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"Orion, Vandenberg, comms check." [IC][MT][App]

A staging-point for declarations of war and other major diplomatic events. [In character]
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Cayucas
Secretary
 
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Founded: Nov 19, 2020
New York Times Democracy

"Orion, Vandenberg, comms check." [IC][MT][App]

Postby Cayucas » Sat Dec 19, 2020 6:12 pm



OOC
As Gamemaster, it's proper that I should post the OP rather than the puppet, regardless of the fact that it's the same person. Save for short replies to my own actions to minimize post spam, this will be the only longform NPC action posted directly by yours truly.



Image
"That wasn't supposed to happen"

Vandenberg Mission Control, Vandenberg AFB, CA
United States of America

3:08 AM, PST

"...Lock the doors."

Office aides briskly made work of the Flight Director's command. Save for the occasional gasp at the moment and the hum of computers, the room had gone quiet. Normally Mission Control would be in a seemingly constant back-and-forth chatter with whatever flight was in action, but today that chatter came to an abrupt halt. 7-ACE-4, the fourth maintenance mission of the 7th Aerospace Combat Engineer squad, had gone dark. Every manned and unmanned mission the United States conducts is in a seemingly perpetual communication with ground control. If not explicitly through flight control or verbal communication, than certainly in flight data and vitals. But today, 7-ACE-4 had gone dark. Totally dark. No radio chatter, no flight data, no vitals. Nothing. With Mission Control unable to get anything from 7-ACE-4 but a radar ping, Mission control had no choice but to assume the worst.

"Orion, Vandenberg, comms check." The Flight Director was mentally taking tally of the possibilities. At this point, 7-ACE-4 was at an altitude workable for Low Earth Orbit. Their mission was at an higher altitude, though. Perhaps a critical malfunction compromised the vessel. Until Mission Control could get confirmation from other Space Force assets, they had to assume there was a chance 7-ACE-4 was still alive and their vessel was sound. The Mission Control team was scrambling to do what they could to confirm the mission's wellbeing. The Flight Director started asking to get the rest of Space Operations Command available to confirm this possibility.

Not even five minutes later a knock rapped from one of the locked doors. It was one of Vandenberg's vice commanders. "Open up in there, it's Colonel Reeves."

The Flight Director was thankful for a reason to stop having his focus tuned entirely to the status report in front of Mission Control, even if it stopped being useful some fifteen minutes ago. He was the first to reach the door and open it for the Colonel. "You're a sight for sore eyes at this awful hour, Sir. You have any news for us?"

Col. Reeves kept his voice low. "Yeah ... keep it down. You got an empty office around here?"

The Flight Director nodded and ushered Col. Reeves in. Col. Reeves wasn't the senior commander of Vandenberg nor the wing the 21st SOPS was beholden to. But at this rate, having any superior to answer to offload some of the pressure to was good. The Flight Director took Reeves to his office and closed the door behind them. "So what can you tell me, Sir? We haven't had any luck reaching the Spades from here."

"Nor have we. At least not exactly. We were able to confirm the crew is still alive and their vessel is in working condition. The Surveillance Network suggests that the vessel is changing course."

"Well that's good, Sir, the crew's alive and the vessel is well. I'm assuming they're aborting the mission?"

Col. Reeves had a sort of sideways glance and gave pause before a response. "Director, I assume Mission Control wouldn't have any way of knowing the current situation of the Spades. That correct?"

The Flight Director gave it thought and figured he had it right. "Seems so, Sir. All they know is that we've lost all communication. Don't think they'd know why."

Col. Reeves looked down with a furrow and a tut. He made a decision with how this was going to go. "Let your Mission know that higher command is taking direct control of the situation. No one is to speak of the mission's outcome. You and the rest of Mission Control may be talked with to make sure of that if it proves necessary. Don't consider this a direct relief so much as a ... a shift in command. Understood?"

Not that Col. Reeves was trying to hide it, but the Flight Director could sense that something bigger was happening. Something worse than a classified vessel exploding in the upper atmosphere, whatever could be worse than that. In all honesty, he didn't want to know. If it wasn't worse, it was at least above his pay grade. "Understood, Sir. I'll make sure the rest of Mission Control follows."

Col. Reeves smiled at the sound of the Flight Director's compliance. "Very good. You'll hear from us if any relevant developments require your attention. In the meantime, keep your data handy. We may need it later."


Image


Situation Room — the White House, Washington DC

6:49 AM, EST

"Ten-hut!" An NCO opened the Situation Room's door. President Bartlet and Chief of Staff Leo McGarry followed suit, prompting the room's occupants to rise at attention.

"Keep your seats!" Bartlet said as the two of them took their positions at the head of the table. The various generals and relevant secretaries returned to their positions at ease. Bartlet resumed reading the briefing he had on hand, boldly labelled classified and dashed red bordered. Not that it was unusual for his briefings to be classified, just that this one seemed even more so and was a separate from his daily. He was well aware by now that it meant today would be a long one. "What's the matter, can't we have breakfast in peace? Leo tells me we have a developing situation in Space of all places."

Chairman Fitzwallace took initiative to verbally brief the President of the problem. "Mr. President, at 03:08 Pacific Time, the 7th Aerospace Combat Engineers, aka. the Spades, ceased all communications with the Space Force. Vandenberg Air Force Base stopped receiving radio chatter, data transmission, or any transmission in fact from the specialized Orion spacecraft they manned. At 03:12, the United States Space Surveillance Network confirmed that Orion was going AWOL from its mission and had changed its course for an interception with the International Space Station. Our estimates indicate that the Spades will reach interception in approximately 20 hours. Between orbit matching and docking, it may take the Spades two to four hours to properly rendezvous with the ISS."

"Well," Bartlet said, "I can't imagine the Spades intend to give the fine men and women of the ISS a candy gram."

"No they don't," Fitzwallace confirmed. "If the Spades were aborting their mission, they have clear orders to de-orbit their vessel rather than dock with the ISS. The Space Force believes that the Spades managed to purposely disabled Orion's communications on their own, rather than this being a malfunction in the vessel. Mr. President, as it currently stands, we have reason to believe the Spades have a plan to put the ISS and its lives in jeopardy. The spades are flying a specialized Orion vessel with a cabin, payload, and final stage adapted for their mission. The Spades are highly trained and equipped for aerospace maintenance, repair, decommissioning, and demolitions. They know what they're doing and they're capable of doing it. If they wanted to fix their communications or abort the mission, they would've done so by now. But not only have they failed to do either of these, but they're actively pursuing the Space Station. We currently have no choice but to prepare for a worst case scenario and defend the ISS."

Bartlet was concerned of the developing situation, but was more than capable to maintain a cool exterior in it. "So what are we considering? I'm assuming we can't just shoot the Spades out of the sky, otherwise we wouldn't have this conversation."

Gen. Raymond, Chief of Space Operations, took his turn. "No we can't, Mr. President, not without making this a global incident. Shooting the Orion down would be immediately noticed by the likes of the Chinese, who would likely take pleasure in putting this under worldwide scrutiny. Letting this become a public incident may undermine our diplomatic authority. Shooting down the Orion may also possibly put the ISS in jeopardy of collision with the resulting debris. In sum, simply shooting down the Spades guarantees this becomes a problem on the world stage. We think that this is a matter that calls for men at the scene. Special forces can likely handle this scenario."

Leo McGarry had concerns with the idea. "I would imagine, but as I recall we have practically anyone substantial deployed as-is. Where can we pull from, Fitz?"

Fitz shook his head. "We shouldn't need to. We have a contingency plan for this sort of situation that involves calling on some of our allied nation states. I'm not so sure I'd call it multilateral, or even official, but we have a list of nations and operatives within them who we would consider suitable for such an unprecedented mission."

If it was suitable for Fitz, it was suitable for Leo. "Very well. Give me that list and where you want the operatives to meet and we'll make some calls."

Leo and Bartlet stood up, once again prompting the room at attention. "Thank you, everybody. We'll take care of what we need to do from here. Keep us updated throughout the day with any developments."

A "Thank you, Mr. President," reverberated through the room with the president's departure.



With Fitz's list in hand, Leo McGarry directly called the leadership of the noted nations that a situation was developing that, according to Chair Fitzwallace, warranted a special forces presence. Fitz's recommended operative was requested to be present at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station as soon as possible. The noted nations had clearance to directly transport their operative to Cape Canaveral for briefing and processing. An official such as a (primary or Deputy) Chief of Staff, Communications Director, or ambassador was also suggested for a physical presence at the White House; regardless of title and position, the official should have high level security clearance. The necessity of a unified political strategy was emphasized, implying there's any chance of this mission going public. Discreetness in all transportation was highly encouraged given the circumstances.
Last edited by Cayucas on Tue Dec 22, 2020 12:28 am, edited 2 times in total.
The Republic of CayucasSol semper resurgent
Domestic Threat Level: Normal (5/5) • Conventional Force Deployment Likelihood: Normal (5/5)

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Cayucan, other country ambassadors to US makes unscheduled visit to White House | Prime Minister, President congratulate Joe Biden on inauguration

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Cayucas
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Founded: Nov 19, 2020
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Postby Cayucas » Tue Dec 22, 2020 12:45 am

Tomorrow's Harvest

Prime Minister's residence, the Ministry Complex, Horizons
The Republic of Cayucas

7:09 AM, EST


Prime Minister Athena Langer was finishing up breakfast when the Ministry Secretary knocked at the residence's front door. "Good morning, Madame Prime Minister! I trust you're up and ready?"

"Mrs. Duchamp! Good morning!" Langer got up from the dining table to open the door for her secretary. Mrs. Duchamp had the daily briefing with her, ready to read. It wasn't unusual to have the briefing ready by this time or earlier. What was unusual was having it personally delivered rather than left in the residence's mailbox, let alone personally delivered by someone approaching their senior like Mrs. Duchamp. "Please, come in, don't let the December air get to you! There's still some coffee if you'd like."

Mrs. Duchamp was charmed by Langer's hospitality. "Oh, you haven't let this office change your manners a bit, but I assure you I'm alright!" She handed Langer the briefing as she continued, "I just came by personally to let you know Leo McGarry called earlier. He wanted to speak to you personally, but I told him you weren't in the Office yet. Should I have the Operator call him in here?"

