Author Topic: A Storm in the Channels (IC Thread)  (Read 418 times)

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A Storm in the Channels (IC Thread)
« on: July 22, 2023, 04:59:19 AM »

Loi-pwi, Vax Republic
31 km southeast of Treng
04:54 AM

   It was a quiet morning, Ko Arkar thought as he stood at his post near the southern entrance to the village. Too quiet, in fact. Some of the old timers, the folks who had actually fought in the war, back in the 70s, would've called it the "calm before the storm", and they'd be right. Just a few hours ago, his unit, a part of the VNA—the Vax National Army—had received word that the Kalasinese had voted for independence, which left several disputes along the border now both unresolved and likely to be pressed. Loi-pwi sat in the middle of one of those "disputes", though Ko knew that if the Kalasinese were going to press their claims, they'd likely try to annex the entire country as they had back in '78. And that's why he was here. He had wanted to sign on back in 2017, during the revolution, to protect his home but had been rejected due to his age, yet now, six years later, it seemed he was going to be called on to do so anyways. But for now, he and his comrades had to hurry up and wait.

   Every so often, the silence would be broken up by a few locals who had already been stirred from their sleep; it may have been early, but they were out in the sticks, so it figured that someone would be doing farm work or whatever it was they did out here. Every time, the nineteen-year-old soldier would jump a little, thinking that perhaps the Kalasinese were upon him, only to realize his mistake a few moments later. This would continue on and on repeatedly from three in the morning until now, and unless he could get a grip, it would probably continue until the fog cleared. Of course, he had every reason to be nervous; if the Kalasinese attacked now, they would be cut off from any support, as the Union government would need to either fly or drive all the way across Kalasinese territory to reach them, something which they quite probably didn't have the chance to do. He would say a little prayer that peace would hold, but part of him knew that it couldn't.

   Just then, off in the distance, he spotted what looked like a pair of headlamps and heard a motor approaching from the border. Perhaps it was just a scouting party which was returning, but part of him feared the worst. He raised his rifle, an old Kalashnikov which had been "liberated" from a PKA barracks back in 2017 and spoke up.
   "What is approaching?" He said, issuing a challenge to their would-be trespasser as the vehicle drew close.
   "The new day, brother." The driver said, his voice familiar to Corporal Arkar. What he had said was correct, so he would wave him on.
   "Welcome home." He said with a nod before the car drove on. He was right. By some stroke of mercy, it was a scouting party. A few moments would pass as the car parked a few houses down and the group aboard would disembark, some heading further into the town to their command post while the driver, a man by the name of Pyae Sein, walked over to him. "Anything new?" Ko asked him when he reached him, leaning against the sandbags.
   "Nothin' yet. Not even the local gangs are daring to go out now." Pyae replied. "With all that's happened, they must be scared."
   "Shouldn't we all be?"
   "I suppose, and that's alright. Fear makes you cautious, and it's better to be careful than to get yourself killed, I say."
   "Fair enough." Ko said with a nod. "Anyways, you ought to get some rest, it's gonna be a long day."

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Re: A Storm in the Channels (IC Thread)
« Reply #1 on: July 22, 2023, 10:03:47 PM »
Uthai Sot Missile Base, Kalasin
81 km south of Phimal
11:13 AM

   It was unbelievable, thought Sergeant Alak Kaouthai as he patrolled the perimeter of the base, that it had come to this. Not that Kalasin had seceded; that much, he was unsurprised by and genuinely supported. No, what was unbelievable was that a few of his men didn't, and that they had gone AWOL shortly after the declaration was made. He couldn't see why they would throw their lives away instead of serving their nation. That they would be more loyal to the government in Ranong, to the bastards who had sold out his people to the Daitōjin... They made their choice, and because of that, if he saw them again, he'd be sure to give them their "reward" for that loyalty. As for himself, he, like many of the "Old Guard", still clung to the idea of a free, independent Kalasin, even if there were some who were... more radical than him. Some in his unit were like him, wishing only to see the country be free, perhaps in time even restoring a positive relationship with the Paechonese. Others, however, wanted nothing other than revenge. Not just on their neighbors to the south, but to their Daitōjin allies who had destroyed the People's Republic. And to think, more of those hardliners were being welcomed back with each passing day.

   Uthai Sot was one of many homes of the Kalasinese Missile Forces, where some of its Scud missiles and its renowned Chaychna 3s were being stored. They were originally scheduled to be dismantled, but until that time, some higher-up must've thought it wise to keep them ready, just in case war was to come. Now, with those extremists coming back, Alak couldn't help but feel a shiver go down his spine, even in this immense heat. If they were to go rogue... The consequences would be horrific. From what he knew, anything within somewhere around 4,100 km or so could be a target, far enough to reach into Ardia or, from their current location, parts of western Tamora. He could only hope, then, that his fears wouldn't come true.

   After a short while, Alak would stop by a small, metal shed, where a couple of his fellow soldiers were crowded around a radio. Apparently, the news was on, some broadcaster from up in Pattani, and based on the body language of those listening, it wasn't good news.
   "...Union forces attempted to arrest President Rangsitpol on charges of treason and sedition, but were repulsed by the loyal soldiers of the Presidential Guard..." the radio said as he passed by. As he heard those words, he stopped dead in his tracks as his hope for a peaceful resolution disappeared, at least for now. His only hope now was that whatever fighting that was to come would be brief. After looking around a moment, he would resume his patrol.

