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[Earth II] The Dunes of Yesterday

A staging-point for declarations of war and other major diplomatic events. [In character]
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Layarteb
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[Earth II] The Dunes of Yesterday

Postby Layarteb » Thu May 02, 2019 5:42 pm

The Dunes of Yesterday

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Source: Anadolu Agency

.:.
Introduction

The Dunes of Yesterday is intended to be a cooperative thread amongst Itailian Maifias and Layarteb primarily but which is open to all members of Earth II. This thread is a consolidation of The Crescent Wars and the The Sundered Crown, both of which take place in the early 1990s in the Eastern Mediterranean region. Take note that canon in this thread supersedes that in these previous threads. As both threads, their histories, and their stories are interlinked, it serves a greater purpose to combine them. Before we begin, please take this opportunity to review our introduction as well as the synopsis materials we've constructed, to provide a better and more thorough background to this thread.



• • • † • • •




Background
The Dunes of Yesterday covers activities of both the Empire of Britannia and the Empire of Layarteb - as well as other participants - within the Eastern Mediterranean region. This thread will take place primarily, but not exclusively, in these locations: Cyprus, Egypt, Gaza Strip, and the Sinai Peninsula. It will take place primarily in the early 1990s from 1991 to 1993 but its history goes all the way back to the 1100s. References to these historical events will be present throughout the thread and should be considered canon to our greater community.

Historically speaking, activity by Britannia in this region stretches back to the First Crusade (1141 - 1144), when a crusade in Egypt meets with limited successes. The Second Crusade (1147 - 1149) mirrors the real-life events, particularly with regards to the Levant and Egypt. The Third Crusade (1189 - 1194) is the main point of deviation in our history, though it shares some elements of real-life.

The Third Crusade is led by King Richard I of Britannia and it is a success, capturing the Holy Land for the Crusaders, which outlasts time and future attempts by Muslim armies and other forces. It is during this Third Crusade that the Kingdom of Cyprus is established by King Richard I - as it happened in real-life - thus providing a point of conquest for this land in Earth II. He quickly sells the island nation to the Knights Templar, as in real-life, and concentrates on the Holy Land. Future crusades, with the exception of one, have not yet been codified. The one that has been is the "Syrian Crusade," which takes place from 1573 to 1579. It is during this crusade that the Empire of Britannia conquers further land in modern-day Lebanon and Syria. It is also during this crusade that Muslim armies conquer the Kingdom of Cyprus and expel the Knights Templar.

Happenings in these areas throughout the next 400 years are loosely defined, ideally to leave this open for further expansion and interaction with other members and their individual histories, especially those in this region.

Cyprus
Cyprus has three, definitive, historical periods in Earth II. From 1191 to 1573, it is the Kingdom of Cyprus, a crusader state ruled by the Knights Templar, who fend off numerous attacks from Muslim armies throughout this nearly 400-year rule. The population makeup of Cyprus settles to approximately a 60-40 split during this time. This period of history is characterized by alternating periods of repression, forced conversion, and tolerance, depending on who sat on the throne in Paphos, the Knights Templar capital. The more repressive periods act as a rallying cry for Muslim strategists in the Levant. By the mid-1500s however, the Knights Templar's rule over the island is shaky, at best, inviting outside invasion.

Beginning in 1571, Muslim invaders from the Levant pour into and attack Cyprus with the aim of establishing Islamic rule over the island nation. It is by this time however that the Crusades are long over and the world's attention to Cyprus is all but forgotten, thus leaving the Knights Templar to fend for themselves. Muslim threats in the Levant are considered a greater and a higher priority for the Empire of Britannia. By 1573, two years into the war, the Knights Templar government is driven back to the walled city of Paphos. However, despite this, the Muslim navies are incapable of successfully blockading Paphos and resupply to the city allows the Knights Templar defenders to resist. Defenses are strong and numerous assaults and sieges are repulsed with ease. Despite this, casualties do mount and the Knights Templar government eventually sees the futility in their defense and in December 1573, a ceasefire is signed on Christmas Eve. Under the terms of the ceasefire, the Knights Templar are free to leave Cyprus unhindered but defeated and the Muslim conquerors agree to complete and total religious tolerance. The Knights Templar also pledge not to interfere with the government, sponsor coups or revolutions, and not to attempt any military takeovers. The terms of the agreement hold until 1880, a remarkably stretch of time. The Muslim population on Cyprus peaks at 69%.

However, by the mid-1800s, Catholics begin to see a population boom, culminating in a 75-25 swing by 1870, with Catholics grossly outnumbering Muslims. Despite this, the 1573 agreement remains intact until King Farooq (32) ascends to the Cypriot throne in 1880. He has little regard for the 1573 agreement and sees it as a hindrance given the population shift in his nation. He begins subtle and limited campaigns of ethnic cleansing and alienation towards the Catholic population. He rules for 32 years, dying in 1912 and handing rule over to his second-eldest son, Sameer rather than Asad, his eldest son. This is chiefly because Sameer shares his father's vitriol for the Catholics whereas Asad does not. Sameer is 47 years old but he only rules until 1925. During this 13-year period, Cyprus is fraught with rising ethnic strife and tension culminating to a condition of near civil war by 1925.

King Sameer is assassinated in 1925 by a member of a secretive Catholic order, known as the Knights of Eternal Salvation, which had been established by the Knights Templar in the wake of their retreat from Cyprus. The KES' entire purpose is to watch over Cyprus and ensure the 1573 agreement is followed. Until now, they have been idle, quiet, and unknown. Sameer's assassination triggers an ethnic war between Catholics and Muslims that lasts until 1932.

It is in 1932 that the Republic of Layarteb finally enters the picture. With the rise of fascism in Italy and Layartebian opposition to this system of government, the Layartebian government orchestrates and assists a coup against the sitting government. It is successful and Cyprus' government becomes a puppet of the Republic of Layarteb. Democracy is established and the island is deemed the Republic of Cyprus. Though the war subsides, tension remains and wounds are slow to heal. The Republic of Layarteb props up the government via funding and arms.

The government in Cyprus however is little more than one strongman after another. There are four such authoritarians between 1932 and 1954. It is during this 22-year period that Cyprus is largely peaceful. The capital remains in Nicosia, which is where the Muslim capital was established. Catholics largely benefit from government policies, whether intentional or not, at the expense of the minority, Muslim population. Nationalism festers on both sides and Catholics begin to compare the modern regime with that of the Knights Templar regime while the Muslims yearn for the days when they ruled the island nation. Poverty rises within the Muslim population, only quickening the spread of nationalist thought. Muslims in Cyprus soon find allies in Egypt and Gaza, who not only provide political support but funding and arms as well. Beginning in 1950, this culminations in rebel Muslim attacks on the government.

From 1954 to 1964, Cyprus is gripped by an emergency period. A coup overthrows the government in April 1954 putting a junta in power. With this, Layartebian troops deploy to Cyprus to help quell the Muslim rebellion. This period is marked largely by counterinsurgency operations of a low-intensity nature. Casualties exceed 6,000 on both sides (including civilians) and the period only ends when Muslim rebels assassinate the sitting general. This kicks off a 15-year period known as the Cyprus Troubles. Retribution attacks by the government leave 2,000 Muslims dead in the wake of the assassination and intercommunal violence between Muslims and Catholics dominates this period. Growing Layartebian involvement in Venezuela and its own domestic struggles means that the Layartebian government can only pay a fraction of attention to Cyprus, enabling and emboldening both sides to attack one another. Militias, out of government control but acting with support of the government, arise to commit atrocities on both sides and mercenaries take part in operations for both sides, and sometimes their own.

By 1978, Cyprus is on the verge of a complete and total, all-out civil war. Layartebian pressure forces a change in government and an end to the junta, elevating a moderate politician seen as an effective way to mitigate the rising tension. The effect is the opposite and the ineffective leadership results in a 6-month civil war lasting from May 5 to October 7, 1979. The war only comes to a conclusion when Layartebian troops on the island act on their own to squash violence on both sides, effectively partitioning the island between Muslim areas in the north and Catholic areas in the central and the south. One-third of the island, the north, is predominantly Muslim. From 1979 to 1982, a state of tension and crisis grips the island nation until a ceasefire agreement is signed in 1982.

The agreement established Cyprus Force (C-FOR), a Layartebian peacekeeping element. The island is partitioned and the Cyprus government moves to Paphos while the Northern Cyprus government remains in Nicosia. Per the agreement, neither side will seek independence or total dominance over the island, mercenaries will be expelled, and arms shipments are limited and must be declared to both parties. There are dozens of other conditions in the agreement. Once again, Cyprus enters a period of tranquility until late 1985 when an assassin kills the sitting, Northern Cypriot President. This only enflames the situation and from September 10, 1985 onward, the day after the assassination, tensions rise between all three parties, leaving us at the start of this thread in late 1991.

Egypt
Egypt undergoes several periods of its own, just like Cyprus. In the year 600, the sitting pharaohs defeat and expel Arabs attempting to move into the country. Beginning in 1346, Egypt sees itself influenced by Britannia, becoming a British colony in 1392. Its status as a colony continues until independence in 1729. Despite this, Britannia remains the dominant force of influence in Egypt.

The Egyptian government exists peacefully and successfully until the 1920s when an attempt to modernize the country's infrastructure leads to state bankruptcy. The changes, too radical and too fast, cast the government into a state of crisis. Between 1943 and 1945, Egypt is ravaged by the Great Influenza, which sees the entire royal family wiped out and a power vacuum in Thebes. The Greek government in Alexandria thus moves to exert its authority over all of Egypt but its success is limited as it lacks the funding, the men, and the power. Furthermore, the Kemets in Thebes oppose the Greek move and Egypt is cast into a state whereby its government is weak and ineffective. The state is thus cast into disarray.

Throughout this however, the Egyptian military remains largely intact, bolstered by support from Britannia. Beginning in the late 1980s, violence between Kemets and Greeks and all other groups begins to rise, throwing the country into further disarray. Jewish populations finally rise up in 1991 in attempt to avoid a return to Kemet-dominated rule, thus throwing the country into a civil war that lasts until 1993.

Gaza
The territory of Gaza shares an old history like other nations. It was established during the First Crusade by the crusaders. In the Second Crusade, the Muslims conquer the small stretch of land. In the Third Crusade, Gaza becomes liberated by the crusaders once again but rather than established as ruled by the crusaders, Gaza is given status as an independent microstate. Its populace, evenly distributed between Catholics and Muslims, are able to coexist and both sides agree to leave Gaza to its own devices. They do this so that they may use the territory as a conduit for nefarious business, whether it be smuggling or other illicit operations. Until the 20th century, Gaza is little more than a nation unto itself, quiet though heavily influenced by its neighbors.

With the collapse of the Egyptian government in the 1940s, Gaza once again returns to its roots and crime flourishes at the expense of the country's residents. The Khouri clan establishes itself as rulers over the city by the mid-1950s and hold this position until the 1990s. The Khouri clan is the largest supporter and enabler of Muslim violence in Cyprus, going so far as to coordinate arms shipments to Cyprus from Yemen via the Sinai. The government, fiercely anti-Layartebian, sees itself as a key influencer and stages the 1985 assassination in Northern Cyprus, thus ushering in the last era of violence to the country.

The Sinai
The Sinai has little history until the 1950s. With the governmental collapse in Thebes and the power struggle between Alexandria and Thebes, the Sinai is virtually left to its own devices. The peninsula becomes divided between a number of factions. Yemeni influence begins in 1969 with the rise of General Touma. By 1972, the Sinai comes under the thumb of town clans, the Touma clan in the south and the Hajjar clan in the north. Both clans agree to peace with one another.

Sharm El Sheik becomes a major conduit for arms flowing from Yemen to Cyprus. The arrangement sees arms shipped from Yemen, up the Red Sea, to Sharm El Sheik, where they are offloaded into trucks. Those trucks are then driven to Arish and further onto Gaza where they are once again put onto boats and shipped to Northern Cyprus. This arrangement continues unabated until the 1982 agreement in Cyprus. It is restarted, illegally and clandestinely, in late 1988.

The Suez Canal Zone
The Suez Canal and the Suez Canal Zone are an integral part of this history. The Suez Canal is built between 1859 and 1869 by the Suez Canal Company, under the leadership of David J. Hart, a wealthy, Layartebian aristocrat. The sitting government in Egypt is given a majority-minority ownership and the Suez Canal Company owns no more than 50% of the canal. Its 12-seat board of directors has six seats for the Suez Canal Company, four for the Egyptian government, and two for the Empire of Britannia. The Suez Canal's contribution to the world is so great that in 1886, the British government bestows the Republic of Layarteb with the Statue of Liberty. The Suez Canal Zone, established in 1869, sees rapid growth thanks to the influence of the canal. Administratively, it falls within the purview of the Suez Canal Company but the government of Egypt has significant say on the matters and is charged with its security.

However, the collapse of the Egyptian government in the 1940s leads to a situation whereby the Egyptian government is forced to sell two of its seats in 1948, one to the Bank of Cairo and the other to the corporation Ostafrikanische Gesellschaft (OAG). The Suez Canal Company further comes under the leadership of Lewis Ross on August 1, 1956 upon the death of his father Arnold. Lewis is hardly capable of running the company effectively and it suffers. By 1964, the Suez Canal Company is on the brink of insolvency and the Suez Canal Company is forced to sell five of its six seats to the multinational conglomerate Manchurian Global. Lewis Ross maintains the single seat but he also remains in control of the Suez Canal Company.

Further problems strike in 1969, when the Egyptian government is forced to sell another one of its two remaining seats to an investment firm, Summit Capital. Things only grow worse and in 1972, the Suez Canal Company board votes 8-4 in favor of allowing Manchurian Global's private military division to provide security for the Suez Canal Zone. This comes after a rash of crimes that the Egyptian authorities are unable and unwilling to stop. By 1980, Summit Capital is forced to inject a sizeable amount of cash into the company, thus gaining a second seat on the now 13-seat board of directors.

The Suez Canal Company flounders for the next 9 years. At the start of the fiscal year in 1989, the Suez Canal Company is facing complete insolvency in 2 to 3 years, partly due to problems of the Egyptian state and partly due to rising maintenance costs and reduced traffic caused by long wait times and congestion. A $2.35 billion expansion is proposed that would almost double the daily capacity from 49 to 97 ships several times over the years but each time it is turned down as too costly. On July 17, 1989, a board meeting sees Manchurian Global once again propose the expansion but, when it is shot down by Lewis Ross, Manchurian Global moves to buyout the company. Three days later, the vote comes 9-4 in favor of the buyout, turning the Suez Canal into a Layartebian-owned entity, though not by the government.

This sets off alarm bells in Britannia and Egypt but on January 2, 1990, at midnight, ownership is transferred to Manchurian Global. The move is controversial and is opposed by the Layartebian government as much as the governments of Egypt and Britannia yet all have little say in the matter as the Suez Canal and the Suez Canal Zone were always owned by a private entity. Egypt lacks the ability to nationalize the canal and thus must accept the situation.



• • • † • • •


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Postby Layarteb » Thu May 02, 2019 5:42 pm

Last edited by Layarteb on Fri May 15, 2020 6:19 pm, edited 5 times in total.
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Postby Layarteb » Thu May 02, 2019 5:42 pm

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Postby Layarteb » Thu May 02, 2019 5:43 pm

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Postby Layarteb » Thu May 02, 2019 7:23 pm



.:.
Introduction
‹‹ Discoveries ››
When we look back, it was so obvious
but so hard to prove...



• • • † • • •



Monday, October 14th, 1991 | 21:38 hrs [UTC+2]

Eastern Mediterranean Sea | M/V Aisha Hadad
34° 30' 24" N, 34° 29' 24" E






A
hush of silence fell over the tactical operations center at Akrotiri Air Force Base and General Lance King slapped his hand triumphantly on the table, shattering that silence as he proclaimed, "That's our ship!" They were watching the infrared imagery of a 2,130-ton cargo-container ship drudge through the waters towards Cyprus at eight knots. That imagery was coming from a P-3C Orion that had been forward deployed to Akrotiri as part of a 4-plane detachment to provide anti-surface and anti-submarine defenses against Italian submarines and warships operating near Crete and Cyprus. They were also useful in the surveillance role and this mission was far more rewarding, especially to General King, the commander of C-FOR IV. "That's our ship," he said again before turning to a young specialist not more than a few feet away to say to the young man, "tell the SEALS they have the green light now!"

The specialist nodded and spoke into his headset. Off camera, a squad of SEALS from JSOC was awaiting the authorization to speed up to the ship in their RHIBs and board it. This was the M/V Aisha Hadad and tonight was the result of months of intelligence-gathering, false leads, and misdirection. She was one ship out of thousands operating in the world's oceans and seas but her cargo was specifically what interested the military leadership of C-FOR. It had been long since suspected that the Northern Cypriot military had resumed illegal and clandestine arms shipments, despite the provisions set forth in the 1982 Cyprus Ceasefire Agreement. Now General King was only a short while away from proving not only his suspicions but the suspicions of so many within both C-FOR and the Cypriot government in Paphos, though they were not involved in this operation whatsoever.

The Aisha Hadad had departed from Gaza's main port the previous evening, heading northwards towards Cyprus, presumably to the city of Gazimağusa, the main port for Northern Cyprus. She'd averaged about seven knots but now she was up to eight knots and approximately forty nautical miles from the Cypriot coastline. The SEALS, having deployed from a destroyer assigned to patrol the Eastern Med, quickly overtook the lumbering cargo ship. Two RHIBs, each carrying four SEALS, was piloted rapidly up to each side of the cargo ship and in the night, they were able to approach undetected. Their outboard motors were quiet and the noise of the cargo ship drowned out whatever noise the motors emanated. There, alongside the ship, the SEALS threw their grappling lines, assured by the overhead P-3C that there was no one on deck. From there, the eight SEALS boarded the cargo ship and went to work.

In the TOC at Akrotiri, everyone held silent and professional. Infrared strobe lights marked the eight SEALS as they covered the deck quickly, moving up to the superstructure unopposed. They made entry and from there, the TOC lost imagery. Four SEALS would head below decks to secure the crew and the engine room while the other four went above deck to secure the crew and the bridge. They moved quickly, keeping their suppressed weapons close to themselves in the tight quarters of the ship. The Aisha Hadad had a 13-man crew, including the master and within minutes, without so much as a shot, all thirteen men had been rounded up and the Aisha Hadad captured. The uneventful capture was more than pleasing to General King, who wanted this to go off without a hitch. On the live feed, the vessel began to slow until it finally came to a stop. Several nautical miles behind it, the destroyer turned and began to approach, intending to take the vessel in tow to Crete where it could be properly examined; however, before that could happen, the SEALS needed to ensure that the vessel was carrying illegal cargo. For the SEALS, this is where they had to get creative.

Pulling the masters aside, they put to him to identify which containers were carrying illegal arms but he stonewalled them, as they expected. They asked him again after putting the butt of one of their submachine guns into his abdomen but yet again, he held firm. It was only after they threatened to push him overboard that he revealed the information, at a fine waste of twenty-five minutes. He was even over the side of the ship but he was pulled back onboard and forced to show them the containers, the first of which contained a shipment of twenty Strela-2 anti-aircraft missiles. A second contained KPV heavy machine guns and 14.5-millimeter ammunition. A third contained mortars, RPG-18 rocket launchers, and anti-personnel mines. There were others, of course, but the SEALS needed only this to prove the case. The seizure was therefore legal under the 1982 agreement, which strictly forbade weapons over .50-caliber (12.7-millimeter), anti-aircraft weapons, and mines, amongst other matériel.

General King, upon hearing this, quickly found his way to his office and shut the door for privacy. It was there that he placed his first phone call, which was to his boss, Marisol Gil, the Layartebian representative to Cyprus and thus civilian head of the C-FOR deployment. As it was a peacekeeping deployment, it had a civilian at the top versus a military leader. Most times, the leader was ex-military but Marisol was not as women could not serve in the Layartebian military except in a very limited capacity in very limited postings. Knowing of the mission, Marisol was quick to answer. "Ma'am, we have positive identification of illegal weapons and legal weapons being shipped clandestinely to the north."

"Good!"
She said, "I cannot wait to put this around Munishi's neck and see him squirm." She was referring to Kemal Munishi, a former brigadier in the Northern Cypriot military who'd ascended to President of Northern Cyprus upon the assassination of his predecessor, Sinan Dalgalar. Dalgalar was a statesman and a gentleman, someone who wanted to see a peaceful solution to the Cyprus question. When he was shot by members of a hardline Muslim militia on September 9, 1985, the entire island mourned. Munishi was a hardliner and one who saw no benefit to a peaceful solution with Paphos. He wanted the island either fully under his thumb or, at the least, a two-state island. He refused to cave and cede sovereignty and he had pushed C-FOR's buttons so much that a coup was attempted on July 15, 1986.

That coup was a failure and it only made Munishi stronger. In the wake of the coup, which C-FOR denied, he expelled C-FOR observer units from Northern Cyprus and, in their foolishness, C-FOR conceded, despite the protests from Paphos. Since August 1986, C-FOR had been locked out of Northern Cyprus, forced to travel to and from Dhekelia via one road. Protestors and agitators often blocked the road with human chains, debris, or booby traps in an attempt to hinder C-FOR personnel. Munishi had a way with both words and the camera and when he accused C-FOR of orchestrating the coup, it didn't matter the veracity of the tale, his people believed him. Munishi had, since then, held the 1982 agreement over C-FOR's head and at the slightest injustice, threatened to renege.

Since assuming the position as C-FOR's head on August 1 of this year, General King set a new tone for C-FOR. C-FOR II and C-FOR III had been weak. They'd failed in a coup and ceded authority in the agreement to Nicosia. Deeply suspicious of Munishi and out to prove that Northern Cyprus was already in violation of the 1982 agreement beyond the expulsion of observers, he made it his mission to uncover illegal arms shipments, which his intelligence experts had told him resumed in 1988.

From the 1970s until 1982, Northern Cyprus' Muslim rebels, militia units, and formal units had been receiving arms from Yemen, funneled through the Sinai and Gaza. Supreme Leader Touma, in Yemen, would send the arms via ship to Sharm El Sheik, where members of the Touma clan (unrelated) would offload the weaponry and truck them up to Arish. There, members of the Hajjar clan would truck them into Gaza where members of the Khouri clan, which controlled all of Gaza, would then load them onto a boat for transport to Northern Cyprus. Along the way, everyone got a cut, whether it was a crate of rifles, ammunition, or money. The Sinai was divided in its lawlessness into north and south and the Khouri clan had exerted dominance over Gaza since the 1940s and 1950s.

All of this history swelled in General King's mind as he turned his attention back to the phone. "I'm going to inform Layarteb City."

"Yes, pass on the word. How long until the vessel makes it to Crete?"

"At least five days, maybe six."

"Until then I want to make sure we have investigators combing the ship's logs and containers."

"We are, we're not wasting any time. I have a legal team present. They're going to go over and secure the ship once it's on the tow line. We'll fly the prisoners back here."

"What about a beacon? Does this ship have a beacon? Will the Gazans come looking for it?"

"We're going to disable the beacon, if it's even active. It wasn't running with a beacon active, especially since it was operating illegally. They'll definitely start searching for it ma'am, especially when Munishi's goons call up and ask where their guns are."

"Please tell me we're going to listen in on that conversation."

"I can neither confirm nor deny ma'am."

"Good, I want results! It's good work general but we're not there yet. I want incontrovertible proof that I can lay in front of Munishi and call him out on his nonsense."

"Yes ma'am!"
The general hung up the phone and placed a second call, this time to his ultimate boss, the general of the army. From there, it would flow up the chain of command and to the executive branch where the Emperor and the Special Cabinet would review the information and make a policy decision regarding not only C-FOR mission but also how to handle Northern Cyprus. It was the first step in what would eventually become a major crisis, not only for Cyprus but also for the Empire and for the entire region.



• • • † • • •


Last edited by Layarteb on Thu May 02, 2019 7:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Layarteb
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Founded: Antiquity
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Layarteb » Sun Jun 09, 2019 5:48 pm



• • • † • • •



Wednesday, October 16th, 1991 | 10:00 hrs [UTC+2]

North Nicosia, Northern Cyprus | Presidential Palace
35° 10' 52" N, 33° 21' 34" E






General Lance King and Marisol Gil, along with two aides, sat outside of President Kemal Munishi's office. Sitting on opposite sides of the room, they had coffee tables in front of each of them, which held empty cups of tea and the remnants of eaten snacks such as tissues and wrappers. They had been book for an 09:00 meeting but Munishi was making them wait, not because he was busy but rather as a power move, something both King and Gil were accustomed to and expected. An apologetic secretary in one corner of the anteroom continued to make excuses for her boss: he was on a phone call, he was due to read some classified documents, he was in the bathroom, he was having breakfast with his wife, et cetera, et cetera. She was a good host because while making C-FOR wait was insulting, Munishi refused to be a rude host, in some ironic twist.

The two aides, less accustomed to this waiting, had taken it upon themselves to review some documents that they had brought along. It was all they could do to keep from climbing the walls out of boredom. An hour, tops, is what King and Gil expected to be waiting and it was how long they were left waiting, so seasoned were they with Munishi's behavior and attitude towards C-FOR. On cue, the phone rang at the receptionist's desk and the young woman, who couldn't have been more than twenty-six or twenty-seven, answered, speaking in Turkish. When she put the phone down, she smiled towards the guests and said, "The President is ready. Will you give him two more minutes to appropriately prepare the area?"

"That's fine,"
Marisol said with a diplomat's smile. Sure enough, two minutes later, the doors opened and President Munishi stood there in a very expensive, tailored suit that he'd likely bought recently. It still had the sheen of a new suit.

"General, Madam Gil, my apologies, my apologies," he said as he moved to shake hands. "It has been a truly horrendous morning. Paperwork, phone calls, phone calls, paperwork," he said like a sleazy used car salesman trying to pitch a persona.

"Such is the torment of being an executive," Marisol answered, still a diplomat, always a diplomat. Munishi ushered them in, aware that they were aware of his charade but he didn't care much. He had very specific feelings of hatred towards C-FOR, especially General King who, unlike his last two predecessors, gave off no appearance of being a pushover. C-FOR I had been led by General John Moore, a gruff and bold general who'd spent a lot of years in uniform and who'd seen a lot of nonsense. His tenure ended a little over five weeks before Dalgalar was killed. Dalgalar liked the old general because he felt an honest approach and a sense of equality with the man. Munishi felt him a hindrance to his grand plans.

C-FOR II and C-FOR III were led by pushover generals who'd gotten cozy with the situation quickly. General Marc Rodriguez led C-FOR II and General Randy Albert led C-FOR III. Munishi had pushed them both around relatively easily, especially in the wake of the failed coup against him in July 1986. Having fended off the coup, he moved quickly to bar C-FOR from Northern Cyprus, effectively ending the regular patrols that C-FOR vehicles, infantry, and aircraft made in and over his territory. General Rodriguez, backpedaling from the failed coup that had been entirely sponsored and arranged by C-FOR, felt obliged to give in lest the civil war restart. His successor had little clout, power, or personality to exert C-FOR's dominance on the island, which led to the appointment of General Lance King. If King's two predecessors were pushovers, he was not in any stretch of the word. From the get-go, he was suspicious of Munishi and knew that the man was violating the 1982 agreement in any and every way possible and he set out to prove it.

