2014 STGOD Story Thread I

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Re: 2014 STGOD Story Thread I

Postby Eternal_Freedom » 2015-01-07 02:15pm

Paradise City Prison
May 8th, 2014


The contrast between the first interrogation room and the second was astounding. Tatsuya Shiba was not shackled to the chair. Nor was he illuminated by a bright light and surrounded by darkness. Instead he was said on a moderately comfortable chair at a table, with a cup of coffee by his left hand. His right arm was handcuffed to the table; he was, after all, a suspect being questioned and Orion was a nation where paranoia was elevated to an art form.

Tatsuya was deep in thought, carefully planning his answers to the expected questions. He was pleased at how his altered plan had worked out; the last thing he recalled from the Palace was killing his comrade before the taser struck him. The Orions may have been questionable and backwards in many ways, but they knew how to protect themselves.

The door opened and in walked Colonel Waters. This much Tatsuya expected. What was unexpected was the presence of a Umerian woman with the OSF officer- one of their delegation; he recognized her. The Colonel sat down opposite Tatsuya whilst the woman leaned against the far wall, her eyes locked on his face. He was curious as to her presence, “neutral observer” seemed unlikely. The only reasonable conclusion was that she was an intelligence officer, and most likely very capable if the Orions asked for help. He mentally adjusted himself accordingly.

Waters took a sip of his tea before he began. “Good afternoon Mr Shiba. I am Colonel Waters, OSF, and this is Delphinium Archer of Umeria. She’s observing these sessions as a neutral third party. First of all Mr. Shiba, my apologies for tasing and detaining you, but I am sure that you understand our caution given the events that occurred yesterday.”

“Of course Colonel, it was only natural. Although I must admit to being surprised at your restraint. I would not have expected the famed Orion SAS to use tasers.”

“Better to capture and interrogate than kill. Which brings us to the first of my questions for you sir. What prompted you to take such drastic action?”

“I could not stand by whilst such traitors tried to harm those I am sworn to protect.” As he said that, Ms Archer stood up straight and began slowly circling the room. Watching me very closely no doubt.

“Well of course, but surely there was a less violent method? Where did you get the knife anyway? We know you didn’t bring it with you.”

“I took it from the buffet during lunch.” At that, Archer asked a single word, in a quiet tone that nonetheless carried clearly across the room.

“Why?”

“What do you mean?” At that answer, Waters took up the thread.

“She means why did you take the knife.”

“I had a gut feeling that it would be advantageous to be armed if necessary.”

“Explain this “gut feeling” if you please.” Waters was making notes. Or rather, Tatsuya thought he was making notes. Waters was in fact jotting down total gibberish, knowing full well everything was recorded and that Archer would remember it anyway. But it gave the suspect something to focus on, rather than the woman keenly watching him.

“There was something… off about my colleagues that day. They have always been very private individuals, but yesterday they were even more so. They answered questions and responded to orders but there was no extraneous conversation. Throughout the day they kept sneaking glances at each other, presumably to reassure themselves or something.”

“The behavior certainly sounds suspicious. Why did you not inform your superiors? Or our security personnel?”

“I had only a gut feeling, as I said. I had worked with these people for some time, I did not wish to cause them embarrassment if there was nothing actually wrong.”

At that, Colonel Waters underlined a phrase of gibberish in his “notes.” “Commendable. But you showed no restraint at killing your colleague. I’ve seen the security footage, you acted almost immediately.”

“Those of us trusted to guard Fusoan diplomats must make instant decisions Colonel, A second’s delay can cost lives.”

From behind Tatsuya, Archer caught Waters' eye and nodded towards the door. As far as she was concerned, they were finished.

“Very well Mr Shiba. I’ll be informing my superiors and we shall be releasing you to your embassy later today, after a good meal by way of apology. I would ask that if you do learn anything more, or remember anything more about your colleagues that you inform us.”

“Of course Colonel.”

Waters and Archer left the room. “Well?” he said.

“He is lying about his colleagues, what he knew, and how he knew it. His responses were too prompt here to be extemporaneous. His reactions during the event were too fast, as well. There are people who can kill a colleague that fast. They're sociopaths of a certain type. He isn't. Therefore, five will get you-" Archer paused for a barely noticeable fraction of a second "-about two hundred that he's lying. He knew what we would be asking. He prepared himself. Unfortunately, he is relatively good at concealing things. What he might be concealing, I cannot say- precisely.”

“So we have plenty of suspicions but no evidence. I hate cases like this. Ok, we’ll send him back to his embassy, but we’ll keep him under surveillance as much as possible. Thank you for your assistance Ms Archer, I’ll be sure to tell your Minister how helpful you have been."

"One thing."

"Yes?"

"How's your network-use surveillance? Five will get you- thirty to thirty-five, he's part of the network of the group behind this. Worth watching him. I may pass a word to the Bureau of Foreign Intelligence myself, but our signals intelligence is- inferior."

“With no false modesty, ours is pretty damned good. We’ve had discreet monitors and taps on all of his known mobile devices, and those of his family and colleagues since we arrested him. We’ll be monitoring him very closely. But I’ll never turn down an offer of help on something like this.”

Two hours later, Tatsuya Shiba was escorted out into daylight and climbed into an official car for the short drive to the Fusoan embassy. Anyone who saw him during the drive would have thought his small smile was one of gladness to be freed and going home. Instead it was the smug smile of one who has deceived and gotten away with it.
"I could be bounded in a nutshell and count myself a king of infinite space, were it not that I have bad dreams" - Hamlet

“I’ve always thought the Yankees had something to do with it.” - Confederate General George Pickett, on being asked why his charge at Ghettysburg failed

Corrax Entry 7:17: So you walk eternally through the shadow realms, standing against evil where all others falter. May your thirst for retribution never quench, may the blood on your sword never dry, and may we never need you again.

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Re: 2014 STGOD Story Thread I

Postby Siege » 2015-01-08 05:22pm

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East Gate | 3 S. Barrington Mutual Avenue
Delta City, San Dorado


“I would just like to reiterate colonel that I think your course of action is highly premature and inadvisable.”

“Your objection is noted doctor Kalvin,” Shturm replied and adjusted her rimless sunglasses. “But I’m going to proceed anyway. Sometimes you gotta fly before you can walk.”