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Re: A Storm in the Channels (IC Thread)
« Reply #2 on: July 25, 2023, 12:40:20 AM »
This wasn't Serenity's first rodeo but it was her first as commander in chief, stepping into the Round Table Room of the Marble Palace still drying her hair after her attempts at diving, looking around the table she took a deep breath before taking her seat "Adam?" Serenity asked turning her attention to the Minister of Defence, Adam Sheppard
"At sometime between 10 and 11am VMT Union forces operating under direct order of President Kaikaew attempted to arrest Minister-President Rangsitpol." Adam said "It was repulsed, death toll is reported as six union soldiers and one presidential guard with several union soldiers in the wind. Not the most helpful development."
"You think war is inevitable?" Serenity asked
"I think a civil war is getting closer I think an awful lot will depend on what happens next, what moves are made, there's also the other question." Adam said glancing at Rion Ayanami
"For an armed secession to have a chance of success it needs a few things to go its way." Rion said "Given the very likely probability of international attention the separatist faction needs some sort of deterrent. Rangsitpol initiated a legislative procedure which he presumably knew would not be binding and is inviting a response, what card is he holding? What does he think he's got that is going to make it too much trouble?"
"Find out." Serenity said "Military response?"
"That's with the Admiral." Adam said
"Your Majesty." Admiral Joseph Stapleton said standing up and indicating the wall screen "As you know the Matilda's is the most vital waterway on Mundus, any crisis around there is going to be problematic and have ripples further afield. the INS Rhyth Icerider is currently en route back to Gowu from Portworth, it's in the eastern Krimeon at present we're recommending that it be diverted into the area, we also have the INS Excalibur, INS Fawn Azurewind and INS Saix in the Kyne we're again recommending diverting them into the area, that gives us a small versatile group monitoring the situation."
"How far out are they?" Serenity asked
"Twelve hours." the Admiral said "We also have the INS Specula in the Kyne which is days out but we want to move her towards the area just in case."
"We're also recommending the Seonaid Ayanami's CSG be moved into the Kyne just as a precaution, if this escalates and we're looking at peacekeeping probabilities we'll want stuff in train ready to go." Adam said 
"Do it." Serenity said "Elena if this becomes a case of boots on the ground, we're going to need an article seven debate slot."
"I'll keep a floating session on the order papers." Elena Brooke the Leader of the Senate Chamber said, this basically made her the person responsible for scheduling the Senate's business "With a bit of luck we won't need it but it'll be there if needed."
"Good I don't want to waste a second if it comes to it." Serenity said "Meanwhile we're about to host the Mundus Games, we've got team Kalasin in the country and fans as well none of whom can get back home because we suspended travel. So we'll need to sort out accommodation and potentially asylum claims depending on how this goes. For now we put the monitoring group in and get everything lined up just in case. Meanwhile Rion find out what card these separatists are holding or think they're holding because something smells off here and I don't like it."

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Re: A Storm in the Channels (IC Thread)
« Reply #3 on: July 25, 2023, 07:12:10 AM »
Uthai Sot Missile Base, Kalasin
81 km south of Phimal
9:52 AM

   The number of irregulars at Uthai Sot had steadily increased since the fighting had broken out, which left Alak equal parts concerned and frustrated by the situation. They were at war, and yet for whatever reason, command saw fit to send people who had no business being here to guard the site. To make matters worse, his old commander had been replaced by a radical, by... him. His old commander from back in the communist era, Thaksin Prateung, had been reassigned to Uthai Sot, which on the surface seemed to make sense. After all, he had a reputation for maintaining order among the units which he led and was even well-respected, even by Alak, however, he had also been one of the people who, after the fall of the People's Republic, had joined the PAFK remnants, and now, almost every time Alak saw him, he was "preaching" about the need to avenge the fallen of the last war. It was clear to him that Colonel Prateung was planning something, and by the looks of it, these "irregulars"—ex-PAFK—were in on it too.

   Every once-in-a-while, he would hear someone talk about "the launch", which on its own made sense, the base would perform missile tests from time to time. But they always talked about it as though it was something to come, and the wording they used suggested it wasn't a test, either. it was probably nothing, just talk given the country was now at war, but even so, something rubbed him the wrong way. Most of the time, he just ignored it, carried out his everyday duties, and kept patrolling the premises. But today, he saw something... peculiar. One of the Chaychna 3s had been taken out of storage and was erected. It looked as though it may be fired, but... surely there was no need to, was there?
   "They'd be insane to use it." Alak said to one of his comrades. "That kind of ordinance, it's the sort of thing that, if used, gets a country invaded... And now, it's in the hands of radicals."
   "I don't disagree, Alak." The other soldier, Surat, replied. "Those PAFK fools think using it will teach their enemies to fear us, but all it'll do is make them hate us. And right now, we don't need that."
   "Right now?"
   "Well, you never know." Surat joked. "But seriously, I got a bad feeling about them stickin' one out in the open, and in a firing position too."

   A few minutes passed, no more than three, before a private ran up to the sergeant, evidently bearing some sort of bad news. Probably just a group of Unionists that got spotted, nothing more.
   "What's the matter, Private..."
   "Palathai, Sergeant Kaouthai." The private said. "It's the missile, the crews, they're-"

   Alak and Surat looked at each other, giving one another a knowing nod, before Alak spoke up. "They're preparing to fire. Do you have any idea what the target is, Private?"
   "No, Sergeant. But Colonel Prateung said in a speech earlier that we finally have the chance to have our revenge, or something."
   "...Thank you, Private. And if I were you, I'd...  consider getting out of here. This is no military base anymore." Alak said before waving him off.

   A few moments passed before Surat said something, letting the private get out of earshot.
   "'This is no military base anymore', huh? So now you admit it. We're just another camp of terrorists but with a military presence, and command won't admit it."
   "You saw him. He's just a kid, he shouldn't be here. We, on the other hand... Well, we've made our beds here, we may as well face whatever's to come."
   "I suppose you're right. For what it's worth, Sergeant, it's been an honor to serve with you."
   "And with you, Corporal. Now then, let's lets get back to work."

