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The Final Ultimatum (MT/PMT, Open)

A staging-point for declarations of war and other major diplomatic events. [In character]
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The Scandinvans
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The Final Ultimatum (MT/PMT, Open)

Postby The Scandinvans » Wed Sep 08, 2021 5:23 pm

Declaration to the "Christians" of the World from the Patriarch of the Scandinvan Catholic Church


The world that true Christians find ourselves in is one besieged by sin all fronts. This has always been the case since the Fall, but the inherent weakness in those who are not dres'Erid has caused the proper practice of the faith to be set aside thereby bringing themselves into unforgivable error. The various heretical sects' leaders of the world have abandoned the immutable truth of the Gospel by seeking to conform to the degeneracy of the world around them, overturn the proper order of the world, tolerate rule by those who do not believe, embrace teachings that defy the Law, opened up ecumenical dialogues with heathen faiths which deny the truth of Christ, through whose sacrifice is Humanity saved, and engage in countless other scornful abominations. Such a state cannot be tolerated to continue unopposed by the righteous. Due to these circumstances the Scandinvan Catholic has been forced to declare all supposedly Christian groups outside of Drana as incapable of practicing the faith of Christ in its entirety.

Henceforth these organizations labelled as Christians shall not be extended the protections awarded typically to dres'Christus. They shall instead be given the treatment befitting of all dres'nalar. This action is not born out of a desire to sow conflict. It is instead meant to serve as a rallying cry to all those who value obedience to the Almighty over all other things. If the world is redeemed the hour has come for those who are truly Christian to take up arms and create nations which live up to the teachings of the Bible. For only in such states can the law of God be enforced and the depravity of this current age overcome.

Yet, any such pronouncements require a proper justification when being issued. Justice cannot exist without reason. The listed faults which were explicitly mentioned reflect the core problems which the Doctors of the Scandinvan Church witnessed in the outside world. Each of them represents a grave sin that requires any who wish to repent to excise themselves from it to properly atone. No half measures will suffice.

The dres'nalar variants of Christianity now seek to embrace whatever popular trends predominate in the states they find themselves in. Currently, many supposedly Christians movements celebrate notions of human rights, democracy, and egalitarianism. There is no Biblical guarantee of human rights as understood by the dres'nalar. The laws of Leviticus, the examples of the prophets, the Gospels of the Apostles, and the sayings of the Messiah offer no support for them as in "liberal" states. Democracy, a modern invention in which governance is given over a rabid popularity contest that rewards the most deceitful, has no predicate in Biblical traditions. The Almighty has only anointed the governance of kings as seen most proximately in the blessed Davidic line and the exercise of authority by clergy as witnessed most fully by Moses, whose name deserves eternal glory (the best exemplars for this trend can be found within the Books of Kings and of Judges). Thus it is right to conclude that general elections have no legitimate merit under divine laws. Underneath the concepts of sacred scripture the debate over egalitarianism has no true place in conversation as both sexes are given respective duties which are separate (Ephesians 5:22-33, 1 Timothy 2:12, 1 Peter 3:1-7, & 1 Corinthians 11:1-16), welcoming the unbeliever freely as your equal or ruler is wicked (Hebrews 3:12, James 4:4, & 2 Corinthians 6:14-16), and the prospect of faithless folks being governed by God's grace is an impossibility (John 3:18).

Many of the more depraved preachers who label themselves as Christian actively alter the inalterable will of God to suit their agendas. These fallacious priests have wantonly taught their flocks to embrace the wickedness of this world so that they might find welcome among those who do not attest to the Resurrection. What righteous can be found in such an approach? All those who truly believe, as Christians, are taught to reject this world when it does not lend itself to the divine path. (Romans 12:2 & Acts 5:27-29) The only proper response to such things to utterly reject these clerics as blasphemers who reject the fire of the Holy Spirit.

If a person encounters their priest stating the validity of the majority voting on an idea remember 1 Samuel 15:23-24. The will of the people often will ignore the will of God. There is nothing noble, true, or sacred about voting. It is merely a tool meant to circumnavigate Scripture. Kings, princes, bishops, and prophets are the only ones fit to govern man.

If a minster tells you to embrace the destruction of the correct roles of men and women recall 1 Corinthians 11:1-31. Both have their role. Both have their respective duties. Any who stand in defiance of this deny the word of the Almighty. Cast them out if they refuse to recant and repent.

The righteous among you already know these things well. Their souls are still on the path to everlasting paradise so long as they walk on the narrow road which is demarcated by the will of God. Regardless on the primary topic the core position as mandated by the Revealed Word has been established and any further discussion on this matter will await another time in the future. These sins, whilst not inherently apparent to the more lackadaisical believers, are nonetheless clear to any deeper reading of the Old or New Testaments. Now this document will turn towards correcting the more specific errant teachings which any believer of even the most mild ability should be able to discern quite readily.

Looking upon the host of evils accepted as promogulated by the dres'nalar apostates it becomes an enigma to fully comprehend each of them. However, there are certain precepts which demand repudiation above the others. The notions of embracing transgenderism (Deuteronomy 22:5, Genesis 2:1-25, Mark 10:6-9, & Matthew 19:1-12), welcoming of homosexuality into the Church (Romans 1:26-27, Jude 1:7, 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, 1 Timothy 1, 1 Corinthians 7:2, & Galatians 5:19-21), encouraging wanton love between all (Hebrews 13:4, Mark 10:8-12, Malachi 2:13-16, & Hebrews 13:4), denying the importance of confession (James 5:16, Psalm 32:5-6, 1 John 1:9, & Acts 2:38), preaching that sinners should not be corrected (2 Thessalonians 3:6, Ephesians 5:11, & James 4:17), tolerating wastrels (Proverbs 18:9, Proverbs 12:11, 1 Thessalonians 5:14, & 2 Thessalonians 3:10-12), promoting worldliness (1 John 2:15-18), accepting false notions of Love for God labelling tolerance of others' sin as good (1 Corinthians 13:4-8, John 13:34-35, Matthew 22:36-40, & Romans 8:28), opening the door to abortions (Matthew 18:5-6), and teaching that people should abandon the teachings of the Old Testament (Matthew 5:17-19 & Romans 7:12). With such clear basis in the Holy Word as to make these points manifestly malevolent it becomes necessary to understand such deviant ways as being knowing falsehoods when coming from clerics and organizations which do indeed know the Bible which means that they reject the Holy Spirit itself. The only proper fate for these leaders is death and damnation. Those who live under such doctrine cannot be regarded as Christians. Rather they must be brought into the fold of the Scandinvan faith where they will be shepherded along the path of righteousness.

The reason for this is quite simple: only those of the Scandinvan Church have the proven resolve needed to ensure that degradation does not take place. The Scandinvan Catholic Church has proven itself immune to the temptations of a world unworthy of the respect of the faithful. There is no negation of scripture to accommodate the designs of a sinful. The other branches of Christianity have by and large failed to do this. Perhaps the most essential element in understanding this disparity lies in coming to terms with the efforts to embrace the world's other religions at the cost of compromising the one true faith.

Other peoples have sought to find strength in the comforts of this world rather than in the will of the divine. They have chosen to deny the explicit word of the Messiah Jesus Christ, may his example guide us ever close to heaven, so they might accommodate to the will of sinners. Rebelling against the rightful reverence of the Almighty they instead chose to worship wealth, diversity, comfort, and security. A person cannot serve both God and material pursuits. (Matthew 6:24 & Ezekiel 16:49) Nothing that is righteous can emerge from the practices of the non-believers. (Psalm 1:1-6) For each of them is a sinner due to their disbelief in the proper faith.

Only from the Bible can people discern the true practices which befit Christians. No justice can exist outside of its precious teaching as in humans we find only boundless weakness which each human inherits as a result of the Fall. (2 Timothy 3:10-17, Proverbs 3:5-6, Romans 7:12, & Joshua 1:8-9) The Harrowing did not occur to allow mankind to return to the state of sin seen in the antediluvian days. Christians instead are called to live by the law out of the love we have for the Son and the Father. Without the law we are wretched creatures doomed only to damnation as a result of inborn depravity. This necessitates the establishment of governments which will uphold the laws of God over the laws of men. (Galatians 3:10 & Acts 5:23-31)

True justice will see the faithful construct states that will prove themselves worthy of salvation by doing these things. The Bishopric Assembly of the Doctors of the Faith is not currently aware of any nation which fits within the designs of providence. That however is something which can be changed in proper circumstances. As such, those governments and sects which believe that the accusation against all dres'nalar is wrongful are certainly free to raise the matter. Such bodies will be judged accordingly with apologies given to those who were labelled sinful when in fact they walked in Grace.

For those believers who wish to establish proper governance over their peoples the Scandinvan Church is happy to offer support in whatever way may be proper. The cause of God takes precedence over all other concerns. If assistance is needed in the form of funding, munitions, arms, martial training, or other avenues please contact the Scandinvan Church for further dialogue. Remember that no good can emerge from evil. Overthrowing the lies of the nonbelievers is a just pursuit in whose pursuit any who die will become martyrs. As no Grace exists in their lives despite the lies that those who pursue ecumenism will tell the faithful.

Any who follow such a path suffer the most fateful disconnect from the truth of God. They commit the unforgivable sin of blaspheming against the Holy Spirit. Nothing can be done to redeem them nor can any credence be assigned to them. The only thing such vile persons deserve is to be driven out by the faithful into the fires of the next world. Some would question what is meant by this. Simply, by engaging and praising false beliefs they set themselves against God.

The cores of the faith are quite simple for almost anyone to comprehend. In the heads of the corrupt they can be turned against those who profess faith in the Risen Lord. When this does happen a deep seated abhorrent lies does instantly take root. Based on the notions entertained by many a revolt needs to take place to correct the status quo amid so many of the churches of the world. Otherwise the simple truth of the faith will be forgotten.

Through the Almighty were all things made. By the blood covenant of his Son, Jesus Christ, are we made worthy to enter eternal paradise if we lives in accordance with divine truth. In the Holy Spirit are we given the guidance needed to walk down the narrow road to salvation. In each God, may all our actions be in His service, has chosen to reveal Himself to us. HE alone is responsible for all good things that exist. To Him is everything owed and for Him do we live. All who do not profess this are unbelievers who cannot offer just insight into this world.

"Upon due reflection the orthodox standards of the faith listed are easy enough to follow. They require absolute obedience. To partake in conversations on matters of faith with those who deny them is to effectively apostatize unless if done for a purely evangelical mission. By doing so a person enjoins them in denying the Holy Spirit which is the guiding light for true Christians. There can be no forgiveness for this. (Mark 3:28–30 & Matthew 12:30-32)

Some will certainly ask why that is the case. By what right does merely engaging in a conversation cause one to deny the Holy Spirit? When undertaking such actions you remove the notion that only the Christian faith is the one true pathway to heaven sanctioned by God. This action inherently rejects the sacred embrace of the Holy Spirit and dilutes the absolute nature of the faith. There is no other religion in existence which can posses any divine truth or purpose after the resurrection of Jesus.

One means of addressing how pointless these efforts can be would be to highlight some of the religions these false Christians engage with. The faith of Joseph Smith is an example of a group which is so egregious in its doctrines whilst it calls itself Christian that it befuddles the mind of a true believer. They preach that God is not a trinity, that the Father was a Man, and that each human can become a divine parent to their own worlds if they practice the doctrines exhibited in the Book of Mormon. They, at the very least, are deluded apostates who exist outside the bounds of Christianity. Though the more proper argument is that they are polytheists who desire the apotheosis of all humans. What Christians would be willing to associate with such outlandish beliefs?

When looking upon other examples the case does not get better. The sons of Ishmael have largely given themselves over to a errant doctrine which attests that the Holy Spirit is the Archangel Michael, that Jesus is not the son of God, that the resurrection did not occur, and teaches that the Trinity is a form of paganism. Predicated upon this no discussion should occur with them. Truly believing Christians have nothing to learn from them. Any who doubt only betray the frailty of their own piety.

In other religions there are no real sacred truths to be found either. The Buddhists offers a belief which demands you forfeit the certainty of the Father's paradise, a rejection of reality, and a misrepresentation of the ramifications of the Fall. The best advice when dealing with them is understanding that their theology is an excuse to do nothing with one's life. Rightly practicing Christians will avoid their influence whenever possible.

The list goes on and on. There are innumerable other religions which deny the truth of Christ, but it does not serve to continue down listing their faults. What matters is that each of them is contrivance to Scripture. Due to this, Christians must not associate with in a religious capacity save, as noted earlier, in conversion efforts. Even then, only trained missionaries should engage them. All others risk losing themselves to the influence of the sinners. Having made these defects clear certain things are easier to discern.

It must understood that Christianity is the faith of Christ which demands that humans follow the law completely. Through him is salvation made attainable. (John 3:16) We owe God everything including our very lives if demanded. (1 Corinthians 8:5-6 & Romans 12:1) None can enter paradise save through the Messiah. (John 14:6-7) Therefore the believers are called upon to create the means by which the faithful can practice the faith faithfully.

Incumbent upon the faithful ministers of the truest form of Christianity, Scandinvan Catholicism, is to establish clear parameters for how those living in sin can atone in such a way as to start upon the correct path. There exists a temptation to offer an easy road. Though such measures need to be avoided at all costs since they are the mother of the current situation the dres'nalar now live in. What is needed is a strict set of principles which are achievable to any who have the willpower do what is needed to return to the way of God. To this end, here is a list of things to implement:

    1. Excise the influences which seek to reform Christianity.
    2. Implement laws predicated upon Biblical law.
    3. Outlaw all heretical and non-Christian faiths save for Jewish organizations which adhere solely to the Old Testament.
    4. Institute the death penalty for all those blaspheme the Holy Spirit, refuse to recant after denying the Christ, or for those who preach against the law without admitting fault when confronted.
    5. Create a system of governance divorced from popular voting systems.
    6. Establish communications with the Scandinvan Church so that the status of dres'Christus can be extended to you once the above measures are done.
    7. Honor God with all your might each and every day going forward.

Those foolish peoples who falsely call themselves Christians which will not heed this message make themselves the enemies of the faithful Christians. Their error requires acute correction and all measures, including conquest, will be considered. The legions of the Glorious Empire have been given the mandate by God to take up the Cross and spread it to all lands. All those who oppose us shall be met with the pyre. Salvation shall be the gift that we give to the word by any means. The faith of Christ will prevail regardless of the cost to ourselves and to humanity. There can be no other way.

God is the sole being worthy of eternal praise. He is made up of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. He created all things. He alone is the source of all righteousness. The Bible is the revealed word by which humans must live. Christus invictus.

Signed,
Servant of Christ,
Steward of the Law,
Head of the Bishopric Assembly of the Doctors of the Faith,
Patriarch of the Scandinvan Catholic Church

OOC: This document is effectively meant to serve to outline the Scandinvan Catholic's worldview and explain the extremism which it embodies. This is in essence aims to give the faithful a predicate to spread the faith by the sword and as a call to arms for other Christian denominations displeased with a lack of Biblical literalism. The term dres'Christus means faithful Christians who are recognized as properly religious by the standards of my government, which is a theocracy, and the phrase dres'Erid is a self-referring ethnonym used by my nation icly. Dres'nalar means "one does not understand" and can be considered equal to being called a barbarian. Please feel free to post responses, but do not expect my Church leadership to show much respect or welcome challenges.

The OOC thread is located here if you have any questions: viewtopic.php?f=5&t=512001
Last edited by The Scandinvans on Tue Nov 09, 2021 4:18 pm, edited 4 times in total.
We are the Glorious Empire of the Scandinvans. Surrender or be destroyed. Your civilization has ended, your time is over. Your people will be assimilated into our Empire. Your technological distinctiveness shall be added to our own. Your culture shall be supplanted by our own. And your lands will be made into our lands.

"For five thousand years has our Empire endured. In war and peace we have thrived. Against overwhelming odds we evolved. No matter what we face we have always survived and grown. We shall always be triumphant." -Emperor Godfrey II

Hope for a brighter tomorrow - fight the fight, find the cure

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The Scandinvans
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Postby The Scandinvans » Mon Sep 13, 2021 5:41 pm

Clarification on the Nature of the Divine Cause


In the service to the cause of the Almighty there can be no compromises. Christ, who deserves the love of all for he is the Redeemer of mankind, did not willing embrace death on the Cross to see his followers turn to the vulgarity of humanity for teaching. His apostles did not proudly die professing the faith so that people might muddle it with the concerns of the dres'nalar. For only through absolute devotion in Christ can humanity be truly redeemed. (1 John 5:12) Each person who is not willing to defend the faith unconditionally betrays the Risen Lord's command.

"For I came to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man's enemies shall be they of his own household. He that loveth father or mother more than me, is not worthy of me; and he that loveth son or daughter more than me, is not worthy of me. And he that taketh not up his cross, and followeth me, is not worthy of me." (Matthew 10:35-38)

The Christian faith in turn must always affirm that the point of belief is not to find ease and requires constant struggle. Being a proper believer requires that the faithful set aside childish understandings of morality which emphasize the live and let live ethos that has corrupted so many. The only thing that truly matters is the road given to us by God. Christians must obey the laws of the Almighty or face ruin. (Deuteronomy 6:13-23) That is why it is necessary for the faithful to be endlessly reminded of the reality of sin and the stance that Christ took on it. For only in the Savior can humans find a proper assessment of the world.

Christ did not come to unify humanity by teaching that grievous sin was righteous. The Son of God came to Earth so that humanity might be unified under his blessed teachings. Without which people are doomed to the eternal depredations of Hades which is governed by the vile originator of doubt. (Acts 4:12 & 1 Timothy 2:5-6) To further this goal, all political institutions must be geared towards the creation and continuance of a society which adheres to the laws of the Bible.

A Christian government must rule with the the Bible as their constitution as it provides the only means for true justice. (2 Timothy 3:16) The Gospels should be what they consult when discussing matters of jurisprudence. The teachings of the Almighty must govern rather than the opinions of men. (James 2:10 & Acts 5:29-30) Once this has been achieved can a nation truly live a godly life. Vice will be minimized, happiness shall increase, and order will be maintained.(Romans 7:12) Humans are innately aligned with the precepts of sacred law when they given rule through it.

Ultimately, all those who wish to be Christian must live by the law or die by it. The law alone does not confer salvation unto the believers. The law instead provides the peoples of this world the means by which to live in virtue. Those who would deny the need for scriptural adherence name themselves as ones who wish to innovate on the divine which is blasphemy of the worst sort.

Without sacred law though humans are cast adrift into a sea of sin. (Matthew 5:17-19) Much of the festering decay which led to the heresies and weaknesses that now envelop the false churches is born from the secular materialism which now is the theology of most fake Christians. In this is the means by which Satan can establish his dominion over the world. This is not a sign of the ends times. Merely the mark of an era in which the true faith is persecuted into it is forgotten by most peoples. The Scandin will not let the world fall into damnation in order to suit the pitiable egos of the dres'nalar.

The Scandin and the Scandinvan Church will soon offer the disparate nations of this world the path forward through all means.

God is the sole being worthy of eternal praise. He is made up of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. He created all things. He alone is the source of all righteousness. The Bible is the revealed word by which humans must live. Christus invictus.

Signed,
Servant of Christ,
Steward of the Law,
Head of the Bishopric Assembly of the Doctors of the Faith,
Patriarch of the Scandinvan Catholic Church
Last edited by The Scandinvans on Mon Sep 13, 2021 5:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
We are the Glorious Empire of the Scandinvans. Surrender or be destroyed. Your civilization has ended, your time is over. Your people will be assimilated into our Empire. Your technological distinctiveness shall be added to our own. Your culture shall be supplanted by our own. And your lands will be made into our lands.

"For five thousand years has our Empire endured. In war and peace we have thrived. Against overwhelming odds we evolved. No matter what we face we have always survived and grown. We shall always be triumphant." -Emperor Godfrey II

Hope for a brighter tomorrow - fight the fight, find the cure

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Goram
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Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Goram » Wed Sep 15, 2021 4:28 pm

Sounds interesting.

Tag for tomorrow.

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The Scandinvans
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Postby The Scandinvans » Wed Sep 15, 2021 5:12 pm

On the Status of Intelligent Non-Humans


There is no creature created in the image of the divine save for humans. Humans alone were given dominion over this world. All Christians who deny this truth name themselves heretics and apostates. From this basis do people gain the means of understanding the foundations of the order that the divine intended for Earth. Within this design can be seem a stark abomination begin to emerge. The issue of the intelligent non-humans capable of speech raises a fundamental challenge to the order of creation.

In what capacity do these creatures exist in the plans of the Almighty is answered rather simply: they have no place in it. These animals are vile spawn of Satan meant to exist as a mockery of everything God intended. Such abominations exist outside the mercies of the divine and have no place in the holdings of true believers. These beasts have no claim to rights, accommodation, understanding, or justice. They are a pestilence sent onto mankind which must be addressed in the harshest possible terms.

To that end, the preferred paths to resolve the issue of the existence of these devil spawn would be either the sterilization of each specimen or the destruction of every individual. The most secure path forward would be eradication route for so long as one exists they will continue to spread the taint of Lucifer. However, the sterilization path is sufficient if a nation lacks the strength of character needed to expediently answer the situation. Once removed will the culpability of the sins of a nation be markedly decreased. Though there will always be those who doubt the merit of such harsh actions.

For such people, it is essential to remind them that only humans are created with divinely ordained intelligence. Mercy for the abhorrent animals made in defiance of the configuration of humans by God is disloyalty to everything sacred. Doing what is right is oftentimes not easy, but nonetheless it is necessary. True believers do not get to choose what is right and wrong, but must act always in deference to divine providence least humanity be cast adrift. Therefore, people who call themselves true Christians do your duty against these detestable monstrosities and remove them from your nations.

God is the sole being worthy of eternal praise. He is made up of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. He created all things. He alone is the source of all righteousness. The Bible is the revealed word by which humans must live. Christus invictus.

Signed,
Servant of Christ,
Steward of the Law,
Head of the Bishopric Assembly of the Doctors of the Faith,
Patriarch of the Scandinvan Catholic Church
We are the Glorious Empire of the Scandinvans. Surrender or be destroyed. Your civilization has ended, your time is over. Your people will be assimilated into our Empire. Your technological distinctiveness shall be added to our own. Your culture shall be supplanted by our own. And your lands will be made into our lands.

"For five thousand years has our Empire endured. In war and peace we have thrived. Against overwhelming odds we evolved. No matter what we face we have always survived and grown. We shall always be triumphant." -Emperor Godfrey II

Hope for a brighter tomorrow - fight the fight, find the cure

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The Scandinvans
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Founded: Oct 09, 2004
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Postby The Scandinvans » Sat Sep 18, 2021 8:13 am

On the Righteousness of War


"The Lord is as a man of war, Almighty is his name." (Exodus 15:3)


Many of the false Christians incorrectly preach that the Almighty wishes for only peace. They proclaim that there is no place for war in the true faith. This is a lie that they construct for themselves in order to make their errant beliefs hold legitimacy. The Bible does not support such conclusions nor can the Risen Lord be cited as the source of such doctrine. (Matthew 10:34-37) Thus it must be concluded that such teachings are in error and amount to willfully misleading those who were baptized which is apostasy. War is a necessary duty at times after all.

Jesus Christ, whose name deserves the never ending praise of all faithful, did not walk this Earth purely as an entity seeking peace between all. He explicitly acknowledged that peace was the purpose for His ministry. (Luke 12:51) Rather, it must be understood that war serves a vital function in this sinful world. (Matthew 24:6-7) War is a proscribed element of this existence until such a time as the Lord returns at the end times. Christians cannot pretend to existence in a reality where conflict can always be avoided and therefore must constantly strive to ensure that all warfare takes place within a proper framework.

Establishing such parameters is predicated upon a thorough examination of scripture. Within the Bible there context in which violence is justified is when defending one's self, in service to the will of God, to protect the greater nation, and to punish those governments who deny the sovereignty of the Almighty. (Ephesians 6:11-13 &John 2:13-16). Such elements help to cement the need for due reflection before undertaking armed struggles against others. Yet, it is the duty of every true Christian to undertake them when needed. What good is one's faith when those who deny the will of God are allowed to escape unpunished for blaspheming the Holy Spirit?

Rather frankly, many people nowadays have a hollow faith that allows them to deny their service to the Creator even when the gravest of insults is hurled against Him. Such persons lack even the most basic impulses of a truly believing Christian since comfort for them is more important than salvation. No righteousness can be found coming from the words or actions of such folk. Instead, those who are faithful must redouble all efforts in order to compensate for the ones who faith is little more than a façade to be worn to bring added attention.

When called upon the true Christian understands than going to war in service to the proper cause is a noble endeavor. The Almighty will reward those who in righteous circumstances go off to battle. (Revelation 3:15-21) Assuredly, they will find a promised reward for themselves in this world or the next. For even though defeat can be found by even the most pious of humans God looks down upon them with favor nonetheless. Thus, only those who are cowardly and weak willed will refuse to war when duty demands it.

Any who would deny this principle name themselves apostates who deny the will of God and blaspheme against the Holy Spirit by denying the testimony of Scripture. Justice requires that they be corrected by those who would call themselves Christian. Remember this lesson well. For the true Church's eyes will be mindful of this going forward. That a proper assessment of the revealed word has been given to the world to give witness to.

God is the sole being worthy of eternal praise. He is made up of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. He created all things. He alone is the source of all righteousness. The Bible is the revealed word by which humans must live. Christus invictus.

Signed,
Servant of Christ,
Steward of the Law,
Head of the Bishopric Assembly of the Doctors of the Faith,
Patriarch of the Scandinvan Catholic Church
We are the Glorious Empire of the Scandinvans. Surrender or be destroyed. Your civilization has ended, your time is over. Your people will be assimilated into our Empire. Your technological distinctiveness shall be added to our own. Your culture shall be supplanted by our own. And your lands will be made into our lands.

"For five thousand years has our Empire endured. In war and peace we have thrived. Against overwhelming odds we evolved. No matter what we face we have always survived and grown. We shall always be triumphant." -Emperor Godfrey II

Hope for a brighter tomorrow - fight the fight, find the cure

User avatar
The Scandinvans
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Founded: Oct 09, 2004
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Postby The Scandinvans » Mon Sep 27, 2021 5:26 pm

Offer of Assistance to All Crusading Christians


"Blessed are they that suffer persecution for justice' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye when they shall revile you, and persecute you, and speak all that is evil against you, untruly, for my sake: Be glad and rejoice, for your reward is very great in heaven. For so they persecuted the prophets that were before you." (Matthew 5:10-12)


There is no more noble of cause than to offer up one's own life in the service of the Almighty Creator. Nothing can as assuredly pay for the debt of the inherited condemnation of Adam. Paradise awaits those who will freely offer themselves to the sword in defense of the word of God. Those who will not betray their sacred obligations and commit a grievous sin. God's will is for humans to be governed by His blessed word over all else. Those who will call themselves Christians must do all that they can to bring about the dominion of His will over all else. No nation, organization, false religion, or government can be allowed to intervene in this matter.

Any peoples who would take up the cause of the Almighty to bring about His in establishing a proper Christian state earn the right to call themselves dres'Christus. Incumbent upon all such persons to do everything that they can to bring about the dominion of God and His laws over this world if they wish to live with His blessings. (Deuteronomy 28:1-68) This will require that they fight until the evils of their lands are conquered and the majestic cause of the divine is brought to fruition. Then shall the bounties of heaven be given unto the people. Order, prosperity, grace, and love shall be theirs. Decadence, decay, and weakness will be driven out. They shall be welcomed by the Scandinvan Catholic Church as brothers and sisters.

However, few countries have the strength of character as a whole to embrace the will of the Almighty. These nations, lead by simpering cowards, will resist all those who strive to bring about the sovereignty of God. It becomes a requirement typically to use war against these governments as there is no other method to correct their wickedness. Warfare, when brought in service of the will of the Creator, is a proper endeavor. (1 Timothy 1:18-20) When faced with such overwhelming corruption in a society that living a faithful life becomes impossible the requirements to be peaceful are shed for the will of the Almighty is the most important to follow. (Acts 5:29)

In accordance with the above mission, the Scandinvan Church will offer whatever that it can to assist in the righteous armed struggles of those who would bring about the rule of the dres'Christus. Military advisors, munitions, arms, financial backing, healthcare specialists, food, medical supplies, and more are available. Though it is important to note that a test of the proper faithfulness of all petitioning will occur. The truly righteous though will not be found wanting. All who take up the mantle of the cross will find the welcome of the Scandin.

God is the sole being worthy of eternal praise. He is made up of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. He created all things. He alone is the source of all righteousness. The Bible is the revealed word by which humans must live. Christus invictus.

Signed,
Servant of Christ,
Steward of the Law,
Head of the Bishopric Assembly of the Doctors of the Faith,
Patriarch of the Scandinvan Catholic Church
We are the Glorious Empire of the Scandinvans. Surrender or be destroyed. Your civilization has ended, your time is over. Your people will be assimilated into our Empire. Your technological distinctiveness shall be added to our own. Your culture shall be supplanted by our own. And your lands will be made into our lands.