The door to the gray van slid open, revealing the bustling East Gate mall. This was the heart of Delta City, and the heart of Coldstream Delta’s presence in San Dorado: a mesh of glittering towers of razorsharp mirrorglass in the New International style. Just over the hills lay the San Veronica Valley, where precursor companies like Volta Labs and ALECK once pioneered oscilloscopes and vacuum tubes. Now the Valley was synonymous with C-D’s high-tech research and development, headquartering subsidiaries involved in aerospace and IT, nanotechnology, robotics and nuclear physics. A quarter of all microchips in the world were manufactured there, and the Valley accounted for one-third of all of venture capital investment in San Dorado. San Veronica was in many ways the polar opposite to the traditional heavy industry of Rivet Point and the banks of the Slate, and East Gate mall was the most visible expression of Coldstream Delta’s silicon gospel.

The brightly lit square was roofed over in organically curved glass and steel, and lined with high-tech stores. This was the center of wireless high-def e-everything. Here you could buy every type of gadget and component imaginable, hardware and software, from smart watches to electric cars. At strategic intervals throughout the cathedral-like space ultra high-definition electronic screens flashed interactive advertisements. Clever artificial lighting simulated the noon sun all day long. All day people thronged the escalators and the multi-level shopping galleries, eager to empty their wallets in worship to the twin San Doradan values of capitalism and consumerism.

The unmarked van was parked in the loading zone for an electronic arcade, but its corporate plates guaranteed that security would leave it be. Shturm had traded her uniform for a less conspicuous pair of jeans and a red t-shirt that said 'I don't byte' on the front and 'I just nibble a bit' on the back in white block capitals. She walked to the middle of the wide open plaza and looked up. Beyond the glass roof the sun sparkled off the jagged towers. The sky was an expanse of perfect cobalt. “Okay Kalvin,” she said seemingly into thin air. “Hook me up.”

In the back of the van doctor Haris Kalvin looked from the laptop that rested on his knees to the OGRE operatives sitting opposite him. They looked back at him expectantly. He sighed. “I hope you’re not making a terrible mistake.” For a moment his finger hovered over the enter key, then he pressed down.

Back on the open concrete East Gate floor Faiza Shturm didn’t need to be told when the satellite connection established itself. One moment the colonel was alone in her head the way that until quite recently she’d always been, the next she… wasn’t. It was the most peculiar sensation. It wasn’t like hearing voices or alien thoughts, but there was a definite sensation that something else was collegially sharing her eyes and ears. “Hi, AJ,” she said, again seemingly to nobody in particular. A few of the passersby gave her weird looks. “I’m guessing that’s you in here?”

“Yep, I’m here!” a peppy teenage girl’s voice replied. AJ’s voice wasn’t overly loud but she could hear it with perfect clarity over the busy clamor and bustle of East Gate. The reason, Shturm realized, was that she wasn't hearing it at all. It just manifested in her head, summoned through the cybernetics threaded into her brain. “This satellite is awfully expensive,” there was some doubt in AJ’s voice. “Are you sure I’m allowed to do this?”

“AJ, I’m the CEO of OGRE Solutions,” Shturm replied confidently. “That means I’m allowed to do whatever the hell I want. Ignore money. If I want you to testdrive this connection nobody is going to object.”

“If you’re sure,” the AI replied in a small voice. “I just don’t want to get boxed again.”

“Relax. Give me a SITREP, is the link steady? Bandwidth OK for you?”

“Everything is within acceptable bounds. I am fully downlinked. How’s it feel on your end?”

“Crowded. Kinda intimate as well. Not in a bad way though. Snug, is how I would say it feels. It’s odd to share my head with somebody else. Can you read my thoughts?”

“Some of them. You’re also in my head, you know. I can access your visual cortex to manifest visually if it’s more comfortable for you to talk to something you can see?”

"Don't bother, I’m used to long-distance telephone. Let’s skip to the fun part. You have access to my modem?”

“I am indeed integrated with your CNC transceiver.”

“Okay then.” Faiza Shturm smiled behind her sunglasses, cracked her knuckles and expectantly looked around the multi-level atrium. “Show me what’s out there.”

At once, her vision changed. Overlays began appearing on her artificial retinas, each one with its own instinctively recognizable overlay: GSM signal sources first, then wireless ethernet, UHF wireless Bluetooth, RFID tags, then analog sources, DCS and CTCSS, local security, scrambled whispers on encrypted PMC bands and even the distant murmurings of Ladyhawke air traffic control. Locations of security camera’s appeared as pricks of light clustered around the tall steel columns holding the atrium aloft, overlapping three-dimensional sight cones drawn in sharp fluorescent lines. Finally, information began to appear above the heads of the anonymous people milling through the mall. Names, occupations, online monikers, account and credit card numbers, speech to text transcriptions from people on mobile phones. The AI sketched movement patterns, predicting crowd movement and likely individual objectives. Then threat indicators appeared above certain individuals, in fluctuating percentages. Most in low white single-digit percentages, some in yellow double digits, usually accompanied with indicators like STORE SECURITY or STORMBRINK SECURITY | OFF DUTY, and finally a handful of bright red labels flagged as THREAT TO SYSTEM.

Shturm found herself reflexively focusing on the closest one, even though she didn't consciously remember doing so. AJ automatically tracked him in the crowds, using security cameras to build a multi-angle image. He looked innocent enough, a nondescript man with brown hair and stubble who sat on a bench reading a newspaper. His label automatically expanded into a scrolling square of text:

/// POSSIBLE THREAT TO SYSTEM
HENDERSON, ALAN D.
PARAGON SECURITY
ARMED
ATTENTION DEFICIT DISORDER
CONSUMPTION OF PORNOGRAPHIC MATERIALS
ILLEGAL INTERNET DOWNLOADS
MULTIPLE SEXUAL PARTNERS
SELF-DELETING TEXTS
ACCESS TO ASSIGNMENT: DENIED

Similar flags popped up one by one across the other red labeled people in East Gate. Information whirled all around her, intimate details, angles, predictions based on secrets plucked from distant recesses of a heavily networked society. Shturm wanted to whistle, but found her mouth had gone bone dry as the AI washed over her. “You’re collating this in real time?” she whispered.

“I am indeed.”

“Are you seeing this, Kalvin?”

“I’m getting bits and pieces back here, colonel,” the voice of Haris Kalvin came perfectly calm and neutral across old-fashioned radio. “Am I correct in assuming you broke every data protection directive on the book just now?”

