2014 STGOD Story Thread I

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2014 STGOD Story Thread I

Postby Steve » 2014-07-01 06:47am

Well, let's see what she can do, everyone. We're open!
”A Radical is a man with both feet planted firmly in the air.” – Franklin Delano Roosevelt

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Re: 2014 STGOD Story Thread I

Postby Siege » 2014-07-01 07:47am

San Dorado

Pipelines and tank farms and gantry cranes and container fields out to the horizon. It has been day for a long time. The rains cleared when the sea passed out of sight well over an hour ago, and still the banks of the mighty river Slate are nothing but sprawling ports and industry. Steel mills, generating stations, coking plants marked with the smoke-stained logo of Helix Industries. Diesel locomotives drag side-dump cars over the industrial railways along the embankments. Vast conveyor belts feed coal and lignite, sulfur, copper and iron into colossal factories. Soot and fire belches from blast furnaces and fog clouds gush from the cooling towers of chemical plants and petroleum refineries. Where those roiling clouds mix they produce brief patterns of rain that smells of steel and chemicals. Forests of smokestacks and gas pipes pierce the grey overcast sky.

The sound of industry is everywhere. Steel screeches. Brakes shriek. Engines rumble. The dark river and its deepwater terminals and docks are lined by crude tankers, bulk carriers and container ships marked with the white capitals of SANDEX shipping or the flags of a hundred nations. The vast ocean-going leviathans dwarf the swarms of tugs and harbor control boats buzzing around them. Motors thrum. Behemoth screws chop the water. Pumps and hoses hook like umbilical cords to these giant vessels. Foremen shout. Crewmen and workers scamper antlike through steel structures and across concrete wastelands vast beyond human proportions. Cranes swivel. Metal claws lift cargoes from the water. Trains roll on and off, feeding containers and bulk cargo into distribution centers farther inland.

Then the Slate narrows, the great ships are gone and so are the convulsions of heavy industry. On the water, a parade of riverboats. Grass sprouts through cracked concrete. Warehouses, some new, some decayed and rotting, most somewhere inbetween, line quays littered with cranes and forklifts. The neon logo’s of their owners compete for the eye’s attention as dusk descends. Beyond the industrial parks on the southern bank the ground slopes upward to the winking lights of the apartment complexes of Homewood. Somewhere, invisible on the other side of that crest, you know are still the old summer palazzo’s of 16th century merchant princes, the men and women who made this place what it is.

The hills grow steeper as the Slate bends and bends again. Old and rusting barges are tied to decaying levees, some half-sunken, some converted into cramped living quarters by unscrupulous landlords. Houses tumble down to the waterside, ragged brownstones, old storehouses and stockrooms long since haphazardly converted into lofts and studios. They grow taller and fatter, come to fill all space, block sight of what lies beyond. Brick and ivy to stone to concrete and steel. The city constricts the river. The air grows noisy with the honk of cars and the steel-on-steel squeal of monorail cars.

Lights flash in the sky. Engines wail as the jet liner rumbles overhead, seemingly missing the tops of the apartment towers by mere inches. On the artificial island ahead the beacons of Ladyhawke International blink red and green and yellow. Even now that night falls the airport is still a hub of light and activity, receiving and ejecting an endless flow of aircraft. Tapering tower blocks line the far banks north and east, their lights turning the dark water into dancing luminous reflections. Fast hydrofoils skim between sluggish riverboats, zooming between the northern and southern banks in minutes.

Now the Slate twists and turns to the south. Your small ship strains against the current. The city grows yet more voluminous. Dozens of towers have become hundreds. Modernist, brutalist, Art Deco, harsh or elegant, there is no pattern here to be found. They spread onto the hills block after block, brown brick and glass walls shedding light. Satellite dishes hang from balconies. Antenna’s and air conditioning units frame their roofs. Navigation lights blink. Here and there, roof gardens and flower boxes provide brief glimpses of green in a wasteland of greys and browns. The towers grow taller, and taller, and taller, until you have to crane your neck simply to glimpse their crests.

A final turn and the city gives way as the river widens into San Dorado Lake. Downtown looms, still suddenly. To the left, the triangular black glass motifs of the colossal Trianon Tower. To the right, the cyclopean wall of silver funhouse reflections that is the Lemniscate. Inbetween those two skyscrapers the kilometer-long span of the Half Chance Skyway runs one hundred meters above the water. The giant pedway and monorail bridge turns the narrows between the northernmost of the Downtown islands into a titan doorway into another world.

The ship passes slowly, almost reverently underneath and suddenly the city falls silent, a trick of angles and acoustics. The water of the caldera lake laps against the hull. There it is. The dark plane of the lake is framed on all sides by light so bright it briefly blinds you. You can see nothing but towers, each one more exuberant than the next, ten thousand of them until the horizon, clawing at the heavens. The neon glow of the world’s largest corporations’ logo’s dances and beckons on supertall skyscrapers that glitter like towers of jewels. Helicopters buzz overhead. Lasers and spotlights etch advertisements on low hanging clouds. A million million lights drown out the dark, turning night into an artificial day so bright it can be seen from space.

The sound of it hits you like a freight train. The noise of music and traffic assaults your ears. Street vendors shout. Engines roar. Sirens blare. Ten million voices clamor for attention. Night or day, these trivialities of nature do not matter here. The glittering heart of the city beats with light, money, information, civilization. It is a man-made jungle of glass and light and sound and steel. Monorails thread like silver between the towers. A bewildering variety of bridges spans the gaps between the eighteen Downtown islands. The edge between land and lake blurs where highways and skyscrapers are built directly into the water. And everywhere, stories-high LED billboards flicker and scroll with encouragements to buy, buy, BUY!

This is San Dorado. Fifty-six million people packed into the greatest city in the history of the world. A goliath of commerce and industry, rich beyond human measure. It is a merciless triumph, a razor sharp celebration of capitalism unrestrained. There is nothing here that cannot be done with enough money and enough will power. But for every dream that is made in its skyscrapers and its stock exchanges a hundred die on the meat markets of Ewart Park or in the sweatshops of Menasha. For every CEO living in voracious luxury ten thousand people toil in squalor and poverty. The city forever teeters on the brink of anarchy, tearing itself down only to come back together in a constant process of renewal and reinvention.

But it endures. Older than nations. Richer than kings. Never conquered, never bested, never broken. Anyone can make it here. Anything can happen.

Welcome, and enter at your peril.
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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
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Re: 2014 STGOD Story Thread I

Postby Fingolfin_Noldor » 2014-07-01 12:15pm

Many thanks to Siege for editing, or rather rewriting, this.

The Union of Orthodox Catholic Socialist Republics

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Church bells rang throughout the Ferramentagrad, capital of the Union of Orthodox Catholic Socialist Republics. It was time to celebrate the Mass, and the bells summoned the proletariat to fill the pews, where priests stood ready to deliver the daily sermons. Some of the churches were old, elegantly baroque relics with thin steeples and vaulting chapels dating back to the days when the city had still been known as Daedalopolis. Most however were massive, fortress-like redoubts. This was the new style, developed after the revolution and the war, when the shattered ruins of the capital were reforged in the fires of the communist reclamation.

The very largest of these new sanctuaries was the Church of God's Infinite Wisdom, a monstrous edifice of concrete and riveted steel in the heart of the capital, with towers that resemble defensive belfries more than anything. The only thing to rival it in the capital skyline was the headquarters of the Central Apparat, home to the highest organ of the communist government.

For the most part however the sight of the city was dominated by mile after mile of gray, nondescript apartment buildings. These visually unappealing but fast to construct buildings housed the bulk of the population, and had ever since the end of the civil war, when hundreds of thousands had to be housed in the ruins of the capital. The craters had been filled and the city had been rebuilt, but the scars of the war remained in the form of endless rows of drab gray high-rise, a remembrance of all the nation had lost.

Ferramentagrad. Some of the clergy sneered at the city. Prior to the war it was riddled with corruption and debauchery. It had been “Sodom and Gomorrah”, and was similarly cleansed with fire and the scourge of God. The ancient trees of the old Daedalean parks were cut down for firewood in the bitter winters of the civil war. The cobbled mazes and shadowed cul-de-sacs of the Old Town were levelled when imperial troops and revolutionaries battled street to street and house to house for control of the capital. The old museums, palaces and libraries of the empire burned and collapsed. The grandeur and refinement of the Daedalean emperors was consumed in the fires of the civil war. Now, here, only very little beauty remained.

Most of the obvious scars of war were gone, a testimony to the people’s steel will and heroic determination. The people once more had houses and jobs. The military was strong. A thousand factories churned out the products of scientific enlightenment. The UOCSR prospered. But its people had paid a steep price for that prosperity. The glories of the imperial past were fading memories. Few who beheld the concrete canyons of Ferramentagrad would be brought to tears of joy by the sight of the capital, as visitors were in the days of the empire - if anything, it would be tears of sadness and loss.

And still the infection of capitalism lingered in the Special Economic Zones on the outskirts of the capital. The communist revolution had triumphed in the ashes of imperialism, but ironically only with the help of the most unhingedly capitalist forces on the planet. Now those capitalists used the UOCSR as a source of cheap labour, and the workers of the revolution toiled in the service of San Dorado’s globe-spanning business empires. But even the communist government needed hard currency. Without foreign investment, the UOCSR would not have been rebuilt at nearly its break neck speed, and its industries and science and technology would have had not the chance to catch up to the rest of the world.

All these woes and more could be heard in the ringing of the church bells, thought Stana Oktyabrinaya. ‘Ferramenta’ stared out over the capital city through her own reflection in the windows of her office high in the Central Apparat. A long time had passed since she’d been a soldier girl, fighting imperial cossacks in the ruins of the empire. Her hair was gray now, her lips perpetually pursed in a disapproving frown, her face grooved by long and difficult years in office. Still there was work to be done, problems to solve, documents to sign. But she knew she was no longer as flexible as she had once been. The elaborate policies of the State Planning Committee, the squabbling between patriarchs and generals, and the political infighting in the All-Soviet could no longer quite hold her attention like they once could.

Her mind wandered, as it seemed to do with increasing frequency over the years, to the wild forests of the interior. The simple thought of the silence between the pine trees was enough to nearly drive her to tears. Perhaps, she thought not for the first time, the time was coming for her to retire.
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STGOD: Byzantine Empire
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Re: 2014 STGOD Story Thread I

Postby Eternal_Freedom » 2014-07-01 05:24pm

On a glorious summer's day, the streets of Paradise City thronged with people celebrating the 35th anniversary of King Alexander’s accession to the Throne of Orion. A grand parade advanced up the main boulevard from the Royal Palace and towards the Senate; soldiers of the 2nd Airborne Division marching perfectly in step behind their colours and the Standard of Orion to the cheers of the crowds. Behind them came the massed ranks of the Household Guards, the ancient units sworn to defend the Monarch above all else, resplendent in their shining plate armour and riding their meticulously trained warhorses, sabres held with perfect precision.

At the head of the procession was the Royal Orion Navy’s assembled band, triumphantly beating and blaring various Regimental Marches. Then, the moment came that all in the crowd waited for. At the exact moment the King’s golden State Coach left the Palace gates, the bands began to play the Orion anthem, and the crowds solemnly ceased cheering and began to sing. Hats were removed as the royal coach passed; women curtsied, men bowed.

As the Anthem ended, a roar was heard from the skies as three Vulcan naval strike bombers flew low overhead, specially repainted in brilliant white, deep crimson and shining gold, the colours of the Orion flag. As they passed over the State Coach they waggled their wings in salute. The crowds cheered their approval.

Later, after an exquisite banquet and reception at the Senate building (which was, by law and custom, attended by the Commanders of the Armed Forces, the leaders of the Senate, the heads of the scientific institutions, and one thousand randomly selected citizens) the King appeared on the Senate balcony to greet the crowds and make his annual speech. This year, he announced new contracts for the shipyards to build more new destroyers and submarines, earning a particular cheer from those who worked in the ports.

He also announced continuing progress in negotiations with the Republic of Underwood regarding military exports and also very encouraging negotiations with Rheinland over surplus warships. He announced new scientific discoveries, medical breakthroughs and the continuing efforts to improve the standard of life in the Protectorate Kingdoms of Fortuna and Marden.

With the speech finished, the King withdrew inside for a more private celebration with his family and closest friends. Outside, the assembled crowds began to disperse to their own celebrations; given the beautiful summer weather, BBQ’s were the traditional method of celebrating such important holidays. Throughout the land, happiness abounded and in the bases of the Armed Forces, and the ships at sea, soldiers, sailors and airmen enjoyed their celebratory glasses of rum.