Having done his homework and deeply critical of his predecessors, General King now had the proof he needed to show that Munishi was in violation of the agreement, that illegal arms imports had resumed, and that Munishi was only buying time before he retriggered the Cypriot Civil War. Munishi was instantly troubled by General King, who was a decorated combat veteran and an officer of the highest caliber. He wasn't bribable and he wasn't going to sit back and relinquish his authority. Munishi had to play this one differently he just wasn't aware how yet. In the few encounters he'd had with the general, he walked away with an uneasy feeling in the pit of his stomach and a bad taste in his mouth. He felt that his reckoning might be coming and he was loathe to acquiesce.

Once inside of the office, Munishi had the doors shut and more refreshments brought out for his guests. For all of his faults, he was an impeccable host but that went with the culture. The five of them took seats around a sitting area in Munishi's spacious and well-adorned office. They were in front of a fireplace but it wasn't lit for the temperature was still just a little too warm for it. The lights were bright and the couches, chairs, and tables around cleaned and sparkling. Moments after they sat down, Munishi was joined by Northern Cyprus' two military leaders, Temel Nadir and General Hasip Eken. Nadir was the defense secretary and Eken the highest-ranking general in the country's small but potent military. They'd been invited because they'd always sat in on C-FOR discussions.

"So," Munishi said in his impeccable English, "what is it that you'd like to address? You called for this meeting with the utmost urgency, which is why you must understand it was difficult to schedule."

"And we appreciate you giving us the time,"
Marisol continued in her diplomatic ways. "There are some improprieties we'd like to bring to your attention."

"Improprieties? Of what nature?"
Munishi feigned surprise. Frankly, the act itself was insulting to the intelligence of his guests but again, that was how he saw them.

"Ever heard of the Aisha Hadad?" General King asked bluntly.

"No, have you?" Munishi turned to his compatriots who shook their heads.

"Well I'm sure you haven't," King continued, "she's a cargo ship that has made a few runs between Gaza and Gazimagusa, always without her beacon working. That's kind of what drew our attention to her, dumb luck if you will. Two days ago, working on credible intelligence, we boarded the ship and discovered quite a treasure trove of weapons."

"That sounds suspicious,"
Munishi said. He now knew why the latest arms shipment hadn't arrived on time. What they'd suspected had in fact happened.

"Very suspicious, which is why we pressed the matter. Here's a photocopy of her manifest and the bills of lading. They're pretty telling, don't you think?" The general's aide handed over the documents to Munishi. They listed the weaponry and showed the destination and the recipient, even going so far as to name Colonel Olcan Yelen as the individual to contact upon arrival. Colonel Yelen was a militia commander in the Gazimagusa area and the individual that Munishi had designated to handle the arms shipments because he was not only a true believer but he knew a thing or two about being discrete, or so Munishi had assumed.

"An elaborate forgery if you ask me. It proves nothing really," Munishi answered, defensively.

"Well we thought that perhaps, that it might very well be a false flag operation. It seems so blatant that it might be. While the crew of the ship was largely unhelpful because what does an engineer or a deck rating know? The master however, he was pretty loquacious about what he was hauling, to whom, and of how many times he'd done this before." In truth, King was now bluffing. The master had yet to talk but he would eventually. He and the rest of his crew were being held in the brig of a naval warship, where Munishi's assassins and double agents couldn't find him.

"What is a man's confession really worth. It is his word and nothing more. He has no proof."

"Manifests were his proof."

"Forgeries,"
Munishi handed the document to his own general. "I don't believe I like the accusatory tones you've brought with you this morning."

"Then let's come to an agreement? Allow C-FOR inspectors back across the buffer zone and open up your armories. If this is a forgery and an elaborate ruse as you suggest then we'll find so rapidly and be on our way back across the buffer zone."

"Out of the question,"
Munishi said with a firm foot on the ground that he used to bolt himself upright into a standing position. "I shall never allow C-FOR troops in this country again for what your predecessors attempted five-and-a-half years ago. Should I be so stupid and so reckless as to allow in the very people who tried to kill me once? Should I not just hand them my door key and the security schedule?"

"General,"
here spoke Nadir, "the return of C-FOR troops is an insufferable request."

"Inspectors, not troops."

"Are inspectors not troops?"

"We have civilian inspectors,"
Marisol answered, "they do not wear the uniform of the military."

"Special forces likely,"
Munishi said with a laugh, "I promise this and only this. C-FOR has been walking a fine line since 15 July 1986 and if you push this matter, I shall be forced to reconsider our agreement. This agreement serves the Empire more than it serves the people of Northern Cyprus. For all I know and it is what I suspect, this entire 'incident' as you call it, is nothing more than an elaborate game being played between Paphos and C-FOR to usurp the sovereignty of the Republic of Northern Cyprus."

The Layartebians stood, having expected this exact counter by Munishi. It was precisely what General King wanted and the tape recorder in his briefcase captured his every word with crystal clear clarity. "It is a shame you feel that way," General King answered and began to make for the door.

"Mister President, we have incontrovertible proof of this. Don't make us press this issue further," Marisol said.

"The agreement will be reviewed if this continues," Munishi further threatened for it was all he had. He knew that the Layartebians wanted to keep the agreement intact, that his counterparts in Paphos wanted the agreement intact, that the agreement itself was the only thing that gave the Empire its authority and that without it, the Empire would be forced to abandon Cyprus. The Layartebians thusly left, leaving Munishi, Nadir, and Eken to brood over not only the loss of a major arms shipment but the discovery of their illicit dealings with Gaza. Sure that the Empire would push the issues, they would spend the rest of the day discussing just how they would react and what strategy they needed to adopt now that the Empire was unlikely to unravel everything, tracing all the way back to Yemen, yet again.

• • • • ‡ • • • •


Saturday, October 19th, 1991 | 10:30 hrs [UTC-5]

Layarteb City, New York | Fortress of Comhghall
40° 41' 28" N, 74° 0' 58" W






Gabrielle Canales rose from behind her desk when General Lance King arrived. Dressed in a black suit with a knee-length skirt and a blazer, she met the general and showed him to a seat. Her black high-heels clicked on the floor as she walked, saying to the general, "They're in a meeting presently but they expect to be done within the next five to ten minutes. Would you like some coffee sir?"

"No thank you ma'am,"
the general said as he leaned back and took note of her lithe body and sheer, black pantyhose as she sat down behind her desk. He was recently divorced, his ex-wife having been unfaithful to him for over nine years, and naturally, being around a beautiful woman elicited some thoughts in his head.

Minutes later, the doors opened and the Emperor welcomed General King in, where the members of the National Security Council were standing at the table. The general was walked over to a specific chair to the right of the Emperor where he sat down along with everyone else. The doors were shut and only then did the meeting begin, on then could it begin. "General, here we are, gathered per your request concerning the present situation in Cyprus. By and large, we've all been read in on the latest happenings but, for everyone's sake, would you please provide a brief summary of that situation?" The Emperor asked.

"Yes sir, I'll begin with Monday. On Monday, C-FOR seized a merchant vessel by the name of Aisha Hadad en route to Northern Cyprus from Gaza. It has been my theory since my arrival at C-FOR that North Cyprus has been receiving arms shipments clandestinely and thus illegally. The 1982 agreement requires that all arms shipments be declared to all three parties and, beyond this, there are some limitations. Weaponry over .50-caliber is banned as are mines and anti-aircraft weaponry. We found on this vessel weaponry that directly violates all of these protocols. Furthermore, we found unauthorized reproductions of our own field manuals on counterinsurgency and guerilla warfare. Further interrogation of the crew, particularly of the master, has revealed that this vessel has made numerous runs to and from Northern Cyprus from Gaza."

"How long have these shipments been going on?"
The Emperor asked.

"Sir it's impossible to say for sure at this time but our consensus is that they have been going on since at least 1988 or 1989."

"Where are they getting the funds for this?"
Dorothy Morgan of Commerce asked.

"Ma'am, they're buying these arms with our funding."

"Come again general, our money?"

"Yes ma'am. We're providing monthly installments for reconstruction. They're siphoning off these funds."

"Who's providing the arms general?"
Marion Bailey of Foreign Affairs asked.

"Yemen via the Sinai and via Gaza sir." Yemen had long-since become the thorn in the Empire's side and it showed on everyone's faces. General King continued from there, "C-FOR, as per the protocols, approached President Munishi concerning our findings. As expected, there was categorical denial, despite the overwhelming evidence and further statements of abandonment from the protocols and the agreement. He's done this before and it's a very telling sign of his deceits."

"Yes he has,"
the Emperor said, "and yet, we need him to remain as part of the protocols. It is crucial that the 1982 agreement be upheld otherwise we're going to face a tremendous crisis on Cyprus again. What do you propose general?"

"Sir, I'm not a man of policy."

"Pretend you are for a moment."

"Yes sir. Well sir, I would like to see a military option against Munishi and the government of Northern Cyprus. We need to remove him from power, remove his government from power, and institute inspections on their arms caches, seizing illegal weaponry, and returning Northern Cyprus to the full and complete requirements of the 1982 agreement."

"I see,"
said the Emperor after a moment's silence. "Munishi has had the upper hand on us for quite some time. After all, our coup attempt in '86 was a failure and for that we've suffered since. Yet we must act cautiously here. Militarily speaking general, are your forces under threat?"

"Not in the immediate sense sir."

"That is something of a relief then,"
the Emperor answered. "Still, we must take this information seriously. What further information can you offer to us?"

"Well sir, Munishi is planning something. I do not have definitive proof but neither did I that they were illegally receiving arms. It is a gut feeling sir, a feeling of a military man. He is planning something sir and it isn't simply self-protection with these arms. They want very specific weaponry and very specific information. One only wants this when they're planning a war."

"Lawrence, I want to see an increase in intelligence-gathering from Northern Cyprus. We need a better picture of what's happening there. Whatever the Ministry of Intelligence needs, they can have it."

"Yes sir,"
Lawrence Dunn of Intelligence answered.

"General, I think you've given us an extraordinary situation to think about and a decision that will not come easily," the Emperor said. "Return to Cyprus and maintain an even hand on the situation. We need to ensure that Munishi continues to stay his course but we must be prepared. If you say there is no imminent danger then time is on our side, whether for a short while or a long while, that is to be determined."

"Yes sir,"
General King said. There would be another twenty minutes of questions and reanalysis of his testimony but by and large that was it. The NSC would not be making a decision just yet because there was far more to be discussed before then.



• • • † • • •


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Itailian Maifias
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Postby Itailian Maifias » Tue Jun 18, 2019 11:39 am

Field Agent Lionel Sefton, MI6 Operative
23rd & 16th Street, City of Tenida, Contested Lands of Eygpt (30°31'39.93"N, 28°25'50.86"E)
July 19, 1989; 1345 Hrs [UTC+2]





Lionel grimaced internally as his Land Rover went over the deep pothole with a crash and a thud, the dull throbbing in his head which he had been trying to relieve since getting in the car an hour ago had instead only been worsened by the rough road conditions on the K7 highway that they had originally got on after exiting El-Alamein; the K7 was the primary highway that connected the coastal hub and ports of El-Alamein to the city of Tenida which was fifty kilometers to the southwest near the shores of the Qattara Sea; it was referred to as a connector road of sorts, as it allowed the trade and goods brought from around the globe in the ports of Alexandria or El-Alamein to then be distributed to Tenida, which was in itself a notable manufacturing and services city, usually producing common day needs and goods and then distributing them out to the more then two hundred and eleven minor settlements that lay in or around the Qattara Sea. Those settlements were typically agriculturally based ones, which helped form the nucleus of the historic Egyptian "breadbasket", and would then send their goods to Tenida. The connection was a good, and during normal times the four lanes of K7 would be stressed to handle the traffic, however these were not normal times and the Land Rover had been able to cruise along at the speed of more then eighty kilometers per hour without any impediment and few fellow travelers. Lionel had taken the highway to it's eventual end, which was just inside the Tenida outskirts where it turned into either Katapieí Governate Road, which went north and south and took one through the heart of the city of some three million souls, or one could take the S51 road which would take one to the outlying areas of the city.

After a quick drive through the moderate city traffic on the side roads off of the S51, Lionel eventually found his way to his destination; a former industrial compound with a few warehouses and buildings, which officially was owned by the Ainsworth-Smart Manufacturing, which was on paper a small business headquartered out of England but manufactured in Egypt various industrial components, such as wires, piping, bricks and so on. In reality, the compound here was the in-country station for all Department of Military Intelligence (DMI) operations, or in this case, the particular operation of RED SUN, which was in summary a careful monitoring of the political situation and events in Egypt. The op had originally begun in small earnest in 1985 when the government of Archon Leonidas Michelakos collapsed; originally set up in 1971 when Leonidas had used his considerable wealth, mostly from owning land along the Nile which he rented to various farmers at exorbitant fees, to buy weapons, men and influence so that he seized control of Alexandria, and other major cities along the Nile and it's Delta, thus allowing him to declare himself the nominal ruler of all Egypt, though in reality his control over Memphis and anything south of it was tenuous at best. His death from a heart attack in '85 was precipitated by a massive political upheaval as various actors across Egypt who were displeased under Leonidas's "strong arm" and authoritarian rule rose up to gain power for themselves in the vacuum; nearly all the state agencies that Leonidas had set up collapsed without his wealth or influence to back him and without a clear succession the defense among his loyalists was scattered to say the least. Strategoi Aikaterini Kokkinos, a middle-aged fiery commander who had risen her way through the ranks of the troubled Egyptian Army managed to gather together support and united the military in defending the Michelakos government, or what was left of it. By '87, no clear successor to the government had been given so Kokkinos gave it to herself and two other Strategoi, Gianni Iordanou and Vangelis Antoniou who were the de facto heads of the Naval Forces and Air Forces respectively. Most of the violence at this point had evolved into a insurgency being led by mostly ethnic Egyptian Kemets, the modern-day evolution of the historic Egyptian religion. They have long, historic grudges against the ethnic Greeks in the country who typically reside in the northern parts of Egypt and the Nile Delta while Egyptians typically reside in the central and southern regions; they blame their historic troubles on the Greeks, particularly those of Alexandria, and blame them for the reason the Pharaohs fell to the crusaders in the 11th century. While these tensions had been worked on during British rule, and during Egypt's re-independence in the 18th century, they rose to historic flare ups during the lawlessness that emerged from the 1940s, mostly because the Greeks where able to control the cities of El-Alamein, Alexandria, Victoire (called Mansoura by the Egyptians), and other major cities on the northern coast and Nile which afforded the Greeks all the wealth, and thus the ability to influence Egypt the most. The most united the Egyptians had ever come post-1940 was when Djethaha, the the chief priest of the Ra cult at Thebes, managed to rally the city of Thebes and surrounding regions on the back of religious fervor sparked by his and others fiery preaching about reclaiming their nation from the "heathens", all around 1968. He was mysteriously killed in 1970, and to this day remains unsolved and although it triggered a wave of unrest, it helped settle the southern regions and set the conditions to led to the rise of the northern government.

The Kemetic insurgency facing Kokkinos's government in '87 was based on the same religious radicalism and fervor of Djethaha's preachings from the decade prior, but this time were much more militant; it is believed they begun as a gang and then transformed from a national level crime sydnicate to a full on insurgency. By 1990, they had rose in open rebellion in the Middle Egyptian provincial capital of Hermapolis, and seized control after weeks of violence, and then repeated their success when they took the city of Minya nearby. They continued to conquer swathes of Middle Egypt culminating in a clash with the pro-government Egyptian Armed Forces near the city of Thebes; it involved two of the four field divisions of the Army, and a small presence from the Air Force. Despite having more then parity in numbers, and equipment, the Kemetics won in great victory, though losing hundreds of their own they inflicted worse losses on the Army and seized control of Thebes, which was a major blow in of itself for the government. However, their success had further consequences that further inflamed the tensions, when in the following year a Jewish uprising took place in Giza, which had the highest concentration of Jews in Egypt who were afraid that the Kemetics would succeed in gaining control of Egypt and then repress them, as they had historically in the past. This uprising evolved the situation into a full-blown civil war, and it was here that MI increased their operation to fully survey the entire situation, infiltrate all three sides to gain as much information as possible and keep an appraisal. Their goal wasn't, at the time, to exploit the situation, more of just a "curious bystander" mode, however recent events necessitated a change in their mission, hence Lionel's travel from his own business in Cairo and Alexandria, to the station here in Tenida.

A meeting had been called between the various actors in the RED SUN mission, and it was to take place in the hardened briefing room, called the Black Room. It was situation on the top floor of the three-floor office building inside the compound, its windows removed and replaced with a solid material. Alterations had been done when MI acquired the site that added jamming devices, soundproofing and other passive and active defenses. Exterior there was not too much security however once inside, Lionel like others had to go through the front desk, a security sweep and verifying of credentials and then escorted by armed MI4 security officers into the briefing room; the room was configured with six rows of simple chairs facing towards the southern wall, which had a large display capable of holding a projected image or one fed from a connected computer and it currently was displaying a large map of Egypt with various markers denoting accumulated information, regions of control for the various factions, etc.

Lionel noted that several of his colleagues were already present, as was Station Chief Victor Hopper who was perusing a laptop on as desk off to the side, and he took a seat in the front row, next to a colleague he knew as Elaine Hirschel, a cartography and linguist specialist from MI3 which had been assisting them in recent months. He made a quick nod and greeting which was curtly returned and he reached into his worn leather field jacket to retrieve a battered memo pad and pen, opening it up to roughly a quarter of the way through which held a page containing notes and information collected during his most recent metup with an in-field asset, a Egyptian gangster in Memphis named Neferka who had recently expanded his gang in size and equipment thanks to Lionel's help in terms of funding and gear; in turn, they were "men for hire" for the MI operation and helped, unknowingly, gather information from the nearby regions to pass onto Lionel, who in turn vetted the information and then gathered it to report it up the chain.

Within ten minutes, three others joined the briefing room, bringing the total to seven not including Lionel and he knew that meant all mission directors were present; due to the size of RED SUN and it's scope, the various operations that helped achieve the mission goal were broken down into sections, each overseen by a mission director, of which Lionel was one. In his case, he was a team of 1, as all others he worked with in the field where either unknowing assets, meaning they were oblivious to the fact that he was an MI agent, or placed logistics agents. To ensure security, other teams were kept in the dark about each other, and this was the first time all year that all of the MD's were meeting up, which meant something major was about to happen. Hopper turned down the lights and greeted everyone in a broad way "Good afternoon everyone, thank you for making it in today on such short notice, but there have been some recent developments that are going to have a major impact on our operation, and our mission goal. Firstly, let me introduce the floor so to speak to Lewis Savage, a Senior FA with MI6 who is leading our Infil Team in the Kokkinos ZCs (Zones of Control). "

A shorter man with a tan that would make some think he was of Mediterranean descent wearing a simple red button up and khaki pants rose from his chair in the second row and walked up to the front near the screen and clicked a few buttons on the clicker that Hopper handed him, bringing up images of memos, and official documents. "As the Chief mentioned, thank you for coming. I'll keep this brief and to the point, as we have alot of ground to cover and not much time. As the Chief mentioned, I'm the Mission Director for our Infil Team, with approximately two dozen MI6 FA's in the field and a further two dozen assets in place which assist us in our objectives and work. At approximately 1600 hours local time on the 17th, two days ago, one of my field agents, whom we shall call 'Vice', was contacted by a developed asset who is an administrative employee of the Suez Canal Company. This asset informed Vice that earlier that day, the Board of the SCC had a meeting and attending this meeting was, of importance, David Ferrari who some of you may know as the Chairman and CEO of Manchurian Global. Evidently, the company's finances and lack of success there was a topic of great discussion and Mr. Ferrari once again proposed expansion of the canal, which current controlling members, namely Lewis Ross, heavily oppose. Furthermore, and of most importance here, Ferrari has managed to secure an alliance with fellow board members of all but our British representative, Mr. Ross and the Egyptians and has called for a total buyout of the company by Manchurian, which will take place tomorrow morning, per our asset's intelligence. "

A few murmurs went around the room; Manchurian was long suspected of being involved with the Layartebian government, and even though said government had prosecuted Manchurian in the past and even gone after it's mercenary services there were many in the British government and intelligence fields who believed it was all an elaborate smoke-screening attempt to give the Empire an globally spanning powerful conglomerate through which the Empire of Layarteb could, indirectly, influence control and power; naturally the Layartebians denied that, but that didn't prevent much. If Manchurian bought out the canal, and gained control of it, the Empire of Layarteb, or at least one of if not it's most powerful company would now control one of the most strategic waterways in the world. Such a development was major, to say the least.

Savage continued "It took a day for Vice and others to verify and collaborate this information, but we were able to receive confirmation of it, and by all indications, Ferrari will have more then enough votes to secure the buyout; by our expectations, only Mr.Ross and ourselves will stand to oppose, we anticipate some form of financial 'compensation' to be issued to the Egyptian government to ensure their non-interference. Furthermore, our colleagues back home have also gathered information from within Manchurian, specifically it's "non-affiliated business partner" ASP, that following Manchurian AG's acquisition of the canal, they will install a significant 'security force' inside the SCZ."

Savage finished his presentation and retook his seat without further comment, leaving minds thinking and processing as Chief Hopper retook the stage and continued the briefing "As SFA Savage has briefed us on this major development, it represents an significant evolution in our mission. Following our acquisition and confirmation of this intelligence, it was fed up to the top of the DMI leadership chain and suffice to say, the higher-ups back home both within DMI and without, those briefed at least, are significantly worried about the Layartebians trying to interfere in Egyptian affairs. Our operatives within the Kokkinos government have indicated they feel similarly and view it as an act of provocation, though they are in denial that the buyout will happen. Despite their setback at Thebes a few years ago, a significant portion of the Egyptian military is still operational and we believe they may move to act against Layarteb, or perhaps make a strong push to finally end the civil war. Either way, it has been assessed that the buyout will significantly increase tensions within the region, and elevate them to new levels. To this end, the Department and our government have decided to change RED SUN from passive, to active in nature."

"What this will mean is a significant alteration in our operations; we have collected a significant amount of data and intelligence in the past six years, and now we will put this information to use. Furthermore, the military will be deploying assets in theater in precipitation of a wider military operation, whose eventual goal will be the re-acquisition of the totality of Egypt. The information we have gathered so far and will continue to gather will be used to help them in this effort, and we will also aim to give support in other means as well. This will not be an easy task, as despite the last few decades of turmoil the arms sales that our government made with the Egyptians in recent memory have given their armed forces a respectable amount of equipment, and they are not ill-trained. At present time, we know that the Egyptian Army contains four active, field divisions which are mainly a mixture of motorized/mechanized infantry where they have available vehicles and equipment. 1 and 2 Division where the ones that were at the Battle of Thebes and took significant losses, from our estimates anywhere between a quarter to half of their manpower, supplies and vehicles. 3 and 4 Division have continued the "anti-insurgency" fight, with Third being mostly deployed outside Memphis to try and contain the border as it were, while 4 Division is split up and spread across the Nile Delta. We anticipate that with the buyout, per intelligence from our contacts inside the Egyptian military, that the Army will redeploy the majority of 4 Division to the Sinai border, and will aim to re-arm/supply 1 and 2 Division through conscription and increased/rushed training. Their Air Force is not of unimportant, with our current intelligence suggesting that they have approximately two squadrons worth of Jaguar attack aircraft, which were originally sold to them in 19723 when a pro-Empire government was in power and we were attempting to build further influence with them. They are among the most well maintained and airworthy airframes the EAF possesses, alongside these they also have approximately thirty or fifty Eiffel-Chirac Mirage III's. They were originally numbered 65, per the sales agreement between OMA and the Egyptian government in 1968, however we believe a number were cannibalized for parts within recent years. Their worthiness and condition are currently speculative at best, however we are aware that they have significantly depleted fuel reserves and as such most of the Air Force has been grounded for a significant time period and, in the event of open hostilities, we do not anticipate them being able to sortie many of their craft. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, there is the Navy which is the most competent branch of their military. In a major diplomatic win for themselves, they managed to negotiate a major arms deal with our government in '71 and then again in '75, which saw them purchase a good number of warships. Furthermore, their domestic capabilities are not to be ignored and despite the shortcoming of funding in recent decade or so, they have maintained a good condition on most vessels. At present time, a majority of their forces is focused around the ex-Rhodes, which was sold to the Egyptians in 1970 and commissioned in their service as the Ra. Despite it's advanced age due to it being the second Malta-class CV which was commissioned in 1954, the terms of sale that were negotiated mandated it received a refit before it was delivered to Alexandria and was thus in reasonably good condition, which they have more or less maintained. Gathered information indicates that at present time, the Egyptians have an air-wing consisting of 10 Étendard IV's, of which 8 are airworthy, and a further 15 domestically refitted Phantoms, of which all but 3 are airworthy. Assigned to the Ra are five domestically designed and built destroyers, designated the Ati-class missile destroyers. They are capable, if dated, vessels weighing a little over 7,000 tons. Their primary armament, and thus the main threat to any of our naval forces, is a moderate-range arm-launched SAM which is comparable to a modern Seacat, though it's reliably is unknown to us. The missile is also capable of being switched into a ASHM-capability, though we know from internal EN documents that in testing it performed less then satisfactory. Finally, the source of most of their numbers is the Sávra-class frigates, which are also domestically built but are very comparable to our Type 21 frigates though are double it's size. It is believed it was influenced by our own designs, thanks to information stolen through corporate espionage on the Egyptian's behalf. Their greatest threat is their speed, which is high for it's weight, and the fact they are Exocet missile-armed, with our reports indicating each frigate contains six to eight of these missiles. They built about fourteen of these vessels, though only ten are currently seaworthy; the other four are in various conditions of disrepair in the dockyards at Alexandria. "

" Their Navy is the main barrier to a successful, low-damage military operation and thus our new main target will be assisting in giving the Royal Navy a leg up in any conflict. Normally, we would seek to assemble and execute a EXA (Extinguish of Assets) operation, however, the Department currently assesses that tensions are too high currently and security around the naval base and yards in Alexandria in particular are too tight for us to be able to perform such an action without significant risk, or being uncovered, which is to be avoided at all costs. Therefore, we aim to reduce their available supplies as much as possible. There exists a naval fuel storage site outside of El-Alamein that while not major, it's destruction would limit the amount of ships they are able to sortie out all at once. Currently, they have three Sávra-class frigates which are sortied in the Alexandria Canyon which we are attempting to gain further information on, namely their mission objective. Back on topic, if we can eliminate this fuel depot, it will prevent them from sallying one of their frigate groups which is in western Egypt, of which is about 5 of their frigates which will significantly reduce their available naval firepower. SFA Savage will coordinate this mission, and will be assisted by Commandos from 1 Commando, 1 Bat, A Company which will arrive in theater in 72 hours and will RV here. Savage, here's the details on that."