   A couple minutes passed, and with a furious roar, a missile from Uthai Sot lifted off on a trail of smoke and light, its target not entirely known, but towards the south. Wherever it was, it wouldn't be long before it hit, and who knew how many lives would be threatened. Alak prayed that wherever it was going, it would be shot down beforehand, but he knew better than to hold out hope. Nobody was expecting a move like this, not even him, not for a while anyways. He was reminded of something which Colonel Prateung told him, back when he was still just a Captain. "If your enemy can be made to think you are weak, you have the power to be audacious." It looked now like that lesson was being demonstrated, but somehow, he knew it would be their undoing.

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Re: A Storm in the Channels (IC Thread)
« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2023, 03:23:48 PM »
If fury was the appropriate word to describe the mood in Shinkyo and Pyrettania the word to describe the mood in Valtheim was inquisitive concern, perhaps because there'd been no attack on Achkaerinese soil, perhaps because Valtheim had seen this movie more than once but not even the most seasoned, the most experienced of Achkaerin's establishment could say they'd stared down this particular barrel from this position. This had now gone from monitoring to probable combat very quickly and the unease was palpable, nowhere more than in the mind of Rion Ayanami as she composed herself to give Serenity her opinion. "This doesn't add up." she said "If you're the separatists in Pattani your beef is with the government in Paechon, you may have historical issues with Daito but your focus is surely on attaining independence in a manner that's accepted by the international community, attacking two nations in a manner that's terror based is not what you do, if you're smart enough to know a declaration of independence is going to be met with a response from Paechon you're smart enough to know that launching attacks on Daito and Rokkenjima is going to bring all manner of hell down on you. It's deliberately poking the bear."
"Meaning you only poke the bear if you want them in the channels." Fleet Admiral David Jackson, the head of the navy said
"You suspect a trap?" Serenity asked
"This screams the word trap and I don't like it." Rion said "If a nuclear hit is the bait what's the sting going to be?"
"We're being made to rush and I don't like it." David said "Moving without due care and attention is the number one most likely way to fall for a trap."
"And I'll tell you something else." Rion said "They timed this well, if the Pyrettania attack happens forty eight hours later the Senate would be in their summer recess, they're forcing a response, we know caution is the correct approach but we also know that won't go well in the court of public opinion especially on the part of victims."
"No one more dangerous than the person with nothing to lose." Serenity said she took a breath "Ok if the Senate says yes what do we do?"
"I'm not advising boots on the ground en masse." Field Marshall William Dawson said "Rion's right, this looks and reads like a trap and somehow these separatists have nuclear capability so that needs dealing with before we even think about a full on ground assault."
"Which is where I come in." General Neil Portman said, as the head of the Achkaerin Special Forces he understood the implication of William's use of the words 'en masse' "We insert an ASF troop in country with a little support, identify players, find the weapons if any more exist and deal with them. Take away or start taking away their big gun before we get into ground combat."
"Point is." Adam said "There needs to be a meaningful response but not one that takes us past a point."
"What type of response are you recommending?" Serenity asked
"Asserting pressure and control while behaving in a sensible manner." David said "Intelligence going back years suggests that weapons trafficking has become commonplace in Kalasin, not surprising considering the various armed groups in the nation, not to mention the intense conflict between such groups. But that leads to stockpiles, we say cut that off."
"Draw it up." Serenity said "If the Senate says yes then this needs to be ready to go."

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Re: A Storm in the Channels (IC Thread)
« Reply #5 on: July 30, 2023, 04:11:17 AM »
2000 Hours, Kalasinese Coastline
Black Talon 1 - Operation Kingfisher
32 Hours Until Deadline Ends

A splash kicked up as the first set of boots landed in the shallow surf, followed by several more. The RHIBs had made landfall within the acceptable timeframe. Three of the boats from the RNS Gleidhidh had landed here, on an empty stretch of the Kalasinese coastline. It was never going to be a great idea to try and insert special forces from a hospital ship, but even at that they had never anticipated that the locals would launch a pair of missiles at it. The Directorate knew best, they supposed. Helicopters would be too much of a risk, and any military vessel nearing the coastline would draw the wrong kind of attention. Here only the sound of seabirds and the waves breaking against the sand were audible, no human presence. That being said Gleidhidh being hit wasn't part of the plan, they still had a legitimate humanitarian mission to carry out and that action had escalated their mission from simple intelligence gathering to risking drawing the Republic into a proper conflict. That is of course unless the higher ups knew that they were putting the Gleidhidh into the line of fire to justify going in.

Captain Crowle quickly assessed his situation. He had fourteen other men under his command and they were busying themselves dragging the boats up the sand, they had to be hidden of course and no one would have been expecting them in this area anyway. Most of the opfor would be occupied further inland.

His second stopped just short of him, a Warrant Officer by the name of Kildare. "Captain, the lads are ready to move on your go."

"Good work Kildare, I want everyone to check their kit and be ready to move in five, we're on the clock now." The Captain said, his attention focused on the map he had slipped from his admin pouch. They knew the rough area of their target but it would be quite the hike inland, through hard terrain and with no support. But his orders were clear, there were several intelligence assets in-country when the hostilities kicked off and it was of the utmost importance their intel be extracted. The Republic had no intention of walking into this blind, especially after that dirty bomb went off, and the satellites just couldn't get enough information, these assets had significant intel tucked away but for whatever reason they just couldn't transfer it out. That's why they had to use the Hospital Ship as a front to insert their team quietly to grab it. It would be invaluable to the Intelligence Corps and ensure that if the Armed Forces were going to commit then they'd have the best possible picture of the situation on the ground.