It is a good time for Orion.
"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 Thanas » 2014-07-01 08:46pm

Northern Rheinland
Burg Hohenstolz
1. January 2014

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Reichskanzler Erwin Julius Fischer breathed in the cold air, which had flooded the main hall of the castle after he had pushed open two of the windows. Ordinarily it would not have been enough to create a breeze in a dining hall which had housed several hundred people during the time of platemail and sword. But at the heights of the castle and the fact that the area surrounding it was called "Boreas' gift" two windows were more than enough. He looked at the castle parapets and bastions, where the men of the Schwarzer Haufen were both freezing and keeping watch. There were more than those patrolling the woods and neighbouring mountains, of course, undistinguishable from the snow in their winter camo. And if he strained his ear, he could hear the interceptors of the black fleet patrolling the skies above. But maybe that faint howl was just the wind - no, not maybe. Definitely the wind, he thought, his mind telling him that the interceptors flew way too high to be heard by the ears of mortals. Of course, that did not apply to the radar screens and missiles trained on any of the planes from the hidden SAM-sites around the castle.

But most of all, the heavy wind, height and cold were the castle's best defences - and always had been, even in the days when Britonian bombers had tried to level the castle. They had failed, as the skeletons of both aircraft and men strewn around the forest proved. Rheinland dead had of course been removed for honourable burial, but the Britonians had been left to rot, the cries of their wounded ignored as they froze to death 68 years ago (those that had not been eaten by the wolves or impaled on stakes by the locals, of course). This time, though he only knew about these events from the state archives, it was not the cold that made Fischer shudder. One of the first things he had ordered when he took office a year ago was a cleanup of the dead. Yet the cleanup progressed more slowly than thought - much like the recovery efforts of Südrheinland had progressed slower than anybody in Rheinland had envisioned several decades ago.

The frozen mountains were a cold and harsh place, much like most of Rheinland itself. And yet, it was miraculously transformed during spring and summer into a place of life, where one could easily chance upon a deer while walking through the forest. In Autumn, when the forests turned into a lovely mixture of brown and red, he would want to be nowhere else. Yet the demands of the office kept him away - even on this day, where business had prevented him from visiting the traditional New Years concert of the Rhenania Philharmonic.

A dissatisfied moan informed him that his leopardess, Shadow, had had enough of the breeze. She was lying on a bearskin in front of the fireplace with her fat tail swishing from side to side. She was a beautiful animal, 38 kilos of pure muscle, lithe, deadly. Now 4 years old, she was at her physical peak and probably could kill those next to her before they would have been able to recognize what was happening to them. Though she was lying motionless, not a single movement escaped her. Everybody in the room was tracked and within a second, she could strike. Fischer had not been a huge friend of leopards before he took office. Truth be told, he always had thought it madness to take a leopard as pet - even those Imperial leopards that had been bred as Imperial companions for hundreds of years. Yet tradition dictated that the chancellor must have a leopard, for the Emperors had always had one and what was the Chancellor, if not the position that had replaced the Emperor in all but title and ceremonial function? Truth be told, he had rather grown found of her. In many ways, she was an oversized housecat - one whose purr frightened small children and whose tongue left you raw when she licked you. And she definitely did not share his appreciation of the cold.

The Reichskanzler stepped back from the windows and nodded at the nearest black guards, who immediately moved forward and closed the window. Satisfied, Shadow put her head between her paws and pressed closer against the bearskin she was lying on. Fischer made a mental note to rub her down with a hot blanket later on. In a nation where about a quarter of the population believed in animals representing the health of the nation, it would not do for the personal pet of the chancellor to develop a cold.

Nor would it do for the chancellor to dither. Fischer retook his seat at the massive table that served as his desk when he was living in the castle. "Alright, let's continue. You were saying?" "With regards to our modern force, I feel quite confident about taking on any comers. I am less confident about the state of our reserve fleet. Though we do have close to a thousand ships in reserve, they are nearly all useless. To put it bluntly, the strategy of putting any decommissioned ship in reserve and then letting it rot for decades has resulted in mostly hulks unfit for modern combat. I have prepared a memorandum with my recommendations." Fischer nodded grimly. He had thought as much when he had watched the great fleet rusting away near Großbremen. "Thank you, Großadmiral. I shall consider it and inform you of my decision." "Herr Kanzler." Großadmiral Ito Kaneda rose, saluted and then turned around. Fischer nodded at the Admiral's retreating back. Promoting Kaneda to the rank of Großadmiral had been one of his more rewarding decisions. A reformer with a keen eye for details, the stocky Ostrheinländer had managed to bring the Naval department to heel in short order.

But the issue of the reserve fleet would have to wait. He had more pressing matters to deal with. He flicked a switch and one of the giant screens placed against the walls flickered to life, revealing the face of the foreign secretary. The Conte di Meloni was a career diplomat, his face etched by the strains of keeping his position and that of Rheinland. "Herr Außenminister, where are we on the subject of diplomatic initiatives I had discussed with you?" "Herr Kanzler." The tone indicated that the Count was not willing to be hurried in such matters. "We have gone over the portions of your speech and they will be ready for dissemination to the media in less than a day." "See that they are. I will be back in the capital in less than 26 hours." "Herr Kanzler." Dissatisfied, Fischer switched the screen off. Ever since the day of the Countess de Oiseau, the foreign ministry had gotten more and more arrogant. Something might have to be done about that soon. He wondered what the legendary countess herself would think about a ministry that had grown complacent.

Shadow must have felt his displeasure, for Fischer felt her nuzzling his left hand. Without a thought, he reached out and started massaging her head. Satisfied, the leopardess sat down on her haunches, as if to say that there was nothing to be concerned about. The opposite was true. After all, there was always something. His coalition partners - the liberals, smarting about heavy election losses. The greens, who got their claws into the young child Emperor, Alexander XVI. The religious factions, the military, the business leaders. All of those wanted something, usually more than he could give.

Still, dallying would bring no results. He had the customary speeches to prepare for the sessions of Parliament. The old year was gone. The new year was waiting. Ut veniant omnes.

Rising from the desk, he nodded at the nearest black guard. "Ready the Rheingold. We are leaving for the Capital." As he passed the door, Fischer glanced at the clock. I wonder how she is doing right now....
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Skies over Westrheinland
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"Sandweiler to Kolibri. State position and status." During worse circumstances, an unannounced interruption while skimming mountaintops at jet speed might have triggered a crisis. Here, it simply triggered a triumphant smile on the face of the pilot. For it confirmed that despite their best effort, the ground radar at Westrheinland had been unable to track her during the last leg of the flight. With a smile, the pilot reached for radio control. "Kolibri to Sandweiler. Passing point Gamma at 150 meters, Speed 1600. No complications. Kolibri out." "Confirmed, Kolibri. You are cleared to Rheinland proper." A split second later, the operator added a tense "Congratulations, Major."

Major Hoshi Saito (though neither rank nor name was her own) smiled again. She wouldn't want to be the radar operator, for without doubt his commander was already standing behind him with all sorts of questions why they had been unable to track her. And something made her believe that the excuse that she was flying the newest plane of Rheinland would not suffice.

The Kolibri had been the first joint design effort of JHD and RFW Flugzeugwerke, or rather, both sides had not known what to do with it. While the air force had gone the route of larger planes, focusing on weaponry and stealth, the Kolibri had been the opposite. Having only two hardpoints and being of diminutive size, it was the ideal plane for low-level flight, thanks in no small part to the large engines thundering behind her. The basic concept was sound - if one viewed everything from the design focus on agility and speed. Yet the air force had focused on bigger planes with more weapons, who packed a bigger punch. In desperation, JHD had enlisted the help of its competitor RFW, forming a joint venture. The plane had been redesigned with stealth in mind, being built with composites. And in the current climate, maybe there was a place for a quick, agile, stealthy plane - or its double-seater version for VIP transport. Maybe. For now, as the engines thundered behind her and the mountaintops raced past as the computer automatically adjusted the height-to-ground ratio, there was only the plane. In any case, wondering about the future of the Kolibri when it had not even been introduced to the public was not that much of a priority for Saito.

By now, she had passed the mountain range and now the plane levelled out over the ocean. Saito turned on the special scrambler installed by the Black guard. "Kolibri to Rheingold. Has the chancellor left already?" The answer was prompt. "Rheingold to Kolibri. Good evening. The Chancellor has not left yet. Rendezvous tomorrow at 10:00 in Oberwesel. Use site 843a to store aircraft, then join up in Oberwesel. Civilian transport will be provided. Confirm." "Confirmed, Rheingold."

She increased height and speed. As the mouth of the River Rhein come into view an hour later, Saito felt herself relax. It would be good to be home again.


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Results:
None, just introduction.
Whoever says "education does not matter" can try ignorance
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A decision must be made in the life of every nation at the very moment when the grasp of the enemy is at its throat. Then, it seems that the only way to survive is to use the means of the enemy, to rest survival upon what is expedient, to look the other way. Well, the answer to that is 'survival as what'? A country isn't a rock. It's not an extension of one's self. It's what it stands for. It's what it stands for when standing for something is the most difficult! - Chief Judge Haywood
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Re: 2014 STGOD Story Thread I

Postby Steve » 2014-07-02 01:39am


Portland Federal District
United States of Cascadia




From the time he was put through law school to become an Army JAG Officer, to this point as the most powerful man in the country, Alexander Penton had learned one maxim above all others.

There is always more paperwork.

His Chief of Staff, Reginald Etps, proffered another paper. "Just your itenerary," he assured Alex.

"Have they invented the 30 hour day yet?", Alex asked with a forlorn look as he went over it.

"I'm sure you'll be the first to know when they do, sir," Reg assured him drolly.

"Just remember to keep that clear spot on my schedule for the Kemmish ceremony," Penton reminded him, checking the clock.

"Yes sir."

"And since it's 5:50, I'm heading out. I'll be back around nine to see the last of the day's reports."

"Of course."




Being the President of an affluent nation of 150 million was two full-time jobs in one, but there was another duty Alex considered it necessary to see to for two hours every day, no interruptions short of Klavostani tanks rumbling into the Klavo Gap. It began with walking the distance from the office wing of the Presidential House to the resident wing, and to the living area within. Two Secret Service agents met him at the door and nodded, informing all of his location over the radio as he entered. "Honey, I'm home," he announced melodramatically.

The reply was bemused and sharp. "Yes you are, and as always, I'm sure it was a long and rugged commute to walk down the hall."

Rachel Penton neè Galvarez stepped out of the small pantry and kitchen in the Presidential Living Area. It was a weird thing to have in a presidential palace that had a massive kitchen purpose-built to entertain hundreds of guests with five star meals, but whomever was responsible figured that the President and his family might very well want a quiet dinner or even a snack prepared with their own hands.

"How was New Year's?"

"Quite well. Nobody's started a war yet, and I haven't even gotten a diplomatic complaint," Alex announced happily. "So....

"Dinner will be ready soon."

"Great." He went on to the other rooms. From ime to time he thought about Rachel acting like a ye olde housewife, but he knew better than to bring it up that way. The last person to do so had been a senior Committeewoman for the Cascadian Organization for the Betterment of Women, and Rachel's response had been ice cold and to a sharp, sharp point, essentially telling the woman that she'd been a successful career woman and that, in a phrase no newspaper would easily print, if she wanted to cook goddamned dinner for her goddamned family it was her own goddamned business, "how it looks" be damned.

Alex darkly suspected he'd lost the COBW's votes.

That meant there were two children to rouse. One was laying in her bed, aged 15 and utterly devoted to two hings: learning and metal, specifically grunge metal. Sophia was hardly the stereotypical rebellious teen daughter, thankfully, as rebellion would take time away from reading books which was a far more important past-time and could, indeed, contain some rebellion as an added efficiency.

The other was the election baby, Thomas. Now almost 2 years old, part of Alex's rigid schedule of coming home was to read to him and generally spend time with the son he'd never expected to have. The little boy sat up in his crib, looking at him with his mother's bgrown eyes and giggling. He was old enough to know what time it was. He waited eagerly for Alex to pick him up and bring him to the bookshelf to pick out a book.

There were times he tried new ones, bigger ones, but... yeah, same one again.

"'Where's My Cow?' again, Tom?", Alex sighed, smiling nevertheless. He picked up the small book and headed to the nearest chair.

"Coo!", Tom answered.

"Alright. Alright. Here we go..."

Sometimes, New Year's was special. Sometimes, it was just another day, but that could be special too.
”A Radical is a man with both feet planted firmly in the air.” – Franklin Delano Roosevelt

"No folly is more costly than the folly of intolerant idealism." - Sir Winston L. S. Churchill, Princips Britannia

American Conservatism is about the exercise of personal responsibility without state interference in the lives of the citizenry..... unless, of course, it involves using the bludgeon of state power to suppress things Conservatives do not like.

