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One Fallen Empire, Endless Opportunities (Craxx/IC/Open)

A staging-point for declarations of war and other major diplomatic events. [In character]
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The Qoryx
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Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

One Fallen Empire, Endless Opportunities (Craxx/IC/Open)

Postby The Qoryx » Thu May 06, 2021 8:58 pm

The History of the Craxx Island Archipelago



Context

(This is taken from the Craxx OP, for everyone to follow along and get ideas as needed. This was written by Stevid.)

18 years ago there was a war…

In a time of upheaval, warfare, and alliances built on necessity and a will to survive, one nation rose to prominence as an instigator of wars. The Former Craxx Empire has gone by many names, and even today is spoken of in hushed tones by ageing soldiers and politicians. This Empire fought wars across the world, caring little for the destruction wrought or their standing in the world. Their territory spanned a collection of large islands, when taken together being the size of a small continent. Rich in resources and fertile land, the Craxx Empire used their natural might to fuel their warmongering.

Until 18 years ago.

In a bid to quash the dystopian Craxx nation, an alliance of 10 nations headed by the Holy Empire of Stevid invaded the islands of the Craxx Empire. The Craxx fought valiantly against the alliance with blind loyalty to their rulers. In the end, they were pushed from almost all the islands into a corner of territory on Draxadd Island where their capital city, Craxx-Ryees, was situated.

To stave off the advancing alliance of nations, the Craxx Empire deployed nuclear weapons across their Empire and on fighting forces. In response, the allies deployed their own nuclear arsenals on to the last bastions of the Craxx Empire, including their capital, devastating the remnants of the Craxx nation and bringing the dawn of a nuclear apocalypse upon the now Former Craxx Empire.

Of what came of the Craxx rulers and people nobody really knows. Some said their leaders fled to the void space, some say they fled underground, or to their great monolithic edifices erected to their gods.
The alliance retreated leaving a small Stevidian outpost behind on Retrinhes island to monitor any resurgence of the Former Craxx Empire, which remains highly irradiated to this day.
On the other islands, the settlements there fell into ruin, their people becoming nomadic or fleeing to greener pastures. The Stevidian outpost grew and out of it flourished the city of Pix – a huge city and massive trading hub exploiting the lands of the Former Craxx Empire.

Now… greedy eyes fall upon the wealth of these islands. Budding world powers vie for land, resources, power, and influence. Old enemies and friends coalesce to fight each other over the new lands. Others choose to bolster their claims by forging new friendships through trade or diplomacy.

Taking advantage of the roads and networks established by the Craxx, colonies grow fast. Explorers of these nations uncover the secrets of the Craxx, forgotten cities and people, huge monuments with underground caverns built in dedication to the strange gods of the Craxx. These lands are ripe for conquest, exploitation, and exploration; how you perform and whether your colony survives is up to you… and your neighbours…

OOC Information

Craxx is a "New World" style colonial land grab scenario. In this specific thread, the background and in-the-moment history of the colonies can be written, alliances formed or wars waged, or even just stories of days long gone can be told. Just be sure everything below is IC! :)
Der Reichseidgenossenschaft (Der RE)/ The Imperial Unity (The RE)
Imperial Foreign Secretary: Reichsgraf Bernhard Ernst zu Bülow Monarch: Reichsfürst Ludwig-Wilhelm VI
Grand Imperial Marshall: Großreichsmarschall T. Sprecher, Ritter zu Bernegg Imperial Chancellor: Reichskanzler Otto, Gefürsteter Graf von Lauenburg
Greater DienstadImperial Cabinet
Demonyms: Singular: Arvolk - Plural: Arvolken - Noun: Arvolk
Thank you to Meriad for allowing me to copy and modify his signature for my use, it's awesome!

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Dernel
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Founded: Oct 21, 2019
Right-wing Utopia

Postby Dernel » Fri May 07, 2021 8:18 am

In Dernel
Illaria Capitol building

James Castello was in his office, reviewing recent expenditures and the current state of the treasury. He picked up his tablet before he twisted his chair to the left and extended his legs upwards to rest them on the table while reclining his chair. He had the tablet connect to his desktop and began to swipe through documents.

Recent space endeavours had been costly, the MSDP was not pulling punches and he was fairly annoyed, it was hard enough to keep up with the rampant spending of the military while also trying to keep selling to the black market just to make up for the shortages of the treasury. He hoped that Isabella could pull through with the DPA prototypes, that they’d be worth the massive chunk of money that’s going into their development. Castello sighed as he dropped his legs and leaned forward again. He needed to find a source of money, the question was, where?

His eyes drifted as he got lost in thought until they landed on his television displaying news feeds in the background. He usually had it on just for the sake of white noise, but this time it was that white noise that was going to save him from Zubeknakov’s anger. The news feed was specifically on what Dernel thought was an old nuclear testing site. Turns out some foreign news reporters were doing a documentary on it, only it wasn’t a testing site. It was the site of a nation that got nuked out of existence. He wondered if that could be a key to his problems. The news feed continued on, now with his full undivided attention, the field researchers that were filming the documentary, some of the researchers took cores of the area and found that the area around the nuke site was rich in materials, some places filled with oil untapped for years, and supposed mountains ripe with veins of any ores imaginable, including uranium.

Castello let out a single almost inaudible chuckle, he needed to find where the valuables were, conduct a mining operation, the documentary went on to point out how some natives still live in the area, some of which are hostile as they had lost a researcher trying to make contact with the people. Castello decided it would be a good idea to send some military support just in case. He wondered if Isabella would be interested in testing her prototypes, he sent Isabella a message asking if she’d be interested in testing some of the DPAs. He then sent a message to Zubeknakov, it included coordinates for the general area to send some Dernellian researchers to take their own cores of the dirt, find where there might be veins of ore, oil, or even archaeological sites. He also asked for some military support to protect the researchers from any hostile natives or fauna. About a minute after sending the text he got a reply from Zubeknakov, simply saying, “Fine.”
By Sword, Shield, and Flask.


Check out my stuff, it's in my factbooks, I put quite a lot of work in them, so if you have questions about my nation, it should be there!

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Simallia
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Capitalist Paradise

Postby Simallia » Fri May 07, 2021 9:41 am

Post incoming

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Dernel
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Founded: Oct 21, 2019
Right-wing Utopia

Postby Dernel » Fri May 07, 2021 9:57 am

Simallia wrote:Post incoming

You need to sign up on the sign up thread first: Here

This is the world building thread for the above thread.
By Sword, Shield, and Flask.


Check out my stuff, it's in my factbooks, I put quite a lot of work in them, so if you have questions about my nation, it should be there!

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Neo Prutenia
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Founded: Oct 21, 2009
Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Neo Prutenia » Fri May 07, 2021 6:39 pm

Prut naval task force “Lluïsa”, ~ 6 years ago

The group was creeping in Craxx waters for several weeks now, trying to avoid making a fuss or upsetting the established local powers too much. Or rather former Craxx waters. The Strensalls were eerie, disconcerting islands in spite of their tropical and equatorial features and seemingly lush vegetation. The beaches were devoid of any activity; here and there an abandoned settlement, either partially reclaimed by nature or desolate, burned, and shelled. In the shallows, the reefs, and on the sand were wrecks and remains of long scuttled vessels. Not all of them were military. In fact, quite a lot were civilian boats. They had gone through the same treatment as the warships, scuttled, burned, shot through, now all aground, all forgotten, most rusty and creaking and wincing whenever the wind and the times felt like making their music. Their only inhabitants were ugly drab crabs, nasty gloomy mussels, and the occasional flock of loud seagulls greedily eyeing the crabs. Very infrequently one could also spot a former beachhead. Common characteristics included signs of intense fighting, traces of haphazard and quick clearings of local flora and probably also fauna, and abandoned camps. If you wanted to find the mass graves of presumably Craxx soldiers and hopefully not also civilians, you had to wander a bit deeper into the woods. You couldn’t miss them, as in most instances the Alliance forces were rather thorough when it came to shooting the Craxx to bits but somewhat brief when it came to burying their dead foes. In these parts all the grave sites quickly turned into pyres, and now, ash and charred bone. Just a thing to keep in mind, if one is inclined to take long walks on the beach—stick to the sandy parts.