"I'll let the Operator know myself. Thank you kindly!" Langer gave Mrs. Duchamp a wave as she left. Shutting the door, Langer returned to the dining room. She picked up the receiver from the room's landline and sat down. "Operator, call back Leo for me, I'll take his call here."

A couple of rings pass before Leo picks up the phone. "Hello?"

"Good morning, Leo! I heard you called earlier? How's Mallory doing? How about Jed?"

Leo's warmth could be heard over the line. "Athena, good morning! I'd love to catch up and I'm sure Jed would love it too, but I'm afraid this won't be a good morning for that."

So much for chit-chat, Langer figured. "Something going on?"

Leo took to a serious tone with the conversation's purpose established. "Yeah, I'm afraid so ... Space Force tells us one of their missions just went AWOL and is en route to the ISS. We have our hands tied deployment speaking, so we're reaching out where we can to get some helping hands. Fitz told me I could potentially trust Cayucas to help us handle this discreetly."

"We'll help out however we can." Langer paused. She knew this was discussed before, but only loosely. "I don't recall if it was with me or with Defense, but I definitely recall the US Military meeting with us at some point to talk about some relevant ideas. I don't think any of us ended up signing anything, though. Y'know what Fitz or the rest of the Joint Chiefs are proposing?"

"Fitz and General Raymond told me that they want to send special forces to the ISS. I'm inclined to agree with their assessment, giving that I'm pretty sure that anyone with a telescope has a good chance to see us blow the rocket out of the sky. We're looking at an operative a country. Do you have anyone you can possibly send to Cape Canaveral?"

"I'm sure we do. I'll talk with MoD to come up with someone to send your way."

"Good. It'd be good to get some political muscle in DC, too. Not necessarily you if you're needed at home, so long as whoever you send has some sway in the government and has the security clearance. We're keeping the lid on this for as long as we can, and we need to make sure everyone else we involve does the same."

"Sounds about right, given the circumstances. I'd love to come, but I'm pretty sure if I came seemingly unprompted, it'll raise eyebrows." Langer took a moment to consider her options. "I'll send the Ambassador over. Theo Richards is someone I can trust to handle this. He should be able to keep in touch with me from the White House. An unscheduled appointment with the ambassador is likely going to be a bit more low-key."

"You're right, it should be. That should be just about everything for now. I'll keep you posted on developments as we're able to give them."

"I understand. I'll talk with MoD and our ambassador right away. Happy holidays, Leo."

"Happy holidays." Click.


Image


Canteen, Nelson Gale AFB

7:31 AM, EST


Captain Floyd Machado saw one of the CO's personal aides pass by as he ate breakfast. The aide walked with purpose and was fast approaching the CO. It seemed to be a pretty good indicator to finish up breakfast before it was cut short. The aide leaned into the CO, seeming to whisper something in his ear. The CO was making eye contact with Floyd now. That seemed to be a really good indicator to finish up breakfast before it was cut short. The CO getting up to approach Floyd right after the aide departed was an indicator that it was too little too late.

"Keep at ease, Captain. Follow me." Floyd's senior wing pilot was about to follow suit, but the CO motioned him down. This seemed to be exclusively for Floyd.

Floyd was keeping step with the CO as they made way for his office. "May I ask what's the purpose, Sir?"

"Not quite yet. We'll talk about it when we get behind closed doors." The two continued on. Reaching the CO's office, he closed the door as Floyd took position in front of the CO's desk. The CO took to the other side, resuming to read the mess of files he had on hand. "I'm seeing here that you're one of the up and coming soldiers we have on deck. Would you say that sounds about right?"

"I'd strive to do my fair share of worthwhile here, Sir." Floyd noticed that the CO was looking through a mess of files on troops on the airbase, Floyd's included. Perhaps this could be the promotion he's been eyeing. He knew his chances at such a thing were slim, but being so early in the day, he figured it was a fairly good time to roll out such a position.

"I can see that. You did some impressive work in the Caribbean and the Middle East. And ... " The CO let out a low whistle.

Floyd gave a chuckle with a hint of nervousness. "Yeah, I'm fairly proud of that one, Sir."

The CO gave his file one last look-over then brought it down. "Captain, I got word from the Chief of Special Forces earlier this morning. The US is in a bind with a mission involving the US Space Force and they're looking for operatives to help them out. There was talk of getting someone from RSTS, but I said we had a promising pilot that could do the job. We got confirmation just now saying they'll take my recommendation if the operative was up to it."

"You know what my role would be, Sir?"

The CO shook his head. "Not entirely, other than it has to do with the ISS. But what I do know, at least implying they know what they're doing, is that you're gonna be the man who actually brings them up and brings them down. Are you up to that, Captain Machado?"

Floyd gave the premise little thought. It would be a prestigious one to take, even if he didn't end up being the mission teamleader himself. Even if he wasn't, handling successfully could be his key to advancement back home. Worst come to worse, it'd be a pleasure to be on the mission rather than one of those stick-up-the-asses RSTS troopers. "When do I leave, Sir?"

"As soon as you pack your things. We have transportation arranged to take you exclusively to Cape Canaveral Space Force Base. They'll brief and process you and the others there. Dismissed."

Floyd was about a step out when he turned around to give the CO one last look. "Oh, and Sir? ... Thank you."

"Thank you, Captain. Knock 'em dead."
Last edited by Cayucas on Tue Dec 22, 2020 12:50 am, edited 1 time in total.
The Republic of CayucasSol semper resurgent
Domestic Threat Level: Normal (5/5) • Conventional Force Deployment Likelihood: Normal (5/5)

PRS Highlights
Cayucan, other country ambassadors to US makes unscheduled visit to White House | Prime Minister, President congratulate Joe Biden on inauguration

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The Quarvian Hegemony
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Authoritarian Democracy

Postby The Quarvian Hegemony » Tue Dec 22, 2020 1:42 pm

1520 20th Street, NW Washington, D.C. | 9:32 AM
A rotund man in a fine suit and a tall stocky man in a modest one step outside, and into a waiting taxi. "Eisenhower Executive Office" the rotund man said and the taxi took off into the streets through DuPont Circle. In just a few minutes they had arrived at Penn Ave. They mixed with the other suits that made their way through the promenade. The rotund man flashed his badge to the guard at the West Wing entrance. "Lero Wetler, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Quarvian Hegemony." he is quickly lead to the Roosevelt Room, where White House Staffers are preparing the room for what is likely to be a very tense few hours.

The Official Residence | 7:21 AM
The Premier was busy in his office, getting an early start to the day. The phone rang, after a brief call he hung up and sighed. "Mar, get me SpecOf"

"Abet, there's been a situation..."

Karot Spaceport | 7:41 AM
"Karma, your being shipped out, Canaveral. I don't know what for, something serious it seems, but i've been told to keep it shtum. You're taking a Beechcraft to Patrick SFB and a car down to Canaveral, You'll be briefed on the way."

"Aye sir" he said grabbing his GO Bag. He was of medium build, short cut brown hair, smooth face, dressed in dark blue fatigues.

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Nacrad
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Posts: 1080
Founded: Jan 16, 2020
Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Nacrad » Tue Dec 22, 2020 9:22 pm

ASPER Headquarters
18 Innovation Ave., Central & Northern, Riverfort, Nacrad.
1853, NST.


A phone call rang at the office of a communications officer. Chatting to his colleagues in Cantonese about their dinner, he can't help but to be bugged by this call.

"Yes, hello, ASPER. How may I help you?" He impatiently asked, only to be greeted with an even more urgent voice, "Hello, I'm from the US Space Force. May I please talk to the chief of staff of ASPER?"

"Yeah, whatever you say." He took the phone to ASPER's chief, General John Kwong, "Sir, someone from the US Space Force would like to have a word with you."

He frowned. Normally, communication between ASPER and the US Space Force is through encrypted text channels. What makes this different? What's the occasion that required verbal communication? He pondered, and came to a conclusion. There was a Big Deal. Not just a big deal like some space debris hitting the ISS, but a Big Deal. Much bigger than that. "Enter. Please give me a few minutes alone," he ordered, as he sighed and sipped on his mug of coffee.

"Hello, I'm General Kwong from the Nacradian Air Force Space Peacekeeping, Exploration and Research Department. You must be...?"
Last edited by Nacrad on Tue Dec 22, 2020 9:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Map 1 map 2 map 3
For every bad reply, 1 person will be executed. People executed: 2

International News: Pro-NAC troops besiege Richmond, Va. | Vermont, Ma., Penn., Maine ally with USFG, Dakotas, Idaho, Arkansas ally with NAC 
Domestic News: 23/01/2021 (SAT) | Kongsi Maoist Insurgents take Jinggangshan, declares re-establishment of PR Kongsi w/ JGS as provisional capital | Parliament approves intervention in US in favour of USFG | Minister of Defence: Risk to nat'l sovereignty and int'l peace at "all-time high" | UXO dating back to WW2 uncovered during (Z) line extension construction, detonated, none injured | Riverfort 21/13°C | Amoy 17/12°C | Taipei 24/16°C |
Pandemic:Total: 9,135; Active: 2,210; Dead: 166; New: 0

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The Cayucan Puppet
Civil Servant
 
Posts: 7
Founded: Dec 08, 2020
Democratic Socialists

Postby The Cayucan Puppet » Thu Dec 24, 2020 12:08 am

Nacrad wrote:"Hello, I'm General Kwong from the Nacradian Air Force Space Peacekeeping, Exploration and Research Department. You must be...?"

the White House
Image

"Leo McGarry, Chief of Staff to the President of the United States. I'm here with General John Raymond, Chief of Space Operations. It's good to speak with you, General Kwong. Before we go any further, I'd like to underscore this is a matter to be handled discreetly. With that said, I'll let General Raymond bring you up to speed with the specifics."

Gen. Raymond gave his assessment of the situation. "General Kwong, at 3:08 AM Pacific Standard Time, an aerospace maintenance and decommissioning taskforce ceased all communications with our assets. Shortly after, we confirmed that the taskforce was still alive. They have gone off mission course and maneuvered towards interception with the International Space Station. Our current estimates indicate they'll rendezvous and dock with the ISS in approximately 20 to 24 hours."