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Re: 2014 STGOD Story Thread I

Postby Gill » 2014-07-02 03:18am

Many nations are inherently wary of their peers because they fear they will come and take their valuables. Belkan does not have this problem because we have no valuables worth taking.
-Attributed to Belkan Foreign Minister Hakob Easyana (1911-1983)

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Galm, the Belkan Capital

Flying via helicopter was not Vachik Adomian’s first choice. The Caracal he rode in was easily older than he was, and every bump of turbulence made it seem even older as it cut up the otherwise clear summer skies with the deep thump thump thump of its military grade blades and whine of its industrial strength twin engines.

Nevertheless, driving from his home near the country’s rocky shores and to the First Vizier’s palace in Galm would have been untenable. The already poorly made roads were becoming progressively worse, his own Belkan made car had already been late to a meeting several months ago because of a break down, and First Vizier Abgar insisted on have a meeting as soon as possible. Vachik could have easily done his job over a teleconference, of course, and he would have preferred it to, but pressing for a work-at-home solution would have been ill advised for the veteran Minister of Finance. He already missed the smell of the sea and the crash of the waves on to the rocky cliffs of his home, and the abysmal heat of the heartland had been penetrating his noisy passenger cabin for hours. He, unfortunately, would not have time to switch his sweaty robes before the meeting, but at least he had an acceptable reason to not wear his feather topped hat and spare it from smell and staining, as it would not fit atop his head as he sat in the helicopter.

The boredom and terror of his ride eventually came to a head as the many bell towers of Galm jutted up far from the horizon. Even at dozens of kilometers away, they were still readily visible. As time drove onwards and his destination came ever nearer, the red-brick city itself contrasted sharply with the gold sea of grass that populated all of Belkan. Vachik was momentary enchanted by the sight of Galm from the air, but then he became sick to his stomach as he felt the Caracal rapidly descend. He tried telling the pilots to fly more gently, but they failed to overhear them as they chattered away in their own conversation or simply ignored him.

The reason for their descent nonetheless became evident: The First Vizier’s Palace and its associated complex took up Vachik’s modest port window, and he could see that they would be landing in its front lawn so no more time would be wasted on travel. Two guards with their largely ceremonial rifles at arms were already standing in wait for him, and the once distance features of individuals bricks and blades of grass became visible once more as Caracal neared the earth. The helicopter mercifully touched the ground and, on que, Vachik snatched his hat and briefcase and began to make his way to the First Vizier’s office.

Vachik was told that the he would be meeting the First Vizier in his quarters, however. Vachik sighed, as this meant he would be speaking with the First Vizier himself and probably wouldn’t get much done. Agbar XXIII was in terrible health in addition to his being a generally disagreeable person, and Vachik very much preferred working with his wife, Lady Agnes. She had been the de facto ruler of Belkan for many years now, though Vachik wasn’t sure whether the First Vizier realized this or not despite the clear understanding from his noble subjects.

Vachik was spared the tourists’ route through the palace (which involved many flights of stairs and hearing the unpleasant echo of his footsteps in the spacious hallways) as the guards instead took him through the elevator accessible corridors to the First Vizier’s quarters. Perhaps they realized he was tired? Or, Vachik swallowed hard as he considered it, the First Vizier thought he would have a long, heartfelt discussion about Belkan this and money that as he had his first week on the job. Abgar XXIII would have been known for being a bore if it weren’t for the fact he liked to yell a lot during conversations where indoor voice levels would have sufficed.

The plain, 19th Century addition corridors and elevators eventually broke into a rather grandiose hallway filled with enormous tapestries which Vachik seldom had the time to appreciate, and he was finally ushered into the First Vizier’s private quarters.

As he expected, Abgar was in the room and on his wheelchair with his right foot raised high up into the air. The First Vizier suffered terribly from gout, and his three hundred pounds of bulk did not help his situation any better than his enormous headdress that was covered in live tulips, feathers that probably came from several flocks of exotic birds and a silk fabric which cost more per yard than most Belkans made in a month. Even for a Belkan, Vachik thought, that hat is overdoing it!

“Come in my dear Vachik!” the First Vizier sincerely motioned. He did not often get visitors, so Vachik assumed Abgar was genuinely lonely. He cleared his voice as he was wont to do, “We have much to discuss!”

“Of course my First Vizier, as you wish.” Vachik said as he nodded deeply on par with protocol. He took initiative, harking back to his days as a Naval officer: “You were not very clear on why wished to seem to here today, my lord.”

Abgar was caught off guard. Usually he was the one whom forced himself onto others during conversations, and he habitually cleared his throat just before Vachik finished his sentence. “I should always be able to see one of the my ministers whenever I need to!” He grinned as a mortified Vachik realized his breach of protocol. “This is a matter of utmost importance to the future of the Belkan state and its people!”

If Vachik had a penny for every time Abgar XXIII said, “This is a matter of utmost importance to the future of the Belkan state and its people”, he would have been able to retire to a tropical island full of naked women many years ago. The old windbag liked to write his own speeches, which really meant reusing the same cheesy dialogue over and over again. He feigned interest. “Forgive me lord, but what specifically did you have on mind for today’s agenda?”

The First Vizier wheezed up an obnoxious chuckle that would have made a frat boy blush. “Well, tanks my dear boy!”

Vachik’s interest was no longer fictional. “You wish to acquire, tanks?”

Another chuckle arose from the First Vizier, accompanied by a rippling in the man’s revolting mass of flab. “Oh yes!” He started to slowly move his hand operated wheelchair over to a bureau tucked into the corner of his tacky personal quarters. “You see, I’ve just gotten a report from the First Army Corps., and it says that our existing stock of Char 4 main battle tanks is about to . . . “ Abgar trailed off in thought, looking for a word and illuminated like a light bulb when it came to mind: “is about to expire!”

Vachik had already begun running numbers through his head. “How many were you interested in, my lord and-“

The First Vizier had cut him off. “We require over one thousand fighting vehicles, and you must find them immediately before our enemies realize we may be utterly defenseless!”

Vachik suppressed a sigh and an objection: Belkan had no enemies. They could not afford to simply maintain their current but dwindling stock of tanks, and now he wanted more?
Vachik forced his best fake smile before attempting a counter-argument, but Abgar had already shoved him an enormous stack of papers fished out from his desk with his hairy, pudgy fingers. He did not like where this was going.

“You must leave, immediately, and negotiate some sort of deal with the foreigners and do whatever it takes to assure our dominance!” Abgar almost shouted, one of his fingers stabbing the air above him like a lightning rod. Vachik sincerely wished lightning actually had struck him at that point, as there was nothing he could say that wouldn’t afford him a swift forced resignation. The First Vizier calmed down and finished. “I have a plane ready to take you Ummeria already, and the helicopter you came in will take you there. I wish you good luck on your great quest, but now I must rest my troubled head and beg you good day Minister Adomian!”

Vachik would have actually formulated an objection had the palace guards not already motioned for him to leave the First Vizier’s quarters, and the man was notoriously stubborn in matters of napping. He began his anxious descent back to the great lawn.

Yet there was a new anger simmering inside Vachik. Abgar had always been a bore and a little stupid, but Vachik had always managed to talk him down on matters of military purchases. The Caracal helicopter purchase from the Orions had gotten reduced to less than a hundred units when the First Vizier originally demanded several hundred, and he remained forever proud of the fact that he was able to turn a fighter jet purchase into a fund for improvements to the once embarrassing Galm International Aerodrome. Yet never had Abgar come up with something so spontaneous and send Vachik away at the drop of a hat. This was out of character, even for the First Vizier, and Vachik would normally have many days to discuss such issues with Lady Agnes or the Crown Prince whom in turn would soften his criticisms of Abgar’s increasingly ridiculous suggestions.

Then the shekel dropped: Abgar XXIII was going senile.

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Re: 2014 STGOD Story Thread I

Postby Steve » 2014-07-02 04:15am

Portland Gazette

Stalwart Party blasts Presidential refusal to quicken pace of tank acquisition

PORTLAND FEDERAL DISTRICT -
Stalwart Party leaders, meeting for the New Year's Veteran's Parade through downtown, issued a scathing attack on President Penton's refusal to an Army request to hasten acquisition of the new M-3 Patton Main Battle Tank. Senator Rafael Dominguez of Sonora, the sole Senator of the Stalwarts, accused the President of "sidelining too many national interests" in keeping the procurement program slow and less costly. "Peace with Communist Klavostan is not so guaranteed that our Army can go without the latest in gear. If the Army is not empowered, innocent Cascadians will die."

The Stalwart Party has announced plans to promote this issue and others during this election year with the planned marches in Sonora to commemorate the 70th anniversary of liberation from the Klavostanis during the Great War.

It is considered unlikely that Dominguez and the Stalwart caucaus in he House will force a budget change on the issue.


Relations with Kingdom of Orion considered "improved"

PORTLAND FEDERAL DISTRICT - State Department officials have punished a summary of their reports in 2013 and an analysis of the international situation. Vice-Secretary of State for South America John White Crow took the time in the report to state that relations with the authoritarian state had "improved" in the past year, underlying what is hoped to be continued peace on the continent. Since the South American War Orion has been critical of continued Cascadian involvement in the north of the continent and on several occasions has supported anti-Cascadian groups in Patagonia and the Pampas.

"We hope that as the peace continues, improvement of our relations will do the same.


New Britonian President Alice Hastings commits to March elections

WINDSOR, NEW BRITONIA - In a Press Conference to highlight the release of the Presidential Office's Yearly Report on the Nation for 2013, President Hastings has confirmed that the scheduled general election in March will go ahead as planned despite polls showing her party's decline. Prime Minister Geoffrey Townsend's Labour-Liberal Government fractured last year over a finance bill regarding subsidies on fishing operations in Prince George's Bay, with Labour refusing to support the bill and breaking the Government. Polls show that that both parties have lost ground to the Crown-Loyalists.

The Crown-Loyalists responded to the announcement with pleasure. "It is good to see reason in President Hastings," said Senator Allen Forsyth of East Anglia. "She understands that the democratic principle is at stake here, and our rights to vote as our conscious dictates." Experts believe that a Crown-Loyalist majority government could swiftly lead to an attempt to restore the monarchy. Although the republic is widely popular in many areas of the country, the growing concentration of the Britonian diaspora in New Britonia has led to the rapid rise of the Crown-Loyalists to a true third party in New Britonian politics.

When asked, the Cascadian Embassy in Windsor only replied that "We respect the rights of the New Britonian people to democracy and the fulfilling of the popular will." However, one confidential source is not so sanguine. "It'll be a mess if he monarchists win," the source informed this paper. "It will undo fifty years of Cascadian republicanization of the country and risk Rheinlander opposition if they offer the throne to Princess Isabella."
”A Radical is a man with both feet planted firmly in the air.” – Franklin Delano Roosevelt

"No folly is more costly than the folly of intolerant idealism." - Sir Winston L. S. Churchill, Princips Britannia

American Conservatism is about the exercise of personal responsibility without state interference in the lives of the citizenry..... unless, of course, it involves using the bludgeon of state power to suppress things Conservatives do not like.

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Re: 2014 STGOD Story Thread I

Postby madd0ct0r » 2014-07-02 04:35am

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Champa


New Year Fireworks were exploding behind him as President Nambara Eka skim read the speech he was about to make. Nervous aides circled the room, duty generals straggling in, some with streamers still draped over their uniform. It was 1am on Jan 2nd.

Good evening. A serious malfunction has been detected in nuclear power plant ThorP3, on the North Coast. As a preliminary act of caution, we have evacuated people from the effected area, up to a radius of five miles from the plant. The Land and Water Corps will be leading the evacuations under a localised version of the CAT5 storm plan. If you will be unable to evacuate, inform the local Corps office or team then close and seal doors and windows and stay inside until further information is available. A further statement will be made shortly.


President Nambara looked up as an aide hurried over, handing him a new speech, changes underlined in red pen. 'Five' miles had become '15'. The aide looked panicked.

"It's burning sir. We think the core is burning."

Results:

-Initial reports made to the world media.
-Diplomatic Communique to nuclear powers, requesting technical help.
Last edited by Thanas on 2014-07-02 05:14am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 2014 STGOD Story Thread I

Postby Steve » 2014-07-02 05:14am

109 Jefferson Avenue, State Department Building
Portland Federal District


Secretary of State Rachel MacKenzie looked over the report from Ambassador Black Hawk and drew in a fearful breath. "Oh my God... they've got a meltdown on their hands." She looked back at the aide who handed the note to her. "Get a message to the president, now. And prepare a travel warning!'