Hopper stopped to hand a thick vanilla packet to the agent in question, who nodded as he took it and opened it up, reviewing the documents in question as Hopper returned to the front and continued his briefing. "In line with that task, we also seek to undercut any remaining ability they possess to field their Air Force. The deployment of air assets is a major boost to any military and our ability to nullify it will significantly give our forces an advantage. We have conducted surveillance on a few airfields in the northern Egypt regions, however we need to go deeper. FA Sefton, this will be your priority. Due to the importance, as gleaned from the assistance with SFA Savage, IRWARCOM and SEMUCOM will be slowly moving assets into the field to assist us in our missions. GHOST 1 will be arriving in theater within 48 hours, and will be tasked with you Sefton. Initial targets will be to recon and assess the EAF airfields at El-Alamein, as well as the one due west of Memphis. GHOST 2 will be assisting FA Hughes with assessing and acting against the western airfields and other SAS assets will be available to us. Our initial timetable for this first stage is 90 hours from tomorrow's beginning, further updates will be coming as we collect more information and watch how the situation unfolds here in theater."
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Itailian Maifias
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Postby Itailian Maifias » Sat Jun 22, 2019 3:30 pm

Field Agent Lionel Sefton, MI6 Operative
Abandoned Apartment Building (Lower Floor), Town of Deir El-Gil, Contested Lands of Eygpt (30°45'11.21"N, 27° 4'12.92"E)
July 21, 1989; 0245 Hrs [UTC+2]




" I wonder where they are" Lionel thought to himself as he slowly paced the dirt-covered tile floor, it's previous black and red color barely visible under the dirt and sand, and tried to avoid checking the black watch on his wrist for the fifth time in ten minutes. The fact that his contact was late was unnerving him slightly; assets he or another had developed being tardy was a normality, especially in a country where rough terrain and unpredictable weather turns were a common occurrence. But military asset being late? That was highly unusual, specifically because the risk of being caught and what those consequences meant as so high, and why undoubtedly uncountable hours of planning had gone into arranging this meet up, even though he had only gotten the orders nine hours prior. In line with his new project that Chief Hopper had handed him almost two days prior, he had started working on being able to conduct some light reconnaissance on the two airfields that Hopper had pointed out, the one near El-Alamein and the one that was just south of the town he was currently in, Deir El-Gil. He had used some operational funds to buy a business license in Tenida, paying the man a few extra pounds to ensure 'processing' occurred within a week, and then used a connection he had with a local junkyard and mechanic and found himself in possession of three Bedford S heavy trucks and a light truck who as far as he could tell was either a Unimog or ACMAT; it was hard to tell through all the rust and grime. For a little less then two hundred pounds, he had a simple blue paint slapped on them and suddenly he had all the appearances he needed for him to be a proper standing business owner who hauled goods from around the Sea and then to Tenida for sale; never mind none of his trucks actually had fuel or ran, they just sat in at an abandoned office building that Lionel "bought". The standing gave him reason to use his Land Rover to drive to these airfields and examine them, without getting too close, and to ask a few benign questions to the locals. The El-Alamein airfield he had very little success with, it was a military airfield and although they allowed civilians to use the strip and facilities it required you to give them a substantial cut of your profits, and would not let you anywhere near it unless you had the proper paperwork. However, he had managed to get a few glimpses of the hangars and hidden behind near-derelict civilian planes, he saw what he believed to be some of the Jaguars in the EAF's inventory.

However, here at Deir El-Gil, he had considerably more luck. It was a thoroughly civilian-run affair, it was owned by a tall, old man who called himself Ahmose; he also ran the "air control tower", but after surveying the strip and facilities for a day and quietly asking around the town, Ahmose's airfield got very little business. It was unsurprising, being this close to the Libyan desert meant dust-storms blew over, or thunderstorms that accumulated near Alexandria and then grew more powerful after passing over Qattara then dumped their rain here; while it meant for more fertile ground, it also meant for heavy wins, wind and hard to predict visibility - all the makings of bad terrain to try to conduct air travel. It was safer, and cheaper, to just haul goods via trucks to Tenida, rather then risking it in a plane to fly it to Alexandria or other major cities. The strip had three hangars, however the third was collapsed and unused and the other two had small propeller aircraft inside of questionable condition. The airfield also had the central tower, which was less of a tower and more of a three-story brick building with a raised unit on the top that served as ATC; the second floor was ostensibly meant for office space and living facilities, and the lower floor had a small lobby and kitchen area but given the state of the rest of the airfield, he doubted they were in much better condition. Overall, he concluded this airfield would be ideal for their mission objective and communicated as such to Hopper back at the station, which was when he had received orders he would be linking up with the GHOST team that Hopper had mentioned on the 19th and moving from there. He only hoped he wouldn't have to wait too much longer.

After fifteen minutes, just a little after 3:10 in the morning Lionel was beginning to wonder if he should use his sat-phone to try and communicate with the station but he heard the sound of feet approaching the door. He carefully moved to a kitchen counter and got behind, opening up what had been a door to a dishwasher and instead was now empty, save for an MP5 he had stored there earlier and retrieved it, making sure it was loaded and set it carefully on the counter. He heard a sharp knock on the door, then followed by two more and per the mission protocol called out "Indigo?"

A gruff Cornish accent replied with "Holly."

Lionel breathed a sigh of relief and within a moment the solid metal door opened and soon soldiers began walking in the door, their NVG (night vision goggles) apparently obvious as to who they were, despite the fact they wore no flag on their sleeve as any other member of the British military and lacked any nametapes or rank symbols. It didn't take long before twelve men were now in the lobby, casually taking a knee or leaning against the wall, the last one in closing the door before moving to the counter Lionel had now moved from out behind of. Lionel nodded "I take it you all are GHOST."

"If we weren't, pretty sure you'd be dead."

"More then likely. FA Sefton."

Lionel extended his hand for a shake, which the man quickly took "Pleasure Sefton, you can call me Major. The tall one with the blonde hair and stubble is Lieutenant, we'll be the two you're talking to for most of this work. Now, I was told you had some intelligence for us."

Lionel nodded "Indeed. As far as I've been briefed, your team and myself are to work together to conduct reconnaissance on a number of airfields in the nearby locality, two to be specific. The one at the city of El-Alamein and the one in this town here. I've set up a fake hauling company and acquired a few mostly useless old Bedford trucks to maintain appearances and used them as a cloak to mask my movements between and around the airfields. El-Alamein's was too guarded for me to get close to or to get much out of it. It's a military installation with a adequate guard presence at the two gates that fed into it, as well as around the perimeter fencing or at least along the parts that border the city directly. Talked with a few locals and discovered that the military runs a scam-op out of the field; they'll let civilians use the strip and its facilities, but only if they give them a substantial cut of whatever money or profit they're getting. They have quite a few civilian airframes on the field, all of varying condition but I'm reasonably certain I managed to spy at least three Jaguar attackers in one of the hangars; it was the only hangar with it's doors open and stands to reason that more may be there. None of the hangars were collapsed, though rust and wear is evident along the exterior."

"However, here in this town, much more luck. Airfield is particularly unused, it's owned and operated by an old local named Ahmose, and locals told me it's been almost a month since they've seen someone use the strip, and it was two months before that one. Has three hangars, one of which has collapsed and the other two have what I'm certain are just prop hulks sitting in them. He's hired two local thugs to act as "security", but really they're about as useful as wood planking. One stands at the gate with a Lanchester SMG, while the other is usually walking around the control building, the refueling pump that is about three hundred meters north of it, or the hangars, usually with some long rifle I can't identify, but it's clearly old. Around the airfield itself, the town doesn't get too close to it, nearest buildings are about 200 meters from the perimeter."

The Major nodded and then questioned Lionel "Sounds easy enough."

Lionel nodded "What exactly is our goal here Major?"

The Major briefly looked at the Lieutenant and then back at Lionel before he answered "Well, while we were in flight here, seems Command had a change of heart on how to proceed. We're to seize the airfield and try to keep it as incognito as possible for a slow build-up of assets in theater. I presume your superiors here briefed you on our command's involvement in this theater, well, to get everyone here and the proper supplies, it's a little hard to do that at current standings. The closest British base is Ramon, but that's way too close to the Sinai and anything more then a handful of aircraft would raise suspicions and get detected. The Egyptians only have a 1 radar site, and this airfield sits outside of it's capable range, assuming it's even operating at peak efficiency which given the state of this country and what I've read in briefs, I'm skeptical to say the least. So, we take control of this airfield, and then we can slowly build up our operations."

"And just how do we keep the locals in the blind?"

"We're more or less just counting on the lack of an Egyptian presence. I've been briefed on RED SUN's general painting of the Egyptian landscape, seems they have relatively 0 presence this side of Qattara."

"That is true. Government funded police are a rarity outside of the big metropolis and the locals mostly fend for themselves. A few places here and in the southern nomes have medjay still, but I doubt they'll interfere. However, I doubt it won't be long before someone says something when you got huge military airlifters coming and going."

The Major smirked "That's more or less already known, but once the airlifters finish the job, we will have a full light infantry regiment on our hands."

Lionel looked puzzled and the Major smirked "I guess DMI didn't brief you on that part. RED SUN is going hot real quick; The Durham Light Infantry has been on QRF-status since the 17th and will be airlifted in here from JFB Ramon, moving across the Red Sea and Sinai, south of Memphis and then across Qattara here. The RAF has devoted an entire Expeditionary Air Group which around a hundred C-130's and plans to have the entire regiment on the ground in 120-140 hours. However, once the first three battalions are in place, they're making a move on El-Alamein, which will hopefully be under the cover of night on the 24th, or the early morning of the 25th and will be supported by the H.M.S. Hermes and her battle group. "

Lionel frowned "That will be some accomplishment to pull off. Doesn't the EN have three frigates out at sea though? Surely they'll detect the Hermes's group."

"The Hermes and her group will be closer to the Libyan coast and Crete, then to Alexandria. Our latest intelligence indicates the three Egyptian frigates are between the Sinai and Israel, which puts them far out of detection range to pick up the Hermes. The goal of this is to shock-and-awe seize El-Alamein which will give us a friendly port, and also another airfield on which to land troops. At this time, other elements of the Durham Light Infantry will move Marsa Mutrah, El Dabra and solidify and hold a line until other elements of the 14th Division can be brought into play. "

Lionel nodded "Well then, shall we get the ball rolling?"

The Major nodded "We commandeered a truck on the way here, that was our delay on the agreed timetable. We can use it to move through the town covertly, pull up to the airfield and quickly seize control. I noticed the SMG, you ready to rock with us?"

Lionel nodded "Lead the way."


Major Christian Nicolson
JFB 'Beetle', Town of Deir El-Gil, Contested Lands of Eygpt (30°45'11.21"N, 27° 4'12.92"E)
July 24, 1989; 1945 Hrs [UTC+2]






"Major, the Lieutenant Colonel has called a briefing for all 1st BAT CO's, he's doing it outside, I can show you where."

Christian slowly blinked his eyes a few times, trying to shrug off the weariness that enveloped his body; the flight from Corsica to Israel had been long, and he had unsuccessfully tried to sleep on both that flight and the one that got him here; he was pleasantly surprised when he looked at his watch to see he had managed to grab two hours of sleep, especially with the non-stop noise of Hercules C.3's constantly arriving and departing, and the general noise of an entire regiment unloading, organizing and establishing itself. He pulled himself up from the wooden bench he had been stretched out on on the lower floor of the central building here at the airfield and sat up, briefly looking at the young Lance Corporal in front of him. "Alright, let's get at it then."

The Lance Corporal made a move for the door, and Christian went to follow up, picking up his L51 rifle and slinging it across his right shoulder and followed the man out the door, though it took a few moments as dozens of people were coming and going, most carrying crates of varying sizes, everyone rushing to meet their operational timetable. The corporal eventually led Christian about forty meters away from the building, where someone had erected a desert pattern camo net, along with a collapsible table, a collection of similar chairs and a map of their AO with various markings on it that Christian was sure would be explained momentarily. He noticed the five other company commanders within his battalion, 1st Battalion, were already seated and he took a seat as well, settling in the third row. Their battalion commanding officer, a rather tall woman by the name of Elnora D'aramitz was already at the front ready to begin the briefing and once she noticed Christian sitting down she cleared her throat and began, having to raise her voice significantly due to all the ambient noise around them. "Good evening gentlemen, thank you all for coming so quickly, I'll try to keep this just as brief. Colonel Royce and his staff have assessed our strength and readiness after four days of airlifting and such, and have determined that the regiment is ready to be begin the first phase of PINK FALCON. Now, due to some mishaps in the airlifting process, we've had to amend our execution of our goals significantly from what we discussed back in JFB Ramon, so listen up. We will not be, initially, proceeding to El-Alamein with ourselves, 2nd and 3rd battalions; there was a mix-up and 3rd has only very partially transported over, approximately two platoons worth which is clearly not enough for this part of the operation, so the Colonel has decided they will instead be used to secure and establish ourselves here at this base. However, a full company from 4th Battalion somehow made it over, specifically their company that is based around the FV101's and FV102's, which is significant because it will ensure should we encounter any form of air or armored assets, they will be able to effectively neutralize them. That being said, they will be driving over, while the rest of us will be using helicopters, specifically Chinook HC.2, the last of them was refuel about an hour ago and are standing by to take us. Now, we only have twelve of them which makes they can only take six hundred and sixty of us at a time, requiring three trips to fully transport the entirety of 1 BAT and 2 BAT, of which we estimate will take 7 hours. Departure of the first flight will occur at 2200 hrs, and we will land at a pre-marked LZ, hereby called LZ Shack, which is approximately 6 kilometers from the outskirts of the city. We will then progress on front into the city, eventually linking up with the 4 BAT elements at approximately 3 kilometers from the city outskirts, here at RV Beet. The vehicles of 4 BAT will proceed westward around the outskirts of the city, mostly scouting for enemy armor and remaining on station for direct fire support. We will have L118 support as well, though ROE has forbidden us from expressly shelling inside the city, and we need to capture the airfield intact. Our main objective is this walled off compound here, just south of the airfield, which will be home to most of the garrison and any potential defenders. Our first and second company will advance straight on and breech the southern wall, while third and fourth advance left and fifth and sixth advance right, if they attempt to flee to the airfield we will hopefully have seized the compound by that point and will be in a position to fire directly on them, and the airfield. 2nd BAT will be securing the city itself, so we'll have the airfield to ourselves, though as mentioned before, the vehicle contingency from 4 BAT will remain on station to assist where needed, and we will have artillery support. Go and brief your NCOs and get the men assembled over at the in-situ parking on the west side of the landing strip near the far end, we're on a time crunch on this one ladies."

The next hour or so for Christian was mostly spent gathering the NCO's of his platoons and briefing them on the idea and situation as well as to which platoon would be going in which helicopter and such, and then ensuring they passed the information necessary to the squadron level. Mustering the men took less time then anticipated, and all twelve Chinooks laden with more then six hundred members of the regiment's first battalion were in the air and flying towards their landing zone by 2230. The Chinooks were spaced out per standard safety and formation, though they flew with no escort as there was no none SAM or air defenses in the region; in fact, the only ones in the entire theater that intelligence had found were at Alexandria's own airport. Christian adjusted the weight of his webbing slightly, the DPM-colored gear moving as he shifted in his spot at the back of the helicopter, near the ramp. Across from him sat his company command sergeant who would direct in the unloading and then from there they would begin the operation; Christian was trying to not let his nerves get the better of him, but it was the first combat deployment for him and the thoughts of how he was going to effectively ensure his men performed the best and died the least weighed heavily on his mind. Never the less, he cleared his thoughts and noticed his company radio man, who was seated next to him, tapping him on the shoulder. Christian nodded and moved his ear next to the man's head so he could hear him over the roar of the Chinook's engines and propeller "Major, Colonel D'aramitz radioed in, Colonel Royce is going to have commence an artillery barrage once we are all landed."

Christian nodded and then resumed his prior position, patiently waiting; fifteen more minutes until the Chinooks reached their LZ, four landing at a time to ensure proper spacing and so the group wasn't bunched up, the others holding in a pattern above the LZ. Unfortunately, the monotony of the evening and prior events ended here, as Christian was patiently waiting for his helicopter to land there was an ear-ripping explosion that punctured the previously silent night sky, and Christian got a glimpse of a massive fireball through the small porthole across the way, partially obscured by the man sitting in front of it. He could hear the controlled chaos through his radio and switched to the helicopter's internal comms, contacting the pilots as he felt the large aircraft veer and turn, the sound of it's chaff dispensing audible to him. "Pilot, this is Major Nichols, what's going on?"

"Sir, medium-range SAM just took Osprey 1 down, status unknown. I'm diverting us south and putting us down, unsure of the other birds."

Christian paused to think for a moment; Osprey 1 was the command Chinook, Colonel D'aramitz had been on board as well as the command platoon for the entire battalion. "Pilot, get word to the remaining Chinooks in the air, have them move to a LZ one klick south and put us down."

The pilot replied in an affirmative and Christian tapped his radio man "Try to get on the airwaves and find Major Ashworth."

Major Ashworth was the commanding officer of the first company, and per Army protocol the third in command, behind the Colonel and her executive officer of which both had been on Osprey 1. He didn't know the status of the helicopter, if it had been recovered from the hit or destroyed on impact but he knew he needed to get his birds out of the air and the men offloaded with an unknown SAM threat now clearly present. It didn't take long for the remaining birds to make the correction and soon all were landed at Christian's designated spot, the troops offloading as quickly as possible into the dust-storm being kicked up by the Chinooks rotors, and the proximity of the sheer number of them. Within ten minutes, they had all been offloaded and clear of the helicopters, the remaining seven large helicopters now returning to base to retrieve more of the regiment, a mission now extended by the loss of such a vital asset. The men formed up into columns and began quick-timing back to the original LZ, Christian moving at the front of the first column, the company's mortar platoon with him as well as his radio man, who began talking to him halfway to the original LZ, he had been trying to get information on the situation there before Christian's direction "Sir, I couldn't get in touch with Ashworth but I got a hold of Major Power, CO for third company. She's gotten all of first company plus her's in third organized at the original LZ and she sent a fireteam to find the downed Chinook. They found it six hundred meters to the west of the LZ, it disintegrated on the ground evidently destroyed by the impact in air of whatever hit it. No survivors."

Christian swore to himself - losing the Battalion CO, XO, and command platoon as well as the CO of the first company was a disaster - they shouldn't have all been grouped together on the single helicopter, but that particular protocol had been overlooked due to the speed at which the Army was trying to execute this mission; now look at the consequence. Christian asked for the radio channel for the company net and dialed it into his own personal radio and then began speaking "Attention all, this is Major Nicolson of second company; per ASO 12.1, I'm assuming command of the battalion in the light of the loss of Osprey 1. Major Powers, have your XO assume command over what's left of first company and establish a perimeter two hundred meters off of the LZ, we'll wait for the second wave of transport before we begin maneuvering."

He then turned to his radio man "Get me regimental command, I need to inform them."

It took a few moments, but once on the air, Nicolson informed Colonel Royce of the loss of the helicopter, and those on board. He was unable to infer as to the Colonel's reaction to the bad news, aside from the obvious venom in his voice when he indicated he was going to begin shelling the compound, and sure enough by the time Nicolson was able to link up with the rest of the battalion at the original landing zone, they could hear the sound of the 105mm shells impacting at the compound, which was a little over two kilometers north of their current position. He gathered the two other officers and indicated he intended to proceed as per the original plan, and he would establish himself with the mortar plan three hundred meters short of the compound so as to supply mortar fire and being able to direct the whole operation. Within twenty minutes while waiting for the next wave to arrive, he had a squad attend to the crashed Chinook and confirm all 55 of it's passengers were KIA; by the time they returned, the rest of the battalion had been landed at the landing zone, along with some Land Rovers with Tarden's attached to them. He had the battalion get into position, the companies assigned to flanking moving out to either flank while first and second remained in the center, establishing a position; the terrain was not ideal to cover, it was almost entirely flat which left them exposed, never mind the massive fire and smoke column coming from the downed helicopter; however this also meant they were able to see into the compound and could tell it's defenders were now rousing, as well as being able to conduct BDA's for the artillery fire. He had the mortar platoon's coms man act as a fire direct officer and begin calling in additional strikes, specifically near the perimeter of the air base as he could see through his range finder that there was a convoy of some kind being assembled; however, four minutes later, a wave of howitzer shells saw to an end of that, three of them hitting right on where the Egyptians had been assembling, destroying a number of vehicles and men while the others landed off to the sides downing perimeter fencing and spewing shrapnel in their vicinity. He needed to ensure that no relief reached the compound before his soldiers had seized it.

With still a handful of minutes before the last wave of Chinooks was due, the defenders of the compound had become organized and were beginning to fire at the oncoming British troops, who had lightly due in with entrenching tools. Nicholson had ordered them only to shoot if engaged first, but he knew he had to advance up; simply waiting any longer would endanger them of becoming pinned down and bogging up the whole operation. He ordered the companies to begin their approach and ordered ' weapons free ' and within a few minutes the entire region was filled with the sounds of a full on battle as roughly four and half companies of British soldiers engaged the compound; his mortar platoon afforded him six 60mm mortars who he immediately began directing towards the perimeter of the compound that were still intact; many spots of the wall had been breached by the howitzer fire but there was still significant portions intact and from appearances they must have an internal walkway, as Egyptians troops were firing from behind them, over the top. Intelligence had not given them a number to expect, but he anticipated nothing more then a company's worth.

Despite the numerical advantage, and with more to come, the next wrinkle in their plans developed as a particular concerning radio traffic was relayed to him from Major Powers, who was leading the attempt to flank on the left side of the compound. "Pine Actual, Pine 3 Actual, we're taking heavy fire from our north-western sectors, OPFOR somehow has gotten a force out in front of us and we're being targeted with accurate suppressing fire, believe mounted on armored vehicles, support requested, out."

"Pine 3 Actual, Pine Actual, roger on your last, fire support will be tasked."

"Felts, what do you see over there, they should be bearing around 275 for us."

Christian called out to his acting fire direction officer, and waited for the reply which only took a few moments before the man put down his rangefinder and pointed off to the east, where tracers and small explosions could be seen "Sir, Powers sound accurate.I could see a number of trucks and a technical, probably got around a platoon of guys over there they must have snuck out the back of the airfield and come around trying to flank us, and ran into our own flanking attempt."

" Damnit. Joles! Get your mortars to fire at bearing 285, approximately six hundred meters out, Felts will give you an accurate range. Felts, put some distance between our guys and theirs with the shells, I want them crowded in so our guys have less room for error and easier targets."

He turned his attention once more to left flank; the worst of them getting pinned down was those two companies were at full strength, the eastern flanking attempt was the one being weakened by moving before the final wave had arrived; Christian just hoped now that perhaps an off level in strength meant the eastern force arrived hard first. He also knew he had to get his men into that compound quick; the assault had already lasted twenty minutes and every minute longer they took increased the risk factor of this going worse. He knew his troops were too close to use the heavier artillery, but his mortars could work so he had to wait once they let out about four rounds each westward to try to relieve pressure off of Major Power's company. Once they had, he ordered them to do a two shell drop on a horizontal barrage across the southern wall of the compound and had Felts give them an accurate range and bearing for a position just inside the walls; if the shells landed outside the compound, it was highly likely that most of shrapnel and force would be absorbed by the walls, or directed back towards his own troops. But if they landed inside, they would go in every direction in that compound, which while spacious would still have disastrous impact for all the defenders who were bunching together trying to concentrate fire. As the 'thud' of the shells started going out, he saw a bright flash in the northern distance and a trail of smoke as a large missile flew out of the base and towards the landing zone; Christian whipped his head and saw a number of flares lingering in the sky, and then heard an explosion but he did not see a large fireball. It made him hope that the missile had missed. "Comms, get word out to REGCOMM that the SAM site is inside the airfield, somewhere at the far end. Maybe they can have some of our Navy friends knock it down for us."

Within three minutes, Christian's ordered mortar barrage had come crashing down in a series of explosions that illuminated the entire landscape of the battle; several more portions of the wall were either completely destroyed or knocked down to to a level that someone could easily overcome it. The amount of fire coming from the Egyptians slackened considerably and within four more minutes, British soldiers were pouring in through either the front gate, or the breaches along the wall. He knew that the troops would still take some time to clear the building, but knew he could have his mortars packed up and moved into the compound in the time that took, plus the final remnants of fifth and sixth company were finally marching up in column formation towards the west, so Christian assisted in helping a few the mortar teams get re-packaged and then prepared to rendezvous with the rest of his men in the compound. It would take a little under fifteen minutes for that to occur, when he crossed over the wall he made his way over to Major Powers who was standing outside the main barracks building, talking with an NCO. "Powers, what's our status?"

"I lost nine in that surprise counter-flanking, and we lost another five clearing out this building. 1st company lost three on the approach, eight wounded, 2nd company has 6 KIA and 11 wounded and fourth has two KIA and none injured. With the rest of the battalion here, I think we're ready to push hard on that airfield."

"Good, now, this is how we're going to take the airfield. I want you to take second and third companies and breach along that angled southern, western wall of the airfield, take those Land Rovers with you and have them give you some fire support. I haven't been able to get a hold of our armored units, apparently 2nd Battalion really needs them over in the city."

They both briefly looked over their shoulders, eastward towards the city proper of El-Alamein, and could see a number of fires and tracers that zipped through the night sky, as well as the occasional tell-tale flash of explosions. "Anyways, while you're doing that, first is going to sweep and clear the village to the south of the airfield while fourth is going to push along the main wall and then breach on the opposite side of your forces. Make sure we're watching our cross fire, I don't want any friendly fire. Fifth and sixth companies will split their attentions between opposite approaches from either the coast further west or from the city proper, I don't want to get taken by surprise from another reactionary force again."


With the orders dispersed, the soldiers of the Durham Light Infantry's 1st Battalion pushed themselves back into quick-time marching for the slog across the road and into the airfield; by 0400 hours, in the last hour of the dark morning sky, His Majesty's flag would be raised over the airfield's shrapnel-speckled command building, after three hours of intense fighting from what they later determined was approximately a company-and-half strength force. The task of counting the final losses for their own side would fall to Major Nicolson, who ended up reporting to Colonel Royce that approximately 53 soldiers had been killed in the mission, more then half inflicted by the close quarters gun dueling that took place in the airfield, but that didn't count the 55 soldiers who went down before the battle even began in Osprey 1. Even though they lost more then a hundred soldiers, their losses would pale hard when they met up with their comrades from 2nd Battalion, who had been sent to secure El-Alamein. They had run right into a fanatical defense from local gangs, an Army company and the police of the city. All told, 2nd Battalion would end up losing 232 men to the grave and half of that number wounded. The losses were far worse then the Army had anticipated and they quickly moved to ensure that the regiment could adequately set up a perimeter around the city and the airport while the crucial assets needed in theater were offloaded in the city's port. Transport ships that had been escorted in by the Hermes carrier battlegroup would arrive at the port first at 0600 hrs in local time and begin offloading members of the Royal Breton Rifles, Durham's sister regiment in their brigade. Another transport group would approach to offload that afternoon carrying members of the York and Lancaster Regiment, though that would take the longest as it was a mechanized regiment and the roll on/off ships took hours to offload.

Despite the losses, the British did succeed in their goal of taking the Egyptians completely by surprise; they were caught blind, as an understatement, and left totally out of position to respond to the intervention of the British military. To further ensure they remained on the backfoot, the RAF began launching pre-determined strikes against crucial units and sites around the central Nile region, aimed at weakening their infrastructure and ability to quickly move troops. None the less, the Egyptians moved to deploy what naval assets they could, hoping to conduct strikes into Israel to weaken the British military there, which was using it's bases in that region to supply their efforts here. DMI had succeeded in wrecking havoc on the Navy's fuel depots, which meant they could only sally out their carrier group, which was still a potent force in of itself. [i]Hermes[/ and it's battlegroup would remain near El-Alamein to provide defense for the transport ships now moving in and assist the RAF in establishing complete air superiority over Egypt.
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Layarteb
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Postby Layarteb » Sat Jul 06, 2019 6:05 pm



• • • † • • •



Monday, October 21st, 1991 | 09:00 hrs [UTC-5]

Layarteb City, New York | Fortress of Comhghall
40° 41' 28" N, 74° 0' 58" W






The entirety of the Special Council was now present in the Emperor's office with the arrival of Chairman-General Mark Moore. Apologizing for his delay - due to a major accident on the BQE - he quickly took his seat. Minister Bryant of Defense was chairing this meeting began, "On Saturday, we were briefed by General Lance King, our commanding officer of C-FOR. He spoke, in summary, on violations against the 1982 CCA by Northern Cyprus. None of his allegations can be refuted with the evidence presented and even our own intelligence and justice agencies concur with the data as presented or am I incorrect?" Neither Minister Dunn of Intelligence or Minister Pruett of Justice disagreed. "Very well, which leads us to our current decision point.

