NATION

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The Damoclean Thread Breaks [Closed. Attn: Gholgoth]

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

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Kylarnatia
N&I RP Mentor
 
Posts: 8415
Founded: Jul 07, 2008
Left-Leaning College State

Postby Kylarnatia » Mon Dec 16, 2019 2:33 pm

The Situation Room, Fangthane Palace
Krytopia, Kylarnatia


“So they’ve finally done it?” Maximus Cantius Maursus, Caesar’s Chief of Staff conversed with both Flavonia Thrasea, the Director of Imperial Intelligence and Dux Imperator Tertius Atilius, the First Lord of Caesar’s Joint Chiefs of Staff. All around them a handful of other individuals stood around or sat at the long conference table in the Situation Room and conversed amongst themselves, though everyone was focusing on different aspects of the same thing: within the past few hours, the Capitol Police had started a brutal crackdown in Vetalia City, and from what could be made out from satellite imagery, this wasn’t just a straightforward case of riot suppression.

“It would appear so.” Flavonia responded absent-mindedly, her focus more drawn towards the live imagery being shown across all the monitors in the room. Fire and smoke rising from multiple districts across the former Vetalian capital, Köenigsjäger’s rolling through the street along with APCs full of Capitol Police. This was an outright purge, no doubt about it. The Imperium Intelligence Community’s connections through the Vetalian black market had given them a good indication that something like this was bound to happen eventually; various acts of resistance had sabotaged the Vetalian State’s production quotas, in no small part because the weapons smuggled to them through the black market could find some of their origins back to Kylarnatia, though they’d have been careful to remove any identifiable markers. They knew this was an eventual outcome, and for them it was a favourable one; it gave them an opportunity to act in a big way.

“The Magnificum Legio based in the Strait has informed us in the past few minutes that the checkpoints originally manned by KVF soldiers at the border have since been abandoned. If we’re going to make our move, now’s the time.” Tertius spoke to Maximus in a tone that stressed urgency. The Chief of Staff was well aware of how eager Imperium High Command was to act, but that was nobody else but the Caesar’s call. Fortunately, they wouldn’t have to wait long to get it.

A few moments later the double doors leading into the Situation Room swung open and four members of the Caesar’s Guard entered, standing at each point of the room. Next came Lord Hyperion, and swiftly behind him Caesar, who was dressed in an evening ball gown as she was currently entertaining guests in one of the Fangthane Palace’s many ballrooms. All those present looked drew silent and looked at her as she came in, bowing deeply in reverence. She took her seat at the head of the table. “Sit down and tell me what’s going on.”

Over the next few minutes, both Director Thrasea and Dux Imperator Atilius brought her up to speed with the events unfolding in what was now likely the defunct Vetalian State. The Caesar listened intently as she also studied a multiple number of folders passed down to her, each giving summarised details of everything including suspected troop movement and the activity both in Vetalia City and Fortress Arcadia, which was heavily monitored both by satellite and by various means from the Contested Territory that the Imperium clung onto as a result of the forced treaty that ended the original Vetalian Occupation. As the briefing concluded, Silvier observed the smoke billowing from Vetalia City’s once pristine skyscrapers in the images she had being beamed around her.

“Do we know what has happened to Governor Haskins?” She asked. Everyone around her shook their heads solemnly; most likely dead, no doubt.

“You say that the border checkpoints at the Strait have been abandoned?” Caesar turned to her First Lord. He nodded affirmatively in response. She took only a minute to contemplate her response, clasping her hands together and resting her elbows on the table. As she contemplated, a uniformed officer stood by a red phone on the wall, looking towards her as he waited for her signal.

Then, it came. “Go.”


Border with Occupied Vetalia, Silvier’s Strait

Within minutes, the first elements of the First Vetalian Magnificum Legio - a five-million man strong legion formed for the purpose of liberating Vetalia - approached the border checkpoints that crossed over into the Vetalian State. In years past, they would’ve found Vetalian and Londinian KVF soldiers manning these checkpoints, and for years they would send fire teams to observe the border and report back; it had gotten to the point where certain soldiers were becoming familiar with one another on either side. Yet today when they went to check the border, it was completely abandoned. The checkpoint buildings were still present, the guard railings still in place, but no KVF uniform in sight. That was the first indication to the First Vetalian Magnificum Legio that something was going on, and they were quick to tip off Imperium High Command.

They checked back almost every hour, and the checkpoints remained abandoned. The Auxilia started to become twitchy, but the Legionnaires were stoic and ready to move at their Caesar’s command.

Then, it came.

As the first elements approached the abandoned checkpoints, Auxiliamen and women ran ahead and lifted the barriers, throwing them into the ditches on the roadside as they then began waving the columns through. The occupied Vetalian State’s new infrastructure worked to their benefit, as the large highways allowed heavy vehicles and personnel carriers to move quickly and fan out across the north of Vetalia. Imperial Engineers were also quick to commandeer a freight line that had first been constructed during the Great War that Vetalia and Kylarnatia fought almost a century ago, which they quickly began to link up with the line that led into the Strait; in the next few days it would be used to move large hauls of supplies and equipment.

Within a few hours, the First Vetalian Magnificum Legio had secured control of the entire northern coastline and peninsula. Their key targets were the cities of Chistopol and Taursa, both of which had seaports but the latter also had a small airfield. Once they were secured, the Auxilia and detachments of Legionnaires fanned out into the interior and were told to keep moving until they met any significant KVF or even Capitol Police presence, at which point they would stop in the most favourable defensive position and dig in. The KVF seemed to have all but melted away, and in the next few days there would be reports of KVF soldiers being found either at home with their families or wandering the ruins of Vetalia’s once great cities, despondent and resigned to death. They clearly knew what had happened further south, and had been awaiting the same fate to befall them. Luck had made it so that the Caesar’s Legionnaires had arrived when they did.


Taursa Town Hall, Taursa
Northern Vetalia


Dux Imperator Brutus Skrall had been assigned command of the First Vetalian Magnificum Legio initially because it was anticipated that they would be starting the war on a defensive footing. Brutus - known as the “Gatekeeper of Tartarus” due to his renown within the Caesar’s Imperial Armed Forces for being someone who was immovable and able to hold out against difficult odds - was a man growing into his senior years, though his physique wouldn’t give you that impression. Shorter than the average Kylarnatian male though still standing at 6’11”, he was a barrel-chested man with deep-sunken features and a face weathered by conflict. His bald scalp was sunken with spots of scarring that came from shrapnel which he had been lucky to survive on more than one occasion. It was a joke amongst his peers in Imperium High Command that he was far too stubborn to die.

He had selected the former Taursa Town Hall to act as a temporary Headquarters in the newly liberated Vetalian sectors as his forces continued to move forward, and it wasn’t just a choice of convenience. Taursa’s airfield was certainly an important factor - there would be immediate work in the coming days to expand its capacity ten-fold for military use - but there was also some symbolic and personal value here for Brutus. It was here that his own father and grandfather had overseen the occupation and rebuilding of Vetalia following the Great War. The remnants of a monument commemorating the history stood outside the Hall; a motherly angel lifting up the frail body of a starving Vetalian and his family. Around the statue were standing stones etched with the names of servicemen and women who had died; some had been chipped apart, likely to get at the tiny bits of gold inlay that had once been there. Brutus stood there for a moment looking at the names, and then the sorrowful expression on the face of the starving Vetalian, meanwhile all around him his men and women were setting up a few cordons to secure the building. In the corner of his eye he knew there were Vetalians looking on from a distance - cautious, afraid - but he didn’t pay them too much mind immediately. They would soon be receiving relief once the airfield was operational.

“Dux Imperator Skrall…” A Legionnaire spoke from behind, his voice muffled by the vox of his helmet. “The building is secure, sir. We can go inside. We’ve assigned a suitable office space for you on the top floor.”

Saying nothing, the Dux Imperator turned on the heel of his armour and with heavy steps began making his way into the Town Hall, a cadre of soldiers and officers following closely behind. He began laying out his orders in very short and serious words as was his want to do. “We need to start identifying KVF officers, Vetalian scientists and administrators. Get some names from Imperial Intelligence and start rounding them up.”


The Situation Room, Fangthane Palace

As soon as she gave the order and the troops of the First Vetalian Magnificum Legio got underway, the Caesar also ordered the Home Armada to maximum readiness and the Second and Eighth Fleets to ready alert as they were both conducting sea operations in and around the Central Gothic Ocean, so would be the most immediate in responding to any movement from Naval Arm North in Fortress Arcadia. They would keep a steady distance but be in a position to identify any movement as and when it happened; retaliation was always possible, but Imperium High Command still wagered that the Reich wasn’t fully prepared to commit to all-out war just yet. Even so, they had to be ready for the possibility.

“Get the Senior Staff together and brief them on what has happened; we’ll need to make a public announcement in the coming hours. In the meantime, I want an emergency session of the Imperial Senate to be arranged.” Caesar laid out instructions to Maursus, who had instinctively already started calculating all his moves in his head. Though when she mentioned the emergency session, he gave her a bemused look. She caught it and then gestured to one of the monitors, which had changed to showing the Vetalian Senate session ongoing in Pax Gothica. “It’s time we publically state our full support for the Vetalian Government-in-Exile, now that the sham Vetalian State has been done away with. I want a meeting with Praetor Repina and Proconsul Smith as soon as--”

“I’m sorry to interrupt, my Caesar, but there has been a development.” One of the Intelligence Community members in the room spoke up, bowing in reverence as it was often heavily frowned upon for someone to interrupt the sovereign. “Capitol Police have been sighted leaving the Norskan District in Pax Gothica.”

Deciding to forgive the transgression due to the importance of the event, Caesar took a moment to consider the possibilities. She shot a concerned glance at Dux Imperator Atilius, whose expression was also grave. “They must be intent on finishing the job; alert our allies, and shut down the bridge leading to Urba Gothica. Do we have any assets on standby?”

“Yes, my Caesar. We can have a squadron of Black Cobra operational and out in the field in a couple of minutes.” Atilius confirmed.

“Secure the Vetalian Praetor and Proconsul, now. I need them alive.”


Custodian HQ, The Promenade
Pax Gothica


The night had started like any other one on the Promenade. People were out drinking, late night shopping and having an enjoyable time. The Pax Custodes had a very straightforward time of keeping order, occasionally having to deal with the odd attempted theft, pickpocketing or on the most “entertaining” of nights, a drunken brawl. Custodes were drawn from all over the region, some being transferred directly from their national police forces, to help keep order in the central Pax District and across the majority of the national Districts. They were some of the best and the most experienced, but it was highly unlikely that any of them were prepared for what was going to go down tonight.

Commotion started to pick up in the office as calls started to come in, both from concerned civilians and on-duty dispatch units, as the gates to Norska District had swung open and Capitol Police started marching out in lock-step. Bafflingly tourists treated it as some kind of show, while the Custodes who had been posted specifically to keep an eye on the Norska District - from a distance - could only break out into a cold sweat as they radioed in to report what was happening.

Within a few moments, a reluctant aide frantically knocked on the Commandant’s office door. A deep and commanding voice called from within to enter. She did so, hands shaking, as she held a scribbled note in her hand.

“What is it? What’s going on?” Commandant Sliabh responded, his figure large and imposing as he stood up from his desk. It helped to put her at ease, oddly enough, as what she had come to report what something she had only imagined before in her worst nightmares.

“Ca...Capitol Police have been sighted leaving Norska District, sir.” She said, trying her hardest to keep her composure. Commandant Sliabh’s eyes widened, in a way she hadn’t seen before, but then he pulled a determined grimace as the cogs started turning in his mind.

“Do we know where they’re heading?”

“No, sir.”

“Okay. Okay. We need to get crowd control units out there now, keep the tourists and the public as far away from them as possible. Make sure all the Districts are aware and on high alert; restrict all non-essential travel. Keep the roads as clear as possible so we can get ahead of them and cut them off, wherever they’re heading. Get ready to raise roadblocks on my order.” Sliabh grabbed his jacket from behind his chair as she hastily put it on, buttoned it up to the collar and straightened it up before heading out the door at a quick and determined pace.