Leo continued off of Raymond's birds eye summary. "We currently don't know what the taskforce has in store for the ISS, but what we do know is that they're equipped to do damage. A lot of it. We're assuming this can be a worst case scenario. We can't eliminate the taskforce with a missile. That'll be too difficult to cover up and we have a high chance of it becoming a public incident. General Raymond here and Admiral Fitzwallace, our Chair of the Joint Chief of Staffs, has told us special forces is the best option we have to handle this. We're looking for an operative a country. Do you have anyone you can possibly send to Cape Canaveral?"

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Nacrad
Ambassador
 
Posts: 1080
Founded: Jan 16, 2020
Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Nacrad » Thu Dec 24, 2020 12:33 am

ASPER HQ
"I'm sorry, they WHAT? On behalf of ASPER, I'm sure Nacrad is happy to help our historical ally."

He panicked for a moment. He knows that this is a high-stakes mission, which, once failed, will have catastrophic consequences.

"As a matter of fact, coincidentally, yes. I was just about to send one of our brigadiers, Brigadier Cheng, to the ISS for his tour of duty. I'm quite sure that he is happy to help avert this crisis. Perhaps, then, we should arrange an online meeting to brief him on this change of plan?" He proposed after thinking for a short while, "Perhaps we could have a meeting on the 20th? He probably isn't away by then. I'll make a note of our plans."
Map 1 map 2 map 3
For every bad reply, 1 person will be executed. People executed: 2

International News: Pro-NAC troops besiege Richmond, Va. | Vermont, Ma., Penn., Maine ally with USFG, Dakotas, Idaho, Arkansas ally with NAC 
Domestic News: 23/01/2021 (SAT) | Kongsi Maoist Insurgents take Jinggangshan, declares re-establishment of PR Kongsi w/ JGS as provisional capital | Parliament approves intervention in US in favour of USFG | Minister of Defence: Risk to nat'l sovereignty and int'l peace at "all-time high" | UXO dating back to WW2 uncovered during (Z) line extension construction, detonated, none injured | Riverfort 21/13°C | Amoy 17/12°C | Taipei 24/16°C |
Pandemic:Total: 9,135; Active: 2,210; Dead: 166; New: 0

User avatar
The Cayucan Puppet
Civil Servant
 
Posts: 7
Founded: Dec 08, 2020
Democratic Socialists

Postby The Cayucan Puppet » Thu Dec 24, 2020 1:12 am

Nacrad wrote:"Perhaps, then, we should arrange an online meeting to brief him on this change of plan?" He proposed after thinking for a short while, "Perhaps we could have a meeting on the 20th? He probably isn't away by then. I'll make a note of our plans."

the White House
Image

Leo was pleased to hear Gen. Kwong's enthusiasm, but had some concerns. "I'm happy to heard your country's willingness in our time of need, but we don't have the time to wait until the 20th. We need to have Cheng in the air sooner than that so our operative pool can defend the ISS. We're having operatives meet at Cape Canaveral for briefing and processing. We'll brief him in detail when he arrives and help equip him for the mission.

"Is there any chance you can have Cheng with us today, General Kwong? If you need it, we can arrange transportation to have him at Cape Canaveral as soon as possible."

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Nacrad
Ambassador
 
Posts: 1080
Founded: Jan 16, 2020
Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Nacrad » Thu Dec 24, 2020 1:26 am

ASPER HQ
"I mean, I believe he's still here in the HQ, but I believe he is in the canteen. Would you like to talk to him now?" He asked as he stood up starting to make his way to the canteen.

The Canteen
"So, I tell ya, those people have no chance to beat me!" Brigadier Cheng laughed with his friends, chatting. He has a hastily prepared burger in his hand, not knowing what's to come. He thought that his upcoming mission is to be a routine mission on the ISS. How wrong would he be? Nobody has any idea.
Last edited by Nacrad on Thu Dec 24, 2020 1:37 am, edited 2 times in total.
Map 1 map 2 map 3
For every bad reply, 1 person will be executed. People executed: 2

International News: Pro-NAC troops besiege Richmond, Va. | Vermont, Ma., Penn., Maine ally with USFG, Dakotas, Idaho, Arkansas ally with NAC 
Domestic News: 23/01/2021 (SAT) | Kongsi Maoist Insurgents take Jinggangshan, declares re-establishment of PR Kongsi w/ JGS as provisional capital | Parliament approves intervention in US in favour of USFG | Minister of Defence: Risk to nat'l sovereignty and int'l peace at "all-time high" | UXO dating back to WW2 uncovered during (Z) line extension construction, detonated, none injured | Riverfort 21/13°C | Amoy 17/12°C | Taipei 24/16°C |
Pandemic:Total: 9,135; Active: 2,210; Dead: 166; New: 0

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New Curon
Political Columnist
 
Posts: 4
Founded: Dec 19, 2020
Iron Fist Consumerists

Postby New Curon » Thu Dec 24, 2020 1:40 am

New Vonneburg Castle, East Wing
1976 Washington Ave., New Vonneburg, New Curon.
2:38 HAST [7:38 EST]


"So why exactly did you let anyone in at this hour? There'd better be a damn good reason for the breach of security, let alone for waking me up for this," groaned the somewhat overweight man as he rubbed at his eyes. A crooked name-tag on his hastily put together suit identified the man as Rayford Ihnen, New Curon's Minister of Foreign Affairs.

The young man before the minister looked nervous; he had only recently been promoted to captain of the night guard, and he was clearly still scared of Ihnen's bluster. "Minister, the US Ambassador is here to see you. He claims he has urgent news from the States that requires your immediate attention. He has an Omega level security code; it couldn't wait. Minister Cerceo has also been alerted and should be joining you in room 101."

"Bah, of course it's the US. The one nation I can't tell to fuck off until sunrise," he spat, then sighed. "Still, something big must be up if he's gotten the Minister of Defense involved. Those two have hated each other since last March."

"H-he refused to give me any details, sir. He insisted that secrecy is paramount in the matter."

"Fine, I'll give the man his meeting. Get one of your patrolmen to fetch me a coffee," the Minister demanded, punctuated with a yawn. "Two sugar, one cream. Actually, make that three sugars. It's going to be a very long day."

The man marched off to room 101 without waiting for a confirmation or reply from the captain. He hastily made his way down the long, barren hallway to the briefing rooms. When he reached the door of room 101, he paused for a moment, filled with a sense of unease, before throwing the cold, steel door open and heading inside.



Undisclosed Location
3:07 HAST [8:07 EST]



Vulture crouched beneath the window of the disheveled apartment in the cool rain. His targets tonight were prepared; too prepared. The team's intelligence had found their armory of unregistered firearms, but these idiots were expecting the team's arrival, and three of them were standing on alert inside. Something had tipped them off. And someone was going to pay for it.

But that was a problem for later. Right now, Kassim had to take these targets out, preferably without making too much noise he would have to cover up later. Carefully, he drew his suppressed M18.

"Overwatch, targets on alert. Do you have them lined up?"

"Affirmative, commander. In my sights."

"Copy that," Kassim replied, voice barely above a whisper as he slowly rose to open the window. "I'm heading in-"

Kassim was suddenly interrupted by a new, tinny, and unbearably loud voice in his earpiece, demanding "COMMANDER KASSIM, YOU HAVE A NEW ASSIGNMENT. PRIORITY BLACK."

The unexpected noise made Kassim practically jump and misfire his weapon, shattering the glass in front of him and missing all of the possible targets inside. Luckily, his sniper was on point. Kassim only barely registered the report of the gunshots as two of the marks lifelessly hit the floor with dull thuds. The third panicked and leapt behind the kitchen counter; when he peeked out to fire a moment later, Kassim took him out with a clean shot to the head. He sighed, paused for a moment, then crouched back behind the wall.

"What?!" hissed Kassim in a venomous whisper, "I'm a little busy right now, can this wait?!"

"NEGATIVE COMMANDER. YOU ARE TO REPORT AT THE GROVIER MEMORIAL AIR-FORCE BASE. YOUR FLIGHT IS AT 0400 HOURS. AFFIRMATIVE?"

"Flight? What flight?! What the hell is going on here?"

"YOU WILL BE BRIEFED BY THE MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS ON THE FLIGHT TO CAPE CANAVERAL. THIS IS ALL THAT WILL BE DISCLOSED ON THIS FREQUENCY. PLEASE ARRIVE ON TIME, COMMANDER. WE CANNOT AFFORD DELAYS."

Great, that rat of a minister was involved on a mission to the US. This was going to be outstanding.
He sighed.
"Affirmative. I'll be there. Overwatch, clean up this mess and radio for a new vehicle. I'm taking the one we arrived in."

"A 'thank you for saving my life' every once in a while would be nice, commander," replied his subordinate. Kassim did not dignify it with a reply as he jogged back to the unmarked van. He was going to need to run every red light in the city to make it to the air-force base in under an hour.

User avatar
The Cayucan Puppet
Civil Servant
 
Posts: 7
Founded: Dec 08, 2020
Democratic Socialists

Postby The Cayucan Puppet » Thu Dec 24, 2020 2:47 am

Nacrad wrote:ASPER HQ
"I mean, I believe he's still here in the HQ, but I believe he is in the canteen. Would you like to talk to him now?" He asked as he stood up starting to make his way to the canteen.

The Canteen
"So, I tell ya, those people have no chance to beat me!" Brigadier Cheng laughed with his friends, chatting. He has a hastily prepared burger in his hand, not knowing what's to come. He thought that his upcoming mission is to be a routine mission on the ISS. How wrong would he be? Nobody has any idea.

the White House
Image

"No need for him to join our call now, just send him to Cape Canaveral as soon as you can. The sooner the operatives are in one place for this mission, the better."

Leo paused for a moment, then remembered something else to bring up. "By the way, if you haven't already, you may want to get a hold of someone high up politically in Nacrad. Prime Minister Stone, his Chief of Staff, an ambassador, anyone with about the same amount of sway. I'm not too particular about their title so long as they have security clearance. We're keeping the lid on this for as long as we can, and we need to make sure everyone else we involve is in step."



Image
Who goes where?

Roosevelt Room — the White House, Washington DC
United States of America


9:36 AM, EST

The Quarvian Hegemony wrote:The rotund man flashed his badge to the guard at the West Wing entrance. "Lero Wetler, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Quarvian Hegemony." he is quickly lead to the Roosevelt Room, where White House Staffers are preparing the room for what is likely to be a very tense few hours.