The Presidential House

The family dinner had been interrupted by the nervous looking aide, a young Navajo lady, who showed up at the door.

Alex accepted the note from her and paled. "Alex...?" Rachel's voice was tense, knowing hat he wasn't reacting to something light.

"A nuclear reactor in Champas is melting down," he answered succinctly. Alex took out a phone and called out on it. "Get me the SecDef immediately. We need to get a team out there, now. And tell SecNav and SecState to come right away, we have to prepare in case they need more help."


Rickenbacher Air Force Base
Salem, Klamath


It was the middle of the night as the Air Force T-60 transport loomed in the sight of the NERT team. NERT - Nuclear Emergency Response Team - was the part-military, part-civilian operations team that acted under the joint command of the Defense and Energy Departments to assist in nuclear-related emergencies.

And out of all them, none sounded more ominous than a meltdown.

Everyone was therefore tense as they piled in, preparing for a trans-Pacific flight.

Actions:
Cascadia issues travel warning regarding Champas.
The Cascadian Government is offering the assistance of its NERT personnel to the government of Champas. The NERT team will fly to Chuuk and depoy as soon as authorization is granted. Air Force Airlift Command is prepared to ship further personnel and material as needed, if approved by Champas.
A carrier group and hospital ship can be dispatched to provide further humanitarian assistance.
”A Radical is a man with both feet planted firmly in the air.” – Franklin Delano Roosevelt

"No folly is more costly than the folly of intolerant idealism." - Sir Winston L. S. Churchill, Princips Britannia

American Conservatism is about the exercise of personal responsibility without state interference in the lives of the citizenry..... unless, of course, it involves using the bludgeon of state power to suppress things Conservatives do not like.

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Re: 2014 STGOD Story Thread I

Postby Gill » 2014-07-02 06:11am

We Belkans are committed to pursuing coal power for the forseeable future. It’s plentiful, it’s cheap and it can’t meltdown through our soil and come out on the other end of the planet somewhere in Orion.
-Emil Aberian, Former Belkan Minister of the Interior, 1972.

Galm, New Years Day

Minister of the Interior, the elderly Leonid Libarian, thought he would have been able to enjoy the New Year’s Day celebrations the same way he did every year: With two girls, a single bed and liberal amounts of wine. Thanks to the modest amount of funds he kept to himself from his duties as a reward and the miracles of modern performance enhancing medicine, he was to enjoy both for several hours worth of all three just as he would have when he was twenty. Never mind that he was old enough to be the girls' grandfather.

However, Libarian’s had his tradition interrupted with a rude phone call directed from his head assistant (Yegor) and channeled through his private, gold plated smart phone. At first, the paranoid Leonid thought his luck had run out and the plucky commoner whom had embedded himself into one of the most prestigious offices in the country was going to blackmail him into power (and Leonid would not have blamed him, really). Yet Leonid’s decade long lucky streak held, and the call ended up relating to some emergency or another elsewhere in the world.

Technically, such matters would not concern the Ministry of the Interior, but Leon’s assistant was under special orders to circumvent the Ministry of Foreign Affairs because the one Abbas Pabian who ran the office was a special, lazy kind of imbecile who got the job because his uncle was First Vizier. Leon was a people person, and that he didn’t always for his companionship (directly anyway) was what he described as being symptomatic of his charisma.

He shooed away the girls and slipped them a few hundred Shekel notes to keep them quiet, and then had his assistant meet him in his three story townhouse on Galm’s affluent 3rd Regiment Street. Making their rendezvous in his personal office, Leonid took to his modest red hat and a simple robe and had Yegor nervously explain his reasons for, “waking him up” so early in the day.

Rather than give an oral report on the matter, Yegor simply turned on the television and tuned the satellite box to an international news channel. There was aerial footage of a towering fire, complete with a scrolling text at the bottom which mentioned something about a nuclear reactor and . . .

By all that is holy, it was a nuclear power plant that was on fire!

Leonid thanked Yegor for personally informing him of the developing situation (even though he would have also felt comfortable learning of it after having slept in till three in the afternoon), and he immediately went into action. Knowing Pabian didn’t really do his job to begin with, Leonid had his assistant write a condolence letter that was virtually identical to everything else which would be bandied about by the international community. Having the actual Ministry of Foreign Affairs use it was easy enough, but Leonid felt a tingling sensation across his entire body amid his rapid brainstorming. When Leonid had such feelings, they were invariably good signs. The hair on his back stood up on edge, and he immediately had poor Yegor fetch him his landline phone. He dialed the number and became uncharacteristically nervous, for the destination of his call was the First Vizier’s Palace and he was hoping not to get the moron whom normally sat in the big chair.

Much to his relief, he was greeted with the soft, feminine voice of the First Vizier’s wife. She did not sound annoyed, which indicated she had probably been awoken for the same reason, and Libarian humbly identified himself so he could proceed. “Have you seen the news Lady Abgar?”

He could have almost heard her nod. “Yes Libarian, how unfortunate for Champa.” She began, confirming Leonid’s suspicious, “But there’s not much Belkan can do but sit and watch.”

Trying his best to avoid sounding flippant or condescending, Leonid proceeded cautiously. “Dear Lady, I believe there is something we can do for Champa.”

He succeeded in blunting the remark, as the responding, “What?” was mercifully inquisitive instead of defensive.

Leonid swallowed with relief. “I was going to suggest that we send soldiers to Champa to assist with the firefighting, evacuations and cleanup. Such a gesture would not only bespeak of the Republic’s goodwill, but it would also earn us a much needed positive spotlight in the international community” he finished, beaming with pride over the idea. He almost sighed out loud with relief when Lady Abgar agreed.

“That is an excellent suggestion Leonid. I will make arrangements with the Minister of the Armed Forces and secure transport for a whole regiment.” She paused in thought. “I would also like to ask you accompany the humanitarian force to Champa in person as a representative of Belkan. I’m afraid Minister Pabian is feeling under the weather, but I’ll inform the Champa government of your impending arrival at once. I thank you for your quick thinking, Sir Libarian.”

Leonid was almost giddy with delight: Everything had gone according to his quickly conceived plan. “I shall meet them at Port Ustio at once, my Lady!”

The customary farewells for done and Leonid had forgotten his New Years tradition entirely at this point. He had his assistant start packing and prepare for a helicopter trip to the coast. The single most significant opportunity in all of Libarian’s life had simply fallen into his lap like a suitcase full of thousand Shekel bills, and he had no time to lose.

If all went exactly as he envisioned it prior, Belkan might actually have something to fuel its dearly needed progress and Leonid Libarian’s tastes at the same time.

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Re: 2014 STGOD Story Thread I

Postby Siege » 2014-07-02 09:58am

Acheron Titan | 1 Acheron Plaza
Downtown San Dorado


The granite and glass walls of the Acheron Titan rose into a cloudless sky amidst the warren of high-rise that was the headquarters of its owner. Acheron Amalgamated was the largest, richest and most powerful corporation in San Dorado, which meant it had a solid claim to being the largest, richest and most powerful corporation on the entire planet. The Titan was an expression of that wealth and power, a jagged brutalist monolith towering far higher than any other building in its vicinity, visible day and night from all around the city.

"So where are we at?"

"I reached out to my guy at S-H. They retasked a weather satellite for us as a favour, and it isn't picking up any unusual heat yet. But..."

"Yes?"

"Well, it's a weather satellite, and the reactor is likely buried under concrete. I doubt any flames will get out for a while. My guy says he can have a broad-spectrum satellite reconnaissance package on your desk in under four hours, but that's gonna cost."

"Thanks but no thanks. Radiation?"

"Noticeably above background and rising."

The corporate hierarchy of giant multinational the size of Acheron was bound to be complex, but the position of Margot Fonteyn was even more complex than usual. Her business card said 'general manager'. But that technically middle-management position wouldn't earn you a corner office near the top of the Titan. It was more accurate to say she was a crisis and opportunity manager. That was why when news of the situation in Champa hit, it landed promptly on her desk. Which was unfortunate, given her hangover, but you didn't get to earn seven figures a year for doing an easy job. Fonteyn massaged her temples and poured over the documents on her desk. "This exclusion zone. What's the collective value of our assets in it?"

"Negligible. But if this thing flames out prevailing wind patterns mean a limestone quarry and several pit coal mines to the west could be subjected to black rain. Likewise nuclear fallout would threaten railways, harbours and labour pools."

"I see. Please make sure the Champans are aware of this and that we will hold them liable for damages or interruptions to our operations. Then tell them that specialists from our Energy subsidiary are standing by to assist and can be on-site in a matter of hours. I'm sure the government will agree on fees after the dust has settled, after we make sure that dust isn't irradiated anyway."
Last edited by Siege on 2014-07-02 05:56pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: 2014 STGOD Story Thread I

Postby Eternal_Freedom » 2014-07-02 10:00am

January 2nd, 2014, Royal Palace, Paradise City, Kingdom of Orion

King Alexander’s quiet night at home with his family was rather rudely interrupted by the news from Champa about the burning power plant. Only moments after he had finished reading the report, the door opened and his Admiral of the Fleet, James McKenna walked in.

“Your Majesty, I see you have received the news.”

“Indeed James. Most troubling. It is only logical that the Kingdom should offer assistance; we are champions of nuclear power after all.”

“Yes Sire. We have rough plans already prepared. The Spirit of Orion and her battle group, accompanied by the support vessel Mary Wallace and the hospital ship Patricia Luscombe, are currently returning to Orion after a port visit in Ostrheinland; they’re just 350 miles north of Champa’s coast. At full speed they can be there in ten hours.”

“Are those ships equipped to help with a potential disaster on this scale?”

“They are. In addition to the medical staff and supplies aboard the support ships the engineering crews aboard the carrier will be able to offer assistance. We can also scramble one of our ready-response teams from the projects in Fortuna; they can be airborne in two hours and on site twelve hours later.”

“Very well. Order the Spirit of Orion and her task force to divert to Champa’s coast at best speed. Issue a warning order to the ready-response team and have the Foreign Ministry call Champa and offer our assistance.” Alexander sat back in his chair as the Admiral saluted and walked briskly from the room. Another long night he mused.

******

Actions:

Offer of assistance extended to Champa
Carrier task force and hospital ship dispatched to the area as they were close at hand. They will hold in international waters until authorized to proceed.
"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 Simon_Jester » 2014-07-02 12:14pm

Eastport, Umeria
Central Administration Complex
January 2, 2014
7 a.m. Eastern-Umerian Standard Time


Premier Forest hauled himself out of bed to the muted buzz of the alarm, trying not to wake the missus. He padded down the corridor to his study. Two slices of toast, a hardboiled egg that- poke- was almost right, and- yes!- the good cook, the inexperienced one, was on duty this morning. He'd made the tea thick enough to walk on, with a hint of sludge. Sweet, alertness-making sludge.

Last night had been a pain. The admiral's presentation on a plan to refuel the nuclear reactors of the Guard-the-Norths had run long. He should have cut it short but there was too much to take in; he'd never been good at understanding military matters, and asking enough questions took forever.

It also made him feel slow, adding to his sense of fatigue. He didn't like that side of it, but there was no shame in admitting it; he was too old to work days this long on pep pills, tea only kept a sixty year old man running so long, and the job was making him tired. He missed designing dams.

I can't wait until New Year's... Even he should be able to take a day off, spend the day staring into space, read a book, maybe go to a show with Rose, without anyone giving him angry looks. On New Year's. Just, what, four weeks away now? Forest rubbed his eyes, then jumped a little at the knock on the door.

"It's me." Ah, Clever Bell.

The chief of staff walked into the study. "There's been a nuclear accident in Champa. Four hours ago. They're saying the core at the Thor-P3 reactor's caught fire, and the president is asking for help."

Suddenly, Forest wasn't hungry.

"Get the response regiments ready, that's what, the... 83rd, 42nd, and..."

"119th Guards Engineering Regiment, sir, but they're still training."

"Right. The 83rd is based in the north, get them rolling. Get staff on site as soon as you can. By air. Heavy equipment will have to catch up by rail later.

"It'll take a couple of-" Bell cut off, looking embarrassed. "Sorry, sir."

"Any trouble with the border? Traffic control?"

"Mostly sorted out. They're not stupid."

"Has Foreign Affairs got air traffic clearance arranged?"

"Yes. Same."

"Good. Get the 42nd ready to entrain, but don't set them moving until we get reports from the guys in the 83rd. And make sure the 119th's equipment is packed up, for all I know we'll need them too. How bad is it going to be?"

"I've got some of Development's best engineers looking over our copy of the plans; Thor-P3's almost a clone of our Mark Eight reactor. We-"

"Yes, may need to fix that. You were saying?"