Urba Gothica Naval Base, Urba Gothica

At the same time as the Pax Custodes and other Districts became aware of what was going on, a group of three stealth helicopters left the Urba Gothica Naval Base. On board was a fire squadron of Black Cobra Special Forces, whose hastily arranged mission was to extract Praetor Repina and Proconsul Smith from the Curia of the Vetalian Senate in the Vetalian District, as well as the other members of the executive branch. If the Caesar’s hunch was correct, they were about to be in very grave danger.

The fifteen men and women assembled in the belly of each helicopter said nothing to each other and each helicopter remained silent on communications as they moved at great speed, flying in such a way as to try and not attract too much attention on any air radar, though due to the urgency of the mission it was almost secondary at this point. Within a few minutes they would be above the Vetalian Senate which was still in session, blissfully unaware of the happenings outside.

They would find themselves quite abruptly interrupted as the Black Cobra dropped down onto the building. Cutting the power so as to stop the public broadcast, they then burst through the Diocletian windows and descended onto the floor of the Vetalian Senate.

“Stay where you are! Don’t move!” The servicemen and women directed the Senators to remain seated and in place, and any who didn’t they would quickly have down on the ground, not taking any chances as to who might be able to harm the intended extraction targets. One team focused almost exclusively on Praetor Repina and Proconsul Smith, squaring in on them almost immediately.

“Praetor Repina, Proconsul Smith; on the orders of the Caesar, you are to be extracted due to risks posed by the Kraven Reich. Come with me please.”
The Ancient Empire of Kylarnatia // Imperium Antiquum Kylarnatiae
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Anagonia
Minister
 
Posts: 2519
Founded: Dec 18, 2003
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Anagonia » Mon Dec 16, 2019 6:24 pm

CVSN-06 CSS Olympia
Anagonia-class Strike Carrier
Task Force Olympia
Sailing away from Unity District - Anagonian-controlled territory in Pax Gothica


As the last air patrol of two F-35C Lightning II's landed on the deck of the large flattop, Admiral Johnathan Vladinchi reflected on the solvency of Anagonia's contribution to the regional effort within Pax Gothica. The Olympia had just launched a day prior from her efforts to bolster Anagonian prestige in the area around Pax Gothica, the hope that by sending one of two remaining active Anagonia-class Strike Carriers to their island abode would send a strong message of Confederate commitment and resolve. It did that, and more, as the Governor of the island had mentioned - with no less than utter enthusiasm - that the appearance of the carrier had sparked a positive surge in tourism for that brief period of its visit. The job of the Olympia concluded, Admiral Vladinchi had ordered the task force away from the island and back to sea, with intent to continue trade protection patrols that would eventually lead them back to home ports.

The waning day was crisp and clear, the breeze strong yet unobtrusive. Johnathan watched as his XO on the bridge made orders to turn the carrier with the wind as another patch of air patrols lined up on deck and began their pre-flight checks. Everything was nominal. A glance out to portside gave witness to the CSS Imperium, a Confederacy-class fast battleship, keeping a respectful distance from the object of its defense as the carrier underwent normal operations. Visible also was a few other ships, including a lone Edmond Goff-class giving chase at the edges. Glancing starboard gave equal visage of naval power; the Confederacy-class CSS Orgath and trailing entourage of defending ships. The reports from his fleet of ships had been clean, the supplies topped, the men ready. All was nominal.

The noise of two F/A-18E/F Super Hornet's launching from the carrier brought Johnathan's perspective back to the fore. Open sea greeted the carrier and her task force, with a few other visible destroyer's visible off to his peripheral; a total of eight ships in this task force comprised the defense of only one of two active remaining Anagonia-class carriers in the fleet. As the two Super Hornet's aimed skyward, Johnathan made note of a flight of Bell UH-1Y Venom's making their return run to the Imperium portside, no doubt returning from a visual patrol of the fleets perimeter. More often than not pirates tended to try to sneak smaller vessels within that perimeter and the Venom's had become a valuable asset in deterring or, if necessary, destroying that threat.

"Captain on the bridge!" cried out the XO as he deferred both in posture and movement to his Captain, the announcement of which prompted Johnathan to gaze sideways towards the bridges entrance. Captain Amy Ellison made an appearance, her aged and still rather respectable appearance giving light to her years of service. Johnathan merely gave her a nod, upon which she returned, heading to his side. The bridge returned to normal operations shortly after.

"I thought you went for a nap?" Johnathan asked. He was ten years her senior and the age showed, but the two had formed a rather professional bond for the duration of Olympia's assignment as the Admiral's flagship for his fleet. Johnathan made it a point to never interfere in the Captain's reckoning of her ship, he found it rather disrespectful unless the situation called for it. The only reason he had been leading the bridge had been because Amy had desperately needed some shuteye.

"I did, until I was contacted by Governor Watson. Seem there's a situation erupting in Pax," Amy reported, her eyes drawn to the bridges fore as the flight deck, ocean, and the tip of the fleet's protective umbrella greeted her gaze. "The Reich is sending forces unannounced towards other districts and the Governor just received word from Imperial authorities concerning the issue. He wanted to differ his response to you, since we're only a half a days way from their port."

Johnathan scoffed, that Governor was a lazy bastard. He reflected on the effort he had spent correcting much of the Governor's errors in patrols and assignments to the dedicated Military Policemen there. It had been somewhat of an troubled affair, but otherwise he felt it was sufficient after he helped the Governor reform the chain of command. He was surprised, therefore, that Colonel Hanley hadn't contacted him directly.

"Has the Governor sought the advice of the Colonel?" asked the Admiral.

Amy nodded, "It was the first thing I asked - most obvious too. He replied that the Colonel said there wasn't anything to respond to. No threats to the island. They still have the Robert C. Hunley and Stonewall Jefferson there should they require naval support."

"Then," asked Johnathan as he turned to look at Amy, "why did the Governor contact you?"

"Because he thinks it wasn't enough, for some unknown reason."

Johnathan looked back, holding back the urge to grimace. "I suppose he's awaiting my word on this?"

"Yes sir," Amy replied.

"Inform him then," Johnathan began, glancing back to the Captain, "that I defer my judgement to the Colonel Watson's fine understanding of the situation. Report to him I'll have the fleet nearby, but I will not interfere unless specifically asked to by the Colonel."

"Very good sir," replied the Captain, who began to turn to leave.

"Oh, and Captain?" interrupted Johnathan quickly, "Go back to sleep afterward, that's an order."

Amy stared at her Admiral for a brief moment, then let slip a small smile. She nodded, replying "Of course, sir," before turning to leave again. With her departure Johnathan was left to his own again - relatively speaking. Unless by some impossibility the Gothic forces at play harassed or endangered the Anagonian district, there would be no formal response from the Confederacy.
Last edited by Anagonia on Mon Dec 16, 2019 6:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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United World Order
Senator
 
Posts: 4076
Founded: Jun 16, 2011
Psychotic Dictatorship

Postby United World Order » Tue Dec 17, 2019 11:10 am

Border Checkpoint 13.

The two briefcases were accepted by the Trooper whose sinister like smile went ear to ear. The other Trooper looked over and nodded as he had already lowered his rifle as the travelers would both be let through as they had been given money in return. The briefcases were handed off to the other Troopers as they opened them both and began counting the foreign currency, talking among themselves on how much they could possibly exchange it for elsewhere.

"Get going the both of you. Don't come back this way either if you fancy your lives." The Trooper said as he tapped the roof of the car and moved out of it's way.
23:53 Moka "When GamePlay sends its people, they're not sending their best. They're not sending you. They're sending people that have lots of problems, and they're bringing those problems with us. They're bringing Trolls. They're bringing Raiders. They're rapists. And some, I assume, are good people."

#MakeInternationalIncidentsGreatAgain

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Jagada
Spokesperson
 
Posts: 180
Founded: Feb 15, 2005
Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Jagada » Tue Dec 17, 2019 3:19 pm

Sin District,
Pax Gothica


“You understand then, Admiral Sekibo?” asked Admiral Zean Anor of Gold Fleet. An older woman well into her fifties she nonetheless cut a fine pose and maintained herself well. Like many of the male admirals within the Imperial Navy she had gradually accrued a certain amount of gravitas through her years of service. Standing across from her in the cramped temporary office was Bwana Sekibo, an obsidian skinned Decimarian in his late thirties, who was slowly nodding his head.

“It’s a risky deal ma’am,” he said thoughtfully, “These special forces are stationed in Sin? They’re ready to go?”

“Yes,” was her simple reply. Bwana got the impression that she wasn’t going to be more forthcoming. He sighed as he looked at how close that put his 77th Squadron to the Vetalian mainland. It would still be well out of the range of the coastal batteries and was primarily meant to assist any fleeing refugee ships; with the minor exception of being a cover for a special forces unit to insert itself in-country.

“If things go poorly, you can fall back here,” she continued, pointing at a spot that showed numerous purple icons representing Jagite vessels, “We’ll have three Quincannons here ready to fire over you if necessary to keep the Reich off you. I know the 77th doesn’t have any heavy hitters itself, which is why I need you. If we sail too close with the battleships it could give them cause to respond. We stay peaceful until Fostoria says otherwise.”

Bwana had already decided he would not, under any circumstance, fall back to the point she referenced. It was too obvious, any Reich captain worth his death’s head would be on him well before the Quincannons got into range. He eyed the adjacent icons and found a better path, one that led him straight into the loving embrace of several destroyer and cruiser squadrons who could easily fill the skies with missile fire. Missiles had better range than the railguns on the battleships and would give even the Reich pause. Zean Anor wasn’t an idiot, thought Bwana, but she was too conventional, too conservative in her approach to fighting Kraven.

“Yes ma’am,” he replied after a long silence, “The refugees? Will we actually be taking any on board ourselves …” He let the question hang in the air.

“No, but do not sink them either. They will not be bound to the Union. We will offer them escort back to either Pax or Mille Mortifere, assuming the Drakonians want them. If there are any Agents or spies in their midst, they’ll be someone else’s problem.”

Bwana nodded and thought the order sensible. The Union had an unofficial, unwritten policy of sinking anyone trying to flee a Kravenic invasion because of the difficulties involved in filtering out the good from the bad. If even a single Agent got through the screening, they would cause untold havoc. Better that they all die for the good of the long game. At that moment the phone on Zean’s desk began to ring … an oddity.

“Should I?” asked Bwana taking a step toward the door.

“No.”

The Admiral of the Gold picked up the phone, “Yes, this is Anor … yes Despoina, how are you … I’m fine, as always ma’am … what did you say?”

Zean’s face twisted suddenly and she began to wave Bwana away. He obliged and headed out of the room, closing the door behind him. He heard one last thing as the door shut …

“Do we know where they’re heading?”

The Tower of Idols,
Sin District,
Pax Gothica


The epicenter of Sin. The gross culmination of decades of rampant economic growth and atomized hedonism. The Tower of Idols stood as possibly the single tallest structure in Pax Gothica, hundreds upon hundreds of feet of reinforced concrete, marble, granite, and a plethora of precious materials. The tower itself was tiered with a very wide base and gradually grew thinner towards the top. On each tier there were statues of historical figures of Gharsash’s past: legendary shahs of Ibhor, savage kings of Anai, conquering horse lords of Engardia. Each was fashioned out of a different, mostly precious, material. At the top of the impossible tower stood a final statue that stood a further hundred feet tall – dwarfing all other idols. It was androgynous in appearance, for historical records never agreed, its patrician face tilted towards the stars. In one hand it held a falchion, the symbol of war in Old Jagada, and the other was raised and pointing – cunning observers would note that it pointed directly towards Cydonia, the conquered and raped homeland of the Jagites. Cast in the purest silver with massive moonstones carved for its eyes, it was the personification of the People – Lord Jagada. Part historical figure, part myth it was the figure that was at the root of all Jagite legends and the promised savior.