Not that the Prut forces were here to enjoy the scenery. The group was based around the fast battleship “Lluïsa”, and included a stealth frigate for forward operations, a carrier and carrier air wing, one nuclear attack submarine, two anti-sub destroyers, two anti-air destroyers—which felt a little bit silly, since the Craxx probably didn’t have anything capable of flight yet alone threatening an advanced naval group, but better safe than sorry—and one supply ship. The mission was mostly exploratory in nature. They were there to reconnoiter the area, confirm certain assumptions the administration back home had, and to find a suitable and preferably non-irradiated and definitely not already claimed spot to turn into an outpost. When, not if as ifs weren’t allowed in this particular instance, a spot was secured, Lluïsa would be reinforced by several civilian ships to further develop Prut presence and prepare for the next phase of the mission—recovery.

The cliché was sadly very much true. The Craxx procured certain cultural artefacts and artworks, and a plethora of cargo from Prut vessels in a rather boorish manner, and had the nerve to not only ignore complains but also to refuse any sort of reimbursement, and we can’t have that. Those were Prut shinies, and they would be Prut shinies again. Plus interest. Plus recovery costs. And occupation costs. Ok, maybe the cliché wasn’t completely true as the Prut were not here for vengeance. They would be far too late for that party anyway, and the alliance of nations already took care of that completely free of charge. Good lads. But the bits about propriety and strong desire for justice were true. And maybe the bit about avariciousness, but it’s impolite to say so out loud. It’s implied. Leave it at that.

Captain Adelheid Lottesdochter Bomhever had her work cut out for her. And right now she was having a nice chat with her various crewmen, support staff, and scientific attachés.

“Why this particular area?”

The people present eyed each other, trying to figure out who should respond. The chief science officer, Harald Odasson Stein, a rather odd looking fellow—typical “four eyed” and nerdy boffin with a big grin above neck, and unusually athletic if somewhat small framed below neck—raised his hand and asked to have the word. The others nodded.

“Skipper, the data we managed to pilfer and gather so far paints a quite nice picture. Drone surveillance showed human activity to be practically negligible. The land is obviously able to support life and there seem to be no currently visible indicators of extreme or dangerous toxic or radiological dangers. Reconnaissance would have to confirm this by foot, so to speak, but I think it’s save to send them. Still, it’s not irradiated within reason, for an area that suffered extensive combat and nuclear bombardment. And it’s not claimed by anyone, as far as we know.”

The captain raised an eyebrow. She looked over the various charts and reports. It took her a good minute or two. She was still a bit skeptical, which prompted Harald to interject.

“The area is close to the equator and in the far east of the former Craxx Empire. Given the typical easterlies in this latitude, most if not all fallout would have been blown west, and there’s nothing east of this location. So no fallout from neighbours either. Almost everyone else would be downwind from us.”

“Why not the island to the south then? It seems more developed if nothing else.”

“Skipper.” An officer, Valèria Mireiasdochter Vilaró, jumped in. “The southernmost island suffered at least some nuclear exchanges. Aerial observations and remote drone measuring confirmed the aftermath and fallout there. Some information we have from alliance sources also indicated that the resistance there was rather stiff. We can’t exclude the possibility of stronger holdouts or even remnants. The dangers far outweigh the benefits.”

“Fair enough. And to the north we have the…” Adelheid looked at the report, brows furrowed. “…Arcaenians? Arkänyans? Those people, yes?”

Valèria nodded. “Affirmative, yes.” Harald confirmed it as well.

“Alright then. So, Herr Stein, what can we expect when it comes to fallout then? Surely it’s not completely safe, otherwise it would have been claimed, no?”

“I wouldn’t be so sure. Even if they were completely untouched, the Strensalls are still in an area known to have suffered serious and ample nuclear detonations. I doubt commercial agriculture would have been appealing. Or in other words, would you buy produce from such a region?”

“I guess not. No.” The captain stroked her chin, and thought about it for just a second. “And rapacious as they were…or rather are, the current colonisers would likely go for the easily extractable resources on the bigger islands. Ores deep underground wouldn’t be irradiated.”

“Probably not. Well… not in quantities that would matter.”

“And the fallout?”

“It’s been about twelve years since the nukes went off. Over a decade anyway, so most of the really dangerous isotopes would have decayed by now. Any radiation would come predominantly from strontium-90 and caesium-137 by now, and we have some countermeasures for those.”

“I reckon we can start poking around that island then. Let’s see what we can find.”
Factbook: The Prut Meritocracy | Prutopaedia (TG feedback appreciated) | National Policies | φ(._.) - Shoot me a TG if you want to RP with me

Always assume I'm the exact same tech level/reality as you are, with access to the exact same technology/abilities; I just happen to prefer very strict MT. IC name: Prut Meritocracy

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Neo Prutenia
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Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Neo Prutenia » Sun May 09, 2021 11:09 am

Previous

Prut naval task force “Lluïsa”, anchorage of Dys-Kansyr, ~ 5 years 10 months ago

The first two months were less than ideal but better than expected. A bit of improvisation here, a lot of planning and brain storming, which would quickly be tossed out the window—plans and contact with the enemy as the saying goes—yet it wasn’t that difficult to adapt and refocus, at least when it came to securing the anchorage and landing zones and the outpost. They just didn’t like having to resort to constant realignment of priorities and goals. It was almost a like a war, like an actual battlefield. Less bullets and ballistics were involved, yes, but the island was fighting back. What? Just letting a bunch of greycoats in NBC suits run around willy-nilly; it wouldn’t have that. It couldn’t. So the fight was on. Annoyingly, the “Lluïsa”-troops didn’t even exactly know the name of the island. In official parlance this was Strensalls near equatorial archipelago—1, but no one wanted to die exploring Snea-1, so most personnel settled on Spukdickicht, i.e. haunted thicket. Mostly because the terrain turned into thickets and woodland as soon as one lost sight of the beach, and because it was haunted.

There was a constant miasma of malice, a kind of oppressive malaise in the air, in the ground, in the taste and smell of fruit that could be gathered, everywhere really. The radiation monitors claimed the fruit were safe for consumption, and the people in the white coats confirmed what the instruments were saying. Despite the thick cover and endless canopy people were unease; as if they were infinitely tiny on an infinite flat utterly featureless plain and in the shadow of a huge, hungry primordial bird of prey descending rapidly talons ready to snatch them away. That very specific feeling of disquiet you have when you’re submerged in water, somewhere in the open sea, far from shore and nothing but horizon in any direction and you begin to sink, to dive, nothing but the cold, mordacious water and whatever it’s hiding, and there is only blue above, blue below, blue everywhere around you, and you’ve lost every sense of direction, you don’t even know any more if you’re breathing or not, just you and your thoughts, and a desire to open your eyes and keep them shut at the same time—this is every step on the island.

The island was fighting you, attacking your psyche. Horrible things happened here and you will witness them. You will not leave unchanged, unscathed. You will be tested, measured, and if found unworthy… discarded.

But other than that it seemed like swell deal; lots of free real estate, no noisy neighbours, no long commutes—not that there was anything to commute to, but it’s the thought that counts—and all the exercise you could wish for and in a beautiful environment as well. And one could make a killing recording a ghost show or one of those haunted house documentaries here. There was at least a thirty seasons worth for the paranormally inclined. You had to have a sense of humour about it, otherwise the island would win.