The Captain waded through the surf and sand up to his section, they were already taking cover under the foliage. "Alright people, asset pickup is a 55 click Northeast from where we are now, we need to grab this intel fast and get back before the deadline hits. Command wants that intelligence badly before the regs come in and we are here to get it for them. Let's move out."

0255 Hours
25 hours until Deadline

It had been nearly seven hours since they left the beach. The section of fifteen had been advancing single file through the Kalasinese countryside without having encountered anyone, of course they had kept away from the roads and villages, their route had been planned specifically to minimize this risk. But now they were advancing on their first target and that was about to change.

Captain Crowle signalled his column to regroup around himself, a few quick flicks of his hand and they knew immediately he wanted two volunteers. Two of the men put themselves forward. "Right, Grey, Hagen, the first pickup is holed up in a settlement just half a click south of us. Asset's name is 'Mnaddo', you still remember the description from the brief?" The two men nodded. "Good, it's an old army outpost, we don't expect much resistance but I'll get Teague to send the drone up ahead of you. Kildare's fireteam will set up just outside to support you if it kicks off. The VIP should be waiting in a garage not too far from the perimeter fence. In and out, no noise."

For the briefest moment the jungle around them clicked and clacked as the section prepared and checked their weapons. Seven of them advanced quietly through the foliage ahead, a small quadcoptor drone buzzing over their heads as it rapidly gained altitude into the night sky. Five of the men took cover in the foliage, setting up their positions to offer the best view of the compound ahead, whilst the last two continued ahead carefully, keeping low to the ground as they moved up to the fence.

The compound ahead of them wasn't exactly bustling with activity, but it wasn't as dead as they had hoped for, the drone's FLIR camera had picked up at least seventeen heat signatures roaming the area. Though they were dispersed and seemingly just ambling around aimlessly. Two more signitures were quickly picked up approaching the fence just on the edge, the IR strobes from their helmets identifying them as friendly. Corporal Hagen's radio clicked. "We're at the fence, enough holes we can get through. What's the sitrep?" he asked in a hushed tone.

His headset crackled back, "Drone spotted three X-rays between you and the first building, they appear to be sitting around a small fire, take the path to the right and move along the wall, they wont see you."

The two men quickly began moving, stepping through a wide gap in the rusted and decaying fence. They raised their carbines, both of them had C35A2's chambered in .300 blk, that and the monolithic suppressors on the end of them would ensure even if they did had to pick someone off they could at least do it quietly. Through their WP filtered NODS they could see their lasers cutting through the dark, one facing forward and the other firmly fixed in the direction the drone had reported possible hostiles.

Taking every step with caution they continued, a dim light from a fire was radiating from their left and they began to pick up voices, casual conversation, nothing to indicate they suspected any infiltration. Still, best not to stick around. Once they had reached the wall their radio came back to life. "Armed X-rays ahead, drone counts two, they are facing away from you but are in the way. Drop them quietly and hide the bodies. Once you've taken care of them proceed across the road and take the gate, it leads into the garages."

Hagan clicked his PTT button twice to confirm before nodding to Grey. Advancing along the wall they spotted their targets, two men casually dressed and having a quiet chat, one was busy trying to light a cigarette with an old lighter. The two operators silently drew their knives and advanced in unison, hesitating for only a moment to sight any potential onlookers they jumped them. A short struggle ensued as they were simulataniously pulled backwards by the operators and out of sight, gloved hands muffled any calls of help before it went quiet again. As quickly as it started it was over, the two men quickly advanced across the dimly lit road and pushed against the gate.

Entering the open-air garages was simple, the drone hadn't spotted any opposition aside from the single heat signature standing next to it's own IR strobe. The asset. Weaving between broken down cars and old toolboxes they approached him, guns still up. 'Mnaddo' was simply leaning against one of the cars, a cigarette in his mouth and a large revolver at his hip.

"What took you so long?" He asked, "I have what you want, but these paramilitaries will notice I've been gone for a smoke for a while. Anyway, everything you want is in here: capabilities, which group operates where, even the specs on those missiles that hit that ship. Everything my network has gathered till now." He stated dryly, pulling a satchel from inside the vehicle and offering it. Hagan snatched it from his hand before pressing three times on his radio. Asset secured. "Get back to them then." the soldier whispered, drawing a small envelop from a pouch on his hip and tossing it over to him. "Payment for goods recieved."

Mnaddo smirked, "I'll see what I can drum up next time for you, I have to warn you though it is getting harder to move around. They still think I'm just here to sell them alcohol and cigarettes but they are getting bolder, robbing people outright now that they think they have carte-blanch to do what they please."

Suddenly Hagan's headset crackled. "Corporal, you have five x-rays moving into the area, all armed. They are about to enter the garage area. Go to ground now."

"Get out of here, company." He snapped. Mnaddo stubbed his cigarette and shrunk back into the darkness, naturally he had his own way out but that wouldn't work for two special forces operators, they couldn't just walk brazenly out of there. The two soldiers were quick to drop down into an inspection pit. Weapons ready as the gates squeaked open, they could see five pairs of legs from under the car. The five men quickly dispersed around the pitch black garage, unaware of the transaction that had just occured and the two Preorians hiding infront of them. One of them produced a few bottles from a backpack as the others spoke in their native tongue, laughing between one another as they pulled up seats.