“Oh, you have no idea,” Shturm breathed, “I’m a goddess among insects.”

"Is that you talking," Kalvin coolly asked, "or her?"

Shturm blinked. "What?"

"Colonel, I’m not fully cognizant of what you’re experiencing, but what I can see is the volume of traffic that’s coming over your implants right now. Faiza, if you have what you came for then for your own sake, I strongly suggest shutting this experiment down. Because this can’t be healthy for you.”

“I- yeah. Okay. Okay, AJ, shut it down.” Instantly the world shrunk down and her worldview once again narrowed to its old, limited, human context. Faiza Shturm found herself half-leaning against a steel pillar. Cold sweat beaded on her forehead and passersby were giving her concerned looks. She felt cold enough to shiver, except for where cybernetics threaded through her neck and past her temples, where her skin felt like it was on fire. For the first time the wide-open space of the atrium and the masses of suddenly anonymous people thronging through it felt terribly confined to her. Nameless faces passed her by. Shturm groaned, gritted her teeth and pressed a hand against her forehead until a bout of sudden dizziness and claustrophobia passed. “Holy shit.”

“Sorry!” AJ’s disembodied voice was all kinds of apologetic. “I think I may have overdone it. You know, a little.”

“You think?” Shturm drew a long breath and tried to force herself to think straight. “Cuffing Fortune, I have the mother of all headaches.”

“I think I can help with that,” the AI said. A second later, the pain changed. It didn’t quite disappear, but it went from a throbbing, unignorable agony that suffused every thought between her temples to a distant numb soreness. “Sorry again! I’m new to this, you know.”

Shturm breathed a sigh of relief. “Can you do this for booze too?”

“Sorry?”

“Never mind. Thanks, AJ. Keep this channel open. I’ll tell doctor Kalvin that he can reschedule the robot apocalypse for, I dunno, Whenever the rest of the world catches up to us, I guess. We’ll be keeping you around, I do think.”
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Re: 2014 STGOD Story Thread I

Postby Eternal_Freedom » 2015-01-08 06:35pm

Orion Broadcasting Company Special Report
King Alexander Addresses the Nation
May 10th, 2014


“Whilst the senseless and unsuccessful attacks on the Global Anti-Terrorism Conference have drawn the lion’s share of media attention in recent days, it is important to remember that the Kingdom of Orion continues to advance, that life goes on for all of us despite these tragic events. To prove this, I am proud to announce to my people, and to the world, the successful completion of the Orion Space Force’s latest mission.

Four days ago, two of our Zeus-V heavy-lift rockets and one Hera-III Crew Delivery Vehicle launched from the Phelan Spaceport in Underwood. Between them they delivered just under eighty tonnes of structural payload to the Aurora space station. The structural additions to this triumph of Orion technology were completed in a marathon eight-hour spacewalk by the station’s crew of five and the Hera’s three passengers.

The new structure consists of expanded living space and a large unpressurised “hanger” containing docking ports to facilitate on-orbit assembly of larger space vehicles. The structure now also includes two twenty-tonne capacity fuel and oxidiser tanks that will be filled in a subsequent mission. With this fuel already in orbit, spacecraft can carry the maximum payload up from the surface.

Whilst this mission is indeed a marvel of modern space technology, it is but a harbinger of things to come. The Space Forces will, in the coming year, begin assembling the world’s first true spacecraft, which we have named the Bellatrix. This craft will carry a crew of six on a long-duration mission to the Moon, to conduct in-depth scientific analysis of our closest neighbour in space. The vessel will spend a full two months in Lunar orbit, with three planned 18 day landings on the surface.

This will be the next step in our civilisation, the next leap to the stars. I cannot fully express how proud I am of the Orion Space Forces for realising their long-held dream. Today, the stars are a little bit closer to mankind.”
"I could be bounded in a nutshell and count myself a king of infinite space, were it not that I have bad dreams" - Hamlet

“I’ve always thought the Yankees had something to do with it.” - Confederate General George Pickett, on being asked why his charge at Ghettysburg failed

Corrax Entry 7:17: So you walk eternally through the shadow realms, standing against evil where all others falter. May your thirst for retribution never quench, may the blood on your sword never dry, and may we never need you again.

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Re: 2014 STGOD Story Thread I

Postby TimothyC » 2015-01-09 02:59pm

Hawai’ian Prime Minister’s Residence, O’ahu
May 11th, 2014

The Prime Minister looked over the photographs cautiously.
“How sure are we of the Orion program’s timetable?”
George Rollie, Director of National Intelligence responded, “We’ve seen nothing to go against their public data. If they find out about NAIL SPIKE, that’s another matter.”
“Wait, is she cleared for NAIL SPIKE?”, Home Secretary Stamper spoke up forcefully.
“She’s my sister Tom, She’s cleared for things not even you get to see” the PM intoned.
A chuckle went around the room.
“If I may?” For the first time in the entire meeting Dr. Nyugen spoke up. “I’ve been consulting with Dr. Berry in Cascadia and the teams at Wenchang. If we retask the second RED MOON test, we can push NAIL SPIKE up by about six to nine months, presuming the Cascadians throw in the needed funding. The software is mostly written, but the final hardware configuration is still up in the air. I’d strongly suggest that we go with the Tianguo design at this point, just for speed.”
“And Red Moon?” The deputy PM asked.
“Early July, as planned. They’re actually running a bit ahead of schedule at the moment.”

A sense of agreement went around the room.
“It’s settled then. I’ll bring it before the queen, but as she pushed for this in the first place, I don’t see any problems. Thank you all for coming in.”

As all but two of the people left the room, the remaining two at in silence. The PM sat with his head resting on his fists, studying the time tables in front of him.
“Stamper doesn’t like me”
“Of course he doesn’t. He doesn’t trust anyone he hasn’t fully vetted, and as you are not a member of the active party, you’ve never been vetted by him. It’s a trait he learned from his predecessor. Heck, I’m not sure who he likes at the moment.”
“Urquhart seemed to like me”
“Urquhart didn’t have to deal with me as PM, and he woefully underestimated your intelligence. Plus, he’s been known for his affairs with pretty young women, so to have one who rebuffed him meant he couldn’t show any weakness to you. Anyway, would you please call the Palace. I do need to brief the Queen.”
“Sure.”
A soft idea rolled around in his head slowly taking form The Kingdom of Lagrange.
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Re: 2014 STGOD Story Thread I

Postby Siege » 2015-01-10 04:17pm

Image

Pyxis Worldwide Satellite News
Coldstream Delta delays comsat launch

Coldstream Delta is delaying the launch of several next generation Asteria communication satellites.