Now, the outpost. It wasn’t actually an outpost. The task force found a suitable anchorage close to a devastated town, presumambly Dys-Kansyr. They had to go on incomplete reports, size of the settlement, and general location, since the locals very rather reticent on account of them being very much dead for the better part of the last decade. Give or take a year or two. And they didn’t have the courtesy to write everything down properly for posterity, although we’ll forgive them the latter as they were very obviously preoccupied with more pressing matters. The ruins of the town did speak, in volumes. If one had a good look from some elevation or the air, the patterns of destruction pointed to something not unlike the main guns of the “Lluïsa” herself—heavy artillery, high calibre, high explosive shells. The areas affected the most seemed to have been shore batteries, hardened installations, SAMs and the like, but pretty much the entire town was leveled. The scene suggested absolute local air supremacy in favour of the alliance forces, and a need to quickly take this town in particular. It was easy to imagine it as an important garrison or fortress town for the Craxx, as it likely presented a good spot for controlling the gap between Streona, the northernmost Strensall island currently under Arcaenian control, and what the Prut forces called Snea-1. If the alliance troops wanted to pass unmolested, Dys-Kansyr had to be removed. So it was. After the bombardment some fighting took place, more likely a sweep to make sure the Craxx couldn’t regroup or reinforce it. What’s left of the town now is little more than a collection of rubble, but at least some of which could be repurposed as building materials, and none of it was irradiated.

And that was the outpost. It included the only pier left intact, a still standing if a bit leaky and somewhat drafty warehouse, and a clearing close to both which was expanding day by day. While the town was secured, and swept several times, it still had to be properly and thoroughly searched. So most personnel were still stationed on the anchored ships. The captain, Adelheid, even after two months still failed to go to shore even once. She was busy coordinating their missions, keeping up to date, and her right hand woman, Valèria, was handling the terrestrial aspects of their operation quite amicably. The Prut presence on the ground was about 200 soldiers, at least half of which were always present in the town. The rest were scouting the interior, trying to find any locals, and marking areas by their degree of irradiation and danger. Adelheid was currently planning with her senior staff how to secure their claim. They were all drinking tea, hunkering over various maps and charts, going through recent oceanographic measures and reports, and occasionally nicked a salty pretzel from the bowl on the table.

“So, the town’s a bust. It’s pointless to try and rebuild it. We’ll clear it, separating the rubble from anything usable. If we find any intact structure, if we’re that lucky, we might appropriate it for our needs, but I’d wager we’ll only find a bit of building materials and little else. Some bricks that aren’t complete rubbish, maybe rebar, sheets of metal, and such. We’ll likely have to clear the vegetation around the town—our scouts did report signs of recent human activity on the island. Maybe it’s the colonisers, maybe it’s survivors. If we’re really unlucky, it’s stay-behind groups or whatever is left of them after a decade. There are also irradiated spots on the isle, so things need to be mapped out really carefully.”

“Shouldn’t we try to find a more suitable location then? We can’t have the fleet anchor in such an exposed area, especially if the island might have remnants of the Craxx. Maybe one of the smaller islands to the north, closer to the Arcaenians?”

“None are suitable. The anchorage is fine, for now. The local currents won’t bother us too much, and I’ve already corresponded with Ognjen Radicasson, that chief engineer in charge of the construction fleet. They’ll be here soon. His idea is to modify the harbor area, dredge and deepen it to accommodate the larger ships and use the rubble to construct a roadstead. And we do have a lot of rubble. Might as well encompass the entire anchorage while we’re at it.”

“Not ideal, but I see it being just enough in case of storms, or hostile submarines or frogmen.”

“Exactly. And we can construct a few strategic islands away from the roadstead. Put signal stations and light houses there. Maybe a SAM or two. Create a few… artificial barriers that wouldn’t be on anyone’s maps and incidentally ideal for, say, storing sea mines. That sort of thing.”

Adelheid nipped a pretzel. The other officers were looking at the illustrations of the proposed designs. Most seemed to be content with the ideas. Mizuki Shinjusdochter Sugiyama, the captain of the only submarine present in the task force, seemed a bit concerned, and she didn’t exactly bother to hide it.

“Something on your mind, Frau Sugiyama?”

“We’re investing a lot of time here, a lot of effort.” She hovered her hand over the plans, pointing her and there. “Is it safe to assume we’ll be here for quite a while and that this investment will need to deter the other local powers?”

“The administration is considering making this a permanent mission, depending on our near future feasibility reports. It’s possible, but I would err on the side of caution and say to expect it, prepare for the eventuality, but not take it as fact until we get their word. As for the local powers—some were literally involved in the nuclear devastation and bloody war here and chose to stay in the aftermath. Others pounced on the still warm corpse of the Craxx right after that. We should consider them to be opportunistic to a fault and adjust our behavior and stance accordingly.”

“Underdeveloped and overgrown Strensalls are a bad opportunity. But a cleared Strensalls and a rebuild Dyr-Kansyr, enabling easier expansion inland, control of the gap, and maybe then reviving agriculture and commerce, and all this done by a small group free of charge. Why, that would be a great opportunity!”

“Exactly.”

“If we’re militarising the island already, why not go all in? Fortress, bunker, submarine pen, a coastal battery?”

Adelheid raised an eyebrow. “Submarine pen. Is that what this is about? You just want to house your Steinkauz, don’t you?”

“I definitely wouldn’t mind one. But the roadstead idea is fine by me too.”

The group laughed.

“Alright then. We keep doing what we’re doing, we’ll start preparing for the construction fleet’s arrival. That means you’ll have to spare some of your crew for clearing work. The exercise will be good for them, and I want them in rotations, until they get used to the island. It’s a bit… creepy in the beginning.”
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Always assume I'm the exact same tech level/reality as you are, with access to the exact same technology/abilities; I just happen to prefer very strict MT. IC name: Prut Meritocracy

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Dernel
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Founded: Oct 21, 2019
Right-wing Utopia

Postby Dernel » Sun May 09, 2021 1:14 pm

Isabel was tired of Lapsil, she had been one of the first to arrive in the mountains where upon taking cores of the ground they found increased rates of important metals as well as materials in general. When they first arrived in the region their radiation sensors began clicking to an increased rate of about 20mSv per hour. Nearly two years worth of background radiation in an hour. Nothing too dangerous, but nothing pleasant either. The entire exploration party immediately went into CBRN response at the time, most people simply went below deck, or into their vehicles, but those who would need to be moving above ground would have to don CBRN suits. Thankfully those in the DMBTs didn't have to bother, by procedure all they would have to do is put on their masks and gloves, they were already at MOPP 2. Unfortunately for everyone else they had to begin going through the pain of suiting up, cleaning, and all the rest of the unfortunate hell of CBRN.

Eventually when they picked a location to begin their settlement, near a rare earth metal deposit, they found a large deposit of various metals including lead. Isabel had her architects begin drafts to include thin sheets of lead within the walls of buildings, then covered in rubber, to protect the people from the radiation. When inside the lead-lined housing the radiation dropped to an acceptable 1-2mSv. There'd be less radiation in Lapsils housing than the background radiation in Dernel. Things were getting better for Lapsil, but it was still miserable. Often just to go get rations one would have to put on CBRN suits. It wasn't uncommon to see showers seemingly affixed to a bunks front door. In fact it was more uncommon to not see one, then to see one.

The radiation posed numerous issues for Lapsil, beyond just the people. Mainly in the crops. New farming designs would have to be made, Dernel already had vertical farming, and to prepare for a large colony Lapsil was already planning on building said farms, only now instead they would have to use leaded glass, sandwiched between normal glass, to ensure no one died from eating irradiated crops.

