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As the Poppies Bloom (TWI ONLY | IC)

A staging-point for declarations of war and other major diplomatic events. [In character]
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Menna Shuli
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As the Poppies Bloom (TWI ONLY | IC)

Postby Menna Shuli » Sat Mar 02, 2019 10:17 am

OOC

As the Poppies Bloom
San Javier II


Mipax Penthouse
Shuhakallu, Mênna Shuli


Tak. Tak. Tak.

In the silent room, the clock on the wall seemed to echo off the walls. Sul watched the second hand move slowly, slowly around the edge of device. The clock was an heirloom, as so many things in this place were heirlooms. He was on the thirtieth story of a skyscraper in the most modern city in the country, but looking around you never would have known. You could have been on one of the sprawling estates of a vêhitap'at general during the Tribal Wars, with the paper and silk walls, the exposed wood floors, the furniture that hunkered low to the ground. Historians had once drawn parallels between Japanese designs and those of the Mênna during this period, in that shallow way that historians had of doing. They ignored, of course, the carved ornamentations of the Mênna princes, the zebra-skin wall hangings, the particular curve of the chairs and lounges. Sul thought of himself as a traditionalist, but he had to admit that western chairs were more comfortable than the thing upon which he tried to perch now. He didn't know why his mother thought to keep the clock but not introduce some proper chairs and tables.

He thought, perhaps, that the discomfort was intentional. It kept her visitors on edge while they waited for an audience. It was certainly doing that to Sul now. Why his mother demanded that he be treated like a petitioner he didn't know, but such was the way of things for the Mipax family. Such had always been the way. Spiders rarely held any special warmth for their young, and so he had been made to wait here for nearly half an hour.

A door at the end of the room slid open. Imutu, a priest and, for all intents and purposes, his mother's majordomo, stepped from within. The man was ancient and had always been ancient, but age had never stooped his imperious shoulders or bowed his shaved skull. He conformed to a tradition of the faith so old it had almost been forgotten, and his head was rimed with dotwork tattoos. His face held it's normal, above-his-station look of disdain. He wore robes, which was normal for a priest in a temple but strange for one in his position. Of course, Kiahêspê Imutu Kam was a very strange man.

"Your mother is now prepared for you, Hitap," the old priest said. He gestured through the door. There was little respect in his voice. Of course, Imutu had been in his mother's service when Sul was still in diapers. Sul stood and made his way past the priest, who bowed as Sul entered the room beyond.

It was dark, and made darker still when Imutu shut the door behind Sul. The old priest did not follow him inside, but Sul knew that the man was lingering just outside. The entire room was dominated by a single, large table. This was where the family had shared meals once, when Sul was very young. It was also where, so often, his mother entertained the voices of petitioners and hosted her friends and confidants. It was dark, cool and a place so purely of his mother that her scent lingered on everything.

His mother. She sat on the floor on the far side of the huge, low table. In the few, flickering candles that lit the space, her angled features were all shadows. Her long limbs moved strangely in the light, picking cherries from a bowl, removing the pits which went into a second bowl, and then placing the cherries into a mouth that seemed twisted by bitterness. Hitap Mipax Shutu was often called the Spider by her detractors and here, in this space of strange darknesses, that nickname could surely be understood.

"Cricket," she said, although the personal name held little warmth. "Sit."

He did. When Hitap Mipax Shutu commanded, you obeyed.

"I was surprised that you called on me, mother," Sul stated. "I thought that you would be tied up in the senate. Considering my brother's current...issues, and with my sister defending us to the League..."

Sul's mother waved a long-fingered hand. "Things are moving swiftly, Sul. To not fall behind, we must move just as swiftly. It is how our family survives. It is how we have always survived."

"Mother?"

Sul's mother placed a cherry in her mouth and chewed silently. Several long seconds later, she spoke. "There is a disaster looming, Cricket. One brought on by narrowsighted fools in the Sâtêp. They believe that the Javierans are going to be cowed by threats, but threats are only powerful as long as one can back them up. Beyond that, how can one threaten a dog that has spent its life in the pits? The Javierans are practically feral. A threat of war from a power as far and as faltering as ours? Pah. They will not bend."

Sul scanned the surface of the table, trying to follow where his mother was going. "We've threatened war? And you believe it will come to that?"

"We threatened war with no intention of following through," she said. A pit went in the bowl. "Hiska convinced so many that we could browbeat the Javierans into submission. He is wrong. When the Javierans call our bluff, we will either have to lose face or follow through."

Her eyes, deeply shadowed, were pinpricks of white when they met his. "Have you ever known a prince willing to dishonour himself by being caught in a lie?"

"No," Sul admitted. The way of so many princely caste people was to always be doubling down on bad bets. It sometimes paid off. Often it didn't.

"There will be war," his mother continued, turning her eyes back to the cherry. "Within the week. It will be a bad war and it needs to be guided by those with the skills and vision to ensure that it only goes poorly enough to...to not destroy us."

She placed the cherry in her mouth. Sul felt a tingle run up his spine. He knew the sound of machines turning, and he felt like his foot had just been caught in the cogs. "What are you saying, mother?"

"I have managed to get you a promotion," she stated. "You will be acting in service to our country as commanding officer of our ground forces in the coming war. Congratulations, Prince-General Mipax Sul."

Sul blinked at her. "M-mother...I cannot do this. I'm only..."

"Only what? A young man? Thirty-five?" His mother wiped her fingers on a cloth. "We need people with the good sense to take measured steps in charge, not brash fools like the militarists wish to put in charge. I had to pull many favours to get this victory. You will take it and you will serve."

"I've never commanded anything like this," Sul said.

"Every great general starts somewhere," she replied. "And even if you are not great, we do not need victory. We need a mitigated disaster. Little else."

Sul clasped his hands, and then unclasped them. The cogs were sucking him up. "This is a bad decision, mother."

His mother's head snapped up and she met his eyes again. "You will not question me. I want you in charge because I trust you to put the needs of this clan first and the nation second. You will not take risks with our family name. You will do this, Sul."

Sul swallowed. "Yes, mother."

"And, if things go well," her eyes returned to their task, "you will be praised as a conquering hero. None will blame a young general in a bad war for failure, but they will praise him for success."

"Yes, mother."

"Go," she said. "You know your job now. An official communication will arrive soon, I think. Best to be prepared."
Last edited by Menna Shuli on Sat Mar 02, 2019 10:17 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Thuzbekistan
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Psychotic Dictatorship

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Postby Thuzbekistan » Sun Mar 03, 2019 10:03 pm

Isla Mujeres

Just a little further, the man thought as he grasped a branch to pull himself up over the ridge. The wind blew lazily over his sweat laden face as he stood firmly atop the highest point on Isla Mujeres. He panted heavily and sighed, letting his bag fall from his shoulder and onto the rocky ground. Wiping his brow, he looked up, smiling as he soaked in the view. Though it wasn't very high up, he could finally see above the tree line. For a long moment, he simply stared out at the small island as its endless trees abruptly gave way to the sea, then finally onto the beaches of San Javier. He had been here many times, but it was always at the dawn of Spring that he enjoyed it the most. The trees shown their brilliance in the sun on a cloudless day as dead, brown wood gave way to green and yellow and orange, a canvas unbroken by river or shadow until it reached the sea.

He smiled once more, then leaned down to open his bag. He pulled out a small tripod, then attached a camera to it. He adjusted and leveled as needed for the rocky surface, then snapped a few pictures. He turned the camera out away from his island to the Sea. He focused on the gray spot on the shore, then zoomed in. The City of Peurto Polo could just be made out from the haze, but mostly just the cargo ships which had only recently really begun arriving. Ever since the war in 2016, the port had been busy. It was as comforting sight as it was an uncomfortable one. It was certainly a far cry from the days when he snapped pictures of the smoke and haze, listening for the distant thunder of an explosion during the larger battles there. But it was still unnerving to think that the port was being operated by the same people who had destroyed it to begin with.

After snapping a few more pictures, he began putting away his camera and started to make the hike back down to his town. Despite it only taking him a couple hours to go up the hills, he took his time going down, not really wanting to go back just yet. Still, he eventually wandered into the town from the mountain path. A couple of armed guards nodded as he approached, letting him pass without word. Guadalupano had not really been touched by the wars, yet their fingerprints were still everywhere. The boarded up businesses and homes, the decaying rail lines from the abandoned mine, and the endless sense of gloom that plagued the town. While the country had begun to recover under the new government, the isles had been left alone to their misery. The Battle of Santa Ana had taken place far from the town, but it had lost many people there. Some women still wore black after almost three years.

"Manolo!" He looked up to see his wife walking out of his home ahead of him. "Where have you been?" She saw the bag and sighed. "You went up the trail again? Why can't you just tell me?"

"I'm sorry, Maria," he breathed slowly, his gray beard still wet with sweat. "It's beautiful this time of year and-"

She stepped forward and leaned towards his ear. "The Chairman is here to see you," she whispered.

Manolo's heart sank. "What for?"

"He wouldn't say."

"Well," he said slowly, "might as well see what he wants." He tried to speak confidently, but his eyes gave away the worry.

Together, the couple walked into their home where a man flanked by two guards with red bands and guns sat on their sofa. "Ah!" he exclaimed as they walked in. "I was wondering when you'd be back, Mani!" The man stood and extended his arms as he said it.

"Leandro!" Manolo said as the men embraced. "What brings you here today?"

"Obviously your fine wife," he said with a wink. "No, no. I kid. I came to talk to you of course."

"What about?"

Landro glanced in the direction of Maria, then smiled. "It's not the sort of conversation you have in the presence of pretty ladies."

"Ah, I see. Take a walk then?"

Leandro nodded, then motioned to his guards. "Maria, make them some tea, why don't you?"

Manolo fumed silently as Maria looked to him for direction, then nodded to her. "I believe they'll just have black." He turned back to Leandro. "Shall we?"

"Of course!"

The men walked out of the house. Once they were a few meters away, Leandro sighed heavily. "The last two years have been good, no?"

"Relatively speaking, I suppose."

Leandro nodded. "No worse than before the coalition, but no better for the people."

"Aye, that's how it's always been, though." Manolo said as he walked. "I'm just glad they've continued to leave us alone for now."

"They have bigger issues than the townspeople of the isles." Leandro said bitterly. "Tell me, have you ever thought about joining the Party?"

Manolo breathed in slowly. "You know where I stand on that. After Santa Ana..."

"I know, and he was a good kid. I'm truly sorry he had to die."

"But at least you're still here," Manolo said bitterly.

Leandro raised his eyebrows slightly. "That I am. And, as Chairman of the party, you know that I wouldn't have left without every man if I could have."

"Right." Manolo's voice became cold.

"What I need from you is to come back to the party. We need you."

"For what? What can I do?" Manolo stopped now. "Hell, What can you do? Santa Ana was it, I thought?"

"No, it wasn't. We still have a chance to liberate the people of San Javier. But this time, we will do it slowly and win them over to us before a shot is ever fired."

"'Hearts and Minds', is it?" Manolo sighed. "What makes you think they will come over to us after Santa Ana? The Coalition seems to have it pretty well pad, if you ask me."

"That will soon change." Leandro's voice was solemn now. "War is coming."

"With who?"

"Menna Shuli. They've issued an ultimatum to Castillo Verde. If they don't stop selling drugs to warlords over there, there will be war."

"Over drugs? Are they serious?"

"Very," Leandro said flatly. "And it means we have a chance. We can rearm and set out to get a peice of the pie when it's over."

Manolo's face grew stern. "You mean sacrifice more kids from the isles just to see if we can get a sliver of influence?"

"It's either that or the damn drug lords come here and assert control. It's us or them. Always has been, always will be. Of all the things Santa Ana proved, that was the clearest."

His chest tightened as he realized where this was heading. "And what does this have to do with me, Leandro? Have I not given you enough?"

"I need your help to put the party back together, Manolo. If we don't start now, we won't have a chance."

Manolo swallowed. "And I suppose I don't have a choice in this."

"You've always had a choice, Manolo. But this time I can't do it without you." Leandro sighed. "Look, think about it, ok? I'll come by tomorrow."

"Very well."

The men stood there for a moment, then wordlessly walked back to the house. The guards finished their tea, then left soon after. As the door shut behind them, Maria looked expectantly to Manolo. "Not now, Maria."

"And why the hell not?"

"You already know what he wants."

"And you're going to do it, aren't you!" Tears welled up in here eyes as she said it. "Even after all we've given him, you still want to give him more?"

"I don't have a choice. You know that."

She collapsed back onto the sofa and shook her head. "Fine."

"That all? Fine?"

"That's all," she said as a tear fell from her eye.

"Fine," he said.
Last edited by Thuzbekistan on Sun Mar 03, 2019 10:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Athara Magarat
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Democratic Socialists

Postby Athara Magarat » Mon Mar 04, 2019 7:42 am

Nagesia-Dhari Limited Branch Office

Têhaêvu, Menna Shuli


AssemBlaze's song Is This Love? played as Tarisa's Kodo Curiosity smartphone rang. It took her a few moments to collect herself after she saw the name of the person calling her. The contact name had been saved as Kushi-didi in her phone but she knew who it was: Major Rakisha Pahari, the Sub-Director of Athara Magarati Intelligence (AMI).

"I am at work, Kushi-didi." Tarisa frowned as she spoke but made herself sound as polite as she could be.

"Nabin is dead. You need to take over family business." The voice at the other end said quickly.

"Damn." Tarisa murmured under her breath after the call ended.




After 4 pm, when most of the Mennan employees had left, Tarisa briefed the senior Magarati executives at the branch office of Nagesia-Dhari Limited in Têhaêvu of the events that had transpired. A few of these business-folk were uneasy accomplices; the rest were actually quite interested to hear things Tarisa reported whenever this sort of briefings were held.

"...The man supposed to oversee the operation in San Javier has died. Which means that I am now in charge of the operation now." Tarisa got the first point of why this briefing was necessary.

"What killed him? Javieran regime?" Asked a neatly suited elderly man with a cigar in his hand.

"Hate to be anti-climatic but he never even set foot in San Javier. I am told the Yak Maruwas did it."

"Damn, those hornets are scary." Someone muttered as the room became abuzz with stories about the current so-called Hornet War back home.

"Where do we come in?" Finally, the cigar man asked a relevant question.

"AMI wants you to focus on infrastructure development of communist sympathizing areas in San Javier. Last time, we created quite the mess." Tarisa tilted her head down slightly as she spoke. "We are going to win hearts and minds this time rather than fighting indirect wars."

Tarisa was slightly embarrassed to even mention what had happened in San Javier last time. Most of the people involved in or with AMI barely mentioned it. It had been a disaster. It was a relief that no one even raised eyebrows over a Magarati passenger plane being downed in Santa Ana. AMI's then Director had wanted almost no connection back to themselves. The result had been Islamist terrorists and some Keomoran-Thakali group from Akar called Dragon Faction training and fighting alongside actual communist Javieran guerrillas to almost hilariously pathetic effects. Without any availability of supplies and support, those ragtag groups in Santa Ana had even resorted to hurling human feces at Coalition forces. The Coalition, with their air support, had effectively ended any resistance in Santa Ana through a curb-stomp battle. Tarisa tried her best to not think about the last time.

"What about you? Are you jumping into San Javier?" A brown-haired young woman asked Tarisa.