"-It could be as bad as '92. Worse, even."

Forest shivered a little. "Damn. You say Welfare's on the ball?"

"Yes, they've got a couple of provinces to cover but the plans are in the binders."

"Keep me posted on their progress, and make sure to print me off a copy of their public-consumption packet. And the secret part, I know they like to not needlessly alarm the crowds but that doesn't mean they should try and not alarm me. I'm wise to that, I wrote the latest version of the "in case you think a dam's going to break" packet..."

"As you say, sir."

"Heh. Now, why wasn't I woken?"

"Foreign Affairs was still working on negotiating passage, Welfare was already breaking out the iodine pills, the general staff was still pulling together our response units, but nothing unexpected happened. So there wasn't anything to sign off on. Sorry, sir."

"Eh, you weren't wrong. But never slow down a disaster response to save me some sleep. Never."

Somewhere around 25° S, 85° E
In a Plane
A Few Hours Later


*THUMP*

"Aaaargh!"

There were chairs. They were, granted, not as firmly attached to the cargo bay of the plane as he'd like. It'd probably be more comfortable sitting in the radiation-sealed chemical warfare vehicle chained in the back of the plane's cargo bay.

Still, there were chairs. With seatbelts, even.

Sunny Poplartree had made it into the engineers because otherwise his grandfather would never have looked him in the eye again. He'd passed the tests, the other tests, the bootcamp, the test after that... and then the Great Bureaucracy in the Sky had decided to plunk him in a nuclear-disaster containment regiment. Sunny was terrified of radiation. He knew, now, that it wouldn't make him glow green, but he still thought invisible poisonous infiltrating death rays were very frightening.

Which, everyone told him, meant he was the perfect choice for the 83rd. At least until now he'd hoped he could serve his tour of duty without any actual burning piles of fissiles happening. There hadn't been a nuclear accident in twenty years!

Dammit- *THUMP* Ow!

Were they steering the plane to hit all the turbulence or something?

He was pretty sure the plane wasn't supposed to creak like that. At least the propellers were loud, which hopefully meant the plane was going fast and would be there soon.

The master sergeant looked unwholesomely cheerful. And on his feet, riding out the thumps with barely a sign of discomfort. "Eight hundred kilometers to go, then we go get to pick a fight with a burning atomic pile! And remember, boys and girls, don't leave your fly unbuttoned in a radiation suit!"

The airplane bucked again. Sunny tried to keep down his lunch.



Actions:

83rd Guards Engineering Regiment dispatched to Champa by the fastest available transportation.
This space dedicated to Vasily Arkhipov

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Re: 2014 STGOD Story Thread I

Postby TimothyC » 2014-07-02 01:24pm

175 Degrees West, 0 Degrees South
January 5rd 2014

The Battleship Chiefess-Apostle Kapi’olani was a powerful ship. Flat grey joined with occasional bits of color marking out areas to be cautious about with an even flatter blue hull, she slipped south on glass like seas. The captain had just announced that the ship had crossed the equator, which was not as large of a deal for a ship in the Royal Hawaiian Navy as it normally would be for many of Tellus’ other navies. The truth was that many of the ships company had come from any one of a thousand small islands where seamanship was not only a way of life, but necessary to live.

A thirty thousand ton Large Cruiser-cum-Battleship powered by a nearly ancient steam plant could never be the same as a 100 ton diesel powered fishing boat however, and even the best junior rate won’t spot trouble if he doesn’t know what to look for, and that is how it started.

A hairline crack in the number 4 high speed turbine had been growing for years, slowly eating away at the integrity of the rotor blades. It had been missed on the last inspection by simple oversight - there had been a shift change and the phrase “We’ve checked off to the 5th rotor set” was heard as “We’ve checked off through the 5th rotor set.”

Of such oversights disasters are made.

While cruising at 20 knots, the engines were not being stressed to their limit, but enough stress was being applied that the crack did it’s final propagation and the blade failed. It failed, as Murphy so often dictates at the worst point of the rotation possible. The blade sliced through a seam in the metal casing sending spallation fragments into the surrounding engine room which was now filling with superheated steam.

Thankfully, the two crew members in the engine room were not in the plane of failure, and were able to leave the compartment quickly with only minimal burns as they threw the emergency shutdown controls on the turbine room allowing the low-pressure turbine to spin down as the steam left the loop and killing the fuel pumps to the boilers, making sure there wouldn’t be more steam in the loop.

While a critical failure, a single turbine failure could be easily fixed in dock. Only the ship wasn’t in dock, it was at sea. And a control line to one of the boilers driving the disintegrating turbine had just been cut.

As many of the engineering crew members rushed to contain the damage, the ship suffered from a dreadful shutter as what was a pair of finely balanced engines were suddenly one engine straining to push the ship forward as the speed rapidly dropped by over a third. As the steam pressure in boiler number 7 rose it went unnoticed for several minutes.

Superheated steam, desiring to not become superheated steam if at all possible and therefore being very caustic, started to attack the joints (with no where else to go), and formed half a dozen small leaks in the piping. Any of those leaks, if left unchecked could have cut an unobservant person in half. It was finally Engineer’s mate Jonson (known as the Rock to his friends for his large build) that noticed the over-pressure status of the boiler and shut it down.

Kapi’olani was out of danger, but still hurt, and it would take quite a while to bring her back to service.




Results: Her Hawai’ian Majesty’s Ship ‘Battleship’ Chiefess-Apostle Kapi’olani will be limping home instead of her scheduled training tour of the Kingdoms.
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Re: 2014 STGOD Story Thread I

Postby That_Guy » 2014-07-02 01:48pm

President Hyde sighed, he disliked parliament, often seeing it as a restraint upon the progress of Underwood. He once again toyed with the idea of removing it and running the nation by himself, but quashed the thought quickly, democracy must prevail. Standing at 6ft 9inches he was not used to being held back by anything and this 'impasse' infuriated him. In front of him parliament was in uproar, the noise of which could very likely be heard through the thick granite walls of government house. It would seem that the rise of far right elements was a matter of serious contention as several parliamentarians had resorted to punches. This was going to be a long day...

Parliament over the president thundered down the stairs towards his waiting car, he had much to do, parliament had finished their bickering about the far right long enough to agree unanimously to send Aid to Champa in the form of an advanced party of CBRN troops and then the RUS Timber Wolf as soon as she could be readied. He glanced towards the shipyards, even now steam rose from the waiting ships and the big carrier was a hive of activity as men and women embarked and took on supplies. This would be a dangerous mission but the republic would not falter.

Stepping into the car he was however a worried man, parliament was right, however much he hated them. The far right were becoming more of an issue, he would have to watch his back, surreptitiously his hand touched the heavy metal blade at his hip he had survived attempts on his life before but only narrowly. This new year would be interesting one way or another.

*****
Actions

Aid offered to Champa
Advanced party of CBRN operatives dispatched
Carrier group readying for sea
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 Fingolfin_Noldor » 2014-07-02 02:34pm

Ferramenta's office

"I suppose we could give a generous offer of help to President Nambara Eka in the form of a battalion of Liquidators," Stana spoke. In her office was the Minister of Science and Technology, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and General Erakles, the Marshal of the UOCSR and the Minister of Defense. "Some of our An-225 aircraft carrying this unit along with some scientific advisers will be helpful? I believe given the distance, it will take a while for our ships to arrive at Champa?"

General Erakles nodded. "Comrade General Secretary, that is indeed correct. We can prepare and load the Liquidator battalion equipment onto some An-225 and An-124 transports to fly their equipment in. I suppose the Comrade Lumensky would provide the necessary scientific advisers?"

Lumensky Zarkarov nodded in agreement, "They will be assembled as required."

"Well that's it then. Comrade Detsiy will notify Champa of our promised assistance. Dismissed."

Results: Offer of help sent to Champa.
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Re: 2014 STGOD Story Thread I

Postby Esquire » 2014-07-02 03:19pm

Olounos
Capital District, Apelia
2 January 2014


Theodorus Ploutarches opened the balcony door, and immediately wished he hadn't. It was raining in Olounos, as it always did in January, the kind of cold hard rain that sapped a man's strength and diluted his precious bodily fluids. Still, it was a change from the blazing inferno that the Kuria Alexandra Kosma Kostopoulos liked her office to resemble. It was at least eighty degrees inside, and Theodorus would never have been able to keep himself awake without his periodic visits to the wintery balcony to refresh him. In the summer the situation would be exactly reversed; the very stones of the buildings would seem to melt in Olounos' equatorial blast furnace and the Kuria would order her office cooled to near freezing. Such was the price of working in the Ministry for Barbarians.

"In here, please, Theodorus." That was the Kuria, clearly audible through the thick wooden door to her inner office. There had to be some sort of trick to it; nobody could be that loud without seeming to shout, but Theodorus hadn't found it yet. With a sigh he shut the balcony door and turned back inside, snagging his kaph - chilled coffee and goat's milk - on the way. He could use all the help he could get staying awake.

"Your Ladyship, I live to serve," he said from the door. She raised an eyebrow at him in that uniquely-aristo way.

"Stop it, this is a Tyrant's ministry, not my estate. What do you know about nuclear meltdowns?"

That sort of uncontextualized question usually meant something had gone seriously wrong somewhere, in Theodorus' opinion. He furrowed his dark brows, thinking it over. "Ah...nuclear meltdowns, Your Ladyship? Well, there was that one in Umeria, and an engineer friend of mine-" no Apelian would admit to reading a newspaper or magazine if it could be helped, especially the Scientific Cascadian-"said that the modern salt reactors were designed to prevent that from happening again, but I think that's all."

The Kuria frowned. "You forgot the scare at the Aristotelian Incorporated plant outside Athenia in 1998, but I'll overlook it. There's been one in Champa, you see."

"A scare, Your Ladyship?"

"No, a meltdown," she replied, crossly. Theodorus' eyes widened, and he straightened up immediately.

"The trade winds will take the fallout right towards us!"

"They would if it weren't winter, you mean, Theodorus. There are only winds from the east in summer; that's where all the hurricanes come from."

"Ah... I apologize for the outburst, Your Ladyship."

"I should hope so. In any case, I want you to draft a letter to the Champanese ambassador offering his government help with relocating and resettling those in the affected area. I suspect every other nation will send carriers, but honestly with Umeria on the border I can't imagine they'll need more immediate support than is already available. The real problems will come with rebuilding, right when everyone else starts to lose interest. We've got a lot of experience with that sort of thing and it'd be nice to let it get us some positive press."

She was referring to the Apelian policies in Eretz Muqaddasah, where troublesome villages had - up until the early 1990s, when the Tyrant ordered the program stopped - frequently found themselves declared unsafe, broken up, and moved all across the region. It had been deemed the least violent way of keeping a large population pacified, and very few people had actually been hurt, but there had been a considerable international outcry. The Kuria was right; Apelia could use some positive press from the whole thing. Theodorus bowed himself out of the office, and went back to his desk to write the letter.

********************
Results: Apelia offers Champa help in relocation/rehousing of people displaced by the catastrophe. We can commit troops to serve as manpower if necessary, but advisors and funding are more our style these days for foreign aid.
"Statistics mean nothing to the individual." Dr. Perry Cox, Scrubs

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Re: 2014 STGOD Story Thread I

Postby RogueIce » 2014-07-02 04:39pm

Naval Headquarters, Junon Military City, Shinra Republic
Late November, 2013


Tucked away within the many offices of the Shinra Republic Navy's headquarters was a non-descript office with a simple plaque on the door: Deputy Assistant to the Deputy Chief of Naval Personnel. This decidedly un-prestigious - though of course necessary (maybe), as in any large bureaucracy - office was currently filled by a Naval Captain by the name of Gilad Pellaeon. A man who had formerly commanded a cruiser, and spent most of his adult life at sea on one warship or another, and found himself sitting behind a desk.

All because he had done the right thing. The right thing for his ship and for the Service, at least. Not the right thing politically.

But Captain Pellaeon no longer dwelled upon the consequences of his decision - much - these days. He was a professional officer, he had a job to do, and he maintained a, perhaps naïve, confidence that eventually the Navy, to which he had dedicated his life, to which he believed in, would not let him down so long as he continued to serve her faithfully and well, as he always had.

Just before lunch, as he was considering whether to eat in the cafeteria or to go outside the base, there was a knock on his door. "Enter," he replied, almost as a matter of habit. The young woman who walked in and stood before his desk was the recently promoted Petty Officer Jennifer Coates, his new admin assistant. "Yes, Coates?"

"Sir, the office of the Vice President called," she began, the surprise from receiving a call from such an important number still evident in her voice.