"In accordance with the 1982 CCA, we are fully justified in acting politically and even militarily against Northern Cyprus. As their obfuscation is showing, Northern Cyprus was merely biding their time and they are definitely preparing for action. Striking them early will present a major, military advantage to us. At the same time, our political case is not as strong as we would like it to be. By waiting this out, we have an even more damning set of circumstances, which we can exploit. How do we respond thusly?"

"We've already acted against Munishi once,"
Minister Dunn of Intelligence began. "On July 15, 1986, we attempted to sponsor a coup for his overthrow, which ended in failure. The coup was set to launch at 23:00 local time but Murphy's Law struck and our operatives were forced to launch several hours ahead of the schedule. Because of this, the attempt lacked the coordination it required. Of the original one hundred and twenty-five operatives launching the coup, one hundred were killed, twenty-two were captured, and three escaped into Cyprus. Munishi's forces suffered seventy killed. At least one hundred to two hundred civilians were killed as a result of the attempt.

"The coup seriously strengthened Munishi's position. Publically coerced confessions amongst the captured coup plotters were embarrassing, to say the least. We continue to push that this was a false flag attempt committed by Munishi to consolidate power. We've gotten some backing on this. Push comes to shove, we missed a golden opportunity that July. We strongly believe that Munishi had his predecessor, Sinan Dalgalar, assassinated. Dalgalar was a proponent of a peaceful solution to the Cypriot Question. Munishi and other hardliners are anything but."

"We are entirely justified in acting,"
Minister Bailey of Foreign Affairs started to say but then he paused, thought a moment, and continued on a different path. "However, I must caution us against acting on Northern Cyprus. I just do not believe the time is right and we have other opportunities. We're already embattled with Yemen but we have two other sources of difficulty here, the Sinai and Gaza. Gaza has been an independent state since the First Crusade and since then it has become a major conduit for nefarious behavior. In fact, that was why it was established in the first place, was it not? Between Gaza and the Sinai, we could isolate Munishi diplomatically and push for a different kind of peace on Cyprus."

"Very diplomatic of you indeed,"
the Emperor answered. "What does Justice have to say?"

"Sir, Justice is focused on punishing Munishi for what he's doing but also going after the source. We know our latitude against Yemen is limited lest we want to get involved in a major war in Yemen, which we've discussed many times before. We know where we stand as a country on Yemen and so that is out of the question. Moving against Gaza and the Sinai to isolate Munishi could have positive effects."

"Yes sir I would concur,"
Chairman-General Moore said. "Neither nation presents a formidable fighting force. Northern Cyprus, despite its size, does. That is not to say we could not conquer the nation, by all means we could do so easily but isolating it would be prefer. Forcing a diplomatic surrender is a more achievable goal sir."

"It would be easier to remove the flow of illegal arms than the government,"
said the Emperor. "Rather than go right for the throat, this is the pathway we should choose. What is to become of both the Sinai and Gaza? Surely the Empire of Britannia will have a good amount to say over the matter. They've been eyeing our 'encroachment' - as they call it - into the Eastern Med as a direct spike at them. They're not wrong but we need to consider how they will respond."

"Gaza presents an easier case than the Sinai does sir,"
Donald Cook of National Security said. "Gaza is a sovereign, independent state. It's been under the control of the Khouri clan since 1982 and it's not a nice place. If you want to find disreputable individuals in disreputable professions, Gaza is the place to go. It exists as a sort of 'neutral ground' for the entire world to conduct nefarious and dirty business. We've done so frequently through there. Yet this can only be tolerated so much and perhaps Gaza's time is over in this regard. Arms, drugs, black market goods, and people are trafficking through Gaza to points near and far. The British will raise a stink and a half but they might not press the issue too hard."

"And of the Sinai?"

"That sir will be a problem. The Sinai is, de jure, part of Egypt. Egypt's been a part of British foreign policy since the 1300s and that isn't going to change for the next seven hundred years. The Sinai might have become de facto independent in the 1950s what with all of the issues Egypt had but that doesn't make it recognized as such in the eyes of the world. If we're going to move into the Sinai we need to do so in a manner befitting our British allies. We'll need to inform them of what we're doing and we're going to have to accept certain conditions when all is said and done."

"Conditions?"

"Sir, I think that, if we play our cards right, we may be able to establish a military occupation of the Sinai. However, we should fall short of declaring it sovereign territory of the Empire. This keeps the Sinai in limbo. If we offer no hindrances between Egypt and Israel for the British they may just accept it for what it is. They won't be happy and there will be countermoves but we could successfully exert authority over the Sinai. For one thing sir, this would ensure complete dominance over the Suez Canal Zone and perhaps act as a barrier against Manchurian Global's mercenaries guarding it."

"I see your point,"
said the Emperor, "and I don't believe I can argue with it either. All right then this is how we'll act. How soon can we act?"

"Sir, it will take us some time to build up the forces needed for a simultaneous operation against both Gaza and the Sinai. No earlier than December sir,"
answered Chairman-General Moore.

"All right then December it is, let's keep this under wraps until then though we need to advise General King what our decision has been. For his eyes only, I want no leaks."



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Postby Layarteb » Sat Aug 10, 2019 8:26 am



• • • † • • •



Tuesday, November 12th, 1991 | 13:45 hrs [UTC-5]

Layarteb City, New York | Fortress of Comhghall
40° 41' 28" N, 74° 0' 58" W






Inside of the Emperor's office, the conversation came to an abrupt halt as the entire office and more to the point, the entire castle, shook. The roar of jet engines rumbled as a pair of F-4E Phantom II fighters passed just north of the island's perimeter. They'd only just taken off a few minutes prior from an airbase in Northern New Jersey and they were heading east, out over Long Island and the North Atlantic Ocean. They were part of a 24-aircraft squadron heading to Crete in preparation for Operation RED DRAGONFLY, which ironically enough was what the National Security Council was discussing in the Emperor's office at this very time. While the rest of the squadron was flying at cruising altitude, two aircraft had been selected to fly low to give a salute to Governors Island en route eastwards.

"Sir, F-4s heading to Crete," Chairman-General Mark Moore commented, "they're heading there for Gaza and the Sinai sir."

"They'll never not be loud those planes,"
the Emperor commented, "I see that the war planners continue to keep the F-4 alive?"

"Yes sir they do,"
commented Minister Alan Bryant of Defense, "the budget committee wants them retired in favor of the newer F-16s but the war planning committee continues to justify their existence. We are, however, down to just four squadrons remaining, the rest of the aircraft have been converted to test drones. No, I'm sorry there are six," he corrected himself, "we have two RF-4 squadrons still, my apologies."

"Preparations for RED DRAGONFLY are going smoothly then?"

"Yes sir they are, if we can get back to that,"
Minister Bryant continued, "it's largely going to be the navy's show, much to the chagrin of both the army and the air force. We presently have in the Med one carrier battle group, on escort group, and a submarine group. Within the next ten days we'll have a second carrier battle group and one amphibious group, along with another escort group. By the end of the month we'll have a second amphibious group and a third escort group and in the Red Sea, we'll have a carrier battle group, an escort group, and a submarine group.

"The air force will have three hundred and twenty-four aircraft in theater, most of them based in Crete. At Akrotiri, we're going to forward deploy a single squadron of F-16s to supplement the F-15s and the F-111s. Crete will receive additional assets like these F-4s and we're moving a squadron of F-117s as well."

"F-117s? Is that even necessary for this operation? I hate to question the military planners but that seems unnecessary,"
the Emperor turned to Chairman-General Moore, "or am I unaware of something?"

"Sir, the British."

"We're not fighting the British."

"We're not sir but if we need to launch a high-priority strike before the main operation commences, the F-117 stands the greatest chance for success. The British won't see it and if they won't see it no one will. We need to be absolutely sure that if we find a critical target, we can strike it with no impediments. The last thing we need is the British to detect a fighter-bomber and issue a warning that somehow makes it to our enemies."

"Very well,"
said the Emperor, "you make a valid point. All right what else do we have in the works?"

"Well sir,"
Minister Bryant continued, "the main thrust will be made by the Marines. Between our two amphibious groups we're sitting on two brigades of men. This is more than enough for the initial operations in securing and defeating the standing militaries and militias in both Gaza and the Sinai. Backing them up will be paratroopers and light infantry from the army along with two combined arms divisions, mainly for use in the Sinai. JSOC will be providing assorted forces as well."

"All told, how many personnel are we sending into Gaza and the Sinai?"

"Ground forces will be approximately sixty thousand men sir. We have a significant advantage of personnel against both targets."

"I would say so. What is our estimated H-Hour?"

"The fourth of December right now sir, just before the new moon. Have you given thought to issuing an ultimatum?"

"I have,"
said the Emperor and here he addressed the entire NSC, "I have decided against it. We have our justification and we don't need to prove it to anyone. I'll inform the British just prior to the first strikes but that is as far of a warning as I will issue. There's nothing to ask for from either Gaza or the Sinai that an ultimatum would suit. Operations will commence on cue. Are there any objections?" Minister Marion Bailey of Foreign Affairs and Minister Duane Pruett of Justice had objections of course.

For Minister Bailey, the idea of simply attacking a sovereign nation was incomprehensible, despite the violations in Cyprus, chiefly because neither had directly attacked Layarteb. The issues in Cyprus were secondary. He wanted to see a negotiated solution that eliminated support for Munishi, thus isolating him. He would have rather seen the Northern Cypriot problem sort itself out from within following this but this was wishful thinking. To be the Minister of Foreign Affairs one had to have a dove in a sea of hawks. Meanwhile, for Minister Pruett, the issue was of a different matter. He saw the actions taken in violation of the CCA as a legal matter that could be pursued against both Gaza and the Sinai through sanctions and embargos, even so much as a blockade if necessary to isolate both entities and force them into a position of negotiation. However, blockades were acts of war just the same as dropping bombs were, albeit without immediate casualties. Sanctions and embargoes could work, in theory, but the Empire needed support from other nations in the world and it wasn't likely to find support for this, especially since nations of the world used Gaza for their under-the-table activities. The Empire certainly did so.

In the end though, the will of the NSC wasn't towards different actions. Combat action against both Gaza and the Sinai were what had been voted on, decided, revoted on, redecided, and so on and so forth. The lawlessness of Gaza would be brought to an end and the smuggling routes through the Sinai would be closed. There was nothing to be done about Yemen, least of all in the midst of its chaos thanks almost entirely in part because of Layartebian operations against the country in 1988, the last of which had killed Supreme Leader Waqar Touma, who was public enemy number one for the Empire.



• • • † • • •


Last edited by Layarteb on Sat Aug 10, 2019 8:26 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Layarteb » Sun Oct 06, 2019 7:45 pm



• • • † • • •



Wednesday, November 20th, 1991 | 07:00 hrs [UTC+2]

Eastern Mediterranean Sea | A-5D Super Vigilante "Blackjack 502"
33° 30' 44" N, 31° 20' 13" E






Lieutenant Commander James "Bluff" Hutchinson and his WSO, Lieutenant Junior Grade Keith "Slugger" Hernandez were next in position for takeoff, the massive airplane vibrating underneath them at idle power. In front of them, a pair of F-14B Tomcats were being locked into the catapult shuttles as the jet blast deflectors or JBDs were raised to protect the aircraft behind them, of which Hutchinson had a front-row seat. He went through the final parts of the takeoff checklist, lowering and locking his flaps into takeoff position and monitoring the engine temperature gauges. The massive heat put out by the two turbofan engines was no laughing matter but the plane could take it, she was designed to be a speed demon and she wanted nothing more than to go fast. The last thing he did was lower and lock the wingtips into position as the two Tomcats shot off in front of him separated by ten seconds of time, what looked like an eternity to Hutchinson.

When the JBD lowered in front of him, he watched a yellow shirt direct him forward and with that, he gave a tap to the throttles and the aircraft inched forward. Using his nose-wheel steering control, he followed the direction of the catapult officer until finally he was given the all clear to stop and he pushed down on the brakes. Underneath, where he couldn't see, a green shirted officer had locked the catapult shuttle into place and given his okay. The signal came to run up the engines and Hutchinson did, pushing the throttles up to full military power and then to afterburner. Everything looked good and then, following the direction, he went through the motions of testing all of his flight control systems as he rigorously pushed down on the rudder pedals and moved the flight stick between his legs. He got the thumbs up and that was it, he offered a salute, put his head back, took his hands off the stick and throttle, and waited.

Outside, in a roar so loud it was amazing the headphones even did anything to protect him, the yellow-shirted catapult officer dropped to his knee and extended his arm. Steam pressure was checked and a button was pushed and that was all she wrote. The shuttle underneath the might aircraft lurched forward, literally catapulting - for this was a catapult - the aircraft from zero to one hundred and forty-five knots in just two hundred and sixty-five feet. Thrown over the bow, Hutchinson's aircraft quickly took to flight, accelerating as he put his hands back on the controls. He raised the landing gear and reduced power as he climbed out to the south, still accelerating and climbing. When he retracted the flaps, he put the aircraft out of afterburner and retarded the throttle slightly more, reporting that he was airborne and on mission.

Callsign "Blackjack 502," Hutchinson and his WSO were now en route eastward, climbing out to eighteen thousand feet where they would settle in for what was essentially a reconnaissance flight. The two pods hanging below the aircraft's inboard pylons were for ELINT. One aimed at gathering signals from surface-to-air radars and the other on communications bandwidths. The flight was meant to "stir the pot" in Gaza and see what the military down there did. The navy was poised in the Eastern Med to launch operations but there was no telling just what the Gazans and the Sinai would do so it was a flight such as this one that was meant to see what their reaction would be. Gaza had something of a small military but that included twelve Mirage IIIE interceptors and several surface-to-air radar stations to warn of approaching aircraft and ships. The radar - if it was operating - would have little trouble picking up the mammoth A-5D Vigilante as it cruised off the Gazan coastline.

The A-5D Vigilante was a very strange program for the Imperial Layartebian Navy. The airframe, originally built as the A-5A Vigilante, was built in the late 1950s and the early 1960s to serve as a supersonic, nuclear, strike bomber. Its only mission was to fly supersonic into enemy territory, drop a nuclear weapon, and fly back to its carrier - if the carrier was even still there and not sunk by a retaliatory strike. That role however was too limiting for a plane as sleek and as fast as the Vigilante and so the A-5A and the A-5B gave way to the RA-5C. Unarmed except for a powerful camera system, the RA-5C Vigilante flew with distinction over Venezuela, carrying our pre and post-strike reconnaissance missions.

When it was retired from service, the airframes were put into storage until the early 1980s. Around the early 1980s, the navy found itself in sore need of a replacement to its carrier-based A-6 Intruder and A-7 Corsair II aircraft. Airframes were in poor condition following the protected war in Venezuela. The new F-18 Hornet, while modern and advanced, lacked the payload and the range of either aircraft it intended to replace and the navy had already signed the death warrant on the F-4 Phantom II. The air force was working on the newest variant of the Eagle, the F-15E Super Eagle, and the navy felt left out, wanting a supersonic strike bomber. However, funds were tight and resources limited, thus the navy turned to its old friend, the RA-5C Vigilante. Three prototypes were ordered and rushed into testing with virtually the entire airframe redesigned. The engines were replaced with the same as those in the F-15E, the bomb bay was converted into an additional fuel tank, and four extra hardpoints were added, two to the fuselage and two to the outer wing. The cockpit was ripped out and redesigned as well. The aircraft's radar system was replaced and it was given the capability to use the new LANTIRN pods of the Strike Eagle.

In the end, the navy ordered forty-eight aircraft, all of which were converted from the RA-5C. Four squadrons of ten aircraft were made and the rest served as spares. Renamed the A-5D Super Vigilante, the new aircraft were everything the navy almost wanted, age of the airframes being the biggest complaint. This mattered little to the pilots who were now flying the fastest aircraft in the navy. Speed on the new airframe was limited to Mach 2.35 at altitude or 1,350 knots. This was nearly one hundred knots slower than the turbojet-powered variants that preceded it but the limitation on speed wasn't because the airframe or the engines couldn't take it but rather the navy wanted to get additional lifespan out of the aircraft. Eventually, this would be reduced to a pathetic, Mach 2 at altitude or 1,150 knots.

With its eight pylons now, the Super Vigilante could carry a good amount of ordnance. The two fuselage pylons were limited to only carrying the two LANTIRN pods and in their absence, due to availability, the plane could mount the lighter but single pod AN/AAS-38 Nitehawk for laser-designation and FLIR purposes. The four, wing pylons could carry up to 17,000 pounds of air-to-surface munitions, chiefly laser-guided bombs. Like the F-111F, the A-5D could carry four, 2,000-pound, Paveway bombs. Lastly, the two outer wing pylons were for carriage of AIM-9 Sidewinder missiles, purely for self-defense. In reality, these were rarely carried. Instead, the Super Vigilante would rely on combat air patrol F-14s for protection against aerial threats, which was why the two Tomcats had been put into the skies. They would hold approximately fifty nautical miles due west of the Vigilante's flight run, ready to zoom in and protect the Vigilantes if Gazan Mirages were launched.

Settling in at 18,000 feet and 400 knots, Blackjack 502 was in Hutchinson's trusty hands. His WSO was going through a checklist for getting the ELINT pods ready. It was a clear morning over the Eastern Med with the sun rising in front of them, the sky giving way from its dawn colors to the deep blue of pollution-free air. Cruising through the first waypoints, Blackjack 502 neared the faraway Gazan coastline. No doubt, by now, British radars in Israel had picked up the lone Vigilante and the Tomcats flying behind it, cruising at high altitude and low power to conserve fuel. If the British were going to do anything though it remained to be seen. The Vigilante, as a lone aircraft, was hardly any threat whatsoever.

Coming nearer to and finally at the Gazan coastline, Blackjack 502 remained at altitude and speed. Flying twenty nautical miles off the Gazan coastline, the aircraft's ELINT pods were more than capable of intercepting everything happening in Gaza for, at that altitude, the distance to the horizon was over one hundred and forty nautical miles. Gaza, as a nation-state, at its very widest, wasn't even ten nautical miles across, with most of the territory being less than five nautical miles in width. Roaring past the country, the Vigilante would complete its first leg in just two-and-a-half minutes. The first leg was more just a tease to the Gazans to start communicating. Their radars were on and sweeping the air, the signals being received and stored into the ELINT pods' memory banks. Hutchinson, having completed that first run, would turn around and conduct another and several more after that, trying to stir up trouble in Gaza.

It was on the fifth run that the Gazans sortied their Mirages. Two Mirage IIIE fighters, each armed with a pair of air-to-air missiles, took to the skies and Blackjack 502 received the launch warning. Terminating the fifth run, he turned the aircraft towards home and accelerated to 500 knots. The Mirages gave chase and with that, he accelerated further and faster, pushing the aircraft up to its lowest afterburning stage. The Vigilante went supersonic and kept going, flying up to 800 knots. Still, the Mirages gave chase and Hutchinson went to full afterburner. The aircraft rocketed forward up to 1,000 knots. The Tomcats, called to intercept, passed over the Vigilante with a separation of ten thousand feet and it was then, and only then, when the Mirage III pilots saw their RWRs light up with the Tomcat radars that they turned back for home. The Tomcats lingered just to ensure they didn't turn back but they didn't give chase, seeing no benefit in it.

In the end, the mission was a success. Intelligence gathered by Blackjack 502 would be entered into prestrike planning and it also showed the navy the response time of the Gazan Air Force. They would have been given a letter grade of a "C" if this were a test. In reality, the opening strikes would aim to eliminate the fighters before they even got airborne and it would be up to future reconnaissance flights, chiefly imagery-oriented, to provide the level of detail needed to strike Gaza's multiple targets. Once again, flights would be made over the coastline with a variety of aircraft, including TARPS-wired F-14B Tomcats, which provided some of the better imagery the military received.



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Postby Itailian Maifias » Fri Oct 11, 2019 3:53 pm

Handy reference for this post
Major Christian Nicolson
FOB 'Ratunga', 20km southwest of Dytiki (El-Hamam), Contested Lands of Eygpt (30°40'45.78"N, 29°18'10.94"E)
July 31, 1989; 1212 Hrs [UTC+2]






Christian counted his lucky stars as he threw himself onto the ground behind the ramshackle sandbag wall, landing on his back with his rifle gripped close to his chest as he watched the green auto cannon rounds fly over head and land in the dirt some meters behind him now, the Egyptian armored vehicle had slowly been creeping up closer to them for the last fifteen minutes, in an apparent attempt to support the swarms of Egyptian infantry that were pressing on the ad-hoc line that marked the British extent of control, centered out of the hastily assembled forward base here that Christian found himself positioned out of, him and most of his second platoon; Ratunga was less a base as it had no buildings other then three brick village houses that had been taken over and surrounded with an array of sandbags that formed a number of "walls", much like the very one that Christian was now pulling himself over, resting his left forearm on the top of the wall as he focused his sight through the optics of his rifle and began quickly trying to place the reticle over any of the numerous hostile soldiers and squeezing off two or three rounds as soon as he found a target.

The attack had begun, all though anticipated, they were not completely prepared. After seizing El-Alamein, the first battalion of the Durham Light Infantry had moved quickly to the east, eventually linking up with the third battalion from their regiment and began forming a line of control and defense that extended from the coastline to here at Ratunga, which was just a little over twenty kilometers from the town of Dytiki which was the first major settlement that the British army would have to seize before it could advance into Greater Alexandria, and the city proper itself. Initial expectations had been that they would be able to seize Alexandria within a week, however the command's plans for a quick seizure and hold of the pivotal historic Egyptian city were thrown out the window when the Egyptians had been able to redeploy their own ground forces much faster than had been anticipated, with elements of what they now believed to be either the Egyptians 1st or 2nd Division, with much better organization and equipment then they had been led to believe; they had been under the impression that both of the Egyptians infantry divisions were what European armies would call 'motorized', or 'light', with most of their inventories consisting of 2-ton Land Rovers that had been fitted with a mounted machine gun, or light trucks ranging from ten to twenty five tons; nothing heavier, so certainly no armored personnel carriers or infantry fighting vehicles, much like what was currently harassing Christian and the men in his platoon.

This particular attack Christian could tell was much more then the probing skirmishes that the Egyptians usually mounted in the last five days since the line had been established here; typically nothing more then a company would engage in long range prolonged gunfights, designed to measure no doubt what the British had available and would respond with and apparently the information they had gathered had led them to believe, and with enough confidence, that they could push the Durham Light Infantry off of the line, and so this morning just as the sun rose the 1st-3rd battalions of the regiment found themselves under a much coordinated assault then previously encountered, backed up by artillery strikes that they believed to be coming out of the few hinterlands laying between the metropolises of Alexandria, Cairo, and the other major cities in the Nile delta region, or what was sometimes referred to as Upper Egypt. The artillery was heavy enough to knock more then a few of the regiment's Land Rovers out of action with a single indirect or direct strike, and they had been fortunate that it seems their spotters had trouble getting them to strike on the actual forward base, or other entrenched positions along the line as they had relatively been free of them, though not from any light mortars the Egyptian infantry had brought with them which had been in good number, though marksman and soldier alike ensured those crews didn't stay up long, especially because the terrain all around them was flat desert that gave into fertile green land, with the horizon only broken up by the uncommon cluster of palm trees and remote villages.

"Corporal, where the hell are our AT teams?"

Christian shouted over towards his fire coordinator that was three or so meters to his right, taking an odd shot or two between the times he would duck behind the limited cover of the sandbag walls to use the radio to try and obtain information or direct action as Christian dictated; Colonel Royce had still not appointed a new battalion commander, and as such Christian remained the acting commanding officer, something he hoped would be remedied before the regiment made a move on Alexandria. The corporal ducked down from his shooting position and picked up the radio headset that was attached to the large backpack he wore and began speaking into it "Sir, Atkins and Roscoe are maneuvering their teams over here now, movement limited as they're trying to move cover to cover."

"Can we get the artillery to lay down some fire for cover?"

"Negative, it's still re-positioning, they had to shoot and scoot after they got buzzed, though I'm told the Navy birds are going to prevent that again. Let me see if the mortar platoon has gotten itself re-established."

As he tried to get that information, Christian used some quick hand-signals to indicate he was moving himself from the elbow of the sandbags that they were currently and headed backwards, towards the cluster of three small brick buildings which were the nucleus of their 'base', jogging nearly with his torso crunched down halfway to try and avoid the incoming fire of the numerous Egyptian soldiers laying prone in the desert and fields ahead of the base. The sound of rounds slapping into the brick echoed around the clustered rooms as he made it inside with the corporal, both of them taking the opportunity to catch their breaths, though both could not let the adrenaline of the battle wear of as they were still very much in the thick of it.

"Sir, Terrier reports they've had issues trying to find a location suitable, but they'll be green in three to five mikes."

Christian swore slightly "What we need is a damned air run, but of course the Navy is so focused on the Egyptians flattop, we can't have any here just yet, aside from the odd flyover to try and 'deter' any -"

The sound of a large explosion outside interrupted the brief rant, and the two of them quickly rushed to the small port that counted as the room's only window, facing east in the direction they had just come from and saw that the Egyptian armored vehicle was now smoldering, its right side having taken an impact from a rocket, evidently work from one of his men's Carl Gustav rockets. "Corporal Hauer, have them direct their fire to clusters of exposed hostiles, and have any MG's support them and provide suppressing fire, I want to see if we can get these hostiles grouped up so we can pick them off with grenades or a rocket or something."

Before he could summon his next thought the whole ground shook with the sound of an very close explosion "What the fuck was that?!"

"Pine Actual, this is Pine 3-3, we just got buzzed by a fast-mover, is that one of ours?"

Using his own radio, he opened a channel on the regimental net, trying to raise one of the command staff back at the joint base near Qattara "Opal, Pine Actual, interrogative, are their any friendly fast-movers in the AO time now/"

"Pine Actual, Opal, negative, all FAA and RAF assets are currently engaged in efforts out at sea, out."

"Opal, be advised we just got buzzed by an apparent bandit, break"

The sound of a third explosion, soon followed by a series of them broke off Christian's focus and he climbed up the stairs at the back corner to get to the building's open roof and he could see one of the regiment's Stormers was in a smoking ruin, fully engulfed in flames, and he could see two other pillars in the near distance from what he assumed was their own vehicles as well. He had little time to form the next thought as an harried voice soon broke through on the radio "Pine Actual, Pine 2 Actual, two of our Spartans just got taken down by that bandit, it definitely has ground attack missiles, I think it's coming back for a strafing run."

Christian knew the Jaguars could carry an substantial amount of armament that could inflict serious damage on the infantry, and in particular that unit was at the center of their lines, if it could continue to neutralize their armored vehicles that helped give them an edge over the infantry-heavy Egyptian units, then they were at severe risk of being overwhelmed. "Pine Actual to Central Actual, be advised we have a hostile bandit in the AO at this time, has already KIA'd two vehics, do you have any solution on this?"