In the upper suites of the Tower, Morgelle Bachira, the Lady of Sin, the Idyllic Despot, hung up the phone. It had been necessary to alert Admiral Anor on the situation and request her help in sending a message to the Reich. With that out of the way she could get the actual pressing matter of sending the Despotate Security Forces to intercept the Capitol Police. Her office wasn’t really an office but a parlor to entertain the wealthy and decadent nobles, politicians, entertainers, and corporate magnets of Gholgoth. She had entertained Skyan diplomats, Freekish warchiefs, Drakonian mercenary captains, and once even a Priestess from Kylarnatia. She was a particularly odd one as she insisted on wearing a death’s mask and had a morbid fascination with death and murder. They all had needs that couldn’t be satisfied in their homelands without retribution from the law or society; so, they came to her.

Suddenly the door to her large and lavish parlor swung open and a couple marched in, their tanned skin and attire marking them out as Ibhorian. “Ah yes,” she mused silently, “Emir Numa and his wife Waseema Adulla.” Even as they approached her, followed by her personal bodyguard Koloda, she tried to remember why they’d come. The day had been ridiculously busy.

“Despoina!” exclaimed Waseema, “We have been patiently waiting for over two hours for you to grace us with an audience!”

“We’ve paid a small fortune to come to Sin,” exclaimed Numa, “We expected better from the Idyllic Despot!”

Oh yes! She remembered now. Numa and Waseema Adulla, the Red Wolves of Yunata, or better known as serial killers in literally any other context. A dangerous duo, she thought. Glancing at Koloda she was pleased that his hand was on the grip of his pistol.

She spread her arms in a reconciliatory manner, “My humblest apologies your graces!”

She stood and gave an exaggerated bow, but the couple’s vanity blinded them to it.

“I hope that you can forgive me, but today has been a day of spectacles and headaches. If there isn’t a fire to put out here, then there is one over there,” she exclaimed while gesticulating wildly, “You have my deepest thanks for waiting this long!”

Waseema nodded matter-of-factly, “Well … how do you plan to make this right?”

Bloodthirsty, thought Morgelle, far too bloodthirsty. She did a mental check on who was on duty tonight and internally sighed. Outwardly she beamed with nothing but positivity. She clapped her hands, and from a side room out came two women and a man. All were scantily clothed and swaggered between Morgelle and the Red Wolves.

“I offer you these three … my finest consorts,” she exclaimed, walking around the three and inspecting them herself as if looking over a fine stable of horses, “I can personally guarantee their quality, your graces.”

Numa and Waseema stepped forward and poked and prodded the three themselves before stepping back and nodding to each other. The smiles they gave to Morgelle would’ve sent shivers down a lesser woman’s spine.

“They’ll do Despoina.”

She clapped her hands again and the three began to walk towards the door, the Red Wolves following behind them. “There is an attendant at the end of the hall that will escort you to your suite your graces! I do hope you accept this meagre offering. If you would be so kind I insist that you join me tonight for supper. There we can discuss the rest of your stay in Sin, and how I can make it the best days of your lives.”

Waseema was already turning and walking away, completely entranced by what she knew would come next. Numa had more self-restraint and gave a nod to Morgelle, ensuring her that they’d attend before leaving after them. Koloda turned to follow them out.

“Koloda dear” she called out and the stone-faced Milogradian turned around, “I’m afraid we’ll have to retire those three staffers. I have very important business to attend to … would you be an absolute peach and take care of that?”

Koloda gave a nod and exited the room quietly. “Always dependable. I really need more like him,” she thought. Then she remembered the Capitol Police marching through the streets of Pax Gothica on their way to seize the Vetalian District and she quickly made for her phone. It really hadn’t taken too much brainpower to determine that the Vetalians were the Reich’s target. Honestly, given that the Vetalian District sat right next to the Jagite District it was either her or them. Thankfully Admiral Anor had been transparent in explaining why Gold Fleet had returned to Sin – the Reich was taking direct control over Vetalia.

Fostoria had maintained a strict policy with her regarding Pax Gothica and that no overt violence should take place, least of all between her and the Reich. She fully intended to spit on those orders and do whatever the hell she wanted. Sin was her domain, not Nalur’s. If he wished to come here and dig her out, then she wished him the best. Meanwhile, she had grown quite fond of Vetalia and their quaint district. It had a certain classy feel that Sin’s drenched-in-honey soul could never hope to match. She picked up and dialed.

“Yes, Captain Akdari,” she began, “I hope you aren’t too busy sir, cause I’m going to need you to start a war if you’ve got the time.”

The Despotate Security Forces acted at the behest of the Idyllic Despot. Their technical goal was to police the streets of Sin but given how much was legal and left to its own devices, they spent most of their time keeping the anarchy contained to Sin alone and saving the odd tourist who got themselves in too deep. For the first time in its short history the DSF began a mass mobilization of their assets. From their armored barracks and motor-pools the thousands strong men and women, clad in crimson and gold, loaded up into their new Voss APCs and began to form up along the Platinum Highway. All civilian traffic was pushed to the side, either willingly or otherwise, as the DSF prepared to disembark. Unlike the Custodes of Pax itself, the Despotate forces were heavily armed with JR-5 battle rifles, and their Voss’ had been fitted with 40mm autocannons. This was all originally meant to be a show against unruly crowds and rioters in Sin to show that the DSF would not be pushed around. Now the stakes were considerably higher.

The column of APCs sped down the Platinum Highway, over the bridge that linked Sin to Pax Gothica, and into the heart of the so-called neutral zone for the Lords. The Jagites did not interfere with the Custodes but instead sent messages and warnings ahead of their intention, and their unwillingness to deviate from that course. Where possible they simply avoided the Custodes as they made the relatively short trip over to the bridge that separated the Vetalian District from Pax.

Upon arrival they set to work, with crimson clad security forces setting the Voss’ up in a line to block the advancing Cappers. The 40mm autocannons turned to face the inevitable tide of red spectacles, while soldiers manned the 12.7mm heavy machine guns. Security forces took up positioned behind and in-between the APCs.

Captain Akdari stood in the cupola of his personal APC, which had taken the center position in the line, and surveyed his forces. A large Jagite flag fluttered from a small pole mounted to his APC. The flag was standard gear but Morgelle had insisted that he make sure it was present and raised when the Cappers arrived. “Remind them we aren’t dead, Captain,” she’d said, “They’re being a bit too bold a bit too close to us.

There they stood. Ready for the inevitable standoff. If the Capitol Police wished to enter the Vetalian District they would have to deal with the DSF.
Last edited by Jagada on Wed Dec 18, 2019 1:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Vetalia
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Founded: Mar 23, 2005
Corporate Bordello

Postby Vetalia » Tue Dec 17, 2019 9:55 pm

Viktor's Place, Sin District, Pax Gothica

Viktor sipped his gin and tonic and surveyed his bar in a building on the outskirts of theJagite district of Pax Gothica, kicking back and smoking a cigarette. I've done quite a good job running this place since Jessi handed over the keys, turnover's up, expenses are down, everyone's happy and I just pulled myself a nice 100 grand draw for the quarter. Time to take it easy, cut Jessi a check and duck out of here for a while after the Christmas parties for a well deserved vacation. It was quiet now, just a Kadrian in from overseas, two Vetalians and a very drunk Aumani who had recently been cut off and sent to sleep it off in a spare room upstairs.

"Glass of water and then the upstairs room, boss. Watch your step. You know what I said about getting busted out there." The Aumani stumbled up to the spare room; it wasn't luxurious by any stretch but it was a clean set of beds and a remarkably clean bathroom with a shower, toilet and sink. The bathroom was tiled to be easily hosed down in the event of informal guest problems.

Turning back to his remaining guests he put on some Vetalian lounge music to suit the two of his three remaining customers. It was strangely quiet at this time, but Viktor figured it was the war and political business that kept his usual customers away. Once it was all settled things would pick up again.

One of the Vetalians noticed a slow vibration growing second by second. "What the hell is that? Sounds like a whole damn army marching outside!" The Vetalian ran towards the window. "Look, they're coming this way! Viktor, you better come see this!"

"Alright, alright, hold your horses Misha." Probably just some Skyan guard unit mobilizing he thought. Viktor approached the window and saw the Reich's forces, now a kilometer or so away, approaching along the avenue near his bar. "Oh no, oh fuck no....everyone get the fuck out the back entrance now!" Viktor began furiously turning off all of the neon ads in the windows and drawing the shades of the bar.

Misha joked. "What is it Viktor? The Skyans finally come round to collect on those smoking tickets?"
"No, that is the fucking Reich! There is a God-damned column of them marching this way, can't you hear it? The Skyans never march like that! Just get your ass out of here along with your friend and the Kadrian and fucking run! I'll be behind you in about 30 seconds once I shut the place down." Viktor's face was contorted with fear like none of his customers had seen before.

"Oh shit, you're serious..." Misha extinguished his cigarette in the ashtray at the bar and drained his beer.
"Yes I am serious Misha, this isn't a fucking fire drill! Get out, for God's sake!"

Viktor quickly turned out the lights after they left, said a prayer for the Aumani sleeping it off upstairs and fled out the back door leaving his bar dark and silent.

Curia of the Senate of Vetalia
Red = Kylarnatia


The Master of the Senate slammed his fasces to the floor to silence the floor and spoke. "Then it is decided, this body will vote upon the-" he was cut off in mid-speech as the windows above both sides of the Curia were shattered and the unknown attackers entered, descending to the floor of the Senate. The Senators stayed in place, gripped with fear at this intrusion into the heart of Vetalian government. Upon hearing their voices they recognized them as Kylarnatian and were more at ease, but still respected the severity of the situation, looking eagerly towards the nearest exits.

In the Praetorial booth above the Senate, Lydia and Ian were soon surrounded by the new arrivals and she immediately ordered the Praetorian Guards to stand down. They shared a knowing look and realized that things were getting bad outside, really bad. Just like the old days. Pausing to finish her cigarette before going with the Kylarnatians, she turned toward Ian and said, smiling, "Same shit, different day, eh Ian?"

"Never a dull moment with you Lyd, at least this time we've got a smoother ride out. Just to be clear with our friends before we go..." He carefully pulled his .45 pistol out of his suit jacket along with a couple of spare, loaded magazines from his pockets and looked at the Kylarnatians. "These are fine, right? I never travel light with Lydia, not since the Reich took over the first time." Without waiting for a response and stashing his gun ins suit jacket, he simply said "I'll tell you all about it when we're safe in Kylarnatia. Let's go."
Last edited by Vetalia on Thu Dec 19, 2019 6:10 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Allanea
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Founded: Antiquity
Capitalist Paradise

Postby Allanea » Wed Dec 18, 2019 1:04 am

Ruslan set a glass before him and the agent. "Now, regarding the plan, we just need to hash out the details ." He glanced knowingly at his visitor before getting up and extending his hand. "Ruslan Taylor, Propraetor of Angovin. Sounds a bit odd but my father was Londinian and my mother Vetalian. And you are?"


"My name is Max Isaev," – the Allanean agent lied glibly, although of course this would be the very name that was printed on the documents that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs had issued him, which were genuine in the sense that they've been printed on the same paper on which all Allanean passports have been printed, and that there had been a file in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs that corresponded to the name. The man's actual name, Stanislav Stern, would not be mentioned at all – not because he expected Taylor to be a Reich agent, but because there were a myriad ways his identity could have been leaked during his travels – nor was the Allaneans' trust in the Vetalians absolute for thought they did not expect the Vetalians to betray them directly, they also had the suspicion that people who had already lost everything they had to the Reich were not, perhaps, the world's best operatives. No doubt Vetalians would be offended had Allaneans said this out loud.