Captain Pellaeon was surprised as well, of course, but long years as an officer kept any trace of it from showing on his face. He simply looked at Coates, waiting for her to continue. When she didn't, and seeing the look of mixed surprise and nervousness on her face, Pellaeon took pity on her. She's still so new, and it's not everyday representatives of the second most powerful man in the Republic call, he mused. "Did they apologize for dialing the wrong number, at least?" he inquired with a small smile, hoping to put the Petty Officer at ease.

It didn't work. "Not a wrong number. They wanted you. I mean, to see you. As soon as possible," the words came out quickly, and Coates only just remembered to add a "sir" at the end.

"Well then," replied Pellaeon, his tone that of someone who had just been informed it would be another pleasant spring day in September. "I shouldn't keep the Vice President waiting, should I? Feel free to go take your lunch now, Petty Officer. I'll let you know what I can when we've both returned."



Office of the Vice President, Junon Military City

"Captain Pellaeon, Master Sergeant. I was informed to report here."

"Yes sir. Please have a seat, Captain. The Vice President is currently with somebody."

Nodding to the Army Master Sergeant sitting at the desk, Pellaeon took a seat on one of the very comfortable couches in the very comfortable outer office the Vice President had in Junon. He wondered for a moment at having an Army SNCO as a receptionist in what was ostensibly the "Navy area" of the Military City where the Vice President's office was located. But then he recalled that, until recently, the Vice President had been an Army NCO himself, in the legendary 501st Ranger Regiment - at least until he was suddenly appointed to the Vice Presidency, for reasons the general public could only speculate. It was an unusual action, but then Rufus Shinra was an unusual man. After all, he had chosen to join the Army, not the Navy. And had even enlisted rather than attain a commission, as he easily could have, considering his father was the President of the Shinra Republic.

Still, politics wasn't Pellaeon's area of expertise, and really none of his concern, so far as he cared. He was a military officer, not a Senator. He settled in to wait. As it turned out, he didn't have long. The door to the inner offices opened, and out walked Vice Admiral Kendal Ozzel, looking distinctly unhappy. The Admiral, upon seeing Pellaeon, glared at him as he walked out, but the Captain pretended not to notice. This was the man who had ordered him to his present dead-end assignment after Pellaeon had ably and successful commanded a guided-missile cruiser - but he was still a senior officer, a flag officer, and so Pellaeon would accord the man the respect his rank was due regardless. It was only after Ozzel had left the outer offices entirely that Pellaeon realized the Admiral had not been wearing the three silver stars of his rank on his uniform.

"Captain, the Vice President is ready for you," announced the Master Sergeant as he stood up to escort Pellaeon back to the inner sanctum of Rufus Shinra's office.

Following the soldier, Pellaeon marched - as if he were back as a Midshipman at the Academy - and, when given leave to enter, marched before the Vice President's desk, came to attention and saluted. "Mister Vice President, Captain Gilad Pellaeon, reporting as ordered."

"At ease, Captain. And thank you, Sergeant." Rufus Shinra was a young man of 28, his blonde hair still cut short as would befit a non-commissioned officer of an elite unit. He had taken to wearing a white suit with a black tie as his "uniform" for the day to day work of being Vice President. On his desk, otherwise cleared of obstruction, were two shining objects. On one side, three silver stars. On the other glittered a collar-sized golden eagle. "So, I'm guessing you saw Ozzel on his way out of here," remarked Rufus Shinra in a casual tone.

"Yes, sir," replied Pellaeon carefully.

"And I'll bet he didn't look too happy, did he?" said the Vice President with a smile, gesturing his hand ever so slightly toward the stars sitting on his desk. "So tell me, Captain, how does one go from commanding a powerful surface combatant to being an anonymous paper-pusher buried deep within the Naval Headquarters?"

Pellaeon felt a brief flash of anger at the casual tone of Shinra's remark, but he carefully kept it from his face and voice. "I go where I'm ordered, sir, and do what I'm ordered to do," he replied diplomatically.

Rufus Shinra leaned back in his chair, a small grin on his face. "Is that so? Not because you relieved an incompetent watch officer who was endangering the ship? Said incompetent watch officer being, as it so happens, the son of an influential and well-known Governor? And then being buried by a flag officer more concerned with his bright political future than the good of the Navy and backing up his subordinates, as he should have?" The Vice President leaned forward again, resting his arms on his desk. "No need to answer, Captain. I know you couldn't - wouldn't - be able to say all that anyway. But I know. And frankly, I don't think it was right. At all." He picked up the stars and briefly considered them in his hand. "Which is why, of course, Kendal Ozzel was being given the option to 'retire' today." As if dismissing the man from his mind, he casually dropped the stars into the wastebasket next to his desk. He turned his attention back to Pellaeon fully. "So. That leaves you. A dedicated Captain who saw his career shot for doing what needed to be done, but doing it to the wrong person." The Vice President picked up the golden eagle and casually tossed it to Pellaeon.

Almost by reflex, Pellaeon caught it. He knew what this eagle was: the insignia of a Senior Captain. Only the commanding officers of the Shinra Republic's nine nuclear carriers wore them. "Sir?" was all he could manage to say.

"The Chimaera will be coming back from deployment soon. Senior Captain Piett is being promoted. His Exec has elected to retire. Family reasons, I hear. I heard this started a whole process within the CNP's office, trying to find a replacement since the XO won't be elevated as per the norms. Surely, as the 'Deputy Assistant to the Deputy Chief of Naval Personnel' you've heard of this great search?"

"Yes, Mister Vice President. But I wasn't aware I was even being considered for this command."

"You weren't," replied Rufus Shinra matter-of-factly. "But I'm the Vice President, and that means I can't be ignored, even if they wish it were so." The Vice President smiled again. "Plus, the President is also aware of what happened to you, and thinks it only proper that the Navy make it up to you. So here we are." Rufus Shinra stood, straightening out his suit, and came around the desk while pushing a button on his phone. "It's time," he said to the person at the other end.

Within seconds, the door opened and the Master Sergeant, a photographer and Petty Officer Jennifer Coates walked in.

"Hope you don't mind, but I figured somebody from the Navy should be here for this." Vice President Rufus Shinra held out his hand. "The eagle, please?" After Pellaeon had handed it to him, Rufus Shinra came to a position very much like attention. "Attention to orders," he said, softly yet firmly. "Captain Gilad Pellaeon, Shinra Republic Navy, is hereby promoted to the rank of Senior Captain, Shinra Republic Navy, effective immediately. Senior Captain Pellaeon is herewith ordered to assume command of the aircraft carrier SRS Chimaera, effective one December, two thousand thirteen. By verbal order of the President of the Shinra Republic, carried out by Rufus Shinra, Vice President of the Shinra Republic, nineteen November, two thousand thirteen." The Vice President removed Pellaeon's silver eagle, replacing it with the golden eagle of a Senior Captain, and together the two men turned to face the camera, as protocol dictated during promotion ceremonies.

With the formalities over and the photographer had gone, Senior Captain Pellaeon turned to face his admin assistant, who looked nearly overwhelmed by just being in the Vice President's office, never mind seeing her new boss personally promoted by same. "So, Petty Officer, how does some sea duty sound to you?"
Last edited by RogueIce on 2014-07-02 05:15pm, edited 1 time in total.
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"How can I wait unknowing?
This is the price of war,
We rise with noble intentions,
And we risk all that is pure..." - Angela & Jeff van Dyck, Forever (Rome: Total War)

"On and on, through the years,
The war continues on..." - Angela & Jeff van Dyck, We Are All One (Medieval 2: Total War)
"Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear." - Ambrose Redmoon
"You either die a hero, or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain." - Harvey Dent, The Dark Knight

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Re: 2014 STGOD Story Thread I

Postby RogueIce » 2014-07-02 05:14pm

Office of the Vice President, Junon Military City
Early December, 2013


"So that's it, gentlemen. Any questions?" asked the Vice President of the Shinra Republic.

Senior Captain Gilad Pellaeon, newly promoted to command the aircraft carrier Chimaera and Senior Colonel Leo Cristophe, who had commanded the 501st Ranger Regiment for a considerably longer period of time, replied in unison, "No, Mister Vice President."

"Excellent. Dismissed." After the two officers had left, a side door to the office happened, and a nondescript man in a black suit walked out. "So, are your people ready?"

Thomas Seng, officially a member of the Vice President's protection detail, but secretly a member of the not-known-to-the-public "Special Investigations Division" - known informally among themselves as "the Turks" - nodded. "Yes sir. We've already infiltrated an agent in Mister Matsusuke's inner circle. And the Capture Team is in place, just waiting for the 501st to do provide a distraction."

"Good. You have a go."



SRS Chimaera - Off the coast of Eulica
Several days later


Senior Captain Pellaeon looked out over the flight deck of his first command, having aboard her for the first time just days ago. Theoretically, she was supposed to have been back by a berth in Junon by now. But sometimes the press of the Republic's business required minor detours and unexpected journeys. After a brief Change of Command between himself and Senior Captain Firmus Piett while underway, most of the airwing had performed their traditional Fly Off to return home after a long deployment, leaving only a squadron of strike fighters, a handful of tanker and the four AEW aircraft normally aboard. To replace them had been the transport and attack helicopters for a reinforced company of the 501st Ranger Regiment, who even know occupied much of the berthing spaces normally filled by members of the ship's air wing, who had been flown off with their aircraft to make room.

Even the battlegroup was much reduced from normal. Only a pair of destroyers and a single frigate followed the mighty carrier as she sailed into imminent action. Granted, there was little naval threat to speak of on this mission, yet Pellaeon still felt oddly naked. Still, considering this was supposed to have been the end of their deployment, he understood the reasoning behind allowing most of the ships to return home. As for the carrier and her few escorts, this little extension wasn't supposed to last more than a week or two anyway.

Coming back from his musings, he glanced around the bridge again. H-Hour was coming up soon, and he figured Senior Colonel Cristophe would be up soon before departing for the raid. As if summoned by Pellaeon's contemplations, Leo Cristophe appeared on the bridge. "Colonel," he said by way of greeting.

"Captain," replied the commander of the 501st. "We're all set."

Pellaeon nodded. "And the airspace is clear."

Leo Cristophe chuckled. "Assuming that briefcase of money was delivered to who it was supposed to be delivered to, anyway."

Pellaeon smiled at that. "I'm sure the Intelligence Directorate managed to figure out which oligarch is in control of the air defenses this week."

"One can only hope."

"Indeed," replied the Captain of the Chimaera. He turned to the OOD. "Flight Quarters." Nodding to Senior Colonel Cristophe, he said, "Good luck." With a simple nod, the Army officer left the bridge to go join his men. Leo Cristophe was not the kind of officer who would command his men from the safety of an aircraft carrier; Pellaeon knew the leader of the 501st would be commanding the raid personally.

As the first strike fighter launched and the Army helicopters moved into launch positions, Senior Captain Gilad Pellaeon took to his feet. While his place was back on the carrier, he knew he would find no peace until every aircraft and every Ranger was back safe in the gray hull of the mighty ship.

*******

Secret AVALANCHE Camp, Eulica

Felicia Elfé, leader of the AVALANCHE movement, was in hiding. After several deadly yet successful bombing missions against the bastards of the Shinra Electric Power Company, the heat had finally been turned up enough that she was forced to flee the Republic's borders or risk capture. Or death, if she chose to resist.

Which, of course, she would have.

But it would have been worth it, she knew. The Planet needed people to stick up for it, when most of Her residents simply took Her for granted, interested more in their 'technology' and comfortable lives than the health of a Planet that had given them everything. Oh sure, they talked about caring for Her, but none would do what was necessary to truly live in harmony with Planet. To eschew their technological and polluting ways.

So somebody had to wake them from their complacency and apathy. And that was what AVALANCHE was for.

Elfé knew, of course, that the Shinra weren't the only ones responsible. And having been forced to flee from the Republic, she considered where next to take AVALANCHE, to spread the cause of Planet's salvation across the whole of Her lands. Maybe San Dorado... she thought, and smiled.

*******

Super Six-One, Shinra Republic Army helicopter

Senior Colonel Leo Cristophe was ready. And his troops were ready. He knew that as surely as he knew the sun would rise the next morning, after their night-time raid. Still, you couldn't plan for everything that might happen in combat. And he could only hope that his men were ready enough that everybody came home from this mission. That happened rarely in combat, of course. But hopefully the element of surprise, the skill and training of his soldiers, the kind of skills and training that came with being members of the 501st Ranger Regiment, "Shinra's Fist" required, would be enough to see them through.

At least they hadn't been shot down by Eulica's air defenses. The Shinra Intelligence Directorate had come through on that, at least. He only hoped they would prove just as reliable with the information they had provided on the AVALANCHE camp as they had been at bribing already corrupt to the core government officials.