It would take a few rather tense moments, during which the enemy Jaguar had made a 'gun run' belting Chris and his unit's positions with it's chin-mounted gun 20mm rounds that would positively eviscerate any human they came in contact with. "Pine Actual, this is Central Actual, be advised that FAA has tasked times four friendly Tomcats to the AO, ETA 4 mikes, lead call sign is Juniper 2, out."

Chris acknowledged the message and thanked his God, but also began thinking simultaneously how to preserve his position and not become compromised, and devised a somewhat risky plan; he knew either here in the makeshift defenses (at best), or among the open plains his units and their vehicles would be heavily exposed to any air unit, with not much to do to counter it, they had no ground based AA which was a sore weakness and had been overlooked given the state of the Egyptian Air Force, something that was now definitely becoming a hard lesson learned; he quickly pulled out the map of the region out of his backpack and quickly began thinking, waving his radioman away from the window where he had been taking rounds and sending some out "Alright, we're going to re-task both battalions, I'm not going to stand here and get them chewed up by some eager pilot looking to make himself a ground ace. Get word to the actuals, let's have 3rd Bat began redeploying in earnest, we're going to advance forward.."

"Sorry sir, we're going on the offensive towards Dytriki?"

Chris nodded "Not fully, but yes, I think that is precisely the last thing the Egyptians are expecting, and thus we might just catch them on the proverbial back foot, even with their bandit in the skies, hopefully that can get taken care of quite easily. What we'll do is play a little risky game, have all companies in 3rd Battalion push forward, have them use what cover they can find to shelter vehicles from small arms and ground fire and to give them some form of fire support here until we can get our mortars and artillery up and going, we'll let 3rd Battalion advance on the northern side of the line for a little time to try and pull the full attention of the Egyptians towards them and then we'll move out here, and also try to pin what and who we can while they do that, and then our advance can be the second of the punches, maybe we'll get even a little lucky and get to use our own air assets here, but I won't hold my breath."

Christian took the moment to radio back towards regimental command to advise of his intentions to assault deeper into Egyptian-held lands, in an attempt to completely unfurl the Egyptians offensive by countering with one of their one; he received a confirmation of his intentions by the colonel, as well as an assurance that the regiment's howitzers would be in position to support the assault by the time that 1st Battalion began theres and that he was confident Christian could manage the successful execution of this operation.

3rd Battalion's four full companies would began moving out of their static positions and began the move eastward, with several trucks also being quickly hurried their way with medical supplies and ammunition to supply them with the items necessary to support the offensive, after having defended against one for more then a few hours of semi-intensive contact; no less then six Land Rovers were also being carefully used with their mounted machine guns to provide the very most basic level of fire support, though it was still effective against the equally exposed Egyptian infantry, which had just as little cover, and much less discipline and training then their British counterparts; in conjunction with this, 1st Battalion's six FV101 Scorpion's were using their mounted guns to prevent any significant move of Egyptian forces in response to the British thrust in the north, however much of their time was spent carefully maneuvering to avoid any potential AT threat from the Egyptians, they had already seen more then a dozen attempts from them to end the British light armor with missiles and such.

By 1300, the Juniper flight from the Hermes had arrived into the immediate AO, which revealed to Christian a select number of greater plans; instead of four Tomcat fighters, it was two Buccaneers S-2E and two Tomcats, with the former easily using their heavy AIM-54 Phoenix missiles to eliminate the enemy Jaguar from a further range then it could defend, detect or avoid; the two Buccaneers however, were tasked to Christian and a radio man he selected to be a fire control director to support an increased effectiveness of their operation. Each of the Bucs would be carrying a mixture of Mark 80 series bombs in their internal bomb bays, which held up to 12,000 lbs of munitions and in addition to that heavy punch, they also each had two 68mm rocket pods under each wing, giving them a total of 78 total rockets to be used, which in short would be prove to be excellent, blunt instruments for dealing sweeping damage against the Egyptian infantry which was slowly being clustered together, which would only make the Bucs weapons all that more effective. They would stay in the AO for approximately twenty minutes, and is estimated to have eliminated approximately two companies of infantry through maiming or death, the only drawback to their employment was their lack of a gun which meant their need to return to the Hermes, which meant a very short window they could be used despite the high volume of damage.

Despite the longevity of the Bucs presence in the AO, their and the Tomcats neutralization of the hostile Jaguar effectively ensured a swift British sweep across the land, and was even more solidified by the numerous barrages of artillery strikes called in by the various battalion artillery fire directors, which employed their howitzers to highly effective results; by approximately 1600 that day, the 1st and 3rd Battalions of the Durham Light Infantry ended their offensive after less then five hours, not because of a lack of success or hard resistance, but because until more men could be sent up, they lacked the means to secure a front. Their final stopping point put the new British line approximately 17 kilometers from El-Horeya, and quite closer to Alexandria, which was now within artillery range of the infantry's howitzers. The British losses were not to be dismissed, with a number of vehicles destroyed by the Egyptian Jaguar's brief appearance in the battle and more then 57 soldiers were collected in body bags to be sent back to the makeshift hospital at the El-Alamein air base, however estimated counts put more then 300 members of the Egyptian army dead in the field, and they captured a further 90, most of which were wounded. While not particular valuable, it would help fill in a few missing pieces of intelligence regarding the state of the OPFOR forces, and also dealt a severe blow to the stretched, and limited, Egyptian armed forces. Eager to reinforce their recent success, the mission commanders quickly had the full York and Lancaster Regiment sent to reinforce the line and make any counter assault by the OPFOR completely and utterly futile, and would reinforce an already quickly proven fact; the more time passed, the British position only grew stronger and the moment that they could entirely overwhelm the Egyptian control over the entire nation was just a matter of time. Not even the Pharaohs could stop them.
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Layarteb
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Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Layarteb » Sun Nov 03, 2019 11:42 am



• • • † • • •



Wednesday, November 20th, 1991 | 13:00 hrs [UTC+2]

Al Mughraqa, Gaza | Gazan Military Command
31° 28' 40" N, 34° 24' 57" E






Tamam Salim Khouri was now sixty-one years old and showing his age. His hair had grayed significantly and his hairline was receding rapidly revealing significant baldness. His joints ached most mornings and he was using his cane more and more often. The nominal leader of the Khouri clan, he'd been a major player since the late 1940s and the early 1950s when there was wealth to be made smuggling people, arms, and information. The Khouri clan hadn't been the most powerful in Gaza at the time but over the decades, they gained more and more power as unfortunate events ruined and eroded the power of their rivals. Virtually all engineered by the Khouri clan's leaders, these events only solidified the clan's hold on Gaza. Though always a lawless preserve of nefarious activities, Gaza had become something new in the late 20th century thanks largely in part to Yemen's support and involvement in both Cyprus and the Sinai.

Tamam had amassed quite a private fortune for himself and so long as the lights stayed lit and the water stayed running in Gaza, he didn't have to worry much about a popular revolt. The ancient, medieval city-state was not much different now than it had been during the Third Crusade so many centuries ago. However, Gaza had attracted a new kind of attention, an attention which they'd never quite needed to tackle before, chiefly the Empire. Through the Crusades, the territory was fought over between the Christian and Muslim armies until an agreement effectively made it into a neutral zone for which both sides could exploit. That arrangement was all the more present now as intelligence agents used Gaza and the Khouri clan's smuggling network to conduct clandestine operations throughout the world and the Empire's own agents had certainly used Gaza on a number of occasions for these such purposes.

Yet times were changing. Layartebian reconnaissance aircraft were flying around Gaza like never before and the winds of war were being felt. Tamam, ever the careful strategist, was more than aware what was coming. He'd seen how the Empire had reacted to Yemen and he'd seen their involvement in Cyprus. To him it was always a matter of time and though he'd found a bedfellow in Munishi, he couldn't help but think that Munishi's own insolence and greed led the Eastern Med to the situation it now faced. Gathering the leaders of the Khouri clan, Tamam found himself in the basement planning room of Gaza's military fortress, which was nothing more than a concrete bunker where a great castle at once stood. The castle had been bulldozed after a fire in the 1960s and replaced and repurposed.

It started off with Tamam getting an update on the reconnaissance flights that the Layartebians had been conducting. Gaza's own radars had picked up those flights easily enough and, on top of them, the F-14 Tomcats flying combat air patrols further to the west. It was why Gaza hadn't sent its aging fleet of Mirage III interceptors to challenge the Layartebians. Tamam looked upon the room around him, feeling tired from the assault of news before him and he said, "How do we fight the Empire?"

"In the streets,"
answered his oldest son, Jalal. "We cannot fight them one-for-one but we can fight them on the ground, house-to-house."

"At what cost?"
Tamam asked, "To what end? We would still lose."

"Should we just let them take our land?"
Jalal always had a quick temper but he was quicker to get to anger now than he had been in the past. Tamam noticed it. Worse still, his other two sons Abdul and Ziad said nothing.

"We make a deal, it's what we've been doing here for decades. It is clear that something has arisen interest with the Layartebians and that something isn't us. Perhaps it's Munishi? He's always been the thorn to them," said Tamam trying to talk sense into his son.

"Munishi is just a distraction," said Ziad, "they're conducting flights over the Sinai just the same. The Layartebians are looking at a different play in our region."

"And what is that?"

"The British,"
Ziad said as if it were plainly obvious. "The British remain a world power in antithesis to the Layartebians. The Layartebians are looking to expand further into this region because they do not want a unipolar dominance by the British. Cyprus, Gaza, the Sinai, are all weak targets the British do not control. Look at how the Layartebians expanded in the Aegean? The Eastern Med is next."

"Then they will seize us no matter what we do,"
answered Tamam, "so do we lead our people then to slaughter?"

"We resist, we must resist, we always resist!"
Jalal answer angrily.

"You mind your tone," Tamam answered, "you who are a playboy what do you know of these matters? I've shielded all of you for your entire lives. Yes I've let you do this and here and that and there but you are no more fit to rule this land than the dogs are! Look at you, spoiled," Tamam answered angrily. "You are too impulsive. The Layartebians can be bargained with. As for Cyprus, as for the Sinai, who cares? The Hajjar's and the Touma's were never our friends, merely business partners. They'll sell us out no faster than we would them. Munishi? He is but a fool and he shall get what he deserves. Gaza is the neutral ground. We always have been…"

"The time for neutrality is over,"
Ziad answered, slamming his fist on the table. Thus far Abdul had yet to say a word but a great cloud hung over him.

"Well Abdul, what do you say? Your brothers seem convinced?" Tamam could see the writing on the wall. He knew what was coming but he didn't want to go down without a fight.

Abdul merely shook his head, "Father, you must step aside."

"I will do nothing of the sort!"
He slammed his cane onto the ground. A dozen men sat around him and no one dared speak in his favor. Jalal moved his hand off the table, "You!" Tamam pointed angrily, "You're nothing but a coward. I could give you four women and you would forget about the Layartebians. Well do it. Do it then." Jalal, anger rising, lifted the pistol from his belt and stood, aiming it square at the old man's chest. His hand trembled. "You've never done a brave thing in your entire life…" He said no more as Jalal squeezed the trigger not once or twice but five times. In the room, the loud report of the gunshots echoed loudly and everyone's ears rang. Tamam felt backwards out of his chair and the smell of gunpowder filled the confined space.

In the silence that followed, Abdul stood and looked around the table, "We'll fight the Layartebians," was all that he said or rather that was all he could say.



• • • † • • •


Last edited by Layarteb on Sun Dec 01, 2019 6:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Itailian Maifias
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Left-Leaning College State

Postby Itailian Maifias » Sun Nov 17, 2019 1:55 pm

Major Christian Nicolson
OP 'Harriet', 1.4 km north of Al-Jazair/28.3km southwest of Alexandria, Contested Lands of Eygpt (30°40'45.78"N, 29°18'10.94"E)
August 2, 1989; 0830 Hrs [UTC+2]






It was a true testament to the sheer capabilities of the logistical units within the Army that this feat of an operation was working to such clear success; following the unexpected victory through a counter assault staged out of FOB Ratunga, which was to the south near the banks of the Qattaran Sea and by now had really been turned into a logistical launching point as the front kept quickly advancing. Following their victory in that counter assault they had been able to continue pushing with increased success, and with the arrival of assets from the York and Lancaster Regiment, gave them an edge up over the light infantry units that the Egyptians had been deploying to try and stop them; simply put, with the FAA jets in the sky, the Challenger tanks of the Lancaster regiment and the increased manpower it also provided through mechanized infantry, which was much faster and heavier hitting then the light infantry that the Durham Light Infantry had to offer, easily overpowering the exposed and typically foot infantry that the Egyptian Army had to offer. With the current after action reports that they had been able to assemble, from what they could tell approximately one third of the Egyptian's First Division was either dead, wounded or sitting in a prisoner-of-war installation back in the Levant, or under guard in a British medical facility.

Currently, they had managed to establish a frontline around the crossroads north of Al-Jazair, just 28 kilometers from the Egyptian capitol of Alexandria; Egyptian defense was sporadic at best, the British command was ensuring they remained scattered, command posts non-existant and strongholds eliminated thanks to precision artillery strikes on any military installation or place of gathering, and the use of air strikes on places that could be fortified or turned into a strong point; the Light Infantry's heaviest howitzers, the L119's, were effective out to a range of just over twenty kilometers however the regiment only had eight of these. What they had in spades however was the thirty 3 and 5 inch howitzers that were currently displaced all across the frontline that the regiment was pushing on. Although their caliber in the modern warfare conventions was out-dated, in Egypt they were proving to be highly effective. The Army had a mulitude of specialized shells that could be fired from them, mostly differing on shrapnel displacement or munition type, and against an enemy force that was either lightly armored vehicles or exposed infantry, they performed to high degrees of effectiveness, and more over, were easily moved by using one of the regiment's Land Rovers, unlike the larger L119's which were moved through trucks or helicopters. Though these were much shorter ranged, they would still lend themselves well to the overall plan that was now being implemented across the British forces currently in theater. Despite the quick advance towards Alexandria, it had been decided they would hold in place where the front line positions currently where, using artillery and air power to ensure that any Egyptian defense was kept softened and dispersed, while the York and Lancaster Regiment as well as their fellow brigade member the North Staffordshire Regiment would move south, opening a second front and move to secure the southern metropoli of Memphis and Thebes. The reasoning for this was two fold; the Egyptians 1st Division, the unit they had been fighting so far, was mostly dispersed as garrisons across the various cities in Upper/Northern Egypt, and were not a coherent fighting force. However, data collected by MI6 networks prior and during the invasion of Egypt had indicated that the entirety of the Egyptian Army's 2nd Division had been deployed south to Memphis and Thebes to put down the two insurrections that had rose up around the southern nomes, long flung away from the control of Alexandria and although the British had been able to neglect them up to now, they had to be addressed before moving forward; not only was control of Memphis and Thebes paramount to securing the entire country, if the rebellions were allowed to persist it would only complicate matters once the fighting had concluded; military commanders as well as civilian components within the British government had already come up with a host of solutions to settle any conflicts the insurgents had, but the hardliners, the ones with rifles and explosives, had to be dealt with first.

The brigade sized force moving south would have alot of land to cover; land that would quickly change from green, lush landscapes to inhospitable deserts that kicked up sand all day long, and it was more then fifty kilometers down the Nile between Memphis and Thebes, with two hostile factions between the British soldiers. In mind of this, the Army had decided to open a secondary headway through a naval landing along the Red Sea coast, deciding to deploy members of the Temple Guard, a unique regiment that has historic ties dating back to the 16th century which was in the current day a modern infantry force. They would use Super Puma HC3's to transport the regiment to a spot along the Red Sea coastline, near the city of Quseer, which would be their first objective to secure and from there, they could begin maneuvering towards Thebes, where the action would begin taking place. The plan was thus set that the forces from the 14th Division's second brigade and the Temple Guard which catch both the Egyptian's 2nd Division and both of the insurgency groups in a 'net', set by this two front pincer move and once secured, would thus allow the other half of the 14 Division to continue sweeping north and east, securing Alexandria, Heliopolis and Cairo and thus concluding hostiles, if everything went correctly.


To be Continued.....
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Layarteb
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Founded: Antiquity
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Layarteb » Sun Dec 01, 2019 7:30 pm



• • • † • • •



Wednesday, November 20th, 1991 | 21:00 hrs [UTC+2]

Gaza City, Gaza | Sheik Brothers Restaurant
31° 30' 56" N, 34° 27' 9" E






Taj Nadim Bahar took his seat on the wicker chair and immediately crossed his legs and pulled the napkin from the table, draping it over his right leg. He had tilted the chair slightly so that he was largely sitting at an angle to the table. Dressed in his favorite suit, Taj was a man who knew the value in appearance. He was thusly never one to appear shabby in any regards of the word. His suits had all come from Europe and they were all tailored to fit him. None of them cost under $1,000. He also always complemented his suits with the finest shoes, socks, and handkerchiefs for he was never without one in his breast pocket. He was also never without his sunglasses, which were more for necessity than they were for fashion.

Taj had been in a car accident some nineteen years prior and while the accident had been relatively minor, the result was that Taj developed an excessive sensitivity to light. Without his sunglasses, bright and sunny days would give him migraines but more so than bright and sunny days, he would also get them at night from streetlights as a consequence of his eyes being adjusted to the darkness. Thus, he always wore sunglasses, if just to keep him from spiraling into a migraine-induced sickness and he'd certainly had his fair share of those over the past nineteen years.

Even at sixty-two, Taj was hardly slowing down. He was a successful businessman in Gaza with very close ties to the Khouri clan, largely through the now late Tamam Salim Khouri. The two, only a year apart, had grown up in the same neighborhood and gotten into the same trouble as children. Both had torched a police car in their teens and been caught shortly thereafter. They had a bond together and perhaps it was that bond that made Tamam so trustful of Taj. Taj had never betrayed him and for that he'd been rewarded handsomely. It was Taj who oversaw the vast smuggling empire that was Gaza and it was Taj who made millions upon millions on arms deals throughout the world.

Utilizing his power with Tamam, Taj worked not only with rebel and insurgent groups throughout the world but also with the governments of the world. His network, and he'd built a rather extensive one, allowed him to smuggling not only arms but also people and contraband throughout the world and all of it flowed through Gaza at some point. When the Empire had needed arms smuggled to rebel groups, they often went through Taj's network. When they needed an operative placed or an agent smuggled out, Taj's network was there. In fact, the Layartebian Ministry of Intelligence paid him a monthly stipend for not only his on-call services but also his silence and he was trustworthy there too. Taj worked every side of the fence and everyone who dealt with him knew it and used it as advantageously as they could. Taj was there for the money and for the power and he'd amassed a large amount of it.

Tamam's favor also granted him a close and personal relationship with his middle son, Abdul. Abdul was being groomed to be Taj's successor and so the two worked together. Yet what Taj wasn't aware of yet was what had transpired earlier in the day, what Jalal had done. Abdul had been against the plan from the start but, fearing his brothers Ziad and Jalal who were fervently for the plan, he went along with it, hoping to avoid his father's death by convincing him to step aside. He knew it would be a futile endeavor but still he tried, still he attempted to force Tamam to see reason. Tamam had been a fighter though and he went down in the end when Jalal had shot him. Thus far, the word had not gotten out and Tamam's body had been secretly buried by Abdul, the only man alive who knew his final resting place. It was his secret and his strength over his brothers who he figured would turn the pistol on him one day. That was why he wanted to meet with his mentor, that was why Taj was here and he sat across from him.

The restaurant was lively. Waiters moved about the tables, serving everything and anything that the menu included and some things that it did not include. Wine and liquor flowed and beer bottles rested in many hands. A mile to the east there was a Greek Orthodox Church that was over eight hundred years old and three mosques, none of which had been there for over a hundred years. One of them had been built in the 1960s when religious zealots bought and closed a children's school, demolishing it to put up their mosque. They were a spiteful group that neither Taj nor Abdul liked, especially because they tended to walk, well out of their way, to the restaurants just to criticize those who drank alcohol and to shake their fingers at the women who were dressed in cocktail dresses and high-heeled shoes.

Two such "scholars" - as they liked to call themselves - had only just passed through, drawing the ire of everyone present, Taj and Abdul included. "Do you think," Taj asked his young protégé, "that you will be able to prevent them from gaining power in the future?"

"If it were within my power I would but I am afraid I asked you here to give you tragic news,"
to this, Taj's face tensed. "My father is dead."

"Dead? You brought me here? I must see…"

"Please, allow me,"
Abdul said, holding out his hand to tell Taj to stay seated. "I have been lucky to have two fathers, my father and yourself, and yet tonight I come to you to ask for your help and your forgiveness."

"What have you done?"

"It is not only me,"
Abdul said, a tear coming down his face, "but my brothers. Jalal and Ziad. They are incensed about the Layartebians and they want not to broker a deal but to fight them."

"They have always been foolish but are they this foolish?"

"I am afraid so. They tried to convince my father to rally for the cause, to fight against the Layartebians. To bring war to the Layartebians on the streets, to burn down Gaza just to kill the Layartebians. Ziad I know only went along with this because he has no mind of his own. Jalal was the mastermind behind this. He has been spending too much time with the zealots, listening to Munishi's nonsense. And so they shot him."

"Were you there?"
Abdul nodded, "Did you not try to stop them?"

"I knew what they would do but I wanted to convince my father to stand down, to step aside peacefully so that he would still be here. He was much too stubborn. Jalal is the one who shot him and I took his body to be buried at Khan Younis. Only I know where he was buried and I buried him under an olive tree, the only one in the entire cemetery. It was how I would know where he was."

"So now who is in power, Jalal?"

"He is."

"My God he'll doom us all."

"I do not know that they will allow me to live. They will want to fight the Layartebians man-to-man. I don't want to be here for this. I want to get out of this place. Can you help me?"

"Where do you want to go?"

"Cyprus."

"To Munishi? Why there…"


Abdul cut Taj off with a shake of his head, "I want to go to the Layartebians."

"What?"
Even Taj knew how foolish this was. "Why?"

"My brothers have murdered my father and they wish nothing more than to see the people of Gaza thrown into the fire like cannon fodder. The Layartebians are coming, that much is a given. I just want to make sure they know what they're dealing with, perhaps it may save lives."

"Are you serious about this?"

"Yes. I have been serious about it since Jalal and Ziad told me of their plan, since they told me they planned to kill our father. I need to leave as soon as possible."

"Well that makes two of us. We don't have time to eat."

"Pity, I always liked this place."

"It may still be here when we're done,"
Taj said as he stood up and dropped a few bills onto the table. They hadn't ordered anything but Taj wasn't one to shaft anyone, least of all not a waiter who would lament having a patron leave so abruptly.



• • • † • • •


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Layarteb
Powerbroker
 
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Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Layarteb » Sat Dec 21, 2019 10:10 am



• • • † • • •



Wednesday, November 20th, 1991 | 21:40 hrs [UTC+2]

Gaza City, Gaza | Saladin's Bar
31° 30' 43" N, 34° 26' 22" E






Taj didn't normally smoke but when his nerves were frayed, he was a chain-smoker extraordinaire. They'd sat together at the restaurant for all of five minutes before Abdul dropped the terrible news of his father's death into Taj's lap. They'd stayed another five minutes conversing before Taj finally made the decision to get up and leave. Thirty minutes had elapsed since then and they'd been walking - seemingly aimlessly - around Gaza City since then. At first, Abdul had struggled just to keep pace and Taj's frequently - rather abrupt - turns had proven to be especially troublesome for Abdul. Furthermore, Taj simply lit cigarette after cigarette, snuffling them out as he walked, as if he were leaving a trail of breadcrumbs. He said nothing and his eyes darted everywhere along their path until finally, after thirty tiring and tense minutes, he stepped into a bar just a little over a kilometer-and-a-quarter from where they'd started and pulled Abdul into a darkened back room.

There were alone and the bar was sparsely populated, it being simply too early for its usual patronage. "What are we doing in here?" Abdul asked, knowing full well where they were and what kind of patronage came to Saladin's.

"Shush now, keep your eyes open and your mouth closed," Taj explained. He looked into his cigarette pack and saw it empty, crumbling it up in his hand and throwing it into a corner, frustrated and cursing within his mind. "We are safe here for now."

"Safe? The mullahs know this place!"

"Of course they know this place,"
Taj answered, "all the perverts of this state come here but this is a safe place. It is safe because the owners protect the occupants. I've done many a deals in here."

"Taj? Are you a pervert?"
They were speaking in Arabic of course but simply put, "pervert" was the direct translation to what the West simply referred to as gay or homosexual. Saladin's was a gay bar, one of a few in Gaza and a major target for the ultraconservative, jihadist-oriented mullahs that patrolled the streets taking notes for when they rose to power.

"Of course not," Taj scoffed, "now I said keep your mouth shut. We spent the past thirty minutes wandering around because I wanted to see if you'd been followed. I saw no one but just because I didn't see anyone does not mean they aren't there. I've been in many parts of the world where intelligence agents can follow you and you'd never know it. Do I believe our own are this capable? Perhaps. I never underestimate those who do the following.

"This leaves us with three options to get out of Gaza. All have their advantages and all of their disadvantages. If you were being followed then surely they have radioed ahead that you and I have met so they could very well be watching my assets. To the state it is no secret what assets I possess. After all, who provided them? So the closest point of exit would be the docks. My yacht is there but she has only a skeleton crew, enough to get her going but not enough to do so quickly. It would take some time to ready her to sail, especially if I do not call ahead. We would be very vulnerable. Alternatively, we could head out of Gaza through one of the checkpoints into Britannia. Once we are through, we would be safe but I must question, are they looking for us? Impossible to know. Lastly, we could go to the airport and fly out but again, the same problems arise in readying the plane. My pilot would have to meet us there so I would have to call him ahead of time. The yacht would be the slower of the two, the aircraft the faster but it is far easier to block an aircraft from taking off than a ship from sailing away."

"What about your smuggling networks? Are they not capable?"

"I don't know who I can or cannot trust at this moment. My networks could have been compromised. We must exfiltrate entirely on our own."

"We leave them guessing,"
Abdul said, "call ahead to the docks, call your pilot, make them choose between the two. Do they have enough men to cover both? I do not know for sure but they will have to watch both."

"They need only one man at each to watch,"
said Taj.

"And there are two of us," Abdul answered, "we need weapons."

Taj laughed, "So much bravado. Pistols is it to be? I've never carried a pistol. I do not even know how to shoot one properly. My business is dangerous but it is difficult to explain to a policeman why I am carrying a pistol. It is much easier to simply give him money and walk away. Do you understand?"

"Well then what do we choose? Who do you trust the most?"

"My boat crew."

"Then we go out via airplane,"
Abdul answered.

"Why if you…"

"If there is one instinct that I have gained it is that who I believe I trust the most are the least trustworthy. Let us fly out,"
he said.

Taj thought a moment, "It is a flip of the coin. All right, I will phone both but also, I have a third idea. I shall ask my driver to be a decoy."

"A decoy?"

"Yes,"
Taj smiled, "I have an idea for him. Come we need a phone." They exited the back room and Taj dropped a few bills onto the bar to the bartender who took it with a nod and said no more. He simply returned to wiping freshly cleaned glasses dry.