"The details are supremely important," – he spoke. "Is there something that I said that you find issue with?"
Last edited by Allanea on Wed Dec 18, 2019 1:05 am, edited 1 time in total.
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The Kraven Corporation
Chargé d'Affaires
 
Posts: 493
Founded: Apr 24, 2005
Psychotic Dictatorship

Postby The Kraven Corporation » Thu Dec 19, 2019 1:48 pm

Pax Gothica
Vetalian District
Central Gholgoth
20:00 Hours Standard Imperial Time
Vetalia Incident +3


Silently and without the obvious marching that accompanied the Capitol Police a unit of Wolf Brigade slipped quietly away from the Norskan District, they used personal scuba gear, using devices that would propel them under the water in near silence, they too were headed for The Vetalian District of Pax Gothica, but their mission was different to that of the Capitol Police, the Wolf Brigade were the elite special forces of the Kraven Reich, designed to operate alone or in a squad they would be deployed ahead of an invasion to begin terror attacks, or move in to assassinate a key commander, or kidnap someone of importance, they had a lot more freedoms to think than the regular Capitol Police Trooper, the need to think on their feet, to make split second decisions, to act on their own instinct was decidedly more important to the Reich than assaulting a defended position until the enemy commander ran out of men and bullets.

The Reich tactical command had already ascertained that most of the Gothic nations within Pax or even the custodians themselves would attempt to stop the Capitol Police from dealing with the Vetalian Senate, rather than fight their way in the alternative plan drawn up by the cold, calculating machine men of the Reich was to simply cut the Vetalian District off from the rest of Gholgoth, isolate the Senate, isolate the Government in Exile and eventually they would have no choice but to surrender, once the Reich had completed its task of hollowing out Vetalia, consuming every scrap of resource including its people, then they would have no choice. unbeknown to the Reich however the two most prominent leaders of the Government in Exile had been withdrawn by the forces of Silvier and Hyperion.

The Reich however is not one to miss an opportunity.

The Capitol Police had arrived and spread themselves out in formation, heavy riot shields had been brought up and now a cordon had been formed around the entrance to the district, with the Jagadan forces blocking their path, the sound of MG42's being cocked and readied echoed throughout the tall buildings of Pax Gothica, already Custodians had cleared tourists away from the central hub, worried that some diplomatic incident might suddenly explode if a tourist from a nation outside of Gholgoth was cut down in an exchange of fire, a Capitol Police Officer approached the cordon, he walked through the opening created by two Troopers stepping aside, in his hand he carried a document in a brown folder, it was a copy of the treaty signed by the Proconsul, signed in good faith after Vetalia approached the Reich, signed by the Reich and honoured. The Reich were only doing what the treaty allowed them to do.

"Jagite Captain" The Officer spoke, his cold voice cutting through the silence, cutting through the tension as though his words were a knife, whether the Officer knew who the Jagite Commander was or was purposefully choosing to refer to him simply as 'Jagite Captain' was another matter...

"Your forces are to withdraw and allow units from the 122nd Brigade to conduct their operation unimpeded." He Paused and flipped open the file, "The Treaty of Vetalia, signed by The Vetalian Proconsul Vladimir Sergeyevich Melnikov allows us to conduct security operations in the pursuit of subversive individuals, our investigations have brought us to the Vetalian Senate in Pax Gothica and you are obstructing this operation. Step Aside." The Officer lowered the file and waited silently for the response from the Jagite Captain Akdari..."
Last edited by The Kraven Corporation on Thu Dec 19, 2019 1:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"If you want a vision of the future, Winston, imagine a boot stamping on a human face forever." - 1984
Scand: No one beats you Kraven for largest number killed a day.
Scand: Your nation is a glorified death camp after all.
Tiurabo: WTF Kraven.
Tiurabo: You are the last person who can tell me to be calm.
Tiurabo: You're a goddam psycho.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wT0uR5wB76M The Updated National Anthem of Imperial Fortress Reich
Resistance is Futile... We Are The Kraven Reich

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Allanea
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Founded: Antiquity
Capitalist Paradise

Postby Allanea » Thu Dec 19, 2019 2:42 pm

A good secret is like an onion. Open it, and you only reveal another secret.

On official shipping manifests, and shipping industry websites, the ship was the SS Glowing Dawn, a science vessel owned by the Liberty-City Institute of Oceanography, a research-only institution housed at 6 Tenford Street, Liberty-City. Internet searches would confirm the existence of the institution, a website, photographs of its building and even some studies published by its employees. They would not reveal that the LCIO was actually only a front for the Free Kingdom Office of Naval Intelligence, through which it conducted a range of oceanographic studies – and, of course, most employees of the Institute were not aware of the fact their organization owned a ship.

Unofficially, it was actually a spy ship, an ELINT ship of the Free Kingdom Navy, on its way to a joint exercise with Xirniumite naval forces in Xirniumite waters. Its actual name was the FKS Confessor. Xirniumite authorities would confirm this, and most of the sailors on board were not aware of any other mission. Surely, they thought, the naval commandos on board their ship were also here for the joint training – certainly the commandos never said anything to conflict with that.

The ship, however, had not one, but two secret missions that only select people on board the ship were aware of. One was the fact that, sailing 30 meters under the FKS Confessor was a special mission submarine, the FKS Kris. The other one was that they were headed on a course that would - eventually, on a cold and windy night, about an hour before dawn - place them within 10 naval miles a Kraven death ship – an entirely safe distance in maritime traffic terms, and even in terms of the sort of attacks the Kraven authorities were planning for.

This, however, was not a regular ship and its plan was not a regular plan.
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Jagada
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Founded: Feb 15, 2005
Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Jagada » Fri Dec 20, 2019 9:43 am

Pax Gothica,
Outside the Vetalian District


“No.”

Captain Akdari gave his response plainly. The Reich wasn’t swayed by rhetoric or persuasion. Given that their minds were shackled to the Relay they also felt no fear, so intimidation was pointless. They followed the laws laid down by the Lords only when it suited them and arrogantly dismissed them otherwise. There really wasn’t much else he needed to say to them.

The Voss’ cycled their 40mm ammunition, its clanking drowning out all other sound for a moment. Then silence was all that met the Officer. The Jagites maintained their positions, guns raised and aimed specifically at known weak points in their Protection Armor. Custodes had backed a gradually growing crowd away, trying to prevent what was likely to be a slaughter from spreading.

Already television crews from various media outlets had begun to arrive, pushing their way forward and shouting their credentials at any Custodes willing to listen. Above the incident there were already helicopters circling, painted with the logos of media outlets, sending multiple live feeds. Some of those had come at the request of the Despoina, others had been tipped off by her. If this came to blood, she wanted to make sure the whole world saw who fired the first shot.


Pax Gothica,
Waters off the Norskan District


Encased in a reinforced concrete curtain wall the Norskan District was little better than a glorified death camp and parade ground. Undoubtedly manned by the Capitol Police with an awkward amount of coastal and stratosphere guns, certainly some hidden artillery positions that homed in on the Gothic Halls just encase. Those Troopers left behind to guard what nobody else wanted would’ve been unaware of the amount of firepower currently aimed squarely at them.

Stationed to the northeast of Pax Gothica was the majority of the Gold Fleet, under the command of Admiral Zean Anor, who had departed Sin and made for her flagship the GUS Petulant. The only ships not present were of the 77th Squadron under Admiral Sekibo, who were conducting emergency castoff procedures to join them. Zean knew her position was tenuous at best though, for no orders had come down from Fostoria to intervene to save the Vetalian Senate nor to engage the Reich. In fact, she had direct orders to the contrary. She’d already sent an emergency encrypted message to the Proctor-General of the Imperial Navy asking for clarification of orders but had yet to receive any response.

She paced nervously on the bridge of the Petulant, watching the unfolding situation through her cellphone via a live news feed. She’d already ordered every ship capable to make ready for an attack order, never clarifying what was to be attacked. If the Capitol Police opened fire, then it would be an outright declaration of war. If that was the case, there was no telling what lurked in the walls of the Norskan District.
You must walk through the darkness to see the light ...

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Kahanistan
Ambassador
 
Posts: 1652
Founded: May 30, 2005
Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Kahanistan » Sat Dec 21, 2019 7:49 am

Fassad did not hesitate. He slammed his foot down on the gas, accelerating to over two hundred kilometres per hour towards the Vetalian capital. He still had his weapons, ammunition, two interns, and three hundred thousand shekels of the five hundred he had brought. He hoped he did not run into any more of the roadblocks, but thought that unlikely. He did not trust the GPS in his vehicle to be accurate in Kraven-occupied Vetalia, which he expected to have closed off most of the roadways to corral the population or repurposed them for military traffic. Yosef had a map of Vetalia predating the Kraven invasion, and suggested back roads that could be used to get to the outskirts of the capital before having to worry about more roadblocks, at least that they couldn't evade more easily in the rural areas.

Between three multilingual KNN staff on the crew of three different ethnicities and religions, not one of them could read Vetalian Cyrillic. The signage might as well have been in Linear A for its usefulness in navigation. Between their mistrust of the main roads and illiteracy in the local language, they were as likely to be stopped by an empty fuel tank as by a hostile force.

As the fuel tank dropped below a quarter, they began to keep eyes out for fuel stations. Petrol was likely to be extremely expensive out here, far worse than in even the most environmentalist countries that mercilessly taxed fossil fuels, simply owing to lack of basic supply...

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The Kraven Corporation
Chargé d'Affaires
 
Posts: 493
Founded: Apr 24, 2005
Psychotic Dictatorship

Postby The Kraven Corporation » Sat Dec 21, 2019 10:16 am

Kahanistan wrote: -snip-

Highway 19 - West Bound.
Occupied Vetalia.
Northern Gholgoth.
15:00 Hours Standard Imperial Time.

The Kahanistani journalists had been travelling for some time, along with the Agent who happened upon them just at the correct moment, the first thing the occupants would have noticed was the distinct lack of other motor cars, nothing on the roads, at all, no abandoned cars, no trucks, no busses, nothing. It was completely devoid of people, smoke drifted over the embankments of the highway with gentle swirls, carried by some forgotten and forlorn wind, no doubt smoke from Reich funeral pyres or burning buildings, it took them a few hours before arriving at the gas station, the first thing the occupants would have seen were the bodies dangling from the lamp posts outside of the station, then the burning shop, its occupants had been strung up by Capitol Police after getting caught in the crack down, it was a horrific sight, the bodies swaying gently in the breeze that carried the thick acrid smoke high into the air and blew it across the open fields of Vetalia, there was nothing here except the tyre marks of a Reich APC and empty shell casings from Capitol Police MG42's..

A group of people had been executed against the wall of the petrol station shop, it was a young family, a mother and child cradled together and riddled with bullets, the father lying just in front of them, trying to shield them from witnessing the horror that was about to unfold, executed presumably for trying to escape from the carnage, escape from the crack down. if there was a vision of Hell on Earth, it was currently Vetalia and this group of unfortunate people were only going deeper into it.
Last edited by The Kraven Corporation on Sat Dec 21, 2019 10:16 am, edited 1 time in total.
"If you want a vision of the future, Winston, imagine a boot stamping on a human face forever." - 1984
Scand: No one beats you Kraven for largest number killed a day.
Scand: Your nation is a glorified death camp after all.
Tiurabo: WTF Kraven.
Tiurabo: You are the last person who can tell me to be calm.
Tiurabo: You're a goddam psycho.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wT0uR5wB76M The Updated National Anthem of Imperial Fortress Reich
Resistance is Futile... We Are The Kraven Reich

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Allanea
Postmaster of the Fleet
 
Posts: 23717
Founded: Antiquity
Capitalist Paradise

Postby Allanea » Sat Dec 28, 2019 8:10 pm

FKS Confessor, Gholgoth Waters

There were very few things distinctly off about the Confessor if one assumed it was an oceanographic vessel – and indeed, unless one was very well-versed in oceanographic vessels or their equipment, it would appear to be almost entirely normal, merely a mid-sized ship festooned with various antennae and sensors. That the name written on its side was the FKS Confessor and not the SS Glowing Dawn could be ascribed to a bureaucratic error in publication, and in any event it acted, at least for now, non-hostile.