According to a leaked internal memo, the office of Coldstream CEO Tamerlan Soules has postponed the launch to implement a "significant hardware upgrade" to enhance the capabilities of its new satellites. This is a sudden and unusual deviation from the busy launch schedule: the satellites themselves are believed to already be at the Thunder Key rocket grounds, and were scheduled for launch two days from now.

The Asteria worldwide network of telecommunications satellites is currently evolving into its third generation structure, bringing the network to a total of 90 satellites with fifteen in-orbit and ten on-ground spares. It is the largest commercial communications satellite constellation in the world, developed by Coldstream subsidiary Procyon Integrated Orbital.

Soules' memo stresses that the delay is "not a vote of no confidence in Procyon" but the result of "a last minute development" in hardware capability that allegedly will significantly increase Asteria's utility. Details of this development are not specified, but Pyxis tech-desk experts suspect it may be related to recent whispers of a computer engineering breakthrough by Pentex Micro Devices, also a Coldstream daughter company.

According to a Procyon executive, who spoke with Pyxis on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak on the matter, the delay is the result of "decisions at the highest echelon of corporate management". "There was a last minute call at the CEO level to reconfigure not just Asteria but global command and control for all Coldstream satellites."

"All new Coldstream satellites are to be fitted with additional hardened memory drives to expand offworld data capacity."

Our source informs us Pentex is developing a geosynchronous communications platform codenamed ZORIA as an extension of third-generation Asteria. Its precise specifications are a closely guarded secret but these satellites are supposedly "very large". "Not so much comsats as self-controlled and self-maintained microstations, designed to run near-Earth infrastructure with minimal HITL", "based around what Pentex calls an autonomous logic memory center."

Our tech desk believes this indicates Coldstream Delta may have made a quantum leap in autonomous machinery that significantly reduces the necessity for humans in the decision making loop, and is looking to expand this capability to its near-earth infrastructure.
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SDN World 2: The North Frequesuan Trust
SDN World 3: The Sultanate of Egypt
SDN World 4: The United Solarian Sovereignty
SDN World 5: San Dorado
There'll be a bodycount, we're gonna watch it rise
The folks at CNN, they won't believe their eyes

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Re: 2014 STGOD Story Thread I

Postby Eternal_Freedom » 2015-01-25 04:58pm

Royal Palace, Paradise City, Kingdom of Orion
May 12th, 2014


Gathered in the Palace's reception room were seventy-six men and women, all of them of Nipponese or Fusoan descent. Given the previous week's terror attacks an observer might easily conclude that the mad Orion King was about to cause another international spectacle.

But that would not be the case. Every one of the seventy-six gathered here were Orion citizens, either born and raised or immigrants who had sworn allegiance to the Kingdom. They had chosen to live here, and on May 8th they had been detained by the Army simply for having the wrong complexion. In almost any other nation on Tellus, such a situation would have had these men and women howling in outrage.

These were Orion citizens however. In many cases their fervour for their country was greater than native-born citizens, and all of them understood. They knew the reasons, and in no case had they spent more than an hour in custody. In most cases, a simple checking of their ID cards had been sufficient.

That being said, there was still outrage and anger. Not at being detained by the Army, but at the situation that caused it. Anger at their former countrymen who had caused such chaos. There was also some confusion, as to why exactly the were invited to the Palace by the King, with personally-signed letters no less. The answer was about to come, as King Alexander stepped into the room.

"Ladies and gentlemen, I thank you for coming here on such short notice. I have asked you here to beg your forgiveness for your being detained. It was the best option out of a bad group of choices, but it still infringed upon your sovereign rights, for no better reason than you looked different to native-born Orions."

An old man at the front of the group looked around and then stepped forwards. He was in his seventies, and could remember the dark days of the fifties when anyone who wasn't born here was shunned and discriminated against. Despite that, he and his family had decided to stay and build a life.

The man looked his King in the eyes and said, in a surprisingly strong voice: "Your Majesty, thank you for your consideration, but you have no need to apologise to us. We all swore our Oaths tot he Kingdom, to do whatever was needed to preserve and defend it. Last week you needed to detain us and others to protect the Kingdom. None of us think less of you for it Sire.Indeed, we are grateful that your military had such effective emergency plans and that your police were so professional, otherwise many more would have died."

Alexander matched his subjects gaze. No words came to him, so he nodded respectfully and shook the man's hand. With that gesture, even the tiny rift that might have formed between Nipponese or FUsoan immigrants and the Orion population was healed. Later historians might be surprised that such a small gesture was needed, but they were Orions all, and no more needed to be said.


**************************************************

Orion Broadcasting Corporation
May 15th, 2014


"In the wake of the terror attacks last week we can present some good news from our foreign affairs and defence news desks. We go now to our correspondent in Marden, James Walsh. James?"

The view cut to a small man with a microphone standing before a typical power station.

"Thanks Bill. I'm standing here at the newly-operational Fenris Nuclear Plant in the Protectorate Kingdom of Marden, just outside the capital city of Exeter. This is the largest nuclear plant constructed anywhere in the world, comprising an unprecedented twelve reactors, each one of them generating an unprecented 1200 MW of electricity. The combined output of the plant is an incredible 14.4 GW, enough to meet the electrical needs of the entire Protectorate Kingdom.

As you can see behind me, the plant is well-protected from any potential attack like the one attempted at the Hephaestus-Alpha plant in January. The sight contains it's own powerful radars and multiple batteries of anti-aircraft missiles, plus a battalion of infantry for security purposes.

It is suggested that the Fenris Plant will be a model for a new series of next-generation nuclear plants that will begin replacing Orion and the Protectorate Kingdom's aging fleet of reactors int he coming decade. For the moment though, Marden citizens can look forward to cheap electricity for the forseeable future. Back to you Bill."

"Thanks James. And now we go to our Defence Correspondent Frank Matthews, reporting on the RON's joint press conference with the Rhennish naval attache."