"Not quite so. At least not right now. I will be actually overseeing the operation from Têhaêvu at the moment. So far, the orders have been to just help develop infrastructure in communist localities. And that we are to fix the mess created last time."

Even I have no clues as to what it exactly means.

"Furthermore, we have other problems; so the operation in San Javier will be somewhat sidelined. Those damned Wellsians have managed to overthrow the Sultan of Kachee and install a five-man council. They have even loaned a squadron of corvettes..."
Last edited by Athara Magarat on Mon Mar 04, 2019 6:27 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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What the symbol really is...

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And my IC constitution

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Menna Shuli
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Postby Menna Shuli » Mon Mar 04, 2019 11:51 am

"We will have order!"

The command was not shouted, but spoken with the diaphragmatic projection of a practiced public speaker. Above the din of arguing voices, it seemed to carry like a war-canoe on a stormy sea. The words cut through the babble, and immediately the gathered vêkivêla quieted and turned to the source of the voice. Ihwalâ sat on the carved stone throne around which the tiers of the Sâtêp Chamber were arranged, his hands gripping the lion head arm rests. This was the traditional seat of the 'uhitap, a role he currently controlled until his friend, Hitap Âspu, had recovered enough to return. That would not be long off, Ihwalâ knew. A part of the man wished it had happened already. That way, he wouldn't have to oversee the bickering of these jackals.

That was what the government of Mênna Shuli had turned into since the Javieran response to their ultimatum had come to them. A pack of jackals. Ihwalâ had seen it a few times in his long tenure as a senator. Never had it been so...vitriolic. Hiska had been at the ehart of that, riling up anyone with even an ounce of aggression in their personal foreign policy. Even the normally traditionalist bastion, always reliable for an isolationist measure, had been pulled into the rhetoric. Now it was just shouting over the petty details, and petty details were often the most dangerous. He could smell the unchallenged vê'êsh dangling in the air.

The eyes of the vêkivêla were on him now. Ihwalâ tapped the armrest.

"We have heard all the arguments for and against what may come," he said. "For the record, I am opposed to the measure."

Before the arguments started again, he raised a gnarled hand. "I have been open on that matter since the start. We never should have made the ultimatum and now we are in a corner. But I will not utilize my temporary powers to block the vote. That is not my right. But I will be abstaining, because this is all madness. It's up to you how we proceed, my friends, but I hope you see that the loss of pride from a called bluff is a fair trade to avoid the cataclysm that would follow from war."

There were murmurs of assent and of opposition to the 'uhitap a Tempore's words. He held another hand up.

"If I allow this debate to rage for any longer, some of us may say or do things we regret. We all have the information required to make our decisions, and likely already have our minds made up. Let's dither no further. Senators, by the power of the role of 'uhitap, I call this matter to vote. All for going to war with San Javier?"

There was a rousing series of cries and thumps as the vêkivela stomped their feet and called assent. Ihwalâ counted raised hands.

"And opposed?"

Again, a raise of sound.

"Those who abstain?"

A smattering of foot stomps and war cries.

"At a vote of sixty-eight for, twenty-three against and five abstaining, we have consensus," he stated with a defeated tone. "We go to war. Ancestors protect us and may we all remember the face's of our fathers."




Some time after the vote, Ihwalâ sat next to an old man's sick bed. Not that he was one to consider anyone "old". By the local definition of the term, he was ancient. That said, Ihwalâ didn't look, feel or act old. The man in the bed must have been all three.

The electronic tones of his text-to-speech device rang from a machine near the bed. The 'uhitap had taken to the TTS with gusto. It was his command of the high-tech wheelchair on the other side of the room that had held the now-paralyzed man back from his return to the public eye. Nothing would have been worse than the leader of the country spinning in circles as he lost command of his own motility, other than maybe losing control of his own bowels. The catheters dealt with that automatically, though, so only the wheelchair was a problem.

"It is war then?" the mechanical tones said.

Ihwalâ nooded. "It is."

"Good," came the reply. "We have suffered the indignity of the warlords too long. We have to cut off their funding stem and root."

Ihwalâ clasped his hands and leaned forward in his chair. "I don't disagree, Kashaka, but think. We do not have the capacity for this."

"Of course we don't," the TTS said. "But we are not the only ones with a vested interest, I am certain. Others will come."

"And in the meantime?"

Kashaka couldn't shrug, but there was an implication in his breathing and the movement of his eyes. "I leave that to the wisdom of the generals. This is not a war we are fighting to win, but to send a message."

"I, for one, don't stand with paying messengers in blood."

"Then you are in the wrong line of work, old friend."

They sat in silence for several minutes. Finally, Ihwalâ spoke. "Do you have some plan here, Kashaka? Because I know that even the most staunch believer in this war doesn't."

"I do not," the 'uhitap responded. "But I think, maybe, the aftermath will be what is needed. There are too many prideful people in the senate. We must show them that we are weaker than they think. We are too cloistered. Change is a necessity."

"So we run into a war we will lose?"

"What other way? How have your talks with the protestors gone?"

Ihwalâ sighed. "Stalled."

"Of course. There is too much pride in this country. It must change."

"Maybe," Ihwalâ said. "But does it need to change like this?"
Last edited by Menna Shuli on Mon Mar 04, 2019 12:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Menna Shuli
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Postby Menna Shuli » Tue Mar 05, 2019 12:13 pm

Sul entered the command headquarters set aside for Operation Valiant. A moment like this should have been a triumphant one, a new general stepping to the helm of his first command in the role. He should have felt proud, exuberant. Instead he just felt tired, drawn thin. The past twenty-four hours had been a poison worming into his muscles, his brain. He felt sore. As the officers in the room came to attention, he waved at them to return to their business with a significant lack of form.

An older gentleman approached him. He had a shockingly white beard and moustache, which stood out all the more on his ebony skin. He wore the uniform of an admiral and the finishing-sword of a blooded duelist. He came to attention and saluted, a respect that Sul returned.

"Prince-General Mipax," the older man said, holding out his hand. Sul shook it. "Prince-Admiral Shala."

"Good to meet you, Prince-Admiral," Sul replied. He tried to muster some energy. "I understand you're in charge of the naval operations for this campaign. I must admit, my briefings have been...well, brief."

The admiral frowned. "Twenty-four hours is hardly enough time to piece together something like what we're trying to pull off," the admiral said in low tones. "Much less with the resources we have."

There was something pointed about that statement that Sul chose to ignore. "The senate has pulled the rug out from under us, admiral. I just hope that we have the capacity to keep our footing."

"At the very least we aren't going in without a plan," the admiral replied. They made their way through the babble of the command stations to stand before the situation maps that were being projected on a large, clear wall on the far side of the room. "We've been playing with the possibility of this for years."

"Years?"

The admiral nodded. "The international media is playing this all as some new story, but we're not blind. We've had a good idea where the warlords have been getting their drugs for awhile. Used to be the Javieran cartels, then it slowed a bit at the end of the war. When it suddenly shot back up about a year ago, there were some in the military, myself included, who started playing out the potentials. Mostly as a thought experiment, you understand, we never thought that we'd be called upon to use it."

Sul let out a bit of the poison with his next breath. "So there is a plan. I got caught by reporters yesterday and lied through my teeth."

"First rule, don't lie to the press," Shala replied. There was some bitterness there. "And I wouldn't call it a plan, son, I'd call it a half-baked scheme. But it's the scheme we're running with."

Sul straightened his cheetah-print sash. Being called 'son' was not a good sign when it came to the pecking order the admiral was establishing. "What do we have?"

"Our primary uphill battle right now is going to be getting boots on the ground," the admiral replied. "I could list off all our naval assets for you, but none of them are properly set-up as troop transports. We've got vessels suited for coastal defense, not for an invasion."

"So what did the thought experiment come up with?" Sul asked.

"What we do have going for us is that the Javieran navy isn't much better situated than ours is," Shala replied. "Lot's of small craft, not much in the way of shipkillers. They didn't need them during the conflict, after all. There wasn't much of a naval theatre after the initial few battles near Puerto Polo."

Sul had spent the past twenty-four hours doing everything in his power to familiarize himself with two things: his troops and San Javier. He jumped in with a bit of that knowledge. "As I recall, the communists had smugglers and pirates aligned with them operating off of Isla Mujeres. An old naval base that was taken by allied forces of the ECSJ. One particularly interesting report referred to it as the 'Battle of Iron Reef', and called the defensive set-up a 'vision in post-apocalyptia with a junglepunk mindset'. I thought that was overly poetic for an official report..."

"That's true," the admiral said. "They were still basically using coastal vessels. As I understand the reports, there were a few modified civilian speedboats in the mix. Not exactly intimidating presences when it comes to taking out naval ships...or even a civilian cargo ship if it is properly prepared."

Sul was tired, so it took his brain a few seconds to catch up with the conversation. "Is that the plan, then? We're requisitioning civilian cargo ships to act as troop transports?"

"At least until we secure a landing zone that we can use to bring in planes," the admiral replied. "Then me and my boats will try and act mostly as a defensive screen, for what little we'll need it."

"Aren't cargo boats a little...sinkable?" Sul asked.

"Like I said, I don't think the Javierans really have the capacity to take one down if we're screening them properly with what proper naval resources we have," the admiral said. "Even if they board, it won't be a dozen crewmen and a bunch of undefended cargo on board, but a hundred or more armed warriors with blood on their mind. Ever throw chum in the water?"

Sul had his doubts. There seemed to be a certain level of unearned pride leaking from the admiral. Commanders always planned for the last war. San Javier now was not the San Javier of 1980, or even 2016. But the admiral was the expert. Sul had barely grown accustomed to the sash of his office.

"When can we begin," he asked.

"When?" the admiral raised an eyebrow. "We started loading boats an hour ago. We'll be underway by days end."

Sul made a double-take. "Wouldn't it have been right to wait for the ground commander's say before loading his men on cargo haulers?"

"We weren't about to wait around for your briefings to end," Shala said. "We have work to do, Prince-General. We can't all be waiting around for you to get your legs under you."

"I..." Sul started, unsure of where the sentence was leading.

"Don't worry, Mipax," the admiral placed a hand on his shoulder. "No need to worry. We've got this handled. You just handle the press, you've got the face for it. The rest of command has this all planned out..."
Last edited by Menna Shuli on Wed Mar 06, 2019 11:44 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Menna Shuli
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Postby Menna Shuli » Wed Mar 06, 2019 11:44 am

The chug of the engines sent a constant, buzzing whine through Amikiku's bones. She had never been to sea before, but was pretty sure that that wasn't the way these things were supposed to feel. The cargo ship that she and another hundred and forty nine soldiers were packed aboard seemed on the verge of decrepitness. Amikiku guessed that the thing was probably destined for the ship-breaking yards sooner rather than later. Things rattled where she felt like they shouldn't, and there was a worrying amount of rust and moisture in places where she felt like things should be dry.

At least she had managed to find her sea legs and hadn't succumbed to motion sickness like some of the others. The ship had gained a perpetual scent of bile in its short trip, made all the worse by the fact that the soldiers were packed together like sardines. Amikiku had the mental image of slave-ships, although most slaves weren't armed to the teeth on the voyage. This one was also a lot shorter, thank her ancestors, and the end was in sight. Up here on the deck, preparations were already underway for the assault on Pueblo Ignacio, and Amikiku could see the rising gray of the island of San Javier on the horizon. To either side of her cargo ship, the Pride of Mombeth, she could see other cargo ships and their naval escorts. The cargo lifters on the civilian vessels were being prepared to drop their landing vessels, basically oversize dinghies with outboard motors, into the water. It all had the veneer of something professional while also looking downright thrown together. Amikiku was counting the seconds until her feet were back on dry ground and she could do something she actually understood, which basically amounted to shooting people.

She went over her company's objectives once they landed. Pueblo Ignacio was a small village just up the delta of the Rio de Rosario. The job of the initial invasion was to take the village to act as a forward staging point for the eventual rush to Constantina. To achieve this, three landing zones had been set up across the beaches of the delta. The goal of the boots on the ground was to gain a foothold there, enabling them to launch smaller boats up the river to support the ground assault of Pueblo Ignacio. Her company was to land at Lion Beach, the easternmost of the three landings, and secure Inlet Cash, a relatively high, bluff-like protrusion amongst the otherwise low-lying shoals and sandbars of the river's release into the sea. From Inlet Cash, defense could be made of much of the delta's area, allowing cover for access to the river proper.

They weren't expecting any great resistance. There weren't any entrenched defenses or forts in the area, since the area had been one of the most peaceful during San Javier's nearly half-century civil war. The village itself was an old town, one of the few in San Javier to retained some old walls from the 1700s, but they only covered the eastern side and did not extend to the river access. Besides, they wouldn't stand against modern artillery, if it even came to that.

Someone suddenly startled Amikiku from her reverie. They shouted from near the bow. "We've got movement ahead!"

Moments later, more official calls for action sounded in the form of warning klaxons. Men and women scrambled to defensive positions. Amikiku could see the oncoming boats from her position on the edge of the deck, leaning out slightly from the gunwales near one of the cranes. They were small vessels, which is why they had managed to get slow close before detection. Coming in in something resembling the flight pattern of fighter jets, the nearest ones broke ahead of the gaggle of larger vessels behind them and hydroplaned over the waves at an incredibly high speed. They looked like high-end civilian speedboats converted for military application, and Amikiku almost laughed at the shark-like faces someone had painted across their bows. A few had phrases in Spanish on their sides, but they were moving too quick and were too far away to read.

"I'll give them credit for bravery," said the soldier nearest to Amikiku, a man pushing forty with a battered, unlit cigarette between his lips. "Father's name, though, they must be stupid."

As if on cue, there was a percussive thud and a spout of water pillared just ahead of one of the oncoming speedboats. It wasn't a direct hit, but the sudden wave of force just beneath the water and the high speed of the hydroplaning vessel combined into an impressive display as the boat got clipped, the driver tried to correct the disturbance to course, drove sideways up a wave, hit its own wake and rolled sideways. It skipped across the top of the water, spinning like it was attached to an axle, before the side of it shattered and the whole thing disappeared under the water. The rest of the speedboats broke their pattern and swarmed in every direction like wild hornets, suddenly amongst the Mênnan fleet.

The gunfire started immediately. Hitting any of the speedboats as they zipped between friendly boats at frankly frightening speeds was an effort in frustration, but Amikiku noted that it worked both ways. The turrets set up on most of the jury-rigged vessels could do little more than scatter bullets across the sides of the invasion force's transports, barely scratching the paint. Even the few with larger guns mounted to their forward arcs couldn't get clear shots off, since the driver would have to pull the nearly suicidal maneuver of driving directly at the side of any ship they wanted to take on. There was a good chance of getting caught in their own detonation in such tight quarters with no time to pull off. Even if they got a shot in, the chances of taking down a cargo ship was probably a coin flip. The proper naval vessels would likely ricochet any shot that hit their armor.

As the speedboats zipped between the vessels of the fleet, drawing fire, the patrol boats and coastal vessels that constituted the proper Javieran navy approached. Their largest vessel was a frigate, although Amikiku couldn’t identify it any further than that. From what intelligence the MIG had gathered, it was probably a non-issue, more bluster than anything else. Proper arms and repair for the damn thing had fallen off more than a decade ago. The craft accompanying the invading tankers instead turned their attention to the smaller corvettes and fast attack craft that were on approach. Warriors on the decks of all ships instead focused on peppering fire at the speedboats. The entire fleet maintained their approach order, their plan unchanged by the approach of the pitiful Javieran navy.