"I'm only seeing five, they haven't noticed their friends are missing and I'm not seeing any unusual increase in activity, they still don't know you are there. Can you make it out?" Captain Crowle's voice crackled through Hagan's headset. He clicked it once for 'no'.
"Is that lot setting up for a while?". Two clicks, Yes. "Damn, has the asset been secured?". Two clicks again. "Good, do not engage unless you are spotted, we'll have to see if we can't wait till they move on. If they don't budge then We'll get you out. Just sit tight for now." Another two clicks confirmed the order.

An hour or so had passed, the group of men had taken up some kind of card game and were very invested in it, they had set their rifles down to the side. Hagan and Grey were still crouched underneath the car, their focus had to be total, any small move could give them away. Even just trying to sit down would make too much noise. Time was running out for them, light would be approaching soon and they would be too easy to see where they were. One way or another they would be compromised and forced to go loud.

The radio came back online, "Corporal, we can't pull you out in any way that wouldn't compromise us, Mclusky's drone has also spotted two trucks full of potential hostiles making their way along a road towards the compound. He estimates ten minutes before they show up. We need to go now, you have permission to engage, get back here.". Hagan looked at his fellow, they both knew what to do.

He carefully produced a small cylinder from one of his pouches, a flashbang. He couldn't pull the pin without setting his carbine down, so he held it backwards towards Grey, who obliged with his own free hand. He held the spoon tightly, slowly releasing pressure until it triggered, it was quiet enough the men didn't notice it as he rolled it towards them.

The flash of light was the last thing they had expected, the operators at least had noise-cancelling headsets to muffle the bang. They were sent reeling immediately, dropping to the floor and yelling, trying to grap at where their weapons had been or rolling around on the ground clutching their eyes. The two Preorians rapidly emerged from either side of the inspection pit, they had relentlessly trained for this kind of close quarters engagement, with no hesitation they had opened fire, one muffled shot into each of the five men as they struggled to rise, then another to ensure they were neutralized.

Hagan quickly turned on his radio, "We've engaged, clear a path for us, we're coming back through the alley."

"Copy, we'll get their attention." The voice of Kildare returned. Almost immediately they heard the sound of rapid-fire. The distinct sound of the C102 SAW, even suppressed it was still loud.  "Looks like Mnaddo exfilled, anyone you see left in there is a hostile, engagement rules are free." The Captain shouted down his radio.

The two operators shouldered the gate into the garage open, weapons raised they scanned the immediate outside, three men clad in old webbing and clutching even older rifles were running down the road to the source of the sound, for a moment they hesitated, expecting their friends to be the ones coming out of the garage. Instead they were met with two men in full-gear. Hagan opened fire, the first of the three fell immediately, as they struggled to come to a stop and raise their own rifles. Grey had the second before they could, the third fell to both of them.

They rushed across the road, dirt kicking up at their feet as several more hostiles tried to take aim at them. Both of them made it to cover unscathed, back to the wall they had initially moved along, the sound of gunfire was now rife around the entire compound, the crack of AKM rifles joining in as the paramilitaries fired relentlessly into the treeline where the rest of the unit was dug-in.

The two operators were running full-pelt at this point, it was only 50 metres to the trees where the rest of them were providing suppressing fire to cover their withdrawel. Regardless of if it was open ground they had to move, there was no time before potentially dozens more hostiles flooded in.

They could feel the snap of bullets whizzing past them as they ran, they had almost made it to the treeline when Grey stumbled, three shots had found their mark in his back as he fell forward into the brush. Breaking his stride Hagan dropped his rifle onto it's sling and grabbed his friend's plate carrier by the shoulder-straps, hauling him into the undergrowth.

"Grey is hit!" He yelled into his headset, "Get me backup!", two more of his unit broke cover and ran out to help him, returning fire against the paramilitaries as they pulled their casualty to saftey.

The trees around them splintered and clumps of mud were kicked up, they took cover in a shallow pit. Quickly flipping Grey around to find where the shots had hit. "No blood, he took it in the carrier and it looks like the plates held up"" One of the soldiers shouted. "Get him back up then!" Hagan responded. They lifted the downed man to his feet and checked him over again. "Looks like he was just dazed by the fall, let's get him back."

The four men now retreated deeper into the foliage, Captain Crowle was waiitng for them.
"Do you still have the assets?" He asked. Hagan nodded, Grey was back on his own footing now. "Good", He spoke into his headset. "All fireteams, disengage and withdraw, we've acquired the intel." He turned back to his men. "I hope he can still run, we need to get as far away from here as possible." Grey shook his head. "I'm still in the game, sir." "Good man." The Captain replied.

The section started filtering in, all fifteen accounted for. "Let's move out, Kildare take the rear. These bastards will be on our tails so we need to move fast." Crowle ordered. Almost immediately the section broke into a sprint, beating a hasty retreat as the paramilitaries still fired into the trees.

1303 Hours
13.5 hours until Deadline

It had been around ten hours but the unit had made it back to the beach, they were ragged, exhausted but all of them were alive. The trek back had to be taken carefully, once they shook the paramilitary forces chasing them they had to navigate around any patrols they encountered. Even taking the longer, but safer, route was risky. But they had made it back with the intelligence intact, a satchel containing a laptop and a half-dozen memory drives.

The exhausted men busied themselves dragging their boats back out of cover towards the sea. Captain Crowle grabbed a sattelite phone that was stowned in his rucksack, dialing in he was quickly answered. "This is BT 1-4 to Seagull, Rickshaw, I repeat, Rickshaw."
A voice came back down the phone, "This is Seagull, we copy, dispatching Seagull-Minor to EP 'Checkmate',  RV in 1.5 Hours.", "Understood, we are moving to EP 'Checkmate'."

He hitched the sat-phone back into it's pocket and signalled for his second. "Kildare! Checkpoint, one and a half!." He shouted over.