"Bill, the news from this conference is quite impressive. The Royal Orion Navy and the Imperial Rheinland Navy have announced the first joint-development project of our two nation's new alliance. Whilst Orion has been a long-time customer of Rhennish defence companies, purchasing everything from missiles to fighters to the new Endurance class battlecruisers, this si the first time that both nations are jointly developing a product.

And it's quite an impressive product indeed. The two Navies are deisgning a new class of escort carriers for their task forces. THe ships are slated to be between 25 and 30 thousand tonnes displacement and will have a large flat deck, similar in design to modern fleet carriers. They will primarily embark helicopters for anti-submarine work, although their usefulness in supporting amphibious operations was also raised. There was no comment on whether the ships would be capable of launchign and recovering fixed-wing fighters, but an anonymous source inside the Admiralty said it was "highly likely that these ships could be used as pocket carriers if necessary."

The ships will be built in shipyards in Port Rigel and in Rheinland. The Orion vessels are slated to be nuclear-powered, as with all major RON vessels, but it seems likely that a conventionally-fulled version will exist, possbily for use by Rheinland or for sales to other nations. Back to you Bill."

"Thank you Frank. That was the news at six oclock, next news at ten. Good evening."


-----

Results:

-Tellus' largest nuclear plant goes operational in Marden, set to be a template for new plants in Orion, Fortuna and Underwood, possibly beyond
-Orion and Rheinland announce joint project to build large helicopter carriers/light carriers for ASW work. The class will essentially be Orion/Rhenish builds of the real-life JapaneseIzumo class. The Orion ships will be nuclear powered but a conventional design will exist. Export orders are possible, apply within.
"I could be bounded in a nutshell and count myself a king of infinite space, were it not that I have bad dreams" - Hamlet

“I’ve always thought the Yankees had something to do with it.” - Confederate General George Pickett, on being asked why his charge at Ghettysburg failed

Corrax Entry 7:17: So you walk eternally through the shadow realms, standing against evil where all others falter. May your thirst for retribution never quench, may the blood on your sword never dry, and may we never need you again.

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Re: 2014 STGOD Story Thread I

Postby TimothyC » 2015-02-05 10:49pm

Recommended listening:



Just outside of Apia Harbor, Kingdom of Samoa.
July 5th, 2014

The MS East Wind was by no means unique. She had three other sisters of equal opulence and while the interior decor did vary between the members of the Wind class cruise liners, the basic layout did not. What was unique about her is that today she was carrying an abnormally high number of VIPs. Representatives from most of the major world powers and news agencies had been invited, and almost all had come, with almost none having any clue why.

There had been some chatter about something called RED MOON. Indications had been that it was associated with significant structures that had been built at Mulifanua, but nothing definate. The special flight from Honolulu had been filled with rumor and speculation, only fueled by the constant “No Comment” from the staff and standard first class service from the Hawai’ian Airlines cabin crew.

The seating in the main theatre had been by nationality, but then mostly randomized. Most of the foreign delegates consisted of commercial and scientific attaches. The foreign correspondents that were present were similarly selected for a science background.

The day had already been long for many of the people aboard the ship, and promised to be even longer, for there was a briefing scheduled in the main theater.

In front of them, the Hawai’ian Space Administrator Phong Nyugen began his Presentation.

““For The last six decades, space rocketry has centered around ever larger, every more precise, ever more complex machines. While there have been significant advances in reusability, the simple fact is that other than some very recent work by Our Umerian and Cascadian colleagues, the dream of reusable space access is just that - a dream.”

“Reusability however is only one part of the equation in low cost space access. The other is size The Umerian Grasshopper, while capable of lifting ten tonnes of payload to low Tellus orbit a week, is limited to just that - ten tonnes. The Cascadian shuttle is better, thirty tonnes. Even Tianguo’s semi-reusable rockets can only deliver at most seventy tonnes into orbit, and then at the cost of a non-reusable upper stage.”

“Just because something is reusable with a significant payload, it is of limited utility if it is so complex and finely tuned that it takes an army of engineers to build and later recertify for flight. This means we need a rocket that is also rugged, like those of the UOCSR, while not costing a fortune.”

“Reusability, Size, and Resilience. Those are the three points that have to be reached for low cost space access. None of the current designs for spaceflight have managed to hit all of these three points, which is no guarantee that they can not be reached. What if they were? What would that mean for spaceflight?”

“A situation where science agencies could send probes to all of the moons of Ho’omanalo instead of just one probe at a time. Imagine fast sample return from Holoholo-pina’au. Think of the ability to launch a geostationary repair facility without the need for bulky spacesuits, allowing communications and weather birds to be built not only for less money, but with longer service lives. Envision filming the latest science fiction blockbuster in zero gravity. “

“Conceive of a permanent, human presence off of Tellus.”

“That ladies and gentlemen, is what low cost space access is about, and The Hawai’ian Space agency, with support from the Cascadian Space Agency and the Shinra Space Directorate is pleased to announce the Tellus’ first fully reusable Super Heavy Lift System. SEA DRAGON.”

The curtain behind Dr. Nyugen rose revealing diagrams and a two meter long model of the largest rocket ever built.

Image

“To talk about this rocket, I’d like to welcome it’s Chief Designer, Dr. Robert Truax to the stage.”

Dr. Truax took the stage to polite applause. “Thank you Administrator Nyugen.”

“I first developed the idea for Sea Dragon while evaluating the reasons of the high costs of existing launch vehicles. The first reason spacecraft are expensive is that the rockets themselves are built to exacting standards. If those standards were reduced, the cost per rocket could be reduced significantly. The catch is that the payload would also drop. Careful study however would note that because rocket cost scales less than linearly with rocket payload, a very large booster - one with over 300 tonnes of low Tellus orbit lift capacity - would be able to be constructed to low enough standards to gain a cost advantage, while not suffering from a critical payload reduction.

On a rocket this large, size offers an added benefit. Because the cost of adding an extra tonne of mass on each stage is relatively low, reusability systems should be included to reduce the life cycle costs.

Second, now that we have a large, useful rocket, we must find a place to launch it from.


As you all know, the Kingdoms of the Pacific are somewhat lacking in the dry land department, and large fixed structures in the water become very expensive very quickly. The solution therefore is to simply remove as much of the physical infrastructure as possible. All that is needed is a place to assemble the parts, a fuel processing facility, and some range safety gear. Our launch pad will be the ocean itself.”