The Javieran frigate edged around the space of the combat. One of the cargo ships had fallen out of position, and was now between the enemy ship and one of the Mênnan escorts. The soldiers on board the cargo ship opened fire against it, but that did little as it turned its guns on them. Within moments, the civilian ship was torn down the middle and capsizing as it took on water. The Mênnan escort was turning on the Javieran vessel, which suddenly did something unexpected. There was a flair of smoke and something sliced across the space between the two ships, trailing white. It struck the escort and ballooned into a ball of fire.

“Oh fuck,” Amikiku said.

The ship-to-ship missile had landed a perfect hit, which should have been impossible. The Javierans didn’t have ship-to-ship missiles, not anymore. They’d been fighting a war on the ground for so long and with such a shoestring budget they could barely afford to keep ships floating, let alone properly armed. But the evidence was before Amikiku’s eyes, with the escort doing its damnedest to pump out its tanks to fight the now dramatic list it was achieving. It returned fire, its own missiles scumming wide from the poor trajectory.

The nearby soldier with the cigarette reached into a pouch on his bandolier and pulled out a plastic lighter. He lit the cigarette. “Grandmother’s tits,” he said. “Oh shit. Someone’s been supplying the damned Javierans!”

It could be hard to tell when a ship-to-ship battle turned panic, since vast constructs of steel didn’t tend to show a lot of emotion. Still, the Mênnan escort fleet panicked. All fire turned towards the Javieran frigate. Before it got taken out of the fray, it managed to sink the listing Mênnan ship and disable one more. The other Javieran crafts sunk two more cargo ships full of soldiers. Still, the Mênnan fleet outnumbered the Javierans, who were eventually forced to concede the space towards the delta. Their frigate didn’t go down, but did withdraw trailing smoke. The Javierans had lost a few small craft, but the Mênnan losses were greater by contrast. Even as they pushed towards the island which was growing before them, the attitude of cavalier disdain that most had had towards the whole endeavour had shifted.

The Javierans weren’t defenseless. They weren’t going to be walking into this with superiority. The Javierans were armed and, obviously, informed. Which meant that the coming ground battle was not going to be the cakewalk they had all expected.

For the first time in her life, Amikiku wondered if dying in battle was going to be all it was cracked up to be. The screams of drowning men would carry her onwards to San Javier.

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Miklania
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Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Miklania » Wed Mar 06, 2019 2:12 pm

The only thing illuminating the small room was the harsh light of computer monitors. Erin Parker was the only one left at this hour of night. He had the night shift in this part of Foreign Naval Operations Division, Office of Strategic Intelligence. He didn't mind. Sit on a moderately comfortable chair in a dark room, staring at a screen was pretty much his job when he was a Fire Controlman on a destroyer in the Navy. But OSI paid him more. And he was less likely to get horribly burned here. He counted himself lucky that he didn't need skin grafts or any major medical operations after the war. The same could not be said for his beautiful ship, the Last of the Brave. A fitting name, he thought. She went down with too many of her crew after a communist jet kamikazeed into them during an ambush they'd been sent into by unknown shadowy forces, then left for dead after meddling by the same unknown shadowy forces. So while some people complained about the night shift, he didn't. Being left out at sea for a week after your ship got its guts blown out of it gives you some perspective on what's a bad time.

Which is what everyone sailing around south of San Javier seemed to be having. Mennan naval forces had made their move fast. Way too fast. Nobody had expected them to leave for San Javier for at least a few weeks. They'd set sail that evening on what most logically assumed was an exercise, before they went home for dinner and a good night's sleep. The fleet, such as it was, had actually made a beeline for the coast, making Erin's shift a little more interesting. At around 2 AM he'd realized they were not simply exercising, and had made some phone calls. Now, three hours later, no one had shown up. It was his first month working here; maybe they thought the new guy was jumpy. Well, if they want to get reamed out by the boss for not getting him information quick enough that's their problem. He thought.

On cue the door burst open, and his new friend Dan Milton flew into the room. "What'cha got there mate?" He said, his eyes already locked on to Erin's monitor from across the room.

"Oh, just a surface battle and the invasion of one sovereign nation by another." Erin quipped. He'd been rehearsing that line for a couple hours. Tired him thought it was very funny. Dan didn't answer, he just stuck his face over Erin's shoulder, his eyes wide as dinner plates, trying to get his brain to soak up all the arcane symbols on the screen.

"Holy shite. The absolute madmen."

"Yep."

"Has anybody else showed up 'ere?"

"Nope."

"Why da fuck not? We've got a fucking war 'ere is what we've got."

"You're the first. Don't ask me why. I'm just the night guard." Erin took a sip of coffee as he let Dan finish reading what he had displayed. There was a good minute of silence. "We'll be getting a photo satellite pass in a few hours, we might be able to see what's going on down there as long as the weather holds." He added, just to restart some form of conversation. He'd been sitting in silence for too long, someone being here was supposed to get things going. Dan started clicking around, moving time frames back by five-minute increments.

"What's da source for this? Threnody?"

"Yup." Erin replied, taking another sip. The nuclear attack sub had been vectored towards the area minutes after State informed the Navy of the Mennan ultimatum. They'd only just managed to transit within sonar range of the Mennan fleet before they'd decided to take off so unexpectedly. Although sonar detection range of the Mennan fleet was apparently in excess of 50 miles. The sub had tracked them right up to the coast of San Javier, where it picked up numerous contacts rushing out to meet them. The battle had thrashed the water, and on of the region's newest submarines was listening in to it all.

"Lots'a noise around the boats an hour ago." Dan remarked matter-of-factly, still flipping back and forth on the computer. "Shell splashes and explosions. A running gun battle at knife fight range. My God. The poor bastards."

"A hit on eachother every second, for those frigates. For over a minute. It's a bloodbath on every one of them." Erin reflected, still leaning back in his swivel chair.

"Aye, you'd know." Dan tore his eyes away from the screen for the first time since entering the room and looked at his friend to gauge a reaction to what he just realized might be an unappreciated comment. Erin's face was neutral. He'd been pretty good at not visualizing what the decks and spaces of those ships must look like. Blood and fire covering rent steel. He snapped out of it.

"Yeah. Fire's no fun. Sub hasn't heard any sinking sounds but they've been running fire hose pumps up through, now. Still fighting fires. Well, maybe one of 'em will get a girlfriend out of it."

"That's how you got yours, right?" Dan tried to shift to a lighter subject.

"Yep. Just minding my own business, getting out of a fire and all, then BOOM! Blasted in the face by some chick with a high pressure water hose."

"An' they say romance is dead."

"Love at first sight."

"Alright somebody talk to me." An authoritative new voice declared from the other side of the room. Erin and Dan snapped their heads around to see their department head, coffee in hand, walking silently through the wide open door. "Mr. Parker, what's going on?"

"Well, we've got a surface battle and the invasion of one sovereign nation by another coming up on monitor one..."
Last edited by Miklania on Wed Mar 06, 2019 2:30 pm, edited 3 times in total.

On Government: Checks and balances and ways of stopping things from happening are the only things that provide a stable government and a stable society.

On Democracy: It is a very neutral thing. It can be the best way of ensuring a reasonable government, or it can lead to genocide in the name of 'the people'.

On NSG: I believe the technical term for you people is "malformed conscience".

On society: Until reason and science become cool again, the "enlightened" who profess both but practice neither will continue to gleefully chip away at the bedrock of human society.

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Menna Shuli
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Founded: Feb 22, 2018
Iron Fist Consumerists

Postby Menna Shuli » Wed Mar 06, 2019 5:05 pm

Amikiku splashed up out of the water and onto the muddy sand of the beach. As with the other first boots on the ground, she rushed to the most immediate defensive cover she could find. In her case, this was a sizable, driftwood log that was worn smooth by tides and slick with algae. Crabs scuttled out of her way as she dove behind it, then popped up to scan the area inland to the north. The beach was low, flat and mucky, rolling north about a hundred yards before giving way to water-logged grass and reeds. The river delta was around them, rivulets and larger branches feeding into the ocean in messy, silty streams. The jungle rose to the east a fair distance away, a greenish-gray mass barely visible through the low, steamy fog that lingered amongst the marshy surroundings.

Other soldiers had taken up firing positions behind boulders, earthen mounds, sodden dunes, anything that might block a bullet. A few had take positions behind a grounded and overturned tugboat that had rusted down to its bones. Behind them, the dinghies were ferrying back and forth to the cargo ships, carrying small loads of troops while the warships kept a defensive perimeter. For all their caution at this point, however, there seemed little need. No one was firing on them. The strange, lichen-drooped trees that twisted out of the mud and moss could provide cover to enemies, but if they were there they were keeping themselves well-hidden. It was somehow disconcerting, the silence cloying.

North-west, framed by the water of a broad arm of the river, the tall, egg-shaped rise of Inlet Cash sat topped by a small collection of three or four buildings: a small house little larger than the two sheds that framed it and a twenty foot tall lighthouse with no light. The place had its own, local name, but it had been designated by the English word "cash" for Operation Valiant's purposes, just like the beach itself was classified as Lion Beach, even if it was just a nondescript stretch of boot-sucking silt.

A young soldier suddenly ran up and joined Amikiku at the far end of the log. He took a second to catch his breath and check his rifle before he too took a firing position, scanning the area like a hundred generations of hunters and warriors had done before him.

"You see anything?" he asked.

Amikiku glanced at him. He had a large, flat face, wide eyes and a pair of triangular, tusk-like scars on his upper lip that marked him as Shui'a. She shook her head.

"No," she said.

"Where are they?" the soldier said. "With the greeting we got out there I would have thought they had a party waiting for us."

Amikiku grunted her assent. "I don't like this."

He looked over at her, then edged along the log next to her. He held out his hand. "Imutet Pa. Company D."

She adjusted her grip on her rifle and shook his hand. "Mitu Amikiku. Company B."

He turned back to scanning. "This is too much like bandit ambushes in the border countries. Everything is all quiet, and then boom, something goes sideways. Bet everything north of here is riddled with mines."

The thought hadn't even crossed Amikiku's mind. A different one had, driven by her experience rooting out warlords in the mountains. She pointed at Inlet Cash.

"Thousand xat says that that place is rigged to blow the moment one of us pokes around to much," she said.

He glanced up and pulled a face. "I'm not looking to lose money here."

They went back to scanning in silence. They could hear a babble among the troops and the buzz of the outboard motors of the troop ferries. A crab scuttled across the log between Amikiku and Pa. She lifted it away and set it down on the beach, where it scuttled sideways into a tidepool.

A shout rose from one of the radio operators who had landed. Richer armies had most or all of their troops rigged to communicate, but that wasn't the case with the Grand Army. They relied on good, old fashioned radiomen and word of mouth. It meant each soldier had to rely more on their own intuition than on perfect coordination, which came with both upsides and downsides. Upside was that any good Mênnan soldier could operate fairly effectively cut off from support for a long time. Downside was that they had to shout their orders across quiet beaches.

"Move up!"

Amikiku and Pa looked at each other. He held out his hand again. "Good meeting you," he said.

"You too," she replied.

They, and the rest of the landed troops, begin to move towards their target. They kept low, moving slowly and carefully. The first troops into the grass seemed to disappear into the length, only the tops of their heads visible as they crouched among the reeds. Amikiku's heart pounded as she passed into the grass. At least she felt comfortable, at home, among the blades. They reminded her of hunting in the savanna. That said, the sudden claustrophobia made the quiet cling even more tightly, a python winding around her chest.

It made the sudden, cracking boom somewhere to her right all the worse. The ground shook slightly and she could feel heat from somewhere unseen. There was a scream at the same time, and something splashed to Amikiku's right. She glanced over and saw half a human hand lying in a puddle there.

There was another boom a second later, then a third. A part of her wanted to back off back to the beach, but she knew the penalty for retreat and instead took to scanning the ground ahead of her as opposed to the area around her. She splashed through water that squelched up with each step, the give under her boots disconcertingly similar to tripping a mine's pressure switch.

There was a long period of silence after the third explosion, and then there was a scream, sans boom. Amikiku, swearing under her breath, turned her head in that direction. That, she thought, was a really, really bad sign. She moved forward, avoiding a suspicious mound of dirt, and came upon the remains of a soldier, his throat gushing blood from a three inch stab wound.

On instinct, she stopped, lowered herself into a kneeling firing position, and scanned the nearby grass. She heard the first rattle of gunfire from that position, then another from a different direction. Suddenly, there was scattered gunfire from all around her. Another boom. Screams and shouts.

She heard movement behind her and spun around. Another Mênnan soldier emerged from the grass, nearly barreling her over as he crouch-jogged ahead, not worrying about mines. His face wasn't fearful but deadly serious. He stopped when he saw her.

"What the hell are you doing?" he said. "If we hit the inlet, these fuckers can't take us by surprise from hiding."

Before she could respond, the man did the stupidest thing Amikiku could think of, and he stood fully up to get a line of sight above the grass. As soon as he did, his head turned into a mass of pulp. As his body collapsed, Amikiku briefly wondered what the point of the compounds were if they were all going to make mistakes like these the first time they were out-country.

She decided to move. She scooped up some spare ammo from both bodies and scurried further into the grass. She emerged after several long, agonizing minutes along the edge of a rivulet, with the inlet off to her right and several hundred yards away. Others had emerged along the same bend of the river. She could see the glint of metal atop Inlet Cash and immediately dove to a her stomach in the shallows of the water. Ahead of her, closer to the rock, a soldier caught a sniper shot in the stomach and keeled down. Another ran to try and drag the wounded man back into the cover of the grass, but suddenly a man emerged out of that same cover, a Bowie knife in one hand, and drove the blade into the would-be hero's eye before disappearing back into the grass.

Amikiku combat crawled through the shallows, keeping as low and slow as possible while keeping forward momentum, hoping that her low position and the reflections of the water would keep her hidden from the spotters up above. Not everything seemed to be going completely sideways, she noted. A small contingent of Mênnan soldiers had reached the base of Inlet Cash, and were making their way around to the rear side. Tourist photos of the target from the 1960s had shown a flight of stairs carved in the stone there, which would form their upward egress to the point. The soldiers had their backs to the wall, too close to the stone to be targeted from above and able to cover from any Javierans who emerged from the grass.

Reaching one of the twisted trees, which grew crookedly on the bank of this branch of the delta, Amikiku took a break, placing her back to the wood and keeping her eyes on the grass. A man with a stained bandana wrapped around his face like some movie gangster emerged from the cover, aiming an automatic rifle at her, but she squeezed off shots before he could and he collapsed. She glanced around the tree and judged her distance to Inlet Cash. Maybe a hundred feet. There was a crack and the tree just above her head rained woodchips where a sniper shot drilled into the trunk. She ducked back, swearing. She'd lost the element of stealth, which meant her best bets were subterfuge and speed. And the river. She glanced at its depth, its speed, and the distance to the inlet. She couldn't make a hundred feet underwater with no momentum, but she might be able to make it half that, and the water wasn't so deep that she risked drowning. She could crawl along the bottom, then just stand when she needed air. She just hoped that the water would also block her from the sniper's line of sight and that they would keep a bead on the tree for long enough.