The new normal of living is what Isabel hated, she wanted to return home, but there were things she needed to see out. Primarily the use of the DPA suits. No natives had attempted attacks on the colony yet, perhaps that's because of the heavily armed populous, or the numerous tanks positioned around them, either way, no chance had arisen. Isabel was thinking of ways she could really combat test her suit when someone started shouting, the shouts were muffled, but after about the fifth Isabel realized someone was shouting her name from her front door. It was Charles, the lead architect of the Lapsil. She let him in, and waited as he unzipped his CBRN suit halfway down so he could talk normally.

"Were beginning construction on the farm, the mines just brought in enough lead for us to at least get about halfway done. We really just need your approval now." Isabel didn't even think much of it, she grabbed her tablet off her desk before signing a virtual document confirming construction of the farm.
"Easy enough, you're clear to begin work...", They both waited in an awkward silence for a couple of moments, "Oh yeah, one more thing, I need you to tell Mark to send out more prospectors, we need more resources to build this place."
"No problem, ill do that on my way over to the construction guys."

Isabel could stop thinking about one of her issues, Mark was the leader of the exploration detachment, she hoped he would find more resource veins to begin supplying Lapsil with resources it could sell, help get it on its feet. As well as materials to actually build the colony, but for now, Isabel was already pushing the limits of trying to find how much sleep can be replaced with caffeine, she elected to get some rest.
By Sword, Shield, and Flask.


Check out my stuff, it's in my factbooks, I put quite a lot of work in them, so if you have questions about my nation, it should be there!

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Neo Prutenia
Minister
 
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Founded: Oct 21, 2009
Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Neo Prutenia » Tue May 11, 2021 6:23 am

Previous

Prut naval task force “Lluïsa”, anchorage of Dys-Kansyr, ~ 5 years 9 months ago

Things were steadily progressing. The construction fleet did arrive recently, and the dredging process had begun. The plans for the roadstead looked promising. And their cargo—several heavy construction vehicles, material, and tools—was put to work immediately. Yes, sometimes unpleasant remains of and reminders that humans once lived there would be discovered in the process; a bone here, and another, and another, usually also a skull, which frequently sported more than the usual amount of openings and foramina you’d expect from a human cranium; soon you’d have most of or the whole skeleton, wearing by now tattered remains of Craxx uniforms or plain cloths. The psychological counselors were thus unusually busy, which was fine with everyone, as it kept morale up. And this worked out pretty well for the chief engineer, Ognjen Radicasson Glavaš, who’s psyche compared in resilience to a granite boulder, and who regarded any discovered remains as little more than a mostly-calcium, phosphate, and collagen nuisance. Every minute, that wasn’t spent on directing and supervising operations, drafting new and adjusting current designs and plans, or “stridently and enthusiastically” explaining exactly and in great detail how appreciated the input from the architects was, Ognjen would use to keep the governor-commander Adelheid in the loop. This happened to be such an occasion.

“I am just… saying that I am the one that is turning their… gormless numbers, lines, and squiggles into functional facilities. They may insist on certain patterns and ideas, on paper, but…” Ognjen gestured with his left hand toward the anchorage and future place of the roadstead, and further south in the direction of the ruined town. “But this is not paper, is it? No, certainly not. This is a lot of water. And a lot of rubble. And humour me, how many unexploded ordnances has officer Vilaró and her team of diggers found so far? Because that is a lot of ordnances as well.”

“Forty seven, according to the latest report. May I also remind my engineer that the diggers successfully located and disposed forty seven separate instances of dangerous combat leftover without incident.”

“I sure would hope so, given that Prut forces ought to be very familiar with post-war mine and bomb clear up. The Zelengorska region in Veleslavia? Or the eastern High Serras? The Hanabakate incident? Ah!” Ognjen raised his index finger, his face a mocking expression of ‘gotcha’. “Prut forces! Prut soldiers! Mhm, they know what is up. They handled that. These architects? Not so much. Bunch of civilians.”

“They did their mandatory two year tour.”

“And so did I.”

“You’re not a soldier, aren’t you?”

“I resent such condescension. I am very much a reserve officer, and I have seen my share of military-related engineering and work.”

“Fair enough, I suppose. But you’re not in uniform? So…”

“Point taken. Still. I very much advise on ignoring most of their ideas and going with a more comprehensive approach.”

“Which would require the budget and finance of running a town of a hundred thousand for a year or two? Because I’ve seen the adjustments.”

“If we do this properly now, we will save money later.”

“There might not be a ‘later’.”

“Of course there is going to be a later. The region is relatively large. Areas which are likely to house our rescue and recovery targets are also likely to be either irradiated, suffered heavy fighting, and/or be ‘off the grid’, so to speak. And then the operational costs. We will have to make this enterprise profitable at some point. Tax payers are seldom inclined to foot the bill for intangible benefits. And after said investment we will hardly just leave. We are staying here for good.”

“Aye, and the exact same debate is taking place in the parliament.”

“Literally.”

“You still have to work with the architects. And counselors. The designs can’t be mechanically and tactically efficient—permanent habitation requires a humane touch. A bit of colour, nicety, maybe less morbid reminders of the war.”

“Let me use the explosive to level the most suitable area. We will make a runway and an aerodrome. It will be much easier and quicker to import new supplies, and new explosives that way. And any vaults or bunker we will leave for after we find them.”

“And the roadstead?”

“We need to go deep. We need our own harbor facilities, to maintain the big ships. I say we use our current stock and maybe some of the high explosive shells you are keeping on the ‘Lluïsa’, and expand the harbor properly.”

“Risky, but it would shave off time later.”

“Exactly. And I will not make a submarine pen.”

“Was that a serious proposition?”

“Frau Sugiyama had certain ideas. About as sensible as most of what I am hearing from the architects.”

Adelheid laughed. She could appreciate the aura of levity Ognjen inadvertently managed to create, be it his comments or observations. She gestured towards the top of the table.

“Crumpets?”

“Yes, those are crumpets.”

“Would you like some?”

Engineer Ognjen considered the offer for a far longer span of time than anyone would or should, pondering whatever folk of his particular disposition were pondering in this particular situation; Adelheid picked one up, deciding that she’d rather not wait for him to make up his mind. She didn’t get to enjoy it right away though—karmic punishment for not minding her manners—as she was informed that officer Valèria Mireiasdochter Vilaró had urgent news. They put her on radio and handed the captain her receiver:

“I hope I’m not finding you indisposed, captain.?”

“I was just discussing with our chief engineer the finer points of base building and management. And crumpets. Fancy some?”

“I’m afraid not.”

“You don’t like crumpets?!”

“Everyone loves crumpets. It’s what we’ve found.”

“That urgent.”

“Most urgent.”

“Must be because you declined crumpets. Is it contact with the remnants again? Live fire?”

“Yes, but no.”

“It can’t be something you can’t handle.”

“An undetonated nuclear warhead is slightly outside my field of expertise. A smidge. Just enough that I’d request some assistance.”

“Craxx or alliance?”

“That’s on whomever is assisting to figure out.”

“If it didn’t initiate by now, it won’t in the next hour either. I trust you’ll keep an eye on it, ‘til we get a team ready?”

Adelheid turned to Ognjen, who had his mouth full, and pretended to look at her with ‘puppy dog’ eyes.

“Hm, oh, sorry. Mouth full. Cannot go. I am eating. It is dangerous. I could choke.”

“Fair enough. Stein then.” She smirked. “Vilaró, I might join as well. Take a look, see if we’ll have to evacuate.”

“Excellent. Could I ask you a favour then?”

“Of course.”