"For five thousand years has our Empire endured. In war and peace we have thrived. Against overwhelming odds we evolved. No matter what we face we have always survived and grown. We shall always be triumphant." -Emperor Godfrey II

Hope for a brighter tomorrow - fight the fight, find the cure

User avatar
Anagonia
Minister
 
Posts: 2902
Founded: Dec 18, 2003
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Anagonia » Mon Oct 04, 2021 11:03 am

SSN-99 CSS Vulcan
Somewhere in the Anagonian Ocean,
within the Territorial Waters of Scandinvans


"Conn, sonar. New contact, bearing 083. Moving slow, identified as fishing vessel."

Captain Logan Vang gave a nod to the sonar-man who sat just a few feet away from him. Carefully, Captain Vang placed a new mark on the map screen below him on the navigational table. It was old fashioned, out of date, but a reliable and tried and true way for a commanding officer to get a greater perspective of things. Twenty other such dots lingered around them, haphazardly as any fishing vessel might when it attempted to keep its distance from another. For the entirety of their stay on this station, this was the traffic they had experienced, with only once gaining a sound from a slow-moving container vessel that was nearly out of range to detect. He gave a short sigh as his eyes briefly flicked between the map and his Chief of the Boat.

"I think you may have been right, Andy," Captain Vang said with a hint of annoyance. "Ain't shit here but fishing."

Lieutenant Master Wilbert gave a shrug to his commanding officer, both as a playful response and an indication of a lack of concern over the issue. He briefly used a finger to point at all the dots, including the two that briefly indicated the path of the container vessel they had tracked. "If we keep going northwest as you planned, sir, we'll hit that likely trade route you marked there," the Chief of the Boat said in manner of reply. "I wouldn't be bothered. Important thing is if the Operations Officer is getting what he needs."

The Captain responded with a reluctant nod. The CSS Vulcan was a Block III variant of the Thursday-class Nuclear Attack Submarine. Much of her outside had not been changed from previous iterations, but the interior had been drastically altered to accommodate the vast amounts of technological equipment. Much of it would be experimental depending on the various Block variants, including systems to track certain airborne or submerged objects for example. In the case of the Vulcan, she had been outfitted to accommodate intelligence equipment. Her mission in Scandin waters was to provide passive surveillance of radio and other types of transmissions, relaying their findings every few days back to a satellite which would transfer it back home.

So far, much of what the Operations Officer had gathered was a bunch of religious jibberish. Fanatical jibberish, to be true, but it seemed to concern the brass back at home enough to keep the Vulcan on station. At the rate they were going, they'd spend their entire expected tour of six months in these waters gathering intel. While the Captain viewed almost all of it as useless, someone back home evidently hadn't.

"What's the time, COB?" the Captain asked, using the slang term for the Lieutenant Masters position.

Andy was quick to examine his watch, verifying what it said by an instrument display nearest his position. "0830 Scandin time, sir."

"Very good. Go wake the XO and tell him I want my turn to rest," Captain Vang said, with just a hint of the fatigue he had spending the past sixteen hours awake.

With a swift salute and reply of, "Aye, Captain.", the Lieutenant Master made his way out of the command center. The footfalls were intentionally more gentle than usual, due in part to the Captain's intent to keep things quiet. A bulkhead silently opened and closed behind him, leaving the Logan to himself for a brief moment as he looked up from the laminated map surface to a screen constructed into the ceiling of the command center. It was displaying the last known passively detected contacts, each and every one as benign to his submarine as a playful seal. His eyes glance down and to the right, to the Operations Officers station - a man a part of the Navy but not, chosen by the alphabet departments for his or her analytical abilities. The Officer, not specifically under his command but also not immune to it, gave a brief glimpse to him staring at her as she looked up from her station.

"Captain?" Lieutenant Marsh inquired, more firmly than intended. She gave a brief wince at the lack of protocol on her part, but upon noting no reaction from her Captain's expression she maintained her look.

"Has the array detected anything other than religious sermons?" Captain Vang inquired, having in the process of his question moved over to her station. "Anything on any military groups, ship to ship contacts, anything else?"

The Lieutenant shook her head dejectedly, pulling off her headset and hanging it from her neck as she stretched. "Nothing specific or warranting further inquiry. Honestly the only good intel we've had was those sermons we intercepted. It was a public broadcast, but I think it speaks volumes about the inner workings of Scandinvan."

Surprised by the deeper analysis presented by the Operations Officer, the Captain asked, "How so?"

"I'm not at liberty to divulge that just yet," she replied, looking up to her Captain with a sympathetic look. "The CNBI and CNIA were very firm on their stance on what I can say, but...."

The Captain understood such conditions placed upon Officers from their superiors. There was a clear indication of hesitance from the Lieutenant, a yearning desire to explain something - anything.

"I understand," Logan said. "No need to get yourself in trouble. I trust you, Lieutenant. So....the systems need any maintenance? We need to surface and calibrate again?"

The change of subject was welcomed to the Operations Officer. She gave a brief sigh of relief before shaking her head. "No sir, it's all working fine."

"Very good, then I'll leave you to it," the Captain said before turning away.

He could briefly see her return to her work when he started to turn away, leaving him to approach the navigation station and see his XO approaching through the bulkhead entryway. It wouldn't be long until he had his chance for some real rest. Sermons and secrets weren't really his thing.
Last edited by Anagonia on Mon Oct 04, 2021 11:03 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Goram
Senator
 
Posts: 3798
Founded: Jan 30, 2010
Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Goram » Wed Oct 06, 2021 6:44 am

The heart of the United Kingdom's Capital...

The noise was not something those not native to the city found easy to get used to. If ever they did, often it would take years. When the tourist's brochures and news networks described the sprawling metropolis of around 19 million souls, there was no word of a lie. It really never truly slept. Even the recent (many still regarded it as recent, despite being more than 10 years old) Environmental Protection Policy, which had introduced a steep charge to fossil-fuelled private vehicles moving through the city centre, had done comparatively little to quiet the din. Electric vehicles still honked their horns. Metro trains still ran both overhead and underfoot with their distinctive clickety-clack. 19 million people still went about their daily lives with relentless vigour.

Katie Sparks allowed her mind to wander slightly as she stood to close the open window behind her. She described herself as a country girl, having grown up several hundred miles south of the city. In reality, she was no such thing. She was from the suburbs of Darrowby, a modest city of several million and although she had spent her childhood surrounded by open green spaces she'd never spent so much as a day working in the rural countryside. But compared to those who'd lived their lives in the bustling chaos of the capital, a country girl she certainly was and often she missed the open air and peace of her home town that she had left some ten years ago.

Since then, her professional life had taken her the length of the country and beyond. From university, leaving with a MA in International Relations, the Navy had come calling. She was commissioned and an intelligence billet came her way aboard the aircraft carrier Duke of Marlborough. She was a capable officer, hardworking and well respected by her peers. Promotion and the two and a half stripes of a Lieutenant Commander beckoned. It was agreed that Lieutenant Katie Sparks, RN, had a touch of the special about her - a bright young star. If she wanted it, her superiors quietly said, flag rank could easily be hers one day. All of that changed the day she collapsed in Marlborough's Combat Command Centre. At the time she did not know it, but when a Super Sparrow helicopter lifted her - semi-conscious - off the carrier's deck and towards dry land, it would be her last time aboard ship as a commissioned officer in His Majesty's Navy.

The cancer that caused her collapse was vicious but not yet fatal. Through rounds of chemotherapy and surgery - followed by recovery, relapse and a second recovery, Sparks fought the illness with her customary gusto. It surprised no one at the University College Stoney Bay Hospitals Oncology department when she marched down their long hallway, back ramrod straight, to ring the Victory Bell. Yet her outer demeanour belied her true feelings. She well knew that the illness she'd fought for years had robbed the now 29 year old of her promising Naval career. The news that she would have to be honourably discharged, soon after the return of her cancer, had been a devasting blow to her morale. But Katie Sparks was nothing if not tenacious. Certainly, she had not quit and as she rang the Victory Bell she swore to herself that this would not be it for her. And so it was not, for just months after her final discharge, she found that no competent intelligence officer is left on the shelf for long. Perhaps she may not have been fit for military service any longer, but the organs of State Intelligence had better use for a young analyst. Better than wasting away working for a finance company, anyway.

And so she found herself sliding the window closed, four years after she collapsed on the carrier's deck, and wondering why a building so prestigious as this didn't have double glazing. The answer to that, though, was obvious. The building was every bit as old as it was prestigious. It had stood on the corners of Old Hess Road and Oak Grove, to the South East and North West respectively, for almost two hundred years. Once it had been on the outskirts - a fashionable area back in the day, but now the city had grown around it. Over the years, it had been inexorably enveloped by the sprawling city. Now, the place stood out like a sore thumb - for whilst the interior might well have been renovated, the Protected Buildings Act meant the exterior could not be touched. It leant the area a curious juxtaposition as virtually every other building was a modern blend of glass and steel, whereas this one was four stories of red brick as had been the fashion when it was built. It had been the townhome of a wealthy family, in whose possession it stayed until some hundred years ago the owner had died without children and had left his stately property to the Government. Now it was the home of Goramite intelligence. Officially, the building was known as the Department of State Intelligence. But unofficially, it was The Circus - an endearing nickname given to the organisation in 1937 by its founders and early employees, as a tongue in cheek jab at their own collective eccentricity.

Despite its status, there was no elan to the Circus. There was no visible guard on the door, and those that came in and out wore civilian clothes. If you wanted to, you could walk straight in off the street. Yet, inside the building and away from prying eyes, some of the world's most sensitive material was discussed plainly. Operations were planned here and the rise or fall of governments had been orchestrated. The meeting to which Katie's attention now returned, however, was none of those things. Rather it was a simple briefing, given by three senior analysts to their deputy section chief.

"Scandinvan Catholic Church regard themselves as the only true Christians in the world."

Katie tuned in just soon enough to hear the words come out of her peer's mouth,

"They appear to be Bible literalists, taking the exact words of the Gospel to be, well, Gospel for want of a better word. They refer to themselves as dres'Christus or Faithful Christians. Everyone else gets to be Dres'nalar - Those that Do Not Understand. Barbarians, essentially, sub-humans. They are armed and willing to spread their doctrine across the world as best they can, and issued in their proclamations to support the struggle of the righteous dres'Christus wherever they may be."

The deputy section chief shifted in his seat ever so slightly as the speaker continued

"We have small communities of Scandinvan Catholics in this country, generally dotted around in very rural areas and away from most other people. They tend to keep to themselves, associating with Dres'nalar only when absolutely necessary. We have been aware of them for some time, and classify them as a religious extremist threat, but their isolation has made penetration of their groups difficult. Nevertheless, we've kept an eye on them as best we can. There has been some light chatter and some small activity, but nothing that we consider to be unusual. We are now somewhat concerned that this call to arms might spark them into greater movement.

"We've had some contact with the Scandinvans before, have we not?"

It was the Deputy who spoke now

"We have, Sir."

Katie opened a slim manilla folder as she began. This was her field.

"Some ten months ago, the submarine Cape St. Charles tailed a Scandinvan flagged vessel for several days. Under the Scandinvan Slave Code, specifically The Rights and Limitations on the Acquisition of Chattel, all those deemed Dres'Nalar can be taken by any Dres'Christus. We strongly suspected the ship to be carrying enslaved persons, and confirmed it through radio intercepts made by Charles. We had a destroyer in position to intercept, under Leg Slip"

She said, making mention of the United Kingdom's ongoing crusade against slavery, piracy, narcotics and really anything else consecutive government's felt the directive should be expanded to cover

"But, it was decided not to pursue and to avoid an international incident."

Sparks remained impassive as she continued to outline the broader aspects of the incident and of several others since. As a professional intelligence analyst, it was her job to provide her impartial opinion. But as a person, and one who'd spent time in uniform, it was all she could do to prevent her eyes from rolling so far that she might have been able to look behind herself. How many such opportunities had been let go in the interest of avoiding international incidents? She understood the political realities of course, but that didn't make it any less frustrating. Leg Slip had been the cornerstone of Goramite foreign policy since Holding Island. The United Kingdom's efforts had cost a vast quantity of treasure and not a little sacrifice in blood, and yet groups like the Scandinvan's were untouchable. Slavery was still legal there, and who was going to go to war over such things? Certainly, no one that wanted to maintain a workable political career. Right wing populism was growing in the UKG, much like in many other places, and a small but growing and particularly vocal minority regularly displayed their displeasure at having to live on the same street as a rescued slave let alone having to fight a real war for one.

The Deputy Section Chief leant back in his chair and considered what he had been told.

"Alright. So we deem these people a threat - what now do we do about it? Sparks."

He turned his gaze to Katie. His eyes were a dullish blue and set behind a pair of thin reading spectacles. Certainly, they were not piercing but Sparks knew her boss had once been an excellent field officer until overuse and age had seen him kicked up to one of the Circus' senior positions. Nevertheless, his reputation preceded him. Katie knew he was a renowned interrogator. It was almost as if he already knew what you knew, and he was simply seeking confirmation. His prowess came from his unique talent for reading people and finding the appropriate pressure point. When she'd first met the man, she found it almost impossible to believe. He was kind, almost grandfatherly. He might easily have been a librarian or an academic, for he both looked and dressed like one. But hidden below all that was an absolute ruthlessness to find and exploit human weakness. How many Gibetian or Ianderian agents had he turned? How many experienced field men had he forced into confession, simply by finding the correct pressure point? The Deputy Section Chief for the Circus' analysis department may have looked harmless enough, but it took a strong character to meet the gaze of those dull blue eyes behind the glasses. Sparks met his eyes and did not look away.

"We've already spoken with our colleagues in Naval Intelligence"

She began. Many in the Circus had little respect for their uniformed counterparts, but not Katie. For reasons obvious to everyone, the ex-naval officer still held her old employers in high regard.

"They're going to quietly reposition a pair of City class boats from their patrol areas to do a little ELINT snooping. We're going to see if we can't push Space Command into giving us a few satellite passes as well. I'd like to suggest that we try and get people in there, but I severely doubt it's possible. We don't have much of a diplomatic presence there and so there's probably not much chance of sneaking someone into an embassy staff. But if they try and follow through with any of this righteous war stuff, they're going to have to make electronic noise to do it and that we should pick up on.

Domestically speaking, it's a case of wait and see. We can't just roll in there without them giving us a reason to. That said, we are watching them closely and Domestic Security Department has been kept in the loop. They have teams that can hit targets anywhere in the country on 14 hours notice as of right now - obviously that time frame can be reduced significantly as required. Other than that, Sir, I don't see many options."

The deputy chief clasped his fingers beneath the table, but his facial expression remained impassive. It was precisely the conclusion he had come to. It was going to have to be a case of hurry up and wait.
Last edited by Goram on Thu Oct 07, 2021 12:18 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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Telros
Diplomat
 
Posts: 957
Founded: Apr 29, 2006
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Telros » Mon Oct 11, 2021 4:28 pm

Úrvacsora. The center of power, arguably, in the Telrosian Compact.

There was the capital Deep and Surface Cities for Katona and Kereskedo, bustling with people, industry, commerce and politics, other centers of military production and networks, but the heart of any nation is its culture, its beliefs, its perspective. And the heart of the Sacerdotium in Telros that was Úrvacsora qualified for that title; large mantlescrapers dominated its underground ‘skyline’, there was always a flow of people in and out of the city on pilgrimage, to the deepest and holiest site in the Compact. Sealed crypts of Anax’s, heroes and saints long past resided here, with shrines to each, the Virtues, the Ten demigod Sons of the Mother, the Seraphic Saints and the Mother herself.

The very center of the Compact and the deepest point, the closest to the fabled Exalted Vaults of Terra, where the ancestral dead lie sleeping for the Final Battle of the Eternal Conflict; at its very center the Az Emberiség Bölcsője or, the Cradle of Humanity. A decagon-shaped structure, with pillars holding up its vast ceilings, as on the ten spots that made up the points of its sides, stands one of the Ten Sons, and in the Middle, a massive tower extends up, towering above all the other mantlescrapers, its base cradled by sculpted hands out of the bedrock, symbolizing the Grand Mother’s hands holding up Humanity itself, helping them to stand on their own. This is the Archpriestess’ Tower, where each sovereign of the Telrosian faith is based, lives and eventually ascends into one of the Seraphic spirits. A kingdom unto itself, it was from here that she watches over the city, the faithful and the nation. And at the very top, in a small room, filled with bookshelves of books, paintings of previous Archpriestesses and major religious events in the Sacerdotium and a roaring fire in the stone fireplace, sat the Archpriestess Isteni Hatóság herself, hands steepled in front of her face, hiding her expression, as one of her Vestals read off from a tablet in front of her.

“-Those foolish peoples who falsely call themselves Christians which will not heed this message make themselves the enemies of the faithful Christians. Their error requires acute correction and all measures, including conquest, will be considered. The legions of the Glorious Empire have been given the mandate by God to take up the Cross and spread it to all lands. All those who oppose us shall be met with the pyre. Salvation shall be the gift that we give to the word by any means. The faith of Christ will prevail regardless of the cost to ourselves and to humanity. There can be no other way.

God is the sole being worthy of eternal praise. He is made up of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. He created all things. He alone is the source of all righteousness. The Bible is the revealed word by which humans must live. Christus invictus.”


A pregnant silence fell after the Vestal’s words traded off; she looked expectantly at her Archpriestess, but aside from her eyes, her hands kept her expression off her face and the eyes only stared at her. Remembering her training, he moved to a ready stance of attention and did her best to calmly wait, the tablet going to her side until her mentor and superior commanded her. She knew going in this was going to be a tumultuous meeting; nothing with rival religions that espoused worship of parasitic gods was going to inspire much calm and understanding in the Telrosian religious capital, but anything involving the Scandin was bound to get temperatures up.

The seconds felt like minutes as she twitched in nervousness and anticipation, her hands flickering like to smooth out a portion of her religious dress before commanding it to still, all the while those eyes stared at her, dark pools of brown. She saw something swirling within them, obvious irritation and frustration from the crinkling of the skin around the eyes and the eyebrows position, but the something else she couldn’t pinpoint. When multiple ages of Terra had felt like they had passed, Isteni dropped her hands, and her stone mask of control and neutrality greeted the Vestal. She believed she caught a hint of a smile disappearing with the hands, but it could have been her mind tricking her as the change come after a blink.

“So, it would appear the Scandin are finally laying down the gauntlet. A bit later than we had anticipated; I would ask what game they are up to but, with their typical bluntness they have spelled it out here.”

The Vestal nodded. “They are declaring war on any Christian sects that aren’t Scandin Christianity.”

“Ah, my dear Sachi, I am afraid it is much more than that.”

Sachi’s eyes narrowed slightly as she saw her Archpriestess’ darkly amused gaze and pulled out the tablet to review the words again. What bit of context had she missed? A hand reached over and gently tugged the tablet out of her hands after a few moments had passed.

“No need to frustrate yourself, my Vestal. You have not had the time or access to certain…resources to know of Scandin theology and past actions. This isn’t just a declaration of war on Christianity, not just a war on religions, this is a declaration on everyone not Scandin. To the Scandinavian, the church, the worship of Jesus Christ, God and the Holy Ghost, the Trinity, is paramount. All who do not are ’dres’nalar’, destined to be purged unless they bow to the arms of God. Even then, they get enslaved and are not on the same footing as the ‘true’ sons and daughters of God, the Scandin.
Here, they are saying they find all other Christian cults, sects and branches corrupt, unless they follow the Scandin faith as they have declared it to be the only one not corrupt. They are saying that if you espouse democracy, human rights and other parts of the liberal international order, these are not supported, sinful and should be purged. But the most important part…is they have worded it to indicate they will essentially fund, arm and support independent movements, revolutions, terrorist acts, anything that will bring about Christian authoritarian theocratic states based on the law of the bible, ruled by monarchs. We have, writ large, a nation willing to fund divisive rebels, cults and terrorists in anyone’s lands, their neighbor’s, Gholgoth’s-“

She reached out and pushed her right index finger firmly onto the screen of the tablet.

“-Ours. Even worse, they have included outright conquest as a tool to be used. Your statement, to be correct, should have been ‘The Scandin have declared war on anything not Scandin.”

The Vestal’s eyes met Isteni’s, now seeing more than the amusement and frustration, there was also…a hint of pride and respect?

“Forgive me for being so bold but you seemed to almost…understand such insanity.”

The Archpriestess cocked her head to one side, digesting her words before leaning back, a hand coming to her mouth as her body began to shake. A deep laugh began to fight its way out of her body for a few moments before settling back into her seat.

“Yes, my Vestal, very good; your powers of perception are improving. Yes, as insane, twisted, and corrupt as the Scandinavians clearly are and they will need to be dealt with sooner rather than later with this declaration; I can’t help but marvel at how similar we are.”

Sachi’s face screwed up in horror at the thought. “You can’t surely mean we’re similar to those beasts?”

Isteni tsked and wagged her index finger.

“None of that, you have been trained better. As a Vestal, you are in training to assume one of the higher posts in the Telrosian Sacerdotium, and one of the most important skills you need to cultivate is perspective. Foundationally, we couldn’t be farther apart from the Scandin; they believe in a parasite, per their strict adherence to as the Bible is written, demands utter obedience and no questioning from the children he birthed, that he trapped with original sin in the Garden when they didn’t even know what it was before committing the act. That they worship only him, follow every single rule, no matter how ridiculous or how it looks like a mortal wrote it for power and not a translation of the Word of a God, and if they do not, for eternity they are tortured in the most brutal of ways while they attain paradise after death if they do. On this we will forever differ,

But,

But, like us, they see Chaos and Order as not just concepts, but real forces in the world and how Order has waned to what little islands of light remain in our world and Chaos rampages unchecked. They have their principles and despite the danger and risk, they have laid them out to bare, and are daring the world to come and get them. They view themselves as so unstoppable, so inevitable, so right they are not willing to stand aside but are instead going to better the world as they believe is best. As tragically mislead as they are, there is something beautiful there. Especially as our own people wallow in disunity, paranoia and democratic bickering. They have unified to enact a change and we can’t even govern our own nation; by the void of the Duat, we have tried to guide them as best we can.”

Her younger protégé struggled to digest these words; it was not often she heard respect for the Scandin from any quarter of Telrosian society and her commentary on the Compact disturbed her further.

“But, my Archpriestess, it may not be the most effective system, but shouldn’t the people rule themselves?”

The Archpriestess reached out and laid a hand on Sachi’s cheek.

“That…is another topic for another time; we can discuss it in full properly then. The Scandin require our focus for now; after all, despite how much I can respect their principle and motivation, they are still corrupt and thus our enemy. They have attacked Havensky for reasons that cannot be proven, and practice enslavement of their fellow humans. However, they are also cunning; if one carefully considers, they can see they chose their timing well. The entire region is gearing up for war with the Kravenite War, and now coming off their war with the Golden Throne, they have now issued a declaration that demands a response, one with strength, but it is one we cannot afford, without risking being too weak for the soulless fingers of the Reich.”

“Even so,” Sachi started suddenly, thoughts carrying control of her tongue away from her will, “, they are still going to be a target like the Reich now, no?”

Isteni cocked her head in curiosity and waved to indicate permission.

“Well, they have stated they will support revolution, terrorism, outright conquest, on anything that doesn’t follow their religious teachings. If so, that means they are constantly going to be a threat and the Alliance will have to react accordingly.”

A pause.

“Hmm, I wish that were so, my Vestal, and we can hope that we will attempt something but the truth is after the war, many of us are going to be weakened and rebuilding, plus we still have to maintain the Guard over the Reich. Mark my words, the Scandin will most likely take the first shots of this crusade whilst the Reichswar is raging, so we have little resources to spend on it. Most will mark them as a threat equal to the Reich but the ability will be far shorter.”

They both sat for a quiet moment, one processing the conversation, the other gazing into the flames, hiding her thoughts for the moment.

“Then, my Archpriestess, what will the Compact do about this?”

“I am sure both Adon and Eshmun have been informed and have spoken to their respective intelligence representatives and each other. But considering the situation within the Compact, it will be as it has been in our history since we won our independence from the Imperium:

Nothing.”

Silence reigned once more and was not removed again until Isteni’s next appointment came knocking at the door.
Last edited by Telros on Sat Oct 30, 2021 12:49 pm, edited 6 times in total.

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Anagonia
Minister
 
Posts: 2902
Founded: Dec 18, 2003
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Anagonia » Mon Oct 18, 2021 12:12 pm

Confederate National Intelligence Agency
Main Headquarters, Inside the Capital Perimeter
Liberty City, State of Liberty, CSA


Major General Lucias Zoilus was not a very happy Anagonian. Not that anything of particular importance had occurred to diminish his state of mind, nor his capacity to glean the benefit of a more positive outlook. The Major General simply was not a very happy Anagonian. His demeanor left much to be desired by his peers and associates within the CNIA. His general outlook on life and his position on key issues within the nation often found him at odds with those that commonly would have supported his ideals. He was gruff, blunt, to the point, and very direct with his opinions. He was a very hard Komodren to get along or find common ground with. He was constantly suspicious of others, occasionally paranoid of situations of any variety, and very much often made decisions on gut impulses. His primary background training was within the Confederate States Marine Corps, a division of the Armed Forces notorious for producing some of the meanest and most inconsiderate citizens in the nation. According to his superiors, he was the perfect Anagonian to lead the primary foreign intelligence service of the Confederate States.

Lucias grumbled under his breath as he surveyed the folder on his desk. He resided within his office, tucked away in the center of the building and provided with ample light slightly hazed through curtains originating from a bay window behind him. His office was bland and spartan, presenting only a few picture frames of himself in various stages of promotion through his military career, as well as a few of his wife and daughter. The pictures were hung in various positions along the right and left walls, with a bookcase to his immediate right and within easy reach. The majority of the stored books were of constitutional law as well as various volumes on national and state laws. A few volumes presented military history and conduct, but those were scattered in between the larger volumes which were more easily noticeable. The second to the last shelf on the bookcase was dedicated almost entirely to a presentation of medals and awards, all easily situated and cleanly organized despite the numerous variety.

In the right corner of the room, farthest from his desk, was situated a small table with two wooden chairs of professional make. The table had a tea kettle as well as small tea cups and various confectionaries associated with tea-making. A corner lamp provided illumination for the table area. The left corner was dominated by a Calamondin Orange Tree, which grew quite larger than most of its kind, and was recently pruned and tended to. The smell from the indoor tree complimented the quaint and spartan room, providing a more calm atmosphere than was typical for the Anagonian who resided in the room. A ceiling fan rotated calmly in the center of the room upon the ceiling, providing a clean glow of light that illuminated the darker portions of the room that the bay window curtains blocked light from. On the left wall was a couch, simple and elegant, with a dress uniform coat neatly folded on its cushion and clearly well used due to the state of the fabric and cushion imprints.

A soft knock on the door provided a brief respite for the Major General as his eyes retreated from the page within the folder, resting on the wooden door that separated his office from the main hallway. He waited a moment for the natural progression of events to play out, something that common sense would dictate should play out, however when they inevitably didn't he growled a simple, "Enter" before settling back in his executive office chair.

The door slowly opened, revealing the head of one of his assistants. She gave a wary glance inside before entering, clearly uncomfortable as she approached his desk and gently planted a folder in front of the one he was examining. "Report from the Vulcan, sir," she'd remark before turning heel and leaving. The Major General barely got a word in or otherwise as the event was quick to play out. Instead he opted for a quiet, "thank you," despite the door already being closed.

Carefully, Lucias closed the folder he had previously been entertaining, reaching with a claw to the newest one provided to him. He opened it slowly, examining the first few pages of analyst data pertaining to the expected contents of the folder. These pages were standard for the CNIA, offering not only people jobs and positions within the agency, but also providing an opportunity for up and coming agents to demonstrate their analytical and logistical skills. The more detail they summarized and reviewed, the better quality of understanding the person who inevitably read it would attain. Typically Lucias strongly supported this practice by reading the contents and providing reviews to the supervisors of the analysts. This time, however, and with this folder in particular, he skipped the remaining papers in favor of finding a specific one. After clawing through the pages for little under thirty seconds, he took a piece of paper out, discarding the folder to the other side of his desk for the moment as his concentration was fully on the paper in his hands.

Father,

I know when you asked me to take this assignment that you expected everything would run smoothly. I know you told me you were just being paranoid, that you wanted someone you could trust. I understand your mindset father, perhaps better than yourself. Unfortunately, this time I was wrong.


The Komodren looked up from the paper to the family picture on the wall, showcasing his Komodren wife and human daughter. His wife and he had struggled for years to produce a clutch of their own only to find out twenty years ago that she was barren. Ever the faithful mate, Lucias honored their vows and stuck firm to his wife, offering adoption as an alternative. His wife had chosen her out of the rest, despite his desire for a son. He had again submitted to her wishes, for it was her grief he was attempting to resolve by providing this alternative. She was in her early teens when they initially adopted her, a Native Anagonian girl with lush and elegantly long raven black hair and striking blue eyes. She had been abandoned due to a tragic accident that killed most of her family, leaving her to the state to tend to. Despite her initial fear at the sight of two nearly seven foot tall Komodren, Amari Marsh would eventually come to call his wife and him her parents.