She shrugged out of her equipment pack and made sure everything mission critical was on her person. Then, with as much force as possible from her awkward angle, hucked it off towards the grass. In the same action, she threw herself into the water, hoping the sniper tracked the bag and not her. When no bullets tore into her body, she felt safe enough, even as she let herself sink to the murky bottom of the slow-moving rivulet.

She began to swim, half paddling and half tugging herself along the bottom of the shallow stream. The force she was expending was slowly dragging out her air supply, but she didn’t dare go to the surface yet. She kicked and pulled as her lungs began to protest, then to scream. Hand over hand, she moved, half-blind in the silt. Finally, only when she began to feel her vision fading entirely, she sprang to the surface and gulped air. She took only a spare moment to judge her distance before she went back under. She’d made it maybe thirty or forty feet. She went back down before a bullet could get her.

She repeated the process. Her second iteration took her only twenty feet, then another twenty on the third. As she emerged that time, her lungs were on fire and her vision was spinning. She couldn’t do this again. With only twenty-five feet left, she scattered to the shore, pulled herself onto a pebbled embankment and, entirely motivated by survival instinct and with no energy left, sprinted to the rock which rose above her. During high tide, this whole space was underwater right to the base of the rock, evidence by the fish skeletons and seaweed that littered the ground and threatened to send her toppling. A shot exploded behind her, just as she got under the cover provided by the curve of the inselberg itself.

She collapsed to the ground, catching her breath. Above, she could hear more gunfire. The soldiers who she had seen here had clearly begun their ascent.

There was nowhere to go from here but up.

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Menna Shuli
Chargé d'Affaires
 
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Founded: Feb 22, 2018
Iron Fist Consumerists

Postby Menna Shuli » Thu Mar 07, 2019 8:13 am

Sul tried to make sense of the buzz of the command center. It was something that took a trained ear, he realized, like an orchestra's conductor picking out a single flute amongst the whole, and it wasn't something he had achieved yet. The individual tidbits of information being relayed were forming a cacophony, and he was relying mostly on his aide-de-camp, a young warrior name Kilu Ututu, to bring him printed information of anyhting relevant. He didn't know if that was normal, but its what he had.

Lieutenant Ututu handed him another document. "Thank you, Kilu," Sul said, then scanned the note. Beach Crocodile had faced the worst initial losses upon landing. There were low bluffs just to the west of the actual beach, and the locals had stationed mortars and men with RPGs on, allowing them to rain explosives down from above. At least one of the dinghies ferrying troops to shore had gone down with everyone aboard. As he understood it, their own packs had mostly just dragged them under the waves to drown. After they had managed to summit the bluff, though, the resistance had withdrawn, seemingly content to give the point as opposed to taking losses against a larger force.

Beach Shark, on the other hand, had achieved its objectives relatively easily. In the center of the delta, their job was capturing several small islands and inlets, which had mostly been devoid of anything other than the homes of a handful of crab fishermen. They'd faced some boobytrapping, but otherwise had captured their key points easily.

Beach Lion had one major objective, which was Inlet Cash. That high ground was the most important in the initial landing, and taking it was of the highest priority if the rest of the attack was to proceed. As such, they'd thrown their weight against the easternmost beach. It seemed that the Javierans had recognized this as well and had done the same. The battle there was raging, mixing something of a hand-to-hand brawl with medium-range firefights. Word was that the losses there were high, and they'd yet to capture Inlet Cash, which was starting to worry Sul.

The didn't remove that worry. It informed the young general that while small groups had reached Inlet Cash, the climb was being stymied. The stairs up had been blocked and boobytrapped, and anyone trying to head up were facing attacks from above. This was medieval siege stuff, boiling oil and firebombs being dropped from above on anyone making the criss-cross ascent. They were making slow progress. Any time they cleared a blockage on the path, they took heavy losses, and the angles were preventing them from attacking back. With proper aerial or artillery support, they theoretically could have kept the enemy atop the rock pinned down enough to make headway, but they didn't. Turning the ship guns towards shore would have put his own troops at risk, Sul knew, and while the Prince-Admiral had suggested it in an off-hand fashion, Sul had managed, in that instance, to put his foot down.

"I'm not launching explosive shells into that scrum," he had said. "Not if I can't be one hundred percent sure where they land."

As Sul recalled this, Shala appeared next to him. His face was content, a sharp contrast to Sul's. He put a hand on Sul's shoulder. "A matter of time, lad," he said. "Let our men wear them down. We have numbers. That's what matters here. Numbers."

Numbers that were rapidly turning into bodies, Sul thought, but he kept his mouth shut. "I want to know how they were ready," he said instead. "We left so fast that I was surprised, and I'm in command of the ground forces. As far as we know, SJ doesn't have anything amounting to a proper sensor network to pick up on this sort of thing, they have no satellites, and their air force is a handful of prop planes and helicopters. Even our capacity for detection is better than theirs, and the Mênna don't have a reputation for technological superiority."

Shala shrugged. "Don't let it preoccupy you, Mipax," he said. "My connections in MIG and the Pride will figure it out and I'll establish a response."

Sul stepped sideways a bit to escape the patronizing hand. "As far as I see it, it means we either have informants in our command...in your command, Prince-Admiral...or the Javierans have thrown together a far better radar detection network or scout force than we gave them credit for."

Shala's expression became a glare. "My command is loyal, Prince-General," he said. "Whatever it is, I told you not to worry about it. You keep your eyes on Inlet Cash. I will handle the rest. I've worked on this plan for a year."

A year where you assumed that you'd be facing the San Javier of your imagination, not the one of reality, Sul thought, but again kept his mouth shut. "I wasn't questioning your men's loyalty," Sul fibbed. "I was proving that someone...someone has obviously been supplying the Javierans with better equipment and we have no idea what the limit of that is. What if we suddenly get the hell blown out of us from air-to-surface missiles? What if we march towards Pueblo Ignacio only to hit an armored column? We don't have the facts."

"And what if the Javierans suddenly, magically had a dozen aircraft carriers, a stockpile of thermonuclear warheads, and hypersonic missiles?" Shala said. He shook his head emphatically. "This is the Western Isles, Mipax. We're tiny islands in the middle of an ocean, not industrial superpowers. Even if the Javierans could afford what you suggest, which they can't, no one could have gotten them the equipment you are suggesting without someone, somewhere, noticing. We'd know."

Sul ground his teeth together. The Admiral wasn't wholly wrong, but he wasn't right either. "The Javierans have spent nearly fifty years became expert survivors. Smuggling was...is...their bread and butter. I'm just saying that we can't rule anything out."

"This is your first proper command," Shala said. "I've been doing this a long time. Leave this sort of thing to me. I know how reality works, not the fantasy scenarios of panic. We can afford to take risks, because you are imagining things to be worse than they are."

The Admiral cocked his head to a certain call in the command center. "Speak of a ghast, and the thing shall arrive," he smiled. "Seems like your men have reached the top of Inlet Cash. Should be only a matter of minutes now and we'll have our beachhead."

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Wellsia
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Founded: Jul 18, 2016
Moralistic Democracy

Postby Wellsia » Thu Mar 07, 2019 10:26 am

Military Headquarters, Ealdwic, Wellsia

Fieldmarshal 'Bloody' Francis Fettleworth stood in silence, looking over the maps of of San Javier. He didn't approve of involvement with the drug dealers, but San Javier also had oil, and that was important to Wellsia, which was also why the Empire was interested in Kachee. He knew that General 2nd class Fredrick Conningham, the commander of the 3rd Rifle Brigade, was good at his job, but combat was just the end of the campaign, it was getting the men there with the proper equipment and supplies that won battles. He watched as his chief-of-staff General Mortimer Weedgate approach, "Fieldmarshal, it would seem the Menna have already launched the invasion of San Javier."
Fettleworth slammed his fist down on the table, "Damn amateurs, what are the fools thinking. How does, what's that Menna generals's name, oh yeah. Sul, that's it. What is he thinking launching an invasion this quick. How does he expect his men to eat and keep up an extended fire fight, What's he planning, to live off the land, how is he going to keep is army supplied with bullets and shells, use the Javerian's. This is insane." Turning and facing his staff; "Gentlemen, we need to have the brigade on the move now, if we are going to do any good. Move up all time tables, and I want the Brigade and a weeks worth of supplies in San Javier NOW."

Fort Nabu, Northern Mashriq
Casey Oswald, watched the hustle and bustle around him, reaching into his haversack, he pulled two apples out, throwing one to man sitting across from him, he took a bite out of the other. "Well Wallace, I guess the brains have decided we been having it to easy."
Underwatchmaster Wallace Ponsonby, spit on the ground, "Yeah, Watch, any idea which paradise they sending us to? Scuttlebutt has us headed to Kachee to keep an eye on the Frenchies. I understand, those Kachee girls are just this side of gorgeous, this could be where I find miss right."
Oswald, nearly fell off the crate he was sitting on in laughter, "Wallace, you better think with the head on your shoulder, before the little one gets it blown off. You know better then listen to gossip, we go where Bloody Francis thinks we need to be. The good thing is that Coningham earned his rank through ability and not politics.
As the two men sat talking, Casey noticed that the platoon's commander was approaching. Looking at his two subordinates. "Well boys, things are being moved forward, get your men ready, we move out in the morning."
Last edited by Wellsia on Sun Mar 24, 2019 10:12 pm, edited 5 times in total.

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Miklania
Ambassador
 
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Founded: Jun 06, 2015
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Miklania » Thu Mar 07, 2019 11:59 am

Fort McFarland, RMA Headquarters, near Saint Michaels City

"Gentlemen, if I could have your attention." General Kelly had to project his voice over the din of social interaction in the conference room. Underground facilities were really secure and very cool, but the acoustics could be hell. "OSI has sent us their preliminary report. The situation in Menna Shuli has developed much faster than anticipated. I believe our comrades in the Air Force have been preparing plans to send a fighter squadron over to help them mitigate potential issues." He looked up and made eye contact with General McKlaire, who nodded in affirmation. The 959th Fighter Squadron had been put on high alert a few hours ago. The plans were being hammered out as they spoke. 'The disaster they seem hell-bent on flinging themselves into' was the way General Kelly would have put it, not 'potential issues', but that wouldn't be politic. Once you get stars on your collar you need to be politic, the formerly colorful former commander of the 560th Parachute Infantry Regiment had discovered. He briefly went over the layout of the situation as it was understood to be at the time. The Mennans had not responded to their requests for information. In spite of the military cooperation between the countries that had been going on for decades, they still had to go through the Grand Army's Department of Media and Public Relations to get any information. Special Observation Group troopers working on internal security problems in-country were proving to be one of their better sources of information. Mennan warriors preparing to go overseas were not at all hesitant to boast about how they were going to destroy the Javerians. At least they had enough OPSEC common sense to not tell anyone when they were leaving.

General Kelly clicked to the next slide. OSI had just sent over the recon satellite pass. A few clouds obscured parts of the image, but for the most part things were visible. A handful of black clouds were out at sea. "Jesus Christ." General McMarder muttered, loud enough that the entire room could hear. He followed the statement up with a more useful one. "Are those the Mennan ships out there, on fire?"

"Yes." Kelly replied. "Those are three frigates that have taken serious damage. One of them might be sunk. The one off over here..." he gestured with his laser pointer "... is a Javerian frigate, presumed destroyed. Our larger issue is this." He pointed to the landing beaches. Most of the officers in the room had already picked up on what he was about to say. "They have made their landing in the delta of the Rio Del Rosario. The terrain is swampy, and flanked by high ground. On both flanks." He clarified. "The nearest MSR is several miles to the north, up the delta." The general officers were now cringing. Kelly sighed and tried to continue to deliver the news in a matter-of-fact tone. "They have secured a beachhead, it appears, but it will be several hours at minimum, twenty-four to thirty-six most likely, before they can reach the MSR and start to move inland. How they plan on moving supplies between the beach and the main supply route is unclear." The truism 'amateurs discuss tactics, professionals study logistics' had been beaten into these men's minds since they entered the military. It had been repeated in training, in post-graduate schools, in general officer schools, and in every third article in the various military journals they all read. Many of them had the lesson further reinforced when they attended the School of Hard Knocks in Doppler not too long ago.

"Have they been making helicopter assaults?" The one Marine in the room, General O'Neil asked. Most Miklanian Marine Corps amphibious invasion doctrines relied on simultaneous air and sea assausts. 'Vertical Envelopment' they called it.

"We do not have evidence of them making use of helicopters for the assault at this time. They don't really have a good platform to use them off of. The frigates they have can only have one or two packed on them, and these were likely destroyed in the battle unless they were already in the air. It's likely at least some of them were on board. None of the cargo vessels they have seem to have been modified with a flight deck, according to the satellite photos, and the mainland is too far away for a ferrying flight. I don't think they have the option." Kelly replied.

"I'm concerned about the submarine." General Meagher stated. "That is the primary source of our intelligence at the moment correct?"

"Yes sir that is correct."

"Is there any risk of the Mennans finding it and trying to sink it? Or the Javerians for that matter?"

"They Navy does not seem to believe that there is significant risk to the Threnody. The Mennan fleet has not conducted any ASW evolutions since they left port. That said, they are keeping her at a stand-off distance and are not interested in getting photos through the periscope unless we really really want them. Since the satellite images came out clear, I don't think they'll think that's necessary." The senior general didn't seem totally convinced by the answer. "The Navy told me that they believe the submarine should be able to evade any vessels in the area even if they are spotted." General Meagher still didn't seem totally convinced, but leaned back and allowed other questions to be tabled. The conference continued for another twenty minutes. General Kelly's answers were mostly "We don't know" or worse, they did know but the news was not promising.

"At least they've got the element of surprise going for them, if they could even catch us off-guard." Was about the only positive thing that anyone said. A messenger entered and answered the final question that had been asked. General Kelly turned towards McKlaire.

"I hope your men are ready general, the King has greenlit the Air Force to deploy. They want the Seraphims there yesterday." The Air Force general nodded and stood up to leave.

"Gentlemen, if you'll excuse me, it looks like I have some work to do." There was a grumble of assent and movements. The conference was over.

"Ah, and the Army is also being cleared. IX Corps is to send a brigade. The king has asked for Colonel Gavin." Kelly added.

"Ah, well, so much for San Javier." Meagher quipped, eliciting a chuckle from the others as they filed out of the room.

"God help those poor bastards."


FM5s marched in line towards the runway, the mirage from their engines melting the snow that still lay at the side of the taxiways. The Stardancers rolled off the runway at Kecskemet and roared off into the sky. They rendezvoused with a pair of KC10B tankers and settled in for the long flight to Menna Shuli. The support aircraft followed from Lagerfeld a few hours later, after stopping at Kecskemet to pick up the fighter squadron's ground crews and some of the ordnance they would need to do their job.
Last edited by Miklania on Thu Mar 07, 2019 6:57 pm, edited 2 times in total.

On Government: Checks and balances and ways of stopping things from happening are the only things that provide a stable government and a stable society.

On Democracy: It is a very neutral thing. It can be the best way of ensuring a reasonable government, or it can lead to genocide in the name of 'the people'.

On NSG: I believe the technical term for you people is "malformed conscience".

On society: Until reason and science become cool again, the "enlightened" who profess both but practice neither will continue to gleefully chip away at the bedrock of human society.