Josh Lyman, the Deputy Chief of Staff, takes notice of Wetler biding his time in the Roosevelt Room. Josh was one of two senior staff aware of the developing situation, McGarry included. Josh was tasked with arranging the think-tank meeting. "Ah! You must be Ambassador Wetler! Pleasure to meet you, I'm Josh Lyman."

Josh is not even able to reach out his hand fully in an offer to shake hands when McGarry steps in. "Josh, a moment."

"Excuse me for a minute." The two of them step outside and close the doors behind them. Josh is looking around puzzled. "What's wrong with showing my face and getting to know the guests?"

McGarry doesn't have patience for an attitude at the moment. He lowers his voice to minimize encounters with creeping ears. "I don't have a problem of what Josh, I have a problem of where. You really think we ought to have this meeting in the Roosevelt? You see the glass windows? I can practically feel the prying eyes in there. We can't have a meeting like this here."

Josh and McGarry step back into the Roosevelt. McGarry walks up to the ambassador. "Ambassador Welter, I'm Leo McGarry. It's a pleasure to have you here. I'm sorry if there was any confusion but we're not having our meeting here. If you may please follow me. We'll be conducting our business in the err ... the Steam Pipe Trunk Distribution Venue, down in the basement. We have a conference room there that'll suit our particular needs."

User avatar
Nacrad
Ambassador
 
Posts: 1080
Founded: Jan 16, 2020
Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Nacrad » Thu Dec 24, 2020 4:56 am

"If you do say so, sir. I will be arranging a ZNyoom meeting with President Smith and Prime Minister Stone as soon as possible. Would it be suitable for you to join in a couple hours so that you can also brief them, or would you prefer that to happen separately? I have invited them to a meeting at midnight Zulu time."

Meanwhile, he is holding the phone in the crook of the neck, as he quickly typed an email inviting President Smith and Prime Minister Stone to a meeting at 8 p.m. Nacrad Standard Time, that is, about 7 a.m. EST. The invitation was taken up, all that's left is to wait for it to be time to start.
Map 1 map 2 map 3
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Cayucas
Secretary
 
Posts: 36
Founded: Nov 19, 2020
New York Times Democracy

Postby Cayucas » Sun Dec 27, 2020 6:57 pm

The Steam Pipe Trunk Distribution Venue

West Wing Lobby entrance – the White House, Washington DC
United States of America

9:40 AM, EST

Theo Richards was not in too much of a rush to get to the White House. Richards has had the pleasure of being the Cayucan Ambassador to the US for the past three prime ministers. He was a well dressed man with a well developed portfolio. Richards was well versed with the way events usually ebbed and flowed through capitals, especially in Washington. It was the sort of place where it sometimes felt like minutes passed in decades. At other times, decades passed in minutes. Richards was acutely aware of the importance in the task assigned to him by PM Langer. But he was also aware that so long as the public was in the dark, time would crawl at a comfortable slog. Freshly brewed coffee was in a travel mug in one hand. In the other he held a bagged pastry. He had a messenger bag slung over his shoulder. Among the personal effects was a well organized kit of Cayucan documents and electronics to keep him informed and connected to Horizons.

The embassy's state car pulled up to the lobby entrance and came to a stop. McGarry was waiting at the entrance curb for the ambassador's arrival. Richards stepped out of the car and shook McGarry's hand. "It's always a pleasure to be here, no matter the circumstances."

McGarry gave a slight nod and smile. "And a pleasure to host you, Ambassador Richards. Please, follow me. We've moved our meeting to the Steam Pipe Trunk Distribution Venue."

"Not the Roosevelt, eh?"

"We had concerns over how it'd look. Moving it downstairs gives us just a dash more privacy. We'll have about the same hardware down there anyway." McGarry escorted Richards to the West Wing basement. Opposite of the Situation Room entrance, guarded by a Marine in formal dress, was the entrance to the venue's conference room. It was a nondescript metal door which, at least for now, was guarded by secret service. McGarry gave the guards the meeting's code-word—"Odyssey"—and the door was opened for McGarry and Richards.


Image

The Steam Pipe venue conference room, as seen in a previous meeting.


"The Steam Pipe Trunk Distribution Venue" was partially misleading. There were steam pipes alright, and the venue was certainly host to portions of the White House's array of HVAC services. What made it misleading was calling it a "venue." It was a storage and service area. At its usual best, it was where the Bartlet administration crammed politically misaligned new staff as a sort of hazing. Portions of the venue seemed to fluctuate between an uncontrolled cool to a sweltering, heat pipe imposed humid heat. If it wasn't an office or an archive room, the room's climate was left to the devices of untamed hardware.

But these undesirable traits of the venue were also its strengths: it gave the venue a sort of natural secrecy. Lowly staffers avoided entering the venue if it wasn't necessary for their job. Those that visit the White House wouldn't even think there were happenings to investigate in the venue, so long as the nature of their visit wasn't nefarious.

The Steam Pipe venue conference room was one of the few rooms in the venue that had reliable climate control. In regard to aesthetic and creature comforts, it maintained the no-frills standard of the venue. The room was more than capable however, hardware wise. There was a central conference table with chairs for the political guests and White House staff. Aside from the outlet arrays lining the walls, modules for power, phone lines, and secure internet connections were among other outlets directly built in the center of the table. A storage room with immediate access to the conference room hosted an assortment of laptops, monitors, and other electronics to aid in external communications. An array of TVs, consoles, and cameras were opposite the far-side head of the table. Should all else fail in outlining a gameplan, a basic wheeled chalkboard was parked on one of the room's sides.

Richards had his hands at his hips as he took the room in. "I have to admit it doesn't have the grandeur of the upstairs," he told McGarry, "but I think it'll do the job alright. Have you told your staff of the developing situation?"

"Not exactly. Josh knows and I'm about to tell Toby Ziegler, the Comms Director. Any deputies below that level don't know yet. I'm holding out on that until we go public, and to be quite frank, I get the feeling that won't be long. They'll likely come and go from here as it goes."

"You know if we'll be here for the duration of this?"

"Not entirely. The Joint Chiefs want us out of the Situation Room in the build up and the fall out, but I think they'll want us in there when the mission formally begins. Anyway, go ahead and take a spot and get settled in. I'm going to see if the New Curon representative has shown up yet. Nacrad is likely going to be joining us virtually."


Image


Tarmac – CCSFB Skid Strip, Cape Canaveral SFB, FL

9:00 AM, EST

The Skid Strip was normally reserved for heavy airlift, but considering the circumstances, operatives were clear to conduct a direct landing at Cape Canaveral. Floyd stepped off the plane which transported him. He was dressed in the splinter camouflaged spectral masking fatigues standard for Cayucan military special forces. Floyd was traveling light, equipped only with a personal kit and his effects. Regarding weaponry, he had his personal bayonet and 10mm pistol – weapons that were by his side for the bulk of his service. He knew they would be well stocked between the on-site armory and the short delivery time for overseas favorites, but he wanted to be sure about sentimental particulars.

A light utility truck drove up to the plane. The truck livery was a vibrant canary yellow, "SERVICE and REPAIR" emblazoned forwards and back on the front and sides. The topside light bar gave off a sweeping yellow strobe light. An officer stepped off of the front side passenger seat to greet the latest arrival. "Captain Floyd? CAF Pathfinders?"

"That'll be me." Floyd reached over to shake the officer's hand. "Are you guys my ride?"

"Yes, Sir. Your presence is requested at the Alison – Cochran SOF Station. It's a quick on-site drive to there. General Raymond assigned it's situation room and armory as what you and your fellow operatives will use. If there's anything you don't plan to directly carry on the launch vehicle yourself, you can put it in the trunk. We'll load it on there once the mission is properly a go."

Floyd loaded his kitbag in the trunk and took a seat in the back. Alison – Cochran was a short stop away. Floyd stepped off as the truck stopped at the station's front entrance. He took it in as he navigated his way to the Situation Room. The station was certainly robust, but it was also small. It appeared to be host to a handful of essential services. A barracks that could potentially hold a platoon's worth of operatives; an appropriately sized canteen; the relatively large warehouse and armory, likely host to modifiable training grounds; and of course the station HQ, which held the station Situation Room. There seemed to be minimal activity inside the station. Aside from a sort of grounds keeping force, there likely wasn't a combatant force stationed here. It had the sort of feel almost like an airport: it wasn't made for people to stay for too long.

Floyd eventually found his way to the Situation Room. The room's stationed MP allowed him in after a show of his military ID. The MP handed him a printed briefing as he entered. The room seemed to be the finest equipped planning area he had the pleasure of working in. If it wasn't the finest equipped, it was likely at least the finest appearing. Towards the front before the conference table was a low worktable with an array of interesting gadgets. A strange marksman rifle the likes of no other. A chest with what appeared to be a concerningly large explosives compartment. A folded spacesuit which appeared to be strikingly compact compared to what Floyd had seen before; surely it must've been a flight suit, but the EVA pack beside it implied otherwise. Covering the bulk of the conference table's center was a massive touchscreen, which at the moment flipped through pictures of a variety of ISS modules. Beside each seat of the conference table was a stylus for aided drawing on the touchscreen. Opposite of each of the table's wide sides were a series of screens, showing diagrams and blueprints of vessels and spacecraft. At the end of the room, opposite the far end of the conference table, the majority of the wall seemed to be a single massive screen. It was a livefeed of the Situation Room in Washington DC. The Joint Chairs, the Secretary of Defense, and other relevant personnel were at the table on the other side.

Speakers relayed Chair Fitzwallace's welcome into the Alison – Cochran situation room. "Good to see you made it, Captain Machado. I'm sure Cayucas made the right choice sending you. I'm the Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff." Fitz points over to where Gen. Raymond is sitting. "General Raymond, Chief of Space Operations, is technically the strategic leader of this mission. That said, the rest of us will be watching over the mission closely as well, given its importance."

Gen. Raymond continues off of Fitz's introduction. "We'll properly begin mission briefing and planning when we have the rest of the operatives on site. In the meantime, I suggest you make yourself comfortable. Get familiar with the tech up front and give the printed brief a look over."

