther cyber team with us, though. I think we’re the best protection they have at the moment until we know we can trust our local contacts.”

The darker skinned Cardwithians operating separately from the pale Yellowsians and Commonwealthers would lessen suspicion of observers, even though any foreigners would still raise some. It had been the plan from their ISVC-CAIF leaders from before they set foot on the Island.

“Naturally. Good luck to you.”

“To your people as well, Jerome. Until we meet again. On this plain or at Valhalla’s Gates.”

Jerome clucked his tongue and smiled, but didn’t verbally correct Skjöldur on his trying to insert the very non-socialist topic of religion into the discussion.
“If we must give our lives up for the Revolution, so be it.”

They shook once again, the Cardwithians, Yellowsians, and Commonwealther hackers. Then the Cardwithians were off with their escort.

A woman named Jamura waited a few minutes then approached Skjöldur,
“It is time to move. We have a couple delivery vans that will take you the rest of the way.”

“Oh excellent, more cramping. Well...lead the way.”

They all packed in to the two vans, with their equipment, and they took a drive that was less than a mile beyond the hall they had stopped at. The street was not well kept and there were a couple people out, but not many. They pulled into an alleyway and stopped behind one particular building.

In the lead van, their HDLF guide hopped out and ran up to the door. He gave a series of knocks and the door opened. He held it for their guests as they disembarked from the vans and hauled their gear in. The RLO team didn’t have much, so they helped the Commonwealther cyber warfare team with theirs.

They went up two flights of stairs to the top floor. A very abrupt lobby fed out into an empty floor where there were workstations with some outlets and ethernet lines. The floors were stained and there was trash in some of the cubicles.

The HDLF leader spoke finally. Her English was decent.
“I believe this is the best we can do for what you requested. This was a customer call center at one time. One of our people has maintained the lease. The power, phone and internet lines still work. We used to use it to do our own propaganda from time to time, but a lot of our people became known and can’t risk going here into the capital anymore, so it’s been empty for a bit.
We will leave it to you. I will check back in tomorrow to see if you need anything else.”

Skjöldur looked at Lieutenant Alexandria Torresilla, the head of the three Commonwealther cyber warriors, waiting to hear her answer to their rebel guide. When she assented to the accommodations, he also nodded.
“This will do, I suppose. Thank you for your assistance. Who else knows about this location in your organization?”

Jamura didn’t answer, either not sure or not understanding the question, but regardless, the Hamikh woman removed her team back to the van. Within two minutes they were gone. Skjöldur shook his head. Apparently, he had to guess on that matter for himself.
“Well...Fuck. Looks like that’s it for now. Let’s make the most of it then. Karhu, go scrounge up some food for us, then? Ja, thanks.” Karhu went out the back to look for street food vendors with the wad of local currency he had in his pocket.

Skjöldur would start to help clean up the space for operations. He wasn't above a little manual labor to accomplish goals.
He made a mental note to immediately start scouting out other sites that were suitable that only he, Karhu and the Commonwealthers would know about, in case they needed a fallback. He would start tonight, once Karhu was back. Why put safety off to tomorrow?

[Co-RP'd with The Cardwith Islands, Jaragupta and Post War America]
* Puppet of Neu Engollon. TG NE for quicker response *


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USG Security Corporation
Envoy
 
Posts: 224
Founded: Sep 19, 2016
Compulsory Consumerist State

Postby USG Security Corporation » Sat May 11, 2019 10:54 pm

2.5 hours post river firefight
Panther Base
SE of Mavala


What had been a solid win had become a bit of a draw, or a bigger snare depending on who you talked to on each side of the divide. While they had eliminated more HDLF fighters from the battlefield, the one neck shot JRA trooper and his family might argue it was not worth the cost.

Olsen was at the USG med center on the base where they were treating the JRA soldier, after finishing up giving an after action report to Major Pyrczinski. Before even that, he had gratefully shook hands with the Umber Flight pilots, who had landed soon after their harrowing support mission to rearm, refuel and assess any damage from the volume of small arms fire they’d received. There were some nicks on the light armor, but nothing consequential that couldn’t get patched up or buffed out by Panther base ground crew.

Even the USG air crews were doing their part to train, working with the indige base crews on both Guild and JRAF aircraft. Supervised, they worked on the planes, rotor craft and VTOLs pre- and post-missions and patrols. Unsupervised, they still weren’t allowed near the Guild aircraft. All it took was one corrupted Jaraguptan to commit a crucial act of sabotage.

Rothas and Coleman sat in the platoon lounge post-mission, cleaning their weapons, with an international news channel on in the background and Golden Cross breus snagged out of the mini fridge, drizzling condensation off onto side tables. They had been badgered initially by their unit mates, but had remained tight lipped about the whole harrowing patrol that had quickly spiralled out of control. Those orders had come straight from the top in Mavala diffused down to Captain Olsen.

Coleman had waited until they were alone.
“That was fucked up, man!”

“Yeah? You think so?”

“Don’t fuck with me, Gene. I know we’ve seen some shit, but that was crazy.”

“Seriously, no. I haven’t had that level of batshit in a while...sooo…”

Olsen walked into the lounge. He sat on the arm of one of the chairs raising one finger, then thought better of it and went to the fridge, retrieving a Burgunden 81 Ale out of it. He popped the top off using the opener attached to the side of the fridge, then took a long swig.

Rothas spoke,
“So, um, Cap...What’s the deal? How’s our guy over at the med?”