*******

Outside the AVALANCHE Camp, Eulica

Dyne was angry. But then, he was always angry. Being a native son of Corel, he supposed that was only natural. Still, it wouldn't do to take out his anger on his fellow AVALANCHE fighters. They weren't the source of his anger, after all. And so he had taken, as he often did, a long walk through the jungle in which AVALANCHE camp hid, to regain control of his anger; at least to the point he was fit to be amongst company again. For the anger never truly left him.

It had been hours since he left the camp after night had fallen. But finally, he was headed home. As he neared the camp, however, a terrifying sound made its way to his ears.

Helicopters!

Anger rising to near uncontrollable levels again, he ran back to the camp, ignoring the small pains and injuries one sustained while sprinting heedlessly through the undergrowth. When he got close enough to the camp, he finally slowed. It wouldn't do to burst out of the foliage only to be gunned down by some surprised soldier or AVALANCHE fighter with a rifle, after all.

As he neared, the sound of the orbiting helicopters pressing down and around him like an impossible vise, he nonetheless resisted the urge to attack, attack, ATTACK that was threatening to spill out from inside of him. Instead, he evaluated the situation...and knew he was too late.

In the dim light of what little moon there was, he could see that his fellow AVALANCHE warriors were on their knees, surrounded by armed and armored men and women, their hands bound tightly behind them. On the ground, he could see the bodies of those who had manage to resist the invaders, what few of them there were. Apparently, they had been taken by surprise.

Apart from the main group of prisoners, he saw a small cluster of soldiers and a single restrained figure. Even in the dim light, he knew it could only be Elfé. She was alive, but bound...and there was nothing Dyne could do to save her! His rage nearly overcoming him, he fought it back down. No, this was not the time. Not the way. Elfé wouldn't want him to die in a fruitless attempt to save her. No, she would want him to fight on, continue fighting on behalf of Planet. Yes. Yes. That was what he must do. Elfé was selfless, she wouldn't want him to risk his life for her. Planet was much, much more important than she was. Nonetheless, Dyne vowed that somehow, some way, he would rescue Elfé. He swore it to himself.

It was too dark, of course, to even try to make out what the subdued insignia of the soldiers might have said. But Dyne knew they only have come from one place.

Shinra...

*******

Occupied AVALANCHE CAMP, Eulica

Senior Colonel Leo Cristophe was receiving the final reports from his officers and NCOs, and was about to order the withdrawl of his troopers, when a young Second Lieutenant approached him.

"Sir, UAV reports a single person-sized IR signature in the woods, less than ten meters from the camp."

"Just the one?"

"Yes sir. Wait one." The officer listened to the tiny voice coming from his radio. "Colonel, it appears the target is withdrawing."

Leo nodded. "As we should be as well, Lieutenant. Captain, begin the evacuation."

"Sir?" Confusion mixed with an ingrained reaction to follow orders fought for control of the Captain's voice.

"We've completed our mission here. We have several prisoners, including Felicia Elfé. We cannot afford to take the time to run through this jungle after every heat signature that may - or may not - be a member of AVALANCHE. We're moving out."

"Yes sir," replied the Captain, his voice subdued. Nonetheless, he immediately turned to carry out his commander's order.

Leo turned to look at the jungle around him. Yes, he understood the officer's disappointment. But he also knew he had a higher responsibility than capturing a lone lurker in the jungle. A responsibility to his men, of course, but also to the mission and the Republic. His orders were clear: grab AVALANCHE and their leader, Felicia Elfé. Do not, under any circumstances, escalate the situation. They were guests, of a sort, here in Eulica. But that would only last for so long. Get in and get out, and do it quickly. That was what he had been ordered to do, and that was what he would do.

*******

SRS Chimaera - Off the coast of Eulica
Later that morning


As the final helicopter settled on the carrier's flight deck, Senior Captain Pellaeon strode from the island to greet it. Surprising him not at all, Senior Colonel Leo Christophe was the last man off the last helicopter to land, just as he had been the first to board the first helo to launch. That was what the commander of a Ranger Regiment did, after all. The two men quickly shook hands before heading inside the hull of the ship. "A successful mission?" inquired the commander of the carrier.

"I'd say so," responded the Colonel. "No casualties among the Rangers, minimal casualties among the AVALANCHE sentries. Several prisoners, including our Primary, Miss Elfé. Surprise, clearly, was achieved. And Eulica's defenders didn't shoot us down or attack us on the ground. About as close to perfect as I can see it."

"Good to hear. And now it's time for all of us to head home to some very well deserved time off."

Leo Cristophe nodded, and the two men headed deeper into the ship, their jobs far from completed despite the successful return of the Rangers and their AVALANCHE prisoners.
Last edited by RogueIce on 2014-07-02 06:06pm, edited 5 times in total.
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"How can I wait unknowing?
This is the price of war,
We rise with noble intentions,
And we risk all that is pure..." - Angela & Jeff van Dyck, Forever (Rome: Total War)

"On and on, through the years,
The war continues on..." - Angela & Jeff van Dyck, We Are All One (Medieval 2: Total War)
"Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear." - Ambrose Redmoon
"You either die a hero, or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain." - Harvey Dent, The Dark Knight

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Gill
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Re: 2014 STGOD Story Thread I

Postby Gill » 2014-07-02 05:15pm

The sea is a dangerous place full of water and sickness.”
-Common Belkan Mariner’s Proverb

Somewhere off the Umerian coast . . .

Minister of the Interior, Leonid Libarian, was a rarity among Belkans: A man whose stomach could withstand the pounding forces of the storms which plagued the Belkan coast.

He could not have said the same for the three thousand soldiers of the Belkan Army’s 2nd Infantry Regiment puking their guts out in the now cramped quarters of the Blue Riband, a passenger liner whose services had been bought out by the Belkan government for its use as an emergency troop transport. Booking passage aboard the ship was more expensive than Libarian had hoped (especially when time was of the essence), but the ship was capable of putting in a good 28 knots albeit with considerable seasickness. Behind the ship steamed the frigate BNV Kestrel, which had an even harder time of the journey as Libarian, a veteran naval officer, knew all too well from his time served aboard the same boat. The Kestrel was only in tow to show the colors of the Republic of Belkan, as arriving in a civilian ship alone would have been unthinkable even for the cash strapped nation of Belkan.

Leonid nonetheless felt the multiple axis movements of the Blue Riband in spite of its sized, though a little reading of his classic novels went a long way in staving off the worst of it. To journey without a few books would have made for a tedious journey, and Leonid despised tedium. Yet a direct flight to Champa would have been logistically impossible for a nation that couldn’t even get a battalion airborne, and one of the fastest (and only) passenger liners in existence would have to suffice for a seven day trip.

The real concern is if Belkan could get there soon enough to get press time and actually do something worth covering. With its competitors wielding impressive airlift capabilities and direct rail transport, Belkan could very well show up after everything was concluded and a disaster was averted. Though Leonid was not one for negative thoughts, and he suppressed the idea of tardiness to instead focus on what beautiful, exotic women await him in such a distant land.

-----
Actions
1. Belkan sends a single frigate and an aging passenger liner and transports 3,000 soldiers to Champa as aid through rough seas.

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Re: 2014 STGOD Story Thread I

Postby RogueIce » 2014-07-02 06:58pm

Eulica, Unknown Location
Same time as the AVALANCHE Raid


Odaka Matsusuke, fugitive from the former lands of Nippon, was sleeping peacefully in his bed when all of a sudden, the sounds of gunfire shattered his slumber.

Panicking, the old man scrambled to throw clothes upon his body, his eyes darting rapidly around the room, wondering what to do. Suddenly, his door burst open and he gave out a frightened yelp, cowering back from the light streaming through his doorway.

"Sir, we must -" began his head of security, his words being cut off as his head exploded amidst the deafening sound of automatic weapons fire. Petrified, Matsusuke could only await his fate; the old man was no warrior, had never been one.

After what seemed an eternity but was less than a minute in reality, a black-clad figure stepped over the body of Matsusuke's former head of security, his rifle turning to bear on the old man. "You're coming with us," said the specter of death standing before the old man, Odaka's mind only belatedly registering that the words were spoken in the tongue of Fuso.

*******

Safe House, Eulica - Unknown Location
Several days later


Once again, Odaka Masusuke was awakened by the terrifying sound of gunfire. Only this time, rather than the rattling of automatic weapons, it was the short, loud pop of single fire. Terrified, wondering what could possibly happen to him now that he was on the way to Fuso - and an almost certain execution - he hid behind the bed in the spartan room where he was being held.

Slowly, the door opened, and in walked a small figure. "Master Masusuke?" a woman's voice inquired.

"Maiko!" exclaimed the old man. "But how...?"

"They thought they had killed me, sir. I played dead. And then followed them. It took some time, but I was finally able to secure a weapon and rescue you. Come with me, quickly. Most of them left recently, likely to arrange transport. We most move before the others return."

Nodding profusely, Matsusuke let himself be half led, half dragged outside of the small building in which he had so recently been held prisoner. He tried to avoid looking at the bodies lining the floor.

Outside, they got into a waiting car, and Maiko drove off quickly. "What now?" Odaka had acquired of his primary assistant, who was not as dead as he had feared.

"Eulica is no longer safe for you, sir. You have to leave. I've...arranged sanctuary for you in Komradistan. It is the same deal I told you about before. We pay them to help fund their global revolutionary ambitions, and they give us a safe place to live."

"Hmph. I would rather my fortune have gone to funding Nipponese liberation," Odaka sniffed. "But I don't have much of a choice now, do I? Not with the Fusoans having caught up to me."

"I'm afraid not, sir. We'll be leaving the country aboard a Komradi freighter. Everything's been arranged. We'll be out of Euclia and on our way to Komradistan by nightfall."

*******

Shinra Republic nuclear submarine, off the coast of Eulica
Later that night


"Captain, message from the intelligence team. The Komradi Worker's Star has left the port and is heading to sea."

"Do we have a course and speed?"

"Yes Captain."

"Very well, plot an intercept and let's see where she goes."

"Aye, Captain."

"Commo, get a message ready. Begin: 'Shadowing Komradi Freighter carrying The Package. Will update as ordered.' End. Include our course and speed."

"Aye aye, Captain."

*******

The Pacific
Over the next few days


As the Shinra submarine followed the Komradi ship on its voyage home, they continued to keep Shinra Republic naval command updated. Naval command, for their part, passed along the information to the Republic of Fuso Navy. The Shinra Republic had informed Fuso that they had intelligence regarding a former Nipponese aristocrat who had been hiding out in Ausfrica and would be seeking refuge in Komradistan. The Shinra Republic, would, of course, assist the Fusoans in apprehending this man, who planned to use his funds stolen from Nippon during The War to secure sanctuary and who knew what else. Maybe even funding Nipponese Liberation movements in Fuso itself.

And so it was that the Komradi freighter was quickly intercepted by Fusoan warships, and after a quick search - almost as if the Fusoans knew exactly where to look, though of course that was impossible - they discovered Odaka Matsusuke and his assistant Maiko. Naturally, they arrested the Komradi crew, impounded the ship and took it back to Fuso. The Shinra submarine, having quietly observed all of this, then turned away into the deep waters of the Pacific, their mission concluded.



70th Floor, President's Office - Shinra Building, Midgar
December 31st, 2013


President Shinra and his son, Vice President Rufus Shinra, were alone in the spacious Presidential office atop the Shinra Building in the city of Midgar, enjoying a quiet drink and awaiting the countdown to a new year, when Robert Veld, Director Shinra Intelligence (publically) and also Leader of the Turks (not publically) walked in.

"It's done. Matsusuke is in custody, the Komradis are prisoners and their ship impounded in Fuso - which I'm sure will give their respective diplomats plenty to talk about in the upcoming year - and 'Maiko' has been safely returned to our embassy in Fuso. Our agents in Eulica have also touched down in Junon and completed their debriefing."

"Thank you, Director Veld. Tell your people good work from myself and the Vice President."

"Yes, sir. Thank you, Mister President." And with that, the SID Director left.

"So, Rufus, it looks like your little scheme worked."

Rufus Shinra nodded. "Yep. The Komradis get in hot water with Fuso, Fuso owes us a good turn for getting a member of the old Nipponese aristocracy into their hands, and we stay clean of delivering up a non-military person to almost certain execution, which the media would have a field day with if they ever knew."

"So, how is our Agent 'Maiko' anyway?"

"Doing fine. Was 'arrested' alongside Matsusuke, but we IDed her as a double agent to the Fusoans. Not that the old man is any the wiser; he probably thinks she was taken off to be shot and her body dumped for 'murdering' the Fusoan hit squad."