Floyd gave a nod. "Yes, Sir. I'll be sure to get a look at what we have on hand."
The Republic of CayucasSol semper resurgent
Domestic Threat Level: Normal (5/5) • Conventional Force Deployment Likelihood: Normal (5/5)

PRS Highlights
Cayucan, other country ambassadors to US makes unscheduled visit to White House | Prime Minister, President congratulate Joe Biden on inauguration

User avatar
The Cayucan Puppet
Civil Servant
 
Posts: 7
Founded: Dec 08, 2020
Democratic Socialists

Postby The Cayucan Puppet » Sun Dec 27, 2020 9:57 pm

Image
Democracy Dies in Darkness

Press Briefing Room – the White House, Washington DC
United States of America


10:00 AM, EST

The standard flurry of camera shutters went off as CJ took to the podium. CJ Cregg, the White House Press Secretary, hosted the morning brief around 10:00 AM. This was one of those days. She took notice of Toby and Leo in the control room at the back. Having one of senior staff overlook the press conference wasn't too unusual, but it struck her as odd to see both of her seniors in the pen. Either way, she had a briefing to do.

"Good morning, everybody. Today is December 19th, 2020. The time is 10:00 AM, Eastern Standard. President Bartlet will have a tame schedule today. At 1:00 PM, President Josiah Bartlet and Dr. Bartlet will attend a town hall with the National Nurses United concerning wages and labor rights. The town hall will be open to pre-credentialed media. After that towards 5:00 PM, President Bartlet will separately meet with the Secretary of Treasury and the Secretary of Defense. No other noteworthy or public events are scheduled at this time. Seems to me that the world hasn't quite turned upside down last night nor this morning, so with that I'll turn it over to the rest of you for questio—"

Perhaps earlier than on cue, the reporters jump to it as usual. "CJ!" "CJ!" "CJ ... !" CJ picked a hand from the litter. "Yeah!"


It was about twenty minutes in. For better or worse, the morning has started off as a slow news cycle. None of the questions coming up stood out as concerning, yet Toby and Leo were still in the control room. Maybe one or the other left for a minute at a time on occasion, but never both of them. What gives? CJ was just about to wrap up the morning brief. "Seems we're just about slowing down here. Does anyone have any last questions before I put the lid on it 'till the afternoon?" A momentary pause. Seemed like this morning's brief was going to end cleanly.

"I have a question, CJ." Danny Concannon, the senior White House Correspondent and reporter for the Washington Post.

So much for a clean get-away, CJ figured. "Go ahead, Danny."

"I understand it wasn't on the public schedule, but the North Lawn press corps station claims that representatives of Cayucas, New Curon, and The Quarvian Hegemony have arrived at the White House. Do you know who they plan to have an audience with today?"

CJ's poker face must have betrayed her, because at that moment the rate of camera shutters briefly upticked in their tempo. She noticed Leo and Toby were gaping at each other for a moment. As far as CJ knew, this was a slow morning. What about Danny's question got their attention? Whatever it was, CJ had to keep the brief flowing. "First of all, I'm not too sure what business we have with a bunch of tulip picking happy-go-lucky lumberjacks or with a bunch of overly paranoid fishmonging cynics. I don't think I should even start on the last one." The quip seemed to be enough to get a brief laugh out of the correspondents. It got a smile out of her, too. That was enough of an entry to start spinning this towards her favor. "Second of all, diplomats aren't required to reveal their cards to the public and we aren't required to, either. That in fact goes against their responsibility to be secure channels between countries. All three of these countries aren't just allies, but neighbors. If they have input or concern they feel the need to personally express, by all means we'd pull up a chair for them. With that I'm putting the lid on it. See you all this afternoon."

Danny's question was enough to re-invigorate the press corps despite their previous sluggish attitude. Toby was about to approach CJ until he noticed her seemingly drag Danny out to her office. Whatever it was, Toby figured it warranted a wait.


CJ shut the door behind them once they were both in her office. "Okay, what is this about?"

Danny shrugged. "You heard me. The press corps noticed we had some international company visiting the White House. Surely you expected us to ask about that right?"

"Yeah, but off the record, I'm as clueless as you are with this. That was the first time I heard about having them over today. You have any idea what's up?"

Danny paused for a moment then leaned in. "I haven't heard anything myself and I don't have any sources, but it's pretty easy for me to put one and one together. Neither of these three countries are facing any critical external threats at the moment. The common link between all three of them isn't each other, but to the US. Neither of these three have themselves tied with the US to anything major publicly, and if they did, the announcement for this meeting would've been ages ago. I don't think it would've warranted meeting all at the same place and time, either. I don't know what this meeting is, CJ, but whatever it is, it's gotta be under the rug. And whatever it is, I bet it's gotta be big. He got up and adjusted his tie. He was about to leave now. "I'm willing to bet I'm not the only one asking these questions right now, CJ. As far as I can see no one's got a source on whatever this story ends up being, but I wouldn't be surprised at all if I'm not the only who knows there is a story somewhere with this."

"Well, it sure as Hell helps that you practically spoon fed it to them there."

Danny opened the door with a wink. "Can't let the dark remain so for long, CJ."


Danny and Toby glimpsed at each other as Toby took his turn in CJ's office. He closed the door behind him and took his place. "Trying to hang him dry it looks like?"

CJ looked up, her hand on her temple. "You gonna tell me what's going on? Because it sure looked like you and Leo knew what was up."

Toby had his hands in his pockets. He was focused on CJ's goldfish, avoiding CJ's gaze. He kept his focus there for a moment before replying. "I'm afraid not. We can't tell you without compromising your job, at least. You did alright in there. Any idea if Danny has a lead?"

"Doesn't seem so. Whatever you and Leo are working on, Danny says no one's given a tip. I get the feeling though that the press is going to start probing for one."

Toby pursed his lips at that. Probing for a lead wasn't his ideal best case scenario, but it wasn't his worst case either. "Well, do us a favor and try and keep them off our backs. I'll see if there isn't anything we can give you by the afternoon brief. I'll be with Leo."

User avatar
New Curon
Political Columnist
 
Posts: 4
Founded: Dec 19, 2020
Iron Fist Consumerists

Postby New Curon » Sun Dec 27, 2020 10:28 pm

Grovier Memorial Air-Force Base
15 Grovier Rd., New Vonneburg, New Curon.
3:44 HAST [8:44 EST]


Vulture's knuckles had turned a ghastly pale and his gas light was glaring by the time he turned in to the entrance of the air-force base. A quick flash of his badge was all it took to both scare the hell out of the gate guard, who had evidently been kept in the dark as to what was going on, and to get him inside the base. He brought the car to a stop in the gap between runways 2-A and 2-B, where the Minister of Foreign Affairs and an armed escort--taken from the capitol's night guard due to the short notice--awaited his arrival. On either runway rested a slick, high-tech looking jet. It looked able to carry a small number of passengers in a very cramped interior, and its massive engines left some room for concern regarding the G-Force those passengers would experience. Kassim gave them a nervous glance as he stepped out of the van.

"Good, about time you showed up, commander," Ihnen grumbled.

"I was in the middle of an operation," Kassim snapped back. "What the hell is going on that we're needed in the States on such short notice?"

Ihnen glanced around the airport, looking for any prying ears, then dismissively waved his guards into the plane on 2-A. The captain clicked his heels and did as ordered, nearly sprinting into the jet. His subordinates followed quickly after, closing the door behind them. "Apparently the US has a... situation regarding the ISS. Something real clandestine; the ambassador wouldn't give us any more details. They've sent word to us and a few other nations to send the best of their best."

"And that's me? To send to the ISS?" Kassim chuckled to himself. "When the brass over at the Air Defense Force hear about this they're gonna lose their heads..."

"Given the operation's evidently clandestine nature, yes, both I and the Minister of Defense believe your expertise makes you our best option. Besides, the brass over in Air Defense won't hear about this, and even if they did no one there is any more qualified for space flight than you."

"I'm flattered, I suppose. I suppose... whatever the hell kind of jet this is is supposed to get us stateside ASAP?"

"You'd suppose correctly. I'd say to get some rest on the flight over, but... well, word has it they were built for speed, not comfort." Ihnen glared at the jets; evidently, he was looking forward to this flight as much as Kassim was. "Good luck, Kassim. We're all going to need it."

Kassim gave a curt nod--far short of the protocol dictated salute he was supposed to--and turned to head into the plane. Ihnen turned to his own jet, with an equal lack of enthusiasm. Both silently hoped that the rumors about them were exaggerated.


Cape Canaveral SFB
Tarmac - CCSFB Skid Strip
9:54 EST


The rumors about the jets were, in fact, understated. Kassim looked nearly ready to throw up as he veritably wobbled off of the wretched plane. He still wore his black camouflage body armor from his night operation, causing him to stick out like a sore thumb in the sweltering Florida sun. He was going to burn alive if he didn't pass out first, he thought. Otherwise, the only other thing he carried was his trusty M18. No time was spared to pack for the operation.

At the edge of the tarmac, another service truck waited to pick up the commander. He was far from used to riding in such a visible vehicle; it was hard to tell if it was the bright yellow paint job and strobe light that was sickening, or just residual nausea from the flight. From the shotgun seat, an officer glanced at a clipboard before looking up at Vulture. "You must be the New Curon's agent. Division Commander Kassim?"

"Yes, that's me." Neither party offered a handshake. "Are you guys my ride?"

"Yes, sir. We're headed over to the Alison - Cochran SOF Station. I'd say put anything you don't need in the trunk, but it doesn't seem like you have anything anyhow."

"No, no I don't." Without another word, Kassim took a seat in the back of the truck. It was a silent drive the rest of the way over.

Once he arrived, Kassim attempted to navigate the station. He was lightly concerned that he only encountered one MP on his way to the Situation Room; he was far more accustomed to a full guard stationed at all times. Regardless, with a quick flash of ID and a shuffle of papers later, Kassim found himself in the situation room. He stood at the entry way, looking over the other agent(s) in the room and array of gadgets and screens before him.



The White House
West Wing Lobby Entrance
9:45 EST



Ihnen had arrived at the White House after a short drive from the limo, with two of his armed guard on either side of him. They had swapped out their long-barrel rifles and body armor for more discreet concealed-carry pistols and two-piece suits as to be more discreet, at the request of one of the officials at the airport they arrived in, but still stuck out due to their stoic demeanor and paranoid, shifty gazes. Hopefully, they hadn't attracted too much attention from the US's pervasive private media.