Olsen chugged once more.
“Gone. They lost him. Knicked the artery.”

“Fuck!”

“Yeah. Nothing you guys could do. We patched him up good, but his neck just got shredded...That rocket barrage up at the birds…” He paused longer until Coleman prodded him.

“Yeah?”

“JRA guys say that doesn’t happen...Like ever. Usually they puss out long before then. Something else…Did any of you guys see a black guy in the trees?”

Coleman had also been working on his beer, but he knocked the bottle bottom down hard on the arm of the chair, making it fizz over.
“Black guy? I don’t get it.”

“The local guys say they saw a black guy back there.”

“Maybe shadows on one of the rebels…Or wearing a mask maybe?”

“Think about it. They know what their countrymen look like. They should know the difference between a Hamikh in the shadows and a black guy.”

Rothas shook his head.
“Okay...okay. So they saw a black guy. So?”

“Why do I feel racist talking about this?” Coleman said half-jokingly.

Rothas half smiled, but went on.
“I didn’t see ‘em. What of it, Cap?”

“I don’t know. Doesn’t matter. We’ll find out soon enough. We got some Intexa guys coming in from downtown. They’ll get to the bottom of it with the rebels we brought in.”

“As long as the locals don’t get to keep tearing at them.”

“That won’t happen again. It shouldn’t, rather. You guys checked on the prisoners?”

“Um...no. Should we?”

“I thought we hand them over to their guys and that’s it?”


“Fuck.”

Olsen grimaced, but it was too late to check as two men walked in as predicted, wearing light, casual civilian clothes, but obviously not local authorities. One was a bit shorter than the other with slightly greying, wiry black hair and an olive complexion. The other, taller one had sandy blonde hair and was much paler. The Captain knew when he was looking at Intexa spooks.

The shorter one spoke first, flashing his USG badge on a lanyard around his neck.
“I’m Merlin. This is Crane. Intexa. Where are the prisoners?”

Olsen sighed.
“I’ll take you to them. I think I know where the JRA squirreled them away.”

Merlin was in an agitated mood and it was apparent in his voice.
“I sent word that a USG trooper was supposed to stay with the prisoners. Didn’t you get it?”

“Nope. We did not.”

They ended up in front of what seemed like a large utility shed, a base annex building off the main square of Panther base. One of the JRA soldiers was guarding the entrance. They flashed their contractor badges and he reluctantly let them in. Even from outside, they could hear someone being beaten.

As they entered, they saw the same NCO that they had stopped on the boat with a knife, now holding a rubber truncheon in his hand and a bloodied HDLF prisoners strung up by his wrists splayed out in front of him.
The other two prisoners were shackled together and hunched on the floor, shaking.

Merlin didn’t yell, but said in a firm voice,
“Take him down now.”

The JRA NCO shrugged, then smiled, holding out the rubber club.
Merlin shook his head, then repeated in rudimentary Hindi.
The local soldier scowled but complied, undoing the prisoner’s bonds.
Merlin took note of his nametape, which to his benefit, the JRA format was in Latinic alphabet, not Sanskrit. ‘Ganagat’.

He then turned to Olsen,
“We’re going to move them across base to one of our facilities and clean them up. I need to get a translator, then I’d like to start interrogating them. I want rotating troops from your unit guarding them 24/7 so this doesn’t happen again. Are we clear, Captain?”

“Yes, sir, Mr. Merlin.”

“Just Merlin.”

“Look. I’m sorry. It’s been a long day and I guess we just didn’t get word that prisoners were our continued responsibility. Are there USG personnel who are supposed to be taking care of this full time? Because my people are here to fight and train, not babysit.”

“For now, this is part of your job, Captain. Should be standard training from back on the home Island. We’re working on getting more Intexa people on the island to handle this, but it’s going to take some days until we’re fully set up. It’s not like my people can sit around either, we’re spread thin and actively working HUMINT.”

“Usually, the clients are more trustworthy to recognize prisoners of value and deal with them accordingly, so we don’t have to...Don’t the Riysians have guys for this?”

“Not your concern.”

“None of this is really my concern, Merlin.”

“It is if it makes your mission easier, isn’t it? That’s kind of the goal, Captain.”

“You want to make my mission easier? Send me a couple of your people full time so we don’t have this issue right now. My people are kind of spread thin embedded in the client’s platoons.”

“Working on it. Give me guards right now. ” Merlin and Crane left with the prisoners. Crane had a compact SMG that he seemed to have materialized out of nowhere, plus two of the JRA soldiers assisted the prisoners as they were too weak or disoriented to make it to the truck that would take them across base




Later, as soon as they arrived at the Guild facility on Panther, Merlin had Sergeant Ganagat, the torturer, taken into custody. The NCO was fully surprised, still not certain what wrongdoing had caused the turn of events. He cooled in an interrogation room that had been repurposed from a storage room by USG engineers, as the prisoners were settled and given medical treatment.

Merlin entered the room, with an interpreter, sans Crane. They sat down opposite the Sergeant who had not been cuffed.
“So...Ganagat. Have you always treated your prisoners like that?”

While relatively simple, even that question in English was beyond his level, so the interpreter translated.
“He say ‘that’s always how they handle the rebels. Show no mercy.’”

Ganagat spoke directly to Merlin.
“Enya intergoplay-shun.”