• • • • ‡ • • • •


Wednesday, November 20th, 1991 | 21:55 hrs [UTC+2]

Gaza City, Gaza | Petrol Station
31° 30' 34" N, 34° 26' 17" E






Taj stood in a phone booth, feeling more vulnerable than he'd ever been. He'd never had an exfil plan for Gaza, a grave mistake he was now telling himself. Perhaps this was because he never envisioned needing it, never envisioned his host to be murdered by his own family, never envisioned suddenly being on the eve of war. Gaza had stood, as a sovereign state, for hundreds upon hundreds of years in an informal agreement between the armies of Christendom and the armies of Islam as a neutral zone. It stood as a sovereign state whereby both could do their business with one another clandestinely, covertly, and safely. It appeared that the Empire was fully ready to break that informal agreement and why not, the Empire was a pagan nation. It wasn't part of Christendom, per say, though it had no shortage of Catholics within its borders. To the Empire, Gaza had served as a tool just like it had for centuries to everyone else but now it served as a thorn in its side.

The line picked up on the other end and Taj did his best to sound as even and normal as he could, "Jamal yes are you sleeping? No. Good. I'm being called away on business this very evening and it is an urgent matter. Please get the yacht prepared and ready to go. I should be there in an hour. Yes. Nothing. Yes. Thank you." He put down the phone and made another call, switching now to English. "Henry, there is a bit of an emergency with one of my clients. We'll need to get airborne as soon as possible. Can you meet me at the airport in thirty minutes? How long to ready the plane? Thirty more minutes? All right then I shall be there in thirty minutes and we will preflight. Yes it is a matter of 'state secrecy' so we'll need to be curt. Yes. Good." Taj put down the phone into the cradle and thought for a moment. Abdul lingered outside, his eyes darting at every taxi that pulled up to refuel.

"How are we getting down there?"

"Pick one,"
Taj said, pointing to the taxis, "we'll have them take us somewhere and we'll get out and then we'll take another. This is about misdirection. It's going to take us some time," he put more change into the phone and dialed the last person, his driver. "Faysal, yes, I need a favor of you. André is in town and he's looking to meet with me but you know how I feel about him. Yes. Precisely. I need you to go out there and drive around for a bit. Two or three hours. Yes. Just randomly. Take the car, drive around, make a few random stops here and there. André is bound to have men watching, hoping to ambush me into a meeting. He's a devious bastard yes. He knows I won't meet with him directly so he'll want to know where I am and surprise me. Yes. No it's safe. I just want to keep him guessing. I'm meeting with a client tonight. Yes. Rivalries yes. Thank you Faysal." Taj hung up the phone and looked at Abdul who was talking with a taxi driver. This better work, he thought to himself just before stepping out of the phone booth.

He climbed into the cab with Abdul and the driver took off, Taj noticing that the meter wasn't running. Smart, he thought to himself. Abdul had told the driver that the two of them were going to "meet someone" and they needn't have anyone knowing. He paid the driver handsomely for his silence, which he was all too happy to accept. What it meant was that the two were going to see a prostitute and the driver knew the code words, words designed to elude the mullahs.

Twenty minutes later, they were pulling down a darkened street in Al-Bureij. Abdul pointed to a spot and the taxi driver pulled up and the two men got out, Abdul leaving another handsome tip to the driver, money to get him back to Gaza City without needing a fare. The two men walked into a darkened alleyway and kept walking for another five minutes, popping out on the other side. "Now what?" Taj asked, surprised to see Abdul suddenly becoming so proficient in the art of escape and evasion. It was as if the master had become the student all of a sudden.

"We steal a car," Abdul answer. They were at the base of a hill and cars lined either side of the roadway. In the next few minutes, they walked to the top of the hill, shattered the window of a sedan, and climbed inside. Taj, remembering his days of criminal youth, suddenly had a well of energetic memories come back to him and the old man broke the steering column and began to work on the wires. Once he'd done what he'd needed to do, he popped the parking brake and the vehicle into manual and began to turn the wheel. It was no easy task but by using just enough forward momentum from the hill, he was able to do so enough to get the car away from the spot. Abdul jumped inside and they started rolling down the hill, slowly but gaining speed. Taj fought with the lack of power steering but kept the car straight until it had gained just enough speed that he could pop the clutch. The engine started and he breathed a sigh of relief. On the quiet, empty street, no one saw and they'd have easily seen anyone following them.

Taj drove the car out of Al-Bureij and onto the main highway, heading towards the airport. They said little to one another in the car for they were both looking for policemen and anyone else who might be following them. It was a very tense, very long, and very anxious forty-minute-drive to the airport.

• • • • ‡ • • • •


Wednesday, November 20th, 1991 | 23:10 hrs [UTC+2]

Al Bayuk, Gaza | Gaza Airport
31° 14' 39" N, 34° 16' 24" E






Taj pulled into the airport's general parking lot and put it into a legal spot. In his mind, he'd stolen the car and he didn't want the owner to get parking tickets or get towed. It would be bad enough the owner would have to replace his window and get his steering column fixed. For that, Taj left £200 in between the seat and the center column, hidden enough that a guard wouldn't see it but perhaps not so that the owner wouldn't see it while doing a cursory check for stolen property post-recovery. Together, they walked across the parking lot, the drop-off roadway, and into the main terminal. At this hour of the night, the terminal was largely empty. One of its six airline counters was open and the largest demographic in the terminal was the janitorial staff. Taj, who knew precisely where to go, did not head to the counters but rather towards the right upon entry.

The airport was broken into three sections. The southern section was for the military and that was where its Mirage IIIE fighters were parked and where a heavily armed guard dissuaded anyone from going where they didn't belong. The central section was the public, passenger section. It was here that airlines flew passengers to and from Gaza. The northern section was the private section, where businessmen came and went via private airline and where Taj's Learjet 35A was parked. His pilot, Henry Lee, had the aircraft ready to go and he was just waiting on Taj to arrive. Henry Lee, born in Hong Kong, had fled from the Nanfang Republic in his early twenties after he'd shot and killed a policeman while the latter was attempting to shake down the former. Henry had been a part of Hong Kong's triads back from his teenage years and he'd had dozens of run-ins with this particularly corrupt cop. Finally tired of being robbed, Henry shot him in the head and escaped via the triad ratlines. He'd picked up a pilot's license along the way and found Gaza a place of rebirth. Now fifty-eight years old, he'd been flying Taj around for the better part of the past twenty years.

Within the terminal, Taj walked up to the still-staffed, private airlines desk. The woman there, a Catholic named Mary, smiled as he approached. She was in her twenties but she knew Taj's face quite well. "Mister Bahar," she said as he approached, her welcoming smile planted across her face, "I see you're flying out late this evening."

"I am Mary,"
he answered, "I believe everything is all set."

"Well almost sir,"
she said, "Mister Lee did not file a flight plan with the tower. They've asked that I secure one prior to lock-out."

"Ah,"
Taj said. Then he held up a finger and whispered into Abdul's ear that he should take a few steps out of earshot. Then he returned back to Mary and whispered to her, "You can tell the tower that my flight plan is filed under PISTACHIO." She nodded and picked up the phone, placing the call and speaking discreetly. After barely four minutes, she put down the phone and began typing at her console. Behind her, the door opened shortly thereafter an a porter came through the door.

"Do you have any luggage we should carry for you Mister Bahar?"

"I do not, it is already loaded."

"Then have a wonderful flight sir."
She said. Taj smiled and he and Abdul walked through the door, following the porter who took them to an airport transport vehicle. They climbed in and were driven across the tarmac and up to the stairs of Taj's airplane. Taj tipped the porter and stepped onto the plane, closing the stairs and locking the door once Abdul was in the cabin. He watched the porter drive away and scanned the tarmac. It looked quiet.

"Henry let's get airborne as fast as we can."

"Where are we going?"

"Just get us in the air and head northwest."

"All right boss,"
Henry answered and he went with engine start. The two turbofan engines spooled up to power and it wasn't before long that the plane was taxiing to the runway. Clearance had been given for a rolling takeoff and Henry didn't bother stopping short to check for traffic. He hit the runway, advanced the throttles, and went right into takeoff, heading southwards. As they passed the Mirage IIIEs, Taj instinctively looked to see if any were preparing for takeoff but when they looked like sleeping demons, he was pleased.

Once they were off the ground, Henry raised the landing gear and turned westwards. They crossed over the Sinai's border but there was no way to avoid that given how close the runway was to the border. Climbing out and turning, he was over the Mediterranean Sea in no time. Seeing that, as tough as it was in the darkness, Taj came into the cockpit and sat down in the co-pilot's seat. "Boss, where are we going?" Henry asked, "We can't fly forever. What's this about?"

"Henry, my friend, there's been a change in scenery in Gaza."

"What?"

"Tamam is dead and thus my invitation in Gaza has expired. We're fleeing from justice Henry. Old habits die hard?"

"So they do,"
Henry answered, "what do they know?"

"Oh they know it all. They'll be rolling up the entire organization starting at dawn so what I want you to do is fly northwest to Crete."

"Crete? We don't have a flight plan. They'll never allow us to land."

"We're not going to land at a civilian airport Henry. I'm going to make a call but let's head towards Kasteli."

"Kasteli's a military base."

"That's why we're headed there,"
Taj left the cockpit and walked back into the cabin where he picked up his phone. Abdul, sitting in a comfortable chair, was looking out of the window.

"Where are we headed?"

"Crete."

"I thought we were going to Cyprus?"

"I changed my mind,"
Taj answered, "it's still the same but it's further and safer. If there's anyway watching our transponder, they'll see us heading northwest, it's not Cyprus. It'll be better. Now I have a call to make and it's not a call I ever thought I'd need to be making."



• • • † • • •


Last edited by Layarteb on Sat Feb 01, 2020 2:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Itailian Maifias
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Postby Itailian Maifias » Tue Dec 31, 2019 9:43 pm

Rear Admiral Tristan Leroi KCB DCO
Combat Information Center, H.M.S. Hermes, Caerlorn-class Fleet Carrier [R18]
Sailing in the Mediterranean Sea, north of El-Alamein (31°56'51.83"N 28°36'25.32"E)
August 2, 1989; 1115 Hrs [UTC+2]






" Sir, reports coming in now from Pandora, they've confirmed the kills on two Egyptian frigates, and have managed to rescue approximately eighty or so Egyptian sailors. Commander Eurwen reports that most of them are critical and is doing the best to triage them but is asking to have them sent over to our medical bays on board here sir, they may be able to give us valuable information if we can keep them living."

Tristan nodded from his chair "Make it so, but make sure the Marines post guards in the medical bays, I'm not having any security incidents. The minute they're stable enough to be out of the med rooms, put them in the brig. "

The young office nodded and left the bridge and Tristan paused to look up from the report he had been reading and watched the bustling flight deck of the Hermes, but was interrupted when one of his communication officers signaled for him "Admiral, we just got word, Sheffield has been hit, taking on rapid water per cable!"

The news came as a shock, and for a moment even silenced the bridge near entirely; the Sheffield was one of the two Type 42 destroyers assigned as escort to the Hermes, and last reports had it operating with the Pandora just a few miles over the horizon to their northwest, hunting for the Egyptian carrier group that had so far eluded them. "Get Commander Eurwen on the line, I want to know what the hell is happening over there."

"Sir, inclement reports coming in that both Sheffield and Pandora are coming under significant air attack, believed to be concentrated assault from the Ra's air group. Pandora reporting that Sheffield took a missile astern near the waterline, heavy smoke and significant listing to starboard they're trying to dispatch DC parties to help the crew on board; reporting they themselves have shot down 4 air launched missiles and two enemy birds, unknown make or model."

"Did they mention the approach vector of this assault?"

"Yes sir, included in their brief report."

"Right, signal the squadron let's get a close formation around Hermes, I'd be willing to bet we just found the Egyptian's carrier. Have Beaver move to help assist Sheffield, if she's that bad off to try and get her over to Tyre for repairs, and have wounded moved over to the other ships, I want non-essentials moved off. Get the CAG on the horn, I want him up here on the double."

While the components of the command staff moved to implement the Admiral's orders, unfortunate news would arrive by the time the senior staff had assembled to discuss a plan of attack; Sheffield had taken a second missile hit, just ten meters near the initial strike and was compounded by a major explosion astern, with the vessel rapidly sinking. The nearby Pandora had been trying to rescue the crew now abandoning ship, but itself was exposed in the face of the increased air attacks. The frigate Beaver had been replaced by the other Engram class destroyer, Heron to assist Pandora in rescuing Sheffield's crew and then returning to the Hermes, though Tristan hoped to be on station by then, their location was less then forty minutes north of their current position and the battle group was now steaming at flank speed. Assembled with him now around the map containing their local maritime region was the commander of the air group, a Captain Linette Cory, as well as his XO, Captain Émeric Clinton, and the various officers who would help disseminate the orders that came out of this meeting. Gesturing to a number of tactical icons, Tristan began laying out his plan "Based on our last radar pickups of the Ra and her group, and the direction that Pandora picked up the enemy birds on, we're estimating Ra to be in this general vicinity, but we need to get a clearer picture. Captain Cory, I want you to send one of your EW birds up with a four plane escort, let's start hunting, and the minute they find her, I want CAP moving to engage and a replacement flight launched to pull CAP; Heron and Newcastle are to act in air screen defense but are cleared to engage surface targets with their cells if they have a clear target acquisition, I don't want blind shots that could be spent swatting down a missile. Beaver will help mop up any survivors from Sheffield and will move to close with surface targets, primary focus to be given there, it's anti-air capabilities are limited and I don't want to waste munitions this far from any dockyard. If it can, have it use it's torpedoes. Target priority should be given to the Ra, I'm not sure where it's remaining escorts are but if our intelligence is correct, it should be just two of those frigates since we've bagged the other two. Cory, what are we thinking for the strike package?"

"Sir, we've had reliability issues with the Mercuries, but I believe a mixed package. Five Buccaneers, joined with five Mecuries and and five Tomcats; the cats will pull security and walk the other two in, we can have the Bucs armed with both Sea Eagle and some torpedoes in case they get clear looks at a number of targets, and the Mercuries we can mix-arm in case the Tomcats need any help pulling weight against the Ra's airgroup, though from what we've already shot down, we're putting remaining estimates at around a dozen planes; we just need to be careful, if any of those are Phantoms, they could try to make a strike run on the Hermes or any of our escorts as well and it is a very capable airframe at that."


"Capable, but out-dated, and I'd be willing to bet our pilots are much more then capable of handling anything the Egyptians can throw our way. Get the pilots in their seats, you can execute your mission Captain"

With the Admiral's blessing, the Captain Cory immediately left the bridge and headed straight for the hangar, blazing a path that not any would dare to step on; hails over the PA announced the pilots to assemble in their briefing room, which was located near the hangar, and while she passed word for the knuckle draggers to assemble the jets that would be used, ready them as best they can that way once the briefing was out of the way, the pilots could begin the pre-flight preps and get to the deck and launched in as safe of a time as possible. Using fifteen fighters for this strike, Cory knew she wanted her best, the most talented pilots that weren’t already in the air. Her three most experienced were already flying CAP for the Hermes and the battle group, but she was just as confident in the group that she briefed, laying out their tactical plan for the strike on the Egyptian carrier, much the same way as she had with the Admiral. The Tomcat’s would provide escort and deterrent for any encounter with the Egyptian air group, carrying just half of their usual 6-missile loadout of AIM-54 Phoenix’s; the relative short distance and anticipated chance of dogfighting or close encounters with the Phantom’s that the Egyptians were flying made Cory want her pilots to fly modified; so the Tomcats would fly with just three Phoenix’s and four Skyflash’s and a pair of Taildog’s to accompany their pure air-to-air loadout. The Mercuries would be going up with much more of a mixed package, carrying two Sea Eagles each as well as 6 Skyflashes and four Taildogs, they would be just as potent as the Tomcat should they need to battle in the skies, and also stood the chance of being able to strike at surface targets. The final piece to Cory’s formation would the Buccaneers, old and weathered as they were, they would still serve as the primary strike element in this mission, carrying 2 Sea Eagle anti-shipping missiles on each frame, as well as two air-launched Mk 48’s that were modified to be fired versus by a missile then from the tube on one of the Royal Navy’s submarines. Cory had decided to not have them carry any anti-air threat, as they wagered that the five Tomcats and the five Mercuries would be more than enough to counter any significant air threat.

The briefing went smoothly, her pilots consummate professionals and although tested by their first introduction to naval aviation on the evolving modern battlefield, she remained confident in their abilities to go. She herself would be participating in the strike, flying in her Tomcat, a token effort on her behalf to ensure the Buccs got in close enough to strike the Ra. The Buccs, being the slowest, launched first, while the Mercuries followed secondly and the Tomcats last, quickly taking up formation high above the clouds and the waters below, the Mercuries staying in a joint V-formation with the Buccs until they got much closer to the battle group. By the time they had launched, the Hermes and her battle group had gotten within range to detect the Ra, confirming their suspicions on where it had been and the Admiral had ordered the battle group reformed; the Beaver would stay behind with the Sheffield extracting survivors but most had been removed, unfortunately the ship had suffered worse damage then anticipated and was sinking with no ability on the crews behalf to halt or mitigate so the decision had been made to abandon ship. The Heron, Pandora and Newcastle all now sailed in formation with the Hermes, the ocean water obscured either by the wakes they left behind at the nautical speeds they were traveling at, or from the amount of missiles being fired from the decks of the warships, the arm launcher on the fore of the two Engram class destroyers working to launch the offensive towards the Egyptian carrier group, even though both groups were OTH from each other, the benefits of modern technology was in full swing here.

The Egyptians were intelligent and careful with their response to the British assault; outnumbered on airframes, they knew they needed to learn on their surface ships and whatever AA capabilities they had to try and thin the herd and gain an advantage. Unfortunately, the domestic industry in Egypt was just not as sophisticated as the British ones, and their AA suites were severely lacking in comparison, only possessing guns for that role, though one of the Ati type destroyers was fitted out to fire SAM’s, which it was doing so, attempting to target the incoming British strike formation. They also sent their remaining Etenard type fighters to attack the Hermes, while all 11 of their remaining Phantoms moved to shoot down incoming British fighters, but they never stood a chance, clearly bereft of a long-range air to air missile, the Tomcats were able to strike with impunity from well outside the Phantom’s weapons range with their Phoenix missiles, though five Phantoms did manage to evade and became engaged in a aerial joust with some of the Tomcats and one of the Mercuries, which peeled off to climb higher into the sky, the altitude invaluable in the dogfight.

Within a matter of minutes, the Buccaneers had managed to get within weapons range of the Egyptian formation, and the hard part was mostly over by that point; three of them had taken direct or indirect hits from missiles launched from British ships, one of which was already effectively mission killed so the Buccaneers proceeded to target the Ra, all three emptying full payloads at the hostile carrier, while their four accompanying Mercuries employed their Harpoons to finish the Egyptian warships; of the ten Sea Eagles launched, five would be shot down by point defense from the battle group, while the other five scored direct hits on the flight deck, fore and belt of the carrier, triggering a number of secondary explosions and crippling the carrier, three torpedoes launched by the Buccaneers before they veered off and returned to the Hermes also impacted in a cluster along the center-fore of the Ra only a few meters below the waterline, the final thrust that would kill the carrier as its power system failed and what crew was left began abandoning as the carrier began severely listing to the starboard side; only one of the Mercuries Harpoons connected with their target, cratering the midships on one of the Ati class destroyers, the strike mission an ultimate success.
Within six hours, everyone would be recovered, and the battle scene cleaned up; the Pandora and Heron boarded the damaged and burning Egyptian destroyers, taking several prisoners and then finishing the ships off with torpedoes. Back on the carrier, all but two of the Egyptian naval fighters had been shot down, the other two had fled, only to be later intercepted by the RAF cordon over Egypt and shot down. Two of the FAA pilots had managed to make ace status with two or more kills, Captain Cory among them who would receive no less than an Order of Merit for her leadership in the strike that would see the sinking of an enemy carrier, the first in a number of decades for the Royal Navy.

The neutralization of the Egyptian battle group would be the completion of one puzzle for the forces involved in Operation PINK FALCON and allow an acceleration of other stages in order to move up the timeline. The 14 Division was pushing in the north, elements of the Rifles and the mechanized regiment were proceeding with great success against a much more numerically inferior force then previously estimated. El-Hammen fell to British forces by August 2, and that would spell what many on the British side believed to be the end of the war; their forces in the north were within visual range of Alexandria and pushing the advance, the Temple Guard in the south was making steady progress and would be upon Thebes; this campaign was having much more success, and quicker than previously believed.
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Layarteb
Powerbroker
 
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Founded: Antiquity
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Layarteb » Sat Feb 01, 2020 7:43 pm



• • • † • • •



Thursday, November 21st, 1991 | 08:50 hrs [UTC+2]

Kastelli, Crete | Kastelli Air Force Base
35° 11' 22" N, 25° 19' 37" E






It was the morning but Taj had little indication other than from his wristwatch. Not long after his landing, he, Henry, and Abdul had been whisked away to a secure area at Kastelli Air Force Base in order to be debriefed by a colonel in military intelligence who's uniform said his last name was Jackson but who hadn't gone into introducing himself. About forty minutes after they'd started talking, a man in civilian clothes who introduced himself as Buck entered the room. Buck said he was from the Ministry of Intelligence and the questioning continued. Taj's phone calls had been to Layarteb City and that was where his contact was, thus leaving him to be debriefed by those in theater. It wasn't much of an insult to Taj, he knew precisely how these matters worked, he was just having a hard time swallowing the fact that his lifelong friend was dead and that he was effectively retiring into the hands of the Empire. He'd worked with the Ministry of Intelligence on countless occasions but he only ever envisioned defecting to them as a last option.

His escape from Gaza had, by now, been noticed but insofar as where he'd gone, that was a mystery still. His aircraft hadn't identified itself throughout the flight and it was parked inside of a closed hangar so that it could not be seen by prying eyes. As a precondition for his asylum request, he would have to give the Ministry of Intelligence everything with regards to Northern Cyprus, Yemen, the Sinai, and of course, Gaza. Taj felt little loyalty towards Gaza anymore now that Abdul's brothers had become murderous with patricide. He never cared much for the Yemenis or the gangs in the Sinai, feeling them to be more customers of opportunity rather than actual partners. Northern Cyprus, on the other hand, was a bit of a hard play. Tamam had helped negotiate those contacts and rolling on the duplicity of Kemal Munishi felt treasonous to his late friend. Still, Tamam was dead and Taj still alive and in care of his son no less. To Taj, he simply had to do so in order to ensure that Abdul wouldn't be a victim of his foolish brothers' murderous designs.

And so, Taj gave them everything. He smoked cigarette after cigarette, drinking down as much water as he could to keep his throat from turning into sandpaper. He normally smoked unfiltered cigarettes and so his throat was taking a beating. Food was brought in, bathroom breaks were allotted, and all three men were debriefed. Questions were asked and reasked differently to ensure truth in the answers. Everything was recorded both on camera and on audio and on separate systems to ensure complete and total preservation of the records. What Buck and Jackson were hearing from Taj, Abdul, and, in some small part, Henry told them that Gaza was on the tipping point, that the Sinai was still a conduit, that Yemen was still meddling in the affairs of the Levant, and that Northern Cyprus was, first and foremost, the biggest enemy in the theater.

With the Empire building up and poised to strike, the information that Taj and Abdul passed along would be instrumental in what the Empire hoped was a quick defeat for both areas. For the most part, Gaza was an open book. Layartebian operatives, agents, and assets were thoroughly embedded throughout the small territory. The valuable intelligence from Abdul and Taj mainly consisted of what Abdul's brothers were up to, what plans they had in place, and where their fallback locations might be. The real valuable piece of intelligence would come concerning the Sinai. Factional warfare throughout the decades had turned the territory into a lawless entity. Militias wielded the power and they were loyal to either one of two clans, the Touma's in the south and the Hajjar's in the north yet there was some trouble in paradise. The militias might have been loyal to one of these two clans but each was biding their time until they could launch some manner of overthrow. This division would help support the Empire's battleplan and it would be the plan to exploit the lack of coherency and training between the militias. Taj also provided the names and descriptions of the heads of each of the many militias. The Sinai had about two dozen warlords loyal to the two clans and each one commanded his own militia. This information was, beyond any manner of a doubt, well worth the price of admission.



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Layarteb
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Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Layarteb » Sun Mar 01, 2020 8:56 pm



• • • † • • •



Saturday, November 23rd, 1991 | 14:50 hrs [UTC+2]

Eastern Mediterranean Sea | Gaza Airspace
31° 30' 30" N, 34° 14' 42" E






"Gator 602, approaching IP," Lieutenant Mike Powers reported as the coastline of Gaza approached rapidly in front of and underneath the nose of his F-18C Hornet. Off to the starboard and lagging just behind was Lieutenant Junior Grade Steven Humboldt flying Gator 611, also a single-seat Hornet. They were part of a new plan by the Imperial Layartebian Navy to antagonize the Gazan military into sending up its Mirage III interceptors. On the ground, the Mirage IIIs could not yet be struck because the conflict had not started but in the air, under the right conditions, the navy could engage the Mirage IIIs and claim self-defense. The rules of what would define self-defense had largely been broadened specifically to allow the navy to engage the aircraft regardless of whose airspace they were over, though international airspace would make the case far more politically expedient. Two such flights of Hornets had been sent out to Gaza where they'd violated Gazan airspace, flown around, and returned home without provoking a response. Powers and Humboldt would be the third duo to make the attempt.

Testimonies from both Taj and Abdul during their debriefing had revealed considerable information about the militia leaders - or rather warlords - in charge of Gaza. Egos played off of egos and Abdul's brothers, now in command of the microstate, had taken the reins on a desire to be more antagonistic to the Empire. Feeding into their desires, the navy was hoping they would play ball. The Hornets that had been flying into Gaza had been armed with strictly air-to-air ordnance in the form of four AIM-7M Sparrow and two AIM-9M Sidewinder missiles. Gaza only had twelve Mirage IIIs and it was unlikely they'd put all twelve into the skies. More than likely there would be two, four at the most, which the Hornets could easily grapple with in the skies. In every manner, the Hornets outclassed the Mirage IIIs.

Approaching the IP simply meant that the two Hornets were about to breach Gazan airspace. A call from "Alpha Bravo" or the carrier to abort would have been followed immediately without any further violation of Gazan airspace. Yet that call did not come and the Hornet pilots pressed onward, tripping the imaginary line and going into Gazan airspace. They kept close watch on their RWRs and their radio to see if the Mirages had been launched. Their RWRs wouldn't pick up the aircraft until they had their radars on while AWACS would pick them up, reporting such over the radio as "Enemy launch activity detected," which would be followed by the bearing and range relatively to bullseye, or a designated coordinate on the map. Bullseye, for these missions was Gaza Airport.

From here, the Hornets continued on an easterly course, heading towards Nuseirat and the power plant nearby. They would overfly it at an altitude of 15,000 feet, which was well above the threat from Gaza's stockpile of anti-aircraft guns and SA-7 missiles. They would be vulnerable to other SAMs as Gaza was defended by both SA-6 and SA-8 units but thus far those sites had largely remained inactive. There were major questions as to whether or not the operators were proficient in the use of the systems. Not even Taj or Abdul could answer whether or not they were. The navy kept a close eye on them and the Hornet pilots a close eye on their radar. They had chaff ready to go and their jammers could be switched on very quickly in the event of a threat.