The picture on the wall was from several years ago, back when Amari had just begun her journey into the Armed Forces. Together, his wife and he had joined Amari had one of the performance feasts that was usually held at the base Amari had been stationed at. The picture was taken there, showcasing not only Amari's bright and beautiful smile, but also that of her mother. Such elegant scales and beautiful teeth displayed in her equally majestic smile, proud of her daughter and her accomplishments. To the left was himself, stoned-faced expression on his snout, though his eyes clearly beamed with pride. The thought of that, as he looked then, brought happy feelings to his otherwise austere demeanor. Slowly his eyes drifted back to the paper in hand, continuing to read.

As you are aware, I was recently promoted to Operations Officer on board the CSS Vulcan. Your assignment for me to report back my findings on the surveillance equipment has produced more results than intended. I have already submitted my formal report on the operational capacity and range of the AESI-5000 Array and I find the results it produces to be of good quality. With that said, I write this letter to you personally to confirm your suspicions on the events taking place in Scandinvan.


Lucias looked away briefly at the contents of the folder that held the report in question. What had been primarily an objective of entertaining the musings and weekly updates from his daughter had suddenly turned into something drastically different. Typically, Amari and he would exchange these letters back and forth, keeping constantly updated on what the other was doing. Often, Amari would ask him for advice on things, sometimes even moral quandaries that required his experienced understanding of the intelligence world. Lucia had always believed that it was these experiences shared that had motivated his daughter to enter the Intelligence Division of the Confederate Navy, but he would be the last person to openly suggest it.

As his eyes drifted back to the letter, his thoughts drifted before he could continue reading. Amari knew that their letters were vetted by Analysts and Agents who, required by CNIA protocol, were to read and review each incoming and outgoing correspondence between every personnel in the building. She was aware of this, in fact he knew she was. Sending information of any quality, between the various branches and agencies, was grounds to be flagged for review and quite possibly reported. What was the reason, then, that she had risked being reviewed? Focusing on the letter, he continued to read to find answers.

I have already informed my superiors of this intelligence. What I have found is that elements within Scandivan have begun to openly broadcast fundamentalist teachings sermons to the masses on wide-open broadcasts. What you suspected would happen is already taking place and, I believe, has been utilized to trigger sleeper cells within the Confederacy to activate. My letter will reach you before any confirmed intelligence might so I risked being under review to share this information with you. I've included everything, including the transcripts of the broadcasts, so you can review and come to your own understanding of this.

That's all I have to say on this. I'm worried for mom since she's retired. I'm worried for you too. Please be safe. If you don't see another letter from me, just know that either I've been slapped on the hand or the Vulcan has gone quiet. There's still a chance of detection this far close to the shores but the Captain thinks that's unlikely. I'll write to you next week on the next data-call. I had to pull some strings to put this one through before our data-call this week.

Love,
Amari


The Major General gently placed the letter from his daughter into a desk drawer as he opened it to his right, closing it in time to have the claw meet his other as he now more attentively read over the information in the folder. The analysts had written a lengthy piece detailing the information and providing ample sources to back up the claims from his daughter. Furthermore, Amari had provided transcripts of many of the religious broadcasts, detailing below the reports her suspicions on specific domestic terrorist cells that could possibly use it as ammunition to spark their fire. To his surprise, the analysts provided their own sources to back up the claims from his daughter and provided extensive context to transform a hypothetical into a very strong theoretical. The last page in the folder detailed the analysts interpretation of other powers in Gholgoth and their expected position on the entire ordeal, at which Lucia promptly read and crumbled.

No one in the Anagonian Government besides the President entertained the superpowers of Gholgoth and the Gothic Alliance. Despite the Confederacy's strong position as an ally of the Alliance, not a single military or government personnel trusted them to abide by any word they gave. Democracies were rare and few in the savage region of Gholgoth, with only a few examples even to demonstrate the viability of the form of government against the typical tyrannical or authoritarian ones present in modern-day Gholgoth. There were likely only three true democracies in Gholgoth; The Confederate States with its extremely libertarian form of democracy, the Compact with its more standardized representative democracy, and the Zneyvind Federation. There were a few other possible exceptions to this, namely Anagonia's close association with Meritocratic Union of Marquesan and the Imperium Antiquum. Typically, however, every nation that wasn't some form of democracy was viewed with extreme distrust by the Confederate States. Having their opinion on the matter, in their skewed perception of reality and power projection, was not something Lucias was willing to entertain.

Closing the folder, the Director and Head of the Confederate National Intelligence Agency sat back in his chair and gazed at the closed door to the front of his desk. His vision blurred as his thoughts drifted. His mind began to work overtime as previously suspected connections were linked with newly confirmed points of interests. Things began to fall into place slowly, perceptions of future events - hypothetical situations that seemed inevitable. Then the last words he read from the letter from his daughter played in his mind. She was worried about her mom. A decision was made as he reached for the phone on his desk. Slowly he began to dial his wife, prompted moreso by the request of his daughter and the duty of his relationship to his wife. After that, after he had concluded checking in on his mate, it would be down to investigating these possible terrorist cells in Anagonia. He desperately wanted to get to the bottom of this new-found mystery. His attention was drawn back as his phone began to ring a few times before it picked up on the other end.

"Hello, Aqulia?" Lucias greeted as his wife answered. "Yes I'm fine," he'd reply after a prompt from her, then quickly add, "I was just checking in on you."
Last edited by Anagonia on Mon Oct 18, 2021 2:36 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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Goram
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Founded: Jan 30, 2010
Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Goram » Tue Oct 19, 2021 7:37 am

Several days later

Patrick Price, Deputy Section Chief of The Circus’ analyst section – known in house as the Watchers and Writers – waited in a well appointed anteroom within the Ministry of Home Affairs riverside headquarters. Like much of the city, the Ministry's buildings were a 2000’s blend of steel, plate glass and concrete, and it occupied some of the cities’ most sought after real estate. Situated on the banks of the Red River, which wound all the way from the foothills of the Upland Range in the West to Goram City in the South East and to meet the sea some few miles further on, the million square feet of office spaces and meeting rooms had cost an eye watering amount. Looking up at the buildings as he alighted from River Towers Underground Station (the Metro station that served this particular corner of the city), Price had remembered what was said when this building was first constructed around the turn of the millennium. The then Democratic Socialist and Liberty government had suggested that by moving the sprawling bureaucracy of the Ministry to this River Towers address they would save the taxpayer the equivalent of $80m US dollars a year. Price knew it probably had done exactly that, as the modern building and it’s modern systems required significantly maintenance than the cramped Anneist era building the department the Ministry had once occupied. Yet with a price tag that had run close to $1bn US, Price couldn’t help but wonder if the tax payer might not have been better off without this modern blend of glass and steel.

Fifteen minutes after walking into the building, and passing through its somewhat rudimentary security, Price found himself waiting in an anteroom. He sat, with his briefcase by his feet, and quietly watched out of the large window as the river traffic trundled by at the city’s mandated 5kt limit. An ocean going tug was slowly drifting by as he watched, heading South East towards the massive cargo port that is situated on the river’s estuary, where it leaks into the Central Sea. The Deputy Chief had always found boats interesting, going back to his childhood, but he had never relished actually being on them. During his extensive career as a field agent – what the Circus called a Street Merchant – duty had forced him on them over and over again. He’d always assumed he’d get over his seasickness eventually, and numerous members of various ships’ crews had assured him that one day he would. He was still waiting for that day.

“The Minister will see you now”

The secretary said from behind her desk.





The office Price walked into befit the price tag of the building it resided in. The walls were clad with rich dark wood, and the floor covered by rug that must have run into the thousands. The far wall behind the desk was made up of a series of book shelves on which an entire library, whose pages had never so much as been opened, rested. Before the desk were a pair of armchairs, and behind it sat the Minister for Domestic Affairs. At the Minister’s invitation, Price sat in one of the armchairs and after a minute or two of pleasantries they turned to business. It was unusual for a Deputy Section Chief to be briefing a senior Minister but with the Section Chief was on family leave in the Dean Federation, the head of the service had asked Price to do the job.

The conversation lasted all of fifteen minutes, and revolved entirely around a Scandinvan compound in the Upland Range. Since the Scandinvan government’s call to arms to all Dres’Christus, the Circus had been keeping close tabs on the small and isolated groups of Scandinvans in the United Kingdom. Approximately 45% of the United Kingdom identified as some Christian denomination, and less than 1% of those belonged to the Scandinvan Catholic church – representing some tens of thousands of people, scattered around the country. Most of these people were regarded as no threat whatsoever. They may have been sympathetic to the Scandinvan cause, but they lived in the United Kingdom. Most of them were Goramite citizens, and a number of them – even as bible literalists – picked and chose, as most religious people understandably did. The Circus didn’t believe that most of these people posed a legitimate threat. Those who lived in remote compounds were a different case entirely. These people were entirely cut off from the state in which they resided, and had taken the Church’s call to arms literally. Price had detailed Katie Sparks’ team to monitor these groups closely, and in the last 36 hours the electronic chatter had picked up markedly. Sparks felt that the threat was legitimate, but not imminent – reasoning that the few days that had passed since the Scandinvan sermons were broadcast was not long enough to formulate a viable plan of attack. This was precisely what Price told the Minister, and the slim manila file – marked Limited Subscription, denoting its secret nature – he produced from his briefcase contained Sparks’ report which backed up Price’s briefing and made the same recommendation Katie had made a few days previously; wait and see. It was not the recommendation Sparks had wanted to make.

Like millions of other Goramites, she was a Christian. She went to church on Sunday morning. She believed in God, and that Jesus Christ was his only begotten son. Yet for all that, she was still Dres’nalar in the eyes of Scandinvan Catholics. In reading their ‘sermons’, Katie Sparks saw only men trying to pass their thoughts off as the word of God. She, like most in the UKG, believed in God the peaceful and God the merciful. The God who loved all, almost unconditionally, believer and non-believer alike. She had always believed in the freedom of religion and understood that many did not see the world as she did. Yet she was assured and comforted by the sure and certain knowledge that even these people would one day return to God’s loving embrace. These Scandinvan decrees and their content were, to her, nothing more than a perversion of the Bible and of the word of God it sought to communicate. The Scandinvan Church were evil personified, and dressed their sin behind a veil of piety. On a personal level, she was as close to hating them as she was capable of getting. But personal concerns could not be allowed to cloud her judgement. She knew the political realities of going off half cocked before absolute proof could be laid bare for the world to see. Therefore it was her recommendation, and therefore the recommendation of the Circus, that the Goramite Government wait for further intelligence and move only when the Scandivan’s gave their plan away, as those with such lax electronic security were eventually bound to do.

The Minister stepped into the anteroom after Price had left the building. He glanced out the window in time to see the Deputy Chief disappear into the Metro station he arrived from less than an hour previously. Turning to his personal secretary, the Minister had her set up phone calls with first the Prime Minister and then the Department of Domestic Security and Investigation. Going back into his office, waiting for the call to be connected, he lifted the manila file from his desk. Absent minded, he flicked through the four word processed pages that Sparks had produced. He skimmed until he found her recommendations. He too knew the political reality. His Democratic Conservative Party, which had been in power for the last 15 years, had barely scraped home in the 2020 election. His own seat in Parliament, traditionally a safe DCP seat, had come down to the barest of margins. The whole affair had been a nasty shock to a government that had been somewhat unaware of its own unpopularity. They needed a quick win, and nothing could be better than publicly and decisively foiling terrorists. The Minister glanced through the recommendations for less than a minute, before closing the flap of the file and putting it into the wide central drawer of his desk. Here it would stay, discarded, almost unread and ultimately forgotten about.





8 hours later, and several thousand miles away

A man in a pair of black combat trousers and a black hoodie stepped into one of the short, stubby buildings on the small government airfield to the north of Ironwynth, nestled in the foothills of the Upland Range. The hoodie the man wore told his name, Captain Arran Weber, and his employer; the Department of Domestic Security and Investigation – the letters DDSI embroidered in white.


DDSI was the United Kingdom’s national security and countrywide law enforcement agency. The Department covered a wide range of responsibilities, including organised, financial, cybercrimes, along with kidnapping, drugs, smuggling and any number of other specialist tasks for which local police forces might request help. Yet for all the roles the DDSI were capable of carrying out, the most well known was its counter-terror and hostage recovery organisation – Task Force 19. Hardly a year went by in which a film, book or game wasn’t made about TF19, and ever they were in the spotlight. Like almost everywhere else where free press existed, the Goramite news media subscribed to the idea that if it bled, it led – and where TF17 went, it usually bled in one form or another. They had made their name in the 1980s, storming a remote compound in the far north of country and a number of safehouses in urban areas. These had been the home of a radical group of Westphalians who were, unlike most of that country, bent on tearing down the Commonwealth of Nations and returning to the Gibetian fold. Somewhat ironically, even before TF19 had stormed in, the Gibetian government had disowned the movement as counter revolutionary – stating that the Westphalian radicals views of Marxism-Leninism were incompatible with those of the Democratic Republic’s, and if the DRG thought you were too extreme in your Communism, then you probably were. The Westphalian’s plans were laid to waste by men in black equipment, armed with submachine guns, during the middle of the day. By the time the 6PM news aired on the East Coast, the whole thing was over and millions were watching the aftermath live. The legend that was Task Force 19 had been born.

In more modern times, TF19 had been reorganised ‘Tactical Teams’ of 40. Each DDSI field office – there was one in most cities – had a Tactical Team attached to it. It was one of these teams, the one attached to the Ironwynth DDSI Office, that Captain Weber commanded and it was these men that he now briefed on the operation that would be carried out that night.

Standing at the front of the briefing room, before his team, he began to speak as a diagram flashed up on the projector behind him.

“Alright guys, this is the objective.”

The diagram showed a collection of buildings, surrounded by a permitter wall.

“We’re going to be going in from the North and South simultaneously. We’ve arranged for a number of helicopters from the Ironwynth Police which will drop us two miles short of the compound. I will be taking in team 1 and 2 from the North. Lieutenant McGill will lead teams 3 and 4 from the South. Lieutenant McGill’s people will secure the main gate, My teams will mousehole through the outer wall. The job is to get in and get out clean, but weapons are free on this one guys. If someone’s got a weapon, you’re cleared to pop them no questions asked – but we are expecting women and children, so keep it tight. Arrest the unarmed. Once the area is secure, we can call on support from a couple of Army Knight helos to get any detainees out.”

Weber glanced down for a moment. That was all standard enough – outside of free weapons, anyway. That was unusual but not unheard of, especially in regards to a dangerous target. But now he would have to deliver some non-standard news. Something he knew very well that his highly trained team would not like at all.

“One more thing. You’ll be seeing some new faces around here today before we step off. The powers that be have decided that we’ll be going in with support from Army special forces.”

The words drew a groan from the assembled body.

“What? Why?”

Someone shouted

“I’m afraid they haven’t told me. All I know is that they’re coming with us and there’s not much can be done about it.”

“Is that legal?”

Another voice called out. It was a valid question. Although the men of Weber’s tactical team looked, trained and operated like soldiers, they were nothing of the sort. They were all domestic law enforcement, and therefore had jurisdiction over domestic matters. They were empowered to operate on Goramite soil and where Goramite citizens were concerned. The military was not. They might fill, as the Army helicopters were going to do, a support role but it was incredibly unusual for them to directly contribute to a DDSI operation – indeed it was borderline illegal. But, Weber assumed, someone must have had a long conversation with the lawyers before issuing the orders.

“Yes.”

He said bluntly. As if on cue, the sound of rotor blades could be faintly heard and getting louder.




Chris Litton stood by the airfield’s perimeter fence, in a layby known to spotters in the area. It offered an excellent view of the runways, apron and the other protected areas of the field. He wasn’t much of an aircraft enthusiast himself, but his children were. He’d lost count of how many weekends he’d spent here with his six year old son and ten year old daughter, but he didn’t begrudge it. He spent his weekdays writing for a regional paper, The Cyrmian Mail, and he enjoyed the peace and quiet for a couple of hours. The time with his kids wasn’t bad either, especially his daughter. She seemed to be growing up so fast, and he feared she wouldn’t want to spend her free time with her dad once she reached her teenage years.

The noise of the approaching rotors elicited such excitement from the kids, especially when the aircraft hove into view. Litton’s son pointed, tiny arm outstretched at the six machines as they swept in from the south. Chris recognised them for what they were. Three Sparrows and three Knights, for he had written enough military pieces – covering activity at the 99th Brigade’s home base just outside Ironwynth, which was also Army’s Mountain Warfare and Cold Weather School. But some of the aircraft looked unusual. One of the big, hulking Knights and all three Sparrows had odd looking pods on the fuselage and a long boom sticking out from the nose. He produced his phone from his pocket and snapped pictures as the helos passed. He scrolled down his list of contains, settling on “Charlie” – an officer based at the Mountain School, who he’d known for some years now. Whenever Chris needed help with any sort of military matters, Major Charlie Clarke was his first port of call. She was an immensely useful and equally frustrating source of information for the journalist – happy to help where she could, and smart enough to know what she could say and what she couldn’t.

“What are those? What are those booms?”

The text said, and the pictures followed soon after. By the time the reply came through, the choppers had landed.

“Knights and Sparrows. The weird looking ones are SI/SRs.”

His thumbs flew over the keyboard again.

“What’s an SI/SR?”

This time his phone buzzed almost instantly.

“Special Insertion/Special Recovery. They’re special forces helicopters.”

The words piqued interest in the writer’s head. Special Forces? That was unusual. Perhaps it was a coincidence but if it was, why didn’t they put into the vastly better equipped military base? It was only 20 minutes flying time from here, at the very most, and surely that made more sense than landing at this small government field. He sensed there was something going on here, and rummaging around in his daughter’s tiny backpack, he grabbed for a pair of low power binoculars. They weren’t much but better than nothing. He scanned across the airfield and saw a door open. A man in black stepped out and walked across the apron to meet a figure in camouflage, as the figure stepped down from one of the Sparrows. Litton thought the man in black looked suspiciously like a DDSI agent. Something was definitely going on here, and as much as it was his day off, he could not ignore it. Binoculars in one hand, and phone in the other, he opened the ‘notes’ app and began jotting down everything he saw.

An hour later, he called his editor.
Last edited by Goram on Tue Oct 19, 2021 9:29 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Goram
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Founded: Jan 30, 2010
Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Goram » Tue Oct 19, 2021 2:08 pm

14 hours later…

The sound of the Sparrow UH.5M’s rotors disappeared into the darkness of the midnight sky as the Army crew, on loan to the DDSI, departed into their designated holding pattern some way from the area of operations. Captain Weber watched the helos go, his breath clouding in front of him.

The DDSI man, and his team, were deep into the Upland Range and with winter drawing in it certainly was cold. The snow that quietly crunched around his boots would not fully thaw until well into Spring next year. Weber didn’t like the noise the snow made, no matter how minimal it was. Even wearing boots designed to limit the sound, the slight creaking crunch that came with every step sounded deafening to the Captain. He turned his head and looked around the clear night sky, drawing in a lungful of crisp air. Even through the full face balaclava and military style helmet he wore, the air was invigorating. The moon was already up above the horizon and although it was a little more than a quarter moon, it’s light was giving the snow an ethereal glow. Weber returned his eyes to the here and now, and hefted the rifle that hung from a sling about his shoulders. The Pattern 1979 SLR Mk. IIC-SA felt light in his hands, as it was designed to. The polymer clad carbine was a shorter and modernised variant of the P79 full sized rifle that had been in military service since 1980 and the SA version – standing for Special Application – was purpose made for those forces that needed a more capable weapon. Each member of the DDSI Tactical Team carried one, each with a suppressor, x4 magnification optic, and an IR laser pointer visible on their night vision. Weber snapped his night vision equipment, clipped to his helmet, down over his eyes and the world took on the green glow familiar to all moviegoers and game players. He drew the bolt on his rifle back, chambering a round, and instinctively touched the ambidextrous safety catch with his right thumb. He ensured the selector was set to safe, and then beckoned with one hand. Without a word, Weber’s Troop One and Troop Two moved north, off into the snowy trees. Five miles away, Lieutenant McGill’s Troop Three and Four moved south. They would converge on the target in forty five minutes, when the mission clock read H+45. The timing of this was going to be important because at H+48 exactly three Special Forces helicopters would converge on the compound to deliver 18 elite soldiers in support of the DDSI agents.

Slowly, quietly and with all the lethality of the tigers known to roam in the higher parts of this mountain range, the DDSI force began to go about their business.





Weber looked down at his watch, the seconds counting up. It was H+45:48. 35 yards away from the tree line the DDSI agents waited in was a seven foot wall, topped with what appeared to be broken glass. Two men stood idly chatting in front of the wall, one of them casually smoking. Both of them cradled AR15 pattern rifles in their hands.

Weber keyed his radio to the shared Troop One and Two frequency and spoke in a whisper.

“Two armed targets. Kirkwood, Tildon, get ready.”

Two beams of light, invisible to the naked eye, reached out from the tree line and focused on each of the men. There they remained, hardly moving, as the shooters waited for the word to fire. Weber cycled to the team wide frequency and spoke again.

“Reach Actual. Foley.”

“Convoy Actual. Gate.”

The reply came from McGill’s team on the other side of the compound. The code words, based on the famous Foley Gate Square in Porthampton, confirmed that both halves of the Tactical Team were in position. The Captain looked down at his watch one more time. H+46:07. The choppers were now only two minutes away, but as yet they were inaudible. He waited just a beat longer and spoke one command over the team net.

“Roger. Execute.”

On the execute command, Kirkwood and Tilden fired. Both of Agents were designated marksmen, one belonging to each of the two Troops, and both were armed appropriately. Like the rest of their troop mates, Richard Kirkwood and Sarah Tilden carried a Special Application version of their weapons; the Pattern 1991 SLR. Like the issue version of the P91, the P91 SLR-SA was a lightweight, magazine fed weapon. In terms of a platform it was ergonomically similar to the P72, and featured an adjustable stock and a longer barrel designed to shoot a half inch grouping at 100 yards. These were all standard features for the P91. The SA version, however, was designed to be whisper quiet. Beyond a suppressor, the weapon’s gas system had been redesigned to cycle when using a subsonic version of the standard .303 calibre round. The result was reduced range, but it made the weapon almost silent. The report of the weapon was so quiet that the movement of the bolt generated more noise than the bullet being fired. Therefore, when Agent’s Kirkwood and Tilden fired the only noise was a repeated and almost coincident click, thunk of the bolt cycling and the bullet hitting the target. Weber watched both men crumple, and then twitch on the ground as the two marksmen shot them again. The second shot was to make sure, but the Captain was sure they weren’t needed. DDSI marksmen rarely needed a second shot to manage a kill.

Weber rose up, rifle raised and moved into the open towards the wall. As he moved, as did Troop One. Seconds later they were stacked up against the wall, with Troop Two standing in support in the tree line, watching both flanks. The Captain’s watch read H+46:54 and still, the helicopters could not be heard. Next to the Captain, two agents rummaged in a backpack and withdrew three bar charges, connected by detonation cord. They peeled the backing off the three charges and affixed it to the wall. One of the agents, Graham, held a clacker in his free hand.

“Reach 1-7. Set.”

The words whispered over the Troop net.

“Roger. On my mark. Ready. Ready. Mark.”

At H+47:31, the mouseholing charge exploded. Simultaneously, McGill’s agents blew the front gate apart. Weber moved effortlessly past Graham, even before the dust settled to reveal the six foot square rend in the wall. The Captain’s rifle was raised to his shoulder, but as he moved through the wall no targets immediately presented themselves. He took three steps forward and moved right, as a second agent came through the wall and went left. A door opened ten yards away and a man with a shotgun stepped out. The man still had sleep in his eyes, and he died without ever being truly awake. The man went down hard on his back after Weber shot him twice. On the other side of the compound, McGill’s agents were spilling into the interior and engaging targets as they appeared. The air snapped with single shots, and then a blast of automatic fire. Weber looked up at the source of the fire, in time to see a man behind what looked like an M60 machine gun slump back as an agent killed him with three shots. In that moment, Weber’s brain began to summon the intent to question where the helicopters were. Before the thought was fully formed, a deafening noise roared in from upwind. The agents moved left and right against the walls of huts to avoid the down blast made by the first Sparrow UH.5SI as it came to hover overhead. Two black ropes spilled out of the troop bay, and within 20 seconds six Special Forces troopers were on the ground. Moments later, the second helicopter came in and then third. As the third disgorged its troops, Weber saw a door open and a man step out with a long drain pipe like weapon on his shoulder. He fired it as one of the troopers shot him. The rocket flared bright on Weber’s night vision, and the blinding point of light streaked upwards. It missed the Sparrow by a scant 15 feet, its trajectory thrown off by the pair of .280 calibre bullets that had struck the operator at the critical moment. The helicopter pivoted in midair, yawing on its vertical axis, and unmasking the Gatling style machine gun mounted on its port side door. Weber could not hear the electrical whine as the barrels began spinning, but the report when the gun fired was unmistakable. The P70 spat out 6,000 rounds per minute and although the gunner fired only a short burst, he raked the hut with over 1,000 rifle calibre rounds. The thin walls offered almost no resistance, and the sustained weight of the fire virtually disintegrated the building, and Weber could see the gun six rotating barrels beginning to glow. The Captain turned his frequency selector to let him speak to the helicopters and practically screamed

“Ascot 3, Reach Actual. disengage. Repeat, disengage. Firing on probable non-combatants. Acknowledge.”

A flat voiced pilot came back.

“Roger, Reach. Disengaged.”

The pilot yanked back on his collective and the gun stopped firing. The Sparrow leapt up, and spun away towards the south. From the ruins of the hut, Weber was sure he could hear low moaning over the continued gunfire.

Less than 200 seconds after the shooting started, it had petered out. The combined DDSI and Special Forces group had cleared the outlying huts. The routine was the same for each one. A flash grenade through the door, followed up by a storming group. They fired on anyone carrying or trying to pick up a weapon, shooting with lethal precision and extreme prejudice. Everyone else was strenuously encouraged to stay where they were, often at the end of a silenced rifle. Plastic tie handcuffs were produced and applied to the adults.

The only build left unsecured was the church in the centre of the compound, and now Troop One closed slowly towards it. The Troop stacked up on either side of the large double doors, Weber on one side and Graham on the other. Graham stepped forward, reaching out a gloved hand and as he touched the wood there came a rip of automatic fire. The wood of the door seemed to explode, and Graham jerked as he was hit. Almost instantly, the agent behind Graham reached out to drag him clear of the line of fire and two others emptied their magazines back through the door. In doing so, they blew the lock apart and the doors swung open. Weber stepped around the door frame to see two men lying in a pool of blood, but only one AK style rifle on the ground. The Captain stepped into the darkened church and heard the quiet report of suppressed rifles firing once each into the bodies on the ground. On his left and right, Weber could see the sweep of IR lasers as agents looked into the corners of the room, desperately looking for anyone else lying in wait.

Agent Tilden saw him first as he appeared from the Vestry, just feet away from Weber. The man appeared in The Captain's peripheral vision and before he could turn and shoot, he heard the whine of a pistol bullet go past his head before the soft click of Tilden’s P91 firing. Weber heard a faint sigh as the P91s subsonic bullet drove the air from the man's lungs, the metallic clunk as his pistol hit the ground and the dull dump of a collapsing body. There was a momentary silence, during which time no one moved. It was broken by a blood curdling scream, and a second figure appeared from the Vestry. She ran, barefoot, across the Church’s cobbled floor towards the figure as he lay face down as his blood ran like an accusing finger towards the large cross at the end of the room.

“Father!”

She screamed, dropping to her knees

“You shed blood in the house of God! Barbarians! God’s judgement will come down upon you Dres’nalar scum”

She sobbed over the body of the Father who, Weber presumed, was probably the leader of the community. The Captain stepped towards the woman and the Father's unmoving body, aiming his rifle down at them.

“Lie on your front and put your hands flat on the floor!”

Weber yelled at her, practically standing over them. She didn’t comply, instead she stayed hunched over the body.

“Get on your front and put your hands on the floor! I won’t tell you again!”

She looked him dead in the eye, and it seemed to Weber that she was looking through his night vision and straight into his soul. She glanced down at the pistol.

“Don’t fucking do it.”

His brain and his mouth screamed at the woman. Don’t you fucking do it. The thought was as loud as any he’d ever had. But she didn’t hear it. Her fingers touched the pistol, and the P72 kicked against Weber’s shoulder. He saw the woman's eyes go wide as the .280 calibre round hit her, and he clearly saw the bullet come out of her back. Whilst he’d taken life before, he’d never done it at such close range. Later, he would swear he saw the light go out of her eyes.





45 minutes later

Captain Weber stood in the middle of the now floodlit compound, his hand resting on the radio box attached to his PPV body armour vest. A voice spoke into his ear, clearly audible over the hum of rotor blades in the background.

“Yeah, we have him stable.”