Merlin shook his head, recognizing the two butchered words.
“‘Enhanced interrogation’? Those are just Western buzzwords for torture. Torture doesn’t work. The prisoner will tell you anything you want to hear, no matter if it’s true or not.”

Sergeant Ganagat shrugged upon hearing the translation, unconvinced.

Merlin pressed.
“Still, that was rather escalated from the brief time they had been taken into custody.”

“He say, ‘Why waste time? We need answers quick.’”

“This is a waste of time now. I do need answers. We’ll be back.” They both got up, but Merlin did intend to return, to suss out if Ganagat was a mole working for the rebels, killing and maiming prisoners before they could talk and spill secrets.

They went to another room where one of the HDLF prisoners was cuffed to a table. He had been the healthiest of the three. Merlin sat down across from him, the translator to the side.
“You were caught illegally transporting arms and with people who fired upon JRA and Guild forces. Do not deny you work for the HDLF.”

The rebel said nothing.

Merlin looked at him for another long moment.
“I won’t beat you like the JRA thugs. What I will tell you is that we will find your family, and life will become horribly uncomfortable for them, being the family of a terrorist. You can avoid that by talking now.”
Merlin might believe torture was pointless...in most instances. However, he was not above using unscrupulous means to apply pressure to a captive. As morally reprehensible as this method was, it usually got him the results he desired.
Today was no different.

The prisoner began to babble, and Merlin only had to direct him to the right topics.
“I want to know about the foreigners that were with you. Who are they?”




Guild HQ
Mavala, Jaragupta


There was some brief moments of an empty room through the screen, then a middle aged man in an immaculate dark grey suit appeared, centered in the screen. He had smooth, cocoa skin and wore a light blue turban. Centered on the turban, as those who knew him had come to expect of his loyalty, was a badge with the USGSC shield on it.

Colonel Cogant beamed as he saw his trusted friend, Intexa Chief Officer Mandrakhar Singh.
“It is good to see you, old friend.”

“You as well. I got your message, what is the issue, Colonel?”

“Mr. SIngh, as you may know, things are livening up around here.”

“I am aware, yes.”

“Well...I’d like you to reconsider the assignment. We could really use your expertise.”

Singh bowed his head. Then looked back up smiling.
“We went over this months ago. I refused the contract for a reason, Lo. I can’t fight fellow Sikhs.”

“But you’re not Hamikh!?”

“It doesn’t matter. That’s not the point. It’s a bit more complicated than I can cover in one video chat, but again...I thought we covered all this before. There’s a conflict of interest and I opted out.”

“We’re hurting out here, Mandie. This guy is a hack. He doesn’t have the chops to get the contract accomplished. We need you.”

Singh sighed.
“Lo...I have known Merlin for a long time. I think you need to give him more of a chance. He is very capable and is a great intel officer. I have absolute faith in him, as should you. Just give him a chance. Please.”

The Colonel looked at the screen for a long moment.
“So, then why is he fucking up so bad, right now?”

“Are you giving him all the support and assets he’s asking for?”

“Well…”

“No. You’re not. Lo, you cannot accomplish the mission without Intexa. You know that and we all know that. If you don’t let them have the assets they need, then you might as well shoot yourself in both feet and hands. Lessons learned from Hutanjia.”

“Don’t preach to me about Hutanjia. I was there.”

“I’m just jogging your memory, Colonel. Besides...Ultimately, if I was interested in changing my mind, it’s too late. I’m already about to dive neck deep into another contract. I think the General and Director Marchand would not look kindly on me for dropping out in the middle of this one for yours.”

“You’re useless, Mandie.”

Mandrakhar smiled.
“I’ve heard different...from someone suspiciously like a clone of you.”

“Yeah, fuck you. We’ll have to catch up after our contracts.”

“I look forward to it, Colonel.”

“Until then, Mr. Singh.”

The video link was severed.

Colonel Cogant looked at the black screen for about a minute in thought. All he could see was his reflection back. It would be challenging, but he needed to dig deeper, as Singh had said. Maybe Merlin could redeem himself.
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Hurtful Thoughts
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Capitalist Paradise

Postby Hurtful Thoughts » Sun May 12, 2019 3:22 pm

[Post and involvement deleted due to irreconcilable OOC issues with NGol]
Last edited by Hurtful Thoughts on Wed Sep 25, 2019 2:42 pm, edited 4 times in total.
Factbook and general referance thread.
HOI <- Storefront (WiP)
Due to population-cuts, military-size currently being revised

The People's Republic of Hurtful Thoughts is a gargantuan, environmentally stunning nation, ruled by Leader with an even hand, and renowned for its compulsory military service, multi-spousal wedding ceremonies, and smutty television.
Mokostana wrote:See, Hurty cared not if the mission succeeded or not, as long as it was spectacular trainwreck. Sometimes that was the host Nation firing a SCUD into a hospital to destroy a foreign infection and accidentally sparking a rebellion... or accidentally starting the Mokan Drug War

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Falkasia
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Father Knows Best State

Postby Falkasia » Sun May 12, 2019 4:21 pm

Mehatar, Jaragputa
"Zero Dark Thirty"


The had mounted up about an hour earlier. One by one, the lighter U-2's had been brought out of mothball storage near the harbor under cover of darkness, driven around a short while behind the security fence, and then the operators climbed inside four to a truck. They, like the vehicles, were dressed in nondescript primer gray field gear. Camouflage was kept to a minimum, as it would lead to easier identification were the local rebels to be caught aware. There was enough diversity in their ranks to ensure they wouldn't be immediately type-cast as being Universal Defense; but more importantly by extension, Falkasian.