From the power plant, Powers led their flight north, overflying the military command bunkers, the water treatment plant, the main FM radio station of Gaza, then one of the militia camps, and finally the northern radar site. They headed back out to sea but came back around, crossing over Gaza at the port. Keeping at 15,000 feet, they made for a southerly course, once again crossing over the military command bunkers and the power plant. They were heading now for the airport, where they would do a few circles before finally giving up and going home, though they would go home with enough fuel to turn back around and engage if the Mirages launched.

On the ground, the Gazans were growing incensed by the overflights and this had only been the third. It was for this reason that Jalal had ordered the planes shot down. This intrusion, he was convinced, would be the last but he wouldn't order the Mirages into the sky, not because he thought them incapable of fighting against the Hornets but rather because the commander of the air force had been skeptical over the claims that Tamam had died of a heart attack. Jalal would tolerate no dissent and so he did not want to give his air force the satisfaction. Defending the airport was a SA-6 battery and two SA-8 units. Jalal didn't care which unit engaged the Hornets only that they were brought down. On the ground, it was the SA-8s that would engage. Their quicker reaction time meant that they could engage the Hornets not long after their radars were picked up on the Hornets' RWRs.

As the Hornets approached, ground radar fed the inactive Osas with information pertaining to the altitude, speed, heading, and position of the interlopers. All of this was done to cut down on the response time. At best, a highly trained crew could go from detection to missile launch in twenty-six seconds but the Gazan crews had never done less than thirty. This wasn't necessarily a long amount of time but it wasn't quick enough to catch the Hornets by surprise so they would need to devise other tactics, which meant switching on their radars at just the right time. That time was as they flew over the airport, when they were almost directly overhead. Both TELARS turned on their radars and the five-man crews frantically worked to bring their missiles online. In the cockpits, audible warnings and visual signals would tell the Hornet pilots that a surface-to-air system had just gone active.

Powers and Humboldt picked that information up rapidly and Powers quickly reported than two SA-8 radars had been detected. Seconds later, he was being painted, which was enough to get his attention and get his heart racing. No one listening expected the Osas to fire but rather expected that these were scare tactics to send the Hornets away. Powers and Humboldt believed that lie too right up until the moment that the first missile was launched. Two more missiles followed in quick succession so that there were three missiles in the skies and they were all tracked on Powers' aircraft at a range of just five miles.

Powers, reporting that he was being shot at, rapidly turned on his ECM system, dropped chaff, punched his external fuel tanks, and advanced the throttles to maximum afterburner. Humboldt did much of the same though he wasn't being engaged for the second TELAR had suffered a few electrical shortages and its radar had gone dead. The 9M33M3 Osa missiles gunning for Powers' Hornet rapidly accelerated to supersonic speed in just two seconds. The booster, out of fuel, turned itself off and the sustainer motor kicked on, giving the missiles an additional fifteen seconds of powered flight. Those missiles, which were guided from the ground via command guidance ignored the chaff that lured radar missiles away but were somewhat vulnerable to the ECM jamming. As a result, two of the missiles lost track and flew harmlessly into the sky but the third managed to keep the radio link established. In just a few seconds after they were launched, the second of the three missiles, came to within proximity of the Hornet and detonated its warhead. The sky around it was filled with high-explosively driven fragments that tore through the rear, port side of the F-18C Hornet, catching Powers mid-maneuver. The blast, more than the aircraft could handle, destroyed not only the port side engine but a significant portion of the aircraft's control surfaces on that side of the plane.

Almost immediately, warnings went off in Powers' cockpit, not that he needed them to know he'd been hit. The jolt from the strike had been a clear indicator as had seeing the missile coming towards him out of his canopy. Powers was faced with a very quick decision to make and he didn't waste much time yanking the handles of his ejection seat, yelling into his radio that he was ejecting as he did it. The aircraft's controls were unresponsive and he was entering an inverted dive, which would have been risky waiting further. The split seconds he wasted had already been a lot but not nearly enough to endanger him as he bailed from the crippled aircraft. He ejected clean away from the aircraft, separated from his seat on cue, and watched moments later as his parachute began to unfurl. Humboldt, having witnessed the ejection, was calling out coordinates and imploring search and rescue to get airborne though with the SAM threat that would make everything a bit difficult.

Powers landed approximately two miles from the airport and his aircraft crashed a few miles away to his north, both of them landing in a relatively residential area. The crashing aircraft did significant damage, destroying several homes and killing several people whereas Powers lasted only a few short minutes on the ground before armed militiamen were pointing Kalashnikovs at him thus making him a prisoner of war and the first Layartebian "casualty," so to speak, of the upcoming Gazan War.



• • • † • • •


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Itailian Maifias
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Postby Itailian Maifias » Mon Mar 16, 2020 5:10 pm

A Handy Reference Tool
Rear Admiral Tristan Leroi KCB DCO
Briefing Room 1A, H.M.S. Hermes, Caerlorn-class Fleet Carrier [R18]
Docked outside of the central port, El-Alamein Harbor(31°56'51.83"N 28°36'25.32"E)
August 20, 1989; 830 Hrs [UTC+2]





Tristan strolled into the slightly cramped room, double checking the steward's work that the various placemats, name cards and other such things had been set accordingly, he knew the first of the senior officers would probably begin arriving in a few minutes, if they weren't already getting themselves escorted by ship security to the room here on the upper deck of the carrier. The younger Lieutenant from Naval Intelligence was at the front of the room ensuring the projector was functioning correctly and quickly flicking through the various slides to ensure they would all display correctly, Tristan watching as pictures of tactical situational maps of the most immediate region that British military assets were engaged in, namely the northern Nile Delta in the regions around Alexandria, and around the banks of Lake Qattara, near El Hamman where the current front line was situated as subunits of the 14th Division were holding in defensive posture as more units could be funneled into Egypt to get them more support for further offensives deeper into Egypt, as well as the small secondary front that had been opened far to the south as the Temple Guard landed on the southeastern coast and aimed to cut across the desert dunes towards Luxor.

Once the officer had finished his testing, he reset the slides back to the starting slide, a blase introduction graphic emblazoned with the War Office and Admiralty insignia's positioned next to each other and the various senior staff that were attending had their names below them. He turned away and walked towards the back of the room, where a table had been set up with various tea or coffee options, and began making himself a mug of the former when the door to the room opened, an Army major general walked in, the nameplate identifying him and the two men saluted each other briefly "Major General Fairbarin, welcome aboard the Hermes, tea and coffee available for you right here."

"Thank you Admiral, I believe I will take you up on that offer, twenty nine years in commission to His Majesty and I still can't sleep on a helicopter sadly, Lord only knows these tactical briefings need me at top condition."

Tristan smiled "I believe you'll need it more for the initial intelligence briefing we have at the onset of the meeting, they tend to be very dry but I'm told it's being done by a field officer, so perhaps this chance will prove lively."

Fairbairn had begun preparing himself a cup of tea, and at the Admiral's mention of a field officer briefing perked one of his brows in questioning "A field officer from DMI? A little out of the ordinary isn't that?"

Tristan nodded "Indeed, most briefings I get myself are either a video feed or a document, I can't say I've ever had a field officer brief me since I moved into the flag ranks, maybe once when I was still ruffling my CAG's feathers as a young Commander."

The two men took their beverages and then found their seats, both near the head of the table since Tristan was the ranking officer for the Navy, and technically superior to the other Army officers as well, while Major General Fairbairn was the senior Army officer for the Operation, having overall command of the 14 Division, though he would also be joined by fellow Major General Erik Giehl who commanded the recently arrived 7 Division, and other senior staff officers that were involved at the planning and highest command level of this operation. This meeting was called by the Prime Minister, intended to get every service involved in the operation fully up to date with their counterparts before the operation moved into it's next phase, which it was due to in the next two weeks and communication and coordination would be key among the Navy, Army and Air Force. The rest of these officers would slowly trickle in the door for the next half hour, socializing with those they knew and introducing themselves to those they did not and by nine in the morning, all parties had arrived, including what many took to be their DMI briefer, for he was the only one in the room not in a military uniform, instead of bold or contrasted colors, numerous decorations and epaulets, he wore a simple Navy suit with a muted tie and simple black dress shoes, taking a position at the head of the room near the projector. A few moments to gather everyone's attention before the conversation died, and he began speaking "Good morning everyone, thank you all for coming. My name is Lionel Sefton, an employee with the Department of Military Intelligence and I've been selected by the Secretary to coordinate today's interservice briefing. Plainly, Operation Pink Falcon, hereon after OPF, is shifting gears to transition into it's next phase, which will require a significant amount of coordination and communication between the three services represented here today."

Lionel clicked to transition the slides forward into a military map of the northern and central regions of Egypt, focused around the northern coast and using Memphis as the "bottom" edge of the map, showing the various units that were in theater for the different services and various movements for them "As designed by the War Office, on the evening of August 31st, the Army units will initiate a two pronged offensive in the north, the first thrust will be a feint, not aimed at advancing significantly or to capture territory but to distract the enemy. Elements of the 14 Division which established the current line around El Hammam will seek to push forward, making the Egyptians think we are renewing our push for Alexandria. While they tie up those forces in the north and make the Egyptians think that is our play, the newly arrived 7 Division under Major General Giehl will move south, this being the real push in this offensive. Their goal is push the line south, almost eighty kilometers towards Memphis and Heliopolis. The first main objective will be an Egyptian military base here, in the desert west of Memphis. A joint DMI-War Office raid earlier this year prior to the full intervention assaulted this base and removed significant key tactical assets, such as armor pieces, jet fighters and ground attack planes and a significant garrison was eliminated. The base has been in ruins more or less since the raid, but the Egyptians have tentatively re garrisoned it in the interlude and begun repairs, most important to us is the airstrip is fully functional. 7 Division will move to capture this base, allowing us to use it as a supply zone and FOB for further missions, and then continue their advance south, south-east, pushing ultimately for the city of Memphis itself, while some assets from 14 Division divert south to shore up their northern flank and also push for Heliopolis. Anticipated resistance in the south is not high, the region is in total chaos. Egyptian government lost control of Memphis to the native insurgency more than a year ago, and they never recovered it. In light of our intervention, they have sent elements of one of their divisions to try and recapture it, but their progress has been lackluster and they have made no significant gains in the time they have been trying, it's our belief that supplies to sustain assaults may be the primary issue there."

As Lionel concluded his speaking, one of the RAF officers present raised his hand "So what's the RAF's primary involvement looking to be in this? We've already established a cordon around their entire airspace, essentially unchallenged following our destruction or capture of their fuel supplies and critical airfields."

"Correct, however we will still need the RAF to help us facilitate a speedy push south. The key with 7 Division's push is they cannot be bogged down in any serious fighting before reaching Memphis or Heliopolis; should unexpected complications arrive, we will need the RAF's strike capabilities to pave the way as it where. Coinciding with their push south, we have also created a strike package for the RAF to prosecute at the same coordinated time, thereby hopefully ensuring that 7 Division remains largely unopposed until they arrive in their ultimate objective zones. The package is significantly comprehensive, and it will oversee simultaneous strike operations in Alexandria, Heliopolis, El-Tawheed, Meofia, Tanta, El Beheria and 8 other satraps. The overall goal is to confuse the enemy as to which direction the real assault is coming from, as well as denying them significant assets."

"In continuation with this, our end goal for phase objective complete, which would been establishing total control over every region from Heliopolis to Memphis, thereby shifting the front significantly east, on a date no later than September 11, just shy of two weeks. While we recognize that this is a compressed timetable for the size of this operation, there are numerous reasons why we believe it is more then achievable. Namely, the last three weeks pause so to speak as given us significant time to get more assets and supplies into the theater, which only further enhance our position. A full combined arms series of assets are now available to our field commanders, and the Eygptians have been denied from forming an equal response. Their air power has been all but eliminated, and from what we have been able to determine and what we have faced and confirmed in the field, they face serious supply and morale issues in every other facet. Weapons and ammunition in good order and condition seem to not be so common, and the morale and resolve among their men has not been notable, with this style of shock blitz we are planning to do, we are hoping it will only further contribute to the worsening of their resolve. Ideally, at the end of this phase of the operation, we see all serious government power and support crumbling, taking Alexandria may not even be necessary, at that point, the fake Pharaohs will be forced to surrender."
Last edited by Itailian Maifias on Mon Mar 16, 2020 5:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Layarteb
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Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Layarteb » Sat Apr 04, 2020 12:26 pm



• • • † • • •



Saturday, November 23rd, 1991 | 19:00 hrs [UTC+2]

Old Walled City, Gaza | Fortress of Gaza
31° 23' 12" N, 34° 19' 24" E






Lieutenant Mike Powers was strapped to a chair, still in his flight suit, which was filthy with dirt, grease, sweat, and who knew what else he'd picked up on it while being manhandled into and out of the armored personnel carrier that transported him from his landing site to where he now sat. Not four hours ago, he'd ejected from his stricken F-18C Hornet over Gaza, being captured within mere minutes of touching down on the ground. The squad of militiamen who'd captured him had rapidly turned him over to the "professional" standing army of Gaza and they'd transported him into the walls of Gaza's Old Walled City. The Old Walled City had been the original establishment in Gaza, built by the Crusaders and other settlers of Gaza. Its walls encompassed an area of 360 acres, 138 more than Jerusalem's Old City. At the centerpiece was the 6-acre Fortress of Gaza, which had housed the microstate's rulers ever since. Built over the course of five centuries by the rulers of Gaza, the Fortress still stood atop its small hill as a symbol of Gaza's heritage and its place in history.

Within the confines of the Old Walled City sat the state's oldest churches and mosques, even two Jewish Temples that had survived the armies of Christendom and Islam. If there was any heritage site outside of Jerusalem in the Levant that held as much history it was this one. Yet nowadays the Old Walled City was something else entirely. It had become a bastion of the Khouri clan and it was where Tamam's wayward sons had retreated to now with the spectre of war against Layarteb on the horizon. If there was any part of Gaza that could be guaranteed as being spared from the inevitable bombing of Layarteb it was the Old Walled City for, due to its heritage and its place in history, could be considered an "off-limits" target by Layartebian cruise missiles and aircraft. Its populace of 33,857 people hardly felt safe however and not necessarily because of the impending war but rather because of Tamam's sons.

Though Tamam had never loosened his grip on Gaza until his death, he had allowed his sons some degree of latitude in how they functioned within the microstate. Jalal, the oldest and perhaps most bloodthirsty of Tamam's sons, had raised his own secret army. They were a 400-man force that policed the Old Walled City and the Old Walled City exclusively. Their reputation as a brutally violent force was known well beyond the walls of the Old Walled City but Tamam had always decided to allow their existence, hoping that he could balance against the influence of his son. Little good did it do to him in the end when Jalal shot him. Now Jalal's militia had no opposition whatsoever and it was they who now had Lieutenant Powers in their custody.

Powers had been brought into the dungeon of the Fortress of Gaza and strapped to a chair. He'd been left by himself now for hours, given neither food nor drink but also prevented from using the bathroom or even moving, so tight where his restraints. Having sat there for some time, he could only try his best to remember his survival training for he knew what was about to come. If he hadn't, his surroundings would not have given him the impression of a civil or polite conversation. Torture was all that he could expect and with no formal, international agreement on the treatment of POWs, he knew precisely what was in store for he'd been briefed and shown precisely what would be in store. As a pilot, he had good knowledge to pass onto the Gazans but he didn't know much about the battle plan to come.

It was then, with sudden and very loud clangs and bangs that the locks were disengaged from the large, steel door separating his holding room to the corridors outside. For the first time in hours, light came into the room and an incandescent light bulb was turned on in the room, bathing just him in a buzzing and flickering light. An imposing man stepped through the door and the door closed behind him with a loud bang. The brick and stone walls, floor, and ceiling of the room gave testament to the age of the dungeon. The man standing before him didn't bother with dramatics, instead he introduced himself in English, though clearly accented with the Arabic tongue of his native language. "My name is Rashid. You are Lieutenant Powers, yes? What is your first name Lieutenant Powers?" Powers said nothing and Rashid laughed, "You Layartebians are tough are you not?" Powers said nothing, trying to estimate how long he could hold out for, knowing it would not be long. "Very well then, allow me to explain what I am here for then. If you wish to speak, we can speak, if you do not then we do not have to speak. You are a Layartebian pilot of a Hornet airplane that we have shot down for violating our airspace. As neither of our states are in a formal or even informal conflict you are not a 'prisoner of war' but rather a terrorist who has harmed our people with your intrusion. As such, you are a criminal under our legal code and though you may be afforded a trial, the outcome and the penalty, I assure you, are not in question.

"Guilt is your sentence and death is your judgement. We have several types of judgement here in Gaza. We have execution by firing squad, a very quick and relatively painless process, a single bullet through the heart. The condemned tends to be dead before their body hits the ground. We also have execution by shooting someone in the back of the neck, which is even quicker. We also have hanging which, when done properly leads to unconsciousness in but a few seconds. It is the same method you Layartebians use because it is quick and it is efficient. These are humane methods, if you will.

"Yet we have other methods, methods designed to inflict pain and suffering. These aren't methods we publicize you understand but we sometimes have used them to make examples out of special criminals: rapists, child molesters, terrorists, you see? You are a terrorist. Now you do not have to speak to us but you will be tried and you will be found guilty. Whether you speak or not is not the concern of the court unless, perhaps, you provide substantial information. Perhaps then we can see fit to provide a humane execution or, perhaps in the most special of cases, life in prison. I promise you that it will not be a good life but it will be life nonetheless. I have some tools I shall need to retrieve. I'll let you think about it."
With that, Rashid turned and walked to the door, knocking on it several times. It was opened and he stepped through it, the door shutting in his wake without any further conversation. Powers didn't know how long until the war started but he could only hope that he could somehow survive the interrogation, trial, and punishment long enough for his compatriots to come get him.



• • • † • • •


Last edited by Layarteb on Sat May 02, 2020 7:51 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Layarteb
Powerbroker
 
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Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Layarteb » Sat May 02, 2020 8:14 pm



• • • † • • •



Sunday, November 24th, 1991 | 13:40 hrs [UTC-5]

Old Walled City, Gaza | Fortress of Gaza
31° 23' 12" N, 34° 19' 24" E






Rashid, his shirtsleeves still rolled up, banged on the door, which opened without delay. He stepped through it, gave some instructions in Arabic, and the door was shut behind him. Rashid hardly looked as he did nearly nineteen hours ago when he walked into Powers' cell and introduced himself. Rashid certainly maintained some of his appearance but 19+ hours in the same clothes tended to do a number on one's personal hygiene, especially in a prison cell directing the torture of another human being. Still, he didn't have time to change or even to dab water on his face. Instead, he walked right through the confines of the Fortress of Gaza and to Jalal's quarters, though he found the man's door shut and locked and two armed guards outside. "He's busy right now," one of the guards said to Rashid, as ordered by Jalal.

From the screams coming from the room Rashid suspected that Jalal had a woman picked up from the streets the night before. "As it may be," Rashid answered, "I have the kind of information he needs."

"He told us no one is to bother him, no exceptions,"
the other guard answered.

Rashid smiled and put his dirty and soiled hand on the guard's shoulder, "Are you aware of where I have been and what I have been doing? This isn't my blood."

"Sir, our instructions…"

"I can get a second wind you know?"
Rashid said, still smiling but never taking his eyes off of the guard's face. "Move aside." The guard nodded and Rashid banged on the door. The woman screamed for help but she wasn't going to find any of it outside. There was a scuffle and then the door opened and a robed Jalal stood there.

"What were my…" He began to shout before his eyes set upon Rashid.

"They were insistent about your instructions, may I come in?"

"I am with…"

"She can wait,"
Rashid said, virtually pushing past the elder Khouri brother. Rashid was feared, even by Tamam's sons. He'd been a boogie man to them ever since they were little and Rashid knew how to wield that power. "I spoke with our guest finally."

"Quite some time?"

"Quite, he was a very cunning man. Well he informed me that the operations being conducted are bait operations. Our foes are hopeful for a reason to go forward with their plans. So it is simple, we shouldn't need to give them one. Their cause is shaky, at best, and so they need some sort of justification in the court of world opinion. This is why we're having what we're having."

"So what would you have me do?"

"Stay our hands. Let them fly around. What harm are they causing?"

"They're violating our airspace."

"They've violated the airspace of nations ten times our size just to do so. That is their MO. Let them do it; they'll only waste jet fuel. If we play into their hands, they will launch their operation."

"Does he know what that operation is?"

"He does not,"
Rashid said, shaking his head. "They don't tell their pilots what is happening until the briefings. He knows what the purpose of the flights are but not what the targets are or what the battle plan is."

"Fine then, we'll do it,"
Jalal said, impatient he couldn't get back to his business. He was agreeing more to agree, to get Rashid out of his room but he knew enough not to cross the man. "Is there anything else?"

"No."

"What do we do with him?"

"He's a terrorist, is he not?"

"Will they try a rescue mission?"

"That's unlikely if we keep him within the walls."

"Then we'll do it, thank you, do what you need."

"As you order,"
Rashid said, departing the room. He cast a glance at the woman, just to see if he knew who she was. He didn't and the helpless look on her face was tragic but Rashid wasn't there to rescue anyone or to have any moral high ground. He'd just spent the last seventeen of nineteen hours torturing Lieutenant Powers into revealing information. He'd started off slowly at first with some non-damaging methods. Then he saw those would not work - nor did he expect them to - and so he ratcheted up the methods. He kept the pressure on and when sleep felt like it was clouding his judgement, he popped an amphetamine and kept going. It was how he was still functioning after being awake for so many exhausting hours.

The door closed behind him and Rashid returned to the prison cell where Lieutenant Powers was being cleaned so that his wounds could be addressed. A medical doctor would oversee the wounds while two soldiers cleaned him up and provided support for the doctor. "Lieutenant," Rashid said as he re-entered the room. "You shall have clean clothes, you shall have your wounds tended to by a proper doctor, you shall have a meal, and you shall be given a bed. You should sleep. Tomorrow will be your trial. As promised, you cooperated and so I will 'put in a good word' as you Layartebians say," Rashid smiled again. He picked up his notebook from the table, which he'd used to record the details of what Powers had said. "Rest well Lieutenant," then he left, first to pass on the recommendation that the Layartebian aircraft not be engaged and then to get a shower and a change of clothes himself so that he could go to sleep now that the amphetamines were beginning to wear off on him.



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Itailian Maifias
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Posts: 10224
Founded: Mar 15, 2010
Left-Leaning College State

Postby Itailian Maifias » Sat May 09, 2020 8:49 pm

A Handy Reference Tool
Major Christian Nicolson
OP Harriet, Acting Commanding Officer of 1st Battalion, The Durham Light Infantry, 14 Division
1.4 km north of Al-Jazair/28.3 km southwest of Alexandria, Egypt (30°40'45.78"N, 29°18'10.94"E)
August 31, 1989; 1900 Hrs [UTC+2]




”Major Nicolson, Major!”

Christian turned around from the table where he had been reviewing some Army intelligence documents on enemy movements in the area to see a junior officer walking in through the door of their makeshift command center, really an three story village house that they had commandeered for this use. Christian moved to greet him “Yes Lieutenant?”

“Colonel Royce sends his regards, wants to confirm your unit is ready to begin the mission”

Christian nodded, moving back to the table he was at to retrieve his Glenys rifle, throwing the sling around his torso as he rejoined the messenger and the two of them shuffled around the tables and other soldiers coming and going in the tight quarters of the building, soon reaching the dirt courtyard outside. “Yes Lieutenant, all members of first battalion are in position and ready to execute at the designated time. Don’t suppose you’ve heard anything about us getting some heavier ordinance like those tanks the 7 Div gets?”

The Lieutenant shook his head “Nope, no gossip of such I’m afraid. Keep your men at the ready Major, the execution command will be delivered over the regimental net.”

The messenger left Christian’s side, presumably to go check in with the three other battalion commanders in the Durham Light Infantry. Christian watched him for just a moment before he turned to continue on in the opposite direction, moving through a gap in the eastern wall of the village compound and making way to an desert-painted Land Rover that was parked on the gravel village road, it’s driver waiting against the driver side wheel, a small lit cigarette in one hand. “Corporal Kneib, let’s move out, take me back to our mustering point.”

The young man nodded and took one last drag out of his cigarette before dropping it and smashing it with his foot into the sand. Christian entered through the front passenger door, and within a few moments the engine was ignited, and the Corporal was guiding the vehicle down the winding village road. The trip would be short, only a distance of a half kilometer before they arrive at the northern end of the village, where a damaged two story house had been surrounded in desert camouflage netting, some sandbag reinforced firing positions set up on the ridge that looked down on the green plains and farms below to the north and east. All across the area was Christian’s battalion, well acting at least War Office decided they didn’t have time to find another officer to command it so they gave it to him all though they also decided not to replace the sixty five soldiers he was missing due to combat.

The Corporal would stop the Land Rover at the back of the compound, Christian thanking him with a quick word and then left the vehicle, heading for the building where he had established the battalion command post. It was less clustered then the one he had just left, a few desks had been appropriated and set up, as well as radio equipment to communicate with the whole unit and the rest of the regiment and a few field-grade computers. The only people inside besides the guard at the door where the command staff officers, who Christian presumed were going over the last pieces of their own maneuvers during the upcoming offensive. “Any last thoughts Staff Serjeant Lyon?”

The tall man with close-cut blonde hair who was examining the map that had been pinned to one of the walls turned to answer his commander “No sir, I guess just final examinations. You get anything over at regimental?”

Christian nodded “Nope, not one. DMI thinks we’ll be facing concentrated pockets from the Egyptian’s 1st Division, which is the buggers we’ve been clashing with since El-Alamein. Though, I think we will have the advantage with the boys from 1st Brigade, their APCs will help them push a lot further then we would just on our own. I’m just curious to see if the Egyptians go for the bait.”

Lyons shrugged “No reason they shouldn’t, they haven’t had any form of air presence since this started and we’ve had a pretty tight perimeter along the front, I don’t believe any scouts could have slipped through to notice the buildup and misdirection with the armor in the 7th.”

“Or so we hope, it’s impossible to cover every stretch of this desert and someone could have conceivably come up on the far side of the Qattara Sea. But, I suppose you are correct. Here’s to a quick, successful engagement then. I should probably move into position, raise me on the battalion net if you need me.”

Christian departed the command building and moved towards the far eastern side of the small compound that it was apart of, where near a broken section of walls was another Land Rover, also painted in desert schemes but also armed with a mounted MG3 on a pintle mount, with a Lance Corporal manning the gun and keeping it pointed towards the front. Corporal Kneib was the driver, this time re-armed with a rifle and webbing and was dispensing the final amount of fuel out of a red can into the vehicle, and the final member of the small command crew was Serjeant Dennel, the radioman, and was examining his backpack radio. “Everything ready to go Serjeant Dennel?”

“Yes sir, just making sure I’m receiving correctly on all required stations, I don’t want us ham-stringed by bad radio reception or a incorrect channel input. I spoke with Captain Langdon from 3rd company, all of the howitzers and other artillery pieces are in position and ready for us to call as support.”

“Any initial strikes planned?”

“Well, he and his company are supporting the whole regiment, but 1st Brigade as already begun their initial push, just look towards the coast and Alexandria. Once they reach their third objective, that’s our go and we’ll deploy more southeast in our push.”

The distant sound of concentrated, automatic gunfire and sporadic bursts could be seen as Christian looked out to where the string of endless settlements hugged the Mediterranean coastline, and could distinguish the flash of artillery shells impacting on a building or the ground, and man-launched ordinance being fired and hitting their targets.