Prying eyes were apparently the least of Ihnen's worries however; he stood silently and still in the entrance way of the lobby. This was his first time in DC personally, and he was awestruck by the architecture of the White House. Compared to the drab steel walls of the New Curon Castle that he was accustomed to, the mere lobby was positively breathtaking. It wouldn't be until another official approached that he snapped out of his trance-like state.

User avatar
The Cayucan Puppet
Civil Servant
 
Posts: 7
Founded: Dec 08, 2020
Democratic Socialists

Postby The Cayucan Puppet » Mon Dec 28, 2020 3:22 am

OOC
Written with DM assistance from New Curon.

New Curon wrote:Kassim found himself in the situation room. He stood at the entry way, looking over the other agent(s) in the room and array of gadgets and screens before him.

Image

The end screen faded back to the Situation Room in the White House. Most of the other Chairs, secretaries, and personnel had left by now. They were either irrelevant to the mission for the time being or were busy fulfilling duties that would serve current needs. Chair Fitzwallace and Gen. Raymond were the most vital to have on hand to strategically guide the mission, and even then only the latter actually lead the show.

Gen. Raymond greeted Kassim to the situation room. "It's good to have someone of your talents here, Commander Kassim. I'm General Raymond, Chief of Space Operations. I'll be taking strategic lead of this mission directly." He pointed over to Fitz, who gave a slight wave. "Over there is Admiral Fitzwallace. He's the Chair of the Joint Chiefs, who'll be watching over this mission closely with additional defense leadership."

Gen. Raymond pointed towards Floyd, standing by the low worktable towards the front of the situation room. "Over by the gadgets table is Captain Machado. He pilots for covert and special tactics missions in the CAF Pathfinders. You ever seen someone buzz past AA and live to tell the tale? I'd say he's the finest pilot you'll find in Cayucas."

"Among the best," Floyd countered back. Floyd was busy investigating the console on the explosives chest. If it wasn't a concerning piece of equipment, it was at least an exciting one. Floyd turned toward Kassim and gave a nod and a sly smile.

Kassim returned a curt nod. "Better than anyone we could've sent for flying, at least."

Gen. continued to break Kassim in. "I'm glad New Curon sent you, Kassim. We'll get into detail when we have the rest of the operatives here, but put simply, your investigative expertise and experience will be vital for intel analysis and deduction. In the meantime, give the on-hand briefing and gadgets an introductory look-over. We'll expand on the details when everyone else arrives."

Kassim once again nodded to the commanders and flipped open the briefing, scanning over the bullet points and letting out a low whistle. "Hell of a situation, huh? Suppose I'll get the details later but ... this ain't pretty." He headed over to the equipment station and picked up the rifle. It has a fair amount of heft to it. The frighteningly wide barrel, of a strikingly unprecedented design at that, may have played a part in that.


New Curon wrote:Ihnen had arrived at the White House after a short drive from the limo, with two of his armed guard on either side of him. They had swapped out their long-barrel rifles and body armor for more discreet concealed-carry pistols and two-piece suits as to be more discreet, at the request of one of the officials at the airport they arrived in, but still stuck out due to their stoic demeanor and paranoid, shifty gazes. Hopefully, they hadn't attracted too much attention from the US's pervasive private media.

Prying eyes were apparently the least of Ihnen's worries however; he stood silently and still in the entrance way of the lobby. This was his first time in DC personally, and he was awestruck by the architecture of the White House. Compared to the drab steel walls of the New Curon Castle that he was accustomed to, the mere lobby was positively breathtaking. It wouldn't be until another official approached that he snapped out of his trance-like state.

Image

Leo McGarry walked in the White House lobby to find Minister Rayford Ihnen intently taking in the West Wing. McGarry gave the minister a moment to appreciate the sight before he approached Ihnen. He knew what that feeling was. It may be worth the Ihnen's time to savor it for just a bit longer, especially if it was his first. It was going to be a long day, and as far as McGarry knew, this might be the day's last moment of respite.

McGarry eventually took to Ihnen's side, at least as close as his guards would permit. The minister's guards instinctively put themselves between their charge and McGarry. Ihnen quickly takes notice, however, and waves them to the side. They oblige, though keep a suspicious eye on Leo for the time being. McGarry joined Ihnen's gaze at the architecture then took to breaking his trance. "It helps to be raised around appreciating it, but the feeling never gets old. Walking in the White House. If it isn't the power it emits, it's the beauty that gets to you."

Ihnen set aside his usual bluster in favor of a polite smile. "It's a hell of a lot prettier than the castle at home. We didn't bother moving any of the decorations when we renovated its security. Whole lot of metal and steel, now." The minister turned to McGarry. "Who are you, though?"

McGarry turned to Ihnen. "Leo McGarry, Chief of Staff. Welcome to the White House, Minister Ihnen."

"Ah, you must be the one organizing this whole... event, then. Our ambassador mentioned you by name. Said good things, but uh... Well, I suppose we shouldn't be talking about it out here. Where's the meeting room?"

"Yeah, now's not the best time. Follow me, we'll be working in the Steam Pipe Trunk Distribution Venue today."

McGarry escorted Ihnen to the Steam Pipe conference room. "It's a shame to tell you that for privacy reasons, our meeting won't be upstairs. It'd be a treat to give you a tour of the place when this blows over, if you'd like."

Making their way through the Steam Pipe venue, Ihnen could see why McGarry felt it was a shame. He seemed a bit disappointed himself. This was more like what he was used to back in New Curon. At least he knew from experience that they'd be relatively safe from prying eyes. "Perhaps a tour later would be nice, implying there's time." His guards followed closely behind the two, alert as ever, though they seemed more at ease in the Steam Pipe venue than they had in the lobby.

The two arrived at the conference room's front door. "Odyssey." The Marine opened the door for them.

Richards turned around and waved at the newcomer. McGarry pointed Richards out, "Over there is Cayucan Ambassador Theo Richards." Richards had set up shop at his seat. Aside from a small collection of relevant documents printed at the embassy, he had his laptop out and plugged in. He seemed to be keeping touch with ministers back home. He had a mono headset which he was presumably using to listen in on domestic conversation.

The minister bowed slightly to Ambassador Richards, not wishing to interrupt his Nyoom call. His nation had little interaction with Cayucas, so he knew little about them aside from the military dossier the Minister of Defense kept on every nation in the immediate vicinity. "I didn't have time to bring my own laptop, so I suppose I'll just take a seat over there. Do you have a brief I can read over? Your ambassador couldn't explain very much to me during our meeting. Oh, and a coffee might be nice, if you could point me to a machine."

McGarry gave a nod and gestured toward the door on one of the walls. "I'll hand out printed briefs in just a moment. We have spare laptops and electronics in the storage room there you can borrow. Top of the line hardware with quality software inside, should do the job well." He then gestured toward a cart which sat along a bare patch of wall. It was fairly small and nondescript, the sort you'd find on an airplane. Nonetheless, it seemed well stocked. "You can find refreshments over there. Water, coffee, juices, some soft drinks. Among the usual snacks I'm pretty sure you can find what some might call the finest muffins and bagels there of the land. No machines, I'm afraid, but what's there should last us a fair chunk of time. The White House Kitchen should keep up worst comes to worst."

McGarry then pointed out the other ambassador of the room. "Back to the representatives, over there is the Quarvian Hegemony Ambassador Lero Wetler. And on the monitor there are President Smith and Prime Minister Stone of Nacrad."

McGarry took a quick tally of who was present. Four countries. So far as McGarry faintly recalled, that was two short of a full house. That concerned him, but it was starting to become time to get the ball rolling. He'll have to approach Fitz about that later. McGarry began to brief those present while handing out a more verbose brief to those who were physically present. "Gentlemen, thank you for your presence here today. I have a press briefing to oversee in the next ten-so minutes, so I'll keep the introduction brief. I'll be back down here to detail what I can when that's over with. As you may have been briefed of earlier, a routine aerospace maintenance mission has gone AWOL and off communications. It has maneuvered to intercept the International Space Station. Current intel suggests they will achieve interception in approximately 20 hours from now. Top tier operatives from your countries have been requested to immediately travel to Cape Canaveral for a covert mission to defend the ISS. That is the responsibility of the operatives and those in the Situation Room next door.

"Our mission is to do what we can on the civil front to make sure that's done discreetly. All of us have a stake in this to ensure that the lid is kept on this for as long as possible, if not for the entire mission. If the lid comes off and the public knows, it's our job to make sure the message is spun in our favor. I'm relying on all of you to relay tasks and objectives to and from your respective governments. We're also gathered here to collaborate on our strategy to approach this, so any and all ideas of handling the situation will be welcomed.

"President Smith, Prime Minister Stone, this meeting may be ongoing and take a while. If you wish to send a physical representative on your behalf here, just let us know. We have a seat ready and able.

"Currently, I'm of the understanding that this is unknown to anyone we don't want to know. CJ's upcoming press briefing may confirm or deny the validity of that claim. I'll update you all when I figure that out. In the meantime, current policy is simple: maintain that closed lid. If you have reason to believe any link in the chain between your country being informed and you getting here is notably weak, do what you can to control it." McGarry stepped out of the room to check in on CJ, leaving the representatives to their own.

User avatar
Nacrad
Ambassador
 
Posts: 1080
Founded: Jan 16, 2020
Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Nacrad » Mon Dec 28, 2020 3:37 am

20:00
Riverfort, NCT, Nacrad

The President tidied up his suit, and logged on to the online meeting. In there, 4 are already waiting. Prime Minister Stone, Major General Chan (Chief of Staff), Brigadier Cheng and General Kwong. The President turned on his webcam, and asked everyone to take a seat, out of force of habit.

"OK, thank you so much for taking part in this meeting on such short notice. As you may have known, there's an accident with the US' space mission. I've received a call earlier today, telling me that their ship has gone AWOL. Furthermore, they've asked me to send operatives there. Brigadier Cheng, I know you'll be due for a trip up on Boxing Day. Would you mind being sent on a flight to Cape Canaveral tomorrow evening?"

"No, not really. I take it that it's urgent?"

"Yes it is. Now, General Chan, Mr. Prime Minister, Mr. President, what do you think about aiding the US? I'd propose having him on the first flight to Dallas and then have him transfer there."