Eelin rode in the second truck, mounting the heavy ordinance through its cupola. It had been her decision to drive through the city without lights on, so as to not spook anyone who may have been awake. Their target wasn't too distant, and the moon was bright enough to light their way. It'd be easier for them to the source of incoming fire too were they to come under ambush, which despite her own self-confidence, was still a very plausible concern. With a motion of her hand, turning front and back, the convoy of five vehicles began to inch forward.

The drive was quick. They were going to the outskirts of the city, which was effectively only a few major roads up given how small the settlement actually was. The convoy kept an ambling pace, balancing the need for both haste and quiet along the uneven and poorly maintained tropical roadways. As a matter of protocol, Kirves reviewed the intelligence once more prior to her convoy separating. Once they had split into the inky half-light of the night, there would be no further radio contact until the operation had been completing.

One of the farming hamlets on the edge of town was known to harbor HDLF sympathizers. The townsfolk had been rather tight-lipped, but that all changes when the new sheriff rolled into town and handed out alcohol for free. The party had served two purposes. Foremost it was a {i]"hearts and minds"[/i] event designed to calm the locals and develop familiarity. At the same time, she and her officers were gathering intelligence of the disarmed and intoxicated kind. The hotel's proprietor, Singh[/]i, had been all too willing to divulge the names of everyone he knew in-town who worked with the HDLF. Especially his own step-brother [i]Raj, whom he despised for stealing his girlfriend-turned-wife nearly a decade prior. Eelin smiled to herself. Grudges were what killed people, not bullets. As a matter of caution, they had also called in an existing favor and run the intel through a shady back-channel with the FSIS. Eager to avoid further expansion of what had been dubbed "Nellisism," their contact had confirmed the accuracy of their information using agency resources. A one-time-only favor, he had claimed, given the conflicting geopolitical agendas of all parties involved.

Their plan was simple. Surround the hamlet and establish four interlaced kill-zones. One Tarpon and three operators each. The remaining vehicle, her's, would circle the perimeter and light fire to the buildings with her flamethrower. Last minute modifications they had made to the vehicle before leaving Fanrai. They had nearly 30 seconds of literal sustained firepower to play with, and a shipping crate full of incendiary white phosphorous grenades if the hose didn't do the trick. They were literally going to burn the communists out. It was Eelin's favorite tactic, and one that always sent the correct message.

"Work with us, reap the best." She mumbled under her breath through a sadistic half-smile. "Mess with us, burn to death."

======

Raj woke up on the other side of the room. Everything was hot. There was screaming, but he couldn't tell from where. He opened his eyes but instantly regretted it. There was fire everywhere. There was smoke so thick he couldn't see the roof. Through half-split eyelids, it felt as though the moisture was boiling his eyeballs. Reality slowly dawned on him as an enormous support beam crashed somewhere nearby. He saw, barely visible, an enormous floodlight somewhere off in the distance. It was a long-shot, but potential salvation.

He desperately crawled, hand-to-knee, in the general direction he remembered the front door to be. His hand landed in something wet. Only for a second, before its scalding temperature forced him to recoil in pain. He followed it with his eyes while continuing to crawl forward. Their sink had melted, and the water which had poured onto the floor was evaporating. That was when the acrid scent of burning flesh and ozone hit him, followed quickly by the imperceptible but telltale outline of a human hand. He chose not to follow it back to the body it belonged to.

There was an enormous explosion, somewhere nearby. A rain of glass pelted him from above, slicing into his exposed neck and hands. Many smaller explosions, subtle "pops," let him know their ammunition bunker was in the process of cooking off. It was at that moment he knew this was no accident. They were under attack. But by whom, he was uncertain. And even more uncertain was if they would have enough strength leftover to fight back.

The light of early dawn burned through the smoke in front of him. Mustering the strength, he stood and ran irrespective to the cinders and ash which coated and singed his face. Throwing himself through the breach and out into fresh air, he landed awkwardly onto a small patch of grass. Gasping for air and coughing, he took stock. Their compound was on fire. It was ablaze. There were corpses everywhere. Piles of them even, one on top of the other. He couldn't tell who they were. Nor did he necessarily want to know. They were all on fire. Some were even still alive, rolling around and screaming in the dirt as their nerves wicked away one-by-one. His horror was masked by the soot on his face. Or were they burns? He felt around, and then realized just how bad he was too. But the grass was cool, and slightly damp, and felt soothing against the heat. He watched as one of his comrades threw themselves out of a second floor window. From his angle, all he saw was a fireball in the faint outline of a person swan dive head first. They were dead upon landing, the audible crack and lurch of their neck making it evident.

Raj turned and looked up, the otherwise blue sky mostly blotted out by thick black billowing smoke clouds. He was tired. An albatross circled overhead. Or was it an vulture?

======

"All clear!" the announcement came over the radio. "Fire Team Rambo confirms no further movement on scope."

Eelin nodded excitedly, lifting her protective goggles up onto her baseball cap. "I think that's a wrap! Marco, take us around once more and then let's bust down the front gate."

The driver nodded and gunned the engine, doing a final victory lap around the burning compound to survey their handiwork.

"Fire Teams Rambo, McClane, Arnold, and Rainbow Dash form up on the front gate. It's time to clean up."