“Bring crumpets.”
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Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby European Federation Reunified » Tue May 11, 2021 1:42 pm

Craxx Archipelago, Retrinhes, Styx Bay area
Three days after the landing of EFEC Battlegroup 16

Colonel Thierry Dubois was proudly watching his men as they worked to clean up the area while others remained on guard to protect fellow soldiers from possible external dangers.
The real success of the unification of Europe was at work before his eyes: the French, Italians, Spaniards and Germans were working to fix this God-forgotten place and give it at least a presentable appearance. And the work was also progressing fairly quickly.
It had been fortunate to find this large bay with a now disused trading port to moor ships. Although rundown and unsafe, it had facilitated the disembarkation operations, bringing down soldiers, materials and military vehicles. There was also a small abandoned town near the port. It took some time to verify that there was no one in the houses. But, except for a few stray animals, there was no trace of human presence. Well, the houses could have been used to provide a first home for soldiers and future civilians who would soon disembark as soon as the settlement was not declared stable. And the unusable houses would be demolished to recycle the material.

The headquarters had been established just outside the town thanks to metal pre-sheets, creating a structure similar to the cabs of space stations. Various hardware and electronic components had already been assembled and operated to establish a communication channel with Europe and the Central Command of the EFEC. They would have to go on batteries for a while, at least until they found a way to produce energy locally.
All that was needed was to finish the construction of the citadel-barracks where the soldiers could finally gather and rest. In addition to storing weapons and ammunition, which at the time had largely been left on warships.

Colonel Dubois was about to enter his quarters when he heard the noises of boots flicker. It was Lieutenant Emilio Esteban Velasco, assigned to the scouting team. They were practically the eyes of the regiment, with the task of watching and mapping the area both via satellites and on the ground. As he approached the superior, the lieutenant came to attention.

"Colonel, I have here the images of the satellites plus the reports of the explorers who have just returned."
"Very good. Show me!"
While holding a tablet, the lieutenant scrolled through the images.
Image
Image

"The area in which we are located is rather flat, with some hills within the territory. The forest is not very dense, so in theory, small means of transport like ours AMZ-26 they can easily pass through it. There are some swamps inland, but if we get the right tools from Europe, it shouldn't be a problem to clean them up. Also, there is an old road that connects the area, but it is run down and it needs to be fixed..."
"Like everything else... go ahead lieutenant."
"Now the most interesting, sir. Resources.
Image

A team of explorers has found an abandoned mine in the north-east, near a hill. It seems that it was used for the extraction of Dysprosium and Ytterbium. I believe the field is still usable.
To the east, however, the presence of a wooded area, useful for timber, and Hevea brasiliensis has been reported. We can use to get the gum. To the west, on the bay overlooking the other side of the sea, the presence of oil deposits in the sea is suspected, given the residue poured onto the beaches."
"Good. This place is good for something then. One question, Lieutenant. Did the exploration teams find traces of human presence in the area?"
"Negative, sir. But ... I thought there were no more inhabitants in this archipelago after the nuclear war that devastated it. Or so the media had said."
"Obviously, a large part of the civilian population that inhabited these areas has either died or fled. But it is also likely that someone has remained in the forest, like criminal gangs or nomads. That is why we were first sent here."
"I understand, sir. What are your orders by the way?"
"Don't start the fire first. We can't afford to antagonize any local people. But if they're hostile, shoot to kill."
"All clear, sir."
"Good. Now call Central Command and inform them that we are ready to host the civilians. New Europe can begin."

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Neo Prutenia
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Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Neo Prutenia » Thu May 13, 2021 3:46 am

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Craxx bunker, later that day

Officer Vilaró’s team was handling the search and sweep operations quite well. There may have been a few close calls, but so far no death nor serious injuries. Naturally this made them a bit cheeky, but they did try to tone it down. It wasn’t an issue on the job, no, but they could get annoying in the mess hall. ’Oh, what did you do today? Played on the boat? Raked the seabed? Mhm. I just found, removed, and safely detonated dodgy decade old bombs. You know, no biggie. Third time this week.’ The ship crews that got to play pirate hunters and participate in pretend stand offs with other local powers got to shoot back a few choice words at Vilaró’s crew. Nevertheless most understood that you had to have a sense of humour to handle job and especially this environment. And a serious disdain for your own mortality. So humour and disdain.

Right now the majority of the lot was sitting at a table they cleared and cleaned beforehand. Since the instruments said the area was not irradiated, they didn’t mind taking their lunch break. Not one to disappoint a colleague Adelheid did bring tea and crumpets. So there were seventeen buff dudes at a table, enjoying tea and crumpets, beneath a partially collapsed roof and inside heavily damaged hardened facility, an entrance to a hidden bunker to their west, a still somewhat standing exterior wall to their east, a two metre long nuclear warhead on a steel work bench, and several at least a decade old piles of human remains to their south and around the room. The device seemed to be of most interest feature to their senior officers, as it really tied the room together. Among others, officer Vilaró, science officer Stein, and commander Bomhever were looking at the device. Vilaró was also enjoying her tea break, cup in both hands, standing next to Bomhever. Bomhever was eyeing the device arms crossed, and with an expression of both disbelief and concern on her face. Stein, who had a comically large thermos always attached to his belt on his left side when he was in the field, and typically used it as an arm rest when he wasn’t drinking from it, was closest to the thing. Right now he had in his left hand a report, and exactly as described, his arm was resting on the thermos. His right hand was hovering over the report, reading the lines, and occasionally sternly pointing at something in the text, snapping his fingers, or pointing at various objects and images in the room, while he mumbled to himself.

“A bit sparse, this report?”

“Yes, we left out some of the details. And it’s a preliminary one.”

“Can’t wait for the full one. And left out details such as?”

Vilaró giggled: “We didn’t find it pertinent to write that we played charred-bleached before we entered, and some other minor details.”

Bomhever raised an eyebrow. “Charred-bleached?”

“Bones. If the bones we’ll find will be charred, i.e. burned, or bleached, i.e. remains after exposure to the elements.”

Stein commented curiously: “Wouldn’t the remains in the thicket inflate the bleached ones?”

“Yes, but in the town you’re never sure.”

Stein scanned the area, then stroked his chin. “Care for a wager? I call charred. I win, you owe me lunch and bottle.”

“Fair.” She looked at the remains nearby. “Bleached then, same wager.”

Bomhever cleared her throat. Suddenly officer Vilaró became obsessively interested in her cup of tea. Stein smacked his lips, and gave the commander a sheepish look. “I guess I also have to earn my paycheck. Alright. Just one tiny little thing first.”

He went and crouched next to the remains of a Craxx soldier, judging by whatever was left of the uniform. After inspecting the body for several minutes, Stein addressed a soldier next to the entrance point.

“Private, take a gander outside and tell me if anyone’s within about thirty metres or so of the hole in the wall.”

After checking it, the soldier confirmed that no one was around. “Ausgezeichnet!” exclaimed Stein. “Step back inside, back to the wall.” He then rummaged through the remains, seemingly pulling something out, then he quickly tossed whatever it was through the hole, and he had quite the strong throw. He waited about five seconds, then looked up apparently disappointed, and then it detonated.

“Booby trap. Mhm.”

“Officer Stein, we usually dispose of those in a safe manner.”

“Ah, but I couldn’t bother you during your break.” He was being facetious and cheeky. "And we had a whole wall to soak up the shrapnel.”

Bomhever, amused and annoyed simultaneously, interjected: “Would you be so inclined to share your thoughts with us next time? Perhaps warn us?”

“Fair enough. Warning: exposition dump incoming.” He took a deep breath, then started: “There’s two types of remains, or rather their uniforms indicate different units. I suppose one is local, one came as reinforcement, stragglers, or stay behind contingents. The inside of the bunker will confirm so. I reckon the bunker boys are the locals, and the loony lads are the guests, so to speak.”