With no objections, tickets were booked to Cape Canaveral. On the next day, he was driven to the airport, and in 20 hours he would be at Cape Canaveral already.
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The Quarvian Hegemony
Political Columnist
 
Posts: 5
Founded: Dec 19, 2020
Authoritarian Democracy

Postby The Quarvian Hegemony » Mon Dec 28, 2020 9:25 pm

Somewhere over the Atlantic | 8:09 AM
Beechcraft wasn't the most luxurious way to travel but it was common enough for Attaches and MEDEVAC it was unlikely to raise eyebrows. Karma sat with his bag on his lap, reading over the brief that had been sent over for him, not unusual, but it was sealed, that was. It was simple enough, informing him of the limited details available to the Hegemony at this time.

CCSFB Planning Room | 12:43 AM
Karma stepped through the doors, sliding his ID back into its holder. He had a little nap on the flight over but jet lag still hit him a bit, yawning as he steps in.

"Wing Commander Karma Laron, 1st Space Operations Group, Task Force 44, Rescue Astronaut and Payload Specialist." he said greeting the rest of the assembled agents "What is our plan here?"

The Steam Pipe Trunk Distribution Venue
Lero stepped in the conference room, "Sorry got lost among the many rooms here."

...

He nodded along to CJ's instructions. His public gave him few concerns, state press could be counted on to silence or spin when needed. But there were concerns elsewhere, a few rank and file of the military knew enough to be dangerous to secrecy; the Beechcraft Pilot, Radio Terminal Operators, and so forth. Each one could easily turn to foreign press for a quick buck or a foreign luxury. For now he had a dilemma, he could press Internal Affairs to watch them, but that might just expand the range of people with enough knowledge. He'd contact SpecOf to see about a temporary reassignment to a remote post that happens to be occurring soon, just long enough to keep them free.

And of course that discounted foreign intelligence who were watching all there moves, though did have anything to gain for exposing this mission prematurely?

For now he'd get to work.

User avatar
The Cayucan Puppet
Civil Servant
 
Posts: 7
Founded: Dec 08, 2020
Democratic Socialists

Postby The Cayucan Puppet » Sat Jan 02, 2021 10:45 pm

Image
To touch the face of God

Steam Pipe conference room – the White House, Washington DC
United States of America


10:36 AM, EST

Josh Lyman walked into the conference room, followed by Toby Ziegler, Sam Seaborne, and Mandy Hampton. The Marine outside closed the door behind them as they took positions next to the table's front end.

Josh clasped his hands, admiring the attendees. "Well, looks like we got something resembling a Full House, Screen Man included." Toby jabbed Josh's side with an elbow. "I'm pretty sure Leo already got you guys settled in place. I'm not too sure if Leo properly introduced himself to you guys already, but in case he didn't, I'm referring to Leo McGarry. Chief of Staff to the White House, does a lot of the day-to-day running of staff around here. I'm Josh Lyman, Deputy Chief. Leo and President Bartlet each have their own schedules to tend to, so for most the time I'll be the senior staff person here. I'll be here preeeetty much as long as you guys are."

Josh points over to Toby, who gives a curt smile and wave. "That's Toby Ziegler, Communications Director. Develops or media campaign, speech-work, the communicative stuff. You could say he's what writes our voice. To his side," Josh points over to Sam, "is Sam Seaborne, Deputy Comms Director. Sam is to Toby as I am to Leo. You'll see Sam here pretty much as long as you'll see me here. Leo and Toby will be here on an on-and-off basis as they're available."

"Last but not least is Mandy." Josh points over to Mandy, who gives a polite smile and an energetic wave. "Mandy is our primary media consultant and one of our political ones. She knows her way in and out and back in American media. I'd say she's only second to our Press Secretary, CJ. Speaking of CJ, she's currently out of the loop of what's going on. Before anyone asks why, as a Press Secretary, there's an ethics concern to actually keep it that way until we're confident we want this out. With that introduction, I'll let them take their spots 'round here and I'll give the situation."

Toby, Sam, and Mandy take their positions around the room. Josh begins: "There's been some mild development in the last thirty minutes. I don't know if it was directly played here or if any of you were watching along, but CJ hosted this morning's press brief. The Washington Post basically asked her why you guys are here. Between the timing and her response, CJ was able to give an answer that kept the story closed, but put simply, there's no way that's the end of that. I think until we put a proper end to it, the press is going to be scrutinizing us pretty closely to figure out what gives. Thankfully no one's decided to make this a leading story yet, but I'm pretty sure that we got the press talking in the inside now. So. That said, let's touch on our current goals as of now." Josh pushes over the wheeled chalkboard to the front end of the table and gets to writing the current political objectives.

"First and foremost: keep the lid on. Leo said it, I'm saying it too. If we don't have to make this a story, we really ought to keep it that way. If this event becomes public in an uncontrolled manner, it's a blight on space work for years to come. That's not to mention how bad it looks to let one of your rockets desert. Personally I'm confident that we—at least none of you—should have to worry too much about one of your guys spilling the beans. Your usual measures to keep secrets a secret will likely still work fine. The amount of people that'd be in the know is too low and their prestige I'm assuming is too high for them to have a notable desire to come out about it. As it stands domestically, every White House staffer here, Leo, and the President are all that are in the know on the civil front. I'd say it's the same in the military."

Toby is able to assert who specifically is in the know in the military: "the Joint Chiefs, maybe their choice underlings, a chunk of Space Force assets."

Josh nods. "Toby's about on the mark. Point is, the current number of heads in the know is relatively small. Keep the usual "Loose lips sink ships" talk and we should be fine, especially the rest of you. Now, what all of us should be wary of is the press pushing in. They know we're talking about something here. They don't know what, but they know that we're talking. That's enough to get them on the prowl and start to ask some hard-hitters. Domestic media is likely prodding where they can already, and chances are your domestic media may be doing this too. Which leads me to our second objective."


Josh writes out the bullet point on the chalkboard. "We should feed the press something. How far of a lie we feed is up to you guys, but if we give them something to work with and play it right, we can get the press off our backs for a while longer. Some sort of non-story or smaller bit to concede so we can keep the big stuff under wraps. The more time we stall on giving something is the more time we give to the press to potentially feel this out somehow. We're all relatively close neighbors and I'd say relatively close allies, hopefully that's enough to work off of and make something up on the fly."


"Our third," Josh begins to write out the objective on the chalkboard, "is to find a clean way to transition ISS control quietly to the Space Force. As it currently stands, the ISS is jointly uplinked to and controlled by the civilian space agencies involved. NASA, Roscosmos, and the tertiaries like CSA, ESA and JAXA. We need to put the ISS in Space Force control so we can conduct our mission, and we need to do it with as many of the ISS parties none-the-wiser as possible. If we straight up and pull the plug and let Space Force take the wheel, it'll be messy. There's no doubt whatsoever people will know something foul is going on. Maybe we can get the likes of the ESA in line and not ask any questions, but Roscosmos is going to raise a stink. They'll cry publicly, we'll have to explain what's happening, and it's the public problem. We need a front to work with and mask this whole thing under."

Toby proposes some inspiration to work with: "NASA used to have Contingency Support missions for the Space Shuttle after Columbia. It'd probably be quite convenient if we had an excuse to basically do one of those right about now for the ISS."

"Yeah, really would be. Question is how you do that cleanly ... Anyway. That's the field as it currently stands." Josh re-iterates each objective on the chalkboard one more time for emphasis.

  1. Keep the public unaware of this.
  2. Get the press off our backs; publicly legitimize why we're here.
  3. Find a way and reason to quietly transition the ISS exclusively to Space Force hands.

"So. Any suggestions straight away?"

User avatar
Cayucas
Secretary
 
Posts: 36
Founded: Nov 19, 2020
New York Times Democracy

Postby Cayucas » Fri Jan 08, 2021 10:28 pm

OOC
NPC-personal dialog is consolidated into one post for brevity's sake.

Ambassador Theo Richards
Image
The Cayucan Puppet wrote:"That's the field as it currently stands." Josh re-iterates each objective on the chalkboard one more time for emphasis.

  1. Keep the public unaware of this.
  2. Get the press off our backs; publicly legitimize why we're here.
  3. Find a way and reason to quietly transition the ISS exclusively to Space Force hands.

"So. Any suggestions straight away?"


The table was quiet in focus for a few moments, contemplating what moves need to be made. Deputy Chief Josh Lyman took a look around. A hint of concern betrayed his face in the form of a nervous smile. "Not all at once, people."

Theo decided to start the brainstorming. "I don't think it'll do us any good to approach this scatter-brained over all objectives at once. I'm going to take your word, Josh, regarding our top objective. I have faith in our own conduct and policies to keep lips zipped. I can't be too sure about any specific suggestions to give, either, regarding it. At least me personally, I'm frankly not going to give #1 much thought, so that leaves #2 and #3. The last one seems the most pressing, so I suggest we focus all of our efforts on coming up with solutions on that first."

Mandy wasn't keen to support that idea. "I don't know if you're underestimating the overreach that is Investigative Journalism or if Josh didn't outline it explicitly enough, but for all intents and purposes, we have the the press trying to dissect why we're here now. We're properly on the clock, and that's not even touching on the whole ISS thing."

Theo nodded in understanding. "You're right, no doubt about it. But if the Space Force cannot have exclusive access to ISS mission control for the time being without raising hell, our own press probing may become peanuts in comparison. You'd agree that the military taking over the ISS without a public explanation would be one hell of a story, wouldn't it?"

Mandy gave an angled pout and furrowed eyebrows. "You have a point."


Theo paused, contemplating the mission control problem. "Toby, you mentioned something about Shuttle Support Missions. Jog our memory a bit and give the run down on how they worked."

"They were contingency rescue missions," Toby explained. "After Columbia disintegrated, NASA started taking shuttle mission safety more seriously. If a Space Shuttle was determined to be unsafe to de-orbit, NASA basically ... wouldn't de-orbit it. Not without getting the crew off first, at least. The compromised shuttle would either intercept with the ISS to basically park there or it would effectively shelter in place. One of the shuttles that were on the ground would then be launched to rendezvous with the compromised one and rescue the astronauts."

"Maybe we call the special forces mission a rescue mission," Theo volunteered.

Sam shook his head. "The Russians and everyone else would see through that. There's nothing wrong with the ISS, what's the point of a rescue? I wouldn't be surprised if the Space Force could possibly manufacture a crisis on the ISS somehow which warranted rescue, but that has a chance of raising eyebrows if we're caught."