The briefing went on for nearly a half an hour as various team members described components of the rocket ranging from the massive pressure fed engines to the expandable nozzle skirt that would form the largest engine bell the world had ever seen.

…..


As Dr. Truax wound down, Dr. Nyugen returned to the stage

“Ladies and Gentlemen, we are pleased to announce that in a little under six hours from now, or 0200 hours Samoan Standard Time, we will witness the first full size launch of Sea Dragon.”
Last edited by TimothyC on 2015-02-07 01:02am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 2014 STGOD Story Thread I

Postby Simon_Jester » 2015-02-06 03:11pm

[Accidental commentary post; if nobody minds I'd like to reserve this space for a later post]
This space dedicated to Vasily Arkhipov

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Re: 2014 STGOD Story Thread I

Postby Eternal_Freedom » 2015-02-20 06:05pm

Orion Broadcasting Corporation Special Report
June 15th, 2014


Republic of Underwood cuts First Metal on new warships

Today saw the announcement of a long-planned exchange between the Republic of Underwood and the Kingdom of Orion. The exchange was declared at a First Metal cutting ceremony on the first of the Huntsman-class Guided Missile Cruisers attended by Underwood’s President Hyde, Chief of Defence Staff Montgomery Lacy and Admiral Jonathan Stewart. Representing Orion were King Alexander, Defence Secretary Ian Fletcher and Admiral of the Fleet James McKenna.

Details of the Huntsman-class vessels are largely classified, but they are said to be of around 16,000 tonnes displacement, are nuclear-powered and carry a formidable missile armament and a highly-advanced electronics suite. Several gun mounts are included for naval fire support, and it is rumoured that these may be replaced with the futuristic railguns and naval lasers currently in development.

In a stirring demonstration of the enduring friendship between the two nations, Underwood will exchange some 18 of the new cruisers for 18 of Orion’s highly capable Dauntless-class destroyers and nine Spectre-class attack submarines. This deal will, according to Admiral McKenna “greatly bolster the fighting strength of both navies, providing the RON with a worthy replacement for our aging Sentinel-class vessels and ensuring continued easy co-operation and interoperability with our closest and oldest ally.”

The exchange has been planned for some time according to government sources but was only recently finalised in a summit meeting between President Hyde and King Alexander in Emerald City, Underwood’s capital. Whilst there has been no official announcement, there is also a rumoured Underwood interest in acquiring several of the recently-announced light carrier design, a joint venture of Orion and Rheinland.

This deal, and the other new warships under construction by both Underwood and Orion, will give the two nations the most powerful military force on the entire South American continent by a large margin, ensuring the two allies retain their dominance of the region.


OBC Political Update
June 18th, 2014


Yesterday saw a dramatic shift in South American politics, after the simultaneous landslide victories of the Unionist Party in both of the Protectorate Kingdom's general elections. This party, which was a relative unknown just four years ago, has gained control of both nation's Parliarments by a huge majority. Political commentators are calling it "the most impressive election result in history."

The Unionist party is built around one central policy, that the two Protectorates should unite with the Kingdom of Orion into one, strong nation. The leader of the party, and new Prime Minister of Fortuna Daniel Hayes, has said previously that "it's madness that we are not already one nation, we are so closely linked." During the election campaign he pointed out the countless examples of Orion generosity and compassion for the formerly-occupied colonies of Britonia. "From the very beginning Orion was there to help, driving out the Britonian occupiers and treating us with honour rather force."

The three nations, and the larger Republic of Underwood, have a long record of cooperation. Orion is a considerable exporter of manufactured goods tot he Kingdoms, and is also a major supplier of weapons and training for their limited military. Only last month Fortuna saw the opening of the Fenris Nuclear Plant in Fortuna, the largest and most powerful nuclear installation on Tellus.

David Hayes told supporters after his election: "We will hold a plebiscite within a month, to see if Fortuna should join with Orion in a true United Kingdom." Marden's new Prime Minster, Robert Harris, made a similar pledge following his victory.

The Royal Palace have made no official comment on whether Orion will accept the results of this vote, but inside sources have said that the King looks favourably on such a union.
"I could be bounded in a nutshell and count myself a king of infinite space, were it not that I have bad dreams" - Hamlet

“I’ve always thought the Yankees had something to do with it.” - Confederate General George Pickett, on being asked why his charge at Ghettysburg failed

Corrax Entry 7:17: So you walk eternally through the shadow realms, standing against evil where all others falter. May your thirst for retribution never quench, may the blood on your sword never dry, and may we never need you again.

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Re: 2014 STGOD Story Thread I

Postby Eternal_Freedom » 2015-03-09 07:27pm

Royal Palace, Paradise City
June 20th, 2014


Alexander was relishing life at the moment. The dark days of January and the blights of terrorism were behind them, the treaty with Rheinland was bearing fruit and he and Hyde had signed their warship exchange deal. Naturally part of him was waiting for the other shoe to drop.

At present though he was engaged in a phone call with Prime Minister Hayes of Fortuna, discussing the recent election and the bold pledge of a plebiscite to untie with Orion.

"Yes Daniel, both I personally and the Senate and Kingdom generally would look upon a "yes" vote very favourably. In fact I will be announcing next week that should the result be "yes" I will welcome your nation, and Marden, into a new United Kingdom."

"I am very pleased to hear that Your Majesty, and I know Rob Harris will be as well. Forgive me for sounding selfish, but presumably you won't be booting me out of office if the result is yes." The new national leader had a half-joking, half-slightly-worried tone to his voice.

Alexander laughed. "On the contrary Daniel. My current thinking is that your Parliament will be sent as representatives to the joint Senate. Yourself and Robert will remain in place as Governors-General of a provincial government with limited devolved powers."

"That sounds very agreeable Sire." The Prime Ministers voice now held a subtle yet noticeable tinge of relief.

"I thought it might. Now, on the mater of militaries, intelligence and policing..." Alex trailed off as Director Greer entered his office. "Excuse me a moment Daniel." He put the line on hold.

The OSF chief spoke. "Sire, you recall that drug boat that the Dragon captured a few weeks ago?"

"Yes Director. Please, sit down."

"Thank you Sire. We've been following up a number of leads. They've led us to a major cartel base, just inside Fortuna's northern border. Mt Erebus reports that the 5th Airbone can be in place to take them out in two days."