Weber breathed a sigh of relief and keyed his own radio.

“Roger. How far out are you?”

“Estimate about time four six.”

“Roger. Out.”

At least that was one thing sorted. Agent Graham was on a helicopter, bound for the Brigade medical unit attached to the 99th Infantry Brigade. He was shot twice, once in the upper thigh and once in the lower chest. The plates in his PPV would have stopped the 7.62 AK round, but the first hit to his thigh caused the Agent to twist and fall, opening his exposed flank to the bullet. The chest wound was serious, and Graham had lost a significant amount of blood. However, pair of Special Forces troopers administered triage and kept the Agent alive. Now, he was on his way to life saving surgery. If nothing else went wrong, the only serious casualty of the night was going to live.

The Captain watched on as a Knight helicopter lifted off, outside the compound wall. A second Knight circled, landed and left again ten minutes later. They took 37 adult members of the Scandinvan Church with them, along with six children. The adults hands were still zip tied behind their backs, and they sat under the watching eyes of McGill’s Agents. They would be taken back to the airfield they’d started the day at, and from there to DDSI Ironwynth. All would be interrogated and would speak to a phycologist. Those that had committed offences under the Terror Act would be charged. Those that had not would be offered further time with phycologists in order to try and break them out of the cult like lifestyle in which they had been. They left 22 of their Church members dead around the compound, seven of them in the ruins of the hut that the Sparrow gunner had decimated with over 1,000 rounds. Only one of those dead had had a weapon. Two of the occupants had survived the torrent of tracer and ball, though. One lived long enough to die whilst a DDSI Agent attempted to administer aid, but the other was now following Agent Graham to the combat trauma unit. Weber had watched this one being loaded onto a helicopter, covered in field dressings and without one leg below the knee. He looked young, only a teenager and the Captain couldn't help but wonder why it had happened. Once the shooting had stopped, the compound secured and the wounded stabilised, Weber sought out his opposite number in the Special Forces detachment to ask him why the gunner had been so free with his fire. It became evident that the elite troopers and their equally elite Special Air Group helo crews hadn’t been briefed to expect non-combatants. It was a major mistake in what had been an otherwise well executed mission.

An hour later, Captain Arran Weber stepped into the troop compartment of the Army Sparrow UH.5M that had dropped them off at the start of the evening. The helo lifted off, taking the last of the DDSI Tactical Team with it. The aircraft turned lazily east, climbing away from the compound. Weber unclipped his helmet and pulled his balaclava. He ran a gloved hand through his short sandy hair and caught the eye of Agent Tilden sitting across from him. They shared an unspoken sentiment in the look; it had indeed been a long night. The Captain looked out the open troop bay door and watched the lines of flashing blue and red lights as they snuck up the mountain roads towards the Scandinvan Church. The long night was going to continue for them, as DDSI field agents and Ironwynth Police were going to have to drive up into the Upland Range and begin the investigation of what their Tactical colleagues had done. There were thousands of photographs to take, and a mass of evidence to police - not to mention a significant number of bodies to deal with. As Weber watched the convoys sneaking upwards in the dark, he knew that the operation was not soon going to end. It was going to take weeks, and there was going to be a toll that needed to be paid before it was over.
Last edited by Goram on Tue Oct 19, 2021 4:19 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Anagonia
Minister
 
Posts: 2902
Founded: Dec 18, 2003
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Anagonia » Thu Oct 21, 2021 12:37 am

Typically, the various branches of the Confederate Government acted independently according to the jurisdiction of operations they were intended for. The Confederate National Intelligence Agency, for example, was primarily tasked with operations outside of the territorial claims of the Confederate States. Their primary objective was gathering intelligence to assess possible threats to Anagonian interests abroad, utilizing the gathered information and crunching the data to provide accurate and informative analysis to the other departments within the government as well as the various branches of the military. Very rarely was the CNIA tasked with any matter pertaining to domestic issues, regardless of severity. This task of policing domestic issues fell to the responsibility of the Confederate National Bureau of Investigation.

This manner of sectionalized governance was found inside the entire construct that was the Confederate governing apparatus. No one agency or department formed under the banner of the Confederate Government was designed to deal with all problems. Instead, each agency and department was formed to deal with a specific task, rigorously trained to focus their objectives entirely to that one purpose of policing and solving issues in their specified Area of Operations. It was a purpose built design within the government to ensure no one branch of government would ever overreach another branch of government and that all sections of the government would cooperate mutually for the ultimate objective of ensuring the safeguarding of Anagonian ideals and continuity. The only exception to this rule was the Military itself, which was designed through Constitutional Law to bypass these intended restrictions so it could adequately defend and protect the Anagonian way of life.

It had not always been this way. Sectionalized governance was first introduced as a concept by President Forest Holloway, 7th President of the Confederate States, around 47 AUR. Following the events of a governing crisis which rocked the Confederate Government to its core, President Holloway authorized the formation of various departments and agencies which included both the CNIA and CNBI. Later, Interim President Christine Kent would clarify the purpose of these departments and agencies under Junior and Senior Cabinet Departments to better direct their focus towards specific goals. Every President thereafter would either authorize the formation of new agencies or clarify the purpose of existing ones, up to and including the current President of the Confederate States. Very rarely did any agency or department work with another, and if they did it was in limited capacities generally designated as goodwill exercises or operations.

The Military played a huge role in ensuring this line of cooperation between these various departments and agencies was limited. Despite the overall good intentions of such exercises and operations, mutual cooperation between government branches was seen by the Military as a risk of overreach from the government into the lives of Anagonian citizens. All one had to do to justify this concern was point fingers at other nations across the years, including various ones presently existing in Gholgoth. One of the primary examples used to justify the restrictions by the Military on the government was that of the example produced in the early 21st century by the United States of America, how it constructed new agencies and departments under the guise of protection, how it justified encroachment on personal liberties as "good for the nation". Another example, one which no one would argue, was the example of Germany during the 20th century and how it utilized political upheaval to justify monstrous actions and abominations on humanity.

Lieutenant General Darrel Osborne was the eyes and ears of the Military for the Confederate National Bureau of Investigation. Unlike the CNIA, which had a residing Military representative as its chief operations officer, the CNBI was lead by a Director assigned by the President. Director Daron McKnight was neither a malicious man nor was he seen as an overall threat to the integrity of the nation. His recent exploits in preserving the integrity of the Confederate Elections last year had been a huge boon to his reputation within the government and military. His overall career had been one of fulfilling his obligations to the letter, always going by the book when necessary and always consulting with the military when that book needed to be shelved temporarily. Darrel rarely, if ever, intruded on the administrative abilities of the Director. Today, however, had been different.

A recent report by Major General Lucias Zoilus from the CNIA had sent ripples across the Confederate Government. For the first time in decades, the President had ordered the various intelligence and policing agencies within his government to cooperate on the threat posed by Scandinvan and the terrorist cells which were suspected to be presently operating within the borders of the Confederate States. Director McKnight had argued his case with Darrel that morning, stating clearly that the Commander in Chief elected by the people had ordered his agency to cross the forbidden boundary. The Lieutenant General had stated his clear opposition to the Directors intended compliance, stating the situation would best be handled by the Military Police - the only Military Branch constitutionally responsible with preserving the integrity of governance, by law and by intent. Darrel would eventually relent his position at the conclusion of their meeting, insisting that as a compromise he would instead observe and report the activities of the various agencies to ensure constitutional compliance.

It had been a hard sell to the Director, but Daron would eventually accede. The Military, specifically those highest in charge, was not happy with the arrangement in the slightest. This left the Lieutenant General in the unique position as barrier between the two sides of the Confederate coin. On one hand was the government, its agencies formed to better govern and protect its citizens in the way governments typically do. On the other was the protectors of the society being government, ready to pull the trigger at a moments notice should an invisible line be crossed by a government for the people to one who sought to oppress it.


*** __ *** __ ***


Confederate National Bureau of Investigation
Main Headquarters, Inside the Capital Perimeter
Liberty City, State of Liberty, CSA
Some Days After the Events that took place in the The United Kingdom of Goram


Director McKnight briefly glanced into the corner of the meeting room at the dim visage of the Lieutenant General. Earlier in the day the two had a not-so-subtle spat about the rights and abilities of the government in regards to its duties to the people. Daron was not alien to this very real and very strict line in the sand placed by the Confederate Military. He had spent his time in the armed forces, like every citizen had or eventually would when they came of age. Four years of his life had been dedicated to the defense of the skies in the CSAF, flying experimental fighters and testing new technologies under the guidance of the Department of the Advancement of Confederate Military Superiority. Once his mandatory term had been up, however, he had returned to civilian life and sought work in civil protection.

From a very early point in his career as a civilian peace officer in the Commonwealth of Lexington the CNBI had its eyes on him. As he progressed to Detective, he began to get visitations from Bureau Agents who would often grade his performance on specific assignments and his conclusions which inevitably assisted the courts in their decisions. In short order he had been invited to join the CNBI and, with little else in his mind at the time but the progression of his career, he had accepted. From the very beginning he had earned his placement within the Bureau. Assignment after assignment, operation after operation, he showed his dedication and commitment to the defense of the nation and its people.

Various operations involving domestic militia groups and assisting the Military Police with "pacifying" them had fast-tracked his career. When he had been promoted to Director by President Franklin Johnson a few short years ago, it had been the culmination of his then-life's work. He was committed to his country, both by serving with blood in the Military and with grit in the various civil protection agencies. It irked him to no end that all of this, each and every example of his devotion, was always under question by the very Military he once served under.

"Director?"

Realizing his mistake, Daron's eyes darted from the partially hidden Lieutenant General to that of an Bureau Agent at the fore of the meeting room. He worked overtime to remember the ongoing briefing that Agent Callister had been conducting to update his Director on shared intelligence between the CNIA and CNBI following the directive from President Canisilus. Satisfied that he had remembered adequately, he gave a slightly apologetic nod to the Agent. "Please continue," Daron instructed.

"As I was saying," Agent Callister said as he continued from he left off, "the CNIA has shared its intelligence that a recent anti-terror operation in the United Kingdom of Goram effectively proves the validity of the existence of Scandin terror cells. In this briefing I've already outlined several locations across the country that fit the same criteria specified by yourself, Director, concerning the incubation of cults and various other borderline militia groups. I've postulated successfully, as outlined in my recent report to your desk, that Anagonia is at a greater danger of these borderline groups crossing the threshold to full-blown terror cells due in large part to the extensive freedoms our society enjoys."

There was several other individuals in the room, all seated to the left or right of the Director. They held various high-level positions within the CNBI and were all given the same pre-briefing information concerning the recent threat to Anagonian security. Each one, including the Director himself, glanced towards the corner of the room where Lieutenant General Osborne stood. No one could clearly make out his expression due to the dim lighting in the room to accommodate the projected screen from which Agent Callister conducted his briefing. It was an intentional placement by the Military liaison, Daron knew, and one which provided no one in the room a glimpse at his expression from the Agents recent words. The silent moment passing without interruption, heads turned back towards Agent Callister as he continued.

"Major General Lucias Zoilus has shared his agencies intelligence on possible threats within the Confederacy that have caught the attention of the CNIA," Callister said as the screen changed to an topographic overlay of Anagonia with various dots signifying important locations. "This intelligence has been verified with the Confederate States Military Police and, with their shared information to us, we now have a clearer picture from which to properly investigate and contain these threats. Most of the dots you see overlayed on this screen are considered generally benign and simply worthy of passive observation by the Military Police. However this location is different."

The Agent pressed on the holographic overlay projected from the center of the meeting table where the Director sat, using finger gestures to zoom in on a single location on the extreme edge of the large peninsula within the Commonwealth of Saratoga. The topographic map changed to one with detailed roads and towns, eventually zooming to the west of a few that Daron recognized from past vacations to a spot a few miles from the beaches of what was labeled Sandtown City. There, in an image clearly originating from a orbital perspective, the Director clearly made out installations similar to those of high-level military installations. There were barracks, garages, storage centers, and what appeared to be a fully functional airfield with a few civilian-grade fighter jets. Usually the military was careful to castrate the fighters it sold into the civilian market. These however, with visible missiles and gun pods, had not or at the very least had been retrofitted to accommodate munitions.

There were a few hushed whispers shared to the left and right of the Director, with what seemed to be an audible groan from the direction of the Lieutenant General. Director McKnight understood why intimately. The location presented was a notorious separatist stronghold in a predominantly Scandi-Anagonian populated area. It had made news in recent years as objecting to not only the authority of the Commonwealth, but also that of the Confederacy. Various attempts by the Military Police to establish a dialogue to address the grievances by the community there had been met with mixed results. Due to their compliance with local laws and standards, it had been decided four years ago by the Military Police that their rights to protest would be respected. They posed no willful threat to anyone around them and just wanted to be left alone, according to reports. Things had been relatively quiet since that time - until the body of a local police officer had been found a few miles from their "community" two days ago. The body had been found with the word "Dres’nalar" carved on his chest and stomach.

"As I see you are all aware," Agent Callister continued a moment later, "This is the Christian Separatists Community of Southwave. For a long time since its inception, the residents here have gradually grown in population and generally have posed little threat to Sandtown City. Interactions with local authorities and the Military Police have been noted as cordial and polite and they have conducted community volunteer events in Sandtown in the past to establish goodwill with between the communities. Interactions as of late have been general invitations by Sandtown churches, all of the Christian faith, to preachers from within Southwave. It has been confirmed by the CNIA that this has been Southwave's primary method of both recruitment and tourism. That is, until recently."

What followed was a video played from what appeared to be a rather sketchy mobile phone or recording device. The video was somewhat grainy, but the date-stamp clearly identified it as being recorded only a week ago. In it, a man in a pulpit preached loudly to a congregation of people seated in benches. It was the typical Christian church layout, crucifix and baptism pool included in the background. The preacher, however, took center stage as he spouted words border lining on hate and intolerance, using the words of his Holy Book to justify killing non-believers. The video ended shortly after, fast-forwarded several times by Agent Callister to specific points of interest during his sermon, which had culminated in the concluding arguments in favor of stated aforementioned non-believer killing. To Director McKnight, it had been an entirely alien preaching compared to what he personally understood as constituting the general preaching of tolerant Christians.

"This video was recorded by a CNIA plant a week ago and the man on the screen is the Preacher Dalton Keith. He has been identified as the general leader of Southwave, elected mayor, and community organizer. He was at the forefront of many goodwill outreach initiatives in the past, however recently various online blog posts and social media communities have remarked on a degrading transition from tolerance to outright violence."

Director McKnight watched as Callister played various videos of Dalton beating on what could be assumed as citizens in the Southwave community. He appeared to typically use a belt, but in a few bloody ones he used a whip with some form of sharp objects imbedded in them to rip flesh from bone and cause extensive bleeding on victims. Daron couldn't help but feel slightly sickened as the videos progressed in severity of punishment. The videos then ended as the image transitioned to one of the dead body of the recent victim of an unknown murderer near Southwave.

"Pictured here is the body of Officer Jarrod Mccall," Callister continued, not missing a beat. "He was aged 45, having been retired from the Confederate States Military Police to take up station as a Peace Officer for Sandtown City. On the night of his murder, Officer Mccall had been assigned to transport a citizen of Southwave from Sandtown as a gesture of mutual cooperation. His patrol car has not been found, however he was found a mile from the road and approximately five miles from the gated entrance to Southwave."

Another image played then, one displaying the helmet camera of a Military Policeman as he rode in what appeared to be a M1117 Armored Security Vehicle judging by the cockpit. A clear view of a M1117 was visible in front and the scenery was similar to that of the overlay images that Daron viewed of the road leading to Southwave.

"What is playing now is the view of Trooper James Limes," Callister explained, "who is attached to the 52nd Saratoga Military Police Corps Regiment. As you will notice in this playback, his interactions with Southwave authorities are uneventful. He was tasked with his unit to assess the probability of Southwave involvement in the death of the Peace Officer. Southwave authorities cooperated fully and, following a short investigation, Trooper Limes will depart without any strong evidence of involvement. That is not why I am playing this video for you, Director."

At that statement, Director McKnight began to pay closer attention to the video. It was cut into segments, undoubtedly by Trooper Limes' superiors for the sake of time and importance. Short clips of his transition on the road to movement on the ground was quick, up to and including his visible examination of the group of soldiers standing guard at the gate of Southwave. The gate was of traditional make, only intended to keep out people instead of vehicles, but what the Director keenly noted was that there were what appeared to be LAV-25's guarding behind the entrance. Each "soldier" he made note of was heavily armed and armored, beyond the sensible capacity of any standard registered militia group. They all clearly made way for the Military Police, showing no signs of outward aggression, and the LAV-25's on the image had their main guns turned away.

Daron briefly glanced to the corner again as the video playback concluded, noticing that the Lieutenant General's posture was more rigid than he had observed before. Had the military been secretly selling this community weapons and armor? Had they knowingly or, perhaps, unknowingly given munitions thinking they were selling to someone else? It had happened before, selling to citizens beyond the reasonable limit of firepower. Only twice in the history of the CNBI had the government agency been called to deal with the aftermath of such a deadly mistake. Was this why Darrel had objected so vehemently earlier? The Director glanced back to Agent Callister, noting then that the Agent was staring very hard at his superior, as if expecting a response of some kind.

"Who armed them?" was his obvious question. Instead, Daron asked, "Where did they purchase their arms?"

"According to reports given to us by the CNIA," Agent Callister began in reply, "no one from inside the Confederate States. As I'm sure you've thought, the Military would be a logical first suspect. However that is not the case in this situation. In fact, we have evidence that shipments from outside the Confederacy have been coming in on a regular basis both from offshore and with aircraft. The CNIA strongly suspects that Southwave is being armed from the outside. They also suspect they are being armed for the sole purpose of using those arms against the Confederacy."

A few things clicked then. The Director was keenly aware of the intelligence shared a few days ago by the CNIA concerning Scandivans recent fundamentalist broadcasts. According to this briefing, the events of those broadcast and the death of the Peace Officer coincided too perfectly to be a coincidence, or at the very least that is what Daron had gathered. Additionally, the offered intelligence of foreign supply of arms and munitions was a clear case of probable outside involvement, which therefore constituted a logical progression to making Southwave a highly suspected terrorist group. The only thing left unanswered, however, was why this wasn't being directly handled by the Military. Instead of directing his attention to the Agent, Daron instead swiveled in his chair to face the Lieutenant General.

"If you'll entertain my musings, General Osborne?" Daron asked in way of inviting the Military liaison from the shadows. It worked, Daron seeing the man take a few steps forward, his posture rigid and his face cold as stone. His eyes pierced into Daron's with one of someone who highly objected the spotlight, so much so that it bordered on the offensive. Daron, however, didn't care. "Right, General. Why are we involved in this and not you?"

"I don't understand the question, sir," Darrel replied. "You'll have to be a bit more clear."

The Director stood. The room lights came on as Agent Callister made way to the other side of the room. Those seated at the table also stood, giving the two leaders of the CNBI ample room to conduct whatever business was about to go down. Everyone knew of the rocky working relationship the two had. Everyone also suspected it would eventually lead to some form of physical altercation. Those in the room apparently believed this was beginning of that suspected altercation. Surprising everyone watching, however, the Director merely took a few steps towards the Lieutenant General before crossing his arms as his head turned to motion at the barely visible image of the Southwave community.

"That," Daron said. "That is what I mean. Was this what you were arguing about earlier?"

There was a silence that took hold in the room, brief and unyielding as the two stared one another down. "No," Darrel replied, seemingly disgusted that behind-door events were being brought up. "my objections were purely professional. I wasn't aware that this intelligence would be available or shared."

A nod from the Director. "And now that it has?" he asked, genuine in his question.

The Lieutenant General glanced at the image briefly before settling back on Director McKnight. "Now that it has," Darrel began, taking a less formal tone, "I am under the impression that the powers that be are agreeing with the President concerning mutual cooperation. I can inquire from my superiors as to what purpose the Bureau will pla-"

"If I may interrupt?" Agent Callister said from near the meeting table. All heads turned to him. After a moment of silence from the Agent the Director made a hand gesture to encourage the Agent to continue. Giving a nod, Callister did so. "The reason the Military has not been involved beyond the Military Police is because of the Commonwealth government. They have forbade any form of military involvement beyond what is constitutionally sound. They view the Southwave community as an expression of citizens in protest. This is the reason the CNIA has had to use agents to take the recordings I provided earlier."

"Are you saying what I think you're saying, Agent Callister?" Director McKnight asked.

"The CNIA believes quite firmly that someone in the Commonwealth government is providing aid to Southwave," Callister replied with a nod. "This has not been confirmed and, with the Military tied behind legal restrictions, this is why I believe we have been briefed on the situation. Why I briefed you today on this situation."

The Director nodded. Like the Lieutenant General, Agent Callister was also a liaison, though this was kept generally quiet around the Bureau. Typically the briefings he provided was associated with more comfortable and familiar matters. Today had been quite different. As he recalled, Daron did request further explanation on the events that were beginning to play out across the country. Further information on terrorist cells, further details on probable threats, all of that had been elaborated on today. That was Agent Callisters job and he was damn good at it.

"Alright," Daron said as he turned to briefly look at Darrel. The two eyed each other, though the hostility in their gazes seemed to have diminished considerably. The Director turned to Agent Callister as he rubbed his forehead in thought. "I'll need some time to assess what we need to do about this. In the meantime, keep me updated, alright Mr. Callister? Meeting adjourned."

"Always, sir," the Agent replied as he began to gather his things. Others in the room did as well, taking the hint and beginning to vacate the room.

Director McKnight turned fully to the Lieutenant General. As the occupants of the room began to file out, Daron stared his equivalent down. Again, there was little hostility in the gaze, but there was a growing sense of suspicion in the atmosphere of the room. As Agent Callister left the room and closed the door behind him, Daron asked quietly, "How many more?"

Darrel's shoulders lowered slightly as he let out a long, soft sigh. He brought a hand up to his hair, running it through it as his stance became less formal and more relaxed.

"Five more," he replied after a moment of contemplation. The Director mused it was most likely due to whether he could reveal the information or not. But since the cat was out of the bag, why hold back now? "Five more that are similar to this, with only two others sharing the same religious fervor as Southwave. We've tagged these communities, these bases as problems ever since they began to acquire munitions. Each one of them reside in Saratoga. And the worrying part is they're all growing. Your briefer was right, though, Daron. Our hands are tied. Until they do something to pose as a threat, they're citizens in protest and protected by law."

Daron nodded, understanding the gravity of the situation. "Do you think the military is going to give their blessing or are they going to pretend this isn't a problem?" he asked, his voice softer than before.

"Yeah," Darrel replied, his voice equally as soft though his demeanor remaining casual. "I think they will. I'll get back to you within the hour. After that, if they do, I'll help organize some sort of response."

"Thanks Darrel," the Director said, watching as the Lieutenant General gave a wave of acknowledgement to him as he moved to depart. Daron looked at the empty meeting table, then the wall the holographic projection had been displayed on. His mind was already beginning to focus on what they needed to progress in response. The first obvious one was proving, without a shadow of a doubt, that the Officer was killed by Southwave.

As the door closed behind Darrel, Daron grabbed his phone from his pocket and began to dial a number. There was someone who he knew in the Military Police that might help him open a few extra doors for added security and, quite possibly, evidence.
Last edited by Anagonia on Thu Oct 21, 2021 3:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Goram
Senator
 
Posts: 3798
Founded: Jan 30, 2010
Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Goram » Thu Oct 21, 2021 2:31 pm

Several days after the raid

Captain Weber gasped as he woke. For a moment, he wasn’t sure exactly where he was. But as soon as that disoriented feeling of alarm had come, it then dissipated as his mind returned to full consciousness. His head sank slowly back into the soft pillow, eyes half closed, and the warmth of the duvet gave a feeling of absolute safety. Instinctively, he reached across the bed for his wife to find her missing. Almost as he did so, he noticed the light leaking into the room around the edges of the blinds and he realised it must have been considerably later than he thought. He rolled over, towards his bedside table and groped for his watch. The cheap, functional Casio he wore for work had given way to an expensive, handmade piece from the San Benedictine Republic and their renowned watchmakers. It had been a gift from his wife to celebrate his 30th birthday, and it was one of his prized possessions. The watch face read 9:36, fully two and a half hours after he should have been up. He realised his alarm hadn’t gone off, and the reason for that was next to the old fashioned – but reliable – clock. The battery had been pulled out and discarded. He smiled to himself as he pulled himself upright and swung his legs over the side of the bed. Well, he reasoned, he probably needed the sleep and Annette had clearly taken mercy on him this morning. The Captain’s feet groped around for his slippers and, in finding them, he began his day.

Light streamed into the kitchen through the wide bay windows. It was one of his favourite parts of the house. Certainly not the biggest or flashiest, Arran and Annette Weber had been swayed on the property by its large windows. They’d loved the way the lighting made the rooms of the house feel much larger than they actually were, and it was an appreciation that had not faded.

“Look who finally decided to join us!”

Annette crowed, mock superiority in her voice. Arran smiled broadly at his wife, who was sitting at the kitchen table. Her laptop was open before her and a jotter pad on her right. Like a growing number of Goramites, she worked part of the week from home and so she ran her marketing team from the comfort of the kitchen table. It was an arrangement that worked well with the Webers, given that Arran worked unorthodox days and hours. It meant that at least one of the two was at home, almost always and that, they felt, was important for their young daughter. Ordinarily, if he was at home, Arran took her to school whilst Annette prepared her business day. This morning things had been different; Annette had clearly taken the seven year old today and then returned to start her own workday.

Arran took one of the white mugs out of a cupboard above the kitchen worktop.

“You want coffee? Tea?”

He asked his wife. She nodded and held out an identical, but coffee stained, mug. Arran took it and popped a red plastic pod into the machine. Both adult Weber’s knew this was not the most ecologically friendly way to make coffee, but the pods were cheap and they made a decent cup.

“Going to be a long day today?”

“Yep. We’ve got the New Lyne deadline coming up, and two of the team called in sick today.”
Arran thought that over. It was getting towards winter and a seasonal cold did seem to be doing the rounds.

“Oh, so you’re going to have to do some work today?”

His wife pulled a face at him and raised both hands to give him the double bird. Arran laughed as she told him

“Just make the fucking coffee, Arran.”

The machine whirred into life. The DDSI Captain faced death on a regular basis, but he knew that – sometimes - was nothing more dangerous than his wife. He placed her coffee on the coaster next to her jotter pad and sat at the table with her. A folded copy of The Cmyrian Mail sat on the table, and he picked it up. He sipped his coffee as he unfolded the paper with his free hand. He liked the Mail. It was the size of a tabloid, but the content of a broadsheet. These qualities, along with an excellent website, had made The Cmyrian Mail one of the most widely read papers in the country, both in print and in online form.

Arran had long become accustomed to reading about things he had done in service to the Department of Domestic Security and Intelligence’s Task Force 19. The morning after the raid in the mountains, the media had been full of it. The group had been identified as “The Righteous Knights of Erid” and were being regarded as a cult of sorts. The convoys of lights that Arran had seen trailing up the mountainside had torn the compound apart and found a small arsenal of small arms, along with homemade pipe bombs and a list of targets. Almost all of these were churches or other places of worship. The media had lauded the DDSI as heroes for foiling the extremist plot, but the interest had quickly faded. Within 48 hours, the story had run its course. Therefore, it was a surprise to see the words;

“ARMY SPECIAL FORCES DEPLOYED WITH DDSI AGENTS IN CHURCH RAID”

Splayed across the front page, along with a blown up photograph of two of the Sparrow UH.5SI’s that Weber had worked so closely with. Quickly, he read the article.

“Written by Chris Litton.”

Weber knew that name. He’d never met Litton, but he knew the name. The man regularly brought his kids to the airfield they’d stepped off from. He’d never been deemed a threat, but regular faces at a DDSI facility were bound to draw background checks. Arran realised the journalist must have been there when the helos turned up, and put two and two together. Then, with a little digging, he’d got his story.

“A NUMBER OF ARMY SPECIAL FORCES PERSONNEL WERE DEPLOYED IN THE RECENT LAW ENFORCEMENT OPERATIONS IN THE UPLAND RANGE, THE CYMRIAN MAIL HAS LEARNED”

The all-caps opening byline read. Arran put down his coffee cup, and read on. The journalist pulled no punches, and Captain Weber devoured the article with his eyes. He had expected questions to be asked about the deployment of military force, but he hadn’t expected it to be like this. This was truly incendiary stuff and it was bound to draw plenty of attention – both at home and abroad. When he reached the bottom, where it told the reader they might continue reading the story on Page 4, he realised with a start that he hadn’t looked at his phone yet this morning. Scrambling, he pulled the device out of his pocket. Eight messages, two missed calls. Annette noticed his hurried motion.

“Something wrong?”

“Yeah.”

It was supposed to be his day off, but he knew there would be no getting away from this.

“I think I’m going to have to go to work.”