An outside observer could not know that added to its normal complement were several platoons of commandos, waiting below decks with rifles loaded, going through the last steps of their preparation. That even its regular crew – its sailors and its spy-scientists who operated the arrays of oceanographic and ELINT gear the ship carried - were now checking their weapons.

The ship's ECM crews were now at their stations. The Captain and Navigator checked their map one last time, and made a final adjustment to the ship's bearing. It would take It very close to their target – as close as maritime safety regulations permitted, just close enough that the Kravenic captain would not see a need to fear a collision.

Of course, this was a deception. They would adjust course again later…. or so they thought.
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Emperor Pudu
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Founded: Aug 24, 2007
Iron Fist Consumerists

Postby Emperor Pudu » Sun Dec 29, 2019 3:27 am

Somewhere along the coast of Vetalia

The sun was still only a reddish tint on the eastern clouds. The land it was rising over today was one bathed in enough blood to leave it as crimson-stained as the horizon was now. Even in places of catastrophic change, however, some things inevitably remain the same. Sidney Durham was one of those things: this morning he woke early, packed his bait and tackle, made himself a thermos of strong black tea and pulled on the same old pair of boots he had owned for more than a decade before setting out for the same short jetty that he fished every morning.

The jetty was accessible from a public park that residents of this little seaside town used to picnic at while they watched the boats come and go. There were fewer picnickers these days, and fewer boats. There were however still picnic tables dotting the gently sloping green, though now they were interspersed with concrete barriers and concertina wire while the ground was torn up with the tracks of heavy military vehicles. The park had been used as a staging area when the State relocated most of the town's former population; only a small number remained to service the salvage efforts that had been undertaken since then. Once a sleepy bedroom community in the shadow of the capital, now the town of Karachev's largest export was the raw material that once comprised the old burg itself.

Most mornings Sidney got out to the jetty early enough to beat the salvage crews to work and so the lack of construction noise that usually blanketed the town during daylight hours was understandable, but when Sidney passed through the seaside park he was struck by the absence of the Londinian KVF soldiers he was accustomed to seeing there. They were only a small garrison, Sidney knew, and it was possible they had been called away on some other matter this morning. With his little pail of bait and his fishing rod in one hand and his thermos and a little waterproof cushion in the other, old Sidney Durham crossed the park and began to pick his way carefully out the large slippery rocks that formed this harbor feature. He had fished the jetty for a long time and he could have found his way in the dark, today was no different. He found his way out to his favorite spot, plopped down on his cushion and pulled a likely looking night crawler from his bait pail.

With the sun rising behind him the ocean was still shrouded in the long shadows cast by the shore. Into this void Sidney pitched his line, set his rod between his knees and poured himself a cup of tea. In this country which was descending quickly into chaos, old Sidney Durham continued to slip through the cracks. That was when he looked up and saw something he didn't expect.

A small black boat was slipping quietly through the shadows on the water directly toward the jetty, and Sidney Durham. He almost choked on his tea. The boat was advancing quickly, though Sidney could not make out the sound of the little craft's outboard engine. It had in fact been engineered that way to meet the requirements of the Imperial Pudite Navy for a special mission insertion craft usable by it's marine raiders and special forces, not that Mr. Durham had any idea of any of that. As the eighteen foot rigid hulled inflatable boat neared him he could make out, squinting through the low dawn light, three figures crouched low. Evidently they had seen him, because it sure looked to Sidney like one of them was pointing a weapon of some kind in his direction.

His fishing rod still held between his knees, Sidney dropped the little plastic cup that was his thermos' lid and raised both hands in the air. As the boat drew even closer Sidney could start to make out muffled voices, “I thought he said this district would be empty,” one hissed, “Well it sure as shit ain't.” came a reply. At this point Sidney could make out the three men clearly, they were all foreigners, but they didn't look like any Reich agents or KVF personnel that he had ever seen before. Firstly, they were all wearing business suits. The clandestine watercraft pulled right up to the rocky jetty and one of the foreigners, a handsome young Pudite (though Sidney could not have known that for sure), stood and called out in Vetalian to the old man sitting on the rocks just above them, “Hey, you! What the hell are you doing here?” He was doing his best to keep his voice hushed, though the sound of the sea lapping against the rocky shore was almost certainly enough to muffle him. As he said this another of the men in the boat, the man who had been aiming a pistol at Sidney, hopped over the side of the craft and started to climb the rocks up to where the old man was sitting.

Sidney looked taken aback, and wasn't sure how to answer right away. The tall, broad-shouldered Almaran man who had leapt from the boat pulled himself up onto the rock Sidney was sitting on and stood up, towering over the seated gentleman. Sidney turned to him, stammering a bit with his reply, “My-my name is Sidney Durham, I've got residency papers here,” Sidney said as he began to shuffle around in his coat pockets, at which point the big man held up his hand, urging him to stop, “No,” the man said in a thick accent. Sidney stopped and sat quietly for a moment while the remaining two men climbed out of their boat. The young man who had first called out to him was climbing up the rocks toward him, while the other man lifted a duffel bag out of the boat and tossed it atop a nearby rock before climbing over the side himself.

The young man joined Sidney and the Almaran on the rock and held out a hand to Sidney, whom he helped to his feet as well as shook his hand. “My name is Pilgrim. Nice to meet you, Sidney,” he began. Pilgrim spoke passable Vetalian and Sidney replied in a like manner, “Pilgrim, it is very dangerous to be here, if the KVF see you...” Pilgrim looked up toward the Almaran, whose name among the Ten Heroes was Flying Tiger. Tiger had scrambled over another rock and was now laying low and looking out toward the shoreline. He turned back to Pilgrim and shook his head. Pilgrim then spoke, “Looks like we're in the clear for now, Sid.”

“Say, what're you doing out here dropping a line in the bay while the country is falling apart?” Pilgrim asked then. Sidney seemed about to answer but then changed his mind, asking “Just who are you? You do not look like Reich soldiers to me.” Pilgrim cocked his head and gave a sly grin, “Oh, don't you know, anyone could be an agent of the Reich?” Sidney raised one eyebrow, but Pilgrim carried on before he could reply, “Don't worry old man, we're agents of nobody,” he explained cheerily. Pilgrim continued, “You didn't answer my question, though. How did you come to be out here this morning. I don't expect the Vetalian State grants a lot of fishing licenses these days...”

Sidney shrugged, “As to that,” he replied. “I leave a few fillets out for the KVF troopers and they let me fish. Country has been falling apart a long time now, but I get by.” Pilgrim looked from Sidney over to the man called Tiger, then to Flowers who had just climbed up to join the others atop Sidney's fishing rock. Pilgrim switched to Pudite to address his comrades, “Is it possible this guy knows less about what's happening in this country than we do?”

Turning back to Sidney and speaking again in Vetalian, Pilgrim asked “You know Vetalia City was occupied yesterday by the Reich Capitol Police? The Vetalian State has collapsed, this is about to be a warzone!” Sidney had clearly not had this information before, but he seemed to handle it well. He looked pensive for a moment before he replied, “Your Vetalian is not very good,” at which accusation Pilgrim looked only mildly offended, as Sidney continued, “This is probably why you do not notice that mine is also a second language.” Pilgrim mumbled something softly under his breath about Vetalian being a fifth language or something, but it was in Pudite and Sidney evidently didn't share that tongue, so he kept speaking “I am not Vetalian. I am Londinian. Do you know what is the Vivicide?” Only vaguely, Pilgrim thought to himself as he shook his head no. “What is the expression?” Sidney went on, “This is not my first rodeo?”

The expression was lost in the translation for Pilgrim, but he got the meaning Sidney was trying to impart. “Alright then,” Pilgrim answered, “So you've seen some stuff. Let me tell you, there's gonna be some more, and soon. I'd find a new fishing hole if you know what I mean.” Sidney looked disinterested at the information, but nodded slowly. “I am too old, and travel is too difficult. If this is where I die, then I will go back to the fishes. Perhaps I feed them for once after they feed me for so long.” Pilgrim stopped to muse over the old man's poetic death wish, but he had a better idea.

“That's real nice and all, but I think you can do better than that.” Pilgrim jerked his head toward the little boat, “Why don't you take this off our hands? Head north, for the Kylarnatian border. This thing sure won't get you all the way, or even most of the way, but I think it beats waiting for the execution battalions to arrive. Wouldn't you say?” Sidney looked from Pilgrim, to the boat, and back to Pilgrim. “I suppose.” he answered, “Die now or later.” the old man said.

Behind Pilgrim the third man in the group, Flowers, had taken a seat on the rocks and had unfolded a topographic map which he was now studying, compass held level in one hand. Pilgrim noticed this and turned back to Sidney, “But hey, one good turn deserves another, wouldn't you say? Our maps are a little bit out of date, do you think you could give us a few pointers here?” At Pilgrim's urging Flowers brought the map over to the old man and held it out before him. Sidney scoffed immediately at seeing it and raised a finger to begin pointing out mistakes, “All this here is cleared out now, and this is a new highway,” he began tracing a line up a long valley, “This road is closed, bridges blown, but there's a new bridge here...” he went on in this way for a minute or more, Flowers and Pilgrim leaning close over the map and Flowers fumbling with a grease pen trying to mark up the map as Sidney pointed out it's many flaws.

Neither Pilgrim nor Flowers brought up the rail depot outside Vetalia City, or the hilltop estate a few short miles away, that were the team's destinations. Best not to leave this old man with any more information than he already had. As Sidney finished his brief impromptu geography lecture Pilgrim again extended his hand to shake, “It's been a pleasure, Sidney Durham.” Pilgrim produced a wad of Vetalian rubles from his pocket, some of the loot provided by Mr. Vetalia back on the freighter, “I don't know if this is gonna be any use to you, but it's the least we can do,” he explained as Sidney eyed the bills suspiciously before stuffing them into a coat pocket. Flowers and Pilgrim then helped the old Londinian down the rocks and into their boat, before handing him his fishing gear and thermos. Flowers even found and recovered the cap to the bottle which Sidney had dropped when the party had arrived.

“Bon voyage,” Pilgrim said as they nudged the craft away from the jetty, “You're a credit to your countrymen.” Sidney did little more than grunt in acknowledgment of that. Pilgrim and Flowers waved as Sidney started up the quiet little motor and steered himself north across the little bay and toward the far shore. As soon as he was out of earshot Pilgrim turned to Flowers, “So, how much gas did we leave the guy?” Flowers thought for a moment, “She's got a few miles in 'er, he's got both auxiliary tanks.” to which Pilgrim nodded, satisfied, “Well, when they find him it'll put them off our trail for a bit. Saves us the trouble of having to hide the boat, too.” he reasoned. “Unless the old man talks.” Flowers countered. Pilgrim shrugged that suggestion off, “Maybe he does, maybe he doesn't. Took the same risk leaving him here, I think.”

The pair climbed back up the rocks to where Tiger had been laying and observing the shore. “Is the coast clear?” Pilgrim asked as they laid down next to the big Almaran atop the jetty. “Not seen a thing,” Tiger answered, “Clear sailing.” At that Pilgrim hopped up and began to make his way down the jetty toward land. “Then what are we waiting for, boys. Let's get to work!” As the trio headed for the town they spared a moment each to look up to the hill to their east that looked down over the abandoned village landscape; the hill that would be their first destination. Somewhere atop that wooded hillock was Mr. Vetalia's old estate, and hiding somewhere up there would be Veronica.
Last edited by Emperor Pudu on Sun Dec 29, 2019 3:30 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Kahanistan
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Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Kahanistan » Sun Dec 29, 2019 7:25 pm

Mustafa Fassad pulled off the westbound 19, intent on fueling his rented vehicle. The lack of other traffic was unnerving, but not as unnerving as the bodies strung up from lamp posts outside the station.