As they circled, the remaining vehicles abandoned their hasty fire positions and formed up one by one behind her. They had done well, some even having employed errant logs to build firing shelters. It had all been unnecessary though. No one was able to escape the compound. It was a trap, a prison even, of their own creation.

They were through the front gate in an instant, all five vehicles pouring in and their operators rolling out in a well-rehearsed maneuver. The sight they were met was one of abject destruction and horror. Eelin knew right away there were no survivors. It was now about counting the dead for a proper after-action report, and then respectful disposal of the corpses. Efficiency was their aim as private contractors, but the other side of that coin was professionalism. War crimes and atrocities were not good for business, no matter how much she hated communists.

"Let the buildings burn," she commanded, waving her hand over the scene, "and douse the bodies. Any of them still alive, give them their Mercy and move on. We'll collect the corpses this evening once the fires are out."

She turned behind her and looked at Marco. "Bring one of the local trucks up. We'll need something with a large bed to ensure a proper burial."

Several errant gunshots echoed out. Clean up had begun.
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Pan-Asiatic States
Minister
 
Posts: 3150
Founded: Nov 14, 2017
Authoritarian Democracy

Postby Pan-Asiatic States » Mon May 13, 2019 8:59 am

'A Fighting Chance'
Weeks before the Guild and Riysian Arrivals
Pradhaan, Jaragupta

Pradhaan would have been a lovely place for a countryside visit, the Commanding Datu of the Pan-Asiatic contingent to Pradhaan, Abner Berampu, quietly thought. Only he had wished it weren't dominated by this country. Only he had wished the fertile fields weren't worked by men who looked like their souls had been drained of them, whose eye-bags were lower than their nostrils. How he wished he could replace the tears of children with laughter.

He brought a box of Cuban-made cigars during his initial deployment, hoping military command didn't notice the well-hidden item underneath the undercover fishing equipment he was assigned to bring with him. He had already consumed around 8 of them since they first arrived. He cherished it for moments of victory. As he stared with wanderlust into the far orange sunset horizon, expecting to fall asleep any minute then, a sudden knock came to his door.

He swiftly attended to the disturbance. At the door was his loyal Lieutenant, a hardy woman by the name of Wono Lìxúe. He stared at her with expectation.

"Comrade, we may have a problem.", answered Wono.

Abner put the cigars in his satchel, and sprinted with Wono towards a little tricycle they had bought and had been renting to the locals for a profit. A rusty second-hand machine, they rode away from the setting sun and into the mainland, dusting-off the uneven and underdeveloped gravel roads. Distancing themselves further and further away from Jaraguptan civilization, they rode faster and faster, the wheels heating the very road they coasted upon.

As tall trees brought-about an early unscheduled darkness, signs warding citizens away for fear of HDLF rebels began to welcome the duo. They were nearing their destination.

Around the time the moon had begun to rise, Wono drifted left towards an underbrush, and spiraled down a wide cave-road, emerging from the darkness by a carving of old Jaraguptan script meaning 'Bastion' or more precisely for the HDLF, hideout.

They disembarked and found themselves at the heart of the HDLF's operations in the region. Small nippa huts blended-in with the surroundings, and the trees were tall enough to shelter them from satellite detection. They rendezvoused with a few more of their comrades and headed to the command post of the camp, one of the larger huts.

The HDLF Commander led them to behind the hut. HDLF men were practicing their rifles on some strawmen, but there was indeed a problem. Not a single shot was being fired. They stood there aiming their rifles, pretending to fire them.

"As you can see comrade," uttered the Commander, leaning over to the Datu.

"The AK-24s, while impressive, have been.. troublesome. They're impressive pieces of weapons, Comrade-Datu Berampu, but our officers have had a hard time operating them. Us veterans who are used to the AK-47s know how to make-do with the machined receiver and powerful muzzle climb you Asians seem to be so fond of putting into your rifles.

Comrade, we need to preserve ammo, we need single-shot rifles with good recoil control--"


The AK-24 was the brainchild of combining the best aspects of both the AK-12 and AK-74M; the rifle was standardized and exported by the Soviet Union to modernize their and their allies' militaries following the Third Pacific War. These, alongside the AM-64 Service Rifle, were the go-to insurgency hand-outs of the Pan-Asiatic States.

The Datu snickered, interrupting with; "We're not getting you Sniper Rifles, Commander. It's too--"

"I know, I know," retorted the HDLF Commander, interrupting the interrupting statement.

"Look, let me put it this way. We either need more ammo than what you ration us, or you send more of your men to teach these teenagers.", said the Commander.

The Commander did not lie about the latter statement. As Datu Abner Berampu looked beyond the hut, he saw squads of farmers' sons marching alongside disenfranchised university students. The determined looks on their faces were telltale signs of dedication to the cause. Surely, some of these boys had risked everything to fight. They deserved, quite literally, a fighting chance.

"Look, Commander," retorted the Datu.

"We can't give you more advisers. The rest are busy with urban operations, protecting leaflet distribution and managing a city resistance. But I can send out contingents to secure ammo caches. I'll try to get a signal through to the rest of the ISVC as well, see what they can do about maintaining training operations in this camp. Rest assured, Commander. You'll get boxes of 5.45x39s soon enough."

But in the distance, they could hear the rumbling of a patrol jeep. The excruciating sound of engine smoke emissions grew eerily closer. Then a sudden stop. Three Shahi Rhakavali disembarked. A distant shout to the rough translation of "Communists!" was heard in the distance. Several shots go off.