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Menna Shuli
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Founded: Feb 22, 2018
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Postby Menna Shuli » Thu Mar 07, 2019 2:54 pm

Amikiku had survived the ascent of Inlet Cash. She really couldn't take any credit for that fact. Whether she gave the credit to luck or to the spirits of the ancestors she had invoked with every step was changing moment to moment. She liked to think that her Grandfather Mkepu had had her back, but why his hakêm would have any more sway over things than the ones that the soldiers ahead of her had screamed for while their skin blistered off she didn't know. Of course, Mkepu had been a tough old bastard who had gone out facing down being charged by a rhino. Maybe some of that earthly strength of will had passed over to the spiritual plane.

The top of the rock wasn't very large, just big enough for the handful of buildings and a space maybe fifty feet on a side that acted as a central ground for them. There weren't many defenders,but they were dug in. The snipers at the top of the lighthouse had all turned their attention to the single run of stars that allowed access to the top of the egg-shaped rock, and there were people in the lighthouse keeper's shack firing from smashed out windows. Getting actual boots on top of the rock was possible, but getting them across the space was proving quiet difficult. Of especially dangerous frustration was the old but functional machinegun nest in the second floor window of the shack, which burned to life each time the Mênna tried to make a push towards their final targets.

Out of luck, one of the soldiers near her was Pa, the young man she had met earlier. "What we need," he shouted over the din of combat, "are some damn helicopters..."

"Wish in one hand," Amikiku said.

"Or RPGs from the ground," Pa replied. "Why command wants a damn lighthouse and shack intact I'll never know."

"Spit in the other," Amikiku finished.

Pa glanced up at the slight overhang of the rock. Moist moss dangled from the edge. The rest of the hunkering soldiers were firing down at the enemy below while being able to push the last few feet to their target.

"We're right under the storage shed here, right?"

"Vaguely," Amikiku responded.

Pa chewed his lip. "Give me a boost up. I think I can make it over the edge."

Amikiku didn't question. She braced her back against the wall, held her hands in a scoop, and nodded to Pa. As others saw what they were doing, they began to catch on and followed suit. All at once, a half dozen people were being hefted up and out to climb to the top, covered by tge building and the unlikeliness of the short climb. The rock was sea-slick, and two of the soldiers didn't manage to get purchase. One of them was caught by those who had provided the boosts. The other fell the forty or so feet to the ground. Thankfully, he didn't die, but his screams as his legs shattered under him were awful.

The four who had made it up, however, had clearly gotten a chance to open fire. The sounds of a gun battle echoed down. When the machine gun staccato started, Amikiku and the remaining soldiers took their chance to swarm up the stairs to the top, knowing that their entrance was no longer covered by the heavier fire. A few of the attackers were taken out by the snipers, but without the immediate onslaught of the turret they were able to break through.

Amikiku was one of the attackers who crossed Inlet Cash to the lighthouse. The first one there put a boot to the door and immediately took a faceful of shrapnel from the rigged explosive on the other side. It wasn’t enough to deal damage to the structure, but it was enough to tear through that initial warrior and the three behind them, sending them sprawling and smoking before the entrance. Amikiku felt something hit her head and felt a trickle of blood down the side of her face, but kept her feet and, along with five others, rushed into the building before the covering fire from the house to their flank could stop them.

The spotters above had clearly left their posts and were defending the spiral stairs up the short tower. They fired down the hollow interior, and Amikiku and her fellows returned fire. One of the spotters took a shot to the shoulder and toppled down the stairs, turning somersaults before finally coming to a gut-lurching halt as his neck snapped half way down the spiral. Two of the soldiers with Amikiku went down, but the rest managed the climb up the tower.

Amikiku was the first up, and in the space that once would have housed the light she instead found piles of equipment and supplies, enough to keep the snipers up here supplied for days. The spotters had pulled away from the entrance when the one had fallen, but the two remaining now rushed her, the tight quarters making firing impractical for all involved. Amikiku managed to hit one with the stock of her rifle square between the eyes, sending him toppling backwards to the ground. The other tackled her to the ground, but before he could smash her head to pieces against the steel grating of the floor another Mênnan soldier reached the top and kicked the man’s head from behind. The Javieran soldier fell forward and Amikiku drove her forehead into his nose, which shattered with a spray of blood the comingled with Amikiku’s own on her face. He collapsed to the ground and the numbers of the Mênna who fell upon him took him out.

Amikiku stood. She was feeling dizzy and her head both throbbed and stung. Her vision was blurry and there was a strange scent in her nose, like cut grass. She stumbled to the door to the outer walkway and threw it open. The snipers were up here, but they had seen how things were going and immediately held up their hands in surrender. Dizzy as she was, Amikiku managed to drag one of them back inside, where the unconscious spotters had also been rounded up.

The blood on her face was becoming a serious issue. Amikiku sat down as the others secured the tower. Her vision was getting spots now, and was intermittently falling to black. Seems to me, she thought, that the battle is just about over here. Think I could take a rest now.

As she lost consciousness, she vaguely wondered what the price had been for this win.




Operation Valiant: Battle of the Delta
Mênnan Forces Engaged: 1679
Mênnan Casualties: 844
Percent Casualties: 50.27%
OBJECTIVES SECURED

Javieran Forces Engaged: 810
Javieran Casualties: 165
Percent Casualties: 20.37%
RETREAT
Last edited by Menna Shuli on Thu Mar 07, 2019 2:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Polar Svalbard
Senator
 
Posts: 3643
Founded: Mar 28, 2015
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Polar Svalbard » Thu Mar 07, 2019 4:03 pm

Colonel Krivov Lavr pushed the shades of his window to the side. Outside he could see a number of C-130s and C-17s being loaded up with supplies and fueled for the coming operation. Colonel Lavr shook his head and walked back to his desk to sit down. At that moment there was a knock on the door, "Come in." As the door opened up Colonel Toa Sifu walked in, "Hello Krivov, how goes it?"

Krivov sighed with a hint of a smile and offered a chair, "Stressful, as always, can I offer you a drink?" The men both sat down and Toa ask for a coffee, which an aide quickly fetched for him. After a couple moments of pleasantries and all others leaving the room, the two men began to discuss more, pertinent matters. Toa shuffled in his chair, "What do you think of all of this? It seems too much almost yet too little."

Krivov took a drink from his flask, "I'm with you on this, this seems more like the Consul wants to show that we are willing to support our ally in Menna Shuli, but that we don't fully agree with this. I don't know though, all I know is that this will do almost nothing for the invasion force that Menna Shuli has sent to San Javier. These planes are going to have to land in Menna Shuli and then they will have to transport the supplies! Even if they were to capture an airfield in San Javier can we even trust them to hold it? I don't and it seems that our superiors agree." Krivov sighed and took a drink, "These supplies will be barely a dent in what those soldiers need, and they won't even be going to them. If the Consul wants to support Menna Shuli he would be better off sending one of the fleets. All I am doing is putting a band-aid on what should be actual support."

Toa laughed, "I'm with you, I'm glad that my command didn't get the call to do this though." He smiled, "Sorry about that though. But, I did here that there is a possibility that one of the fleets goes to support Menna Shuli depending on how this all progresses. I do know that we are discussing contingencies with Miklania."

Krivov sat down, "Really?" What about the rest of the MSTO? I thought we were the only one with strong connections to Menna Shuli?"

Toa took a sip of his coffee, "No, Miklania has a dog in this fight too, but Corindia and Norstham don't seem like they'd have any reason to provide assistance." Toa paused for a moment as one of the C-130s outside fired up and started to taxi towards the runway. "Anyways, we just have to see what happens. Until something else comes up it seems that your men will be doing an important job in showing that we're committed to our allies... without having to put ourselves at risk."

Krivov took another swig of his flask, "I suppose so, its just that this is such a headache, especially with the amount of paperwork this requires." Krivov sighed and noticed that Toa's coffee was empty, "Want more?"

Toa shook his head and started to get up, "No, I believe its time for me to go. Have to make it back to base to finish more of my own paperwork. Thank you for talking with me though."

Krivov outstretched his hand which Toa clasped onto, "No, thank you. It was good to talk about this headache and to know that others shared my concerns, we'll see how this goes brother."
Member of The Western Isles
Svalbardian international policy summarized: "Shoot first, hope that no one asks questions later." - Linaviar

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Dormill and Stiura
Diplomat
 
Posts: 907
Founded: Sep 19, 2015
Left-Leaning College State

Postby Dormill and Stiura » Thu Mar 07, 2019 4:07 pm

Palace of the President, Cour Rouge
The morning started with a jump for Cedar Dyson as his phone rang, it began with the Palace Secretary giving him the overview of the day's schedule followed by some more ominous suggestions of something of great importance in his Briefing. After his daily routine of shower, shave, and dress, he walked into his office to see Admiral Landon Berger and General Modeste Monet standing in front of his desk, fully decked out in their dress uniforms. The two men snapped to attention as Dyson sat in his desk, where he saw the envelopes in their arms.

"At ease, gentlemen. What's the situation?"

"We have the reports you requested, on Menna Shuli and San Javier..., Monet responded before being cut off by Dyson, "In Dutch, please."

Standing there for a hot second, Monet attempted to squeak out what Dutch he could, "Reports ... Menna Shuli and San Javier."
"I suppose you have the same, Berger?", the President asked, reaching out to grab the reports from his top men.

"Yes sir, plus recommendations on our actions.", the Admiral responded much clearer than his French counterpart, "This situation is going to start spiraling out of control, and there are unverified reports that Miklania and the MSTO are going to get involved. If the reports we got from State can be extrapolated."

"Thank you, men.", Dyson began, opening up the reports and skimming over it, focusing on the recommendations made by the two men on the matter. "So you want to send the CAS and an Airborne out there? What for?"

"Well sir, we believe that making this conflict as short as possible will be best for us and you. It would also help us establish a more permanent Naval presence to counteract what's happened in Kachee. In all, this is the best thing we can do given the situation.", Berger responded, not noticing the cold look his counterpart was giving him out the side of his eye.

Switching to English as practice, Dyson chimed in to get the mood back to calm in the room, "I trust you two can work together on this?", to which they both nodded in affirmation, "Good. Causey will be in contact with you two on the finer details but I will authorize a 90 day operation for you two to get this thing done. I don't want this to be as drawn out as Orsandia or as inconclusive as Arvan. I'll be away in Almorea, Totzka, and Noronica over the next week to hammer out some things."

As Dyson stood, the two commanders saluted him and left as soon as he gave his response. As they walked out the door, the Palace Chief of Staff came in between them, "We're all set for you, Mr. President."

Dyson nodded and grabbed the suitcase the Chief was carrying, mildly annoyed that he wasn't addressed in Dutch, and made his way out towards the helicopter that would get him to Kapolder Naval Air Station and aboard Gold Cross.
The Fourth Doraltic Republic
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Menna Shuli
Chargé d'Affaires
 
Posts: 461
Founded: Feb 22, 2018
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Postby Menna Shuli » Thu Mar 07, 2019 6:25 pm

50.27%

The number hovered in Sul's vision every time he closed his eyes. Fifty percent of the people he was nominally in command of had just perished in exchange for access to a river delta and access to a lighthouse that overed the tidal zone. He had just commanded fifty percent of his forces to die, and it wasn't even the key objective of the operation. His legs couldn't hold his weight. He sat, staring at the projected information on the wall.

The atmosphere in the command room was celebratory. Not jubilant, but definitely congratulatory. Lots of back slapping and handshakes. Lots of "well-dones" and "good jobs". Sul couldn't believe it. Over eight hundred people had just perished, either drowning, caught in boobytraps, or ambushed by guerillas. 844 people in the span of a few short hours. And this was cause for celebration. It was cause for Shala's face to be split nearly ear-to-ear like an ikusatê.

What in my father's name is this place? he thought. Is everyone insane? Am I insane?

Shala came down and sat next to him. "Good work, lad, good work! A good first step!"

Sul turned and studied the man's face incredulously. "A good first step?"

"Today, the delta. Tomorrow, Pueblo Ignacio," Shala replied, slapping the tabletop. "Constantina by the end of next week, to be sure. Then we drive into the heart of the viper's nest. Easy pickings."

"We just lost eight hundred and fifty soldiers, Prince-Admiral," Sul said in a flat tone.

Shala waved a hand. "The ships are the real losses," he said. "Ancestors know that, even if we can repair them, they're never going to be the same again."

"Eight hundred and fifty soldiers, Prince-Admiral."

"Higher than expected," Shala nodded. "But we didn't expect them to have working ship-to-ship missiles. Now we know. That's valuable intel."

Sul rubbed his temples with the tips of his fingers. "Valuable intel that we could have had before setting out, I think."

"And give up the element of surprise? Give up the advantage of catching them on the back heel?"

Sul shot to his feet and found himself shouting. "This was the back heel? Over fifty percent, Prince-Admiral! Over fifty percent of the warriors we just sent out have died! Half of that fifty percent we can't even recover the bodies!"

The room fell silent at the sound of the young general's voice. Shala's face-splitting grin faded.

"Do you really want to do this in front of the men, Prince-General?" the older commander hissed.

Sul stood his ground for a moment, and then sat back down to a more conspiratorial distance. "You're mad, Shala," Sul whispered. "You are mad if you think that throwing away fifty percent of an attack force is something worth celebrating."

A vein throbbed in Shala's forehead. "You think that, do you? Really? Let me ask you a question, boy. How many wars have our people lost? I mean unequivocally, totally and completely."

"The Mênna have never outright lost a war," Sul replied. "We've taken hits, but we've always survived."

"That's very true," Shala nodded. "And I assume you know that it's our expertise in combat in our own borders, the superior training of our warrior caste, and our national determination and werewithal that has allowed us to survive against imperialism where so many others in our position were colonized and destroyed?"

Sul nodded. "Of course."

"Bullshit," Shala said. "Utter trash. You have bought into the legend sold in textbooks and propaganda. Just like I would expect of someone of your inexperience. There's nothing special about our warriors except loyalty to a code, and that one thing is what has really won us victory."

"Their loyalty?"

"Their willingness to die," Shala replied, his voice barely audible, even to Sul. "In massive quantities. In piles. Their willingness to keep marching over the corpses until the enemy either flees or is buried in our dead. The only thing that has ever let us survive wars are our numbers. We let the warriors breed like rabbits so that we can send them in wave after wave after wave. That is how we win. That is how we win our wars where others lose."

Sul stared in incomprehension. "You can't...you can't really believe it."

"Believe it?" Shala's laugh was suddenly a loud bark. The room had returned to celebration, but that noise quieted them for another second. "I know it, boy. I have lived it. ou call me mad? I think you are naive. A child. You may have a general's pelt around your shoulders, but you don't have command here. I do. Because the people in power know...they know...that I will win them this war. You...you get a nice little honour to settle your family's mind about the youngest sibling's lack of prestige."

Sul gaped. "Fifty percent..."

"Fifty percent, yes," Shala said. "And the next battle might be more. And if it is, so be it. Because we will take their towns and our warriors will take their rewards and in the end we will eliminate a threat to the unity of our people and to the stability of this nation. Stand back and let me do my work, Mipax, because my work has always gotten results. What about you? What do you have to show for yourself? Nothing. I will not let an unproven whelp decide whether my ways are worth the costs."