"Very good. One moment." He picked up the phone again. "Prime Minister, sorry for the delay. Director Greer has just informed me that we have located a major base used by a drug cartel just inside your northern border."

"Sodding drug cartels." Alexander snorted in amusement at Hayes' comment.

"Indeed Daniel. I can have my forces ready to wipe out this base in two days, if you will allow us to enter your territory and airspace."

"I see...Your Majesty, I formally request your assistance in eliminating these damnable drug traffickers. Your military will have unrestricted access to my airspace for the duration of the operation."

"Thank you Daniel, I'll give the orders now. We'll keep you fully informed. Goodnight." The phone was returned to it's cradle. Alexander looked up at Greer. "Get the 5th moving now. Take no prisoners. Obliterate them."

Results:
-Orion will accept a Union with Fortuna and Marden if the plebiscite approves it.
-Drug cartel base located, Fortuna gives permission for Orion forces to destroy it.
"I could be bounded in a nutshell and count myself a king of infinite space, were it not that I have bad dreams" - Hamlet

“I’ve always thought the Yankees had something to do with it.” - Confederate General George Pickett, on being asked why his charge at Ghettysburg failed

Corrax Entry 7:17: So you walk eternally through the shadow realms, standing against evil where all others falter. May your thirst for retribution never quench, may the blood on your sword never dry, and may we never need you again.

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Re: 2014 STGOD Story Thread I

Postby That_Guy » 2015-03-20 07:40pm

The News at Six

• The Underwood Naval architects have finalised the designs for the Huntsman class medium missile cruisers, and first metal has been cut in the old imperial shipyards. Boasting Twin reactors, sophisticated radars and extensive anti air and shore strike capabilities it will become a crucial part of the Underwood naval force in a time of expanding responsibilities.
• The Underwood Naval Service has finished negotiating an agreement with the Royal Orion Navy. This Agreement is said to regard the mutual manufacturing of naval assets including the Underwood built Huntsman missile cruiser and the Orion Manufactured Type 45 Destroyer
• A New aircraft has been spotted at the Cedar wood proving grounds, the aircraft which was black in colour appears to be of a high delta winged design. Speculation believe this to be a new naval strike aircraft first mentioned under the codename 'Thunderflash'.
• The V-66 Quad tilt infantry support Helicopter is now in operation, designed to transport and support 20 fully armed servicemen into combat situations the aircraft boasts two belly mounted turrets. Utilising Ducted rotor technology the aircraft is designed to be operated in tight spaces and forested areas.
• The massive civil engineering project in the south of the country is within the allotted time restraints and proceeding well according to independent observers. Whilst the budget for the project is now expected to be double what was initially anticipated it is believed the nation will recoup the budged entirely within 5-10 years of its opening.
• The Emerald city Guard is on high alert after the cowardly attacks on the Global Anti-Terrorism conference. The Underwood Metropolitan and regional police forces are also co-coordinating heavily with their Orion counterparts to ensure no avenue of investigation is left unchecked. The Underwood border guards have been reinforced and military patrols in the heavily forested north have been stepped up to prevent undesirable's attempting to take refuge or cross the borders.
• A new project has been unveiled by the Emerald city science guild, called project 'Candlelight' the guild is looking intently into the generation of a stable nuclear fusion reaction. Though the project is expected to take some time to come to fruition it is hoped it could provide a cleaner substitute for conventional fission reactions.
"the possibilities are endless." Stated Professor Kipling "A stable and efficient fusion reaction could take us places fast. We could use it for space exploration, conventional ships and of course the clean and efficient generation of electrical power the world over."
The Guild wishes to offer a full and equal position in the project to any nation willing to donate resources to the project.
• In view of recent events the State militia is embarking upon a new recruitment campaign. Montgomery Lacey Underwood's Commander in chief stated in a press release earlier that:
"This campaign is nothing for our neighbours to be wary of, in fact we decided to make this build up known to help dissipate some of the stigma it would usually generate. The purpose of this drive is to ensure enough of our citizens are well versed in dealing with natural and man-made disasters, the process of training will help to bolster our emergency services who work closely with the militia in terms of manpower and reserve equipment. By making this public we also hope to demonstrate a hardened target to potential terrorist activities."
Those enrolled in the militia will receive training in a designated area such as fire fighting and prevention or public order. whilst these men and women will receive firearms training they will not be issued with firearms.
• In collaboration with the Orion Space Forces, Underwood's own Space Services continue to work at a frantic pace on the Lunar Base station program. The platform is to be known as Endeavour Base. With enough space to fit four men and resources to support them for 18 days the platform is the first of its kind and if successful its design will be surely be an influence in future projects.
• Government and regional workers continue in the long-term project of upgrading Underwood's outdated road and rail system with new rails being laid at a rate of 15 miles a day. scheduled for completion in 15 years time the project will leave the nation furnished with one of the most up to date rail systems in the world.
• Underwood continues to provide support and expertise to Champa in the clean-up around the site of its nuclear incident. So far 15000 tons of topsoil and debris has been removed from the site, the clean-up is still expected to take a number of years.
• The Underwood Parliament had outlawed the use of driver-less vehicles on the state road network stating public health and safety concerns. This ruling follows the tragic incident in which a runaway demo vehicle ploughed into a crowd of bystanders injuring 12 and killing 2. Damien Cray CEO of the leading innovator in the field Milltech stated:
"This ruling is a disappointment to me personally as I believe that projects like this are honestly leading us towards a brighter better future. That said I am hopeful for the future as i believe this ruling will force progress in this area of study toward better safer autonomous vehicles"
• Underwood Mourns the loss of inventor Jepherson Agnew. Agnew was killed whilst testing one of his latest creations, the personal wing design collapsed in flight and is believed to have damaged his parachute leading to his death. Police are working with his team to ensure no foul play was to blame.

Results
Huntsman Class cruiser goes into production
Naval agreement with Orion
Naval strike capacity revealed
New man-made harbour in the south
Nuclear Fusion project unveiled (all welcome)
A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on -Sir Winston Churchill

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Re: 2014 STGOD Story Thread I

Postby Eternal_Freedom » 2015-03-30 07:08pm

Seywan Forest, Northern Fortuna,
Early Morning, June 23rd, 2014


The Seywan Forest covered a large portion of Fortuna’s northern border with the Medellin Free State, and due to its terrain and general isolation, it had never been inhabited. Indeed, the “border” with the northern nation had always been little more than a line on the map. There were occasional police patrols in helicopters but nothing more serious than that.