The Warrant officer nodded and turned to the rest of the men. "Let's get these boats ready, I don't doubt they'll leave us if we don't get there on time."

Once the boats were in the water they wasted no time, embarking and powering away from the shore as quickly as the RHIBs could carry them. It would be a 45-minute ride to the extraction-point in open water, their GPS would take them there but the danger was the slightly longer wait until they could be picked up. But a successful mission was a successful mission, and the intelligence they secured would be a major-asset in planning what was to come. And they still had 12 hours before the deadline would expire. Plenty of time to extract the data, of course there would be no doubt that this information would be shared with the Daitōjins, even if they had their own intelligence in-country it wouldn't hurt to be as open as possible with them.
« Last Edit: July 30, 2023, 11:11:49 AM by Sorrel »

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Re: A Storm in the Channels (IC Thread)
« Reply #6 on: July 31, 2023, 11:52:39 PM »
While not numerous yet, the Achkaerinese military had got a presence in the channels and had for the last couple of days it was four vessels strong, four surface and one submarine, the ship designated as in command was the INS Rhyth Icerider the drone carrier sat near the coastline of an island in the northern channel not too far from the town of Hayang, the initial orders for this group of vessels had been get in the area and make it fairly obvious that there was a presence there to separate the two sides if necessary, that had somewhat had a spanner thrown into the works by a few things but what had sent alarm bells ringing the most for the ships commanding officer Captain Fiona Baines was the missile attack on the RNS Gleidhidh, she'd expected the separatists to potentially lob rockets and missiles in their direction and it wouldn't surprise her if the missiles had been intended for one of the vessels she was responsible for after all logically speaking attacking a ship bringing in humanitarian aid didn't make sense. Fiona was presently stood at the back of the ships bridge at what had come to be termed the chessboard, a table with a built in touch screen computer allowing access to various things, currently it was displaying a tactical overview of the area, the Gleidhidh's position was shown on approach to Ranong with an Achkaerinese vessel heading in their direction as a precaution, the theory was simple enough if the Gleidhidh had been the intended target and had been shot at once there was no reason to believe there wouldn't be a second time. That however wasn't what was drawing Fiona's attention, no that particular honour belonged to what was officially called the Republic of Kalasin Navy but was in this instance the Separatist fleet, all in port and sizable enough to cause problems if the intel was right and there was a trap of some sort in the offing then it was highly likely that that navy was involved in it. The question of the day was what was going to change the circumstances, then she saw the orders pop up on the encrypted line and smiled it was a bold move she'd give the higher ups that, it was the old mantra control the opposition and you control the game. Fiona was still looking at the map when her radio beeped.

"Captain here." she said
"Drone Operations skipper." came the reply "We have a track and target site, uploading to you now."
"Thank you." Fiona said watching as the screen on the chessboard displayed an area just a few kilometres inland to the east of Songkhla "That's a lot of hills and valleys, bit of a maze isn't it?"
"It's no Emyn Muil but it's getting close." the voice on the other end said "Dragonbreath's want to have a go at it."
"Authorized." Fiona said

While preparations were being put in place the INS Excalibur was approaching the RNS Gleidhidh's position, the message coming from the Excalibur was clear it was asking for a damage report and offering assistance as per their obligations under international law. There was a serious desire on the part of the relevant military authorities in Achkaerin to get the Gleidhidh the hell out of the area as soon as was either practical or possible. Surprisingly the Excalibur's presence hadn't spooked the Separatist navy which considering it was the most heavily armed foreign vessel presently on station was saying something, yet more suspicion of something not adding up, but either way there was a clear impression that storm clouds were gathering it was just a question of when they were going to break.

Around an hour later the skies above the northern channel were the backdrop against which two Dragonbreath fighter jets flew, they were flown by Squadron Commander Lily Murray and Flight Leader Arthur Finch callsigns 'Angel' and 'Predator' respectively.
"Reading ten thousand feet." Arthur said "Three hundred kilometres to Death Star."
"Why are we using Star Wars references for this thing again?" Lily asked
"Because you lost last nights rowing challenge." Arthur said
"You stacked the deck." Lily scoffed before taking a breath "Ok combat distance, going weapons hot."
"Weapons hot aye." Arthur said
"Death Star point reached descending down to one thousand feet and going to attack speed." Lily said steering her jet down into the valleys and leveling off as she increased speed, Arthur's plane wasn't that far behind her "Closing in, target acquired, tone and lock on primary."
"Tone and lock on secondary." Arthur said

The two jets popped up over the ridge out of the valley, the target was in sight, at least as far as the computers were concerned, "Missiles away." Lily said pulling the trigger as Arthur did likewise, the explosion was visible as the two jets banked away and ran for safe airspace.
"No sign of chasers." Arthur said as the two planes hit the sky over the channel
"And that's another thing for the doesn't seem right list." Lily said, they'd expected at least some enemy contact given that they were going after the SSM site that had made itself known in the Gleidhidh incident and while it wasn't a bad thing to not see that happen it was highly suspicious, she got on the radio "This is Angel stage is set." she reported.