Shala leaned forward even closer, so that his breath could be felt on Sul's ear. "Go flash your pretty smile at the media and applaud the hard work of our warriors," he said. "Go sell the victory. Go tell the world what a great step we made today. Because that is what you are here for, you understand? A handsome face for an ugly business. And don't mention any percentages."

Shala stood, his smile back. "Well done, lad! Well done!" he let his voice carry, then tapped his cheek. "Remember to smile, big and pretty!"

As he walked away, Sul stared after him.

Fuck. That. he thought. Fuck. That.

50.27%

Never again.
Last edited by Menna Shuli on Thu Mar 07, 2019 7:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Menna Shuli
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Posts: 461
Founded: Feb 22, 2018
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Postby Menna Shuli » Fri Mar 08, 2019 11:08 am

Amikiku came to on a hard cot. She immediately recognized the shade of the light filtering into her vision, that yellow-orange glow that showed that sunlight was spilling through the beige canvas of a military-style pavilion tent. Her head was stinging, especially a point from just next to her left eyebrow across to above the ear. That ear was throbbing. Her vision on the left side pulsed with her heartbeat.

She pulled herself into a seated position and glanced around, finding that she was in a medical tent. Other wounded and injured occupied the beds in various states of pain, injury and dismemberment. A half-dozen medics moved around the room, coordinated by a middle-aged priest in fatigues with the soul-ladder tattooed on his chin. Upon seeing her movement, the priest smiled and came to her bedside.

“Private Kilu Mitu Amikiku,” he said. His voice was very deep. He pulled a stool up and sat down. “I’m Doctor Kiahêspê Haatêu Atishu. How are you feeling?”

“My head is throbbing,” Amikiku replied. She reached up to touch it and felt only cotton bandages.

The priest smiled at her. “That’s to be expected,” he said. “A piece of shrapnels sliced the side of your head. You had a good flap of flesh hanging off your bone that we had to stitch back closed. I’m surprised no one stopped you from continuing the fight with a wound like the one you received. A goodly chunk off the top of your ear was sliced off.”

Amikiku frowned. “It’s not going to cause me issues, is it? Hearing is fine?”

The priest nodded. “It’s all cosmetic, assuming you don’t get an infection. We stitched your face back together and have been keeping the ear clean and bound, so you should be fine. Have some lovely scars when it’s all over. Lucky for you, if there’s one thing that a Mênnan doctor knows how to work with, it’s open wounds.”

He chuckled, leaning over to a table near the cot. He lifted a metal bowl and something rolled around inside. He handed it to Amikiku. “That’s the shrapnel that hit you, if you want it. Your cheekbone slowed and deflected the blow enough that the collar of your fatigues stopped it entirely. Stitching the fabric will be easier than stitching your skin.”

Amikiku looked in the bowl. The shrapnel shard was a piece of oblong metal the length of her thumb, about the thickness of a xat coin, and jagged along one edge. She picked it up and turned it over in her hand.

“You’re lucky,” the priest said. “An extra centimeter up and you’d either be blind or dead. A centimeter down and it probably would have embedded itself in your mandible, and that would have been a hell of a job to get out. As things stood, you were gushing blood like a bad horror movie. It’s why you went under.”

Amikiku rolled the shrapnel between her knuckles. “Thank you, Kiahêspê,” she said.

“Don’t mention it,” he said, patting her shoulder. “Now, I have an amputation to get to, so if you don’t mind…”

He stood up with a grunt and walked off. Amikiku looked down at the shrapnel again. One side was dull, steel gray. The other was scuffed, veneer red. Maybe a piece of an old barrel or even a slice of jar lid. Who knew. Trophies like these, though, were always good to have around when it came to bragging rights around the barracks. She was still in her dirty fatigues, so she tucked it in her breast pocket.

“Hey, Amikiku,” a voice said from a cot a couple over. She glanced over. Pa was sitting up in it, shirtless. He lifted a hand to wave and winced, evidently forgetting the bandages that tracked from his elbow to his wrist and the ones that bound his hand. His pinky finger on that hand seemed oddly stunted, and Amikiku figured he’d lost it somehow. His chest was also wrapped in bandages. “Killer head bandages. Bit jealous.”

“What happened to you?” she asked.

“Freak thing,” he said. “Enemy bullet ricocheted off the barrel of my rifle, bounced into my hand, ran my arm, bounced off my elbow and got caught in my ribs.”

He pointed at his chest bandages. “Blew my finger off,” he said, “but I would have been killed if my gun hadn’t been in the way. Probably would have caught it center mass.”

“Guess we’re both lucky today, then,” Amikiku replied.

Pa laughed, his face crinkling up like an old man. “More than most. And we both get totems from it, too, which is even better luck.”

He held up a mass of metal the size of a fingerbone. The bullet that had hit him.

Amikiku glanced around the tent. “Any news on the battle?”

“Well, we won,” Pa said. “Lots of warriors died, though. Lots. But that’s the job.”

Amikiku nodded. “It is the job.”

“Pair of us will probably be back out there soon,” Pa replied. “They’re moving as many supplies onto land as possible, and as soon as we are dug in we’re making the push for Pueblo Ignacio. If some of these moaners would quiet down you could hear the riverboats we’re getting ready. Father’s name, you have no idea how beautiful engines sound after that battle, Amikiku. Vehicular support...it’s music.”

Amikiku had to grin. “I’ll bet. Has anyone said why the helicopters weren’t in the air during the fighting?”

“Couldn’t launch from the cargo boats, at least not while under fire from potential RPGs,” Pa pulled a face. “Whatever. We won. We’ll have support for the next one.”

The next one, Amikiku thought. She felt the weight of the shrapnel in her pocket. She’d gotten lucky this time. She hoped that little bit of metal would bring her more luck. Or that Grandfather Mkepu had his spectral eyes on her. Because this one had come too close for comfort.

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Negarakita
Diplomat
 
Posts: 808
Founded: Aug 29, 2017
Right-wing Utopia

Postby Negarakita » Fri Mar 08, 2019 11:37 pm

"All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had. With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. And God's grace was so powerfully at work in them all that there were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned land or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales and put it at the apostles' feet, and it was distributed to anyone who had need" - Acts 4:32–35

The mountains were a hard place to live. Food was scarce, enemies were plenty. But something kept the men and women of the Andradista National Liberation Front going through the hard years of the struggle. Santa Ana had broken the spirits of most of their comrades, who had slunk back to the plantations and given up hope of the coming sunrise, but it had not broken them. For while the Popular Revolutionary Forces had had their ideological goals they had lacked spirit. Indeed, it was the blessed Father who had kept their hearts in the fight, Father Martin Abellán mused to himself, his hands fidgeting with a rosary. There was no turning back the time, nor denial of the past. The hearts and minds of the Javieran people had slipped from their grasp and instead of a triumphal grand march on Castillo Verde, the ANLF had made an inglorious retreat back to the rural pueblos of Monte Rosario. Back to square one, one could say.

Father Abellán finished his rosary with a silent prayer. The church, a tiny stone chapel that his great grandfather had built, was empty. Light filtered in through the faded windows, illuminating the altar with a peaceful golden glow. Were it not for the AK-47 assault rifle at the Father's feet this would have been an idyllic scene from a tourist brochure aimed at the populace of San Jimenez. But the gun was there, and this was no Eden. This was Tucurón, headquarters of the Andradista National Liberation Front. Hidden beneath the thick undergrowth of the jungle lay tents which could host hundreds of militants. Every one of the farmers here had a gun, and they weren't just for scaring off jaguars. While the red, white and black banners of the group were not displayed in plain sight, anyone who came to the village would soon see their allegiances.

The first news of the Mennan invasion came, like all news from outside this remote commune, by radio. Despite it broadcasting a mixture of capitalist propaganda and tacky, overly sexualised pop music, Radio Nacional was an ideal news source. The bravado of the central government often gave away military operations before they took place, plus at least one of the speakers was secretly a socialist and often gave hints to those who knew what to listen to. As Presidente Fresia's blusterous speech rallying the Javieran people to his side crackled over the old radio, the central committee of the ANLF discussed their plans.

Father Abellán spoke first. He had been Father Emiliano Andrade's right hand man, before the martyrdom of the former in 1979 at the hands of a cartel sicario, and he had led the group in their transition from bible study group to guerilla paramilitary. The others bowed their head in reverence as the 70-something year old spoke. His voice was aged yet inspiring, and when he stumbled and fell short of reath it just strengthened his humble image.

"This changes nothing. Our goal was, is, and shall ever be the toppling of the reactionary junta in Castillo Verde."

The others nodded in agreement. Next to speak was Fabián Moya, the group's frontline commander. His grizzled face was more of a testament to his soldiering skill than a chestful of medals, and he had the voice to match. This was a man who had seen his parents gunned down in the street for speaking out against the opium trade, then lived through hell on earth at Santa Ana.

"That is good and well, but how do we treat these newcomers? They share our enemy, but they cannot be considered our friends either. If anything, the Mennan state is more reactionary than the one that oppresses us."

Carmen Galán, a young cadre recruited from the university three years ago who had rapidly spoke up next.

"The less we have to do with them the better. If we stay out of their way, we should be able to benefit from the confusion. Our focus should be on mobilising the masses."

She smiled and quoted Mao.

"The army must become one with the people so that they see it as their own army. Such an army will be invincible."

"This is true," Fabián responded, "right now we are weak and few. Barely 200 comrades make up the Ejército Popular de Rosario, and we can only count on another hundred or so in the urban areas."

"What of our comrades? There are still sympathisers with the popular revolution across the country, and the northern isles are still under the control of leftist forces. We could link up with them."

Another round of mumbled approval filled the room. Father Abellán, who had been silent as his comrades discussed, spoke up.

"The northern isles have been content to sit on their backsides and allow the people to be trampled on for too long, while we have campaigned to bring the justice of the Lord to this land. I fear they are too weak to ever stand up again."

"That is not the case, blessed father," Carmed retorted, "my comrade Lucia at the university says that they are escalating their activity. They must have had some kind of stimulus."

"Indeed. What that was, we shall have to find out. God willing, it will be the stimulus this island needs. Meeting dismissed."

The assembly saluted before returning back to their dwellings. Father Abellán, sitting alone again, prayed. Almighty Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, please grant my comrades aid in these troubled times. The path of righteousness is a long and hard one, but the kingdom of heaven is not for weak men and women. Do not allow this beautiful nation to lose its course."

Amen.
The one and only Apolitical, Centrist, (Literary) Romanticist, Russophile Kiwi living in Switzerland with an interest in mysticism and history. I fit the INFP stereotype far too well.

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Menna Shuli
Chargé d'Affaires
 
Posts: 461
Founded: Feb 22, 2018
Iron Fist Consumerists

Postby Menna Shuli » Sat Mar 09, 2019 1:12 pm

Sul sat at the broad table in his dining room, knowing that there was a good chance that this would be one of the last quiet moments in his own home for quite some time. As soon as the army took Pueblo Ignacio, he would fly to San Javier to oversee things from the front. For the moment, however, the securing of the beachhead at the Delta of the Rio del Rosario meant that things were momentarily calm enough for him to withdraw to the peace and comfort of his house.

It was a modest place for a prince, with none of the ostentation of gilding or servants so many surrounded themselves in. Well, there was one servant, but his bodyguard Xitu hardly counted to Veblenesque conspicuous consumption. Despite her size, she tended to remain in the background whenever others came about, a nearly invisible presence. Her comfort with Sul when they were alone was not that of servant and master either. Nor should it be, Sul thought. She'd been his concubine for half as long as they had known each other, and was as much a friend and lover as she was staff. In other times and places, maybe they would have married, but that wasn't the way of things where a prince and a warrior were concerned.

Sul was overlooking every piece of information on San Javier, particularly Pueblo Ignacio, that he had been able to bring home. It amounted to quite a lot, but not nearly enough. Photos, maps, diagrams, reports. None of them particularly fresh or professional. Half the photos were grainy tourist photos from the fifties. They had no proper scouting done, no aerial surveillance. Sul had asked Shala why they hadn't acquired the use of their allies satellites or planes, and the answer had been nationalistic bullshit. Sul was a nationalist, in that he respected the traditions of his people, but there was patriotism and then there was blindness. How many more people were going to die for a confusion between the two?

He must have made some sort of grunt in this thought, because Xitu spoke from the seat she was leaning in at the far end of the table, cleaning her pistol. "What's with the warthog noises?"

He glanced up. The warrior caste had a reputation for producing beautiful women. Constant exercise generally made them shapely, and their training gave them keen wits. Xitu was not, however, someone who would have been called beautiful in the conventional sense. She was hugely tall for a woman, well over six feet, and broad shouldered. Her muscles was not lean and corded, but thick and obvious. A powerlifter's body. Her hands were calloused, her jagged hair chopped short but not shaved. Sul had literally seen her crush walnuts in her hands and bend steel bars on a bet. Her face, though, was oddly girlish in contrast with the rest of her. Thick lips, bright eyes and a smattering of dark freckles on her cafe au lait skin. She had an eyebrow cocked at him.

"I'm considering Shala's plans for Pueblo Ignacio."

Xitu made a commiserating grunt and began piecing her weapon back together. "And?"

"The plans he and the other old-school commanders came up with since last year has us moving up the river and attacking Pueblo Ignacio from the west-northwest," Sul said. He slipped some maps and photos across the table to her. "What do you think when you look at these?"

The slide of her weapon clicked into place and she set it on the table. She spun the print-offs to face her and scanned them impassively. "That church is an issue," she said, after a few seconds. "You get a couple of sharpshooters in the towers with enough supplies and they could hold out for days."

Sul pointed at her. "Exactly. The church is on the west end of town, yes? Shala and the other planners of this whole thing keep talking about the old colonial wall in the east, claiming our plan bypasses it. But they don't seem to be asking why the original Spaniards never built a wall around the whole village and its because of a few simple facts."

He tapped at the maps. "Why do you think the village is so far from the river? Most towns are built on shores to make use of the water sources, correct?"

Xitu nodded. "Most," she nodded. Then she frowned. "Unless they're like the one's in..."

"Floodplains like the Ihwala Musê Hook," Sul finished her sentence for her. "The Rio del Rosario lies thirty feet lower than the town of Pueblo Ignacio, two kilometers from the town. In spring, when the meltwaters from the mountains come in, the river can rise up to twenty feet, expanding the river's banks by up to a kilometer. The town was built as far as it was to avoid flooding. But that means that any assault from the river faces a few obstacles."

Xitu drew a finger across the open portion of the map between the river and the town. "One or two kilometers of open ground with little to no cover while under fire from anyone in the church."

Sul nodded. "And anyone who they have defending in between," he said. "And that's only issue one. Issue two is that Shala and his friends have been planning based on the last war."

"Not uncommon," Xitu murmured.

"No," Sul said, "but potentially deadly. The last war lacked one major, defining element that will alter our attack dramatically."

"Which is?"

"The Vancouvian railroad from the capitol to Constantina," Sul pointed at a national map of San Javier, tracing a path from north to south. "In the last Javieran conflict, it would have taken days or even weeks to move large numbers of men or supplies across the country. Not so now. And Constantina is not far from Pueblo Ignacio...it's why we're aiming for that village anyways. We want Constantina so that we can cut off their oil supply, and Pueblo Ignacio is supposed to serve as our staging ground. But that cuts both ways. If they can move men to Pueblo Ignacio faster than we can, we're going to be facing a dug in force with the benefit of natural defenses. And that if is a big one."