Abner and Wono rushed outside; the Datu with his Type 8 Revolver, and Wono with a HAR-87 Indigenous Service Rifle. The Commander picked-up an AK-12 which had been lying around.

The Royal Guard took cover behind one of the huts with a deer-in-the-headlights look, seemingly unaware of the fact that they had stumbled upon the nerve center of HDLF operations in Pradhaan. They fired several SMG rounds, but were ultimately suppressed by the Commander and some of the HDLF veterans. The HDLF's 'young bloods' struggled to get their rifles firing.

One of the HDLF Privates, firing from the hip, unloaded his clip, charging at the enemy.

"Stand-down, stand-down, DON'T!" yelled the Commander, but to no avail. A once aspiring biologist radicalized in his 20s now had his brains splattered on the dirt below, blood oozing from his neck and chest as well.

Abner shot several rounds towards the direction to which the killing blow had originated from, shots which ultimately missed due to the fog of the gunpowder both sides had omitted.

"Wono, cover me!" yelled the Datu. His Lieutenant layed down deadly-accurate suppressing fire. A yell, in pain, was heard soon thereafter; it seemed the Lieutenant had hit one of the guards in the shoulder. He toppled to the ground, but evaded oncoming shots by hiding behind a flipped-over table. Meanwhile the Datu rushed forward, trying to get a better shot.

As the man tried to return fire, the Datu aimed his pistol. The moment his head popped out of the table's cover, the Datu pulled his trigger, sending the enemy to stagger from the neck backwards.

Behind him, the two other Guards attempted to flee back to their jeep, realizing what a huge mistake they had just made. The Commander and five HDLF Privates chased them down. Ten shots were heard, and the two others fell with bullet-holes on their backs.

"Idiots.", the HDLF Commander muttered. Wono, having heard him, replied.

"Were they? Or are we."

"Shit.", exclaimed Abner, realizing the position of the three in the Jaraguptan military, from the honors on their uniform still worn on their cold corpses.

The three checked-out the jeep they were on. While the jeep was definitely a search-patrol jeep, they also found a case of semi-unopened beer in the glove compartment of the vehicle. It appeared that the assailants were drunk, and had possibly just wandered off. Still, the Jaraguptan military would surely go looking for them. They could only hope that the lack of evidence to suggest they were ambushed, and the lack of third-party witnesses (given how remote the camp was), could lead the investigation to assume the three were simply lost in the wild.

Nevertheless, the game was afoot. They had to prepare for the worst. The men at the camp had to be ready to attack or be attacked anytime soon. They needed those supplies.

Datu Berampu took-out his Cuban-made cigar from the box in his satchel. His Lieutenant looked at him with an offsetting stare.

"I wouldn't really call that a victory yet, Sir."
Last edited by Pan-Asiatic States on Tue May 14, 2019 8:52 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Pan-Asiatic States
Minister
 
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Founded: Nov 14, 2017
Authoritarian Democracy

Postby Pan-Asiatic States » Sun May 19, 2019 8:17 am

'The Runner'
Pradhaan, Jaragupta

Urban efforts to mobilize the population to the countryside had ceased following a recent incident between a fisherman and a dockmaster. Weeks earlier, an oligarchic dockmaster in Pradhaan was suspected by the local police for organizing the regular, illicit trade of prohibited drugs being conducted through his port. Natives, as the Pan-Asiatic operatives were informed of, were all aware that these allegations were true, and that the situation would only either lead to the upperclassman bribing the police off his back, or being arrested for a short amount of time before somehow he could buy his way out of jail.

What nobody expected was that the blame for the illicit sale would be placed on one of the sinless fishermen working under the dockmaster's authority. Through filibustering, schmoozing, bribing, and persuading; the official story became that the lay fisherman was a member of the HDLF, and had been using drugs to secure funds for the Marxist organization. This was far from the truth. But it had everyone who had access to a newspaper in disarray. Lies and deception spread to discredit the HDLF, as they had always ever done, but this particular incident was not in good timing.

Training continued in the countryside. Two platoons of the HDLF were officially 'graduated' by Berampu's men, and were dutifully assigned to instruct the other guerillamen in Pradhaan alongside the Pan-Asiatic advisers. Melee combat, sharpshooting, and survival skills; these were the core tenets of Pan-Asiatic partisan training for the soldiers themselves. Officers were taught how to schedule their raids, when and what were the best conditions for certain tactics and how to apply that knowledge in actual combat. A shortage of recruits was not going to be the end of the organization. Everyone carried-on to the best of their ability.

On the 16th of May, heartbreaking news of the assassination of the Pan-Asiatic Head of Government reached the operatives on Jaragupta through some tabloids acquired from the capital. On that same evening, the men of the Nusantara Marines could not help themselves but drink to the health of the Federation. It surely seemed unprofessional to the other international operatives with them, but it was a tradition, and Asians don't let go of traditions so easily.

Around that campfire by green waves crashing upon the shores of this distant land, the select men of the Nusantara Marines shared stories of times from back home. Except when they did tell these stories, the narratives seemed surreal and ancient. The men found it hard to believe that these were in fact, true stories. The world beyond was fading from the psyche of the troops. Many longed to see their loved ones again. They had to stay strong.