"Well," Theo replied, "How about we say we're rescuing the maintenance mission instead?"

Josh got a bit of a laugh from that. "You mean to say we'll tell civilian mission control that we're basically rescuing bomb-armed loonies and they'll buy it?"

Theo shrugged and gave a sly smile. "Yeah, sure. We don't have to tell them the proper truth. You could say a sensitive maintenance mission needed to abort. They didn't have the capability to de-orbit safely, so they parked at the ISS to hook up on supply and life support. Now we need to send up a rescue vessel to bring home the maintenance crew and their equipment."

"That could explain why we're sending a ship to the ISS, but not why we need control of it too," Toby countered.

"Sure it could," Theo said back. "We say that the maintenance vessel is sensitive equipment that, for technical and security reasons, requires our exclusive, private oversight of the mission in its duration."

Sam was engaged with the idea, as were the rest of the White House staff in the room. This was an idea the Space Force could possibly work with, at least at first impression. "You think Russia or the others would challenge that idea?"

"It's certainly a possibility, but I bet they wouldn't," Theo reassured. "There's no way the Russians or anyone else with a space presence hasn't started doing similar sensitive missions like you guys have. If we do this and ensure we'd extend similar graces in the future, it'd offer a precedent the Russians and others would likely enjoy having themselves. This proposal would likely require some careful finessing in the space agencies and the diplomatic stage, but if you ask me, it has a lot more potential than, say, having Space Force upload a virus on the ISS and pray no one realizes who did it."

That got an eyebrow raise and a smirk from Josh. "Considering previous options I'd agree it's the most discreet in comparison to what Space Force was originally considering. Any counterarguments? Support, different ideas?"
Last edited by Cayucas on Fri Jan 08, 2021 10:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
The Republic of CayucasSol semper resurgent
Domestic Threat Level: Normal (5/5) • Conventional Force Deployment Likelihood: Normal (5/5)

PRS Highlights
Cayucan, other country ambassadors to US makes unscheduled visit to White House | Prime Minister, President congratulate Joe Biden on inauguration

User avatar
The Quarvian Hegemony
Political Columnist
 
Posts: 5
Founded: Dec 19, 2020
Authoritarian Democracy

Postby The Quarvian Hegemony » Sun Jan 10, 2021 12:38 pm

"We're not gonna get away with this like a slick pig, there's going to be some objection and disgruntled voices, we just have to muddy the waters.

Russia is a small concern, it should be easy enough to paint their objections as typical anti-West posturing, just need a little tact to keep this all from escalating, the last thing we need is two global crises at once. Perhaps add a little distraction, anything we can pull into the press's focus?

Regardless i don't think we're going to get through this without at least some spillage, the best we can do is get ahead of the news, get out narrative out first. My government will likely support this plan.

Now there is a problem this gets the USOS under our control, but i don't believe we can convince Roscosmos to hand over their side of the station. Perhaps we can modify this plan a little, maybe we can sever ground links, then we can ride in as white nights to re-enable communications, but for technical and security reasons, Space Force has to take over C&C until such a time as public datalinks are reestablished.

While communications from the USOS are funneled through the White Sands Test Facility via the Space Network of TDRS satellites, the Russians have a much more robust VHF network, the only way to commit a full black out would be to take out the Lira transmitter on Zvenda, and knock out White Sands. I'm not sure it's doable but it would force Russia's hands." The ambassador adds.

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New Curon
Political Columnist
 
Posts: 4
Founded: Dec 19, 2020
Iron Fist Consumerists

Postby New Curon » Thu Jan 14, 2021 9:44 am

Ihnen pursed his lips. "I agree that we're not going to get away with this scot free. Not even we would be able to fully manage that with our nationalized press corp, let alone here in the States. I'm inclined to second Theo's proposition thus far, especially in regards to legitimizing the Space Force takeover of the ISS, but..."

He pauses to think for a moment. "Well, this shouldn't be the first launch you're having to cover up, right? How did you manage to get the ACES up without anyone's notice? Maybe that could give us something to build off of."

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The Cayucan Puppet
Civil Servant
 
Posts: 7
Founded: Dec 08, 2020
Democratic Socialists

Postby The Cayucan Puppet » Thu Jan 14, 2021 11:55 pm

the White House
Image
The Quarvian Hegemony wrote:"We're not gonna get away with this like a slick pig, there's going to be some objection and disgruntled voices, we just have to muddy the waters.

Russia is a small concern, it should be easy enough to paint their objections as typical anti-West posturing, just need a little tact to keep this all from escalating, the last thing we need is two global crises at once. Perhaps add a little distraction, anything we can pull into the press's focus?

Regardless i don't think we're going to get through this without at least some spillage, the best we can do is get ahead of the news, get out narrative out first. My government will likely support this plan.

Mandy gave a nod and a point of approval. "I don't think that can be stressed enough right now. We need to put a story out there that keeps us controlling the spin. Anyone just happen to have a manufactured crisis in mind that involves most if not all of the countries here? I wouldn't be against emphasizing 'manufactured' right now."

The Quarvian Hegemony wrote:Now there is a problem this gets the USOS under our control, but i don't believe we can convince Roscosmos to hand over their side of the station. Perhaps we can modify this plan a little, maybe we can sever ground links, then we can ride in as white nights to re-enable communications, but for technical and security reasons, Space Force has to take over C&C until such a time as public datalinks are reestablished.

While communications from the USOS are funneled through the White Sands Test Facility via the Space Network of TDRS satellites, the Russians have a much more robust VHF network, the only way to commit a full black out would be to take out the Lira transmitter on Zvenda, and knock out White Sands. I'm not sure it's doable but it would force Russia's hands." The ambassador adds.

Josh waved his hands in concern, motioning Lero down. "Woah, woah, woah, hold up. You just said the last thing we need is two global crises at once. Now you're saying we should send specops into Russia to severe their ground links? There's a solid chance that'll cut off more than their connection to the ISS. If we're caught cleaning up the mess we made now, it's an embarrassment. If we're caught doing that, it's a global catastrophe. No, it's not doable. Not without having too much of a potential to escalate this much further than it needs to. No special forces attacking Russian ground assets."

"I mean ... " Sam started, pausing for a moment to think it over, "Lero's not that far off. As Theo's plan stands, even if the Space Force gets control of ISS operations, Russia still has a sound uplink. From a mechanics standpoint it shouldn't be a big deal if Roscosmos still controls the Russian Segment. But what could possibly become a problem is if our special forces dock with the ISS. There's a chance Russia could seize the moment and try to probe their way into whatever we send up. I don't think it'd compromise the mission so much as show the Russians our hand. They may or may not raise a stink. So how do we minimize Russian tracking while minimizing our destruction?"

"Do pretty much half of what Lero said: take out the Lira antenna," Toby answered. "It's not as surefire as, say, taking out the whole system of Russian tracking all together. But it takes out the relevant bit of Russian transmission in this mission we have the least control over. We take it down before we dock. If anyone asks questions, we say it's for security after the fact and apologize, saying that maybe we went a bit farther than we needed to. Easier to ask for forgiveness than permission sort of thing."

"You think they have the hardware to do that?" Josh asked Toby.

"We're sending them up with the same payload as an ACE mission at minimum," Toby replied, "There's no way they couldn't."




New Curon wrote:He pauses to think for a moment. "Well, this shouldn't be the first launch you're having to cover up, right? How did you manage to get the ACES up without anyone's notice? Maybe that could give us something to build off of."

Josh has a look of blank concern on his face that makes it plain he's out of the loop. "That, uh ... didn't cross my mind ... we do cover these things up, right?"

"The mission, not the launch," Toby answers. "There's no way anyone could cover up a launch anymore. The means that amateurs have are good enough to let them keep track of what we do, much more so any competent government. But neither of these parties have reasonable means to confidently determine what's inside: the payload and its mission. They can track where it's going, get a rough estimate of its size, and maybe even get a rough picture if they have the best hardware and are actively looking for it. The only two ways someone will know what we're sending up and its mission is if either we tell them or they have people inside. In other words, of course people noticed we sent a rocket up in space. That's not the bit we're covering up. What they haven't noticed is what the payload's job is. It's the same sort of procedure we do with the likes of the NRO."

Toby continues. "What makes this launch special is that it's going directly to the ISS. A rocket traveling on that path warrants explaining itself a lot more than a rocket going on its own way. At this rate it's not a matter of if the Russians realize two American vessels are en route for the space station, but when. And when that comes, we need to have an explanation to cover up the real reason."

User avatar
Cayucas
Secretary
 
Posts: 36
Founded: Nov 19, 2020
New York Times Democracy

Postby Cayucas » Fri Jan 15, 2021 11:06 pm

OOC
NPC-personal dialog is consolidated into one post for brevity's sake.

Ambassador Theo Richards
Image
The Cayucan Puppet wrote:Mandy gave a nod and a point of approval. "I don't think that can be stressed enough right now. We need to put a story out there that keeps us controlling the spin. Anyone just happen to have a manufactured crisis in mind that involves most if not all of the countries here? I wouldn't be against emphasizing 'manufactured' right now."

"That's why we frame it as a maintenance crew rescue mission," Theo emphasizes. "So long as we spin it the right way, this is the manufactured crisis we're looking for. We don't tell the public how this crew went AWOL and is likely out to get the space station, or how they're armed, or how we're rescuing the astronauts over the maintenance mission. We tell the public that this was standard procedure all along and we're continuing standard procedure so their operation isn't compromised. We say that the maintenance mission was compromised and they had orders to park at the ISS and await pickup. Save for a leak, the public has no way to tell we're lying. It's an explanation that ties up our story to the public nicely. It explains why we're here and why we're sending a vessel to the ISS."

Josh decides to probe the idea. "So, what happens if the special forces fail? How do we explain the lie?"

Theo sighs. "We're better off banking on that not happening."
Last edited by Cayucas on Sat Jan 16, 2021 12:02 am, edited 1 time in total.
The Republic of CayucasSol semper resurgent
Domestic Threat Level: Normal (5/5) • Conventional Force Deployment Likelihood: Normal (5/5)

PRS Highlights
Cayucan, other country ambassadors to US makes unscheduled visit to White House | Prime Minister, President congratulate Joe Biden on inauguration


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