Xitu nodded. "I see," she murmured again. She tapped the river. "Who controlled this area in the last war?"

Sul could have kissed her. "That is the right question! I'll give you a guess."

She was silent for a second. "The militias?"

Sul snapped his fingers. "And they're now the government," he said.

"They'd know every inch of the territory," Xitu frowned. "It's only been two years...not long enough to disarm their boobytraps and defenses along the river."

"Exactly," Sul nodded. "Every mile between the Delta and Pueblo Ignacio is theoretically contested by loyalists to the junta. Shala and his men keep thinking of them as civilians, but there is no such thing as a civilian in San Javier. There hasn't been for a long time. These people are going to be willing to fight to stop us. The journey to Pueblo Ignacio...it won't be an easy one, I don't think."

"They're like us," Xitu said. "The warrior caste, I mean. If one were to invade Mênna Shuli, they would reasonably think they faced only our military. But they would forget about the millions ready to pick up a gun and kill, uniform or no uniform."

Sul tapped the side of his nose. "I couldn't have put it better myself. The Javierans are not unprepared, they're not fools, and they are most certainly not cowards. If we follow this plan, we will lose hundreds of lives. And we don't exactly have enough capacity to transport more to the front efficiently until we have the safe ground of Pueblo Ignacio, so we're working with thin supply lines, a rough capacity to reman our front, and an uphill battle. We need another plan."

Xitu looked up at him. "Do you have one?"

Sul sighed. "No. No I don't."

Xitu stood and walked around the table to him. She wrapped her arms around him from behind and leaned down to kiss his cheek. "You should go up and rest," she said. "This will not solve itself by staring at the problem. Sleep on it. It will help."

He reached up and placed his hand on hers. "Yes," he sighed again. "Yes. That's probably right. I just wish...I wish that my mother hadn't chosen me."

"None of us choose what destiny we fall into," she replied. Her strong arms were warm around him. "Things are what they are. That is all there is to it."

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Thuzbekistan
Minister
 
Posts: 2177
Founded: Dec 29, 2017
Psychotic Dictatorship

Postby Thuzbekistan » Sat Mar 09, 2019 1:39 pm

Gaudalupano, San Javier

"...And the Mênnan forces have established the beach head at the Rio Del Rosario delta. The battle was reportedly as ferocious as Santa Ana..."

Manolo leaned forward and clicked the TV off, flicking a cigarette butt into a bucket full of smoldering ashes. He looked up through the haze of cigar smoke and sighed.

"They've pushed pretty far inland now," Manolo said. "If the Coalition doesn't do something soon-"

"They can't do much," Leandro said with a wave of his hand. "Without outside help, they will fall eventually."

A third man in the room leaned forward over the wooden table, flicking the end of his cigar off. "That's not true. Someone has given them some nice things over the last years. They sunk those ships and put up one hell of a defense." The old, rough voice forced its way through the air like a dull saw on a leg. "We need to contact AMI and get back on our feet. It wouldn't be a bad idea to contact the ANLF either. This is a chance to take back what we lost."

Manolo's eyes widened. "You can't be serious! It was militias like them that committed the atrocities that have lost us so much of the support we once had." He looked around at the guards and Leandro. "The AMI and the militias are bad news. If anything, we shouldn't be reacting at all. We should be re branding and reorganizing. Going the same path that led us here will do nothing but make more people suffer."

"So what would you have us do, Manolo?" Leandro said flatly as he lit a cigarette. "Go around to each town and village and ask what they want?"

"That would be preferable to another war."

"'You may not be interested in war, but war is interested in you'," the third man said as he let the smoke fill the room.

"Don't quote Trotsky at me, Marcillo," Manolo spat back. "I've lived war and my son died for us in Santa Ana. I'll not send others sons to die for a lost cause. We don't have the support. We don't have the infrastructure. We don't have the fighters."

"That's why we need to contact the AMI and the ANLF. They have what we need and they were reasonably good in Santa Ana. They didn't leave until all hope was lost. If we contact the AMI before this, then we will be fine," Leandro said with a smile.

"Plus," Marcillo said as he stood. "It doesn't matter what you think. It's already been done. We put out the message to the ANLF and we started probing for contact with the AMI. We can build support and force this back in our favor."

Manolo shot out of his chair. "You cut me out! How could you do this!" He slammed his fist on the table, causing the guards to lurch. "I was in Santa Ana with you until the end! My son died under your command, Marcillo!" His face was red with anger and he could feel himself shaking.

"Your job was never to make decisions like this. You were always the face of the party, Manolo. That's it." Marcillo pushed the chair in as Leandro stood slowly. "We need you because you are a good organizer and a good spokesperson. But when it comes to taking risks and action, you aren't the person. We will handle this part. When the news stations come back or the posters need to be printed, I'll tell you. But this is our force. We will make the contacts necessary." He looked to the guards. "Comrades, please escort our friend home. He has a lot to think about."

"Not really," Manolo said. "I won't have a part in it."

"You will, Manolo," Leandro finally said. "You want this just as badly as us."

"Fuck you."

Marcillo just smiled at that. "I'll see you later, Manolo." He and Leandro then walked out the door.




Ashluv, Thuzbekistan

In the Ashluvian Palace, Admiral Vural Burhan and Minister Arda Ridvan scrambled over Maps of San Javier and of the ports in the area. So far, they had deployed the Central fleet under the command of Admiral Ercan Ihsan, but had no idea where they would dock.

“Athara Magarat or Brulafi,” Admiral Burhan said finally. “They’re our least provocative and best situated options. Using any other port would simply be infeasible and hard to negotiate for.”

“Unless Cihangir’s call rallies some unlikely allies, you’re probably right.” Arda had been pouring over options since the orders were given. “I’ll have Nalik reach out to them. Hopfully he doesn’t fuck it up.”

“He probably will,” Hikmet, the Corps Commander of the Marines said as he walked in. “Our men are beginning to get deployed. They’re being recalled to base and transported to ports. It will still take a while for them to be transported, especially without a destination.”

“We’ll get that taken care of,” Arda said. “Until then, keep your men on Standby.” He leaned down and looked at the map. “They’ll be needed soon enough.”
Last edited by Thuzbekistan on Sat Mar 09, 2019 6:24 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Proud Member of The Western Isles, the Best RP region on NS.
An RP I'm Proud of: Orsandian Civil War
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Economic Left/Right: -5.0
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Balnik
Spokesperson
 
Posts: 164
Founded: Mar 10, 2015
Father Knows Best State

Postby Balnik » Sat Mar 09, 2019 11:43 pm

Castillo Verde

A large cargo ship would sit in the port of Castillo Verde where thousands upon thousands of tonnes of materiel would begin to be unloaded onto the dry land below. On these crates and the ship itself would be a solid red pentagon with the bold words of "Legija 500" right underneath. The port would be bustling with workers and soldiers of all different creeds and backgrounds moving to get situated into the new and foreign land. Moving out of the bustling port is a long convoy of APC's and utility vehicles, all moving to the new base that will house the legion forces and its operations in San Javier for the time being.

"Jesus Christ Leon, where did we get all this?" One of the tan men standing in front of a large transport ship, unloading several crates of military equipment, said to the other.

Leon looked back at him, his wrinkled and leathery skin being blotted out from the smoke of a cigarette as his face scrunches and looks back at the exiting convoy. "They were donated. At least that's what I was told, anyone with half a brain though could find out that we were given them for this specific mission, even you Marko."

"Don't you think that's a bit overkill? I mean we haven't done any sort of jobs like this before and now we are getting equipped like an entire regular force? What exactly have we stepped into here?" Marko says, growing annoyed at the situation besides having been here for only a few hours. His sweat already showing through his desert fatigues that clung to his skin. "I mean, this [i]is[/i ]the next step right?"

"Cool your jets boy. I know this isn't shooting the locals, protecting convoys, or peacekeeping, but you gotta understand that we are boots on the ground in this situation. You said it yourself, this is potentially the next step, from private security to private army which in turn means more money for us."

"Okay...Okay. Whats the plan?"

The two begin to walk outside of the receiving end of the port and towards the interior of the city, talking closely and in Rustan to avoid and eavesdroppers. "Your men will be deployed in the north, primarily the coast and the mountains to secure our flanks, so mostly motorized and light infantry, i'll be taking the heavier stuff with me. I will be taking these APC's south to meet with our benefactors and the Menna directly."

Marko frowns and looks towards the sea that holds the two major Javerian islands, his face struck with both anticipation and nervousness. "Why the mountains? There's nothing there I hear."

"There's a potential avenue for Mennan special forces or any hidden intrusion and that's enough reason to get someone there to make sure things stay prim and proper." Leon responds with a chuckle, having learned from his harsh lessons in the Horseshoe war decades ago.

"How many men will I be getting?" Marko says, adjusting his crushed officers cap as it slides off his reflective sweaty head.

"One hundred twenty, the rest are with me."




"Fuck! Fuck! Patrols? Seriously? Thats what they give us? We have been busting our asses off all year and this is what we get? Retard patrol with nothing remotely interesting? Merde!"

"I wonder why Leduc, probably because you wouldn't stop siphoning diesel for your truck, or when you forgot to disconnect your phone from the canteen speakers once. Its a surprise you haven't been excommunicated yet." A broad, strong Menna man states, as he chuckles with his eyes fixated on his magazine, his tattoos seemingly coming to life as he moves his muscles. This leaves the rather slim Dormillian man fuming behind his beard as his face turns a beat red. This arguing soon comes to a close as a man enters the barracks with a helmet in his hand and a gun slung over his shoulder. He would be of Valkoihet descent, his fair skin contrasting with what is left of his golden hair. He would be of average build but very tall, something common of the northmen of Balnik.

"Marlowe? Whats going on?" Leduc says as he immediately cools down and looks towards the Balniki man.

"Get your gear together, there's been a change in plans, we patrol in an hour."
Last edited by Balnik on Mon Mar 11, 2019 11:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Wellsia
Envoy
 
Posts: 207
Founded: Jul 18, 2016
Moralistic Democracy

Postby Wellsia » Sun Mar 10, 2019 9:30 pm

Fort Nabu, Northern Mashriq Island.

"ATTENTION, all rise for Ecnibal'us Mahant, Rab Mugir (Brigadier General) of Mugi Salsu Saiadu (Third Hunter Brigade)".
The gathered officers pushed back their chairs and stood to attention as the general walked across the stage. Stopping at the mike, he looked out over the gathering and a combination of pride and sorrow showed on his face.
"Be seated, first I want to convey the thanks of the Sar Sarani and the Suru Mi'at for the honor of having the entire brigade 'volunteer' for service in San Javier. Now to get down to why we are here and what we will being doing. As you know the Menna have already launched an invasion against San Javier, a regimental size force launched an amphibious assault against the mouth of Rio Del Rosario." Behind him on the screen a large map of San Javier appeared.
With out looking at it Ecnibal'us continue to speak; "This map is a little dated, but will give us an understanding of the tentative plans for operations there. The Brigade Staff, with help from intelligence has come up with the following. AS you can see, the attack was launched on the southern coast of the island, in the center south of the Javierian Steppes. It is predicted that from this location, the Menna will move up the river and first attack Pueblo Ignaceia and then move against Constantine. Constantine is the key to the south, it is not only the south end of the Vancouvian built railroad, but is the center of the Javierian oil fields.
With our limited resources, we will give little worry to the western part of the island, since it is split off from the rest by Oronos Mountains. Our main concern is of course the Javerian Steppe and also the pass located here near the town of Santa Ana. Our allies are for the most part poorly trained and equipped for standard forms of combat. The San Javier Army is made up mostly of irregular guerrilla fighters, Balnik has provided a mercenary company of some 500, no telling how good or capable they will be, finally the only troops that I would count as regulars, besides us, are the Thuzbeki Marines. So gentleman for better or worst we are planning to be the primary force in this conflict.
The disposition of units will be as follows. Our depot base will not be the capitol, but will be at Puerto Polo near Santa Ana. The 10th Battalion will move to Santa Ana and will then proceed down the road toward Constantine, the rest of the Brigade will form up south of Castillo Verde and move down the Javieran Steppe, hopefully being able to use the railway for movement of men and supplies. As we move south the 12th battalion will break off and take Rio Pena, while the 9th and 11th and other units will advance directly onto Constantine. if everything works right we will stop the Menna short of Constantine, and then drive them back to their beachhead.
Rumor has it that either Miklania and/or Polar Svalbard are sending troops to aid the Menna, if this happens, thing may go wrong in a hurry. If we are unable to push the Menna back into the sea, and afre forced to withdraw all units are to move toward Puerto Polo and Santa Ana. There we will dig in and wait for the politicians.
The two northern islands are held by semi-independent groups of communist, since they are a bane to normal governments we will leave them to their own devices. If they offer fighters, we will be glad to use them.
The 9th Battalion has already been detached to San Javier and should be landing at Castillo Verde, the rest of the Brigade is moving by ship and planes, the planes to the capitol and the ships to set up our depot at Puerto Polo. Good luck gentlemen, now return to your units and make sure everything is prepared. That's all gentlemen, look to the blessings of the Two and may they watch over us in this time of trial.

Castillo Verde, San Javier
Zakarba'al watched as his section of 17 men moved to their assigned section of the warehouse where the company had been bivouacked. The warehouse wasn't the best barracks, but was much better then the tent city being set up outside the city. Without the sections two vehicles, the drivers were now acting as the signals specialist and the anti-tank gunner.
"Waklu", looking up he saw Yah'ua Zukku addressing him. Nodding his head the young private continued. "Sir is it true the Miklanians are coming and are going to help the Menna?"
'What difference does that make?"
"SIR!, you know they are the bessss"
The statement was never finished, out of nowhere Acher-bas backhanded the private sending him flying over one of the cots. "Boy, let me tell you and the rest of you numb-nuts, there are only three people on this damned island that you better fear, that is me, Nah-ran Emanthlu and especially the Waklu. The whole blasted Miklanian Army isn't scarier then the three of us. I know, I know you have all heard the stories of Miklania and how they are invincible in combat, how they are trained from birth to fight, let me tell you all of this is bunk. Miklanian babies are not taught to to crawl in formation, the toddlers do walk like any other baby, not start marching as soon as they stand up, and most importantly , they are not now nor ever been trained to fight since birth, the Miks don't start teaching them to fight till after they have been weened from their mother's tits. They are good, but we will show them we are better, they die just as easy as any other man and before this is over we will erase their myth of invincibility once and for all. Now get you geared stowed, we have a town to explore. Hey Zak, do you know if Javierian women are pretty?
Last edited by Wellsia on Sun Mar 10, 2019 9:57 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Dormill and Stiura
Diplomat
 
Posts: 907
Founded: Sep 19, 2015
Left-Leaning College State

Postby Dormill and Stiura » Mon Mar 11, 2019 9:20 am

Waalwijk Naval Base, Republic of Kapolder
08 March, 0930


The hustle and bustle of the naval base was always considered an “eyesore” by the students at the University of Waalwijk, the naval base showing off the pinnacle of Dormill and Stiura’s power was almost constantly in their sights, always reminding them that the peace they so often protest for, cannot be won by mere words alone. What had happened in San Javier is evidence of that to a tee, where the Mennans, blinded by their honor, ran out into the Southern Sea to take on a ‘nation’ that had no international recognition and almost no support from within the League. The only people who seem to have cared for the junta in San Javier enough to do anything was the Vanocuvians, and most would simply say that was for purely economic reasons.