“Bunker boys I get. Why loony lads?”

“Shh. I’ll explain.” He cleared his throat. “Now, judging by the graffiti here, there was some serious tension between the groups. That one says ‘whores’ or ‘traitors’. And that longer one over there is roughly ‘treasonous scone’. And so forth. Quite a few expletives not said out loud in polite society.”

“Scone?”

“It might be ‘scum’, I’m not a linguist or native speaker. They look similar.” He thought about it. “Yeah, ‘scum’ makes far more sense.”

“And ’whores’?”

“Ah, ‘whore’ and ‘traitor’ are synonyms in Craxx. Or homonyms? What’s the correct term? Well, doesn’t matter. What matters is that it came to some sort of encounter. The bullet holes, spent casings, and ammo lying around is all Craxx small arms. They shot each other. Now forensics ought to confirm a few things, and I do have to fill in a few gaps since I’m going by at least twelve years old evidence, but I can make several educated guesses.

The nuke for example.

That’s very likely a variable yield bomb, anything from the low kilotonnes to over one megaton. Let’s see, about twenty centimetres shy of four metres, diameter about half a metre, maybe a bit less, probably over a tonne in weight. Most of the mass is likely the nuclear explosive, judging by the position of the lifting lugs. I’d say maximum yield is likely 1.5 megatonnes. I’d have to peek inside its guts for exact numbers. But, this thing is a bomb. It’s supposed to be dropped from a bomber. Now, officer Vilaró, you can confirm that this island housed at least one military airfield.”

“Two. One close to the ruins of the town, one roughly in the centre of the island. Both completely destroyed and cratered. The central one is now reclaimed by the thicket.”

“That corroborates my assumptions. I reckon that air base housed several bombs to be used against the alliance forces, but for whatever reason this failed to occur. Alliance air supremacy perhaps. Or a break in the chain of command. Actually, it’s very likely the latter more so than the former since the permissive action link has been tampered with.”

“Shouldn’t it have gone off then?”

“Depends on the design. And most of them have like five to six thousand parts; you can’t account for everything by just taking a look. Maybe it isn’t rigged to explode or destroy the bomb, and it’s just to prevent unauthorised arming.” He rubbed his hands together, gleeful. “I can’t wait to analyse it further. Nevertheless, can’t get it armed, can’t fly and drop it on an enemy force concentration. So what do you do? You bring it to the bunker or fortress, or whatever this place was supposed to be. This would have been in the late stages of the war. You wait, see what happens. And then this other group turns up.

Now, several of the bunker boys have Kansyr pendants, and it’s also part of their insignia. This would happen to be the Craxx chthonian deity of death, wealth, and earthly riches. This just about confirms that our initial intel was right, and this is Dys-Kansyr, or rather the ruin of said deity’s city. The Strensalls were considered a rich and bountiful place after all. And Kansyr was worshiped by offerings of wealth, often captured spoils in exchange for his blessings. ”

“So we can expect to find the vaults here.”

“Very likely. Any areas built for votive offerings, houses of worship, temple complexes are fair game. Although, they probably also just buried a lot of the spoils. ‘To make the land richer’, so to speak.”

“Are you sure Kansyr is the god of death?”

“I’m not an anthropologist. I just brushed up on a few key summaries needed for our work. The Craxx have like seven deities dedicated to death in some form or another. They also have sixteen different words for ‘muder’. Not ‘death’, but specifically ’murder’. They were odd folks with … unusual beliefs.”

“That’s not important right now. Stein, continue about what you suppose happened here.”

“Ah yes, the loony lads. See, their insignias are different. And it’s also another deity, the name of which escapes me at the moment.” Stein obviously didn’t know said deity’s name, but he wasn’t eager to admit that gap in knowledge. The other humoured him out of politeness and respect. “And I’m pretty sure they are not Strensall troops or even locals at all. They might be from the capital region. Crack race? Craxx-rax?”

“Craxx-Ryees.”

“That one. The irradiated debris and detritus expanse. Now, the bunker boys keep the nuclear bombs safe. The loony lads arrive and demand the bomb or bombs. Probably just the one. But maybe more. We don’t have the time frame, but it may have been during or right after the nuclear exchange. I really need the forensics team to confirm, but I’d wager that the loony lads remains will show more radioactivity than the bunker boys. Maybe they were caught in the blast, maybe they were in the walking ghost phase of acute radiation sickness, maybe it was PTSD, desperation, a number of other factors. Point is, they wanted to do something with that bomb that was insane and irrational enough that two Craxx groups started to kill each other over it.

See the specks and spots here and there, but especially the discolorations on the walls and around the bunker entrance? Someone went wild with a flamethrower. I assume the loony lads eliminated the bunker boys, but suffered heavy casualties. Some bunker boys survived, probably by not being present, got word of what happened, ambushed the now weakened and thinned in numbers loonies, and then prepared a few surprises for the other loonies, e.g. the booby trap.”

“A ten year old booby trap? Grenades can last decades, but only with proper storage.” Bomhever looked around, checking the room. “I guess it’s feasible.”

“The bomb is booby trapped as well. One hundred percent. It will probably explode as soon as you try to arm it, destroying the nuclear payload in the process and preventing initiation.”

“What would they have done with it? They had no aeroplanes nor other delivery systems…”

“True, but they had a lot of trees. Quite a large number of trees all around them. Ground burst, megatonne of energy released, and the prevailing wind conditions would have made a nice, radioactive plume. They might have tried to radiologically contaminate the area and create widespread fallout. If it was, say, a coordinated effort by several such units and in several locations, it might have worked.”

“That might explain the excessive degree of Craxx infighting after the war then… And why some areas are more irradiated then other even if they lacked obvious targets.” Bomhever paused. “What an ugly thought.”

Stein opened his thermos. A very thick, rich aroma of strong coffee suddenly permeated the room. He inhaled it deeply, visibly enjoying the fragrance.

“Paycheck earned.”

Bomhever smirked. Vilaró suddenly interjected.

“Oi, Stein, you cheat. You knew about the flamethrower and charred remains before we even opened the bunker.”

He just looked at her, drank his coffee, and grinned.
Factbook: The Prut Meritocracy | Prutopaedia (TG feedback appreciated) | National Policies | φ(._.) - Shoot me a TG if you want to RP with me

Always assume I'm the exact same tech level/reality as you are, with access to the exact same technology/abilities; I just happen to prefer very strict MT. IC name: Prut Meritocracy

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Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby European Federation Reunified » Sat May 15, 2021 1:55 pm

Port of Fort Jupiter, New Europe
3:03 pm

Image

"GET CALM DOWN AND KEEP THE LINE! ONCE YOU GET TO THE GROUND, GO TO THE ACCOMMODATION ALLOCATION OFFICE TO YOUR LEFT! PREPARE YOUR DOCUMENTS!"
The human river that was pouring from the passenger ships was literally invading the harbor. The non-commissioned officers were shouting to try to maintain a minimum of order and calm among the civilians present on the port quay.
On their faces one could read both curiosity and bewilderment. Feelings that Colonel Thierry Dubois could understand very well, on the other hand the European continent already contained within itself a variety of languages, cultures, different places, so much so that even a European citizen would hardly settle in an area completely different from his native state. And now these people would even have to live in this corner of the world for who knows how long, with a tropical temperature practically far from any European setting. However, he could not let confusion and homesickness slow the disembarkation operations; he almost disliked treating his fellow citizens like any displaced, but if he wanted to finish by the end of the day he had to move as best he knew how to do: that is, the military way.
And these were only the employees of the large companies that had won the right to be able to exploit these lands for good. Surely new waves of citizens would have been added who would have tried to find work here: traders, workers, entrepreneurs of various kinds. There was definitely still a lot to do.