His brief thoughts were interrupted as he could hear the headset from Dennel’s radio come alive “Roland Actual to all Breeze elements, we are passing point Blaze, say against, Roland Actual is passing Blaze.”

Christian looked over to Dennell “Alright, let us go that’s our que. Radio the company commanders, execute on initial maneuvers, have Captain Langdon’s guns cover 1st company’s sweeping approach.”

Dennel put the headset over his head and quickly changed radio channels “Novel 1-2 to Novel 3 Actual, commence fire mission Echo India 14, over.”

“Novel 1-2, Novel 3 Actual acknowledges, executing fire mission Echo India 14, eta first splash 10 seconds, over.”

Dennel would quickly re-adjust radio channels and over the company net announce the beginning of the mission, at the mention of which the ridge and area would come alive as the four companies of just short of two thousand men and approximately a dozen Land Rovers with similarly mounted weaponry as the one Christian stood near began moving. The first company would move out in a sweeping arm fashion, advancing in a south-easterly approach while the other companies would advance inside that arm, going more east then the previous. The final goal of the push was a point marked near a small farm, about three kilometers west of the city of El-Horeya, but it was also subject to mission demands. The idea of the “bait” offensive is the heavy mechanized elements of the 1st Brigade would advance along the coast, which was saturated in villages and towns that were linked together until you reached Alexandria, while southwards the 2nd Brigade would be advancing through mostly green fields, ponds, small lakes and farms that lay in between their current position and El-Horeya; really, most of northern Egypt looked this way, large, dense urban centers and metropoli storied in history and mystery, and in between them swathes of the farms that were the foundation of Egypt’s historical role as a breadbasket.



Staff Corporal Maël Owens
Gunner on Leopard 2A4 (Callsign Rhosyn 2), C Troop 2nd Squadron, 1st Wing, The 3rd King's Own Hussars
Staging Point 'Gwynt', 33 kilometers east of Qattara Sea (30°18'48.61"N 30° 4'3.77"E)
August 31, 1989; 1915 Hrs [UTC+2]




”Hey Noé, do you think you are driving fast enough?”

Maël briefly removed his eye from the optic scope that he had been glued to for the last fifteen minutes, only to see if his driver would react at all to the joke about the speed they were currently maintaining, nearly the tank’s top speed, maintaining 60 km/h for the last fifteen minutes as they had charged across the desert, moving away from the shores of the Qattara Sea and towards the Nile, where their targets of Memphis and Heliopolis lay.

“Cut it out and focus Owens, I’m not going to have us jumped by some Egyptian tank or gunner on a anti-tank launcher just because you want to rib Auberts”

“Of course, Lieutenant I’m dialed in still at bearing 345.”

“Good, let’s keep our focus north, northwesterly, we’ll adjust more for centerline fire as we come down into the plains that straddle the river.”

Owens tank was but one of the sixty tanks belonging to Owens’ own the King’s Own Hussars, or their brigade-fellows the Emperor’s Own Lancers, which had left their staging point in a commandeered town near the south-eastern shores of the Qattara Sea, while the other half of the division which was the Gloucestershire and the Worcestershire Regiments which consisted of mechanized infantry instead of armor, would follow behind them to assist in securing their captured zones of control. Owens went through his head, trying to recall the pre-mission briefing that their company commander had given, what to expect and prepare for; apparently, the intel types figured out that the Egyptians had sent a unit to recapture Memphis, which had been lost to insurrectionists since the early portions of the summer in 1988. It was known that the Egyptians had a armored “regiment” that operated the 55 Chieftain tanks that had been sold to the government back in previous decade when relations were more friendly and interests were different. Maël was confident that they would easily breeze through the mission, his limited time in country had been spent hearing about thanks to the RAF’s ground strikes, and coordinated raids with DMI assets, many critical supplies and bases were completely denied to the Egyptians, and even though he was just a gunner he had a hard time imagining the Egyptians having enough fuel and ammo for an entire armored regiment, but he also understood his commander’s concern. When you let yourself become complacent was precisely when the enemy had an advantage over you.

After several additional minutes of driving in silence, nothing but brief radio chatter and the sound of the diesel engine surrounding them, the Lieutenant called out “Alright, extra sharp boys, Emperor’s Own is splitting off for their offensive on Heliopolis, we have scouts reporting contact with Egyptian armor up ahead. We are going to more than likely be in a running gun battle, hardly any cover out here in the desert. Auberts, take us up to top speed but be ready to change, I have a feeling we’re going to hit most of the resistance at that old army base.”

The tank carefully cruised up to its top speed of 68 km/h, all while remaining in the staggered column formation as their platoon of five glided across the moonlit sands. It would not take long before there was a radio call from the platoon commander and the tanks adjusted formation and slowly reduced speed, coming near a dune that once they crested it would be in visual sight of the army base that was their initial target. The five tanks fanned out to form a singular line and dropped their speed to a near-crawl as they slowly came up so their gun barrels and top of the turrets were just visible from the top of the dune. “Owens, got any targets? Rhosyn 2 Actual to Rhosyn Actual, scouts indicate any targets?”

Maël was carefully scanning with his optic, seeing a few targets like some guard stations and a pillbox and some fortifications assembled out of sandbags but did not see any presentable targets aside from a pair of parked Land Rovers and then a second pair of parked trucks “I have nothing but static defenses Lieutenant, and some parked Rovers and trucks.”

“All Rhoysn elements, hostile armor in the clear bearing 295, range estimated 800 meters.”

The callout was soon followed with an explosion as an Egyptian round impacted on the tank to Rhosyn 2’s left, and Maël wasted no time in traversing his turret towards the direction included in the radio message, his targets soon giving themselves away when he spotted three further muzzle flashes, one round hitting near their own tread and rocking the vehicle “Auberts, get us fucking moving, keep us up behind this dune but so Owens can see, gunner do you have a solution?”

“One second Lieutenant, that range is way off…try more like 765 meters, targets moving in a east, south-east direction.”

The lieutenant quickly adjusted his own optics towards the grouping of Egyptian armor “Shit, there’s a lot more then five, I’m counting about eight. Rhosyn 2 Actual to all Rhosyn elements, sighted eight times enemy armor, range 765 meters from our last position.”

“Owens, target the closest tank and fire once you get a solid shot.”

Maël trained the crosshairs over the broadside being presented by the Egyptian Chieftain and pulled the trigger, the Leopard’s 120mm barrel exploding with a loud bang that could be heard even through his two-layered protective headwear, and to his right his loader Gerald began quickly moving to reload with another APFSDS round; Maël watched as the round he had fired landed just above the top of the Chieftain’s treads, a large flume of flame flowing out and the tank jolted to a stop “I think you’ve knocked that one out of commission Owens, good shot.”

A large explosion was heard ahead of them, and the Lieutenant re-oriented his commander’s optics forward “Fuck, shit, Rhosyn 4 just went up. “

“Rhosyn 1 Actual to all Rhosyn elements, concentrate fire on closest elements, rest of the squadron will be coming in from our west”

It would take a further nine minutes of the four remaining Leopard’s in C Troop to exchange fire with the seven Egyptian Chieftains that were on the far side of the Egyptian Army base, which had also joined in the battle with emplaced weaponry such as machine guns taking shots at the Leopards whenever they entered within sight of their gunners, before one side gained an advantage, with a further 3 Egyptian tanks destroyed in either explosion or an apparent mission-kill. At the end of this time, the ten other tanks in A and B Troops in 2nd Squadron had joined the battle and the entire squadron descended from atop of the dunes down to the desert floor and road below.

“Owens, static guard post bearing 15, target that.”

A callout from Gerald, to his right “Gimme a moment Owens, loading up a HE road now.”

Maël took the time to train his optic over the mentioned guard post, a solid building with fire ports out of which two heavy machine guns were pelting bullets off of the exterior hulls of the fourteen charging tanks. Four of them would fire off rounds before Maël did, their High-Explosive rounds impacting on the air control tower, the damaged barracks building which only further reduced it’s usability as a whole wall section was vaporized, and the pair of parked Land Rovers, one of them flipping over as a tank round landed below it. As soon as he heard the callout from his loader, Owens pulled the trigger and watched as his HE round blew open one of the firing ports, the wall and its roof completely gone. His Lieutenant joined in by commanding the MG mounted above, suturing the remaining fire port in gunfire before it too fell silent, Maël ensuring it remained that way by putting another HE round through it once he was reloaded.

“Alright boys, A Troop is going to roll around the base’s perimeter north to try and get what’s left of those Chieftains, we’re going to roll through the base, pull of an ol’ pincer. Mael, keep that gun trained I’d say 265, 280.”

Maël moved his gun carefully as he felt the tank as it rolled over the simple chain perimeter fencing, crushing it underneath the treads of their sixty two ton tank, his eyes briefly observing the many fires and near-invisible pillars of smoke, their black column only visible when the heavy cloud cover shifted to allow the moon to shine for a moment. Rolling his optic over empty, or ruined hangars, he stopped his movements as he thought he saw movement towards the end of the hangar line, almost like something trying to poke around the corner. “Fuck, Gerald, load me up a sabot, now!”

As he waited for the rounds to be exchanged, he dialed his optic in “Owens, you got something?”

“Bearing 355, the last of the hangars, I think we got one of the Chieftains down here trying to peek around and pick one of us off.”

“Why not throw the HE at the hangar to confirm?”

“Because then I’m stuck in the reload when he scoots forward and fires.”

“All loaded Owens.”

Maël grunted and moved his optic so it was directly over where he thought the enemy tank would emerge “Well, Owens, let’s prove you right. Aubert, drop us down by ten, and let’s get an assist here. Rhosyn 2 Actual to Rhosyn 3, think you can lob an HE at the corner of the last hangar?”

Owens could make an indistinct radio garble come back in and soon watched as their was a burst of flame and explosive material, enough so that wall of the hangar crumbled and brought a portion of the roof down with it, the collapsed mess of metal and building material sparking into a fire, but he could see the flames the hull of a tank. Without hesitation he pulled the trigger, the sabot round landing behind the turret and causing a larger explosion to be seen “Well done Owens, I think you hit the ammo racks”

As they continued driving, the sound of secondary cook-off explosions could be heard as they neared and then past the flaming wreck that was missing it’s turret and spewing out a large column of flame and smoke. Maël could hear further small explosions off to the north, what he assumed to be tanks in A Troop engaging what was left of the Egyptian armor.

“Rhoysn 1 Actual to all Rhosyn elements, Hunter Actual is reporting mission-kill on the last Chieftain. We will RV at gridref 198245, to the direct east of the base. Be prepared for sustained combat.”

The fourteen Leopards of 2nd Squadron would soon link up three kilometers outside of the flame and smoke coming from the former Egyptian base, leaving the final sweeps to the infantry from 1st Brigade. It was soon spread down from the Wing command that the whole regiment would be forming near this RV point, moving to take a direct eastern approach on Memphis. Evidently, the Emperor’s Own had encountered significant resistance in the city of Marna, but mostly in the form of infantry carriers, emplaced MANPAD sites, and hardened defenses with supporting infantry, and no armor presence with more then likely meant any remaining Chieftain armor would be at Memphis.

It would take only twenty minutes before the remainder of the regiment was in position and soon all of the fifty six tanks were moving in set formations as they crossed the last remainder of desert and soon encountered the fertile, green fields that straddled either side of the Nile, and could easily see the lights of the city of Memphis, historic and former capital of Egypt.

It would not take long before they soon found the Egyptian unit they had been anticipating, which was indeed their armored division. It pitted fifty Chieftain’s up against the fifty-six Leopards, but despite the numbers in favor of the Hussars it would prove to be no advantage. The minute they left the desert, they came under fire from a combination of efforts, either Chieftain tanks whose crew had already been tipped off after the assault on the base and had now crewed and pre-sighted the guns on their tanks, or a variety of field gun or other artillery pieces that had ranged in on selected spots that the Hussars were now crossing. More then five Leopards were lost as the ground exploded as a variety of HE artillery shells harried them all the way through the fields and farms, and more were lost as the Chieftains honed in on their targets. The Hussars would answer in kind, as the whole landscape came alive as the regiment returned fire of their own, joined in by RAF aircraft that were being diverted to strike out at these clustered armor positions and artillery sites. Two flights of Tornados were used to direct guided bombs onto artillery sites which had been set up outside the city, which allowed the infantry of the Hussars 1st Brigade to roll through the fields unhampered by indirect artillery fire. Although 2nd Brigade would lose 8 Leopards on the advance to Memphis, they were able to inflict much more severe losses on the Egyptians, for the intervention of the RAF Tornado IDS’s had forced the Chieftains to become mobile, maneuvering in the fields north and west of the city or moving into the city itself. Outside of the city, the Leopards were able to employ their superior design, specifically their much more advanced ability to accurately fire on the move and were able to eliminate 18 Chieftains and mission-kill 6, while losing a further 3 of their own in the effort.

When the remaining Chieftains moved into Memphis, the Hussar’s joined them and were soon drawn into an urban firefight between heavy weight tanks; the dense, packed nature of urban setting caused several unpredicted situations, like when a Leopard was temporarily lost out of action because an Egyptian HE shell missed and hit the building to it’s right, collapsing its upper two stories onto the Leopard, and also blocking the road in rubble and debris. The British however, had the advantage that prior to the military intervention into Egypt, the MI6 had developed a significant network among the gangs and other factions within Memphis and had built a large network of their own lightly-armed former gang members or insurrectionists, mostly equipped with captured or stolen Egyptian supplies or whatever MI6 siphoned from the black market. Chief among these arms was the venerable RPG, which would prove invaluable as under MI direction, small “hit” squads were formed and coordinated with the British tanks and infantry units, ambushing Egyptian tanks, and eliminating them.

The battle for Memphis would end with the British seizing total control around 0500 the following morning; success had been achieved, just not to the degree that military planners had hoped. 22 Leopards were lost or in need of repair in the King’s Own Hussars alone, while the Emperor’s Own had lost an additional 12 in the push through Marna and Heliopolis. Furthermore, approximately 285 British soldiers had died in the offensive, mostly members of the Worchestershire Regiment which had advanced as the infantry support for the Emperor’s Own and encountered heavy defenses around Heliopolis. Never the less, the offensive had secured Heliopolis, Marna, Memphis and every settlement in between the first and the latter, ensuring that the Egyptian’s total zone of control was severed into two ports, the northern Nile Delta and the southern portion from south of Memphis to Thebes and below which itself was under assault as the British Temple Guard Regiment continued to advance and secure further territory with little impediment as now the British had all Egyptian military units contained in the north.


Squadron Leader Dirk Volk
Co-pilot, Mammoth B.6 #34, No.251 Squadron, 3rdBomber Wing
RAF Ramat David, 10.98 km southwest of Nazareth, Levant (32°39'53.88"N 35°10'55.22"E)
August 31, 1989; 1745 Hrs [UTC+2]




Click, click, switch.

A snap to his right, and Dirk looked over, to see his co-pilot smacking heavily onto some chewing gum “Could you not Baxter? Trying to concentrate here.”

Baxter smiled widely, took one last smack and then stopped “Aww, c’mon Volk, what’s to focus on? Not like we’re making history or anything here.”

A voice through their intraplane radio “Yeah, not like we’re becoming the realization of all of the ghosts from Bomber Command.”

Volk frowned “Keep your heads forward and focused you idiots, we have a mission to do. We can celebrate once we’re back home.”

A few more moments of checking on the large variety of readout gauges, and checking his HUD, before Dirk saw his Baxter looking over to him “What Baxter?”

“You don’t think it’ll be fun? The first, and probably last, ride of the Mammoth? I mean, when’s the last time the RAF even committed to something like this.”

Dirk sighed, redirecting his eyes towards the black, night sky before him “Not less than a half century, which is why we have to pull this off perfectly. Have we completed the last pre-flight check?”

“Yeup, let’s get it moving.”

“Claw 1 Actual to all Claw elements, prepare to execute.”

“Claw 1 Actual to Ramat ATC, requesting permission for takeoff and execution on Flight 119-2, over.”

“Ramat ATC, Claw 1 Actual you and your friends are cleared for takeoff, Runway 2R and 3B are open, good fortunes and fair skies, out.”

“Claw 1 Actual, Claw 2, we’re taking 2R, takeoff on 3B and have Claw 3 follow, out.”

Dirk gripped the control stick for the bomber and slowly began moving the massive bomber as it moved from the taxi space that it and the three other bombers had been parked on, and now slowly moved as it’s turbojet engines woke up towards the two designated open runaways. Outside, down on the tarmac and in any building with windows, hundreds of base personnel stopped to watch as for the first time in their almost forty years in service, the Mammoth bombers were going to be used in a strategic bombing mission, in actual combat. Three of the eight that were posted here to Ramat David were chosen for the first flight, while the other five would join for a second flight taking off after them, the reason for the odd-numbered flights being that the would-be fourth Mammoth had suffered some engine issues and required last minute repair.
The bombers would have to be careful as they navigated around taxipaths that were designed for much smaller aircraft and within ten minutes, the three Mammoths were lined up on their designated runways, their engines slowly jolted up to full power as they began taking off towards their target to the southwest.

Once they were in the air, Dirk switched his radio over to the cabin-only net; a handy feature of the last upgrade the Mammoths underwent was the intra-comms net was capable of being switched to designed zones, such as gunners only, cabin only, and so on, which was very handy when you had a crew of twenty personnel, and all would have some form of chatter. The stars grew closer as the bombers climbed to their intended cruising altitude of 20,000 ft. “Alright Baxter, we’re at 20 angels. You take the first leg of the flight, we’ll switch once we pass into Egypt?”

Baxter nodded and Dirk used the switches to let the co-pilot chair assume primary flight control as his fellow pilot grabbed onto his own control stick “When are those escorts supposed to link up with us again?”

Dirk checked his watch “Probably in about fifteen minutes, they’re coming from Ramon so they’re much closer.”

True to his prediction, within twenty minutes the radio came alive “Claw 1, this is Alpha 1, my wing and I will form your port side escort, Rancher 1 and 2 will be on the starboard.”

Dirk clicked back “Alpha 1, Claw 1 Actual, acknowledged. We’re going to stay at 20 angels for most of the flight over, we’ll drop down to 12, and then 10 on the final commit, gotta get the CEP as close as can be.”

“Claw 1 Actual, Alpha 1, acknowledged, we’ll stay in formation at appropriate levels. Don’t let the ground scrape you down there, out.”

The rest of the flight would go very, very boring, which was a good thing as far as every pilot involved was concerned; Dirk would take the quiet as a chance to move through the pressurized sections of the plane to navigate his way to the Mess, where their cook Emil had prepared one of the containerized pies that were available, this version being mutton and carrots. He wolfed down the pie and chugged his way through a small bottle of soda before heading back to the cabin, which by this point had grown quiet as radio transmissions were now passed over to the radio room and the only comms now heard in the cabin would be off the internal network. He took a seat in his chair, re-familiarizing himself with the view through the cockpit windows, the quiet interlude broken up by Baxter “We’re going to be in Egypt in a few minutes, you want to take over so I can go grab some chow?”

Dirk nodded, and resumed command and retook the controls as he watched Baxter climb out of his chair “Emil has the pies hot and ready, even has some cola.”

“Excellent, I could use both before we get in the AO.”

“Get the gunners and anyone else who wants some to join in now, I want every back on their stations by the time we’re making the final descent.”

Baxter nodded and left the cabin to gather the rest of the crew, and Dirk decided to make a similar call over the radio “Alright everyone, go get your chow and drink now, we’ll begin first descent in 10 minutes, and I want everyone at the ready when we make the final one.”

The first descent would come easy enough as Dirk radio’d the radio room to alert the other bombers in the flight, and then slowly guided his craft down to the level of 12,000 feet. As he consulted the GPS module he realized they had entered Egyptian airspace and tried to distance himself from the knot he felt growing in his stomach, hoping that the rest of their flight would be like this, a mundane cruise through the calm skies, drop a few hundred munitions of doom and destruction and then an equally uneventful return home, but he feared that he may be wrong.

A further twenty minutes of quiet, uneventful cruising would occur before they entered the AO for the mission, and suddenly, the monotony that had persisted was broken “Claw 1 Actual to Claw Bombs, prepare for deployment, over, approximate 15 minutes to drop.”

“Claw 1 Actual, Bombs, acknowledged.”

“Let’s speed up a little here as we drop.”

Dirk pushed the stick forward and down, slowly guiding the craft as they grew closer and closer to their intended targets, all lying inside or between Alexandria, Tiamat (Damietta), and Mansoura. In Dirk’s case, his bomber’s mission was to target an industrial district in Mansoura, as well as a staging point for the Egyptian Army; because of this, their first bomber bay was loaded entirely with 85 small diameter bombs, while the second was loaded with dozens of CBU-87s, deadly cluster munitions designed to deploy with powerful penetrative power, especially against armored targets.

Within two minutes, the tension was beginning to build when Dirk noticed a flash of black appear in front of him, and he could hear small explosions, like that of artillery “The hell, is that bloody flak?!”

“Claw 1 Actual, Alpha 1, we are seeing significant AAA being used coming from Mansoura and Alexandria, we’re going to have to remain at a higher ceiling or risk fatal damage at your own level, Advise you climb as soon as you can over.”

“Alpha 1, Claw 1 Actual, roger that, out”

“Well Baxter, so much for a quiet trip, how much further?”

As he asked the question, the cabin was jolted as an explosion went off near the port wing, Dirk thrusting his head forward to try and visually inspect for damage and didn’t see any, but noticed the clouds of flak were growing larger and larger. “Uh, about ten minutes to target Volks.”

“Wonderful. Guns, this is the Pilot, have your underside gunners see if they can get any solid looks at these ground side guns, and take them out if they can.”

“Acknowledge that Pilot, not sure how effective we will be at this height, but we’ll try.”

They cruised through the air, the bomber continually rocky like a car over an extremely unsmooth road, before Dirk could hear gunfire, bursts of concentrated gunfire, sounded like the gun turrets. “Alpha 1, Claw 1 Actual, you guys see something out there, over?”

“Claw 1 Actual, Alpha 1, be advised we’re currently trying to engage some helicopters, looks like they launched from behind or under you and were outside of our ability to engage without hitting you. Your turrets look like they’re trying to engage, give us one and we’ll settle the situation, out.”

To his right, Baxter let out a loud laugh, and Dirk scowled “The hell Baxter?”

“Oh c’mon Volks, remind me which war we’re in again? A turbojet bomber the size of a hangar, dropping iron bombs, and is engaging a target with manually operated gun turrets, you couldn’t make this up if you tried.”
Shortly, the conversation was broken off by the sound of a series of loud explosions, louder then the ones that had been going on and sounded much closer.

“Claw 1 Actual, this is Claw 2 Actual, be advised we have taken 2 indirect hits from AAA, all engines are still up, but we’re going to switch targets with Claw 3 and then RTB, don’t want to further risk it, over.”

“Claw 2 Actual, Claw 1 Actual, acknowledged, stay safe, out.”

“Five minutes to target Volks, we’re doing good.”

“Pilot, this is Guns 2, be advised we’ve taken down one of the helicopters, look like our escorts got the other two.”
“Guns 2, Pilot, thanks for assist stay vigil.”

Dirk took a deep breath and told himself it wouldn’t be too much longer before they could head home, and this would just be a bad story, and decided to just focus on flying, and not concentrate on the growing storm of the flak that filled the night-time sky. The rocking and jolting grew stronger for a little bit, but Dirk would quickly check to see if the engines were on fire and noticed no damage other than a few holes he caught a glimpse of on the fuselage but ignored it, checking his watch and noticing they were almost to their target “Bombs this is Pilot, all ready down there? 1 mike to target”

“We were born ready Pilot, we’re just standing by.”

Within a few moments, he heard the words come over from the same voice “Bombs away, bombs away.”

With that signal, it meant all weapons were dispensed. “Radio, Pilot, signal other Claw elements we are Winchester and are RTBing.”

“Pilot, Radio, Claw elements acknowledge, Claw 2 began RTB two mikes ago, 3 will form on our starboard tail, out.”
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Layarteb
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Founded: Antiquity
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Layarteb » Fri May 15, 2020 6:18 pm



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Tuesday, November 26th, 1991 | 09:00 hrs [UTC-5]

Layarteb City, New York | Fortress of Comhghall
40° 41' 28" N, 74° 0' 58" W






It had been four days since Lieutenant Powers had been shot down and long since he'd given up whatever little information he had under the duress of torture. He'd been smart enough to hide some information and he'd not had too much to give in general but he'd still broken, he'd still talked, he'd still revealed what the Imperial Layartebian Navy was up to with its overflights and harassment of Gaza's airspace. It wasn't working though and since it began, the only thing the Layartebians had to show for it was the loss of one Hornet and its pilot. This of course didn't make the Emperor at all pleased. The navy had nothing to show for itself and H-Hour was rapidly approaching. December 8 was now just thirteen days away.

As the Emperor opened his doors to let in the select and small Special Council members waiting to begin a morning briefing, he did so with the television on the in background. The Layartebian News Network was providing wall-to-wall cover of Powers' capture and even four days later they were still speculating on everything and anything. With Thanksgiving a mere two days away and one of the biggest holidays in the Empire, the LNN kept asking the question if Powers would be home for supper. Of course, he wouldn't but the media had to make a story out of this despite having decidedly little information except what the Ministry of Defense shared in their press release. Muting the television, the Emperor took his place at the table and waited for everyone to settle in before he turned to Chairman-General Moore and asked, "Is the navy going to produce results? So far all we have is one prisoner of war and nothing else. Chairman-General, we're thirteen days away from H-Hour and so far nothing."

"Sir, the navy is being as aggressive as we're allowing them. They would like to commence TARPS run over the Old City of Gaza. They're risky sir."

"How risky?"

"Well sir, you put two F-14B's at ten thousand feet and fly them over the target area. This puts them at risk for surface-to-air defenses, especially the short-range models like those that brought down Powers."

"Are the aircraft armed?"

"Sir, generally, only a minimal air-to-air loadout of two medium and two short-ranged missiles, nothing for ground attack. The TARPS pod takes up a lot of space on the aircraft and we generally add an extra jamming pod to provide additional self-defense against SAMs and AAA."

"What will the imagery give us?"

"Sir, added pre-strike assessments but mostly it'll just harass the Gazans in the Old City, especially the ruling Khouri's who've made the Old City their home."

"I want our guys protected. What can we do?"

"Sir, we can put a reactive SEAD strike off of the coastline with anti-radar missiles. If the Gazans attempt to engage, we can fire and take out the site."

"Not before it fires?"

"Doubtful sir but it would give the Tomcats a change to disengage and evade without having additional missiles fired. We would also be able to put CSAR on a holding pattern in international airspace ready to go. However sir, we're now increasing the size of the package to include a lot more elements. We'd need almost a dozen aircraft in orbit off of the Gazan coastline."

"Well the navy's yet to produce any results thus far. Perhaps this will yield some results,"
the Emperor answered. No one was quite sure what kind of results the Emperor wanted here. The Layartebians were going at H-Hour whether or not the Gazans did anything about it and now with the captured pilot, they had more than enough reason to go into the country yet, for some reason, the Emperor wanted the Gazans to commit themselves to a major faux pas that could be used as a "cause of war" not that the Empire hadn't already given them a thousand reasons for legitimate responses. Certainly violating Gaza's airspace on a daily basis was enough reason for Gaza to strike back though they wouldn't get very far. Whatever geopolitical game the Emperor was playing, no one quite understood it but they followed through the orders, expecting an unknown outcome.



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