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Re: A Storm in the Channels (IC Thread)
« Reply #7 on: August 10, 2023, 03:05:39 AM »
General Headquarters, Imperial Daitōjin Armed Forces
Kamikitazawa, Shiraizumi Ward, Shinkyō Metropolis
10:14 AM

   To say that Okimoto Esashi had been surprised an attack on Daitō had happened was, ultimately, an incorrect assumption. It had been his desire, since the overthrow of the People's Republic, to see the former armed forces dissolved and made anew, which included the complete destruction of the country's missile forces. Yet here he was, at the General Headquarters of the Imperial Armed Forces, mere weeks on from the attack on Awara. He had spent the last few hours going over reports on the evacuation of Ranong, the "capital" of the Union government over in Kalasin, as the siege of the city had continued. But there was still a missing piece here; Awara, he understood. It was a decently large city with less in the way of air defenses, plus it was in range of some of their missiles. Add a grudge against the Empire, probably a splash of insanity—you'd need to be insane to draw the ire of Daitō if you were in that position—and that made sense. No, what didn't add up was the attack on Pyrettania. Who in their right mind would nearly simultaneously strike two of East Ardia's largest military powers if they were trying to gain their independence, and not even frame it as an attack by the other side?

   With a sigh, the old Marshal stepped out of office and into the briefing room. Just another conference in the aftermath of the attack, but important nonetheless. All of them were, to be fair, even if they often dragged on for ages. Still, sometimes, it made him wish he hadn't taken the job as War Minister, let alone wishing he hadn't been promoted to a Marshal. At the end of the day, if it were up to him, he'd be in the field, preparing for the liberation of Kalasin in Paechon. That said, the meeting actually was at least of some utility with regards to that. There was an understanding that for the time being, any actual military action would have to be contained to the high seas and the air, which left his dear army with little more to do than train.
   "Your Majesty," He said with a bow as he looked at one of the screens; on the others, a number of officials including the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, and the National Security Advisor. Attending in person were, naturally, the Joint Chiefs. It was a sort of informal "liaison conference", something which everyone present had become used to in the months following the Three-day War. "I assume everyone is present?" He asked, rhetorically. "Good. As it stands, we've received intel from our friends over in Preoria surrounding troop movements out in the west of Kalasin. We have reason to believe the 1st Infantry Division and the 4th Armored Division have been dispatched to the region, where they are supported by PAFK militants numbering around 6,000."
   "It's only been six years, makes sense that they'd try to improve their defenses so close to Paechon." said Tadakatsu Haruno, the Minister of Foreign Affairs. "Besides, that area's got a significant chunk of their industrial base."
   "It's also the closest to Paechon. We're already well aware that many of the commanders in the PAFK want to take the island, to 'finish the job', so to speak." Satoru Hazuki, the Chief of the Naval Staff, added. "From what I heard, they're probably pulling more troops off the line near Ranong now that it's on the verge of falling. If we're gonna attempt a landing at any point in the near future, we're going to need a distraction of some sort. And that's only after their navy has been dealt with."
   "All they have is a handful of frigates and patrol boats, hand-me-downs from the People's Republic which were deemed 'necessary' to secure their coasts. But I agree, they will need to be handled first, so... We need to plan strikes against those ships, as well as any infrastructure supporting them." Eijirō chimed in. "Any remaining vessels would be left practically stranded and at the mercy of allied forces. That said, we can't discount the presence of anti-ship missiles like what was used on that Preorian hospital ship, the..."
   "Gleidhidh, your Majesty." Esashi said. "While certainly manageable for our forces, the Kalasinese have shown themselves willing to target non-combatants, at which point we have to worry about shipping through the channels. The southern channel may be further away, but it's still too close for comfort. We could task ships with providing them air defense, but it's still a gamble."
   "Get it done." Eijirō replied. "Anything else before we move on?"
   "No, your Majesty." Esashi said.
   "In that case, onto the next order of business. How's training of our forces in Paechon going, Marshal Fukushi?" Eijirō replied, at which Okimoto sighed. It was going to be another long meeting.

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Re: A Storm in the Channels (IC Thread)
« Reply #8 on: August 13, 2023, 12:01:39 AM »
6:45 AM AST

Two bridges, an electric plant, and an airport. The selection of targets wasn't important to them, but that's what the suits in Pyrettania had decided served as a "proportional response" to the attack on Pyrettania. IRN Prudence was the first to launch her missiles, followed by the firing of missiles from IRN Saisei targeting two bridges, an electric plant central to their power needs and an airport with links to the PAFK and their operations. They would give them a most bloodied nose for their attack upon Pyrettania, and soften them up a bit for the arrival of the boys top-side, to which one crew member smirked. "What has you so giddy? his compatriot would ask.

"18" inch shells, capable of the firepower of several surface vessels, these dickheads don't even know the hell that's about to rain down on them. Fuck'em though," he continued, "we kill them here so they can't touch those we love."

Multiple salvos were launched in an attempt to saturate native air defenses, the Rokkenjiman strategy of overcoming the enemy and disabling their defenses was very much at play.

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Re: A Storm in the Channels (IC Thread)
« Reply #9 on: August 19, 2023, 07:03:00 PM »
The Round Table Room, Marble Palace
23:30 VMT, August 2nd 2023

It hadn't been expected that the various persons involved would be called back this late at night but as was the way of things when something happened it was a case of drop everything and get to the briefing. Playing on the big screen was the statement of Colonel Thaksin Prateung.
"I love how they always fall into the monologue trap." Rion said with half a giggle "Never fails." she glanced at Serenity "the PAFK will respond by raining down hellfire upon the decadent cities of the Occident. - He just betrayed information."
"Assessment?" Mark Sharpe the National Security Advisor asked
"We've been asking since the start what their card is right?" Rion asked looking around the table "Kalasin does not have an ICBM program, you can threaten Daito, Rokkenjima and Preoria cities they're within range of what they do have but we're half a world away if you want to rain hellfire upon Achkaerinese cities you need something you haven't got."
"Is the same group responsible for both Awara and Pyrettania?" Adam asked looking around the table knowing the implication
"I think so." Rion said "A nuclear device in the capital of Rokkenjima just because of a blood drive? Not buying it. No whoever did that has a score to settle, and if it's the same group as Awara..."
"Then the PAFK at minimum has a bedfellow." Serenity said "Or else they're being used as the front for something or someone else. General Portman let's find out what the heck's going on please."