Speaking of things to do...
"Lieutenant Velasco! What's the latest about the outposts?"
Lieutenant Velasco quickly checked his tablet before answering the superior. "We have just received confirmation of the positioning of the three teams sent, but they are still finishing building the outposts; they should be able to do it by the end of the day."
"Well, I want a guard change every 48 hours. The western sector has priority, given the presence of the oil platforms. The fresh incoming troops promised by the Command should give us a hand in this."
"Speaking of which, sir, the engineering team sent to the oil rig closest to the coast has confirmed to us that the facility is repairable, but as seen from the drone images, the other two are a jumble of iron."
"At the moment we will just fix the first one and defend it until the workers from EF Petroleum arrive. The businessmen with their money will take care of the rest. We're soldiers, not goddamn fixers. Our main task is to protect the territory acquired by the European Federation."
While the two officers were still talking, a soldier approached and stood at attention. "Colonel, there are some people I want to talk to you. They are the representatives of the companies."
Oh, talk about the devil... Take them to my office. And lieutenant, keep me updated on the outposts. "
"Yes sir" the two subordinates answered in unison.

Soon after, Colonel Dubois heard a knock on his door. The soldier from before ushered two men and a woman into the room, all three were wearing business suits, all three were visibly sweaty.
"Welcome to New Europe, lady and gentlemen. I would advise you to wear something lighter next time. We are in a tropical temperature here."
"Thank you very much, Colonel. We'll remember it next time," said the first man with a German accent, who was positioned to the left of the room. "Anyway, I think we better introduce ourselves. I'm Rufus Hartmann and I represent the interests of DeuExtra."
"Armand Mathieu, of EF Petroleum"
"Marta Salenti, representative of MastroRestauro."
The soldier shook hands with the three representatives as they said their names.
"Well, gentlemen. Now that we've exchanged pleasantries, it seems to me you wanted to talk to me."
"We wanted to be informed about the situation" he began to say the French "after all, our companies have already spent a lot to take a place here."
"Well, I wouldn't complain," the colonel interrupted him, "the federal government has already written off part of the expenses for the relocation of your employees and their vaccination against possible diseases. The rest is up to you. In any case, my men are finishing up the two inhabited centers, Hope Diamond and Dalmatia, that will house the employees of DeuExtra and MastroRestauro. EF Petroleum employees, on the other hand, will remain here in Fort Jupiter".
"What? We thought we could get to work right away!"
"I'm sorry, but until the works are finished and civilian means of transport arrive, no one will go anywhere. I remind the gentlemen that, until further notice from the Government and the Central Command, I am in charge of the colony and all its inhabitants."
"So I guess we should expect a similar situation in Libya? With the army in charge and the companies that work the resources?"
Colonel Dubois took a long breath before replying: "It is ironic that you are the one talking, Mr Mathieu, since it is only thanks to the military that your company can extract Libyan oil without any problems. Anyway, at least for the beginning it will be like that. However, we are dealing with European citizens; no one here will take away your rights. We are here to ensure defense and order among the population. As soon as my boys free themselves from the work of builders, of course. Besides, I don't think this situation will last long. Although this operation initially served only to exploit local resources, it will certainly expand. It is too good an opportunity for the government to create new jobs and lower unemployment a little, increasing its consensus."
"Should we expect any danger?" said Mrs. Salenti, who until then had been listening.
"I will not lie to you, gentlemen. I remind you that these lands belonged to an empire that has now dissolved. The situation is not unlike the Balkans at the moment: a missing government and a population in disarray. Even if, at the moment, we have not had any contact with the natives, the presence of a local population cannot be excluded. And news from the colonies of the other settled nations is confirming it. But you don't have to worry about these. My men are perfectly trained for any eventuality. and your business is safe. You have nothing to worry about."
The three businessmen looked at each other, not entirely at ease.
"Well gentlemen. If there are no other questions you can go back to your quarters. I still have work to organize."
The trio of representatives left the office, leaving only the colonel who, looking out of his office window, began to smoke a cigarette.
Last edited by European Federation Reunified on Fri May 21, 2021 2:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Neo Prutenia » Sat May 15, 2021 4:23 pm

Previous
Prut naval task force “Lluïsa”, anchorage of Dys-Kansyr, ~ 5 years 6 months ago

Half a year had passed. While the expeditionary force accomplished quite a bit, no one was in a particularly celebratory mood. Chief engineer Glavaš had finished the first aerodrome several weeks ago; right now he was really invested in making a proper roadstead, so most of the time he could be observed directing those efforts and grinning every time another load of debris-turned-barriers was strategically placed in the harbour and anchorage area exactly as he planned it. That man was a complete mood by himself, joyfully lost in his work, and able to infect those working with him. So they laughed, as more and more of Dys-Kansyr disappeared, and steadily a proper naval base was rising. But everyone else was rather gloomy. They were in the haunted thicket after all. Psychological attrition was an issue and most strongly present among the search and sweep groups. It wasn’t just the town ruin, where even now from time to time another gruesome discovery was made occasionally, nor the thicket, where evidence of horrific scenes having taken place were hard to ignore. Nor was it confirmation that the greycoats definitely were not alone on this island; at first it was a trace of human activity here and there, abandoned camps, fire places, and such, but there were now several direct encounters on record as well. Encounters with emaciated phantoms, madness, broken minds, and remnants. Two of them involved exchanges of fire, but luckily no serious injuries or death. In addition to all that, it was the humidity, the utter misery of everyday tropical treks and life, that exacerbated everything, always, relentlessly.

Regardless of how much time was spent in the thicket, one would be miserable, agitated, and so very much sick of it almost right away. It gnawed on your nerves, it depleted your patience very quickly, and it made you perpetually on edge. All things no one wanted during the searches and sweeps, as if the bones, reminders of atrocities, and now even phantoms—phantoms which have recently started to engage in haphazard fusillades with the Prut—as if all those weren’t enough. No, your knickers had to be damp as well. No one who signed up to this had to consider chafing to be a serious concern. But it was. This is how you could leave this world, forever: miserable, wet, having witnessed all manner of horror war, madness, and desperation allow or even encourage humans to do to each other, damp, suffering torrid conditions, and in itchy underwear, digging through bones and remains.

So, when the opportunity came to fly back home, and have a fresh contingent arrive, a sizeable number of soldiers took that opportunity. Many hesitated, but a simple look to their south, peeking at or inside the thicket, hearing it, smelling it, feeling its constant moisture slowly creeping over your arms and legs and under your uniform, and any trace of hesitation was gone. Evaporated.

Commander Bomhever found a temporary solution to this issue. Glavaš did protest at first, as it would have meant less time, labour, and materials for his grand roadstead, but he relented. The parts of the ruins furthest away from the coast, the southern edge, and a lot of the relatively intact materials scavenged in Dyr-Kansyr and a few other locations on the island, were turned into a wall. It enclosed quite a large area, about three-quarters the assumed original size of the city. It wasn’t a perfect square, rather an obtuse trapezium, almost a rhombus even. Some of the less useful debris was also piled in specific locations, and a few additional barriers were erected, the enclosure became quite pleasant to be in. The arrangement directed the sea breeze in convenient ways; while it was still a tepid flow of air, it was refreshing enough to make a difference. The inside pointing surfaces of the walls were painted and illustrated with playful and colourful images, shapes, and figures. Some were references and elements of classical Prut culture and history, some were from Prut popular culture, even a spiritual symbol here and there. It made keeping morale and discipline high easier. But the best new feature was the new association football field the managed to squeeze in. Admittedly, it wasn’t grass—Bomhever had one of the air cargo deliveries add just enough artificial turf to make a decent amateur field—but it kept the people happy enough to lower attrition numbers. After all was said and done, even Glavaš enjoyed spectating when the soldiers played. And on more than one occasion who could be heard shouting advice on how to properly play.