The Datu knew that an operation like this could easily go sideways. If they were ever caught or captured, they would be refuted by the Pan-Asiatic States Armed Forces as never having even been enlisted. Until proper sanctions for operation had been secured in the International Socialist Congress, these men were without rank or uniform. Depending on the outcome of their resistance, the precedents they set for the oncoming revolution, they would either return home as traitors or as heroes. If they ever even stood a chance at returning home, that is; and if, by such a time, they had not completely been crossed-off the list by their own government or hadn't been wiped-out by another random skirmish by the Royal Guard.

The following day, at around noon, when the golden gleam of the tropic sun was at its highest point, a knock found its way to the door of the PAS operatives in Pradhaan. The Datu answered the door, initially asking for the intruder's business in a thick, local accent, but was dumbfounded upon laying his eyes at the visitor himself: a formally-dressed mid-30s representative of the Pan-Asiatic Press. An ID hanging by the thin, pale Chinese man's neck bore the credentials of the Pan-Asiatic Federal News Agency and Official State Media. This was no freelancer, this was an envoy from the government.

Talking by the windowpane of the cottage he and his men had resided in, the reporter told of his orders. Meanwhile, two of the Marines stood by the doorway, on the lookout for any uninvited eavesdroppers. Everything that would be told within this room could not leave this room.

The reporter revealed that the contingent in Suraksha had followed leads about the strategem of the Jaraguptan government; and had intentionally cut-off certain communications when they had become learned of several intercepting counter-reconnaissance units out for them. Days earlier, a native informant of the Suraksha section reported two key developments in the involvement of foreign mercenaries in Jaragupta: two incidents that could be used to discredit the Jaraguptan government as a major propaganda leak.

The first incident was that the Hurti Guild forces arrested every local in their path as they arrived to set up their FOB near Pradhaan. Berampu and his men had heard of the incident, but had no official witnesses to confirm the allegations, thus disregarding it as hearsay beforehand. Regular media whitewashing also prevented the public from knowing of the incident. However, if the reporter's information was correct, they now had a witness. High Command wanted Berampu and his contingent to extrapolate the leads. Once confirmed, the propaganda-wing of the Pan-Asiatic States would do its work. Surely, once these reports were disclosed to the delegates of the International Socialist Congress, the case for intervention would only further be strengthened.

The second incident for attention was that of the Varangian Guard operation against an HDLF compound - they torched it with flamethrowers in the middle of the night and shot down everyone who tried to escape the inferno, women and children having perished, but still, not much disclosure on the part of the Jaraguptan government. Work here was already cut-out for the PAFNA-OSM. The reporter simply informed them of their current arsenal.

The contingent in Pradhaan was now on a tight schedule with one objective in mind: extrapolate evidence. They had to confer with their friends in the jungles as soon as possible. The PAFNA-OSM wanted to sync the news of this breakthrough with the annunciation of the victor of the emergency-elections for the position of Head of Government on May 20, as to put the replacement for the late assassination-victim on pressure to support an official intervention against the Kingdom of Jaragupta.

Three days passed. Three days of a Pan-Asiatic reporter posing as a celebrity journalist in the capital of a highly ideologically-opposed nation, as his associates attempted to undermine the very government he was schmoozing with. But in the end, the deed was done.

On the night of the 19th, representatives of the Pradhaan contingent picked-up a sealed package from a Jaraguptan remittance agency. This package was heavy as a pile, shaped like a stack of papers. Upon returning home, and unsealing the contents, the group was delighted to know their next task. They were to propagate the flyers themselves around their community.

It would be daring, but it was a breakthrough. The images they saw before them were to be the same images the politicians at home and around the world would see.


Image

Image
Last edited by Pan-Asiatic States on Tue May 28, 2019 9:08 am, edited 3 times in total.
PAN-ASIATIC STATES
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USG Security Corporation
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Founded: Sep 19, 2016
Compulsory Consumerist State

Postby USG Security Corporation » Sun May 19, 2019 9:17 pm

USG Combat Air Patrol
Central Jaragupta


Silver Flight were on the bottom of their second wide loop when they saw it, off to the southern coast, fires lighting up the night sky. The flight of 3 TaH-26 Talans of Silver from Red Arrow Squadron had kept a loose formation, making sure to have enough distance to account for lowered night time vision and also SAMs, which were not out of the question now that the rebels were being well supplied by their still unidentified benefactor.

“Silver One, this is Silver Two, you see that? Is that Mehetar?”

“Yes, Silver Two, I can see. My night vision isn’t that bad....Let’s get in closer. Maintain distance in case this is bait.”

They took a pass, Silver Three staying high, while the other two multi-role fighters dipped in to try to get eyes on the conflagration below on the edge of the larger southern city. It was the further end of their patrol, with the outskirts of Mavala, the capital being the top end.

“I saw a jet of flame, Silver One.”

“Did not copy, Silver Two. Say again?”

“Like a...a flamethrower.”

The leader of Silver Flight, Lt. Thierry Weigund, was a veteran of Neu Engollon’s contribution to the Teremaran peacekeeping effort in Qasifya before he had joined the USG private force. He had seen several things in his military flight career, including use of flamethrowers from the air, but the fire raging below seemed to be way beyond what a couple flamethrowers could do. The fact that it was in a densely populated city was also very alarming. There had been nothing in their patrol brief that any friendly forces would be conducting operations tonight.

“Panther, this is Silver Actual. I need to authorize a Dragonfly scramble. Stand by for grid coordinates.”
Dragonfly was the USG VTOL/rotor squadron split between Panther, Bengal and Chital. If they didn’t have a patrol in flight, there would be one on standby.