"Which of course not a single member of which was Fusoan," chuckled President Shinra.

Rufus smiled. "Nope, just several of our Turks of Fusoan immigrant families, as 'Maiko' herself was, despite passing herself off as being of Nipponese heritage." Rufus took a sip of his drink. "And, in the bargain, we managed to grab up the leader of AVALANCHE and a good chunk of her followers as a cover to our real objective. All in all, not a bad bit of business."

President Shinra smiled. "You did well, son. That successful AVALANCHE raid did quite a bit to get Governor Gestahl to quiet down over your promotion of that officer who relieved his son to command of a carrier."

"I thought it might," replied Rufus with a sly smile. Just then, the grand fireworks show began, the light flashing in the great windows of the President's office. "Happy New Year, dad."

"Happy New Year, son," replied the President of the Shinra Republic, clinking glasses with the Vice President of the Shinra Republic, as both men enjoyed this quiet moment before all the challenges and opportunities of a new year would all too soon consume their attention.
Image
"How can I wait unknowing?
This is the price of war,
We rise with noble intentions,
And we risk all that is pure..." - Angela & Jeff van Dyck, Forever (Rome: Total War)

"On and on, through the years,
The war continues on..." - Angela & Jeff van Dyck, We Are All One (Medieval 2: Total War)
"Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear." - Ambrose Redmoon
"You either die a hero, or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain." - Harvey Dent, The Dark Knight

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Re: 2014 STGOD Story Thread I

Postby RogueIce » 2014-07-02 10:54pm

70th Floor, President's Office - Shinra Building, Midgar
02 January, 2014


"...and that's where the current situation stands with the reactor fire, Mister President."

President Shinra nodded. "Options?"

"NEST-3 is the current go team, sir. They're ready to go when you give the order. Additionally we can have the White Wind upgrade to 24-D, just in case they're needed."

"That's it?"

"Well, sir," began Doctor Gast Faremis, the Presidential Science Advisor, "Realistically it's better to start small, then expand if need be. The Umerians are right next door, and they even operate at least one reactor similar to the design in question, unlike us. So as far as experts on the ground go, they're the next best thing to Champa's own people. Plus, again, they're right next door, according to our data they have a fairly robust nuclear response system, and being at the biggest fallout risk aside from Champa itself, they'll certainly be motivated to send help. Best not to flood an already bad situation with several disparate groups who've never worked together getting in each other's way."

"Good points, Doctor. Very well. Give the order."

"Thank you, Mister President," chorused the various advisors as they departed to execute their assigned tasks.



Office of the Vice President, Junon Military City

Vice President Rufus Shinra glanced at the orders that had popped up on his screen. NEST-3, based here in JMC, was going on alert for immediate deployment to Champa, once the diplomats had cleared their travel plans with the host country. Approximately thirty experts and their equipment on two transport planes. Additionally, the SRS White Wind had been sent a twenty-four deployment alert, meaning they were expected to get underway within twenty-four hours - though ideally considerably quicker - should the order be given. All very sensible steps to take, in the opinion of Rufus Shinra.

Still, it never hurt to be extra prepared. And so he pulled up the deployment data to see what assets were where. He noted with some satisfaction that the SRS Phoenix was currently sailing around somewhere to the northwest of the Republic. As the current carrier assigned to "home duty" she was conducting her final close deployment before entering the yards for a four-year RCOH period. While Rufus was sure Champa was soon to be flooded with more "help" than they'd know what to do with - as a student of history, he fully expected the nations of the world to trip over themselves with offers to assist, especially during a nuclear emergency - it never hurt to be ready if even that wasn't enough. Like Gast over in Midgar though, he knew it would be better to hold back than send in everybody at once so they could interfere with each other more than they'd be addressing the problem.

And so it was he issued a simple order to the commander of the Phoenix and her Battlegroup. "Maintain patrol in Northern Sector for duration of nuclear emergency." This would ensure the carrier and all her assets and capabilities would be on hand, if needed, while keeping them at a healthy distance until the true measure of the incident could be taken.



Results
  • Nuclear Emergency Support Team 3 (NEST-3) readied for immediate deployment, diplomatic message sent to Champa requesting permission to deploy.
  • The Hospital Ship SRS White Wind is readied to deploy within 24 hours, should the need arise.
  • The aircraft carrier SRS Phoenix and her carrier group are being ordered to stick around the northern waters of the Shinra Republic, just in case their presence is needed off the coast of Champa to aid in emergency or relief efforts.
Image
"How can I wait unknowing?
This is the price of war,
We rise with noble intentions,
And we risk all that is pure..." - Angela & Jeff van Dyck, Forever (Rome: Total War)

"On and on, through the years,
The war continues on..." - Angela & Jeff van Dyck, We Are All One (Medieval 2: Total War)
"Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear." - Ambrose Redmoon
"You either die a hero, or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain." - Harvey Dent, The Dark Knight

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Thanas
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Re: 2014 STGOD Story Thread I

Postby Thanas » 2014-07-03 01:26pm

Rheinland
Rheingold
01.01.2014, 16:23
Speed: 250 km/h, Location: North of Rhineland

Image
Of all the things Fischer hated about the Imperial family, the idea of personalized trains they had introduced a century ago was not one of those. Indeed, like any good Rhenan, he believed that trains (and a good Rhenish car, of course) were the best method of travelling from one destinations to another. And the Rheingold, along with its war sister train Rheinpfeil, was the Queen of trains. Featuring armored cars, a spacious cuppola with which to look at the landscape and several cars serving as mobile command centers, it was luxurious to a fault. In short, an excellent train to travel with speeds reaching up to 250 km/h.

If only there was no pressing business to take care of. Reluctantly Fischer set aside the wine glass and focused on the screen in front of him, showing a more than usual agitated foreign minister. "So you are telling me those idiots in Champa could not keep one of their reactors in check? How in the name of the great rescuer did that happen?" The Conte di Meloni shifted in his seat. "As far as we can tell - and the energy corps concurs - good old-fashioned incompetence, Herr Kanzler." Fischer swore under his breath. This was just what the greens needed. His junior coalition partner had been very clear that they would have preferred less nukes to be built. "Alright. Wait a moment."

Fischer stood up and sat down a few rows down the cabin. Großadmiral Kaneda had barely touched his dinner while he was studying numbers on the computer workstation provided to anybody travelling on the chancellor's private train. At the sight of the Reichskanzler he rose, but remained seated as Fischer motioned to him to stay seated. "Großadmiral, it seems that our esteemed friends the great whale-murderers of Champa have managed to let one of their reactors overheat. What assets do we have in the area that can be relocated?" Kaneda did not even have to look up to reply. "A carrier task force shadowing the Orion fleet, three nuclear subs and four groups conductin usual patrols along the sealanes to Ostrheinland. Along with four supply ships." "Can you give me a list of the ships and a recommendation, as well as coordinate with the air and land forces? I'll coordinate with the political leaders." "I will need half an hour, Herr Kanzler". "You got a whole hour."

True to his word, the ever efficient Großadmiral provided all the data needed to formulate a decision in 35 minutes. The recommendation of the foreign ministry was simple - do nothing and let them fry. The recommendation of the armed forces was to just monitor the situation. The recommendation of the political parties were manifold. Sticking out like a bad fashion decision was the recommendation of the Green party, which called on all reactors in Rheinland to be looked at immediately. Most other parties concurred that something had to be done with Champa.

Fischer agreed on the last point. Something had to be done with Champa. After all, they were still killing whales and dolphins. Yet it would have to be done with goodwill. As he looked over the ships available, he started grinning.

After a short teleconference he settled in for the night.


Task Force 36α
Location: Somewhere shadowing the Orion taskforce
Speed: Classified

Image
The Taskforce received new orders. Without violating Champan territorial waters, they were supposed to offer assistance. Some ships were detached to continue their patrol while two more ships were ordered to meet up with the task force.

A diplomatic communique was sent by the Foreign ministry to Champa.

To: His Excellency the Foreign secretary of the Nation of Champa

Your Excellency,

I have been instructed by His most exalted Excellency, the Reichskanzler of the The Imperial and Federal Union of Rheinland and lesser territories, to offer you the following assistance in the unfortunate safety issue on which you contacted us.

The Empire of Rheinland is offering to send a team of reactor specialists and a bataillon of pioneer units, if needed. The Imperial Navy is also standing by to offer further assistance. His Excellency has decided that the services of the following ships will be at your disposal for the duration of the crisis:

1. Aircraft Carrier RNS Grönlandwal ("Bowhead whale")
2. Supply ship RNS Mutterwal ("Mother whale")
3. Supply ship RNS Walkuh ("Whale cow")
4. Cruiser RNS Britonias Untergang ("Britonia's Ruin")
5. Destroyer RNS Großer Tümmler ("Porpoise")
6. Destroyer RNS Fleckendelfin ("Spotted Dolphin")
7. Frigate RNS Walfänger's Untergang ("Whaler's Bane")
8. Frigate RNS Walbeschützer ("Protector of the Whale")
9. Frigate RNS Walfreund ("Friend of the Whale")

The callsign of the taskforce is GREATWHALE.

Your most humble and obedient servant,
Anton, Comte di Meloni
Sekretär für Äußere Angelegenheiten des Rheinländischen Kaiserreiches
(Foreign Secretary of the Empire of Rheinland)


Results:
- Rheinland offers assistance in form of a small team of engineers, a pioneer bataillon if needed and the aforementioned Navy ships.

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Re: 2014 STGOD Story Thread I

Postby Simon_Jester » 2014-07-03 02:12pm

Eastport, Umeria
Central Administration Complex
January 2, 2014
10:15 Eastern-Umerian Standard Time


Clever Bell, chief of staff to the premier of Umeria, slapped himself on the forehead as he reviewed preparations for the disaster response in Champa.

I'm an idiot.

He rapped the intercom button on his desk, probably harder than necessary.

"Mound-of-Rocks, call the Ministry of Planning and tell them I'm going to be making a draw on the strategic foreign exchange reserve, on my own authority. We may be able to speed up our crisis response in Champa. I'll be on the line with the general staff."

A Few Minutes Later

"Wait, you plan to do what?"

"Trust me. Get some staffers together with a list of equipment we can pull from the 119th's storage bunkers, that the lead elements of the 83rd could use in Champa, before the supply trains arrive."

"We're already flying in more of our equipment and men in the second wave, as soon as the planes get back to Copperville Army Base."

"I know, I'm talking about heavy equipment. Things we can't airlift, but other people can. Assume heavy cargo planes, bigger than ours, lifting capacity around sixty tons or more. Whatever they use for big jobs, and can get here fast enough."

"Can they do it?"

"Let's find out."

A Few Minutes After That

Bell fished out his pocket-notebooks. The second had the number in the back, the first had blank space. Laying out both of them, he called one of SANDEX's offices in the capital.

[spoiler="removed as unrealistic but mildly amusing to author"]The first voice he heard- a native employee, receptionist most likely. "SANDEX air freight. How may I help you?"

"Yes, this is from Central Administration, Clever Bell, the chief of staff, speaking. Yes, really. No, don't ask me to wait, the firm will lose a large priority-fee contract if you do that. Millions if not tens of millions. I need someone with the authority to accept a priority, emergency contract on air transport of very heavy machinery. Fast; it's a priority."

Bell rode a wave of transfers, surprised secretaries, and occasional argumentative types, whom he gently clubbed over the head with a rolled up eight-figure contract. Finally, he found the one he sought.[/spoiler]

"Ms. Winters? Sorry that I'm jumping a few layers of channels, but we're in a hurry. We have an engineering regiment with piles of heavy equipment, less than a hundred kilometers from the capital. We have an engineering regiment with no heavy equipment squaring off against a reactor fire up in Champa. I'm prepared to commission fast, priority air transport bringing A to B. We'd need large cargo planes, capable of moving heavy vehicles and machinery for several hundred soldiers, up to and including fifty-ton combat engineering vehicles, plus assorted pallets of smaller supplies, as practical to balance the loads. The general staff will send you a detailed manifest shortly. My question is, how much can you get from... either Big-Ears Birchleaf Air Force Base or the cargo terminals at Eastport International, your choice, to Dylhut Airbase in Champa or, failing that, the nearest airport that can handle your planes, by, oh... dawn tomorrow? Noon? If not, when?"

The woman made reply. Bell listened carefully, noting all that was said and jotting down a couple of notes in his pocket notebook.

"Ah, right, true. Food for thought. Thank you, I'll get the details to you as fast as I can intimidate underlings into doing it. Now, you're a busy woman, and I have to call a few other cargo firms before noon. Have a good afternoon!"
Last edited by Simon_Jester on 2014-07-04 12:26am, edited 2 times in total.
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