Forty minutes later, Arran Weber walked from his front door and got into the driver's seat of his four-door hatchback. The engine was already running and the car’s interior warm, as he had commanded it to be from the app on his phone. When he’d bought the car, only a few months ago, he questioned whether he really needed the top of the line model, with all it’s bells and whistles. This morning he was heartily glad that he’d made the purchase, for the clear sky he’d woken up to had begun giving way to a thin slate grey covering. Without the direct sunshine, it was cold this morning and Arran suspected they might soon be on the receiving end of the first snow of the young winter.

The roads around South Cacleo-On-Holfoy were predictably congested by traffic as Weber tried to negotiate his way onto the H19 Ring Road. Cacleo was, by no means, a major city. 35 miles North West of Ironwynth, it was a modest sized commuter town of around 40,000. Once it had been an important settlement sitting, as it did, astride a natural crossing point on the Holfoy river. But with the industrial revolution, people had been drawn to the factories and mines of Ironwynth. Always had there been an abundance of natural resources in the foothills of the mountains that surrounded the city, particularly iron, but many others as well. Yet it was the discovery of gold in 1879 that triggered the population boom that made Ironwynth the sixth most populous city in the United Kingdom. More than two million lived there now, in the shadow of the mountains. And yet, somehow, the traffic leaving the commuter town was always worse than it was in the metropolis. As he crawled along, averaging 10 miles per hour towards the junction of H19 and National Motorway 16 – a north south artery road that would take him thirty miles in a straightish line towards the city – Weber was forced to wonder exactly what it was that Cacleo-On-Holfoy’s town council was spending his council taxes on. Certainly, it wasn’t easing traffic on the town’s major thoroughfares.

He drummed his fingers on the heated steering wheel as he crawled along. In the distance, he was just able to pick out Mt. Lawson against the pale grey sky. The Mirrored Summit, nicknamed so for its near symmetrical peak, almost seemed to laugh at the DDSI agent as he looked up at it. It almost seemed that the mountain had more chance of moving quickly than he did. Today, of all days, the traffic was especially frustrating. He needed to be in the field office today and in a position to protect the conduct of his team before the wolves came prowling. He reflected that Annette, bless her, had picked a fantastic day to let him sleep in.

The radio blasted out music to which Weber was not listening. His right hand dropped off the wheel and onto the centre console of the car. With the press of a button, the car radio shifted onto a preset frequency and the voice of the anchorman for Capital News Radio came gently out of the surround sound speakers.

“-a rather damning article today in The Cmyrian Mail.”

“It’s all hearsay at the moment though”

A second voice, one Weber didn’t recognise, fired back. Must be some sort of guest commentator, Weber thought. The man continued.

“The Mail’s allegations are, right now, just that. Even if military personnel were deployed against citizens of the United Kingdom, that doesn’t necessarily make the action illegal.”

“Perhaps not illegal, no, but you must admit that – illegal or not – the government is doing this sort of thing more and more often. They tread a dangerously blurred line with military power, amongst other things, and it’s getting people killed”

For ten minutes the debate went on, with the anchor attacking and the guest defending the government’s conduct. It ended just as Weber broke free of the traffic and onto the sliproad that would bring him onto the National Motorway.

“I’m so sorry to interrupt”

The anchor said, as his guest was in the middle of repeating the same talking point he’d been hammering for as long as the interview had gone on for.

“But it seems the Leader of the Opposition is about to make a statement, and we’re going live to broadcast his remarks to you.”

Weber turned the volume knob up a click or two.





Roughly 2,000 miles South East…

Katie Sparks slammed the newspaper down on her desk.

“Moron!”

She spat at the copy of the Mail. No one in the bullpen outside her office, her team of analysts, said a word. They didn’t need to. They knew what she was talking about and they agreed. As a team, they had worked several long night to prepare four pages of A4 paper for the Ministry of Home Affairs. They had made the analysis of the intelligence, given to them by their electronically snooping colleagues. A great many people had worked hard over the past week to put together a coherent picture of the threat posed by the cult calling themselves “The Righteous Knights of Erid”. They had given Sparks the tools and she had made the recommendation to wait. Wait until a definite plan of attack was known. Wait until the Circus could ascertain if the Knights were acting alone, or if other Scandinvan groups were involved. Just wait until the picture firmed up properly. Instead, the Minister had sent DDSI in guns blazing and, because they weren’t quite sure what to expect, he’d also walked the blurred line of deploying the military on Goramite soil to kill Goramite citizens – because members of the Scandinvan Catholic Church or not, everyone in the Upland Range compound had been Goramite citizens. Now, other Scandin groups had gone berserk and they were bound to gain some sympathy from other Christian groups who wouldn’t believe the Bible Literalists were as extreme as they seemed to be. Perhaps worse, it was bound to anger the Scandinvan theocracy and many in the Circus thought that they probably weren’t going to take this lying down. In short, it was the opinion of the UKG’s intelligence agency that the Ministry of Home Affairs had, somewhat ironically, actually increased the terror threat by moving too rapidly and too extremely to reduce it.

Katie Sparks knew this well, and it was difficult for her to contain her frustration as she typed yet another report for Patrick Price. This one dealt with other Scadin enclaves in the United Kingdom, and another one, a much larger one, in Anagonia. It was well known that most embassies the world over contained some kind of intelligence apparatus and the Goramite establishment in Liberty, Anagonia, was no different. Both the Goramites and the Anagonians knew this, and often they made it work to their benefit. Less than two years ago the two nations had managed to de-escalate a major incident that had very nearly resulted in a nuclear strike on the Anagonian Navy. It was made possible by the sharing of intelligence through the Goramite embassy and since then a relationship had existed between the Circus and the CNIA. Despite this, the Circus had limited information on the Christian Separatists Community of Southwave. They were known to be peaceful, but increasingly heavily armed to the point of having civilian owned fighter aircraft and light armoured vehicles. That was worrying enough, given the Scandin call to arms. Worse still, a military police officer had been killed there and the embassy staff had heard rumours that his body had been found with “Dres’Nalar” carved into his chest. When combined with the goings-on in Goram, the big picture was becoming increasingly alarming. As she typed, Sparks felt sure that a quiet message would be sent to Anagonia and an equally quiet coffee might be shared between two or three people in Liberty City.

A knock came on the glass windows that looked out onto the bullpen. Sparks looked up and beckoned for the man to come in.

“Katie, sorry, you’re going to want to see this. The Leader of the Opposition is about to make some remarks”

Sparks got up from behind her desk and walked out into the bullpen as someone flicked a wall mounted television on.





Belldale, central Goram

For almost 110 years, Belldale had been the home of Democratic Socialist and Liberty Party headquarters. They had moved around the city a number of times, but since 1916 they had always had a Belldale postcode. Bizarrely, the Party was not founded in Belldale. It was founded almost 1,500 miles north, by dockworkers in Stoney Bay on the far north coast in 1887. The Party moved after their inception, partly because of largely because of a lack of funds. Stayed there almost entirely because in 1965, when faced with the choice of moving when their lease on the building was up for renewal, the leader decided it was somehow politically desirable to be as close to the centre of the country as possible. The reasoning behind that decision was that they didn’t want to upset potential voters by having their headquarters in the north, south, east or west of the country. With decision making like that, a great many historians and political scientists had written, it was no surprise whatsoever that the DSLP had not managed to gain power for another 14 years.

The current leader had inherited a party that was hardly in better shape than it had been in 1965, but that was no longer the case. The Democratic Conservatives had been in power now for fifteen years, but they were struggling at the polls now. Much of that was to do with the work Cara Pritchett had been able to do to since she ascended from the front bench to the party leadership. In three years, she’d made shrewd political moves and had held the government accountable at every turn. That being said, she knew, they hadn’t exactly made it hard for her. She’d always enjoyed football and played to a reasonable level as a younger woman. She had had a reputation as an opportunistic striker, but she’d never seen open goals like the DCP had been giving her in the last 18 months.

She looked in the mirror, in the anteroom just off the main entrance to the DSLP’s headquarters. She looked herself in the eye, and quietly ran through the major talking points she was about to make. It was going to be a short statement, but a scathing one and the press was assembled outside to record what she said for broadcast over radio, TV and online.

There was a knock on the door, and an aide cracked the door open.

“They’re ready when you are, Ma’am.”

Pritchett nodded, took one last look at herself and stepped out into the hall. As she went, a number of recording devices clicked on and camera feeds went live. She placed her leather binder on the pulpit, opened it and looked up for the teleprompter that projected in front of the main TV camera, so the speaker might read the words whilst maintaining eye contact with the view.

“Citizens of the United Kingdom, thank you for your time today.”

She began.

“I want to address the stories that appeared today about a Department of Domestic Security and Investigation operation that took place on Monday, and the military involvement therein. Firstly, I wish to thank the DDSI agents and military personnel that took part. These men and woman place their lives on the line to defend us and, for that, we are eternally grateful to them.”

That was the easy part, she knew. The hard part was coming up. Her political strategists were convinced this was the move to make, but it amounted to pouring petrol on a smouldering fire.

“However, I am appalled at this government’s actions and the deploying of military force against their own citizens. Soldiers are not police. They are not law enforcement. The Army has zero jurisdiction over domestic law enforcement, and the deployment of military forces on combat operations in the United Kingdom, in time of peace, is of dubious legality at best.

This is a continuing trend for this government, which continually bends and alters its military operation against slavery to whatever end they see fit. What began as an idealist crusade against the evils of human trafficking has been perverted by this government and used as a tool to do with as they will. We will not stand for this. The military cannot be used as a weapon for the Prime Minister and his cronies to wield without checks. This Prime Minister has deployed the military, first, to foreign countries without proper intelligence, and it got soldiers killed. Now, he has deployed them to our own soil and, because they were not properly informed by their political masters, unarmed women and children were killed in their beds.”

She knew the press probably didn’t know that the helicopter door gunner had opened fire on the hut in the compound. Yet through the Shadow Minister for Military Affairs, some of the details of the raid had managed to reach Cara Pritchett’s ears.

“This cannot go on. The longer it does, the longer the list of dead and wounded becomes. I call upon the Prime Minister to do the right thing. You must resign, Prime Minister. You are the Captain of a sinking ship, and you must resign. Today the DSLP are calling for early general elections in this country. We cannot go on like this. Thank you.”

Pritchett took a breath and gripped the edge of her lectern.

“I will now field questions.”

Somewhat predictably, there were a few.


ooc: sorry for the triple post. Had a lot of scene setting I wanted to do, and I didn't think it really worked in one long post! May add a little bit more to this about the Home sec. being politely asked by the PM if he might not like to jump before he's pushed, but other than that I'm about done for the moment.
Last edited by Goram on Thu Oct 21, 2021 3:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Anagonia » Thu Oct 21, 2021 9:12 pm

President Jason Faltore Nature Preserve
Juno Mountain, Juno County,
Territory of the West Islands
One Day following the Speech from Cara Pritchett


The West Islands were a unique set of islands that only recently acquired territory status within the Confederate States. Following the Main Islands successful bid for secession from the Commonwealth of Lexington only a scant few months ago during the national elections, much had been enacted and achieved within the fledgling Territory to establish a coherent government as well as forming its own militia defense force. Thanks to the recent proactive policies of the current President, thousands of new ground and air assets acquired from Lauzanne were arriving daily on the Main Island to be distributed across the nation to the other states and territories. These new assets were only purchased specifically for use by the State and Territorial Militia Forces, by the request of various high-ranking military officers within those Militia Forces. Territory Governor Jordan Cabrera had been critical in successfully gaining the West Islands with its own portion of those new military goodies.

The gentle hum of the OAZ "Ferret" General Purpose Vehicle's turbodiesel provided a soothing background noise for Sergeant Oshita Nobukazu as he and three other members of his squad were occasionally jostled by terrain as the GPV made its way up the winding mountain dirt road. Sergeant Nobukazu was seated in the front passenger seat, holding onto his standard issue MAP-98 Assault Rifle as he casually scanned the path ahead for obstacles to assist the driver. Corporal Teddy Pacheco operated the GPV from the drivers seat, the slightly cramped interior providing just enough room for him to operate the steering wheel and occasionally reach for his water canteen from the center console. Just behind the driver and passenger seat, Corporal Lucia Moore provided overwatch in her position manning the M240 on the roof mount, scanning around the vehicle haphazardly and with little interest in her surroundings. Beside her in the rear passenger seat, just behind Oshita, Private Elton Garner did his best to stave off the occasional foot jabs from Corporal Moore as he took his hazing with stride, being the newest addition to the squad.

All four in the GPV comprised a portion of the 31st West Island Recon Company, formed just a few months ago to fill in the gaps of the new Territories needs for military defense. Only three were retired Confederate Military, having conducted their mandatory four year term with honors and choosing a life outside the service. Those three had volunteered when the call for militia forces had been broadcast across the West Islands, utilizing their previous military experience to gain status in the new Militia Forces and finding a comfy station to serve their new Territory with honors.

Private Garner was the exception. Being eighteen, he had been too young to have any prior military experience, thus using the opportunity to join the West Island Militia Forces to acquire the necessary experience for when his mandatory would take effect when he turned twenty-one. If he played his cards right, his experience in the unit would gain him a fast-track during his mandatory, enabling him to choose when and where he wanted to serve and just how cushy he wanted it to be. All the other members of the squad were committed wholeheartedly to preparing the newblood for his mandatory. The constant kicking on his helmet from Lucia was proof enough of that.

"Had enough yet, rookie?"

Private Garner grunted as a particularly hard jab from Corporal Moore's foot caused his head to knock into the bulletproof glass.

"Come on Corporal!" cried Elton in agitation. "That one actually hurt!"

There were loud chuckles among the squad, all except from Elton. He rubbed the back of his head as the Sergeant turned around from his seat and gave him an appraising look. Then his eyes looked at the quite vulnerable shin just dangling from the turret seat provided for Lucia. Elton and Oshita shared a glance then, with the Sergeant giving the Private a wink before his left arm shot out and punched the shin. The resulting contact almost sounded like hitting something hollow.

"Fuck, Sarge! Argh!"

Corporal Moore could just make out the punches direction, knowing it wasn't from the Private. In the aftermath she instinctively moved forward in her seated mount to use one hand to grab the offended shin.

"There," Oshita said as he turned back around. "You're even. Quit the games kids."

Elton made sure that Lucia couldn't see him as he stifled a laugh. Thankfully the GPV's engine noise was enough that anything lower than normal talk was almost guaranteed to not be audible. He chanced a glance at his superior squadmate, listening as she gave a few more verbal curses towards her Sergeant before resuming a more formal position in her seated mount.

"If I didn't know any better I'd say Lucia had a woman-boner for the Private," Corporal Pacheco remarked from the driver seat. "You like to cradle rob, Lucie?"

"Fuck off, Ted," Lucia sniped back. "Just giving the kid the rounds. Better my boot than a bullet."

There was a audible laugh shared between the Sergeant and Teddy, followed by a snarky remark from Lucia before she resumed scanning her surroundings. Private Garner shook his head, adjusting his helmet properly from it being slightly off following the rather hard kick and impact. He adjusted his seated position as he looked down at his MAP-98K Carbine, making sure it was on safe and all the other steps he had been taught by his drill sergeants in training. It was a routine that he realized was becoming second-nature to him, with quick motions of his hand to touch the important areas of the weapon and verifying the state of its readiness. The hard deceleration and stop of the GPV sent his head into the back of the Sergeants seat, causing an echo in his brain that surprised even him.

Before he could get a protest off, Corporal Pacheco quickly said, "Sorry, kid!"

The situation intensified as Corporal Moore remarked, "Just one lone truck in the way," before the Private managed to lean over just enough to view out the front windshield.

"I see it," Sergeant Nobukazu remarked as Elton began to instinctively gain a better understanding of their surroundings.

The GPV had stopped along the dirt trail half-way up Juno Mountain. Surrounding them was dense foliage and forest, with little in the way signaling that they inhabited what was generally considered to be a well occupied part of the island. The President Jason Faltore Nature Preserve stretched for miles all across Juno Mountain proper and the surrounding vicinity at its base, providing ample territory for hunters and thrill seekers alike to enjoy a vacation or simply a day away from it all. Hikers were a constant here, especially with the cabins that were supposedly nearby. Oshita and his squad had been assigned to patrol the main trail today since there had been two murders in the past two weeks. Having a heavily armed scout vehicle and squad was generally a good way to stave off hostile intent. The truck in front of the GPV, however, was something entirely unexpected.

It was a Toyota T100 Regular Cab, blue in coloration, and looking rather dirty from all the mud on its fenders and tires. There were no visible occupants in the vehicle and no indication of any sort of campsite nearby.

"Alright kid," Sergeant Nobukazu said as he looked behind him at the Private. "You're with me. Ted? Keep the engine running. First sign of trouble you both know what to do."

Elton felt his adrenaline kick in as he followed the lead of his Sergeant and exited the GPV with weapon at the ready. He filed in beside Oshita, the Sergeant giving his subordinate a once over and finding him acceptable. Despite the circumstances, the situation presented would provide him with ample opportunity to gain experience and learn proper squad operations. Oshita would observe Elton closely and, following the aftermath of this investigation, give pointers and corrections as needed. It would be an excellent learning opportunity. The Sergeant gave a quick signal to the other members of his squad in the GPV by tapping his helmet twice. In short order, their headset comms came to life.

"Still don't see anything," reported Lucia as Elton briefly observed her rotate in her mount to point her mounted M240 at the treeline opposite of the two Sergeant and Elton.

"Alright, Private," Oshita said as he looked over his shoulder at Elton. "We're going to move toward that truck. I don't expect anything suspicious, but you never know. Keep your eyes peeled and watch my six. That's your job. Confirm?"

"Confirmed, Sergeant!" Elton replied in a near shout. Catching himself and the chastising glare from his Sergeant, he corrected his tone by repeating his confirmation at the appropriate octave.

Elton watched as Oshita moved forward and, utilizing his training, fell behind him and maintained a observation to the left and right as well as their rear. Per his training, he flicked the safety off on his MAP-98K and directed his vision down the barrel of his Carbine as he scanned his surroundings. His boots found solid ground despite the semi-wet conditions of the dirt road, halfway between a proper dry dirt and near a state of soft mushiness. The sun above provided ample lighting around them as they made their way closer to the vehicle. Over halfway to the distance, Elton spotted movement in the treeline, giving the appropriate words of, "Contact at 3 o'clock", as he utilized his headset. Both the Sergeant and he turned to face the new arrival, Elton briefly turning to their 9 o'clock and spotting movement there. Lucia was the first to remark on it however.

"Contact 9 o'clock on top of the hill," remarked the Corporal as she swiveled in her position to aim appropriately.

"Stay calm," Oshita ordered quickly. "Elton, keep focused on the truck and to my rear. I'll make contact."

"Yes, Sergeant," Elton replied as he went to one knee for better support. He occasionally looked behind him as Oshita moved closer to the person approaching them from their 3 o'clock, keeping his comms open to the impending exchange of words.

Oshita was not a fool. The manner in which these individuals appeared was in a classic form of an ambush. His mind, however, was quick to remind him that they were on Confederate soil and that these people, in so far as he had observed, were clothed in civilian attire and with the exception of pistol holsters carried no weapons. He kept his eyes focused on the approaching man from their squads east. Caucasion, wearing blue jeans and a casual white-colored shirt. He began to raise his hands as he observed Oshita's weapon, a look of possible surprise forming on his face that was swiftly turning to fear as the mans eyes trained on the GPV and Elton nearby.

"You're not Kennedy," the man uttered, his words coming out in a shocked manner.

Oshita allowed himself to relax, only slightly. "I'm sorry for the surprise, sir," the Sergeant began, taking the initiative on the situation he believed existed. "We're from the 31st West Island Recon, Territory Militia Forces. There's been a series of murders around here and we've been assigned patrol duty to keep locals safe. Is that your truck there, sir?"

"Oh shit! Yeah, man, yeah!" the man said as he began to slowly lower his arms. "Oh man, I'm sorry bro! Shit we were gonna play a prank on our friend. Didn't expect any military here."

The Sergeant relaxed a bit further, chancing a glance behind him to observe his squad before he quickly observed the look of utter shock on Elton's face as he turned toward him. Instinct kicked in as he managed to see Elton raise his Carbine in his direction, the Sergeant turning with his assault rifle raised just in time to catch the man mid-raise of his pistol. "On the ground, now!" Oshita yelled.

"Go to hell, you fucking Dres’Nalar!" the man shouted as he continued to raise his pistol.

A shot rang out from behind him from the direction of Elton, the report from the Carbine sent echoes across the landscape. In short order, all hell broke loose. Oshita turned to catch Elton crumbling to the ground following a rather large report from the treeline up above, soon after he heard the unmistakable sound of the M240 going off as Corporal Moore engaged the treeline with suppressing fire. The Sergeant rushed to the downed Private, seeing him wide awake and screaming in pain as he held his shoulder tightly. Sergeant Nobukazu grabbed his subordinate in one quick motion, dragging him with super-human strength toward the GPV and away from the direction of fire. Bullets zinged and zipped past him, the GPV quickly moving forward to provide a barrier between the Sergeant and the Private as Oshita commenced extraction.

"Get in the damn GPV!" the Sergeant ordered, "Come on, kid!"

Elton screamed in pain, managing to force himself up as the Sergeant helped him. Oshita was quick to open the rear passenger door and help Elton in. When the Private was unable to move any further on his own, Oshita cringed as he had to force him in and heard the rise in tempo from the cries of pain. Moving quickly, he shut the rear door and entered the front passenger side, jumping in as he slammed it shut.

"We're in!" he managed, feeling the rapid acceleration of the GPV in reverse just in time to miss an RPG round that zoomed past almost hitting the front hood. "Get us the fuck out of here, Ted!"

"Working on it, Sarge!" Teddy replied as he forced the rear of the GPV up an embankment. The GPV's well-designed drive train providing traction in the mud as the vehicle lurched and began to zoom forward. Oshita managed a glance towards the truck as it erupted in a massive explosion that rocked everything around them.

"Fucking shit!" cried Lucia as she vacated the gunners seat, assuming a quick position in the free rear seat and grabbing the first aid kick. Training and instinct played out well as she she began to administer first aid to the Private.

Teddy had the GPV well under control as he pressed the accelerator once his direction was righted. The vehicle began to zoom down the mountain past the way they came. Beside him, Oshita grabbed the vehicles radio unit and keyed the switch.

"Command this is Ferret Two-Four, hostile contact midway up Juno Mountain, near the Alstar Reserve! I repeat," Sergeant Nobukazu practically screamed, "hostile contact! One casualty! Heading back to base!"

The screams from the Private now reached his ears again, the Sergeant turning around in his seat as Teddy drove the GPV over a large bump in the road that almost dislodged everyone. He observed Corporal Moore in a frenzy as she was attempting to cut through fabric on the Private's undershirt, already having taken off his armor and other accessories. There was a large amount of blood visible, with exposed bone and muscle in the vicinity of the kids shoulder. He watched as Lucia briefly paused to assess the damage before grabbing other instruments from the robust first aid kit that came with the GPV. Elton was hit, bad, and by a large round.

The cries of pain began to diminish in severity from Elton as Lucia administered a shot of some kind directly to his neck. The pain he felt, the unbearable and unimaginable pain of the wound inflicted, began to feel numb to him as his body loosened and went limp. He sagged in the seat, his good arm grasping for the door hold as his fist clenched on the handle before relaxing. His eyes opened and, briefly, they locked with Oshita's.

"You did damn good, kid," Sergeant Nobukazu said, staring at his subordinate. He reached a hand at his good knee, gripping it. "You saved my life, son. You did good. We're going to get you fixed up. Stay with me, kid. You hear?"

Elton gave a slow nod before his eyelids fluttered. As he tried to reposition himself in his seat, his body relaxed further, and his mind ushered itself into unconsciousness. Blood oozed from around his shoulder and, Oshita realized as he looked down, from the large boney protrusion in the Private's left foot. His eyes darted up to look at Lucia, herself just noticing the added injury. She softly began to pray under her breath to Melkos as she continued her attempt at triage. Oshita felt himself utter the silent prayer, joining the Corporals attempts at supernatural intervention as he beckoned Christ to save just this one warrior.





General Paul Mammond Regional Hospital
Juno Military Base, Territory of the West Islands
48 Hours Later


When Elton Garden awoke, his eyes was first met with the brightness of the hospital rooms overhead light. He didn't feel exactly the same level of pain as he had felt before, or in the capacity he had remembered it. Instead the pains came in sharp, intense bursts that equaled almost the intensity of a knife stab. He was familiar with that considering his rough upbringing in Juno City as a kid. His mind recalled the events of his childhood, how his parents had practically disowned him and threw him on the streets. He had lived in and out of the local shelter until he turned seventeen. His lifes ambitions for something better other than being a crony for the local drug dealers began when the West Islands found its freedom as a Sovereign Territory of the Confederate States. He was among the first to rush to the haphazardly made recruiting stations just down the block from where his pile of cardboard he had called home for a year resided. He wanted something better, we wanted to feel a purpose other than the desire to constantly kill himself. He had found that in basic training.

He emitted a groan as he managed to sit himself upright, but quickly found there was little support for the action in his right shoulder. An intensely sharp pain caused him to give up the motion, collapsing back onto the rather comfortable bedding of the hospital bed. He heard the beep of a monitor to his left and, as he gathered himself through the stinging pain, he observed cords and IV lines protruding from his body. Looking further down his body he also noted the oversized leg cast on his right leg, hanging from a cord to a support above the hospital bed. All at once, Elton felt his world crumble.

"Hey kid."

Just as he was about to give into despair, just as the sting of tears began to form in his eyes, Elton looked wide-eyed to his left toward the source of the greeting. The voice was familiar.

"Sarge?" he asked, his voice surprisingly weak and broken.

Oshita Nobukazu sat in a provided chair beside his bed. By the looks of the blanket over his chest that was now beginning to fall, the Sergeant had been asleep by his bedside. Elton realized he didn't know how to feel about that. The military had provided plenty of comfort for his nearly broken and depressed mind, provided him with purpose and honed his focus. There were times of kindness, sure, but the majority of them was hidden behind the firm hand of leadership and discipline. Oshita had personally requested Elton onto his squad, as he recalled. They had shared a conversation before he formally joined the ranks. Oshita had shared that the reason he had chosen Elton was because he believed the kid had potential, had purpose, and deserved a chance to prove that to everyone. The Sergeant had been a father-figure to Elton and, by the appearance of him beside Elton in the hospital bed, continued to be so.

"Sarge, I-"

"I know," Oshita replied. His features were strained, as if going into deep thought. He was easily in his late forties with graying hair. Being of oriental descent, his features were more hawkish in appearance and he constantly had an eye of focused determination about his expression. It surprised Elton that therefore as he looked at him, his typically focused demeanor was anything but.

"You did good out there, kid," Oshita continued. "You demonstrated the grit I expect from someone under my command. I'm proud of you. Don't apologize for that."

Elton was quiet for a moment before he managed a nod. Laying back, he thumbed the beds controls to raise his head up a few notches. Now comfortably able to look at Oshita, he managed to lock eyes with him. He wanted to look away, the feeling of shame that overcame him from his memory in the aftermath of his injury. That wasn't any way a warrior should act. How could Oshita still be proud of him? Still, here the Sergeant was, and his words assured Elton that he had acted appropriately. Somewhere in the back of his mind, however, Elton suspected that those actions constituted specifically his performance in the line of duty and not his natural human reactions to being shot.

"How long?" Elton managed, throat dry. He watched as Oshita moved his hand to pick up a glass of water on the stand beside the hospital bed, handing it to Elton so he could take a drink. When he had his fill, Oshita carefully returned it before sitting forward in his chair.

"A day," Oshita replied. "You're gonna feel those rounds for a while. You're lucky to be alive. You have Lucia to thank for that."

Elton felt himself smirk at that revelation. He looked away briefly, considering the circumstances of his stated savior. Lucia was an older woman and, despite her constant hazing of him, typically tried to direct him along the best path to correctly operate both weapons and vehicles. She was additionally the squad medic and, some weeks before their recent deployment to the Juno Mountains, had even spent half a day instructing Elton on the proper usage of medical supplies in a standard issue first aid kit.

"Guess next time she hits me, I deserve it, huh?"

Oshita laughed at Elton's remark, giving a shrug and half nod. "Maybe," the Sergeant said. "Either way, I wanted to see you awake."

"Will I-" Elton began, then left the question unfinished as he motioned at his leg and shoulder with his free hand.

The Sergeant offered another shrug as a response. "Doc's say you will, but the rest is up to you. When you get better, when you get back on your feet, you always have a place in my squad."

"Thank you, Sergeant," Elton said, feeling tears forming again. He watched as Oshita rose.

"I'll be back within the week to check on you, kid," Oshita said. "Don't give the doc's any trouble. You get better. That's an order."

"Yes, Sergeant," Elton replied in an attempt at a proper tone and response. His voice cracked and, acting quickly, Oshita provided the water again. Taking a sip he watched as the Sergeant gave a wave and left the room. When he was alone and after he had set his glass back down where he could reach, Elton laid back.

The memory of the events of that firefight rushed back into his mind. Tears began to flow then. Elton began to sob, the emotions he had been unable to process now being thrust forward into his mind to experience in full force.