"Collaborators?" asked Amos Yosef, the older of the two interns in Fassad's crew, as he took photographs of the hanging bodies. In any occupied country, those who collaborated with the enemy were mistrusted and exploited by the occupier and hated and feared by their own people.

"I'm not sure," said Shirin Shirazi, the other intern. "It might explain this, though..." She checked the man, woman and child for pulses, finding none. "I think these are the owners and their child. If they were involved in the resistance..."

They may have strung up the collaborators, and been shot as retaliation. We would need evidence to support this idea. "We shouldn't make unfounded speculations, Shirin," Fassad said grimly. "We need to fuel up our vehicle somehow. We have just under a quarter of a tank left, and don't want to be stranded too close to the capital city when we run out. Let's go inside and look around, and make sure you have your sidearms ready for quick access."

"MG42 shell casings and capper tire tracks," said Yosef, photographing the tracks and capturing the bodies of the parents and child they thought were the family who owned the petrol station. Shirazi checked the bodies against the wall for ID's while Fassad went into the petrol station to look for anything identifying the owners. Yosef climbed the lamp posts to remove the hanging bodies. Not only did he want to check the corpses for ID, or have one of his crew mates do it, in order to support his theory that the hanging bodies were collaborators, but they deserved a proper burial even if they were traitors.

While the interns inspected the corpses outside, Fassad searched inside for anything to identify the owners. If they were alive, he would pay for the fuel, but if they were dead and he could ascertain there was nobody to pay, he would have to figure out how to unlock the fuel pumps to enable his news crew to fuel their vehicle.
Last edited by Kahanistan on Sun Dec 29, 2019 7:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Auman
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Postby Auman » Thu Jan 02, 2020 11:51 am

Highway 19 Westbound, Vetalia

Teddy was strolling around the lot with his vest thrown over his shoulder. He looked casual, cool as a cucumber, but what he saw bothered him. As much as the sight of bodies dangling from lampposts and families machine gunned against walls was troublesome, watching these journalists rifle through their belongings made it worse. He rationalized it tactically, disturbing the bodies might tip off the Kravenites that people had been here... If a patrol noticed that the corpses were missing, they'd definitely suspect they'd been cut down and go searching for the people that did it. Teddy didn't have the pull with these guys to say anything, not yet, so he watched them work and was grateful for the ride.

The family, the one that had been shot, were purple and starting to bloat. Their blood had coagulated in thick pools that cloyed. Black rivulets of it had dried in the sand and reminded him of an oil spill he witnessed as a young man, balls of black tar washed ashore, powdered with thr white sand of the beach.

Teddy sidled up next to Mustafa, crouched next to the ichorous streams of cold, black, blood and said "We aren't going to find any gasoline here. The Reich would have drained the tanks the moment they finished up with these people. It's worth a look around, but I think we need to find somewhere to lay low until nightfall... And then start walking overland."

Mega Deep Sea Terminal, Molis Regnum, Pax Gothica

They banked gently to the left, which was an extreme maneuver for a plane so large. John Rian had been riveted by the experience, he never expected to ever get the chance to fly in a Dominion-Concord stratolifter. Used to be the largest nuclear powered aircraft in the world for a whole week, five times as large as a conventional commercial jet. John was always fascinated by airplanes, civilian models mostly... Military jets were boring and crude. No zazz or flair, none of the refinement of the civilian airline industry which, while sadly becoming routine, still had the divine touches of the fleeting gilded age of flight.

For the longest time and until quite recently, civil travel was dominated by the maritime transportation industry. Boats. Cramped, dirty, smelly and under serviced boats which would call to ports like this one, the Mega Deep Sea Terminal and its five hundred odd berths, on the regular. The planet was simply too large for regular international flights to be a common occurrence and even with these large nuclear aircraft, the boat and the train were still the leaders. This made John sad, but not nearly as much as the abomination he had just caught sight of... The Verne Hikurangi International Space Elevator, a matte black spire which towered over the world. An innovation which threatened to transport a human being anywhere in the world in a mere two hours. It was all too practical for his sensibilities. One mustn't embark on a journey merely to reach their destination.

John Rian was so enamored with what was transpiring beyond the window that he paid no more mind to the conversation between Subcommander Poltaur and Colonel Crerar. The men had been talking for hours, broaching intellectual subjects and making fascinating references to things that had only been considered ridiculous rumors and even conspiracies. It was long said that Remans were descended from Mars, it was a part of their Foundationalist religious philosophy, but John had never taken any of it seriously, just like most people. Remans were Aumanii, the Sons of Mars... Much like Jesus Christ was the Son of God. Not literally, but rather metaphorically. Colonel Arnon Crerar, if you listened to him, seemed to take it all literally. It was strange in a way, to see someone take their faith and transpose it upon the physical world and what he found most interesting was that Subcommander Poltaur was eating it all up like it was the gospel.

The sign came on and it was time to buckle up. The plane was coming down for a landing at the truly massive landing strip at the port, which ran for at least twenty kilometers down the length of this manmade island. When the wheels touched the tarmac, John could hardly feel a thing. In time, the plane came to a stop and the door opened, they were being discharged onto the runway itself. He grabbed his luggage, which was not much more than a backpack and a laptop, and shuffled down the stairs. The wind whipped at them all, ties, jackets and even capes blew in the wind. Off to the right was a bank of heavy helicopters. Subcommander Poltaur tapped Rian on the shoulder and directed him towards a big green tilt rotor chopper. He walked alongside Crerar in silence until a man with white hair and brilliant blue eyes, wearing a tan navy uniform, greeted them.

"Admiral Bridges!" Crerar was almost shouting over the wind as he shook hands with the man that met them.

"Glad you could make it, Arnon. Is this the analyst you were telling me about?" Bridges had an accent that he couldn't quite place. Seemed to be something from out of the prairies, but smoother. Rian spotted the wings on Bridges' uniform and pieced it together, he was a pilot.

"Yes, John Rian is the one that came up with the theory that we are working with. It only made sense to bring him along so that he could corroborate it personally."

Bridges sized John up and shrugged his shoulders, "Whatever you say, Arnon. Let's get to it."
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Kahanistan
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Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Kahanistan » Fri Jan 03, 2020 5:39 pm

Mustafa had barely remembered the other man who had joined their crew. "Depends on why they were killed," he replied to Teddy. "If they were killed for the petrol, the tanks might have been drained. I'm trying to figure that out, but I can't read the manual for the fuel tanks. It's in Vetalian Cyrillic and none of us on this team can read it. Besides, we can't abandon the car, it's full of our drones and extra ammunition. We'll need them to see further ahead than we can ground bound and to defend ourselves if cornered, let alone actually reporting anything from here."

Outside the petrol station, Amos finished photographing and cutting down the hanging bodies and opened the trunk of the car, pulling out a pack of cigarettes for Mustafa and walking inside. Shirin took notes, mostly transcribing the names on the ID's of the victims. She could have them transcribed into Latin characters from Vetalian Cyrillic later.

"We should hide nearby. Not so near the cappers get the drop on us, but near enough we can catch them looking at our vehicle or the like," Mustafa continued. "I can get a drone up and see if we can't see anything coming or anything newsworthy. If we can get the petrol station's security footage we might even be able to get video of what went down here. "
Last edited by Kahanistan on Sat Jan 04, 2020 9:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Telros
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Democratic Socialists

Postby Telros » Sun Jan 05, 2020 8:48 am

Strategic Intelligence Bureau HQ
Fellegvár, Capital Geo-City of the Compact
11:42 AM


Smoke rose from the end of a cigarette as he stared at the screen in front of him, a scrolling list of maps, reports and images, detailing the Vetalian mainland and large, angry red arrows slowly moving their way into it. If it had been anyone else, they would be in violation of countless laws about the use of cigarettes underground; while they had plenty of oxygen reserves and vents to the outside, it was determined good policy to restrict cigarette use. There were still the above-ground portions of the cities, under weather domes to go for indulging the habit. If a siege came and they had to shut off the vents, then they can't have people lighting up and compromising the integrity of the oxygen. However, as Director of the intelligence organ of the Compact, and with what had come across his desk today, he had the full right and every damn intention to light one up.

Rejtett looked down at the folder on his desk, sweeping off a satellite map image of Fortress Arcadia, to reveal the first page of the report, in angry red letters at the top:

INTELLIGENCE ASSESSMENT OF REICH MOVEMENTS IN VETALIA.

“It is the opinion of this task force, from the images and data contained herein, that the Kraven Reich is in process of conducting a mass liquidation and genocide of the Vetalian people under its occupation. Large movements of motorized groups of Capitol Police, armed with heavy ordinance and support vehicles, are conducting a systematic invasion of the Vetalian mainland, civilians are being rounded up and moved to processing sites, all of which seemed to be moving in a direction towards the docking facilities, which we imagine will be filling with Reich transport ships to be moved to Reich mainland sites for mass killing, liquidations, their reproduction camps, all of the horrors we have come to know they are capable of. It is clear the Reich will be turning Vetalia into just another Fortress, or even extending Arcadia. While it is clear the Alliance needs time to finish preparations and buy time to further encircle and ready for when the Reich resorts to war once again, we cannot leave the Vetalians on their own. Something, anything, that is within the power of the Compact to do, must be done. The follow are our individual reports and those of our satellite and agent specialists corroborating what we have found.”

The rest was well known to him, for he had spent the last hour, painstakingly going over everything to be absolutely sure. And there was no denying it; the Reich was doing what was feared ever since the Vetalian government was signed away foolishly and the Reich came in and slowly demolished what was once a vibrant nation; destruction and conversion into yet more factories and camps to produce more Capitol soldiers. Something had to be done, there was no doubt, and already reports of movements by the Jagadan's and the Kylarnatians were coming in. A hand reached out and picked up another report, detailing the movement of ships and their gathering at Pax Gothica, which as not that far off from Arcadia itself, and the Kylarnatian's troops in Silvier's strait were already moving, having been prepared for so very long, to start liberating what they could. The region now hung on the edge of the knife, depending on how the Reich was going to react. Either they played their usual games, probably shoving that damned agreement in their faces or they could start the conflict now, and the Compact was nowhere near ready to fulfill their duty in this regard.

The Director's attention was drawn by his phone ringing, which startled him before he took a deep breath and looked at the caller ID.

“Huh...its the head of our district in Gothica; what is going on over there?”

He pressed a button, the call accepting and moving to speaker.

“Ambassador, what can I do for you?”

”We have a problem in Gothica. The Reich is on the move”.

His stomach tightened as it went from slightly upset to frothing ocean of pain.

“Explain.”

”There are reports of brigades of Capitol Police coming out of the Norska District and are on their way to the Vetalian Enclave. The very same Enclave that is having a meeting of the Vetalian government in exile.”

Silence reigned but only for a moment.

“They cannot be serious. They cannot seriously think they can just walk over and take the Senate in exile now, especially with what they're pulling.”

”Well, it appears the Jagadan government is in agreement with that sentiment; they have deployed a large force of their own District garrison directly in front of the Vetalian District's gate. We're going to have a standoff and possibly a shooting war.”

Fuck.

“Get the word out to our own garrison, your most veteran and experienced forces, have them arm and ready up and make their way over to support the Jagadans. Send word to the Vetalian government, they should already know, but they need to be informed. In fact, prepare everyone as well. We need to contain the Capitol Police but we need to make sure we get everyone out. The Reich has to either be distracting us or planning more than a simple walk up and arresting; they're too smart not to know how we'd react. We need to be able to counter.”

”Already called the Vetalians and the garrison is gathering; however, I'll need confirmation that the Anax support this gesture.”

“I'm calling them next, Ambassador. If they don't already know, they will and if I know Adon, she'd want this contained and the Vetalians secured as soon as possible. I just need to call the Jagadans and see if we can coordinate.”

”Very well. And Director? Good luck.”

“I should be telling you that, seeing as you're right in the middle of it.”

Rejtett put the phone down again and then picked it up again, dialing a number. After the dial tone, a voice answered on the other side.