So the expedition was doing fine. Accomplishing a lot, but not exactly celebrating. Perhaps it was too early. Their new ’island’ of normalcy was just that, an island, a refuge. But it was nice.

After one of these matches chief science officer Stein and commander Bomhever were discussing recent developments with officer Vilaró.

“Poppy fields, Vilaró?”

“Poppy farms, commander.”

“It does make sense.” Stein was fiddling with the coffeemaker. He poked and prodded to device, seemingly unsatisfied with something.

“Will this be another horrific revelation like three months ago.” Vilaró squinted at him, just for a second, still a bit annoyed with the bunker bet.

Stein tapped strongly against the exterior of the machine. “Mhm. What? Oh, maybe.” He shrugged, and return to his tinkering. About three seconds later he got his shot of coffee. Now happy, he continued: “Look, the bunker was a blessing. We collected so much data on Craxx nuclear devices. The folk at home were giddy when they got all the pictures and schematics we made. I’m sending it soon by the aeroplane to them in fact.”

Bomhever raised an eyebrow.

“In a safe manner, commander. Completely safe. And the uranium will probably be reprocessed as nuclear fuel.” Stein grinned. “Our recovery efforts are already environmentally friendly. Hurrah!” He began liberally adding sugar to his coffee.

Bomhever smirked. She shook her head, then theatrically asked: “May I?”

Stein was a bit puzzled, but he caught up quickly. He just gave her a nod and began stirring his cup.

“Officer Vilaró, those are opium poppies. Fields, that is farms of them, specifically in the centre of the island, yes?”

“Exactly. We’re done with the coastline, and anything in its vicinity. We have a pretty good picture of everything there. Now it’s the interior we’re combing through.”

“So, this would be the area furthest away from the beaches. Furthest away from anyone making a landing.” She paused. “Furthest distance possible from contact with other people.”

“I’d say so, yes. And it’s deep in the thicket.”

“Stein, I think our assumptions were right then.”

“About the drugs? Well, obviously.”

“Care to elaborate?”

“Of course. It’s been… twelve maybe thirteen years or so after the war. Most Craxx remnant would by now be in their mid-thirties at least, likely older, since I doubt the recruits made it through. The veterans might have. So, say, remnants are late thirties now, maybe a few pushing into their forties. The civilians however; no training, nowhere to run or seek shelter, their entire world was under invasion. I doubt many would have made it. Reports from other powers here which we were privy to, and our own encounter indicate a considerable regression in technical knowhow. Stein?”

“Uh, my part. Yes! There’s two reasons for that. First, anyone who got irradiated, if they survived and didn’t get debilitating cancer nor became cases for palliative care two days later, would have been under tremendous shock. PTSD is highly likely, but also general psychosis. Not that I’d encourage you to capture members of the Craxx remnants for testing, but I’m fairly certain tests would indicate the survivors have become psychotic and/or delusional. Not all, but many. Capgras delusion, schizophrenia, paranoia, all potential disorders one can develop from radiation exposure and PTSD, in particular if no treatment is available. Imagine your entire world disappearing in atomic fire, and then you slowly and inevitably go mad; the few people you survived with, you committed awful things with in order to survive, the same people are each day becoming more and more of a threat to you. Replaced by impostors, whispering behind your back, plotting against you.” He snapped his fingers. “Snap. Just like that. The bunker’s a good indicator for that. They start killing each other over ghosts and slights and demented thoughts they can’t escape from. Even if you didn’t become psychotic due to exposure or PTSD, your neighbours, friends, your family might have.”

“Nuclear war is…”

“Nasty. Ghastly. Atrocious. Well, the parts that films and games and such tend to skip are.”

“Apparently.” Vilaró became silent for a moment after that comment. “First… and second?”

“Second would be anyone younger than thirty or maybe younger than their late twenties. Those would have been teenagers at best during the detonations, or more likely children. If they had survived with their families, the parents would have protected them. Kept them at a safe location while they scavenged, and thus gradually either got exposed, or got hurt. Chance encounters with other remnants, perhaps psychotic ones, with ruthless and unscrupulous survivors, criminals, any number of lunatics pilfering the still warm corpse of the Craxx Empire. A year or two in, you have shell-shocked parents, not transmitting anything anymore to their children, lost or even orphaned kids with no structure in their live—if you can even call that “live” anymore—who may have been forced to take care of their parents. Lots of tough decisions.”

“We did encounter younger folk!”

“Anyone who was a teen back then likely became semi-feral by now. In the thicket under so much pressure? Yeah, they barely recall what life was like before the endless struggle for survival. Anyone who was a child twelve years ago, current teens and people in their early twenties? Feral. Practically feral. No support, no transfer of knowledge, constant struggle. They are goners. And this is if they haven’t also become psychotic. That’s why they ran away from you, deeper into the thicket.”

“And the folk that shot at us were probably what’s left of the adults.”

Bomhever continued now: “You’ve got no medicine, no help, no supplies. No anti-psychotics. Most if not everyone around you is suffering, is being haunted. They hear voices, they talk to themselves, they eye you with suspicion. You’ve been through a lot. Quite a lot. You have to get your relief from somewhere. Some respite. Some solace. Anything.”

Vilaró looked at her report, at the photographs of the poppy farms. They retreated after the hostile encounter, but she recalled a few structures there. Not buildings, more shacks, and some equipment.

“I reckon they’re making opiates. Morphine and codeine is easy enough to make out of them. Perhaps even heroin.” Stein drank his coffee. His eyes were moving rapidly, darting left and right as he was calculating something and creating some hypothesis.

“What happens after twelve years of heroin use?”

“Emaciated phantoms…”
Factbook: The Prut Meritocracy | Prutopaedia (TG feedback appreciated) | National Policies | φ(._.) - Shoot me a TG if you want to RP with me

Always assume I'm the exact same tech level/reality as you are, with access to the exact same technology/abilities; I just happen to prefer very strict MT. IC name: Prut Meritocracy

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Posts: 248
Founded: Jun 20, 2020
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby European Federation Reunified » Mon May 24, 2021 2:05 pm

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Communication excerpt between Outpost Bravo and the New Europe General Command at Fort Jupiter



05/24/2021, 7:54 am
*Start of communications* Here is Outpost Bravo at NE General Command. How do you read? Over.

Here is NE General Command at Outpost Bravo. I receive you loud and clear. Report. Over.

We report the sighting of fumes along the coast. These fumes began to be visible around 7:02 am and intensify around 7:29 am. Probably a fire.
Its position is at the coordinates: 55° W 0°. Over.

Roger. Can you determine the nature of the fire? Over.

Negative. We require instructions. Over.

Send out a reconnaissance drone. Then report the origins of the fire. Over.

Roger. Out. *End of communications*





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Communication excerpt between Outpost Bravo and the New Europe General Command at Fort Jupiter



05/24/2021, 10:02 am
*Start of communications* Here is Outpost Bravo at NE General Command. How do you read? Over.

Here is NE General Command at Outpost Bravo. I receive you. Report. Over.

Sir, we sent out the reconnaissance drone to find out the origin of the fires seen this morning at 7:02.
The images showed us the presence of a village, I repeat, the presence of a village in the place of the fire. Many of the huts were destroyed by the fire. We send you the images taken by the drone. Over.
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Was there human activity in the village? Over.

Affirmative. Some figures have been seen wandering around the rubble. And there were corpses on the streets. Probably an attack. Over.

Are there any traces of the attackers? Over.

Negative. Over.

Roger. I will send a report to Colonel Thierry Dubois to inform him of the situation. You hold the position until further notice. Over.

Roger. Out. *End of communications*


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