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Allanea
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Postby Allanea » Fri Oct 22, 2021 3:36 pm

It was dark. His body seemed weightless in the warm water. Calm seemed to spread through his body, seeping into his soul, as if his entire being was suffused anew with an assured strength. For a while, he imagined that he was seeing his body as if he were an outside observer, floating in an endless blue. Of course, this was an illusion – or, if one prefers, a truth deeper than reality. Had not the classic pointed out that the fact that something only appears to be visible to certain people and under certain conditions does not make it untrue?

He floated. He floated, that is, both in the literal sense and in the spiritual sense, in the literal sense he was suspended in warm saltwater, hands folded together behind his head, and in the spiritual sense he sensed his body to be suffused with calm and strength. He breathed deeper, feeling the traces of saltwater on his lips and tongue.

Then, at last, the tank opened. The white, pure soft light of the treatment chamber did not hurt his eyes. Rather, he felt full of vigor as he sat up in the tank and got out.

"Your bathrobe, Grand Ambassador."

"Thank you, Colleen. Tell me, have I missed out on anything during the treatment?"

"Not much, Grand Ambassador. Except… the Internet seems all excited about the statement from the Scandinvan Catholics."

"Scandinvan Catholics? How did they get a statement out? Are there even more than two Catholics in Scandinvans to start with?"

"Oh, no, I mean the official church, the ones that are called 'Scandinvan Catholics' by the state.'

'Ooooh. I'm quite sure those guys are heretics." – he paused – "Okay, listen. So I'm going to get dressed, I'm going to talk to Corinne at the lobby for payment and stuff. Can you get me a big can of Bloody Hare? I feel that the world needs me once more."

Twenty-five minutes later, dressed in an immaculate blue-and-gold uniform suit, Grand Ambassador Peter Nizhinsky got into his car and drove out of the parking lot under Weeping Rose Sensory Deprivation Tanks and Treatments and into the street.


Image
[b]Official Statement on Behalf of the Free Kingdom of Allanea by Grand Ambassador Peter Nizhinsky, Speaker to Slavers


It is a truth universally acknowledged, that whosoever makes use of the term 'degenerates' in a political-religious context must themselves be a moral cripple of the highest proportion. Often the very fact that this word is used signifies the presence of some kind of neofascist cosplayer, wannabe Roman princeps, or some other dirtbag of this proportion. In this case, we have the so-called Patriarch of the Scandinvan Catholic Church.

Now I will preface this statement by saying that I'm not a religious expert, and generally speaking it is beyond my purview to comment on the doctrines of anyone's religion. However, the profession of diplomacy does require that I respond to statements such as the so-called Patriarch's mouth-noises when they bear not only a religious authority but a claim of some kind to state power. For this purpose I have consulted the usual professional academic consultants that help me fact-check the various diplomatic responses I make to the various states and pseudo-states.

In other words, it has been professionally fact-checked, and verified by independent professionals, that the Patriarch of the Scandinvan Catholic Church is about as Catholic as my left sock after a hard day – and has somewhat less attractive personal ethics.

Unlike the Holy Roman Empire, the Scandinvan Catholic Church manages to hit one out of three right – it's not really Catholic nor can it be termed a Church, but at least we can say that it is an authentic representative of what passes in Scandinvans for a culture. That is to say – it is not truly Catholic, because it has divested itself from most Catholic doctrine and from any doctrinal reliance on the Vatican, and it is nothing like a Church, because it has torn itself away from the love of Christ. As to the fact it is representative of everything Scandinvan, I hold that to be true almost self-evidently.

Which brings us to the current matter: the so-called 'Catholic Church' of Scandinvans has published a set of long, rambling statements that call upon the world's Christians to bow down and accept its doctrines, and transmute their Churches into pitiful imitations of the Scandinvan 'church', and among other things to deny the sapience and moral status, threatening war and death on those who refuse, and moreover explicitly promising their assistance to any so-called 'crusading' 'Christians' – here, read, genocidal slaver terrorists, who would strike out against their neighbors, friends, and brethren in the name of this perversion of Christ's word.

I have been authorized by Their Imperial and Royal Majesties and the people of Allanea to reply to the so-called 'Scandinvan Church'. I therefore remind the Scandinvans of the Lex Bellum Aeterna.

Allaneans do not fear war with Scandinvans. Allaneans have been in a state of war with the slavers and sexual perverts and terrorists in Scandinvans for years, and we have carried out strikes against them before. The Amistad Declaration sets out our commitment against the Scandinvans and their like.

Moreover, even if that were not true, Allaneans will certainly not accept any attempts of religious conversion by threat of force, nor will we accept the proposal that – against all Christian doctrine – turn one sapient species on another, brother against brother, neighbor against neighbor, and betray the bounds of loyalty that bind us to our fellow Freemen, and to House Blaken-Kazansky – long may it reign.

Finally, I wish to express, in my capacity both as Grand Ambassador Plenipotentiary, my warmest wishes for the so-called Patriarch to get colorectal cancer (in his case, given what a massive asshole he is, it'll likely infect his entire body) and die in awful suffering, and, ideally, burn in Hell for his sins.

Death to the slaver,
Grand Ambassador Peter Nizinsky
Speaker to Slavers


OOC:
For those that have not been around as long as the OP: Holy Vatican See was one of the oldest NS Catholic nations. They once held an elaborate religious discussion regarding whether elves et al. have souls and can be Christians, and concluded the answer is yes. It seems likely to me that whatever Catholics there still are in Allanea would cleave to something like this interpretation.
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The Scandinvans
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Postby The Scandinvans » Sun Oct 24, 2021 1:52 pm

Allanea wrote:
(Image)
[b]Official Statement on Behalf of the Free Kingdom of Allanea by Grand Ambassador Peter Nizhinsky, Speaker to Slavers


It is a truth universally acknowledged, that whosoever makes use of the term 'degenerates' in a political-religious context must themselves be a moral cripple of the highest proportion. Often the very fact that this word is used signifies the presence of some kind of neofascist cosplayer, wannabe Roman princeps, or some other dirtbag of this proportion. In this case, we have the so-called Patriarch of the Scandinvan Catholic Church.

Now I will preface this statement by saying that I'm not a religious expert, and generally speaking it is beyond my purview to comment on the doctrines of anyone's religion. However, the profession of diplomacy does require that I respond to statements such as the so-called Patriarch's mouth-noises when they bear not only a religious authority but a claim of some kind to state power. For this purpose I have consulted the usual professional academic consultants that help me fact-check the various diplomatic responses I make to the various states and pseudo-states.

In other words, it has been professionally fact-checked, and verified by independent professionals, that the Patriarch of the Scandinvan Catholic Church is about as Catholic as my left sock after a hard day – and has somewhat less attractive personal ethics.

Unlike the Holy Roman Empire, the Scandinvan Catholic Church manages to hit one out of three right – it's not really Catholic nor can it be termed a Church, but at least we can say that it is an authentic representative of what passes in Scandinvans for a culture. That is to say – it is not truly Catholic, because it has divested itself from most Catholic doctrine and from any doctrinal reliance on the Vatican, and it is nothing like a Church, because it has torn itself away from the love of Christ. As to the fact it is representative of everything Scandinvan, I hold that to be true almost self-evidently.

Which brings us to the current matter: the so-called 'Catholic Church' of Scandinvans has published a set of long, rambling statements that call upon the world's Christians to bow down and accept its doctrines, and transmute their Churches into pitiful imitations of the Scandinvan 'church', and among other things to deny the sapience and moral status, threatening war and death on those who refuse, and moreover explicitly promising their assistance to any so-called 'crusading' 'Christians' – here, read, genocidal slaver terrorists, who would strike out against their neighbors, friends, and brethren in the name of this perversion of Christ's word.

I have been authorized by Their Imperial and Royal Majesties and the people of Allanea to reply to the so-called 'Scandinvan Church'. I therefore remind the Scandinvans of the Lex Bellum Aeterna.

Allaneans do not fear war with Scandinvans. Allaneans have been in a state of war with the slavers and sexual perverts and terrorists in Scandinvans for years, and we have carried out strikes against them before. The Amistad Declaration sets out our commitment against the Scandinvans and their like.

Moreover, even if that were not true, Allaneans will certainly not accept any attempts of religious conversion by threat of force, nor will we accept the proposal that – against all Christian doctrine – turn one sapient species on another, brother against brother, neighbor against neighbor, and betray the bounds of loyalty that bind us to our fellow Freemen, and to House Blaken-Kazansky – long may it reign.

Finally, I wish to express, in my capacity both as Grand Ambassador Plenipotentiary, my warmest wishes for the so-called Patriarch to get colorectal cancer (in his case, given what a massive asshole he is, it'll likely infect his entire body) and die in awful suffering, and, ideally, burn in Hell for his sins.

Death to the slaver,
Grand Ambassador Peter Nizinsky
Speaker to Slavers


OOC:
For those that have not been around as long as the OP: Holy Vatican See was one of the oldest NS Catholic nations. They once held an elaborate religious discussion regarding whether elves et al. have souls and can be Christians, and concluded the answer is yes. It seems likely to me that whatever Catholics there still are in Allanea would cleave to something like this interpretation.
Letter to Grand Ambassador Peter Nizinsky,

It is quite remarkable that you, Mr. Nizinsky, have the audacity to lecture people about notions of natural rights and genocide, concepts which we Scandin reject for they are not Godly. Nonetheless, asking people to adhere to a self-sustaining moral code is something which should not be all that difficult. Yet, the nation Allanea is not even capable of that. Your government regularly engages in the crimes that you accuse slavers of partaking in: genocide, torture, mass murder, and brutality.

Your people rationalize these actions by dehumanizing slavers to the points where you do not acknowledge that they are beings worthy of rights. "Slavery is a crime not only of the individual, but often also of the society that allows it to persist. In those societies where chattel slavery is practiced on a regular basis, there exists the rare case of a collective, societal guilt. We will declare total, unbridled war against the slavers. We will spare no means, no weapon, no tactic we find appropriate to the advancement of our just cause." (The Amistad Declaration on Slavery and the Rights of Man) By the very nature of your self-proclaimed rights certain concepts must be universal regardless of the societies that they exist in. However, you carve out a convenient exception to your rules to justify actions which you would consider crimes in any other circumstance.

How many "slaver" nations have you employed chemical or nuclear ordinance against? How many children have your soldiers butchered due to their parents being members of a society which had slaves? How many cities have your forces leveled in offensive conflicts to uphold your debauched moral code? How many peoples have ceased to exist as a result of your warmongering? How many people have you sought to forcibly convert to your moral perspective? The examples that can be named are innumerable and a stark example of the utter fiction that is your moral code.

Ultimately, the answer is that you do not even know how many have died to satiate your bloodlust. Like so many dres'nalar your nation cannot abide by any ethical center. You construct justifications to provide excuses for your innumerable aberrations. Allanea, as a whole, requires these lies to prevent it from becoming introspective about how bloodyhanded your people have become. In the end, your notions of rights have proven to be a graven image that you have carved to worship in the place of the Almighty as it tolerates the wretched weakness that your civilization embodies.

All wise people can see the delusions of your edifice of a feigned righteousness. Your leadership is governed by hypocritical narcists so utterly detached from reality that they will kill billions of innocents in a die through nuclear strikes and then lecture the world about the need to protect the rights of all living beings the next. Your people will fill the ranks of your armies to guard those you deem oppressed and then happily butcher all those who live in a city because of whatever crime you pretended their leaders committed. Everything that you are is a set of excuses, delusions, and endless befuddled justifications. Therefore, in the end the only that truly represents you is a mountain of skulls."

Unlike your honorless excuse for a civilization, the Scandin actually stand for a strict set of moral precepts. Our truth comes from the Almighty. Our laws are derived from the Bible. Our social order is predicated upon the Book of Erid. Everything that we are comes from divine revelation. The Scandinvan Catholic Church is the cornerstone of our people.

We Scandin do not have the pathetic moral weakness which governs your people to their core. We do encounter questions over the proper application of Biblical law at times, but such debates are part of the mystery of our faith. Instead, by the providence of the Creator have the truly faithful been given a proper foundation of virtues to build upon. The weakness festering that is the crus of the question is an infection which blights almost all dres'nalar.

The Scandin society is founded on the conclusion of the question of how to found an enduring civilization. Scandin values are immutable because they come from divine truth. The end point that we walk towards, that of establishing the dominion of Christ over all, is singular. Therefore there is no confounding minutia of drivel hindering our vision. We offer humanity salvation. You offer humanity aimless destruction predicated upon excuses and lies. In the end the sum of your worldview is only the ruination of others who do not abide by the hypocrisies that you have constructed.

One last point to clarify, the Scandinvan Catholic Church has never been in union with the Roman patriarchate. The Scandinvan Catholic Church can be translated as meaning "the Universal Rite of the Scandinvan Patriarch". Scandinvan Catholicism, as the purest form of Christianity, is meant to guide humanity to salvation. All of it. There is room for those who faithfully follow the teachings of sacred law, but they are exceptionally rare outside of Drana. That is why we have been forced to take more drastic actions to right the course of humanity.

God is the sole being worthy of eternal praise. He is made up of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. He created all things. He alone is the source of all righteousness. The Bible is the revealed word by which humans must live. Christus invictus.

Signed,
Servant of Christ,
Steward of the Law,
Head of the Bishopric Assembly of the Doctors of the Faith,
Patriarch of the Scandinvan Catholic Church
We are the Glorious Empire of the Scandinvans. Surrender or be destroyed. Your civilization has ended, your time is over. Your people will be assimilated into our Empire. Your technological distinctiveness shall be added to our own. Your culture shall be supplanted by our own. And your lands will be made into our lands.

"For five thousand years has our Empire endured. In war and peace we have thrived. Against overwhelming odds we evolved. No matter what we face we have always survived and grown. We shall always be triumphant." -Emperor Godfrey II

Hope for a brighter tomorrow - fight the fight, find the cure

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Holy Marsh
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Posts: 5463
Founded: Nov 09, 2007
Father Knows Best State

Postby Holy Marsh » Mon Oct 25, 2021 6:53 pm

From the Desk of the Arch Bishop:


It has come to our attention that a slaver state has declared itself as the one-true home of the Catholic faith. It is our intention to cut through the walls of lies being dispatched across the world to reveal a few universal truths.

First, the nation in question is a slaver state. This is important to know. As has been well established by all reasonable religious authorities, slavers lack a soul and are purely and without question visions and instruments of sin. Therefore, any claims of theirs as to any form of 'religion' or righteousness are nothing more than attempts to justify their sinful existence. Slavers universally have no real religion other than evil.

Secondly, since slavers lack a soul that means they lack all other forms of sapient characteristics and rights, as well as the protections offered to all sentient creatures against obscene conduct. Killing a slaver is no different from pulling weeds: It is the proper maintenance one does. Any claim of moral failings on the part of those destroying slavers falls flat- you cannot sin against something that does not impart any form with which to sin against. As a side note, there are no innocent slavers, just as there are no innocent demons. Slavers do not produce children- they simply produce immature vessels of sin that will only ever blossom in cruelty and hate. It is right and proper to kill them all.

Third, there is only one Catholic Church recognized by knowledgeable authorities. The only Catholic church recognized by the Holy Marsh as legitimate is the Stevidian Catholic Church. All other Churches and denominations are illegitimate organizations, given leeway only due to their personal qualities- of which the Scandinvan Church lacks any due to its inability to truly exist as it is run by slavers. As we have noted before, slavers lack religion or sapient characteristics.

Finally, we remind the world that anyone who kills any Scandinvans for any reason across the world is to be commended and shall receive a standing bounty for a job well done.

Death to the Slaver.
In the Embrace of Communal Marshism Go We.
Last edited by Holy Marsh on Mon Oct 25, 2021 6:59 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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The Scandinvans
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Postby The Scandinvans » Tue Oct 26, 2021 7:37 pm

Holy Marsh wrote:
From the Desk of the Arch Bishop:


It has come to our attention that a slaver state has declared itself as the one-true home of the Catholic faith. It is our intention to cut through the walls of lies being dispatched across the world to reveal a few universal truths.

First, the nation in question is a slaver state. This is important to know. As has been well established by all reasonable religious authorities, slavers lack a soul and are purely and without question visions and instruments of sin. Therefore, any claims of theirs as to any form of 'religion' or righteousness are nothing more than attempts to justify their sinful existence. Slavers universally have no real religion other than evil.

Secondly, since slavers lack a soul that means they lack all other forms of sapient characteristics and rights, as well as the protections offered to all sentient creatures against obscene conduct. Killing a slaver is no different from pulling weeds: It is the proper maintenance one does. Any claim of moral failings on the part of those destroying slavers falls flat- you cannot sin against something that does not impart any form with which to sin against. As a side note, there are no innocent slavers, just as there are no innocent demons. Slavers do not produce children- they simply produce immature vessels of sin that will only ever blossom in cruelty and hate. It is right and proper to kill them all.

Third, there is only one Catholic Church recognized by knowledgeable authorities. The only Catholic church recognized by the Holy Marsh as legitimate is the Stevidian Catholic Church. All other Churches and denominations are illegitimate organizations, given leeway only due to their personal qualities- of which the Scandinvan Church lacks any due to its inability to truly exist as it is run by slavers. As we have noted before, slavers lack religion or sapient characteristics.

Finally, we remind the world that anyone who kills any Scandinvans for any reason across the world is to be commended and shall receive a standing bounty for a job well done.

Death to the Slaver.
In the Embrace of Communal Marshism Go We.
Dear Abominations,

Your very existence is in rebellion against the sacred will of the Almighty. You are a civilization that was forged solely by the teachings of the devil. Your forms corrupted by demonic influence. Your values are lies that are indeed unworthy of any human. Your religion is the byproduct of animalistic impulses and nothing true lies in it. Each of you deserves the deepest of contempt from the faithful.

The will of the Creator is absolutely clear in relation to your pathetic degenerates: you are unworthy of walking upon the face of this Earth. You are a pestilence which threatens the immortal souls of all those who follow Christ. When the hour of judgement comes for you it shall brutal. Nothing will be left. Your cities will be levelled, your leaders immolated, your vile temples ground to dust, your people sterilized to the last, your books burn, and every visible element of your evil culture smashed. There will be nothing left save the bones of your dead.

This is the will of the Almighty, may His divine providence ever guide us forward. There will be no escape from your destiny. The only things that have not been appointed yet are the hour and day of your perdition. But understand that your inescapable fate is coming in the near future.

God is the sole being worthy of eternal praise. He is made up of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. He created all things. He alone is the source of all righteousness. The Bible is the revealed word by which humans must live. Christus invictus.

Signed,
Servant of Christ,
Steward of the Law,
Head of the Bishopric Assembly of the Doctors of the Faith,
Patriarch of the Scandinvan Catholic Church
Last edited by The Scandinvans on Tue Oct 26, 2021 7:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
We are the Glorious Empire of the Scandinvans. Surrender or be destroyed. Your civilization has ended, your time is over. Your people will be assimilated into our Empire. Your technological distinctiveness shall be added to our own. Your culture shall be supplanted by our own. And your lands will be made into our lands.

"For five thousand years has our Empire endured. In war and peace we have thrived. Against overwhelming odds we evolved. No matter what we face we have always survived and grown. We shall always be triumphant." -Emperor Godfrey II

Hope for a brighter tomorrow - fight the fight, find the cure

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Allanea
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Postby Allanea » Tue Oct 26, 2021 9:45 pm

Image
Official Message by Grand Ambassador Peter Nizhinsky, Speaker-to-Slavers


I shall not here address the elaborate and yet unhinged rants of the creature who calls himself 'Bishop' of the Scandinvan 'Church'. I can of course point out that there is not, in fact, any record of Allanean soldiers butchering children in cold blood in the entire history of the country - unless, of course, the Scandinvan Scumbag ('Scandinvan' and 'scumbag' start with the same letters – coincidence? I think not.) wishes to imply all collateral damage is the equivalent of deliberate genocidal murder, which I guess is something the Scandinvans might believe since they endorse genocidal murder.

More important are two points:

First, the Scandinvan Scumbag (but I repeat myself) has accused us of hypocrisy, of not being true to our ideals of liberty and sapient rights. We have made no accusations of hypocrisy against the Scandinvan Scumbag – on the contrary, we are accusing him of being true to his ideal of murder and slavery. Accepting even – in arguendo (for the Scandinvans in the audience – this means 'for the purposes of argument') – that Allaneans are all actually as hypocritical as the Scandinvan Scumbag suggests, this in no way is a defense of the immorality of the Scandinvan Scumbag, nor is it a defense of slavery.

Second, the Scandinvan Scumbag, in his Scummy Scandinvanness, has decided to make terrorist threats against the nations of the world which do not accept their parody of Christianity. In light of this, the Free Kingdom of Allanea offers the usual assistance it offers to nations being threatened by terrorism. We are willing to offer intelligence assistance, training, and Foreign Internal Defense assistance to those countries that will suffer from attacks by the Scandinvan Scumbags.

That is all,
Death to the Slaver.
Last edited by Allanea on Tue Oct 26, 2021 9:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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The Scandinvans
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Postby The Scandinvans » Sun Oct 31, 2021 7:22 pm

Allanea wrote:
(Image)
Official Message by Grand Ambassador Peter Nizhinsky, Speaker-to-Slavers


I shall not here address the elaborate and yet unhinged rants of the creature who calls himself 'Bishop' of the Scandinvan 'Church'. I can of course point out that there is not, in fact, any record of Allanean soldiers butchering children in cold blood in the entire history of the country - unless, of course, the Scandinvan Scumbag ('Scandinvan' and 'scumbag' start with the same letters – coincidence? I think not.) wishes to imply all collateral damage is the equivalent of deliberate genocidal murder, which I guess is something the Scandinvans might believe since they endorse genocidal murder.

More important are two points:

First, the Scandinvan Scumbag (but I repeat myself) has accused us of hypocrisy, of not being true to our ideals of liberty and sapient rights. We have made no accusations of hypocrisy against the Scandinvan Scumbag – on the contrary, we are accusing him of being true to his ideal of murder and slavery. Accepting even – in arguendo (for the Scandinvans in the audience – this means 'for the purposes of argument') – that Allaneans are all actually as hypocritical as the Scandinvan Scumbag suggests, this in no way is a defense of the immorality of the Scandinvan Scumbag, nor is it a defense of slavery.

Second, the Scandinvan Scumbag, in his Scummy Scandinvanness, has decided to make terrorist threats against the nations of the world which do not accept their parody of Christianity. In light of this, the Free Kingdom of Allanea offers the usual assistance it offers to nations being threatened by terrorism. We are willing to offer intelligence assistance, training, and Foreign Internal Defense assistance to those countries that will suffer from attacks by the Scandinvan Scumbags.

That is all,
Death to the Slaver.
Grand Ambassador Peter Nizhinsky,

You have offered a clear demonstration of your inability to be confronted with the consequences of the actions that you take. All you offer is a retort befitting of the behavior that is indicative of your dres'nalar mind. What you see in the world around is an endless set of rationale to allow you to escape introspection. In the end, all things are made clear and everything that you stand for is proven to be pathetic lies. When you meet the Almighty you shall be found wanting. The realm of Hades is the only thing that awaits your ilk.

We Scandin do not need to offer elaborate justifications for our actions as we know what we do is right. Our foundation is in Scripture. Our actions held true to divine principles. Our morals predicated upon divine revelation. We have no need for the endless doubt which follows the heathen everywhere.

God is the sole being worthy of eternal praise. He is made up of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. He created all things. He alone is the source of all righteousness. The Bible is the revealed word by which humans must live. Christus invictus.

Signed,
Servant of Christ,
Steward of the Law,
Head of the Bishopric Assembly of the Doctors of the Faith,
Patriarch of the Scandinvan Catholic Church
We are the Glorious Empire of the Scandinvans. Surrender or be destroyed. Your civilization has ended, your time is over. Your people will be assimilated into our Empire. Your technological distinctiveness shall be added to our own. Your culture shall be supplanted by our own. And your lands will be made into our lands.

"For five thousand years has our Empire endured. In war and peace we have thrived. Against overwhelming odds we evolved. No matter what we face we have always survived and grown. We shall always be triumphant." -Emperor Godfrey II

Hope for a brighter tomorrow - fight the fight, find the cure

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Goram
Senator
 
Posts: 3798
Founded: Jan 30, 2010
Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Goram » Wed Nov 03, 2021 5:18 pm

A little while after Cara Pritchett’s remarks…

The Minister for Home Affairs sat back in his chair. This office was, all things considered, one of the perks of the job. In the three years he had occupied it, he had grown somewhat used to the dark wood walls, expensive rugs and view out towards the skyline of the capital. Most of all, he’d grown used to the chair in which he now sat, behind his ornate desk. It was soft Westphalian leather, and it almost seemed to envelop the person sat in it. It made you feel, almost, more powerful, more confident to be sitting in it in that office. Not to mention it was great for the Minister’s back. The Minister had grown used to this office and he didn’t want to lose it.

Yet he knew that his career was hanging by a thread. He had been the one to call the Prime Minister and to tell him about the threat posed by the radical Bible Literalist group, hiding in the Upland Range. He had been the one to direct his counsel’s office to investigate the legality of deploying Special Forces. He’d pushed them for an answer and moved too quickly in calling the Secretary of the Army with his findings. Certainly, she was also culpable as might the Minister for Defence be, but they were not the ones who were going to be scapegoated. Of course, perhaps no one would be scapegoated today. Perhaps the government would back him and stick to their guns, battening down the hatches and weathering this latest storm. But he feared the worst, and he would certainly know before long. Either the phone call would come or it would not. If it didn’t come, he was probably safe. If it did, then who knew what would happen.

The Minister rose and crossed the room. There was a collection of crystal glass decanters in the corner, each filled with high quality spirits. The value of those liquids, he knew, ran into the thousands. But often he had to receive the great and the good in this office, and many of them expected the best. So, incidentally, did he and he poured out two fingers of a single malt from the far, far north of the country. The tumbler had a heavy base and a wide rim, and was finished in the same ornate manner as the decanter he’d poured the liquid from. Two ice cubes clinked against the thick crystalline glass as the Minister paced back to his desk and sat back down. He glanced at his expensive wrist watch and took a sip. It was just after the hour, perhaps 45 minutes after Pritchett had made her remarks. It was then that the intercom buzzed.

“I have the Prime Minister for you, Sir. Shall I put him though?”

The secretary ask matter of factly. The Minister closed his eyes and bowed his head. He held the glass momentarily against his temple. The glass felt cool against his skin and it was comforting.

“Sir? The PM? He’s waiting for you.”

“Yes, of course. Sorry. Do put him through.”

The intercom clicked as the phone line replaced it, and then again as the line secured itself. With that second click, the Minister for Home Affairs picked up the receiver.

“Prime Minister?”

He said, as evenly as he could.

“Good afternoon, Mike.”

The premier of the United Kingdom replied. There was a moment’s silence as neither man spoke.

“Look Mike, I don’t want to beat about the bush. I take it you saw Pritchett’s remarks just now?”

The Minister nodded to himself, despite the fact that no one was in the room to see him do it.

“Yes Sir, I’m afraid I did. Let me just say how very sor-“

“No Mike, allow me. You know I don’t want to have to do this, you’ve been an excellent servant to this government. But you’ve opened us up to very serious attack at a time when the party just cannot afford any more cock ups. The Leader of the Opposition has just called for my resignation on live television for God sake. We’re haemorrhaging at voting intention polls almost daily, and the influence of the far right in the party is growing faster than we can control it.”

“Prime Minister, I- “

“Now look here Mike. You authorised something of incredibly dubious legality and, they tell me, questionable necessity, all the while assuring me and everyone else that it was A-Ok. Now we’ve people on the streets baying for our blood, the Opposition calling for resignations and to top it all, a half dead DDSI agent in hospital. I’ve talked it over with the guys here, and with their advice I’ve come to a decision. We’re going to let you resign of your own accord, citing personal reasons. You’ll keep your seat in the house and all the benefits a retired front bencher is entitled to. When your seat comes up at the next election, I’m afraid you won’t run. We’d do it now, but frankly you know we can’t afford a byelection right now. You’ll retire from public life and then you can go off to the lecture circuit or write a book or whatever, and probably make considerably more money than you do now. But I’m afraid I shall need your letter before the close of play tomorrow.

“I, ah…Yes, Prime Minster. Of course.”

“Thank you for understanding, Mike. I really am sorry it’s worked out this way.”

“Yes Sir. So am I.”

“Goodbye, Mike.”

The line clicked off, and the soon to be ex-Minister replaced the receiver. He sank back in the fine leather chair, clutching his glass. That’s that then he thought. Reaching out, he keyed the intercom again.

“Millie, sorry to bother you. I’m going to need you to draft a letter for me…”





Several days later

“Goddamn. You almost feel sorry for him.”

Agent Tilden muttered to no one in particular.

“Yeah. Almost.”