Vax Republic Region
1400 VMT, August 3rd 2023

This little pocket of territory in the north had gone overlooked so far in the crisis but it was a very helpful point of access, Shadowblade Troop of the Achkaerin Special Forces had just been deposited. The troops CO Major Heather Rose looked around checking the surroundings, sweeping with her rifle before waving over her second in command Tim Riley and oddly enough Tim's brother Luke Riley neither to be confused with any Achkaerinese cyclist.
"Ok so according to intel." Heather said as they poured over the map "The predicted launch site for the attack on Awara was here, Uthai Sot Missile Base, about 81km south of Phimal. This is a scouting op not a seek and destroy, we're expecting plenty of numbers at that base. Luke you take point with Richard, the rest of us will follow, it's tricky terrain and while I wish we could have brought the quad bikes I'd rather not announce ourselves."
"Night movement?" Tim asked
"Yes." Heather said
"It's a bit of a hike." Luke said "But six of us in hostile territory? No noise is best."
"Let's move." Heather said

Uthai Sot Missile Base
1800 VMT 17th August 2023

A bit of a hike had been an understatement as the six person troop had moved through the jungle that was Kalasin's terrain and then navigated their way to their destination without being spotted, now here they were, staking the base out from a vantage point in the trees were Heather and Luna Knight, Luna had her rifle up and was using a scope camera that was linked to a tablet Heather was holding to observe the base activity.
"Plenty of heavy weaponry." Luna said "Looks like plenty of numbers as well."
"Not all wearing uniforms." Heather said "So we're up against beyond just a professional military force,"
"Odd for a base that's supposedly under military control to have such a number of irregulars." Luna said "Wait a minute... doors opening... Visual on Prateung."
"No potshots." Heather said "He looks like he's talking to someone who's still in the building, wonder who..." she couldn't get any further as the person in the building became visible "Oh my days is that who I think it is?" she was looking at two more men who had stepped out of the building, Heather got the sat phone out as she continued to watch "Shadowblade calling control, request tracking on vehicle departing area heading north... Vacating area."

The Round Table Room, Marble Palace
1900 VMT, August 18th 2023

"I hate it when you're right Rion." Serenity said as the entire room stared at the picture of Prateung with the two men
"Just once I wish I was." Rion said "I'm sure we all recognise Joseph Leclair and Patrice Manadou."
"If they're there does that mean she is there?" Matthew Kirby said
"I don't know but I wouldn't be surprised." Rion said "But more importantly this is the card the separatists think they hold. Manadou brings the knowledge to produce a long range missile program, Leclair is exactly the sort of person who can manufacture a dirty bomb."
"To rain hellfire down on the cities of the Occident." Serenity said "You don't think..."
"I do." Rion said "And Major Kirby agrees with me."
"Do we still think that the Kalasin air force and navy just sitting there idle is a trap?" Serenity asked
"Yeah." Adam said "But given what we now know caution may need throwing to the wind, if this is a trap and it probably is, we need to spring that trap."
"All right gloves are off." Serenity said "When can we have the Seonaid Ayanami in there?"
"She's outside the channels" Adam Sheppard said "But once committed hours."
"Send her CSG in, any marines we've got in that into Ranong if we can, I don't think the city will hold but let's get the civilians out of there." Serenity said "And prepare for a no fly."
"You want to lock the Kalasin air force down?" Adam asked
"If they're part of a trap I don't want them able to pull it without having their own problems." Serenity said "I'll be back after I've opened the Mundus Games."

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Re: A Storm in the Channels (IC Thread)
« Reply #10 on: September 17, 2023, 05:15:52 PM »
Military Headquarters, Republic of Kalasin Armed Forces
Pattani, Kalasin
September 13, 2023
9:57 AM

   Just over a month had passed since the first airstrikes, more than a month of near constant meetings interrupted by the wail of sirens. It was like 2017 all over again, yet now, Kamon Wattana, the head of the Kalasinese Army, was actually the one having to call the shots. This was not how this conflict was meant to go; they were supposed to seize Ranong, force the Union Government to recognize the Republic's independence, and be done with the whole affair, and yet now, thanks to President Kaikaew's alliance with the PAFK—something his predecessor would never have done—Achkaerin, Daitō, Preoria and Rokkenjima had been drawn into the war. To say the odds were stacked against them was an understatement of titanic proportions; even if the entirety of the former PAFK were to return to service, ignoring any retraining or supply issues that it would entail, they were horribly outnumbered, not to mention underequipped. This was one of the situations he had explicitly tried to avoid, and yet, thanks to Colonel Prateung and his cell of the PAFK, it was now a reality.

   Outnumbered, underequipped, and demoralized following a long, hard-fought battle to liberate Ranong from Union forces and soldiers deserting left and right. It was only a matter of time now until regions in Kalasin started to oppose the government here in Pattani. Even so, there was still work which had to be done. In concert with the other chiefs of staff, a number of actions had been taken ahead of any potential landings, most notably the construction of defenses near Ranong and Songkhla. Much to the chagrin of many in the military, what ships hadn't either surrendered or been destroyed had fled to whatever foreign ports may take them. All that was left, the only ships standing against the swelling tide, were the corvettes RL-34 and RL-39, and even they were badly damaged and largely confined to around Songkhla and Loei, respectively. The Air Force was likewise in shambles, with only handful of Su-27s and Mi-8s actually operational thanks to enemy air raids. It was only a matter of time now until the storm arrived.