And that was the topic of debates in the classrooms in Waalwijk today, as Dormill and Stiura begins to turn its attention back to the south again people have begun to ask whether or not this is like the imperialism the nation practiced so many generations ago, or it is a new step in the economic policy the nation has pursued. In the base, however, most of the attention was focused on what was going to happen within the next few hours. For those that could see inside, they would see the many ships of the Coastal Assault Squadron were being stuffed to their brims with men and material for a mission that wasn’t immediately known to the public yet. However, those with sense in their heads for recent events knew all too well what was about to happen.

On the inside of one such ship, the Union, preparations were nearly done to cast away. All that was missing were the Marines, who had been wrapping up their morning PT as the force was being prepared. Captain Armel Tuckthaem stood on the bridge with an amount of the rest of his crew, examining the ship’s systems and waiting on the last few objects, fuel for the Sea Jarofalkens that the ship needed to be effective in combat, food, ammo, and others to make the operation as successful as possible.

A few more hours passed and the ship was starting to get underway, following behind its sisters the Rangi and Chery, as they collectively left the base of Waalwijk. The entire squadron then assembled over the next hour and then split up, the Union and her force heading westwards into the Argean while the other force, led by the Dufour Hill, sailed eastwards into the Eterna. Both forces would be destined for San Javier but in different manners.


Veldzicht Air Base, Republic of Batavia
11 March


In one of the many briefing rooms of the airbase, the officers and NCOs of Able, Bull, and Carrion companies of the 17th Airborne, who are just about to be tasked with a mission about as dangerous as Lihai was. Their commander, Constantin Steffen, walked into the room all adorned in his dress uniform while the remainder of the men stayed in their fatigues. They respected Steffen to be sure, but some of them thought his preponderance to constantly wear his dress uniform was garish at best, possibly overcompensating.

Steffen spoke in his typical soft voice, jumping straight into the briefing, “Alright men, listen and listen well because the next time I say this we’ll be in the Steppes.”, he paused for a moment to bring up a map of San Javier, updated with the movements known to the United Republics.

Right now, the Mennans are heading up the Rio Del Rosario towards the old mission town of Pueblo Ignacio, we won’t be there for that fight but we will do what we can to reinforce their attack by making one of our own at Augustin. Your job will be to secure the city for our reinforcements and to establish a beachhead for potential Miklanian and Svalbardian troops, whichever comes first. Once you have secured the city, the Union and her force will arrive and give us some help from her compliment of Marines and remain on station for fire support and other future missions. We also have our two ASFBs laying in wait to send more units and other support for our mission.

The men sat and listened, the plan was sound enough for the moment, and then a Sargent spoke up with his own question, “And after that?”

After that,” Steffen began, “we will head up the roads towards Rio Pena and hopefully link up with Mennan forces to cut off the Steppe from Castillo Verde. Bear in mind that the junta appears to have made friends in the past few days, we have unconfirmed reports of a group calling themselves the ‘Legion of 500’ had arrived a day ago and had left the city heading south along the Vancouvian railroads. If the junta has mercenaries on their side, they probably have more than that so be aware of foreign military units like the Thuzbeks that might be showing up. We leave tomorrow at 0415. That is all, dismissed.

With that, the room dispersed and the situation began to filter its way down the chain of command. By tomorrow, the United Republics would commit itself to yet another military action and put even more international scrutiny upon itself and its leaders.
Last edited by Dormill and Stiura on Mon Mar 11, 2019 11:34 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Menna Shuli » Mon Mar 11, 2019 2:10 pm

Shala came into the command that morning not long after dawn, as was his wont. He had expected to be the highest ranking officer in the room, to have command over the situation. It was normal, in his life of military service, for him to slide into positions of authority through the habit of simply being the only one around to seize command at key moments. There was an art in knowing when and where to be in the right place at the right time, and he had built his life on sleeping little, waking early and sleeping late.

It was surprising to him, then, that Mipax was there ahead of him, already overseeing all the daily command tasks required of a ranking officer overseeing an operation the scale of Valiant. It irked Shala to have his expectations undermined, and he added a tally against the young man who had been granted the title Prince-General. The invasion of San Javier was meant to be the final, prestigious feather in Shala's cap before he retired from military service and ran for a seat in the government, the tide he would ride into the final goal of his entire career. Mipax's interference in well-laid plans could very well destroy that chance. Any mistake the boy made would tarnish the reputation of the whole operation.

Mipax spotted Shala as soon as he entered the room, of course. Stealthy observation was impossible when you wore the sharkskin sash of an admiral. The young man exuded a thrumming energy as he approached, excitement unbecoming of an officer in the presence of his inferiors.

"Prince-Admiral," Mipax said, holding his hand ready for a shake. "Good morning."

Shala let his face become a smile. "You seem...well-rested, Prince-General."

Sul shook his head. "Not exactly," Mipax replied. "I barely slept at all. But what little I got was rejuvenating."

"Good to hear," Shala replied. He stepped a little closer and lowered his voice. "Your handling of the press was adaquete, but you would do well to speak more highly of the quality of our soldiers and their superior training."

Mipax's energy faded slightly, a perceptible droop of his shoulders and the muscles of his strong-jawed face. It did not disappear entirely, however. What had brought on this bout of enthusiasm, Shala wondered, and what did it mean to the mission?

"I listen to my elders. I don't lie to the press," Mipax replied. "And didn't you say it was our numbers that mattered?"

Was that sarcasm? Shala couldn't tell. The words had all the inflection of a text-to-speech device. He decided to let it lie and stepped back. "Indeed," he answered, more loudly. "How go the preparations for the attack on Pueblo Ignacio?"

"Well enough, considering," Sul sighed, but the energy was returning to him. Like an exposed wire. "We lost a lot of men in the attack on the Delta, and we aren't going to have the time to fully man the attack if we want to retain our momentum. Luckily, we managed to keep most of our riverine vessels safe during the landings, and this time we'll have air support from the helicopters."

The young general's energy spiked. He smiled, the white grin completely earnest. "I had an idea, though, something to help us in the long run when it comes to the obstacles we're facing," he said.

Shala frowned. He hated the sound of that. "An idea?"

Mipax nodded and led Shala to the center of command. At the table there, maps and diagrams of San Javier as a whole and the Steppe region in particular were laid out. Mipax gestured to the stretch of the Rio del Rosario between the delta and Pueblo Ignacio.

"Right now," he said, "the plan is to bring the majaority of our forces up the river and to attack from the west-northwest of Pueblo Ignacio."

He traced a finger up the river. "While this keeps our forces together, leveraging our numerical superiority," the boy's tone there was somewhat pointed, Shala thought, "it does mean that they're concentrated when it comes to attacks from local defense. Given the losses we took and the logistical limits to the resupply we can muster, this is problematic."

His finger slid east and north from the river. "What I propose," he said, "is that we send a company east from the delta. They use the low jungles in the foothills at the edge of the steppe as cover and then swing north to the road here, near the end of this tributary. I understand that road to be particularly ill-maintained because of the prevalence of the soil runoff there. They blow the road to delay reinforcements, then swing back on Pueblo Ignacio to catch the village from behind while they prepare for the attack from the river."

"Your proposal is that we send a sizable portion of our forces away from the attack, towards more heavily defended territory, on foot through jungle," Shala said slowly. "And you believe that this will limit casualties?"

"I believe it mitigates risk," Mipax replied. "It prevents all of our men from getting caught in an ambush or to face attacks simultaneously, and limits the potential for Pueblo Ignacio to become a holdout while we don't have the men to properly leverage our strength."

"And if that company gets caught by those oncoming reinforcements you seem certain of, we lose men that could otherwise make the difference to the actual attack," Shala shook his head. "No, we stick to the plan as we have it. We move our forces as swiftly as possible up river and take Pueblo Ignacio before the Javierans can recoup their losses from the delta."

Mipax frowned. "We haven't recouped our own losses," he stated, "and I've been reading the reports. There weren't a lot of uniforms amongst the defenders at the delta. I don't think we were taking on their military proper, Prince-Admiral."

"The Javierans have always been a motley," Shala replied. "The difference between their military and a well-armed militia is negligible."

"That's my whole point, Shala," Mipax replied. "The line between civilian and soldier is thin in San Javier. Our math is not factoring that in, and we have to do everything in our power to make sure the ratio is on our side."

"And splitting our forces does that?"

Mipax was silent. He stared at...no, studied...Shala's face. "You're committed to your plan, no matter what?"

"It's what works," Shala said.

Mipax looked at his maps. "If that's the way things are, it's the way things are."

Shala nodded. The boy, at the very least, had decent survival instincts. "Good. Now, let's see what we can do about getting our reinforcements on the ground as soon as possible."

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Postby Dormill and Stiura » Tue Mar 12, 2019 8:03 am

Veldzicht Air Base, Republic of Batavia
12 March, 0400


The air was still a bit cold in Veldzicht early in the morning as the soldiers of Able, Bull, and Carrion companies, 1st Battalion, 17th Airborne headed out and boarded their C-5/10s bound for Augustin, San Javier. The skies were fortunately clear so the trip would be relatively calm, and forecasts in the area suggested that the conditions in the city were not bad enough to make things more difficult than they were.

The soldiers were all aware of what kind of hornet’s nest they were about to kick up. The briefing mentioned what the city was and its environment, a patchwork of favelas and small towers eeking out the side of a massive cliff that led north into the jungles of the southern Oronas and to the south was a winding path that was carved out of the bluffs towards a relatively small fishing port and an accompanying village. In addition to the rough terrain and the awful weather, it was also suggested in the intelligence briefing that they would be raiding the supposed headquarters of the Anliana Cartel, one of the two most significant cartels in all San Javier. Death would be a constant fear for them but they all understood in one way or another that this would be the best way to get in San Javier and set up a second beachhead for MSTO and Mennan forces that would inevitably follow.

Some of them complained as to why they were being sent rather than the Marines until the situation was clarified by explaining that the Thuzbek Navy had already been sailing and was bound to pass by Sawneeak by the time they flew out. Getting there was paramount since even the Doraltic Navy would take another day and change to get into position and that would be cutting things close by most standards. Secure that their mission was critical to the swift and conclusive resolution of this war in San Javier, the three companies boarded their aircraft and began to wait.

So kid,”, Théotime Snijder, a well-aged Sergeant asked, “You ready for your first deployment?

Of course, sir. Why wouldn’t I be?”, the younger Perce Achterkamp responded. Perce was among the newest members of his squad in Able Company, having joined in response to Orsandia and managed to show his colors and became one of the younger paras in the army. He never did serve in Orsandia as he completed para training as the PLF was shattered as a military force and his unit was not deployed to Arvan either, leaving him to continue training and getting used to his squad.

Just being sure. These people are not like the ones you play in games, and you can’t go respawning either. So don’t go trying to die on me, ok?

“Try and stop me.”, Perce responded, prompting some laughter from the rest of the plane and a response from the Sergeant in between his chuckles, “You’ve always been funny, kid. Let’s hope you still are once we’re wrapped up.” The conversations kept going as their planes lifted off the tarmac and began to fly towards San Javier, each flowing seamlessly over the following hours.

International Airspace near San Javier
12 March, 1023


Given that the flight began several hours ago, most of the soldiers aboard their Albatrosses decided to take the time to sleep and eat something light for breakfast before jumping out into the hive of scum and villainy that was Agustin. It wasn’t much longer from then until they would all be rudely awoken or interrupted by their commanders barking orders and getting ready for the jump.

Soon enough, all of the soldiers were standing, hands on their bags and in their neat ques just waiting for the lights to turn green and for the real war to begin. And when they did, nobody hesitated to jump out and away, falling from several hundreds of meters above down towards the otherwise quiet city below them. Fortunately, there were almost no air defenses and the flight path they took ensured that, for the most part, their presence wouldn’t be known until the drop was made. After that, whatever defenses were in the city would light up like a Christmas tree and set up to slaughter the slowly descending troops of the United Republics.

Perce, Sergeant Snijder, and the rest of the squad all landed on a concrete roof of one of the many literal thousands of favela houses that made an eyesore out of the city. Their objectives were plain and simple enough; eliminate any enemy combatants in the area, keep the civilians quiet and safe from the fighting as much as possible, and secure as much of the city as possible before the navy would arrive. In a matter of less than an hour, nearly 300 foreign troops had begun to swarm the city and take on defenders at every turn, thus marking the beginning of the battle of Agustin in blood and copper.
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Postby Menna Shuli » Tue Mar 12, 2019 12:53 pm

Amikiku took a moment to wipe her brow. Her head and ear throbbed with her heartbeat, and sweat had built up on her bandages, making them a soggy mess. San Javier in spring was not as hot as the savanna, in fact it was a very comfortable temperature here near the seaside, but the hard work of loading the flat-bottomed riverboats with all the supplies needed for a push to Pueblo Ignacio had caused her to ditch her uniform top down to the black tanktop underneath. Many of the other soldiers had done the same, a few having wrapped their shaved heads with their discarded camo in makeshift turbans. Mud soaked them up to their knees, and many had to splash through the water up to their chests to be able to load the gear they needed.

The middle-aged soldier with a battered cigarette drooping from his lips who had spoken with Amikiku on the cargo boat had survived the battle unscathed. His name was Ku Shaka, and like with so many older warriors, he had a well-developed survival instinct that had seemingly carried him through the battle with impunity. With the losses that they had faced, various companies had been reorganized, and Amikiku was now not only being transported with the man but was now serving with him. He stopped for a break at the same time as Amikiku, the omnipresent unlit cigarette in his mouth dancing across from one corner to the other.

"What's the hold-up there, kid?" he asked. "Too much work for your delicate sensibilities?"

"Just getting the sweat from my eyes," Amikiku replied. She reached down to her canteen and took a swig.

As she was screwing the top back on, she heard the whumpf-whumpf-whumpf of a helicopter approaching. Not an uncommon thing over the past few days, since the battle had ended. Most of the supplies were being ferried from the ships by helicopter before being loaded on the boats. This one, however, wasn't trailing an undeslung net full of goods. Instead, it approached to one of the flatter areas near Inlet Cash and slowly settled to a full stop as opposed to hovering to let the occupants out.

A young man, maybe five or six years than Amikiku herself, emerged from within, along with a few soldiers and a mountain of a woman. The man was in uniform, but it wasn't the camoflauged fatigues of all the troops, and he wore the spotted sash of a general. Furthermore, his smooth skin, reasonable height and perfect complexion all marked him as a prince. There'd be no mistaking what caste this man came from if you saw him from a distance, even if you couldn't see the gold torc at his throat.

"Look's like the Prince-General's finally arrived," Shaka mused.

"He's a kid," Amikiku replied.

Shaka let out a barking laugh. "That's ripe, coming from you," he said.

Amikiku watched the Prince-General cross to the command tent. The man's eyes were scanning everywhere. Amikiku was too far to tell for sure but there was something oddly melancholic about the gaze. As he disappeared into the tent, Amikiku turned back to her job.

"He's not happy," she said.

"Probably thinks we fucked up things here," Shaka huffed. The tip of his cigarette bounced. "Commanders always assume these things are easy, and he's wondering how we fucked it up so bad that this is all we have left to go for Pueblo Ignacio. Like he has any idea."

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