Captain Weber agreed. He suspected he echoed the opinion of the rest of the Tactical Team, whose members were scattered around the office space. A throng of them, however, were sitting or standing around a television set watching the Prime Minister desperately try and fend off attack from all quarters. Every week, the PM, the Leader of the Opposition and any other Member who wanted to be there met in the Upper House of the Goramite Parliament for what could be described as light political sparring – or as the PM had been known to describe it, to be a punching bag. Today, just over a week after the raid and three days since the sensational piece in The Cmyrian Mail and all its fallout, it was more brutal city fighting than it was a light sparring session. It had been going on now for nearly an hour, and could go on for more than half an hour yet. Under the cameras of the Public Affairs News Network, a TV station specifically for covering political matters, the PM looked deeply uncomfortable. He looked like an outmatched boxer, just trying to make it to the end of the bout without being knocked out. Ten feet across from him the Leader of the Opposition stood at her dispatch box, with a host of her Members packed into the seats behind her. She knew there was blood in the water and that the cameras were running, and she was searching for that devasting knock out blow that would finally see the PMs defences breached. He was defending himself but, like a batsman facing elite fast bowling on a wearing track, there was ever the threat she would break through him.

“Arran, mate.”

A voice spoke next to him. Weber, unlike some in other branches of the DDSI, did not react to the familial tone. The Tactical Team was a close knit group and the deference for rank was largely replaced for deference to professional ability. Largely speaking, the team were friendly with one another - both here and outside of work. Only in Weber’s office was he called “Sir”, and even then only in the most serious of circumstances. Weber looked up to see his second in command, Lieutenant Jack McGill, who offered him a ceramic cup and a slim folder. Gratefully, Weber took both. He liked McGill, as he liked all his Agents. But the Lieutenant had been handpicked to come over to his Tactical Team, both for his personality and professional competence. What’s more, the man was a Cookslander, the same as the Captain. McGill may have been from the Aotearoan Island, the most Southerly part of Goram, and Weber from the mainland but their culture was similar. Their accent, although massively distinguishable to each other, sounded similar to most in the country. Both men felt it was nice to have the other around if only to hear a familiar accent and to work with another Cooksland face in what was an extremely Caucasian part of the United Kingdom.

“Cheers, Jack.”

The Captain said.

“You staying to watch this bloodbath?”

“Nah. I’ve got more of this bloody paper work to do.”

“Don’t we all, Jack?”

Agent Tilden chimed in, and several others grunted or nodded their agreement. None of the DDSI agents watching the PM getting hammered were particularly interested in it. They were, however, exceedingly interested in avoiding returning to the stacks of paper on their desks for at least a little while longer. That was the aspect of life in a Task Force 19 Tactical Team that the movies, books and TV shows failed to mention. In the plethora of DDSI orientated shows, the characters went on a mission a week. As soon as one group of bad guys were gone, another popped up. In reality, it wasn’t the case. Arran Weber had been in law enforcement for nearly fifteen years now; first as a beat cop, then as a Police weapons specialist and finally he’d joined the DDSI. In those fifteen years, he could count the number of times he’d had to fire his weapon on the fingers of both hands. Yes, there had been plenty of missions, call outs and standby alerts but even when those happened the chances of them actually having to open fire was quite low. The reality of the job, at all levels, had been the daily trek to the office and the pedestrian work therein. They all grumbled about it, no one relished paperwork but after last week’s raid, every member of the team had been under fire at least once. They might not have admitted it, but no one wanted to be shot at on a day-to-day basis. The fact that Agent Graham was missing, and probably would be for some time, gave an all too real reminder of the risks they faced outside of the office.

Yet, in the past few days, the office had become somewhat less safe than it usually was. The Tactical Team’s space was on the fourth of five floors in the Ironwynth DDSI field office. It was a vaguely horseshoe-shaped building, designed in the 1960s and therefore made of the flat grey concrete that that decade had loved so dearly. Beyond the security fence, nestled in Broadbridge Park across the road, crowds had begun to gather. It had begun the day after Chris Litton’s article had run and Cara Pritchett had made her remarks. Many of them were members of Christian churches. They regarded the assault on the Righteous Knights of Erid as an attack on simple Christians. Somewhat ironically, they were there to defend a group that regarded them as Dres’Nalar regardless of their devotion to God. Many more were students from Ironwynth University, rallied by their Student Union to protest the involvement of Special Forces. Instead of driving an hour to the base of the 99th Brigade, they’d elected the significantly closer target. The field office, after all, was only a short walk from the metropolitan branch of the University’s campus. Generally speaking, the assembled throng were causing no trouble. Rather they were on the other side of the road, standing and screaming their insults and slogans at the ugly concrete structure, whilst disinterested uniformed police officer stood behind the security fence. If a car came by and turned into the Field Office, the crowd turned their ire towards the arriving vehicle. Weber had to admit that, even from the park across the road, the volume had been somewhat unnerving.

Weber left his seat in front of the TV and crossed the room to look out of the office’s long windows. The office was in the middle of the broadly horseshoe shaped building and it faced inwards the street and the main gate, where the crowd was gathered. Looking down, he couldn’t help but find it amusing that they’d managed to bring groups of far right Christian conservatives together with bleeding heart liberals from the University. He wondered exactly how long their common target would keep the group together before their political differences became insurmountable.

He first noticed the white van as it pulled away from the lights at the intersection of Park Road and University Way; a mile or so of largely straight road on which the majority of Ironwynth’s campus was situated. The van did not jump the lights, but as soon as they turned to amber the vehicle fairly exploded off the line as it sped down Park Road. As Weber watched it roared down the street, past the rows of parked cars outside the various buildings that lined the road. It screeched to a halt about 100 yards short of the gated entrance to the field office. Even from his vantage point, the Captain could see the two uniformed officers looking at the vehicle. Moments later, the crowd seemed to notice as well. The Captain realised what was going to happen seconds before it actually did.

With an inaudible screech of tires and with a slight puff of white smoke from the burning rubber, the van charged. The uniformed policed reacted almost immediately. Two submachine guns were raised to shoulders, and they engaged the charging van with short bursts. The second blast of gunfire went through the windshield and killed the driver almost immediately. But he died with his foot on the accelerator and his hands slid off the wheel as the dying body slumped over to the left. The van veered, gaining speed, as the limp, slipping hands subtly turned the wheel. The police continued to fire, but the 9mm bullets from their old submachine guns didn’t have the guts to kill the bulky V6 diesel that drove the now driverless at ever increasing speeds.

Weber saw all this, as if in slow motion. The crowd in Broadbridge Park scattered, looking like ants on a green billiards table, at the first chatter of gunfire. He could see the two police guards on the street, their weapons to their shoulders and firing in deliberate bursts. Below, running figures were converging on the gate. Weber clearly saw the van jump the curb and continue over the pavement to smash through the steel fence as if it weren’t there. It motored, unperturbed, towards the building until it struck one of the unassuming concrete bollards that surrounded the field office. Hitting at nearly 20mph, the front of the van stopped dead but the rear of the van did not. Carried by its forward momentum, the rear of the van pirouetted over the front axle. It tumbled onto its roof and skidded to a halt fifteen feet behind the concrete line. As Weber watched, in a state of transfixed amazement, the van exploded and the instantly expanding fireball betrayed its contents as far more than a simple fuel tank. The pressure wave rippled across the courtyard and smashed into the building. The Captain was saved from injury only by the design of the wide windows that lined the Tactical Team’s offices. At some point, someone had identified these offices as a target and had protected them. The windows were specially reinforced to resist rifle calibre gunfire, and so when the pressure wave hit them, they did not shatter. Instead, spidery white lines formed infinitely complex patterns over the panes, but the occupants of the office were not showered by lethal fragments. But despite this, the force of the explosion still rumbled through the building. Items rattled off desks, pieces fell from the ceiling and many of those standing stumbled – Weber included. As he regained his feet, the Captain looked out of the fractured windows to see three more vehicles screaming down Park Road. All three turned hard towards the building and through the remnants of the outer fence. The doors swung open and armed men jumped out.

Weber’s hand dropped automatically to his hip and settled on the grip of his service issue Universal Issue Weapon. The polymer hand grip of the pistol felt somewhat reassuring in his hand and went some way to combat the feeling of panic that was threatening to rise from his guts to overwhelm him. The Captain had seen a great many things in his decade plus of service, but nothing anything like this. He turned his back to the window and for the first time surveyed his office space. Several of his agents were motionless on the floor, having been struck by falling debris or having fallen and hit their heads.

“Arran, what the fuck happened?”

The voice was Jack McGill’s and he sounded unsteady

“A van came through the fence. There was a bomb. We’ve got armed guys moving in on the ground floor”

The words seemed to snap McGill back to alertness, and he glanced out of the window

“Oh shit.”

The Lieutenant breathed.

“Yeah.”

In that small section of the fourth floor, the sentiment was universal. So were the soft noises made by pistols being slipped out of holsters, and of slides being drawn back to push bullets into place.





The DDSI Field Office in Ironwynth was a somewhat unusual building, both from the outside and the inside. Its broadly horseshoe shape was built around a central atrium, which served as a reception area. Branching off from there were two wide central corridors, spanning both “wings” of the building. Each of the central corridors were serviced by two main staircases, along with elevator channels that allowed easy access to any of the building’s four main floors. It was down the right main stair case that Captain Weber now lead a contingent of Tactical Team agents, as McGill lead a second down the left.

Everywhere the carnage of the van’s bomb was evident. Virtually every window in the building had been blown in by the pressure wave, and the subsequent shards of glass had done their grisly work to anyone that had been too close. On the third and fourth floors, the casualties had been relatively light. Whilst the windows had shattered there, they were further away from the epicentre of the blast and thus the shards had flown with significantly less force. But the further down the team ventured, the worse it became. Some in the building had been killed outright, but a great many more suffered wounds of varying degrees. These wounded were already being tended to by their colleagues, but many lay prostrate and unable to move. Simply, there was not enough aid to go around on the lower floors. Everywhere there was blood, and as the Captain descended the stairs towards the ground floor it seemed to him that he had entered a slaughterhouse. On the ground floor, it had been the worst of all. Closest to the explosion, the effects of the glass shrapnel and of the blast wave itself had been devastating. Those who had survived the initial explosion were now forced, almost immediately, to gather themselves to face down a platoon sized group of armed men that had invaded the atrium.

Unlike most law enforcement in Goram, almost all DDSI agents carry a firearm at all times. Secreted away under business jackets or concealed in hip, shoulder or small of the back holsters, almost everyone carried a weapon and they had at least basic training in its use. Despite that, most DDSI agents never drew their weapons over their careers. Most were investigators, analysts or monitored the ever growing collection of cyber based crimes. Even those that did regularly venture out into the field, to conduct arrests or the like, very rarely were forced to use their service weapon. Now those who had been in meetings, casually socialising or doing their day to day work just moments before were being forced into action against thirty men, armed with automatic weapons, and being asked to do it whilst trying to recover from the initial shock of the explosion. As such, the intruders swept aside those in the atrium with ease.

The attackers were merciless. Almost everyone in the reception area was either killed or wounded by the initial explosion, but those still able to fight were cut down by long rips of automatic fire almost before they were able to draw their weapons. The attackers flowed into the building, moving into the left and right main corridors and ruthlessly killing the wounded as they went. In the corridors, they began to meet more resistance but still they advanced deeper into the building and began up the main staircases.

Captain Weber saw the shadow of the two men around the corner before he actually saw them. He stopped on the stairs, holding up a hand to stop the dozen or so Tactical Team agents that followed him. As the two men stepped out into view, he brought his weapon up. For a fraction of a second, Weber made eye contact with the leading man and both tried to process the other. The man wore regular clothes, a face covering and a tactical looking vest. In his hands, he cradled a commercial shotgun that someone had cut the stock off of. Clearly, he knew, this man was not a DDSI agent. Before the cut down shotgun could be brought to bear, Weber’s UIW pistol spoke twice. The man’s eyes went wide as the 9mm bullets hit him within half an inch of each other. His knees appeared to buckle and he dropped straight down. Before Weber could turn his weapon on the second man, several agents fired as one. The effect was quite unlike the near surgical shots that Weber fired. The second gunman staggered as he was hit twelve or thirteen times in quick succession. The 9mm pistol rounds may not have been especially powerful, but their combined effect was devastating. The gunman collapsed backwards into the opposite wall and lay in a quickly expanding pool of blood that spread from his clearly fatal wounds.

Weber moved past the two bodies, trotting down the flight of stairs that lead to a landing off the main corridor. Across from the landing, two uniformed police officers fired from the doorway of a conference room at an unseen enemy. Both of the policemen carried the old Pattern 1948 submachine guns that were still common to the armed officers of certain regional police departments, and those old guns chattered out their distinctive mechanical noise as they fired on full automatic. The Captain half leant out around the corner of the landing, to point his UIW down the corridor. Squinting down the sights, targets appeared and disappeared quickly as the assailants ducked in and out of cover. Weber fired the remainder of his fifteen round magazine empty. Every round missed but he knew it was important to establish fire superiority. But this was easier said than done when fighting a well-armed opponent with sidearms and submachine guns designed 70 years prior.

The Captain’s gun clicked empty, and he moved back into the landing. Immediately, he was replaced by two of his Agents and they opened their own fire down the corridor.

“Alright.”

The Captain said to those dozen or so agents that were with him.

“Tilden, take Maton, Riley, Adams and Steyn. Go down to the basement and make sure the gun cage is secure. When it is, bring us back something to fight with. Everyone else, do what you can and for God sake be careful. Go.”

Sarah Tilden, the slightly build marksman, nodded and lead the other four agents back onto the stairs. In moments, all five disappeared.

Under the protective fire of the two policemen and the other Agents, two of Weber’s men scurried across the corridor and into the conference room. Another pair then broke out of the landing and hopped forwards a few metres towards a recessed alcove in the corridor’s wall. As this second pair moved one of the armed police officers stood for a better shot, raising his weapon to fire again. Almost immediately, a burst of three rounds hit him and spun him around. As he twirled around, under the impact of multiple bullets, he practically threw his submachine gun across the hall. It clattered down, skittering across the floor almost to Weber’s feet. Without thinking, the Captain crouched down to pick the weapon up and he grabbed it by the circularly vented barrel casing. The fingers of his left hand closed around the weapon, and then almost immediately released again as the burning metal made contact. With his right hand, he grabbed the pistol grip. Already the skin on his left hand had gone red and begun to blister slightly. He cursed himself. Like all his agents, he’d trained with the P48. He knew how hot the barrel vents could get after sustained firing, and that the proper technique was to grip the curving magazine. This he now did, as he returned the fire of the old submachine gun to the din of gunfire that filled the building. He aimed deliberately, firing carefully, in a manner quite unlike the way he’d shot his UIW only moments ago. He saw a target appear behind an AK style rifle at the end of the corridor, and he fired a two round burst. The man’s balaclava covered head snapped back as the Captain’s rounds struck him, and the rifle fired a long rip into the ceiling. Plaster cascaded down, driven free by the impact of the 7.62mm bullets. In front of the Captain, one of the agents in the alcove was hit in the thigh and collapsed into the open. The other agent that had gone forward stopped firing, and grabbed her colleague by the collar and dragged him back into cover before resuming her fire.

“Captain!”

The familiar voice came from behind him, shouted over the continuous roar of battle. Tilden next to him, a P79 rifle in each hand. Behind her, a number of Tactical Team agents had rifles in their hands too. The marksman passed one of the black polymer clad rifles to the Captain. Several additional magazines were fastened to its sling. These were not the type of Pattern 1979 rifles that the Tactical Team was used to. These weapons were not precision made and lacked the after market modifications of their preferred Mk. IIC Special Application rifles. Rather, they were standard Mk.IIs and in some cases refurbished Mk. Is. Yet it did not matter. They were capable rifles in the hands of capable operators. The noise of rapid single shots rang out as the rifles were literally thrown across the corridor to the agents in the conference room door way, and slid forward to the alcove. From somewhere off ahead, the same noise suggested that McGill’s team on the other side of the atrium were so armed as well. As two more agents rushed out of the landing and forward, covered by a hail of .280 calibre bullets, Weber knew the tide of the fight was turning. His men, and the regular DDSI agents they supported were pushing forward now. The Pattern 1979s in the trained hands of the Tactical Team was going to make all the difference, and already they had won the fire superiority battle. Now the attackers were the ones being forced into whatever cover they could find, shrinking away from the deadly tattoo that flamed towards them from the muzzle of military grade rifles. Weber knew they would win this fight, and reclaim their building. With a hand gesture, he motioned to Tilden that it was time to move. It was at that moment that he saw some small object arching towards them from an unknown source.

The RDG style hand grenade almost seemed to hang in the air as it was lobbed down the corridor. The squat, tan, vaguely cylindrical bounced off the hardwood floor once, then twice and then it simply rolled towards the Captain and Tilden. For the slightest moment, were sure they could actually hear the hiss of the internal pyrotechnic fuze and it burnt down towards the TNT charge. The bomb went off with a deafening bang. Its inner fragmentation liner split precisely as its designers had meant it to, and it shattered into 343 pieces. Most were tiny, barely millimetres across. The largest was about the size of a fingernail. All flew through the air at invisible speed.

By some miracle, they missed Weber completely. He was standing barely five metres from the point of detonation, and yet escaped the blast scot free. Tilden was not as fortunate. The fragments sought her out, peppering her without mercy. Almost immediately, the front of her pastel blue business like work shirt began to turn an ugly black shade. Her weapon slipped out of her hands,

“Oh.”

She said, and her legs gave way. She twisted as she fell, falling on her back. Weber was on his knees by her side almost immediately, his hands applying pressure to the worst of the wounds. But he alone could not staunch the flow from the ugly wound in his friend and colleague’s abdomen. Sarah Tilden had joined the team four years prior, they had worked together ever since. She, like almost every other long term member of the team, had been to Weber’s home. His wife, Annette, liked her. He would have gone so far as to say they were friends. Sarah Tilden did not suffer fools and her matter of fact way of speaking occasionally rubbed people the wrong way but within the close knit Tactical Team and their families, Arran Weber didn’t know of anyone who disliked the diminutive marksman. Yet here she now lay, her blood staining the floorboards.

It’s not fair

The thought flashed into Weber’s head. She had led a team down to the gun cage, she had brought back the rifles that were even now winning the fight. Hell, he knew, the fight was practically won at this point. And yet, Agent Tilden was hit nonetheless. The blood continued to well up between his fingers, as he pushed down hard. The pleasant blue of her shirt was almost completely gone now. He screamed up the stairs for help, but none was forthcoming. There had been too much blood already today.

“I’m hit. Oh, I’m hit.”

Tilden said. It had been only moments since the RDG had exploded, but already the colour was draining from her face.

“I’m sorry, Boss. I’m sorry. I’m hit.”

“Don’t talk.”

Arran said, and again he screamed up the stairs for help.

“It hurts. It’s not supposed to hurt…it hurts.”

Her voice was unsteady and she grabbed at his hands, trying to hold onto something. Weber didn’t know what he could say. Her breath was becoming raspy and looking at her, her face had gone a deathly pale. In that instant, Weber remembered how she had fired the bullet that had saved his life on the evening of the raid. She’d killed the gunman that he’d hardly even seen but now she was dying and he couldn’t stop it. It wasn’t fair.

Her hands tried to grip his, and he took one of them off the wound to take her hand.

“Don’t let me go. Don’t let me go. God. It hurts.”

Tilden’s voice broke, the pain obvious on her face. Weber gripped her hand tightly, trying to assure her.

“Arran, I’m scared. I’m scared.”

“I know, I know you are. You’re going to be fine. We’re going to get you some help and it’s going to be fi-“

Weber noticed that her grip on his hand had slacked completely. No longer was her chest rising and falling with struggled breath. Her eyes looked at the ceiling but they saw nothing. Fighting back tears, the Captain traced his fingertips over those unseeing eyes and closed them one last time.

The sounds of battle were dying now. The attackers had been beaten and the building was retaken. Although he didn’t know it, outside the first police response teams were arriving. The battle was won. But at such cost.
Last edited by Goram on Wed Nov 03, 2021 5:25 pm, edited 2 times in total.

User avatar
Gonswanza
Diplomat
 
Posts: 805
Founded: Aug 13, 2021
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Gonswanza » Fri Nov 05, 2021 12:20 am

War. Carnage. Bloodshed. The right to exist. Such things floated around in the mind of Laura Ortiz, sipping hard spirits from a tall glass as she looked over documents with Alexander Schloss peeking over her shoulder. It had been days, weeks now since the address. But it had arrived much too late to have any effect. Religious groups were being hunted down and pacified, the Free Party deemed an enemy of the state as they fled overseas. Peacemakers, militarized police, ran the streets as patriotic zombies kept them locked down by night. Yet, there was no real threat it seemed to herself. Even if the capital came under siege, she knew that the military would crush the threat before intelligence agencies would seek out those responsible. Gonswanza is and forever shall be a fortress, even with a mildly worrying report being flown in via email.

"Oh what the hell are you doing now... You fools..."

It seems that a cryptic warning was sent to her in a simple numerical cipher, relying on binary. When it was decrypted, it was merely a threat, given hostile remarks about ports burning and a "sword from the east due to kill every last child" as if it were a prophecy. The email is sent to the Gonswanzan intelligence agency to deal with it, as the military is later contacted about the source of the email and directed to destroy the location and its occupants. Such a response was only appropriate, even if it was deep with another country that was well out of the way.

Of course, the operation was carried out quickly within the span of a week or two, the only details that mattered being that yet another minor group branching off the Free Party had been eliminated. The "Brothers of the Cross" were yet another attempt to revive the party beyond Gonswanza, but they had attempted to resort to blackmail and idle threats to try to influence foreign and domestic affairs abroad. Clearly, they failed, even managing to sign off on their own funeral a few days earlier than expected.

Yet, Laura Ortiz felt that perhaps this may be the start of something new, given other nations were moving, talking, even mobilizing as if something greater was at play. But to herself, it was not her war, nor was it worth reacting to. Only when the first shots are fired would she decide to pick sides, assuming it wasn't just another poorly disguised trap to expose her country. After all, to send men to war, one must open the gates to let them move out, leaving the fortress vulnerable to attack.
Last edited by Gonswanza on Sun Nov 07, 2021 7:52 am, edited 2 times in total.
Praise our glorious president Laura Ortiz!

Amistad Declaration signatory! Down with slavery!

[GNN] The ball is here! /// Transcript of the Horsemen Interviews released. /// AI attempts to butcher Boarhound, succeeds in spite of low-quality cuts /// Christmas tree set up in lunar base, decorated with custom 3D printed ornaments /// Three-wheeled concept car flops, for obvious reasons

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Anagonia
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Founded: Dec 18, 2003
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Anagonia » Sun Nov 07, 2021 7:50 am

Confederate National Intelligence Agency
Main Headquarters, Inside the Capital Perimeter
Liberty City, State of Liberty, CSA
Three Weeks following the Juno Mountains Incident


Agent Sergio Molina had been assigned by the CNIA higher-ups to investigate the correlational in religious hostilities that occurred shortly after the Scandin religious propaganda broadcasts. For the week and a half, his main area of concentration had been the events that transpired in the Juno Mountains within the West Islands, following closely the report given by the members of the 31st West Island Recon Company who had been assigned patrol duty in that area on the day of the incident. His main source of info came from the full debrief of Sergeant Oshita Nobukazu, who presented his representation of the incident in a rather unbiased and analytical fashion. There were three other members of the squad that had submitted full debriefings for review; Corporal Teddy Pacheco was the driver on the day of the incident and gave his perspective of the events and Corporal Lucia Moore was the gunner and squad medic and presented a rather harsh and biased review of the events. The last debrief, from a Private Elton Garner, hadn't come until a week after the initial three submissions.

Private Garner had been the one casualty in the Juno Mountains Incident. His actions that day had saved his commanding sergeant, but they however led to his subsequent injuries due to possibly a lack of training and focus. State and Territory Militia Units were notorious for the amount of injury reports they submitted on a yearly basis, much of which would be unheard of in the Confederate Military. It was no surprise to Agent Molina that the Private had lost focus of the situation so quickly and allowed himself to stray into oncoming fire.

"That's probably too brutal of a perspective," Sergio chided himself as he sipped his coffee.

His workplace cubicle was situated somewhere in the corner of the fourth floor of the building, nicely hidden from most foot traffic and situated along an adjoining row of three other cubicles. The way the department was structured, those cubicles adjoined to one another operated as a "squad". They would work together, solve problems together, and assist each other in completing objectives. Along the floor there were an untold number of similarly patterned workspaces, however today most were empty. In fact, almost all were, save for the lone present of Sergio himself residing within his cubicle. His office lamp providing the majority of the illumination in his corner of the floor, which although was separated by walls and other types of divisions, could be clearly recognized as a partition of a greater whole if you stood and looked towards the other end on a bright day. Now, in the early morning hours on the usual day off for his department, it was simply barren of life and hidden by the lack of lighting that would normally be on. Even the government was conscious of their spending habits, it seemed.

Every Agent had the right to organize their workspace the way they wanted it. Wanted to throw out your department-given computer in favor of a sleek laptop and a beanbag? That was possible, and something many did. Safety and security procedures aside that ensured the new, arriving material was safe and not tampered, most Agents utilized their granted freedoms to the fullest extent. Agent Molina, however, was of an older generation of folk. His cubicle remained mostly the same as the day he arrived at his new department position. The Department-standard computer was still there; a rather modernized tower-based computer with a flat-screen monitor and clicky-clacky keyboard, along with a mouse that hissed when moved and whose buttons loudly reported when pressed. A file cabinet sat beside him along with a guest chair for the eventual interviews and debriefings that would and had taken place. Filing trays to organize his paperwork and keep track of things, along with a rather standard pen and paperclip holder. There was a phone with switchboard for easy access and transferring capabilities on his desk, just to the side of his computer monitor. Finally, an Agency-standard ZZ Plant that office gossip swore had hidden cameras in it resided in the corner of his desk in his cubicle - everyone had one and everyone was suspicious of it, save for folks like Sergio who didn't buy into that nonsense.

Flipping one of the papers over in the open folder situated to the left of his keyboard, Sergio began reading a new paragraph in the debriefing presented by Private Elton Garner. The folder had everything on the Private; his ambitions, his career choices, his open availability in the Territorial Militia, and a recent recommendation from his Commanding Sergeant to have him reinstated into the squad as soon as possible. The kid had a future ahead of him, a very bright and reliable one. According to the medical reports that Stergio had reviewed earlier, he was expected to make a full recovery within the next two weeks and be back on his feet. His rehabilitation had been rather intense, but he was a driven young man and very focused on getting things back in order. Stergio respected that about Private Garner.

"You'll get far kid," Stergio remarked in idle encouragement, though no one was around to hear it, especially Elton himself.

Another page was turned and the reason for Stergio's review of the folders contents came into view. He had reviewed these files, all the files from the squad, several times now. Each one had an extensive amount of information that painted a very clear view of the person being described. Private Elton's had two pages dedicated to his religious history and background, for example. This background was the very reason that Agent Molina had sought to have a final review of the folders contents, acting on a prior hunch or perhaps trying to clarify some level of confusion. Elton was a Christian and, despite that religious connection, had actively shot at and killed another Christian. That, in itself, was not particularly unheard of or very odd. What was odd was that Elton was a Scandin Orthodox Catholic, or more appropriately recognized officially as Scandinvan Orthodoxy, a very unique and peculiar sub-set of Anagonian Christianity that emerged into existence only around sixty years ago.

Scandinvan Orthodoxy was largely considered to be one of the most fundamentalist denominations of Anagonian Christianity, residing just near the level of religious fervor and devotion as that of Lexington Southern Baptist. Where the two separated, however, was in the level of devotion required to appear subservient to the teachings of the denomination. Lexington Southern Baptists were renowned for their proper attire, such as suits for men and dresses for women. They were additionally recognized for their requirements of lifestyle which, according to their denomination, preached that giving back to the community and living a modest life was required. Where they resided were, usually, some very food and homeless shelters. All of which came under the requirement that participants or guests to these shelters or food banks be required to hear the word of the Lord if they sought food or attend a church sermon if they resided in a shelter. Their overall viewpoints from a scripture standpoint were extremely strict and, if other denominations opinions were correct, very dated. If you acted in a certain way that was against the denominations teachings, for example, you were typically banned by a local community in earnest.

Despite this, Lexington Southern Baptist was tame compared to the teachings of Anagonian Scandinvan Orthodoxy. Scandinvan Orthodoxy was an off-shoot denomination of Catholicism, taking most of its ritualistic inspirations from the Catholic Church and placing its teachers through the religious extremism of Scandinvan Christianity. The end result was a doctrine of extreme concepts that not even the majority of Anagonian Christians agreed with in the slightest. Scandinvan Orthodoxy required all of its female believers to wear a form of head coverings to hide their hair and most of their head, as well as dressing in an appropriate covering to appear modest and "not tempting". Men were required to have their heads free of coverings or markings, even so far as to take off glasses or contact lenses when they pray, and wear robes with a gentle cincture to keep the garments in place. While the garments for women were simplistic and standard, being generally of the same make for every women in the Scandinvan Orthodoxy, men's robes had different markings announcing their position in the Orthodoxy and what role they played.