These factors all combined to make the region a haven for drug traffickers, terrorist, mercenaries, dissidents and anyone who didn’t like the governments of the region very much. Over the years a large complex had been built up, carefully concealed in the dense foliage and further covered by liberal usage of camouflage netting and similar methods. Now, slightly over two thousand people lived and worked in this surprisingly large centre of illegal activity. One of the larger drug cartels, still reeling from the unexpected and chaotic cartel war in Cali, had moved most of its operations here. It was no longer a mere way station for sneaking drugs into the heavily-populated coastal regions of Fortuna, Marden and Underwood, it was a major production centre as well.

This, ultimately, was what doomed them. The activities of a drug production centre were harder to conceal from prying eyes than a holding station was. With Orion stepping up its reconnaissance efforts in the region, everyone involved knew they would eventually be found. This was why the mercenaries were here. Some were local militias with an axe to grind; some were more “professionals” from further afield. There was even one small group from San Dorado, although that was only in the official sense: this “company” were little more than organised thugs that hadn’t been able to operate in the city-state for many years.

The complex was well-defended as such places went. They had plenty of small arms, some anti-tank weapons, even a few light anti-aircraft guns and missile launchers. They fully expected to be able to win against a small reconnaissance force and relocate before reinforcements arrived. Unfortunately for them, Fortuna had requested Orion’s assistance, and the Kingdom was bringing the full force of its modern military to bear.

It had started only 24 hours previously. Two dozen scout/sniper teams from the SAS had been discretely air-dropped into the region and had moved into good vantage points. Then, a battalion from the 6th Commando Division had moved up to join them undetected. They were not there for an assault though, merely to prevent anyone from escaping.

The real assault force was forming up now. They had flown into Fortuna’s northernmost airport and were now flying quietly to their allotted positions. Both squadrons of Warhammer gunships had been assigned to this mission, all forty of the Kingdom’s gunships were now ready to drop a lot of high explosive onto the compound. The aerial equivalent of six artillery batteries was locked and loaded, just waiting for the order.

Twenty miles south, an E-767 AWACS plane served as mission control, with a flight of Eagles on hand as escorts, just in case. The General commanding the mission received the report that all his planes were in position and then watched as the hands on his watch moved to the designated time. At 0200 exactly, he uttered just one word:

“Fire.”

Forty light howitzers fired as one, their shells screaming down at the complex. This first salvo was comprised entirely of airbursting shrapnel rounds, intended to shred the camo netting and eliminate any sentries in the open. They succeeded gloriously. Before the people on the ground could grasp what had happened and why there was suddenly fire and screaming in their previously tranquil refuge, another salvo arrived.

This time the gunners had loaded ordinary HE rounds, which exploded on the ground in brilliant bursts of light and fire, destroying the night vision of those who had rushed out into the darkened compound to investigate. Buildings and tents were burning, the few anti-aircraft guns exploded, their ammunition cooking off, spreading even more destruction and lethal shrapnel. Then the third salvo landed.

Chaos reigned as shells slammed into the ground. The fighters on the ground raced to and fro, desperately trying to organise themselves and find out where the enemy was. No one had any idea: they did not even know who was shelling them. Finally, there was a lull as the sixth and final salvo of 105mm shells crashed into the compound.

With the explosions over, the groups on the ground could now hear only the fires and the screams of the wounded. Then they heard a sound dreaded by such people, a rhythmic thud-thud-thud of rapidly approaching helicopters.

The two dozen Longbow attack choppers roared over the compound. They moved around and formed a perimeter, their gunners searching for targets. Then, on a command from their General on the AWACS, they began firing salvos of rockets and bursts of cannon fire. Anything that moved on the ground was targeted. As King Alexander had ordered, there would be no mercy.

After twenty minutes of pitilessly gunning down everything in the target area, the choppers ceased fire. Then, and only then, did more helicopters move in, dropping off teams from the 5th Airborne Division. They moved through the area, counting the dead, collecting any scraps of useful information that survived, and marking any caches of drugs or weapons that they found. Engineers began placing explosives to eliminate these well-fortified stores.

Occasionally there would be some survivors who had stayed hidden. They announced their presence with sporadic bursts of gunfire. They failed to do anything more than sent the Airborne troopers diving for cover and attracting the attention of the Longbows. Invariably these brief fire-fights were over in moments.

There was one unexpected find. In one of the deeper shelters, a group of women were found. It seemed the drug traffickers had enjoyed their comforts, as 43 young women from various countries had been "employed" there. Whilst prostitution was legal and regulated in Orion, this would never have met the standards required. The girls, some of them below the age of consent, had all been drugged and abused and were in desperate need of a psychiatrist. Sadly, five of them had been killed when they ventured upstairs in a drugged stupor to see what was happening. They were escorted to the surface and aboard a helicopter for immediate extraction. The five bodies were also removed, unlike those of the cartel members and mercenaries. Those bodies were left where they had fallen.

After an hour of searching, setting explosives and eliminating the last pockets of survivors, the Airborne troops withdrew to their choppers and cleared the area. The explosives detonated, sending a dozen fireballs rising into the night. The transports and attack helicopters moved off back to base, the circling gunships turned south, and the SAS teams gathered up their gear and headed for the extraction point.

In ninety minutes the compound had been utterly obliterated. Two thousand and fifty-eight drug traffickers, gang members, terrorists and mercenaries had been killed for only two Airborne troopers injured; both were expected to recover fully The nascent War on Drugs had claimed its first victory, and in South America at least, it was a decisive one.

Results:

-Orion forces obliterate the drug compound.
-This will have major effects on the upcoming plebiscite and the growing opposition/dissident movement in Fortuna and Marden.
"I could be bounded in a nutshell and count myself a king of infinite space, were it not that I have bad dreams" - Hamlet

“I’ve always thought the Yankees had something to do with it.” - Confederate General George Pickett, on being asked why his charge at Ghettysburg failed

Corrax Entry 7:17: So you walk eternally through the shadow realms, standing against evil where all others falter. May your thirst for retribution never quench, may the blood on your sword never dry, and may we never need you again.


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