”Yes?”

“This is Director Rejtett, Strategic Information Bureau, Telrosian Compact. I understand there is a developing situation in Pax Gothica that I would like to speak to the Despot about please.”

***********

Pax Gothica, Telrosian District
District Military Base


From the outside observer, it was clear that when the Reich moved, others followed, out of necessity or ideology. Like ripples from a rock being dropped in a pond, movement could be seen, and while the Jagites were first, they were not the only ones. Soldiers of the Pax Gothica Telrosian District were gathering, slipping on their combat armor and doing checks of weapons and gear before lining up before four APC's, one man talking into a phone as they were gathering.

“...Yes, Governor, I understand, as long as you understand what it could mean if we do this. War with the Reich now instead of later.”

”Yes, I am aware, Lieutenant Gordon, but we have little choice in the matter. The Vetalians cannot be abandoned to the Reich, not when we have the strength to do something about it. And the Jagadans have been informed and are welcoming our aid in this endeavor. I'll take responsibility; I'll be in conference with the Anax's while you are deploying. What have you prepared?”

“First Platoon, they are the ones I can get on site the fastest. Second and Third platoon are mobilizing, 2nd will be joining as soon as they are able and Third is going to remain on standby in case of the Reich pulling any fast ones on us.”

”Understood Lieutenant Gordon. May the Ninth Son watch over you.”

The call ended and the Lieutenant pocketed the phone before turning to face the platoon, having just finished assembling and standing ready for orders.

“Alright, soldiers of 4th Company, 1st Platoon, here's the down and dirty; the Reich has been on the move, targeting places in Varathron, this much we have been briefed on. However, it would appear the Reich is not done antagonizing all of Gholgoth. There is a substantial force of Capitol Police marching from the Norska District straight for the Vetalian District.”

The soldier's discipline was such that they didn't start having conversations but they did look at each worried, worried and confused looks, as the Lieutenant continued.

“Now, we have been getting reports of the Reich doing something in Vetalia, however that is currently higher up the chain than you and I will ever get paid to deal with, but what is important is that they are clearly coming for the Vetalian government in exile. The Director of the Bureau and the Governor, and I imagine the Anax once they are informed, are all in agreement; this cannot be allowed to happen. The security forces of the Despotate have already moved in, and we are to support them; it is hoped the Reich doesn't want a shooting war yet, but be prepared to if they do. We have been trained to handle situations like this, the Kylarnatians have been good to give us equipment and training to handle such a situation. Keep calm, trust your buddy and follow orders and we'll get through this alive.”

“Now mount up! We don't have much time!”

Orders began to be shouted and the troops dispersed, going into each of the APC”s and securing themselves, with the Lieutenant going into the command vehicle and in short order, they rolled out into a column, making their way to the Vetalian District entrance.

Shortly after the DSF and the Capitol Police began their standoff, the tension rising from the refusal of the Jagites to bow to the treaty being displayed, the sound of vehicles could be heard and from one or the roads to the side, and four APC's and a command vehicle came through, three APC's forming a line of cover and deploying the troops, who took cover behind the vehicles and nearby objects that could fit, the mounted guns swiveling to target. After they all deployed, a loudspeaker clicked on and the Lieutenant could be heard speaking.

“Reich Capital Police, your actions here are in violation of the treaties and agreements governing Pax Gothica. If there is a matter between the Vetalian government and the Reich, there are proper diplomatic channels to voice them, this is not one of them. I am warning you once to stand down and return to your district so this can be handled through proper channels. If you attempt to breach these gates, then I will use the channels available through me to end this little adventure. I suggest you choose wisely.”

And that was that, the Telrosians readied themselves, extending their battle net to the DSF so they could coordinate should the Reich choose to push their luck.
Last edited by Telros on Sun Jan 05, 2020 8:48 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Auman
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Postby Auman » Mon Jan 06, 2020 2:40 pm

Mega Deep Sea Terminal, Molis Regnum, Pax Gothica

The party had settled into an observation deck situated in the base of the MDST Space Elevator, a massive structure which curved at an impossible angle southward, towards the equator. The thick braided carbon nanotube cabling that tapered off into orbit comprised the massive bulk and pistil from which the various berths extended like petals. They stood behind a seamless window, made from transparent metal, the stretched from floor to ceiling and wall to wall. Below them, outside, was the great causeway, nearly a kilometer wide, which stretched fifty kilometers east to Molis Regnum, Remus' contribution to the glory of Pax Gothica and the honor of all Aumanii Goths.

In the distance, beyond the hard and unpainted brutalist structures that comprised Molis Regnum, that had begun to turn gold in the dying light of the evening, were the other great cities of their peers. Sin, with its vibrant lights and haughty architecture that challenged the world to shrug off its morality, was by far the biggest eyesore of the bunch. Though, to its credit, it owned the night... Where the others were confident and looming, their own self assured greatness a testament to the dignity of their nations... Sin, like the Jagadan people, shone through in spite of the darkness.

"Things are about to kick off, big time... Though I'm not sure if it will necessarily happen today or even here. Not even the Reich has the nuts to throw down under these conditions." Admiral Bridges was chewing on sunflower seeds and fiddling with a pen to keep his hands busy. He was trying his best to quit, but with everyone else smoking around him it was hard. Still, he enjoyed the acrid smell of the tobacco and breathed in deeply when a waft of blue curls came his way.

Arnon Crerar, Colonel with Remus' sister nation and representative of their Diplomatic Corps, lifted his brow with a little hint of incredulity, said "I'm not so sure about that. If history has taught us anything, it's that armies fight where they damn well want to."

Bridges spat a mouthful of shells into a styrofoam coffee cup and shook his head, "Not so sure about that either, friend. The Kravenites are efficient, ruthlessly so. They have to know there's no way to win this fight, it's all a bluff."

"Why then," Subcommander Poltaur interjected, "would the Reich attempt this action if they didn't think they could win?"

"Is there something you're not telling us, Poltaur? Something we should probably know?" Bridges asked, turning his head suspiciously towards the spymaster. The Intelligence Community was always holding on to things, turning information into a form of currency to the hoarded and bartered away sparingly.

"Nothing concrete, just my gut hinting at their motivations." Poltaur took a deep drag from his cigarette, "We all know what sort of defenses there are in the Norskan district. They've made no effort to hide them. Dozens of Stratosphere guns, hundreds of machine gun towers and God only knows what else lies behind their walls. This force they've sent out to pinch the Vetalians... It could be the bulk of their forces, or merely a fraction. We let the Reich build a military base here and for all we know Pax set itself up to become Fortress Gothica."

Bridges popped another mouthful of seeds into his mouth, his steely blue eyes now dragging their gaze along the craggy form of Norska's skyline. Massive guns were clearly outlined by spotlights that searched the nearby waters for saboteurs or escapees. A notion came to him suddenly as he wondered which would be treated more harshly.

It seemed so naive now, that people, important ones in positions of power, once thought the Reich could be reformed. If only we showed them fraternity and kindness. If only we loved them enough, which seemed so uncharacteristic for his beloved Gholgoth, but was the most correct observation of the very nature of this region. Bridges' memory wasn't so tainted by hindsight. He was there when the Reich was admitted into the alliance and the hope was genuine. If only we showed them the true meaning of humanity and what it meant to be a free Goth, proud and noble, then the Reich would become like us. Afterall, our unique cultures and the superiority of our way of life were so obvious that to spurn them would be unthinkable.

That was really stupid, but that made Admiral Lester Bridges as much a fool as any of the Lords of Gholgoth, because he too believed it at the time... And now, the entire region was locked in a nightmare that not only threatened their existence, but something far more important.

Their honor.

For it was now, as Jagadans and Telrosians prepared for battle in the midst of the Gothic Peace, and that hundreds and thousands of ships staged here to launch for Vetalian shores to liberate their brother from those who were their brothers... It was a bit much for Lester to take. He swore an oath to his Overlord and she swore to defend the Gothic Lords. Her words, her commitments, were as good as his own. His honor depended on this premise of fealty... And so, as his honor was bound to Alexis Villa and hers to the Lords, he could not help but feel gutted by the prospect of waging a war to put down the Reich. Wayward as they were, by blood and honor they were as good as kin.

But what alternative was there? He would have to kill the Kravenites to save the Jagadans, Vetalians, Kylarnatians and Skyans... Brothers all, threatened by those who should be brothers still. Necessary yet heartbreaking. An experiment in love and fraternity, turned aside by the inherent and brutal nature of the Reich.

"Before you all arrived," said Bridges, looking into his cup at the mound of black shells, "I took the liberty of briefing our allies. They know everything that we know. It's taking some time, but the intelligence is being shared and we're all working together to build a bigger picture."

"I figured about as much." Crerar stomped out his cigarette on the rich crimson carpet, "If Remus is going to do anything, it won't be doing it alone."
Last edited by Auman on Mon Jan 06, 2020 2:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Vetalia
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Founded: Mar 23, 2005
Corporate Bordello

Postby Vetalia » Mon Jan 06, 2020 6:41 pm

Allanea - Closed - Secret other than disinformation

Allanea wrote:
"My name is Max Isaev," – the Allanean agent lied glibly, although of course this would be the very name that was printed on the documents that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs had issued him, which were genuine in the sense that they've been printed on the same paper on which all Allanean passports have been printed, and that there had been a file in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs that corresponded to the name. The man's actual name, Stanislav Stern, would not be mentioned at all – not because he expected Taylor to be a Reich agent, but because there were a myriad ways his identity could have been leaked during his travels – nor was the Allaneans' trust in the Vetalians absolute for thought they did not expect the Vetalians to betray them directly, they also had the suspicion that people who had already lost everything they had to the Reich were not, perhaps, the world's best operatives. No doubt Vetalians would be offended had Allaneans said this out loud.

"The details are supremely important," – he spoke. "Is there something that I said that you find issue with?"


"Pleased to welcome you, Max...I'm sorry for my demeanor but you know how it is these days, you can't be too careful. It hasn't been easy for any of us since the troubles back home and of course it has interrupted our trading profits quite a bit, especially on the routes we typically lead out of here. Reich agents and State agents all over the place, it's hard to keep However, we have by and large kept ourselves out of it here in Jagada. The customs officers keep anyone not welcome well at bay!" He laughed and reached again for his cigarette case.

"However, some things do get through. We just received a shipment of cigarettes from our enclave in the Confederacy that are some of the best I've ever smoked! Would you like to try one of these babies? Just look at the filling on them, they don't make them that thick anywhere!" It was obvious at this point that he was motioning towards one of the cigarettes in the case that had a message written on it in neat print.

take one - found out office bugged -> lie + follow me after 2nd smoke

He lit his cigarette and continued. "So, what are your plans for Vetalia, Mr. Isaev? Certainly our enclave can put its resources at your disposal but the most important thing is knowing where, when and how we are going to make this all happen."
Last edited by Vetalia on Mon Jan 06, 2020 6:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Allanea
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Postby Allanea » Tue Jan 07, 2020 1:41 am

The Allanean closed his eyes for two seconds, and nodded almost imperceptibly, before he began to speak.

"Grand plans, yes. I can't tell you very much - for a range of reasons, one of them being I'm not told very much myself - but not all of the senior actors the Reich has in place are as loyal as they think they are. A lot of their own officers are actually working for us - naturally I can't give you names, but let's say we have some people very high up in the system. We will be using those people for both passive and active measures - collecting insider information, passively speaking, and diverting resources to false alarms... you know, away from where our actual direct action will be."

He paused. "Of course your people will play a key part."

He was, of course, lying, or at least he was lying regarding the idea that the Allaneans had senior Kraven officials on their payroll, they had no such thing.
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Vetalia
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Postby Vetalia » Thu Jan 09, 2020 5:31 pm

Blue - Allanea - Secret as Before

Allanea wrote:The Allanean closed his eyes for two seconds, and nodded almost imperceptibly, before he began to speak.