The most prominent belief in Anagonian Scandinvan Orthodoxy was that no non-humans were allowed into the faith, nor should they ever, as it was believed by them that anything non-human - which included animals and pets - lacked the blessing of God to have a soul and thus could not properly present themselves in adequate worship before the Lord. This belief alone presented the Scandinvan Orthodoxy as xenophobic and racist, and there was a general opinion among those high in the CNIA that those who were a part of the Orthodoxy were practicing extremists. To add to these claims of extremism, members of the Scandinvan Orthodoxy additionally believed that their members were originally the true Scandinvan's, cast out by those who reside in the nation of Scandinvan just an ocean away from Anagonia.

A lot of research had been done to prove this claim of origins, both by members of the Orthodoxy and various government agencies. The CNIA had been one of those agencies and, after being granted permission by the Orthodoxy, had around twenty years ago studied the original documents brought over by the migrants during their escape to Anagonia. Much of it had been documents pertaining to genetic and bloodline heritages, but a few certified their owners as either heads of estate or church leaders whom resided in Scandinvan originally. From the evidence that was saved during their trip over the ocean, there had apparently been some sort of violent rebellion of doctrine at the time, covered up and hidden by the Scandinvan state. The survivors of this purge, those that made it safely to Anagonia some hundred years ago, were openly identified as "Dres'nalar". A few of the survivors had been asked why they had rebelled against accepted doctrine. Their general response had been that the purge happened because they had refused to accept the concept of Erid as a divine entity, or any relation thereof. Their objective, from the very inception and foundation of Anagonian Scandinvan Orthodoxy, was to return home and correct the wrongs presented by the "evil one".

This separation in ideological beliefs was critical in understanding the foundation and operation of Scandinvan Orthodoxy and its believers. While indeed they were hardcore, fundamentalist Christians with a very odd set of restrictions and beliefs, they refused themselves to acknowledge or accept any teaching fro Scandinvan proper - they saw it all as blasphemy and heresy to the Lord. They additionally were among the Christian demonstrations with a wide range of community outreach programs, such as food banks and homeless shelters, and used these tactics as a way of recruiting potential new members. While they were restrictive on the species on who could join their faith, they preached tolerance instead of the hate-filled spite of modern Scandinvan beliefs. Overall, they had the interest of the government if only because in the event of hostilities between Scandinvan and Anagonia, and if Anagonia should gain the upper hand, their doctrine and mandate was the likely candidate to replace the old.

In short, the fact that Private Elton Garner was Anagonian Scandinvan Orthodox was interesting because his actions had demonstrated his loyalties, reinforcing Agency-held beliefs of the denomination and presenting a case of future mutual cooperation. What Agent Molina wanted to do was interview the Private, to clarify his religious positions and the overall belief he held in perception of the world. In a time of rising extremism in Anagonia, finding people to counter that extremism through the utilization of their examples in media was critical in the fight against fundamentalism. This new announcement from Scandinvan, their religious dogma and propaganda, was only the newest action taken by their state in their ongoing culture war against Anagonia. Any step, any measure that could be taken to be added as ammunition against this ongoing war of cultures would be considered critical in the fight to maintaining normalcy in the Confederacy.

Closing the folder, Agent Sergio Molina stood and grabbed his agency-issued suit coat as he readjusted his tie. Carefully sliding on the suit coat, he drank the rest of his coffee and left the empty mug on his desk. Turning off his desk lamp, he turned and headed out of his cubicle and towards the nearest exit. He had an interview with a recovering Private to conduct and he had a feeling the implications of it would be profound.

*** __ *** __ ***


Juno Marketplace
Juno City, Territory of the West Islands, CSA
A few hours after Agent Sergio Molina departs for the West Islands


The city of Juno was situated to the southwest of the Juno Mountains, around fifty miles from the base of the entrance to the President Jason Faltore Nature Preserve. It was a quiet town of only around four-thousand citizens, most of which either were members for the Confederate Military or worked for the Merchant Marines in operation of cargo vessels, fishing vessels, tugboats, and other such craft. The remainder of the population resided primarily within the city, working in logging plants or steel mills that dotted here and there, and a few working in the corn processing plants that took in agricultural goods from surrounding farms. A meat processing facility to the extreme northwest and situated just outside the city proper assisted with farms that dealt with animals of various types and their eventual processing into the consumer markets. It was, from both appearances and perception, a quiet and rural community despite the addition of "City" to its name.

Fulvia Vladimirovich was one of these residents. A Native Komodren, she had moved to Juno City some forty years ago under the promise of better job prospects. She had been hired on with one of the logging companies dispatch offices and made a name for herself as a rather strict, but kind, operations employee. Over the years she had been promoted, eventually landing her into the position of Operations Manager where she resided presently. She would meet her future husband there, a Russian immigrant by the name of Pankov Urvan Vladimirovich, who had recently immigrated to the West Islands thanks to the job advertisements for the need of truck operators in the industry. Their courtship together was long and, at times, complicated. Pankov had been a dedicated partner during their dating phase, and when things became more serious he had stayed committed in their attempts solidify themselves as loving partners. The topic of children had always been an unfortunate stumbling block for the two, so ten years ago Fulvia had encouraged adoption as a compromise. They had gained their daughter, Samantha Vladimirovich, when she was only four years old from the local adoption agency and within three years both Fulvia and Pankov had gotten married.

The test of parenthood for the two had been tough, especially considering the outstanding differences between mother and father. They had managed though, working tirelessly to overcome insurmountable odds to maintain their living arrangements and the attention of unpleasant non-human extremists that somehow existed in a modern society. They had struggled, and they both made their dream come true and set a good life up for their daughter to inherit.

"Mom, can we have some apples?" Samantha asked from beside Fulvia as they walked with their grocery cart.

Fulvia observed how other shoppers casually moved out of her way. A few years ago, perhaps well before she met Pankov, other people would stare at her for what felt like over a decent period of time. Those days were mostly over, save for tourists that frequently arrived. Now she knew most of these faces by name, giving each one a nod that reciprocated a greeting of some sort. Otherwise she'd respectfully move out of the way if required, but the crowd mostly moved for her and her larger frame. They were shopping in the Juno Marketplace, a staple and unique store of West Islands. Its headquarters was, of course, in Juno City as well as its largest store. Fulvia had always shopped here since from the beginning, finding the employees very welcoming and the products affordable. Samantha and Fulvia were presently shopping in the frozen foods area.

"Of course, sweetie," Fulvia replied as she looked down at her daughter. "Why don't you go get them while mommy keeps shopping here?"

"Okay!"

Fulvia smiled at the beaming expression of her daughter shortly before watching her skip off towards the organic produce section just ahead of them. She was thirteen now, edging very close to fourteen, and despite what the adoption agency had warned them about, Samantha hadn't seemed to have entered her "hormonal phase" yet. What was it called, "teenage rebelliousness"? Samantha had always conducted herself with respect in public and always seemed to be cheerful and proper. If she had any issues, any problems that were expected, she hid them very well. Fulvia made a mental note to spend some time this evening asking about that, just to pry and see if her daughter was experiencing whatever humans went through at her age. The Juno Adoption Agency kept a line open for parents like Fulvia, including a quarterly newsletter with such interesting information as that which was given concerning her daughters possible entry into a more rebellious phase of her life. If Fulvia had any questions, the adoption agencies counseling staff would most certainly be on hand to provide some sort of answers. That and, of course, her husband.

But men were men, right? Still, didn't hurt to ask the husband first.

Stopping to reach for some packets of ground beef which Pankov particularly liked, Fulvia's attention was drawn away towards the entrance of the store as a commotion erupted. There was shouting, shouts of warning or possible threats. She stood up from her bend to grab the ground beef packets and held one hand onto the buggy's handle as one eye was on the entrance and the other focused on her daughter who had similarly stopped in her tracks. Almost everyone around her had. A group of people rushed in, humans, covered in white and their faces obscured by white coverings. They held AK-47's in their hands.

"Where is the Dres'lanar?!" one shouted, before spotting Fulvia and pointing. "There's the demon!"

There was shocks and shouts of fright from those around her, but none more from her daughter. "Mommy!" cried Samantha from behind her. Fulvia was too stunned to move, witnessing something that was beyond her comprehension. Five men armed with assault rifles and wearing pure white clothing was approaching her, their eyes full of hatred and malice. One began to raise their weapon at her and, just before he got good aim, that's when all hell broke loose. The gunshot report from near Fulvia broke her from her stupor. She watched as one of the armed gunman fell down, his white clothing quickly becoming soiled by stained red from an opening in his chest. Fulvia looked to see a customer had pulled out his mandatory sidearm and fired. She had one too, but had been too shocked to react. "Mommy!" she heard again, this time louder.

The entire store erupted in gunshots then and, quickly, the armed gunmen were downed. In what could be considered an act of pure comedy, almost the entirety of those present had pulled their sidearm and began to fire in unison at the five would-be attackers. Fulvia stood there, having only managed to reach for her sidearm before noticing the five men on the ground, very clearly dead. A few of the customers who responded to their malicious presence came forward and checked the bodies, making sure none required immediate medical attention before grabbing their phones for what was undoubtedly a call to a police, a lawyer, or a loved one. Fulvia felt a firm grabs to her hand, then a hug to her waist as she blinked from her stupor and looked down at her daughter.

"Oh, baby," Fulvia managed as she went to one knee and wrapped her daughter in a firm and close hug. "Oh sweetheart I'm so glad you're okay. Are you okay?"

"Yes Mommy," Samantha said, hugging her mother tighter. "The bad people are dead right?"

"Yes sweetie," Fulvia said, looking up to see faces gazing her way. Many of them smiled and, slowly, Fulvia gave a smile and nod back in thanks. "Yes sweetie," she repeated before planting her snout to kiss her daughters forehead. "They're gone now."

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Xuande-Xiphoi
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Posts: 42
Founded: Jul 20, 2020
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Xuande-Xiphoi » Mon Nov 08, 2021 7:08 am

SAUL KONTOSIS BUILDING, INTERNAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY, REVNAMI

In the southern part of the Xuande-Xiphoian capital city, where the fresh waters of Lake Neike began a terminal march to the sea, apartment blocks fought for space and a view over the great river. Occasionally riverboats and smaller sailboats would make their way under motor up and down the stream, competing for space with the public transit agency's Capital Cats, a fleet of catamarans connecting the communities along the river to the central city of Revnami and the lakeside Parliament Complex. Residents had noticed a drop in the civilian traffic - and a lot less boats carrying foreign flags - ever since the Neike incident, where a fishing boat laden with radiological materials had been used to threaten those very areas.

Kerry Tan's morning ritual, passing by the wide river on the busy #29 tram down the centre of Southwest Parade, was interrupted by the announcement of his station approaching.

"Now arriving," the computerised voice announced, "Southwest Promenade and Padre Road. Southwest Promenade and Padre Road.

On the corner across the road from the approaching tram station, a brown clad and shining building totalling 21 stories glittered in a 1970s style, particularly abrupt compared to the nearby scattering of relatively modern towers and residential complexes, atop a small rise in the hill. As Kerry Tan collected his bag and rose to his feet, he patted the internal pocket of his jacket - a reassuring double-check for his company ID. The unassuming man, confirming it was in the rightful place, stepped off the tram, with a tap of his travel card.

In the southern spring and the glow of early morning, a slower-paced traveller might take the time to walk slowly and drink in the environments. The movement of humans among the coffee shops, the odd couples, and individuals along the waterfront, all adding background noise to the bulk of the human traffic - a league of public servants, businesspeople, and all the extra workers and people that were needed to fuel the various retail and hospitality businesses that really made the central city tick. Kerry's southbound tram from his near-CBD apartment usually had space to have a seat - no such mercy for these travellers.

Kerry was not a leisurely traveller. Indeed, his travel had him concluding at that very waterfront, 70's vintage tower. The office block was unassuming, while out-of-place. Pretty bollards on the kerb meant a healthy little walk through its plazas to reach the structure's entrance - a security measure against vehicle borne threats. The plazas, like the building, were unassuming. Only the title in block brass letters by the entrance - the Saul Kontosis Building - and the blue and white government logo of Xuande-Xiphoi, mounted on a metal plate. Indoors, employees were directed around the corner. Out of view of public eyes, individuals - some who had been on Kerry's tram - went through metal detectors and body scanners.

The government logo supplemented by three words on the wall identified the reason for all this - Internal Intelligence Agency.

The chief government intelligence agency charged with internal issues - ranging from criminal investigations to cybercrime to Kerry's team in counterterrorism. On the eighth floor, Kerry's office looked out of near-t-bombproof mirror windows at the nation they were charged with defending, investigating, and responding to threats emerging in this nation of billions. This office, a sub-office of the main IIA office in the Parliamentary Complex, was one of a few dotted around Revnami, and housed analysts who looked into national challenges, based on tremendous amounts of data being fed into this building by hundreds of IDD field offices.

Before the elevators on the ground floor a key piece of infrastructure was made available to the analysts and officers making their way through security; some of the nation's most security-cleared baristas and cooks. Kerry, of course, made the stop for his cappuccino before making the journey upstairs.




AGRIAKAMBOS, DANAËNEOS

2000 kilometres west of the capital, Xuande-Xiphoi's 45th largest city awoke to its usual, unremarkable existence. Agriakambos was remarkable, effectively, for its unremarkability. A hub for agriculture to the north in the central Xiphoi region - though that industry had itself taken something of a downturn with the Government's "superconservation" programme. Similarly, it's demographics were shifting to an older population, reflecting a drain of youth into other areas of the Republic of Danaeneos and the wider region. It's once busy flagship street - Driver Road - hosted national brands that gapped between vacant properties dotted alongside.

But despite these knocks, the city continued to tick along, with locals going about their own morning routines. At the downtown end of Driver Road, cornering on the City Strand, was the beachfront of the Xiphos Sea. Recovered from industrial and shipping uses, which had been relocated some kilometres north for minor shipping - an industry similarly on the downturn for Agriakambos with the mid-Century's freight rail revolution - the beach could now be enjoyed by bodysurfers and paddleboarders.

An emblem of the city, once itself attributed as a part of the maritime industry of Driver Road, the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral sat on its own along the beach promenade, in the morning shadow of commercial high-rises. The Church's doors were open to the public to enjoy its heritage structure, but it was an ever-busy location, hosting marriages and funerals on a near-daily basis. The funeral of Kimon Pipiades was scheduled for 9:15am, a cafe owner who had been part of the church's loyal congregation for all of his 90 years. A middle-sized ceremony was expected for this loyal servant of God; a celebration of his life at its conclusion, an experience to be shared by his family and friends on the quiet shore of Agriakambos.




SAUL KONTOSIS BUILDING, INTERNAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY, REVNAMI

The eighth floor theatrette, comfortably hosting all the duty members of the IIA's Counterterrorism Strategic Analysis Centre, was readied for the 9:00am briefing. The daily briefs, generally at the Secret level, were attended by all of the team members - though generally only those at the Team Leader seniority and above were lucky enough to fill the available lecture hall style seats. The general mandatory brief started the event - restricted, don't copy, no photos or phones etcetera - before moving to the day's known challenges.

Kerry Tan, a team leader albeit a junior one, had snagged a seat for this brief. While the usual suspects - right wing and left wing extremists, religiously motivated extremists, political fringe groups, and even the odd fixated individuals - would surely make a reappearance, there had been a significant development overnight.

"As you all know," the briefing officer, a senior staff member named Gordon McManus, began, "we have a constant source of work from the maniacs otherwise known as the 'Glorious' Empire of the Scandinvans."

McManus' tone was sarcastic - it was sarcasm born from years of dealing with the socio-political ramifications of the ultimate slaver regime.

"While we remain thankful that they keep to themselves on largely the other side of the ocean, comfortably remaining the Foreign Intelligence Agency's pain in the ass, we do unfortunately find ourselves in the unusual but regular enough occurrence of their leaders making public announcements. As you know they’ve been doing so over the last couple of days, but this particular address which our overnight teams received certainly ups the ante."

The more recent announcements were placed on the projections, and time was given for the assembled to read it. McManus read selected extracts.

"On the Righteousness of War. War is a proscribed element of this existence until such a time as the Lord returns at the end times. Christians cannot pretend to existence in a reality where conflict can always be avoided and therefore must constantly strive to ensure that all warfare takes place within a proper framework. And then - an Offer of Assistance to All Crusading Christians. And a commitment; the Scandinvan Church will offer whatever that it can to assist in the righteous armed struggles of those who would bring about the rule of the dres'Christus. That's us."

Some information on the Empire came on screen next.

"As a reminder, the Scandinvans are a declared state for all sorts of activities. They are independently economically sanctioned, a recognised slaver state, a recognised terrorist funding state, a pirate state, a travel ban state for Scandinvan citizens other than refugees - which is almost all of them who enter this country - and just generally a huge bunch of cunts who run a fascist cult the likes of which we have never seen before. Our main challenge as IIA is to uphold the government's directive to prevent travel to that state and to very aggressively investigate any person who makes the willing determination to travel there with anything less than an official passport."

A new slide with statistics on the number of Scandinvan nationals or people with some known connection to the Scandinvan Church came on screen.

"The Intelligence Corps executive have already had conversations on this, and how we are best placed to respond. FID is continuing to monitor activity as best they can; the Navy is similarly continuing to conduct anti-slavery operations and feeding that through Navy Intelligence also. The Office of Immigration Intelligence was directed last night to enhance screening against any Scandinvan nationals or passport holders entering Xuande-Xiphoi, and the National Police similarly are being spiked to keep an eye on any known intelligence threats."

The slide swapped to further reports, featuring a spider web graph.

"With that being said, Assessments Briefing Branch has found that the overall risk is low. We expect that this will be an area of political discussion - after all, this is a fascist regime basically guaranteeing to finance religious terrorism - but in general the Intelligence Corps has confidence in our overall ability to negate the thread posed by this call to action. IIA is to maintain awareness of potentially inspired persons and to continue surveillance of known organisations of interest, including via financial intelligence analysis, until such time that the situation with these people normalises. Relatively, anyway."

"So, no thoughts of an extended threat from this?" asked a team manager from the front of the room, in the dark.

"Maybe some extra yelling, but generally, we don't expect a significant rise in the threat level."




ANNUNCIATION GREEK ORTHODOX CATHEDRAL, AGRIAKAMBOS

Smoke collected and billowed under the foyer of the grand cathedral. Speckles of dark holes relentlessly pummelled the cream-white exterior of the heritage building, gardens were flattened by blast pressure, and surviving seabirds flew into the distance. A ripple had gone out over the waves as the stained-glass windows throughout the building exploded into rainbow showers. Inside the building, the grand hallway had been largely saved from the effects of the blast; but for the mural at the end of the hall, where shrapnel had reached, penetrating the art piece right between the eyes of Christ.

The state of the building was barely considered. The funeral of the 90-year-old dedicated churchgoer had been stolen. This event, a celebration of life and Christian brotherhood, a betrayal. Not by Kimon Pipiades - his embalmed and prepared body, dressed in a suit, was found within hours by National Police officers washed up in a mangrove. Later, a different suited man was found washed up by a quieter beach; that of funeral home hearse driver Huang Qiu.

The scene at the Annunciation Cathedral was entirely brutal. The assembled churchgoers - friends, family, and church community, including the bishop himself - had been united in receiving the coffin from the hearse. None noticed the driver walking, telephone to their ear, around the side of the cathedral building. Nobody noticed, as their cries of grief turned to confused looks as to who was supposed to open the coffin door. Nobody noticed as the coffin exploded with the force of a military bomb.

A shower of shrapnel - some premade, some constituted out of the vehicle it was delivered in - radiated in the microseconds after the explosion. People who were living mere milliseconds prior died at the steps to the cathedral. Overpressure and blast waves injured many more and killed some. Blood oozed down the brickwork driveway and into the once well-kept gardens. Survivors escaped, searched for loved ones, or attempted to save those that they could - and sometimes couldn't. Many cried out but went unheard, the explosion damaging the ears of many people.

In the seconds after the explosion, a Xuande-Xiphoian National Police cruiser travelling along the beachfront promenade on regular traffic duty caught the explosion on it's dash camera. The stunned officers, a drunk driver in the back pulled to a halt, in awe for the moment. The senior of the two shook himself from the blast first, grabbing the radio and flicking on the emergency signals. "Get up there!" he yelled, calling in the radio code for the explosion at the Cathedral.

The junior officer focused in on his driving, steering around slow and stopped cars and up on the promenade walkway, scattering pedestrians. The drive up the jutting headland was hardly long, but every second counted. It was becoming easy to see the leagues of bloodstained funeral goers coming down the small hill.

"What about him?" yelled the junior officer, driving.

The senior looked back to the man, himself stunned. "Pull over!" he yelled, as he grabbed the man's handcuffed wrists gruffly. "If you dare fucking pull some shit again today I will personally fuck you up!"

It was hardly professional, but the man seemed to have his attention.

"You're street bailed - get the fuck out of this car right now!"

No sooner that the man had fallen out of the police car had it zoomed away again, the door shutting with the acceleration. It lurched forwards with the unrestrained force of an electric vehicle, coming up to the bend, where black smoke billowed and screams echoed. The first two people were still running - a man and a women in their 30s, both bleeding, the man being supported on a bad leg. The vehicle stopped as the officer clambered out to see them - then those who could still come down the hill. Each officer carried one tourniquet on their load bearing vests and more in the vehicle's medical kit - it would not be enough, they realised, as a mangled wave of humanity descended the hill.




THAT EVENING
PRIME MINISTER'S OFFICE, REVNAMI


The complexity and size of Xuande-Xiphoi's intelligence apparatuses had always meant that egos had to give way to practicality, and specific jobs had to give way to people who simple lived to deal with them. But for each established team, every unit of intelligence specialists with years under their belt, and every administrative technicality sorted, in a democratic state there could still be one issue - the person at the top.

Newly elected Prime Minister Xenia Samariadi had taken the reins from the popular Daniel Hayes at the most recent election - as his Deputy Prime Minister, her pathway to the Parliamentary Complex had been sealed, riding on a wave of support for the Guilds & Communities Party and landing comfortably in the PMO. The large, modern office at the top floor of Parliament House looked over the Parliamentary Complex, the embassies along Pavilion Drive, and the central city of Revnami, which glistened and glimmered golden lights as dusk settled.

The explosion in Agriakambos had stolen the day. It had rendered a deep gash against those people. Her political advisors - men who she considered as employed to be craven - feared what this meant. Not that there was a lunatic terror cell - no, that this was now the fifth major terror attack by a currently unknown source since Hayes' premiership. Samariadi was a civilian - she'd never held any military or police rank - and while years as one of the Deputy Prime Ministers had exposed her to these meetings and the crises that arose from time to time - nothing really prepared you for being the person who had to stand at the podium and make announcements.

The agency charged with updating the Prime Minister and those craven men was the Prime Minister’s Aide-de-Camp. A role currently held by Admiral Vangelis Sallotis, he was supported by civilian briefer from the various agency, with a deputy from the IIA now presenting the brief.

"The Critical Event Coordination Centre was activated 13 minutes after the incident happened. The National Police were the first agency to respond and begin reporting, and called in the mass casualty incident. Due to the explosion and the limited resources immediately available, there was no effort made to find any suspect bombers. However, shortly thereafter, the XXNP activated resources including the airwing and armed response teams to begin investigating if there was a bomber. They began deploying detectives to search area CCTV. During this process, a suit was found discarded and hidden in the breakwater rocks immediately north of the Cathedral. CCTV has been reviewed, and we believe that the suspect simply donned swimwear underneath and made an escape alongside other swimmers in the water. We believe we have identified where the suspect has made his way to, and an operation is planned to arrest him."

The Prime Minister, already well aware of the day's events having been updated hourly, was at least thankful that the bomber had been tracked. This certainly did not diminish her displeasure in the IIA's inability to prevent this senseless tragedy which had so far claimed 41 lives.

"Where is he?"

"The individual in question was, as you know ma'am, provisionally identified earlier today. We now believe we know that this man is Simon Torp, 41 years of age, works as a truck driver. Mr. Torp is a second-generation Xuande-Xiphoian. His father, Peter, resides at a commune in the central Agriakambos RGA. We believe that this is where Torp is now, alongside a number of other persons. We believe he has been snuck in via a light commercial truck into the commune. The residents have been indoors now ever since that vehicle arrived; we are aware of this as the commune is under surveillance. However, it wasn't until after he arrived that we placed him as a suspect, therefore we could not intercept him prior."

"And so," Prime Minister Samariadi responded, "you have a mad bomber, who you believe has been inspired by this fascist cult to go out and bomb a Greek Orthodox Cathedral, and he's just... gone home?"

"We believe they want us to raid the property. They likely think it's the main reaction we would have. In other cults we may expect something like a suicide event but here, well, suicide is dishonourable. Killing 'barbarians' as they defend their home is, for them, a gold class ticket to heaven."

"Ma'am," an IIA agent said, standing. "I apologise, but a message from the Archbishop of the Holy Marsh has just been sent out globally."

He looked at his tablet, and read. "Finally, we remind the world that anyone who kills any Scandinvans for any reason across the world is to be commended and shall receive a standing bounty for a job well done."

The Prime Minister looked to the head of the IIA and Chief Commissioner of the National Police, sat aside and in front of her. "Gentlemen - I think one act of senseless religious violence is enough for today. I expect you to be on top of any Marshite community response."

The Prime Minister took a moment before speaking further.

"I need to speak on this before this starts getting out of hand. I don't want a police raid becoming the story - FIA has already been receiving reports about raids against these people overseas, and they've been bloody, right?"

The FIA head spoke, agreeing with the PM.

"That's not the XX way. We win this bloodlessly until we can't. If we have them cornered, and we don't think they're going to suicide themselves, what can we do that minimises the drama here?"

The Chief Commissioner spoke now. "We have a plan being developed. We have a Special Tactics & Rescue team on-site currently maintaining surveillance, and we are ready to effect an arrest if any individuals leave the commune. That being said, we are developing plans based on best practice to make the arrests as soon as possible, following your approval in this instance."

The Prime Minister stood.

"As far as I am concerned, a foreign fascist has just driven terrorism onto our shores and killed our citizens in broad daylight. I want to be very clear that this Government will go to no end to retribute for this, but we will do that in a court. With these terrorists, that is where we truly break their power. I want a plan from Police on how we arrest all of these people, without violence, and a plan from the Corps on how we rapidly intervene to prevent any copycats or backlash from the Marshites - or anyone else for that matter."

The PM took her leave, ready to meet with leaders from the nation's various religious leaders, for a press conference in the grand Forum Hall - in a call for peace in Xuande-Xiphoi.

Unity Serves Liberty.




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To our respected international leaders,
Of Allies and Partners of Xuande-Xiphoi



Dear comrade,

[tab=20]Today, 41 Xuande-Xiphoians were killed in an explosion caused by a terrorist in the city of Agriakambos, at the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral. I have been advised by my Ministry of Health that many of those injured in the attack are not expected to survive through the night.

This attack, we believe, was committed by a religious - or rather, fascist - extremist, who was inspired by recent broadcasts from the Scandinvan Empire encouraging acts of violence to be committed against fellow citizens.

Xuande-Xiphoi prides itself on it's position in the world as a multi-ethnic, multi-cultural, multi-religious, and proudly open-bordered country. Each day, people of this nation go about their business in peace, without malice against their fellow citizens. It is incidents such as these that necessitate our security and intelligence apparatuses, and it is in our response to these challenges that we define how our nation will distinguish itself from terrorist regimes. This process is continuing this evening in Xuande-Xiphoi, and I have full confidence in the ability of the Xuande-Xiphoian National Police to prosecute this matter.

I write to you and other leaders of peaceful, freedom loving countries in a call to action. The Scandinvan Empire continues to be a dark stain on the international community. It's actions are ruinous to international harmony, and destructive against the welfare of everyday people.

The challenge presented by this colossal nation is one that must be countered by our states in alliance and in unity. The motto of this nation is intensely relevant here - Unity Serves Liberty.

While our states must first deal with the repercussions of this day, I am directing my Minister of Foreign Affairs to individually reach out to each state to discuss ongoing actions which may be taken in response to the threat of this criminal Empire against our citizens, trades, and national security. I encourage you, as well, to work with Xuande-Xiphoi to achieve this goal together.

Tonight, we grieve our lost Xuande-Xiphoians. Tomorrow, I will work with you to ensure the anniversary of their deaths will be remembered as a starting point in our unified opposition to a criminal regime.

The Hon. Xenia Samariadi
Prime Minister of Xuande-Xiphoi
Member of Parliament for Port Neraidha
Monday, 27 September 2021

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ooc: Fantastic thread so far. I know my telegram there might be jumping the gun a bit but happy to RP it either having some relevance or basically being a new PM's very backfiring attempt to counteract a huge regime. Lovely work all!
The Republics & Kingdom of Xuande-Xiphoi

UNITY SERVES LIBERTY
NATIONAL FACTBOOK | ARMED SERVICES | DIPLOMATIC PROGRAMME | GEOGRAPHY

Formerly New Hayesalia | Active Since July 20, 2009

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