Silver flight were already returning to Panther base as the Dragonfly flight were getting wheels up from Chital.
When they finally got two AT-77 VTOLs of Dragonfly over the raging inferno that had been a secret HDLF compound, there was not much more clarity as to what was happening or any clear targets to engage. While Guild vehicles and units had IFF beacons, not all local client forces were equipped with them. In this instance, the Varangian Guard vehicles did have their identifiers on.

“Chital, this is Hornet Actual.”

“Copy, Hornet One. This is Chital control.”

“Chital control, that is an affirmative. Those are VG units down there.”

“Copy that, Hornet One. Stay on station for possible bogey response. Support the VG units.”

“Copy that, Chital control. Out.”




The Next Morning
Guild HQ
Mavala, Jaragupta


“Fuck!”

“Fuck!!”

“Fuckity Fuck!!”

“Colonel?”

“Fuck!”

“Fuck!!!”

“Colonel…”

“Okay. I’m done...Wait!...No I’m not...Fuck, shit, balls, goddamn, motherfucker, asshole, fucking fuckity fuck!!”

“Colonel.” Major Ignacy Pyrczinski said one more time.

“What?!”

“You know…”

“What the hell happened? Has everything gone completely shitshow this week?!”

Merlin was also present in the side conference room.
“Which shitshow are we speaking of, Colonel?”

Cogant turned to Merlin, trying to tone it down and restrain himself from unleashing on an easy target.
“Well, Merlin, that’s a good question. Which circus tent flap do we lift first? For starters, let’s begin with the prisoner torture on Panther.”

“Yes, sir. I told you about that. We have it under control. USGSC personnel will be training the local forces on proper chain of custody of enemy combatants and proper interrogation.”

“Okay, that covers us, but HOI paraded through Pradhaan and arrested everyone in their path.”

“They let them go and even fed them, first. I heard they even recruited some.”

“You think that matters when it comes to bad optics?! The international press is having a field day over that one. Then, there’s all the ambushes and attacks on patrols in all the sectors. Guild advisors have gotten wounded.”

“The insurgency is escalating. We can’t think that wasn’t expected and...”

“There’s a Pan-Asian carrier still off the coast?”

“Confirmed by several sources. They’re in international waters in the Wishton, so we can’t do anything about it for now. We have assets shadowing them, though.”

“Let’s not do anything rash that will further escalate the situation. I am working directly with the Marshal and their chiefs of staff on that one.”

“The Hurtis are fired up about it, so no promises, Sir.”

“Ugh. Now what’s this about last night?”

“Compound was torched in Mehetar. Suspected HDLF hideout.”

“Well, that’s in the win column, is it not?”

“More bad optics, sir. Really bad. A lot of civilians were also holed up there. No confirmation on this, but some reports that several women who may or may not have been combatants. Also, that eight of the dead might be minors. Teens to as young as 9 years old…”

“They torched children?”

“Possibly, yes. The rebels do use them for runners and other minor tasks.”

“Well, at least they’re not child soldiers, eh?”

“That’s...one way to look at it. Sir, the situation is still pretty bad. There's reports of HDLF propaganda flyers and papers going out everywhere as of this morning.”

“I know it’s bad. You’re supposed to talk me down, not ratchet me up! We have to get in front of all this shit. Where the fuck is Dekker Bray?”

“In transit to the Blackwood FOB near Talika, as far as we know.”

“As far as you know, Major?”

“He’s not in the building and he’s not in the city. We’re pretty sure. Possibly in transit back, though.”

“Right. I want all this written up in a report with corrective actions suggested and the personnel involved.” In turn, Cogant would have to write up reports to the General about why the contract was going sideways so fast. It would probably also require a vid chat soon enough.
“Find Bray. While we’re at it, drag Eelin Kirves here. I want her debrief about last night and why they didn’t run it by HQ.”

“Yes, sir.”

“Don’t tell her that last bit, though.”

“No, sir.”

“Dismissed! Go! Go!”




Maritime Patrols over the Wishton

To the east, Guild patrols alternated with local JRAF patrols to do circles out over the waters east of Jaragupta. The JRAF, flying Murakami aircraft, took most of the daytime patrols, while the Guild patrols, dominated by Warriors and Tanans of the USG’s Red Arrow Squadron, were more adept at taking on the night time patrols.

Once the carrier had been identified as such, flimsy disguise not holding up to mask a naval capital ship, the Kingdom and their allies scrambled to figure out their options. Friendly intel reported back that the Pan-Asians had a carrier out. Ships that could get close enough without provoking the enemy boats took pictures. The pieces came together as to what it was and who it might belong to.

In the meantime, anti-ship missile batteries were wheeled to the coast and shipped out to Gahana and the Eastern islands, if they hadn't already been in place. The air patrols continued in order to counter anything launched from the Honshu and a flight of TaH-26 Tanans were on standby, armed with AshMs. The Royal Jaraguptan Navy had frigates, patrol and missile boats ready to intercept any escorts of the carrier, and the the allied ships closed in, ready to attack if given the word. ELINT ships and land assets focused their efforts on intercepting any and all communications emanating or directed towards the Pan-Asiatic States carrier Honshu

The only thing that protected the Pan-Asian vessel at this point, as Colonel Cogant had pointed out, was that political protection afforded to it by its position in International waters. They were doing everything to change that.
Last edited by USG Security Corporation on Mon May 20, 2019 4:17 am, edited 1 time in total.
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