"Grand plans, yes. I can't tell you very much - for a range of reasons, one of them being I'm not told very much myself - but not all of the senior actors the Reich has in place are as loyal as they think they are. A lot of their own officers are actually working for us - naturally I can't give you names, but let's say we have some people very high up in the system. We will be using those people for both passive and active measures - collecting insider information, passively speaking, and diverting resources to false alarms... you know, away from where our actual direct action will be."

He paused. "Of course your people will play a key part."

He was, of course, lying, or at least he was lying regarding the idea that the Allaneans had senior Kraven officials on their payroll, they had no such thing.


Pausing to take a drag off of the cigarette, Ruslan nodded. "Really? I thought the Reich was incorruptible from top to bottom but it just goes to show you they're as human as anyone else when you get down to it. Kind of ironic that more of them are on the take than anyone we've found out on our side. Not only that, but the ones they have are amateurish at best - just this past week, a 'contractor' came by to check the smoke alarms when I was out of the office. Turns out the company they worked for didn't exist, and when I decided to do a little digging I found they'd bugged the smoke detectors! I ended up finding four of them, one in each room. All the names on the sign-in sheet were found out to be locals, but when we checked up on them none of them matched the looks of the guys on the security cam footage. They even bugged the one in the toilet, I don't really get the point of that one though!"

Ruslan laughed and eyed Max at this point making it clear he knew the bugs placed in the smoke detectors were decoys. He took another drag and coughed a bit when exhaling.

"Man, those Confederate cigarettes have a kick! He took a drink of water before continuing "Back on topic, I also checked the computer to see if they did anything to it and I had the IT guys check out the hard drive and they said everything was fine. Getting into the computer doesn't mean a whole lot unless the Reich really wants to look at some budgeting spreadsheets or print off coupons for a free sub. Anything that applies to our situation back in the mainland is mailed to Pax by Vet Post and then couriered over to our people in the State."

He took another drag and extinguished the cigarette in the ashtray built into the case. "Speaking of subs, I don't know about you but I'm starving. How about you give me a quick rundown of how you want us to be involved and then we'll head out and grab some lunch? We can take my car, I know some great places around here."

Again eyeing Max, he pulled a second cigarette from the case and lit it.

"I've also got some files on hand that were sent over last week about important installations in the State that we'll want to target, we can go over those some more when we get back from lunch. I don't like taking anything about the mainland away from the office since you never know who's listening when you're out in public. I could keep rambling on all day about this stuff...back to you, Max."
Last edited by Vetalia on Thu Jan 09, 2020 5:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Allanea » Sun Jan 12, 2020 6:41 am

Vetalia wrote:Blue - Allanea - Secret as Before


Pausing to take a drag off of the cigarette, Ruslan nodded. "Really? I thought the Reich was incorruptible from top to bottom but it just goes to show you they're as human as anyone else when you get down to it. Kind of ironic that more of them are on the take than anyone we've found out on our side. Not only that, but the ones they have are amateurish at best - just this past week, a 'contractor' came by to check the smoke alarms when I was out of the office. Turns out the company they worked for didn't exist, and when I decided to do a little digging I found they'd bugged the smoke detectors! I ended up finding four of them, one in each room. All the names on the sign-in sheet were found out to be locals, but when we checked up on them none of them matched the looks of the guys on the security cam footage. They even bugged the one in the toilet, I don't really get the point of that one though!"

Ruslan laughed and eyed Max at this point making it clear he knew the bugs placed in the smoke detectors were decoys. He took another drag and coughed a bit when exhaling.

"Man, those Confederate cigarettes have a kick! He took a drink of water before continuing "Back on topic, I also checked the computer to see if they did anything to it and I had the IT guys check out the hard drive and they said everything was fine. Getting into the computer doesn't mean a whole lot unless the Reich really wants to look at some budgeting spreadsheets or print off coupons for a free sub. Anything that applies to our situation back in the mainland is mailed to Pax by Vet Post and then couriered over to our people in the State."

He took another drag and extinguished the cigarette in the ashtray built into the case. "Speaking of subs, I don't know about you but I'm starving. How about you give me a quick rundown of how you want us to be involved and then we'll head out and grab some lunch? We can take my car, I know some great places around here."

Again eyeing Max, he pulled a second cigarette from the case and lit it.

"I've also got some files on hand that were sent over last week about important installations in the State that we'll want to target, we can go over those some more when we get back from lunch. I don't like taking anything about the mainland away from the office since you never know who's listening when you're out in public. I could keep rambling on all day about this stuff...back to you, Max."


"The difficulty which the Reich hqas," – Max said, as he was becoming inspired with his own lie, "is that their idea doesn't match reality. And you know what they say – you can evade reality, but you cannot evade the consequences of evading reality. Now, of course, you can feed people rationed food bricks, and you can ban alcohol and drugs and gambling and porn and chocolate and cheese… and what you'll achieve is that everyone is poor, and everyone wants something that will elevate them from the drudgery of life – and of course, while Reich officers get slightly better food and better shifts than the average slave toiling twenty-five hours a day in the munitions factories… I'm certain I'd rather be a factory manager in Allanea than a slave overseer in the Reich. " – he pondered for a moment as he puffed on his cigarette. This story was plausible – at least plausible enough, he thought, that whoever was listening on the other side of the line would consider it. "Consider those people – they have power, yes, power over thousands of slaves, but it is difficult to parlay it into the sort of luxury that you'd associate with a position like that."

"Therefore… smuggling. Food. Wines. Paintings. Can you imagine what half a pound of brie will fetch once it crosses the border? If you somehow got into the Reich with a few bars of dark chocolate, or a few wheels of cheese, they would be increasing in value with every mile you make towards the big cities. If you were in the capital – and if you survived your route there – they'd probably be worth their weight in silver, perhaps even gold. And now suppose – suppose – a Reich port official was blackmailed by the man who supplied his fine Xirniumite wine? Oh, he would then himself be a slave to his blackmailer. In some cases we do not even need to blackmail – sometimes the man who supplies the illicit good manages to plant a bug in his client's car, or their home or office. It's even possible to place a tracker inside your victim if you get them to swallow it. There are people in the Reich who think themselves perfectly loyal to the authorities, or at least who think of themselves as lawbreakers rather than outright traitors – but they are supplying us with all manner of secret information."

"Come now. Let's go get a coffee," – said Isayev, feigning nonchalance. "You said it yourself, they're incompetent. We'll likely spot it if anyone is tailing us."

If a Kraven agent were listening, they'd probably be laughing now. Of course, Isayev intended to have the last laugh.
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Vetalia
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Corporate Bordello

Postby Vetalia » Thu Jan 23, 2020 8:00 pm

Allanea and Reich Ears Only

Allanea wrote:"The difficulty which the Reich hqas," – Max said, as he was becoming inspired with his own lie, "is that their idea doesn't match reality. And you know what they say – you can evade reality, but you cannot evade the consequences of evading reality. Now, of course, you can feed people rationed food bricks, and you can ban alcohol and drugs and gambling and porn and chocolate and cheese… and what you'll achieve is that everyone is poor, and everyone wants something that will elevate them from the drudgery of life – and of course, while Reich officers get slightly better food and better shifts than the average slave toiling twenty-five hours a day in the munitions factories… I'm certain I'd rather be a factory manager in Allanea than a slave overseer in the Reich. " – he pondered for a moment as he puffed on his cigarette. This story was plausible – at least plausible enough, he thought, that whoever was listening on the other side of the line would consider it. "Consider those people – they have power, yes, power over thousands of slaves, but it is difficult to parlay it into the sort of luxury that you'd associate with a position like that."


"I'll go a step further, I'd rather be living on the street around here than a slave overseer in the Reich, not even whoever they call their leader! At least it's warm most of the time and you can do what you want, not shuffle around on food bricks. The worst part is they banned cigarettes in the State, at least in my mind," Ruslan laughed casually, but carefully avoided going too far out of character despite his burning desire to use his full vocabulary of profanities to describe the Reich. He took another deep drag and exhaled towards the ceiling.

"But you're absolutely right. Except for the Capitol police they're human, hell, more than a few of their overseers were probably taken from the State and the rest of the region. I've heard there's been trouble in Norska with this sort of thing, And the State..." He paused as Max continued.

"Therefore… smuggling. Food. Wines. Paintings. Can you imagine what half a pound of brie will fetch once it crosses the border? If you somehow got into the Reich with a few bars of dark chocolate, or a few wheels of cheese, they would be increasing in value with every mile you make towards the big cities. If you were in the capital – and if you survived your route there – they'd probably be worth their weight in silver, perhaps even gold. And now suppose – suppose – a Reich port official was blackmailed by the man who supplied his fine Xirniumite wine? Oh, he would then himself be a slave to his blackmailer. In some cases we do not even need to blackmail – sometimes the man who supplies the illicit good manages to plant a bug in his client's car, or their home or office. It's even possible to place a tracker inside your victim if you get them to swallow it. There are people in the Reich who think themselves perfectly loyal to the authorities, or at least who think of themselves as lawbreakers rather than outright traitors – but they are supplying us with all manner of secret information.:


Ruslan laughed again, happy to that Max knew more about Vetalia and the Reich than he let on and decided to feed some actual information mixed with disinformation to the listeners to send them on a wild goose chase. "Funny you say 'brie'...do you know what the most smuggled items are into the State? Dairy products, alcohol and cigarettes. And what are the most exported From what I've heard the Reich types love them even more than we do..."

"Now how do they get it in? Ever seen a Vetalian-made MG-42 for the Reich? Wood stock and top-quality manufacture, best in the Reich...except one minor issue. The butt can be hollowed to form a small cavity and filled with whatever you want, in small quantities. Our people in the State supply chain for the guns request the right alloys for the fasteners to make the weight within Reich manufacturing tolerance. Just pop it open and you've got the goods. Now, that's not going to bring in a wheel of cheese but it will bring in some smokes, some drugs or a mini of hard liquor. We send most of those guns south to the Peninsula, the Reich likes its rum down there. If we can't beat 'em, make 'em wasted." Ruslan laughed and extinguished his cigarette.

"Come now. Let's go get a coffee," – said Isayev, feigning nonchalance. "You said it yourself, they're incompetent. We'll likely spot it if anyone is tailing us."

If a Kraven agent were listening, they'd probably be laughing now. Of course, Isayev intended to have the last laugh.


"I hear you, let's head out."

Ruslan led Max out the door and down the hall to the elevators, letting Masha know they would be heading to lunch. He pressed the button and then turned to Max, motioning to take the stairs. After descending several dozen flights they reached the lobby and Ruslan again greeted the security guard and headed towards the walkway to the parking garage. They then arrived at his parked car and Ruslan placed the keyfob between the tailfins on the back of the car. He motioned again to the garage exit and after walking away from the car for a distance spoke again to Max

"Let's walk over there Max. I tipped them off about the car before knowing they did something to it already. After our last chat they might have sabotaged it....or not. I'll have my guys from the MOS take a look at it just in case. Either way, it's a lot safer out on the street." Ruslan greeted the parking attendant and exchanged small talk before he and Max entered into the bright sunlight and heat of a Vetalian enclave experiencing the Southern Gholgoth summer.
Economic Left/Right: 1.63
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Allanea
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Postby Allanea » Fri Jan 24, 2020 7:41 am

As the pair walked down the street, Maxim appeared to be unusually comfortable – for an Allanean at least – with the hot weather. Having lived for years in the Allanean Southern Isles, he was quite familiar with what a Liberty-City native would have called soul-withering heat. This, of course, made him perfect for assignments in hot climates.

As they paced the street, Isaev took care to ensure that they were not being tailed, but he allowed his counterpart to pick the route, speaking only when he was certain they were not in earshot of anyone.

In actuality, we need an in. We need to start building a network with branches and salesmen throughout the country. The businesses we spoke of are a good start.

It would be immediately obvious to the Vetalian that the Allanean was referring to spy matters – but to a random passerby it would appear he was merely a businessman talking about business affairs.
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